With the holidays in our rear view mirror, the truth about most of the gifts you've received is probably known.
It is abundantly clear by now which of them are useful and which ones aren't worth their salt, and, consequently, will either be recycled or thrown away altogether.
And because some of us are still in the shopping mood (for ourselves, anyway), I thought I'd share a short list of things I've come to depend on.
You know, if you're in the mood to accumulate more stuff...
Louis Vuitton Sac Tote I cannot say enough about this tote, which was unfortunately discontinued several years ago. (It has since been replaced by Louis Vuitton's Neverfull tote.) But I like this Sac tote better, and you can still find some good ones making the rounds on the luxury resale market. This tote serves as my diaper bag at the moment -- and will continue to for the foreseeable future. I demand a lot of my diaper bag: I want it to be roomy, functional, fashionable, and, for God's sake, it has to be durable. This bag fits the bill. And long after I'm done using this bag to schlep diapers, Hot Wheels, and apple sauce pouches, I'll rock this as a large purse. I love love LOVE this bag. The end.
Olympus Digital Voice Recorder Okay, so I don't use this recorder everyday, but I swear, I use this sucker at least once a week. As a blogger for the NFL and USA Football, and as a freelance writer whose largest client is based in New York (I live in Michigan), I conduct phone interviews often with people across the country, and I use this recorder every single time I do. It's compact, easy to operate, performs impressively with regard to energy usage. (It only calls for two AAA batteries, which seem to last forever).
Burt's Bees Super Shiny Natural Lip Gloss in Juicy Peach I bought this lip gloss at Whole Foods on a whim back in 2010. As crunchy as I am now, I was super-duper crunchy back then and gravitated heavily toward environmentally conscious cosmetic lines. I was rolling the dice because I bought this gloss without having tried it...but when I got home and tried it, I thanked my lucky stars and asked where this has been all my life. It looks great alone or over lipstick. Heaven help me, if Burt's Bees ever discontinues this...
Udderly Smooth Udder Cream The story behind how I came to know this body cream is quite unique...Several years ago when I was making the transition to write from home, I accepted a long-term substitute teaching assignment in an SXI class at our community's middle school. The students in my class experienced severe multiple impairments, which means that they were wheelchair-bound or bedridden and could not eat or use the bathroom without assistance. Translation: My two aids and I washed our hands a lot, so our hands became so dry that it looked as though we had rolled them around in flour by the end of the day. One of the therapists gifted me with a jar of this cream as a Christmas gift. "You will love this stuff," she said, and she was right.
Modesa Elastics for Very Thick Hair If you know anything about me, you know that my hair is quite long. It is also very, very thick. This combination has proved finding durable hair elastics challenging. Most can't cut the mustard. Sure, they all work in the beginning. But I wear my hair in a ponytail 75% of the time when I'm home, and after the third wear, the elastic looks more like a garter belt than a hair tie. And then I found these. The best part? They're cheap as hell. I've only found them at Family Dollar. They come in packs of 20, and I buy them several packs at a time.
TRESemme Conditioner Luxurious Moisture Rich Conditioner Those of you who've followed this blog for a while know that I did the unthinkable this past July: I wore my hair in its crazy, naturally curly state. And I'm not talking about for, like, a day. I committed to this for several weeks before I threw in the towel and said To hell with this sh!t and went right back to my comfort zone (i.e. conducting my signature three-hour blow-outs.) What can I say? I'm addicted. I did glean one nugget of wisdom during my experiment, though: I now wash my hair with conditioner. That's right. I use conditioner as shampoo. It's quite common and is recommended for those with curly hair. Shampoo actually contains a crazy amount of detergent, which is extremely drying -- and conditioner does actually cleanse hair. This brand is just what its label claims: Moisture rich. And less than $5 for a bottle this size makes it a steal. I don't wash my hair everyday -- not even every other day. But when I do wash my hair, I use this conditioner. (P.S. I'm going to post my brand new hair washing regimen very soon!)
Lululemon Nice Asana Jacket Brushed Black You're looking at the absolute very best of Lululemon. I know, I know: Anything Lululemon makes costs an arm and a leg. But this jacket is worth every single penny ($125; ouch! I know). But hear me out: it washes like a dream, hasn't lost its shape, is the perfect length (no worries of exposing muffin top with this jacket!), and it is so versatile that I've worn it while on walks with the kids, on grocery store runs, and, of course, while doing yoga when it's super chilly in the studio. This, my friends, is a true keeper.
I hope you've enjoyed this list.