Spoilers! My Favorite Easy ‘Weight Loss’ Recipes (+ Food Bloggers)

Spoilers! My Favorite Easy ‘Weight Loss’ Recipes (+ Food Bloggers)

In case you haven’t checked out my weight loss post or my resolutions for this year, let me tell you that I have been working on myself since April of 2017 with a starting weight of 184 pounds. It’s been a fulfilling and frustrating journey so far. I know many of you are setting out on your own weight loss journey this year too, so I thought I’d link you the recipes (and some bloggers) that I enjoy the most! You can even see some pictures of them in action on my instagram!

I’ll preface this real quick by saying that I count calories. I use My Fitness Pal to calculate how many calories I should be eating a day to lose one pound a week. You can find nutrition tables online for most restaurants. For food you make at home, you’ll find the nutrition information right on the package. Simply add up all the ingredients, divide by servings, and you have your calories per serving!

Budget Bytes

One of my favorite food bloggers is Beth from Budget Bytes. I love these recipes so much that I downloaded the app! Even though there no calorie counts listed, I easily plugged the ingredients into My Fitness Pal and saved them for future use! Here’s some of my favorite recipes with personal adjustments and calories! All pictures used are straight from Budget Bytes!

Black Bean Chili

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Geeky Gal says: Sub the half pound of turkey for half a pound of venison. Substitute one can of kidney beans in place of black beans (or leave out one can of black beans altogether). Calories: 305 calories per cup.

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

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Geeky Gal says: To save a little on calories, skip the cheese! This chili is plenty spicy without the jalapeño. Add some tortilla chips to on add some calories if you have the room. Calories: 165 calories per cup.

Sesame Chicken

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Geeky Gal says: Substitute chicken breasts in place of chicken thighs if you prefer white meat. You can use whatever rice you prefer for this dish, but I use half a cup of cooked white rice! Calories: 370 calories for 1/4 of the chicken and half a cup of white rice.

Pinch of Yum

I stumbled across Lindsay at Pinch of Yum while looking for healthy breakfast recipes. I stuck around when I saw her 5 ingredient recipes! Not only do her recipes taste amazing, but she lists the calories for you! Can I get a Hallelujah? All pictures used are straight from Pinch of Yum’s site!

5 Ingredient Banana Bread Muffins

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Geeky Gal says: Leave out the dates if you’re not a fan. Definitely add the chocolate chips! These are great to make ahead of time and eat on for the week. Calories: 124 calories per muffin.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

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Geeky Gal says: I made this for Christmas, and it was a hit! Skip the gravy to save on calories (and by save on calories, I mean eat more potatoes). Calories: 252 calories per serving (makes 12 servings).

Geeky Gal’s Quick Picks

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie – 380 calories for one cup and one biscuit.

Spicy Potato Tacos – 228 calories per taco with potato filling, cheese, lettuce and sauce.

Crock-pot Japanese Onion Soup – 44 calories per cup. Serve this up on the side of homemade sushi!

Do you have any favorite low calorie recipes? Who are your favorite food bloggers? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

Saturday Suggestion – Comic: Fables #1-5

Saturday Suggestion – Comic: Fables #1-5

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*Some affiliate links have been used. Check out my about me page to learn more about these links.

If you’ve played The Wolf Among Us, you may not have realized it’s actually a prequel to the long-running Fables comic series that was completed in 2015 with several spin-offs. (To read Fables and all of its spin-offs in order, follow this link.) I had been wanting to get my hands on the first issue of Fables for awhile to continue with the characters I’d gotten attached to during The Wolf Among Us, and a trip to the comic book store for some D&D dice gave me the opportunity to snatch it up.

At Christmas, I was given two of the first compilations so look out for those reviews soon!

Brief intro: As a lover of fairy tales and all things Disney, I was excited to dive into this nitty-gritty version of my favorite stories. These characters call themselves “Fables” and live in a New York community known as “Fabletown.” They created this community centuries ago after their homelands were taken over by a villain known simply as The Adversary.

The first story arc is called Legends in Exile and expands from the first issue to the fifth issue. We meet our first two main characters: Bigby Wolf, the sheriff of Fabletown, and Snow White, the assistant to the Mayor of Fabletown. Bigby begins the investigation of Snow White’s sister’s, Rose Red, apparent murder in a grungy, who-done-it, murder mystery.

Review: Before I even get to the writing, I have to tell y’all about the artwork. It is exquisite! Beautifully done, gritty, different, and it really goes along with the themes that make Fables the comic that it is. Several artists have contributed to the comic over it’s long run but this particular issue has me sold. The colors, the line work, how the text is incorporated into each panel, are simply works of art in themselves.

The writing is just as phenomenal as the artwork that compliments it. Mystery and intrigue with dashes of romance will make this fantasy-drama comic pull you right in and leave you wanting more. Its adult themes and mature writing style set this comic up for a not-so-Disney kind of story. It’s not rated 17+ for nothing!

After playing The Wolf Among Us and getting to know Bigby and Snow by just a fraction, I was eager to know more about them. Legends of Exile give us another peek at Snow White’s life and back story as Bigby shows off his detective skills and shows Snow White (again) why he was made Sheriff of Fabletown. You know you want to root for our favorite reformed villain, and this story arc gives you all the opportunity to do just that.

I literally gobbled up this story in one sitting and wanted to run back to the comic book store for the second book. Fables belongs on your shelf for just the fantastic story, but you’re actually buying it to cure that craving of good, mature, character development and mystery. You will rejoice for these fairy tales that are more aligned with the Grimm Tales that Disney ever was and set in modern day.

Bottom Line: If you wanted Disney to be more up front about the real Grimm Tales’ characters, it’s time to pick up Fables and dive into the grungy world of Fabletown and its inhabitants.

Official Rating: 17+

Genre(s): Romance, Drama, Fantasy, Mature

Geeky Gal’s Score: 5 out of 5 stars!

Saturday Suggestion – Game: Doki Doki Literature Club!

Saturday Suggestion – Game: Doki Doki Literature Club!

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Trigger warning for suicide, self harm, and other disturbing content.

You’ve read the game tags. You’ve read the warnings. You’ve read the reviews. It’s on Steam for free. Now it’s your turn to experience the psychological horror that is Doki Doki Literature Club!

Don’t let the innocent logo, shades of pink, and the stereotypical looking visual novel ladies fool you. This game made me scream, and never have so many obscenities come out of my mouth while playing a Steam game before. Jump scares? Check! Nightmares? Check! Images burned into my eyeballs? Check! Music stuck in my head for days? Check! Check! Check! As always, buckle up for a spoiler free review!

Brief intro: You’re a high school student in a very typical Japanese style visual novel. You meet the first girl, your childhood best friend named Sayori, on your way to school. You walk together every day. After a bit of pestering from Sayori about what club you’re going to be in this year, you start to consider possibly joining a club. After class is over, Sayori invites you to stop in at her club where you meet three other girls: Monika, the president of the Literature Club and the most popular girl in school, Natsuki, the typical tsundere who loves cute things, manga, and baking, and Yuri, the mysterious and introverted bookworm.

Things are definitely checking off all the boxes for your typical romance visual novel. You get a glimpse of personalities from the girls, you’re pushed into being a member of the club, and after what you’ve seen so far, things are normal. Normal and quiet… You are lulled into a simple choice romance game, picking what you know will get you the most time with a girl. Creating poems to be shared with each girl to get to know her better…

But slowly, you start to see things. Little things. In the dialogue. In the poems. Things that make you take a second look. Things that don’t quite make sense. Things that don’t belong… Things that frighten you.

Review: Hang on tight, because shit gets cray in Doki Doki. I finished this game in 2 days because I just HAD TO KNOW what the F was going on. With a game play of about 2 to 10 hours, it’s short and sweet but leave your heart jumping from your chest. Fans of thrillers and psycho horrors: this game is for you.

Without spoiling the game or ending, this game gets under your skin. It starts off innocently enough and is cleverly disguised as a romance visual novel with your typical high school guy and four girls to “choose” from. Endless dialogue and the usual choices will start to make you yawn (or if you’re like me and actually enjoy visual novels you’ll feel right at home). Then… it starts.

Strange poetry, strange dialogue, strange reactions from the girls, and strange game glitches. You’ll be scratching your head wondering if that just happened. Was it a part of the game? Are you seeing things? Why are the girls acting so weird? You’ll think back to past conversations as the pieces start to fit together.

Speaking of strange poetry, the poems that you share every day with the girls in the Literature Club is a game mechanic I haven’t encountered before but definitely has a place in Doki Doki. You choose from a set of words twenty times to create your poem. These words range from ‘sunshine’ to ‘suicide’ and correlate to each girl. Pick the right ones for the right girl, and you’ll have her attention. Despite never getting to see your poems, it’s still a neat game mechanic

Beautiful and sometimes haunting music accompany the Japanese style visual novel graphics. It’s subtle enough to accompany the story without taking you away, but haunting enough to be stuck in your head for days (just ask my husband). The character art is very well done and up to visual novel standards. There’s static movement with the occasional full size shot of the girl you are romancing. For a free game, it was most definitely crafted with love by Team Salvato. I’m looking forward to any other games they put out on the Steam store.

Doki Doki Literature Club truly belongs in it’s own genre. It’s terrifying, discusses mental health on a highly uncomfortable level, incorporates heavy foreshadowing in an already intricate story, and really screws with you as a player (hello, fourth wall breaking!). You’ll even find yourself digging into the game files to uncover… things. Do yourself a favor, and play Doki Doki Literature Club.

Official Rating: M

Genre(s): Psychological Horror, Visual Novel, Dating Sim

Score: 5 out of 5 stars!

Link Loves

Link Loves

Welcome to the third installment of Link Loves. This post is all about my favorite links of the week! It can include bloggers, articles, news, clothing, accessories, and other cool links I’m enjoying. *Some affiliate links have been used. Check out my about me page to learn more about these links.

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Quibbles & Scribbles gives us her first look at Marvel’s Runaways Vol. 1-3. I had no idea there was also a TV show out featuring the same characters but Quibbles & Scribbles gives us a great look at some of the similarities and differences between the two. Photo courtesy of Quibbles & Scribbles.

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When games meet movies, how high (or low) are your expectations? Which movies have flopped and which have held their own? Check out Ambi Gaming Corner’s post on Game Movies then read through the comments. Voice your own thoughts on game movies!

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John from It’s More Than Just Gaming unboxes Gloomhaven! Check out the video and pictures of this detailed and beautiful game! Photo courtesy of It’s More Than Just Gaming.

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Nothing says Captain America like apple pie. Just ask Monica at Popcorner Reviews. Check out her easy mini apple pie recipe and enjoy with your favorite avenger movie. Photo courtesy of Popcorner Reviews.

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Are you seeing THIS?! Pokemon terrariums?! Take all of my money! No plants so no watering actually required is a bonus for me! Photos courtesy of PalletCraftsByXev.

 

 

Review Rave: OwlCrate’s ‘Castles, Courts & Kingdoms’ via Cratejoy

Review Rave: OwlCrate’s ‘Castles, Courts & Kingdoms’ via Cratejoy

This is the second month of my OwlCrate subscription, and it really blew me away with all the goodies inside. OwlCrate hooked me with ‘Find Me in the Forest’ and reeled me in with ‘Castles, Courts & Kingdoms.’ Let’s dig into this review of OwlCrate’s November box: ‘Castles, Courts & Kingdoms’!

Overview: OwlCrate is a monthly subscription box that contains a newly published hardcover Young Adult book with a special cover, 3-5 other items, as well as exclusive goodies from publishers and authors. Each box also has a unique theme every month!

Review: I was so excited for this theme! I love medieval settings with strong women and a dash of romance. I couldn’t wait either to see what what Harry Potter item would be included this time! The box came two days after I got my tracking number, and I waited a few days to open it due to the holiday craziness. The wait was so worth it though!

The small postcard on top goes into detail about each item inside the box with a handy spoilers tag. I always set this aside first so I can dig in without spoiling any of the items. There is a booklet with an author interview, word search, suggested reads if you liked the book, an interview with Fizzy Fairy Apothecary, photo challenge, and next month’s theme! There is also a matching button to go with the booklet’s cover art.

Now let’s get to the good stuff…

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The book in this month’s box was The Glass Spare by Lauren Destafano. After opening the book, I found an autographed bookplate and a note from the author!

Here’s the note from the author as well as some colorful temporary gem tattoos!

The beautiful, lined notebook is from Stella Bookish Art! “Don’t let the hard days win.” -A Court of Mist and Fury

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This wooden brooch with magnet back from Juniper and Ivy Designs is based on the Grishaverse was specially made for OwlCrate subscribers! There’s 3 brooches total; which one did you get?

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My favorite item in the box was this Expecto Patronum beanie from OwlCrate! I wear it every day. I also lovelovelove my lip balm in blackberry mint from Geek Fire Labs.

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Last but certainly not least is this adorable Elven bread soap from Lord of the Rings by Fizzy Fairy Apothecary! You may have seen it on my instagram feed last night as the “soap which may not be used… only looked at and sniffed!” The smell is A-MA-ZING!

Bottom Line: Love Young Adult reads? Love bookish , handmade items from your favorite fandoms? You’ll love OwlCrate!

Geeky Gal’s Score: 5 out of 5 stars!

Would you like to see a video of next month’s OwlCrate unboxing? Leave me a comment if you prefer the blog style review or if you wanna see a Youtube unboxing! Or both?!

Spoilers! Blog + Personal Resolutions

Spoilers! Blog + Personal Resolutions

It’s been quite a year on A Geeky Gal blog. I re-branded, gained more AND new traffic, found my writing groove, and even started utilizing social media to meet other bloggers. I’ve had this blog for 4 years, and I have never felt as motivated to continue blogging as I do today.

One of the things I’m most proud of is my new branding. I feel like it’s definitely more “me” and more of the look I wanted. There’s still some changes coming though for the look and feel of the site. I also want to expand to Youtube! I really feel like I can reach more people and more geeks by creating vlogs and Youtube content which brings me to my blog resolutions for this year!

Blog Resolutions for 2018

  • Finish website changes
  • Create a Youtube channel
  • Make pinnable images for ALL blog posts
  • Have 150 WordPress followers (91 currently)
  • Have 100 Facebook likes (68 currently)
  • Have 300 Instagram followers (202 currently)
  • Complete a 30 Day Blog Challenge
  • Guest post for at least 2 bloggers
  • Do a ‘Let’s Play’ for Youtube
  • Host a giveaway

 

I usually don’t make resolutions because I never keep them. This year feels different though. I decided to focus on small goals that I knew I could complete so that hopefully it’ll push me to do even more. I have lost almost 40 pounds and want to reach my fitness goals this year. I also want to add to my portfolio and plan on giving it the attention is deserves. Here’s 10 of my personal resolutions for the New Year.

Personal Resolutions for 2018

  • Reach my goal weight
  • Make my Pinterest closet dreams come true
  • Read one book a month (or 12 in a year)
  • Finish the Library
  • Design 10 branding boards for my portfolio
  • Create 5 game-ready 3D models for my portfolio
  • Pay off debt (not including school loans)
  • Generate a second income
  • Learn HTML/CSS
  • Take a vacation

 

What are your resolutions for this year? What posts are you looking forward to seeing on my blog in 2018? Leave me a comment below!

Gift Guide: 10 Foxy Things for Fox Lovers

Gift Guide: 10 Foxy Things for Fox Lovers

Last year I created a few gift guides for those who LOVE fandoms like Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and Sherlock. This year is no different! I’m sprinkling magic AND geek all over this holiday season. Click here to see Unicorn Must Haves and here for Witchy Essentials! Today is all about our favorite woodland creature: the fox! Let’s find where the wild things are for all the fox lovers on your list. *Some affiliate links have been used. Check out my about me page to learn more about these links.

Loly in the Sky Critter Fix Printed Sneaker

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For those casual fox lovers on your list. $34.99 via Modcloth.

Foxy Mug

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For your foxy coffee-drinking friend. $14.99 via Fuego.

Fox Infinity Scarf in Navy

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Foxes are even better in Fall. Keep warm with this scarf in a fox pattern. $9.99 via Amazon.

Sleeping Fox Tote

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Slip all of your foxy gifts into this reusable tote! $27.99 via LookHuman.

Fox Crossbody Bag

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An everyday purse for your gal pal fox enthusiast. $29.99 via Amazon.

S’ip by S’well Water Bottle in Sly Fox

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Got a foxy runner to buy for? Try this stainless steel water bottle in Sly Fox! $19.99 via Amazon.

Foxy Throw

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Who cares if this throw is for kids? It’s adorable for the “always cold” fox lover on your list! $25.54 via Target.

Crochet Fox Coffee Cozy

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To wrap around your love’s coffee or hot chocolate on Christmas morning. $8 via Etsy.

Fox Table Lamp

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Perfect for any fox hole or library or game room. $29.99 via Target.

Foxy Casual Socks

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Keep your SO’s toes warm with their favorite critter. $1.50 via Target.