Favorite Things: 2013 Edition

Last December, I joined 320 Sycamore’s Favorite Things party, and I really enjoyed putting that post together.  Since it’s that time of year again, I thought I’d do another, and link up to the party, so you can read everybody else’s favorite things!

13 in 2013

1.  This little vacuum totally changed our stair-vacuuming experience (I realize that that is a super important thing that everyone should be concerned about).  We have a really awesome Dyson that does a great job on all of the other floors in the house, but trying to use it to vacuum the stairs was a major pain in my duppah.  As soon as I received the box from Amazon, I vacuumed the stairs, and I may have even been smiling while I was doing it!  Bonus points for being pink.

2.  Continuing with the cleaning trend I apparently started, I love Method floor cleaner.  It gets up all the dried dog drool (thank you, Bauer) and it smells amazing (like almonds)!!  I bought this back in January as part of my start the year clean and with less chemicals campaign, and one bottle lasted a good long time in our house, even though I was mopping once a week.  I think I replaced it sometime around September or so, and it was used on our bamboo floors on the main level of the townhouse.

3.  Over the summer, I was working on building a better traveling system, so I wouldn’t have to pack and unpack quite as many things whenever we went somewhere.  I picked up extras of all of our electronics cords and batteries and chargers, and while I was at it, I also picked up an extra set of brushes (I’ve forgotten them at home more than once, which is super annoying, since I generally pack from some sort of list).  I love these brushes from Real Techniques – they’re super soft and give you a real smoke-screen/air-brushed glow.  I almost want to pick up another set, just for home.

4.  I love my Minnetonka slippers – they’re all nice and fuzzy and warm, and since I have cold feet All The Time, having awesome slippers is kind of a big deal.  I wear these mostly in the winter, but it’s not totally unusual to see them on my tootsies over the summer as well.  They come in a bunch of colors, but I figured the grey would hide most/all of the dirt, and so far, it seems to be working.

5.  Last October, I started reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, and it seriously rocked my socks.  The books tell a story of a woman who time-travels to Scotland during the 1700s and falls in love with a Highlander.  The romance is amazing, and there’s enough historical information in there that you can confidently say the books are historical fiction (they reference things that we learned about when we were visiting Edinburgh).  I would devour the books, and it still took me about six months to get through the entire series (definitely worth your money to get the Kindle bundle).  The next book in the series comes out next spring, and mine is already on preorder with Amazon.

6.  Brandon got me a three-piece luggage set last Christmas, and I Love It!  They go everywhere with me.  For the most part, I’m able to fit everything in the smallest suitcase, which is perfect carry-on size, but I’ll probably use the medium one for visits longer than a long weekend.  I love that they’re pink and hard-sided, so things don’t get squashed.  And they have four-way rolling wheels, which is so nice in airports (or anywhere for that matter).  My current set seems to be sold out, but here’s a link to one that’s similar.

7.  Old Navy’s flannel pajama pants are so cozy.  Maybe not right out of the box, per se, but after a few washes, they’re the softest things going.  I have a pair from a couple of years ago, and they’re my go-to pajamas pants.  The only way they could be better is if Brandon would let me put flannel sheets on the bed, but he’s totally nixed that idea.

8.  Almost a year ago, I repainted the study with Benjamin Moore’s Coventry Grey.  Grey paint is incredibly hard to get right on the first attempt, but we managed to do it (after harassing the paint people for a while).  When I had it next to some other paint chips, it looked like a very tan grey, but once it was up on the walls, it was perfect, and in the study, it reads as a true grey, without any weird undertones.

9.  Back when I was planning what to pack for our Europe trip, I found an image of this scarf.  I didn’t buy it right then because $70 for a scarf is kind of a lot (like $60 too much).  But it kept popping up in my mind, and a while back, I thought to look for it on Ebay!  I can’t say I saved $60 off of the list price, but I did save a little bit, and I’ve worn it enough to make it pretty darn cheap per wear.  Lesson learned – always check Ebay before buying expensive things, especially if they’re out of stock.

10.  My grey Converse sneakers are awesome.  They’re just a little bit hipster, but they’re also super comfortable and look good with a lot of different things (skinny jeans, flared jeans, skirts, shorts, you name it).  I’m not a fan of big clunky sneakers (also known as athletic sneakers), and it’s tougher to find a fashion sneaker for a woman than it is for a man – somebody please explain it to me.

11.  Pitch Perfect may be one of my new favorite movies.  When I was at Penn State, I would go to the a cappella shows each semester.  Since I can’t sing, I really value the talent in others, and it’s really just mind-blowing to see a cappella in action.  And Pitch Perfect has plenty of singing, some dancing, and a lot of sass.  Whenever I watch it, I just feel really upbeat and energized afterwards, which is how you know it’s a good movie.

12.  My mom’s friend teaches calligraphy, and over the summer, she gave us a crash course.  Since then, I’ve been doing calligraphy on all of the birthday cards I send out – it still takes me a good amount of time to form the letters, but it looks so pretty and I like putting in the extra effort.  When we had our initial lesson, we used Zig Calligraphy Markers, and that’s what I’ve been using since.  They come in a bunch of different colors, which is good, since I like to coordinate the color I write with to the colors used in the card’s design (OCD much?).

13.  Last, but not least, is Barre3.  It’s awesome.  I started back in the summer, and I loved it.  It’s a mix of Pilates, Yoga, and Ballet.  And I get all gross and sweaty, but I don’t feel like I want to die at the end of if – I feel like I could take on the world.  This is totally my kind of exercising, and the best part is that I can do it at home, where nobody can see me (because I’m awkward and not coordinated at all).  I got away from Barre3 while we were working on the hallway bathroom because the study/exercise room became the “holds all the bathroom stuff” room.  Now that the bathroom is done, it’s time to get back to Barre3.

So that’s that – my 13 favorites in 2013!!  If you’d like to see more examples of people’s favorite things (I know I do, since it’s a great way to learn about new products), just click on the image below, which will take you to the link party.  Merry Christmas, everybody!

favorite things 2013[6]

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14 thoughts on “Favorite Things: 2013 Edition

  1. So you do the Barre3 online workouts? I’ve been looking for a new workout program that I could do at home. I’ve been intrigued by the recent surge of Barre classes, but they are so expensive to take in studios. Plus, like you I’m super uncoordinated. So, I might have to check this out.

    • I really like the online workouts, since you can pick between three or four class lengths. When I first signed up, I did the 28 to Great, and they send you the ball and some workout routine suggestions. It’s definitely really helpful, since for me, it was like exercise for dummies. I also picked up a yoga mat, stretch band, and some small weights from Target, just so I can do exactly what they’re doing on the video. Have fun!!

      • Amanda,

        That’s so helpful. Thank you so much! I saw the 28 to Great thing on the website and thought that might just be perfect for January post-holiday’s workout time! So, good to know you liked it. Thanks again!

  2. Pitch Perfect is so much fun! I’m going to have to check into that exercise video looks really interesting. I love this link up party — you find out about all kinds of new stuff! Merry Christmas!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by! I look forward to this link party all year long – going through these posts are more fun than even looking at gift guides (and I get a lot of good ideas from them too). Merry Christmas!!

  3. Liz says:

    I love my converse as well! So easy to slip on and run out of the house. And I am ordering the vacuum. I have the hardest time with two flights of carpeted stairs. Thank you !!!!

    • I know my husband looked at me funny when I opened the box, but it’s made such a difference, mostly because I don’t have to fight with the vacuum as I go up the stairs. Enjoy!!

    • If I thought I could swing another grey bedroom (we already have two at this point, and there are only three in the house), I’d definitely repaint the master using that grey. As it is, I’ll probably have to wait until our next house! Merry Christmas!

  4. The Minnetonka moccasins are on my wishlist this year…now I’m *really* hoping I get them! ;) And I agree with you about Old Navy pjs….my last pair was so comfy I literally wore it until there were holes in it! {Lovely! haha!}

    Merry Christmas! :)

    • My current pair is definitely heading that direction, but luckily my mom likes to get us new ones each year for Christmas (so we all match for Christmas morning pictures)! Merry Christmas to you too!

    • That’s fabulous! Someday when we have kids, I’m going to have to indoctrinate them into the wonderful world of musicals so they can randomly start singing the songs as well (Brandon’s not big on musicals, so I can’t exactly count on him breaking out in song on a regular basis). Merry Christmas!

  5. melissa320sycamore says:

    Smart tip about Ebay and scarves! My grandma writes with such beautiful calligraphy, I should really learn…happy new year!

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