October and November Favs & Reviews


Hi! This will be a bit lengthier because it’s two months worth of favs and I think I’ve been watching, reading and listening to a lot more recently. So let’s get right into it.


This American Life- ‘Coincidences’, ‘Before The Next One’, ‘Hoaxing Yourself’-

This American Life was one of the very first podcasts that I ever listened to. For one thing, Ira Glass has a great podcast voice and two, it never fails to entertain, make me think, or tell a good story. These are some recent episodes that I really liked! My fav was definitely Coincidences! It had some reaaaallly good stories about some eery coincidences that happened to people in real life.

Arm Chair Expert- ‘Ira Glass’-

Speaking of Ira Glass, Dax Shepard interviewed him in a recent episode of Arm Chair expert. Ira Glass talks about how he got started in podcasting, his radio personality and they banter a bit about the subjectivity of success. It’s a good one! I like Arm Chair Expert for boring days in the office or long commutes because the episodes are generally longer than a typical podcast. They talk about an episode of Radiolab that I listened to right after and loved!

The Ground Up Show- ‘The Power of Making Decisions’

This is definitely one of my favorites podcasts at the moment. I’ve mentioned it before in previous posts, but I thought I’d shout it out again. I’m always super inspired by it because it’s so exciting to see that there’s room for creative growth in a corporate setting. It really drives me to be more ambitious and bold in the creative decisions I’m making. I’ve been at my job for about 10 months now and have learned so much about design as a trade and how to work well with others. I feel challenged in the best way and have really grown in my understanding of color, composition, and conceptual ideas. This episode of The Ground Up Show was very inspiring and packed with great advice. If you’re in the creative industry or even like hearing about decision making in general, this would be a good episode to listen to.

Radiolab- ‘Blame’-

I don’t usually listen to Radiolab, but this episode was so good and chilling. There’s one specific story about a man who becomes pen pals and eventually friends with the prisoner who murdered his daughter. It’s scary good. You may cry. 

Crime Junkie-

If you’re into true crime stories, this is a good podcast! It’s sometimes too scary for me, but I listened to a good handful of episodes over the last couple months. It’s super interesting and very twisted. The narrators do a good job at listing the facts and order of events, and throwing in their opinions and conspiracies while still giving you enough room to formulate your own conclusion. 

Moms and Murder-

Along with that, I also found this podcast and I liked it a little more because there’s comedic relief, so it tends to be a little lighter. Not that murder can be light, but if you compare the two, you’ll know what I mean. 

The Sunday Scaries Podcast- ‘This Too Shall Pass’-

I briefly talked about this episode of Sunday Scaries in my last post, but I wanted to recommend this podcast as a whole. It’s light, comical, and short. Perfect for a Sunday morning or evening listen and is highly relatable. This episode is structured differently than the normal episodes he releases, but it’s a good one! Sunday Scaries, Monday Blues, whatever it is, we all feel it every week as the weekend concludes and we are thrown back into the loop of reality in our commutes and cubicles. It’s a super easy listen and he releases a new episode every Sunday morning. It’s supposed to ease the Sunday scaries, or so it claims.

The Liturgist- Christian series-

The Liturgist recently released a series of episodes about Christianity. They talk about the term itself, its implications, its baggage, how and why it’s problematic, and why people disassociate from the institution while still practicing spirituality. It’s super interesting if you’re into this topic at all and it definitely makes a good conversation piece.


Surprisingly enough, I don’t have a ton of new music favorites, but I have a Nov Playlist that you can check out! However, The 1975 did FINALLY release their new album. They’ve been teasing and dropping singles for the last 6 months, so it’s been a long time coming. I have a lot of thoughts on it, but I’ll keep it short. Overall, it’s a good album, however I think they dropped most of their better songs from the album too soon and should have saved a couple for the album release. But again, I loved it and have listened to it more than times than I can count and it’s been less than a week.


App Ideas for Coping with a Broken Heart- Self explanatory title, it’s just a funny little article about heart break, the intricacies of how an app would help us avoid running into an ex, and how modern day social media has kept us in touch with our exes, sometimes in a vindictive and unhealthy way.

The Correct Way to Go See a Movie Is by Yourself- I thought this was funny because I went to the movies a lot this year, thanks to my movie pass (which no longer works by the way) but I never ended up going to see a movie by myself. I suppose it would be an enjoyable experience, as I don’t mind doing things on my own.


Searching- I’m late to the game on this, but I really enjoyed it and wanted to recommend it for those of you who haven’t seen it yet. I thought the structure of the film was brilliant, the storyline was super engaging, and plot twists were very unpredictable. 2018 was a great stepping stone of a year for Asian American actors and it’s so exciting to witness. I loved that they didn’t focus on their asian-ness on this film because it normalized their ability to be on screen. 10/10 would recommend!

A Star is Born- I loved the onscreen chemistry between Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper! I really enjoyed this movie because it really makes you empathize with celebrities and how the attention surrounding their lives can really take a toll on them mentally. It reminded me a bit about the topics that Andy Warhol often referenced in his body of work. The soundtrack to movie was absolutely stellar and highly emotional. Also, who knew Bradley Copper could sing and direct?!


Air Pods- Air pods have single handedly revolutionized my entire life. Okay, that sounds dramatic, but I promise it’s not an exaggeration. It makes running, working out, and literally everything so much easier. I’ve used them every single day since I got them about two months ago and I don’t know what life was like before them. As if I wasn’t already listening to enough music and podcasts before, but now I look forward to working out and going running so I can use them. (Maybe that part is a bit of an exaggeration, but definitely more excited than I was prior to an air pod-less life)


Echo Dot- So I signed up for an amazon credit card, which is great I might add! (2% on gas and restaurants, and 3% on Amazon and Whole Foods, 5% if you’re a prime member) And along with $50 on amazon credit, you also get an echo dot for 99 cents, which I paid for with the amazon credit. So it was essentially free! I also got some smart plugs and now I get to tell Alexa to turn off my lights for me while I’m under a warm blanket, eyes half closed. It’s amazing. A luxe life, really. I also use her for other practical things like telling me the daily news, weather, playing my new Spotify Christmas playlist, and listening to podcasts. Do yourself a favor and follow my same steps so you can also pretend like you have your life together, because having your life together as a millennial really just means you turn on and off your lights with voice control without having to actually get up and do it yourself. You’re welcome.


Glossier Zit Stick- This is one of Glossier’s newer products. I initially found this to be a little gimmicky because the packaging seemed too good to be true. But, I was breaking out a little bit earlier last month and gave it a try. Surprisingly, it really helped. But I’ll be honest, it’s no different from any other kind of drying lotion. The idea is that you put it on at night before bed and in the morning your pimple will have dried up. It does exactly what it claims to do, so definitely worth the purchase if you don’t already have something similar to it. 

Glossier Cloud Paint ‘Storm’- Glossier came out with a couple new colors and I was very excited to get my hands on this one. It’s a deep berry color, perfect for the holiday season. I love cloud paints because they are super long lasting and a little goes a long way. They are also super flattering on everyone! I love this one because it gives your cheeks the perfect natural flush!


Glossier Rose Spray- Lots of Glossier this month! I’ve been loving this rose facial spray for the mornings. It’s super light and the spray bottle itself gives the perfect mist. The scent is not too pungent and it feels super fresh. I’ve been using it like a toner after I wash my face in the morning and I’ve been really loving it. Get 10% off your purchase here!

Smiths Lip Balm- I pretty much always have chapped lips, but especially so in the colder months and/or when I’m feeling stressed. I had always loved this lip balm, so I thought I’d give it a little shout out. It’s a little minty so it gives your lips a little tingling effect and it’s super moisturizing. I’ve been carrying it with me at all times recently and my lips are no longer in a perpetual state of bleeding (gross).

Glasses- EyeBuyDirect- I got these glasses about two months ago and I love them! Other than the obvious fact that they help me see, I think it’s also a nice accessory. But, I really just wanted to mention eye buy direct as a good resource. They have a super wide selection of frames at a very affordable price, so you’re sure to find something you love. They also participate in the one for one program, so when you buy a pair of glasses, another pair gets donated to someone in the country of your choosing. You can read more about it here: https://www.eyebuydirect.com/buy-one-give-one

Drop App- If you’re into free money without trying, download this app! You can shop at places you normally would like Target, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, etc. and you’ll earn points for gift cards to a wide variety of stores like Amazon, Starbucks, Everlane and more. They often have boosted offers for certain stores and you can get thousands of points for spending less that $30. This app is great because you’re getting rewards for money you would have spent anyway. If you want a free $5, use my link (and code: ru84j) and start racking up points for gift cards! All you have to do is link your credit card and it’ll track your expenses for you.


Here are a couple of my favorite moments in photos


If you made it all the way to the bottom, thanks for reading!! U A CHAMP! Cheers to the last several months of healing, being thankful, and learning to see beauty beyond the ashes. And here’s to a great December!


Catherine Li