21 Aug

Things I Can’t Live Without…and You Need Them Too! Part Two

By Becky Fickenworth, APR

Counselor and Project Manager

I’m not what you’d consider an early adopter. You won’t find me camping out in line for the latest iPhone, saving my money to buy the latest fashion trend and I don’t think twice about buying used books or used cars. Not because I’m “afraid” of the latest and greatest or have no interest. The truth is I’d rather have the peace and mind that comes with having saved for a rainy day than the short thrill of having a new gadget. So what motivates someone like me to make a purchase?

First, the time has to be right. Why spend $500 on the latest gadget when your old gadget still has a couple more months, years or miles on it? Second, all my research has to support my purchase. Talking to family and friends, online recommendations and Consumer Reports are my top reference points. If all the evidence points to a quality purchase, I’ll make it.

So, even though I don’t buy early, I do buy. And there are a few items that I would never think of going without again:

P90X – I’d never bought anything advertised on an infomercial after 1:00 a.m. before I purchased this 12-disc set of “extreme home fitness” routines; but for whatever reason, I was up late one night, saw the commercial, had been looking for a new fitness routine (the time was right!) and thought it sounded varied enough of an exercise program that it would keep my interest.  Then I learned a few of my neighbors had bought it and liked it, so I thought I’d give it a try. I was right. The workouts are fast paced and varied – from weight workouts for every part of the body to yoga, from plyometrics to kenpo karate, stretching to core synergistics – there’s something for everyone in this workout routine. Have I been a faithful 90-day (every day) user like they recommend? No. Do I look like the chiseled 20-year-younger body on the front cover? Sorry to say, but no. But it’s an ideal complement to my running or walking workouts.

Downy Wrinkle Releaser – If you’re scratching your head about this one, you’ve obviously never spent a Saturday afternoon ironing your husband’s dress shirts. Just a few sprays of this and you’re presentable. I would still pull out the iron for anything 100% cotton but a co-worker said I wasn’t using enough Wrinkle Releaser. She was right. Just douse your shirt or pants (preferably not right before you put it on), shake it out, rub your hand over it and you’re good to go. Thanks, Procter & Gamble, for freeing me from the iron. No lingering smell and it dries quickly. (Now if they could just invent a product that entices my kids to walk the dog without arguing.)

Totally Baked Hair Meringue  – I was not blessed with thick wavy hair. My hair is so straight that perms don’t even take to it very well. So when I forgot my hair gel while visiting my sister halfway across the U.S., I had no expectations that this new product she raved about would really help but I was more than pleasantly surprised. It’s definitely aptly named – this stuff gave even me a thick and full head of hair – especially the next day (sort of like marinating meat all night, I guess). Part of the Bed Head line by Tigi, the downside is that it’s not called meringue for the heck of it. If you can get past the fact that your hair will smell like a sugar cookie the result is worth the minor unpleasantness. It’s also a little difficult to find (found mine at Ulta) and seems to work better in Boise, Idaho than in Cincinnati (which I attribute to the water), but it’s better than any other hair product I’ve used.

So there you have it – a few of my favorite products I found worth parting with my cold hard cash (or gift cards). Here’s to being wrinkle-free and exercising more – all with thicker, fuller hair.


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