March Favorites + a Playlist

Hello? Anyone still there? I don’t want to dwell on the fact that it’s been months (MONTHS!) since I last used this space, because it is what it is. And this place doesn’t need to become something I feel guilty about, but, that being said, I do miss it.

I figured I’d ease back into this here blog by sharing some things I’ve been loving, reading, eating, etc. this past month (to be a total cliche, HOW is it April already?!), as well as (what I hope will be) a monthly playlist. Let’s get to it!

Loving

@iamhertribe. This Instagram account has quickly become a favorite. Their daily, life-affirming quotes inject some (often-needed) clarity into my day.

Snapchat. I’m late to this party, but I’ve been loving it. Less pressure than Instagram (although Insta will always be my fave) and just lots of fun. You can find me at katharinescriv. Come say hi!

Life Lately Podcast. Clara + Brooke are two friends who live long distance and realized the conversations they had with each other might be of interest to others – and they were right! I’ve really enjoyed all the topics they’ve covered, from holistic wellness to sex + relationships, and look forward to new episodes every week. This week’s is on loneliness, something we all experience at some point in our lives – check it out!

Beauty products. Confession: I have a problem. I CANNOT get enough of hair products, face primers, masks of all kinds, etc. etc. etc. In the interest of trying to save a little bit of money, I’ve started exploring drugstore brands to see if I can find more affordable products to mix in with my higher-end stuff. My most recent finds are:

  • L’Oreal Micellar Cleansing Water. This has replaced toner for me and I swear my skin has been behaving better since using it.
  • Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation. I was skeptical that a $9.99 foundation would work, but it did! Made my skin super smooth + flawless, and it lasted for hours.
  • Covergirl Lash Blast + L’Oreal Telescopic mascaras. For work I use the Covergirl mascara on its own (great volume, less lengthening, and also great for reapplying later in the day – no clumps!) and for going out/special occasions I use the two together for both volume + length. LOVE.

Birchbox. I abandoned this for a couple years but am back and loving it. My current favorite sample-turned-full-size purchase is the IPKN Radiant Primer. Adds a bit of glow under your makeup – perfect for the warmer weather that’s (hopefully) right around the corner.

These shoes. I desperately need new shoes, and these were my newest pair – comfy + cute!

Reading

Books. I recently finished Anne Lamott’s Help Thanks Wow and WOW. This has earned a permanent spot on my nightstand for daily reference. I’m a few chapters into Boy Snow Bird by Helen Oyeyemi and like it so far. Final thoughts to come. Next on my TBR list is One More Thing by B.J. Novak, this month’s Bookly Club pick (come read with us!).

Articles. Joy Bryant wrote about not having kids in Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter and YASSS. As someone who is still undecided on the kids/no kids issue, it’s a discussion that fascinates me and I’ve been reading anything + everything I can get my hands. Joy Bryant does a great job using humor to defend the choice not to have kids. I also loved a piece in the New York Times about women + friendship, and the benefits of female relationships that romantic ones don’t provide.

Blogs. The REWM. Rachel shares some of the best articles floating around the internet and I look forward to her weekly “week in review” posts each, well, week. A Practical Wedding. I’ve been following them since I got engaged and their content is still relevant as a married person. Full of smart + educational articles about all sorts of women-centered issues.

Eating

Buzzfeed’s Tasty. Two recipes that have made it into my regular rotation: Hasselback Chicken + Ratatouille Boats. Simple + delicious.

Galley Foods. I’ve used them once a week for about the past month and it’s been a lifesaver. Their menu changes weekly and they offer five different dinner choices every day, ranging from $12 to $16. Via their website or app, choose the day, meal, + delivery time and a fully cooked + delicious meal arrives at your door. All you have to do is heat it up for 10 minutes! Sadly, it’s only available in Baltimore right now, but I love it. If you’re in the area, I suggest giving it a try. (If you use my link, you get your first meal free!)

Relay Foods. A couple weeks ago I was sick but needed groceries. Battling crowds at the grocery store was the last thing I wanted to do, so I turned to Relay Foods, an online grocery store I’d been wanting to try for a while. I was able to take my time choosing what I needed and was able to pick it up the next day at a location near my home. Again, lifesaving. (And if you use my link, you get $20 off your first order. Pssst, they also deliver!)

Clavel + La Cuchara. Over the past couple weeks, I was able to cross off two “must-try” restaurants – a list that keeps growing thanks to the wonderful food culture here in Baltimore. Both of them were delicious + worth checking out if you live in the area.

Where else you can find me…

RIF. My latest writing gig might be my favorite because it involves books, and validates my book-buying habit. Check out my latest round-up: Books to Keep You Warm Until Spring Arrives.
The Bookly Club. My review of our March book, Betrayal, is up! Check back at the end of the month for our reviews of April’s pick, One More Thing.
CFF.org. This past month I was honored to participate in a panel on cystic fibrosis + relationships. Andy, Julia, and I had a wonderful discussion on the ways in which having CF can complicate relationships. While its focus is CF, a lot of what we talked about applies to all of us.

March Playlist

 

Phew, this was a long one. If you made it to the end, I love you. And I’d love to hear what you’re loving, reading, and eating this month!

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Odds ‘n’ Ends + #for30more

Grateful heartI’m back! Since you never really know who’s reading this little ol’ blog, I kept it a little quiet that Mike and I were going to be out of the country for two weeks. It was a dream trip, spending four nights each in Iceland, London, and Paris. And once I get all my thoughts together about it I promise to share more. (But for now, you can see plenty o’ pics by following me on Instagram.)

I actually launched For 30 More while I was gone – something I couldn’t have done without my amazing, talented, and super helpful friend, Renee. Gosh guys, you have totally overwhelmed me with your generosity. Not only have the donations been pouring in (barely one week in and more than a third of the way to my goal), but the tweets and Facebook posts and sweet notes have left me truly humbled. THANK YOU. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I am SO excited to see what the next 24 days brings. There are still TONS of fun giveaways left, and a couple other things in the works, so stay tuned!

* * * * *

While I know it’s technically not fall yet, September 1 feels like the official end of summer. It also marks the start of my very favorite time of year… and my birthday month! Clearly, there’s lots to look forward to.  What exactly, you ask?

  • the beginning of football season (go Ravens!)
  • (hopefully) pulling out some warm weather clothes
  • more #for30more giveaways
  • drinks with some of my favorite ladies
  • a work conference I’m excited about
  • the Baltimore Book Festival*
  • a birthday dinner with the husband
  • kicking off my 31st year with some of the very best friends

(*My blog friend Jessica, of How Sweet It Is, will be making an appearance as part of her book tour for her very first cookbook: Simply Delish. I’m SO FREAKING excited to get to see her ON my birthday, and highly suggest if you’re in Baltimore to go say hi to her, too.)

Since I’ve been a bit absent, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve been enjoying.

– This weekend, using the excuse that I had to restock our fridge, I spent a ridiculous amount of time at a new Whole Foods. #happyplace
– Read “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart while on vacation. While it’s not one of the best books I ever read, it was a fast and entertaining read.
– Can’t stop listening to this, this, and this.
– Bought a pair of these to take on our trip and LIVED in them. What took me so long?
– Binge watching Orphan Black and Homeland. #cantstopwontstop
– Made this twice in one week. Add it to your meal rotation, stat.
– My bestest friend in the world will be giving birth any day now to a beautiful baby girl – I am BEYOND thrilled for them and cannot WAIT to squeeze the cheeks off of her.

P.S. Renee + I will be announcing another giveaway today! You can be entered to win via donations and spreading the word (make sure to use #for30more!). Keep an eye on Renee’s blog for more info.

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What’s Making Me Happy This Week (2nd Edition)

Since the last couple of posts were on the heavier side, I thought it was time for some fun around these parts! (To see where I got the idea for this post, check out the first “What’s Making Me Happy This Week.”)

Let the fun begin!

1.) Do you love country music? Did you want to be Tammy Taylor from “Friday Night Lights?” Then you should be watching “Nashville.” Since I often enjoy the same things as Jessica from How Sweet It Is, I figured I should give it a shot. Um, SO GLAD I DID. I watched 13 episodes in an embarrassing amount of time and am now eagerly awaiting a new episode. (Speaking of which, WHEN WILL THERE BE A NEW ONE?!) (If the amount of caps used has any correlation with how much I love this show, then I obviously LOVE IT.) Bottom line: Drop what you’re doing (yes, even reading this blog post, it’ll be here when you get back) and WATCH IT. Hulu has all of the episodes available. (This is not an endorsement, although I do love me some Hulu.)

Vegan_Chili

2.) In an attempt to save money and fulfill my current role as stay-at-home wife, I’ve been making dinner a few nights a week. This vegan sweet potato + quinoa chili was perfect for this gross end-of-winter weather we’re having. And it was super easy. I had almost all the ingredients on hand and it took about 30 minutes from start to finish. Plus there were plenty of leftovers. (Sidenote: Mike ate it. For those of you who don’t know him, this is a big deal. My husband can be somewhat picky when it comes to food – some things he dislikes: strawberries, broccoli, ice cream flavors other than vanilla, anything with a “strange” texture, shrimp, any fruit other than bananas + apples, yogurt. The fact that he ate a whole bowl of sweet potatoes, quinoa, and black beans speaks highly of this dish.)

3.) The 20/20 Experience. I think that’s all I need to say. (I didn’t think my Justin Timberlake crush could get any bigger. But it did. It really, really did.)

4.) Rachel Bertsche wrote MWF Seeking BFF with me in mind. Okay, that’s not true, but it seemed like she did. Confession: Making friends has never come easily for me, especially in adulthood. I tend to be shy when I first meet people, and it can take some time for me to warm up. Going to a small university and pledging a sorority helped me form friendships that I will be forever grateful for. And joining a book club post college was one of the best decisions I’ve made since moving to Baltimore. But your 20s bring a lot of changes, and sometimes that means friends come and go. This book made me feel like I’m not the only one who struggles to make those same friendships that came so naturally in college. Not only did Rachel share her experiences with “dating” 52 different women, but she also included research about female friendships that I found very helpful. Definitely pick this up if you’re looking to meet new people but aren’t sure how to go about it.

5.) The last thing that put a smile on my face this week is for my Baltimore readers. I attended my first Stoop Stories at Centerstage on Monday and am now begging Mike to take me to all of them. For those who haven’t been, Stoop Storytellers is hosted by Jessica Henkin + Laura Wexler – two hilariously smart Baltimoreans. At every show, seven people tell a seven-minute story related to a particular theme. (This last one was about the legal system and featured the former Baltimore Police commissioner, an investigative producer at Fox45, and a public defender, to name a few.) The show also includes live music from different local artists. It’s a great way to learn more about Charm City (and it’s super fun, too!).

So tell me, what’s making YOU happy this week?

What’s Making Me Happy This Week

NYC billboard

Each Thursday, NPR has a podcast called Pop Culture Happy Hour – a roundtable discussion from various NPR contributors on their theme of choice, all focused on pop culture. At the end of each taping, they have a segment called “What’s Making Me Happy This Week,” and the only rule is that it has to be something that others might be able to enjoy, too.

I thought I’d borrow from them and do my own version. Just a few things that have put a smile on my face the past week and hopefully it might do the same for you!

1.) One of the perks of being home every day is taking advantage of some shows I used to miss. My current favorite is The Ellen Show. I cry about every episode. Ellen is always doing random acts of kindness for viewers and their stories never fail to tug at my heartstrings. But it also makes me laugh. Ellen is funny, and her sense of humor seems to draw out the same in each of her guests. Here’s one of my favorites from this week.

2.) I’ve been listening nonstop to “Bones” by MS MR. It’s been featured in Pretty Little Liars, Grey’s Anatomy, and the trailer for Game of Thrones Season 3. If you need a new tune, I definitely recommend checking it out.

3.) Okay, I’m breaking my own rule with this one. I don’t think the fact that I got tickets to the Legends of the Summer Tour will benefit you in any way, but I can’t not mention it. JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE. IN CONCERT. It’s making my teeny bopper dreams (and let’s be honest, my adult ones, too) come true. I love that man. Have for 13 years. And it’s been number one on my bucket list to see him in concert. (Nope, not ashamed.) Oh, and Jay-Z isn’t bad, either.

justin-jay-z-legends-tour

4.) When I first heard about House of Cards I thought, how good could a Netflix-produced series be, right? I was wrong, so very wrong. Mike and I have been watching a couple episodes a week since it came out and are very impressed. If you like David Fincher’s style (The Social Network, Fight Club, Seven), or compelling, well-made dramas, give it a shot.

In the words of the fabulous Linda Holmes, and that’s what’s making me happy this week.

Readers, what’s making YOU happy this week?