Kelly May Studio

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Lifestyle

Summer To Do List

LifestyleKelly Kennedy

Every summer I'm overcome with the possibilities of how to soak up the fleeting good weather while it lasts. As soon as early June hits my natural hurried disposition melts into a leisurely peacefulness.  Instead of taking the train, I'll spend hours strolling home through unexplored neighborhoods. Gone are the outings where I cross off THE most things on my to-do list and they're replaced with destination-less excursions that have no time limit. Below is a list of things I plan to do this season to take advantage of this peacefully adventurist spirit I have.

  1. Take a commuter trail upstate for a day hike. I have my eye on
  2. Bake a gilette from scratch with fresh berries
  3. No question I'm going to watch an outdoor movie in the city, the question is which one?
  4. Sit in Prospect Park on a sunny day soaking up the sun in this reading that
  5. Having flowers in the house every damn day.
  6. Creating the perfect picnic and enjoying it in central park
  7. Catching Shakespear in the park
  8. Spending a day at the beach.

Winter To Do List

LifestyleKelly Kennedy
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Winter can be tough but I think if you take moments to appreciate what it brings it doesn't have to feel a depressing. Coming from New Hampshire I've learned lots of ways to enjoy the colder months. There are plenty of things to do outside and great excuses to explore the great indoors as well. This list below is what I want to achieve before the season is done...

  1. Bake the best loaf of bread which would ideally include some whole grains. I've yet to find the best recipe though
  2. Go skiing
  3. Have a Hot Tottie by a fire ( I hear this hotel's bar is great for that)
  4. Knit a sweater
  5. Ice skating at Rockefeller Plaza 
  6. I haven't been back to New Hampshire in years, but maybe this winter I'll go see this.

Gyms: A Breakup Story

LifestyleKelly Kennedy

I've always loved going to the gym, as long as I can remember. For my 13th birthday I remember asking my mom if I could join her at the gym as my present. Before I had my license in my early high school years I joined my parents at the gym regularly. 

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Fast forward a couple years and I have my license so I can go the gym alone, I felt so alive and independent. I would go almost every day, even before high school ( I was never part of any sports team, so this was my excercise). 

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Then in college I started to learn more about overall health from my mentor/ boss. She taught me to really pay attention to my body and what it was telling me I needed. This changed the way I looked at food and exercise. 

I started to spend more time running because it felt great, and less time at the gym, which bored me. After years of this my body started aching when I ran, so I injected some yoga and at that I found the perfect balance for my body; yoga, gym and running. I would still go to the gym to have access to the weights. 

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Recently I moved and now I live too far from a gym for me to justify a membership, this would be the first time in about a decade I wouldn't have access to a gym and it weirdly didn't scare me. I continued to run and do yoga. I also replaced the weights I did at the gym with calisthenics. 

It's the happiest I've been with my workout routine in my entire life. I love finding new ways to fit in a work out. Trying new things like renting a bicycle to ride around the city, taking walks around my neighborhood and recently I've been doing ClassPass which has allowed me to try different class workouts. 

I'm sure one day I'll get a gym membership but right now I love the flexibility of working out when I want and how I want without worrying about if I'm wasting money on a membership. 

 

Podcasts Based On Your Mood

LifestyleKelly Kennedy

I'm a nerd for podcasts, so much so that I expect this to be a passion of everyone I meet.  I recently started talking to some friends about my favorites and was shocked when they said they didn't listen to any. It's such a simple way to not only entertain yourself but also learn something new while you're on the go. 

While I ride the overpopulated, germ filled train to work, I need a distraction, and podcasts are my drug of choice. Because I've spent so much time listening to podcasts I have a pretty good idea of which ones are best for what moods.

 

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For when you want the news, but also need to laugh...

Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me

This NPR news based radio show cracks me up each week. Their goofy sense of humor mixed with the weeks news is a great way to intake all of the typically depressing news of the week (it's important to note they don't go in depth on topics). Their panel of amazing comedians rotates each week and when you're favorite cast member (what up Paula Poundstone) is on one week it feels like a mini Christmas. I never miss a week of this one. 

 
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For when you want the news, no none sense...

The Daily

The New York Times produces this podcast (so it's extremely liberal, but so am I) and it has a good mixture of an overview of the daily news and in depth looks into a particular topic you should know more about. Sometimes they interview other New York Times reporters but other times they interview outside sources. Their reporting can be too one sided (shocker I know), but I find the topics they choose are very significant.  They will report on a subject and a couple weeks later that same subject is the the center of all headline news. I feel informed, and not superficially, when I listen to The Daily.

 

 

For when you want to get lost in stories...

The Moth

This podcast comes from recordings of live storytelling events hosted by The Moth. Anyone can audition to tell their story at one of these events and some are chosen to be aired on their podcast. My old boss said it so well, she said, "sometimes there are great storytellers, sometimes there are great stories, it's really special when you hear a story that has both". Be prepared to cry, laugh and learn about new experiences you never thought about. 

This American Life

Each week of this podcast there's a theme and stories told based off that theme. Stories is a word used loosely here, sometimes it's a stand up act, some times an essay is being read, it really depends. The only real thread between all the episode is they're all about American life, but not the strict definition you're thinking of. Similar to The Moth there are terribly sad stories and some hilariously funny. One great thing about this show is it will take in depth looks at important topics, for instance, it recently did two episodes looking into the real impact immigrants have on American life.

Love + Radio

In this podcast interesting people are interview but there's no narrator. So you go into each story not certain what conclusion you should come to or what topic will be covered. I have to be in the right mood to listen to this because more so than other podcasts I listen to, you need to really pay attention.  There's typically a moment where the light bulb goes off and you "get" what the story is about. The people they choose to interview aren't typical, like a pimp, a street harasser, online sexual dominatrix personality and an ex-lie detector tester. 

Criminal 

Every episode of this podcast is linked somehow to criminality, even if it's a loose connection. Sometimes they interview an ex-criminal, sometimes you learn a new criminality technique and sometimes you learn about a historic criminal figure. Most episodes are light and airy but some can hit you to your core. A lot of these episodes have really stuck with me and I think of them often. 

 

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For when you want to learn something new...

Radiolab

This podcast teaches you about science through human experiences. I don't have a very scientific brain so some of their episodes kind of lull me to sleep, but some of them have effected the way I view the world. I would highly recommend you listen to the following, even if you don't listen to anything else I've recommended.

  1. Space- A love story mixed with a story about NASA you wouldn't believe
  2. Colors- I'm hoping one day to be able to insert more color cones into my eyes... one day
  3. Memory- This episode made me not trust my memory at all, it's really just a story we tell ourselves 
  4. When Am I Dead?- The history of death that is explored in this episode is fascinating and makes me look at death differently 
  5. In The Running- As a runner I think about this episode often and use it as fuel to go further, perception is the only thing holding you back 

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History

Ok for this show you need time, and a lot of it. Dan Carlin knows his history and he likes to talk. His voice is really soothing and the subjects he chooses are very intriguing (for instance Genghis Khan and his reign) but I don't think there is anyway you can truly pay attentive for four hours straight (that's how long some of his episodes are!). I've listened to this in the past while I'm baking all day, or doing an activity that really needs half my brain, never fully taking in every word he says, but still learning something new.

99% Invisible

I LOVE DESIGN and so does this podcast. It looks at design of a lot of different fields, audio, architecture, graphic, you name it. The episodes are short and sweet but draw attention to mostly every day objects and their designs. I'll never look at a Flag the same way again. 

Freakonomics Radio

When I listen to this podcast I become really aware of how little I know about economics, but it doesn't take away from my understanding of the shows topics. This podcast looks at a lot of different aspects of our every day and larger lives through the lens of economics.  Before listening to this podcast I had no idea lines at the store, happiness and organ donation could all be made better through economic theory. Each episode explains a theory or a phenomena by interviews experts in different feilds (mostly economics) I always feel more intelligent after listening to an episode. 

 

For when you need spiritual inspiration...

Ram Dass Here And Now

If you're interested in eastern philosophies like I am this podcast is made for you. Ram Dass was a Harvard professor who moved to India, went through a spiritual awakening and upon returning to the west has been teaching what he's learned through lectures, books and retreats. This podcast has a recording of a past lecture (some are very old lectures, going back to the 70's and 80's) with a prelude by a colleague of his. I typically skip the beginning prelude and just listen to the lecture. This podcast always grounds me. 

Oprah's SuperSoul

What can't Oprah do, right? Each episode of this podcast she interviews authors and gets real. I haven't listened to many episodes of this but the ones I have listened to have been about following your passion, defining your principles and in general living a honest and purposeful life. When I'm feeling a little too attached to the frivolous things in life I like to listen to an episode of SuperSoul.

Terrible, Thanks For Asking

A woman loses her husband shortly after loosing her father and decides to be more honest when people ask "how are you doing?". Every episode is filled with true talks with people who have been through terrible times in their lives. I know it sounds depressing but there is always something comforting to hear someone else's tough time in their life. Not only does it make me more grateful for my life but it helps me feel less alone when I'm unhappy or thing's aren't going my way.

Making friends

LifestyleKelly Kennedy

I'm embarking on yet another huge move across the country and preparing myself to make new friends again. I'm actually not that concerned though because I have a good idea of what making friends in a new city looks like and with technology it's not that daunting of a task! I've rounded up some of my favorite making friends tips, hope this makes it easier to make friends if you're moving or even if you're staying in the same city looking to expand your circle!

1. Bumble BFF

Best thing that has come out of the online dating apps is Bumble BFF. It's the exact same thing as Bumble but only for people looking for friends. It's AWKWARD, I'm not going to lie. You will go on friends dates that will be so boring they will feel like an eternity, but it's worth it because I have met some of the coolest people through there. 

My tip for an easy going friend date, plan a big group meet up if possible. I had a friend I was meeting up with through the app do this and I ended up making a bunch of friends that night because of it.

 

2. Meetups 

I think most people have heard of Meetups but I don't know how many people have tried it. I love this as a method to make friends because you're going to meet people with the same interests as you! I have plenty of friends that share my niche interests, but few share them all. So when I started to become more interested in healthy eating and didn't have a friend to bounce cool home recipes off of I looked to Meetups to see if there was a group for this (there wasn't but maybe I'll make one!). 

3. Join a club

There are so many more clubs out there then you think, running clubs, game clubs, movie clubs, running clubs, knitting circles, the list goes on. A lot of these can be found on Meetups but you can also find local stores that have their own clubs. There was a knitting store in my old neighborhood that had a very information knitting club, just come any Saturday you want, sit on the couch and knit for however long you want. I love that type of community that can come from a shared goal in mind. 

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4. Volunteer 

Volunteering is so great to meet friends because typically the coolest people volunteer. My favorite organization (for meeting friends and for my political interests) is Planned Parenthood. Some of the most interesting people volenteer for that organization because it gets so much publicity and their interests align with so many others. I would suggest going for an organization that really aligns with your values and you will meet people you like. 

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Autumn To Do List

LifestyleKelly Kennedy
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Fall is my favorite season and I'm so thankful it's finally here after a long steamy summer in Chicago. There is something about autumn that feels like a new beginning each year. I get giddy when the bright leaves cover the ground and the air starts to cool. 

Each season I try to make to do lists; things I want to accomplish before the next season starts. It's usually pretty typical stuff (go to the beach in the summer, have hot coco in the winter, ect) but it really helps me feel like I'm making the most out of that time of year and keeps me from having regrets when the time passes. Here is my list of what I'm going to do this fall:

  1. Bake the perfect apple pie. I already attempted this two weekends ago and it was such a failure! ( I don't recommend this recipe )
  2. Take a long job along the Lakefront Trail
  3. Bad scary movie marathon while eating candy corn and drinking pumpkin beer (here's a list to start with)
  4. Carve pumpkins. Mike and I bought pumpkins last year and then never carved them, not this year!
  5. Have a picnic in the park before it gets too cold. Doing it solo is a great idea also.
  6. Work on my buttermilk biscuit recipe in time for Thanksgiving. Last year my biscuits were less than impressive and I want them to be the star of the meal this year.
  7. Take the train out to the 'burbs to see the foliage in nature.

 

 

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower
— Albert Camus