Let’s Play Oprah!

In case you missed it, last week I explained how I’m starting a new series here on the blog because I want us to be fun-havers.

So once a month we’re going to “Play Oprah” (as in, emulate her, not trick her, of course) and we’re going to share our “Favorite Things” with each other.

And then at the end of the month I’m going to give one of those things away! 

To you!

Can I get a hallelujah? Can I get an amen?

Can we say it together in unison?

“Let’s Play Oprah!”


I think it’s important you know that every time I type that, it’s in my best singsongy Oprah voice. Which is sort of ironic because I don’t think Oprah goes around singsonging her own name, but whatever, just roll with it. I also mentally roll out a red carpet, a small marching band, and throw around celebratory confetti every time I type it, so let’s just pause to make a mental note of that, okay?

At the beginning of each month I’ll write a post just like this one, sharing links to three of my favorite things at the moment and announcing which of those items I’ll be giving away, because in case it wasn’t clear from the first few paragraphs, I’m a firm believer in a big buildup.

And since friends don’t let friends miss out, I encourage you guys to share your favorite things with the rest of us as well. You can comment here on the blog, you can comment using #letsplayoprah on my InstagramFacebook, or Twitter, or you can always simply reply to my email newsletter. I do read every single email and I try my best to reply right away. This will be a fun way for us all to connect with each other and to see what we might have in common.

Plus: Who doesn’t want free stuff? 

Raise your hand if you still get excited about surprise packages in the mail when all you were expecting was bills!

All you need to do to enter the giveaway is enter your email address in the blue lighted bar at the end of this post, or in the opt-in on the right sidebar. What’s awesome about this is that it’s not time sensitive. You can enter anytime during the month, and at the end of each month I’ll choose a winner at random!

If you don’t win, don’t lose heart, you’ll still automatically be entered for following months. See! How easy and fun is this?!

Why have we not done this before?


Sorry, I just get so excited.

Okay, so now that all the business is taken care of, without further ado, here are my top three Favorite Things this month:

  1. THE VOXER APP.  If you (like me) are a bit of an introverted extrovert and you love to stay in touch with your people, but you also hate talking on the phone, this app is for you. I mean, I really hate talking on the phone, which is weird because I’m rarely short on words. In person, I can hardly shut up. On the phone? I’m pretty much always awkward. So I live and die by my Voxer app. It’s an audio-messaging system which allows your phone to function like a walkie-talkie. It’s the perfect medium between a phonecall or text, and my favorite thing about it is that you can listen and respond at your own convenience. I have a few writer friends who live across the country in different time zones and we basically owe our entire friendships to the convenience of Voxer. It’s that powerful, guys. So if you’re still part of that %7 of the population who aren’t getting in on this action yet, it’s time to come over to the dark side.

  2. JOE’S Jeans Now, I realize that jeans can be a polarizing fashion item. Some people believe a good pair of jeans are worth upwards of $300 while other’s might feel it’s silly to pay more than $30 for some glorified Levi’s. I tend to fall somewhere in the middle. I used to scoff at the idea of premium denim but then I tried some on and I was like, “OH. I see.” That being said, I can’t always afford to indulge in the perfect pair of Seven jeans every time I gain or lose 15 pounds (which is roughly every five minutes) so I’ve invested in a few pairs of quality jeans as wardrobe staples, and then I usually pick up a couple of inexpensive pairs to fill in the gap when I’m fluctuating in weight. (Which again, is basically always.) But I have to say that my tried and true, favorite brand are JOE’S jeans. They seem to have mastered the perfect rise, consistently offering a waistline that hugs in all the right places without making me feel matronly. And I could be making this up, but I swear their denim is softer than most. I’ve purchased multiple different styles and cuts, yet every pair feels like that trusty, old, worn-in favorite the minute I pull them on. I’m currently obsessed with The Vixen style because it goes with everything from flats to boots, and it just so happens to be on sale at the moment.

  3. MINDY KALING. It’s no secret that I’m a huge Mindy fan, and while I realize that she isn’t exactly an item that I can give away, she also kind of is. Both of her books were among my all time favorite memoirs, and while I could go on and on about everything she’s taught me about life and why she’s so great, you’ll just have to read this piece  instead, because otherwise Mindy could easily hijack this whole blog post without even trying. Since I loved both of her books equally, and since this is our first giveaway, I’m starting out with a bang and giving away not one, but BOTH of Mindy’s books: “Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me (And Other Concerns)” & “Why Not Me?“, AS WELL AS her hilarious 50-card set of talking points, or “conversations starters” if you will, titled, “Questions I Ask When I Want To Talk About Myself: 50 Topics To Share With Friends”.

So that’s it for October! I hope you tune in for next month’s “Let’s Play Oprah” too.

Be sure you’re entered to win, and sound off in the comments!

Tell me all your favorite things!

19 thoughts on “Let’s Play Oprah!

  1. Keri M.

    I love your play Oprah idea and totally imagine her voice while reading your post. I’m intrigued by the Voxer app and will definitely look into it. I adore Mindy as well and am excited about this month’s giveaway and hope I win!

    My current favorites include:
    Melanie Shankle – currently reading her book Nobody’s Cuter Than You which is hilarious and emotional and is a wonderful ode to friendship. I also loved her book Antelope in the Living Room which is about marriage and made me laugh literally out loud so many times – good stuff!

    Katy Mixon – currently starring in the new sitcom American Housewife but I already loved her from Mike & Molly and the movie Four Christmases. She is funny, relatable and I told my husband that I wish she could be my friend because I totally think we would get along…he tweeted that and she liked it!!! 🙂

    imomsohard – these two women on Facebook/blog are hilarious, relatable and always make me laugh and say me too!

  2. Ariel

    Ohmigosh I love Voxer!!!! I totally forgot about it until this moment. It is literally so much better than texting.

    First 3 favorite things that come to mind:
    #1 Jeff Gerke’s “Plot Versus Character” which is my lifesaver as NaNoWriMo approaches.
    #2 Republic of Tea’s peppermint chocolate tea… [insert all the hearts]
    #3 my bathrobe-like sweater that looks just enough like a sweater so I can get away with wearing it to work XD

  3. Alana Dawson

    Love this game!! I also hate talking on the phone and I heart imomsohard!!

    So my three faves right now:
    1. La Croix coconut- I can’t live without, I may be addicted
    2. Gilmore Girls reruns (I cannot wait for the new episodes in November)
    3. LuLaRoe clothing- have you guys discovered this yet? It feels like you’re wearing sweatpants but looks like you’re walking the runway, ok maybe not the runway but at least like you got dressed. For-reals!!

    1. ambersalhus@msn.com

      Alana, this is not the first time I’ve heard of LuLaRoe so I’ll have to check it out! And I have a confession to make: I’ve never seen a single episode of Gilmore Girls! I know! I’m so ashamed! I intend to remedy that this winter.

  4. Jenn Tanaka

    YOU get a book! YOU get a book! And YOU get a… sorry. Got carried away by all the excitement. This is such a fab idea, Amber! I heard about Voxxer, but never tried it yet. Sounds kinda fun bc I’m right there with you with hating the whole phone conversation here. I’ll try to hashtag my faves on FB and IG! ?

  5. Cara S.

    It’s been a crazy rough couple-a weeks over here and thinking about making my own “favorite things” list when I have two seconds (I’m currently typing this on my phone half-naked and still dripping from finally showering at 11 am…for the first time in 2 days…I know waaaay TMI but whatever man.) Anyway…love your giveaway idea and your favorite things and your post made me smile today. 🙂 I also HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE the phone even though I have allllll the words. K. Putting on clothes now. Byeee.

  6. Amber

    Coconut La Croix is amazing! I would be dehydrated without it!
    Some of my faves are-
    Mrs Meyers cleaning products, lavender and basil and pine are my fave smells
    Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday’s. Incredible interviews with incredible people. I cant get enough!
    I’ll second the JOE’s jeans??
    My favorite fit is the icon ankle mid rise skinny!

    1. ambersalhus@msn.com

      I agree on all fronts- except for the coconut La Croix! I hate it when a liquid can’t make up it’s mind about how it should taste. Like tea. It’s not juice. It’s not water. It’s just some sad place in between.

  7. Tammy

    I am going to check out imomsohard and joe’s jeans. I am always on the hunt for the perfect jeans because I have a love/hate relationship with them. I am thanking the Lord that sweat pants are really a thing now and are cute. I love Loreal’s youth code BB cream. I can no longer find it up at the Walmarts, but amazon carries it, so there Walmart. I just bought this product called RevitaLash advanced. You apply once a day to your eyelashes and it claims to make your eyelashes grow and look fuller. I have been using for about two weeks and I am pretty sure I see a difference. Just like the jeans, full thick lashes are something I am always chasing. This is Us is an incredible show that has me hooked. I’ve not seen Scandal and I think I may have seen a couple of episodes of Gilmore Girls, so I may jump on that crazy train.

    1. ambersalhus@msn.com

      Tammy, I LOVE This Is Us! It’s filling that gaping hole left in my heart by Parenthood. And I too, am trying to decide if I want to jump on the Gilmore Girls train. Im just always resistant to something when there’s so much hype around it. But sometimes the hype is there for a reason. Like with Scandal. Okay it’s settled. I’m going to watch Gilmore Girls. FROM THE BEGINNING, because that is the only acceptable way.

      1. Tammy

        I am resistant also to the hype. Downtown Abbey was two seasons in before I got hooked. I am so surprised that I am already into This is Us. I like to keep things spicy by surprising myself I guess.

    1. ambersalhus@msn.com

      Stephen, all you have to do is enter your email in the blue lighted bar at the bottom of any post! If you’ve already entered, you are entered forever! I’m doing a giveaway at the end of each month. Because blogging is almost as fun as playing Oprah.

  8. katherine leverence

    Love this!
    I just finished season 2 of Madame Secretary last night on Netflix…LOVE it! Then watched two episodes of Gilmore Girls, because I have never seen it and the preview for the 4 part return show looks fantastic and I love both of the actresses in all of the things they’ve done since then.

    These two new things are kind of related: Scrivner software (for writing large works like novels, books, screenplays and keeping everything organized and manageable.) and DragonSpeak–I can dictate my writing into Word using my Iphone for a mic…..hoping I can spend less time sitting and maybe walk around while ‘writing’. 🙂 Unfortunately, doesn’t work directly with Scrivner but I can transfer word files into Scrivner. Yay!

    1. ambersalhus@msn.com

      Katherine, did you enjoy Gilmore Girls? I still haven’t watched a single episode! It’s on my “to do” list!

  9. Evie

    This is so fun to hear everyone’s favorite things. So many new things to try. So I’m ready to play.
    1. Shakeology! I’m hooked and can’t go a day without it. It’s seriously like liquid gold. Takes away my cravings, improves energy and I’ve lost weight without really trying too.
    2. Alexa- it’s a wireless speaker that feels like you have your own private butler in the house. she tells me Jokes, plays my favorite songs. Makes my grocery list. It’s awesome .
    3. Picture apps. I’m in love with PicPlayPost and font candy and pic lab. I love adding text and editing pics.

    Oh gosh I could only pic 3. I have more. I’ll wait til next month.

    1. ambersalhus@msn.com

      Thanks for the scoop, Evie! I’ve been on the hunt for a better app to add text to pictures! I’ll have to check those out.

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