Author Archives: Tabz

About Tabz

Tabz (aka Tabitha Grace Smith) is a omnivorous geek with a special love of television. She's a writer, social media strategist, and teacher. In her spare time she blogs over at Doctor Her (a Doctor Who blog) and runs Between the Lines Studios.

Review: Disney Stories

If you’re looking for the perfect read-to-me stories for the little Disney kid in your life — look no further! These amazing storybooks feature large, colorful and bright illustrations and the stories are simplified for little readers. Both books have 14 stories to choose from.

Disney Stories for 2-Year Olds features Mickey, Minnie, and friends. There’s a great story about when Mickey first met Pluto and another story about Minnie trying to train her dog, Fifi!

The stories for 3-year-olds book is based on the animated Disney classics (Lion King, Robin Hood, Dumbo, Peter Pan and more. Since the new live-action Lady in the Tramp is coming, I enjoyed reading the Lady in the Tramp story!

I can’t wait to read both books with my little niece and nephew!

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Review: An Encyclopedia of Tolkien

If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan or a lover of all things Tolkien this is a MUST buy. It’s an extensive and illustrated guide to the history, lands, and inhabitants of Middle-earth. David Day has compiled a masterpiece of combined insights and knowledge from his forty-plus years of working on Tolkein books.

The book itself is beautiful. I was struck at once with how lovely it was when I received it in the mail. It’s leather-bound, has gold leaf edge pages, and over 100 illustrations.

This is not your average Wiki-entry style encyclopedia either. Day often inserts not only the descriptions of places, people and races, but gives insights into the source of Tolkien’s inspiration for each.

All-in-all this is a book that should sit on any Tolkein fan’s desk and be picked up and read/consulted often!

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Review: Sons of Chaos Graphic Novel

History comes alive with the stunning visuals of Sons of Chaos.

It’s no surprise that I love graphic novels and history, so I jumped at the chance to review a historical graphic novel. Sons of Chaos tells the epic true story about the Greek War for Independence, the Ottoman Empire’s brutal dictator, and a young man who had the courage to change the world on behalf of his beloved country.

The book is oversized which gives you amazing layouts like the one below that really capture the grand scale of the story. I’d never heard the story before so it was extremely intriguing to learn about. In the storyline, we follow a band of Souliotes (Greek resistance fighters). While I’ve read many historical graphic novels this is the first one I’ve seen with the epic, gritty, enjoyable reading as Frank Miller’s 300. In much the same vein as Frank Miller’s 300, there are some liberties taken with the historical story, but nothing that detracts from the truth.


The artwork just takes you into the grand scale of this story.

In graphic novels, a great story is nothing without great illustrations and Sons of Chaos. There’s movement, blood, and action in every single drawing.


The choice to make this an oversized book was a good one. It really adds to the overall storytelling experience. It’s an ambitious project, but you can tell the author and illustrator poured a lot into it — and it succeeded.

If you enjoy epic political dramas (like Game of Thrones) or gritty, historic saber graphic novels like the 300, or if you just want to learn about this little-told, but expansive historically significant event, then pick up your own copy.

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Review: The Big Book Adventure

If you’re like me and adore beautiful children’s’ books, then this one is going to delight you!

The cover of The Big Book Adventure that features an illustrated fox and pig carrying books.

In The Big Book Adventure by Emily Ford and illustrated by Tim Warnes, best friends Foxy and Piggy delight in a series of adventures — that they read about in books! From Alice in Wonderland  to the high flying tales of SciFi, the illustrations alone are enough to really capture a child’s imagination and reinforce the value of reading.

This is a fun one to read out loud since it’s in rhyming verse! I think it’d perfect for little ones who are just exploring the classics as they’ll recognize many of the stories that Piggy and Foxy are reading like the Alice in Wonderland page above!

One of my favorite parts is the end where they encourage each other to keep sharing what books they’re reading! This is a must have for any family who (like my family) adore books. I highly recommend you get it for your shelf today.

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Meow Mix Hits the Viral Video Mark with Country Love Song


Meow Mix, the US brand for cat food, just released their Meow Mix country version by J.R. Moore. This adorable video features a hard-working country boy who just wants to get home after a long day to a quiet night a home… with his cat. Very adorable and funny (and a good reminder that boys own cats too, this isn’t just a girl’s game). Great job Meow Mix team. Watch the video here:

Things to Do In Southern California: Universal Studios Hollywood

This is part of a new series called: “Things to Do In Southern California” to document some of the geeking out you can do with trips in Southern California. If you’re visiting or live here, here’s a review from QuadZ of some of our favorite places.


Universal Studios is one of those theme parks that gets better with age. Hollywood itself is often disappointing to tourists. As a local, I know the disappointment — I see it a lot on friends who come into town. Hollywood itself is not a bustling movie town where you can run into celebrities and see stuff getting made into movies. A way to remedy that disappointment? Go to Universal.

Universal is nestled in Universal City, right next to Hollywood. It’s also the only theme park within Los Angeles (the others are all pretty far car rides away). It also has a great view of nearly all of the Burbank studios (Disney, Warner Brothers, etc.). Up in the hills (nearby are Dodger Stadium, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Griffith Park Observatory all nearly), Universal Studios Hollywood is really a unique spot.

I think the thing I like the best about Universal Studios Hollywood is it feels like a whole family park. With some of the other parks it feels like rides are either made for little kids OR adults. With Universal Studios most of the rides are great for the entire family to ride together.


Minion Mayhem Ride (Image Courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood)

Minion Mayhem Ride (Image Courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood)

One of the newest attractions at Universal Studios is the Minion Mayhem ride. Based on the Despicable Me movies, this ride was really well thought out and planned. The premise for the ride is that you’re going to be turned into minions, Gru’s little yellow adorable helpers. The entire wait in line is made much more bearable by the funny “propaganda” posters like this one. Ryne did say though that if he didn’t come out the other end as a little yellow guy, he’d be upset.


Inside, the ride looks like Gru’s living room with pieces from the movies. Gru, some minions, and the girls give you instructions on being a minion. It’s pretty hilarious! The ride itself is a 3D simulator, but it’s easy to forget that you’re not actually moving forward. The story of the ride is adorable and felt very true to the movies. The ride was smooth, fun, and I really wanted to do it again! Sadly it was a popular ride and everyone seemed to have the same idea.

I also loved the facade for the ride, it looks exactly like Gru’s neighborhood! The front of Gru’s car is clearly seen and, when you’re inside, you can see that the car is inside as well!

grucarNext to the Minon Mayhem ride is Super Silly Fun Land, based on the aquatic theme park you see in the first Despicable Me film (where Agnes gets her IT’S SO FLUFFY I’M GONNA DIE unicorn). Since we went in July this was a VERY popular feature for the park. If you have little ones, I highly recommend bringing a swim suit along with you and a towel or two.


Of course, my favorite part of the park is the Universal Studios tour! You board one of these wonderful trams and are carted around the back stages and studio space for Universal. This includes possibly hot sets (i.e. someone’s filming there, not the temperature). So it’s possible you can see folks working making TV and/or films (especially in the middle of the week). Even if you don’t though, there’s a lot to see — including the famous Universal Back Lots, which you can see in many different TV shows and movies. Within the back lot are enough different facades to make you feel like you could be anywhere in the world.

For the nerds among you here’s the stuff you need to see:

  • The Delorean from Back to the Future (this is currently in the museum by Transformers Ride.
  • One of the frakking toasters (Cylon) from  the original Battlestar Galacticia (also in the museum).
  • Two sets of costumes from Warehouse 13 (also in the museum).
  • Baker Street (right by the Minion Mayhem ride)!
  • Jurassic Park Ride (dinosaurs everywhere)!

Also, coming soon is a Harry Potter attraction, which we saw them working on. Reportedly the outside will look like Hogwart’s.

All in all, we had a really fun day! Universal Studios is a must stop for folks who enjoy films and a much better destination than the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Find out more and buy your tickets at Universal Studios Hollywood’s website


QuadrupleZ did receive complementary passes for Universal Studios. Regardless of this, all our opinions, statements and comments are our own. Photos are property of unless otherwise noted.

Things to Do in Southern California: Traxx Resturant

10446670_10153249810740616_507066276722125531_nUnion Station in Los Angeles recently celebrated it’s 75th birthday. Quite an accomplishment for a station that almost didn’t get made. If left up to the separate railway companies at the time, it wouldn’t have been. Thankfully, it was made after ten years of struggle and legal proceedings. For it’s birthday, the Metro (who own the station) gave it a face lift. The gorgeous art deco building was updated and refurbished. It’s definitely a treat for the thousands of people who pass through it every day.

I spend a lot of time in Union Station because I commute via Metrolink, but I hadn’t been at the famous Traxx restaurant until recently. This white table restaurant is tucked into the fabulous main lobby of Union Station right by the front entrance to Alameda Street. While there are several fast food options within Union Station, Traxx gives a glimpse into the era when train travel was a classier affair. If you have time for a more leisurely meal I highly recommend stopping in. The decor and ambiance are first class. You are seated within the main area so people watching is a huge plus here. The restaurant area is small and I was sure it would be too noisy with most of the tables being outside the restaurant, but it was surprisingly peaceful.

My favorite part of my experience was the staff though. My server Tom was top-notch and on top of making sure my service was splendid. Even the bus boys were polite and sweet. Sometimes in a white cloth restaurant you feel like you’re bothering the waitstaff, but not so with Traxx. From the minute I walked up to the host until I left I felt like I was, indeed, a star. It’s easy to feel that there’s something glamorous and magical about Union Station with a service like the one you get a Traxx.

For my lunch I tried the hanger steak. It was tender, moist, and fantastically presented. I was full, but the desert menu also looked amazing. Everything tasted fresh and the wait time for my food was not long at all.

Great little piece of LA and a great piece of history. If you’re in the area or traveling through Union Station, be sure to check it out.


“AVP: Alien vs. Predator” Maze Hits Universal Studios for Halloween Horror Nights!

Image Credit: Universal Studios (used with permission)

Image Credit: Universal Studios (used with permission)

If you’re looking for an amazing reason to attend Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando or Florida this is it. Universal Studios has teamed up with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products to create an Alien vs. Predator Maze that puts you right in the middle of one of the most epic smack-downs in history. To mark the 35th anniversary celebration of Alien, and the 10th anniversary of AVP: Alien vs. Predator, “Halloween Horror Nights” guests and fans of these celebrated films will have a chance to live the horror of these diabolical beasts as they come face to face with the terror of Aliens and Predators.

Here’s a sneak peek of what the experience will be like:

“We’re thrilled to be working with Universal Studios to create mazes in Orlando and Hollywood that will bring fans face-to-face with the horrifying and iconic characters of AVP.” said Greg Lombardo, vice president of global live and location based entertainment at Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products. “The technology being leveraged will surely be a new benchmark and provide a uniquely terrifying and visceral encounter that puts guests right in the middle of an epic extraterrestrial battle for survival.”

The two mazes (on in Hollywood and one in Orlando) sound slightly different from each other. According to the press release the maze in Orlando is set in one of Weyland-Yutani’s secret facilities and the maze in Hollywood seems to be set after the spaceships crash land on earth.

“‘AVP: Alien vs. Predator’ is by far the most technically complicated and ambitious maze we’ve ever created for ‘Halloween Horror Nights,’” said John Murdy, Creative Director for Universal Studios Hollywood and Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights. To help with the complicated and ambitious they’ve recruited Academy Award®-winning make-up artists, Tom Woodruff and Alec Gillis from Amalgamated Dynamic Inc. (ADI) (both of whom worked on the original creatures of the AVP franchise).

If you’re nearby or want to plan a get away, be sure to check it out!

Tickets and vacation packages for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando are on sale now at\Orlando

Updates on “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood are available online

Moonman at San Diego Comic-Con Can Only Mean One Thing…

While you were a San Diego ComicCon you may have noticed this guy:

Image credit: MTV (used with permission)

Hanging out with some Game of Thrones cosplayers [Image credit: MTV (used with permission)]


Getting beat up by Thor and Loki [Image credit: MTV (used with permission)]


Directing the crazy amounts of traffic. [Image credit: MTV (used with permission)]

Image credit: MTV (used with permission)

Getting into battles… [Image credit: MTV (used with permission)]

Moonman was at SDCC to promote the MTV VMAs where the winners get (you guessed it) a Moonman statute!

MTV’s VMA show will be broadcast live from the Forum in Inglewood, CA on Sunday, August 24 at 9pm ET/PT and feature performances from Usher, Ariana Grande,  5 Seconds of Summer and LOTS, LOTS more!