Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review - The Phillips Hue Lights and the Syfy Synch App

I made a video so you can see the colors shifting! This is basically my favorite of the many options, though I'm also fond of the Passing Clouds option, which has natural light and periodic dims, and Candlelight, which is warm and flickery.

I won this starter set of the Phillips Hue Lights from a sweepstakes run by the 12 Monkeys twitter account, and lemme tell you, it's super-neat. No really necessary at all, but definitely neat.

  • Lots of options
  • Voting and suggestions on new lighting options being added to the store
  • Nifty
  • Rainbows!
  • Pretty easy to set up
  • The app doesn't make it super-intuitive to know which lightbulb you're talking to--it just numbers them, but there's not really numbers on the bulbs so you have to figure out which is 1, 2 or 3
  • Sometimes it gets stuck on one light color or pattern
  • A little laggy if there's any interference
With the Syfy Synch app, you can connect your lights to various Syfy Channel shows and then as the colors of the light change on the TV, your lights change to match. It's a cool idea, and very atomospheric, but a little buggy. Maybe it's just that the tech is new, or maybe our internet is that unreliable, but it couldn't seem to keep synched, and I kept having to restart the app because it kept crashing.

But when it worked? It was awesome.

I know that there's all these recipes on for Hue lights, so I'm going to look into those for making them more useful and less of a novelty, and in the meantime, I'm going to keep my bedroom in a rainbow-progressing loop.

Because why not?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Getting to know me

I found this list-meme over on Tumblr, and since I've been off this blog for a while and I also love these things, I thought I'd fill it out.

1:Real (first) Name?
Samantha. Almost Chloe Phaedra, if my dad is to be believed.

2:Current crush!?
In real life? No one, really. In celeb-life? The newest addition to my Top Ten (which is sitting actually around seven or eight right now) is Aaron Stanford. He's too cute.

Tea. Chocolate, probably. Buying books I don't have time to read. Fanfic?

4:How tall am I?
Four foot ten. Shorter than most people over the age of about nine.

5:Relationship status?
In a committed relationship with several fictional men.

6:Girls I trust?
My sister. My Monkeys. My Troublemakers.

7:Boys I trust?
A2. Also Troublemakers. Hayhay. Jason.

9:Current mood?
Restless, but low-energy--I'm in a lot of pain right now and I'm gonna go take a nap when I'm done here.

10:how many followers?
On Tumblr, 488. On Twitter, almost 900.

I didn't like most of the books I had to read for my undergrad degree.

12:Who I miss?
Hayhay. Jason. The independent me I used to be.

13:Who I last hugged?
A2, probably. I hug him all the time.

14:Who understands me?
My sister. Hayhay. Kristina. I think my brother gets me most of the time. Not a lot of others in that totally free sort of way.

15:Someone who is always there for me:
My sister.

16:Last Text?
A link to my sister about how 1st graders finished famous proverbs, and how hilarious it was.

17:someone you cry to?
My sister. My mom.

18:Who makes me laugh the most?
Hayden. We don't even have to talk to each other to be cracking up!

19:Who I do the craziest stuff with?
Once upon a time, Hayden. Nowadays, probably A2, since I basically just wander around behind him while he wanders off.

20:Who makes me smile?
With their very existence? Tom Hiddleston. Aaron Stanford. Almost any baby or kitten. David Tennant.

21:What am i listening to?
A show about dinosaur extinctions playing in the other room.

22:Turn on’s?
Good hands. Cheekbones. Wide shoulders. Goofy grins and mobile, expressive faces. Gentleness. Good senses of humor. Treating me special without crossing over into spoiling or condescending. Wide-ranging, animated conversations about stuff we love. Liking cats and babies and being liked by them in return (because they know how good you are). Brains. Weird sensed of humor. Adventuresomness.

23:Turn offs?
Being a jackass. Being mean. Being good looking but having a horrible personality--it makes it worse, because the looks are like a lie. Being shallow or condescending. Being smothering, Being untrustworthy. Lying. Hitting. Manipulating.

24. Bestfriends?
Hayden and Jason. My sister.

26:Second confession?
I take way too much pleasure in talking about myself.

27:What I hate?
Unfairness--and lots of things are unfair. Not having better options. Being lied to. Being manipulated. People who get away with being jerks and see no reason to be better because of it. Willful ignorance and lack of creativity. Violence. Willful destruction of people, places and things.

28:Last person to give you butterflies?
In real life? That's a ways back. AP maybe. Or Sam. All sorts of famous people do all the time, though!

So that's me! How would you answer these questions?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

I'm relaunching my Cashew Creations shop!

A million years ago, when I lived in a house with four room mates and two other housemates and we all crafted, I set up a shot for us to sell our stuff--and then I was the only one who used it and it eventually fell silent.

But now! Now I'm diversifying my life, I craft, my mom takes photos, my sister makes things, my dad and brother make things, so I'm going to relaunch the shop as part of my Birthday Month Celebration! By the end of May, Cashew Creations will be a thing again, and leading up to it, I'm going to periodically sneak peek some of the stuff we're going to be posting there! So stay tuned!

We'll be selling my mom's photography and photo-manipulation cards and prints and hopefully cloth items if we can find a quick and efficient way to print them.

My paper and yarn goods, which will change as the season does, and occasional jewelry. I'll also be adding home items decorated with the nail polish from my Polish Shop, IncidentalTwin!

There'll also be occasional items from my dad, brother and sister, as they find time to make them.

We're so excited, you guys, and I hope you are as excited as we are!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

WTF "rib inflammation"?

I went to the doctor yesterday because I've been having a lot of pain in my boob and side and up into my armpit and when we called the nurse, she was concerned. Which made me concerned. And I had to wait almost two weeks until payday so I could afford to go, so there was a lot of not sleeping and barely skirting panic attacks--and making Contingency Plans in my head and my journal.

So I get there, and he is almost immediately sure that it's nothing deadly. He said if it was, I'd have no good days--it would all be bad days. And then he started poking my bones.

Apparently, there's a thing where all your connective tissues all over your ribs get inflamed. And it makes a lot of pain that sort of leeches into your soft tissues and feels like soft tissue pain and can be alarming and awful, but isn't deadly, and that's what I have. It can be caused by injuries--and I did crack at least one rib falling in the tub in our old apartment, maybe a year and a half or two years ago. It can also be caused by coughing which I do quite a lot because I'm allergic to everything in the last two climates I've lived in. And sometimes it just happens. My mom has a similar condition, so maybe I've got the same susceptibilities as she has.

It sucks. Like, a lot. They gave me steroids to take, which means I'm taking way too many gross-tasting pills every day for the rest of this week, plus Aleve for the sweeping and pain, and an allergy pill to help my immune system calm down and ease the coughing. He wants me to start walking again now that it's warm (which we were going to do anyway), and fast-walking to get my arms moving and my ribs flexing. He wants me to do what's basically the same arm exercises they give to physical therapy people to strengthen up my torso.

It's dumb. But at least, as far as we can tell, it's not deadly, and I'm super grateful for that!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Monthly Me - April 2015

I'm down to 157! Amazing!

I'm going to the doctor again next week, so I'm off all supplements and stuff so they don't mask anything, and I mostly feel okay. Some pain, some inflammation, but mentally and physically pretty fine.

I'm also drinking less tea now that it's not so cold and the lowering of the caffeine is making me sooooo sleeeepppyyyyy.

But I published a book last week (search Amazon for Married To The Wind by Samantha Holloway!), and I'm still feeling up about that! Eee!

How're you this month?

Things I did not do this week

- Make a list of blog topics so I can remember to blog

- Remember to buy cat food

- Finish that book I started

- Write any sonnets

- Remember to get my laundry out of the dryer four days in a row

- Send off pen pal letters after carrying them around for less than nine days

Apparently the week after being sick is not great for remembering things.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New Hipstamatic combos

Sometimes I like to play with that randomize feature in Hipstamatic--you know, the one where you shake it and it mixes everything up for you? And sometimes I like to take all those randomized things and make a blog post out of them by taking the same picture five or seven times so you can see the difference a filter-change makes.

And this time, you can see the cool nerdy posters I got at NCCC this past weekend!

Hornbecker / C-Type Plate / Berry Pop

Akira / Sugar / No flash

Hornbecker / Alfred Infrared / no flash

Le Allan / Pistil 

Bettie XL / Uchitel 20

Yoona / Sugar

Kaimal Mark II / Black Keys Superfine

A pretty good batch this time! What are your favorite Hipstamatic combos?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Actual object-things I want in my life

I'm not really concerned with having the lashes things or with having a house that shows off my money (cough--granite countertops--cough), but I do like stuff. I blame it on a combination of a constantly uprooted childhood so that the frame matters less than what's in it--our stuff equals home, not the house--and my personal habit of forgetting about things unless I can see them.

So I've been building the life I want with the careful collection of things, and the painful learning of how-to-get-rid-of-other-things. Because if I just collected things, regardless of what they mean, and never got rid of anything, I'd be a harder, and I'm already a pack rat, and I'm not a fan of extremes.

So here's some stuff I still want:
- my own throwing wheel and kiln (which would require a garage or workhouse to keep them in)
- a trampoline
- a treehouse
- a huge garden with statues and gazing balls and water features
- a set of copper cookware
- matching glass jars for all my herbs, spices, smoothie additives, gf flours, teas, and pantry goods--and probably also any preserves or pickles I decide to make
- a loom big enough to weave a blanket on (which would require a space big enough to work with it--or at least store it when I'm not working)
- a full loom--the sort with levers and treadles and stuff
- a full tea service, including a teapot-warmer
- a tea table and floor pillows to put around it
- hidden beds--like the ones that fold up inside not just couches, but chairs and coffee tables and sideboards, so I can sleep anywhere and have lots of friends over
- a fishtank--ideally, a huge goldfish tank like I had before, but really, any tank right now would be great
- a swing in a tree
- an orchard
- a greenhouse for starting seeds outside
- a four-poster bed or some other sort of fancy canopy bed
- a library

As I'm sure there's more, but these are the things I'm longing for most strongly right now. What physical things do you want in your life?

Fwd: #Truthbomb 753

I've mover forwarded an email to my blog before, but I love Danielle LaPorte's Truth Bombs and I wanted to share this one... 

If you'd like to see more of her wonderful stuff, I have some of it linked up in my Affiliations page up at the top of this page!

And you can sign up to get Truthbombs right on you inbox on her page!

Sent from myMail for iOS

-------- Forwarded message --------
From: Danielle LaPorte
Date: Thursday, March 12, 2015, 3:46 AM -0400
Subject: #Truthbomb 753

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here





Danielle Laporte Inc. #234 - 2055 Commercial Drive Vancouver, British Columbia V5N 0C7 Canada

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Blogging while babysitting

Let me start by saying that I know this is all more complicated for full-time mothers. I hope I don't say anything that sounds like I'm saying it's not.

I'm pretty sure I've said before that I run several blogs. And a shop. And another shop I'm working on opening with my mom and sister. And a budding writing career. And I babysit my nephews.

Sometimes, I forget to blog evenly on all my blogs, but I always come back! And every Sunday, when I'm setting up my planner for the week, I make a list of the blog posts is like to make. Lately, I'm also putting the titles into my blogger app as drafts so that I can pick and choose which ones I want when I sit down to blog.

Because these days, most of my blogging is done on my phone while I'm making sure none of the kids is setting anything on fire or running in front of cars. And really, I think blogging on the app is the best thing I've decided to do to keep things going--I'm saving up for a laptop, but phones are smaller and more convenient for keeping on me all the time!

Other tips for blogging while babysitting
- Have an idea of what the posts will be like before you start writing them so you can write them quickly, or in small snippets.
- Save unfinished drafts to finish later if things are crazy.
- Don't worry too much about pictures--make them out of whatever is nearby; if you're more skilled than me, they should look better than mine anyway.
- Let your blog be a work in progress! Don't focus on perfection, focus on just saying what needs saying.
- Let your life point out stuff to talk about.

How do you blog in a busy life?


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