1. My new glasses, because HSA, amiright?! I went with a lighter, larger, rounder frame this time. I get to look more like a hipster and have all this peripheral vision again, plus a 5% increase in my ability to say, "I see what you did there". Win, win!
2. I've been loving the Creative Pep Talk podcast with Andy J Miller, it was my "gateway podcast", and still my favorite. If you're a commercial artist of any kind, or aspiring to be one, you should definitely give it a listen. It has made me more focused when I sit down to work because it keeps me in a great head-space. My phone pairs to my car stereo so its super easy for me to listen to it while I'm driving the kids around (bonus: most of the episodes are little-ear-friendly and the few that aren't come with a warning...because Andy is a dad who gets it!). I will also stick my phone in a pocket and listen while I do housework.
3. I finally joined the rest of the world and got one of those stainless steel double-walled tumblers. When I was shopping over the holidays, I saw the Ozark Trail 30oz Tumblers on sale for $5 at Walmart and decided to give one a try. OMGness, it may be the best $5 I've ever spent! It keeps my water fresh-out-the-fridge cold all day, it's easy to clean and fits in a standard cupholder—what more could a girl ask for? Well, there is ONE more thing, I didn't love that the original lid lacked a closure, so I ended up grabbing this lid on Amazon for $10. Yup, the lid totally cost double what I paid for the tumbler, but it is so worth it. After experiencing the horror of sticking the tumbler in my stroller's cupholder and going up a curb, sending a freezing stream of water down my leg or worse going down a curb sending water sloshing into my infant's carseat. Then there were the ice cold splashes of water down my shirt as I tried to tuck that bad boy in the crease of my arm and juggle the bazillion items into the house from the car. Not to mention the fact that my kiddos and my-clumsy-self simply knock it over on a daily basis. Yeah, basically, I need an adult sippy-cup.
4. When I was expecting our third child in 2016 one of the things I knew I wanted to invest in was a quality diaper bag. The one I had used for my first two children was WORN out! Since my eldest two were already potty-trained and using regular cups and straws, I had gone back to carrying a purse again. I was hoping I could find a bag that felt more like a purse than a diaper bag. I also wanted it to have lots of pockets and space for the needs of 3 kids and myself. The idea of having more kids than hands also led me to look for a bag with a versatile strap configuration and it would be great could use it as a backpack. This long laundry list of wants led me to the Lily Jade collection. I LOVE THIS BAG! It arrived before the baby did and I started using it right away and I plan on using it long after there's a need for a diaper bag. Why? Because it's just THAT awesome! I can already see myself loading it up with art supplies and schlepping it to PTA meetings. (TIP: I got my bag on sale from the "Outlet Bags" section. If you're not in a hurry or not picky on the style/color of bag you can find some amazing deals there.)
5. I live in Texas so 75% of the time I'm running around in flip-flops and if I'm lucky sporting a pedicure. However when the weather does get chilly I love me some Woven Pear Socks! I have several of their adorable sets and love their cute pattern and bold colors. Their most unique feature is the sole writing. Many of their pairs come emblazoned with a clever two-word message; one word on the bottom of each foot. Let's say I get a real "kick" out of them.
6. I don't know about you, but I had a serious case of the "purge-all-the-things" after Christmas. Which made my discovery of the film "Minimialism: A Documentary About The Important Things" especially timely. They really open up the definition of what minimalism is and stress the importance of not just eliminating the excess from your life but also finding the things you value and enjoy most and building your life around those things. They don't have some rigid, seemingly unattainable recipe for living a Minimal life, but instead offer a bunch of ingredients for making your own recipe. (WARNING: Don't watch unless you're ready to challenge your notions of consumption and are prepared to get rid of a ton of stuff, like immediately) I watched this right before bed and then could NOT sleep until I purged SOMETHING. I ended up going through clothes in my walk in closet. I'm sure I looked a bit crazy sorting clothes with the closet light on and the door closed, rummaging softly so I wouldn't wake my sleeping husband or kids. I'm still a far cry from a full-fledged minimalist but our house is more organized and several car-load-of-boxes less full than it was a month ago. It also has me confronting some of my bad habits like impulse purchasing and the resulting buyer's remorse or food waste.