Top 10 Brands: Absolutely Need All Of These Favorites In My Life

As we head into 2017, I wanted to share the brands/services that have entered my life over the last couple of years and upped my happiness quotient in oh so many small, but important ways.

In putting this list together I also realized how integral these brands are to my daily routines and how much I miss them if, for whatever reason, I must forego them.

And, since someone inquired recently, NO, I am not being paid to endorse these brands. I only write about brands that I actually use, love and want to recommend.

Read on below for the full list – in alphabetical order – plus a quick recap of brands that would have been on the list last year but have sadly fallen by the wayside.

 Amazon Prime

I’m late to the game on this and only got on board after I bought Alexa and discovered I needed a Prime membership to access music. For $99 it is a great deal. I hadn’t signed up previously because I’m a huge planner and rejected the idea of next-day delivery. However, now that I do have Prime, I am finding myself inching away from Walmart.com – not because I’ve suddenly realized I need stuff delivered next day but because the Amazon UX is just 1000% better and the more you use it, the more it becomes apparent how inferior walmart.com is – from navigation to selection.

 

Anthom (25 Mercer Street, NYC)

I discovered this store recently and adore both the clothes and the owner of the store, Ashley Turchin (pics above). The clothes/designers she carries are distinctive and can be worn by women of all ages and sizes. Ashley really “gets” me – I have bought every single item she has recommended and that’s major!! It’s a beautiful store, great vibe and reasonable prices.

I also still enjoy COS and get slightly more pieces there if the season is good (as it was recently when I bought at least 10 items). However, COS quality is not as good as Anthom’s and it’s catch as catch can there – there is also not a “merchant” of Ashley’s caliber on site to help me select what works best for me.

 

Apple Pay

I’ve written about this before. Just about the most amazing thing to happen when it comes to shopping. Everything about Apple Pay is genius – the only thing missing is having EVERY place accept it – there should be a law!

 

Citibike

Docking station at the end of my block

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Citibike. Big shoutout to both Margaret Anadu, Managing Director in the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, who’s been spearheading this project since launch and my friend, Eleanore Wells, who was the first person I knew who had a membership. I joined the very next day and have not looked back since.

Big step in my commitment to Citibike: I am planning to sell my Bianchi this spring. I never use it anymore and dragging it up the stairs from the basement is as inconvenient as you can imagine – especially when I have 4 or 5 Citibike docking stations within a few blocks.

 

John Frieda Frizz Ease Straight Fixation Styling Crème

I don’t remember how I first discovered this brand but it was sometime in 2016. I had run out of the very expensive Kerastase styling product that I buy from my hairdresser. I used to love the way Kerastase smelled but after they changed the scent, the fact that I wasn’t really crazy about how it made my hair look became more obvious.

But I digress, back to the Frieda products. I buy the styling crème as well as the Frizz Ease Flawlessly Straight Shampoo and Conditioner at walmart.com and love them. My hair has never looked better and I love the texture it has after using the styling crème – my hair feels very thick and the product definitely stops the frizzies. And it’s not expensive!

 

Ludlow House (139 Ludlow Street)

Becoming a member of Ludlow/Soho House is just about the best thing that happened in 2016!! It’s where I work 3 days a week (generally Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday).

I am besotted by the ambiance, the vibe, the staff. It’s a 5 minute walk from my house. It’s a great spot to meet friends and clients. And I am 1000% grateful to Rodrigo Padilla for ushering me in at the founders stage.

I rarely work at Soho House (Meatpacking) but that location has become a favorite for my friends and I to organize lunches, dinners and other celebratory meals e.g. Thanksgiving. We spent hours there on Friday, December 30th having lunch followed by a competitive, raucous game of Cards For Humanity. As always, the Machamers won!

 

Vans Slip-Ons

My favorite shoes – I always have at least 3 pairs of the same color/style going. I bought them for the first time in 2015 for my Nat Geo Trip and haven’t looked back since. They are comfortable, cool and inexpensive. Ideal footwear for all of my clothes. The only other footwear I own are my Blundstone boots.

 

Warby Parker Glasses (121 Greene Street)

Have to thank my friend, Bruce Bromley, for first introducing me to their physical location in the Puck Building! I thought it was unbelievably cool to have a retail store right in your office space. Now they have a great store on Greene Street where they also have an optometrist on premise. Will be going in for a check up in January and possibly getting a new pair of Winstons. I’ve written before about personal style and my Warby Parker Winstons are KEY to my look. Also the CX at Warby is so phenomenal on all levels.

 

White Moustache Yogurt – Sour Cherry

Everyone must be getting tired of my constant raves for this yogurt but I just LOVE it. But if my favorite flavor, Sour Cherry (and to a lesser extent, King Mulberry) are not available, I’m out of luck because I’m not keen on date or quince.

My only misgiving about the brand is the lack of calorie information. I’m optimistically saying it’s 170 cals but it tastes so good I feel I may be deluding myself.

 

YMCA – Chinatown branch (273 Bowery)

What makes this gym so welcoming and inspiring is the mix of people – I’m especially partial to working out with the Chinese seniors – they’re rad and totally have it going on!! Personal trainers seem to be great here as well. It’s an absolutely no-frills, no attitude kind of place with a remarkably diverse range of classes from tai chi to TRX, yoga, barre, belly dancing, bolly-X, cardio-kickboxing, water aerobics and much more.

 

Brands not making the cut this year:

Brands that would have been on this list a few years ago but have sadly, slipped, include Whole Foods and Apple (I’ve written about my disappointments with both before so will not go into it again).

And the one brand that REALLY let me down big time this past year is GoDaddy. Much more on that fiasco in a few weeks. Avoid using them for web hosting if you can – a disaster!!

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