Imagine Julie Andrews leaping from her bed and wrapping herself in her curtains as she sings to her captive audience about some of her favorite things. Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…Do you have a vivid picture floating around in your mind? Don’t worry, I will not be breaking into song, but in commemoration of my 49th birthday, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite things.
I have a group of friends I affectionately refer to as My Fab 5. We have seen each other through the high’s and low’s of our children’s teen years and have slowly watched our families grow up and leave home. Each year we have an annual girls weekend and one tradition is share a little gift of a new “favorite things.” Sharing our new discoveries has become something we look forward to each year. So along those lines, I’d like to gift a list of my favorite things to you, my reader, as a sort of reverse birthday gift. I will say that some of these favorites do have affiliate links, which means I may get a little kick back if you decided to try it out for yourself. Just remember I would never recommend anything that I didn’t absolutely LOVE! That being said…(drum roll please!)
Here are a few of my favorite things…
On My Desk
In the last year, my home office has evolved to my special place. Here are a few of my favorites that you will find at any given time on my desk.
Sharpie Fine Point Pen: I created a color code system using these pens. They work great in my planner, journal, editorial notebook, and scriptures. They don’t bleed through and have an extra fine tip for those extra narrow spaces.
Anker Quick Charge 5 USB Port Wall Charger: Do you find that there are never enough USB charging ports in your home? The greatest feature of the Anker charger is the PowerIQ that charges at 2 amps compared to regular chargers – translates to speed and efficiency. It comes with a long cord so it is easy to place anywhere on my desk. Gone is the tangled mess of charging cords close to the floor.
Annual Weekly Planner by In the Leafy Treetops: Can you say fat and chunky? Yes, I have gone against the digital age and firmly grasped my new paper planner. I discovered this planner in a blog post by Midday Mornings. It allows both a month at a glance and weekly planning. I’ve loved the fun colors and extra organizing features each month. This planner brings my home schedule in line with my editorial one. There has been some kind of stabilizing force in a paper planner in my hands again.
Cetaphil Cream This is my favorite lotion. It is light and absorbs quickly so your hands don’t feel sticky after applying. It also comes in a nice 3-ounce size which is great for traveling or carrying in your purse.
DoTerra Essential Oils Last summer I discovered this great travel pack to have my favorite oil as close as my purse without the bulk of the bigger bottles. I love them so much I’m now an official Wellness Advocate. You can order essential oils directly from me with this link.
Olay Total Effects: I’ve been using this face moisturizer for as long as I can remember. Its formula may have changed over the years, but I still love the non-greasy feel it has on my skin. Another great perk is the different SPF levels they offer. At either 15 or 30, you can block those harmful UV rays.
Elizabeth James Nirvana White Perfume: Who doesn’t like a little smell good when we get all dressed up? The thing that I love the most about this perfume is its clean musky smell. A friend shared this one with me a few years back and I kept it around for special occasions.
Have I ever mentioned I LOVE to read? This was hard to narrow down so I’ve chosen by genre.
The Kommandant’s Girl by Pam Jenoff: (Historical Fiction – WWII) This book raised a lot of ethical and moral questions for me. I had to ask myself just how far would I go to save my life and the life of those whom I loved. There was a lot of heartbreak during WWII that I have seldom considered. Romance, action and historical fiction all wrapped up into one fabulous book. I didn’t want it to end!
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking: This was one of the most eye-opening books I’ve read in the last 10 years. It not only helped me to understand one of my more introverted children, but it showed me how I also had many introverted tendencies. I gained a new perspective in the way that I view introverted-ness. It is a strength in so many ways.
The Parenting Breakthrough by Merrilee Boyack: I heard Merrilee Boyack speak years ago and fell in love with her style and get-to-it attitude. At the time she had yet to be published but everything she said resonated with me. When I saw her book in the store I didn’t hesitate to pick it up. Her method of teaching our kids independence and responsibility really works! You will love her voice as she shares her life experiences and what has made a difference in raising her boys.
Favorite Closet Finds
These favorites don’t offer a lot of fashion in terms of what might be popular, but they are some of my favorites nonetheless.
Sugoi Bike Shorts: I know, nothing speaks fashion like a pair of tight shorts with a diaper hanging in the crotch! But if you are a biker there is nothing better than a good chamois to make those long rides a little more comfortable. I’ve tried A LOT of different bike shorts and these are my favorite!
Olukai Ohana Sandal: Last summer I bought these on a whim, looking for something that would offer good support for my plantar fasciitis. They are designed to be like walking on sand, shaping to the sole of your feet and offering support in all the right places. They are light weight, with just the right amount of rigidness to offer good support on those hot summer days – PLUS they come in a rainbow of colors!
eShakti.com is a fun new place I’ve found to order dresses just the way you like them. You find the basic style you’re looking for and then you can customize the length, sleeves and even the neckline. It is awesome! Order your normal size based on their size chart or customize your size with your exact measurements for the perfect fit. I love it because I don’t have to deal with my issue of my waist being a size smaller than my hips. This picture to the side is an example of only one of hundreds of different dresses they have. I chose a nice chambray dress for the summer. Added sleeves, a notched neckline, and a mid-calf length. The options are almost endless. If you sign up for a complimentary account with this link you can get free customized sizing and $25 off your first order!
Across the Web
Finally my favorite deals across the web. Who doesn’t like to get a little extra off an online purchase?
Ebates offers rebates from thousands of online stores. If you sign up using this link we both automatically earn $5. After installing the Ebates plug-in button, anytime you visit a participating website you’ll get a pop-up showing what the rebate % is for the website. Click the pop-up and the purchase will be applied to your Ebates account. Once a quarter you’ll receive a check for all of your earned rebates. It’s as simple as that. Super easy and money back is always a plus!
Honey is similar to Ebates in that it is also a plug-in for your browser. It pools promotional and discount codes from online stores and provides them at check out. The honey logo will pop-up if there are codes to try. One of the great thing about honey how it interacts with Amazon. Honey detects savings opportunities and shows you the lowest price of all the sellers. Purchases also earn you points that accrue for additional discounts. It is a handy tool that can save you some cash as well!
My Most Favorite of All
You’ve made it to my most favorite of all – the best of the best. These rank above all the others.
Avex 24 oz. Stainless Steel Water Bottle: Rarely will anyone see me without my water bottle – I carry it everywhere! This beauty is awesome year round! Because it is insulated stainless steel it does not sweat on my desk and leave water rings, it keeps my drinks hot for 10 hours and cold for 29. Seriously, I’ve had ice last for 2 days. I love the way the water cascades into my mouth by simply pushing the release. An extra perk is it’s locking feature on the release to avoid water leaking in your bag.
Edenbrooke By Julianne Donaldson: So I had to throw in another book! It is Julianne Donaldson’s first novel. She has written a couple of others which I also love, but this is actually my all time favorite! I pull it out every summer and fall in love with the propriety, witty humor, and relatable characters all over again! It is a quick, clean Regency read. Relax and enjoy!
Baggallini Everyday Crossbody Bagg I had almost forgotten about my beloved purse. After carrying a huge bag for so many years my sister introduced me to this favorite. I have it in black with a subtle leopard print, but I’m really liking this papaya color I found on Amazon.
It has a front compartment that zips out to reveal a wallet with slots for your credit cards, a change pouch, and slots for longer items like stamps and cash. The front flap pocket fits my iPhone 6 so I always have quick and easy access. Inside there is enough room for my keys, lip gloss, a pack of gum, kleenex, emergency pill bottle, and eye drops with room to spare. There are two additional pockets. One inside for pens and a fingernail file, and one in the back for those random flat items you don’t want to lose in the larger compartment. Ready to loose the big bag? This is the perfect option! p.s. it also comes in a rainbow of colors.
Well, you made it to the end and hopefully weren’t bored to tears! Thank you for joining me in my little birthday celebration. Do you have any fun traditions for your birthday? What are some of your favorite things? I’d love to hear to hear about them in the comments below!