Thursday, August 28, 2014

Podcast Announcement, Creepy Smiles and other Quick Takes!

Joining the party at Jennifer's this week!  

I would first like to set the tone of my 7QT's with my new favorite song.  I may or may not have done a little handle-bar-percussion while listening to this during a workout this week at my very occupied gym.  Endorphins flowing. No shame.  I just love this song! (and *dislike* the video but the "lyrics" versions didn't sound the same - sorry!)

And this version, less percussion and more strings, gives me the goosebumps:

Mia (15 1/2 months) has been doing some super funny things lately, including showing off her new dance moves (i.e. turning in a circle). 



She has also employed this creepy-smiley look as of late:

I think it falls someplace in between..


For my husband who may or may not have gotten the above reference:

Ok, now switching gears.  Podcasts.  Some of you may not have heard of them (think: online radio shows), some of you may not care. I'm moving on anyway, because you should Totally Care (respectively)!  They are awesome.  

I love podcasts because:

1. They are free
2. I learn, learn, learn things all the time.  Free education. Easy. 
3. They can also be very entertaining, and for many podcasts that is the main point
4. They help me do two things at once - be entertained, or learn about something, while doing mindless tasks
5. There is a podcast for almost EVERYthing 
6. Podcasts are like what Netflix is to TV - you can listen to what you want, how much you want, whenever you want. 

How do I listen, and When do I find the time to listen to podcasts you may ask?


  • I download them (for free) from iTunes, and then sync them onto my ipod
  • I listen to them straight from my laptop's speakers via iTunes
  • I stream them on my iphone via the Podcasts App (avail. for ios and android)
  • I have also tried the Stitcher app which many people like.  I prefer iTunes because it has the widest selection
When do I find the time??
  • Driving
  • Washing dishes, making dinner, folding laundry,
  • Walking around the 'hood with Mia
  • Working out
  • Projects like like painting, sewing, organizing, etc.

Basically, I listen to podcasts generally about 1-2 hours a day. It is sooo much better than turning on the TV, which I tend to do for background noise or while I cook. 

Even though I've written my favorites list before, it is constantly changing. These are some of my current favorites!

The Art of Simple Podcast (formerly Simple Mom)
Catholic in a Small Town
Smart Passive Income Podcast
How They Blog Podcast
The Break with Fr. Roderick
Freakonomics Radio
and my guilty pleasure...For Crying Out Loud


This all leads me to the announcement (I'm sure you've been biting your nails in anticipation) :

<Wink wink>

I am about to launch my own podcast! 


It's called This Inspired Life and I'm super nervous, but more excited than anything.  I think it'll be sooo fun.  So if you are a fan of podcasts already, or want to give them a try, I hope you will give mine a listen sometime.

I haven't launched yet (planning on late September!) and my website is currently under construction but here's an excerpt from the About page:

About This Inspired Life Podcast:

Being Catholic / Christian is often like swimming upstream.  It's nice to know others are there with you, and that's what this podcast is all about.  We'll discuss things like parenting, marriage, current events, blogging, at-home businesses and writing books all in light of trying to live out our faith.  We'll also have some fun!
And, since it could get boring here all by myself, I have sought out some people who inspire me so I can learn a little something from them. These conversations are a huge part of this podcast, and I'm excited to share them with you.  I hope we all gain enthusiasm, motivation and courage to keep becoming "better versions of ourselves."
Links to the website and where to listen will come soon!  I am currently recording my first few episodes before I release a few at once to start, and am working on some awesome guests.  I hope you will come by and listen!!
Also, if you have any suggestions for content or guests feel free to email me anytime or comment below!  Who would you like to hear me interview??
Email: thisinspiredlifepodcast (at) gmail (dot) com.
Thanks everyone! Have an awesome weekend!!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

God & the Justin Timberlake Concert, plus Answer Me This!

OK you guys.

Last week Joel and I were given tickets to the Justin Timberlake concert, and can I tell you? It was amazing. 

I am not a "huge" JT fan, but who doesn't have his top hits on your workout mix memorized, right?  So we took the tickets, dressed ourselves up and headed out to the West Side.  (cue W hand gesture)

Ok well I don't mean to be weird and all, but I was seriously moved by the concert.  A step weirder, it was like, I felt GOD at the Justin Timberlake concert.  I said to Joel as we left the arena, "I am just so inspired as a human being right now."  He did just an amazing show (and with almost zero sleaze btw) and I couldn't quite wrap my head around it until now.

You see, it made me think of a book I read in college called "The World's First Love" by the Venerable Fulton Sheen.  Stay with me here.  In it, Sheen talks about the fact that everything and everyone in the universe has a blueprint designed by an outline of our highest being within ourselves, which God planned for us as our highest potential.  Another analogy would be like a score of music - a perfect representation of a song on paper, even though how it is played is usually slightly different. 

Each flower, tree, etc. are the perfect fulfillment of their blueprints, and are exactly as God intended, however human beings, because we have free will and are not perfect, do not quite fulfill our blueprints or "highest potential" until Heaven.  (He goes on to say that Mary was actually the fulfillment of her blueprint while on Earth, unlike any other human being, which is why she was chosen to be the mother of Jesus.)

Anyway, I couldn't help but be struck by God's idea of Justin Timberlake at his show, in that moment, in his element, because it was like we were getting a tiny glimpse of something close to his Highest Talent Potential...the Talent side of his Blueprint that God himself designed.  That God Himself Thought Of And Designed And Intended.  And it was amazing to witness.

It also reminded me how important it is to surround ourselves with things that inspire us to be better people, and get closer to our "blueprints" that God has designed in each of us.  I think most of us, including myself, have no idea what we are capable of in terms of greatness.  It is a frightening, humbling, and exhilarating thing to consider.


WOW! That got deep.
On to some fun Q&A's with Kendra!

1. What is your favorite room in the house?

Oh what a tough question!! I love my house, but of course like many of us, there is a looooong list of things that needs updating.
With that said, I will talk about 2.5 rooms.
Room #1: I love our kitchen/living room.  It is very open-concepty and was one of the main reasons we bought the house. The kitchen is pretty spacious and has most everything I need, and the living room has a great built-in bookshelf, a huge picture window that looks into our backyard and french doors that take you outside.  I love that I can sit on the couch and talk to Joel while he's cooking a late night dinner for himself, or easily watch Mia play in the living room while I prepare lunch.  We definitely plan on remodeling the kitchen down the road, but it's fine for now.

Your welcome for not cleaning up.

Favorite Room # 2. I'm also a big fan of the wallpaper and decorations of Mia's room.  Also because it's the room I probably put the most work into so far...

2. Do you subscribe to any magazines or other periodicals?

My niece does a fundraiser for her school each year through a magazine subscription service, and I am more than happy to have an excuse to subscribe to Real Simple Magazine.  I love it, even though I only look at about every-other one that comes to my door.  

3. How do you feel about the sign of peace in Mass? Enriching? Awkward? Overdone? Just right? Some combination of the above?

I think the sign of peace is a super important part of Mass and I was shocked to find it they were considering doing away with it!  Crazies!  Among some other symbolism, I always thought it was where you also "forgive" those in your life as well (and through giving peace to those around you, it references everyone in your life) even the little things that annoy you or something small you might be holding onto, since we're supposed to have those cleared from our heart when we receive the Eucharist.  I'm not sure if that's 100% liturgically accurate but I've always found it a good exercise to examine my heart each week at this time.  

4. What is your least favorite sound?

The screeching sound our guest bedroom "sliding" closet doors make.  One of the wheels is missing, so it makes a blood curdling sound.

5. What was your favorite TV show (or shows) growing up?

I remember watching a lot of Saved By The Bell growing up.  My mom wasn't thrilled with the show but she always slept in on Saturday mornings so I watched it anyway.

I also loved Hey Dude and Are You Afraid of The Dark? on Nickelodeon.  Wow that is bringing me back!

6. What is your favorite TV show now?

Hm..that's a tough one.  I love the The Today Show minus the stupid Orange Room nonsense.  And I can never get enough of The Office, and I love Downtown Abbey.  I get a good laugh out of The Bachelor/ette when I'm not upset about what it says about our society..and I like Modern Family though I haven't seen it in a while.

I'm trying really hard to watch less and less TV...we'll see how that goes with the new shows lineup this fall.

Ok wow now I'm really done.
Have a great week everyone!