I don’t know why I haven’t learned this yet, but it really doesn’t take long to settle in to a new home once the big furniture is in the right place and the number of empty boxes grows. That said, this has been home for less than a week and I’m already antsy to make it just right. Here are some things I’ve had my eye on to make this new space feel extra lovely!
Okay so this is only a little embarrassing but my favorite TV show this summer is hands down Teen Wolf. It’s full of campy teen drama with tons of soul and I guess after three seasons I’m officially invested. What’s up with Lydia’s powers? Will Derek and Braeden continue to be adorable? Who is the Benefactor?! You get the picture, I’m a fan. So, imagine how excited I was to discover indie brand Fandom Cosmetics and their collection of Teen Wolf inspired polishes! Check out these lovely glitter-filled polishes that I wish were on their way to my door right this instant.
Teen Wolf not your thing? That’s okay, I understand! Fandom has polishes inspired by many of the nerd classic like Dr. Horrible, Supernatural, Doctor Who, and Harry Potter. What fandom do you have all the feels for?
I’ve been a Tumblr user and lover since 2007. That’s a long time! It’s still a wonderful platform, one I plan to continue blogging with, but it feels like time to own my brain a bit more.
So welcome to here, I guess. Miss Venn! Miss Venn is basically Venn 2.0, with a snazzy new logo and name and look and everything. You’ll find content just like what I post on Tumblr, but with more of my own content and more lifestyle-y type stuff. I’ve blogged here for a short while in secret and am really digging WordPress 3.9. Finding and customizing a theme plus finding the right plugins kept me busy for a few days which was both fun and a good mental stretch. The last time I used WordPress it was slow and clunky, but it’s so much better now! The full screen writing mode is glorious (especially when paired with Chrome’s presentation mode) and I’m loving how the tiled gallery feature in Jetpack works.
If Tumblr offered paid plans with solid backups and exports this might not feel quite so necessary. I’m guessing the Yahoo acquisition took that off the table. I happily would have paid to ensure my data remained mine and wasn’t used for advertising or “engagement”, which seems to be the direction their team is heading in. Oh we’ll, it’s no use crying over spilt startups.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Tumblr is still a happy place for me. The Tumblr community is full of super nice people who post wonderful content all day long. I plan to continue posting there perhaps with more regularity, though definitely with less purpose. My Tumblr will hopefully become a place full of random gifs, random pretty things, and social justice rage, the way a Tumblr should be.
Anyway, I’m still tinkering here and deciding what I want this space to be, so be prepared for changes. Have amazing WordPress tips because you’re a pro? Send them my way!
Hope you enjoy Miss Venn as much as I’ve enjoyed making it!
What a weekend! I’m sitting in our new apartment, dog at my feet, boxes on all sides, thankful for our excellent wifi connection. These past few days was a whirlwind of moving but I think the worst is behind us. The rest of August is all about putting our new home together. Fun!
- I’ve just discovered Moodboard, a quick way to curate and publish a collection of images. Looks like it might fill part of the Icebergs hole now that they’re shutting down.
- Our new fridge isn’t magnet-friendly (insert sad emoji here!) but maybe you can make one of these 10 easy & adorable DIY magnets for me.
- Have you explored Twitter’s Analytics tool yet? Blog Clarity has a great overview of how to access these handy metrics and a few ways to interpret the numbers.
(appropriate illustration via Zoe-Zoe Sheen on Dribbble)
It’s hard to believe that our little Parker is four-years-old this week but it’s true! Four years of being woken up at 4am (by a hungry cat), keyboard takeovers (by a hungry cat), and afternoons filled with meows (by a hungry cat). Gotta love her! Look at how cute this furry beast is:
This week is also Parker’s third move with us, so she’s an old pro now. I’m pretty sure she thinks all the moving boxes are her gifts since cardboard is her favorite thing! In fact, she is curled up in a cardboard box as I’m typing this.
Happy birthday little cat!
Another year, another move! AJ and I have this habit of moving every 12-21 months and our time is up in a few days. It’s time to say goodbye to this little house and hello to a cute—and modern!—apartment up the street. There are a lot of issues with this house, but so much has changed since we’ve lived here I can’t help but be a bit sad. This is the home that we designed our wedding in, went from just together to together for ever, took naps, added (furry) family members, celebrated in… looking through this past year’s photos reminded me how much I have grown and changed just in this 12 month span. I guess this home was just what we needed to get through this year of change after all.
The new place will hopefully be just what we need to get through the next year’s slew of changes. It’s a little one-bedroom apartment with a great view of Portland’s classic craftsman roof peaks. It’s only a few blocks from a park, which Henry will be happy with, and has lots of amenities we’ve been missing like a dishwasher and proper air conditioning. Now we just have to get through the actual move! Wish us luck.
The original plan for this week’s nail art was to play with some these new nail vinyls that arrived in the mail last week but, you know, life happened. So instead of starbursts and chevrons my digits are featuring a few super luxe polishes from Zoya. Monica is a rich deep purple that is perfect for fall. And how amazing is Maria Luisa on top?! Zoya describes Maria Luisa as a “gold cellophane accent topper” which is a boring way of saying “this polish will top off any manicure with beautiful elegance.” However you describe it, I’m sold!
Continuous learning with Gibbon
Have you discovered Gibbon yet? It’s a still-young startup based in the Netherlands that is my new favorite learning app. Gibbon harnesses the amazing wealth of content already published online to power its peer-to-peer learning network.
Gibbon, on the other hand, is a more casual, “set it and forget it,” kind of learning experience. Once you choose topics that interest you and set how often you want to learn you don’t have to do anything else. Well, nothing besides actually learning! Gibbon will send you a daily, weekly, or monthly selection of readings from your chosen topics as a reminder to check in and read or watch something.
All the learnable content in Gibbon comes from its users, which is another reason I love it. Anyone can sign up and create a “playlist”, which is a topic full of educational content. For example, this User Experience Design from A-Z playlist is full of 99 articles about user experience, all curated specifically to take a learner from “what is UX?” to solving complex experience problems.
Gibbon figures out an approximate reading time for each “chapter” in a playlist which the system uses to build the reminder emails. Every morning I get an email with around 10 minutes of content in it. And because I subscribe to more than one playlist I sometimes get articles on different topics. I’ve been loving the wake up call! Each day I get a cup of coffee and settle in to spend 10 minutes focussed on learning. The articles are shown in a beautiful distraction-free view that let’s you read without wandering away. And the end of each playlist “chapter” has a big “Mark as Learned” button for a satisfying this-is-done feeling.
What I’m Learning
My own profile is mostly full of design- and management-focussed playlists. Gibbon and I haven’t been close for that long but I’ve already found several articles to tuck away for reference later. “Jumping Through the Hurdles of Brainstorming” from Pete Sena’s Leadership playlist and “Dare to be Boring” from Gibbon co-founder Wouter de Bres’s Becoming a Better Designer playlist both resonated with me.
Gibbon is free to join as a learner or teacher, but paid plans are available for private playlists. I see a few interesting applications of the paid plans. Teachers could ask students to create playlists throughout a semester, for example, to help teach continuous learning. Or accelerator mentors could build playlists for specific teams to help them grow and succeed. So many options!
What are you learning?
It’s a big week y’all: we’re moving house! This time next week I’ll be up on the fourth floor in a cozy apartment. Can’t wait until we’re settled in! To kick this week off right I collected a few thought-provoking pieces from Medium to get your gears moving:
- Read how one mobile app designer retrained his brain to not crave his smart phone and how it benefitted his life in “This is Your Brain on Mobile.”
- Product design is a fluid field, not unlike user experience, that seems to have a different definition for every team and practitioner. “A Working Definition of Product Design” is an interesting take that leans heavily on user centered design principles.
- Finally, for a chuckle, learn these “10 Tricks to Appear Smart During Meetings.”
- OPI Nail Envy
- Formula X Prime base coat
- Julep Kam
- Zoya Snow White
- Formula X Pyrotechnic
- Butter London British Racing Green
- Julep Stella
- Seche Vite top coat
What’s on your nails this week?