Now that January’s 850 days are finally over (why is January so long?), I thought I’d review my favorites for the month. As always, the categories include food, clothing, product, media, and Annabeth.
Breakfast Bowls. This is our super simple go-to meal on busy weeknights and it’s a crowd pleaser. We scramble up eggs, fry some thick-cut bacon, and build a mountain with the breakfast goodies + avocado, cheese, sour cream, and fresh salsa. Annabeth goes nuts for breakfast bowls and we’ve added this into our weekly rotation (usually on Tuesday nights since those are especially busy).
Siete Grain-Free Chips. We’re about 98% grain-free in our household. I say 98% because the occasional cheat happens (yesterday we had Bojangles biscuits for breakfast and it was glorious). This means no chips and salsa which is just kind of sad. These grain-free chips are so good. I sneak them in my bag when we go out for Mexican food and we eat them as a guilt-free snack with Daddy’s homemade salsa in the afternoons. Grain-free life is not easy…in fact, it can be downright inconvenient. Regardless, I feel and look my best when I don’t have grains in my system (and the patches of eczema that have cropped up thanks to yesterday’s cheat are proof that cheats need to be few and far between!). These chips are great and make life easier.
UA Recovery Gear. Just before Christmas, Josh did a leg workout that was so above and beyond what he normally does that he was complaining about it for days. I love him, but the man can stub his toe and be incapacitated for a week. I was annoyed at him hobbling around our home for days on end because of a choice he made, so in a majorly passive aggressive move, I researched recovery sleepwear to put in his stocking. It’s pricey, but I found some on Amazon on a Deal of the Day and you can also find it at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s pretty readily. My passive aggressiveness paid off because those doggone things actually work. I don’t understand the science behind it, but if it keeps man flu symptoms from entering my home, I’ll pay any price.
Nalgene Bottles. Not really clothing, but I always have a Nalgene in my hand, so I’d consider it an accessory. I try to drink at least two Nalgene bottles of water during my work day and one in the afternoon/evening. We both have Nalgene bottles that we picked up at our favorite store in the mountains, but you can find them pretty much anywhere. They have a lifetime warranty–last summer my brother’s lid shattered and Nalgene immediately replaced it (the bottle was at least five or six years old).
Kristin Ess for Target. The woman behind Lauren Conrad’s amazing hair has a whole line of haircare products at Target and they smell divine. I’ve been using her purple shampoo for about a month now and I’m truly obsessed with it–I only wash my hair once a week so I need whatever product I use to be with me for the long haul and it does the trick. I’m hoping to pick up some more of her stuff to try especially since Josh is so in love with the scent.
Jade Roller. I turned thirty last year and have since become a slave to my skin. I’m all for aging gracefully, but the Lord invented products to make that a little easier. I drink tons of water, avoid sugar and grains, and use a quality line of skincare products, but this jade roller is so great for working my lotions, potions, and serums into my skin and it feels so good. I keep mine in the freezer and roll it up my neck towards my hairline and it instantly takes care of any puffiness. I feel like it would also be great to use for headaches.
Mary Poppins Returns. I loved it so much I saw it twice in theaters. I love Emily Blunt and I feel like she did the role justice. It was super touching and the music was fantastic.
Make Something Good Today. This book was so good. I cried and laughed and read parts aloud to Josh and then cried some more. I love watching Hometown because Erin and Ben Napier seem so genuine and this book only solidified that. If you live in a small town (like me) and want your little corner of the world to be a better place, definitely pick this up.
Castles & Crowns. If you have known me for more than five seconds, you know I’m 100% traditional and also 100% extra. Shopping for smocked outfits for Annabeth is one of my favorite things to do. I discovered Castles & Crowns late last year and I have been so happy with the quality and with the prices of their products. Seriously, y’all, they have SUCH good sales! Josh was pretty resistant to smocked clothing until he saw a toddler who was dressed like a teenager, so now he’s all on board. If you’re in the market for something sweet, give this brand some love!
Buddies. Shocker: our kid is obsessed with Disney. Most toddlers are, but Annabeth didn’t really stand a chance. There will be no Dreamworks or other off brand stuff in our home–it’s Disney or bust. My mom discovered these Disney play sets at Disney World last fall and they’ve become some of Annabeth’s favorite toys. I think she likes them because they fit in her little hands and she can hide them all over the place. She calls them her “buddies” and it’s super sweet. We pick up a set each time we head down to Disney World, but you can also find them online.
What are your favorites this month? Did you also feel like January was 1,000 days long?
It’s been so long since I’ve blogged that I literally had to request a new password login for WordPress. It’s a little depressing because writing is so life-giving and I genuinely enjoy planning content and writing, but graduate school is a demanding mistress. One day when I’m totally finished, I hope to blog at least once or twice a week–we’ve even thrown around the idea of starting our own YouTube channel just for the heck of it, but until I’m done with research, data, research, data, APA, and more data, I’ll have to settle for little pockets of time when my coursework is turned in, my husband is busy, and my toddler is sleeping.
Here are my favorites from September (PS, can y’all believe it’s October already? And that it’s still 95 degrees everyday?):
Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips. These are perfect when I throw them into grain-free pancake mix. Josh and I are both dark chocolate lovers, but the milk chocolate chips are great, too. I like that these don’t have that sugar alcohol aftertaste that you run into so often with sugar-free products. And seriously, nothing is cuter than Annabeth Shealy when her face is covered in butter, melted dark chocolate, and bits of pancake.
Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers. I’ll be honest, I miss the convenience of grains. My favorite lunch is a tapas-style snack plate (cheese, a little fruit, some olives, cured meats, and some crispy, delicious crackers). Sometimes you just need some crunch that doesn’t come from a pork rind! These crackers are SO good–we love all the flavors. I usually pack a handful of these to have with a Laughing Cow cheese wedge.
THML Tops. I’m a boutique kind of gal. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll totally shop at J. Crew and Old Navy and Belk, but I love finding unique pieces at boutiques. My recent favorite transitional pieces (because it’s still miserably hot here in Georgia) include lots of THML tops paired with white jeans and boots. I love the intricate embroidery, rich colors, and the fact that most of them don’t require any ironing. They also look great paired with a cardigan or green army jacket.
Tieks. It’s usually around this time a year that I start wearing my Tieks on a daily basis. In February we spent a week in New York City and I wore my Tieks nearly everyday and felt totally comfortable (walking 25,000 plus steps a day while pushing a stroller). I sized up when I bought mine and have been super pleased with them. They’re pricey–like, made my stomach hurt when I clicked “Purchase” pricey, but I have literally lived in them. When you try to run a Google search for negative Tieks reviews, you won’t find many. They’re a high quality product and the company has great customer service.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. Seriously the best foundation I’ve ever used. It’s definitely a heavier foundation…if you’re looking for something lighter, the Water Fresh Double Wear is great, too. I’ve been using Double Wear since May and I don’t foresee myself swapping out for anything else. Bonus: Estee Lauder counters will color match you and whip up a 10-day sample to try for free!
Clinique Moister Surge Intense Moisturizer. My friend Cassie brought me a jar of this moisturizer when I was hospital after delivering Annabeth. I hadn’t used Clinique in years, but this stuff is the best. It’s so moisturizing that it makes my skin feel full, but it isn’t greasy. I have super dry skin so I like the “intense” version of this moisturizer. I also love that a little bit goes a long way–last year I only went through three jars.
Jack Ryan. We’re huge fans of The Office and this show (featuring Jim Halpert 2.0) was fantastic. Josh has started reading the Jack Ryan/Tom Clancy novels in order because this show was so intense and amazing. It felt like they literally ripped the plot from the headlines. Bonus: it’s only eight episodes, so you can totally binge it in one weekend.
Audible. Audible is an audiobook subscription available through Amazon. For $15 a month, you get one credit to use towards any audiobook in the Audible library (there are thousands). We’ve actually had it a long time and forgot about it, so we had a ton of credits built up that we’ve been putting to good use! We each have about a 20 minute commute, so we listen as we drive and we also listen while we run. Sometimes I listen to whatever I’m “reading” while I get ready in the morning or while I’m cooking dinner. So far I’ve “read” The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society (FIVE STARS), The Coincidence of Coconut Cake (FOUR STARS), America’s First Daughter (FOUR STARS), and I’m currently listening to Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. Josh has been listening to Patriot Games and I noticed just yesterday that he’s already downloaded the next Tom Clancy book in the lineup.
The Greatest Showman Soundtrack. Amazing. I literally cry every time This is Me comes on. We haven’t even finished the movie yet (I KNOW), but we listen to the soundtrack almost every day. We especially love listening and dancing around before bathtime and Annabeth’s bedtime routine.
Squeaker Shoes. They’re super obnoxious, but they make Annabeth so happy (and it’s easy to keep up with her in a crowd). I tend to stick to the classics when it comes to dressing Annabeth, so we’re not really into Converse or super trendy items. These little Mary Jane shoes are cute and she loves wearing them. When Josh took them off of her last night, she cried and demanded, “Shoes ON, Daddy!”
Dohm White Noise Machine. Annabeth is a fantastic sleeper, but she’s pretty particular about her sleeping arrangements. She’s a creature of consistency so she likes her blackout curtains, her Owlet (she can now request it by name), her Halo Sleep Sack, and most importantly, her Dohm. I’m not quite sure how it works, but it sounds like a really loud fan, but it doesn’t blow any air out of it. I actually don’t mind when we stay in a hotel room with her because I like sleeping with it, too. It’s adjustable and has an on/off switch (most white noise machines that have timed options only run for ten hours and she sleeps for twelve hours each night).
Is it still super hot where you live, or do you actually get to enjoy some autumn weather this time of year? We’re heading to the mountains next week and it’s supposed to be much cooler–I can’t wait!
PS-Football season has been both wonderful and exhausting. I’m dreading the end of it, but I’m also really looking forward to it.
May is my favorite month. I’m not sure if it’s because of the gorgeous weather or the fact that it’s my birthday month, but the bees are buzzing, the flowers are blooming, and it’s almost summer vacation and it’s nearly too much for me to handle. Here are the things I’m loving this month:
Kroger ClickList. I guess this falls more under a service rather than a food, but I love it. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s the greatest. You complete your grocery shopping online and set a pick-up time and date and leave the rest in the capable hands of the ClickList staff. They do all the heavy lifting and you get to “shop” without ever leaving your car. I save so much money because I’m able to make my list while browsing my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. It’s $4.99 per visit, but my time is far more valuable than that.
Trader Joe’s Parmesan Crisps. We’re full-on keto right now and these have become our go-to snack. They’re totally gluten and sugar free and the serving size is obnoxiously large.
Birkenstocks. Apparently Birkenstocks are a thing again. When I was in high school, you were nobody if you didn’t have a pair of (hideous, albeit comfortable) clogs. Now the sandals are back with a vengeance and I’ve been wearing mine nearly everyday. Just like the Birks of old, these easily mold to the shape of your foot and are super easy to throw on with a casual outfit. I’ve found myself favoring these over my trusty Chacos because they’re a little more polished.
Callahan Shorts. These are a bit pricey, but as a Southern woman it’s part of my genetic code to favor the bright and airy pieces that Lilly Pulitzer is famous for. I like the 5″ Callahan shorts because they are easy to throw on and aren’t sloppy looking like Tempo shorts or yoga pants. If the price throws you off, definitely check out Facebook for BST options.
Not Your Mother’s Blonde Moment Treatment Shampoo. Did you know that purple shampoo is a thing? It keeps my balayage blonde from getting brassy. I’ve continuously been going blonder since about November and I use this twice a week to keep everything looking fresh.
Banana Boat Aloe Vera Sunburn Relief Care After Sun Lotion. This is such an oldie, but it’s the best. I have fond memories of my mother smearing me down with this after a day at the pool and just the smell brings back so many memories. I never let myself get to the point of a bad sunburn, but if I ever start to get that pink tinge after being outside, a bit of this goes a long way in helping that pink turn to a nice, healthy tan.
Avengers: Infinity War. It rocked. It rocked my socks off. We had opening night tickets and feeling exhausted the next day was 100% worth it.
Community. We are so bad about getting stuck in the typical Netflix cycle of The Office, Parks and Rec, Friends, rinse, repeat. We haven’t watched Community in years and we never actually finished the series, so we’ve really been enjoying the newer stuff this go-around.
Hamilton. We’re still obsessed. We listen to it nearly everyday. We’re 25 days away from seeing it live. The end. Amen.
Gillian Flynn. I’m normally not dark and twisty, but I’ve been really into anything Gillian Flynn lately. We loved Gone Girl and I’ve also recently read Sharp Objects and I’m finishing up Dark Places. I’m super pumped that HBO is doing a Sharp Objects miniseries with Amy Adams. Warning: do not read before bed.
Honest Company Sunscreen. Mineral sunscreen is a pain in my rear, but it works really well and is perfect for Annabeth’s baby soft skin. She is surprisingly complacent when it comes to lotion/sunscreen application (praise hands), so it doesn’t bother her that it takes literally forever for this stuff to rub in.
Carter’s Rompers. Annabeth is still so tiny. Like, I swear I feed her. She’s petite just like her Mama, so 12 month outfits that have pants or shorts are often just right lengthwise and far too large for her waist. Enter: the Carter’s romper. Length and waist size don’t matter when it’s a romper! We have ten of these that we rotate throughout the week because they’re easy and comfortable. We found them all at our local Sam’s Club for about $6 a piece.
What is your favorite part about May? Are you loving this weather or totally over the heat already?
-We just watched The Magic Pill on Netflix and it was soooo great. Josh has done keto before and we were already planning to start cutting out grains and sugar this month, so this was such a great motivator.
-I just ordered a new planner and setting it up has been a blast…can it be August already?
-Speaking of planners, we just finished a ruthless decluttering of our home a la Emily Ley and it was great.