Thanks to HGTV, Pinterest, and YouTube, the DIY movement is stronger than ever, inspiring countless home crafters, cooks, decorators, and fashionistas.
Lifestyle blogger Monica Delmonico stands out from this crowd, putting a geek twist on classic home decor, baking, and crafting projects at Popcorner Reviews, a DIY haven for fans of Marvel, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Disney and other franchises, from Pokemon to Game of Thrones.
After dreaming of launching her own blog for many years, Monica decided to put away her fears of being judged by her Muggle (non-geek) friends and finally did it. Styling herself as a down-to-earth, enthusiastic, and approachable “geek Martha Stewart,” she offers more than just DIY guidance, seeking to empower women to embrace their fandom love.
If you’re interested in whipping up your own Infinity Gauntlet Pie, Captain Marvel Christmas ornaments, Hold the Door Hanger, or Beware of the Porg Welcome Mat, you’re going to want to head over to popcornerreviews.com immediately.
You’ll also find info about the latest trailers and TV and movie releases, plenty of geek chic style inspiration, party planning tips, and lots of printable stencils and other handy DIY aids.
Armed with a passion for pies, PEZ, and movie soundtracks and assisted by a husband who buys her Infinity Gauntlets and an adorable direwolf-in-training named Anzu, Monica is building a refreshingly accessible geek DIY empire that’s more about joy than perfection.
Read on. You’re sure to gather some great ideas from all the fun pics in this post.
You’re a “geek chic” lifestyle blogger who shares extremely creative, geeky DIY projects and recipes on your website, Popcorner Reviews. You also review and write about geek fashion, movies, fandoms, and more. When did you launch your blog and what prompted you to do it?
First off, thank you! It has been such a fun, exciting experience to start and manage my own geek blog. Popcorner Reviews officially turned 2 on May the Fourth! While it’s a coincidence that my blog’s anniversary shares the day with one of my favorite Star Wars celebrations, I can’t say that I mind.
But back to my origin story … I had always thought about creating a blog of some sort, but I was intimidated to do so for a long time. Finally I got over my fear of what my non-geeky friends would think or say and I launched Popcorner Reviews, a geek chic lifestyle blog where I share fun DIYs (like Star Wars welcome mats), recipes (like Infinity Stone cupcakes), fashion ideas (like Star Wars flower crowns), and party planning tips (like Harry Potter brunches). As a geek blogger, I love to craft ideas from my favorite fandoms (too many to name!) and share ways you can infuse everyday geek living in your own life.
Since I’ve joined the geek blogger community, I’ve met so many great geeks — many are women. Which brings me to the underlying mission of my blog, to empower other women who are geeks (either inwardly or outwardly) and encourage them to embrace what makes them happy. For so long I felt like fandoms were for men or that I would appear childish to be a late 20-something who still loves Harry Potter. Well, guess what? It’s a great time to be a geek adult. And if you’re happy, that’s what matters.
Have you always been a geeky DIYer and baker/cook? When did you first begin combining these things?
My blog opened up a whole new creative outlet for me! I’ve always loved to bake and craft, but it has been so much more fun putting a geeky twist on these things. Truth be told, I initially thought my blog would feature reviews on movies and TV shows, however, I quickly learned that I am more of a fandom “cheerleader” vs. a critic.
Now, my blog has evolved to feature ways you can be a nerdy homemaker — recipes, fashion, home decor, and other DIYs. My favorite thing to do is to find something that is trending and make it geeky. A recent example would be my take on a spring welcome mat — anyone else love porgs?
One of the goals of your blog is to show fans how they can “infuse everyday geek living” into their own lives. What does this look like in your life?
I’m not lying when I say I really am a geek at heart. First, let’s talk fashion. Even when I go to the office, I love to find ways to add at least one nod to my geek interests. Whether that be a pin, a subtle geeky sweater, or geeky nail art, being a geek doesn’t have to be an entire production. There are so many ways to add a nod to your favorite fandom, and the best part is when another geek sees it and you automatically get each other!
Everyday geek living also means things like baking or home décor — there are so many ways to spin those everyday activities in a geek way and it’s one of my favorite things to do. Kinda like being a geeky Martha Stewart. A recent example would be my Lord of the Rings canvas quote signs — subtle, but geeky.
Why do you think fandom seems to be evolving more and more from simply a hobby to a lifestyle?
Easy — it’s because all of the kids who grew up loving Star Wars, Pokémon, Dragon Ball Z, and Harry Potter “grew up” and didn’t want to ditch their favorite fandoms just because they became an “adult”! Fandoms like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings have been a part of my life since I was young, and I am nowhere near ready to leave those in the past! (Once a Slytherin, always a Slytherin.)
Pop culture, in general, has also evolved, thanks to social media and the internet (for better or worse) to offer more opportunities for people to be exposed to trending topics (think of Game of Thrones these last few seasons) and has allowed people to connect and engage on geek topics more than they had ever been able to before.
Marvel, Harry Potter, and Star Wars are a huge focus of your blog, as well as Game of Thrones and Disney. What are some of your other favorite fandoms?
There are too many to name! I also love Lord of the Rings, LOST, Wonder Woman, Twin Peaks, and Stranger Things!
Where do you get your ideas/inspiration for your DIY projects?
Many times I see a cute item at a store or a standard recipe or craft. I then ask myself, how can I make that geeky? Trust me, a touch of geek can be added to anything!
Take these dollar store candles turned into Great Hall (wannabe floating) candles!
What about your recipes?
Let me tell you a little secret. I LOVE to bake … but I don’t have a huge sweet tooth! I often make pies, cupcakes, cakes inspired by a fandom, and then I take them in for my co-workers to eat. Usually my treats are a hit, but once in a while I bring something in that must be a little too nerdy and it intimidates everyone, especially if it is a decorated pie. No one wants to cut the design!
I do want to mention that one thing I love about being a geek food blogger is getting to meet and learn from others in the same space. One of my favorite geek food blogs is Geeks Who Eat! Their food is photographed so well and their ideas are so creative! They’ve definitely inspired me to take food blogging more seriously.
You have a soft spot, in particular, for geeky pies. What are some of the pies you’ve created? Why do you love making these so much?
You’ve definitely seen a trend in my posts lately! My first-ever geeky pie was a Death Star pumpkin pie last holiday season. It was a lot of fun to make, but up until recently, I hadn’t tried my hand at any other pies. That is, not until I started following @ThePieous on Instagram. Her pies have been a HUGE inspiration to me and I have learned so many great techniques from her magnificent creations. Truly, I am stunned by each pie she makes. I can only hope to one day be half as good!
But since I started telling secrets in my last answer, let me tell you one more. Pies are SO much easier to decorate than cakes and cookies, which often require icing work. Let’s just say that royal icing and I aren’t exactly friends yet. But with pies, I cheat a little and use my Cricut cutting machine to cut templates for my pie designs. The rest is simple. Cut the shapes of your design out of pie dough and “paint” it with food coloring. Definitely my preferred decorating method over royal icing.
There have been some huge developments recently in some of your main personal fandoms. Let’s start with Marvel. What did you think about Avengers: Endgame?
10/10! I absolutely loved it. I laughed. I laugh/cried. I cried. I really cried. For me, it was the perfect end to an era and a great sendoff to some of my favorite Marvel characters. I can’t wait to see how the MCU evolves but, man, I don’t know how they can top the original Avengers.
Star Wars is also having a massive year with new developments on an almost daily basis. What forthcoming or new Star Wars projects are you most looking forward to?
Honestly, I’m not sure how many more “conclusions” I can take this year! First it was Endgame, then Game of Thrones, next the Rise of Skywalker! My anxiety level is at an all-time high, but the new Star Wars trailer has me hooked. I cannot wait to see Rey in the next film — she is one of my favorite Star Wars characters (ever!). I’ve still got some planning to do, but I’m hoping to kickoff a Star Wars saga marathon and share recipes and DIYs by all of the movies, maybe even a themed watch party!
Like the rest of us, you’re probably still reeling from the last few episodes of Game of Thrones. Thoughts? Feelings?
Gosh, my heart is broken! I’ll admit, I have yet to read the books (please don’t judge!), so my love of Game of Thrones comes purely from the show. And in the last year, I’ve re-watched the entire series two times through … that might not sound like a lot, but trust me, that’s a lot of Game of Thrones!
I love the characters, their stories, the soundtrack, and the unexpected plot twists. I’ll admit, the final season wasn’t my favorite of all of them, but now I’m left asking myself what in the world I am going to watch now? Honestly, I’ll probably just re-watch from season one in a couple months.
There’s a ton of fun, really varied content on Popcorner Reviews, which would be impressive enough if you were blogging full-time, but you also have a day job. Wow. How do you manage it?
If I could just get my hands on the Time Stone, I would be better off! For now, Popcorner Reviews is my fun hobby and my stress reliever. My geek husband (he might not call himself that, but he definitely is), has always encouraged me to work on my blog and I wouldn’t be able to do it without him. Whenever I’m down or questioning if any of it is worth it, he is always the first to tell me to keep going. (He also gets to taste test everything, so now I’m wondering if he is using my blog for his gain.) But truly, my blog brings me happiness and I take pride in what it has become.
Speaking of cool, geeky husbands, he gave me the most amazing Valentine’s Day bouquet this year … in an INFINITY GAUNTLET!!! (He’s a keeper.)
The blog looks so fun and polished, but I’d be interested to know what kind of brainstorming, research, work, and other efforts go into creating your content and posts. What’s the most challenging part of maintaining the blog?
My top challenges— time, patience, and photography! If I could only have five more hours each day! Anyone else agree?
Patience is also not my strongest characteristic. I LOVE when recipes and DIYs come out perfect the first time, I mean, who doesn’t? But honestly, when they don’t, I do give up on them a lot of times. It just drives me crazy to have to spend all that time on a recipe a second time around, especially when time is pretty limited to begin with.
And last, but not least, photography. Man, photography makes or breaks my posts. I started my blog with just an iPhone. And while I really do think that is all you need to start a blog, I’ve been trying to kick up my photography a notch or two. I’ve recently been given some stand lights and invested in a camera. I’m still learning to use these tools correctly, but I do feel they’ve upped the quality of my posts!
Do you do a lot of collaborations? What have been some of your favorites?
I’ve had a great time meeting and working with other bloggers who have also become my friends. For all things Star Wars, I’ve loved my past partnerships with fellow geek girls and Star Wars fans Jenmarie from Anakin and His Angel and Ana from LeGeeky Liife. We celebrated Galentine’s Day in Star Wars style this year.
I love talking Harry Potter with Vicky from Vicky Hearts TV — she’s a Hufflepuff and I’m a Slytherin, but we made it work in our Wands at the Ready collab! And for all things geeky food, I love baking and taste testing new recipes with Sarah, one half of Geeks Who Eat. We got spooky this Halloween with a Hocus Pocus collab with some of our favorite food bloggers.
What’s it like behind the scenes when you’re working on this stuff? Are there DIY/recipe fails that never see the light of day?
Oh my gosh — yes! I’ve been toying with the idea of sharing a “blooper” post because some of the attempted recipes are laughable. As I said before, I don’t have the best patience! If it takes two tries, it’s iffy if I’ll try it again.
Also, let me just throw it out there that all of the pretty photos are taken in the clean area of my kitchen. Behind me are a lot of dirty pots, baking sheets, dish towels … it’s definitely not all picture perfect!
I love that you also review and blog about geek fashion. What do you enjoy most about this form of self-expression?
It’s such an easy way to express my love for my favorite fandoms. Dressing with a geek twist honestly makes me happy. For a long time, I felt like I should limit the amount of geek apparel I bought and even it out with “normal” clothes. Well, let’s just say I’ve fully embraced the geek. If I’m not in my dress clothes during office hours, why wouldn’t I wear a Doctor Strange sweater or carry around a dragon backpack? *DRACARYS*
I read that you are also into soundtrack music. This is something I haven’t really discussed in an interview before, although I know a lot of geeks share this passion. What do you enjoy about listening to movie/TV soundtracks and what are some of your go-to soundtracks?
Soundtracks bring a movie (or show) to life! I hardly ever listen to the radio or vocal music anymore. Instead, it’s either a podcast or soundtrack music for me. Whether I’m driving, working out, or working with my headphones in, I love to listen to soundtrack music and replay the scene in my mind.
My favorites? Anything by John Williams is an instant classic — Star Wars, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and the original Jurassic Park soundtrack … need I say more? Next, you’ve got to listen to Alan Silvestri — think Avengers, Forrest Gump, and Back to the Future. (If you haven’t listed to “Portals” from the Endgame trailer, do yourself a favor and listen to it now!)
Ramin Djawadi and the Game of Thrones soundtracks are all great, but if I have to pick a few favorite tracks from the show, I’d definitely put “Mhysa” and “The Wars to Come” right at the top. Tyler Bates’ Guardians of the Galaxy scores are epic. Hans Zimmer’s Man of Steel, Interstellar, Gladiator, and Dark Knight scores are legendary. Michael Giacchino’s Star Trek, LOST, and Doctor Strange soundtracks. Howard Shore’s LOTR and the Hobbit scores … I could go on and on.
I want to hear more about your PEZ collection, which dates back to your childhood. Why PEZ?
Great question! And I’m not entirely sure! If I had to guess, it was a cheap item to buy at the checkout line that morphed into a collection. Soon, my family members were all buying them for me and my collection grew quickly. Now I’ve got over 200 PEZ.
I used to keep them in several shoeboxes under my bed — sad, I know, but if you tried to stand them up on a shelf and knocked one over, they all crashed liked dominoes! One year for Christmas, my mom gave me a custom-built PEZ stand! It now stands in our home office, aka our collector’s room and, amazingly, I don’t have enough slots to house all of my PEZ!
My favorite PEZ are definitely my Star Wars dispensers. They range from the original saga to the prequels to the current series. I have them all, I think, but I am sad to share that they never released a Padme/Queen Amidala PEZ. Still crossing my fingers that she makes it to PEZ reality one day.
I also want to hear about your adorable Shiba Inu who has his own Instagram account.
Anzu! He is absolutely the star of the show at our house. We welcomed him into our home almost three years ago and I cannot imagine our lives without him. Most people call him a fox, doge, or the meme dog. He’s a cutie and sometimes he acts more like a cat than a dog. (He hates baths and will only let you pet him if he wants petted.) He also loves to make cameos (expected and unexpected) in my blog.
As a woman, is there anything you’d like to see change in the world of fandoms and geek culture?
I want more women and girls to feel comfortable embracing their geek side. Fandoms are for everyone, not just for men. If you like something, embrace it, and don’t apologize or feel ashamed of it.
Do you want to tease anything exciting you have coming up on Popcorner Reviews?
2019 is a big year for movies and shows! Right now I’m cooking up plans for some cool Stranger Things, Star Wars, and Spider-Man posts, but I’m always open to reader suggestions! If there is something you’d like to see more of, let me know.
If readers want to support you and the blog, what’s the best way they can go about that?
What are your future goals, hopes, and dreams for Popcorner Reviews and your blogging career?
I would love to one day evolve my blog, or some form of it, to a full-time geek adventure. I’m passionate about creating geek content and celebrating my favorite fandoms with my community, and I’d love to share my ideas with a broader audience. You never know, maybe one day I really will be the geeky Martha Stewart.