Monthly Roundup: February Favorites

IMG_9960.jpg

I’m officially ready for spring. After a glimpse of sun and blue skies, I’m ready for a change. It’s odd when you get springlike weather in the middle of winter, but I’m not complaining!

Delaware weather is especially odd. One day it’s 60 degrees and sunny and three days later, it snows 5 inches. How bizarre

I discovered a lot of favorites in February and I’m excited to share them with you below.

{ONE} Tidying Up with Marie Kondo Netflix series

Have you joined the #SparkJoy club yet? As if I wasn’t already obsessed with cleaning and decluttering, the Tidying Up with Marie Kondo series came out on Netflix and I’m hooked. I refolded all of our clothes and threw things away I’ve been keeping for no apparent reason. It feels so good and has sparked tons of joy already 😉

{TWO} The Swans of Fifth Avenue

I’m making steady progress on my reading goal for the year! I feel inspired in the winter to read as much as I can because free time in spring and summer tend to be filled with outdoor activities. This book was especially fascinating because it’s based on a true story so I liked doing my own research as I read to learn more about the characters and overall plot.

{THREE} Stuff You Should Know Podcast

I’m on a podcast kick, as I’ve mentioned before, and am always looking for new podcasts to try. A Stuff You Should Know podcast episode titled, “How Central Park Works,” caught my eye because 1) I love Central Park, and 2) I don’t know the history of how it came to be. I loved it because it was both educational and entertaining to listening to.

{FOUR} Insanity

Insanity is back. I completed the nine-week HIIT-inspired workout challenge a year ago and it kicked my butt! This time around, Luke is doing it with me so although it’s challenging, I feel more motivated since I have a workout partner.

{FIVE} The Last Lecture

Another great book from February. This is another true story that tugs at the heart strings on every page. A professor is asked to give his “last lecture” and then finds out he has terminal cancer with only a few months to live. The book outlines his thoughts and lessons about life and it truly is an incredible story.

{SIX} Broccoli and Cheddar Soup Instant Pot recipe

I’ve been really into making soup lately. I blame it on the cold weather. I always crave warm, cozy meals for dinner. The other night I was craving Panera’s broccoli and cheddar soup so I decided to try making it at home! My mom gave me an Instant Pot recipe to try and it was delicious! I definitely will make it again.

Advertisements

Podcasts To Listen To Right Now 🎧

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, podcasts are amazing. I started listening to podcasts regularly last year because I was so sick of listening to the radio/music during my daily commute. There’s only so much you can take before you start going crazy!

There are a few podcasts I was instantly addicted to but since then, I’ve discovered more that are now added to my {ever-growing} library. You’ll notice there really isn’t a theme to the podcasts I listen to. There’s a little bit of everything – faith, business, lifestyle, professional tips, and current events –  but that’s why I love the line up.

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for recommendations so below are some of the podcasts I’ve been loving lately.

Reach Sermons

  • I may be biased, but I love this podcast. This is the church we regularly attend and they upload sermons weekly. I especially love listening to this when I’ve skipped a service due to sickness or volunteering in the children’s ministry.

How I Built This with Guy Raz

  • If you’re interested in learning how companies and products came to be, this podcast is for you. I find people’s stories of how they got to where they are fascinating and Guy Raz interviews famous entrepreneurs and CEOs of successful companies. A few of my favorite episodes: Home Depot, Kate Spade, SoulCycle, and Instagram.

Date Night Diaries with Steve and Stacy Hart

  • Love this duo! Steve and Stacy share real-life tips and stories about marriage, owning your own business, and family. They always relate it back to Christ and I always end each podcast encouraged.

Somebody Knows Something

  • This is a very dark topic so listener discretion is advised. In this podcast series, the host tries to solve one missing person case per season. It’s both sad and intriguing as you listen to witness accounts, family interviews, and the host trying to solve each case.

Hannah Ashton

  • On a much brighter note, Hannah Ashton is a new professional who created a podcast to interview other professionals, talk about daily life, and share professional advice. I found Hannah through her YouTube channel and recently discovered her podcast. It’s great for college- and post-grad-girls because the content is relatable and interesting.

Coffee with Kalyn Nicholson

  • Kalyn Nicholson is one of my favorite YouTubers to watch for inspiration and motivation. She has great ideas and the overall aesthetic of her videos is calming and fun to watch. I started listening to her podcasts at work because they aren’t too serious in terms of having to focus intently the whole time. She sets them up so it feels like you’re just hanging out and talking over coffee.

Gals on the Go

  • To be completely honest, this is a “guilty pleasure” podcast to listen to. Gals on the Go is a podcast hosted by two college YouTubers, Danielle and Brooke. They talk about their lives, school, and current events. This is a podcast I usually listen to in the car or cleaning the house.

Stuff You Should Know

  • Disclaimer: I just discovered this podcast the other day so I haven’t listened to a lot of episodes yet. However, from what I’ve heard, I think this podcast is going to be beneficial and educational!

On My Radar: 2019 Edition

KeriPapili_bulletjournal.JPG

In my mind, this is the end of the first week of 2019. I don’t know about you, but the first couple of days in the new year don’t feel like a new start. My body is still in holidays-mode and it takes a few days to “wake up and reset.”

So this was the first full week back to the grind in 2019. Although a bit sad that the holidays are *officially* over since we took down our Christmas decor, I’m excited to get back into the swing of things. You know I love a good routine 😉

Here are a few things that are on my radar this week.

{ONE} Bullet Journaling

I’ve recently gotten hooked to bullet journaling. I started watching AmandaRachLee’s videos on YouTube and was instantly fascinated by how beautiful she made her planning spreads. It inspired me to try it out so I asked for a bullet journal and supplies for Christmas. It’s been fun trying my hand at being creative, and it’s also one of the goals under my “Learn” word for 2019. Let it be known I am not an artist; I cannot “doodle” to save my life. I’m still a newbie (the cover photo for this post is a snippet of my bullet journal) but it’s been fun to play around. As seen in the photo, my spreads are not as aesthetically pleasing as some of the ones I pinned on Pinterest but check out the board to get a feel for the possibilities! A few of my favorite spreads I created so far: 2019 Bookshelf, Habit Tracker, Netflix Tracker, and 2019 Goals.

{TWO} Minestrone Soup

As I noted in my Three Words for 2019 blog post, one of my goals is to continue learning how to cook healthy meals. One of my favorites that I made so far is an Instant Pot recipe for Minestrone soup that I found when searching for quick and healthy meals. It’s the perfect cozy meal for cold winter nights and only requires a few ingredients. Best part about it? It takes under 30 minutes from start to finish. Check out the recipe here. 

{THREE} Bevgo Infuser Water Bottle

I don’t know about you but drinking enough water each day is a challenge. I get bored drinking plain water and let’s be honest, coffee is way more tempting. I start out the day motivated and drink a lot of water but by the afternoon, I forget all about my water bottle. Whoops. That’s where my Bevgo Infuser Water Bottle comes into play. I asked for this water bottle for Christmas and it has changed the game. I’m not kidding when I say this: Since Christmas, I have hit my daily water goal every day! Granted, it’s only been two weeks or so but that is an accomplishment, let me tell ya. I fill the bottle with fruit (lemon slices for now) and know that in order to hit my daily goal, I need to drink the entire bottle twice since it’s 32oz. The fruit makes it delicious and I can see the progress throughout the day, which keeps me motivating to keep going. I’m telling you, it’s great and I feel so much better when I’m hydrated and healthy!

{FOUR} How I Built This podcast episode: SoulCycle

I’ve mentioned before that How I Built This is one of my favorite podcasts to listen to. Each week, the host interviews entrepreneurs of famous brands about how they got to where they are today. I love learning about how people achieved their dreams and the obstacles they faced along the way. This week I especially loved the episode about SoulCycle and I highly recommend it! It’s such a fun story about how two moms met in New York, hated the workout classes offered, and decided to do something about it. I’ve never tried SoulCycle, but now I definitely want to!

How I’m Becoming a Morning Person

coffee apple laptop working

I hate to admit this because I never thought I’d say it.

I’m *slowly* becoming a morning person.

Not one of those “I wake up at 3am every day for fun” people. I’ll never be like that. I’m talking about the “I wake up at 6am” person, which may sound unimpressive but that is really early for me.

Apparently you are either a Night Owl or an Early Bird, and for years I thought I was the former. I stay awake until at least 12-1am almost every night and I thought that made me a Night Owl.

However when I started thinking about it, I’m not productive at night. I’m not inspired by or find that my prime hours of creativity are when the sun is asleep. I would rather watch a movie or read a book at night, not create something or clean my house. I realized I’m way more productive and motivated in the morning.

Now that I’ve started to embrace this realization, I love learning about others’ morning routines. YouTube is a jackpot for this. Learning what people do during their morning routines has helped me pinpoint what I can implement into my own.

If you’re like me and want a morning routine, or maybe you’re curious what I do before work, just keep reading.

{ONE} Create a to-do list the night before.

I’ve mentioned this in other blog posts but it is so important I’m telling you again. Creating a to-do list the night before helps me wake up focused and ready to conquer the day. I even add obvious to-dos like making my bed because who doesn’t like checking things off and feeling productive? 😉

{TWO} Don’t check social media.

This is a BIG one and something that is extremely difficult for me to do. I could write an entire blog post dedicated to this, but I’ll refrain (for now). I recently listened to an episode of The Date Night Diaries with Steve & Stacy Hart that was all about how the screen affects us. I was instantly motivated to change my habit of checking social media first thing in the morning. I find myself absentmindedly scrolling through Instagram and Twitter all the time. It’s insane how much time you can waste aimlessly scrolling. No one needs that kind of distraction in the morning and believe me, social media can wait a few hours! Put it aside, get things done, and enjoy being unplugged for a bit.

{THREE} Make your bed.

If you read about successful people and their habits, one theme is they all make their beds in the morning. It instantly makes your bedroom cleaner and helps start your day productive and ready to take on anything. A simple habit like making your bed can be the stepping stone to a good day ahead. As soon as I wake up, I make my bed because it also forces me to stay awake instead of crawling back between the sheets.

{FOUR} Drink water…

I have a difficult time drinking enough water most days. As soon as I wake up, I try to drink at least 16 ounces of water. Some people drink more, others less. As long as water is the first thing you consume, you’re off to a good start.

{FIVE} Then get coffee, ASAP. 

Honestly though, water’s great and all but it doesn’t have caffeine. As a “reward” to myself after drinking my morning water, I get coffee ASAP. It honestly is so nice to drink coffee while going through my morning routine instead of chugging it in the car on the way to work. There’s something about a cute mug filled with coffee that just gets to me every time.

{SIX} Straighten up.

Whether it’s putting clothes away or tossing junk mail, I also try to straighten up a bit. When my surroundings are clear, my mind is clear. It’s a pleasing sight to see that my space is already clean when I come home at the end of the work day.

{SEVEN} Read.

As mentioned before, one of my 2018 goals is to read more. One of the ways I’m fitting this into my daily routine is to read for at least 15-30 minutes in the morning. Whether it’s a few pages or a few chapters, it doesn’t matter. As long as I’m inching my way closer to completing the goal, I’m good!

{EIGHT} Start your get ready routine.

Eventually the “fun stuff” comes to an end and I have to begin by get ready routine. This isn’t as exciting as the other things, but one of the major pros to waking up earlier is doing all the other stuff BEFORE the get ready routine. By waking up earlier, I no longer scramble to fit everything I need to do within a crunched timeframe. Establishing a morning routine is helpful and ensures your day is off to a great (and productive) start.

Monthly Roundup: June Favorites

IMG_6872.jpg

How am I writing another monthly favorites post? I’m telling you, the months are going by so quickly these days…it’s crazy!

June was a fun month, less event-heavy then May but that’s okay. I made some fun memories and checked a few things off of my summer bucket-list in the midst of working and everyday life. It was a fun start to the summer and can only go up from here!


{ONE} Sonic

Yes, a drive-in restaurant made my June favorites list. Why? Because I finally went there with my fiance and a few friends for the first time ever and it was an awesome experience! After seeing the commercials for years, we decided to finally check it out. Marketing works, people. Highly recommend.

{TWO} How I Built This Podcast Series

I am always searching for alternatives to music for commutes. Someone recently recommended the How I Built This podcast series and I am hooked! In each episode, the podcast host interviews a CEO/entrepreneur of a famous brand or company and asks them to share their story of how they got to where they are today. A few of my favorite episodes include Kate Spade, Instagram, The Home Depot, The Knot, and Chuck E. Cheese.

{THREE} 5K Training

I signed up for my first official 5K. While it does not seem like a long distance, this is a pretty big deal for a non-runner like myself. In June I started training for the race (which is in July) and made it my goal to not only run it under 30 minutes, but to do it without stopping. Stay tuned on progress.

{FOUR} Bloom Daily Planners Daily Pad

I won this daily pad on Twitter recently and I absolutely love it. I felt wasteful using each sheet for only a day so I changed up how I use it to accommodate my needs. Instead of a daily pad, I use it as a week-at-a-glance. I fill out my weekly must-dos, important days/times of the week, things to buy, other to-dos, etc. For the meals section, I write “M T W R F” in each subsection so I can document each day’s meals all in one place. I’ve loved it so far and highly recommend it!

On My Radar 🎧📱

One of the habits I’ve been trying to “break” this year is watching a lot of TV. It’s so easy to come home after work and turn on “background noise” as I do other things or watch a Netflix show to relax.

It dawned on me a few weeks ago that I could be using that time to my benefit. Why watch what you can listen to? Since that epiphany, I have challenged myself to avoid TV after work.

It’s not easy.

I allow myself to text and scroll through Instagram, but when it comes to watching TV, I avoid it when I can. (This is Us and How To Get Away with Murder are my two exceptions!)

My No-TV challenge has helped me discover a few great podcasts & audiobooks in the last couple of weeks.

Here’s what’s on my radar so far.

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 9.29.17 PM

{ONE} Serial Season 1

A true-story murder mystery told by a curious individual who details her investigation through 12 episodes. Honestly, this season of Serial is what sparked my interest in podcasts.

{TWO} Reach Church’s “The Great 8” Series

My church is studying Romans right now, and I’ve been learning so much. I absolutely love the book of Romans and I can’t get enough of it. It’s so powerful! “The Great 8” series focuses only on Romans 8, and it has been eye-opening so far. Check back each week for more videos added to the series.

{THREE} The Village Church’s “Romans 12-15” Series

When searching for a new sermon series to listen to during the week, I stumbled upon The Village Church’s sermon series on Romans 12-15. As mentioned above, we’re studying Romans at church but I enjoy listening to other sermons about it when I can. I’m halfway through this one and highly recommend it.

{FOUR} The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Audiobook

I can’t give an honest review about this yet since I just started it, but so far, it’s good. This is an experiment, to be honest, because I’ve had mixed experiences listening to audiobooks. You’d think the experience would be similar to listening to a podcast, but I find it harder to focus on an audiobook than a podcast. It might be the fact that it’s scripted instead of conversational, but doesn’t hurt to try, right?!

 

What are you listening to? Let me know your recommendations & I’ll add them to my growing list!