July 23, 2016

These Are a Few Of My New Favorite Things


True story that does actually relate to this post:

The summer after my sophomore year in college, I worked as a hostess at a Bill Knapps restaurant in Kalamazoo, Michigan. For the uninitiated (which you'll remain...Bill closed his doors decades ago), Bill Knapps was a chain of family-friendly sit-down restaurants known for its au gratin potatoes, chocolate birthday cake, and servers who were trained to carry a ridiculous number of plates to a table by lining them up on their arms.

In the middle of one weekday afternoon--otherwise known as "the time when no one is supposed to come in so the staff can get ready for the dinner rush"--a tour bus pulled up. Our skeleton staff cursed (I mean, not me, but other people) and moaned (me) and grumbled (all of us) about the hassle during our down time and began running around to set up one of the back dining rooms. The bus people came in, and one aggressive-type man unceremoniously slid himself into a front booth.

"Sir," our manager-trainee told him with as much sternness as someone who looked about 12 and possibly had not yet started shaving could muster, "you have to wait to be seated." Mr. Seat-Himself replied snidely, "Oh, we have to wait to be seated." 

"Follow me," I told the group and led them back to the tables we'd hastily prepped. After they were seated, I returned to the front to finish some thrilling task like rolling silverware, when one of the waitresses (her arm permanently scarred from all those hot plates) whispered to me, "Wasn't that Julie Andrews?" 



Oh. My. Word. I, a lifelong choir geek and devotee of musical theater who knew every song from A Sound of Music and could even kind of do the yodeling bit from "The Lonely Goatherd," had unknowingly and haphazardly seated Fraulein Maria herself. And Mr. Seat-Himself was none other than Blake Edwards, Julie's big-time actor/director/producer husband.

I was too reticent to ask for an autograph, but I can tell you that Julie/Maria had the tuna melt. I guess that was one of her favorite things...no idea how she felt about raindrops on roses, et al.

Which brings me (you're welcome) to this list of ten of my new favorite things. If you need a snack or something to wash your face with or a refreshing drink or inspiring music or a foodie movie, you might find a game-changer here. There'll be no tuna melts, however.

1. Belvita Dark Chocolate Sandwich Biscuits. I was already a big fan of these whole-grain breakfast/snacking "biscuits." But then they started sandwiching them together with dark chocolate, and my morning happiness quotient went up about 500 percent. My daughters like them, too, and if there's one thing a house with teenage daughters needs in the morning, it's more things they like. 

2. Gracelaced. My baby sister is turning 40 this year, and as soon as she sent me a birthday gift idea from this site, I was hooked. Gorgeous prints and greeting cards, recipes, a blog...all in all, a beautiful place to get lost sometime. Everything here is so beguiling, in fact, that when my sister's gift arrived in the mail, even the "please do not bend" request printed on the package was beautiful.

3. Noxema Anti-Blemish Daily Scrub. Fabulous skin is not one of my areas of giftedness, which is why I'm thankful for this cleanser. Unlike similar products that make you feel like you're rubbing your face with coarse sandpaper, this is gentle but with enough scrubbing power to make you feel like you're accomplishing something. Plus, it smells great. In the world of rotten skin, it's the little things that make a difference. 
4. Audiomachine. I have to thank my daughter's friend, Caleb, for bringing these next two favorites into my life. Caleb (God bless and keep him...he left a couple weeks ago for Navy boot camp) is a big music lover, and I'll always be grateful he introduced me to Audiomachine. If your life were an epic movie, this is the music you'd want as the soundtrack. Put this long-playing YouTube video on in the background of whatever you've got going on today. You'll feel like you're starring in your own life. 



(And yes, I'm well aware your life is not like an epic movie but rather more like a reality TV show with THIS as its theme song...)


5. Bai Antioxidant Infusion in coconut pineapple. Caleb (see #4) also brought these low-calorie, no-artificial-sweetener flavored waters to our attention. Drinking this coconut-pineapple version is exactly like sipping a pina colada on a beach in Maui, except without the calories or the cost of airfare. (Okay, also without the beach or the Maui, but still.) 

6. I'm Happy For You (Sort of...Not Really), by Kay Wills Wyma. Comparison and the discontent it breeds are Ongoing Life Issues for me, so I'm thankful (sort of...no, really) to my blogging kindred-spirit Tracey from Girls to Grow for making me aware of this book by putting it on one of her insightful reading lists



7. Thirty-One purse. My friend Cristina, a Thirty-One consultant of the highest fabulousness, carried this purse--I mean, "Organizing Shoulder Bag"--into Starbucks when we met one day for caffeinated fellowship. I said I loved it. Soon thereafter, she (being a great sort of friend) texted my husband and asked if he wanted her to order it for him to give me for my upcoming birthday. He (being a smart sort of husband) immediately said, "Yes, and how much do I make the check out for?" It arrived on my doorstep shortly thereafter, and how I survived so long in life before I had this is beyond me. 
8. The Hundred-Foot Journey. My favorite foodie movie in years. Beautiful, funny, inspiring, and worth watching more than once. Note: you might want to be eating Indian food while you watch this if you like that sort of thing.



9. Pasture Bedtime (A Cautionary Tale), Jenny H. Lyman. Heads up, people in my life who might someday have a baby: you WILL be getting this adorable and brilliantly punny book--and matching clothing from Lazy One--from me as a gift. I promise: this is a very, very good thing.

10. Oreo Thins (Mint). All the snappy chocolate-mint goodness of the famously addictive Girl Scout cookies, but in a version you can pay for in the self-checkout lane at 3 a.m. at one of those 24-hour grocery stores. 


So these are some of the newish things I'm loving these days. 
What's one of your new favorite things? Share the love in a comment or over on Facebook. And if you try anything from my little list and it changes your life, 
I'd love to know about that, too.



**This post may have been shared at some of these blog bashes.**

40 comments:

  1. Thanks for linking to me in your post - so very glad you found the book helpful. ;)

    This is a great list! I definitely want to try those biscuits - and I think I just saw that coconut drink in my Publix this morning, so I will definitely be picking up one of those to try!! The music is lovely, and I'm going to check out Gracelaced now!

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    1. It was my honor, Tracey! Thanks for taking time to pop over here...I hope something on this list becomes one of your new favorites, too! :) Are you lost in Gracelaced now?...

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  2. Thank you for including your purse in your list!!! You are one of my favorite people, so I am honored to have provided you a favorite thing!!! P.S. Jordyn wants to know if you added her to your list of favorites;)

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    1. Aw, you're far too kind. Maybe you should be choosier about who your favorite people are? ;) And PLEASE tell Miss J that this is merely a list of new favorite things...she was already on my Forever Favorites list. xoxo

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  3. I use that Noxema blemish scrub too. I still have acne in my 30's so it helps keep the oil and bacteria at bay. Great post mama! 💖

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    1. Oh, I hear ya, Amanda! In my 40s, I'm just loving the wrinkles/acne combo. (Cue bitter sarcasm.) But that scrub is a great weapon in the arsenal, isn't it? Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind words about my little list! :)

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  4. Thanks for sharing on Family Joy Blog Link-up. Please come back and join us again!

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    1. Thank you for hosting the Family Joy party...I will be back! :)

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  5. Somehow I just knew that was probably the song the orchestra would play when I hit it lol! Also, I haven't tried the coconut-pineapple Bai, but I do love those drinks! :)

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    1. Awesome, Kendall...you must be an experienced music lover! Doesn't it sound just like the soundtrack for mom life? ;) As for the Bai, if you like them in general (and if you like coconut and pineapple, obviously), I think you will like this version. Thanks for taking time to check out my little list!

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  6. Elizabeth, I loved your intro ... I was totally not expecting Julie Andrews to show up at your restaurant! How cool was that?! (Side note ... one of the two theatrical endeavors I have ever tried in my life was playing the Mother Abbess in my high school's production of the Sound of Music. And yes, there truly are several blog posts just waiting to jump from that sentence, but I don't have time for that right now.) Also love the Tree of Life music and will definitely be going back to it. Finally, I'm also a fan of The Hundred Foot Journey ... so glad I am making apricot curry chicken for supper tonight after reading that! Thanks for the smiles today, my friend!

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    1. Aw, thank you, Lois! And oh my goodness, I would LOVE to read a post about your Mother Abbess adventure. I love that role! I mean, seriously: "Climb Every Mountain"? It just builds and builds until it tears your heart out! AND: apricot curry chicken? Are you kidding me? Do you have this on a Pinterest board someplace? Because I think I need to make it and eat it while I watch "Hundred Foot" again!;) Thanks so much for taking time to stop by and to leave me with your wonderfully entertaining comments. xoxo

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  7. Such a fun post Elizabeth. One thing I'm thankful for is your wit and humor. Always when I visit here I get to smile. A genuine smile for all the little things you write about and find joy in. Thanks for linking today and my new favorite thing these days is participating in an online bible study. Never have done this and the experience is wonderful.

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    1. Thank you so much, Michelle! I'm SO excited for you and your new favorite! I've never done an online Bible study before (I love my Tuesday-morning ladies gathered in our own "upper room" at our little country church) but know from others who've done them that they can be amazing. So glad you are finding this to be true. Thank you for your kind words on my little list, and, as always, for hosting Party At My Place! :)

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    2. Your post was one of MOST VIEWED from last week's party. Congrats. Will feature it.

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    3. Oh my goodness...thank you so much for letting me know this! How exciting, and what a happy boost for my Monday. Bless you, Michelle! :)

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  8. OH, how I love this post! Thanks for sharing all these great tips and products and reads!

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    1. Aw, thank you, Michele! I hope something here becomes a new favorite for you, too! :)

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  9. First off - prayers for Caleb! Second - I am loving this list! Some things on here I haven't heard of and some things I have been wanting to try (a la oreos thins!) I must check out that book - both books! Pasture Bedtime how cute! And I'm not a big 31 fan BUT I did sale it way back in the day and the crossbody was always my favorite. I hope you have a great end to your July and a super fabulous August!

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    1. Thank you so much for those prayers, Amanda! God has been answering ours for Caleb with a bunch of "yes's" so far, so we are grateful. And thank you for your kind and entertaining comment! I do highly recommend adding those Oreos to your life plan. I really do. In fact, I suggest getting a package and eating quite a good portion of it while you read "Pasture Bedtime." It will make you happy. It just will. So glad to meet you here today...I'm off to stalk your blog right now! ;)

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  10. Two of my favorite things? You and this list! Love it!

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    1. AWWWWW, you are the sweetest, Jennifer! I am honored. As it turns out, you are high on my list of perennial favorites yourself. Thanks so much, lovely lady.

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  11. Love that you finally found a chance to share your Julie Andrews story and OhMyGoodness, when I heard those first notes of Sabre Dance, I was cracking up! Perfect choice! I'm also excited to go explore Audiomachine, which I'd never heard of. I HAD, however heard of both the book (happy for you) and movie (100 ft journey) and am reminded again of why we get along so famously. "Pasture Bedtime" had me cracking up just from the title, so I can't wait to check it out!

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    1. Aw, I'm so glad you liked my little list. Honestly, if you hadn't, I think I would have pulled it, because we DO have so many similar tastes and interests! Yes, you will LOVE "Pasture Bedtime." Oh, the punnery of it! I hope you love Audiomachine, too. And I also am glad I finally found a home for my Julie Andrews story. My life feels complete now. So glad you're "back"...I've missed you! xoxo

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  12. You sorta kinda met Julia Andrews?? I'd love that! I bet she never gets tired of people singing The Sound of Music songs to her. :P Loving this list. I found a few things that I need to try.

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    1. I know, right, Jamie?! In retrospect, I should have just walked up to her and asked if she wanted to do a little "Do Re Mi" duet or something. But you know...I was young and stupid and worried about being embarrassed. As opposed to now, when I have already checked all my dignity at the door and would probably just start yodeling on the spot! ;) Thanks for your sweet words...hope something here finds its way into your favorites file, too.

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  13. Love this... What a great list.Love how eclectic it is. And what a great opening story. Thanks for sharing with the Cozy Reading Spot.

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    1. Thank you, Marissa! What a nice thing of you to say. :) I do have to admit that I'm glad I finally found a home for my Julie Andrews story! ;) Thanks so much for stopping by and for hosting the Cozy Reading Spot!

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  14. Just seeing Julie Andrews is super cool in my book! I love that purse too, the pattern is great.

    Thanks so much for sharing over at #FridayFrivolity :)

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    1. I know, right, Jessica?! It WAS rather a moment in my life's highlight reel. ;) Of course, the purse is fabulous, too. No idea how I got along without it. Thanks so much for stopping by...I remain a devoted fan of #FridayFrivolity!

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  15. Hmmm. I just can't get on board this Oreo business. I say double-stuffed [normal] Oreos or go home. ;)

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    1. Dearest Mary, there is room here at Guilty Chocoholic Mama for all viewpoints on Oreos. You buy the double-stuffed and I'll buy these mint thins, and there will be balance in the world. ;)

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  16. Your words did my heart so much good, first of all... Julie Andrews! Gah!! Love her and your story. And your list, um... awesomeness.
    Seriously, my friends and I have a 'My favorite Things Party' every year and it is so much fun to see the things that make the list of others favorite blessings. I am totally with you on the thin oreos!

    Blessings!
    Dawn

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    1. Dawn, your "My Favorite Things Party" sounds like such a great idea! What a fun way to share favorites that just might become someone else's new go-to "thing." Thanks so much for taking time to stop by and to leave your sweet comment on my little list...here's to Oreo Thins on sale for both of us! ;)

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  17. Love BelVita! Loved The Hundred-Foot Journey. Soooo good! The book looks great! AND as a former Michigander, I remember Bill Knapps. In fact, Rev and I ate at the one in Ann Arbor on our wedding night. We had an afternoon wedding and reception and then drove to Ann Arbor. We were starving. Bill Knapps was perfect. Good memories. And I can't believe you met Julie Andrews! Woo Hoo!

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    1. Oh, Deb, how I love YOUR "Bill Knapps story"! That is fabulous. Because, among other reasons, of course you were starving...what bride and groom eat at their own wedding? ;) Thank you for sharing that sweet memory with me...and for hosting Faith 'n' Friends!

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  18. Always love hearing from you, Elizabeth . . . wish we could just sit in the park and chat together! I've been eyeing art from GraceLaced for while now - so beautiful. Glad to have a new movie suggestion and Pasture Bedtime sounds like our kind of book. :)

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    1. Abi, what a sweet idea a chat in the park is! I love you just for mentioning it! :) You are so right about Gracelaced...the prints for my sister are even more gorgeous than they look online. As a non-artistic person, I am always stunned that someone has that kind of thought in their mind that can make its way to a canvas. I can't even draw a stick figure! I think you might indeed love "Journey"...and, well, I am hooked on "Pasture Bedtime" and its parent company's adorable punny onesies! Thanks so much for taking time to drop by!

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  19. Good list. I just (barely) passed up that delicious looking coconut water at Target two days ago. Now I gotta try it. ;)

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    1. Yup, you do, my friend. Look at it this way: it's a lot cheaper than a trip to Hawaii. ;)

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!