Tag Archives: my favorite things

top 5 favorite online conveniences

31 Aug

Sorry I’ve been so MIA! I lost my memory card reader that lets me transfer photos from my camera to my laptop, so I haven’t been able to upload any…also, I started school last week, which leaves me with very little time to write any of the things I’ve been wanting to for this and other blogs – let alone anything else. (As if I actually had time to over the summer either.) But I wanted to write about some of my favorite services and programs I use on the Internet and my computer that make life a little bit easier. These are pretty limited because I’m cheap and don’t like to pay for things, and I also don’t have an iPhone – I’m sure I’ll do another one of these once I hopefully get one when my contract is up in October – but I’ve definitely come across a few things I really adore over the last year or so of browsing the Internet way too much and I wanted to share the love.

1. sleepyti.me

sleepyti.me is seriously the best thing ever. Basically it’s this website whose entire point is to help you feel as rested as possible, no matter what time you have to go to sleep or wake up. FOR FREE. It operates off the idea that if you wake up mid-sleep cycle, you’re going to feel tired and sluggish, no matter how many hours of sleep you got. So it tells you how to try to make sure that you plan your sleep based on complete cycles (a good night’s sleep consists of 5-6, so ideally you should shoot for that). You have two options with sleepyti.me: you can either enter what time you have to wake up and it will tell you a few times you should try to be asleep by, or you can find out a few good times to wake up if you’re going to bed right then. You can even use it for naps; just plan on one or two full sleep cycles. Guys, why would you NOT this use this? Granted, things happen and it doesn’t guarantee a good night’s sleep every night, but it can’t hurt, right? Just do it. The world needs more well-rested people.

2. iTunes U

Please tell me you’ve heard of iTunes U. On the iTunes store, you can download and subscribe to videos, lessons and lectures on every subject you can imagine. FOR FREE. A lot of them are from schools like Stanford and Yale, and they’re the perfect thing to throw on as you’re getting dressed in the morning or cleaning your room if you feel like padding your mind out with a little more knowledge. You have to do some weeding through, downloading and deleting to find the ones that are really good and work for you, but they have so many pages of options that you’re bound to find something fabulous. It’s a great way to learn more about a subject you’ve been dying to take in school that your schedule is too full for until you find time for it, or even to keep yourself sharp after graduation. I downloaded a bunch in French, writing, psychology, philosophy, art, and architecture, and I can’t wait to listen to them.

3. Dropbox

I know you’ve heard of Dropbox. Dropbox makes file sharing about as easy as it gets. Once you’ve made an account, you can create a folder and drag your documents or whatever into it, and then you can access them from any computer that has Internet. But I think the best part of Dropbox is the shared folders. I have five different shared folders, private to me and one other account, where either of us can drag a file of any kind into the folder, and the other person just has to wait for it to load and then they can take the file out and save it to their computer. Done and done. It’s perfect for sharing vacation photos after the fact without the whole “E-mail me your pictures when we get home!” debacle occurring. No uploading each picture individually. (But when you’re sharing with someone else, make sure you copy and paste the files into the shared folder instead of dragging them in, otherwise when they delete them on their end you won’t have them anymore.) Best of all, every time you invite someone to join Dropbox, you get 250 MB of bonus space!

4. Google Docs

I actually just started using this Gmail service when I started interning at my church and coordinating the volunteer list and schedule for the children’s ministry – I had to find an easy to way to both have my own document I could easily access and update as the months went on, but also be able to quickly share it with my partner Kirstie. Also frees up space on your computer and, like Dropbox, makes any document easily accessible from any computer with Internet access. Total win. (Also, Gmail in general is nothing short of fantastic.)

5. FLV2MP3

I have my brother to thank for introducing me to this masterpiece of a website. Have you ever heard a song on YouTube that you literally couldn’t find anywhere else and wished there was a way to download the audio of the video? Well, there is. FOR FREE. FLV2MP3 lets you enter a link to whatever media you’re trying to get (I’m sure it works for a multitude of things, but I’ve only used it with YouTube), and then it converts it to an MP3 JUST FOR YOU. You’re all over it.

My next order of business is to actually start using the Mint account I made at the beginning of summer. Everyone I know keeps raving about it, so it must be pretty awesome…actually pinning down a functional and stable budget would be a helpful first step. What are the electronic conveniences that help keep you guys sane on a daily basis? I want to hear about them!


top 5 favorite music videos

21 Jul

I LOVE a good music video. When I was in high school, before my parents canceled our digital cable, I could sit on the couch for hours watching channel 357, MTV Hits – all music videos, all the time. Some music videos I get so obsessed with I watch them over and over and over with the help of Youtube – and I don’t even have to sit through the ones I don’t like, praying my favorite will come on next. So I thought I’d  honor what I’m pretty sure are my five favorite music videos of all time with a blog post – I’m worried I forgot one! But here they are, in chronological order.

1. Best of You – Foo Fighters

This wasn’t one of the ones I was obsessed with, but this is one of my favorite songs, and the video is so awesome and creative.

2. The Kill – 30 Seconds to Mars

This is the doozy. I watched this video so many times I had it memorized; I could have laid it out for you verbally, scene by scene; I knew the hand motions Jared Leto made at every single part; and it played in my head even when I was just listening to the song. I was addicted. Never mind how creepy it is when Jared looks like he’s about to make out with himself, or the gross reference to the scene with the guy in the dog costume from The Shining (the movie the whole thing is based on). This video owned my life.

3. I Kissed A Girl – Katy Perry

Nothing revolutionary, but I love the aesthetic and styling of this video.

4. Bad Romance – Lady Gaga

No words necessary.

5. The Wind Blows – The All-American Rejects

Back when I worked in the BP department at Nordstrom, this was one of the music videos that was part of the loop that played all day long on the big screen in the wall, and it (along with Party In The USA and One Time) was one that I always looked forward to and would get completely distracted when I heard it come on. Customers would be left standing in their underwear waiting in their fitting rooms for me to come back with that larger size while I stood agape behind the counter and marveled at the beauty in every frame. Okay, not really. But it is really, really good.