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Patti's Favorite Things List for 2010

Oprah has her favorite things list and I have my top ten, this year top 15 list of my favorite things for 2010. I just love the products. The products are fun, and some would make great little inexpensive stocking stuffers. The criteria forthe list is that I had to discover the product in 2010 and recommend it toa friend or family member who agreed it was wonderful. Check out the blog for past years lists. I don’t get kickbacks from the companies. I would love to help you find the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for your family or friends. There are some great gift ideas for your business clients as well.

  • The Iphone 4 Google APP -I discovered this App at a party. We were having a hot and heavy discussion about world hunger that somehow morphed into a debate on the actor TimothyHutton’s real age. A friend pulled out his Iphone and hit a big blue G icon. It is the amazingly quick and accurate Voice Recognition Google App for the Google search engine. My friend said into the phone the phrase, “Timothy Hutton’s age.” and the websites with Hutton’s age came up immediately. I went and got a cell phone and ordered the App the next week. I use the App every day. It solves that memory burp, tip of the tongue, or I am right and you’re wrong discussion problem. It also helps you find the best coffee shop, book store or Sushi bar nearest to you when you’re traveling.
  • The Week - The weekly news magazine and online news source. This magazine makes me feel brilliant, insightful and informed. Well, at leastI feel that way the first few hours after I read it! For years I read this magazine whenever I was over at my friend Judith’s house. Last year she gave me a subscriptionfor Christmas. I love it. It is designed like the original version of Time magazine. It takes the weeks hot news topics and quotes several publication’s views and facts all in one article. So say you are reading an article on North Korea. They will quote The New York Times, The Republic, The Washington Post and the Huntington Post within the piece. You have several viewpoints. It is so illuminating. You start reading a piece and you form an opinion then by the time you’re finished reading all the quotes you often have a broader and less biased perspective on the issue. They also have a weekly recipe and Top TV show and or movie recommendations to watch. I had a fun moment this year when my favorite magazine quoted me! What a kick. My other favorite is Bloomberg BusinessWeek. I love the new incarnation of BuisnessWeek. It is smart and sassy. Though I will admit I am biased as they started quoting me for their fun articles on body language. Check out the articles online they range from Elevator body language, to body language at Starbucks and the waiting area at Airports.
  • Pinks Greatest Hits album - Actually, just one song. It is the best rock out, car dancing, hand in the air, singing at the top of your lungs song. It is called, “Raise Your Glass.” I haven’t loved a song and played a song over and over like this in years. I heard it once and had to go to three stores to find it. The song is the beat of my drives and the song that rocks my house cleaning. Again. I have not had a song singing in my head like this for years. In fact, the last song that made me rock out like this was Sheryl Crowe’s, “Winding Road.” Here is the only caveat. It has profanity in it. I wish I could change a few lyrics, but the beat is awesome. Ben, who is the parking attendant at my Thursday night Meeting of the Minds restaurant, laughed when he saw me pull in with the windows down and singing this song at the top of my lungs. He has known me for years. He said he didn’t figure me for a Pink fan. I didn’t either, but I am hooked on that song. Her rendition on the album of the 80’s tune, “I’mComing Out” Is groovy too. I got the album at Borders. Do know that when I did a body language piece for Billboard this year that I said my favorite album was the soundtrack from the Jeff Bridges movie CRAZY HEART now I am rocking to a different beat!
  • Eddy’s Peppermint Ice Cream- Only out in stores in December this ice cream is smooth and creamy with little crunches of peppermint sticks. The perfect holiday dessert when you are too tired from shopping and decorating and wrapping presents to want to do more than open the carton and dish out the yum. You need to have company in the house when you serve it, or you may be tempted to eat the whole carton. It is low in calories!
  • SmartWool Socks - They are soft and warm and they don’t shrink or itch. I have a long description of these magic socks at the end of this list. Let me just say, that for the first time I can remember my feet are comfy and truly warm on my daily walks. I had no idea that great, environmentally friendly socks could make such a difference. And they come in snazzy prints and colors. They cost the moon, but it is so worth it. I buy them in a three pack at my discount shoe store.
  • Kate and Cassie Pinot Grigio- Most of my friends and family who drink wine like a Pinot Grigio. I love the crisp pear taste in this wine and you can get it when you’re buying the cereal I mention below as they sell this fresh summer wine at Target.
  • Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Counter Top Spray in Lavender - I love this stuff. It smells so fresh and clean. I use it every day and spray down the counters just before company comes over so the house smells good.
  • Target Archer Farms Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti Granola Cereal- It is delicious. Basically it is cookies and milk for breakfast. Though I have it for a meal. In fact, it is one of my favorite late night dinners when I come home from a long trip. You buy it the food section at Target.
  • Essen Hand Soap in the Big Brown Pump Bottle - I love all the scents. In the kitchen I use the Citrus Ginger scented soap and in the bathrooms I have mint.
  • Now Solutions Grape Seed Oil - My friend Pat had been using Olive Oil on her face for a year and her skin was clear and moist and she looked incredible so I started using it. Then she told me that the grape seed oil was even better as it didn't have any odor. There are no chemicals or preservatives, just the oil. You can find it in any health food store. I put a few drops on my face and hands at night and a few drops on my face over my suntan lotion before my daily walk.
  • I have had problems with frizzy dry hair for years. Then I discovered Peter Coppola Fascino OliveOil Shampoo and Conditioner. It leaves my hair so silky. It is hard to find in stores, but you can get in online.
  • Asqith & Somerset Grapefruit Sugarcane Exfoliating Sugar Scrub - I am not a fan of flowery bath stuff. I love a clean citrus scent. This leaves your skin soft. You do have to scrub the tub down after you use it as it has oil in the mixture that makes the tub slick.
  • Eucerin Dry Skin Therapy Calming Cream - I keep this in my purse in the winter. You can get it at Target or CVS.
  • Aquarphor Healing Ointment - It comes in a little tiny white tube. I put it on my lips to keep them plump and moist, though that is not listed as a use for the product. You can get this at Target or CVS.
  • Keratin Complex -It is an expensive, wonderful smelling hair cuticle smoothing luxury for your hair. You put it on after you partially dry your hair. I wish it came in a travel size. You can find it at Ultra Cosmetics. But you may want to wait till they have a coupon discount for the store as it is pricey.

SmartWood socks.

  • If you have done any research at all on outdoor clothing, especially under garments and socks, there is no doubt you are familiar with, or have at least heard of the name brand, Smart Wool. If not, it’s time for you to get in the loop and on the band wagon!
  • SmartWool is not only a clever name – though it is that as it perfectly and succinctly describes the product itself – but it is a brilliant product itself. It does a marvelous job of blending the best of what nature has to offer with technology and humanity to produce the absolute finest material you could ever hope to wear against your skin whether your outdoor endeavors are modest, extreme, blazing hot, icy cold or anywhere in between any of those points. It works incredibly well in all conditions consistently delivering top performance in a single, versatile product. And on top of all that performance… SmartWool clothing is unbelievably comfortable to wear! Nothing whatsoever like the itchy, smelly wool you may remember from years gone by.
  • SmartWool gets their base supply of top quality merino wool from wool growers in New Zealand. Not only are these wool growers (sheep herders? not sure what to call them) among the best in the world, but they abide by strict ethical, humanitarian standards in the manner in which they raise and manage their sheep. Not only that, but they adhere to a system that allows for tracking back of all materials to ensure that all products really do come from where they claim.
  • On top of the high praise just outlined, SmartWool also utilizes a unique manufacturing process that removes all the negative aspects that might be associated with wool, such as itchy-ness or the tendency to shrink. With all the effort they put into their product, knowing all the effort you will be putting forth when you wear them, you will be pleased to find yourself as happy and comfortable in your SmartWool gear at the end of your day as you are slipping into it at the very start. But all this cozy comfort is only the beginning of the wondrous aspects of this material.
  • The true miracle that is SmartWool lies in the performance of their garments.
  • The first thing to know about it is that it is a natural fiber; the merino wool that acts as a protective coat for the sheep who spend their lives between cold mountain highlands and warm southern summers in New Zealand. Their wool coats naturally keep them comfortably warm in the cold winter and comfortably cool in the warm summer months. By using the wool for clothing, people can experience the same wonderful insulating properties these sheep have developed over thousands of years.
  • The reason that this merino wool works so wonderfully well as insulation is because each fiber is made up of thousands of incredibly small pockets of air which act just like the insulation you have in the walls of your house. They act as a blanket or buffer zone between the hot or cold outside and the ideal temperature you want inside.
  • Just like your home helps keep you cool in the summer time and warm in the winter, these fibers will naturally regulate your body temperature, keeping you cool when it’s hot out and warm when it’s cool (or cold) out. They also just happen to be able to wick moisture away from your body faster than any other material you could find on earth. This means your skin stays comfortably dry longer, which is critical in cold weather. Having moist skin in freezing temperatures is a recipe for disaster. Also, unlike other man made materials designed for wicking moisture, SmartWool is able to transfer moisture (perspiration) while it’s still in a vapor state rather than needing to wait for it to convert into actual drops of liquid. What this does for you in hot weather is act like a kind of small air conditioner right next to your skin, radiating your body heat out and away from your body and keeping you more comfortably cool. So if you think “wool” is only for winter, think again about “Smart Wool“!  For many serious outdoorsmen and women, it is #1 choice when it comes to thermal socks.