Happy New Year, my friends! I’m sure most of you are as relieved as I am to have a fresh start.
I always do a round-up of the greatest products I discovered during the year, but I figured everyone would appreciate a break from blogs last week, so here it is–better late than never, I say!
I am not affiliated with any of these products, so I don’t receive any kickbacks from mentioning them, sadly. 🙂 They’re just too good to keep to myself.
Mysterious Package: If you’re looking for a unique gift, look no further. The Mysterious Package Company will send the “victim” of your choice pieces of what appears to be a real-life mystery. If the recipient hasn’t heard of the Mysterious Package Co., so much the better–he or she will believe the mystery is genuine until the final reveal letter. Most of the packages are creepy, but there are a few with a science fiction flair. Some recipients have even called the police, who confiscated their packages as evidence–that’s how genuine they seem.
Imagine having a starring role in an adventure!
Word to the wise: These adventures don’t come cheap. The least expensive one is $99 USD.
Focus: This distraction-eliminating program is super easy to customize and saved my butt during the 2016 NaNoWriMo. A free trial is available, or you can download it for just $19 USD–well worth it. It comes with a long list of pre-banned websites, but if you have discovered other time sucks, you can add them too. I love the ability to schedule the program in advance. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week, I will not be able to access Google, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. Watch my productivity skyrocket! If you really need to get out of the program, you can, but for those with no willpower, there’s a special setting that won’t let you access the blocked sites during your “Focusing” time–even if you restart your computer or turn the program off. So far I haven’t had to resort to that.
If you slip and try to access a banned site, Focus will show you a motivational quote. You can customize those as well, deleting the ones you don’t care for and adding your own.
TeeTurtle: While settling on my brand, I found myself conflicted. I write dark fiction, but I also have a weakness for all things adorable. Did I have to sacrifice my love of kawaii? As it turns out, no.
TeeTurtle is proof that horror doesn’t have to be scary or gory. They have a wide range of soft, irresistible shirts for all genders, and almost every Thursday everything on the site goes on sale for $12 USD. Even if you don’t love horror, there’s tons to choose from. Narwhale socks, perhaps? All I know is, I’m set for any horror con in the foreseeable future.
Word to the wise: Do NOT put TeeTurtle shirts in the dryer–hang them instead. They shrink like crazy. Also, their “Women’s Fitted” shirts are in junior sizes.
Dragon Draper Necklaces: When I first saw a photo of one of these necklaces on Facebook, I had to have it. I was thrilled to discover these wearable works of art are handmade by a fellow Canuck. While the site warns that it will take a considerable amount of time to receive your custom necklace, I believe I had mine in less than a month–not bad at all. She makes lots of other lovely pieces as well.
Word to the wise: I got the Aurora Borealis model shown above, and while beautiful, the colors aren’t quite as bright or dramatic as they appeared in the photo.
Rocky Mountain Soap’s Root Beer Bubble Bath: A bath is a real treat for me, and this bubble bath makes it even more so. It really does smell like root beer, results in tons of fluffy bubbles, and best of all, there are no icky chemicals, no sodium lauryl sulphate or other irritants. Pretty awesome treat for $14.50 CAD. Now, if they’d only make a bigger bottle….
Best Helpful Blog
I’ve gotta admit, the first time I visited Roland Yeoman’s blog, I was taken aback by all the different fonts and colors and graphics. I had no idea what I was in for.
Over the past year, Roland’s posts have become some of my all-time favourites, as he cleverly uses the words of history’s great thinkers (Sigmund Freud, Mark Twain, etc.) to dispense writing and life advice. Each post is written as if Roland is interviewing the subject’s ghost, and I always find at least one gem of really helpful advice while being in awe of his skill–it really does seem like Mark Twain is giving us advice from beyond the grave. What a clever idea! Definitely worth checking out.
Your turn! What was your best find of 2016? Have you tried any of the items on my list? If so, I’d love your opinion. What blog helped you the most last year?
If you’d like to see my picks for 2015, you can find them here.