August 2016 Favorite Finds

A monthly roundup of my favorite things I've read, listened to, and watched in August 2016 including Brene Brown, Donald Miller, Elizabeth Gilbert, and more!

Today kicks off a brand new monthly series I'm calling Favorite Finds. If you have a more creative name for it, help a sister out. In this new roundup, I'm sharing my recommendations for what to read, listen to, and watch while highlighting who I've recently connected with.

This monthly series was inspired after receiving several emails from friends in my community who were interested in what I was reading during my creative retreat last month and I thought why not have a dedicated space to highlight the content I'm intentionally consuming? I'm all about finding resources that cut through the noise so you can connect with your purpose, along with some just-for-fun finds too. 


Favorite things I’ve read:

Scary Close by Donald Miller

Cultivating intimacy in friendships and relationships is one of my favorite topics to read and write about. Going into the book, I had high hopes since I loved the subject matter as well as the author's work with books like Blue Like Jazz. Donald really opens up about his fears and inner critic, leaning into his vulnerability in an admirable way. It made me want to write a memoir even more. Good books do that to you. Read here.

Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan

It’s been a few weeks since I finished this heartfelt and heartbreaking memoir on appreciating motherhood and I still don’t have the words to describe how much I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a quick read that was somehow heavy and light at the same time. If I could give more than 5 stars to this book, I would. I'll definitely be reading more of Kelly's memoirs. Read here

Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman

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The sub-headline of this book is "Small-moment living in a fast-moving world" and right away I knew it was worth checking out from the library. It did not disappoint!The way the author mixes easy-to-grasp scripture interpretations with everyday storytelling was incredibly moving. This excerpt from Simply Tuesday below explains the book perfectly. Read here

“But Tuesday teaches me that part of living well in ordinary time is letting this day be good. Letting this day be a gift. Letting this day be filled with plenty. And if it all goes wrong and my work turns to dust? This is my kind reminder that outcomes are beyond the scope of my job description.” 

Online writing worth noting:

Favorite things I’ve watched:

Brene Brown's video on Empathy

From her popular TEDTalk to her bestselling books, Brene Brown seems to be everywhere, and for good reason. Her research on vulnerability and shame is fascinating and sometimes life-changing. When I found this short illustrated video paired with a clip from one of her talks on the power of empathy, I laughed and nodded along. Watch here

Infopreneur Summit with Bailey Richert

I was thrilled to be a part of Bailey's virtual summit this month and had a great time chatting with her about how to utilize Twitter to build your online community. Of course we talked all about Twitter chats and I even told my story about how Twitter helped me get all of my internships and post-grad jobs. There are over 20 other speakers who were involved in the summit, many of whom you'll recognize. You can access the interviews at this link: Watch here

Anthony Ongaro’s Breakthrough Series

Anthony is one of my close friends in Minneapolis who has been killing it on YouTube under his minimalism brand Break the Twitch. I also interviewed him in season one of the #createlounge podcast if you want to hear more of his story. In his new Breakthrough Series, Anthony has created (beautiful!) videos where he interviews local creatives on their breakthrough moments in life. Watch here

Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond

I cut out most TV shows and movies this month in order to make more time for reading after my creative retreat but when my family suggested we all go see the new Star Trek film in theaters, I gave myself a permission slip to do so. My family has always been into sci-fi action movies so we adore the Star Trek series. Watch here


Favorite things I’ve listened to:

Magic Lessons Podcast: You Have a Screaming, Not a Calling with Sarah Jones

One of the best things about August was that Magic Lessons, Elizabeth Gilbert's podcast, came back for a second season! *cue the confetti and champagne* The new season kicked off with an incredible episode interview a woman who has always wanted to be a comedy writer but ended up getting her degree in genocide studies. What the what?! I know. This story of rebirth and transition really inspired me. Listen here.

Real Talk Radio: Dallas Clayton on Play, Art, and The Power of Encouraging Others

I'm a pretty dedicated listener of Nicole Antoinette's podcast. While her podcast episodes can get up to 2 hours long each, the quality of the conversation is unlike any other podcast I've listened to. Nicole just released a new season before going on her month-long solo hiking trip this month (cool, huh?) and my favorite of the eight was an interview with Dallas Clayton, a children's book author, illustrator, and all-around just rad human. I discovered him first through a past CreativeMornings talk and he always has new stories to tell. Listen here.

Wonderwall (Cover) - Ryan Adams  

I've been trying to beef up my #cocoawithkayla playlist (named after my Instagram hashtag, of course) with some calm acoustic tunes and I recently stumbled upon this gem. The way he sings the chorus of this song is... *swoon* All the heart-eye emojis! Listen here.

My Galaxy Vibes playlist

I've been curating this playlist for at least 6 months now and it's full of songs that make me feel like I'm floating in outer space. Is that weird? It includes tracks from Mutemath, The 1975, M83, Sleeping At Last, and more. Listen here.


Favorite new people to follow:

Side note: This section was added to my roundup by suggestion from Aimee McNew after I tweeted about adding this roundup to my blog content calendar. As a community leader, I thought it was brilliant! Thanks for the great idea, Aimee. *fist bump*

Ashlyn Carter of Ashlyn Writes

Ashlyn reached out to me at the beginning of the month to introduce herself after joining our #createlounge mailing list. We hit it off right away and I couldn't stop swooning over her calligraphy treasures. The girl has a gift! I was even more excited when I learned she's located in Atlanta which I'll be visiting in October. Stay tuned for a #createlounge collaboration with this gal real soon! Connect with her here

Ashlyn Writes

Marlena Pearl of Marlena Pearl Photography

Marlena reached out to me earlier in July with the most well-crafted pitch I've ever received. She not only gave me some genuine compliments on my blog content, she also noted she had read some of my poetry and hand-picked some of her stock photos that I could use for my blog post. Talk about adding value!

We hopped on a phone call mid-August and I quickly found we shared a similar heart for our creative work. Her photos are the perfect blend of moody nature scenery with beautiful feminine touches. She also has a pack of 25 free high-quality images for her subscribers, a few of them previewed below. Aren't they dreamy?! Connect with her here

Marlena Pearl Photography

What were your favorite things to read, watch, and listen to in August? Who were your favorite new people to follow? Please share with my community and I in the comment section below!