Holidays Julz of Life Mom Has a LIFE

Favorite Things – Christmas 2017

Favorite Things  – Christmas 2017

I’ve been listing some of my favorite things – Christmas 2017 on Facebook (#favorite things). These aren’t raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens (although those things do make my heart smile.) And, it’s not things, per say, that bring me joy, but rather what they can afford my life. My #favoritethings are items that bring me smiles, make my life easier, help me serve others better… those kinds of things.

Often, folks visiting my place say, “Hey, what’s that? It’s really cool, Julz. Where did you get that?” Nine times out of ten, there’s a story. My story brings them joy (sometimes spit-out-their-beverage laughter.)

I’m here to serve others, so here you go. My list of current favorite things, and a bit of story for each. I’ll be adding to it as they come to me this month.

Now… unless I say otherwise, I really own these things and have used them. These are my personal reviews and experiences. (To read more, see my disclosure.)

The links attached to the products are affiliate links, so I earn a few shekels (not many) if you should purchase my fave item using the link.

Just for reading this far, I have a TOTALLY FREE gift for you. I created a cool Gift Giving Tracker to keep tabs on all you’re set to GIVE. That way, from year to year, you don’t keep giving Aunt Edna the same pot holders or dusting powder and you know that you have everyone covered.

If you have suggestions, I’d love them. Drop me a line.

#favoritethings Christmas 2017

Purple Pens That Bring Oodles of Joy

Purple Pens. I love all kinds, but so far, this is a staple at my desk (as opposed to staples IN my desk which would really tick me off. It’s cherry and gorgeous and I waited a long damn time to get it.)
The purple is robust and you can write upside down and sideways on all kinds of paper. If it’s really shiny paper, you do have to waggle the page around before rubbing a hand over it, or it’ll smear (but when it smears, you get an awesome bit of art!) These are a royal joy to me whether I’m writing out gratitude, making my list or crossing stuff off.

Coffee Pot That Doesn’t Crap Out

Rico brings me coffee in bed almost every morning. Yes, that’s most certainly a favorite thing, but the coffee pot crapping out every 18 months was NOT.
So about 5 years ago we opted to go old school and get this amazing stainless bute. Guess what? No pot to break. No plastic stuff. Hasn’t died and it makes great coffee. 12 awesome cups of it.

If you love your wife, give her a pot that keeps on giving. (Delivering the cuppa in bed is also an amazingly great touch.)

“EO Your Everything” Sprayer Bottles

I make a lot of sprays with YL essential oils (they are my fave due to their purity).
“De-frizz My Hair” spray, bug spray, “Make the Dog Stop Itching” spray, linen spray, “Anti-DUDE-ESSENSE” spray, “Make the House Smell Farleywaybetter” spray…

These sprays need to go in glass or metal bottles, not plastic. A couple years ago, I found these and love them. They’re reasonably priced and just the right size for most smaller uses.

Because our Sully is such a TREAT!

If you follow me personally, you know that our German Shepherd, Sully, had a rough weekend and at one point we thought we might lose him. We are so grateful for him and ecstatic that he’s doing so much better. I’m going to post all my dog love #favoritethings in his honor.
He’s so much a part of who we are. He makes us better humans.
The first item is his grain free treats. He’s a bit itchy when he eats grain (by “a bit” I mean all we hear is JINGLE all day from his tags when he’s eating grain.) These have been great! I have them on my Subscribe and Save order so they just show up.

Norman-proof Stocking? We’ll See.

This is the Christmas stocking I got for our new dog, Norman. Sully has a canvas one. Couldn’t find one like it.

I put a felt paw print ? on it. Turned out way cool. Now… we’ll see if he opens it gently like Sully has!!

WUNDERBALLS and Project Play

This ball has no affiliate link. We just love it and its cause. Why do we love it? Because Norman loves it. And when Norman isn’t a doofus, Sully loves him. And when Sully loves Norman, less kafuffle happens in our home.
Another reason to love WUNDERBALLS? They are indestructible by Norm. (To be fair, now that he’s a wise 2-year-old, he destroys less.)
The best thing about these is that the company started “Project Play.” Go read how it helps more shelter dogs get adopted. And buy a WUNDERBALL or 4 if for no other reason but to say you have them. (That’s fun all by itself.)

 Kick-Butt Cookie Sheets – USA Pan

We’re doing more baking this week, so I have a few faves in that department. Rico researched and bought these pans when the kids were doing their roadside stand, Organigirls. (Yet another reason to love that man to pieces.)
Cookies literally SLIDE off! It’s amazing. We kept the sleeves they came in so they can be stored without getting scratched.
I’m off to make a batch of gingersnaps, real chip-like SNAPPY ones like the Pepperidge Farms Gingerman. Love those things.
(If you’re good – and you ask nicely, I’ll send you the recipe.)

Not Just for the Awesome Photo Op!

Besides just being fun to have around, these cute hats actually serve the purpose of keeping long locks out of your food prep. (I know, ewww.) We had a cupcake birthday party one year and gave all the kids paper ones. That was awesome, but these are “farlywaybetter” as Vivian says!

We gave one to each of the girls a few years ago and they’ve held up great. Heavy cotton, great Velcro closure. Fits all head and hairdos.

Not Only an Oven Mitt – These Increase CONTRIBUTION!

When the dishes are too hot right out of the dishwasher, now there are no excuses. These babies not only guard against the heat of those flaming hot plates and cups, but they also have grippy things that keep us from dropping stuff! The kids are more confident about taking things from the oven by themselves and diving in where we need assistance.

Every year we have a stuffed baked potato party… these are perfect for grabbing, slicing, and properly squishing a spud so it’s ready to receive all the stuffing! And what’s cool about these hot gloves, they’re washable!

We give them two hot hand thumbs up!

Another Hand in the Glove Department…

While we’re talking gloves, I can’t neglect to mention these sweeties.
If one must do dishes and clean things, both nails and skin can be saved with a pair of gloves. Why settle for anything but awesome purple ones?
Truly, I’m sure the dishes are cleaner and more lovely simply for having been washed with a purple-gloved hand. (BTW, I opt for a purple sponge as well, so one can only imagine!)
The cuffs keep all my best dish-doing outfits from having soggy sleeves. (You step up your fashion for this, don’t you??)

Change Your MINDSET, Change Your World!

This was recommended to me by a Psychology professor I ran into last December. Dweck’s tiny shifts in language and perspective (Do I have a “fixed” or a “growth” mindset? How can I nurture a growth mindset in myself, my kids, my team?) can be game-changing. I had this read to me in January (big fan of audiobooks) and it was definitely helpful in my research on intrinsic motivation as well as in business and parenting!

Here’s a great summary of the concepts in the book.

ZOOM Into Video Conferencing – (It’s Way Less Painful Than You’d Think!)

Since I work from home, networking, coaching, and collaboration are a GIANT part of my day. ZOOM has been an amazing find for 2017.
I live in a lovely but remote place and driving to all my meetings is just not smart or practical.
I can record meetings for myself or my clients. I’ve even had personal calls here so I can record my kids singing to their great auntie and she can listen over and over. If you haven’t tried it – please do. And if you go to the paid version that gives you more than 40-minute meetings, tell em I sent you. They’ll say, “oh, Julie – she’s awesome.” 

Zoom Logo

Lotta GO GETTERS Out There – Be a Go Giver!

This one was a gift to me a couple of years ago from a dear friend. It took me a while to pick it up and then I devoured it.
It’s a parable. Easy read and so insightful.
The premise is that giving moves us toward success the fastest (and helps us redefine “success.”)

Give It Away and Then DO LESS (What?!)

We hustle and we race and we use the word “hurry” more than ever these days, it seems. I needed a timeout. My coach recommended a book that has been a game-changer – “The Power of Pause – Becoming More by Doing Less” by Terry Hershey. Not only is his name sweet, so are his weekly insights. Short, digestible and impactful. The hub and I have been working this habit into our Mondays. Doesn’t always fly, but it’s made a difference when we do it.
Highly recommend.

Time and Energy Leaking? Has “Crazy Busy” Become the New “Fine”?

I admitted to Rico today that I’m great at shouting out the great work of others, but when it comes to promoting my own cool stuff, I have some work to do.

My workbook, Creating Time and Energy, has been the cornerstone of all my programs and work for many years (even before its publishing). It’s a short little workbook, but I’d call it “straightforward” before I’d call it “simple.”

One client called it “an introspective firehose” while another referred to it as his compass – “It keeps me grounded in what matters most, especially before I head off into difficult conversations or situations.”

I’ve had the pleasure of working through the book with my group coaching program participants and there are times when I say, “wow, good question. I’m glad I asked myself that!” It’s not a one-and-done experience. I go through parts of it a couple of times a year.

4 lessons – 

What matters most?
Where does the time go?
What habits serve/sabotage in this moment?
Where can we begin to shift to be of best service?

And if the person receiving this gift needs a 1:1 or group nudge to get it finished, private message me and we’ll set up a private fitting to make that happen!

DIFFUSE the Situation with THIS!

In honor of making things easier and in service of others, I have to share one of my favorite essential oil diffusers. I only use Young Living for my family, and while I love their oils, the diffusers were a bit pricey to put in every room. This one works great and it’s so reasonable.
And if this color blue is your kryptonite (it sure is mine!), you can change the color of the light to something more civilized, say, purple
So now everyone can huff some “Christmas Spirit” or “Clarity” and “Motivation.” Good times!

Stay tuned! More #favoritethings on the way!

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