Obligatory “I’m Not Dead” Check In

I know it’s been, like, a million years since I’ve updated so I don’t even know why I try but hello again.

So much has happened since the last time I posted that I don’t even know where to start. SO MUCH. Cooper and I have moved in with Alex downtown, Alex and I went to Colorado for our annual ski trip, SXSW 2013 happened, I applied and got accepted to a 10-week immersive web developer training program here in Austin, the President (yes, as in the POTUS) came to visit my office last month and last week we went camping at Garner State Park:

old baldy cacti view from painted rock rio frio

These days I am spending my free time reading World War Z by Max Brooks and studying up for MakerSquare, which starts next week. You can follow my progress at my new “professional” (lol) blog/portfolio site bridraffen.com.

Lately I’m Into…

Flipboard for iPad + the whole Internet

I got an iPad earlier this year and this is definitely my favorite app. Flipboard‘s primary function is as a news reader but I think it’s best way to view almost any content on the web. When you first sign up, you get to pick feeds from sites that are relevant to your interests from several outlets, whether it’s news, tech, entertainment or fashion and it’s delivered to you in a pretty, easy to digest format. However, my favorite feature is the ability to import my personal feeds from other services. It’s not secret that I’m a Google Reader junkie (although I am really sad about them doing away with the social aspects of the service earlier this year) and I love that I can sign in and view all my feeds (200+) and folders (22) are organized and ready to flip through in a gorgeous-magazine style UI. In fact, I actually prefer catching up on my unread blog posts this way (curled up in bed or on the couch with iPad, flipping through) instead of the Google site on my laptop or the mobile version of the Reader, which leaves something to be desired. I can quickly save an article to Pocket* for later reading or share a blog post directly from Flipboard to my Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.

I also love viewing my Instagram feed via Flipboard (I actually prefer it over the Instagram iPhone app interface, which is already pretty much perfect). You can view photos in your feed at full-size, comment and like friends’ photos as much as you want and view the “popular” feed – everything you need, just short of actually being able to take photos, edit and upload them from within the app. It’s like getting to flip through a magazine with fresh daily content curated just for you. And it’s freeeee!

I ordered these little prints months ago but they’ve sat collecting dust until recently because I was convinced I had accidentally thrown away Girl Reporter Friday & couldn’t bear the thought of displaying an incomplete set. She turned up when I cleaned my room but I haven’t figured out how I’ll put them up yet. Ming Doyle is exceptionally talented (check out her other work)! I love these sassy ladies and at $12 for the whole set, they’re a steal.

This ring.

Y’all know how I love my jewelry, the bigger the better. I seem to have misplaced** my favorite ring – doubly sad for the facts that 1) I bought it last year so it’s probably no longer in stores and 2) I bought it at H&M which until recently has eluded the state of Texas but hell if I’m driving to Dallas to find out. On the plus side, I found a ridiculous suitable replacement at Forever 21 yesterday. I love it but I do not love retailers being so unimaginative and lazy the last few seasons that they slap the label of “tribal” or “ethnic” on just about everything.

Finally mastering cat-eye eyeliner after forever.

People keep asking me for tips or pointers but really all I can say is gel eyeliner (I used e.l.f. cream eyeliner – no particular reason other than because it’s $3) + an angled brush + a lot of practice. I DON’T KNOW, GUYS, IT’S MAGIC.

* Another free app that I love!
** There seems to be a pattern here…