Friendlier

Sarah Kopper & Abby Olena

Friendlier is like eavesdropping on a phone call between Sarah and Abby, long time friends—and now parents—who love to talk, read, and eat. Every episode we review books, share recipes, and explore a sometimes random/sometimes serious topic. Join us!

  • 27 minutes 49 seconds
    Midyear check-in, 2024

    Checking in on 2024

    We reflect on how the year is going so far, remind ourselves of our words for the year, and look ahead to the second half of 2024.

    Life lately

    Abby is starting a new job.

    Sarah loved the show The Break: A New Rock Musical.

    Reading lately

    Abby thoroughly enjoyed Ink, Blood, Sister, Scribe by Emma Törzs.

    Sarah recommends two romantic comedies: Funny Story by Emily Henry and The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren.

    Eating lately

    Sarah tried a new breakfast casserole (with croissants!).

    Abby's family enjoyed this street corn recipe.

    If you’d like to join in the conversation, please leave us a comment, email us at [email protected], or find us on Instagram @friendlierpodcast. Thanks for listening!


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    2 July 2024, 12:57 pm
  • 28 minutes 23 seconds
    Family life lately

    Family life lately

    We chat about what's going well and not so well in our families these days, as well as share some optimism about things that have been hard in the past and aren't any more.


    Life lately

    Sarah's children are out of school and summer has begun!

    Abby is eagerly anticipating a friend group camping trip to Rickwood Caverns State Park.


    Reading lately

    Sarah read the nonfiction book The Anxious Generation by Jonathan Haidt.

    Abby enjoyed the spicy romance Scandalized by Ivy Owens, which is a pseud for Lauren Billings (half of romance-writing duo Christina Lauren).


    Eating lately

    Abby is very into these probiotic sodas from Trader Joe's.

    Sarah introduced her children to cinnamon sugar bagels, and they are a hit.


    If you’d like to join in the conversation, please leave us a comment on our show notes, email us at [email protected], or find us on Instagram @friendlierpodcast. Thanks for listening!


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    4 June 2024, 12:36 pm
  • 26 minutes 22 seconds
    Obsessions

    Obsessions

    We share what we've been into lately, from camping to curry. Links mentioned:

    Life lately

    Abby's family is down to one car after the Volvo's transmission died.

    Sarah graduated from library school!

    Reading lately

    Abby listened to You Need a Budget by Jesse Meacham and Sarah read the YA historical fiction novel We Are Not Free by Traci Chee.

    Eating lately

    Sarah is making curry with these curry pastes.

    Abby was delighted when her favorite vanilla creme donuts were back in stock.

    If you’d like to join in the conversation, please leave us a comment, email us at [email protected], or find us on Instagram @friendlierpodcast. Thanks for listening


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    7 May 2024, 5:00 am
  • 27 minutes 38 seconds
    Getting stuff done

    We chat about how good we are at getting things done, which tasks are easy for us to start and finish, and whether anything helps us check things off our lists.


    Life lately

    Sarah (along with all of Bloomington) is prepping for April 8's solar eclipse.

    Abby got a puppy, Edie.


    Reading lately

    Sarah highly recommends the YA novel, In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner (especially the audio version).

    Abby has been slowly making her way through the first three books of the Her Royal Spyness series by Rhys Bowen.


    Eating lately

    Abby hacked a grocery store cookie cake for Pepper's birthday.

    Sarah tried out this Pad Thai recipe.


    If you’d like to join in the conversation, please leave us a comment on our show notes, email us at [email protected], or find us on Instagram @friendlierpodcast. Thanks for listening!


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    2 April 2024, 6:07 am
  • 23 minutes 18 seconds
    Looking ahead to turning 40

    Life lately

    Abby is feeling good about their family's summer plans.

    Sarah's kids are enjoying some winter hobbies.

    Reading lately

    Abby read True Biz by Sara Nović and Sarah read S.K. Ali's young adult novel Saints and Misfits.

    Looking ahead to turning 40

    As we enter the last year of our 30s, we look back over the last decade, look ahead to our 40s, and share how we hope to celebrate our milestone birthdays.

    Eating lately

    Sarah tried two new focaccia recipes but had the most success with this one from Alexandra Cooks.

    Abby shares about a new Trader Joe's product: garlic asiago cheese dip.

    If you’d like to join in the conversation, please leave us a comment, email us at [email protected], or find us on Instagram @friendlierpodcast. Thanks for listening!


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    5 March 2024, 8:56 pm
  • 40 minutes 35 seconds
    Religion and spirituality

    Life lately


    Sarah is thankful that January is behind us, and night shift is going surprisingly well for Abby.


    Reading lately


    Sarah read (and loved) The Good Part by Sophie Cousens.

    Abby listened to Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist by Judith Heumann.


    Religion and spirituality


    We discuss our experiences with religion and spirituality, growing up, today, and how we think about religion and spirituality as parents.


    Eating lately


    Abby ate Torchy's Tacos every day she was in Texas and has no regrets.


    Make-your-own sushi is a big win at Sarah's house.


    If you’d like to join in the conversation, please leave us a comment on our show notes, email us at [email protected], or find us on Instagram @friendlierpodcast. Thanks for listening!


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    6 February 2024, 2:36 pm
  • 29 minutes 55 seconds
    New year's intentions, 2024

    New year’s intentions, 2024

    We set our intentions for the year, share our words for the year, and discuss specific goals in various categories.


    Life Lately

    Abby is looking forward to time with family over the holiday (plus Tex-Mex!).

    Sarah shares to home winds: the headboard Neil made and all the secondhand plants.


    Reading lately

    Abby found a new romance series by Sarah Estep--the Brunch Bros.

    Sarah read the technology parenting book Growing Up In Public by Devorah Heitner.


    Eating lately

    Sarah found success with a traditional caramel recipe and Abby enjoyed apple cider caramels made by a friend. We recommend this thermometer that attaches to the pan.


    If you’d like to join in the conversation, please leave us a comment, email us at [email protected], or find us on Instagram @friendlierpodcast. Thanks for


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    2 January 2024, 6:00 am
  • 37 minutes 53 seconds
    Reflecting on 2023

    We look back on our respective years, talk about how we did with our intention words, and do a lightning round of favorites from 2023.


    Life lately

    Sarah recommends the Fantastic Fiction website.

    Abby is leaving the leaves this year.


    Reading lately

    Sarah read the nonfiction book The Chaos Machine: The Inside Story of How Social Media Rewired Our Minds and Our World by Max Fisher.

    Abby enjoyed the first two installments of the Wilmot Sisters contemporary romance series by Chloe Liese.


    Eating lately

    Abby is very into Cherry Cordials, the best seasonal Little Debbie.

    Sarah has significantly upped her bean game.


    If you’d like to join in the conversation, please leave us a comment on our show notes, email us at [email protected], or find us on Instagram @friendlierpodcast. Thanks for listening!


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    19 December 2023, 7:57 am
  • 29 minutes 19 seconds
    Our year in books, 2023

    Our year in books, 2023

    We share the highs and lows of our reading year as well as our favorite books in various categories.


    Life lately

    Abby loves her new Pact sweaters.

    Sarah is cozying up with the Calm Christmas podcast.


    Reading lately

    Abby read the spicy romance novel (set in Bloomington!) How Not to Fall by Emily Foster.

    Sarah read Michelle Huneven's novel Search.


    Eating lately

    Sarah made cranberry orange bread and Abby wants you all to know about shrimp toast.


    If you’d like to join in the conversation, please leave us a comment, email us at [email protected], or find us on Instagram @friendlierpodcast. Thank you for listening!


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    5 December 2023, 7:00 am
  • 36 minutes 17 seconds
    Our current clutter

    We give an update on the state of clutter in our homes and discuss how we think we might manage it better. We'd love your ideas! (And here's the podcast Sarah mentioned: A Slob Comes Clean)


    Life lately

    Sarah ran a half marathon—yay!

    Abby built a screen door.


    Reading lately

    Sarah read the satirical novel Wellness by Nathan Hill.

    Abby enjoyed the first two mysteries in the Jane Austen-inspired Mr. Darcy and Miss Tilney series by Claudia Gray.


    Eating lately

    Abby tried out a new spinach dip recipe, and it was a hit at her work potluck.

    Sarah and E made some yummy mint brownies (similar to this recipe, just swap ganache for mini chocolate chips).


    If you’d like to join in the conversation, please leave us a comment on our show notes, email us at [email protected], or find us on Instagram @friendlierpodcast. Thanks for listening!


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    7 November 2023, 11:57 pm
  • 31 minutes 12 seconds
    Parenting strengths and downfalls

    Parenting strengths and weaknesses

    We share areas of parenting that come easily to us (and those that don't!), our partners' parenting superpowers, and a recent parenting win.


    Life lately

    Abby shares the sad news that the hospital where she works will be closing Labor and Delivery later this month.

    The renovation continues at Sarah's house... In this update, concrete stain!


    Reading lately

    Abby read the YA fantasy novel To Shape a Dragon's Breath by Moniquill Blackgoose.

    Sarah read R.F. Kuang's Yellowface.


    Eating lately

    Sarah tried two new recipes from the Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook for Neil's birthday.

    Abby enjoyed a buffalo chicken dip made by Andrew.


    If you’d like to join in the conversation, please leave us a comment, email us at [email protected], or find us on Instagram @friendlierpodcast. Thanks for listening!


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    3 October 2023, 4:00 am
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