I can’t believe it’s almost the end of January! This month flew by so quickly. Here are five of my favorite finds this month!
Dear Evan Hansen: I listened to the Dear Evan Hansen soundtrack approximately 1,000 times in December, and I knew the general backstory but I didn’t want to read too much before seeing the show. I saw it with my mom this month and it was absolutely incredible. During intermission, with tears in her eyes, she said, “Everyone in high school needs to see this show.” I don’t want to give too much away but it’s about mental health, suicide, social media, loneliness, wanting to belong, and family. I went to the same school from kindergarten to senior year, except for the one year I spent at boarding school, and struggled to find a friend group and feel like I could be myself. The show really resonated and I highly recommend it to everyone in high school…and everyone in general. The music reminded me of Spring Awakening, American Idiot, or Rent because it’s more like pop music than music from a classic Broadway show, there is a strong story, and the acting was so emotional. I saw it with Noah Galvin and thought he was an excellent Evan Hansen.
This Is Us: Confession: Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of TV. I want to do a 30 Day Challenge where I don’t watch TV for a month, but it definitely helps me relax and unwind. My most recent favorite show is This Is Us. The show is about The Pearson family and switches between the past and future. The Pearson’s are pregnant with triplets but one baby doesn’t survive and a newborn is left at a fire station that day. They adopt the baby, named Randall. You see Randall, Kate, and Kevin growing up and as adults. You know that their dad, Jack, died tragically but we don’t know how he died yet. I don’t want to give anything away but it’s probably one of the most emotional shows on TV right now and I highly recommend it.
Gr8nola: I met the founder of Gr8nola, Erica, for breakfast because we will likely be doing a Forbes feature and she gave me all of their flavors to take home: The Original, Coco Cocoa, Golden Tumeric, and Matcha Green Tea. She and her husband were both college athletes at Stanford and every year they do a clean eating cleanse. She wanted a healthy, crunchy snack and started making clean granola. She began selling it at farmer’s markets then she went to the Google Micro Kitchen fair, where Googlers sample snacks and food for their kitchen. (Hello, dream job!) They chose Gr8nola as a snack and Erica started selling her granola to other tech companies like Dropbox. It’s interesting, she has purposefully sold to tech companies, Amazon, and on their website instead of going to grocery stores. I’ve been adding Gr8nola to my cereal or making parfaits all week. It really is gr8. (Sorry, had to!)
Banza Pasta: Banza sent me about 10 boxes of their gluten-free pasta made from chickpeas and I absolutely love it. I accomplished my goal of cooking more this month and made a few variations of pasta with the Banza. I made some with Gardein veggie meatballs, a great veggie “carbonara” with Beyond Meat patties, and mac and cheese. I think it tastes just like pasta!
Bon Appetempt: A Coming-of-Age Story (with Recipes!): I read this book to inspire me to cook more this month. Bon Appetempt is a memoir by Amelia Morris, the author of the blog Bon Attempt. She began recreating the intricate, styled recipes from food magazines like Bon Appetite and ended up getting a book deal for a memoir while working on a novel. Each chapter reads like a short story about a period of her life and each chapter has a corresponding recipe. She’s open about her struggles, and her family’s, and the book is emotional and engaging. I really enjoyed it!