How do you feel about trying new things? Personally, I hate it about 97% of the time, but when something new does work out, it's like "how did I ever live without this?!" with a choir of angels singing in the background. The following were those items, groups, and methods for me in 2015. :D
Camera tripod: While it's super helpful to have a human behind the camera, telling you where to stand and how to position yourself (and letting you know if you're barely in the frame, haha!), having a tripod is AWESOME. I love being able to just set it up and take pics whenever I want. Sure, there's a lot of misfires... and accidental scenic shots when Pops interrupts me, but it's a fantastic option to have in the ol' blogging arsenal. I linked to the exact tripod I have (although mine is red, randomly!), which is lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to set up.
Blogilates water bottle: I'm really bad at drinking enough water in a day. I like water, and it's the main thing I drink, but it takes me forever to finish any drink, water included. Enter the Blogilates bottle with its timer on the side. I'm still not getting enough water, but now I can't totally ignore it! In fact, seeing just how little I've drunk during the day (thanks to the timer) often motivates me to drink more water than I would otherwise!
Target watch: This is for my fellow tiny-wristed girls out there! Finding inexpensive and cute watches that actually fit me out of the box is almost impossible. (Do I own a leather punch so I can add more holes to a watch band? No, not at all...) So I fully expected this one from Target to be ill-fitting, look clunky on me, and get dirty easily (being white and all). I'm happy to report that I have had none of these problems! There is space in between the woven part of the band, so I simply use that as extra holes to customize my fit. Perfection! (See below for an illustration of that sentence that otherwise makes no sense LOL)
Exposure therapy: Full disclosure: exposure therapy is one of the most terrifying and rewarding things I've ever done in my life. The results speak for themselves: I went from not driving in two years (not even around the block) to driving 45 minutes on two highways to work regularly. And driving alone, something I hadn't done in roughly five years. As a stubborn person who was absolutely petrified of getting behind the wheel, I'm still a bit in shock that exposure therapy produced such extreme change... but I guess big change is possible when you finally face your fears. I'm incredibly grateful that my therapist pushed me to do it and so proud of myself for accepting the challenge. I would highly recommend exposure therapy to anyone with a major fear/avoidance issue around something, like I had with driving. You can read more about my experience (as it was happening!) here, and I linked to the program I used (at UPenn), if you want more info about it.
H54F link-up: I think I first stumbled on H54F because I fell in love with Katie's blog. And then I found out that she ran this weekly link-up. I had A LOT of reservations about joining in--like, why would people care about the random little things going on in my life? But I pushed through those anxieties and am so glad I did. I've made so many friends from H54F (Tif, Ashley, and Nicole, to name a few!), and writing my H54F posts is so much fun! Plus, it's become like a weekly gratitude practice for me. Even in weeks that are less than awesome, it's usually not too hard to come up with five good things that happened!
Bullet journaling: One of my friends from grad school, who's also a blogger (hi Kel!), posted about Bullet Journaling last summer, and the concept blew my mind. While I haven't embraced all aspects of the bujo process, writing down all my tasks for the day, and especially breaking down a task into all its smaller ones has been tremendously helpful in keeping me focused, organized, and less stressed. I honestly don't know how I kept anything straight before adopting my bujo-esque process!
Battery Buddy: As you saw in my Day in the Life post, I spend a lot of time of public transportation. Having a back-up battery for my phone, ESPECIALLY one that I don't have to charge constantly (because I never remember to do it), is clutch. Bonus that this one is super cute! It can give your phone five full charges before needing to be charged itself, AND it can charge two phones at once! Dream.come.true.
DevaCurl Heaven in Hair: I have super thick, coarse hair, and this product actually makes it feel SOFT, which is a miracle. It works amazingly, even if I put it on a minute before getting in the shower. (This is fantastic since I'm the worst at remembering to shower pre-game with masks and deep-conditioners.) Mind=blown.
White board: I got the idea for a white board while at the Hay House Writers' Conference last March. Maybe one of the speakers directly suggested it, I don't know. What I do know is that I ordered one from Amazon in the middle of someone's talk at the conference! (Oops.) I'm a visual person who needs reminders in her face all the time, so adding a white board to my bedroom has been hugely helpful. I write my weekly tasks on there (mainly upcoming posts and appointments), as well as my monthly goals. (This has been a total game changer in terms of getting shit done!) It's also a great spot for inspirational quotes.
What are your favorite things you've bought or started using in 2015?! Fill me in--I love to hear about what other people love!