Voila! The second installment of my five favorite things. In actuality, there’s way more than just five favorites in here, it’s more like five categories and then dozens of things I can’t wait to share with you, so please enjoy the scroll!
This month, I thought I’d share some things I have in my online shopping cart, my favorite beauty goods, and more of the recipes and food my family and I like to eat! I have been on quite the reading kick in the new year, so we’ll take a peak at my reading list, as well as some inspiring thoughts on creativity and productivity.
It’s the month of romance with Valentine’s Day yesterday (and also my wedding anniversary month- 11 years for Stefan & I) so there lots to love this month. If you need a place to cozy up for a good meal here in Denver, check out my post on where to dine with your special someone, or maybe you want to think outside the box for a date night, in which case I have lots of ideas for you there too!
Let’s. get on with it!
I am still in closet clean out mode this month, but it’s fun to pick up a few new things and window shop, right?! I have a habit of adding a gajillion things to my cart at my favorite shops (Free People, Anthropologie & Vici Collection), and then I just slowly move them to ‘save for later’ or watch them sell out before I am ready to buy, ha! Here are of a few of the things I have picked up recently or have my eye on.
This versatile sling at Anthro seemed too good to pass up. I grabbed it in taupe and love the tan and pink geo strap- but it comes in 11 different colors! It’s perfect for my upcoming spring and summer travel. I didn’t spring for these yet, but these linen shorts with the detail down the side might be just right for summer vacation. Since it takes about 25 tries to find the right swimsuit I have my eye on this one by Beach Riot amongst others. I had a store credit to burn I did grab this swim cover up over at Baltic Born and it looks like the perfect works-with-any-suit find!
While we are on the topic of summer (as once again I am stubbornly ignoring the snow outside my window) I am crossing my fingers for a sale on this perfect summer maxi, and just deciding on what color! I did spring for these sandals though. Comfort and sparkle? I’m in!
Ok, back to reality. It’s Colorado…and of course it’s snowing, again. For the 80 billionth time. To stay warm I have been loving Clare V sweatshirts! J’adore le French, and while they aren’t truly a French company (based in LA) I love these ‘tres chic’ sweatshirts featuring French phrases on them. Currently wearing this bougie black one, but would love to say ‘oui’ to this one or maybe ‘I don’t know’ to this one? Ever since the fall I have been keeping my feet warm with some good ole Doc Martens, but with faux fur! LOVE these…so cozy and durable. They have a few varieties and styles if you browse the site.
I’m proud to say I am well on my way to my goal of reading 25 books this year. In fact maybe I’ll even surpass it, however my year always has peaks and valleys and right now I am able to read a lot, and later my time will become more limited. Anyway, on to to list because there are some great books I want to share with you, and more that are on my ‘want to read list’!
- Circe by Madeline Miller – A vivid and empowering retelling of the Greek myth of Circe, the ‘Witch of Aiaia’ – Goddess and daughter of the Titan god Helios and her unique ties with mortals.
- Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune – A beautiful and creative take on life after death, interweaved with humor and a beautiful LGBTQ love story.
- I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jeanette McCurdy – An autobiographical memoir of the upbringing, childhood, and young adult life told by Jeanette McCurdry herself, co-star of the Nikelodeon show iCarly, and the ways her mother impacted her life, and how she moved on.
- A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman – An incredibly touching story of a grumpy old man who learns to adapt to changing circumstances.
- Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt – Often creatures are more intelligent and insightful than we ever realize, and this story of loss and discovery wraps around a very bright octopus.
Next on the list
Currently I am reading Stone Blind by Natalie Hayes, and a few others on my ‘want to read’ list are; The Durrells of Corfu by Michael Haag, I will Find You by Harlan Coben, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, and Lone Woman by Victor LaValle. My list is VERY long though, so I’ll update you on whatever I happen to digest over the next month!
And, remember – I would love to connect with you on Goodreads and see what you are reading too!
I’m not a skincare or beauty guru by any means and I’ve never been able to stick to any sort of overly indulgent or laboured nighttime regime. When it comes to makeup, most days I just throw on a little mascara and call it a day. However, I do have a few products that are tried and true, and so I thought I would share what works for me!
Starting with mascara, for years I have loved Lancome’s Monsieur Big’s ability to both lengthen and volumize my lashes! For the last year I’ve been wearing lash extensions (also amazing) however I’ve decided to go back to ‘au natural’ lashes. With the help of Babe Lash serum for rapid growth, and the aforementioned mascara my lashes are looking great! (Babe Lash tip – it’s on sale 2 for 1 at Costco right now!)
On the subject of eyes, this Coffee Bean Caffeine under eye cream was recommended to me and besides the delicious vanilla (actually I think it smells like Oreos) scent, it wakes my eyes up in the AM. And to cover up those ‘lavendar half moons’ Garnier’s Clearly Brighter Eye Roller does just the trick!
When I find myself with a few free moments I love applying New York Biology’s Dead Sea Mud Mask. I have the one with lavender oil which makes it extra relaxing, but there are a few other versions to try too. Again, I am so NOT fancy and these next few items are all Target finds… but I LOVE them! I finally found the best good-for-you deodorant ever by Mega Babe and it smells amazing too. I am a sucker for citrus and tropical scents, and I can’t get enough of this Quiet and Roar coconut + banana milk body wash! Staying on the smells-so-good-theme, I’ve always needed a helping hand getting the tangles out, and while I know this is for kids, I love the pineapple-y sweet scent and amazing comb-ability of FairyTales static free detangler!
On the subject of hair, if you love a curled look but don’t want the fuss, save yourself some time with this no heat curling set by Kitsch. Simply wrap your hair overnight and wakeup to perfect bouncy curls! If you do have a little time on your hands, try this 3 barrel curling iron from Bed Head. It gives a unique waved look different than a typical beach wave or wand wrapped curl, and I always get compliments when I style my hair this way. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
My boys have become pretty self sufficient in the mornings, and for that I am grateful, but coming up with different healthy breakfast options they can grab on their own isn’t always easy. However, I recently stated making overnight oats for them on the weekends in advance of the school week and what.a.hit. Yes I realize this trend was oh so 5 years ago-but hey better late than never! If you are cool with being fashionably late to the party like me, then check out this post and this one for some creative varieties sure to please everyones taste buds!
When it comes to dinner, the hubs and I have had our mouths watering episode after episode watching Stanley Tucci’s ‘Searching for Italy‘. He traverses region after region of Italy finding all the best flavors and dishes that make each area unique. The best part? Many of the featured recipes are available to make at home on this blog post!
If Italian doesn’t suit your fancy, here are a few more recipes I am eager to try this month. Short ribs? Yum! Anything spicy? Yum! Put them together in a Spicy Short Rib Noodle Soup? Yes please! Since this is the month of romance and fine dining, how about whipping up some Steak Diane? As the author notes, it need not actually be steak if red meat isn’t your preference. I love a good beet salad and I am dying to try this 7 layer beet salad. If you do…let me know what you think!
For the kids (and you too) what about some giant strawberry pop tarts…homemade of course!
Words to Live By
The winter is always a slower season for me as a photographer, and a time to reflect on what works, what doesn’t. I try to get organized, and think about how I’d like to grow creatively. I’m sharing some thoughts I’ve come across that might be helpful to any of you who find yourself in a similar season of contemplation and growth.
‘A mindset that can take you far in life:
What I want doesn’t exist, so I’ll create it.’
‘Let’s face it—artists are always working, though they may not seem as if they are. They are like plants growing in winter. You can’t see the fruit, but it is taking root below the earth.”
‘If you want to create something but feel it has already been done 1000 times, remember: There is always room for quality.’
‘Deconstruct the cool things you see.
If you’d like to become a better musician and you see an amazing performance, start paying attention to how they do it. How did they promote the event? What happens in the first ten seconds of each song? How frequently are they engaging directly with the audience? Is there a progression of energy throughout the show?
When something fascinates you, pay attention to the details. The person who thinks, “That was cool” is a consumer. The person who thinks, “How did they make something that cool?” is on the path to being a creator.
Don’t just taste the recipe, look for the ingredients.’
Until Next Month…
I hope you’ll share the love, find a spark of creativity, or try one of this month’s favorite things. I look forward to sharing more with you in March. Until then, check out my post on how to capture some spring memories with your family and perhaps consider getting a photo session on the books in the upcoming season of growth and new life!
**The links included in this newsletter are not affiliate links. Therefore, I do not receive any compensation for any of the links or products posted within.