Monday, March 23, 2015

Day 812: Beethoven

We're past Spring Break and past midterms here at college now...or at least past midterms when it comes to music. It seems my other classes prefer to have midterms after break, so there's definitely still those to worry about. However, with music done already it means we've started looking at a new composer ( know...three composers in a semester is more than enough for least when it comes to Classical Music). We've already spent our time on Haydn and Mozart, which means that there's still one big composer left: Beethoven.

In class we listen to a lot of music, as is customary for music majors, and today we spent some time listening to Beethoven. While, we didn't listen to either of the songs I'll talk about in a minute, the works did get be thinking. Somewhere along the line I was sitting in class listening to the music and for some reason, a horse race popped into my head...which reminded me more than enough of Fantasia, because that's exactly what Fantasia's music accompanied by the various stories and visual effects the animators heard while listening.

When it comes to Beethoven in Fantasia, there's one in the original 1940 film and another in Fantasia 2000, so I figured that in honor of listening to all the Beethoven I would share them with you today, partly because they're spectacular, partly because the above story is very real and partly because it's already late and I still have some work to do. So listen away and enjoy these lovely scenes from Fantasia:

Have a magical day!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Day 811: Making Up The Time

I think on some level we all have a part of our past that we want to erase. Simply put, I think Once Upon A Time did a great job of encompassing one way this comes about with my beloved Killian Jones tonight, showing us a bit of the pirate side he's trying so hard to let go of. But for me, I don't have 300 (or a million...who knows) years of hardcore pirating in my past. Nope. Just a few old pictures of a person that looks nothing like me.

For instance, here's Eric Marienthal and I two years ago, and then a picture of us yesterday:

Alright, so maybe there's some resemblance there. But how about THIS ONE: 


You see, I've spent a significant amount of time trying to rid myself of pictures from a number of years ago. Why? Because I look like an entirely different person! And you know what? I find that I take more pictures at Disney now than I ever did before because I'm trying, in some subconscious way, to make up for the lost time. 

And one of the major parts of this is my makeup. 

Previous to like a year and a half ago I really didn't wear makeup. Not at all. It just wasn't my thing. I mean, I had it and would wear it for special events and stuff, but for the most part it just wasn't part of my routine. Now, that's all changed, not because I feel like I have to, but because it makes me feel more like myself. Of course, my family continuously makes fun of me for having to do my makeup before going to the parts, but at the same time, I also do my makeup for a television show and I really don't think I should be questioning the whole Disney makeup thing here. 

Overall though, pictures have become a really important part of my life, and as the trips go on I find myself wanting to have pictures taken. This past trip has a myriad of great pictures and I couldn't be happier about it! For instance: 

Oh yes, the tables have certainly turned...and now I just need to make up a whole bunch of lost time when it comes to priceless Disney pictures!

Have a magical day!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Day 810: Third Time's The Charm

I like to believe that the saying "The third time's the charm" is actually true, but then again, I find I'm pretty superstitious altogether (11:11 works). While THAT is a topic for another blog post, I think that the time I spent surrounded by music yesterday definitely showcases the ways the saying rings true.

I said a number of times yesterday that the Shazz Festival Day is better than Christmas, and really, it is. Not every musician has the chance to see their favorite performer, in concert, attend a workshop with them and then meet them in person...and most absolutely don't get to do it three times in a row. Amazingly enough, I am one of those lucky people.

Two years ago I attended my second Shazz Festival, although technically it was the first year I stayed for the entire experience. As a senior, I had high hopes of getting into the All Star Group, and when I did, I was thrilled. However, that definitely wasn't the best part of the day. Oh no...the best part was getting to play with professional saxophonist Eric Marienthal, a musician that eventually become my inspiration in my major. Plus, that day was the day I cite as when I decided to be a music major, and gosh it was a great choice.

And then last year I went back, not as a student, but as a musician and alumni, having the chance to meet Eric in person again, as well as the spectacular Gordon Goodwin, who has come up with some seriously great music. After all, he is an award winning composer.

But this year...this year I got to continue the tradition by meeting Eric (again) and another professional musician, Andy Martin, the lead trombonist in basically everything, including Dancing with the Stars!

And to conclude my day of music, my family, plus a friend of Jonny and my friend Ashley, attended the United States Army Field Band Concert, which was a pretty spectacular experience as well. The group is impressive, as it should be, considering it's made up of some of our country's most dedicated musicians. For some, they may have enjoyed one of the choral pieces, or the opera, or something else, but for me? Star Wars. That's right. They played the original theme from Star Wars and it was just about the greatest thing ever. My parents actually attended the Star Wars in Concert tour several years ago, and I didn't go along, simply because I didn't yet appreciate Star Wars. I kind of regret that decision. Either way...Star Wars...which also happens to work perfectly for a little way Disney has once tied into my day. 

Oh, and I know I mentioned this on the first blog post outlining my first trip to see Eric Marienthal, but Eric and Andy, as well as many of the other professional musicians I've met, actually worked at Disneyland and performed as part of the band back in the day. It certainly feels right to meet people so successful at what I work at everyday and to know that they too worked for Disney, the same place I hope to end up in my future. 

Have a magical day!

(Note: This blog post was written on March 22).

Friday, March 20, 2015

Day 809: Timehop

As a frequent user of social media, Timehop has definitely become a part of my life. At first I was skeptical, like I am with most new social media things, but I eventually got on board and now I feel like there's just no going back. But what I love about the app is that it DOES allow you to go back in history and see what you were doing a number of years ago. Sometimes it's amusing, like the fact that not long ago I had a reminder that a year ago my roommate, Megan, "kicked me out" of our dorm room because I watched a sneak peek for OUAT. Occasionally it's sort of inspiring, like the fact that a year ago I was just starting with my tweets from OUAT Cast Members and now I'm going full scale not only with my favorite fairy tale actors and actresses, but others as well, and for the most part, I'm good at it...not to brag or anything.

But sometimes...sometimes timehop is just darn depressing. As if I wasn't already bummed out enough about the fact that it seems like everyone I know is in Florida over Spring Break, my timehop has to remind me that yes, indeed, one year ago I was in Florida over Spring Break. I'm getting about 20 pictures from Walt Disney World on my timehop feed each day and it's...sad. Depressing. And it most certainly makes me miss home.

So in honor of my trip a year ago, I've put together a few more color palettes with some of my favorite and most colorful Instagram photos from the trip. If you missed the first edition of Color Palettes, you can find it HERE, and since I had so much fun with it the first time, it felt like the perfect way to remember a former trip, especially when I Instagramed almost constantly during it.

Ahh yes, my March 2014 Trip. There are some seriously great memories stacked into those Five Days, and to be 100% honest, it's one of my favorite trips. I mean, I met so many people, had so many great experiences, got to see the Flower and Garden Festival for the first time AND got to film throughout the four parks for the band trip video. All in all, it was literally amazing. 

And I miss it...a lot. Soon though. Soon I'll be back with yet another trip! But until then...

Have a magical day!

(P.S. I'll be back don't have to wait until June for another blog post, Haha!)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Day 808: Tiana Style

There might just be one thing I didn't mention in the last post when considering the things that I've done over break, but this one just felt like a topic for a whole post.

I love food, like most people, and I definitely love Disney food, so when you put them together it's a match made in heaven. Granted, 99% of the time I can't really get my hands on Disney food, so I have to come up with a homemade solution. And that's the thing...I can make a lot more than just cupcakes, although that is my specialty. Oh no, I can make plenty of other stuff too (and in fact, while I love baking, I love cooking just as much)!

Which means that when my mom approached me a week or so ago about making beignets over break, I was 1. A bit confused, because I've made them before and it wasn't like it was something new and 2. All for it. After a number of busy days that meant no making beignets for me this past week, I finally got around to it, and the results were certainly delicious:

You know, I think Tiana's onto something here with these Man-Catching Beignets. All my friends loved them, and I think there's a great possibility for a special treat with these every once and a while. Now...if only I could figure out how to send them to my favorite actors...

Regardless, these beignets were absolutely delicious, and pretty darn easy to make, especially if you already know your way around a stand mixer, a rolling pin and a pot full of hot oil. The whole thing took me around two hours to make, and that's including sprinkling on that generous helping of honey and powdered sugar. The other great part about this delicacy? Most recipes make a TON of them. This one happened to make around 50 beignets, meaning I took some to three different friends and my family had plenty to snack on around our house too. So they're definitely a good choice for an easy dessert at a party or something. If you're curious as to what recipe I used, this particular time I used THIS recipe, but I change it up every so often. Last time I made pumpkin spice beignets, but that was years ago so don't get any ideas about asking me for the recipe there.

And yes, I do prefer powdered sugar and honey on my beignets, although most just stick with the sugar. I don't know why, but I just feel like it adds something extra to them!

Let me know if you make beignets yourself, and yes, I have been using the hashtag on my social media: #TianaStyle. So how does your #DisneySide Tiana Style show through? Cooking up some Gumbo? Whipping up a batch of Man-Catching Beignets like me? Let me know!

Have a magical day!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Day 807: Break? What Break?

Spring break has always been this sort of really important week for me. For some reason, I'm always able to go ahead and get a lot of stuff done in a week of what most people use as time off. Of course, last year I took half my break and went to Disney, but we'll talk more about that in another blog post. This year, however, I returned to my old ways and created a Spring Break Mission Log, which basically is a motivational system I've created for Spring Break that helps me get things done. It worked really well a number of years ago and I've just kept the tradition. Plus, if this spring break has anything to show for it, the system still works because I've gotten my fair share of work done, right along with binge watching a considerable amount of television (I tend to multitask...)

So what exactly have I all accomplished so far this week? That's a good question, and here are a few of the highlights, both things that were originally on my list and things that just happened that were awesome:

Well...This Happened:

I guess it's not really every day you get a random tweet to tell you that you were featured on a list of favorite #CollegeProblems. While I am a college student who basically survives on crackers and biscoff, this was not something I was expecting. So...Reach the Big Leagues of College Problems? Mission Accomplished.

Watch the premiere of iZombie:

When it comes to creating a Spring Break Mission Log, you have to keep in mind that not everything can require a lot of work. You have to throw in some really fun, easy stuff as well, because those things are easy to accomplish, meaning you're more motivated to move onto the next thing. This was one of those easy to accomplish tasks. It just so happens that a new CW show, iZombie, stars a number of cast members who were also on Once Upon A Time, and since I love OUAT on an obnoxious level, I generally go around and watch as many of the other new projects as I can. Turns out I love the show...and one of their cast members is pretty great too:

I also have two favorites from him. Pretty good turnout for the first episode, am I right? 

Make new Door Decs:

You already know that I make door decs for our dorm room, partly because our dorm just isn't that into them and partly because I really want our door to be super awesome. Previously, we had the Frozen theme, and before that it was Elf and Monsters Inc. But I needed something more springy, but still Disney. Thankfully, it didn't take me long to figure out our newest theme: Alice in Wonderland! 

It took a while to get everything completed, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I'm especially fond of the way the wording on the window came together. What's next for the dorm decs? Well, they'll stay like this for a while, but I've hopefully got one last trick up my sleeve before the end of the year, which has just a subtle hint of Disney to go along with it. 

Other tasks I've completed? I filled out a few honors group applications, sorted music for my job, Disneybounded like no other, researched LinkedIn, Caught up Everyday Disney, Drank a TON of Starbucks, and checked off many other tasks on my to-do list. Then again, the week isn't over yet, and there's still items yet to be accomplished! Don't worry though...Spring Break isn't over yet. 

Have a magical day!

(Note: This blog post was written on March 20).

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Day 806: Sláinte


A couple of years ago, I'm pretty sure I couldn't have cared less about this day, but thanks to one Colin O'Donoghue and a little band called The Enemies, my love of everything Irish has really brought a new meaning to the holiday. Now, I'm pretty sure I can't get enough of everything Irish, and lucky for me I have little Buckley Liam Jones to help me celebrate! So, thanks to Megan's fine suggestion, I figured I'd tell you a bit about how I'm celebrating the holiday, as well as how I often wish I were celebrating it in a much more Disney fashion!

My day began with a trip to the local bakery, where I picked up a loaf of Irish Soda Bread. Now, I normally am not a raisin fan, but of all the things on this planet, there's one baked item I'll condone the use of them in, and that's Irish Soda Bread. After all, since I can't yet legally drink, I need to fill up on Irish foods to solve the lack of Irish in my life!

And of course, I figure I'll throw this in right in the middle, my Disneybound of the day for the March Disneybound Challenge is one of my all time favorites, most likely because of the fact that it got me on Buzzfeed, but it's also all green, and that made it the only option for this holiday! Plus, Peter Pan on St. Patrick's Day when the cause of my obsession with Irish everything also happens to portray Captain Hook? I do believe the connections are strong here!

But the Irish doesn't stop there! I actually still have a slice of Bailey's Irish Cream Cake in my mini-fridge ready to eat once I finish blogging for the day, and as I write this I'm eagerly listening to the St. Patrick's Day Station on Pandora. Best Decision of my day!

Of course, one of my favorite ways to celebrate everything Irish is a trip to Raglan Road at Downtown Disney! A few years back I went to dinner at the Pub, sadly with a headache, and the experience was less than desirable. We did go back this past January and I had a great time though, loving every moment of the Irish surrounding me. Gosh, I think a trip to Ireland is definitely in my future, right?

Also, who's up for putting in an Ireland pavilion at Epcot? I vote yes. No? Just me. Well I can dream.

But before we go, I'll mention a bit about some Irish I've learned! The title of this blog post, Sláinte, is a word I recently learned when watching Rick Steve's Europe, and it's a toast that basically means "good health" in Irish, as it's often accompanied by mhaith.

So sláinte mhaith everyone! And I hope you've had (or are having) a wonderful, safe, and magical St. Patrick's Day!