Good morning! I am excited to share a random post with you today: some of my favorite things in 2014! I intended to write this the first week of January. Sooo….here we are a month later. This is so my life. 😉
Last year’s post can be seen HERE and it TOTALLY still hold true. When I was writing my list of loved things this year SOOO many of them overlapped — Dr. Pepper! Mac Lipglass! Mellow Mushroom Pizza! I could go on, because, quite frankly, EVERY SINGLE ITEM on that list is still one of my favorite things! But instead of me rehashing them, why don’t you just go peek at last year’s post instead? 🙂
Because I had so many overlapping “favorites” I had to try to narrow it down and identify just my NEW favorites. New discoveries or things I had always enjoyed by hadn’t REALLY loved until now. I am a creature of comfort and habit, so I suspect this will get harder over time since my favs from years past are so likely to come up year after year.
You ready for some of my favs of 2014? Here we go!
I am aware that we arrived at this party a bit late to this party, but last winter our family was suddenly bitten by the FROZEN bug! It has resulted in many a Frozen post here on the blog and a house full of Frozen toys, accessories, and viewings. Many, many, MANY viewings. When Little Miss started to declare the she would be “ELSA. ONLY ELSA.” for Halloween (along with the rest of the little girl world) I decided to go nuts and make us all Frozen Halloween costumes and head to Disneyland to meet the Frozen sisters in person! (More on that later.) It was a crapload of work. And money. And TOTALLY WORTH IT! I’m just sad we can’t go back right now. THIS VERY MINUTE. Seriously. 🙂
Last year there was much discussion about my love for movies and tv. That hasn’t changed, and lately we have been binge watching things on Netflix. This year’s favs were How I Met Your Mother, Friday Night Lights, and Parks & Recreation (which we are in the middle of and totally loving!). Other great Netflix binge watching shows we have enjoyed in the past include Downton Abbey, LOST, 30 Rock, The Office, and, of course, two recent additions to the Netflix catalog that are two of my ALL TIME FAVS that I have seen several times through in the past: FRIENDS, GILMORE GIRLS, and EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND. I have been told that Call the Midwife and Parenthood should be next in the rotation. What are some of YOUR Netlfix binge watching favs?
Hi-Rise. Jegging. That’s right! Who would have thought that a store I associate with only clothing teenagers would have ideal pants for a chubby mom? Not I! My sister tipped me off to these jeggings, and although while I wear them I almost look like the exact opposite of the model shown above, they are so comfortable and perfect for boots that I wear them anyway. I can’t get enough of the higher waist. They stay RIGHT where they are supposed to! When looking up the link for this post I saw that they have hi-rise skinny jeans too. I’m definitely going to try those, too! I’m sure they won’t be as comfy as a jegging, but jeggings and leggings aren’t really made for this “curvy” girl. Generally speaking, I need a stiffer, more forgiving material. But as for now, I’m off to slip into my jeggings, along with flattering (and covering) additions like knee high boots and long sweaters and tunics. Try them. You’re welcome. 🙂
My sister moved to San Diego many years ago when her husband was stationed there with the Navy, and when I went to visit her I was completely smitten. Eventually she moved away, but now she is back in San Diego and I am OBSESSED!!! I wondered if my first visit there I thought I was more in love with it than I really am, but I’m not. It is my dream locale. Gorgeous city, gorgeous beaches, PERFECT weather. Not dry, but not crazy humid. Not too hot, but DEFINITELY not cold. Just sunny, gorgeous perfection. Tons of amazing food, Balboa Park, Coronado Island, I could go on . . . Of course, it helps that my sister and her adorable family live there in an adorable, tiny house, but I still think that even if she wasn’t there I would still be obsessed. If a place could be a spirit animal, then San Diego would be my spirit animal. Last year I went when my nephew was born and almost died from the perfection. BRAND NEW BABY . . . SNUGGLING ME . . . AS I READ AN AMAZING BOOK . . . AND TOOK NAPS . . . IN MY SISTER’S DARLING HOUSE . . . WHILE SPENDING TIME WITH MY BUBBLY LITTLE SISTER . . . IN SAN DIEGO!!!!!! That, my friend, was Aunt Sarah’s idea of the happiest of all happy places. And the second visit? The beginning of our Disneyland trip. I mean, COME ON!!!! This upcoming year I already have two San Diego trips planned as well . . . a KID FREE SISTER WEEKEND with both my fabulous sisters this very month, and a full family vacay in a big house with a pool near the beach to celebrate my dad’s 60th birthday!!! WOOOOOHOOOOOOO….
I have always been a BIGGER IS BETTER girl when it comes to jewelry, but after years of wearing enormous, heavy earrings, my ears suddenly decided that they didn’t want to put up with that any longer. Boo!! Now it really hurts to wear heavy earrings, so I have had to largely step away from them. Luckily for me, stud earrings are in and there are so many colorful, fun, and retro feeling stud earrings available. World Market and Nordstrom are where I have found my favorite pairs.
(Pic in collage is Nordstrom, Pic shown here is World Market.)
Eclipse Drinking Chocolate
I am a great lover of hot chocolate. I always have been, but when my parents took me to Paris after I graduated from high school (spoiled, I know!) it was taken to a new level. My mom and I would sit in Paris cafes eating pastries and drinking the richest hot chocolate while my dad rolled his eyes at us. After all, it was summer and it was hot. But it was TOO DELICIOUS TO STOP!! Mmm…. Since then I have been on a quest to find the perfect gourmet hot chocolate. This kind isn’t as thick as the Parisian hot chocolate, sadly, but it is rich, and delicious and all around awesome. There are other fancy brands that I love, but this one from a cafe near my sister’s house (you know, in San Diego, my personal paradise) is the current winner in my book. My favs are the Double Dark and the Sea Salt Caramel, but I have tried a bunch of them, and they are all delish! She gave me a package for my birthday and I hoarded it like it was bars of solid gold. Haha! Then I discovered you can order it online. Game changer, people. Come to mama . . .
I love books. LOVE books! However, my kids and my blog seem to have sucked up all of my free time these days, so I rarely have time to read them, but I did make time to read a few AMAZING books last year. The first books I would like to mention are by Kate Morton. Her book The Forgotten Garden made last year’s list of favorite things, and I think it’s still my favorite of her books. However, I also read The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours this year. Both great books, but The Secret Keeper was the only one of the two that could rival The Forgotten Garden in my mind. (The Secret Keeper is my sister and cousin’s fav of the Kate Morton books.) I intend to read The House at Riverton this year, even though I have heard it isn’t quite as strong as the others. I adore these books. Strong women, mystery, family history, generations of women telling stories, which means that it is partly historical fiction. All of my favorite things! (Minus a touch of scandal . . . but that’s covered in the next paragraph.) 😉
My friend also turned me on to The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness this year. I’ve heard it described as a much more well written, grown up version of Twilight. Not gonna lie, that is fairly true. But the stakes are higher, the magic is richer, the characters are more developed, and it is more scandalous. If sexy scenes offend you then prepare yourself to skip over some parts, but that won’t change your understanding of the story. The “scandal” is not crazy by any means, but it’s definitely not as chaste as Twilight. Be forewarned. Scandalous moments aside, I loved these books. Just fun, engrossing reads! My son was so amused by my excitement (I get really into things and squeal aloud and dance around) that now anytime I say I’m going to read he eagerly inquires, “Is it the witches and the vampires book that is so good??” Love that kid.
I am totally obsessed with spray paint. I spray paint everything! Picture frames, thrift store furniture, lamps, anything! I love that stuff. It was totally invaluable when I was working on my children’s room makeovers last year. (See the Dr Seuss Bedroom Reveal here and the Sweet Baby Girl Nursery Reveal here.) My favorite brand is Rust-Oleum, but I totally use Krylon too. I choose based on color. (My daughter’s crib and rocking horses are a Krylon color.) JUST BE SURE TO PRIME FIRST!!! Not matter WHAT you are spray painting USE THE SPRAY PAINT PRIMER FIRST!!! It helps the regular spray paint “stick” and it allows the true paint color to shine, not to mention that it prevents pooling and bubbling paint. TRUST me . . . I learned this the hard way!
Disneyland in October & Mickey’s Halloween Party!
I am a Halloween freak. I’m sure you have caught on to that fact by now if you are a loyal reader of this blog. And I am a Disney freak. Not like some people I know, but I do love me some Disney. Two years ago we went to Disneyland in October because Cars Land had just opened, and it was amazing. This year we returned while our children were at their height of Frozen mania, and it was AMAZING. If we lived in SoCal we would have season passes. If we had more money, we would go yearly. I seriously LOVE it! And throwing in Mickey’s Halloween party for good measure? Forget about it – I’m sunk! It’s so fun — all the villians come out, festive treats and decor pop up everywhere, The Haunted Mansion is transformed into the world of my man Jack Skellington (The Nightmare Before Christmas), trick-or-treating around the park, everyone in costume, the Dapper Dans (barbershop quartet) floating down the misty river in ghoulish makeup singing Halloween songs, a Halloween themed parade — I mean, COME ON!!! It’s the best. I am trying my darndest to find the money to go again next Halloween. Here’s to dreaming, right, folks? 😉
Let’s Play Music
Last year my son started an amazing music class program called Let’s Play Music. It is a program that is all over the US, so if you have little ones who are interested in music PLEASE look it up! It is so awesome! Classical music puppet shows that trick them into listening for different instruments, as well as the different parts of the songs (the bridge, etc), games and songs that teach them to sing harmony, the primary chords, rhythm, and even play the piano! My son LOVES going to class each week, and I can’t WAIT for my daughter to get old enough to start the classes too! On parent days I am always amazed to see him learning things I learned in my college music theory classes! (I have a minor in music.) My friend from high school, Emily Pond Ricks, is his teacher and she is amazing, so look her up if you are in the Denver Metro Area.
Younique Moonstruck 3D Fiber Lashes
Have you tried fiber lash mascara yet? Well, WHY EVER NOT?! I am totally sold on this stuff! I don’t use it every day, because I don’t wear makeup every day, and when I do I am usually in a huge rush and this takes a few minutes to get right, but when I need to look nice then this stuff is where I turn! It is seriously amazing. See the picture of me below for proof. One eye has expensive Benefit mascara on it. The other is Younique Fiber Lash. There is really no comparison. My friend Kristen (from Six Sisters Stuff!) sells it HERE.
Lately I have gotten super into making bling for my daughter. As an infant she had countless bracelets, and now she is into necklaces. I gave her a whole box full of Mommy-made necklaces for Christmas. It is just WAY TOO FUN to dress her up!! Most of her necklaces are very chunky, but she also requested a “teeny tiny” pearl one. She is very Jacki O, is she not? 🙂 I intend to start sharing more toddler jewelry tutorials on my site, but for now I only have up my Elsa Inspired Necklace, along with other general jewelry tutorials that could be adapted (other than the massive earrings).
Elnett Hair Spray
I’ve been devoted to this stuff for quite some time. Ever since it came out in the US after years of reading about how stylists would go to Europe for fashion shows and come back with suitcases of this stuff. Great hold but without making your hair stiff? Enough said.
It’s just CUTE. I love tying it around packages and loaves of bread, etc. Did you see my latest project with it, my Stitched Heart Garland?
My Nieces and Nephews
They are my favorite thing for ever and ever amen. And I got TWO BRAND NEW ONES this year, both of whom I got to go visit so I could help their mamas after they were first born. The only little people I could ever love more are my own children. Aunt Sarah looooves babies and looooooves having little people to spoil!! I probably won’t get many nieces and nephews between infertility stuff and our siblings not wanting large families, so I have to go nuts with the love for these little ones NOW!!! It is one of my greatest sorrows that they all don’t live closer to me, but I am lucky in that I get to see them way more often than many people get to see family that lives states away. Bring on the family vacays!!!!!
Well, that’s all folks. So, tell me, WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS IN 2014?? I’m dying to know what things should be on my radar, so comment below!! 🙂