Jennifer’s Favorite Things 2017

Hi gang! I have been back at the salon for a solid week now. It’s going fairly well. We’re temporarily relocated (moved in with our sister store) while our new space gets finished. So far, it reminds me of dorm move-in or summer camp, complete with new cliques, personality clashes and people beefin’ over turf. LOL

I have been away from the general public for quite a while, and I should have been preparing for the onslaught of icky with my vitamins and supplements… I have picked up a bit of a cough, and I felt so gross I left work today. I made a batch of Thieves oil (40 drops Clove Bud essential oil, 35 drops Lemon essential oil, 20 drops Cinnamon Bark essential oil, 15 drops Eucalyptus essential oil, and 10 drops Rosemary essential oil) to try, I changed my sheets, I chugged some Emergen-C, I disinfected all the doorknobs, keyboards, cell phone, anything I’d had my grody paws all over! LOL

 

Now, to distract me from my malady and to get us in a festive mood, may I present…

MY FAVORITE THINGS!!!

 

Deodorant Stick
Awesome deo/ picture from Schmidt’s website. 🙂

Schmidt’s Lavender Sage deodorant

It smells oh-so-lovely, no freaky chemicals, and it helps you stay fresh for a long while. (Hint: check your local Target, mine carries it sometimes and you can usually snag it for right around $5. It’s a slightly smaller stick, but it’s cheaper per ounce and no shipping)

 

beautiful handmade slippers by Nancy Kauffman/photo from her Etsy store

Felted wool slippers from Kauffman’s Ozark Crafts

My husband gifted me with a pair of these warm, soft wool slippers last Christmas. They are so dreamy! I absolutely love mine.

 

Trapp #39 Sexy Cinnamon/photo from Candle Delirium

This is one of my favorite fall candles. It makes the house smell spicy and warm very quickly, and the candle doesn’t burn particularly sooty (which is nice). You can get them at your favorite fancy candle place. To find a dealer near you, go to the Trapp website.

 

Nabisco White Fudge Covered Oreo Cookies, 8.5 OZ
WHITE FUDGE OREOS!!! THIS IS NOT A DRILL/photo from Walmart Grocery

These are most definitely a guilty pleasure treat. I almost didn’t show you these, since I am slackin’ in the fitness department. But, I would have felt bad keeping the goodness to myself! Check the cookie aisle at the grocery store for these.

Brut Pretisge
Hello lover. /photo from Mumm Napa website

For the price, this is a fantastic sparkling wine. Hell, even if it weren’t so affordable, I’d still love it. This is the brut pictured, but the Cuvee M is also sublime. Make an occasion to celebrate and treat yo’ self. ❤

Mini Full Exposure Palette
Smashbox Full Exposure mini palette/photo Smashbox.com

Eight tasty shades that play well together: 4 sparkly, 4 not. All totally wearable in real life, but glam enough to go to a fancy dress occasion too. Plus, it is so smol! No wasted space in the makeup bag! Smashbox Full Exposure mini palette

 

Kerrygold Salted Pure Irish Butter, 8 oz.
This butter makes me weep for joy. /photo from Walmart Grocery

But, for real. Kerrygold butter is my jam. It’s a bit pricy for what basically amounts to 2 sticks, but it is the most delightful butter you will ever eat in your whole life, honestly. My husband and I are both crazy spoiled now, and we jokingly attribute our good looks to this butter. Check your local grocery dairy section.

 

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Finding one’s way: October 7

Hi, everyone! After nearly 6 months of snowballing stress and anxiety, I have decided that I will be returning to full-time salon work. It’s not a perfect solution, and I had plenty of what-ifs to deal with before arriving there, but ultimately I feel it will give me the flexibility and freedom to work on myself while determining what it is that I want to do when I “grow up.” Since putting in my notice at my current job, I have noticed that my twitching eye muscle has all but stopped…

Some goals:

  • be more active. Walk, hike, go to the gym, yoga, somethin’. Get moving!
  • learn to give less fucks. I stress out about everything all the time. I worry about work on my off time, which is kind of like working for free.
  • have less stuff. I have so much stuff that I don’t even know what all I have. Time to get rid of a bunch of it.
  • be more engaged. Less screen time and more quality time. Be more immersed in the real world.
  • learn some new things. I enjoy learning A LOT. Why deprive myself?

 

Still shovelin’: August 31

My husband and I have determined that this summer is best described as a roller-coaster. I have been fighting off anxiety and depression all summer, and the bevy of heavy-hitting happenings just keeps coming. My husband had a birthday, we went on a little trip for a concert that my husband ended up being very disappointed by, I switched up job duties at work and ended up not liking it (now what?), a dear friend drowned in her swimming pool almost 2 weeks ago, my husband was contacted by a firm out-of-state regarding a job opportunity, and a very close friend just confided some heavy stuff going on in their life. So, unfortunately, I have not had the gumption to blog much. I have been trying to eat better and move my body more. I have been trying to keep up with the smallest day-to-day items to keep my sanity. I have been trying with limited success to keep a lid on my panic attacks. Fingers crossed for a better September. ❤

Sunday, lazy Sunday: August 13

So far, it’s been a good weekend here. Yesterday, my parents came for dinner. I also colored my mother’s hair and cut my father’s hair while they were here. I made baked Florentine fish for dinner, and my mother baked a lovely lemon cake for dessert. It was a good visit. Today, it isn’t raining, so my husband is working on the 4Runner. Good progress is being made. He had a small setback (which involved using a threaded insert to fix a stripped part, through no fault of his own). That has been resolved, and now everything is being put back together.

  • Shirt: Rsvlts, $33.75 with coupon (I freaked out when I saw this shirt. S’mores, hot dogs, and the Great Hambino? Sold. I don’t buy a ton of clothes new, but I surely bought this. Foolhardy, perhaps. Do I love it? Hell yeah.)
  • Capris: Maurices, thrifted. (I think I will wear these until they disintegrate, then I might buy more. Nicely constructed, versatile…) $3
  • Sandals: Teva, $8 (at Ross)

Total for this outfit: $44.75

Makin’ things: August 11

Hi, internet land! I am slowly turning back to myself, after a series of nice walk-and-talks with my very kindhearted husband and a week or so of self-prescribed light duty around the house(Reading the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. OMG SO GOOD). The weather has been uncharacteristically cool, so I have been busy in my kitchen!

One of my coworkers took a job somewhere else, so naturally we had a pizza and cake party to send her off. I baked this lovely, simple Bundt cake for her.

Knock knock…
Thar she blows!

The cake recipe came from Dinner, then Dessert. The frosting is an attempt at copying Nothing Bundt Cakes, it’s just a sweet cream cheese and butter frosting piped onto the grooves left by the cake pan and into the hole in the middle. The chocolate chips are for fun. 🙂

I also took a stab at making my own lip balm, after using up a cherished tube of lavender lip balm I bought in upcountry Maui at Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. What a magical place! If you get the chance to visit Maui, it is worth the trek upcountry to visit the farm. Treat yourself to a lavender scone with lilikoi jelly out on the lanai after your tour. ❤ (I’ll share my lavender scone recipe with you another time, I promise.)

To make this lip balm:

  • 1/2 tablespoon cocoa butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon shea butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon candelilla wax (you can use 1 tablespoon beeswax for a firmer balm, if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon jojoba oil
  • 1 tablespoon sweet almond oil
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5-8 drops honey flavoring oil
  • 12 clean, empty lip balm tubes

Melt the cocoa butter, shea butter, candelilla wax and coconut oil on medium-low over a double boiler (or in a little glass bowl/pyrex measuring cup set in a pan of simmering water). Once the solids are melted, add the jojoba and almond oils. Stir to combine. Remove from heat, add lavender and honey oils, stir to combine. Quickly and carefully pour the melted balm into the tubes, filling to just barely above the plastic spike in the center of the tube. (As you can see above, I filled the other 5 a bit too generously and had a short 6th tube as a result. Oops! lol) Once the balm sets and cools completely, put the caps on the tubes.

Carefully climbing out of the hole: August 5

Hello, internet! I am starting to feel better, but there’s still a little bit to overcome. I have graduated from abject sadness to not knowing what I need to do next (it took me 30 minutes to get dressed today because I was so scattered). As a result, I have been a little bit forgetful the last few days. I intended to go to a spin class on Thursday afternoon, I completely forgot about it, and they kindly let me reschedule it. Today, I had the rescheduled class, and completely forgot about it too. I won’t ask them to reschedule it again. Since they are prepaid, I figure I can let that be a reminder to me to be more diligent in future.

  • Top: Old Navy, thrifted. $1.50
  • Shorts: Ann Taylor Loft, thrifted. $2
  • Bracelets: Pura Vida, $5 each.

Total cost: $13.50

the one where everything was kind of ugh: August 3

Hey, folks! I didn’t intend to be gone for so long, but I have been in a minor funk for the last couple of weeks. When I am feeling fragile or somehow less-than, I give myself permission to rest and to not ignore the problem. Thanks for understanding! ❤

  • Top: Mossimo, thrifted. $1.50
  • Skirt: Joe B by Joe Benbasset, thrifted. $2
  • Sandals: Blowfish. $29.50

Total for this outfit: $33.00

A hot and sweaty day: July 20

My husband’s phone died a most undignified death on Monday. The display became a fuzzy-looking purple and yellow haze, and could not be used. He has been fussing with an old phone to get by, and dealing with switching carriers and buying the new phone. Finally done with all that! Yay!

  • Top: Converse, from coworker’s closet cleanout. Cost: $0
  • Tank under top: 5ish years ago, Old Navy. Cost: $6
  • Capris: Maurice’s, thrifted. Cost: $3
  • Shoes: Blowfish, 2ish years ago. Cost: $29.50 (roughly 4 cents a day)*
  • Bracelet: Premier, about 5 years ago. Cost: $32 (about 1 cent a day)*
  • Earrings: unknown maker, from Whole Foods about a year ago. Cost: $14 (3.8 cents a day)*

The Goodwill thrift stores in my area offer a 10% discount card for $5, good for a year of discounts on regularly priced merchandise(they do a weekly 50% off for certain colored tags, those aren’t included). I thrift enough that the card pays for itself after a few visits.

Total cost: $84.50, including the staple items that get heavy rotation.

Trying something new: July 19

My husband usually has a good idea or 5 up his sleeve at any given time. When we were eating dinner before the Paul McCartney concert on Monday (OMG SO GOOD), he popped a little gem of an idea out for me. He said, “Jennifer, you love to thrift. Why don’t you blog more about your thrift scores? You can tell people how much you pay for your outfits. You’re really good at it!” So, we’ll give it a shot! 😁

  • Top and skirt: from a generous coworker’s closet clean-out. Cost: $0
  • Sandals: Teva, bought online in 2015. Cost: $44.27 with shipping. They’re still in good shape, so I will keep wearing them until they die.*
  • Necklace: gift from husband. Cost: $0 (our finances were not combined at that time, we were still dating 😁).*
  • Earrings: Premier, bought in a set 4-5 years ago. I maybe paid $20 for a set of 2 pairs, so $10 each. I wear these all the time, so they were a good investment.*
  • Fitbit: Ebay, a year and a half ago, $99.*

So, for items I get a lot of use out of, I try to embrace the mindset of “Buy it once.” A couple years ago, my husband pointed out that I bought bad shoes that hurt my feet every summer. That helped me break the habit. 😂

To break it down a little bit more, my sandals have cost me approximately 6 cents a day, and they are not dead yet. I estimate that by the end, I can get that figure down to about 3.4 cents a day. The earrings, half a cent a day. The fitbit, 18 cents a day.

Total cost: $154, but that’s mostly staple items that get heavy rotation.

The one where I am kind of lazy: July 15

I have quickly become accustomed to having weekends off, and it is splendid.  Today, we had a leisurely time getting out of bed, and I crossed some self-care items off my to-do list: cut and polish toenails, leg wax, haircut, nap.

Polishes by OPI: Fly (teal) and Teenage Dream (pink sparkles). Sandals: Teva

So fresh and so clean clean

 Meanwhile, my sweetheart of a husband has been toiling away on the 4runner.

The surgeon and his patient.

He’s doing some much-needed maintenance and repair on the steering rack, it’ll be nice for it to not be so squirrelly.