My Betterish vlogs on YouTube have always used the same intro and outro, featuring a funky little remix smushing together a Coldplay song and a YingYang Twins song. Yes, both of these original tracks are copyrighted, but the remixed version was not. It always passed detection, and my use of under 30 seconds also fell under the fair-use guidelines.
So, imagine my surprise when–minutes after uploading this vlog and its corresponding vlog and posting out the links on social media–YouTube alerted me that my intro only failed copyright, and thus the video was not available in many countries.
All of my previous videos remained okay, and the outro on this video did, too. In fact, it was only a 15-second chunk from the middle of the intro that was flagged! YouTube gave me an option to replace the flagged content with one of their generic songs, and I chose to do so since the link had already been blasted out everywhere.
The result was less-than-desireable, to say the least.
To avoid this issue again, I decided to pitch-shift the audio on both my intro and my outro to avoid detection in future videos. This is a quick and easy process to do in any video editing program as a means to avoid copyright-bots from false-flagging content. Here is a video walkthrough on how to do this:
A written guide is as follows 🙂
Import your audio file into a video editing program. I use Vegas Pro 13, but programs like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro are also great options.
Select the audio file, and choose a “pitch shifting” edit option for it
There should be a box in your program to “retain length”. Enable this so your track is not sped up or slowed down.
Now, raise or lower your audio track by 1 pitch. I’d listen to it both ways and see which you like better. Pop and indie songs tend to sound better raised up, while rock and rap songs tend to sound better raised down.
Save this track, along with the footage for your production, by rendering out the audio! Congratulations!
Zach and I decided on our son’s godparents fairly early into the pregnancy, but we didn’t want to ask too early. Apparently, this timing is all based on personal preference anyway.
Some websites we looked at suggested the sooner the better, while others recommended waiting until your child was around 3 months old. We decided to ask around the time I started my third trimester, as that seemed like a good timing to us. Two weeks prior to this landmark was Thanksgiving, so we chose to bump up the proposals to fit in with this week of gratuity.
When it came down to how many godparents, that also seemed to be based on personal preference. Some people we know have two, others none, some five. The Internet told us that anywhere between one and nine was acceptable, so we went with two women and two men…all of whom have become treasured friends of ours of more than a decade.
Our son has two wonderful aunts and two wonderful uncles from Zach’s family, and we felt that these four individuals would also accent the family well…creating a loving, intelligent, and moral circle of influence to ensure that my son grows up to be the best, like no one ever was.
Each of the four was to receive a special gift and a personalized card. I wound up personally designing the cards thanks to a shipping fiasco that I outlined in this blog post, and they turned out great! In hindsight, it was a blessing that my cards arrived late because the ones I designed were even more personal, so my annoyance became a win-win 🙂
Three out of four of the proposals are featured in my Betterish Vlog below, and I will also introduce you all to each of the four in text-form following that!
Anyone who’s watched my social media for long enough knows that Lee and I are essentially sisters. Five years my junior, we originally met at the same elementary school, and then we met again years later when she was a preteen who began shopping at my retail store when I was a senior in high school. She eventually grew older and became my associate at that store…as well as my best friend.
We are both only children, and I think that helped our sisterly relationship grow. My mother and her father have accepted this and welcome us as respective additional members of the family, while my father and her mother straight-up refer to us both as their daughters!
Not only is she my partner-in-crime, my confidant, my business mate, my BFFL, my Matron-Of-Honour (and I was her MOH as well), and many other descriptors that I could name, but she thrives around children. She is one of the few people that I feel comfortable leaving my son with, and seeing how committed she already is in regards to teaching him life skills and culinary skills makes this decision a no-brainer.
My other Matron-Of-Honour, another of my closest confidants, my bestie, my magical girl partner, and one helluva great mother already, Crissy was also a no-brainer for godmother to my baby boy. She’s been in my life for a decade now and is a walking-distance neighbour (we even bought our homes at the same time!). I am also super close to her husband, son, and adorable fluffy dog, so it’s a family affair for sure 🙂
Crissy has already been a huge help to Zach and I throughout this pregnancy, helping us with any questions we have, and supporting us along the way. She was the first person I showed my positive test to, with Lee following a minute later!
Crissy is one of the other few people I am comfortable enough to leave my son with without me having a day of anxiety, and I can’t wait to watch her nurture my boy and watch our sons grow up together. Fun fact: Her son is a March baby, too! Double the parties, double the fun!
Tony was one of the first friends that I met as an incoming freshman to Bellarmine University waaay back in 2008. He was an upperclassman who wandered past my table with a Sonic The Hedgehog hat on his head while I mentioned Yu-Gi-Oh. He did a 180, legit sat down at my table, and said, “…did you just say Yu-Gi-Oh?”
From there, we proceeded to keep showing up at the same events somehow. The 18-year-old goth weeb and the 24-year-old fitness weeb. We would lock eyes and go “YOU?!” in hilarious fashion, even legitimately on random vacations out of town! As such, we quickly became friends.
Tony has become a strong role model in my life as a successful man of colour who also embraces his nerdy side. He also helped to motivate me to see the land of the #FitFam and has applauded my accolades (especially my determination to stay fit while pregnant!) As such, he describes me as Nega-Tony, his female alter ego, especially now that I am 30 and not the random goth child crashing his parties all the time😂 And when I think of a strong male role model for my son–other than his own father, uncles, and grandparents of course–, Tony is a must!
I met Jason around the same time that I met Tony and re-met Lee. He is Lee’s older brother, as well as a minister! Fun fact: he was the minister that wed Lee and her husband, as well as me and Zach 🙂 I would go to Lee’s house after classes in 2008, and Jason would be there. I’d then go to some random event in town, and Jason would be there beside Tony. It’s funny how the world works!
Jason is Zach’s best friend (or “Buddddddieeeeeee!”, as they call each other) and another great influence in my life. While my life is normally some degree of chaos, Jason is a master of stopping me when I am too wound up or threatening world-destruction and will calmly say, “Is it your problem? Is it really your problem? Then, relax and step to the side, because it is not your problem.” And, you know what? It’s good to separate from the fray sometimes. He then supplies me with donuts and pretzels, which is wonderous.
I have no clue who is going to perform the godparent ceremony now because Jason and Tony (the two ministers I know) are both godfathers. Maybe they can just do it anyway😂 But I can’t imagine my son not being able to have a “Godfather Bear” in his life to show him the quiet side of things, keep up up-to-date with comics and game news, and teach him the ways of the wrestling world!
One thing that I am thankful for with my pregnancy is that I haven’t had crazy hormones. It makes me feel justified that when I do get angry or upset, it is within reason. However, sometimes, I can admit that I am still over-reacting just a sliiiight bit. Such as spending days raging over a shipping delay during a holiday week.
Here’s the sitch: I ordered two sets of godparent proposal cards from Amazon early Friday morning. They had next-day delivery, and I planned to hand-deliver them to each godparent Sunday. I went out and got cute bags and a personalized gift for each, so all that I’d need to do is to slide the card into the bag. I also planned to vlog the entire thing as well. It would be perfect.
Haha, if only it went as planned 🤦🏾♀️
The delivery was late. I got a notification that it would be delivered within a few days and normally the following day. No biggie; I’m enough of an Amazon junkie that I expected the delivery early Sunday morning. I’d had Zach fill out his blurb before he went to work and still be able to deliver our proposals.
As I am writing this, the bloody box is still in Nashville. It has apparently left and been returned to Nashville’s UPS shipping department 4 times. So, you can say that I’m a bit heated. My plans are ruined!
So, after fuming for most of today (Monday, as I write this) and refreshing my delivery status like a madwoman, I decided that, y’know what…I’m a creative woman. I’ve always been. Why wait for who knows how long and twiddle my thumbs when I can simply make my own cards??
This was the fun and easy part, but some design knowledge and a program like Adobe Photoshop is needed. You can also use Pixlr in lieu of Photoshop, which is essentially Photoshop-lite.
To get started, create a 5×7 inch workspace in Photoshop to match the size of your eventual card.
Next, design your card! This can be however you’d like it to be. I recommend making it more cutesy on the outside, and you can include a more sentimental message inside the card specific to each godparent.
I added a cute poem and left a spot underneath for a cute reveal section underneath the poem. I saved two copies: one for godmother and one for godfather.
Lastly, I found a cute, free background and added it to the card. I reduced the opacity to 72% so that it did not distract from the overall poem and request.
After this, I saved both versions of the cards! Be sure to save both as .jpg files in high quality.
Getting The Cards Printed
Walgreens to the rescue! Walgreens is my go-to for card printing and photo printing. Not only are they fast with high-quality, but they almost always have a discount code available for your prints 🙂
I went to the Baby Cards section and chose the option to upload my own 5×7 design for $2.99. Muuuuch cheaper than the variant I’d purchased from Amazon!
It was super easy to import my designs into their card editor:
For the interior, I selected a plain white background for both sides, since Zach and I plan to add a personalized note inside of each card. On the back, I used a white background with a photo of my son at his 23-week ultrasound and his full name below it in pretty text.
I upgraded the cardstock, making each card $3.99 a pop, and I was all set! I applied my coupon code and paid a whopping $6.38 for same-day printing that would be finished within 25 minutes.
Seriously. Why didn’t I do this from the beginning?
Buffalo chicken dip is my most-beloved of all dips. Unfortunately, most of the ones that you get from restaurants are loaded with unnecessary calories and fats! This doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to indulge every so often, but it’s thankfully easy to create your own homemade variant to reduce your levels of guilt.
My buffalo chicken dip has been a staple at potlucks and parties for a good five years now, and it is commonly demanded as the dish that I bring as soon as “potluck” leaves someone’s mouth. Many of the ingredients are “lighter” versions of what restaurants use, leaving this as a tasty treat for any day of the week!
Lloyd’s Seasoned Shredded BBQ Chicken (16oz)
Buffalo wing sauce (8oz)
Blue cheese dressing (8oz)
Neufchatel cheese (8oz)
Mozzarella cheese (8oz)
Start by preheating your oven to 450F,
Spray some olive oil in a baking dish, and add the Lloyd’s shredded chicken.
Pour in your wing sauce (you choose the heat level!) and blue cheese dressing.
Dump on the mozzarella cheese, and finally place the neufchatel cheese on top.
Using a tablespoon, stir everything together for around 1 minute. It is okay if things are still lumpy and not perfectly mixed!
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove promptly from oven, and stir mixture again. Here is when things really mix!
Let sit for 5 minutes, and enjoy with celery or blue chips 🙂
I am fine with them being outside where they belong. Want an invite to the cookout? Sure thing, fly! But I hate, hate, hate when they come to visit your home.
No matter how clean a home is, flies will come to visit at some point each year. It’s baffling and annoying. Sometimes, I just yell at them, “What on earth are you even feeding on?!” But they don’t respond. They just keep lilting around in the air, pissing me off, and terrorizing my curious pets.
The other day, one flew onto my keyboard right as I was closing my laptop and got smushed by my screen. I was not happy, to say the least.
While it seems easy to simply spray Raid at the offending flies until they die, sending a plume of chemicals into the air is not recommended if you have young children or indoor pets, or if the flies are buzzing around in your kitchen. Children and pets and cooking appliances all necessitate the need for a more eco-friendly solution.
Apple cider vinegar.
I know, I know. Apple cider vinegar is everywhere as some sort of mythical, magical solution for everything from cleaning to weight loss. The thing is…it kind of is. Apple cider vinegar is an excellent multi-use product that honestly everyone should have in their home. And don’t grab the cheapo stuff either; go for the authentic Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar With Mother. It’s still very low in price and worth every penny.
“So, how does this stuff help to get rid of my flies, AngieChu?” Well, it’s very simple. All that you need are a few easy ingredients:
Apple Cider Vinegar
See? Easy peasy, and things that you likely already have in your home 🙂
Pour some of the apple cider vinegar into the bottom of the jar. I usually put around one centimeter’s worth. Next, put a smidgen of the dish soap. Yes, a smidgen. If you need something more accurate, use a few drops. This makes the surface of the liquid slick.
Then, place some aluminum foil over the top of the lid and wrap it tightly around the jar. Use your toothpick to poke some holes into the aluminum foil, so that the flies have a way to fly inside of the jar. If you are like me and rarely have toothpicks in your home, a prong of a fork is also a great tool for making these holes. If you are dealing with tiny flies, tiny holes are needed. If you have fat flies, the holes need to be a bit larger.
Now, place your jar near where the flies tend to congregate and wait. This isn’t an immediate solution; you will likely not see any drowned flies within the first few hours. The flies will notice the sweetness of the apple cider vinegar right away, but they aren’t feeling risky…just yet.
I normally wait until the following morning and then check, and there is normally a fly graveyard in the jar. Some flies will still be chilling on the sides of the jar inside, but many will be floating in your death concoction. Leave the jar for another day to capture as many dumb flies as possible.
I highly recommend using a disposable jar, like a spaghetti sauce jar. This way, you can just add another layer of foil to the top to cover the holes and pitch the entire thing into the trash when you’re done. If you use a nice jar, dump the death juices, scrub the jar with a scrub brush, and then run it through a hot dishwasher. I’d still be hesitant to eat out of that jar again, so I advise you to just use a crappy, cheap jar so that you can pitch it when you’re done and avoid having fly ghosts making their spooky homes within your next meal.
Have you ever tried the apple cider vinegar method to rid your home of flies, or is there a different sort of eco-friendly method that you use for ridding your home of flies? Feel free to share your methods below in the comments!