It’s that time, folks!
Oprah has announced her wonderful, ridiculous favourite things – and just as I did last year, I’m here to discuss my most fabulous finds of the past 365 days.
[PS – Apparently she announced her favourite things nearly a month ago. I only noticed when I saw the O magazine at the library – whoops.]
For what it’s worth, the items I mentioned last year are still very much beloved and frequently enjoyed (except the Rootables chips, which I sadly cannot find anywhere).
2018, here we go.
Oiselle Roga Shorts ($48 USD)
This is a bold claim, but I’ve never loved a pair of running shorts as much as I love my Oiselle Roga Shorts. I stumbled upon these shorts when I was browsing the sale rack at Capra. I bought a pair for just under $50 Canadian – what a steal! I’ve never owned anything by Oiselle before, but judging by these shorts, I’m a fan.
If you’ve got powerful gams like I do (some call them Thunder Thighs), these shorts are super roomy. The best part? NO CHAFING. None. I have had zero issues on with chafing, whether on trail runs or road runs. I want to own a thousand pairs of these shorts.
The Bread Illustrated Cookbook ($31.28)
If you’ve followed by blog at all this year, you already know that this book was my bible in 2017. I discovered it at the Squamish Public Library on one random late winter day when I decided I needed to learn how to bake bread. I have baked a TON of recipes from this book (see them all here) and I have learned so much. I have had many successes and just a few failures (always my fault, not theirs) and this book has inspired a new delicious, practical hobby.
The recipes cover a wide variety of breads (from sandwich breads to rustic loaves to desserts to pizzas and way, way beyond) and offer a good mix of difficulty levels. The instructions are clear and the techniques are explained very well – there are plenty of photos for those who are visual learners. I trust the whole America’s Test Kitchen world, and this book definitely lives up to the ATK standard.
David’s Tea Nordic Mug ($23)
I drink a lot of tea – usually two cups a day, though sometimes more. My Nordic mug from David’s Tea gets a lot of use, and I’ve come to love it very, very much. (Note – mine is not the same colour/pattern as the one pictured, but they all work the same way).
The mug itself is nice and roomy, and it comes with its own little infusing cup. The lid is perfect for keeping the tea hot while it steeps, and then it makes a nice little holder for the infuser thing. Everyone needs a good, solid mug (or two) – this one is, in my opinion, as good as it gets.
Sidney Smokehouse Island Jerky (2 for $15)
Oprah likes to include obscure specialty edible items on her list, and guess what – so do I. I am obsessed with Sidney Smokehouse’s Island Jerky. I discovered them at the Squamish Farmer’s Market and regularly picked up a couple of packs when their booth is set up. A hunk of jerky makes the perfect mid-morning stack.
In early fall, I panicked when I noticed they hadn’t been at the market a few weeks in a row. I actually emailed them to find out when they would be back. It just so happened that they were scheduled to return the following weekend, but they also told me that I could email them an order and they’d send it to me. GOOD TO KNOW.
Here’s the thing: I’ve eaten a lot of beef jerky, and NOTHING comes remotely close to this one. Not the usual store bought ones. Not the other specialty ones that you buy at fancy natural food stores. Not even the hot-n-spicy ones at the deli in Nesters (though those are pretty good, too). This is The Best Jerky on Earth. And it’s made right on Vancouver Island.
Not quite lip balm, not quite lipstick, the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment tubes are the ultimate hybrid product. The colour is subtle but definitely present – it’s a good pick for those who are a little shy about going all-out with lip tints (like I happen to be). It’s super hydrating and the application is pretty foolproof, plus all the colours have a nice scent that I can only describe as lemon cookie.
I’ve tried a few colours, and my favourite has to be Rose (a pretty blush), followed by Nude (which is, duh, nude) and Tulip (like pink popsicle). If you’d like to give them a go, I recommend getting a pack of minis so that you can try a bunch:
- This one has 3 (Rose, Petal, and Tulip – I haven’t tried Petal but it looks gorgeous, and this kit is good if you love pinks) for $30
- This one has 4 (Nude, Rose, Fig, Poppy, and a nourishing minty lip balm) for $53
- This one has 6 (Original [untinted], Tulip, Rose, Poppy, Honey, and Berry) for $54 <– best deal
- This one has 7 (Rose, Petal, Tulip, Poppy, Ruby, Berry, Fig) for $70
The Gap Modern Cami ($18 – $20)
I don’t buy very many clothes, but I bought FOUR – yes, four – of these camisoles this year. They’re perfect for wearing over leggings under another shirt and I’ve even worn them as pajama tops a couple of times – they’re that comfy. I own this tank top in white, black, navy, and grey. The grey one is my favourite – it feels a little softer and thicker than the others. The Gap always has 30% to 50% of sales, so if you can time your purchase right, you can this at a great price. This is a great wardrobe staple.
Vanity Fair ($38/1 Year Subscription)
My mom treated me to a Vanity Fair subscription this year, and it is really the gift that keeps on giving. I read my Vanity Fairs cover to cover. I love the variety of articles – good new Hollywood interviews, old school Hollywood stories, political pieces, tech and innovation coverage, witty reviews. It’s the perfect magazine to read on a long, boring plane ride. My only beef with VF is that the editor is OBSESSED with his hatred of Donald Trump. I’m certainly no fan of Trump (at all, at all, at all), but it’s a bit much to read two to three LONG Trump-related articles per issue. Still, I love my Vanity Fair.
LaCroix (Lemon) – $6.99 or something for a pack
Basic, basic, basic – I don’t care how unoriginal it is, I just love LaCroix sparkling water. Sadly, in my great home and native land, I only have access to four flavours at London Drugs: lemon, lime, grapefruit, and peach-pear. Lemon is by far my favourite, but occasionally I switch it up to keep things exciting. I generally guzzle one of these a day. If you aren’t already a LaCroix fanatic, I recommend giving it a try. Here’s willing they bring the more exciting flavours to Canada in 2018.
St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse ($54) and Tan Applicator Mitt ($9)
Believe you me – I never thought I’d have a fake tanner on this list. I dabbled in the world of sunless tanners back in my early university years, but the result was usually quite orange and streaky. At one sorority formal, the mad dash through the rain from limo to hotel ballroom caused me to get reverse freckles of sorts, where the raindrops melted away my tan. Not a good look.
But recently, I had a change of heart. I’d heard so much about the St. Tropez self tanner over the years and in an attempt to beat the winter blahs, I ordered a bottle along with the applicator mitt. By the way, I’m sure you could find or create an applicator mitt for like, $0.25 – the St. Tropez one works well, but seems like it could be replicated pretty inexpensively.
It took a couple of tries, but I think I’ve finally nailed a sunless tanner. Now that I’ve figured out some of the tricks, I’m able to mousse on a fake tan about once per week. No one can see it since I’m basically covered head to toe at all times, but I feel like a million bucks. Here are my tips:
- The two basic rules of fake tanner hold true: exfoliate first and apply lotion to ankles/knees/elbows
- The tanner goes on kind of green so you can see where you’ve missed a spot or where you haven’t put enough on. Pay attention – if you see a lighter green zone, fill it in or else you will get patches.
- Put it on in the morning after a shower and let it air out for a good 15 to 20 minutes. Then, put on some old leggings and a shirt. It doesn’t smell awful, but it does smell like fake tan a little bit. Go about your day and try not to get sweaty. Before bed, take a quick shower – it rinses off the outer layer of stuff (you can see the water turn dirty) and keeps your sheets clean.
It still kind of weirds me out that I dye my skin – but if you’re into it, the St. Tropez one lives up to the hype.
Boody Eco Wear Shaper Bra ($16.95)
And now, my final favourite.
I discovered Boody Eco Wear bamboo sports bras last year when I was training for my first (and only, so far) marathon. I was looking for something completely seamless, and I found it in one incredibly priced product. I’ve since bought another one and will probably buy one in white when they have it in my size at Nester’s. YUP, you can buy this at regular old Nesters (it is $18 there, if I recall correctly).
I wear it as my comfy around the house bra and I still use it sometimes on long runs. Warning: you probably won’t like this if you have a larger chest because there is not much support.
That’s it – a list of wonderful, fairly unnecessary products that have made my 2017 a little brighter, beefier, and tanner.
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