Unsolicited Recs |Nov 8

Hi, everyone! How are things going now that it’s November? I’ve been on the road a little bit, since it’s Fall Tax School season. I was in Carbondale last week – hadn’t ever been there before! Had a fun dinner at quirky Underground Pub one night, and a delicious cappuccino and sandwich for lunch one day at a great little spot called Cristaudo’s. And I’ve been in Moline the past couple days and you guys. I think I really like the Quad Cities. We’re staying right down by the river and there are cute bars and great restaurants and the John Deere pavilion with all kinds of fun tractor-y things and a massive gift shop. The last couple times I’ve been here (always for work), we’ve eaten at a phenomenal little Thai place called the Lemongrass Cafe. Last night, we ate (and drank) at the Bier Stube and my jaegerschnitzel and German potato salad were amaaaaahzing. I think there’s a lot to do here. I might need to come back!

While I’ve been gallivanting, Aaron has been hard at work prepping an area by the porch for a patio. We’re going to concrete some of it, and then paver the rest of it. Aaron has been getting the forms up and getting things ready to pour concrete. TBD whether that will happen before or after winter. Since it feels like winter might actually be here, I’m thinking that will get poured in 2020. Use your imagination for now, won’t you?

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Now, on to some things I think you might like…

–> I find myself fascinated and TERRIFIED of the idea of investing. Like, actively investing, not just putting money into my retirement account. I really enjoyed this article/interview with Sallie Krawcheck, who started Ellevest. If you’re like me and are looking for some information (and honestly? motivation) to start down this path, I highly recommend taking a few minutes and glancing through this.  <<Read it here.

–> Today’s podcast recommendation is Dolly Parton’s America podcast. It’s still releasing new episodes, but you can listen to the first 4 right now. Episode 2 was such pure perfection that I can’t even describe it. You just have to listen. You can listen from their website or from whatever podcast app you use. Just…be sure to listen cuz it’s great. 

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–> I started doing these little lists/recommendations/roundups/whatevers because I love reading them. And I’m not alone! Anne Helen Petersen (who is amazing to follow/read) loves them too and did a combo “here are things I love” and “here are things I recommend you read” in one of her latest newsletter and it’s super fun. Highly recommend. <<Check it out here.

By the way, if you don’t already use the pocket app, get on it! It’s on mobile and desktop and it’s basically a way to save content you want to read later in one place. So when you see a headline and think “I don’t have time to read that now but really want to later,” then BOOP add it to Pocket. It’s a game changer.

–> THIS IS SO FASCINATING. Story of crazypants doctor Friedrich Ritter who, among many other things, removed all his teeth before moving to an island in the 1920s.  <<Read the article here. And if you think “this sounds a little bit familiar?” it might be because it was in a hilarious and wonderful episode of My Favorite Murder.

–> Girls’ Night In. It’s a fun weekly e-newsletter that I look forward to each Friday. Self-care tips and recommendations for a night in and book suggestions and so much more. Subscribe so we can talk about the things they share!

I think that’s all I’ve got for now. I hope you have a great Friday and a great weekend and a great November.

Unsolicited Recs | Aug 22

So I realize I just did one of these posts. But I’ve been finding so many fun things to share as I scroll through the internet every night that I couldn’t resist posting again. PLUS today is a very special day…

Today, my niece Annie turns ONE. She lives so very far away from me, but I plan on smothering my phone in kisses when I birthday FaceTime with her today or tomorrow. JUST LOOK AT HER. Happy birthday, sweet girl!

Also, I am heading to Cleveland, OH in a couple weeks for a conference. I’ll get in on a Monday afternoon and will leave on Friday afternoon. That’s a lot of evenings to explore! The conference has an opening night party thing at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, so that will be checked off the list. And the Indians are at home at least part of the time I’m there, so I’ll probably try to get to a game. What else should I make sure to do while there? And more importantly, where do I need to be sure to eat & drink? 🙂


Some links and things for you

This article includes 7 books (all by female authors) that are supposed to be great! And all of which have now been added to my Goodreads list. In news surprising to no one, the one I’m most excited to read is Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan.


Oh I will watch the heck out of both of these! Netflix, you are really killing it these days. And Tony & Traci, thanks for letting us log in to your account to watch all these things. haha


OH MY GOSH THIS KITCHEN. That arched storage cabinet makes my heart happy. It’s so gorgeous.

Photo from Chris Loves Julia (https://www.chrislovesjulia.com/our-modern-cottage-kitchen-makeover-on-the-cheap/)

Speaking of Chris Loves Julia, they’re doing a room makeover giveaway! More than $10,000 in furniture, decor, design, etc. All you have to do is post a pic of the room you want made over on Instagram with a specific hashtag, and they’ll pick a winner (on Wed 8/28) based on the room’s potential, quality/creativity, and likes on Instagram. No bathroom or kitchens can be submitted. They’ve got a whole blog post with all the details, so head over to check it out! Be sure to tag me on IG (@ginamarsh4) because I will like like like your post to help increase your chances of winning!!! Here’s the full scoop.


Last year, Mom and I went to the Minnesota State Fair (on a record-breaking attendance day, I might add) and I had a giant eggroll on a stick. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Related: I love this article so much…  What 2020 Democratic candidates ate at the Iowa State Fair. 

Yes, you are. This is America, we are very hungry, we have access to fryers, and we have trouble making decisions! If you want to be president, you have to eat your way to Washington. It’s what the founders intended. FOOD FOOD TEETH TEETH YES WE CAN!


One of my fave Instagram accounts is @fromwhereidrone. Their feed is gorgeous and full of amazing places and photos. Go follow them!

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Alright, that’s probably enough for now. I will hopefully have some house stuff to show you next time — I have Harry Potter prints to hang up and probably other projects that I just am not thinking of. And at some point, hopefully in the next…oh, say 20 years or so…I hope to have some landscaping pics to show you. For now, I hope everyone has a great day! And send some celebratory wishes out into the universe for Annie J on her first birthday!

Unsolicited Recs | July 29

Hi, everyone. Happy (????) Monday!

The only house-related thing I want to show you this week is this EPIC butterfly! Isn’t it the prettiest of all time? And it was a giant.

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Other than that, I have been keeping track of some fun internet things I wanted to share with you.

These articles are about the American Airlines unlimited ticket and the people who bought it in the late 80s and how they used it. Sometimes for good, rarely for evil (although AA disagreed and has revoked some of the tickets recently). Both the articles are so good and so interesting! Where would you go first (and second and third…)if you had unlimited first class travel??? Article 1 here and Article 2 here.

Interesting and fascinating article on how the “Markle Sparkle” (I know, that moniker is barf-worthy. I didn’t make it up) affected one clothing brand. If I had all the money and thought that buying what Meghan Markle was wearing would make me look like her, not gonna lie…I’d go for it.

A super important read for all of us about disabled parking spots. An Open Letter to the Guy at Target

A Q&A about life insurance. I found it really informative and interesting (despite the subject matter). Do you have life insurance??? We all should!

This article from Texas Monthly about the life of Edward Ates and his wrongful conviction is fantastically written and will make you mad. It was thanks in large part to the work of one podcast host he was freed. I haven’t listened to this particular podcast and was still absorbed for this entire story.

Am I the last person on earth to see this? It’s SO FUN.

This whole thread is a blast, but the Metallica – Saturday Night Fever is THE BEST.

Unsolicited Recs | July 22

I follow a lot of blogs. Guys, a LOT. And no matter the type, my favorite thing many of them do each week is a roundup of sorts. They share links to things that caught their eye (or ear) the week prior. Seriously, my favorite. So while I’m not a prolific blogger like many that I follow, that’s why I’m going for this link list approach. I love them and I hope you will too!

First up, a couple things around the house:

We finally added sweet little shelves to the random nook in our downstairs bathroom. We just bought a sheet of aspen from Menards, stained it Minwax Dark Walnut (that we stole from Mom), and voila! The decor is very much a work in progress — the red vase won’t be staying there, for example – but I’m loving it so far!

We (Mom, Cat, Traci, and I) took an amazing little class at Paint Like Me Party in Mahomet on how to do macrame. Macrame!!! It was a blast and I’m obsessed with the plant hanger. It’s found a good home in the master bathroom.

some things from around the internet:

Advice columns are my jam. Doesn’t matter what the subject matter, I will read it. Captain Awkward did a nice little discussion on handling birthday expectations as an adult. It’s great.

One of the best blogs on the internet is Yes & Yes. She’s blogging on an irregular schedule these days, but just did one the other day on our tendency to “reward” ourselves after a crummy day/week/situation. Your mind is fried and your spirit is crumpled. Clearly the answer is Target. Except should it be??

Another Yes & Yes plug — I just downloaded her guide to figuring out what makes me happy so I can do more of whatever that is. Want to go through it with me? Download it here!

There’s no one like Missy. No one. I ❤️ Missy Elliott. Don’t you?

My lil bro was a guest on a podcast! I mostly don’t understand what they’re talking about, but being a guest on a podcast is basically a dream (give me all the podcasts), so I gotta shout him out for doing it! Check out Episode 10.

Speaking of podcasts, I just finished up another great series! It’s called The RFK Tapes and looks at the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. It veered into tinfoil hat territory, but that was by design as it explored what happened and the various theories surrounding it. Highly recommend!

Kitchn has started a fun series called The Way We Eat, where they interview different people about….the way they eat. Duh. I love little slice of life things like this! The most recent one was a delight. (Except she snacks on dried dates…dipped in tahini…and flaked salt. Otherwise, the interview is totally normal and relatable and interesting. I swear!!)

Prince George turned 6. These pics are adorable.

Roughly 4 years ago, this is where we were at on this house process. YIKES.

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And finally, may this earworm stay in your head for weeks, as it has for me.

Unsolicited Recs| July 16, 2019

So it’s been nearly 2 years since I’ve blogged. It’s funny how once you finish the process of building/remodeling your house, it’s suddenly just… your house. In the best possible way, of course.

In these past couple years, we’ve done things like clear out TONS of scrub and trees from the east side of the house. It makes a difference when you’re sitting on the porch, but is basically unphotographable. We’ve added some decor items. We’ve added a barn-style shed where the old barn used to be. We’ve taken baby steps into landscaping (but talk to me in 30 years to see how that’s going). We’ve got a circle drive in the front of the house. But basically, we’ve been living our life in our dream farmhouse, sometimes being lazy, sometimes working our tails off, sometimes going on vacation, and sometimes blinking and thinking “where did the last 4 months go!?”

All that being said, I miss blogging! And while I don’t foresee us doing projects on a regular basis that anyone will be interested in, I do like having a spot to say hey, share what we’ve been up to, and maybe even share some completely unrelated things.

So here we are, at what I hope will be a regular post of unsolicited recommendations. From podcasts to projects, from ideas to articles — I will post the random things I want other people to know about! I don’t guarantee that any thing will be interesting to anyone but me, but maybe someone will enjoy something I post and that will be super duper.

Without further ado, my first list of random, unsolicited recs:

  • Hard-boiled eggs in the Instant Pot — I was skeptical about this, not gonna lie. I’ve got doing hard-boiled eggs on the stove top down prettttttty pat. But we finally tried hard-boiling eggs in the Instant Pot and HOLY SMOKES IT’S A GAME CHANGER. The shells! They peel off! So easily! It’s honestly miraculous. We followed this recipe, and next time I will maybe try having them in there for just a teensy bit less time because they were a little bit dryer than we like. But I won’t go back to stove top hard-boiling and having my peeled eggs look like tiny white death stars.

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  • White Lies Podcast – This NPR podcast looks at the 1965 unsolved murder of Reverend Jim Reeb in Selma, Alabama just a few days after Bloody Sunday. It’s fascinating and terrible and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It also really made me want to watch the movie ‘Selma,’ which I plan to do ASAP!

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  • Speaking of podcasts, this episode of ‘This is Love’ is straight up podcasting perfection. Just listen to Anna & Massimo’s story (it’s less than 30 minutes long) and enjoy.

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  • When we were in Ixtapa earlier this year with Mom & Dad, we bought this gorgeous wool rug that was made in Oaxaca, and hung it on the landing of our stairwell. It makes me happy every time I walk by. Which is like 300 times per day (more on the weekends).

 

  • Aaron loves his Big Green Egg. Aaron loves cooking on his Big Green Egg. Aaron doesn’t love hauling things back and forth from the kitchen to the porch. Gina doesn’t love all the grilling/smoking stuff being a hot mess all over the pantry. SO. We finally invested in some great modular pieces to have a bit of an “outdoor kitchen” situation. But here’s the thing – to buy shelves for these things was outrageously expensive ($100+ per shelf). So Aaron turned his brain on to “builder” mode and MADE shelves out of gorgeous leftover Cumaru porch wood. LOOK AT THEM. They are so pretty and sturdy and functional and cost us zero extra dollars. Plop some totes (bought at Menards with rebate money, i.e. also free-ish) on the shelves and voila! Functional, sturdy, good-looking outdoor kitchen space.

 

  • My friend Theresa told me about this skort from Athleta and I became SO obsessed with it. It’s the perfect length, the shorts part is the perfect material and snugness level, it has pockets for your cell phone, it looks put together even when you’re not…I keep singing its praises to so many people; I know of 3 or 4 who have bought it recently. The best part? It’s final sale right now, so is a great price. BUY BUY BUY.

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That’s a long enough (and random enough) list for this first go round, I’d say. What do you think?