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Look, I know I am a book person and I post about book things. Teaching, nerd life, post-it notes—those are my areas of expertise. But it would be silly to pretend those are the only things I care about.
And one of my favorite things to look at in magazines or other blogs (hint, hint to all those writers out there) is your personal lists of must-haves. What gets you through the day? What makes your life easier?
Here is my current list of 5 non book-related things that I love. These were my game changers in the last year or so. (Click on the product name for the link).
I have thick, coarse hair that is kind of curly but mostly frizzy. It takes forever to dry or straighten or curl or anything. I took my time buying this dryer because I hate spending money on things (especially another hair product) that doesn’t work. I borrowed it from a friend to see if it worked and I watched countless tutorials and reviews.
It works. This dryer is the one of the highest reviewed products on Amazon for a reason. I wouldn’t use it daily because that is a lot of heat damage on your hair, but it has replaced all other hair products. I won’t go back. You can’t make me.
I do not wear lipstick, but I like a little bit of color. I love Burt’s Bees products. No brainer. I keep buying this same color every time I run out because it barely noticeable and it is so easy to take with me. I keep one in my desk at work to apply before class and I keep one in my purse/wallet/wristlet thing (I’m still deciding where I am on handbags).
Like with any beauty product, what we like is so subjective. But I wasn’t about to recommend a fifty-dollar lipstick that I haven’t actually used. This is what works for me.
I am not a fan of Monopoly. I mean, I always think it sounds like a good idea to play, but then five hours later when we are still talking about buying hotels for Boardwalk and Park Place, I start to question my life choices. Life is funny, though, because my son loves to play Monopoly. Listen up: Monopoly is even less fun with a child who hates losing.
Someone suggested Monopoly Deal, a fifteen-minute card game (takes slightly longer in the beginning until you get the hang of it) and we play it all the time. It travels with us on vacations (in an airport during a layover). My son is 7 and he grasps the concepts of it pretty quickly. Hands down, Monopoly Deal is a game changer—literally.
I’ll never be that person who always has a gift bag and card stashed away for the exact moment when they need it. Rather, I’m the person rushing to the store ten minutes before an event to buy something. Or, at work, I am the person who forgets the birthday card for my favorite coworker or the congrats card for my new boss even though I really had good intentions. I really thought about buying one.
This pack of cards (they’re small) has come in handy so many times in the last year. Now I am covered for birthdays, promotions, baby showers, and all those workplace occasions where a card is still considered appropriate. Now I look like I’m way more thoughtful and organized than I really am.
Reusable, pretty, and easy to take care of, these cloths are my favorite part of washing my face before bed now. I used to use disposable make-up removing cloths or those little round pads that you buy in a sleeve. No more. I’m making less waste and keeping my face clean.
You can watch tutorials online of people using these cloths, as well. I’m not the only one who loves them.
I want to hear about your favorite things, too, because I am fascinated by all of the handy tools and products that help get us through the day. Find me on Twitter and tell me your favorite things.