My August 2015 in Review: Blogger Bashes, Charity Events, Restaurant Openings and Concerts

As we wind down into fall, I look back at August and realize how crazy busy I was all month. Lots of events, restaurant openings, and more.

My Month in Review - August 2015 by Michelle Snow

I kicked off the month on August 1 with the annual Give Kids the World Blogger Bash. GKTW is a great charitable organization that operates a resort in Kissimmee for kids with life threatening illnesses.

During the Blogger Bash, we got to find out more about what they do and how we can help. We also got to check out the new on-site Town Hall building and the new cafeteria. You can read more about the Give Kids the World Blogger Bash over at CitySurfing Orlando.

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Fear The Walking Dead Debuts With 10+ Million But Was It Worth the Hype?

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m a fan of the zombie genre. So it was with great anticipation that I sat down to watch last night’s premiere of AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead” series.

Fear the Dead - cast photo

This morning they said the 90-minute episode made television history by becoming the #1 series premiere in cable television history for total viewers and all key demos, with 10.1 million live/same day views.

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Movie Review: American Ultra is Not So Ultra

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Note: While most of the writing on this blog is by me (Michelle), my friend Chantal Roberts wrote this review. All opinions are hers. Enjoy!

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American Ultra

My partner in crime and I had the chance to see American Ultra, which stars Jessie Eisenberg as the stereotypical stoner guy, Mike, who has an equally typical stoner girlfriend, Phoebe (Kristen Stewart).

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A Conversation with John Corabi of The Dead Daisies

If you like the harder side of rock, then you’re familiar with musician John Corabi.

John Corabi of The Dead Daisies; photo by Michelle Snow

Corabi first popped into the public eye in the early 90s when he was tapped to be lead vocalist in Mötley Crüe, following the band’s split with Vince Neil. He recorded the self-titled Mötley Crüe album in 1994, followed by the EP Quaternary. From there, Corabi has been a member of several other bands, such as Union, ESP, and Ratt, as well as performing as a solo artist.

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Starbucks Brings Back Its Pumpkin Spice Latte With a Change

Fall is almost upon us, which means it’s also almost time for Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte (aka PSL) to return. And when it does, it will be different.

Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte

On their blog, Starbucks revealed this week that the beloved PSL will now be made with real pumpkin and without caramel coloring. For color, the new drink will add fruit and vegetable juices and continue to include annatto, a food coloring derived from seeds.

Here is the full list of ingredients for the 2015 version of the PSL:

  • Espresso
  • Milk
  • Pumpkin Spice Flavored Sauce (Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains 2% or Less of Fruit and Vegetable Juice for Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto (Color), Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Salt)
  • Whipped Cream (Light Whipping Cream [Cream, Mono and Diglycerides, Carrageenan])
  • Starbucks Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Citric Acid)
  • Pumpkin Spice Topping (Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Clove)

The nutrition facts will stay largely the same. The new recipe will add one gram of sugar to a small — or “Tall” — beverage, but it will still have 300 calories.

Wonder if it will affect the taste – maybe a more pumpkin flavor? I guess we’ll find out when the Pumpkin Spice Latte returns for its 12th year to your local Starbucks.

No word on when that will be, but last year, it started appearing around Labor Day in September.

Orlando Bloom Reteams with Johnny Depp for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

During Disney’s movie panel at the D23 Expo, it was announced that Orlando Bloom will reprise his role as Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Orlando Bloom will reprise his role as Will Turner in POTC

For those that remember, at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Will was forced to assume command of the Flying Dutchman and serve a ten year exile from dry land and leave behind his new wife, Elizabeth. In the post-credits scene, Will returned a decade later to meet Elisabeth and their son.

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Chris Hemsworth Gets a Uniform in Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters

This week we got our first look at Chris Hemsworth as Kevin in the upcoming reboot of Ghostbusters by Paul Feig.

The cast of Paul Feig's Ghostbusters

Now, the movie already has a stellar cast with Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Kristen Wiig as the supernatural crime fighters. Above they are seen wearing their snazzy ghostbusting uniforms.

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First Star Wars: Rogue One Cast Photo Revealed at #D23 Expo 2015

It’s never too early to rev up the hype machine for a big movie, and this past weekend at the D23 Expo 2015, Lucasfilm revealed the cast for Star Wars: Rogue One, along with the first cast photo.

Star Wars: Rogue One

During the Saturday announcement, it was revealed that joining the already announced Felicity Jones as a member of the Rebel Alliance will be Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Jiang Wen, and Donnie Yen. Also confirmed were actors Forest Whitaker, Ben Mendelsohn, and Mads Mikkelsen, though their roles weren’t given.

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Book Review – Star Wars: Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp

The Star Wars novel Lords of the Sith by author Paul S. Kemp is one of the better novels from the new Star Wars universe that I’ve read in a while.

Star Wars novel Lords of the Sith by author Paul S. Kemp

Set in the Star Wars timeline between the movie Revenge of the Sith and the novel Tarkin, the Lords of the Sith story is set on and in the space around the plane Ryloth, home of the Twi’leks.

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On the One Year Anniversary of My Cancer Surgery

I don’t often talk about myself on this blog, but I will today because it’s the one-year anniversary of my cancer surgery.

I am a survivor. I intend to stay that way.

On July 22, 2014, around 1pm, I arrived at Florida Hospital to prep for my surgery. I remember feeling extremely nervous, but I had confidence in my surgeon, Dr, Brudie. As I mentioned before she’s a rockstar when it comes to this kind of robotic surgery, so I knew I was in good hands.

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Book Review: Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht Offers Mentorship in Book Form

In less than 300 pages, Aliza Licht, a global fashion PR executive and twitter phenom, offers a great primer for starting or honing your career in her book, “Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media.

Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht

Thankfully her tips and advice are more concise than her wordy title, and they are interwoven with personal anecdotes about her career path in the fashion industry. She even got designer Donna Karan to pen the foreword of the book.

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Dining Review: A1A Ale Works in St. Augustine, Florida

This past Sunday, my friend Joan and I made a day trip up to St. Augustine. Our primary goal was to see one of our favorites, Bryan Adams, in concert at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, but we figured we’d go early and try out one of their restaurants.

A1A Ale Works in St Augustine

My connection at the St. Augustine CVB recommended A1A Ale Works as a restaurant to try, citing their craft brews and water-side dining. The restaurant is actually upstairs in a converted building on the corner next to the historic Bridge of Lions, with a bar area downstairs.

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Rocking Out to Bryan Adams at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on June 28

Last Sunday I had the chance to check out Bryan Adams in concert up in St. Augustine with my friend Joan, and we both thought it was one of the best shows we’d seen in quite a while.

Bryan Adams Reckless 30 Tour

Adams is currently touring in support of the 30th anniversary of his pivotal album, Reckless, and the majority of the show was comprised of him playing the tracks from it.

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Book Review: Scott Sigler Crafts Great YA Sci-Fi Tale in ‘Alive: Book One of the Generations Trilogy’

In his new novel, author Scott SIgler weaves a gripping sci-fi tale titled Alive: Book One of the Generations Trilogy.

 Alive: Book One of the Generations Trilogy by Scott Sigler

Aimed at the Young Adult market, Alive tells the adventures of a group of teenagers who wake up in coffins, with no knowledge of who they are or how they got trapped.

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I Should Have Bought A Lottery Ticket

Yesterday was just one of those days that luck was so going my way that I should have bought a lottery ticket.

be positive

First I was notified that I had won a ticket to IZEAFest in October from GottaGetBlogging.com. I had entered their twitter contest asking what my blogging superhero name would be. I said “zengrrlenator” – a play on my blog name.

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