Hello Friends!

I’ve missed you all dearly! I hope you had a wonderful and restful holiday season and are ready to start the new year! I have been incredibly busy juggling a lot of balls in the air, which is why I haven’t posted in a while. I’m hoping that in 2017, I can learn to manage my time a lot better so that I can fit in all of the things that I enjoy doing, like blogging.

Just to catch you up to speed, I am currently in the midst of applying to various postdoctoral fellowships, I’ve started a new rotation on internship, and I’m ironing out my goals for the new year (which includes weekly blog posts)!

Stay tuned because I have so much in store for us this year!!!



Since being introduced to the podcast world, they’re pretty much all I listen to. They especially come in handy when I’m traveling long distances. So, without further ado here are my favorite podcasts!



the read

Hand’s down, no competition! The Read is by far my FAVORITE podcast. Kid Fury and Crissle keep me laughing for an entire hour (sometimes more if we’re lucky)! The awesome duo tackle everyday issues from annoying celebrity drama to real world problems facing the Black and LGBTQIA communities. I get my doses of tea, shade, and education all in one! If you love vulgar language and laughing with friends, give them a listen! My favorite episode (too many to name, but I’ll give you a slice): Smell & Taste


Who doesn’t love Serial? A friend introduced me to the podcast shortly after they became popular during their season 1 story featuring Adnan Syed. I’ve been hooked ever since! There’s something about the way Sarah Koenig walks the audience through the story as it unfolds that makes it truly authentic. Sometimes I get goosebumps when I listen. My favorite episode (you definitely have to start from the beginning): The Alibi


I discovered Undisclsoed shortly after I became OBSESSED with Adnan’s story. I’ve learned so much about the criminal justice system through Rabia, Susan, and Colin, and it makes my own professional research that much more important! My favorite episode: ALL OF THEM!



An oldie but a goodie! This American Life has been around for years and is most likely the Godfather of all podcasts. I love hearing stories from everyday strangers. My favorite episode: The Problem We All Live With Part 1.




I love how effortlessly Heben and Tracy mix comedy with topics that actually matter (i.e. feminism, racism, and any other ‘ism you feel like inserting). And, it also doesn’t hurt that every episode includes alcohol (hence the title)! My favorite episode: Episode 25 – Stop Telling Women To Smile

Five Days Of Fitness

I’ve had a pretty eventful week and I thought I would share some of it with you. I managed to work out 5 WHOLE DAYS this week – sometimes even TWICE a day! And trust me, that’s a record!!



*My 4am face – trying to convince myself that waking up this early is completely normal!


Tuesday consisted of starting back on C25K. For those not familiar, C25K stands for “Couch to 5K.” It’s an app that works to move you from couch potato (someone who doesn’t run or runs very little) to running 3 miles. Yup! 3 whole miles. I started the app last summer, but, like most diets and fitness routines, I stopped being consistent and soon dropped it all together. I decided to start it again this summer as an addition to the new fitness routine I’m starting. I figured if I mixed up my routine and focused on a variety of different things I would be less likely to get bored and more likely to actually finish something. On Tuesday I ran a little over 1 mile after not running at all since September! I felt pretty good about that!



Wednesday consisted of 2 activities (go me)! I started the day with a morning CrossFit class. I was able to meet my coach and learn some of the different moves and techniques. In the afternoon I tried a Vinyasa yoga class (which was very hard for a beginner). By the end of the day I was exhausted (and sore!) but felt really good about having pushed myself to try new fitness activities.


Third day and a little sore! Okay, a lot sore! I was starting to feel the effects of yesterdays workout HARD! Running was a little harder because it was SO HOT! But, I was able to finish day 2 of my app and still had some energy left for my evening yoga class. Luckily, the yoga class (which was candlelight!) did a great job of stretching me out. A nice long hot shower and I was ready for bed!



I had a great workout in the am! Even better, I realized that after the workout I wasn’t completely exhausted or depleted of energy. I didn’t get much sleep the night before – I think I was a little excited/anxious for the morning class. But. Even with little sleep I woke up with a good amount of energy. I still had enough motivation to head to the gym (which is totally unlike me!) Looks like my body is getting used to this new routine!


*I have no idea why my mouth is open (ugh!)



Since taking a break to rest on Saturday I woke up Sunday with an actual urge to workout! (which is extremely weird! – I think I’m turning into one of “those” people!) I had originally planned to wake up early and go running but decided to sleep in a little. I kept feeling guilty about not running as early as I had planned and knew that if I didn’t run I would feel really bad about it all day. So – I got my lazy butt up and went for a run. In the afternoon I took a beginner’s yoga class. I liked this class a lot because the moves and poses were actually explained to us. And, the class went a little slower than the more advanced class that I tried before. It made me understand the poses from the 2 previous classes and I didn’t feel like a complete dork if I messed up or couldn’t get into a certain pose. This class was definitely a great start to my week!

Summer Reading List

Happy Monday Folks!

Now that summer has officially started, I thought it would be a great time to talk about summer reading. I find pleasure reading a lot easier in the summer because I’m not taking as many classes during this time. This summer is the first summer that I will have no classes since starting graduate school! I wanted to take advantage of the extra time by reading a few books. I currently have several books in rotation and thought I would share them with you.

The first book I’m reading is Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique W. Morris. I decided to add this book to my reading list because research regarding the school-to-prison pipeline usually focuses on Black boys and mass incarceration. Rarely does the discussion and conversation focus on little black girls. I wanted to educate myself on this topic; and so far, Monique Morris does not disappoint!


After finishing Pushout, I plan to move on to Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America by Charisse Jones and Dr. Kumea Shorter-Gooden. This book explores the many facets to Black women and their identity as they navigate racial and gender boundaries in the US. A topic I know all to well from my many experiences in mostly white settings.


Once I finish these two books, I plan to dedicate full reviews on them in an upcoming post. So stay tuned!

In addition to incorporating forensic psychology and mental health related books into my reading list, it is also imperative that I incorporate fiction stories. I love reading fiction because I like getting lost in the characters and it contributes greatly to my self-care. There’s nothing like sitting outside on a nice warm day and getting lost in a great story!

I added The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A Lisbeth Salander Novel by David Lagercrantz.

spiders web

This is the fourth novel in my absolute favorite series, The Millenium Series by Steig Larsson. I’ve read the three preceding books pictured below.

milennium series

I absolutely love the complexity of the characters in this series! And, all books have been turned into movies. I personally prefer the original Swedish version (it has subtitles). If you’re looking for a new series to get into, I fully recommend this one!!!

Finally, I’m reading two Gillian Flynn novels, Sharp Objects and Dark Places. I love the way Gillian Flynn writes her novels and I find them very easy to get lost in. I read her other book, Gone Girl, shortly before the movie came out and really liked it. So, I’m excited to see what happens in these next two stories.


I’m always looking for new book recommendations! If you have any, feel free to shoot me an email (lifeoflovejoy1@gmail.com) or leave a comment!