My Favorite Things: Author’s Edition
This weekend over casual conversation with my husband, the subject of “favorite things” came up. Inspired by this topic and Oprah’s Favorite Things list (a nice ah ha! blogger moment), I’ve complied My Favorite Things: Author’s Edition.
To most effectively set the scene for this list, I’d highly suggest the ambiance of Mad Men Suite Pandora playlist.
10. Let’s start with number ten, shall we? Not much beats a quiet night watching an entertaining film with two of my favorite animals, Kira + Ellie. These two calico drama queens keep our life interesting and most of the time feeling like Brice and I run a zoo. So, getting these two high-energy felines to settle down and sleep is a rewarding feeling.
9. Who doesn’t love a nice, warm pair of fun socks? In the winter, having a colorful pair of socks to show off under your Frye boots is something to smile about in chilly weather. I don’t mind if they have cats on them either.
8. Yankee Candle Co. Balsam and Cedar is an olfactory memory of spending cold, snowy winters in my Iowa family farm surrounded by family and close friends. It pairs so perfectly with a cooking dinner in the oven and Norwegian sweaters worn all around, it makes the list as my eighth favorite thing.
7. My seventh favorite thing is fittingly 007, James Bond. Even back to the Sean Connery days, the series is always action-packed and imaginative. Imagining what it would be like to drive around in an Aston Martin and always getting the bad guys provides a no-fail evening of entertainment. And yes, my favorite Bond is Daniel Craig. Connery is also great in Diamonds are Forever.
6. Leaves exploding in a multitude of colors, apple cider, and hay rides. The ambiance of a Minnesota apple orchard is absent from the California Bay Area and therefore truly missed in the fall by this Minnesotan. This tradition makes the list at number six. Strolling the Aamondt’s Apple Farm in my hometown, Stillwater, Minnesota is such a unique and comforting experience. Picking your apple treats from the endless selection of everything from apple butter to apple oatmeal cookies is the hardest part.
5. Using my ‘passion for fashion’ to style real looks for real people to help them feel their best. My philosophy is: own a few high-quality timeless pieces and plug in trendy items that are more reasonably priced to create wardrobe longevity. It’s incredibly rewarding to work with someone updating their wardrobe and guide them in finding their unique style resulting in even more style confidence. Working with my Rings and Redwoods | chloe + isabel Boutique is a fantastic outlet for this talent.
4. Which leads me to my next item- An integral part of any wardrobe is a well-fitting, timeless cardigan. Words barely describe my love for a longer-fitting cardigan with elegant details. My close friends have described me as “gam gam” for wearing this fashion item on a night out. Yes, I keep it classy at the nightclub with a nice button up cardigan at times. No shame!
3. Successfully completing a very challenging project and seeing the results of my work. Easily top three for me, since I am incredibly goal oriented and love being able to use metrics to see if a project was successful, or what can make it so the next time around. Spearheading something incredibly difficult and utilizing fresh, innovative strategies is a skill I love to use professionally. When the project is successful, it’s just icing on the cake. So, who has a challenging project that needs a leader? I’m there.
2. Prairie Home Companion (PHC) with Garrison Keillor is almost a tie for first. I can remember going to the historic Fitzgerald Theater and seeing PHC when I was young, and that passion for storytelling and great music carries through today. Garrison has a very unique way of bringing you into his narrative- you feel as if you might be having a conversation. While being away from my roots in Minnesota, I can close my eyes while listening to him on Saturday nights and can almost smell the damp forest of the north.
1. My very favorite thing is simple: enjoying a fantastic dinner with friends and family surrounded by a gorgeous view of nature. Long, leisurely conversations about everything from past vacations to a recent grocery store visit snafu over multiple courses of expertly prepared cuisine. I feel incredibly lucky to have fantastic family and friends and I love nothing more than enjoying their company with incredible views. A home cooked/grilled meal on a deck overlooking a freshly mowed lawn in the Midwest summer also falls into this category.
Which leads me to list a few of my favorite experiences. One of my top restaurants to dine and discuss the latest is George’s, an eatery atop the cliffs overlooking the Pacific in La Jolla, California. Another is the Dock Cafe in Stillwater, Minnesota overlooking the St. Croix river. Lastly, the Radisson in Nice, France was a fantastic memory. One of the last nights of a family trip, we enjoyed a 5-hour dinner over looking the Mediterranean and southern France mountain range. Spending quality time with the people you cherish is the foundation of a happy life and to top that with excellent fare- perfection.