My Top 10 Favorite Things – Part 1

Oprah isn’t the only one that has a list of favorite things (though that is one of my favorite things). My goal on this week’s blog is to share things that help me to enjoy the little things in life. Maybe you will find inspiration in one of my favorite things to make your day better. Some of these things are my “finds” (Oh, how I do love to find a bargain) and others are things that just make us feel good.

1. Amazon Prime – I’m sure you all know Amazon is conveniently a one-stop shopping place. The inconvenience is when you get to the shipping and          handling portion, but when you’re a member of Amazon Prime you will be offered free 2 day shipping! Although there is a nominal annual fee, it sure beats shipping costs these days. I quite often will be shopping somewhere, or surfing the web, only to find that Amazon prime has what I need for a less expensive price, and I don’t have to pay for shipping!

2. Cooking Light Magazine– I mostly cook at home. It is important for me to feed my family a well-balanced nutritious meal but I get bored of my easy “go to” meals. To keep it interesting and get the kids involved, I started having them pick 1 new recipe a week to try out. The reason I love the cooking light magazine recipes is that they are not filled with a whole bunch of fat and unwanted calories. Most of the recipes are simple and don’t require too many ingredients. Like I stated earlier, I’m a cook not a chef, so if it isn’t simple, I’m not doing it. Did I mention busy mom?

3. Dancing to a Beautiful Waltz Song – there is nothing more relaxing and fulfilling than a beautiful piece of music. If you come into the studio tense and stressed, nothing will change your mind-set better than putting on a beautiful melodic Waltz. Before you start moving, put on a song, quiet your mind, breathe, and listen to the music, then begin dancing. I guarantee, 10 minutes later you will be a completely different person! This is my version of “Calgon, take me away!”

4. Oprah’s Favorite Things – When Oprah was on primetime television, her Christmas time Favorite Things was something I never missed. And although that show has ended, we don’t have to completely miss out. In her O Magazine she still has a section of new and cool items.

5. Downloading Free TV Episodes – When I travel, for work or pleasure, I find myself searching for some form of entertainment. You never know these days if there are going to be movies on the plane so I always come prepared. There are free full-length TV episodes I can download ahead of time on my iPad. The best part being, they are normally new shows and pilots. Fine by me! That’s how I found Scandal, one of my favorite shows!

6. Chunky Necklaces – a chunky, sparkly necklace can take an outfit from drab to fab! They’re great for the competition floor, but are also great for day to day! My motto: Go big or go home!

7. Arthur Murray Studio Locator – Everywhere you go, your Arthur Murray studio can follow you. Arthur Murray has 270 locations spanning 25 countries. Log into arthurmurray.com, select “find locations” and put in the zip code where you will be traveling. This is like having a dance travel agent at your disposal. You can call the local studio and find out the great places to dance in the local area. I am always so curious to see experienced studios across the country. Whenever I’m in the vicinity, I want to pop in and have a visit. As a current student at an Arthur Murray, you can pre-plan to take a group, or attend their student party. Just tell your home studio ahead of time and they can take care of the rest! Awesome!

8. The Movie of the Week – iTunes features a movie of the week where you can rent it for $.99! The only problem is that it takes forever to download. I just watched a great movie while traveling to the Arthur Murray Training seminar this past week! There are no guarantees it’s going to be great but I’d rather spend $.99 for a bad movie than $5.99!

9. Being Outdoors – even though most of my Career is spent indoors dancing (which is awesome), everyone needs some sunshine. I like to get outside and get some vitamin D whenever I can. When time is short (which it normally is), I’ll skip the gym and opt for a hike around the hills, close to my home. I get a quick break, exercise, sunshine, and enjoy the scenery. The other thing I do whenever possible is choose outdoor seating at a restaurant. It makes me feel for a short moment, like I’m on vacation! It only takes 15 minutes of sunshine to receive the benefits!

10. Learning Something New – it is so important to keep yourself fresh by doing challenging and new things. When I have a new adult professional student start at the studio, I always ask – “When is the last time you learned something new?” Most of them are stumped and can’t remember the last time they did. Do you remember the commercial “Same place, same thing, same place, same thing…” That is my worst nightmare! That is probably what attracts me to ballroom dancing. Even if you do it everyday, you are always learning something new and challenging yourself.

I hope that you will find these things as useful as I do. Remember, as long as we utilize our favorite resources, life can be fun and convenient. Are any of your favorite things on my list? Comment and share with me the things you love most.

Don’t forget to look for my blog next week. I’ll be listing the 2nd half of my favorite things list.

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