Monday, April 17, 2017

Big Pop Shop

www.bigpopshop.com
In our household we are always on the go. When I'm not working my day job or making ornaments I'm out helping my husband in his newest adventure. Have you heard of Funko POP!s? Well if you haven't sit back and let me explain this phenomenon that has swept the nation and become a huge passion for my husband.
 
Funko POP! is an American company based right outside of Seattle in Everett, Washington. They were founded in 1998 and started as a bobblehead company. Funko hold hundreds of licenses and the rights to create thousands of characters. They are one of the largest holders of licenses and rights in the pop culture and collectibles industry. Their most widely known for their Funko POP! vinyl figures and Dorbz. Soon they'll even have a 17,000 sqft store open in Everett to shop at and have interactive experiences.
 
So what exactly is a Funko POP!? It's usually a 4 inch, vinyl figure that is designed, painted and created to look like a character in pop culture. Name one of your favorite characters in a movie, a television show, animation, video game etc and they've probably made it. If they haven't made it they probably will just give them time. See what I'm talking about...
I love 80's movies so naturally I own the Sixteen Candles set. It consists of Samantha Baker, Farmer Ted, Long Duck Dong and of course Jake Ryan. But the 80's doesn't stop there... They've got Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Gremlins, The Goonies, E.T., The Breakfast Club, Ferris Buellers Day Off.... the list could go on and on! Don't even get me started on their television show ones or even their Disney and movies collections. You guys they have a Saved by the Bell set...
 
I mean really. Enough said! Aren't they adorable? Ok so now you get the idea and understand what a Funko POP! is. The next question is how did my husband get started in Funko POP!s? A few years ago we were dating the Game of Thrones show started on HBO. Well like every other person we became addicted to the show and the storylines. At the time Funko put out it's first series of Games of Thrones characters. It was six little POPs featuring a few of the main characters. We first saw them on a shelf at Barnes and Noble and we were like that's pretty cool. So we bought the first set and went on our merry way.
(The first POPs he ever bought)
 
Then the next series of Game of Thrones came out and then we started noticing that they were POPing up everywhere of everything you could imagine. Now there's limited editions (known as Chases), and store exclusives that make collecting them like a hunt. You could want a certain POP but have to hunt for it at several stores before you can find it. Their rare and highly sought after. By going out and looking for the POPs you are known to the world as POP Hunting.
 
The first time my husband got a batch of exclusive and hard to find pops he called me and told me he was literally shaking. Like actually physically overcome with excitement that his body shook. I guess you can compare it to the equivalent to meeting a celebrity in person. His passion is POPs. He loves going out and looking for them, he loves collecting them and he loves seeing other people get their POPs. It's become a really big passion for him. So much so that he makes a 120 mile trek to a special store just to see what they've got in stock each week. On a day off it's not unheard of for him to visit several Targets, GameStops, Walmarts and book stores looking for a specific POP.
 
Did you think finding the POP is the hardest part? Oh no... let's talk about the box that they come in. Some people who collect never take them out of the box. They look at the box like it's part of the collectible itself. If it's removed from the box they consider it not as valuable and not complete. Then there's other people who take them out of the box and even throw it away. My husband never takes his out of the box. If he's going to take it out of the box then he buys an extra. The boxes need to be in mint condition. Stores have a tendency to crease the boxes, scuff the corners and sometimes completely collapse them in areas of the box. When you find that POP you've been looking for nothing is worse that grabbing the box and noticing a giant dent in the back of it.
 
Now he's kicked his passion up a notch and started his own business of POPs. It's called Big Pop Shop and it's launching soon. The officially launch date is May 4th but it could launch sooner! He's been getting his stock together, hunting down Chase POPs and finding exclusives to bring to other lovers of POPs. He's even got a few preorder deals available. Preorders are limited but it guarantees that you get your POPs and includes the hard to find Chase....
 




 

If you are a lover of POPs or know someone who has their own collection of Funko POPs or Dorbz then go check out Big Pop Shop where their all available right at your fingertips. No more calling eight stores and sifting through row after row of badly damaged boxes because Big Pop Shop has got your covered.
 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Empire State Building

One of the top iconic buildings in New York City is the Empire State Building. Plus it's featured in two of my favorite movies... Sleepless in Seattle and Home Alone. Since we visited Seattle last October, it was perfect that we were now visiting the Empire State Building. While we were there the top of the ESB was green for St. Patrick's Day. Over the years, the ESB takes on special colors for holidays and special events. When it's not being lit up for certain holidays it's a white color.
 
Here's some of the amazing views from the top. We went to the observation deck that's open to the outside but you can go several floors higher and be enclosed. It was freezing the day we went up but it was totally worth it.




 



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Hip, Hop Goes the Easter Bunny


Can you guys believe it's already April? I sure can't! This year is flying by and before you know it, it'll be time to pull out all of our Christmas decorations. We've been keeping busy with work, vacations and tons of extra projects around the house. Easter has sprung and the pollen is in the air! In our house, we give Easter baskets to each other. I always give one to my mom and to my husband. We've been exchanging them ever since the first year we started dating. This year for some reason he's become hard to buy for! I always ask for little hints during the year at things he might like but recently he hasn't asked for anything that I could add to my lists. While that dilemma continues, I had no problem adding things to my massive wish list.

1. Christmas Village pieces
 
 
 

2. Adidas Shoes.
 
I use to have several pairs of these in the 90's and they were great! They lasted forever. I wish I still had my old pairs. I would rock them now! If my memory serves me correctly, these shoes run a little big so I think I would wear a 5.5

3. Movies.
 
 
 
 
 
I love all of these movies! There's several Hallmark movies that I'm hoping they will put out on dvd!

4. Books.
 
 
 
 
I love to read and these books are some of my favorite series to read. I haven't read any of the Longmire books but I loved the show.

We haven't secured our Easter plans yet but I'm thinking of doing a dinner. Making some dishes and a half of ham. How do you normally celebrate Easter?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Central Park & Times Square

Central Park is massive. You don't realize it until you start to walk it. We arrived in NYC just a day after a large snowstorm hit so the park's ponds were frozen over in most places and snow still covered the majority of the paths and grounds. However, one area was uncovered for people to visit, Strawberry Fields.
 
Strawberry Fields is a tribute to John Lennon and can be found at West 72nd street after a small walk into the park. The area is considered to be a quiet place, a place to think and reflect. On the day that we were there a guitarist was playing Imagine to the pedestrians visiting the spot.
 
 
After we had finished at Central Park we rode the subway to Times Square. While we weren't there to do a lot of shopping we did stop in a few stores. Mainly we wanted to see where the ball always drops on New Years Eve.


While we were in Times Square it began to snow. We knew it was a possibility because we had been checking the weather constantly. When your in a city that is more than 80% walking you constantly check the weather for rain or snow. We were happy that it was snow and not rain.

Once we took a few photos and stopped in a few stores, we started walking along the streets the ten blocks to our next destination... The Empire State Building. The snow had started to turn to a little rain so we were trying to get there as fast as we could walk but we kept getting sidetracked because we saw some really cute animal statues and they were too cute just to walk by and not take some photos.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Cafe Lalo

New York City has some great eats. In fact they have so many it can be hard to choose. One place that I knew we wanted to visit and eat at was Café Lalo.


Café Lalo is the eatery featured in one of my Mother and I's favorite films, You've Got Mail.

Café Lalo is home to one of the most famous scenes in the movie. It's the Café that Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) and her internet friend NY152 agree to meet at for the very first time. Unbeknownst to Kathleen, NY152 does show up by has his friend check her out first. The scene goes on from there but I don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen the movie.

Since You've Got Mail came out in 1998, I'm happy to report that Café Lalo is still open for business. In the restaurant world not many places stay open for decades but this NYC landmark is going strong and is still serving people daily. When I knew we were going to the city, I knew this had to be one of the places we made time to stop at.
 

While they are known for their amazing desserts and cafes, we actually went there for breakfast and it was fantastic. They also had all of their desserts on display and if it hadn't been 9:00 a.m., I would have inhaled a piece of their double chocolate cake I saw in the display case.

Only a short walk from the subway this restaurant is located at 201 West 82nd Street. After you finish eating you can walk the short distance of two blocks to Central Park. That way you'll be burning off some of those calories you just consumed! And for all my fellow You've Got Mail lovers, here's a look at the wallpaper in the bathrooms at Café Lalo...

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Lady Liberty


Another big landmark we wanted to see during our time in New York was the Statue of Liberty. We didn't want to just pass by it on a ferry ride, we wanted to be able to get off the boat, walk around and go inside. Before we set off for New York, we got online and did our research. To go to the Statue of Liberty and to be able to walk around, you need a ticket from the National Park. When going inside there are two different types of tickets- The Crown or the Pedestal. We chose to do the Pedestal which takes you to the bottom of Lady Liberty's sandaled feet.
 
The ferry ride over provides you with some amazing views of the city.
 
Once you begin to get further from the city, Lady Liberty comes into view. The ferry boat actually passes it to park on the far side so you get to see if from all the angles.
 
 
Once you get off the boat and enter the base of the Statue you go through an area that houses the original torch which was on display until the remodel.
 
You have two options on how to get into the pedestal. You can either take the stairs or an elevator and then one flight of stairs. We chose the elevator because we had already walked a lot that day. Once you get to the pedestal entrance you must go outside to see the grounds and the view of the statue from that vantage point.

 
At the pedestal, this is where you would begin the climb to the crown if you chose to do that. We chose not to because it's 200 vertical round steps which you can see the way down. For my husband that's a challenge because he doesn't do well with heights.
 
 


 
We really enjoyed visiting Lady Liberty for a few hours and had a great time. The ferry ride was freezing and the line to get on the ferry to get over to the island was a little crazy but we had a great time!