Getting Into Podcast Listening

This past year I've really been into listening to podcasts. Especially since I became a commuter. Podcasts are a fun way to pass the time while on the subway. So I thought I'd share with you guys some of my favourite podcasts. Hopefully you'll find something as well if you're looking into finding some new ones to listen to or if you wanted to start listening to podcasts but didn't know where to start.

Podcasts are listed in no particular order. Mainly they are ordered by the oldest to newest ones I started listening to.

 

Vinyl Cafe Stories with CBC Radio

The Vinyl Cafe was the first podcast I ever started listening to. How I got started listening to this podcast was I was running errands with my grandpa a few years ago and he had CBC Radio on. Now we were listening and this guy was telling a story in front of a live audience and the story was funny and the guy who was talking had a really good story telling voice. We (my grandpa and I) had no idea who it was so we listened until the end of the segment and low and behold it was Stuart McLean reading his short stories for Vinyl Cafe. Once I got home I googled his name and found out he did a podcast of his short stories and that's how I started listening to Vinyl Cafe. I have now also read four books of his in the Vinyl Cafe book series. Vinyl Cafe is mainly a podcast about the short stories McLean has written over the years about a family (Dave, Morley, Stephanie, and Sam) and the funny things they've experienced. The podcast is usually recorded live in front of an audience and almost always starts off with Stuart reading from a short story collection called "Vinyl Cafe Story Exchange" in which fans write in their own family stories they want to share. Stuart McLean has also published a book full of these stories by the same segment title. During the live shows there is also a live band that plays songs in between stories. They are all mainly local Canadian bands and it's a great way to find new talent.

Overall, if you like listening to audio books you'll probably like Vinyl Cafe. It's like an audio book but even better. Also since it's recorded live you can see where the Vinyl Cafe tour is going and try and catch a show live! I was so close to being able to go to one but the tour date in my hometown was when I wasn't home so my grandpa went without me. And of course when it was playing close to me here I was in my hometown. I was so close to be able to go this past year (2015) during the Christmas Tour, but sadly Stuart got sick and had to cancel the tour dates after the tour stop in you guessed it my hometown. I'm upset I wasn't able to attend Christmas 2015 but hopefully this year I'll be able to make it.

iTunes

rhettandlink.jpg

Ear Biscuits

Now Ear Biscuits is a podcast hosted by Rhett Mclaughlin and Link Lamont. For the past several years now I've been watching Rhett and Link on Youtube hosting their morning show Good Mythical Morning and when they decided to create their podcast I just followed them there too. Now for the past three years I've been listening to their podcast Ear Biscuits. Every Friday Rhett and Link have other Youtube creators onto their podcast where they talk about that weeks creator and what their story is and how they got started. This is a great way to find out about a specific Youtubers' life as for a lot of these guests they get really deep into some of the guests stories and backgrounds. You do really learn a lot about people from the questions both Rhett and Link ask.

Overall, if you constantly watch Youtube and want to learn more about some of your favourite Youtubers go check out Ear Biscuits (a new episode every Friday) and see if they've interviewed any of your favourite Youtubers.

Soundcloud / iTunes

Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig

The title of this podcast describes exactly what this podcast is about. Not Too Deep is hosted by Youtuber/Comedian Grace Helbig and it doesn't get very deep at all. If you are familiar with Grace from her Youtube channel you'll know that she's a hilarious human being that doesn't seem to take herself too seriously. During her podcast she asks her guests really fun questions that will make you laugh and wonder how she even thought of them. To give you a little example of how not deep this podcast is one of Grace's common questions is "If you could throw cold spaghetti at someone, who would it be?" Now if this podcast doesn't sound hilarious I don't know what is. I think one of my favourite parts of this podcast is just hearing Grace laugh at her own questions and her guests answers. She is one of those people who just has a really good laugh. Now after this podcast is done you can also head over to Grace's Youtube and watch a challenge video that her and her guests partake in.

Overall, if you're looking for a fun and not too deep kind of podcast that will make you laugh this one is for you. There is a new episode every Monday. I will also add that this podcast is labelled as explicit as it does have a few swears said within episodes.

Soundcloud / iTunes

Psychobabble with Tyler Oakley & Korey Kuhl

So Psychobabble is that one podcast that I cannot listen to while out in public (even though I always do) because I am constantly laughing to myself or randomly start smiling because I'm trying not to laugh. Psycho Babble is a podcast hosted by (once again another) Youtuber Tyler Oakley and his best friend Korey Kuhl. This podcast is full of gossip, pop culture scrutiny, and stories from Tyler and Korey. I will say this podcast might not be for everyone but I love it because of the friendship between Tyler and Korey. They've been friends for years and just their back and forths throughout the podcast are funny.

Overall, if you're looking for a good laugh and a catch up on what's happening in pop culture I would say this is for you. Like I said before it's not for everybody but if you're a fan of Tyler's videos on Youtube you'll like his podcast. I will also add that this podcast is labelled as explicit as it does have a few swears said within episodes.

Soundcloud / iTunes

Gilmore Guys

If you know me you'll know I've watched Gilmore Girls multiple times since it came onto Netflix this past January. I found this podcast while kind of browsing through the podcast app on my phone looking for new things to listen to. This podcast is hosted by Kevin Porter (on left in podcast cover art) and Demi Adejuyigbe (on right in podcast cover art). Kevin describes himself as a "veteran-fan" in the podcast description as Demi is a newcomer to the world of Gossip Girl. Each episode of this podcast the guys talk about each episode without trying to give away any spoilers for listeners who are watching the episodes and then listening to the podcast after. I personally think the idea behind this podcast is neat and it's also nice to hear it coming from a guys perspective of the show. As I think most people think only girls watch Gilmore Girls. These guys have also added little segments and funny little songs to their podcast when discussing different aspects of the show (like f-f-f-fashion). They have also been able to interview some of the actors, and writers of the show which is really neat and obviously different than any other Gilmore Girls themed podcast.

Overall, if you're a fan of Gilmore Girls and want to listen to two guys give their opinions about every episode then give this podcast a listen. Listening to them discuss as given me new things to look back on from each episode and how they talk about some of the characters is hilarious and gets me thinking "oh yeah that's kind of true." I will also add that this podcast is labelled as explicit as it does have a few swears said within episodes.

iTunes

I hope if any of these podcasts spark your interests you'll give them a listen. Some other podcasts I casually listen to as well I have listed below.

Dear Hank & John with John and Hank Green is hosted by John and Hank Green. They are most known for their Youtube channel vlogbrothers, as well as John Green being the author of the popular books "The Fault In Our Stars" and "Paper Towns". This podcast is just something they started to talk about things they care about. Mainly John wanting to talk about AFC Wimbledon (the 4th tier English football club) and Hank wanting to talk about Mars (the planet).

Podcast: Nerdist is hosted by comedian Chris Hardwick. This podcast is mainly Chris interviewing and having conversations with celebrities. I don't listen to this podcast as much as the main ones, but if there is a guest on it that I know then I'll listen.

You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes is hosted by comedian Pete Holmes. Pete is kind of an extension of the Nerdist podcast but here he interviews other comedians in very lengthy podcasts. This is also another podcast that I really only listen to if I know who the guest is. Nevertheless this is a podcast that will make you laugh and get to know some comedians even better.

I hope you enjoyed ready my lengthy post about what podcasts I like listening to. Do we listen to the same podcasts, if so comment below. Also leave a comment if you have any podcasts you like listening to that you think I'd enjoy as well.

First Few Months With A Fitbit!

For Christmas this past year I was gifted with a Fitbit Charge HR. If you read my previous blog post listing some things I wanted for Christmas you would have seen that this type of Fitbit was on my list. I am now going into my fifth month with having constantly worn my Fitbit. With that being said I thought I would do a little review based on some of the features that this Fitbit is known for.

PurePulse™ Heart Rate:
Get continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate & simplified heart rate zones.

The heart rate part of this Fitbit is one of the main reasons why I wanted it. I find sometimes I do seem to get anxious and my heart seems to race a little bit, but I then start to think if that's just my brain tricking me into thinking that my heart is beating faster than normal because of anxiety or just because of no reason. Overall, I am also just curious to see how my heart beats throughout my day depending on what I'm doing. When I first got my Fitbit I started annoying my family with always looking at it but of course now that I've had it for a while I rarely look at it unless it's after I sync for the day or did a bit of walking and want to see where my heart is at.

Not 100% sure how accurate this feature really is, but for my fast walking and retail job I find that it does it's job when I know my heart is working extra hard.

Workouts + All-Day Activity:
Track workouts, heart rate, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes & steps.

I'll be honest. I'm not a huge workout person. So the "workouts" part of this feature doesn't really apply to me. But for all-day activity everything works pretty well. Like I've mentioned before I'm a curious person as to why I wanted a Fitbit. It's cool to see how many floors I've climbed and the real distance of all my walking for the day as taken me. A neat little feature that Fitbit has is giving users badges when they hit certain accomplishments.

Caller Id + Watch:
See daily stats & time of day, and get call notifications with compatible devices.

Another main reason I had wanted the Fitbit Charge HR was that it had a watch included in it. As I work every day I was always wearing a watch and didn't want to loose having the time on me for counting my steps. Now it came to a surprise to me when one day I was getting a phone call on my cell phone and my Fitbit started buzzing and on the LED display it showed the name of the person calling me on my phone. I usually have the Caller Id feature turned off as I have Bluetooth turned off on my phone unless I'm syncing my Fitbit.

Wireless Syncing:
Sync stats wirelessly & automatically to leading smartphones and computers.

Nothing much to say about this feature as my Fitbit just syncs wirelessly through Bluetooth with the app on my phone. Haven't had any problems with it.

Exercise Mode:
Record workouts to get real-time stats & see post-workout summaries.

Like I mentioned before I'm not a huge workout person so this feature doesn't apply to me.

Long Battery Life:
Lasts longer than competing trackers with a battery life up to 5 days.

When I first got my Fitbit HR I found it would only last maybe 2-3 days. This has changed though since I don't have "Quick View", "All-Day Sync", and my Bluetooth turned off. After reading up on the Fitbit battery online I read that these features can drain your battery. With having just those three features off I find my battery life is 5 days. Even when I first get the notification that my battery is low I wear my Fitbit for the rest of the day and then charge it before bed.

Auto Sleep + Alarms:
Monitor your sleep automatically & set a silent alarm.

Monitoring my sleep is also a neat reason why I wanted the Fitbit HR. I always find I'm waking up, and tossing and turning while sleeping. With my Fitbit I can now see how many times I was restless. Which right now is a lot! Knowing this I want to try and get a good full nights rest. By doing this I'm looking at my night time routine. As in, watching tv before bed and even having the tv on to fall asleep too.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, I love my Fitbit Charge HR and am so happy I have it. I have 8 other friends and family members who have Fitbits and are my friends in the app. My friend Avery and I are constantly doing Workweek Hustle challenges. And my cousin Taylor is always inviting me to challenges with all her friends. Doing challenges with friends also encourages me to step up my game and get some more steps in before the day is done.

 

Looking Back On My 2015 Goals

First off, happy new year everybody! And now that the last year has ended it comes the time to look back at my goals of 2015 and see if I accomplished any and see what goals I can either carry on to the new year or just make new goals.

Learn To Crochet
This seemed like a great goal for me at the time of creating my list as I was home for Christmas break and randomly took up crocheting after spending time with my cousin who had taken it up herself. My mom taught me the basics of crocheting, but I had wanted to do more on my own. Sadly, I didn't really get much farther than I had the night I started. Maybe not next year but eventually I'll teach myself how to crochet and stick to it. I would love to crochet a blanket one day and be able to say that I made it.

Crochet An Infinity Scarf
Obviously this only applies if I end up learning to crochet which reading my last goal you can tell I didn't. One day I will though!

Start A Blog
One of my goals was to start a blog which what-do-you-know I successfully accomplished. Along with creating myself a website to go along with it. Pretty easy goal to accomplish but it's sometimes hard to keep up with.

Make Calendars
I didn't make more than one calendar this year but I did make a calendar. Back in 2013 I had made and given my dad a calendar for Christmas for the year of 2014, but once the next Christmas came around I hadn't made him one for 2015. Which he told me he was looking forward to. Now this goal kind of ties into my next goal coming up with taking pictures. I hadn't made him a calendar for 2015 because I simply hadn't taken a lot of pictures during the past year and didn't want to reuse images. So all during 2015 I took more photographs so that I could make my dad a calendar for 2016, which turned out amazing by the way!

Take More Photographs
By reading my last goal about calendars I explained how I took more pictures in 2015. Which I am so happy with. Lugging around a Digital SLR is tough sometimes but the photos I took turned out beautiful and well worth it. The early early mornings I woke up to take pictures of sunsets over mountains and over the Niagara Falls (posted in a previous post here and here) were totally worth it because I put them in the calendar for my dad and they looked amazing.

Start Making Designs For Prints Etc.
This goal was fun as I had always wanted to make a Redbubble account (here) and sell some designs without having the hassle of producing the products myself. Once I got into the groove of making designs I managed to pop out 7 designs within a few days. I have a list of things I want to add soon, which I want to start working on in the next few weeks. I'm glad I made this my goal and am happy to say I have some great success with my shop.

Start Using Flickr Again
This also kind of ties into my "take more photographs" goal as once I took more pictures I added them to my Flickr account to get more use out of it since I've had my account for years and kind of stopped using it.

Looking back at these goals I'm happy to say that I completed almost all of them. Now with the new year already have started I have already started a new list of goals, which I'm hoping I can look back on at the end of this year and say that I completed them all.

My 2016 Goals:

  • try and stick with a blog schedule
  • keep staying creative and designing
  • keep taking more photos (maybe with film)
  • read 25 books
  • meet a french bulldog

Some goals on my list are almost reminders to myself. Like to keep to using my blog and to keep designing. Last year seemed to go by super quick with work and everything (excuses I know) so not keeping up with my blog and designing was all just put on hold really. I also snuck in the goal to meet a french bulldog this year. French bulldogs are probably one of my top 5 favourite dog breeds and one day I would love to own one, but for now I might want to actually meet one first.

I'll probably add more goals to my list as I start thinking of them but right now that's my list so far. Let me know in the comments if we share any goals or share any goals you have for yourself in 2016!

Small Update & Future Plans

The past few months have been super busy for me and I am now just realizing that we are in November and that I haven't written a blog post since September! But here I am now doing a small update post on what I've been up to and some blog posts that will be coming to you in the future, taking into consideration that people are still reading my blog.

Currently I have two part-time jobs along with doing freelance graphic design on the side. Being an adult is hard work but I love the jobs that I have! The holiday season is upon us so I have been working every day between my jobs, that I have neglected my blog and designing stuff for myself. Aside from working every day I did manage to go to a few events at the end of September and during October. At the end of September I attended the Just For Laughs 42 Comedy Festival in Toronto. I was able to see some of the comedians I listen to like Iliza Shlesinger, Grace Helbig, Miranda Sings, and Pete Holmes. You might know some of those names, but if not give them a listen. Iliza Shlesinger has two Netflix Originals on Netflix (I recommend Freezing Hot). Grace Helbig has her own Youtube Channel, along with her Not Too Deep podcast. Miranda Sings is also a Youtuber. And last but not least Pete Holmes is a comedian and also has his own podcast titled You Made It Weird. I had never been to this comedy festival before but am so glad I was able to make it this year and that there were comedians that I actually knew that would be having sets.

The weekend after this all happened I was also able to go to the Taylor Swift concert in Toronto. I wasn't a huge Taylor Swift fan before, but something about her latest album 1989 transformed me into liking her music. I know everyone has their own opinions about her but holy does she put on a great show! I've listened to that album several times so I knew all the songs and went with a group of friends which made it a really great experience and am so glad that I was able to go.

The latest event I was able to attend was the Buffer Festival Gala. This is a Youtube event that has been held in Toronto the past three years. Sadly I couldn't attend any shows this year, but a friend was able to get a few free tickets to the Gala from her school and invited another friend and I along. It was a night to dress up and to see some video premieres from some Youtube Creators that were guests of Buffer Festival. Even though I couldn't attend any shows I'm thankful I was able to attend the Gala.

With being so busy some of my goals for the upcoming weeks/month are to have a few more blog posts posted and to have a few holiday designs posted on my Redbubble.

Some blog posts you can look forward to seeing from me are:

  • Getting Into Podcast Listening
  • Movie Edition Book Covers
  • Book Reviews
    and
  • Blog Post Ideas

I am excited to get back into blogging and hope you (if there is any of you) are excited as well!