the 3 podcasts i’m obsessed with right now
i’ve spent the last few months really refining my morning routine. to say that this has been a process for me is an understatement, but i’ve added something that has required no additional effort on my part: listening to podcasts while i’m getting ready!
to be honest, i was never really much of a podcast listener until a few months ago [aside from serial, obviously]… i love music and typically spent my mornings bopping around to whatever band/artist/d.j./pop diva that i felt spoke to my mood at the time, but once i realized how much amazing content is out there and available via podcast [and once serial wrapped up], i decided to dive a little deeper.
i’ve found a few podcasts that i’ve become obsessed with. they range from inspirational to funny to informative… whatever you’re looking for, i guarantee you can find it in a podcast!
so, without further ado, here are the 3 podcasts i’m obsessed with right now that i suggest you give a listen to, as well!
1. the skinny confidential’s him + her podcast
the skinny confidential has been one of my favorite blogs for a few years now, so when lauryn and her fiancé, michael, launched the him + her podcast, obviously i was going to jump onboard with it. they talk about everything from business tips to health and wellness to boob jobs [yep, seriously] to relationships, and they are effing hilarious. if you’re looking for a well-rounded, kind of random but also informative and funny podcast, start here.
2. this american life
the creators of this american life also created serial, so this seemed like a natural next step for me once the second season wrapped up. the format is very journalistic, and overall this podcast is kind of hard describe, but they cover a wide variety of topics that are super interesting. the best thing about this podcast is that it’s been around for a while, so the archives go waayyyyyyy back. you could literally listen for days. bonus: the host, ira glass, has the most amazing, soothing voice and is just lovely to listen to.
3. #girlboss radio
sophia amoruso, the founder of nasty gal and the author of #girlboss, is a huge inspiration for me, and #girlboss radio is right up my alley, too. i love her book, can’t wait for the next one, and truly admire her hustle and the empire she’s building. each week, she interviews a different #girlboss about their climb to the top, the struggles they went through to get there, and asks them what advice they would give those trying to find their way in the world.
so, there you have it. who knows… maybe one day bananas + bellinis will have a podcast… the wheels are certainly turning! [allison micco: i’m lookin’ at you.]
what are you favorite podcasts? share in the comments below… can’t wait to hear your suggestions!
all images via podbay.fm
pumping the brakes + disconnecting
today i want to talk about something that seems to be one of those things that we’re constantly reading and talking about, but not necessarily following through on. we see it everywhere… the idea of pumping the brakes, slowing down, and really enjoying life and living in the moment… but how often are we doing this?
it seems like we are constantly in a rush… a rush to get to the next task, the next event, the next day of the week, the next promotion, the next relationship, the next vacation… and we distract ourselves in those “in between” moments, often with things that don’t bring any real value to our lives, such as social media or television. and we’re doing this so much that we’re often missing some pretty important stuff along the way. [and listen, i enjoy social media and a good binge watch on netflix as much as the next person, but hear me out.]
a few weeks ago, i spent the weekend camping in joshua tree national park [i plan on blogging about this trip and my new obsession with camping soon, so stay tuned]. it was a group trip for a friend’s birthday, and i was going into it only knowing a few of the people who were going to be there. committing to a camping trip in a place you’ve never been with a bunch of people you don’t really know can be a little intimidating… factor in that you’re pretty far away from home and there is no cell phone service [aka no escape from moments where you maybe feel awkward or left out]… and yea, you could definitely say that i wasn’t sure how it would all pan out.
for those of you who aren’t familiar with joshua tree, it’s one of the national parks out here in socal, about 150 miles east of l.a. in the middle of the desert. the little towns that surround the park are exactly how you would imagine desert town to be, and within minutes of driving into the park, you find yourself in a dead zone.
the idea of being in a dead zone, without wifi or at least cell phone service for even a couple minutes freaks people out [remember those verizon commercials from years ago?]… let alone a whole weekend? forget it.
so, in the spirit of making a long story short: i went to joshua tree, disconnected from my day to day life for two days with a group of people i barely knew… and had one of the best weekends i’ve had in a while. i mean, look at this place!
we’re living in a world where being connected constantly is the expectation. cell phone service is one thing, but even having a wifi connection at places like the grocery store, bars and restaurants, or in a public park has become commonplace. and we all know that we’re spending wayyyyyyy too much time with our phones in our hands, mindlessly scrolling our social media feeds, and checking to see who has/hasn’t texted us… i mean, for crying out loud, we don’t even use our phones to actually talk to people anymore.
being in the middle of the desert without any kind of connection to the outside world was so refreshing. every single person on the trip was completely unreachable, which allowed us to interact and connect with one another the way human beings were meant to: with face to face conversation that isn’t being constantly interrupted by buzzing phones letting you know that someone, somewhere has sent you a message that is so trivial it can be said via text message instead of an actual phone call.
it was nice to look at my phone, see that there was less than 10% battery left and not have an anxiety attack about needing to charge it.
on top of all of this, i also noticed that i was rarely checking the time throughout the weekend. when you spend your days in front of a computer/phone screen, checking the time constantly becomes a habit. so, when you know that it’s impossible to have received a text or a facebook notification, you check your phone much less [if at all] and suddenly, time doesn’t matter anymore. you’re living in the moment, not fast-forwarding through it. you’re moving with the universe and the people you’re with in realtime… at a pace much slower than what you’re used to… and wow, does it feel good.
at the end of the weekend, i felt so rejuvenated and relaxed [even after a saturday night spent drinking pretty heavily… i mean, after all, there are some things i’m just not willing to get away from!] that the idea of heading back to the real world and getting reconnected actually made me a little sad, and i felt as if i was leaving a piece of myself behind in the desert [okay, yea, i know that’s cheesy a.f. but whatever, it’s true].
so, do you see the point i’m trying to make? whether you’re spending your weekends in dead zones, switching your phone to airplane mode for a few hours each day, or establishing a “no phones at dinner” rule [except to take food pictures, obviously], disconnecting from technology and slowing down is not only a good idea, it’s so important.
important for our relationships [all of them, with others and ourselves]… important for our sanity… and important for our self-worth and personal growth.
when we’re disconnected, we have no choice but to focus on what’s right in front of us… getting to know the people we’re with, acknowledging our insecurities, confronting personal problems we might be facing, whatever. we automatically slow down and take things moment by moment for what they are, and we don’t distract ourselves from what’s most important with things that are so trivial, yet have somehow managed to become a priority over everything else.
we also can’t engage in activities that make us feel sh*tty, such as comparing ourselves to the people on our instagram feeds who seem to have it all together [remember, it’s all a matter of perspective]. it’s pretty effing liberating.
so, i challenge you to come up with a way you can disconnected this week. for a society that lives and breathes in the digital space, disconnecting sounds terrifying… but in all honesty, you might be surprised by how much you enjoy going off the grid. even if it’s only for one hour, it’s something, and something is better than nothing. start small and see where it takes you. it’s always has been [and always will be] about those baby steps!
need a starting place? i wrote this post a looooongggg time ago about ditching your digital addiction… i’m still working on applying these tricks and staying consistent with them each day. it’s alway easier said than done, but getting started is the first step.
and personally, i’m committing to this 7-day smartphone detox, starting today. i want to make sure that i don’t lose sight of that feeling i had in joshua tree when i was completely disconnected, forced to the pump the breaks, and really just soak up the present moment.
if you’re asking yourself “what in the eff is hellofresh?” … allow me to fill you in:
there’s a new trend in the food world that i like to refer to as “meals on demand” … and the concept is pretty simple: a company ships you a box of ingredients and the recipes for pre-chosen meals… all you have to do is the cooking.
when these companies first started popping up, i was a little skeptical. it seemed to me like they were just encouraging laziness, but really, the opposite is true. i mean… think about it! while yes, this does eliminate the trip to the grocery store [which is where the word “lazy” came to my mind… i mean… it’s not that big of a deal] it also is encouraging cooking with real, whole foods over ordering takeout/delivery or popping a frozen pizza in the oven.
for many people, this means:
- no more having to search endlessly for recipes that don’t involve 47,000 ingredients and 3 hours of your time
- no more wandering aimlessly through the grocery store trying to get creative and come up with something to cook on your own
- no more guesswork on what’s good for you and what’s not
… all you have to do is place your order online and boom! meals delivered right to your door!
so, when hellofresh ads kept popping up on my facebook feed [they’re doing great with the targeted advertising apparently] i decided to see what all the buzz was about.
hellofresh sent me three meals, each of which produced two servings… since i live alone, this meant i received nearly a week’s worth of meals… and only had to do the work involved for three… talk about a win/win! [also worth noting: they offer a vegetarian box. yea, buddy!]
the three meals i received were:
ultimate springtime salad
loaded with veggies and a ton of flavor, this was hands down my favorite meal of the three! from the carrots to the fresh mozzarella, and from the roasted potatoes to the pesto, there was nothing about this dish i didn’t like. not too heavy, but not so light that it left me feeling hungry… it was also the fastest and the easiest to prepare. this is one i’ll definitely be making all spring and summer long.
asparagus + mushroom risotto with fresh parsley + lemon
this dish was pretty damn good… but also extremely labor intensive. the recipe [which was a little confusing in some places] said it would take about 45 minutes to prepare… when in reality, it took about an hour and fifteen minutes. making risotto is not for the faint of heart! with that being said, the end result was ultimately worth the blood, sweat and tears.
smoky black bean cakes
so… i have the biggest bone to pick with hellofresh over this one. again, the end results was delicious, but the process here was… a little frustrating. the bean cakes were supposed to be served over a bed of arugula with olive oil and balsamic vinegar… but by the time i got around to making this [2 days after my box arrived] the arugula had gone bad… and i mean really bad. no big deal though… i mean, this happens when you’re cooking with real, fresh ingredients. but, for the life of me, i could not get this mixture to form into cakes. i tried, and tried… and tried, but it just was not happening. the solution? i basically just turned it into a bean and corn salad topped with avocado salsa and sour cream… which was still pretty damn delicious.
overall, i really enjoyed the experience of having nearly all of the ingredients for a week’s worth of meals sent right to my door. the individually packaged boxes organized everything so well in my fridge, and really helped to simplify and streamline my week… something i think we all can use these days! i could definitely see myself using hellofresh again [esepcially if i know i have a busy week coming up] and would recommend them to friends and family.
the final verdict?
4/5 bananas for hellofresh!
what’s your favorite meals on demand service? which one should i try next?! let me know in the comments section!
thirsty thursday: mint + honey spiked moonshine tea
finally the day has come for the first installment of the thirsty thursday series! guys, i’m seriously so excited about this. why, you ask?
well, first and foremost, i’ve been noodling on the idea of incorporating more cocktail recipes into the mix [see what i did there?] here at bananas + bellinis for a while now… after all, there is an alcoholic beverage mentioned in both the blog name and tagline, so it just seemed appropriate.
second, i think this is going to be a great way for me to begin building out my niche a little better. while health, wellness, and creating a balanced lifestyle have always been my passions and the focus of this blog, i think zeroing in on a few more specialized topics will really help me set myself apart from the other healthy lifestyle bloggers out there.
and finally… just because who the hell doesn’t enjoy a cocktail from time to time? even better if the cocktail contains natural ingredients instead of all that artificial sh*t… amiright?!
now, i knowwwww that iced tea is technically a summer drink, but i snagged a sample of a sweet iced tea at expo west a few weeks ago and had to experiment with it [and it’s basically always summer in l.a., duh]. what did i come up with? this mint + honey spiked moonshine tea. read on.
ingredients for 2 servings:
- 2 shots of vodka [1 oz. each]
- 16 oz. moonshine mint + honey sweet tea
- 2 tsp. raw honey
- 1 lemon, sliced
- a few sprigs of fresh mint [plus extra for garnish]
- ice cubes
- place several ice cubes, about 4 fresh mint leaves, one lemon slice that’s been cut into quarters, and 1 teaspoon of raw honey in each of your serving glasses [these look especially cute served in mason jars].
- in a cocktail shaker combine the vodka and sweet tea with ice; shake, shake, shake it up! [my mason jar shaker is from sharper image, similar to this one.]
- pour the cocktail mixture into your serving glasses and stir, topping off with a squeeze of lemon juice [to taste].
- garnish with a lemon slice, a sprig of mint and a paper straw.*
[and remember to never drink + drive!]
*best enjoyed outside in the sun, preferably in a hammock, while reading a book and listening to mellow acoustic jams.
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