What I’m Listening To: January 2018

Hello! It’s been awhile since I’ve written a post about my podcast addiction. While I still listen to at least one (often many!) podcast a day, I haven’t strayed very far from my tried and true favorites this month. There’s something very comforting in continuing to listen to the ones that bring me the greatest joy, rather than searching for new podcasts when I never really know what I’m going to get. I’m always on the lookout for new podcast recommendations, but then I’m too overwhelmed if there are hundreds of episodes to listen to. Do I start with the most recent or go all the way back to the beginning? Do I just look for a topic or guest that sounds most interesting to me? It’s very stressful making those decisions! I’m finding that I really prefer to invest my time listening to the ones that I absolutely love. At least until I catch up with all of them and am forced to try something new!

PODCASTS

Forever 35

Forever 35

That being said, I did find a new podcast this month that I’m pretty sure will become a favorite. It just started, so there are only four episodes to catch up on. Two friends, Kate and Doree, get together once a week and talk about all the different self care routines, beauty products, and more that they’ve been trying out. They are funny and entertaining and instantly make you want to be their best friend. I think it’d be the perfect podcast for any woman even the tiniest bit interested in taking care of herself.

The Popcast

The Popcast

I am 100% addicted to The Popcast. It’s my go to podcast, always. And amazingly, I still have over a hundred back episodes to catch up on and almost 200 Friend of the Show episodes. Because I love it so much I’m a “best friend of the show” Patreon supporter. It’ll be a sad day when I catch up completely and have to rely on actually waiting a week in between listening to Knox and Jamie! This podcast is seriously just so fun and entertaining. I’m even enjoying the recap episodes they’re doing on The Bachelor, even though I don’t watch the show, nor have I ever. Basically they can talk about any topic and I’m going to be interested enough to listen. I love it!

Front Porch

Front Porch with The Fitzes

This is the first podcast I listened to from the beginning and caught up with. Some episodes are better than others, but it never fails to bring me a few laughs. This past month they’ve been bringing in guests to talk about diversity, which has been interesting. Normally they just talk about whatever random things have been going on in their lives, which I like too. But it’s a good solid clean but funny listen.

Spilled Milk

Spilled Milk

Clean, this one is not! But it’s pretty dang funny. They’re up to 317 episodes and I’ve listened to all of them, in order. For awhile I was starting to think they really weren’t putting any effort into them anymore. But the last few have gotten better again. It’s a light and fun foodie type podcast if you’re interested in that type of thing!

Happier

Happier

I’m still not quite caught up with this, but I’m close! I’ve listened from the beginning and it feels like returning to old friends every time I turn it on. Sisters Gretchen and Liz always have something intriguing to talk about, always around the topic of happiness. It’s uplifting and inspiring content that always gives me something to think about and implement in my own life.

what should i read next

What Should I Read Next?

I really waffle back and forth on how much I like this podcast. I love listening to anything about books. But there’s just something about Anne that kind of grates on me. So I usually pick and choose depending on who the guests are and what the main book topic is.

the next right thing

The Next Right Thing

I like this podcast for early morning listening. It’s about easing yourself from the burden of decision fatigue and helping you always know what is the next right thing to do with your time, your life, your dreams. It’s really helpful advice that I try to take to heart.

MUSIC

Here’s a new one! I’m not hugely into music, but I do listen to it off and on when I need a break from podcasts. These are the songs that have basically been on repeat for me the last few weeks.

“Mad World” by the Riverdale cast

So they sang this song on Riverdale in the most awkward and uncomfortable tv scene practically ever made. But the song – on spotify – is so good! I’m obsessed with it. Though I only play it during the day so Greg doesn’t make fun of me. 🙂

The Greatest Showman Soundtrack

I loved this movie SO much. Especially because of the music! Every song is just so fantastic. I can’t stop listening to it. So good.

“Perfect” by Ed Sheeran

I adore this song. Particularly after watching the music video about a hundred times. Did you know it was written about his actual childhood love interest whom he has very recently become engaged to? So romantic!

What I’m Listening to: Podcasts October 2017

It was a big month for podcasts! Some months go by where I only want to listen to my tried and true standbys. Some months I’m much more interested in trying out new shows I’ve never listened to before. October was one of those months. I was all over the place with genres and topics. True crime, entertainment, interviews, and back to the book podcasts. LOVE the book podcasts. As always, I’ll start with the podcasts that were new to me this month and end with the ones I listen to all the time.

Dirty John

Dirty John

Dirty John is a true crime podcast told in six episodes. It’s about a man named John and how he conned and terrorized the lives of many. It’s told from the perspective of the investigator at the LA Times, John’s wife Debra, and her adult daughters. This podcast is very similar to S-Town and Serial, with a lot of the addictive qualities that will make you want to binge through it, the way I did. What makes it different is that you’re not entirely sure what the crime is until the end. And the voices of the family members might drive you slightly crazy. But overall, a very fascinating listen! I’d also just like to point out that I found this and listened to it before it was hyped up all over the internet in the last few weeks!

Crime Writers On

Crime Writers On

I don’t listen to this regularly, but it’s always very entertaining when I do. I first heard about it while I was listening to S-Town a few months ago. They did accompanying episodes each week, going over each S-Town installment. I picked it up again this month to listen to what they had to say about Dirty John. I see that going back they basically talk about any kind of true crime type thing that’s big at that time. I plan on keeping a closer eye on new episodes to see if they peak my interest.

TheNextRightThing-300x300

The Next Right Thing

I like to think about this podcast as an audio devotional/daily pep talk. I only listen to it early in the morning when I’m the only one up and working on some sewing. It’s an inspirational and uplifting start to my day. Emily has such a soothing voice and she has so many wonderful things to say. It’s a relatively new podcast and I’m not caught up yet, but I’m really loving it so far.

Favorite episode so far: 05 Offer Your Work With Hope

Excellent advice about living the life God intended for you. If you’re constantly thinking about something you wish you were doing, it’s very likely something you SHOULD be doing. Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. Check this one out if you’re feeling the nudge to try something new!

Hey YA

Hey YA

Hey YA is a new Book Riot podcast all about YA. I adore YA. So of course I have to listen to this podcast! There are four episodes so far and I’ve only listened to two. It feels very rough to me, but I think I’ll stick with it. I don’t really know anybody in my real life that reads YA (or at all??), so maybe this will give me a bit of a fix to hear more about it.

Deadly Manners

Deadly Manners

This is a fictional murder mystery installment podcast. There are five episodes so far and I listened to them all in a day. Just like fictional audiobooks, I kind of have a hard time paying attention. But…it’s interesting enough that I obviously binged it so far and will listen to the rest. It’s a well done story acted by celebrities like Kristen Bell. It’s very similar to the movie Clue. Which I hate, by the way. But I like Kristen Bell, so I gave it a shot! I find the butler to be especially creepy.

get-booked-logo-e1441883061578

Get Booked

I’m SO book obsessed these days. I want to spend all of my time reading about books, listening to people talk about books, reading my own books. So I’m coming back to all the Book Riot podcasts I subscribed to a long time ago, but never listened to. This particular one is a recommendation show (my favorite!!) where people send in questions and get book recommendation answers. My favorite episodes so far are #8 and #9 – holiday gift book recommendations.

The Lazy Genius

The Lazy Genius

A long time ago I recommended The Lazy Sisters podcast, which was pretty hilarious. They no longer make it, but the older sister Kendra now has this podcast on her own. I follow her on instagram and her stories are some of my favorites to check in on every day. But I do have occasional mixed feelings about the podcast. I know she genuinely doesn’t think she’s a genius at all the things she talks about, but sometimes it comes across as being a little pompous. Also, I hate saying this because I know it makes me sound petty and mean. But she says the word “important” like a hundred times in every episode and 90% of the time she pronounces it “imporDant.” Though I noticed in an episode of The Next Right Thing today that Emily P. Freeman also pronounces it that way, so it must be a North Carolina thing. It just kind of drives me crazy. But yes, back to the podcast. It’s entertaining, sometimes funny, sometimes makes you think about things in a different way. I don’t listen to all the episodes, just the ones that sound the most interesting to me. I’m really looking forward to the holiday series she just started and will continue with the rest of the year.

WF

WTF with Marc Maron

I definitely don’t listen to this regularly. But every once in awhile I want to listen to something that’s pretty different from everything else in my ears. This month I listened to the episode with James Cordon. I really like James Cordon and I enjoyed the interview with him just being himself – not trying to be funny or entertain anyone. It was really interesting!

Note to Self

Note to Self

A podcast about life and technology. Today I listened to an episode called Play Video Games for your Mental Health, which I found to be very intriguing. It made me think differently about what kinds of games my kids are playing and which might actually be improving their general health and which kinds to avoid. I don’t really spend a lot of time dealing with their video game consumption because that’s Greg’s arena. But I liked hearing what they had to say about it.

Sorta Awesome

Sorta Awesome

I’m starting to get more into this one again. Probably because of the facebook hangout and people talking about the episodes every week. I need to be in the loop!

Favorite Episode: 113 We Don’t Know What We’re Doing (WAHM Woes)

This episode was SO relatable, as a work at home mom myself. Meg and Laura shared how frustrated and distracted and conflicted they feel about their “work” as podcasters and how it fits into their family lives. I agreed with literally everything they said. I feel the same things every single day with Heartstring Annie and now that I’m trying to grow the blog I feel that way even more. Especially since like their podcasting – my blog isn’t bringing in any money, so does it really count as important work?? Anyway, just a fantastic episode!

Happier

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Always a reliable standby if I’m not feeling a great craving for any specific podcast genre. It’s interesting, it’s positive, it gives you ways to be happier. Nothing bad to say about it!

for the love

For the Love Podcast with Jen Hatmaker

In October, Jen finished the For the Love of Moxie series and started a series For the Love of Food. Every episode is an interview with a different person and it’s always so funny and fascinating. I love learning the stories of so many people – most of whom I’ve never heard of before. Which oftentimes turns me off, but I’m really enjoying this one.

the popcast

The Popcast

Still my daily go to podcast when I just want to be entertained. I feel like I listen to this ALL THE TIME, but I still have hundreds of back episodes and Patreon supporter episodes. I kind of hope I never catch up so I always have something fun and happy to listen to! I love Wednesdays when I can listen to the most current episode. I also just realized Patreon supporters also have access to videos that Knox and Jamie do. A little less convenient since I don’t often find myself just sitting at my computer watching things. But I’m super excited to make my way through those as well. This podcast is perfect for anybody and everybody!

WHEW – that was a lot of podcasts! I actually have like four or five more, but I only listened to one or two episodes, so I’ll wait and see if I grow to like them more next month!

What are YOU listening to?!

What I’m Listening To: Podcasts September 2017

Let’s talk a minute about podcasts. I started listening to them a little over a year ago for the very first time and now my life sometimes feels like it revolves around them. I realize this isn’t exactly a good thing, but I can no longer work – in any capacity – without listening to a podcast at the same time. Sometimes, I listen to music. Rarely. But doing literally anything slightly mindless without an accompanying podcast in my ears feels like a wasted opportunity. I love them, and I can’t get enough of them.

A few months ago I tacked this segment onto my large end of the month media consumption post, but I’ve decided to do it a little more justice and provide its own monthly recap on what I listened to most, why I like it, and specific episodes that you might enjoy if you’re just getting into the podcast lifestyle. I go through spurts of listening to the same handful of podcasts all day every day for weeks. And then there are weeks when I’m more open to branching out and I try new things. I find a lot of duds because it’s hard to feel attached when I’m already so invested in my favorites. But every once in awhile I come across one I really love and it moves its way up to the top of my list. So I’m sure as I write these posts each month there will be a lot of repeats. But also a few new discoveries that I will always list first.

For the Love Podcast with Jen Hatmaker

I just started listening to this one a few weeks ago when I heard about it after beginning Jen’s book Of Mess and Moxie. And it’s pretty amazing. It’s also fairly new, so there are only 12 episodes out and completely worth starting at the beginning and listening to all of them. Jen is structuring the podcast to go through series of guests that will speak with her about a certain topic. The first five episodes are about For the Love of Girlfriends. Jen and her guest discuss friendship in ways that will make you laugh your head off and feel green with envy. The second series is For the Love of Moxie. It’s about women that are full of moxie, oftentimes ones who started their own companies and are making a huge difference in the world. Each episode is funny, moving, and rooted in faith. They will uplift you and make you a better person for having listened.

Favorite episodes:

For the Love of Girlfriends: Episode 05: Real Girlfriends Stories from the Tribe

Listen to this. Seriously, listen to it. The words will absolutely convict you about your own friendships and challenge you to be so much more invested and reliable to the ones you love. Warning, it WILL make you cry. Even if you’re walking around town with your dog while you listen and determined not to make a fool of yourself in front of strangers.

For the Love of Moxie: Episode 03: Food, Freedom & The Whole30 with Melissa Hartwig

I didn’t really know anything about Whole30 before listening to this episode. I try to stay away from diet trends because they overwhelm me and feel so restricting. But I found this interview and the whole story behind the company and plan to be pretty fascinating. All of the guests on the Moxie series have been great, but this one felt the most powerful to me.

36 Questions

Here’s a fun one for you! It’s a musical podcast. Described as an experiment on what podcasting could eventually be, this is a three act production in a musical format about a couple trying to find their way back from divorce using a list of 36 questions that they ask each other. Each act is an hour or less so you can do what I did and listen to it all in a day. The podcast is acted out by Jonathan Broff and Jessie Shelton who just felt perfect for their rolls. I’m a little bit in love with Jonathan Broff now. This was definitely a unique experience and I hope it sets a new trend for similar podcasts. Expertly created with interesting sound effects, a believable and heartfelt storyline, and beautiful songs, 36 Questions was truly a treat.

The Popcast with Knox and Jamie

I think it’s officially safe to say that this is my all time favorite podcast. I like it so much that I recently decided to become a Patreon supporter, which gives me access to hundreds of episodes of bonus content from the past few years, plus everything new to come. I think one of the things that makes this podcast so great is that Knox and Jamie now do this for a living. It is their job and they take it seriously. Every episode is so well researched and put together, with tons of creative and interesting new topics every week. And the best part – it’s FUNNY. Oh, so funny!!! They discuss pop culture, argue about so many things, and just make you laugh without fail. I love it. There are hundreds of back episodes, which I’m not even caught up with yet. But if you’re just starting I’d probably go with the newest few just because they’ll be the most pertinent. I love Knox and Jamie as people and pretty much everything they have to say. Jamie is especially snarky and opinionated, but the podcast itself is clean. Besides their main topic each week, they also discuss news for the week (more in depth for Patreon supporters), and their red and green lights. I always LOVE recommendations from people, especially recommendations on books, tv, and movies. Which is what they almost always stick with. I have learned that I have very different tastes than Jamie, but it’s always exciting to see what she has to say. This summer they went on tour to various states and co-hosted with other podcasters I also listen to. I was so insanely jealous none of them were close enough for me to go to. If they have another live tour next summer, it might have to be my vacation destination.

Their website lists a guide for episodes you should start with if you’re new to them. I’d have to agree. Episode 181: Misunderstood and Misheard Song Lyrics is my absolute favorite. I laughed so hard I was crying and I laughed about it all day long. All of the NOs Of episodes are also especially hilarious. I love the Urban Dictionary episodes too. So many laughs. Check this one out, for real, guys. If you’re into pop culture AT ALL, I think you’ll enjoy this podcast.

Front Porch with the Fitzes

This is the first podcast I ever listened to and it definitely holds a special place in my heart. I started at the beginning with this one, though they just had their 100th episode and it might be hard to catch up. But there are many references to past conversations in other episodes, so it’s a more enriched listening experience if you understand all the inside jokes. Anyway, this podcast is just a group of family members that get together every week to discuss what’s going on in their lives. The main hosts are mom Elyse Fitzpatrick, daughter Jessica Thomson, and son Joel Fitzpatrick. (Elyse and Jessica are Christian authors and speakers and Joel is a pastor. But don’t let that they deter you – they are feisty!) In more recent episodes Pop, the dad, has been a regular. And occasionally they have their spouses or kids on, though I enjoy it the most when it’s just the three of them. A lot of times topics they discuss are silly, but it’s always a guaranteed laugh. They’re the kind of family you wish you could belong to. Always teasing, filled with laughter, but also rooted in love and affection for each other. They recently started a segment on book/tv/movie recommendations (my fave!) and they close out each podcast with a devotional. Overall, I greatly look forward to Tuesday mornings when I can listen to the latest episode.

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

This podcast is hosted by happiness guru, Gretchen Rubin, and her sister Elizabeth Craft. Each week they discuss happiness hacks, listener questions, stumbling blocks, and give out gold stars and demerits for things that have happened to them over the week. I like this one because it’s always positive and uplifting and gives great suggestions for things you can do to make you happier. But it’s never done in a way to make you feel guilty or like you’re not doing enough. I started this one at the beginning and I’m not quite caught up, but only have about 15 left. It’s not necessary, but they do often refer back to topics or listener questions from previous episodes. On every tenth episode they have a “very special episode” where they might address a more exciting topic or have a special guest on. They also talk a lot about personality frameworks, as it’s something Gretchen specializes in. I feel like so much of what they talk about is relevant to anyone who listens, regardless of age or gender. Everyone could use a few tips to be happier, right? I don’t have any favorite episodes, but they’re all pretty similar in quality of content.

What Should I Read Next? with Annie Bogel

Anne Bogel is creator of the amazing blog ModernMrsDarcy.com. Which is an incredible resource for anybody who shares a love of reading. She has so much awesome content about every genre of book, filled with recommendations for any type you could possibly want. It’s basically my dream job and I’m supremely jealous. I follow her on every form of social media and it’s just books galore! Anyway, in her podcast she interviews a guest each week about their reading habits and gives them three suggestions of what they should read next. She makes these recommendations based on books they love, books they hate, what they’re currently reading, and what they wished was different in their reading lives. I find the entire thing so interesting! I love to hear what other people are reading and listen to book talk in general. Because each guest and topic is different each week, it’s not necessary to listen in any sort of order. I usually jump all around to what guests or topics sound the most intriguing.

Sorta Awesome

I really go back and forth on whether I actually like this podcast or not. It’s one of the first ones I listened to, but after awhile aspects of it and the hosts started to grate on me. It’s made by Meg Tietz who rotates with three co-hosts: Laura Tremaine, Rebekah Hoffer, and Kelly Gordon. Occasionally they have group shows with all four of them. Kelly is my favorite co-host. Meg is the one who grates on me and there’s no avoiding her. BUT, the thing I like most about this podcast, is that it has an accompanying facebook group called Sorta Awesome Hangout. And from that hangout, there are tons of spin-off groups. I’m in a book lovers group, a planner obsessed group, and a YA group. I love being in these groups so much because every day tons of people are starting the most interesting conversations and asking for advice on every topic under the sun. Basically, these sorta awesome groups (called “awesomes”) are my entire facebook world. None of my real life friends ever post anything. But these women love to discuss things and they give amazing advice if you’re looking for answers to a random question too. I recently asked for suggestions on gifts for my mother-in-law’s birthday and party foods for Caden’s Harry Potter party. The groups are so big that I doubt I’ll ever form definitive friendships with anyone, but it’s fun to belong. So I’ll always be a bit loyal to the podcast itself. I don’t listen regularly, but if a particular episode is getting a lot of buzz, I try to tune in. My favorite segment is when everybody shares their awesome of the week (sensing a theme here?). I’ve gotten a lot of cool gift, makeup, book, podcast, and tv ideas from here.

Favorite recent episode:

This episode will give you a good idea who each of the hosts are. And it’s hysterical. Not all of the episodes are particularly funny, but this was a good one.

Spilled Milk

So I almost hesitate to recommend this one. But there are 299 episodes and I’ve listened to every single one of them. In each episode the hosts, Matthew Amster-Burton and Molly Wizenberg, discuss a certain food. They usually get different brands or varieties of whatever food they’re discussing, eat it, and then talk about it. The earliest episodes are hard to listen to because they had no idea what they were doing. But they hit their stride and many episodes are extremely funny. Definitely not any intense looks into the food topic, but fun to listen to regardless. I do feel like more recently they’re just phoning it in. They rarely stay on topic, they don’t seem to go the extra mile, forget to buy certain things, etc. It feels like a bit of a mess. Like The Popcast, this podcast is the hosts’ main source of income. But they put out a 15 minute episode every two weeks. Popcast puts out hours of content every week. Anyway, this sounds like a really bad review. I still listen to it and I’ll continue listening to it. It’s a nice lighthearted thing to listen to while you’re making dinner. It’s good for a laugh.

And that’s it for this month! I did listen to occasional episodes of other podcasts, but I’ll stick with what I look forward to hearing the most. Please let me know your favorite podcasts as well! I LOVE recommendations! 😀

What I Read and Watched and Listened To July 2017

Warning! Very long post ahead! I’ve consumed a whole lot of books and media this last month. And I’m not joking when I say I look forward to writing this post all month long. I should probably start separating them into categories. Or maybe writing twice a month instead? I just love sharing what I’ve read, watched, and listened to. And I love when people give me recommendations too. This month I have a lot to say!

BOOKS

need

Need by Joelle Charbonneau
Rating: 3.5 stars

This is a book very similar to Nerve, which I read last year. High school students joined a sort of social media site where they asked for things they thought they needed. In order to get those things, they were then asked to complete tasks that helped serve other students’ needs. This book got very dark, very fast, in ways that I did not really like. The concept was good, but it was a hard book to really want to be connected with. There were also a confusing amount of characters, some of which served almost no purpose to the story.

once and for all

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
Rating: 5 Stars

This is a book about Louna, an 18 year old who helps her mom and surrogate father figure in their wedding planning business. After having lost what she knows was the love of her life, she has a very jaded attitude about happily ever after and isn’t interested in searching for love in new places. Enter Ambrose, a new employee who is determined to win her over to feeling both love and hope in life again, without knowing why she lost it in the first place. I loved this book because Ambrose was such an endearing, funny, and sweet character. And it is ultimately a very uplifting and beautiful book about moving on without forgetting what you’ve lost.

one of us is lying

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Rating: 4.5 stars

This was a very interesting read about five students who end up in detention together and only four come out alive. The book is an ongoing investigation of the four remaining students to determine which one of them is lying about what happened. The characters band together and weave friendships in unexpected places as so many outside people turn against them. This book will keep you guessing and questioning what is truth and what is lie.

first and tehn

First & Then by Emma Mills
Rating: 4.5 stars

I feel like it’s important to sometimes mention how or why I read a particular book. This one was picked out at random as a library book prize. I didn’t know anything about it, but liked the cover. It ended up being another great book! It’s the story of a girl who thinks she’s in love with her best friend. Her family takes in a quirky cousin whose mom can’t take care of him anymore. And an unexpected boy enters their lives and shakes everything up. Again, very endearing characters in a very lovable story.

the love interest

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
Rating: 2 Stars

I really wanted to like this book. Really, really wanted to like it. And I couldn’t stand it. The storyline was so promising! A secret agency uses foster kids and trains them to be perfect love interests for people that will probably be very influential in society as they get older. When they reach the appropriate age one Good and one Bad are placed in the real world with a mission to win the girl over. The winner gets the girl and the loser is murdered (why??). In this particular trio, Caden is the good and Dylan is the bad and as time goes on they start to fall for each other instead of their targeted girl. Or so you think. Anyway, what I couldn’t stand about this book was the writing itself. It was so juvenile! It was completely unbelievable to me that the characters would think and say and act in all the ways that they constantly did in this story. I powered through to the end where things get a bit more interesting, but the writing! I couldn’t get past it. It felt like something a middle schooler might have written. Ick.

180 seconds

180 Seconds by Jessica Park
Rating: 5* stars

THIS BOOK! First of all, I should say that I give 5 star ratings to books that I truly loved and couldn’t find anything to dislike about them. But if I give an extra * that means it was amazing. I love love LOVED it. And I’d read it again in a heartbeat. This was one of those books. I bought it on a whim on Prime Day because it had good reviews and was super cheap. I’m soooo glad I did. This story is about Allison, a girl who was in foster care the first 16 years of her life and was then adopted by a single gay father, Simon. The book begins when Allison enters college. She’s not the typical angry and jaded ex-foster kid, but she does have a very hard time liking, trusting, and getting close to people. By accident while rushing through the streets one day, she is pulled into a social experiment where she needs to sit and make eye contact with Esben, a stranger, for 180 seconds. This is when her life completely changes. Everything about this book is so GOOD. It will make you cry over and over again. Happy tears, thankful tears, tears about the beauty of what can happen when people come together. I know it’s fiction, but it also feels very believable. I love what happens between Allison and Esben, but I also adore how Simon fits into the story as Allison learns to really trust and feel connected to the man that actually wanted to be her father for the rest of her life. This is such a truly fantastic book. READ IT.

words in deep blue

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
Rating: 3 stars

Another book about loss and trying to move on. I guess I had a theme in about half the books I read this month. This is the story of a girl who had a best friend that she was in love with. She moved away after a misunderstanding and her brother died. She moved back and tried with difficulty to keep a distance between herself and her former best friend. Without mentioning to anyone that her brother died, along with half of her soul. This book frustrated me, a lot. It was very vague. I didn’t understand why she didn’t tell anyone about her brother. I was bothered about the misunderstanding that kept them apart because it was never fully explained. The conversations between characters were so stilted and, well…vague.

more than this

More Than This by Jay McLean
Rating: 2.5 stars

This is the story about a girl who essentially loses everyone on the night of her prom. Her best friend, her boyfriend, her parents, her sister. And it just happens that a boy from another school happens to be a witness to this and provides her with the emotional support she needs to get past it. His family takes her in, with zero qualms, even though she’s a stranger to them all. What bothered me about this book is that she was dealing with such a terrible series of tragedies and yet she seems to get over it all very quickly. I mean, you wouldn’t want to read a book where she’s just drowning in grief. But it felt unbelievable how easily she moved on. The other reasons for the low rating are more pet peeves of mine. In one of the first chapters the two characters kiss briefly on the lips. And probably at least five more times in the book they point out that “we’ve never kissed, not a real kiss!” WHICH WASN’T TRUE. The boy also has some moments of out of control jealousy just because the girl happens to make eye contact or smile at another boy. I can’t stand when men in books show such extreme displays of jealousy for no reason at all. It’s not attractive. There is also an abhorrent amount of swearing in this book. This is a major turn off to me in any book or tv show or podcast. I don’t swear at all, ever. I totally do not think it’s necessary to thrown a swear word into every single sentence. This is the first of a series of four books, but I won’t be reading the rest.

the hush

The Hush by Skye Melki-Wegner
Rating: 2.5 stars

Have you heard of Once Upon a Book Club? It’s a subscription service where you get a surprise book each month and with each book are 3-5 wrapped gifts that you open when you get to the corresponding page number in the book. I’ve known about this subscription for about a year and it sounded so fun to me. I love books and I love getting gifts! So finally with a 4th of July discount, I ordered both the adult and the YA boxes for July. This was the YA pick. It’s dystopian fiction where everything is made of and held together with music. Normally I love YA books and I love dystopian fiction. But I just could for the life of me not get into this book. It was a little too far out there for me. And even though I paid for the box, I just found myself constantly picking up any other book I could reach before I went back to this. I actually did not finish it, I’m very sad to say. I cheated and opened the rest of the gifts. The whole thing was quite a disappointment. I’m sure many people would really like this book. But it just wasn’t for me.

i let you go

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
Rating: 4 stars

I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this book. The premise is that a single mother witnesses her five year old boy being hit by a car right in front of her and she struggles to get on with her life. It made me constantly flash back to watching Shepard almost get hit by a car in Chicago earlier this year. I’ll never get that image out of my mind. But anyway, I read it. I like thrillers, though I don’t read them often. The first half of this book didn’t read like one, though. It was slow and I didn’t understand where it was going. And then – bam! – more plot twist halfway through. Everything really picked up and it got a lot more intriguing. If you like twisty novels, this might be a good one for you.

modern romance

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari (audiobook)
Rating: 3.5 stars

First, a word about audiobooks. I’ve always been very against them. Or rather, against them and then saying you “read” that book. But I think I’ve recently been swayed to the benefits of them. For me mostly – I can “read” while I do any number of other things. Walking, cooking, showering, folding laundry, working, etc. I always have SO MANY books I want to read and listening to an audiobook affords me to the option to read more than I’d normally physically be able to. I think as far as attention span goes, it’s probably better for me to listen to nonfiction books and continue reading fiction. I’m listening to a fiction book at the moment, but I’m having a hard time connecting with it. Modern Romance was easier to follow.

Anyway, I didn’t know anything about this book when I finally figured out how to download it from the library app. I just figured I really like Aziz Ansari, so why not read his book? I just assumed that it would be some sort of memoir about his dating life. I didn’t expect it to be a full blown thoroughly researched book on the topic of modern romance. It was vaguely interesting to me from an anthropological standpoint. But it also didn’t pertain to me and my own experience at all. It just made me very, very glad to have found love early so I didn’t have to go through all the insanity of online dating, searching bars for partners, random hookups, etc. Anyway, Aziz’s extra commentary and enthusiasm while reading definitely made it an interesting listen. I never would have sat down and read the book, so it was a good choice for my first audiobook.

a week of mondays

A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody
Rating: 4 stars

This is your typical Groundhog Day type of book. Ellison has an insane and terrible Monday which ends with her boyfriend breaking up with her. She falls asleep pleading for a second chance at the day. She gets a week of Mondays to try and undo the damage that is always done. It was a light, fast, and fairly predictable read. The repetition of reading about the same scenes over and over again did get to be a little much. But it was fun to watch Ellison realize what she really wanted and finally make the decisions that would benefit her, rather than everyone else.

what to say next

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
Rating: 5 stars

I’ve been anxiously awaiting this book release for months because Buxbaum’s book Tell Me Three Things is one of my absolute favorites. This one didn’t disappoint! While I didn’t love it quite as much, I still found it very sweet and adorable. The main character, Kit, is struggling after the unexpected death of her father. (Wow, I really did have a theme this month!) She finds comfort in the straightforward truths she gets from David, a high functioning autistic student who has no friends. The story follows their friendship and what they can learn from each other. It’s a cute and delightful read.

TV – Alone

I didn’t watch a whole lot of tv this month. Like I’ve said before, I usually only watch while I’m working. So I must not have worked much! Actually, I chose to do a lot more audiobook and podcast listening instead of watching. If I’m not always looking up at a screen, it makes more sense than I can work faster. I hope. 🙂

girlboss

The only thing I liked about this show is that it was about an online entrepreneur. Everything else – didn’t like it. I think because the character was just so obnoxious. I couldn’t stand her personality and how she acted.

gbbs

I keep putting off watching this because the boys really liked watching the first couple of episodes with me. And then they stopped caring, so I’m watching on my own. It’s so good! It amazes me how many things they bake that I’ve never even heard of. I like how friendly and supportive all of the contestants are together, even though they’re technically competing. It’s a really happy and fun show to watch.

younger

Season four started! I love this show. Though it also really bothers me when tv shows revolve and are made around something that can’t possibly go on forever. Like Liza pretending she’s 26. Eventually everyone will find out. And then what?

friends from college

I was hoping for a winner, but this wasn’t it. I guess I’m just morally opposed to a show that ends up being about the affairs that happen between couples in a friend group. I watched the whole season, but it wasn’t that great.

TV- Together

glow

We watched this on a lot of high praised recommendations. I didn’t like it. But Greg loved it. I think maybe just the whole wrestling thing just turned me off so much. It’s not SO much about the wrestling, but it’s always present and I couldn’t bring myself to care. I didn’t find it particularly funny either. Not for me.

good behavior

I wasn’t really sure what to think about this one. The first few episodes were such a rollercoaster of ups and downs for the main character. But as it went on I really got into it. I loved the male lead! Hottie. 🙂 And this is just another pet peeve, but I couldn’t stop noticing how overly expressive Michelle Dockery’s face was. It felt so foreign after how cool and collected and annoyed she always was on Downton Abbey. I also was not liking her American accent, at all. But overall, I’d recommend this one.

orphan balck

As always, this show is so weird. I really have no idea what’s going on. I just love how awesome Tatiana Maslany does at playing so many different characters. Only a few episodes left and I think the show is over for good.

MOVIES

Three theater movies on one month! All so good! And one at home, not so good.

baby driver

I really, really liked Baby Driver. It’s pretty rare for me to see a movie and actually be interested in watching it a second time. But this was that good. I highly recommend it!

spiderman

Also a very good movie! We see all the Marvel movies, but this one was especially funny and likeable. Maybe because there wasn’t a ton of fighting. I’m not a fan of long and plentiful fight scenes.

chips

This was definitely a disappointment! I really like Dax Shepard, but this movie was pretty crappy. It wasn’t the worst I’ve ever seen, but not great, for sure.

trols

This made a comeback in the theater for a couple of days and we went to see it on a Sunday morning. It was fun to see in the theater, but I was so tired I kept falling asleep. Love this movie, though!

PODCASTS

For the last few months I’ve been in a bit of a podcast rut. There are a couple that I really love, I’m caught up on, and I look forward to listening to when they come out each week or every other week. I subscribe to around 120 podcasts on my PocketCasts app, but regularly listen to maybe 6-8 of them. It’s hard starting new ones when you’re so addicted to the ones you love. I always like to start at the beginning, but that’s not always the best idea. Most podcasts starts are rocky and awkward and not the best representation of what they become later on down the line. But I still find it nearly impossible to jump in at a later date! Anyway, this month I was finally up for trying some new ones, so my list is long!

Note to Self

This is a really interesting podcast about all things tech and how it relates to your life. The episodes are fairly short and very applicable to me and everyone I know. Topics are so varied, there are sure to be episodes that will spark your interest.

My Dad Wrote a Porno

Still love this podcast for some good laughs! Plus extra funny since Greg listens to it too, so we can always laugh about it later. I just love the three hosts so much.

Happier with Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft

I listen to this one almost every day and I’m still not caught up. It’s always positive and interesting and filled with tips to make your life happier.

The Popcast

I really love this one too! I still have a ton of back episodes to catch up on, but I love listening to the episodes as they’re released each Wednesday to keep up with current pop culture topics. Knox and Jamie are so delightful to listen to as well. If you’re into tv, movies, and books at all – this should definitely be on your list of podcasts to listen to.

WTF with Marc Maron

I decided to check this one out because Marc Maron was about the only part of the Glow tv show that I liked. Plus whenever I start perusing podcast lists this is always at the top of the charts. Maybe because it’s been around the longest with over 800 episodes. I’ve probably avoided it because of the title. We’ve already discussed my issues with unnecessary swearing! Anyway, I went through and downloaded all the episodes with celebrities I actually know and care about. The Jason Mantzoukas episode first and it was really interesting. I’ve listened to a few others since then. I’m not sure how much I like all of Marc’s ramblings at the beginning of the show, but the interviews seem really great.

Why Oh Why

I gave this one a shot because she was a special guest on Happier (so was the host of Note to Self, my reason for starting that one) and was intrigued. The podcast is about dating and it’s a little odd. Not quite sure how I feel about it yet.

What Should I Read Next?

Always a good standby when I’m in the mood to hear about books. Which is pretty much all the time. This is one I don’t listen to in order because I prefer to listen to the guests that I know. Or the topics that sound most interesting. I love getting book recommendations and Modern Mrs. Darcy (Anne Bogel) is an awesome resource for it.

Reading Glasses

I feel like I’m even more book obsessed than I used to be. Not only do I want to be reading all the time, I also want to be reading about books and listening to book related topics. This is a relatively new podcast with only a handful of episodes. So far very fun if you’re as addicted to all things literary, as I am!

Doughboys

I recommended this a long time ago as one of my favorites, and then never listened to again. Mostly – the unnecessary swearing and going off topic to smutty things. I wish they’d just stick straightly to reviewing the restaurants because that’s what I find most interesting.

Sorta Awesome

Another old favorite, that I rarely listen to. This is terrible, but I really don’t like the main host’s Oklahoma accent. The way she says so many words just grates on me. I also don’t like that she kind of seems condescending of her co-host’s opinions on so many things. BUt this podcast got me in some awesome facebook groups that are pretty much the highlight of my facebook experience these days. The topics are always relevant and intriguing. It’s just hard for me to get past her voice.

Side Hustle School

My third recommendation from Happier’s podcast. Side Hustle School is a series of short stories about real life people who have developed side hustles – unique ways to bring in extra income beyond their full time jobs. It’s supposed to be inspiring and help you think of your own side hustle ideas. But so far it’s just made me feel like such a loser! Heartstring Annie could almost be considered a side hustle for our family, but I’m not doing so well at it these days. Anyway, still really cool to hear about all the ways people found to bring in more money.

Front Porch with the Fitzes

The first podcast I ever listened to! Still love listening to Elise, Jessica, and Joel talk about various topics and their families every week. So many laughs over such ridiculous things. But this is a clean one, which is refreshing. I greatly look forward to listening to the new episodes each Tuesday.

Annnnnnnd, that’s it! Long post! If anybody actually got this far in the post, thanks for reading! Let me know what you’re consuming these days!

 

What I Read and Watched AND Listened To June 2017

It’s my favorite end of the month activity! Actually, I’m a few days early this month because we’re getting ready to head out of town on vacation and I want to make sure I get this post written. I decided to make my recommendation lists even longer each month by adding a podcast segment after my consumed books, movies, and tv shows. Might as well just let you know what I’m feeding my brain in every area of entertainment!

BOOKS

girl online

Girl Online: Going Solo by Zoe Sugg
Rating: 3 Stars

This is the third and final book in this series. I rated the first book (Girl Online) 5 stars. I gave the second book (Girl Online: On Tour) 4 stars. And this one gets a measly 3 star rating. The third book is about, you guessed it – going solo. It’s about the main character, Penny, getting back to her regular life post-famous musician boyfriend. The storyline focuses mainly around Penny’s regular friends and the drama in their lives. It’s a little bit boring and slow with a neat and tidy ending that I didn’t particularly love. It was a disappointing end to an otherwise fairly good series.

alex approximately

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Rating: 5 Stars

Once again, a book has proven how much I absolutely adore a relationship that begins over the written word. Especially when it involves a little mystery in who is writing those words. This book is about a teenage girl, Bailey, who has a deep connection with an anonymous online friend, “Alex.” Without telling him, she decides to move cross country to live with her dad in the same town Alex lives and hopes to sleuth her way into figuring out who he is without the risk of an actual meet up. In the meantime, she gets a summer job and develops an interesting relationship with her co-worker, Porter. I’m sure you can guess who Porter ends up being. While it’s very much a given in books like these, I still completely delight in seeing two characters fall for each other not only through letters/emails/chats, but in person at the same time – without knowing who the other really is. I loved the deep character development of both Bailey and Porter and the things they had to overcome to trust each other with who they were. Read this book, seriously. I loved it.

the glittering court

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead}
Rating: 3.5 Stars

This is the story of a very poor Countess who is desperately trying to get out of a love-less arranged marriage. She pretends to be her maid and joins the The Glittering Court, where she is trained in what it’s like to be high bred, with the end goal of a finding a well to do husband in a newly pioneered land. She has to pretend not to know anything, while also competing with fellow women to earn the highest jewel rating and therefore getting the best husband. Of course Adelaide doesn’t want to follow the rules and ends up falling for the forbidden man who recruited her and knew of her true identity from the start. This book almost feels like a combination of four or five shorter books. A lot happens. Very little of the book is actually about The Glittering Court, so petty as it may seem, the title bothers me. But overall it was a mildly intriguing read. I didn’t love it, but it did keep my interest.

present over perfect

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
Rating: 4 Stars

It took me six months to read this book. If you look back on a post in January or February, you’ll see that it was one of my main goals to finish this book. Well, it finally happened. I’m always pretty slow with nonfiction because fiction just calls to me so much more strongly! But I LOVED Niequist’s book Bread and Wine, so I was hoping this would hold my attention in the same way. And it did – at first. The first few chapters felt SO MUCH like my life. I felt so connected and extremely eager to read this book and learn how to be more present in my life. But the middle of this book just lost all of its magic for me. The chapter topics were all over the place and felt so unimportant. But she pulled it all back together at the end, enough for me to still give it a 4 star rating overall. It didn’t change my life, but it did make me think.

dear thing

Dear Thing by Julie Cohen
Rating: 3.5 Stars

This was an interesting read about a long term married couple that was childless despite so, so many attempts. The husband Ben, had a best friend Romily, who was a huge part of his and his wife Claire’s life. Secretly in love with Ben, Romily decided to offer herself as a surrogate to Ben and Claire. With a whole lot of mixed emotions, you see how Romily and Claire build a friendship that eventually is destroyed with Claire finally realized how in love Romily is with Ben. And how much Romily loves the baby growing inside of her because it’s part her and part the man she’s loved forever. Despite her best efforts not to. There’s a lot of packed feeling and difficult decisions that are made in this book. I enjoyed how much each character grew and how the story ended.

the upside of unrequited

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Rating: 3 Stars

This is the story of overweight, introverted, crafty Molly and her seemingly perfect twin sister Cassie. Despite what you would assume, Molly and Cassie are best friends, even though they’re so different. Cassie ends up meeting the girl of her dreams and wants to set Molly up with her best friend, Will. A lot of this book focuses on how Molly wants to fit in, but also really struggles with finding her own identity and accepting that she likes herself, despite what other people might think. In the middle of all her friend drama, she forms an easy friendship with her new co-worker Reid. I loved watching their story unfold and really could have done without all the extra sister/friend mess.

always and forever lara jean

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
Rating: 4 Stars

Another third and final book in a series. I love reading series, though I definitely prefer when they’re already out when I find them! Waiting is the worst. I thought this was a fitting end to this particular trilogy. It’s always a little less exciting when the guy and the girl are already together. But their relationship is fun and true and I enjoy reading about that too! This story focuses pretty heavily on Lara Jean’s dad and his soon-to-be wife’s upcoming wedding. I liked the book because it was like returning to an old friend. Nothing epically grand about it, but good nonetheless.

flower

Flower by Elizabeth Craft
Rating: 4 Stars

I’ve been waiting quite awhile to read this book by one of my favorite podcasters, Elizabeth Craft. Craft is a tv writer and producer and I kept thinking while I read Flower that it was really reading more like a screenplay than a well developed novel, just hitting a lot of the dialog and interactions between characters. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it was noticeable. This story is about Charlotte – smart, driven, and focused on staying away from boys and not repeating the mistakes of every other woman in her family. She meets Tate, a famous musician and is immediately attracted. She doesn’t know who he is and is pretty upset when she finds out. This book is all about the constant give and take the characters have. It’s messy and a bit frustrating. Charlotte is willing to give up everything for Tate after barely knowing him, which feels so against her character from the beginning of the book. I liked the book, it was a fast read. But it definitely had a few flaws that kept it from being a 5 star rating for me.

stillhouse lake

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine
Rating: 4 Stars

I have to say that Amazon Prime’s Kindle First program is pretty awesome. I love getting that email at the beginning of each month with my list of free books to pick from. I usually wait until later in the month to read reviews before making my choice. This month’s was a winner! Stillhouse Lake is about a family of a serial killer that is constantly on the run from the victim’s families and internet trolls that are determined to destroy them because they were associated with the murderer. I did get a little sick of reading about how paranoid and on guard they had to be. I got it, I didn’t need it repeated a thousand times in the course of the book. But the story was fast paced and thrilling, with a little bit of mystery. I’m excited to see that there will eventually be a second book and better conclusion to the family’s story.

MOVIES

allied

I’m feeling pretty indifferent about Allied. It was entertaining enough, I suppose. I don’t regret watching it. But nothing special either.

captain fantastic

I knew absolutely nothing about this movie when I made Greg watch it with me. Judging from the photo above, I just assumed it was going to be some sort of hilarious comedy. Well…it wasn’t. I guess small parts of it made me laugh, but overall it was pretty serious and mildly disturbing. Like all those kids digging up their mother’s grave, mourning her open casket on the bus, and then lighting her body on fire to cremate her the way that she wanted to be… But the story was definitely original and I was pretty captivated by the characters.

wonder woman

We went as a family to see this Father’s Day weekend. I really liked Wonder Woman was a character. She was so innately good and it would be hard not to adore her. But the movie as a whole was kind of long and bland for me.

lion

Big, big WOW to this movie. Lion was amazing. They cast the most perfectly adorable and intensely sad looking little boy for the first half of the movie. What a tear jerking true story!! I really loved everything about this movie. It was so intensely good.

TV – Together

legion

We watched the first two episodes of Legion. It was a lot for my tired mind to handle. Very much a sensory overload kind of show. Which was the point. I’m not sure if the craziness eventually settles down. I’m not sure if we’ll continue watching or not. And side note, Dan Steven’s American accent feels very, very strange to me. Not loving it.

atlanta

We watched this entire season in the last few weeks. I’m still not really sure what to think about it. I think it’s kind of supposed to be a comedy? It felt a lot like Master of None, in which each episode was kind of its own entity. There wasn’t a huge overlap in what was happening from one episode to the next. But Master of None did it WAY better. Overall, though, Atlanta got some pretty big unexpected laughs from me.

orphan black

The new season started up and we only watched the first episode. Orphan Black was so incredible in the first season and just got so muddled up after that. I still watch because it fascinates me how Tatiana Maslany can play so many different characters SO perfectly. But I think Greg has basically no interest in it anymore.

good behavior

We just started this the other day. Again, not sure what to think of it! We’re clearly running very low on tv shows to watch together. I think this show will maybe be good? But maybe more the kind of show I’d watch on my own.

TV – Alone

Okay, another quick reminder before you think I watch way too much tv. I do watch too much tv, BUT I only watch while I’m sewing. And as I was trying to get back on track with work during summer school this month, I watched a lot of tv!

royal pains

I binged Royal Pains about two years ago and somehow missed that they had a final season. So I picked that up again and loved how they tied up everything so sweetly. This is such a lighthearted and happy show that was always interesting and funny to watch. I’m going to miss it.

this is us

I got pretty sick of this show near the end. I don’t know, everyone just kept talking about how amazing it was and I didn’t really feel that way. I liked it, but it wasn’t worth all the hype it was getting. But I was running out of things to watch, so finally finished up the season. Those were a couple of very emotionally packed episodes! I’m glad I went back to it and now I’m looking forward to next season.

izombie

Still love it! Such a good show. I couldn’t believe that tomorrow is already the season finale. It just started back up at the end of April! I’m sad. 🙁

scandal

I watched the entire last season in two days last week. This show is so utterly ridiculous. And yet I can’t stop watching. (Greg gave up like three seasons ago.) It’s just insane how many crazy life threatening things happen in Scandal. But…I like it.

the arrangement

Another two day one season binge. I was hoping I’d like this as much as E’s The Royals. It was good, but not amazing. I wasn’t expecting all the crazy cult stuff that most of the show focused on. I also didn’t really buy any authenticity from the male lead, Kyle. But I really loved Megan’s character!

the 100

As I run out of more exciting things to watch, I’ve been trying to catch up with things I gave up on in the last year or two. I watched three episodes of The 100 yesterday and I just can’t do it anymore. I’m giving it up for good. I loved it at the beginning and now I literally cannot stand to see another minute of it. Bleh.

Podcasts!

Okay, I’ll try and keep this segment relatively brief, mostly because I just listen to the same couple of podcasts every week. I’m mostly caught up on them, so appreciate the excitement of looking forward to a new one downloading each week. I’m not listening as much as I used to, but I still don’t go a day without at least one podcast in my ear.

Spilled Milk

Still one of my absolute favorites. The proof is that I’ve listened to almost 300 episodes of it. 🙂 Funny, food related topics are covered in each episodes. They’re pretty short, they’re entertaining. I love it.

Front Porch with the Fitzes

Another favorite. I anxiously await listening to the new one each Tuesday morning. Just a family sitting around talking every week. It’s so funny. I wish I was part of their family!

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

I listen to this one the most because I’m not yet caught up with it. Gretchen and her sister Elizabeth (Craft) talk each week about happiness hacks, try this at home tips, personality types, and more. It’s such a positive focused podcast and they always have so many fun things to talk about. I highly recommend.

That Sounds Fun

This is a new one I started recently. Actually, she had a month long Christmas special that I listened to in December. The host, Annie, just talks to a different person each week about their lives. She’s entertaining and positive.

The Popcast

Okay, this is maybe my favorite podcast of all. I LOVE Wednesdays when I get a new Popcast episode. Knox and Jamie are just so funny together! I’m not caught up on their almost 200 episodes, though I’ve been listening to recent ones for months now. It’s good. Especially if you’re highly immersed in pop culture already.

The Girl Next Door

I still try to keep up with the newest episodes of this. Just two neighbors (no longer neighbors) chatting about a topic or two every two weeks. I envy their friendship and enjoy listening about their lives.

My Dad Wrote a Porno

They’re back with season three! Oh so funny, you guys. I couldn’t care less about the erotic novel they’re reading. I just love, love, love the three people behind the podcast. I always listen to this one while I’m walking so I can focus on it more than other multi-tasking things I usually do while listening. So if you see me walking down the street laughing hysterically and looking like an idiot, I’m surely listening to the latest episode.

And that’s it for June! Nobody ever takes me up on this, but I’d love to hear what you’re reading, watching, or listening to and can recommend to me!!

My Favorite Podcasts: Part 2

It’s time for an update on my favorite podcasts! Last month I wrote a post about my current favorites as a new podcast addict. I’ve continued to listen to them throughout my day and have come across a couple of new favorites. I had to share!

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

This is one I definitely listen to every morning. Generally only one or two episodes a day, so I can let the message of each one really sink it. They’re usually only 15-20 minutes long, which I’m finding is my favorite kind of podcast. It’s frustrating when it feels like it takes me an entire day to get through a single episode of a longer podcast. Anyway, this one is by the famous happiness guru Gretchen Rubin and her sister, tv producer and writer Elizabeth Craft. On each episode they talk about a try this at home tip for boosting your happiness. They are all really interesting and useful. They also talk about other happiness related topics and end each episode with a happiness demerit and gold star for things that have happened recently in their lives. Overall it’s a really positive thing to listen to every day, and I think it would be the perfect fit for just about everyone. Most of my podcasts are more niche centered, but this one can be enjoyed by all.

The Lazy Sisters Podcast

I only started listening to this one a couple of days ago, but I’ve been totally binging it. This is a podcast between two sisters, Kendra and Hannah. They just have a conversation about various things, usually centered around pop culture. It’s highly entertaining and SO funny. I only hesitate to recommend it because there are only 26 episodes that end with “A Temporary Farewell” at the beginning of last October. I really hope they pick it up again as I’m sure to be finished with all of the episodes in a day or two! There’s also a Lazy Genius podcast put on by Kendra, that I plan on listening to too. Hopefully that’ll be a recommendation for next time!

Doughboys with Nick Wiger and Mike Mitchell

I’ve realized I really like listening to podcasts about food. I’m just about caught up with my favorite, Spilled Milk, so recently sought out another. Doughboys is a podcast where they review a different chain restaurant on each episode. They always have an extra guest and proceed to talk about the history of each restaurant, what they’re famous for, and then their experiences at each place. It’s funny and interesting, especially if you eat at a lot of chain restaurants! I’m not very far into this, but I’ve found it entertaining. The only downfall is that each episode is well over an hour long.

Well, I thought I had more to recommend and then I realized I jumped the gun and wrote about them in my last post! Besides these three newest I also find myself listening to Spilled Milk, The Popcast, and What Should I Read Next almost on a daily basis. My list of subscribed podcasts is still growing, so hopefully I’ll have more recommendations soon!

My Favorite Podcasts

I’m relatively new to the podcast game. Whenever I heard mention of them, usually in conversations between Greg and his sister, I didn’t really get what they were. I just kept thinking about the talk radio sports programs my dad listened to in the car and being SO BORED. Why would you ever want to waste your time just listening to strangers talk? One time my sister-in-law said that she loved to listen to podcasts in the shower and I thought that was the most funny and ridiculous thing. Now, I am also one of those people! Full volume, phone balancing on a tiny ledge above the bathroom window, I am also listening to podcasts while I’m showering. And walking. And cleaning. And folding laundry. And making dinner. And sewing. It’s totally an addiction. An awesome one.

My first podcast experience was listening to Greg’s favorite, How Did This Get Made? on our 32 hour road trip to Charleston in June. Between radio stations that were always fading in an out, an audio book that continued to put me to sleep, and the podcast; the podcast definitely won out. It was pretty funny and kept me engaged. It was interesting enough that it sparked my interest in searching out other podcasts. After that my world was pretty much blown wide open. There are sooooo many podcasts out there. It’s amazing. But it’s also hard to find one that you really connect with. So I thought I’d share my absolute favorites. If you have a chance, be sure to check them out!

Front Porch With the Fitzes

I started my search for podcasts doing google and pinterest searches for other people’s favorites. This one popped up and it was the first one I tried. I loved it! It’s the first podcast I started at the beginning and caught all the way up with in about three months. The show is about Christian author and speaker Elyse Fitzpatrick and her adult kids Joel and Jessica. They often share funny stories, talk about current events and family life, and end each episode with a devotion. This podcast continues to crack me up every week. I can’t wait for Tuesday mornings when a new episode appears on my PocketCast app. I recommend starting this one at the beginning because past episodes are referred to often.

Spilled Milk

This is my favorite podcast for when I want something light and funny. I usually listen to it while I’m making dinner and it’s often my shower podcast of choice. 🙂 Each episode is about 10-15 minutes long and they center around a single food topic. They discuss how they remember interacting with the food growing up and then talk about different ways they prepare or use the food today. Sometimes they compare a couple brands of things and occasionally they evaluate junk food boxes that people send them from around the world. A lot of it is pretty comedic, but I’ve also gotten many really good ideas for simple food preparations I never would have thought of before. There are 256 episodes right now, so plenty to listen to! I started at the beginning (not necessary for this one) and am in the low 200’s. Soon I’ll be caught up! 🙁

My Dad Wrote a Porno

Don’t judge me. But this podcast is HILARIOUS. It’s about a guy, Jamie, whose dad wrote a pretty terrible erotic novel called Belinda Blinked. On the podcast he gets with his friends James and Alice and reads one chapter of the book each episode. Their reactions to everything are so outrageously funny. The podcast definitely isn’t about listening to porn (believe me, it’s NOT sexy!!)- it’s about laughing so hard at the reactions they continue to have. The first book/season is funny, but I really loved when they got to the second. They had a lot more interaction just between the three friends, which is definitely what I was most interested in listening to. In the second season they also have “footnote” episodes between each chapter where they get a celebrity to join them to discuss the books. My favorite guests were Elijah Wood, Rachel Bloom, and Michael Sheen. If you just want to listen to something funny and a little bit smutty, this one is for you.

Sorta Awesome

I go through phases with this one. To be honest, the main host’s accent kind of grates on me. Which is a very shallow thing to say! Her personality is slightly grating at times too. But I still think it’s worth a listen. Each episode she switches between three other co-hosts. They talk about various topics, most of which are really interesting. My favorite portion of the show is where they share their awesome of the week. I’ve learned about a lot of new books, podcasts, and beauty products from this segment. My favorite part about this podcast is that it has an accompanying facebook group with a lot of really active and interesting discussions always going on. I started this one at the beginning (I think it’s an OCD thing – it’s impossible to pick up in the middle!), but more recently have just been focusing on seasonal episodes. I listen to the most current episode and then go back and listen to the fall and holiday episodes of last year.

The Popcast

I heard so many good things about this podcast, but was too overwhelmed to start it until recently. I really like to start listening at the beginning, but when it comes to pop culture and current topics, it didn’t make sense going back to episodes from three years ago. Finally I just started jumping around to the topics that sounded most interesting to me. Each episode has a clearly defined topic, so it’s easy to pick something that will be good. My favorite episodes are about holidays and seasons, so I strongly suggest starting with those as well. The hosts Knox and Jamie have great friend chemistry and I love listening to their funny and oftentimes clashing opinions on everything. Like Sorta Awesome they have a segment where they talk about red lights and green lights – their worst and best picks for the week. I love getting more validated recommendations on things for people, so this type of episode really appeals to me. Now that I’ve given myself the okay not to listen in order, I’m just as excited about the new episodes for this one as I am Front Porch.

Beautiful Anonymous

For about a month this was my all time favorite podcast. It’s a pretty simple premise – the comedian Chris Gethard takes a one hour phone call with an anonymous person on each episode. They talk about whatever happens to come up, though most episodes center around a main theme. I adored this podcast at the beginning, listening to the stories of anonymous people. The more I listened and the heavier the topics sometimes got, I decided I needed to actually space them out to about once a week intervals. I still really like the podcast, but I need to be in the mood for the longer chats.

The Girl Next Door Podcast

I’m pretty new to this one, and yes, I did start it at the beginning. But I’m really enjoying it. Two next door neighbors, Kelsey and Erica, get together each week to create a cocktail and then just sit and chat about whatever is on their minds. I love their friendship and wish I had a next door neighbor relationship like that too! They laugh a lot and always support each other. It’s just a fun podcast that makes me happy! The only downfall is that the episodes are very long, usually over an hour.

What Should I Read Next?

When I realized that not only are there podcast about tv shows (Greg’s favorite ones to listen to), but also BOOKS, I was thrilled! I tried out a bunch, but this has been my favorite. I’m always on the lookout for great book recommendation and Anne Bogel, aka Modern Mrs. Darcy, is a recommending genius. She has a guest each week and they talk about what books they like and dislike and then Anne gives a couple of new recommendations. I just love hearing about books and why people are passionate about them. This podcast is a must for every bookworm out there!

Well, I think I’ll stick with that list for now! 🙂 I subscribe to about 80 podcasts right now, always adding new ones based on recommendations from other podcasts. I occasionally dabble in an episode or two in a new podcast, but for the most part I stick with my favorites. But within a few months I’m going to be caught up with most of those, so I’ll be experimenting with the others on my list. I’m sure I’ll have many more to recommend in the future!