Pop Culture Cheat Sheet: APRIL

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courtesy Toby Lowenfels

As moms, our days are filled with countless time-based decisionsapply makeup… or drink coffee? — so we can’t spare a single minute on entertainment that does not entertain. Here are your recommendations for the month; now all you have to do is take off your bra, pour yourself a drink, and settle in for these fun nuggets.

pop culturePodcast…
Skimm This

Following the hamster wheel news cycle can be exhausting, and it can be so much easier to tune out by scrolling through another few chapters of Instagram. Fortunately, The Skimm, known for its wildly popular news email digest, has finally joined the podcast train. Every day on my way to pick up the kids from school, I’ve been listening to Skimm This, a 10-minute micro-pod that offers peppy coverage on the top news stories of the day. If you’re time-pressed and looking for small doses of news to keep you up to speed, this pod could do the trick. At least until the kids get into the car and your entire focus shifts to preschool politics.

Mom crush…

Comedian mother of two Jessie Cave is basically like a really chic clown. And I mean that in the best way possible. You might know her from her role as Lavender Brown in the Harry Potter series; now, she’s doing standup comedy in London. In case you can’t make the trip across the pond, you can still be wildly entertained by her doodles, which are funny, candid confessions in illustrated form. It’s worth following Jessie to see bits of her hyper-creative life and freestyle approach to parenting. She talks openly about being a single working mum while making this whole colorful process (kids, life in general, etc.) look, above all, fun.

pop cultureTV & Streaming…
The Other Two

Here we have two adult siblings who are trying to figure out their own sloppy lives while dealing with their little brother’s newfound fame as a teen pop star. The Comedy Central show is created by a team of former SNL writers and provides hilarious commentary on celebrity while also being a surprisingly profound reflection on family dynamics. Oh, and Molly Shannon plays the mom, so obviously that’s perfection.

pop cultureBook…
Normal People by Sally Rooney

You know what’s not cool? Going out with your divorced friend, throwing back half a vodka/soda and commandeering her phone so you can swipe through her Bumble account to see what’s out there. Girl, wash your face. Time to get your kicks the old fashioned way—with a love story, of course. Normal People is the second novel from Sally Rooney, whose Conversations with Friends gained her the title of “First Great Millennial Novelist.” In Normal People, longtime friends Connell and Marianne have grown up on different sides of the tracks in the same Irish town and have an on-again-off-again relationship. That’s pretty much it plot-wise. But Rooney’s gift lies in uncovering her characters for who they truly are. She’s deceptively clever, not melodramatic. I highly recommend making sure this book is with you on spring break in case you have a few minutes to yourself. Haha.

pop cultureSubscribe…
This Week in Scams

Scams are old as time, but it turns out we’re living in a golden age of them: Fyre Fest, Theranos, Dirty John, Varsity Blues, the list goes on and on. But guess what the biggest scam of all is? Email! It’s time-consuming, addictive and bad for your health. Thankfully, This Week in Scams manages to find the light without adding noise to your inbox. A weekly newsletter from writer Ruthie Baron, This Week in Scams offers amusing commentary on the week’s latest deceits, and reading it feels like sitting in a warm, gossipy kitchen. Time to eat up.

Toby Lowenfels is a writer and mom of three in Nashville. Follow her daily musings at @tobyfels.