Junction’s Favorite Things

** From the pages of Junction’s notebook: Read about the experiences, perspectives, and ideas of Junction team members.

Looking for the perfect last minute gift, or just something to treat yourself to a better life? Here are a few of Junction’s favorite things. You may find something you didn’t know you could live without!

SodaStream (Around $100, available at many major retailers): This great appliance allows you to flavor and carbonate your own beverages at home, saving on costs and calories vs. buying traditional soda. It is fun to play around with flavor combinations and the results taste great!

Yogli Mogli Frozen Yogurt ($3 and up): Whether it is for an afternoon snack or a post-dinner treat, Yogli Mogli offers more than 10 flavors of frozen yogurt with more than 20 options for toppings. The sweet frozen delights are fantastic and carry less guilt than popular full-fat alternatives like Cold Stone. The franchise has only launched in Georgia and Illinois, but it is quickly becoming one of our favorite places.

Post It Notes ($0.99 and up:) Art Fry, along with Dr. Spencer Silver, invented Post It Notes, which hit stores in 1980….quickly becoming one of the organized world’s favorite things. Post It Notes are an integral part of our daily routines, great for writing ourselves a reminder or jotting down brilliant ideas. We like interesting colors like purple, pink, and blue over the standard yellow. Despite the introduction of Apple’s digital “Stickies” and Windows’ “Sticky Notes,” we prefer the original.

OPI Gel Finger Nail Polish (Prices vary by manicurist): After years of leaving the salon only to have perfectly manicured fingernails quickly ruined, we discovered OPI Gel Nail Polishes. Composed of natural Shellac, these polishes are cured under special lamps and are incredibly durable! For a few extra dollars, we leave the salon with a flawless and lasting manicure every time.

Shun Classic 8″ Chef’s Knife ($149, various retailers): A high quality chef’s knife is the go-to tool for any serious cook – versatile, comfortable, and functional, it is the cornerstone of the kitchen. Spend a little more for this Japanese-made beauty and be amazed at the difference. It will keep its razor-sharp edge far longer than cheap knives and will last a lifetime with proper care, making it a worthwhile investment.

Reusable Coffee Cup Sleeve ($4 and up at many coffee shops): Instead of using a new cardboard sleeves, save a little waste each time you stop by your favorite coffee shop by keeping a stylish reusable sleeve with you instead. Besides doing the planet a favor, they also insulate your hands far better!

Shazam (Free Ad-Supported, iTunes store or Android Market): Can’t for the life of you remember who sang “One Night in Bangkok?” Heard a new song you like and want to know the title and artist? Just pull out your smartphone and let Shazam, a free app, listen and tell you all you need to know. It comes in handy so much more frequently than you would expect, whether you are a casual listener or serious music buff.

Apple iPhone 4S ($199, multiple carriers): The latest incarnation of Apple’s revolutionary smartphone lets us keep in touch with the world. Facetime is an incredible tool that lets us see family or friends, even when we are in different places. Plus, playing great games on the iPhone is a fun way to pass the time.

Amazon Kindle (starting at $79, Amazon.com): E-readers are rapidly taking over market share, and it is well-deserved. Devices like the Kindle make downloading, storing, and reading books and other publications quick, easy, and fun. Amazon.com’s massive online store makes its Kindle the clear cut winner.

Keurig Coffee Makers ($99 and up, various major retailers): We love Keurig Coffee Makers because they are perfect for situations that don’t call for brewing an entire pot. Hundreds of blends and flavors are on the market, making it fun and easy to experiment and find the perfect cup. Great for one quick cup in the morning, or a pick me up in the afternoon, we also happen to love that they are available in different colors to coordinate with our own personal style!

Apple MacBook Pro (starting around $599): It doesn’t matter if you are a ‘Mac’ or a ‘PC,’ there is no denying that Apple has revolutionized standards for quality in the laptop market. We have recently gotten to know the MacBook Pro and some of its top of the line features. One of our personal favorites is the PhotoBooth application, which allows us to snap shots and use effects to create amazing photos. In the market for a new laptop? We definitely stand behind the MacBook Pro.

Garages: This holiday season, one of our absolute favorite things across the office is covered places for automobiles. Garages are indispensible in the winter months, especially in colder climates, saving auto owners the hassle of scraping ice from windshields and digging out parked cars. Garages allow the office to run smoothly, helping everyone to get to where they need to be on time. When buying a house, be sure a garage is part of the square footage.

Holiday Cooking:  Obviously, family gatherings and really good eating are one of our favorite things about this season. For some of us, delicious Candied Yams instantly bring everyone to the table and remind us of warm memories. For others, an elaborate roast signifies the luxury of the season. Even a simple egg nog or warm cocktail by a fire can be just about as good as it gets.

The Junction team wishes you a terrific holiday season. We’d love to hear about some of your favorite things!

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