Delilah Dirk’s Second Adventure!

Image From First Second Press

Delilah Dirk strikes again! In the new graphic novel by Tony Cliff: Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling, we are once more in the company of the swashbuckling heroine and her faithful friend, Mister Selim. This time, it’s Delilah’s reputation in her homeland of England that is at stake. She gets on the wrong side of a new character, Major Merrick (not being the submissive woman he expected), and he decides to use her as a scapegoat for his own traitorous deeds. I had the opportunity to ask Tony some questions about his second book: the action, the friendship, and even the fashion.

GEEKMOM: Creating, writing, and illustration on your own sounds overwhelming. How do you keep yourself motivated? Were there different challenges with the second book?
Continue reading Delilah Dirk’s Second Adventure!

May the Fashion Be With You: My Star Wars Journey Through Clothes

Fashion and I have a tortured relationship. In fact, the closest analogy I can make is that fashion is the Kilgrave to my Jessica Jones. Fashion makes suggestions, compels me to act in ways generally against my nature, and I feel pretty miserable during and after. Whether it be Spanx or that strapless dress I was forced to wear in a wedding (look, size 32J tatas just don’t “do” strapless), I am the exact opposite of a fashionista. Thus, dressing fashionable is often my own personal nemesis.

Sometimes, choosing clothing is about more than how it looks. Clothing choices are often about feelings, how we feel about ourselves and how we feel about the way we portray ourselves. Sometimes, clothing is sentimental. I am one of the people who has memories and emotions attached to objects. My Star Wars clothes tell the journey of my introduction and adoption of the fandom. Unlike many Star Wars fans, I came to the fandom in the last few years. I also openly admit that my love of Star Wars really has more to do with the community and the ideology of Star Wars instead of the actual media.


Continue reading May the Fashion Be With You: My Star Wars Journey Through Clothes

GeekMom Holiday Gift Guide #7: Clothing and Household Goods

Geeks love to dress the part, regularly donning their Doctor Who T-shirts or multi-pocketed Scottevests. They also love their household tools and goods, finding products that make their lives easier. What are the GeekMoms’ favorites for 2015?

Images: Dyson
Images: Dyson

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal+Allergy & V6 Mattress Vacuum
Prices vary
Dyson makes quality and extremely effective products, and these two vacuum models are no different. The upright vacuum will suck more debris out of your carpet and off your floor than you ever thought possible, improving your indoor air quality and ridding it of animal fur and dander, along with other allergens. And the V6 Mattress Vacuum is a great handheld solution to vacuum mattresses, car interiors, stairs, and anywhere else an upright would be tricky to use. These bagless, easy-to-empty vacuums will make your life easier. They did mine.

Continue reading GeekMom Holiday Gift Guide #7: Clothing and Household Goods

6 Questions With Darling Army’s Cosplay Clothing Wiz

The Darling Tennant Suiting Cosplay Jumper Pinfore (left) and the Galaxy Police Box Cosplay Kimono Dress (right) are two of Darling Army’s top sellers. All photos courtesy of Darling Army/Amanda Marin.

A few weeks back, we featured “11 Awesomely Geeky Aprons” on GeekMom. People love aprons because they provide a nice excuse to squeeze a little cosplay in everyday—or at all, if you like to keep your cosplay behind closed doors.

However, as the owner of the online shop Darling Army, cosplay artist Amanda Marin makes designs that you’d be proud to wear almost anywhere. Heck, I’d wear this Pokeball skirt or even this Baymax pinafore to the grocery store, if I could.

Amanda doesn’t just create aprons, but she also does dresses, skirts, bibs, tights, and more. She aims to add one new design to her site every week, but she’s also pretty open to suggestions. She just isn’t always open to new orders. In fact, she typically only takes on 20 projects at a time, which can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to create. When she does take on new orders, she usually fills up within 4 to 5 minutes. (Mark your calendar; the next order window will be open on Sunday, September 13, 2015, at 7:00 a.m. PDT.)

Although she constantly has orders to fill, I got the chance to ask Amanda about her online shop, her inspirations, and some of her best-sellers.

GeekMom: Please describe your shop…

Amanda Marin: I focus on making cosplay alternatives for cute enthusiasts. In general, I take male characters or objects from shows and adapt their designs to be more flattering for a woman’s body. Instead of making full cosplay or dresses, I focus on adapting these designs into kimono dresses and pinafores which can easily be adjusted for multiple sizes and removed, which makes them ideal for long convention days. Have you ever tried to even take a simple eating break during a con in full cosplay? It’s a nightmare!

Photo: Amanda Marin.

GM: How long have you been doing this?

AM: I’ve been sewing my own cosplay for almost 15 years (since I was 12), but I’ve only been offering them to other people for the past four years. When I was working towards my teaching credential, I couldn’t hold a normal job because I was student teaching full-time during the day and going to classes at night. Since I didn’t have money for Christmas presents that year, I made my friends fandom pinafores with leftover fabric and they loved them! Eventually, I decided I’d have to start selling my designs online since it was my only job option. The rest is history!

GM: Would you say that most people order for cosplay or everyday wear? Or do you even know?

AM: It depends. Most people order the pinafores and kimono dresses for conventions and specific costume events. The skirts and capelets are more for everyday wear. My printed dresses and tights are new, but I think a lot of people are ordering those for everyday and casual convention days.

GM: Where do you get your ideas?

AM: From whatever I am playing, watching, or reading at the time. I have a sketch folder with over 400 designs that haven’t come to the store yet. Every time I join a new fandom or see a new character design, I usually add a couple sketches to that folder.

GM: What is your top seller?

AM: That’s actually pretty hard to say! For a while, my David Tennant Suiting Pinafores were on top, but the addition of kimono dresses has brought a whole new group to the store. For now, I’d say the Galaxy Tardis Kimono Dress has been the most popular design for the past two months. It changes based on the season. Convention season usually sees more anime and gaming-inspired designs, while Halloween leans towards Doctor Who.

GM: Is this your full-time job?

AM: Yes! So much for that teaching degree. I work 10 to 15 hours a day on orders, depending on the season. Halloween usually sees me working from morning ’til night.

For a peek at more of Amanda’s designs, check out the Darling Army website and the Darling Army Facebook page.

Knitted Captain America Costume Beats All The Rest

Image: David Alvarez Cosplay
Image: David Alvarez Cosplay.

I once attempted learning how to knit, but it did not go well. The yarn has long since been given away, but this makes me wish I’d kept at it awhile longer. It’s a full Captain America costume that has been knitted from top to bottom.

She’s knitted the boots, belt, gloves, and even a bag that doubles as a shield. Although a shield is Cap’s primary weapon, cosplayer Fangirl Physics also comes armed with two matching blue knitting needles. This is just amazing!

Image: Corpus Photography
Image: Corpus Photography.

If you’re thinking of attempting this cosplay on your own, then you’ll want to check out her making-of page, which has the details of how she made it all. There’s also a link to the pattern and she has been answering questions, too.

So, if I started trying to learn to knit again, then there may be a chance I could figure out how to do this in time for next winter. Or maybe I should just stick to buying premade costumes and leave the knitting to the pros.

(via Fashionably Geek)

GeekMom Fashion Inspiration: Abigail Mills

GeekMom Fashion Inspiration © Sophie Brown
GeekMom Fashion Inspiration © Sophie Brown

Lieutenant Abigail Mills from Fox Network’s Sleepy Hollow is one of the toughest cops on television; and her wardrobe reflects that. Abbie’s clothing is all about practicality and comfort, after all, you can’t go chasing down demons, witches, and monsters in stiletto heels and party dresses. Her simple style makes her easy to emulate and it’s a look that can be adapted to suit anyone.

Abigail Mills © Sophie Brown via Polyvore
Abigail Mills © Sophie Brown via Polyvore

Neutrals: Abbie sticks almost exclusively to neutral shades in her clothing which serves to compliment both her stunning skin tone and hair color. Neutrals are great because they can be worn by everyone and are nearly always flattering (there’s a reason why every woman owns a basic black dress). Stick with greys, blacks, browns, and perhaps a touch of navy blue and you’re halfway to achieving Abbie’s look.

V-Necks: Another staple of Abbie’s wardrobe is the v-neck t-shirt. Wear one with a plain vest top in a contrasting shade underneath for instant layers. This technique is also great for adding some extra warmth to your outfit without adding bulk if you’re in a cold climate.

Boots: I love Abbie’s choice of footwear. How many female law enforcement agents do you see on TV wearing ludicrously impractical heels (I’m looking at you Kate Beckett). Not so Abbie; she sticks with comfy, practical short boots that are just as great for running away from demons as they are for kicking some serious butt.

Promo Shot  of Abbie with Ichabod on Sleepy Hollow © Fox (Fair Use)
Promo Shot of Abbie with Ichabod on Sleepy Hollow © Fox (Fair Use)

Skinny Jeans: Nothing goes with boots quite like a good pair of skinny jeans. Try to find the time to shop around for your jeans (yeah I know, I hate clothes shopping too) but the range of cuts and styles that make it so damn annoying also increases the likelihood that at least some will look amazing on you. BuzzFeed recently ran a feature where one of its female contributors tried on 10 different pairs of jeans that all claimed to be the same size. The variety of results she came up with was mind-boggling; just keep that in mind when one store claims you are two sizes larger than what you thought.

Jackets: Abbie has a number of different jackets but she always sticks to shorter lengths that end around her hips. Most of her jackets are leather, usually in either brown or tan, however she does have a few more distinctive ones including some designs with contrasting sleeves in a different color and/or fabric. A leather jacket in a style that suits you is one of my basic wardrobe essentials because they go with so much and work through much of the year.

Accessories and Make Up: Abbie usually keeps the accessories to a minimum–she’s all about practicality–but one item we have seen her don is her military style cap. It’s a less common style than the broadly similar baseball cap (more hipster-y beret) but once again it’s a practical choice. Abbie’s makeup is always very natural, almost to the point of barely being able to tell she’s wearing any. She uses a soft pink lipstick and natural or nude shades of eye-shadow to keep with the neutral look.

BONUS: Jenny Mills
Abbie’s sister Jenny wears many of the same fashions as her sister (neutral tones, skinny jeans and boots). However, there is one thing that makes her unique: her shoulders. Nearly all Jenny’s outfits draw attention to her shoulders in some way. Examples include sleeveless tshirts that cut off across the shoulder line and military style vest tops. Jenny also favours hoodies over her sister’s short jackets.

GeekMom Fashion Inspiration: Peggy Carter

GeekMom Fashion Inspiration  © Sophie Brown
GeekMom Fashion Inspiration © Sophie Brown

Agent Peggy Carter with her elegant 1940s chic and ball-busting attitude is the current darling of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Marvel fans and feminists alike applauding Agent Carter‘s daring take on what it meant to be a woman at the end of the Second World War. Peggy’s wardrobe has become something of a character in and of itself with an entire section of the show’s official website given over to analysis of her costumes (and those of other characters on the show—especially Dottie and Angie) and discussions with costume designer Giovanna “Gigi” Ottobre-Melton. It only seems fair then that we should kick off our new GeekMom Fashion Inspiration feature with a look at how to recreate Peggy’s look for yourself.

Peggy Carter © Sophie Brown via Polyvore
Peggy Carter © Sophie Brown via Polyvore

Tailored: While most of us wouldn’t be able to afford to have our clothes personally tailored, well cut clothing is essential in emulating Peggy Carter’s style. Although not always formal, her clothes are always neat with clean lines and little fuss. Forget frills and lace, her outfits are minimalistic yet very feminine, partly as a result of fabric rationing after the war. Watch out for wide collars and lapels—these are a trademark of Peggy’s style and often have contrasting angles and shapes.

Military: Peggy is a patriot—she was Captain America’s sweetheart after all—and that is reflected in her clothing. Look out for pieces with military style including Naval (she rocks a stunning navy blue dress with white stripes in episode two) and use tones of red, white, and blue. The symbolism can be subtle, such as the Eagle Wing pin brooch above which resembles Air Force wings, but remember that wearing actual medals is a big no-no unless you earned them yourself.

Stripes: Possibly for another patriotic nod, Peggy is often seen wearing stripes, sometimes more subtly than others. Her suits often have a subtle pin stripe to them and we’ve seen bolder stripes on her hats and dresses too. Try to avoid wearing them alongside a starry item unless you want to emulate Uncle Sam instead.

Agent Carter Promo Poster © ABC
Agent Carter Promo Poster © ABC

Skirts: Agent Carter is set in the 1940s when most women wore skirts or dresses every day. In order to reflect Peggy’s style, keep skirts a modest knee-length and cleanly cut; pencils and A-lines work best. Anything too long will get tangled around your legs if you have to take down some Hydra agents on your way to the office.

Accessories: Peggy often wears low heels that aren’t too showy but maintain feminine details with thin straps. Her shoes always match the overall color of her outfit, unlike her purses which are frequently in a contrasting color as with her belts. Of course Peggy’s most iconic accessory is her red hat. In the 1940s hats were commonplace, whereas today you’ll probably attract some attention simply by wearing one. The fedora has garnered some bad press lately thanks to its association with GamerGate (even though it’s been frequently mixed up with the trilby) but hopefully the combined awesome of Peggy Carter and Indiana Jones can restore its once good name.

Hair and Make Up: Peggy’s hair is always flawless. Personally I am a strong advocate of the roll-out-of-bed-and-comb-my-fingers-through-it school of hair maintenance but that simply will not fly with a Peggy Carter outfit. Her hair is usually styled in soft wavy curls but is occasionally pinned up for more formal occasions. Peggy’s makeup is mostly subtle except for her lips which are always bright red. Actress Hayley Atwell has revealed on Twitter that the show uses Besame’s 1946 Red Velvet to get that glorious red shade. To cap off the look, use a bright red nail polish too.

Superhero Summer with

Superhero family Summer! \ Images:
Superhero family summer! Images:

Living in Florida, you can bet that my summer (and the rest of the year) involves hanging out by the pool or lounging on the beach. I’m never at a loss of what to wear while soaking up the rays, because has me and my family covered (literally). This year, I decided to pair each member of my family up with a geeky swimsuit, as well as recommended reading material.

As the saying goes, ladies first. For the ladies, I picked out a Supergirl Wrap Halter Bikini ($43) that will make the boys go crazy. The only downside to this bikini (or upside for the guys) is the top alone ties in three different places and the bottom ties in two places. This is great for personalizing your coverage, but it can be a little difficult to do without a second set of hands (that’s where the guys come in handy). The Supergirl Women’s Costume Tank Dress ($27) goes great with this bikini and doubles as a cover-up when you want to walk the shops. For those who like to have a little music at the beach, check out the Superman symbol speaker wallet ($29). My reading material of choice for this outfit includes Superman/Batman Vol. 2: Supergirl, Supergirl Vol. 1: Power, and Supergirl Vol. 2: Candor. You can store it all in a matching Superman backpack ($55) and Supergirl Makeup Bag ($13). Supergirl Summer Fun

Next, we have a few things for the guys. In my “It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s…” collection, Superman shines with a comfy pair of board shorts ($32), the Superman Front & Back Image T-Shirt ($22), an embroidered hat ($20), a towel ($15), a rubber bracelet ($6), and a sweet collection of Superman titles including: Infinite Crisis, Superman: Birthright, and Superman/Batman Vol.3 : Absolute Power. Everything can be thrown into a matching Superman backpack ($59).

Superman Summer Fun

For the younger variety, I have designed two outfits—one for the girls and one for the boys.

The girls’ outfit was inspired by Wonder Woman! It includes a modest two-piece bathing suit ($25), an action-packed shirt to cover up between swims ($15), a Wonder Woman action figure ($19) to battle with the boys, and a journal ($15) to write down all their superhero thoughts. The reading selection includes age-appropriate Wonder Woman titles including Wonder Woman: Trial of the Amazons, Wonder Woman vs. Circe, and Wonder Woman: Creature of Chaos. Then, you can pack it all up in a Wonder Woman Backpack ($49).

Wonder Woman Summer

While the girls are pretending to be Amazons, the boys can have fun climbing the walls with a Spider-Man-inspired collection.

The boys collection includes ultimate Spider-Man board shorts ($17), the Spidey mask t-shirt ($16), the Spider-Man Symbol 39Thirty baseball hat ($22), a Spider-Man plushy ($14), a lunchbox ($16), and the kid-friendly Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man ($9) series. Pack it all up in a webcrawler-approved backpack ($23). Make sure you remember to throw some sunscreen in both of the kids’ bags before you hit the water.

SpiderMan Summer

When it comes to quality, it’s hard to beat I’ve had some of my shirts for five years, all without any issues when washing them. I recommend you get any items that are 100-percent cotton a size up, just in case they shrink the first time you wash them. And ladies, if you like the bathing suits and are well endowed like me, you will want to look over the bathing suit sizing very carefully. Bathing suits are not returnable, so if you mess up your size, you are out of luck.

GeekMom received these items for review purposes.

DIY: Monster Style Pants Repair

Huge, pants-wrecking rip. (image L. Weldon)
Huge, pants-wrecking rip. (image L. Weldon)

Although my son wears heavyweight and durable pants, he still manages to stain, rip, and fray them to shreds. I used to amuse myself by cutting patches from old jeans in the shape of dinosaurs to sew over ripped knees, but he’s way too old for that. He still destroys pants and I still like to amuse myself with stitchery. So this time, rather than sew on a plain square patch or cut the pants into shorts, I made a quick repair—monster style.

I got the idea from Samantha at By Meikk (you’ll have to hit the “translate” button to read her blog, which appears to be written in Dutch). She uses fleece and felt backed with fusible webbing to cleverly patch a hole with a monster face.

Monster Knee repair (
Monster Knee repair (

I took a quicker route.

I positioned a contrasting color iron-on patch over the hole from the inside, making sure that the shiny fusible coating faced the outside of the pants. Before ironing in place, I cut jagged teeth from a white iron-on patch and positioned the fusible side in toward the other patch. I covered it all with a piece of parchment paper to keep it from sticking to the iron. Then I held the iron, turned up to the hottest setting, on the patch area and fused it for about 45 seconds.

Next I cut eyes from a left-over piece of contrast color iron-on patch and ironed them shiny side down on the outside of the fabric.

monster patch repair,
Monster patch repair in progress. (image: L. Weldon)

I know these patches tend to loosen after a few go-rounds in the washing machine, so I sewed around the edges with primitive Frankenstein-like stitches.

Hand sewing to ensure patches stay in place. (image: L. Weldon)
Hand sewing to ensure patches stay in place. (image: L. Weldon)

Then I colored a pupil in each eye with a fabric marker.

make a monster jeans patch,
Adding some monster personality. (image: L. Weldon)

The whole process took less than ten minutes. I folded the pants along with my son’s other clean laundry, anticipating that he’d be surprised when he put them on. That didn’t happen. His siblings found my repair job so silly that they informed him he now owned monstrous pants. I wasn’t sure he’d approve but he looked, laughed, and came over to hug me. Apparently our kids can outgrow all sorts of things but retain a lingering affection for whimsical mothers.

Contest: What’s in Your Scottevest?


I’ve reviewed several products from Scottevest, including their Travel Vest for Women, their Ultimate Microfleece Hoodie, and their Blackout Pockets. Most recently, I’ve been able to put their Q.U.E.S.T. Vest for Women through its paces. As part of the company’s new campaign, “What’s in your Scottevest?”, they asked me to make a video of what is in my Scottevest. After much personal freak-out time, I went ahead and made a video. It is tucked away with other blog-type folks on the YouTube channel that Scottevest put together for this campaign, so you can see me talk about what’s in my Scottevest pockets along side such people as Chris Pirillo, Johnny Jet, and even my dear Rory, who made a video in the name of GeekDad.

The QUEST Vest for Women. There's also a decent hood tucked away in back. Image: Scottevest
The QUEST Vest for Women. There’s also a decent hood tucked away in back. Image: Scottevest

What’s the purpose of this campaign, you ask? Is it merely for famous (and not so famous) sorts to show off their clothing? Nope. It is to set an example for the rest of you to submit your own video, showing off what you keep in your Scottevest. Submit a video to the Scottevest website and you can win a $1,111 Scottevest shopping spree. You will have no problem spending all of that money on their site, believe me. They have so many great clothing options, including accessories and underthings. There will also be second and third place winners, along with some runner-ups.

Since I can’t win, however, I want one (or more) of our readers to win. So if you love your Scottevest clothes, or were thinking about ordering some, make a video and show off your carrying capacity! The What’s In Your Scottevest contest ends July 3, 2014, so get filming!

Check out the Scottevest website for full contest rules and to see what products they currently offer. Every product of theirs that I’ve gotten my hands on I have adored. I am sure you will feel the same.

Note: I have received products for the purposes of reviews.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2014!

Me and my little geek \ Images: Dakster Sullivan
Me and my little geek \ Images: Dakster Sullivan

Mother’s Day is May 11th and to help you get some of your shopping done, we’ve come up with our top picks of items we think your mom will love. From the book worm to the technology lover, we have something for every mom on this list.

Clothing and Accessories

Ogio Hampton’s Laptop Bag ($70)
Next to Oakley, Ogio makes some of my favorite bags. The Hampton’s Tote is big enough for a laptop and mom’s other every day needs and comes in eight different colors.

We Love Fine Princess Luna shoulder bag and matching dress \ Images: We Love Fine
We Love Fine Princess Luna shoulder bag and matching dress \ Images: We Love Fine

We Love Fine Luna bag ($39) and matching Fit and Flare dress ($34)
This year at MegaCon, I discovered the We Love Fine My Little Pony Princess Luna purse (say that six times fast). While on their website looking for the perfect ensemble to go with my new shoulder bag, I found the Fit and Flare dress! Talk about a match made in MLP heaven.

STEM Girl Swag tank ($28.99)
Just a fun, simple tank for the science nerd in all of us. Great for summer.

Frehiwot scarf ($36.00)
Handmade with soft 100% cotton. Each scarf offered by helps to create sustainable women-run businesses in Ethiopia.

PlanetBox \ Image: Amazon
PlanetBox \ Image: Amazon

PlanetBox Stainless Steel Lunchboxes ($39.95-$79.95)
In the past year I have thrown myself into a mid-life romance with home-made lunches. Suddenly, I’m carving out portions of my evenings in order to make tuna-olive tapenade, provencal potato salad with green beans and hard-boiled eggs, and barley salads with chickpeas, mint, and feta. My first question (“where is this coming from???“) has quickly been supplanted by a second, more immediate question: how am I going to get this to work?

Enter: PlanetBox’s stainless-steel, bent0-style, machine-washable lunch systems. The hasped boxes come with covered “dippers” or containers to hold a salad, dressing, or dip, and can be slipped into colorful, coordinating carry bags. The thing that delights me most? This is ridiculous, but I adore the  fairy magnets that I bought separately to fit into the lunchbox top. Sometimes it’s the little things…


ADAPT \ Image: Amazon
ADAPT \ Image: Amazon

Adapt Bluetooth adapter ($39.95)
I’m a headphone junkie, but one thing I’m not a fan of is the wires. By plugging your wired headphones into the adapter and turning bluetooth on your device, Adapt makes your wired headphones, wireless. I love using this with my earHeropro headphones while at work to ease anxiety and be discrete about having headphones in my ears!

HP Envy Touchsmart M6 Laptop ($620)
The HP Envy Touchsmart M6 laptop is great for moms who have a lot on their plate and want a laptop that can handle it all. With 6GB of memory, 750 GB hard drive, Beats audio system, and a dedicated graphics card, this laptop is great for moms who like to surf the internet, listen to music, do a little photoshopping, play graphic-intense games, or anything else they desire. I’ve had mine for a month and there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not happy with it.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4-Inch Tablet (Black) ($369.99)
Now we’re talking. High-res 8.4 inch display to watch movies, play games, edit documents, take pictures, read, video chat, and more. View and use two apps at once with multi-window feature. Uncomplicated with multi-user mode, letting family members logs in separately to view their own apps, background, and email. Use it as a universal remote control. This one does it all.

iBN26 NFC Bluetooth Stereo System with Speaker Phone ($70)
As a mom, I have my hands full enough without a bunch of wires keeping me down. That’s why I like this stereo system with a built-in speaker phone. It’s small enough that I can move it to my work area and stream my music while I work in my office or the living room. My favorite feature of this unit is the lacking of fancy lights on it, so I can put it beside my bed and not worry about it keeping me up at night. Compatible with Apple and Android devices.

Clarus Premium Dual Driver Earbuds with Mic ($199)
The Clarus Premium Dual Driver Earbuds by Moshi are by far the most comfortable over-the-ear headphones I’ve ever worn. From the moment I opened up the box, I knew I was going to be treating my ears to luxury with the padded case and attractive clear stand. Included in the box is a set of three ear pieces to ensure the perfect fit and a splitter in case mom wants to share her beats with you.

PowerShellController \ Image courtesy of Logitech and used with permission
PowerShellController \ Image courtesy of Logitech and used with permission

Logitech PowerShell Controller + Battery ($99)
For gaming moms on the go, this will charge your iPhone while you use the satisfying controller to play. There’s an extensive list of compatible games, offering something for whatever strikes your fancy. The combo is kind of a lifesaver on flights, in doctor’s offices, and even when commuting on public transportation. If you’re all thumbs when it comes to gaming on your iPhone, this is a great alternative.

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad mini ($79.99)
The iPad mini is such a feel-good size for a tablet, but sometimes a keyboard would be amazing. Logitech is now offering their Ultrathin Keyboard for the mini, and it is just great. A powerful magnet turns the keyboard into a sturdy cover, and it transforms the very portable tablet into a great little laptop alternative.

UnuAeroCase \ Image Courtesy of Unu
UnuAeroCase \ Image Courtesy of Unu

uNu Aero iPhone 5S Battery Case and Charging Pad ($99.95)
If you’re looking for a way to charge your phone on the go, this is a great option from uNu. Put your phone in the hard case, place the case on the Charging Pad, and you don’t have to fiddle with docks and wires ever again. Plus, when charged the case itself provides an extra six hours of battery life for your phone just by pressing the button on the back. A clever, easy system to ensure your phone never dies on you again.

Cricut Explore ($299.99)
The new Cricut Explore is an impressive piece of machinery. The die cut system is the latest evolution of the Cricut line of products, and it is fully digitized. No more cartridges necessary, and the software is a true design space where you can create your own images and even upload images to be cut out. A luxurious item for any craft room.


The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks by Amy Stewart($15.26)
Find horticulture in every sip of alcohol in this fascinating guide to your favorite drink’s biology, chemistry, and history. Fifty drink recipes and gardening tips included.

Tequila Mocking Bird \ Image: Amazon
Tequila Mocking Bird \ Image: Amazon

The Beauty of Different by Karen Walrond ($19.13)
This gorgeous book explores beauty in fresh ways, helping readers see their own beauty in differences that are not shortcomings but distinctions, maybe even superpowers. The author’s work can also be seen on the photoblog Chookooloonks.

Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle ($11.40)
This is the ultimate gift for the book-obsessed. It features 65 delicious drink recipes, each with a literary twist, such as The Last of the Mojitos, Love in the Time of Kahlúa, A Rum of One’s Own, and Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margarita. Each drink is paired with wry commentary on history’s beloved novels. Oh but there’s more, like drinking games, appetizer recipes, and delightfully witty illustrations.

BookBook covers by Twelve South by Twelve South ($34.99 to $69.99)
These covers look like vintage books, but are actually cases for your phone or tablets. The hardback cover and rigid frame protect your device while also disguising it from theft. There are no corner straps or elastic bands, this case has a secure hold on your electronics. It has two zippers, making it easy to unzip just enough to connect to headphone cable or charging cord. It features an a variable-angle display stand and a built-in typing stand. It looks and feels like you’re holding a book, which you are.

Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman ($13)
Sure, if you have kids, Mother’s Day is all about you. But if you happen to be mother who has already lost her own mother, this day can bring up some sad emotions too. Having been a “motherless daughter” myself since my early 20s, I highly recommend the book Motherless Daughters, by Hope Edelman. I’ve re-read it many times, and each time I do it touches me in a new way.

I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed her follow up book called Letters From Motherless Daughters ($12), that is broken up into chapters according to how long ago you lost your mom. Either one would be a touching gift for someone on your list who might be having trouble celebrating the fact that she is the mother, when she’s missing her own so deeply.

Renewed \ Image: Amazon
Renewed \ Image: Amazon

Renewed by Lucille Zimmerman ($11)
Starting to feel like you’re living your life for everyone except yourself? Need to be reminded why it’s important to listen to your own needs, even when there are little people in the house? The book Renewed by Lucille Zimmerman might be exactly what you need. It’s quick to read and you just might find yourself bookmarking several sections that speak to you the most. Buy one for yourself, and for any other mama in your life who might need a bit of renewal.

Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westerosillustrated by Michael Komarck and designed by prolific pop-up designer Matthew Christian Reinhart.($40)
This item combines so many things I love: maps, books (including interactive books), that steampunk-meets-fantasy intro to HBO’s Game of Thrones, and, of course, the dangerous and wonderful world of Westeros. In addition to the individual pop-up elements, the larger pop-ups combine to form a map of Westeros, complete with Winterfell, King’s Landing, and the ominous Wall. I challenge anyone to look through this without chanting the theme song, as well as any Games of Thrones fan to not want this in their collection.

For the Home

UniFlame WAD820SP 34-Inch Slate & Marble Firepit with Copper Accents ($129.00)
Stylish outdoor firepit made from slate and marble with wrought iron stand. This includes a heavy steel grate, with a 22″ round firebowl that’s easily loaded with wood. Game nights on the patio!

ProjectLife: Clementine design \ Image: ProjectLife
ProjectLife: Clementine design \ Image: ProjectLife

Project Life Memory-Keeping System ($19.99 and up)
Not everyone is a born scrapbooker, and the aisles of stamps, stickers, and decorative papers in craft stores can make some people itch. This was the case for GeekMom Jackie, who began using Becky Higgins’ Project Life when her daughter was born. The entire system consists of gorgeously designed journaling cards and endlessly customizable plastic sheets to hold photos and cards. You can even fit Instagram photos in special sleeves. The system is fool-proof and addictive, offering both print supplies for memory binders or a digital option to make your scrapbooks online. $29.99 for core kits (cards only), $19.99 and up for binders, and $29.99 for big packs of page protectors (all sold separately).

Hängen Wall Planter ($58.00)
Opus Garten offers unique, durable, and sustainable options for anyone who likes growing things, without any fuss. Their products contain no PVC, BPA, phthalates, or paint. GeekMom readers, use the coupon code “wiredmom” until Mother’s Day for a 20% discount on any Opus Garten products including Hängen Wall Planter and Airplant Nests.

Hänge Wall Planter is an elegant planter with sub-irrigation that hangs easy as a picture using a quick-release ball and cord system. Perfect for growing herbs or ornamentals, indoors or out

Airplant Nests  ($16.00)
Airplane Nests are wall-mounted flexible fingers especially designed to hold Tillandsia (air plants). Each pack contains four Airplane Nests for creative wall arrangements.

LED Color Changing Showerhead ($39.95)
Turn regular showers into something far more colorful. The lights are water-powered, infusing the (flow restricted) stream with ever-changing hues.

Disclaimer: Some GeekMoms may have received review samples. 

The Fall of the Christmas Sweater

The ugly Christmas sweater. A few years ago you couldn’t have paid most of us to wear one and yet during the 2013 holiday season you couldn’t take a step without seeing one. Traditional ones, rude ones you couldn’t possibly wear in front of your Great Aunt Mildred, even ones that light up or play animations—2013 was clearly the year of the ugly sweater.

But now Christmas is over and we’re slowly getting back into our routines, so what do we do with our often rather costly, sweaters? When exactly should you stop wearing them? Well it seems there are several schools of thought on the subject: Continue reading The Fall of the Christmas Sweater

ThinkGeek’s Soft Kitty Hoodie Is Perfect For You And Your Kids

ThinkGeek Soft Kitty Hoodie, Image: ThinkGeek

Who would have thought that the ThinkGeek Soft Kitty Hoodie would be the absolute most loved thing my daughter found under the Christmas tree this year?

We occasionally watch The Big Bang Theory with the kids and when my youngest first became aware of Soft Kitty she fell in love. I’d hear her humming it from time to time, sometimes singing the words, and I have even sung it to her to cheer her up. It works every time.

When I saw the Soft Kitty hoodie on ThinkGeek, my first thought was that I wanted it for myself because it’s so darn cute. It’s actually a costume hoodie that turns you into Soft Kitty with a little tail, paw covers for you hands, and a hood with ears. It’s adorable.

It was about this time that the Mom part of my brain kicked in and I knew it would be the perfect thing for my daughter. In fact, there was no way that I alone could have one because it would make her cry. And then I would end up giving it to her anyway, so, losing scenario.

ThinkGeek Soft Kitty Hoodie, Image: ThinkGeek

It runs in adult sizes, but she’s ten so a ladies small fit her with some room to grow. There is a unisex version too that’s cut a little wider and has a grey-lined hood instead of pink. If you’re looking for a looser fit, go with the unisex. Either way, it does run a little on the small side so I’d go up a size if you’re in doubt.

The hoodie is just as cute as it looked online and was of a better quality than expected. It’s a 60/40 polyester/cotton blend which can sometimes feel a little cheesy but not this time. It’s very soft and I’d swear that it’s got more cotton than anything. Soft hoodie, warm hoodie, indeed.

The little paws button back so you can warm your cold fingers and then fold them back out of the way when you need to send your next text message. The tail doesn’t come off, so you’ll have that all of the time, although it’s short enough that it doesn’t really get in the way. Yes, I did test this before I gave it to my daughter because it was too cute to not try on when it arrived.

The Soft Kitty Hoodie ($49.99) is now available at ThinkGeek.

GeekMom received this product for review purposes.

Dress Your Little Ones In Geeky Style From We Love Fine

Image: We Love Fine
Image: We Love Fine

We Love Fine has long had a fantastic product line of geeky clothes and accessories for adults and now they’ve got a kids’ shop, just in time for the holidays!

They’ve been introducing kids’ items into their line a little bit at a time, but now they’ve got a dedicated kids’ shop that features all the delightfully geeky kids’ apparel that you, and your kids, are going to love. The sizes range from infant onesies all the way up to youth sizes and feature many of their most popular adult styles so there’s something for every child.

Image: We Love Fine
Image: We Love Fine

The onesies are 100% cotton with snap closures and they are adorable. They gave me a few to check out when I was at New York Comic Con, and I’ve washed them dozens of times and they still look good as new. They’re even a little softer than when they were right out of the package.

Styles range from the classic red, blue, and gold uniforms of Star Trek to My Little Pony, Doctor Who, and Star Wars. Yes, you can turn your child into R2-D2 or even the TARDIS.

Bigger kids have a range of girl and boy toddler’s shirts with all the characters they love. There are costume-style shirts that can turn them into one of the Power Rangers or Chewbacca and even a few with capes to make them feel like superheroes.

Image: We Love Fine
Image: We Love Fine

Your tween can get in on the fun, too. There are plenty of choices for fans of The Avengers along with Hello Kitty and Adventure Time. You’re not limited to t-shirts for older kids either since they’ve even added a few hoodies to the mix.

I spoke with the folks at We Love Fine and they’re really looking forward to giving geek kids, and geek parents, quality shirts with the characters they adore. To that end, they want to hear from you about what kinds of shirts you and your kids want to see.

Image: We Love Fine
Image: We Love Fine

It doesn’t matter if it’s a character, a style, or an age group, tell them! Send their customer service department an email at and you just may see the design you’re looking for show up in the We Love Fine kids shop.

GeekMom received some of these products for review purposes.

Back to School with

Dakster's Favorite \ Image: Dakster Sullivan
Dakster’s favorites from  Image: Dakster Sullivan

I’m a huge fan of for a few reasons. First, economically they are a good fit for my wallet. Second, they have something for every member of my family. Last, but most importantly, I’ve never had any issues with the quality of the products or their longevity after washing, drying, and otherwise putting them through everyday life. It’s for those reasons I feel confident doing my son’s back to school shopping with them.

In honor of school starting ::and a thousand parents screamed in anticipation:: I’ve come up with a few outfit ideas to help you send your student back to school in superhero style. Since we are still on the heels of The Man of Steel release, I felt inspired to use the Man of Steel himself for some of the outfits I’ve chosen to share with you.

First up is Superman for Geek Chicks. The Man of Steel shirt ($24.99) is 100% cotton and I found it to be a little form-fitting. If you like your shirts to fit a little loose, I would suggest ordering one size up. The only thing in this outfit that you can’t purchase from is the black fedora (aka Clark Kent-like hat). I found that on Amazon for a real steal. Complete the outfit with Superman earrings ($10.99), speaker wallet ($28.99), backpack, and seatbelt key chain ($14.99).

Superman for Chicks \ Images:
Superman for chicks. Images:

The guys have their own Superman variation to fit their style. My favorite part of this outfit is the underwear because of the cape on the back. It’s one of those “no one will ever know” details that is really neat. To achieve this look, you will need the Man of Steel Shirt  ($21.99) , Man of Steel hat  ($21.99), the awesome caped boxers ($17.99), and the Superman wallet ($17.99).

Superman for Guys \ Images:
Superman for guys. Images:

The big kids aren’t the only ones who get to go back to school in style. Pick up a few of these items for your younger fan to show off his or her Superman pride. In my opinion, girls could easily wear the boys’ shirts, but I understand that some girls have a fascination with pink. The shirts are 100% cotton and after washing my son’s shirt, I didn’t see that much of a difference in the way it fit him. The shirt sizes are pretty universal for kids, but to make sure they can grow into it a little, I’d get one size up. To achieve the look below, you will need the Superman T-shirt ($14.99), seatbelt belt ($14.99), Superman hat ($11.99), backpack ($47.99), and lunch box ($15.99).

Superherostuff Kids \ Images:
SuperHeroStuff Kids. Images:

Of course, not everyone is a fan of Superman, so if your student is more Transformers than superheroes, check out the selection of Transformers apparel available. I created this outfit with the college student in mind, but of course, it can be for the non-student as well. Keep in mind the juniors shirts are a little form-fitting, so if you like it to fit a little loose, order one size up. The guys’ sizes, like the kids’ sizes, are pretty universal so you can feel confident in ordering them in your usual size. To achieve the look below you will need one of the Transformers shirts (shirts start as low as $19.99) and the pajama pants ($24.99), wrist bands ($7.99), wallet ($19.99), and backpack ($39.99 ).

Superherostuff: Transformers \ Images:
Superherostuff: Transformers. Images:

If school doesn’t start for a few more weeks in your area, how about a superhero family water day? Pick up a new swimsuit for everyone in the family and head to the water-park, beach, or your front lawn for some water fun.

Ladies, make sure you double-check your sizing before you order. Swimsuits are not returnable or refundable due to health precautions, so make sure you get your sizing right. If you have any questions, SuperHeroStuff representatives will be happy to help you make the right call.

Also, make sure you look at the care instructions. My husband accidentally washed my Wonder Woman bikini and then out of habit threw it in the dryer. The gold coloring on the suit started peeling off as soon as he took it out of the dryer. Air drying the suit will prevent that from happening. To outfit your family like the image below, you will need the Wonder Woman bikini ($35.99), Wonder Woman flip flops ($34.99), Batman board shorts ($28.99), Justice League retro action sandals ($16.99), girls’ tank splash binki set ($13.99), Batgirl sandals ($27.99) Batman red and black board shorts ($13.99), and JLA Heroes sandals ($17.99).

Superhero Beach Day \ Images:
Superhero Beach Day. Images: offers items for every member of the family in a wide range of geeky patterns. Make sure you check out their website for more options so that you can help your kids hit the books in high style this academic year!

GeekMom received some items for review purposes.

D23 Kids Cosplay: A Labor of Love

Of all the cons I’ve been to throughout the years, I have to say the cosplay at D23 is top notch! The level of fandom and complete devotion to detail is unparalleled. Rather than store-bought pieces, most Disney cosplay is a labor of love. From hours of hand-stitching to custom made jewelry, Disney fans go the extra mile to bring their favorite characters to life.

d23 cars and planes dress
D23 Cars and Planes dress. All images: Jenn F.

I rarely take pictures of kids at conventions, mostly because I don’t allow my own kids to be photographed, but some of these outfits were so amazing I couldn’t help but share. I asked the parents for permission, and all of them were happy to oblige, and proudly tell me how they’d made the costumes themselves.

This little girl’s dress stopped me in my tracks. It was a unique tribute to Disney’s transportation films, Cars and the newest release Planes! Her mom appliquéd the characters and made the jewelry from the necklace to the hair-bow, and she happily posed to show off every detail!

d23 anna frozen
D23 Anna from Frozen

This is how dedicated Disney fans are, they cosplay characters for movies that haven’t even been released! I saw this girl at the Frozen pavilion looking at the displays, making sure her cosplay was correctly detailed. Adorable! She was a perfect “Anna” from her hair to the fringe on her cape!

D23 Bert and Mary from Marry Poppins
D23 Bert and Mary from Mary Poppins

I had seen these two kids earlier in the day but didn’t want to bother them. When I saw them as the hall was closing, I couldn’t help but ask their mom about their costumes. The most elaborately costumed Bert and Mary under 4′ tall, the attention to detail is exquisite and all custom made by the kid’s grandmother.

d23 starspeeder
D23 StarSpeeder
d23 star tours stewardess
D23 Star Tours Stewardess

Okay, so she’s not a kid but she was cosplaying with her mother! These two were quite a crowd pleaser on the show floor. Many Disney fans dress as rides but the level of thought put into this costume was incredibly creative. From the mom as a StarSpeeder 3000 (a genius way to get the crowds to part in the aisles) to the Star Wars “flight attendant” costume. From her Millennium Falcon Pan Am badge to her Death Star stewardess bag, she had it all!

Big applause to all these parents and their cosplaying kids. Keep encouraging your kid’s fandom!

My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter


Screen grab of Pinterest page

You may have met Quinoa. She’s been spotted in London, Hollywood, Seattle, Chicago, and Miami. You may have even seen her in your home town.

Tiffany Beveridge—wife, mother, freelance writer, aspiring novelist, maker of incredible cookies, kitchen dancer, clothes horse, funny in person, funnier in print, middle child—has created a Pinterest board that excels at pure entertainment. “My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter” introduces us to the fictional Quinoa and her equally fictitious friends. Toddlers and tweens, boys and girls, all share in the chance to be dubbed Quinoa for 15 minutes of fame on Pinterest. Populated with images of sultry children in fashion garb, divas with glitter, and disinterested young hipsters, the board features Beveridge’s sarcastic wit shining through with each description.

Everything went fine at Quinoa’s playdate with Booker until she realized that when he said he loved vinyl, he meant jackets not vintage records.

Know what really gets Quinoa down in the dumps? Pleather.

When Quinoa wears her chevron maxi, she opens a portal in the trendy space/time continuum and can travel to any fashion trend in history.

The page is a most excellent diversion, though I have to point out that many of the pins go to uncredited images or bad links.

History Geek: 1930s Week

Image By Lilianna Maxwell
Image By Lilianna Maxwell

Swing dancing! The creation of Superman! Adagio for Strings! Radio Plays! Migrant Mother photojournalism! Heath bars! The Wizard of Oz! Monopoly!

The last few weeks I’ve been preparing for and directing a History Through the Creative Arts Camp about America during The Great Depression. Originally history was written down by conquerors who took political power. This legacy continues in history textbooks that think that war and politics are the most important parts of history to study. I disagree. I think history is the whole human experience during a time period. Of course, this makes it tough to design a children’s summer camp that only lasts five days. So I turn to passion.

Rebecca explaining something with lots of hand movements…. Image By Lilianna Maxwell
Tasting historic recipes each day. Image By Rebecca Angel

Passion makes for great teaching. I’m passionate about the creative arts, culture, and social justice. So that’s my focus on history. And when students learn why certain songs were written, when the photographs were taken, how the plays were created, they learn about the power struggles during that time and place. I run the week by having the campers sing, dance, write, eat, sew, and create their way through the time period.

A student talking about their own research. Image By Lilianna Maxwell

I also asked for help. During the week of camp there were other adults bringing their expertise (geeky excitement) to the campers. Plus, the kids themselves taught each other. My daughter ran the camp newspaper, “Typewriter Talk,” with the campers taking turns being reporters for the day. Another student of mine asked if I was covering Europe during the ’30s. I wasn’t getting into the details of the start of World War II with this camp. She asked if she could do a five minute presentation each day because she thought it was really important for everyone to know this stuff. Sure!

Campers taking their parents on a tour of camp. Image By Rebecca Angel

What I wasn’t covering in active learning, I put out on display. In the space I use for camp is a huge wall for push-pins. The other counselors and I fill this wall with all the things we found out, but couldn’t squeeze into the time allotted. Scientific achievements, slang terms, maps about the Dust Bowl (then and what’s happening now!), details on the stock market, the 1936 Olympics, weird advertisements, and lots more. My daughter created a display on photojournalism. My son did one on the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP—he pointed out it sounded like a sound effect). There were puzzles and written activities available during downtime where the answers could be found on The Wall. Whoever completed a sheet got a tiny harmonica (so they could sound like hobos around a campfire…) or candy created during the 1930s.

In the spirit of the '30s, I asked the kids to wear the same clothes everyday (washing was encouraged) and they worked on making outfits for Friday's party. Image By Lilianna Maxwell
Sewing clothes for Friday’s party. Image By Lilianna Maxwell

I’ve run many history camps over the years, but this was the toughest to research; so many aspects made me cry. A Secret Gift: How One Man’s Kindness—and a Trove of Letters—Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression is one example of trying to get to the heart of The Great Depression. I read some of it to the campers. I focused on the positive things of sharing and kindness, but the fact that people were so grateful for so little during this time—is enough to make the tears flow. (I kept myself in check during camp.)

Family history as decorations. Image By Rebecca Angel

I’ll write a few more posts about aspects of camp I think you might enjoy: games, comics, movies, and radio plays. If anything, I encourage everyone to do one of the projects during camp: Research your own family history. The campers presented how their families got through the hard times of the 1930s, and there were some great stories. My own grandfather was a newsboy in the lower East side of NYC.

I could write so much more because everything was so cool! I hope I inspire you to get geeked about history! Here’s a video of the swing dancing each day:

What the GeekMoms Want for Mother’s Day


Each year, as we contemplate gift guides for Mother’s Day, we think about what we want for Mother’s Day. Chances are good your GeekMom will like this stuff, too.

Photo: Penny Arcade
Photo: Penny Arcade

Penny Arcade Match T-Shirts and Onesies: Mom and her Player 2 can team up in these cute matching tees. There are a bunch of different combinations available, including shirts for older kids and for Dad.



Photo: Oliver Jeffers for Digby & Iona
Photo: Oliver Jeffers for Digby & Iona


Oliver Jeffers Jewelry: Children’s author/illustrator Oliver Jeffers has turned his delightful illustrations into equally delightful jewelry, like this Paper Airplane necklace from his book, The Great Paper Caper.

Continue reading What the GeekMoms Want for Mother’s Day

Scottevest: The Ultimate Geeky Wardrobe Component

Image: Scottevest

Being a geek and a parent means you are always carrying around extra items. Whether you’ve got cell phones, pacifiers, cameras, snacks, water bottles, or business cards, you need extra pockets to carry it all.

Scottevest is a company specializing in clothing with plenty of extra pockets. Mostly designed to hold your gadgets, the pockets will also easily accommodate kid-related items. Their offerings run the gamut from vests to dresses, depending on your needs.

Image: Scottevest

Continue reading Scottevest: The Ultimate Geeky Wardrobe Component

GeekMom Gift Guide: Clothing and Household Goods and DVDs, Oh My!

Long gone are the days of boring clothing presents and household gifts, with these options available to us all. And we’ve got plenty of great DVD recommendations in this gift guide as well. Put some geek in your ice cubes, bed sheets, and bathrobes, and entertain yourself and your kids with our varied selection of DVDs!

Clothing and Household Goods

Image: S’well

S’well bottle
This lunchbox-sized water bottle fits easily into school lunches (and Christmas stockings), but better yet, it’s insulated. This means cold drinks stay cold on a hot day. It also means that hot cocoa or soup will remain hot for up to 12 hours. BPA-free and eco-friendly, the folks at S’well support Water Aid, providing safe water for impoverished countries.

Out of Print shirts
Photo: Kris Bordessa

Out of Print shirts
Kid sizes: $22; adult sizes: $28
What if you could find a shirt that featured classic book covers? What if those shirts featured some of your favorites, say Nancy Drew, 1984, Jane Eyre, or The Maltese Falcon? The folks at Out of Print have got you covered. You’re welcome.

Continue reading GeekMom Gift Guide: Clothing and Household Goods and DVDs, Oh My!

Her Universe Cyber Monday Deals, New Products

Ltd Edition Yoda Pin, Image: Her Universe

If you’re a serious holiday shopper then you’ve likely made a list of sites to visit on Cyber Monday. There are so many deals and special limited time offers that it’s a little tough to keep track of it all. Well, there’s one site that you really must add to your list. Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and founder of the Her Universe clothing line, is set to unveil new products and special offers for all us geek girls.

On Monday, November 28th, check out Her Universe for new items representing Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Warehouse 13 and Eureka. Ashley is a genuine geek girl and has made appearances at San Diego Comic-Con and Star Wars Weekends to showcase her products.  Now she’s giving you the chance to have your very own Battlestar Galactica pajama set, or maybe a Eureka tote bag or even a hoodie designed by Star Wars artist Cat Staggs.

You can also get your hands on the limited edition Yoda pin (pictured above) along with a card signed by Ashley if you’re one of the first five hundred orders placed on Cyber Monday and you can take advantage of free shipping on orders of $40.00 or more. While you’re shopping for the geek girls on your list, don’t forget to pick out a few things for yourself and let everyone know just what their favorite GeekMom wants to unwrap this year.

My Addiction To Teenager Consignment Stores

Every time I wear these shoes, someone asks me where I got them ($6 at Plato's Closet), and I have to confess to my teenager consignment store addiction. Photo credit: Ruth Suehle

Geeks aren’t known for being fashion plates. I spend a lot of time with people for whom the daily uniform is the cleanest jeans in their bedroom along with the top ThinkGeek shirt on the stack in the drawer. (Or out of the dryer, the pile of laundry in front of the dresser, the heap in the hallway…)

In general, I can’t say I’m much better. Right this minute, I’m wearing jeans and a Linux t-shirt (Beefy Miracle, to be specific), which isn’t an uncommon state. I am, however, a geek with a shoe problem. A few nights ago, my husband asked a dangerous question: “What do we have more of? Games, your shoes, or sewing patterns?” The last times I tried to count, the answer to the first two was in the neighborhood of 200 each. The third I tried to estimate one day and came close to 600. I probably sent about half my shoes to Goodwill when we moved a year ago, though, so that number is a lot lower now.

The problem with having a shoe problem is that I don’t have Imelda Marcos’ financial reserves. Enter the joy of the teenager consignment store.

They’ve been popping up more and more. The one I see most is Plato’s Closet. My favorite wins there have been the shoes pictured above and a pair of really comfy (but really high) black boots for a last-minute Dragon*Con costume. Recently an Uptown Cheapskate opened within walking distance of my office, and it’s a lot more open and easier to navigate than Plato’s. I went by looking for some boots for Halloween and scored a Banana Republic linen jacket and a pair of Ann Taylor pants for less than $20. (No Halloween boots, unfortunately.) I’m also a huge fan of Buffalo Exchange, which is less teenager-focused and more vintage-styled, but there isn’t one near me, so I scout them out when I travel.

Uptown Cheapskate has also taken a page from the Buffalo Exchange book. If you don’t need a bag for your purchase (I just carried my two pieces to the car), they’ll donate to a charity of your choice. My five cents went to Kiva.

If you visit one of these shops and the tags look familiar, it’s because the same company that franchises Uptown Cheapskate does Kid to Kid resale stores as well. Similarly, Plato’s Closet is franchised by the same company as Once Upon a Child, as well as Play It Again Sports and Music Go Round.

They may be targeted at the 18-26 set, but I’m hooked. Slightly-more-than-26-year-olds need shoes too. And jeans. And maybe that sweater over there. All with money left over to spend in the game store next door.

In Defense of JCPenney: Too Pretty to Do Homework

Too Pretty to Do Homework Shirt from JCPenney

I know I am supposed to be outraged with JCPenney for “The Shirt” which they pulled from their online store yesterday. I have two little girls. I see the kind of stuff that their friends wear and often shake my head and wonder what their moms were thinking when they agreed to let their daughters dress like dime-a-dance girls. I understand the frustration at seeing girls pushed down a stereotypical path from the time they wear that first pink onesie. I get it, really I do, but I also don’t think a tee shirt with a funny saying is going to send my girls on a downward spiral ending with them dropping out of school in favor of beauty queen dreams.

This shirt is targeted squarely at my daughters’ age group. I am the mom who might be faced with buying this shirt. Since my kids don’t have brothers they probably wouldn’t ask for it, but if they did have a brother, and they wanted this shirt, and it was within my carefully honed back-to-school budget, then I would let them take it home.

Am I insane? Am I a horrible mother? Am I caving to the media and corporate evil-doers bent on turning my child into a vapid airhead who cares more about lipstick than grades? I’m sure some people will say yes, but I know myself and I know my girls and nothing could be further from the truth.

I spend a lot of time talking with my kids, really talking, and encouraging them to make positive choices and smart decisions. I teach them to do the right thing, to stand up for themselves and their friends, and to be confident and proud.  I am, after all, a geek raising two little geek girls.  I have faced no small amount of attitude from people who think I’m odd and surely at some point they will, too. I want them to be certain enough of themselves that what a person (or shirt) says doesn’t define their self-worth.

And although I let them make their own decisions as much as possible, I am the Mom so I do steer them when they’re headed in the wrong direction. Me. The Mom. Not JCPenney.  I have enough confidence in my kids to know that they won’t be swayed by silly sayings on a tee shirt. It might make them laugh, but it won’t mark their moral decline.

I don’t think anybody, including the folks at JCPenney, believes that girls are too pretty to do their own homework or that they should force their brothers into servitude.  I doubt there are any kids that think so, either.  I would bet though, that there are more than a few girls that hate homework, argue with their brothers, and would like nothing more than to sit and relax while those brothers did their homework. Too pretty? Of course it’s ridiculous.  The whole premise is ridiculous which is what makes the shirt funny, not the harbinger of doom for little girls everywhere.


5.11 Tactical Makes Sturdy, Quality Goods

GeekMom’s newest sponsor, 5.11 Tactical, maker of a wide variety of tactical equipment, sent me a few of their products to test. They sent the Women’s Tactical Pants, the women’s short sleeved Tactical Polo, the Tac Dry Rain Shell, and the COVRT18 Backpack. I was in a pretty good position to test them all since I was able to take them on our long summer road trip.

A general review of the four products is that they all performed fantastically. The materials are durable, the seams are strong, and the (YKK) zippers can take a lot of abuse. Product pricing is very reasonable for what you get. For details on each product individually, visit the 5.11 Tactical website where you can find many more details, including (sometimes lengthy) product videos. For my take, keep reading!

Women's Tactical Pants. Photo: 5.11 Tactical

Women’s Tactical Pants

Pants are a tricky business for women. We’re all built a little bit differently. I have a hard time finding pants made for women that fit me. Usually the waist is too tight, or the hips and legs are too baggy. So I often make due with men’s pants. But I was pleasantly surprised that 5.11 Tactical’s Women’s Tactical Pants fit my proportions perfectly. Made from 100% 8.5 ounce cotton tactical canvas, they are comfortable, sturdy, and survive a lot of abuse. In short, they are fantastic. The waist is partially elastic, which makes for a better fit for more women. This has had the side effect, though, of sometimes causing me to have to pull them back up when I bend (or perhaps I should have just ordered the next size down). The pants have seven pockets, including two side pockets on the legs, and a special Cordura lined pocket perfect for a cell phone or similarly shaped item. The knees have a double layer of fabric, ideal for knee pad inserts, such as 5.11 Tactical’s Neoprene ones. The pants have a D-ring to clip things to, slash rear pockets, front pockets, and a double layered seat. There is a strangely placed button in the zipper area that I have yet to figure out the purpose for. There is also a handle on the back right of the pants that is meant for attaching items, but I discovered that it is also perfect for kids to grab on to when in a crowd, helping them stay close. I like these pants so much that I would buy more for myself, and definitely some for my husband, who wears through things a lot faster than I do.

Women's Tactical Polo. Photo: 5.11 Tactical

Women’s Short Sleeved Tactical Polo

How is a simple polo shirt considered tactical? I wondered the same thing. I was also a hard sell on these shirts, because I’ve been biased against polo shirts since the 1970s. However, the first time I put it on, I quickly realized how comfortable and flattering this particular polo shirt was. Cut for actual, regular women, these shirts are feminine without being at all clingy. Perfect for me. And if I ever need to hide a microphone on my person, this is the shirt I’ll wear! The shirt is 100% cotton jersey with a taped neck and shoulders. It washes up nicely, including in the dryer. It’s a good shirt for when you want to be comfortable but look somewhat professional. And here comes the tactical part: There are pen slots on the left shoulder, and microphone pockets at both shoulders and at the bottom of the button placket. For the perfect tactical ensemble, pair with the Tactical Pants, above.

COVRT18 Backpack. Photo: 5.11 Tactical

COVRT18 Backpack

I own a Tardis. My very own Tardis. It’s called the COVRT18 Backpack. It is bigger on the inside. I swear. Of all the 5.11 Tactical products, this one got the most love and abuse on our trip. It was the bag that I carried with me almost every day. It held my iPad, netbook, purse, travel documents, sunscreen, snacks, drinks, and dozens of other things, all at the same time. Its design kept my neck and back happy, and the extreme weight of the contents was only noticeable when my feet started hurting earlier than usual. The backpack has so many secret stash spots that I kept losing my items within the backpack. I forgot which pocket I would put something in. I lost track of how many pockets this bag has. It has an upper, fleecy “sunglasses” pocket (also great for small electronics), a padded internal laptop sleeve, two side water bottle pockets, several pockets that have side access, large pockets, small pockets, and, interestingly, a reinforced “flat stuff” pocket (my words, not theirs) that is hidden behind the shoulder straps. You can only really get to it if you take off the pack. It’s a great spot to keep things mostly flat. The shoulder straps are very well padded, and there is a sternum strap to help with weight distribution. The top has a nice grab handle, and the sides have fasteners to cinch the bag down if it isn’t terribly full. I love this backpack, and it worked very well for my trip. When I wasn’t staying at someone’s house, I felt that I needed to carry all of my valuables with me. And I did. And the bag was heavy, but carrying it around all day wasn’t a burden. This bag seems to be intended to use in the urban jungle, to have a lot of functionality while blending in with everyone else. But it is a great product for anyone who needs a durable bag with many different kinds of pockets. Check out 5.11 Tactical’s website for their other tactical backpacks as well.

Tac Dry Rain Shell. Photo: 5.11 Tactical

Tac Dry Rain Shell

It didn’t rain nearly as much on our summer trip as I had assumed it would. You would think, summer, east coast, humidity, that means lots of rain. But no. We actually were quite fortunate to miss all but a few large rain storms. The Tac Dry Rain Shell got a lot of use in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area, though, early on in our trip. It was cool, humid, and very rainy during our visit to that part of the country. I wore the rain shell every day for a week. It is completely waterproof, and kept me quite dry. The hood doesn’t cover as much of my head as I’d like, but the rest performed very well. There is a bit more to the jacket than just a mere shell, so it doubles as a light jacket when it doesn’t need to protect you from the rain. The Tac Dry Rain Shell has two side pockets, and the removable hood rolls into the collar. There is an adjustable cord at the waist to block out the wet (and cold, if present). The rain shell is made of micro ripstop fabric and has an incredibly nice feel to it. It doesn’t feel like a rain coat at all. It just feels like a light coat that happens to also be waterproof. Dedicated rain coats are fairly impractical where I live, since it rarely rains. A jacket such as this that does double duty as a light layer and a rain coat is perfect.

To get the most out of tactical clothing and gear, you don’t need to live a rough life. I live a pretty cushy life, physically, and still have gotten a lot of use out of all the products that I have tried. As long as you have a desire or need for durable, quality clothing and gear, and/or a need for many pockets, you’ll get the most out of 5.11 Tactical products. I highly recommend them.

Note: I’m not just giving these products a good review because they are our sponsor. I really and truly like their stuff. It is all quality and utilitarian, and it looks good.

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Meet Our Sponsor: 5.11 Tactical

Starting today, we have a brand new sponsor, 5.11 Tactical. 5.11 Tactical makes products used by law enforcement, the military, and firefighters, and for anyone looking for durable, quality goods. They offer tactical equipment, clothing, uniforms, outerwear, footwear, eyewear, knives, and various kinds of gear. Their mission is to provide functional products that give a lot of value.

5.11 Tactical Series® creates innovative, user-required products that enhance the safety, speed, and performance of safety personnel, military, and the ardent outdoorsmen.  Built on a foundation of durability, quality, and value that began with the authentic 5.11 Tactical Pant, 5.11’s team of over 300 employees leads the industry in delivering the world’s most innovative gear, head to toe. By working directly with end-users and utilizing the expertise of highly-qualified subject matter experts, all 5.11 products exceed rigorous and exacting standards. Learn more about 5.11’s best-selling tactical clothing, uniforms, station-wear, outerwear, footwear, and accessories at

The name “5.11 Tactical” has specific origins. Their 5.11 Tactical Pants were first developed for rock climbing, and “5.11” is a rock climbing difficulty level equating to practically impossible.

5.11 Tactical's Women's Tactical Pants

Check back later this week for my review of four of their products, the 5.11 Tactical Pants, the women’s short sleeved Tactical Polo, the Tac Dry Rain Shell, and the COVRT18 Backpack. Spoiler: They’re all great. But come back soon to find out why!

Visit the 5.11 Tactical website to get more information on their company and their products. Whether you have a need for on-the-job functional clothing and gear, tactical equipment, or just a tactical backpack with a million pockets, they have what you need.

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Geek Chic Wedding Dresses

Photo via Flickr user SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget under Creative Commons

Ah, wedding gowns. The chance for brides to shine in white satin or peau de soie. Of course, that’s the pedestrian choice. Those with a geekier (or more frugal) bent might choose a less expensive alternative. Say, toilet paper.

Creative brides who have participated in the Cheap Chic Weddings Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest have crafted gowns in styles to rival the designer garb commonly seen in bridal magazines. From flirty to floral and fabulous, these gowns have everything a traditional gown offers – many even include a train or a bustle – except the price.

I can’t imagine spending an entire day in a dress made of toilet paper, but the folds, ruffles, flowers, and other details on these dresses are really stunning. Some dresses even come with accessories, like this gorgeous hat.

But what if you’re not going for the virginal white look? Not to worry. March down the aisle in geek chic fashion with a vividly colored dress crafted from materials found in your recycle bin. Hello, gorgeous!

wedding gown, repurposing, recycling, envrionment,
Photo: Christopher Sims/OneRedEye, used with permission


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When Men Dress Their Wives: Would Geeks Do Better?

"I want to cry. I look like one of those women who trawl nightclubs." -- Image, Yahoo!

I don’t usually troll Yahoo! for inspiration, but when I saw this post about men dressing their wives I had to click. While not all geek women share my love of fashion, I can safely say that my amazing husband just simply has no clue. At this point in our relationship he’s just learned to smile and nod and realize that when it comes to what I wear, we really can’t meet eye-to-eye.

At any rate, some of the women in this slide show actually benefited from their husband’s input. Others, not so much (see the poor woman in the photo to the right). But I wonder… would geek couples fare better in this situation? Maybe I’m just majorly biased, but in spite of our sartorial differences, I can’t help but think my husband would put together something pretty nifty for me. Or at very least, he wouldn’t make me look like a drunken college co-ed…

GeekMom T-shirts, Now Available at ThinkGeek!

me-GeekMom-shirt-475x509We here at GeekMom are proud and excited to announce that GeekMom T-shirts are now available for purchase at ThinkGeek! The shirts have our zippy space-age car logo, in slightly less varied colors (due to printing restrictions), and our URL on the back. The shirts come in black, cut for women but still generous in fit. (ThinkGeek notes on the website that the cut is the same as for their “Huge Tracts of Land” T-shirt, if that’s any indication.)

Demonstrate your geek pride and show your solidarity with other GeekMoms out there. Get your own GeekMom T-shirt! (And while you’re there, get the GeekDad in your life his own GeekDad T-shirt, which is currently on sale.)

Sci-Fi Girls Finally Have a Home

Its easy for me to forget that famous people live normal lives.  They speak English and drive cars and worry about make-up and husbands and doctor’s appointments. I was pleasantly reminded of this when my phone rang one sunny afternoon.  “Beverly Hills, CA,” it said.  Someone who actually lived in Beverly Hills was calling me.  Not just anyone, Ahsoka from Star Wars: Clone Wars. Well, not really Ahsoka, just her voice.  Ashley Eckstein is a perfectly pleasant person with a passion for science fiction.  This passion has driven her to launch a fantastic new site,  The project has taken three years to come to fruition but thanks to all Ashley’s efforts, sci-fi girls finally have a home.

Ashley Eckstein & Ahsoka

The site specializes in apparel and items just for the female variety of sci-fi fans (and fanatics.)

“I first realized my fascination with science fiction when I began working with Clone Wars as Ahsoka.  But really I’d always loved fantasy.  I grew up watching all the old cartoons with my brothers.  I loved The Never-Ending Story and especially Alice in Wonderland.  I absolutely love Alice in Wonderland.  I have a huge collection!” Ashley said of her absorption with science fiction.

“While I was in the midst of all the Star Wars stuff I realized that there wasn’t a whole lot out there for girls.  Over fifty percent of sci-fi fans are women and there was nothing for them.” In response to this serious lack of apparel and opportunity, Ashely launched her website to counter the stereotype that sci-fi is a boy’s club. is not just a shop though.  It is a community.  It is a place where the little-heard woman can go and chat up their favorite fantasy characters without fear of ridicule.  The message boards at Her Universe are highly moderated and women are encouraged to freely share.  I myself am a gamer but for fear of being ganged up on, or worse online stalked, rarely admit I’m a girl IRL (in real life).  Nothing gives your position away in a first person shooter like some guy shouting on public chat “I found a chick!!!” My game characters are often male, in figure and name.  When I confessed this to Ashley, she understood completely.

“I hope that all the sci-fi girls will come out of hiding.  I hope they will stand up without excuses, making no concessions, and say ‘I love sci-fi, and by the way, I can beat you at that game.'” It was absolutely invigorating to hear Ashley say everything that we GeekMoms have been screaming about since the advent of geekdom.  “The more girls who stand up the closer we get to beating down that stereotype.”

If you haven’t visited Her Universe that should be your very next stop.  After you finish reading GeekMom of course.  The holidays are coming up and Her Universe will be offering some astronomical deals. (Get it? I’m funny.)  Two new products will be hitting the e-shelves for Cyber Monday.  Star Wars fan-chicks can sport some Boba Fett underwear this holiday season.  They look like the classic Underoos only girl-cut with the ever-so-clever “I have a Boba Fett-ish” written on the booty.  The Imperial logo can grace your ear lobes via some hot new earrings available on the site.

Ashley was amped to share that Her Universe will soon be carrying all women’s apparel from the SyFy Channel. “The network is excited to cater to their female fans. Women will be getting their SyFy Channel gear before the men.  It’s fantastic.” I, for very personal obsessive reasons asked specifically about Firefly.  Ashley was unsure what specific shows would be available although she admitted that Firefly was among the top most requested sci-fi apparel for Her Universe.

Ashley Eckstein sporting Star Wars gear available on

To wrap our little chat I asked her if she had a specific message for our GeekMom community. What she said follows.

“Today, it is more and more acceptable for adults to be geeks. As kids you had to overcome the teasing and the ridicule and, unfortunately that hasn’t changed much for today’s kids. As moms you have the power to help young girls be proud of being a geek.   Tell your girls to be confident in their choices.  Confidence is an attractive quality and confidence turns to strength.  You are gonna get flak but it is only out of ignorance.  But keep your head held high and you’ll come out the other side a strong woman and a geek in all the best ways.”

Thank you, Ashley!  And keep on geekin’ out, babe!