October Favorites 2018

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I can’t believe that October has come and gone. It’s one of my favorite months in the whole year and honestly I’m sad to see it go. But, I’m going to look back on the month and share with you a few things I have been loving. I hope you enjoy!

1. The Good Cop Netflix series. This is one of those shows my mom got me into (thanks Mom!) and I think it has become one of my favorite shows on Netflix. Staring Josh Groban and Tony Danza, it’s a cop/mystery/crime show that I’ve been recommending to all my friends. Also… who else is ready for season 2???

2. Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV show. It has become a tradtion for me to binge watch the Sabrina the Teenage Witch 90s show each year in October. I love the lightness and humor of the show and I especially love the seasons where Sabrina is attending college. Side note- I have also been loving the darker Netflix show Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and recommend that too.

3. Classical KDFC Radio Station. I work a sedetary job that has me in a cubicle 8-5 on  weekdays, staring at a computer screen. Because of this, I often deal with fatigue and need some background noise to keep me from falling asleep at my desk. Most of the time I will choose a podcast, audiobook, or spotify playlist to listen to. But lately I’ve been wanting some simple music to be intersting enough to keep me awake, but will not distract me from the task at hand. Enter in Classical KDFC. A radio station originating out of San Fransisco, you can download the app and listen for free! This station has been my choice for the past month and I highly recommend giving it a listen (especially if you love classical music).

4. Madewell Simple Crossbody BagI purchased this bag back in August, for my a trip planned in September. I absolutely love small crossbody bags for travel and felt like this was a good addition to my purse collection. However, I was not expecting this to be a bag I reach for every single day. With all the events and activites in October, I hated any time I carried a large bag (or even just a medium satchel). They all felt too heavy, too bulky, and just in general too much. This bag holds my wallet, keys, lip stick, lip balm, hand cream, chewing gum, and anything else I stuff into it. It’s light enough that it doesn’t feel like an additional body member, but roomy enough that I don’t feel unprepared. I highly recommend it!

5. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. I completed my reading goal for the year this month! This book was definitely my favorite that I read in October. This is a middle grade fantasy novel about a city that sacrifices a baby to a witch, to keep peace and protection within their city. However, the witch secretly takes the babies that are “sacrified” to a neigboring town, to find good homes for them. This centers around Luna, who ends up being adopted by the witch, and the story takes off from there. I loved the writing style, the characters, and the message behind the book. I enjoyed every minute of reading it and maybe will re-read it again in the future.

Those are my monthly favorites! What have you been loving in October?

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September Favorites 2018

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It’s fall now. Time to feel a crisp coolness in the wind and watch the leaves dance in the air before landing on the ground. Or something of that nature. No pun intended.

In all reality it’s still in the high 80s where I live and the leaves aren’t dancing yet, they’re falling straight down. But still, fall is my favorite time of the year. And while September isn’t quite the beginning of fall (or not at least until towards the end), it does feel like the beginning of something new.

Today I thought I’d share with you my September favorites. While it’s a short list, each thing has felt very special to me. I hope you enjoy it!

  1. Hart of Dixie. I recently talked about this show in a blog post all about my fall tv recommendations. During my vacation I was craving a show to binge watch and this show definitely fit the bill. I instantly fell in love with it. Considering I’m from the south and know someone in my life similar to the characters, that’s no surprise. If you haven’t seen it, definitely give it a watch (it’s on Netflix if you’re interested).
  2. Emma by Jane Austen. If you know me well, you know Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors of all time. While I don’t have the opportunity to re-read her books as often as I’d like, when Audible included their original drama version of her classic book, Emma, as a free Audible original for members; it was like a sign from God I needed to give this a listen. I can’t recommend this enough. The actors give this book such life and Emma Thompson’s narration is truly a gift to listen to. You must check it out for sure.
  3. Slow Burn Podcast. Podcasts are a stable to my daily week. They keep me going through the long work days. Recently though I’ve gotten into a bit of a slump with my podcasts. Nothing has seemed interesting to me. Well, until season two of Slow Burn  caught my eye. This instantly pulled me in and I have to say, the writing is so well done. It’s hard to talk about political history without getting bias one way or the other, but this podcast does an excellent job of it. I highly recommend giving it a listen, and I’ll definitely be checking out season one soon.
  4. Caitlin’s Corner. I feel like I have a good YouTube subscription list. A lot of people on that list are those I’ve watched since I was in high school, so it’s safe to say I don’t really go out of my comfort zone when finding new you tubers to watch. Well somehow I came across Caitlin’s Corner and couldn’t be happier. I love her content so much! Bullet journal videos (check), book videos (check), college tips (check). Give her a watch!
  5. You’ve Got Mail. This is an old favorite, but an oh so good one. The first time I watched this movie, I think I was around 15. Ever since then it has been my favorite movie of all time (which is a big deal for a movie buff like me). If you’ve seen the movie, you know how many references there are to fall; so of course I had to rewatch it this month. It honestly felt like I was visiting with an old friend when I rewatched it. If you haven’t seen it, stop what you’re doing and go watch it (you’ll thank me later).

This concludes my September favorites! What did you love during last month?

5 Tips For Cutting Down on Spending

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Are you on a budget? Whether you are or not, the holidays will soon be here, so that means it’s time to cut back on spending. Today I wanted to share a few tips on how I do this.

1. Utilize your library. This isn’t just for the bookworms (but seriously if you read, why not use the library); libraries have lately started expanding their collections of tv shows and movies. Lately I’ve been using my local library to download audio books, ebooks, and also check out movies. Whether you’re into fiction or non-fiction, odds are your library can get what you want there (completely free for you).

2. Cancel unnecessary memberships. Do you really need that gym membership? Do you really need to join Pandora, Apple Music, and Spotify? Is the Ipsy bag worth it? Now don’t get me wrong I don’t think there’s anything wrong with keeping a subscription or membership, but the issue is when you aren’t getting/utilizing the value that you’re paying. I canceled my gym membership after not going at all for a month. Yet I know lots of people who continue to pay even though they’re not going. Don’t waste your money; cancel the membership and use that money someplace else.

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3. Unsubscribe from email subscriptions. There’s a reason why every single store in the world wants you to give them your email address. When you’re getting bombarded every day with emails saying “last chance, buy now!” or “biggest sale of the year!”, odds are you will give into temptation and end up purchasing something you didn’t even know you needed ten minutes ago. Filter through your mailbox and unsubscribe from the companies you especially need to stay away from… did anyone say, Bath and Body Works?

4. Only upgrade if it removes a negative in your life. While watching a youtube video last week I heard this amazing bit of wisdom. Don’t upgrade something unless what you’re replacing is causing negative feelings in your life. For example – don’t upgrade your phone unless your current one is glitching out on you. Don’t replace your mascara if you love the one you have. This helps narrow down what really is a “need” in your life and helps you put your money towards something that truly adds value.

5. Use cash. The simplest tip of them all. Now I’ll say up front, I love using my debit card. My bank actually rewards me for making debit card purchases, so it’s match made in heaven right? Yes and no. Studies show that when you make a purchase with cash rather than a debit card (even if the card is tied directly to your bank account), you will a) feel more of a “sting” after making the purchase and b) are likely to change your mind and not go through with the transaction. This helps narrow your spending down to where you’re truly buying what you need and not splurge your money.

Do you have any tricks or tips for cutting down your spending? I’d love to hear about it.

 

 

Top 5 TV Shows For Fall | 2018

To be honest – fall is my favorite season of them all. The weather turns crisp and cool. It’s the best of both worlds season. It’s the perfect time to get outside and go to pumpkin patches and octoberfests, but also perfect to stay inside and knit while drinking tea.

“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”- Nora Ephron, You’ve Got Mail

Today I’m going to talk about my favorite tv shows for fall. Specifically my top five. Now this list won’t be tv shows that air in the fall, but rather shows that give me serious fall vibes. I hope you enjoy!

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1. Hart of Dixie. This is a new show for me! Back when I was on vacation at the beginning of the month I wanted to start a new Netflix show. In walked “Hart of Dixie”. This show is so charming. Taking place in the small, fictional town of Bluebell; Sophie Hart moves from NYC to start a general practitioner practice she inherited from a stranger. I think what makes this so good is that I love every character. There isn’t a character I get tired of seeing and that’s quite an accomplishment.

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2. Gilmore Girls. I mean how can this not be on my list? The opening sequence alone gives me extreme fall vibes. Watching Lorelei and Rory walk around Stars Hollow with the fall leaves instantly makes me feel nostalgic. The first season is my specifically my favorite to re-watch. The show follows Lorelei and Rory, as Lorelei reconnects with her mom and Rory goes to a prestigious private high school. If you haven’t seen it, get some popcorn and candy ready to sit back and enjoy the show.

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3. Sabrina the Teenage Witch. She’s a witch, there’s tons of references to Halloween, and this show is everything spooky and fun. I especially love the later seasons when Sabrina goes off to college (something about college makes me super nostalgic for fall), but the whole show is great for watching during September – November.

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4. The Addams Family. Dah dah duh. Dah dah duh. They’re creepy and they’re spooky… this iconic show is so much fun to watch. I love the two part episode about how Gomez and Morticia met, and often pick that to rewatch. I also highly recommend the movie version, which is an excellent adaption. I do watch this show all year round, but especially around the cooler months.

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5. Stranger Things. If you haven’t watched yet, you probably live under a rock. However, if you haven’t seen this I do recommend going into it with no prior knowledge about the show. So I won’t say anything more, just do yourself a favor and check this out.

I hope you enjoyed this list! What are some of your favorite tv shows to watch in the fall? 

5 Podcast Recommendations

Listening to podcasts is one of my favorite things to do. Podcasts help keep my workday interesting and motivate me to keep learning. I remember hearing someone say that the platform of podcasts is a way to make a deeper connection with your listener. Whether that’s true or not, listening to podcasts has been a daily habit in my life for over a year. I feel like I retain information more, when it’s coming at me in an audio format.

Today I thought I would share with you five podcasts I recommend. I tried to keep genre’s different, so that no matter what you’re interested in, you’re sure to find something you like.

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1. TED Radio Hour. This podcast is hosted by Guy Raz. The description from NPR basically says it all.

“Guy Raz explores the emotions, insights, and discoveries that make us human. The TED Radio Hour is a narrative journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, and new ways to think and create.”

This was the very first podcast I got into. I haven’t listened to every single episode, but I will say that the ones I’ve listened to, have changed my life in some way. My favorite episodes include “To Endure”, “The Act of Listening”, “How We Love”, and “Forgiveness”.

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2. Accused. This was the first true crime podcast I listened to; the result of which, began an obsession with mysteries and true crime podcasts. Here’s the description.

When Elizabeth Andes was found murdered in her Ohio apartment in 1978, police and prosecutors decided within hours it was an open-and-shut case. Two juries disagreed. The Cincinnati Enquirer investigates: Was the right guy charged, or did a killer walk free?”

There are two seasons of this show and I will admit, I didn’t enjoy the second. However, the first was so interesting. The podcast goes into the cold case and includes tons of interviews with people who knew Beth Andes. I highly recommend this podcast.

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3. Productivity Paradox. This podcast is hosted by Tonya Dalton, who is the owner of Inkwell Press. Here she offers tips on how to increase your productivity (as indicated by the podcast’s name). During the time that I’ve listened to this show daily, I picked up several different tidbits of advice from her. Some of the things she discusses-  how to use your time valuably, how to disconnect, and also how to get the best sleep. If you’re interested in short podcast episodes that cut to the chase and teach you something, this is it.

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4. Dirty John. Here it is, my all time favorite podcast. I remember first downloading the episodes and not knowing at all what to expect. Two days later, after binge listening to the podcast, I knew it was the best podcast I’d ever listened. I would include a description, but I think it’s better going into this podcast without any prior knowledge. Just know, it’s gripping, well delivered, disturbing, and 100% all true. Do yourself a favor and check this out.

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5. Business Boutique. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Christy Wright, but she works with Dave Ramsey in Ramsey Solutions. She’s all about helping women grow their dream business. I’ve been to her event in Nashville and also have started to read her book. Her podcast is a very approachable show. All her episodes have a theme. She opens up the show by talking about that theme/topic herself, and then she has an interview with someone about their take on the theme/topic. Even if you’re not wanting to start a business, don’t let that stop you from looking at this. Christy also gives lots of life advice that I have found to be very valuable.

If you’ve already listened to any of these shows, please let me know what you thought of them! I hope to recommend more podcasts to you in the future.

 

What’s In My Travel Backpack? | Summer 2018

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I love traveling. Physically being away from all my problems allows me to unwind and reconnect with myself. This next weekend I’ll be going on a long weekend trip to some lakeside cabins. I thought I would take this time to share with you what I’ll be packing in my travel backpack.

Before I get into the details, I want to first say I’m an overpacker in remission. Almost every trip I’ve taken, I have brought with me multiple unneccessary items that I never even touched. So this trip I’m cracking down and restricting myself to the bare essentials. Odds are, most of my time will be spent siteseeing, eating food, and visiting with my other travel companions.

  1. Hershel Company Dawson XS Backpack in Navy. Backpacks are a tricky thing for me. Being only 5.2, most backpacks end up either looking like a turtle shell or like a child’s backpack on me. I went in search of the perfect medium size and found this amazing backpack. It fits everything I need to, along with having extra space. I couldn’t be more happier with it.
  2. Moleskine Hardcover NotebookI used to journal every single day. I’d pour out my heart and soul onto the pages of my muliple journals I’ve used over the years. However in the last five years, I’ve really lost the practice. I’m packing this in hopes of having some time to daily journal again.
  3. Kindle Paperwhite in Vera Bradley Case. My kindle is an absolute essential for traveling. I can carry hundreds of books on the device and not feel the weight of it when I carry my backpack. I’ve loaded a few new books on it (such as The Princess Diarist, Girl Wash Your Face, and Quiet), so I know for sure I won’t be bored.
  4. Scribbles That Matter Journal in Purple (my bullet journal). Yes, I’m bringing two journals with me. But both serve unique purposes. While my moleskine is for journal entries and other deep thoughts, my bullet journal is mainly for weekly planning and list making. It’s also something to do when I feel stressed or anxious.
  5. Fossil WalletThis tiny wallet is my absolute favorite. A wallet is for obvious reasons too (because you have to have money on a vacation of course). This wallet will live in my backpack for the traveling portion of the trip, then move into the crossbody bag I’ll have packed in my suitcase for when we get there.
  6. Kate Spade Pencil Pouch. Seriously, how cute is this pencil pouch? This holds all my pens. Because I can’t just have one with me, this will keep all my fine line markers, pencils, pens, and other stationary neccessities in one place.
  7. Makeup Pouch. This doesn’t really hold makeup, but more of travel necessites. Nail file, lip balm (one with SPF and the other without), hand santizer, and hand lotion. I’ll also keep some pain medicine, band aids, and other mini emergency items on hand.
  8. Tech Pouch. I love this mess pouch that I may or may not have “borrowed” from my mom. Ths is perfect to keep my phone charger, earbuds, phone dongle (the AUX adaptor for iPhone 7), and over the ear headphones together.
  9. Swell Water Bottle (not shown). Having water on hand is a must, and this water bottle instantly became my favorite the day when I received it in the mail. Not only does it keep my drink cold for hours and hours, but it does not sweat, spill, or look tacky. Plus it’s aesthetically pleasing, so how can I go wrong?

Along with all these things, I will of course, have my iPhone with me. My phone will be loaded up with podcasts, movies, music, and audiobooks; so that if none of the above things keep my interested, I know my phone will.

What things do you consider necessaties when traveling?

5 Reading Recommendations & 5 Reading Tips |Summer 2018

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“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

I love summer. While it’s not my all time favorite season (that is reserved for fall), it’s a time of new beginnings. Towards the end of summer especially, right at that stage when school starts and everyone is buying new stationary, I feel the need to read.

Reading has been a passion of mine for years. And while I don’t read as intensely as I did in high school, I still enjoy a good book at the end of the day. I thought I’d share with you some reading recommendations, as well as some tips I have for developing the reading habit again.

5 Book Recommendations

  1. To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han. While this book technically takes place during the school year, it feels very much like a summer read. I love Lara Jean and reading about her is a pure joy to experience. This series is definitely worth adding to your “to be read” list.
  2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Some books just scream “cute”. This is one of them. I’ve read this book four times and I can honestly say, it doesn’t lose it’s charm. Anna goes to live in Paris at a fictional boarding school. I mean, how can you go wrong with a plot line like that?
  3. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book holds a very close dear place in my heart. I love reading about Elizabeth’s travels and there is something so reassuring about this memoir. Reading this book after a break up makes you feel like everything will be okay. It’s an excellent read and I highly recommend it.
  4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. My all time favorite book. I’ve read it multiple times and every time it gets better (like fine wine). Taking place in New York City during the summer, the story leaves you thinking about your past, present, and future. I also highly recommend the audio book (read by Jake Gyllenhaal).
  5. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. I randomly purchased this book at a thrift store in the summer of 2016. Two days later, I finished the book. This fictionalized account of Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage only encouraged my obsession for 1920’s history. The writing style makes the story easy to consume, while not lacking for worth.

 

5 Tips for Reading

  1. Set a specific time each day. You brush your teeth, make your coffee, and eat at the same time each day. Why not with reading? I lately have started utilizing Google Calendar and have loved the feature for creating reminders. I made reading a reminder and feel so satisfied when I check mark it completed. Find a time that you can enjoy 15, 30, or 60 min each day and stick with it.
  2. Read a book you’re interested in. Don’t feel obligated to read the New York Times bestseller novel. So what if you want to read a biography on a polititican? So what if you want to read a romance novel? Reading is a very individual, solitary act, so don’t force yourself to read something you don’t care about.
  3. Pick you favorite method of reading. With today’s age, we’re no longer limited to the paperback. You can now consume a novel through a physical copy, ebook, or audiobook. Look at your lifestyle and pick which one works best for you. Audiobooks are great for multitasking and can bring a book to life. Ebooks are great for those who don’t like to hold a hardback book in their hands. Physical books are great for those who love turning the pages. Pick what suits you.
  4. Find a reading buddy. While reading is a solitary act; talking about a book doesn’t have to be. See if one of your friends feels like chatting about your most recent read over coffee. Add some friends on GoodReads. Heck, even talk to your local librarian if you want to. It’s so much fun and encouraging to voice your thoughts and opinions on what you think about the book you’re reading.
  5. Just have fun. It’s cliche, but true. Reading shouldn’t feel like a chore. It should be something you look forward to. If you really are struggling with reading, don’t feel like you have to suffer through it. Put your book down (I promise it will be waiting for you when you’re ready).

I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know what books are you enjoying. Happy reading!