recent-watch-history

Recent Watch History

From about Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day, I go through a period where I binge-watch shows like crazy. I’ve compiled a list of what I’ve enjoyed so far in no particular order. One of my weird habits is that I’ll watch a few different shows at the same time. This happens because I’ll start a show and get bored of it, then end up coming back to it later. This isn’t even close to everything I’ve streamed, but on average, about half of the things I watch ends up being utter garbage.

 

What I’m watching now
The Magicians- Netflix ( Currently on Episode 6)

Harry Potter meets Percy Jackson in this Sci-Fi channel original television show.

Conspiracy- Netflix ( Currently on Episode 2)

Your paranoid uncle’s favorite theories about Nazis and the Royal Family, all wrapped up in 12 hour-long episodes.

Luke Cage- Netflix ( Currently on Episode 3)

This third Marvel Netflix series revolves around a man with extraordinary powers who is trying to restore his quiet life by taking down the New York underground.

 

 

Series of Unfortunate Events- Netflix

The acclaimed children’s book series by Lemony Snicket finally gets the adaptation it deserves. The first season revolves around the Baudelaire orphans jumping from guardian to guardian and the mystery behind their parents’ deaths.

The Crown- Netflix

A young Queen Elizabeth struggles between balancing being Queen and a wife. I wouldn’t be surprised if Matt Smith and Claire Foy both won Emmys for their roles in the show.

Yoga Hosers- Netflix

Kevin Smith’s attempt at making a teen film based in Canada. (That’s all you need to know.)

Barry- Netflix

A biopic that explores Barack Obama’s time at Columbia University in the early 1980s.

Degrassi Next Class- Netflix

A guilty pleasure of mine that’s the newest version of the Degree series. It goes through the everyday lives of students at Degrassi Community School.

Red Oaks- Amazon

This was hands down my most favorite new show of 2016. Red Oaks centers around a young man who works as a tennis pro at an exclusive country club during the summer.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Netflix

Buffy Summer hunts and kills supernatural creatures.

Supernatural- Netflix

Sam and Dan Winchester hunts and kills supernatural creatures.

The Man in the High Castle- Amazon
Set in an alternate timeline where the Allies never won WW2 and the Nazi party and Japan control the United States. In this world, a series of short films depict the Axis losing the war, causing a young women to try to figure out where the films came from.

Fuller House- Netflix

The Tanner family is back in the follow-up series to Full House, featuring the same catchphrases and wacky scenarios they’ve been using since the 1990s.

chicken-pasta

4 Ingredient Pesto Chicken Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1/2 of a 16 oz box of spaghetti
  • A 6.3 oz jar of Barilla pesto
  • 4 medium sized chicken breasts
  • A pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Begin by filling a large pot halfway full with water, and put on a medium-high heat setting. While this is heating, add in 1/2 box of spaghetti and a pinch of salt. From here, fix the noodles according to the directions on the packaging.

 

  1. While this is boiling, cut up the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Throw them into a covered skillet and let them cook through. When there’s no pink left, drain any juices off the chicken. Then put the chicken back into the pan, letting them get a nice and burn-like crust on them.
  2. By now the pasta should be done, so go ahead and drain it. Put the spaghetti back into the pot and mix in the jar of pesto, mixing with kitchen tongs. Once evenly coated, add in the chicken.
cool-supplies

Things To Do Now Before Graduation

Senior year should be your most exciting year of high school. For me, it’s all about having a shortened class schedule and having only two core classes; however, come August I have a full course load at college. Still, I got a hell of a lot to do until graduation. This guide is directed towards seniors who have already been accepted into a college or intend to trade schools. Since I’m no expert, the best thing to do is to sit down with your school counselor or a parent and go through your game plan if you haven’t already.

1.) Fill out FAFSA
This financial aid application is needed for most schools and helps you figure out how much financial aid you can receive. The process of filling it out takes less than an hour, but you will need your parents’ tax returns from last year. According to the FAFSA’s official website, you should submit your FAFSA by the earliest financial aid deadline of the schools to which you are applying. This is usually by early February.


2.) Take a final set of ACT/SAT/standardized testing

If you’ve already been accepted into college, you’ve already taken at least one set of a standardized test. Most colleges require a score of  21 on the ACT OR over a 1070 on the SAT to be accepted. Taking the test more than once can increase your test scores, which only means more money and scholarships in the end.

3.) Start filling out scholarships
Everyone likes free money. Start off by applying for local scholarships when they come available. Then start looking for scholarships online. A few great websites for this are Scholly and Unigo. ** Never give out personal information such as a SS number for scholarships.
**

4.) Buy cap and gown
If you haven’t already, BUY YOUR CAP AND GOWN. All schools I know of require you to buy one if you want to graduate.


5.) Go to prom or your formal dance equivalent

Even if you have just some smidge of interest in going to prom, go! Sure, it’s kind of cheesy, but if you go with your squad I promise you will have a good time. You can always leave halfway through and go to IHOP or a friend’s house.

6.) Buy a yearbook
Your school’s yearbook staff, or whoever creates your book, puts a lot of time and effort into trying to capture your senior year. If you wait longer to purchase it, the price typically goes up.

 

7.) Send out graduation invites and announcements

Just send them out! You might get money from your relatives.

 

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Momofuku Birthday Cake Balls + Cake Fail Story

I was planning on sharing a recipe and a few pictures of a bomb Momofuku Milk Bar inspired cake that I was going to make for New Years. The only issue is that it didn’t turn out so well. Everything was looking good until I baked the first of three cakes in my six-inch spring pan. The recipe didn’t create a lot of batter to start off with, but I still followed through with the directions thinking that I’d just have thinner layers or that they would rise in the oven. Secondly, the recipe I followed used a seven-inch pan, so I thought I would need to let the cake bake longer than the time stated. Each layer came out about 1/6 of an inch and baked for only half of the time. After baking the three thin layers, they cooled as I created the icing and topping. Next came the assembly. I started off with placing down the first layer and painting on a milk and vanilla mixture to keep it moist. Then, I frosted on a thick layer of icing with some of the rainbow streusel topping on top. When I repeated this step, the following layer of the cake crumbled into pieces when I tried to pick it up. Trying not to panic, I tried to jigsaw it back together on the cake plate. With semi-success, I moved on to the frosting. The dense icing didn’t pair well with the crumbly layer beneath it, creating a clumpy mess. Next, I added another layer of topping and moved on to the final layer. Again, the cake fell apart as I added on the icing and streusel. It was a hot mess. I’d already spent two and a half hours making this cake, so I wasn’t going to give up just yet. One thing I learned from many years of unsuccessful baking is when in doubt, just dump it in a mixer. In my standing mixer, I tossed in the cake and combined it with the remaining icing and topping. After mixing it on a medium setting for a minute, I found myself with a fantastic recipe for cake balls. Below, I’ll list my recipe I used, but to make it easier on yourself, just bake the cake in a 9×13 pan and bake it for somewhere between 30 to 45 minutes. I haven’t tried this, but make sure to watch your cake and use the toothpick test to make sure it’s done. 

Momofuku Birthday Cake Balls Recipe 

Ingredients 

For Cake

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cups rainbow sprinkles

For Cake Soak

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Frosting 

  • 8 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

For Crumb Topping 

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Starting with the cake ingredients, cream together the butter and sugars for two minutes on a medium setting. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, then mix again for two minutes on medium. Scrape the edges of the bowl and make sure everything is combined. Add in buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix on medium for seven to eight minutes or until it’s white. This part took almost 15 minutes for me. Don’t rush this part!
  2. Add in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles) a little at a time. Make sure you mix this on a low setting so the flour doesn’t fly everywhere. Mix this for about one to two minutes or until everything is combined. Bake this in a greased 9×13 pan for 30 to 45 minutes or until the toothpick comes out.
  3. While this is in the oven, start on the frosting. Cream together the butter and cream cheese for two minutes on a low setting. After this, pour in corn syrup and vanilla and continue to mix for two to three minutes. By now this should be smooth and glossy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add in the remaining ingredients (confectioners’ sugar, salt, and baking powder). On a low setting, mix this until it’s incorporated. Set this to the side for now.
  4. After the cake is finished or if you have double ovens, heat the oven to 300°F. For the crumb topping, combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles in a bowl. Pour in the oil and vanilla, and mix with a fork until crumbs form. Bake this for 15 minutes on a baking sheet.
  5. From here, either you can make a layered cake like I was attempting, or combine the cooled cake into a mixture with the frosting and topping on a low setting. Then roll them into 1 inch balls. Place them onto a wax paper lined baking sheet and put them into the freezer for an hour. 
  6. Melt down a bag of chocolate chips by placing them in a microwave-safe bowl and melting them on 30 second intervals. Then, drizzle this on the frozen cake balls.
2016-favorites

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.

new-dem

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-post-head

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.

hoilday-tag-cover

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.
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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
flash

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.