Thankful Thursdays | Favorite Podcasts + a giveaway

We’ve been in one place for a whole week. That’s a record for The Perillo Girls given the past month. I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that my car is 2,800 miles heavier from all the back and forth to Maryland, and quick escape to Montreal (I swear, I’m working on a post about our trip for all of you).

It’s so good to be back upstate, though it has its challenges just like every place. Being up here allows me to really embrace my introvert tendencies. If I didn’t make a concerted effort to get out once a day, I could stay holed up in my little sanctuary for days on end. There’s always something to be done around the house.

Yesterday I got caught up in an epic organizing project involving the kids’ bedroom. This week was three years since I closed on the house. It feels like we’ve always been here, though. Some days I walk around our tiny property, tending to the garden, and wonder what Mikey would’ve thought of this place. Would the age of the house have scared him off? Would he have wanted something more secluded? We’re right off the road, and only have a quarter acre. It’s exactly the right amount of land and house for this single mama, though, and I still feel overwhelmed at times with all the work falling on my shoulders.

Currently, the Flotec laundry pump is on the fritz, and goes off every 15 minutes. The pump pulls water from the washing machine and water aeration system, which are below the main drain line, to flush it outside. Right now it’s more annoying to listen to than harmful to anything. My plumber is convinced I can buy a new pump and install it myself. I appreciate him wanting to save me money, but the idea of screwing with plumbing kind of terrifies me. I go to the basement once a day, look at this pump, and talk to it, wondering if I could really do it myself.

I’m not sure how I got so derailed on today’s post. You needn’t be bothered with my mundane plumbing issues. What I really wanted to share with you is a list of my favorite podcasts. With all the miles we’ve gathered the last few years, podcasts have become a favorite way to pass the time in the car. The kids are equally in love with this list. Virginia is especially obsessed with The Moth. She’s such a story teller herself, so this isn’t a surprise.

The Nerdist is a new to me podcast, and a commitment to listen to—each episode averages 75 minutes. Good for long car trips, and now that we’re settled for a couple of weeks, I listen to it while I’m in the kitchen prepping and cooking. I loved the episodes with Sir Patrick Stewart and Jodie Foster, and also the Colin Farrell one. His recent film, The Lobster, is quite the esoteric story telling trip, and listening to Farrell talk a bit about that on The Nerdist put the movie in a different perspective for me.

And then there’s Little Known Facts with Ilana Levine. So, full disclosure here—she’s one of my dearest friends on the planet, a friend who nourishes my soul immensely, and someone I’ve missed not seeing since moving out of Brooklyn. It would be easy to say I’m biased listening to Little Known Facts, but listen to one episode for yourself, and you’ll see why it’s such a great podcast.

Ilana’s guests are part of the fabric of her own life in film, television, and on Broadway. She was Lucy van Pelt in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, along with Kristen Chenoweth and B.D. Wong, who have both been guests on her show. You needn’t love musical theater or even the acting profession to fall for her podcast. All you need is a longing to connect with the human experience, and everything that comes with it—fears, hopes, failures, and successes. So, yes, it’s cool to hear my best friend talk with some of the actors that have brought me much joy over the years with their work, but what’s even cooler is finding out those little known facts like John Slattery used to live in my old Brooklyn neighborhood when he first moved to New York (Mikey and I were devoted Mad Men fans).

Okay, it’s time for me to run, and get on with my work day. Much as I’d love to give you a detailed account of all the podcasts, this post would be novel length—my devotion to them runs that deep. And for no other reason than it being a random Thursday in July, I think we should have a giveaway. What do you think? Leave a comment here telling me which Brooklyn neighborhood John Slattery first lived in (tip: it’s not Carroll Gardens) for a chance to win an autographed copy of Homemade with Love. I’m also giving you a few chances for bonus entries once you’ve answered the main giveaway question. Complete each of the following, and you get an extra entry for each one.

1. What train line ran by John Slattery’s apartment window?

2. Share this on Twitter: Listen to @ilanalevine #littleknownfactspodcast for a chance to win a copy of @jenniferperillo’s Homemade with Love (come back and leave a comment with the link to your share).

3. Share a little known fact about yourself. I love getting to know more about all of you.

The winner will be chosen randomly on Friday, August 5th, and updated in this post on Monday, August 8th. Click here to view the official giveaway rules.

Now, go subscribe, download, listen, and enjoy!

Little Known Facts with Ilana Levine

The Moth

The Nerdist

Invisibilia (just started this one, and obsessed!)

Ask Me Another

Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me

Burnt Toast

All Songs Considered (great for discovering new music)

Parenting Bytes (required listening for anyone with teenage kids)


  • steph

    Little known fact – I was afraid of dogs most of my life. I am such a dog person now, that may seem hard to believe…

  • Kathy

    One fact is that I’ve always wanted to visit Brooklyn for more than a couple of hours and actually spend a weekend or so. Would love for you to do a post on where to go and do in Brooklyn from a native perspective.

    Little know fact – was sorry to be shoved out of the work force at age 59 and disappointed to discover prospective employers no longer saw value. I still do:)

  • Kathy H.

    I think he lived in Coney Island. Little known fact is that I sat next to him at McSorley’s this past winter.

  • Rachel

    Little known fact. I like right angles, even numbers and black and white- no shades of gray for me. Makes it difficult when trying to navigate relationships but I’m trying

  • Stephanie

    I’ve actually had this podcast bookmarked but had yet to listen to it. Thanks for the nudge! This will make my commute a little more hilarious.

    Neighborhood: Grave’s End/Bensonhurst
    Train: N Train
    Little Known Fact: I recently started quilting, by hand. Turns out, our foremothers (?) were on to something. Beautiful, essential, and somehow kind of zen.