On this final day of 2017, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things. They span comfort, convenience, and joy. This year, I spent many hours with the words of Angie Thomas, Tiffany Haddish, Jessica Williams, and Phoebe Robinson. They made me laugh, cry, rage, and, for a while forget everything happening in the world. When I wasn’t in the company of their stories, I was building a nightly routine of sleep scents and sounds, enjoying a cozy blanket and hot tea, sparing myself a day of haircare, or running errands in absolute comfort. For each of these items, they proved worth more than what I paid. There are, of course, far more things I bought this year that didn’t prove their worth, but for these few treasures I can say my everyday feels a touch more special.
In no particular order:
Ultrasonic Diffuser by Aromaom
I love filling this Aromaom diffuser with lavender, yuzu, or hinoki essential oils just before settling into bed. The scents are light, natural, and relaxing and pair wonderfully with sleep sounds. I’m currently loving the sleep stories and scenes from the Calm app.
2 Dope Queens
I am late to the party with 2 Dope Queens. I first heard of them only when it was announced they’d signed on for an HBO special. Ever since then, Jessica and Phoebe have been constant companions. I’m very nearly caught up on their entire archive of podcast episodes. I’ve also got to see them perform in Brooklyn and I’m currently listening to Phoebe’s audiobook, You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain. They both have a masterful way of moving easily between lighthearted and funny topics and serious social issues.
Slipsilk Pure Silk Sleep Mask
The Slipsilk sleep mask is a relatively new purchase but already the simple fact that I can sleep in complete darkness helps me fall asleep and stay asleep better. Our bedroom has light streaming in from all directions and it’s impossible to block it all out. My guy started sleeping with a mask a few months ago and I finally decided to join him. The fact that this one is made of of silk is extra indulgent and hopefully avoids any issues with my sensitive skin.
I received this blanket as a birthday gift after putting it on my Etsy wish list many moons ago. It’s perfectly warm and soft and I’m cocooned in it right now as I write this post. My guy and I fight over it on the regular and it’s practically guaranteed that one of my cats will be found nestled into the blanket on any given morning.
London Fog and Green Tea Lattes
A few years ago I completely swore off soft drinks. This, combined with my dislike for coffee and most alcoholic beverages, left me with few choices. Mostly, I earned the unfortunate reputation as the iced tea girl, since I’m almost always with one in hand. That is until this fall when I tried both green tea and London Fog lattes. In truth, I thought a latte meant there was coffee in it and so I never even thought to try one until it was explained to me that tea and coffee do not coexist in the same beverage. It’s such a silly but utterly joyful thing to have more to choose from with my daily beverages. I’ve even gone so far as to order a milk steamer and frother to try making them at home.
Photo credit: Gimme Some Oven
The Hate U Give Audiobook
I first learned about The Hate U Give, written by Angie Thomas, because I follow the voice actress, Bahni Turpin, and I was checking to see if she had any new books. I first listened to her narrate The Help and loved it so much that ever since I’ve refused to see the movie so as not to spoil my memories of her performance. Her voice is so warm and welcoming, you really feel like she’s a friend. It wasn’t until I was deep into The Hate U Give I realized it had broader acclaim. It’s such a powerful story and also an everyday story about an everyday family. It definitely pulls you in every emotional direction and in the end you feel a loss to no longer have the characters in your life.
I’ll admit, I got the Shhhowercap after being inundated with Facebook ads. I’ve always used the inexpensive drug store shower caps but they fit so loosely my hair would inevitably get wet. Since I really hate having to style my hair, I decided to indulge in this pricey shower cap and I have to say, it works. It fits your head snug around the face but has plenty of room for your hair to not get too squished in the back. This combined with dry shampoo, has allowed me to reclaimed countless hours in my morning routine.
I wanted to see Girls Trip ever since it came out in the theater. It wasn’t until it was available to rent, though, that I had my chance. I downloaded it and had it all planned to watch on a trip out east but was thwarted by iTunes (a rant for another day). A couple weeks past and I finally cozied up and watched it, and for the first time, was introduced to Tiffany Haddish. Her character in the movie is over-the-top and her real-life personality and life story is as well. She is so full of life and joy that she transfixes you. I’ve enjoyed her interviews on late night talk shows and I just finished listening to her narrate her book, The Last Black Unicorn.
Allbirds Wool Loungers
My constant quest for comfort and convenience led me most recently to Allbirds (yet another bombardment of Facebook ads). I was a bit skeptical but took a chance and bought both the Loungers and Runners. The Runners and my wide feet do not make for a pleasing combo but the Loungers are so far keepers. They’ve become my de-facto weekend errand shoes. They’re soft and warm and basically glorified slippers that you can wear in public. I’m not convinced yet that they’ll hold their shape over time but until that happens, I’m quite pleased to have an easy, slip-on for every day putzing about.