April 2017 Favorites
April has been kind to me! Spring arrived, I spent time with friends and family, lost 5 pounds, bought a new camera [it arrives next Thursday, eek!!!], made my blog public and just generally enjoyed life. I feel very blessed!
Here are a few of my new favorite things that I discovered this month....
I picked up this beautiful Bible on an impulse [on Girl's Shopping Day]. I had learned about the She Reads Truth Bible on Instagram stories, and immediately loved it, but did not really plan on getting one. Of course, though, when I saw them sitting them out on the shelf at Lifeway, I just had to have one. #shoppingaddiction
I chose the gray hardcover edition, which was the cheapest, since I wasn't for sure how much I would actually end up using it. I wish I would have sprung for the pricier gray linen cover with the tab index. I later realized looking at my receipt that they were on sale and I could have gotten the gray linen without extra cost. UGH! Regret!
Anyhoo, whatever the cover you might like [there's 5 different ones], or whether or not you want a tab index, this is an amazing Bible. I can't say enough great things about it!
I always read my Bible on my phone using the YouVersion app, or whatever verses or chapters were on the First 5 App, that I talked about in last month's favorites. But there is something about having a tangible Bible to study from that makes the reading and studying experience more....authentic? [Am I the only one???] This one is a good size, and while a little bulky to maneuver, its aesthetic more than makes up for it.
This Bible is written in the Christian Standard Bible translation. There is a lengthy explanation in the front of the Bible about why this version was chosen and how this translation came into existence, which I appreciated. While I grew up with the King James Version, and still love it for its poetic words, I can personally glean more from this translation. The reading seems more clear, yet feels like it was written educationally and without pretense. While I haven't done my own research about CSB in particular, I can for sure tell you that if you don't know the history behind the different translations of the Bible, I would really suggest doing some research. It was very eye opening for me.
The Bible is specifically targeted to women, which I prefer. The print is on the small side, but the font and the illustrations are so modern and clean. There are so many helpful maps, and historical info, including a run down of each book of the Bible. There are a couple different "read through the Bible" plans included. Devotionals are scattered throughout. It's chock full of helpful spiritual and educational material!
I'm so glad I decided to purchase this. I think this would absolutely make an amazing gift for Mother's Day, graduations and birthdays.
I'm going to be real - the only reason that I bought this was because I was shopping at TJ Maxx, needed dish soap, and this was the only thing that they had and I did not want to go to another store just for dish soap. Don't tell me you've never done the same!
But both Travis and I were very surprised at how powerful this was. Mrs. Meyer's is an all natural, plant based, eco-friendly line of cleaning products. I love the concept of eco-friendly cleaning, but I just have a hard time believing sometimes that the all natural products are actually getting things clean. Imagine our surprise when we found out it was as good as any Dawn we had ever used! I even made the decision to repurchase it. The cranberry scent from TJ Maxx smelled like a cranberry scone, but it was a holiday release that seemed to be sold out everywhere, so I settled for the spring-like Lemon Verbena scent. It makes the dishes sparkle. Definitely a new favorite. It feels good using less chemicals!
Nearly every night I watch Youtube on my TV in my bedroom, mainly makeup and beauty videos. My current favorite beauty guru is Thataylaa. She's authentic, a little edgy, and seems like a very down-to-earth person. My favorite thing about her content is that she is pale-skin friendly when it comes to makeup looks and reviews. My skin is a lot like hers in shade, type and texture. It is so helpful and refreshing to learn great makeup products and ways of application that I can actually use!
One of the other things that I really like about her is that she uses her channel to promote a good cause. She is an advocate for an organization called Project Beauty Share, which donates gently used makeup and toiletry items to women's shelters in Washington state. Support for this organization came about through one of the series she created and that she does every few months on her channel, 15 Days of Foundation. 15 Days of Foundation is a full application and wear test on a different foundation every day, for 15 days. It is so fun to watch what works and what doesn't!
The third-ever 15 Days of Foundation aired this month, and the series just keeps getting better. I looked forward to her reviews every evening, and I was sad when it was over! Here is a playlist if you are interested...
One day a couple weeks ago, Travis called me while he was picking up a few things at Kroger, and asked what kind of coffee k-cups he should get. I answered with my standard, "I don't know", and then he said, "hmm....blueberry". I immediately made an "ick" face - although he couldn't see it - but he said he was getting it to try out. I had some dark roast left, so I did not protest. But out of this whimsical decision came one of my new favorite k-cups!
I always drink dark roast in k-cups, ALWAYS. The more like espresso it tastes, the better. But this coffee is very much a different experience. It tastes and smells like you are eating a blueberry scone and sipping coffee at the same time. It's a new staple at our house!
This favorite is really hard to justify, because it's not the best liquid lipstick I've ever used. I really prefer Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, but it is so pricey! The liquid catsuit lipsticks are just $4.99 - and for that price tag, it is worth it! I had bought the "Nudie Patootie" shade last month [also shown above], but it did not make it on my favorites list. It seemed to wear off around the edges of my lips pretty easily, and also dried them out a bit. Because I'm a glutton for punishment, I bought the berry shade a couple weeks ago, and I love it so much more! It is a purple hued berry - not too pink, and not too awfully bright. It dries down and does not transfer, and it stays on for a decent amount of time, even after eating and drinking. I am now very curious to try other colors to see what may perform as well as this shade has.
For Valentine's Day, in lieu of flowers, I asked Travis to buy me the Philosophy Amazing Grace perfume and firming body emulsion. I felt like I smelled like a dream, but unfortunately, he thought it smelled like sewer. And after I'd already gotten so many compliments! I don't get it, but there's really not much worse than when your husband thinks you smell like sewer.
So the hunt for a new perfume was on. I wanted something that wasn't too expensive, and I scoured online and looked at discount stores like TJ Maxx and Gordmans. It was hard to choose, because I tried to find something that I would like, but that Travis could stand. Coach Poppy had a good mix between sweet [which he likes] and floral [which I wanted]. It's strong and lingers for a while, like a true "parfum" should. I have been pleased with my purchase and no complaints from the hubby department! The Poppy line - after a good, long run - is not being produced by Coach anymore, but it's still widely available online and at discount department stores, such as TJ Maxx, Kohls, etc.
I use the Amazing Grace products during work days, and still love and recommend them!
Recliners in the Theater
I live in a small town, and all of our movie theaters here are nice [we even have a drive in!], but they are "home grown". No chain theaters here, which is perfectly fine. But we really wanted to try the Regal Hamburg Pavilion Stadium 16 & RPX in Lexington because we heard they had recliners as seats. We did not regret it - they are so comfortable! Since the tickets are on par with our local theater, we'll be going back for some of the new releases we want to see!
For Christmas, Travis bought me a Nespresso VerturoLine machine. It makes both coffee and espresso with a distinct brewing process that creates a richer, more full coffee. It's highly used in Europe and known as a more authentic coffee experience. And of course, because my tastes swing upscale sometimes, I really felt like this was really for me and my love for dark, bold coffee.
I say "felt" because I have some mixed feelings now. This may come out in a future review post, so I'm just going to leave it at that.
But what is indisputable is my love for the Hazelino coffee. Basically, Hazelino is a fancy title for Hazelnut coffee. And while I don't tend to lean towards Hazelnut every day, I really enjoy the taste of the coffee in these pods. It is nutty, rich and has a hint of caramel in the notes. It's what I go for if I am at home and actually want to sit, sip and enjoy drinking a cup of coffee. Really, that is what the entire Nespresso experience is all about.
Sometimes you just need a good game to play on your phone, you know? I get bored so easily in everyday life, and apps on my phone create the greatest distraction for my brain, and the repetitive movement helps when I am having anxiety problems.
Although I enjoy a nice round of Candy Crush every now and then, I mostly like the word games. I am using more brain power, so it's like a constructive distraction. Alphabetty was a favorite for a long time. But then I stumbled upon Word Cookies, and it is far superior!
I never thought that an app would have three of my favorite things in it - word games, a baking cookies theme, and it also involves a dog. Go figure!
Word Cookies is free, but I bought the "ad-free" version for $1.99 - I was playing it so much, and the ads got super annoying! You use scrambled letters to create words. Fill in all the blanks to progress to the next level. The concept is simple enough, but now I'm getting into much more complicated territory the more levels I conquer! it's highly recommended if you are into game apps.
Did you find anything new, fun or helpful this month that has become a favorite? Let us know below!
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