Favorite Podcasts


After reading The Fringe Hours, I knew that one aspect of my life that needed to change was my commute to work. I was finding myself frustrated at the time that felt wasted while I was driving to and from work, and since public transportation wasn't a viable option, I needed a way to occupy my time that felt productive. I've started praying more while driving, which has made a big difference, and I've also queued up a great selection of podcasts to listen to while on the road. These podcasts are so good, in fact, that sometimes I find myself circling the block so I can finish up a story before I get home. Here is a list of some of my favorites, in case you're looking for something good to listen to: This American Life

Like most of the country, I was obsessed with Serial last year (and I admit that I still listen to episodes from time to time, just for nostalgia's sake). After the show ended, I started listening to This American Life, the podcast that hosted the series. Instantly, I was hooked. Each episode has a theme, and from that theme stems a variety of different stories, most that are true and based on real-life people and situations, though some are not. The topics explore cultural conversations and ideas, and they open the eyes of listeners to so many new ways of thinking. If I had to choose my very favorite podcast, This American Life would be it.

Happier

I love Gretchen Rubin's books, so I was thrilled to learn that the author was starting a podcast based on her writings and research. She hosts Happier with her sister, Elizabeth, and they provide so many good nuggets of information along with ways to make daily life more joyful. Listening to Happier is an instant pick-me-up.

After the Jump

This podcast is hosted by design blogger Grace Bonney, who uses this platform to interview creatives of all kinds - designers, store-owners, entrepreneurs of all sorts - and discuss the inner-workings of the world of present-day artists. I love how the podcast's website sums it up: "From exploring the day-to-day lives of contemporary makers to discussing the challenges they face, After the Jump will take the conversation off the screen and into real life."

Bon Appétit

A podcast produced by one of my favorite magazines about one of my favorite topics: food! In a word, this series is delicious. BA Editor-in-Chief Adam Rapoport covers a variety of food-related topics, sometimes interviewing celebrity chefs, restaurant owners, and cookbook authors, while other times sharing conversation and ideas with staffers from the magazine. My all-time favorite podcast in this series featured interviews with Ina Garten and Gordon Ramsay but I also loved this one about Waffle House and this one about the best new restaurants of 2015. Thanks to Bon Appétit, I'm now going to check out a few of their recommended food-focused podcasts, including Radio Cherry Bombe, Burnt Toast, and The Dinner Party Download.

Real Simple

Another podcast produced by one of my favorite magazines, bravo! The two series that I listen to are Things Cooks Know and Adulthood Made Easy, both of which are entertaining, informative, and super easy to listen to.

Good Food

Korena recommended this podcast to me (along with After the Jump, actually) because she knew I would adore all of the food-centric conversations and stories. Which, of course, I do (hence the obsession with the Bon Appétit podcast). The episodes are longer, rounding out an hour or so each, and they make for great marathon listening sessions.

Do you have any podcasts to share? I'd love to add them to my list!

Image via p.s. remember this

Fringe Hours

77a739df6567692f00457bfa75adea4fI recently read The Fringe Hours by Jennifer Turner and there were so many good takeaways from the book that I've already applied many of them to my everyday life. I admit that I didn't always relate to the author's tone, and some of the content didn't resonate with me (the book seemed mostly geared towards women with young families), but there were some irreplaceable insights in the book that caused me to sit and ponder how I can best use my time. The concept of the book is focused on identifying our fringe hours, the little bits of time that are found in between meetings, while checking out at the grocery store, or while waiting for appointments that collectively add up to create large chunks of time that we can use to pursue our passions, restore our souls, or even knock items off of our to-do lists. In a review about the book, author Laura Vanderkam sums up the concept best:

"Have you ever claimed to be busy but lost an hour to Pinterest? In this gentle yet no-nonsense book, Jessica nudges us to question how we spend our time and to find ways to bring joy into the little and large space of our lives."

This quote highlights exactly what I loved about the book. The premise initially seems so straightforward, causing me to wonder why I even need to read it - the subject matter appears to be obvious: spend time doing things that are productive and beneficial and you will be a happier, more well-rounded and complete person. But once I started analyzing how you use my fringe hours, I realized that so much of my time that could be life-giving ends up wasted. The book turned m attention to ways that I can be more intentional with the pockets of time that I've been gifted with, using them to pursue my dreams or brighten up my days.

While reading The Fringe Hours, I realized that I spend a lot of time waiting, whether in airports or office buildings or restaurants or parking lots. To pass the time, I inevitably end up scrolling through social media feeds, which can be enjoyable sometimes, but usually just numbs my brain. Encouraged by Turner's insights and advice, I decided to ensure that I have a book with me at all times (especially now that I'm loaded down with great titles thanks to my library card). I've found that in just the two weeks since I've started tucking books into my bag and stowing them in my car, I've actually come to enjoy waiting for airplanes or meetings or appointments; the waiting gives me the chance to dive back into the delicious story I'm reading. The same idea goes with keeping workout clothes and running shoes stashed in my office or my car, making it possible to go for a lunchtime run or pop into an unexpected exercise class after work. Jennifer Turner keeps notecards in her car so she can write letters to people she loves. Those who love drawing can keep sketchpads in their desks; those who love magazines can keep them in their bags and pull them out at a moment's notice. People who like to take pictures can keep a small camera handy, and people who like to cook can download apps that allow them to categorize recipes on the go. It can take a bit of effort as you plan to have the necessary supplies ready in advance, but the payoff is so, so life-giving. By not wasting precious time and instead using my fringe hours to indulge in my passions and hobbies, I have felt energized and renewed.

One other takeaway I gleaned from the book was related to the way I use my time in the car. I have found myself getting extremely irritable during my daily commute, which can range from 30 - 60 minutes. I tried listening to talk radio but usually ended up on top 40 stations, and I felt frazzled every time I got out of the car, irritated by the fact that I hadn't used my time to sharpen my mind while driving (I totally wish I could take a train to work so I could read during my commute). Inspired by this post, I subscribed to several podcasts , and mirroring the example above, I find that I no longer dread heading to my car; I actually look forward to it! My favorites are Bon Appétit FoodcastHappier with Gretchen Rubin, and This American Life. Today I even sat in my car for a few extra minutes so I could finish up Bon Appétit's latest show, which featured fabulous interviews with Ina Garten and Gordon Ramsay. The best part about this new practice is that I feel like I'm feeding my mind and my soul during my commute instead of frittering away the precious minutes I'm gifted with each day.

There are so many more ways that I'm looking forward to applying the principles of The Fringe Hours into my daily life in terms of pursuing my dreams and hobbies and interests and relationships, and I can't wait to provide more feedback here. Have you heard of fringe hours? How could you better construct your day to maximize the gift that is the little pockets of time that can be utilized for your benefit?

P.S. I'm trying out a new blog template - let me know what you think of it!

Image (& decor inspo!) via Ghost Parties

Week & End

IMG_9750 Hey there, folks! This Week & End post is coming at you a little earlier than usual because James & I are headed to Los Angeles bright and early tomorrow morning to visit my favorite brother in the whole world! My parents are already there and they've posted up at The Culver Hotel, a great little boutique spot that is just around the corner from Andrew's apartment. I absolutely cannot wait to be on the best coast so that I can breathe in some ocean air and spend time with the most amazing family on the planet.

Enjoy your weekends and have fun checking out these links from around the interwebs!

I got a quick start on my School Year Resolutions by volunteering today at the Circles Conference. What an amazing event! I was so inspired by the presentations I heard and the people I met. I'll share a more thorough recap soon!

I popped into J.Crew to return a few items last week and I got totally distracted by their new line of perfumes. Since I typically gravitate towards more masculine scents, it was no surprise that I totally fell for No. 57, which has hints of whiskey, cinnamon, and cedarwood. I picked up a rollerball version of the perfume and I have been loving it already.

I really enjoyed reading Bon Appetit's post about redefining the Freshman 15. Erin and I were chatting about this article and we felt über distinguished to have developed a taste for so many items on this list (good bread & butter, fish, marcona almonds, and especially good wine and burrata) during our college years (all while still staying true to our addiction to Funfetti cake, of course).

*I'm cutting my number of shared links short this week because, frankly, I have to finish up some work e-mails and pack my suitcase for LA - apologies, friends. Catch you next week!