2014 Favorites

Is it too late to tell you about my favorite things from 2014?  In my book, January is not only about starting a new year, but also about looking back at the previous year and deciding what to change and what to charge ahead with.  I give myself the whole month.  We still have Christmas cards hanging up at our house.  We’ve embraced 2015, but I can still remember 2014 right?

Since we’re only a couple of weeks into January, I thought I’d tell you about some of my favorite things from the past year.  Things I discovered and starting using or just things I think are amazing and you should know about.  In no particular order, here are my

TOP 10 FAVORITE THINGS from 2014:

1) Happy Socks.  I discovered these at TJ Maxx.  I now have two pairs and they really do make me happy when I wear them.  Everyone should know about Happy Socks.

HappySocks

[photo courtesy of Happy Socks website]

2) PlanetBox. Our son recently started bringing and eating his lunch at his montessori school.  I decided to use a PlanetBox because I thought the concept of everything in one container was genius.  I get the chance to make his food look really appetizing in the little sections, it helps me to sort out portions for fruit, veggies and another side, a tiny treat, and a sandwich or wrap, it’s only one container for me wash each night (and not waste plastic baggies!) AND it’s in a heavy duty stainless steel container, so there’s no risk of anything being squashed.  This lunch container has been so incredible for us.  I realize it’s more than most folks expect to spend on a lunchbox, but I intend for this thing to last many years (it still looks brand new after 6 months of daily use) and again, I’m not spending money on plastic bags or any other containers.  It really simplifies the process of making lunch and I can’t say enough good things about PlanetBox.  We use the Rover if you are interested.

Making lunches is sort of fun

A post shared by Rachel DeBacker (@racheldebacker) on

[photo courtesy of my Instagram feed, PlanetBox on the right]

3) Fresh Sugar Honey tinted lip treatment.  Oh man. This stuff is so good. It’s the perfect amount of “everyday” color for me and it’s so so nice on the lips.  I discovered it as a sample from Sephora and then bit the bullet to by the full size when that ran out. It lasted me a year (and I use it constantly) and now it’s time to get over to Sephora for more.

4) Podcasts.  I know, I mentioned them before, but I listen to a lot of podcasts. One of my favorites from last year was this episode of 99% Invisible, explaining the origins of the #hashtag: Episode 145: Ocotothorpe . Please take a listen.

5) Thomas Jefferson’s green.  I painted the linoleum floor of my office green in homage to the green floors in the front hall of Monticello.  Turns out this shade is harder to pinpoint than you might think, so I did a little guessing at Sherwin Williams. This photo (of a magazine photo on my office floor) gives you an idea of the original and my take.

My green floor and the inspiration: Jefferson's green floor at Monticello

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6) Reading. One of my goals for 2014 (and still in 2015) is to read more.  I joined a book club and made a big effort to read at night, while we were traveling, or listen to audio books.  I even learned how to check out audio books from our library and listen to them on my phone.  I finished 12 books last year.  That is unprecedented for me in these days of parenthood and starting a new business, etc.  Reading is the absolute best.  Yay reading!

7) Potato Feet.  Oh gosh are these shoes cute.  Sawyer has a pair of the rose gold moccs and MAN are they sweet. These are handmade in California and the leather is super soft.  They go with everything- leggings, dresses, jeans. She is one stylish two year old in her Potato Feet.

PotatoFeet

[photo courtesy of the Potato Feet website, note these are the Gold Moccs and I can’t seem to find the Rose Gold]

8) Asics.  Specifically these Gel-Fit Sanas from Athleta.  I wear these ALL THE TIME.  The description says they are for running and gym training, but I think they are too cute for that.  I run errands and I train my kids in them.

Asics

[image courtesy of the Athleta website]

9) Air Pop Popcorn Maker.  My mom got this little machine for Dr. Jay and the kids and they use it weekly, sometimes thrice weekly.  They love their popcorn and I feel so much better about them eating this, rather than the microwavable kind with all its chemicals and the burnt smell that seems to happen no matter what you do.  Air popped is the way to go.

10) Scott Naturals Tube-Free toilet paper.  TUBE FREE, PEOPLE!  I had to try it out because I couldn’t even fathom this system working well, and what do you know, it’s a great system!  Makes you wonder why there was ever a tube in the first place.  I have only been able to find this at one store around me (haven’t ordered it off Amazon) but hey, maybe spreading the word here will help get it noticed so more stores will stock it.  I really do love it.

And that concludes my list of favorites from 2014.  I never thought toilet paper would be on that list, but I guess life is funny that way. Do you have any incredible products from the past year you feel like you have to tell everyone about?

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2 thoughts on “2014 Favorites

  1. Fun post, Two questions: 1. Painted linoleum?! Let me know how it holds up, we have a lot of it in our new (old) house and I’m guessing it’ll be a while before we can swap it out. 2. Air popper- looks small, how much cabinet space will this take up? My boys love popcorn but my cabinets are full!

    • So, painting the floor took a few steps, but it was really all the money I wanted to invest in that particular floor (which will generally only be used by me or for storage). We rented a sander to rough it up a bit and try and take off the sealer, than I did two coats of tinted primer (oil-based, stinky) and then three coats of porch paint enamel. I did not use a polyurethane to seal it, but honestly if that area got more traffic than I definitely would do a coat or two of that. Other folks online say they have had good success with it holding up in a kitchen or bathroom area, but I was pretty spent after five coats so I called it good. It is not perfect, but for what it will be used for, it’s just fine and it looks way better than the linoleum.
      The popper does take up a little space. It’s probably 15 inches tall all put together, so you take the top off and then you have to store the pieces. They do use it a bunch though. We seem to be going through a lot of butter 🙂

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