1. Zumba Harem Pants // 2. Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolo // 3. Monster DiamondZ Rose Gold On-Ear Headphones
4. Poppin Metallic Gold Soft Cover Notebook // 5. Tieks in Lovestruck // 6. O Courses
7. Instinct by T.D. Jakes // 8. Soybu Carolyn Wrap
affiliate links included
This was a grounding year for me. I spent much of it trying to grow my businesses but also cater to the growing demands of my family (read: tween girls!) and not lose myself in the process. I’ve been toying with the idea of putting together a Holiday Gift Guide but didn’t want to share a bunch of random items with you; after thinking about it some more, I’ve decided to share a few of the things that made me feel good in 2014 – literally and figuratively – with the hopes that they may be able to help you to live richly too.
Feel Good for My Body: Zumba
Starting in January – along with the rest of the planet – I re-committed to self-care and re-joined the gym. What made the difference for me this time was that I joined a health club that feels less like a gym and more like a wellness center; because of how it looks and feels, I was actually motivated to go and considered it a treat to trek up there and pamper myself with fitness, massages and pineapple-spinach smoothies. But what changed the game for me in 2014 was discovering my Zumba class, thanks to my friend Danielle. I’d done Zumba before but this class gives me life! The instructor, the music, the moves – it’s to the point that I’m upset when I miss it. Finally, a workout that doesn’t feel like work to me. If you haven’t tried it, do! And if you need some fun gear, check out these Zumba Harem Pants. They’re for sure on my wishlist.
Feel Good for My Tummy: Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolo
Thanks to some cruel trick that the universe is playing on me, I can’t drink coffee – let’s just say it doesn’t sit well with me. But I’ve always loved enjoying a hot beverage and the feeling of calm it brings me. I found my home in a good cup of chai and usually have one of those when the mood strikes but, of course, regular trips to the coffee shop are impractical on a number of levels. So when I received a discount coupon to try a Nescafe Dolce Gusto single-cup coffee machine at BlogHer this summer, I decided to gift myself with the Piccolo. You buy the cups (like a Keurig) and it makes you a cup of whatever you want in under a minute. Score! So far I’ve tried the Cappuccino, the Hot Chocolate and the Peach Iced Tea…and I have my eye on the Choco Caramel. After I drop everyone at school, I’ve made it a practice to sit in my favorite chair with a cup of something and start my day with a pause.
Feel Good for My Ears: Monster DiamondZ Headphones
And then there’s these Monster DiamondZ headphones. They were a generous gift from my friends at Monster after their sponsorship of this year’s Blogalicious Weekend conference. It took me awhile to even take them out of the box because they are SO AWESOME. My kids already know that these are MOMMY’S and they are not even to look in their direction. Ahem. Since I’ve started walking regularly and listening to my meditations, it’s only fitting that I have fabulous headphones to go along with my self-care routines. But these babies are more than eye candy – the sound quality is great and they fit sungly, which is very important to me. They also come with cleaning supplies and a ControlTalk cable that lets you control volume and advance tracks just by clicking, in addition to a cable to use for calls on an iPhone.
Feel Good for My Creativity: Poppin
I learned about Poppin at SXSW Interactive in the Spring. The instructor of the workshop I attended brought up the company as an example of a brand that really pays attention to their customer experience – of course I had to check them out. Being that I’m a sucker for paper products, it was a wrap! (pun intended) I ordered a bunch of different journals and notbooks for all of my notetaking, planning, journaling and the like. But my favorite is the shimmery gold notebook! Makes writing down anything feel good – even if it’s what invoices you need to pay next. Sigh. [TIP: Use code ‘SURPRISE’ for $10 OFF orders $60 or more and $20 OFF orders $100 or more!]
Feel Good for My Feet: Tieks
Oh how I love my Tieks. I first tried them a few years ago after receiving them as a gift from attending Mighty Summit, and I’ve been hooked ever since. They are so comfortable but still luxurious. I was so excited to see a discount for them in our gift bags at Oprah’s Life You Want Tour in October – I was able to upgrade my pair to these. Given that the daily glamour of my life involves A LOT of carpool and grocery store runs, I’m also happy to throw a little fabulousness on my feet. I’ve got my eye on the Lovestruck pair, for when I fall into money. Ha.
Feel Good for My Soul: O Courses
Speaking of Oprah’s Life You Want Tour – it had a major impact on me. I have yet to write a recap post on it because there was just so much goodness to digest. I really enjoyed the event and each of her featured speakers – while I can’t include her Tour on my gift guide, I can encourage you to check out her online courses given by her experts. You can even gift one to someone for the holidays. Rob Bell was so full of energy and warmth in-person that I bet his online course is equally powerful. It’s called: Finding Joy and Meaning In Everyday Life – we could all use a bit of that, yes? There are several others too: on Forgiveness, Meditation, Imperfection – find your need and dig in.
Feel Good for My Business: Instinct by T.D. Jakes
Books! I am so happy to have gotten back to books this year. I missed them. I read many – business-related, fiction, chick-lit – but the one that sticks out is Instinct by T.D. Jakes. I actually have a post in draft mode about it that I promise to finish in this lifetime. He really has a gift with words and breaks down very simply the concept of finding your place in the universe and listening to your gut and allowing that to guide you. There are SO MANY nuggets of wisdom in the book, but the one that was most helpful to me was to identify my leadership style; I am apparently a Democratic Leader, meaning I want the members of my team to take a participatory role in the decision-making process. I see this trait permeate all areas of my life and, while I used to think it meant I was ‘weak’ for seeking buy-in and/or approval, I now know that it’s one of the most effective leadership styles. So YAY ME. You’ll enjoy the book. Promise!
Feel Good for My Zen: Soybu Activewear
In August I was introduced to the Soybu brand of activewear at BlogHer 2014 where they co-hosted a party. As one of the party ambassadors, I got to try out a few of their pieces and I’ve been hooked ever since! The fabric feels so, so good and there is just the right amount of stretch in the pants that works for this curvy girl in her power yoga and Zumba classes. But I need to talk about this wrap for a minute. I could literally wear it everyday. It’s both heavy – meaning a strong quality, but also so lightweight and soft. WINNER. I have it in white/gray but would also not be mad if Santa left me the black/gray one underneath my tree.
And there you have it. A few things that made me feel good in 2014. Of course, my husband and children top the list, but you can’t have them – they’re all mine.