Happy Friday! This week it really is happy because we made it through the first week back to school.
And what a week it was! We had sun and sixty degrees, snow, thunderstorms and even tornadoes! The weather was downright crazy.
We’ve also had our first touch of the January sickness – poor Kyle has been down for the count with a stomach bug for the last couple of days. I feel bad for him, and I really hope he is feeling better today. But it has given me a good excuse to hunker down at home. I’ve gotten some things done around the house – I’m one topcoat away from having my mudroom bench finished – and even found time to snuggle up with a good book.
In case you didn’t know – I love books. I love to read throughout the year, but there is something especially cozy about curling up with a cup of tea, a warm blanket and story that takes me far away that is particularly enjoyable in the cold, dark days of winter.
Today I am sharing a few of my favorite things from the past month, including a book, with most of the emphasis on things I’ve discovered or fallen for in the last week or so, because the holidays are so last year. 😉 Anybody with me there?
First up on my list is actually something I’ve had for a long time, but it’s something that I use just about everyday and which has made my life infinitely better. I’m talking about my Apple AirPods of course. First off, I am just so grateful they fit in my ears because I really struggle with finding earbuds small enough for my ears. The sound quality is amazing, they hold a charge for a good long time and I love not having to deal with wires. I use them during runs (both long and short) and while doing housework, like laundry, cooking, cleaning and painting and they make the task so much more enjoyable. They also make it easy to make and receive calls. I know they don’t come cheap – but this is one product I could not live without. (Okay, perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration, but I do love these things).
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain
I’m currently using those AirPods to listen to Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. I know I am a little late to the party, but as an introvert I find this books fascinating. Cain explains how our society overvalues bold, outgoing, aggressive, and social/collaborative behavior and often views these things as synonymous with achievement, leadership and success. In “Quiet”, Cain uses individual examples to demonstrate why this perspective is flawed and suggests how we can change our perception of introversion to bring out the best in ourselves, others and our society. It’s a really interesting and important read for anyone who teaches or manages people, or who think he or she just might be an introvert.
Broadchurch on Netflix
I am also using those AirPods to watch the BBC crime drama Broadchurch on Netflix during my treadmill runs. I like this show so much that some days I have to force myself to run outside, even when it is sunny and 50 degrees. No joke. I’m about 5 episodes into the first season, but I was excited to learn that there are actually 4 seasons of the show. Normally I am not a fan of shows that depict child victims, but this one has me hooked and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
How American Girls Would Decorate if They Lived in Studio Apartments
I was super excited to stumble across the article on How American Girls Would Decorate if They Lived in Studio Apartments by Apartment Therapy. Call me nostalgic – I definitely missed pouring over the American Girl catalog this Christmas season and feel a little bit sad that this was our first year without any of those famous red boxes under the tree. But the real gut check came when I saw something about the Girl of the Year being fashioned after Ree Drummond (each year American Girl releases a limited edition doll complete with her own story and accessories). I had totally forgotten all about the “Girl of the Year” which made me sad because her unveiling used to be an event that Kelly and I would look forward to for days and celebrate with scones and tea.
My little girl is growing up . . . sniff, sniff.
These were a Christmas gift from Kevin. He gifts me a new pair of Ugg slippers every few years and this is my favorite pair so far. They are a little narrower and fit my foot just a little bit better than the ones I’ve had before. I love that they have a hard sole for all the times I find myself running to the garage fridge, a soft, warm lining and they keep me feet nice and toasty. I know Ugg slippers are indulgent, but this pair is a little more reasonable than the ones I’ve had before and they are currently on sale on Zappos. So, for something that I wear literally everyday of the year (I am trying to enforce a “no shoes” rule in the house), I am okay with spending just a bit more.
Five Second Rule
We have been playing this game on family game nights for years, but turn to it time and again because it’s quick, simple, easy to learn and always provides laugh out loud fun. No matter how many times we get the same cards the pressure of coming up with three things in just five seconds continues to stump us. Except of course for those cards which at one point or another prompted truly memorable responses like: “3 Things You Should Not Do on a Job Interview” to which Kevin once replied “Die, Murder Someone or Fall Asleep” – that card always has a ready answer. LOL! I just noticed that the Five Second Rule game box says for ages 10 and up, but I truly think most 8 year olds could easily play this game, and if you play as teams it’s even fun for kids younger than that.
100 Ab Challenge
One of the things on my 19 for 2019 was more consistent strength and cross-training. Little did I know when I wrote that list that I would soon be returning to the studio to teach Pilates (boy am I glad I didn’t wait for the new year to get started on my resolutions). I’ve been super happy to be back on the Reformer for the first time in months. But I’ve also been enjoying at-home workouts. Really, as a fitness instructor with a bevy of workouts up my sleeve I have no excuses for not doing keeping up with these workouts. To keep me on track I decided to join Cassey Ho’s Blogilates #100abchallenge – 30 days of 100 repetitions of a different ab exercise. Let’s just say that some days are “challenging” – but I can feel myself getting stronger already. And, perhaps I am the only one, but I actually love the pain that comes with rolling over or sitting up after a good ab workout. I’ve linked to the video of the first day of the challenge if you want to give it a try.
Beautycounter Skin Care Regimens
If taking care of yourself or your skin is on your list of new year’s resolutions, you might want to check out one of Beautycounter’s skin care regimens. We have packages specially formulated for oily/acne prone skin, Countercontrol (great for teens and adults alike), an anti-aging (or as we like to say aging-gracefully) line, Rejuvenating, and a super hydrating and age-prevention line that adapts to your particular skin care conditions, Countermatch. For a limited time these lines are each being offered at a special price and they come with your choice of a free gift – each of which is one of our BEST SELLERS: a travel size cleansing balm, travel size overnight resurfacing peel or a travel size No. 3 charcoal face mask. If you’ve got some Christmas money burning a hole in your pocket, or you’ve finally decided that this is the year you will clean-up you skin care routine you should definitely check out this deal.
I’ve been a big fan of tea for as long as I can remember. And I think my love of peppermint is well-documented. This isn’t a new to me favorite, but I have enjoyed carving out time each afternoon to enjoy a cup of organic peppermint tea. Yum!
Okay, now I think I’ll make a cup of that tea and find a new book to read. Thanks for joining me for another round up of some of my favorite things. Have great weekend!