25 Podcasts I’m Listening To

Are you listening to podcasts?

I’m obsessed. Podcasts are my favorite things. I listen to them when I’m in the car (by myself or with just Isabelle… when Clara is around we’re all forced to listen to endless renditions of ‘Jingle Bells’), when I’m doing dreaded chores, as I’m writing this post, when I’m cooking, when I’m walking Ozzie… basically, they’re in my background.

I always see posts asking for podcast recommendations, so I thought I’d publish a list of what I’m listening to (and loving).

Hopefully there’s something on this list you can start listening to!

25 Podcasts I'm Currently Listening To

25 Podcasts I’m Listening To

+ Accused – I’m a fan of true crime podcasts, so there are quite a few of this genre on the list! Accused was one of my favorites (both season one and season two)!

+ Coffee + Crumbs – Another genre I enjoy listening to is anything/everything about motherhood, and this is one of the good ones. I also read and recommend the blog.

+ Dear Sugars – Have you read Cheryl Strayed’s advice book? This is an advice podcast, and I can honestly say it’s changed my life. I’ve followed little nuggets of their wisdom and it’s made a huge difference in my relationship with others.

+ Death, Sex & Money – Stories about… you guessed it… death, sex, and money. As I’m typing this I’m listening to an episode called “Finding Love, and a Kidney, on Tinder”.

+ For the Love with Jen Hatmaker – I love Jen Hatmaker. I actually don’t love her books, but I saw her on tour and think she’s just as hilarious live as she is on her Facebook page. Her podcast is excellent and I think her topics and interviewees are really interesting.

+ Happier with Gretchen Rubin – I’ve also seen Gretchen Rubin live, and she was great and really informative. I don’t listen to this podcast super regularly, but I’m always inspired when I do listen to it.

+ Modern Love – Readings of popular essays from the Modern Love section of the NYTimes.

+ Mom Enough – A podcast on motherhood. This is another one I don’t listen to super regularly unless the topic is relevant to me at the time, but they cover a wide variety of issues, so I search through their archives every once in a while and find something interesting to listen to.

+ Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations – I mean… it’s Oprah. I love Oprah. She interviews a lot of interesting people, and it’s always an inspiring podcast to listen to.

+ S-Town – If you haven’t binge listened to this, you should go ahead and do that, now. I was hooked from the first few minutes of the first episode.

+ Serial – Is there anyone who hasn’t listened to the first season of Serial?! I wasn’t as into the second season, but the first season was amazing.

+ Sorta Awesome – I used to love Meg’s blog, and now I love her podcast! It’s like listening to friends chat. I especially love the first part of every episode when the hosts discuss what their favorite things are that week. I always hear about something new to try.

+ Strangers – I just started listening to this one, so I’ve only listened to a few episodes, but it basically features real people telling true stories from their lives… what’s not to love about that?! I find people to be completely fascinating.

+ Sworn – Yet another true crime podcast… if that’s your thing, this is another one worth listening to!

+ The Ben & Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast – This is my guilty pleasure podcast. I limit myself to one bachelor(ette) podcast, and this is the one I chose. Sometimes I just need to keep up on the gossip… yeah I don’t know, I can barely justify this one… let’s move right along.

+ The Broad Experience – Sometimes I don’t feel like this podcast applies to me as much anymore in my current life as a SAHM, but it’s about women & the workplace, and I listen to it when the title interests me. A friend recommended it, and I think you working ladies out there will love it!

+ The First 40 Miles – I listened to a lot of these podcasts when I was getting ready to go on my first backpacking trip this past August. If you’re at all into backpacking/hiking, I would recommend this one!

+ The Longest Shortest Time – This is a podcast about parenting in general, and I almost always listen to it. I love the range of topics and the hosts and just everything about it.

+ The RobCast – I especially loved this episode on boundaries.

+ Thinking Sideways – Another ‘true crime’ type podcast. I love listening to all of the unsolved stories/mysteries!

+ This American Life – I’ve been listening to this one for years and still love it.

+ True Crime Obsessed – If you follow me on IG stories, you may have seen me mention this. I’ve binge listened to this podcast recently and love it so much. So, so much. Every episode is about a different true crime documentary, and this podcast is the hosts’ commentary on each one.

+ Up First – This is an NPR podcast (only a few minutes long!) and I listen to it every morning to catch up on the news. Well, I listen to it on days when I want to know the news. Some days I just need a little reality break, ya know?

+ Up and Vanished – I binge listened to this podcast when it first came out and was so into it! I recommend just listening to the episodes and not all of the ‘extra’ stuff.

+ Young House Love Has A Podcast – I just started reading their blog regularly, and I love their podcast! John and Sherry talk about DIY projects and home decorating and just… life. They’re fun to listen to and the podcasts are (relatively) short!

I know this is a lot of podcasts, and I obviously don’t listen to every single episode of every single one, but between all of these, there’s always something interesting on my podcast list! I also recommend listening at 1.5x the speed, as I find it makes listening to episodes easier and more efficient.

Happy podcasting!

And tell me, what other podcasts should be on my list?!

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Oh, Christmas Tree

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is our annual quest to find a Christmas tree. Anything that gives me an opportunity to drag my entire family outside, no matter what the weather is, makes me so happy. (Unfortunately, it does not make my family as happy as it makes me, but that’s besides the point.)

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Well, 3/4 of us were happy.

This weekend’s Christmas tree mission didn’t disappoint. It was pouring down rain, but we piled the kids into the car and drove an hour to the Christmas tree farm.

Well, first we stopped at Starbucks to meet up with friends, of course, because we cannot possibly do our best Christmas tree scouting without caffeine. I got my usual order, a tall holiday spice flat white (with only 2 scoops of the flavor).

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Then, to the farm we went! We crammed the kids into their rain jackets and hats and mittens and boots and put them on wagons and walked into the trees! This year was extra-fun because it was the first year that Clara really understood what was going on. She picked out at least 20 trees she wanted to bring home.

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The four families we were with all found ‘perfect’ trees (none of us were all that picky) within a reasonable amount of time, and we loaded them onto our respective cars and away we went!

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It was the perfect outing, if I do say so myself.

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A huge tangent: years ago, for Clara’s first Christmas, we were feeling a bit overwhelmed with life and and were living in Chicago. We were planning on celebrating Christmas with our families, so we didn’t bother to buy our own tree. CRAZY, right?! Finally on December 23rd I decided I wanted my own tree, and Tim and I ended up in tiny tree lot in some parking lot in the middle of Chicago. We were the only people there and it was so depressing and I’m clearly still not over it.

So now we are doing Christmas tree shopping the real way, darnit! And it is awesome. Well, for the adults. The toddlers, however…

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These little ones are perpetually underwhelmed by our ‘adventurous’ outings.

Do you chop down your own Christmas tree?!

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Spending money, making/saving money. Sometimes simultaneously.

I really thought I might get through Black Friday without spending any money, but it was not meant to be. I didn’t buy anything on the actual day of Black Friday (and certainly not on Thanksgiving!) but with online deals lasting almost a week, I had to take advantage! I ended up ordering some items from JCrew, Land of Nod, Gap, and World Market. That free shipping gets me every time – even more than the discounts! Sigh.

Three ways I saved money while shopping online this week!

Aside from shopping when I know some big sales are going on, there are three other ways I’ve saved money while shopping online this past week:

Wikibuy

I enable this browser extension and whenever I go to Amazon to buy something, it tells me if the same product is available at a cheaper price somewhere else. For instance, I was about to buy this nail polish from Amazon, but immediately saw it was $4 cheaper on eBay. Of course, usually it’s slower shipping than Amazon Prime offers, but usually I am very happy to wait the extra couple of days to save a few (or sometimes more than a few!) bucks.

+ Ebates

Ebates is now easier to use than ever before because it has a Chrome browser extension that reminds me whenever I’m on a site which can offer me some money back. Previously I had to remember to go to the Ebates site first, and then navigate to a store’s website, but now I can activate Ebates directly from the store’s site. I get a percentage back of almost every purchase I make online and have made $500 over the past few years. Easy peasy!

+ Moo.com

For the past few holidays / announcement-worthy occasions, I’ve created my own greeting cards using Canva.com and Moo.com. This year I was able to buy 100 greeting cards for around $80 (if my memory serves me correctly), which is waaaay less than I used to spend with the ‘usual’ greeting card sites. I design my greeting cards using Canva, and then I print them using Moo.com using a blank template, and I’ve found the whole experience to be surprisingly painless.

* This post is not sponsored, although this post does contain referral links. I genuinely save money using these services, and I highly recommend them!

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Thanksgiving Weekend Recap

An alternate title to this could be: traveling with kids is kind of awful never boring.

So because of our really busy schedule and Isabelle’s refusal to sleep like a normal human being, Tim and I were really last minute (even by our low, low standards) in thinking about our Thanksgiving plans.

We enjoyed an awesome ‘Friendsgiving’ the Sunday before Thanksgiving (I made this green bean casserole and these rolls), but in terms of celebrating the actual day… our brains didn’t even have the capacity to think about it ahead of time.

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Luckily, our friends are very welcoming hosts so when we told them we’d decided to join them in Portland for the holiday, they welcomed us with open arms! (Well, that’s how I interpreted it. Basically, they didn’t kick us out or tell us we couldn’t come. They are good friends, indeed.)

I knew we were off to a rough start when Isabelle didn’t sleep the night before. Which meant none of us slept.

Then Tim pulled out of the driveway on Thanksgiving Day with our tire pump still attached to the car, and ran that thing right over. (I guess now I know what I’m getting him for Christmas!)

The ride to Portland was surprisingly uneventful until the last hour, when Isabelle decided she was done being in her carseat. But still, almost 3 hours of peace may have been a roadtrip record since Isabelle was born!

We had the most delicious food on Thursday evening – and I cooked none of it. (Did I mention we have fantastic friends?) I was so, so stuffed. I didn’t even finish my piece of pie, that’s how much dinner I ate! I know, tragedy.

Unfortunately, one of our friends got sick on Thursday night and all day Friday, and I’m sure having three toddlers running around the house did not help her to feel better. But, the rest of us carried on with the visit and went to an indoor playspace for coffee and a toddler lunch, and then went to a nearby outdoor playground after naptime.

Our eventful trip continued with us finding a lost dog on the way to the playground, which led to us asking everyone we saw if they recognized him. We eventually took him to a vet and, after quite a few phone calls, were able to reunite him with his owner. (Note: when I say ‘we’ helped this dog, I mean that my friend helped this dog while I tagged along for the ride. I wrangled my kids while he did all of the dirty work.)

That night we ate some light soup, as we were still suffering from a Thanksgiving food hangover.

Then on Friday night Isabelle decided to wake up (per her new usual routine) at about 10pm and scream for two hours straight (with us going in every 10 minutes to calm her down). She was so upset she threw up, which was a whole ordeal. Tim was super-dad and cleaned her up in the shower, did the laundry, and slept with her on the floor of the basement (so that she didn’t throw up again in our bed, which would have left us all without places to sleep). It was a rough night, but more for him than me, I must admit. The next day she felt completely fine and we were all exhausted – as it always goes!

Our last day in Portland we went shopping and out to lunch and enjoyed a rainy, gloomy day inside. We left right after dinner (we ordered in from our favorite place, Bollywood Theater) hoping that the kids would sleep in the car. And our plan worked! Which never happens! Well, I should say that our plan worked only after we listened to about 800 rounds of ‘Jingle Bells’ and Clara asked a bijillion questions about the lyrics. But then, bliss! Tim and I even managed to listen to a full podcast episode without being interrupted!

I wish I could say that’s how our night ended but we all know that would be too easy. As soon as we got close to home Isabelle started stirring in her sleep, and when we transferred her to her bed she decided to start up with the screaming. Another two hours later… she finally went to sleep.

And so ended our way-too-quick 48 hour holiday trip to Portland!

It was a whirlwind, but it was fun. Although, seriously, traveling with toddlers is challenging. Although I think Clara is finally at the age where it’s a bit easier, since she gets excited to sleep in new places on her “blow-up bed”. I dream of the day when we travel with both kids and don’t have to worry about nap and sleeping schedules!

This will happen for us one day, right?!

In the meantime… let’s all cross our fingers that this ‘phase’ Isabelle is going through is the dreaded 18 month sleep regression that shall pass quickly. She has never been a good sleeper and it seems like every time we get the hang of things, she switches it up on us! We really don’t know what else to do about it, but I’m going to be really, really strict about naptimes and bedtimes in hopes that this will help her.

Sigh. There’s always something!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of yummy food and laughter and minimal drama (and puking)!

Posted in holidays, loved ones, travel | Tagged , | 4 Comments

My favorite day of last week. (My standards are low, people.)

I want to tell you about my favorite day of last week.

It was Wednesday – the most magical day. I scheduled a doctor appointment so Tim stayed home from work to help with Isabelle, and Clara was at preschool. This means I went to the doctor appointment by myself! I spoke in full sentences!

My Favorite Day

While I was there, my ND (Naturopathic Doctor) mentioned I should get my blood drawn. I was going to make another appointment to get that done, and then realized I didn’t have any kids with me! I could do anything! I was unstoppable! So I sat in the waiting room for 10 minutes and felt so blissfully relaxed. Then I had to do a breath test which required me drinking a yucky citrus drink and waiting 15 minutes… and guys… this was the best news. I was able to sit in a waiting room IN SILENCE, and read for an extra 15 glorious minutes.

Then I picked up Clara from preschool and we went to Target by ourselves! We never, ever run errands together so Clara thought she was in heaven and the whole outing was so easy with only one kid! (I really need to get out of the house more.) I truly felt like I was living my best life.

Is my bar too low?! Yes, yes it is. Clearly.

But it really was the best day. And then that night we threw a baby ‘sprinkle’ for a friend and I felt like myself again. Like my pre-baby self. Not spending all day with my kids meant I had energy to socialize. I laughed a lot, I felt like my brain was actually working, I felt like me.

This whole day/night made me realize that being with my kids full time may not be the best decision for me anymore. It’s something Tim and I have been talking about for a few weeks, but basically I feel like I’m no longer myself. I think all moms can probably relate to this to a certain extent. I used to be fun, I used to be witty, I used to have energy to spare… and being a SAHM has left me feeling depleted and sad and unmotivated.

So, we’ll see what we decide to do going forward! It’s always a balancing act, and I’ve been praying a lot about making the best choice for myself and for my family.

I hope you’re having a great start to your (holiday!) week!

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