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Weekend Ready #1

Weekend Ready #1

I’m launching something new today. Over the past few frigid weekends, I have been sharing my tv and movie recommendations, and I have decided to turn that into a weekly chat.

40 blog posts ahead

One of the things that I have struggled with as a blogger is creating conversations with my readers. Usually, my posts are pretty straightforward recipes or travel guides. I don’t want to share my thoughts on if Bohemian Rhapsody or A Star Is Born better in a blog post about how to roast a chicken

Luckily, I feel like I know some of you through chatting on Instagram – which I love. Based on those conversations and questions readers have asked, I am going to try writing a weekly check-in on Fridays. It will be focused around recommendations for making your weekend a little better, but I will include some other things that are on my mind. Let’s see how it works out. 

Which is better: A Star Is Born or Bohemian Rhapsody?

Bohemian Rhapsody is just so fun. A Star Is Born gets heavy and serious, and since it’s the fourth remake, it doesn’t feel as fresh. I greatly enjoyed both, I just think Bohemian Rhapsody is better.

It’s been super cold in Chicago.

I am very thankful to work from home so that I didn’t have to go outside when it was -25 degrees. I used the time to do my tax prep, my least favorite task of the year.

Things to do in Quebec City | A guide of what to do in Quebec City in winter

My thoughts on the state of blogging:

I read this amazing and honest blog post by Grace Atwood this week and it got me thinking about the state of blogging. Like many bloggers, what started as a hobby became a business and eventually a full-time job. As people mentioned in the comments to Grace’s post, I have noticed some bloggers doing some slightly questionable things like promoting brands and products that don’t fit the topic of their website. Some bloggers are sharing so much sponsored content that their voice has been lost. I have spent a considerable amount of time thinking about how I want to balance paying my bills with creating content that is true to my brand. I want to write posts that I can be proud of. I think the best way to do this is to run ads on my site and to do fewer sponsored posts. 

I also want to be more upfront about how and when I make money. I have always disclosed when a post is sponsored (as is required by the FTC). I turn down most sponsored post opportunities and only work with brands that I use and love. What may not be clear, is that the vast majority of content I publish isn’t paid for by anyone, I just earn money from the ads when people read the content. I pay for most of my travel myself. When I write posts about exceptional hotels that I love, and I am usually paying for the hotel. 

Whenever I receive a free product or free travel, and whenever I am paid to create a post, I say so. I do like to mention brands even when a post isn’t sponsored. When I find something I love, I want to share it. Sometimes I use affiliate links to share products that I love.

I want to keep it real. I am lucky that some of you have been reading for years, and I don’t want to betray your trust by recommending something that I don’t truly believe in. 

I love what I do and I am proud of the brand I have created. At the same time, there are things going on in the industry that I don’t love. I am doing my best to just be me and to create the content that I love to share.

Now on to the thing everyone is looking for —>

What to watch this weekend: 

This week I am sharing television shows and movies that Charles and I like to watch together.

hulu

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – This silly show about a Brooklyn police department is easy to love. You know Andy Samberg from SNL, and Terry Crews from the fact that man is everywhere these days, but the entire cast is great. 

Becoming Bond – A fascinating and lighthearted movie filmed in documentary style about George Lazenby, the actor who took over the role of James Bond from Sean Connery. You don’t know Lazenby’s name because he was in just one film, ever. Even though he received great reviews for his portrayal of Bond! The true story of how Lazenby became James Bond is almost too unlikely to believe.

Hot Tub Time Machine – I feel like the name really says it all. 

The Arrival – The Amy Adams flick about trying to communicate with aliens who have arrived on earth is better than I expected. 

Netflix

Imposters – There are two seasons of this show that follows the story of a team of con artists and their victims who are trying to take them down. It’s fast paced and full of twists.

The Good Place – Probably the only comedy that tackles topics like moral philosophy, this show stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. Just like Imposters, you never know what is going to happen next and are always surprised.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – I really can’t handle scary movies or shows, and this is on the line of almost being too much. It is a dark take on the Sabrina the teenage witch I grew up with.

Amazon Prime

Greenfingers – I love this little British comedy starring Clive Owen as a prisoner who takes up gardening and befriends a famous gardener played by Helen Miren. 

The Big Sick – The fact this is based on a true story makes me love this film even more. Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon wrote this movie based on their love story which took an unexpected turn when Emily ended up in the hospital with a mystery illness. It sounds serious, but this movie is fresh and funny. Ray Romano and Holly Hunter play Emily’s parents and are so good in their roles.

Forever – This series with Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen is incredibly strange. It’s funny, weird, and thought-provoking and I don’t want to say much more or I might ruin it. It’s better to go in not knowing what to expect.

Waking Ned Devine – When the elderly man with a winning lottery ticket is found dead, a small town in Ireland comes together to trick the national lottery and share the winnings. 

Downton Abbey – This is perfect for a binge watch because there is lots of it. The BBC drama focuses on an upper-class family and their household staff. There is lots of drama, amazing costumes, and endearing love stories.

Amazon Prime Purchases

Bohemian Rhapsody – We bought this film via Amazon and I am certain I will watch it again. Rami Malek is phenomenal has Freddie Mercury, and the film follows the entirety of Queen’s groundbreaking career.

On Demand Purchases

A Star Is Born – While this movie has a more serious tone than I expected, the music is so good, and you have to respect that Bradley Cooper basically spent a year and a half becoming a musician for his role.

Siberia Station

Recent finds:

I love this Summersalt one-piece bathing suit and wore it to Siberian Station. It’s really flattering!

I bought Charles two pairs of these Mack Weldon sweatpants and he has been wearing them nearly every day (no exaggeration). They look like regular pants, not sweatpants, are super soft, and are way more attractive than the old sweatpants they replaced.

My sister got a onesie from Snug as a Bug, so I had to buy one too. It’s the ideal thing to wear during a polar vortex. You can even get them monogrammed. 

I have been using this heating pad to warm up my bed before I go to bed at night, and it is amazing. (It has an automatic shut off too).

What to read this weekend:

Lauren shared a bunch of super cute Valentine’s Day cards.

Emily wrote about 15 things that are good for the soul.

My most fashionable friend, Jenn, found the perfect blouse and skirt combo.

Jenny has a list of game day appetizers for you to try.

Oh, and I did an interview with Megan from Moderately Excited where I talk about how I started blogging and my favorite travel destinations. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

thekittchen