2017 Favorites: May

May was SO FULL of favorites, y’all, I can’t even believe I discovered all these things this month. I actually cut two out because it has to stop somewhere, otherwise I’ll be just listing things I’ve done or used all month. There’s basically two categories to this month’s favorites: apps and podcasts, with a TV show thrown in accidentally. Here are my May favorites:

Trial & Error

This show was supposed to be one of my April favorites, but I completely forgot to add it. The mockumentary comedy stars John Lithgow as an eccentric and oblivious man accused of killing his wife in a small, Southern town, accompanied by a ridiculous set of characters. It’s hilariously written and outrageously, ridiculously silly. It’s a fun time.

MyFitnessPal

Eating healthy is hard. Losing weight is hard. Keeping track of calories and protein and fat and blah blah blah, you lost me, get me another burger—it’s hard. I’ve struggled with my weight and staying healthy a long time. And thanks to starting to use MyFitnessPal app on my phone, I’ve been able to keep track of what I’m eating, the calories, fat, sugar—not just trying to keep it under a certain number (which has been a struggle in the past) but keep in a healthy “zone.” I want to post about my new dietary changes in another post, but since using the app, I’ve lost 13 pounds. The app makes it easy to enter what I’ve eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, and it breaks everything down for me, so I know if I’m getting enough protein, having too much sugar, everything. It’s one of the coolest apps ever, and the best part for me, it syncs with my Fitbit, so it accounts for the steps I’m getting and automatically logs my calories into my Fitbit app, so it’s all together and organized to help me stay on target.

Scapple

I’ve had this on my computer for a while as a 30 day free trial, losing a day every time I open it. After a year or so of wanting to use it more, I finally paid for it, and have loved it even more than I thought I would. It’s a program (by the same company who created Scrivener, my favorite writing program) that makes it easy to brainstorm digitally. You can write notes, connect them to each other with lines, use arrows, pin images. It’s amazing. I’ve been using it for writing books, creating family trees and diagrams and outlines. It’s such a great tool that now allows me to be free of wasting pages and pages and pages of paper in a notebook. Let’s be real, I’ll still do that anyway, but Scapple makes it easy to save to Scrivener, so I have everything I need right in my file for referencing. It’s awesome.

Evernote

And, the nerdiest thing on this favorites list goes to…Evernote. The best app I’ve ever found (sorry, Scapple, you work for one thing, this works for another) that I can use on my phone, as a Google Chrome extension, and as a program on my computer, all syncing perfectly together in harmony. Evernote is basically for note taking, but it can be used for anything. You can have folders with references, images, and notes at the ready. The Chrome extension is awesome for saving sites as simplified versions, which is great for articles you want to read later (though I also use Pocket for this) and recipes you find online (I do this a lot), quickly clipping the site from online and saving it to your notes in a folder you choose that can be accessed from your phone. The app for iPhone can take a picture of a document and essentially scan it, making an image you can save and reference back to. It would be great for receipts and important documents. You can make to do lists. Everything syncs perfectly, so you can work while on the go, at your desk, whatever. It’s incredible and I’ve been using it everyday for at least one thing since I downloaded it, and I haven’t even begun to start really diving in.

Recently, I’ve been getting into podcasts a lot. I’ve been listening to one every day while on my morning walk. Here are the few I’ve been listening to and loving this month:

Portrait of a Freelancer

One of my favorite YouTubers, Ariel Bissett, recently started a podcast about becoming a freelancer, documenting the journey and talking about the struggles and successes starting something new. The podcast is really great, especially because I’m also getting started with freelancing, so it came at the perfect time for me to be inspired and listen to someone else’s perspective on a similar path.

Spirits

I don’t remember if I’ve ever talked about Spirits before, but it’s honestly my favorite podcast right now. I absolutely love mythology and legends, and hosts Amanda and Julia are hilarious, making the drunken storytelling podcast both highly entertaining and informative in my favorite area of history.

Story Not Story

Hosted by YouTuber Craig (WheezyWaiter) and his wife Chyna, the two tell bedtime stories, off the top of their heads while in bed, and record it for the podcast. They’re both funny and the stories vary, from the planets reacting to Pluto’s demotion to a story about the first water slide, ridden by micro-organisms, all ridiculous and hilarious.

Monthly Selections: April 2016

After a busy month, I sort of forgot to keep track of my favorites throughout the month of April like I usually do. But I do remember the following three things that were definitely my favorites the last few weeks, anyway. Here are my selected recommendations/favorites for the month of April!

Amanda McLoughlin

A week ago, I stumbled on this YouTube channel hosted by Amanda McLoughlin, where in the month of April she was doing VEDA (Vlog Every Day in April) with a whole bunch of videos talking about goals, reducing anxiety and stress, budgeting, organizing, meal prepping, being a good host/guest—and those are just the ones I’ve watched so far. Her videos are really helpful, she explains things in an easy-to-understand way—seriously, helping me be a better adult. I instantly subscribed and can’t wait for more. And I have to catch up on the videos I’ve missed! She also co-hosts a podcast called Spirits, which is fantastic.

Coolors.co

In a recent YouTube video by CharliMarieTV, she mentioned this handy website that I fell in love with right away. It’s an incredible website that helps you come up with random color palettes, edit it to your liking or create one from scratch. Super useful and easy to use. And you can export them and download it right to your computer to use them for whatever project you’re working on—I’ve also used it to make a color palette for an interior redesign for paint colors, too.

Here by Alessia Cara

Let’s just say that this song has been on repeat for a week straight and I’ve listened to it upward of a two hundred times. Because this song is so popular right now, I’m surprised I love it so much. Not to say I don’t listen to things that are popular or on the radio—I love me some Top 40—but I’ve never been this obsessed with a song that’s this popular. All of my favorite songs and music is from artists or bands that aren’t popular or on the radio.

This song is fantastic—Alessia Cara is incredibly talented, as a former introverted-teen I relate to the lyrics a whole lot, and I’ll be honest, I’ve had a lot of fun learning the words to sing along with it while alone in the car. There, I said it. It’s a difficult song to sing along to—holy breath control—and I’m proud of myself for being able to do it while remembering the lyrics at the same time.

Design Obsession:

These labels for Harvest Moon juices and shakes reminds me of the same illustration style of Rifle Paper Co. Perfect color palette, great illustrations, awesome design, and a killer typeface that I’m in love with and want right now.

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