The 3 Most Popular Posts In 2014

It’s kind of interesting what my most popular posts were in 2014 … Some of them I expected but others, I had no idea they were going to be as popular as they were.

The #1 viewed post on my blog was, “My Dirty Little Secret: Depression

#2 was “15 Things You Should Never Say To A Female Gamer” – If I counted other platforms, this would be my most popular post, remember how it was on the front page of BuzzFeed and reblogged by Wil Weaton?!? ((I still fangirl about that.))

and #3 was “How To Compliment A Cosplayer

What were your favorite posts from 2014?? Let me know in comments!

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My Blogging Tools

What tools do I use to blog? I have a couple of different things that I pretty much use on a consistent basis for blogging. These are most of my physical tools for blogging.

They include:
– Planner
– Pens and Pencils
– Laptop
– Tablet
– Phone

Not Pictured:
– DSLR Camera & Accessories

Digital Tools:
– Photoshop
– Lightroom
– Blogging Platform
Hootsuite
Google Trends

How I use these tools:
Most of my blogging starts with my planner. I am currently filling up my new one for 2015. I write everything in pencil unless it’s something set in stone. There are certain blogging link ups that I like to participate in (Fandom Friday) and I also set a schedule for my Sponsor posts. If I am reviewing a product, I am giving a limited amount of time to try, review, and post about it. These are the kinds of posts I will write in pen. They are deadlines that have to be met. Everything else is written in pencil because they are subject to changing. I have goals for each week of things I’d like to get done and I write them in order of highest to lowest priority.

My pretty laptop

This is obviously my most important tool. It’s a PC and is something I had built from scratch. It is a gaming laptop and is where I do most of my gaming (#pcmasterrace). I’ve taken the Tetris stickers from my December lootcrate and spelled out “The Nerdy Fox”. I think it’s cute and a fun way to represent my blog. My tablet and phone  are used as ways to keep ideas, ways to keep up on other blogs when I’m not at the computer and a way to monitor my social media pages. My camera is used for pictures, obviously and is something that I am planning on using more throughout 2015. Yay photography!

My Digital Tools:
Depending on what kind of picture I am going to be editing, I use photoshop and/or lightroom and a lot of the time, I use both. My blogging platform is currently blogger but I am hoping that is going to change when I renew my domain. I’d like to be completely switched over to wordpress by July of this year. Hootsuite is where I schedule my twitter posts. I take some time each month and  schedule my follow Friday and sponsor Saturday posts and I can add more people to them as the month goes on. I also take some time each week to review what is scheduled and add the posts from the week on there. Google trends is something that I’ve just started using. it’s a way to check keywords and how they’re trending. It’s helpful to drive more traffic to your blog.

What are YOUR blogging tools?  

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Sponsor: Say Hello

I love my sponsors. They’re what make my blog possible – Today, I bring you my newest sponsor, Sarah from Say Hello.  I’ve said it before, but I really love when my readers (and sponsors) get something out of my blog. Sarah is a self-proclaimed closet nerd and so I decided to ask her some great geeky questions to get to know her (and her nerdy side) a little better.
Via Say Hello

My name is Sarah and I am the blogger behind Say Hello. I am from Littleton, Colorado and love books, cats, yoga, wine and all things geeky! I love reading The Nerdy Fox so I’m super excited to guest post for Heather!
Mac or PC: Well the Husband works for a Microsoft based company so I am legally bound by marriage to say PC {apparently Apple is the Devil and we don’t talk about them, let alone praise them}. But honestly, I have always preferred a PC over Mac and have only primarily used a PC. I recently got a Surface Pro 3 and I’m pretty much in love. It replaced my iPad and my laptop. Just like the commercial said it would.
Gaming console of choice: Xbox One. I flippin’ love our Xbox. We use it for all media in our house and I game the crap out of it as well. I loved Assassins Creed: Black Flag so much – so as soon Assassins Creed: Unity came out, I was all over it. It is a bit different than Black Flag but I like it so far!
Favorite book of all time: This one is tough. On average, I read about a book a week so to pick just one is challenging. Hmmm errrrr. Ok, ok, my all-time favorite book is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and my current favorite is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It’s such a cool book that covers all of late twentieth century pop culture. And the best part – the audio book is read by Wil Wheaton.
Star Trek or Star Wars: My 10 year old self would be so mad at me– but I have to say Star Trek. I grew up living and breathing Star Wars. My cousins and I used to take our Star Wars action figures into the woods in our back yard and make mini movies. When I got married to my husband he introduced me to the world of Star Trek. I love it. I love old, new, the original, Next Generation, whatever I can get my hands on – I am equal opportunity Star Trek watcher. And can we talk about Chris Pine? HOT.
What game should more people know more about: I am a big fan of tabletop games and our collection keeps growing despite the Husband’s protests. Typically when you think of tabletop games, Monopoly or Life come to mind. We play more eclectic games like Lords of Waterdeep, Dominion and Smash Up. One game that we play a ton of is Ticket to Ride. This game is so much fun and everyone in the family can play. It’s not too hard and it only takes about an hour from set-up to game end. We’ve introduced the game to a few friends and family members and now they’re hooked!
If you had to choose one of these things and why:
-Join Starfleet
-Become a Jedi
-Travel Space and Time with The Doctor
-Go on an adventure in Middle Earth
-Attend Hogwarts to become a witch
 
ACK! I have to choose just one?! Even though I am a Star Trek fan I would become a Jedi. I get use a light saber!? I have jedi-mind tricks?! YES PLEASE. This is not the Sarah you are looking for.

Social Media Love:

Twitter
Instagram
BlogLovin
Pinterest

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Sponsor: InstaNatural MEGA Review

I’ve been super lucky in the testing things for review department, lately. It’s mostly been beauty supplies, which I love. Recently, I was given the chance to work in Insta Natural.

About InstaNatural

InstaNatural was started as a small local business in Florida with a vision to provide safe, effective, and affordable skin care products – without sacrificing quality. InstaNatural is constantly in search of wonderful wholesome ingredients to enhance the natural beauty that is often lost due to various external and internal factors. The product line was developed by focusing on using premium organic and natural ingredients in their formulations without the use of harmful alcohols, parabens or sulfates.
At present, InstaNatural is a leading online distributor of a collection of nature-inspired beauty and cosmetic products. All of InstaNatural’s products are produced in small batches and packaged in FDA-certified facilities in the USA to ensure freshness and safety for customers. With results-driven products backed by a lifetime satisfaction guarantee, InstaNatural is focused on providing the best collection of beauty products to address a wide variety of skincare needs.

-From InstaNatural.com

What I love about InstaNatural:

They’re using natural ingredients. This means that you’re not putting gross parabens and sulfates on your face/body. It’s produced in the USA which is ALWAYS a good thing for the US economy. Plus, it’s backed by a lifetime satisfaction guarantee. They want your to be complete satisfied with the product. That’s great.

What I’ve Received to Review:

Left to Right: Vitaman C Moisturizer, Hyaluronic Acid Serum, Emu Oil, Argan Oil Hair Mask, Dead Sea Mud Mask.

Dead Sea Mud Mask:

“InstaNatural’s Dead Sea Mud Mask is an all-natural detoxifier and purifier that comes from the renowned and sacred Dead Sea. More than a million visitors each year flock to this extraordinary body of water in the Mediterranean, which contains many minerals beneficial to the skin, such as magnesium, sodium, bromine, potassium and calcium. Once applied, this mud mask treatment starts working to absorb excess oil, dirt and toxins from the skin. It is great to expunge acne, pimples and blackheads. It also helps to restore an even skin tone for a smoother complexion. When used as a body treatment, the mud mask can soothe and relieve muscles aches and pains. Whether used on the face or the body, our Dead Sea Mud Mask is a superb in-home spa treatment that will reveal more vibrant, refined, healthier skin.”

How I Have Used It:

I’ve used it as a face mask once a week and a body mask one time. After cleansing the area, I would apply a THIN layer of the mask and let it set for 10-15 minutes and then wash/rinse it off.

My Thoughts On It: 

It leaves my skin feeling clean and tight. Not super tight or an uncomfortable tight – but that really great feeling you get after you’ve had a facial at a spa, that’s the feeling it leaves on your skin. It does not have a smell, which is something that I enjoyed. It did not dry my skin out or cause any problems. I would recommend this product.

Emu Oil:

“InstaNatural’s Ultra Premium Emu Oil is 100% pure and fully refined, packed with powerful ingredients. It is naturally rich in unsaturated fatty acids and provides unsurpassed moisturizing benefits to the skin and hair.

  • Can be used on all skin types
  • Provides ultimate hydration for dry, itchy, flaky skin
  • Reduces appearance of scars, dark spots, stretch marks, burns and other discoloration
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe injuries, such as aching joints, sores muscles and sprains
  • Nourishes scalp and hair follicles to rejuvenate and replenish hair”

Something you need to know about emu oil is that it is obviously (maybe not obviously?) not vegan. That being said, it’s kind of this wonder oil that does a variety of things that almost makes your skeptical when you read the claims. However, from the limited amount of time I’ve been using it, I can tell you that it does what it claims to do.

How I Used It:

I won’t lie to you, I had a hard time figuring out how to use this product and there was a part of my brain that wasn’t so sure if I would use it because it’s, well, oil from an emu. However, I did use it and let me tell you, it’s pretty amazing stuff. I started using it on Chanel. She gets really, really dry skin in the winter – like, to the point where her hands crack and bleed. I started to apply a small amount to her hands at night before bed and within a day or two, her hands weren’t bothering her anymore. The good thing about using the emu oil on her hands was that it didn’t hurt her like lotions and creams were doing. Her hands were so cracked and dry that even applying the mildest lotions would make her cry. We were obviously desperate to find something to help her and I decided to give this a try on her hands and it seriously worked wonders.

I personally used it on my hair and body. I use a very, very small amount and applied it to my hair after I get out of the shower and leave it in and then style as usual.When I apply it to my face/body, I start with a drop or two and then add more as needed.

What I Thought Of It: 

This product is so amazing. I would recommend it simply based on the experience Chanel had with it. She’s had 7 years of dry, red, cracked skin in the winter and I’ve never been able to find something that would help until now.  It doesn’t smell, it absorbs fast, it really helps moisturize the skin. If you’re not concerned about vegan products, this is an amazing oil that you should definitely try out.

Hyaluronic Acid Serum:

“InstaNatural’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum contains Hyaluronic Acid along with a perfect blend of antioxidants such as Vitamin C + Jojoba Oil + Green Tea. With a capacity to sustain up to a 1,000 times its weight in water, Hyaluronic Acid is a great natural hydrator by helping the skin to retain moisture.

  • Provides hydration to soothe dry and flaky skin
  • Does not contain alcohol or parabens
  • Enriched with Vitamin C, Green Tea and Aloe for a boost in antioxidants
  • Helps tackle signs of aging by increasing firmness and strength of skin”

How I Used It: 

I use this every morning after I wash my face and before putting on lotion. This is a thicker serum and can be used twice a day. I apply a small amount to my face and neck, let it absorb into my skin and follow up with a face lotion and then makeup, if I’m applying any that day.

What I thought of it:

I genuinely love this serum. It’s a little thicker than previous serums that I’ve used but my skin reacts better to this one. It is super hydrating, it doesn’t have a smell and it is light enough that I can use it twice a day without feeling like my skin is bogged down with crap.

Vitamin C Moisturizer:

“InstaNatural’s Vitamin C Moisturizer contains a proprietary blend of supercharged antioxidants and other powerful ingredients that can help you achieve a healthy and glowing complexion. Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant agent, which can help protect your skin from the damaging effects of sun exposure and UV rays. Our moisturizer will deliver a potent 20% dose of Vitamin C to your skin, along with other nourishing ingredients – such as Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, and Plant Stem Cells – that work together to reduce the appearance of signs of aging, such as wrinkles, age spots, discoloration and dryness.”

How I Used It:

I used it after applying serum, morning and night.

What I Thought Of It:

This lotion is REALLY heavy. It is not one that I personally would recommend using twice a day. I’ve cut it down to just a night cream because it’s so heavy. It has a weird smell… which, I don’t like. I don’t like smelly things on my face – whether it’s a good or bad smell – though the smell of this does dissipate after a time. I’m not particularly crazy about this product.

Argan Oil Hair Mask: 

“InstaNatural’s Argan Oil Hair Mask is a deep conditioning treatment designed to transform dry and damaged strands into soft, shiny, healthy hair. Its restorative ingredients – such as Argan Oil, Japanese Green Tea, Amino Acid Complex, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil & Vitamin B5 – work together to penetrate hair deep down and deliver ultimate nourishment and hydration to enhance texture and shine. This intensive blend full of organic ingredients also serves to strengthen hair to defend against heat damage and other external aggressors.

  • Deeply conditions, strengthens and restores hair
  • Provides superior hydration and nourishment
  • Can be used daily as a standard conditioner
  • Turns hair from lifeless and damaged to luxurious and voluminous
  • Increases shine, softness and manageability” 

How I Used It: 

I’ve been using this after a bleach treatment and once every other week after washing my hair.

What I Thought Of It:

OH MY GOD, GUYS. THIS PRODUCT. This product is my favorite. It smells simply amazing. It makes my hair so soft and pretty. I cannot recommend this product enough. It super hydrates my hair which results in me using less product in my hair on a daily basis. I am so crazy about this product!

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5 Fandom Friday: 2015 Goals For My Blog

As I mentioned in this post, I am making some changes to my blog. I’m not going to be blogging as much about games and more about nerdy things in general. I also have some projects that I want to work on throughout 2015. 

1. Complete the 356 Day Photo Challenge. To hold myself accountable, I’ll be posting my 356 photos once a week.

2. Complete this reading challenge. 52 books. That’s a book a week. I’ll post once a month about what books I’ve read to complete this challenge.

3. I have some hopefully very exciting things happening in 2015… that might make me busier than I was planning on being. So with that thought, I am going to plan at LEAST 3 posts a week and hopefully there is more than that.

4. I applied to start school again! I’m crazy nervous about it but super excited at the same time…I’d like to continue my self study on different programming languages and would like to add it to my blog. I’m not sure how I’ll go about this but it’s something that is on my mind and will be adding to my blog in the near future.

5. Promote. Promote. Promote. This means commenting more, scheduling more tweets/things on social media and interacting with other bloggers more. I’m really going to be pushing myself out of my comfort zone on this because I’m normally very timid about self-promotion.

What are your goals for 2015??

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How To Organize Your Pinterest Boards

 Pinterest is such a fun place but sometimes you need to go through and clean everything up. I’ve been neglecting to this to mine for some time but I finally sat down and changed everything around. It looks so much better now!
As you can see, my pinterest was a complete and utter mess. I mean, the cover photos are all over place, the boards I have are just a mixture of everything. I decided that I need to increase the number of boards I have (to make things easier to find later!) and to update my cover photos and move things to the right board. 
 
I started with my food board. I decided what I wanted to keep, what I wanted to move and what I wanted to delete. I made two new board for my food: a sweets/treats one and one for drinks. I moved everything accordingly. I deleted any duplicate pins or things that didn’t have working links.

 
Moving things on pinterest has gotten a lot easier! You can now select multiple pins and move them.
 All you have to do to create a new board from here is click on the arrow and add a new board. You can then move the pins to this newly created board.
 

Some things to note: You don’t have to change the cover photo but pinterest defaults it to the first pin in the board. This means that you’ll get whatever random pin and it won’t be centered to your liking. It’s always good to check and scroll through your cover options. The cover is going to draw people in to the board so it’s always a good idea to have an interesting cover that is relevant to the board.

 I moved on to my Nerdgasm board. This one was the WORST. It was just a mess of all my fandoms and geekery in one place. It needed some serious help.  I made a board for each of my fandoms that I know I regularly pin to. Then I started moving pins over to their new boards.
***Tip: Do you have some pins that you’re like, “Oh, this is a crossover and I don’t know where I should pin it?!”?? I suggest going with the main theme of the pin. For example, I have a pin of a Pichu dressed as Link from Zelda. I pinned these to my Pokemon boards because it’s a Pokemon dressed as Link.  Make sense?

This is also an important thing to note: You don’t have to have a creative name for every single board. Sometimes you just need a Star Wars board. It can be called Star Wars and you can pin awesome things to it. 😉

Once you’re done moving all your pins around, you’re going to go to your newly created boards and edit their description, categorize them, and change their cover photo.

You’re almost done! All that is let to do is organize your board order. I moved the most popular ones up towards the top and kept all the fandoms together.

Now that you’re nice and organized, you can go back to pinning! 

Happy Pinning!

 You can follow my pinterest here!
Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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Ch-Ch-Changes

When I started this blog, I had a very specific idea of what I wanted and as I’ve blogged more and more over the last 8 ish months, it has changed. While I really enjoy video games reviews and things of that sort, I obviously don’t just want to blog about that. It’s kind of been a struggle to stick to such specific things that I want to blog about and as a result, I have been creating less content.

So, I’ve decided to make a few changes to my blog.

  • I’ll be focusing more on all things nerdy – not just video games. While I still be reviewing games and things of that sort, it’s not going to be my main focus (not that it has been for awhile…) Nor is the video game industry in general. I love video games but there is only so much I can write about them. I love such a wide variety of nerdy things that I think that I can still write about video games as well as comics, books, movies, tv shows, pop culture and fashion and even some cooking. I don’t want to feel bad about not putting out as much video game related content. So, basically, this is going to become more of an all-encompassing blog while maintaining a nerdy theme. 
  • I am going to include more of my photography. Photography is something that I’ve loved for a long time. I have such fond memories of my Grandpa with his camera and even at a really young age it inspired me to be a photographer. He was always so supportive of it. He was an amazing man and mastered the selfie before it was a thing. I regret not really pursuing it… I took photography classes in high school and I switched my major from Art History to Photography but I never took school seriously when I was there so I feel like I really missed an opportunity. While I’m not amazing, I’m pretty dang good and it is something that makes me really happy and I like sharing my pictures with people. I’ve come a long way since I got my first DSL and I have learned a lot but still have a lot to learn.
  • I am going to be participating in a few challenges over the next year and to hold myself accountable, I’ll be posting about them here. Don’t worry, they’re nerdy things! When I write my blogging goals for 2015, I’ll share what specific challenges I’ll be participating in and hopefully, I inspire you to do some of them! 
  • This is a for-profit blog and as such, I will be keeping my monthly sponsors and still be working with various backer programs. My goal has always been to be a full-time blogger and I feel as though that in order to acheive that goal, sponsors and ads are the way to go. I’ve reduced the ads and am considering taking down adsense but I am still on the fence about that. I’ll make the final decision when I start to big move over to wordpress (I’m waiting until I have to pay for my domain again). I would love to hear your opinions about it! 

In reality, not much is changing, I’m just going to feel less guilty about not putting out as much video game content and I’ll be sharing more pictures.

Let me know what you think about ads and sponsors in the comments below! 

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