A Year of Owl Crate

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Last year, I thought to try out a few book boxes because I wanted some good books to read. This month marks one year since I started Owl Crate.

Owl Crate sends a book a month in addition to a few bookish items. It’s introduced me to some wonderful new authors and bookish products, and it’s something to look out for every month.

It’s introduced me to a lovely tea shop – Adagio Teas – and the Wonderland Elixir tea blend from Riddle’s Tea Shoppe.

Some #bookish jewelry from my #owlcrate boxes. #ayearofowlcrate #bookphotography #bookstagram

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Great bookish jewellery – the Sleeping Beauty bracelet from The Geeky Cauldron fits in nicely with my Alex and Ani selection.

Lovely smelling candles with bookish themes.

And book page flags – which, I use all the time! I love these.

Looking forward to reading this! Love the new cover from #owlcrate

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But one of my favourite boxes was this special print jacket of Heartless! I know it’s just white while the original is black, but there’s something gorgeous about this cover.

I’m really pleased with this subscription, and all the hard work the folks over at Owl Crate put into creating each one. An entire year of Owl Crate and I’m definitely looking forward to the second one.

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TEN more Favourite Doctor Who Episodes

A while ago I posted ten of my favourite Doctor Who episodes. Since then, I found a lot more that I liked. So here’s another list of ten favourite Doctor Who episodes.

Note, spoilers!

Asylum of the Daleks

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The Story: The Doctor, Amy and Rory meet Oswin Oswald – who later becomes important to, and is one of my favourite characters on, the show. Along the way, the Doctor helps to fix Amy and Rory’s marriage.

Why I love it:

  • The story of Oswin and her humour. “Is there a word for total screaming genius that sounds modest and a tiny bit sexy?”
  • Also, the first time we hear “Run you clever boy, and remember.” (>>)

The Snowmen

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The Story: One of the Christmas specials where we meet Clara Oswald, a governess in the Victorian Era.They investigate sentient snowmen and the Doctor starts on the mystery that is Clara.

Why I love it:

  • More Clara, I love her as a companion, she’s spunky and a bit of the Doctor’s equal. I also loved that she doesn’t swoon over him!
  • Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax – love these three!
  • Victorian England (>>)

The Day of the Doctor

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The Story: The Doctor and Clara are taken by UNIT where they receive a message from Elizabeth 1. The 10th incarnation of the doctor and doctor prime(? original?) also make an appearance. This episode focused a lot on the time lords and Gallifrey.

Why I love it:

  • I liked the glimpse into the time war.
  • I loved that this had a little bit of everything, from future travel to past travel.
  • Also, David Tennant. (>>)

Listen

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The Story: What if there was an entity that was so good at hiding that you never realised it exists? Also, what’s that under your bed?

Why I love it:

  • Thoroughly frightening – at least in the beginning.
  • Loved the way the stories ties to the nightmare of someone hiding under the bed, ready to grab your feet.
  • Peter Capaldi’s portrayal of the doctor in this episode is great. (>>)

Time Heist

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The Story: Think Ocean’s 11, but the most dangerous – and well protected – bank in the galaxy. Along with memory-wiping worms.

Why I love it: 

  • The “smartness” of the heist, especially when we find out why it happened.
  • The way some of the past Doctor  Who episodes were referenced.
  • Overall thrill of the episode. (>>)

Kill the Moon

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The story: After crash landing on the moon in the future, the doctor, Clara and one of Clara’s students, Courtney, try to figure out what’s going on on the moon before astronauts can blow it up.

Why I love it:

  • There is only one reason I love this episode, and that’s because the moon is a dragon in an egg, waiting to hatch! (>>)

notes: images taken from bbc.co.uk/doctorwho

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Searching ABCs

Do you have a favourite browser? Mine is Chrome. I’ve been using it since Google released it. I love the search bar, it makes life so much easier. Just type in a letter autofill to a site you’ve recently visited or have visited often.

Two years ago I started an experiment, how would my searches/sites I visit, change over time?

Below is that table, I typed in a letter and chose the first thing Chrome served me back. It’s quite interesting – at least to me!

2014 2015 2016
Amazon AMC Theaters app.box.com
Bike to Work Challenge Box.com Book of the Month
Google Calendar Google Calendar Google Calendar
Google Drive Google Drive – KEEP Dropbox
ESP website (work) Google Docs Evite
Facebook Facebook Facebook
Gmail Gmail Gmail
Sosh HBO Go Hamilton Lottery Ticket
Intranet Instagram Instagram/IReadYa
My Fitness Pal Join.me Jetblue
Google Keep Google Keep Google Keep
Linked In New Life Hub Lit-Cube
Yahoo Yahoo Yahoo
Jazz Fest NetFlix Google News
Orbitx Outlook Outlook
Padmapper PayPal ProPublica
Work QA site Work QA site Work QA site
Redemption Center Blog Goodreads Relevant Magazine
Scholastic Store Planning Center Scholastic Store
Google Translate Twitter Twitter/shanella
Goodreads UPS UCH
Google Voice Virutal Piano Vocabulary.com
Weather.com WordPress Weather.com
XKCD Hulu XKCD
Yelp Youtube Youtube
Ziegfeld theater Zara Zillow

Starting with the As, it seems that I moved from browsing Amazon (still do) to browsing movies and movie times to learning music for my choir/orchestra group – starting in 2015, note the B line. Speaking of Bs, it seems I went from Biking to Singing to Reading – three of my favourite pastimes.

C & D show my love for Google and all its tools; from the Calendar to the Google Voice (2014 the year I actually went on dates with strangers) number that I created years ago.

This year a lot of people moved back to Evites – from Facebook Events.

Let’s skip over Facebook and Gmail and head straight to the fact that I still have not won Hamilton tickets, even though it’s one of my most visited sites!

There’s a lot of work related sites as well – Intranet, ESP, QA, Outlook and the Scholastic Store. But that makes sense, I do spend many hours a week there.

The Us are very interesting – there must have been a U book for that Goodreads entry in 2014. Then I went from tracking packages last year to looking at health insurance this year – thanks, conjunctivitis.

Overall, nothing too shocking for me here. I’m assuming my 2017 will be pretty close to my 2016, who knows, maybe I’ll do an addition next year.

Year in Music: 2015

Just like last year, Spotify has launched their Year in Music site with displays a breakdown of what you listened to, when, and how many times (as well as a few other things).

Imagine Dragons was my top artist this year (out of 463 artists listened to), all due to the Adobe Marketing Summit where they performed, and we got their CD in our welcome bag. (Notable mention goes to Zella Day and Andy Mineo for making the top 5).

Top track this year was “push pull” by Purity Ring. I heard a small preview of the song on the Relevant Podcast and recently started listening to more of their songs – Fineshrine anyone?

Not caught by Spotify, but a few more notable mentions: Alison Wonderland -I Want U, Derek Minor – Who You KnowTravie McCoy – Golden ft. Sia (liked the music video as well) and Chairlift – Ch-Ching.

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If I were Mayor of Night Vale

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts. I’m still trying to find ones that work me, but here are a few that I’ve enjoyed immensely.

Relevant PodcastA weekly podcast released every Friday by the Relevant Magazine folks. This was my gateway podcast. They are hilarious, usually have one or two interviews from authors or musicians and there isn’t an episode that doesn’t leave me laughing. They have also introduce me to a lot of good music.

Mystery ShowThis is a relatively new podcast that solves strange mysteries, like a missing video store or what is Jake Gyllenhaal’s actual height, which I know sounds a bit strange, but the best thing about the show is Starlee Kine’s storytelling ability.

In addition to Mystery Show, some other great storytelling shows that I enjoy are The Moth, This American Life, True Story and StoryCorps. These are shows where different people form all walks of life share their true stories.

TED Radio Hour: Each episode is mainly a synopsis of a series of related TED talks, and it has lead me to discovering some talks that I probably wouldn’t have found on my own.

Finally, the odd, hilarious, and oh so imaginative, Night Vale podcast, a bi-monthly radio show that gives its listeners an update on the goings on and the mysteries of Night Vale. I would suggest starting from the beginning for this one.

 

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Year in Music: Spotify

If you’re like me and haven’t received that Spotify email that tells you about your Year in Music, you can check it out here: www.spotify-yearinmusic.com

This is actually great because I was wondering what my most listened to tracks were this year. According to Spotify I listened to Pop and Contemporary Christian Music mostly, which makes sense as I didn’t start using Spotify to find new music until recently.

It also said that the top artist was Lorde – though, if Ms. Swift didn’t pull her tracks from Spotify it might have been her. Blank Space anyone?

The top track played was Coming Home – Part II by Skylar Grey followed by Love is On the Radio – Mr. & Mrs. F mix by McFly. I was surprised to see Tessa Violet on the list, but I suppose I listened to Just Right a bunch of times when it came out.

They then have a Play it Forward playlist which is a selection of songs for you based on your tastes this year. I think they did a great job curating the list for me, I started listening to it and I think it suits my tastes.

What’s your year in music like?

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On repeat: Jesus, Born on This Day by Mariah Carey

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Fun and entertaining on YouTube

I’ve shared a few of my favourite YouTube channels in the past, but I’m always finding interesting content on YouTube. So here are some more!

She was featured in one of my posts before, but I’ve recently starting following her channel. Giovanna Fletcher is the wife of Tom Fletcher who is in McBusted. She is an author, blogger, mummy and vlogger and I find her very delightful to watch.

I found Karen Kavett while clicking through on some DIY projects. She makes jewelry that she sells through DFTBA.com and does a lot of DIY craft videos on her channel.

Cinemasins has been entertaining me for the past two months. They basically point out the parts of movies that might not make any sense. I love when they do book-to-movie adaptations because my biggest pet peeve with those sort of movies is that, usually, the folks who don’t read the book have a lot of questions that the books answer but the movie doesn’t portray.

Finally, I can’t believe that I didn’t mention her before, but I absolutely LOVE Natalie Tran from CommunityChannel. She’s hilarious and not very consistent with her posts, (a running joke with her longtime viewers) but when she does post, it’s quite hilarious.

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On repeat: Dear Santa by Jay Brannan

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