It's My Favorite Things from 2021-2022!! (You may catch a few of your faves too!)

I love it when my friends recommend things they personally love to me. So I want to share with you some of my favorite things over this past year that may spark some curiosity and interest in you. My kids and hubby appreciate all the help they can get when it comes to buying me a gift, and I know yours will too! Use this list as a personal reference or a wish list for your family. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

1| Mango Seed Creamy Foaming Cleanser

I am often complimented on my youthful-looking skin. Here's a secret... a lot of it comes from the care inside and out. Nutrition and what you put in your body is number 1. Healthy in, and healthy reflects out. It also helps to have a good skin regimen going on. Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I love Korean skincare. I’ve learned through my research that Koreans value caring for their skin as much as Americans care for a healthy lifestyle in diets & exercise. They start at a very young age and it is a lifestyle for them. So it’s no surprise that there is a lot of research when it comes to developing products for the skin in Korea. I got my hands on the this cleanser really by accident while I was at my local Korean face shop replenishing my supply. Can I tell you it’s like custard on your face? It’s light, moisturizing and smells refreshing. This spontaneous purchase became a keeper.

2| Color WOW Dream Coat Supernatural Spray

My hairstylist recommended this product to me. I have hair that has a tendency to frizz when humid. Granted I live in a desert climate area, but also near the water so we get a mild dose of some humidity. My teenagers get a good laugh when we vacation in Hawaii where the humidity is high and mom’s hair gets big!! This spray works great as both a detangler and heat protectant. This can only be used on wet hair and lasts up to 4 days. If you blow dry, flat iron or use a curling iron to style your hair, this is a great product to not only protect it, but keep it from frizzing due to the heat. I can’t live without this spray!! Thanks @HairbyTic for the recommendation

3| Genuine Shearling Slipper by UGG

If you are like me and have a tendency to have cold feet, you will LOVE these!! These slippers are my absolute favorite. I am wearing them right now as I am typing. Yes, they can pass as house slippers, yet cool enough to take outside on an errand or finish off an “Outfit Of the Day”. I loved my Ugg boots as a quick way to slip on some shoes and off I go. So when these slippers came into my life, (thank you son for the hook up!) they became my winter flip flops. And like I mentioned above, I still wear them even into the spring.

4| ALO Airbrush High Waist Split Hem Leggings

The flare pants are back in! It brings me back to when I was wearing them in the 90’s. Whether you are a Lululemon lover or crave comfy workout gear, you’ll want to pay attention to these. I discovered ALO as a recommendation from my massage therapist since she knew how much I love a good pair of workout pants. First off, the styles are adorable. And quality wise, they are thick and sewn pretty well. One way I check if leggings are worth the purchase is the squat test. If I do a squat will they be see-through? So far these pants are my favorites and can’t wait to explore more ALO gear.

5| MAC Powder Kiss Liquid Lipcolour

My teen daughter loves makeup just as much as I do. So when she share the latest style on lip color application and techniques, I knew this MAC Powder Kiss Liquid Lipcolou would be just what I need. It’s versatile and allows you to play with your lip color application. I like the matte natural barely there look and this product has helped me achieve it. Super easy to apply and you really don’t need a lot of it to add the right amount of color to enhance your face.

6| Tory Burch Bag

My boys are young adults working full-time and earning their own money. So when it came to Christmas it was nice to see how generous they were with their gifts to their family members. This Christmas they surprised me with a Tory Burch bag. I don’t often spend a lot of money on myself, but to enjoy something special from my boys’ hardworking resources, it made it very special. So when I do use this bag, I’ll remember their thoughtfulness and generosity.

7| Enbrighten Smart Plug

Speaking of Christmas. Not all things have to be big to enjoy them. This smart plug is one of them. I found this when I decided this was the year I am going to get with technology and use a timer for my Christmas tree lights. This plug surprisingly did more than what I expected. It comes with an app where you can conveniently set a schedule to anything plugged to it from anywhere. It made me feel I was pretty hip with all the “smart” appliances that are available. It was enough to make it on my favorite things list at least.

8| Dr. Eslee Physical Sunscreen

I use this sunscreen as my daily facial sun protection. It does not clog my pores and does not feel sticky like most sunscreen nor does it smell like it. You are probably asking yourself, what’s physical sunscreen? According to the website, “physical sunscreen is no whitecast sunscreen without chemical UV filters that is less likely to irritate the skin”. Ah! That’s why I love it so much!! Great with wearing it on top of your daily facial moisturizer AND it does not interfere with your foundation application also.

9| Atlas of the Heart book by Brene Brown

I love me some Brene Brown. She caught my attention with her Gifts of Imperfections book and several others shortly after. Her study on shame and vulnerability has me captivated, and sharing her own vulnerabilities has helped me recognize how normal I really am. What a relief!!

I started a book club with a few close friends discussing her latest book, Atlas of the Heart. You will have to research this book yourself. It’s absolutely amazing and transformative. She even has a docuseries on HBO Max around this very book. Grab a few of your girlfriends and read this together. I can’t recommend it enough.

10| Koloa Pineapple Passion Rum

OMG! Last summer my entire family went to Hawaii for some rest and relaxation. I remember strolling through the local grocery store aisle and came upon a bottle with a colorful orangey liquid. I read it, Pineapple Passion Rum. I like pineapple. I like passionfruit and I like rum. Little did I know how amazingly fresh and flavorful this bottle contained! This was our drink of the entire trip. It was Hawaii in a bottle. You'll have to try it yourself, mama! You’ll feel like you’re on vacation!

11| IT Cosmetics - Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare

I don’t like to look like I’m wearing a lot of makeup or feel like I am. So when it comes to foundation, I like the natural skin look. But of course there’s the hyper pigmentation issue that comes with age. My usual go-to foundation is Skin Twin Featherweight Foundation by BeautyCounter. However, when life happens and you realize you are the last drop of foundation, you run to the closest beauty supply store to grab an alternative, has this ever happened to you? My alternative was this foundation by IT Cosmetics. And wow do I love it!! It covers really well for a medium coverage foundation and feels like nothing. The great part, it’s also beneficial as it contains moisturizing hyaluronic acid, aloe vera extract, vitamins E & B5, plus hepes acid for gentle exfoliation to keep skin looking youthful. Now who wouldn't want that?

12| Lashify

My current obsession. I am a recovering lash extensionaholic. Seriously, I wanted to stop lash extensions because of the damage it was causing to my already sad lashes. As I mentioned before, I don’t really like to wear a lot of makeup, and lashes have been a great way to feel awake and give myself the little umph I need. I discovered these on social media and thought to give it a try. I love the diversity in playing with lashes and creating your own “lash map” as they call it in Lashify world. And they are pretty flexible in the longevity of how long they last and how often you can leave them on or take them off without ruining your natural lashes. I think the best part is the Facebook Community that is all about Lashify. The women there are extremely encouraging and have no problem throwing out compliments to each other. I think we need a little more of that in our lives.

13| Madewell Transport Bag

I love, love, love this bag. It carries a little and it can carry a lot. I love the timeless style and versatility of the bag. The leather is supple yet sturdy and goes with any outfit; dressy to comfy. It’s a great everyday, all the time purse. I can’t say enough about this one.

14| Denman Large Paddle Brush

Okay, the story of this brush is worth posting and sharing my undying love for this irreplaceable brush. It was recommended to me by my former hairstylist back when the Rachel haircut was popular. Yes, I donned the do too. Where are my Friends fans at?

I still have my original brush from almost 30 years ago and have not let go of it since. It’s still in great condition, missing a couple of bristles and is a favorite of the families. I held onto this amazing brush because I feared they did not make it anymore since it has been decades when I purchased it. It wasn’t until my thoughtful husband did some research and found it!!! So yes, we have a new one sitting in my bathroom drawer. It's THE brush that blow dries well, massages the scalp and runs oils through the hair for a smooth feel.

15| Steve Madden Twisted Sandal

Don't let this almost 4inch heel fool you. It is so comfortable to wear. I haven't had reason to wear heels in the past couple of years, but when I saw these beauties. I was in love!! The weaved straps are trendy right now so I wanted to buy a pair to freshen up my wardrobe. The straps are very comfortable and do not dig like most high heel straps do. I like to wear them with flare jeans or a nice spring dress. The color especially is my favorite. It matches my skin tone giving that nude look to my outfit. Love, love, love these!!

Heels aren't your thing? I found these gorgeous flats that give the same look too. Check them out!

16| Volcano Candle by Capri Blue

I claim this scent to be the signature scent of our household when it is no fall or Christmas. If you have ever stepped foot into an Anthropologie store, then you likely know this smell. It’s fresh, fruity, citrusy and ever so slightly floral. It’s not invasive, but really ups the mood in our home. My hopes is that they never stop making this scent!

There you have it. 16 of my favorite things from this past year. I hope you have an opportunity to enjoy some of them for yourself. Self-care is so important to the health and wellbeing of us busy mamas. So release the guilt and take time to care for you!! Happy you = happy hubby and kids!