Saturday, January 1, 2011

Favorite Things 2010

I haven't had the heart to blog much this past week, so this didn't make it in before the new year, but I wanted to share it anyways.  I started this last year & figure you can't have too much of a good thing, so why not make it a tradition?!  They aren't raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but here are a few of my favorite things.

*Vitamix:  There are few appliances in my kitchen that I love more!  In fact, at the moment, I can't think of a single one.  This puppy does all sorts of things!  Of course, we've made tons of smoothies, recipes of which I will be sharing.  With the dry container, I've ground my own flour, garlic powder, & coffee (for my parents; we don't drink coffee).  You can make your own peanut butter & powdered sugar.  It pulverizes frozen fruits in seconds.  You can even make your own soup & heat it up in the container!  It's wonderful!

*Bed:  We adore the king size bed & mattress that we bought earlier this year!  Michael's arms will go to sleep in a queen bed because the edge of the mattress lays just perfectly across his ulnar nerve.  So, we bought a king mattress, & it is so fabulously roomy - although it is made less so now that Jake has decided that he wants to sleep with us at night!  I didn't think it would fit in our room once we moved it around, but I'm happy with the end result.  And you know I love that the bed looks like it was passed down from my Granny!  It's a dark metal bed with rounded edges & little rosettes at the junctions.  It's simple, old-fashioned, sturdy, & was bought on clearance.  We love it.

*Nature's Gate Toothpaste:  I wasn't so sure about this fluoride-free toothpaste made completely from natural ingredients, but it really works!  It took me a few days to get used to the flavor but the texture is smooth & my mouth feels really clean.  Even hours after brushing, I don't develop bad breath.  And, honestly, my mouth feels even cleaner after brushing with this than when I go to the dentist!

*Lord of the Rings:  If you caught my birthday post, you saw that Michael bought both the movies & the books for me.  I spent last weekend watching the movies & have just started reading The Two Towers.  I am exulting over these gifts!  Even though I've seen & read them before, they just get better with each perusal!

*Granny's visit:  Granny stayed with us about a week back in March, & we had a great time!  We went for a walk, I read to her, she played cards, we cleaned the kitchen together, she reminded me constantly that she was fine to stay by herself (hehe), & we celebrated my brother-in-law's birthday at the best Italian restaurant around.  She won't be able to come again because of her dementia, so I'm really glad that she got to visit us not once, but twice in the last couple of years.  I'll treasure those memories forever.

*Crystal deodorant stick:  A little personal, I guess, & Mama thinks I'm crazy, but this stuff is amazing!  I recently heard about the health concerns arising because of the aluminum that is present in most antiperspirants.  That made me antsy, so I started looking into natural deodorants.  I tried a homemade version that works well for others & seemed promising, but it broke me out.  (I still recommend trying it, though, because it may work for you.)  I stumbled upon Crystal, & am so glad I did!  I was skeptical, but it works like a charm!  I put a couple of drops of water on the top of it right after my shower, rub it on & repeat for the other arm.  I haven't had any issues with sweating (even though it's not an antiperspirant), nor has there been any odor!  I . . . LOVE . . . IT!  An added bonus:  I got 4 sticks for less than $16 at Amazon.  If what they say is true, & each stick lasts one year, then I have enough deodorant to last 4 years for the scant price of $4 per year!  I've used it now for a little over a month & it still looks brand new.

*Dearfoams:  These slippers cradle my feet in warm softness.  Our floors get so cold in the winter, & sometimes my feet even get cold in socks & shoes!  But they become toasty warm within minutes of stepping into these slippers.  My feet are wide, so I have to get the sweater top slippers that are available at Sam's, but Costco also has some with smooth tops.  They're inexpensive, warm, & so far have lasted longer than their much more expensive L.L. Bean counterparts.  Don't worry, you don't have to have pink; they have a whole variety of colors!

*Joe's Italian Restaurant:  Outside of Italy, I've never enjoyed an Italian restaurant more!  Their lasagna is excellent, but their ravioli swimming in creamy tomato sauce can't be beat.  Their strawberry cake is simply to die for!  And did I mention that the proprietors are simply precious?  Seriously, I met dear old Mr. Bertolone & he was so adorable, I could have taken him home.  We're definitely gonna have to make a trip over there soon!

*Making new friends:  As you know if you keep up with our blog, we've been visiting a local church (instead of driving an hour away) for a couple of months now.  The people there are lovely, & we've begun to form a few friendships.  Also, as I've mentioned previously, I have a new friend that I met through Michael, & "lovely" is a good word to describe her as well.  I've enjoyed getting to know these people & am hoping that all of these friendships deepen into lasting bonds.

*Farm fresh eggs & dairy:  We get our eggs from Beth & Chris now, whose hens enjoy lots of sunshine, grass, & room to roam, not to mention their awesome hen house hand built by Chris & complete with egg boxes & perches.  Along with Beth & Chris, we are getting our milk & butter from a local dairy farm.  The milk has cream at the top, so you have to make sure to shake it up really well.  The butter is actually an Amish butter roll that comes in a 1 pound block wrapped up in butcher paper.  Oh!  Goodness gracious, the difference that these natural, non-processed ingredients make in our cooking!  Michael doesn't drink milk, not even with brownies & such.  At least, not until we bought this wonderful, fresh-from-the-farm milk.  Our first week, I practically had to stand guard over the refrigerator to keep him from drinking all of it!  Now that's a resounding recommendation!

*Brian Crain:  I was introduced to Brian Crain through 11 Acre Wood, one of my favorite blogs.  Dorothy walked down the aisle to meet Noah to "Butterfly Waltz".  My heart melted as the dulcet tones wafted through the air.  I've wanted the whole collection ever since, but didn't really expect to be able to get it anytime soon, because - as I'm sure you know - whole music collections are quite expensive.  Well, as we're working to prepare the table for my birthday supper, Michael suggests that we listen to some music.  Being right before Christmas, I expected something like "The Nutcracker".  He surreptitiously put in "Butterfly Waltz" & I dissolved into tears as soon as the first notes were struck.  He's a good man.

*A Praying Life:  This is such an excellent book!  I'd like to give a more in-depth review of it sometime, but for now, let me say that this book is so fabulous that I've read it through twice, once with a highlighter, which promptly threw up all throughout the pages.  My favorite prayer aid is the prayer cards that he details toward the end of the book.  You should definitely read this book; it'll revolutionize your prayer life!


Abby said...

Hi and Happy New Year!! Thanks for sharing your "favorites" fun to see what you've been enjoying this year! I have to agree on "A Praying Life" gma gave it to me last year and I have loved every word of it! Thanks again for sharing! Been praying for you and your spirit to be lifted during these dark days! Love you much!

The Boyds said...

Happy New Year, my dear friend! I was excited to see you blogging again. Thanks for the prayers, & I love you, too.

Abby said...

Also...thanks for the new music idea...already downloaded 1 CD From Itunes w/ giftcard $$ it!

The Boyds said...

Awesome! I like everything I've heard from him, & that's rare for me. Mama says I'm a music snob. ;-) I hope you enjoy it!