I’m 27 and Scared to Move Out

Like most young adults, I moved out for the first time at the age of 18. At the time, I had been living with my mom and my dog, Minnie.

What followed was the hardest nine months of my life. The first four months, I cried multiple times a day, sometimes while on the phone with my mom. I had a terrible roommate that I didn’t get along with, and I was in an entirely new environment and not coping well at all. I should have spoken to my RA or a school therapist about my extreme homesickness, but I think I felt really embarrassed about it and the fact that everyone around me was doing fine and enjoying college, while I felt like I was drowning. Since I had spent the last two years of high school taking college courses, I wasn’t even in classes with people my age. Everyone was nearing the end of their college journey, not beginning it. Plus, my classes were hard, and I was failing two of them.

Things never got better (though I did pull myself together and make passing grades in the classes I was previously failing – hooray!) and I was homesick for nine straight months. I went home every single weekend, and ended up moving back home after a year and becoming a commuter student.

Since then, every time I picture moving out to my own place, I envision being in a similar situation and it fills my entire being with dread.

So I’ve put off moving out. And put it off. And put it off.

It’s only been recently that I’ve felt strong enough to finally take this giant step into adulthood. This step that seems to come so easily for those around me – people who thrive at college and can’t imagine living with their parents past the age of 18 – and yet, has been the biggest struggle of my life so far.

This weekend, I will finally – finally! – move into my own place. Albeit with a roommate, but I still consider it moving out and being on my own and independent. And I’m excited! I’m so excited to make this huge life change and shake up my comfort zone. But I’m also nervous.

I’m nervous because I don’t know the area well and I don’t know if the area is the right fit for me. I like to think of South Tampa as where all the pretty people live. If you’re a twenty-something living in Tampa, you want to live in South Tampa. It’s where the cool restaurants and bars are, it’s where young professionals hang out. I worry about feeling out of place, of not fitting in.

I’m nervous because change and big life transitions are so difficult for me. My coping skills are better now that I understand myself on a deeper level than I did back when I was 18… but I still struggle with change. I worry about falling into that same level of fear and anxiety as I did in college.

I’m nervous because I’ll have more responsibilities. Though I pay my mom for rent and utilities, she’s the one who takes care of things. It’ll be on my shoulders now to make sure the bills are paid. I’ll have to be super strict with my budget because I’ll be paying more in rent, along with having other responsibilities to pay for, like the water bill and Dutch’s vet fees. I worry about drowning in everything that is required of me to be a functioning member of society.

I’m nervous about Dutch, about his transition to a new living situation. I worry that he’ll spend all day crying in the apartment and disturb our neighbors. I worry about him peeing in defiance on brand-new carpeting (he’s done this before). I worry about how I’ll handle being his sole caretaker.

In many ways, I feel incredibly silly for being 27 years old and having so many fears about moving to my own apartment. I am well past the stage of life where it’s deemed acceptable to be living with your parents (though, I do have a unique situation in that my mom and I function more like roommates than parent/child). I don’t know anybody that I work with that still lives with their parents. And I work with a lot of people my age and younger! So it’s very hard to write this post, to admit that I’m scared of this change, to come clean about my anxieties.

But I am. I have many qualms. But I also know I am 100% ready for this. I know it will be hard and I will need to give myself buckets of grace during this time, to allow myself the time and space to settle in to this new life of mine. I know this is exactly what I need and exactly the path I need to be on. I know myself so much better than I did when I was 18. Back then, I did not know about introversion, about high sensitivity, about social anxiety.

(If I had, I probably would have opted for a different living situation – an apartment rather than a traditional dorm – or have decided commuting was the best option for my needs.)

What I know is this: I am moving in with one of my best friends, someone who understands me on a deep level, someone who is one of the brightest forces in my life right now. I am moving with a better appreciation of myself and a heightened understanding of my needs and my personality and my brand of anxiety. I am moving with the understanding that if things feel overwhelmingly difficult, I will seek therapy and find better ways to cope.

So, emotions? I have them. By the truckload. I waver between excitement and trepidation and joy and nervousness. This is a huge life change for me and all I can do is be present in the moment, revel in the triumphs, and learn from the setbacks. Move-in day is in three days. I am ready.

Monthly Reads // August


Happy Monday and happy Labor Day! It will definitely be a day of labor for me, as I will be spending the day packing! I can’t believe my move is just a few days away now. WHAT.

Anyway, today I wanted to recap the books I read in August! I had a great reading month with 9 books read and I loved just about everything I read. My favorite book this month is Pointe (seriously – everyone needs to read this book STAT!) and my least favorite book was Hyperbole and a Half.

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge (a YA novel): Pointe by Brandy Colbert (5 stars)
This book broke my heart. It angered me. It saddened me. The characters and their struggle stayed with me long after I finished the novel. It’s a story about Theo, who is 17 and a ballet dancer. But this is not a book about ballet. At the beginning of the novel, we learn that Theo’s best friend, Donovan, who has been missing for four years has been found. It’s hard to say much more than that without giving everything away, but trust me: this book is amazing. The writing is incredible and it was a book I just sunk into with my entire body. Highly, highly recommend this novel.

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge (a book published by an indie press): More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera (4.5 stars)
So, a few weeks ago, Adam Silvera was a guest co-host on the Dear Book Nerd podcast and, as I’m wont to do, I immediately googled him to find out more about him. And I found out he recently published a book! And it was published by an indie press! And it was available at my library! Sold. I needed to read a book published by an indie press for this reading challenge, so I was excited to get my hands on this. And I really, really loved it. I’m impressed by this novel, as this is Silvera’s debut novel but it was so darn good. I loved the language because it was rough and gritty and authentic. I loved the vulnerability of the main character, the easy pace of the plot, the harshness of the realities the characters faced. There were parts that I thought could have been better fleshed out and I wasn’t thrilled with the ending, but it didn’t take away from the true power this book has. Definitely hope there is more to come from this author.

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge (a graphic novel or memoir): Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh (3 stars)
I liked this book. I didn’t love it, nor did I find it laugh-out-loud funny. I’m not a huge fan of over-the-top humor books, and this one, at certain points, went a little over-the-top for my tastes. I enjoyed the more poignant chapters, like when she talked about her depression and her thoughts and feelings on reality. All in all, an okay read.

Postal book club read: Beauty and Sadness by Yasunari Kawabata (3 stars)
I ended up enjoying this novel much more than I imagined. I wasn’t looking forward to reading it, only because it seemed like it would be a depressing read and a slow read. And I am happy to report I was mistaken on both accounts! It wasn’t a lighthearted read. It was sad and some it of felt a little hopeless, but it was also a beautiful exploration on love and devotion and family. The writing was exquisite and brought me to this calming, peaceful place whenever I cracked open the book. This is definitely a book I would have never picked up on my own, so I’m so happy I got the opportunity to read it through Kathleen’s postal book club!

Others (read for fun!)

Comfort & Joy by Kristin Hannah (3 stars)
I read this book in 24 hours, which is something I can rarely do nowadays! It was under 230 pages, so it was a super fast read. I wouldn’t say it was one of Hannah’s best novels (it was cheesier than I’m used to from her), but it was enjoyable. It follows a woman whose entire world has been shattered by her recent divorce from her husband. It’s Christmastime but she doesn’t feel like celebrating so, instead, she spontaneously decides to board a plane to the Pacific Northwest without telling a single soul. There’s some magical realism that lent a bit of charm to the novel. I think this would be such a comforting novel to read in December, that time when life is crazy and you just want to read lighthearted books that don’t make you think too much. This is definitely one of those books.

Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider (4 stars)
I don’t read Tsh’s blog, but I have been a faithful listener to her podcast for the past year. So, while I know a bit of her story, I went into this book with eyes wide open. I loved Tsh’s voice and I was really drawn to her story from the beginning. Some parts of the book were less interesting to me, like the parenting chapters, but so much of it I could relate to. I’m interested in a slower pace of life, one in which I prioritize travel and saving money and investing in deep relationships. I was truly inspired by this book, and I highly recommend it.

Slammed by Colleen Hoover (5 stars)
This was another book I finished in 24 hours – hooray for lazy weekends! Friends had been imploring me to read this book for years, and it was just a book that had been sitting on my Kindle until I was ready to read it. The novel is about 18-year-old high school senior, Layken, who moves to Michigan with her younger brother and mom following the sudden death of her father. It’s during her first weekend there that she meets Will, her next-door neighbor, and he asks her out. They have a most perfect first date, but the fairy tale soon comes to an end when a shocking revelation comes to light. I devoured this book and it reminded me just how amazing Colleen Hoover is at developing characters and setting scenes. She’s easily one of my favorite authors!

The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton (4 stars)
So, I guess this book could be low-grade erotica? I wasn’t expecting there to be so much sex and so many vivid descriptions. Oy vey. Even so, I still liked the book! I thought it was well-written and I absolutely loved the characters, though the female could grate on my nerves with the way she would constantly jump to the wrong conclusions time and time again.

His Forbidden Touch by Shelly Thacker (4 stars)
This was the first medieval romance novel I’ve ever read, and I loved it so, so much! It was such a wonderfully paced story and I believed in the love story so much that I couldn’t put the book down about halfway through. I loved that the main characters didn’t conform to stereotypes and that the strife felt real and honest. The ending was a bit cheesier than I was expecting (based on how the novel had been written leading up to it), but I still thoroughly enjoyed this novel and can’t wait to read more from this author!


# of books read: 9
# of pages read: 2,649
quickest read(s): Comfort & Joy and Slammed (less than 24 hours!)
longest read: His Forbidden Touch (10 days)
diverse: 3
formats: ebooks (3), physical books (6)

Monthly Goals // September


I decided not to set any monthly goals for August because I wanted disconnect from the online world and to take a break from blogging. I am very happy I took the break. I needed space to just… be… for a little while. Social media is noisy and blogging can sometimes feel overwhelming, and the break came at the perfect time. I’m glad I gave myself the space to take a breather and slow things down, if only for a little while.

And now it’s September and I’m feeling refreshed and ready to tackle some new goals. The overarching goal for this month is to have a peaceful move and that the settling in process goes as smoothly as possible. But, what the heck, let’s add some other goals to that list, yeah?

FINANCES | Make my budget for the rest of this year. Oy, this might hurt and might be a little discouraging, but it will be helpful to have a plan in place and a guide for where my money will be going.

HEALTH | Continue tracking my food daily on MyFitnessPal and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise six days a week. I did this for the majority of August and though I only lost a few pounds (due to not exactly adhering to the calorie range I was given, ha), I’m just going to keep on doing it and see what happens. I’m really trying not to place such an importance on my weight and feeling bad for myself that I’m not where I think I should be because honestly, it’s not a fun way to live. I want to accept where I am right now and do the best I can each day.

NAGGING TASK | Organize my photographs. This was a goal I made for myself in July, but I never got around to completing it. I really need to get this done before I move!

ADVENTURE | Buy a Busch Gardens annual pass and enjoy the park at least a few times in September. It’s ridiculous to live in this area and not have at least one annual pass to the plethora of theme parks around me.

PERSONAL HABIT | Do a 15-minute brain dump every morning. I heard about this idea on a recent Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast episode, and I thought it was such an intriguing idea. I want to sit down every morning, put 15 minutes on the clock, and just do a brain dump of anything that’s on my mind.

Do you have any goals for September?

The Month of August


August was a wonderful month. It was a slow month, but also a month of big decisions, new experiences, and tons and tons of time spent lounging lazily reading.

Disconnecting from my blog and the Internet as a whole was exactly what I needed. I needed to get away from blogging and social media, to let it all go for just a little while. I will admit, at a certain point, I began to feel weird, so cut off from what was going on in peoples’ lives. As I added my social media apps back onto my phone yesterday, I felt as if I was entering this unknown world. I felt awkward as I scrolled through Twitter and Instagram once again. In due time, it’ll become second nature for me. It always does.


We’re two days into September already. We’re a mere eight days away from the kick-off to the NFL season and I’m sure Halloween costumes and candy will be littering the aisles of Target soon enough. Before we know it, we’ll be eating Thanksgiving dinner, decorating for Christmas, and singing holiday songs. This year is passing by in a blink of an eye, but that’s just how it goes. I’m just trying to be present and open to what each day has for me.

Early into August, my roommate and I signed a lease! After losing out on some privately owned condos in South Tampa, we decided to rent from an apartment community. We move next weekend, so August has been a flurry of decluttering, packing, shopping for the new place, and saving up for move-in costs. I have many emotions surrounding this move, which I’ll be talking more about next week.


I celebrated two years at my job last month. I can’t believe it’s been two whole years, and that I still love what I do just as much as I did when I started. Like any job, it has its low points, but generally, I love it. It helps that the work environment is healthy and motivating, and that I work with wonderful people who are fun to be around. I had an informal annual review, which was more of a discussion where I could ask questions and give feedback on their processes. It’s truly a joy working at this company and I cannot wait to see what lies ahead in year three!

After more than two months of having a UTI, Dutch is back to his normal self. It was really in August where he seemed to be back to his usual perkiness. He’s not having accidents in the house anymore, though we have been careful to take him out more often. (And, sometimes, that entails waking up at 4 a.m. on a Saturday, which is totes fun.) Last week, he went to the vet for a dental cleaning and his biannual comprehensive exam. He passed his comprehensive with flying colors, and it makes me so happy to know that he is healthy again and not dealing with the pain of a bad UTI. That was such a low point of my year!


Other happenings in August: Dutch and I walked in a race, which was fun even if the race was a little unorganized. I met up with my friend Amber to participate in a Home Depot workshop, where we got to make a decorative shelf (and it was completely free! Score!). And my writing partner and I started meeting weekly to work on our novels. We hadn’t made the time for it in a very long time, so it’s been fun to get together for a few hours on the weekend and have dedicated time to work on my novel.

All in all, August was good to me. I loved my time away from the Internet, but I was also counting down the days when I could return to it. I missed it so much more than I thought I would, especially blogging. While I needed the time away to reconnect with myself and make some big plans for my life and this blog, letting it go for a little while made me realize how much I love it and what a big part of my everyday life it is. I’m so very happy to be back.


Tell me something good that happened for you in August!



In 2012 and 2013, I took a month-long social media and blogging break. I did it in 2012 because my heart had been broken and I needed the time away to just sit in the sadness for a little while without the distraction of social media. Social media is noisy and filled with people giving their opinions on what to think, say, do, feel. I needed to get away from the noise so I could just be.

I enjoyed my break so much that I decided to take another one the following year. I didn’t take a break in 2014, but I decided early on this year that I wanted to take one in 2015. August has always seemed like the right month because stuff happens this month. 2012 was the heartbreak, 2013 was starting a new job, and hopefully 2015 is moving to a new city.

I’m really looking forward to the time away. I’m not necessarily addicted to social media. I scroll through my feeds a few times a day, but I don’t update them as much as I used to. I use Instagram the most, and sometimes I feel pressure with it to make sure I don’t get too behind on my feed. So this break isn’t needed because I’m too addicted to social media. I’m not at all. I just like the idea of forcing myself to completely get away. Of taking off the apps on my phone and not using social media as a distraction when I’m sitting at a red light or waiting in line or watching TV. Plus, social media is so noisy and so opinionated and sometimes makes me feel bad about myself or my life… so these month-long breaks are so good for my soul.

What I’m really excited about, though, is taking a break from blogging. I love my blog and I love writing posts, but it takes a lot of work. I probably spend around 5-10 hours a week on this blog, which isn’t a lot, but it kinda is to spend on a passion project that actually costs me money rather than gives me any. I do it because I love it, but it’s also something that burns me out easily. And I just need the time away from the writing and the planning and the documenting. To do things for the sake of doing them, and not worry about how to spin them into a blog post.

So, here we go. One month away from social media and blogging. I’m so ready for this.

Monthly Reads // July


It’s time for my monthly post of book reviews! July was not a great reading month for me because I felt very underwhelmed by most of what I read. Most of the books were pretty long (400+ pages) and didn’t grab my attention, so getting through them was a struggle. Anyway, here are my thoughts on what I read!

Book club selection: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (3 stars)
This was probably my least favorite Moriarty read by a long shot (her previous two I gave 5 stars). It follows a woman, Alice, who wakes up on the floor of a gym thinking she is 29, newly married, and due with her first child. When, in fact, she is 39, recently separated, and a mother of three. I found Moriarty’s exploration of family and relationships and marriage, and how their dynamics can change through the ebb and flow of life, was interesting, but ultimately, I just found the characters to be unlikeable and the book to be way too long (nearly 500 pages!). I also think, being a single gal in my twenties, there was a lot I couldn’t relate to. An okay novel, but not the one of hers I would recommend.

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge (a book that takes place in Asia): The Pearl that Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi (3 stars)
I really, really wanted to like this book, but I really, really did not. And, honestly, the only reason I finished it was because I was reading it for the challenge. (Side note: This is the one thing I don’t like about reading challenges. In a sense, it forces you to continue reading books you don’t like!) I’ve heard people compare it to a Khaled Hosseini novel, which frankly offends me, because the only similarity is that they are both about the Afghan culture. This book wasn’t very well written, it wasn’t engaging, it didn’t grab my attention. I just found the book to be slow and it was one of those books that took me forever to read because I never felt like picking it up. I hate to give such a negative review, since I know of a lot of people who loved this novel, but I have to be honest about my experience reading it.

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge (an award winner from the last decade): Room by Emma Donoghue (4 stars)
This was the only book I read in July that I actually liked! And it’s funny because it was the book I was least looking forward to reading, ha. I knew the subject matter would be heavy and I didn’t know if I would be in the right mood for it. In this book, you follow the story of Jack, a five year old who has been living in a tiny shack for his whole life. His mom was kidnapped when she was 19 (she’s 26 now) and is held prisoner in this shack. The language is somehow perfect – I felt Donoghue nailed five year old terminology and speech and syntax. The novel is haunting and poignant and sad and hopeful. It’s so beautifully written. I am so glad I finally read this book!

Others (read for fun!)

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (3 stars)
I read this because it was getting a lot of buzz and the wait list was short at my library. And I don’t get the hype. It took at least 150-200 pages until the book really grabbed my interest. Before then, I didn’t know if I wanted to finish. None of the characters were likable, and not in a Gone Girl “these characters are so crazy and psycho” way. Just… a boring way. I thought the main character lived an incredibly sad life and she’s someone I would never want to be friends with. The plot felt a bit contrived, and I felt that the author glossed over some plotlines that were more important than others. All in all, not my favorite read.

Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes (2.5 stars)
In this nonfiction healthy living book, science writer Gary Taubes argues that most of the past decades of nutritional research is bad. Specifically, he says that the “calorie in, calories out” model of healthy living is wrong and that what we need to focus on is eating less carbs. I appreciate his opinion on this, and I’m not sure if it’s right or wrong (I honestly think it’s probably different for each person), but I want to experiment with this lifestyle soon. For me, though, I found this book to be way too science-y and a lot of it was difficult for me to process. (Which, yes, makes me feel super dumb.) There was only about 10-15% of the book that I found useful.

All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins (3 stars)
This was an alright book. It’s a reread; I read it back in 2010 and had a rave review for it on Goodreads. But I guess my reading tastes have changed over the past five years (imagine that) because I found the main character to be annoying and the plot a little goofy. Also, I really, really dislike how this author continuously bashes online dating. The dates her characters go on are ridiculous and just furthers the stigma online dating has. It irks me. Anyway, it was a light, easy read, which I needed after reading too many books in a row with heavy subject matter.


# of books read: 6
# of pages read: 2,284
quickest read: Room (5 days)
longest read: Why We Get Fat (10 days)
multicultural: 1
formats: ebooks (3), physical books (3)

What was the best book you read in July?

Reading Habits Survey: Halfway Point 2015


Fair warning: this may be the geekiest post I will ever write! It’s no secret that reading is my favorite hobby. I’m obsessed with books and my downtime is spent in two ways: reading and blogging. The reason I can read as much as I do is because I make time for it. Whenever people express jealousy for how many books I read, there’s not too much I can say. My life isn’t very exciting (at least to other people, I would guess) and I have a lot of downtime that allows me to read.

Anyway, this year, I’ve taking my love for reading to a geeky level as I’m keeping a detailed spreadsheet of the books I read. My spreadsheet (which I’m happy to share with anyone who is interested!) keeps track of much more than just the title, author, and my rating, but also the genres, formats, where I’m getting them, why I’m reading them, how much they cost me (if applicable), and more. It’s been so fun to keep track, and I thought today would be a good day to survey my reading habits for the first half of 2015. This will be similar to the reading habits survey that Book Riot puts out once a year, which is basically where I got my idea for this post.

How many books read? 48

How many pages read? 15,866

What percentage of books read has been in print? E-books? Audiobooks? 

  • 46% print books
  • 44% e-books
  • 10% audiobooks

I’m not too shocked about that – I read about the same amount of print books as I do e-books (I always opt for the e-book, but if the wait list is too long at my library or they don’t have the e-book version, I’ll request the print copy.) Also really happy with my audiobook listening in the first half of the year! This is the first year I’ve really gotten into audiobooks and I find them a really fun way to consume literature.

How many books were bought? I wound up buy 7 of the 48 books I read, which amounts to 15%. The library is my best friend when it comes to reading – I don’t spend a ton of money on books!

How much money has been spent? $40.43. This amounts to spending $6.74 a month on books or 84 cents per book. I’d say that’s a good average!

What are the percentage breakdowns for the genres read? 

  • Fiction – 25%
  • Nonfiction – 20%
  • Mystery – 19%
  • YA – 13%
  • Chick lit – 13%
  • Romance – 10%

It shocks me that nonfiction is my second-most read genre. I have been trying to read at least one nonfiction book per month, and I’m doing more than that, it seems. I’m also surprised that romance novels are my lowest read genre. I used to solely read romance novels, so this shows I am really trying to diversifying my selections.

How many diverse reads? 8 – 17%. Something I still need to work on, but it’s getting better!

Where did I get my books?

  • Overdrive (e-books and audiobooks): 15
  • Library (physical copies of books): 12
  • Amazon: 9
  • Free, in exchange for a review on my blog: 8
  • Through postal book club: 2
  • As gifts: 2

Over half of my books were from Overdrive or the library. How I love the library so! :)

Some other random stats:

  • Most books read in one month: March (10)
  • Least books read in one month: February (6)
  • Book with the most pages: The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro (469 pages)
  • Book with the least pages: Home by Toni Morrison (147 pages)

Top 3 books read so far in 2015: 

1. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng – This book gripped me from beginning to end, as it follows a family as they deal with the death of their teenage daughter. The writing is just exquisite.

2. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – This book dealt with some heavier subjects (domestic violence and bullying), but it did so in a light-hearted manner. I fell in love with the characters and I thought the way the author wrote about domestic violence was vividly real. It wasn’t over-the-top, but I think a lot of people would be able to relate to it (sadly!).

3. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton – I am so glad I did I finally read this book! It’s such a special novel. It is written from the perspective of Ponyboy, a 14-year-old boy who is in a gang called The Greasers. The novel was so easy to read and really fun to follow – the language was phenomenal. It was sad in parts, but I really enjoyed my experience reading it.

How many books did you read in the first half of 2015? Do you use the library, or do you buy the majority of your books?

My Favorite Podcasts (Round 2)

Prepare yourselves, friends! Today’s post is going to be a long one, but it’s one I’ve been wanting to write for a long time. As I’ve mentioned before, I am a voracious listener of podcasts. I started listening around February or March of last year, and it’s an obsession. Currently, I have 26 shows that I am subscribed to and I can only see that list growing and growing. I wanted to take the time to recommend some of my favorites to you guys, just in case you a) want to start listening to more podcasts but aren’t sure where to begin, or b) are as obsessive about podcasts as me and want more shows to add to your feed. I’ve broken these down by categories, so enjoy!

Interview-style podcasts


The Lively Show: Blogger Jess Lively interviews guests all about their lives and work, with an emphasis on intentional living. She has an eclectic mix of guests (the variety has been even better in the second season, which I appreciate) so she’s not just interviewing bloggers and creatives, but also business leaders, authors, and nutritionists. Her interviewing style is unique, which is what I love about this podcast. I take away something to reflect on from each episode.

Death, Sex & Money : Host Anna Sale interviews famous people and regular people about their thoughts on – you guessed it! – death, sex, and money. (As the tagline says: “the things we think about a lot, and need to talk about more.”) I love the variety of guests she interviews – one week it might be Jane Fonda and the next week just some regular girl talk about her father’s death. And, like Jess, she has such a unique interview style where she asks tough questions that other people would probably shy away from.

Nerdist Podcast: One of my long-time favorite podcasts! Comedian Chris Hardwick interviews famous celebrities about how they got to where they are today. Definitely one to listen to if you’re into comedy.

Chit-chat podcasts


> The Shepod: Two girlfriends living in L.A. (Rachael and Sara) come together every Sunday for brunch and chit-chat. They talk about what’s going on in their lives, as well as what made their “gross list” for the week and take a look back to some “90’s nostalgia.” All in all, it’s 45 minutes of fun and I love sitting down with these girls once a week!

> Starr Struck Radio: A married couple – Mary Catherine and Ben – come together once a week to discuss “adulting” topics, like the challenges of buying a home, whether or not to have kids, and being an effective manager of your time. I really like the male perspective this show brings because so many podcasts in this vein are female-focused. Having the two perspectives provides a balanced look at the topics, and they are just really fun together.

> Call Your Girlfriend: Two long-distance besties sit down twice a month to chat about what’s going on in the world. There’s an emphasis on pop culture and feminism, which I appreciate, and I just enjoy their back-and-forth dialogue.

> The Joy the Baker Podcast: One of the first podcasts I ever started listening to and I love it so. Two friends and bloggers – Joy and Tracy – sit down for hour-long chats about… anything, really. It’s always so random and the two of them are hilarious together, so I giggle throughout each episode. Their shows have been few and far between lately (I think they’ve only recorded 4 podcasts this year…) but I’m a loyal subscriber, so anything I get from them makes me happy!

Storytelling podcasts


> StartUp Podcast: This follows different startup companies through the trials and tribulations of forming and developing their company. The first season, which I’m listening to now, follows Alex Blumberg as he starts his podcasting company, Gimlet Media. I didn’t think I’d get sucked into this show as much as I have because business podcasts aren’t my thing, but I love the storytelling format and love the honesty with which Blumberg tells his story.

> Serial: I mean, if you don’t know what this podcast is about, I welcome you back into the land of the living. Listen. Now. Before you do anything else. This is the best podcast out there, hands down!

> Undisclosed: The State Vs. Adnan Syed: This podcast is basically a spinoff of Serial, where Rabia Chaudry (the one who brought Adnan’s case to Sarah Koenig of Serial) along with two law experts, Susan Simpson and Colin Miller, revisit Adnan’s case, piece by piece, revealing new information as they go along. The first few episodes were a little shaky, but it’s gotten really good as they’ve found their footing and they’ve revealed some startling information that wasn’t covered in Serial.

Bookish podcasts


> Dear Book Nerd: Librarian Rita Meade, along with a guest co-host, answers listeners questions about “life, love, and literature.” There’s always such an interesting mix of questions, and Rita has made the podcast a safe space for listeners to ask any type of question.

> Book Riot – The Podcast: The editors of Book Riot.com come together for an hour-long podcast each week, talking about what’s new in the world of books and publishing. They can sometimes go off on tangents and I find their ad spots to be way. too. long., but in general, I enjoy the hosts and their camaraderie.

Educational podcasts


> Criminal: A podcast that explores all facets of crime and criminals. It tells the story of people who have been wronged and people who have wronged others. It’s a fascinating look into the human psyche!

> Invisibilia: A show from NPR about the invisible forces that affect human nature. Some of the topics covered in their first season: what would it be like to live a life without fear, whether our thoughts have a bearing on who we really are, and how expectations can limit or empower us. Such a powerful podcast and I am on pins and needles waiting for season two!

> Stuff Mom Never Told You: A podcast all about women! I love the hosts and I love the range of topics covered – from women explorers to pregnancy to the Golden Girls. If you’re looking to learn more about feminism and womanhood, I’d highly recommend this podcast.

> Stuff You Should Know: Consistently one of the best podcasts on my feed. I love Josh and Chuck and I love how I get to learn about the most random topics. Like circus families. And BASE jumping. And ocean currents. Always informative and always very well-researched.

Miscellaneous podcasts


> Mystery Show: A new show from Gimlet Media where the host, Starlee Kine, takes on random mysteries to solve. It’s a little silly, but really entertaining. And Starlee is just adorable and funny and I want to be more like her.

> Happier with Gretchen Rubin: I am not a huge fan of Gretchen Rubin the author (I know, burn me at the stake), but I am a huge fan of this podcast! Gretchen and her sister, Elizabeth, get together once a week giving advice on happiness and good habits. I can relate to Elizabeth a lot, which is what I think I love most about this podcast.

> Dear Sugar Radio: Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond bring back their advice column, Dear Sugar, in the form of a podcast. The questions cover all sorts of topics, so it’s not just about relationships or marriage and family, but also about finances and friendships and personality issues. I always walk away from an episode having learned something, either about myself or the world.

Whew! There you have it. My favorite podcasts right now, broken down by category. Maybe I’ll revisit this post in another year to see how my podcast tastes have changed. :) If you’re a podcast listener, do you have any shows to add to my list? (Because I obviously need more shows to add to my list… haha)

TGIF (v. 16)


The high of my week was my mom coming home from her honeymoon! I was so, so, so happy to welcome her back after 9 days gone. She went on an 8-day cruise (yes, two cruises in one year! This lady lives the high life.) and had a good time, but Dutch and I missed her a ton. And I also appreciate not worrying about being murdered every night. There’s just something about being alone at night…!

The low of my week was being so sick. Ugh, I started to feel ill on Monday afternoon, but it wasn’t until Tuesday that I felt like I was coming down with… something. I ended up calling in sick to work on Wednesday, and it was actually nice because my mom was home so I got some good, ole Mom TLC. And, luckily, I scheduled one of my work from home days for the month for Thursday, otherwise I probably would have had to call in again, seeing as I got maybe four hours of broken sleep. I’m still not feeling 100%, and I am very glad for a short work day and a whole weekend to recuperate!

I’m currently reading two different books. First, I’m reading Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes, which has been an eye-opening experience for me thus far. I’m about halfway through and it’s very detailed and involved, but I’m hanging in there! The other book I’m reading is Room by Emma Donoghue, which I’m reading for the Book Riot reading challenge. I’ve been dreading reading this book because I know it’s a heavier type of book (at least for me), but that has seemed to be my theme of July reading thus far! I’m going to opt for much lighter novels in August. Gimme all the trashy romance!

A podcast episode I enjoyed was Judy Blume Forever by Stuff Mom Never Told You. Oh, this made my little reading heart go pitter-patter! Judy Blume was one of my favorite authors growing up and I loved learning more about her books, her personal life, and the censorship battles she went through.

The best money I spent this week was $17.50 to see Joe Machi perform stand-up at Side Splitters in Tampa. I followed his journey on Last Comic Standing last season and adored him. Dear God, he’s adorable. His stand-up was pretty funny and I was so glad I got a chance to meet him! I was totally geeking out!

My plans this weekend include looking at an apartment to rent this afternoon (we’re trying not to get our hopes up about this place, since the move-in costs and monthly rent are lower than average for South Tampa). The rest of the weekend will be spent recuperating and trying to get myself back to my normal healthy self!

What was the highlight of your week?

Why I’m Moving in with a Roommate

Originally, I had no plans to move in with someone. I wanted my own place where I didn’t have to share a single thing with anybody. In my head, this sounded fantastic. I wrote out a budget for myself and started doing a little apartment hunting to see if I could find something that met all of my needs.

But alas, here I am, a month or so away from finally moving out and instead of moving to my own place, I’m moving in with a roommate. At age 27. I think it’s around this point when people, if they’re single, decide to get out of the roommate rat race and into a place of their own. And yet… though I thought I wanted that for myself… I am supremely happy with my decision to live with a roommate.

Here’s why.

1. I don’t like living alone.

I like being alone. I like alone time. But I do not like living alone. It’s lonely. It’s confining. I get freaked out that someone is going to break into my apartment and murder me in my sleep. I just don’t feel safe living alone. I have a very active imagination, and even though I live in a gated, very safe apartment community right now, I still get freaked out at night when my mom’s away.

Don’t get me wrong – I do like those weekends when she’s away and I have the place to myself. It is nice. And I’ll definitely have that with Roomie because she travels a lot, visiting family and friends, and has a super active social life. So there will be many nights and weekends where I am alone.

But I just don’t think I want a 24/7 living alone arrangement. At least right now.

2. Rent ain’t cheap, yo!

First, I want to make it clear that I don’t live with my mom rent-free. I haven’t since I graduated college and started working at a “big girl” job. I’ve been contributing to our household bills for a very long time, and also have my own bills, like car insurance, phone, car loan, etc. Basically – I know how to live financially independent of my mom. Just because I live with her doesn’t mean I’m living off her. (I believe most of my family thinks this of me, so I just wanted to clear this up right here.)

So it’s really nice to be able to split my bills up. To not have the burden of rent or utilities on my own. When I started looking at one-bedroom apartments that fit my needs (i.e., safe community, pet friendly, washer/dryer included, etc.), I started to realize I would have to live at the top of my budget. So I was stressed about being able to afford living on my own. And stressed about having to forfeit some of my apartment needs to find a cheaper place.

Enter Roomie. With her, I can live in a place that meets my needs (and hers, of course!) and all the bills will be split down the middle. It relieved so much stress off my shoulders and, though our searching, we’ve been able to find places that are beautiful and updated, but also keep us at the lower end of our budget.

3. A roommate equals a built-in buddy.

Well, probably not always and probably not if you don’t get along with your roomie (as happened to me in college), but in a sense, having having a roommate means I’ll have someone to do stuff with. Living alone means I would have to really be diligent about reaching out to friends (something I need to be doing anyway, I know) to ensure I don’t spend entire weekends curled up at home, watching Netflix. Which, as mentioned in Monday’s blog post, is what I’m most wont to do. My roomie is definitely an extrovert and someone who thrives on a busy schedule, and living with her will force me to get out more and be more social. And it will be nice to have someone to come home to, in a sense. Someone to share dog duties with. Someone to cook with, watch TV with, be goofy with. I have that with my mom and it’s just so darn nice. It really is. I would really miss the built-in buddy part if I lived alone.

4. I’m moving in with one of my best friends – not a stranger or someone I barely know.

While all of the above points are true and big reasons that factored into me having a roommate, this point is the biggest factor. I am not sure I would have considered moving in with anyone else – in fact, having a roommate wasn’t even on my radar until I met Bri last June and formed a deep bond with her. We clicked instantly and even though we are very different in some ways, we are also so eerily similar. And she’s just so darn easy to be around. She makes me feel better, just by being around her. I’m so looking forward to having her bright spirit in my everyday life.

I would not have considered a roommate situation with a stranger or a casual acquaintance. I tried that once, and it ended up terribly, and I would never do it again. The main reason I am moving in with Bri is because I think living with her will be such a positive experience, because she is someone I know and love.

And, so, there you have it. Perhaps one day I will live alone, but it just doesn’t feel like the right time for me right now. I have fears about what these next few months will hold, but I also have a ton of excitement and anticipation. A roommate situation isn’t for everyone, but I think it can be a positive experience in the right circumstances and I’m willing to take the chance on that.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give for living with a roommate?