Sometimes I come across a product through Instagram, Facebook, blogs, or honestly just by happenstance. Often times I want to share these things with people because I really do love them and feel that they improve my life. However, they don't really warrant a blog post all on their own (though honestly some could). So I've decided the last weekend of each month I will round up 5 things that I am loving at that particular moment and share them. Wherever possible I have put a link so that you can find it. "Things I love" are not just physical items, they can be recipes, songs, playlists, quotes, even places to visit, in addition to books, clothing, makeup, home decor, anything and everything! What better month to start rounding up the things I love than the month of love, February. If you do try something on the list, I'd love to hear about it! Even better, I'd love to see it. I'm going to start using #gmloves (as in Grace and Maura Love's) so I'd LOVE it if you'd share your favorite things on social media using the hashtag too! Okay enough babbling, here's this month's round up (these are in no particular order, just what I'm loving at this exact moment).
Amazon farmhouse bicycle pillow
*This post may contain affiliate links. I only link products I love.
1. Farmhouse Bicycle Pillow: I bought this pillow off of Amazon about a year ago. I had purchased a Christmas pillow off of Amazon and was really impressed with the quality (I had had my doubts); I decided to try my luck again. I was in that weird space between Christmas and Spring, and since the house was new, I didn't have a lot in the way of decor yet. I decided I thought bicycles would be a cute Springtime theme and I did a search for bicycle pillow. There are a ton that pop up when you do that, but this caught my eye. It was priced well (I paid $6) and the reviews were good. It was neutral so I could use it with whatever accent color I decided on. You can't beat the quality on this pillow case for the money. I've had it for a year, and it has gotten a bit softer than when I first received it (I don't see that as a negative) but otherwise it's held up great. The color is a light beige and it closes with a zipper. The zipper is actually good quality and hasn't stuck or pulled at all. I absolutely love the design and I get a lot of compliments on it. I've started to amass some seasonal cases and I just swap them out over the throw pillows instead of buying all new pillows each season. For example, I have this pillow case covering a fall pumpkin pillow. The material is thick enough that you can't see anything through it. Cases instead of whole pillows saves money and its easier to store a pillow case than an entire throw pillow. I think the reason I love it is that it really reminds me of Spring while it's still cold and dreary here in New England. Now I just need to find a real life bicycle to match!
You are a badass by jen sincero
2. You are a Badass: I admit I'm not a big "self-help" book person. In fact, I usually can't stand them. My friend Kathleen gave me this book after a long talk over wine one night. She said it really spoke to her and since I trust her judgement, I gave it a whirl. I just finished it last week and I LOVED it. It's not going to be for everyone but it really illuminated some things for me that I realize are problem behaviors. There is some great, practical advice in here. Honestly though, it's more of a "kick in the pants" kind of book; which I prefer. While it does advocate for appreciating yourself and self-care; it also isn't afraid to get real. It really made me think about where some of my thoughts around money, relationships, and my outlook on life come from. Again, it's not going to be for everyone, but it said what I needed to hear at this exact moment in my life. I recommend the audiobook. My first time through, I read the physical book, but this past week I've "read" it again through the audiobook while cleaning my house. It's read by the author and I think that really adds to the experience. I should note there is some shall we say "blunt" language in it (I mean look at the title); so if that's not your deal you may not enjoy it, but I liked it's directness. There's a ton of great nuggets, but here are a few that spoke to me:
“If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.”
“It never ceases to amaze me the precious time we spend chasing the squirrels around our brains, playing out our dramas, worrying about unwanted facial hair, seeking adoration, justifying our actions, complaining about slow Internet connections, dissecting the lives of idiots, when we are sitting in the middle of a full-blown miracle that is happening right here, right now.
We're on a planet that somehow knows how to rotate on its axis and follow a defined path while it hurtles through space! Our hearts beat! We can see! We have love, laughter, language, living rooms, computers compassion, cars, fire, fingernails, flowers, music, medicine, mountains, muffins! We live in a limitless Universe overflowing with miracles! The fact that we aren't stumbling around in an inconsolable state of sobbing awe is appalling.”
“You aren’t a better person for feeling guilty or bad about yourself, just a sadder one”
“Get over it. Let it go. The longer you stay attached to being vindicated, the longer they hang around in your consciousness, stinking up your life.”
You get the idea, there's a ton of quote's but also some actionable plans. It's really made me think more about gratitude and attitude (and apparently rhyming) and I promise you it isn't all "you are perfect" it's closer to "you are not perfect, so stop obsessing and love what you've got" kind of thing. Basically, it taught me that I'm a badass; but don't roll your eyes, because you are too.
L'Oreal paris Voluminous Lash Paradise
3. L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise: I have been wearing the same mascara for almost two decades. No not the same tube, that would be gross (although if I'm being honest I don't change it as often as I should, but you don't either so don't make me feel bad). I bought it because it's what my mom bought and apparently I think of makeup the way most people think of detergent (buying Tide because their mom bought Tide, or whatever). My sister got "Too Faced: Better Than Sex" mascara for Christmas. Despite having an awkward name, I tried it and I loved it. I had no idea that mascara could do that. So I decided after a good twenty year run, I needed kick my blue tube to the curb. What I didn't love though was the price. While Too Faced's mascara was amazing it was also around $23. My little blue tube is about $6. Luckily around the same time I saw three different bloggers recommend Lash Paradise and also found an article in a magazine recommending the dupe. I decided to give it a try. Lash Paradise is around $10 a tube (still more than what I normally spend, but I recognize that I was being cheap). I bought it in "Mystique Black" but they have a whole range from brown-blackest black. It was seriously the best $10 I've ever spent. I couldn't even tell the difference between this and the Too Faced option. To say it elongates my lashes is an understatement, I think it doubles their length. It doesn't flake and it makes me look more awake and refreshed. I am in love with it, and I can't recommend it enough!
jazz vibes on spotify
4. Spotify's Jazz Vibes Playlist: I've been LOVING this playlist lately. You can ask my poor friend Dennis who is always on the receiving end of "you should try this playlist" texts that I love a good playlist to set the mood. I've been finding some good one's lately, but this takes the cake. I usually go for something with a Jazz base for entertaining, which is why the name intrigued me. It is actually more instrumental hip-hop though with a hint of jazz thrown in. I know that sounds strange but it works. Picture a sleek, trendy, and sexy hotel lobby (I don't know just go with it); that's what this playlist sounds like. It's perfect for getting work done, but it's even better for a dinner party or the background of a cocktail party. Check it out if you're looking for some background music the next time you're entertaining. It will set the perfect mood!
Target's new universal thread line
5. Target's new Universal Thread line: It's like Free People but cheaper. I haven't tried the jeans yet, but I did get a T-shirt, two sweaters, and some shoes and I'm obsessed with all of them. They're super comfy and cute. I've been living in their Open Layering Cardigan since I bought it two weeks ago. I got it in the olive color and it's perfect for right now. Warm and cozy with a hint of Spring. It drapes in just the right way and the fabric breaths while it keeps you warm (if that makes sense?).
I bought a White Pocket-T from the collection, which I was skeptical about because they're always see through, and I've tried them from everywhere. This wasn't 100% opaque but it was definitely a tighter weave than the shirts from Gap and a few other stores I've tried. I didn't feel like I had to wear a tank under it which was a HUGE win for me. It's also really soft, and you can get it in a V-neck (which I prefer) or round, so I'm planning on buying it in a few colors.
I've been looking for a tan bootie for a while and spotted these (they're called the Autumn Braided Cut Out Fashion Boot) while I was buying light bulbs (don't ask how I ended up in the shoe aisle when the light bulbs are on the other side of the store...it was an accident). I was unsure of how comfortable they would be, since I stand all day at work, I'm always afraid of inflaming my arches in the name of fashion. These were comfortable though. I think they're just trendy enough and I've been wearing them walking everywhere and haven't had any discomfort. The only downside is that you can't wear socks with them because there is a cut-out on the side, which in New England can make for cold toes, but the cut-out is also what makes them cute so I guess you have to sacrifice something. They had some other cute booties in the collection, but I thought these ones were fun while still being practical. I think you could easily pair them with a dress or jeans. I'm excited to see what else this line will have as the seasons change.
So that's it, that's what I'm loving right now. I'm happy to answer questions about any of it! If you try anything, let me know!