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What We’ve Been Listening To- Our Current Favorite Podcasts

As two devoted podcast listeners, we thought it would be fun to share some of our current favorites. May often listens to podcasts while on her morning walk with Sawyer, or while preparing a meal.  June also listens to them when she preps meals for the week.   Podcasts have become so popular these days, sometimes it’s difficult to choose!

Some people are confused about podcasts and how to listen them.  Podcasts are a short audio file that is a lot like a radio show but you can listen on your own time.  Often the podcasts have a website or online community where you can participate.  For most podcasts you can listen for free.  Some have a paid subscription service or ask for donations where they use the funds to support the cost of producing the podcast.

To listen to a podcast it is very easy.  If you have an Iphone there is a built in app that we both use called Podcasts.  To listen simply search for the name of the podcast.  You can then click on the title and an episode to listen.  Because most podcasts are weekly, you can subscribe (for free)  so that every new episode shows up in your library.  If you do not have an Iphone or you want some additional features there are a couple of apps that can be downloaded on your phone for free.  Two popular apps are Overcast  and Stitcher.  You can listen to these podcasts through any of the apps using your headphones, your phone’s built in speaker or a bluetooth connected speaker.

Here are some of our favorites:

Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations. If any of you are familiar with Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday television show, you’ll enjoy this podcast. Always inspiring, Oprah’s guests always leave you feeling a little more soulful and connected to something greater.

What Should I Read Next? This is a podcast by Anne Bogel who writes the blog Modern Mrs. Darcy. This is one of our absolute favorites because the subject matter is books, books, books.   The podcast typically follows the same format.  Anne Bogel talks interviews one reader about three books she loved and one she hated and then recommends three books for the reader to read next.  Even though the podcast is supposed to be limited to only seven books there is often talk about a lot of books.  Some of these are backlist books, meaning that they are not an author’s most current title, which is a great way to find books that your library will probably have on your shelf that you can read immediately.  The shownotes always have a list of books discussed in case your notepad is not handy.  

From the Heart: Conversations with Yoga GirlMay’s daughters told her about this podcast by Rachel Brathen aka Yoga Girl. As a yoga teacher as well as a student, we enjoy connecting with like minded people and her journey is very inspiring and you will find yourself often times laughing, or shedding a few years. 

Serial:  Serial is a podcast created by National Public Radio and This American Life so it is very professional.  Season 1 is the best of the two currently available.  In Season 1, Sarah Koenig investigates Adnan Sayed’s conviction for murder of his high school classmate.  While the season was being recorded, Sarah continued to receive tips and leads on the case.  A compelling told story and it will suck you in to find out the conclusion.  Really great if you are looking for a story that will keep you interested for hours.  June listened to this on road trips with her husband and that made the miles fly by.  This podcast would probably be a great listen to motivate you to get to the gym too.

S-Town:   This is another podcast from This American Life (these people know how to tell a story and actually have a podcast of their own).  This tells the story of John who despises his town in Alabama and asks an investigative reporter to look into a cover-up concerning a murder done by a wealthy citizen of the town.  The story turns to look more into John’s mysterious life, another murder, a feud and a hunt for hidden treasure.  June listened to this one as well on road trips with her husband (she has had a lot of driving trips to Buffalo, New York the last two years).  The format of serial story telling keeps you listening.

The Next Right Thing:  The Next Right Thing is a podcast by the writer Emily P. Freeman.  The Next Right Thing is an inspirational podcast with a Christian viewpoint.  And it is only 15 minutes.  This is a newer podcast so there are only ten episodes (so far) but if you are looking for ways to give your soul room to breathe this is a great way to start your morning.  June often listens to an episode in the wee hours of the morning while she is getting ready to go to the office to give her soul some strength and inspiration for the day.  Emily P. Freeman’s voice is so soothing and calming that alone can provide you some positive space for your day.

Magic Lessons: This is a podcast by Elizabeth Gilbert that supplements her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.  If you love to talk about creativity and how to spark creativity this is a great podcast.  Elizabeth Gilbert often talks to a regular person who has creative aspirations but is struggling and she give advice.  In the subsequent episode she often has a “famous” creative person to discuss their own process and also offer advice to the previous guest.  Some of these names have included Ann Patchett, Rob Bell and Brene Brown.

 

Do you have a favorite podcast? We’d love to know what you’re listening to these days.  There are so many great ones out there so sometimes it is hard to choose.  

Have a great weekend.

May and June

Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind.” 
― Madeleine L’EngleSwiftly Tilting Planet

 

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Some Unpopular Opinions

Are there certain things that are popular and you cannot get on the bandwagon no matter how much you try?  I have some fairly unpopular opinions about certain things.  Here are five things I dislike that everyone else seems to love.

Coconut.  I cannot stand coconut.  The texture, the taste, the everything. I had heard coconut water was good for you so I thought I would try it thinking that because it is water it could not taste too much like coconut.  Blech.  No coconut water for me.  Interestingly, I can cook with coconut milk but I am not ready to try a coconut milk latte at Starbucks any time soon.

Flip Flops.  Everyone loves their flip flops except for me.  I do wear flip flops and I don’t hate them but they are not my footwear of choice.  I wear them for pedicures.  I wear them when it’s hot out around the house or to run quick errands.  I do not wear them if I have to drive, walk any distance or if it’s chilly outside.  The last few days we have had a string of some nice weather but it has been chilly in morning.  The coat and flip flop look has been going strong.  My attitude is that if it is cold enough for a coat then it is too cold for flip flops.  And I can only wear flip flops if the part that goes in between your toes is soft.  Those cheap rubber ones hurt my feet so I usually pick Teva flip flops.

Thriller Books.  Everybody loved the books Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn or Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.  There was so much hype and buzz around those two books.  I read them and quite honestly they made me so mad that I wanted to throw both of them through the window.  I guess as an author a strong reaction by a reader is not a bad thing although, maybe anger is not the reaction you want.  After reading a few more novels in the thriller genre, I have decided that I do not really like them.  However, because there is often a lot of talk around them and they are typically a fast read, I will probably still continue to read the most buzzed ones.  I guess I will never learn.

Cantaloupe.  This is another food dislike and I think I am the only one.  Every fruit salad or side of fruit includes cantaloupe and I cannot stand it.  I cannot even pick around it because the taste of cantaloupe infiltrates the flavor of every other fruit it touches.   Even the smell or mention of it makes me wrinkle my nose.   My mom likes to make fruit salads for parties and she loves cantaloupe.   However, because she must love me more, she puts the cantaloupe in a separate bowl so I don’t have to eat my fruit contaminated with cantaloupe.

Running.  I think running is a sport that you either love or hate.  I have tried to love running but just cannot.  Even when I was in really good shape, I detested running.  The whole time I run I just keep thinking, “I hate this, I cannot breathe and when is this over.”  I do other cardio exercise such as spinning or interval training but I do not like to run.  I think my body was not built to run.

Although my dislikes often elicit a strong reactions, I think it is good that we all have different preferences.  Otherwise life would be boring.  Do you have anything you really do not like that others just do not understand?  –June

 

I hate with a bitter hatred the names of lentils haricots — those pretentious cheats of the appetite, those tabulated humbugs, those certified aridites calling themselves human food!”
George Robert Gissing, English novelist

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What We’ve Learned Lately

Happy Friday! No matter what is happening in our busy lives, we are always learning new things. Sometimes these new things are profound. Sometimes they are silly. Sometimes they are little hacks that make life easier, and sometimes they are an interesting fact or two that can make life more interesting . Here are a few things we’ve learned lately.

The difference between a graveyard and a cemetery is that a graveyard is connected to a church.  If the church closes then the graveyard becomes a cemetery.

If you are having any work done around your house, clean your closets first.  The contents of June’s master bedroom closet were let out of their confines during the course of painting, and have now taken over the whole upstairs.  She has a lot of work to do.

Make a list when you go to the store. If you don’t, you will buy items you don’t need, and forget the item you went to the store for in the first place.

Pay attention to your pets. They remind us to stop, breathe, go for walks, and give belly rubs.

Our Dogs and their Black and White Enemy

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Dress for the weather- not for the calendar date.  And check the weather before you leave the house.  If it is 70 degrees in February you do not need to wear a coat.  If it was 70 degrees in February the day before it does not mean it will be 70 degrees today.  If it is not going to be 70 degrees, please do not wear flip flops or shorts.

No matter how much plastic surgery the Hollywood stars have, you can always tell their age by their neck.  Find a good neck cream.  We are looking for one and if you have found a magic neck cream, please share.

Have a good weekend. –May and June

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. John Wooden

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Bullet Journaling

Have you heard about bullet journaling?  I saw it referenced on various websites but had no idea what it was so I looked into it.  Basically, it is a planning system to organize your life.  Instead of using a commercially developed planner, you simply use any notebook or journal you choose.  The key is the Table of Contents on the first few pages of your bullet journal.  The Table of Contents lets you later find what and where you wrote something down.

The video on bulletjournal.com does a great job of explaining how to set up a bullet journal.  This seems pretty basic and a good way to keep track of all the random lists and tasks that float in your head.  I am terrible at writing things down.  I have a really good memory so I often find that if I put an appointment on my calendar, I just remember it and never look at my calendar.  As I have gotten older and I have more things to juggle sometimes my memory is not as reliable.  While I have not missed anything important, I do often need to call to confirm an appointment.

The other problem with not writing things down is that I then suffer from monkey mind.  There is a constant loop in my head of things I need to do and appointments to be kept during the week.  So I decided to try this method of planning.

Bullet journaling can be somewhat intimidating.  In this day of Pinterest people make their bullet journals very artistic and fancy.  People draw pretty pages, color in printables and add washi tape.  I have a board on Pinterest here, but here are some examples of some beautiful pages.

And here are some examples of my pages.  Not so artistic at all.  More like chicken scratch.

I realized if I want to use this system, I cannot be concerned about how other people use their bullet journals.  No one else is going to see it.  If being artistic inspires you and helps you stick to planning, by all means do it.  For me though, using a bullet journal is more like a brain dump.  I’m using it to take notes for webinars or podcasts.  I’m using it jot down ideas for writing. I’m using it to make a list of books I’d like to read or movies or television shows to watch.  I also use it to make to do lists.  The beauty of this system is you can use it the best way for you.

I have not perfected this system at all.  Part of it is that I have to train myself to write things down.  I also don’t find it helpful to keep appointments in it, but would rather do those on my outlook calendar.  I still take notes in my phone’s note app too.  When I am out of the house, such as when I catch up on all of the “news” in People or Us magazine during my hair appointment, I do not have my bullet journal with me.  So if there is an interesting new novel coming out or a pretty shade of nail polish I want to try, it ends up in my notes app instead.

The one thing that the bullet journal does help me with is I do know where all of my random handwritten notes are located.  I do not have to search through multiple notebooks, scraps of paper, the back of envelopes, to find something I know I wrote down.

If you are a person that struggles with post-it notes, forgotten appointments and losing your mind, you may want to try bullet journaling.  I am finding it helpful for the most part. –June

[Journaling] is like whispering to oneself and listening at the same time. – Mina Murray, Dracula

 

 

 

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Things We Are Loving In January

January is the month when we can all get stuck in the doldrums.  The weather is cold, cold, cold.  It is grey and slippery outside and there are no events to look forward to.  So, we thought this would be the perfect time to share some things we are loving this month.  Maybe you’ll find a new love too!

The Crown by Netflix

If you have not seen the series The Crown on Netflix yet, you absolutely must! It is worth the price of a Netflix subscription to watch it.  June is a huge English history buff and in fact she took several semesters of it in college so this was right up her alley.  And now she has gotten May hooked on the series.  The acting is so good.  Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II and John Lithgow as Winston Churchill are amazing.  Not only is it respectfully about the personal lives of English royalty, but it also discusses the politics of the country and the strange division of power between their democratically elected government and the monarchy.  It is also fascinating to see what used to pass as scandalous has now become the the norm of society.  This is a great way to spend some of your indoor time.

Fresh Sugar Cream Lip Treatment

If you have trouble with dry chapped lips then check out this Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment.  June has used Fresh lip products before and they are moisturizing and smell nice too.  This product is a lot like a lip gloss, but also provides lip protection and moisture.  This blush color is so pretty and she may have to try out the pink as well.

Drybar ‘Buttercup’ Blow Dryer

This blow dryer is expensive.  However, if you have thick hair that seems to take forever to blow dry this thing is a life saver.  The time for drying is significantly cut and your hair ends up smooth and non-frizzy.  Also, it doesn’t burn your head like some of the cheaper blow dryers.  And while it is pricey, if you use it every day or even every other day, it is easier to justify the price.

Bobeau One Button Fleece Wrap Cardigan

This is a great fleece cardigan from Nordstrom with an asymmetrical hem and one button design that also looks great unbuttoned. The fabric is soft and cozy and it comes in lots of colors as well as petites. (This color is heather oatmeal) May finds this sweater perfect for cooler nights in Charleston, and right now it’s 30% off.

Girl’s Weekend

Charleston sunrise

 This is a great time to grab one of your besties, and do something fun. Next weekend, May and June are going to reunite in Charleston, South Carolina for a little girl’s weekend.  We are looking forward to warmer weather for June, fun shopping, beach walks, sightseeing plus good food and drinks.  And of course friend time cannot be beat!

Have a great weekend. ~May and June

We love the things we love for what they are. ~Robert Frost

 

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October Favorites

A Few Things We Are Loving in October

Fall is in full swing and although we are still enjoying some milder temperatures, we have definitely noticed a change in the season. The sun is setting earlier, the leaves are crunching beneath our feet and blowing all over the street on our walks, and the nights are much cooler. With that said, here are a few things we are loving in October.

What May Is Loving.  For May, fall means bringing out the soft, toasty throws for the sofa, chairs, and bed. There’s nothing like wrapping myself up in a favorite blanket to watch an episode of Younger, or relax in a favorite chair to read by the fire. Not only are they functional, but throws are also a nice statement to add to the end of a couch, or bed. They come in a variety of colors, textures, and styles and you can pay as little or as much as you like. As you can see, Sawyer enjoys them too and I always know where to find him napping on a cold day.

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I always have a basket of extra throws and blankets so we can all have one on movie night. HomeGoods  has a great selection at very reasonable prices.

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What June is Loving.  Now that we are firmly into October, it is acceptable to get out the Halloween decorations.  While June does not do a lot of decorating for Halloween she does love some Halloween lights.  In June’s mind, twinkle lights should be outdoors pretty much year-around.  If it was socially acceptable, she would probably display her Christmas lights all through the winter and into spring.  So, it is fun to see that twinkle lights both indoor and outdoor have become popular.  June will be hanging her little pumpkin lights up this weekend.  And last weekend the skeleton lights were hung in the kitchen window.  The skeleton lights are weird and quirky, June loves the different colors and in dance poses, that they make her laugh a little every time she sees them.

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What May and June Are Loving.  This week, one of our favorite HGTV shows, Fixer Upper, premiered their new magazine The Magnolia Journal. It’s a quarterly lifestyle magazine that gives great ideas on making your home more beautiful as well as tips for living a better life. You can pick up the magazine at most check out lines, at your favorite bookstore, or you can get a subscription online. We are so excited!

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Fall is the season of apples, and May and June are both fans. There are so many varieties out there, it’s hard to pick one favorite! May loves Honeycrisp apples for eating, and always uses Granny Smith when she bakes an apple pie or crumble. And of course, who doesn’t love taffy apples? June is a big Honeycrisp fan as well.  And while she doesn’t often get out there, a trip to the apple orchard to pick your own apples is a fun way to spend an October weekend, especially when the orchard sells cider and freshly made doughnuts.

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As much as we both love being barefoot all the time, our cold toes and feet have recently been begging for the snuggly warmth of our favorite pair of slippers. May loves her cute red moccasins by L.L. Bean. The fleecy inside keeps her feet nice and warm on the coldest of days, they have a non skid sole, plus they are stylish and don’t look like a traditional slipper.

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June is not a huge slipper fan because she would much rather be barefoot or wearing socks.  But cold feet are even more uncomfortable.  And having to step outside with Gatsby or to get the newspaper means that some type of foot covering must be worn.  After much trial and error, June has found that Ugg slippers work the best for her in the cold months.  Ye,s they are pricey but the shearling is not itchy, they are cushy and they do provide some foot support if you are cooking or doing other chores that require you to be standing or running up and down the stairs.  And while she herself is not a fan, some people wear them as shoes.  Just the day before, June saw a woman wearing Ugg slippers as her “commuter shoes” downtown.  But please do not wear the same pair on the dirty sidewalks and then as slippers in your house.  Yuck!  They are called house shoes for a reason.

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Have a wonderful weekend.  It looks like it is going to be lovely weekend weather-wise in Chicago.  So, we are going to make sure to sneak in some more outdoor time and hope you get to do the same.

~May and June

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things.” -Sound of Music

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