• My Faves

    My Passion Planner Hacks + Referral Link

    The Recovering Pessimist | My Passion Planner Hacks + Referral Code | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist #PassionPlanner #PashFamWhen I brought my 2020 Jan-Dec Passion Planner last year, I wanted to personalize the functionality of my planner. I wanted to incorporate things I saved on my #BUJO Pinterest board in addition to browsing Etsy for inspiration.

    Here are a few Passion Planner hacks that I created for 2020:

    Item #1: Make monthly tabs with washi tape

    I had a lot of black and white patterned washi tape rolls lying around. I loved the look of flushed tabs and cut pieces of washi tape to make my own monthly tabs.

    I also used the washi tape to mark off miscellaneous pages in the back of the planner.

    Item #2: DIY reading list with Google Docs

    The reading list is a table with columns for the date I finished the book, the name of the book, author name, and a 1-5 rating scale (1-awful and 5-fantastic). I taped the chart to a blank page in the back of my planner.

    Item #3: DIY bill payment tracker with Google Docs

    This is another table that has the name of the bill and the beginning balance at the top. There are columns for the date of payment, payment amount, and the ending balance after each payment. Keeping track of the payments keeps me motivated.

    Item #4: Yearly memories tracker

    When I write my end of year post, I often struggled to remember what I did. This year, I created a 2-page memory tracker that’s broken down by month. Throughout the year, I jot down my accomplishments, memories, etc. that I don’t want to forget. It feels good to look at the tracker from time to time.

    If you’re interested in purchasing a Passion Planner, feel free to use my referral link. Welcome to the #PashFam!

    Happy planning,


  • My Faves

    My #NetflixAndQuarantine Faves Pt. 2

    At the time of this post, the #stayathome order is still in place. So I’m back with Part 2 of my #NetflixAndQuarantine faves.

    Warning: Strong language and triggering scenes are in some of the trailers.

    Dead to Me

    Never Have I Ever

    One Day At A Time


    Nailed It!

    What are you loving on Netflix?

    Until next time,


  • The Recovering Pessimist | My #HuluAndQuarantineFaves | www.therecoveringpessimist.me | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist #hulu
    My Faves

    My #HuluAndQuarantine Faves: Network TV Shows

    Captain’s log.

    It’s day number whothehellknows. Still adhering to Virginia’s #stayathome order. Been watching a whole lot of Netflix and trying not to eat all of the snacks. I’m also making good use of my Hulu subscription.

    Below are my favorite #HuluAndQuarantine network TV shows.

    This Is Us (NBC)

    Superstore (NBC)

    Good Girls (NBC)


    Fresh Off the Boat (ABC)

    The Bold Type (Freeform)

    Ugly Betty (ABC)

    The Good Place (NBC)

    Modern Family (ABC)

    Life in Pieces (CBS)

    Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC)

    Let me know what you’re watching on Hulu.

    Until next time,


  • My Faves

    My #NetflixandQuarantine Faves

    Hey ya’ll! I hope everyone is doing their best to #stayathome as much as possible. I have been spending my time relaxing and catching up on Netflix. I’m sharing my favorite #NetflixandQuarantine series and movies.

    Warning: Strong language and triggering scenes are in some of the trailers.


    On My Block

    Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness

    Spenser Confidential

    The Circle


    Big Mouth


    Sex Education

    The Crown


    The House of Flowers

    Let me know what you’re loving on Netflix.

    Until next time,


  • The Recovering Pessimist: Ric Flair: The Ultimate Confidence Booster -- Ric Flair is an American treasure. He boosted my confidence as a kid and I'm forever thankful to him for it. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist #ricflair
    My Faves,  The Complexities of Life

    Ric Flair: The Ultimate Confidence Booster

    As a kid, I loved wrestling. While I loved Macho Man Randy Savage, Sting, and Rowdy Roddy Piper, sitting in front of the TV to watch the awesomeness that is Ric Flair was a weekly must-do.

    The flashiness of Ric Flair’s costumes drew me in. When his theme song played, I would be in the living room, with a blanket draped over my shoulders.

    Ric Flair/Giphy.com
    Ric Flair/Giphy.com

    Oh, and he’s an expert in trash talking. As a kid, I memorized the legendary speech in the video below:

    That speech gave me the confidence I desperately needed in those moments of adolescence when confidence was M.I.A. Fast forward to adulthood, and I still have the unf*ckwithable mindset courtesy of Ric Flair.

    Let's be honest, if you don't believe in your awesomeness, how can you expect anyone else to?

    If you (still) think that Ric Flair doesn’t have an impact, check out the video below:

    Dear Ric Flair,

    If you just so happen to read this (and I’m putting it out there in the Universe that you will), thank you for being the badass that you are.

    Your forever fan,


  • My Faves

    My Favorite News Podcasts

    The Recovering Pessimist: My Favorite News Podcasts -- I'm listening to podcasts to stay informed and awake while working. I wanted to share a few of my favorites. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimistI work a 9-5 and wear headphones to stay awake and focused. Recently, I’ve been listening to a lot of news podcasts and I wanted to share with you a few of my favorites at the moment. The podcasts mentioned are all available on the Stitcher app. Without further adieu, here they are!

    NPR Up First

    What I appreciate about NPR Up First is that from Monday-Friday, the show is a 10-12 minute snapshot (on average) of the news, pop culture, etc.  you need to know in about 10 minutes. Perfect for those of us who are in a time crunch and/or only want the highlights.

    The Rachel Maddow Show

    I’m not big on politics, but staying informed is a necessary. The Rachel Maddow Show airs Monday-Friday on MSNBC. She has a way of storytelling that intrigues me and makes the news digestible, which is well-needed in the current political climate.

    60 Minutes

    My favorite part of 60 Minutes is the ticking sound of the stopwatch that plays at the beginning and end of the show. The show airs Sundays on CBS. In addition to covering current events, 60 Minutes also features stories on nature, pop culture, and technology that are relevant to today.

    These are my favorite news podcasts at the moment. If you listen to news podcasts, I’d love to hear about them. Let’s discuss in the comments and/or social media.


  • My Faves

    Why I Use the Sleep Better App by Runtastic

    Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. The Sleep Better app was purchased with my money. All opinions are my own.

    I don’t sleep well at night during the work week. When the alarm went off, I was very groggy and cranky. I felt rushed while I was getting ready for work. I finally reached my breaking point when a night of restlessness resulted in less than three hours of sleep.

    Not good.

    I did some research on sleep tracking apps. Many of them had free options which weren’t usable. Others were entirely too complicated to use even in the free version.

    Then I discovered the Sleep Better sleep cycle alarm clock app on Google Play (also available on the App Store). The free option is sufficient but I wanted access to my sleep diary and wanted to have the ability to change the Wake Up Window for the Smart Alarm.

    Here are a few of my favorite things about the Sleep Better app:


    Signing Up/Log In

    Sleep Better App Login

    One of my biggest gripes about apps is that many give you options to sign up/log in via Facebook, Twitter, or email. Thankfully, the Sleep Better app gives you two options for signing up/logging in: Facebook and Google. I chose Google because Google is life. If I can avoid having to use an email address and password to sign up/log in, I’m here for it.

    It’s the small things.



    Home Screen

    Sleep Better App Alarm Menu

    At the top of the home screen is your alarm time. You can scroll through the hour and minutes to create your alarm time. Directly underneath it is the Wake Up Window, which you set from the alarm menu.

    Below the Wake Up Window are six options that might affect your sleep:

    Worked Out, Stressful Day, Not My Bed, Ate Late, Caffeine, and Alcohol

    At the bottom of the home screen is the Start button, which you select when you’re ready to fall asleep.




    Alarm Menu

    Sleep Better Alarm SettingsOn the top right of the home screen menu is an alarm clock. Select the clock on the top right of the screen to get access to the alarm menu. At the top of the menu you can swipe right to turn the alarm on or swipe left to turn it off.

    You can control the volume of the alarm and choose to have the phone vibrate when it goes off.

    The Smart Alarm is the dopest part of the app. It allows you to set the time frame for within your set alarm time so you wake up in your lightest sleep stage. In the paid version there’s a default smart alarm setting of 30 minutes. The smart alarm for the paid version ranges from off to 45 minutes.

    The downside of the alarm menu is that you can only create one alarm. This pertains to both the free and paid versions.

    The alarm snooze option ranges from off to 20 minutes. Also, Alarm Sound features all the sounds for you to wake up to. The free version as a limited selection of sounds and in the paid version, all the sounds are unlocked.


    Sleep Diary

    Sleep Better Sleep DiaryThe Sleep Diary is a feature of the paid version. The diary is broken down by month. At the top of each month are the total nights of sleep and the monthly sleep average.

    Each night of sleep in the diary shows the time the Start button was selected to start the app, the total time of sleep, and the sleep efficiency percentage.

    Even with the app, I’ve only been able to get eight hours of sleep one time.

    insert loud sigh here




    Sleep Statistics

    Sleep Better App Sleep Statistics

    The paid version of the app has a section for sleep statistics which are broken down into four categories: overall, yearly, monthly, and weekly. This is a cool feature if you like to see your progress over time.








    The only thing I don’t like about the app is that you can only set one alarm at a time. This goes for both the free and paid versions. Other than that, I have nothing bad to say about it.

    To sum it up, the free version of the Sleep Better app is great on its own. However, if you want to view statistics, unlock alarm sounds, etc, it’s worth spending the $1.99 on. If you download and use the app, I’d like to read your thoughts on it.

    Sweet dreams.

    Updated March 31, 2017

  • My Faves

    My 5 Favorite Spotify Playlists for Sleep

    The Recovering Pessimist: My Favorite Spotify Sleep Playlists -- I have moments where sleep eludes me. Listening to some of my favorite Spotify playlists usually relaxes me enough to fall asleep. | www.therecoveringpessmist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimistI’m a creature of habit and my nighttime routine is no different. I stop using my computer 45 minutes to an hour before bed. I avoid drinking sugary drinks a few hours before bed. I turn off all the lights in my apartment.

    Usually, this routine works like a charm.

    Keyword: usually.

    Some nights, despite my most valiant efforts, sleep still manages to elude me. On top of that, just one restless night ruins my sleep for the entire week. When I have those restless nights, I go to my favorite Spotify sleep playlists.


    1. Sounds of Home | Noise Therapy

    This playlist is full of white noise! Think along the lines of ventilation units, electrical appliances, fans, etc.

    2. Gentle Rains

    As a child, I would dance in the rain. It was so relaxing to feel the water against my skin. This playlist puts me in the perfect mood for a good night’s sleep.

    3. Nightstorms

    There’s something about night storms that make me want to cuddle up with a comfy blanket and a soft pillow. Thunder + nighttime are the perfect ingredients for a sound slumber.

    4. Nature Noise

    Living in the city, I miss the sounds of my country upbringing.  This playlist hits the spot.

    5. Dreamcatcher

    I found this collection of Native American flute music on a whim. It’s unique and soothing. Perfect for when it’s bedtime and your mind doesn’t get the memo.

    These are my five favorite Spotify sleep playlists. Do you use sleep playlists? If so, please feel free to share in the comments.

    Until next time,


  • My Faves

    5 Interesting Things About Me (Part 3)

    The Recovering Pessimist: 5 Interesting Things About Me Part III -- I'm long overdue for the third installment of this series where I share some of the things that make me the awesomeness that I am. Enjoy! | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist

    One of my favorite things about this blog is that I can share all of the facets that make me who I am. Which brings me to the third installment of this series (click here and here for previous installments). I’m sorry this is long overdue, but let’s jump right in:

    1. I am Daria (and Daria is me).

    I’ve been sarcastic and what some would call a smartass (I prefer quick-witted) for most of my life. I find it entertaining when people don’t pick up on my sarcasm or get upset that I’m really good at one-liner commentary. Sarcasm and quick-wit are gifts and because you don’t waste gifts, I’m sharing my gifts with the world.


    2. I don’t own a pair of heels.

    I have a love/dislike relationship with heels that borders more on dislike. I love the streamlined look of heels. However, I don’t like the pain that results from wearing those heels that give that streamlined look.

    Plus my style for the past couple of years embraces flats and the occasional wedge, both of which are much easier on my back. At some point, I’m sure I’ll have to break down and buy a pair of simple black heels to go with that gorgeous LBD (little black dress) I’ll score on sale. Until then, no thank you.

    3. Bad spelling/grammar makes my eye twitch, seriously.

    I’ve been in love with words since I was a kid. Spelling tests were my thing, and I worked my adolescent behind off to make sure I aced them each week. It might be my own doing, but I expect adults to do better when it comes to spelling and grammar. At least know the difference between there/their/they’re & lost/loss.


    4. I have introvert tendencies. 

    When I was making the shift from my late 20s to my 30s, I found myself developing introvert tendencies that I still keep to this day. I enjoy going out and spending time with friends, but after a few hours, I start craving alone time on the sofa. It’s a real struggle.

    5. I don’t like shrimp (99% of the time).

     The moment I realized what shrimp looked like alive was the moment I lost all interest in eating them. There are the rare (and I do mean rare) moments where I’ll consume a few cooked and deveined shrimp. And even then, I will only eat them if certain people cook them.

    That’s it! I hope you enjoyed this. Let’s put the (flat) shoe on the other foot. Share one interesting thing about you. You can drop it in the comments or share via my social media.

    Until next time,


  • My Faves

    My 2016 Fall Favorites

    The Recovering Pessimist: My 2016 Fall Faves -- With Fall approaching, I wanted to share what I'm looking forward to this year. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimistAutumn 2016 began September 22 and with that comes cooler weather, which we need here in RVA. So without further adieu, I’m here to deliver my fall favorites for 2016 (click here for last year’s post).

    Food and Beverage!!

    In last year’s post, I mentioned several of my favorite food and beverage items. It’s apple butter and pumpkin butter time! Absolutely delicious on toast, bagels, and in oatmeal. I’ve been obsessed with finding bread pudding and cobbler recipes to my Pinterest account. Also, seasonal beers appear on shelves, ready for my taste buds to enjoy.


    The weather is still warm, but the nights get a bit chilly, so layering clothing is essential for me. There’s something about a light, chunky sweater, boots, and a light infinity scarf that make me so happy. I’ve been online window shopping for all new clothing. Soon as a sale starts, I’m on it!

    Home Fragrance

    For fall, I love scents such as leather, wood, musk, bergamot, and sandalwood. I tend to buy these scents in the forms of candles, incense, room sprays, and air fresheners for my car. A few of my favorite home fragrance lines are by Glade, Bath and Body Works, Yankee Candle, and various Etsy stores. The first three usually have coupons and/or coupon codes available this time of year.

    Cozy Nights

    Fall nights are great. I tend to open the windows to allow the crisp night air to enter the apartment. It feels so relaxing to read, watch TV, sleep, etc. with the window open and crisp air surrounding you. The cooler air mixed with the home fragrance of your choice is divine.


    Festival season doesn’t stop at the end of summer. Here in RVA, my favorite festivals are the Richmond Folk Festival, Armenian Food Festival, and Richmond Italian Festival. Put on your comfy layers and enjoy!

    That’s it, folks! I hope you enjoyed this year’s list. Leave a comment with some of your fall favorites.

    Until next time,


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