prom

10 Things To Do Before Buying A Prom Dress

Here in the States, prom season is quickly approaching. That means millions of girls are going to be looking for formal dresses. From experience, I found doing these things before I went shopping is helpful in finding the perfect gown.

1.) Established A Budget

Who is paying for your dress? If your parents are, ask them what their limit is. Keep in mind you might have to pay for shoes, hair & makeup, tickets, dinner, etc. If you are paying, how much can you save until you have to buy a dress? Unless you buy something you can wear to other events, you are only going to wear this once. I’ve bought formal dresses in every price range. From this, I’ve learned you don’t have to buy a “traditional” prom dress. Second hand, vintage, and renting are also options that are budget friendly; it’s almost certain that no one else will have your dress this way.

2.) Find Inspiration

Looking through the prom tag on Pinterest is always a good starting point in finding a dress. Typically these kinds of dresses are crazy expensive, but they can still provide inspiration. Each year I pick up a few prom magazines, such as a Seventeen’s prom issue. They are fun to look at and can show you how to style different kinds of dresses.

3.) Check Your School’s Dress Code

Lucky for me, my school’s dress code doesn’t apply to prom. With schools with stricter codes, it never hurts to ask. Typically, either the counselor or Vice Principal can help you with these questions.

4.) Allow Plenty of Time

You can’t always walk out with your prom dress after you purchase it. I would start looking for dresses at least two months in advance. This is to make sure you have enough time for alterations. In some cases, the dress you try on is just a sample dress, and they have to order it.

5.) Buy Dresses During A Sale

Department stores have sales all the time, usually happening around holidays. Also, buying out of season can get you huge savings as well.

6.) Buy Undergarments

Before you head out looking, wear the appropriate undergarments. This can cause a dress to look completely different on you. Maybe even try a body shaper. My current favorites are the ASSETS by Spanx available at Target and Kohls.

7.) Keep An Open Mind

You might walk into a store thinking you know what you want, but end up leaving with a completely different idea. It’s important to try on every kind of dress, because you really don’t know if you like something until you try it on.

8.) Don’t Go Alone

Honestly, it’s no fun trying on dresses alone, and it’s good to have a second opinion. Bring a parent or a few friends, but don’t bring a huge group.

9.) Don’t Buy The First Dress You Try On

It’s very tempting to just buy the first dress that you try on that fits nice, but you need to keep looking. If you’re worried that someone might buy it before you come back, put it on hold. You never know what the next store might have.

10.) Buy A Dress That Fits You Now

Don’t buy a dress that you have to lose 20 pounds to fit in. Just buy a dress that fits, and you can always have it altered.

 

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Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes

The highlight of each week is having breakfast with my family on Sunday mornings. As much as I would like to make myself a nice breakfast each morning, I just don’t have the time. On certain mornings I have extra time, and I’ll make something like this. This pancake recipe is almost foolproof and is somewhat healthier than traditional pancakes.

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Ripe Banana, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Oats
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions 

  1. Combine all ingredients into a blender, and pulse until it becomes a liquid.
  2. Spray a small skillet on a medium heat with oil. Pour about 2 tablespoons into the hot skillet to form a pancake. I found with this, recipes that make full-sized pancakes always come out underdone.
  3. Flip the pancake after a minute and a half. Then let the other side cook for one minute.

 

yoga

Thoughts on Yoga Hosers

Have you ever seen a movie so bad that you had to tell everyone about it? For me, that would be Yoga Hosers – the 2016 “attempt” at making a teen action comedy by Kevin Smith. Over the holiday break, I watched this movie for the first time. It must have been VERY late at night, because the only thing I remember about it was that it was terrible. Yoga Hosers is the textbook definition of nepotism, as Smith cast his daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, and her best friend, Lily Rose Depp, as the two leads. This movie is like driving past a car crash because you just can’t look away.

  1. Do you think Kevin Smith wrote all of the songs in this movie?
  2. I don’t think that many people would want to come to a mini-mart within a span of ten minutes.
  3. When will Austin Butler stop being cast as a teenager?
  4. These people’s Canadian accents are almost worse than their acting.
  5. Why would anyone trust a guy named Yogi to teach you yoga?
  6. Don’t you hate it when you have to pause a movie just to read the title cards?
  7. Where did the idea for this movie even come from? Smith says the idea for Tusk and Yoga Hosers came to him during a podcast. I think he has a deep-seeded hatred for Canada.
  8. Harley Quinn and Lily Rose aren’t too bad singers, but they keep making awkward eye contact with the camera.
  9. Wiener dogs aren’t evil.
  10. Movies like this give millennials a bad name.
  11. Much like Yogi Bear, I don’t think Kevin Smith understands how copyrights work.
  12. Ladies and gentlemen, this is why you always bring a weapon.
  13. These special effects are borderline Syfy Channel level of bad.
  14. STAN LEE CAMEO
  15. When one of your villains is a foot tall Nazi sausage, I expect to have more sausage jokes.
  16. Yoga isn’t going to help you here.
  17. Why is the Bratzi’s insides bright orange?
  18. As an American, I have no clue how the Canadian justice system works. This is a complete guess, but I don’t think that they have suspects share the same police interrogation room.
  19. If I had a secret lab, I probably would put it in the bathroom too.
  20. This guy’s accents are very bad – like an annoying theater kid trying to do a British accent level of bad.
  21. After reading some reviews, I’m surprised that no one brought up how Yoga Hosers blatantly ripped off countless other movies.

 

In many ways, this was just a remake of Smith’s cult classic film Clerks. The only difference was that this time, it was teenage girls in Canada with Nazis. One thing I truly liked about the film was the graphics, but that was about it. Like with most Kevin Smith films, it seemed like the film was just one big inside joke that no one understood. I get that artists should take risks, but most of Smith’s career has been a risk that has had no payoff.

As I start to enter adulthood, I’m starting to realize that these kinds of movies aren’t designed for me. This was made for pre-teen girls, and I know that I probably would have loved it seven years ago. That doesn’t give it a pass though, because the plot was still trash. Leads Harley Quinn Smith and Lily Rose Depp weren’t terrible in their roles and had chemistry, but their acting still felt kind of stiff in front of the camera. Kevin Smith has both directing and writing talent, but he needs to start making content that isn’t just for his small fan base. I think Smith needs to work on projects that he doesn’t have full control on. When someone has too much power, things always fall apart. Currently, Smith has been killing it on the CW. He directed my favorite episode of The Flash, “The Runaway Dinosaur”. Smith is currently working on the final film in the True North Trilogy, with the kind-of-sequel to Tusk and Yoga Hoser called Moose Jaws.

brownies

Easy Valentine’s Day Brownies

Sure, I’m single, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what people want for Valentine’s Day. No one wants flowers, stuffed animals, or cheesy heart-shaped jewelry; they want brownies. 

Ingredients 

  • 3/4 Cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder 
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking powder 
  • A Pinch of Salt

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, mix oil, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. To get the best result, mix until the egg yolks are broken and are fully combined with the other ingredients. 
  2. Then in another bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. 
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the flour slowly, and mix on a slow setting. When the batter doesn’t have a gritty/ powdery texture anymore, it’s ready. At this point, if you want to add anything extra, such as chocolate chips or nuts, mix it in now. 
  4. Pour this into a greased pan, and tap the pan onto a hard surface to remove any air bubbles. At the last minute, I decided to add caramel into the batter. To do this, I put five big dollops of premade caramel sauce into the batter and swirled it around the pan with the back of a spoon.
  5. Even though I recommend using an 8×8 square pan for this recipe, I made mine in a 7 1/2 x 11 1/2 sized glass pan. Whatever size you end up using, check the brownies after the 25-minute mark with a toothpick. Keep in mind that they continue to bake even after they are removed from the oven.
morning-routine

Morning Routine

I’m not a morning person. This could easily be fixed by going to bed earlier, but that’s just not going to happen. My daily schedule varies from day to day because the time my classes start flip-flop back and forth.

A Day Mornings

6:45- My first alarm of the day goes off and wakes me up. At this time, I review what my day looks like and decide if it’s worth putting on makeup and doing my hair. If I have something going on that day, I roll out of bed and head up the stairs to start straightening my hair. About 9 out of 10 days on average, I’m going back to sleep.

7:00- My second alarm goes off. Then I have to make the decision if breakfast is worth getting out of bed for. If the answer is yes, I make myself a quick meal such as oatmeal. If no, I hit snooze and get another 20 minutes of sleep.

7:20- Ok. No more sleeping in. I rush upstairs, wash my face, and brush my teeth. Most days I’m fine with just running a comb through my hair, but sometimes I have to wet it down and put product in it.

7:30- At the beginning of the week, I lay out a few different choices for outfits. Typically if I’m running behind, I just pick the most comfortable option.

7:40- Now I should be ready for school, and I head out the door.
B-Day Mornings

9:30- Most days that I have no morning classes, I sleep in. If I’m not up by 9:30, my alarm wakes me up.
9:40- On these days I don’t get a lunch at school. Sometimes I’ll rewarm some leftovers from the night before or cook something to eat. Afterwards, I catch up on shows, work on a blog post, or workout.

10:20- Since I have no excuse on my B-Days to look like trash, I get myself ready for the day.

11:00- Most of the time on these kinds of days, I have to bring a lot of stuff to school. The night before I try to gather anything I need for the next day and put it in my car. I really hate having to drive back home, so I double-check that I have everything.

11:10- Now that I’m packed and ready, I go to school.

chicken

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 large Frozen Chicken Breasts
  • 1 packet of Taco Seasoning
  • 1 ½ cups Mild Salsa

Directions

1.) Place the chicken, seasoning, and pico de gallo into a crockpot on low heat. Let this cook for 8 hours.

2.) After the eight-hour mark, the chicken should be falling apart. With a fork, shred the chicken. Then serve with either brown rice or use a taco meat.

jan-fav

January Favorites

Hello February! This month I thought a lot about the future: the future of my schooling, my relationships with others, and of course, this blog. I enrolled in summer classes, booked a trip, bought my prom dress, had my final color guard performance, and cooked my heart. What you don’t see here on my blog is that some of the recipes I attempt just don’t turn out well. I start the week off by cooking my first choice recipe. If it turns out good, it gets photographed, typed up, and posted on Saturday. About half of the time the recipe is a fail, so I either have to remake it or start from scratch with a new idea. Don’t worry… no food goes to waste, because someone always ends up eating it!
The Magicians (Netflix)

About a year ago, I heard about this series from Black Nerd Comedy, aka Andre Meadows on YouTube, who describes it as a grown-up version of Harry Potter. Unlike my friends, I wasn’t a huge Potterhead. I thought that since it was just some random SyFy channel show, it would be canceled after one season. This series is a fresh take on what I feel like is the typical fantasy based story. I find The Magicians is more like the Percy Jackson books than Harry Potter. As it takes place in both New York and a fantasy realm, the people are divided into houses based on what they can do. The best way to think about it is taking the overall idea of Camp Half-Blood and replacing the demigods with the wizards from Harry Potter.


Salt Lamp

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001892AX2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I’m a sucker for anything that claims to help with seasonal allergies. In the past, I’ve tried nose strips, vapor rub on my feet, Neti Pots, and even drinking salt water. Supposedly salt lamps can help with congestion by purifying the air. I got one for Christmas from my mom, but I’m still skeptical if it actually works or not. Still, it makes a cool lamp and has an adjusted knob that’s great for at night.

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Beats Solo 3 Wireless

From the moment I get up, I have my headphones in and listening to something. I decided to upgrade my old Beats Solo 2 to the Solo 3 wireless because I like being able to control my phone with ease without having it in my hands. The sound quality hasn’t changed much, but the wireless feature is more convenient for me. For a full battery, it takes about an hour and a half to charge. That by itself usually lasts me a week.

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Split

January is kind of a dead month for movies, and the ones that did come out were garbage. I saw Split on its opening night, and I was really enjoying it until the “beast” came into the story. It’s already better than 90% of any other horror movie that’s going to come out this year, but it tries to make sense of a weird ending with a M. Night Shyamalan signature plot twist. Until the third act, it was set in a believable reality; then out of nowhere a guy is climbing up a wall. Up-and-comer Anya Taylor-Joy did a good job, but James McAvoy carried the story.


Instant Oatmeal 
This month I found three big boxes of oatmeal that I forgot I bought a while back. Most mornings, I add in granola, such as Bear Naked V’nilla Almond Fit, and maybe a tablespoon of peanut butter if it’s too thin. It takes about two minutes to make and keeps me full until I get home.

 

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Pork & Lime Nachos 

Ingredients

  • 5 cups Tortilla Chips (about 2/3 of a bag) 
  • 2 cups Pork, diced
  • ½ cup Refried Beans
  • 4 cups Cheese, Shredded
  • 1 cup Milk
  • ½ of a 4 oz can Green Chilies, drained
  • ¼ cup Cilantro
  • 2 teaspoon Jalapeño, diced
  • 1 cup Yogurt
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Lime, zest
  • 1 Tablespoon Dill
  • ⅓ cup Pico De Gallo

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. On a baking sheet, layer on the tortilla chips. Then pile on the shredded pork and beans, sprinkling on half of the cheese as well.
  2. In a pot, add milk, the rest of the cheese, and green chillies. Allow the cheese to melt on a medium heat, so it becomes a smooth liquid.
  3. Deseed the avocado and combine with dill, yogurt, lime, cilantro, and jalapeño and blend into a liquid.
  4. Place tray into oven for 7 minuteor until the cheese layer has melted.
  5. Once out of the oven, let the nachos cool for a couple of minutes. To finish them, sourcream sauce, cheese sauce, and Pico De Gallo.
jedi

What does “The Last Jedi” Mean?

On Monday, January 23rd, Disney and Lucasfilm announced that Star Wars: Episode VIII would be called The Last Jedi. Since last December when The Force Awakens was released, fans have been theorizing what the next installment would look like. I believe this title gives a lot more than expected.

Starting off, we currently know that there’s four confirmed living force sensitive people in the Galaxy: Rey, Kylo Ren (Ben Solo), Supreme Leader Snoke, and Luke Skywalker. Both Kylo and Snoke work for the First Order and would be considered Sith, not Jedi. That leaves us with Luke and Rey. I honestly don’t think this title is talking about Rey because Episode VII’s title, The Force Awakens, referred to her finding the force. It doesn’t make sense to have two movies back to back referencing Rey in the title.

Luke is the last Jedi to be trained by the last “true” Jedi Master, Yoda. Episode VIII is supposed to start where VII ended, and Rey is nowhere close to becoming a Jedi. The ghost voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi even tells Rey when she picks up Luke’s original lightsaber that “these are your first steps.” I have no doubt that by the end of this trilogy Rey will have become a full Jedi, but as of now she is just Luke’s new apprentice. Plus, in the opening crawl of The Force Awakens, it even refers to Luke as “The Last Jedi.”

“Luke Skywalker has vanished. In his absence, the sinister FIRST ORDER has risen from the ashes of the Empire and will not rest until Skywalker, the last Jedi, has been destroyed.”

– The Force Awakens Opening Crawl

From an official statement from Disney & Lucasfilm, it was said that The Last Jedi will be the next chapter in the Skywalker Saga. This had me thinking that Rey might turn out to be Luke’s daughter, but I think if they went that route it would be a letdown.

The new red logo also tells us a lot about the movie. Red signifies danger, and in the Star Wars franchise it is the color for the Sith. Maybe we will get some flashbacks of the two training before Kylo went full emo. This color was used in both Return of the Jedi and Revenge of the Sith. Both of these films were the darkest of their trilogies and both featured major deaths.

The question is… who is going to die? My theory is Luke. This will pass the torch on to Rey, and then she will become “The Last Jedi.” I feel like his death will be in the last scene of the film, and it will be the “Luke, I am your father” moment that we got in Empire. At the same time, I don’t think they will kill anyone because they just killed off Han.

Now that we have the title, I would expect to have a teaser trailer within the next two months. You never know… they might even drop it next week during the Super Bowl.

donuts

Apple Bacon Caramel Cronuts

Crescent + Doughnut = Cronuts
Ingredients

  • 1 Package Refrigerated Pillsbury Uncut Crescent Sheet
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Apples, Diced
  • ⅓ cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon All Spice
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ cup Bacon Bits
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 ½ tablespoons milk
  • ¼ cup Caramel Sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Unwrap the crescent roll sheet and fold it on top of itself. On a floured surface, roll out this dough. Then take a 4-inch cookie cutter, or something similar in size, and cut out the donuts, laying them on a greased cookie sheet. From here, remove the center of the circles using a 1-inch cutter or a water bottle cap. Place them in the oven for 10 minutes or until they’re a light brown on top.
  2. In a small pan, combine butter, apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and bacon. Let this caramelize on a medium-low setting.
  3. Mix powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Add the caramel sauce and continue mixing until smooth.
  4. After the Cronuts have cooled, dip them into the caramel glaze. Top with caramelized apples and bacon.