I can’t believe it’s 2023.
I’m mentally still living in 2021. I feel like 2022 never actually happened. Maybe it’s because I rarely have to physically write the date anymore, and so it kind of went by without me noticing? I have no idea. I am shook that we are in the year 2023, regardless of why that may be.
Our end of 2022 was pretty great, save for a couple waves of sickness taking out our household around the holidays. I was sick the day after Thanksgiving for about two weeks (thanks to my charming petri dish children), and then again the week after Christmas heading into New Year’s.
Nothing serious – just pesky and frustrating head colds that lingered. New Year’s Eve was a bummer – I was so sick that I barely made it to 9 PM. Not that we do anything extravagant on NYE anymore anyway, but I always try to make it fun for the kids and do a big snack spread with fun cocktails (with apple juice in mini champagne flutes for the kiddos). None of that happened this year, which really bummed me out.
The holidays themselves were wonderful. We spent a ton of time with family, and it was the first time in a year that we didn’t have any organized sports for almost two whole months. Kieran has basketball right now and baseball practices for the spring start tomorrow (woah), so we were soaking up the slower day-to-day life. It was nice while it lasted! We’re about to be in the thick of it again this upcoming week.
The kids are back in school, and they are both growing so much. I can barely keep them clothed with how fast they are sprouting up. I just went through all of their clothes and donated an OBSCENE amount of clothing to GoodWill. It was crazy.
And it’s even crazier that I’ll probably need to do it again in three months or so. They are growing at a rapid rate. They eat all the time, too. I feel like I can’t keep enough food in the house. I feed them and literally a half hour goes by and they’re asking for more food! I am seriously scared for the days that I’ll have two teenage boys in the house. Yikes.
In other news, I have so many fun discoveries to tell you about from the past couple months!
- With the colder weather and lingering head colds that plagued us these past couple months, my tea consumption skyrocketed. I usually drink more tea in the winter for obvious reasons, but I have really been on a tear since mid-September. I was tired of storing 35 different boxes of tea, so I bought this tea bag organizer and I LOVE it. It is big enough to hold larger tea bags, and it holds a TON (I have the 11 x 10-inch one). I love that it’s clear so you can see all the options easily. I might even get a second one. It’s great.
- This is something I have mentioned in the past, but with all the honey I’m making, this electric kettle has been getting more use than I think it ever has in all the years I’ve owned it. Not only is it super pretty (it can sit on the counter without looking obscene), but it boils water in minutes and without any effort. I love, love, love it.
- I am still obsessing over all the Zach & Zoe raw honeys. I discovered them in September when my good friend gifted me a sampler for my birthday. My newest favorite flavors: lemon and cranberry (which I think was a seasonal option). I just bought the creamed coffee honey and I am so excited to play around with that one. The quality of the honey is incredible, and the flavors are SO delicious. If I had to recommend flavors, I would start with the lemon, blueberry, and lavender to start. Very versatile and just LOVELY flavor profiles. Plus, it feels awesome to support a smaller business. I use them every single day!
- This little citrus juicer has been an item I use almost daily, much to my surprise. I actually hate the handheld citrus juicers where you have to squeeze to press the juice out – they hurt my hands! This is an amazing alternative – it works for both lemons and limes – and it’s great for when you need the juice of 1 or 2 fruits. It’s small and perfect, with little measurements on the cup. Bonus: it catches the seeds! I seriously love this thing.
- This hair wrap towel has been a total GAME CHANGER for me. I don’t say that lightly. I have very thick, long hair and have always struggled with keeping a traditional towel wrapped and on top of my head after a shower. SO annoying. I bought this towel on a whim and am forever changed. Not only is it super absorbent, but it keeps my long, thick hair under wraps without movement for as long as I need it to. I can bend over and touch my toes and it doesn’t budge. I love it so much, I bought it for both my sisters for Christmas. It is amazing!
- One Black Friday splurge I made was on this Shark WandVac Vacuum system. We have mostly hardwood floors on our first floor, and whipping out my heavy-duty Dyson vacuum every time I needed to clean was cumbersome. Plus, I can’t do our carpeted stairs easily with corded vacuum. I wanted to try this one out – its lightweight, cordless nature AND the self-emptying system were very appealing to me. I really like this vacuum! It’s suction is definitely less than my Dyson (or most corded vacuums, I would think), but it’s great for keeping my wood floors and stairs clean, and with two kids and two dogs, it’s great for all the little messes that occur with daily life. Really glad we got it!
- I have been diffusing oils in our house for a few years now. I absolutely love my Vitruvi diffuser – the mist is ultra-fine and it can run for a lot longer than some of the cheaper diffusers. I had an Amazon gift card for my birthday, and upgraded our main diffuser to this larger one. I LOVE it. It’s the same fine mist but it covers a larger space and can run for 18 hours. LOVE. The Vitruvi diffusers are definitely the best I’ve owned.
- With two boys, I am constantly on the hunt for hair gel that will keep their hair styled and out of their face, even when they are on the move. This hair gel is amazing! It has really strong hold but doesn’t give them a “wet” look – which I much prefer on little boys. It keeps their hair looking nice but overly styled, if that make sense. Best hair gel I’ve found for them yet.
- I have worn the same perfume for over 15 years now (original “Bombshell” by Victoria’s Secret). I have never found a perfume I like as much, so I just stick with it. Well. Everything changed when my sister was visiting for Thanksgiving and I couldn’t stop complimenting her on the perfume she was wearing. Turns out, this Dans Les Bois perfume by Dime Beauty was it. I was obsessed! She gifted me a bottle for Christmas, and let me just tell you, I have never loved a perfume more. I stop and smell myself many, many times a day (probably the most awkward sentence I’ve ever typed out, haha). It’s SO good. Warm, slightly spiced, and musky but somehow still light and very feminine. It’s apparently a trendy scent right now because it keeps selling out. I totally get why!
- I love to wear darker lipsticks/stains in the winter months, but lately, my lips have been craving moisture more than usual (aging/cold weather probs). This Fenty lip gloss is my new fave thing to slather on my lips when I want a little color without any drying effects. I have it in the shade “Hot Cherry,” which is a pretty red/raspberry color. LOVE it. It’s so pretty, gives a sheer hint of color, makes my lips plump up a bit, and is really moisturizing for a gloss. I am going to try out another color soon!
- I have been battling some keratosis pilaris on the back of my arms for a few years now (little red, scaly bumps) – it’s definitely gotten more noticeable with time – and this smoothing lotion is the ONLY thing that has helped. It’s super rich and moisturizing, doesn’t have a heavy scent, and actually works! I might try out the body scrub next, as I’ve heard that pairing them up gives even better results.
- Last but not least, I’ve got a few books to discuss. In 2022, I read over 60 books! Which is an incredible feat for me. I’m hoping to top that in 2023. So far, I’ve read Scandalized (enjoyed it but wasn’t as blown away as I would have hoped), The American Roommate Experiment (LOVED – very cute. I think The Spanish Love Deception was better – it was in my top 5 reads of 2022 – but I thought this one was great), A Light in the Flame from the Flesh and Fire series (OBSESSED with this series. Weirdly, the writing isn’t my favorite, but I love the story so freaking much. This prequel series is SO good), and the dark horse of my reading continues to be the Briar hockey series and spin-off stories (they are all SO good and get progressively better with each new character story. I didn’t think a jock/sports romance would be my thing, but it SO IS. Wow. These are all so good – a perfect mix of college-aged adventure, romance, steam, AND humor. So GOOD). Here’s hoping that my reading hobby still goes strong this year! I have faith it will.
And that wraps it up! Cheers to a new year (albeit a bit belated), and thank you for being here! Xoxo.
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