fiddle leaf photography
Jan 24, 2019
Here we go again! If you missed it, last year I rounded up my favourite things of 2017, and it turned into quite a popular blog post. So, this year I kept a running list all year long so that I could share my new favourite things with you again.
Ready? In no particular order, here are my favourite products of 2018.
I’ve tried a ton of straps and this one is by far my favourite. My hand never gets sweaty in it and it’s incredibly easy to adjust. I’ve used this strap daily for a year and it barely shows any signs of use. Plus, I love that it has a piece I can attach my enamel pins to so that I can customize it a bit. I have it on both my camera bodies and don’t ever see myself switching them our for anything else. I also have the Peak Design Sling strap and the messenger bag (which I raved about last year). I guess you can say I am a pretty big Peak Design fan.
Curious what else is in my camera bag? There’s a big roundup on Unscripted Mentoring.
This is my absolute favourite nail polish as it goes with everything and isn’t too dark. It also lasts well over a week, which is good as I never remember to do my nails more than once a week. It’s from Essie’s Treat Love & Colour line so it’s also a nail strengthener.
I’ve wanted an Instant Pot for a very long time and this Black Friday when they went on a super sale I decided it was worth a try. I didn’t know how much I’d use it, but I actually use it multiple times a week and it’s such a time saver. My favourite thing to cook in it is hard-boiled eggs. Put them in and forget about them until the timer rings – they come out perfect every time and always peel in one shot. My kids also love ‘Dip Eggs’ which is just soft boiled eggs they dip toast into and the Instant Pot cooks them in 2 min! I also really like making bone broth in it and this butternut squash chicken curry.
I know I’m probably a little late to the JPEG Mini game, but I never saw the need for it before this year. Then my hard drives started to fill up with client images and I wasn’t ready to buy new ones. JPEG Mini came to the rescue and I downsized all of the images I had on my hard-drive. A few hours later I had so much more space! I now use it whenever I export from Lightroom to save space on my computer and on the USBs I deliver to clients.
I have a really horrible habit of working really hard, finishing a goal and then in the next breath, moving onto the next task. I rarely take time to celebrate achievements and actually take a beat after I work really hard. So, I vowed to myself that once I reached 40 sessions in 2018 I was going to reward myself with a pair of Poppy Barley boots. I’ve looked at their boots for years but always talked myself out of the investment. I reached 40 sessions in October, and it still took me a lot of convincing that I deserved these, but finally one day I walked into the Southgate flagship store and walked out with the most beautiful boots I’ve ever owned. I’m not one to be super passionate about shoes, but let me tell you, these boots have my heart. They are insanely comfortable and I love that I was able to support local (and to support women who have supported me!).
I am an avid podcast listener, but this past year I really got into The Daily. I look forward to it showing up on my phone each weekday morning and will often listen to it in the car after I shuttle kids around. I’m actually quite obsessed with politics (I have a degree in Canadian Studies with a minor focus in Latin American Studies!) and find it really fascinating to have news stories presented in this way.
2018 was the year that I bought things on the internet that I swore I never would – bras, swimsuits, a king-sized mattress. So many of these things I feel like you have to see and feel in person before buying, but the convenience of ordering online and being able to return hassle free just makes it too hard to resist. The Evolution bra is my new go-to bra for everyday wear. It’s insanely comfortable, washes great, is reversible, and can be worn with regular shoulder straps or racer back. The first one I ordered didn’t fit correctly and so I emailed Knix’s customer service with a few questions and they recommended a different size. Returning the first one and receiving the new bra was insanely easy and the new one fit perfectly. If you do wear low necklines I recommend getting the V-neck version as the regular Evolution is quite high cut.
I never knew it was possible for a plant to bring me such joy, but this one really does. If you’re not familiar with Prayer Plants, they are named as such because their leaves go up and down – as in prayer. Each evening the leaves fold up towards the centre and each day they release down, often stretching so far down that they touch the pot. I’m obsessed with watching it and am amazed at how it does this all on its own! Clearly, it doesn’t take much to impress me. This little gal lives on my kitchen counter right beside my diffuser and I love looking at it each time I’m standing at the counter (which some days feels like hours upon hours!). I picked up my plant and the pot it’s in at Greenland Garden Centre.
I read a lot of books and I borrow most of them as e-books from my local library. I like to read on my phone as I always have my book with me (waiting for appointments, in the school pick up line) and I don’t need to have a light on (I often read after my husband is asleep). The earlier version of Libby was called Overdrive, but this new app is so easy to use and to search for books. I also love all the options for changing the text style and size as well as the ability to define words and place bookmarks. My kids both listen to audiobooks just before bed and they also use the Libby app on their devices. Because their books are all linked to my library account, the app automatically syncs and keeps each device up to date on where they are in their books. That way, if we are in the car and they want to listen to their book I can play it via Apple Car Play and it’s right where they left off. This is my current read and I am loving it. There have been a lot of passages that I’ve written down in a notebook as they’re just that good.
Ok, this one isn’t a product that you can go out and buy, but I wanted to share it as it really is one of my favourite things. We have a little wall in our kitchen that I always felt was pretty useless. When we renovated our kitchen we considered adding a custom desk onto the wall, but I felt like it would stick out too far and I’d hit myself on it all the time. My husband came up with this brilliant idea of building a little shelf with a place to hang backpacks and purses. He dreamed this up all on his own, so I can’t share plans, but if you’re even a bit handy you could probably figure out how to build it yourself. It’s a piece of pine board that I stained, pipes and connectors that I spray painted and then S-biner hooks that clip to the pipe and hold all the bags. The hooks are low enough that the kids can hang their own backpacks on them and I love that everything is in the kitchen so when I make lunches I can just pop them right into the backpacks. We keep things we use all the time on the shelf like the brush to do hair in the morning and our phones and keys.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a cookbook that I reference as much as this one. I love that it’s divided into sections for if you have time, have a little time, or have basically no time to cook. There are 4 weeks of dinner meal plans in the back that have you prep on Sunday and then cook through the week and I use them regularly. The prep isn’t tedious and I find the book really uses leftovers in a cool way so that you’re always eating different meals but not re-cooking from scratch. I also really like that many recipes have an Instant Pot version for when I don’t read all the way through and realize that I was supposed to cook something in the oven for hours!
Ok, so my husband and I ‘argued’ about this for months as he wanted this stick vac and I was convinced we didn’t need it, but now I am eating my words. This thing is amazing! It is so light and vacuums our laminate, tile and short carpet without any problem. The best part is that it’s even light enough for the kids to use! We have an older model Dyson canister vacuum, and although it works great, I always hated how heavy it was to haul up and down the stairs and how the hose never stayed wrapped around when it was stored. Since we got this stick vac I now only take out the big vacuum every few weeks when I need to vacuum our longer shag type area rugs. It’s a big investment, but oh so worth it!
In the past, I have raved about the Prisma frame by Umbra, and although I still love that frame (and have it in multiple places in my home), my new love is the Glo. The frame comes in 5×7 and 8×10 and can be displayed either portrait or landscape style. The 2 panes of glass allow the edges to be displayed, so I love how it works so well with the hand torn edge Fine Art prints that I offer. The best part is that the frame has a built-in LED light, that when it is turned on very softly illuminates the whole frame. The light isn’t enough to act as a lamp or a nightlight, but it simply draws attention to your print. (Photo of my husband and me by Candace of Eye Photography.)
If you have any questions about any of these products shoot me a message or comment below!