Things That Take Me To My Happy Place

List-maniacs rejoice!

Today, I’m going to do a little something different and go ultra girly-girl with one of those OMG-you-gotta-try-THIS posts because that’s totally fun to do! (You know, unless you hate that sort of thing. In that case, keep reading anyway because it might give you fodder for sarcasm.)

No wait. Did I just pigeon-hole?


We are everywoman. Some days we are girly, other days we beat our chests. It’s all good, right? (Are you completely lost as to the point of this post yet?)

Okay, I’ll put you out of your misery. Here it is…a list featuring a few of my favorite things!

1. Nivea A Kiss Of Shimmer – It’s flirty, fun and trendy. Okay, so maybe this is more of a summer color, but I can still get by with it as long as I have my summer tan, right?!

2. Black Currant Vanilla Massage Oil by Bath and Body Works – This particular oil has some really dark notes. I mean that in the best possible way. But really, how can you go wrong with anything from Bath and Body Works? Their massage oils contain Sunflower Oil (rich in antioxidant Vitamin E) to moisturize skin and help keep it young-looking. I love most of their scents in this line.

Or, maybe it’s just the happy ending after my husband pulls me off the massage table?! LOL

3. Our MASSAGE TABLE! No explanation should be necessary. If you really need one, however, please refer back to the last sentence of #2 above.

We purchased ours at JC Penney a few years ago and have had hours and hours of hot, crazy foreplay soothing relaxation for only $200. Looks like JC Penney still has the same one. It folds up for storage and is awesome for experimenting with different positions extremely sturdy.

Did I mention it’s fun?! You lucky, lucky girls! 🙂

4. Crest 3D WhiteStrips  – This shit really works if you use it as directed. The last time my mom came to visit me she almost blinded me with her smile. This is her secret weapon. So I tried it myself (Level 3, $39.99, available at all big box stores), and found it to be very easy and very effective. Love it!


In the Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic/Piper Lime family of stores, Athleta has really become my go-to store. Seriously, my closet is probably about 1/5th Athleta right now. I have coats, boots, swimsuits, shorts, pants, tank tops, sweaters, and shirts from them. They are a little pricier than some other stores, but their quality and customer service is top-notch.

When you have a Gap Visa, you accrue points you can redeem at any of their stores or online. Free shipping if your order is $50 or more. Finally, the catalogs are a thing of beauty to look at since they use actual female athletes (yoga, running, surfing, hiking, etc) in action shots. I fell further in love with them when I noticed they started using one of our sayings “Power to the She” in their marketing this past spring. Seriously a great company!

6. Sephora by OPI in A True Romantic (for my nails) and Pure ICE in No Means No (purple) and Celestial (blue) for my tootsies.

My man really digs the blue. You can find Sephora online or in select department stores. Pick up Pure ICE at your local Walmart.

7. The Chew – It’s a TV food/talk show on ABC at noon in my area. I don’t let myself watch it now that the kids are back in school and I’m back to work <sniffle>, but this show really pulled me in with their super fun and edgy cast of five. I rarely watch TV, so this is really saying something. It’s way more than just your basic cooking show. They have SO MUCH FUN – they usually have me laughing out loud. And they’re often dirty-minded. <snicker>

Makes you so wanna watch, right? 🙂

 8. Always Infinity pads – These are *the best* pads on the market. This is the one time of the month you wanna be dry, and these will make you an instant convert. I have no idea how these work, but they’re amazing.

9. Zumba! Zumba is a Latin-inspired, dance fitness class. I could talk all day long about how fabulous it is for all people, but especially women. I have taught it for more than two years now, and I have literally seen it transform women into more self-confident, happy, and in-touch with themselves individuals. Oh, and it’s exercise, though it doesn’t feel like it.

Contributor Chick Jodi Roper is my boss where I teach, and she gave the okay to install some club strip lights in the aerobics room, so now when I teach, I turn the lights down and we party like we’re in a club. It’s so much fun!

If you love to dance, I guarantee you’ll enjoy Zumba. It’s just a matter of finding a particular instructor whose style you like as each instructor picks their own music and has their own choreography. Some instructors are more Latin focused, while others gravitate more toward hip-hop (not what they’re supposed to do, but it’s the reality). If you have any questions ever, I’ll be happy to answer them!

Do try it!!

And finally…

10. The Relief Band (now called Reletex.) 

Technically it’s called an anti-nausea neuro-modulating device, but don’t let the name scare you. If you’re prone to motion sickness like I am, this device (which you wear just like a watch) can save you a lot of misery. It works by emitting an electromagnetic pulse to soothe the nerve that sends the woozy signal to your inner ear.

I had tried everything: ginger, sea bands, Dramamine, even scopolamine patches, but nothing worked – or if it did, it had icky side-effects. Until the Relief Band. I haven’t tried this new version Reletex, but it sounds like it’s even more powerful than the original since it requires a prescription to buy it.

On the down side, these new models don’t appear to come with rechargeable batteries like my older version does, but if you’re a motion-sickness sufferer like me, it’s still worth its weight in gold. I paid $180 for my rechargeable version. The newer, more potent models go for $150 for a 60 hour device and $225 for a 150 hour device.

Click the picture to learn more about how this wonderful device works. (It is also said to relieve morning sickness and post-operative nausea as well.)

I’ve used this device for about 13 years now, and it has literally Saved. My. Guts. 

So, that’s my list. Now add to it! I wanna know…what takes you to YOUR happy place?





  1. Chocolate does it for me! Preferably milk chocolate.

    Lindsey Brookes
    Jimmie Joe Johnson: Manwhore – Kensington Publishing

  2. I keep hearing a lot about Zumba. Thinking about trying out a class. I see the Pure Ice collection at a store here and LOVE those colors.

    • Hi Sonya, I always tell new-to-Zumba people to try several different instructors because you will have different experiences with each. Don’t worry about what you look like because everyone is watching themselves. Seriously. 🙂 The longer you stay with it, the more comfortable you will become and the more fluidly your body will start to move. I wish I could have you in class!! Have fun and let me know when you try it!! 🙂

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Sonya….Definitely try Zumba…I did just recently and I had so much fun…AND I looked like a total ditz doing it cause I didnt know any of the steps. But it didnt matter!!! Everyone was having so much fun putting their own spin on it in their own way anyway. The best thing?….re-teaching your body how to move after all these years. I can shake my booty again!!!! (In a good way….) Some day Im gonna surprise Misty and show up in her class… 😉

  3. Love this list! I’d add DSW shoes to the list and World Market. Those places always take my blood pressure lower. 🙂

    • They have a DSW in Fort Collins, CO, where my mom lives and she’s talked about it before, but I have yet to go there. Will definitely add that to my to do list the next time I’m there!

      I’ve been to World Market in the Mesa area – love it! This reminds me that I would add White House/Black Market to the list too!

      Long live shopping!! 🙂

    • Josie Matthews says:

      OOOOHHH Avery….You had to make me go check out World Market didnt you?? Mr. M. isnt going to be very happy with you….He just suspended my credit card privileges after he got this months bill! The nerve….Hmph… Amazon kills me too….Its just so too damn easy to download ALL the books I want, but it makes me feel sooooooo good!

  4. Josie Matthews says:

    For freakin’ sakes, Mist….we ARE soul sisters!!!! ATHLETA is my obsession!!!! I just ordered a bunch of stuff from the new fall catalog (great skirts and dresses and those cute Born ‘Tessa’ boots? Gotta have em… I got like 4 bathing suits from them this year. Quality can not be beat. And the fit? perfect!)
    Handmade soaps are big with me and my happiness. I love fun scents and textures. They cost so much, but I can’t resist when I find one I like! The best thing to do for soft skin that I swear by? Johnsons baby oil gel…keep it in the shower and as soon as you turn the water off, run it all over your skin while your pores are still open from the heat. It will feel a little greasy, but then towel off and you won’t believe how soft your skin will be AND STAY after you do it regularly. I never miss a day and people always comment on my skin. (and I have EXECEMA! but not anymore….).
    Right now my biggest happy place obsession?? Cowboy boots! In all styles and colors….Sheplers is liking me and my credit card very much right now. I can’t (won’t) wear heels, so to preserve my joints for sports, so boots and sneakers are the only fun thing left for me for the cold months. I’m obsessed with them.
    Oh!!! and WEN shampoo in lavendar….It really DOES work. My curly frizzy hair has never looked so good!
    Love u!

    • You’re kiddin’ me?! You live for Athleta gear too? That is so crazy!! We are certainly 2 peas in a pod!

      I’ll definitely have to check out the Johnson’s baby oil as well as the WEN shampoo. Thanks for the suggestions. 🙂

  5. I love dressing up and going out with my husband. Taking the dog for a walk because he’s always so delighted about it. If I had one product I always buy it has to be Diet Coke with lime chilled at 32 degrees.

    I have this crazy exercise class where we do aerobics and lift weights to music for an hour. It’s pretty intense, but fun!

  6. Zumba sounds fantastic.

    I’m a massage therapist so it cracks me up to realize people use the tables for other things…hey if you’ve got it in your house, I don’t need to drag it up the stairs so I’m not complaining. That’s what rubbing alcohol spray bottles are for.

    Glad you are havin fun with life!! Go for it.

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Oh Wren! Thats another happy place thing for me…I want a message! Never had one! I know…poor me… I’m finding that even though I exercise and do all the right stuff to stay in shape, that I keep getting all these soft tissue aches and pains!!! (age related crap????) A whining hamstring here…. a bitching medial glute there….what’s up with that?? Will message therapy help with that? It’s so frustrating? What’s an old gal to do? I may just have to get a message table for myself and the MR…. Oh the adventures we could have…If only the damn hamstring wasnt an issue!!

      • OMG, Josie. Never? As in NEVER, never? That is a situation that needs to be rectified (there’s another fun word!) immediately! Go schedule one right now!!

      • Josie please give it a try! There are some spots a person just can’t reach themselves. If you live in Maryland you can see me, otherwise you could check groupon for a deal. I recommend especially a massage therapist associated with a gym, chiropractor or wellness center. Spa massage may not give you as much relief.

        Don’t be afraid of asking for gluteal massage! That’s what gstrings are for. (Well not really, but it’s a great benefit!)

        When you work out you can tear muscles in little tiny places. Scar tissue forms to heal it. The muscles can become stronger if the fibers heal in the right direction, but sometimes they can heal in a wacky way. Massage can break it up and help make you stronger. Best for an off workout day. Hope this help!

    • Wren…you mean massage tables are actually for massages? LOL! By the way, really cool that you’re a masseuse (WTF, who decided on the spelling of *that* word?! I had to check to make sure I spelled it right. Is that part of your test to get certified – you have to be able to spell what you are? LOL. I’m such a brat!!!!) No, but seriously, I have so much respect for people in your profession. You must have hands of steel. Do you ever get grossed out? Am I off topic?

      • I haven’t gotten grossed out yet. A friend says she hates flipflop season because people’s feet get gross, but I haven’t seen that one yet, either. Even when people have weird things going on, I feel compassionate.

        Actually in school I got corrected when I said masseuse, they said “you are a massage therapist.” Easier to spell, so I’m good with that!

        I think the tables are for massage…I’d try it for other purposes but I think it would freak clients out if they knew. So I keep my acrobatics in bed mostly. Although..soon to move in with my boyfriend so I’m sure we will try many other surfaces!

        Thanks for such a fun post! Great conversations going

        • Ah yes…massage therapist…so much better! And I love your comment about being compassionate. In fact, it freaking gets to me. This is what I’m trying to instill in my children… most of the time, we don’t know people’s backstory and so even if someone is behaving poorly, looks bad, smells bad, or seems mean, there’s probably a darn good reason why. It doesn’t excuse the behavior, but I think when we try to look at what’s happening from that perspective it makes us more compassionate individuals because we don’t take it as personally. It also helps remove our tendency to always want to judge others. Thanks for bringing that up. And nice to know that about you, girl… xo

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