Sometimes the smallest things can be the most delightful! Here are some of the things I’m loving right now – things that are making my life easier, richer, funnier, or just all-around better.
1. Podcasts || We drive a lot, so I listen to a lot of podcasts, I recently added a few to my repetoire and think they’re so much fun! Popcast is an hourish-long pop culture show. It’s somewhat frivolous – I mean, it’s not like I need pop culture info to live my daily life. But it’s fun and makes me laugh and makes me feel like I’m at least a little bit “with it” in spite of the fact that I watch more Daniel Tiger and Toy Story than anything else.
The other great show is Sorta Awesome with Megan Tietz. It’s a mix of fun, useful, motivating, informational, and important, and I feel happy when I listen to it.
2. New bigger phone || I feel a little bit guilty about this because it’s absolutely a luxury and not a necessity, but I got a new iPhone – like, a brand spanking new rose gold iPhone 6s! Squee!!!! My former cellphone was a nearly 4-year-old iPhone 4s, and with the recent operating system upgrades, it was painfully slow. Also, the battery life had tanked over the last year, and it had to remain plugged in nearly all the time. I wouldn’t have upgraded (we were grandfathered into Verion’s unlimited data and didn’t want to do any new phones so we wouldn’t change our contract and lose it), but Verizon recently added a surcharge to lines with unlimited data, so it only made sense to switch, which meant upgrading my phone was a possibility. Lucky me! It’s so zippy! So pretty! So pink! And since I got 64gb, SO SPACIOUS! A total luxury, for sure, but I’m definitely enjoying it. And planning for it to last me another 4 years…
3. The Gift of an Ordinary Day || This book…I hardly know what to say! I borrowed it from the library and told Tahd I needed my own copy because I wanted to mark it up. A few days later and a surprise Amazon Prime package, and I had my own copy courtesy of a thoughtful husband. I love it so hard. I relate to it so much! In fact, I’ve had to set it aside for a while because it just hits so close to home, some of the painful parts that have me struggling right now. I know that last sentence doesn’t sound like a positive review, but it is. So much. Having someone write both frankly and beautifully about tender places we have in common…well, it feels so honest and life-giving. A definite must-read for moms.
4. Essie Gel Setter || This stuff…I can’t even! I never paint my nails because…well, there’s not a lot of time, and when there’s just barely enough time, they always wind up smudged and chipped. On Friday, though, I had 3.5 spare minutes, and it seemed like a good idea to whip on some silver polish, so I did. I’d bought this top coat a few months ago and figured I’d throw some on top. First impressions? Super thick – not in a bad way, but just noticeable. And it made my polish seem to dry really fast, so that was a bonus!
The next day, we decided it was time to work on the %@^* neverending patio. I really want to get it done before it snows, and the days was lovely enough that I just couldn’t beg off. I figured this manicure would be like every other – a bust within 24 hours. Especially since I was hauling bricks and digging in wet sand and gravel.
You guys, this is what my manicure looked like Saturday night. I can’t even believe it!
There was hardly even a chip! It certainly isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t remotely look like I spent the whole afternoon doing light construction! Color me impressed. Very impressed!
5. FYI Decision app || Making decisions is not my favorite. There are just so many variables and when the stakes are high, sometimes it hard to weigh all the options and possibilities to arrive at a clear choice. I’ve been known to set up excel sheets with weighted scoring to try to help me figure out what I need to do. And then, I found this app.
Honestly, it gets terrible reviews on iTunes, but I LOVE IT. It works the same way my brain works. First step, you name the decision. Then you set up the criteria by which you’re considering the options. Then you list the possible options and rate each option against each criterion. The app takes your entries and scores them so you wind up with a numerical calculation of your best decision. Finally, you can create a fancy little pdf printable with the touch of a button. I love fancy little pdf printables.
Here’s an example I created. For the record, this isn’t a decision we’re currently making. We’ve talked about it in the past and decided against it. I just wanted to show a decision that had a bunch of criteria.
6. My library’s Overdrive app || Earlier this year (last year??) I learned that I could download a free app (Overdrive in my case) and hook it up to my public library account. I think I’ve mentioned this before, either here or on my personal blog. I borrow all sorts of books, including kids’ books for Gabe and audio books for the little kids. Life saver!
But that’s not news, really, What is news is that our library recently started offering digital periodicals. They have all sorts of great titles (Eating Well, Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart, Reader’s Digest, HGTV, Yoga Journal–and a bunch Tahd likes that I don’t read). Tons of options! My library delivers periodicals through the free Barnes & Noble Nook app, and once you send a periodical to your Nook account, it stays in your account F O R E V E R. They never have to be returned! I do love me some magazines, especially this time of year around the holidays. There are so many great recipes, decorating inspirations, and gift ideas! And I love that I don’t have to worry about losing the instructions when the lending period expires. BECAUSE IT NEVER DOES!
So, there you have it–six things I’m loving right now. How about you? Is there anything (little or big) that’s making you smile?