My Favorite Indie Music Playlists

Other Fun Stuff

My Favorite Indie Music Playlists

I love music.  But then, who doesn’t?  I especially love listening to music when I study or do a chore.  It makes the time fly.  Recently, I’ve been listening to most of my music on songza.com.  I love it because it’s free and you can easily find your favorite music style.  My favorite style is pop/indie music.  So, today I want to share with you my top favorite playlists I listen to:

1. Coffee Shop Sway

If I had to choose only one playlist, it would definitely be this one.  This has a lot of variety and calming sounds.  Most of the songs are guitar music but there are some upbeat ones mixed in.  This is a great study playlist.

2. Songs From Apple Commercials

This is another great playlist.  Unlike the last one, it is very upbeat.  I also love the variety it has.

3. Sunshine Indie Pop

As you might guess, this one is more of a mix of pop and indie music.

4. The World of fun.

This playlist includes songs much like the band, fun.  It’s another upbeat mix.

5. That Sweet Mumford Melancholy

If you’re a Mumford & Sons fan, like I am, you’ll enjoy this calm playlist.

6. Sleepytime Indie

This is great bedtime/evening mix.

7. My Own Personal Playlist

Okay, so this playlist is on Soundcloud instead of Songza.  This is just a short compilation of a few of my favorite songs.

Hopefully you enjoy these playlists!  Maybe you’ll discover some new artists and songs!  Remember, you can make a free Songza account to bookmark your own favorites!

~Gracie

Easy DIY Phone Case

How Tos

Easy DIY Phone Case

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted!  I got so caught up with school and winter break, it slipped my mind!  So I thought I’d do a tutorial for you today.  This is one of my favorite diys.  People pay tons of money on Etsy and at other stores to get cute custom phone cases.  There are several things wrong with this, however.

One, the most obvious, is it’s expensive.

Two, many of these stores only cater to mainstream phones(such as an Iphone, or Galaxy S).

And it’s hard to get exactly what you’re looking for.

My main problem is the second, as I have a Galaxy Victory(the second least known phone on the planet).  As you can guess, I have lots of trouble finding a cute case that’s actually made for it:(

SO my conclusion is to make my own case.  This is a very easy, cheap tutorial I think you’ll love.  Let’s get to it:

What you need:

  • A clear phone case suited to your exact phone model

Trust me.  This is easier to find than it sounds.  Just search for your phone on amazon and look for a clear outer shell-like case.  If you’re worried about protection(like me), you may want to look for a clear rubber case.

Easy DIY Phone Case

  • A printer

  • Scissors

  • Paper

  • Tumblr, We Heart It, or cool designs and pictures(or one of the templates provided below)

Step 1:

First select whatever image you will use for the case.  You could try going on a social network to find something cute.  NOTE: You will need to scale down the image to fit the case.  Otherwise, it will be way too big.  Here are some pre-made templates I made.  They should fit with most generic smartphones.  (I had to enhance the colors on some of them because my printer wasn’t working very well)

DIY phone case

DIY phone case

DIY phone case

Here’s a link to some great Tumblr art that works perfectly for phone cases:  articulatim.tumblr.com  Also, here’s a link to a We Heart It page I made with ideas: weheartit.com  You could also try hand drawing something.  Another thing I did was cut out magazine scraps and use them altogether.

Easy DIY Phone Case

Step 2:

Now trace your phone and cut out the design.  This may take some trial and error, but if you get one right, you can use it as a template for cutting and tracing.

Easy DIY Phone Case

Easy DIY Phone Case

Easy DIY Phone Case

That’s pretty much it!  Easy, right?!  You can make as many designs as you want and switch them out as often as you like!

Easy DIY Phone Case

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!  I should be posting more in the future, so please follow or like us on Facebook to stay updated!

~Gracie

New Camera: Canon T3

Uncategorized

I’ve decided to do the 365 challenge again in 2013! Please come visit my dedicated 365 challenge blog!

The 365 Challenger

I just got a new camera for Christmas and I’ll be using it for the entire 365 challenge this coming year.  It’s a Canon T3 and it’s actually my first DSLR camera.  As you’d suspect, I’m super excited about this.  Right now, I’m working on learning my camera so I’ll be ready enough for January 1st.  Here’s just a sample of some pictures of my first day with my new beauty:

Right now, as far as lenses go, I just have the factory lense and my telephoto.  I will also make use of my tripod as needed.  I hope you will follow along with me in 2014 and take the 365 challenge!  Like I’ve said, it doesn’t matter if you use an Iphone or a fancy camera!  Just give it a try!  If I hadn’t done the 365 challenge this past year, I doubt I would have discovered a love…

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These Are a Few of My Favorite GIFs

Other Fun Stuff

[photo by Ashraf Saleh]

[photo by Ashraf Saleh]

I just felt like doing a simple post to show you some of my favorite GIFs:)  Maybe some of them will make you laugh.

1.  This cute cat… on a skateboard

2. I love this paper one

3. Out of focus to in focus

4. Or maybe if you’re mad at your friend..

5. Snowfall

6. I don’t know why, I just love this one

7. From some of of the first color footage ever (c.1902), captured with the process invented by Edward Turner.

8. This moment in the show, Frasier

9. If someone tells you something really offensive…

10.  Better yet

~Gracie

Blue Horizon [a short story]

Food for Thought

[image by: Matt Hintsa]

This is a short story I wrote a long time ago for school.  Right now, I’m working on writing my first novel, but this is something random I wanted to share with you. 🙂

Blue Horizon

short story by grace taft

Delia, a girl of nineteen, gazed across the Atlantic ocean.  Pulling her dirty blonde hair into a bun, her good friend Annie smiled at her.

“Well, you ready to swim?” She asked excitedly.

I looked down.  Not really, I thought. She still doesn’t know about the accident.  “I have to tell you something.” I said in an unsure tone as we began to walked across the long board walk.

“What?” She was very confused.

We had been planning this beach trip for months.  As I looked down, my red hair fell over my face.  “I have a fear of the ocean.” I said, slightly embarrassed.

“How?  I mean, what happened?”  I could tell by her tone, she would understand.

“It happened on our family vacation the summer when I was six.”  I then proceeded to tell her about the incident.  “It was my first time at the coast.  I can still remember how excited I was.”

I was a little girl with huge blue eyes.  I stared at the blue ocean in awe.  It was unlike anything I had ever seen.  The water looked as if it went on forever.

“You can go swim, dear.  Just don’t go higher than your ankles.”  My mother had told me earlier.

At first, I was too timid to face the loud, crashing waves.  For the past hour, I occupied myself by searching for crabs.  I raced around looking for pea sized holes in the deep sand.  Then I would use my small hands to dig in the hopes of finding the mysterious creatures.  Gradually, I moved closer to the high tide.  I was just about to dig up a patch of rough sand when the cold sea kissed my feet.  Looking back at my parents, I could see that they were talking and were not paying attention.  I gazed down at the clear water.  Amazed, I noticed hundreds of tiny sea shells of various colors.  I picked one up and rubbed its beautiful smooth surface.  Collecting several shells of different shapes and sizes, I unknowingly walked deeper and deeper into the ocean.  The water had long passed my ankles and was now coming up to my belly.  I could hear my parents’ smooth chatter in the background.  Excitedly, I looked through the blue salt water at a gorgeous purple shell in the distance.  Stumbling over the rough terrain of the ocean floor, I walked towards it.  I dropped some of my other shells in order to grasp this one of a kind object.  I reached down into the sea to grab it and at the same moment a huge wave crashed on me, knocking me off of my feet.  This caused me to lose all of my beautiful treasures, including the purple one.  I choked and gasped for a single breath, but another wave came.  Before I knew it, I was being swept away with the current, and rarely getting a good breath.  Every time I tried to yell, another wave would knock the wind out of me.  At that time there were no other people in the water that I could see.  Flailing my arms in the air and water, I attempted to swim but without much success.  Finally, a wave bigger than anything I had ever seen collapsed on me, causing me to almost lose consciousness.  I have a faint memory of my father reaching for me and carrying me back to the shore.

“Ever since then, I have been scared of the ocean.  I can swim now, but I only go to pools where there is no current.”  I concluded.

“I had no idea.” She said looking surprised.  “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I was embarrassed.  I didn’t want you to know that I had a fear of the ocean…”

“Well, what are you going to do?  You can’t be scared forever.”  She said thoughtfully.  “I think today you need to conquer your fear.”

I was unsure about this.  “Oh, I don’t know… someday, I’ll swim in the sea again, but not now.  You go on and I’ll watch.  I don’t want to spoil your fun.”  At that moment, she took me by the hand and led me close to the water.

“You won’t drown.” She said.  “You just have to be careful and pay attention.  That’s all.”  Her face melted into a smile.

I realized protesting was pointless, and that sooner or later I had to conquer the ocean.  My toes touched the cool ocean water.  It reminded me of how I felt when I was younger.  In a single moment, I wasn’t scared anymore.  Perhaps it was the unknown that I was afraid of.  The only memory of the ocean I had was when I nearly drowned.  And that was from a bad chain of events.  We spent the rest of the day swimming under the hot sun.  And to this day, I enjoy the beautiful ocean.

~Gracie

20 Things to Start Doing This November

Food for Thought

[photo by Bob AuBuchon]

[Photo by Bob AuBuchon]

I can’t believe November is finally here!  I love this chilly weather!  Today I want to share a quick list of things to start doing this November!

1.  Drink lots of water and hot tea

2. Go for walks more

3. Enjoy the little things:)

4. Find a daily yoga routine and stick with it

[Photo by BMW Guggenheim Lab]

[photo by BMW Guggenheim Lab]

5. Stop procrastinating!

6. Stretch daily

7. Throw out things I don’t need

8. Get outside more

9. Make really good homemade hot chocolate

[photo by Kymberly Fergusson]

[photo by Kymberly Fergusson]

10. Put cinnamon & spices in coffee

11. Do a movie marathon with a friend

12. Fall photoshoot

13. Star gaze

[photo by Miroslav Petrasko]

[Photo by Miro Petrasko]

14. Press leaves in a journal

15. Go on a nature scavenger hunt(and take field journals too)

16. Eat pumpkin pie

17. Spend an entire day outside

18. Go to Bath and Body Works to get a fall scent

19. Make cinnamon rolls

20. Be happy

[photo by Julia]

[Photo by Julia]

Hope this gave you some good ideas for things to start doing this November!

~Gracie

DIY Dust Plugs

How Tos

[Photo by Erica Feliciano]

[photo by Erica Feliciano]

Hey everyone!  It’s been a while since I’ve done a ‘real’ tutorial!  Today I want to show you how to make your own ‘dust plug’.  For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about, a dust plug is a decoration(commonly used on a phone or tablet) that you can insert into a headphone jack to stylize a device.  These are getting very popular because it’s a quick, easy way to add personality to almost any device(ipods, phones, tablets, even laptops)!  Below, I’ll show you a few Youtube videos of how to make your own dust plug.

Maybe you just want to buy a dust plug.  Here are a few quick links to some of my favorites:

NOW then, let’s get back to the tutorial.  Here is a video that shows a way to make dust plugs from scratch(with little supplies):

That shows you the main idea of how to make your own dust plug.

The main thing you need when making a dust plug is the plain plug itself.  If you have that, you can decorate it however you like.  Here are some links on Amazon to dust plugs:

You might be able to browse an electronic store near you to find a better deal on those.  Another thing you should know is when making or buying dust plugs, they tend to advertise “Iphone Dust Plugs”.  That doesn’t mean they are only compatible with an Iphone.  They should work with any 3.5mm headphone jack.  One of the great things about dust plugs is how universal they are.

This is my FAVORITE dust plug tutorial.  It’s also a great way to repurpose old, tarnished earrings!

Hope you found this post helpful!  Now go make your phone look adorable!:)

[special thanks to Makoccinos MinjiVanPark for the lovely Youtube tutorials]

~Gracie