1. Glass Water Bottle $18.00
I prefer drinking out of glass containers. This 22 oz bottle, covered with a silicone sleeve to prevent it from breaking, has a screw on top with an opening large enough to drop in ice cubes. I like to take something to drink with me in the car or to the office and this does the trick.
2. Smart Wool $20 - $130
Smart wool just makes sense! Made from Merino wool it manages moisture, improves breath ability, regulates temperature and, even controls odor. A far cry from that itchy, heavy and when wet, stinky wool I wore as a kid. Smart wool is soft and light and is made into socks, sweaters, base layers, hats and more. I bought some socks a few years ago and love them because they're cute and comfy. I've recently bought a sweater and leggings are next on my list.
3. Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe's Trader Joes $3.99
Oh my oh my...these cookies are SO good! I went to Trader Joes while in Chicago last month and saw these. I am a fan of Joe Joe's and scooped these right up. I brought them home with me and pretty much ate the whole box. I didn't even share them with anyone, so when I was in South Carolina over Thanksgiving I bought four more boxes! What's great is the real cream filling with pieces of real peppermint inside the chocolate cookie and then drenched in dark chocolate. If you do not have access to a Trader Joes, I feel your pain.
4. Sugar lip gloss Sephora $22.50
This lip balm has SPF 15 and comes is a few different
tints. It is just the right thickness when it goes on, not too gloppy and not too light. They say it plumps your lips up too, but I already have full lips, so I can't really tell. Another plus is this balm does not have any petroleum, lanolin or mineral oil in it and had a nice light citrus scent.
5. iPad App Escape Rosecliff Island HD iTunes $3.99
This find the hidden object game is addictive. It is similar to I Spy, but the objects disappear as you tap them. The fun is that it's challenging without being frustrating. The objects you need to find are sometimes given to you as a clue you need to solve and other puzzles are interspersed at the end of each level. I tell myself when I am playing that I am doing my brain exercises and then I don't feel so guilty.
6. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand $13.99
This was my favorite book this year. It is inspiring and heartbreaking all at the same time. It is the true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner and World War II soldier and his ability to overcome unbelievable adversity. I listened to this as I ran and it kept me wanting to run longer just to hear more. If you read only one book this year, make it this one.
Chocolate milk is a great recovery drink after a workout and I think this kind is especially creamy. So much that you wouldn't know it was low fat if it wasn't on the label. I buy organic milk for the health of my family and the cows that make it. This kind even comes in smaller 8oz drink boxes that are great for throwing in your gym bag or purse for a drink on the go.
8. Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis $20
This cookbook does not contain recipes for your traditional baked goods instead the recipes are edgy with different taste combinations for familiar favorites. I even got a chance to visit their satellite bakery in Charleston, SC, (which unfortunately is now closed) to taste some of their creations. They are masters of the salted caramel brownie. The original bakery is in New York City. I have not been disappointed with any of the recipes I have made so far. The one I want to make next is the Milk Chocolate Malt Ball Cake. Doesn't that sound good?
9. Peppermint Stick Clif Bar $1.50
I must be on a peppermint kick because I can't seem to get enough of this flavor. Peppermint Stick is one of their seasonal flavors and will only be around for a limited time. It has just enough peppermint to remind you of candy canes, but it is not too overpowering. 1% of the net sales go to Winter Wildlands Alliance, an organization dedicated to promoting and preserving winter wildlands. So not only does the bar taste excellent, you are supporting a good cause too.
These are just a few of my favorite things from this year.
What is one of your favorite things?