My January & February Favorites

January was just so busy that I didn’t get a chance to post my favorites for that month. Ahh! Instead, I’m going to combine my January favorites with my February favorites and double up on the fun! Yay for you, haha! I really like doing posts like this because they’ve helped me get into the habit of intentionally looking for things to enjoy and be grateful for. Do you have anything in particular that you’ve been enjoying this month?

 

Vital Proteins Collagen Powder


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I have heard a lot of things about collagen protein and how it’s good for your hair, skin, nails. I was so excited when this came in a Bless Box! Collagen protein is also a good alternative for dairy/whey-free protein. I tried mixing this with only water but wasn’t really a fan of how that tasted. However, I did mix this in with smoothies and it was much better. I did see an improvement with hair my hair, skin, and nails felt after using this!

‘Tis The Season Candle from Bath & Body Works


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As you can see, I’ve burned this candle a lot lately! This candle is the perfect scent for transitioning out of the holidays because it smells fresh, spicy, and fruity all at the same time.

The Greatest Showman Soundtrack


I wasn’t planning on seeing this movie because it didn’t really interest me from the trailer and I didn’t want to see it just because everyone else was. However, I did go see it with my mom and youngest sister because they really wanted to see it, and you guys–it’s totally worth all the hype! I have been listening to the soundtrack so much in the last two months and you can listen to it too on Spotify. This cast is so musically talented and the songs are super catchy. I think that this movie could easily be a classic for years to come.

Eye Cream & Hand Cream


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I have been using this eye cream the last two months (I received it in a subscription box but can’t remember which one it was, oops!) and it’s been great for the mornings when my eyes feel dark and puffy. The applicator is a flat metal tip and so it’s already cooling to the skin when you use it. I have also been using my trusty L’Occitane hand cream because it’s been so cold and my hands have been so dry. I really like the citrus scent of this hand cream and also that it’s now made in a gel format and absorbs quicker.

L’Oreal Paris Purify & Unclog Pure-Sugar Scrub


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This face scrub has been fun to use because it’s like scrubbing a kiwi on your face, haha! I needed something gentle to help exfoliate dry skin and this has been a great product. It almost starts to self-heat once you begin using it. I have heard good things, also, about these new L’Oreal face scrubs/masks and I’m impressed with how affordable they are.

Wen Winter Cranberry Mind Replenishing Treatment Mist


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I talked about this treatment mist in a Bless Box post and I’ve still been enjoying it! This mist is so cooling and refreshing on the skin. I have noticed that my skin looks much more hydrated after using this. Plus, the scent is also really nice!

Oversized Oblong Scarf & Loft Click Bracelet


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I love canary yellow. A lot. Aside from my typical black, white, navy, and grey–this is my spirit color. I found this scarf at Target for $5 and knew it was a good investment purchase. This scarf is so soft and I have just enjoyed wearing it. I’m going to Maine in a few weeks and this will definitely be coming with me. Another thing I have been wearing a lot is this marble click bracelet from Loft. I tried to find a similar one to it to link and just wasn’t able to find one, sorry! One of my sisters gifted this to me a few years ago for my birthday and it’s been a great staple piece of jewelry for me because of the gold, grey, and white.

 

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Not Your Average Valentine’s Day Movies

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you have a wonderful day and that you know how much you are loved! Today’s post is a fun one and great if you plan to stay at home tonight. Sometimes there’s nothing more relaxing than having a movie night at home. When I think about Valentine’s Day movies, I automatically think chick-flicks. However, there are a few movies I really like that aren’t necessarily chick-flicks but are still pretty funny and revolve around the “love” theme. If you are looking for some not so typical movie suggestions, these are for you!

Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

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I bet you didn’t see this one coming, haha! I can’t believe this movie came out 14 years ago! This movie is so funny, so quotable, and I think this will be a classic for years to come. Napoleon Dynamite is about an awkward teen, Napoleon, his crazy family, steak, tots, and puffy sleeves. Plus, you can’t forget the Kip and LaFawnduh story line–they’re basically soul mates.

Austenland (2013)

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Jane Austen fans, unite! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this movie and it still makes me laugh. Austenland is about a modern-day Pride and Prejudice obsessed woman, named Jane, who risks her savings and goes to a Jane Austen theme park for a week to live in the role of a Jane Austen-based character. There are some great one-liners in this movie. Such a funny one to watch!

On the Line (2001)

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Nothing like a good ol’ throwback to the early 2000s! One the Line is a movie about Ad Man Kevin and how he meets the girl of his dreams on the El Train in Chicago–but doesn’t get her name and number. The movie continues with his journey to find this dream girl with the help of his interesting roommates. Plus, if you don’t remember music by Mandy Moore, *NSYNC (or “in stink” as it’s goofed in the movie, lolz), or BBMak–this will take you back for sure!

She’s the Man (2006)

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When her soccer team is cut from her high school, teen Viola dresses up as her twin brother in order to play soccer on his team at his separate school. How long can she pull off the role of being disguised as her brother though? And who loves Amanda Bynes movies?? This movie is super funny and a great comedy to watch on Valentine’s Day!

We Bought A Zoo (2011)

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Widowder Benjamin Mee and his two children move to the country and buy a zoo as a way of healing and coping with life after losing their wife/mother to cancer. I think this is such a sweet movie because it deals with issues like grief, loss, parenthood, and trying to feel love again. Although this movie might be on the heavier side to watch on Valentine’s Day, I still think it’s a good one!

Happy watching!

No Gifts for Christmas: Things to Do with Family Instead of Buying and Giving Gifts

Last night I finished all of my Christmas gift preparation! Gifts have been wrapped and are just waiting for Christmas day. However, although it’s fun to give and receive gifts at Christmas–you don’t need gifts to have a wonderful Christmas. As my siblings and I have grown up, some being married and have children now, we have changed the ways in which we approach gift-giving at Christmas. We all seem to agree that Christmas is less and less about presents and more about quality, special time together. My whole family is probably all together only about once a year and so our time together has become one of the most precious gifts.

Today I’m giving you some ideas for how to celebrate Christmas with your family (and/or friends)–without having to have gifts involved.

Go on a trip together

The Christmas before my oldest sister was married, my family went on a skiing vacation to North Carolina. We rented a huge van and road-tripped all the way from Oklahoma. That was also the year that we each had portable, personal DVD players (anyone remember those?). Although the majority of the road trip was probably spent watching 5 seasons of Gilmore Girls, I still remember that experience and it was so much fun. Once we arrived at our destination, we checked into our cabin rental that overlooked the mountains and the ski lodge. We cooked food, watched movies, and prepared to go skiing the next day. The weather was so warm that the ski resort had to create fake snow–that was interesting to watch! Once there was enough “snow,” we headed out and had a great time. Who knew skiing in t-shirts wouldn’t be so bad? Haha! I’m so thankful for that time we had together before the dynamic of our family changed. We have been on trips together with my brothers-in-law, nieces, and nephew since then–and it just keeps getting better. Why not save and invest in a family vacation instead of buying gifts? I highly recommend it!

Make and serve a meal to a family in need

Last year my family and I made some meals for the families of patients at our local hospice house, instead of doing gifts. I loved being able to do that for some of our local families who were experiencing grief, loss, and sadness during what should be one of the happiest times of the year. We weren’t able to personally meet any of the families, but it was an awesome experience to know that we helped to take care of them in a small way during Christmas. There are so many other ways you can help others during Christmas and it doesn’t have to even be a grand gesture–anything, no matter how big/small, helps!

Have a family night

Instead of gift exchanging, have a day/night just for family fun! You could bake cookies, make hot cider, play board/card games, watch Christmas movies, drive around and look at Christmas lights, make a bunch of Dubsmash videos, etc, and just focus on spending time together. My most favorite memories are definitely of my parents, siblings, grandchildren, and pets all housed up together and it being just wild!

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August Favorites

Hi everyone! It’s the end of August and time for me to tell you all about the things I enjoyed this month. I have a little bit of food, beauty, and a movie so keep on reading if you want to know what they are. What have been your favorite things in August?

Trader Joe’s Sparkling Water

Drinking water during the summer can get really boring to me so I really like to drink sparkling or flavored water to help make it more interesting. Trader Joe’s came out with some new flavors of their sparkling mineral water that were special for the summer and they are so good! My favorite flavors are Island Colada and Cranberry Clementine.

Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Seasoning

This has been such a yummy seasoning blend to cook with and it really does make everything taste like an everything bagel. My favorite way to use this seasoning this month is in hash browns or roasted potatoes. So good!!

Elizavecca Milky Piggy Kangsi Pack Deep Cleansing Gold Facial Mask

That name though. I found this on Amazon and bought it mainly because it looked super interesting. It applies in a gold gel but then turns white as it dries. I think it does a good job of deep cleaning my skin and pores. Plus, isn’t the packaging kind of funny??

C.O. Bigelow Vanillamint Supreme 2X Lip Shine

Who remembers these lip glosses from years ago? Bath & Body Works just started carrying these again and I stocked up a couple of months ago during a sale. I love that these glosses taste like mint and give you fresher breath. This gloss is completely clear– which I like because I’m not a fan of colored lip glosses.

Stella by Stella McCartney 

I absolutely LOVE this perfume! My cousin used to wear this all the time and I loved how it smelled on her, so I decided to get some of my own. I have been using this very sparingly and I think this bottle has lasted me a couple of years. Stella’s main notes are of rose and amber. I’m going to be really sad when I completely run out of this fragrance but I do think it’s worth the cost because it has lasted me so long.

Gifted (2017)

This was such a good movie. I watched it a few weeks ago and it definitely tugged at my heart-strings. Gifted is about a man named Frank who is raising his child prodigy niece, Mary, after her mother takes her own life. Mary’s father was never in her life and so Frank has raised her all alone from the beginning. Later in the movie, Mary’s grandmother just shows up and fights for custody of Mary, but Frank’s unconditional love is put on display. There was one scene in the movie that stuck out the most to me, because I am an aunt and I completely understand the love that Frank had for Mary. At one point, Mary learns that her biological father is in town and he doesn’t even make an attempt to meet her. Mary is very distraught and doesn’t understand why her own father doesn’t love her. Frank then tells Mary that they are going for a ride and he takes her to the local hospital–just to sit in the waiting room all night. They wait and wait and Mary even asks “how much longer?” After a while, a man bursts through the doors, in surgical clothing, and yells “it’s a boy!” Frank then leans over to Mary and says:

Frank: That’s exactly how it was when you were born.
Mary: This happy?
Frank: This happy.
Mary: Who came out and told everyone?
Frank: I did.
Mary: Can we stay for another?

Ahhhh! That totally made this auntie boo-hoo her eyes out. Being an aunt is the greatest and I can’t even begin to describe that kind of love, but the movie was such a good portrayal.