Saturday, November 2, 2013

Favorite Things - Fall 2013 Edition

I'm a little panicky thinking about the fact that there are only 2 months until Christmas! I thought I'd post a few of my favorite things, currently... if you need gift ideas for the people you love, maybe this will help spark some ideas!? Plus it's just fun to do this once in a while. I'm being lazy today and not posting links - just images of the things I'm loving. You can probably google most of these things and find them on your own pretty easily. 

Happy Fall!

Starbucks Tumbler in rose gold, for hot coffee to go on cold mornings...

I came across this little gem at Target about two weeks ago, and it's so much better tasting than a PSL at Starbucks! Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte... YES. Cheaper, too, since you can probably get around 5-10 mugs out of this concentrated syrup (just blend with 50% milk).

My favorite hot tea, for a few years in a row... Harney & Sons Tea, Vanilla Comoro. They used to sell it at Target, but my girlfriend and I noticed that this flavor is suddenly absent from shelves. Popularity, maybe!? SAD. Get your hands on this any way you can (Barnes & Noble usually carries it). The sachets are beautiful, the tin is gift-worthy - just tie a simple satin ribbon around it - and the flavor is mild and sweet for a black tea. Perfect with a little milk and sugar. 

Elderflower lemonade. I was introduced to this amazing beverage in London last month by my bestie, Kacey. Upon returning home, a new grocery store (Mariano's) opened in our town and, lo and behold, in the foreign foods aisle I spotted these beautiful bottles on the bottom shelf! I bought one to make sure it was the same, and returned yesterday to buy 3 more bottles because THIS STUFF YOU GUYS. So good. Fancy and sweet but unexpected, best served chilled, and in white wine glasses if you ask me. Perfect holiday drink to serve when hosting! 

Ham & cheese croissants. I can't get enough. The best one I've had came from Kacey's cast iron skillet. Runner up: The Chelsea Quarter Cafe. I keep playing with ingredients and different croissants, but it doesn't really matter how I make them... I need at least one every day. Obsessed, I tell you. 

Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise candle. This is the perfect gift for someone you want to spoil. I gave one to Kacey for her birthday, and she gifted me one right back so that we could both fill our homes with the same scent while we're far apart (except hers came to me straight from the flagship store because hello, she lives close to it and that is all kinds of awesome).

Lush Bath Bombs. I could go on and on about these, but they're for everyone on your list - ok, maybe not your husband. Tuck one or two in stockings (they will smell up your whole family room!) or build a gift basket and make a large gift out of their bath products, like I did one year for my mother in law. They're really fun to use in the tub (so kids love them), but the scents are divine and this is my favorite way to relax after the kids are in bed at the end of the week. 

Mario Badescu Enzyme Revitalizing Mask. Smells kinda gross, but feels amazing and does wonders for your skin. I have terrible skin right now. I blame the combination of our rainy weather and pregnancy hormones. This helps a lot.

Fresh Sugar Lip Balm, in Petal. I am loyal to this balm, but for some reason couldn't order the plain version and had to try this lightly pink pigmented one. And I'm in love. I'm skipping lipstick and liner and gloss most days now in favor of this tube. Cheers to simplicity! And smooth, non-chapped lips. 

Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Eyeshadow Palette. This is my current favorite. I use the top two combinations for everyday makeup and just find it to be pretty, simple and versatile. This would make a super fun gift, and is cheaper than the ever-popular Naked Palette by Urban Decay.

OPI Light My Sapphire. I love this color and have it on my toes now. It's a great counterpart to my old standby, Essie's Midnight Cami (a dark navy). OPI's tends toward purple and has just a touch of shimmer. Dark toes in cold weather are my favorite, and I love that they go with pretty much anything you're wearing (they match everyday jeans but look great with dresses and open toed shoes, too). 

S Factor Leave-in Moisture Spray. I use this daily before blow drying (but after conditioning) to get soft, tangle-free hair. It keeps my ends soft so there's no need for a finishing spray or gloss. 
Bumble & Bumble Styling Lotion. I use this (only on the crown of my head, and a little goes a long way) to get more control and lift with a round brush as I blow dry. It never makes my hair feel dirty, even if I accidentally overspray. 

This Remmington Curling Wand is the best thing that ever happened to my mornings. It keeps curls loose and natural looking, and is super easy to use. I spend less time on my hair when I use this! Get the largest barrel size. It's a cheaper brand than some of the others, but I've had mine for around 2 years and it's still going strong.

Laura Mercier Ambre Vanilla Scrub. Best in-shower allover body scrub ever; smells great and doesn't irritate skin. Makes a great gift with its pretty jar!

Lubriderm Intense Skin Repair lotion. I love using this right after using the body scrub above! This is the best all-day dry skin lotion I've found, and is essential for wintertime. It's kind of hard to find - Target doesn't seem to carry it, but Walgreens does. When I find it, I buy two bottles. 

Trusting God. I'm in the middle of this book by Jerry Bridges (are you sick of me quoting it yet!?), and love it.

This book by Tim Keller, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, is next on my reading list. It just came out and I'm excited to read it after I finish Bridge's book. I'm not personally in the middle of a life crisis or trial that involves intense pain and suffering, but I have noticed that these are the times in our lives when we seem to be most vulnerable. As a result, I've noticed it's when our spiritual lives and faith can take a beating and any weakness or fault lines in our theology are exposed. I guess I'm drawn to this topic right now because I want to do all that I can to establish a firm foundation for my faith and have a clear concept of my theology as it relates to pain and suffering, so that when I find myself faced with tragedy or suffering, I'm not just beginning to think about what I believe and how I want to live and respond in practical ways. However, these books could be tender gifts for someone in your life who does find themselves in the middle of heartache, loss, pain or suffering of many kinds.

We are wrapping up our study at church right now, and have been working through "Detox: clearing the way for spiritual wellness" by Dr. Jackie Roese. It's powerful. If you or a woman in your life is looking for a great bible study, this is the one you should pick up next. It really doesn't have to be done with anyone else or in a group setting to be powerful and effective. I did it at the beginning of the summer on my own, and am working through it again with my small group. Both times I've studied it have been sweet and convicting and life-changing for different reasons. Cannot recommend highly enough.

My favorite music right now - Kari Jobe's "Where I Find You" album. Play it in the car. In the kitchen while you make breakfast or dinner. Softly as you study God's Word. Teach it to your kids and try to hold back the tears as they sing along... "we are the light of the world...! we are a city on a hill...!". 

I would love these Dwell Studio Antique Picture Frames for our house. So simple and beautiful, right!? Great gift idea. Pop in a meaningful photo before wrapping it up and giving it to someone you love. You could also frame an old love letter or mount an old recipe from a loved one who is no longer with us... so many creative ideas.

Kacey is really good at decorating her home tastefully and simply, and she had three oval picture frames with an oversized photo of each of her gorgeous kids in them hung vertically in her hallway. I told her I plan to flat-out rip off her decorating idea and do the same in my house somewhere. I'd love to find three frames like this one and put the first nails in the walls of our home since we moved in (ahem, 2 years ago). Which sparks another gift idea: give someone (maybe, say, the friend with NOTHING HANGING ON HER WALLS) the gift of decorating help for X number of hours with a local decorator! Hahaha. 

I think these Hunter Boots are one of the wisest purchases I've made, as far as cost-per-wear goes. They're not even close to wearing out and I've had mine for a few years already. Sturdy, very functional, classic, and so cute. Great gift idea for your significant other or add it to your own wish list! Can I recommend buying them somewhere that has a great return/exchange policy? The sizing was tricky if I remember correctly (they either ran a little big or small, and the tall ones take getting used to so there tend to be strong preferences as far as the tall vs. short pair goes). And I'm not a fan of the fleece inserts, but that's just me. I prefer a great knee sock underneath (with shorts or dresses) or ankle socks (with leggings or jeans). 

For the gal who's expecting - this top from Gap Maternity is cute and comfy. If you live near me, you're going to be sick and tired of seeing me in this. I'm in love. And I'm getting huge, fast, and have no patience for clothes that don't feel good. This marled 3/4 sweater is somewhat lightweight, very soft, has structure but feels like a sweatshirt. Yes, please.

I just got these skinny velvet (full panel) ankle zip pants for the next few months. There's just no way I'm going to wear skirts or tights through the holiday season, and I thought these would be cute and dressy enough for special occasions when paired with heels and a cute top or sweater and sparkly jewelry. They're super comfortable, as they have a little stretch in them.

I love sparkly or metallic flats - the pair I wear almost everyday came from Gap this summer/fall, and they don't have them anymore. But this pair is cute and currently being sold at Gap. They go with everything!

Brrr. It's hard to get out of bed this time of year. I love this warm bathrobe (from Target, Gilligan O'Malley) and will probably take it to the hospital in March when we have the baby because it's cute, too! Would make a great gift for anyone...

 What are your current favorite things!? I wish everyone shared lists like these. I need A LOT of gift-giving ideas this year, and I love shopping based on recommendations. :) 

1 comment:

Wear Share said...

I'm about to go broke on DwellStudio's website!