I made it right under the wire! February is already ending, but I didn’t want it leave without a proper playlist. This is a group of songs that has inspired me as I spent my February doing one of my least favorite tasks…shoveling snow! This month has been bonkers with so many big snowstorms, but shoveling for hours on end is definitely more fun when you can jam out to a great playlist. Happy shoveling!
A few years ago I had a monthly series of blog posts where I’d share some of my favorite new (and new to me) music. They were some of the most popular posts on the site, but after a while, I just sort of lost interest and stopped creating them. This year, I’m hoping to get back into sharing tunes again more often, as it’s one of my favorite things to do! I should also add that this January’s playlist was approved of and inspired by my 7th grader, which is a rare occurrence. I feel like we are slowly gravitating toward the same music, and I’m sort of holding my breath hoping our teen pop days are over (excepting Britney Spears, of course). This playlist is great for working out, jamming out in the car, or even dancing around your room or office. Enjoy!
A few months ago we realized that our big, dumb puppy was basically a destructive tornado. Once he grew out of that adorable stage where 10 minutes of play made him sleep for an entire day, he turned into a ball of energy that we couldn’t control. He’s super-intelligent, but he gets bored easily, and if he’s not worn out, it’s a big problem. After he chewed up every flip-flop, winter glove, and stuffed animal in the house, we decided to leave him in the backyard to play more often…which then led to him destroying our backyard. We may be thick-headed, but eventually we learned our lesson! While our pup is part Rottie (lazy, sleeps all day), he is also part Labrador, so he needs exercise.
About 6 months ago I started walking/running with Teddy for a half hour to an hour per day. Rain, shine, snow, sleet, whatever…because if he doesn’t get his walk, someone is gonna lose an expensive shoe (and that someone is probably me!). While I love listening to music when I’m working out, these walks are more chill, so I started listening to audio books and then, finally, podcasts. I love podcasts because they cover every topic under the sun, and like blogs, they are done by regular people who are passionate about whatever they are talking about. I tend to like humorous podcasts, but in the past six months, I’ve found quite a few with super-different topics that are all amazing. It’s awesome, because if I get interrupted during the workday to go for our walk, I can still work by listening to a podcast that relates to a project I’m doing or running a small business. If I’m headed out after the kids are in bed, I usually find a comedy podcast to make me laugh at the end of a long day. If I’m going early in the morning I tend to like a news-related podcast. I’ve developed quite a list over the many walks I’ve been on, and I’m pumped to share them here! (Note, I’ve linked these to the podcasts’ websites, but all of these can also be found on iTunes.)
Fave Small Business Podcast – Elise Gets Crafty
Written by Elise Blaha Cripe of EliseJoy.com, this podcast covers topics for creative small businesses such as running an online shop, maintaining creative habits and pursuing creative dreams. Her topics are both inspirational and informational, with guests who share tips on everything from work schedules to how to start a kickstarter campaign.
Fave Parenting Podcast – For Crying Out Loud
This podcast is hosted by Lynette Carolla (wife of Adam Carolla) and my friend Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, who is a comedy writer and author. While this is technically a parenting podcast, it’s mostly a hilarious comedy hour that relates to parenting topics. Highly recommended for mamas who need a laugh!
Fave All Encompassing Nerd Podcast – The Nerdist
This is a hard one to categorize, because it’s so many different genres. It’s hosted by comedians, but they cover topics that are all over the place. The one connecting string is that they are all topics that a nerd like me finds FASCINATING! Most of their shows are focused on a guest, and that person determines what they end up talking about. They interview actors, musicians, authors, scientists and comedians about their lives and how they got to where they are today. All the episodes are great, but I highly recommend beginning with one of the Neil deGrasse Tyson ones because they are freaking incredible.
Fave Podcast When I Need a Boost of Awesome – Your Kick Ass Life
Andrea Owen is a life-coach who focuses on finding your kick-ass self. She is also a friend and someone with an amazing perspective on life. The tagline for this podcast is “Self help served up straight with a side of crazy. Because life’s too short for it not to kick ass.” Exactly.
Fave News Radio Podcast – NPR: Fresh Air
This award-winning weekday audio magazine has been on the radio for years, but now I can listen to it whenever I want. Host Terry Gross interviews international newsmakers, covering topics from world events to science/technology to music/movies/television.
Fave Story-Based Podcast – Serial
Duh. Have you seriously not listened to Serial yet? Seriously? This podcast from the creators of This American Life unfolds one true story of a crime over the course of each season. This is addictive listening, but it’s so, so good. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop until the end.
Fave Meditation Podcast – Tara Brach
Tara Brach is an author, Buddhist and meditation teacher at the Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC. This podcast features meditations and talks covering topics such as radical acceptance and listening to our hearts.
Fave Comedy Podcast – Girl on Guy with Aisha Tyler
Aisha Tyler is an comedienne, actress and TV host. She interviews her famous friends and they talk about all sorts of crazy stuff. It’s hard to explain specific topics, because it’s more conversational than anything else. It makes me laugh and I think Aisha Tyler is pretty rad, so it’s a keeper for me.
Fave Pop Culture Podcast – Pop Culture Happy Hour
This podcast is a roundtable discussion about books, TV, comics, movies and anything else in the pop culture universe. Linda Holmes from NPR’s Monkey See blog leads the panel and it’s always entertaining.
Fave Recovery Podcast – The Bubble Hour
This is an amazingly inspiring podcast about long term recovery done by a few incredible women that I’m lucky to call my friends. I’ve actually been a guest on this show, but that’s not why it’s my fave. It’s my favorite because it talks about real people and real problems, and then focuses on the solutions. Highly recommended if you or someone you love is in recovery.
Are you a podcast junkie, like me? What are you listening to? I’d love to add a few more to my list!
Anyone else in the midst of a crazy, wild, nutso schedule? I’m assuming it’s not just me, as the mamas of the world start gearing up for the holidays while still trying to maintain their regular responsibilities like work and making sure young children do not color all over their van seats with a sharpie. Just me? Anyway, I wanted to share a few things that are making me smile today, as I’m procrastinating all of my actual work.
I ordered this through my friend Kelly’s website, Redefined Mom. Kelly has a way of finding THE BEST deals on the internet, and her site is one to bookmark, especially for the holidays. She has posted this deal for these amazing blanket scarves a few times, and after I saw hers in person, I had to buy one for myself. Early Christmas present?
I have pretty much been wearing it non-stop, and while some people (ahem, husband) think I look like I’m headed into the arctic tundra, a really cute hipster girl working at H&M pulled me aside to ask me where I got it because she liked it so much. Which, if you know me, is the best thing that’s happened to me all week. Also, when paired with this beanie from Aerie, make me “look like Christmas,” according to one of my friends. So, basically, it’s a win.
I saw this story last week, and when I watched the YouTube video, my whole heart exploded. Read or listen the story first, then watch Faheem Najim (aka T-Pain) just blow your mind.
There is nothing I love more than when someone takes off all the armor they wear to protect themselves and is vulnerable in a way they haven’t been before. Glorious and beautiful and worthy.
Okay, this is a little woo woo for me, but meditation has become a daily part of my routine that is sort of changing my life. I say sort of because I’ve only been doing it a few weeks, and who knows, I may fall out of love with it as quickly as I’ve fallen in love! I’ve always really liked the idea of meditation, but my brain tends to behave like a squirrel on caffeine, so sitting in the quiet was not something at which I excelled. As a recovering perfectionist, I don’t enjoy trying new things, especially when I’m not a gold medalist right away, so when meditation was difficult for me, I decided it wasn’t something I could do. However, a few weeks ago a group of women I love and respect were talking about meditation, and they reminded me the whole point of meditation isn’t to be perfect, but to practice being in the moment. I’ve been trying a 15 to 30 minute meditation every day since then, just to see if it was do-able for me, and it’s enriched my life in ways I couldn’t imagine. I’m calmer with the kids, kinder to my husband, more relaxed in general. I didn’t even notice it until there was one day when life was too busy and I didn’t make the time to meditate…and whoa, the difference was scary! In the past I’ve been so caught up in doing it all perfectly, but this time around I’m just focusing on doing the best I can. I tend to like guided meditation, so I’ve downloaded a bunch of 15 to 30 minute podcasts by Tara Brach, a meditation teacher and phychologist, so I can listen to them whenever I get a chance. I’ve meditated in a quiet spot in my house, lit with candles…and in my car, and in the gym locker room, and waiting for pickup at the kids schools. Each time I feel like I’m probably doing it all wrong, but I do it anyway. Maybe that should be my mantra, “Do it anyway.”
Nothing like a little First Aid Kit on a rainy, autumn Friday afternoon.
What if our hard work ends in despair?
What if the road won’t take me there?
Oh, I wish, for once, we could stay gold
What if to love and be loved’s not enough?
What if I fall and can’t bear to get up?
Oh, I wish, for once, we could stay gold
We could stay gold
We’re on our way through rugged land
Top of that mountain we wanted to stand
With hearts of gold
With hearts of gold
But there is only forward, no other way
Tomorrow was your hope at the end of the day
And gold turns gray
And gold turns gray