March Favorites

March Favorites

Can we talk about some really simple things are making me happy this month? Yes! Let’s do it.

1. Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Blend Beauty Balm
It is ridiculous how much this little product has changed my skin for the better. It is healing, smoothing and just generally awesome – once you get over that it smells a little bit like butter and lavender. While we are talking about how awesome Green Pastures is, I think the fact that I’ve been taking their Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Blend since November has really helped with my gym recovery. Is that crazy? Maybe. But I wasn’t sore at all after 13.3, and a year prior when I did that workout, I couldn’t walk right for a week. BOOM: Inflammation Be Gone!

2. Fresh Tulips

Seriously, fresh flowers make all the difference in the house! I’ve been picking up a bouquet a week at Trader Joe’s (so cheap!) when I do my grocery shopping and it’s making my house feel so fancy!

3. Bath & Body Works Candles

I love these 3- wick candles, and I wait until they go on super sale (they always do – right now they are 2 for $22) and stock up on seasonal scents, just like I do with all of their hand soaps, and then my house seriously smells festive. Add that in with the tulips and I am already celebrating spring!

4. Dream More
I’ve been having a little bit of a 90s revival musically (oh god, it is hysterical) which made me want to buy a replacement for one of my favorite GAP scents. I picked up a body spray at the Outlet recently and it’s just crazy how nostalgia is so tied up with scent and sound. If you put orange blossom in a perfume, I WILL BUY IT.

5. Trader Joe’s Shaved Brussels Sprouts
Oh you guys, this is one of those things that TJ’s only has *sometimes* AND IT IS BACK AND I AM GLEEFUL! It’s so convenient to have on hand to saute up with ghee and shallots or toss in a little warm bacon vinaigrette or to make a fresh salad with (I like to add apples too.) YUM. YUM. YUM. and YUM.

6. Banana Boat Airbrush Color

The sun is out so it’s time to spray down my SUPA DUPA WHITE legs. The problem with me and self-tanner is I’m usually one false move away from looking like an Oompa Loompa with stripes. This Airbrush self-tanner has been super reliable, easy to apply and natural looking and to me, that says a lot considering that even those “Build a Tan Slowly” type lotions turn me orange. I highly recommend it! I’ve already gone through 2 cans!

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What is rocking YOUR world lately?

February Faves

February Faves

What better day than Valentine’s to talk about a mess of stuff that I love? Of course I love all of YOU, but the group photo was too big to fit in this here collage o’crap. Oh wait, I better save the O’apostrophe words for St. Patty’s Day. Scratch that. Anyway, let’s start from the top and go clockwise, shall we?

1. Old Navy Active Padded Cami – So the first thing I want to note is that the pads are removable. THANK GOD. And once they are out, this is an AWESOME workout tank! (Also $12 right now. Score!) Lots of cute patterns and a bunch are even just $11. I read a post this week about how it is much better to have one $60 Lululemon tank top than six cheap Old Navy tank tops. And listen, I totally get that sentiment behind “quality” as a rule, I just…well disagree. Or rather, my ability to do laundry every single day disagrees and I workout a lot (AHEM) and I’m on a budget (DOUBLE AHEM.) So to that end, I say Old Navy stuff is top notch. But someday when I’m rich and my laundry gets done every day I will only have a few, quality tanks and love it. But in the meantime, I’ll love these forever and ever amen. And an honorable mention goes to this adorable tank too. I seriously can’t wait until summer workouts start!

2. Himilayan Pink Salt – I’ve had this salt in my cupboard FOREVER and just never break it out, but after reading a lot about Adrenal Fatigue and colored salts, plus seeing it show up in a few recipes I’ve made has me hooked! Plus, salt crystals are just kind of fancy feeling. I use the kind from Trader Joe’s that come in a grinder, but it’s a fun exotic thing to have on my counter top.

3. Everyone Soap – In my slow evolution toward more natural skincare, I’ve been looking for a bubble bath filled with less crap in it. I picked this up on a whim at Whole Foods, which, sidebar: Impulse Buys at Whole Foods are usually a TERRIBLE idea, because listen, no one needs to spend MORE money than they planned at Whole Foods, right? But it turns out I love this stuff! It smells exactly like one of my favorite Paleo Cookies (Might I recommend you try those immediately?)

4. The Following — I know we just talked about TV yesterday, but I saved this one by itself because I’m really digging it. Sure parts of it are completely unbelievable and contrived, but um, also: KEVIN BACON. Plus it’s just creepy enough, has some literary twists tied in that I like, so I’m in!

5. Miss Mooz Spring 2013 Collection – Listen, I don’t own a single pair of these shoes, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO. Man, they are all just fun and whimsical, but also reasonable enough that you won’t feel like you are wearing a Raver Costume. Check out the Spring 2013 Lookbook. IS IT SPRING YET?

6. Fire in My Belly by Kevin Gillespie – You know, as a self proclaimed Bravo Lover it is probably no surprise that I always have to check out the Top Chef contestant cookbooks. Honestly though, celebrity chef books don’t always move me. I am so abso-freaking-lutely in love with this cookbook though. For one, it is beautiful. It’s not full of glossy photos, instead it full of gorgeous, matte, styled but still “real-life” photos. It’s also one part memoir, which lets you get to know the Celeb Chef behind the scenes. Finally (and this is probably the most important) the recipes are a great combination of things you can see yourself making for everyday and things that would be a bit of a challenge. I like challenge in a cookbook, I just don’t like an ENTIRE cookbook of frou frou things that are going to make me feel like I am all thumbs in the kitchen. I originally got this book at the library and decided I wanted my own copy. That’s the sign of a good book.

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What’s on your Awesome Radar this month?

January Favorites

How about we take a break from talking ALL food ALL the time and instead talk about some really awesome things that I am loving lately? I don’t know about you, but I love a good random recommendation. Here’s what’s lighting my fire lately.

Favorite Podcast: I threw a call out on Twitter to find out YOUR favorite podcasts because I am trying to overload my phone with good stuff to listen to during my commute. Blog reader Megan (who has given me some awesome book recos too) said I should check out Watch What Crappens and you guys — LIFE CHANGING! If you enjoy yourselves some bitchy TV guys talking about Bravo-lebrities then you will love this podcast. If none of that even makes sense to you, don’t even worry about it. I’m going to round up some of the best Podcast suggestions next week, so if you have one to add, leave it in the comments.

Favorite TV Show: As with most shows that everyone raves about, I really didn’t think Homeland sounded that interesting. I don’t say that to imply my stellar TV taste, quite the opposite. I only watch crap TV, ao when people recommend a “great show” I generally just think “hmmmm…paying attention sounds like a lot of work.” Anyway, a Marine Sergeant comes home 8 years after going missing in Iraq and a CIA agent thinks he’s been turned and is helping plot an attack on America. Ok. Sounds fine. I’m not going to run out and rearrange my schedule to catch it or anything. BUT OHMYGOD I SHOULD HAVE. And don’t worry, I kind of have in the past couple of weeks. I think these raves should have included that Mandy Patinkin is involved, because I love just about everything that man is ever in, and I think I should just be less stubborn about TV recommendations because this is right up my alley with its mystery and intrigue. Netflix it, yo!

Favorite Headband: I am not a fan of short hair for workouts, and right after I cut my hair there was literally a time when my bad workout hair was so dramatic that I thought to myself I may just have to shave my head — because I sure wasn’t quitting CrossFit. Not with all those holiday cookies I’ve eaten! But I couldn’t pig-tail it, regular headbands weren’t working, and just letting it fly free wasn’t going to work. For starters, hair flying in your face is annoying. But secondly (and frankly more importantly) I can not deal with sweat just dripping off the back of my head freely all over the place with nowhere to go (because see it used to just go into my ponytail but now what used to be like 7 inches of surface area is only 1 inch of surface area.) Are you understanding the dramatic science that was happening here? IT WAS AWFUL AND I ALMOST HAD TO GO ALL BRITNEY AND PULL OUT THE CLIPPERS. But instead I found this headband and life is so much less dramatic.

Favorite Dress: I am really enjoying this dress because it is not quite baggy while at the same time not being too clingy and that is just what I’m looking for right now. GOD YOU GUYS, QUIT BRINGING UP ALL THE COOKIES I ATE. Anyway, I love this dress, it fits well, looks stylish and is in a fabric that will transition well from being work in winter with tights to being worn with bare legs in Spring. I love it and I feel like I’m going to get a lot of use out of it. It will definitely show up in an outfit of the day near you soon. Speaking of outfits of the day and stripes, I organized all of my 2012 Outfit Photos into a set the other day and man there are a lot of stripes. No apologies! If you are into that sort of thing, check it out. It was actually kind of fun to look back.

Favorite Hand Cream: This awesome little cream is made from shea butter so it is super moisturizing, but doesn’t the fragrance sound kind of weird? Let me assure you, it totally isn’t weird. In fact, it’s delicious. It’s clean smelling and the scent is not too heavy, but the cream itself is super emollient and great for winter. I generally reserve my “clean” scents for spring, but this is a great alternative. It’s actually really winter-y feeling but still so fresh!

Favorite Ankle Boots: Ankle boots are RISKY fashion for me. I don’t have particularly big ankles but because my calves are just off the chart ridic something that cuts off at the wrong spot could really accentuate that. I happened upon these at Old Navy (I know, two Old Navy items on this list! I can’t believe it myself!) and decided to try them on. I purchased them on a whim because they are cute and I’m so glad I did. They are a fun little addition to my wardrobe and for only $19 I don’t have to get wound up if I don’t wear them into the ground.

Favorite Album: Come on. You’ve heard songs off of this album right? Two Words: Booty Shakin’!

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So what is rocking your world lately? Any Podcasts/TV Shows/Albums/Random Clothing Purchases you need to share about???

August Favorites

Despite all the fun things I’m about to discuss with you, I have to tell you first and foremost that my favorite thing this month was YOU. (Sorry, I don’t have a picture of that because then, that would probably creep you out.) I just want to thank each and every one of you for your comments, emails, tweets, facebook messages and text messages after yesterday’s post. You know how to make a girl feel loved even from far away (even if some of us are *technically* strangers.) I had a rough day yesterday for myriad reasons, but your kind words and positive thoughts made a HUGE difference. So thank you. Really. Thank YOU.

But today I’d like to turn the page and chat about those fun things this month that have made me feel all twitterpated. Here we go!

1. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain

A while back Elizabeth mentioned this on Style Lush and I immediately knew it would be my next Target-You-Have-No-Need-To-Buy-This Impulse Purchase. In all honesty though, suggesting I make an impulse purchase at Target is like suggesting a dog consider table scraps at dinner while he is sitting at your feet. I picked up one called ‘Charm’ and then because the nice folks at Target gave me a $2 off coupon, I picked up another one next time in ‘Smitten.’ It is like a giant chapstick crayon with pigment. That doesn’t make it sound at all appealing but it totally is. Trust me.

2. Dawson’s Creek

Shut up. No really, just shut up.

Our Roku box has just brought back the desire to watch old nostalgic television shows and when I came across this one as an option I convinced Garrett to watch it. “One episode, that’s it. This is some chick $h!t,” he said. Guess who has totally made it through the first season??? It is a little girly, I’ll admit that, but you guys it is soooooo fun and 90s. OHMAHGAWD, the clothes are awful. But it is cute and a neat little time capsule and we’ve been having fun laughing at/with it.

3. Limited Edition Orla Kiely Method Hand Soaps

This collection of fall scented soaps is not doing me any favors in this hot ass weather by making me really REALLY ready for autumn to finally get here. I snatched up a metric ton of these cute little bottles with some Orla Kiely signature prints and can’t wait to start using them. They are slightly pricier than the usual method soaps but the scents are divine (Bay Leaf! Vanilla Chai!) the packaging is adorable (obvs) and they made my whole month without even ever using them. That’s pretty impressive, right?

4. The Whole 30 Daily

I signed up for the Whole 30 Daily when I started the experiment this month and honestly, for the first week I didn’t read a single one. Too much on my mind, who needs another email, yada yada. But then I played catch up that weekend and found that they were so densely packed with awesome information I couldn’t wait to read the next one. Each day it has been a little gift in my inbox and a reminder of why I am doing this. It’s a daily high five filled with fun motivation and inspiration. For $15 I highly recommend it if you are going to make your way through a Whole 30.

5. Cilantro


If you hate cilantro, this suggestion won’t convince you, but the fresh and verdant flavors of cilantro have just been making so many of my meals this month. I’ve mixed it up in Mel’s Moroccan Dipping Oil, added it to taco salads, then I made this sauce for some grilled fish at Kathleen’s suggestion which reminded me of this recipe for caramelized cauliflower with salsa verde and then LORDY I have been buying cilantro by the case load. And it’s been delicious. If you have any suggestions for what to do with cilantro, send it my way. I’M OFFICIALLY OBSESSED.

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What’s been rocking your world lately?

July Favorites

This might be my favorite “favorites” list yet because all of these things have been making me so freaking happy this month!

1. Game of Thrones

Remember how at the end of last month I was all, “Boo Hoo…I never have any time to watch tv” and then I had the grand realization that I make the friggen schedule? Well. I have rectified that and made myself some time to sit down and watch Game of Thrones (Season One) and it has been delightful! Well, maybe delightful is the wrong word, what with all the killing people and random naked women. But if you watch it, you probably understand where I am coming from. If you don’t watch it…well I guess judge that how you will. The thing is I am always game (ha! see what I did there!) to watch a show that has lots of characters, families, dramas and story lines. Epic television, if you will. Of course, I actually have to watch it with the captions on like a dork, and after every episode I have to read plot summaries on line to make sure I got everything. But I like multi-media experiences like that, so YAY! I’m in love.

2. Stone Fruit

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So, you know, I try not to eat too much fruit like a good little Paleo Gal Trying to Lose Weight. I keep my carbohydrate consumption to fun things like greens and veggies and what not. But let me tell you something, all of that goes out the window when the summer stone fruit shows up. Peaches! Nectarines! Plums! Cherries! I really can’t get enough right now and have been totally enjoying Mother Nature’s delicious candy. Oh my god I can’t even take myself seriously when I say use that expression. :) I know I already mentioned this, but it is worth repeating because OMG SO GOOD.

3. Garnier BB Cream


Despite its stuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuupid name and ubiquity on The Internet, I actually really do like this product And it’s a buck cheaper on Amazon than at Target (holla!) Anyway, BB Cream. That name is stupid. Saying it out loud? Stupider. It is a “perfecting” lotion that is supposed to even out skin tone with the added benefit of sunscreen. Well I rarely find that a lotion makes my skin look “perfect” but I’ll tell you why I love this — because it makes it look pretty good. And on the weekends, sometimes that is all I care about. This has become an absolute staple on Saturday and Sunday mornings when I want to go run errands but don’t want to put on makeup. BB Cream (barf!) and lip gloss make you look a little less bedraggled and a little more put together. BB Cream — making lazy people less scraggly since 2012! Yes I realize this is the worst marketing copy ever written about a product, but it is true. And less scraggly for the lazy person is *totally* worth the $10.

4. Tri Tip Steaks

I’ve long been a Tri-tip fan, after all I’m from California. This is our meat claim to fame. But to grill up a Tri-tip Roast it takes anywhere from 40-45 minutes and a lot of monitoring. Lately I’ve been seeing Tri-tip steaks everywhere and it is the same delicious cut of meat but in a little mini-steak form. It’s perfect! 10 minutes on the grill, one flip, and it’s a simple weeknight dinner that tastes like time consuming weekend-style bbq. I am in love with the convenience and flavor. If you see them in your Whole Foods or Costco (the only places I’ve seen them here) PICK THEM UP!

5. Kelly Green

Kelly Green

I know summer is for neon and clothing that appears to taste like sherbet, but dammit I’m loving green. Kelly green, in fact. It’s just such a versatile color. The blazer on the left is suuuuuuuper old. How old, you ask? It is from back in the day when Old Navy made clothes that were made to fit really well. Can you remember back that far? I’m talking YEARS. The top right dress is from the Gap but I can’t find a link for it. Hmmm. And the bottom right tank is from Old Navy. (Here is one that is almost identical – and $10) Not the well fitting era, but the material is light and crepe-y and perfect for 100+ degree weather. Uh, just don’t put a hot pink sweater over it obviously.

6. Sunset Magazine

We’ve had a subscription to Sunset for basically FOREVER and I really really enjoy it, but I’ll tell you it is particularly awesome in the summer. I just love reading the tales of local travel, the recipes for fresh food, the landscaping and gardening tips and food adventure inspiration. I just find it particularly inspiring and I will take my inspiration anywhere I can get it. It’s not quite as juicy as Cosmo and Glamour, but I’m pretty sure at this point I am okay with that. :)

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So that’s what I’m loving this month, what about you?

June Favorites

Another month, another set of favorites! All of these things have felt like steals, scores or just simple things that are making my life happier this month!

1. Philosophy Help Me Retinol Day Treatment (SPF 30)

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So listen, my mom and I have this bad habit of calling each other when there are fun things on QVC and then making impulse purchases. Wait, now that I think about it, it’s always me that’s making the impulse purchases and my mom that’s doing the calling…hmmm. Anyway, she talked me into buying this in May because as you know my skin is kind of a nightmare and I had been looking for a good sunscreen AND a retinol product. Turns out this is one of the only 2 for 1s on the market and I’ve been using it for about 30 days and am pretty sure I want to marry it. Judge me if you must. The texture of my skin has become notably smoother and my jawline breakouts have not been as severe. They haven’t gone away completely, but on a scale of 1 to 10 the are about a 3 instead of the usual 7. And that’s ALL MONTH LONG, ahem.

2. Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Flash

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True Story: I am suuuuuuuuuuuuuuper lame with liquid eyeliner. Eyeliner in general, really. My friend Sarah was kind enough to break it down for me once and I am still not confident. I mean, I wear it, but I don’t feel like it’s pulling together my look, you know?
I got a sample of this Stila liquid liner in my birchbox a couple months back and kind of shook my head. Who the hell wants to wear gold, glitter, liquid-eyeliner, birchbox? “Birchbox, you are on notice!” I thought. And then I tried it and um, apparently *I* want to wear gold, liquid eyeliner. It’s super easy (and idiot-proof!) and very subtle. But also, definitely a step up from my plain brown eyeliner. What is not idiot proof is taking a picture of my eyes with my iphone. You will just have to trust that IT FREAKING RULES!

3. Oil of Olay Silk Whimsy Body Lotion with Rose Extract and Almond Oil

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You will just have to forgive the stupid name. I don’t find that I have a particular need for a whimsical body lotion, but I will tell you that in summer I don’t even touch half of my stash because it is too thick. And super emollient lotion + Sacramento’s HOT HOT HOT HEAT is a recipe for unsightly ass sweat marks on your clothes. You know what I’m saying, right? If you don’t, you are on of the lucky ones. Anyway, I am impressed with this lotion’s ability to moisturize while being INCREDIBLY light, so as the temperature’s have increased it has become my Go-To. But do you know what I really love about it? The scent. Now, when you hear Rose Extract and Almond Oil it sounds a little bit Old-Lady ish. It also doesn’t help that Garrett calls all of my Olay products Oil of Old Lady. But let me assure you, it actually smells subtle, a little sweet, and the scent lasts ALL DAY LONG. From a lotion! And for the record, I’m not a fan of floral scents, so the rose isn’t exceptionally floral or overpowering. Promise.

4. Old Navy Vintage V Neck Tees

I read about these a couple of weeks ago over on Wardrobe Oxygen and I have to say, I was skeptical. Old Navy quality is just so hit or miss and in the past few years I have found most of their stuff stretches and becomes ill fitting while you are actually wearing it. I HATE THAT! Not worth the bargain. But for $8.50, I had to check out this alleged amazing tee. And I ended up totally falling in love! They are super thin and worn in (you do have to wear a cami or something under them unless you like your stuff a little see through) but they are comfy as all get-out AND mine didn’t even shrink in the wash!

The other fun thing? They have a men’s version, and that one is cheap and totally Garrett approved! If you must know it took me years of convincing to get him to wear a v-neck shirt (he didn’t want to “look like a girl” — um, WHATEVER.) But he is a total lover of these tees. The kicker though — you must look where the v-necks are manufactured. For the women — the ones made in Vietnam are the softest. For the men — pick the ones made in India. The have a million colors, and the also come in crew-necks if you prefer those, so seriously — CHECK THEM OUT.

5. Dresses


Interesting fact about me: I hated dresses in high school. Like, so much so I eschewed the entire prom experience because the thought of picking out some 1990s dreamy Gunny Sax number actually made my skin crawl. Thank you very much I will enjoy my flannel shirts and work boots while I’m listening to Pearl Jam, reapplying Toast of New York lipstick. Ah…memories.

Anyway, as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to embrace dresses. They are fun, stylish, flattering…yada yada yada. But do you know what else they are? A LAZY LADY’S WAY OF LOOKING PUT TOGETHER WHEN IT IS HOT AS BALLS OUT! Lately all I want to wear is a dress. The other day I put on pants and a work appropriate blouse and I just felt…frumpy and hot. As such, I’m amassing quite a collection this season and you know what? I’m having so much fun with it! I know most of you are probably shaking your head and thinking “DUH, Holly.” But this is sort of a revelatory moment for me, so I’m going to enjoy it. Also — I’m going to recommend it highly, because throwing one item of clothing over your head in the morning completely trumps trying to coordinate 3 or 4!

Um…Winning!

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So what’s rocking your world this month?

May Favorites

May has been a super busy month, but I’m never too busy to make lists of things I love. This month I’ve officially put away my fall/winter clothes and have been trying to reconfigure some kind of spring/summer wardrobe. I’ve also been enjoying a lot of time out in the backyard, LOTS of grilling, and of course some time in the gym. Most of my favorite things this month reflect that:

1. Summer Sandals

Listen, closed toed shoes are fun and all, but I would rather spend my day in some sandals. I’m not even that picky — wedges, flip flops, complicated strappy rigamarole…I’ll wear it. And love it. And I have been all month.

2. Backyard Workouts

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We bought a 53lb kettlebell this month, and let me tell you — this baby is no Jane Fonda dumbbell. Swinging the sucker is such a fantastic workout, and even better – one I can do at home when I can’t get to the gym. I’d love to have a fancy gym at my house but it’s sort of at the bottom of my financial priority list right now. Having purchased this baby (who we named Brutus!), my trusty (and cheap) jump rope, and a patio that’s measures perfect for 15m shuttle sprints, I’ve made up a bunch of fun workouts to do at home. If you’re interested I’ll share them in the future.

3. Chive and Tarragon Chicken Sausage

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I picked these up at the farmers market a couple weeks ago from the Smokey Ridge Charcuterie booth and holy hell they are DELICIOUS. I stocked up last weekend and now all I want to do is figure out how to include it in a meal. Next on my list to try is the Merguez Sausage. YUM!

4. Bright Colored Pants

Bright pants make me feel more AWAKE!!!

They just brighten your day. Period. These were a good investment, although honestly they were hardly an investment because I picked them up at the Gap Outlet on sale. SCORE!

5. Skinnygirl Cocktails

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Yep, still love these. While I enjoy making my own cocktail concoctions, it’s nice to know there are options out there if you don’t want 500 calorie margaritas all summer. We have been enjoying the patio and the fire pit a lot so far this season and it’s nice to be able to pour a little treat over ice and head out there with a book in under 5 minutes — no muddling or shaking required. The peach margarita flavor wasn’t my favorite (still pretty good though) but I’m loving that they have branched out with new flavors and alcohol combinations. Makes me want to try them all! :)

6. Rick’s Picks – Spicy Sriracha Pickle Chips

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Look, these are called “Hotties” — I mean how can you NOT love that? But seriously, they are garlicky, spicy, sriracha pickles. If you like heat and flavor — you MUST try these. I picked them up at Whole Foods and I’m embarrassed to say it took us about a day and half to eat the entire jar.

7. Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes

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Full disclosure: I received these in the mail from Klout a few months back, but then I promptly forgot about them. I tried the face wash that they sent with it, didn’t love it, so these ended up stashed in my bathroom beauty-overflow cabinet. You have this section of your bathroom cabinet, right? Tell me I am not a crazy product hoarder! You know, the place where beauty products go to die, or perhaps just take an intermission? Anyway, I ran out of my beloved Neutrogena wipes in my gym bag so I decided to throw these in there until I could swing by Target and remedy the situation. The thing is, no remedy needed. I LOVE THESE. They are suuuuuuuuuper gentle (they say they are for sensitive skin right on the package!) and they do a great job getting all your makeup off, which as we get into hotter weather becomes ESSENTIAL to me before a workout. Check them out!

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So that’s what I’m loving!

What’s putting a smile on your face this month?

April Favorites

April is shaping up to be a pretty awesome month. I’ve had some workout PRs, there is lots of cooking going on in my kitchen, and the sun is finally shining! Of course now that it is we are heading to Portland where there is rain in the forecast, but WHO CARES? Because April has been a very very good month.

Here are some things that are keeping the smile on my face:

1. Old Navy Workout Tanks
Diptic
I’ve mentioned my love of Old Navy workout clothes before. No they don’t compare to the MAGIC of Lululemon, but they are affordable and awesome. And also way better quality than their actual clothes, in my experience, which is sort of sad. Anyway, on the suggestion of one of my gym buddies I picked up one of these tanks in a few different colors recently and you all, THEY ARE SO CUTE! Also very flattering if you are not “excited” about working out in a tank top. They are forgiving around the mid section, come up high enough to camouflage any random arm chub (WHAT?) and I just love them. Get thee to Old Navy before it gets sweltering and they are all gone. For $14 — you can’t go wrong.

2. A Friday Night Cocktail

Also THIS? 2 Thumbs Up.
I’ve really been making a concerted effort to eat well during the week. Not to say I go hog-wild on the weekend, but during the week I’m clean as a whistle, trying to focus on nourishing meals, tough workouts, working hard at my job and sleeping a lot. But come Friday night I’ve been REEEEEEEEALLY enjoying the ritual of a cocktail. Cracking open a bottle of wine with Garrett or pouring a skinny cosmo over ice — it doesn’t matter — just something to acknowledge 5 days of good work. It’s been great! And I’ve been enjoying it so much that Garrett and I are going to collaborate on some cocktail recipes for the blog every Friday in May. Well, collaborate in the sense that I’m going to make some drinks and he is going to drink them. So that should be fun. I’ve been pinning ideas like a mad woman.

3. Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Almond Milk
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Despite the numerous adjectives necessary to describe this beverage, it is remarkably simple and delicious. And because there are so many words on the box, I’m going to say very few here. But what I will say: IT IS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD.

4. PB+J Smoothies
PB+J Smoothie Time!

I don’t know why I call these PB + J Smoothies because there is neither peanut butter nor jelly in there. Weird. But it is still THE BOMB and it is reminiscent of a good PB+J, but with more chocolate and less gluten.

All you do? Blend up 8 oz of almond milk, 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder, 1 cup of frozen mixed berries, 2 TBS of Almond Butter. It sounds kind of strange. It tastes kind of AMAZING!

5. Fresh Flowers in My House

It's ridiculous how happy a change of table runner & a cheap bouquet can make me.
Tulips, specifically.

I just love them! And they are $4.99 at Trader Joe’s and I buy them every time I see them and I think to myself often, how can you NOT be happy when these are just nonchalantly hanging out on your kitchen table? It’s very hard. Spring is such a great time to have fresh flowers just hanging out!

6. Cover Girl NatureLuxe Gloss Balm – AKA the Taylor Swift Lipgloss

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I actually bought this in a 3 pack at Costco on a whim but I gave one to my mom. So! Only 2. In “Hibiscus” and “Grenache.” And they are a delight. Feels like chapstick with a hint of color. Always a favorite.

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And that’s all for now! What stuff is keeping the smile on your face lately?

January Favorites

Every year in January I go on bit of a shopping hiatus. It’s never really intentional, but I think with the last quarter of the prior year being ALL ABOUT DEALS! ALL OF THE TIME! I just sort of retreat from spending exorbitant amounts of money. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy making purchases, but they just generally tend to be smaller purchases on the cash spectrum.

Here are my favorite cheap thrills that I’ve purchased/put on my wish list this month! It’s only halfway through January so you have a couple more weeks to get in on the action. Most are fitness/beauty related because I think those are the kind of purchases that don’t necessarily cost a lot but can really make a difference.

1. Trader Joe’s Spa Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil – If you are interested at all in going from regular face wash to exploring the Oil Cleansing Method, I think this could be an interesting gateway.  It’s got a blend of coconut oil and tea tree oil, plus some other earthy smelling ingredients that will give your face the Oil Cleansing feel, but with the convenience of a drug store container.  At under $6 I thought it was worth a try, since you know I’ll try just about anything when it comes to skincare. Even Garrett likes it, although every time he gets out of the shower he makes a big To-Do about how he smells like a hippie. I think it smells pretty delicious!

2. Jennifer Aniston Rollerball Perfume — Oh. My. God. You guys, I know this one is so silly. So when I read about this perfume over on Style Lush, I was kind of intrigued. Floral is usually not my cup of tea when it comes to fragrance, so I was doubtful when I heard it smelled “jasmine-y” but review after review said it smelled beachy. When I walked into Sephora recently, there it was in a tiny little rollerball. And it DID smell beachy! And delicious! And I have worn it every single day this month, and I will tell you what, it’s a little piece of summer! And to have that feeling this time of year, for $18? Is a steal!

3. Kirkland Signature Workout Clothes — Yep, I’m talking about Costco. Have you seen their workout clothes lately? Pants, crops, tanks, zip ups — they are all cute and comfy and relatively cheap. I have been rocking the tanks 2-4 times per week for almost a year and they are still in super good condition. I know workout clothes from Costco doesn’t sound super sexy, but they work well and will have you look cute while working out. BONUS!

4. Cute Makeup Bags – I was just discussing how having The Good Stuff in my gym bag gives me something to look forward to when I work out and since I am (desperately) in need of a new makeup bag I have been searching around. I think this one will do the trick! It’s kind of splurge if you think of it as only a makeup bag, but if you think of it as a guarantee that you will get your butt to the gym a few mornings a week — well then, I think that’s worth its weight in gold!

5. Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Lip Gloss in Hottie — Ok, so the name is kind of lame, I’ll give you that. But what if I told you that it was a dead ringer for Chanel Glossimer in Spark. And it is only $12! Um, hello: STEAL! It’s not quite as nice as the Chanel version (obviously) but at more than half off, I think you will get over it. I kind of want one in every color.

6. Pomegranate Sparkling Water – This last one is kind of a touchy subject. I am COMPLETELY ADDICTED to fizzy water. So addicted that I should not be advocating on my website that you go out and buy ANY type of fizzy water because it is a danger zone! But this particular flavor is such a treat! And every time I go to the grocery store I pick up a few because for 89 cents IT MAKES MY ENTIRE AFTERNOON! I mean what can you even get any more for under a buck? Let alone something that will change your life for under a buck! Plus it guarantees that I won’t be tempted to pick up an afternoon cup of coffee, so you know — swapping one addiction for another? I don’t know. But if you see it in your neck of the woods, please try it. It is amazing!

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So, I’m curious — any little cheap thrills making your day this month?

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