Sunday, December 4, 2016

Leslie's Favorite Things

Ok, ok, so I'm not Oprah. I wish I was, though! I love reading about Oprah's favorite things every single year. While the list has items that are ri.dic.u.lous. (a $60 pear almond tart, anyone?), there are lots of great items on the list to inspire and enjoy learning about. So, in the spirit of my beloved Oprah, I present to you....

Leslie's Favorite Things!
Used this pic because a warm bevi in a red cup is ALWAYS a favorite thing 

 (While listening to "Grown Up Christmas List" in the car this morning, I figured I should make note that these are all material things on this list. Health, hope, happiness, love, and joy are a given. OBVI we all want those things, but this is just a fun little list of some things I've loved this year. Enjoy!)

1. "Wake up to the Word" Devotional: I picked up this devotional at the library and I adore it. I love the idea of focusing on one main word for the day and carrying that theme through. It's easy to get overwhelmed in the midst of the world of prayers and devotions and this one is simple, easy to read, and really insightful.

2. Bath and Body Works Hand cream: Any other dry skin sufferers out there? I love this cream because it's just that: creamy. This good stuff smells amazing and is super duper moisturizing. I always keep some on my nightstand.

3. Morning Buns from Tulie Bakery: These are morsels from heaven, baked in Salt Lake, and YOU are meant to have one (or two, I won't tell!). I have always loved Tulie's coffee and yummy cakes and desserts. Not sure why I had never tried one until this year. It's a mix between a croissant, a cinnamon roll, a donut and an orange roll and I guarantee it will change your life.

4. Microwave Egg Poacher: This has changed my mornings. I usually make 2 and put them on avocado toast. So easy and in one minute, I have a hot, delicious breakfast. I recently wandered into the "As Seen on TV" aisle at Walmart and threw a microwave omelet cooker into my cart. Verdict to come on that.

5. Dr. Teal's Epsom Soaking Salts. I love this stuff!! I recently used the Lavender kind and it is so relaxing. A steamy hot bath and epsom salts is the perfect end to the day and helps soothe my sore muscles after a really hard boot camp session.

6. The Lumineers Station on Pandora: This station has replaced the Mumford and Sons station as my most favorite. I have music on pretty much all the time. I love playing a great mix with a latte in my classroom early as I plan and prepare. I got a lamp for my classroom this year and the cozy lighting, chill tunes, and unlimited post-its is sort of my idea of perfection.

7. My Library Card: I love the public library. When we moved last fall and filled all our luggage and duffel bags with our books, we declared: No. More. Buying. Books. We haven't exactly kept that promise, but we do try and reduce the number of books we buy. The library app is also amazing (Salt Lake County) and it has a virtual version of your library card, records of books you've checked out, and you can even request books to be sent right to your branch right from the app. I love browsing at Barnes and Noble and then immediately requesting the books sent to my local library. Score!

8. Old Navy workout capris: I sing the praises of these super cute, comfy gym pants. I need a good basic black yoga pant in my life and these get the job done. They come in lots of cute designs, are affordable (I'm looking at you, Lululemon), and are perfect for a morning at the gym....or a morning catching up on shows with a massive mug of coffee. Either way, they rock.

9. Mix and Match Mama Recipes: I love reading Shay' blog daily and this year I've been trying to be better about incorporating more new recipes into our meal rotations. She has new recipes pretty much daily and these are some of the ones I've tried in 2016: Bacon Ranch PinwheelsChicken Corn ChowderEnchilada Elbow BakeLemon PastaCreamy Peanut Butter PieLemon BrowniesShepherd's Pie.

10. Snoogle Pillow: This was a winner from my pregnancy days. I am a stomach sleeper and was deeply saddened to learn that I couldn't sleep on my belly. I never slept a single night of my pregnancy without it and even brought it to the hospital with me It's in Hadley's closet now, but when I'm pregnant again, that thing is a welcome addition to the bedroom! It makes side sleeping super comfy.

11. The Scentsy: I know, I know, this was the "hot item" like 8 (?) years ago. I got AJ an Oregon State scentsy warmer for his apartment when we were dating. We recently came across it in the back of a cabinet. I bought some holiday scented wax melts and we are loving it. Ir's circa 2008 in the Steele household and we love our yummy scented home!

Image result for scentsy

12. Shutterfly: I have always loved using Shutterfly printing photos. This year I used them a ton to make Hadley books, our cute canvas we made for our bedroom, and I recently designed our Christmas cards. They always have tons of coupon codes and great sales. Get those pics off your phone and create something!

13. Hymns coloring book: My mom brought me this when I was in the hospital and I have loved it. I love all the great hymns I recognize and it's so true: coloring is relaxing!! Isn't it funny that these days adults want coloring books and kids want technology? #ironic

14. Wasa Crisps: I discovered these versatile little guys this summer and I cannot get enough. These have much more simple ingredients than crackers and so are much better for you. I love mine dipped in red pepper hummus or with a smear of peanut butter. There are lots of yummy varieties and they make the perfect hearty snack (new fave: cottage cheese and pistachios as a topping).

15. Watch Think Color: I recently discovered this great activity on Teachers Pay Teachers. You can choose from number recognition, addition, subtraction, even multiplication. The powerpoint plays like a video and the kids color in the answer on a 120 chart. The end result is a fun picture, excellent math practice, 20 minutes of teacher vocal rest (needed), and an engaged excited class. Winning.

That's all folks! I wish I could give everyone all the items on the list, but remember? I'm not Oprah. But I sure can steal her tag lines: Live your best life this week!

Savor your Sparkle,

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