13 Podcasts I Love Listening To

For the last 4 years or so, I have loved listening to podcasts while I drive, cook, clean, paint… pretty much anything! I listen to podcasts just about every day. A while back, I shared 12 Podcasts I Love Listening To here on the blog. Now I’m sharing an update! Out of those original 12, I still regularly listen to 6. Some have ended, like Chris Love Julia and Surprisingly Awesome- but are still archived and great to go back and listen to! Others are still great, my interests just evolved and I wanted to refresh my podcast Library.

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FYI, not me. Although I wouldn’t mind having pretty highlights like this model for free stock photography …

Still Listening To…

  1. Shailey & Katie’s Lemonade Stand | Still one of my favorites after over 2 years of listening! They describe their podcast as “two creative business-owning moms who are laughing their way through parenthood”. THEY ARE HILARIOUS. They make me want to live in Missouri so I could wedge my way into their friendship!

  2. Happier with Gretchen Rubin | Still obsessed with Gretchen’s Four Tendencies framework (I’m a Questioner!) and listening to her and her sister Liz chat about happiness and good habits makes me miss my sister, who like Liz lives in LA! This podcast is always uplifting and refreshing.

  3. The Goal Digger Podcast | Jenna Kutcher is one of those “love her or hate her” types on social media, and that’s not by accident. Jenna teaches online marketing and believes as a personal brand, you need to be 100% authentic to yourself to “attract and repel”. Over the years she’s interviewed countless brilliant entrepreneurs, shared her infertility and body positivity journeys and most recently, welcomed her first daughter into the world!

  4. Being Boss | Kathleen and Emily are business bestie goals. They share smart business advice for creatives and I love the dose of “woo woo” they add to my podcast repertoire. I am all about manifesting your goals in life and business and learning from the methods and practices that have worked for other powerful female entrepreneurs!

  5. Young House Love Has a Podcast | John and Sherry’s podcast is just so much fun! They are a husband and wife blogging, renovating and podcasting duo. Most recently, they’ve been renovating not one, but 2 beach homes in Cape Charles, Virginia! I’ve learned so much from following them over the years and their podcast is a fun mix of interviews, fun game show style segments and updates on their home improvement adventures.

  6. 99% Invisible | This podcast is endlessly fascinating! The name 99% Invisible refers to all the “thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world”. Their topics cover categories from history, to city planning and infrastructure, to objects, sounds and technology. Just trust me, the title of an episode will probably be something you’ve never heard of but you’ll be sucked in within the first 5 minutes!

New Favorites…

  1. The Great Indoors | When I was pregnant, Anthony and I got really into The Great Interior Design Challenge and ahem…Anthony developed a bit of a crush on host Sophie Robinson. After he told me to follow her on Instagram, I found out she started an interior design podcast with Kate Watson-Smyth of Mad About the House. I love listening to them chat about all things home and design!

  2. The Little Chapters | This podcast is brand new, but I already love it! It’s all about intentional living and shares conversations between friends Jessica Rose Williams and Kayte Ferris on topics like mindset, lifestyle and creativity. If living life on your own terms is a personal goal of yours, you’ll love the perspectives shared on this podcast!

  3. The Misses Ambitious | I recently discovered this podcast after connecting with one of the hosts on Instagram and I love it! Kiley and Blaine share what they’ve learned about creativity and entrepreneurship in such a real and approachable way and have interviewed some amazing names in small business! This podcast is a new favorite, for sure!

  4. Behind the Scenes | If you watched Little People Big World, you’re probably familiar with Jeremy and Audrey Roloff. I actually haven’t had cable for the entire time their show was on but I started following Audrey on Instagram a few years ago. They are new parents and work together as husband-wife team on several different businesses and projects. (Sensing a theme here? I would love to work with Anthony some day, just have to convince him on the whole husband-wife team idea!) I like their perspective and how they let their faith lead their choices in life and business.

  5. Freedom-Cast: Leaving Normal Behind | This podcast is hosted by one of my dear childhood friends Miranda and her husband, Jordan. As a couple, they are all about dreaming big and living fearlessly and I love following their journey! Jordan is a writer and entrepreneur and Miranda recently quit her 9-5 job so they could make a big leap.. They are currently in Thailand for 2 months to explore the digital nomad lifestyle. These two are so inspiring! You can follow more of their Thailand adventure on Miranda’s Instagram here.

  6. Sexy Soulful Success with Emily Cassel | Emily is a fellow Chatham University alumna and I worked with her when she first started her life coaching business 5 years ago! This woman changed my life forever and she is ON FIRE with ambition, wisdom and passion for leading through sisterhood. Her podcast is so motivating and uplifting for women who want more out of their life, relationships and business.

  7. Babes & Babies | I can’t be the only one who has a love/hate relationship with The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and all it’s various spinoffs. This podcast is hosted by three Bachelor alum, two of which are married (to husbands they met on Bachelor in Paradise!) with babies of their own. The host that isn’t mom yet is actually a practicing doula and they don’t actually talk about the show that much! The dive into all types of women’s issues, pregnancy, motherhood and more. Tuning into their show feels exactly like catching up with your best girl friends and it’s a nice addition to my podcast rotation!

What podcasts do you love listening to? Share in the comments below or join the conversation on Instagram.

DIY Laundry Detergent

Shortly after our daughter was born, I decided to try making my own homemade laundry detergent. I realized how much more laundry I would be doing with a new baby (especially once we started cloth diapering!) and was intrigued by the idea of saving money and also just using one type of detergent for the whole family instead of shelling out for fancy baby detergent. Well? That first batch lasted me SIX MONTHS and cost less than $25 to make. I just made my second batch this weekend and figured I’d share how I make it for anyone else out there who’d like to try it!

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Ingredients

1 Box of Borax

1 Box of Washing Soda

3 Bars of Fels-Naptha

1 Container of OxiClean - optional

Some people make their homemade laundry soap without the OxiClean to keep it more natural, but I wanted the extra stain fighting boost since I’m washing cloth diapers and Anthony’s dirty work clothes. Making the detergent powder is simple enough! The hardest part is grating the Fels-Naptha bars. I use a fine cheese grater because the smaller pieces dissolve better in the wash. It takes some time and muscle, but I don’t mind since I only have to do it once every six months! You just pour all of the ingredients into the container you plan to store it in. Stir or shake the mixture until evenly distributed and you’re done!

I store mine in a 2 gallon glass jar and it lasts me 6 months. I’ve heard it recommended to use anywhere from 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of powdered detergent. I just use 1/4 cup every time, but you could experiment with using less to see how long a batch will last you! I’ve also read that it’s best to use warm or hot water with powdered detergents. I usually wash our laundry on warm with a cold rinse.

Another tip: You might have to do a little looking, but all the ingredients should be available in the laundry aisle of your local grocery store. For my fellow York County folks, I found that my closest Giant doesn’t carry the washing soda but the Weis across the street has everything you need to make this. I have seen the washing soda at other Giant stores around town though.

Have you ever made your own laundry detergent? Do you use the same ingredients I do, or have you had better luck with others?

I’d love to know what works for you! Comment below or join the conversation on Instagram!

My Word of the Year & Tips for Choosing Yours

This is the third year I’ve chosen a word to summarize my goals for the new year. At this point, I have developed a method for choosing a word so I wanted to share a little more about mine and also share my tips for how to choose a word of the year for yourself. I first heard about this idea on one of my favorite podcasts, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. In 2017, my word was “Steadfast”. In 2018, as I was approaching new motherhood, I chose the words “Growth & Grace”. For 2019, I didn’t have to think long for the word to come to me:

B L O O M

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Learning to be “Steadfast” meant finding alignment and cultivating a spirit of preparedness and follow through. My year of “Growth & Grace” was about devoting myself to improvement but only in the areas that were most important to me. Not hustling for the sake of appearances or glorifying being “busy” but growing deeper into my values while giving myself space to make mistakes and change my mind in the midst of challenging transitions. I’m dedicating my 2019 to learning how and creating space to “Bloom”.

Over these years, I’ve been dedicated to cutting out what isn’t working in my home, business and life, developing systems, simplifying wherever possible and planting the seeds for what the best version of these things can be. In 2016, I essentially blew up my life (in a good way!) by leaving my full-time job to work for myself and this year feels a bit like that energy is coming full circle. Before you get worried, I’m not envisioning any huge changes like quitting a job or starting a new business this year!

I’ve told Anthony many times that I feel like I’ve been waiting for this season of life for as long as I can remember. I was kind of an odd kid and teenager. I was definitely the “mom” of our friend group, making birthday cakes for everyone at our lunch table and giving out life and relationship advice like it was my job. I thought I was so wise as a 17 year old… but I didn’t feel like I fit in with other people my age. I thought college would be where things finally clicked for me. I found amazing lifelong friends at my small women’s college and felt more at home than I ever had before, but I still felt like things weren’t quite right. Even in the early days of our marriage, I felt like I was always looking for the next thing and never content with where I was.

The day our daughter was born, that feeling completely disappeared for me. Not once since that day have I wished time away or wanted to be anywhere else. For the first time, I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in life and all I want to do is give my best to this season. I feel so grateful for everything I have and everyone I hold dear and I want to do them justice. I am feeling called to step into my full potential as a wife, mother, entrepreneur, friend, interior designer and homemaker. To fully bloom.


Tips for Choosing a Word of the Year

First and foremost, my advice is to listen to your intuition. If there’s a word that pops into your head immediately, that’s probably your inner self guiding you towards what you need most. There are a few things I do around the end of one year and the start of a new one that also help to guide me in setting intentions for what I want to work on in the coming months.

  1. Make a list of accomplishments from the past year. | First, I write a list of every victory from the past year - big and small. Things that I took and active role in achieving but also positive things that happened to me and my family by luck, fate or divine intervention - however you want to view it! It’s sometimes easy to dwell on the hard stuff and forget all the good things that happen to us. This exercise alone is so helpful in remembering the progress I’ve made and having a positive view of the year gone by. I love looking back on this list from years past and remembering all the ways life has been good to us.

  2. Make a list of things that didn’t go so well and - most importantly - how to fix it. | I always want to focus on the positive but that doesn’t mean I ignore the negative. I try to view every challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow, so this list is usually pretty short but at the same time, the few things on it can feel pretty heavy. My goal is to not write the same things in this list next year that I wrote this year, so I also think of an action plan. Taking steps to fix whatever didn’t go well may look like letting go of that thing or my expectations around it, seeking help from a friend, coach or therapist or most likely a combination of those things. Just a reminder that if you’re struggling with something, don’t be afraid to ask for help! I’ve worked with both a therapist and a life coach in the past and both helped me immensely in becoming a happier, brighter version of myself.

  3. Ask yourself what you want most for the coming year. | The last list I make is a list of what I want to achieve in the coming year. This is a little bit different than a list of resolutions to me because it’s based more on feelings I want to bring into my life than just a list of to-do’s. I think about my deepest desires and just start writing a bullet list. I try to keep this to one page because I want to focus on just my top priorities for the year ahead and not overcrowd my mind with things that don’t aren’t as meaningful to me. From this list, I start thinking about themes or common threads that could tie these things together.

  4. Listen to your intuition. | At this point, I’m guessing that a word or several words will have popped up for you that could be potential words of the year. If you are having trouble choosing, I recommend taking even just 5-10 minutes to meditate or journal about your thoughts on each word. What holds the most meaning for you? What captures your goals for the year in the fullest and simplest way? Don’t overthink this too much. Listen to the nudges your inner self is giving you and trust it.

Now, once you’ve chosen a word for your 2019, come back and tell me what it is! I would love to hear if these tips were helpful for you. Comment below or join the conversation on Instagram.

My 9 Favorite Dutch Oven Recipes

I wouldn’t say recipes have ever been a big topic on this blog. But I tend to write about interior design and whatever home-related topics are capturing my interest at the present moment. And right now, home cooking is a big one. In line with the values I shared in my post on intentional living , I’ve been focusing on learning to cook more with whole foods from scratch. Anthony got me this dutch oven (affiliate) for Christmas last year and it’s become my favorite thing to cook with, although just about any of these recipes can be made in a stock pot too.

Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

We don’t have any particular diet we follow, more just everything in moderation. We are trying to eat less meat, so I’ve been making a lot of vegetarian meals lately. Not all of these recipes would be considered “healthy” but in general they make healthier substitutions (like greek yogurt instead of cream, etc.). I don’t worry too much because portion control is more important and sustainable for me than eating just steamed vegetables and chicken breast all the time. But I will say I’ve lost a significant amount of weight in the last couple of years and I attribute that to changing my lifestyle to cooking more nutritious meals at home instead of eating out and eating smaller portions. So whether you are trying to be healthier, save money by cooking at home or live more sustainably by eating less meat, I wanted to share some of our favorite recipes that I find myself making again and again.

Our 9 Favorite (Mostly Vegetarian) Dutch Oven Recipes

click any of the images above to go to the recipe page!

Italian Orzo Spinach Soup: This soup is so yummy and easy to make. If you use vegetable stock instead of chicken broth, it’s' vegan too! If you want to add more protein, this would be great with rotisserie chicken.

Potato Soup: This is a great recipe to have on hand when you haven’t been to the grocery store in a while and need to make dinner appear out of the dregs left in your pantry. Or you can fancy it up with bacon or ham or any of your favorite baked potato toppings for loaded potato soup.

Split Pea Soup: I’ve always loved Split Pea Soup but I didn’t realize until now just how simple and easy it is to make. You can make it with or without ham. Next time, I think I’ll try substituting potatoes for the ham to make it vegetarian but still add some texture.

Red Lentil Masala: My favorite thing about this whole vegetarian kick we’re on? I’ve been learning to make Indian food! I love the flavors of garam masala, so it’s been well worth investing in a bottle.

Chickpea & Sweet Potato Curry: The author of this recipe describes it as a fusion of Indian and West African cuisine, but it has a lot of the same ingredients and methods of the other curry recipes I’ve been making. It’s vegan and delicious!

Indian Butter Chicken: If you only make one recipe from this list, let it be this scrumptious butter chicken. The author of this recipe was the first one to tip me off to the fact that when Indian recipes call for chili powder, they mean cayenne pepper, not what we call chili powder here in America. I don’t like things too spicy so I reduce it to 1/8 tsp of cayenne and it’s the perfect amount of flavorful but not too fiery.

Orecchiette Pasta Primavera: Ok, this is another top contender! This is a one pan pasta dish and the trick is cooking the orecchiette in broth along with the sauteed veggies instead of water. So much flavor without any sauce! This is a great technique to use with any pasta and any veggies you have on hand.

Sunday Pot Roast: What’s a round up of dutch oven recipes without traditional beef pot roast? I don’t make this very often but when I do, Anthony is one happy camper.

Tomato Soup: Tomato Soup is another thing I didn’t realize was so easy to make, especially if you have an immersion blender! (affiliate) I like to caramelize my onions first to give it the soup even more flavor.

And what goes better with soups, stews and curries than bread? I got really into cooking yeast bread while I was pregnant with Sage but since she’s been born, I’ve mostly stuck with this delicious beer bread. It’s so quick to whip up and is DELICIOUS. For Indian recipes, I’ve experimented a bit with making chapatis and naan but I’ve had the best luck with this simple flatbread recipe. It takes some time and practice to make, but is so so yummy!

click the images above to get the recipes!

If you’re interested in more recipes, you can find my favorites on my HOMEMAKING : recipes board on Pinterest! Do you have any favorite Dutch Oven recipes to share? Comment below with the link, I love trying new recipes!