Who doesn't love finding a great podcast, the perfect water bottle, or an exciting new book to read? I've compiled a few of my favorite recommendations in different categories here just for you. I hope you find something you like!
- The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
- Codex Alera - Jim Butcher
- Mistborn Series - Brandon Sanderson
- The Stormlight Archive - Brandon Sanderson
- I Am Not a Serial Killer - Dan Wells
- The Great Divorce - C.S. Lewis
- Harry Potter - J.K. Rowling
- The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
- For more recommendations, see my reading list
- The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
- The Hunt for the Wilderpeople
- A Quiet Place
- The Dark Knight Trilogy
- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
- Safety Not Guaranteed
Contigo Water Bottle
- I take this water bottle with me pretty much everywhere I can. The anti-spill mechanism is super simple, which makes drinking from it quick and easy. I don't need to bother unscrewing anything, but at the same time, if I knock it over, it's not going to spill.
- The thing I really love about this water bottle that I haven't found in any other water bottle is the perfect drinking mechanism. It's designed so you can put your mouth over the entire opening (but not in a weird way), so you don't have to sip from it like an open-topped water bottle, which can lead to spilling or slower flow. Yeah, you can get that with a straw, but can you get every last drop out of a water bottle with a straw? No. Plus, who wants to go to all that work of sucking the water up, when you can just tip this water bottle back and let it flow effortlessly into your mouth. The flow rate is perfect.
- I suppose it's worth mentioning the thermals of the water bottle. It's vacuum insulated and keeps cold water cold for a very long time. Not much else to say about that. It does its job very well.
- Smartstore Stirring Popcorn Maker
MacBook Pro 16"
- I'm currently using a 2019 MacBook Pro 16". It's super quick, easy to use, and powers through every task I throw at it. Does everyone need a pro computer? No, but if you do, you can't go wrong with a MacBook Pro.
- Processor: 2.3 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9
- Memory: 32 GB 2667 MHz DDR4
- Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 4 GB Intel UHD Graphics 630 1536 MB
Technet Laptop Cooling Stand
- We live in a small house with no office space, so I often end up working on the couch. This cooling stand has saved my legs from many hours of sweaty discomfort, not to mention kept my computer cooler longer.
- I've actually got AirPods and AirPods Pro. For about 2/3 the price of the Pros, the regular AirPods still sound really great! If you don’t need noise cancellation, I’d jump on the AirPods. In my opinion (maybe it’s just my ears) the AirPods actually stay in my ears better than the AirPods Pro. The noise cancellation of the Pros is probably about a 7/10. Really good for an in ear headphone, but still some room for improvement. The transparency mode is pretty good, although it does seem to boost the white noise a little bit more than reality. For both AirPods and AirPods Pro, the seamless integration in the Apple ecosystem is pretty darn slick.
- Scrivener is a truly incredible writing tool. I use it to organize, write, and edit my novels, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I also use it to journal, and I'm sure you could use it for all kinds of different writing projects. It's easy to use and powerful as heck. It's priced at $50, but I'd pay $100. If you're a writer, you should absolutely give it a shot.
You Need a Budget
- I've been through several budgeting methods (my own spreadsheet, Wave, Mint), but YNAB really takes the cake. I've always had a hard time justifying spending money on budgeting software because it seems counterintuitive. But YNAB is worth the $85/year just for the organizational features alone. Here are a few things I love about it:
- I can budget money specifically to each of my spending categories, and can have as many categories as I want. This makes it especially easy to save up for specific items by putting my actual money that I have into these different bins. If I budget $100/month to a new car, YNAB will keep that running total for me, and I don't have to worry about keeping track of all of that.
- I can only budget money that I have, and if I overspend in an area, I have to cover it from somewhere else. I can't just say, "Oh, well! Guess I overspent!"
- This is one of my favorites: I can plan for months ahead. I've received different advice about having 3, 6, 9, or 12 months of living expenses saved up. But it's never been as actionable as it is in YNAB. With YNAB, I can actually go month by month and budget ahead. This way I can see exactly how far ahead I can live off of my savings if needed.
- The app and online interfaces are really intuitive and user friendly.
- There's a lot more to love about YNAB, and if you have questions about my experience with it, I'd be happy to chat!