Thursday, February 1, 2018

Thursday Therapy: Vegging Out

Earlier this week, David Elliott and I wrapped up BLOGuary with a couple of Plan With Me posts, where we outlined the coming week and talked a bit about what's going on in our lives outside of blogging. We shared peeks at our actual schedules (David even vlogged!), which was really fun for me because I've been playing with the idea of adding planning-style posts to this blog for ages now.

But then those plans began to adjust themselves, as plans tend to do - Eden's surgery (which should have been yesterday) was rescheduled (to tomorrow), and I ended up having to change and rearrange other things in order to fill yesterday and empty tomorrow. I'll be sharing more about that at a later date, but all this scheduling and stress-y type stuff going on in my life right now has really had me in the mood for just one thing.

Vegging out. Doing nothing. Being a total bum for a couple of hours - and loving it. So I thought I'd share with you how I do that, just in case you wanted to join in.


Lots of people veg out with TV - this isn't new at all. We love being able to press the power button, watch that screen come to life, and let whatever's playing take us temporarily away from our troubles. It could be a TV show or a movie, and sometimes we really don't care which it is or what's even on. Millions of people all over the world leave their TVs on all day long, just for the noise in the background.

Not me; I like that there's a time and a place for TV, and that it can be turned off in order to enjoy the depth of quiet that fills a room when the technology has been shut down. And, while I've mentioned before that I don't tend to watch an awful lot of TV specifically, what I do like to watch a lot of is YouTube.

The thing is, I'm a single mom - but whether I'm single or not, my personality and my life story dictate that I tend to be a pretty frugal person in general. My favorite past-times tend to be inexpensive or mostly free, so it's only fitting that my favorite sources of entertainment would be the same.

Plus, I like that in supporting YouTube in general and my favorite creators more specifically means that I'm putting something into the lives of the people who are famous in my little world. Most of my favorite YouTubers are people I've been watching for literally years, and many of them have become people I actually care about in small ways, even though they're only on the outskirts of my life and I'm nowhere near theirs. With most of them, I've actually gone back and watched all of their videos - even the super old ones.

What I really like is that while my favorite channels are entertaining and valuable to me, it's also a fun feel-good to know that by watching their videos and supporting their channels, I can give back to them in some small way. (Kinda like the way I share my favorite blog posts and such.)

So without further ado, here are my most favorite YouTubers - and why I love them. (Along with photos I am shamelessly pulling from Google even though it's a bad idea - if anyone knows who took these photos, let me know so I can credit the skills!)


For Comic Relief + Eye Candy:
This is my go-to guy when I'm having a sh*t day and really need to pick my mood up out of the dumpster. Joe is seriously so many things. Just to start, he's totally funny and he's completely adorable - in a totally non-pervy, I'm-not-a-cougar-yet kind of way, of course. But beyond that, he's also obviously close with his family, has a sweet heart, and is smart enough to be currently working on writing an actual script for a TV show! This guy is amazing, for real. The first channel listed is his more serious channel (such as it can be, since it's a comedy channel), but I like how personal he gets on the second channel, which is just more casual "daily"-style vlogs. From "Mad Libs" with his brother to his "Idiots of the Internet" and "People Of Walmart," Joe is always a great source of light-hearted (if not entirely wholesome) entertainment.

Credit: Alonzo Lerone
Alonzo Lerone:
This is another one that never fails to make me laugh - not only because he's funny (and completely gorgeous) on his own, but also because even if he wasn't funny, he's as easily amused as I am and has the kind of laugh that simply requires you to laugh with him. Like, I literally can't watch his videos and see him dissolve into laughter without laughing too. I just can't. I'm pretty sure I'd probably bust a gut if I ever got to hang with him in person and someone got him laughing while I was there. His focus is mainly on internet fails, bad tweets, and horrifying autocorrects, but he also includes a more casual vlog here and there, which is a great way for him to make himself a little more real.


For Comedy + Mental Health + Mindfulness:
Credit: Alayna Fender
MissFenderr / MissAlaynaa:
Alayna is such a totally sweet girl, and while we definitely have differences of opinions on lots of topics, we're very much the same in a lot of ways. She's funny and entertaining, but I also love that she's impossibly cute and incredibly kind. Most importantly though, I love her focus on mindfulness, meditation, and general mental health and wellbeing. She's so much more than a pretty face, and behind the face is an incredible lot of substance. I've been loving her "I Tried" videos, but she also always cracks me up with her tongue-in-cheek quest for sexuality awareness in the "I Don't BI It" series. For me though, the favorites always have been and always will be the Positive Psychology videos, where she talks about how she maintains and improves her own mental health.

ClickForTaz:
Taz is a bit more focused on the mental health and a bit less focused on the comedy, but I love the way her vlogs always get me thinking. Whether it's a "daily"-style vlog or a more serious sit-down video, she's always looking at how to relate to the world and how she can learn something - or teach something from her experiences. I also admire her courage in being as honest as she is about her insecurities and anxieties in her videos. Recently, I've been loving her "Taz Tries" series, but I also really, really, really love her Spoken Word Poetry videos, which are the original reason I fell so in love with her - her writing is so beautiful and meaningful, and her vocal performances of her work are always the perfect showcase for the words.


For Self-Improvement + Organization:
Brendon has an amazing story of growth and recovery, and I love that he has taken his experience and used it to enrich the lives and careers of others. He's vibrant and engaging, but also incredibly wise and I love that he's such an encouraging teacher of both business and life. He's an author too - and while I admittedly have not yet had the chance to read any of his books, I've watched loads of his videos on YouTube (some of them multiple times) and he never fails to impress me with his knowledge and willingness to share.


Alexis (Miss Trenchcoat):
You guys. This chick is planner extraordinaire, and I'm not sure there's anyone on the planet who seems to have it quite as together as she does. This girl is an amazing talent on the blog, on the camera (both video and photography), and in so many other areas - and she takes life by the tail with the help of her trusty planner, which she designed herself and makes a living selling through her online shop. I love her work week vlogs the best because they're relatable and fun, but I have also learned so much from watching her other videos. Alexis is a great teacher and a strong guide, and she's just the right mix of funny and inspiring. Actually she's the person who made me realize how much I love planners - even if I haven't quite found my "planner peace" just yet.


For Writing Tips + Business Tricks From A Beautiful Cyborg:
Another fabulous author I haven't yet found the time to sit down and read, Jenna Moreci is a whole different kind of funny. Her videos are almost exclusively about writing, but she talks shop in a way that makes me proud I'm a writer - while simultaneously reminding me that there's always something to learn and always a potential for growth and improvement in both my writing itself as well as in my ability to build a platform. Plus, she's easy to look at, and so is her incredibly tough fiance, Cliff. The two are completely adorable together too, so while her videos are always a comedic pleasure to learn from, it's also always a sweet surprise when Jenna has her man beside her on the vlog.


For Relatability In Sass, Motherhood, Make-Up, & Looking Fine As A Plus Sized Beauty:
Credit: Sarah Vargas
Sarah Vargas / Sarah Rae Vlogas:
I first fell in love with Sarah as a body positive influencer with not only a knack for looking gorgeous herself but also a mission to help other young women feel as gorgeous on the outside as they usually are on the inside. From there, I fell for her willingness to speak so openly about sex and sexuality as a plus-sized woman, her badassness as a single mom taking the world by storm, and her ghetto-sassy attitude that frankly screams, "I'm doing me, and if you don't like it, make your way elsewhere."

I loved her story about how she became a single mom to her two kids, and I deeply admired the effort shown between her and her ex to keep things friendly for the sake of their children. It saddens me to know the friendliness between Sarah and Da'Vi has died in some ways; it changes something about her vlogs for me, perhaps because it confirms the death of the dream I held quietly in my heart for so long - the dream of peaceful and considerate co-parenting. Still, she's incredibly inspiring, totally motivational, and dang, that girl is fine. Her new beau is not so bad himself - and I hope the way Sarah loves him is a testament to how well he treats her and her kids when they're off-screen.


To Fuel The Full-Time RVing Dream:
Credit: Eric Jacobs
Nomadic Fanatic:
I've mentioned here several times that I have a little not-so-secret dream to travel the country for a while in an RV. I don't know if I'd want it to be my permanent way of life, as eventually I think I'd like to settle down in a home of my own. But before I buy a home I hope to grow old in, I want to travel pretty much everywhere, and if I'm going to start with my own country (and continent), then it makes the most sense to save on hotel costs and travel hassles and write on the go from a tiny home on wheels.

Thanks to the honesty and openness of Eric's channel, I know there are still lots of costs involved and that living on the go isn't always easy ... but I also believe price is worth the adventure and that after the things I've been through and the sense of trapped imprisonment I've lived with for so long, I'm extremely likely to love the freedom of it all. Eric's channel showcases the good, the bad, and the ugly of RV living - from engine troubles to unexpected home repairs and the need to upgrade and replace things now and then, right on over to trips to Disney, countless museums, and living everyday life with the open wonder of a tourist. Oh, and there's Jax too.


Have you seen anything from any of these vloggers? And if so, which one and what did you think of their content? Who are your favorite vloggers, and why? Let me know in the comments - I'd love to hear from you!

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