36 Hours. This series is phenomenal. Barbara Ireland, once a travel editor for The New York Times, chronicles the best way to spend long weekends (hence the title 36 Hours) in various cities around the globe. As a plus, they make for lovely decor and are beautifully illustrated. There are several volumes, including Asia & Oceania, Latin America & The Caribbean, and Europe. However, as long weekends in the USA & Canada are most practical for me given my locale, that is the volume that I started with. I’m hooked and can’t wait to collect them all.
Meyer Lemons. Oh, Meyer lemon season. How I love thee. If you use fresh lemon juice regularly and haven’t acquainted yourself with Meyer lemons, do it. Now. Native to China, this delectable fruit is thought to be a cross between regular lemons and mandarin oranges. As such, they are more sweet and juicy than your typical lemon. Meyer lemon season spans from December to May, so be sure to try them while you can. They’re perfect for adding some flair to salad dressings, cocktails, and hot tea. But really, the options are endless. I’m thinking that Meyer lemon dessert bars are in my future.
Serial. If you haven’t heard about Serial, download and listen immediately. If you’ve heard about Serial and are resistant to the idea of a podcast (as I once was), download and listen immediately. I’m convinced that Serial has forever changed the world of podcasting. It’s compelling from start to finish, and so much so that listening without having an accompanying visual becomes more than tolerable. I listened over three days – on the bus, while running errands, as I was falling asleep at night. I couldn’t get enough. It’s free to download on iTunes and free to stream on serialpodcast.org. I’m already stoked for Season 2, set to air by the end of 2015.
Mongo Kiss Lip Balm. Thank goodness I found this visual so that I don’t need to type out the countless ways in which this lip balm is superiorly made. In addition to being organic, fair trade, etc., with ingredients like cocoa butter and mongongo oil, it works – even amidst harsh winter weather. The best part: it can be purchased for a mere $1.99 at Whole Foods.
Spotify Premium. You’re probably thinking, “Duh. Everyone’s heard of Spotify by now.” And I get that. But for me, Spotify Premium has been a game changer. I used to agonize over keeping my iTunes library up-to-date and organized. Furthermore, when it got to the point that I had to start deleting albums from my devices due to lack of space, it was straight up frustrating. I started building my music library in 9th grade and was suddenly forced to kiss part of my collection goodbye. It was rough. Luckily, my cousin Mike, a fellow music junkie, talked some sense into me and convinced me to make the switch to Spotify premium. Leaving only my absolute favorite albums behind, the majority of my iTunes library was trashed. While it was gut-wrenching, I simply followed the artists on Spotify as I deleted them on iTunes. Now I can stream and download nearly everything I want to on a whim without having to deal with the stress of not having enough space on my devices. Totes worth the extra $9.99 per month.