Interweb Finds: Spilling your secrets, addiction to stress & more

rose in bloom

What a much-needed weekend this was. Yours, too?

I spent most of the week running all over town getting interviews for stories, paying too much for parking, and paying even more for a parking ticket. (Ugh.) Needless to say, I was happy when Friday rolled around and I didn’t have anywhere to be. Yesterday morning, a tiny earthquake (3.0 on the Richter scale) scared me awake. I also went up the street to check out the farmers market — which I’ll blog about on Tuesday! — and met up with a blogger friend, which I will also blog about soon! As I type this, “California Dreamin'” aptly plays on Pandora. It’s a beautiful day, and our first rose (above) is in bloom!

In celebration of the end of a glorious weekend, here are a few of this week’s best interweb finds:

Even if you typically scroll past your friends’ baby photos on Facebook, you’ll love these pictures a dad took of his daughter in various costumes — like a monk and a butcher.

Ever wish you could share secrets on social media anonymously, without repercussion? Enter the addictive Secret app.

I love how Latrina turned a bad experience (her recent car accident) into a revelation and change in lifestyle.

Are you addicted to stress? Reading this sounded a little too familiar to me:

“For some of us, the exhilaration we feel when pushing against a deadline is similar to the rush an addict gets when they shoot up. ‘Stress is a drug,’ says Hanna. By activating the dopamine reward center in the brain that feeds us feel-good endorphins, stress can temporarily boost performance, explaining why some of us appear to get so much done when under the gun.”

I’m obsessed with Kylie’s gorgeous photos. These wintry shots from Idaho make this Los Angeles lover crave cold weather… just a little bit.

How goal-setting can inhibit our happiness:

“What motivates our investment in goals and planning for the future, much of the time, isn’t any sober recognition of the virtues of preparation and looking ahead. Rather, it’s something much more emotional: how deeply uncomfortable we are made by feelings of uncertainty. Faced with the anxiety of not knowing what the future holds, we invest ever more fiercely in our preferred vision of that future — not because it will help us achieve it, but because it helps rid us of feelings of uncertainty in the present.”

Could you live in a 196-square-foot cabin in Tahoe? This couple does. And they built it themselves.

That’s all for this week’s roundup. I’ve got a lot of writing and video editing to do today—and lots to look forward to this week. What’s going on with you?

 

wittycassiehere on Twitter

Last goals of 2012

peace

December is naturally a time to reflect on the past year and eagerly look ahead to the next. But in the midst of the holiday craze (not to mention the end of the world!), it’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves, be present, and not rush the last few days of the year. I confess—over the past couple of weeks, I’ve done a disservice to my mind and body by staying up way too late every night, because it seems like there’s just too much to do. More often than not, though, I’m up late because I can’t pry myself away from the computer. This blog here has seen some substantial growth over the past several months, and I am admittedly obsessed with watching that pan out. (You can only refresh your stats so many times in one hour, but apparently I’m out to challenge that notion.) On top of that, my dedication to exercise is waning lately, and I find myself running only two miles instead of three, or skipping the gym altogether. No bueno.

Despite all this, I started December on an upbeat note because there’s a lot to celebrate and much more to accomplish yet. I came up with a few healthy goals for the last days of 2012, and I’ve already checked some of them off my list. Others are a work in progress and will overlap into the new year. Here’s what I want to do before we ring in 2013, granted the world makes it past the 21st:

Renew my enthusiasm for fitness. Maybe my half-hearted exercise routine has become exactly that—routine. Too routine. It’s only a matter of time before the treadmill makes you feel like a hamster on a wheel. To shake that feeling, I finally took advantage of the beginners’ yoga gift card (and yoga mat) John gave me for my birthday, and I’m learning something new while gently challenging my body. It’s also the perfect destressor for the busiest time of year.

Pitch a story/blog post. I’ve been so focused on my blog lately that I’m slacking when it comes to publishing elsewhere. Writing for other sites will not only help keep my portfolio fresh, but it’ll also introduce new people to my own blog. Query sent and approved, draft in the works. Back in the game!

Expand my vocabulary. Words like “awesome” and “definitely” are definitely awesome, but those words have synonyms. And those synonyms have synonyms. Over the past few months, I’ve made a regular habit of learning new words (or relearning words I thought I knew the meaning of… whoops), and it’s something I plan on keeping up. I promise not to get all vainglorious on you.

Plan in advance. I’m pretty sure I enhanced my grown-up status when I created a Google calendar… for my personal life. I’m also starting to use it as an editorial calendar for WTH. This will hopefully prevent me from freaking out over what I’m going to write in January when I go full-time and keep track of all my upcoming guest writers. (You guys are in for a treat!)

Unplug. For three full days starting Christmas Eve, I will not have an online presence. No blogging, no stat checking, no tweeting, no Facebooking. Truth is, I need a break from the web in a bad way, and I should be spending that time with my family anyway. When I’m not eating mashed potatoes or hogging my sisters’ remote-controlled helicopter, I’d like to focus a little bit more on myself. Hear my thoughts more clearly. Get creative in other ways so I have something worth writing about here. Since I don’t have a smart phone, it’ll be a little easier to not get distracted from this most important goal.

To me, this list serves as a great reminder that 2012 isn’t over yet, and there are still a few things I can do before I make those midnight-on-New-Year pancakes. (This will be the third year running of said pancakes, and it’s pretty much the best and only tradition I’ve ever established. You’re welcome to borrow it.) Why wait until 2013 to make a resolution you might not keep? Why not make a few smaller, more immediate goals instead? It’s still 2012. What will you accomplish in 2012?