Top Ten + 1

So, I’m stealing this list idea from MaryBeth. I just got such a kick out of her list that I felt compelled to try one of my own. As I closed my eyes and brainstormed those things I have come to love, I suddenly became embarrassed. They pale in comparison to MB’s earthy, environmentally friendly, organic, easy-going list. I mean, dang, her list makes you really feel like she has her priorities straight. She’s “centered”!

I scanned my preliminary list and felt like I had to take a red pen to it for editing. But then, I sat back in my chair, shushed the critics in my head, and breathed deep (probably not as deep as MB can breathe)…

This is MY list. It’s me. The good, the bad, and the chocoholic. At my core, I’m a wannabe: vegetarian/stay at home mama/yogi who recycles, craves a healthy snack over In-n-Out Burger and can bust out in a graceful, balanced Tree pose in the middle of high-stress day. Folks, seriously, I have a ways to go…

In the meantime, read my list. Go ahead. It’s the best I could do and well, reflects me at the moment:

1. Lansinoh nursing pads. These soft little circles of wonder have never let me down, never leaked, and never shown through my clothes. I go through them like crazy.

2. “O Organics” orange juice (Safeway’s line of organic products). Like fresh-squeezed OJ for us lazy people. Just OJ and nothing else. No water, no additives. Savor the yumminess. I’m addicted.

3. If you know me, you know I’m a dark chocolate freak. I didn’t stumble upon this realization until I was about 10 years old. During Christmas, my step-mom always placed a bowl of those miniature Hershey’s chocolates on the coffee table. I would pick through and eat the Krackle’s and plain chocolates and leave the strange looking ones marked “Dark”. One day, the only one left were the dark chocolate and, in a pinch, I tried it. I was hooked. I now don’t go a single day without my intake of dark chocolate. I was terribly thrilled when reports of the health benefits of dark chocolate began to emerge a few years ago. I felt like a pioneer. My absolute favorite is a Milky Way Midnight candy bar. Goes down like butta’ and satisfies every craving. Jason buys one for me for every birthday and V-day and anytime I’m feeling down. It was one of the very first things I craved before I found out I was a teensy bit pregnant. I’m always so shocked that dark chocolate lover’s haven’t ever tried Milky Way Midnight bars…they don’t taste at all like regular Milky Way’s.

4. Max Factor pancake makeup. I discovered this makeup a few years ago and it’s become one of the few products I am loyal to. Applied with a wet sponge, you gotta work fast with it. But, the finish is matte and flawless and lasts all day (and night).

5. CD’s: Wicked, the Broadway musical an Jennifer Berezean’s “Returning” album. The music of Wicked is powerful and raw. The story is stunning and sad. I pump up the volume and belt out the songs on my way to work.

Jennifer Berezean’s “Returning” is an album that my midwife recommended while I was pregnant. I listened to it religiously every day to and from work while Kaia grew inside me. I knew I would have it playing during my labor, so I wanted Kaia to get used to the soothing, mystical, meditative chant. While driving, it would set a peaceful tone of hope and gratitude that lasted the entire day. Indeed, it was on “repeat” during my entire labor process. To this day, listening to the album puts me right back into those moments of pure love and creates a sacred space for me to focus and relax.

6. Whole Wheat flour. My excuse for baking chocolate chip cookies and calling them “healthy”!

7. Naartjie baby apparel. Made of natural fabrics, these are comfy, garment dyed clothes that are fashionable and affordable. Plus, the name is fun to say and the store isn’t full of just pink stuff for girls. And the outlet store is here in Anthem!

8. Bath and Body Works Pure Simplicity Restorative Body Cream in Cocoa. Smells yummy, applies smooth and silky, and lasts all day.

9. Books: my David Whyte and Billy Collins poetry collection. “The VBAC Experience” by Lynn Baptisti Richards. My friend Jeanette loaned me this autographed copy of Lynn’s book and I’ve been engrossed in its empowering, honest birth stories ever since (J – I’m almost done!)

10. My girly, crunchy, earthy, birthy, mama writing buddies. Really, I’m not just saying this because MB happened to include the same on her list. They’ve become my “hobby”. They inspire me to continue writing, sharing my experiences, my flaws, my insights. They have been with me along my journey, nodding, laying their hands upon my head with love, holding me in their hearts. They are talented beyond belief and really, really help me become a better, more educated person. They are fab.

11. My Two Lips black stillettos adorned with petite little flowers in blue, magenta, and green near the toe. They go with everything – jeans or a suit – and make me feel flirtatious and sexy any time I wear them. And they always get compliments. AND I paid under $20 for them at Ross. ‘Nuff said.

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