Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Wrap Up: Non-Beauty Favorites

It might be a little bit unconventional to share non beauty favorites on a beauty blog. But we all have far more interests than just beauty products! Perhaps some of my favorites from other aspects of my life will be your new favorites, too. :)

Kitchen Favorites

Reusable ice cubes - I have been on the hunt for these for more years than I care to count, remembering them from my childhood. I finally found little bags of them at Wal Mart and stocked up. They are great to keep drinks cold without watering them down! Hunt around enough/online and you can find various colors and shapes.

Keurig Mini Brewer - I have the old school, original mini that does just one cup at a time. I love this thing so much. Though you might think these brewers are meant for coffee drinkers, they can be great to have even if you don't like coffee. Like me. (I prefer my coffee to not taste like coffee. lol) I use my Keurig to heat water for recipes that call for hot water, and also for hot cocoa and tea. K Cups are also available for many non coffee drinks now, including "brew over ice" drinks like sweet tea and lemonade.

Seattle's Best frozen coffee blends - I could live on these things. Seriously. I have made them with nonfat dairy milk and they are good, but I prefer to make them with (unsweetened, unflavored) almond milk. The almond milk has less calories and more vitamins than dairy milk. I also find when I use almond milk the coffee flavor is more pronounced than when I make them with dairy milk. Though it is still not too strong a coffee flavor. As I said above, I don't really like coffee much.

 Pop & Cook frozen cubes of garlic & various herbs. Purely  convenience items, these are a bit pricey but so worth it, if you know that buying the fresh counterpart is going to lead to waste. (Much as I adore using fresh herbs, I honestly never manage to use a whole bunch before it goes bad!) There are also some sauces available in these cubes that could be handy. Most of the flavors I have seen I would rather make fresh but a couple are in my freezer. :)

General Household Items

BH&G melt warmers and melts - I adore these things so much! They come in so many styles now, and there are lots of fragrances to choose from. I have several warmers throughout the house that double as nightlights. The fragrances dissipate kind of quickly, they only last a couple days. But then I have mine on all the time. If you only make occasional use of them they probably last longer. (I also use other brands of melts in them of course. I just cannot recall the name of the other brand typically sold alongside the BH&G packs.) I can't share any favorite fragrances as they seem to perpetually change out the fragrances available and they rename them to match a given season or holiday (I know my favorite fragrances well enough to recognize them even though the name has changed) but I can say there are several great fragrances available at all times. :)

Wood wick candles - If you have not tried these yet, what are you waiting for?! There is a specific brand called WoodWick but there are now other brands that offer candles with wooden wicks. I have not tried all of them of course but the ones I have tried are fantastic! These are unique compared to other candles. The wooden wicks mean they offer up a soft crackling as the wood burns. If you have only one candle lit, it is a very soft and subtle sound. If you light several, the effect is enhanced. Creates a fabulous (and romantic!) ambiance. (Slightly unrelated note, I have not tried them yet but hope to in the new year: HearthWick candles by WoodWick. They have the wooden wicks, but are designed for the appearance of ribbon wick candles. Must try!)

A 60×60 plush throw/blanket I found at Dollar General. It is so ridiculously soft and cozy! And plenty big enough for two to snuggle up under. :)

Pet Favorites

Purina Cat Chow Gentle formula - My girl Sydney has a bit of a sensitive system, and my old boy Dusk seems to have a more sensitive tummy these days due to his age. (My little man will be 15 in April.) Switching them over to this food has helped ease their tummy troubles significantly.

Delightables Dairy flavor cat treats - Both cats enjoy these treats. This is important because while Dusk will eat pretty much anything, Sydney will not. She only likes her dry food, and an occasional can of moist food. We get other kinds of treats for them but she never has an interest in them. These are the only ones she has ever liked.

DentaStix - Rascal loves these things! I get her the green ones (I think they are mint flavored?) and she gets one every morning. She is super picky about her food and treats and even when she likes something after a while she gets tired of it and then we hunt for something else. (We change up her treats on a fairly regular basis, and change her food on occasion as well. Wouldn't you get sick of always eating the same thing?) These are the only thing she seems to consistently enjoy. So far anyway. She will probably change her mind in a few days to prove me wrong, since I mentioned it here. :p

Oster dog nail trimmer - These are sturdy and do the job well. Not much more to say than that.

Favorite Books I have read in 2014

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble by H.P. Mallory

To Kill A Warlock by H.P. Mallory

Illicit Magic by Camilla Chafer

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Comes The Night by Norah Wilson and Heather Doherty

Blackmoon Beginnings by Kaitlyn Hoyt

The Watchers by Lynnie Purcell

Guardians by Lola StVil

Miscellaneous Favorites

"Multi-Wear Head Wraps" found at Wal Mart - I love these things! They are just tubes of stretchy fabric, but they can be worn multiple ways (as the name implies). I have a couple in different colors and wear them frequently.

Knitting (toe-up) socks - I am still mastering this, but have made a couple pairs now and am hooked! Once I really master it, I plan to move on to the two at a time method. Love expanding my knitting skills!

PaperMate InkJoy pens - These write smoothly but the main thing that I love is the fact that they are available in pretty colors of ink, including a lovely light blue, purple, and pink. I love writing personal notes with pretty colors.

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