Favorite things of 2016


I thought it would be fun to share with you a few of my favorite things of the year, the things that have changed my year. These are either things that I discovered in 2016, or had a significant impact on my lifestyle.

  • Audio books. This was a discovery from last year, but it continues to be a favorite. I love to read, but I’m a slow reader. I love that listening to audio books allows me to get through more books faster because I can multitask. I like listening to books while I’m doing other mindless things: exercising, cleaning the kitchen, folding laundry, driving, getting ready in the morning, because it makes these tasks more enjoyable.  I use a combination of Audible (we have a subscription) and Overdrive (which connects to your library card) to listen.
  • Podcasts. I love podcasts for all the same reasons I love audio books, however podcasts are free require much less commitment. One of my favorite thing about podcasts is that there is such a broad variety of them, there is literally a podcast for every interest. A few of my favorites this year have been:
    • Sorta Awesome– about discovering the awesome in the everyday, which sounds cheesy and sometimes is, but I promise is always entertaining. I’ve been listening to this so long I feel like I know the hosts.
    • What Should I Read Next– where guests share 3 books they like, 1 book they hate, and what they’re reading right now and the host gives them suggestions for what to read next.
    •  Lore– where the host explores myths and legends, “because sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction”. Its deliciously creepy.
    • The Mystery Show– where host Starlee searches for answers to people’s mysteries, like who the owner of an unusual lost belt buckle is, or how tall Jake Gyllenhal really is. This show is quirky in the best way possible, and Starlee always manages to make her interviews about more than just the mystery.
    • The Read Aloud Revival– which is all about books and reading to children. She talks to educators, moms, authors, psychologists, etc about the importance of reading to kids. The episodes range from topics like books on thanksgiving and being thankful, to how to read to wiggly children, tips on using the library, and inspiring parents in childrens literature. This podcasts always lights a fire under me and makes me want to check out all the books they talk about, and inspires me to make reading to my kids a big part of our day.
    • Honourable mentions go to: This American Life, Under the Influence, Modern Love, and The Longest Shortest Time.
  • The Headspace app. I’ve fallen on the meditation bandwagon. I started meditating on and off this fall using the Headspace app, which contains guided meditations that basically teach you how to meditate. The first 10 are free, and after that you pay for access to the rest. Once you finish their foundation series, you can unlock all the other meditations that exist in the app. They have series for health, relationships, sports, as well as single meditations for things like sleeping, commuting, eating, and fear of flying. There is even a kids section- where you can choose a length of time- from 1-9 minutes depending on the age- and a topic, like focus, kindness, going to sleep, or calming down. I love this app because its made meditation so accessible, and I love meditation for the way it clears and calms my mind. It might seem weird, but I’m starting to notice a difference when I don’t meditate- I’m easier to anger.
  • Leggings. Because leggings are life. They are so comfortable, I feel like I’m wearing PJs but I look so much more put together than that. Now that the weather is cool, I hardly ever wear jeans anymore. In fact, a part of me is dreading summer when it gets too hot to wear leggings every day. Woe is me. (Also- side note. High waisted leggings are a recent discovery and I love that they, ahem… smooth things over a bit.)
  •  Tea. I used to be a tea person. But somewhere between getting married, being on a tight budget, and having kids, I don’t know what happened to that part of myself. This year, thanks to a few friends, I got back into tea. And I am oh so grateful. I like to wake up and steep a cup first thing, then drink it slowly from a thermos throughout the morning. I’ll take tea any time of day, but I love the ritual of making a cup in the morning.  Some of the teas I drink the most regularly are:
    • Yerba mate, which has lots of health benefits. I love to have it in the morning, for its boost of energy, with a little milk and honey added.
    • I also drink a lot of peppermint tea. Peppermint soothes the stomach and aids in digestions, but its also super refreshing any time of day.
    • Macaroon Magic from Steeps Tea. I tried to find a link to this, but it doesn’t appear to be available at the moment {panics a little}. This is a roobios tea with bits of coconut, almond flakes, and rose blossoms. I like to add a little sweetened condensed milk to it, and its so delicious its practically dessert.
  • 18 oz Wide MouthMy Hydroflask water bottle. I got the 18 oz wide mouth in white, with the additional straw lid, and I LOVE it. I might be a bit of a water bottle snob, and these definitely aren’t cheap, but its the nicest water bottle I’ve ever used. I carry a water bottle around with me everywhere, so when my last one got lost/bit the dust (can’t remember) I decided it was time to do some research and find a nice one. I like this one because its insulated so it keeps my water cold all day, its the perfect size, and with the straw lid its an easy one-handed drink, I don’t have to unscrew the top. Its pretty sturdy too. I’ve dropped it a few times and now it just has some dents that make it look a little rugged.
  • My Bebamour backpack diaper bag. You guys. This diaper bag isn’t pretty or stylish, but its not ugly either. Its less than $60 on Amazon. And its so convenient. I love that I can stash water bottles for myself and my kids, snacks, some small toys and books, and all the other essentials into the bag, and then just sling it on my back and be hands free, with no aching shoulders. I can’t believe I waited so long to get a backpack diaper bag. I don’t use this every day, because not every day calls for this much stuff. But for when we’ll be out all day, or when I need to pack all of us waters and snacks, its the best thing ever. Every mom needs a practical diaper bag, and for me this is it. (The backpack straps can me stowed so it can also be used as a shoulder bag too.)

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