I haven't really decided what I want this blog to be yet. Should it be Professional? Personal? Prosonal? So anyway, while I wait for it to take some kind of a form I'm happy with, here's a random list of things I'm liking lately.
I've been a big fan of Mint for awhile. Its clean interface and simple integration with all of my bank, credit card, and investment accounts make it one of my favorite websites. Honestly, it's probably a little TOO favorite. I know I spend more time than is necessary poring over every detail of the budgets I've set and last months transactions trying to find where I could save money, but hey, there are worse ways I could spend my time than trying to find ways to save money. Mint has already helped me save more money in a couple ways, and their new feature for setting goals is great. While this one won't technically help me have more money like some of the others have, I think that it will actually be very useful in helping me meet certain goals. Basically it just asks you what your goal is, and then breaks down how much you should try to be saving for it every month. It's pretty simple stuff, but I certainly wasn't about to bust out a calculator to try to figure out how the monthly savings break down. Now I just know that for Lauren and I to take a trip next spring, given the parameters we set, we need to save approximately X amount of dollars. Nice. Also, if you choose one of the major goals that Mint already has in their system (getting out of debt, buying a home, taking a trip, etc.) it will give you other pointers along the way for what kinds of things you should be doing at that time. It's definitely all worth more than the $0 it costs.
I've been kind of a fickle Internet browser user lately. I had been using Safari for quite a while and then switched right over to Chrome when I saw their clever "Chrome Fast" ad campaign. What can I say, I'm a sucker for clever advertising. It did seem to back up the commercials though with blazing performance. Then, probably less than a month later, I switched right back to Safari when the came out with version 5 and most importantly, an infographic showing how it was faster than Chrome. Apparently infographics trump advertising. Plus I've of course always been a fan of the clean, Apple-i-ness of it, and while it was fun having a ridiculous skin on my browser for awhile, I was happy to be back to the shiny metal. One thing that Safari has always lacked though, in comparison to Firefox, Chrome, or others is extensions. But just recently they finally opened up extensions and their own online gallery of them. And the one that is by far the most interesting and useful, in my book, is Invisible Hand. It's a simple, unobtrusive extension that only shows up when you're on a page that is selling an item. If you are on one of these pages, it pops up at the top of your browser and tells you if the item is listed for a lower price anywhere else in its database of websites! It's terrific. You save money without having to try harder or losing anything. (Side note, I hadn't even thought that my first two likes were both money related. I'm really seeming like Frugal McFrugalson right now. Oh well.)
While we're on the subject of Safari extensions, let's talk about Google Reader Styles. I really like Google Reader for keeping up with some of my favorite blogs. It's simple to organize them into categories and see what's new. But while it's certainly very functional, it's not exactly beautiful. Usually I like the Google minimalism well enough, but for some reason I feel like Reader just has too many dividers going every which way and different colored icons going on. So I decided to clean it up a bit. Google Reader Styles allows you to choose from a variety of styles. My favorite so far though, is Helvetireader. It really cleans the whole interface up and makes it beautiful and easy to focus on the content.
Arcade Fire's new album just came out, and so far, I like it. Can't say I really LOVE it, but it's good. Overall there just aren't really any songs that have grabbed me the way "Wake Up" or "Rebellion" or "Power Out" did when that amazing first album came out. They seem to have calmed down a lot and I miss the punch that their old style carried. Still there are some good moments, and one of my favorites in my first few listens has been Sprawl II. It's a little bit of a different sound for them, and one that I wouldn't mind hearing them explore more.
Lauren made some of these recently and they are DELICIOUS. Yes, I've had them before, but this is after all just a list of things I've been liking lately, and I've definitely been liking these lately. So if you have a chance sometime soon, you should make some (or find someone who will).
Well, I think that's it for this random list. Hope you enjoyed it and maybe found something that you can like too.