November Favorites


The Beach

I can’t get there fast enough and get my toes in the sand!  Growing up, our family summer vacation was going to the beach every summer for a week.  Our parents would save all year to rent an old, ocean-front cottage and the week was filled with Dad surf-fishing, Mom carrying the beach quilt out and placing it on the sand, and my 3 sisters and I spending the day out in the shallow part of the incoming waves.  We played in the sand and jumped around in the water for hours.  Of course, there was plenty of Coppertone Sun Tan Lotion (I will use no other because that is the smell of BEACH)–it wasn’t called sunscreen back then because it was for TANNING–and pimiento cheese or bologna sandwiches for lunch.  Sometimes Dad would catch fish for supper. Over the years the weekly summer vacations eventually turned into my parents buying a beach house and now that’s my most favorite place to be.  Something about the rhythm of the ocean and the smell of salty ocean breezes, and lots of family memories.



These are packing MAGIC!  The first time I watched their video online, I was mesmerized by how efficient these were and they were having a sale so I just had to buy them, of course.  I can’t pack without them now!  Seriously, I tried to do that about a week ago–could not get a sports bag to work to save me.  Out came the eBags and my carry-on and BAM!  I was packed for a week…at the beach, of course. I have actually lived out of my carry-on for about 5 or 6 weeks with these bags packed to the brim.  Long, but true, story.


Envy Apples

Have you even ever heard of this apple?  My sister just told me about them a couple of weeks ago and she said I could get them at Walmart.  Well, off I went to buy a few, and they are absolutely delicious!  I can’t wait to make an apple pie  with them.  And they are gorgeous!


Modere Dish Wash

You may not have heard of this company, and neither had I until a few months ago when my daughter became a “social influencer” for them. We wanted to help her out by getting her some orders, so I thought I would order their Clean and Fresh Collection.  The dish wash smells so light and fresh and I am thinking that it keeps my dish cloths from getting that nasty yucky smell so quickly.  I ran out of it the other day and had to use another dish liquid and my cloth got smelly in less than a day!  Don’t judge.  I do use mine for several days if they smell good. Also, the suds last a lot longer, even if I put a greasy dish or skillet in the water. I just run a little more hot water in with my sprayer and it foams right back up.

October Favorite Things

october favorite things
olive oil favorite things

Really Good Olive Oil

One of my very favorite things to use in the kitchen is really good olive oil.  Only in the last few years have I realized what a difference it makes in cooking and preparing dishes (like my Italian Roasted Potatoes).  Whenever I go to the Emerald Isle, NC, location for Beaufort Olive Oil Company, I just can’t get enough of the samples!  Pouring a bit of balsamic and olive oil over those little bread cube samples….yum.  So many flavor combos at your fingertips!  But when it comes to purchasing, I usually stick with my favorite mild to medium all-purpose olive oils and get more adventurous with the balsamic flavors.  Find a good olive oil store and go in for a sample; you won’t regret it!

essential oils favorite things

Holiday Joy Blend

I’ve been getting doTERRA essential oils for years now, and my favorite oil is still Holiday Joy!  Just taking a whiff of it makes me smile and reminds me of Christmas.  Pairing it with Tangerine or Wild Orange just makes it even better although it is great on its own.  Often I will diffuse it in the kitchen while listening to Christmas music (yes, even when it’s not the holidays) when I just need a boost.  Many essential oil companies have similar blends, though I have not tried any of them so I can only vouch for this one.  What’s your favorite essential oil blend?

style edit favorite things

Gray Hair Coverage

When did you get your first gray hair?  Guess when I got mine.  TWENTY-ONE!!  Yep, that’s right.  Now at that age I could just pluck the occasional gray hair out.  But I got to a point about a decade ago or so that I started getting my hair colored on a regular basis.  The sides and front are more than 50% gray!  Rather than move my appointments closer together I’ve been opting for products to help me make it to my regular 5-6 week intervals.  I’ve tried sprays, but those just feel gross in my hair and I always end up spraying my face a little.  Recently I decided to try something easier to apply and I LOVE it!  Style Edit’s Binding Powder is perfect for my needs.  The actual powder is in a little pan on top (kind of looks like an eye shadow) and the applicator is a sponge attached to the bottom.  Easy to use and it works great.  It doesn’t make my hair feel gross and it stays on all day.

mascara favorite things

Liquid Lash Extensions

I don’t have the longest lashes.  Don’t get me wrong–they’re not super short but they’re not long by any stretch of the imagination.  So I’ve thought about lash extensions (worried about damaging what I already have).  I’ve tried a direct sales company’s dual tube application system (no matter what I did, it kept flaking off…but dang they looked long!).  I’ve even tried unsuccessfully to apply fake eyelashes (I just couldn’t get them to stay in place).  But I have been using Thrive Causemetics‘ mascara for probably over a year and I love it.  It gives me the length I like without flaking off and it doesn’t require multiple tubes to get there.  A nice benefit to using their products is that for every product you purchase, they donate to help women who are fighting cancer, surviving domestic abuse , or are coming out of homelessness.  Long lashes and helping others?  Sign me up!

Stay tuned for December’s Favorite Things!

September Favorite Things




Netzero Reusable Produce Bags 

How many times have you been to the grocery store and caught yourself licking your fingers to get those pesky little plastic bags open for your fruits and veggies?  Ooh gross! Do you know where those bags have been?  I saw these on a Facebook ad and ordered 2 sets–one for my daughter and one for me.  These have so many benefits.  Easy to wash and air dry; you can actually wash your produce while it’s in the bag, go out your back door and swing the bag above your head to get the extra water out–because it’s just more fun that way–and store the food in the bag or not. Oh, and they’re not just for food–multiple uses like for collecting seashells at the beach!


Magnolia Journal

I have decided to purge my magazine collection and will soon have it down to one Church magazine,  Consumer Reports, my BYU Alumni magazine and this gem…Magnolia Journal. I love the food  photography and the articles.  And Joanna’s articles are a breath of fresh air compared to some of the stuff I have seen in another family magazine that I have been getting for years.  I won’t mention the name, but their format, articles, etc. just aren’t relevant to me anymore.  And the ads–oy vey!


 Insulated Water Bottle

Have you seen the 4Ocean commercials?  These two surfer guys have started a non-profit to help clean up the plastic/trash from the oceans and beaches, etc.  They sell handmade beaded bracelets that you can purchase and you will help clean up 1 pound of trash.  Well, I just don’t really wear bracelets that much and sometimes they get in my way.  So I found this great insulated water bottle on their site and purchased that instead.  It keeps my water really cold and the ice doesn’t melt for a couple of days, even in a hot car!  Check out their site and learn about what they are doing to take better care of our earth and what you can do to help.


Tomato Paste in a Tube

How many cans of tomato paste have you thrown out because you only need a tablespoon or two for a recipe?  Yeah, me too.  A recent trip to the grocery store snagged me this awesome Cento Tomato Paste in a tube!  Yes!  They finally get it.  So now, no more wasted paste and no more little tomato paste cans to deal with.  You’re welcome!


Fresh Basil


Have you ever grown your own fresh Basil? There is something so fulfilling and productive about going outside and picking your own food.  This is the closest I have gotten to doing that in over a decade.

We had fresh Caprese Salad the other night for supper–one of our favorite summer dishes. Oh my goodness, it smelled so fresh and tasted so delicious.  

Not quite sure how my Basil fared the hail storm yesterday.  We will just have to wait and see…



Sew, Have You Tried This?


Guess what is better than straight pins for laying out and cutting a pattern?  WASHERS!!  For real.  

Way back in time, like maybe 2000, I was asked to help make costumes for a regional youth dance festival that our church was putting on as part of their annual Youth Conference.  The lady in charge had us meet at the stake center to lay out and cut the pattern pieces that we would then take home and sew.

The costumes were very simple, but the coolest thing about this experience was that I learned a great sewing trick that I continue to use to this day.  Get you some 2-inch stainless (I think) washers.  The middle hole is about 7/8 inch.  I have about 20 or so in a little plastic container that I found at home somewhere.


It is so great to lay these washers (sometimes you might want to stack 2 of them together) right on top of the pattern piece.  It saves a lot of time/fingers/stress.  

Favorite Things for the New Year

We just finished a kitchen renovation…right before Christmas.  Yikes, was it an adventure!  It’s actually my new favorite thing.  But I’ll share a couple of other favorites first, and then you can see the big reveal!

First off, I am in love with this adorable wax warmer from Scentsy.  (Truth be told, I love any vehicle carrying a Christmas tree!)  It goes perfectly in my new little kitchen nook.  It’s by far my favorite wax warmer I have ever seen!  Holly Berry Cinnamon and Homestead Holiday are great choices for a cozy, seasonal scent.  You can buy Scentsy from my friend, Samantha, here.  

favorite Scentsy warmer

There’s a switch on the cord to turn it off and on; when it’s on, the headlights light up!

I’m also in love with these ecloths.  I first heard of these when I stumbled onto Kathryn’s YouTube channel, Do It on a Dime.  One of my goals for the New Year is to keep things cleaner here at home–to stay on top of cleaning so I’m not facing the housekeeping equivalent of Mount Everest every time I clean.  So when I saw Kathryn cleaning her home with these cloths THAT ONLY USE WATER I was instantly intrigued and hopped over to Amazon to snag a set for myself.  I’m so incredibly happy with them!!    They clean with just water and they also remove 99% of bacteria!! (The list you see is the card that came with the box of ecloths.  I laminated it and keep it in my cleaning caddy with the cloths.)  This quickly became a favorite for me.

Check out all of Kathryn’s organizing, cleaning, and dollar store videos–she’s got some great tips.  Love her channel.  And head over to Amazon to grab your own set of ecloths; I’ve already purchased two more sets for gifts.  I mean, who wouldn’t want these?  

favorite cleaning cloths

I’m actually learning to enjoy cleaning with these babies!

Okay, so here’s my BIG favorite: my brand new kitchen.  When we added on to our home, we did not have enough money in the budget to tackle the very tiny kitchen.  So we’ve been waiting patiently impatiently to get it done.  I’m in love with the result!  I have a few things to tweak (and these pics are also a couple of weeks old, so there are a few new wall art elements that are missing) but you get the idea.

Keep in mind that these pics were taken before we were completely done.  I actually took these really quick the other day to send to a friend.  I thought about taking some new pics today, but we’re…uh…still recovering from New Year’s cookery in this kitchen.  So she’s not camera-ready at present!  But she’s still my favorite!  (Wait, the kitchen is a she?  Does that mean I need to name her?)

I’ll put in some before pics for reference…(old phone had a wide angle lens……new phone does not, so the after pics look a little different)

not my favorite kitchen

Here’s the view from my living room entry way. At this point we were in the middle of emptying the kitchen.

Look at this amazing transformation:

favorite kitchen

Aaaaaaand the new view. SO much more space and I love how open it is!  Don’t mind the stack of wood on the counter….dur!

How about this view from the triple window?

not my favorite kitchen

Why is all my wood the same color???

So much more soothing to look at this new view.  Well, except for the mess in the living room.  We were still adjusting!

favorite kitchen

I can seat 7 at my counter!!

And the view from the bottom of my back stairs, totally blocked with that wall.

not my favorite dining room

But now…..aaaaaaahhhhhh….oh, and look….there’s Henry!

favorite dining area

I do need to show you one more picture though.  I don’t have a before shot of just the space in front of the picture window.  But if you look at the last before pic, you can see that we just had a small sofa in front of that window.  This was a weird space.  Before we added on, that area was actually the dining room and my current dining room was actually our living room.  So, that window area became this strange, not really usable space where people just came and sat (and it was also quite the catch all!).  But now look at it….

favorite window seat

I’ve had more than one person ask if we put in a different window or changed it in any way. Nope! Same window, but now it looks AMAZING!

I’m so in love with this kitchen.  We have several more home projects in the works, but I don’t think anything will make as much of an impact as this very favorite room, my kitchen.

You’ll be hearing more from us each month on our favorite thing/things.  We’re excited to share our finds with you and hope you’ll do the same.  Hope your Christmas was wonderfully magical and that your New Year is starting out with abundance.

Happy New Year!!!


(no sponsored content in this post, just my own recommendations)