May the Fourth 2017

Boy, has life been busy. School, school, school; it’s getting old.

Anyway, Star Wars! 40th anniversary year! Last week my mom and I were in Disney, where I ran my first half marathon. But not just any marathon- not even just a Disney marathon…It was the Star Wars Dark Side half!

It actually was very fun. The running part is relatively easy when you stop for pictures with Stormtroopers, and I was motivated knowing that Darth Vader was at the finish line. We got pictures with Kylo Ren (who is actually very intimidating, even when it’s just a photo-opt), Captain Phasma, both classic Stormtroopers and First Order ones, Chewbacca, and even some Jawas and Tuskin Raiders. It was very cool. I felt a galaxy far, far away. 

And yes, that Stormtrooper totally photobombed our picture!

Unfortunately, today May 4th falls on a Thursday, which means no party 😔 And I don’t have enough time this weekend to make the Star Wars desserts I’ve been wanting dying to make, so double bummer.

But there’s no reason why I can’t make the desserts next week…

If I have time, I will. For now, I’ll just settle for watching the movies to celebrate.

That’s what my sisters and I have been doing. We are in the middle of a Star Wars marathon. Technically, marathons are watching the movies in one shot, but life gets in the way and it’s apparently not a good idea to watch 16 hours of TV straight. So over the course of a week, my sisters and I have polished off Episodes I – VI. This weekend will see the last two movies of the Saga, The Force Awakens and Rogue One. And we’ll do it again this December, before Episode VIII The Last Jedi comes out.

I love rewatching the movies, even the prequels. There were so many things that I missed, scenes that I laugh way too hard at now. Like the scene in RotS, where Yoda goes to confront Sidious, and the Red Guards are prepared to take care of Yoda, but the little  Jedi Master just waves his hand a bit nonchalantly and Force-flings the guards into the wall. I probably re-winded that scene at least five times.

Watching the movies again made it even harder to choose a favorite. I can’t! I have a favorite character (Darth Vader, hands down; it’s not even fair to the other characters how much I love Vader), but I can’t choose a favorite movie. What’s your favorite? Or do you have a difficult time choosing too?

Have a happy May the Fourth!

PS: does anyone else celebrate Revenge of the Fifth too?


Day of the Eleventh Doctor

Now that Whole30 is over and out of the way, let’s have some fun!!

Yesterday, April 3rd, was Day of the Eleventh Doctor. I apologize for being late to the party, but 12 hours late is better than 12 years…

Hopefully no one needs four psychiatrists because of my late post.
Anyway, I’ve been looking forward to Day of the Eleventh Doctor on April 3rd ever since I read about it on some nerd blog. I’ve been thinking about what I could make to celebrate my favorite regeneration. Two of the ideas I tossed around were homemade TARDIS self-destruct buttons (A.K.A jammie dodgers) and blue velvet cupcakes with fez and bow tie decorations. But I wanted to do something big. Something I’ve never done before. True, I’ve never made any of the above, but that’s besides the point. I wanted to make a cake.

And not just any cake, of course. A TARDIS cake. 

I said ‘geronimo’ and hit the Internet in search of TARDIS cakes. I was bombarded by images and recipes about TARDIS themed cakes. Most of them were chocolate, one layer cakes decorated with blue buttercream. They looked great, but the over-achiever in me wanted to go above and beyond. I wanted to make a layer cake. I saw this super awesome looking cake from Artisan Cake Company. It’s beautiful and doesn’t even look like a cake! The decoration is made with blue modeling chocolate though, and like fondant, I don’t have much any experience with it yet. I decided I was overachieving enough, setting out to make a multi-layered TARDIS cake. I would stick to frosting, my specialty.

Now that I had the exterior of my cake in mind, what flavors would I choose? I immediately dismissed the chocolate idea; it just doesn’t scream ‘Doctor Who’ to me. What flavor would match Eleven’s personality? It’s kind of embarrassing that I couldn’t think of a flavor that reminded me of my favorite Doctor. So I texted my friend for a suggestion. And I could not believe I didn’t think of it before!

She suggested a custard frosting. 

It was a huge DUH moment. Custard! It’s often the very first thing that usually comes to Whovian’s minds when we think of Matt Smith’s Doctor. Instantly, the ideas started pouring in. I would do a fish fingers and custard flavored cake. 

Ok, well not really. Admittedly, that would be gross. So I thought of a cake flavor that would resemble fried fish fingers: cinnamon swirl vanilla cake with vanilla custard frosting. There’s a Doctor Who themed restaraunt in Beacon, NY, called the Pandorica and they have “fish fingers and custard” on their dessert menu. It’s fried french toast sticks with custard. It was delicious, and now is the inspiration for my cake.

I was so excited to be making this cake, I literally couldn’t wait. Of course, I was extremely worried that it wouldn’t work, and given that this is my first time making a cake like this, I expected it to totally flop. Well, I’m pleased to say that it didn’t. The frosting may just be my new go-to. It’s much simpler than I thought it would be. The hardest part was exercising enough patience for the custard and the butter/sugar mixture to whip together. 

I love Eleven. He’s funny, klutzy, and likes random things. His TARDIS is my favorite shade of blue. His companion, Clara, is my favorite. He’s the one who says my favorite Doctor Who quotes about life, and my favorite episode (Vincent and the Doctor) is one of his. Somehow, he seems so wise and so much like a grandfather, while simultaneously having the energy of a puppy and the maturity of a five-year-old. Eleven is the lovable uncoordinated housecat of the regenerations.

The reasons why I love him are endless.

Oh, and I have a Doctor Who playlist now. Doctor Who playlists are cool.

I used this recipe for the cinnamon swirl vanilla cake, and this one for the custard frosting. I’m definitely using both again!

To keep the cake from tipping over, I used a shish kebab skewer in each corner. Even with the kebab sticks, the cake does lean a little to the side, but it’s hardly noticeable. 

My family can’t wait to dig into it.

What else was it going to be called?

Already the number 1 album, Divide (➗) by Ed Sheeran was released this morning, March 3rd, 2017. 

After taking my dog out this morning, I got an excited text from my sister about the new release and immediately we had the album playing, of course. It’s playing right now as I write this.

Ed Sheeran certainly has a way with words. Every song on the record is a work of art, lyrically and musically.

Here’s the tracklist:

  1. Eraser
  2. Castle On The Hill
  3. Dive
  4. Shape Of You
  5. Perfect
  6. Galway Girl
  7. Happier
  8. New Man
  9. Hearts Don’t Break Around Here
  10. What Do I Know?
  11. How Would You Feel (Paean)
  12. Supermarket Flowers
  13. Barcelona
  14. Bibia Be Ye Ye 
  15. Nancy Mulligan
  16. Save Myself

The album over all has a classic Sheeran vibe, and I’m in love with it. I love the cover too; it’s such a beautiful blue.

So here’s my top 5 off the album. They’re not really in any particular order, since it’s still too soon to decide which is my all-time favorite.

  1. Happier
  2. Perfect
  3. Castle On The Hill
  4. Supermarket Flowers
  5. How Would You Feel (Paean)

‘Happier’ is the song I was most surprised with. Based on the beats and lyrics of the previous songs on the record, I was expecting it to be a joyfilled Irish jig or something that conveyed euphoria. Nope. The best way I can describe it is by quoting Ed: “…I’ll smile to hide the truth but I know I was happier with you.” It’s just a beautiful, sad love song.

‘Perfect’ is the next ‘Thinking Out Loud’. Written for his girlfriend (immediately making it the sweetest song in my opinion), this song is going to be a hit. And even if it doesn’t get as popular as I think it deserves, it’s still one of my favorites on the record.

‘Castle On The Hill’ was my favorite of the singles before the album was released. It still is one of my favorites. I love the Celtic sound. I really do. Sometimes, I just replay the intro forever.

‘Supermarket Flowers’ is definitely the most bittersweet song on the album. Like ‘Afire Love’ from ✖️, it is about the death of his grandparent. Specifically, his grandmother. It’s very sweet and I like that it is written in the point of view of Ed’s mother.

‘How Would You Feel’ is a slow, soft ballad, for which Ed Sheeran is known. It’s great for relaxing, his voice is soothing and it’s beautiful. It’s even made one of my soundtracks for one of my books. It fits the relationship between two of my characters perfectly.

So that’s the first of the two albums I was waiting for this year. Twenty øne piløts, you’re next!

He Broke His Leg When He Was Six…

If you heard the news earlier this week, you know exactly what I’m talking about. After a year off, Ed Sheeran informed his fans that he is coming back, with new music. Today is that day.
Ed Sheeran released two new singles this morning around 12:30 am. I was up, waiting in anticipation. As soon as I opened Spotify, all I saw was Ed Sheeran. I immediately listened to ‘Castle on the Hill’. Within the first two seconds, I was in love with the Celtic sound. I was not disappointed with this song at all. I’ve already lost count of how many times I’ve listened to it. 

‘Shape of You’ is more like a slower ‘Sing’, in my opinion, with it’s dance club sound. Still good, but not the acoustic sound I was hoping for. I do love it though. 

The two tracks are already at the top of the iTunes charts, which isn’t surprising. Everyone loves Ed Sheeran!

Warning: this post may contain spoilers!!

Well, I finally saw it. Rogue One, the latest Star Wars movie everyone’s been excited about. The trailers peaked curiosity in every Star Wars fan. Most of the thoughts that ran through my head upon watching the trailer for the first time were along these lines: 

“Is that the ‘Imperial March’????” *Internal squealing*

“Who are these people?” 

“Where’s Darth Vader???”  

“I don’t know who she is yet, but she’s awesome.”


“I need to see this.”

“OMG THERE’S VADER!!!” *External squealing* 

*hyperventilating because of the awesome epic-ness of this movie*

Last night, my dad, sister and I went to see it. The movie was just as awesome as I thought. I was not disappointed.

Now for the spoilers I warned about. Don’t tell River. 

So basically, they all die. I knew that going into the movie because it’s so obvious from the trailer. And the fact that none of these new characters are in the rest of the movies. But lots of people suspected that too. 

I’ve heard theories that Jyn Erso is Rey’s mother. Well, hate to break it to you, but Rey’s story and ancestry remains a mystery. Jyn is not her mother.

I have a new ship. Though according to some articles I read, Jyn and Cassian’s relationship is not technically canon, and 

with them dead by the end of the movie, there really is no relationship. But whatever. I ship who I want to ship. And I want to ship Jyn and Cassian. End of story.

Another thing I loved immensely was the strong female lead. Star Wars has always had strong women with prominet roles, starting with Leia Organa. There’s also Padmè Amidala, Mara Jade (in the books; she’s my favorite SW book character), and Rey Last-Name-Uknown. There are even more Star Wars women that deserve honorable mentions, such as Queen Amidala’s handmaidens, Shmi Skywalker, Mon Mothma, Ahsoka Tano, and Maz Kanata.

If I missed any, please comment and tell me! And share your personal favorites too!

Rogue One give us yet another inspiring female lead, Jyn Erso, and proves that us girls are capable of saving the world just like the guys. Outside of the Star Wars universe too, there are amazing women who carry out leadership roles (just a few that come to mind are River Song, Katniss Everdeen {thought I haven’t seen/read The Hunger Games}, Maximum Ride, and my very own Avalon Harlow). This makes me happy. Very happy.

Look at all the stormtroopers this girl took out!

I was also pleased with the comic relief of this movie. I thought it was so funny. K-2SO is such a funny droid, joining R2, Threepio and BB-8 on my favorite characters list. Of course, there are very dark aspects to this movie. After all, what is Star Wars without the Dark Side? But the comic relief ties the Darkness together nicely. The one-liners are just epic.

And lastly, Darth Vader. When I saw him at the end of the trailer, I knew that even if the rest of the movie didn’t meet my expectations, just the fact that my favorite villain would be in it again excited me. I honestly love Darth Vader so.dang.much. He had a one-liner that made me laugh louder than I want to admit.

“Be careful not to choke on your aspirations.”

As he starts to Force-choke someone. I think we can all agree on Darth Vader’s level of boss.

So all in all, Rogue One did not disappoint me and I was very happy with it. I would see it in theaters again (though, maybe not as many times as I saw The Force Awakens…or maybe I will) and I will buy it as soon as I see it on DVD in stores.

Happy Doctor Who Day, Whovians!

That’s right. Today is November 23, 2016. To Whovians, this day is one of rejoicing. It’s been 53 years since the very first episode came out, back in the 60s. Since then, Doctor Who has become a major part of pop culture, not only in Britian where it originated, but also in other countries. It has developed a huge fandom following. The original series, first airing on November 23, 1963, was produced for 26 years until 1989. The show was cancelled, but thankfully revived in 2005.

It’s also been three years since Day of the Doctor, the beloved 50th Anniversary Episode came out. Can you believe that? It’s three years old!

I know. I can’t believe it either.

To celebrate (since I wasn’t able to have any of my Whovian friends over 😢), I made cupcakes! And I’m just going to talk about the fantastic show. I’ll probably watch an episode or two as well.

Let’s play a game. Doctor Who twenty thirteen questions. Feel free to comment!

1) What’s your favorite episode?
2) Which Regeneration is your favorite?
3) Who’s your favorite companion?
4) Which villain is your favorite? Least favorite?
5) Which DW ship is your favorite?
6) What’s your favorite Doctor Who quote?
7) What’s your favorite thing about the show? Least favorite thing?
8) If you were the Doctor’s companion, where would you want to go first?
9) Which was sadder for you: Rose and Ten being separated or Amy and Rory’s deaths?
10) Which episode scared you the most? Cry the hardest? Laugh the most?
11) Have you watched Classic Who?
12) Do you wish Christopher Eccleston had stayed for more than one season?
13) Which TARDIS interior is your favorite? If you’re like Ten, which is your least favorite?

      “I don’t like it.”
      For me personally, 1) I don’t really have an all-time favorite episode. Actually, I take that back. I do have a favorite: ‘Vincent and the Doctor’. It’s so beautiful how the episode portrayed life – a pile of good things and bad things. In my opinion, that episode has the most meaning. I find myself tearing up every time I watch it.

      2) I’m also undecided between the Doctors. They’re all so special and funny in their own ways. But right now, Eleven is probably my favorite. Or maybe Ten. But Twelve is just awesome. But Nine was the one who made me love the show in the first place. See, I can’t decide. 

      3) Favorite companion. Now that’s a little easier for me. It’s Clara. Runners up would be River and Rose. 4) As for villains, my favorite has been the Weeping Angels since I first watched ‘Blink’ (which was the second episode I saw). Least favorite? It’s a toss up between the Daleks and the Cybermen. I HATE both. Well, it’s more like I love to hate them. 5) My favorite ship is one I’ve contemplated for awhile. At first, it was Ten and Rose. And while I still adore them together, I really ship Eleven and River. However, my heart was destroyed when Danny died because I loved him and Clara together so much. Still, the TARDIS is the only one who will always be there for the Doctor, even if she doesn’t always take him where he wants to go. Honestly, I ship the Doctor and his TARDIS the most.

      6) Favorite Doctor Who quote… Hmm. This is also a tough one. I love all of the funny dialogue, like when the Doctor himself references the Empty Child/The Doctor Dances episodes, or “Mr. Thick Thick Thickity Thick Face from Thicktown, Thickania and so’s your dad!” But my favorite quote is probably from ‘Vincent and the Doctor’.

      “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things. But vice versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant.”

      7) My favorite thing about the show. I love the fact that it’s science fiction and wibbly-wobbly. But I also love the way the characters, the plot, the everything, come to life when you watch it. I feel like I’m a part of the show every time I watch it and I love that. I love how it makes me think, makes me laugh, makes me cry, makes me want to keep watching. Least favorite thing? That Netflix had the audacity to take it off. RUDE! Is that all they are now? Rude and not ginger?

      8) If I was a companion, I’d really want to anywhere the Doctor wants. I love how he gets all excited about planets and adventures. And for question number 9, I think both are equally sad because both destroyed a part of the Doctor. He loved Rose and he loved Amy and Rory. They’re his family. 

      Question 10: Night Terrors scared me the most. Dolls are terrifying. I cry everytime I watch ‘Doomsday’, but I sobbed during ‘Vincent and the Doctor’. ‘The Angels Take Manhatten’ was pretty bad too. And I laughed the most at ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ episode. I loved how the TARDIS interacted with the Doctor. But that episode made me cry pretty hard as well.

      11) No, I have not actually watched Classic Who. But don’t hate me. I really want to and I will eventually.

      12) Yes. I was very sad to see Nine go, because he was my first Doctor. But I loved his farewell scene, when he says that Rose was fantastic and that he was too. I thought that was wonderful.

      And finally, question 13. I’m partial to Eleven’s TARDIS interior. So while I absolutely love Ten, I disagree with him on this one. I personally don’t have a least favorite.

      This show means a lot to Whovians across the globe. So I want to hear your answers! And if you have any extra questions to play, I’d love to hear those too! Now if you excuse me, I have some episodes to watch. Allons-y!