Wednesday, January 3, 2024

My Favorite Things 2023

First, I wanted to thank you all for the kind words on yesterday's reflection blog post. I cherish your kindness! 

This post deserves a drumroll! You're also going to want to grab a cup of coffee and get comfortable because this is a long post. 

I love this end-of-year post where I recap my favorites. If you are new here, I publish a monthly favorites list, and at the end of the year, I create a yearly favorites list that boils down my month lists. 

If it is on this list, it's an 11/10 stamp of approval! I'm very discerning about these monthly lists, but I never know if these items are just a passing fancy or if they will stick with me throughout the months and years.  

Also, I try not to repeat items from previous years and include items still available. For example, I wanted to include the Lake Hammock set, but it's sold out! 

I tried to be as *specific* and detailed as possible as to why I love these items so hopefully you find that helpful. 

You can see my 2022 list and 2021 list for more. I can confirm that I still have and love 99% of things from both lists. 

Light Up Mirror// This is supposed to be a similar, less costly option to the Simple Human line of mirrors. This mirror is rechargeable and lights up SO bright. It holds a charge for a decently long time. It's magnified which took some getting used to but now I love it. It also has a magnetic small even more powerful magnified mirror you can use. I also use the light in place of my ring light because it takes a minute to set up my ring light and this does the same thing without needing to set it up! It's also heavy- you can just tell it's nicely made. I was using a plastic mirror that was powered by 2 double A batteries before this. Nothing wrong with that, but getting this mirror was such a huge upgrade. 

Wide Leg Jeans// The white version are sold out right now which makes sense since it's not summertime but this style of denim is one of my most worn. For the price, they are so well made. I wouldn't necessarily spend a ton on wide leg jeans just because they're more of a trendy style so these were just perfect for me! Not only that, they're very comfortable. 

Silver Earrings// I am not a big silver girl but this year, I have really been drawn to it. I got these earrings kind of on a whim and have been loving them. I think the scale of them is what I love most. They are the perfect size for everyday where you can really see them compared to something like diamond or pearl studs but still subtle and classic. They're relatively inexpensive for designer jewelry and came beautifully packaged so they're a nice gift if you want to drop a hint for an upcoming birthday or even Valentine's Day. I am also not a huge fan of silver because it scratches so easily and loses its luster but because these are earrings, they are not hitting off of other jewelry like bracelets or hitting off of surfaces liks rings so they stay shiny!

Exfoliant// I love both chemical and physical exfoliants. This is a physical exfoliant and what I love most about this one is that the particles are tiny balls. Becuase of this, they have no jagged edges and so they don't irritate my skin at all but still do a great job at exfoliating dead skin. I leave this in the shower and do it a few times a week. It creates the smoothest canvas for makeup application so I also like to use it right before makeup application for a special event! 

Silk Hair Ties// I love teleties and these look like the Silk Slip hair ties but they're actualy a rubber teletie covered in silk so it's extra gentle on your hair. I use the slim ones whenever I pull my hair back- the goldish beige color matches my blonde hair well and just kind of blends in. I don't use these working out just because they're slightly less secure but these have become a daily necessity for me. 

Bangle Bracelet// I have two of these and honestly might get a 3rd. They look so good stacked together or by themselves. They are bold and fun and a great piece of costume jewelry. It gives you the tubogas look without the $10k+ price tag. 

Crew Socks// These are very 'in' at the moment and I was hesitant to embrace it but I really love it. The key is that you need these shorter crew socks. They are so much easier to style than the really high ones. You get 6 pair for under $20 and they are comfortable! 

Creed Perfume// This is heavenly. It's pricey but it literally smells pricey. It's the kind of thing people stop and ask you about. I prefer this over Baccarat. I spritz it sometimes when I'm just sitting at home because it is an instant mood booster. It makes me feel truly fabulous. 

Face Cleanser// I was a big Tula cleanser fan but ever since trying this, I've been hooked. It smells kind of like a spa- just light and fresh. My skin always feels perfectly clean afterward but it doesn't strip my skin. If you have used the Tula cleanser, this is similar, but just a little better, in my opinion. 

Olive Oil// I've read a lot about olive oil over the past few years and my husband and I have enjoyed doing tastings here and there. This is the best olive oil that you can easily get without paying a fortune. It's sold at Whole Foods and/or Amazon and you can order it on their site. The larger bottle is made for cooking and the smaller bottle is made for dipping or dressings. It is so rich and flavorful. If you are just picking one, I'd recommend the drizzle. We drizzle it over pizzas, pastas, soups. We love it paired with balsamic as the simplest and cleanest dressing. Dipping bread into it is just magical. You know how you go to Europe and the olive oil is just better? This is what this is like! If you are using Colavita, switch to this. Trust! 

Tumbler Glasses// I have started to collect these tumblers as they make the best juice glasses, cocktail glasses, or water glasses. They come in so many colors and they are just gorgeous. I've started collecting the green but am going to get a few more colors so I have a mix. I've also started collecting the larger size in clear to use as our everyday water glasses.

Cosmetic Case// I think this is the cutest cosmetic case and not only that, it's one of the highest quality I've ever owned. It reminds me of Walker Valentine which retails for double to triple the price of these cosmetic cased. Not only that but it's covered in like a clear vinyl material that you can just wipe off. It makes everything so much easier to clean. Makeup is messy, this makes sense! I also love the roomy interior and there are three small-ish interior pockets on one side and on the other side, one long roomy pocket. It keeps me organized at all times. It's seriously just the most perfect cosmetic bag. You could also use it for toiletries. 

Jacket// So, Varley has an entire line of pieces in 'double soft' fabric. I know there are a lot of Amazon look alikes floating around out there, but they all fail when it comes to the fabric because it is the fabric of these lounge pieces that sets them apart. The fabric is insanely soft- it's like almost cooling because it's that soft. It's really one of those things where you have to try it for yourself to understand but once you do, you'll start collecting the pieces like I have. 

Shorts// These shorts are also in the double soft fabric and are the most comfortable shorts in the world. They're definitely long, which is actually kind of nice because they're modest and you don't have to worry that your flashing anyone if you are running around and that kind of thing. They run true to size. 

Concealer// This is seriously the creamiest concealer I have ever used. It's medium coverage but you can build it if you need to. It blends into my skin to look like I'm not wearing makeup. My mom got it after I was raving about it and loves it, too. I wear shade light. 

Workout Tank// I love this tank so much for Orange Theory! It's inexpensive and has a built-in bra. I don't need to wear another bra as the one that comes in the tank has enough compression. I think if you have a larger chest, you may feel differently but this is perfect for me. The bra has padding in it but I take that out because I don't like it. I have these tops in a few different colors and buy the matching leggings. They're such cute and affordable sets and I think the quality is directly comparable to Lulu. 

Yogurt Drink// I don't love yogurt. I want to be the girl that loves to eat yogurt, but I don't. My husband gets the less sugar chobani yogurts in the cups and I don't like them. I have tried to, but I just don't. I don't even remember why I ended up trying these, but I did and haven't looked back. They are lactose-free and also more of a drink. I wouldn't say they're the best thing I've ever tasted but for 20 grams of protein, I drink them quickly and am satisfied. I like to drink these after my Orange Theory workouts. I never get enough protein in general but especially not enough when I do a tough workout like OTF. The key is that I think the mixed berry is the only truly good flavor. The other ones are not disgusting but I'd much rather have the mixed berry than the others. 

Lounge Set// This has become one of my favorite sets. I have it in a few colors. I wear it as pajamas but I love that they don't look overly 'pajama' ish because I can throw on a jacket or sweatshirt and walk Henry in the neighborhood without looking like I am, in fact, in my pajamas. I also love this set to lounge around in front of other people. We went to Boston a few months ago and we were all lounging. Instead of wearing leggings, I wore this set and felt cuter hanging out with our friends in their home! 

Cashmere Tee// These are such a good wardrobe staple and the cashmere is incredible for the price. I can't believe these have not made my favorite things list in year's past! 

White Sneakers// These sneakers are blowing away my expectations. I love the lower cut around the ankle as I find that they are more flattering with things like dresses. They are similar to Rothy's in concept and comfort but I think these have more added arch support which I really love. The quality is top notch, too. 

Red Ballet Flats// These are the most comfortable ballet flats I've ever worn. Hands down, no competition. I have the pointed-toe flats from the same company and they are incredibly comfortable but these are even better. When someone says they fit like a glove, this is what they mean. They feel like they are formed to my feet as if I have broken them in over a year or two of wear from the first wear. It's crazy. They're also gorgeous and so high quality. 

Red Schooner Wine// We tried this at a Caymus tasting dinner early in 2023 and it was fabulous. It's not technically a malbec because the wine is made in Napa but the grapes are from Argentina and come by boat to Napa to make the wine... so it's basically a Malbec. Anyway, this was so rich and gave me cabernet vibes. Really wish they sold this in PA (we have weird wine and spirit laws here). 

Angeli Wine// We did a red wine tasting at the lake this summer and this was surprisingly my favorite wine. I did not know how much I love zinfandels! Many taste similar to a cabernet which is typically my favorite wine. I absolutely love this red. It's rich and full bodied like a cab but it has a flavorful fruit forward note that I really enjoy. 

Lap Desk// I was sitting in our living room or in bed on my computer and it started to make my upper back hurt due to poor posture. I guess that's just part of being in my 30s but I was looking for a fix because sometimes I just don't want to be at my desk. This lap desk has totally changed my posture for the better and I no longer get upper back/neck pain! There are so many lap desk options on Amazon and I considered many before I landed on this one. I've been so pleased. It has two heights and the underneath part of the desk is padded so it's comfortable. It's super lightweight and has a nice little carrying handle. Coudln't ask for more in a lap desk and am so pleased with it. 

Mittens// I love these mittens. Last winter, I did extensive research on gloves and mittens. I have nice ski gloves and many pairs of pretty leather fashion gloves. However, I wanted a pair of ultra warm mittens that I could wear when I walk Henry. I wanted them to be somewhat water resistant but still cute. Finding down gloves is hard, but what's harder is finding down gloves at *this* low price. I'm telling you- they all have synthetic linings which is just not going to to do it when it comes to cold OR the down options are $$ (seriously, this pair is over 4x the price!). True down is the warmest, in my opinion and these are lined in the softest fleece. They are the ultimate walking mittnes because you don't need to use your hands much when you are walking for exercise/walking the dog! 

Hand Soap// Considering you can go to Target and buy hand soap for $5, this is ridiculously expensive. Though I do want to make the case that something small like this makes a difference in my happiness and so that to me is worth it. The smell is incredible and each time I wash my hands, I just become happy. I know that sounds like an absurd way to talk about hand soap, but it's the truth. I like to find small doses of happiness where I can. In this case, expensive hand soap. 

Hand Cream// I've never used a hand cream more. I don't like hand cream so I'm always buying new ones to try and make myself use them more. My hands are atrocious and I am so self conscious about them. They get so dry and I pick at my cuticles. It's such a bad habit. So I should be using moisturizer 24/7. This is the first hand cream that makes me excited and want to apply it 24/7. It smells incredible- it's bright and fresh but has a slight masculine vibe to it, too. 

Handbag// This bag is finally back in stock in the pretty deep brown. J. McLaughlin handbags have been on another level lately. They have always had beautiful bags but the quality has never been better. In a world where most brands are decreasing their quality and raising their prices, I think the price for their bags is incredibly fair. This bag looks so similar to a $3000++ handbag. I do like designer labels but I can't figure out why you'd purchase the $3k bag over this one it is just as good. 

2023 Monthly Favorites List:

Check out my Best of 2022, here and 2021, here

Are you following me on the LikeToKnowIt app?! You can shop all of my outfits, favorite finds, and more in the app. I am constantly updating it with the latest! You can also access all of my posts, here, if you don't use LTK!

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