My Favorite Podcasts

I am an avid podcast listener. My love for podcasts originally started out with a Harry Potter podcast that discussed new news surrounding the books and movies along with fun trivia and deep discussions. I love listening to podcast while I’m driving and they an help relieve the stress of traffic without being as in depth as an audio book. Below are some of my all time favorites.

Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

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This is my all time favorite podcast, which is also a radio show that airs Saturday’s on NPR. Led by the hilarious Peter Sagal, each week he and his panelists participate in a news/ pop culture quiz show. There are call in guests and a featured celebrity interview every week that include anyone from Nobel Prize winners to Kim Kardashian. I find myself laughing out loud, with tear streaming down my face every week when I listen to the newest episode.

This American Life

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This is another NPR podcast that I listen to on a weekly basis with host Ira Glass. Each show has a theme and short, non-fiction, stories are told throughout the hour program. most are told in a first person narrative. I’ve laughed, cried, and pounded my steering wheel in anger while listening to this podcast.

Serial

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If you haven’t heard of Serial you must be living under a rock. In 2014 this podcast changed the game entirely. Sarah Koenig recounted and dug deeper into the story of Adnan Syed, a man convicted of killing his high school girlfriend in 2000, in the first season. She does interviews with Adnan, his family, friends, and other people who may have more information on this crime. Her story telling sucks you in and I even got my mom hooked on this podcast. The second season follows the story of Bowe Bergdahl.

Radiolab

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Radiolab is an investigative show that is told through sounds and stories. I love the alternating view points and flow of this one. I’m always left thinking at the end.

The West Wing Weekly

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My favorite TV show of all time is The West Wing. So I about squealed when I saw this podcast show up in the top charts. Joshua Malina, who was an actor in the show, and his friend started a weekly podcast where they recount the show episode by episode. If you have not watched The West Wing the entire series is on Netflix. You will not be disappointed.

Ladies Who Lunch

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This is new one on my list. I’ve been a fan of Ingrid Nilson for a long time from her YouTube channel and now she and her friend/ fellow YouTuber Catrific have started a weekly podcast where they talk about issues. Both ladies are smart, well spoken, and funny. The first episode tackled the idea of friendship and the second talks about feminism. I love hearing their opinions and viewpoints on different matters and they really make you take a step back and think.

Hope you enjoyed this list of podcasts. There are so many more and some that I’ve downloaded but am still trying out. If you have any podcast suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

 

Apple Music vs Spotify

I have probably switched back and forth between Apple Music and Spotify at least three times. I was a (for the most part) happy Spotify user until Apple Music was released. It’s the same basic concept except now I would have any music I bought on iTunes in the same app as the music I stream. New users on Apple Music are given a three month free trial, so I figured I would save myself $30 and cancel my Spotify subscription for the three months while I tried out this app from Apple.

 

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                             $10 per month                                                         $10 per month

                        create offline playlists                                          create offline playlists

     Incorporates music bought on iTunes                     Does not incorporate music from iTunes

 OK playlists                                                          Amazing playlist

Taylor Swift                                                                No Taylor Swift

These are the deciding factors for me. The main reason I would switch back and forth is for the amazing playlists on Spotify. Nice, long, and perfect playlists compared to Apple’s short playlists that are sometimes a little hard to access. For now Apple Music has won me over but there are still many improvements to be made.

What do you think… Apple Music or Spotify?

Also, I know I’ve already linked this in a different post but I LOVE this Taylor Swift Apple Music commercial!

Couch to 5K Week 1.5

I’m calling this post week 1.5 because instead of moving onto the week 2 workouts in my couch to 5k program I actually ended up repeating week 1.

This decision was definitely a good one for me. I felt that by repeating my week 1 work outs of alternating 1 minute of jogging with 1 1/12 minutes of walking that I was able to build up more stamina and not kill myself by going too fast too soon. I happen to know a couple of serious runners (one of them runs the NYC marathon every year) both of them have stressed the importance of taking rest days and not doing too much before I’m ready. It’s so easy to get injured and then lose all of the progress you’ve made and I didn’t want to take that chance.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of this week I got up early before work for my jog. I love getting up early and getting out of the house before the rest of my neighborhood is awake. I had a few late starts though which caused me to cut my jog short but I still did a little over a mile each day. For a couch potato like me, I’m pretty impressed with myself.

My shin splints have also gotten better each time I workout. The best advice I’ve gotten on shin splints it to:

1. Be careful-they can cause stress fractures.

2.Ice Ice Ice

3. Get a massage roller stick. I do have to say the roller stick is an amazing tool and I highly recommend looking into one for targeting any kind of muscle pain. I got mine on amazon here.

That about wraps it up for my week 1.5 of couch to 5k… oh except for letting you know that I did actually sign up for a 5k! It’s our local Girls on the Run 5k on May 21st! Other friends and family are participating as well so it should a good time filled with female empowerment.

This week begins the official week 2 workouts. Wish me luck!

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!!! This week has been long and I am so excited to relax and take it easy this weekend.  Also, welcome to April! This year has been flying by so far but I am definitely  looking forward to some spring time weather.

I thought about posting a monthly favorites for March but instead I thought I’d post a favorites weekly and call it “Friday Favorites.”

Apple Music

I have been switching back and forth between Apple Music and Spotify premium for almost a year now. I signed up for Apple Music at the end of June in 2015 since they offer a three month free trial and while there are some things I would improve about the app I genuinely like it. After the three month free trial ended I decided to cancel for a month and try Spotify again. Since then I’ve switched back and forth about two more times and now I’m back with Apple Music it just suits my needs more than Spotify. I will do an entire post on the pros and cons for each in the next couple of days.

(Also, did you see the new Apple Music add they released today featuring Taylor Swift?!?)

Taylor vs Treadmill

Rice Cakes

I just ended week two of the Couch to 5k program and along with that I’ve also been eating better. One of my bad habits is that when I snack I tend to eat junk food, mostly because it’s easy. However, a couple of weeks ago I decided to give rice cakes a try and boy do I love them! I buy the plain, lightly salted ones from Quaker Oats and then just spread some peanut butter on top. They are light, filling, and really tasty. I’ve been looking up other ways to eat them, for some variety, so if you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments.

 

Muscle Roller Stick

Along with my jogging I’ve also have slight shin splints in one of my legs. Thankfully the more I jog the better they feel but I’ve been warned by some runners I know that I need to be careful with shin splints since they can lead to stress fractures. One of my coworkers, who is a long distance runner, suggested that I get this muscle stick roller to roll on my shins after I’m done with my jog. This essentially helps to stop knots from forming in the muscles. So far this has been a great tool and can be used on other areas to help soothe out sore muscles.

 

Couch to 5K App

I have been using the official Couch to 5K app by Active and it’s been a great tool. The exercises and commands are easy to use and follow, it keeps a log for you that includes a map of your run, average walking pace, average running pace, distance, and time. They also allow you choose different characters to give you the commands, there are options from a peppy cheerleader to a zombie. I also really like that this app has an extension for my Apple Watch.

 

 

March 2016 Playlist

Every month I make a new playlist and add in songs that I’m really into at the moment. Throughout the month I add new discoveries and some oldies but goodies and I thought it would be cool to share my monthly playlists with you all. Below is the link if you’d like to take a listen.

What were some of your favorite songs this month?

Couch to 5K Week One

So this past Monday I started the Couch to 5K program. If you haven’t heard of it, the basic idea is the you alternate walking and jogging in intervals during the workout and eventually you build up to jogging an entire 5K.

I started this program as a way to lose weight but also as a way to get into jogging. I’ve been inspired by a few different people to get out there and I’m finally taking the steps. Along with the jogging I’m also making an effort to eat better, since experts say the eating is the most important part of any diet. I’m not into the fad diets or anything like that, I’m mostly just practicing portion control, cutting out soda, and cutting way back on the junk food.  I can say that after week one I’ve done really well but we’re heading into the weekend so let’s hope I can maintain the work I’ve done all week.

The Couch to 5K program has you complete three workouts a week with a rest day in between, do not ignore the rest day these are very important so you don’t injure yourself. I set myself to a Monday Wednesday Friday schedule, on Monday’s I have a jogging partner that I’m doing the program with (It’s so nice to have someone to keep me accountable). Then on Wednesdays and Fridays I’m on my own.

The entire first week follows this routine:

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Week One, Day One (Monday 3/21/16)

The hardest part of doing anything is starting. I am a lot of talk but today I was dead set on starting this jogging program no matter how slow I was. I met my jogging partner at a park with a great walking/ running trail and we set off.

The 5 minute warm up was obviously easy but I’m glad the program starts out with the warm up. So many people skip the warm up thinking they’ll be ok they end up cramping.

When the jogging started it wasn’t too bad ,for a snails pace, but hey we all have to start somewhere. The longer we went the harder it got, especially since I had a shin splint in one of my legs. However, we completed the workout!

I really like the Apple Watch extension for this app. It notifies me on my watch when its time to alternate and even updates you with the halfway point, this is particularly handy since most of the time I’ll be on a trail or just in my neighborhood and will need to turn around an head back where I initially started.

 

Week One Day Two (Wednesday 3/23/2016)

This day was rough and I made two mistakes. One, I took my dog Josie with me. She was good except she doesn’t do well staying on pace with me. She was either pulling in front of me or I was pulling her behind me. My second mistake was that I started out jogging too fast. I’m still learning to pace myself so when I started out with a brisker jog I wore myself out and had a hard time jogging the rest of the workout. However, I did complete it and rewarded myself with a nice bubble bath.

 

Week One Day Three (Friday 3/25/16)

This was my final workout for week one (Yay!) and I wanted to make it count. I decided to try something different and complete the workout in the early morning. I set my alarm for 5:45 am and after lying in bed for five or so minutes I urged myself up and out the door. This was the best workout of the week for me! I still jogged at a snail’s pace but I didn’t have the urge to stop or take a break and I made it home in time for a nice hot shower and a healthy breakfast. I think I will try and do my Wednesday and Friday workouts in the mornings from now on.

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So that’s it for week one! I think I may repeat the workouts from week one for next week as well just so I don’t overdue it.

 

Seminar Essentials

Last Thursday instead of heading into the office I attended a an all day seminar. I’ve attended different seminars for work in the past along with some different training and thought it would be fun to my seminar essentials with you.

The Essentials

 

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iPhone: Obviously a phone is must have but double check that you have this with you and make sure you have it on silent.

Charger: An all day seminar could mean anything so bring a phone charger. You never know when you will need one.

Headphones: Use these on breaks or at lunch to listen to music or catch up on your favorite audio book or Podcast.

Hair clip: So many things can take a great hair day to a bad hair day in a matter of minutes. Bring a hair clip to pull your hair back while still looking polished.

Hand cream: My hands get super dry after washing them so I like to have my favorite hand cream at the ready.

Eye Drops: I wear contacts and these Visine drops for contacts great for having on hand in a contact emergency.

Lip Balm: Just as my hands get dry so do my lips.Always good to have this in your bag.

Blotting Powder: At lunch or on a break if you see that you’re getting oily just dab some of this on your face and keep your makeup in it’s place. (I didn’t intend for that to rhyme but it would be a great slogan for blotting power!)

Excedrin: I tend to get headaches pretty often, in fact I had a pretty bad one at this seminar, so it’s really good to have some fast acting headache medicine on hand. Depending on the seminar you’re attending you may spend the entire day staring at a power point presentation listening to a monotone speaker, that is enough to give anyone a headache.

Water Bottle: I take this Tervis Tumbler water bottle with me everywhere. Not all seminars have beverages available so make sure to bring some of your own or risk sitting in a room for five hours with a dry mouth. (Also, you may need these to take those Excedrin with.)

Notebook and Pen: I have a small black padfolio that was given to me at a training I attended so I always bring this to take notes in. There is usually key information you will want to remember a pen and paper isn’t always provided.

Book: Always bring a book! This goes along the same lines as bringing headphones. You may have some downtime and instead of sitting around twiddling your thumbs just crack open a book. Also, there is a theory that if you always bring a book you won’t need it.

 

The Outfit

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The seminar didn’t require a specific dress code so I just wore an outfit I would normally wear to work. This means no jeans and no t-shirts. There were a couple of women there who were dressed in jeans but mostly everyone was dressed in business casual attire. My rule of thumb is that it’s always better to be overdressed rather than under dressed.

Pants

  • Black Ponte Leggings – I love these pants even though they are technically leggings. I wear them all of the time with tunic length tops or sweaters, they are super comfortable and go with everything. I love them so much I have three pairs.

Top

  • White sleeveless blouse – I just bought this top from Old Navy about a week ago. The pattern is perfect for Spring and Summer and it’s work appropriate while still being casual enough to wear elsewhere.

Sweater

  • Gray open cardigan –  I am a sucker for a good cardigan. This one I picked up from Marshall’s about a month ago.

Shoes

  • Black Flats – These are just one of the inexpensive pairs from Target. I have to buy a new pair every few months so I plan on purchasing a pair of Tieks in the near future.

Accessories

  • Necklace –  I think this is from Forever 21 but I can’t remember, I’ve had it for a couple of years now.
  • Apple Watch –  My everyday arm candy is my rose gold Apple Watch. It goes with pretty much everything and I never leave home without it. This was also really nice to have at the seminar. Some of the other women were constantly checking their phones, which is pretty rude and distracting to others, but the Apple Watch let me know I had a notification, which I can quickly glance at, without it being a distraction.

 

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I even managed to take a bathroom selfie during our lunch break. The bathroom lighting was great so I couldn’t pass up the photo op! IMG_1453

The seminar was at the McKinley Grand Hotel in downtown Canton. The hotel is gorgeous and I couldn’t pass taking a picture of this enormous chandelier in the lobby. Fun fact: this is the hotel where the Pro Football Hall of Famers stay when they come to Canton for the Enshrinement Ceremony.

 

So those are my seminar essentials, I hope you found them interesting and helpful. Let me know what your essentials are!