Twice a year, a load of mom friends and I pack up in a few minivans and head to the beach for a weekend away from healthy food, good sleep, and crazy children. You’d think we’d get especially good sleep since we’re away from said offspring, but as we’re throwing back handfuls of Oreos and M&M’s while talking late into the night, sleep doesn’t refuel as easily as relaxation time.
On our first trip about a year ago (coincidentally while Hurricane Irma pounded her way toward our homes), I instituted a game of Favorite Things, which we continued on our second trip this spring. It’s a tradition I hope continues, as I love discovering new products and little life “hacks” to make my days a little more fun or a bit easier.
As I was watching Netflix last night (after months of hiatus as I traded the red “N” for Hulu’s possession of Dancing with the Stars and This is Us), I thought it’d be fun to share some of my favorite things with you. Sorry if this feels a bit like an advertisement. I can promise you—no one is paying me to promote these products. I came up with nine, because I seem incapable of rounding it up to 10.
The Crown – I’m assuming everyone has jumped on this bandwagon? Well, if you’re a fan of historical, British shows (looking at you, Dowton Abbey fans), I’d give it a shot. We’ve (yes, the Hubs enjoys The Crown too, but maybe keep it on the DL) also been watching Victoria, and as a few of the actors overlap, it can be a bit confusing. I enjoy the romance and lightheartedness of Victoria, but I’ve never seen a show like The Crown. I keep wondering how real-life Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip feel about the portrayal, especially considering we’re looking into their purportedly rocky marriage.
OK Go music videos – Let me be honest. OK Go doesn’t necessarily produce my favorite kind of music. I get to the end of their videos and think, “Hmm, I’m not even certain if that song had a message.” However. Their music videos are mind-blowing. Check out this one. Oh, and this one. And maybe a little bit of this one. Tell me how this one even happened! It’s one shot! And this one is filmed in less than five second! If you want to share with your kids, click here. They have behind-the-scenes videos to prove how legitimate these videos are. The talent, attention to detail, and dedication is unreal.
Afterlight at work.
Afterlight app – As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I don’t always put in the effort to take amazing photos. Sometimes, I just want to get my point across visually and don’t need to break out the big, fancy camera. A cell phone does quite nicely, thank you. However, I’ve discovered a very decent photo-editing app, which helps take my grainy cell-phone photos up a notch. Afterlight isn’t free, but I want to say it’s like 99 cents. For that small price, you get a lot of tools. It’s a quick way to adjust, crop, lighten, etc., etc., etc.
Mrs. Meyer’s products – I’m not much of a housekeeper, and I’m sure my husband would agree. I’ve taken more of a shine to it since we moved into our new house, but it’s still (and always will be, I bet) a struggle. I’m not the kind of gal who necessarily cares about harsher chemicals in my cleaning supplies. Maybe I should? But I prefer a product that does its job well so I don’t have to scrub again anytime soon. I first discovered Mrs. Meyer’s all-purpose cleaner in geranium scent as a way to mop my floors. It smelled heavenly. Even my husband noticed. (I realize I sound like a 1950s housewife in pearls.) I now have the all-purpose spray, which cleans every surface in our house, the hand soaps, and body washes. I’m a fan.
My husband’s favorite candy – Seriously, who eats Swedish Fish? Well, before I met my husband, I assumed they were gross and tasted like red licorice. And this is where I was wrong. They’re dee-lish. They stick to your teeth in that way that makes dentists frown. Yum. Probably his top candy pick, though, is Sixlets. They come in those annoying, little, plastic tubes that only hold a mouthful. They’re not as good as Swedish Fish, so I will sometimes leave them for his consumption.
Lipstick – Maybelline Super Stay 24 Color: Infinite petal – I don’t usually wear lipstick. It makes me feel self-conscious and worried that it’s moved. I also feel weird kissing my children’s heads or my husband while wearing it, so I tend to avoid it. However, I was fortunate enough to snag this little beauty during our last beach trip. This stuff Does. Not. Come. Off! After day two, I texted my friend who gifted it and asked how to get it off. She told me to use eye-makeup remover, which actually worked really well. Also, beware of the color you pick. Infinite petal is great. I picked a brighter pink since I loved this one so much, and, well, it’s like, “Hello, world!” A bit much.
Pure Leaf Teahouse Collection: Strawberry & Garden Mint – This tea was probably the most ridiculous splurge I ever made via Amazon Prime. My Publix doesn’t carry this particular flavor, so I ordered a box of glass bottles to be delivered to my door. And it was worth it! Mint + sweet tea = Happy Mama.
The Durrells in Corfu – I stumbled across this hilarious gem after subscribing to Amazon Prime’s Masterpiece channel. I love a show with good writing. This show is about a single mom of four grown-ish children who are essentially bankrupt and move to a Greek island in 1935. It’s based on a book series, which must be quirky and hysterical. Like nearly all TV these days, the morals are a bit off, so I apologize for some of that type of content. However, it wasn’t anything too startling or off-putting, if I can justify it that way.
Burt’s Bees lip balm – If my lips are chapped, I get annoyed, which means I mess with my lips more. And this, of course, means they get more chapped. It’s an ugly cycle that I can only soothe with a decent lip balm. I have a tube of Burt’s Bees everywhere I go—in my car, in my purse, two on my nightstand. Honey flavored is my favorite.
Please share some of your favorite things! I’m always looking for new products or entertainment to add to my life.