But, ah, fuck it. You can handle it. With the knowledge that the kind of list I might post a month from now could be totally different from this one. Because this is all non-deep lifestyle shit. So, here goes, my "Some Stuff I Liked This Last Year and Also Some Stuff I Might Like in 2013" List, in no particular order and maybe adding up to twelve things but maybe not. We'll see.
Beauty Boxes and I sort of just forgot about it. But as I posted recently, Sephora addictions can get expensive, and then there was the back-of-the-mind nagging concern about a) what all these little box deliveries are doing to the environment, b) what they are doing to my soul, c) the message I'm sending to my girls, and d) the chemicals in all these cosmetics. I mean, don't get me wrong--you'll have to pry my Naked 2 palette from my cold, dead hands--but there's a lot of great stuff to be made and used rather than bought at Sephora. Or better ways of purchasing, like from companies such as Lush and MyChelle. Still, these aren't cheap. So I'm slowly moving in that direction. First move: I made lip balm last night, and MAN IT'S AWESOME. So much better than most of that pricey waxy shit out there. And once you have the basic ingredients, cheaper, too. So we'll see if I stick with it or if I succumb to mass marketing numbness. Keep your fingers crossed. Because I use lip balm like it was Kombucha, which I use like it was crack. CRACK.
10. Along those same lines, I developed a serious fashion magazine addiction this summer. I've always liked them, and probably always will, but when I lugged twenty pounds of magazine (fall previews, yo!) with me to the Lyons Folk Festival in August, I probably should have guessed something was wrong. So I'm easing back into the magazines that I love, that are beautiful, and that actually make me feel better, not worse. Standbys like
which, I'm sorry, is probably the closest I'll get to reading political magazines in my spare time because OTHERWISE IT FEELS LIKE WORK AND I TRY NOT TO WORK WHEN I'M TRYING TO RELAX.
But also, this new magazine, which is Soule Mama's new project and is so incredibly fantastic you should get it now:
I haven't canceled my People Style Watch subscription or anything, but I'll let Bazaar and Marie Claire lapse. You're welcome.
Read this book on the Kindle Fire and am following the method. Won't bore you with it in detail (just google it if you're interested) but next time you see me I will probably be in some state of crusty frizz as I try to figure out how to let my curls go natural. Exciting. Scary. Anxiety-inducing. Also, telling a borderline-OCD cosmetics addict to stop brushing and shampooing? This might be an area where I will be experiencing some personal growth. But getting rid of all that stuff jumpstarted some other things in me, like wanting to get off all the other chemicals I slather on my and the kids' bodies and then let run down the drain and into the environment.
Again, not preaching. I might be back to the Motor Oil Facials and silicone hair straighteners next month. This is just where my head is at right now. Only, don't touch it, or your hand might get stuck in there.
8. Exercise Technologies
I'm still running, maybe more than ever, but less frequently and with a bit less intensity. I feel like I'm in training but don't have a particular race in mind. I'm building mileage slowly, and on Monday, did an eight-mile run at a decent pace and didn't feel sick or dizzy afterwards. This feels like significant progress.
I'm also making sure to do some cross-training. I don't make it to the gym much for scheduling purposes and also the aforementioned laziness, but greatly appreciate technology for keeping me fit.
I'm a big fan of the streaming Jivamukti Yoga video on Amazon (you can also get the DVD)
even though bits of the workout are annoying. I do it at least once a week, and notice a significant improvement in my strength and overall flexibility. I also like the "Daily Ab Workout" app for Droid, though I interpret the word "daily" quite loosely.
7. The Coin Jar.
I don't know how it happens, considering that my main mode of commerce is plastic and the internet, but we have a big old plastic coin jar that is perenially full of coins. Several hundred dollars' worth, it turns out. We pay the girls' allowance out of it every Sunday, and this year before Christmas rolled $100 in coins which we then cashed in at the bank. I decided to use the jar to force some philanthropy on the family. I saved all the brochures we received in the mail requesting money for a few weeks, and then we decided as a family who would receive our money (the girls wanted to give 1/2 to St. Jude's, and E. and I like to give to the Denver homeless shelter, so they got the other half). We also ask the girls to set aside 10% of their allowance every week to donate at the end of the year. We started in August, and they don't get a lot of allowance, so it wasn't much, but they did end up donating a small amount to ASPCA.
Please don't point out the irony that I could just give up my Naked 2 Palette and donate that money instead to St. Jude's to save babies with cancer, and probably also avoid giving myself cancer from all that chemical eyeshadow. Nobody likes a downer.
6. The Berry.
If I was someone who wasted time on the internet, some of that time would be wasted here.
5. And also here.
This is NOT the same as my fashion magazine addiction. Read it before you judge, Judgy Judgerton.
4. Things that do not make the list of favorite-ish things for 2012 and possibly 2013 are a) when people who ask me what I do for fun, because the only three answers are to list my hobbies, which, um, boring, or to say I don't have any fun because I work for a living and have two young children, duh, or to say that my whole life is fun which is also sort of true, but in any case this is not suitable cocktail party conversation in any case and b) when people ask me what my kids are like because how the hell do you describe a human being for Christ's sake, particularly one you live with all the time and whose poop you see on a regular basis and may even comb through for stool samples but who also sometimes seems perfect in every way and is just about the most important thing in yoru life. Enough with the clever, deep small talk at parties, people! Also, quit drinking so much everyone and then trying to be clever and deep! We're getting too old for that shit.
I'm mostly talking to myself here.
3. These books should really be at number one, because they have revolutionized the way I parent and have made this Christmas vacation--even with us all staying home together and both kids having a five-day bout of the flu--very, very pleasant.
But I'm not doing ranking, remember, so just know that I think these are very, very important, and I think THEY should be handed out at hospitals and birthing centers with newborns instead of swaddling blankets and formula. Both of which I would have died without. So there.
2. Therapy. Saved me, saved my marriage. Enough said.
1. Duh. No-brainer. Best of the year? Best of next year? These people:
Happy new year.