It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, but here are a few things I love and want to share with you, so you can love them too. ❤
BOOK OF THE MONTH: Y’all know I’m an avid reader, and I’m seriously obsessed with this service! Here’s why –
1. The books are new titles with different genres to choose from
2. If you want to skip a month you can
3. It’s $14.99/month (cheaper than buying the book new from B&N or Amazon) and you can add another book into your box for just $9.99!
4. It’s been pushing me to read more because I want to finish my book(s) before the next month’s selection arrives
If you’re interested, use this link to sign up for Book of the Month – you’ll get a free book and I’ll get a free book! https://www.mybotm.com/sbucdim3rc
(I promise you won’t regret it!!)
You can also check out my book reviews here – quite a few from BOTM!
LIVING PROOF DRY SHAMPOO: I’ve tried so many dry shampoos – affordable and expensive, and this is hands down the best one I’ve tried. It’s a little more on the expensive side, but it feels like it actually cleans my hair and doesn’t leave white residue. I buy it in the big bottle for home and the small bottles to take with me when I travel!
Sephora full size: $23, mini: $13
ALLBIRDS: Husband was the first to join this bandwagon and to be honest, I was skeptical. But now, we both have two pairs each and are totally in love. They’re the perfect shoe for running errands or traveling, they’re so cute, so comfortable and you can just throw them in the wash if they get dirty. I have them in black and pink.
BURT’S BEES PEACH BLUSH: Since working on Burt’s Bees, I’ve been trying a lot of their products and loving a lot of them, but one of my current favorites is the blush. I love it in Bare Peach, but it comes in three shades. It’s 100% natural, lightweight and the coloring is perfect.
BLOW-UP POOL: If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve undoubtedly seen this pool and how much I’ve been using it this summer. In this high 90s, high humidity Arkansas weather it’s been a lifesaver! It fits 2-3 adults, has a seat and cup holders. I’d say it’s the perfect “adult kiddie pool”!
So when we bought it it was $30, but now I can’t seem to find it for less than $52 on Amazon, but definitely keep looking if you’re interested – it’s worth it!
Things I love and want to share with you, so you can love them too.
[And yes, I do work for Walmart, so I especially want you to know about these awesome Walmart finds too!]
BIG BUDDHA: Did you know Walmart carries Big Buddha shoes and bags?! Until recently I had no clue, and now I own 3 pairs of shoes. Okay let me tell you about them – the sandals in the top left picture are so stinkin’ adorable and comfortable. I’ve seen a ton of these look-alike sandals in different retailers, but these are the most affordable at $13.
And I’m obsessed with the heels in the bottom right corner. A coworker started the trend and of course, now we all wear them on the same day all the time (case in point above). You can’t see the heel, but it’s short and chunky and totally in style. I bought them in black and tan, obviously, because they’re only $11.
The bag, pictured above the heels, is also Big Buddha and sent by my sis this morning! I love to send my family my WM finds and she sent us this one. I’ve literally almost bought this bag multiple times, but not sure why I haven’t. They have multiple colors/styles in-store.
CACTUS PLATES + BOWLS: Top right are these adorable cactus plates I found in-store for $1.50. I immediately bought two, then went back a few days later and bought two more. They’re plastic so very lightweight, but perfect for a Summer get-together, yeah?? Also worth mentioning are the amazing Better Homes and Gardens melamine plates. These are heavier and very nice. I buy their new Summer styles every year and always get compliments on them.
AVIA TANKS: Aren’t these tanks great? I’m sure you’re starting to see a trend here … when I find something I like that’s affordable, I buy in multiples. Since I’ve started exercising more it’s more fun to buy workout clothes and these are perfect. They are breathable, come in multiple colors and are just $7 each.
FADED GLORY DRESS: Okay so this is not a great picture of the dress, but I wear it ALL THE TIME. It’s sleeveless and so comfortable. It’s long enough for work, but cute enough for weekend. I just purchased another one in black. You will see me in these allllll Summer and definitely in Italy. Unfortunately they are out of most sizes in-store and online, but search your store just in case! It will be worth it, especially for only $7 each!!
OZARK TRAILS: Oh, Ozark Trails, how I love thee. (pictured top left with the sandals) We all know the Yeti trend, and yes we jumped on the bandwagon at first too. Until we found Ozark Trails at Walmart. It is EXACTLY the same as Yeti. I mean exactly. And I can say that for certain since we have both. We now have 3 coozie cans (pictured), 4 tumblers and most recently the cooler. It keeps my beer extra cold and my coffee extra hot, and I am a happy camper.
What is your favorite Walmart find?
Things I love and want to share with you, so you can love them too.
LULULEMON: Guys, I never thought I’d be that girl. I tried to fight it for so long. They always said, once you go Lulu you don’t go back, and now I completely understand. Thanks to my sister-in-law over Christmas, Husband and I got our first Lulu gear and instantly became hooked. I can’t even explain it to you, but it just feels amazing. I now have a shirt, sweater, leggings and a scarf and I love them all so much. Yes, it’s definitely expensive, but now I can’t go back.
STILA HUGE EXTREME LASH MASCARA: Thanks to Birchbox for sending me this one because I am now officially obsessed! I try new mascaras regularly, but this one has been my go-to for a while. It gives you volume and length, and it comes in a pretty gold tube. I do supplement with cheaper mascara so I don’t use this up too quickly. I purchase either online or at Ulta.
BENEFIT GIMME BROW: Thanks to Birchbox for sending me this one because I am now officially obsessed! (wait, am I having deja vu??) But for real, this is another one from the subscription service that I now cannot live without. It’s different than other eyebrow fillers because it goes on like mascara, which is kind of strange, but once you see the difference it makes you won’t believe your eyes. I use shade 3, and again purchase online or Ulta.
WOODWICK CANDLES: As of late, I love love candles. And I especially love woodwick candles. I received one as a gift a couple of years ago, and now I buy new ones every season. They make the perfect crackling sound when they’re lit, and it lasts the entire candle. It seems like the noise might be annoying, but it is surprisingly very relaxing. Even husband was skeptical at first and now loves them. You can find good deals at Home Goods and sometimes on sale at Target.
HILLSHIRE SNACKING SMALL PLATES: This one seems kind of random, but I had to share this with you if you haven’t seen these before. I love cheese and crackers, but can easily eat an entire block of cheese when I shouldn’t. This is perfect – it’s the perfect amount for a snack or even for lunch if you add in some fruit or carrots, and it’s delicious! This is great to keep in the fridge just in case. Buy at Walmart!
LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER: Husband and I are hooked on John Oliver – a weekly 30-minute show on HBO. It’s more than just a John Stewart/Stephen Colbert type show because I truly learn a lot about the week’s headlines and he goes deep into a topic each week that’s fascinating. While he delivers the news very seriously, he also adds in witty commentary. We are aligned to his political beliefs and are often cheering at the TV for saying all the things we want to say.
T V S H O W S
5. Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life – Netflix: I have been on pins and needles waiting for this show for a year. Well, actually more than that since I’ve wanted more ever since it ended!! I was so concerned it wouldn’t live up to my high expectations, and while it clearly wasn’t my number 1 for the year, it definitely makes the top 5. There were a few quirks about it I didn’t love, but overall I felt like I was chatting with my old friends again, going to my old haunts and swooning over my old boyfriends (#TeamJess). I binged this all day with a friend and it just made me so, so happy. Full blog post to come soon.
4. The Crown – Netflix: This show is absolutely fascinating. If you have any interest in the Royal family or British history, then this should be a must on your list to get an inside look at the rise of Queen Elizabeth II at 25 years old (crazy!!). The acting is absolutely phenomenal and the show is extremely well made. I can’t wait for more seasons as they introduce Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
3. Younger – TV Land: I love this show!!! This is the show I’m dying to watch every single week and indulge myself in without husband. The characters are so fun and relatable, and makes me wish I was in the publishing industry in NYC. This season they introduced a love triangle that pulls at all the heartstrings. (#TeamJosh) It just ended and I’m already dying for more!
2. Westworld – HBO: I was super skeptical about watching this. All of our friends claimed they stopped watching The Walking Dead and started watching this instead. So while it took me a minute to give it a chance, I was hooked from the very first episode. It is sooooo creepy and will have you seriously concerned about the future of AI, but you won’t be able to tear yourself away.
1. Stranger Things – Netflix: It can’t be a surprise to anyone that this was my number 1 show of the year. We dressed up as the kids for Halloween, and we found and stood in line for a Stranger Things bar over Christmas. If you love 80s nostalgia, being a little bit scared and rooting for a group of adorable kids then put this first on your list.
Way to go, Netflix! Seriously, they are stepping up their game in the original TV show department – 3/5 on my list! Sadly, there were a few shows this year that have been on my list in previous years, but are slowly declining … namely, The Walking Dead.
B O O K S
5. Bread & Wine – Shauna Niequist: I.am.obsessed.with.this.book. I seriously could read it all over again right now. The author shares life stories and intermingles them with her favorite recipes. I felt like I was in her kitchen, living life with her, breaking bread and drinking wine. She is so honest and transparent, and shares her faith in such an amazing way.
4. Along the Infinite Sea – Beatriz Williams: This book captured me from the first chapter. It tells the story of two very different women, one growing up in WWII and one in 1960s America, and how their lives intertwine. This is a dazzling love story that will sweep you off your feet, thanks to the incredible writing. By the end I was bawling and dying for more.
3. The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah: I adored this book! Set in France in WWII following two stories, it was reminiscent of All The Light We Cannot See (my #1 book of 2015). The character development was phenomenal and the writer painted the scenes so well. At one point I was crying so hard because I felt like I was in an internment camp and told husband through bleary eyes how I just couldn’t get over the fact that this happened in real life. Yes, there are some sad parts, but I promise you will not regret reading it.
2. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes: This book surprised me so much by how much I enjoyed it. It had been on my reading list for a couple of years now, and I finally decided to give it a shot when I saw it at the library. It is such a beautiful tragic love story that makes you fall in love with the characters and then cry your eyes out at the end.
1. Brain on Fire – Susannah Cahalan: This is one of those books (like I’ve said before in my reviews) you just HAVE to read! Seriously, go buy it right now. It’s a true story about a 24-year-old journalist who gets very sick, very fast, and no one can figure out what is wrong. You will be fascinated by the medical and biological side of the story, as much as you will the personal and relational side. It’s non-fiction, but totally reads like fiction.
[You can read all of my book reviews here.]
So, in years past I’ve shared my top tv shows, books AND movies of the year. However, as I started thinking about this post, I couldn’t even think of 5 movies we’d seen this year! They say we are in the golden era of TV, and I completely agree. It was a lot harder to come up with my top 5 TV shows because we’ve watched a lot of incredible TV this year.
Of course there are a lot of buzzworthy Oscar movies out right now that I’m dying to see, and I’m literally going to see La La Land in an hour. I’ll go ahead and say my favorite movie of 2016 was La La Land.
Things I love and want to share with you, so you can love them too.
- Onyx Coffee – Husband and I are officially coffee snobs. Every morning, we grind beans and make coffee using a french press. We’ve tried quite a few brands and let me tell you Onyx.Is.The.Best. Seriously, the coffee is sooo good. We prefer the more modern flavors versus traditional. (There’s a scale on the bag.) Also, now you can get an Onyx subscription where they mail you a new flavor every week or every two weeks. Of course we’ve already signed up. And you should too.
- Tan Physics – There once was a time when I was addicted to tanning beds, then I was addicted to spray tans (still am, but the price at my place doubled, so…) now I’m addicted to Tan Physics. Shoutout goes out to Mom who gave me my first bottle for Christmas. I was shocked how well it worked, and how quickly! I don’t think I’ve looked orange at all, it hasn’t looked weird on my ankles/elbows/knees, and it only has a very faint smell.
- Younger (TV Show) – This show is so cute! And funny! And Hilary Duff is in it! (Talk about nostalgia.) And the main guy is gorgeous and reminds me of Husband. What’s not to love?! Really though, you should check this show out. It’s about a 40-year-old (Sutton Foster) pretending to be a 26-year-old working in publishing in NYC. The millennials, and the millennial wannabes will love this.
- Quote Tees – For some reason I’m all about the graphic tees with quotes on them these days. I bought one from Target that says “But First, Coffee” and I’ve been wearing it nonstop around the house. Tomorrow I’ll break it out for my first barre class, and later in the season it will be perfect farmer’s market attire. Another one I bought recently – “Today calls for Tacos + Champagne.”
- Chi Hairdryer – I’ve always been the girl who fought spending money on a hairdryer. How could it be that much better than a $20 Revlon? Well, I’m here to tell you – my life has been changed. I used a really nice one when I was staying at someone’s house recently and couldn’t believe what it did to my hair. Since I purchased this one (Chi Rocket) two weeks ago, my hair drying time has been cut in half and I haven’t had to use my straightener once. My hairdresser also told me it’s so much better for my hair. I’d say that’s a win win.
- Deep Sleep Pillow Spray – Another shoutout to Mom on this one. She gave me this for my birthday and I’ve been obsessed ever since. You spray it on your pillow before you go to bed and it helps you fall asleep faster. It’s lavender scent, so smells great (though a little overpowering if you use more than 1 spray). This combined with taking melatonin before bed, and I promise, you will sleep like a BABY.
1. Joggers: New obsession of mine and husbands. I’m practically living in them any time I’m at home, and just wish I could live in them any time I’m not home. They’re so comfortable, and come in a million colors. We already have 3 in our household, and know it won’t be long before its more.
2. Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson + Bruno Mars: I’m obsessed with this song! Ask husband, any time it comes on the radio I freak out and turn it up. Even though I’ve heard it probably a million times at this point.
3. Bobbi Brown Lip Balm: This was a Christmas present from sister K and I now can’t go a day without it! It feels so good on, and gives lips the perfect amount of shine.
4. How To Get Away With Murder: This has been one of my favorite shows this season! I look forward to it every week and have been audibly surprised too many times to count. Viola Davis is perfection.
5. Salads in a Jar: I wrote a blog post about make-ahead meals, including salads in a jar. They’re so easy, delicious and versatile!
6. Podcasts: After Serial, our eyes were opened. There are so many amazing stories out there just waiting to be heard! We’ve started listening to This American Life, Invisibilia and The Dinner Party Download. There’s just not enough time in the day!
Things I love that I want to share with you, so you can love them too.
1. Beyonce – Queen Bey did it again. This album is phenomenal. I can’t stop listening to it, and I have a new favorite song every day. Current favorites: Partition, XO and Drunk in Love.
2. Chapstick Hydration Lock – I got this new chapstick in my birchbox a few months ago. (Another one of my favorite things.) I’m already a huge chapstick person, but this has just fueled my obsession. It’s so soft and creamy and vanilla-y. It’s amazing.
3. Macarons – I’d had macarons once before and wasn’t a fan. Then, my friend Mollie starting making them and they are out of this world. She might start selling them soon, in which case you can definitely expect a blog post about it so you can buy some!
4. Leopard Scarf from Nordstrom – This scarf has probably been my one favorite wardrobe piece for fall and winter. It’s cute and trendy and leopard is always versatile. Infinity scarves in general are my current fave!
5. Moscow Mule – This drink is amaaazing. Who would have known I’d like Ginger Beer?? It also doesn’t hurt that it’s served in an adorable copper mug. #love
6. Candy Crush – The first step is admitting you have a problem … I’m addicted to Candy Crush! It seems so ridiculous, but it’s so fun. (Until you get stuck on a level for weeks.)