It's the first issue of What I'd Rather Be Talking About!
You might be wondering... what's this all about? Read on, dear readers... let's get to it.
Welcome to Newsletter Número Uno! Thanks for
Someone in my yoga class today found out I had a newsletter and asked me what it was about. Now, that answer should be on the tip of my tongue, but I was temporarily stumped. I paused and then said, "Well, it's the download of all the things I think about during yoga. Or in a meeting. Or just when I'm going about my business. It's a place I write about the important things I want to share with the world." Well, this genius yogi saw past my really long,somewhat vague answer and replied, "Oh, so it's like a lifestyle newsletter?" dingdingding! Winner. Winner...
Yes. What I'd Rather Be Talking About is a lifestyle newsletter - in the sense that I'm going to share ideas, tips, products, and information to make your life happier, healthier, and more balanced. And. What I'd Rather Be Talking About is also a newsletter about life. This includes the happy parts of life as well as the challenges we all face & how to move through them. So, let's try this again. What I'd Rather Be Talking About is a lifestyle newsletter about... life - the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between as told by someone whose #1 goal is to move past the pleasantries and just tell it like it is. There you have it. Watch for a new edition in your mailbox every Thursday. If you know someone who might need to hear What I’d Rather Be Talking About, please invite them to our little club. Thanks for reading! Abbey
IN MY EARS AND ON MY SCREEN
Podcasts I’m listening to:
Did you know it’s possible to enjoy yourself AND be productive during the holidays? I know, right? It actually is possible. Husband/wife duo, Chris & Lori Harder explain in Earn Your Happy.
Really long build-up to some podcast recs: This year I made a vow to avoid my annual “Marshall’s Death March.” That’s where you put off buying gifts until Dec. 21, then freak out and spend a Saturday running around, finding nothing. Repeat on Sunday until 4:00 p.m. when you’re exhausted, starving, have to pee, crabby, and decide to “run into Marshalls, maybe you’ll get lucky.” Your only luck is that the bathroom is just slightly disgusting, not filthy. You end up buying a cart full of crap and a sparkly sweater that seemed like a good idea at the time. Upon analyzing your haul, you realize you just lost an entire weekend of your life, and end up throwing it all back in the bag and in your trunk so you can waste another 2-3 hours returning it. But, sadly you forget about the bag until March when it’s too late to get cash back, and you’re left with a store credit to buy more crap. In the end, you wind up buying gift cards for everyone on your list. Merry Christmas. Don’t do that. Instead, see below.
Three great podcasters with gift guides: Wellness writer/cookbook author/podcast host Liz Moody, motivational speaker & podcaster Chalene Johnson , and the best friend duo of Claire and Erica who can tell you A Thing or Two about holiday gift lists in two gift-giving episodes -partners/parents/grandparents and everyone else.
YouTube channels that have my attention:
One more while we’re talking gift-giving. Got a fancy person in your life but not a fancy bank account? Check out House of Valentina’s Luxe Gifts for Less. (Bonus: If you like Valentina, check out her fashion channel.)
Next, appetizers made easy. Personally, I think that sentence sounds like a lie, but after watching this video on the Tasty channel, I’ve got some ideas.
Wait, are you plant-based and still want apps? Check out “Easy to Make Vegan Appetizers (That you actually want to make)” (again, suspicious of the title) or this fascinating video on how to make plant-based charcuterie boards - which for the record, I’m not even going to attempt as I know my limits. But I do have some pretty talented readers, so please try and then come over.
What would dinner be without Netflix:
So happy that Dead to Me is back, and I love Christina Applegate’s absolute grit as she shot Season 3 despite her MS diagnosis. The studio told her she didn’t have to return to the series, but she insisted. Here’s why. You won’t regret watching Season 3 to the end.
I also gobbled up Season 6 of Somebody Feed Phil - Phil Rosenthal’s foodie show where he travels the world to sample food and meet lovely restaurant owners & people. It’s a breath of fresh air to watch - both funny and moving. Phil’s tribute to his parents in the last episode of Season Six made my heart swell, and the show in general just renews my faith in the human race. *And hey, if you’re new to Phil… be sure to watch seasons 1-5 as well.
LIFESTYLE & WELLNESS
Holiday cheer with a twist. Wine, spirits, and non-spirited spirits:
I love wine. But, I’m kind of a wine snob - when it comes to what’s in my wine. It turns out wine can contain a lot of crap you don’t know about. In an attempt to clean up my game, I’ve been investigating the world of low-sugar wines. I especially like Cameron Diaz’s low-sugar, clean wine, Avaline. (Love the white.)
My ultimate goal is to sign up for Dry Farm Wines and get low-sugar, clean wine delivered to me each month. But that’s a conflict of interest with my goal below.
Let’s talk N/A wine. I used to think if I’m not drinking wine at a party or during dinner, why even bother with a N/A version, just stick with water. Well, sometimes water feels boring with dinner and I’d like to have an adult-looking bevvie with my meal. Turns out I’m not alone in wanting to go N/A sometimes.
Commercial break - a couple N/A wines I've sampled: First, I tried Fre Wines, which was recommended to me by my yoga instructor/friend. The price was right (around $12.99) and while I’m not 100% in love with the red blend, it was pretty good when I mixed in some sparkling water. I also bought a bottle of Surely NA pinot noir from Thrive Market. While I thought, "Surely something with such a classy looking bottle and a little heftier price tag must be awesome," I found that, "Surely there must be other options out there, or maybe I'll stick to water." While yes, Surely comes in a lovely bottle (with a fun name to boot), the taste was only “okay” and definitely not worth the $23.99 price tag.
Not a N/A wine, but a fun mocktail… let’s talk Poppi sodas. Poppi sodas are tasty and come with digestive benefits. I especially love the raspberry flavor and their motto, “Be Gut Healthy, Be Gut Happy.” As someone who understands gut issues (more on that in a future post, bet you can’t wait), I’m all on board for Poppi.
A serious note, and more on spirits… but not the kind you drink.
I know the holiday season can be intensely hard for those of us missing loved ones. Or, to borrow one of my dad’s favorite expressions for describing tough times, “Holidays can be a real pisser.”
With that in mind, I offer a giant holiday hug (even though in real life I’m not much of a hugger) and a simple “I get it “ to all of my readers who are missing someone. Grief isn’t easy on a good day, but when you’ve got Bing Crosby serenading you in stores and your car from Halloween to New Year’s, it can get downright overwhelming. Maybe Laura Lynn Jackson’s messages can help:
From the world of spirituality and spirits, here’s a great podcast that explains how our loved ones who have passed are actually closer than we think. Laura Lynn Jackson has some amazing things to tell us about our lives and how we’re all connected to those here on earth and beyond.
More into books than podcasts? Try Laura Lynn Jackson’s books: Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe and The Light Between Us: Stories from Heaven. These really helped me after the loss of my parents in 2020. If you’re missing someone, I can’t recommend these books enough.
And on that note, I’ll sign off with an understanding nod and a reminder to be good to yourself this holiday season, and throughout the year.
I’d love to hear what you think of the newsletter so far. Please feel free to comment below and also recommend it to a friend if you think they might dig it.
See you next Thursday.
Keep it real,