Favorite Things I Need to Tell You about Right Now

Favorite Things I Need to Tell You About Right Now – Vol. 2

Hey friends! To start the year, I did a post on “Favorite Things in 2017 That I Need to Tell You About Right Now,” and decided that it needed to become a semi-regular series. So I’m back today to share a new list on random finds and new favorite things and trends I’m obsessed with lately. And since my friend Brandi and I are always swapping these kind of ideas back and forth, I’ve asked her to contribute! And like before, this post in not sponsored in any way — I just genuinely recommend it all.

Skecher Go Step Boat Shoes

Amanda: My mom recommended Go Walks to me last summer and while the overall brand has a lot of styles that I don’t like, I am in LOVE with the Go Step style that look like Sperry’s since I bought my first pair on sale last fall. They are seriously one of the comfiest shoes I have ever owned, have never given me blisters and I’ve been able to walk in them long distances without it affecting my plantar fasciitis. I’m currently trying to figure out what pair I want next.


Amanda: Ebates is a service that you download as a plugin on your internet browser (there is also an app) and then as you shop online it offers a percentage cash back on your purchases. Then you get a check every quarter with what you’ve made. I heard about Ebates a long time ago, but I always thought that there was a catch of some sort or that it would take too much effort to work. But I was wrong, its literally just one extra click of a button to activate each time. Now, I could see how it would drive someone to spend more money than really necessary, because the site advertises all of the different deals going on with various brands. But I have just used it for purchases that I already otherwise was going to make. When I was planning on buying new running shoes and knew exactly which pair and size I wanted, I went to Ebates to see what retailer had the best cash back offer and made my purchase there. Since July, I’ve made almost $60 back, and my next check will be a bigger one because I just I was able to use Ebates for a plane ticket I recently bought.

If you are interested in using Ebates, use my referral link:


…and we’ll BOTH get a little extra back 🙂

Mine Design Noted Candle

Amanda: Since the past year or so I’ve been regularly burning candles in my home and my favorite has been this one that I snatched up as on add-on item with one of my FabFitFun boxes. The scent itself is just a light floral scent, but the best part about it is that you can write messages on it with pencil and erase and rewrite as many times as you’d like. It’s perfect for my style and been a fun addition to my home. After I am done burning the original candle, I’ll put votives in it so I can continue to use it. Right now it says “Surviving Not Thriving.”


Amanda: I don’t drink as much pop as I used to (but I’ll never give it up completely), but I’ve always crave the fizz. Kombucha has become increasingly popular recently and after one my friends suggested I try it a number of times, I finally gave it try and now I’m hooked. Kombucha is essentially fermented tea, is really refreshing and is a good source of probiotics. It still has sugar so I don’t drink it everyday, but its become a tasty treat about twice a week or so. I usually buy it at Trader Joe’s and really like the Trader Joe’s brand Pomegranate Hibiscus, Health-Ade’s Pink Lady Apple and GT”s Synergy Trilogy.

JERGENS® Wet Skin® Moisturizers

Amanda: I’m usually pretty skeptical of these kind of products but one of my friends let me try some of her JERGENS® Wet Skin® Moisturizers when I was visiting last fall, and seriously, its so good! It’s official description says it “works with water to instantly lock in moisture from your shower. Skin stays soft and luminous all day, without a heavy, sticky feel.” I’d say that description is pretty accurate. I have really dry skin and now use this about twice a week or so when I’d get out of the shower. It has really made a difference, especially throughout the harsh winter months. I tried the Refreshing Coconut Oil version and am looking forward to trying some of the others.

Erin Condren

Amanda: I talked about choosing a new planner and my new love for Erin Condren in a blog post in January. What I didn’t share is that I first fell in love with these planners when I bought one for my Mom for Christmas in 2016, and then again in 2017. When Brandi was looking for something new last year, I knew these would be a good fit for her too. My Mom and I both have the “Life Planner,” which best fits our needs.

Brandi: Toward the end of 2017, the search for a new planner began. I had tried a bullet journal in 2017 and it was evident I really just needed full monthly views spare pages to put down notes and to-do lists. After lots of researching and asking around, I found Erin Condren and felt like I had hit the planner mother lode. If you saw or talked to me at the end of 2017, I likely tried to sell you on this planner brand because of how low-key obsessed I was am with it. There are 3 main planner layouts and tons of covers, colors and customizations to choose. Truthfully, it took me longer to pick out a favorite cover design and color combination than it did to research a planner type. I finally settled with the Monthly Deluxe and paid for extra notebook pages in the back. Since I ordered my planner, I’ve ordered an academic planner for my sister, a wedding planner for a friend, a plain notebook for work and tons of accessories. In addition to all the planner options, they also have lunch bags, personalized notepads, blankets, throw pillows, wine totes, and so much more. Luckily they’ve started a rewards program so I can earn points on my purchases to put toward MORE PURCHASES!!

This post is not sponsored, but I do have a referral code if you are interested in getting something from Erin Condren yourself.


Brandi: I learned pretty early on that being in a shared work space with lots of other people talking on the phone, I’d need something to help block out the extra sound. Listening to music works sometimes, but at certain times the jamming out and lip-syncing is not conducive to working. That’s when I started looking into podcasts. There are so many options for subjects ranging from things you can learn, talk radio recorded for podcast listening, people recapping television shows, and lots of humor. I started listening mostly to see if I could passively learn anything, but now a lot of my podcasts are light-hearted and meant more for comic relief than anything. They help keep the work day or a car ride lively when music isn’t cutting it.

Here’s my current Top 5:

  1. The Dave Ramsey Show
  2. An Acquired Taste Podcast
  3. The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe
  4. TED Talks Daily by TED
  5. The Brooklyn Boys Podcast

Bonus: Game of Thrones The Podcast by Bald Move (when the show is live & new)


What are some of your favorite things lately?

Love Letters

Love Letter: To My Planner

I laughed when I first thought about writing this post because it seemed a bit silly. And while it might indeed be, it was on my mind enough to go ahead with it. I should start out by saying that I am 100% Type A and super organized, which basically means that my planner is an extension of my body, probably even more so than my phone, which gets used for everything else. But I just can’t bring myself to adapt my planning, schedule and note-taking to the digital world. Anyone who is Type A and super organized will shamelessly shake their head in agreement over this post, and anyone who is not, go ahead and get your head scratching and laughs in 🙂

So, late in 2017, I was facing a dilemma when it came to deciding what to do for a planner in 2018. I usually buy the next year’s planner in August, because HELLO, planning never stops! I received my leather Franklin Covey for my high school graduation and every year I choose a new Franklin Covey filler for the inside. But in the last year or so I started to feel like those fillers didn’t fit my style or needs anymore. (Overall, not criticizing Franklin Covey. They have great products and even greater professional development tools!) So I started shopping around for some new, and chose to jump over to the Erin Condren brand and picked the LifePlanner.

But I kept returning back to the thought that I was a little nostalgic and sad to be retiring my planner that had been my sidekick for 8 years. I remember being SO EXCITED when I received it and couldn’t wait to put all of my first semester of college classes in. It also came from someone who was my favorite teacher, mentor and a family friend. Many of the pages came with quotes at the top, but Sam (Mr. Herringshaw) had went through and added more quotes and little notes of encouragement. It can be hard sometimes, even for me, to describe what certain people have meant to me through different seasons of life, but Sam was a true champion for me and played a big role in who I became as a student, a professional and a person. Those handwritten editions to the planner were such an encouragement to me during my first year in college (and being so far away from home) and when the year ended I snipped a few out and still keep them in the planner today.

Eight years is a long time, and this planner has seen so many things happen in my life, all while helping keep my sanity in check (for the most part).

So dear planner, this love letter is for you.

You saw me through 4 years of college at Kansas State University. Four years that were filled to the brim with classes, homework and tests, club meetings, two internships, an on-campus job, Saturday football games and probably way to many social events. I was a BUSY student and pretty early on I established that if it wasn’t in the planner then it didn’t exist and wasn’t happening. One of my favorite rituals every semester was to sit down at the end of the first week and fill out all of my new classes, due dates and upcoming events. It was always the first and only time those pages were neat and tidy because after a few days all of the notes, rescheduling and doodling would ensue, and I would eventually give up trying to color coordinate everything with my color pencils. But during those four years, you helped me develop skills in time management, organization and making priorities that I now use everyday.

Almost since day one, the plastic zipper pouch held my favorite picture of my family from when I was a little girl and an index cardwith my favorite quote on it. I kept them there because I was sure to see them multiple times a day, especially on the hard ones.

You saw me through my interview for my first job, which happened during finals week of my fall semester, and arguably one of the busiest weeks of my life to date. But I got the job, and how I used my planner started to change. Instead of classes, I kept social media content plans, meeting times, future tips and reminders and  important phone numbers and notes.

In 2014, I was in two weddings on back-to-back weekends, and you kept it all together for me from the all of the pre-wedding events and up to the big days.

In 2015, I found out about a new job across the country in Washington D.C. on January 9. On February 9, I accepted that  job, and on March 9 I spent my first day in my new office. You can bet you were along for that ride. Even in college, I don’t think I ever had that many lists and to-do’s to keep track of.

Your pages have been filled with travel schedules, grocery lists, birthdays, blog ideas, conferences, vacations, celebrations, apartment hunting notes and doctor appointments.

I shared my goals with you, whether they were day-by-day boxes to check off or big dreams that I wanted to write down and hold myself accountable to.

One of Sam’s own sayings that he wrote that first year, that has always stuck with me is:

Opportunity knocks; that doesn’t mean you have to knock the door off the hinges.” – Sam Herringshaw

I consider myself an ambitious person most of the time, but I think that point of view is a bit humbling and a good reminder about staying grounded and being intentional with your time and pursuits. And kind of perfect to go along with a planner, am I right?

So thanks, old friend. I am moving on, but don’t fret, you now have a permanent spot on my kitchen counter and will still be in charge of keeping my life organized in other ways.

Love, Amanda

And here’s to new beginnings! This post is not sponsored, but I do have a referral code if you are interested in getting something from Erin Condren yourself. They have lots of fun things besides planners!