17 (More) Things that Inspired Me This Year (List-Cember #3)

Last year I decided to make this a bi-annual post, so I can have two editions of all the happy, cozy things that made me smile, cry, laugh, etc. throughout the year.

In case you are new here and a stickler for clean numbered lists (i.e. lists that are multiples of 5 or 10) and are wondering why on earth I would choose 17 of all things. 17 is my favorite number and my family kind of goes hard in the favorite number department.

With that being said, you can check out the first 17 here. 


1) This quote:



2) Ashlyn Sailsbury

I found Ashlyn through Kristin Johns who I mentioned in a previous version of this post, and she has quickly become one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram. She is so funny and sassy and genuine and she shares the adventures of her adorable, fun family in Copenhagen. 10/10.


3) This song by Ella Henderson


8) Daisy Jones & the Six


This was such a great book! Even though it was fiction, it read like a Rolling Stone interview and I was hooked the whole time. Plus the writing was absolutely brilliant. Here are some of my favorite lines:

“Don’t count yourself out this early, Daisy. You’re all sorts of things you don’t even know yet.”

“Life is about who is holding your hand and, I think, whose hand you commit to holding.”

“Acceptance is a powerful drug.”




9) A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

I mean, Mr. Rogers played by Tom Hanks? I loved it before I even stepped foot in the theater. It’s such a good tribute to a wonderful man and a great reminder of how much we can do for someone simply by being kind.



10) This writer who gets it


11) The Try Guys

I have been following the Try Guys for a while now but this year I really dove head first into their content. I started listening to their podcast The Trypod which always makes me laugh, and I kept up with their YouTube videos which always brighten my day.

Here is one of my favorites:


12) My sister

Raise your hand if you’ve been going to school for 600 years and have spent that time working your ass off, borderline losing your mind, and definitely questioning if any of it was worth it. Now raise your hand if you overcame every obstacle that was put in front of you, grown into an incredibly smart, well spoken, badass Speech Language Pathologist that will undoubtedly go on to do great things.

Natalee, please raise your hand.


13) The Grapes of Wrath, which inspired me to write this blog post.


14) Mitch Albom

I read my first Mitch Albom book last year and immediately fell in love with his style of writing, so this year I read three more of his books and they continue to make me feel all the feels. One day I hope to write something that moves people the way his books move me.



15) Glamour Friendship Test

This is such a sweet, hilarious series and this episode is absolutely one of my favorites.


16) Iliza Shlesinger

I first found Iliza last year when a friend highly recommended her Netflix special, Elder Millennial. After watching and loving it, I was very excited to see that she released a new special in November of this year called Unveiled. Spoiler alert: it is just as good. Not only is it hilarious, but she is so well spoken and has so many good messages within her comedy, she is quickly becoming one of my favorites.



17) Food Forward

This is one of my favorite local nonprofits to volunteer for. It benefits such a great cause and is run by such lovely people, so if you live in Southern California I would highly recommend checking them out!



Check out previous versions of this post here, here and here.

Check out more List-cember posts here.


Some Suggestions for Netflix

You know that weird thing we all do? The thing where we sit down to watch a movie on Netflix and then spend 45 minutes scrolling and sighing and shaking our heads.


“I’m not in the mood.”

“Maybe next time.” 

Then we look through the list of movies we’ve previously saved with the intention of making this scrolling process easier, only to hate every suggestion from our past selves, which in turn leads us to turn on a movie we’ve already seen far too many times.

Then, we wake up the next day wondering why we’re not more cultured and can’t keep up with conversations about all the great movies Netflix has to offer.

I have lived this life for a long time. It’s the reason why I have to set goals that require me to broaden my horizons. Otherwise I’d just watch The Fundamentals of Caring over and over and over again, all the while making the excuse that I would watch something else, even something I’ve seen before, if only Netflix added ______ to their catalog.

All that being said, I recently found out that you can submit suggestions to Netflix for what movies and TV shows they should add to their catalog.

Can you imagine?! Such power! At our fingertips!

You better believe I took advantage of it. Here were some of my suggestions:


1) The Mary Kate & Ashley Movies

I see you, Netflix. Double, Double, Toil and Trouble. New York Minute. You’re not completely depriving me of Olsen twin goodness. But can we get some Billboard Dad up in here? Switching Goals, maybe? Or how about a few (or all, let’s be real) of the You’re Invited episodes? I haven’t been invited anywhere by the Olsen twins since VHS’s were in fashion and it’s depressing.


2) Spice World

I’ve actually never seen Spice World, which I realize is a crime of sorts. And with the girls going back on tour next year, this movie could very well become a common topic of conversation again, and I’ll just be standing there, shrugging, with no idea how to contribute. Save me from the shrugging, Netflix! I want to fit in!


3) Legends of the Hidden Temple

There has never been a game show that has infuriated me more than Legends of the Hidden Temple. It just never seemed like any of the kids on the show were trying. I mean, they were walking from obstacle to obstacle. WALKING. As if it wasn’t a COMPETITION. Actually, now that I think about it, it might be healthy for me not to rewatch this series…but I’m still suggesting it, just because I feel like it might be a good way to get out some aggression after a long day.


4) Say Anything…

I looked it up, and apparently this was on Netflix and taken off in November of 2014, but I think it should come back. Sure, I’m a little biased because it’s my favorite movie of all time and includes one of the most iconic scenes—John Cusack holding a boombox over his head—in cinematic history and I want everyone to watch it so we can all sit around talking about it for hours, but this isn’t just for me. It’s for everyone.


5) Rescue 911

This show went off the air when I was 6, but I still remember it vividly. Each episode showcased real life 911 calls. The corresponding situations were simulated to demonstrate when/why the calls were made and sometimes actual tape from the call was played to give you the full experience. I loved this show because it was essentially all about people helping people and in every episode the paramedics would come to the rescue. In another life, I might have taken my passion for this show and turned it into a career, but instead I’m just writing about it while I sit on the couch eating macaroni and cheese…


I’m sure there are a lot more—too many more—that I’d also like to request, but I can’t think of them off the top of my head. However, now that I know I have the power to request, I’ll make sure to start writing them down the minute I can’t find them and the disappointment sets in and I click play on The Fundamentals of Caring again. Consider me a soon-to-be frequent requester, Netflix. I look forward to our time together.

The Reason “13 Reasons Why” is Important

On March 31st, Netflix released Thirteen Reasons Why, a series based off of the 2007 novel of the same name by Jay Asher. It follows Clay, a high school student who finds a box of cassette tapes on his doorstep one day. The seven double-sided tapes tell the story of why, two weeks prior, his friend and classmate, Hannah Baker, took her own life. She narrates every tape and dedicates each side to one person, describing how and why they are one of the thirteen reasons she made the decision that she did.

Suicide has always and will always be a hard subject. The impact of that kind of decision always ripples out farther than one might think. What makes 13 Reasons Why special, is its ability to show those ripples. It shows the classmates, the coworkers, the families, and the friends, even the strangers. Everyone is affected. But perhaps what it showcases best are the internal ripples that take place inside an individual considering this kind of decision. It shows how those ripples become more like tidal waves that surrounding swimmers shrug off as a traditional rise in water.

It doesn’t matter who you are, or if you’ve ever known anyone involved in, affected by or related to someone who has made or considered this kind of decision, you’ve been changed by the fact that a decision like this exists. And when you hear about it, even if it’s just on the news, it takes its most familiar shape: a reminder. So that night, you hug your loved ones a little tighter, you say things you didn’t think you were brave enough to say, and you live a little harder than you did before. Because in the wake of such darkness, you want to create a little light. You want to use the reminder to make things good, which is noble, though not as noble as using it to quash some of the bad.

While watching and/or reading 13 Reasons Why, you’ll find that it asks something very specific of you. It asks you to do something you’d rather not do in the wake of something like this. It asks you to look, to listen, and to feel. It asks you to let the ripples hit you, and to recognize the “reminder” as a series, not a solo act.

13 Reasons Why reminds us that our words matter. That they can say more than you mean, for far longer than you may have intended.

It reminds us that our words can be weapons, and regardless of our intention, we have no control over whether someone recognizes that weapon as a toy.

It reminds us that sometimes there is no next time. That something we “should have done” or “will do tomorrow” always has the potential to turn into something we can never do.

It reminds us that we’re a piece of the world. That we’re a world within the world. And as such, the world needs us to remain whole.

It reminds us that a try is better than nothing, but that it’s the do’s and did’s that make a difference.

It reminds us to be loud. To say help, over and over and over, in every language we can find, because someone will hear you. Someone that can help, or someone who feels the same way.

It reminds us to be quiet. To pay attention to the whispers that are meant as screams, because you never know how much courage it took to make that sound.

It reminds us to care. Not only for who we’ll influence in the future, but who we’re influencing now, in the every day, with the most ordinary of interactions.

It reminds us to take responsibility. For our words, for our actions, for our strengths and weaknesses, for our highs and lows.

It reminds us that sometimes people need help fighting their battles. And that sometimes the best way to help is to remind them they are helping you fight yours.

It reminds us to love. In every way, in every size, because love can be louder than anything else.

So just as it is the responsibility of books and shows like 13 Reasons Why to depict a subject like this so honestly, it is our responsibility to receive it respectfully. Let the ripples hit you, if only so you can know what they feel like, and so that one day you might be better equipped to rescue someone who feels like they’re drowning.

Why We Can All Relate to the Gilmore Girls Revival

With the next chapter of Gilmore Girls FINALLY arriving to Netflix this fall, I’ve been very much in the Stars Hollow spirit. I recently got my mom hooked on the early seasons; she’s en route to complete her binge before the 4-episode arch launches at the end of November—which, could there be a better release date?

November 25th.

The day after Thanksgiving.

Talk about having an easy answer to the gratefulness question at the dinner table.

“Yes, I’m thankful for Lorelai and Rory and Emily and Luke and if any of you say anything different you can take your turkey and go.”

My mom had never watched the show before. Never hopped on the Hep Alien bandwagon.

Get it.

The Hep Alien bandwagon…


Never mind, let’s just move on, I Dean not mean to ruin the flow.


It wasn’t long after my mom started season 1 on Netflix that she was hooked. Suddenly I was getting texts in the late evening asking for ideas on how to fix her malfunctioning Chrome Cast so she could get her “Gilmore fix.” And now every few days I catch up with her on where she is, on how everyone in Stars Hollow is doing, and she constantly raves about her favorite character: Emily Gilmore, a.k.a Lorelai’s mother a.k.a the flawless Kelly Bishop.

As she fills me in, I always smile and shake my head, both in fond recollection of the early episodes and in amazement of how much further the characters have to go before they reach “present day” or, the start of upcoming miniseries.

There are so many emotions left to emote, so many fights left to fight, so many laughs left to laugh, so many “so many’s.” The characters essentially have multiple lives to live before they are ready to embark on the aptly titled “Year in the Life,” and this got me thinking: how many lives do we have left to live in these lives of ours?

We are all in different places, going through different things, wishing things would change, wishing things wouldn’t, and yet we have no idea how much farther we have to go, or how many more adventures we are set to face.

When we watch television shows, especially long running series’ like Gilmore Girls, we inadvertently become a part of the characters’ lives, going through everything they go through, feeling every single feel. When I think of it now, I can picture so many episodes where the characters seemed hopeless and how I sat “with them”, feeling that same feeling, wondering, “How can we fix this?” But then again, now I can also look back and think, “things get better” and “you get through this, I promise” and “the silver lining is right around the corner!”

In our own lives, we’re able to do this with hindsight, with lessons learned and memories stored. We can think back to times that were dark and wish our former selves would have known to cheer up, as better things were coming, things we never could have imagined.

So as I anxiously await the arrival of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, wondering where life will take them next and reliving—with my mom—where they’ve already been in the first seven seasons, it’s hard not to realize how much this show reflects all of our lives. How we never know what’s around the corner, whether it’s going to be light or dark or breezy or difficult, but that we can trust it’s something we need to go through in order to end up where we’re meant to be.

Which is hopefully with Jess.

I mean, hopefully Rory ends up with Jess.

You know what I meant.