Category Archives: Media

Podcast Recommendation: Getting Curious

getting curious podcast recommendation

If you, like pretty much everyone in the world EVER, greedily binge watched Queer Eye in a manner of days (or a singular day…no judgement here), then you’re already acquainted with Jonathan Van Ness in all his quirky glory…

YAS HENNY! 

…But did you know he has a podcast?

Getting Curious is a weekly exploration of all the things Jonathan is curious about. He invites experts in their respective fields to come on the show and give him a crash course in whatever it is they know best. I love that premise, don’t you? Life-long learning, baby! From scientists to CEOs, actresses and authors to his QE cast-mates…the questions are many and the answers are entertaining and educational.

Definitely check this one out if you haven’t already. I listened to a bunch of epis on my recent drive back from Lexington and was so grateful for the binge-worthy, thought provoking material that just kept comin’!

Have you listened to Getting Curious? What are your go-to podcasts these days?

P.S. JVN’s podcast is doubly inspiring to me because I have a tiny baby podcast (she’s only 6 epis old!) that I co-host with my bff Katie. CLICK HERE to check it out. xoxo

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4 Creepy Movies to Get You Ready for Halloween

As soon as the weather starts to cool off, I LOVE watching scary movies on Friday nights. I don’t know what it is! Maybe purposefully lookin’ to get spooked is more fun when you’re curled up in a blanky (the easier to cover your face during the stressful parts!). Or maybe it’s that Halloween is fast approaching! If you wanna get in the mood and have your own private scarefest, here are a few creepy movies Chet and I have watched recently that I would recommend…

1. I Think We’re Alone Now

Del is alone in the world. After the human race is wiped out, he lives in his small, empty town, content in his solitude and the utopia he’s methodically created for himself — until he is discovered by Grace, an interloper whose history and motives are obscure. And to make matters worse, she wants to stay.

I love any post-apocalyptic film that showcases a realistic look at survival tactics. As soon as the film began with Peter Dinklage in a house scavenging for batteries…I was in. But there’s a looming sense throughout the movie that something isn’t as it seems–even as the quiet scenes and calming natural light settle you in to this simpler way of life.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE

2. Hereditary

When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter and grandchildren begin to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry, trying to outrun the sinister fate they have inherited.

This movie will make you think but also provide all the jumps and gasps of a truly frightening horror film. The creepiness is in the details though…so you’ll wanna play close attention during this one. Don’t let all the “Hereditary Explained” articles and YouTube videos discourage you. Just watch and come to your OWN conclusions.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE

3. Like Me

A reckless loner, desperate for human connection, sets out on a crime spree that she broadcasts on social media. Her reality quickly splinters into a surreal nightmare as her exploits spiral out of control.

I didn’t know much about this movie going in–I just saw the words “indie thriller” and “commentary on YouTube” and was down to press play. This one was aesthetically very creepy, but also stomach churning. If you’re tuning in for Shane Dawson’s Jake Paul series, I have a feeling this might serve as a good complimentary film.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE

4. Mother!

A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. From filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream), this riveting psychological thriller is about love, devotion and sacrifice.

I had heard mostly bad things about this film but was willing to give it a shot because I love Black Swan (and JLaw!) so much. And I’m glad I did! It had everything I want in a psychological thriller. Similar to Hereditary, if you go into this film worried less about what things are supposed to  mean and instead draw your own conclusions, you’ll have a creepier more satisfying viewing experience!

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE

Have you watched any creepy movies lately that you would recommend? Do you watch more scary films in the Autumn?

P.S. Need more movie recommendations? RIGHT THIS WAY!
P.P.S. If you enjoyed this content and would like to support my sweet blog (thank you!)–click HERE.

Do you watch reality TV?

do you watch reality tv? SURVIVOR

This weekend, I was clicking around in Hulu (modern day channel surfing?) when I discovered…

34 seasons of Survivor and 29 seasons of The Amazing Race. WHAT?!? Honestly, I don’t know how I’ve gone this long without stumbling upon this treasure trove.

My introduction to reality tv began in the late 90’s with Road Rules…and I’ve loved it ever since. I would say it’s one of my top guilty pleasures…but I honestly don’t feel that guilty about it. What about YOU? Do you watch reality tv?

A few of my recent favorites include:
The Challenge (I’ve seen every season. #NoShame)
Rupaul’s Drag Race
Sister Wives
Keeping Up With the Kardashians (I know, I know)
American Grit
Hell’s Kitchen (really any cooking competition…I’m not picky)

do you watch reality TV? ROAD RULES

and I used to love:
Real World and Road Rules (of course)
America’s Next Top Model
So You Think You Can Dance
Jersey Shore
The Hills
Naked and Afraid
Teen Mom

and, weirdly enough, one of my favorite things about living in Ireland in the early aughts was the DOPE reality tv. *shrugs* What can I say? I like what I like!

What about you? What reality tv shows do you like? Do you remember the first one you got really into? (Road Rules Northern Trail for me…I was also pretty obsessed with Survivor season 2, lol *ages self*) I’d love to hear your faves! Oh, and if you’re not from America, tell us what reality tv is like in YOUR country…

Great YouTube Channel for Practicing Spanish (lifelong learning FTW!)

You KNOW I’m a huge proponent of lifelong learning. Well, living in Miami these last few years offered an amazing perk in that department. I got to practice Spanish pretty much every day! Now that we’ve moved to Alabama, these daily conversations in my non-native tongue are one of the things I miss most!

While I’d love to explore other options, I know that YouTube is an amazing (and FREE) resource for language learning. I recently stumbled upon the Spanish language channel Superholly (and the accompanying Superholly English).

If you’re interested in working on your Spanish skills, I HIGHLY recommend checking out Holly’s videos.

I especially love this recent video about her upbringing across countries and languages…

(Here it is in English…)

…because my childhood also included learning foreign languages and living in foreign countries. 🙂 And I have my parents to thank for that, too.

I also really enjoyed binge watching this series about Nahuatl…

How do you practice foreign languages as an adult? Do you ever use YouTube for immersion purposes? I’d love to hear!

P.S. YouTube channels for travel inspo and lifelong ballerinas!

I have a podcast!!!

uncovered the podcast

Exciting news!!! My friend Katie and I have been talking about starting a podcast together FOR YEARS. And guess what? We finally did it! Our very first episode of Uncovered the Podcast went live yesterday.

So what is our podcast about? CELEBRITY MYSTERIES! Each week, we research the most curious situations involving famous folk…

  • Recent pop culture conundrums,
  • Solutions to the puzzles time (and fame) forgot. (We NEVER forget!), and
  • Celebrity conspiracy theories ranging from completely impossible to totally plausible.

…and then present our mystery to each other (and YOU!) along with theories, rumors, fun facts, and weird tidbits.

We’re not saying everything is true, we’re simply uncovering the possibilities.

In episode 1, Katie deep dove into the mysterious world of Dave J. to find out if Jon Benet Ramsey is alive and well and living as a pop music superstar and I explored the possibility that Jamie Lynn Spears’ teen pregnancy spawned a massive cover up by Nickelodeon executives.

Love celebrity gossip, conspiracy theories, unsolved mysteries, or just listening in on a fun chat between two besties? This might be the podcast for you!

It would mean the world to me if you gave our first epi a listen. (& let me know what you think!!)

We are available on iTunes, PodBean, and Castbox. Katie and I will be putting out new episodes every Sunday.

If you, like me, spend your Sundays knockin’ out chores and implementing self-care, then you know podcasts can be an integral part of that process! So, SUBSCRIBE to Uncovered and you’ll have something new waitin’ for you every Sunday! xoxo

P.S. As you might imagine, pictorial evidence is part of the fun when you’re covering celebrity mysteries. So we have an INSTAGRAM for all that jazz! Would love if you’d follow us there!!

What are some of your favorite podcasts? Do you love weird celebrity conspiracy theories as much as me and my co-host Katie? Let me know! 

Great YouTube Channel for Travel Inspo (totally binge-worthy!)

Today I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite YouTube channels in my subscription feed. Kara and Nate are a husband and wife travel team exploring 100 countries before 2019, and they share their adventures through daily vlogs.

In pre-YouTube times I used to be obsessed with shows like “Globe Trekker” and Samantha Brown‘s “Passport to [fill in the blank].” They totally filled the hole in my heart carved out by a deep sense of wanderlust. Finding Kara and Nate’s channel left me feeling similarly. While I’ve watched other YouTubers who focus on travel, none have felt so relatable or, honestly, are as fun to watch!

If you’re looking for something travel-related to binge watch this weekend, I would HIGHLY recommend checking out this channel. They have videos from all over the world but I especially love their two week trek in the Himalayas

and their train journey on the Tran-Siberian Railroad

If you’ve been following this blog long enough these two adventures should come as no surprise as my OBVIOUS favorites. [Check out this post and this one.] I really dig trains and I REALLY dig Himalayan mountaineering.

And speaking of Himalayan mountaineering, in honor of reaching 100k subscribers, Kara and Nate partnered with iTrek Nepal to give away an adventure like the one they took to Everest Base Camp!!! Which, if you watched the playlist I linked above, you’ll probably want to win. You can enter HERE. (But remember – the trip is for 2 so you should probs take me as your +1, k? I’ll happily share all my random Everest knowledge with ya!!)

Here’s a video about the giveaway —

GO ENTER! 

Do you have any favorite YouTube channels that I should binge-watch this weekend? How do you cure your wanderlust? Share below! 

P.S. Wanna exercise this weekend instead of binge-watching travel vids on the couch? Here’s a Great YouTube Channel for Lifelong Ballerinas.

The 7 TV Shows I Can’t Wait to Watch

Hi, my name’s Beth and I’m addicted to good television…

You too? There are a lot of great tv shows coming out in the next few months and I’m starting to get really excited! (“Where will she find the time?” they ask. “Oh I’ll FIND it,” I reply.) Here are seven that have caught my eye as must-sees. A couple are second seasons of shows that I couldn’t get enough of. One is a reboot of a much-loved favorite. And the rest are brand new! Let’s take a look…

HBO

2 Dope Queens (February 2)

Here and Now (February 11)

NETFLIX

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (February 7)

Seven Seconds (February 23)

Wild Wild Country (March 16)

PRIME

Sneaky Pete: Season 2 (March 9)

HULU

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2 (April 25)

Who wants to join me for some binge watching? What are YOU looking forward to seeing? Comment below! xoxo

P.S. TV shows I’ve already watched and LOVED — Westworld and 5 other binge-worthy shows.

*photo source*

18 Movies to Watch When You’re Hibernating

It’s that time of year, folks! The holidays are all wrapped up and now we commence the slog to spring. It’s cold outside, you’re cooped up, you can’t shake that sore throat. Truthfully, all you want to do is hibernate. And why not! If you’re getting plummeted with snow and ice this weekend or you’re nursing a cold or you just need a bit of HYGGE–I say Hibernation Station, baby!! You’ve got nothing to do, nowhere to go, so cuddle up and throw on a film. Here’s a list of movies I recommend for your hibernation. Happy watching!

1. Groundhog Day, 1993

Why you should watch it: If you find yourself hunkering down to weather a blizzard you can count yourself lucky. You wouldn’t want to be out and about, like Phil, and get stuck in a time warp, now would you? Plus, nothing will perk up your hibernation quite like getting Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” stuck in your head (the song Phil is doomed to hear every single morning as his alarm goes off).

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2. Drinking Buddies, 2013

Why you should watch it: This movie is quintessential mumblecore and, since it mainly takes place in a brewery and at bars, pairs rather nicely with that 6-pack of craft beer you have stowed away. All of the characters feel painfully relatable and the entire film was IMPROVISED…which still kinda blows my mind.

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3. The Proposal, 2009

Why you should watch it: If you’re more in the mood for a feel good, rom-com flick than you can’t go wrong with a little Ryan Reynolds. Is it just me or does he not just have a super comforting presence on screen? He just seems like one of the good ones. Like the marry your boss to keep her from getting deported to Canada kind of “good ones.”

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4. Mona Lisa Smile, 2003

Why you should watch it: I mean all the lady-greats from the early 2000’s at one all-girls college…what’s not to love? Very much a rom-com masquerading as a girl-power flick but I still think it’s a lovely watch. Plus, all the 1950’s costumes will brighten your day!

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5. Katy Perry: Part of Me, 2012

Why you should watch it: This documentary film offers a glimpse into what it’s like to be a hugely famous pop star. I’m not even really a Katy Perry fan and I still thought this movie was a delight. It’s basically like reading a really revealing People mag article but with more singing.

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6. The Breakfast Club, 1985

Why you should watch it: I’ve watched this movie approximately 1 billion times and it still never gets old. Like with all of these selections, if you’ve seen something enough times you can nap through parts and still have a wonderful viewing experience. You might also find entertainment in saying your favorite lines along with the actors. (Or right before they say it if you’re watching with someone else and want to be extra obnoxious/prove how many times you’ve seen it.)

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7. Kiss the Girls, 1997

Why you should watch it: If a thriller is more your speed for a night of cozying up under a pile of blankets, you need my girl Ashley Judd starring opposite Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls. A good enough plot to keep you on the edge of your seat but just enough 90’s flavor to keep you from getting TOO scared (just in case you’re home alone!).

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8. A League of Their Own, 1992

Why you should watch it: Nothing makes me feel better like a good ol’ fashioned sports movie (my 3rd favorite film genre if I’m being honest). I’ve watched this one on plenty of lazy afternoons and it really has something for everyone. Baseball, WWII, love stories, feuding sisters, Rosie O’Donnel, MADONNA. Plus, super under-rated Tom Hanks role if you ask me.

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9. Almost Famous, 2000

Why you should watch it: Set in 1973, it chronicles the coming of age of 15-year-old William, an unabashed music fan. When he lands an assignment from Rolling Stone magazine to interview the up-and-coming band Stillwater he embarks on an eye-opening journey led by the one and only Penny Lane (Kate Hudson). You’ll feel like you’re on tour with the band and, just like William, you won’t want it to end…trust me. 

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10. Elizabeth, 1998

Why you should watch it: One time I was sick with strep AND recovering from a torn MCL and a friend of mine brought me a large fountain soda from Sonic and a copy of this movie from the Redbox. Both really hit the spot. (The copious amounts of prescription medication I was taking may have enhanced my viewing experience…so keep that in mind.)

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11. Closer, 2004

Why you should watch it: If you’ve never seen this movie, your hibernation is the perfect time to do so! You don’t need the drama of the outside world when you can spend the evening with Julia, Natalie, Clive, Jude and their various love triangles.

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 12. Pleasantville, 1998

Why you should watch it: Impressed by high school student David’s (Tobey Maguire) devotion to a 1950s family TV show, a mysterious television repairman provides him with a means to escape into the black-and-white program with his sister, Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon). The siblings take to the surreal landscape in very different ways. Even if you’re not that into fantastical movie plots, this one is too adorable to pass up.

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 13. Elizabethtown, 2005

Why you should watch it: Because it’s adorable and it was filmed in Kentucky. DUH! Oh and the soundtrack will make you happy.

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14. Pearl Harbor, 2001

Why you should watch it: My first college roommate and I had little to nothing in common. But when she found out I had the box-set VHS of Pearl Harbor (aging myself) she said, “Pop it in!” We laughed, we cried, we didn’t have to make small talk!!! Sweeping dramas based on real historical events have a way of bringing people together, I guess. So if you’re holed up with someone you don’t know too well…maybe this could be your jam. If nothing else, it’s 3 hours long so you won’t have to talk to each other for a long-ass time.

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15. Heathers, 1988

Why you should watch it: I LOVE Winona Ryder and her performance of an exasperated teen is just as pitch perfect as her performance of an exasperated mom in Stranger Things. But, spoiler alert, I also love Shannen Doherty (I’ve watched a LOT of Beverly Hills 90210 during various hibernations). She’s the OG mean girl. If you’ve never seen this movie do yourself a damn favor. It is hilarious.

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16. Boiler Room, 2000

Why you should watch it: Honestly, I don’t know. I just really like Giovanni Ribisi (although not in love with the idea that he’s a scientologist). Ben Affleck and Vin Diesel are added bonuses. If you liked The Wolf of Wall Street this fast-paced crime drama is for you.

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17. Pineapple Express, 2008

Why you should watch it: I can always count on Seth Rogen movies to pull me out of a funk and this one is especially hilarious. Is it ridiculous? Yes. But will you love it? Also yes.

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18. Little Women, 1994

Why you should watch it: There’s a lot of winter and illness in this one so it’s very on theme. (And scarlet fever will no doubt put your sniffles in perspective.) Watching this movie just gives me a cozy feeling and there’s nothing I want more from a hibernation viewing.

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What movies give YOU a cozy feeling? Do you have any favorite films you would add to this list? Share below! 

5 Favorite Films to Watch in the Fall

You guys! We’re getting a cold front in Miami!!! It’s supposed to be dreary and rainy all day today, and tomorrow — the lows are in the 50’s. What?? Perfect weather to curl up on the couch for a movie marathon! If you’re expecting similar conditions, here are 5 films I highly recommend for watching in the Fall…

Beetlejuice 

What’s a Yuppie ghost couple to do when their quaint New England home is overrun by trendy New Yorkers? Hire a freelance “bio-exorcist” to spook the intruders, of course.  

The animated series was my all-time favorite Saturday morning cartoon, so Beetlejuice will always have a special place in my heart. With such an amazing cast and groovy Harry Belafonte soundtrack tunes, this flick isn’t just seasonally appropriate, it’s a really fun watch. A perfect addition to a more light-hearted spooky, movie marathon.

 

So I Married an Axe Murderer

Comedy sensation Mike Myers stars with Nancy Travis in this hatchet-driven romantic comedy about a wed-lock shy coffee house poet who finally meets the perfect woman. Maybe.

The perfect romantic-comedy for Halloween season because of the axe murderer twist, this movie is prime 90’s humor and prime Myers (like pre- a million Austin Powers sequels). If you’re not so into big scares, So I Married an Axe Murderer still stays on theme without being too frightening.

 

The Silence of the Lambs

When FBI Agent Clarice Starling is assigned a case involving a monstrous serial killer, she seeks counsel from an imprisoned cannibalistic psychiatrist, whose fascination with the woman is as great as his hunger for murder.

This film is truly terrifying and one of the best scary movies out there, in my opinion. I adore Jodie Foster and think her acting, along with Anthony Hopkins’ (of course!), is well-worth adding The Silence of the Lambs to the rewatch list every Autumn. Turn the lights out, pour yourself some Chianti, and enjoy!

 

Garden State

 Andrew Largeman returns home to New Jersey after nine long years. Now, as he tries to re-connect with his past, a series of chance encounters with Sam, sets the stage for what his  future might hold. 

If you, like me, were in highschool/college in the early 2000’s, you’ve probably seen this movie a thousand times. But I still think it holds up as a good Fall feature. I’m not sure why it screams Fall to me. Maybe the rainy, screaming into the quarry scene? Or the cozy vibe it (and it’s soundtrack) invokes.

 

The Breakfast Club

An iconic portrait of the 1980’s American high school life. When Saturday detention started, they were simply the Jock, the Princess, the Brain, the Criminal and the Basket Case, but by that afternoon they had become closer than any of them could have imagined. 

Honestly this is just one of my all-time favorite movies and I could watch it (and quote it) at any time of year. However, because Fall is back-to-school season, I think it works thematically as well. Plus, if you’re looking for a group Halloween costume? Hello!!! Perfect inspiration.

 

What are a few of YOUR favorite films to watch in the Fall? Leave your movie marathon recommendations below. 

P.S. 6 True-Crime Documentaries For Your Inner Detective

A College English Teacher’s Take on Last Chance U

My husband, Chet, and I recently finished season 2 of the Netflix docu-series Last Chance U. I think both seasons of this masterfully crafted show are compelling watches for anyone. However, as a college teacher, Chet’s perspective intrigued me. Here’s his take…

Located in super-rural Scooba, East Mississippi Community College is a near perfect microcosm of public higher education. EMCC has less than 6,000 students enrolled, but is thoroughly ensnared by the university sports machine and the slew of academic challenges that students, faculty, staff, and administrators face in this environment. When I first read the description of Last Chance U, I thought it was going to be another affirmation of student athletes that played hard enough to escape poverty using grit and determination. Last Chance U does feature some of that, though most often it begins following players after their meteoric rise and subsequent fall in the world of college athletics. Last Chance U manages to do much more. Through its portrait of players and coaching staff, it presents a surprisingly accurate view of contemporary college life.

In an early episode of the first season, Ms. Wagner (the academic coordinator for EMCC’s football team) is exasperated by a player who brings nothing to class- not even a pen. The scene is funny. We laugh a bit at Ms. Wagner’s expense, or at least I did. I laughed out of familiarity. As a teacher, speaking to a pen-less student that isn’t performing well in my class is a near weekly occurrence. As a former student, I laugh from familiarity, too. I did not bring writing utensils to Psych 100.

The players in Last Chance U have a love/hate relationship with their whole academic experience. They clearly love football, both the game itself and the opportunities it presents to many young players. On the other hand, they hate practice. They tolerate the school end for many of the same reasons. Good grades mean eligibility and the potential to play for a better school. It also means thinking and working in a way which is unfamiliar. It’s easy to look at the players and dismiss them. After all, why go to college if not to learn? These athletes are caught up in the same wave as most students. They have a vague notion of a career, and it’s often unclear how ENG 101 is going to help them achieve that goal. I spend most of my professional life working directly with students in the same position, and I think Last Chance U does a fair job of sketching the uncertainty that comes with a college education.

The real hero of Last Chance U is Ms. Wagner. She’s the academic coach for the team, but much more: a human planner, a motivation machine, a listener, and an open door. Academic counselors like Ms. Wagner are near ubiquitous in major athletics programs. They exist to help players maintain eligibility by navigating the minefield of a full course load for students working a “full time job.” Many schools are now using this kind of counseling for the entire student body, especially as state governments shift performance metrics to graduation rates.

What strikes me about Last Chance U is how close the experiences of the characters on this tiny campus ring true with my own. It’s easy to spot the problems in the show- the attitude of some coaches, the disengaged players, the placating staff- it is for better or worse where we are now.

Watch the trailer for Season 2 HERE. Seasons 1 and 2 streaming on Netflix now! Have you seen them?