My favorite things, 2011 version

If Oprah can create a list of “favorite things”, I decided that I could, too. However, my list is quite a bit less fancy-schmancy than O’s.

It’s meant to be fun, and perhaps spark some reflection about what comforts, blessings and experiences have been favorites for you in 2011.

So (sing it with me) – these are a few of my favorite things:

Ahava Dermud Nourishing Body Cream

When we were in Israel last spring, a friend there gave me a tube of this ointment-thick cream from Ahava that lists mud from the Dead Sea as one of its ingredients. I was pleasantly surprised at the healing properties of the salt-mud blended with other high quality ingredients. The cream was more effective on a mild case of eczema than the prescription stuff I’d been using, plus it was a rich treat for my skin to boot.


Coca-Cola bottled in Mexico

Yes, it’s Coca-Cola, but instead of high-fructose corn syrup, MexiCoke uses cane sugar as sweetener. It comes in real glass bottles, and is readily available in grocery stores here in the Chicago area. The taste is nearly identical to the stuff we buy in plastic, but it is just a smidge better. Maybe it’s the glass bottle, or the fact that the Mexican recipe is the way Coke used to be made. Some MexiCoke bottlers are switching to the cheaper high-fructose corn syrup, which means that I will now have to read labels before I add a few bottles to my shopping cart. I don’t drink a lot of pop, but when I do, I like The Real Thing.

My Kindle. (Not my hand. This is definitely a Man Hand.)

I have grown pretty fond of my Kindle for some applications. You can’t beat it for traveling, and I love reading fiction on it. I’m not quite as keen on using it to read non-fiction because I want to re-read some things and skip others. I know how to do those things on my Kindle, but it’s not quite as simple as thumbing through the pages of a book. Even so, the Kindle is a part of my reading line-up. I just discovered that I can buy a book for someone and have it delivered to them – just like that! (*snapping fingers*) because someone just gifted me a book this way last weekend.

Kohl Children's Museum

I have been a regular visitor at Kohl Children’s Museum in recent years. My grandsons enjoy the place – where else can a kid go on a blustery day and engage in water play, pretend to work at a sandwich shop or grocery store, experiment with instruments, race cars, or discover how scientists do their work? And is there anything better than watching grandchildren having a great time? I took my three kids to the earlier incarnation of Kohl Children’s Museum when they were little, and those times were a lot of fun, too – but there is something especially sweet about being able to share the experience with Gabriel and Lio. (Grandmas, you know what I’m talking about.)

Hebrew "ABC"

My husband and I told each other at the beginning of 2011 that we were going to try to learn some Hebrew this year. Bill already had a head start on it as he’d studied the language in the past, but I didn’t know a mem from a shin. Even though I sound a lot like a middle-aged kindergarten child when I sound out simple words, I’m really glad to be putting a few of my dormant brain cells to back to work. The “favorite thing” app for the purposes of this list is that it’s good for the soul to make the time to learn something new.

Eddie Bauer Expedition Checkpoint-Friendly Laptop Briefcase

OK, it’s not the cutest thing in the universe, but after going through at least 3 other cases for my laptop and files, I discovered this bag. This is the Swiss Army Knife of briefcases. I can carry my laptop, files, a notebook, and a partridge in a pear tree.

One of the pretty things at Philanthropy Fashion in Franklin, TN

I was near tears as I walked through Philanthropy Fashion in Franklin, TN – not only did they sell beautiful clothing and unique accessories at reasonable prices, but their commitment to fair trade. thoughtful charitable giving and a welcoming, creative vibe made me happy to simply be in the store. (I did buy a gorgeous scarf there, however.) This is how a business can make a difference in the lives of vendors and customers alike. 

Anobium Review

Since I am the mom of the editor and art director, and mother-in-law of the administrative director, you would be justified in saying, “Of course this literary journal is one of her favorite things.” So click here to read a great review and good description of the Anobium Review editorial philosphy from another (non-family) writer.

A table

Dining. Communion. Conversation. Companionship. This has been a particularly difficult year for me, but God has nourished and sustained me as I’ve been seated across the table from a caring, praying friend. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a cheap plastic table in a diner, a candlelit setting in an upscale restaurant, a booth at Panera or my own dining room table, the table is a place of nourishment, friendship, healing and encounter with the One who welcomes each one of us to join him at his table.

I’m sure that this is my favorite thing of all.

What are some of your favorite things?

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