Thrift Store CDs

I’m not sure about you, but I spend an unreasonable amount of time trying to take a picture on my phone, finding out that my storage is full, and quickly deleting whatever I can out of frustration. Because of this I’ve never been big on putting music on my phone, which means that I’m generally at the mercy of listening to whatever is playing on my car radio.

A few weeks ago I had the genius (and completely unoriginal) idea of stopping at a thrift store to check out what CDs were available. I was really excited to find a Beyonce and (lol) All American Rejects. After listening to Love on Top and Countdown on the Beyonce CD 30 times in a one-week period, I decided to stop at another thrift store to see what else was available.

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It’s only been a few weeks but I have already found some great music. I was particularly psyched to find the Toploader album as they sing the most beautiful version of Dancing in the Moonlight, and it reminds me of Corinne over at http://skinnedcartree.com whenever I hear it. I’m also in love with the Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Beatles album, as A Day in the Life is the sound of my soul.

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While I realize it’s a bit of a risk to purchase a used CD with no option for return, the cost is so little ($1 or $2) that it shouldn’t worry you too much. I have purchased 7 CDs now and only one track has skipped – and it was easily fixed with a quick t-shirt wipe down. Annnd now I can enjoy some of my favorite songs while driving when there is absolutely nothing else available.

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What CDs would you have your eye out for at the thrift shop?

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Top 5 things I want to do for myself this summer

I recently posted a list of the top five things I want to do this summer, but while I was putting it together I kept thinking of things I wanted to do for myself. I do a fairly good job of taking care of myself and my goals, but it never hurts to outline them and put some extra work into holding myself accountable.

1. Break even on my net worth: Between my student loans, car loan, travel habits, and regular monthly bills, I have not been able to break even on my net worth for years. I am currently sitting at a net worth around -$4,000, which is a big improvement over this time last year (-$12,000). While I’m proud of the work that I’ve put in to lowering my debt and saving for the future, I want to start grad school on a positive note financially. You know, before plunging tens of thousands of dollars into debt again.

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2. Lose 15 pounds: When will it not be a goal to lose 15 pounds? This goal is important to me because I love being active and fit and want to continue on a positive path toward good health.

3. Spend more time with friends: I am very lucky to have so many wonderful friends, both near and far. Unfortunately, I rarely spend time with them. It is way too easy to hang out with the people I see on a daily basis and not put any effort in to spending time with the majority of the people I care about. I would like to spend time with at least one friend each week who is not a part of my normal day-to-day routine.

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Recent extremely enjoyable friend time.

4. Read a book: I am the absolute worst. I love reading, I request dozens of books from the library, and I have only finished a few so far this year. It’s unacceptable. I need to pick up a book and read it from start to finish.

5. Prepare for doing well in school: I want to be successful in grad school, so I need to do everything I can this summer to start off on a good foot. I would like to attend all of the grad school events that are scheduled this summer, buy some super adorable school supplies, figure out bus routes and class locations, and make sure that I do suuuppperrr well in my summer stats class.

What are some of the things that you would like to do this summer? How possible do you think they are, and what do you need to get you there?

OH I almost forgot – I have a goal of taking my dogs on a walk/to the dog park once a week. I don’t currently live with them but they are so happy when we go out together. I need to make sure this is a thing all summer long.

First Impressions: Tester Korea Haul

I am beyond excited about a new haul from Tester Korea! I have only ever shopped for AB products on Amazon, Memebox, and in person. Ordering from new websites is always a little anxiety inducing, especially when they’re located in a foreign country. I decided to order from Tester Korea because I was running low on one of my favorite products and TK had the best value for replacement.

Without further ado..

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Here is the whole beautiful order.

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Dear by Enprani – Moistful Booskin. This is my all time favorite AB product. It is a moisturizing toner that I use after I wash my face. It smells incredible, does not have any acne triggers, and leaves my skin baby soft. Unfortunately, it is really hard to come by. Fortunately, my first bottle lasted almost an entire year. I was surprised to see that they redesigned the packaging, but happy that the product smelled the same. I think the scent may be a little stronger? Either that, or the strength of the product in my current bottle might have diminished a bit over the last year. I am thrilled to have gotten my hands on another bottle of this magic elixir.

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I ordered a handful of Help My Finger Nail Finger Packs by Etude House. I get a ton of hangnails and they are a bad combination with my infection prone skin. I am hoping to use these to reduce dry skin and keep my nails looking healthy. They were very reasonably priced so I ordered a few extras to gift.

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Shiny Foot Super Peeling Liquid – TonyMoly. If you have gross feet you need this product. I have used it once before and although my feet weren’t completely perfect afterward, they helped me reduce the amount of dead skin and cracking/peeling that my feet seem to always be experiencing. I have already used one of these, so I am looking forward to posting the gross results for your enjoyment.

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This was my risky addition of the purchase. Water Color Tint by Skinfood. I can’t tell you what shade it is because it is in Korean on the website, but I went with an orange. I have been wanting to try an orange tint because I think it might work well with my complexion. I tried it out when it arrived and liked the results – but I did not have anything in matching shades to wear so I am not sure if it is complimentary. This was also my first AB makeup product purchase!

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Acne Pimple Master Patch – CosRX and AC Control Spot Patch – Tony Moly. These are both different versions of hydrocolloid patches. I have used both before – I do not 100% love either version, but these do a great job of helping out when my skin is really bad. Since I am currently going through the painful stages of using a retinoid, having these on hand is a must.

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Romantic Rose Hand Cream – ChooNee. This was another random purchase due to low cost. I LOVE the scent of this, but so far I am not impressed by the quality of the lotion. I can safely say already that I would not repurchase.. Unless it’s purely for smelling purposes only.

Speaking of, the scent triggered a smell memory for my uncle. After he took a whiff he said, “It smells like… Mothballs.. The back of my grandma’s closet!” We quickly agreed that he did not mean that the product smelled like mothballs, but whatever his grandmother used to freshen up her clothing. I honestly think it smells terrific, so my great grandmother must have had great taste.

Annnnnd finally!!!

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While I did not go to the Tester Korea website for this product, I was absolutely delighted to see that they had the Tony Moly Inked Cushion Gel Liner (also known as the HARRY POTTER EYE LINER) in stock!! I ordered two shades, a purpley shade for me, and black for a friend. I am verrrry excited to finally have my hands on this product and to give it a test run soon! I have never used a purple eyeliner and I have a ton of brown, so I thought I would switch things up a little with the purple. It is so pretty!!

So that’s it! Thank you for taking a look at these items. I will be writing a review of ordering from the Tester Korea website in the near future, but I hope you enjoyed snooping through my purchases now. Which item would you like to see a review of first? What did you have in your recent hauls? Tell me everything!

Click here to read (or skim) through all of my product reviews!

Weekly Exercise: May 15 – 21, 2017

On Monday I had the joy of taking my cousin to his very first spin class. My favorite spin instructor adjusted her schedule and is taking over Monday classes for the remainder of the month. The class itself was intense – the room was way too hot and she had us working hard which led to a lot of sweating. My cousin was in a little over his head but I enjoyed myself.

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I was excited to have my new FitBit. I had wondered if my FitBit Charge had been tracking my heart rate appropriately during classes and using my new FitBit Alta HR showed me that I was right. I was in the peak heart rate zone much longer than I was with my old FitBit, so I like that this one seems to be more accurate. I also need to figure out what I can do to get my heart rate more under control – I don’t think it’s right that it’s at the max for as long as it is.

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On Wednesday I went to spin again. I wasn’t super in the mood to be there but I did the work and made it through. It’s interesting to compare the data on the FitBit because you can clearly see that I wasn’t as interested.

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This was another lazy week for exercise although I’m glad I made it in twice. I may or may not go to the gym on Sunday, but I’m thinking that I should and that weights would be a good idea.

Goals for next week include three trips to the gym during the work week and calorie tracking.

Did you do anything fun for exercise this week?

Review: Rodan and Fields Mini Facial

I was recently able to try the Rodan and Fields products thanks to my friend Sarah. I had not previously heard of this brand but I did a little bit of research and it looks like a brand I could really get behind.
Sarah sent me a mini-facial kit. I was extra excited when the products arrived because she put them in the cutest packaging. Basically after I post this I will be doing a google so that I can find out where to buy similarly cute packaging.

 

First I unpacked the products. I loved the way that they sent the samples. The tiny capsules are a good way to not waste a ton of plastic/paper on packaging and I found that all three of the products were very easy to open and dispense. I also enjoyed the fact that there was a step by step guide that told me what the products were and how to use them.
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The microdermabrasion paste (step 1) was very interesting – I don’t usually use scrubs so this was a new experience for me. I did not really care for the smell (it wasn’t scented, just chemically) and while I was using the paste, some got in my mouth and it tasted salty. I was also a little worried when I read the directions because it said not to use on sensitive skin. I can never figure out what the blanket “sensitive skin” statement means, but it usually concerns me given that my skin is quite acne prone.
The paste itself did a great job. I massaged it into my face for about 1min 30 seconds (I like to get what I can out of a sample, lol) and when I rinsed, my skin felt very smooth and moisturized.
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Next I took out the blue capsule, which was Night Renewing Serum. This product also worried me because it didn’t come with information and I am genuinely terrified that things will have acne triggers. However, my fears went out the window as soon as I put the liquid on my fingers and applied it to my face. This product is amazing. It spreads quickly and has a matte texture after use. It felt very luxious and fancy. I would likely buy this product if I could confirm that it would not make my skin breakout. I definitely wish there would have been more of this because I absolutely loved the way it felt.
Afterwards I used the lip treatment which had a vanilla scent/taste. I did not think that the lip treatment was any better than the night time lip treatment that I currently use. There was a bit too much of the product so I overapplied and felt a little gooey. But lets be real – that was more of a personal problem than a product problem. I don’t think that I would purchase this product because I’m not the biggest fan of vanilla lip treatments and I prefer the flavor of the product I am currently using. However, if you’re looking for a good lip treatment with vanilla flavor, this might be a good option for you.
All-in-all this was an enjoyable experience. Of the three, I would be most likely to purchase the middle product. I did start to experience a breakout the next day, but my skin is so unpredictable that I can’t say for sure whether it was because of the Rodan and Fields products or for some other random reason. I know that the company has products that are ok for acne so I will look into those.
If you’re interested in receiving a sample kit so that you can try these products, please send me an email and I will connect you with Sarah. You can also check out her R&F website.
Have you ever tried these products? What are your favorites?

Answer: What is sheet masking?

Last summer, a friend of mine introduced me to Asian beauty. She did so by linking me to the Asian beauty subreddit and it quickly became my new obsession. Since I had been having a difficult time with my skin, I decided to take a look at the products that were available.

I’m always interested in trying something cute and new, and Asian beauty products are certainly that. I began to research products that were specifically designed to help with acne, or products that would at least not make my sensitive skin any worse than it already was.

The first thing that I did was build a basic routine. Asian beauty experts recommend waiting at least two weeks between introducing new products, so I would order a new product every two weeks on payday. The products generally range from $10-25 so it was nice to break up the spending and take advantage of Amazon Prime shipping.

One of the first products that I ordered was a set of sheet masks. If you are someone who has wondered why I post photos of myself on Snapchat or Instagram with white sheets over my face, this is the reason. Sheet masks are thin paper masks that are soaked in an “essence” that works to specifically improve one or more aspects of your skin. Some of the common skin concerns are acne, moisturizing, aging, and whitening (which really means brightening.)

My first purchase was a ten pack of the Benton Snail Bee High Content Sheet Masks. I was excited to try the masks, although I was a little worried that the mask would react with a bee allergy that I’m not 100% sure I still have. I ordered the masks and when they arrived, I thought about patch testing but decided to just throw one on my face because.. You only live once, right?

Fortunately, there was no reaction and I really loved the mask. While I will admit that I’ve never had noticeable effects from the use of a single mask, I always enjoy the relaxation time that comes after applying a fresh mask. I especially enjoyed my family’s reaction to seeing me in a mask the first time, but I was a little bit heartbroken when my dogs weren’t at all spooked my new look.

All-in-all, sheet masks are a fun adventure. It is important to find masks that work with your skin concerns, and the Asian beauty subreddit (plus the internet!) can help you find the products that are right for you.

Beauty Review: Dr. Jart+ Vital Hydra Solution Face Mask

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I was very lucky this weekend to stumble upon a real life Kbeauty store in Chicago Chinatown! I was in town with family for an event and we went to Chinatown for lunch before heading home. I kept my eye open for Kbeauty, but nothing caught my eye until just before we were leaving.

I went into a store called “Korean Beauty Store” and really loved the experience. I saw a ton of products that I have purchased during the last year, and it was neat to see some of the more “well known” products in real life. I personally love touching and smelling things, especially if I’m planning to spend money on them, so this especially exciting to me. I also enjoyed having the opportunity to chat with the salesgirl and learn about the products right then in there without having to do my own research.

Since I have more than enough products at home right now, I decided to check out a couple of new face masks. I asked for recommendations and the salesgirl suggested the Dr.Jart+ Dermask Vital Hydra Solution Deep Hydration Sheet Mask. At this point in the day I had spent several hours outside in 3 degree weather, so I figured a super moisturizing face mask couldn’t hurt and decided to take one home.

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This was my first Dr. Jart mask, and I was pretty impressed with it. I loved the smell (roses!!) and was surprised by the thin texture. It is probably the thinnest mask I have ever used, and definitely the first one that I have had to peel off of a second sheet. I was a little worried that I would tear it, but it all went very well.

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Next, I tried the mask on. This mask did not fit as well as some of the others that I have used. The thin texture allowed the mask to cling to my skin, but it did not match my eyes and mouth. I haven’t had a problem with this before and it wasn’t much of a problem this time, though it was not ideal.

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The mask in general looked a bit silly on me. I was super tired and did not work very hard to take nice pictures.

As you can see, the mask material was very thin and allowed my skin impurities to show through.

I was ready for bed after 20 minutes with the mask on. When I took it off there was still some liquid, but it felt nice and absorbed very quickly.

All in all, I enjoyed the mask and would use another one. I paid a bit too much for the product (around $6.00) but they are available at lower cost online. The Amazon link says 5 for under $15, which is a much better deal.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this mask.

Beauty Review: Kylie Jenner Lip Kits

Let’s be real, in 2016 Kylie Jenner is half the reason that I go on Snapchat and I love the emphasis she puts on showcasing her products. I don’t love being sold to all the time, but it’s cool to see behind the scenes of how the products are created and get lots of info on how to use the products. The only beauty skill that I learned from my mom was how to brush my hair, so I really appreciate the opportunity to see how things are used.

So I went a little hard and hauled three different products.

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I ordered the Naughty gloss from the holiday collection, Kristen matte, and KoKo K gloss.

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Of the three, KoKo K is my favorite. It’s a beautiful color and doesn’t make me feel self conscious when I’m in public (namely, at work.) The brush is similar to a kids paint brush, so it’s a different experience when you’re putting it on then most glosses that I’ve used in the past. The flavor is VERY vanilla cake mix, so if you were a fan of vanilla Smuckers back in middle school, you’re in luck.

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KoKo K Gloss

I don’t have a favorite between the Naughty gloss and the Kristen Matte, mostly because I haven’t worn either too much. Naughty is super gorgeous, is a heavily pigmented red and I personally think that it looks great on me. I love that I can apply it once and have it stay on for a couple of hours – with most reds, I have to reapply every half hour or so. I have never tried a red gloss before (I usually do a red lipstick) so this was a first, and it was definitely a win. The smell/taste are the same as the KoKo K gloss.

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Naughty Gloss

Kristen is absolutely beautiful! This was the first shade that I wanted to order. I saw a picture of Kylie wearing it and fell in love. It is my second matte lipstick and to be super honest, I’m not a huge matte fan. I would have ordered this in gloss if it had been available, but I went with the matte since I wanted to try it. I haven’t worn this outside of my initial trial, but look forward to trying it out.

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Kristen matte

 

Here are the three shades side by side..

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All in all, I’m pretty satisfied with my purchase. While they’re all a little pricey, the shades are gorgeous and the pigmentation is no joke. If you have a shade that you’re interested in, I highly recommend trying it out.

Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the products, I’m happyt o answers!

 

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Bonus pic of the Naughty gloss ornament hanging from my Christmas tree!

Beauty Review: Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask

I received a nice sized haul from Memebox this week that included a product I’ve been wanting to try, Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Mask. This mask is featured in the top AB reddit post and it’s definitely part of the reason that I was drawn in.

The mask arrive in a cute little box with an adorable little piggie on front. I opened it up and was surprised to find a little spoon to help spread the clay. I was also surprised at the clay itself, kind of a gray sticky goo.

There isn’t a strong scent, but it does smell nice and clean. I decided to slather it on my friends face first because I wanted the bubbles to be a surprise for him. It started foaming up right away and it was fully bubbled by the time that I got the mask on my own face.

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We hung out for a while and laughed at each other. Adorable snapchat videos occured. My boyfriend joined in which made the experience 100x more fun. Also the bubbles on my cheeks foamed up enough that they started getting in my eyelashes!

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Finally we got bored of popping bubbles on each others faces and decided to wash it off. I realized that I didn’t know what to do so I did a google and found out that you pop the bubbles, add water, and rub it in for an additional two minutes.

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The texture after popping the bubbles was thick and creamy, so I will probably use less of the mask in the future. It took a while to wash off, but afterwards my skin felt super clean and amazing. I had a lot of fun with this product and will definitely use it again in the future. It’s not really something that I’ll use on a regular basis, but definitely whenever I have friends over or if I’m in the mood to play around.

If you’re interested in purchasing this mask, use this memebox referal link. It gives you 20% off!

My Favorite Podcasts: Summer 2016

I have to be honest with you all. Before this year, I really didn’t know what the podcast hype was all about. Sure, I listened to Serial (because who didn’t) and once I listened to a podcast when a friend was a guest, but besides that, I had little to no podcast knowledge. It actually took me several attempts to figure out how to use the Podcasts app and I initially downloaded so many episodes of random podcasts that I had no space left on my phone. Fortunately I was able to work through the struggle and I’ve discovered some real gems.

#3 Stuff Mom Never Told You

I love this podcast because I can really relate to the title. My mom and I have had fairly open communication my entire life (single mom) but we have very different personalities and interests. There have been various moments throughout my life where I have had to have other people (usually via the internet) explain things to me that other young women learn from their mothers. A classic example – during my sophomore year of high school, my face was so dry that my skin was literally flaking off. I couldn’t get it under control and it got worse and worse. Finally a friend noticed and offered me lotion and my face has been flake-free ever since. I’m sure this is a normal situation that occurs and that most people’s parents notice and help the kids find a solution, but my mom a) never noticed and/or b) had no idea how to fix the situation.

While this podcast is much more interesting and better researched than my friends suggestion to put lotion on my face, the general vibe of the podcast really matches how I felt in that situation. I love learning about things that my mom and I never talked about, whether she was uncomfortable, wrong, or just didn’t know much about the topic.

Favorite Episode: It’s really hard to pick a favorite episode of this show because almost every episode is relevant to my life, since I’m, y’know, a woman. One particularly interesting episode was “Librarians” which spends quite a bit of time delving into the fact that Dewey from the Dewey Decimal system was a gross pervert.

#2 Guys We F****d

Literally whats not to love about a podcast called Guys We Fucked? I personally love this podcast because it explores sexuality in such a frank way. The guests on the show talk about their early experiences, current experiences, regrets, and fantasies. It is fascinating to hear about these private moments and thoughts and really goes to show that YOU ARE NORMAL. I AM NORMAL. WE ARE ALL NORMAL. Whatever the story of your sexuality is, it’s completely normal. There is also nothing better than doing data entry at work while listening to an explanation on how drag queens tuck their dicks into their but tholes.

I had an “AHA!” moment recently when I was watching a TV show and thought to myself, “If she hadn’t been such a ho, her best friend would still be alive!” – but then I realized that exploring sex and having your first sexual encounter as a teenager is NORMAL, does not make her a “ho” and that I still personally have a lot of work to do in regards to sexual acceptance.

Favorite Episode: You’ve Given Abortions to Pro-Life Women?? This episode isn’t as sexually explorative as the others, but it does a damn good job of talking about abortion. I highly recommend that you and any anti-choice individuals in your life have a listen.

#1 My Favorite Murder

When I heard about this podcast I was super into the idea, but I deleted all of the episodes from my phone after I tried to listen to it the first time. Why? Because if you start on episode 15, the first thing you hear is 20 minutes of two random girls talking about nothing and its hard to get into. I gave it another shot a few months later and started with episode one, and then I fell in love. This podcast satisfies every inch of my brain. I’m also really interested by the connection that they’ve made on multiple episodes – many of the cold blooded killers that have been referenced had childhood head traumas. I’ll be working really hard to keep the kids I babysit from hitting their heads because I’m not trying to be responsible for someone becoming a serial killer. I also recently shouted a serial killer fact from the podcast across my office, and I’m sure that everyone appreciated learning about that side of my personality.

I still find the chatter a bit annoying, especially when they give away TV show spoilers, but some of it is relevant and they’ve helped me expand my true crime interests. This is definitely my top podcast right now, though I hope they’ll work on cleaning up the structure and presentation a bit!

Favorite Episode: Twenty-Nein This was the first full episode that I listened to and I was hooked right away. The way that John List’s actions were described really stuck with me, and I’ve repeated it to friends and family multiple times. It’s definitely worth a listen.

In addition to my top three, I’m also currently subscribed to: 2 Dope Queens, Dear Sugar, Presidential, Grammar Girl, With Her, Sooo Many White Guys, Anna Faris is Unqualified, & Modern Love.

What are you listening to? What are your favorite podcasts? What do you recommend? Why don’t I have a podcast?