Consumable, September 2019

In a world drowning in content, products, and personas, sometimes I feel tight in my chest just thinking about everything out there to choose from. In this monthly series, I share things I watched, read, listened to, ate, drank or used that felt worth my time.

This September, I present to you: An Ode to My Favorite Women in Comedy. They make me laugh. They make me cry. They remind me to love myself but not to get too cocky about it, okay?! They are so, so smart. They have each written memoirs that I now treat as gospel.

These women are Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, and Amy Poehler. These are the creations they so beautifully put forth into the world and that I graciously consumed this September.

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Happiness Project: April Assessment

April- the kick-off of my Happiness Project, the month of 18 resolutions- came and went.

Here I sit, on September 19, finally delivering the highly-anticipated “Conclusion” post about my April attempt to harvest more energy. And although I did learn from this attempt, I am still delivering blog posts five months late. Do with that information what you will. 

This all begs the question, “Kristen, are you still a useless sloth after 4:00 p.m.?”

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The Weekly Concerns, No. 4 (Mrs. Everything, The Overdue Life of Amy Byer and Where'd You Go, Bernadette)

At the end of a particularly stuck-in-my-head week, here are some words from the books I am reading that have stayed with me, that I hope will make you want to read them, too.

Mrs. Everything, by Jennifer Weiner

“You’re doing the best you can, Jo would tell her, over and over, and refrain from pointing out that Matt never seemed to torment himself when he was golfing the first time Flora rode her bike on her own, or reading the paper during Leonie’s first successful dive into the deep end.”

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Consumable, June 2019

Written by and starring Ali Wong, this super fun film spins the tale of two childhood friends who meet again as adults. You know, the classic story of the successful, world-renowned professional reuniting with The One Who Still Lives In The Hometown. And while all of those Hallmark Christmas movies with a similar thene have their place, this is tiers above those in terms of quality. I laughed, I cried, and most importantly, I wanted to be friends with every character in this film.

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The Weekly Concerns, No. 3 (The City That Never Sleeps)

Last weekend, I was consumed with a very special celebration - my best friend from college is getting married in just a few months! 

We rang in the occasion with a bachelorette party in New York City, beautifully planned by the bride’s wonderful sister. In the City That Never Sleeps, the options for celebrating are beyond endless, so I won’t even begin to make hard-and-fast recommendations. However, here’s a bit of advice to consider when ringing an upcoming nuptial agreement in The Big Apple.

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The Weekly Concerns, No. 1 (my dogs, the Avengers and Kualoa Ranch)

My time here in Hawaii is coming to a close and I can’t believe how quickly 6 weeks flew by. On the flip-side, when I think about my dogs I feel like I’ve been separated from them for one million years. Hopefully they remember me.

Since this is the first time I’m doing a weekly wrap-up type of post, I feel the need to explain the plan for these to my two avid readers. You know what they say - things get better and better the more you explain them. 

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Happiness Project June Resolutions: Channel Don Draper in the final shot of Mad Men

While Don Draper struggled with escaping his past demons, I struggle as I approach life at a constant sprint towards the future, always making sure today won’t take up too much of my time, cause tomorrow is where the good stuff is really happening. The common denominator? Neither of us experience life in the now. Both of us know we’re unfairly withholding parts of ourselves. Both of us are self-medicating (alcohol for Don, Ben & Jerry’s for me, whatever). Neither of us are ever, ever satisfied. 

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30 Before 30

Millenials are not concerned about Keeping Up With the Joneses. Thanks to social media, our radars are now tuned in on Xander (pronounced Zander), the glue-sniffer from Kindergarten who is working for Google, Cece, a girl we met at a party once, who’s gap year abroad turned into a six-figure travel blog and Margo, the daughter of our aunt’s best friend’s gynecologist, who authored a 150 page book about brunch that somehow just hit the New York Times Bestseller list. (I’m not bitter.)

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Happiness Project May Resolutions: Nurture the Noggin

Developed by psychologist Donald Clifton, the StrengthsFinder themes framework helps individuals recognize what they naturally excel at. The (in loose KP language) philosophy of Cifton’s work on strengths is that instead of acting on societal messages that suggest the road to success requires we improve our weaknesses, we can all benefit greatly by doing the opposite: Honing our strengths. 

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Happiness Project April Resolutions: Stop Becoming a Useless Sloth After 4:00 p.m.

But, now, a year later… something feels off. I’ve become useless after 4:00 p.m. Chores, personal projects and time with loved ones slip further away as the couch swallows me whole any chance it gets. In the words of Arya Stark, “That’s not me.” I always have a long list of things I want to do and gain much joy from doing them. This depressive, low-energy state has been a major source of unhappiness and is perhaps what truly pushed me to begin the project in the first place.

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Happiness Project: How Did I Get Here? Part Two (the answer is nightmares, robots & perfectionism)

It’s a dark Tuesday morning. 5:00 a.m. – the alarm goes off. Your husband (or whoever) groans and rolls out of bed. You jump up and throw on the workout clothes you laid out the night before. Or maybe in this vision you have kids, so you go wake them and begin mentally preparing for the Battle of Shoe Choices. Perhaps you have a dog to walk or a cat to feed. Maybe you have TEN KIDS, in which case, just stay in bed. You deserve it. They can dress themselves and find the bus stop, I’m sure.

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Night Gathers, and Now My Thoughts Begin: Game of Thrones Season 8 Premiere

Spoiler warning if you haven’t seen the premiere of season 8 of Game of Thrones. However, if that’s the case, you really shouldn’t be on the Internet right now. Spoilers also below for Harry Potter, and again… if you haven’t read that series, stop reading this and go check out Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone from your local library right now. 

WINTER IS HERE.

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Happiness Project: How did I get here? Part One (oh yes, there are layers to this)

It occurred to me while elbow-deep in a pint of Halo Top, scrolling through my phone and half-watching Friends for the 25th night in a row, promising myself I would FOR. REAL. THIS. TIME. drop the mindless bad habits starting… tomorrow!

Or perhaps, the realization dawned on me after I spent days building then swiftly deleting this blog for the 4th time in a row. 

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For My 25th Birthday, the Gift of Happy

The Happiness Project, a book based on a year-long quest to cultivate happiness in simple, attainable ways that fit into one’s current day-to-day (because we can’t all backpack across Europe in search for self-discovery) was published by Gretchen Rubin in 2008. I am a huge fan of Rubin’s podcast and have implemented many of her happiness hacks and habit strategies since discovering her work a few years ago.

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