Listen up, kids. Today, I’m sharing with you some things that have been rocking my world lately. Why? Because it seems like life is tending toward being one big dumpster fire lately and we all could use some fun and frivolity. Also, while some of these items are new to me and some are old friends, they are all some of my current very favorite things and should not be missed. Let’s take a look!
1 – Cookbooks
What you see here in this picture are my favorite cookbooks in the world. If you don’t have them, you should make it a point to ask for them for Christmas, your birthday, Hanukah, whatever. I’m someone that has to have a recipe when I cook and, while most of my recipes are ones I get from the internet, these books are worth buying to use again and again. Here’s the run down:
The Cooky Book is amazing. My mom had a copy (one of the original ones, I think) and she got one of these for me and each of my sisters a few Christmases ago. Truly, it is so fun! So kitchy and retro, but with some amazing cookie recipes, too.
Next to that is the Better Homes & Gardens Cook Book. Another oldy but goody, this one has just about every basic recipe you could ever need. Moving on, let’s go from bottom to top.
Skinnytaste is a wonderful website by Gina Homolka and this series of cookbooks grew out of it. These are my two faves and I use them all the time! I love how Gina makes good, normal, accessible, and healthy recipes with real ingredients.
Next up is Love, Welcome, Serve by Amy Hannon. If you want straight up southern comfort food and a love of serving others, tips and tricks and the best pulled pork ever, look no further.
Then comes Real Food Slow Cooker Suppers. Hands down, the best crock-pot cookbook ever. I have actually bought copies of this to give to people because I love it so much. You can follow the author Samantha on Instagram.
Lastly, I’ve included a cookbook I made of my Grandmother’s recipes. You can’t by that one (but you can make her Heath Chip Brownies!), but if you have any old handwritten recipes laying around, Shutterfly albums are a great way to save the images and recipes!
Hair & Makeup
First, let’s talk hair.
I recently began a journey of acceptance, if you will, with my hair. I have decided that since I embraced the gray a long time ago, it’s time I also embraced the wave. My hair is “naturally wavy to almost-curly” and years of straightening and sulfates were starting to take their toll. Enter the curly girl method, a really good haircut from someone who knows how to cut curly hair, and better products! If you have hair that is wavy, thick, coarse, and frizzy (or any combination of those), these products on the left are a must try.
Amika Nice Cream is a cleansing conditioner. Anymore, I only wash my hair about every week to 10 days. This is what I use in between washes. It leaves my hair soft and clean feeling without stripping away the moisture like regular shampoo. Next to that is Curlsmith Moisture Memory Reactivator. Honestly, I’m not sure exactly what this does, but it kind of works as a leave in conditioner and you can use it to boost your curls once your hair is dry. Finally, this is the holy grail, as far as I’m concerned. Bb Don’t Blow It is fantastic for thick, wavy hair. I put this in when my hair is wet, scrunch it, then either air dry or diffuse. It is truly the first product I’ve found that helps me air dry my hair and I luuuurrrrrvvvvv it.
Now, for makeup.
I can hardly believe I’m admitting this, but I’ve jumped on the Beautycounter train. Currently, I’m using several of their products including a cleanser, mask, and foundation, but these are the two products that are for sure worth the money. First is the Color Pinch Cream Blusher. It’s like a one-stop-shop for cheeks, eyes, and lips and it’s fabulous. The other product that I adore is the Counter+ Overnight Resurfacing Peel. I use it every other night and while I’m not fond of the smell, that goes away quickly and my skin is looking better and better the longer I use it. (If you need a Beautycounter dealer/consultant, my friend Kathryn is my hook-up and I’m sure she could help you out.) Lastly, you’ll see the best nail polish topcoat in the history of ever. Seche Vite quickly dries your polish and keeps your nails chip-free for a week.
Yeah, yeah. I know. You already know I started a podcast and you already love it and you’ve already rated it 5 stars on Apple and written a glowing review. Right? Right?
OK, so maybe not. But if you didn’t know, now you do! Yes, friends. Last week, I debuted the A Welcome Grace Podcast with Beth Williby and now you can listen to it on any number of podcast players including but not limited to: Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, PocketCast, and more. And I do very much hope that you will listen and enjoy it.
I am having such a good time with it. Interviewing people, editing, promoting…it’s a lot of new stuff to learn, but boy is it fun! And, my gracious, has my family been supportive! Look at those door handle signs my husband bought for me to use when I’m recording. Aren’t they a hoot?!
Texting With My College Kid
Everybody always said that your kid leaving for college was the beginning of a new relationship. I didn’t quite know what that meant until a month ago when we took our oldest to school. And, honestly, even if I tried to explain it to someone who hasn’t done that yet, I don’t think I could. Does your relationship change? Yes. How exactly? Ahhhhhhh…it just does.
That said, I can tell you that the transition is totally weird. For the first two weeks he was gone, Adam was in a total honeymoon phase. He was enjoying (finally being at) school and all the newness that went with it. Meanwhile, I was at home missing him and trying not to cry when I accidentally pulled out one too many plates when I set the table. But at about that two week point, things switched. He started to get a little homesick (like every college student ever) and I started realized life moves on and all would be well.
Along the way, though, we’ve learned that we can text each other whenever we want and we have great conversations that way. I’ve made my first batch of chocolate chip cookies and sent them care-package style to South Carolina. And we’ve both learned that we can do hard things knowing that someone far away loves us a whole bunch.
Now it’s your turn, friend! What is something you are loving right now? Let me know!