Reflections - January 10, 2024

These Were My 2023 Game-Changers

I recently saw a blog post where someone recapped the biggest game-changers for them from the past year. These weren’t the biggest trends or even the best selling products. They were the items (or activities) that made an impact for them in 2023. So, I thought I’d share my 2023 game-changers with you.

PS – I promise my kids were happy in the photo above. This photo was just taken mid stroll lol.

brighton butler double stroller in aspen

Zoe Double Stroller

The Zoe stroller tops my game-changer list for 2023. I don’t really have anything else to compare the Zoe double stroller to except the UPPABaby Vista 2 (I reviewed it here). I love this one so much more! The UPPA stroller is wonderful as a single, but I found it to be way too heavy and hard to maneuver in and out of my car as a double. Plus, my kids love being side-by-side. This one is lightweight and easy to collapse/open. As you can see, we even took it to Aspen recently. We’ve loved it this year!

My Heated Blanket

How did I forget how wonderful these are? I use mine even in the summer because I love it so much. It brings me so much comfort while I’m doing admin/computer tasks and working. Also, I live in Texas and am a total wimp about cold weather so this blanket keeps me warm and toasty during the winter.

Back to the Gospel by Peter Louis

If you’re looking for a way to better understand the Gospel, this book will help. Even though I read my Bible constantly, I still felt like I was struggling to really understand the message of the Gospel. Honestly, I have SO much to say about this book, but I’m just going to leave it at…it changed my walk. It changed the way I see everything. I’m obsessed with it and still read parts of it all the time.

Getting In Bed When My Kids Do

I can’t do this every night, but I’ve gotten into a pretty consistent rhythm of going to bed when my kids do. It’s been so wonderful, especially since my kids sometimes wake up really early. I really like feeling rested and ready for them. I don’t always go to sleep right when I get in bed, but I use this time to journal and/or read and/or catch up on DMs (although I’m trying to be on my phone less. It’s hard though!).

Abbie Gamboa’s ‘Pure’ album

WOW. Just wow. The hair on my arms literally stands up after listening to any song on this album. Like, chills. I love Abbie’s voice, and the songs she has written are stunningly beautiful. I include a lot of her stuff on my Spirit Lead Spotify playlist if you want more (if you hear music on in the background of any of my IG stories, it’s probably this playlist).

My Weighted Blanket

If you’re not sleeping with a weighted blanket, I highly recommend you give it a try. Before I bought mine last year, I was worried it would overheat me at night, but it’s super breathable. I’ve read that weighted blankets can actually help you reduce stress and anxiety and increase your dopamine levels… and who am I to argue science? ;)

My Family

I’ve had more family time than usual this year. I am so thankful for them. I could cry just typing this out. I’ve needed my family more than anything this year, and they’ve really been there for me during some of my hardest moments. It makes me feel so grateful. I know not all family is simple and not everyone has a solid family, but I just had to take the time to express my gratitude for mine and note that I would not be here without them.

Tempur-Pedic Pillows

I love them so much, I’ve somehow accumulated four of them lol. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m picky when it comes to pillows and mattresses. These beat any expensive hotel pillow I’ve ever tried. I’m convinced they help me sleep better at night too.

Simple Modern Tumblers

Don’t get me wrong, I still love my Stanley tumblers, but something about the Simple Modern ones has had me grabbing for them way more often that past 6 months. They don’t leak when my kids nock them over (at least not compared to my Stanley). You can see my full review of both here.

LMNT Berry Flavor

This might be my number one game changer for the last year! There are no words to express how much I love it. I’ve never been good at water intake – ever. But this stuff helps me drink at least 40 oz a day – easy! I’m sure you’re not supposed to have more than one, but I’ll admit that I usually have 2/day. I bring them with me on vacation because I cannot stand to not have it at all times.

Pureology Hydrate Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner

Oh my, this stuff is literally magic for your hair. Both the shampoo and conditioner feel like a treat for your scalp. The conditioner makes your scalp tingle and is super cooling. I notice a huge difference in my hair’s hydration when I use it. It’s amazing and hydrating for my hair. I have the BIG bottles and purchased a separate pump for them.

Travel Charger for My Watch, AirPods & Phone

This little baby has saved my butt more than a time or two while I’ve been traveling. It’s the most compact charger that fully charger my iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch. Literally refuse to travel without it. Here’s what it looks like in action.

Instrumental Worship Music

I love, love, love this type of music. It helps me focus during my journaling, prayer, and quiet time. If I’m writing or reading, I can’t listen to music with lyrics, but instrumental songs (especially worship) really keep me centered and focused on what I’m doing. There are several playlists on Spotify if you just type in “instrumental worship.” I love this artist on Spotify and then this is my favorite song on YouTube (it’s 3+ hrs long).

iPhone Case & Stand

Whether I like it or not, I use my phone a lot for my job. Mostly, I’m recording videos or shooting content. So this iPhone case and stand has come in handy this year. I love how I can use the stand vertically or horizontally and how easy it is for my hands to hold with the grip on the back of the phone. I also appreciate how sturdy the case is compared to others I’ve tried!

Investing in Myself

I started meeting with a life coach this past year and it has truly been a game-changer for me. I’ve never shared this anywhere before because I know people have their preconceived notions about the coaching industry. But let me tell you, I’ll forever be indebted to my coach. I’ve been going to counseling too, but the results I’ve seen with my coach have been incredible and so tangible for me. It’s very expensive, but I think that’s part of what makes it worthwhile for me? Because I take it seriously and see it as an investment in myself, my future and even my family because it helps me always to be thinking about improving.

The Enneagram

I originally took the test back in 2017 while sitting at dinner with some friends (so I didn’t put much thought into it) and my results showed me as a 3. But this past year I have really dug into it and now am very confident that I am a 4. Learning more about myself and how I operate has given me so much freedom and allowed me to work and live in a way that support my brain and personality. I worked with a certified coach here in Dallas, but there are so many resources online and social media as well. I also think knowing your enneagram can help you understand how to interact with other people based on their numbers. It honestly has been a game-changer this year. I’m not even sure if this is the “best” assessment (so don’t come at me if it’s not lol), but I took this test and this I read a lot more about what it means and the nuances of being a four in this book.

Batching Tasks

I started doing this in 2022 while I was pregnant with Blake, but I’ve carried it into 2023 and it really has been so amazing for my work and getting things done. Now I have different time blocks where I do specific things like inspiration, planning, shopping, or filming. I’ve try to do this in my personal life, but it doesn’t really translate as well. I’m curious to know, do you batch?

Wearing my Apple Watch Again

I’ve been through many stages with my Apple Watch! I don’t really use it for anything other than answering calls and tracking workouts, but I absolutely love having an idea of how much I’m working out. While I’m working out, I also like to see my heart rate! Another benefit of wearing it is that I don’t have to have my phone with me all the time because I can use it to answer phone calls. I love this watch band I got back in November – it looks so expensive and I don’t mind working out in it. But keep in mind, I hardly do intense HIIT workouts.