If left to my own devices, I would be cooking chicken cutlets every night, reading twilight on repeat, and using my artistic talent to expertly stay inside the lines of a little mermaid coloring book. This is why I have given my life up to excel spreadsheets and random number generators – selecting what I cook, read, watch, listen to, and create with extensive databasing and the click of a button.
Cooking: Over the years I have collected thousands of recipes that I’d like to attempt from cookbooks, the food network, magazines, pinterest, etc. I keep track of these recipes in a large excel file with columns denoting recipe name, source, course, main ingredients, etc. When I am ready to go grocery shopping I hop on random.org and select 9 different random numbers. I then match these numbers up with the rows on my excel sheet and voila, there are my recipes. Usually I will end up with a mix of sides, desserts, and main courses. I’ll just pair them up on what I think will work well together – if I get stuck I will just stick a recipe I already know with the odd man out. This sets me up with 4-6 meals – since its only me and my husband this will usually last us a week and half to two weeks depending on how many nights of leftovers we feel like eating.
Crafts: I had been pinning things to a “crafts” board on pinterest for over a year and had never made a single one. I decided to put these crafts I wanted to make into a similar excel sheet with the titles sorted into different categories like “general, christmas, future family crafts, etc.” I now use this pinterest spreadsheet the same way I use my recipe file. I use random.org to select a craft (I try and do one a week, depending on how involved the craft is.) I have since taught myself how to use a sewing machine so I hope to somehow incorporate new sewing patterns into the mix soon.
Reading: Goodreads.com has a somewhat secret random book generator. I believe at one point it was accessible on the main page but I ended up finding it through a very involved google search one day last year. You don’t need an account to access it – just use this link http://www.goodreads.com/book/random . I will then select the first ten book titles using the following criteria: book must be in english, book must have at least one review written about it, no super-long textbooks. I will first search my library, then Nook availability, in store at b&n, and finally online at b&n. I usually can find 6-8 of the books listed this way.
Television/Movies: Looking to mimic my reading experience I searched for a way to randomly select netflix instant stream content. Luckily, I stumbled upon this gem – http://vodzilla.co/blog/introducing-the-netflix-random-button/ . It will take me to a random title on netflix. I am a little more discretionary with my viewing than my reading — If the title that comes up looks appealing and is available to stream I’ll go with it — if not, I will scroll through the related titles until I find something I want to try, be it a movie or tv series. If something pops up that I’m really desperate to see and won’t stream I’ll go grab it at redbox or look for it elsewhere but usually if it doesn’t stream I’ll just scroll until I find something that will.
Music: This is nothing new but I’m still using Pandora – over the years I have established an extensive station that plays absolutely everything I listen to rap, pop, show tunes, 60s-90s classics, r&b, disney songs, etc etc etc. Whenever I hear a new song that I’m into I’ll add it in and usually it will introduce me to new bands/artists I haven’t heard yet. From there I’ll roam the internet to see if I can stream said bands/artists album somewhere to make sure I’m liking more than one song, and then purchase if I’m really feeling the album as a whole.
SO – I’ll be using this blog in conjunction with my tumblr, instagram, twitter, etc etc to post pictures, recipes, craft instructions, and book/movie/music suggestions. I generally have no life (which is why I have the time to do all of these random things) so feel free to contact me about anything I post. Hope to keep things interesting for you. Much love.