Yes, I am posting my Favorite Things Friday post two days early. I feel like I am late or behind on everything these days, and this gives me a sense of being ahead of the game for once. I even considered naming it Favorite Things Sunday and counting it as four days early, but that just seemed ridiculous.
But before I get to the list, a quick update on Nix and his broken leg. He has been doing very well with it overall. During the day, he remains his bright and happy self, and he's even learned to walk on it, provided he can use something to help him balance. In fact, I'd bet $100 that a scan would reveal he is already healed, but we have to wait one more week for the official word nevertheless. His x-ray is on the 21st, and as long as it's looking good, the cast will come off. Unfortunately, the cast is so cumbersome that it does interrupt our his sleep. And he finds it quite hysterical to lay in his crib on his back and smack the cast against the rails, producing a loud banging sound and chipping away the paint on the gorgeous crib that our parents purchased when Bean was in utero. So much for the one nice piece of furniture left in the house. But it's memories, right? That's what I tell myself. Unconvincingly.
Now on to my list of 10 things that are making my life easier, happier, tastier, and better looking these days!
Jet-Puffed Gingerbread Marshmallows. Bought these on a whim at the grocery store, and YUM! Gingerbread is one of my favorite flavors of Christmas, and these do not disappoint. My favorite is adding a few of them to classic Swiss Miss hot cocoa, the hotter the better because the men get all melty and flavor the drink. There are other recipe suggestions on the bag, but making them dance around and then biting their heads off is good enough for me.
Method Laundry Detergent. Maybe it's just me, but I still haven't figured out a good way to deal with the measuring cap on the huge container of detergent I buy at Costco. It gets sticky and looks yucky and gets lost even though my Mom cleverly put a ladle holder on top of my washer to serve as its home. This Method soap may not be the most economical alternative, but I think it's fun. It's a PUMP. Which means I can use it one-handed while holding a squirming toddler who is trying to "help" and there is absolutely no mess. Oh, and it cleans our clothes, to boot!
Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil hair treatment. I am a sucker for those small free samples you get at Sephora when you spend too much money make small, reasonable purchases. But very rarely do I actually buy the product after tossing away the used package. This is one of those exceptions: I ordered this immediately! I may be sporting baggy pajama pants and an old Michigan State t-shirt with a cow on the front, but if my hair is soft and silky, I can actually fool myself into thinking I look decent. This stuff does the job better than any product I have tried -- my brush literally purrs when it runs through my hair. Okay, not literally. Maybe that's me purring. But one of us is, for sure.
M*A*C eye paint. After discovering this product years ago, I truly never -- NEVER! -- put on eye make-up without it. I have a basic canvas color that I use as an eye base under my powder and liner. My eye make-up looks almost exactly the same at the end of a long day as it does when I apply it in the morning. Which is to say, I look like Cindy Crawford. When she wears baggy sweats and a cow t-shirt, of course.
Starbucks new Everything with Cheese bagels. Dang those tricky people at Starbucks. Despite the fact that I dislike their coffee (much preferring a lesser-known local chain) and remain bitter that their overwhelming presence in the Seattle area chased out Dunkin Donuts, they find a way to keep me rolling through their drive-thru on a regular basis. First it was their salted caramel hot chocolate. Now it's these ridiculously yummy bagels. Sliced and toasted with cream cheese, please! Why am I wearing this bag over my head? Let's not talk about it.
Amazon Subscribe & Save. Oh Amazon, how did I ever live my life without you? Shopping from the comfort of my own home, for products from oil misters to garden gnomes, conveniently rated by other users and with free shipping. And now I don't even have to strain myself with the clicks required to search for and order products, you send them to my door automatically just when I need them! Subscribe & Save isn't always cheaper than going to the store, but on certain baby products like diapers, wipes, and diaper pail refills, your prices can't be beat. And I don't have to risk running into these people.
Butter London nail polish. I discovered this polish in a boutique shop during a trip to a nearby fake Bavarian town that DH and I took for our anniversary in July. I can't in good conscience recommend the locale (it felt sort of like the Walmart of fake Bavarian towns), but luckily you don't have to go there to get this product. I no longer have the 100+ collection of nail polish colors that I did when I gave myself weekly manicures in college -- oh the leisure of youth! -- and I very rarely have the chance to paint my nails. So it's nice to have a splurge like this when I do. It really does go on like butter! It is also "3 free," which apparently means it's made without three very, very bad ingredients. I could tell you what they are, but then I'd have to kill you. Let's leave it at that.
Skinny Cow Heavenly Crisps. When I am grocery shopping, I generally avoid things that boast "low fat" or ''low sugar," because I would rather eat less of something that tastes delicious than eat more of something that tastes like dog food. Even the premium stuff we buy for my pooch because of her butt-scooting problem. But praise be to God when something has a relatively low amount of calories and satisfies that must-have-chocolate-or-I-will-tear-this-town-down-brick-by-brick-until-I-find-some craving that I get daily on rare occasion. But this is true to advertising: the bars are light, crispy, heavenly, and have only 110 calories. Good news, town! You are safe. For now.
Epsom Salt. December is one of my favorite months, but this particular one has been a challenge. From dealing with the kids to pregnancy pains to holiday stress, I have rediscovered my love of taking baths to relax in the evenings. It doesn't take long, I can usually find the time once the kids are in bed to soak for 20 minutes. The package sums it up: "Beat Winter Blues. Simply dissolve two cups of Lavender Epsom Salt in a warm bath to provide soothing relief from stress and stiffness." They also offer tips on using the salt in spring, summer, and fall -- but I'll leave you to read the bag and make the thrilling discovery about those seasons yourself. Hint: they all have to do with adding the salt to your bath.
Sunbeam Dual Control Electric Blanket. In the summer, one of my favorite things is crawling into cool, fresh, crisp sheets at the end of the day. In the winter, it irritates me. I finished my hot chocolate with gingerbread marshmallows, beat my winter blues with a salt bath, pulled on my snuggly PJs, and now it's time to cuddle up in bed and watch Seinfeld as I drift off to sleep. Except I'm jolted out of my warm reverie by freezing cold sheets! Or at least, I was, until we got this electric blanket. I warm my side of the bed before getting in, and now I don't have to force ask DH nicely to warm my feet on his legs. I also use it in the middle of the night to keep my side warm while I respond to the urgent requests of a certain unnamed 3-year-old who doesn't seem to have the same affinity for his own bed. Maybe Santa needs to bring him an electric blanket.
Navigating my mid-30s with five fabulous men at my side: my dear husband (DH), our first grader (Bean), our pre-K twins (Nix and Gax), and a spunky toddler (Littlest). Stick around for blogging about parenthood after infertility, trashy romance novels, the quest for the perfect cupcake, and my newfound love of the Pacific Northwest.