I turned 34 this past December. I intended to share a post of 33 favorite things before I turned 34, but you know how that goes. #life. I looked over last year and have compiled a list of 33 favorites things to share with you anyway.* :)
Elise Cripe's printable, daily tracker - I've been using Elise's daily tracker since 2015. She releases a new printable every year. I hope she never stops because I love it. I've tracked my attempts to read for 15 minutes every day since 2015. I've habitually tracked that and my daily step count/exercise. Which brings me to...
Fitbit One - I have this activity tracker and it's the best. I was used to Weight Watcher's Active Link, which was discontinued, so I had to find a new activity tracker. I obviously looked into the Fibtbit, but I didn't want to wear something on my wrist. The Fitbit One can be clipped onto a pocket, belt, or bra. It works perfectly for me.
Greek yogurt - no surprise here. As I mentioned in this post, Greek yogurt is a worthwhile staple in my diet (and yours!) for multiple reasons including that it is high in protein, aids in weight maintenance/weight loss, a good workout recovery snack, a good source of calcium, aids in digestion due to its probiotics, and it regulates blood sugar. I'm on board. As you may know, I'm attempting to make Greek yogurt 52 ways. I eat Greek yogurt often for breakfast and try to make healthy desserts with it, as well. I have 2 favorites from last year:
Ina Garten's lemon yogurt cake - I love this cake!
Carrot cake pancakes - I don't make these enough!
Green smoothies - I make my green smoothies with Greek yogurt, as well. I like to "eat" my vegetables this way. I shared Green Smoothie Tips for Newbies if you're interested.
NutriBullet Pro - This is a powerful blender and it breaks down the toughest ingredients. (I had an unpleasant experience with kale using my last blender. Kale blends easily in the NutriBullet).
Pilot retractable, multicolor gel pens 0.7 - these are good, quality pens. I use them every day.
Olay eyes ultimate eye cream - I noticed an immediate difference! My eyes looked brighter, fresher, and less puffy.
Rainbow Rowell's books (in particular Eleanor & Park)- As I said in this book report, Eleanor & Park "explored domestic/child abuse and bullying themes. The unlikely romance between Eleanor, a full figured, insecure girl with red, curly hair and Park, a half Korean, also insecure adolescent, is beautifully written." I met Rainbow Rowell at the Yallwest Fierce Friday event and had her sign my copy of E&P and postcards featuring E&P artwork. I also read her book Fangirl and liked that, as well.
Seasonal manifestos - I started writing seasonal manifestos this last year. I enjoy looking over my list every season and having it inspire my activities and especially my family's weekend activities.
My morning routine - I stuck to my morning routine as best I could this year. (I had to tweak it a couple times, so it would be just right for me in my life at any given time). I try to stick to my morning routine most mornings. It sets me up for a more productive and fulfilling day.
Prayer journaling - My mom gave me a beautiful journal last year. I have been using it for prayer journaling nearly every day. (I highly recommend this Red Letter Prayers episode by Andy Stanley if you need more direction with your prayers. Click the MP3 button if you'd rather just listen to the episode than watch it).
Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend - I completed the book Boundaries at the beginning of last year. I can't recommend it enough.
Anxietea mug - because I need the daily reminder. ;)
Pairing a kid-friendly dinner and a movie for Valentine's Day - I started this two years ago, we did it again last year, and we'll do it again this year. (I loved this idea on Tracy's blog as you can see).
The Rosie Project - As I said in this book report, "I read through this book very quickly because I enjoyed it so much. I laughed out loud throughout the novel. Don Tillman is a quirky, genetics professor in search of a wife. He creates a questionnaire with several, rigid preferences for his future wife. He meets Rosie, who does not meet many of his requirements. Their interactions are hilarious. This is another one I highly recommend."
Makers Gonna Make tote bag - this tote was made for me. I got it at Artisanal LA when I went with my friend Kerri.
Strawberry lemonade - I'm still having strawberry lemonades pretty regularly. They're only $1 (and only 40 calories) at Del Taco.
The Pomodoro Technique - the idea is to use a ticking timer (it's a timer in the shape of a tomato- "pomodoro" means tomato in Italian) to accomplish a variety of tasks. The ticking of the timer reminds you to stay on task. Once you complete your task (for 25-30 minutes), you can take a break (5-10 minutes typically). It's a good way to manage your time, see how long things take to complete, and how you can become more efficient by avoiding distractions. (I use this method all the time).
Faux fishtail braid - I do this quite a bit on my girls' hair. It's so pretty and so simple.
Baked spaghetti - Very early in 2016, Tracy shared a recipe for baked spaghetti with meat sauce. It involves topping spaghetti with extra cheese and throwing it all in the oven (or broiler) so the cheese melts. Do I really need to convince anyone that this is the right thing to do?
Burrito Bowls - Last year I started making burrito bowls (also inspired by Tracy). Jesse loves burrito bowls. We make plain or Spanish rice, top the rice with ground turkey and black beans seasoned with taco seasoning; sour cream; shredded, cheddar cheese or whatever cheese we're feeling; guacamole; salsa; and fritos. The fritos are a must.
My craft cart - Jesse made a scrapbook cart for me last February. I really need to share it here soon!
Sister dates - My sisters and I went to a cute cafe together, sat outside, and talked for a long time. We need to do that again.
Brunch dates - Going to brunch has become commonplace for Jesse and me when we have time to go on a date. We like hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
Marriage meetings - I want to tell you right now that we don't ever have marriage meetings at brunch. ;) We don't really have formal "marriage meetings" either, but I like the idea of this. Jesse and I also learned about sharing "withholds" this year. We do often share 3 withholds (a positive, negative, positive withhold- shared in that order) without talking about the negative withhold for 30 minutes (as instructed). The withholds should be something withheld within the last 48 hours.
Beach, dinner dates - Jesse and I had a dinner date at the beach this past year. When we go to the beach, we typically go with all of our little ones and have a great time. It's obviously so much more work when we go with our little ones, too. I didn't have to worry about anyone drowning when I went with Jesse. ha. We watched the sunset together. It was really fun (and romantic!).
Moonlit hikes - This sounds more romantic than it is. A moonlit hike is a nighttime hike in which the moon is lighting your way. (Maybe that's obvious, but I thought I should explain anyway. ;) There is no use of flashlights on the moonlit hike. Jesse, our little ones, and I went altogether one time and Jesse and I went alone another time. We really liked it and plan to go again this year.
Stranger Things - SO HOOKED. I was initially interested in this Netflix original series, but thought, "No, it looks too scary." My brother-in-law's brother shared that it isn't all that scary and that it's a good show. The genre is science fiction-horror though. It is scary at times, but I love it! I can hardly wait 'til October when the second season airs.
House of Cards - this is another Netflix original series. It's a political drama. Jesse and I have been binge-watching for weeks. (There are some unsavory scenes. It may be prudish, but we forward through those scenes).
Coffee cake - My sister-in-law introduced us to the coffee cake at Carolyn's Cafe Redlands in Redlands, CA. So good. If you're local or passing through, I highly recommend it! Jesse and I went for brunch late last year. Yum.
The Voting Game - our friends introduced us to this adult party, card game at their Christmas party. Each card has a question like "Whose Google search history would you like to see the most?" or "Whose last photo on their phone was a selfie?" or "Who has a tattoo that they regret?" The players then vote anonymously and see who got the most votes for the question asked. Really fun.
Have a great weekend!
*Elise inspired this post. I've been reading her Favorite Things posts for years. :)