How I Stay Smart + Sharp

desert style

girls who read

What a WEEK it’s been and it’s literally only Wednesday. I’ll get into all that in another post, today I’d like to talk about something else. I wanna share with you guys my FAV ways I keep myself smart + sharp.

Knowledge is power, folks. And smart is sexy. IMO, keeping abreast of current events and world news is so important. Not only do you feel enriched when you’re aware of what’s happening in your country and the world, but it makes you a good global citizen.

It’s a heady feeling when you’re in a crowd and know the most about a certain topic, or can talk in depth with someone about a new novel you just read. However we all know, if you’re the smartest one in the room you’re probably in the wrong room. Educating yourself about other topics + languages is so FULFILLING. I always feel my most powerful when I’m working on my mind and I want you guys to feel that way too.

There is nothing I truly HATE more than people thinking I’m dumb or ditzy. Just ask Michael, he knows it’s my #1 pet peeve.

It’s been a bizarre phenomenon, but ever since I got married I’ve had so many instances  where people treat me like I’m an idiot, or exclude me from a conversation as soon as it turns to politics or what not. Maybe it’s because I’m a wife… or a blogger? Who knows but honestly it’s so 1950’s. Has this ever happened to you guys?? Whenever this happens it always motivates me to stay sharp, read the news, work on my other languages, and to continue my literary pursuits.

So without further ado, I’m going to share with y’all the apps + devices I use to educate myself. Who doesn’t love to learn little life hacks to make us better/stronger/smarter??

modern desert boho


This is a no brainer! Have you heard of theSkimm? The Skimm is an email delivered to your inbox with a playful and concise summary of must-know news. The Skimm was one of the first (if not the first) daily email briefing service.

The sassy commentary is lifeeee. I’ve subscribed to theSkimm since college and I always read it when I’m still in bed, all cozy under the covers — it helps wake me up. You can see an example of a Daily Skimm here.


Honestly, who doesn’t listen to podcasts these days?? If you aren’t hooked yet, you need to be. Here’s why: podcasts allow you to learn about a topic AND get other things done at the same time. They’re perfect for maximum efficiency. Commuting + doing house chores can feel like such a waste of time, but when you’re listening to a podcast it makes you feel productive AF.

For blogging biz info check out The Influencer Podcast by Julie Solomon. For wellness, beauty, biz and everything in between check out the Him & Her Podcast by The Skinny Confidential. For in-depth history lessons check out Hardcore History by Dan Carlin. These are my favorites! I listened to Hardcore History a lot when we were living in Mississippi and I made a few long distance drives to Ohio.



Duolingo is a website + app that allows you to learn a language, absolutely for free. After minoring in Arabic and Russian in college, I’ve slowly felt my (already limited) grasp of these languages slip away over the past two years.

Duolingo has been GREAT for refreshing on vocabulary. So far I’ve found it to be really fun + engaging. It’s perfect if you’d like to refresh your skills on a language you already have a good base with, however I don’t know how effective it would be if you’re learning a language from scratch. They’re coming out with Arabic (FINALLY) this spring and I literally cannot wait.


If you aren’t that into reading, or are a slow reader, audio books may be a great alternative for you. I can’t speak with experience on this one because I LOVE to sit down and read a book, but my sister-in-law has totally inspired me to suggest this. This fall she got really into audio books and has read (listened??) to a ton of books! Like she flies through them while she does tasks like house chores and cooking. So cool, efficient, and entertaining.


I’m always looking for new ways to digest news. I love love love the “news” app on my iphone. It’s better than going to just a basic news site like CNN or BBC because the homescreen of your news app pulls stories from all kinds of sources. It even tailors stories just for your interests and you can designate what news sources you prefer. Super fun. They will also send you push notifications for trending stories.


Tread carefully with this one. Twitter can be a giant trashcan for fake news, but if you follow the right people you can find out fascinating information and pickup underground stories. I follow a few reporters who cover the white house and it’s interesting to hear about their daily life and the goings on with President Trump.


My kindle is one of my most prized possessions. I know some people can’t adjust to reading books on a screen — I too was very skeptical at first. What I love with a kindle is that you can take it everywhere. It’s so lightweight and thin. I usually slip mine in my purse whenever I have a doctor’s appointment or something and of course always take it with me when I’m traveling.

The main reason why I love my kindle is because of Prime Reading. Do you guys know about this? If you’re an Amazon Prime member (who isn’t) you have access to a huge number of books, completely for free on your kindle. It gets better. The selection of free books via Prime Reading is actually first rate and is constantly changing. You can access magazines as well. If you’re an Amazon Prime member you can access all these free books if you just download the Kindle app on your phone. Kindle please sponsor me??

LOL the book I’m reading in these photos is the book by the Diesel Brothers….we love their show. A kindle isn’t exactly that cute for photos. I got Michael this book for his bday this year & he’s loved it! Highly recommend for people who are into trucks, especially diesel engines. It’s also really cool hearing their story and business philosophy.

We shot these photos when we took a blitz trip to Joshua Tree. I’m lovvvving this desert modern/minimal decor. Our airbnb was actually the cutest.

Okay guys that’s it! If you have an app/device/platform you use to make yourself smarter + sharper, lemme know in the comments! Xx



  1. January 11, 2018 / 12:28 pm

    Love this post so much! So important to do little things like this to enrichment the mind 🙂 I personally love podcasts (School of Greatness is so good) and reading! Cheers!

    Enclothed Cognition

    • Kathryn
      January 12, 2018 / 4:17 am

      Yesss I’m always looking for new podast inspo! Thanks Keri! Xx

  2. Susan Steele
    January 12, 2018 / 2:51 am

    So inspired! Thank you!!!❤️❤️

    • Kathryn
      January 12, 2018 / 4:17 am


  3. Angie
    November 6, 2018 / 12:07 am

    I too feel like people think I’m dumb. I think it’s mainly because of the way I speak, but English is my 2nd language and I have a slight accent. I dowloaded Duoling just to expand my English vocabulary. Thank you! P.S what do you think about being bilingual? I feel like growing up speaking 2 languages somehow made me learn just basic english/ basic spanish because it was hard catching up with both. What are your thoughtson this? I enjoyed reading your blog! I have one too if you wanna check it out.

    • Kathryn
      December 4, 2018 / 2:26 am

      Hey Angie!! I think being bilingual is amazing and badass. I’m sure it took an incredible amount of discipline to learn English as your second language. Kudos to you!! I hope you like Duolingo, their app and flashcard app is really fun as well — the more you progress the more it’ll cover in depth lessons. Thanks for commenting! Xx, K

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