Vidrale's Favorite Things 2017

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Every year around this time, in addition to counting the gray hairs on my head that, for some reason, stick up and never seem to want to follow the same curl pattern as their darker siblings, I also take time to count my blessings. I thank God for all of the amazing people in my life, the wonderful paths down which I’ve been guided and the opportunities that I’ve had to be a blessing to loved ones and strangers. 

This year, in the spirit of love and happiness (and media mogul, Oprah Winfrey), I’ve decided to share a few of the things that bring me peace of mind, comfort and joy. I know... Oprah produces her list of favorite things during the winter holiday season, but instead of gifting to others, let’s give to ourselves. Besides, I was born in March, and in celebration of the greatest thing that ever happened to my parents, I offer my practical and more affordable version.

Feel free to share which of these things you decide to gift to yourself (and others if you choose).  Here’s to an amazing year of growth, gratitude and fun!

1.    Yogi Tea - Whatever your mood or condition, there is a complementary or counteracting tea. Feeling ill? Have some Echinacea Immune Support tea. Need a pick-me-up? Try one of the Yogi green teas. Stressed? Having trouble sleeping? Need a pick-me-up? You guessed it. There’s a tea a tea for it! Partnered with a spoon full of honey

2.    Sandalwood Essential Oil & Diffuser - I love earthy scents that are soft, not overpowering or too floral. The scent of sandalwood brings me to a place of calm and relaxation instantly. Like other essential oils, sandalwood has many medicinal purposes, but it’s the fragrance of this little trees that is simply divine.

3.    Bold Moves- I love all things Oprah from Super Soul Sundays to O magazine, and her latest offering doesn't disappoint. It's every bit as engaging and motivating as her other productions with an elevated fun factor.

4.    Audio Books - Sitting in traffic on the way to and from work is definitely not one of my favorite things. To make the most of what could be mundane time, I listen to a juicy urban tale followed by an enlightening, thought-provoking non-fiction best seller. Of course, getting wrapped up in a larger-than-life, too-fantastic-to-ever-really-happen story makes 45 minutes seem like 10.

5.    Vision Boards - If you believe in the power of intention and positive thought and you have a crafty side, then the vision board is for you. If you don’t, then the vision board is for you. My vision board prominently displays my goals and aspirations encouraging me to be intentional with my daily actions. In other words, it serves as a constant reminder to do what I really want to do and work towards what I really want to achieve.

6.    Self Journal - I am not one for planners. No matter how much I set out to organize my life according to the neatly spaced out and prearranged lines in a book, I always end up with a bunch of sticky notes and pieces of loose paper until… the Self Journal. This “planner” is less of a planner and more of a life coach on paper. You set a goal or two, create an action plan for meeting those goals with 13 weeks to do it. Done!

7.    Cold 1 Tumbler - Water is my friend. It helps flush out toxins and keeps my complexion bright and beautiful. There are few things worse than a glass of room-temperature tap water. For some reason, if it doesn’t come out of a plastic bottle, room-temperature water is gross. I fill my Cold 1 tumbler up with ice and water and hours later my beverage is still frosty and good.

8.    Treadmill Desk - Count up all the hours you spend sitting at your desk. Next, add the numerous times you said you were going to the gym and never made it. Got that number? Ok, zero it out with the treadmill desk. A steady 2-3 mile an hour pace is enough to get a nice cardio workout and work done at the same time. Thank God for friends with great ideas and handy husbands.

9.    My Fitness Pal App - If it’s possible to be in love with an app, MyFitnessPal is it. This app not only tracks your meals and calories consumed, but it syncs to your activity apps to make it easier to design a weight loss program that works for you.

10. Knock Knock Notes - These notes and citations are hilarious. I haven’t used them at work, but I plan to. Awesome Citations, Shit List, WTF Notes, Paper Tantrum - See for yourself.

11. Lug Puddle Jumper - On a recent 5-day business trip I was able to test out my new Lug Puddle Jumper bags. I don’t trust that my belongings will be exempt from the lost baggage abyss, so I never check my bags. Instead, I pack all of my belongings in two carryons and Lug Puddle Jumper and Puddle Jumper Wheelie are roomy enough to fit a week’s worth of stuff with room to spare, and the number of pockets contained in these compact bags keep everything organized.  

12. Jack Daniels Honey - If you like cute cocktails, need to unwind after a stressful workday, gathering with girlfriends or any combination of the three, then you are prime for a visit from my friend JD.

13. MacBook Air - Ok. I was an Apple resistor and a die-hard PC fan, but I have humbly converted. It’s been almost 2 years and this MacBook Pro has not slowed down despite all of the programs I have installed, not to mention, it’s feather light.

14. Think Up App - Affirmations can be a powerful tool in motivating and inspiring you to live the life of your dreams. Now, imagine hearing your most inspiring words in your own voice. Wake up and go to bed with you telling you how wonderful and awesome you are. Cool, right?

15. Costco! (mic drop)