Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Guilty Pleasures: Tia & Tamera

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I am not big into reality shows, but I have found myself constantly searching for the Mowry twins on Oxygen. It is a reality show, but their drama isn't serious about who slept with who or anything up to that standard. Their drama is centered on what all siblings fight about. Not communicating with each other, maybe keeping a secret for a little while, or maybe being a little bit jealous of the other's job or opportunities. But they always work it out!

Tia and Tamera are CRAZY. But they are so much fun to watch! The show obviously follows the sisters' lives as working mothers and their crazy antics. If your looking for a reality show but hate all the  drama and yelling and screaming, then I recommend Tia and Tamera. I know that they do marathons on Oxygen and I am pretty sure that is where the new shows air as well.

Enjoy!

Friday, December 26, 2014

5 Fandom Friday: New Years Blogging Resolutions

This topic is not only great for me to help with writers block, but it also is a post to help keep me accountable on this blog. There are a lot of things I would like to do to change or improve my blog, but I think I should start small and these 5 resolutions will help! So here are my 5 achievable New Years Blogging Resolutions in no particular order.

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1. To write more consistently

I want to write in a more timely manner and more consistently. I would say that I would like to post every other day, but let's be real. Life gets in the way. School and work will probably be bigger priorities than blogging. So I am going to say that I will post at least once a week!

2. To have more diverse topics

As of now, this blog is pretty much a personal, "What's up with me", blog and I would like it to be more useful. I would like to post more "DIY"s and "How To"s and helpful lists and other similar posts. I want posts to be Pinterest worthy.

3. To have guests posts/ to write guest posts

I have only had one guest post and I have only written one guest post. I would love to have more people guest write for me and I would love to, in exchange, write for them! I also think that would help me accomplish resolution number 2.

4. To become more creative with my graphics

I recently have been paying more attention to my graphics and photos. And I personally think that they could be better. I need to take more original photos and add some more unique graphics to make my posts pop! I can also look for more "free/ no strings attached" photos and graphics to use to my advantage. So if you have any tips, let me know!

5. To read more blogs and encourage other writers

I want to start reading blogs by fellow bloggers. I know that I want other people to read and comment on my blog, but that is a two way street. I have to read and comment one other posts and blogs. So I am going to find new blogs and read their material, while leaving my url at the bottom of my comment. It's a win-win for everyone!


So those are my simple, but effective blogging new years resolutions. They seem easy, but we will see how they end up. Now onto my life resolutions which are a completely different story. I wish you all great luck in going through with your resolutions! Happy Holidays!


UPDATE: Major Change

For those of you who previously read Making History: Big Fish the Musical, you know that I was inspired to audition/ interview for Abilene Christian University's Theatre Department. And I am proud to say that last Friday, I received my acceptance letter!!


So now, as soon as I get back on campus, I have to go through the process of changing majors. I am a little nervous, but I am very excited! I will be studying what I truly love and have a passion for. Studying business, I was just trudging through classes. Nothing really excited me or sounded interesting. But just in my intro to theatre class, I loved every minute of it. Everything we discussed or read about just sounded amazing to me. That in itself says something.

I love working with theatre people and I am extremely excited to be studying and  learning along side them as well. So, *raises invisible glass*, here's to new changes and big steps!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Grinch Christmas Cookies


Here is a Grinch-y twist on the classic Hersey Kiss drop cookies. These are green peppermint sugar cookies. They are very easy and really fun cookies to bake with your family.


Here’s what you need:

2 cups of flour
1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup of shortening
¾ cup of sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 bag of round peppermint candies
1 teaspoon of peppermint extract
green food coloring
1 bag of Hersey’s Peppermint Kisses

First, you mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Then, beat butter and shortening for at least 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the egg, milk,  vanilla and peppermint extract. Beat well.
Next, add the dry ingredients to the beaten mixture, mix until well combined. 

You need to cover the dough and place in refrigerator to chill overnight. Or at least 4 hours.

While the dough is chilling, take the desired amount of peppermint candies and place in a ziplock bag. I took a hammer and crushed the candies until there were tiny chunks of peppermint.
After it has been chilled, lightly flour your workspace and rolling pin. Mix the crushed peppermint into the dough. Roll to desired thickness and shape.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bakes for 8-9 minutes, depending on thickness of cookie.
After you have taken the cookies out of the oven, unwrap the Hersey Kisses and place in the center of each cookie.


Let cool and enjoy!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Paul's Conversion? A Throwback to Last Semester

Last semester, as in Spring 2014, my best friends Michaela and Brittney (of The Military Wife Life) and I had to do a creative project for our Bible class. We had to tell the story of Paul's Conversion. Well not only did we tell it, WE SANG IT. Here's a video of Paul's conversion to the tune of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song.


If you want to see how close our retelling is, and it's pretty close haha, go read Acts chapter 9!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

DisneyBounding for Disney World!


If you don't know or are not familiar with the term "DisneyBound", then I suggest that you stop right now and check out Leslie Kay's tumblr and educate yourselves. DisneyBounding is basically wearing clothes that resemble a Disney Character. My best friend, Michaela, and I went to Disney World for a week for our graduation. We were definitely going all out! That included DisneyBounding every day that we were there!

We were so excited! Of course we are students and just paid for a trip to Disney World, so our clothes budget was a little slim. The outfits are not as extravagant as we would have liked but we were complimented on them by cast members, which made it worth it!

Day One: Cupcakes


Our flight left in the morning, but we live an hour out of Austin, so we had to get up really early to be there on time. But that didn't squash our excitement! We had ordered these super cute disney cupcake shirts from Cakeworthy. Michaela was pink, more like Minnie, and I wore the traditional red, black, and white, like Mickey! All of the cast members loved our shirts! In fact, while in line for the Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios, a cast member grabbed us out of line and took us to the front so we could ride! We probably skipped 30 mins of wait time, all because our shirts were adorable!

So tip: wear unique Disney apparel.

Day Two: Disney Fans!


For our first day in Epcot we just expressed out Disney obsession! That's pretty easy to do. I got my Disney shirt from Old Navy and Michaela got hers from the Disney Store. Obviously, Disney apparel is not hard to find. Disney pride is every where!! Our day in Epcot is where we did our Princess Lunch in Norway! That place was delicious and we got to meet a lot of the princesses during the lunch!

Day Three: Pooh and Piglet


For our Animal Kingdom day, we dressed as Winnie the Pooh and Piglet. Our pictures turned out really cute! Especially the ones of me and Pooh Bear! He was so excited to see that we matched! We had a great day! Michaela was a little sad that she didn't get to see her twin too, but we bought ice-cream to make up for that!

Day Four: Mickey and Minnie Day!


This was our first day in Magic Kingdom, so we had to celebrate in style! I was the classic Steam Boat Willie Mickey Mouse, hint the gray and black. Michaela was Minnie Mouse, with her pink and polkadots. Michaela had also found these really small beaded Mickey ears and all of the princesses commented on them! Rapunzel had said that Pascal was looking for some ears and those would be the perfect size!

Again, wear unique Disney apparel.

Day Five: Princess Day!


Our second day at Magic Kingdom. We were our favorite Disney Princesses. I was Snow White and Michaela was Ariel. We also wore our specific princess pins on out shirts just to add more to our outfits. When we met Ariel, she noticed that we were dressed like her and Snow and she told us how they are best friends and Snow always gets her a pearl for her birthday. And each year she can add another pearl to her necklace! Ariel was by far the best meet and great experience!

Day Six: Mike and Sully


For our last day, we went to Epoct again to do the future world. We were Mike and Sully from Monster's Inc. We were sad to see it end, but we had a blast!

So for your next trip to Disney, try DisneyBounding. It really makes the trip that much more fun! Especially when you can meet the characters that inspired your outfit!



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Finals Fashion


Woah! What? Getting dressed for finals!?

I know what you're thinking, "This girl is crazy! No one wears anything cute during the week of finals!" Wrong! You do!

I understand that finals is one of the most stressful weeks of the semester, but that doesn't mean it has to be the most frumpy and least fashionable. Now if you wake up 5 mins before your 8 am final, then ya, go ahead and run to your final in your PJ's. Unless, you know, you sleep nude or something. That's probably not the best way to take a final. But if you have time to pick out your sweats and baggy T-Shirts for the day, then you probably have time to a least pick out some jeggings and a cute top.

Honestly, if you really want to sleep in. Pick out your outfit the night before, including accessories and shoes and then wake up and throw it all on. You don't need to do your hair, just toss it up in a messy bun and your good to go! No time for make up? No problem because you look gorgeous with out it!

Once you've got your rocking outfit on, it's time to take on those stupid finals! Not only will you look flawless, but a killer outfit can increase your confidence in yourself and you will do that much better on your exams. Cause when you look good, you feel good!

Still not sure what to wear?

Well let's start off with the pants. Find the most comfortable pair of jeans/ pants you own that are not yoga pants and go from there. You want to be in comfy pants so you can cross your legs or sit crisscross or how ever you are most comfortable. I have a pair of black, high-waisted jeggings that I got from Walmart that I absolutely love! They are my go-to pants when I want to be comfortable but still look fabulous.

Next, your top. I would go with something that is not super tight and is a little longer than normal. That way you are no worried about your shirt riding up or hugging you in weird places that misshape you. A shirt that is brightly colored. Bright colors wake you up and radiate positivity.

And what girl doesn't love shoes! I tend to go with slip ons, either flats or sandals. Ones that I can easily put on and take off because I do like to sit crisscross and it's easier to do that without shoes.

Accessories? Earrings are easy and out of the way, but they still say that you put time and effort into your appearance. Bracelets and bigger necklaces are probably not the best idea because they could get in the way when bubbling your scantron. And bracelets can be really distracting. The jingling when erasing can disrupt other testers, so lets avoid them.

You may be thinking, "Why does it matter what I wear to my finals and to study in?" Well I am a firm believer in what your wear reflects have you feel. If you wear nothing but sweats and baggy t shirts to everything, it says that you don't really care about what you are doing and that you do not put time or effort into anything. It can give off the impression that you are not truly invested. And while that may not be the case, it is one of the first impressions that is made about you. On the other hand, if you do dress up for class, it lets others know that you are interested in the subject and take time to represent yourself in a positive and professional manner. It shows that you respect yourself and take time to take care of yourself and your appearance. So why not take a little extra time to invest in your appearance?

So those are just a few tips for having a flawless finals week. I'm not saying this will be easy, but it will be worth it! I hope you all are not under a lot of stress these coming weeks. And that you have a Merry Christmas and amazing breaks, because we all deserve it!


Monday, December 8, 2014

DIY Custom Wrapping Paper


Christmas time is here! And that means presents under your Christmas tree. I don't know about you, but I loved wrapping paper and neatly wrapped boxes. I also like everything to match. At my house, my mom uses brown butcher paper and colorful ribbon and bows to wrap our the gifts that go under our tree. Well I've taken the brown paper one step further.

I've recently become obsessed with rubber stamps. I found an alphabet set and a "thank-you" set at Target in the dollar section. I also found some ink pads at Walmart in the scrapbook section. I am pretty sure you can also find them and Michael's or basically any craft store.


Here's what you need:

  • Some ink pads, the color of your choice
  • At least one complete set of alphabet stamps
  • Brown paper (can be bought at Walmart in the mailing/packaging section)
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pencil
  • and Your Gift

So first things first. Wrap your gift. I learned the hard way not to use the big packing tape because it takes up stamp space and its also very shinny. I suggest using the thinner scotch tape and try to use as little as possible, but still be able to keep the package securely wrapped.

Then address the package by using the alphabet bet stamps and spelling out their name and then your name. I decided to use two colors. Gray and black, just for more of an artistic feel. Also don't plan on the letters being straight. It is so hard to tell where the actual letter will be when stamping.

Then I just did something really simple to decorate the rest of the package. I used a pencil eraser to make some polka dots. Just simple red and green. But this is your creation, so do whatever your heart desires! You could buy some bigger stamps to put a little art work in the corner of your packages.


That is just a simple DIY wrapping paper idea. Not matter what you end up doing, your recipients will enjoy it. I know mine did! Enjoy decorating your packages! And Merry Christmas!!





Friday, December 5, 2014

NBC's Peter Pan Live!

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Last night, December 4th, 2014, NBC aired its second live show. As you remember last year, almost to the date, Carrie Underwood stared as Fraulein Maria in The Sound of Music Live! And there were alto of mixed reviews regarding Underwood's performance. This year Peter Pan Live! starred GIRLS' Allison Williams as Peter Pan and Christopher Walken as Captain Hook. And again, mixed reviews. What fly and what sank last night?

Source: NBC

Allison Williams' performance as Peter Pan last night was really good, for someone who's career is focused in film. She had the mannerisms of a young boy who doesn't want to do anything but play and be the leader. She needs to remember that with theatre, even when there are camera's, someone will always be watching you. There were some parts where I thought I saw her drop character, just a little. But when the camera was focused on her, she lit up. She was no Cathy Rigby, but she definitely stood out. The flying was a little choppy, but it still had me awing like a little girl. I was glued to the TV last night!

Source NBC

Christopher Walken, oh Walken. More light Walk and Talk through your songs. I was very disappointed in the choice of who to play Captain Hook. I grew up watching the Cathy Rigby VHS performance and the actor who played Captain Hook was a genius! He was charismatic and lively, funny and snarky. While Walken looked like he had been drugged and was forced to learn a dance during this performance. And what was his accent? And let's not forget those painful 60 seconds where he couldn't remember his lines and just began laughing. Yes Christopher Walken is a huge hollywood name that will entice viewers to tune in, but he just was not the best choice for this part.

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Christian Borle! Mr. Smee. He was amazing. He really was the one that kept all of the pirate scenes alive. He also played the father, which he did well in. His characters were definitely contrasting ones. I've always enjoyed watching Borle, whether in Legally Blonde the Muscial, or even in the The Sound of Music Live! Of course he is also in the T.V series, Smash, but I have yet to get into that show. Smee is always a fan favorite and I think that if casting did one thing right it was Borle as Mr. Smee.

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Taylor Louderman as Wendy. At first, I was not sure if I would like her. My first reactions were, "Oh! She looks so much older!" But of course they had to cast someone older to fully understand the character and to sing her songs with such depth. I believe that Louderman did an excellent job playing Wendy. She was full of youth and she she was child like, but she still wanted to behave like a grown-up. She mimicked her mother's actions and tried to be a mother to all those lost boys at such a young age. Louderman sang beautifully. I did enjoy Wendy's new song, "Only Pretend" and Louderman did a fantastic job with it.

As for the whole production itself, I thought it was well put together. The dance routines were great, even though Walken wasn't. The chorus numbers sounded amazing! I loved the camera angles when flying in and out of London. One of my favorite parts was the transition made between young Wendy and older Wendy. I thought that was beautiful. The whole cast did an amazing job and should be proud of last night's performance.

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There a new songs and updated lyrics. The set was pretty cool. They had a rotating stage that went from outside, above Pan's hideout into the hideout complete with a spiral stair case and slide entrance. I have always loved the map being the stage floor and I am glad the scenic designer kept that concept. The mermaid's lagoon was eerie and the pirate ship was pirate-y and full of scoundrels. So if you're looking for a family show and something that will take you back to your childhood, watch Peter Pan Live!


Thursday, December 4, 2014

John Green Novels


I've officially read all of John Green's books, at least the ones that he solely wrote. I have not read Will Grayson, Will Grayson or Let it Snow. I am not a book worm, but I do enjoy a good read every now and then. And I have to say, I really enjoyed reading John Green's books. They are easy to read but they are not naive.  They draw you in within the first chapter, every single one! So here are my thoughts/ reviews about his four novels, while trying not to spoil the endings.

The Fault in Our Stars


This was the first book I read, and I read it in one weekend! For me, that's a huge deal. The last time I read a book that fast was when I was sick and was reading all of the Captain Underpants books. If you don't know what those are, they are basically comic books within a "book". Mostly pictures. Nothing serious or intriguing. So, when I finished The Fault in Our Stars in 3 days, I was pretty impressed. 

If you've been living under a rock for the last year, The Fault in Our Stars is basically a love story between a girl with cancer and a boy who is a cancer survivor. Just, go watch the trailer for the movie.

I really, really liked the book, but I did not love it… and I didn't cry. I wanted to cry for the characters, but I just couldn't and I don't really know why. Though, it may have something to do with my friends ruining the ending. I wasn't very satisfied with the ending, I didn't find closure I guess. That's just my opinion. But I had to have liked it because I read it so fast. It is a good book, and if you need a good cry, then I highly recommend The Fault in Our Stars. 

An Abundance of Katherines


I have to say that this was probably my favorite book. At first I didn't like Colin, I thought he was just a weeny, but he grew on me. I didn't read this one as fast, but I loved the whole road trip and big adventures idea that the book had.

An Abundance of Katherines is about a boy, Colin Singleton, a child prodigy who is no longer considered a genius because he too old and growing out of his "child prodigy" age. He has only dated girls named Katherine. 19 to be exact. And all of the relations turn sour. In order to get out of the "dumped-funk" that he's been wallowing in, Colin and his best friend load up the car and just drive. You'll have to read the rest to find out what they come across, but just to intrigue you… they find themselves face to face with a wild hog. How? READ IT.

This story was all about friendship and young love. This book, to me, had the best ending. Call me naive, but I like happy endings. And I think that you'll enjoy reading about Colin's adventures in the little washed up town that he ends up in.

Paper Towns


I really like this book, and was kind of inspired to take my own crazy road trip. I liked the main character, Q. He and his group of friends were very relatable to myself and my friends. 

Paper Towns has a somewhat of a difficult story line. It is split up into three sections. The first is mainly exposition, then the second is like a really awesome plan that includes breaking into Orlando's Sea World and some of the greatest pranks of all time, and the third is like an epic easter egg hunt where someone's life depends on it. So ya, go read it.

As I said, I liked Q but I was not a fan of his love interest, Margo. She's this really mysterious girl and the who plot revolves around her and her actions, but she's missing for half the book. And then the ending… well, it ends! I'm trying really hard not to give anything away, haha. It is a good read, you just have to dive into the story as Margo and Q take on Florida.

Looking for Alaska


This book was probably my least favorite, but that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy it. I did enjoy it. The main girl, Alaska, frustrated me with all of her emotional fits and mood swings. But of course you will find out why through her back story. For me, this was the hardest book to get into. It took a couple of chapters before I was hooked. So if you're like me, just stick with it!

Looking for Alaska basically follows the like of a guy rechristened Pudge by his new friends at his new boarding school. He decided that he was done with having no friends and nothing to enjoy during school except reading biographies and learning the last words of famous and memorable people. He leaves and is enrolled for his junior and senior year at Culver Creek Boarding School in Alabama. His life is quickly changed after meeting the girl of his dreams, Alaska, and he gets involved with her and "the Colonel's" grand schemes and prank wars.

There were sections of this story that I could really related to; goofing off with my friends, staying up late talking about life, driving around just to drive. There were parts that had me completely hooked; my hands were sweating and I was nervous and wondering what the outcomes were of their crazy ideas. And there were parts that really broke my heart. It is a great story about the power of friendship and the lengths that some friends will go to when trying to answer life's biggest questions.


All of the books a great reads. I really encourage you to at least try one. You will not regret it. If you're not a reader, that;s ok. Neither am I. Did I mention that it took me FIVE months to read four books? If I can do it, so can you!
Ok so that was a pretty long post, but I hope that you are inspired to read, whether it's a John Green novel or you are re-reading the Harry Potter series. A school break is the perfect time to relax and wind down with a great book, or a stack of books, after a busy semester.

Happy Reading and Merry Christmas!!