Modern Life

One Question. One Blog Post. Once a Month for November (Yes, I’m late!)

I’ve recently begun reading Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss.  I am a diehard fan of Tim’s, and so like a true fangirl, I had a copy of his new book in my hands the day it was released via preorder on Amazon.

What I love about the recent Tim Ferriss books are that when he asks people questions, they always answer differently.  As a student of human behavior, I’m always astounded that there can be such vastly different replies to the same questions.

Despite the fact that I’m not famous (nor do I ever want to be), I decided last month that I was going to answer the questions Tim poses to his interviewees.  Why not?  My answer is going to be just as different as anyone else’s.

So, here’s another question of Tim’s that I’ve been pondering on my walks with the dogs: What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)?  My readers love specifics like brand and model, where you found it, etc.

I have thought about this long and hard and it is a difficult question, especially in the age of Amazon Prime.  I have bought all kinds of things that end up on my doorstep daily but I would say that in recent memory, the top three things I’ve purchased that have made a difference in my life are 1.) a zester.  Yes, a zester.  Many of the recipes I make from The Fresh 20 call for lemon or orange zest.  Before discovering that there was a specific tool for this job, I’d only used a cheese grater for the job.  Every time I had to zest something I groaned and reluctantly got out the cheese grater knowing that my hands were about to be torn to shreds.  I hated zesting anything so I’d try to figure out how I could get around it like just throwing in some freshly squeezed lemon juice.  A few months ago, I wandered into a Sur la Table that’s near my home, and voila, I found a zester.  I found it purely by accident.  Every time I walk into Sur la Table, I feel overwhelmed and like a failure–I’m not a chef, I’m only a measly line cook.  I never felt like I belonged in a Sur la Table.  It’s kind of like how I feel when I wander through the aisles of Michael’s.  Who am I kidding?  I’m not a crafter!

The first time I used the zester, it was like eating ice cream on a hot day, walking outdoors through the first snow of a season, and holding a puppy all rolled up into one.  When the recipe calls for zesting a lemon now, I bound happily over to the drawer where it’s kept and make more zest than the recipe calls for.  What joy this $9 tool has brought to my life.  And now that it’s nearly Christmas, I can’t wait to use to it shave my own chocolate or grate fresh nutmeg!lemon zester

2.)  Erythritol.  I’ve used artificial sweeteners ever since the first time I put myself on a diet so many years ago.  So many years ago.  Every single artificial sweetener was awful, disgusting, bitter, and left an aftertaste.  Erythritol tastes like sugar, although it’s not as sweet so you have to use more than you normally would, but even when I put it on the family strawberries, nobody knows.  I’ve only been able to find pure erythritol at Amazon and I buy only the non-GMO kind.  I’ve never been able to find anything close on grocery store shelves–even the health food stores.  They usually have a brand that is ‘cut’ with something else so it still has the bitter aftertaste.  Yuck.  I use erythritol in everything one would normally put sugar.

3.)  The final purchase that has meant the most to me is the first book chosen by the brand new book club I started in April of 2017.  I felt like I needed to connect more with people and not spend so much time alone.  I put an ad on NextDoor and, at first, it was crickets.  I remember thinking ‘oh no, I’m going to look like an idiot in front of all my neighbors but then the requests started pouring in.  Pretty soon it was clear that two groups of women were needed.  Someone else took Encinitas and Olivenhain and I got all of La Costa.  In the beginning, I had 15 women in my book club.  The first meeting, 10 showed up, and now that time has passed, two people officially dropped out, several people have never showed up/never responded to any emails, and we are down to 7 women.  I knew from the moment I had 15 in my group that it would be reduced by half by year’s end so I’m not surprised.  The best part is that we’ve gotten to be close friends and it has even led to an even bigger women’s group in La Costa.  My goal this year was to make more friends and I did.  The first book was The Lilac Girls, a book I could barely put down but one in which I would not have chosen on my own.  Cost: $17.68 delivered to my home and worth every penny for the new friendships it has forged.

And now it’s your turn to be interviewed: What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months?  Do share below in the comments section.  I’m always looking for more things to buy!



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