My Favorite Clothes to Hike In

Hello friends!

Last month I shared my four favorite day hikes in Colorado so today I thought I’d share what I wear when I hike. How you dress is a huge part of staying comfortable and safe while hiking. In general, I like to make sure that my base layer is something that will be comfortable if it gets wet and dry quickly. No matter how long your hike is or where you are going you will also want to pack a jacket or sweater for warmth and a waterproof layer. Currently, I use this rain jacket, but I also always have a rain poncho with me which you can get for a couple of dollars and can be reused if you are careful. For my warmth layer, I use a quarter zip pullover from Nike that I received as a gift for years, when it wears out I will probably replace it with something like this Smartwool baselayer (sized up so I can wear it as a sweater) or this Patagonia sweater.

 

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This look is pretty similar to what I usually wear for day hikes especially when the weather is warm. United by Blue makes the cutest organic cotton graphic tees and these shorts are so comfortable.

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I’ve had these Merrell hiking shoes for about two years and they are amazing. I have hiked 10+ miles in these with no blisters and in way less pain than when I was hiking in just tennis shoes.

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Tshirt United by Blue, Shorts Under Armour layered over these shorts, Sports Bra Under Armour (similar), Shoes Merrell, Socks Smartwool

Do you like to hike? What are your go-to clothing pieces to stay safe and comfortable on the trail? Tell me in the comments!

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

Colorado Summer Bucket List

June is here which means summer is coming fast! Most summers feel like they fly by and when the school year hits I feel like I didn’t fit in everything I want. To help keep that from happening I put together a summer bucket list. Some of this list is of activities that I want to do this summer and some of it is of activities that anyone should definitely do at least once if they are in Colorado during the summer time.

(1) Visit Rock Ledge Ranch

Rock Ledge Ranch is a living history site located right by the main entrance of Garden of the Gods. While visiting you can experience life in the Pikes Peak region with the Ute Indians, on a homestead, on a working ranch, and on the country estate of General William J. Palmer’s sister in law. The 4th of July is a really fun time to visit but going on a weekday will give you more time to explore the houses. The park is open Wednesday-Saturday from 10am-5pm and admission is $8 for adults.

(2) Visit the Denver Art Museum

I visited the Denver Art Museum a few years ago and they had a really cool textile exhibit that was under construction at the time. I’d love to go back and check it out. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 with a student id

(3) Visit the Denver Botanic Gardens

The Denver Botanic Gardens has multiple locations but the York street gardens in Denver have a succulent garden and a rose garden that I love to visit. Tickets are $12.50 for adults and $9 with a student id.

(4) Hike in Rocky Mountain National Park

I don’t stop talking about Rocky Mountain National Park so I’ll just link to two of the posts about my favorite hikes there. 4 of my Favorite Day Hikes in Colorado, Colorado Travel Guide: Rocky Mountain National Park. A day pass is $20 for a car.

(5) Hike a fourteener

Colorado has over 40 14,000 ft mountains! Read these two posts before you go and if you don’t feel ready to hike one, you can still visit the summit of Pikes Peak by driving up the Pikes Peak HighwayHiking Pikes Peak: My First Fourteener!, Five Things to Know Before You Go Hiking To drive the highway it is $15 for adults or $50 with a car of 5 or more people.

(6) Go camping

You can camp in Rocky Mountain National Park which makes number 4 more convenient. I also love camping near Glenwood Springs or in Eleven mile canyon.

(7) Go hammocking

Swinging in a hammock is one of the most relaxing things ever. I have this ENO and you will probably want straps as well.

(8) Cycle Glenwood canyon

The River trail goes through Glenwood Canyon along the Colorado River but make sure you go in July or later because the river floods the trail during spring run-off season. The Rio Grande trail goes between Glenwood Springs and Aspen.

(9) Go tubing in the South Platte River

This is another thing you should probably do later in the summer because the rivers in Colorado are COLD early in the season but if you pick a warm day tubing down the river is a blast!

(10) Hike the incline

One mile of old railroad ties that start in Manitou Springs, CO and climb almost 2000 feet in elevation. Olympic athletes and amateurs alike love this hike. I’ve done it once and once was enough.

Have you done any of these things? What would you add to this list?

Also, did y’all know that I have an email list? That’s right! If you want access to exclusive content (including my weekly favorites starting next Wednesday!) plus a free pdf version of this list sign up here!

~Maizy

She is Priceless

According to Sheryl WuDunn in her book Half the Sky, there are an estimated 107 million missing girls and women in the world. 107 million women who should be present and identifiable in the population but are not. 107 million babies who were killed in the womb or abandoned after birth, 107 million children who were married off way to young, 107 million adults who were trafficked or murdered.

I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe that every person is created by God with value and that that is very clear in the Bible.

Genesis 1:27 says “God created man (meaning mankind) in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

And in Psalm 139:13-14 King David of Israel says “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works and that my soul knows very well.”

From the story of Hagar, to Esther and Ruth, to Mary, and the woman at the well, and Mary Magdalene God shows how He loves women and that He values them enough to use them in His plan of redemption for the world. Despite that for all of history women have been marginalized, abused, treated as property, and told that they were less valuable, capable, and intelligent than men.

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That is why I love the work that Mercy House is doing in Kenya. They are providing a safe home, medical care, counseling, and education to young mothers in dangerous situations and loving on their babies.

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That’s why when Elizabeth, the young woman I sponsor through Compassion wrote me a letter and told me that she had graduated from secondary school and would be attending college soon, I almost cried. I was more excited for her than I was when I graduated. (Also, we’re both business majors and I’m super excited about that too)

Women are priceless and when they are empowered to reach their potential they have the ability to transform the world.

At this point you might be asking yourself “what can I do?” and I strongly encourage you to find a way to lift up the women in your life and community. That might mean encouraging a high school girl in your church and letting her know you see her hard work and potential, saying thank you to your mom or another woman in your life. It could also mean donating a few hours of your time volunteering at your local women’s shelter or pregnancy crisis center.

Want to take it a step further? Sponsor a girl or woman in poverty. I love Compassion International because they work through the local church and empower people to care for children in their own communities. I also love that you are able to write letters and build a relationship with the child you sponsor. Other organizations that offer sponsorship are Indigenous Ministries, who work with refugees in Iraq and Mercy House who offer the opportunity to sponsor a woman in their transition home in Kenya.

Another option? Buy fairtrade products. Women in poverty don’t want a handout, they want a job. When you buy a product that was made by a woman rising out of poverty the empowerment you are supporting is incredible. This rug and these bracelets are made by the Grandmas of the Mercy House babies, enabling all of them to move out of the slum into clean, safe homes, send their other kids to school, and even in some cases bring kids home from indentured servitude.

 

DIY Cold Brew

Happy Friday! I usually do a fashion post on Fridays. However, because the Rana Plaza anniversary fell at the beginning of the week I decided to switch my posts and today I’m sharing how to make your own cold brew coffee.

Some of you might have tried cold brew from Starbucks or another coffee shop and you might not have realized that it’s actually really easy to make yourself. It is super easy to make with supplies you probably have at home and is a great zero-waste and time-saving coffee option.

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To start you need a jar with a lid, (I use a half-gallon canning jar but you definitely don’t have to make that much) and ground coffee. If you aren’t grinding your own coffee you don’t need to worry about this but if you are, set the grinder to the coarsest setting.

Using a 1-to-8 ratio, add your coffee grounds and water. You can use warm water (not hot!!) to make it brew faster but I just use lukewarm tap water.

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Put your jar in the fridge for at least 48 hours.

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When you are satisfied that your coffee has brewed long enough pull it out of the fridge to filter the coffee grounds out. You will need some kind of bowl, it’s easiest if it has a pour spout; and a filter, I usually just use a wire strainer like in the picture but this time I decided to try to use a paper coffee filter like for drip coffee. The paper filter ended up taking way longer but it filtered the coffee much more thoroughly.

Pour the coffee over the filter into the bowl. Dump the coffee grounds into another bowl to compost them. Pour the coffee back over the filter into the clean jar. Repeat that process one more time or until you don’t get any more coffee grounds in your filter. If you use the paper filter I recommend that you wait until the last time you filter it because it does take a while.

Make sure you end up with all the coffee back in the jar, pour yourself a glass, add your favorite milk/creamer/flavoring and enjoy!

Do you like cold brew coffee? Have you ever made it before? Tell me in the comments!

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

The Five Year Anniversary of Rana Plaza and 3 Ways You can Fight Fast Fashion

5 years ago, on April 24, 2013 1,138 people died and 2500 people were injured in the Rana Plaza building collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The building was structurally unsound and the retail and office space on the lower floors were evacuated months before the collapse leaving only factory workers producing garments for the fast fashion industry. Between 1960 and 2015 the US went from producing 95% of our clothing to 5% of our clothing and outsourcing to developing countries where wages are low and regulations are suggestions at best. The result has been an industry which, in the words of Orsola de Castro in the film The True Cost, “is moving ruthlessly towards a way of producing which only really looks after big business interest.” On the fifth anniversary of the deadliest fashion disaster in history, let’s take a look at why fast fashion is so bad and some easy ways to go back to a fashion culture that honors both the people who wear the clothes and the people who make them.

Fast fashion has its roots in the globalization of supply chains. The cost of living in developing countries is significantly lower than it is in countries like the U.S. and the U.K. and so companies moved production to countries where wages were lower and they could make their products more cheaply. The problem is that once prices began dropping, the pressure for them to keep dropping only grew. Adjusted for inflation, clothes cost less now than they did 30 years ago. According to minimumwage.org, minimum wage in Bangladesh, the largest exporter of clothing in the world is 5,300 Taka or $63.86 USD per month. The global poverty line is $1.90 per day or roughly $57 per month but I have yet to find a place in the US where it is possible to pay rent and buy groceries on less than $100 per month let alone afford transportation, healthcare, and other essentials. If we look farther down the supply chain, leather production is extremely toxic and is notorious for using slave labor. The region in India where most of their cotton is grown is also known as the suicide belt. It is very difficult for organic cotton farmers to compete with conventional cotton farming, their yields are much smaller in comparison to the amount of land they need but it is very expensive to buy GMO cotton seed, fertilizer, and pesticide, so farmers often have to go deeply into debt for their initial investment. A bad year or two, a medical emergency or a wedding in the family and often farmers are forced to choose between slavery or suicide. In addition, the chemicals involved in conventional cotton farming are being linked to birth defects and brain cancer in the people exposed to them.

The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, after the oil industry. Lead based dyes, toxic pesticides and fertilizers, and plastic are pumped into our water and atmosphere every day. Polyester, spandex, and other synthetic fibers shed microscopic plastic particles every time you wash them, in fact according to a study published by Orb Media, 94% of American tap water is contaminated with plastic particles which at best will never break down and clutter our world and at worst leach hormone disrupting and cancer-causing chemicals.

So what can you do? The plastic is already in your water and fair-trade clothes are too expensive. It’s probably best to just give up.

NOOO!!!

You can make a difference, and fashion is not a lost cause. I’m a college student who has been slowly transitioning from fast fashion to slow fashion for about two years and it’s not easy, it’s definitely less convenient than just shopping the way everyone else does, but it’s also not impossible so here are three easy steps to quitting fast fashion today.

1 Stop buying new stuff unless you absolutely need it.

I love shopping, it’s enjoyable to browse the racks, try on clothes, and it’s so exciting when you score a great deal on something you love. But instead of mindlessly or impulsively shopping, buy things intentionally that will actually add value to your life and style. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to wear a piece with more than half of the clothes you already own and you should be able to foreseeably wear the piece 30 times before you are done with it.

2 Thrift

If possible, when you do buy “new” clothes try to find them used. I’ve talked about how much I love *ThredUP, local consignment stores are also a great place to look and if you are into sewing, lots of indie fabric stores like Indiesew.com offer deadstock fabric that has been purchased by brands and then discarded.

3 Invest in quality.

Paying more upfront for clothes that will last will actually save you money in the long term. I have a pair of jeans that were handed down to me by my sister. I’m not sure how old they are but I’ve had them for about three years, they were probably about $70 originally. They’ve faded a bit but the fabric is still in great shape and I’ll be able to keep wearing them for years to come. I have another pair of jeans that I bought for $30 and they lasted 6 months before they were too stretched out to wear. Timeless styles, ethical manufacturing, and good quality are worth the investment and are way cheaper over time.

What are your thoughts on the fashion industry? Are you inspired to start making the switch to slow fashion? Tell me in the comments!

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

 

 

 

Fashion Friday: Jean Jacket Dressed Up and Down

Happy Friday! I don’t know about you but I am SO ready for the weekend.

Colorado is in that awkward stage of weather where its not warm enough yet to go out in short sleeves but you start sweating in a jacket. Because of this weird in-between weather, the perfect layering piece for spring is a jean jacket. It doesn’t add a lot of warmth but you still get something between you and the chilly air.

Today I’m showing two ways to wear a jean jacket for spring. One dressed down that I think is a perfect brunch look, or if you want to look extra cute for class, and another look that I think would be perfect for a girls night out.

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For a more casual look I paired the jacket with distressed denim, a white lace-up tshirt and birkenstock sandals.

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For a dressier look, I started with this faux-wrap skirt and a black and white striped mock neck top. I added some cute booties, and threw the jacket over my shoulders.

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My jacket is thrifted but I have been absolutely in love with this jacket from FashionAble.

 

What’s your go-to layering piece for spring? Tell me in the comments!

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

4 of my Favorite Day Hikes in Colorado

The trees are starting to leaf out, crocuses and daffodils are blooming, and the weather is alternating between freezing temperatures and 65 and sunny which can only mean that spring has arrived in Colorado. With the changing seasons comes a desire to get into the mountains and go hiking. To help me stay patient and focused on class, I’ve compiled a list of 4 awesome day hikes in Colorado that I love to do and will definitely be on my docket this summer. These hikes are spread out over Colorado and are a great way to spend a few hours.

1 Finch Lake

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Located in the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National park, this is a gorgeous hike through pine forest and the occasional grove of aspens ending with beautiful views of finch lake. The trail is 4.2 miles one way and another 2 miles takes you pear lake. This hike is moderate to difficult with the hardest section being a steep hill close to the trailhead.

2 Wild Basin

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Wild Basin is a 6.3-mile one-way out and back trail punctuated by beautiful waterfalls and ending at a lake. Wild Basin is my all-time favorite area to hike. The area is interlaced with dozens of rivers and all of the moisture causes it to explode with lush greenery and wildflowers. This trail is moderate to difficult but the waterfalls are spaced out really well for hikers to take breaks

3 Pancake Rocks and Horsethief Falls

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Pancake rocks is an approximately 6 mile out and back trail that starts between Divide and Cripple Creek on Highway 67. Horsethief falls is approximately two miles. Both trails are gorgeous hikes through Pike National Forest but pancake rocks is a much more difficult trail that ends with beautiful views of Cripple Creek surrounded by the most incredible rock formations that look exactly like stacked pancakes! Horsethief falls is a gentler hike that ends at a waterfall.

4 Wheeler National Recreation Trail

 

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Quandary Peak from the Wheeler trailhead

 

The wheeler trail is a through hiking trail that starts near the Quandary Peak trailhead. The first two miles you climb to the top of a bluff, hike along it, and then climb back down. The top of the bluff burned in a wildfire at some point and has recovered enough that it has beautiful grass and wildflowers and young spruce and pine trees. The wheeler trial is also an alternate route to get to the Mohawk Lakes trail if you don’t have a vehicle that can handle the road to Mohawk Lakes.

Planning a hiking trip this summer? You might want to check out my post Five Things to Know Before You Go Hiking it’s full of useful tips to make your hiking trip safer and more enjoyable!

Have you hiked any of these trails? Tell me about it in the comments!

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

 

Colorado Travel Guide: Steamboat Springs

Hello and welcome back to the Colorado Travel Guide. This is a series I’ve done fairly frequently in the past but it hasn’t appeared in a while. There is no particular order to these posts, it’s just a place for me to walk you through all of the shops, restaurants, hikes, and sights that I love in my favorite state.

For spring break this year my family decided that we were finally going to make the drive up to the northwest corner of the state and visit Steamboat Springs and Dinosaur National Monument. I’m a pretty big national park fan and I realized on this trip that Dinosaur was the last major national park/monument for me to visit in Colorado. There are a couple of smaller sites left but I was pretty excited when I realized that.

The main visitor center of Dinosaur National Monument is two hours west of Steamboat Springs in Jensen, Utah. There is also an entrance in Dinosaur, Colorado. If it’s your first time visiting I recommend going to the Jensen entrance but I would like to eventually go back and get more hiking in on the Colorado side of the park. Hands down the coolest part of the park was the Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall. You get to touch real fossils that are still embedded in the actual rock. My niece adores dinosaurs and wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up and I kept wishing that she was there the whole time because she would have loved it.

The most common reason for people to visit Steamboat is the skiing, the second most common reason is the hot springs. Old Town Hot Springs is right on the edge of downtown. It was so cool sitting in the warm water and watching the snow fall. The only problem was that I forgot to pack my contacts on the trip and the steam made it so I couldn’t see through my glasses.

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Steamboat Springs had a really cool art culture. There were galleries everywhere. The art museum is free to the public and had beautiful oil paintings and sculptures by artists from Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. The Eleanor Bliss Center for the Arts looked really cool but when we got there they were packing up the most recent display. There was a really cute dog running around though.

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I didn’t get any pictures but the first night we were there we ate dinner at Vaqueros, a Mexican restaurant. The food wasn’t exceptional but the atmosphere reminded me of a Robert Louis Stevenson book. Kind of dark with lots of wood and brick, like the characters of Treasure Island were probably somewhere in the back. Aaaand that’s how you know I was homeschooled. LOL.

The food I DID really enjoy was from Steamboat Smokehouse. I love barbeque and the ice cream shop on the other side of the building had amazing pomegranate sorbet.

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I always have to visit the bookstore in any new town and Off the Beaten Path Bookstore was amazing. I love bookstores in old houses; it’s so fun to find little corners and just get lost in a book. I found a practically brand-new autographed copy of Everyone Brave is Forgiven in the used books section for half-off and I’m still a little giddy.
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The bookstore was also a coffee shop and the latte names were are either book titles or literary characters and it was super adorable.

Some of the other cute shops we visited were All That, which had a cool vintage vinyl selection, and Ohana which had a surprisingly surfer vibe for a Colorado town.

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Have you visited Steamboat Springs? What were your favorite places? Tell me in the comments!

Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

Photography Fun and My Obsession with ThredUP

Happy Friday Y’all!

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Moriah and I went on a bit of a photography adventure. We started in Manitou Springs and just took photos of whatever caught our fancy and then moved to Michael’s and Whole Food’s to test our creativity and see how many cool photos we could take in unconventional settings. It was so much fun and inspired me to see art in unexpected places

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smelling the fake flowers
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When you go grocery shopping at the end of a long day.
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I was very distracted by the espresso grinder at Whole Foods.
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That is still the fanciest bottle of lemonade I’ve ever seen.
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I’m kind of in love with little free libraries, they’re just so fun.

I realized while going through these photos that almost my entire outfit is from *ThredUP. I’ve been kind of obsessed with them lately because they make it way to easy to buy cute clothes in sweatpants from my bed plus its all pre-loved (second-hand) so it’s super ethical and sustainable. If you use the link, up above, you’ll get $10 to spend with them, which is like more than it costs to get either of the pieces in my outfit. No, this isn’t sponsored, they just have a super awesome referral program and I thought I’d share my most recent shopping addiction.

I hope you have a good weekend! I’ll be working a lot and hopefully getting some reading in as well. Do you have anything fun planned? Tell me in the comments!

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

The Podcasts I Can’t Get Enough Of

Happy Monday!

I’ve recently gotten super into podcasts, and honestly, it’s a problem. Every time I get in my car I have to choose between listening to music or audiobooks and now I’m adding podcasts to my options which just makes my commute even more high-pressure.  I have found some podcasts I really love listening to though, so today I’m sharing my top four podcasts that I’ve been listening to lately

That Sounds Fun

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Annie Downs’ podcast is, well, fun. I have loved her books for several years and her podcasts are just as good. I can guarantee that you each one will make you laugh and leave you with something to think about.

What Should I Read Next

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Thanks to this podcast my to-read list is miles longer that it was before I started. So many books, so little time. Anne Bogel also has a blog called Modern Mrs. Darcy if you want even more book recommendations.

The Goal Digger Podcast

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If you’ve ever wanted to start your own business you need to listen to this podcast. Jenna has awesome stories and advice on how to shine as a female entrepreneur.

Speaking with Joy

 

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Art, music, books, and great ideas are all discussed in this podcast. I especially love the series on women, Joy has an amazing take on femininity and strong womanhood.

Which podcasts do y’all like to listen to? Tell me in the comments!

~Maizy