The news is generally disheartening. Work is stressful. Bills keep coming every month. My washing machine is making a weird sound. Life is rough, right? I need a break! Sometimes I just want to stare at my phone and enjoy myself for a minute. The problem is that scrolling through social media - a once relaxing and enjoyable experience - has turned into a version of hell all its own. Some accounts on Instagram are annoying. Everyone on Twitter is fighting about politics. And Facebook gives me all the FOMO. Where do we go? Where do we turn for a few minutes of mindless entertainment?
I've searched the depths of the internet to help you answer that question. The good news is, there are still a few rays of sunshine in the dark cloud of online content. So when you're not reading Curbly, or watching The Office once again - check out these links to help you recharge your batteries.
Are you familiar with Britney Spears' Instagram account? It is a must-follow. Full of fashion shows, homemade work-out videos, and heavily filtered selfies - her posts are ridiculous yet charming in a way only Britney Spears can be. Two comedians, Tess Barker and Barbara Gray, created the Britney's Gram Podcast - and each episode is dedicated to hilariously analyzing Brit's latest posts.
This account has over one million followers, and with good reason. Each tweet is written as if from the brain of a dog. And eventually you will forget a loyal and innocent dog is not actually behind the account. You will laugh and also want to give him all the kisses.
Here's one of my favorite tweets: "i had a long talk. with my fren. about how to spot. a fake ball throw. the optimal strategy. is to follow the ball. with your eyes. instead of your heart."
The Home Edit Instagram Account - @thehomeedit
Do you want to look at soothing photos of perfectly organized pantries and closets? Of course you do! You've gotta follow The Home Edit on Instagram. This account is run by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, two professional organizers known for working with celebrities. Not only are their organization-themed posts great, but their Instastories about everything else going on in their lives are surprisingly hilarious.
I get a little thrill out of reading about other people's personal problems. It feels like getting some juicy gossip. There's also satisfaction in reading sound and well-articulated advice from someone wanting to help solve those problems. Hence, the entertaining world of advice columns. Here are a couple of great ones. Click carefully, if you're like me, you'll go down a rabbit hole and won't emerge for two hours.
Ask a Manager - Alison Green helps people solve sticky work situations.
Care and Feeding - Parenting is hard, and we all wonder if we're doing it right. Nicole Cliffe and Carvell Wallace always have the answers. My favorites are written by Cliffe - she's funny and not afraid to tell it like it is. To a parent complaining about her kids' fashion choices she wrote, "As long as their genitals are covered and their clothes are clean, practice acceptance."
Anna Faris is Unqualified - Anna Faris - co-star of the hit TV show Mom - started her advice-based podcast in 2015. Each episode features a well-known guest, then they answer lifestyle questions asked by real people over the phone. She may be "unqualified," but she is hilarious.
Several years ago I made a mosaic flower pot as a shower gift. Everyone at the shower went a little ga-ga over it. Their enthusiasm got me thinking. Would people actually like to learn how to make such things and pay me to teach them how to do it? Apparently so, because a few months later I was teaching the technique at several local adult education programs. Here, my fellow Curblians, is a complimentary tutorial, just for you!
What you need:
one terra cotta flower pot (I used a 6" standard pot for this project)
several pieces of tile (I used ceramic tile purchased at my local big box store)
a small putty knife
a tile sponge
a soft clean cloth and
What you do:
First, you’ll need to break your tile into smaller pieces. It’s best to insert the tile in between several sheets of newspaper and hit it with your hammer. Even though your tiles is covered, it’s a good idea to wear eye protection while doing this.
Next, apply the tile adhesive evenly to the pot. Put on just enough so that when you press your tile pieces into the adhesive, the adhesive squishes up about ½ way up the tile pieces themselves.
Press the tiles into the adhesive, fitting them together as you might do a jigsaw puzzle. Keep the tiles about 1/4" apart from each.
After the tiles have been set and the adhesive completely dry–at least 24 hours later–mix up the grout according to the instructions on the package.
Apply the grout with your rubber-gloved hands, pushing the grout into the grout lines. You’ll want to rub your hand up and down and back and forth over the pot to make sure the grout fills the grout lines entirely.
After you’ve grouted the tiles, dip your tile sponge in a clean bucket of water. Ring the sponge out very well and then wipe the sponge over the pot, removing the grout from the tops of the tiles and any exposed terra cotta. You’ll want to ring out your sponge and go over the pot several times.
After you’ve sponged your pot, wait 5 to 10 minutes and then, using a soft clean cloth, buff any haze from the tiles and pot itself.
A tile sponge is NOT the same as a household sponge. The later cannot really be substituted for the former, which is SUPER dense.
A great place to score some FREE tile is by going to your local tile shop and ask if you can have the scraps from their cutting room. Every good tile shop has a cutting room, and all the remainders of those tricky cuts they make for DIYers get thrown away, so we might as well put them to good use!