Jill Harness's Blog Posts

The Magical World of ChocolateFest

Zeon and I recently went to Portland to check out the Wizard World there. What we didn't know is that the comic convention always lines up with the city's annual ChocolateFest -which seems appropriate since they no doubt bring plenty of attendees to one another's convention.

As you may have guessed, the ChocolateFest is a convention based around chocolate -not just eating it, but the production, cooking and history of the delicious treat. But aside from celebrating one of nature's greatest gifts, the festival also celebrates nature itself in that it is sponsored by the World Forestry Center and all proceeds go to support the center. -So you not only get to sample tons of exquisite, gourmet chocolates, you also get to support a good cause at the same time.

As a chocolate snob who has never been able to find anything quite as good as the chocolate I had in Switzerland, I was blown away when I discovered Cocotutti, which was one of the handful of companies that weren't local to Portland. The company made the best chocolates I've ever had. They were not only as rich and smooth as the Swiss chocolates, but they also had utterly amazing flavors like balsamic strawberry and lemon with lavender. I'm still kicking myself for not buying an assortment, but I was trying to save money since I was on vacation.

The festival also offered alcohol tastings so you could do wine and chocolate samples. Here I once again made an amazing discovery -though not with wine, but vodka. That's because Portland company Wild Roots makes and incredible infused vodka with Oregon's favorite berry, the marrionberry. Unfortunately, you can't buy this stuff out of Oregon, so if you live in the state, grab a bottle and celebrate your location.

As for ChocolateFest, the bottom line is that it's a great event for a great cause and if you make it, plan on getting drunk on chocolate before getting drunk on wine or booze because the delicious candy selection is certain to get your head spinning.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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35 Fun Cosplay Pictures From the 2015 Portland Wizard Con

The Portland Wizard Con may not be as big as Comic Con or even their Anaheim incarnation -Wonder Con. Even so, there was tons of great cosplay at the convention -giving Zeon and myself a great excuse to take a work vacation up to the Rose City. Here's some of the best cosplay we spotted throughout the weekend.

One of the best events of the whole weekend was the children's cosplay contest. There we were treated with cuties ranging from Sally and Oogie Boogie to...

head strong Harley Quinn. The contest was great because it was sponsored by anti-bullying charity The Stewart-Beavers Institute.

Not that anyone would ever dare to bully Rocket Raccoon.

The kid's contest was packed with cuteness, so it really would have been impossible to pick a best costume.

So it wasn't all too surprising when the judges announced that everyone was a winner and could collect a prize.

I mean really, would you want to be the one to announce to tiny Rick and Daryl that they were any more or less awesome than balloon boy?

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10 Fantastic Lights We Love

Chances are you're using a light in the room you're in right now, but it's probably not all too exciting. Home lighting is just one of those things people tend to buy, install and forget about, but these great lamps we featured on Homes and Hues are certain to get and keep your attention. 

From floating lights to dripping ones and from color-changers to herb-growers, these great lamps will not only make your space brighter, but also make your home decor a little more brilliant as well.

See the full list at Homes and Hues: 10 Brilliantly Beautiful Lighting Options


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Nevermind the Blocks, Here's Punk Peach!

There are a lot of twists on Mario cosplay characters, but I totally love this great punk take on Princess Peach. She was one of a whole group of punk Super Mario characters cosplaying at Ichibancon. This lovely cosplayer is Amanda Finley and the photo is by Double Stomp Productions.

If this look seems a little familiar to you, it's probably not because you've seen a similar cosplay before, but because Nevermind the Blocks is a popular NeatoShop tee that we've featured on the main blog before. 

Via Fashionably Geek


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10 Times Comic Book Creators Were Screwed Over

It's easy to love comic books, even if you're only a casual fan of the movies that are made based on the characters. It's a bit harder to love the big comic book publishing companies though -and the more you learn about them, the more you have a hard time defending their actions. 

This great Top Tenz article provides ten great examples of comic book companies screwing over the creators that developed all the characters we've come to love. While you probably already heard a bit about the whole Jack Kirby issue, you might not know some of the stories, like how Marvel countersued Gary Friedrich after he lost his case against them regarding royalties for the Ghostrider movie -claiming he had no right to sell merchandise based on the character he created.


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The Ultimate Revenge: Glitter Your Enemies

There are those who think you just can't have enough glitter -and then there's the rest of us. If you are one of the non glitter lovers than you know one of the substance's most annoying attributes is that it sticks to everything and seems to never leave. That's why SendYourEnemiesGlitter.com is such a brilliant idea. You can finally torture those you truly hate without doing anything remotely illegal or unethical. 

So how much does this marvelous torment cost? Only $9.99 AUD. Sure that's a lot for an envelope filled with glitter, but keep in mind that they also prevent you from having to touch the terrible stuff and they provide you with a return address that isn't traced back to you.

Via Nerd Approved


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7 Cool and Wonderful Hotel Rooms

Sometimes the journey is greater than the destination, and sometimes the hotel room is the best part of the vacation. That really might be the case in vacations that involve stays in these strange wonderful hotel rooms we featured on Homes and Hues. 

From Batman-themed love hotels to converted airplanes and from hotels built just above the water to those built under water, these hotels are totally fantastic and utterly strange. 

Don't miss the full list at Homes and Hues: The 7 Strangest Hotel Rooms On Earth


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The One Noteboard EVERYONE Needs In Their Home

The Bat-slap meme is just one of those things that makes me crack up every time. If you're like me, that makes this dry erase board a must-have for your home. Just imagine getting to change the meme every time you think of something new and funny and letting your friends edit the board to write in their thoughts. It even works for your to do list as Batman can threaten to slap you if you fail. It's the perfect home accessory that combines function and style.

Via Nerd Approved


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12 Geeky Doormats To Greet Your Guests

Before someone even enters your home, your doormat lets them know a little about you. Are you friendly, efficient, OCD? What about geeky? That's right, now you can express your nerdy self with all kinds of great doormats. 

Over on Homes and Hues, we rounded up 12 such geektastic rugs to greet your guests with. From fantasy to gaming and from Doctor Who to IT jokes, whatever your favorite geek interest, there's sure to be a great rug out there to make you smile.

Check out the full list of nerdy rugs over on Homes and Hues: 12 Wonderfully Geeky Doormats


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You Mean The Best Kind of Tattoos?

When you get a tattoo, it's important to find a shop that not only does good work, but does good work in the style you're looking for. If you're looking for an utterly amazing tattoo, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more qualified shop than Adorned Precision Body Arts of Vancouver, given that they proudly declare themselves to be specialists in tattoos featuring unicorns with sharks for arms -aka, the best tattoos ever created.

Via Fashionably Geek


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Upgrade Ordinary Squirrels With a Cyberman Feeder

(Video Link)

If you are what you eat then it shouldn't be too surprising that squirrels are all a bit nuts. They're so nuts, in fact, that they don't even mind upgrading themselves into Cybermen just to get a few more tasty treats. Creator Emma Young thought the squirrels in her garden might just be that kooky, which is why she was willing to take hours of her time to dismantle a novelty radio and fill it with peanut butter and nuts. I'd say it was well worth the efforts for this great footage -now she just needs to add a few choice Cybermen sound bites to the footage.

Via Nerd Approved


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Pulled Pork Waffles Are A Must Have for the New Year

Waffles are one of those perfect foods, but what could make them better? How about pulled pork and barbecue sauce? We're not just talking about a savory waffle with pulled pork inside (which would also be tasty), but a waffle made completely out of pulled pork. 

Instagram's the Vulgar Chef created this amazing monstrosity and even capped it off with bbq sauce, mac n' cheese, and, of course, bacon. He also made a similar creation with beef hash and a Spaghetti-os pizza that looks like vomit but probably tastes like heaven. Be warned though, as the name implies, there is a lot of foul language at the link.

Via That's Nerdalicious

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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10 Fabulous Decorations for Your Next NYE Party

The Neatorama corporate New Year's Eve party is lit with computer screens and decorated with little more than John's annoying 2015 blinking flash drive that plays the worst midi version of Auld LangSyne you've ever heard, but for those who are hoping to ring in the New Year with something a little more exciting, our newest Homes and Hues article is packed with great decorating ideas that are sure to impress.

From photo backdrops to balloon-covered ceilings, your party guests will think you spent days prepping your decor, while the actual execution was much quicker. 

Don't miss all the fun and fab ideas over on Homes and Hues: 10 Simple and Beautiful New Year's Eve Party Decorations


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10 Crazy Cars All Decked Out For Christmas (and Hanukkah)

Santa might use a sleigh to do his Christmas deliveries, but you can bet your bottom dollar that if he were to switch to a more modern mode of transportation, he'd be happy to get behind the wheel of on of these cuckoo holiday vechicles featured on InventorSpot.

From graffiti to menorahs and from planes to trains, these people are driven by the holiday spirit and they aren't afraid to show it. They might just put those reindeer antler window accessories of yours to shame.


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Deep Fried Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread men are an icon of the holiday, but more for their fun distinctive look than for their taste. In fact, many people, myself included, think they are just too dry and cardboard-like most of the time. Fortunately though, these little cookie men have finally been offered a little bit of help in the flavor department with the help of Oh Bite It, where you can find a recipe for deep-fried gingerbread men. In the good old fashioned tradition of "everything's better deep fried, I can't wait to give these suckers an oil bath in my own home.

Via That's Nerdalicious 

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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11 Cheap and Easy Last Minute DIY Christmas Decorations

Christmas is right around the corner, but it's not too late to get decorating if you've fallen behind. Over on Homes and Hues, we rounded up 11 helpful ideas of great last minute Christmas decorations. From Christmas tree alternatives to door decorations and more, whatever you're looking to spruce up just before the big day, you'll be covered with this handy article.

The tips are a perfect way to add a little extra flair to an already decorated house or to get ready for a last minute holiday party or dinner. 

So if you have any decorating left to do, don't miss the newest post over at Homes and Hues: 11 Last Minute DIY Christmas Decorations That Are Easy and Cheap


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A Seriously Super Christmas Tree

I have a hard time just getting my Christmas tree straight in its container, but, of course, Superman has no such issues. Just look at this lovely little elf (better known as Dizzytrist on Reddit) beside her super Christmas tree held up by a miniature Superman. 

Looking at the presents on the roof and the upside down stockings though, maybe I'm just misreading the whole situation and maybe the real magic is the woman, her dog and a pointsetta poised firmly on the ceiling. Either way, gravity seems to be a tricky thing in this photo.

Via Nerd Approved


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The March of the Christmas Penguins

(Video Link)

Having a little trouble getting into the Christmas spirit? Well, just dive in. After all, if even these adorable little penguins in South Korea are celebrating in style, what's your excuse? Chances are your ugliest of all Christmas sweaters still leaves you looking more appropriately covered up than those little waddling penguin booties. If only all little penguins could be so festive.

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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10 Interesting Inspirations Behind Famous Comic Book Villains

What is the connection between The Penguin and cigarettes? What about Doctor Doom and the Man in the Iron Mask? You just might be surprised by what you don't know about your favorite comic book villains and the inspiration that led to their inception. 

This cool TopTenz article explores the history of ten popular villains, with characters from the X-Men, The Fantastic Four and the Ninja Turtles. My personal favorite is Shredder, who was inspired by something as innocent as a cheese grater. 


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9 Neat Pieces of Repurposed and Upcycled Furniture

Whether you have too much furniture or constantly find great pieces at garage sales, it's easy to get a hold of furniture that is a little beat up or ugly but still has a lot of potential. That potential, of course, is what makes the piece perfect for upcycling.

Over at Homes and Hues, we rounded up nine great examples of upcycled furniture to inspire you to take up your own restoration project. Whether you want to turn an armoire into a bird cage or come up with your own idea of what to do with your beat up old coffee table, you won't want to miss this one.

See the full post at Homes and Hues: 9 Cool Examples of Repurposed and Upcycled Furniture


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The Stories Behind 10 Real Fast Food Mascots

Chef Boyardee may not be gourmet food in a can, but the real Chef Boiardi was a famous chef who prepared food for presidents and patrons alike. And he's just one of the many icons we see every time we visit a grocery store. Who are these smiling faces on our favorite foods? 

What's weirder than a gourmet chef becoming forever associated with pasta in bland tomato sauce? How about a woman that never existed and seems to change at least once every decade to appeal to the modern housemaker? Betty Crocker is only one such imaginary person used as a brand mascot.

Learn about more of these mysterious mascots over at TopTenz.


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A Magical Christmas Tree Inspired by Harry Potter

Christmas is always a magical time, but Christmas at Hogwarts is just about as magical as it gets and while you may not be able to visit the castle in real life, you can at least bring a little of its spirit home with you thiss holiday thanks to Epbot.com.

These great geeks made an incredible Christmas display that Dumbledore himself would find impressive by concocting a tree inside a cauldron that is not only topped with owls, but surrounded by floating candles. 

You can learn to make your own enchanted candles at the link, but it's up to you to find a bunch of amazing Potter ornaments for your own tree.

Via Nerd Approved


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Proof That Christmas Isn't Always Magic

It's the most wonderful time of the year? Not for everyone and this delightful Awkward Family Photos post captures the ugly side of the holidays from crying babes to sleeping grandparents. The pictures are not only funny, but they're also a great way to make yourself feel better about your own insane family and awful Christmas photos. 

Of course, the post also reminds us of one more thing: painfully bad photos can be good for something -even if it's just for a good laugh.

So if you have any awkward Christmas photos of your own, be sure to share them in the comments.


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13 Fun Wreaths You Can Make Yourself This Year

We're right at the peak of decorating season and if your doors are looking a little bare, then you'll want to visit Homes and Hues, where we rounded up 13 great tutorials on making your own cool wreaths. From yarn-wrapped (above) to gumdrops (below), you can make a wreath from all kinds of fun holiday goodies. 

There's even a fun wreath made with a scarf you could give someone as a gift and decoration in one!

For more delightful wreath ideas, don't miss this fun post: 13 Cool Wreaths You Can Make Yourself


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Tis the Season: Deep Fried Eggnog

It's that time of year again. That's right, eggnog time! If you've been waiting all year to get your hands on the sweet, creamy, spicy treat then you won't want to settle for just drinking it from a glass. For another tasty eggnog option, try making your own deep fried eggnog squares complete with a sweet rum glaze. Best of all, it's easy and quick to make, so you don't even have to suffer patiently while your creation sits cooking. 

Via That's Nerdalicious

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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10 Comic Book Characters That Were Offensive At First

Many comic book readers won't recognize Black Maraih -that's probably because she has only made one appearance since 1982. Her disappearance makes sense though when you consider that she's an over-the-top stereotype of both blacks and the overweight. Of course, she wasn't the only offensive character to ever grace the pages of comics. 

This great TopTenz article does a wonderful job rounding up ten of the most offensively stereotypical comic book characters of all time and the results are equally fascinating and discomforting.


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Win NeatoShop Tees In the Tee Hunter XMas Giveaway

Want a PS4? How about a $100 gift shop for the NeatoShop? Then head over to Tee Hunter where you can win these prizes and more in their awesome XMas Giveaway. The site will be dolling out over $1500 worth of prizes and we'd love to have some of our readers snag some of them, so go enter the contest today.


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Bacon Mac-N-Cheese Donut? Yes, Please!

Bacon is delicious, but it's hardly a big deal to add it on to something else these days. Of course, if you throw macaroni and cheese into the mix, that's a different story.

Enter the newest calorie-ridden treat from Philadelphia’s PYT that stuffs an ordinary donut with bacon mac and cheese and then tops it all off with a nice sprinkling of bacon. If that doesn't really float your boat though, don't worry, PYT has plenty of other kooky treats to satisfy your salty sweet tooth -like their bacon cheeseburger donut, the deep-fried Twinkie burger or the burger with a fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich bun.

Via That's Nerdalicious

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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The Jingle Cruise: When The Jungle Cruise Goes Holiday

(Video Link)

Last year, people got pretty darn excited when they heard that Disneyland's Jungle Cruise was going to take on a fun holiday twist for the first time ever. Unfortunately, after experiencing the ride, many visitors (myself included) were more than a little disappointed to find out the "Jingle Cruise" mostly consisted of a changed ride script and a spruced up waiting area. 

This year though, Disney went all out on the ride, trimming the trees and decking the hippos. Since most of you probably won't get to experience the update yourselves, here's a fun video showing that when it comes to Christmas, even animals can enjoy a visit from Santa -even if it's just to get the chance to munch on one of his famous reindeer.


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And You Thought Your Family Was Hard to Deal With

Thanksgiving dinner can be stressful for those with frustrating family members, but whatever drama exploded at your family's holiday dinner, this letter featured on Awkward Family Photos might just make you feel better about your own flesh and blood.

(Video Link)

It's pretty easy to start hating Marney just from her family letter, but when you see this interview with her, you might become a little more sympathetic, not necessarily because she defends herself well, but because she comes off looking more than a little bit cuckoo -just like some of your beloved family members.


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Profile for Jill Harness

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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