December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

May your holiday season by happy and bright.

<3, Mandy, Colt, Mollie and Frigga

P.S.—For a nerdy holiday treat, check out the 12 Days of Doctor Who.

December 23, 2013

It's winter break time!

I won't be blogging on a regular schedule for the next couple of weeks due to being away from home and various holiday festivities. But I hope you have a wonderful Christmas—if you celebrate, that is—and a very safe start to the new year.

I'll see you in 2014!

December 20, 2013

Nerd News: Paul Rudd is Ant Man, Expendables 3 teaser, WhoLock and more

Vol. 4, Issue 46

You guys. I think me not posting Nerd New yesterday was fate, because FEAST YOUR EYES*:


Happy early Christmas to me!

And now we can get on with the actual post, which just so happens to be the last NN of 2013! I'll be going on vacation over Christmas break (more on that later), so you'll have to find your own pop culture news for a while; I hope it won't be too terrible. I will, however, try to post any crazy awesome huge news on FB if anything comes up while I'm away.

In other movie news:

Here are some trailers:

The Amazing Spider-Man 2


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes


A Fantastic Fear of Everything


The Grand Budapest Hotel


How to Train Your Dragon 2


Interstellar (Thanks, Colt!)

Mr. Peabody & Sherman




December 19, 2013

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program ...

To bring you this important message about Nerd News:

Thanks to this week being absolutely crazy—why you gotta be so jam-packed, Christmastime?—I ran out of time last night to finish today's post. But I'll have it done by tomorrow morning; I promise!

To tide you over until then, I give you this:


Please forgive me?

P.S.—Have you joined the 2013 Curtismas Card exchange?

December 17, 2013

Meet Frigga!

I feel like I've told this story a hundred times since last Thursday—sorry to those of you who heard it more than once ... or twice ... or three times—but I'm going to tell it again.

Last Thursday (my birthday), a coworker was late because she was "rescuing puppies" from her yard. While leaving to head to work that morning, she'd noticed a mama dog and her two puppies out in the cold. Alex (my coworker) took them into a vet and then came into work. She sent around photos of the little family, and I immediately was interested in keeping them from a trip to the humane society.

I sent Colt the pictures and he agreed to visit them at lunch. When we did, we fell for the mama, and decided by the end of the day to adopt her on a trial basis—depending on how Mollie got along with her, we'd decide to keep her officially by the end of the weekend. (The two puppies got adopted, too.)

It didn't take more than a couple days for us to make the decision to add her to our family. Long story over, I'd like you to meet Frigga:

She's named after Thor and Loki's mom. (We wanted to keep the pop culture mom theme going.) She weighs a whopping seven pounds, and the vet technician estimated her to be between 1- and 3-years old, so we're going with 2.

Mollie's not entirely on board with the idea of a little sister, and there have been a few growls from the both of them, but I'm hoping they'll eventually learn to be at least semi-friends.

This happened on Saturday, so my hope might not be entirely unfounded.

December 16, 2013

30 Before 30 | December update and wrap-up post

The big day has finally come and gone—I am officially 30 years old. Either it hasn't yet sunk in, or the fact that I'm in my 30th decade of life doesn't bother me really at all. In fact, the past few days have been absolutely fantastic. And if they're any indication of the year to come, it's going to be a very good one.

Much like I expected, I wasn't able to complete every task on my list. 2013 was a very busy year. Through trying to complete this list, however, I've learned things about myself. Some of the leftover items I'll add to my life-long bucket list, and others I'm just going to put on the back-burner and revisit my interest at a later date.

Here's my list, with December's updates:

1. Get another tattoo.
2. Go to Disney World/Land.
3. Lose 10-15 more pounds/feel better in the skin I'm in.
4. Find an exercise plan/class and stick with it.
5. Read at least 30 books.
6. Create (and stick to) a better savings plan.
7. Try indoor skydiving.
8. Get my passport.
9. Get a gel manicure (and not ruin my nails by picking it off).
10. Reopen the Pants Design Etsy shop/increase sales on RedBubble.
11. Eat at five new (to me) Austin-area restaurants.
12. Visit a new state.
13. Attend at least one con.
14. Cook at least three meals at home per month.
15. Hold at least six C&CC giveaways.—Five done! So close.
16. Finish learning how to knit.
17. Complete the blanket I started as a first anniversary (i.e., 2011) present for Colt.
18. Re-watch three TV series.—1.5 done.
19. Learn to better use CSS and HTML.
20. Get an additional pet.I couldn't cross this one off until my actual birthday, but sometimes unexpected happenings are the best kind! I'll do a larger post on our new family member tomorrow.
21. Start a 365 project.
22. Become a mentor (again).
23. Go on 12 fancy date nights.—1: Oct. 23; went to Melting Pot for our three-year anniversary. 2: Dec. 12; went to Wink for my birthday.
24. Hold a fandom party.I had a get-together with friends for my birthday that involved fandom-related foods and nerdy shirts, but I wasn't really able to plan anything as over-the-top as I would have liked. Maybe in 2014.
25. Push myself out of my comfort zone.
26. Shoot a gun (at a range).
27. Get a new car.
28. Finish decorating the bedroom.
29. Partake in three anonymous Pay it Forwards.—1: July 26.
30. Find the perfect shade of lipstick (and learn how to apply it properly).

I did a final update of the original post; you can find it here. In all, I completed 13 out of 30 items, and made progress on six or seven others. Not too shabby.

Things I've learned about myself via this project:
  • Colt and I are not really "fancy date" people; we're much more dinner and a movie folk.
  • I do not often go through drive-throughs.
  • I watch way too much "live" TV once the season starts.
  • I need to find/make more time for being creative.
  • We must make time to attend a con next year, too.

Regardless of the outcome, I definitely had fun making an attempt at completing this list! And I'm looking forward to what's to come.

December 12, 2013

Nerd News: Godzilla trailer, Sherlock teaser, Marvel couture and more

Vol. 4, Issue 45

Hello friends! Today is my 30th birthday. *cue the streamers and confetti!* Although I’ve known it’s coming for what seems like years, it kind of snuck up on me! And I totally didn’t complete my 30 Before 30 list … but I’ll do a recap of what I did and didn’t do over the past year next week. For now, I’d like to ask you for a present—of GIFs! Please help me drown my sorrows celebrate by sending me your favorite GIF via Twitter! I look forward to seeing what you share.

Meanwhile, in TV news:

Here are some teasers:



Doctor Who Christmas Special


Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark (I kid you not.)




December 11, 2013

Everpurse giveaway winner

We have a ...

Congratulations to:

Check your email, Bethany, for information on how to claim your prize.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and thank you to Gadchick for sponsoring the giveaway!

Be sure to check out Gadchick for more great info on the latest in tech chic.

December 10, 2013

obsessed.: End-of-year mashup mixes

I am a huge fan of mashups. I love when someone talented takes two seemingly unrelated songs and mashes them together to form something new and even more awesome than the two songs by themselves. (I might have voiced this particular obsession before.)

For the past few years, December has not only meant birthdays and holidays and winter(ish) weather, it's also meant an awesome end-of-the-year mashup: the annual United State of Pop by DJ Earworm. The 2013 mix was released last week, and it's terrific. The video is pretty dang fantastic, too.


Previous years' editions can be heard via DJ Earworm's Soundcloud.

I also ran across another year-end music wrap up by Daniel Kim. The video's not as well done as DJ Earworm's, but the song's got enough different songs in it that it's doesn't compete; it compliments.


I'm sorrynot sorry if the above songs cause a widespread outbreak of chair dancing.

I'm also sorry (for serious this time) about the Bieber and the Miley Cyrus.

P.S.—Have you signed up for my Christmas card exchange?

December 06, 2013

2013 Curtismas Card Exchange

As I might have mentioned in previous posts, December is my favorite month of the year. Even if you're not a huge Christmas celebrator (or someone who has a birthday this month *cough*), I think you can admit that there's something about this time of year that's just a little more jolly than the rest of the 11 months.

As part of celebrating the season, I like to create and mail Christmas cards—Curtismas cards, if you will. *ba-dum-tss* I also love receiving cards, so ... it's time yet again for the annual Curtismas Card Exchange!

If you're interested in receiving a card from The Murtis this holiday season, please fill out this form. There's a place on the bottom of the form for you to fill in your email address if you're willing to send a card in return; I'll email you our mailing address once I receive your form.

Here's a look at past cards:




And here's a peek at the 2013 edition:

I hope to see your name on the list!

December 05, 2013

Nerd News: Sherlock photos, Spider-Man 2 trailer a Veronica Mars clip and more

Vol. 4, Issue 44

Hi friends! Welcome to the first issue of Nerd News for December. It wasn't the busiest week for pop culture, but there were some fun announcements made. Read on!

In movie news:

Here are a couple of trailers and that promised Veronica Mars clip:

300: Rise of an Empire


The Amazing Spider-Man 2


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty


Veronica Mars


December 03, 2013

Win an Everpurse, courtesy of Gadchick!

If y'all have been readers for a while, you might remember that I write occasionally for Gadchick, the amazing online tech magazine/blog for women and brainchild of Diana of our city lights.

I happen to think that both Gadchick and Diana are the absolute coolest, so when Diana contacted me to ask if I'd be interested in holding a Gadchick-sponsored giveaway as part of my 30 Before 30 progress, I said "Heck yes!" before I even knew what it was that she was thinking of offering as a prize.

I should have known it would be something that's a great mix of girly and tech.

Meet the Everpurse, the purse that charges your smartphone while you're on the go.

Diana reviewed the Everpurse yesterday on Gadchick, and in the review she goes into detail about how the system works. It's a super cool idea—we are totally living in the future, friends—and I recommend checking out the review to learn more.

Thanks to Gadchick, one of you lucky ducks will win a purple fabric clutch Everpurse. You can enter via the widget below; you must follow Gadchick on at least one social network—Twitter, Facebook or Instagram—in order for your entries to count. The giveaway ends next Monday at midnight, and I will contact the winner once the giveaway has closed.

In the meantime, definitely check out Gadchick on the Web, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram and via the Gadchick app!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, friends!

December 02, 2013

Monscellany: Mr. December and November's Photo-A-Day photos

Well friends, we've reached it—one month left in 2013. A month filled with holidays and good cheer. I've always loved December, and although this year has absolutely flown by, I'm excited it's here yet again.

To cap off the year, let me introduce Mr. December: Jake Gyllenhaal.

(If you'd like to download this for yourself, just click on the image and it'll open in a new window; you can then right/control click and save it. Each page should print at 6"x9".)

+ + +

And here are my November photos from Fat Mum Slim's photo-a-day project:

(View a larger version of November's prompt list here.)

You can join the fun, if you like—here's the December prompt list.

+ + +

I've got a few fun things planned for this month, including more progress on my 30 Before 30 list. Check back tomorrow for details.

And, happy December!

November 28, 2013

Nerd News: Doctor Who Christmas rumors, Sherlock teaser, Thor 2 art and more

Vol. 4, Issue 43

Hello, friends! Happy Thanksgiving and happy second day of Hanukkah! What's going on in pop culture—something I think I can safely assume we're all thankful for, yes?—this week?

In TV news:

Here are a few teasers:

Doctor Who (Thanks, Rebecca!)

Orphan Black




November 27, 2013

I am thankful for ...

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day (in the U.S.), which is a day to reflect on the many wonderful things we have in our lives.

I was inspired by one of the ideas I posted in last week's DIY-deas to create a little printable to use during our Thanksgiving meal, and, of course, I wanted to share it here. (A printer-friendly version with two on one page is available via the link below each image; I also created a black and white version: one-up | full sheet.)

(Gradient: one-up | full sheet; Glitter: one-up | full sheet)

I'm certainly thankful for much more than 10 things in my life, but if I was to start an open-ended list, I could go on for days! To get things started, here are 10 things I'm thankful for, some silly, some serious:
1. My family.
2. Marvel movies.
3. Friends—both offline and on.
4. Boyfriend cardigans.
5. Good health.
6. My Keurig coffee maker.
7. A home that is warm, dry and filled with things that make me smile.
8. My TBR (to-be-read) pile.
9. A secure job.
10. The Internet
What about you, friends? What are 10 things you're thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2013

Haiku Revieu: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (****1/2)

Snow is a bastard
Katniss is a bit broken
Run from the monkeys!

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD. I loved The Hunger Games. So much so that when I reviewed it last March, I gave it five out of five stars. My ratings scale is bit of a fluid thing, it seems, and I'm pretty sure that were I to see it for the first time today, I wouldn't give it the full score. That said, the score is a good indication of my feelings toward the franchise, and the sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, doesn't in any way diminish those feelings. In fact, even though you might not be able to tell from the rating above, I actually liked it better than the first movie!

Catching Fire picks up a few months after Katniss and Peeta "win" the 74th Annual Hunger Games. Their lives have gotten somewhat back to normal, but the time of the Victory Tour—a trip with stops in each district that culminates in celebrations in the Capitol—is drawing near. Unbeknownst to her, in some Districts, Katniss' move with the berries was seen as a form of rebellion, and the people are pushing back against the Capitol's oppression. President Snow sees the people of Panem treating Katniss like a figurehead of the rebellion, and he hatches a plot to destroy her before she gets too much power—a plot that involves sending her back into the arena.

The characters and the actors in Catching Fire have only gotten better from the first movie, particularly Josh Hutcherson's Peeta. He's less of a lame duck in this movie, and actually stands up for himself a little more. Jennifer Lawrence was again awesome as Katniss, even a Katniss who's a bit more fragile and a lot more effected by PTSD. Stanley Tucci's Caesar Flickerman is pure brilliance; I really can't imagine anyone else playing the role. Donald Sutherland is so creepy as President Snow; every time he comes on screen, I can smell blood and roses. The new characters of Finnick, Johanna and the other prior victors were great, too. (I wish we could have spent more time with them!) And Lenny Kravitz's Cinna ... oh, Cinna.

It's obvious that Lionsgate spent a lot more money on Catching Fire, too. The special effects and sets were all superb. The Quarter Quell arena, and the "events" within, were super well done. (I still hold to my belief that The Hunger Games franchise one of most well done series of book-to-film adaptations ever.) I do wish we could have seen more of the action, however, and a little less of the lead up to it. (What can I say? I'm an action girl at heart.) And some of the scenes were a tad over-acted (i.e., the whole washing the fog poison off in the stream, Katniss' face at the very end of the movie ...)

Regardless, if you're a Hunger Games fan, or enjoyed the first movie even a little, I think you'll really enjoy this film, too.

November 23, 2013

Celebrate The Day of the Doctor with these Who sales

Happy Day of the Doctor, everyone! I woke up this morning and found my inbox had been inundated with a lot of Doctor Who-related sale emails (mostly for T-shirts, but that's OK by me). I'm sure many of you get the same emails, but I thought I'd write up a short post to get all of the sales in one place.

Today seems to be the perfect opportunity to buy gifts for all of the Whovians in your life—or, you know, buy yourself a little something. You deserve it!

As a disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with any of these sites, I merely wanted to pass the savings on to my friends! Also, if you see an asterisk (*) next to a website below, that means I've bought from them before and would recommend their products. If there's no asterisk, you're buying at your own risk. (That sounds much more ominous than I meant it to.)

Tee-a-day sales:

As always with T-shirt of the day sites, these sales will only be available for a limited time. If you miss a design that you really want today, you can likely find it online later (often on RedBubble), but for not as cheap. Most of these sites don't just sell T-shirts anymore, but I wasn't sure what else to classify them as.

TeeFury* | Time Will Tell and 50 Years of Timelords

Buy one or both of these shirts today and you'll get a set of 3D glasses and a special 3D mini poster, too.

Blue Box Tees | The Doctor 010, TARDIS Service and Repair Manual and Doctor Magritte

Qwertee* | Who's Turning 50?

Unamee | In the Blink of Time

Shirt!Woot* | It Came Out of Nowhere, Things Waiting in the Darkness, Relative Dimensions, Passenger, Who Needs Gravity, Call Box in Blue, Infinitely A-Mazing, Have a Nice Trip, Adventure Time Lord, Timey Wimey and Travel With Me

Tee Tee | Twelve Doctors

A portion of each sale of this shirt goes to help relief efforts in the Philippines.

Fresh Brewed Tee* | Stowaway and Nanny Who

TeeTurtle | Hero of Space and Time, Time Traveler, Time Fiction and 10th of Hearts

I wore my 10th of Hearts shirt yesterday ... and the artist posted my #fridaytee photo on his Facebook page this morning!

Site-wide sales:


Threadless now offers many of their designs on more than just shirts. Get 35% off any order (not just Who shirts) with the code ALLOFTHETHINGS.

Hot Topic*

The entire Hot Topic store is on sale for 25% off. No code needed.

Special events:

Bottleneck Gallery

The gallery is releasing a set of posters, one for each of the 11 Doctors, on timed release throughout the day. If you buy the whole set, you'll receive a special (as-yet-unrevealed) 12th Doctor poster, too! (Thanks for the tip, Rebecca!)

Her Universe

Did I miss any good sales? If so, please share them in the comments!