It is a little early into February, but that has not stopped me from coming up with my new list of monthly favorites! Yup, I know I am slow to make this into video form, but lucky for you it's written out and you can read it before enjoying it in video form. As always, if you have any comments or feedback about these favorites or would like to share your own - please leave them below or email me here. Click on the header for each item to view it on their homepage.
It took several friends convincing me that that was a great show, and watching the Golden Globes to come to the conclusion that this show needed to be watched. Since Season 2 is coming up in the next few months, I highly recommend that during the next snow storm you binge watch the first season of Mr. Robot. Rami Malek is an amazing actor and plays the Elliot Alderson, whose mind we are constantly inside listening to his inner monologue for the majority of the season. He's a young man living in New York City and works as a security engineer for one of the largest cybersecurity companies in the country. Elliot suffers from a variety of ailments, not the least of which are social anxiety and clinical depression. He connects with people by hacking them and often leads him to act as a cyber-vigilante. It's super suspenseful and the music is pretty awesome too!
For Christmas I got C a subscription to the Try the World box, which every 2 months delivers a box of unique and pretty rare-in-America foods and ingredients from all over the world. The first box included a jar of Hazelnut Cream from the company, Sciara, located in Italy, and we finished the jar pretty quickly. This stuff is like crack. It's so rich and delicious and made naturally with fresh hazelnuts. We loved it so much, we ordered more jars and also tried their Almond and Pistachio cream - which are both equally awesome. You can order these off of the Try the World website as they are pretty hard to find anywhere else.
I stopped drinking soda a few months back, but I was not able to kick the carbonation habit. As such, I tend to drink a few liters of carbonated water every day, and since plain club soda is boring I usually go for the VERY lightly flavored fizzy water. Hint is one of my favorite companies when it comes to lightly and naturally flavored water and they make both flat and fizzy varieties. While Hint makes a ton of fruit flavors, my favorite is still peach. All of Hint's waters are organic and contain no artificial anything. You can find these at your local Whole Foods! Cheers!
Despite some rumors I actually am an extremely organized person, and because I hate relying on technology to tell my when my appointments are, I write everything down on paper instead. Last year I had a pretty basic planner, but since this year I'm running two websites, working on multiple projects, trying to keep track of my finances, arranging a few trips AND planning a wedding, I figured I need to up my game in the planner world. A friend of mine used Erin Condren's customized planner last year and swore it was the coolest thing ever. I shelled out the $60 to get one of these custom made and it's perfect because I no longer need to carry around multiple notebooks when I can write down everything in the same book.
I have trouble falling asleep sometimes and figured aromatherapy was one avenue I didn't fully explore. I saw this little guy in a YouTube video, and thought I would give it a go since it was on sale for nearly half the retail price on Amazon. This little oil diffuser is SO AWESOME! You just plug it in, fill the inside container with about a 1/2 cup of water, add a few drops to essential oils, turn it on and be amazed. It has a ton of light settings as well: you can let it change colors, freeze it on one color, and has a light/dark setting for each color, or you can turn the light off completely if it gets too distracting. The diffuser has a 30 second setting where it runs for 30 seconds, and shuts off for 30 seconds, or you can keep it running constantly. Best part is once the diffuser uses up all the water, it shuts itself off - lights and all. I switch between 3 essential oils: lavender (for the night to help me sleep), geranium (for the evening to help relieve stress), and grapefruit (for the morning/day for energy).
Sephora gives out a free birthday gift to its rewards members in the month they were born, so instead of going with the makeup kit, this year I went with a skincare sampler pack from Fresh. I use the Fresh Seaberry facial oil, so I thought I'd give the cleanser and mask a go. The kit included a half-ounce jar of the Rose Facial Mask and I have to say it is one of the most calming things I have put on my skin in a long time. It's so gentle you can use it every day and it smells like fresh roses! The mask itself is a brownish color with actual rose petals in the mixture, and you apply it to your face after cleansing for about 5-10 minutes, rise of and your face feels brand new. I tend to get a lot of redness in my cheeks and this has really helped to balance it out. The best part is that the tiny half-ounce tub has lasted nearly a month! A full size tub (3.3 ounces) is pretty expensive, about $62, but well worth it for the feeling and you know it will last you a long time.
This was a Christmas present from my mom, and it is currently on sale on the Levenger site and available in 3 colors. My mom actually bought one for herself and gave me the choice between the blue or brown - I chose the brown since it is really classic looking and goes with everything. I tend to get horrible shoulder aches from trying to carry heavy bag over one shoulder, but this bag comes with a long, body strap that makes it totally hands free. It is made of leather, so it is not a good idea to wear this out in the snow or rain - my best handbags are leather and this is a problem sometimes. However this bag is super cute and very functional with a lot of deep and separate pockets for your phone and keys.
It's hard to keep active in the winter, but C and I are already getting a head start at being healthier this year by each getting a FitBit band. I bought the Flex while he is using the Charge (this one doubles as a watch and has its own reading on the screen). I like the simplicity of the Flex, and it syncs with my phone so I'm not tempted to look at the numbers all day. It keeps track of the steps I take in a day, how much of my day was physically active, how many calories I burned (based on weight) and it monitors my sleep activity at night, showing the times when I am restless and when I wake up. While I'm not very active at the moment, this is a great first step to taking back my health and to better understand where I can improve my activity and sleep in any given day. Plus it charts our activity against one another so we can see who is having the better week.