Things I Love Thursday

Between moving to a new country and being pregnant I’ve been trying out lots of new things. I’d love to take a little time to share some things I’ve come across over the last month or so that you might like to check out yourself!

This Show: The Politician on Netflix

The Politician is a new Netflix series from Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) is basically House of Cards with rich, high school students. The story centers around one student, Payton Hobart (played by Ben Platt) whose whole life revolves around his plan to one day become President of the United States. He studies autobiographies and statistics of previous Presidents and develops a plan that will one day guarantee him a spot in the White House. That plan includes attending Harvard and being elected President of his class. Season 1 of The Politician features Gweneth Paltrow, Dylan McDermot, January Jones, and it promises an exciting Season 2 featuring Judith Light and Bette Midler. Despite not being a big fan of Glee and never having seen American Horror Story, I devoured the whole season in 2 days.

This Song: Stay High by Brittany Howard

In her first single off her new solo album, Brittany Howard (of Alabama Shakes fame) sings a light, happy song about not letting anything or anyone get you down over music reminiscent of Motown. Her unique voice will suck you in and you’ll stay for the empowering message.

This Book: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

On Earth Were Briefly Gorgeous
Courtesy of Goodreads

This debut novel by poet Ocean Vuong shows short snippets of his life and his relationships with his mother, grandmother, transporting the reader from his family’s time in Vietnam before he was born, to modern day. The trials and tribulations he encountered growing up a young gay man in the 90’s, and a 2nd generation Vietnamese immigrant living in Connecticut with his mother and grandmother who can’t read or speak English are fascinating and still feel somewhat familiar. Some sections of this beautifully written novel toe the line between prose and poetry during deeply emotional times to convey getting lost in a memory.  Vuong was awarded with a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant in September.

These Zella Leggings

Best Maternity Leggings
Courtesy of Nordstrom

When I found out I was pregnant, one of the first maternity items I knew I wanted to purchase was leggings. I did extensive research. I read lots of reviews for leggings at all price-points, talked to my fellow current and former preggo ladies, and performed stretch tests in-person. I was most concerned about the see-through factor. The last thing I want to worry about when I’m huge and uncomfortable is bending over to pick something up and showing the world my underwear. I finally settled on these ankle leggings and the cropped version and I haven’t looked back. I generally wear them when I’m bumming around the apartment, but once my non-maternity workout leggings stop fitting, I’ll probably wear them to the gym. The material is thick and has some compression in the legs and butt, and the hold around my belly is just right. They come in navy as well!

This App: Water Time Pro

Water App Screenshots Combined

At an early pregnancy class I learned I’m supposed to be drinking 3000 ml (~101.4 oz) of water every day! Once I started paying attention to how much water I was drinking, I realized I wasn’t consuming anywhere near that number. To help remind myself to drink more water, I found the Water Time Pro app (Android/Apple). It’s free and allows me to customize my goal, and how often/what times it reminds me to drink. I can also add quantities for juice, coffee, tea, etc. and it calculates how hydrating those beverages are based on how much sugar or caffeine they contain. In combination with this pretty 500 ml water bottle (I find that I’m likely to drink more water if it’s cold) I’m drinking much more water than I was before, and I do honestly feel better. Most days I don’t get to 3,000 ml, but I’m usually close!

This Recipe: Macaroni and Cheese

My mom use to make homemade macaroni and cheese periodically growing up, and it’s one of my favorite comfort foods. I’ve made a few tweaks over the years but the recipe has largely remained the same. Find my version of the recipe here!

Although Ireland takes great pride in its dairy industry, mac and cheese is not common here. I decided to try making this American dish with Irish ingredients, and it did not disappoint!

I meant to take a picture when I made it on Tuesday, but Tom and I dove right in and started devouring it before I thought of it. You’ll just have to use your imagination to conjure up an image of salty, gooey cheese, bubbling around bites of pasta and bursts of green spinach, all topped with caramel-colored buttered breadcrumbs. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Gif courtesy of


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