Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Remember that infamous line in Garden State when Natalie Portman’s character plays New Slang by The Shins (with enormous headphones!) for Zach Braff’s character and says, “You gotta hear this one song. It’ll change your life. I swear.” While, I firmly believe that songs can change your life, along with big (like a wedding) or small (like discovering a new store) events, books, movies or anything really, lately I’ve found I’ve found myself repeating this motto “it changed my life” around all sorts of life-changing miracles that happen to me every day courtesy of people like J.K. Rowling and Oprah. Seriously, everything seems to be changing my life at the moment, or at least my perspective. This new chapstick which I bought at Target is finally solving my cracked lips issue or my lovely new dishwasher which (gasp!) actually washing my dishes without a pre-wash (well, except for my puppy helping lick the plates clean). This rubbery cookie scooper for chocolate-chip cookies, which has changed my life. The discovery racer-back tank tops changed my life. Chocolate covered almonds, Bona hardwood floor cleaner, and my gosh, even “ouchless” cloth covered rubber hair bands changed my life.

But, instead of actually changing my life, perhaps they are only a fraction of products that I really like. So, I have decided to make an official list of all the most important discoveries I’ve made over the last few months and years, things I really feel that the Internet should know about too (Uh, we’re talking body soap and make-up here, not the meaning of life or anything). Kinda like a sort of, “here are a few of my favorite things” without Maria from The Sound of Music singing.

Aveeno Active Naturals

I have always suffered from sensitive skin. Pretty smelling body washes and lotions cause me to break out in hives or horrible rashes. So, I always struggled with finding a cleaner that cleaned and moisturized my skin without causing me to break out, but didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Then, I found Aveeno body wash. In fact, they have a whole line of products I use, my favorites are their body wash (they have a “Stress Relief” one that “calms and relaxes” but really just smells of lavender) and lotions. Now, I exclusively use Aveeno products, and honestly I couldn’t be happier with my skin. No more itchy, unsightly rashes for me.

Bath & Body Work Aromatherapy Peppermint Roll-on with Pure Peppermint Essential Oil

I suffer from lots of headaches, typically just tension headaches from a long day staring at the computer screen or from reading. A while back, right before I was to walk down the aisle as bridesmaid in a wedding, I had a horrible headache and no medication in sight. However, the mother of the bride did have Peppermint Oil that she dabbed on my wrists. The smell relaxed my senses, and relieved me of my pounding headache. Afterwards, in search of this phenomenon essential oil I discovered the Peppermint Roll-on from Bath & Body Works. This is perfect, I just roll a bit onto my temples whenever I feel a headache coming on (or lately, every night!) focus on taking a few inhales and exhales, and I immediately feel better.


I love pictures, I love being creative, but above all, I love being organized. Enter: Blurb. This company allows me to enjoy all that and more. Instead of printing out my millions of photos throughout the year, and putting them in a boring old photo album (which are harder and harder to find these days), I make a photo book through Blurb. The downloadable program is free; all you pay for is the actual book. I mainly use the books in place of albums, so for each trip or each year I’ll make a single album. The program allows me to use of their templates (of all writing, all picture or a combination of both) or I can create my own. It’s perfect. Plus, their prices are much better than printing the photos and putting them in traditional albums, and it takes up much less space. A forty-page book can hold hundreds of photos. In fact, I just made an album for a wedding shoot I recently did, and it came out lovely.

Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Crème

For anybody that suffers from horrific hangnails, this is the perfect product. It softens the cuticles, strengthens the nails, heals tiny cuts on your fingertips (which is the worst place for a cut!) It’s silky and creamy and lemony scented...which makes me crave lemon meringue pie, but that’s another story. When I use this wonder crème daily I notice a major difference in my hands, almost like having a daily manicure. Seriously, consider your life changed.

Tastefully Simple

I am not one for boxed products, especially ones which are ordered through a “host” (like Mary Kay make-up or Pampered Chef), but my mother-in-law gifted me with a box full of Tastefully Simple products, and I’m in love. Granted, not in love enough to buy them myself (as I find it hideously expensive)...but, definitely in love enough to ration it. My favorites are the “country blackberry preserves (which has lots of great recipes to use it with, like thumbprint cookies, but I just eat it by the spoonful) or “creamy caramel sauce” which I just eat with pretzels or another favorite is the cinnamon muffin melt mix (although, I never follow the recipe for that one either and just make regular muffins). Let me tell you, this stuff is delicious.

I am just realizing that I can go on with 8 or 9 more things I should add, but this will do for now since I’ve got a million and one other things to do. But, meanwhile, what about you? Any life-changing discoveries you want to share with me (and the world?) Any must-haves I. HAVE. TO. TRY? I am always one willing to venture out and try new things.

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