Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.
Brown paper packages tied up with string…

These are a few of my favorite things!

In the future I can say “time for the annual review of my favorite gear and lifestyle items” but this is the first one!! I am excited to give some short reviews of my favorite things of 2017 – without these I don’t know how I would have gotten through!

fullsizeoutput_5505.jpegRice Packs / (basically) free!
I sleep with these puppies every night. If I’m particularly cold, I will put one down at my feet and quite literally shove the other one up my shirt. They are, in a way, my security blankets. In the spring while I was writing my thesis and spending long hours in my cold office on campus, it was my rice pack that got me through! They are also SUPER easy to make. Just sew two pieces of fabric together and then three columns and fill with rice! Then just sew off the top.

fullsizeoutput_5476Queen’s Jubilee Black Tea / (Gifted from a great friend that seriously knows me too well) I’ve had this tea since Spring. My friend visited london and brought it back for me. I love the British and am particularly fond of the Queen. I think Her Majesty is an incredible woman that has accomplished so much within her position. The tea itself is delicious. I thought this was all that I had so I have been savoring it all this time. Then I found Buckingham Palace sells all sorts of goodies and this is on there, but is currently sold out. The back reads;

“To celebrate the
ninetieth birthday
of Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II
21st April
2016
Buckingham Palace”

fullsizeoutput_548fHydroflask 16 oz Coffee / $24.95
So now that it is established I love tea, I needed something to keep it warm. Hydroflask saves the day and keeps my tea hot for most of the day and warm for all of it. With how much I love tea, the vessel that carries it was obviously going to be on my favorite’s list.

fullsizeoutput_54adGrateful Dead Chacos / $130
Right before I started writing my thesis for my undergraduate research, I discovered the Grateful Dead. I had heard of the group before but based on their skull logo and name I honestly believed them to be some metal screamer band (if you listen to music like that that’s great, just not my cup of tea). After I heard the Dead for the first time (thank you Brianna Madia) I listened to them every single moment I was writing. Upon finishing my thesis and graduating, I bought these chacos as a gift to myself and wore them on graduate day. fullsizeoutput_54af

fullsizeoutput_54ddBlundstone Boots / $174.95
I have been wanting these boots for over three years. My mother finally got them for me for Christmas (I was supposed to wrap them up and put them back under the tree) but since the day I got them I haven’t really taken them off. They are my perfect everyday boot/shoe. They were also surprisingly the most comfortable shoe to grace my foot. (Also check out that Darn Tough sock peaking through – they are my favorite socks!)

fullsizeoutput_54caPatagonia Off Country Turtleneck / $99
I have been looking for that perfect oversized turtleneck sweater for years. I finally found this gem at an outdoor shop in Charlottesville and knew at once it was what I have been looking for. It is warmer than I thought it would be and extremely comfortable.

fullsizeoutput_54a6Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket / $99-$199
I could probably, and I will eventually, write an entire blog post about my love affair with Rumpl. I first bought a 2-person blanket for my bedroom and I now use that as a comforter. Even though it is relatively lightweight, it is still incredibly warm and comfortable. I then got this blue throw because of the size. It is the perfect blanket to adventure with – whether you’re hitting the trail hiking, or going on a road trip. I also asked for the new sherpa blanket for Christmas…yes I know I have a blanket problem. But blankets in general are my #1 favorite thing during the colder seasons. And just around the house in general. fullsizeoutput_5498

fullsizeoutput_54deDeuter ACT Lite 60+10 SL Trekking Backpack / $209 (I got it discounted – gotta wait for those sales!) I have been looking and waiting a very long time to find the right trekking pack. I tried on so many packs and the moment I strapped this one on I knew it was perfect. I waited for months to get it on sale at REI. I’ve taken it on two trips so far and it was wonderful on both. My old pack gave me bruises on my hips and shoulders and didn’t fit my body correctly. Deuter makes packs that are crazy adjustable so I was able to fit this to my body perfectly.

fullsizeoutput_54b5Patagonia Atom Sling 8 L / $59
I got this sling to replace an old purse that finally gave out and I don’t think I’ll ever want anything else! Okay maybe I’ll want something a little less technical for some occasions but this is now my go-to bag for all everyday activities.

fullsizeoutput_5316Lunette Cup / $40
I already wrote a whole post with information about the Lunette Cup – you can find it here. My cup makes the list because it has revolutionized my periods. I can honestly say I even look forward to them because it blows my mind how easy they are to handle now. And it actually makes me super happy when something so simple makes your life so much easier.fullsizeoutput_5315Patagonia Insulated Prairie Dawn Parka / $249
I got this jacket before flying to Purdue in the dead of January to do lab work for research. It got down to 0°F but I stayed warm in this parka. It is my favorite non-technical winter jacket!
fullsizeoutput_54c4


Arrival Soundtrack / $11.49
This soundtrack has been my go-to music while working. The movie is also incredible and probably in my top 10 favorite movies / best I’ve ever seen. You can get the album at amazon (click on the picture); it is also on Spotify.


Lab Girl / $9.93
I read this book as part of a book club here in Snohomish. As a fellow scientist, reading this book was incredibly enlightening and inspiring. Dr. Jahren is a truly great scientist and this book keeps it beautifully “real”. Pursuing a career in academia as a researcher and professor is very difficult. Doing so as a women in a male-dominated field is even more so. And then again, doing so as someone with initially controversial research will feel impossible at times. Hope does a fantastic job with this book and I highly recommend it to everyone. You don’t have to be a scientist. In fact, if you aren’t, I encourage you to read it even more! She does a beautiful job writing about the beauty of science.


You Are a Badass / $6.77
I will leave you with the end of the introduction – “You need to go from wanting to change your life to deciding to change your life: wanting can be done sitting on the couch with a bong in your hand and a travel magazine in your lap. Deciding means jumping in all the way, doing whatever it takes, and going after your dreams with the tenacity of a dateless cheerleader a week before prom night.”


Kindle / $199.99
I do a lot of reading on my kindle – pretty much every night. At first I was super against electronic books. I love the feel of a book in my hand and the smell of ink on paper. I was a hold out on e-readers for a very long time. When I spent a month in Germany a few years ago, I realized it wasn’t really possible to bring all the books I wanted on the trip. I read The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers while traveling in France and it was incredible to go see the places that were discussed in the books while I was reading them. When it comes to traveling, I think my kindle is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. This is a super awesome purchase if you are a traveler, or have a loved one that is a traveler!

Note: This post contains some affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission from your purchases at no additional cost to you. This will help keep my blog ad-free, full of meaningful content, and makes many of my adventures possible! Thank you for your support!

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