One of my very favorite Oprah shows of the entire year is the "My Favorite Things" show – and not just because it's fun to enviously watch as she gives away tons of awesome loot to the audience – but because I learn about all of these fun things that she has actually test-driven herself, and loved.
Now, I am no Oprah, and my items certainly won't be quite as pricey as some of the items on HER list, but nonetheless, here is my top ten list (in no particular order) of things I am loving right at this moment….
I purchased this mask on a whim during my last Sephora trip, and am in love with the results. It doesn't have much of a smell, and doesn't get super stiff like some clay masks. You leave it on for 15 minutes and it's meant to be the fill-in for the actual Steep Clean Facial you can receive at Bliss Spa locations. Since there is no Bliss near me (sad!) I am making do with the take-home version. The mask is meant to deep clean your pores and loosen dead cells at the surface. At the recommendation of the Sephora consultant, you can wait until you have a minute or so left on the mask, then break out your favorite facial scrub. Layer that on top and massage it all off and rinse with warm water to effectively remove dead cells and not only clean, but polish, your skin. Loved the smooth feeling of my skin afterwards!
#2: The Boyfriend Blazer
I bought my version at New York & Company (for a very reasonable 69.50!). I have to admit, I've gone a little crazy this year with fall clothes shopping, but this is one of my favorite pieces – probably because it is so basic and versatile. I like that I can dress it up or make it a bit more casual, depending on where I'm going.
#3: Roasted Veggie Orzo with Goat Cheese
This is my go-to dinner recipe right now – I can't get enough of it! It also makes a great leftover lunch – just stick some in a container after dinner and it's ready to go to the office the next morning. I stumbled on this recipe through Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution – a viewer had submitted the recipe, and I tweaked it a bit to my liking…
Preheat oven to 425. Chop up a red and yellow bell pepper, a zucchini, and a yellow summer squash. Toss in a bowl with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet until tender and starting to brown, about 30 min. tossing halfway through.
While the vegetables are roasting, boil the orzo (whole wheat if you can find it!) until just cooked, about 7-9 minutes. Drain. Toss the orzo with the roasted vegetables, add some fresh basil,
and approximately 4 oz. goat cheese. Toss with a couple tablespoons of balsalmic vinegar.
#4: No Need for Speed
At the recommendation of a fellow blogger who is also entering the world of running, I ordered this book, which, as you can see by the title alone, offers a very "no pressure" approach to the subject of becoming a runner. The author, a now marathoner who was once an 80-pounds-overweight smoker, gives a very light hearted and down-to-Earth approach to entering the world of running. He breaks down the rocket science of cross-training, what to eat, how often and how far to run, and so many other mysteries for those of us who are just starting to understand what this running stuff is about. A very easy read, I've found a great deal of support in what he has to say. It's always nice to know you're not the only one out there who began running less than a mile, or has shin pain, or still needs the occasional walk break during a longer run.
#5. Quality Hangers
I am a lover of organization and a lover of clothes. So it makes perfect sense that closet organization would be at the top of my list as well. Prompted by a post my friend Christine wrote about closet organization, I decided to employ the tactic of hanging up all of my "day clothes" – aka anything that's not for sleeping or working out in. Everything came out of the dresser drawers and found a new home on a hanger. This meant a trip to Target to add a few more packs of the style I already had (pictured above). To me, one of the easiest ways to make a closet look tidy at first glance is to put everything on matching hangers so that everything hangs at the same level and is evenly spaced. In other words, for me, matching hangers is a non-negotiable! It's been a good amount of work to rearrange and relearn where I keep everything, but I've been amazed at how much more aware I am of what I own when it's all hanging up and easy to get to, rather than buried in the bottom of a drawer.
#6: Otter Box iPhone Case
You would think with the money I spent on an iPhone, I would be willing to invest in a decent case. But no, for the first almost year I've had mine, I've made do with a 7 dollar flimsy thing from TJ Maxx that is constantly sliding off and driving me crazy. I finally caved and when Page ordered one of these in green for himself, I told him to add a yellow one to his cart for me. I'm super excited about how much more durable and snug-fitting this new case is going to be for my phone. Plus of course the color has me turning cartwheels. Since I am a big-purse-only kind of gal, I need a bright case that I can quickly find when digging through my black hole of a bag.
You wouldn't believe how much time I spent googling random phrases trying to figure out what these little babies were called. I would see clips on TV of celebrities getting their makeup done, and they always had these little white stickers under their eyes. I always thought, how convenient would that be, particularly for doing nighttime "going out" makeup, with the smokey shadows and liners, all of which ends up as residue under your eye by the time you're done and you're stuck wiping it all off and reapplying undereye concealer? At about 10 bucks for a pack of 30, I wouldn't use these daily for my makeup (I wear mostly neutral stuff during the day, if at all), but I do love them for applying for nighttime/special events, when I tend to wear a bit more intense/colorful shadows and smudgey liners. The adhesive is very gentle (the same adhesive they use on medical supplies for new babies in the hospital) so there's no irritation to the undereye area.I bought mine on Amazon, but they are available through Sephora as well.
I think this is the only non-PRODUCT in my list of favorites, but it is a favorite thing of mine right now, nonetheless. For the longest time, I loathed swimming. Perhaps because I always seemed to try picking it up in the dead of winter, when stripping down to a swimsuit is less than appealing, and heading home in the cold with wet hair isn't exactly fun, either. Lately though, as a way to off-set my running, I've been hitting the lap lanes and really enjoying the quiet of swimming. It's a stark contrast to my iPod-thumping runs, and the fact that I have to control my breathing coming in and out of the water is helping a lot with controlling my breathing when I hit the track. I may be singing a different tune when the temps drop into the single digits, but for now, it's definitely working for me and I find myself looking forward to the days when my workout involves a trip to the pool.
I think I may have blogged about this before, but I just don't care – I LOVE this sampler set. Available through Sephora, this kit is a steal when you consider the price and just how many nice mascaras you get to sample. Yes, there have been a couple I tried once and pitched, but for the most part, I've liked or loved them all, and it's much cheaper to try them THIS way than to buy the full size version of each at an average of 25 bucks a pop.
#10: My Aasics!
When I decided to pick up running, I literally chose a shoe based on the fact that it was A) Nike brand to hold my iPod sensor, B) a cute color and C) felt good for the first ten steps I took around the shoe department. I've quickly learned that there is much more important stuff to consider if the shoe is to be for serious running. There is no one "right" running shoe out there and everyone needs something different. I tried to make my old shoes work as long as I could in the name of bucks spent, but finally realized I could wait no longer.
After changing my running form, trying ice and stretching, and switching to only cushy track running, I still was experiencing some pain in my shins. So I broke down and visited our local running store for some help. They looked at the way I stand, examined the wear and tear on my current shoes, and looked at my feet. I learned a little something I think they should broadcast to all consumers…see that grey section of sole in the center of the shoe? Regardless of the brand, grey sections of sole mean MORE support/shock absorbance and white means less. My previous shoes were entirely white soles…not good. They sent me home with these bad boys and I'm very hopeful that my shin pain is finally on the way out!
So there you have it….my "faves" for the moment! Anything you are just LOVING right now and want to share?? Post a link – one of my very favorite things about blogging is all of the things people fall in love with and recommend to others! From laundry detergent to photo printing, I've found a lot of my current favorite things thanks to recommendations from other bloggers.