What better way to wrap up 2020 than with a year in review blog and talking about my new favorite things! I’d like to start writing these monthly, giving a more personal and in depth look at our life and sharing some things that I’ve come across that have improved my life in some way.
As with probably everyone else, I’m ready for 2020 to be done. Whenever I go through a hard phase in life, rather than ignoring it I try to learn something that will help future me get through hard times easier. What I’ve learned from 2020 is to practise gratitude. I know that sounds hokey and too generalized, but there’s magic in taking one minute to close my eyes and think about what I am grateful for. It doesn’t need to be in my life at that moment, or to be monumental. Some days it could be recalling a laugh with a family member, a hot shower, soft sheets on my bed. What I’m trying to achieve is reminding myself that the best things in life are usually the small things, and giving myself a different perspective helps to bring down stress.
Some days that seems impossible, and that’s where we can kick off my list of favorite things for the month of December 2020!
Favorite App – Calm
The app for absolute beginners and all levels of humans that want to meditate and take a break from life. Using the calm app daily has helped me chill out when it seems like there’s no way to get some zen in my day. There are some free meditations on there, but paying for the app is so worth it. Honestly, my therapist has given the same advice this app has given in one of the guided meditations (you choose what issue you want a little pep talk on), so I think it’s worth the price. Calm also has “sleep stories”, a soothing quiet voice telling you a fairytale, and not in the little kid way, but they also have those for children. It’s available in any app store, or in your browser.
Favorite Book – F**k It, The Ultimate Spiritual Way
Don’t worry, this book isn’t religious in any way at all. If you’d like some more zen in your life in a very no BS kind of way, this book will make you laugh and take all the seriousness out of trying to chill out. Because if you’re anything like me, you really want to relax and that in itself creates some pressure! You won’t get that with this book. I enjoy that about this F**k It book so much that I read it usually once a year just as a refresher. The book seems like a letter from a friend and it’s not long, you can flip around and read in whatever order. I love it on my kindle app on my phone.
Favorite Youtube Channel – Yoga With Adrienne
Before you say, but yoga isn’t my thing, yoga is something for women.. give Adrienne a try. Fussing with paid apps on my phone was frustrating when the workouts or instructors voices just flat out sucked. Then I found this youtube channel and there are so many different videos that I guarantee you will find one. James has never tried yoga before, but after one of Adriennes videos, he’s hooked. He said he’s never felt better full-body wide after a workout. So it’s a yes from a beginner male perspective, and also an intermediate female perspective. My favorites are the 20-30 minute playlist, but she’s got from 10-20 minutes all the way up to over an hour. Say goodbye to monthly gym payments or worrying about when they will open again!
Favorite Self Care – Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum
Yes everything I suggest in this self care section will be unisex, so you won’t have to worry about feminine scents or if it will work on your five o’clock shadow just like it would work on my skin. It’s winter, we’re all stressed, this Caudalie vinoperfect serum is like a spa experience in a tiny bottle. It’s way cheaper than going to a spa for a facial, and we can’t even do that right now anyway. Bring the zen home and you’ll feel your skin sigh with moisturized relief. I use this morning and night when it feels like I’ve been living in the desert.
Living in Canada during the winter usually means you choose between style or function when it comes to winter boots. I just found these Palladium Pallabosse unisex winter boots after my Timberland Teddy boots broke, and I couldn’t be happier. They are waterproof, with a merino wool liner and they zip up so no laces and cold fingers. You could shovel snow in these, or wipe them down and wear them to a restaurant. They have just the right look for casual, but could also be dressed up. I’m a fan of a small wardrobe and getting things that can be used everywhere.
Favorite Business Hack – Wave Apps
The one thing none of us want to deal with is taxes. But when you’re self employed, it gets so much more complicated. But with Wave Apps, it really isn’t! Wave Apps has saved our asses from financial headache throughout the year, so if you’ve been looking for something to make your bookkeeping life easier next year, jump on this ASAP. Set up is fast and easy, it can import your income and expenses, or you can upload your statements monthly. It’s secure, and best of all it’s free to use. It’s the easiest way I’ve found to categorize expenses, plus you can send a log in to your accountant. Categorize expenses weekly or monthly, and you won’t cry or need a drink at year end next year. I wish we’d started this sooner!
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