Happy Friday! I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve barely been home this week. My calendar was chock full of errands, meetings, appointments, lunches and dinners with friends and family, and other miscellaneous commitments that had me traveling to and fro like a busy bee.
Thankfully, apart from a house showing on Saturday and church on Sunday, M and I have made absolutely zero plans for the weekend. I can’t wait to have time to just get stuff done! We have a laundry list of things to accomplish around the apartment and in our personal lives and I am relishing the fact that we will finally have time to put a dent in it.
Are we the only ones who get a huge, almost euphoric sense of satisfaction from knocking things off our to-do list?
Anyway, it should be a good weekend at the M and Gwen home! I hope yours is looking equally promising, whether you have fun, exciting plans or are just looking forward to some well-deserved rest and relaxation!
In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been loving lately:
The National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year contest is one of the most prestigious in the world, and the submissions never fail to amaze. Twisted Sifter was given permission to share a few early highlights, mostly of animals, and they’re pretty stellar. My personal favorite is an unbelievable shot of a leaping leopard batting at a stork in mid-air.
Nature photography is an incredible art that often requires extensive amounts of time, money, skill, and patience to capture the perfect shot. Do yourself a favor and take five minutes out of your day to appreciate these nine impressive photos, and join me in excitedly anticipating the reveal of this year’s winners later in 2018.
2.) REI’s National Parks Clothing and Gear
I love REI. To be honest, most any sporting goods / outdoor equipment store gets me excited, but something about REI takes it to another level. There’s something about walking into one of their stores that gives me that tingle of excitement, like an adventure is just around the corner. I also love that it’s set up as a co-op, so members get 10% of their total yearly spend (with some exceptions) back as a “dividend.” This is both delightful (“Cash back, whoo-hoo!”) and disastrous (“I should probably just get this – it’s basically 10% off and then I’ll have more dividend money to spend next year!”).
Recently, REI came out with a new line of national parks-themed clothing and gear that I think is really fun. It includes t-shirts, packs, water bottles, pins, and other fun stuff printed with unique park-specific designs and topographical maps. And the best part? Five percent of the sales get donated right back to the national parks! It’s a great way to show your love of the outdoors and celebrate the United States’s fantastic national park system, all while supporting a great cause!
While not all national parks are represented (and I wish the Denali women’s t-shirt design was a little more fun), overall it’s a great collection! They’ve done a good job of featuring different kinds of parks from across the country, including Mt. Rainier, Rocky Mountain, Acadia, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains, Denali, and Voyageurs. Here’s hoping that more are added in future!
So go ahead! Treat yo self to some new national parks gear!
3.) “The Americans”
I’ve featured a couple of TV shows on this series before, but most of my television viewing comes in the form of quick keep-me-company-while-I’m eating-or-doing-chores sitcoms that I may or may not actually be watching. M and I really don’t have many shows that we make a point to watch weekly or as soon as they air, but the one we never miss is FX’s “The Americans.”
For those who aren’t familiar, “The Americans” follows Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings, two KGB spies who pose as married American citizens in Washington, D.C., during the Reagan administration. It’s powerfully acted, fantastically written, and incredibly compelling, the sort of slow, tense burn that leaves you on the edge of your seat each week. It’s not an action-packed, shoot-em-up, cool-as-ice spy show; it’s about real-feeling characters and relationships and politics and consequences. A critical darling, it’s widely regarded to be one of the best (and most under appreciated) shows on television, and we can’t get enough.
There are only two episodes left until the series finale, and lately each week has been leaving us breathless. I don’t want it to end, and yet I can’t wait to see how everything is going to come together – or fall completely apart.
If you’ve never seen the show, I highly encourage you to check it out. You can catch up on Amazon Prime or watch this season on FX.com.
Thanks for joining us again this week! I wish you all a fabulous weekend!
(PS: This post contains no affiliate links – I receive no commission from any purchases.)
What have you been loving lately?
Which national park would you love to see on an REI t-shirt?
Is there a TV show that you never miss?