Interesting Podcasts

I didn’t start listening to any podcasts until last year when I had a lot of doctors appointments that coincided with LA rush hour (woohoo) so like most people in the LA metro area, I had a lot of time in the car. I first downloaded Serial because I’d heard so many good reviews and was instantly hooked. I still enjoy the true crime genre but have also found some other intriguing ones. This isn’t a “must listen to” list since we all have our own tastes, just a few that I enjoy and look forward to!

TRUE CRIME

Serial – The first season covered by an investigative journalist follows the case and trial of Adnan Syed who was convicted of murdering his high school girlfriend in 1999. The 12 episodes are so intriguing  I actually got lost driving back home I was so into it.

Crime Junkie – This podcast comes out on Mondays and is something to look forward to even for a Monday! The two hosts cover true crime stories, solved and unsolved.

Cold – covers the cold case of Susan Powell who disappeared in 2009 in Utah. It also talks about domestic abuse and abusive relationships.

Dirty John – a crazy, true story about a con man, deceit and survival. The story mostly takes place in Southern California in 2016

HISTORY

Hardcore History – There are so many episodes about different historical events that Dan Carlin covered. I’ve only listened to the series “Blueprint for Armageddon” focusing on WW1. It’s long but very interesting!

Slow Burn – I listened to and enjoyed the two seasons which covered Watergate and the Monica Lewinsky Scandal. Both I had heard of but didn’t really know much about.

The Chernobyl Podcast – This parallels the HBO documentary about Chernobyl. Again, an event that I’d heard about but really didn’t know much about how it unfolded, the actual event and the aftereffects.

The Dropout – A really fascinating story about Elizabeth Holmes, a brilliant young scientist, her ‘amazing’ product and the deceit that follows. She was sometimes called ‘the next Steve Jobs’. This story only happened a few years ago in 2015 but I don’t recall hearing anything about it.

INTERESTING

How I Built This – fascinating series that tells the backstories of big companies, inventors and entrepreneurs. Not only are their stories unique and interesting, they are sometimes very risky and always inspirational.

Stuff You Should Know – each short episode covers a different random topic. I’ haven’t listened to all of them, but some noteworthy episodes have covered how to survive in the desert, peanut butter, coyotes, yawning, prison food, etc. According to Google, right now there are 1,400+ episodes!

Getting Curious – Jonathan Van Ness (Queer Eye) interviews experts about something he wants to learn more about. Some of the interesting topics have been about the Australian wildfires, gun control, global health, religion in the middle east, skin care, how Queer Eye was first created, etc.

Armchair Expert – Dax Shepherd interviews all sorts of interesting people from fellow celebrities, experts, etc. I’ve loved the interviews with Will Arnett, Rainn Wilson, Rhys Darby, the Avett Brothers, Mayor Garcetti (Los Angeles), Kumail Nanjiani, Aubrey Plaza….there are just too many!

Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend – Conan interviews different celebrities, it honestly doesn’t need much of an intro because he is hilarious!

Office Ladies – Jenna Fisher and Angela Kinsey (Pam and Angela) from The Office go through episode by episode telling behind the scenes stories about The Office! I love hearing their experiences about what it was like to be on a documentary show, the other actors, writers, etc.

SPORTS

Sports Wars – Each series covers different sports rivalries like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, etc.

30 for 30 – an ESPN podcast covering lots of different and interesting sports stories. I particularly enjoyed the episode about the 1999 US women’s national soccer team and the episode about the first woman to run the Boston Marathon.

Trained – a Nike podcast featuring really cool interviews with athletes, trainers, sports psychologists, and researchers. Very inspirational and enlightening.

 

Affordable and accessible beauty products I love

Here are some beauty products I’m loving lately! I love that they’re affordable, easy to find (like in basically drug store, Target, etc) and effective.

affordable and accessible beauty products

1. Gold Bond Ultimate Radiance Renewal lotionwith cocoa butter ($8)- smells good, applies well and doesn’t leave stickiness or residue, very moisturizing.

2. Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer, SPF 15($15) – I love that it’s both a moisturizer and a light sunscreen. I’ve been hesitant about these combos because I was worried the sunscreen would feel sticky and heavy. I’ve found with this one that it works well as both and feels light.

3. Batiste Dry Shampoo ($12) – with dry shampoo I look for: how well it works to absorb grease/oil, how well in blends and absorbs into hair (doesn’t leave any color), scent and price. I get this Batiste brand at Target and I’ve seen it also at Walgreens. They have a variety of scents and I like this tropical coconut scent.

4. Rimmel Lash Accelerator Serum– effectively makes your lashes longer and fuller for under $8!

Buy 1, Give 1

It’s that time of year where temperatures start to dip in most of the country, except Southern California where in Chino Hills it was like 85 degrees today! I’m kicking off the annual Buy 1, Give 1 where the purchase of a hand-knit infinity scarf provides another hand-knit scarf donated to a homeless of refugee shelter. In the past I’ve chosen homeless shelters in Utah and Virginia and a refugee shelter in Texas. This year, we are planning on visiting Dave’s family in Salt Lake City so I will probably give the donations to the Road Home again.

buy 1 give 1 infinity scarves charity homeless refugee shelters

buy 1 give 1 infinity scarves charity homeless refugee shelters

Scarves are a wool blend and come in basically any color! They are $31, you can purchase here in my Etsy shop or you can always contact me.

Thank you so much for your support!

buy 1 give 1 infinity scarves charity homeless refugee shelters

Travel Essentials

When people ask where I would like to travel in the world, my answer is literally every country. It would be my dream to see every country even just for a day and experience the local, traditional cuisine. Here are some of my favorite travel items I would take for a trip around the world:

travel essentials

  1. Trtl Travel Pillow ($29) – this travel pillow is different from traditional pillows in that you wrap it around your neck (like a turtleneck). It has velcro to hold it closed and a piece of flexible plastic that prevents your head from flopping. I like that the material is soft fleece and keeps you warm since usually it’s cold on planes. It folds almost all the way flat which makes it easy to pack. I felt like it was really effective in preventing my neck from flopping, I slept comfortably on my trip to England. Here’s how it works: trtl travel pillow instructions

2) Lightweight Water Resistant Travel Backpack/Foldable & Packable ($19) – this particular backpack folds up into a small pouch which is kinda awesome!

3) Hydro Flask ($22)

4) Lightweight waterproof jacket ($89)

5) Hunter Rain Boots ($150) – I’ve had these for almost 10 years and while I don’t wear them everyday, they’ve been so reliable and comfortable for walking.

6) Earplugs – so great for planes, hostels, shared hotel rooms, etc.

7) Sleep Aid (generic brand) – I use these to prevent jet lag. I’ll time my time on the plane and take the sleep aid about an hour before I want to sleep. This helps me sleep well on a long flight and wake up feeling refreshed even with an 8 hour time difference upon arrival.

8) Chaco sandals (around $60) – these are so comfortable and great for hiking, in water, etc.

9)Waterproof phone pouch ($6) – I first got this pouch for a river tubing trip. I ended up falling off my tube and being totally submerged in the water and my phone was protected. There are lots of similar cell phone pouches out there and I also love them for the beach.

10) Solar phone charger ($40) – I don’t have one of these yet, but really want one not only for travel but for emergencies. I included this particular one just based off online reviews.

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Victoria, British ColumbiaWe had the best week up in Victoria, British Columbia! We started early with an 8 am flight out of LAX to Seattle, then a quick less than 30 minute flight to the Victoria airport. Dave’s dad had a work conference and his parents were kind enough to invite us to tag along on the trip. The last trip with just out family and his parents was our epic South America trip to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay (before we had kids). This was my first time in Canada, and the kids as well (also their first time out of the country although it didn’t feel very foreign ;)

We stayed at the Fairmount Empress Hotel which is absolutely gorgeous! The gardens were absolutely gorgeous and July was the perfect time to visit. We had great weather, in the 60s with a nice breeze since we were right on the harbor.

Victoria British Columbia Fairmount Empress Hotel

Victoria British Columbia Fairmount Empress Hotel
Victoria British Columbia Fairmount Empress Hotel Victoria British Columbia Fairmount Empress Hotel

Victoria British Columbia Fairmount Empress Hotel

Here are some highlights from our trip:

Butchart Gardens: Victoria is known as the ‘Garden City’ and these gardens were incredible to say the least! The 55 acre land is a former limestone quarry that the Butcharts converted into a series of extremely well manicured gardens, including a Japanese, Rose, and Mediterranean Garden. It also has a few fountains, a carousel, a fireworks stage, a tea room, restaurant and a gelato shop. Its one of those places you could stay all day.

Butchart Gardens Victoria British Columbia family travel

Victoria Food Walking Tour: the tour started at the Victoria Public Market and then the local guide took us to a few locations nearby. We tried amazing bread from a French bakery, macarons, ice cream, pierogis, meatballs and chocolate. Dave’s mom planned most of the itinerary and this was a really fun way to try local spots and all the food was delicious.

Parliament: the parliament building which was just a block from the Empress hotel gives tours and also has a restaurant on the ground floor. I honestly didn’t know much about Canada and it was interesting to hear more about their government.

British Columbia Victoria Parliament British Columbia Victoria Parliament British Columbia Victoria Parliament

Beacon Hill Park: 200 acres of an awesome, free, public park. The land was set aside by a former governor who didn’t want any for-profit activities on the park. It’s beautiful with walking trails, lakes, peacocks, mini golf, a small splash pad shaped like a watering can and a goat petting zoo! There were 42 goats when we went including about a dozen babies.

Beacon Hill Park Victoria British Columbia free public park kids Beacon Hill Park Victoria British Columbia free public park kids Beacon Hill Park Victoria British Columbia free public park kids Beacon Hill Park Victoria British Columbia free public park kids

Carriage tour: we liked learning from the guide more about the history of Victoria and seeing Beacon Hill Park, the coast and the historic part of the city.

Victoria British Columbia

China Town walking tour: it was interesting hearing about the history of China Town and seeing the alleys that were created that are now filled with little shops and restaurants.

Victoria British Columbia Chinatown

Royal BC Museum: we saw the Mysteries of Egypt at the IMAX then checked out some of the exhibits: Egypt and the mummies, sea life and a giant woolly mammoth.

We were impressed with Victoria as a city. It was not only very beautiful but it was clean, lots of good places to eat, pastries, ice cream shops, unique bookstores, polite people, and we loved the flower baskets that they hang from all the city lampposts. Even though we were only there for a short time as tourists and it was summer, it was such a nice city we could picture ourselves living in – that’s one of my favorite parts about traveling, seeing where other people grew up, live, work and play. It’s my dream to see literally every country in the world. I think each place and city has something unique and beautiful to offer the world.

Victoria British Columbia Victoria British Columbia

Museum of Ice Cream

We finally were able to go to the Museum of Ice Cream here in LA after purchasing tickets back in April! They’ve sold out in every city they’ve been in so I feel lucky we were able to get tickets. It was very visually appealing and had tons of cool art. I kind of thought it would be more like a museum, as in educational, it was more like an exhibition which was still very interesting. We did get to sample some pretty good ice cream and thought the museum was well run.

museum of ice cream LA

museum of ice cream LA

museum of ice cream LA

museum of ice cream LA

museum of ice cream LA

museum of ice cream LA    museum of ice cream LA museum of ice cream LA museum of ice cream LA  museum of ice cream LA

museum of ice cream LA

October: 2nd annual ‘Buy 1, give 1’

For the month of October, I’ll be doing the ‘Buy 1, give 1‘ project I started last year. After years of knitting scarves for homeless shelters and refugees, I decided last year to do a month where you can buy a hand-knit scarf and another one will be made and donated to a homeless of refugee shelter. In previous years, scarves have been knit and donated to shelters in Salt Lake City, Utah, Northern Virginia, and Texas.

If you’d like to buy one, they’re available for purchase through my Etsy shop or you can contact me directly.

buy 1 give 1 scarves for homeless and refugees

buy 1 give 1 scarves for homeless and refugees

Seattle

Seattle

We recently celebrated our 11th anniversary in Seattle! We celebrated our decade anniversary last year closing on our house in Texas – so much has happened since then!!! This year, my parents were kind enough to come up and watch the kids for a long weekend while Dave and I flew to Seattle. It was nice and sunny, and pretty warm for Seattle (85 degrees), we stayed at the Marqueen Hotel and could see the Space Needle from our hotel window.

Seattle space needle

Seattle marqueen hotel

We had a great time walking around the city, going to a Mariners game and meeting up with friends we know from BYU tailgating (some which live in Seattle now). Safeco field is an awesome venue, it was perfect weather for a game, lots of good food including garlic fries, good atmosphere and company! Plus we could check another stadium off our list.

Seattle

Seattle

We of course, took a tour of the Space Needle and checked out the Museum of Pop Culture.  We also walked around Pike Place Market and saw the gum wall which was kinda cool and kinda gross ha, ha! We also stopped by the Fremont Troll, the Elliott Bay Bookstore and some record shops (for Dave). We ate our weight in food including one of my new favorite donut shops – Top Pot Doughnuts – which has a very delicious apple fritter!Seattle

Seattle

Seattle gum wall

Seattle fremont troll

Seattle

Seattle top pot donuts

While we missed the kids, it was so nice to relax, not be tied down to a schedule, have time to read, not have to cook or clean, walk around and explore a new city and most importantly, just enjoy each other’s company! It was an added treat to be able to sleep through the night since Tessa still hasn’t recovered her sleep schedule from a few months ago.    Seattle    Seattle is a city we would definitely go back to visit! Until next time!

 

Amazon Prime Day!

Today at 6 pm (PST) is the start of  Amazon Prime Day! It’s a celebration of Amazon’s birthday and if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get a ton of good deals and discounts. If you remember the JORD Watch I posted about a few months ago – there’s a 30% off discount for Prime Day!

JORD wooden watch

JORD wooden watch

Amazon Prime is $99/month and some of the perks are free 2 day shipping, and Amazon Prime video.

*I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites