Book Review: The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs

Sam Maggs has earned considerable geek cred as an Associate Editor for The Mary Sue, so she knows first hand what it’s like to be a feminist fangirl in today’s world.

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs
Her new book, The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy, reflects her knowledge and experience, and delves into a variety of topics, including the lingo and terms of fandoms, how to meet fellow nerdy friends, reading and writing fanfic, and even interviews with other prominent fangirls.


Ojai Valley Inn & Spa Debuts New Signature Restaurant and Adult Pool

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, California, has made a number of recent updates to the property that are worth noting.

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa - Indigo Pool

Earlier this summer, the resort unveiled a new blue-hued outdoor oasis called Indigo Pool & Bar, which features 10 regular cabanas, along with a larger VIP cabana.


Enter to Win a Star Wars: The Force Awakens Star Destroyer Strike Game #ForceFriday

It’s #ForceFriday, and thanks to the awesome folks at Wonder Forge, we have one copy of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Star Destroyer Strike Game to giveaway.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Star Destroyer Strike Game

In this game, strategy is needed to win. Advance your Resistance heroes toward safety, but move fast—the Star Destroyer Finalizer is on your tail. The spinning starship of the dreaded First Order can aim in any direction, and you may be in the line of fire! Bounce the beam off the mirrored deflector shield toward your enemies, and evade the surprise laser blasts. It’s fast-moving, family fun in a galaxy far, far away.


I’m Going to Mars! Or at Least My Name Is… #JourneytoMars

If you’re a fan of NASA and its journeys into the cosmos, then you’ll understand why the geek me is excited to be going to Mars.

NASA InSight Journey to Mars

Or at least my name will.


Got a 4th Grader? Get a Free National Park Pass for the Family

In advance of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the organization is giving all 4th graders and their families free admission for a year to all national parks.

National Park Service's 100th anniversary

Announced by President Obama earlier this year, the Every Kid in a Park initiative was formed to help get children to experience the great outdoors and our national parks.


The Force Awakens Worldwide as Star Wars Launches Global Toy Unboxing Event Today!

If you can’t wait to see what Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys will be released, then you’ll want to clear some time out of your schedule today for the world’s first-ever global live toy unboxing event.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens global live toy unboxing event

Unfolding over 18 hours in 15 cities and 12 countries, the event will see highlights from the range of epic merchandise revealed in a rolling New Year’s Eve style celebration featuring top digital stars from the Maker Studios network.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.