Sunday, December 8, 2019

Favorite Things 2019

It's time for my annual "Leslie's Favorite Things" post!

I have done this post for a few years and you can check out the 2016 version HERE and the 2017 version HERE. I didn't do an official "favorite things" post last year, but HERE is an end of year what I'm loving lately post from 2018. I love doing this post and while I wish I could give you all my favorite things a la Oprah, alas, you can just read about them here! I always give this disclaimer that yes, OBVI, I am thankful for health, faith, family, friends, love, teaching and all of those things, but this post is about material objects I've really enjoyed this year. Without further ado, My Favorite Things 2019!

1. Danskin Joggers--Some of my favorite lounge wear comes from Costco. Maybe it's the giant fans or imagining myself with the peppermint chocolate pretzel thins on my couch, but something about bulk buying makes me want cozy clothes (I have so many conspiracy theories about Costco and how they get us to spend more, ha!). These sweats are my absolute fave. Here's why: stretch and comfort without being super baggy, a tapered ankle, they can work as pajamas, gym bottoms, or out and about. I've done all 3. And they're $10! I love these things!

2. Egg Bites---So it's no secret I love Starbucks egg bites. They are little protein packed bites of yum. But they are a bit pricey so this year I decided to try making them on my own. These are so delish. I basically mix together some variation of toppings (spinach, mushroom, tomato, etc) with about 9 eggs, add some seasoning, a sprinkle of cheese pour into a well oiled muffin tin and voila, a dozen egg bites await about 12 minutes and 350 degrees later. I have my eye out for some silicone muffin molds because I think they'll pop out easier that way.
Image from the Baker Mama

3. Book of the Month Club--AJ bought me this as a birthday gift years ago and I cannot love it enough. Each month you get an email with the run down of 5 brand new books (I adore the quick categorizing and basic gist of each read) then you pick one you like and about a week later the hard back you selected shows up on your doorstep! It's a favorite thing because I love reading, but also because the books are often brand new, early releases. Also, if there's more than one read out of the 5 I'm into? I add the selections I didn't choose to my library waitlist. Easy peasy. Click HERE to join yourself. You will not regret it.

4. Old fashioned toys--I need to preface this one by saying that we have all sorts of toys that make all manner of noises and need batteries. We've got light up things, motorized things, etc. I'm NO hippie, here, folks. But I do love a good old fashioned toy. Hank loves his Melissa and Doug coffee maker, pots and pans, wooden puzzles, and other battery-free fun. For Christmas, I picked him up a roll up car mat for when we're out at restaurants and things. Hank still begs for my phone to watch "Baby Shark" like every other kid in America, but I will always advocate for some good old fashioned play things too.

5. Rustic Bread--I know it's millenial and extra, but I LOVE avocado toast (with salt and pepper and a poached egg? Heavenly!) and I recently decided to up my carb game and buy a nice crusty loaf instead of regular square bread. Game. Changer. I may have to toast it twice since a slice won't fit in my toaster all at once, but if you're going to have avo toast, do it right and go Team Crusty.

6. Revlon Heat Styling Brush---So I've been wanting one of these for a while now and the week before Thanksgiving it went on sale for $30 so I scooped it up. Guys, this is a game changer. I wanted to try and use less heat on my hair and with this bad boy, I now use THREE heat styling tools, but I can tell it is already making my hair feel healthier and have better volume. Here's how: I blow dry my hair for about 5 ish minutes, then I use this heat styling brush to dry it the rest of the way. When I'm done with that, my hair is basically straight already and I just use a few strokes with the Chi flat iron to de-frizz and smooth. Overall, even with an additional tool, it's less heat applied to my hair and I finally feel like I can dry and style my hair at the same time. It's a major time saver.

7. Tibeten Singing Bowl--Last year I read the book, "Happy Teachers Change the World" by Thich Nhat Hanh all about how teachers can bring mindfulness into the classroom (for our benefit as well as for the students). I immediately created a Donors Choose project with all sorts of mindfulness resources, including books and this Tibeten singing bowl. I freaking love this thing in the classroom. I originally purchased it to use as a way to center my students as we transition from one task to another (and I do use it for that, especially when they switch centers groups), but it's just an amazing 15 second sound, depending on how hard you strike it, that trains the mind to come back to the present moment and listen until all the sound in the bowl dissipates. It's crazy relaxing and I'm hoping my students continue to have a Pavlovian response to the sound--stop, breathe, listen.

8. Taylor Swift's "Lover": Taylor was basically the soundtrack to my 20's and I absolutely loved her album released this fall. She said on the AMA's one of her goals is to have her music evolve year after year and it really has. "Lover" is  fun, gym jam worthy, and features perfect tunes for driving. I've ridden some high highs (Red) and some low lows (Reputation) with Tay over the years but I'm a forever fan and this album is perfection. Afterglow is one of my favorite songs but "You Need to Calm Down" is an anthem if I've ever heard one.

9. Kirkland's: So we got one of these stores by us this past year and I LOVE it. It's basically if Pier One, Hobby Lobby, and Target decor all got together and had a party. There's a sweet clearance section, plenty of seasonal cuteness and of course that farmhouse style I adore. This store is so fun.

That's a wrap on my Favorite Things of 2019!
It's so fun to celebrate and be thankful for things we love.

Savor Your Sparkle,

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