Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Netflix VS Hulu Plus VS Amazon Prime

I don't get cable. It's a waste of money and a waste of brain power.
I know that if I had cable, I would have the TV on all the time. It would be background noise, a time filler.
That's not something I want in our life.

We still need entertainment, though. We still like to watch TV and movies.

For the past two years or so, we've used Netflix.
There are also some shows, like Grey's Anatomy and Parenthood, that I watch free online.

A few weeks ago I figured we would try something new, so I cancelled Netflix and subscribed to Hulu Plus.
At first, Hulu Plus seemed pretty cool. After spending a few hours browsing, though, I realized that it's severely lacking in many areas.
Hulu Plus is no substitute for Netflix.

Then I started looking through the other TV apps for PS3.
I noticed an Amazon Prime app and thought, "Hey, I have Amazon Prime." I knew they had instant videos and movies, but had never really checked it out.
Why would I when I have Netflix?
I used Amazon Prime for the shipping and the Kindle lending library, but since I'm already paying for it, why not use the video/movie service as well?

Amazon Prime is good. It's similar to Netflix, but less expansive. It has some things that Netflix doesn't have, too. I like that.

Still missing my Netflix, though, I renewed my subscription.
Now I have all three services, and I'm probably going to keep it that way.

Hulu Plus is best for watching new shows as they come out. I can watch new episodes of Family Guy, Grey's, Private Practice, Parenthood, etc. on the TV instead of my laptop.
Technically I could always do that by hooking up the HDMI cord to the laptop, but it's different.
The kids like Hulu Plus because they can watch lots of Nickelodeon shows like TMNT and Robot & Monster.

Their movie selection kinda stinks, though.

I'm keeping Amazon Prime because, well, I already pay for it.
The kids love it because they can watch CatDog, a show I've been telling them about for years but have never had access to through Netflix.

I like the way Amazon Prime is set up. They have a few shows that Netflix doesn't have, and I can rent shows and movies directly through the app.

Then there's Netflix, king of all instant video services.
I just can't live without it. Netflix has the best selection of movies, TV shows, kids programs and basically everything you could ever want.

Netflix > Amazon Prime > Hulu Plus

Monday, January 14, 2013

This Week in Instagram 1/7 - 1/13

I didn't take many photos this week, definitely not a photo each day.
That's okay, though.
Some weeks are inspirational, some aren't.
This week was busy - back to school for all of us, back to work. My class had a field trip on our second day back, and a sub on Friday.
Overall, it was a good week, though.

Little Miss Lailah, looking awfully cute. This entire outfit was from Goodwill. I got lots of new things there on Monday for just 20-something. I love this look on Lailah, especially the sweater.

A rainy afternoon waiting for Izak's bus.

Called in for daycare duty on Friday. Gotta love those extra hours!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

This Week in Instagram 12/31 - 1/6

2013 was supposed to be the beginning of me trying the Fat Mum Slim photo challenge.
If you click the link, you'll see that she gives a little prompt for each day of the month. You are supposed to use that prompt as inspiration for your daily photo.

I tried to do this, but I felt a little bogged down from the prompts rather than inspired. So, I'm doing things a little different.
I'm going to look at the daily prompt, and use it if I feel inspired. If I don't, though, then I won't. I still plan on taking a photo each day, it just probably won't fit with the challenge exactly.

More than anything, I'm doing this challenge to document my life, Not to be absolutely sure I have a picture of a heart on January 3rd.
Anywho, here are my photos this week. Nothing special, but a little piece of my life either way.

You may have seen this one on the year in instagram post I did last week. This was taken on New Year's Eve when the kids and I made a little pie to celebrate. It was a chocolate cherry pudding pie. No recipe, just our own creation. 2 cups of milk, a box of instant jello (cherry), a box of instant pudding (vanilla), a box of cherry chocolate pies, and a chocolate pie crust. Simple, but the kids loved it!

January 1st. The word is "create." I hope that word is very relevant this year.

My cool little Q&A book! I love this little book. Taking time out every day to answer the questions has been fun.

Miss Lailah loves her owlie hat!

My beautiful Ladybug spinning wheel. No, this wasn't taken because I was spinning, though I hope to get back to it soon. I'd like to spin my first skein of handspun before my wheel's 1st birthday!

Little Miss Lailah beading herself a necklace and bracelet. She got the kit as a Christmas present. She's never had a kit like this before, so I was a bit hesitant about buying it. I wasn't sure if she would like doing something like this or not. She absolutely loved it, though! Also, notice her little tattoos? She's going to be a tattoo girl like Mommy.

Izak playing some of his new iPod games. He has been very content playing since Josh got him and Lailah a new cord to charge their iPods. It's amazing how well he can use it.

Taken only minutes ago, this photo shows off two of my favorite things - comics and yarn.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Owlie Hat

Back in 2011 I made stuff. A lot of stuff.
That's the year I learned to knit and the year I had my podcast.

Then 2012 came.
I'm not sure what changed, but I stopped making stuff.

For a while I didn't really care. I thought maybe it had been a phase that I was "over."
Then I started looking through my old projects, though. I started to miss making things, started to miss finishing things and photographing things and showing them off.

This year I hope to make more.
So far I'm off to a good start, too.

Lailah has been wanting an owl hat, or "owlie hat" as she calls them. On January 1st, I figured it was a good time to start crocheting.
I finished the body of the hat that night, and the details the next day.

Lailah didn't take it off the rest of the day.

It feels good to have made something again. I feel like making this little owlie hat has broken me out of my funk of not knitting and crocheting.
I have big plans for the rest of the year!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top 10 Things I'm Excited About for 2013

These are ten things happening in 2013 that I'm ridiculously EXCITED about!

10.) Defiance

It's going to be a TV show on SyFy AND an MMO about aliens.
Yeah, that's about as bland as a description can get, but here's a video.
Watch it in HD!

Excited yet?

9.) Injustice

The game and the comics!

Those are the covers to issues 1-3 of Injustice Gods Among Us. The first issue explains the events leading up to the game.
Ready to see the game trailer?

You can even play as Deathstroke!

8.) Dexter Comics

That's right - Dexter comics!

This will be a 5-issue miniseries released by Marvel.
I have the first two issues pre-ordered on, where issue 1 is currently on sale.

While we're on the subject of Dexter, I'm also terribly excited about Dexter season 8. Will it really be the last season? Probably. I can't wait to see what happens! Every season it seems like Dexter is backed into a corner, but he always manages to find a way out. Will he find a way out this season, or will he finally be exposed?

7.) Man of Steel

I'm actually not much of a Superman fan, but I'm excited for this movie for a few different reason. First, well, because it's a comic book movie and I'll see just about any comic book movie. Second, Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan. Need I say more?

6.) World War Z

Read the book. Loved the book. Can't wait for the movie.

5.) Iron Man 3

I adore the Iron Man movies, even though I don't read a lot of Iron Man comics.
I can't wait to see the next one, Iron Man 3, which comes out on Izak's birthday!

It has also been rumored to be using the Extremis plot, which makes me even more excited!

4.) Superior Spider-Man

Marvel didn't receive any death threats from this girl. I'm actually pretty excited to see how Doc Oc does as the Superior Spider-Man, in the hero's seat for a change.
I'm also excited to see what crazy plot twists will pave to way for Peter Parker to regain his life and spidey suit.

Love this cover for issue #3 ^^

3.) Joss Whedon - S.H.I.E.L.D.

Because he's Joss Whedon and because he did an incredible job on The Avengers and because he does an incredible job on everything. All that is touched by Joss Whedon turns to gold. Or platinum. Or oil, maybe.
Also because it's S.H.I.E.L.D. and it should be interesting. I just hope it gets enough viewers to last for a while.

2.) All the other good movies coming out

Yes, this is cheating. No, I don't care.

Thor: The Dark World
The Wolverine
Ender's Game
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Escape from Planet Earth
Evil Dead
& whatever I'm forgetting

1.) Deadpool

I have to wait a whole year for this one because it comes out December 31 2013.

I'm so glad the world didn't end in 2012!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Goals

To be honest, I'm getting a little tired of making goals every year. They're always basically the same - write more, eat less, exercise more, waste less time, clean more, etc.
There are always some differences in the details. "Write more" could be "find at least ten writing contests to enter, write stuff and try to win!" or "start a journal and write in it at least three times per week."
How long do these goals usually last? Maybe through February. How do I feel when I don't accomplish them? Shitty.

I do have some goals for this year, though, so I guess I'll list them.

Writing Goals
Why not start with these?

The first writing goal is a new one, and should be pretty fun. I bought this little book on Amazon a few weeks ago.

It has a question for every day of the year, followed by five spaces to answer that question. Each space has a little 20__ before your answer so you can fill in the year. You answer the same question every year for five years and see how yours answers change. Interesting, right?
Some of the questions are things I really don't care about and don't want to spend the time answering, but I hope to do it because I think the project would be really fun and interesting in the end. It would be cool to have that five year record of how my thoughts change.
I might also make a little feature here, either weekly or monthly, sharing the questions and my responses.

My other writing goal is writing 750 words each day on I only recently discovered this website, and I like it a lot so far. It's super simple to use and understand, plus my words stay private. My favorite part is that after each writing session I can view an analysis of my writing. It tells me how long it took me to write my words, how many words I wrote per minute and even gives a bar graph showing the times my wpm sped up and when it slowed. It shows the weather in my area while I wrote, my overall mood, the rating of my writing (G, PG, PG13, R, etc.), my frequently used words and more.
I can even share that little page of information about my writing without sharing the actual writing.
I like that.

Mommy Goals

Create a more detailed bedtime routine that I follow every. single. night. No excuses, no skipping nights because I'm tired or frustrated or have homework.
I also want to start a new rewards system with them like I did with Nick when Izak was a baby. I need to make some fake money (or buy some because that's what lazy mommas do), a chart for keeping track of the money and a rewards chart. I also need to buy a big, gold gift bag to serve as the treasure box, and some treasures to put inside. They will get a certain amount of fake money each day, and lose dollars when they do things they aren't supposed to do. The amount of money they have left each day will be recorded. When they earn certain amounts, they can spend it on things like getting something out of the treasure box, going to the movies, going shopping with some real money, etc.
I've wanted to start this for a while, but I'm lazy.

School Goals

I want to maintain my 4.0 GPA, of course, which means staying organized and focused.
I want to apply for a scholarship and receive it. It would also be nice to find other scholarships I could apply for.
After I earn 24 credits (which will be at the beginning of May), I want to apply for the Alpha Sigma Lambda honors society.
I'm also considering paying out of pocket to complete another six months at WGU. I could try taking the coding classes again, and hopefully pass the classes and get the certification. Being able to work as a medical coder while I'm trying to earn my other degree would be great because I wouldn't have to worry quite so much about the money. Plus, I could always have that as a backup career.

So, those are a few of my biggest goals for this year. There are, of course, other things I plan to do, but those are the ones I wanted to share.