My fab 5 for 2011

I read a fantastic post by Ginger Calem on her top five for 2011. I loved it so much I thought I’d do my own fab 5 for 2011. As Ginger pointed out, the “givens” are already understood. We all know everyone is grateful for their spouses, family, children, health, home etc. This is more about those 5 fabulous little ditties that made you squeal in personal delight. They changed your pleasure world and gave you something unexpectedly delicious. They gave you itty bitty butterflies in your belly. You know…the FUN STUFF!

My fab 5 for 2011 (in no particular order) are:

1.      My Kindle

My Kindle was a 2011 birthday present and it’s been one of my most delicious finds for 2011. I love it so much; hubby thinks I am having an affair it. Every night I dash into bed excited to curl up with the little bugger. I love the convenience of it, the highlighting, the dictionary, the page turns, and the light! Best of all, a few weeks ago I bought the first book to the Vampire Diaries. And there I found myself at midnight, finished book one with no book two in hand. Well instead of having to wait until morning to head to the bookstore, I just fired up amazon, ordered book two and in under a minute, I was happily immersed in the story again having never left the comfort and warmth of my BED! LOVE THAT!

2. Blogging/WANA711/ROW80/Twitter

I lump all my social media fun into one fab 5 because they are all interconnected. 2011 was simply a huge social media year for me. I started the year strong but my readership and enthusiasm for blogging waned 6 months into the year. That’s when I came across Kristen Lamb’s blogging to build brand course and my world changed. It was, as we writers like to call it, the inciting event. My world has not been the same since. Through her course, and beyond, I have connected with so many amazing people who are encouraging me to chase my dream in ways that has deeply touched my soul! I don’t feel like we are just a network…we aren’t just a community…we are a family! And I don’t know what I’d do without each and every one of you. You’ve enriched my life and brought me such joy and laughter. The truest gift of friendship and support I’ve ever received….thank you simply does not come close to expressing my gratitude!

3.      My 6 foot pre-lit palm tree

You might think this sounds odd but I’ve wanted one of these bad boys for years! I mean, we don’t live anywhere my beloved palm trees so there’s something that just warms my heart every time we drive by a house that has one of these things lit up. “Look hubby…ahhhh…isn’t that gorgeous!!!” I’d say time and time again. It’s just one of those things that tweaked my weird funny bone. This year, hubby delivered at Christmas in spades and when I opened this box up, I literally squealed and did the flash dance toe-tap! I couldn’t wait to tear into the box and set it up. Although we put it up for a bit over Christmas, I decided our winter weather will likely destroy its beauty too quickly so it’s tucked away until spring when I will create a palm tree oasis on my back deck! Eeekeee…I can’t wait!

4.      Shoes – all of them – but especially the newbies to the collection!

I gotta say, nothing makes me feel sexier than a hot pair of shoes. There’s just something about it. Something that makes me stand taller, walk prouder, feel more confident. I swear, hot shoes could solve world peace! I have a good friend who has an addiction to hot shoes that makes my collection look like child’s play. Lucky for me, she enjoys passing her hardly-worn, slightly used oldies to make room for newbies meaning my shoe collection is growing in size and style. It’s hot hot hot! Tara, if you are reading this, thank you – you make my shoe world a rockin’ place to be.

5.      Clothes that fit

Most of you likely read my post about how hubby took me shopping for some new clothes to fit my growing body (no, I am not pregnant, just put on 20+ pounds this summer). I had been refusing for months and months promising I was going to drop some of the weight. He couldn’t take seeing me so unhappy and told me to suck it up and off we went to the mall. I had no idea that accommodating my weight gain by buying bigger sizes and clothes that fit would actually make me feel wonderful about myself and…smaller?!?! It was a true gift and one I’ve been reveling in ever since. Definitely one of my fab 5 experiences this year! And the new loot hanging in my closet helps!

There are probably a hundred other things, experiences, and emotions that I could add to this list. 2011 was really a stellar year for me with a ton of growth and change, most for the better. It’s going to be hard to top that year but…I have every hope that 2012 is going to blow it out of the water. That’s the plan anyway.

Here’s to maintaining an attitude of gratitude like Tameri Etherton is doing beyond this post of fabulousness…but all year-long! 

What’s your Fab 5 for 2011? How do you embrace an attitude of gratitude?

If you enjoyed this post, check out more blog deliciousness here:

  • We’ve all heard the science, we do better at anything (writing, work etc) when we are physically fit and active. I know when I sit and watch TV, I slowly move into numb land. But if I take a walk, I come home ready to write. Well Ginger Calem has come up with the #writersbutt program that’s going to make us all better, more productive writers and more physically fit. I joined up immediately! Check out her post and get to it!
  • There’s been a ton of posts out there on resolutions and goals setting but I really loved Kate MacNicol’s post on creating breakthrough goals. Those goals that really push us outside our comfort zone and make us reach for the stars!
  • Another key to success is making sure our goals are SMART. Marcia Richards wrote a fantastic post with 5 tips that will surely help us all reach our goals!


  1. gingercalem says:

    Wow, Natalie, a double shout-out! Thank you. I love our Top-5 and HELLO…..totally in love with your twinkly palm tree! We are redoing our back yard later this spring and I think I know one thing I simply MUST have. 🙂 Your blogs are always fun and inspiring. Thanks for always providing a smile and some girlfriend time. You rock!

    • My pleasure – your two posts were FAB and needed some shouting out!! Isn’t the palm tree GORGEOUS! I love it. Every time we plug it in, I light up. LOL!! I think it’d be PERFECT for your backyard reno!! Absolutely…
      I am thrilled to bits you enjoy the blog…here’s to the continued smiles and gal pal time!! MUAH!

  2. Love your list! I have a shoe thing, too, but instead of heels, it’s a Chuck addiction. I own more Chucks than any person has a right to. They’re just soooo comfy, and practical for chasing rug-rats around all day. Heels are something I dream about as I go to sleep at night. 🙂 🙂

  3. I love those shoes and your palm tree. Canada can’t have enough palm trees. Ha. Seriously though, thank you for all the help and support you’ve given me over the past months since we trail blazed our way into wana711. You are always so upbeat, positive and flat out hilarious. I had no idea when I started that class that I would getting involved in such a kind, loving group of women and man. (hi, Kerry:) What a gift. Knowing you guys are out there and have my back is such a comfort.

    Thanks for including my blog in this post. You read a lot of blogs so I’m humbled and happy! I’m going to check out Ginger’s post and the #writersbutt program. Sounds like a winner to me.

    Let’s hope Hughesnet and WordPress are friends today and my comment goes through.

    • Yeahhh Kate…your comment came through! Woot woot! You are right, Canada can’t have too many palm trees. LOL!!
      Absolutely my pleasure! And you took the words right out of my mouth. I would have never dared dream of such an incredible, supportive, amazing, and loving family would have come out of signing up for Kristen’s class but it has. I don’t know where I’d be without you guys. Y’all MAKE my blog what it is…and inspire me to keep at it. Seriously….it’s all YOU baby!! 🙂
      You will LOVE Ginger’s #writersbutt program – rocking! I’ve increased my water to 96 ounces a day (should be 100) and am doing squats every time I hit the bathroom (and that’s a LOT) and feel GREAT! Join in on the fun!!!

  4. Luv luv luv this. i’d include my kindle and social media and well fitting clothes. your hobby sounds like a keeper.

  5. Here’s to clothes that fit and our Kindles!!! A woman after my own heart…:)

  6. Another great post, Natalie! I confess, I’m also a pushover for stuff like your #3.

  7. Love your list–especially about the clothes that fit, the shoes, and can I say that I love my NOOK??

    I thought there was so much tenderness and excitement about your list! Great collection of things. What a great community this is online!!

  8. Nancy J Nicholson says:

    What a great idea Natalie, and what a wonderful list. I’m with you on the social media and kindles. I’m also greatful for all my new friends. Can’t wait to see what 2012 brings.

  9. Love this post! I’d have to include my Nook, all my new clothes, my favorite sexy boots, new online friends, and finishing my book:)

  10. Wow – you picked some winners here, Natalie! And I hear ya about the weight gain – when I hit that “change of life” I picked up a bunch of pounds, waited a while and tried to get them off, but it’s my new metabolism I guess. I got a few new clothes that fit better and don’t make me berate myself every time because I don’t have to squeeze into them.

    Life is too short to wear crappy-looking clothes!

    • Kathy, it’s sooo hard to get it back off, isn’t it?! UGH! I think having clothes that fit is key because beating ourselves up and punishing ourselves doesn’t help the situation. If anything, I think it makes it worse. Life is too damn short for crappy clothing! Amen to that sista!

  11. Fabulous list Natalie! I hear you on the eReader and the clothes 🙂

  12. Ahhh-some list, Natalie, and one to which most of us can totally relate! Who knew we would be such enthusiastic e-book converts? Your Wana711 comments got me a tad misty-eyed and I couldn’t agree more. We are family. Write on, dear friend!

  13. Coleen Patrick says:

    This is a fab list! I am forming a relationship with my Kindle too 😉 Plus I also love all the WANA peeps too. Oh and sparkly things too! Awesome.

    • Yeahhhh….glad you are lovin’ the Kindle! Isn’t it the best. Well, Kindle, Nook, Kobo – I don’t discriminate – e-readers rock! 🙂
      I could agree with your more about the WANA peeps – what a crew of amazing, supportive, uberlicious people! Simply the best…

  14. We are Fam-il-y! (you may be too young to remember that song) I love your fab 5…definitely feel the same way about my Kindle. I have to know where it is at all times, just in case.
    Great idea to get healthier this year…seems we’re all in the same boat. I will check out Ginger’s butt program, but also please check out my #2012healthchallenge. We have a great group going in–Jenny Hansen, Gene Lempp, Raelyn, and so many more! Fun doing it together–so whatever group anyone chooses, have fun and stick with it!

    • Okay, you can call me old now…completely forgot the bigger reason I stopped by (got distracted by all the pretty stuff) thank you for metioning my SMART post, Natalie. I’m happy you found useful enough to share 🙂

    • Thanks Marcia – I do remember the song – a definite fav! 🙂
      Ohhhh…I thought it was just a walking challenge that I had missed out on. Dang. I am going to head back over to your blog digs and check it out. Sounds right up my alley! 🙂

  15. Great list! I especially love the palm tree as I live in Fl & at Christmas our real palm trees are lit up like this 🙂 Plus we have a lit up alligator, pink flamingo, white cranes and a twinkling parrot in one of the palms.

    I’m definitely also grateful for my e-reader that lets me buy books at 2 am from the comfort of my bed & all the amazing peeps I’ve met through WANA!

    • OMG Shannon – I NEED PICTURES! That sounds fahhhhbulous! OMG!!! I love it….sweet sweet sweet!! Girl, you are after my heart…LOL!!
      I am thrilled my post resonated with so many people….

  16. What a super fabulous list! I love your palm tree and those shoes are to die for. They are so sexy!! Your inclusion of the well-fitting clothes gave me chills as it did when I read the original post. I just love that you are embracing yourself how you are. That’s just so darn sweet. Thank you so much for the shout out! What a surprise and honor.

    I think I need to google Chucks. What the heck? If they are comfy, I need them! I’d love to wear shoes like you posted, but my foot cringes just looking at the picture. Seriously, it cringed, I’d take a picture, but I might hurt myself.

    Love you so much and you’re absolutely right ~ we are family! Thanks for getting that song stuck in my head, Marcia. I’ll be humming it all day now. ; )

    • Awwww…thank you Tameri! I love you too and can’t tell you how much I appreciate your comments, support, and encouragement. MWUAH!!
      Chuck’s, if my googling is correct, are those high-top type sneakers. Check out Google Images for what came back. They definitely look comfy and you could absolutely BLING these babies UP!!! Absolutely…because we do not want you hurting yourself…ever!
      HUGS to the FAM!!!!!!!!!

  17. I’m trying to think if I’ve ever seen a fake pre-lit palm tree. Living near the Gulf Coast of Texas, we do light our palm trees, but those are real. Yours looks really cool!

    My Fab 5? Well, I know one for sure – my new laptop. It’s faster, easier to use, more portable, and I got a stylish bag to put it in when I head to the coffee shop. I also replaced all of my bras in 2011 – which is probably more than you wanted to know about me – but the new pretty ones make me feel better than old worn-out ones. Should that count? Still need three more. Thinking.

    • Yip, you’d definitely have no need for fake pre-lit palm trees Julie. LOL – I am so jealous!!!
      I LOVE that you got a new laptop and bag. That’s fantastic. Yeahhh…
      And the bras absolutely qualify!! I think that’s uberlicious and I say make it an annual thing. There’s nothing like new, pretty undies to make a girl feel right about herself…and the world. Love it.

  18. StoriesAndSweetPotatoes says:

    These are indeed FAB things. Amen for clothes that fit. I had to find some of those in 2011 as well 🙂 I still need some really, I’m a terrible shopper.

    • Shopping can definitely be a struggle but I think it’s worth it to have clothes that help you feel good about yourself in your own skin. Here’s to stocking up with stuff that makes you feel FAB in 2012!

  19. Haha, love the palm tree. Would never wear those shoes. 😛 Fun post, Natalie!

  20. Awe Natalie, you have such a way with words and getting to the nitty gritty. I love that about you. The palm tree is something else. H ow do I embrace and attitude of gratitude? For now, I’m starting my day by thinking of 2 things I’m grateful for about my husband and then life in general. Tiny thing but a good first baby step?

  21. Those sure are some fierce boots, Natalie! While I’m making a cross-border excursion to grab the nifty new Blackberry you got last year, I’ll snaggle those boots. 🙂 I’ve grown to love the ease of use of my Kindle now as well. It is a steady companion at the gym and I’m amazed how much faster I read on it.

  22. Elena Aitken says:

    I LOVE this idea of Fab 5!!
    And to make the list as part of the Wana711 group….sniff sniff.
    But SO true. I love you sistas too!

    Also, I kindle. FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC!!
    Love the palm tree by the way. I just may need to get me one of those..

    • Glad you enjoyed it Elena!You’ll have to do your own post soon enough. It’s fabulous to share the “love”!!!
      You totally should get one of the palm trees – every time I look at it, it warms my heart.

  23. I totally share your enthusiasm for #2. It changed my professional life.
    My fab 5 got to include twitter. What else…? I need to think about that. 2011 was special.
    Fun post, Natalie!

  24. I love your list and agree with everything on it, with the exception of the new back scratcher my hubby got me. Seriously, during the winter, I have the dryest skin in history and my back itches ALL THE TIME. My scrumptious honey got me a back scratcher that hangs from my writing chair so I can ease the agony any time I want! LOVE IT!!

    I sooo wish I could still wear those sassy, strappy, silver, slutty stripper shoes. I think they’re awesome! And I can’t wear them. 😦 But I can drool over yours (as I’m sure Hubby does).

    • Awwww…your hubs rocked it this year! That’s fantastic Jenny – nothing like a great back scratcher. I need some kind of electronic arm that will play with my hair for hours. LOL!!
      Snifff….I feel for you and Tameri so I will wear mine in both your honor!!!

  25. If I had shoes like that, I’d have to have a place to go. Is that faulty cause and effect?

  26. What a great post, Natlaie. I couldn’t agree more about the social media/wana/row80 etc. but can’t jump for joy over those shoes. Ay. The palm tree calls for bare feet anyway. 🙂

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