These are A Few of My Favorite Things, an on-going, once-a-month series that sheds some light on, well, my favorite items throughout my home. (To read through all posts in the series, click here.)
In this Blogging Edition, I'll be looking at five of the essential items that help me in the day-to-day tasks of working on this little blog of mine. As we continue through the Better Blogging series that I've been running for the past few weeks, I thought sharing these would be particularly fitting! They are the things that make life on this side of the screen a little bit easier and a lot less painful. (Read on to see what I mean!)
1. ASUS Bamboo Laptop: If you've been reading along for awhile, you might remember that a couple of winters ago, I dropped my laptop and shattered the screen. The laptop itself still worked but I had to plug a screen into it to actually use (and see anything on) it. About a year later, my husband urged me to get a new laptop. (Good guy, huh?!)
After quite a bit of research, I settled on this ASUS model. First of all, I think it is beautiful. The casing is made from bamboo, so it actually has a wood-grain veneer on the top and along the keyboard. I love me a dark wood grain, so aesthetically, this was perfect. But it's also very functional, being incredibly light weight (necessary, given that the laptop I dropped was heavy!), and it's pretty fast. I've had it for more than a year now, and have no regrets! Unfortunately, the bamboo version I bought doesn't seem to be available any more, but you can find a similar version in brown, here.
2. Canon PowerShot Elph Camera: I love photography and getting to play around with lighting and all the different functions on a camera. In my dream world, I'd love to purchase a digital SLR camera with all the bells and whistles that come with being able to manually change nearly every aspect and get professional quality photos all on my own. Unfortunately, I can't really justify the expense of a $500+ camera plus lenses for a hobby that I only use to snap pictures every couple of weeks or so.
However, when I was in the market to upgrade my older point-and-shoot, I did a ton of research to find one that would offer me some of the flexibility of being able to manually control some functions but that would fall into a more reasonable budget. Which was that I decided I'd only pick one that I could pay for entirely with Amazon gift cards I'd earned through Swagbucks. After saving up for about a year, this was the model I settled on. (Click here to read more about how you can use Swagbucks to get free gift cards, if you're curious to learn more about that.)
The main reason I picked it was because you can adjust the aperture and shutter speeds. It also takes pictures without much delay, comes with a couple more white-balance settings than my previous camera and features some fun photo-taking settings (such as "fisheye" or "miniature," which makes a photo look like it's toy-sized).
3. Wireless Mobile Mouse: I have an older version that is really similar to this mouse that I bought when I upgraded from a desktop computer to a laptop five years ago. This mouse outlasted that computer (you can read about the fate of that guy here) and is still going strong. And it only seems to need a battery change once a year or less, which makes me happy!
4. Wrist Support: Sitting at a desk for most of the day started getting to my joints after awhile, especially in my right wrist. I tried some of those gel wrist pads you put at your keyboard or by your mouse, but those just seemed to make the pain worse. I finally bought this brace and it has helped immensely! I always strap it on whenever I know I'll be at a computer typing for any length of time and I don't have any lingering pains. I like that this one comes in various sizes so that you can make sure it really fits your wrist to provide the best support.
5. USB Keyboard: Another problem I started experiencing after sitting at the computer for a long time was that my eyes would hurt so, so much, even if I turned the brightness on my computer screen down to the dimmest setting. It got so bad I actually sat at my computer one time with sunglasses to see if it would be better. Ridiculous, huh?
Well, I realized that one of the reasons why my screen was bothering my eyes so much was because I was having to sit so close to the screen just to type. I decided to get this keyboard to see if being able to push my laptop screen farther away would help the problem. And it did! I haven't even been tempted to don sunglasses once since getting it. (And I even cranked my brightness up a few notches!)
You can view all of the previous editions of A Few of My Favorite Things here, including ones about my favorite gadgets to use in the kitchen, coffee-making supplies, books about love, and more!