It seems every talk show host and magazine these days is using the holidays as an excuse to put together a list of their favorite things. Often you can “like” their Facebook page or enter your e-mail address in order to have the opportunity to win a gift bag of all their favorite stuff. These lists make me cringe – it’s just further evidence of society having an unquenchable thirst for material goods. The message is that this stuff will make our lives better. However “things” are usually a band-aid, a temporary fix. Having a bad day? Go buy a pair of shoes to make yourself feel better. Feeling insecure? Go buy a new pair of jeans to add to the 7 pair you already have in your closet. Feeling lonely? Go buy yourself some flowers. Wait, I like that last one…yes, definitely go buy yourself some flowers.
It’s interesting, I’ve changed so much over the past year. For 5 months I lived completely out of one very large duffel bag while I drove around the country. Each morning I grabbed what was on the top layer of the duffel bag, meaning I wore the same small rotation of clothes over and over. I took that one step further when I spent a week with my friend Beth Howard in the American Gothic House. Every day I wore a pair of overalls that I bought at the Tractor Supply Store. When I returned to LA to pack up my place to move to Texas, I was shocked when I opened the door to my closet. I had forgotten about all my nice clothes. The interesting thing is that I didn’t even miss my wardrobe when I was on the road. Now that I’ve been collecting a small paycheck again for some consulting work, I could shop a bit if I wanted to. But I don’t want to. Yes I like to dress with style, but I don’t need 30 handbags to pull that off (I’ve long struggled with a handbag fetish). I’d rather save my money for travel, creating memories that will long outlast the expensive cashmere sweaters and other material goods on which I used to spend my money.
However sometimes it’s nice to buy things…things that enrich your life but don’t cost much. I have many of these things in my life. So, I’m happy to present Kee Kee’s 5 favorite things:
1. California Baby Overtired & Cranky Spritzer – My friend Dawn gave a bottle of this to me as a moving to Texas gift last spring. She discovered it 10 years earlier when she gave birth to her son Finn, and continued to use it on herself long after he left the diapers behind. I love this spritzer and spray it on myself whenever I’m tired or irritable. As the bottle says, it really does help to divert a tantrum. Price: $10 – $15
2. NASA Mouse Pad – I bought this during one of my recent business meetings at NASA. Like the space food I wrote about, it inspires me to look at the world differently and keep living outside of the box. Price: $6.00
3. Arm Warmers – Arm warmers are quite possibly the world’s greatest invention. They keep my wrists and hands warm while allowing freedom of fingers so I can type on my keyboard. Although I’d love a cozy cashmere pair, I scored these cotton babies at Target. Price: $6.99
4. Café Du Monde Chicory Coffee – This is my favorite coffee, and the Fiesta grocery store chain in Texas carries it. Although I’d rather be drinking this at Café Du Monde in New Orleans, this is the next best thing (without the calories from overeating beignets). Price: $5.95
5. New Cowgirl Boots – Honestly, how have I survived in life without cowgirl boots? I splurged and paid way more than I should have, but given I wear these constantly, I think they were worth every penny. Price: I’m not telling…I spent too much.
What are your favorite things that enrich your life without depleting your bank account?
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