A Little Bit of Everything

We’ve got lists, we’ve got advice, we’ve got, well, a little bit of everything.

A Little Miyagi Reminder

To continue off of Monday’s post a little…

My mom recently sent me a video of my brother from a few years back when he was speaking at our church. I wrote about it shortly after it happened in this post, but it struck a chord with me as I watched it again and thought it was worth bringing back up.

In his message, my brother talks about The Karate Kid—the original, not the remake, he makes sure to specify—and about the familiar scenes of Mr. Miyagi “training Daniel to fight” by making him wax the car, paint the fence and scrub the floor. And about how, when Daniel blows his top and demands Mr. Miyagi actually teach him how to fight, he realizes, he already had.

Applying this lesson to present day, for a few months now our lives have felt like they were essentially on hold. Many goals we had set for ourselves, dreams we were working towards and plans we had in motion were brought almost to a complete halt. And for many of us, this has not only been discouraging, but at times completely defeating.

I know I feel like I’ve lost a lot of momentum in certain areas of my life, and maybe even taken a few fearful steps backwards when I’d previously been trying to courageously move forward. Sometimes I worry that these months of doing what feels like nothing, learning what feels like nothing, and going what feels like nowhere, have put me on a path I can’t recover from. Like I’ve wasted my time, lost my way, and won’t find my way back in time do what I need to do in order to live a good and successful life.

But then, what if the things I’m doing or places I’m going or things I’m learning, maybe in books, movies, television shows, crafts, yoga, walks around the neighborhood, quiet mornings to myself, YouTube videos, late night talks with my sister, long, honest text conversations with close friends, anything and everything that I’ve been doing over these last few months—maybe it is those things that are shaping me and molding me and teaching me everything I need to know in order to move forward. In order to find that momentum again—maybe in a direction I wouldn’t have gone before, with a perspective I’ve never had before.

There are struggles to be had, both now and in the months to come, but there are benefits to that struggle. There are things we will learn that will help us become who we were meant to be and live the lives we were meant to live.

We are all being Miyagi-ed, even if we can’t see it yet.

A Little Prayer for You (And Me)

Praying has never been my strong suit.

Ever since I was little I have been taught the value, importance, and power in praying, but I have never been a “good” (eloquent, confident, etc.) prayer, especially out loud or in front of other people.

But lately I have been feeling like I want to pray, for those who have faith, for those who don’t, for those who have a different faith or any degree of spirituality, anyone and everyone who might be reading this, or even those who aren’t.

Ironically, after starting this post about a week ago and then getting too nervous to post it, the pastor of my church gave a sermon all about praying. I was caught off guard listening to him, noting how some points he made seemed to directly address the fears I was having, but I was also encouraged to take a step out of my comfort zone, which brings me here today. So, if you, or anyone you know might need prayer, this is for you, and for me, and for all of us trying to find our way through this trying time.

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Dear God,

I know these last few months have been difficult for most of us, some of us more than others. And I know that I am among so many when I say that I am not just scared of what is happening now, but what could happen, tomorrow or the next day or the next—all the days ahead of us that seem so scary and unknown. There is still so much we have to learn, so far we have to go until we can regain a sense of normalcy, and the imposed limitations have begun to feel suffocating. And so, I pray that we can find a sense of peace. A calmness that doesn’t blind us or numb us to the challenges ahead, but keeps us encouraged to work through them and help one another along the way.

I pray for a peace that abides on the frontlines, bringing confidence and endurance to our nurses, doctors, and frontline workers, helping them find strength and encouragement in their work.

I pray for a peace that reaches those struggling with anxiety, depression, addiction, or any number of mental health struggles that may be exacerbated by this pandemic and its side effects.

I pray for a peace that can overshadow the panic and fears associated with losing a job or being unable to do one’s job efficiently, and can provide courage to those who need to ask for help.

I pray for a peace that can heal the hearts of those who have lost a loved one or who don’t get to see their loved ones for fear of putting them at risk.

I pray for a peace that can keep us united, even as we step further into the unknown. And I pray that we can find compassion and strength alongside each other rather than at odds with one another.

I pray for a peace that can illuminate good moments of mundane days. Whether it be a phone call, a successful pastry bake in the kitchen, a sunset, a smile, or a cool breeze.

I pray for a peace that can give us each a long, deep breath, and encourage us to keep going, along with a confidence that there is not only goodness to be found up ahead, but even right here, where we are.

Amen.

In Case You’re Looking for Some Happy

These days I think we should all be on the lookout for things that bring us joy, peace, happiness, or just a break from everything else, and then share those things with our friends, family, or online acquaintances, so that they too can get a little piece of that peace, you know?

So, if you’re in the market for some happy, here are a few places I’ve found some.

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My Puzzle

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Yes, that puzzle that I wrote a fake article about last week. Sure, it brings me moments of great frustration and devastation, but for the most part I absolutely love sitting on the couch on putting it together. It makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something, and it lets me think about nothing for a while.

I’m not sure if my specific puzzle is still available for purchase, but there is an entire section on Amazon of the same brand and they all look great!

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Spring

My sister and I have been trying to go on walks at least once a week, especially now that the weather has been warmer. We’ve walked a different route each time, discovering different parts of our neighborhood and finding all of the pretty houses, gardens, and trees they have to offer. I’ve taken pictures on every walk we’ve gone on and forwarded our findings to our family, these are a few of my favorites:

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This Podcast

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I would recommend this podcast in general because the concept is so simple and so enjoyable to listen to, but this episode in particular is a true DELIGHT. It involves comedian and host Jo Firestone calling her grandparents and asking them to tell her about their day from start to finish, and it is just so wonderful and wholesome and I loved every minute of it.

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This List of Drinks

One of my goals last year was to try every drink on this list of “most iconic drinks in every state.” Sadly, with a busy schedule and, you know, just forgetting, I ended last year having only tried ONE. However, seeing as this is the perfect time to try new things, I pulled the list back out for my sister and I to work through at home. As of now, we’ve tried the “Copperhead” from West Virginia and the “Whiskey Ditch” from Montana, and I look forward to making our way around the rest of the 50 states!

If you’re interested in trying any (or all!) of these drinks, I typed them up in a list you can check out here.

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This Yoga Series

Before all of this, I was a very consistent yoga class attendee, usually trying to make at least one class a week. So when the gyms closed and that option was taken away, I quickly began searching for alternatives. Finding this channel and specifically this 30-Day series (ironically titled “Home”) on YouTube has been such a blessing. The teacher is super sweet and encouraging, and she always has her adorable dog close by. I’ve been doing one or two “classes” per week and it has greatly helped manage my stress and anxiety, and given me a reason to move my body off the couch.

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Dance Church

Speaking of moving my body off the couch: THIS. Dance church is a one hour dance class that you can stream to your living room. And seeing as dancing spastically around my house has always been one of my favorite pastimes, adding minor choreography and dance based strength-training exercises has easily made Dance Church of my favorite parts of the week. Classes stream online every Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. (except for this week, the Wednesday class was postponed until Friday @ 5:00 p.m.) and Sundays at 10:00 a.m. Check it out here!

Things to Do with Alexa in Quarantine

Since we live in a time that is full of technological companions (e.g. Alexa, Siri, Google Home, etc.) and many of us might be finding ourselves with little more than their company these days, I think it’s about time we start utilizing them to their full potential.

This past weekend, as my sister and I were sitting on the couch eating donuts we ordered from our local shop, we decided to talk to Alexa. After buying our Amazon Echo about three years ago, I started getting weekly emails from Amazon that provide a list of fun prompts that you can give Alexa, but I’ve more or less ignored them—until now.

Note: if you have a Google Home, check out both this article and this one for prompts. If you have Siri, check out both this article and this one, and if you have neither, I’d recommend Facetime, Zoom, or, if all else fails, this:

No judgment, times are weird.

Anyway, here are some of our favorite things you can do with Alexa:

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Play Jeopardy

Say: “Alexa, play Jeopardy.”

Each day you are given 12 trivia questions that you have to answer Jeopardy style (what is, where is, who is, etc.) Weekdays you are given extra questions from the same categories showcased in that day’s televised episode, and then Saturdays are College Jeopardy and Sundays (my favorite!) are Sports Jeopardy.

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Play Puzzle of the Day

Say: “Alexa, open Puzzle of the day.”

This is a crossword puzzle that you play in the style of a word game since you don’t have a paper in front of you. Alexa gives you a clue and the number of letters in the answer, and then you try to guess it. If you have trouble, you are able to ask for a letter, but you lose points by doing so—which may not matter to you, or may matter more than anything. I land somewhere in the middle.

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Make Fart Noises

Say: “Alexa, make a fart noise.”

I will just leave this one here.

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Look up the Spelling and/or Definition of a word

Say: “Alexa, spell ______” or “Alexa, what is the definition of _______”

Sure, I could Google it, but she does it faster, and asking almost makes me feel like I’m back in high school with no responsibilities or pandemics to speak of.

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Set a Reminder

Say: “Alexa, remind me to______.”

If you’re working from home, it might be hard to find a good routine, which makes it easy to forget to do things like drink enough water, or take necessary medications, or stop looking at Instagram. That’s where Alexa can come in as an accountability partner. Set reminders, as many as you want, about anything you want. Maybe it’s to put on pants, maybe it’s to refill your water bottle, maybe it’s to go outside, maybe it’s to move to a different section of the couch so you can blob evenly. Whatever you need, she’s there to remind you.

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Use Announce and/or Simon Says

Both of these functions make Alexa repeat something that is being said.

If you say, “Alexa, announce it is time for lunch,” she will play back a recording of you saying, “it’s time for lunch.”

But if you say, “Alexa, simon says it’s time for lunch,” Alexa will say, “it’s time for lunch.”

So it’s really your preference on that one. If you’ve ever wanted to actually hear yourself talk to yourself, now is your chance. Or if you’re someone who lives alone and needs a voice other than your own to whip you into shape, Alexa can do that for you. Again, no judgment.

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Learn Something Weird

Say, “Alexa, tell me something weird.”

Then strap in.

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Hear a 20-second song

Say, “Alexa, sing a song for twenty seconds.”

It has been a widely spread recommendation to (constantly) wash your hands for (at least) twenty seconds. In an effort to make that easier, people have been on the hunt for songs and choruses of songs that are approximately that long so we can get a better idea of the timing. But please look no further than your Alexa, who will sing you a song that (at least when I’ve asked) rhymes and lasts exactly 20 seconds. Also, good luck not having that song stuck in your head.

10 Brackets to Fill Out During Quarantine

In a traditional year, with traditional social interaction, March is usually month full of sports, gambling, and most notably, brackets.

According to this article, the American Gaming Association estimated that a total of 149 million brackets were filled out for the 2019 March Madness tournament, which totaled about $4.6 million dollars in bracket based wagers.

Needless to say, there is a bracket sized hole in many lives this March. The good news is, the people of the internet are here to help. And there is something for everyone!

So, should you find yourself in need to kill some (or lots) of time, why not take a deep dive into opinions you might not even have known you have?

Happy bracketing!

Download Bracket here.

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Download bracket here.

5 Things I’d Do if I Were Rich

When you have a lot of time to yourself, especially a lot of uninterrupted time that you might otherwise be spending out and about, or procrastinating because you have the option to be out and about, you have a lot of time to think. And one thing that tends to happen to me when I have time to think is a lot of daydreaming.

I put myself in different scenarios and live out different lives, all from the comfort of my favorite chair. It’s magical really. Especially when it’s no longer considered detrimental procrastination, but instead successful social distancing.

One thing that I’ve found myself thinking about recently is what I would do if I were rich.

Now, for the sake of a carefree exploration, I’m taking out the option to donate to charity/start a foundation/do anything good and helpful for other people/causes. I’m talking about 100% selfish things I would do if I were rich, had already made successful allocations to worthy causes, and still had boatloads of money left.

This is what I came up with:

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1) Adopt a highway (or 5)

Ever since I was little I loved the idea of having a concrete child made of miles and miles of well maintained, trash free glory. I also like the idea of just writing “Kim” underneath “This highway was adopted by:” because I like to imagine that people driving by would ask, “Who is Kim?” It’s just so vague and mysterious, and I think it would cause the Googling statistics of me and my Kim counterparts to spike.

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2) Become a member

These days it seems like there are so many things to join, so many things to try, so many things to spend money on, but I pass on most all of them because, who has money for that? But if I were rich, I’d just join everything. I like to think it would make me very cultured and inevitably secure me an invite to be a board member of something, making my title upon death be something out of Game of Thrones.

Kim of the house Koehn, blogger under her name, friend to everyone, club member of everywhere, a trier of most everything, she was rich, damnit. May she rest in peace.

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3) Have someone sort my puzzle pieces

My absolute least favorite part of doing puzzles is the initial separating of the pieces. If that isn’t the biggest buzz kill when you are pumped up to PUZZLE. I hate flipping each individual piece over. I hate when you find two pieces that are not quiet separated. I hate when you are setting aside the edge pieces and you come across a few that, even when you hold them up to the light, you can’t tell if they have an edge or not. I just want to get to the good stuff, you know? And by the good stuff I mean the mostly calming though occasionally rage-inducing activity that is puzzle-ing—the verb, not to be confused with the adjective, puzzling. So, if I were rich, I would have someone (who was very well treated and accommodated and loved endlessly) who would separate the pieces for me, and then maybe ring a dainty bell that would suggest, your puzzle is ready, girl. To which, I would come running.

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4) Have someone buy/pick out my clothes

I hate shopping, and if there is anything I hate more than shopping, it’s reviewing my past purchases every morning when I get dressed. It is amazing how excited you can get about something when you try it on in a store, only to find yourself wanting to light it on fire when you pull it out of your closet to wear later. I would love to find myself in a position where I could have a stylist who not only dressed me in cute, comfortable outfits every day, but who knew me so well that they could do all the shopping for me as well. And I don’t just mean with fancy clothes. If they could come home with a very stylish pair of pants and a big cozy hoodie that I could blob out on the couch with, I would give them all my money.

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5) Take a down day

It’s no question that I would travel like mad if money wasn’t a concern. I would double the size of my bucket list and start crossing things off left and right. On top of that, I would make my trips a little longer. Oftentimes I find myself looking for just the right window to travel. When the flight are the cheapest, the hotels are the cheapest and the overall rates are, well, the cheapest. Then, when I get wherever I’m going, I always feel that pressure to go go go immediately upon landing/arriving, because I only have so much time there and I have to make the most of it. If I was rich, I’d always allow myself to have the first day/night, especially after a long day of travel, to just hang out. Maybe order room service at the hotel and go to bed early, or take a long shower, binge eat everything I could find in the vending machine and then go to bed early. Then the next day I could wake up feeling refreshed and actually, truly, ready to go go go.

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What would you do if you were rich?

Note: if you are already wealthy, please consider donating to my “puzzle piece separator fund” it’s a worthy cause.

 

10 Things I Love About Baseball

We are about two weeks into Spring Training, and about two weeks away from the start of the regular season, which has my baseball loving heart soaring. I am once again approaching my happy place: when the notifications on my phone are primarily game scores and player updates, when evening plans can easily be made when my team has a home game, and when frustration with work, life, etc. can be expressed through angrily shouting at poor decisions made by a manager, and terrible calls made by an umpire.

Baseball is BACK, my friends, and since I wrote this post a couple years ago listing my favorite things about football, I thought it was about time I did the same for my favorite sport.

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1) The Season(s)

Since baseball starts in the spring and ends in the fall, the weather is usually pretty glorious, no matter where you might be watching. Sure, it rains sometimes and occasionally gets cold when the sun goes down, but for the better part of the season, baseball gives you the best weather, and calls for the most casual, comfortable clothes in your closet.

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2) The Environment

On average, a baseball game is a minimum of three hours. For some people, this is too long, but for me, it is perfect. Baseball gives you time to relax. To both watch and chat with friends. To eat and drink and laugh and sit in complete, unawkward silence as you listen the sounds of the game, as well as contribute a few of your own. Depending on your home stadium (and how often you go) you are likely to learn a series of “clapping cheers” that the sound booth will cue multiple times throughout the game. Having gone to games since I was little, I was unaware how brainwashed trained I was until I brought a friend to a game who was unfamiliar with baseball, and she asked how she was supposed to know when to clap. I looked at her, bewildered, unaware that it was something I had learned rather than something I was born knowing.

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3) The Food

Again, the specifics on what you will find depends on where you are and what stadium you are visiting, but no matter what, baseball brings out some of the best food in the world.

*pauses for backlash*

*pauses again to signify that I have no interest in arguing this point*

If you don’t believe me, believe Humphrey.

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4) Collective Cheering & Booing

One thing I think we can all agree on is that we, as a world, need to be more united. On grand scale issues, yes, on humanitarian issues, of course, but it can start with the small things. That being said, if you are looking for unity, you’d be hard pressed to find a greater display than that from passionate baseball fans disagreeing with a call that could cost their team the game, or rising to their feet in an effort to cheer their team to victory.

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5) Web Gems

During the season, many sports news outlets create weekly top 10 countdowns of amazing plays, called “web gems.” This is where you see the best of the best in catches, throws, and plays—where fans can agree that this is why they are paying them the big bucks. Do we drastically underestimate how hard the rest of the game is, and thus how impossible these web gems actually are? 100%. But do we give ourselves a break because we have high expectations and can barely afford to buy a second beer? Also, 100%.

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6) Bloopers

On the other side of things, there are also roundups of goofy mistakes made by the players, be it a fall, a drastic miscommunication, or a ball lost in the sun. Personally, I think these demonstrate what most of the population would look like if we tried to play baseball at a professional level, which is why we find these bloopers funny and even endearing, because it’s a reminder that these elite athletes are still human.

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7) Bottom of the 9th, reach for the stars, over the fence, World Series kind of thing

In the classic 1995 Olsen twin film, It Takes Two, this statement is used to describe the feeling of true love. While I adore and respect that usage, I also love its roots. Every baseball player dreams of the once in a lifetime opportunity to become a hero in the 9th inning of a World Series game. Whether that be hitting a home run, making a game winning catch/play, or striking out the last batter of the game. I love that baseball is a game that allows anyone on the team be a hero. Take Kirk Gibson in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, who hobbled to the plate—with two injured legs—to pinch hit, and ended up hitting the game winning home run.

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8) The Nicknames

Like any sport, when a player you like steps into the game, you want to cheer for them, and in cheering for them, you end up coming up with nicknames—sometimes multiple for each player. I would say, at minimum, my family and I have about three nicknames per player, which is useful, because it’s a long season, and sometimes you need to mix it up.

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9) Social Media

A newer addition to this list is the social media presence of teams—especially my team, but I realize I’m biased. I love getting a behind the scenes look at the team. It allows me to better get to know the players and borderline consider them my friends and/or family members. This does make my cheering for them and the outcome of their games much more influential on my overall happiness than it should be, but it’s fine. It’s fun. I love it. And it is glaringly obvious how attached I am to this content when the off-season comes around and my Instagram feed is a barren wasteland.

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10) Dodger Stadium

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Last and the furthest thing from least, Dodger Stadium. This is not only the home of my favorite team, but truly one of my favorite places in the world. I can’t definitively say that it is the best stadium in the world, because I haven’t been to all 30, but even if had/when I do, I know that Dodger Stadium will forever be my favorite because it is where I grew up and where my team plays.

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Go Dodgers!

10 Newsletters to Consider Adding to Your Inbox

If you’re like me, one of the first things you do when you wake up is check your email. Even though it’s probably going to be full of advertisements. Maybe a coupon for your favorite online retailer that you definitely shouldn’t click on but you do anyway. That one email from a company you’ve never heard of and are concerned as to how and why they are emailing you about a trip to the Bahamas that is definitely a scam waiting to happen. And then there’s the work emails that you’d rather not read because then the work day is actually starting.

Our inboxes have become just like our mailboxes: full of (mostly) junk. Sometimes so much junk that it’s hard to differentiate the non junk amongst it all, and you end up missing that meeting that was definitely mandatory and started 20 minutes ago.

But much like our closets in the spring, our inboxes can be cleaned, organized, and filled only with things we love (or need). So, in case you’re looking for a tune up, I’ve gathered some of my favorite newsletters that all brighten my day in one way or another.

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For the Religious/Spiritual Person

1) The Monday Club

Frequency: Once a week (Every Monday)

Sign up here.

Created by blogger and author, Hannah Brencher, this dose of inspiration always starts my week off on a good note. I love that each message clearly comes from the heart, not solely to teach you, but to relate to you and remind you that you are not alone in your struggles.

2) Cathe Laurie Devotional

Frequency: Once a week (Every Wednesday)

Sign up here.

I tend to struggle with devotionals that are very wordy and longwinded, but Cathe’s are always quick, meaningful, and to the point.

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For Anyone Who Loves Good News

3) Goodnewsletter

Frequency: Every other week.

Sign up here.

You know I’m always looking for good things to add to my monthly “All the Good Things” post, and this is one of the many sources I use to help me find those bursts of good. I also love that each email includes a “do good” brand that highlights a company making positive change.

Note: they also do print version called the Goodnewspaper that you can sign up for here.

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For the Foodies

4) Food Network Recipe of the Day

Frequency: Every day (usually in the morning)

Sign up here.

This is as inspiring as it is mouthwatering, and honestly seeing it in my inbox right after morning break is borderline torture. But I’ve found a ton of good recipes, both that I’ve made and that I’ve saved so I can request people make them for me—like these brownies.

5) Postmates

Frequency: Seemingly every minute of the day

Sign up here.

I’m not going to lie, Postmates borderline harasses you with their email updates. And as someone who is actively trying to save money, this is NOT HELPFUL. However, on the days when I do cave and want to order in, it’s nice to know I have a coupon waiting for me.

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For Anyone Looking to be In the Know

6) Next Draft

Frequency: Every weekday

Sign up here.

I have gone through a number of different newsletters that gather up daily news updates, but this is by far my favorite. It is a good combination of news, from politics to sports to tech to humor. There’s a little bit of everything, which I like because depending on the day, I never know what I’m in the mood for.

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For the Wordies

8) Merriam Webster Word of the Day

Frequency: Every day

Sign up here.

As a writer, it’s probably no surprise that I love words. And so it’s definitely no surprise that I’d be subscribed to a newsletter that teaches you a new one every day. I might not commit them all to memory, but I like to know what’s out there.

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For the Writers

9) Submittable

Frequency: Once a week

Sign up here.

I mentioned this newsletter in this post I wrote about resources for bloggers. This is probably one of my longest standing subscriptions and I still enjoy it and get a lot out of it. Each email gives you a list of noteworthy articles, followed by a number of submission (and sometimes even job) opportunities.

10) Opportunities of the week

Frequency: Once a week

Sign up here.

This is my newest find, but I’m very excited about its potential. I’ve been looking more into freelancing, and I’ve read a number of articles full of resources on how to get started. One of them led me to this newsletter that is a packed with opportunities for writers of all types. The newsletter does cost money, and offers tiers of membership between $1-$3 per month, but there is also the opportunity to become a sponsored member where another member of the community can offer to pay for your slot.

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Have any newsletters that you would recommend?

My Google Search History (Part 5)

Something terrible has happened.

And by terrible, I mean unhealthy.

Apparently Apple has increased the limit for the number of internet windows you are allowed to have open at one time, which has caused me, my Googling habits and my search window hoarding to spiral out of control.

While trying to figure out what I wanted to write for my blog this week, I thought, I haven’t done a Google Search History post in a while. And then I opened the internet on my phone to find upwards of 75 windows open.

Hey, the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

Plus, I like to think I can avoid some judgment by saying that many of those windows were UPS tracking on packages that were coming to my house—though that could also open a new discussion about online shopping, so we won’t go there.

After scrolling through and closing most of my open windows, these were some of my favorite searches from the last eight months or so:

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1) Chris Harrison Net Worth

Why I Googled this: This man takes over most of my Monday nights throughout the year with the best-worst show on television. His job consists of wearing suits, making rose puns and declaring every season of his show as “the most dramatic season EVER.” So naturally, I wanted to know what the guy is worth. For anyone else who is curious: it’s 12 million dollars. 

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2) This bridezilla story

Why I Googled this: I came across this insane story one day and I remember purposefully keeping the window open so that I could copy, paste and send the link to absolutely everyone I could work it into a conversation with.

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3) Desserts at Dodger Stadium

Why I Googled this: During baseball season, Dodger Stadium is practically a second home for my sister and I, and that 7th inning stretch comes in HOT with its sugar cravings. This website was a clutch find for more than just dessert cravings, as it gave us the lowdown on all kinds of eats around the stadium, including carne asada nachos and fried oreos.drooling-face_1f924

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4) Ashlee Piper Little Black Book

Why I Googled this: Last year I read a book called Give a Sh*t: Do Better, Live Better, Save the Planet and in it the author, Ashlee Piper, gave a link to a specific page on her website that provides a list of her favorite “eco-ethical, cruelty-free, animal-friendly products and resources.” I’m someone who wants to be more eco-conscious and so I was excited to find a list like this that can direct me in making more eco-friendly purchases.

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5) That Peloton commercial

Why I Googled this: I mean, I had to know what all the fuss was about.

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6) “Dramatic effect”

Why I Googled this: Do you have those words that for whatever reason you can’t remember the correct spelling and/or use of? I always struggle with past vs. passed (among others) and my sister struggles with affect vs. effect. One day she texted me asking if “dramatic effect” was correct and I quickly said, “yes!” but then double checked my work because suddenly I forgot everything I ever knew about the English language.

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7) Starbucks sizes

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Why I Googled this: I am not a coffee drinker, and it is a rare occasion that I ever find myself at Starbucks without an experienced coffee companion. However, one cold morning I decided to do some writing at a Starbucks before hitting a yoga class and I found myself craving a hot chocolate. Not wanting to look like a complete idiot (or accidentally order a five gallon bucket of hot chocolate) I did a quick search to remind me which size I was looking for. (image credit)

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8) “10 best inexpensive hair dryers”

Why I Googled this: I’d reached a point with my hair dryer where I wondered not if but when it was going to spontaneously burst into flames, and so I thought it was in my best interest to buy a new one before that happened. After looking around, I ended up settling on the InfinitiPro by Conair and I have been loving it!

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9) Homemade warm compress

Why I Googled this: I got my wisdom teeth out last week and it was recommended to me by the doctor to ice for the first 24 hours and then apply warm compresses to reduce the swelling. Having gone into the surgery with little to no planning, I didn’t have any warm compresses, so I took to Google in the hopes that I could make one. Thankfully this one was quick, easy, and it didn’t involve sending my sister to the store (again).

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10) Easy overnight oats

Why I Googled this: I had long been looking for an easy, make ahead breakfast that I could feel good about eating. Not being a fan of oatmeal, I brushed recipes for overnight oats aside, but then I eventually reached a point where I decided I might as well give it a shot. Ever since that *shot*, I have made the “base” recipe (+ a handful of chocolate chips) from this website countless times. It is delicious, filling and always comes through when I’m running late in the morning.

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And there we have it! Let us all rest easy knowing that I am no longer hoarding open search windows (for now) and pretend for a moment that I’ll get better at not doing so in the future. It’s a nice thought, isn’t it?

 


 

You can read the previous version of this series here.

10 Things I Can’t Live Without

After watching this video on GQ’s YouTube channel, which asks famous personalities to list “10 things they can’t live without”, my sister and I decided to sit down and figure out what our 10 would be.

To let the conversation flow, I hit record on my phone and we just talked freely—which, listening back, was both the greatest and worst decision I ever made. It’s hard listening to your own voice. So hard at times that you are forced to wonder, people listen to me on a daily basis? But it was also hilarious to hear us go from on topic, to sitting in complete silence, to discussing something completely random, to getting back on track seamlessly. I think we’re practically podcasters now.

Before I get into the answers we came up with, Natalee wanted me to include the following disclaimer: If it was appropriate, my dog would be #1-10.”

Shout out to Laycee, who made her debut as a writer in this post.

Now, onto the answers.

*recording starts with me making a passionate statement about why I can’t delete a particular app on my iPhone* 

“Yeah,” Natalee says right before both of us start eating chips, making the recording sound like an accidental dive into ASMR.  

“Okay,” I say, “what do you think your essentials would be?”

 

10 Things Natalee Can’t Live Without

1) Salt & vinegar chips

They’re just the perfect snack. You can overeat them but you won’t hate yourself unless you burn your mouth, and you can find them in other countries. For example, it was my snack of choice and I ate it for many meals when we were in Europe.

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2) My planner

This is for two reasons: 1) I would never remember anything because there are way too many things in my brain all the time, and 2) There is nothing better than crossing something off when you’ve done it.

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3) Glasses/Sunglasses

I mean, I’m a blind bitch without them.

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4) An extra large crewneck sweatshirt.

Simple answer. You gotta have something that lets you live in it.

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5) Gum

One minty flavor and one fruity flavor for—depending on what you need at the moment. Is it fresh breath or pretending you’re not starving?

 

6) Chapstick

I put that shit on all day, every day.

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7) Chipotle (with Cholula)

How can I even explain this bond? I just…no one feels the way I feel about Chipotle, and almost nothing can’t be made better by Cholula. So when they come together it’s hard to have a bad day.

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8) White Converse

Me: You have those slip-on kind, I’ve never seen anyone else wear those.

Natalee: (smugly) I’m different.

Me: (singing) I’m different, yeah, I’m different.

Natalee: Let’s talk about my shoe journey, though. It started with white shoes, the color changing ones that turned baby blue in the sun—wow, the sun could be one of my essentials.

Me: The sun is everyone’s essential, it keeps all of us alive.

Natalee: Not more than me…but anyway back to the shoe journey. After those shoes I wore Vans slip-ons that Ad drew on. (Check out our friend Ad Allegretti’s art) and then I got to high school, found white converse and never went back.

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9) A scrunchie

You need your hair out of your face 99% of the time, and there’s no better way to do it than looking like Cher from Clueless.

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10) Coffee

It’s the Lord’s drink. He gave it to us, so we can survive our time on Earth before we join Him in Heaven.

10 Things I Can’t Live Without

1) My Hydroflask

Me: I’m trying to think if there’s a snack for me. The only thing I can think of is…water.

Natalee: Yeah, one of yours would be your Hydroflask.

Me: (and this killed me to listen back to) Yeah, cuz like it’s like literally on my hip all the time.

Me while editing: We get it, Kim. You’re from the valley.

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2) My notebook (with a good pen)

This is where I take down all my notes, ideas, lyrics I like, things I want to try, or basically anything I want to remember.

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3) Headphones

Me: (being minorly dramatic) I honestly don’t think I’d survive the workday, a workout, or any kind of traveling without headphones.

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4) A jacket

Me: I mean, I guess I could technically say this jacket (which was a maroon zip up hoodie that I wear almost everyday at work) but it would really just be a jacket of any kind.

Natalee: Yeah, mine is specifically a giant sweatshirt.

Me: Mine is whatever I can find, even if it’s not mine.

Me while editing: Wow, fellow jacket owners beware.

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5) Google

Me: (laughs with a little bit of shame) I mean…I need to know stuff.

Natalee: I can’t even address how many windows you have open all the time.

Me: Yeah, I looked today and even I was a little bit alarmed.

Natalee: There are too many. There is such thing as too many.

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6) My rings

Unless I am at work, I am always wearing two rings. One on my left middle finger with my birthstone that my mom gave me, and one on my right ring finger that used to belong to my Aunt Evelyn (who I wrote about here.)

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7) My necklace

Me: Does this count though? I hardly ever take it off so it’s not like I’m choosing to wear it.

Natalee: Well you choose not to take it off.

Me: True…

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8) Oil wipes

Low key embarrassing but true.

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9) “Mary Poppins” purse

I make it a habit to always fill my purse with things that could help out anyone in (almost) any situation. Thus, I’m always packing hand lotion, Chapstick, Advil, a first aid kid, etc.

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10) Flavor of the month

Me: (at the beginning of this whole conversation) Do I have a go-to snack?

Me: (10 minutes in) What is a snack that I can’t live without?!

Me: (20 minutes in) Oh my gosh, I don’t have a go-to snack. What is my go-to snack? This is a part of my identity that I need to know.

Natalee: I feel like you’re a snack cycler.

Me: (floored by this) Oh my gosh, I-I go through snack phases.

*Natalee lists four of my recent snack phases*

Me: Yeah, wow, yeah.

Natalee: Honestly, this part of you could be a whole other blog post.

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So, there you have it.

If you ever wanted to know me and my sister on a survival level, this is us.

I encourage you to think about what your 10 would be. It’s actually harder than you might think.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to find my new snack phase.