At the beginning of each month I plan on writing a short post about all of the books, movies, podcasts, food, activities, events etc. that I am loving and recommend for all of you to try (inspirational credit given to Jess Lawlor who does this weekly). Everything in these posts will be things I have personally read, listened to, and tried. While I realize my tendency to criticize can be (probably often is) considered a negative, in this regard, at least you'll know that everything in this post has gone through some pretty harsh judgement and critiquing before it got here. And in the spirit of transparency, the links below are affiliates. Let me know what you think!
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah - My book club just finished this last month and O.M.G. I'm obsessed. This is definitely a book I will re-read and come back to. Any book that gets me to tear up and cry is a big deal, and at the end of this one I was both emotionally crushed and fulfilled. Friend me on Goodreads for my full review.
Rising Strong by Brené Brown - I LOVE all things Brené Brown and will be talking about her and her works A LOT on the blog. Brené's story telling ability is unmatched, and her easy conversational writing makes reading and learning about heavy topics like shame, failure, and vulnerability easier and more human. I walk away from every Brené Brown book feeling like (1) someone else gets me! and (2) empowered and wiser. Rising Strong talks about the process of picking yourself up after failing, but there is so much more in this book than that.
Call Your Girlfriend - I eagerly await for new updates from CYG. The premise: Ann and Aminatou are two long distance besties who catch up with each other over weekly phone calls to talk about life. Everything from pop culture, politics, friendship, careers and periods (yes, periods) are discussed. I am frequently laughing out loud in my car and almost always walk away with a different perspective on some topic. They recently changed their format a little, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. If you're new to the podcast start with a title that doesn't have "phone a friend" in the title.
Millennial - Millennial is currently on a break between the first and second season, but I can't wait for it to return. Megan Tan hosts this podcast about capturing your 20's in real time. There are two things I love about this podcast. First- Megan uses real conversations to tell the story. The majority of the podcast is listening to recorded conversations between friends, parents, and her boyfriend. In the background you'll hear the familiar sound of cars rushing by, typing on a keyboard and walking down a sidewalk. This very real audio gives this podcast a more intimate feel than anything else I've listened to. The second - she is so pure and genuine. My heart breaks for her each time she gets rejected from jobs, and when she cries over feeling lost. I am happy for her when something good finally comes through for her. Despite being almost 30, I can easily remember the feelings and questions she is working through and empathize with her every episode.
The Danish Girl and Spotlight were both Oscar noms and for good reason. I was left feeling a bit empty and broken after watching both but in different ways. Spotlight was hard for the subject matter alone. The Danish Girl because of the immense love and sacrifice given for those we love. Watch them.
House of Cards - Netflix. Enough said.
Things To Do
I apologize in advance since this will only apply for those in the Philly area.
Science After Hours - The Franklin Institute. Drinking in a museum full of educational "kids" stuff ? Hell yes. Never has being a big kid been more enjoyable than the once a month adult only Science After Hours events. A different theme every month, different vendors are set up throughout the museum showing off different experiments, tips, and activities related to the theme. When I went for "Party Like A Rock Star" we saw how guitars were made, how amplifiers worked, and some sweet pyrotechnics. The best part?Finally being able to play with all the fun shit you want to without worrying that you'll run over a child, or wait 45 minutes for them to stop hogging whatever toy you've been eying.
Tip: Get there early! The place is pretty empty and you get to play with a lot more things before the crowds come.