Fall Tunes and Podcasts

Hey blog fam! Sorry I’ve been a little MIA recently – I’ve been trying to finetune a realistic blogging schedule. Plan on seeing new content from me every Wednesday from here on out!

Now, I thought I’d chat a bit about what I’ve been listening to lately. Good music can work absolute miracles for your mood and general headspace. I’ve been pretty anxious recently, largely because I’m in a new job where I’m still trying to find my footing. So I’ve found myself gravitating towards folksy, acoustic music – it seems to trigger a part of my brain that makes me more focused, less stressed, and less tempted to procrastinate. It kind of kicks me into “work mode” and cheers me up without being too distracting.

For your listening pleasure, here is “Autumn Chills”. The vibe is quiet and soft, and, to me, the sound is the epitome of autumn. There’s something about Bon Iver, Charlie Cunningham and the like, that makes me want to start a fire, have a cup of tea and wrap myself in blankets. Rock this playlist when you’re at the office, curled up in bed, or driving in the rain.

 

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Podcasts

For those of you that don’t know, my boyfriend and I are in a long distance relationship, which means driving to see each other pretty much every weekend. 3 hours there and 3 hours back gives me a lot of free time. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately?) there’s not much I can do other than listen to music or podcasts. I quickly learned that music can get old kinda fast when it’s hour 4 and you’re still stuck in traffic. But podcasts, on the other hand, have been my saving grace. Here are a few of my faves:  

Nancy: This show is a beautifully honest discussion of the experiences of people who identify as LGBTQ. It’s unapologetic and uncensored, and the hosts handle topics with such meticulous care. It’s exactly what the world needs right now. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. And hopefully, you’ll leave feeling a little more enlightened, or a little less alone. Either way, you’ll most likely adore it.  

The Memory Palace: If you like podcasts that contain beautifully written narratives that will make you sit in silence afterwards and ruminate on what you just heard (… and possibly cry… yeah… I’m a weepy mess when I listen to this podcast), this is the one for you. Again, it’s a story-telling podcast, but this one errs on the side of historical. It’s gorgeous and eye-opening. This is the first episode I ever heard, and I must have listened to it 10 times since. It’s absolutely stunning.

RadioLab: This podcast is absolute genius. The hosts talk about anything and everything, from Italy’s first transgender gondolier to the discovery of the remains of 5,300 year old human. But this podcast is all about the quality of the story-telling. If you haven’t listened to this podcast: 1. Where have you been? 2. GO LISTEN TO IT RIGHT NOW.

Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine: If you’re like me and are fascinated by the grueling, gross and often bizarre history of medicine, check this podcast out. It’s hilarious, cringe-worthy, and super interesting.

**Special shout out: The Heart of It with Estée Lalonde: I never knew it was possible to fall more in love with Estée Lalonde… until I listened to her podcast. I know only a few episodes of this podcast are out at the moment, but I had to add this to the list. She speaks about topics from new, interesting perspectives, and offers up her own narratives and interviews rad people. I love to watch how she’s using her platform to talk about issues like feminism and protest. Rock on Estée.

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An Apple A Day…

Growing up, I have always been an apple lover. Ask anyone who knows me – I have at least an apple a day. Usually two. So when my lovely boyfriend asked me to go apple picking with him this past weekend, I was psyched.

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To celebrate the start of autumn, I threw on a pair of jeans, a collared shirt, and Chelsea boots. Unfortunately, the weather decided to misbehave and ended up being a scorching 80 or so degrees. Note that these pictures were taken before my face started to look like a tomato. They were also taken before I smashed myself in the face with my camera and gave myself a black eye. (Yup… a literal black eye). Feeling great about my hand eye coordination skills at the moment. But – at least I have 20 lbs of apples to distract myself with!

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Hope you all are having a wonderful, fruit-filled September! Lots of love from me.

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Across the Pond and Back Again

Although I was born in England, I haven’t had the opportunity to go back and visit as much as I’d like. I moved to America when I was five years old, along with my parents and four siblings. My family is extremely British – the moment you walk in the front door, they’ll offer you a cup of tea and something sweet. So while raised with British mannerisms and an insatiable sweet tooth for Cadbury’s chocolate (god it’s good), I feel oddly split between two countries, both of which I consider home.

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After graduating from college, I had a significant chunk of “down time” (a.k.a. I was unemployed). Most of it was spent on my couch, moping about, submitting resumes and cursing employers who had no interest in my environmental studies and conservation biology degree. But it did give me one blessing: the opportunity to travel. There was only one place on my mind — England — and luckily, my ever-so-wonderful boyfriend was completely on board.

Staying with relatives, we saved a few quid and somehow managed to visit what felt like a million and one places in the span of 10 days.

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Lewisham – London – Windsor – Amesbury – Lacock – Bath – Melksham – Liverpool – Cumbria – Tunbridge Wells – Hassocks

… I know. I’m exhausted just typing that list.

But somehow we managed it all and it was, in a word, perfect. I saw family, had some busy days, had some low-key “let’s just wander around” days, and reveled in full monty English breakfasts and summer rain.

Now, if there’s anything you should know about me, it’s that I’m a sucker for a tiny English cottage. I have watched every episode of the TV show “Escape to the Country” and SWEET JESUS. If I won the lottery tomorrow, that’s what I’d buy. Unfortunately, I haven’t won the loto. But I felt like I’d hit the jackpot wandering through the English countryside. As we were driving through Lacock on the coach, I kept gasping and making ecstatic faces at Zack (my boyfriend). The gentleman behind us congratulated Zack and I on our engagement (no, we’re not engaged). But according to him, there was no other way he could justify me being that happy. Fair enough, but obviously that man doesn’t understand my feelings towards cottages.

 

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For the second half of our trip, we rented a car to drive up to the Lake District. Zack and I only drive automatic, and, as luck would have it, the only automatic car available was a Mercedes E-class. BOO YA. We drove through Cumbria and stayed in a little cottage in the middle of nowhere. Nothing but hills and sheep – my kind of place. Hikes galore. And we’d often have to play “shepherd” and guide sheep back to their pastures and away from the road.

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But aside from the real estate, food, and rampant farm animals, I think there’s something special about Britain that I desperately miss in America. I can’t put my finger on it exactly – but I have a hunch it has something to do with family and heritage and what I never truly had the chance to know.

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Saying goodbye to England was extraordinarily tough. But with a suitcase filled with sweets and a camera filled with pictures, Zack and I hopped back on the plane and traveled stateside.

The trip ultimately cemented in my brain that I need to move back to the U.K. Who knows when. Who knows for how long. Who knows where exactly. All I know is that I’m going to live in a tiny cottage.