Puffin Picks 4.20

Puffin Picks

I’ve found myself revisiting old favorites lately. Rewatching movies I know I like (It’s been awhile What We Do In The Shadows!), watching TV shows I know I like. Rereading books.

While that means I’ve been indulging in many things making me happy, I’ve already given most of them a shout out here and I don’t want to prove myself too repetitive.

Note: Some of these links are Amazon affiliate links where I may be compensated if you purchase items or click on the links. Read my full affiliate policy. I only link to items I have, use, or want and would recommend regardless of potential reward.

My personal affiliate link guideline: Would I recommend this to my mom?

My Puffin Picks

Puffin Picks

Today, Explained Podcast

Vox’s Today, Explained has a few things working against my liking it.

  1. It’s daily. I don’t tend to listen to daily podcasts – they are hard to keep up to date on.
  2. It’s news. This isn’t the place for politics, so I’ll simply say a few years ago, I found myself getting very upset when watching the news. Both the content and the way it was presented drove me insane. I decided to focus on the things I can control, which meant I basically stopped watching the news. Things I need to know still filter through, my general well-being increased, and stress level greatly decreased.

Today, Explained is more news-adjacent than straight up news.

It’s fairly short (15ish minutes) and covers a single news topic more in depth.

It does not dwell on the endless, breathless, fear-mongering in much of today’s ‘news,’ but instead focuses on how we got to where we are, and what it could mean (focusing on realistic what-ifs, not fear-mongering and catastrophizing).

Bar Method

In the month or so after a marathon, I tend to not run a lot. I let my body and mind recover before I start gearing up for whatever is next. But I still need to stay in shape, so it’s my chance to try new things that could be too much when I’m marathon training.

A lady in my running group teaches at Bar Method, a barre-style class filled with light weights and tiny movements. The kind of moves that look really easy until you actually do them. She was able to get me an incredible deal on 50-days of Bar Method classes at a studio only a few blocks from me, so 50-days of Bar classes it is!

I’d done Bar Method years ago, but much has changed in my body (and mind) since then, so I thought it could be interesting to try it again.

Before my first class, I thought I was in pretty good shape. Or, at the very least, I thought my thighs and calves were strong.


An hour at the bar tells me something very different.

3 weeks in, and I’m sticking to my resolution to go 3 times a week.

My thighs are very mad at me for it.

Happy Planner Stickers

I’ve written before about my love for my Me And My Big Ideas brand Happy Planner. I’ve now used it for the better part of two years.

When I got my planner for 2018, Michael’s had an incredible deal on stickers especially made to go with the planner. I decided to indulge my inner 12-year-old and bought stickers!

So much fun!

Now I only need to break my habit of ‘saving’ the stickers or thinking of them as ‘too nice’ to use.

Re-Reading Good Books

I’ve been re-reading self-help books lately.

Largely these are books I read and liked back in my corporate days, but where I struggled to implement positive changes given the corporate environment and managerial limitations.

I thought I’d re-read some of these books to see if anything new resonated with me or if there were things I could now implement.

First Up: Level Up Your Life.

I’m surprised I liked this book considering I’m not a gamer and I’m not a very big nerd (membership in the Hogwarts Running Club notwithstanding). It’s written by the founder of Nerd Fitness (which is exactly what you think it is), and the basic premise is to live your life the way a character in a role-playing game lives.

You don’t start out attempting the defeat the biggest monsters and the toughest challenges.

You start at level 1, with the skills and tools you have. Then you practice, you improve, you learn, and you gain new skills and tools. Then you move to level 2. And so on.

You don’t have to be a gamer to appreciate the analogy.

I like this book not only because in the process of reading (and re-reading) it. I kept coming up with lists of things I wanted to do and try, but also because I appreciate anyone who can encourage others to fitness through non-traditional means.

It’s easy to preach fitness to already fit people, it’s something else entirely to preach fitness to those who may feel excluded from traditional fitness institutions.

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