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This resource is a roundup of my favorite things that I shared in the #loves section of my newsletter in 2020. It includes things I’ve read, watched, and listened to and tools I’ve found helpful in my life and business.
- Marketing Personalities – I adore personality-based stuff, especially in recent years, because it helps me understand myself sooo much better. Brit helps you figure out how to market in a way that feels good based on your personality type. For example, I’m an ISFJ, so an insight for me is that I find flow when I can support folks in a high-touch, high-impact way. How about you? Don’t know your type? Take this free test.
- Recess. I never thought I’d jump on the CBD water bandwagon. But Recess has changed my mind. Besides having great marketing and branding, it tastes pretty good (my fave flavor is Peach Ginger). And it’s a bit woo for sure, but it does keep me calm and help me focus. It’s a nice “beat the afternoon slump” sidekick for me. Get 15% off your first order.
- Make Me a Cocktail: One of my mastermind squadmates told me about this site. You list the ingredients you have at home, and it’ll give you cocktail recipes. I was able to experience a Barbed Wire which is whiskey + apple juice. And I added a bit of lime juice. Delicious.
- Grammarly– this tool has been my spelling and grammar sidekick since 2014. I use it as a Chrome extension and activate it in Google Docs to catch the errors as I type. #winning
- Dosh – I get 11 cents back through this app whenever I buy coffee from Dunkin Donuts. May not seem like much, but every little bit helps. All you have to do is download the app and link your credit/debit card. If you use your card at any of their locations, cha-ching!
- Digit. I love reminders that $$ has been moved to my new IRA account. Yay for retirement savings. Digit helps me, adult, by pulling $1 here or $2 there to build a rainy day fund. I am also using it to help funnel money away toward credit cards and phone bills. Great saving sidekick. Get $5 to get started.
- Honey. Your coupon-finding sidekick when you are ordering online. It’s a free extension that lives in your browser and will pop up when you check out to see if you can find a better price before finishing your order.
- Rakuten– I love getting cash back on purchases I would make anyway. #winwin This one is active in my browser as a Chrome extension. When you sign up with my link, you’ll get a bonus of $10!
- Ibotta. Love this app that helps me earn money from my grocery receipts, even Instacart. You pick your store, go through the list and add rebates for anything you purchased. Then scan your receipt and cha-ching! Also! If you open Ibotta and click through to order from places like Uber Eats and Macy’s, you can earn cashback on those. I’ve earned almost $400 since 2017!
- Libby. this app has been so great in helping me borrow books from the library. And I can even send most of them to my Kindle. And if you are an audiobook fan, you can borrow those too.
- SaneBox. You might love this tool if you find it hard to manage your email (me!). I’ve been using it for a few months, and it really helps me focus more on my inbox and schedule times to check out newsletters and stuff that is not as urgent. Give it a try and see how you like it, and you can get $25 off here.
- Teleparty. Check out this free Chrome extension if you want to watch a movie virtually with friends and have it synced along with a group chat. Me and my friends used it to watch Always a Bridesmaid and had a blast!
- Wegotchu.cards. My &yet team created this amazing app. You can pick a digital greeting card and then pass it to the rest of your group to sign, even if you’re not in the same physical space. If you want to celebrate someone’s birthday, send a group thanks, or send a get-well message, check it out!
- Krisp helps to fight background noise on video calls. I’ve been using it with my Zoom meetings, and it makes a big difference in muting grandma’s tv and radio (#wfhlife) when I’m on calls. Get one month free using my link.
- 404 Illustrations. These are some fun illustrations to put on your 404 pages.
- relatedwords.org. My Lighthouse Squadmate Saya mentioned this during our meeting as another website you can check out to look for other words you can use in your writing. Like a Thesaurus but better and simpler.
- Workout for Women: Fitness App. I enjoy these short workouts and just started the “Intro to Fitness” program. Highly recommend. The music and instructions are great. And you can do a lot in 7 minutes.
- Shorby. I love this tool for creating multiple links for your Instagram bio. If you’re wondering how to set up your page, check out mine or these use cases.
- WindowSwap. You click one button, and then you can see the view from someone else’s window. Some mornings I’ll grab my coffee and sip it while looking out of a window in London or somewhere in Germany. It’s cool and different.
- CleanMyMac. I always forget about this tool, but after running it this week, I reclaimed 26 GB of space on my Mac. It’s already running so much better!
- Readwise. This is a fun tool that lets you revisit your reading highlights. You can sync up your Kindle or iBooks account, and they’ll send you daily email featuring your highlights. It’s a good way to review quotes you loved from books you read years ago. Get an extra free month with my link.
- Buy Me a Coffee. If you are looking for a way to monetize your creations, even if you are just getting started, this is a perfect way. You can set up a page in a few minutes, share your link with folks and allow them to support you. And I have to plug my page too. It’s here.
- Dropbox Fax. You upload the files you want to send (you can set up a cover sheet), enter the fax number, and voila! Fax sent. And no need to even print any paper. I use their sister product, Dropbox Sign, all the time too, for e-signing documents.
- Hecto. Once I started thinking about classifieds, I knew I needed to find a solution to manage the process, and Hecto is working well for me. You can list your ad types, link up your payment system, and get everything through there. It’s a relatively new tool but good for newsletters just starting with advertising.
- @doitfortheenneagram– love this Insta account that’s all about Enneagram goodness. What Enneagram type are you? I’m a Type 2. Tip: LT in the City Weekly
- StitchFix. It’s so nice to be able to send a note to my stylist and say things like, “Can you send me a pair or two of black jeans and a vest?” And then they send that. It makes shopping for clothes so easy. And I love that they send me things I’d never buy for myself, but normally it’s a great look. Here’s $25 if you want to give it a try!
- Pixistock Annual Membership. I love this Black Friday deal I bought. Thousands of diverse stock photos, a social media content calendar with prompts for 2021, quote templates, social media images, and more. Looking forward to diving into all the things. And it’s great to support a fellow black woman entrepreneur.
- Book of the Month. This is an awesome book subscription service. Each month they curate 5 reads for you, and you pick one to get in the mail. Easy peasy. Get your first book for $5.
TV / Movies
- Haunting of Hill House. So I was chatting with my dance crew about this show, and I finally took the plunge. It’s sooo good. And yes, I had to watch it in the daytime because I’m a big scaredy-cat, but I loved it!
- Westworld. I finally took the plunge and started watching this show. It’s pretty awesome. I finished season one in a couple of days, and season two is already getting intense. If you haven’t watched it yet, and looking for an escape, check it out.
- The Magicians. I started watching this show when it first started a few years ago but then fell behind, so I’m rewatching from the beginning. It’s a nice escape from everything going on in the world. And magic!
- Tell Me a Story. I watched the very first episode of this show a year or so ago and wasn’t sure about it, but decided to give it another try. And it grew on me. The premise is fairy tales twisted into psychological thrillers. Obsessed.
- Why Women Kill. Such a fun dark comedy following three women over three different decades dealing with betrayal. I binged this in 2 days. It was that good. And looks like there will be a Season 2.
- 24. My gurl Deena is watching this, so I thought I’d try it. I’m only 3 episodes in but OMG, intense. So much happens in an hour!
- Dead to Me. This show is so topsy-turvy, kinda dark but funny and good!
- Supergirl. While recovering and feeling the need to escape the world a little bit, this is my show. I had watched the original season years ago but fell behind. Now a rewatch is in order. And yay, #gurlpower.
- The Good Place. This show is definitely a favorite. Eleanor Shellstrop (played by Kristen Bell) dies and finds herself in the Good Place but then she realizes that she is there by mistake. I’ve probably watched season 1 three times at this point but it’s just that good. And the final season just dropped on Netflix.
- Umbrella Academy. My gurl Shenee and I have been enjoying this show. Big fans of season one. Season two is a bit out there, but different, and the music is funnn. Who else is watching?
- Sundance Now. Just do it. I just finished “The Secrets She Keeps”. One woman is obsessed with watching another woman’s life and you find out why at the end of the first episode. But both women are keeping secrets.
- One Tree Hill. I have probably watched this show over a dozen times. (And there are 9 seasons). I feel like right now; it’s nice to be able to watch it again and get that feeling of nostalgia all over again. Brotherhood and basketball is the main theme. And the music is so good.
- Locke & Key. So good. Premise: Family loses their dad and their mom moves them to their dad’s childhood homes. There are magical keys. And there is a dark force who wants them. But of course, right? Can’t wait for season two!
- The Flight Attendant. Girl, that drinks a lot, wakes up to find the guy next to her dead. Cue all the shenanigans. Highly recommend.
- Little Voice. An Apple TV series about a young woman struggling to find her voice. With original music by Sara Bareilles. It was just glorious and inspirational and love the music. Favorite song: King of the Lost Boys.
- Sanctuary. Apparently, I’ve been sleeping on Sundance shows. Found this one accidentally while browsing on Apple TV and I am hooked. A sister goes to visit her twin in a mental hospital. Her twin steals her identity and leaves her behind. She is trying to convince everyone that she is not her sister. Good times.
- Discovery of Witches. Seriously, I’m geeking out on all the Sundance shows. This one was pretty good. Witches, vampires, demons. A mysterious book that everyone is after. Romance.
- Defending Jacob. Chris Evans as an Assistant District Attorney who then has to help defend his son who has been accused of killing a fellow classmate. INTENSE and nail-biting for sure but I enjoyed it for the most part. I saw the end and had sooo many questions. Still do. Have you watched it? Let’s discuss!
- Animaniacs. If the phrase “hellooo nurse” means anything to you, join me and watch the rebooted cartoon all about the Warner Brothers (and their sister Dot) on Hulu. And then you can go back and watch the original episodes from the 90s. Gotta find joy where we can find it!
- The Morning Show. I resubscribed to Apple TV just to start watching this Emmy-winning show. Reese Witherspoon. Steve Carell. Jennifer Aniston. Need I say more? All about the ups and downs of running a morning show amidst a scandal and recovering from it. Intense but so good!
- Obsession Thrillogy on Lifetime. It was a three-night thriller movie event. Boy and girl become roommates, then lovers, then there is obsession, danger and deceit. Oh my! So excited for my friend of a friend Melissa Cassera who wrote all three scripts.
- Hamilton. The theatrical release of Hamilton is coming to Disney+ on July 3rd. And I cannot wait for it. The trailer gave me all the chills. The good kind.
- Knives Out. If you love a good whodunit, this movie does not disappoint. Great cast and just a fun murder mystery with a great ending. And it’s now included as part of Amazon Prime.
- The Descendants. It follows the story of the children of some of the famous Disney villains. Purple hair. Great music and dance routine. Just fun and lightness all around.
- Don’t Give Up. This cover with John Legend and P!nk speaks to my soul.
- Underdog. I have had this Alicia Keys song on repeat lately. And she sang it as part of the iHeart Living Room Concert which was just amazing.
- evermore. Taylor Swift has released another album – so that’s two in one year. I must admit I haven’t really listened to her new music lately but digging this latest magic. Current fave: gold rush.
- I Love Me by Demi Lovato. I had heard this song before but one day I really listened to the lyrics. It talks about how hard we can be on ourselves and asks when will loving ourselves be enough. This acoustic cover by Cimorelli is also amazing.
- Will – Remix. Will Smith dropped a verse on Joyner Lucas’ song and it is FIRE.
- Side Hustla! I MADE A PLAYLIST FOR US. I curated a mix of inspirational and upbeat tunes that you can listen to while working on your passion projects.
- You Are the Champions. Love this version with Adam Lambert & Queen.
- Little Voice soundtrack. I love this Apple TV show, and the music, written by Sara Bareilles, is incredible. “It’s just my little voice that I’ve been missing…”
- Sara Bareilles. She recorded her own versions of the songs on the Little Voice show. And she liked my tweet!
- Hamilton Act 1 but it’s Muppets. Just listen. Trust me. It’s good for your soul.
- Seal IV. This is my favorite Seal album. I remember my first time hearing it at a Border’s bookstore back in the day. Who remembers Borders?
- Spotify’s Time Capsule. This new curated playlist is taking me back in time to listen to some old hits. And it looks like it’s updating every day. What mine sounds like? A lot of Christina, Britney, NSync, Backstreet Boys, Michael Jackson, P!nk to name several. Who is in your Time Capsule?
- Family Dance Party. Discovered this Spotify playlist one winter day, and it was the perfect sing-a-long dancing-in-my-chair happiness that I needed.
- 2020 Wrapped. If you are a Spotify listener, check out your musical year in review. I’ve already been moving and grooving along to my Top Songs of 2020 playlist this week. Who is your top artist? Mine is Meghan Trainor (probably because of this song)!
- Fitness Marshall. If you like dance workout-type stuff, I heart this guy. He does workouts to popular songs and has the funniest facial expressions. I’m pretty sweaty after one of his 3-minute videos (lately been doing Lizzo’s Truth Hurts). #babysteps
- This veteran dances to Justin Timberlake’s“Can’t Stop the Feeling” song on his porch, and I just couldn’t smile any wider.
- Lizzo! I think at least once a month, Lizzo is trending on Twitter. This awesome inspiring video about why she works out was one of the reasons.
- This clip of the Magicians singing“Under Pressure”. Such a great and powerful scene. And the song itself is timeless. Also magicians. singing.
- Nia Long’s powerful message for Queens. It’s less than a minute and incredible.
- THE HOOD INTERNET Presents 1993. This is 3.5 minutes of 90s music nostalgia. I dare you to watch it and not smile.
- The Money Tree. I read this book in 2 days because it was so good. It’s cool that Chris Guillebeau turns so much of his teaching into fiction. It tells the story of Jake, who is in danger of losing everything: his job, his apartment, his girlfriend. And how that sets him on the path to start learning about creating a side hustle for himself. It’s a book told in story form but has so many great actionable lessons for creating financial freedom.
- Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning. Loved this book by Leslie Odom Jr. (probably better known as Aaron Burr’ in these parts!) I may have highlighted over 60 things in this book; it was so great. Thinking about writing a blog post about it soon too. Highly recommend.
- break your glass slippers (You Are Your Own Fairy Tale) by Amanda Lovelace. A wonderful read. The book tells the story of Cinderella in poem form and “is about overcoming those who don’t see your worth, even if that person is sometimes yourself.” I think I may have highlighted most of the book.
- The Dip. This is one of those books that I have seen popping up in my universe a few times over the past couple of weeks. So I took it as a sign to start reading it. It’s a book about making it through the challenging times (the dip) of any journey and how sometimes the best strategy is quitting.
- Chosen Ones. Veronica Roth's book written for an adult audience (she wrote the Divergent series). Quick description: “They were the Chosen Ones. Saving the world made them heroes. Saving it again might destroy them.”
- The School for Good and Evil. Basically, the main characters Sophie who wants to be a princess, and her friend Agatha who wants just to be left alone, are taken to the schools of good and evil but put in the wrong houses. Or were they?
- Get Out of My Head: Inspiration for Overthinkers in an Anxious World. I definitely struggle with overthinking and this book has tips for stopping the thoughts and “protecting the head.”
- Presence. This is a book I’ve tried to read twice before and only got a few chapters in. I’m trying it again. Maybe the third time’s a charm? And this quote made me feel so attacked: “Sometimes you have to get out of the way of yourself so you can be yourself.”
- Vampire Royals Series. Think Twilight + Hunger Games + The Bachelor. I started reading the first book and devoured it in 2 days.
- One of Us is Lying. 5 teenagers end up in detention, then one ends up dead. Dun dun dun. Think The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars. It’s twisty-turny in the best way. Found it via this list. The ending was a shocker. And of course, I had to read the sequel: One of Us is Next.
- It’s about Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated Into Your Greatest Advantage. This one has been on my list for a while. I’ve been following Arlan Hamilton, the founder of Backstage Capital on Twitter for a few years. And I love how she focuses her fund on supporting underrepresented founders. This book is all about finding your voice and knowing that “you deserve to walk through the door of any room you want to be in.”
- The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done. Already in love with this magic question: What can I do now to make life easier later? “Life” can be anything from laundry to writing a blog post. And there are some great tips in here if you are also a parent.
- Without Her Consent. A woman who has been in a coma for the past 12 years delivers a baby out of the blue. What the what? Yepppp…
- Find Your Zone of Genius. I have read about zones of genius in The Big Leap (another good read) before but this one is pretty good too. I also like how she talks about purpose and how there is an emotional connection there.
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones. Great guide from James Clear on thinking about and building habits. Pairing them with something you are already doing. And finding ways to reward yourself when you complete them. Lots of tweetable gems.
- A Spell for Trouble: An Enchanted Bay Mystery. Alex goes to visit her estranged aunt and cousins and she senses that something is a little bit, um magical, but is not sure. Then a murder happens. Dun dun dun. I’m only about a third of the way through it, but I’m liking it so far.
- One By One. Sometimes I need a good thriller, and this one did not disappoint. Claire and her friends are going on a 1-week camping trip, but her van breaks down. They are lost in the woods with no cell reception, and people start disappearing. I finished it in 3 days!
- Playing Big. I’m reading this book briefly as I train to become a Playing Big Facilitator. For the next few weeks, we are talking about the inner critic. And Tara has given us a new way of thinking about that sometimes nagging, negative voice in our head. She says, “it’s like a guard at the edge of your comfort zone” that activates when there is a threat to our emotional safety. And really, we need to learn how to acknowledge it and say, “thanks, but I’ve got this.” Powerful.
- The Girl in the Mirror. Twins. One has everything. The other does…not. They go out on the family yacht. Only one returns and assumes her sister’s identity. How far will she go? What happened to her sister? Dun dun dun. Escaping the world works sometimes.
- Miss Mabel’s School for Girls. When Facebook ads get wind that I like their book recommendations, I get them ALL THE TIME NOW. This multi-book series caught my attention because of curses, dark magic, and all the witchiness. I got Harry Potter vibes, but if Hermione was the main character and her family was cursed, this Miss Mabel was the only one who could remove it. And she is an impressive villain. I am a fan. On to the rest!
- A podcast episode with my career coach friend Martin McGovern. We talk about side hustles, how to get started, how to find time, and how to use it as an advantage in your job search and career.
- Spotify’s Daily Wellness. Not usually a fan of playlists that mix podcasts and music, but I have started integrating this one as part of my morning routine. The list starts with a meditation from the Shine app and then moves into curated music. Great way to ease into the day and have a mini virtual commute before starting work.
- 6 Things You Can Do to Unlock Your Creative Self. This podcast episode lays out the keys to being your most creative self: time, space, matter, flow, diet, and sleep. Love this quote that sums up the content: “If you’re doing your most, you’re not doing your best! Give yourself a break!”
- The Ten Things Saving My Life Right Now. While reading Lazy Genius, I also subscribed to Kendra’s podcast and I love it too. My faves from her list: are 17-minute naps (need to try this!), Double Stuff Oreos (they are sooo good), and whiskey (I like mine with a mixer, like apple juice).
- RomComPods. I am warming up to podcasts, but audiobooks are hard for me to focus on. Maybe I can do a mix of the two? A romcom podcast with 30 minutes an episode. Maybe I can listen before bed? And if you love audio fiction-type stuff, check out my gurl Shenee’s Fan Wars: The Empire Claps Back podcast. It’s so good.
- How to grow to 10k, niching down, and top subscriber sources. As I think about 2021, the newsletter will continue to be a major focus for me, so I’m looking forward to this Newsletter Crew episode with Josh Spector. He covers growing from 0 to 1k (and from 1k to 10K) subscribers, newsletter resources, and more.
Want more ideas like this?
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