My JANUARY 2016 Favorites
Can you believe we are almost halfway through January? More than anything I can't believe I've had this blog going for nearly a week. Hopefully I will be able to get my YouTube channel back up and running soon, but for the moment I'm writing this favorites article in blog form. I used to think they were cheesy, but I have started to really enjoy reading and watching my favorite bloggers and YouTubers present their monthly list of favorite things. Many of them are things that I otherwise would not have bothered to try, but turns out they were right.
About halfway through every month, I hope to share with you what I love for the month and perhaps you'll discover some new and interesting things for yourself. As always, if you have any comments or feedback please leave them below! I'd love to hear from you!
This show has been around for a while, and at first I had zero interest in it but the more I watch the more awesome it gets. Bob's Burgers is actually the perfect family show - it's PG enough that adults can watch with their kids and everyone can get a good laugh. There's usually a lesson learned at the end of each episode, albeit kind of backwards in getting there, but it's clear that the family truly loves one another no matter how backwards they all seem to be - nobody is really normal in this family. The humor is quick and hilarious; safe to say on a cold day we will be binge watching Bob and his family.
I first discovered Typo on my recent trip to Minnesota in the Mall of America, and absolutely loved it. It's full of cute, quirky and well-made stationary, clothing and homewares that won't break the bank. I was even happier when I discovered that they have a website (www.typo.com) and you can easily order anything and everything they offer in stores. On Cyber Monday I went a little crazy and spent about $100 on the website, got free shipping, and got SO many things for such a minimal amount of money. I found an awesome fleece-lined sweater that I've worn almost every day for only $10 and a fancy wooden, Bluetooth shower speaker for only $20 - I like listening to the radio in the shower. You may see that the site is also called "Cotton:On" but for all intents and purposes it's the same store.
Compartes is located in Los Angles and to ship their chocolate across the U.S. costs a ridiculous amount of money, so I pretty much gave up on trying this chocolate until I happened to make another trip to California. That was until I discovered that my favorite bookstore in NYC, (The Strand on 12th & Broadway) just started carrying a limited supply! I made it a point to try every flavor - despite the hefty price tag - and every purchase is well worth it. My favorite for the month is Doughnuts and Coffee Milk Chocolate Bar (which is pretty much everyone else's favorite too) because it's no joke - it REALLY tastes like coffee and doughnuts. Indulge at will - some of these flavors will make you salivate all over your desk. Check them out online here: www.compartes.com.
I'm not a fan of cinnamon flavored anything, and yet I love cinnamon on its own. If you're a Hot Tamales or Fireball fan then I highly suggest you try Woodchuck's new limited edition cider: Hot Cha Cha Cha. It's hard apple cider fermented with hot chilies, so the first few sips burn on the way down but after a while it actually becomes warm and tasty. If you want a refreshing alcoholic beverage that will also warm you from the inside on a cold winter day, get yourself a six-pack of these bad boys.
A while back I wrote an article on ways to cope with flying anxiety, and I will repost soon, because in recent years I've become petrified of flying. I never had any fears of being on an airplane but for whatever reason a new switch clicked in my brain and now the thought of flying gives me extreme anxiety. In an effort to educate myself a bit more, I bought this book because I still love traveling and the science behind airplanes in general. So far, I absolutely love it! The author, Patrick Smith, is an airline pilot who addresses a lot of the questions and concerns that a generally asked about airports, pilots, how planes are flown, terrorism, airline cultures, and about planes in general. The book got 4.5 stars out of 400 reviews on Amazon, so I highly recommend this if you travel a lot because it addresses pretty much every question you could ask a pilot.
Whole Foods actually had a whole mess of these on a clearance table around Christmas, and I'm so disappointed that I didn't stock up on more. Being from Vermont, maple syrup is pretty much in my blood, so when I saw how adorable these candles were in recycled, tin maple syrup cans, I knew I had to try them. Not only does it smell like a pancake breakfast, but the wick is a strip of wood that not only burns slowly and evenly, but it makes crackling sounds like a fireplace. This candle combines everything I love about Vermont in the winter and I can enjoy it no matter where I am!
7. MOVIE - Somm
I'll be honest, I watched this one a while back at the recommendation of a friend, and I absolutely loved it! I started drinking wine when I was 18 - in EUROPE people - and I developed a real liking for the culture, care and elegance behind one of the oldest booze on the planet. This is a documentary that follows 4 sommeliers who attempt to take the Master Sommelier exam - quite possible the hardest test in history. Simply by smell and taste, a Master Sommelier can tell you the vintage, the vineyard, the region, and the country of any and every wine. But even after passing the test, the struggle is not over as they need to keep refining their palates for new and unique flavors. I mention it now because there is a sequel that is set to be released next month on the Esquire Network so be on the lookout, but make sure you add this one to your Netflix queue first!
One of my goals for 2016 is to be more heath conscious and that is to slowly cut out unhealthy and unnatural versions of products I've used for years. My family has used Vicks Vapor Rub for years and when I was cleaning I discovered that the jar I've been using expired nearly 10 years ago, and yet was perfectly preserved. Eww. So I've turned to a recipe that is so effective it's been around for thousands of years: Tiger Balm. This stuff is incredible: it clears your sinuses, it heals a headache without pills, and it's perfect for any ache and pain in the muscles. The red variety (which I've been using) is pretty intense, but there is a milder version (white) that cools rather than burns.