October Favorites

1/ Burt’s Bees Natural Throat Drops Honey and Lemon
Seems like everyone has already suffered their first cold of the season, and I’m no exception. Mine lasted about a week and a half and I swear these throat drops saved me from losing my mind from coughing. They’re all natural, which made them more palatable too.

2/ Fifty Type Specimens: From the Collection of Tobias Frere-Jones
These postcards from Frere-Jones’ personal collection will be loved by any type nerd. I’m looking forward to sending some out in the mail soon to brighten the day of some graphic designer friends!

3/ Gretchen Christine Vegan Leather Embroidered Convertible Tote
A sizable bag that’s perfect for toting along a ton of stuff – including my laptop some days – this bag is on point with the embroidery trend this autumn. It’s really well made and will make a great piece all winter.

4/ Honeycrisp Apples
These have been my favorite apple variety for a few years now. If you’ve never ha done before they’re super crisp and fragrant with a sweet-tart taste that varies depending on how ripe the fruit is.

5/ It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
I will never tire of watching holiday specials from my childhood. I’ve watched this one twice in October and will probably squeeze in one more viewing tonight after trick or treating wraps up. (Please, remember never to jump in a pile of leaves with a wet sucker!)

6/ Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation
After running out of my go-to MAC foundation a few months ago I picked up a tube of this on a Target run and was pleasantly surprised! The whipped gel formula gives my skin a soft matte finish while also hydrating – basically unheard of.

7/ Orange Clove Signature Soy Jar Candle
While this candle smells more like a bonfire to me, I still really like it. The fragrance permeates most of the first floor and even manages to make its way upstairs.

8/ Record Storage Cube
I have one of these birch cubes with a plexiglas garage front in my living room, it acts as a sweet little stand for my portable Crosby turntable and favorite vinyl. The plexiglas is available in 13 colors as well as a wood option.

9/ Google Home
Yeah, I’m a little late to the party but I’m here. So far I love telling it to play music at any given moment as well as the phone functionality.

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September Favorites

1/ Prolong Christmas Tree Preservative
Before you think I’ve completely lost it and have a tree up in September, let me assure that’s not the case. This stuff is also a great preservative for fresh flowers! You just add a few teaspoons to the water in your vase and it magically adds days of life to each stem.

2/ Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb
I’ve tried some Garnier products before but they were never a great fit for my skin. That is until I came across a sample of this moisturizer in a magazine. I use it every other day with the rest of my evening skin routine and love how velvety soft it leaves my face feeling.

3/ Pumpkin Spice Cheerios
Pumpkin spice flavor doesn’t usually do much for me – I loathe PSLs – but I picked up a box of this on a whim last week and was pleasantly surprised. The cereal is coated in a mix of real pumpkin and just the right blend of spices without being too sweet. (I’m currently on my second box.)

4/ Geometric Throw Pillow
Story old as time, I ran into Target to grab a birthday gift for my aunt and came out with two of these pillows for my couch. They were on mega-sale!

5/ Happy Halloween Ivy Wall Plaque
On the same trip I picked up this little sign for my door. It’s the only Halloween or fall decoration I have up at the moment, but I’m hoping to change all that this weekend and go all out.

6/ Blistex Conditioning Lip Serum
This is more of a cream than a serum, but while I think it’s misnamed I do like the product. It comes in a little pump bottle and I’ve been using it before bed as an extra dose of moisture/preemptive measure against winter dryness.

7/ Reliq Mineral Dog Shampoo
My dog Bebe is super duper cute and super duper stinky. I’ve even had her tested for medical maladies because of it, but no, she’s just a smelly little half Yorkie that I love endlessly. Her of brand of perfume really intensifies in hot weather and this is basically a miracle in a bottle. It’s the only shampoo I’ve found that can rid her completely of stink and I can’t recommend it more if you’ve got a similar situation going on at your house.

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August Favorites

1/ The Crafter’s Box
The Crafter’s Box brings together experienced makers who curate a unique box of tools and materials to build something beautiful. One box/project is released each month with delivery to your door and an online workshop to guide you. I’m working on this large-scale stenciled linen throw at the moment.

2/ Soo Ae Charcoal Clay Bubble Mask
Using activated binchotan charcoal, kaolin bentonite clay, and oxygen bubbles this mask puffs up and looks hilarious all while purifying, brightening, and refining your skin. It only takes up about five minutes of your time and will leave your face baby smooth.

3/ Poise Accessory Tray
I’d been looking for a way to organize my most worn earrings, bracelets, and pins when I came across this brass double-decker tray. It’s a great size and I love the minimal look.

4/ Giant Zinnias
My mom and stepdad planted these guys for the first time this year and ended up with a bumper crop! I pillaged what was left last weekend and made a note to add some to my own yard next spring.

5/ The Mac & Gold Truck
If you’re in Pittsburgh, you need to check these guys out – it’s all mac ‘n cheese all the time. I had some with BBQ brisket and fried onions that has me salivating at the memory.

6/ Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches
Leona’s is a Pittsburgh legend, small batch ice cream pints and sandwiches using local dairy and ingredients in the most interesting pairings. Oh, and it’s all lactose-free. This one was peanut butter cookie with strawberry ice cream.

7/ Caramel Wallet
I haven’t owned a proper wallet in at least five years, but when I saw Sseko Designs’ minimal caramel wallet in buttery leather I had to have it. It holds the few cards and cash I carry with my daily and helps end the cycle of poverty by educating and empowering women. Win-win.

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July Favorites

1/ Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque
I’ve been using this super affordable, very refreshing face masque a few times a month since seeing Jessica recommend it on her site. Just slather it on, wait 15-20 minutes for it to dry, then wipe off with a warm washcloth. It smells so good and has been key in drying up pesky pimples.

2/ Lady Bell Bell Peppers
This is the first year I’m growing peppers since moving back to PA (they were disastrous in Oklahoma), and the four plants I have in pots are doing great! Each one has about four peppers that should be ready to pick in a few more weeks.

3/ SOO AE My Collagen Hydrogel Lip Patch
Plumping lip glosses have never been my thing, but this slippery little lip mask intrigued me with it’s promises. While I only noticed minimal plumping, what I loved was how it left my lips feeling super smooth.

4/ Duster Kimono
This kimono accidentally “fell” into my cart last weekend at Target. I don’t have a ton of color in my wardrobe and that blue just called out to me to dress up jeans and a tee or a sundress.

5/ Chenille Plant
This chenille plant on my back porch is the best thing I planted this year! I love its personality and unusual fuchsia flowers that resemble a cat’s tail.

6/ Simple Micellar Makeup Remover Wipes
These wipes are my first foray into using micellar water, which is touted as a makeup removing magnet. They’re really gentle and seem to do their job well – exactly what I look for in all of skincare products.

7/ Feya Candles
All of their candles smell amazing (I’m burning the lemongrass sage right now) and their mission is based on giving back. It’s a win-win that I’m happy to take advantage of!

8/ Sseko Rue Ankle Strap Sandals
These sandals are responsibly made, super comfortable, AND give back. I also love that the accent on the toe strap can be switched out with any number of different designs – it’s like owning several pairs of shoes in one. Great if you’re into a capsule wardrobe.

9/ Dove Purely Pampering Coconut Milk with Jasmine Petals Body Wash
My Grandma gave me a bottle of this last month and I’m am in love with the scent as well as the way it makes my skin feel. My home has hard water which can dry my skin out, and this body wash is so moisturizing that even if I forgot to put on lotion after a shower I hardly notice.

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June Favorites

 

1/ Super Sweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes
I’ve been doing container gardens for the past few years, and this summer I ventured into the world of cherry tomatoes, Sweet 100s specifically. They’re a vining variety that are deliciously meaty and sweet. Last week I was able to start picking a few day as they ripen and my salad game has gone up a notch!

2/ Mom’s Stuff All-Purpose Piñon Salve
I started using Mom’s Stuff a few years ago after meeting Mom’s daughter and trying out a sample. Each jar is handmade from all natural ingredients that deeply moisturize, soothe, and protect your skin and there are no filler ingredients like water, cheap oils, or stabilizers. Lately I’ve been dabbing some on bug bites for comfort.

3/ Illume Candles Vanity Tins
Illume Candles first entered my life back in college, when I bought two delicious smelling candles for more than I could afford. I’m loving the design of their Vanity Tins and the scents are just as good as ever!

4/ Pineapple Sage
It was the pineapple-scented leaves that caused me to pick up one of these to plant this year. In late summer they bloom bright red, tube-shaped blooms that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

5/ La Colombe Draft Latte
This is the treat I’ve been reaching for on hot summer mornings! Lactose-free milk and cold pressed espresso make for a slightly sweet drink without any added sugar.

6/ Kristin Ess Instant Lift Thickening Spray
Forever on the search for the perfect hair product that will give my fine hair more oomph, and this spray has become the top contender. You don’t need to use a ton, it’s not super sticky, and the smell is amazing.

7/ Lou & Grey Linen Racerback Tank (50% off!)
I picked up black and grey ones a few weeks ago and have been more or less living in them. They hit my short(ish) torso in just the right spot and the cut is super flattering.

8/ Carmex Comfort Care Colloidal Oatmeal Lip Balm
As a lip balm-aholic you can take my word that this stuff is the real deal. Its blend of natural colloidal oatmeal and cold-pressed antioxidant rich fruit seed oil provides long-lasting moisture for visibly smoother lips.

9/ Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
A collection of poetry and prose about survival, about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. And how to find the sweetness in all areas of life.

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May Favorites

1/ EcoBark Dog Harness
After years of searching for a harness that helped control my dog’s tendency to pull, as well as one that fit her broad chest/small neck measurements, I’ve found it. This thing is a lifesaver and the straps are made from recycled water bottles – bonus. (Note: runs small)

2/ Lemon Tree
Plants are therapeutic for me, and I picked up one of these little guys during a plant buying binge. I liked the idea of trying to grow it so much that I bought my Grandma one for Mother’s Day, too. No doubt hers will be five feet tall before mine hits 18-inches!

3/ Native Union Night Cable
This ten-foot long cable is amazing for charging your phone and devices while lounging in bed. The weighted knot anchors it to any surface, so you’re not left searching for your fallen phone when the alarm goes off in the morning.

4/ Elemental Coffee
My favorite coffee from when I lived in Oklahoma City remains my favorite 2 1/2 years post-move. The small batch roastery imports and roasts their own, and you can order a subscription service to show up on your doorstep. I highly recommend the Perusha.

5/ NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square
A classic orangey-red that looks amazing on any skin tone, it’s been my go-to for a few years.

6/ Case Study Bentwood Tray Table
I rely on this tray table in the evenings, when I’m sitting on the couch with the dogs and either listening to records or half paying attention to something on television. It’s a great height and wide enough that I can sit crosslegged under it.

7/ Bebe drawn by Preserve a Moment
The super talented Susanne Kasielke drew my pup, Bebe, from a photo I’d shared in Instagram months ago. Her work is top-notch and I suspect it won’t be long until I commission her to illustrate my other pup as well!

8/ Tadesse Bucket Bag
The perfect bag for summer, its roomy interior provides so much space for essentials while the drawstring closure keeps it all secure. (It’s also available in a mini size and several colors of leather!)

9/ Yucca Plant
I had no clue that yucca plants could survive outdoors in Pennsylvania, or that I had three in my front yard, or that they bloom sporadically! Mine sprouted some tall stalks just about overnight, now I’m waiting for their white bell-like flowers to bloom.

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April Favorites

 

1/ Tea Tree Oil
I’ve been using this stuff in multiples ways, including in my diffuser and on blemishes.

2/ PureAir 50
This little plug-in ionic air purifier is amazing. It cleans 350 sq. ft. of air by removing odors and reducing bacteria and viruses with activated oxygen. I have mine next to the cats’ litter box – the danger zone! – and noticed a total elimination of smell within about 15 minutes. It emits a kind of white noise sound when turned on, but I quickly got used to it.

3/ Lamb’s Ear
After years of admiration, I added one of these perennials to my porch collection. I’m hoping to keep it in a pot rather than have to plant it in the ground, but only time will tell how the plant tolerates it.

4/ Froozer Blue Aloha
These super natural treats are basically a frozen smoothie in a tube. They’re super tasty with only 35 calories and 9 carbs, which is a necessity for snacks with this type 2 diabetic.

5/ Common Goods Lavender Linen Water
I’ve been using this on my bedsheets for a few years now, I’m a real sucker for anything lavender scented as you may have noticed. This linen water is scented with 100% pure essential oil, is plant based, and biodegradable.

6/ Function of Beauty
Everyone’s been chattering about this line of shampoos and conditioners can that be personalized to your hair’s specific needs, and I’m here to report that the hype is 100% true! I love it and may never use another brand ever again. (Grab $5 off your order here.)

7/ Round Taper Planters
This spring I had to replace the large bamboo planters I’ve used for the past several years due to normal wear and tear. I wanted something simple and affordable that would complement my new black shutters and came across these fade and weather resistant ones at Target. They’re available in four colors and seven sizes! (I also have four of the 6-inch ones indoors)

8/ Vineyard Hill Naturals Cardamom & Fig Candle
You might think this scent sounds a bit heavy for spring, but it’s quite the opposite. And the soy-based candle’s jar is one I’ll definitely be reusing with that Greek key pattern.

9/ Spruce Cleaning Wipes
I’m kind of the worst at keeping my electronics clean, and these little wipes are a fun reminder (those faces!) to wipe everything down – they’re also great for your eyeglasses. Made in the USA, free of harsh chemicals like alcohol and ammonia, and vegan.

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March Favorites

 

1/ Alba Botanica Acnedote
That’s right, I’m still on the hunt for the perfect skin regiment. I finally have the right level of moisture (just as the seasons change again, of course), but am randomly experiencing breakouts. I’m using the Deep Pore Wash, Deep Clean Astringent, and Clean ‘n Treat Towelettes, and thought it’s only been a few days I feel like I’m seeing and feeling the difference.

2/ Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cream
I’ve had this moisturizer in the rotation since last December and really love it. It’s good for all skin types and evens out tone while brightening your complexion, for these reasons it’s usually my morning moisturizing cream.

3/ Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is one of my all-time favorite scents, so I definitely use this in my diffuser. But lavender oil is also an antibacterial and I’ve been using it to spot treat breakouts, especially ones that I haven’t been able to keep my hands off of. (Ugh.)

4/ Miss Jones Baking Co.
These guys use only the highest quality ingredients and it really comes through in their boxed baking mixes. Plant-based, responsibly sourced, and free of all kinds of other junk, it’s also organic! The brownies are seriously the best boxed mix I’ve ever made.

5/ Printic App Photos Box
Download the app then choose fifty of your favorite Instagram photos and Printic will print and deliver them in a sweet little box. I love the vintage Polaroid-like style! Use code B9962C for $7 off your order.

6/ RXBAR
Everything inside these insanely good protein bars is *literally* right on the (well-designed) packaging. It’s real food and the main ingredients are egg whites, nuts, and dates no matter the flavor. I’ve been having either a blueberry one for breakfast or a chocolate sea salt for an evening snack almost daily.

7/ Sustainable Youth
About a month ago three of their products made it into my bedtime skincare rotation – Super Boost Night Serum, Ultra Creamy Cleansing Lotion, and Anytime Lift Eye Treatment. My favorite is the serum, formulated to rejuvenate while you get your shuteye.

8/ Trigg Vases
I love how versatile these vessels are. Use them as vases, planters, utensil holders, desk accessories and more. They come as a set of two and the ceramic body can even be oriented two different ways in the wire frame.

9/ Vitamin C Serum
Another new addition to my morning routine is a few drop of this serum all over my face. Since I started using it I’ve noticed a brighter complexion as well as decrease in dark spots from old acne.

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February Favorites

This is a new series that I’ll be sharing on the last day of each month, a collection of favorite things that I’ve been using in my everyday life that I hope you’ll love like I do. These can be beauty products, recipes, accessories, whatever. Just a chronicle of great things!

 

1/ Oregon Chai Sugar Free Chai Tea Latte Concentrate
I’m diabetic and have been missing chai lattes since my diagnosis almost three years ago. While grocery shopping last month I found this sugar-free concentrate that I’ve been using to make dirty chai lattes (coffee + chai) and get my fix.

2/ Makers of Wax Goods Wood Wick Bourbon Candle
Sometime last year I picked a smaller size of this candle at Marshall’s because I really loved the packaging, but I feel even harder for the scent itself. Since then I’ve been addicted and have this candle in three rooms of my house!

3/ Dr. Jart+ Water Drop Hydrating Moisturizer
My skin has been flipping out this winter – flakey and breaking out. I’ve had to amp up my skincare game in a big way and this moisturizer is my latest discovery. It’s so lightweight, is absorbed immediately, and makes my skin feel plump and nourished.

4/ Scentered Therapy Balms
Part of my bedtime routine, somewhere between feeding the cats and reading Twitter one last time, includes the Sleep Well balm. I just rub some on my wrists and breathe deeply in and out five times. During the day I rely on the Stress Less to help keep me focused.

5/ First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Sleeping Cream
I alternate between three different moisturizers depending on how my skin is behaving. This one is great to put on before going to sleep when I’ve had an especially stressful day and maybe haven’t eaten the best.

6/ Sephora Collection Lotus Face Mask
For Christmas my friend sent me a package full of different sheet masks and this one has made me a devotee. (You can actually get two uses out of sheet masks if you put them back in their package and make sure it’s tightly closed.)

7/ Herbivore Botanicals Jasmine Body Oil
Again with the dry skin. This body oil is super pure and smells heavenly, so much so that I skip the perfume on days I wear it.

8/ Fashionable Mini Tirhas Saddlebag
This bag was a Christmas gift from my stepdad that I’ve been carrying every day since. I’m a longtime fan of Fashionable and the quality of this piece is outstanding.

9/ NOW Rosemary Essential Oil
I’ve been adding this rosemary essential oil to my diffuser every afternoon before turning it on for an afternoon pick-me-up. It makes the entire first floor smell so fresh and clean.

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