True Crime Podcast Reviews

I love podcasts.

I’ve been writing about entertainment stuff lately because somehow I haven’t been wanting to write about feelings and deeper topics, but seeing I studied journalism and was headed toward the path of an entertainment journalist, I think this is fitting enough.

Dirty John 5/10

I liked listening to Dirty John, and got through the series in just two days. It is a short series with only 6 episodes, 7 if you include the live questions after the season ends. I was surprised about the nature of the show. I have heard it’s a really good true crime, but I expected it to be a little more filled with twists and turns. Instead, I found that it was more about emotional abuse, and the way John manipulated those around him. It was still very interesting, but not worth quite the hype I felt was surrounding the show.

Serial 8/10

Serial is an interesting series because there are currently 3 different seasons, and like Dirty John, there was a television show created as a follow up. The first season of Serial follows a murder trial, the second follows the investigation of Bowe Bergdahl, a US soldier who was held prisoner of the Taliban for almost 5 years, and the third season has a lot of smaller stories in each episode to show a “behind the scenes” peek into the court systems in the United States. I liked each of the seasons, but surprisingly preferred the last two. I felt like the first season showed way too much of a bias and almost as though the convicted murderer, Adnan, charmed Sarah, the woman who did the interviews for the show, a little too much. I think he basically convinced her he was innocent, and she justified too many of his actions or explanations after seeing very blurry facts.

I liked the third season because it was so interesting to get to see a full case play out in the criminal justice system. I love shows like Law and Order SVU, so getting to hear some real stories play out and see how the police and court handle criminals was fascinating. If you haven’t listened to Serial yet, this should be one of the next podcasts on your list.

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Crime Junkie Podcast 10/10

Currently OBSESSED with this pod. So much so, that I even heard my husband humming the theme song the other night, and he hasn’t even listened to an episode with me. I think it’s because it’s super catchy and I’ve been listening nonstop since I discovered it. The hosts, Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat, are super entertaining and such good storytellers. They find interesting crimes to talk about and have some solved and other unsolved mysteries. I like being able to research afterwards, and there are dozens of episodes for me to catch up on. I like this one so much I think I’ll sign up for their Patreon account after I finish everything!

Confronting O.J. Simpson with Kim Goldman 7/10

The new podcast about O.J. is interesting, especially since I didn’t live through this trial, so don’t know as much about it as I could. I’m a little bit of a KUWTK fan, so listening through some of the details that made the family famous is quite interesting. I kind of zoned out a little, though, and wasn’t interested enough to rewind and hear what I had missed, so it’s not as captivating as other podcasts. This is just airing now, so there are only 3 episodes out, but it’s worth a listen if you’re even just remotely interested in this murder case.

Man in The Window 10/10

This is my favorite podcast that is currently going on. It’s #1 in the charts right now, and for good reason. Man in The Window is about the Golden State Killer, and although his crimes took place in the 70s and 80s, Joe DeAngelo was arrested recently for these crimes, and it is all so fresh that he hasn’t even entered a plea yet. It apparently might take years for the trial to begin, but it will definitely be more interesting following along after listening to this show. One of the episodes gave me goosebumps, and it’s definitely not something you want to listen to unless you’re in the mood for some heavy true crime.


What are your favorite podcasts? I clearly like true crime and am currently hooked on it, but I’m game for pretty much anything. A few more lighthearted favorites include The Morning Toast, Reality TV RHAP-ups during the Big Brother season, How I Built This, Off The Vine, and a political podcast that will remain nameless.

Appreciating Our Differences

Something I like doing on occasion is reading books of people I am not a huge fan of, but I’ve seen glimpses of things I really like about them. The reason I like doing this is because I think writing can humanize people and gives you a little peek into their soul if they choose to be open with their audience. You can learn a lot from people who are different than you are, and I do believe that the large majority of people have good intentions; they just have different ideas of what will make the world a better place. Getting to know someone’s heart, rather than judging them on their political opinions or differing beliefs can open your mind to a whole new beautiful world.

One of my favorite quotes of all time is,

“There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you’ve heard their story.”

There is so much truth in this. So much.

My most recent example is Amy Schumer. She has a pretty raunchy sense of humor that I just don’t really find funny. I’ve heard some jokes from her that make me cry I’m laughing so hard, but I can totally do without all the crudeness and language. So, you would think that when Audible suggested I listen to her book I would immediately be turned off and go to the next suggestion, but I was open to giving it a try. After all, this is not the first time I’ve changed my mind about a celebrity after knowing more about them.

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Photo Credit: Instagram, @AmySchumer

I’m more than halfway through her book and my idea of her is forever changed. Amy has been through a lot in her life, and her sense of humor is what saw her through a lot of her challenges. She uses it as a defense mechanism, and a way to cope with hardship. Don’t get me wrong, there were pretty decent chunks of the book I wasn’t really into and wanted to fast-forward through. I felt myself cringe and wasn’t interested in hearing some of the details that were divulged, but I know plenty of people laughed out loud at the pictures that she painted for us.

Reading this, though, made me really like Amy Schumer as a person; now I would say that I just don’t like every single one of her jokes. She’s strong, independent, and doesn’t take crap from other people, and she also doesn’t let things get to her as much as I would. She knows her worth and that she can’t please everyone, but is herself anyway. I respect the heck out of that! It also indirectly introduced me to one of her newest movies, I Feel Pretty, which was possibly one of the funniest movies I’ve seen all year. I was rolling at some of the jokes towards the beginning of the film, and I think Schumer captured what it’s like being a woman so, so well. I love how open she is about her insecurities and how she says what every girl thinks at one time or another. She is just so darn relatable, despite being a wealthy celebrity (Side note: I guess I’ve been living under a rock because I was shocked to hear she’s worth over 37 million dollars. What?!).

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures, “I Feel Pretty”

I still don’t think I’ll be Amy’s number one fan, but I definitely won’t shy away from her completely. Maybe every once in awhile I’ll check out her Instagram to see if she has any fun content, or even listen to her podcast on Spotify. Amy and I will never be the same — in fact I think we’re polar opposites in almost every regard — but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy her for who she is and learn some important life lessons along the way. I want to have her fearlessness and strength! I want to care less about what other people think about me, and I want to do more of what I love and prioritize myself without feeling guilty about it. I think those were valuable enough lessons in themselves to make The Girl with The Lower Back Tattoo worth the read for me, and I was glad I chose it as my “book of the month” for February.


 …Thoughts? What are some books that you’ve read that have shaped you? Who has changed your mind about them by just sitting down and getting to know them more? I am making it a goal of mine to keep learning more about people who think differently than I do because I think this is an amazing opportunity for me to grow as a person. I’d love more suggestions on books to read and podcasts to follow this month!

Mean Girls

Social media has been around for a long time now, but something that feels like it’s more recently become popular are the little subgroups on Facebook where you can interact with complete strangers about some sort of common interest. For example, when I got engaged, I joined some of the wedding planning groups to get advice from other people who were in the same boat as me. I am also in several fan groups for pop culture topics — such as entertainment podcasts or groups that talk primarily about The Bachelor. 

Something I’ve noticed most of these groups all of a sudden have in common, though, is that mean girls are running rampant in these little corners of the Internet. At first, it was really cool to have a place to talk to people from all around the country — or even the world — about something we all had in common. It was fun finding common ground discussing movies and new television shows and how excited we were about Taylor’s next concert. It was entertaining debating whether or not we were excited about having Colton as the next bachelor and listening to each other’s well-thought-out points. This part of the world just felt light and carefree, and was a nice little escape from the more difficult and depressing headlines in the news.

These groups were a safe space to ask for advice on boyfriends, bridal parties, friendship, school, work, and everything in between — until they weren’t. I have read horror stories of people screenshotting pictures of brides’ dresses and sending them to the fiancé that could easily be found by searching her Facebook. The girl who was asking for our opinion on which dress to wear on her wedding day suddenly had her fun surprise ruined, and trust completely violated for absolutely no reason other than someone intentionally being cruel. One girl asked for advice about some issues she had been having with her husband, and a girl from the group screenshotted it and sent it to him. Another girl was going through a breakup and asked for some support, only to find out that a day later one of the girls in the group slid into her ex’s DMs because she thought he was cute. The ex was turned off by the behavior and notified his the original poster, but it’s still so messed up when women do not support other women.

Mean girls apparently exist in our twenties and thirties too, and some people just refuse to grow up. I don’t understand the joy some humans get in hurting other people. It’s twisted, sick, and really really immature. Your brain keeps growing up until you turn 25, and maybe some of that is the empathy part, but these people I see being inexcusably cruel are often fully-developed adults. When you’re a kid and people are mean to you, you figure at least one day you’ll be grown up and all of that will be behind you. Then you go to college and might have a bad roommate or something, but overall have a wonderful experience with the people there. There always seem to be a few people who are just downright mean for sport, though, and the Internet is a place they absolutely thrive. Anonymity is a perfect Cloak of Invisibility for the mean girl, and she wears it everywhere she goes. Whether trolls use fake profiles or merely hide behind their keyboards, they don’t care or even consider the feelings of others.

I have seen girls get attacked for having different opinions or life experiences than others. People fight to the death defending or attacking celebrities that they don’t even know, and then blame others for being unkind or insensitive. People who claim to be trying to make the world a better place by “educating others” are just being flat-out mean, and those who preach tolerance can ironically be some of the least tolerant people because they won’t accept people who think differently than they do. The biggest way to change someone’s mind is to respectfully disagree but still show the person love, even if you don’t agree with their opinion. By having calm discussions and connecting to someone’s heart, it is so much easier to help them realize how they might be wrong. It’s also a great way for you to learn and grow too.

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We know how hard life is already without any unnecessary drama, and yet there are still people who think it’s their job to ruin other people’s days. These groups are filled with moms, nurses, teachers, and everything in between. It’s mind-blowing to me to see people who are this inappropriately mean, and it definitely makes trusting strangers far more difficult. After feeling safe and happily trusting people I didn’t know on the Internet, I no longer have that luxury, thanks to the little groups of mean girls that have ruined it for the rest of us who just wanted to have friends from all around the world. I think the majority of people in these Facebook groups are kind and good people, but the ones who are brutally cruel make it too much of a risk to even post anything in them anymore.

One of the most interesting parts about the Internet bullies on Facebook is that you can see what their personal pages look like. One girl who was using name-calling as a tactic had a profile picture that was captioned with one of Martin Luther King Junior’s most famous quotes about love. Another had a profile picture with her two toddlers. People post inspirational quotes about loving your neighbor, but then go and bully others like it isn’t being hypocritical. It makes absolutely no sense, and I am so tired of people resorting to cruelty instead of just loving one another despite our differences. I also think we are at a time where people do not know how to handle being bored. Instead of doing something productive or creative, people decide to entertain themselves at the expense of others. We not only need to learn how to sit with our thoughts, but it is also more important now than ever to practice self control and think twice about how our words and actions make others feel. Posting an opinion online is easier than ever, which means we can have an enormous impact on others through what we choose to write. I hope that everything takes another turn for the better, but I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of the trolling in what are supposed to be safe spaces on the Internet. All we can do right now is hope for moderators to keep things kind, and be picky about who they accept into these little groups.


Do you think the good that comes from social media outweighs the bad? Have you noticed that things have gotten progressively worse, or is this just something I hadn’t experienced very much until more recently?

Stuck In A Rut

One thing I love about having this blog is how many stories I get to hear about my readers’ dating lives. It’s wonderful seeing so many blossoming relationships, and I feel honored when people trust me with their dating problems or to give good advice.

Something that comes up a lot is overwhelming discouragement with the way dating is going. In some cases girls who come to me say that they struggle because they don’t get asked out IRL very often, thus do not have a wide variety of prospects. Others say that every date they do go on seems to end in disaster — or even just a lack of interest — and that they fear they’ll never find anyone.

I have some encouragement to offer, though. There is someone out there for everyone. I am not saying that everybody in the world is going to find a significant other or get married — though I think if you want someone in your life you’ll manage to find a special person eventually if you’re really willing to put in the work to find them — but I think we often worry that since we haven’t found someone yet, that it’s never going to happen. That is a very slippery slope, my friends!

Some people in this world do have more matches than others. Certain personalities seem to have more choices than others, but that doesn’t mean if you haven’t met the right people to date yet that you never will. In the meantime, here are a few tips I have come up with to better yourself while you feel somewhat stuck in a rut:

  • Focus on your friends. Shifting some of the time you might spend dating towards nourishing some of your good friendships isn’t something you’ll ever regret — whereas pouring all of your free time into dating and away from your close relationships might be. Some friends are forever, whereas most of the people you date will likely only be in a very small part of your life. Friends are the people who will help you through heartbreak, be there for you when no one else is, and happily pick you up when you’re feeling down. Strengthen these relationships and make time for “friend dates” to have fun while you’re looking for Mr. Right on the side!
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We have all felt like this Pug at some point in our lives — though none of us can possibly be quite as cute as he is!
  • Volunteer. Spending some of your free time sharing your gifts and talents with the world is a really beautiful thing. I have also found that when you volunteer your time to help other people, you end up getting even more out of the experience than the people you are helping. Making a difference in the world is an incredible thing that isn’t as difficult as people make it seem. After all, even if you just touch one person’s heart, you are changing their world for the better.
  • Learn something new. Ever since I became single again I have made a point to learn new things and make myself a more dynamic person. I learned some new magic tricks to add to my repertoire, I am working towards my Masters in English, and I started listening to podcasts (Freakonomics has made learning about the economy simple, which also led me to one of my other favorite podcasts, Question of The Day). These are all things I am doing solely for myself and I appreciate the time I get to focus solely on the things I want to do, as one day I won’t have as much free time for myself.
  • Form new friendships. Making new friends is really rewarding, especially when they end up becoming close ones. I have also found that meeting new people often means you eventually meet their friends, and you never know when someone might decide you are a “perfect match” for one of their friends. Dating is all about networking, so although this shouldn’t be your motive for making new friends, it can certainly be a bonus!

Today’s lesson: Positive thinking is so important, and getting too discouraged with dating won’t solve any of your problems. Instead, take a deep breath, relax, and work on bettering yourself and the world around you! You will never feel like you wasted time if you’re becoming a stronger, more empathetic, and kinder person. Making a difference in the world will not only impact the people around you, but it will change your life for the better as well.