May 2017 Favorites

May was the most busy month of 2017 for me so far! It's been hard to focus with life pulling me in so many different directions. I will not call it a bad month at all - I did spend a memorable week on the beach - but it has definitely had it's ups, downs and all arounds! 

Even in the midst of graduations, vacation, church activities and work deadlines, I found myself keeping notes on new favorites that I encountered this month. I always love sharing with you what I have stumbled upon, learned about, and what I am currently enjoying. 

Here are my favorites for May! 

Modcloth

modcloth may 2017 favorites

I've debated ordering from this really cool clothing site online for ages, and finally I decided to take the plunge! I was first drawn to Modcloth by their vintage-type clothing that comes in plus sizes [they also carry misses sizes]. I am drawn instantly to vintage anything, but I found out the vintage style was only a portion of what they offered! Their style is an eclectic mix of style, both casual and dressy. I especially love the prints they offer! 

 One of the tunics that I bought! Love the print!! 

One of the tunics that I bought! Love the print!! 

I ordered 2 tops and a cardigan, and I found them all to be of good quality so far. I really like that the reviews on the clothing are always detailed, honest, and often contain pictures, which is so helpful when trying to envision what something will look like on a plus size woman! 

Also worth checking out is their accessories and home sections of the site, which are always full of unique items. A lot of their things would make amazing gifts! 

The Magnolia Journal

the magnolia journal may 2017 favorites

I have been wanting to pick up the Magnolia Journal for a while. It is a new, quarterly magazine that is released by Chip and Joanna Gaines (of HGTV Fixer Upper fame) from their Magnolia brand. I mentioned in my 10 Things You Probably Don't Know About Me post that I really feel like my soul connects with Joanna Gaines. Her personality, style and lifestyle that I've been exposed to really clicks with mine, and I admire her. I love everything Chip and Joanna churn out, so I decided to pick up a copy of the magazine for some relaxing beach reading. [I love reading magazines at the beach!] I was not disappointed! 

I enjoyed everything about it - all the articles, the recipes, and the overall feel! My favorite article was about the tomatoes. It embodied summer perfectly for me, and was so informative! I want to grow some tomatoes this year!  

 Even recipes were included! 

Even recipes were included! 

I really wish that I had chosen to enjoy this sooner. I immediately subscribed! 4 magazines, one each quarter, is only $20. Or, you can subscribe for 8 magazines [2 years] for $30. Subscriptions are found here!

Mrs. Meyers Lavender Scent

 One bottle has lasted about 4 weeks!  

One bottle has lasted about 4 weeks!  

I raved in last month's favorites about the Mrs. Meyer's dish soap and my affinity for switching to natural cleaning products. This love continues with Mrs. Meyer's seemingly most popular scent - Lavender.

Travis and I very much differ on this scent. I adore it. To me, it's feminine without being too floral, and it weirdly reminds me of a delicious blue raspberry slushie. He says it burns his nose, and doesn't enjoy it all! I bought a room spray for my first Mrs. Meyer's Lavender scented purchase and he won't let me spray it anymore!

So I laid low for a while...then took a chance by buying the Lavender-scented hand soap a few weeks ago. I haven't heard any complaints from him about the scent thus far, and the container is almost out [crossing my fingers!]. 

The soap itself is so good - I wouldn't call it moisturizing, but it suds well and the scent seriously lingers. Like, big time. And if you really like the scent as I do, that is a major plus! I bought the hand soap at Kroger, and the room spray at Target. I'm pretty sure Mrs. Meyer's can also be bought on Amazon. 

 IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream 

 The travel version in the shade Light.

The travel version in the shade Light.

I've always heard great things about this foundation on Youtube, but never seriously considered buying it. Why? Because CC cream is not actually foundation, it's a color corrector, and so I didn't feel like it could possibly give me enough coverage to act as a foundation! No matter how much beauty gurus swore by it, I was just not going to spend an exorbitant amount of money on something that wasn't a full coverage foundation. But when I saw that Ulta had some travel size of this CC cream in stock earlier in the month, I just bought the lightest shade and though - what's the harm? 

Well, the harm is, you use it and you become addicted to another high-priced face product!

The claims on this CC cream is crazy. It's color correction, anti-aging, a moisturizer, and has 50+ SPF coverage - all in one tube. And although I've only been able to use it this past week [more on that in a minute], so far, I think all of the claims are or could be true. Anti-aging may be kind of hard to prove without a significant amount of use, but it does contain the peptides, collagen, antioxidants and vitamins - all known anti-aging agents. 

I got the color "Light", because "Fair" was not available in the travel size, and unfortunately the "Light" was waayyyyy too dark! But after a week at the beach, I'm a shade or two darker, and it fits much more comfortably with my complexion. It truly does hide imperfections, but I still use concealer on some of my darker spots. It leaves my face very hydrated, which I appreciate, as some foundations are really good at drying out my chin and forehead areas. 

 Left: Too Faced Born This Way foundation in Snow --  Right: IT Cosmetics CC Cream in Light

Left: Too Faced Born This Way foundation in Snow --  Right: IT Cosmetics CC Cream in Light

I'm on the fence about buying the full size of this right now. But this is definitely one that I will consider when I use up some of my other high-end foundations! 

Camera Bag

 Camera bag  and new Sony A5000 camera. Love them both! Camera strap from Amazon.

Camera bag  and new Sony A5000 camera. Love them both! Camera strap from Amazon.

I wanted really bad to get a great hand-held, point and shoot camera for my future photography and videoing for vacation, the blog, and beyond. After much trial and error, including returning 2 other cameras, Travis helped me get a Sony Alpha 5000. It is a small, mirrorless camera [new technology I presume], which features a flip screen and wifi transfer capabilities. I could go on and on about the camera, but I digress! 

I knew that to carry this expensive technology far away on vacation, I was going to have to find myself a nice camera bag to house my camera and accessories. So I turned to Etsy, and what I found was this navy and white striped bag. It fit the nautical theme I had going on in my head, was made out of true canvas, and best of all, it was on sale for being "less than perfect". Win-win-win! 

I was really impressed with the quality of the bag. And honestly, I have yet to find anything on the bag that would make it "less than perfect", and you can't beat that! 

While this one was one of a kind because it was defected, this style of bag is still available for full price on the Etsy shop, Just Get Pampered

Pepperidge Farm Milano Key Lime Cookies

                                        Key lime and chocolate...? It works! 

                                       Key lime and chocolate...? It works! 

I bought these on a whim when we were shopping for vacation snacks. Travis and I were trying to pick half way healthy things, but I saw these and I had to try them! I've always loved the original Milano cookies, and I thought, how very summer to throw key lime in something. I ate the whole package that week! It's like milano cookies went on vacation to the islands!  

The key lime taste is not over powering, and while it may seem like a weird combination to have lime and chocolate together, somehow it works! Highly recommended for a summer treat. 

Coconut Crunch Coffee

Do not get me started on how obsessed I am with deliciousness that is the Dancing Turtle Coffee Shop in Hatteras, NC, or I may never stop! Not only is this really my favorite coffee shop of all time, The Turtle [as we affectionally call it] is one of my very favorite places to be, ever. It's in my favorite Outer Banks town. The shop is super cute. The atmosphere is so island, laid back, and comfortable. The coffee - all of it I've ever tried, which is a lot - is soooooo good. DOGS RUN FREE. It is absolutely amazing!

 The coconut crunch coffee and the hand-made pottery mug that I bought at the shop during vacation.

The coconut crunch coffee and the hand-made pottery mug that I bought at the shop during vacation.

I tried the Coconut Crunch favored coffee for the first time on this trip and oh boy, is it delicious! I normally only drink either dark roast or espresso with some sort of cream, and haven't really found any flavored medium roast coffees that I favor. But apparently I had just not found the right one, because the Coconut Crunch is to die for! It packs a punch of flavor, and is so smooth, non-acidic and not bitter ... it's my new favorite! We bought a bag and brought it home with us, and Travis and I have already both made plans to buy more bags online when this one runs out! 

Or maybe we'll just have to go to Hatteras again soon? :) 

Woodhouse Day Spa

 Woodhouse Day Spa 

Woodhouse Day Spa 

Right before I got married, many moons ago, my amazing aunt and cousin [hi, Ashley!] held a bridal party for me at the local Woodhouse Day Spa. This spa is actually part of a chain of spas located across the country, which offer upscale services, beverages while you wait, robes, and other amenities. The party was my first spa experience, and while I only remember bits and pieces now, the whole experience overall was super upscale and relaxing [not to mention generous on my aunt and cousin's part!]. The only thing I remember not enjoying for myself was the massage, but it's one of those things that I don't think you will know if you like it or not until you try it! 

 Sipping on some cranberry hibiscus iced tea while enjoying my manicure. 

Sipping on some cranberry hibiscus iced tea while enjoying my manicure. 

Fast forward 11 years - I finally made reservations for myself, my Mom and my sister Lindsey this month to go to the Woodhouse Day Spa for Mother's Day. We all received The Woodhouse Signature Hand Retreat, which included a relaxing hand to elbow massage with hot stones [the best part!] and a seaweed wrap, plus the basic manicure services. It was very nice and I truly enjoyed it! I will probably never get another massage again anywhere ever [too touchy-feely, I just can't], but I am dying to try one of their pedicures with reflexology in the future! 

 True Crime Garage

 You can find True Crime Garage on  the Apple Podcast app. 

You can find True Crime Garage on  the Apple Podcast app. 

Leave it to my husband to get me into something like this! I am one of those people who is fearful of everything that is dark, but true crime stories and crime analyzing is something that I am equally fascinated and horrified by. Travis found this podcast on a whim, introduced it to me, and we have been hooked ever since. Although I refuse to listen to it at night or alone, it is totes interesting when you need to pass time in the car or get sucked into something to remove you from your present activity. We listened to this almost all the way to and from vacation last week! 

In each podcast episode, a pair of friends goes over a murder or disappearance case - usually with unresolved ends - and picks it apart piece by piece. They lay out the crime, all the facts, the rumors, and the many twists and turns that true crime frequently takes. They then give their honest opinions about the crime, how it occurred, how it was handled, and what solutions are possible to resolve the cases. They do a mix of popular and lesser-known crimes, which keeps the content more interesting. Most cases are over multiple episodes. 

If you are into crime stories or mysteries, I recommend this. Be warned - there are sometimes graphic descriptions, and while they are respectful of victims, they can be blunt. Every now and then some foul language pops up, and they also "drink beer" while they discuss the cases [which I'm not sure is actually true, but you know, ambiance], and so if you are opposed to any of that nonsense, stay away. But otherwise, the content is meaty and I believe the content is relevant to the world we live in today. As much as I am fearful of true crime as reality, it's always better in my eyes be educated than ignorant, and hearing about how these crimes happened, why they were committed, etc., is a type of educational experience. 

 First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser 

 My new favorite cleanser! 

My new favorite cleanser! 

For transparency [like it really matters, but ya know], I actually began using this face wash a couple of months ago. In the past, I have used Purity Made Simple by Philosophy face cleanser religiously, and while I thought it was my favorite, this one has now surpassed it! After I use this, it really feels like my face is clean, but not dried out in the least bit. I have had some smaller, surface acne to appear, and after washing with this cleanser, the next morning it was gone! It's $20 for a decent size tube, but you only have to use a very small amount to get results. It's worth it. 


This concludes my May favorites! Can't believe we are nearly half way through 2017! 

I would love for you to share your favorite items in the comments below! Or, if you've used any products, places, or things that I've raved about, let me know what your thoughts are!