life

Hey, 2016!

Happy New Year

Hope you’re kicking off the new year however you like best! For me, that means I’m home, in lounge mode, with snacks plus Anderson Cooper & Kathy Griffin on CNN. Anderson’s embarrassed giggles are the best.

Here’s my #2015bestnine from Instagram this year:

@sarahblackstock's #2015bestnine from Instagram

Happy 2016!

life

Reminders & Tips for Life

One of the absolute best parts of being an adult for me has been knowing myself so well, fully accepting who I am, and being happy about it. It’s awesome. There’s no reason to worry about what someone else is thinking about me and I’ve got zero hours to dedicate to not doing exactly what I want to be doing. This has gotten even easier in my thirties.

So, here’s my quick & simple advice for living a great life, being cool with who you are, and finding your slice of happiness:

I don't have any weaknesses gifFirst, stop thinking and saying negative things about yourself. Guilty pleasures? You don’t have any! There’s no reason to have guilt over watching a long-running TV drama or reading regency romance or whatever you prefer.

You like what you like & that’s awesome. (Hi, I still watch Grey’s Anatomy. Also, I’ve read dozens of romance novels this year and they’re fantastic.)

Also, basically always do this:

And say what you want:

Nicki Minaj speak your mind gif

Bitch? Please, like you care if some jerk calls you that. Pfft. Never be silenced.

And take Tina Belcher’s advice:

Believe you're beautiful Tina Belcher gif

Think great things about yourself. That totally makes them true! You’ve got a life to live… no time for making yourself feel bad.

Also, sometimes boys are great (if you’re into that sort of thing), but…

It’s best to be good at being alone and taking care of yourself rather than waiting around for a dude to validate your life. (This is easier when you’ve got an awesome BFF, so find your platonic life partner ASAP. It’s a game changer.)

And ALWAYS THIS:

Nicki Minaj winning is my protocol gif

Work hard, make things happen, ask for help when you need it, be positive, don’t hate on yourself, never give up, and WIN AT LIFE. It’s protocol.

pop culture, technology & web

Wintertime Tip: Up Your Netflix Game

Watch TV All Day gif

You’ve got Netflix, right? I know I’m not the only one who watches something on there basically every day. I should really offer to pay them more based solely on the number of times I’ve re-watched Buffy. It’s pretty straight-forward and easy to figure out, but there are a few adjustments that might make your viewing experience even better.

First, make sure you’re rating everything you can. That’s pretty obvious and I still forget to do it sometimes, but it really will make a difference and your recommendations will seriously improve. Once you’ve got your ratings situation down, up your game and try out some of the options listed below.

Seven Ways to Improve Your Netflix Experience:

  1. Add IMDB & Rotten Tomatoes ratings to your account with Chrome extension, Netflix Enhancer. In addition to ratings, it’ll link you to the matching page on each site for quickly checking out reviews.
  2. Make sure you’re really watching in HD! Click Your Account, then Playback Settings, then High. Done! (Ah, that’s better!)
  3. Change your subtitle settings if the default yellow ones just aren’t working out. Click Your Account, then Subtitle appearance, then change the color, font, and size to whatever works best for you or what you’re watching at the moment.
  4. Turn your smartphone or tablet into a remote control. If your Playstation & mobile device are both logged into the same WiFi network, many of them (including iPhone and iPad) will let you select something to watch then give you the option to watch through your PS3 or PS4, instead of just on your tiny screen. And if you have a Roku, they have an app that’ll let you play & pause, at least.
  5. Watch with faraway friends using rabb.it. Fire up a room, invite someone to join, and start watching. It’ll play on both ends, so you can watch together and be at the same spot in the video. (They can do more than Netflix too: there’s Hulu, HBOGo, YouTube videos, and more.)
  6. Delete stuff from your history. Go ahead and remove every trace of that time your niece watched Dora the Explorer on your profile constantly and totally ruined your recommendations. (Just me?) Click on Your Account, then Viewing activity, then hit the X next to anything you want to erase. While you’re adjusting settings, add a “Guest” profile for next time, too.
  7. Stop scrolling incessantly through your queue! Get a better grasp of what’s new and/or popular on InstantWatcher, and see what’s going away soon.

Now that your Netflix account is handled, what’re you going to watch?! Might I suggest Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls Religion Lifestyle gif

…or Friday Night Lights, because:

FNL coach taylor wink gif

THAT WINK, Y’ALL.

feminism & equality

No Justice for Tamir Rice

A Grand Jury decided not to bring charges against the two police officers who killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice last year. He was shot within a few seconds of the police car rushing up next to him, given no time to comply with an order if he was given one, and left to die without medical attention while his sister screamed as they kept her away from him. There’s a video showing all of this. Nothing about what happened to him is okay. And yet, here we are again. No consequences, not even when it’s a 12-year-old kid.

In a statement, Tamir’s mom, Samaria Rice, said:

“Prosecutor (Tim) McGinty deliberately sabotaged the case, never advocating for my son, and acting instead like the police officers’ defense attorney. In a time in which a non-indictment for two police officers who have killed an unarmed black child is business as usual, we mourn for Tamir, and for all of the black people who have been killed by the police without justice. In our view, this process demonstrates that race is still an extremely troubling and serious problem in our country and the criminal-justice system.”

Read more: Tamir Rice’s family ‘saddened and disappointed’ by grand jury decision

I’m tired of this.

house, life

First Fire

First fire of the winter in our newly painted fireplace
Instagram

Yesterday’s storms finally brought the cold weather to Dallas for winter. It’s been so warm, but we’re in the 30-40 degree range now (and for at least the next week). And! We got to light a fire in our recently painted fireplace. It crackled nearby while we watched the last Harry Potter movie to finish up our annual December re-watch.

Also blogged this week? Filet mignon & playing Don’t Starve Together on Christmas, three reasons I loved the new Star Wars movie (and a recommendation to watch even if you’re not a superfan because I’m not either), and a reminder that the Oregon Trail game exists and you should try to get your family there safely ASAP.

Back to work tomorrow. Hope your break was a relaxing and nice as mine! 🙂

dallas, life

North Texas Tornadoes

Right around the time we decided to take a break from playing Don’t Starve Together and order pizza, we started getting tornado warnings for our area. And then we spent a while watching out the window and listening to the news.

But then the tornado sirens went off for a long time, so we hung out in the hallway (near the tornado closet, which is mostly empty except for a big pack of paper towels and a few coats) until things passed. The path of the storm (and subsequent tornado) shifted slightly east and skimmed past east Dallas where we live.

It was big! And stayed on the ground for at least 25 minutes.

I should’ve known humid 70 degree weather on Christmas would mean something like this would happen. And sadly at least five people died in a town that’s just a few miles from here, right over the Dallas border, and it looks like dozens of houses were seriously damaged too.

We’ll see what has truly happened around here tomorrow morning when the sun comes up. Keep Dallas in your thoughts. (Check The Dallas Morning News for updates.)

games, life

Merry Christmas!

Christmas snacks and Bob's Burgers comic book

We stayed in Dallas this year for Christmas, and since neither of us have any family here, we spent our holiday at home playing games, eating snacks, reading, and relaxing.

Don't Starve Together on Christmas

We’ve spent about nine hours playing Don’t Starve Together over the past two days because ooooops we got totally hooked and really, really want to figure out how to survive the winter and build a super awesome compound. (It’s well worth the $10-20 price tag.)

Filet Mignon for Christmas Dinner

And since our official Christmas Dinner was a two-person event, we had filet mignon with caramelized onions, baked potatoes, and brussels sprouts for dinner. It was delicious.

Hope you’ve had a lovely day too!