Last Week Listens

 Posted by at 6:00 am  Ramblings
Nov 102014

I haven’t shared a list of podcast episodes listened to in a long time, but I have been talking about podcasts in real life A LOT lately.  Three of my friends have recently asked me for podcast consuming advice; when do I find time to listen, what do I listen to when, what podcasts should they start with – I’m not a podcast expert by any means but I am, by all means, a podcast fan. 


Here’s a bit about the podcast episodes that stood out the most in my from last week.

Haunted – Radio Lab.  I love Radio Lab for many reasons and this episode was especially good for spooky fall. At one point I freaked myself out while washing the dishes while listening and made myself jump.

Gillian Jacobs, Laura Silverman, Cameron Esposito and Eddie Pepitone Guest – Doug Loves Movies. Gosh I love this show. I’ve really taken to Cameron Esposito’s comedy in the past 6-months, too, and she was wonderful.  All the guests had moments where their comedy was shining.

Surprise Ending – The Because Show. This is an episode that fans of the show will feel their way through.  The title is a total hooky spoiler alert and I still wasn’t expecting what happened!

Death with Caitlin Doughty, Kumail Nanjiani and Chelsea Peretti – Hound Tall with Moshe Kasher.  This is the kind of podcast that will feed you conversation topics you never expected.  This episode will get you seriously thinking about death acceptance and laughing in the same breath.

EHG Mini: The Face Off Finale Report – Extra Hot Great.  Especially notable because I am stoked that Liv, Tara’s young niece, will be covering Master Chef Junior this season!  I watched the premiere this weekend and can’t wait to hear what Liv thought of the first challenges.

Serial – ALL OF IT.  I binged the seven episodes during my walks to work last week and during some errand running.  It reminds me how much I love This American Life.

The Accidental Outlaws – Everything is Stores.  With marijuana legalization being such a hot topic these days, this episode seems especially top-notch.  If you like This American Life, RadioLab, or Serial, you’ll dig this podcast, too.

Small Batch: Taylor Swift’s New Album 1989 – Pop Culture Happy Hour.  I’ve seen a lot of commentary on 1989 and this short [9 minutes!] discussion on the topic convinced me that maybe I should check it out myself.

Kevin Barnett: A History of Bombing – The Talk of Shame.  A great story teller is on-deck in this episode, delivering several laugh-out-loud moments.

What have you been listening to?

December 2013 Goals

 Posted by at 6:00 am  Ramblings
Dec 022013


december 2013

// Eat lots of citrus. It wasn’t until recent years that December was a month for bright colored spheres in my kitchen and office, but I’m so glad that I’ve taken notice to the beautiful ripeness that is winter citrus.  Clementines, mandarins, navels, grapefruits, tangerines, tangelos, oh, it doesn’t matter the citrus fruit – I love it!  This year along with snacking and adding a side of citrus to breakfast or lunch, I want to try to cook and bake with citrus more often.  Bring on the zester and recipes calling for fresh squeezed juice!

// Swap cookies. I still haven’t decided which cookies I’m making for the swap, but I’ve been collecting ideas for the three dozen I’m bringing, plus a pot luck dish of delicious.

// Visit with my Denton Blogger friends.  My parents are moving to Charlotte [!!!] in early 2014, so this will likely be my last trip to D-town for a long time.  Quality time with my local blends is on my Denton to-do list.  I’ll be visiting for 9 days – anyone want to grab dinner or fro-yo?

// 400 fitness minutes + make hydration a priority.  My active fitness generally decreases in December due to all that is holidays [including excuses!] so I’m going to try to aim simple for this goal.  No qualifications for what kind of fitness minutes these need to be – as long as I’m purposefully doing some exercise, it goes towards my goal. If I reach 400 fitness minutes AND drink at least 100 ounces of water every day for the month, I’m giving myself a reward.  I’m not against bribing myself in order to follow through with goals to help my health. The reward for this duo goal is a 3 month subscription to a snack or gift box.  [right now I’m thinking Nature Box is going to be the way to go!]

// Order new blog business cards. Because they are long overdo and I should start the new year off with something fresh!

// Send out all holiday and belated-birthday packages.  I’m pretty much known for giving gifts belatedly, but this year I’m going to try very hard to be on-time with my Christmas gift giving.  And while I’m at it, I have plans to catch up on all my belated birthday gifting for the year.  ‘Tis the season for giving after all.


What goals are you setting for the month??

Nov 272013

Remember back in 2010 when I went a little crazy and decided to have a 100% Handmade Christmas?  Now don’t get me wrong – I know that many people manage to do this on a consistent basis, not only with their holiday giving and decorations and wrapping, but also with their day to day lifestyle. But for me and my lifestyle, Handmade Christmas 2010 was a challenge that took a lot of effort and to be honest, willpower to follow through.

In a perfect world [aka: a world in which I have a super power allowing me to exist on zero minutes of sleep without issue] I would have fallen in love with the Handmade Christmas plan and would aim to be as store-bought-free as possible each holiday season since.  And while my current schedule doesn’t allow for the patience it would take me to execute another holiday season full of hand crafted tree ornaments and DIY gifts for each and every loved one, I am in a position in which the gifts I buy can be a bit choosier.

This year I’ve decided to support bloggers and HLB community members with my holiday gift giving as often as possible. It’s clear that this here blogging community means an awful lot to my heart and soul, and I want to put my money where with my mouth (and keyboard) is.  I also love to share about the brands and businesses I believe in with my friends and loved ones, so being able to do so in my gift giving has a special bonus element worth celebrating.


I’m not setting any “rules” for myself in this challenge, just trying to support as many blogger businesses as possible in my giving, to as many of the people I gift to as possible.  Here’s a list of the gift ideas I’ve come up with so far.  I’d love if you had other recommendations to suggest for my quest!  Please leave any other ideas you have for blogger businesses I can support in the comments section.

Blogger Businesses I’m Supporting with My Holiday Gift Giving

  • Personalized Jewelry, Christmas Ornaments, and Key Chains from bama + ry. Jasmine’s store is one where I’ve turned to for gifts in the past, and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon.  I love my own bama + ry pieces and love to gift her beautiful artwork.  Jasmine’s mom also recently opened an etsy store with adorable purses and wallets that I’ve been checking in on this week.  Lots of cute stuff in there, too: Linnajax
  • Accessories from Alisa Burke’s new line.  I’m also considering having some of her cards framed for office artwork and her self-guided workshops and online classes ranging from blogging to various DIY, crafting, and art techniques as gifts for some of my best friends.
  • Ashley’s book, Doughnuts for Everyone, paired with a donut pan and jar of special occasion sprinkles or fancy baking extract would make a fabulous gift for the home cook or sweet tooth in your life!
  • BAMR bands for my runner or fitness junkie friends, especially.  I’ve raved more than once about how these headbands stay on my head better than anything I’ve tried before during runs, no matter the distance.  Other favorites include I Run This Body jewelry or apparel, and Refresh Attire. And though the choice is very limited at the moment, there’s Ali’s I Heart Sweat shirts, too.
  • Gift subscriptions of Be Nice Box or the Greatist Parcel make extra special reoccuring gifts.  I love the idea of gifting a ripple of kindness with that Be Nice Box, especially!
  • The perfect gift for your friend or relative who is always on the go, aiming to be organized and constantly planning and listing and keeping it all in line comes from Jessica at fit & fab yogi.  She has created an AWESOME 2014 edition of her awesome life planner, Keeping it Together, with lots of special features and bonus additions (like menu planning cards, motivational quotations, a storage pocket and accessories to accompany the planner and so much more!) to bring all the organization tools to your loved ones’ finger tips.   I was lucky enough to receive a gift of one of these Keeping it Together books from Jessica this week and I’m so THRILLED to get started on the planning for 2014!!  I have a few people in mind who may be finding one of these bright and colorful life planners under their trees.
  • I’ve got a list of Jamberry nail products I want to purchase from Tara’s online shop to give to some gal pals in the neighborhood.
  • One of my favorite creative minds online, Elise Blaha Cripe, has bunch of great gift ideas out on the market. This 2014 Calendar is simple and sweet and could be used in Project Life or as a small desk calendar of chicness. Speaking of Project Life, there’s also her Seafoam Kit. Her stamps are perfect for the crafter or snail mail lover in your life. Would a memory capturer in your life love the chance to participate in the Play live online event in January? Experience gifts are especially awesome in my book.

alisa burke