Hello, and Happy New Year! In appreciation of your readership, and in the spirit of the season coming to a close I was hoping to declare you get a car, and you get a car, and you get a car! But then I remembered that I’m Amber, not Oprah, so instead I’ll share my list of favorite things that you can acquire for yourself. We all win that way! Break out those Christmas gift cards and store credits, because here are some of my favorite things! Bonus: some of the items are completely free, and will only require an investment of time.
- e.l.f. cosmetics Instant Lift Brow Pencil: I am usually a little behind in realizing that certain physical features matter, or to say are really “in”, and it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I realized eyebrows were a thing. The unfortunate thing is that I don’t have any! So, this brow pencil is a game changer for me in creating small believable brows. It’s super easy to use, my brows really do look much better after using it, and it only costs $2!
- Too Faced Cosmetics Hangover Rx Replenishing Face Primer: Anytime I use this primer I get compliments on looking especially nice that day. No joke, last week I was out to dinner with a friend, and the waitress actually asked me about my skin care routine as a compliment. I was on cloud 9! It was later that I realized I had used the primer that day. I don’t use it everyday, because apparently I don’t like looking my best, lol, but when I do it really makes a difference.
- The public library: I love reading. Reading is my favorite. But books are expensive, so the public library has been a savior to me. If I buy a book at the store I sometimes feel guilty for reading too quickly, but I never feel that way when I’ve used the library. Also, I can order the books online that I want to read, and when they arrive at my local branch I get an e-mail. I pull up to the curb, Jordan runs in, and 30 seconds later I have my books in hand. It’s amazing!
- Trader Joes’ Garlic Spread and Dip: I can take this down a tub at a time. I prefer it on pita bread, but I assume it would also taste amazing one spoonful at a time. Shout out to Kendra for introducing me to it, and for feeding me a tub at every playdate.
- Spanx leather leggings: I just got these and I’m obsessed. They are so so comfortable, and I love how the high rise holds it all in after a tub of garlic dip (see above). They look so cute with boots and a sweater, or with a t-shirt and sneakers. Shout out to Rese for wearing these when I saw you last so that I could realize that I needed a pair. Shout out to Bridget for twinning with me for all likely occasions in early 2019. I have my eye on a second pair with a white racing stripe down the side. So Sporty Spice!
- Project Runway: This is still my favorite tv show of all time. I have watched every episode of all 16 seasons, all 6 seasons of All Stars and both seasons of Juniors. It is so inspiring to me, and I feel such a desire to create when I’m through with an episode. I hate that it takes approximately 14 years for each season to be made, and am already mourning that it will soon be coming to an end. Tim, Nina and Heidi have a major place in my heart for all time. The next time you need a dose of inspiration to be creative, this is the show you need to watch. All Stars season 7 starts tomorrow!!!
- Call the Midwife: Need a good cry? Then Call the Midwife is just what you need. This show is just so beautiful. I ripped through the first few seasons the final month of pregnancy and while nursing a newborn; and of course sobbed right on top of the baby’s head each time. Trust me; it’s so good! It’s time for you to head to Netflix and get the party started.
- The Naked Bee Moisturizing Hand and Body Lotion: This lotion has all of the good stuff: organic aloe vera and sunflower oil, honey, hyaluronic acid and spirulina, and none of the bad stuff: parabens, gluten, dyes, pigments, mineral oils, drying alcohol or animal cruelty and it smells amazing. Shout out to Becky (aka mom) for introducing me to it, and shout out to my hubby for swiping a full tube when we visited mom at Thanksgiving because he thought it was mine. I call that a win!!
- A new blank notebook, like those by May Designs or Oh Joy: I love acquiring paper goods. I don’t have a particular favorite brand, but there are so many adorable notebooks and journals out there now. I love making lists, and I love remaking lists into a new notebook. I have a list of current books read, books I want to read, goals for life, goals for the season, goals for the year, home improvement ideas, fashion ideas, blog ideas, branding ideas. I make notes on podcasts, notes on sermons, notes on books. A brand new notebook and a cute pen is a really simple gift idea. Also in this category is a daily planner. There is nothing like crossing off a list of accomplishments each day. I love setting up my calendar each year, and carry it with me everywhere. The Simplified Planner is so cute and user friendly.
- Tokyo Wako Teppan Steak: This is literally the best food item in the world. A butter-softened fillet cooked on a table top grill, served with friend rice, zucchini, ginger-dressed salad and miso soup. So. So. So. So. good. If you are local to Long Beach, the prices are less than Benihana, and the hubs and I can split a meal and get genuinely full.
- Reformer Pilates: In all of my life, and in all of my physical adventures there has never been a workout that I find more enjoyable. It is such a good full body workout, and really fun at the same time. Most big chain gyms do not offer it, but there are lots of adorable studios out there.
- Message Boards: These message boards make such a cute addition to any decor. There are multiple kinds: I have one with pop in letters, but Jordan has one with letter tiles that light up. We use them to write a custom message for each season. You can write things that are inspirational or humorous. The possibilities are endless. They are also a cute affordable gift idea.
I do love all of the above so so much, but my most favorite things are date nights with my hubby, cuddles with my babies, and laughter with my friends. Unfortunately those are not for sale, but I know we all have our own tribes to love and cherish, so make sure you do lots of those things in 2019. Thank you embarking on my writing journey with me in 2018, and I appreciate your readership for the year to come. Happy New Year!