Five Favs: January

One of my favorite series of blog posts/YouTube videos to watch is monthly favorites. From learning about new products and lifestyle items/experiences, to getting information on things I’ve been considering purchasing, or having someone else confirm (or totally disagree) with my assessment of something, I am always excited at the end of a month because it means a new round of favorites. I’m very excited to get in on the favorite action this month with my first installation of favorites; I'll be calling these “Five Favs.” It will include anything and everything I’ve loved that month. I’ll try to focus on new-to-me places, items, etc. but I can’t promise that an old standby or rediscovered gem won’t make it’s way onto the list from time to time. Now without any more preamble, here are my January Five Favs:

Sources:,, @whatimholding (shameless self-promotion), Holly Rilinger's Instagram

Sources:,, @whatimholding (shameless self-promotion), Holly Rilinger's Instagram

1. UO’s Diamond Convertible Plush Gloves

My beloved glittens (gloves without finger tips which have a fold-over mitten top), ripped last year in such a way that was unfixable. I knew this winter I would need to part with them. Luckily NYC didn’t get chilly for a while (70 degrees on Christmas!). Right after the holidays, I decided to take advantage of the crazy sales going on and, big spender that I am, sprung for Urban Outfitter’s Diamond Convertible Plush Gloves. They were approximately $12 when I bought them and now are down to $10 so if you need something stylish but VERY warm, you should go for it!  

2. NEUTROGENA makeup remover cleansing towelettes

My dermatologist has told me you can see how sensitive my skin is from across a room. Really? Maybe if you have a trained eye like he does. Knowing that rashes and hives are my face’s specialty, I was nervous when I found myself changing post-exercise class and discovered I had left my tried and true face wipes at home. I tentatively reached for the Neutrogena wipes the studio stocks. It was love at first wipe. The following day I was 100% converted, adding them to my basket at Duane Reade. They are gentle while still getting the job done. After I use one, my face feels clean but not at all dry or irritated. When it comes to makeup, I pretty much just use concealer as a spot treatment where needed, but I’ve been upping my game a bit more recently, adding in mascara some days. The wipes get rid of any concealer I have on but their mascara removal skills are about a B-. If you’re looking for a straight-up makeup remover, I’d say pass but as a post workout or pre-face washing extra clean, I highly recommend these wipes!

3. Phone calls

“Hello?... It’s me.” I will never be sick of that song. #SorryNotSorry

I don’t know what category this falls into; let’s go with lifestyle. I’ve always preferred using a phone for its original use- I got your back Alexander Graham Bell, I’ll fight the good fight and make sure we don’t become a bitmoji-only society, though bitmojis are pretty brilliant. Recently I’ve spent more time connecting with people over the phone and this has only reinforced my belief that the quality of communication when you are actually hearing someone’s voice is far superior to that of a text/other text-based means of communication. Of course there are times when a call isn’t feasible or might not be the best means of communicating something, but when you can, try it. You can thank me later.

4. The Color Purple

A few weeks ago I got to see the current production of The Color Purple on Broadway. I’ll be honest, my reasons for accepting the invitation were 1) The Color Purple was the last movie my late surrogate grandmother ever saw in theaters (approximately 20 years before her death, she didn’t go to the movies much) and 2) Jennifer Hudson. I expected JHud to steal the show, but no. Don’t get me wrong, watching Jennifer (yeah, we’re on a first name basis) sing is amazing. She just seems to effortlessly open her mouth and beautiful notes come out, but the person I couldn’t tear my eyes off of was Danielle Brooks (Sofia). The character of Sofia has so many layers and at times her story line makes you laugh, cry, feel empowered, get angry, basically #AllTheEmotions and Danielle Brooks captures the range so naturally.  

5. Fitness for All!

This past month I’ve noticed a surge in bringing fitness and healthier lifestyles to the masses and I LOVE it! From Soul Cycle’s collaboration with Target, to start-ups like AirFit, and shows like Work Out New York inspiring people (I’ve now witnessed more than one instance of people coming up to one of my all-time favorite Flywheel instructors Holly Rilinger post-class to say that they came because they saw her on TV and she inspired them- How cool is that!?). Whatever your feelings on reality television or companies partnering with big box stores, I’m all for anything that motivates people and makes them want to lead a healthier lifestyle.   

What were your January favorites? Do you agree/disagree with any of mine?