fun

What Do You Do For Fun?

I’m going to say it: from about age 27 to age 33, I had no hobbies. My hobby was this business: getting it going, growing it bigger, making it better.

For years, I tried to buy only clothes I could wear to work. I tried to read books that would apply to my job. I had this singular focus that I thought admirable. And I would have kept on this path probably indefinitely.

What finally made me question my life: I was at a party where someone asked me very innocently what I did for fun. 

And I had no answer. It was the most boring I’ve ever felt.

If it is one thing I understand to my core is that I am not a boring person.

So I attempted to diversify. I started hosting people on AirBnB and began planning for Anchorspace (which is now open). These were my first attempt at diversifying.

Ha, nice try, Nicole. Filling your time with more money-making things. Still no answer to the question of what you do for fun.

How can I be bad at having fun?

This clearly had to change.

I am now in a young adult book club… and I have struggled to go to a single monthly hangout that involves wine and reading a book most people could read in half a day. Like most things that are fun and good for you, I always feel great once I’m there. It has been nice to now have at least one thing to say when someone asks me my hobbies.

But how ridiculous I feel lying on the couch reading “Paper Towns” for four hours is interesting to me. Many people would spend that many hours watching television, building miniature airplanes, or whatever it is they do to relax and not feel a thing about it. I feel guilty. I have to make myself do it.

I added more things to practice making myself have fun. Since then, I’ve tried standup comedy and podcasting. I bought bright blue pants. I took singing lessons. And it all felt a little uncomfortable at first… and then it wasn’t.

Good news? It’s getting easier. And as it does, I’ve been thinking about less structured fun. Can I build an hour of fun into a Wednesday? Maybe if I had a list of things that sounded fun, I could just pick from them.

I tried to come up with a list and was initially blank.

Then I realized I was trying too hard. So I have a list in a notebook and when I think of something that sounds fun, I write it down. Then when I’m bored, I can refer to it.

As I try to think of being an interesting person who is a creative and has fun, I think of this post from Elizabeth Gilbert, which I’ve saved from her book “Big Magic”:

Dear Ones -As many of you know by now, my new book BIG MAGIC: CREATIVE LIVING BEYOND FEAR is coming out on September…

Posted by Elizabeth Gilbert on Monday, July 13, 2015

While it was important to make myself do the thing, I couldn’t put pressure on doing more stuff but instead, build the space for it to come in and out.

The other interesting part of this is it has been difficult to transition to someone who doesn’t share all the time. That’s part of ‘fun’ for me: not worrying about the presentation of it. So just enjoying the sunset (versus taking a picture of it and posting it to Instagram) has been a change for me.

Because of making room for fun and making sure it is something that isn’t done with another ulterior motive (like building my Instagram), my creativity (like finding more fun things to do) is increasing all the time.

I’ve now written things that aren’t on the internet, tried things I wasn’t very good at (ask Eric about the scarf I knit him), and otherwise have become a much more well rounded person, with some effort anyway.

Remember, when you are at a party, you want to say a few things you do for fun that don’t necessarily make you money… because life’s too short to feel like you’re boring. And the next time someone asks you at a party ‘What do you do for fun?’ I hope you’re as happy with your answers as I am with mine.

11 Instagram Accounts to Check Out

It’s safe to say that Instagram is my (Kassie’s) favorite social network. It could be that I’m a visual person, or that the platform feels less cluttered than Facebook and less stressful than Twitter to me. This post is, quite simply, a “just for fun” post that shares 10 of my favorite accounts that I follow, accompanied with a sample post from each.



The Good Quote (@thegoodquote)

Follow for: Feel good quotes, inspiration, thought-provocation, and a general mood boost throughout the day.

Follow @thegoodstore.co

A photo posted by Positive & Motivational Quotes (@thegoodquote) on

Mind Body Green (@mindbodygreen)

Follow for: Wellness tips, quotes, yoga poses, and of course, pictures of food (this combination of pineapple and chocolate is one of the best-looking eats I’ve ever seen).

Have the sweetest of weekends! Also, happy early #mothersday ? // ?: @talinegabriel #healthytreat

A photo posted by mindbodygreen (@mindbodygreen) on

Chris Mogg (@livingmovingbeing)

Follow for: 15-20 minute workouts that you can do at home, complete with explanations and 15-ish second video tutorials. Full disclosure: I’ve only ever successfully completed one of these workouts, they aren’t easy!

? 20 minute Ab HIIT! Got time for a quickie? This ab workout will have your core carved in no time! Details: perform each move for 45 seconds of WORK followed by 15 seconds rest. Complete 4 rounds, resting for 60 seconds between rounds! ?? lying oblique v-up (side 1) ? lying oblique v-up (side 2) ?? hollow hold knee tuck crunches ?? out and up heel taps ?? crocodile leg lowers (swap which leg is raised half way through the interval) The LMB eBook training guide + healthy eating guide are a v a i l a b l e NOW! Get your hands on them for fully guided workouts, fitness motivation tips, clean-eating recipes and LOADS more!! ??? www.livingmovingbeing.com.au #LMBfit #getLMBfit @fitness_videos @instafitvideoz @homeworkouts_4u @fit.co @home.exercises @gym_videos @fitgirlsworldwide #fitness_videos #instafitvideoz #homeworkouts_4u #fitfam #fitnessmotivation #workout #training #fitnessblog #fitcoteam #fitnessinstructor #fitlife #fitnesslifestyle #fitnessaddict #gym_videos #getfit #weightloss #homeworkout #getfitathome #hiitworkout #abs #abworkouts @hiitistheshit @ab.videos

A video posted by Chriss Mogg (@livingmovingbeing) on

Bustle (@bustle)

Follow for: Laughs. Bustle is a website for people who are “curious about the world,” covering topics in entertainment, modern life, books, and current events.

??????

A photo posted by Bustle (@bustle) on

Elite Daily (@elitedaily)

Follow for: Current events packaged specifically for millennials. Proof that learning about what’s going on in the world is actually pretty fun. The post below isn’t necessarily related to current events, but it’s a generally relatable struggle.

I'll have what he's having @thrillist

A photo posted by Elite Daily (@elitedaily) on

Downeast Magazine (@downeastmagazine)

Follow for: Beautiful pictures from around our area of the world. It’s pretty fun to see such stunning images and realize that’s what we get to see every day.

Sunrise over Southwest Harbor — Submitted by @wornbrick See more and submit your #Mainelife photos using the link in our profile.

A photo posted by Down East Magazine (@downeastmagazine) on

Run Eat Repeat (@runeatrepeat)

Follow For: Humorous memes covering healthy eating, fitness, and Bravo, with the occasional blog promo.

Just keep swimming!

A photo posted by Run Eat Repeat / Monica Olivas (@runeatrepeat) on

Emilia Clarke (@emilia_clarke)

Follow for: Hilarious posts from one of my favorite actresses, where she makes Game of Thrones related jokes among other things. If I could be any celebrity, it’d be her.

Cleo Wade (@cleowade)

Follow for: Handwritten notes and poems from poet/artist Cleo Wade that have a simple and positive message.

@gloriasteinem says, "a goal is a dream you move towards."

A photo posted by cleo wade (@cleowade) on

Quarter Life Poetry (@quarerlifepoetry)

Follow for: Relatable quatrains about life as a twenty-something year old (i.e. “The young, broke & hangry”). Sometimes I’m not sure if I need to laugh or cry…

Dogs of Instagram (@dogsofinstagram)

Follow for: Well, pictures of dogs…if you’re having a bad day or just generally need a pick-me-up, there’s really no better medicine.

"It's too early mom! Can we go back to bed? ?" writes @lizzie.bear. #dogsofinstagram

A photo posted by Dogs of Instagram (@dogsofinstagram) on

There are many others that I’d like to pay tribute to here, but I’m cutting myself off at 11 (otherwise I’d just keep adding forever until I break the website somehow). If you haven’t already, check some or all of these accounts out-I promise they’re worth it!



Halloween and Social Media

Why are demons and ghosts always hanging out? Because demons are a ghoul’s best friend. 

Ghastly puns aside, Halloween might be the best holiday out there. Back in 2009, Americans spent nearly 6 billion dollars on Halloween related activities (costumes, candy, parties), and that number has since increased..  Plus, there’s almost no better holiday for social media sharing than Halloween. Here’s a few reasons why:

It’s not really offensive/religious.

Yes, there are some religious groups that don’t celebrate Halloween, but unlike the Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza debacle, people don’t get super offended by this holiday. There is not too much in the way of offensiveness that comes of little kids (and adults with kid enthusiasm) dressing up and having fun.  Plus, it’s not a real family or couple-y holiday, it can be enjoyed by everyone from your 5 year old cousin to your 50 year old uncle who lives in your grandmother’s basement. No one has to cook anything and no one has to get stuck next to that Debbie Downer of a relative. It really just boils down to the basics: eat, drink, and be scary.

It’s an excuse for women to dress a little scantily. 

Alright, let’s not beat around the bush here. Our society secretly (and in sometimes not so secretly) likes scantily clad women. And on this one day of the year, every woman can dress a little trashier than she normally would in the name of a costume.

Mean_Girls

Also dudes can dress like women without anyone batting an eye. I can’t think of better fodder on Instagram. #halloweenrules.

People are expecting, and executing, pranks.

Raise your hand if you’ve seen a pranky Youtube video? When do you think most of those get produced? Likely when there is a higher tolerance for weird things happening than normal (there’s a reason why we say “Trick or treat,” after all).

People have devised shenanigans that go beyond t.p.-ing their teacher’s house. This is a great example of a stunt that went viral last year:

These videos are great material for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever. If you’re scheming a clever prank of your own, just keep safety in mind.

There are lots of parties.

Nothing says ‘social media’ like throwing a party. Halloween parties are fun for kiddos and adults alike, and offer a chance for creativity to run rampant with games, costumes, decorations, and food/beverage selections. The hype begins with the invites and builds until the actual event. Everyone has a chance to share costume ideas, or keep it top secret until the party and blow everyone else’s mind. I have been invited to three Halloween parties on Facebook… definitely more than the amount of Fourth of July barbecues or New Year’s Eve parties I was invited to this past year.

If you’re planning on throwing a graveyard smash of your own, social media can be a great planning resource, and a way to get the word out to people. There are so many fun games, like Dizzy Mummy, so there’s no reason to make anyone bob for apples.

Costume ideas all over the place.

If you are game to make your own costume, Pinterest and blogs can show you everything from how to execute realistic fairy wings to 100 costume ideas that cost $5 or less. The DIY zombie makeup tutorials are also gruesome, in the best possible way.  For those who leave their costume creation until the last possible minute, there are plenty of 5 minute costume ideas. So, if you’re uninspired or a procrastinator, get on Pinterest, and you’re guaranteed to have a costume plan in no time. Which gives you more time for gathering candy, in the true spirit of the holiday.

Whether you decide to go solo, as a couple, or in a group, social networks can help generate some ideas. And then, there’s the added fun of sharing the finished product on Facebook or Instagram. One piece of advice (that I learned so you don’t have to): if you have to explain your costume, it probably isn’t very good.

 

We hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!

And we hope everyone gets better treats than Charlie Brown.

And we hope everyone gets better treats than Charlie Brown.

 

 

Norway Drive Winter Olympics: Part 1

Me in my toga, awaiting partygoers. I picked the picture where the cat looks most annoyed. Yes, that is real ivy on my head.

Me in my toga, awaiting partygoers. I picked the picture where the cat looks most annoyed. Yes, that is real ivy on my head.

Sometime in the last few years, I told Alice that I’ve always wanted to go to a toga party. Much like a food fight, it’s something I’ve seen in movies but always wondered if it would be cool if it actually happened.

“We should do something in the winter when it’s boring.” Alice said.

“Like a long john toga party!” And the idea was born.

We encouraged our friends to dress up in togas, giving out prizes to the male and female best dressed.

To give the event a bit more clout, and to combine two good ideas into one, we decided the toga party would be an excellent way of having opening ceremonies for a sort of ‘olympics’ we would host.

Since this summer, Derrick and I have talked about having some kind of game day at his house where we set up things like our badminton set and get friends to have fun and be slightly competitive. Since life is slower here in the winter, this seemed like a ‘winter olympics’ kind of thing.

The Olympic Planning Committee set the agenda and a date. These winter games (with a snow and no snow plan) would be an excellent weekend event people could look forward to, whether they were into the party the night before or the day of games and fun the day after… or ideally both.

After the lighting ceremony, we all enjoyed the fire. Great photo by Derrick!

After the lighting ceremony, we all enjoyed the fire. Great photo by Derrick!

We decided to hold a ceremonial torch lighting to ‘open’ the games and light off  a few fireworks this night before to make the toga party not only a fun (and slightly random) event but to give it some importance.

You know you’ve thrown a good theme party when people who *aren’t dressed up feel uncomfortable. And this was one of those cases. Good thing Mike and Lynne, veterans to throwing great parties, brought extra sheets and ivy to dress up everyone.

Here’s a link to the video of the torch lighting to give you an idea of the feel of the toga party: https://vimeo.com/60926465

I’ll post some more pictures of the whole event tomorrow but here are the takeaways:

1) Toga parties are fun. Like in the movies.

2) Have extra toga materials on hand if you want stragglers to participate and feel like part of the group. We will definitely do this.

3) People will eat as much food as you put out. Remember they are there for fun, not to judge your hors d’oeuvres.

4) Tell people the date waaaay in advance. Over and over.

The toga group, good times!

The toga group, good times!

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about the games and post some fun pictures. In the meantime, if you were at the Olympics and want to share your photos, request to get added to the official Dropbox folder where you can upload your events and see everyone else’s. Or on social media (all except Facebook), you can tag your photo #ndwo13 and I’ll be able to track it down and put it in the album!

Fun Friday: Memes

If you’ve been on the internet for any length of time, you’ve probably experienced a meme. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, read on!

What is a meme? 

1) An element of a culture or behavior that may be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation.
2) An image, video, etc. that is passed electronically from one Internet user to another.

Basically it is when something is taken in reused in other ways.

What are some examples of memes I might be familiar with?

An example of a popular internet meme is ‘Grumpy Cat’. She (thanks to Sarah A. for the gender correction!) is an annoyed looking cat who says grumpy things:

You wouldn't see all these images at once, you'd probably see them one at a time... but this just gives you the idea that one image can be remixed for multiple meanings.

You wouldn’t see all these images at once, you’d probably see them one at a time… but this just gives you the idea that one image can be remixed for multiple meanings.

Some memes are like Grumpy Cat: the same image with different text written on top. Other ones  like this include ‘overly attached girlfriend’ and ‘success kid’. People come up with their own fun captions using similar fonts and become part of a larger creative effort.

Sometimes, instead of the same image being used, it’s similar text being used with different images. A good example of this is ‘Call Me Maybe’. (Note we did a marketing series related to this this summer: http://breakingeveninc.com/tag/call-me-maybe/)

The refrain 'Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but here's my number, so call me maybe.' is slightly changed and reworked with multiple images and ideas.

The refrain from the pop song ‘Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe.’ is slightly changed and reworked with multiple images and ideas.

As you can see, memes can be simple or complex. And once you are on the lookout, you’ll start noticing them everywhere.

No matter what, a meme is kind of like being a part of an internet joke, whether you make one of your own or share one that someone else created.

Are memes just limited to images?

No, people also have fun creating animated gifs and videos related to a meme. Here’s some videos that are inspired copies of Gangnam Style:

Gangnam Style inspired videos, which likely have similar crazy dance moves.

Gangnam Style inspired videos, which likely have similar crazy dance moves.

 I think I found a meme but I’m not sure. How can I find out?

Go to Knowyourmeme.com and type in a key word. For example, I typed in ‘baby’ and found Success Kid, since I forgot what that one was called.

Memes are a fun part of the internet. And now you know how to spot them!

Which one is your favorite?

Bar Harbor Flash Mob

I told a few people at Bar Harbor’s Fourth of July parade that I’d get this video up when it was done. Here is the video of the flash mob, organized by Jeni Dwyer Young of Side Street Cafe. She organized the entire thing using Youtube to show the dance moves and Facebook private event to communicate with participants. Good use of social media, Jen. :^)

The videographer working with her is putting together a much better video than what I’ve got here but in case you missed it, here’s a taste. Thanks to all involved for shaking things up! It was fun! (My apologies for screaming/talking while filming!)

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