2020 — it’s a new year and a new decade! And while I’m actively planning fun blog posts and projects to share this year, I also find myself constantly reflecting on my favorite 2019 blog moments and achievements. It’s so easy for me to gloss over things that have happened, or to forget about them during my day-to-day hussle (bad memory over here!). That’s why I’m so excited to put my 2019 favorite blog moments down in a post.
Sometimes you set out on an adventure hoping and dreaming something will happen, and then it does, but since you’re so focused on planning the next big thing, you don’t take a moment to savor what is enfolding around you. When I started blogging two and half years ago, I would frequently get asked what my goals were. Quite frankly, I’m not sure I had GOAL GOALs. I started Popcorner Reviews so that I could share geeky things that brought me joy and help to build a community to support the endeavors of fellow geeks. (Aka it’s okay to be an adult who still LOVES Harry Potter and obsesses over all things Disney).
But back to that goal question. When asked what my goals were for my blog, I would say that I hoped to one day work with my favorite brands, like MARVEL and BoxLunch, and, you never know, maybe attend a red carpet event. Well… I did all three of these things in 2019!!!
Here are some of my favorite blog moments from 2019.
Working with Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios
WOW. Just wow. This was my DREAM. In 2019, I had the opportunity to work with MARVEL… TWICE.
Starting first with MARVEL Studios, to celebrate the Blu-ray release of Avengers: Endgame (my favorite movie of the year), I was selected to create an original recipe inspired by Iron Man (my favorite Avenger). Well, Tony loves cheeseburgers (and so does his daughter), so a recipe inspired by this seemed appropriate. Thus, I made I Love You 3,000 Cheeseburger Sliders and included some Iron Man-worthy slider skewers as a download.
I was also selected for a campaign with MARVEL Comics to celebrate their 80th anniversary. And with this campaign, I got to pair my infinity gauntlet with the power gauntlet! Talk about an AMAZING project.
Attending the Geekly Retreat
While I started blogging in 2017, it took me two and a half years to attend a blogging retreat, and I’m not sure why I waited so long! In November, I was selected to attend the first-ever Geeky Retreat for female entertainment writers in LA, hosted by the ladies of The Geekly Show. I had the most amazing experience ever. I learned SO MUCH from women whose blogs I had followed for years — my blog idols for sure — and connected with bloggers in real life. Not only did I leave the retreat having experienced some AMAZING things (more on that below), but I left with FRIENDS who have become blogging allies and supporters.
Throughout the four-day retreat, I had the opportunity to learn from female trailblazers in the entertainment writing space, attend movie screenings and interview cast, producers, and directors (for films including Playing with Fire, Lady and the Tramp, Noelle, Spies in Disguise, and more), tour Disney Studios and Paramount Studios, walk the Frozen 2 red carpet and attend the Frozen 2 movie premiere, and attend the Frozen 2 press junket featuring the cast and crew.
If it sounds like I had some surreal moments, it’s because I did!
Attending the Frozen 2 Red Carpet
Okay, I know I just touched on this with my Geekly Retreat highlight, but attending the Frozen 2 red carpet premiere deserves its own call out! I mean, I got to walk the RED CARPET, wear a glitzy dress, and rub shoulders with the stars of the film. I was one of the first people to watch Frozen 2 — it was absolutely amazing — and I even got to attend the after party — full of Frozen-filled-fun and McDonald’s Happy Meals (now that’s my kind of party).
Being Accepted into the BoxLunch Collective
One of my favorite brands Is BoxLunch. I wear their fun geek pieces ALL the time and was thrilled when they opened a store near me. So when they announced that they would be launching an influencer program in 2019, the BoxLunch Collective, I jumped at the chance to apply — and WOW, WOW, WOW, I was selected as one of the first 100 BoxLunch Collective participants! Now I can amp up the volume on my love for this brand even more and regularly share my favorite BoxLunch items on my blog — like this Stranger Things ugly holiday sweater.
Upping my Photography Skills and Enrolling in Foodtography School
This year, I also made some blog investments to up my photography skills. I invested in a new camera (no more relying on iPhone photos — although I still use that, too) and I enrolled in Broma Bakery’s Foodtography School! What’s Foodtography School you might ask? Well, it’s a comprehensive course for food photographers that covers composition, branding, lighting, staging, and more! I’ve learned so much from this course, and I plan to “re-take” it this year to build on what I’ve learned.
How did my photography approve? Well, I re-shot my Dumbo cupcakes following this course, and, WOW, I was so happy with the improvement! Check it out for yourself below.
Embarking on a Star Wars Baking Challenge (and Introducing Video Content on Instagram)
If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you know I LOVE a good movie marathon and coming up with themed recipes. I combined these two loves at the end of the year to prepare for the epic finale of the Skywalker saga with a Star Wars movie marathon and a Star Wars baking challenge. Each week I watched a Star Wars film and then shared a dessert inspired by it. It was a TON of fun, but also a TON of baking! *sugar coma alert*
Here’s a quick recap of all of my Skywalker saga recipes — oh, and one for The Mandalorian, too. 🙂
- Queen Amidala Cake Inspired by The Phantom Menace
- Anakin and Padme Pear Pie Inspired by Attack of the Clones
- Obi-Wan and Anakin Mustafar Cake Inspired by Revenge of the Sith
- R2-D2 and C-3PO Tatooine Sunset Cake Inspired by A New Hope
- AT-AT Hoth Cream Pie Inspired by The Empire Strikes Back
- Endor Forest Cake Inspired by Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars Lightsaber Cake Inspired by The Force Awakens
- Easy Star Wars Porg Cookies Inspired by The Last Jedi
- Star Wars Pie Inspired by The Rise of Skywalker
- Mandalorian Pumpkin Pie Inspired by Disney+’s The Mandalorian
Along with the challenge of theming a recipe after each movie, I also challenged myself to tackle a video for each one. I haven’t done too much in the video space yet, for some reason showing up and talking on video is intimidating to me! But I’m so glad I gave it a go for this baking challenge. After I created each recipe, I filmed a short Instagram TV video where I talked about what I loved for each film, what Star Wars means to me, and showed off that movie’s themed recipe. Watch them all here!
The best part is that video is now a little less intimidating for me! I plan to tackle some new video challenges in 2020, so stay tuned!
My Favorite DIYs of 2019
- R2-D2 Popcorn Bowl DIY
- Harry Potter Golden Snitch Mimosa and Printable (Half recipe/half DIY!)
- ‘Beware of the Porg’ Star Wars Welcome Mat
- ‘In Case of White Walkers, Break Glass’ Game of Thrones DIY
- ‘I Don’t Drink Tea’ Thor Beer Stein DIY
- ‘Direwolf in Training’ Game of Thrones DIY Dog Bandana
- Lord of the Rings Arwen and Aragorn Canvas Quote DIY
My Favorite Geek Eats of 2019
- Beetlejuice-Inspired Drip Cake
- ‘I Love You 3,000’ Iron Man Cheeseburger Sliders
- Harry Potter and Ron Weasley’s Christmas Sweater Cookies
- Aunt Petunia’s Cake Inspired by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Pokémon Poké Ball Cookies
- Black Widow Marvel Pumpkin Pie
- Lady and the Tramp Spaghetti and Meatball Cookies
- Star Wars Tatooine Sunset Cake
- Peanut Butter Falcon Wrestling Belt Cookies
- Mandalorian Pumpkin Pie
- Queen Amidala Cake Inspired by Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
My Favorite Geek Chic Style Posts of 2019
- Rey’s Ahch-To Outfit from Galaxy’s Edge
- Avengers: Endgame Quantum Realm Hoodie Review
- The Best Bags and Backpacks for Your Trip to Disney World
- Mischief Managed Sweatshirt by Jordandene
- Embrace Your Inner Warrior with Lorica Leggings
2019 was such a fun year for Popcorner Reviews, and I can’t thank you enough for all of your support. Each time you read a blog, like a post, or comment, you are providing encouragement and support for me on my blog journey, and it means SO much to me.