It’s that time of year again. I just got the latest Oprah magazine and it includes her list of favorite things. As usual, I was left uninspired and the only realistic thing I could see myself actually buying is coconut peanut butter. Now that does sound good!
Here is my list of more realistic finds from this past year . . . in no particular order:
Loose Leaf Tea
Last Christmas Jessica bought me a box of David’s Teas. This is fancy loose leaf tea in a variety of exotic flavors and she also included a travel tea much that has the little basket on the top to steep the tea. This was such a fun novelty for me and I just couldn’t believe the difference in taste between loose leaf tea and tea bags. The only downfall was the travel mug. I found it a bit cumbersome to fill it so I recently purchased a cool Japanese tea kettle especially for brewing the loose leaf tea. Now I’m on a mission to try all sorts of different tea flavors. It might take a lifetime to sample them all.
I already blogged about this earlier this year and it really was a great find. We haven’t been regularly ordering these prepared dinners for a variety of reasons, mostly because our crazy schedules prevent us from being home for dinner for 3 or 4 consecutive days, but nothing beats knowing the you have a 3 course meal in the fridge just ready to go with the most minimal effort possible.
This was one of those infomercial weak moments. I was on a business trip over a weekend and had lots of time to kill in my hotel room. I swear there was nothing on TV but infomercials and, sure enough, I bought something. Actually, I bought two things, but this one was my favorite. It’s make-up and the sales pitch that sold me was this . . . “One compact, one brush, one minute.” And it’s true. The make up is like the mineral make-up, but it’s more of a pressed powder than a loose powder so there is no need to tap it anywhere. The compact is made up of 4 quadrants of different colors and it does everything from cover-up to foundation to blush. It’s great. The only catch is that you are committed to a monthly purchase, but I figured . . . if I really like it than why not have more sent to me automatically?
Dry Roasted Edamame
I picked a package of these up at an airport one day and became installing hooked. I now buy them online by the case No, really. I do! At one time I was convinced this was a healthy snack and although I have since determined that that’s not really the case, they sure do beat potato chips and they are somewhat of a protein source. The best part is that a handful of them fill me up.
Good Air Yankee Candles
I am always a huge fan of anything that smells good, especially things that help things that normally smell bad be not-so-stinky. Considering I have two sources of stink that I share my house with I’m constantly on the hunt for de-stinkers. Unlike most candles that just add to the already existing smells in the air, these new Yankee Candles supposedly remove the stink. Who knows if that really happens, but I do like the job they are doing. So far I only got the votive size, but considering the size of my dogs, I really need to move up to the large jars!
Mint Truffle Kisses
I have always been a huge fan of anything that combines chocolate with mint. Andes have usually been my go-to after dinner treat, but I think that Hershey beat them out. These Mint Truffle Kisses are so creamy and delicious. Pure heaven and the perfectly sized satisfying treat. Only problem is that they are hard to find and likely only a seasonal offering.
Magners Pear Cider
This past Spring I attended a beer and wine tasting event where you got to sample several different drinks. I normally don’t even venture over to the beer table during this event, but this year I did and I happened to discover this hard pear cider. Since that seemed way tastier than any beer I gave it a try. Holy smokes. That turned out to be the only drink I had all night. All of my drink tickets where spent right there. All I have to say is that if it wasn’t for the calories, I would be constantly drunk. I love this stuff.
This really doesn’t need much explanation. It seems that I’ve just completely fallen in love with ducks this year. End of story.
Shoes Brands – Pikolina & Earthies
I am on a never-ending quest for comfortable (but pretty) shoes and this year I bought a couple of pairs that stand out from the rest. The Pilolinas have been the most comfortable fashionable sandal that I have ever owned. The shoes, although they are high heeled, are surprising easy to walk in and can go the distance. And speaking of distance, my pair of Earthies were the shoes that I wore in Chicago the night I dressed up and not only walked about 3 miles in them, but also went dancing. I was so impressed that I just bought another pair of Earthies.
I have had a long-running love affair with a mail order catalog called Boston Proper. It’s pretty funny to watch me get the catalog out of the mailbox. My first reaction is “Crap, not another Boston Proper catalog.” It’s like a form of torture. I don’t want to even open it because I know I’m going to love everything so I try to throw it directly into the recycling bin. But it’s not long that I later pull it out and flip through. Then you hear me cursing, “Damned you Boston Proper!” I actually get mad at the catalog. Mad because I love the stuff so much and madder because they are so over priced. But then I discovered another catalog called Venus. After shopping in the catalog for a year I discovered something interesting. They are trying to rip off Boston Proper. Many of the styles are similar to Boston Proper, but lag by a few months. Don’t get me wrong, they can’t really compare, but they certainly have helped to satisfy that, “OMG, I can’t live without that super funky top” and it’s a much more economical fix.
iPhone 4s with Map My Ride App
I know that it wasn’t too many years ago when my new Droid was on my list of favorite things, but things have changed. Now it’s my iPhone and my life changing app. Yes, there are lots of life changing apps, but one of my all-time favorite is Map my Ride. I remember back in the olden days (a few years ago) when I used to sit at my home computer for hours playing with my GPS software. I would painstakingly map out our bike rides to gauge the distance and the elevations. After I got the whole ride mapped out I would have to print it out on several pieces of paper and tape them all together. Then, I would have to stop the bike and pull the darn folded up paper out of my pocket to figure out if we were on course. What a pain. Now I can sit on the couch with my iPad and either just select from a ride that somebody else already mapped out or quickly and easily map my own ride. The app gives me all the necessary stats and then sends the data straight to my phone. All I need to do is snap my phone to my handlebars and access the map and route with the tap of the screen. God I love technology!
And speaking of Apps, another favorite of mine is called Flip Board. It’s like having a giant custom magazine, perfectly suited to my own individual tastes and interests. Every time I pick up my device, the content has been updated and new. I do wonder why my house is still filled with paper magazines.