Five… great YouTube channels

Like most people, I often procrastinate by watching a lot of YouTube videos. I’ve subscribed to quite a few different channels over the past few years, and I thought I’d put together a short list of a few of my favourites!

1. communitychannel
Natalie Tran’s hilarious videos about the funny/awkward aspects of everyday life have a special place in my heart. I think hers was the first YouTube channel I ever subscribed to, and I find that I can actually relate to most of her videos. Her self-deprecating Aussie humour puts me right at home! Here are a couple of my favourite videos.

2. Glove and Boots
I find it pretty surprising that Glove and Boots, the puppet webseries (with puppets!) doesn’t have more subscribers! I have to admit that I was late to the party too, but I really love the Glove and Boots videos. The videos are wittily written and well-produced, the puppets are kind of adorable and fun, and the content is great! They’re pretty well known for their video about the evolution of the hipster, but here are a couple of their other videos that I really enjoyed!

3. PBS Idea Channel
Moving on from pure comedy/entertainment, the next channel on this list is PBS Idea Channel: the show that “examines the connections between pop culture, technology and art” and, I would add, the human condition. I like PBS Idea Channel a lot because the videos are pretty thought-provoking, and can prompt some interesting discussion about how various aspects of pop culture affect our ways of understanding the world and ourselves.

4. CGP Grey
My husband Dannii introduced me to CGP Grey’s videos a while back when he was trying to explain something to me, and since then we’ve enjoyed watching his videos together. CGP Grey has a knack for explaining complex things in very clear and interesting way, and I’ve definitely learned a few things from watching his videos!

5. SORTED Food
I like reading cookbooks and watching cooking shows, and I really love SORTED because not only do the recipes look great and generally achievable (we own their cookbook and have made more than a few tasty dishes from it), but the SORTED boys are also pretty entertaining! I like the laddish sense of humour and fun that they bring to their videos. Good times!

Wedding Wednesday

all the little happy things - Wedding Wednesday - silly siblings

Photo by Lily & Thom

Lily (our second shooter) caught this snap of me and my brother Jeremy while my sister-in-law did my maid-of-honour’s make-up and we were waiting for my dad so we could take a few family photos. I’m pretty sure I was trying to stop Jeremy from poking at my knee, haha. I love that, even on the morning of my wedding day, we had time to chill out and be a little silly. And in the end, we also got a ‘good’ photo together as well!

all the little happy things - Wedding Wednesday - silly siblings

Photo by Lily & Thom

Five… hilarious comedians

Comedians! I love watching British comedy panel shows, and going to see stand-up comedians. Here’s a list of five of my favourite comedians, complete with brief clips so we can share the laughter!

1. Adam Hills
Adam Hills is really high up on my list of favourite comedians! As the host of the music quiz show Spicks and Specks he became something of a staple on Aussie TV, and he’s hosted other great comedy shows like Adam Hills Tonight and The Last Leg. I really love his stand-up, though! I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him live in Brisbane a few years ago, and it was fantastic. His comedy is generally pretty light-hearted and optimistic rather than cynical, which I love!

2. Tripod
I have a special soft spot for musical comedy, and the Australian trio Tripod are among the best musician/comedians around! To start with, their comedy is pretty fantastic. As self-confessed nerds, their jokes can also be pretty nerdy, which I am totally on board with. This song is basically all about removing prefixes from words and it is brilliant!

They’re also really talented musicians. Their harmony is tight and blends beautifully, which is demonstrated really well in this amazing cover of Paul Kelly’s Meet Me In The Middle Of The Air, performed with Eddie Perfect.

3. David Mitchell
Moving on from Australian comedians, one of my favourite British comedians is David Mitchell. Famous for being one half of the comedy duo Mitchell and Webb, he’s also a regular on the British comedy panel show circuit, as a team captain on Would I Lie To You, hosting Was It Something I Said and The Bubble, and having made appearances on QI, Mock the Week and 8 Out of 10 Cats and more. He’s incredibly quick-witted, and I love his rants about things that irk him!

4. Demetri Martin
Demetri is a pretty fascinating comedian! His style of comedy is typically witty one-liners, and his shows are full-on multimedia experiences, complete with music (played by Demetri himself), animations and drawings, charts, and some of his own writings. I would really love to see him live one day!

5. Flight of the Conchords
New Zealand’s fourth-most-popular folk duo! Their songs are hilarious, their TV show is brilliant, and their live performances are awesome! Dannii and I got to see them when they came to Brisbane a couple of years ago, and it was fantastic. I had a hard time picking out my favourite songs to add to this post, but I finally settled on The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room) and Think About It. Watch and enjoy!

Sunday morning pancakes

I have the fairly common problem of pinning more recipes on Pinterest than I have actual time/inclination to try making myself. But when I came across this recipe for a single blueberry-chocolate-chip pancake on Joy the Baker earlier last week, I realised that I had all of the ingredients on hand for once!

So on Sunday morning, I made pancakes.

all the little happy things - blueberry chocolate chip pancakes

If you’d like to make these yourselves, the recipe is here on Joy the Baker. Substitutions: I used 15g of butter and made my own buttermilk using lemon juice + regular milk.

all the little happy things - blueberry chocolate chip pancakes

The recipe made enough for two medium-sized pancakes, one for me and one for Dannii. And even though the pancakes weren’t giant, they were delicious and very filling, thanks to all those blueberries and chocolate chips! With maple syrup, a bit of icing sugar and a cup of tea, it was the perfect way to start the day.

P.S. You can now follow my blog with Bloglovin!

Wedding Wednesday

all the little happy things - Wedding Wednesday - Anh

Photo by Lily & Thom

One of the things I loved about our wedding was that so many of our friends and family were involved in the big day in all kinds of ways. It really made us aware of and grateful for the community of loved ones that surrounds us both.

My gorgeous sister-in-law, Anh, did the make-up for the entire bridal party, and she did such an amazing job. She had me looking and feeling really beautiful, but also still me.

Since Anh and my brother live in Sydney, I also really loved getting the chance to spend a bit of time with her in the days leading up to the wedding! I remember the first time Anh ever did my make-up was when I was heading off to the P&F Ball in my senior year of high school. She’s been a part of our family for so many milestones in my life, so it felt really special to have her be a part of my wedding day as well.

Five… favourite webcomics

Webcomics! I love them. I have a ‘daily read’ list that is in a happy little row of bookmarks across the top of my web browser, and clicking through to read the latest updates is one of the first things I do in the evening when I turn my laptop on. Here is a list of five of my favourite webcomics!

1. Dinosaur Comics by Ryan North
Schedule/Status: Monday-Thursday
Premise: According to the website, Dinosaur Comics is a comic about talking dinosaurs! This is very true. The art remains the same for every comic, and it is just the text that changes. The main characters are T-Rex and his friends Dromiceiomimus and Utahraptor.
Why I love it: Some people I know have been put off by all the writing, but I think it’s well worth it, because Ryan North is a pretty great comedy writer! There are jokes about language and culture and the Internet, as well as some interesting philosophical ideas and plenty of silliness. It’s hard to explain. It’s just my kind of quirky humour! I also have a particular soft spot for Dinosaur Comics because our mutual love of it and pretty much everything Ryan North does brought Dannii and I closer together back when we were first getting to know each other!
Bonus stuff: Alt text jokes and comic titles, viewable on the Archive page. And if you mouse over/click on the ‘Comments’ link, the subject line is a bit of an extra Easter egg as well!

2. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Schedule/Status: Tuesdays and Thursdays
Premise: From the website: “Lord Ballister Blackheart has a point to make, and his point is that the good guys aren’t as good as they seem. He makes a comfortable living as a supervillain, but never really seems to accomplish much – until he takes on a new sidekick, Nimona, a shapeshifter with her own ideas of how things should be done. Unfortunately, most of those ideas involve blowing things up. Now Ballister must teach his young protégé some restraint and try to keep her from destroying everything, while simultaneously attempting to expose the dark dealings of those who claim to be the protectors of the kingdom – including his former best friend turned nemesis, Ambrosius Goldenloin.”
Why I love it: Noelle has crafted a really awesome story, with interesting three-dimensional characters and a great sense of fun and humour amidst the frequent heart-wrenching drama. We’re drawing close to the end of Nimona and I can’t wait to see how everything turns out.
Bonus stuff: This is one of the few times when I recommend reading the comments section. Nimona commenters seem to be incredibly witty and fun!

3. Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques
Schedule/Status: Monday to Friday
Premise: QC is a sort of slice-of-life comic. The plot focuses on the life of Marten, his roommate Faye, and his girlfriend Dora. It takes place in a world that’s pretty much the same as ours, but with a little bit more ridiculousness. For instance, Marten owns Pintsize, an anthropomorphic PC. In the beginning it was very much an indie rock webcomic, with a lot of jokes that I just didn’t get because I’m not an indie rock aficionado. But over time the art and writing has evolved and can be melodramatic, sitcomish, touching, or just plain bizarre.
Why I love it: I just really love the characters! There are a lot of them, but my favourite is Hannelore, who’s described as “Obsessive-compulsive, neurotic, anxiety-ridden, surprisingly adorable”.

4. Amazing Super Powers by Wes and Tony
Schedule/Status: Mondays and Thursdays
Premise: It’s pretty difficult to explain the premise of Amazing Super Powers, because each strip is pretty self-contained. There’s no overarching story – just a great, sometimes wonderfully twisted, joke!
Why I love it: The punchlines of the comics are great! Some of the strips can be a little dark and most give you that schadenfreude feeling, but the writing is tight and witty. I also find Amazing Super Powers way more consistently funny than Explosm ever was!
Bonus stuff: Alt text, and if you click on the question mark next to the top-right corner of the comic, you get to read a hidden comic!

5. minus by Ryan Armand
Schedule/Status: Ended
Premise: minus is about the adventures of a little girl named minus who has magical powers. She can change pretty much anything in the world – in one comic, she turned herself into an elephant, and in another, she sent one of her schoolmates back in time.
Why I love it: I really like the painted art style, and I’ve always loved the ‘little girl who is cooler than everyone’ stories like Matilda and Madeline – maybe there is a thing about awesome little girls whose names start with M?! Dannii bought the book for me a few years ago, and I love thumbing through it when I’ve had a bad day – the whimsy and magic of minus is a great pick-me-up!