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spring favorites

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It can’t just be me – this winter felt, again, like it would never end. (It was so bad that this weekend, in late April, there was a snowstorm in Chicago that closed the airport, meaning we got “stranded” in Minneapolis.) I’ve been very glad for the brief moments of respite from the bitter cold and snow, and equally happy to find projects, games, and products that have made being stuck inside feel a little less-bad. Here’s what I’m into this season!

Uniqlo drape pants: Holy cow fam, I just discovered Uniqlo. Who was keeping them a secret from me?! I’ve long needed to replace things that I wear every day, like sweatpants and slippers (working from home has its own wardrobe, too.) When we stopped in a few weeks ago, I ran wild. I got two pairs of these drape pants, and I’m essentially living in them now. Perfect weight, light and flowy, stylish and comfortable. I love them!

Crocs Strappy Sandals: When a friend got married this spring, I realized that I didn’t really have any dressy shoes anymore. I saw these recommended by a one-bag traveler for their comfort and versatility, but by the time I got them in the mail I’d found a different pair of shoes to wear. After missing the Amazon return window I finally opened them and tried them on, and they feel like you’re walking on clouds – plus they’re really cute, and look nothing like Crocs!

Sadie by Courtney Summers: I had been in a real reading slump after reading a lot of non-fiction books about technology – I was getting too depressed and upset to finish them, and if I have an “active” book, it’s hard for me to start something new. Knowing that I’d probably get through a YA book in a few sittings, I overcame my aversion to starting something new when something is in progress and OMG. This book is totally worth all the hype it has gotten. I stayed up late finishing it one night, and have been thinking about it ever since. (If you’ve read it can we PLEASE talk about the ending??)

Superhi: This year, I finally decided to get really serious about learning code properly rather than the hack-and-paste strategy I’ve been going with for the last few years. Superhi is the first online course I’ve found that really works for the way my brain learns. I’ve tried Skillcrush before, and a few others, and I could never stick with them. I’ve taken three course so far and recently purchased another bundle to work through over the summer!

Notion: Everyone is singing the praises of Notion lately for organization, and I have jumped on board. The first time I tried it a few months ago I was overwhelmed by how flexible it is, but it didn’t take too long to get it set up and migrate a lot of my life over into it. Evan and I keep our schedules, our shopping list, and a sort of ‘future log’ in it, and I’m using it to track everything from code classes to essay ideas and research.

Llamanoes: Growing up, we played a lot of games, and in an effort to get away from screens and my phone, I’m working on playing more. These Llamanoes are ADORABLE and a fun game to play with kids because it’s super easy. If you’re more into adult games, we just picked up these plastic playing cards after a disastrous meeting between a bottle of water and a deck of cards.

I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson: It takes kind of a lot for me to opt in to new shows, but one particular review made me move this up in the queue pretty quickly. And with good reason – it’s probably the funniest thing I’ve seen in the last ten years. The episodes are short, between 15-20 minutes each, with three or four sketches in each. This is my style of comedy – taking things too far, making people uncomfortable, the darkest of the dark.

What are you into lately? Anything I should check out?

April 15, 2019
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winter favorites 2017

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winter 2017 favorites

Winter is categorically the worst, but as always, there are some good things to find in it. Here are a few things I’ve been enjoying the last few weeks!

I’ve wanted to take a development class for awhile, so I recently signed up for Skillcrush’s Front End Dev blueprint. Class hasn’t started yet, but I’ve poked around a little bit to check out what the dashboard and interface are like, and I really like how it seems to be structured and laid out.

It’s no secret at all that I love The Hold Steady – if you don’t know that, you’re probably new here. Last month they put out their first new tracks since 2014, and I was so happy hearing them that I cried in my car so hard that my eyes were all puffy and ugly when I walked into my grandparent’s house. When my mom asked me what was wrong, all I said was “new Hold Steady,” and she understood. “Entitlement Crew” is particularly great, and the album artwork is really fun.

Last year I got very into spoken word poetry, particularly Button Poetry videos. During a binge, Olivia Gatwood’s “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” came on, and I fell so in love with it and her that I ordered her book New American Best Friend right away. It includes some poems you can find easily online, but some new ones as well, and they’re all gems.

happy endings

I missed out on Happy Endings in its first run, but The Mindy Project made me an Adam Pally stan, so boyfriend popped this show on one night. It’s hilarious, and it takes place in Chicago – another big bonus. If you need something to fill the Mindy Project or Parks and Rec-sized hole in your heart, give this a try. 

My now-boyfriend told me about Sleep With Me a little over a year ago, pre-dating status, and I’ve tried it off and on since then. If you ever struggle with falling asleep, or have racing thoughts before bed, pop on one of these episodes and let Scooter soothe you to sleep.

Amazon’s new Amazon Prime Samples program is super cool. For $2-$4, you can order smaller quantities of things you’ve wanted to try – mostly food and beauty products. Then that money is applied to a future purchase in the same category – it’s a little like a buy one get one free deal, and I’ve totally stocked my protein cabinet from them!

 

2048

Yes, I 100% took a screenshot for proof.

Another discovery that I’m late on: 2048. Have you guys played this?! I missed out on it when it was first super popular a few years ago, but now I’m super obsessed. I’ve beaten the classic game once, and on my iPhone, I constantly have a round of City 2048 going.

I’ll finish out with a blog. A friend of a Twitter friend, Tina, runs a book blog called TBR Etc. that I’ve been super into. I’ve picked up some great recommendations from her already, and I look forward to finding even more. If you’re a book nerd, check her out for some serious book goalspiration!

What are you loving this chilly winter?

December 14, 2017
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tv club part 1: 2015

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tv club

My best friend and I love TV – so much so, that we started a short-lived TV blog last summer (which we should really revisit.) I have watched an EMBARRASSING amount of TV this summer already since I get to work from home, so my obsession is just growing. Here’s a look at what I watched in June and July!

The Office: I had watched The Office off and on through season four during its first run, and have seen reruns here since. Since I work at home, I like to have background noise on – shows that I don’t have to pay close attention to or think too closely about, so half-hour comedies are usually my bread and butter and this was my first pick for what is becoming an epic summer catch-up binge! I was surprised at how much I had actually missed even through the seasons I own on DVD, and while I do agree with much of the criticism that it went off the rails toward the end, I think that had much less to do with Steve Carrell’s departure and more to do with the addition of yet one more annoying, crazy character. I SOBBED through the series finale (like, embarrassing, gross, tear-lines-in-my-foundation and mascara-eyes-when-I-go-to-work kind of sobbing) and found it to be one of the most perfect pieces of TV I’ve ever seen.

Parks & Recreation – My best friend has tried to get me to watch Parks & Rec for MONTHS, and I made a valiant attempt in March, but after a few episodes I just couldn’t get into it. After I finished The Office, which shared many of the same writing staff and producers, I decided to give it another try. It was still very slow going until halfway through the end of season two, but I finally got into it and really, really enjoyed it. I typically hate season finales that feature flash-forwards (I don’t care about the characters in 30 years – I am invested in them right now) and when I realized that this show would end the same way Glee did, I almost turned it off. Instead, I again persevered, and this time, the flash-forward was a great device. Instead of showing how this team of people grew away, it showed their futures together, which I appreciated.

Party Down After my Parks & Rec binge ignited my flame for Adam Scott, I couldn’t resist starting Party Down when I found it on Hulu. One of the hottest guys I have ever seen playing a drugged-out failed actor in a comedy with Jane Lynch about an LA catering company? All the yes, please. This was a quick watch and was a really good background scene to have on.

orphan black

Orphan Black I don’t usually like any sci-fi or fantasy shows, but I heard an interview with Tatiana Maslany on NPR sometime last year, and it sounded really interesting. When I visited Boston, we watched the first two seasons in about four days. She plays (at least) six different clones in the show, and her acting is really incredible. The show is super interesting and very unlike what I expected from that type of show.

What else should I add to the list? Have you watched any of these shows lately?

August 3, 2015
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like black and white / opposites 

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Marie Claire is one of my favorite magazines – it includes information that is actually useful and interesting, and their online articles are just as interesting (not to mention that “What A Good Woman Does,” my new obsession, debuted there recently.) Every month, they close the mag with an “opposites” section, where they give a celeb a list of questions where they’ll describe the opposites of each topic. Since I’m a celebrity in my own house (since I live alone and everything) I thought I’d take a crack at filling out their survey. Who knows, maybe they will get wind of it and print me in the next issue!

  1. Picky about gas stations. There are certain ones I would not be caught dead in / not so much about coffee. I will literally drink any that is put in front of me
  2. I feel for local government employees / no sympathy parents of toddlers. (If you are one, I’m sorry.)
  3. Skills mastered contouring! / can’t quite get the hang of email setups… or spiral staircases.
  4. Early for EVERYTHING / late for tech upgrades. I didn’t get an iPhone until 2013
  5. Totally get the appeal rooftop bars / don’t get at all dressing up to run errands
  6. Getting better at being nice to people / getting worse at being on time
  7. Perennially cool red lipstick / never cool unsolicited dick pics
  8. Moment of triumph finally being truly moved on from my ex / epic fail the move I’m currently waffling back and forth on. Nashville housing is hard, ya’ll!
  9. Glad it’s ahead of me my inevitable move to LA / glad it’s behind me certain relationships, for sure
  10. Hottest place I’ve ever been honestly, probably Michigan. I remember it being in the 100s the summer before I moved / coldest also definitely Michigan
  11. Always up for a nap. Mexican food. Pool hangs. Impromptu vacations. ER. / never up for scary movies or Metallica
  12. Too much in my life social media / not enough of oceans, lakes, or beaches
  13. Endlessly curious about history, political science, art… pretty much anything you can find in a museum / zero interest NFL football
  14. Subject I won’t shut up about lately Orphan Black and traveling / subjects I avoid lately I have been backing out of the confederate flag debate. As a displaced Yankee, I don’t want to get into it
  15. True believer coconut oil. At my last dentist appointment, they couldn’t believe that I don’t floss because my teeth were so clean and healthy. I oil pull almost every day, so I guess it’s paying off!  / major skeptic Orphan Black‘s Paul. Is he good? Is he bad? Is he on our side? HOW CAN WE KNOW!?
  16. Perfect day begins with a three-mile run or yoga / and ends with a (fancy) beer and some trashy TV
July 10, 2015
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Springtime Friday Faves!

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springfaves

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a “favourites” post, even though they are some of my favorites to read (and write!) This time, though, I found it surprisingly difficult – it seems like I was in a rut for a few months not really trying new things or venturing out very much. There are a couple new things I’m loving, so let’s check them out!

shark-tankShark Tank: Shark Tank you guys, I didn’t know! I accidentally got into this show during the ice storm when I was staying with Sixx and his roommates, who all watch it. Since then, I’ve spent my weekends binge watching it since I now work from home, and these episodes are on demand. (And maybe I’ve been watching the old seasons online too.) It’s cool to see all of the products and ideas people come up with, and I’ve maybe bought into a few of the ideas and businesses that have been featured…

the-trews

The Trews: Pedal Steel introduced me to this band a few months ago, and I’ve been digging them a lot lately. This Canadian band has a great alternative rock feel that reminds me of the greatest generation and even though Spotify just took down my favorite album of theirs, everything else is great so head over to Spotify to check them out!

This Is Where I Leave You: to be honest, the jury is still out on this movie for me. There were parts of it that I absolutely loved, but the ending left me absolutely infuriated. I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t yet seen it, because I still think it’s worth the watch (especially if you love Jason Bateman or ensemble cast family dramadies), but I think I need to check it out again before I make a final call on it.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer: I really like to layer my SPF in the summer, and living in Nashville, summer comes a bit earlier. I’ve been using this under my beloved Urban Decay Naked Foundation and I love the little bit of extra coverage it gives vs. a primer with SPF – plus it’s super hydrating, matches my skin tone really well, and I can even use it on its own on a lazy makeup day.

Tennessee Brew Works Wit Wine: it’s no secret that I love beer. It’s also probably common knowledge that I work at a winery. We recently got in a new brew from TBW – a wit beer aged in cabernet wine barrels. It has almost a wheat-y taste, and is a perfect nightcap. (Of course I drank through the keg we had in, so it will be awhile before I can get this beauty back on my lips.)

Trello: I know I know, I did a whole post about my love for this cute little app, but it bears repetition. Using it for shopping trips is the newest gamechanger: I can make a list for grocery shopping as well as clothing chopping and check things off as I find them.

Brunette Ambition: Lea Michele is one of my favorite celebs, so I can’t believe I held out for almost a year before ordering her book. It came on a Saturday and during my lunch hour I tore through the chapter on Glee (of course.) The recipes look like food I actually could make, and this book reads more like a lifestyle blog. She should really get on starting one – I’m sure she definitely has time to blog while she’s on the set of Scream Queens 😉

What have you been loving this spring season?

April 17, 2015
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