Parks Picks: The Best TV of 2019

It’s been awhile since I last provided TV recommendations, so long that I hadn’t even featured Amazon Prime, and Disney+ hadn’t been announced.

So, in the spirit of time off for the holidays, I present your must-watch shows.


Parks Picks: Binge-Worthy Television

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably realized that I’m a television junkie. Binge-watching is a habit I can’t quite break, and realistically, I don’t want to.

I’ve previously used this space to talk about my recommendations, but seasons change, shows come and go, and with over 500 new shows released last year, it’s time to make some cuts.


Last Minute Christmas Gifts For All

This post contains affiliate links.

Surprise – CHRISTMAS IS IN 10 DAYS. This short timeframe means many retailers have already passed the “guaranteed by Christmas” shipping deadlines, and do you really want to go to the mall this time of year? (Answer: NEVER) Luckily, Amazon still offers two day shipping, which means you can procrastinate  decide between gifts through Friday, Dec. 22.

Now the question becomes, what do you need to add to your cart, why, and who it fits best. Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered.

Taylor Swift, Reputation

I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Because she’s making more amazing music. This album lives up to the hype, with jams like End Game featuring Future and Ed Sheeren, and classics, like the acoustic New Years’ Day. 

WHO DO I GIVE IT TO: Your sister, your best girlfriends, yourself. Every female on your list under the age of 40 should be a Swiftie.  

Emily Ley, A Simplified Life

This book is not only a beautiful coffee table read, but a practical guide for clearing the clutter out of your life, both physically and mentally. Emily Ley, creator of the Simplified Planner, is a god-fearing business woman who tells it like it is, and makes it EASY, which is key heading into the holiday season. Real talk – I’ve bought three of these, including a Kindle version for myself!

“Never, ever feel guilty about taking care of yourself. Whoever told you that self-care was not okay, or that you should prioritize yourself last, lied.” – Emily Ley

WHO DO I GIVE IT TO: Your mom, your grandma, your aunts, your church group.

National Lampoon’s Vacation Box Set on BluRay

There are two guarantees at Christmas: someone will fall asleep after dinner, and we will watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It’s not only a classic – it’s a part of a larger collection of classics, including National Lampoon’s Vacation (who didn’t want to visit Wally World as a kid?), National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation, and National Lampoon’s European Vacation. Just ignore the fact that Rusty and Audrey change in every single movie.

WHO DO I GIVE IT TO: Your dad, your best guy friend, your older brother

Amazon Echo

Can we admit that voice-activated technology is just the newest version of the clapper? Regardless, it’s pretty damn cool to be able to turn on your Christmas lights, play a Spotify playlist and order another pack of tape just by speaking out loud.

WHO DO I GIVE IT TO: Your husband, your younger brother, anyone who has ever answered a technology question for you

Zippy Paws 

Anyone else have a dog who destroys every toy that touches his mouth? My 20 & 25-pound dachshund mixes absolutely LOVE the Zippy Paws hide and seek collection. The carrier provides an option for interactive play (it’s hilarious to see them stick their snouts in the tree!), the characters are small enough to carry around all day, and have just enough stuffing to keep them happy for the long-run.

WHO DO I GIVE IT TO: Your dog, duh.

Wine Socks

The perfect compliment to an evening of Netflix and Malbec.

WHO DO I GIVE IT TO: Your secret santa, your drinking buddy

What’s on your Christmas list this year? Let me know! 


Best in Television 2017

This post contains affiliate links.

Moving across the country can sure screw up your calendar. While I’m not entirely convinced it’s December, I am convinced that this was a great year in television. For the most part, it’s the same across the US, which means I can enjoy and talk about shows with my friends in the 7 states I just mailed Christmas cards.

I wouldn’t consider myself a connoisseur per say, but I get around. The shows featured below brought laughs, tears, OMGs and more to my life through my own personal laughs, tears, and OMGs. In no particular order…

Riverdale, The CW

First, let’s take a moment to mourn the loss of my favorite teenage drama, Pretty Little Liars, which came to an anti-climatic climatic end this summer. If you haven’t spent the past 7 years searching for A, AD, Big A, and A-moji, go ahead and close this browser window and stream the first two seasons. Though lackluster, the finale left a 6-foot deep grave-sized hole in my television loving heart.

Enter The CW’s Riverdale.

Riverdale follows comic hero Archie Andrews, the girl-next-door and literal-next-door-neighbor Betty Cooper, hottie transplant Veronica Lodge and resident emo Jughead Jones as they navigate the evolution of their city from “the town with pep!” to a town pep-pered with crime and mystery. The second season of the show premiered to record viewership, thanks in large part to the number of fans who streamed the first season on Netflix (myself included). It has sex, drugs, gangs, murder, and good, old-fashioned high school dances. What else do you need?

Riverdale returns to The CW on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. Catch up on Season 1 on Netflix, and the first half of Season 2 on The CW

Mindhunter, Netflix

Just like my beloved podcast, My Favorite Murder, Mindhunter dives deep into true crime, focusing on the FBI’s first scientific investigation into the psychopathic mindset in the late 70s. Directed by David Fincher (Gone Girl), the show features real-life killers including Dennis Rader (BTK), David Berkowitz (Son of Som) and Ed Kemper (the Co-Ed Killer), who steals every single minute of air time. The hype behind this show is real, but I will warn you – it takes a few episodes to get hooked.

Mindhunter is available to stream on Netflix, and has been renewed for a second season. 

Big Little Lies, HBO

Look. Big Little Lies was shouted from every rooftop for months leading up to the March premiere. And guess what? It was EVERYTHING.

The book its based on, written by Liane Moriarty, follows the lives of three loaded mommas in Monterey, CA and their nutso school where parents think it’s totally normal to host Audrey Hepburn & Elvis Presley fundraisers. It has beautiful people (I really, really appreciate the pairing of Reese Witherspoon and Adam Scott), incredible music (seriously, this soundtrack deserves it’s own article), and murder, which as you can tell, is something I enjoy.

In no surprise to literally anyone who has watched the show, it has been nominated for 6 Golden Globe Awards, including Best Television Limited Series and individual nominations for Reese, Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgård, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley.

Big Little Lies is available to stream on HBO and Amazon, and has been renewed for a second season.

The Office, NBC/Netflix

“Ashley, The Office has been off the air for four years. Why on earth is this included?” Great question, sarcastic reader. The Office is the greatest sitcom you can re-watch on Netflix (don’t @ me about Friends. It’s old.), and the jokes never get old. Just ask this girl, who asked for a simple yearbook quote and instead got one of the most enjoyable Twitter threads of the season.

I’m not alone either – just ask this guy.

The Office aired on NBC from March 2005 through May 2013, but is available to stream on Netflix

Honorable Mentions:

  • Stranger Things, Netflix
  • Hunt for the Zodiac Killer, History Channel
  • The Crown, Netflix
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu
  • 13 Reasons Why, Netflix

What couldn’t you turn off in 2017? Let me know in the comments below! 


The Bachelor’s Brides-to-Be, Part 2

Missed part 1? 

As we previously mentioned, Nick Viall is back for his third fourth shot of love on The Bachelor. If he can’t find it this time, let’s go ahead and assume he’s the problem.

Continuing on with his potential candidates:

Jasmine B., 25, Flight Attendant, Washington

I wanted to like Jasmine B., but apparently she already thinks the world does. And I quote, “I know I’m attractive and have a lot of great qualities.” Alrighty then.

Jasmine G., 29, Pro Basketball Dancer, San Francisco

This girl has her sports priorities right. Favorite movies include A League of Their Own and The Sandlot, while her second purchase after winning the lottery would be a sports team. What’s the first purchase you ask? Socks.

Josephine, 24, Registered Nurse, CA

Oh, sweetie – didn’t anyone tell you? Off-the-shoulder tops were banned after Ben’s season.

Kristina, 24, Dental Hygienist, Lexington, KY

Mark my words – this one will go far. She admires her parents for opening their home to four orphans (including herself), and wants to live a day in her biological mothers shoes. Her story alone is bound to get air time, but that smile will take her to hometowns.

Lacey, 25, Digital Marketing Manager, New York

Is there a “most likely to tweet post-show” award? If show, my vote goes to Lacey. Also, she *never* brings anyone home, which is basically begging the producers to send Nick home with her.

Lauren, 30, Law School Grad, Florida

I miss the days of having “grad” after my title. Regardless, she’s a winner. Her personality (based on the 9 questions in her survey) shines as a “girl-next-door” type. I also take a personal liking to the fact that she lists Hocus Pocus as her favorite movie. Easy choice for top 4.

Michelle, 25, Food Truck Owner, LA

If she doesn’t make her entrance IN the food truck I will be incredibly disappointed.

Olivia, 25, Apparel Sales Representative, Alaska

Anyone else getting SERIOUS Caila vibes here? Plus, one of her biggest fears is not being able to find love. We’ll be seeing a lot of Olivia in 2017.

Rachel, 31, Attorney, Dallas

I don’t want to stereotype here, but there’s something about attorneys and girls from Texas. She does not approach me as the woman to take shit from these other 20-somethings. She’ll be blasting her 90s country music (!) and channeling her inner Michelle Obama to get her through the first few weeks.

Raven, 26, Boutique Owner, Arkansas

I’m going to guess she’s got a strong southern accent. She pulls off the hopeless romantic well, with just a hit of immaturity. She wants to be Jasmine (the Disney princess, not the former contestants mentioned), so there’s that.

Sarah, 26, Grade School Teacher, Newport Beach

This girl screams Bachelor contestant. She quotes the notebook, idolizes top female TV characters Meredith Gray, Olivia Pope and Carrie Bradshaw, all while teaching sweet children to read. Say it with me now – awwww.

Susannah, 26, Account Manager, San Diego

Hey girl, can we be friends? Susannah is a girls-girl. She loves shoes, picked Ariel as her favorite fictional character because of her amazing locks and stylin’ seashell bra, and wants to be Chrissy Teigen for a day. Don’t we all?

Taylor, 23, Mental Health Counselor, Seattle

If you thought she looked young…you’re right. Her favorite designer? Forever 21. Bless her heart.

Vanessa, 29, Special Education Teacher, Canada

I get nervous with anyone who’s featured questions include the importance of their family’s approval. If it doesn’t work out with Nick, there’s always Daniel.

Whitney, 25, Pilates Instructor, Minnesota

She doesn’t live life with regrets. Until she goes home the first night, that is.

And that, my friends, is the newest cast of Mrs. Viall wannabes! Which girls get your rose? Join my Bachelor bracket on ESPN, and let me know your top pick in the comments!