Monthly Favorites: October 2015

MonthlyAs I was thinking about what I wanted to write about this week, I thought that starting a new favorites series would be a great way to give my monthly recommendations all in one post. There were many things that I loved about the month of October, and I’m excited to share them all with you!

Favorite Movie:

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On October 10th I attended a 3D showing of the movie The Martian. This movie was based off of the book by Andy Weir, and surprisingly I saw the movie before reading the book. Usually I never do this, however, I was given a unique perspective through doing so. The movie was very well produced, and kept my attention the entire time. It was a long film, but was well-balanced with both plot development and action sequences. Matt Damon has played many roles over the course of his career, and he was able to embody the humor and the conflict within the character of Mark Watney. I have never been a huge fan of the sci-fi or space movie genre, but this movie was truly exceptional. Later in the month, I read the book that it was based on and realized how similar the two were. Typically, the book and movie differ in quite significant ways. However, in this instance, the book and the movie were very cohesive. The plot of the movie did not deviate much from the plot of the book, and I enjoyed both the written story and the film version.

Favorite App

I was browsing through the Google Play store, and I came across an App called Forest. This app is for time management, and adds a unique concept to apps that attempt to control smartphone usage. In recent years, smartphones have become both enhancers and destroyers of productivity. While they are useful for finding information in times when a computer is not available, they provide us with constant access to the world of texting and social media.Screenshot_2015-10-27-22-14-16 As such, work often ends up taking much longer than it reasonably should. Many people, myself included, check their smartphone every few minutes out of habit. Often, I will use it to check the time. However, usually I will find a new notification and waste even more time. Seeing as this is a problematic situation for effective studying, I was looking for an app that could help me with my smartphone time management. I stumbled upon Forest, and have found it to be an incredibly useful app. The basic concept is that you are given a tree seed to grow and nurture. The only way to make your tree grow is to keep the app activated and not use other apps while the tree is growing. When you open the app, you have the option of selecting the duration of your smartphone break. The shortest time available is 10 minutes (in which you grow a shrub), and the longest time is 2 hours (in which you grow a tree). Once you set the timer, you must leave your phone alone. If you fail to do so, your tree or shrub dies. Screenshot_2015-10-27-22-13-16This is a very unique app in that it provides incentive for taking a smartphone break. You earn coins and build a forest with every goal completed, and can buy new tree types with your earned coins to diversify your forest. If you have an android phone, I highly recommend this app! Unfortunately, I do not think it is available through the Apple App Store.

Favorite Song:

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My favorite song of the month is actually an album. I was thinking through what songs I listened to the most, and realized that Demi Lovato’s new album Confident included all of those songs. I have listened to her music in the past, but none of her albums struck me as much as this one did. All of the songs in this album are very diverse, with different styles and messages. I absolutely love her main song, Confident. It has a great beat, and is a great work out song. I also love Old Ways, Stars, and Yes. She demonstrates her vocal talent with this album, and I have not been able to stop listening to it!

Favorite Warm Drink:

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As some of you may know, coffee is a favorite of mine no matter the season. This is especially true in the winter, however, with the crisp air and snowy mornings. My favorite warm drink of the month is Horchata, which is a drink originally from Mexico. It is usually made with almond milk (and crushed almonds at times) and sweetened with cinnamon, sugar, vanilla, and rice. The result is a foamy drink that is perfect for winter mornings! It also has a minimal amount of caffeine, which makes it the perfect bedtime beverage too. 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this month’s favorites, and I look forward to sharing my November favorites with you! What were your favorites this month? Let me know in the comments!

© The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.

 

 

 



  • Diane DeBella

    Love the Forest app! I had never heard of it.