Podcast You Should Be Listening To: StartUp

I spend a good portion of my day listening to podcasts via the app PodCruncher, using the bluetooth device that T1 calls my “birfday present.” My favorite podcast of all time is This American Life. Each time TAL issues a new episode I put off listening to it until I know it’s an opportunity to really savor what Ira Glass is presenting that week. Another podcast consistently releasing excellent episodes is Planet Money. Recently Alex Blumberg, former producer  of This American Life and co-founder of Planet Money, launched a new podcast about his attempts to start a business that will produce multiple narrative-driven podcasts on a variety of subjects. (Where’s the Kickstarter campaign? I want to be funding this yesterday.)

StartUp podcast


The first two episodes were good, good enough for me to save them on my phone so I can have That Husband listen to them the next time we drive somewhere together.  The StartUp podcast has so far been sharp and engaging, but the third episode in particular was absolutely riveting. The kind of content that makes you sit in your car in the garage after arriving home, long enough that the lights turn off, because you can’t bring yourself to do anything other than drink in what you’re hearing. In the third episode two business partners share their personal reactions to deciding on the equity split for their company and the sort of authenticity and vulnerability they are putting out there is hard to find elsewhere in world of business-focused content. I really admire the way Alex Blumberg lays it bare without oversharing. That’s something I’m working to figure out as well.

Any podcasts you love that you think I should be listening to? I have subscribed to over 50 but I’m always searching for the next great producer of audio content that I can’t get enough of. If there are other podcastphiles out there who would like to see this “podcasts you should be listening to” type post become a regular feature let me know!

What To Say/Not To Say When Someone is Sick

Going along with my post on trials a few weeks ago, here is an excellent list of phrases to use, and phrases to avoid, when you’d like to reach out to someone in need. Based on recent familial experiences, I can tell you these really stood out to me as being the truth:

To avoid


They already feel like a burden. Listing off their needs only compounds that feeling.


If the person has been ill for awhile, they have probably spent a considerable amount of time researching and hanging out at the office of several different providers. If you do feel like you have to tell them about a miracle solution that worked for your friend or your aunt, offer up the suggestion once and then let it be.

To use


I’ve actually personally experienced how awesome it is to hear this one. Mrs. Corn sent me a lovely package filled with toys for T1, and explicitly wrote that I didn’t have to write her a thank you for the gift. The toys were awesome, we’re still using some of them today, but that little note was the part I appreciated most.


Don’t overstay your welcome. Unless the person is talking non-stop, a shorter visit is better than a longer one.

As you can tell, I have this topic on the brain lately. If you have suggestions that aren’t on the NYT list, I’d love to hear them!


Vacation Planning Tips

I’ve got vacation planning on the brain (we’re leaving in two weeks!) and so I was more than happy to oblige when my friend Anni asked if I’d be interested in writing a guest post for her Through My Lens travel series. Click over to read my guest post, where you’ll find my views on some of the best ways to plan a vacation that’s a bit off the beaten path.

And because this post needs a picture… me in front of the Coliseum, auditioning for America’s Next Top Model. (Kidding!*)

*But seriously, that really is me in a wedding dress in front of the Coliseum. You can see more of them here if you’d like.


The Sock Bun

If you follow me on Twitter or Formspring, you may have seen me talking about the sock bun. I am borderline obsessed with this hairstyle. It looks fancy, keeps my hair off my neck in the summer, and allows me to go several days without washing my hair while still looking put together. I learned about it from this video, and I recommend watching it if you’d like to see how it works from start to finish.

If you want to see me acting like a Beauty Department wannabe model, check out my little graphic below.

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Pinterest Explained

I’m assuming that a lot of you know what Pinterest is, but I love the site so much that I wanted to make sure EVERYONE knows about it. Once upon a time Google had a service called Google Notebook. I still use it, but it’s now become a site that you can only access if you used it previously. I use it to bookmark all sorts of things, like articles on birth, parenting, Chicago places you recommended that we eat, and a host of other things. It’s an awesome service that I’m grateful to have, but it does have one huge limitation, and that is the ability to bookmark photos (plus the interface overall isn’t very pretty).

Enter Pinterest!

To sum it up, Pinterest is a site you use for bookmarking things, and you do this bookmarking using images. Blogposts/pictures/items for sale/stuff from Flickr/quotes/etc/etc/etc. The one thing you can’t use Pinterest to bookmark is articles with no pictures or sites that use flash (that’s where Google Notebook still comes in handy for me).

When I was wedding planning this would have been a lifesaver! I had folders and folders full of pictures which had no sources (and thus were pretty much useless when I started writing for Weddingbee), and I couldn’t access them away from my computer, or easily share them with other people. Now I use Pinterest the most for bookmarking recipes, crafts I’d like to try, home decor ideas, photographs I love, and ideas for hair/makeup/outfits.

This is what I see when I clicked on my Pinterest page while writing this post. All those pictures you are seeing are “pins” that other people have saved to their own profile. If I like something I see on this Pinterest page, I click on the picture and pin it myself. Then someone who follows me likes it and pins it, and that keeps happening over and over. It’s fun to see what becomes popular!

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