A Few Friday Favorites

1. Voluspa Goji Tarocco Orange candle

This candle is the hands-down, no question, not-even-a-contest best candle I’ve ever owned. It’s sublime, really – a perfect mixture of floral and citrus with just a hint of spice mixed in. Plus, it makes the whole house smell great, not just the room where it’s burning.

2. Udi’s Natural Artisan Granola

I like to make my own granola, but lately things have been a little cuckoo and it’s just been easier to pick up a bag at the store. The Udi’s Original is my favorite store-bought version that I’ve tried so far. It’s not greasy at all, and it’s not in big huge chunks, so I don’t feel like I’m trying to break open a rock when I eat it. I love the pistachios and bananas chips – oh-so-delicious!

3. Sesmark Rice Thins – Sesame

I’ve been buying these crackers for a couple of years, and I’m still amazed by how great they taste with, well, anything. They’re gluten-free, which is a delightful bonus, but mainly they’re crispy and tasty and perfect for dipping.

4. Erin Condren Life Planner

I have tried to be one of those people who keeps a calendar on my computer. I HAVE TRIED. But at the end of the day, I can’t shake my love for writing everything out on a calendar. Yes, my phone has a great little calendar app, but I can’t use colorful Sharpies on that calendar app. End of story.

After my beloved Blue Dog 12-month desk calendar was (apparently) discontinued, I finally broke down and bought an Erin Condren Life Planner. It’s a little pricier than my normal calendars, but if you’re patient, you can get a good deal by using a coupon code. All of the designs are great-looking, and I had the best time figuring out how I wanted to personalize my planner cover. Right now you can get 40% off a personalized gift label / life planner combo while supplies last – just use the coupon code ILOVEACOMBO at check-out.

(Nobody from Erin Condren contacted me about mentioning that, by the way.)

(I just saw it in an email from them, so I thought I’d share it.)

5. Cheeky Maiden Facial Soap

I know that it’s a tiny picture, so you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you that there is a whole lot of goodness in that little bar of soap. It’s 100% natural, smells great (lemongrass & tea tree oil? I believe I will), and it has made my skin very happy indeed. Plus, it’s only $2.99. TWO DOLLARS AND NINETY NINE CENTS, PEOPLE.

6. Obagi 5% Vitamin C Serum for Eye Area

One of the great ironies at this stage in my life is that waking up in the mornings and hopping out of bed is easier than it’s ever been, but sometimes it takes my eyes a couple of hours to catch up with what my body is doing. I’ve tried a couple of different eye creams, and while they kept the under-eye area moisturized, they didn’t really help with puffiness. But this Obagi Vitamin C Serum is a wonder. I dab it under my eyes after I wash my face in the mornings, and it has helped the skin underneath my eyes so much. There are some stronger percentages of Vitamin C Serum available, but the 5% is perfect for me – doesn’t make my skin dry, doesn’t cause peeling.

All righty. I need to go light my candle before I wash my face and put Vitamin C under my eyes so that I can eat granola and sesame crackers while I consult my calendar to see what I need to do today.

Or something like that.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

A Fine Way To Start Your Saturday

This post by Angie is absolutely beautiful.

Happy Weekend, y’all.

A List Is A Beautiful Thing

1. If you have an extra $3.96 sitting around, then I would like to encourage you to add this little nugget-o-wonder to your Christmas music collection.

It’s a Christmas EP by Act of Congress. And IT IS A DELIGHT. I just found out about Act of Congress, oh, yesterday, but it was totally love at first listen. I may have to put their version of “Carol of the Bells” on permanent repeat. So good.

2. Yesterday my pastor wrote a blog post about grandparents, and I may have needed a tissue or four when I finished reading. Consider yourself warned.

4. My friend Anne’s post about installing a backsplash cracked me up. And it also reminded me why I rarely attempt home improvement projects.

5. I can’t wait to sit down and read every single one of the Favorite Things posts on Nester’s blog today (with a great guest post by Hayley, by the way). Makes me want to have a real-life Favorite Things party of my own.

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

Some Links Para Ti

Apparently I now feel the need to include a little Spanish (un poquito espa&#241ol) in all my posts. I have a feeling that tendency is going to SKYROCKET in about five days, so consider yourselves warned.

Anyway, I just wanted to jump on here really quick and share some links that I’ve enjoyed this week.

– I’ve been a little on the anxious side today, so Becca’s post about waiting for the other shoe to drop really hit me where I’m living. Or where I was living before I wrote John 14:27 on a Post-It, slapped it on my computer and started reading it out loud to myself over and over and over.

I’m not even kidding about that last part.

– My friend Anne has written the most beautiful post: “A Love Letter To The Non-Mother.” So honest and tender-hearted and good.

– If you’re doing any Christmas shopping and think a little Stella & Dot jewelry might fit the bill, here’s a heads-up for you. Whitney Mallory, who’s a stay-at-home mom and the wife of a Navy man, is a Stella & Dot stylist, and she’s donating all of her sales commission to Compassion International. So if you buy anything through Whitney’s Stella & Dot site, her commission from the sale will go to Compassion (specifically, she’s donating to their clean water initiative, their disaster relief and their fund for unsponsored children). I think that’s pretty awesome.

– Priscilla Shirer has put together a list of affirmations from Scripture that we can speak over our children. I can tell you right now that this list will be residing permanently on our refrigerator. Front and center. What a great way to encourage the young’uns in the midst of a hectic morning, you know?

Hope y’all are having a great week!

Los Linkos

Annie’s post on Queen Esther’s courage is so fun, and it struck me as something that could be such a great devotion to read to (or read with) kids.

– About a year ago the little man did sort of a paper maiche’ / watercolor portrait of Africa (obviously he did this at church, under the supervision of grown-ups who don’t twitch at the sight of crafts). I loved it so much, and my mama actually surprised me over the summer by having it framed. I hung it in our half bath and love it – and have thought about creating a little “wall of nations” around the painting that A. did.

The other day my friend Kate sent me a link to some art by a precious 6 year-old girl who has a heart for oprhans and is helping raise money to bring her baby sister home from Africa.

I was so touched that I’m adding Emma’s art to our little powder room collection. I thought some of y’all might want to do the same.

– I have a new post up over at Ree’s blog about movies that (in my opinion) should never, ever be re-made. BACK OFF, HOLLYWOOD.

– Per sweet reader ANDREA’s suggestion (ANDREA always types in all caps because her kids spilled water on her computer and now ALL CAPS is her only option – it cracks me up whenever I see a comment or email from her), Michael Buble’s new Christmas album is definitely worth our attention. I’m about to download it in just a little bit. I like to have all my Christmas albums lined up and ready to go by the day after Halloween, thank you very much.

– I cracked up this morning when I saw a poll question from Steinmart on Facebook:

I wished with everything in me that they had the option of clicking “MARTHA HAS!

It’s never too early for a jacket! For a three-quarter sleeve jacket! It’s just never too early!

– Finally, remember that from now until October 31st, you can get 10% off of your entire Nations Outfitters order if you use the coupon code BOO MAMA (two words) at check-out. FANCY.

One Of The Sweetest Stories Ever

Well, I have a long, rambling tale of my Monday afternoon in the doctor’s office, but I can’t bear to tell it until it has a happy ending. And it won’t have a happy ending until the pharmacy gets my prescription straightened out. Hopefully that’ll happen sometime this morning since Mama here is gonna crash from the temporary boost of a steroid shot around 4:30 pm central time, and IT WOULD BE DELIGHTFUL TO HAVE SOME MEDICATION AT THAT JUNCTURE, OH THANK YOU WALGREENS.

By the way, I’m a little wound up right now. I don’t know if you’ve picked up on that.

But.

Even though the doctor’s office story is on temporary hold, I wanted to make sure to pass along a link to something that I read over the weekend. I ran across it on Facebook, and it’s one of the most heartwarming stories that I’ve read in a long time. I think you’ll like it, too.

Dreams come true despite disability – clarionledger.com

There’s still a whole lot of sweetness in this world, you know? A whole lot of sweetness.

Have a great Tuesday, everybody.