4 of my favorite things to do on the computer (that have nothing to do with beauty or blogging) | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

06 March, 2015

4 of my favorite things to do on the computer (that have nothing to do with beauty or blogging)


I'm one of those people who has a lot of different hobbies. Probably too many. A full-time dabbler, if you will. I spend a lot of time on the computer due to work and this blog, so you'd think I might be sick of looking at screens at the end of the day, but nope! A lot of my other interests are computer-related too. (The fact that I still don't need glasses is kind of amazing, honestly.) Today I thought it would be fun to do a "getting to know you" type post and introduce you to a few of my non-beauty/non-blogging computer-related interests, inspired by the four "modes" of the HP x360 convertible PC: Laptop, Tablet, Tent and Stand.

#BendTheRules #ThatBassTour Hp x360 13.3 inch

Do we have any of these interests in common? Let me know in the comments!

TENT MODE: Scouring the internet for foodie inspiration.

I love to cook, and over the years I've managed to actually get sort of good at it. Things weren't always this way though—even just ten years ago I was barely able to produce anything edible. When my friends came over, I would make beef and bean chili and brownies from box mix every time because that was about the extent of my culinary abilities. I gradually taught myself to cook by reading cookbooks, watching television programs, and practicing. Nowadays I tend to make up my own recipes, but I still find cooking websites really great for inspiration, especially when I'm in situations like "What do I do with this extra six pounds of green beans that Stan brought home for no reason?" Tent Mode is great for those times when you want to actually follow a recipe to a T, because you can easily stand up the HP x360 in your kitchen and glance at the screen without having to keep touching and grabbing the keyboard with your dirty fingers.

Oh, and the advent of streaming video has also been amazing for my cooking education and inspiration. If there's a technique or type of food I want to learn more about, it's very likely that someone more experienced than I am has made a video about that, and seeing a hands-on demo is often far more instructive than reading about how to do something in a book.

Speaking of streaming video....

STAND MODE: Watching movies. So, so many movies.

I've been a movie buff for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid I used to drag around the Leonard Maltin movie encyclopedia with me everywhere and make lists of movies I wanted to see... yes, I was a bit of a weirdo, but being a weirdo worked for me. Of course back then, it took a bit of effort to track some of those films down. Remember video rental stores? And how it cost a lot of money if you wanted to rent several movies? And how if your local video store didn't have the movie you wanted, you would have to call other places nearby to see if they had it? And sometimes none of them would? Major stress for a young film enthusiast.

Flash forward to 2015: About 90% of the films I go looking for are now available to stream instantly online, at the click of a button, and are totally legit. What is this sorcery?! Not to mention that it's easier then ever to get access to international films and television. On one hand I'm sort of bummed that the magic of streaming video didn't exist when I was a kiddo, but hey, I'm certainly getting my fill now. In any case, Stand Mode is great for watching movies online because it gets the keyboard out of your line of vision and allows you to prop the HP x360 up practically anywhere! I'm fortunate enough to own an actual television set, but if I lived in a smaller place it would actually make a good TV replacement.

TABLET MODE: Literature and language. Like a PB&J sandwich for your brain.

I suppose literature and language study should be classified as two separate interests, but they're deeply connected for me. I enjoy reading all sorts of things casually—everything from classics to essays to cheesy romance novels (ooh la la). After I finished college, I ended up enrolling in graduate program for literature and fiction writing, but once I got there I suddenly found myself a lot more interested in attempting to translate the French novels we were supposed to be reading English translations of. Always wanting to do the thing you're not supposed to, I guess. I was responsible and did graduate (yay!), but I still find myself reverting to those habits when I'm trying to avoid working, haha. I've been studying Korean very casually since 2011, and I find that my vocabulary grows the most rapidly when I'm feeling stressed out. (This could also have to do with a sudden increase in Korean film-watching. All of my diversions are connected!)

I think Tablet Mode on the HP x360 might be my favorite mode of all, because it makes reading e-books a snap. Especially textbooks with diagrams that are harder to read on smaller screens. Success!

LAPTOP MODE: Oh yeah, writing. I still do that too.

The original, the classic. Remember how I mentioned creative writing classes a minute ago? Well, I still sort of do that in my spare time too. I've learned over the years that I get more enjoyment out of writing things like scripts and interactive games than regular old short stories, but once in a while I'll find some random writing prompts on the internet and just let whatever weird ideas are lurking in my mind out onto the screen. This process is very cathartic—I recommend trying it even if you have no interest in writing stories. I do wonder what will happen to these "brain dump" type writing files after I die though—whoever finds them will either have a good laugh or think I was totally nuts.

So here's my question for you: What are your favorite things to do on the computer besides blogging (if you blog)? Do you share any of my interests? Which of the HP x360 modes would you use the most? Let me know in the comments! Also, HP is currently on the road with Meghan Trainor for "That Bass Tour", so be sure to check out the tour page for more info and to see behind-the-scenes footage as it happens!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by HP, however any opinions expressed above are honest and my own. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy. #BendTheRules #ThatBassTour


  1. Aside from blogging I love making gifs for Tumblr. I help run a fanblog (so I guess it's kind of blogging? But not really) for Chicago Fire and we make gif requests for people. That and I just like farting around on Pinterest. I've been eyeing a multipurpose device like this one for a while but cant quite justify the purchase. It looks like a lot of fun, though!

  2. I use it a lot for ebay (story of my life, finding craft inspiration and messing around with ideas, always on the look out for positive Detroit articles too, I drink though up, especially if they are about local food places!v Just to add to my never ending to eat at list :)

  3. I love blogging but I still haven't fully immersed myself in Tumbler. Farting around on Pinterest is something I definitely understand though, lol. Anyway, I'm digging the multi-purposeness of this gizmo! Mostly because I'm lazy and like being able to fold up my computer into a tablet so I can bring it to bed with me, heh. :)

  4. Oh yeah, restaurant browsing is definitely something I do too! We end up cooking at home more often though. I still like to drool over pictures of amazing-looking food that other people made though, lol.

  5. Aside from blogging and beauty related things, I love looking up fitness related articles about how to increase strength. I really like streaming movies and tv shows on my tablet, too.

  6. I've been reading a bunch of fitness-related articles lately too, though I'm out of shape so a lot of it is wishful thinking, haha. I've been doing Pilates videos that I found on the internet... now that I have a smart TV I can beam them right to that though, which is pretty cool!


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