Stuff for Which I am Grateful

The holidays and the end of the year tend to be a time of reflection for a lot of us.

In my previous post I wrote about how all of the amazing things that have happened this past year would not matter without love. I am lucky to love and be loved by wonderful and supportive friends and family.

This post is about stuff — the things that are part of my every day life for which I am grateful. (NOTE: I am not compensated by any of the companies or organizations I’m about mention.)

  • Passion Planner: If you run into me at work, at a coffee shop or even church, odds are I’m clutching either my iPhone or my iPad and my Passion Planner. In addition to my calendar (which I also keep electronically), I keep weekly task lists, notes and other important information in one place. More importantly, there’s a true planning component. I’m pondering writing a second book, and I can map out the steps in my Passion Planner.
  • England Furniture: The lovely Sarah and I just redecorated our living room. After 18 years of big, heavy traditional furniture, we’ve lightened things up with sleek, modern lines. Our new sofa, sofa table and a side chair are all from England. Beautiful, well-built and locally made. We’re very happy with the results.
  • Salon Absinthe: My friend Scarlet has been cutting my hair for about two years now. I’m highly biased, but I think she’s wonderful at what she does, and she’s a great friend to boot. She recently moved into her own space, called Salon Absinthe. It’s cute and private, and Scarlet still gives a great haircut.
  • Anchors Aweigh Hair Company: Speaking of hair, the first time she ever cut my hair, Scarlet handed me a jar of Teddy Boy Slick, oil-based hair wax by Knoxville-based Anchors Aweigh. It’s great stuff that makes my hair look great. All-natural and locally made. I’ve been using Teddy Boy Matte, their water-based product, for about a week. It smells amazing and is lighter. Anchors just unveiled a shampoo and conditioner that I can’t wait to get in my mailbox. This small company is going to be so big!
  • B-Up Bars: I love protein bars. They’re convenient when it’s not possible to heat up a small meal every three hours. The challenge is finding a bar that isn’t loaded with artificial ingredients and sugar. Yup Brands has made it possible with B-Up Bars. PB and  J and peanut butter are my favorites, but you can’t go wrong with any of the flavors.
  • Flex Comics: Flex Comics makes fun workout apparel for nerds who like to work out — like me. Their T-shirt, stringer and tank designs are creative and fun. For example, one design features a T-Rex lifting weights with the word “Unstoppable” written across the front. My favorite is “Unleash the Beast,” featuring a unicorn with a rainbow mane doing curls.
  • Stoopid Good Food: My friend Charlene makes amazingly delicious and very healthy waffles and nut butters. Cinnamon almond walnut butter spread on a couple waffles is great for a meal or to cut into piece to snack on throughout the day. The products are nutrient dense and filling. Waffles and butters come in several flavors. I can attest they are all tasty.
  • Spartan Race/PTI Spartans: I got hooked on the Spartan lifestyle after participating in a free training event last summer. There, I got connected to PTI Spartans, the group with whom I trained for my first Spartan Sprint. I’ve gotten amazing support from my team mates and I look forward to my next race in March. In addition to races, Spartan offers daily workouts, recipes and nutrtion guidance and Spartan X, a goal-setting program.
  • Words with Friends: Despite the many game invitations I get through Facebook, Word with Friends is the only one I care to play. I like the mental agility component of this Scrabble-like game. With one of my friends playing Words is more like playing chess, but when the guy has an IQ higher than Albert Einstein, you have to do what you have to do.
  • Apple Watch: I have one. Finally. I covet very few gadgets, and anything made by Apple tops my list. An important and generous friend gave it to me for Christmas. I love it. Reading emails and text messages from my wrist is great, and I really like the activity and heart rate functions. It will be even more amazing when they add the teleportation app.

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