Happy Color is a color by number game available on both Android and iPhone. I spend a lot of time waiting around. For my daughter to finish dance class, for my husband to finish his video game, etc. Instead of spending that time wasting away on social media, I’ve been spending a lot of time playing Happy Color. Some of the pictures are super easy but some are really difficult. Either way, it fills the time without feeding my anxiety. If you enjoy coloring, this is a great way to be creative when you are on the go.
Pentatonix is kinda the big name in acapella these days. Well, Citizen Queen is a new all female acapella group created by some of the creatives behind Pentatonix: Scott Hoying, Ben Bram, and Shams Ahmed . The group has only released a few videos so far but they are AMAZING. Definitely a group you should get behind.
Since February is the month of love, I’ve decided to take on another monthly challenge. This time I will be sharing things that bring me joy. No, this wasn’t inspired by the Marie Kondo craze. I just like sharing things that make me happy. Every day for the entire month of February, I will share something I enjoy. It may be something new; it may be something old. The only rule is that it makes me smile.
I’d love to see the things that make you smile too! You can comment with your February Favorites or post them over on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #FebFave2019
On January 21, cosmetic company ColourPop advertised a mystery bag called Let’s Get Wild. For a mere $25, you would receive $55 worth of product. I am a sucker for mystery bags so I leapt at the chance. I’m going to share what I got in the bag but I’m not going to swatch the products or review them. I already know I like a lot of ColourPop’s products. I do, however, want to see if I did get $55 worth of product for only $25. So let’s rip open the bag:
First up, the eyeshadows. I received three - two super shock shadows and one pressed powder shadow. The shades are Sequin on the top right, Party of Five on the top left, and Come And Get It on the bottom. All of ColourPop’s eyeshadows are $5.00. Total: $15.00
I only received one cheek product. This is the super shock highlighter in Counting Sheep. ColourPop’s highlighters are $8.00 each. Total: $23.00
Next up are the lip products. There were four in total. These two are the liquid lipsticks. On the right is the ultra glossy lip in Flying Horses. On the left is the ultra blotted lip in Doozy. The liquid lipsticks do vary a little in price. Both of these were $6.00 each, though some liquid lipsticks are $6.50. Total: $35.00
In addition to the liquid lipsticks, there was one lux lipstick. This shade is Sphynx. The lux lipsticks are $7.00 each. Total: $42.00
The last lip product I received was one of ColourPop’s lippie stix in Ziggie. Lippie Stix costs $5.50 each. Total: $47.50
Finally, the last product in the bag is one of ColourPop’s new mascaras. This color is Black On Black. These are $8.00 each. Total: $55.50
Yes! ColourPop did sent $55.00 worth of products! Granted, most of these are shades that I wouldn’t have picked for myself. I tend to go with more colorful shades but if I don’t use these, my daughter will. I also appreciate that ColourPop included one of their new mascaras. (I’m pretty sure this bag was intended to market the mascara, which I think is pretty cool.) I would have preferred one of the colored mascaras but it’s not like black mascara is useless. It’s just basic.
As a whole, I am happy with the products I received. If ColourPop ever does this again, I would recommend grabbing one. You can’t go wrong with their makeup and it is a really great deal. Thank you, ColourPop!
Back on January 8, the world of dog Twitter was rocked. (OK, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic.) The Twitter account Thoughts of Dog blocked another dog account, Theo-sophy. Why? Because Theo frequently commented on the Thoughts’ posts in the voice of Theo the dog. I don’t really understand the reasoning behind The Block but I’m going to try to figure it out and explain why I think Matt (the guy behind both Thoughts of Dog and We Rate Dogs) made a terrible mistake when he did it.
First, I’d like to link to a blog post from Theo’s owner, Nancy, with her perspective on the whole kerfuffle. It’s over here: https://notquiteold.com/2019/01/18/overdone/ Now onto my thoughts:
My husband and I have been big supporters of Matt and all of his dog-related business ventures. We have shirts and calendars and my husband literally has the back of his car COVERED in stickers, Yes, we followed all of Matt’s accounts across social media and shared them frequently. One of the things I got a kick out of was the responses on Thoughts of Dog’s posts from “your fren Theo.” They were adorable. I’m sorry but anyone who thinks that a couple of dogs having a conversation about their inner thoughts isn’t cute doesn’t have a heart. So I was stunned when I saw Matt complain on his personal Twitter about people commenting on his dog posts as dogs. The stun was doubled when I saw Theo say that Matt blocked him (her? Theo is a boy dog so I’m going with him….I’m saying that’s Theo’s Twitter account!) on the Thoughts of Dog account with no notice. WTF, indeed.
Before people start coming at me: Yes, Matt can do whatever he wants with his accounts. I’m not saying he can’t. I’m saying this was a terrible decision, especially considering this is his main source of income.
Twitter, as a social media platform, is built for conversations. It’s not a place where you drop some knowledge and hope nothing happens. It’s a place to build a community of people. When you have an account where you are role playing as someone else (yes, Thoughts of Dog is basically an RP account), the last thing you should do is cut out other people role playing in a similar world. That is the opposite of community. The people in your community are the people that are going to support you the most. These are the people buying your merch and going to meetups.
I’m not going to pretend I know what is going on in Matt’s head. I know that his personal Twitter post said he was annoyed with people responding to Tweets in dog voices. I know that he not only blocked Theo, he also blocked people who spoke out in support of Theo - complete with an “I’m glad these people are gone” response. In my mind, what Matt was basically saying to everyone is “This is my playground. I want you to give me your money but I don’t want you to play with my account.”
How should this have been handled? Matt should have just played along and let everyone interact with each other. There is enough internet for everyone. As example of how this works well is all of the various Twitter accounts based on the The Dresden Files novels by Jim Butcher. Not only does Harry Dresden, himself, have a Twitter account but a ton of the other characters have accounts as well. And those are actual characters in actual books with actual copyrights. Another example is the Green brothers (otherwise known as Hank and John Green - authors and YouTubers extraordinaire). They decided early in their careers that they wanted their fans to be able to make art based on their famous saying “Don’t Forget To Be Awesome” that they actively decided not to trademark the phrase. They chose their community over the mighty dollar.
Another option would have been to just have a private conversation with Nancy about how the Twitter responses made him uncomfortable (for some reason) and he would like them to stop. Of course, this would mean that he would either have to make a public statement asking people to not use dog accounts/voices to interact with his accounts, which might not go over well considering almost all of his posts on We Rate Dogs are pictures of other people’s dogs (Those same pictures that he puts in calendars and sells to people for money.), or he would have to message every single user he has a problem with asking them to stop, which could take up a lot of time.
But he didn’t do either of those. He went straight for the Block User option. Multiple times.
While I’m sure this has all blown over by now and everyone has forgotten about the doggie drama, it has put a bad taste in some people’s mouths, including my own. Personally, I have unfollowed Matt’s personal Twitter as well as Thoughts of Dog because now all I can see is Matt’s selfishness. Even We Rate Dogs has been tainted a bit for me but I haven’t given into unfollowing that account because I like looking at the pictures of the good boys and girls. And I can definitely say that I don’t plan on spending any more money on his merchandise. I’d rather give my money to someone who appreciates the people who support them.
What are your thoughts on the situation?
Yeah, I already screwed up my goals for 2019 by not posting at all last week. I had plans to post some things but then my daughter brought home the Worst Head Cold In The Universe and was nice enough to share it with me. I mean, sharing is caring, right? So instead of spending my week writing and laughing and trying to enjoy winter (by the way, I hate winter with the passion of a million burning suns), I spent it trying to find the best combination of cold medicine that would allow me get through the day at my full time job then going to bed as early as possible to try to sleep the damned thing away.
Needless to say, I mostly accomplished those goals. I left work early one day to work from home so my co-workers didn’t have to hear my disgusting noises. But I did get all of my work done in a timely manner. That’s a check in the win column, right?
Now I am feeling much better. (Thank you for asking.) But we still have like two more months of this wretched winter. I’m hoping it won’t be too awful. Maybe if we all wish for spring (or, in my case, summer) as hard as we can, winter will just vanish off the face of the Earth, never to bother us again. Or maybe I’ll just move to Arizona. Please tell me Arizona doesn’t have snow….
Talking about snow, I was stuck in the house all weekend thanks to a forecasted snow/ice storm that was supposed to roll through my area. (Spoilers: It was a little snow but mostly rain which will now all freeze over into ice.) I took the housebound time to update the look of the blog a bit. It’s not a drastic change, mostly some different colors and fonts but I felt like it needed a new coat of paint. After all, it’s been like five years since the last update. I hope you like it as much as I do.
I desperately want to be one of those people that use planners. I want to have a pretty layout and use pretty stickers and be all sorts of organized. Every year, I buy a brand new planner with the best of intentions. But, every year, I fail miserably. I use the planner for a few months then it ends up getting tossed in a drawer for the rest of the year. I’m going to try to look into the ‘why’ of my planner failure. Maybe you can help me overcome it so I will be plantastic this year.
First, I’m going to say that I don’t think the problem is the type of planner I buy. I have bought a few different types of planners and they all end up barely used. A couple of years ago, I purchased a classic Happy Planner (not that specific one, though) because I liked the layout and I prefer my planners to be dated. But it was way too big for me. So last year, I purchased a mini Happy Planner so I could fit it in my purse. If I had it with me all the time, I’d me more apt to use it, right? Nope. That also ended up in the drawer. This year I bought an Erin Condren planner that I customized. Maybe if it’s more ‘me,’ I’m more likely to use it.
So why do I think I give up on planners? I think the big reason is the limitation of a physical planner. My personal life, where I maintain the schedules of three people, is entirely kept on my phone’s calendar. I use the DigiCal app to color code all of our events. I can, with the flick of a wrist, tell you what we have planned for any particular day, complete with who planned it or what type of plan it is. (For example, all of my daughter’s dance classes & events are pink but her school concerts are yellow.) Unlike my phone calendar that I can use anytime and anywhere, I have to make time to use a physical planner. I have to find somewhere I can sit with my colored pens (I like to color code things) that isn’t too distracting. Considering I spend approximately three hours per night, three nights per week at the dance studio, it doesn’t leave me tons of undistracted time.
Another possible problem is that, every time I sit down with my planner, I feel like I need to plan at least a week, if not an entire month, ahead. And I just don’t have that many ideas. It was worse when I still filmed videos for YouTube. I’d need ideas for three videos per week plus blog posts. (I think I was trying to post twice a week back then?) I’m creative but I’m not THAT creative. I tend to do a little better when I’m spontaneous. Granted, sometimes that ends up with me sitting at my keyboard with writer’s block. I’ve just never been good at planning things out.
So how do I fix this? How do I become a planning goddess? Give me your tried and true tips and tricks to planning. It doesn’t have to be writing-related. Just how you plan…well…anything!
Back in September 2018, I made some temporary tattoos for an event my daughter’s dance studio was attending. I posted some pictures of them on my Instagram and some people asked me how I made them. It’s not nearly as difficult as one would think. So here is a quick walk-through on how to make your own temporary tattoos.
Temporary Tattoo Paper
Scissors or paper cutting machine (like a Cricut or Silhouette)
The temporary tattoo paper I use is from Silhouette. Not only does Silhouette have cutting machines, they also have a stamp making machine, a 3D printer, and a ton of crafting supplies (like colored vinyl, heat transfers for fabrics, and glass etching, to name a few). I will admit that the temporary tattoo paper is a little on the expensive side. It is $10 for 2 sheets. However, you can get a lot of use out each sheet, depending on how large your designs are. If you don’t want to buy the paper online, it is also available in-store at many Joann Fabric locations.
Create your design in your preferred software. For the yellow ribbons, I downloaded a few designs from various graphics websites and lined them all up in a Word document. If you are creating your own design, you could do it in Photoshop. Silhouette also has a design studio where you can purchase designs from artists for your use. (I think Cricut is similar but I only own a Silhouette machine so that is what I am most familiar with.) If you are using a design with text or numbers, make sure you flip the design before you print it. Otherwise, your text will come out backwards when you apply the tattoo to skin.
Once you have your design ready, you want to print it onto the tattoo paper. (Again, don’t forget to flip any designs with text or numbers or if you want your design to face a specific way!) When you load the tattoo paper into your printer, make sure that the sticky side is the side getting printed on. My printer prints on the ‘bottom’ side of the paper in the feeder so I would put the tattoo paper in with the sticky side down. After your design has printed, set the paper aside for a bit to let the ink dry.
Now comes the difficult part. The clear adhesive sheet needs to be applied to the sticky side of the tattoo paper. Most likely, you won’t get the right on the first try. And that is OK. It took me a few tries before I found a technique that works for me.
At the top of the adhesive sheet is a small peel-off strip. Just peel that part off. This will attach to the top of the sticky side of your tattoo paper. Try to get the two pages to line up as straight as possible. Once that little adhesive strip is attached to your tattoo paper, carefully peel off the rest of the paper on the adhesive sheet. Slowly press the adhesive sheet onto the tattoo paper. As you press the adhesive sheet down, try to keep even pressure on the whole page. The goal is to have no air bubbles on any of the designs. (It doesn’t matter if there are air bubbles on the parts of the paper without the design. We’re going to cut that off anyway.)
When the entire adhesive sheet is attached to the tattoo paper, you can move onto cutting out your designs. If you have a cutting machine, you can follow the directions on your specific machine so it knows where to cut. Personally, I just cut my designs out with scissors. Whichever method you use, try to cut as closely to the edges of the design as possible. The least amount of “white space” on the finished tattoo, the better.
And that’s it! All you need to do now is apply the temporary tattoo. While I have only ever applied temporary tattoos to skin, I have read that some people apply them to woodworking pieces then cover it with a clear coat. Both applications would work the same - peel off the clear adhesive sheet from the design. Place the design on your skin/wood sticky side down. Take a damp cloth and wet the back of the paper. Slowly peel the paper from the design. There is your temporary tattoo.
As a warning, any clear spaces on the design that aren’t cut out can be a little sticky for a bit. Make sure your tattoo is completely dry before doing anything where it would pick up dirt. The tattoo will wash over after a couple of days or you can remove it faster with some rubbing alcohol. It’s a great way to show some team spirit without a ton of work.
Even though it’s officially 2019, I’m going to continue talking about 2018 this week. I’m going to talk about my favorite television shows from 2018 today and Friday will be my favorite movies. Much like my list of favorite songs, these shows may not be from 2018 but they are the shows I watched a lot last year.
When I first saw a commercial for The Good Place back in 2016, I wrote it off as a fluff show. The premise didn’t sound interesting at all. Then I ran out of shows to binge on Netflix. So in a moment of “why not,” I turned it on. It is SO GOOD.
The original commercials made me think this was about Kristen Bell in heaven. It’s not. Well, it is but it isn’t. Kristen Bell’s character, Eleanor, is a trash person. She insults everyone, she literally defrauds old people for a living, and she is only out for herself. When she dies, she is sent to heaven. But she knows she doesn’t belong there. So she tries to get her soulmate, Chidi (William Jackson Harper), to help her earn her way into heaven. Since he was an ethics professor when he was alive, it makes sense that he might be able to teach her how to be a good person.
I would really love to tell you more about the show but I would hate to spoil it for anyone that hasn’t seen it. There are currently three seasons of The Good Place. They are all available either on Netflix or Hulu. You should definitely check it out. You won’t regret it.
If you couldn’t tell from my Instagram, a lot of my life revolves around dance. Both my daughter and I dance. We spend a lot of time in the dance studio or at dance events. Normally, we don’t watch a lot of dance reality shows. I’ve only seen one season of Dancing With The Stars and I’ve never seen So You Think You Can Dance. But World of Dance had a few dancers that we recognized from social media. Since it’s on this list, you can figure out that we enjoyed it.
We aren’t big fans of the judges. Sometimes they make decisions that make no sense to us. But that’s OK. We’re really there to watch the dancers. Thanks to this show, we have been introduced to a lot of amazing dancers and dance groups that we never would have seen otherwise. If you love dance and you can tune out all of the actual reality show stuff, WoD is a pretty good show.
Even though we’ve never really watched Dancing With The Stars (beyond watching a few favorite celebrity routines on YouTube), my daughter was looking forward to the junior version of the show. Once again, the lineup featured a couple of dancers we followed on social media. (I think that might be the key.) Juniors was a little more light-hearted than other dance reality shows, which added to the fun a bit. I’m not sure if we would watch a second season, though. It depends on who the competitors are.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. I’m not sure I actually have words for this Netflix series. It has almost everything I want out of a supernatural television show. I only say ‘almost’ because I think I would prefer a little more theatrics in my television witchcraft but the show isn’t any lesser without it. The show has a perfect balance between Sabrina’s witch life and her mortal life. And Kiernan Shipka is amazing as the title character.
Sabrina recently released a holiday special that is a perfect witchy companion to all of the Christmas specials out there. If you are into supernatural witchiness, this is definitely the show for you. (Much better than CW’s Supernatural and it can easily be binge-watched in a day or two.)
While this isn’t a comprehensive list of everything I watched in 2018, these were my favorites. A few shows that didn’t quite make the list are Netflix’s Nailed It!, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Good Doctor, and Netflix’s BoJack Horseman. However, these weren’t shows that made me run to my TV every week to watch. I enjoyed them when I remembered to watch them but I didn’t carve out time in my week to fit them in. Let’s just say I’m thankful that DVRs exist.
Were there any shows that you absolutely loved this year? Or are there any older shows you think I should check out? Let me know in the comments.
I’m not really big on making New Year’s Resolutions. Mostly because they feel like non-specific, unattainable things that hang over my head to make me feel bad about myself. Things like “Lose Weight.” It sounds great but what does that mean? Am I successful if I lose 2 lbs? 10 lbs? Instead, I prefer to make a list of specific goals. I’m sharing my 2019 list with you.
Write at least one blog post every week.
As I said back in November, I have failed miserably at keeping up with my blog. I don’t want that to happen again. So while I’m planning to write three blog posts per week, I know that may not be sustainable for me. I can definitely do one post per week, though.
Get more massages.
This one sounds weird. I have some fairly chronic back pain. It’s nothing debilitating but, if I don’t keep up with regular massages, I can get some very painful muscle spasms. Usually one massage every six months is good enough. I would like to get a massage more frequently though. Maybe instead of keeping the pain at bay, it will actually help me get somewhat better.
Finally cover up that old tattoo.
I got my first tattoo in 1995. It’s a shooting star on my left arm. Needless to say, I was a broke college kid so it wasn’t the best tattoo work. I also didn’t do a great job of taking care of it. Now it’s kinda fuzzy and generally terrible to look at. I’ve wanted to get it covered for years but I couldn’t figure out what design I wanted. This thing is almost 25 years old. It’s time for it to go.
Consume less true crime media.
Well, this may be the most difficult of the year’s goals. I listen to a LOT of true crime podcasts. I watch a lot of true crime documentaries. I watch a lot of true crime YouTubers. And I think it might be making my anxiety worse. I’m not saying I’m going to give it up completely. And maybe it’s not making my anxiety worse. But I can try to watch and listen to fewer stories about the terrible people in the world. If less true crime doesn’t make me less anxious, I can always add it back in. So, anyone have some non-murdery podcasts they’d like to recommend?
These are my main goals for 2019. If you are interested in my progress, I’ll gladly do a quarterly update. A monthly update would probably be too boring.
Now it’s your turn. What are your goals for 2019?