I've rarely met a list I didn't like. At the end of the year, I get organized with my nostalgia. Expect "best of the year posts" to come up around here at least a couple more times. But for now, because some of us are holiday shopping or at least looking to take advantage of December promotions, here are my favorite things 2013.
All new to me this year. All worthy of place on this list.
The JAMBOX bluetooth speaker is small enough to tuck into a purse and I've used it in hotel rooms, by the pool, even in my own kitchen because it's so easy.
I wrote a full review of the Up wristband, and I really need to get back to using it because I found the information so enlightening. I got out of the habit this fall, but plan to bring it back into regular use after the first of the year. Both of these things would be a good gift.
Saving my life in the tech department has been the external mophie power pack. The mophie products basically double the life of your phone or other electronic device. The Gorilla has the one that's a phone case because on set he desperately needs his phone to work many hours overtime. I have the external one because I didn't like how bulky it made my phone, plus I need it to work for my iPad, too. It's so small and so handy.
Barely a week goes by on this blog where I don't mention my kindle paperwhite, I can't believe I've only had it since the spring. I won't go on and on, but I will say that I have read so much more (and so much more diversely) since I bought the paperwhite. It might be my favorite thing of the whole year.
I could fit all four of these things in my purse at the same time and barely notice. Sensing a theme here?
I know I only blogged about it recently, but the Mario Badescu glycolic foam cleanser has made enough of an impact on me to earn the Best Of title. And the price point really can't be beat. I wrote a full review here.
Best Fashion Discoveries
I made a lot of fashion discoveries this year, but the best were actually brands that have been around awhile. (And I chose these because I felt like my love affair with stylish sweatshirts might be frowned upon as a BEST in fashion.)
Rag and Bone jeans and Clare Vivier Bags. Couldn't get enough of these this year. I have several things from Clare Vivier now, but my favorites are the striped clutch (which I gave as gifts this year) and the foldover clutches.
Voxer was my 2013 obsession. It's sort of hard to explain voxer, you kind of have to experience it for yourself. It's kind of like voice texts or voicemail conversations. It works great for me because you can have several people all in one voxer conversation (so fun for groups), and because the time zone difference between me and some of my close friends is always an obstacle for phone dates. Texting is good enough and no one has time to compose lengthy emails. So we vox and respond to the other person when we can, but the conversation is ongoing. It's convenient and fun.
I've had the Mac Freedom app on my computer for a couple of years, but it didn't become a real workhorse for me until this year. Freedom turns off the internet on your computer for a time period of your choosing (I usually go with an hour) and you can't override it unless you turn your computer off. It's great for those of us who get easily distracted by shiny things on the internet instead of actually working.
I bought Freedom with its companion app, Anti-Social. It turns off the social media but you're still able to use browsers, which is often a happy medium. They're expensive for apps ($10 & $15), but it's worth it for those of us less disciplined.
Best Books I Read
Most of my favorite books of the year didn't actually come out in 2013. Oh, well. I read them when I read them.
Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Melton (my original review here) was a standout book for me in several ways. She's a fellow blogger, she is captivating with words, I read almost all of it with a lump in my throat for about 40 different reasons.
Best Faith-Based books:
By leaps and bounds, the two best in this category were written by my good friends. I'm lucky that way.
Hope all of this helps you with your shopping this holiday season, either for yourself or for others.
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