Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...

I sing that as a lullaby to my Firefly every night (she's my second born and the eldest girl.  more about my children in a later post.)  I have running lists in my head all the time of my favorite things, or "thing of the day," so I figured I should share here.

It kind of makes me feel like Oprah though, to have a public favorite things list.  Before you get too excited, nobody is getting a free car. Sorry.  You can come and ride around with me in my Swagger Wagon if you want, but given that it has the blissful essence of Chick-fil-a, dirty diaper, and Febreze, that offer may not be very enticing.

Anyways.  Here are some of the things that have my current attention/undying devotion. 

1.  Anna Maria Horner's Fabrics

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  I was first introduced to Anna (pronounced Ahh-na, like in Frozen) by my sister in law, Allie, who used to work for Anna in Nashville.   I was a newlywed at the time, trying so hard to Adult, and part of that included, or so I thought, embracing a neutral color palette for everything.  All of my new Adult Friends had very tasteful homes full of beige, gray, white, and grain colors.  Throw in some dark brown for interest.  If that's your style, that's great, but it just wasn't for me, and I felt squashed by trying so hard to fit that mold.  Enter Anna. 

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  When I started reading her blog and saw all the amazingly beautiful things she made, she made me fall in love with color, and showed me how to use it in a sophisticated way.  She also had a few sewing books out, which I quickly bought and tore through.  She spoke my language.  Instead of having the designed-by-an-engineer-super-complicated patterns like you would buy at the local craft store, her instructions were more like a conversation.  The cuts were simple and the words were like having a friend sitting next to you. I was hooked and have been sewing ever since.  I'm currently working on this quilt pattern in her Folk Song line.  I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. (all images are from Anna's blog)

2.  Scrapbook Paper.

     So, I just had a baby.  A precious, sweet little spoonful of sugar that I could just hold all day long.  With the addition of a baby has been the presence of many sweet friends in our home, visiting, helping, and bringing us meals.  As I've walked people through our house and they've commented on the different decorations I have up, I've become increasingly aware that I may have an unhealthy thing with scrapbook paper.  I'm starting to admit that this is becoming as bad as my love of fabric.  (I come by it honestly.  You should see my mother's wrapping paper collection.  I think Hobby Lobby calls her when they're running low on inventory.)  With a little tape, Modge Podge, or contact paper, I'll convert just about any blank space into a paper fiesta.

   Here's the wall next to the kids' art table. This paper has great texture and each page is a European country.  

  Here's the wall next to the kids' art table. This paper has great texture and each page is a European country.  

                    Use with contact paper to hide scrapes and rust marks on appliances.  

                   Use with contact paper to hide scrapes and rust marks on appliances.  

                          Our family tree in progress. My artist husband free-handed the tree...

                         Our family tree in progress. My artist husband free-handed the tree...

                     ...then I used a paper punch for the leaves and painted them on with glue.  

                    ...then I used a paper punch for the leaves and painted them on with glue.  

     This now serves as decoration only, but this window pane used to act as a dry erase board.  

    This now serves as decoration only, but this window pane used to act as a dry erase board.  

                                       Line drawers with it. It's thick and won't roll up. 

                                      Line drawers with it. It's thick and won't roll up. 

                  Cover plain photo frames with it (I have too many of these to share here!) 

                 Cover plain photo frames with it (I have too many of these to share here!) 

                 Create bunting for a border. This is our playroom/schoolroom/teaching studio.  

                Create bunting for a border. This is our playroom/schoolroom/teaching studio.  

I'm also working on coat racks, made from 1x4's, covered with textured paper, and finished with hardware. More on those later. See? Obsessed. 

 

3. Tazo Brambleberry Tea

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"Marionberries, apples and cinnamon eschew the comforts of their respective pies for a taste of the chilled life, with leaves of calming peppermint and lemongrass as their expert guides."

First of all, this tastes gorgeous.  As in, "I want to let my hair toss in a gentle breeze while prancing through an enchanted Autumn forest with friendly rabbits and squirrels" good.

Second, let us not neglect the use of the word "eschew" (bless you.)  If you want a drink to make you feel beautiful AND eloquent, this is it.

(Do things make you feel beautiful, or is that just me?  Certain tastes, smells, colors, and textures will make me feel absolutely lovely, even when sporting unwashed hair, spit-up stains, and breakouts.)

4. Sophie Hudson

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   This girl's books and blog have me cracking up right now.  I read her late at night when nursing, only to chortle and snort with laughter, waking the baby up in the process.  She writes and speaks with a warm, gracious, honest voice that makes me miss a world I never knew.  She's so personable that I feel like I know her and her whole extended family now.  I'll try really hard not to be awkward if I ever run into her at the grocery store.

5.  Brookside Chocolate

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       When I'm pregnant, I tend to lose my taste for sweet things.  I'll eat a dessert if it's offered, but it's not something I need or even really enjoy all that much.  Then baby arrives, and chocolate and I are reunited like star-crossed lovers in a romance movie.  I spy it across the room, and string-filled music fills the air while I passionately rush headlong into its sweet, dark embrace (all of this plays out in slow motion with lots of closeups).  With my third, Nutella and I developed quite the bond (Helloooooooooo nursing calories!), but this time, it's these little jewels of dark chocolatey goodness.  I have a stash and cannot, will not pick a favorite variety.  And look at all those healthy words!  Fruit!  Antioxidants!  Natural! It's clearly an investment in my health.

6. Mrs. Meyer's Cleaning Products

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   I've been in love with the Geranium line for a long time (I use the spray to clean countertops and the dryer sheets to make my laundry smell like heaven), but recently discovered this new "limited time" fragrance on the "clearance" (and I do use that term loosely) shelf at Target.  Since I love all of the things that have to do with clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom, clearly this needed to come home with me.  It's been a lovely product to use to tackle the war-zone that is my house right now (remember- new baby!), creating something like a fragrant oasis in the midst of an active petri dish.

 

So there you have it- a few of my favorite things at the moment.  What's on your list right now?