Friday Favorites (3): Amazon Finds

Hey party people! How are ya?

I can’t believe it’s 4th of July weekend, that just doesn’t even seem possible. Growing up in a small town in Vermont meant that everyone went to watch the 4th of July parade and you knew everyone who was walking in it. Our town’s fireworks were held that night and it was an important rite of passage to be able to watch them with your friends as a teenager. Speaking of watching fireworks with friends, I hope my best friend Meredith (aka my only blog reader) knows how much I miss her and despite my utter hatred for fireworks wish we could be in the “Lew Spot” watching them this year! Per usual I would only be coming for the company and the Ben & Jerry’s cart though 😉

My family was fortunate enough to have a pool in our backyard… yes in Vermont and yes we actually had warm enough summers to actually swim in it! Part of having a pool meant for my family anyway hosting the annual 4th of July party! In true Irish Catholic tradition my dad is one of 13 kids so anytime family gatherings happened it meant hundreds of humans! I remember vividly watching my mom make lists of people to invite, who was bringing what, what Costco runs we still had to do which is probably where I got my love of list making. Every year my dad would throw on a Hawaiian shirt and start the grill, our front yard would be covered in cars, the pool filled with kids and the kitchen overflowing with delicious food. Cousin Jane if you are reading this send me some taco salad!

While my 4th of July plans look quite different this year I am always happy when I get to think back on all of those fun memories of the holiday.

I suppose I should get to the purpose for today’s post which is linking up some of my favorite Amazon finds from this past few months… I’d say these are more summer/travel items but it’s also kind of a hodgepodge of items. Everything on this list is under $25!

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This Foldable Fedora makes for the perfect summer sun protection. This may be my favorite thing I’ve ordered in a long time! I think I first saw it on Lauren from Lauren McBride Blog and I’m so happy it caught my eye. This hat is incredibly packable! I’ve traveled with it a few times now rolling it into the corner of my suitcase and every time I pull it out it snaps back into shape perfectly! I love how many different color options they have, I personally have the Khaki color. $22.99

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This Silicon Make up Brush Cleaning Mat that does wonders for quickly and easily getting all of that bacteria off of my makeup brushes. I HATE cleaning my makeup brushes so anything that makes it easier for me is a big win in my book. This is a smaller mat which I actually prefer because that means it doesn’t take up much space which in my life on the road is a necessity. I’ve actually liked it so much that I bought a second one for my paint brushes. $5.99

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These PEDS Cotton Unseen Liner Socks that ACTUALLY don’t show. These socks are a game changer! I am not a big fan of no-show socks, they never seem to actually be low enough or very comfortable but let me tell you, I love these things! They have a little gel piece at the heel and over the toes and are low enough for even a brand like Ked’s or slides like Vans.  They come in a pack of 6 for $12.97.

I had been looking for a cute Boho Lumbar Pillow to go with an accent chair I bought (and built myself insert arm flex emoji here) so I ordered this one and absolutely love it! I love the color and the texture of it, plus the tassels at the sides are such an adorable addition. My style is very Boho/Mid-Century Modern and lots of natural colors so I know this will work even beyond using it on this chair. It is $14.99 but I do want to note that this is just the cover, you will need to purchase the pillow insert separately. I bought this pillow insert also on Prime for $9.99.

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If there is one thing flight attendants are proud of it’s their nails. If you ever see a flight attendant with a band-aid on their finger its because one of their nails broke and they haven’t been able to get to a salon to fix it yet. This is a fact! I’m virtually the 1% who does their own nails thus more likely to chip and look shitty pretty quickly. I’m not exactly going to carry around a bottle of acetone in my bag so I rely on these individual nail polish remover pads. I keep them in my bags so that even if I remember on my way to the airport that I never took my nail polish off I can do it quickly in the employee lot. They come in a pack of 50 for $12.95.

If there is one thing you buy off of this list (besides the fedora that should already be in your cart) let it be this glorious Scalp Massager! Men, women, children, pets, everyone loves this thing and for good reason. I use it when I’m washing my hair which not only feels great while applying my shampoo it also makes my scalp feel like I actually cleaned it. I’ve also used it on dry hair just to give myself a head massage or get rid of a headache and it makes me so happy. Seriously, if you need a little treat for yourself get this! Get it for your mom, your dad, your fella- it’s that good! It’s like a little salon in a $6.99 package.

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Who doesn’t love a good bathing suit cover up? This adorable Pom Pom Kaftan is the perfect piece for summer. I loved the embroidery down the front in addition to the pom-pom details. It covers well but doesn’t look boxy or shapeless like some can. I bought it for a Puerto Rico trip that didn’t happen (wear a mask people) so I’ve only worn it once and can’t speak to the quality over a long period of time but I will say the reviews make it seem like it holds up! I hand washed it/hung it up to dry. I bought a medium and I think it fits TTS plus the length in the front and back is good which is what I always look for in a cover up. I love how many colors there are to choose from and it’s only $20.99.

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I love this little Pill Box for storing my vitamins while I travel. I’m certainly not going to carry around 4 different bottles of vitamins every where I go so for awhile I was just dumping a bunch into a plastic bag which looked… suspect at best haha. This little guy is a fun solution to that problem plus it’s an obnoxious blue so I can’t forget to take them when I open my makeup bag every morning. It’s on the small side which is fine because it still fits about 2 weeks of daily vitamins in each slot and I’m not usually gone longer than that. It’s $5.99.

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Speaking of travel items this mini Jewelry Box is one of my favorite purchases of the last few months. I love how dainty it is but it still fits a bunch of my earrings, necklaces etc without them getting tangled up with each other. If you travel with a lot of jewelry this will not work for you! It is definitely small but it works for what I usually travel with. I do wish it came in other colors as it is just this pink but for the price/quality I’m happy with it. It’s $11.99.

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I’m finishing up this list with one of my favorite quarantine purchases, these Oalka Yoga Capri Pants. These are AMAZING! Where do I even start? I love high rise pants because anything that tucks the tummy in is a win for me. The material isn’t too thick that it feels so tight you can’t breathe (you know the type) but it’s still squat proof! I love the length of the capri, it fits in the perfect spot. I’ve run in them, done a HIIT class, hiked and yoga and they’ve held up every time with little movement. I’m not saying I’ve never had to yank them up mid-workout but not much which is A+ in workout pants.  They have a little pocket on the waist for your phone, a key, etc. I bought the long version as well which I also love, they hit the same spot on my waist but I do have to roll them at the ankle which is pretty normal for me and would be great for people with longer legs! I’ve washed them with no issues and they don’t expand as the day goes on. These are great people, you should buy them! The Capris & the Pants are both $19.99 and they come in a ton of patterns/colors. I’m on the larger side of a medium in pants but I usually get Medium for workout pants and they are perfect so I’d say TTS.

Okay I’ve babbled enough for one post, I hope wherever you are you have a safe, happy and healthy long weekend!

Is anyone going anywhere?

What are some of your favorite Amazon finds?

Love, Kari

Friday Favorites (2)

Hello beautiful people, let’s get into some of my favorite things over this past week shall we?

First of all I just wanted to say the biggest congratulations to my wicked handsome, smart and thoughtful boyfriend for graduating at the top of his lineman program yesterday. I couldn’t be more proud of all of his hard work if I tried and I can’t wait to find out where this next chapter takes us!

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Now let’s talk “beauty”. As a completely obsessive Trader Joe’s shopper (there will be many a blog posts about this in the future- I literally have more tips and recs for TJ’s than probably anything else in my life) I love looking at their health & beauty section.

I once flew with a senior mama who told me the best thing I can do for myself is find some tea tree oil and a good hand cream. Tea tree oil to dab on your heels when you get to the hotel room because we have to wear heels and walk all over airports day in and day out.  The hand cream because airplanes are so dry, we wash our hands so often and the soap is the least moisturizing thing ever.

Senior Mama = “experienced” flight attendant, often has been flying “since before you were born” and potentially once shared a jumpseat with Jesus. They have a lot of opinions and rarely wear the uniform correctly however most are amazing and should be protected at all costs.

Insert Trader Joe’s Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream here. THIS STUFF IS AMAZING! It feels like you’re wearing L’Occtane but for a fraction of the price, I think it’s $4.99 in stores? There is no strong smell to it which I also like because I can’t handle my hands smelling like a baked good or something out of the produce section. I don’t have to re-apply every five seconds like with some hand creams but it also doesn’t leave my hands feeling greasy. This shit is legit, I swear. I probably own 5 tubes of it to keep in different bags, lunch box, my car etc. I even used to give it away to new flight attendants because I just knew they’d love it as much as I do (it’s TSA friendly).

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Another TJ’s beauty section find was this Nourish Antioxidant Facial Serum. I bought it three weeks ago when I got to Boise and realized I left my Vitamin C serum in Denver but didn’t want to go out and spend the hella bucks on a new one. At $9.99 I was very willing to take the loss on this and almost kind of assumed it would be a bust but I am so happy to report I was very wrong. I love how gentle and velvety it feels on my skin and so far I haven’t found it to be greasy or heavy at all. I put it on after I’ve cleansed and toned in the morning and right before I use my beloved GlowScreen tinted sunscreen. I have read reviews that it really helped with people with dark spots. So yeah if you’re in the market to try out a serum but don’t have the budget for some of the higher end products I’d suggest trying this as a start!

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And now for the Target beauty section because well it’s probably the only other place I’ve been besides the Trader Joe’s in 3 months. I honestly can’t remember where I found out about this Winky Lux Uni-Brow brow pencil but I am so glad I did. I have really jacked up eyebrows from years of over-plucking and taking a field hockey ball to the eye my junior year (screw you, St. Johnsbury). One section of my eyebrow literally just never grew back in which means I have to draw it in quite a bit. Finding a pencil that looks natural but doesn’t run when I sweat or it rains has been a real mission so I’m wildly impressed with this Winky Lux one because it just doesn’t move! I actively part my hair to cover the shitty eyebrow (and didn’t do a great job of filling them in before I took this photo but still you can see it’s a good “natural” color).

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Seriously the quality of this brow pencil is the best I’ve used by far plus I love when brow pencils have the spooley tip to brush on the opposite end. If you have really light eyebrows this pencil may not be for you as it is a “universal shade” but I think otherwise it’s a pretty well matched color for most people. I believe it’s $16 so it’s not exactly cheap but compared to the likes of Anastasia and Urban Decay being closer to the $30 mark I think it’s a steal. I will say if $16 is still too high for your budget the NYX Micro-Brow pencil is my favorite in the less than $10 range. You can find Winky Lux at Ulta and in a limited line now at Target.

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I finished reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and I’m not completely fine with talking about it yet. I wish I could re-read it again for the first time and get to experience it all over again. I loved this book so much! Eleanor’s story, her (unbeknownst to her) witty outlook on life, her trauma and the heartwarming way she begins to deal with it, ah I just loved it so. Please read it, just do yourselves a favor and read it.

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OH and if you want to be friends on GoodReads you just let me know because that site is so fun for experienced and newbie (like myself) book nerds alike.

“Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid is the story of a black woman being wrongly accused of kidnapping a child while babysitting and has been on my list to read ever since my teacher sister told me about it. This week I ordered it from Semicolon Bookstore, a Black Owned Bookstore in Chicago that I found from this list of Black Owned Bookstores that do online orders I shared from Monday’s post.

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This week in podcasts I caught up on a few episodes of Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard which if you are a pop-culture lover like I you should absolutely give a listen. I had no idea how funny Rob Lowe was and Allison Brie what a freaking sweetheart she is! I just saw today that he did an episode with Ibram X. Kendi, the author of How to Be an Anti-Racist which I immediately downloaded. I’ve been hoping to read How to Be an Anti-Racist but it’s been out of stock in a lot of places so I look forward to listening and learning from that episode.

Moving on to things my favorite thing I baked this week were these 2-ingredient bagels that have been allllllll the rage lately. Bagels are my favorite food, ever so the thought of being able to easily make a few was just plain heaven to me. I followed this “recipe” in quotations because honestly you barely need a recipe it’s that simple! They came out great! The texture on the inside is a little more biscuity than a true bagel but I attribute that to the yogurt being the only other ingredient.

Now to the important part, I switched up the Trader Joe’s Everything But The Seasoning for Teeny Tiny Spice Company’s Montreal Seasoning which is my absolute favorite Montreal Seasoning! My favorite bagel shop in Vermont, Myer’s Bagels does a Montreal Spice bagel that was essentially my breakfast every day for 2 years when I worked in an office building. I have been desperate to “recreate” them and let me just say if you like a more savory bagel you will not be disappointed! Honestly, I’ll probably talk about these bagels again- I’ll shout it from rooftops until everyone knows how delicious a Montreal Spice bagel from Myers Bagels is. Sponsor me! Send me bagels!

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Shout out to the man in Boise Co-Op for telling me about Fort George Brewing out of Astoria, Oregon because Fields of Green may just be my favorite juicy, hazy and hoppy IPA I’ve tried in months! I’m talking THE BEST! I would plan a trip to Astoria, Oregon specifically just to go to Fort George Brewing. Naturally it’s sold only in the PNW and in limited batches because of course I couldn’t just have access to it always alas if you find yourself around these parts and are a fellow hop-head I highly recommend it! I used to try to hide the fact that I was a Vermont beer snob but I don’t even try anymore, it’s so much better than the rest of the country and then I find a Fields of Green and I gain some hope. To my roommate Jessica, if you’re reading this- I’ll be bringing some back to Denver for you to try.

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Okay folks, I think that is all for today’s Friday Favorites. I would just like it to be known I’ve been listening to angsty 90’s music while writing this entire blog post and it’s been amazing.

Now I’m off to plan a road trip back to Denver, any suggestions?

Love, Kari

Friday Favorites

Let’s start again, shall we?

I suppose I should begin with a little life update so here it goes, I downloaded TikTok.

JK. Well I mean I did download TikTok and I did get addicted but the real news is that I’m not flying.

Before everything got really crazy my company offered a special leave of absence til October and I took it. While I have my ups and downs with it, I’m ultimately very happy with my decision. I truly miss flying but I have begun to wrap my head around the fact that in all honesty I won’t be flying in the foreseeable future. It’s not been easy, add that to the fact that we don’t know where we’ll be living when A graduates lineman school here in a few weeks it’s all been quite a bit to take in. I’m just so thankful I have a great support system in my family and friends and I am really looking forward to the new adventures life has in store for me.

This also means if ever there was a time to pivot this little blog of mine out of the strictly travel realm it’s probably now.

Enough of that serious nonsense though, I’m now here to #influence.

Here are a few things I’ve been absolutely loving over the last few weeks…

Okay so Grace Atwood is one of those bloggers that I have been following for the better part of a decade now. I appreciate her voice and honesty so much especially now that the whole world flipped upside down she’s continued to be a blogger I trust. While not everything is in my price point I do tend to look to her when I’m in the market for a skin care splurge. Insert: Supergoop’s Glow Screen a tinted, hydrating primer/sunscreen. I bought it during the Sephora sale and have been using it pretty religiously for about a month now. Honest opinion: I absolutely love it. As I told a friend recently the “glowy tint” part was a little scary for my fine Irish skin as I was concerned I would look like Edward from that sunny field Twilight scene.  As directed I’ve been using it as the last step of my morning skincare routine and if that’s all I do for the day it doesn’t look too “glowy” at all. When I do add make up after that it becomes a great primer and is easy to re-apply on top of everything if I’ve been in the sun for too long. This was my first Supergoop! product but everything is 20% off right now on their website with code SUNSALE so I figured it was a perfect time to order the PLAY sunscreen mist as well. I’ll be sure to let you guys know if that is worth the hype!

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Speaking of primers, I finally tried the cult classic Elf Poreless Putty Primer and let me tell you what, this shit is legit. I have a pretty basic make up routine but my pores have always been an issue to conceal so I tend to try everything. It comes out of the jar feeling like something you’d put on your hair to spike it… not that I ever did that in middle school… unlike that unfortunate time in my life and for my poor hair, the putty doesn’t feel thick on my skin at all though and it makes adding foundation a breeze. Sometimes I put it on without any other make up just to hide the pores a bit and it works great. I got mine at Target but I’ve seen it at most places that Elf products are sold, for $8 it virtually fits into anyone’s beauty budget and I would highly recommend giving it a try!

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I’ve been in Boise for about a week now which has been a nice change of pace from the routine of nothingness I got myself into in Denver. Since A’s been in class or studying I’ve had ample time to catch up on some reading which I admit I tend to look over in favor of watching television.

First up is American Royals. I read this in about a day and loved it. I had been reading more expand your mind kind of books if you will so when I picked this up I hoped it would be a light and fun beach type read for me to get lost in. Boy did it deliver! It was so fun to imagine America with a Royal family. I loved the way it followed the very different characters from each’s perspective. Who doesn’t love every twist and turn that comes with young romantic drama à la Gossip Girl? I will say that I didn’t love the ending, it sort of took awhile to build up everything and then it felt rushed to end it. I get that there is a sequel which I am very excited for but still if I had to nitpick it’d be for that.

Regardless of my thoughts on the ending, I still loved how fast I fell for the story. If you’re looking for a solidly fun time waster this is it.

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I’m halfway through Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and it makes me so sad to think it’s almost over. My sister has been telling me to read it for months now and I am hooked. It’s so witty, so heartbreaking yet so warm all at the same time. I’ll report back next week when I have no doubt finished it!

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In the kitchen this week I made another shakshuka which has easily become my favorite breakfast meal since quarantine started. I love the heartiness of the chorizo (Trader Joe’s soy chorizo for the win!) mixed with warmth of the cumin and tomatoes. I’m in the camp that an egg on top makes everything taste better so really you cannot go wrong with this dish. This is the recipe I’ve been following/tweaking (I use half the amount of canned diced tomatoes, don’t really have a reasoning behind it but I like it that way).

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Now that the weather is almost 100 (I do not miss New England humidity & bugs one bit) I made this little summer salad I saw on Julia from Lemon Stripes’ Instagram stories and it was a real hit as a side for salmon burgers last night. It’s just a diced avocado, heirloom tomatoes, nectarines, feta cheese and some basil. I literally have never thought to add nectarines and feta together but it was delicious.

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As a self-admitted post card and travel print collector I’m desperate to find out where we’ll be living mostly to you know, know where but also to find out what the space looks like because I have my eye on so many beautiful prints. I mean how about this Lisbon print from Travel Poster Co?

I recently added this gem from Travel Dashery to my collection that I am so in love with.  Missing Vermont is a common occurrence in my life so it makes me irrationally happy to see it on my little gallery wall.

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I’ve been catching up on The Office Ladies podcast which is a must listen for any major Office fan out there. I love hearing about what was going on behind the scenes catching some of the bloopers they kept in when I re-watch the show. It may be a silly hobby but it’s one I’ve definitely been enjoying. Though I will say they have listeners send questions/catch things in the episodes and DAMN people go HARD. I must place myself in the casual listener category.

Oh and I can’t forget to include these comfy sleep joggers I got from Target that have essentially become my wardrobe staple of late. A hates them because he says they shed (in all honesty they do til you wash them a few times) but I choose not to notice that because they are so freaking comfortable. Arguably the best $20 I’ve spent all pandemic, well besides that Jumbo Margarita on Cinco De Mayo. Size up for the ultimate cloud-like experience!

I think that is all I have for now then friends. I literally don’t know where this blog is going now but I also don’t know where I’m going so I suppose that’s pretty on brand for me right now 🙂

I hope all 3 of you reading this are staying safe! As always, thanks for reading.

Love, Kari