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What I’ve been watching this week – May 29

What I’ve been watching this week – May 29

The Challenge Not only have we been watching this current season of The Challenge, but we have been going back and watching some older seasons in our boredom. Ethan has shown some interest in the show during his first season of viewing. I asked on […]

Just a really solid Breakfast Burrito

Just a really solid Breakfast Burrito

As a child, I hated breakfast for dinner. As an adult, I have completely embraced it. Sorry mom! We had exactly two large tortillas left that we wanted to use up, and I thought that breakfast burritos would be the way to go. These are […]

Eulogizing The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart

Eulogizing The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart

Did I think I was going to watch Listen to Your Heart every single week? I mean, I probably was. Pandemic or not, I do love content.

Did I think I was going to love Listen to Your Heart? Definitely not.

Yes, I loved the show. I was excited to watch it every single week. I thought it was a fun way to fill the void. It took a couple episodes for the show to get into the swing of things, and I think there are a few changes they could make to improve the show. But for a first go at things, I thought it was good and it felt in line with The Bachelor franchise.

The first two episodes, where everyone met and some more people were brought it felt very Bachelor in Paradise and not super musicy. These were probably the two worst episodes of the season. It felt pointless to bring in new people because new connections weren’t really made. I felt like they should have just started off with an equal number of people, and just have pairs a la Bachelor Pad.

I wanted to see everyone sing and perform. We lost out not seeing everyone perform. There could have been some sort of show at the end of every episode, and couples could have been voted out based on that. I’m fine with losing two couples a week just to get the numbers down.

I loved the mid-point where people had to go on dates with someone else. This was a great move, and this could be used effectively in Bachelor in Paradise too. There needs to be more opportunity for switch ups in the parings along the way – another reason why the cast should stay bigger for longer.

The cast was genuinely talented for the most part, and I really looked forward to the performances each week.

It sucked that people had to be in a strong relationship to stay, as the relationships could have been built along the way. In the finale we saw Matt and Rudi leave (my favourite couple!!!!) because they didn’t feel like they were far enough along to be at the end. Which is dumb!! It was like a producer was in Matt’s ear telling him he should tell Rudi he loves her to set them up for a win. And Matt was not in love with Rudi and felt like he had to leave or fake it. It seemed like they were both at a similar level of really liking each other, which is fine by me!!

They seemed to shoot themselves in the foot by losing this couple so close to the end by pressuring people to be in love. I’m not sure how long filming lasted, but it couldn’t have been THAT long. It’s sensible for a guy who has clearly never seen a minute of this franchise to not get how to play the game. I’m positive Nataschia and Ryan would have gotten married if it meant they could stay, even if they just liked each other as friends.

In the end, Chris and Bri were crowned as champions of Listen to Your Heart, despite the episode trying to tell us they had a few issues. They are still happily together, which is great.

I’d be glad to watch another season of Listen to Your Heart, and I liked quite a few people enough to see them on a future season of Bachelor in Paradise.

Check out my podcasts coverage of Listen to Your Heart on

What I’ve been making lately – May 18

What I’ve been making lately – May 18

Vegan Carrot Coconut Soup We ended up with a lot of carrots in a farm box we picked up, so I thought a carrot soup was in order. It was a very filling soup that has a lot of room to put a spin on […]

My Mother’s Banana Bread

My Mother’s Banana Bread

Out of all of the banana breads I’ve had over the years, I’d be lying if I didn’t say my mother’s was my favourite. Sure, I’m probably a little biased. But I do think it’s a pretty good banana bread. If your bananas are super […]

Eulogizing Survivor: Winners at War

Eulogizing Survivor: Winners at War

Here we are, the morning after another season finale of Survivor. In many ways, it’s hard to believe this season even happened. This show has been on for 20 years, an accomplishment in itself. We got 20 winners to come and play again for the long-fabled all winners season. It also gave us an ending that felt very satisfying in a way not all of the all-stars seasons do.

Congrats to Tony Vlachos, the second ever two-time winner of Survivor. He’s the guy no one thought could do it. He was too dangerous, too shifty. Everyone knows his game, and no one could trust him. I was on a pre-season podcast talking about Tony. We all thought it would be fun if Tony could make it far, but we just didn’t see a path for him.

Tony was able to adapt his game for season 40. It was impressive to watch him build alliances with people he wasn’t able to get on the same page with before. He laid low when he needed to, and then ramped up his game when necessary. He made solid alliances with the right people, and trusted his gut along the way. It was really fun to watch Tony play again, and win.

I was really excited to see Michele play again. It was very satisfying to see her make it to the end. She was constantly on the bottom, and rarely on the right side of the vote. While she was my rooting interest going into the finale, I can understand why she didn’t end up with any votes to win.

One of Michele’s story lines throughout the season was fighting the notion that she didn’t deserve to win the first time. I think she proved that her social game is unmatched. There was a reason she made it to the end. She never gave up.

She was not alone in thinking that she didn’t deserve to win her first time around. No, we heard that from quite a few of the women on the season. It broke my heart that so many of these women had been told so many times that they didn’t deserve it, that they believed it. I’m firmly in the camp of ‘if you got the most votes at the end, you deserved it’.

There was an interesting discussion on last night’s episode about the gender bias in Survivor, and in life. It’s very obvious to see that often times women are held to a different standard while playing Survivor. I mean, let’s all take a moment to remember how Dawn was treated in the final tribal of Fans vs Favs 2. I was genuinely shocked to hear Jeff acknowledge that he himself has played a part in this over the last 20 years. It kind of never felt like Jeff was listening when the collective talked about it.

We still have a long way to go in Survivor and life when it comes to gender AND racial biases. Just acknowledging that it’s there isn’t enough at this point. Saying sorry isn’t enough. There needs to be some actual shifts in our outlook on these issues.

Natalie man. Wow, what a gal. I was so devastated to see her voted off first. I’m so glad she just kept fighting and fighting to make it to the end. Sure, it’s hard to justify someone never making it through a vote without immunity winning the season, but I would have done it had Natalie won!

I loved that this final three really exemplified the 3 aspects of Survivor – the strategic game, the social game, and the physical game. In the last few years, people have really put a lot of weight on playing a great strategic game, which I totally understand. I just prefer a great social game!

Did Edge of Extinction work well in this season?

I had gone into the season not being super excited for this twist to come back. Last time it was in play, it lead to a winner being crowned that no one really expected, and worse, no one could really understand the path because we didn’t see him at all.

I did like it here. It gave us the opportunity to hang out with some of our favourites for a lot longer than we would have otherwise. I can’t imagine having to lose Ethan early and then not being able to see him again.

I was fine with the ginormous jury!! It was really cool for all of these winners, who have made a huge impact on the game throughout two decades, to have an impact on this season.

I do believe that Edge of Extinction was a way to be rewarded for going out early. It means people could form bonds without the pressure of the game.

I hope that we don’t see Edge of Extinction again, even though I was happy for both Tyson and Natalie to get another chance to play the game.

Oh yeah, and Sandra didn’t quit. Being able to leave Edge after being voted out was a function of the game that everyone had available to them. Sandra knows her strengths, and challenges aren’t included. I don’t blame her for a second.

Was this a good season?

Yeah, I think so. Was it my favourite of all time? No, certainly not. But I do think this was a pretty entertaining season. It was crushing to see all of our old school favourites that we’ve been dying to see for years go out so early.

Yes, I was heartbroken seeing my favourite player, Kim, get voted out for the first time. I loved what Kim said last night, which is that she gets to go home feeling free in her imperfection in playing the game.

I hope that all of the players on this season were able to return home with a sense of peace about what happened on the island. It’s been so wonderful seeing how all of these people have grown so much over the years.

I can’t wait for another 20 years of Survivor!

What I’ve Been Watching this week – May 13

What I’ve Been Watching this week – May 13

Like Cats and Dogs This 2017 Hallmark movie follows Laura and Spencer, two very different strangers, as they try to share a rental after a clerical error. It was a cute and fun movie that ended exactly as you would expect. If this is your […]

Vegan Carrot Coconut Soup

Vegan Carrot Coconut Soup

In my world, soup season is never over. Just because the temperatures are getting warmer, it doesn’t mean I’m putting my ladles away. This carrot coconut soup is a great, filling lunch soup. It’s based off of this Soup Sisters recipe, making adjustments for ingredients […]

Podcasts I’m subscribed to

Podcasts I’m subscribed to

I have been listening to podcasts for a long time. My brother first introduced me to them back in 2010, and I’ve been exploring the world through podcasts ever since.

Here are the podcasts I am currently subscribed to:

Rob Has a Podcast

This is where it all started for me. RHAP was the first podcast my brother introduced me to, and it has become intertwined in my life in a fun and unexpected way.

RHAP should be your go-to for all of your reality television podcasting needs. There is a podcast for almost any competition reality show that’s on now.

Reality TV RHAP Ups

Am I biased because this is where you can find both my Bachelor and Top Chef podcasts and where I’m often a guest on other shows? Sure. But there are a lot of fun reality tv podcasts available on this network featuring some really wonderful and talented people.

Who? Weekly

I LOVE THIS PODCAST. It’s one of the shows I listen to as soon as it hits my feed, even if I’m already in the middle of the podcast. It’s a funny and joyful podcast about the fringes of pop culture and celebrity. Listen to Who? Weekly if you’ve always wanted to hear about all of the celebrities you’ve never heard of before.

Off Menu

Hosted by British Comedians James Acaster and Ed Gamble, the Off Menu podcast explores what famous people’s ‘ultimate meal’ would be. It’s more upbeat than your death meal, or whatever. It’s very funny and very British.

Also watch Taskmaster, which both of these guys have been on.

My Favourite Murder

If you’re looking for a true crime podcast with a humorous twist this is the podcast for you. But if that is what you’re looking for, you’ve probably already heard of it.

Ringer Dish & Bachelor Party

These are a few of the Ringer podcasts available that focus on pop culture and television. They often have interviews with people from their favourite shows and they dive deep into a-list celebrity culture.

Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino

This is one of the more recent subs in my feed. Danny talks about everything Bravo, I come for the Vanderpump Rules content, but listen to all of the Housewives content anyway.

Web Crawlers

On Web Crawlers Ali, Melissa, and Maria explore some of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries and come up with theories to what happened. It is decently fine. It’s not my favourite podcast in my feed, but I still listen it to it every week.

What’s Gaby Cooking in Quarantine

Gaby Dalkin is a food blogger and cookbook author. While in quarantine she has started a podcast about cooking in quarantine. She answers listener questions and highlights small businesses. Each episode is about 15 minutes, and they are released three times a week. I am really enjoying listening to this podcast, and I hope Gaby continues it in some form after this is all over.

The Dom & Colin Podcast

My good friends over at the Dom & Colin podcast talk about reality TV and more on a weekly basis. They have some great deep dives with some former Survivor contestants about their games. If you like strategy content, this is a great podcast for you. I’ve made a few appearances over the years, which you can check out here.


I love listening to people talk about food, even if it’s from chain restaurants. The Doughboys have been talking about their favourite and least favourite chain restaurants for years now, so there is a nice back catalogue for you to dive into.

The Real Weird Sisters

Alice and Martha do a deep dive on the Harry Potter series, reading one chapter per week and discussing it. They are through the series now (which just means you have a lot to listen to!) but they are doing some other cool Harry Potter-related projects. I’ve guested on the show a few times, which you can check out here.

Duolingo Spanish & French

I really like these Duolingo podcasts. It’s a fun way for me to try and improve on my language skills. The stories they tell are fun too.

Sports? with Katie Nolan

I love Katie Nolan! And I love her podcast! It’s not all sports, but when it is sports it’s very fun. It’s a podcast that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The Ending Doesn’t Matter

My friends Toni and Julia talk about the premiere, and only the premiere of some of their favourite shows. They cover all genres of television, including reality, comedy, and dramas. So they’ve probably talked about your favourite show at some point.

Les Deux You Remember This?

This is a exploration into celebrity culture early ‘oughts. As somebody who very much loves pop culture, this is a great podcast to remind me what was going on in my younger days.

Let me know some of your favourite podcasts on twitter at @hstrong_

What I’ve been making lately – May 3

What I’ve been making lately – May 3

Shawarma We have been craving one of our favourite take-out dinners lately – Shawarma. We thought maybe we could take a stab at making it. We more or less followed this recipe for the chicken. For the garlic toum we used this recipe. For the […]