The best things to do, buy, and watch from The Good Things Lists in 2019 - what I use and love and still think about. What newest good thing will you find?
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Time flies, friends, doesn't it? 2019 is in the record books, as is a whole year of the monthly Good Things Lists. I thought it would be fun to look back, though, to examine and celebrate the truly good things - what has stayed with me, made me think, or I use often.
Actually, that is what the monthly list is always about. I usually can't wait to share the things that are making my life easier, more beautiful, or more fun. So it was sort of hard to choose just a few for this list. 'Sort of' because I think all the things I share are good (obviously, or I wouldn't share them!), but then looking back I could see some really did stand out to me.
I focused on the things that have made the biggest difference in my life - some big things, some small things - with the hope that they might answer a need in your life, too, whether that's a tip, new clothing item, something to do, or fun thing to watch.
Hopefully you've tried some things from these lists in 2019 that you've been able to add to your own "good lists!"
But wait - where are the best books from 2019? Don't worry, I've got a whole separate article planned listing these, so watch for that soon!
Best of The Good Things - 2019
This was one of the best spur-of-the-moment things we did last winter: we found a cabin in the woods on AirBnB about an hour from us and armed with two good audiobooks, a bluetooth speaker, and a couple of puzzles we spent a relaxing weekend together.
Pretty sure it's our new tradition for February. So obviously I'm recommending something like this for you, too - it was a nice mid-winter break!
When I started making a raised garden bed out of the many rocks on our property, it was mainly to fill a hole in the vegetable garden plan - and use up said rocks.
Little did I know it would become the centerpiece of the garden and be the most loved thing I've posted on Instagram (and that was only in the midst of building it!). I had no idea what I was doing and basically piled rocks on one another.
I'm happy to report the bed held up well in the year after building and grew basil, flowers, herbs, and a tomatillo this year. And it encouraged me to build other beds outside of the fenced garden with rocks, too.
Oh, why hadn't I ever thought to write down things I wanted to remember from books before?
When I initially wrote about this concept I was just using an old school notebook I already had. However, it revolutionized my nonfiction reading life so much that I had my designer daughter create the free book notes journal for us all that you see above.
Want one? It's available for all subscribers to the weekly newsletter - fill out any form on the site to subscribe and get access to the VIP Library with this and more!
Well, of course a trip like this sticks with me, right? And while this may seem unrelatable to you, there are a couple take-aways for you here I think:
- Don't be afraid to dream. We had dreamed and saved for this 30th anniversary trip for three years, so seeing it come to fruition was all the more sweet. We did it inexpensively, choosing free or inexpensive things with just a couple of "have to do" excursions. It was all about the beach for me anyway and it certainly took care of that. (You can hear/read us tell more about how we planned this trip and saved here.)
- The travel capsule wardrobe tips can help with any warm-weather trip. And the concept is good for any type of trip, as are the carry-on packing tips. In fact, I will be using them as we plan our upcoming trip to Australia to visit our daughter - yep, three weeks in a carryon!
Note: the first links under each item below are to the original Good Things List where it was mentioned if you'd like to read more. I'm also providing a buy link at the end of each description if you'd just like to go straight to where you can find it.
I seriously tell anyone I know about this - I even told my doctor so she could recommend it to others who might need it! What does this do? Within one month of taking 5-6 drops morning and night, my cracking and splitting nails were markedly improved and my thinning hair had lots of new growth sticking up from my scalp. I kid you not - I was actually shocked. Supplements don't usually work like that for me.
A year later my nails are the strongest they've been in years and my hair is great. This is also supposed to be working on my joints and bones - and seeing my nails and hair I can only think it really is. It's not that expensive, but worth every penny.
I had wanted a bed like this for years, but they always seemed so expensive. Well, no more - not only was this under $170, but Brian and I were both impressed by the quality. I love it every.single.day.
Yep, sometimes it's the little things, right? I had been through a number of cheap little shavers that always died after a few uses and didn't work that well. This shaver keeps working and does works well, removing pills on sweaters and fabric like a boss so they look new again.
I've been a little late on the packing cube train since I had my own trick for fitting more clothes in a carryon which you can see here. I tried larger cube sets and wasn't impressed. Once I learned how to pack as much as possible in small cubes, though (partially zip the cube and squish each item in), and how they can help organize your clothes during your stay, I was on board.
I won't ever travel without them again, though I still do a combo of stacking, rolling, and cubes. Why not use all the tricks, right?
I loved this modest combo so much while snorkeling in the Caribbean. I didn't need to worry about sunscreen for my back or my bum (the surprise area that can get sunburned while snorkeling) and I felt comfortable and kind of sporty.
In fact, Brian thought I looked like I was going to participate in a triathlon, ha! The clothes are about as close as I'll ever come.
This became the shirt of the summer for me (and fall, too). I don't know why I hadn't bought linen before. Uniqlo has a good selection in the spring with both excellent quality and reasonable prices. I found it so much more comfortable than my white cotton button up that I was able to send that one to the thrift store.
I love the feel of it and I learned that natural fabrics like linen and hemp absorb and release sweat quickly, whereas cotton takes longer to dry which allows odor to develop. I wore it as a cover up, as a nice shirt, and as the season shifted, under sweaters. Oh, and wrinkles? They don't bother me - I just view it as the "linen look." #linenforthewin
Click Here to Buy (this seems to be seasonal, so it's out of stock now, but I'm pretty sure they will restock for spring).
After searching for years and trying a number of different toiletry bags, this is finally the bag for me. It holds everything - even my full size hairbrushes - and when zipped, is small enough to fit neatly in my carry on. Once I'm at my destination, I can hang it or set it on the counter where it helps keep things organized.
Click Here to Buy. (And it's a great price!)
In the months since I wrote about buying this faucet for the manufactured home we're living in, Brian and I have continued to be impressed with it's heft and substance - all for under $60!
It really seems just like the $150 faucets we've seen elsewhere. I have no problem recommending this to anyone who's in the market for a new faucet.
I couldn't have a best of 2019 list without including this incredible printer ink program from HP - honestly, I still can't believe they offer this.
It's just about perfect if you're like us and have a laser printer for your main B&W printing and only need occasional color printing. We're basically getting color printing for free (or maybe $1 if there's a month I print a few more things).
So in all honesty, looking back at the watching sections of the Good Things Lists there were only a few that were like, "wow, that was good!" And it was mainly documentaries or shows based on true stories that I still think about, learned from, and am so glad I watched. In fact, only one original movie made my list.
These are the eight movies and television worth recommending again:
OJ: Made in America. I swear, no matter what form I watch this story in (this documentary or the TV drama) I simply can't believe it. What a tale for our times.
Victoria. I love history and a good English production so I've enjoyed all the seasons of this show. Hopefully they'll be adding more soon.
Long Shot. This Netflix documentary was simply amazing - how all the different things came together. And also thinking about how we can prove we were somewhere we said we were.
Greenbook. Brian and I loved this film, no matter the controversy about it after winning the Oscar. Whenever there's a movie that shows people deciding to do the right thing we will watch it and celebrate it. There's not enough of that in Hollywood.
Mrs. Wilson. I had no idea while watching that this PBS show was based on a true story. And it is unbelievable and amazing. Plus of course really well done, like Masterpiece shows usually are.
Ken Burn's Country Music Documentary. Oh, my gosh. I don't think I've ever anticipated the next episode in a documentary like I did this - I even dreamed about it (the sad story of Hank Williams...). It's a time commitment for sure, but so worth it even if you're not a big country music fan because it's a story of our country, too. But if you are a fan - wow, it answered questions I didn't even know I had.
Bombshell- The Hedy Lamarr Story. This was another kind of mind-blowing documentary - the beautiful Hollywood actress we've seen in movies (and made fun of by Carol Burnett for one role) actually helped create the technology we use today in cell phones. And it wasn't ever really acknowledged. Hedy's life was sort of sad, but this is amazing and I'm so glad the story's come to light.
Yesterday. The one "actual" movie that made my list, but this wasn't only a fun movie - it really made us think about the world and things we just take for granted. The concept was new and interesting and the character portrayal's spot on. Good clean fun - and of course great music.
That's it for this addition of the Good Things List - Best of 2019! I'd love to know what you think and if you've tried any of these or what you'd recommend. Leave a comment below with your thoughts!
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