February Favorites 2016

Last month on YouTube I started sharing "monthly favorites" videos. These are popular on YouTube and I love to watch them - most of the time the people I watch are recommending beauty products, with assorted household goodies and some wearables, and it turns out that's mostly what I have to share as well. This month - and hopefully from here on out - I'm adding a "cookbook of the month" recommendation and I'm pretty excited about that, because I have a shelf of great cookbooks that I definitely need to use more! 

The full video is embedded above, but if you just want the products and highlights of why I love each one, here's a list for you! 

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46: my dermatologist suggested I use this, and it is now my favorite facial sunscreen ever. (Ever ever!) It calms my sensitive skin, protects from sun damage, and feels good not gross. A+
Aveda Pure Abundance Style Prep: love this on non-shampoo days (sooooo... most days) to freshen the roots of my hair and add volume without residue or flakes.
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer: this stuff just works. If you've got serious dark circles and want a full-coverage concealer, give it a try!
Zero UV Sunglasses: silly but cute. Now that I am wearing contacts some days I love having the option to try inexpensive sunglasses! Yes, I know that it's a little silly that one of my favorite things about contacts is I can wear a different type of glasses. (I am vast, contain multitudes, etc. Actually I just like glasses.)
Project Life 6X8 Album (fits A5 planner inserts!): these have two rings that align perfectly with the center holes in the three-hole groups of A5 planner inserts. I'm now using this album to store my extra planner dashboards, bookmarks, and weekly pages for future months that I don't want to carry around with me. Cute, inexpensive, and practical!
Afro Vegan, by Bryant Terry: delicious vegan recipes with African, Caribbean, and Southern flavors. Flavors are fresh and vibrant, and showcase the ingredients so well. I would not say this is a beginner cookbook but if you enjoy cooking and want some great new vegan recipes, definitely check this out! Everything I've made so far I've ended up making more than once because the food is tasty.

(These are Amazon Affiliate links above.)

That's it for February - I hope you've had a great month, and if you try anything on the list above please do let me know. Also, if you have any new and delicious cookbook recommendations (don't have to be vegan - I like all kinds of good food!), please leave a comment - I'd love to hear them!

Life right now: July 2014

Our little houseplant corner, with African violets, a spider fern, and the succulent propagation station.

Our little houseplant corner, with African violets, a spider fern, and the succulent propagation station.

Right now we're solidly into summer and I'm: 

Joining: Bloglovin'. I have used (and enjoyed) Feedly as an RSS reader ever since Google Reader shut down, but have heard great things about Bloglovin' as well, so I'm dipping my toe in to check it out. I'm supposed to put a specific link in a new post to claim my blog there sooooo --->

Growing: houseplants! One thing that bookmarking things on Pinterest has helped me realize is that a home filled with light and plants is my ideal, but unfortunately I've had mediocre luck keeping houseplants alive and thriving. (Ok, ok, I can kill a cactus.) During my visit with my family last month, I had a chat with my brother Brian (who, like everyone in my family but me, has a very green thumb) about succulents and houseplants in general, and he helped me realize I was equating "nice sunny East window" with "full sun outside" and that is just never going to set up my poor little plants for success. So I googled houseplants that were both hard to kill and non-toxic to dogs, and got myself a Boston fern and two spider plants (in addition to the air plants I made the embroidery hoop display for). I also picked up two African violets because they are so pretty and remind me of my grandmother, who always has them. I'm using a spray mister to keep the plants happily humid and everything. Project Houseplant is a go!

Seeking: good gardening blogs, especially from folks with lovely desert gardens and people with lots of houseplants. Got any recs? 

Loving: these totebags from Emily McDowell. Perfect for carrying groceries and shit.

Eating: so much chicken salad - definitely having a phase right now. I've been making a really basic version (dill, celery, mayo, salt + pepper... and chicken of course) but feel like I should branch out and try some variations. Recipe links welcome and appreciated!

Using: A Better Queue - this site lets you find movies available on Netflix as you filter by Rotten Tomatoes rating, genre, year made - aaah so useful. 

Looking: forward to the weekend!