Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Favorite Things From 2011

We said goodbye to 2011 just over a week ago, but I'm still thinking about all of the wonderful things that happened last year and everything we were able to enjoy.  I could wrap 2011 up in a big RED bow and give it a kiss!  We were so blessed and had so many good people come into our lives.  Some of my favorite things of 2011, in no particular order:

1)  My iPhone 4S (and the "4" before it!):
I got my first iPhone in March of 2011.  It was an instant love/love relationship (Mr. Charming didn't think so)!  Then I was super-spoiled in November when my awesome family threw me a surprise birthday party (after a shopping spree) and got me the new #apple iPhone 4S in WHITE!  This thing is amazing!!  I can't imagine productivity without it!
Sidenote: My fav app is #instagram - you can follow me here.

2)  MAC Ruby Woo lipstick and Half Red lipliner:
I have been looking for the "perfect" red lipstick for many years.  I searched in college and finally settled on a mix of 3 different colors - still not quite what I wanted.  Then I saw a picture of the adorable Natalie Holbrook (known as #natthefatrat) on her blog and had to know what color it was!  She was kind enough to share and a love affair was born (with the lipstick, not with Nat, ya know, we don't do that polygamy thing anymore).

I love a good mascara.  I have used Lancome since the age of 12, so I'm partial to it.  But I have tried a lot of different mascaras throughout the years and *so far this is my fav!  It is a deep black (don't you hate that whimpy blackish/brownish/dullish/boringish mascara?!!), with great coverage and fabulous lengthening!  I highly recommend!

If you're looking for a great protein source, look no further (gimmicky?...I think so)!  I love these meat sticks!  They are flavorful and filling without being fatty, greasy or grainy!  We get them locally at Fred Meyer, but you can order them right from the website listed above.  They are the perfect snack to keep in your purse/backpack or in your car.  Our kids love them and I feel good giving them a nutritious snack.  Fav beef jerky ever!

5)  Adele ('nough said)

If you haven't been introduced to the vocals of Adele, then let me tell you that you are seriously missing out! Over this last year, she has become one of our most favorite voices.  The kids love her and sing all of her songs.  I love her powerful and gritty-yet-dreamy voice.  Once you start listening, you'll know her every time she comes on the radio - she's very distinctive!  If you've heard her, I'm sure you love her too.  If you haven't, you're welcome.

You can find her youtube channel here.

I love this all-purpose, throw-over-anything sweater!  It goes with *almost everything and is just a cute accessory.  It's also a really cozy sweater even for wearing around the house...like with pjs.  But I never wear pjs around all day...right? (insert Mr. Charming snickering)

These have been the best pillows ever!  If we go anywhere overnight, we always bring our own pillows!  They are firm, yet soft, conforming to your head and so cozy!  I love how durable they are (kids jumping on pillows) and they're easy to clean.  I've slept better these last several months than I have in a long time.  Of course, I know that has more to do with losing 100+lbs than with my pillow, but I do love this pillow!

I love Eucerin and have used it for years.  We used Aquaphor for our baby's bums and this moisturizing creme on their bodies (and ours)!  But I have struggled with really dry, cracked lips for years.  It was really frustrating because I was buying expensive lip balms, healing lotions, etc. and nothing was working.  It was so bad, that I didn't wear any lip color for several years - I thought I was allergic to them all!  I do have sensitive skin, but I'm definitely NOT allergic!  So one day Mr. Charming says, "My Aunt Patty used to rub that stuff on her lips, you should try it."  And suddenly the heavens opened up and soft, supple, beautiful lips were born!  Ok, they may not be THAT great, but Mr. Charming likes them.  And I'm back to wearing my lipsticks (see #2 above).

9)  Sock Buns (google it) 

My cute sisters-in-law introduced me to sock buns before I saw them explode onto Pinterest.  It was a little while before I actually tried it out and now I mourn for the time that was lost!  These things are so easy, so cute and can be done in several different looks - very versatile!  I love it!  Plus, when you sleep in them, you end up with beautiful curls - like these:

I promise to do a whole blog post about this fun little hair style - for adults and for kids!  Stay tuned!

10)  My Favorite Blogs
I have so many blogs that I have followed throughout the years - all for different purposes.  I have lists of my favorite blogs organized into sections...ya know, things like: photography, healthy lifestyle, fashion, children, family, LDS (Mormon), etc.  I was looking over those lists at the end of last year (which is only the end of last month) and reminiscing over each of those beloved authors and why I had chosen to follow their blogs.  Several of them I no longer read...no time...not as much interest, etc., etc.  But some of them, some of them are the cream of the crop, the ones that I will be a fan/follower of for as long as they keep writing them.  Those are the ones I want to share with you today.  My list may be short, because not many blogs have stood the test of time (it's me, not you), but I hope you will look into these (if you don't already) and find some enjoyment as well!  I'd love to hear what blogs YOU follow!

Stephanie Nielson of The NieNie Dialogues
Courtney Kendrick of CJane Enjoy It
Natalie Holbrook of Natthefatrat (see #2)
Wendy & Tyler Whitacre of BlueLily Photography
Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman
April Meeker of Suaviloquy
Kelly McCaleb of My Happy Little Life
Shawni Eyre Pothier of 71 Toes 

Wow, I just noticed that I listed 11 blogs...that was totally random.

11)  The Beautiful Oregon Coast
For those who don't know, we moved to the lovely little town of Florence, Oregon recently.  I grew up here, which is fun...like coming home...where things are comfortable...but kinda weird because people still think of you the way you left - know what I mean?  I feel bad because I will see faces that I recognize, but can't, for-the-life-of-me remember their name (or sometimes how I knew them)!  That's super-frustrating.  And there are some people that I think, still think of me as a kid & have a hard time validating me as a parent...who wants what's best for her children.  So yeah, overall, good, but still some small-town politics that are what makes a small town, a small town.  Right?    
Just know that we love it here; we are happy & the kids are having a fabulous school year (hallelujah)!  And really, it has got to be one of the most beautiful places to live:

Can you believe this is January?  Amazing!  

So that's my 11 favorite things (mostly products) in 2011.  Like I said before, it was a good year for our family.  We are happy, we are healthy & we are so looking forward to all of the great things in store for us in 2012!

PS - Would you do me a favor in 2012? If you follow my blog and enjoy reading it, would you share it with your friends, family, checkout person at the grocery store, mailman, person at the bus stop, etc? 
I will love you for like, ever!

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