Favorite Things I Need to Tell You about Right Now

Favorite Things {in 2017} I Need to Tell You About Right Now

A few weeks ago I saw a lot of bloggers with posts centering around their “favorite things of 2017.” Most of these posts focused specifically on categories of products like beauty, fashion, home decor, etc. I thought it would be fun to do my own list for the year, but with a little bit of a twist 🙂 These lists also started to make me think of two things: the MTV show that was called “Best of (insert year)” or something along those lines where each episode focused on all of the trends, news, phenomenon’s that were big in pop culture that given year.  The second is a similar series “3 Things You Need to Know About” from a blogger I regularly follow (and you should too!)

So this is my “Best of 2017,” covering what trends I was into, random finds and the things I became obsessed with. I should also add that this post in not sponsored in any way. I just genuinely enjoy it all. I actually I think I might make this a quarterly piece moving forward.

Trader Joe’s

I have become a part of the cult and am volunteering myself to be their poster child. Practically anytime someone refers to Trader Joe’s I have to reign in my excited response of how in love I am with that place. I think it’s important for people to understand that I loathe grocery shopping. In college I would always try to convince my roommates to come with me and to this day I’ll call my mom up to chat while I’m shopping which is always a clear mistake because I can’t actually multi-task. Its also taken me a good portion of my almost-3-years living in the DC area to adapt to smaller weekly shopping trips and balancing my grocery budget out with the fact that you inevitably eat out more while living in the city. But Trader Joe’s has changed all of that. I like the environment of the store, its quality vs. price ratio always shocks me and I just really love so many of the products.  Specifically, for someone who cooks for one and doesn’t like to cook, I really do think that doing the bulk of my shopping there has helped me make healthier decisions, explore a bit more with cooking and has cut down on my food waste. Plus, I love that there are so many random finds that end up being new favorites. I could really do an entire blog post this. But until that time some of my favorites are:

Fresh flowers, candles, Black Cold Brew Coffee (in the can), Citterio Genoa and Provolone snack packs, deli fruit and nut spinach salad, beef tamales (the “handcrafted” ones with 2 in a bag), tubs of soup in the deli section, good AND affordable wine, the fresh asparagus/mushroom/onion mix, fresh pre-made vegetable kabobs, almond butter, steel cut oatmeal, frozen asparagus risotto, frozen vegetable stir fry, olive oil popcorn, scone and muffin mixes, whole wheat toaster waffles, chili lime seasoning

Nickel & Suede Earrings

I honestly can’t remember where I discovered these but I am obsessed! These leather earrings are essentially weight-less, come in a few different sizes and shapes, and I think the quality is great. In their original teardrop style I prefer the medium size. The rose gold pair were my first and their leather is a bit lighter than the others which does tend to make them curl a tiny bit but I’ve just stuck them in a book overnight a few times and they were fine. I have always been into big and flashy earrings, but as I get older I really don’t like when they are too heavy and I like how versatile these are with my clothes. Plus, the couple who own the company started it in their basement in Kansas City, and I am always a big fan of a good small business story. I love them so much I gifted three pairs at Christmas this year.

Game of Thrones

I finally jumped on the bandwagon, and spent about three months binge watching the series. I always knew that it was probably something I would like, but for many years none of my friends were watching it and I typically like to have people to discuss shows with. But two of my best friends finally got in to it and practically drug me along with them. I probably would have finished it a lot more quickly but I took about a three week break after watching the “Hold the Door” episode because I just couldn’t deal…

Harry Styles

Half of you are rolling your eyes at me and the other half is nodding in agreement. I shamelessly admit to jamming to One Direction in the car with my roommates in college, but regardless of your sentiment toward the group, don’t condemn Harry as a solo artist just yet. His debut album is SO SO GOOD! Its soulful with more intricate lyrics, in more of a Lumineers and Mumford and Sons type of way, and you’ll realize that being part of a boy band really didn’t do him justice. My favorites off the album are “Two Ghosts”, “Sweet Creature” and “Ever Since New York.” He also recorded a cover of Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” that makes me think it should have been his song from the start (and I love LBT’s version).

Filly Flair

This spring one of my best friends turned me on to this online fashion retailer out of South Dakota, and now it is one of my favorites. They have a lot of fun dresses, but they also have a great selection of what I consider staples for mixing and matching. I usually find that online retailers aren’t consistent at being true to size, but this one has been the exception so far. Plus, once again, it started as a small business by a woman entrepreneur, which I love and actually follow on Instagram because she engages with her customers there.

All of the items I have from there are not in stock so I can’t show any pictures from the site and this picture is the only one I have on hand of me wearing something from the boutique… which is odd because I practically lived in a basic black tank top dress from there this past summer. So much so that I regret not buying it in other colors too.

The Home Edit

This duo and their company make their living by organizing (mainly famous) people’s lives… you know the magazine worthy Instagram pictures you see of perfectly curated pantries? Yah, they do that, and then offer tips, tricks and products you can buy on their website. But the real reason I am obsessed with The Home Edit is because of two ladies behind it are HILARIOUS and share my affinity for good grammar. They chronicle their real-life sarcasm and adventures via InstaStories, and last year they finally started to sell shirts with their funny, often-used phrases. For Christmas I received the “Surviving Not Thriving” sweatshirt from my friend Brandi, who is equally obsessed.

InstaStories

Personally, I’d venture to say that in regards to social media platforms, InstaStories owned 2017 across the board. I know it became my go-to for following people on social media over scrolling through Facebook and even regular Instagram posts, which seems to be more of a time suck.

FabFitFun

I LOVE THIS BOX. PERIOD.
Maybe a year ago or so, I decided that I wanted to try out some sort of box service and started looking around at what would be the best bang for my buck and would fit me best. I settled on FabFitFun, which sends you four boxes a year – one for each season. I chose it because: it was the most well-rounded, meaning it covers beauty, fitness, decor, fashion and hobbies; it sends you full-size products instead of samples; and the retail value of one box is typically more then you pay for the entire year subscription.

So after a year of four boxes, I am sold! Out of the four boxes there is only one thing I can remember that I flat out didn’t like at all. Past that, there were maybe maximum 5 or 6 things that just either weren’t my personal style or preference, and so I just re-gifted those items, which was kind of fun to do anyway. Everything else, I have LOVED and there are a few things that I do plan on buying again for myself or as gifts from the original retailers. Boxes like these aren’t for everyone, but as someone who likes to try new things, but doesn’t particularly like to aimlessly shop, this is a fun surprise to gift yourself with a few times a year. Below is what came in the most recent Winter box and were all thing that I loved.

If you are interested in these, let me know because I have 3 starter boxes that I can give away (you would just pay the shipping). I also have this referral link – http://xo.fff.me/hy0DY – which gives both of us a discount off a box if you use it to sign up.

And of course… Miss Sawyer June

Because more than any trend or material thing I’ve been loving recently, Sawyer June and her baby talk have been my favorite thing of all 🙂

Should I make posts like these a semi-regular thing? Let me know!

Cheers!

Linking up with both the Friday Favorites crew (here, here and here) and The Blended Blog.

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Thoughts and Lessons Learned

The Good Stuff: Happy 1st Day of Fall

Take a deep breath friends.
It’s officially the first day of fall.

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I realize that the “first day” often doesn’t mean much, but regardless, I see it as a mini holiday.
In the DC/Northern VA area, fall is FINALLY starting to show itself. The mornings are crisp and the afternoons have that soft, warm Indian summer bliss. Fall foods and fashion are coming out of the wood work, and now #IwisheverySaturdaywasGameday is no longer a wish. Because, FOOTBALL.

I’m really not a fan of the cold but what I described above is the perfect balance. I think every season has its own distinct feel and smell, and since fall is a transitional season, I think we get the best of each of the seasons put together. Fall is crisp and clean, as well as musty and earthly. I love the balance of the chilly air and sunshine, and adding a few layers as the season goes on.

I haven’t done a Good Stuff list in quite a while and I realized earlier this month that I’ve never done one of the fall season (here are past lists on summer and winter, but lets not dwell on those.)

Let’s talk about the Good Stuff about fall.

The perfect pair of blue jeans. Pulling favorite old hooded sweatshirts off the shelf. Cute fingerless gloves. Big infinity scarves. Layering. Flannel. Colorful pea coats. Wearing my Carhartt. Pairing cardigans with dresses, leggings and tall boots.

Crunchy leaves and watching them change colors. Sumac and maple trees. Little kids at pumpkin patches. Bonfires. The smell of firewood. Roasting marshmellows. Hating to eat anything pumpkin, except for my best friend’s mom’s muffins. Changing over to darker lipstick shades. Setting out new fall candles.

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Seasonal beers. Chili feeds. Hearty soups. Cider. Rich spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg. Chai tea. Caramel apples. Pecan pie. Fresh apples and corn on the cob. Hot chocolate. Venison from friends and family that go hunting.

College Gamedays and high school Friday night lights. Homecoming. Tailgating traditions with friends. Playing cornhole and redneck golf. Cheering on the Wildcats with the K-State fam. Wabashing. Purple. Listening to Wyatt Thompson announce the games. Watch parties. Playing flag football. K-State’s limestone buildings and the fall foliage.

Post from last year on tailgating...and the adorable Luna as a puppy.
Post from last year on tailgating…and the adorable Luna as a puppy.

Fall decorations and colors. Faded green, mustard yellow, burnt orange, toasted brown, scarlet, plum and all the shades of a finished harvest. Scare crows. Pumpkins. Cornucopias. Pinecones. The overload enthusiasm for fall on Pinterest…

See the start of my Fall Pinterest Board…

A new school year always feeling like the true start of a new year. Back-to-School events. My birthday. Thanksgiving. National FFA Convention and AFA Leaders Conference. Cross country season. Fire places.

TV premiere week. Cozy blankets. Enjoying the last few “sunny and 75” weekends. Corn mazes during the day. Carving pumpkins as a kid. Obnoxious baby Halloween costumes. Making corsages and boutonnieres in my family’s shop for Homecoming season. My Dad’s old buffalo check hunting jacket. Glade pumpkin spice air freshener.

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That’s just a little bit of what I love about fall.

Take note that pumpkin spice lattes, candy corn and Halloween are NOT on the list. According to some that means I’m un-American. #whatever

I am so looking forward to exploring my new city and home during my favorite season.
I suspect in a few months there will be a lot more specific things to add to this list!

What’s your favorite things about fall?

Cheers!