Things I Like – Spring 2015 Edition

Just a few things that have made me smile lately…

Chemex

Oh goodness. Where do I begin? I have always had a great appreciation for coffee. However, in these last few months, that appreciation has blossomed into a full-blown love affair. I have nothing against your regular drip machines, your french presses (I still use one!), your nespresso machines or keurigs. But please. We’re talking about next-level coffee here. Pourover coffee (pourover is the method) results in coffee that is full-bodied, smooth, and free of bitterness. Plus, it’s a beautiful piece of equipment.

Mossimo Supply Co. Layla Sneaker

Casual and easy. That sums up my style right now. In the last few weeks ago I’ve taken it upon myself to clean out my closet and adopt a “Capsule Wardrobe.” For me, that means a few skinny/slim bottoms, v-neck t-shirts, popovers and various flats that all mix-and-match with ease.

So enter these sneakers. I love them for two reasons – first, they have a nautical feel to them which is perfect for where I live. Second, they are a steal! I bought them last week for $14. Since they are white, I know they will probably only last a season or two before they need to be retired to “yard” shoes. At that price, I’m okay with that. (I did spray a few coats of ScotchGuard on them in an attempt to extend their life.) Thus far I’ve worn them with rolled boyfriend-style jeans, skinny chinos, and some navy shorts. I plan on wearing these all summer when flip-flops won’t do and I don’t want to wear ballet flats.

Succulents!

To be honest, these are a perennial favorite. I love how versatile they are, and how easy they are to care for. And since my free-time is very limited these days, low-maintenance is key. California is also experiencing a severe water shortage, so these drought-friendly plants are great right now.

I have them placed inside my house as centerpieces on my tables, and all over my patio. I love them!

Duolingo

I LOVE this app! I studied Italian in college, spent time in Italy a few times, and have made a concerted effort to speak the language. However, in the last few years that has fallen to the wayside. This app is great because it allows me to practice daily with short, to-the-point exercises. The app itself has many languages available and comprises exercises thatspan from translating to speaking the phrases yourself. It will also send you a daily reminder to complete your exercises.

After only a few days, my Italian is noticeably better!

Here’s a screenshot:

There you have it!

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Things I Like – Spring 2013 Edition

Well, it’s been quite the hot minute since I last wrote, hasn’t it? I thought I’d make it until May before inspiration struck again, but alas, here I am. And here are a few things that have been occupying my thoughts/time as of late:

Le Pen

Everything is better in color, right? These sleek, colorful pens are amazing. I’ve been filling up my calendar with them, writing shopping lists, and doodling with these pens for days now. And every day I like them a little more. Bonus points for not smudging – a MUST for lefties such a myself.

I purchased these recently from Amazon for $10. Not too bad.

The Milk Carton Kids

I absolutely cannot stop listening to these guys. Especially this song:

The Milk Carton Kids – No Hammer To Hold

The fact that they give a little shout out to Minnesota (in the snow….of course!) doesn’t hurt. But seriously, they are great. I’ve been listening to both of their albums constantly over the past few weeks. The harmony of the leads voices mixed with the gentle strumming of the guitars is in a word, mesmerizing. You need to purchase their albums and see them in concert immediately.

Romantics Anonymous

Don’t mind the English subtitles. This movie is too charming to miss out on because of a silly little language barrier. Briefly, it’s about a woman and man working in a Parisian chocolate factory. Expect plenty of beautiful shots of Paris, chocolate-making montages, and of course, romance. If you liked Chocolat or Amelie then this is a MUST. A glass of wine and a piece of chocolate while watching is highly encouraged.

Romantics Anonymous

I believe this is available on both Amazon Prime and Netflix, fyi.

(My roommate get’s credit for introducing me to this movie….so glad she found it!)

Acure Organics

Recently, I’ve been making a concerted effort to clean up my eating (think less greasy pizza, more veggies and lean proteins…on said pizza). And since I’m spending the time and money to make sure that what goes inside my body is organic and good for me, it seems only natural that the things that go on the outside should be the same. Enter Acure Organics.

I stumbled upon this line a few weeks ago at my favorite local health store, Pharmaca. This all-natural line of face and body products are free of artificial fragrances, parabens, sulfates, harmful preservatives and artificial colors. The company is family-owned and based in the US, and uses fair trade and certified organic ingredients. The most expensive product is about $30, with most products in the $10-20 range, making it very comparable to most drugstore brands (but so, so much better quality-wise). A little goes a long way with these products, and I can happily say that after about 3 weeks of using the cleanser, toner, anti-wrinkle complex and facial scrub that my face has never been smoother and healthy-looking. I recently purchased the moroccan argon stem cell shampoo and conditioner and the smell is out of this world amazing. My hair feels nice and shiny after just two washes. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this line. You can find the products online and in health food stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods.

Spring

Spring! Ain’t I original? I always say that Autumn is my favorite season, but wouldn’t you know, every time April hits I get a serious hankering to be outside all day, every day? The sun is out, flowers are blooming, and the beach is calling my name. My years in Southern California (and Arizona before that) have warmed my cold-Minnesota blood and I am truly happiest when basking in the sun. Honestly, if I could be any animal it would be a lizard. Give me a hot rock to lay out on all day and I’d be a happy camper.

I only wish  had a bigger yard so I could plant even more flowers, herbs and trees… which reminds me, has anyone successfully grown cilantro? My parsley, chives, basil, etc. are thriving but I cannot for the life of me keep cilantro alive for longer than a few weeks. Is there some secret that I’m missing???

**Please note: No one has offered me any sort of incentive to mention any of the above items. I just really, really like (LOVE) these things.

Things I Like: New Year Edition

I haven’t done one of these in a while, so this might be long. I don’t know if it’s because I”m still basking in the post-Holidays glow, but I’m reveling in all things luxury and comforting right now.

But then, when am I not?

Kindle Fire

Oh how I pitched a fit when e-book/e-readers started making their emergence. I’m a book girl! I love the touch, the smell, the experience of a book! But slowly, bookstores have started closing, making one of my favorite pastimes (Saturday/Sunday morning with a latte in the bookstore) a rare occasion. And then I found myself with a Kindle (Christmas present from amazing boyfriend) and I haven’t put it down. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself unable to sleep at 1AM, with a finished book, and BAM! I’ve got a new one with the click of a button. Also – it has wifi. I can listen to Pandora while reading or take a quick break and play on Facebook. Or Fruit Ninja…

Anyway. I love it. I’m obsessed with it. Apart from my iphone, I think it’s my favorite piece of technology/thing-I-don’t-really-need-but-don’t-want-to-live-without!

Balenciaga Paris Perfume

It’s ladylike and sophisticated, but not cloying and I love the way the scent ‘wears’ during the day. I think it might be my favorite scent. Also, the bottle is deliciously art deco. I believe it’s exclusively available at Neiman Marcus. (Note: did you know that Neimans excepts ALL credit cards now? Not just their card and American Express. Danger! Danger!)

Smoked Gouda

I’m a girl. This is Cheese. We were made for eachother.

Hello, lover.

Homemade Pizza

I add a ton of arugula/spinach and call it health food.

Also, it’s cheap. And easy.

Glitter Ballet Flats from Ann Taylor

I swear that 1) these would go with everything in my closet, 2) that I would wear them everyday and 3) they would change my life.

I’m a size  6 1/2, in case you’re wondering 🙂

P.s. Anyone have any good book recommendations? Always looking for one – especially a good historical fiction/biographies!

Things I Like Right Now: Summer Edition

Summer is in full swing and I can’t help but smile. Constantly. (Maybe it has something to do with the champagne?)

So since I’m in such a smiley mood I thought I’d share a few things I’m liking right now.

Wimbledon

Crisp whites, royal cameos, epic tennis. I love Wimbledon. It’s easily my favorite tournament of the year. I’m so sad Fed is out of the running this go around! Something about his look just screams Wimbledon to me.

Does that not personify the All-England Club?

Reminder: Must wash white pants.

Brunch

Why must brunch be relegated to Sundays? So uncivilized…

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle

I recently rediscovered this gem. My mom used to buy this when I was young and I distinctly remember that around bath time you could here my sister chanting “Aussie 3 minute miracle!” over and over. I guess it was that great. It still is. After just a few uses it’s managed to transform my straw-like hair into shiny, untangled locks. Nice.

Wedges

I am 5 feet tall. I love wedges.

Cucumber sandwiches

Peanut butter and jelly are fine. But if you really want something light and refreshing, do yourself a favor and snack on one of these.

Refreshing

That’s right: bread, butter (don’t skimp!) and sliced cucumbers. That’s it.

Insider tip: It tastes better if you cut the sandwich into triangles!

Sunflowers

sunflowers

Confession: I used to HATE sunflowers. I blame Elizabeth Arden. I think somewhere in my early teens I came upon a bottle of that perfume, or someone I know did, and it’s artificial, super sweet scent put me off of those darling, happy flowers. Luckily, today I can appreciate the simplicity of a few of these stems in a simple vase. They’re also ridiculously cheap right now.

Jergens Natural Glow Firming Lotion

In an effort to practice safe sunning, I’m trying to depend less on laying out and more on this. The smell is a little strong, but after two applications I’ve noticed a nice tan develop on my legs and it’s NOT orange. For $6 I think it’s worth a try. It also says it’s “firming.” Not sure about that, but couldn’t hurt….

Laughing Cow

To be perfectly honest, I’m ALWAYS obsessed with these.

So tell me, what are you liking right now?