Ah, holiday cards. Everyone is sending me pictures of their children and dog(s). I debated sending a photo of myself to everyone I know, but that would be weird, right? So instead, I sent them cards from the lovely Bluebell33 and enclosed my list of top 2012 recommendations. Consider this my present to you.
The Overdrive App for Library Books: With the impending fiscal cliff, I figured I should cut back on Amazon e-books. So I got a library card. And I found out that the Chicago Public Library system and many other library systems around the US let you check out e-books online using the Overdrive app. For free!!! TECHNOLOGY IS AMAZING.
Good Value Headphones from Brookstone: I’ve found my favorite, not-too-expensive headphones. (I hate earbuds. They don’t stay in my ears. So I end up giving away anything that comes with an Apple product.) Brookstone has a great pair of headphones for $30 that I love, and they come in a nice little velvet bag. Look for “Buds Surround-Sound Earbuds.” They’re white.
Pinterest for Online Moodboards: Lots of people probably know all about Pinterest, but I’m still surprised by the number of people who ask me what it is. I AM ADDICTED TO PINTEREST!!! In the old days, you would rip out pictures from magazines and say “That’s what I want my office to look like.” With Pinterest, you can search a visual catalog of pictures of anything really…offices, cupcakes, manicures, travel outfits, people who paint their hallways black (or turquoise), etc. Pinterest is particularly great if you are a crafty person and/or looking for inspiration. This is probably more a girl thing.
The iCloud for Online Storage: If you have an iPhone and/or you use iTunes, go ahead and spend the $100 for extra storage in the cloud. I’ve put all my music in the cloud using iTunes Match and although there were some initial hiccups – I recommend not uploading your music to the cloud until you’ve already de-duplicated your library and created a hard backup of your existing library – it’s nice to be able to access my entire musical collection from any device, not just my home laptop.
Spin It Again, Record Converter: I’ve embarked on a fairly large project to move a bunch of vinyl to mp3. Spin It Again is AWESOME. It automatically detects the breaks between songs and helps you clean up the spit and crackle of a record player. If you’ve got any old vinyl sitting around and you can figure out how to hook up your record player to your computer, give this a try.
The Vitamix for Making Soup Out of Anything: Yes, I finally caved and bought a Vitamix blender. This thing is CRAZY. It’s like there’s an airplane in my living room, but you can make soup out of ANYTHING with it. I haven’t tried it for mixed drinks yet, but for soups, it really can’t be beat. It’s expensive, it’s loud, but it’s awesome.
Clarks Shoes: I freaking LOVE Clarks. They’re a British brand, but you can find them in the US. (The US range seems to be pretty darn ugly though.) In October, I was in London and bought three pairs of Clarks and they are all some comfortable and well-made, plus I get lots of compliments about them. And they’re really not that expensive.
Cole Haan Mailing List: This is more of a tip than a “buy this” recommendation. Sign up for the Cole Haan email mailing list. I never pay full price for any of their beautiful leather goods. They are always sending emails with 20% to 30% discounts, and then occasionally they will have a big 60% sale. Keep a constant watch on their sale items.
Open-Toed Cotton White Waffle Slippers: I’m a bit obsessed with hotel slippers, and I love having them on-hand for houseguests. (Also handy for traveling when you know the hotel might not be the slippers kind.) So I always keep a stack of these guys around the house. Look them up on Amazon. They’re $17 for three pairs. Although I am sorely tempted by the 100 pairs for $277…
Josie Maran Argan Oil for the face: I attribute my youthful glow to “The Hehner Genes” (my mother’s side of the family) lots of water, my love of broccoli, and Josie Maran’s Argan Oil. Full of Vitamin E and essential fatty acids. It feels a little weird to slick your face with oil, but I think the results are worth it! Small bottle is roughly $48 at Sephora or online via Amazon.
THINGS I HAVE MY EYES ON IN 2013
Nest, Automated Home Thermostat: A thermostat you control with your mobile device!! My friends Karen and Bob have this and its awesome. Turn your heat or AC on/off from the car on your way home!
We Didn’t Playtest This at All, Card Game. I just bought this and am so intrigued to play it. It’s either going to be totally awesome, or totally ridiculous.
Black Paint: Yes, I’m thinking of painting a room in my apartment black. I blame Pinterest.
So…there you go. That should keep you busy! Enjoy, and I hope to see you somewhere in 2013!