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Welcome to the first edition of “Stuff I Love” a monthly series where I share with you all the things I am loving this month! This series is inspired by Dusty from All Things G & D and her All Things Loved posts. I love reading other bloggers’ lists of favorites, so here is Momma To Go’s September Stuff I Love.
I’m in a major Jill Kargman phase right now. I tend to do that. Find an author I love and devour everything they have written. With Jill, the combo of just finishing season two of Odd Mom Out, myself deciding to become a writer, and meeting her at a book signing has lead to a serious author crush over here.
First of all, Jill Kargman is the creator of the Bravo show, Odd Mom Out – which is freakin’ hilarious. This a fictional, scripted series based (I’m sure) heavily on Jill Kargman’s actual Manhattan life. Jill Weber, the character Kargman plays on the show, is totally off-the wall, but so relatable. She prides herself on being a unique, free-spirited and rockstar-esque mom, all while living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and dealing with her very rich, seemingly very perfect, mom-peers. Her sister-in-law, played by Abby Elliot (Chris Elliot’s daughter!) is a the queen-bee in the mom circle and can drop some funny one-liners. Watching this show makes you feel like you are hanging out with your own girlfriends and wacky family. The humor is modern and witty- kinda like what I aspire to be.
I do not watch much TV, but I love this show. If you have been living under a rock for the past two summers, you must stop and go watch Odd Mom Out! You can get it on Bravo On Demand or you can purchase the first season and second season on Amazon!
Now having devoured every minute of each Odd Mom Out episode, and sad that season 2 ended, I did what any stalker-ish fan would do –I googled Jill Kargman and was surprised to find that she actually wrote two books that I have already read and loved, Momzillas and ex-Mrs. Hedgefund. She has authored a few other novels, non-fiction memoirs and even a children’s book. So I picked up Rock Star in Seat 3A (fiction) and read it in less than 24 hours. Rock Star was a quick read and a fun story. One day I tweeted a pic of Rock Star in my #morningcoffee twitter post, tagging @JillKargman, and she LIKED MY TWEET. Seriously.
This month I also attended her Long Island book signing at the mall near my parents’ house. She was there promoting her newest non-fiction, Sprinkle Glitter on my Grave, and it was very cool to meet her. She seemed genuinely interested in meeting and talking with her fans. The ladies in front of me were super nosy and she answered all their inappropriate questions, and I of course took a step in closer to hear the answers! I did kinda freeze when it was my turn, I really regret not asking her about her early days of writing, but I did take this fabulous selfie with Jill. And by fabulous I mean Jill looks fabulous. I look like I should be loving me some Botox in a future Stuff I Love post.
I read Sprinkle in like two sittings. Its a collection of essays on various topics highlighting anecdotes from her life and childhood. It was hilarious, edgy and honestly a bit over the top! She does not censor her ideas and I admire that. I’m a big fan, and it is beyond inspiring to see a women staying true to her awesome self, being a successful author, making people laugh and sharing her story.
My Brother P-touch Label Maker
So a September post would not be complete without a favorite back to school item. Tonight I was printing a name label for my daughter’s binder (seriously she is in Kindergarten not sure why she needs a binder) but anyway, I literally thought to myself “how does anyone live without one of these bad boys?”
I’ve had this Brother P-touch label maker for three years and it’s so easy to use and prints really professional, fancy labels. I think I’ve only had to buy replacement tape once (which you can easily order on Amazon), so this little label maker offers a cheap way to make great labels. I always thought label makers would be so expensive, but this one is less than $17! I honestly use this daily and could not live without it.
I was like one of the first people to get a Fitbit Flex back in 2013. For two years I wore it on and off (for various reasons) but now that I have more time to myself, I am really getting into using it.
A Fitbit is wearable technology that tracks your steps- like a pedometer. The fancier Fitbit models are considered “activity trackers” and monitor other stats such as heart rate and floors climbed. The Blaze even looks like a rival to the Apple Watch. The one I have, the Flex, is a rubbery bracelet with a tracker inside. The bracelet part is just to hold the tracker and you can buy inexpensive interchangeable bands to mix up the colors. I have had to replace my original band with these, and I’m thinking about buying the patterned ones next.
Basically you wear the device all day and then you sync it with your phone and the Fitbit app (through your bluetooth) to check your stats. You set a daily goal (mine is 10,000) and the device on your arm shakes and buzzes when you hit that number, which is super fun.
This technology is not overly complex, even my parents have Fitbits! It also tracks your sleep – which gives you some interesting insight into how restless you are, how many hours you are sleeping and how often you are getting up in the night. I am equally horrified but curious to think about the data if I had a Fitbit during the first year of each of my kid’s lives. Proof that I really got no sleep!
I know my fitness level, and I do use Run Keeper to log the length of my runs, but why does the Fitbit motivates me so much? Well there is also a social component to Fitbit!
Good ol’ competition.
You can “friend” other fitbit-ers and compete against them for the highest 7-day step total. And I am not afraid to admit, getting ahead of certain family members may have motivated me on more than one occasion…
I thought about upgrading to a Charge (and maybe I’ll ask for one as a Christmas gift) but the Flex is a good price and I actually kind of like not having so much data on my arm. You can only see your steps and mileage when you sync with the phone, so I am not constantly checking my wrist.
So I am step-competing against my 60 and 70 year old relatives who smoke my butt week after week, but its all good! Wearing it motivates me to move more and now that I am training for an October half-marathon, I’m curious to see how high my step count will go (my highest day ever was 24,505 on a day I had an 8 mile training run).
PS Send me an email if you want to be one of my fitbit friends!
Okay, so here is where I full out admit I am not always on the forefront of what is cool and hip. I recently started listening to the first season of the Serial Podcast. I listen while biking, running or walking. This is also my first adventure into podcasts! And honestly, its mainly because after 5 years of being a devoted free Pandora listener, I couldn’t deal with hearing the same ten songs over and over.
First timer or not, this podcast is great. If you have not listened to this series yet, go now… I’ll wait… But seriously its addicting. Season 1 lays out the story of the 1999 murder of Baltimore teenager Hae Min Lee. Her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was convicted of the murder and has been locked up for 17 years. The 12 episodes explores the inconsistencies and holes in his case. Through interviews with Adnan and other key witnesses, the narrator, Sara Koenig, goes through every angle of this crime. Its fascinating stuff, a real-life Law & Order.
The second season, which I am midway through, tells the story of an army soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, who in 2009 walked off his camp in Afghanistan in protest of its poor leadership. He was then captured by the Taliban and spent 5 years as their prisoner. The anecdotes from his time in captivity I find fascinating and the narrator digs through tons of testimony to try to figure out how and why this capture all went down.
Since I am listening to my phone about an hour a day while exercising (and closer to two hours as my half-marathon approaches), I would love to get your recommendations for other interesting podcasts. I am also trying to figure out what is the best way to listen to them on long runs. I don’t want to have to stop and change to another episode. Is there like a podcast playlist?
What stuff did you love this September?
Quick Link to ALL Stuff I Love posts: HERE