Stuff and Things

Reverb14 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2014 and project hopes and dreams for 2015.  Throughout December,SarahKat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and #reverb14.

Stuff and Things | What products have you discovered this year that you love?  Tell us all about them, and why you love them.  Become the celebrity spokesperson of whatever it is you like!

True Story: I am like a walking advertisement for Stuff Yuppie Assholes Like. You should therefore take everything I write with a grain of salt, because it’s so whitewashed, and so entrenched in Upper East Sidedness that it’s up to you to decide whether you actually like the stuff I like, or whether you like the trappings of those things.

1) Classpass: I signed up for this service in its inaugural weeks. It’s basically a gym membership, but not. You pay about $100 per month, and it provides you access to all kinds of boutique fitness studios (not discounts, actual classes). You can take classes at the same studio 3x per month, but you have the ability to book classes all over the city/country. I quite like it, but popular classes book up fast. If you’re into spinning/pilates/etc., this is a a very cost-effective way to try all different types of hip, fresh stuff. If you’re a treadmill/elliptical type, or you have a studio you’re devoted to, then this wouldn’t be for you. I recently moved into a building with a state-of-the art gym, and cancelled my Equinox membership after nearly ten years, so this was the perfect compromise for me so I wouldn’t spend a fortune on fancy spin classes each month.

2) Magnesium Spray: Someone recommended I try this — might’ve been my physio — and a few spritzes on my sore muscles also gives me great, restful sleep, and really weird dreams. You can find it on Amazon for $10-20 depending on the brand and the size of the bottle.

3) Fitbit: I’ve been wearing a Fitbit for about a year, and I am obsessed with it. I also use the app to track how active or sedentary Paul is…err…engage in a little friendly couple competition. If you are an active person trying to gauge your fitness level, or a sedentary person looking to step up your game, this is an easy, unobtrusive way to be more mindful.

4) FashionABLE: I was made aware of this company when I was ordering holiday gifts. I really hate the holidays, and because I have bought basically no birthday, mother’s day, father’s day, or other gifts all year long, and have essentially been a social hermit due to my insane work schedule and my health, I felt compelled to actually show people I cared this Christmas Season. Which of course meant buying stuff, because I’m an American, and there’s no more American way to say I love and value you than buying things.

Because I find the holidays so abhorrent, however, I wanted to be at least somewhat socially conscious in the gifts I gave. I tried to buy things that came from sustainable sources that did at least some good (or claimed to).

(This was to offset the stuff I bought from Walmart.)

(Look, we can’t all be saints all the time.)

5) PAI Rosehip Oil: I have insanely sensitive skin. During half of the year, my skin periodically erupts like Mt Vesuvius. During the other half of the year, my skin is completely blemish-free, and is so dry, it flakes off like ash raining over Pompeii. I discovered this facial oil at a weird spa in the southwest of Ireland. It is super soothing on breakouts; not heavy or greasy; extremely hydrating. It is $40, which sounds pricey, but that’s probably on the lower end for this kind of product. And, it’s the sort of thing where a very tiny bit goes a very very long way.

6) My Spin Bike: This could be dubbed the year I became a huge fan of Amazon. When I had hip surgery, the doctor told me I’d have a better outcome if I had access to a bike, and so I wound up ordering a spin bike off the internet. I subsequently outfitted the bike with a softer seat and SPDs, plus an iPad rest. I’ve since become a massive fan of Peloton’s streaming spin classes. They have their own fancy bikes, but at $2500 a pop, I think I will stick with my home set up for now. (You can also find classes on Youtube for free!)

7) Cookie Butter: Truth be told, I don’t even like Biscoff cookies. But somehow when you chop them up and mix them with Crisco and put them in a jar, I can’t resist. How did I go my entire life without experiencing this crap?!

I think that’s about it for new and interesting discoveries. There have been a few others, but nothing really noteworthy to share. So this has been your annual edition of: Stuff Yuppie Assholes Like.

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