Remember when Oprah did her annual My Favorite Things show and if you were insanely lucky to have been in the audience that day, you went home with a truckload of goodies? (I think it required amazing luck, or knowing the right person, to get a ticket to any of her shows. On my one trip to Chicago years ago, I tried. She wasn't answering her phone..... in fact, I couldn't even get it to ring.)
Anyway, no prizes today. Just a list of some of MY favorite things .... (and/or products):
1. My Chi flat iron. Six or seven years ago when I first heard about this little miracle worker, I beelined to the nearest retailer and forked over nearly $100. Worth every penny and cheaper than therapy. As a child of the 60s and early 70s, I am still recovering emotionally from not having hair like Marcia in "The Brady Bunch". I was, from birth, "blessed" with thick, curly, frizzy hair. My teen years were spent in 3" diameter curlers. For most of my adult life, I kept it as short as possible and even then, it was an effort to rein in the fro. The Chi enabled me to grow my hair longer for the first time in over three decades. I'm still not Marcia, but it was life-changing nonetheless.
2. Instant tanning cream. I like Banana Boat (deep dark), simply because it's one of the cheaper brands. I'm sure the more expensive, high-brow, purchased-at-Nordstrom ones work too, if you're so inclined. From spring to fall, this stuff keeps the pasty-white-leg-look at bay.
3. Moonlight Path from Bath & Body Works. Room freshener, body spray, lotion ... anything with that scent. I discovered it at the gym, of all places. Someone walked into the room and I immediately had to hunt them down and find out what that heavenly smell was. I've even offered a few stern warnings to some B&BW employees, should the company ever consider discontinuing it.
4. Bread machines. Any model. I've lost count how many I have worn out over the years. When our kids were growing up, I baked nearly a loaf a day. My current machine came from Goodwill for under $10. Works perfectly. Simply toss in the ingredients, push a button, and three hours later you have a hot loaf of bread. Or you can start a loaf at night, set the timer, and wake up the next morning to steamy, crusty goodness. No kneading. No guessing about how much flour to add. No greasing and washing pans. I like to make up six or seven kits at a time, kept in ziplock bags, with the dry ingredients all measured and ready. Then I just add the water, oil, and yeast when I start a loaf. I use the same recipe that came from, I think, an Oster brand recipe book, from one of my earlier machines. Let me know if you want it. Tip: Most machines need to be manually stopped ten minutes early so as to not over bake.
5. Wool socks ... especially when it's cold. (Thank you, Costco.) Wool stays soft, cushy, and non-bunchy all day. Plus they never seem to get sweaty and stiff like cotton does. You can even wear the same pair two days in a row because they feel as good the second day ..... not that I do that ....
6. Almond milk, unsweetened vanilla. 30 calories per cup. Delicious on cereal. Stores in your pantry till opened. And in those intense debates as to the pros and cons of skim milk VS whole milk, raw or pasteurized .... you can walk away peacefully and go find something to watch on Netflix.
7. Goodwill stores, which I won't elaborate on .... as I already did here. But you'll still find me haunting their aisles nearly every week.
8. Dollar stores where I continually find items that I just paid four or five times as much for, in another store.
If I think of more, I may add updates. Or if you have some, trot them out in the comments. After all, we're in this world together and each little contribution helps. You never know, for example, whose legs I may have just rescued from that unwanted early spring glow.