You guys, you know how every year in November I get all crazy about the too-early Christmas music? Well, I’m not sure if it’s the fact that Colorado weather just now turned cold or what, but this year the timing seemed juuuust right. (Do you see how I’m channeling Goldilocks right now?) And it sure didn’t hurt that Pentatonix came out with a new Christmas album to bring the holidays in with brilliant aca-music. #justsaying
I am constantly thankful for the blessings that occur in my every day life…a God that isn’t finished with me yet; my family for whom I have a depth of love that transcends words; friends of all types, far and near that I have the privilege of knowing; a job that I love; a roof over my head (that I now own! #adultinghardcore); a car that is steady and gets me through Colorado winters; not to mention all the luxuries I take for granted far too often.
However, this year I thought I’d use this time to call out some more…shall we say…trivial things that I’m thankful for. Here they are in no particular order.
- I’m thankful for snacks that keep me sane. As I mentioned in my last post, I started a healthy eating journey this year. In my head I wondered if at the end of it all I would be that girl that would order a kale salad for lunch BY CHOICE and ACTUALLY ENJOY IT. Turns out, that didn’t happen. But what I learned in sticking with the program is that the success for me was dependent on two things (1) making a meal on the weekend that I could eat for dinners during the week and (2) finding snacks that didn’t taste like sawdust. If you’re looking for a list then, well, you know me well. Here are a few of my favorite finds:
- Strawberry Kashi Breakfast Bars. Low sugar, high in fiber, and they tastes DELICIOUS. Plus, I really needed something that I could stick in my purse to have on-hand when everyone is eating cake in the break room.
- Ritz Toasted Chips + Special K Cracker Chips. For when you need a salty snack, but don’t want to eat a meal’s worth of calories. The hardest thing here is to stop eating them at the serving size. Trust me on this.
- Halo Top Ice Cream. Lord bless the genius that came up with this stuff. I’m serious. It’s like a modern day manna from heaven. So far, my favorite flavors are Birthday Cake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Vanilla, and Mocha Chip.
- Corn GoodThins. Actually, all the GoodThins are pretty great. But the corn ones taste like Fritos and come in handy when you need a tortilla chip substitute.
- I’m thankful for kitchen tools that make me happy to be alive. Baking is the best. And this year, I discovered a handy little object that makes baking muffins and cupcakes a breeze. The Tovolo Cupcake Scoop came into my life as a $8.89 impulse purchase, but it’s more than earned its spot in my very crammed cooking tool drawer. How do I love it? Let me count the ways. First, it’s under $10. Second, it makes uniform cupcakes and muffins. Third, it renders my former nickname “Batter Hands” obsolete. Need I say more?
- I’m thankful for podcasts. PODCASTS ARE EVERYTHING! PODCASTS FOR PRESIDENT! PODCASTS FOREVER! So, I discovered podcasts this year mostly because I learned that two guys were starting up a podcast called “The West Wing Weekly”. If there’s anything I love more than (or maybe just as much as) Gilmore Girls, it’s The West Wing. While I have to roll my eyes at the liberal hosts’ opinions on some things, it’s basically one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened to me. I catch myself full-on grinning while I listen and then I have to rub out my cheek muscles so they don’t cramp (#firstworldproblems). I also love the “What Should I Read Next” podcast where host has guests on that are looking for their next read and asks them to tell her (1) three books they loved (2) one book they hated (3) what they’re reading now and (4) what they want to be different in their reading life. Recently, thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I started listening to the “Pass the Mic” podcast which is giving me a new perspective on racial injustice in our culture…and in our churches. I like that podcasts can be a way to get more information, entertainment, or broaden the scope of my understanding with just a push of a button!
- I’m thankful for Voxer. What is Voxer, you ask? I often describe it like this: if text message and voicemail had a baby, it would be Voxer. Basically, it’s like a long distance phone conversation with a friend that you don’t have to schedule. You send a recording of you talking about whatever to your friend and they can respond when they have the time. It’s been such a great way to keep in touch with some of my friends that don’t live near me…and when I was going through some serious processing earlier this year, these conversations really helped me think things through.
- I’m thankful Lip Sync Battles. You guys, have you even SEEN the Melissa McCarthy/Jimmy Fallon lip sync battle? It’s absolutely in my top 5. The others, in case you’re wondering, would be #1: Anna Kendrick/John Krasinski; #2: Joseph Gordon Levitt/Stephen Merchant/Jimmy Fallon; #3: Emma Stone/Jimmy Fallon; and #4: Ellen DeGeneres/Jimmy Fallon.*
- I’m thankful for hand lotion that keeps my hands from cracking right off the face of the planet. Living in Colorado is basically like living on the face of the sun. If you aren’t careful, your skin will be as rough as sandpaper in a handyman’s garage. I think everyone kind of has their go-to lotion to battle the dryness-to-end-all-dryness here, especially during the winter. Mine is L’Occitane 20% Shea Butter Hand Cream. Now, I’m not going to sugar coat this – the lotion is expensive. But I find that if I apply it to my hands every night before I go to bed, it keeps the little dryness gremlins at bay. And I really only have to purchase it once a year. In my mind? Quality over quantity, baby. (And yes, I just called you baby. Deal with it.)
If you’re just now coming to because you feel that I’m long-winded and should have gotten to the point sooner, here’s the bottom line: I’m thankful for #allthethings. For realz, people.
*I do not condone all the language in the music choices…just for the record.