Friday, August 1, 2014

31 Days of #Film - Day 1: Favorite Film

This is quite possibly one of the best movies of all time. I have a lot of favorites, and it could be that if you ask me again tomorrow I will give you a completely different answer. It all depends on my mood, but I think a lot of my family and friends would answer with this film as my favorite. I LOVE Tom Hanks in almost everything I've seen him in (the exception is his portrayal of Walt Disney, he's not even close!) and Forrest Gump is by far his best character.

A lot of people see this film as a comedy, or a dramady, and it IS funny. It has to be because the true subject matter is so serious and sad! Forrest is a symbol of hope and courage and heart. The film is such an encouragement to all viewers of every background/walk of life.

The cast is perfection, I mean who doesn't love Gary Sinise as Lt. Dan Taylor? Sally Fields as Mama Gump?

It's quotable, it's got a lot of great sight gags as well as some pretty incredible technology for the time that it was shot in (the way they splice him into history!). I love how they put him into some of our culture's greatest historic moments and yet it's still believable!

It's fun, it's quirky, it'll make you cry. And if it doesn't, well, then... you're just heartless. (I mean *I* get choked up and I'm dead inside!)


44 days till Disneyland!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Why do I blog?

I have absolutely no idea. Normally just a way to stay creative, share what's going on with me, vent... it's really just all about me. Me. Memememememememe!

31 Days of #Film Challenge

Wish I'd found this one in time for July, but August is good, too. It's close to our Disney trip and Disney films will no doubt be a big part of this challenge!

Day 1- Your favorite film
Day 2- Your least favorite film
Day 3- A film that makes you happy
Day 4- A film that makes you sad
Day 5- A film that reminds you of someone
Day 6- A film that reminds you of a certain event
Day 7- A film with your favorite soundtrack
Day 8- A film that you can quote every line from
Day 9- The best documentary film
Day 10- A film from your favorite Director
Day 11- The best sports film
Day 12- A film with your favorite actor/actress
Day 13- A film with your least favorite actor/actress
Day 14- A film that you used to love but now hate
Day 15- The best horror film
Day 16- A film that you totally didn't "get"
Day 17- The most beautiful scene in any film
Day 18- The worst script in any film
Day 19- The first film you saw in a theater
Day 20- The best political film
Day 21- The film that not only changed the way you saw cinema, but the way you saw the world
Day 22- The film you should like, but don’t
Day 23- The funniest film you’ve ever seen
Day 24- Your “guilty pleasure” film
Day 25- The film that makes you want to be a filmmaker
Day 26- The film that should have never had a sequel
Day 27- A film from your childhood
Day 28- Your “perfect date” film
Day 29- A film that you will never tire of
Day 30- The “smartest” film you’ve seen
Day 31- The “perfect” film

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Make Up?

Because of my sensitive skin, I rarely wear make up. When I do it's normally because I have my contacts in and I feel like I need to dress up my face. I have eye shadow, mascara... and that's about it. That's enough burning of my skin.

Besides, I have NO idea what I'm doing anyway when it comes to make up. Mom isn't much of a girly girl either so I've never had anyone explain it to me ha ha

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Where in the world has Tonichelle been?

Not as catchy as "Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego" but it'll have to do. Today's prompt is "where have you traveled?"

I haven't been many places. With 10 trips to Disney Parks under my belt that means I've skipped out on other trips, so far, but I'm hoping that will change... eventually.

But, other than Disney World and Disneyland I've been to 16 (maybe more that I'm forgetting?) states, drove through Canada, cruised to the Bahamas... and of course I've visited many spots in Alaska (and still haven't seen most of my state).

Monday, July 28, 2014

48 days till #Disneyland2014!

The prompt today is "what are you looking forward to" - and I think we all know what I'm looking forward to most - my Disneyland trip in September!

So what better way to celebrate that by giving you the "Cast of Characters" that will be going on this trip.

Probably my favorite set of Mickey ears EVER! Maleficent!
Tonichelle - aka, ME! This will be my fifth trip to Disneyland and 11th trip to a Disney park. The last time I went to Disneyland was in 2012 right after Carsland opened (we were there during summer vacation. Oh. My. Word. Do not recommend!). I'm pretty familiar with getting around the parks, but still haven't seen and done everything.

I am the trip planner/coordinator (by default). It's actually one of my favorite parts of a Disney trip - the planning. As much as it's stressful when trying to make sure everyone's wants/hopes get met or at least acknowledged, I just love doing all of the booking and coordinating. Crazy, I know. I have spreadsheets, and folders, and notebooks filled with the plans. It's the most organized part of my life!

I've been a huge fan of Disney my entire life, that I've gotten to go to the parks as many times as I have over the last few years (I only went once as a child, and once as a teen, the rest has been in adulthood!) has been a blessing. I love the history and nostalgia far more than the new stuff, so Disneyland holds a special place in my heart (as previous blog posts have shared). That I'm walking in Walt's footsteps makes Disneyland that much more special and I can forgive that it's less inclusive than Walt Disney World.

I am the first of our group that will make it into SoCal. I get in several hours before check in for the hotel, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they'll have our room ready early, otherwise I'm going to be smelling like airplane in their very small lobby for hours.

Gotta admit, they are pretty adorable together. Disgusting.
Erin & Wess - My "beastie" and her boy. Back in 2010 on the Road Trip From Hell we decided that to celebrate our 30th birthdays we would do a Disney cruise. It was something neither of us had done yet, and so we wanted to try something new. We also decided that since we went to Disney World on my birthday (January 2009) that we'd go around Erin's birthday this time. Considering Erin does not do birthdays very well (think Joey in "The One Where They All Turn 30") I figured she'd have more fun with the Mouse and company. It'd take her mind off of it a bit.

But as time drew near for the trip, we began pricing it out and it we kept wanting the park experience again. Then Erin met a boy. *cue dramatic music* Things changed. The two quickly fell in love (disgusting) and before long there were wedding bells. I headed for Montana and watched my best friend marry her best friend. But, before their wedding day I made the announcement to Erin and Wess that I thought that instead of a girls only trip, that Wess should come along with us on the 30th birthday celebration. I think I shocked both of them as I had been pretty adamant that it needed to stay a girls only thing. But, the three of us were getting along, and Wess has never been to a Disney Park.

We need to fix that. So the two of them are coming, and Erin and I just laugh like crazy evil people because we know Wess has NO idea what he's getting into with the two of us at Disney. The poor man. He'll need a lot of prayer this September for his sanity. But I have a feeling he will have a great time.

Erin and I met our freshman year of high school and became fast friends. We still don't know how that happened exactly, but Erin says it's too late for me to ditch her now. They say if you remain friends after 10 years you will always be friends. This year marks our 15th year of friendship. We're stuck with each other. And I am SO glad we are. I can't wait to celebrate with her. It's been over a year since we last gave each other a hug and smacked each other, we've only a month and a half left to go... the countdown is going to take forEVER.

Wess and Erin get in late on the 14th (many hours after me) so I will hopefully get to nap while I wait for them to make it to the hotel and then WATCH OUT ANAHEIM!

We've been great friends for 10 years, and we'll finally "meet!"
Aimee - my beautiful friend from Buffalo! We met online during our days as massive Star Wars fangirls (okay, well, nerds). It was about 10 years ago and it was through our greatestjournal accounts. It's crazy to think how much we've grown and changed and our friendship is soooooo unlikely, but thanks to "social media" and the interwebs here we are. I've made some pretty great friendships over the years online, but Aimee holds a special place in my heart. She's definitely one of the people I trust with a lot, and she keeps me honest! Ha ha. She definitely keeps me laughing.

Aimee coming on this trip happened rather... quickly... back in December. I blogged about it back in May. Aime and Erin share the same birthday so they will be the birthday twins on this trip. It will be Aimee's first time to the West Coast. We'd joked for years that we'd no doubt end up meeting for the first time at a Disney Park and now it's HAPPENING! I think I'm more excited for THAT than actually GOING to Disney!

Aimee is just as big a Disney nerd as I am, so I want to make sure that Disneyland is a special event for her. I'm sure it will be, but I have a feeling Wess and Erin will judge our fangirliness on all things Mr. Disney ha ha. Aimee gets in the day after the rest of us, and is only spending a few days (she has something called a job, psh!) but they'll be jam packed with Disney as well as the beach and a little bit of Hollywood. Gotta make sure that if she comes all this way she gets to experience the Pacific!

So there you have it! 48 days till DISNEY and BIRTHDAYS and FRIENDS!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Favorite Recipe - Cowboy Cookies

Since I've been asked for this recipe many times in the last week or so, I figured this would be the one that I'd use for today's prompt.

They are the bestest and biggest cookies EVER.

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies 

3 cups all-purpose flour 
1 tablespoon baking powder 
1 tablespoon baking soda 
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon salt 
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter (at room temperature) 
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
1-1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar 
3 large eggs 
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips 
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 
2 cups sweetened flake coconut 
2 cups chopped pecans (8 ounces) 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in bowl. In 8-quart bowl, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 minute. Gradually beat in sugars; beat to combine, 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Beat in vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Add chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans. For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup dough onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake for 17 to 19 minutes, until edges are lightly browned; rotate sheets halfway through. Remove cookies from rack to cool. Makes about 3 dozen cookies. 

NOTE: For 6 dozen smaller cookies, use 2 tablespoons dough for each. Bake at 350 F for 15 to 18 minutes.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

An Old Picture of Me

In honor of Ted Stevens Day in Alaska, I'll share an old photo of me enjoying the best of Alaska. I was five, I'd broken my arm (hence the missing right arm and dad holding on to my sunglasses-that are really his glasses), and I am driving the boat while fishing on... I'm not sure if it's Eagle River or the Kenai. We still lived in Anchorage at the time, so anything is possible.

The late Senator Ted Stevens is still a powerhouse name in Alaska. He fought to get us into statehood and fought for our state until he was illegally prosecuted and thrown out of the senate a year before his death (on his way to a fishing trip, plane crashed). Uncle Ted is a true Alaskan Patriot, and a few months after his passing Alaskans began honoring him by getting out and playing in the state that he loved. Every year on the last Saturday of July we come together to remember the man who made Alaska into the state that it is today.

So, come on, Alaskans, lets GET OUT AND PLAY!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Favorite Blogs

I have to post my five favorite blogs today... I have a confession, I don't read too many consistently. I spend most of my time on twitter and facebook (which is kinda used like a blog by many, including me, even though it's "frowned upon").

But there are a few that I do enjoy when I read them, so here we go...

1. Disney Parks Blog - the official blog of Disney Parks. It keeps me going as I count down to the next Disney trip (51 days!).

2. Roots Before Branches (Casey Chappell) - I grew up with Casey's family. Casey is the oldest of 9 children, her dad was the pastor of the church that my family was saved and "raised" in. The Nichols' household was a second home to I think every kid at First Baptist Church of Kenai in those days. I love and miss all of them. Growing up as an only child their family was overwhelming and yet such a blessing at the same time. I love Casey's blog (when she has time to share, with 5 kids under 6 she has her hands full!) she is a gifted photographer and her work always inspires me.

3. Nelson Family Journey (Amanda & Darryl Nelson) - Friends from my days at Anchorage Baptist Temple, Darryl and Amanda recently adopted their daughter. Amanda is the main author of the blog, and I LOVE her heart in this journey! Adoption rocks!

4. Disney Tourist Blog - Photography in this blog is so inspiring. They share some of the best photos of the park and considering that's one of my favorite things to do in the parks, too, it really helps get my creative brain working in how to better my shots.

5. Kristin Shyla - Kristin is one of Casey's best friends. I met her in 2010 when we visited the Chappells for a few hours on our road trip to Disney World (aka the Road Trip From Hell). Kristin is a fellow photographer and another inspiration of mine. She shares her heart so openly. She's a beautifully creative person.

And there you have it! My five favorite blogs.

Support Setnetters and be declared UnAlaskan

So apparently if you support the setnetters in the great salmon debate currently being duked out on the Kenai, and you DARE to suggest Anchorage fish IN ANCHORAGE when it comes to Dipnetting, then you are declared a "lower 48 scumbag" who needs to "move back to where you came from". I just got told that several times by internet idiots.

To them I say:

I was born and raised here. The media is reporting that 90% of those that are dipnetting on the Kenai DO NOT LIVE ON THE PENINSULA. Knowing what I know, that means 90% are from Anchorage and the Valley (anyone further North most likely dipnet in their rivers). 15,000 people are reported to be dipping this year ON THE KENAI. Not total in state, but IN ONE LOCATION. To suggest that THAT is not a factor in the smaller salmon runs is to be in denial. The crowds have gotten out of control, when my family dipped it was not HALF this size peoplewise. That was just a decade ago (if that). The numbers are growing exponentially.

Setnets have been around far longer than dipnetting. Between Dipnetters not following the rules, and more guides and commercial fishermen there is going to be a smaller number of fish returning. It's simple math. But as always the setnetters are the ones that the people focus on. Why? Because it's easier.

I am SO done with this debate. Dipnetters need to GO HOME, and ADFG needs to get a grip on the situation. The Kenai King is DEAD because of piss poor management that was more about the dollar than about sustaining ANYTHING. Now look where we are.