Category: life

Life’s Been a Little Crazy

Hey guys!  I never want it to feel like I am neglecting my first love, this blog.  Things have just been a little crazy lately so my apologies.  Beginning of the year is always intense at work and with my birthday and the many social media projects I have going on it’s intense.

Let me tell you about some of my projects-

OUTSIDE COLUMNIST

Currently I am doing a weekly column for ldsblogs.com on Family Movie Night.   This requires my filming, editing and preparing a video each week and writing a 700+ word column on the film.

I have just been added a writer for Rotoscopers.com which I am very excited about.  If you haven’t heard of it it’s a website all about animation.  I’m not sure how much I will be doing for them but here’s a couple pieces:

My review of the Sundance film I saw Snowtime (I would love if a few of you commented on this piece)

I do top 10 lists for them.  Here are my Top 10 Animated Moments to be Grateful for

I’m really excited for both opportunities and will have to be careful to not spread myself too thin.

54DISNEYREVIEWS.COM

Then there is my movie blog, which I do reviews, editorials and cover anything I want to involving movies.  If you don’t follow it for some reason I think you will really enjoy it.

Here’s a post I did comparing Tangled and Frozen.

And here is my review of the Oscar nominated film The Revenant

YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Then I have my youtube channel.  I do subscription box and movie reviews.  On a typical week I will have at least a video posted every day and I’m really proud of the improvements I’ve made.  I’m getting better at editing, speaking, shooting and all the other aspects of making videos.  The creative process is so stimulating.

I currently have a number of series that I have on the channel like reviewing the Disney Canon each week.  This is posted on Wednesday and last week we looked at Bambi:

Sometimes I give my review of current movies like here is my thoughts on the Coen Brother’s recent Hail Caesar:

I also have top 10 lists and other commentary on my channel. Here’s my thoughts on why I won’t be seeing the new Deadpool movie and a little bit to my method for deciding what to see.

For the box reviews I have to photograph every item and edit the images into the video.  Here’s a review I did of Graze box I posted today.

I also do the Friday 5 which is all about music and this week it was about Michael Buble

None of the videos are perfect but they are improving and I’m proud of that and I simply find the creative process to be very inspiring!

SMILINGLDSGIRL BLOG

Anyway, back to this blog.  I started the Teaser Tuesday series where I give you a sentence or two of the latest book I am reading.  I didn’t get much response.  Do you guys like that series?  Do you like seeing what I am reading?  I also had been sharing the Friday Five with you guys but never got a ton of feedback on it.  Do you like seeing those posts about my favorite music?

I’ve still been doing my usual editorials and commentaries but I would like to have a few series for this blog that become regular.  That way I won’t let it go too long.  I could do recipes or share with you product reviews from the boxes?  What would you like?

I plan on doing a personal post this week about Valentines Day as well as posting my annual valentine but I would always like to do more.  I gain a lot from this blog as an outlet as well and have no desire to give it the short end of the stick.

Thank you in advance for the feedback, and thanks for being understanding if I go a few days without a post.  I haven’t forgotten this blog!  Just check all my other content and I bet I will have posted that day.  That said, I am going to try and do better on this blog as well because I really do love it.

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2015: My Year in Review

Hi friends! 2015 was a long, interesting year that had a lot of great moments.  As is my tradition here on the blog I thought I would go over some of the personal highlights.

To begin with it started off with a very enjoyable visit from my friend and former mission companion Julia Graves.  We had a blast catching up and ringing in the New Year together.

happy new year happy new year2Then in March I went to NYC for a RHAP Survivor event, met some great people and spent several days with my sister touristing around the Big Apple!

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In April I was called to go to Georgia for work and took a very productive work trip and stretched it to an excuse to see Atlanta and all it offers! Yay for solo traveling!

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Right around that time I got my 50oth subscriber on my youtube channel.  I now have nearly 700 so if you haven’t subscribed check it out! https://www.youtube.com/user/smilingldsgirl

500subs2And I posted my 1000th post on this blog!

1000-postsIn the summer started my new open water season which was a real thrill because I had my season truncated in 2014.

First there was Great Salt Lake

gsl1Then I did Bear Lake for the first time

bear lakeAnd then in August I completed my 10th open water swim race at Deer Creek.  This time I got to do it with my Dad, which was really special.

deer creek1 deer creek5Next up I finished my review of all the Pixar films and shorts which was an amazing experience.  Check out those reviews http://54disneyreviews.com/pixar-reviews/I also got the treat of 2 Pixar films this year!

inside out5good dinosaur famiyI did a series on my youtube channel I’m immensely proud of called Did the Right Film Win?  Where I looked at the animated Oscars and decided if the right film won.  Through this and other projects I really improved my channel and gained new skills in editing and using Adobe Premiere effectively (a colossal task I assure you!)

In the Fall I had the treat of seeing Idina Menzel in concert and she was fabulous.  My friend Heidi went with me and we had a such a great time.

elsa4

In November I was able to go to California and visit my nieces which meant a lot to me.  I don’t get to see them very much as they live in Portland and it meant a lot to me to hang out and get all the hugs I could!  I don’t have a picture of me with my niece Olive but here is me and Sparrow.

nieces sparrow

I also completed Nanowrimo for the 4th time in November!  I didn’t think I could do it but I pulled it off somehow.

migraine with ice nanowrimo winner

In December the highlight was seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens with my brother, roommate and Aunt Kate.  It was one of the most fun entertainment experiences of my life and the film did not disappoint.

rachel leiaI also loved doing podcast style videos with my friends Abby and Jeremy where discussed all 7 Star Wars films and then a review/response video with my brother Sam. If you are looking for something to listen to on a commute or something I think you will really enjoy them. Our last one was just recorded yesterday and we had a blast!

Then the final highlight of the year was having my sister and the rest of my nieces come for a visit.  What a treat to be able to see all 5 nieces in under 2 months time.  I miss them so much now they are gone back to DC.  (The one girl in the red is not my niece but the others are)

nieces lloydsI also had a great time at a new book club.  Thanks to Suey’s Books and company for being so welcoming.  It’s helped me read more and expand out of my comfort zone.  I’ve really tried to do that this year seeing films like Max Max: Fury Road or The Visit that I might not normally see.   The movie pass really made a difference to me in the number of films I can see and I recommend it for anyone that goes to 3 or more movies a month.

It’s funny as I sat down to write this piece I was thinking 2015 was a bit of a boring year but look at all the cool stuff I did! It was a great year!

For 2016 I hope to keep improving in everything in my life.  I hope to improve in my job.  I hope to improve in my relationships.  I hope to improve on my channel and both blogs. I hope to come up with new and exciting projects that people will like but more importantly I will like doing.  I hope to improve in my callings and in my daily devotions to God.  I hope to be more thoughtful and find ways to serve more than in 2015.

Either way I look forward to sharing it with all of you.  Thank you for all your support and for paying any attention to my content this year.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Liebster Award Answers

A while back I got nominated by a fellow blogger for something called the ‘liebster award’ which is basically similar to a tag.

https://chowkimwan.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/78-liebster-award/

He answered 10 questions and then gave me 10 questions to answer.  Then I am supposed to create 10 questions for other bloggers and tag them.  Will do my best to come up with good questions and tag a few people I haven’t bothered in a while.

Who is your favorite Disney character of all time?

woody

An extremely tough question.  The first character that popped in my mind is Woody from Toy Story.  He’s nostalgic and old fashioned while expressing very human emotions of jealousy, regret, fear, joy, etc. Others I love Lilo, Cinderella, Genie, Maleficent, Baloo, Cruella, Simba, Wall-e, Remy, Elsa etc.

Which composer in the modern era do you look up to the most?

Tough call but Ennio Morricone is an amazing composer that creates music which doesn’t even need words to bring me to tears.  His score for The Mission (a fantastic film with Jeremy Irons and Robert Deniro about monks who try to convert a wild tribe in the Amazon in 15th century).  This song called Gabriel’s Oboe is stunning.  I love it so much there have been days I’ve put it on continuous loops and just listened to it again and again.

But he also has a lot of variety.  He has done songs for Joan Baez and Paul Anka.  He is a favorite of Quentin Tarantino and did the Kill Bill orchestrations.

He is so unanimously loved that he won an honorary Oscar for his contributions to movies even though he has not one a traditional statuette.  The year he did the Mission he lost to Herbie Hancock for Round Midnight which is a jazz masterpiece so it is kind of apples and oranges. Both great.

Which musical that you have seen is the most spectacular?

les miserables3

I don’t know if they are talking about stage or movie.  For stage it would be Les Miserables.  I love the story and its themes of mercy vs justice and forgiveness and hope. But more importantly I love the music.  Aside  maybe the Little Mermaid, Les Miserables was the first time I really connected with music and the story in a personal way.  I just saw it live at a local live theater and was still as in love with it as I was at 14.

As far as movies just watch one of my recent videos.

What is your favorite show tune?

I don’t know if it counts because it was in a movie first but it would be Somewhere Over the Rainbow. To me it is this fascinating layer of hope, optimism, despair, longing and a feeling of hopelessness all in one. I think back when my ipod was working I had 12 different versions of the song.

I also love Someone to Watch Over Me by the Gershwins.

Finally I’d say On My Own from Les Miserables.  It was like no other music I’d ever heard before.  It was raw but still beautiful. I still love it.

Which is the most horrendous song you have heard in your life?

I don’t know. I don’t like heavy metal or any songs about abuse, hate, and other criminal activities.

Which song represents you the most?

It depends on the era of my life but to be perfectly honest it would be a religious song like Amazing Grace or I Stand All Amazed.

Who do you model yourself after? (It can be someone in real life or a fictional character)

Jesus and my Grandpa.

Jesus-Christ-Lamb-Mormon

Nevin 1992

Where in the world do you want to visit the most?

I wish everyday of my life I was in Hawaii. As far as some place I’d like to go to that I’ve never been too I’d say Australia.

    happiness

If you drop by Florida to visit one theme park only, will you visit Walt Disney World or Universal Studios?

Disney World because it’s got all stuff I like where Universal Studios is just basically Harry Potter and I like HP but not a die hard.

What sort of career do you aspire to have?

Exactly the one I’ve got.  I want to keep working in digital marketing and continue to learn and grow.  Honestly as long as I am working from home I’m a happy gal. Environment is way important to me than the actual task at hand.

I guess I would love to be a writer and finish editing my novel.

My10 questions will be

1. Would you rather choose only reading, only movies, or only music for the rest of your life?

2. What’s the biggest thing you wish you could tell yourself 10 years ago?

3. If someone was going to play you in a movie who would it be?

4. Which is better? Lord of the Rings vs Harry Potter?

5.Name your favorite animated movie?

6. What qualities are essential to you in any kind of friend?

7.  What is your favorite poem?

8. What makes you laugh the hardest?  Could be stand up, TV, movie, book whatever?

9. If you could go back and live in any other era but our own which would you pick?

10. Have you ever walked out of a movie? If so, which one? If not what is one you really hated?

I tag

Christine Plouvier at https://irishfirebrands.wordpress.com/

Burning Blogger of Bedlam   http://theburningbloggerofbedlam.wordpress.com 

Kristin All Eyes on Screen http://alleyesonscreen.me

Hubbards Cupboard http://hubbardscupboard2010.com/

All  Our Lemonny Things http://lemmonythings.com/

The Persistent Platypus https://thepersistentplatypus.wordpress.com/

Silver Screen Serenade https://caragaleblog.wordpress.com/

Where the Wild Things Are https://wherethewildthingsare14.wordpress.com/

The Simple Things https://jessicarlin.wordpress.com/

Perfection Pending http://www.perfectionpending.net/

That’s all I can think of at the moment.