recommendations

July & August Favorites

We are back with another edition of Favorites, where I tell you all the things that I’ve loved over the last two months. You know the drill. Let’s get right into it.

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Podcasts

First up, Workin On It, a podcast put on by Meghan Trainor and her brother Ryan. I love podcasts that make you feel like you’re sitting in a room talking with (or eavesdropping on) some friends and this is one of those podcasts. Plus, it’s based around the concept that we are all works in progress, always “working on” something, and so it’s given me some great advice and encouragement along the way!

I fell in love with Toni Collier and the Still Coloring podcast pretty much instantly. The name comes from the idea that “broken crayons still color”, and so the podcast is all about finding beauty in brokenness. I am consistently encouraged and inspired by the honest, faith based conversations that take place, and the space that Toni creates for her guests.

I have no shame in admitting that I was a diehard Laguna Beach fan back in the day. So when I heard that Kristin and Stephen (if you know, you know) were doing a rewatch podcast, I was all in. Back to the Beach is fun and nostalgic, and also gives a lot of behind the scenes information. I’ve had so much fun rewatching the show and then listening to the recaps episode by episode. It’s hilarious to see the show with my 30 year old eyes, compared to my 14 year old eyes—they see a bit differently.

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Books

I’ve been on a bit of a memoir binge lately. They have been my go-to audiobook that I like to listen to in the mornings while I get ready for work, and in the afternoon on my drive home. I like memoirs in general, but I especially like hearing them read by the author because I feel like it lets you in on their emotions, and you can hear the exact intonation they wrote in.

My number one recommend would be I’m Glad that My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy, which I thought was incredibly well written and so gripping. I also loved Happy People are Annoying by Josh Peck, and No Happy Endings by Nora McInerny.

And if you’re not interested in memoirs, two other favorites from this month would be Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman and One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle.

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Movies

I saw Where the Crawdads Sing in theaters and loved it. I was so excited to see the story brought to life because I was such a big fan of the book, and I thought it was adapted really well. I’d recommend both the book and the movie!

I also liked Purple Hearts on Netflix, which tells the story of a singer/songwriter and a marine, who get married solely for the military benefits, not really taking into account all of the potential consequences. It was sweet, the perfect watch for a movie night at home.  (find it on Netflix)

And finally, it is both easy and hard to recommend Thirteen Lives. It’s easy because it’s an INCREDIBLE story. It follows the rescue of the Thai soccer team that got trapped in a cave in 2018. But it’s hard because, at least for me, it was almost overwhelming to watch. The trauma of being trapped in that cave for WEEKS, and the miraculous nature of the rescue. It was a tense watch. SO good. But tense. I knew what was going to happen and I still felt nauseous for almost the entire thing. (find it on Amazon Prime)

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TV Shows

I’m a big fan of Sally Rooney and I loved Hulu’s adaption of Normal People, so I was very excited to watch their adaption of Conversations with Friends. You definitely have to go in ready for a slower pace, because so much of Sally Rooney’s work is dialogue and complicated human emotions. It’s a quiet show, if that makes sense, but it was a comforting watch. Comforting in the way that it shows how flawed and complicated people are—how no one really has everything figured out and how everyone has a lot going on. I loved it. (find it on Hulu)

I heard about Claim to Fame and was not convinced it would be my style, but it has absolutely sucked me in and I look forward to it every week. The show started with twelve contestants, all of whom are related to someone famous, and the goal is to figure out who each celebrity relative is. There are challenges every week that give clues and then at the end of every episode there is a “guesser” who tries to reveal the identity of one of the other contestants. It’s fun and easy to watch and has had me saying, “oh my gosh WHO DOES SHE LOOK LIKE?” over and over and over. (find it on ABC or Hulu)

The Bear was a show that I didn’t hear anything about until suddenly it was the ONLY thing I was hearing about. It follows a chef who has to leave his prestigious restaurant to take over his brother’s sandwich shop in Chicago. It was unique and stressful and gave a cool look at the inner workings of a kitchen. (find it on Hulu)

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Music

Firstborn by Nicolle Galyon

Bad Together by Rozzi

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Misc

I read an article (that I can no longer find) that ranked the best ice cream sandwiches. It put FatBoy Ice Cream Sandwiches at the top of the list, so I immediately decided this is something that I needed to confirm or deny. I wanted to know what earned this sandwich the top spot, but I also wanted an excuse to try a bunch of ice cream sandwiches. So my mom and I have set out on a quest to find “the best” in our opinion. Though I’ll admit, these are the best so far…


Have anything you’ve been loving over these last couple months? Let me know!

See my previous favorites post here.

The Best Things I Bought This Year (List-cember #3)

Since we are in the spirit of recommendations this week, and because I never get tired of reading lists of random things people like/bought/just thought were cool, I thought I’d share a handful of things I’m glad I bought this year. It’s a little bit of everything, which I personally find to be the most dangerous kind of list, because you can’t immediately convince yourself you won’t be tempted to buy anything because you don’t know what’s coming next.

In other words, this list is my (wallet’s) worst nightmare. So I apologize in advance if you find yourself *adding to cart* but just know that I love everything on this list so actually that apology was fake and I think you should do it.

1) Third Love Bras

These were mentioned on an early favorites post and they hold up. They are the first bras that have ever really fit me and they are SO comfortable. I will recommend them until my dying day. (find them here)

2) Ray-Ban sunglasses (Erika Classic)

For years I bought $10 sunglasses that I would throw in my purse and wear until they were too scratched to see out of, thinking I was a bargain shopper. But then I bought these and realized I was just being cheap and more or less going blind because none of those glasses were polarized and how was I even driving while wearing them? Things are better now. (find them here)

3) Aerie no-show underwear

I don’t know how to recommend underwear other than by saying, BUY THIS UNDERWEAR, because that’s the kind of customer review that really drives home a sale for me. So just, like, buy them. (find them here)

4) Free to Grow Tote bag from The Tote Project

I love this company and the causes it supports, and so I was happy to purchase a tote. I did not plan on falling in love with this tote, but I did. I take it on every grocery shopping trip. We have bought so much ice cream together. (find it here)

5) Lounge shorts from Old Navy

In the dead of summer, we all need a pair of shorts we can put on after we get home from work and rip our professional pants off. These were my go-to shorts. They are comfortable and just the right amount of high waisted. (find them here)

6) Big bottle of First Aid Beauty moisturizer

I feel like I could go on and on about this moisturizer as a moisturizer, but I also feel like that’s been said and done on many a beauty review. So instead I’m just here to tell you to buy the big bottle. It has lasted me almost the entire year, which is magical for any skincare product. So if/when (and it should be when) you buy this, go BIG. It’s worth it. (find it here)

7) Bralettes from Forever 21

I love doing yoga, but it is hard to find good shirts to do yoga in. Sometimes tank tops are too tight, other times t-shirts are too baggy and you wind up borderline suffocating while trying to hold downward dog. So, I started wearing these bralettes that are both cheap, comfortable, and not in danger of having a boob pop out. They check all of my boxes. (find them here)

8) Plain white Vans

For a long time I’ve wanted a pair of plain white sneakers because they go with everything and, if you can keep them relatively clean, I feel like they make you look like you’re put together. These were the perfect pair for me. (find them here)

9) Amazon Smart Plug

I never foresaw myself being one of the those people who has a “smart house.” I thought I might get a clap-on light—maybe. But I didn’t think I’d dip my toe into the world of Alexa being my appliance secretary. However, when my sister and I moved into our new apartment at the beginning of this year and the plug for my lamp was in seemingly the most inconvenient place, I decided to try an Amazon Smart Plug so that Alexa could do the footwork for me. Now I ask her to turn on my light every night and I say thank you as if she is a real person. (find it here)

10) Candles

In the last place my sister and I lived, it was part of our lease that we weren’t allowed to have candles in the house. This was devastating to me because I love candles and there are few things I enjoy more than standing in the candle aisle at the store sniffing. In our new place however, candles are fair game and I have been taking FULL advantage. Life is better and our apartment smells like heaven. (I like this one from Trader Joe’s and this one from Target)

11) Kate Spade purse

This is easily the most expensive thing on this list but not nearly expensive as it could have been because I bought it on super sale and felt like I was getting away with murder. For anyone out there wondering if they should get a new purse, this is your sign. Check out surprise.katespade.com. I won’t tell anyone. (find it here)

12) Small crossbody purse

Speaking of purses, shortly after I bought my Kate Spade bag, I realized that there are probably going to be a lot of occasions when I don’t need my Mary Poppins purse. Say, when I’m traveling, or going to the beach. So I grabbed this guy at Target that gives me just enough room to carry my phone, a small wallet and some chapstick and it has been perfect. (find it here)

13) Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Cream

I’ve had some troubles with eye allergies for the last couple years and at times it’s felt like I was Ryan Gosling, standing in front of Rachel McAdams in The Notebook, asking my eyes, “WHAT DO YOU WANT?!” Because it felt like everything I tried made things worse. But, with the help of these eye drops that I mentioned in a past favorites post, and this eye cream, I feel like me and my eyes are finally friends again. (find them at Target)

14) Pill case

This is the cutest little guy that I like to fill with varying assortments of (non prescription) pills in order to be the person that says, “yes! I have that” whenever someone should need an Advil, Benadryl, iron supplement, lactaid, etc. (find it here)

15) Floral Laptop case

I started a big writing project this summer and decided I wanted to buy a new laptop case to celebrate. It was kind of like buying a new outfit for the first day of school and I loved it. (find it here)

16) Amazon Utility hooks

I bought these when we moved into our new apartment on the off chance I might use them to hang things. And let me tell you, I hung EVERYTHING. These are so easy to install and can hold a good amount of weight. At this point they are like hidden Mickeys in our apartment. (find them here)

17) Foam Roller

I started going to the chiropractor this year and she recommended I buy one of these to do back stretches at home in between sessions. For me, it is a night and day difference. Plus, I learned to roll out my legs and my IT band has never been so happy with me.  (find it here)

18) Chick-fil-a Sauce

One day I was at the grocery store and I saw a two-for-one deal on full size Chick-fil-a sauces, so naturally I partook. I assumed I’d use it every once in a while, but I ended up putting it on practically everything. I was completely devastated when I ran out and I bought more the minute I went back to the store—it wasn’t on sale anymore but I didn’t even hesitate. That’s true love. (I found it at Ralph’s but check your local grocery store sauce aisle or probably Chick-fil-a…)

19) Olive & June Dry Drops

Let me start by saying, I have no idea how these work. All I know is: they do. If you do (or at least attempt) home manicures, you have to try these. I am the queen of smudging my thumb the minute after I paint it, and then proceeding to hate-remove the polish on every single nail as a result. But these babies dry your nails almost instantly, leaving little room for even me to mess them up. They are magic! (find them here)

20) Target blankets

At the start of fall, my sister and I decided to clean out our blanket stash. Some, of course, are sacred and irreplaceable, even when they’re shredded and old and barely alive. But others simply sit at the bottom of the pile, unused and unpicked, still in great shape but very much not the favorite. So, we separated out the ones we never use and donated them, and then bought two new ones from Target. Cozy doesn’t even begin to describe them.  (find them here and here)


Did you buy anything especially great this year? My wallet is both scared and curious to know.

Check out more List-cember posts here.

September & October Favorites

So apparently it’s November?

What?

And soon it will be Christmas?

WHAT?

Am I alarmed?

A little.

Does this make me any less excited?

No.

Let’s do it!

Podcasts

In my July & August favorites post, I mentioned Lauren Akins’ book, Live in Love, and I was very excited to find out that there was a corresponding podcast! Each episode poses the question, how can you live in love in _______? and covers topics like community, family, adoption and marriage. I have really enjoyed the conversations that take place under each subject and I feel like I learn a lot from every episode.  

If you are looking for a short podcast that will brighten your day (and/or make you cry happy tears) look no further than My Unsung Hero. Each episode runs about six minutes, just long enough for each guest to tell the story of a stranger who changed their life for the better. It is wonderful! I cry almost every time.


Books

For a while there I felt like I was the only person who hadn’t read Educated by Tara Westover, and it only took me a few chapters to realize that this was a mistake. It follows Tara as she grows up in remote Idaho with her parents and siblings (most of whom don’t have a birth certificate, or a definitive birthday), and her eventual fight to receive an education. I was completely gripped, amazed, horrified, and shocked by Tara’s story, and would recommend it everyone!

I was drawn to Thanks for Waiting by Doree Shafrir because like her, I would also consider myself a late bloomer. I liked reading her story and finding parallels in my own, and appreciated her honesty and encouragement to embrace your individual pace and the gifts it gives you along the way.  

Ever since I read Daisy Jones & the Six I have been on a bit of a mission to read all of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books. She never fails to engulf you in a story and introduce characters that by the end, you feel like you know personally. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was no exception. It was an incredible story that follows Evelyn Hugo, famed actress who not only gained acclaim from her movies and one of a kind beauty, but her infamous seven marriages. It had all kinds of twists and turns, the last of which made me audibly gasp.


Movies

I meant to include Coda in my last favorites post and I forgot, but I couldn’t let it fall by the wayside without recommending it. Coda is the abbreviation given to a child of deaf adults and as such, the movie follows Ruby, who is the only hearing member of her family, and whose greatest passion is singing. It is a beautiful, heartfelt story and I absolutely loved it.  (find it on AppleTV+)


TV Shows

If I’m being totally honest, I initially watched Clickbait only because Adrian Grenier was in it. What can I say, the marketing worked on me. I was pleasantly surprised however, by premise of the show, which ends up being a crime drama that feeds off of (and is driven by) social media. It kept me guessing until the very end. (find it on Netflix)

When The Morning Show first came out, I was very much in the headspace of, there’s no way I’m getting Apple TV+, I do not need that many streaming services. We won’t talk about how many subscriptions I have now, only that I caved on Apple TV+ and now watch The Morning Show. It follows a morning news program that is rattled when one of its lead anchors is fired in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations. It does a good job to show all sides of the story, and brings to light how corrupt the business of television can be. Plus, it has a great cast and is just plain smart. Big recommend! (find it on Apple TV+)


Music

star crossed by Kacey Musgraves

Solar Power by Lorde

Sob Rock by John Mayer


Alaway Eye Drops

In the last five years or so, my body randomly decided to try out allergies—just to see what all the hype was about. The worst of which, is eye allergies. Occasionally I will wake up and want to casually rip my eyeballs from their sockets. But, since this isn’t recommended, I decided to seek out eye drops that might take care of the itch instead. These are by far the best I’ve found! (find them at Target)

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Rare Beauty Foundation Brush

I have been long overdue for a new foundation brush but I have commitment issues with makeup products and essentially refused to stop using the one I had, even though I knew I should. However, in a rare act of makeup spontaneity, I threw my brush in the actual trash can because I knew I wouldn’t pull it back out, and I bought a new one. I like to think it is the brush that is wonderful, because I genuinely love how it applies my foundation, but I also can’t be 100% sure I don’t love it just because it’s not raggedy and old. Still, I recommend this one. (find it at Sephora)

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Shape Tape Concealer

This was another spontaneous add to cart purchase, mostly influenced by my concealer being out of stock for the second or third time in a row, and me getting frustrated and desperate. Lucky for me, this was the best decision ever as this is by far the best concealer I’ve ever used. (find it at Ulta)


Have anything you’ve been loving over these last couple months? Let me know!

See my previous favorites post here.

May & June Favorites

Hello friends!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.

I definitely did. It was full of many of my favorite things: friends, family, ice cream, my mom’s brussel sprouts, bowls and bowls of chips. Plus, I didn’t get sunburned! That’s what they call a win win win win win win.

So on that note, let’s get into some favorites.


Books

Fun fact: I mentioned Normal People (the series) in my 2020 edition of May & June favorites. It had recently come out on Hulu and I’d binge watched and loved it. Today, I’m recommending Normal People (the book) because I listened to the audiobook and was completely unsurprised to discover it is also fantastic. I now have a hard copy of the book and plan on reading it again. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ So it’s really just a big recommend all around.

Goodbye Again by Johnny Sun is a book that I would like to write one day. It is honest and real and finds a way to make you as the reader feel a little bit more understood and a little bit less alone. It is a collection of essays and illustrations, all short and concise, that make it easy to read it at a leisurely pace. I genuinely love it and would recommend it over and over!


TV Shows

I have a been on a good streak of TV shows recently, starting and finishing good ones all in a row! It is rare and it is exciting and so I have a handful of recommendations for you.

If you are looking for something funny, upbeat, and undeniable good, watch Ted Lasso. (And do it quick! Season two comes out at the end of this month!) (find it on Apple TV+)

If you are looking for something suspenseful and a little dark, with a murder that you need to help solve, watch Mare of Easttown. (find it on HBO Max)

If you are looking for something cute, funny, and romantic, watch Starstruck. (find it on Hulu)

If you are looking for something hilarious, unique and sweet, watch Dave. (find it on Hulu)


Movies

I was recommended The Year Earth Changed by one of my best friends and I am so glad I watched it! It is a documentary that covers 2020 from a different perspective than we’ve seen before: that of nature. It shows the effect that lockdown had on plants, animals and the natural world while the human population was locked inside. It’s truly fascinating to watch and encouraging to know that some positive changes came about in 2020—and that there plans in place to carry on those good things.  (find it on Apple TV+)

I stumbled across Broken Hearts Gallery while looking for a cute movie to watch on a weeknight and it was exactly what I hoped it would be. It has a sweet premise, rooted in the idea that we all have a little (or a lot) of heartbreak that, while seemingly isolating, actually links us together—interweaved with a love story that gives you some warm fuzzies. (find it on Hulu)


Music

One Foot in Front of the Other by Griff

Ashlyn by Ashe

Godsend by Riley Clemmons


Kind Breakfast Protein Bars

These are so great for breakfasts on the go, mid-morning snacks, or go-to protein to have in your bag while hiking, at the beach, etc. I have tried almost every flavor and haven’t found one I don’t like!


More to That Newsletter

I have really been trying to fill my inbox with good, happy, and inspirational things that break up the ads and work emails and give me something to look forward to. This newsletter has consistently inspired me and made me look at trivial, seemingly simple subjects from a new, rewarding perspective. I really like it! (find it here)


Have anything you’ve been loving over these last couple months? Let me know!

See my previous favorites post here.

March & April Favorites

I’m having one of those days where I want to say, I can’t believe it’s going to be May already. But then I feel like I could also ask, is it only May? But also, what day is it? You know?

It’s been a wild couple of months.

Luckily, I have found some good things to keep me company/keep me sane, whichever way you want to look at it.

Here are my favorites from March & April.


Podcasts

I had heard a lot of rumblings about Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard but never looked it up because I’d burned myself out on interview podcasts. I got tired of hearing people ask the same questions to the same people. Plus interviews during COVID that took place over the phone, giving no one face to face cues, so everyone was interrupting each other, saying, “no, you go ahead” “no, no, you go ahead,” made me want to die. Luckily, this podcast has none of that, and Dax Shepard does a great job at not only asking fun, interesting questions, but he has all kinds of guests from all different walks of life, making every episode different. I will say though, there are a lot of episodes. Like, multiple per week. So unless you listen to every single one right when it comes out, you just have to accept that you’re going to be behind. Which was initially hard for me to cope with. But now I kind of like knowing that I always have a good handful of episodes to choose from.

I also started listening to The Basement Yard, which is now my third or fourth podcast that centers around two guy best friends just chatting away. I don’t know about you, but I feel like there is something magical and hilarious about two guys that are best friends through and through and can talk for hours about absolutely anything, all the while cracking each other up. This podcast has made me laugh so hard my stomach hurt and I have been recommending it like crazy.


Books

I wrote a blog post back in March about how much I loved and appreciated the perspective I got from The Midnight Library, but I think it would be a disservice not to send another round of encouragement to read this book. With all of the solitude we’ve experienced over the last year, giving us far too much time to be with our own thoughts, I have no doubt we’ve all wondered about those what if’s in our life. This was a great reminder that the choices we make, while not always perfect, get us to where we’re meant to go—even if it’s not where we expect.

This book was something brand new for me. I had never heard of blogger and comic artist Allie Brosh before reading Solutions & Other Problems but I’m so glad I have been introduced! She is so funny and creative and this book was a delight to read. She pairs stories with drawings and the combinations are truly hilarious.


TV Shows

Homecoming is a show based on a podcast that I actually recommended all the way back in this favorites post. I have been wanting to watch this show since it came out—which was a cool three years ago—but hey, better late than never. I thought they did a great job at adapting the podcast to a series and I arguably felt more stressed watching than I did listening because I got to add faces to names and thus instantly care about everyone involved. (find it on Amazon Prime)

Next up was Barry. And wow. I have always loved Bill Hader, but this was just fantastic. It is funny and smart and incredibly unique. It follows Barry, a marine turned hitman who accidentally falls in love with acting. It’s wonderful. (find it on HBO Max)

And finally, Upload. This one explores a high-tech future where, after we die, we can be uploaded to an artificial version of heaven. In this afterlife, you are still able to communicate with your friends and family on earth, and more or less go about your (after)life, walking, talking, eating, etc. It was creative and funny and not as dark/sci-fi as it might sound. (find it on Amazon Prime)


Movies

One of my goals for the year was to see all the Academy Award Best Picture nominees and (ideally) be able to accurately pick the winner. Full disclosure, I didn’t watch them all before the Oscars. I just didn’t have time. I did see Nomadland which ended up winning, and don’t get me wrong, it was a great movie, but I was pulling for Sound of Metal. It follows a drummer (and recovering addict) who loses his hearing and goes to a rehab facility for the deaf and hard of hearing to cope. It was easily the best movie I’ve watched all year.

I also saw Promising Young Woman which was fantastic in its own right. It tells the story of a woman who is on a mission to right the wrong that caused her to lose her best friend. It is a very timely film that manages to be both heartbreaking and funny.


Music

Obviously by Lake Street Dive

All In by John Splithoff

Songs to Break Up To by Wild Rivers


Third Love Bras

When I tell you that I would bow down to these bras…

I have been long on the hunt for comfortable bras that are pretty, not $1000, and can actually fit me like a glove. In the past I’ve been frustrated with cups that leave uncomfortable space, or straps that are either too loose or too tight, and I tell you, with no ulterior motive, that these. are. it. I threw every other bra I owned away and I have never been happier. (find them here)


Have anything you’ve been loving over these last couple months? Let me know!

See my previous favorites post here.

January & February Favorites

I always miss favorites posts after it’s been a little while. I like having somewhere to put things and say, “HEY, I LIKE THESE,” and I like to picture you checking them out and saying, “HEY, I LIKE THESE TOO.” Because that’s what friendship is.

So let’s be friends.

One thing before we start, thought. If you’re looking for a drinking game, go ahead and take a drink whenever I say a form of “recommend” in this post. Then call 911.

Podcasts

Against all odds, me, the scaredy cat of my family, has started listening to a true crime podcast. I didn’t anticipate it, and to be honest, I don’t know what made me click on Anatomy of Murder in the first place, but I’ve been all up in the archives, listening to an episode every day and looking forward to the next one. The podcast is hosted by a former New York City homicide prosecutor and a former deputy sheriff so you get an insider’s perspective into both the crime and the process of it being solved, which I really like, each crime (at least so far) is solved, which I love.

The Proverbs 31 Ministries podcast is a Christian podcast I just started listening to after having been on the hunt for one for quite a long time. I kept hoping to find one that was kind of like a friendly, inspirational conversation with friends and so far, I think this is just that! The very first episode I heard was “5 Things to Do if You Feel Lonely in Your Life” and it had me wildly jotting down notes—in a good way, so I’m excited to keep listening.

Books

In probably the most unexpected of favorites, I listened to the audiobook of Matthew McConaughey’s Greenlights and I could. not. get. enough. He is so funny and so strange and so wonderful to listen to. By the end I couldn’t tell if I was inspired by Matthew or if I had a crush on him—or both. Either way, I’d recommend the book but I’d especially recommend the audiobook.

Next up, The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. I absolutely adore this movie on Netflix and after recommending it to my mom, she saw it, loved it and read the book, then recommended the book back to me, making it an all around wonderful, lovable recommendation circle. I recommend both the book and the movie!

TV Shows

I’d had Peaky Blinders on my radar for a while after it was recommended to me by my cousin, but I was never ready to *make the commitment*. Once I started however, I was in! I will say, it was conflicted to like, then love, then borderline feel as if I would commit crimes for a family that is arguably not the “good guys”, but I will make no apologies. The Shelby family is now my family. (find it on Netflix)

The Wilds is another wildcard that I didn’t expect to like as much as I did, and certainly didn’t anticipate to get the have you seen’s over it, where you continuously bring it up in the hopes that there is someone you can talk to about it. But alas, here we are. I am now anxiously awaiting season two with so. many. questions. (find it on Amazon Prime)

Movies

I haven’t heard anyone talking about The Dig and so I’d like to officially say: watch it! It’s a true story based on an incredible archaeological dig that took place right before World War II. Not only is the find amazing, it is so interesting to watch the world prepare for and anticipate war in the context of a story like this. (find it on Netflix)

The Map of Tiny, Perfect Things was another unexpected good one. Having seen Groundhog Day (which this movie pays homage to) I was curious to see what a new take on it would look like, and I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this movie. It reminds you to appreciate the wonderful moments that exist inside each day. I loved it! (find it on Amazon Prime)

Music

Hoax by Kevin Garrett

A Song for Every Moon by Bruno Major

MinimaList

My brain has been a little bit of a chaotic mess lately and I have fallen off using my planner—mostly because I keep forgetting about it—making it hard for me to keep track of all the things I want/have to get done. But this app is a simple, organized tool that lets you make a list of anything and everything that comes to mind, giving you an on the go to-do list that I am loving! (find it here)

Crispy Sheet Pan Gnocchi

Image Credit to the TheKitchn.com

This recipe was recommended by a friend and my sister and I fell in love with it instantly. It is so easy and so yummy and even though we’ve already made it twice I have no doubt I will be craving it again shortly (find the recipe here.)


Have anything you’ve been loving over these last couple months? Let me know!

See my previous favorites post here.

July & August Favorites (2020)

Hello and welcome back to another edition of favorites!

I have officially given up on creative introductions.

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Podcasts

TheNextRightThing1

I haven’t been in a huge podcast mood these past couple months, so not only am I behind on most of the shows that I already listen to, I haven’t been actively hunting for new ones either. That being said however, I did come across The Next Right Thing, which is a short, faith based podcast that, like the song in Frozen 2 (even though this podcast pre-dates the movie) encourages you to take one positive step forward. Almost all of the episode are less than 15 minutes, giving you a little burst of inspiration each week. Highly recommend!

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Books

What I’ve been lacking in podcast motivation, I’ve definitely made up for in good books. First off, This is Going to Hurt, written by (now) TV writer Adam Kay. It chronicles his 6 years as a doctor and is full of hilarious, terrifying, and heart wrenching stories. As soon as I started it I recommended it to my mom so we could laugh and cringe our way through it together and we both loved it!

Next, A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost. This is truly one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. I already loved Colin Jost from Saturday Night Live, but his wit and sense of humor shine in this memoir, and it was exactly what I needed during this crazy year. I listened to the audiobook which was fantastic, but if you are able, I’d recommend reading the eBook/physical copy, as there are tons of hilarious stories that have accompanying photographs I wish I could have seen.

And finally, Black Widow by Leslie Gray Streeter. The full title of the book is Black Widow: A Sad-Funny Journey Through Grief for People Who Normally Avoid Books with Words Like Journey in the Title, which is long, but accurate. After suddenly losing her husband to a heart attack, the author documents the next year of her life, somehow finding humor that can make you laugh out loud. As a writer, I greatly admired her ability to turn to writing during such a hard time, and then to have the courage to share it, it was a very inspiring, heartbreaking and heartwarming read.

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TV Shows

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I don’t know how many times my brother recommended Community before I finally started watching it, but I’d like to formally apologize for waiting so long. It is so funny, so smart, so clever, and it never fails to make me laugh. I’m genuinely bummed I didn’t watch this show when it was on the air, but I’m so glad I’m watching it now! (find it on Netflix)

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Movies

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I have been trading movie recommendations with a friend of mine and Enemy came up a couple weeks ago and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. What is it about, you might ask? I can’t tell you. Because 1) it’s really, truly, a you need to see it to believe it type of movie and 2) I’m still not really sure. I will say though, I found this article really helpful in the aftermath. (find it on Amazon)

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Music

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I don’t think I’m alone when I say that the main album that stole my heart over these last couple months is folklore by Taylor Swift. It was such a great surprise and a welcome comfort in this crazy times. I have fully embraced its rainy day attitude, even on the hottest of days in Southern California.

Alongside that, I have also had a handful of songs I’ve been playing on repeat, some summery, some sad, some comforting. A little bit of everything:

  • MadHappySad by BabyJake
  • Pretty Please by Dua Lipa
  • Catching Feelings by Drax Project & SIX60
  • Famous For (I Believe) by Tauren Wells & Jenn Johnson
  • Hurting by Kygo & Rhys Lewis
  • Closer by POWERS
  • Rager teenager! by Troye Sivan
  • Passerby by Patrick Droney
  • Waste of a Lime by Ingrid Andress
  • Fighting for Me by Riley Clemmons

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These Amazon Shelves

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I am a collector of vintage cameras, and I have long been looking for a way to properly display them and so I was very excited to find these frames on Amazon. They are affordable, easy to hang, and sturdy enough that I could set up my cameras without fear. I would also recommend some Museum Putty, which I used to stick the cameras to the shelves (and the wall) since California seems to be a little earthquake happy at the moment. (find them here)

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Face Mask Applicators

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I had heard rumblings about these guys around social media, but wasn’t sure if they were really worth the money. But upon finding a cheap two pack on Amazon, I pulled the trigger and can honestly say they are WORTH IT. They save product, help you apply masks more evenly, and make you feel like you are painting a masterpiece on your face, which is delightful. (find them here)

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See my previous favorites post here.

My 2019 Rec Roundup (List-cember #5)

Nothing has ever qualified me to tell you what the best books, movies, music, etc., of the year are, but that has never stopped me from giving you what I believe to be a highly educated opinion.

I mean, who needs all the fancy words and validating credentials when I can just tell you, hey, this didn’t suck and I think you should check it out. 

So that’s what I’m here to do today.

Here are all of my top recommendations from 2019, just in case you’re looking for something good to kickoff your 2020.

Books

  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (Historical Fiction)
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Fiction)
  • For One More Day by Mitch Albom (Fiction)
  • Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis (Self Help)
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (Mystery/Thriller)
  • Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Historical Fiction)
  • My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing (Mystery/Thriller)
  • Where the Crawdad’s Sing by Delia Owens (Fiction)
  • Beautiful on the Outside by Adam Rippon (Memoir)
  • Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness (Memoir)

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Podcasts

  • ESPN 30 for 30
  • Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet
  • Dr. Death
  • Duolingo Spanish Podcast
  • The Trypod
  • The Clearing
  • My Dad Wrote a Porno
  • The Dropout
  • How I Built This
  • Homecoming

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Movies

  • Free Solo
  • The Dawn Wall
  • Booksmart
  • Unicorn Store
  • Someone Great
  • Frozen 2
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

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TV Shows

  • Fleabag (Amazon Prime)
  • Single Parents (ABC)
  • The Politician (Netflix)
  • The Act (Hulu)
  • Killing Eve (AMC)
  • Modern Love (Amazon Prime)
  • Dead to Me (Netflix)
  • Euphoria (HBO)
  • Four Weddings & a Funeral (Hulu)
  • When They See Us (Netflix)

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Music

  • Heard it in a Past Life by Maggie Rogers
  • GIRL by Maren Morris
  • When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go by Billie Eilish
  • Daylight by Grace Potter
  • Lover by Taylor Swift
  • Cheap Queen by King Princess
  • The Highwomen by The Highwomen
  • Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent by Lewis Capaldi
  • Free Yourself Up by Lake Street Dive
  • Happiness Begins by Jonas Brothers

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Misc

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Hippeas:  THESE. ARE. SO. GOOD. I truly cannot stress this enough. Their one and only flaw is that they come in relatively small bags UNLESS you want to brave Costco for the monster bags. I personally am not always in the mood to brave Costco, which is why I found…

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…White Cheddar Cheetos Puffs! These are the perfect sister snack to Hippeas and are also delicious. Who knew I had such a thing for white cheddar this year?

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Duolingo: I downloaded this app to learn Spanish and have genuinely loved using it! They are always adding new challenges and new ways to learn and I look forward to going on each day.

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Birkenstocks: I waited a long time and listened to a lot of hype about these before I finally pulled the trigger but I am so glad I did. Believe everything you hear. These are wonderful and I will miss wearing them in the winter months. (find this pair here)

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Old Navy Leggings: I am constantly on the hunt for good leggings that aren’t one million dollars, which according to most retailers, is a big ask. But I bought a pair of leggings from Old Navy early in the year and loved them so much that I bought 4 more pairs. They are so comfortable and just the right amount of thick, AND, most importantly, they have side pockets, which is the real game changer. (find this pair here)


Check out more List-cember posts here. 

March & April Favorites (2019)

Y’all, my senses are overwhelmed.

I’ve found so many good things lately!

So much so that I don’t even have time for one of these strange/slightly awkward/overall pointless introductions.

Although I guess I just did one.

Tricked you.

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Podcasts

As you might suspect, My Dad Wrote a Porno is somewhat of a scandalous podcast, but it is absolutely hilarious. It follows a man—alongside his two friends—reading his dad’s erotic novel aloud. It is as funny as it is mortifying and the secondhand cringe is real, but if you are looking for something to listen to that will make you laugh out loud, I highly recommend this one. (find it here)

On an ENTIRELY different level. Homecoming is a fiction podcast that was recently made into a series on Amazon Prime. It follows the story of a woman who has lost her memory, but seems to have ties to a very private/sketchy organization known as “Homecoming”. I was hooked through both seasons and can’t wait for the next one. (find it here)

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Books

I could probably just list “Mitch Albom” as one of my favorites for the past few months because I’ve been reading his books like crazy, but The Next Person You Meet in Heaven was especially good because it continued on the story of The Five People You Meet in Heaven which I’ve loved for a long time. As with most of his books, it’s a quick but powerful read and I absolutely loved it. (find it here)

Salt to the Sea was the second book I read from Ruta Sepetys (the first being Between the Shades of Grey) and I was once again taken by her ability to make historical fiction so captivating, heartbreaking and moving. (find it here)

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Movies

Set in the 1970’s, following the movement of Martin Luther King Jr., The Best of Enemies is such a good and important story to be told, and I’m so glad it is being told now, in a time when so many people are divided.

Breakthrough is an absolutely wild story of a boy who falls through an iced over lake and is pronounced dead, only to have him spontaneously generate a pulse after his mother arrives at the hospital and prays over him. It is true account of a real life miracle and it was absolutely moving. (find it in theaters now!)

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TV Shows

Game of Thrones. OBVIOUSLY. (find it on HBO)

I feel like On My Block doesn’t get as much recognition as it should, but I’ve loved both of the first two seasons and hope it continues to generate attention and appreciation for the genuine, funny and real life stories it tells in every episode. (find it on Netflix)

Whether or not you know the story behind The Act, you need to watch it. (find it on Hulu)

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Music

As always, I’m just going to list what I’ve been listening to, but let the iTunes writers describe it to you because they have fun adjectives and big words.

Maren Morris, GIRL: “Her free spirited sophomore effort continues to push the limits of contemporary country-pop, infusing it with energy and texture from hip hop, R&B and psychedelic rock.”

Billie Eilish, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO: “a melancholy investigation of all the dark and mysterious places that linger in the back of our minds.”

Gone West, Tides-EP: This country band is still kind of under the radar so they don’t have a fancy write up on iTunes, but I genuinely love this EP and highly recommend it if you are looking for an easy listen.

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Skin Food

My skin has been having a bit of a hissy fit lately and so I’ve gone into full mother-of-a-screaming-toddler-in-a-mall mode, desperately trying to find something, anything to calm it down. With some research, I came across these two products, both of which have very high reviews. As of today, I’m about a week into using both and I have definitely seen improvements. Both products promise the long lasting benefits, so it is still a wait and see type of game, but I do feel like a bit more of an adult having a more defined nightly skin routine. (find the Rosehip Oil here, and Keeva Organic Face Cream here)

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Fig Jam

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To finish us off for today, I’d like to bring up one of the more obscure loves of my life: fig jam! This elusive little guy is hard to find, so hard that I only got my hands on two jars because my aunt snagged them for me at her local health food store. But trust me when I say that it is worth it because it is delicious. (my aunt found it at Sprouts 🙂

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Have anything you’ve been loving over these last couple months? Let me know! My Amazon cart is always open…

See my previous favorites post here.

My 2018 Rec Roundup (List-cember #6)

One of my favorite end of the year posts to come across is roundups of recommendations.

Rec Roundups, if you will.

I just like to know what everyone loved throughout the year.

It’s the same reason I do my favorites posts every two months, just with the added excitement and pressure of it being the last month of the year, making them essentially the Academy Awards of favorites. And since I’m a huge fan of awards season, I’ll take any relation to it I can get.

SO, consider these my nominees for my favorite things I saw, read, listened to, wore on my face, etc, throughout 2018. I didn’t pick any winners because, well, I didn’t want to/didn’t have time to make formal envelopes, but I did give my top 10 favorites in every category, with a few bonuses thrown in at the end.

I just wanted to give you my Rec Roundup, in case you’re looking for recs to round up, you know?

Here we go.

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Books

  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (Nonfiction/Biography)
  • In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It by Lauren Graham (Nonfiction)
  • You’re Not That Great by Elon Gale (Humor/Self-help)
  • Left Neglected by Lisa Genova (Fiction/Medical)
  • Strange Fire by Tommy Wallach (Young Adult/Science Fiction)
  • Wildflower by Drew Barrymore (Memoir/Nonfiction)
  • One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus (Young Adult/Mystery)
  • Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis (Nonfiction/Self Help)
  • Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom (Memoir/Nonfiction)
  • The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhymes (Memoir/Nonfiction)

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Podcasts

  • Heavyweight
  • VIEWS with David Dobrik
  • Modern Love
  • The Tiny Meat Gang Podcast
  • The Mortified Podcast
  • School of Greatness
  • Ear Hustle
  • Dirty John
  • The Rise Podcast
  • Sandra

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Movies/Documentaries

  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor (Amazon)
  • Three Identical Strangers (Amazon)
  • Becoming Bond (Hulu)
  • Red Sparrow
  • A Quiet Place
  • Eighth Grade
  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Netflix)
  • To All the Boys I Loved Before (Netflix)
  • A Star is Born

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TV Shows

  • The Office (Netflix)
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix)
  • American Vandal (Netflix)
  • Atypical (Netflix)
  • Santa Clarita Diet (Netflix)
  • The Sinner (Netflix)
  • Queer Eye (Netflix)
  • Love (Netflix)
  • The End of the F***ing World (Netflix)
  • A Million Little Things (Hulu or ABC)

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Music

  • Sweetner by Ariana Grande
  • Dan + Shay by Dan + Shay
  • Own it by Francesca Battistelli
  • Swimming by Mac Miller
  • Don’t Smile at Me by Billie Eilish
  • Reputation by Taylor Swift
  • Bloom by Troye Sivan
  • Golden Hour by Kasey Musgraves
  • Electric Light by James Bay
  • Shawn Mendes by Shawn Mendes

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Misc

These are the only ones that I figured needed a little commentary just so you know what the heck I’m talking about.

glassesComputer glasses: I talked about these in my most recent favorites post. They block the blue light from your computer, so if you are someone like me who spends most of their work day looking at a screen, they help A LOT with headaches and make my eyes feel less like they’re being sucked out of my head.

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Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder: I tend to have oily skin and so far this is one of the only powders that has truly helped me combat it! Plus, it’s cheap! (find it here)

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Wear Me Pro Sunglasses: These were an impulse buy on Amazon that I figured couldn’t hurt because it was only putting me out about $10. But I ended up truly LOVING these glasses and wore them almost every single day. (find them here)

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Uline Blanket: I got this as a free gift from a purchase we made at work and OH. MY. GOSH. It is the greatest blanket I have ever owned and am willing to fight to the (near) death with anyone who tries to take it from me. (find it here)

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Google Wifi: My parents bought this for their house and loved it so much that they gifted a set to my roommates and I. Now, I’m not the techie that can explain exactly how they work, but let’s just say if you are having trouble getting your Wifi to reach certain rooms of the house, these bad boys extend that reach. They have worked great for us! (find it here)

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Check out more List-cember posts here