a few of my favorite things

Let me just share a few favorite things, that is...besides butter:

1. Coconut Oil
I don't know why it took me so long to make the come around that coconut oil is not just for hippies, it is in fact great for everyone. I use it to take off my mascara and its the best remover I've ever had. I use it in my cooking (occasionally) and yeah it costs alot but its RARE that you ever have to use alot. I used it in some homemade lotion I made during winter break. I swear, it cures/heals/fixes/works on everything...except maybe cancer.

2. Essential Oils

Again, I figured this was another one of those products only used by natural-earthy people, and was so wrong again. One week before our wedding I had a cold sore the size of an island on my nose. I had never had one before, and I was depressed thinking that was it -- I was going to blow all my wedding pictures with this enormous THING. Low and behold, after a plea for help on instagram, someone brought over an essential oil bottle to my parents house to have waiting for me after arriving from UT (you really wanted all these details about how i took care of my cold sore, didn't you?) for me to start applying. It worked. It was completely gone before the day before the wedding and no trace of it either. Secondly, I've gotten an ingrown toenail or two in my life - and they are awful. Have you ever had one? If not, you have no idea how painful they are. (Think: If the sheets of your bed touch your toe it makes your toe pulse it hurts so bad. I got one last night and I started to cry I know how long these take to heal. I put Lavender essential oil it about three times and I haven't felt pain since. Third, I got a bad sinus infection (okay, I PROMISE to quit this kind of TMI talk, but this is good info right?) awhile back and I applied lots of peppermint essential oils topically on my face and on my neck and chest. I also cupped my hands around my mouth and took in some deep breaths. It works. It was the only way I could get any sleep at night or during the day to clear everything up so I could breathe. Oh, and I have put them in my homemade soaps. Yay for essential oils.

3. My Fitbit

Soon after getting it people told me how it didn't motivate them to exercise or they forgot to charge it. But not me. I was easily fixated on how cool this thing really is. Besides from keeping me aware of how active (or lack there of) I am in a day, it tracks my heart rate, the floors I climb, the number of minutes I exercise, calories burned, etc. The user friendly app is my favorite. It shows me all my stats in an easy to read form that keeps me motivated to reach my daily goals. This week I've focused on drinking more water, so I've set an alarm on my fitbit to go off every two hours to make sure I've drank a water bottle by then. Bronson and I often ask each other during the day how many steps were at, and it TOTALLY has kept us motivated to work out. Like -- 5 days a week for three weeks now. That is my new lifetime record.

4. Minimalist Baker
I could eat everything she makes. It all looks soooo good. And it doesn't hurt that her and her husband live in Portland, OR. While she tailors her meals to more vegan eaters, I can easily adjust to please my meat loving husband. I'm getting serious about meal planning now. Every Sunday I take a good amount of time picking out recipes for the week. I love making dinners now and having good leftovers for lunch.

5. Podcasts. I'm getting back into my routine of listening to podcasts when I workout, drive, and make dinner and I forgot how much I love them.
This podcast I listened to was fascinating about how the Post Office really built America. I know that summary probably makes you NOT want to listen to it, but I promise it was good.
This podcast is new to me, (thanks mom and julia) and at first I had my hesitations, because I think as a kid/young adult I always claimed my hobby was reading but has faded since entering college. Simply, for the lack of time. But now, its becoming an enjoyed hobby again, if I can actually stay awake while reading (yet to happen). And I also listened to this one today about What to say to an early returned missionary. I think this subject needs to be more widely talked about and understood.

Bronson found me like this a couple months ago, asleep instead of reading. Last night I didn't even make it two pages before I feel asleep.

6. Bomb: : The race to build and steal the world's most powerful weapon: The race to build and steal the world's most powerful weapon. I can't finish my list of favorites without mentioning this book. My sister wrote a recap of the book thats too good not to share: "WOW WOW WOW! If someone were to ask me what they should read next, it's this book! It's a young adult nonfiction that's read like a suspenseful spy novel. Every segment there were more and more characters added to the story. At first I thought it would be hard to follow but the author weaves it in so effortlessly that I not only kept up with the characters but I could just sit back and enjoy the ride. And no book has ever made more interested in family history.

My Grandpa Smith was actually in Tennessee as one of the many scientists creating the uranium for the bomb. But of course, no one knew what they were doing and they could not talk about it. From talking with my Mom she said that he and his good friend had to go in a closet at one point and discuss what they thought their project was about. They put things together and concluded they were making some sort of massive bomb. I wish I read this years ago so I could ask him a bizallion questions from his experience. Knowing that he was part of this whole story made it even more meaningful. I was really hoping I would see his name pop up in the book. ;)

The spy tactics to get information was like something you see in movies but it's real life. I don't know much about physics or chemistry but when I was reading this book, I couldn't help but be excited like I knew what they were talking about and want to tell Austin too. Not only is this just a good read but provides great discussion on whether the Americans should have dropped the bomb or not.

Overall, just read it! It's fabulous. I learned so much about history and loved it at the same time." 
I loved this book, and kept thinking why we didn't read THIS in history class in high school... 

 What of your favorite things am I missing out on?


  1. I have loved reading about your "loves". I realized I'm far behind on your blog. Can't wait to catch up!!

  2. Yay for all these things! I just read Bomb last week. It was amazing! Let me know which MB recipes you like. I love her stuff.

  3. PS if you need a book to fall into...try The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. Her books are so fun and spell-binding.


© the gardner place • Theme by Maira G.