I wish this installment of “Read Watch Listen” had a theme, but like my brain these days it’s a little scattered and that’s ok. Hopefully it means that there’s something here for everyone, whether you enjoy witty parenting stories, beautiful cinematography with crazy characters or the beautiful sound of the mandolin. And if not, well it’s just a glimpse into what’s been catching my attention lately.
READ // Bringing Up Bebe – I bought this book months ago when I saw that Kathleen had read it in preparation for her little man to arrive. There are, of course, a lot of stereotypes and overstatements in this account of an American raising her children in France all the while trying to learn the art of french parenting, but I think there are some really great take-aways too. I don’t have enough space here to share all my thoughts on this book, but if you are starting a family or think you might one day start a family, it’s a great and insightful read. I think it will definitely have an effect on our parenting style (Phil is reading it now).
WATCH // The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson does not disappoint. The story is hilarious, the cast of characters perfect and I loved seeing Ralph Fiennes play a role like M. Gustave. If you can still see this where you are, see it!
LISTEN // Sarah Jarosz – I stumbled across this artist on a mix playlist and immediately began searching for more of her music. She is one talented lady with a beautifully perfect, yet relaxing voice and intricate but calming instrumentation. Music like this inspires me to slow down and really enjoy the small moments in life.
While I enjoy reading non-fiction, watching PBS documentaries and listening to some classical piano, sometimes it’s nice to just be a kid and enjoy books, movies and music that just make you feel good! That’s just what I’ve been doing.
READ // Divergent – If you liked the Hunger Games, you will love this new YA series. It’s going to be made into a movie next month so you better hurry. But don’t worry, it won’t take you long to finish it. I think I read all 500 pages in a couple of days.
WATCH // Despicable Me 2 – I have my sister to thank for this recommendation. I laughed so hard the first time we saw it that I had to own it myself. Minions. Enough said.
LISTEN // Happy – I’m always rolling my eyes at my husband’s eclectic music choices, but this one needs no eye rolling. And it’s from Despicable Me 2! Give it a listen. You’ll be Happy!
I’ve seen this list on a few different blogs over the last couple weeks and have enjoyed reading the perspectives on each. I’ll admit that when I copied this list to answer the questions in my own way, I was reminded of those chain emails that used to circulate back in the day… “forward this or else”. Those usually ended with me. But this one is interesting enough that I’m going to keep it going, if for no other reason than it’s a fun and easy way to share some things about myself that you might not have otherwise known.
There is one thing that I want to point out before you write this off as a superficial activity, as the title may have led you to believe. This list is called ‘8 things a happy woman should have’, not ‘the 8 things that will make a woman happy’. Big difference. Now that we’ve cleared that up, on to the fun…
- A Go-To Drink – Finding my signature drink is something that I’m working on as a part of my 30 before 30. (“Working on” is code for occasionally thinking about trying new drinks at times when it’s either completely inappropriate to drink or there’s no chance of finding the ingredients I need to mix said drink.) But when I walk into a bar and I’m not drinking beer (Bottingtons) or wine (malbec), I’ll order a gin and tonic…for now.
- A Go-To Karaoke Song – I don’t frequent the karaoke bars to be honest. I’ve sung in front of many people from the time I was little singing at church to college when I was performing as a music major. But something about singing an unrehearsed song at a bar makes me nervous. If I had to pick a song on the spot, I would probably go for a Carol King song like “It’s Too Late” or Bonnie Raitt’s “Something to Talk About”.
- A Uniform – This is a tough one as my style is always changing. For awhile now I’ve been gravitating toward button down shirts, well-fitted jeans and a classic pair of flats or boots. I can always dress it up with blazer or sweater, necklace or scarf.
- A Hairstylist they Love – I have been fortunate enough to find great stylists in the last few places in which I have lived. Maybe it’s because I have a pretty easy haircut now, but either way, I have found Parlour here in Cincinnati and I’m not going anywhere!
- An Exercise Routine – I enjoy weight training, spinning classes, swimming and many other forms of exercise, but I’ve found in the last couple of years that the two activities that do the most for me both physically and mentally are running and yoga.
- A Hobby – Have you met me? I have so many hobbies I don’ t know what to do with them all. Those rounding out the top of the list – knitting, reading and blogging.
- A Best Friend – I have been fortunate to have several best friends. Ones that have come and gone and ones that have stayed. And through it all, I’ve always had my sister, who I consider my best friend. She’s been around the longest and knows exactly where I’m coming from.
- A Healthy Sense of Self – This will always be a work in progress, but I feel good about who I am at this point in my life and the best version of myself that I am always working toward becoming. I think that is all you can ask.
What do you think? Do you have responses for each of these 8 things? I know it’s not all-inclusive, but it’s a fun list nonetheless.
We had a really rainy weekend last weekend, which meant it was the perfect weather for reading, watching movies and listening to music while we worked around the house. So there were plenty of options to choose from when I was putting together my read, watch, listen post. Hopefully you see something of interest…
READ // Room by Emma Donoghue – This is a haunting story, and one that I just couldn’t put down. The premise is dark, but by telling the story from the point of view of a child, you see the situation from a completely different perspective than you normally would. This book came highly recommended and I am passing on that recommendation to you.
WATCH // Wait Until Dark – This movie is nothing new, but if you haven’t seen it, you must. Audrey Hepburn is amazing. She plays the part of a blind woman caught in a bad guy’s plot, having to rely only her other senses. With Halloween right around the corner, it’s the perfect suspense film.
LISTEN // Beirut – I stumbled across this album at the library and picked it up on a whim, probably because I liked the cover. Turns out, the music is pretty great too. It’s a mix of indie and world music, though it’s a bit hard to describe. Check it out. However you describe Beirut, I think you’ll enjoy it.
Lindsay over at Lost & Fawned did a read, watch, listen post a few weeks back and I loved it. Not only did a get some great recommendations, I also got a glimpse into her daily life and what she likes. So to let y’all see what piques my interest and maybe even get you excited to read, watch or listen to something new, here is what I’ve been reading, watching and listening to lately!
READ: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple – Awesome book! I read it in three sittings, which is a record for me, who usually takes weeks or months to finish anything. I could not put it down. Semple used to write for television (Arrested Development anyone?) and it shows… in a good way. Bernadette was witty and heart-warming with great characters and a plot that made it impossible to put down.
WATCH: The Way Way Back – I will see anything with Steve Carell in it, but this was his first film where I didn’t like him. Not him as an actor (he can do no wrong), but him as in his character. The star of the movie was by far Sam Rockwell. He was that crazy guy who lives life the way he wants to live, but underneath it all he just cares about the people around him. It’s the perfect end of summer movie that will make you laugh, but most importantly, make you leave the theater just feeling good.
LISTEN: Royals by Lorde – I cannot get enough of this song. Thanks to the Everygirl for turning me on to this New Zealand singer. She needs no introduction – just listen!
I have a thing for Putumayo. Much like a good glass of wine can cure a tough day, so too can Putumayo. Whenever I’ve had a day that has given me a beating, I walk in the door and head straight to the stereo to play one of these records and all is right. The music is upbeat, which certainly helps, but mostly I think it’s that the music transports you to somewhere else.
When I listen to “Music of the Coffeelands“, for example, I’m no longer in Cincinnati; I’m standing in a house by the beach in Costa Rica with the wind blowing through the open windows as I dance around in my flowing dress. You don’t believe me? Try it. It’s like an hour-long vacation for $14.98.
And if that’s not enough for you, the label’s motto is “Guaranteed to Make You Feel Good”. And that, it does.
Having a less than stellar day? Grab whatever suits your fancy in terms of location and prepare to travel.