the daily show

Matt D’Avella – Filmmaker

Matt D’Avella is a producer, director, and brand ambassador at Catalyst. He likes taking notes, good coffee, and these good things.

Good things to read.

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.  I just finished reading Gladwell’s latest book David and Goliath. This one lives up to his past bestsellers as the author takes a look at how underdogs take down giants. Not only that but he explains why we shouldn’t be surprised. It turns out there are certain advantages that come from being underestimated.

The Flinch by Julien Smith.  You can get this book for free on Amazon but don’t let the price tag fool you. This book is worth paying for. If you’re in a funk or often have hard times getting motivated The Flinch will get you off your ass. It’s a no bull shit guide to taking control of your life and doing things that matter. It’s also really short. You can probably finishing the book within a few hours.

 The Total Money Makeover.  I graduated college with $95,000 in debt and at the time I did the most rational thing I could think of: I bought a new car. That brought my total debt to $113,000 with no immediate plan out. After signing up for Mint.com I realized that I had a serious problem and I needed to take control of my debt. I checked out The Total Money Makeover from the library and dug in. The ideas in the book are great, but more than anything it got me to look closely at my finances. And it gave me a goal to strive towards: a net worth of $0. Three years later I’m down to $40,000 in debt and I’m quickly moving towards my goal.

Good things to watch.

Elementary.  Elementary is one of the latest Sherlock recreations based in New York City. It’s kinda like CSI on crack. Not that I’ve ever done crack. You can enjoy the story and have fun guessing who done it. Watch the pilot. I think you’ll like it too.

The Daily Show.  I’ve been an avid watcher of The Daily Show for years. Jon Stewart has an uncanny way of bringing sanity (and hilarity) to current events. Plus you can learn a lot from the non-celebrity interviews. I get a lot of good book suggestions from the guest’s he has on the show.

Not Reality Shows.  Can I say that? I worked on a reality show for a large network a few years ago and it was really eye opening. Staged shots, alternate endings and forced interviews all left a bad taste in my mouth. To be honest I wasn’t much of a reality show watcher to begin with, but the whole experience changed my perspective. From that point on I swore not to work for another reality show.

Good things to use.

TeuxDeux. There are a ton of to do and list apps available but I really like TeuxDeux for its simplicity. You can create items to do on any given day and add additional lists for back burner items, groceries, etc. It doesn’t have a lot of extra bells and whistles and that’s what I love about it.

Freshbooks.  This seriously changed my business. Before Freshbooks I would create invoices sloppily in Photoshop and throw them into a folder. My organization was horrible. Now I use Freshbooks for keeping track of invoices, estimates, time tracking, and expenses. The best part? At the end of the year I simply export a file and send it to my accountant. Taxes have become fun. Okay, not fun. But you get the idea.

AeroPress.  Coffee lover? You can’t do much better at home than an AeroPress plus fresh ground coffee. I’ve been using this combination for the past year and it’s made my mornings so much better. Kick the Keurig to the curb and step up to the AeroPress. It’s incredibly simple to brew and even easier to clean.

Connect with Matt on Twitter, @MattDAvella.

Kelly Whalen – The Centsible Life

Kelly Whalen is the author of The Centsible Life, a blog designed to help you live the life of your dreams on a budget. She started her blog 4 years ago, and has since become both a well-known mom blogger and a respected voice in the personal finance realm.

Kelly and her blog have been featured on The Today Show, local networks in Philadelphia, and she has been featured in magazines and print in both national and local publications including Money magazine, Kiplinger’s, and Woman’s Day.

Kelly is a mom to 4, and loves that she can stay at home with her kids, and still pursue her passions for writing, personal finance, and social media.

Good things to read.

Raising Digital Families for Dummies by Amy Bair.  This is a MUST for parents. Let’s face it we’re all dummies when it comes to technology. Even though it’s my job to know digital media I learned so much from this book. It’s an essential tool for parents.

Humor blogs–(Neon Fresh, The Bloggess, Hyperbole and a Half, among others). Sometimes you need a laugh. A good, long, real LOL. Humor blogs are one of my favorite ways to destress or find a little pocket of laughter in my day. Just make sure to put down any liquids before you click over.

Gillian Flynn’s books.  While much has been made about Gone Girl, her latest work, I wasn’t a fan of the ending. I won’t spill the details, but I did love her writing style. I picked up two of her previous books both of which I loved. Be forewarned these are dark, but entertaining, and you won’t be able to put them down.

Good things to watch.

Orange is the New Black.  This Netflix original series is daring and deep. Based on a book and real life experience of Piper Kerman, a upper class white woman from NYC who smuggled drug money a decade earlier. She’s settled into a ‘normal’ life now, but has to serve 15 months for her past crimes. While the premise could be contrived the beauty of the show lies in the way it follows the various characters the main character encounters. It explores the power structure in the prison, race issues, and the hard realities of prison life. It manages to at times be funny, sexy, shocking, and touching without losing its’ tone.

Despicable Me 2.  Yes, it’s a kid’s movie, but it also manages to be fun for the whole family. If you haven’t seen the first film, watch it on DVD or On Demand first. It’s fun, touching, funny, and just makes me smile no matter how many times I’ve watched it. (Two for the DM2, and I can’t count for the original!) It’s worth seeing for the Minions alone!

The 11 o’clock hour on Comedy Central.  The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.  The 11 o’clock hour on Comedy Central is possibly my favorite thing on TV. Comedy, smart interviews, social commentary, all wrapped in a two 30 minute shows. While I like to stay current on news and current events I prefer the smart and funny commentary to 24 hour news channels.

Good things to use.

iPhone.  Seriously. Do I need to say more? It’s sleek, easy to use, and basically contains my life. I can manage our family calendar, pay bills, share photos and updates, and soooo much more.

ChromeCast.  I just learned about this today, but already I’m in love. Streaming your content just got easier with this $35 device from Google. Watch your videos and stream Netflix with just this little ‘dongle’. On backorder now, your best bet is to head here and see what the fastest shipping option is right now.

A budget! I’d be remiss if I didn’t say a budget was a good thing! Having a budget in place is the best thing you can do to help manage your money, and save more. While budgeting can be challenging it will help you consciously spend on what is important to you. Love travel? Cut the cable and get out of the house. Those kinds of choices will bring you more happiness and a better quality of life. You an download a free printable budget on my blog. (http://www.thecentsiblelife.com/printables/)

You can often find her on Twitter, @censisiblelife, and Facebook talking money and motherhood.

Andrew Warner – interviewer

These are Andrew Warner’s good things.

What are some good things you’ve read?

Book: Empire of the Summer Moon
Magazine: New Yorker
Newspaper: NY Times

What are some good things you’ve watched?

Breaking Bad
Larry Sanders
The Daily Show

What are some good things you use?

Nike running backpack
Merrell barefoot running sneakers
Race Ready running shorts