4 Podcasts for Creatives

podcasts for creatives
In the last 6 months I’ve become obsessed with podcasts! They are the best because they are passive! Meaning I can do something else while I consume them. I can drive, walk the dog, clean the house, do laundry, exercise (ha!), whatever. I listen to a variety of podcasts, but I thought I’d highlight some of my favorites in the “creative” category. And I believe everyone is creative, so I think anyone could benefit from or enjoy listening to these.

These are by no means all of the creative podcasts out there. Just the ones I listen to since, you know, my blog, my rules.

Note: A few of these podcasts are not family friendly. Language is used and off color jokes are made. I don’t personally like that part of them, but there is so much more in them that I do find valuable. Just be forewarned.

You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes
Admittedly, I’ve only listened to this a couple of times, most notably when Pete interviewed Rob Bell (a good one whether you take issues with Rob’s “theology” or not), but it was awesome. He mostly talks to comedians and people in the entertainment industry (actors and musicians) but that just chat and talk about life, their process, their philosophy, or whatever. This is really fun to listen to because you almost get inside their head, their thought process. It is a bit of a commitment, most episodes are at least two hours, so I usually listen when I have a lot of cleaning or organizing to do. Way better than getting distracted by an America’s Next Top Model marathon.

Nerdist
This is one of my favorites. The Nerdist podcasts interviews some of my favorite comedians and actors: Anna Kendrick, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Tom Hanks, the list goes on. Again, it’s a long one, usually somewhere between 60 and 90 minutes. But it’s awesome to hear Kathryn Hahn obsess over the best gumbo at Disneyland (That’s a thing apparently), and then talk about how slow her career was at first. It’s amazing to hear Aziz Ansari say “don’t worry about Twitter, just do your work!” Ok fine, Aziz, I’ll totally do it.

After the Jump
A weekly half hour podcast by Grace Bonney, the blogger who built the empire that is Design Sponge (never heard of them? Do you use Pinterest? Then I guarantee you have pinned one of their images). She talks about design trends, but she also talks about strategies she’s used to create Design Sponge and maintain her business and incredible web presence.

Making It
This one is another lady-hosted podcast. Riki Lindhome interviews people who’ve “made it” and talks about how exactly they did that. It’s about an hour of hearing about how they got where they are now, and the guests are super fun. Spoiler Alert: they made it by working hard, being nice to people, and persevering. But still you should listen, because we all need that lesson banged into our heads a few times!

What are your favorite podcasts?

Stupid Easy Tech Tip: An alternative to expensive ink

stupid easy tech tip
Note: HP has no idea who I am, I just love their Instant Ink program enough to share it with you.

Can someone explain to me why printer ink cartridges cost more than a pair of Old Navy or Forever 21 Jeans? There’s not a good reason, I’m sure of it.

In the words of my friend Jason (at least I think he tweeted this, but then I started searching on Twitter and 20 minutes later I never found it) “The US should switch to an ink cartridge-based economy.” 

It’s literally the worst part of having a printer. That and realizing that you really should be recycling those cartridges when you’re done and oh my gosh who has time to figure that out?

But then we bought a new printer last year. And the HP rep at the Best Buy explains that if we pick from a certain type of printer that we can enroll in HP Instant Ink.  Let me explain to you why this is so amazing.

You buy from a certain group of printers eligible for HP Instant Ink. You buy a special enrollment package (cost is the first month’s payment of whatever plan you choose). You follow the setup instructions. You pick your plan (for example the cheapest plan is $3 for 50 pages per month, you can roll over 50 unused pages, and it’s $1 for an extra 15 pages per month if you need it) and you pay it. HP sends you your ink cartridges and you load them into your printer. When your printer detects that you’re running out of ink it alerts HP (OMG, your printer has a brain!!!) and HP sends new cartridges plus a postage paid box so you can send back my old cartridges for recycling. And the best part is that you’ll pay around $40/year, roughly the price of one cartridge.

IT IS 2014 – WHY IS THIS NOT STANDARD???? Also, can I have my printer think about things other than the ink levels?

Please work on that, HP. But until then a big thanks for Instant Ink.

Why didn’t anyone tell me about… Pentatonix?

This is a new semi-regular series where we discuss things that I was “late to the party on” but now I have firmly cemented myself in the bandwagon of these cultural landmarks.

Today I ask you friends, why did no one tell me about…

…Pentatonix?

You guys, they’re awesome. WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME? And they’re from Arlington, Texas! While that Little Drummer Boy video that floated around at Christmas is really good, they are so much more awesome than just that one cover of good cheer.  Here are my favorites.


The Evolution of Music


Cover of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ Can’t Hold Us


I think every a capella group is required to do a cover of Royals


An actually good version of Gangnam Style


Maybe my most favorite: The Evolution of Beyonce.


A mashup to commemorate their appearance on Sesame Street!


And if they’re sounding sort of familiar to you, but you’re just not sure where you’ve heard them? Maybe it’s in the new Lucky Charms commercial!

Do you love Pentatonix?

I really don’t need you to be “real” online

being real online
There’s a lot of talk about “online honesty” and being “real” on the internet. And I get it. It’s a little frustrating to look at “just another newlywed/mommy/college student/business blog” and see a perfectly designed home and no laundry baskets, the perfect homemade meal and no dishes in the sink, the perfect date and no photos of that awkward stupid fight with the husband, the perfect deal with no mention of the many rejections and failures before the finished contract, and the perfect outfit with no sign of holes that show that they’ve been wearing the same t-shirt since freshman year of college.

I get it, at times Pinterest depresses me just as much as the next girl.

But can I be honest with you? I’m ok with you not being completely “real” online. I really am.

Sure I could do without those internet personalities that seem completely perfect, without flaw. You know, you’re friend that can’t post a photo without pushing it through a million actions on Photoshop. But I don’t need (or want) to see your dirty house, your kids’ dirty diapers, or you and your spouse having a Facebook argument. And I especially don’t want to see those things posted in the name of “being real.”

Here’s the deal- the internet is new and different, but it’s not based on brand new concepts. Everything is still ads, information sharing, humblebragging, and people telling their stories.  We’ve always done that stuff.  The only difference is this: now it’s accessible to pretty much anyone once it’s out there.

So do you really want to be so “real” that you’re sharing all your relationship struggles, your parenting “fails,” and you airing your actual dirty laundry?

Because if I’m being honest, I sure don’t want to read about that.

I totally get the value of being honest, and I do appreciate when bloggers post about their struggles or when my friends post a funny kid story that doesn’t exactly make them look like parent of the year. And I don’t want people to pretend and act like everything’s ok when it’s not. But if you’re feeling guilty about not being “real” enough online- DON’T. Just don’t.

It’s your choice, share what makes you happy. And if it doesn’t make you happy- then it probably doesn’t belong online.

And if you’re sharing everything with me, from your child’s bowel movements to the fight you had with your spouse; from your rough morning to the dead rat your dog left on your doorstop… you don’t have to do that. You can be real without all the details, and you won’t hurt anyone’s feelings, I promise!

What do you think about being “real” online?

If you can’t do something forever…

… that’s not a good reason to not do it now.

Seems obvious, right? So why am I making a blog post about it?

Because I caught myself in a weird thought process the other day, here’s how it went:

“Should I really try that new thing/start that new project/learn more about that idea? Maybe not because I will only be able to sustain it/do it/keep doing it for a few months/a year/5 years/ 20 years, but then what?”

So in case you’re not clear, I was thinking about not doing something because I wouldn’t be able to do it until I died.

This means I should give up on walking, working, earning a certain income, watching TV shows that might end before I die, and all current forms of social media because everyone knows they’ll change every 5 years.

This is stupid.

From now on, if I want to try/start/do something I’m moving forward, even if my 35, 45, and 65 year old self won’t be able to continue doing it.

Hope you’ll join me.

Apps and Services I Love: Canva.com

canva
Note: As usual, no one’s paying me for this post, I just really like this service and have decided to share it with you. YOU’RE WELCOME!

Here’s a very common problem for me:

I like making internet and digital things.
Internet and digital things require images and design items.
I’m so not a designer and I take all my photos with my smartphone.

I know I’m not the only one. Have you ever tried to just put some basic text on a photo and make it look pretty? It’s really hard, and I’m pretty sure most of the people who do it well have a degree in graphic design and extensive Photoshop experience.  But that is not me, my friends.

So I was intrigued when I started hearing about canva.com. They said it was easy and free and made for non-designers to make all kinds of digital design image items.

And it is.

It’s drag and drop, easy to find the features you want to use, and they have tutorials to help you get started. Amazing!

The only thing I don’t like about Canva is that it only works on certain browsers, and that does not include Internet Explorer, which seems a bit snobby to me. It does work very nicely on Google Chrome, but that means I can’t really do anything on my tablet. Hopefully they’ll make a change sometime soon.

The best way to learn it (besides their tutorials) is to check it out and browse around. And if you’re curious if it can really create good work- here’s a sampling of some items I’ve made using only Canva’s free features and my own photos.

Canva design
Clockwise from upper left: If you hadn’t noticed, I made a slight change to my blog header using Canva. Last month I posted a quote from the movie Divergent and made it pretty. A recipe document I made to go along with a gift for my friend Keri’s bridal shower. A photo collage I made in just a minute for a project I’m working on for my friend who is a GYROTONIC trainer.

dancer collage
One of my favorite things about Canva is their photo grids- just pick one and drag and drop your own photos and it resizes them to fit the grid instantly. Super useful for when I need a quick collage of dance shots to send with my resume for potential teaching jobs.
Is GYROTONIC right for you
And of course, putting text over images could not be easier!

Have you tried Canva?

Are you wallowing or relishing?

It’s funny to me (in a strange, interesting way, not in an actually funny way) that the words wallow and relish have similar definitions.

Definition of wallow: to spend time experiencing or enjoying something without making any effort to change your situation, feelings, etc.

Definition of relish: enjoyment of or delight in something

Both mention enjoying something. But let’s be honest, they have opposite connotations.

You wallow in your despair.

You relish the beautiful day.

She wallows in a breakup by eating lots of ice cream.

She relishes the freedom she has now that she’s broken up with that horrible person.

I wallow in my disappointment of not getting the job.

I relish the time I have to devote to my craft.

It’s the difference between enjoying misery and delighting in the wonderful

So are you enjoying being miserable? Or are you finding the wonderful and loving those moments?

Both have their moments where they are appropriate. We certainly sometimes have to do this, but also don’t want to be this guy.

But are you spending most of your time wallowing or relishing?

Friday Finds 4/11/14

Oh my goodness, a French bulldog that doesn’t want to sleep! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey there friends who read my internet stuff. This week was good but busy, but you don’t care, you want links!

These parents are doing just terrible things to their kids (SARCASM!) Like for example this mom:
“I went to my teen’s choir concert and clapped”

Turns out I CAN love foxes more than I already do.

If you get house envy you won’t be able to resist this photo round up of unusual homes. Number 12 satisfies the tiny minimalist that lives inside me.

Really hoping Apple doesn’t take this company over, so anyone with a smartphone can take advantage of a charger that would take your battery from 0% to 100% in under a minute. Don’t get too excited though, it’s probably not coming out for at least 2 more years.

Speaking of smartphones, I currently use a Nokia Lumia, as my phone but also as my only camera, so I love this series: “Around the World in 80 Lumias,” especially this entry from Spain.

Have you ever tried to find Momo?

Have you seen this website that tells you about all those random holidays? Well, it says that tomorrow (my birthday) is “look up at the sky day.” But when I searched it to confirm, it turns out that day is actually April 14th, according to this site (and ps, they are saying that today is “Love Your Pet Day,” which for me is everyday, but whatever). And that April 12 is actually “walk on your wild side day.” So I really don’t know what to believe any more. But in honor of my 28th (eek?), look up at the sky or get wild. Whatever.

Anything else interesting on the internet this week?

Kendra Scott necklace

93e2265b-eb14-4c28-ae4f-0ca37400cf7f_jpeg

As you know, I just write this stuff, no one’s paying me. I should change that…

If you read this blog at all you know I like a good statement necklace. But other than statement necklaces, long pendants, and my favorite gifted necklace… I don’t really wear many necklaces, and certainly not shorter ones.

I think because I can’t help but remember those unfortunate chokers I used to wear in middle school.

But then my sister and brother-in-law (The Guns’ brother and his wife) got me the necklace pictured above (quick question: can I use that photo on the left as my new headshot?), and now I wear it ALL THE TIME. I would have never picked it out because it seems like a length that wouldn’t work for me, but it’s actually pretty perfect. It’s a mint green/turquoise stone on a gold chain,  and caged in decorative gold setting. You can wear it the way I am in this photo, or you can turn it around and it’s just the mint green stone without the gold stripes.

I love it so much, and I wear it all the time, with my favorite layering technique, with t-shirts, with tops that have an interesting neckline. It really works with anything. And I can’t find it online anymore (sadface) but it’s made by Kendra Scott, who of course also does the super cool color bar, where you can design your own jewelry online.

So big thanks to bro and sis-in law, for my new favorite necklace!

What do you think? Do you love it as much as me?