Favorite Podcasts

Favorite Podcasts

Today I want to talk about some of my current and past favorite podcasts. Now there are a number of other podcasts that I have listened to and that I enjoy, but the four I talk about below are the ones I either (a) am currently obsessed with or (b) top my list of favorites. Please leave a comment below with any other podcasts you recommend and think I should add to my queue to listen to!

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Awesome Etiquette // This is a podcast recorded by Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning, cousins and co-presidents of the Emily Post Institute. Each week, Lizzie and Daniel record an hour-long episode answering questions about 21st century etiquette submitted by listeners. The co-hosts are great to listen to, especially when Lizzie gets becomes super passionate with her answers, and the two go back and forth throughout the episodes, often bantering and going off on tangents. Listening to this podcast has definitely changed the way I treat other people and try to consider other people’s situations. Not only is it an entertaining podcast, it is an invaluable resource for modern day etiquette.

How I Built This // This is a recent find for me, but I definitely cannot get enough of this podcast. How I Built This is an NPR production and each week the host, Guy Raz, interviews the founder of some of the world’s best-known companies. This series is a fascinating look into the minds of some of the most brilliant entrepreneurs. It is inspiring to hear about how some of the world’s most popular brands and companies were created by normal people selling fax machines (Sara Blakely of Spanx) or how to the couple who created the wedding website The Knot had a disastrous (their word, don’t worry) wedding. (Fun Fact: Listening to this blog actually inspired me to write more blog posts because so many of the founders spoke about following your dreams and not giving up, and how will I know if this blog is something I’ll want to pursue if I don’t give it a chance?)

 Serial Season One // I was definitely late to the game with this podcast, but it was so good that I finished it in three days. The plot of the crime is intriguing, and the way Sarah Koenig, the host, breaks down and analyzes pieces of the case each week is what really kept me around for each chapter of the podcast. There are recorded phone calls and interviews interspersed with Koenig’s reporting. I felt invested in the story throughout the entire series, and that’s what kept me hitting that “Next Episode” button.

 Dirty John // “When something seems too good to be true, that’s because it probably is” – this is the opening sentence of this podcast’s description. Dirty John is an investigative report of swindler John Meehan by Christopher Goffard from the L.A. Times. Debra Newell, a divorcee, meets John Meehan on a dating website, and he seems perfect. Newell is head over heels, but her family does not like John, and goes to great lengths to tell her so, but soon there is this giant cycle of lies, denial, and forgiveness. Goffard narrates the podcast, but there are also interviews with Newell, her family members, and Meehan’s ex-wives and siblings. The podcast is seven episodes, so it was easy to breeze through, and I highly recommend it!

There are some other podcasts I have in my Podcast app library to listen to in the coming days and weeks, such as The Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher, Pursuit with Purpose by Melyssa Griffin, and Lady Lovin’ by Jilly Hendrix, Greta Titelman, and Lo Bosworth. Again, please let me know of any other podcasts that you recommend!

Books I Read in Montego Bay

Books I Read in Montego Bay

I brought three books with me on vacation: Eligible, Surprise Me, and Modern Lovers. Originally I only had two books packed for my trip, but I knew that with how much we would be lounging by the pools and the beaches, I would be kicking myself if I only packed two and finished both of them. Now some of you are probably thinking, I’m lucky if I only finish ONE book while on vacation, let alone THREE. Granted, I was already halfway finished with Eligible when we left for vacation, but I did finish Surprise Me in the five days we were at the resort.

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Eligible // If you are unfamiliar with the plot of Eligible, it’s a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice written by Curtis Sittenfeld, the author of Prep and American Wife. I couldn’t put down either of Sittenfeld’s prior novels I read, so I was super excited to pick this one up from the library. This book got off to sort of a slow start for me, but after about 75 pages, the pace picked up and the story started falling into place. It was entertaining reading this retelling, especially because I’ve read the original book by Jane Austen. Having read the original book, it was almost like game or scavenger hunt to pick up on certain details that were similar to the original story. The novel kept me glued to my seat – I was tuning everything out in the busy airport and on the beach just to try to finish this book.

Goodreads stars: 4/5

Would I recommend? Definitely – especially if you enjoyed Prep or American Wife.

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Surprise Me // When I think of fun, lighthearted books to read, one of the first authors that come to mind is Sophie Kinsella. I have read all of the books in the Shopaholic series, as well as some of her standalone novels, so when Surprise Me popped up on my Goodreads account, I quickly placed a hold for it at my local library. Surprise Me is about a couple who find out that they could be married for another 68 years, so they set out to try to surprise each other in their everyday lives, which lead to some equally funny, awkward, and dramatic moments. This book was exactly the sort of read I wanted for the beach.

Goodreads stars: 3/5

Would I recommend? Yes, especially if you are looking for an easy, funny book.

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Modern Lovers // I am still only a quarter of the way into Modern Lovers, but it has been a bit tough to personally connect with the characters. The writing itself is enjoyable and a good pace for easy summer reading (yes, I know it’s still only April, but I am over the cold and ready for some warm weather, along with the fun books to go with it). I will keep you updated on how the rest of the book turns out!

Spring Break Getaway to Montego Bay

Spring Break Getaway to Montego Bay

My boyfriend and I just got back from a five-day, four-night stay at Montego Bay Sunscape Resorts in Jamaica. I have never been more grateful to have a boyfriend who, thanks to his job, gets a spring break, and I was also fortunate enough to be able to take a week off from my job.

We spent a good month trying to decide where we should spend our spring break. What we did know was that we wanted to book a vacation through a travel agency called Cheap Caribbean. A friend of a friend mentioned that they booked a recent trip to an all-inclusive Mexican resort through Cheap Caribbean, so we decided that since we are young professionals on a budget, this was the best way to go about booking a fun spring break getaway. We finally decided on Montego Bay, Jamaica, as our destination, and began searching for all-inclusive resorts. For certain destinations, Cheap Caribbean offers a package called the Deal of Fortune. The catch for such a discounted rate is that you do not know which resort out of four options you will be vacationing at until the week prior to your departure date.

The Deal of Fortune package we purchased flew Spirit Airlines round-trip direct from BWI to Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport, and the true miracle of the trip was that my boyfriend and I managed to pack two people’s worth of clothing for five days into one suitcase and kept it under 40 pounds (Spirit’s weight limit for checked baggage). Okay, okay, we were packing for summer weather instead of winter weather, but that’s still a pretty cool feat.

We landed at MBJ in the early afternoon, so by the time we arrived at the resort, we still had plenty of hours of daylight left to spend by the pools and the beaches. Everyone who worked at the resort was pleasant and friendly, and the check-in process was super smooth and easy.

 

The best part of the resort, beyond the beaches and pools? The all-inclusive part – endless drinks and endless food (yes, you read that right). There were four restaurants to choose from for dinner, including a buffet that was also open for breakfast and lunch. The resort has a handful of bars, both above ground and swim-up, and a café that is open 24 hours a day with snacks, ice cream, coffee, and desserts.

We spent each day lounging by either the pools or the beaches, and we also took advantage of the on-site water sports rentals and kayaked along the bay. One of the pools had waterslides and a lazy river, so we spent a good amount of time on the lazy river (probably longer than any self-respecting adults without kids should have…).

Below are some snapshots from our trip!

 

Thanks for reading!

Disclaimer: My life is not always this exciting; this was our big yearly trip that I will be dreaming about until next year! I can’t wait to see where else 2018 takes me!