91. L.L. Bean
I realize that "The Preppy Handbook" went out of style in say 1983, but one thing that it did do is introduce me to L.L. Bean. My stepfather, Ralph, was also an avid fan of this company that has been around for some 100 years. Just so you know, their items are guaranteed, and if you are inclined to test this...you'll find that it is true.
After being a customer for (OMGosh!) 30 years and counting...I can say that I probably always will be. I know that I spend most days "styling" in their black big girl stretch pants that are shipped free to me because they give free shipping all of the time. Of course, I got free shipping anyway because I have the L.L. Bean credit card that also gives me free monogramming and $10 coupons from time to time.
As I mentioned, I actually tested the "fully guaranteed" thing about a year ago. We received one bookbag that Jill wore out...but she had also dealt with being a bit defective from the start...so I sent it back. I included two pair of slippers that had also worn out prematurely.
All were replaced. Okay, technically, they gave us a gift card to replace them. But we did. These folks are for real.
I don't know anyone who makes a better bookbag, blanket, or pair of black big girl stretch pants than these people. You can order from them at http://www.llbean.com/.
I realize that this is a big global concept...but it is also one of my favorites. Each of us has things that we've done that we wish we hadn't done in this life...and being forgiven is among the most wonderful things to experience. A few years ago, after a sermon at church, I made a list of people that I needed to apologize to and a list I needed to thank. I went down both of those and tried to be as faithful as I could to it. The only part I made myself promise to do once I was done...was to also forgive myself.
Some of us are carrying around garbage or "baggage" as we like to call it because someone has either dumped on us or we have just been incredibly stupid. While I am not advocating that we should just do whatever and then "let it go"...I will say that sometimes the wisest course is just to say "enough."
Forgive those who have hurt you. Accept forgiveness from anyone who asks it of you. And most importantly...leave your baggage at the foot of the cross and forgive yourself. Life is too short to carry any unnecessary baggage. Or to cause anyone else to continue to carry theirs.
93. World's Finest Chocolate
When I was in junior high and high school, I was in the band. To raise money for our many needs...including trips, instruments nobody could afford without selling a kidney, and I'm sure many, many other important things...we sold "band candy" twice a year. It was actually World's Finest Chocolate and the name was totally accurate.
It was very tasty chocolate with almond pieces...and the wrapper always had a coupon on it that was generally worth at least part of the purchase price. Total win-win.
|Yes. Just Yes.|
A lot of you just read that and went...say who?
Okay, Poo-pourri is a product that has the following on its label: "Spritz the bowl before you go and no one else will ever know."
I was introduced to this product while traveling with my aunt, mother, and daughter to New York in December 2008. I have a hard and fast rule when there are a lot of people sharing a hotel room...and it is this..."if you need to GO go...you need to go downstairs to the lobby." I expressed this to my aunt who told me that she'd comply...but it really wasn't necessary. I didn't understand it until I got a bottle of my very own a few weeks later for Christmas.
Want to give a gift that you're fairly certain they won't have? Here you go.
As for me, I carry mine in my purse, and if I am in what can only be referred to as a "situation..." I don't worry. I have my handy spray. Trust me...it works. There are other scents including "No. 2" and a few others that I've seen made by the same company.
95. Will Ferrell Movies
Well, I'll admit that he's made a few that I can do without...but for the most part I love Will Ferrell movies. Granted, I have watched so much "Elf" in my lifetime that it is entirely possible that I may have been brainwashed by now. But I also loved "Talladega Nights" and "Anchorman" as well. I knew I liked Will Ferrell back in the day when he and Cheri Oteri were cheerleaders...for the chess team.
Okay...you know that's funny...
But one of my favorite Will Ferrell moments was when he sang "Leather and Lace" with Dave Grohl (of Nirvana and Foo Fighters)...
Awesome. C'mon...you know it is.
96. Orbit Sweetmint Gum
I know it seems a little bit bizarre to pick out a specific gum...but this one seriously is my favorite. It tastes like peppermint...but not that cloying peppermint flavor that Altoids have...more of the kind that Girl Scout Thin Mints do. Yeah. That one.
What I like about this gum is that the flavor lasts for a really long time. I should know. I load up and then will wear out a piece of gum. I can't wear the gum out like Coach Gene Chizik (Auburn) can...but I'm close.
I realize that some of you reading this are thinking I mean the singer...but nope...not really. I'm talking about the color. I love every shade of pink from the palest pink that was once on my First Response pregnancy test telling me that Jill was on the way to pink that is so dark that it is a red wannabe.
I love pink. Which was really fortunate for me since I was a Phi Mu in college.
Ironically, in college, we wore red jerseys and had adopted the ladybug as our "mascot" in addition to the formal "Sir Fidel" that Phi Mu national touted. That has changed as pink has become far more mainstream than it was when I was younger. I suppose we can thank the 80s for that.
In the 70s...where earth tones and psychodelic orange and purple were a close second...pink was pretty much relegated to baby clothes, cotton candy, and Pepto-Bismol. It took MTV to really sell pink as a fashion statement...and by the time I graduated from college...pink was one of THE colors. And it hasn't been thrown from its perch...yet.
Which is, of course, as it should be.
98. People Who See More In You Than You See In Yourself
In my life, there have been people dotted along the landscape of my years drawing breath that have seen more in me than I've ever seen in myself. I had a third grade teacher that I only had half of the year because we moved mid-year from Jackson, Mississippi after my parents divorced. She realized that I was reading at a really high level and that I was blowing through the SRA Reading Labs at an alarming rate. As such, she ended up going to the fourth and then the fifth grades to keep me busy. The funny thing? For years...and I do mean YEARS...she would always remind me how smart I was. Even when I'd quit believing in myself.
Several years later, my friend, Lisa, and I were having lunch one day while we were talking about what we wanted to do that would surely be more fascinating than whatever we were doing at the time...and I told her that I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to do. She told me that she saw me as a teacher...which was a shock to me at the time.
Of course, a few months later when I was offered the chance to teach banking classes, I remembered her words and thought I'd give it a whirl. That "whirl" turned into ten years of teaching banking classes to over 500 students. It gave me the chance to remind people who had been out of school for awhile that they should go back...and many did. I was also proud that one couple met in my class and ended up getting married. They now have four children (pregnancy two was triplets...with no fertility drugs) and both are still speaking to me...which totally rocks.
Recently I've had people tell me that they like to read what I write and have encouraged me to stay at it.
And so I do...grateful that they care enough to let me know.
99. Tim Hawkins
I don't know if you have ever heard this guy...but he is a Christian comedian that is absolutely hysterical. He came to our church last year and I had the pleasure of laughing uncontrollably. Hope you will as well...
This one is because it is incredibly obvious that to omit it would be incredibly lame. Plus...it's getting late.
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