Saturday, July 31, 2010

About That Last Post...

Since I'm still figuring out this whole "blogging" thing, my mindset here with Epbot has always been geared toward your entertainment. And I love it. In fact, writing here is actually my reward for finishing a few day's CW posts. However, I'm still working on that balance between humor and my day-to-day reality - and on average, I'm always going to err towards humor.

That said, I just wanted to stop and thank all of you for the comments on my last post. Your words of advice, encouragement, and even concern were both surprising and surprisingly touching.

I also want to assure you that John & I are doing our best to keep any "diet" plans as moderate and healthy as possible. And, for the first time in our lives, we're not even thinking of this as a diet - just a lifestyle change.

I also want to say that I think curves are beautiful, as does John. I'm actually more comfortable in my own skin now, at 40 pounds "overweight," than I've ever been in my life. However, I'm pre-diabetic, and heart disease and diabetes run in my family. I'm also recovering from adrenal exhaustion (why hello, cortisol-induced spare tire!), and I'm in my third year of treating some absolutely fascinating internal issues that I'd be delighted to bore you with - some other time. So yes, this is a health thing. That being the case, I'm not expecting to ever be skinny, and in my wildest dreams I mostly just fantasize about having more energy - and maybe one less chin.

One or two of you were especially concerned about John losing so much so quickly, which is understandable. However, here's the thing: to maintain his current weight he would need to consume 3200 calories a day (!!), and right now he's trying to keep that under 2000, plus he's doing a lot of walking. So don't worry; he is most *definitely* not starving. :)

Gosh, it feels weird to be talking about stuff so personal and non-funny. Right? Well, I'll now return you to our regularly scheduled geeky girly goofiness.

And thanks again for being awesome.

What Starts with DIE?

So, John and I have decided we should try to eat a little better.

Not that this is anything new. We make noises like, "we really should try to eat better," and "next week we are *definitely* starting a diet," and "SWEET HEAVEN I AM NEVER EATING AGAIN" at least once a week, on average. This is because we, like many of you, are typical Americans. And by "typical" I[searching for the politically correct term]...fluffy. In a Garfield-esque kind of way.

"Put me down, woman! I see CUPCAKES!!"

After having been burned by extreme diets in the past (Atkins, you sick bastard, you) I knew that I, at least, had to start small. Achievable goals: that's the ticket!

So, step 1: Discuss diet strategies over a frosty.

(This eases one into the dieting process.)

Step 2: Research said diet strategies online.

Step 3: Get sidetracked for about two hours online researching candy-colored synthetic dreadlocks, even though you've never had dreads, will never have dreads, and, frankly, couldn't pull them off stylistically even if you tried. (But srsly, how cute is this girl?!?)

Step 4: Um. Where were we?

Oh, right.

Well, if you're looking for any gems of weight-loss advice from a cake-addicted blogger who hasn't seen the sun in approximately 5 days, then I am delighted to tell you that you're nuts.

I can, however, share what's working for John.

John's Surprisingly Effective Diet Plan:

1. Read Eat This Not That!, the restaurant edition.

2. Scream in horror after discovering every single one of your favorite meals on the "Not That" pages. (You know the Goofy yell? That's what he sounded like, every 5 seconds. It was hysterical.)

3. Buy the Tap & Track iPhone app, which tells you the nutritional info on everything at restaurants and grocery stores and keeps tallies on how many calories you're consuming.

4. Walk on a treadmill a lot.

I think he's already down 8 pounds - in a week. Naturally, I hate him. But in a loving, supportive manner.

And how am *I* doing? Oh, about like this:

John: "Um, I'm pretty sure eating a frosty while on the treadmill defeats the purpose."


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Crafty Geeks

I'm sure this will come as a shock to you, but I'm kind of a big DIY fan.

Please, please, contain yourselves.

I'm not, however, a DIY just for DIY's sake kind of DIYer. If it's easier, cheaper, and more fun to just buy it, then I'll probably just buy it. That's why I'll never make my own underwear. :)

That said, will I dismantle a too-big guy's Ghostbusters tee and then move the shoulder seams in and sew the whole thing back together so it custom fits me? Of course I will. Why? Because I... [standing proudly, hands on hips]... am a geek. With a serger. Which is used exclusively for re-sizing geek shirts. And I'm proud of that.

Needless to say, just about any geeky craft project gets me get all giggly and snorty while pushing my glasses up and stuff. If you're in the same
shuttlecraft, then I think you might enjoy these, too:

Blogger LauPre shows us how to make adorable flower covers for ear bud headphones, all in the spare time it takes waiting for the laundry to finish:

Poppies are my favorite flowers, so of course I adore these. I also love the combination of geek (wearing headphones) and girly (wearing flowers in your

And if your headphone wires are always getting tangled, LauPre has a solution for that, too:

Zip 'em up!

Easy instructions and more pics here. Check out her blog for lots of other fun projects, too.

There's even a whole blog dedicated to geek crafts, appropriately called, er, Geek Crafts. No tutorials here, unfortunately, but it's a great place to see what other geeks are making.

Also check the Geek Craft pool on Flickr for inspiration and eye candy. I'm especially enamored with the "bead sprites" made by user RedHerring1up:

They're made with little round beads! As a sometimes cross-stitcher, I adore this look and now must try it. Any of you do this? Have any tips? How do I get started?

And speaking of cross stitch, check out this adorableness:

No pattern, but this is simple enough that you could sketch it out yourself.

And one more gamer goody:

By Domestic Scientist, who has free patterns for this and alternate game controllers here.

And finally (for now) Amber Burns gets the Awesome Geeky Mom award for making her kids these fun Mario hats:

Amber modified this Mario hat tutorial to make them.
(See, this is the reason I need to learn to sew! You know, properly.)

By the way, I'm loving all your e-mails - keep 'em coming! I'm afraid I can't answer every one, but your links and photos are a little slice of nerd heaven for me. I'll also be featuring more of your projects and collections from time to time, so if you think I'll like it, share it!

So tell me, craft geeks, where do you go to get your craft on? Any favorite sites? Tell me in the comments! (I'll start: for t-shirt & clothing reconstruction, I like What The Craft, Craftster, and I just found Recycled Crafts, which looks awesome.)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Simply Smashing Penny Jewelry

Remember how I told you to gather up all your souvenir smashed pennies back during my trip to Disneyland? Well, I've been working for weeks now on assembling lots of fun options for turning these:

Into these:

Yes, it's upside down. I was just seeing if you were...uh...paying attention. Yeah. That's it.

Intrigued? Want to know how to make these yourself for only a couple of bucks and reused materials you probably already have? Plus see more designs? Then read on, intrepid penny lover! Read on.