2014 In Review

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The end of the year is literally right around the corner and what a year it’s been!

Most people would say, “Wow, this year flew right by!”

Well, I’m not.  This year was actually a long one for me.  Not necessarily in a bad way, though there were a few parts I wish hadn’t happened, but I know they all happened for a reason.  Anyway, instead of a long, boring post about all twelve months of the year, I decided to just go over my main events of the year, since not every month brought something exciting into my life (though I do cover most of them).

January 2014

January definitely started off my year with a bang.  Right at the start of the new year I went to North Carolina with my mom, aunt, and a few cousins for another cousin’s wedding.  It was my first time ever going to North Carolina and bunking in one hotel room with six other people was definitely an experience that I will not forget.

As soon as we returned though, my mom and I came down with the flu and though I was over it in about three days, my mom ended up getting worse and ended up in the hospital with a combination of the flu and pneumonia.  It was very serious and the both of us were definitely scared, so much so that she made sure to get vaccinated for both this past fall.  I also started school the day my mom went into the hospital as well as a new job at the college’s media center, so there was that, but I was more concerned with my mom’s health than school for the first few weeks.

March 2014

Only one real main event happened during March, and that is that I reconnected with an old, special friend of mine which was honestly one of the top highlights of my entire year, if not the top one.  I had actually blogged about that experience, which you can read -here- at any time you wish.

May 2014

Other than an ongoing battle with one professor of mine, nothing else really happened during the semester.  My birthday was at the beginning of the month, but turning twenty-three isn’t all that special I guess.  However, the 23rd was a day of disaster at home.  Without going into too much detail for the sake of family privacy, there was a sudden death in our household and it was a type of death that is very, very difficult to deal with and drastically changed our lives in our home.  So that was a game-changer for the summer, which opened my eyes to the reason why I was not able to find a summer job, I needed to be home to be with our roommate while this loss lingered in the home.

May was also the month that I began a regular exercise routine which has led to me feeling better and even dropping a few more pounds to put me at a healthy BMI score.

August 2014

Aside from my annual camping trip with my dad and the step-family, I went to Vermont with my mom for the first time just days before school started back up.  I got to visit the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream factory as well as a few others, but there wasn’t much to that trip, except that it was very relaxing.

September 2014

September marks the revamp of the orangeowldiaries blog and the launching of my new company website, Natural Chance Productions.  After spending a few weeks planning and finding just the right feel for each blog, I launched them near the end of the month with custom domains and high spirits.

October 2014

10428025_877428695614843_2419294343283143398_nWedding bells, but not my own.  No, I was the official videographer and photographer for two separate weddings that happened in the same week.  The first one, which I was the videographer for, was my first ever experience being a media person for a wedding.  It was nerve-racking as I had no prior experience and since this was the wedding of a girl I have been friends with since Kindergarten, I did not want to mess it up.  Thankfully, the video ended up coming out great after a week of editing (and yes, there were tears involved in the editing process).  Then just six days later I was the photographer of my other friend’s wedding, which was a small backyard ceremony, but still a nice experience and they loved their photos!

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December 2014

Which brings us to now.  In a recent post I mentioned that my laptop recently died of accidental water damage, but all is well now and I am up and running once more!  I started my new internship for next semester this month so when I start my classes, it won’t be too much at once.  I also ended my fall semester the day before my computer died (great timing, huh?) with a 3.57 GPA for the semester which I’m okay with.

Again, 2014 was a long year full of some great and some not-so great experiences, but each and every one was a growing experience and I would not change it for the world (except that part where my mom was sick, ’cause I hate it when my mom is sick).  There were also quite a few I left out, not because they weren’t important, but I feel like I already shared too much and I don’t want you all to get bored.

Needless to say, I am looking forward to 2015 being a great year!

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2014 Favorites

Well folks, I think it’s about time that I share my first ever “favorites” post.  Some people do this by the month, but seeing as it’s the end of the year, I’m just lumping it all together in a “favorites of the year” post.  I’ve watched quite a few new shows and movies, read some interesting books, bought a few really great songs… eh, you get my point.  So, let’s take a look at what I personally love the most of them all.

Favorite Book: Ellens-book-slanted-cover

Seriously, I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres

While I am actually, technically still reading this book, I know already that it’s my favorite because it is a book that I am smiling, and laughing, the entire time I sit to read it.  Ellen has a great way of really talking to the readers of the book making it as if you are sitting there with her listening to her talk.

how_to_train_your_dragon_two_ver7Favorite Movie:

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Yes, yes, I know.  It’s an animated movie, but you know what?  It’s adorable!  And even though there was obviously a first to this movie, I saw this one first.  See, my best friend and I were going to see some other movie, then decided on seeing this despite the fact I had never seen the first one.  I didn’t think I’d like it, but boy was I wrong!  It didn’t take me long to get around to seeing the first one.

Favorite Song:

The Heart Wants What It Wants – Selena Gomez

After recently, as in a week ago, listening to this song, I fell in love with it.  While Selena Gomez is not my top favorite artist, I do like quite a few of her songs and this is the best one I’ve heard from her in a while.

85345-dexter-dexter-posterFavorite TV Show:

Dexter

I binge watched this show back in January-February when it became available on Netflix and… yeah.  Even though that is the last show I ever thought I’d watch, I really enjoyed the show (and closed my eyes for the really gross parts).

Favorite Web Series: cleaners-season-2-poster

Cleaners

Much like with Dexter, this is a show I didn’t think I’d really like, but I actually really ended up loving it.  After season 2 was released online on Crackle this past August, I took a day, or two, to watch the new episodes and now I’m anxiously awaiting season 3 to come.

unnamedFavorite App:

Evernote

Thank you Thomas Frank from College Info Geek for having this app up on your “essentials” list.  This app literally saved my life when it came to taking notes this past semester as it was easy to switch between taking them on my laptop and tablet.  It also made for a quick way to review my notes one last time before taking the test on my iPhone.

Favorite YouTuber: mdk_book_art

Hannah Hart

All I have to say is, “How have I not watched her videos before this year?”  She is very entertaining on YouTube and the best part is that the majority of her content is unscripted and I personally love it.  I found out about her channel when watching a documentary about YouTubers called Please Subscribe.

Favorite Blog:

Young & Twenty

Needless to say, I relate to this blog and everything that the writer posts.  Though I suppose being in her early twenties herself, I would be able to relate to many of her posts.  It’s just refreshing because a lot of the blogs I follow are more directed into a specific niche such as cooking and… well, mostly cooking (though I personally cannot cook).

 …

So those are my favorites of 2014.  Needless to say I am ready for the new year and what it has in store for us!

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7 Things I Love About Winter

This is a toughie, because winter is my least favorite season.  It’s messy, cold and there’s not much to do.  But enough with the pessimistic view, I’m trying to grow past that and learn to find the good things in life and people.  So let’s start, shall we?

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Okay, I finally thought of a few things!

1.) Hot chocolate.

I know, I know. This is one the reasons I love fall, but I drink a lot more hot chocolate during the winter months.  Plus, there’s nothing like having a nice mug of hot chocolate right after you finished shoveling the driveway.

2.) The smell of wood stoves.

Again, I used this for fall.  But there is just something so comforting (and warming) about the smell of wood stoves doing their thing in the neighborhood on a winter day.

3.) First snowfall.

I’m not a fan of snow, especially when I’m driving.  But I cannot deny that the first snowfall always turns the dull remains of fall into a gorgeous winter wonderland.

You know, until the plow trucks come by and make a mess of it all.

4.) ‘Tis the season!

Christmas!  Not because of the commercialism or how people just want presents, but to celebrate the meaning of Christmas and being with family and friends.  I also really enjoy buying the perfect gifts for my loved ones when I can find those perfect gifts.

5.) Starting new.

Snow is white.  White is innocent, pure, a new start.  The new year begins and everyone is making their resolutions and ready for a new start because last year might not have gone over so well.

6.) Snow day.

Again, not a fan of snow here, but I have always been grateful for the days when I found out school, or work, was cancelled due to a ridiculous amount of snow on the ground.

7.) Movies.

Christmas movies are some of my favorites, and even though I will watch them in July if I wish to, watching them right around the Christmas season is a much more enjoyable experience.

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Death of a Computer

It’s not an uncommon thing for one’s computer to die.  In fact, it’s happened to me several times.  Back in 2009 my MacBook (2007 model) crashed for an unknown reason and luckily, my cousin was able to fix it with no problems.  Then in 2013, it died for good as I did not have money to take it to get fixed nor did my cousin really have the time or resources to fix it this time.

So… I was able to buy a MacBook Pro later that year.

My newest baby has been running great, especially since I have a larger memory and RAM for making my video content (which I believe was the cause of my first Mac dying, twice).  But I guess just because a computer has a larger memory and is newer doesn’t mean it’s invincible, especially against the electronic world’s public enemy number one…

…water.

Yes, my MacBook recently got water damage to it… and I wasn’t even the one to cause it.  A friend, by accident, spilled water near the back and it killed my laptop’s logic board and another part or two.  So, that explains my absence the past few days, and I apologize.

The reason I am apologizing, though the damage was an accident, is because I do happen to have the WordPress app for my iPhone, however I find it rather inconvenient to write an entire blog post from there.  Though I suppose I could’ve used my tablet to write a post as well.  I’m not going to lie to you though, the break from my laptop has been somewhat refreshing, but I do hate a drastic change in my routine.

The good news is that today I received the email stating that my laptop is fixed and they are saying that my data was not lost (though I’m waiting to see in person if that’s true).  I won’t know until Saturday, since that is the earliest time I can go get it with tomorrow being Christmas Eve and all.

So how am I writing this post?  Well, it’s certainly not by my iPhone!

I’m at my dad’s right now, so I’m using the desktop in their main room right now.  Just in case any of you lovelies were wondering.

I am just grateful that I’ll have my laptop back in time for next week when I start working at my new internship on a regular basis and before my final semester of college starts.

So, with all that said, Merry Christmas everyone!

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Concerns About iOS 8 & OS X Yosemite

Technology is always changing.  Every year, or every other year, there’s a new iPhone or Samsung Galaxy for sale.  Our applications are always updating and so is our software.

Change can be hard, especially when a software update is as big as when iOS 7 came out.  Remember the fuss people made over that one?

And now we have iOS 8 and a new Mac operating system, Yosemite.

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I’m not sure if I’m proud or ashamed to say that I have not updated to either one just yet.  The reason?  I’m afraid, plain and simple.  My first thoughts when updating software are, “Is it going to kill my computer/phone?”  I know it’s silly to think that, but after having my old MacBook crash on me twice I’m just overly cautious about what I download/install onto my computer.  After that I’m concerned about how fast it will run once I install the software.

So, like many other people, I wait until the first reviews come out about the software updates to see how other people like it and if there are any known problems.  If I remember correctly, there actually was an issue with the first download of iOS 8 for many iPhone users, but was apparently fixed (still not enough to convince me to install it though).

Likewise, I have seen some reviews about OS X Yosemite that are less than convincing me to install it to my MacBook Pro.  Though I must say, despite the iffy reviews about OS X Mavericks, I still installed that software to my laptop for the reason that I needed it to download Final Cut Pro X.  I have not experienced any problems with it and I did not personally notice much of a difference between the new software and the old.

I guess that’s the reason why I don’t understand why I’m afraid to install Yosemite just yet.  If my computer handled Mavericks fine, why wouldn’t it be the same for Yosemite?  The same goes for installing iOS 8 to my iPhone.

I know I shouldn’t be concerned, but I am.

So I guess my question is this, if you have either of these operating systems on your computers/phones, what is your opinion about Yosemite and iOS 8?

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Backwoods BMX

This past August when I went camping with my dad, step-mom and step-siblings I happened to run into a friend of mine from the BMX track I work with each summer.  It was surprising because in all the years I’ve gone camping I have never ran into someone I knew there before nor did I ever think I would despite it being one of Connecticut’s most popular beaches/camping grounds.

It was later in the afternoon when one of my friend’s sons came by and asked if I had my camera equipment with me as he wanted me to film him and some of his friends jumping a dirt gap they had made on one of the trails in the woods.  Of course, I had my camera equipment with me so I ended up meeting with him and his friends to get footage of them jumping this gap with their bikes.

They had actually made two.  One was a smaller one for the average riders while my friend’s son and a few other boys took on the larger gap.  The video isn’t much since it’s just clips of them jumping the gaps, but as always I loved getting the footage and putting it together and even more so, I was happy to do it for my friend and her son.

That’s all that matters, right?

With Observant Eyes

I find it funny that often times we have to look over things again in order to catch mistakes or other things we did not notice the first time, particularly when it comes to reading and watching movies.

Many times I have read a book for a second (or third) time and caught something that I completely missed the first time and suddenly everything else in the book made sense.  This doesn’t usually happen in movies for me, but I find that I often catch bloopers in the movie when I watch them again, and again.

For instance, my friend and I were watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban yesterday when I had noticed in one scene early on in the movie where you can clearly see Hermione’s Time Turner when she’s supposed to be keeping it hidden.  Never caught that before, and I’ve seen this movie more times than I can count.

But what I found the most interesting about watching movies over again, especially ones that are in a series like Harry Potter, is that after you’ve seen them all you begin to notice actions from the characters that you didn’t before because you didn’t know that the person was actually evil or good at the time.  The biggest example I can use here is Professor Snape.  Once you get through the last book and movies, you know the real inner workings of his character.  So as my friend and I watched the first movie last week we noticed a lot of little hints that aren’t noticeable unless you know these facts.

Of course, there are plenty of other bits of foreshadowing in the movies once you really begin to look for them.

So I guess that’s my challenge for any Harry Potter fans reading.  When you get some time, watch the movies over again and look for all the little hints that you may not have noticed before.

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Coffee or Tea?

You know the saying… America runs on Dunkin’!

Or, on caffeine anyway.

Whatever you drink or wherever you drink it from, it’s still caffeine.  Unless you’re one of those people who orders decaf, not that there’s anything wrong with it… freaks.

(Kidding!)

But despite whether the beverage is caffeinated or not, it’s still either coffee and/or tea that tons of people all around the world consume.  Some people have preferences though, they prefer coffee over tea and vice versa.  I happen to be one of the freaks that likes both coffee and tea… and the occasional hot chocolate, in the summer, when it’s 90º out.

(Like I said, freak!)

However, since I know everyone has their preferences, I’m just wondering what exactly those preferences are.  So I’m doing a little survey to see exactly what people like.

So if you don’t mind taking a few seconds out of your day, please take the survey here :)

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DIY Trail Mix [foodie friday]

Okay, it’s not exactly that hard to make.  You throw in some nuts, some candies and some dried fruit and there you have it… trail mix.

But let’s face it, as humans who are always on the go we don’t have time to make our own trail mix so we go out and buy little packets of them or giant tubs.  The problem is, they don’t always include the little ingredients we prefer.  For instance, many trail mixes include almonds into their mix of nuts, but I’m not exactly fond of almonds.  Yeah, I’ll eat them, but I don’t really like them.  Not to mention that many trail mixes include some dried fruits that I’m not particularly fond of either.  So going out and buying a bag of trail mix is a chore for me since I don’t want to waste half of it.

I had been meaning to buy different snacks to make my own trail mix, but I never seemed to get around to it… until this past week.  It was by accident actually, as I didn’t go out to buy all the snacks specifically to make a trail mix.  I actually had a craving for cashews one day, so I went and got a bag of cashews.  Earlier that week I had been craving peanuts, but never bought them, so my mom bought me a small pack (she’s so thoughtful!).

So I was thinking about which snack bag of nuts I wanted to bring with me when it hit me… make a trail mix Tabby! …because I just so happened to also have raisins, M&Ms and Reese’s Pieces at home.

Why not right?

So I took the cashews, peanuts, M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces and raisins and made myself a small trail mix as a snack to bring to school and work.

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I have to say I really enjoyed having my own personal trail mix, but I think next time a few things will have to change.  I definitely needed more M&Ms because there was not enough chocolate to go with the salty nuts and peanut butter candies, and I love my chocolate.  I also think I’d like to add either pretzels or popcorn to the mix.

So with that said, what do you like in trail mix?

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What If…?

Have you ever pondered the ‘what ifs?’ in life?

“What if I went to a four year university first instead of a community college?”

“What if I had siblings?”

“What if I had remained friends with that person?”

“What if I had been involved in youth group as a teenager?”

“What if I knew back then what I know now?”

Life would be a lot different, that’s for sure.

But if we dwell on the ‘what ifs?’ in our lives for too long, it’s easy to become depressed; to wish we had done one or more of those ‘what ifs?’  We become consumed and regret our pasts when really they were full of good memories amongst the bad.  From our mistakes we have fun anecdotes to tell our future kids.

The past is the past.  We made the choices we made and though we sometimes want to, we cannot change it.

It’s time to let go of the ‘what ifs?’ and live our lives in the present while looking toward the future.

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Bananas for Brownies! [foodie friday]

A few weeks ago I made brownies on a whim when my mom said she wanted them.  I’ve never baked from scratch, so I obviously used a mix and it was the Chocolate Fudge Pillsbury mix.  Let me say, they were amazing!

Just last weekend, my mom had the urge to bake so once again we made the same brownies as well as banana bread and sugar cookies. And again, we used pre-made mixes for the bread and cookies, however, there is a real banana in the bread… if that helps.

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Sadly, the cookies didn’t turn out so great, so they hit the trash quicker than you can say ‘MasterChef’ (which we clearly aren’t).  Thankfully the banana bread came out really good (in my opinion) and the brownies were just as amazing as the last time; the perfect flavorful, chewy, chocolately brownie that just melts in your mouth.

..and now I want more..

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One thing that my mom and I always add when we make brownies is an icing that we mix together very quickly.  It’s literally just confectionary sugar and a small bit of milk and it’s mixed until it’s thickened, then just drizzle it onto the brownies.  This icing adds a new level of flavor and it’s so easy to make!

All in all, I love making brownies and eating them, but after the vast amount we just recently made, I think I’m good for a while.  The same goes for the banana bread; I love it, but I’ve had my limit for a while.  I’d actually like to learn to make both from scratch eventually, but for now, I definitely recommend the Pillsbury Fudge brownie mix and the Chiquita Banana Bread mix ;)

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empty words. – reblog from Young & Twenty

I love this post from Young & Twenty because she makes great point. How many conversations do we have throughout the week that are nothing more than, “Hey, what’s up?” to which we reply, “Not much, you?”

I hate to admit that I’ve had plenty of these empty conversations. As humans, we’re meant to form relationships with one another, whether it be friendship or something more. Maybe if we took the time to really have a conversation with someone, we could change the outcome of their day or they could change ours.

So take a moment today and reach out to someone in your contacts list and talk to them; really talk to them. One or both of you might benefit from it.

See Young & Twenty’s original post here.

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Working In a Group

Earlier this semester I was teamed up with two classmates for our first assignment in our video production class and as it turns out, they would be my partners for the rest of the projects we had to do this semester.  We all mesh together perfectly and we don’t have to fight for a certain role on each project; it just happened naturally.

One is the visionary, one is the cameraman, and one is the editor.

(Hint: I’m the editor.)

Of course, we’ve all done our share shooting video, editing and spitting out ideas for each project.  It just so happens that we each fell into those “expertise” categories which I feel worked out for the best.

Shot of my partner and I conducting an interview (my other partner took this picture)

Shot of my partner and I conducting an interview (my other partner took this picture)

Working in groups has never been easy for me.  I know some people thrive in group projects, but I’m not one of them.  I’ve always been the one who prefers to work alone, not because I’m not a good team player, I just prefer it.  However, this has been the first time I have truly enjoyed working in groups for class projects and I have my partners to thank.  Both of them have been truly amazing and I would definitely work with them again in future classes or even after we graduate.

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