Monday, October 31, 2016 / No comments

September & October 2016 Monthly Favorites!


This week hasn't been the best week for me. But you know what helps me get through a super crappy week? My monthly favorites from September and October! (Sorry it's a joint monthly favorites but I've had so much going on what with traveling and then this crappy week) I love all of these things and can't wait to share them with you! So get ready for some music recommendations, a TV show to watch (if you haven't already), and read about what I got in England and France, and how much fun a live podcast taping is!

Music:

I haven't been listening to a lot of actual music albums, but I've been digging a few new(ish) pop songs (my teenage emo self would be so ashamed for my now unashamed love of pop). Here are some of the ones I've been obsessed with these past couple of months!

That's My Girl- Fifth Harmony
Who doesn't love a girl power song sung by a girl band? Plus, it's super catchy!

Mama Said- Lukas Graham
Am I the only one getting major Annie "It's A Hard-Knock Life" vibes from this song? Because I am and I love it!

Bad Decisions, Thinking of You- Ariana Grande
After listening to these songs on repeat for what seems like my whole trip to London and Paris, I think I may be an Ariana Grande fan. It feels so weird, and yet so good, to finally admit that to myself!

Ain't My Fault- Zara Larsson
I can't really figure out what this song actually means, but all I know is that this song is incredibly catchy and Zara Larsson sounds like a baby Rihanna and I am not mad about it.

The Greatest- Sia feat. Kendrick Lamar
Can Sia not write a catchy song? I don't think it's possible!

Shout Out to My Ex- Little Mix
I love that this song is about "thanking" your ex for putting you through hell so that you can come out of the crappy relationship even stronger. I wish this song had come out when I really needed it, but I still love it and have been listening to it nonstop!


TV:
Channel 4/Netflix
In case you didn't know, Black Mirror's third season just arrived on Netflix and I think I may have finished the entire season in two days. (Let's say three to make it sound less sad and pathetic.) I finished it in three days! If you haven't watched Black Mirror yet, please do because it's scary, realistic (in a futuristic, yet not so distant future kind of way), and just plain ol' good. My favorite episodes from this current season were "Nosedive," "Playtest," and "Shut Up And Dance." ("San Junipero" was also good, but it actually had a sort of happy-ish ending, and let's be honest, if I want to watch something mildly disturbing, I think ending it on a creepy or sad way is how you should end it. But "San Junipero" was a nice break from the bleak and terrifying other episodes! Plus it made me a little teary-eyed, but not as much as "Be Right Back" from season 2. I've only watched that one twice and each time I sob like a baby for hours afterwards) But all of the episodes were brilliant and chilling and so thought provoking. And thanks to my binge-watching of season 3, I've gone back to rewatch the first two seasons to relive that Black Mirror goodness. Now I'm just counting down the days (most likely year or so) till the next season. Ugggh I can't wait!

Odds & Ends/Travel & Souvenirs: 

I have to say, I'm kind of proud of myself. Why, you may ask? Because while I was in London and Paris, I didn't even buy myself a lot of stuff. Even though I was so tempted, and really, really wanted to. I could have bought so many knickknacks and trinkets. So many touristy tchotchkes to fill my house with and that no respecting human being who hopes to live in England would even have on their premises (you mean people in England don't have pencils, plastic dishes, mugs, coffee tumblers, and snowglobes all decked out in and shaped like Union Jacks, Big Ben, red phone booths and double decker buses? I am shocked). I actually ended up spending most of my cash I brought over on presents for my friends and family (is it just me or is it just way more fun now to buy presents for people than it is to get them? Like shopping for people's birthday and Christmas presents is probably one of my favorite things to do). But....

When I visited the Harry Potter Studio Tour (post coming soon), I kind of went a little nuts. Not too nuts though, I did show some restraint. But I went overboard enough to qualify for a tote bag for only 2 pounds. What can I say, though, I was on vacation! And it was the Harry Potter holy land, if there was only one place for me to splurge on things just for me, then the studio tour definitely was the place to fill up my shopping basket! Which I did. But not too much (just trying to reiterate that!). But here's what I got in my Harry Potter haul!


The full haul! See, I didn't go too wild! I showed restraint! But I still had fun :) (Note the tote bag in the back that I got for very cheap because of how much I spent. I'm not even upset, because LOOK HOW CUTE THE TOTE IS!!)



As an American, I knew I had to get a copy of a British version of one of the Harry Potter books. And the first book was a perfect choice since I've already grown up thinking it was Sorcerer, not Philosopher. But I had a bit of a Sophie's Choice moment: I really wanted a wand (Luna Lovegood's to be exact), but I also wanted the Philosopher's Stone. They were both the same price, but I knew I should be responsible and only get one. I went over to the wand counter (yes, the Harry Potter Studio Tour had a wand counter aka Ollivander's. So fun!!) and asked if they still had any of Luna's wands. They didn't, and then I knew it was fate that I would get the first book. I'll just have to get Luna's wand at one of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter parks in the future!



I also spent a LOT of time in the Honeydukes aka candy section of the gift shop (which was huge, by the way. The shop, not the candy section. But the candy section was still pretty big), contemplating what I wanted to buy. But I finally narrowed it down to this cute Honeydukes jar that would look so adorable filled with any candy or treats of my choice. After I finish all of these lemon drops, of course! I chose the jar filled with lemon drops- there was another one filled with jelly babies and another with what I think was like licorice or some other generic boring candy- in honor of it being Dumbledore's favorite sweet.



And last but not least, I saw this adorable little mug that looks like a cauldron and I knew I had to get it. Not only could it just be decorative, but I could also make anything I drink out of it (hot chocolate, soda, juice) seem just a little bit more magical!

And now to France! My parents were kind enough to buy this picture for me as we were strolling along the Seine in the rain, and saw that some of the green book stalls (selling books, art, trinkets) were actually open. Look how adorable these cats looking over a picturesque Paris neighbordhood with the Eiffel Tower in the background are! I haven't gotten it framed yet, but it's next on my to do list!



This next one I bought just for me at a stereotypical tourist shop in Paris. It was our last day in Paris and I had bought things for my friends and family, but nothing for me. Then I stumbled across these fancy animal pillow covers! They had cat and dog ones, all decked out in historical outfits and looking very regal. The shop assistant was nice enough to help me (and then try to make me buy two but I said one was enough, haha) pick out the perfect one (I was tempted between two, but I obviously wanted a cat one and the one in the Elizabethean ruff was a nice reminder of my love of England. Plus the cat sort of looks like my cat Harriet!). The pillows (according to the shop assistant) are tapestries and I checked the tag and they said they were made in Flanders, so no wonder they were a tiny bit pricey (at least I didn't get two) but I figured, this is the only thing I'm buying for myself in France, so why not? Compared to other people, this might not even qualify as a splurge! (But it definitely was a splurge to me!)


Look how regal!!!

I love all of the stuff I got from the studio tour and France! It's all just such a nice reminder from all of the fun experiences and adventures from my trip! ♥

Events:

Have you heard of the podcast, How Did This Get Made? It's a really funny podcast where actors Paul Scheer (best known for Andre on The League), June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas (Rafi on The League and my absolute favorite person EVER), and sometimes guests, review/discuss/make fun of really bad movies and it's the most hilarious thing. I've listened to almost all of the episodes, and listened to my favorites multiple times and have actually watched so many bad movies, thanks to the podcast. It's become such a huge cult hit that they now record live podcasts with an audience. And a few weeks ago I got to go to one when I was visiting family in Los Angeles!

It was at a really cool, tucked away small comedy club called Largo in LA/Beverly Hills, with special guests Robert Kirkman and Emily V. Gordon. The movie they were "reviewing" that night was a godawful movie called Gamer, starring Gerard Butler and Michael C. Hall (Dexter!), that came out a few years ago. The podcast taping totally made up for me having to sit through that movie because I had the best time there! Listening to the podcasts always make me laugh, but actually being at a live taping of one is the best way to experience the podcast, in my opinion. Just to see the Paul, Jason, and the other interact with each other and the audience is so much better than just listening to the audio podcast. The visuals and actually being there make it EVERYTHING!

Jason and Paul were on fire and Robert Kirkman and Emily Gordon were hilarious as well too. The thing I love about Jason is that he unabashedly loves Gilmore Girls and always references Harry Potter and Game of Thrones and seems to almost always name drop them in episodes (he totally made fun of us "nerds" in the audience for taking the quiz on Pottermore to find out our Patronuses, haha. I raised my hand with a few others when he asked. I'm not ashamed!). Seeing Jason was the highlight for me and I was so happy that all four posed for a picture at the very end of the taping. My photo of the four of them didn't come out, but I was able to take one of Jason, so I was happy. All in all, it was a great experience and night!


Jason Mantzoukas in all of his awesome, hilarious glory! (Ignore my blurry iPhone 6 camera photo)  ♥


Later that night I tweeted out at the How Did This Get Made? Twitter account thanking them for the awesome show and they tweeted back! The waffle thing is reference to the movie and podcast. (You'd just have to listen!) And June, the other host of the show couldn't be there that night, so I tweeted at her telling her that we missed her and she liked my tweet! Fun in the digital age, right??

Listen here to How Did This Get Made? here:

Earwolf
Soundcloud
iTunes

Totally Random:

Remember how I just said that I love Jason Mantzoukas and his love for Gilmore Girls? Well, I had no idea that he has been a guest multiple times on the Gilmore Guys podcast! He's done two of the podcasts in studio (they review one Gilmore Girls episode per podcast episode) and then he's done two of their live shows, which they actually taped and put on YouTube. It's safe to say I've been rewatching/listening to Jason's episodes because he's so damn funny yet he really get into the relationships and storylines of Gilmore Girls. I haven't listened to a lot of Gilmore Guys, but if Jason was on every single episode I would listen to every single one, even the seventh season ones (and that's saying a lot because I haaaaated the seventh season of Gilmore Girls!). Let's hope Gilmore Guys reviews the new season of Gilmore Girls coming on to Netflix with Jason on as a guest for every one of the episodes!

Jason with hosts Demi and Kevin!
To listen to Gilmore Guys listen here:

Soundcloud
iTunes

Jason's episodes are season 3 episode 7 They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They?, season 4 episode 22 Raincoats & Recipes, season 5 episode 21 Blame Booze and Melville, season 6 episode 21 Driving Miss Gilmore, and (just added! I haven't even listened to it yet!) season 7 episode 21 Unto the Breach.

You can watch the video taping of Blame Booze and Melville here and the video of Driving Miss Gilmore here. (Which I highly recommend because they are THE BEST!!! Jason just makes the episodes like 100x better!)


And to end my monthly favorites blog post, here's a gif of Jason absolutely slaying the game by making Kevin and Demi from Gilmore Guys bust up laughing. Oh, Jason.... :D

What did you think of September and October's monthly favorites? Let me know what you think in the comments!

-Emily
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