Lately it seems like I have been recommending products to people left and right, so I thought instead I would periodically do an update of some of my favorite things on my blog.
FYI I am not getting paid if you click on any of these links and I’m not getting paid to blog about these items. Consider this a product PSA.
5 Favorite Grocery Items
TAZO Cocoa Mint Maté tea
Cocoa and mint are always a good combination, and they go nicely with the slightly bitter yerba maté. Try this if you’re addicted to hot chocolate, need an afternoon pick-me-up, or want a different flavor combo.
Swanson Organic Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is basically magic in a jar. You can use it for just about anything. I mostly use it topically for dry skin. It makes your skin super-soft, and it’s one of the only oils that actually permeates the skin. For a while I washed my face with it, but it wasn’t the right kind of oil for me (I switched if you’re interested). However, it’s a great makeup remover, and it makes your eyelashes strong (as well as your fingernails). I use it to fill up Barney’s KONG. I put a dab in my tea every morning because it supposedly is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, so it should help with my gut healing process. There are a million more things this magic stuff does. If it’s not obvious, you can cook with it too.
Dogswell Happy Hips Jerky Bars
Barney just turned seven, and he’s had some issues with arthritis and his back. Instead of picking up his usual treats, I opted to try these treats. Not only are they ridiculously fishy — which isn’t a selling point to me, but it is to Barney — these treats are made from only ingredients I would feed myself. They also have supplements to help his joints. He has been jumping all over stuff lately, and I can’t tell if it’s because he is just REALLY excited about life, or because these treats are helping him feel better. Either way, he thinks they are delicious. We have also tried the sweet potato ones. Those are a bit more chewy and last longer than the jerky treats.
Good Karma Unsweetened Flax Milk
I’m allergic to nuts, rice, and pretty much every other dairy substitute. I’ve heard things about soy and hormones, and soy and digestive health, so I stay away because I already have problems with both those things. I don’t drink regular milk because lactose messes with my digestion. So thank the good lord to whoever came up with flax milk. Good Karma is one of the only brands that sells the flax milk I can drink (with no additives I’m allergic to). They also sell a flax protein milk, but it has pea protein in it, and I’m allergic to peas.
4 Best Beauty Buys
LUSH Cosmetics Lipstick
Ever wanted a lipstick that stays on for hours and doesn’t feel cakey and nasty? Me too. I never, ever wear lipstick because it dries out my lips and is gone in minutes. I’ve tried stains and everything — nothing works — that is until I found LUSH’s lipstick. This stuff does not budge! It conditions your lips too. The brush makes the formula really easy to apply without mistakes, and you can apply as much or as little as you want. Put on a second coat for really opaque color. Bonus: LUSH only sells products that are fair trade, organic, and not tested on animals. They don’t put a bunch of crap in their packaging either — it’s all biodegradable. This lipstick is a bit pricey, but if you buy a color you’ll wear every day, it’s totally worth it.
Julep nail color
Speaking of not budging, who wants a nail color that doesn’t chip the same day you put it on your nails? Julep has that. Their colors rotate based on season so they are always fresh and new. Their polishes are a bit pricey, but you can sign up to be a “maven” and get a discount. I have yet to do that, but I don’t paint my nails that often.
LUSH Cosmetics Sonic Death Monkey body wash (RIP)
I don’t know why I’m putting this in here. I bought the last four bottles of Sonic Death Monkey. Not even kidding. I saw that it was starting to sell out and I know that LUSH only makes so much of each of their products, so I bought four bottles from the UK shop. However, they said that they would be doing something different with their retro line, so maybe this scent will come back?
All of LUSH’s body washes suds up really easily, and the fragrance (which is in the form of essential oils mostly) stays on your skin all day. I bought Mark “Tramp” and ended up buying him a HUGE bottle of it because it smells. so. sexy. I just can’t …
I’m also a big fan of Snow Fairy. It smells pink.
LUSH Cosmetics Eyes Right mascara
This mascara is expensive, but it is so worth the extra dough. It doubles as a liquid eyeliner if you have an eyeliner brush. I’ve made near-perfect cat eyes by using this mascara as an eyeliner. The only downside is if you’re weird about touching your eyes, the brush might be a bit scary since it’s short. Eyes Right has less packaging than regular mascara, and since it’s in a shorter package, the mascara doesn’t dry out so dang fast. The biggest downside is that this isn’t waterproof, but LUSH’s formula doesn’t run like a regular mascara. It’s somewhere between a waterproof and regular mascara. I don’t have smudging issues with it, but if it rains or I sweat too much, it does run.
3 Places I Frequent in Ames
Wheatsfield is a bunch of friendly people getting together to bring you some of the best local and organic food you can find. I buy all my groceries there and have been a member since 2011. Wheatsfield recently became a gallery space for local artists, so that’s an added bonus for my grocery trip. Wheatsfield offers classes, they have product tastings, and they also have local events. Great food, great people, great co-op.
I don’t drink much coffee, but I am a big fan of coffee shops. Arcadia roasts their own beans, makes their own syrups, and bakes very interesting pastries. Mark and I used to go to Arcadia Café once a week for coffee and a scone. It’s a cute little shop run by nice people. My favorite drink is the London Fog (Earl Grey latté). Arcadia is one of two places in town that can make a soy latté actually foam.
Vinyl Café is located in downtown Ames and it’s a combination coffee shop and record store. I have not had Vinyl Café’s coffee, but I have bought a TON of records from them. The thing I like most about this record shop, vs. some of the other ones I’ve gone to (every one has its charms) is that they will let you go through the pile of new (to them) records before they have a chance to price them. I found a mint-condition vintage Iron Maiden record in Vinyl Café’s pile last time and they gave it to me for $10 (worth at least $50-75). They have even given us discounts at the register for being such good customers (i.e. dropping $100 or more at a time).
2 Modes of Entertainment
Parks and Recreation
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If you haven’t watched Parks and Recreation … just do it. It’s kind of like a heartwarming version of The Office. Plus, I kind of think Chris Pratt and Mark look a bit alike, so …
Oh, and not one cast member isn’t likeable. Just try and not like them.
My Horizontal Life
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I never thought I’d endorse anything by Chelsea Handler, but I enjoyed this book. Yes, it was a raunchy look at her sex life, but it was also about her figuring out what she wants in life, which is kind of a nice thing for me to read about since I’m doing the same thing.
1 Sweet way to Sweat
I’ve been digging simple workouts: running, biking, circuit training. Nothing super complicated. I like a list of 6-8 moves that I can easily remember. I’ve been loving my Lumberjack workout (I started w/ 25 reps, and am now on 35 reps of each — working up to 100).
Well, those are just a few of the things I’m loving right now. Tell me, what are a few of your favorite things?