Unboxing: August BOOMBOX! • POWER-UP

Confession: I effing love makeup... but I find it intimidating. 

When my sister-in-the-Force, JediJuggler, introduced me to Espionage Cosmetics I was all in. The $$$ I spend at EC is really embarrassing considering how little I actually use. Which is one of the big reasons I adore the BoomBox! subscription, I get a fantastic variety of nerdy goodies not just makeup.

Past boxes have been great, there's only been one I was really meh about—June's Naturally Awesome was okay but the Turquoise Nail Wraps were the only thing I loved. The Tea & Crumpets Everything Shadow from February and Banshee Lip Serum are actually two of my most used products. This month's Power-Up theme was one I was worried about to be honest. The last subscription box I got that did a theme like this left me feeling isolated. I should have known better. The retro-gaming feel totally tickled my inner kid.

One of the things I love most about EC, is that they have real geeky women who are talented makeup artists working with them as Nerd Makeup Ambassadors—I try not to play faves but JaeCHAOS is such a talented artist but also a beautiful soul, I could gush for hours. They also curate from fantastic lady nerd artists like Sam Skyler. Which means every box so far has had a great art print or colorable item plus, fantastic tutorials on how to use the included makeup. This month's piece from Fox Smith is such a fun mashup.

Since I wear a lot of fandom-centric jewelry I heart the necklace from Geek Star Costuming. I am totally in need of her Wonder Woman earrings!

I recently got a new laptop and I've been a bit bummed because the hubs has been hogging my old one that has all my great stickers—including the EC Crest one—on it. I about died of joy to see 3 stickers in this month's box. The Oregon Trail one is my favorite, since that was the game that made me a gamer, but I love all 3.

The notepad, while pretty stinking cool, will probably wind up in the box of notepads I never use. I just have SO MANY. I'm a stationary addict, I get them in a lot of sub boxes, and I get lots of swag notepads as a book blogger  so I have a huge collection. But thanks to most things being digital, I just can't use them up fast enough. That said, this one is so nostalgic and weird, it rocks.

This month was great non-makeup wise but holy casserolee the nail wraps and shadows were epic.

Anyone who loves 8-Bit games has gotta love the nail wraps. I wanted to wear 8-Bit Hearts immediately but then I decided they should be saved for my anniversary or maybe Valentine's Day. I think it might be one of my all-time favorite designs. Power Up is super cheerful and is just a bit cutesey. I wish EC had little girl sizes because these would be so darling on my 6-year-old.

For the first time ever, EC introduced Pressed Powder shadows! These are a BoomBox! Exclusive but I bet they'll release more pressed powders before too long. I have been wishing that they had them (I just find them a bit easier to store without messes) for quite some time! These arrived in the plastic lacons you can buy for lip gloss on EC but are in metal pans so I think they can be popped into a magnetic makeup palette like the Z Palette. I'll let y'all know once I figure that out.

Pixel is a gorgeous rosey pink and Console is an almost cotton candy light blue. I don't think anyone has pointed it out yet but I was immediately struck that these were total Suicide Squad Harley Quinn colors. Clearly that wasn't intentional but I found it a little inspiring as to something to do with them.

Also included is 1-Up, a gorgeous green shadow. My photos do not do it justice. (One of these days I'll buy a real camera and learn to take good pics but until then it is what it is). Green is one of my favorite colors but I always find it a makeup challenge. This one is another BoomBox! Exclusive, sorry lambs!

This month EC did something a little different. They did a sort of featured Ambassador which I want to see more of! This time it was Sasha/ThePryncess. Her makeups are always so color rich! Her floral liner inspired by the Most Ardently nail wraps from February's box is to-die-for beautiful. She created 3 tutorials for using the new shadows.

Honestly, this is the part of the subscription I most treasure. Since makeup is challenging for me, sometimes I find it hard to decide how to wear shadows and such. Including tutorials by not just makeup artists but fellow nerdgirls makes me feel empowered. Granted I could never pull the looks off with the precision they do, but I can say that I kicked but with February's tutorial which is why I wear Tea & Crumpets so much. Now if only I could get someone to always do my brows for me... lol

Overall, the POWER-UP BOOMBOX! was a smashing win. I loved it enough to actually write the unboxing post this time. teehee! 

Seriously y'all... if you want to see this sub unboxed here again please leave a comment. The process takes me about 3 days of photographing, photo-editing, and writing up the post. I would love to know if you enjoyed it so I feel motivated and inspired to make it a thing. Otherwise, my depression doubt monster sits on my shoulder making excuses why it's a waste of time. I actually have photos from every single box that's gone out but just struggle to muscle through and make these posts happen. Bleh.

Which item would you love to get your hands on? Was one of your fandoms featured? What's your favorite 8-bit game? 

Tell me below!


Review: Klaw: The First Cycle

Love this mythos! (5 stars)

I didn't expect much going into Klaw. I've been burned by loving a cover a few too many times. But woah, this was one heck of a rich mythos to dive into and I will be devouring more volumes as they arrive. Not only is the story great, the art is beautiful. If you dig shapeshifters or crime family dramas be sure and pick this one up.

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.

Klaw: The First Cycle
by Antoine Ozenam & Joel Jurion
Comics, Graphic Novel, Supernatural, Crime
Print (144 pages, MAGNETIC PRESS)
A population of secret were-animals hide among us, and young Angel Tomassini is about to learn just how widespread -- and dangerous -- it is!
Beautifully illustrated by Joel Jurion, best known throughout Europe and the worldwide animation industry for his gorgeous and dynamic character design, written by Antoine Ozenam, this exciting young adult series explores a world of ancient conflict hiding just under the surface of modern life as we know it. With identifiable coming of age themes overshadowed by thrilling action sequences and a deep, enthralling mythology, this book will introduce readers to a world unlike anything else on shelves today.
Collecting the first three chapters of this original ongoing series -- AWAKENING, TABULA RASA, and UNIONS -- this book comprises "THE FIRST CYCLE" in the epic, hidden universe of KLAW!

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Review: Ghostbusters: Who Ya Gonna Call?

Smash or Bust? (4 stars)

I always wondered why ghosts had to be trapped and contained versus obliterated in some way. When a new crew starts competing with the Ghostbusters things get sticky and the answer to that thought gets answered. One of my fave things about this franchise was always the pseudo-science and that made this a fun, quick read.

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.

Ghostbusters: Who Ya Gonna Call?by Erik Burnham
Graphic Novel, Paranormal, Nostalgia
Print (104 pages, IDW)
When an upstart paranormal investigation and elimination service calling themselves The Ghost Smashers sets up shop in NYC, the Ghostbusters suddenly find themselves out of work and out of favor. But The Ghost Smashers are messing with some shaky science, and it's only a matter of time until their incompetence threatens the entire world. Ghostbusters #13-16!

More fun with the Ghostbusters:


Book Review: Harley Quinn Vol. 4: A Call to Arms

The usual goofy antics! (4 stars)

Don't ask me why but I have been struggling to review this one. It was a totally fun romp but there wasn't anything about it that really stood out and made me want to rave about it. It's Harley and her hijinks, a fun read, and I'm enjoying this current continuity fairly well so I'm gonna keep reading it.

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.

Harley Quinn Vol. 4: A Call to Arms
by Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
Villains, Comics, Graphic Novels
Digital/Print (# pages, DC COMICS)
Harley continues carving out her own path, with the help of guest stars Poison Ivy and Catwoman!
Harley Quinn is on a mission to make the world a better place—and get paid for it at the same time! Quinn and her Gang of Harleys are taking on do-gooding missions for a price, but sometimes that means they’re biting off more than even a gang of semi-sane butt-kickers can chew. So when a simple search and rescue mission turns into a battle royale against an invulnerable alien-empowered sea captain—that means it’s time for a vacation!
But no trip to Hollywood could ever be simple for Harley Quinn—she’s got a job to do, too. As she navigates a twisted web of movie producers, starlets, kidnappings and cults, Harley discovers that the bounty hunting business can be even more dangerous than being a hero-for-profit—especially when you’re trying to poach a bounty from Deadshot!
This collection includes HARLEY QUINN #17-21 and HARLEY QUINN ROAD TRIP SPECIAL #1, from co-writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti (STARFIRE) and artists including Chad Hardin (SUPERGIRL) and John Timms (Nova).

If you need more Harley check out:


Review: The Bodybuilding Cookbook by Jason Farley

A great resource for building mass. (4 stars)

Earlier this year the hubs got it into his head that he was going to start lifting weights. He tore apart our gaming/reading room and turned it into a pretty decent little home gym. He started taking a ton of supplements and he was doing really great until an injury sidelined him. But the one thing I was struggling with, as the primary meal maker in our family, was how awful his diet was. Instead of going for a clean eating approach where he focused on good nutrition and fuel for working out, he was eating the same thing over and over and cutting calories. What's a loving spouse to do? Find a better option!

Enter this book.

I was extremely impressed with the author's attention to detail and meticulous focus on providing the body with whole foods. Most of the recipes within were simple and rich in the building blocks needed for muscle building nutrition but also, making sure you have stamina. Sadly, the author used stock photos of the foods that, while beautiful and very appealing, were not the actual foods. I felt it was very deceptive in its visual presentation. There were also a lot of typos and some grammar issues that—while not a big issue—may be a bit annoying for some. It's also notable that the measurements are not in the US system but if you're a pretty confident cook you can easily adapt them with a conversion chart.

Overall, a great resource for folks focusing on building muscle mass through good nutritious (and delicious) foods rather than supplements.

Notes: Received this product for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

The Bodybuilding Cookbook: 100 Delicious Recipes To Build Muscle, Burn Fat And Save Time
by Jason Farley
Cookbook, Wellness, Fitness
Digital/Print (144 pages)
The Easy Way to Bulk up and Burn Fat Fast!
If you want to learn how to create healthy, delicious and nutritious meals that are specially designed to build muscle, burn fat and save time, then THE BODYBUILDING COOKBOOK is your answer!
Every serious athlete knows that your nutrition is the most crucial part of building a lean, muscular and strong physique and can either make or break the results you see in the gym. However cooking can easily become a chore, especially when all you have to look forward to is the same bland, boring and tasteless meals that the fitness and bodybuilding community claim you have to eat to be successful...
We all know those meals...
Boiled chicken breast
Baked potatoes
It takes the willpower of a saint to be able to live on these and this is why so many people fail!
With The Bodybuilding Cookbook, you'll never have to be frustrated with your diet again. You'll learn how to cook healthy, tasty, quick and easy meals that will build quality lean muscle mass, burn fat fast and won't cost you an arm and a leg!
And these recipes aren't just a slight upgrade to familiar bodybuilding meals like you'd find in most health and fitness cookbooks e.g. coating your already bland chicken with some equally bland salsa sauce. These recipes are so delicious your taste buds will believe you're in a 5 star restaurant!
The Bodybuilding Cookbook includes...
* 9 mouth-watering breakfast meals like my Brawny Breakfast Burrito, Banana and Almond Muscle Oatmeal, Power Protein Waffles and Turkey Muscle Omelette. They will kick-start your engine and ensure you start off the day as you mean to go on!
* 18 succulent and delicious chicken and poultry recipes like my Muscle Moroccan Chicken Casserole, Turkey Meatball Fiesta, Anabolic Ratatouille Chicken, Aesthetic Tomato and Olive Pan-Fried Chicken and Chicken Brawn Burger. Say bye bye to boiled bland chicken. These meals will ensure that your body has no choice but to burn fat and build muscle!
* 15 tasty and nutritious red meat and pork recipes like my Power Pork Fruit Tray, Brawny Beef Fajitas, Bulk-Up Lamb Curry & Peanut Stew, Anabolic Pork Soup and Oriental Beef Muscle Stir-Fry. These protein packed recipes will keep you anabolic, building muscle and shredding fat!
* 15 gourmet fish and seafood recipes like my Protein Packed Paella, Brawny Baked Haddock with Spinach and Pea Risotto, Workout Fish and Muscle Mackerel and Spicy Couscous!
* 10 healthy, delicious protein packed salads like my Sizzling Salmon Salad, Mediterranean Super Salad, Muscle Building Steak & Cheese Salad and more. Who said salads were boring!
* 13 tasty homemade protein shakes like my Chocolate Peanut Delight, Blackberry Brawn, Caribbean Crush, Cinnamon Surprise and my personal delicious Mass Gainer.
* And much, much more...

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Every POKEMON GO player needs this one thing.

Because the only reason you need this gadget is to catch 'em all...

Great for average sized phones. (4 Stars)

Let's not beat around the bush here. The only reason you want one of these is to take your Pokemon Go playing to the next level. Amiright?

I admittedly don't ride a bike or play PG so you're probably asking yourself why you should listen to me. Because I have been picking up Bike Mounts for my PG playing husband left and right in search of a good one so I've got some experience with them. When we started our search he was still using a Samsung Galaxy S4 but it finally died and he upgrade to the S7 Active. Unfortunately, the Active does not fit well in this one. The S4 and this slightly larger Blu (what's in the photos) I have around for backup work just fine.

Overall, I think this one has one of the better mounting parts I've seen and is okay at holding the phone. If you have a regular sized phone I think this is a good option. Anything in the Active/Plus/Note size range isn't going to fit well.

Notes: This is a review of a complimentary sample product.

iForaa Universal Bike Mount
Product Details: Universal Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone 6/6S, 6/6S plus 5S, 5C, 5, 4S, 4, iPod touch, Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4,S5, S6, S6 edge Plus, Note 2, 3, 4,5 Nexus, Motorola Droid Razr HD, Maxx, Nokia Lumia 920, LG G2, G3. G4, Optimus G, HTC One X, S, M, BlackBerry, Sony Xperia and all smartphones up to 5.7 inches with any case, and most GPS devices
3 Silicone Bands: Help hold your device firmly in place for added security.
360 Degree Rotation: Fully adjustable, to best satisfy your flexible demands.
2 Different Settings: Fits motorcycle and bicycle handlebars 1.5" diameter and smaller.
Full phone access to your entire phone screen, buttons and mic jack too, unlike annoying sleeve designs that require you to remove your device to use it.


Unboxing: LOOT4FANGIRLS from LootCrate

Love subscription and mystery boxes? Me too. 

Geektastic ones especially.

Bonus Stickers!!!
I've subscribed to LootCrate off and on since the early days when no one seemed to know about it. It's been great watching it grow and grow and grow in popularity. But I gotta admit... the reason I kept unsubscribing was that I felt like most of the time the box contents were just not hitting my fangirl sweet spots. I like expressing my fandom in lots of ways but jewelry, makeup, and stuff that's generally considered feminine are more me. I have loads of tee shirts and I've been an avid figure collector for 20 years and yet, I skew pretty traditionally feminine and I'm okay with it.

Fandom was treated as a guy's thing for so long that we geek gals who like girly stuff were under-served for decades. But thanks to fantastic companies like Her Universe and Espionage Cosmetics I finally feel like I don't have to settle. I can have like being a gamer and wearing dresses while I play.
When I saw that LootCrate was doing a #Loot4Fangirls box featuring an exclusive dress from Her Universe I couldn't resist. I was already a big fan of Her Universe—you should see my closet—and I knew that Espionage has licensing for Borderlands already so I was pretty sure I was in for a treat. I snagged mine at the preorder price of $55 which didn't make it a huge steal but for exclusives, it's fantastic. Guess what else? If you love what you see you can still get this box for $65

My reaction face as I unboxed #Loot4Fangirls...

I could not have predicted just how awesome this box was going to be...

Book Review: Apartment Therapy Complete and Happy Home

Pretty but not purposeful. (3 stars)

I've always enjoyed Apartment Therapy from when I was an apartment dweller into my single-family house days. I wanted to find this book useful more than just pretty. But it just wasn't aside from parts one and three which do not make up the bulk of the book. Maybe if I were starting from the ground up and not trying to find ways to make my tiny apartment sized kitchen and dining rooms work better.

As a pretty coffee table book I think it's great but if you want to get any inspiration or useful ideas I'm not sure this is going to be your book.

Notes: Review copy received via Blogging For Books.

Apartment Therapy Complete and Happy Home
by Maxwell Ryan, Janel Laban, & Melanie Acevedo
Home, Small Spaces, Decorating
Print/Digital (320 pages, POTTER STYLE)
The most comprehensive and complete home book from Apartment Therapy, featuring every aspect of design and decorating from floor plans to paint, specific rooms to style approaches, with the goal of setting up and living well in a place you love.
“A complete and happy home is so much more than a series of pretty rooms. Between these two covers, we’ve captured everything we’ve learned at Apartment Therapy about decorating, organizing, cleaning, and repairs, so you can make and maintain your own fabulous home.”
—from the Introduction
Getting a room to feel right is more instinct than science. You know a great space when you see it. Apartment Therapy trains your eye with more than 75 rooms, from bedrooms to kitchens and living rooms to kids’ rooms and workspaces. Explore every detail—lighting, color palettes, flooring, and accessories—that brings a home to life and, most important, makes you happy in it.


Ghostbusters: The New Ghostbusters

She ain't afraid of no ghost... (4 stars)

When the Ghostbusters disappear it's up to an unlikely new team to fill their boots. While it's not my favorite Ghostbusters graphic novel to date this one fulfilled a long daydreamed about idea for this fan. Growing up as the only girl in a family of boys you can guess who I always got stuck playing... and this time she finally gets to put on the pack and light-'em-up.

If you enjoyed the reboot film and want to see more women bustin' ghosts this is one worth picking up.

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.

Ghostbusters: The New Ghostbusters
by Erik Burnham & Dan Schoening 
Paranormal, Graphic Novel, Nostalgia
Print (104 pages, IDW)
The Ghostbusters are gone, spirited away by some dastardly demons from another dimension! But spectral shenanigans haven't ceased in the city that never sleeps, meaning a new group will need to step up and don the proton packs. Will the New Ghostbusters be able to rescue their predecessors, or will they share the same fate? Collects Ghostbusters (2013) #1-4!

More fantastic Ghostbustin' goodies:
The Rhialist (Rhianna Walker) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.