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G. Tolley

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken — February 4, 2017

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.

2016 Favorites — January 4, 2017

2016 Favorites


HELLO 2017! Even though 2016 wasn’t the best year ever, I still found a lot of things I liked.


Easy on the eyes
Newt Scamander

A fellow Hufflepuff, Newt Scamander joins my long list of fictional characters that tickle my fancy. Though his eye contact skills are poor, I can overlook that.

newt
BagoGames Film Fallout Podcast #39 – Fantastic Beasts at The Edge of Seventeen November 23, 2016 From Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/31083632901 Via Creative Commons


Women who slayed
Leslie Jones

From being the number one fan of the Olympics to starring in one of the summer’s most anticipated films, Leslie Jones won 2016. Well, her website was hacked… but that didn’t stop her! It even made it into a couple of her different SNL skits.

lesil
Archivo:Leslie jones.jpg From Wiki Commons https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:Leslie_jones.jpg Via Creative Commons


Biggest Obsession
Starbucks Mugs

Ever since I laid eyes on the You Are Here Mug Collection from Starbucks, I’ve been obsessed. Depicting the highlights of specific cities in an Art Deco style, these mugs are the number one souvenir I look for when I’m out of town.

Best of Binge-watching
Red Oak – Amazon
Though it’s not my typical series I would watch, Red Oak centers around a young man who works as a tennis pro at an exclusive country club during the summer. The talented ensemble cast brings to life the characters in the 80s coming of age comedy series.

Glad you came into my life
Duffer Brothers – Stranger Things

The duo introduced us to the eerie world of Stranger Things, serving as the showrunners of the critically acclaimed series. Centering around the disappearance of a young boy in the 1980s, viewers soon realize that not everything is as it seems when a girl with supernatural powers appears. Make a free Netflix account if you don’t have one; you will thank me later.

stange-things
Stranger Things logo Wiki Common Via Creative Commons


Best Splurge Item
Instant Camera – Fujifilm Instax 8

Every once and awhile, you have to treat yourself. Instant camera photography is kind of an expensive hobby, but I buy the film on sale or in bulk. This model is great in both low lighting and in direct sunlight. Each picture has the vintage feel that you can’t get with an Instagram filter.

Best Fashion Purchase
Old Navy – Original Mid Rise Jeans

Anyone with thighs knows that chafing is an issue that causes the inside of the jeans to fade and wear down with time. For the past four years, I’ve exclusively worn only Old Navy jeans. After ripping over half of my jeans last winter, I knew it was time to repurchase my beloved pants. I love these jeans because they are high quality, have a slight stretch to them, come in a vast range of sizes and colors, and are cost efficient. The problem I came across when I went to repurchase them was that Old Navy changed the jeans’ styles and sizes again. Following an hour of intense jean trying on, I found a new style of jeans that fit my body even better than before. I wear the Original Mid Rise Jeans in the regular length. I haven’t bought the skinny jean version because the straight cut fits like that on me already.

G. Tolley — December 31, 2016

G. Tolley

For the past six months, I’ve posted content revolving around movies and cooking every Wednesday. Later on I started branching out into other territories by writing on beauty and fashion. A lot of things didn’t work, and I felt stuck doing the same thing over and over. As of January 1st, anunorthodoxblogsite.wordpress.com is becoming gtolley.com. The new site is giving me the opportunity for a fresh start and the ability to write whatever I enjoy that week. The type of content might range from my vacation journals, reviews of the newest blockbusters, my Sunday brunch recipes, lookbooks, and my current Spotify playlists. One thing was clear from the beginning: this blog will not be orthodox.

2017 Goals — December 28, 2016

2017 Goals

I couldn’t be happier that this year is over. With a semester left of schooling, I’m ready to head into the next chapter of my life. Until then, I’m stuck in suburbia working my butt off on a senior project and on this blog. As you might know, in four days this blog will become gtolley.com. Not much is changing except the URL and an extra post per week. To break in the new year, I want to set some goals for this website and me.
1.) Learn to properly budget time

I’m the queen of micromanaging, but I seem to never stick to schedule when it comes to my life. Learning to properly budget my time is a skill that I need help with in order to prevent procrastinating. I want to schedule 30 minutes a day to work on blog stuff so that on upload days I’m not staying up all night and getting no sleep.
2.) Keep in touch with people after graduation

Though I’m not going that far away, some of my friends are. Sure, we will still have our group chat where we share memes, but for the first time in forever, I’m not going to see my friends everyday.
3.) Try things that scare me

My life is predictable. I buy all my clothes from the same two stores and order the same thing every time at restaurants. I want to break the status quo and try things that I wouldn’t try in a million years. What’s the worse thing that could happen?

4.) Watch/ listen to more indie

This year I was terrible at going out and finding independent films and music. There are awesome movies and artists that aren’t produced by major studios that deserve recognition. I just have to find them.
5.) A fresh start

After living in the same small town for 18 years, people think they know you. Moving out is providing me with the chance to be whoever I want. I’m no longer forced to be the person I was in high school. Maybe I’ll run with a different crowd than I typically would, or maybe I’ll be called Grace rather than Gracie. Leaving home is going to be hard, but it’s giving me the chance for a clean slate and to become the best version of me.

Holiday Tag + Christmas Crack — December 21, 2016

Holiday Tag + Christmas Crack

Now that classes are over, the holiday season is officially here! I wanted to do something fun for you guys and help you get to know me a little better.
1.) Favorite Christmas movie?
The best way to kick off the season is by watching Christmas Vacation. It’s relatable because everyone has a cousin Eddie in their family.

xmas-vacation

2.)Do you start your Christmas shopping on Black Friday or wait until the last minute?

For me, Black Friday is the start of the holiday season. It’s a great way to get away from your family and get yourself some deals.

3.) Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
Typically it’s artificial, but in the past we have gotten a real tree. It’s just easier having a fake one because we have a dog who likes drinking the water, and no one wants to clean that up.

4.) Peeking at gifts or like being surprised?

I like to be surprised, but I always have a few ideas of what’s under the tree.

5.) Show us your ugly Christmas sweater if you have one.


6.) If you could be under the mistletoe with anyone, who would it be?

Tom Holland or Brooklyn Beckham

7.) Are you a pro-present wrapper, or do you fail miserably?

I take great pride in my gift-wrapping. Typically, it takes me a whole day to wrap everything because I don’t believe in gift bags.


8.) What tops your tree?
This year’s tree theme is green and silver. On top is a glittery sign that says Merry Christmas.


Christmas Crack

Christmas Crack is the ultimate snack to bring to any holiday party. It takes less than five minutes to make and only takes five ingredients. This recipe is typically made with crackers, but I used pretzels I already had at home instead.

Ingredients

  • 1 1-oz. packet Ranch seasoning
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried garlic
  • 2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 6 cups of pretzels

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. In a large gallon sized ziplock bag, mix everything together except the pretzels.
  3. Add in pretzels and shake until the pretzels are evenly coated.
  4. Put onto baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Gift Guide 2016 — December 14, 2016

Gift Guide 2016

With 12 days until Christmas, 11 days until Hanukkah, and 13 days until Kwanzaa, this means you have a little under 2 weeks to get all of your holiday shopping done. I’ve compiled a list that I believe can work for anyone on your list. This could include your significant other, parents, Secret Santas, your squad, and even your creepy cousin.
Under $5

Archer Farms Cinnamon Pecan Caramel Corn Clusters 

Archer Farms always have fantastic products, and this festive corn is already gift-wrapped for the holidays.


PocketBac Sanitizers 
Besides being the holiday season, it’s also flu season. No one wants to be sick this time of the year. Treat someone with the gift of germ-free hands! Ocean is my favorite scent at Bath and Body Works, and this sanitizer is the perfect size for a pocket or stocking. I would recommend buying these in store because online you can only snag them in bulk.

Under $10

Lounge Pants

Buying someone clothes is the riskiest gift idea. To make this work, you MUST find out their exact size OR get a gift receipt. Old Navy has been having great sales lately on PJs/ loungewear. Personally, I’ve bought the llama flannel pants and the green reindeer ones.

Portable Charger
For any smartphone user, portable chargers are a lifesaver. Depending on how much you want to spend, chargers can range from $3-$50.

Under $25

Three Wick Candles

Candles are the number one thing I stock up on. They are especially useful for when someone buys you a gift and you didn’t get them anything. Then you grab a candle and BOOM – instant present. I’ve talked before about my love of Bath and Body Works Candles, but my favorite seasonal candles are Spice and Black Tie.

Waterproof Portable Speaker 

For untalented folks like me, the shower is the only place where we can safely sing without criticism. This speaker has a suction cup on the back and Bluetooth capability. I’ve found it to have about five hours of power, which will last me forever.

Under $50

Amazon Fire Stick 

The fire stick is one the greatest inventions in streaming history. It’s easy to install, and unlike other streaming devices, the stick allows Amazon Prime video service, Netflix, and YouTube.

Subscribe Boxes

Who doesn’t want a gift every month of the year? There’s a vast range of subscription boxes that suit all interests and price ranges. Most services are having holiday specials that include discounted pricing when you buy multiple months. Below, I’ll list some boxes that I’m subscribed to or have heard good things about.

  • Birchbox- Beauty
  • Loot crate/ Loot Wear- Geeky fashion & trinkets
  • Dollar Shave Club- High quality razor for cheap
  • Popsugar Must Haves- Lifestyle products
  • Barkbox- New toys & treats for your furry pal
22 Thoughts I Had While Watching The Flash: The Present — December 7, 2016

22 Thoughts I Had While Watching The Flash: The Present

My name is Gracie Tolley, and I am the laziest woman alive. It’s because I avoid all responsibilities during the week in order to watch the CW’s DC shows. If I had to rank them, The Flash and Legends would be tied for first due to them always testing out new waters and how they feature characters that are just as complex as their storylines. Though I still watch Arrow, I really haven’t enjoyed it since season three. In my opinion, the show takes itself too seriously and has entered a pit of despair that they can’t return from. On the other hand, Supergirl is too cheery and optimistic at times, but at least it’s fun. In honor of The Flash’s midseason finale, I thought I would give my thoughts on season 3 episode 7: The Present.

  1. Ever since we first met Julian, I could’ve told you he was going to be the villain.
  2. I honestly love holiday episodes. Christmas always brings out the best in characters.
  3. The Philosopher’s Stone? Don’t you mean the Sorcerer’s Stone?
  4. The Flash’s set designers/decorators deserve a raise; they are phenomenal.
  5. Meanwhile on Earth Three.. Luke Skywalker robs a bank.
  6. How does that hat stay on his head? It doesn’t have a chinstrap or anything.
  7. I know Earth Three is super old-timey, but why use a Tommy gun?
  8. The fact that they can get Mark Hamill on the show deserves a round of applause.  
  9. Savitar looks like a poor man’s transformer meets Sauron.
  10. H.R.’s hat is distracting me right now.
  11. Alchemy seems like he thoroughly enjoys steampunk.
  12. That battle between Savitar and Jay looks like garbage. This is the holiday season though so all is forgiven.
  13. JUST LET WALLY BE KID FLASH ALREADY!!
  14. Barry really isn’t good at this whole secret identity thing.
  15. Cisco, you know this is a trap. Really? You’re that dumb?
  16. Maybe he knows all of you because you guys never shut up and tell everyone your secrets.
  17. What’s up with the drumsticks?
  18. Just throw the box in a volcano.
  19. If this ends up like Young Justice season 2, I’m done.
  20. Like Barry isn’t just going to time travel the shit out of this to save Iris.
  21. PLEASE BE A SUIT! PLEASE BE A SUIT!
  22. Life is whole again.

The Present was another great episode from team Flash. This midseason finale set up the second half of the season. Expect to see a lot of Barry worrying about the future and the team fussing over Wally being Kid Flash. By the time I post this tonight, I will have already seen today’s episode of Arrow (What We Leave Behind). For my opinion on that, check me out on twitter @GToIIey.

DIY Mug — November 23, 2016

DIY Mug

It is fact that America runs on coffee. Honestly, I can’t stand it. I know there’s hundreds of types of coffee all having their own different taste and smells. I think I’ll just stick to hot cocoa and tea. As the holiday season approaches, you might be like me and have a stack of people to buy gifts for. With a packet of hot cocoa mix, these mugs make a perfect holiday gift for any age.
The basic two things that you will need for this project is a mug and oil-based sharpies or other water safe paint pens. It’s optional but rubbing alcohol can help make your design last longer.
I found the best place to pick up cheap mugs is at your local Dollar Tree or Dollar Store.

Start off by removing any stickers or tags that might be on the mug. Then with a cotton pad or paper towel, clean off the surface with rubbing alcohol. Doing this locks in your design by having a dirt free surface for the paint to stick to.
Have your design picked out and in front of you. Pinterest is where to go for finding inspiration for these kind of projects.

Using your markers, draw on the design.

For people who can’t draw to save their life, make a stencil like what was used in the DIY pumpkin craft. If you can’t do either, bribe a friend who can.

Any mistakes you make can be erased before they dry using rubbing alcohol.

Let this set for three days so it can properly adhere to the mug. Place the mug into a cool oven on a baking sheet. Turn oven on to 425°, and let it bake for one hour. Under no circumstances should you open the oven during this because the change in temperature could cause the mug to crack.

After this, turn off the oven and let the mug cool inside. For best results, let it sit overnight.

I love this project and already whipped out a few extras for presents. These mugs are machine washable, but I would only put them on the top shelf.

Travel Essentials — November 16, 2016

Travel Essentials

It’s good to be home! After an extended weekend in Indianapolis for the National High School Journalism Conference, I’m back to talk about my travel essentials.
1.) Headphones

It doesn’t matter if you’re listening to music or not, headphones are a lifesaver on a crowded charter bus for 12 hours. For someone like me who lives on TV and movies, it’s vital to have a nice pair of headphones. My Beats Solo 2 in Gray have lasted me a year so far and are perfect for traveling because they’re collapsible.

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2.) Audiobooks

I’m not a big reader, but every so often I find something that just pulls me in. Audiobooks are a lifesaver during the school year since I don’t like just sitting down and reading a book. Spotify has a fantastic selection in classical books. I just finished listening to 1984 for my literature class. #PleasesponsormeAudible


3.) Portable charger 

As a tech head, I need power! I have a couple small portable chargers that are good for a quick phone charge. On most trips, I usually bring a mini laptop or iPad to work on stuff. Tzumi Pocket Juice Slim 12,000mAh Solo Portable Charger can charge my iPad three times on a single charge. This one doesn’t need an extra cord to charge it because it has a wall plug-in built in.

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4.) Guidebooks

Whenever I’m in a new city, I make sure I have a guidebook via book or phone. They are usually written by city natives/ experts and feature a vast amount of knowledge on what to do there. In the past, I’ve used the apps Guidebook, Lonely Planet, and eTips.

5.) Camera

I don’t go on vacation to relax; I’m there to explore and make memories. If I wanted to relax I would have stayed at home! I don’t like bringing my expensive Canon camera when I travel because that’s just asking for it to be broken or stolen. You’ve heard me rave about my instant camera by Fujifilm, and ever since I bought it it’s always with me. Each photo captures a single moment in time. One thing is for sure – no Instagram filter compares to the look of Polaroid.
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Pros and Cons of Doctor Strange  — November 10, 2016

Pros and Cons of Doctor Strange 

Marvel’s newest installment in their cinematic universe, Doctor Strange, was released last weekend. Since my showing late Sunday afternoon, I’ve been trying to decide on my final opinion of the flick. Like with most issues in my life, I’ve made a pro and con list to help me come up with an answer.
Pros

  • Marvel finally broke ground into the realm of mysticism, helping them to continue their ever growing universe.
  • The film continues to test the waters of other film genres. This time it’s the hospital drama. Marvel’s phase two of the MCU has done this a few times, such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier being a spy thriller and Ant Man as a heist film.
  • Cast easily takes on their comic book counterparts.
  • Oscar worthy visuals.

Cons

  • Lacks the relatable charm that most Marvel films have featured. (Unless you’re a 40 something year old egotistical surgeon.)
  • Humor tends to fall flat. (Why would you have a Beyoncé joke, let alone two of them?)
  • The last act is bland, repetitive, and even worse than superhero movies like Green Lantern and Fantastic Four.
  • Film doesn’t spend time exploring the character of Stephen Strange that well, which plays into the relatability factor of the movie.
  • Another one that offs the villains.

Doctor Strange isn’t a misstep for Marvel. Strange is a weird amalgamation of The Matrix, Inception, and Grey’s Anatomy. This mashup works for what they’re going for and what was trying to be set up. It does stray away from the tones set up by previous films. What I’m really interested in is how Strange will tie in with Infinity War, and how he will interact with the other Avengers.