Thursday, December 29, 2022

I thought it would be fun to round up some favorites from this year.

I am a pretty good sleeper, but I am always down for better routines, ideas, etc. I believe in a shower every evening with lavender. I have been using Dr. Teal’s lavender body wash for quite a while now. I don’t always wash my hair, but I really think you should be clean when you hit those sheets. I haven’t found a Dr. Teal’s product I don’t love, by the way. I am planning a Friday night bubble bath routine for January, I’ve decided!

In June, on Big Mama/Melanie Shankle’s recommendation, I started chewing one Ashwagandha gummy on my way to bed. I feel like this has helped me to sleep deeper and longer without waking up. I have convinced a few others in my life to start it and they have said the same. Tom says he never wants to hear me say “Ashwagandha” again.

I also purchased the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray that you have probably seen all over the internet but it’s meh to me. I still use it, though. It will probably not be a re-purchase.

My cocktail earrings! I actually read my blog posts from last December/January to see what I was talking about a year ago and that is when I found my first pair in a boutique. My first pair was the second from the left that say “prosecco”. These earrings have been so fun for me this year. I have also given them as gifts. They are in most of my little local boutiques and they are also on Amazon.

Bravo and Watch What Crappens podcast have entertained me and made me laugh. I actually think I get more out of the podcast than the actual shows, but I love Below Deck, Southern Charm, Real Housewives of most places, Southern Hospitality, Winter House, Summer House, and more. The podcast recaps and makes fun of all of these shows. I watch the shows and actually think, “I wonder what Ben and Ronnie (the hosts) will say about this!”

This popcorn spray is from before 2022, I think, but it continues to be a must have. When I am on my last can, I freak out and order more. Popcorn is my fave snack by far and I pop my own kernels to control what is in it, then follow a bit of this spray with some salt. I also use this on bread and potatoes sometimes. I had to include it because it is definitely a favorite of 2022. I get mine from Amazon but my sister says it is at Walmart.

When I started cleaning up my eating act in 2021, coffee creamer was an issue for me. I love, love, love Dunkin’ Donuts Extra creamy creamer. I had gotten to the point that I didn’t need sweetener, but I still need my cream. I have two cups of hot coffee every morning and I love it. It’s what gets me out of bed. I just think about that coffee, you know? I am so happy that I have found my fat free half and half and my skinny syrup combo. I froth it with my handheld frother, which is another 2022 favorite. Now, this is not the cleanest because I do not want that many artificial things in my life, but I am ok with it. I have said this before but in 2022 I rarely went to Starbuck’s or any drive thru for that matter.

These short, faux sheepskin lined boots from Costco for only $20 have been a fave footwear. I reach for these way more than my Hunters. I wear them without socks and with socks. I wear them in all four seasons.I really believe in a short rainboot. I sometimes wear these to work in bad weather and bring a change of footwear. I think everyone needs something like this. These are also comfortable and padded enough for me to take them on a longer Ernie walk.

This has been such a nice addition to my laundry. I use regular detergent and just add a capful and it just makes the laundry smell so nice. I only do my own and the household laundry of sheets and towels so it lasts a really long time.

My library is such a blessing to me. I am on a no book buying streak that is several years long. I buy books for my kids and for gifts and occasionally will buy a cookbook or a non-fiction, but for the fiction that I go through pretty quickly and am never going to read again, it’s library requests all the way for me.

I love my electric non stick griddle for pancakes, grilled cheese, quesadillas, and more. This was around $20 and a great purchase. I keep it in the original box in my pantry when not in use. My aunt even takes hers on vacation when she rents a house or condo.

The at home manicure is a favorite from 2022. I hate my nails bare. I know that is bad. When I want traditional polish, Kur is the best brand I have used. You must have a top coat and I like my Orly that I have now. I love that I have figured out at home gel. I love that I have found Impress press ons. They are not your mom’s press on nails – ha!

I have figured out it takes a table to do a good one. Sit at the kitchen table, put a show on your phone, and be patient. Take your time.

My matte navy Impress:

My new lamp my mom got me for Christmas to cure the gel polish:

I also love doing my own pedis now with traditional polish. I have a gift card for a professional one that I want to use soon – mainly for the pampering effect, but I have gotten really good at my own, too!

I’ve decided that it’s not really the money, but the time involved in going to the salon regularly that I don’t like giving up.

This website, Slender Kitchen – because of Erica, my co-worker and meal prep lunch partner, I am so happy I found this wonderful recipe website. I literally go to this site every week to do my meal plan. I have also learned techniques because of this author!

Here is sesame chicken one night recently:

My Caphalon air fryer has been a great purchase. I seriously use it multiple times a day. It is also our toaster. It takes up valuable real estate, but I really do use it.

In 2020 and 2021 I had people over to my patio, mostly, for my connections and my social time. In 2022, I went out to my local establishments! It has been so fun to explore my city and hang with a friend or two. I try to do this at least once a month. I love sitting at a bar, too. This is from my last outing with my friend Beth. I keep a list on my phone of places I want to try and patios in the warm weather. My favorite is for happy hour and then getting home in time to eat dinner with my hub, but I am more flexible now.

I feel like Jack has had a really good year and it has been one of my favorites of 2022. Freshman year was hard, sophomore year was better, but this year I have seen more smiles and heard more laughter, and I can’t tell you how sweet that has been. This was from Jack’s last guitar concert. Jack is still interested in theatre, but has been working on his musical talents the most lately.

This smiley guy. He loves to act like a grumpy old man, but he is a major sensitive soul. He is the funniest person I’ve ever met and this is why our kids are so funny, too. He goes along with almost all of my schemes. I think we settled in better to our empty nest this year. (He says our nest is not really empty until after college, but I say it is.) He calls me every afternoon like clockwork as he is leaving work, he sends me funny texts during the day, he can fix almost anything, he will eat any foods I cook, and he is a great dad and dog dad. His favorite movie is Pitch Perfect and if it’s on tv, he has it on.

And, Mason is such a joy. He is having a great year, too. He texts and asks if we can have breakfast together when we are both free. This was us this fall at a Mexican place. He loves a cup of coffee in the morning and has become quite a foodie. He has made lots of friends and is a great friend to have. He loves literature and art and theatre.

This is an odd segue, but let’s talk about candy cane ChapStick. This is great all year long, I think!

These New Balances that I was lucky enough to snag this year from a consignment shop brand new are magical. They still look brand new and they are the most comfortable tennis shoes I have ever owned. Have you tried this style of New Balance? I wear them for daily stuff and not exercise, but they have such great support.

Ernie! What would we do without dogs in our lives? He brings joy to everyday!

I know I could have made this much longer, but we will stop there! I might need to do a Part 2. What were your “Best of 2022”?


27 thoughts on “Best of 2022

  1. Oh, that was fun! From the small (chapstick!) to the big (your sweet family!). Please, yes for a part 2!
    For 2022 I think my best was to appreciate the small things in life… you know; family dinners, a coffee in the sun, a beautiful sunset… I’ve normally lived for our summers in Florida and for three years that have not been an option… So I had to slow down! For my best day I think it was Top Gun on my birthday followed by a yummy dinner!
    I start school with two proficiency days 9th and 10th, what about you?


    1. Thank you! I know we have all learned so much in the last 3 years and I am so glad you found the blessing in staying in your city. I think you do appreciate it and the cabin more. Top Gun on your birthday sounds so fun. I so enjoyed going to the theater to see it. We start back January 3 with teachers and the 4th with kids. Don’t talk about it yet!


    1. He hates a photo but he really is so funny and he smiles in real life – I swear. I am still mulling it over. My sister says I shouldn’t do it because it’s my hobby and I enjoy finding clothing. Hmmmm….


  2. I loved reading this! We also have an electric griddle that I frequently use. I feel the same about our library. I was just at mine yesterday to replace my lost card and checked out some great sounding nonfiction books…I’m starting one today and can’t wait. It’s on being a mom to adult sons! Speaking of…it’s the best feeling in the world to see your kids thrive, no matter their age. I know you’re proud of your handsome guys.

    One of my favorite things this year is something I discovered in September while on vacation- it’s Dove moisturizing body wash in a foaming container. I use that and a loofah every time I shower. I feel like it helps moisturize my dry skin. I have others, but I can’t think of them right now. Ha!


    1. Thank you! It was fun to put together! Yes to griddles and libraries – ha! It is so interesting to be at this stage of parenting. We have had some hard moments and I don’t go too deep into their lives here because it isn’t fair to them. I try to only talk about me as I relate to them?
      I think I have seen that Dove? I have Jergens in shower moisturizer on its way to me in a order. I am going to head to Whole Foods for good coconut oil for my face and to see what other natural products they have in the toiletry aisle.


  3. I loved this post. Why did it make me tear up? Haha it’s the little things. From the library to spray butter to “not your mom press on nails” this was such a fun list. Of course, your guys (including Ernie) are great too! I wake up for coffee as well. And, I’m December, I was motivated to get up and sip coffee with Christmas tree lights. I may write a post like this next week. You’ve motivated me to look at the little things


    1. Aw, maybe you are almost at that time of the month? There was more I wanted to say about my kids but I feel like I have said some of it and also it’s really personal. They lost March-May of their senior year and all that went with it and going to college even if it’s close to home during the beginning of a pandemic was hard. It really is the little things, too, though, and I have learned and am still learning to embrace those little things and moments and not to sweat the littler things. That is sweet to say, but I am not always great about it. I can get very fixated on my “plan” of how I want things to go. I was a bit of a brat about figuring out all of our holiday celebrations but it came together.


  4. I am “impressed” (play on words there :)) with your manicures! I just ordered a at home dip manicure set, so we will see how that goes. I bought one during the pandemic, but never got the hang of it. This new one seems to be better quality, so time will tell how it goes. My favorite purchase this year that comes to mind is my rechargeable lighter. I love having it handy to light candles. I just bought some of those gummies & hope it helps me sleep better.


    1. He, he! I want to hear all about it – blog post? I think they have improved over time, too!
      I love that little gadget, too, but mine doesn’t hold its charge for very long at all!
      Let me know what you think of the gummies!


  5. What a great post! I enjoy your blog because it’s real life and very normal. 😊
    My best of 2022 was a vacation with our daughter, son and his wife. Or maybe it was their beautiful wedding in October. All in all 2022 was a good year! Hoping 2023 is a great one for you and your sweet family.



    1. Thank you and thank you!
      Oh, so much goodness for you in 2022! How exciting!
      Thank you so much and same to you! I need to round up the lucky New Year’s foods like black-eyed peas!


  6. What a fun list of favorites– big and small! I love that idea of taking the griddle on vacation; that would make cooking bacon so much easier.


  7. Curious if your boys are identical twins..they obviously look like they could be but we all know it’s about the DNA. My boys are identical. Twins traits and ticks fascinate me. I have marveled at them from the moment they were growing in my belly. I’m sure we could swap interesting twin tales💙💙 Being their Mom is the best!! I always say I wish my oldest son would have been a twin as well!
    What a fun blog post today!


    1. Yes, they are. As they have gotten older they have looked less identical, but they have always been so in sync. They look identical until maybe high school? And, they still have almost the same interests. They think the same things are funny. It’s been a really cool experience to parent twins. I don’t have any other kids so I don’t know the difference! Yes, we could! I bet that was hard going from having a singleton to twins. I always told people I didn’t know the difference.
      Thank you so much and happy new year!


  8. I loved hearing about each family member as part of your favorites. My husband thanks you for the Ash. recommendation! I am sleeping better now without it, probably because of cooler temperature in house. But he has been using it regularly. My son also tried it, and said it improved his daytime focus! Happy 2023


    1. Thank you! I always wonder how much to tell since it’s my blog and not theirs. Ooh, that’s great and I’m so happy for him. I need to be pretty cool to sleep. My best night’s sleep is with slightly damp hair after a shower. Same to you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s