Monday, September 30, 2019

Master Bath Cabinet Reorganization

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Two weeks ago Todd started a new skincare routine based on my new skincare knowledge acquired the last few months.  I started my own new routine back in May.  Both of us are in our late 40’s, so we really needed to step up our skincare game.  The problem was, there was my skincare products, Todd’s skincare products, and OUR skincare products.  And it was spread out in three different drawers in our bathroom.  He was confused about where to find the items in his AM and PM skincare routines (which I put together in a spreadsheet for him).  It was not intuitive and it was badly organized.  So, a rework of the process and organization was in order!

We have a really large cabinet for bathroom storage in between our sinks.  It was a perk from our 2009 total master bath remodel.  We really have a lot of storage in our bathroom, but it was just disorganized.  We have a lot of large drawers and under sinks storage below this cabinet too!

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The above was the “before” situation.  I can’t reach the top shelf without a step stool, so we didn’t keep much up there.  It was a mish mash of stuff everywhere.  The bottom shelve was mostly medicine.  The 2nd shelf was travel related toiletry items.  The 3rd shelf was also a mish mash of storage and travel related items.  The space was badly organized and not optimally used.

So I cleared everything out.  I took the shelves out too, and cleaned those.

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Before I put the shelves back in, I decided that the bottom shelf was going to be dedicated to our skincare routines, and all our skincare products from the drawers below would be consolidated into it.  But how could I make it easily accessible and be able to see everything?  I thought back to my organization improvements from last month and the solution was clearly the 2-tiered lazy susan spinners!  I measured the width inside the cabinet and it was 22”, perfect for fitting in TWO of the lazy susans at 10.5” width each!  So I ordered them and they arrived two days later from Amazon.

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So now, Todd’s skincare is on the right spinner, while mine is on the left.  Although, I have items on the right too, since I needed more space, ha ha.  But all the products in his AM & PM skincare routine is on the right spinner, so he doesn’t have to look anywhere else but there for his products.

The rest of the shelves, from the bottom up.  Second shelf are travel toiletries.  Third shelf has medicines and also the TSA-approved travel pouches that I couldn’t fit on the second shelf.  The upper shelf has extra stock-up items such as face wash, toothpaste, and soap.  We don’t need to get to the next toothpaste or soap that often, so they’re good to go on the upper shelf.

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We’ve used these spinners inside our cabinet for 1.5 weeks now, and it’s vastly improved our skincare routine process!  Now everything is in one place and easy to find!

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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Nashville Trip | Con of Thrones Cosplay

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As with any fan convention, cosplay was a big part of Con of Thrones in Nashville.  We weren’t clever enough to come up with our own costumes this time, we only wore Game of Thrones t-shirts.  But we saw so many good cosplayers with multiple awesome costumes!

A note:  Some of these photos were downloaded from the CoT app or screenshot from Instagram.  When possible and I could find it, the creator’s IG account is linked.

In the first photo above, Todd posed with a Sansa Stark and a Beric Dondarrion.

We saw this group getting their photos taken.  Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Varys, Sansa/Marjorie?, Jaqen H’ghar.

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And my personal highlight at CoT, a photo with a dog whose real name was Ghost!  And his mom dressed as Cersei.  Their Instagram account is here.

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Todd found a George RR Martin doppelganger!  When he lifted the flap on his shirt up, it said “Not today”, ha ha!

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A Jon Snow and me with my “You know nothing Jon Snow” shirt on!

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Todd with an Arya Stark.  She looked so good!

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Me and a Varys.  Really great costume.

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We found a Wun Wun The Giant on stilts! 

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He was so good that even Nicolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) got a photo with him.

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Arya executing Little Finger (Petyr Baelish) from season 7.

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He looked so great and so much like Little Finger that Todd had to find him on the last day to get a photo with him! 

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Us with Tywin Lannister. 

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He and his wife got a hilarious photo with Nicolaj Coster-Waldau.

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I LOVED this one of Tormund, Jon Snow, and Ghost!  Just how I imagined how the three of them lived out their lives in the Far North at the end, with the Wildlings.

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Other awesome cosplay…

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Three awesome Sansa Starks.

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Jon Snow and Little Finger

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Todd and I had a photo op to sit on the Throne! 

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That’s it for my Con of Thrones 2019 Nashville recap!  Hope you enjoyed the Nashville eats and a look at the Con of Thrones programming too.  It was a really memorable trip that I will look upon fondly for years to come!

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Friday, September 27, 2019

Nashville Trip | Con of Thrones Programming

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We attended the Con of Thrones (CoT) convention in Nashville from July 12-14 this year.  The trip was part of our all-year 25th anniversary celebration.  As the time for CoT drew near, we downloaded the Con of Thrones app onto our phones to plan out which sessions we wanted to attend.  There were a full seven hours of sessions per day, from 10am-5pm, plus night time fun such as cosplay contest, karaoke, game night, etc.  Each hour of programming had several choices in different ballrooms, with the Ice Main Stage auditorium serving as the biggest draw each hour.  Each breakout room was named after a sword in Game of Thrones!

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An example of some of the sessions available in just one hour of programming.  How did we even pick??!

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If you’ve ever been to the San Diego Comic Con, you would know that trying to get into one of the main big panels in Hall H is impossible.  That was not the case at CoT.  While the convention was pretty full, we didn’t have any trouble getting into the sessions we wanted to see.  That part was really awesome!  Early on, Todd and I picked our own sessions that we wanted to attend.  He picked mostly book discussion sessions.  I picked the TV show sessions, since I hadn’t read the books.  Some of our sessions overlapped.  We felt fine going to our own favorite things and then re-convening for lunch or sessions that we both picked to attend.

Friday 7/12/2019 – here are the sessions I attended (links to YouTube videos where available)

The highlight of Day 1 was the panel discussion on how media coverage changed as the show became more and more popular.  Some of these journalists and podcasters worked insane schedules in order to publish content out on Monday mornings after the show aired.

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Another highlight was the Q&A with The Wolf and the Crows, the three extras that were on GoT for almost the entire eight seasons.  They talked about life on the set and what it was like filming the biggest show ever.  With their own R-rated humor added in.

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The Jerome Flynn spotlight was also awesome.  He talked about what it was like to play Sir Bronn, what his favorite lines were, and favorite episodes and scenes.  You can actually watch the entire session here on YouTube.

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Saturday 7/13/2019 – here are the sessions I attended (links to YouTube videos where available)

Day 2 was definitely packed with so many highlights!  Where do I even start?? 

I got to see one of my favorite Podcasts live!  Binge Mode:  Game of Thrones with Mallory Ruben and Dave Concepcion!

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The spotlight with four of the actors from GoT, interviewed by the Binge Mode podcasters was SO GOOD.  This was THE SESSION to attend during the 3-day CoT.  The huge auditorium was PACKED.  You can watch the entire session here on YouTube!

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Getting to see a live recording of one of my other favorite Game of Thrones podcasts, A Storm of Spoilers with Dave Gonzales, Joanna Robinson, and Neil Miller! 

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And the Spotlight session with Kieran Belshaw, the concept artist on GoT, and now also Star Wars The Mandalorian! 

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The concept art he created was SO AMAZING!  He basically drew out each scene and then the set designers and FX artists went to work based on the concept art!

Cersei escaping the Red Keep with The Mountain and Qyburn.

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Jon Snow approaching the throne room with Drogon emerging from the dust & snow.

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One tidbit that Kieran shared was that the showrunners originally wanted the circle of council in the very last episode to occur at the destroyed throne room.  But the scene got moved to the Dragon Pit.

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Kieran Belshaw was humble, informative, and so talented.  It was a joy to see his concept art.  You can actually watch his entire session along with ALL the art he brought here on YouTube!  I commented on his Instagram that night and he commented back! 

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Sunday 7/14/2019 – here are the sessions I attended (links to YouTube videos where available)

The highlights of Day 3 were the Spotlight sessions with Miltos Yerolemou and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, interviewed by my favorite GoT podcaster Joanna Robinson!

Miltos was such a personable person with a great personality.  He loves the GoT community and has made friends with many regular con attendees.  He has taught the “water dancing” stick fighting to many GoT fans.  He love to take photos with fans and is appreciative of his involvement in GoT. 

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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was also gracious, funny, and articulate.  His wife called him while he was on stage and he answered it!  Also, his whole family was there (wife, 2 daughters) and they even went to the marketplace and talked to the vendors and looked at the merchandise.  Just a regular guy!  You can watch the entire session here on YouTube!

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The programming the entire three days at CoT was amazing.  We had such a good experience attending our first Con of Thrones!  If you ever get a chance to participate in something you love with other people who also love it as much as you do, I highly recommend it.  There’s nothing like obsessing over something you love with other obsessives!

Here is a YouTube playlist with more videos available of other sessions.

Stay tuned for the cosplay post next!

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Nashville Trip | The Eats

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In July we went to Nashville, TN for the 3-day Con of Thrones convention.  It is the biggest Game of Thrones convention, and it encompassed both the TV show and George R. R. Martin’s “Song of Ice And Fire” book series.  Nashville was the first of our six trips this year, celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary.  Today’s post will be all about the places we ate at in Nashville.  There will be two other posts about the convention itself:  programming and cosplay.

We flew into Nashville on Thursday 7/11, arriving at night.  We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express by the airport for convenience, because our return flight was at 6am and we wanted to make it as painless as possible.  The drive from the hotel to the Music City Center (convention center) downtown was only about 10 minutes.  After checking into the hotel, we looked on Yelp and decided to eat dinner at Mission BBQ at Opry Mills.  We arrived around 8:30 PM local time and the restaurant closed at 9PM.  But the lady at the counter was super nice.  She even called me “honey”, ha ha.  She gave good food suggestions too.  This is probably a stereotype but when we travel to the South or Midwest, I feel like people are much nicer in public than here in CA. 

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We shared a Meat Market Sampler with three meats, a side of mac n cheese, corn bread, and a banana pudding dessert.  We chose brisket, pulled pork, and sausage for the three meats.

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It was quite yummy.  The portion was meant for only one person, I think.  But it was enough food for us.  After all, there was more noms the next day!  :)

Friday 7/12 was the first day of Con of Thrones convention.  We ate breakfast at the hotel, and had decent Tex Mex food at the convention center food cart for lunch.  There’s convention panels and programming the whole day, including lunch time, so we didn’t leave the convention center for lunch all three days.  Twice we had this Tex Mex taco salad, and then once we had pizza.  They were both pretty good for convention center food.

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Music City Center was really architecturally beautiful.  The outside resembles a guitar.  We enjoyed the facilities a lot.  There was room for all the panel discussions and main stage, and plenty of bathrooms too. 

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Friday evening we walked over to Broadway, which is the craziest party street with bars and the biggest live music scene.  It is similar to Austin’s Sixth Street. 

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We had no idea that Nashville was a big bachelorette party destination.  We saw tons of flat-bed trucks full of women just cruising up and down Broadway.  You could hear loud live music as you walk past bar doors.

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We ended up at The Stillery, which had live music but not country music.  We saw two musical acts and they were both very good.  One was a solo artist and one was a band.

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One of Todd’s ex-bandmates from The Northstar Session, Matt Szlachetka, now lives in Nashville.  (The one on the right.  Photo from their performance at the 2005 San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon.)


At The Stillery, we got the brussels sprouts appetizer.  It wasn’t as tasty as we had at other restaurants.

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I got the strawberry gargonzola salad.  It was pretty good.

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Todd decided to get the hot chicken tenders, which is a thing to get in Nashville.  He liked it.

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We were there for a couple of hours eating and listening to music.  After dinner, we walked by Savannah’s Candy Kitchen and had to check it out.

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On Saturday (7/13) night, we had dinner at an upscale restaurant by our hotel called Darfons.  The food there was actually really good, but we forgot to take photos.  Oopsies!  The only thing I have a photo of is the bread pudding dessert!  Todd got some sort of roasted vegetables plate and I had a salad with chicken. 

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On Sunday night (7/14), our last night in Nashville, we decided to visit a famous BBQ place by the convention center called “Martin’s BBQ Joint”.  There was a line out the door.  Luckily, it moved pretty fast.  We got inside in about 15-20 minutes.  Once inside, you order at the counter.

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Then you sit down and they bring the food to you when ready.  I got ribs with broccoli and mac n cheese sides.

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Todd got beef brisket with fries and green beans.

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The food was good and we enjoyed it!  I guess when in Nashville, have BBQ or hot chicken!  That’s it for our culinary adventures in Nashville.  Stay tuned for more Con of Thrones posts!

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