1. Write The Word Journal / Cultivate Joy
I just started using this journal about 6 weeks ago, and it has become such an important and centering part of my morning routine. Each day has a space for me to write what's on my heart, choose a focused "word" for my day, and a scripture for me to write down. I love that at least once in my day, I am opening up my Bible and allowing myself to meditate on the words as I copy them down in my own handwriting, and taking a moment to pray and listen to God's voice. I have really thrived having a little bit more structure to my quiet times! Cultivate What Matters offers several different versions of the journal circling around different themes: Joy, Gratitude, Hope, Faith, and Renewal.
2. Scarfed pony or top knot
It's chic and timeless, and not just for the preppy among us. Play with fun florals, patterns, and textures, on a messy top knot or a mid-length or low pony tail.
3. Virtue Labs Smooth Shampoo + Conditioner, and Uplifted Volumizing Mousse
I recently discovered Virtue Labs hair care line through the NC Hair + Makeup Artist Summit! They graciously offered to sponsor the event, and provided me with a sample size of each of their products! I have absolutely fallen in love with their products, especially the Smooth Shampoo + Conditioner, and the Uplifting Volumizing Whip. They utilize human keratin in their products to truly restore hair health. Their HQ is right here in Raleigh, and they have already been chosen for Allure beauty awards and used by Adir Abergel (hairstylist to the stars) on the Oscar 2018 red carpet (Jennifer Garner, Saoirse Ronan)
4. Ursa Major Hoppin' Fresh Deodorant
Over the last several years I have tried many "natural" deodorants, only to go to work and suddenly catch a whiff of my B.O. mixed with whatever "good" smell the deo promised. UGH! I've tried Jason, Every Man Jack, Meow Meow Tweet (the better of the not-so great, but you apply the paste with your fingers), and Toms. Finally, Ursa Major Hoppin' Fresh delivered! It's a stick application, smells like eucalyptus and mint, and stays through my sweaty work times. Thanks Tracy at Trellis Beauty for showing me this and carrying it in store in Raleigh!
5. Ban.do Stickerbook Pt. 3 + Cultivate What Matters Goal Setting Stickerbook
Don't hate on sticker books! These days, designers have curated the coolest, most useful stickers for our planners, calendars, and hand-written notes. If you've ever received a note from me, you've probably gotten a sticker as well! I'm especially in love with the Ban.do Stickerbooks and the Cultivate What Matters stickers. I use them all the time in my planner for things like "rest time," "appointment," "coffee date," "work out," or "date night" - or just an encouraging note to myself like "You look good!"
6. Keto Coffee
John and I decided to take a little more control over our eating habits over the last month or so, aiming to make more sustainable life changes. Through those changes we discovered what we call "Crack Coffee" - it's essentially the same as Keto or Bulletproof coffee. Think yummy coffee blended with coconut milk/cream and butter. That's right! Butter! It is so filling and makes my tummy feel much better than with a cows milk or sugary coffee drink. We blend it all in our Vitamix and it is beautifully frothy, and we have a little tradition of drinking it together on the weekends.
7. The Great British Baking Show on Netflix
One of the few shows John and I genuinely love watching together. I love baking, and seeing these people create the most magnificent cakes, breads, and petit fours is so inspiring! Plus their personalities are so wonderful and kind and funny - it's like the best version of reality TV ever.
8. Work Together Dates (& generally finding my work/life stride)
Friendship has meant so much to me over the last year. Thankfully, some friends who also own their own businesses (photography, wedding planning, financial coaching) have reached out and we meet together regularly to do work we would be doing alone, together! We meet in one of our homes and there is usually coffee and snacks, laughter, and catching up on life. Face-to-face connection has been so healing for me!
9. Great music that's perfect for the season
When I was in high school I made mix CD's all. the. time. For all of my friends. I was also the happiest recipient of any and all mix CD's from my friends, especially those friends I considered my new-music-informants (Ian, Nolan, and Andrew, I'm thankful for y'all!) There are few more euphoric moments than the right music at just the right moment, especially when driving in the car. I hope you enjoy this Springtime Mix as much as I do.
10. Norwex Body Cloths (for body and face!)
I recently snagged some Norwex body cloths from my friend, super intrigued by the concept of not having to use body wash (and continuing on a small-step journey to detoxing our life). I went ahead and bought the face version as well for my business, to wipe my brushes on while I work instead of a normal washcloth. They remove up to 99% of bacteria from a surface (not lying), and they have a micro silver agent in the cloth, which has self-purification properties against any mold, fungi and bacterial odor so it can be used many times with just a rinse in between uses. I am LOVING them. I traded in my usual loofah + body wash and have noticed such improvements in my skin - much less itchy, a complete improvement in razor burn/itch (i just wipe before and after I shave), and I still smell good!
11. Little Barn Apothecary Coconut + Pear Refreshing Mineral Mist
Another lovely find from Trellis Beauty, included in our Swag Bags from the NC HAMUA Summit! I spritz this all over my face and neck after I wash, and then follow up with my serum and moisturizer. It just feels like a caring step in between to treat my skin nicely.
12. How To Be A Lady / Candace Simpson Giles
I know I grew up in the south and all, but I really do love the art of etiquette. I see it less as a strict regiment of right and wrong social habits (with visions of lipsticked baptist ladies planning showers in my head!), and more about how to thoughtfully communicate love and care to everyone around you, whether they are strangers or your best friends or your family. Simpson-Giles put together the most applicable advice for every occasion in tiny digestible bites, and I have loved just taking a minute here and there to learn and refresh!