Thursday, February 23, 2017

Videos, Binging, and Unemployment. Now You're Caught Up.

I'm still here.

As per my MO, I'm back to blogging after a rather long hiatus. Wondering what I've been doing instead of blogging? This post title pretty much tells it. Well, not quite, but I'll fill you in later.

Anyhoo, what better way to get back in the grove than with a Mama Kat writing prompt?

So, here's my five favorite things right now:

1.  Videos on how to make doll stuff.

I had no idea there were so many of these on Youtube. There are entire channels with hundreds of videos on how to make itty bitty doll stuff. 

My favorite channel so far is My Froggy Stuff. It's a mother and daughter crafting team. They specialize in making doll rooms out of cardboard that fold up for easy storage, but they also make all kinds of random doll accessories. I don't know why, but their videos are just completely captivating to me. I guess I've always had a thing for miniatures.

Another fun miniature-making channel is Rainbow Tinkle's World. She makes all kinds of adorable things for dolls and Littlest Pet Shop characters.

The videos inspired me to make mini popcorn and drinks for my granddaughter, for when she wants to take her Barbies to the movies. I used tutorials from the two Youtube channels and made this:

I have to perfect the cardboard carrier a bit, but...cute, right? If you're wondering how I have time to watch miniature-making videos and do crafts, please see #3 below.

2.  The KODI app.

In an effort to cut expenses (again, see #3 below), we cut out the "expanded" cable package. What we now have is the "you may as well turn it off and read a book" package. 

My brother texted my husband one evening and asked what we were doing. My husband replied, "Channel flipping between The Love Boat and All In the Family." Yeah. That's how bad our cable package is. 

My brother must have felt sorry for us, because next thing we know, my brother and sister went in together and bought us a box that lets you stream just about any show or movie you want, using the Internet. It works similarly to a Roku or Chrome stick. The only thing is, it only works on our bedroom TV because our living room TV is 13 years old and doesn't have HDMI inputs. #FirstWorldProblems.

It's great when Fred and I want to watch something together, but I have some favorite shows that he has absolutely no interest in (Grey's Anatomy and Madam Secretary), and his preferred after work lounging spot is the bed. So that means ixnay on any good TV watching for me in the evening.

But (and the whole point of this story), my brother also pointed out that the same app that the box uses to stream shows, is also available for Android devices.

It's called KODI. You can download it to an Android phone or tablet (maybe computers too, I'm not sure), then add other apps within it (we use Exodus, but there are others), and stream just about any show or movie.

So now I can watch my favorite shows, commercial free and anytime I want, on my tablet - for free!

So, yay! And also...I should probably read more.

3.  Not working.

I was laid off from my job this past summer. It's the first time I haven't worked since 1990 and I have to say...I don't hate it. Now before you start getting all judgey, thinking all I do all day is #1 and #2 above, I need to tell you that I have been trying to make some money doing some online stuff.

And no, I don't mean in my bedroom with a video cam.

Although...I hear the money is pretty good.

No, really, it's legit stuff, and it's largely why I haven't been blogging in such a long time. But, like most online endeavors, it's proven to be harder then I thought and I'm not sure how successful I'll be at it, in the end. But that's for another post.

The point is...not going to a job every day is definitely one of my favorite things right now. I should have lived in the 1950's..

BTW, a big shout-out to Mr. I-don't-mind-that-my-wife-doesn't-have-a-job for not only not pressuring me to look for a job, but for actually being happy that I'm home more, despite the shortfall in income. I'm a lucky wife. 

4.  Tea

I may have mentioned 5839373875 times a time or two how much I like many, many cocktails the occasional cocktail or glass of wine. And I still do, but I'm also trying to lose weight (an ongoing struggle). So I've cut back on booze and instead, I have tea. 

I guess that makes me a teetotaler, literally. Did you know that's spelled "tee" and not "tea"? I didn't until I googled it. Funny.

Anyhoo, it satisfies that need to have a soothing drink in my hand in the evening and helps squelch snack cravings during the day. My favorite is vanilla chai tea with a little almond milk.

5.  Natural Bliss Creamer

You might think I liken myself to the girl screaming for coffee in the picture. But no. That's my husband, ever since his schedule changed at work and he has to leave an hour earlier in the morning.

I have never seen the man drink coffee since the day I met him, but one day, a few weeks ago, he asked if we had any creamer because he'd like to take a cup of coffee with him to work.

After I finished checking for the "Fred suit" zipper and was satisfied an alien body snatcher hadn't taken him over, I put coffee creamer on the grocery list.

I didn't want to get one with a bunch of preservatives and crap in it (although Fred wouldn't have minded - he prefers his food to have a barcode). So we tried Natural Bliss creamer by Coffeemate.

I've always been perfectly happy with just a bit of almond milk in my coffee. Never liked it very sweet - that is, until I tried this stuff. It makes the creamiest, yummiest, cup of coffee ever!

All that's in it is real cream, nonfat milk, and sugar, so I suppose I could just buy cream and add sugar and it would be the same thing...but I haven't tried it. Plus, when the man who's encouraging you to not get a job, tells you his drive to work in the morning is a little less of a drudgery, thanks to his cup of coffee...well, you just don't mess with that.

So those are my five favorite things right now. What about you? Any favorite things in your life you'd care to share?

Oh, and if you have time, take a gander at the other writing prompts and posts over at Mama Kat's. Cause you got nothin' better to do.

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