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4 Best Shows to Watch in May

4 Best Shows to Watch in May

Living somewhere without cable for the first time in years, I have become much more selective about what I watch. Whether you are a cord-cutter, or just looking to expand your horizons, there is amazing programming out there for you! Here are a just a few things I am watching obsessively lately.

4 Best Shows to Watch in May

Chelsea (Netflix)

I’ve been watching Chelsea Handler host a night-time show since her years at the E! network, and when she made the move to Netflix, I was all in. Her second season just started, and you can tell they are hitting their stride with the new format. The show posts at 12pm PST every Friday, and runs about an hour. It’s full of thoughtful and fun interviews, travel, education, pot smoking, and a whole lot of the usual Chelsea snark we love.

If you want to learn how to get more politically involved, hear from men and women doing amazing things, and laugh your ass off…check this one out for sure!

Fargo (FX / hulu)

This show is only a few episodes in, but I’m already hooked. It has all the midwest charm and dark humor of the film, and if you’ve been watching the show from the beginning, it feels a lot like season one. There is murder, mystery, hijinks, and a harsh reminder of how COLD it is in the winter!

If you need to get caught up on seasons 1-2,  head on over to hulu. The new season is on the FX app, which I know is tethered to your cable account, but it’s worth checking out if you have access to it!

The Handmaid’s Tale (hulu)

I was on board with this show when hulu first announced they were making the show. This is an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel about a dystopian future, and how women fight the new order of subjugation and sexual oppression. I am a huge fan of the book, and after watching the first few episodes, I’m a huge fan of the show now too.

If you like watching shows with suspense, strong and complex female characters, and won’t be too freaked out at the thought that this shit could happen, check it out. It’s a great show given what’s been going on with our government, women’s rights, and the war on contraception.

Chef’s Table (Netflix)

If you are like me and love documentaries, definitely check out this show. It has some of the most beautiful imagery I’ve ever seen on television (except maybe Planet Earth…but it’s damn close). Each episode follows a different world-class chef, and documents their journey to success (which, as we learn, is rarely ever straightforward).

It’s a great show to both satiate your food porn needs. It also has great themes about hard work, dedication, taking risks, and staying true to who you are.

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Well I’m off to go catch up on some more shows! If you are living cable-free (for the most part), check out all the great programming out there online. There is a TON of it!

What have you been watching lately? I am always looking for suggestions!

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

It’s been a busy week! I started doing some freelance writing and editing, and I’m driving almost 3 hours away for a job interview/meeting this morning. It’s going to be a long day – but hopefully a productive one!

Here are some things I enjoyed online this week:

I plan to spend the weekend watching The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu and working on some blog posts for May! Oh, and brainstorming things to do on my next vacation (which isn’t happening soon enough!).

What are your plans for this weekend?

Friday Favorites

friday favorites

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone is enjoying the lovely spring weather all around the country this week! It was nice to ditch the sweaters for a few days, but alas, we’re back to chilly temperatures for a while.

Here are a few things I enjoyed online this week:

  • Chelsea Clinton was a guest writer this week on Well + Good, where she discussed the importance of talking about periods and breastfeeding, and how both of those things make it tough for women to succeed all over the world. A great read if you are interested in the recent news from states who are finally ending unfair taxes on women’s hygiene products! (Well + Good)
  • I guess in his new-found spare time, Barack Obama has become another Instagram husband. Man Repeller has determined he’s pretty damn good at it, too. (Man Repeller)
  • Apparently jaw tension can cause breakouts? Great. Add it to the list of things I need to stop doing, from eating dairy to letting my face rest of anything while I sleep. (The Chalkboard Mag)
  • I’ve gotten hooked on watching The Sorry Girls, a DIY duo from Canada, on YouTube. They started out mainly doing DIY Halloween costumes, but branched out into tons of other cool things. Definitely check them out if you want to learn some cheap and easy tricks to update your space! (The Sorry Girls)
  • Now that LeafTV is officially sold off, Geri Hirsch is now blogging full-time at because im addicted! Check out the blog for even more amazing content for the lifestyle junkies out there. This week she came up with a comprehensive spring cleaning list that anyone can conquer! (because im addicted)
  • I’ll file this one away for whenever I’m back to living on my own, because lord knows I’ll never get my parents to try these! Check out Hello Glow’s 5 vegan macaroni and cheese recipes – they all look amazing! (Hello Glow)

I hope you all have a great weekend! I’m planning to catch up with some friends who are visiting BG, and working on some more blog posts for you in the near future!

 

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Friday Favorites

friday favorites

Time for this week’s Friday Favorites!

It’s been a very long week, and I’m glad to spend the weekend catching up on my meditation practice, spend time with family, and celebrate the return of Chelsea Handler’s show on Netflix. I also plan to eat as many chocolate eggs as I can stuff in me! Here are a few of my favorite things from this past week:

I hope everyone has a fun and sunny Easter weekend!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

No Friday Favorites post this week. I totally forgot to keep track of the things I was into – oops!

I hope everyone has a fun and safe St. Patrick’s Day. I am off to find something green to wear and see if I can get my hands on a corned beef sandwich for lunch this afternoon!

Have a great weekend, and enjoy the arrival of spring!

 

5 Reasons I Quit Magazines

i quit magazinesIn the spirit of following my 2017 mantra of “good enough is good enough,” I want to remove magazines from my life. I hope that I can return to them more mindfully in the future. While this won’t be a permanent life change, I wanted to take a break from them for a few reasons.

It was a waste of money.

Most of us don’t think twice about dropping $5 on a magazine every so often. However, if you read as many as I do, it can easily become a $50+/month habit. If you get into reading small-batch or international magazines, the cost can easily skyrocket. I reduced my spending a lot by using my local library’s free magazine app. However, they don’t carry everything I read, so I was still spending $10-15/month. I can’t justify spending that much on reading material anymore.

The other nasty side of magazines is that they’re almost entirely ads. Whether it’s a fashion magazine pushing the latest trends, or a health magazine pushing new supplements or exercise equipment, the pressure to spend after reading is too much as well. I don’t like being prey for advertisements. I know I’m being advertised to all the time, but any progress to remove them from my daily life is worth it to me.

It was a waste of space.

Even after reducing the number of magazines I buy on a regular basis, I still find they pile up quickly. Before our last move, I piled them up and found I collected over a dozen over the past few months alone. I don’t tend to re-read things, so after I read them they just sit around collecting dust. In an effort to reduce visual clutter and useless waste, I want to keep the magazines I do read in the future to digital copies only.

I felt too much pressure to keep up.

Anyone who has ever read a Martha Stewart magazine knows my pain. Home magazines in particular are a sore spot for me. I get stuck down the rabbit-hole of wanting to organize, clean, and plan my home into oblivion after reading them. I always feel guilty for not doing more or being good enough. Fashion and travel magazines just remind me that I don’t have to money to keep up with the young jet-setter they’re aimed at. So for now, I need to quit playing the comparison game and repeat to myself “good enough is good enough.” I don’t need to know how to organize my bathroom in 20 different ways – how I did it is already fine.

They still bear unfair and negative messages toward women.

While some publications improved on this, many merely became more covert in their demeaning messages toward women. Fashion magazines may promote diversity or body acceptance, but they still largely show women with unrealistic body types. They still tell us that being thin is glamorous, and being curvy is purely for sexual appeal. I appreciate the progress, but we have a long way to go.

Many women’s magazines also promote we have to be superwomen who run marathons, have insanely successful careers, travel the world, raise perfect children, volunteer every weekend, clean our homes obsessively, and cook restaurant-quality meals for our families each night. I can’t keep beating myself up over what I don’t do, so I need to just stop reading about it for now.

I want to focus my time on books.

Instead of focusing my reading time each night to the instantly gratifying, ad-filled magazine stack sitting on my iPad, I want to read more substantial stuff. Reading magazines always had an addictive quality to them. Getting a new issue was a rush. I pour through the pages with reckless zeal, only to feel a crash when I was done. I don’t know how they do it, but magazines are like a damn drug to me. For a long time, though, they were the only reading I could stomach.

After graduate school, I was burnt out on reading almost anything. Add to that a career grading essays for hours every day, and I was usually too mentally exhausted to pick up a book. So for years, I didn’t read for fun beyond magazines.

Now that I have more time and mental energy to devote to books, I’m getting back in the habit. I was surprised how rusty I became, to be honest. At first I got distracted all the time, and I found reading took longer. However, after a few books I’m mostly back to speed-reading my way through everything. I’m also focusing my attention on reading books by women and about women.

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So for as long as I can, I promised myself I would actively avoid reading magazines. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop reading them forever. I just need a break to find other things to occupy my time and mental space. I also want to find more publications that speak to what I want to read about. Being more mindful of what I read is important to me, and I know this “cleanse” of sorts will be a good first step!

What I Read Recently

what i read recently

(This was originally posted on Bloglovin’, using their direct-posting function, which does not link to Afternoon Glow. It has been updated to reflect more books I’ve read since the original post.)

Happy Tuesday!

I thought I’d start the day by sharing what I’ve been reading lately. One of my goals for 2017 is to read 50 books, and I’m already well on my way!

I also want to focus on reading more from our feminist history, as well as honoring amazing women writers. One area I didn’t explore much in college was women’s studies. I’m going to make up for that this year, hopefully. I’d also like to read more fiction, but man I am picky when it comes to fiction. Perhaps more Margaret Atwood? 😉

2017 Reading List (So Far):

1. The Feminist Mystique by Betty Friedan

2. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

3. My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem

4. Blue Nights by Joan Didion

5. How to Win at Feminism by Reductress

6. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

7. How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

8. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gray

There you have it!

Any suggestions for books I should pick up this year?

My 2017 Mantra: Good Enough is Good Enough

My 2017 Mantra

I know, it’s already March and I’m just getting around to writing a post about my 2017 goals. Sue me!

Every year, I choose a mantra or quote to live by, rather than a resolution. Instead of a checklist of lofty goals I’ll never meet, I find it more productive to devote each year to improving one big thing. This year, I’m tackling my problems with perfectionism.

My 2017 mantra:

“Good enough is good enough.”

I chose this because I need a break. I want to focus on self-care and letting myself off the hook more often. It’s hard for me sometimes to stop picking on myself and say “fuck it, that’s good enough.”

Only a couple months in, I find it freeing to give up on perfection and decision paralysis. Reminding myself that “good enough is good enough” relaxes me when I stress over something stupid. I get caught up with little things, and I need an easy way to snap out of it. So far, this seems to work.

I am also giving myself a break in one major area of life: cooking. Sure, I’m relatively good at cooking and baking…but I don’t really love doing it. You wouldn’t know that, though, given how much time and energy I devote to meal planning, prepping, cooking, and pouring over recipe books or magazines for new recipes. So this year, I am scaling things back. I am sticking to recipes I know well, spending less time planning, and avoiding new cookbooks or magazines. Variety may be the spice of life, but I’m going to let restaurants bear the burden of introducing us to new things. I want to spend 2017 doing more of what I love, and less of what I don’t. If that means our meals are repetitive or boring, then so be it.

The only other goal I gave myself is to read 50 books this year. This is less of a challenge and more of a reminder to take time for myself each day. Reading is one of my greatest pleasures, but I’ve gotten out of practice over the years for several reasons I should probably share with a therapist and not the general public. 😉

Check back tomorrow to see what I’ve been reading!

Friday Favorites

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Happy Friday!

My main goal for this weekend is to go for a hike. I haven’t gone at all this year, and I’m itching to get back out there. I can only hope the weather holds up!

Have a great weekend!

Welcome Back

welcome back

Welcome back to Afternoon Glow!

While I wrote a few times since I took a break, this marks my official return to the blog on a regular basis. I think I’m ready now to come back for real. Let’s see if it sticks this time.

The past few months were busy, to say the least. We made a trip back home to Ohio in December. It was my first time back in over 2 years. It wasn’t relaxing at all, but it was nice to see everyone we managed to see. I can’t say I will do that again for another couple years, though – it was exhausting!

The holidays were good. I ate way too much, and stayed up too late getting drunk and playing euchre with our in-laws. I also helped my nephew put together a few Lego sets (a tradition we started recently). By New Year’s Eve, I think we were all ready to end 2016 and move on!

2017 so far has not let up. We moved unexpectedly in February, which meant we (and by “we” I mean mostly myself) spent January scrambling to find a new place and get everything ready to go on short notice. It was a mad dash, but we got it all done. Life didn’t really get back to “normal” until last week.

Over my hiatus, I thought a lot about the future of Afternoon Glow. After watching several blogs fold last year, I almost followed suit. In a last-ditch effort to keep this going, I am making a few changes to how I do things from here on out.

A Relaxed Schedule

In the past, I felt a lot of pressure to stick to a Monday – Friday schedule. Even when I cut back to a MWF schedule, it sucked. I could never live up to posting 5 days a week. Something about scheduling it all out kills the fun for me. It didn’t help that I was doing everything on my own.

For now, I am going to post when I can. That might mean 5 days a week; it might mean only once. I want this to be spontaneous and fun again – and I can’t do that if everything is regimented.

Less Social Media

Another part of keeping things casual means less social media. Keeping all of that coordinated also kills the fun of blogging. I will do my best to let you know when I post (mostly on Twitter), but I can’t guarantee that I get it right every time. I may also post less frequently, and I’m probably shutting down the Facebook page (I never use it). You can still find me on Instagram and Twitter, though!

If you want to guarantee you’ll get my new posts, follow me on Bloglovin’!

Ditching Comments

You may find that I shut off the comments on some posts. Sometimes, I write posts that aren’t meant to be responded to – and yet people do (not nicely, I might add). I still maintain the power to remove comments I don’t like, but I also learned there are times I shouldn’t allow people to comment at all. It’s for my sanity, really.

No More Food and Home Posts

The focus of the blog is something I want to clarify for myself. The two categories I write about the least are food and home. Frankly, they are boring as shit to write about.

I plan to replace those posts with more beauty, style, life, travel, and personal content. Instead of writing about topics I don’t care about, I need to move on to topics I do. That might mean losing readers, but hopefully it also means gaining new ones!

So welcome back, and I hope you enjoy what’s to come!