TV Binge: Once Upon a Time (Season 5, 2015)

Moving right along in the incredible attempt to catch up with Once Upon a Time, I wrapped up Season 5. Once Upon a Time continues to twists up some of the tales and puts together some interesting pairings which is one thing that I love the most about the show. Plus, after so many years, its hard to not love a lot of the characters. It also helps that last year I did end up going to visit the little town that its shot in in Vancouver and totally fangirled which makes seeing Storybrooke so much more personal (in my mind).

Once Upon a Time (Season 5, 2015)

once upon a time s5 poster

Creator: Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis

Cast: Lana Parrilla, Robert Carlyle, Jared Gilmore, Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Colin O’Donoghue, Emilie de Ravin, Rebecca Mader, Sean Maguire, Liam Garrigan, Greg Germann

 Maybe its the fact that hopping back to this that I forgot how packed Once Upon a Time but Season 5 feels like there is a vast amount of characters that traverse the path in the few villains they do cross. As a little season 5 recap, the season picks up where the 4th ends with Emma taking the responsibility to be the Dark One and gets sent back to The Enchanted Forest. The rest of her family finds a way back and they eventually end up in Camelot where they meet King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. They have a secret to complete that involves the search for the Dark One. Somehow they get sent back to Storybrooke and Emma has lost the fight and has embraced has her dark side while wiping away everyone’s memory. A course of events sends Hook to the Underworld where they also follow and get trapped by Hades and confront some of their own people they have lost. When they do find a way back to Storybrooke, they get tricked and sent to The Land of Untold Stories where they meet the infamous Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I think that about covers the general outline.

once upon a time s5

Season 5 is crazy packed as everyone embarks on a journey about their value and whether they are good and evil and being okay with who they are. Some extremities are taken which of course take a turn for a bad the lingers into the next season. Fairy tales are about happy endings and if Once Upon a Time has taught us anything, its that they are quite the rare occurrence in the show especially when it involves Regina and Emma. Being the Savior or a Villain both doesn’t give you the merit to have the happy ending. However, Season 5 may feel packed but its great to see the twists on these characters. In fact it expands on these characters as they also meet Merida and help her with her quest to become queen of Dunbroch.  We flash back to see Mulan and Red Riding Hood and Dorothy and their connection to everything. Of course, it wouldn’t be this show without Rumplestiltskin and his secrets along with trying to get back Belle which also sees a twist on her story and Gaston. Snow also once knew Hercules as well. We see some characters exit the show as well as the Underworld allows some characters to eventually either move on in a good or bad way. Thinking back to the season feels really busy but at times, that is what works to keep us on our toes and always learning that this world still has a lot to offer as they can breakaway from the fairy tales as well as take characters from classics. That is the magic of why I love Once Upon a Time.

once upon a time

The villain this season did have quite a spark. I have to say that in the few times that I’ve seen Greg Germann, he’s always been so fun to watch. This time, he plays Hades and not only does he resemble how Hades looked in Disney’s Hercules but he does take on that villainous role really well. Talking about villains, while I did enjoy the whole Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde bit, the way Mr. Hyde talked was so grating and annoying. If anything, that was the only thing I didn’t like about this season. Once Upon a Time also has these villains that are truly horrible and ruthless. However, they also have this story that gives them a moment of hope for redemption and its always that unknown of whether it will happen or not. Another point of why I do like Once Upon a Time a lot is dealing with the character development and this season may be busy but a lot of the characters had their moment to truly see their thoughts and things they haven’t been able to let go of and in many ways, they did embrace themselves.

once upon a time

Overall, Season 5 was a lot of fun. While you could argue that the huge amount of characters made the story very scattered, somehow it still works very well to keep it fun and adventurous to watch as our characters grew and truly embraced issues that bothered them and confronted their monsters both mentally and physically. A really nice collection of villains and heroes in Season 5 and I’m looking forward to watching Season 6.

TaleSpins (TaleSpins #1-3) by Michael Mullin

After a nice weekend off from mostly everything online, I’m happy to be back writing again. It was something that I needed a lot to just sit back and take some time to break out of the normal routine. Its a new week and time for more writing. Next up is a book review of TaleSpins which is technically three short stories put together into this one book.

Let’s check it out!

TaleSpins (TaleSpins #1-3)
by: Michael Mullin


A trilogy of alternative fairytales and retellings. Discover the real Snow White story through the eyes of Creepy, the unknown 8th dwarf! Meet a teen princess who hires “The Frog Prince” witch to get revenge on a Mean Girl! And learn how the giant, boy thief and magic beans tale truly went down! – Goodreads

I love reading fairy tales and the retellings are usually so fun as well. Disney makes them suitable for all ages and in many ways, tells some of these stories without the true darkness it may have. However, perhaps its how innocent we know all these stories that when they retold, it turns into a darker affair. TaleSpins’ three story is set up in a deeper story, adding in characters and events while putting it into a sing song rhyme poetry sort of way. Because of this new approach, it is a refreshing take on how we read these unique stories.

The first story in this trilogy is a spin on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and its called The 8th Dwarf, an awkward dwarf that was punished to live in the basement of the dwarves home. This character intercepted the story really well and definitely was the best of the three stories here.  The second story is based on The Frog Prince and somehow was taken with bullying and a girl trying to get revenge on a classmate in an extreme way. Also an interesting take as the endeavor of it was for the girl to succeed however the Frog Prince character here takes a more conscience sort of role and teaches us a little lesson. The last story is a take on Jack and the Beanstalk which actually turns things around as we see the ogre being the centre of attentiom instead of Jack who really if you think about it is a thief.

TaleSpins is a collection of three short stories and they are pretty fast to get through. I like reading poetry and rhyming pieces out loud, so that worked for me and had me really invested. However, as the story gets into the longer sentences, I started wishing this was a physical book to really see the sentence structure better. The writing and language is very polished as well. Overall, a pretty good read. Mostly the last story fell flat for me a little in the middle but still a solid entry to the retellings of these three stories.

Have you read TaleSpins?

Pinterest Therapy: Full Day’s Meal Inspirations!

Wow! Its been A LONG TIME since I’ve done a Pinterest Therapy.  Its been kind of a traffic jam over here getting everything out since Fantasia Festival happened and then wedding planning and its been just sleep little, eat moderately and try to stay healthy.  Which is just impossible and sounds ridiculous.  BUT, things are starting to slow down now and for the most part, I’ve caught up.  So far, I’ve gotten ahead by a little with scheduled posts going up instead of scrambling to get the next day’s posts up. Its only taken, what, four years to learn to be more organized here.  Haha! Pathetic, yes.

Anyways, enough of this rambling.  Point is: I’m stressed.  Things are slowing down but I’m still stressed and worried and anxious.  This wedding coming up in like a month is murdering me.  This center of attention thing is scaring me to death! I really don’t like attention and making decisions and I’m doing both of these things right now simultaneously. I was going to do a wedding edition of this Pinterest business but I decided to not do that because that is not therapy.  That’s more stress.  AND, I’d kind of like the details of my wedding to be a little bit of a surprise so I can do some nice posts on it when it comes around.  Sure, I shared some little snippets but the important parts are still secret 🙂 Hell, don’t feel bad.  One of my girls are holding my wedding gown for me so my fiance doesn’t even know what it looks like 😉

Ok, you are here for some Pinterest therapy.  Long weekend is here so let’s get this show on the road! If I had a day of nothing, I’d do this whole day of food just like this! I think I’m excited just thinking about it 😉

1) Breakfast: Classic French Toast

French Toast

Believe it or not, I’ve never made French Toast.  I’ve always wanted to because I can’t have any outside of my house so its been years since I’ve even tasted it. I always think about pancakes but never french toast.  Weird, eh? Well, that’s on my list! 🙂

2) Lunch: Sloppy Joes

sloppy joes

Its kind of funny. I always look at Sloppy Joes but I never make them. I remember having them once when I was really young at summer camp and it was so good.  I can’t exactly remember the taste but I just remember it being the best burger in the world.  Messy food is usually really good so I kind of think it’ll still be delish.  One day though, I will make it soon.

3) Afternoon Refreshments: Sparkling Raspberry Lemonde

raspberry lemonade

I know that summer is tapering off now.  We’re stepping into autumn.  Especially when I’m planning an autumn wedding.  My life is pretty gone from summer. But the heat and the rain that just won’t pour is still around so it makes me thirsty all the time because I dehydrate just that much faster.  I haven’t made lemonade this year (or anything else except infused water once) so you know, its never too late for lemonade and I’ve been having a huge love for raspberry flavored desserts so looks awesome! 🙂

4) Dinner: Coq Au Vin

coq au vin

Chicken is a huge part of our diet.  We just love it at home. I’ve seen this around but I’ve never made Coq au Vin.  I think I’ll give it a go one night.

5) Dinner Drinks: Honeycrisp Sangria


I absolutely love sangria any time of the year.  I might change this to a white sangria since I’ve gained a weird intolerance to red wine. It makes me sweat profusely at night and makes me really bloated which white or rose wine doesn’t do.  I don’t understand why but some have said maybe its a part of the fermentation process that does something that I don’t take well.  Either way, no red wine so I’ll swap it to a white wine which is even more matched up to an autumn sangria which goes well with the apple thing.  I think its good.

6) Dessert: Apple Pie Cupcakes

apple pie cupcakes

I’m WAY behind on baking. So so so behind.  I bought a ton of ingredients in hope to bake and I just haven’t found time to do it.  Between getting myself, the house and the planning for the wedding, I barely have time to eat normal so its a challenge to get that.  Baking just hasn’t gone anywhere.  But I did find an easier recipe for the Baking Through Disney project for Snow White so I might give that a go before I attempt to make these 😉 How does that sound?

This is Labor Day weekend so I’m going to wrap up that Snow White and officially kick off the next one.  which I think is Pinocchio. But on the timeline of Baking with Disney.  I might give the next item a solid thought.  So let’s check the last thing on this therapy session 😉

7) More Drinks: Disney Cocktails

Disney Cocktails

If you click the image, it links to the page with a lot of other Disney movies and drinks they put together. I chose Snow White because I’m trying to keep reminding myself that I have one more part to do to move on to the next thing. But this is so cute.  I don’t know how to mix alcohol but I’d give these ones a try like I’d only be able to do Fair Maiden.  Although I might have just drank all the pineapple juice.  Something fun to try for the weekend.

That’s it for this Pinterest Therapy.  maybe I’ll start doing it in this format.  Although these things are all pretty random. After some relaxation here, I’m off to another crazy day of running around and testing the limits of how efficient I can be 😉

Happy Saturday, my lovelies! 🙂 
Have a great weekend and I’ll be back on Monday!

Sydney White (2007)

I did a little research on those Snow White adaptations and apparently this modern day flick called Sydney White is also a spin-off.  Amanda Bynes may not be all that right now but in her She’s the Man days, she was quite fun to watch on screen.  With that said, I turned on Sydney White, got myself a glass of fizzy sparkling juice from Ikea and sat back to relax. My expectations aren’t high so all I ask for is some form of entertainment.

Let’s see if they can pull it off 😉

Sydney White (2007)

Sydney White

Director: Joe Nussbaum

Cast: Amanda Bynes, Matt Long, Sara Paxton, Jack Carpenter, Jeremy Howard, Crystal Hunt, Adam Hendershott, Danny Strong, Samm Levine, Arnie Pantoja

Every fairy tale eventually gets retold in the modern day high school or college environment.  Sydney White is set in university and fraternity houses and all that jazz.  When Sydney White goes to college as a freshman through a scholarship, she is following her mom’s footsteps.  However, Rachel, the president of the house doesn’t like her and when her initiation/pledge tasks is over, she was left outside with nowhere to go.  Luckily, the Vortex, housing a bunch (seven) of dorks/nobodies on campus takes her in.  As she tries to get them to rebel against Rachel and all the oppression they get by becoming school council, she leads them by changing their abilities a little bit by bit and hopefully gain back some rights for their “house”.

Sydney White

I’m not going to lie.  Sydney White is a rather ridiculous retelling of the Snow White story.  Maybe its so ridiculous that I ended up laughing a lot, probably at the movie.  Still, entertaining level very much there.  This time around, we don’t have an evil stepmother but rather some evil girls/”sisters” who want to destroy her.  Instead of the seven dwarfs, we now have the seven dorks.  Campus is the “castle” and the king is not royalty but a common plumber. There’s quite a bit of twists and sometimes these modern reimaginings are a little crazy and out there and the puns are kind of eye-rolling worthy but the effort to entertain through absurdity is always there.  Some might think its lame…and there definitely are some of those parts.

Sydney White

 And well, the prince, right up there, is okay.  He’s a good enough looking guy to carry the part.  He was pretty funny also. His part worked out good.  Like most Snow White princes, he didn’t have to do much, right? I guess.  Okay, enough about the prince.  all he has to be is a pretty face with a little personality and I was alright with it.

What I’d like to discuss is Amanda Bynes.  I haven’t seen a bunch of her movies, not that she has all that many but after this movie, I’d confirmed one thing: Amanda Bynes has one sort of acting thing and if you enjoyed her in She’s the Man, then you might enjoy her here because its pretty much an extremely similar version.

Sydney White

However, the most entertaining is always the seven dwarfs or dorks or whatever version you want to call them here.  These guys have all different personalities and their own little issues and its kind of a secret we learn bit by bit just like Sydney does and they  make the movie pretty funny at times.

As with any of these college things, its about change.  Our heroine in modern times is always someone who fights for change in some sort of status quo.  So look, Sydney White is the modern version of Snow White set in university and there’s some entertaining bits and some creative little play on the original and there’s a good looking prince.  Amanda Bynes does her thing and its all rather predictable and even some kind of lame puns.  Its a mixed basket.  I probably won’t go and watch it again but for a one time thing, its okay.  I didn’t hate it but I’ll probably forget it a few days later (as I have because I’m finishing this up on the cruise and I can’t seem to remember the Prince’s name and its charging me per minute here so I don’t want to bother to look it up.)

Have you seen Sydney White? What are your thoughts on Amanda Bynes?

Mirror Mirror (2012)

I’m sorry that Baking Through Disney project is on a slow start but I’ve been trying to get those adaptations watched.  It hasn’t been easy to find time to watch movies that aren’t expiring on Netflix.  Anyways, thats behind us now and those reviews will go up gradually. Another thing is that I’ve been avoiding watching Snow White and the Huntsman but here we are with another one that just got added on Netflix and its the 2012 live action adaptation called Mirror Mirror.  I’m a huge fan of Julia Roberts…at least her earlier stuff is great so I always remain hopeful.

Let’s check it out!

Mirror Mirror (2012)

Mirror Mirror

Director: Tarsem Singh

Cast: Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, Martin Klebba, Jordan Prentice, Mark Povinelli, Joe Gnoffo, Danny Woodburn, Sebastian Saraceno, Ronald Lee Clark

An evil queen steals control of a kingdom and an exiled princess enlists the help of seven resourceful rebels to win back her birthright. – IMDB

Mirror Mirror

Live action adaptations are popping up everywhere.  Mirror Mirror came and went before I even knew about it.  It went by so quietly that I actually had my doubts about it being good.  Sure, there’s Julia Roberts and I like her but let’s face it, Snow White and the Disney version has yet to have a really good adaptation.  At least from what I’ve seen, they’ve all been pretty sad efforts.  But then, I only reviewed Asylum’s and I guess that’s the extreme bottom of the barrow.  I don’t know what I’m rambling about.  What I’m trying to say is that Mirror Mirror is an average movie and the plot is nothing to call home about but it does have some pretty nice settings and visuals, even the costumes are pretty to look at.  All those things are in its favor.  There’s some good and some bad with the characters also.

Mirror Mirror

I wasn’t sure where to start with this since I’m a little indifferent to it but I think talking about Snow White and Prince Alcott (aka Prince Charming) is a good place.  There is no doubt that Lily Collins looks the part.  She’s a sweet looking girl and can pull off the nice and compassionate girl.  What most adaptations nowadays are doing seems to be making the Disney princesses into stronger women.  I applaud the effort.  Its a good thing and for the most part, Lily Collins does a good Snow White who learns how to be tough when she meets the dwarfs.  Her chemistry with the dwarfs might actually be more than hers with the Prince..haha! I guess that kind of is like the Disney classic, right? It was never about the Prince, was it? Now, our Prince here is a good looking dude.  He has some shirtless moments which makes for a few chuckles but is he convincing as the Prince? Hmm…he’s a little stupid.  Maybe he’s supposed to be, I don’t know.  Prince Charming was really all for looks, I guess and being Snow White’s happily ever after.

Mirror Mirror

The more fun part to talk about are the dwarfs.  This crew are not miners but thieves in this version.  They walk around in stilts of sorts that reminded me of the Kurios Cirque du Soleil show I saw last year.  They are a really awesome addition to Mirror Mirror.  Almost all the laughs are because of them and they make it so enjoyable especially when interacting with Snow White.  There’s a lot to love about them and I would rewatch Mirror Mirror just for their performances.  These dwarfs may be a different spin on the story we know but they are a good and well-needed change.

Mirror Mirror

The Queen here is played by Julia Roberts.  I hate to say it but this one was a little pathetic.  They try to change up the character in a way with the mirror is actually a magical dimension and actually the reflection of the Queen herself.  She’s superficial (as expected).  I guess continuity works here but I believe it was deliberate when they made that narrative by the Queen (or the Mirror) and then the English accent vanished and turned back into Julia Roberts own voice.  At least I thought it did in a few parts.  I wasn’t sure if they did it to make it funny or sarcastic but I personally didn’t like it all that much.  This Queen may be evil but she never felt that way to me.  She just tried to menace Snow White with her words but she’s kind of stupid and not really all that villainous.  That makes for this being the main reason Mirror Mirror didn’t quite do it for me.

Overall, Mirror Mirror has some pros: costumes, setting and the change for the dwarfs make it so entertaining and fun.  Snow White and Prince Alcott is a decent couple with a good enough chemistry.  Snow White and the dwarfs also carry some pretty nice chemistry and adds to the entertaining factor.  The cons however is the weaker plot which doesn’t quite feel like anything special. The Queen also is not all that villainous.  Mirror Mirror could be better but its not horrible.  Maybe its a decent choice on a rainy day.  Know this, the seven dwarfs will give you quite a good laugh 😉

Have you seen Mirror Mirror? Do you like Julia Roberts? 

Disney Project: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Can you believe it? I finally started this project! If you haven’t been aware, back in January, I announced the Baking Through Disney project.  You can find some more info HERE! The idea is that as I watch the Disney movies as in chronological order as I can, not only do I review that movie, afterwards, I will think up some nice dessert/baking adventure themed around that movie.  Afterwards, on my recent vlog in the end of March, I decided to add a little something extra. I’d go into adaptations if Netflix has some interesting offerings. Why Netflix? Because I’m trying to save for an A/C and fixing my roof. Unfortuantely, the blog is just a hobby so I need to make these choices 😉 Point is, WOOHOO! Disney Project starts now! Snow White week coming right up!

The first out of the gates is my review on Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs! Let’s check it out!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Snow White

Director: William Cotrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen

Voice Cast: Adriana Caselotti, Lucille La Verne, Stuart Buchanan, Roy Atwell, Pinto Colvig, Harry Stockwell

Snow White lives with her vain Stepmother, the Queen, who makes her the scullery maid of the palace.  Although a princess, she doesn’t live like one.  The Queen asks the Magic Mirror everyday whether she is the fairest in all the land.  She is satisfied until one day, the Magic Mirror says that Snow White is the fairest of the land.  Jealous of her beauty, the Queen asks the huntsman to kill her but luckily, she escapes and meets the seven dwarfs.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is pretty much known all around so a synopsis isn’t exactly needed.  Still, I tried my best, just in case someone doesn’t know about it.  There’s been a few spin-offs from what I’ve seen.  You should be expecting the reviews of Grimm’s Snow White (by Asylum, that’s going to be fun to review) and Snow White and the Huntsman (dreading to watch).   Before those reviews go up some time this week, I wanted to start with the classic.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the first full length feature for Disney.  That marks a lot.  Its what makes Disney movies the way they are now.  I’m going to be honest here and say that Snow White has never been the Disney princess I liked. She’s kind of too much of a girly-girl.  All she dreams about is finding her Prince Charming.  I’m a romantic but I don’t sit around singing about finding my true love while cleaning the front door steps and chatting up wild animals.  Although, if real life animals were as friendly and adorable as the ones she befriends, I’d gladly do it.  Snow White’s not exactly a strong princess.  She gets over her bad times with cleaning.  Which is pretty good because it emphasizes the desire to be normal and happy with whatever is thrown at her, even if the Queen is a threat.

I’m not hating on Snow White.  This time, I watched it, I think I’ve never enjoyed quite as much as I have for this project.  Maybe its the adrenaline rush from doing this project and just my praise of Disney in general.  Or just that I’ve been watching more movies and now I’ve learned to notice little things I didn’t before.  Snow White has beautiful colors and although, animation was not quite as detailed as in the character features, the detail went into the landscape and the little pieces here and there that make up for this one.  The story is known but still is able to capture the audience and those songs…they are really memorable and easy to remember.  I had “One Song” stuck in my head for maybe 3 days after I saw this.

snow white and the seven dwarfs

If you think about it, Snow White was never really a love story.  She is trying to find her true love but Prince is just that. He shows up in the beginning singing and serenading her and then doesn’t show up until he needs to kiss Snow White to wake her up from her deep slumber spell.  But then, that’s probably why this movie is called Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and not “Snow White and Prince Charming” (or something like that). The seven dwarfs, although not around quite so much are the joy of this movie.  They bring this air that really makes it really fun to watch.  Plus, they are all quite loveable with their own personalities and just how they collectively love Snow White so much for who she is.  Its hard to believe anyone will just have like overnight knowing someone and then be all protective but the dwarfs do that.  If you think about it, the dwarfs did warn her about strangers but Snow White is either too kind-hearted and naive to realize when danger comes in sneaky forms.

snow white and the seven dwarfs

This leads us to a little talk about villains.  The Evil Stepmother/Queen (whatever you call her) is pretty creepy.  I mean, there are a few rather scary scenes in Snow White from the wildly imaginative forest escape to the old lady transformation.  Was the Queen effective?  I really think she was.  How can you question the Queen and her poison apple? Its part of the fairy tale Disney villain and the standard of what evil is.  Plus, she’s not the fairest and that’s obvious 😉

Overall, Disney’s first full length feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs excels at setting the standards from what Disney movies are.  It has capturing storyline (suitable for all ages), beautiful and colorful art, memorable songs and a mix of evil and loveable characters.  Snow White may not be my favorite princess but there are definitely redeeming features of this animation all around and what it stands for makes it every bit respectable.

 What do you think of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? Is Snow White your favorite Disney Princess? Which dwarf do you like the best?