Touring President James Garfield Memorial in Cleveland, OH

As I was researching things to do I came across Lakeview Cemetery as a popular attraction. I thought it was an unusual destination especially since Cleveland is known for the lively Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but many reviews commented on the spectacular architecture and stainless glass windows so I decided to make a it a pitstop on my Midwest Roadtrip.

James Garfield Memorial Photos

My friend and I drove into the cemetery and headed towards Section 18. While the cemetery was vast and had many elaborate tombstones spread across the plot of land, we found the memorial site fairly easily as it was the tallest building there. There were three floors and two narrow spiral staircases for patrons to climb. The artwork inside and outside were very ornate and because it was a sunny day we were able to see the vibrant colors shine through. My friend and I paid also our respects to the president in the crypt.

James Garfield was our 20th President; however his term was short lived as he was assassinated 6 months into his term. Nevertheless, he was an important figure in history as he was one of the first sitting members of Congress to be elected to the presidency. The exhibition is a great place to visit as it’s both educational and free!

Have you visited Cleveland? What’s a cool attraction you’ve seen?

XOXO,

Rockstar

Cosplaying at the World Premiere of Dark Phoenix at Hollywood, CA

I’m an avid movie goer and average about 5 movies a month; however when I was invited with my x-men cosplay family to attend the World Premiere of Dark Phoenix, I was beyond excited. I didn’t really know what to expect aside from potentially having the opportunity to see some of the cast and see a movie before anyone else. The day was beyond amazing and suffice to say I can now check mark off one of my bucket list items – attend a VIP Screening at the TCL Chinese Theatre!

Shots from the World Premiere

I arrived there with some friends at around 3:30pm to get checked-in for the 6pm red carpet event. There were so many amazing cosplay and I was actually really surprised by how far these cosplayers traveled. One of the Jean Greys few from Ohio with her boyfriend and a genderbend Magneto’s flew all the way from Dublin, Ireland! I sometimes forget that I live in one of the coolest places in the world and only had to drive 2 hours (mostly because of the traffic) to get here. There were ample reporters and press covering the event and you might see me (the only Psylocke there) in a few local and international televised and/or print clips! Some of the media outlets included one from Australia, a Chinese channel, Marvel, Disney etc.

More photos from the Premiere

After the press interviewed a few of the cosplayers and snatched candid footage, the movie cast members arrived! and walked the red carpet. I had the opportunity snap a few selfies with some of the actors including James McAvoy (Professor Xavier), Evan Peters (Quicksilver), and Jessica Chastin (Vuk)  *squeel* and take a group photo of the entire cast before we were moved to the theater to watch the movie!

I really enjoyed the movie and feel that it’s especially important to celebrate all our diverse backgrounds, gifts, and talents. It truly brought people from all corners of the earth and I will treasure this experience forever!

If you could choose your mutant power what would you pick? Obviously I pick psychic!

 

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

Great Scott! What day is it Marty? Visiting Doc Martin’s House in Pasadena, CA

Are you a fan of Back to the Future? Well you’re in luck because Doc Martin’s House actually exists! Officially known as The Gamble House, (4 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena, CA) this beautiful home was designed by architects Charles and Henry Green back in 1908 for David B. Gamble of the Procter & Gamble company.  I had a chance to see it on my trip to Pasadena and it’s definitely very impressive. 

You could take a one hour docent led tour for $15, but I opted to enjoy it from the exterior to admire the details. While many know it as Doc Martin’s house it’s registered as a National Historic Landmark, California Landmark, and museum.

Does anyone else geek out when they see places or things from movies in the flesh? Who’s house would you want to see IRL?

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

The BEST and Updated Birthday Freebie List – 2019 Edition

April is one of my favorite months because it’s my Birth month!! and to top it off many restaurants and businesses offer awesome freebies to celebrate. For two weeks and a half week I redeemed and compiled THE BEST freebies for you to enjoy! Listed in alphabetical order (with hyperlinks!) here are the best 35! Let’s get ready to rumble!!! 😀

AMC (Free Popcorn): AMC Stubs is free to join and you’ll get a free large popcorn. If you’re an AMC A-List or Premiere Member (both are subscription based) you’ll get both a large popcorn ($9.09) and a bonus large drink ($6.29)! Redeemable anytime during your birth month (est. value $15.38)

Arby’s (Free Sandwich with drink purchase): Join Arby’s Insider Program to get a free signature sandwich with a drink purchase. I choose the corned beef reuben ($4.99) and ordered a small fountain drink to qualify. For $2.25 the complete meal was a steal! Must be redeemed within the week of your birthday.

Burntzilla (Free Meal): On the Five Star App Burntzilla (in Irvine) gives patrons a free gold combo which includes a fountain drink, two sliders or mini hot dogs, and a choice of tater tots or french fries. This $10 value must be used a week before your birthday.

From Top to Bottom, Left to Right, : Wienerschnitzel, Arbys, Veggie Grill, Del Taco, Ulta, El Pollo Loco, Luna Grill, and Nothing Bundt Cake

Churned Creamery (Ice Cream): Redeem 1 Free Scoop (through 5 stars) the week before your birthday. I think it expires on your birthday.

Creamistry (Ice Cream):  I believe I signed up at their store for their loyalty program. You get a free Regular Size Ice Cream and it expires within the week of your birthday. (Est value $5.50)

Corner Bakery: (Free Baked Good): This staple never disappoints. Sign up for their eCafe list and the week of your bday you’ll get an email with a special code. I always chose their giant M&M cookie to take home. It expires a week after your birthday. (est. value $1.29?)

Daphnes ($5 off one item): If you sign up for Pita Points loyalty you’ll get $5 to spend on your meal. I picked the Falafel appetizer and paid the difference ($1.07). Expires a month after your birthday

Del Taco (Free Milkshake): Join the Raving Fan Club and the day before you birthday and they’ll send you QR code to redeem a free shake! The coupon expires with 1.5 weeks of your bday. I usually get the strawberry milkshake. Yum! (est. value $3.29)

Denny’s (Free Breakfast Meal): Flash your drivers license the day of your bday to redeem a complimentary grand slam. For my breakfast I picked hash brown, sunny-side up eggs, sausage, and a biscuit. Just be sure to tip! (est. value $9.99)

El Pollo Loco (Free meal!): Join the E-Club and enjoy your choice of “Original Chicken Tostada” or “2 piece fire-grilled chicken meal.” They’ll send you the email on your birthday and ask you to show the code on the El Pollo Loco App.

Flame Broiler (Metro Point): Through the 5 star app, the Flame Broiler in Costa Mesa will give you a bowl of terriyaki beef, chicken or tofu for free. Must be redeemed within 7 days before your birthday, although they may not participate in the future.

From Top to Bottom, Left to Right: Corner Bakery, Hot Topic, Dennys, Flame Broiler, Starbucks, Godiva, and Paderia

Godiva ($10 off purchase): Complimentary $10 for chocolate though they did change their policy and you are no longer able to combine it with other promotions. You can buy three bars of chocolate and pay the difference to use the entire $10 credit.

Habit Grill (Free Burger): Join the CharClub and redeem a free cheeseburger! Expires 3.5 weeks after your birthday (value est. $4.29)

Hot Topic ($5 Birthday Credit): Sign up for Hot Topic’s “Guest List” and earn a $5 Birthday Credit to use within a month of your birthday.  I signed up during my birth month I was also awarded a $5 anniversary credit. During my shopping spree I was able to combine both rewards towards a clearance sale and purchased two Riverdale sport bras for $4.31! Score!! Just be sure to ask the sales associate if there are restrictions during your birth month.

Jamba Juice (Small Smoothie): As a Jamba Insider you can redeem a small smoothie of your choosing. Expires 3.5 weeks from your birthday.

Juice It Up (BOGO Drink): In the Smooth EClub you can choose any drink for this great BOGO. I opted for the Bital Protein Blue Smoothie which tasted awesome and was so photogenic!

Kroft (BOGO Poutine or sandwich): On the 5 star app, you can share two very generously sized poutines. Cheese kurds and french fries? Yes please!

Luna Grill Free Dessert: Sign up for rewards and pick up a free dessert (no purchase necessary!). Expires 10 days after your birthday.

Meet Fresh (Free Mochi): Through the 5 star app you’ll be able to get a sweet treat with toothpicks to share. (est. value $5 )

Makeup Shack ($10 off any Makeup Shack Product): This is a new one that I discovered this year. I absolutely love their fake eyelashes and curated makeup selection. They carry many hard to find brands that I see at the tradeshows as well as their own products. I purchased a new contouring brush and paid the difference. I think about $1.50 or so, and it’s a great brush! You’ll sign up at the store with your phone number!

From Left to Right, Top to Bottom; Jamba Juice, The Makeup Shack, Souplantaion, Togos, Victoria’s Secret/Pink, Mimi’s Cafe, Creamistry

Magnolia Car Wash (Free Car Wash): Valid on your birthday (and I think the day before and after?) and must show id. Be sure to tip! (est value $16.99)

Mimi’s Cafe (Muffin Sundae): Grab a sweet treat at Mimi’s! Expires one week after your birthday and no purchase necessary, although this year I did have some problems with management accepting the email offer because there wasn’t a promo code associated with the email. Tread with caution!

Nothing Bundt Cake (Free Bundlet): Join the E-Club and get a free single serving bundt cake. There are many flavors to choose from and I decided to get the strawberries and cream – yum!

Paderia Bakery (Free Cookie): You may think that redeeming a cookie is no big deal; but this cookie is gigantic and reminds me of Levain Bakery in New York. So ooey and gooey

Pizza Rev (Free Pizza or salad) Sign up for Rev Rewards and you can choose any base including cauliflower (!!!) and add unlimited toppings. It expires a week after your birthday (est value $8.25).

Red Robin (Free Meal): I think this is the best deal of them all. A free gourmet beef or chicken burger plus unlimited fries free FREE! No string attached. Just show them your Red Robin’s Rewards Number (est. value $12.19).

Sephora (Makeup): Sign up to be a Beauty Insider and redeem a free beauty of skincare deluxe sample. For the month of April I picked up a jelly cleanser and cream from Drunk Elephant which will be perfect for my upcoming travels!

Souplantation (Free Meal): Join Club Veg and you will receive coupon for a free lunch with drink or a to-go combo #2 which includes a salad plate, two small soup containers, and a bakery bag (est. value $9.99).

Starbucks (Free Drink): On the app you will get a notification your birthday and a beverage must be redeemed on your birthday.  You can get anything and any size. I picked a Venti Strawberry Acai Refresher with coconut milk.

From Left to Right, Top to Bottom; The Kroft, Sephora, Stonefire Grill, Meet Fresh, AMC, The Habit Grill, Pizza Rev, and Burntzilla

Stonefire Grill (Free Dessert): Sign up for the Loyalty Card in person (the website was weird). Provide the phone number you registered with and you get a free dessert with no purchase necessary. You can select from their heavenly cheesecake or incredible carrot cake. I picked the carrot cake which was moist and absolutely delicious! (est. value $3.69)

Togo (Free Sandwich): This a great lunch option that you can take “to-go” Sorry I had to lol. Expires 10 days after your birthday (est value $9.24).

Ulta (Makeup): Sign up for a free makeup sample during your birth month. For my birth month they were giving out Tarte Lip Stains.

Veggie Grill ($5 Credit): They changed it this year to $5 off an item. I bought _________

Victoria’s Secret (Free Panty w/ purchase):  When you create an account they’ll send you a code for free panty with purchase. During my visit I was able to utilize their $10 sports bra deal and pick up a pair of panties.

Wienerschnitzel (Free chili dog):  Score a wiener dog. Expires a week after your birthday (est value $1.99).

 

If your birthday coming up? Did I miss a birthday freebie? What’s the best freebie out there? Comment below!

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

 

Watching Shazam’s VIP Advanced Movie Screening with Full Cast at Orange, CA

Say my name so my powers may flow through you. The DC Universe, Wondercon, and AMC 30 in Orange, CA partnered together to host a special advanced screening of Shazam! for subscription holders and convention attendees – if you stopped by the DC booth.  (Btw, it’s an awesome movie, so if you haven’t seen it yet, you definitely should! Perfect balance of action and humor and for context: I’m an AMC Stub Hubs member and watch a LOT of movies. I still give this one two thumbs up!)

VIP Treatment!

During that special screening I was among 600 or guests eager to catch a glimpse of the all-star cast. My friends and I waited about an hour and a half before we were given a wristband, which entitled us to a large drink, popcorn, and candy! Sweet! Much of the theater had been occupied by the time we were let in, so my friends and I did have to find single seats.  Thankfully our spots still had a good view to enjoy the movie.

Left to Right: Asher Angel (Billy Batson), Jacky Dylan Grazer (Freddy), David Sandberg (Director), Zachary Levi (Shazam), and Mark Strong (Dr. Sivana)

Once my friends and I were settled with our snacks, Tiffany Smith from the DC Daily began the program and introduced Zachary Levi (Shazam), Mark Strong (Dr. Sivana), Asher Angel (Billy Batson) and Jacky Dylan Grazer (Freddy Freeman) along with the Director David Sandberg. It was so cool hear from the actors who played the characters and immediately watch them in action. And yes Zachary Levi is as charming in person as he is in the movie. *wink*

Which actor would you be most excited to see?

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

Getting up close and personal with the Hollywood Sign – check!

I’ll be honest I hate hiking with a passion. I had a really traumatic experience back when I lived in the East Coast and since then I forbade the “H” word into my vocabulary. Fast forward 8 years – a  group of friends wanted to make a trek up to the Hollywood sign and because I was A) planning to be in the Hollywood area that day B) I needed to differentiate my exercise regime and C) seeing the Hollywood Sign up close and personal was a bucket-list item – it seemed that all the stars aligned for me go for it.

Horses on the trail

Bright and early in the morning the group of us tied our tennis shoes and wore layers of clothes before heading up. While most people hiked on foot, there were a handful who were on horseback which was pretty cool to see.

Made it to the Hollywood Sign!

The 6.5 mile hike (round-trip) is a moderate hike for sedentary folks like myself, and while I probably won’t jump to do this hike again anytime soon I am glad that I did it and can share some cool photos! If you’re planning to hike to the sign – plug in this address (2927 Canyon Drive, Los Angeles, CA). There are two small parking lots, but they do get crowded so I did street parking before you enter the gate.

What’s on your bucket list?

XOXO

Rockstar

Hogs and Kisses from Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, CA

It’s the Year of the Pig and it is lit at the Hsi Lai Temple (3456 Glenmark Dr, Hacienda Heights, CA). Decked out in all things Red and Gold the usually calm and serene Buddhist Temple is a site to see during the weeks of the Lunar New Year. There’s various lanterns strung throughout the temple, and an assortment of pig and zodiac displays for tourists to photograph and enjoy. While I’m not Buddhist I can appreciate the festive and celebratory decorations and the sanctuary is free for all to roam around. My friend also informed me that the temple has a very affordable vegetarian buffet for $8 that’s open to the public. I came after a late dinner, so I’ll definitely need to come back to check it out and hopefully be inspired by other vegetarian options to incorporate into my diet. After all 2019 is the year for a healthy body, mind, and soul.

What kind of changes are you making in 2019?

 

XOXO,

Rockstar

 

Ringing in the Holidays at Macy’s 71st Annual Great Tree Lighting Ceremony at Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta, GA

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches…  There’s nothing more magical than the moment when you trim a tree then light it up, yet the Macy’s 71st Annual Great Tree Lighting Ceremony they did that and so much more.

The evening tree lighting extravaganza had a fun filled program complete with special performances and two stages in the Macy’s parking lot.  The annual event was hosted by anchors Jovita Moore and Zach Klein of Channel 2 WSB-TV and filmed live to kick-off the holidays!

Francesca Battistelli, Adrienne Bailon Houghton & husband Israel Houghton, and Kyla Jade

There were many special performances from celebrity singers including Adrienne Bailon Houghton (previously Disney Cheetah Girl) and husband Israel Houghton, Francesca Battistelli (popular Christian singer), Russell Dickerson (handsome country superstar), and Kyla Jade (“The Voice” contestant on Team Blake). They sang holiday classics as well as music from their albums. Additionally the Macy’s All-Star Choir sang a few pieces and Santa also made a festive visit!

Macy’s Tree Lighting

Once the stage performances commenced fireworks lit up the sky laying the perfect backdrop for the lighting of the Macy’s Christmas Tree. It was a magical evening and it really highlighted the joys of this wonderful season.

How do you kick off your winter festivities?

 

 

XOXO.

Rockstar

College Touring at Emory University in Atlanta, GA and New Series Announcement!

As a school counselor one of my primary roles is to help students with college admissions, and there’s no better way to learn about a university than by signing up for an official campus tour. I went ahead and signed up for an info session and guided walking tour for Emory University, an Ivy League of the South.

Emory University Campus Photos 

There were so many prospective students and families eager to learn about this prestigious institution and at the end of the information session we were separated into smaller groups and a current upperclassman. We were guided around the campus and I loved learning about the traditions, and various free resources available to students and staff – one of which was free admission to the Michael C Carlos Museum, a premier museum focused on ancient artifacts directly on campus! My tour guide commented that in the past the museum housed a King Tut collection. So cool!

More Emory University 

The university places great emphasis on collaboration and sustainability, while also upholding academic excellence and a well-rounded education. The architecture evoked a New England feel and I loved walking around seeing the Fall foliage. And guess what, I’m kicking off a new series – Adventures in Atlanta!

Which Atlanta posts are you most eager to read? Wandering Wednesday or Foodie Fridays?

XOXO,

Rockstar

I Like Laika – FREE interactive exhibit outside SDCC

While most of the San Diego Comic Con was up and runnin’ on Wednesday (SDCC Preview Night), I was among the first guests to enter the Laika Live Experience – a FREE exhibit in the Gaslamp District.

Laika Exhibit

Upon waiting in line my friends and I were handed a fan with a character as well as a headband with the characters iconic headdress (I choose the helmet for Kubo) and we were seated to watch a short video regarding the movies. For my readers unfamiliar with the Laika, they’re known for handcrafted stop-motion animation and stunning visual effects. They swap out heads to mimic different expressions, but at the end of the day it takes hours to create a scene that lasts a couple of minutes. Whew!

Hot on set!

They also recreated a few life-size versions of certain scenes, but don’t let this comfy lookin’ couch fool you, it’s as hard as a rock. So deceptive! And my hinny was in great pain, but anything for the shot! lol

Figurines from the exhibit

I can’t say that I know the franchise all that well, but I am confidently impressed by the patience and care to detail these artists put in creating these features. During the exhibit the artist who worked on the movie showed us techniques and told us how they recorded people doing certain tasks and would emulate those actions with the characters. One artist informed us that his running style was used for one of the mother characters.

My friends who attended last year said that this was even bigger and better than last – who will check this exhibit out in 2019?

 

 

XOXO,

Rockstar