2017 FAVORITES

As we near the end of the year, the Third Avenue team has rounded up a list of our favorite things – most of which we just discovered in 2017! 

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1. TSA Pre✓® – It’s the little things in life. The luxury of not walking barefoot through airport security, or the ease of sliding your bag through the scanner without having to take out your laptop or your liquids – these are just a couple highlights from the long list of reasons why I love TSA Pre✓®. When you travel frequently (and even when you don’t!) all of the conveniences that make the process easier are profoundly appreciated. It has made traveling so much easier for me and I’ll never go back!  – Nicole

2. AWAY luggage – I can’t say enough good things about this suitcase! The carry-on is a well thought out design, complete with a built-in charger, and TSA-compliant lock. The two compartments are designed with the traveler in mind, and somehow, they managed to sneak in a laundry bag without forcing you to give up any extra space. Don’t forget they come in super fun colors, and can be monogrammed! And it gets better, they came out with kids’ suitcases – could it be any cuter? – Kristin

3. Packing cubes – I know what you’re thinking: “I don’t need packing cubes, I roll my clothes and save tons of space!” Trust me, I was there, but now I’m a packing cube convert, and screaming it from the rooftops! These aren’t just space savers, but they help keep your suitcase organized. My husband and I spent two weeks in Ireland this summer (book a plane ticket, and go! One of our favorite vacations by far), and tried out packing cubes for the first time. Since we moved from hotel to hotel almost every night, the packing cubes kept everything tidy, and made repacking a breeze. The ones we have are made out of the material they use for parachutes, so they are super durable with a lifetime warranty. Just invest, you won’t regret it! – Kristin

4. Infinity Pillow by Huzi – To the people who can immediately and easily fall asleep on a long flight: I envy you. I am absolutely not a member of that club, which is why the Infinity Pillow is an essential for me. This pillow can be twisted, wrapped, bundled and more, thanks to its versatile shape. Think of an infinity scarf, but cozier! It is extremely comfortable as a standard neck pillow, but it also creates a super comfortable window pillow for you to lean on. I have even found myself using it at home, especially as a back rest while sitting at a desk. We all know about the germs we encounter while traveling, so I really appreciate that the entire pillow is machine washable. Plus, the Daily Mail called it “a sleepyhead’s savior” so get one and get your cozy on, fellow sleepyheads! – Nicole

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5. theSkimm – Staying in-the-know with politics, business and world events, especially those stories that aren’t of huge interest in one way or another is a challenge we all face. Being informed enough for an intelligent discussion is something we all want to be. theSkimm gives me that. Every weekday I wake up to top stories and headlines across a myriad of topics written in an engaging, and oftentimes entertaining, manner that is easy to digest. As I speak with colleagues, partners, fellow parents, friends and even the guy at the post office, I feel confident in my knowledge of the day’s happenings. And if there is a topic of particular interest that you want to deep dive on, theSkimm provides links to additional resources and stories! Then there are the book recommendations, SkimmReads and let’s just say I’ve read more books this year for pleasure than in the last three and I haven’t been disappointed yet. – Annie

6. How I Built This podcast – Every business has a story. How I Built This with Guy Raz chats with entrepreneurs about their struggles and triumphs as they built multi-million, and billion dollar empires, some of which have changed the way we operate on a daily basis. The best part (in my opinion) is realizing that struggles for entrepreneurs aren’t unique, everyone has them, and most can overcome them with the right attitude, and a little bit of luck! – Kristin

7. Brain.fm – Smart music. You heard me! Brain.fm is powered by artificial intelligence that composes music to help your brain improve on three things: sleeping, focusing or relaxing. I am a huge fan of the focus station, personally. Sometimes I need to work in unconventional environments with lots of distractions that make it extremely difficult to focus. Brain.fm has been a lifesaver and I have used it countless times since discovering it. The effects really kick in after about 10 minutes. 10 minutes or less and you’ll be “in the zone” – one of my favorite places to be when I have a long to-do list to tackle! The science behind it is fascinating and I encourage you to read up on it if you are as intrigued as I was. – Nicole

8. Skillshare – For the past six or seven months, every time I am faced with a task that requires a skillset I don’t currently have, Skillshare is my first stop. It’s an online learning community that was started in hopes of closing the professional gap and providing universal access to high-quality learning. In my experience, they’ve nailed that. I’ve taken courses on a range of topics – from graphic design to productivity to health and wellness. If there’s a topic you want to learn more about, I highly recommend Skillshare as your starting point. Or just browse the catalog! There are some genuinely interesting courses on there that I didn’t even know I had an interest in until I saw them. – Nicole

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9. Pendry San Diego – One of my favorite cities (San Diego) is now home to one of my favorite hotels (the Pendry)! Spending two weeks straight in the same place will make you either love it or hate it. I can’t speak highly enough of the level of service, dining options and overall cool factor of this property. Our team and the staff quickly became friends as we worked together to execute a top-notch program over the course of two weeks. With all of us focused on the same end goal (client happiness and program success), it took a matter of hours before we began acting and reacting as one team. From the sales team to the banquet servers and front desk staff to the very hands-on general manager, we had access to as many or as little folks as we needed to get the job done. And we managed to have a little fun in the process. Plus, Provisional has the most delicious gelato that seemed to make even the hardest day manageable after a couple bites. And now this same magical outlet (Provisional) has a champagne vending machine! YES, please! – Annie

10. Plum Paper planner – Staying organized is critical when on the road a couple of weeks of the month, running a business, and attempting to keep up with friends and family. Plum Paper lets you pick the layout that works best for you in a planner. I selected a to do list on one side, with the days of the week on the other – calendar meets to do list, and the game is changed! I no longer need an extra notebook with my running to do list, it’s all in one space! – Kristin

11. Wildsam Field Guides – Earlier this year, in a city I had never visited, Kristin and I came across the cutest street with some wonderful shops, and in one of these shops I discovered a Wildsam Field Guide. These books are magical insights into some of the United States’ coolest cities. They are great for client gifts, personal consumption or just light reading on a location of interest. The company as a whole is focused on helping people find an experience through exploration and is, as their website states, “just as relevant for locals as for tourists.” They have also produced a couple of road trip guides that span several cities. Pick up one or the whole set and get ready to experience your country in an entirely new way! – Annie

12. JCB #69 sparkling rose – There is nothing better after a long and successful program than a delightful and refreshing glass of wine. Add a beautiful California afternoon, a few bubbles, and some great team members to make the experience even more rewarding! A bottle of JCB #69 sparkling rose was recommended by the hotel during one of these moments and, I have to be really honest, it took the whole celebration to a new level. A beautiful rose color, millions of bubbles and a crispness that fills your mouth with a smile; this sparkling wine is amazing! As a group, we enjoyed a couple of bottles and recapped our week in the most positive way. As an individual, I’ve since ordered a case for home and on really special days (sometimes just a Tuesday!), I pop open a bottle and let the smile spread while I tackle whatever has been thrown my way! – Annie