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

The FREE Entertainment Resource Capitol of the World is…

*Drumroll*… the library!!

I recently started to go to my local library on a weekly basis and as an educator so I picked up a few books to learn more about students with special needs. It’s always good to sharpen your skills and of course knowledge is power!

reading rocks dvd rentals

But… did you know that in the county libraries you can rent dvds? I somehow knew this, but it only hit me recently that this means that I DON’T HAVE TO PAY FOR MOVIES! WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING?!

For the Orange County Public Library system, patrons can borrow movies for up to a week  and return the item to the same or any of the 30 branches in the system. However, given the nature of the exchange, the movie selection is a bit more sparse and they tend to be older movies – think 80’s, 90’s (which didn’t bother me, but I can see some patrons being disappointed) .

Some other library (such as the El Segundo Library in Los Angeles) has an amazing dvd collection that’s reminiscent of a mini Blockbuster or Hollywood Video, but they charge $1.50 for a 2 day rental – still better than getting one from Redbox or going to the theatre to see a film and the money goes to buy new dvds for the libraries collection.

What’s one of your favorite frugal activities that can help you save money? Comment below!

XOXO

Rockstar

Photos and List of Birth Month Freebies!

060314 Birthday Freebie 5Who doesn’t love free? I certainly do and when it’s your birthday you bet that you have ample opportunities to maximize special perks just for being born! Some items are date specific (meaning you have to redeem it on your birthday), but many can be redeemed anytime during your birth week or birth month. Check out my list!

Entertainment

Medieval Times: So here’s the catch, you cannot make a reservation online, you must do it in person. Also, I was told that you can redeem it anytime during your birth week/month? Though I did it on my birthday

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Food

Daphnes: You get $5 to spend! I got a BBQ Flatbread. Sign up here. ttp://www.daphnesgreekcafe.com/enroll-now.html

Denny’s: You get a free original grand slam or you can build your own!  No sign up necessary, just show up and tell them it’s your birthday. Valid on your birthday.

Del Taco: Just for signing up you will get two chicken soft tacos and on your birthday you will get a premium shake (choices of vanilla, strawberry, or chocolate). You will need to sign up at least 48 hours in advance since they tend to process their requests slowly. Sign up for their fan club here. http://www.deltaco.com/connect.html

Farrell’s Ice Cream: No sign up necessary! You just show up! The birthday boy or girl will get an ice cream sundae and a parade of servers tooting some variation of a birthday song for the special person.

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Godiva: Sign up at get $10 to spend during your birth month! I bought three bars of chocolate! Mmm… chocolate https://www.godiva.com/register

Red Robin: You can get any free burger (excludes premium burger) plus fries anytime during your birth month! Just show them your rewards club number and sign up here. https://royalty.redrobin.com/

Wienerschnitzel: Free chili dog!  Fan club sign up here http://wienerschnitzel.fbmta.com/members/UpdateProfile.aspx?Action=Subscribe&InputSource=W

Veggie Grill: Free Entrée for your birth week! I didn’t get the chance to use this one but their entrees are healthy and tasty. Sign up here! http://veggiegrill.fbmta.com/members/UpdateProfile.aspx?Action=Subscribe&InputSource=W

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Shopping

DSW: Sign up to get $5 to spend. Now you’re probably thinking what can you get for $5 at a shoe store. Well…. I bought a pair of socks and they are adorable. Booya!

Sephora: Sign up to be a Beauty Insider and you will get a free makeup sample during your birth month. This year I got a sample size lipstick and mascara from Make-Up-Forever

https://www.sephora.com/profile/beautyInsider/

Ulta: Sign up for a free makeup sample during your birth month. For my birth month they were giving out Calvin Klein mascara.

 

 

I will admit I spent like 3 days redeeming all these freebies and it’s actually a lot of work, but I’d have it no other way.  What birthday (week/month) freebies do you enjoy? Comment away!

 

 

XOXO,

Rockstar