Five Podcasts for Your Commute

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport|| Be the first to comment!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I'll admit that I was a little late to the podcast bandwagon and didn't really start listening until Serial, but I can't get enough of them now. Whether I'm on the road and am tired of music, or at the gym, or at home wanting a little background noise, I enjoy that they require more concentration than listening to music, but still allow you to occupy your time with other things. 

No matter your interests, there is a podcast out there discussing it in detail and they're a great way to delve into a subject more. Here are just a few of my favorites that I listen to weekly.

Look Like a Local

Everyone who loves to travel, wants to explore a new city like a local. No one consciously sets out to only bounce from one tourist trap to another. Look Like a Local is a travel podcast that takes you across North America (and now Europe). They interview local residents of travel destinations to find out where the best places to eat, see and hang out are. It's great to skim through and find episodes about a destination you are about to visit, or if you are looking for inspiration for your next weekend getaway.  You might remember this podcast from when Jackie was a guest and shared her favorite spots in NYC. 

Coffee Break German

In my now frantic quest to learn enough German to not embarrass myself in a few weeks (can you believe it?!), I stumbled upon the Coffee Break German language learning podcast. I enjoy the format and being able to hear natives speak to get a good feel for the accent. The podcast is produced by Radio Lingua and they also have lessons in French and Spanish. To get additional lessons, you can sign up for a paid subscription.

Real Simple - Adulthood Made Easy

Being an adult is hard. And one of the twenty-something editor, Sam Zabell, at Real Simple is on a mission to take the guesswork out of transitioning out of college and helping other twenty-somethings win at real life. Topics include: taxes 101, cooking for one, meeting people in a new city, apartment hunting and negotiating your first salary. Each week, Sam talks with experts to help answer all of her questions along the way.  

Mystery Show

Mystery Show is a new podcast about mysteries, hosted by Starlee Kine (you may know her from This American Life), and is a must-listen for Nancy Drew fans. All mysteries are listener submitted and the only rule is that they cannot be solved simply by Googling. I love that Starlee takes you through her entire thought process bouncing from clue to clue and that she is also interested in learning more background about the people she interviews along the way. In some of the episodes, I've been a little more interested in their stories than I have been in solving the case.  


And finally, Serial, the podcast that made podcasts cool again. If you haven't listened to season one already, you should stop what you're doing and listen. I can't wait for season two this fall and (hopefully) season three in the spring. Serial follows an entire true story each season. The show follows the plot and characters wherever they lead, through many twists and turns, and the listeners are figuring out what is happening right along host Sarah Koenig. I'm not sure how much of Adnan Syed's success in his fight for a new trial can be attributed to the popularity of Serial and the real questions and mistakes brought up in his first trial, but it was fascinating to watch it all unfold. 

Coffee Talk

Saturday, July 18, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | Be the first to comment!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Want to keep up with current events but don't have the time? The Everygirl has you covered with five easy tips, from finding your favorite news roundup (mine is theskimm) to combining unbiased sources with more opinionated sources for a well-rounded view on what's going on. 

Are you trying to balance working full time with freelancing? Scheduling and blocking off time (and being realistic about how long things take) is crucial. Kelsey shares her scheduling method to make it all work so you're not spending all of your time working.

Bored of sandwiches every day at lunch? Try these three lunches and be the envy of the office break room.

Planing for #GermanyAustria2015 has been going on for almost a year and these tips will help when researching a destination so you don't have to worry about missing any of the cool spots.

A whole week of meals made with quinoa. Still a little skeptical that I wouldn't get sick of the grains after three days.

Summer Reading

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | 8 Comments

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The concept of summer reading is much more appealing after high school. Although I admit that I was the student who finished the assigned reading and essays well before the halfway point of summer and enjoyed it. Call me crazy. So far this summer my taste in books has been all over the place: from Amy Poehler's laugh-until-you-cry-from-laughing memoir and Cheryl Strayed's much more serious and motivational memoir, to the latest novel from Grisham (I think it's the latest, he just writes way too many) and a unique world history overview.

Confession time. Other than her time on Weekend Update, Mean Girls and Parks and Rec, I didn't know much about Amy Poehler's career. And I was one of those people who read through it thinking of Leslie Knope writing it, even though that's just a character she plays. But any book with a guest chapter by Seth Myers is a book worth reading in my opinion and I enjoyed the mix of memoir and comedy, although it was no "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me." (Side note: Mindy's second book, Why Not Me, is coming out in September and I cannot wait.)

I went through a major John Grisham phase in high school. As in I've read every single one of his books and am now in the habit of automatically reading the next one year after year. Gray Mountain focuses on the coal mining industry in Appalachia and the severe impact it has on the environment as well as the economy and the people of the region. In true Grisham fashion, there were many ethical questions and law practices raised as well as seedy characters typical of small-town justice. 

Months after the movie was released (on DVD) I got around to reading Wild. It was all everyone could talk about and perhaps my expectations for it were too high, but I was underwhelmed by it. It was a powerful story knowing that it was true, rather than fiction, but it would have been just as powerful without all the mentions of her toenails falling off. 

And finally, A History of the World in 6 Glasses, which I highly recommend to anyone who has a love of history and how interconnected social, economic and political factors are. From prehistoric times to present day, Standage sums up the major high points of history as affected by beer, wine, spirits, tea, coffee and Coca-Cola. While I was in college, the International Programs office organized two summer trips based on this book following the history of tea (traveling to Boston, China, India and London) and coffee (traveling to Ethiopia, Turkey and Paris).

What's on your must-read list this summer?

Let's Do Brunch

Monday, July 13, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| , | 3 Comments

Monday, July 13, 2015

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It's no secret that brunch is my favorite meal of the day and that restaurants that serve breakfast all day long have a special place in my heart. And what better way to enjoy brunch than on a backyard patio with a few of your best girlfriends? No backyard? No problem. With enough potted plants, and some fake turf if you are feeling extra festive, can turn any apartment balcony into a private garden.

Although a brunch-time event doesn't give the hostess as much time to prepare everything as opposed to a dinner party, a menu of everyone's favorite sweet and savory bites are sure to be a crowd pleaser. And if you are still hesitant about having enough time to decorate the table and fix a full meal, why not make it a potluck and ask everyone to bring their favorite dish (and swap recipes at the end of course)? If you are a hit-the-snooze-ten-times kind of person, I would suggest opting for a potluck. You'll thank yourself later.

If I were to throw an end-of-summer brunch my must haves would be: florals, a color palate of peaches, corals and greens, outdoor seating and slightly-uncoordinated dishes for an undone look (which really would simply mean I don't have a full set of matching dishes yet).

As much as I love brunch, I love any excuse for unique paper goods, including invitations to coordinate with the event and to set the mood. Paperless Post is a great resource for unique invitations to add the finishing - or really the beginning - touch to any party!


Saturday, July 11, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | Be the first to comment!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

So you've downloaded PhotoShop to add the finishing touch to your photos. Now what? Scour the Internet for tutorial videos. Here is a quick look at five of the main tools you'll need clean up images for your blog.

The walls of my apartment are covered in prints of iconic Paris scenes and this one of the Louvre is a must to add to my collection.

Photos from Jamie's trip to Croatia has solidified it as the next adventure on my (slightly distant) horizon. I can't wait to get lost in the winding staircases and panoramic views of the sea.

Looking to save money and stick to a budget? Well Samantha Rose is right there with you with a humorous take on suggestions to pinch a few pennies. 

If you've ever scoured photos of homes on trulia then you know the importance well-lit and semi-stage photos can play in choosing your dream home. Unfortunately these home-sellers missed that memo. 

Perfectly portioned healthy snacks to hold off hanger when you're on the go are a must.

The itinerary for my trip to Germany and Austria (in less than two months!) is coming together with help from a few lists of must- see sights and must-eat cafes including: best cafes in Vienna, the Everygirl's sights, flavors and culture of Vienna, and Salzburg: Downtown + Hohensalzburg Castle.   

Small Space Organization: Lady Who Lived in a Shoe

Monday, July 6, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| , | 4 Comments

Monday, July 6, 2015

I moved into my first post-grad apartment last year and was starting with a blank slate when it came to decorating. The good news is that I am no longer sharing one bathroom with three other girls. The bad news is my space is only 600 sq. ft., which for Tallahassee is on the small side, but I know that compared to other cities I should be counting my blessings. No mater the square footage, my apartment is seriously lacking in storage space. I have two "closets" in my bedroom, cabinets in the living room and a coat closet (or in my case, broom closet. don't need too many coats in Florida).

Over the past year, I've had to get creative with my storage solutions. No matter if your home is 600 or 6,000 square feet, somehow you are always wishing for more storage space. Here are a few of my favorite ways to maximize the space you have.

1. Storage containers that double as decor.

This is key. If you are lacking in closets, then you must find storage that is both functional and decorative. Would you rather see a stack of magazines in the corner, or a woven basket filled with potential mood board inspiration?

2. Routinely sift through closets and purge/give away items that you no longer use.

You can't afford to let your hoarder tendencies creep up when you live in a small space. In addition to going through your wardrobe once or twice a year, set aside a little time to take inventory of all of the other closets and cabinets. Almost every house has a junk drawer that acts as a catch all for miscellaneous tidbits. Many of us can't afford to devote an entire drawer to "what if I need this" items.

3. Make use of every available space.

This includes under the bed, corner shelving units, ottomans that double as chests and the cabinet above the fridge that no one can reach without climbing on the counters first.

4. Are you really going to use those magazines for inspiration?

Magazines and books are my weakness. After I filled my bookshelf, I opted for a Kindle in order not to box myself into a room with floor to ceiling stacks of my favorite stories. Same goes for magazines. Although I've cut down on the number of subscriptions I receive, I still hold onto back issues because they have a tip, a recipe, an outfit, or a paint color that I'm convinced I will need to reference in the future. Pinterest was the best thing to happen to me because I can store all of my inspiration and helpful information from obscure sources online rather than stacked beside my bed. 

5. Have a place for everything, and do your best to return it to its desired location.

Although you don't have to go the extreme of having a chalk outline of every item in your home so you know exactly where it is supposed to be, you get the idea. Personally, having items strewn about like a tornado has ripped through your home stresses me out to no end. Having an idea of where to return something once you are finished will also save time searching through every. single. last drawer.

Long Weekend

Friday, July 3, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| | Be the first to comment!

Friday, July 3, 2015

I hope you're making the most of the long weekend and that it's filled with BBQs, lake time, lemonade, fireworks and your most patriotic outfit. Happy (early) birthday, America!

Fourth of July weekend marks the halfway point of summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Every summer I make a bucket list of things that I want to do before fall comes around but I somehow fall into the same routine of visits to the farmer's market, afternoons by the pool, dining on restaurant patios and nightly walks in the park. Not that I'm complaining. They don't call them the lazy days of summer for nothing. What all is on your summer bucket list? There's still time to check them all off!