Things I Really Love Right Now

I was going to write a serious post today. I started one about the controversy surrounding the Beauty and the Beast outrage. I thought about screaming ranting about the idiotic administration running our country. But I just can’t. If you’ve been around these parts long enough then you know that I have 0% issue with people’s sexual orientation or gender identity. You also know I loathe the people inhabiting the White House. So let’s talk about something that isn’t going to make me pull my hair out.

I’m going to link up with Kristen & Gretch for some “currently” updates and some favorite things that I want you to know about 🙂

Reading… The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier. Atonement (Ian McEwan) is also on the docket. Last two books for Erin’s Challenge!

Watching… the series finale for Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. I tried to drag the series out as long as I could. I’m sad it’s over but pleased with how it ended. Now I’m trying to convince K to watch Firefly with me. (I’ve seen it, he hasn’t.)

Looking Forward To… my mom’s birthday celebration. Her b-day was Tuesday but I’m surprising her with an outing on Saturday. I can’t say much here because she reads this blog 😉

Planning… a fall vacation. We were going to go to Disney, but I couldn’t get K excited about it. He’s never been and wants to see it for the first time with a big family group or with a kid in the picture. Fine. Whatever. I was bitter about it at first, but now I’m looking forward to spending some time at Universal Studios (#DisneyForever) and on a cruise. We compromised.

Loving… my new job with K’s company. I feel so relaxed and fulfilled working for a company that I love and working alongside people that I really enjoy and working in an industry that’s had my heart for +8 years.

(Here’s what I was up to at this exact time last year!)

Now let’s talk about my recent favorites.
(I’m going to style this like Rebecca Jo’s Friday Favorites post.)

life_as_louise_favorites

Favorite Reads

I’m going to recommend two authors instead of books.

I’ve gone on and on about The Lunar Chronicles, so it makes sense that I recommend Marissa Meyer to those who love a little fantasy and adventure and retelling. Her newest standalone novel, Heartless, quickly became a favorite for me, too. (I’ll talk about it on Tuesday!)

The_Lunar_Chronicles

The second author that I’ve really enjoyed so far is Ashley Weaver. She writes a 1930s mystery series that centers around Amory Ames and her playboy husband Milo. They’re not thrillers, but they have an air of suspense and romance and betrayal. Plus they’re set in historical England- which is my fav.

Favorite Recent Purchases

Everyone has their favorite place to buy jeans. Mine is Old Navy. If you’re an ON gal check out these jeans! I have three of the same pair, all in different shades (medium wash, light wash and light pachuca). They are so comfy and flattering to my curvy hips!

Also on the recently purchased list: These pajamas from Marshalls (or TJ Maxx, I guess.) The same cross-cross shear pattern around the neck is also down the outside of each leg on the shorts. Perfect as the weather warms up!

…obviously this isn’t my body. Ha.

Favorite Lip Stuff

I’m not a beauty blogger, but I have three lipsticks/stains/things that I’ve been loving lately. Two are Burt’s Bees products (Pink Lagoon gloss lip crayon & Ruby Ripple moisturizing lipstick) and one’s from Wet N Wild (Lady and the Vamp balm stain). Last weekend I got three compliments on the balm stain!

Favorite Funnies

Have you tried any of this stuff? What’s something you’re loving lately?

What's New With You

Amazoning *Christmas Edition*

We’re well beyond Christmas, but I thought I’d do a quick recap of my yuletide Amazon-bender that wrecked my credit card in the months leading up to the holiday. Enjoy!

amazoning_xmas

Everything I ordered ended up being a Christmas gift for someone. The bold product name links to its Amazon page. Nothing is affilitated.

Remington D3190A Damage Control Ceramic Hair Dryer

gift_3

Receiver: K

Believe it or not, this was an Xmas gift for K. We both use the hair dryer and the one I’ve had since high school no longer works on the low setting and the “cool shot” is broken. The dogs gifted this to K on Christmas morning by leaving the box on the sink while he was showering.

. . .

La Cubana Wooden Cigar Humidor + Xiker Crystal Humidifier Jar

gift_1

Receiver: K

Another gift for K. He’s not a smoker, but he enjoys a cigar around an evening bonfire or when we’re cerebrating a milestone. Since he smokes them so infrequently, he’d been hemming and hawing about getting a humidor. I felt like such a first class gift-er when I ordered this!

. . .

Born to Die + Bankrupt!

gift_4

Receiver: Fred

My brother sent out an excel spreadsheet to me, my mom, his wife, her mom, and her sister with assigned Christmas gifts. We had 3 to 4 options per person, but he encouraged us to talk with one another if we saw something assigned to someone else that we wanted to gift him. Let me remind you, he’s an engineer. Ha. ANYWAY, I hate giving people something they know is coming, so I obliged with these two records (one by Lana Del Rey, the other by Phoenix), but I went rogue with his other gifts.

. . .

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride

gift_2

Receiver: My mom

I think I need to thank Kristen for this book coming across my radar. As soon as I saw it I knew I was getting it for my mom for Christmas. She’s a fan of The Princess Bride (and Columbo, ha) so I thought it’d be a fun read for her!

. . .

Kate Spade New York: All in Good Taste + That’s Christmas to Me

gift_5

Receiver: My Blogger Christmas Cheer Exchange partner, Nikki

When Olya & Mattie hosted this swap they used the site elfster. Participants can make a wish list, complete with links to the actual products. That made shopping for Nikki super simple!

. . .

Ello Cole Stainless-Steal Travel Mug

gift_7

Receiver: When it ships, my brother-in-law Andy

I bought this mug for my husband’s sister’s husband but it still hasn’t come in yet… (It was out of stocked when I ordered it so it’s fine.) My s.i.l. posted on FB about how her husband and oldest son continually battled over the insulated coffee mugs. Turns out almost half of K’s family then gifted Andy travel mugs for Xmas. #GreatMinds

Anyway, when this comes in (March-ish? ha) it’s going to Andy. I own this mug. YOU need this mug. Everyone does. It’s magical and lovely and the best!

. . .

Coffee Teach Sleep Repeat 11 oz. tea/coffee mug

gift_6

Receiver: My friend Kayla

This is a different Kayla than the one I normally talk about on here. (That Kayla is a social worker, this one is a teacher. Obvi.)

. . .

Sequin Candy Cane Black Ugly Christmas Suit Jacket

sequin_cc_jacket

Receiver: N/A

As mentioned here, K bought this for himself. We were invited to an ugly sweater bowling event in December and my husband doesn’t halfass costumes.

It’s a terrible picture, but for those who requested, here he is:

. . .

The Manitou (White Indian Series, Book XVI)

 

gift_9

Receiver: K’s Grandpa Bud

K’s grandpa is the most intense reader I’ve ever met. He has over 900 books packed away in boxes under his bed and he devours +300 page novels faster than anyone I know. I was browsing the book store for a Christmas gift for him and consulted my father-in-law for advice. He said Bud had been looking for a particular book for a long time & he (my f.i.l.) found it online. Since they already had a gift for Grandpa, he told me I should get it. So I did. Grandpa Bud’s reaction to the book was so fun. He said he’d given up hope of finding it and just moved on. (I think he was on book 22 in the series.) It felt so good to make his day with this $4 purchase!

. . .

Guardians of the Galaxy (dvd)

gift_10

Receiver: My Uncle Ernie

My mom’s brother is a tough one to shop for. He works a lot, avoids collecting junk, and keeps unusual habits (ski patrol, travel, bee keeping). For some reason I decided he’d like this movie. (I love it.) Turns out I think I was right- my mom said he watched it twice in the week following Xmas.

. . .

That felt like a lot… And it didn’t include the stuff I got from +5 other online retails. Honestly, I’m a sucker for free shipping with Amazon Prime…

What kinds of things did you gift at Christmas?

signature

Dear Santa…

Per request of family members (I swear they asked for this), I came up with some Christmas swag that I wouldn’t be opposed to receiving. Some is off my birthday wish list, but most of it is new. For the record, I don’t need any gifts… I just want a pretty tree, some time off work, and a cup of coco.

*Alternative title: dear-santa

So here we go… (Nothing is affiliated.)

Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets – illustrated version.
I needs it, Precious. [Er- wrong fandom.]

Any of these books: Cravings by Chrissy Teigen, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson

Sweatshirts.
I love a clever, witty sweatshirt. This one cracks me up. Also this one. And this one.  (Large)
(Seriously… I love sweatshirts.)

Taylor’s new dog shirt!
I have the original one but I love that this one alludes to more than one dog. (Runs small- XL)

Anything for the dogs… My brother and sister-in-law once gifted me a 3 month Bark Box subscription and I was more excited than the dogs to open it each month!

*Between gifts and donations and self-indulgences, I’ve acquired an electric griddle, a coffee maker, and a quality cookie sheet since my last wish list post 🙂

I started this post thinking I’d be able to list 100 things… but I really can’t think of anything I want or need. For family members that are frustrated with me over the short list: I always love books, candles, gift cards, and alcohol  😉

What’s on your Christmas wish list? Maybe it’ll give me some ideas!

EDIT: Erin just shared this website with me… And now I want this and this and this and this  😀 (Ladies t-shirt, sweatshirt, or racer back – probably a large)

audielou.com_signature

Things I Love Right Now

Very rarely am I what people call “trendy.” The black flats that I wear to work almost every day were purchased at the beginning of my college career. The insides are now peeling out and I’m one sharp stone away from a hole in the sole. None of my clothes are designer and I only carry a cross-body purse to hold my wallet and my chapstick. I’m just warning you that A) nothing on this list is new-new and B) nothing here will cost you more that $20.

Also, this isn’t a wishlist. These are tried and true things that I use/listen to/watch/have and love.

MAKE-UP | NYX Solf Matte Lip Cream
I should probably give a shout out to Lindsay for turning me on to this product. Smooth, buttery lip matte that dries immediately and stays put for hours. I own five different shades as of right now.

TELEVISION | The Good Place + Speechless + American Housewife
Apparently I’m all about the comedies this season. These fluctuate between comical and laugh-out-loud humor. I’ve also been trying to keep up with This Is Us and Bull, but sometimes life is heavy enough and I just need a comedy. (I typically watch these on Hulu.)

tweet_thegoodplace
First The Good Place retweeted me, then “Janet” herself! ❤︎

NETFLIX | Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
BIG shout out to Kristen for this recommendation. And shame on me for waiting so long to get HOOKED. I’ve just finished season 1 and I am so obsessed. I’m also swooning over Detective Jack Robinson- I love his chemistry with Phryne!

BOOKS | The Lunar Chronicles
I know I’ve been pushing these books for a while now, but it takes me a long time to get through a series. I’m just about to start the final book (and it’s over 800 pages… *gulp*) so I’ll shut up about these soon.

lunar

MUSIC | Christmas Music
My favorite artists/albums right now are Pentatonix, Charlie Brown, and anything “jazzy” (Bing, Frank, etc.).

CLOTHES | No Boundaries Leggings from Wal-Mart
My coworker told me about these/gifted me a pair and now I’m obsessed. They’re as soft as LuLaRoe, they’re warm & colorful, and they’re only $6. Uh- yes please. (The holiday ones appear to be sold out online…)

fox_leggings_walmart

HOME | Ello Travel Mug
I am SO in love with this mug. The outside stays cool while the drink inside stays hot for hours. It’s the best travel mug I’ve ever used. The cork bottom keeps it from sweating all over you desk and it’s dishwasher safe. I might be Christmas-gifting a few of these!

*Enjoy whatever days off you may have this week, American friends!*
Happy Thanksgiving!
Hug your friends &  family extra tight, be kind to retail workers, and be safe on the roads! ❤︎

audielou.com_signature

The Birthday Month

Yesterday we celebrated my sweet baby Enzo’s 3rd birthday! Call us crazy, but we don’t have any human-kids and the furry ones have our hearts. Puppy birthdays mean a dollop of whipped cream on their kibble and some new accessories. Now puppy brother has bowls to match Lylee (which she got for her b-day in June)! We go through Nylabones quickly so E got a new dinosaur (to share with his sis), too.

enzo

Enzo celebrates his date of birth on the 4th while I have to wait until the 17th. I don’t mind- it gives me more time to put together a list of “wants” for family and friends! (Keep in mind, I could received nothing for my birthday and be the happiest lark. This list is for people who ask me for suggestions each year. Also, I love to see what other people are wanting and loving- maybe someone out there is like me!)

-| Books:

To be honest, I like to browse bookstores by myself & select books that catch my eye. I also like to borrow from the library. These are books that I am 100% sure I want to own  🙂

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets -illustrated version
This book was released yesterday! My mother-in-law gifted me The Sorcerer’s Stone for Christmas last year and I think she might have called dibs on this book for birthday gifting… (Or at least I hope so  😉 )

hp

Winter & Fairest (by Marissa Meyer)
I’m just about to wrap up Cress. I’ve been collecting the Lunar Chronicles as I’ve read them because I love them so much! I’d like to find a paperback copy of Winter, but it might not exist… Either way, these two books would complete my collection!

-| Clothes:

These workout shirts (all large)…

 link | link | link
link | link | link

-| Miscellaneous Stuff:

A coffee maker
We have a Keurig but I hate it. I just want a normal coffee pot that I can schedule ahead of time. Like this one. Or this one. I’m going to be honest here… I like my kitchen accessories colorful. I have a purple toaster and a red mixer- a black coffee pot just won’t do.

An electric griddle
This was on our wedding registry and I’ve been crying about not having one ever since. I’m not picky anymore. It needs to be big enough to make +6 pancakes and I’d like a drip tray.

Cookie Sheets
…or baking sheets or whatever you call them. My flat cookie sheets are cheap and burn my cookies. (Honestly, I thought it was me, but after speaking with others we’ve decided the pans are just cheap.) So I’d like some new, quality cookie sheets. #adultlife

A bag for my yoga mat
I’ve been browsing Amazon but haven’t found anything yet. I don’t want anything huge, but it needs to hold my mat cover, too. I’ve actually been eyeing up the bags in the boutique at my local studio (hint-hint, Kyle).

X-Men: Apocalypse
I’ve heard that this movie isn’t great, but I love the X-Men franchise so I’m willing to overlook that. Actually, I don’t think I own one X-Men movie, so I’ll take any of ’em.

Anything from these two talent artists!
I love Julie’s art work and I’ll be needing some cozy accessories from Rebecca Jo before I know it!

As always, gift cards from Books-A-Million, Marshalls, Old Navy, and Home Goods are always accepted  😉

I think that about covers it… Ha! What have you had your eye on lately? Christmas is right around the corner!

audielou.com_signature

The 2017 Planner

No one is giving me money or a free dog to write this post. I wanted this planner so I contacted the company and asked them if I could get a coupon code for myself & my blog friends. And apparently the people at Plum Paper are angels because they sent all of us a code.

Planner_1

So here’s your code for 10% off (good until 11/30/2016):

LIFE10

And here’s my new planner:

Planner_2

I, like many bloggers and Type-A nuts professionals, love planners. I usually order my planner for the new year some time in August. When it arrives, I go crazy jotting down all the birthdays and events. I really love laying out my entire life on paper. Weird, but true.

Anyway, I browsed and browsed for the perfect planner because I’ve been using the same one for three years and I finally settled on Plum Paper. They offer the standard monthly and weekly pages, plus some extra spots for goal writing, important events, contact info, and doodles. They also have tabs for each month which makes flipping through SO much easier!

Planner_3

I chose to add on and asked for a “Bills Paid” page at the end of each month, as well as two sets of stickers!

Planner_4. . .

Planner_5

There are SO many different add-on options including fitness tracking, home planning, family planning, budgeting, and wedding planning (plus more). There are also dozens of cover images to pic from, but I loved the crisp, clean look of the flags. So like I said, here’s your code ( LIFE10 ) for 10% off a planner. I don’t get any money from this- just the joy of passing on savings 🙂 Enjoy!

** I am so grateful for the minds and souls that read my blog. I was so nervous to share my feminist post last week and I am just overwhelmed by the incredible, strong, badass women who responded. You are all the greatest.

audielou.com_signature

My Favorite Household Appliances

Happy Monday, ladies and gents!
Did y’all have a nice weekend? I hosted a party on Friday, cleaned my house on Saturday, and helped a friend move on Sunday. K had a business trip so it was one of those wine-&-popcorn-in-bed + books kind of weekends. Totally not mad about it 😉

Alright, on to today’s topic (which was slightly inspired by this post from Kristen).

Appliances

I don’t consider myself materialistic in the least. If our house caught fire the only non-living thing I’d try to save would be my stuffed bunny rabbit from childhood (appropriately named “Bunny”). That said, there are some things in our house that I really, really love.

(These are not affiliated links. I’m not tech-savvy enough to do that. I actually own & love this stuff!)
(If you use affiliated links in your posts I’m a-ok with that. I just don’t.)

Our Vacuum
We bought our vacuum with wedding giftcards/return credit from BB&B. When we walked in we thought we were going to walk out with a Dyson, but we ended up with a Shark because the sales woman told us that they constantly get returned Dysons but people love their Sharks. Yep, she was 100% right about loving the Shark vacuum. We have this one (I think) and it’s perfect for our daily dirt and dog hair collection. It’s my favorite cleaning tool!

Our Smart TV
We have two TVs in our house and the living room one is a smart TV. (I’m not sure of the brand and for the sake of this post, it doesn’t matter.) Most of the shows we watch together are on streaming platforms and it’s so amazing to access Netflix/Hulu/iHeartRadio/Amazon Prime with the touch of a button. I love it. In my opinion, if the choice should ever arise, a smart TV is worth it.

Our Blender
I am a firm believer in glass blenders. Not to be morbid and inappropriate, but I’ve told my grandma that I’d like to inherit her old-school glass blender “when she’s done with it.” (Ok, that’s totally morbid and inappropriate… I swear it’s a running joke now, though.)

accessories

When we got married I registered for my own glass blender and we received it, and I’m soooo happy to have it. Honestly, things just taste better coming from a glass blender; it’s science.

Our Pots & Pans
We blindly registered for pots&pans before our wedding and by sheer luck we ended up with some absolute winners. I will recommend Calphalon to anyone that will listen. We received this set (I think) from some very generous guests. (Yes, I still remember who gifted us what.) They’re easy to clean and they’re durable. I also think they look classy- but that’s not what matters most, I guess. Honestly, I’m a mediocre cook and I let dirty dishes sit way too long, and these guys still hold up.

Things I’d like to own…

Shark Steam Mop
Our kitchen & dining room are hardwood. Someday we’d like to make the living room hardwood. Before that day come, I need a steam mop!

An electric griddle
For the love of everything, I have been asking for an electric griddle for yeaaars. Maybe it’s time to suck it up and buy myself one like an adult. Ha.

Food processor
I’m pretty sure owning a food processor is the only way to be a good chef. So I guess I need one. #logic

. . .

What household items do you love? Is there anything on your wishlist that you need 😉 ?

audielou.com_signature