ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My Five Favorite Things of 2019

Updated on May 10, 2019
LaurenMBarrett profile image

I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a teacher. I am a writer. I'm a lover of reading, running, scrapbooking, and crossword puzzles.

2019 brought me a baby, making our family of two a family of three, our house a little bit messier, and our time a little bit preoccupied. Naturally, my son is my favorite person of 2019, but along the way I have found five things that I am totally digging now, and I would love to share with you. These things are perfect for being a new parent but are for anyone who likes having fun, working out, learning, and giving back. I am from the Raleigh area, so I will be adding some links on where you can find these things in the city. Otherwise, I would suggest searching your hometown for these things, so you can enjoy alongside me.

1. The Shop Forward

I am a big fan of the Bobby Bones Show, and one of the co-hosts on the show actively works for The Shop Forward which is how I got into this company. Every product bought goes to an organization or charity that helps others around the world. They have supported St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, breast cancer, animals, oprhanages in Haiti, food banks, etc. Not only do you feel as if you are doing a good deed by purchasing one of their products, but their items are super cute.

Some of my favorite products from the store are the following:

  • The "4 Things" Tote Bag - you can buy a pre-made bag or you can personalize your own. I have bought one for myself plus sixteen other ones for my friends and family for all occasions (Mother's Day, bridal and baby showers, bachelorette parties, birthdays, Christmas, graduations, or just because).
  • Mama Collection - Being a new mom, I had to have one of these shirts. They are cute, comfy, and the money supports single, pregnant women. I have been buying them all for my mom friends. Can you say win, win, and another win!
  • Cool Mom - Another mom collection, these items come with an adorable cropped, fleece hoodie that is on my Must Buy list.
  • Choose Joy - Take time to research the back story of these items, and you'll see why I love these shirts and sweatshirts. They come in a variety of colors and styles and are a great gift to give to someone just to say, "Thank you," or "I'm thinking of you."

Click thumbnail to view full-size
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." -Winston Churchill
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." -Winston Churchill
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." -Winston Churchill

2. Free Fitness Classes

My workout of choice has always been running but every now and then I like to spice it up. However, I am a tad bit cheap and refuse to pay for a workout when I know I can just run or walk for free (there are some rare exceptions). Lucky for me, there are a number of fitness classes popping up in the area at local parks. These get togethers are a great way to get outside and meet people without spending a chunk of your paycheck on them. I tend to go to mostly the yoga classes, but I have seen anything from barre classes to boot camp style workouts. A quick Google search should tell you in no time if they are in your area.

Raleighites here is what I have found:

"Exercise not only changes your body, it changes your mind, your attitude, and your mood."
"Exercise not only changes your body, it changes your mind, your attitude, and your mood."

3. Wine Walks for Charity

Want a cheap date night or a night out with the girls? Wine Walks are the things to do! For only about $10-$15 you can buy a "passport" to travel to participating shops that offer you some wine and often treats (pretzels and dips, chocolates, finger foods) to go with it. I went to one recently and only made it to half the shops and probably had already drunk two glasses of wine and was feeling pretty good and also pretty satisfied from all the food. A dinner date would easily cost about $15 just for your food alone. That's excluding apps, drinks, and dessert. With wine walks you pretty much get all that plus a chance to walk outside in gorgeous weather and explore shops and mingle with friends. And the money goes to charity! I cannot recommend these events enough.

Raleigh people listen up. Try these wine walks.

"Wine is sunlight, held together by water."
"Wine is sunlight, held together by water."

4. Libraries

Yes, yes, I know libraries are not a new concept. They have been around as early as the 17th century. But they are seriously underrated. You can get all kinds of books in all different types of formats from the library....FO FREE! I have reserved all of the latest books and fly through them. I haven't had to spend money on a book in so long. While on maternity leave I really started to appreciate how great these places are. People can read there, use the computers there, print there, copy there, relax there, eat there, take their children to all the free programs there. I can't stress this enough: Take advantage of your local libraries!

For free programs at the Wake County libraries click here.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

5. Exploring Small Towns

The year of the baby has become the year we also revamp our vacationing. Instead of taking weeks to fly out west or trek all over Europe, we changed things up a bit to include more day trips to small towns with cool vibes around our state.

To me a perfect day in one of these quaint towns or up and coming cities looks like this:

  1. Exploring the downtown area and seeing all that it has to offer. Normally, this includes window browsing the shops and walking around.
  2. Finding a place to eat at a local restaurant. Goodbye chains and places where I can eat anywhere. I like to find cuisine that matches the area and then eat outside while people watching.
  3. Partaking in a recreational event whether that be seeing a minor league baseball game, taking a hike, or strolling the grounds of a vineyard.
  4. Topping off the day with drinks and/or desserts. I like to look up the best breweries or local ice cream shops in that area and then indulge in a treat.

My top choices of places to try out if you live in North Carolina and don't want to travel exceptionally far:

"Once a year, go someplace you've never been before." -Dalai Lama
"Once a year, go someplace you've never been before." -Dalai Lama

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)