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What I Love Wednesday: 11/25

Happy day before Thanksgiving everyone! Thanksgiving is looking a little different this year, but I wanted to take a moment to share some of my favorites from this past week, since next week is going to be Blogmas content. Can you believe that we’re already about to be in December? I can’t.
That said, this post will be the last of the week so I can enjoy a break blogging. So, without further adue, here are this week’s favorites:

Dash and Lily: I heard about this, and watched the first episode, and was instantly hooked. It is a Netflix show that is about a girl named Lily who leaves a red notebook in the Strand looking for love, and a lonely boy named Dash finds it and completes the challenge. The two begin to talk and they really hit it off. At the time of writing this post, I have binged watched six episodes, and am really looking forward to finishing the show. The show is a really quick watch, and I began reading the book as well. It is definitely a cute Christmas show if you’re looking for something to get you in the holiday spirit.

Pandora Beads and Pave Bracelet: I mentioned that I’ve been taking advantage of the Pandora sale and this is one of the things that I’ve purchased. I bought this a few weeks ago, and it came into the mail last week. I have not taken this off since I got it, and I like it that it’s a piece that I can wear with everything. I really love layering this with some other bracelets as well.

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread: My boyfriend got into Trader Joe’s this past week, and I was really excited that he did. One of the things that he purchased was their pumpkin bread, which is really delicious. I have had it with avocado and hummus, and it was delicious.

Trader Joe’s Vegan Mac and Cheese: It has been seven years since I’ve had Macaroni and Cheese. My boyfriend also picked this up, and I really enjoyed it with broccoli. I am the type of person who is skeptical when it comes to vegan items and was pleasantly surprised that this tasted as good as it was. It’s amazing, and I recommend it if you’re dairy-free like I am.

Diamonique Hoop Earring Set: I’ve mentioned my love for Diamonique before, and I got this earrings partially for myself and partially as a gift set that I will spilt to many people. I kept a few pairs to myself, and I really love them. They are lightweight but they still pack a statement. I highly recommend these for gift giving — and for yourself.

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Tech Tuesday: I Bought an iPod touch in 2020. Here’s Why

I’ve been a fan of the iPod for a very long time. In the late 2000s, I was always either downloading new songs onto it, or listening to music. And, I liked every kind of genre, from rock music, to pop and country.

10 years later, not much has changed. 

In that time, I have since gotten an iPhone and Spotify. I love streaming, because it’s so easy to find something that you want and transfer it to device to device. However, I do not love the fact that I have to basically carry my phone with me everywhere while I work out or even when I want to unplug from the world.

Unfortunately, the iPod Touch that I was using had died and it was 8 GB. I was gifted an iPod touch from my friends, but the battery never worked and I eventually outgrew the iPod. Then, last year, I purchased a Space Gray iPod Touch when they discontinued the previous generation and the battery life never worked from day one, despite the fact that I bought it to Apple several times. Because of the battery life never lasting, I never used it much.

I decided it was time to upgrade to an iPod Touch. As you may know, that iPod is the only one that is available now, since the Nano, Shuffle, and Classic are now discontinued. 

I ended up purchasing an iPod Touch 256 GB in the Product Red color. I purchased it a week and a half ago, and so far I am loving it. 

This device is a well needed upgrade for me. I love having it with me when I work out, because my AirPods work wonderfully with it, and it’s a lot better to work out with than my phone since I can just listen to the music instead of being distracted by the notifications on my phone. 

Furthermore, the device also has amazing battery life. I’ve seen some reviews online that said that it was a lot worse than the previous generation and that is not the case whatsoever.

So, many of you are wondering why someone would buy an iPod when they have their iPhone. Well, for me it’s just to keep my 6,500 songs off of my phone. I can use my Spotify on my iPod, so that’s really helpful. However, I don’t want to overwhelm my memory on my phone with my music if I didn’t have to.

And, I am sure that there are many people out there who have a larger music collection and just want to keep their phone’s memory free. I can see those who were a big fan of their iPod classic loving this, as well as those who just loving the fact that you can have music to listen on a separate device.

This device is also great for someone who is active like me. Mine only has music and Audible, so I don’t get push notifications on it. This is great to take on a run, since you don’t have to worry about dropping your phone when you’re running as well. 

Furthermore, this is something that is great for kids. It’s basically an iPhone without the phone, which is great if you don’t want to give a child a smartphone yet. I am sure this device is amazing for games and for watching videos. 

So, overall I am really happy with my iPod purchase and have no regrets about purchasing the device whatsoever. 

Do you have an iPod? If so, let me know in the comments below.

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Shopping My Way Around CT: Oronoque Farm in Shelton CT

As Thanksgiving approaches, my boyfriend and I wanted to pick up some unbaked pies for Thanksgiving. Even though Thanksgiving is looking a lot different for us than in previous years, we still wanted to get a classic Thanksgiving dessert. So, we decided to check out Oronoque Farms Gifts and Bakery in Shelton.

When we stepped out of the car, we were instantly greeted with the smelled of freshly baked apple treats. We’ll get to those in a minute.

Inside, this shop had a little bit of everything — from soaps and lotions, to jewelry and unique home decor. There were also a ton of Christmas decor. Furthermore, this shop has a lot of old fashioned candy, and chocolate covered pretzels, which are my favorite. This is an amazing place to get some gifts as we enter the holiday season, and it’s a great way to shop locally.

Now, let’s talk about the baked goods. This is a great way to buy desserts for Thanksgiving. At that time, they did not recommend buying pies that were already made, so my boyfriend ended up purchasing an unbaked pie. I did purchase a pie for my grandma, and it was still warm.

Their pie selection is massive. Here is a full list of their pies here:

In addition to pies, they also sell apple cider donuts, fudge, and apple cinnamon crumb cake. I purchased their apple cider donuts, and they were outstanding. They also had cookies, and some frozen pies that you can defrost as well.

Overall, I really enjoyed going to this bakery, and despite the fact that this Thanksgiving looks a little different this year, I am so happy that we can have a small piece of Thanksgiving tradition.

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Christmas 2020 Wishlist

Can you believe that the holiday season is upon us? I still can not believe that 2020 has gone by as quickly as it. And, 2020 was quite a year from everything that happened in the world. I hope that 2021 is a better year for us all.

Now, I’ve watched so many of these videos on YouTube, and I wanted to create my own, as I did last year, because I enjoyed doing so. As I said last year, I’m not expecting to get any of these from anyone, but maybe I’ll look to cross these items out to treat myself with. Or, this can also serve as a good reference for someone who is looking for gift ideas for the holiday season.

One thing that I noticed is compared to last year, my list is more simplistic and meant for the home versus for myself. I wonder if that’s something that happens when you get older, but with any case, here’s my Christmas wishlist for this year:

  1. Ember Mug: I am a huge coffee and tea drinker. I found this mug when I was looking at getting my iPod, and I love this. What is really cool about this mug is that it is a smart mug that you can control the temperature with. I love this as well because you can keep your drink warm for over an hour, which is something that I think I will enjoy at work and at home since I love drinking tea and coffee hot.
  2. Cutting Boards: I actually don’t have cutting boards, and I think that as my boyfriend does more cooking, it might be a good idea to have a more staple surface to chop vegetables on.
  3. Cookie Cutters: One of the things that really helps me with stress relief is baking. When making cookies recently, it dawned on me that I didn’t have any cookie cutters. I recently bought one that was shaped like a dog, however, I want to expand my collection.
  4. Pandora Christmas Charms: I am a big fan of Pandora Jewelry and have expanded my collection in the past year thanks to the fact that Jared has discontinued to carry Pandora, and has 50 percent off of Pandora jewelry pieces. I love collecting charms, and I want to add a few to my collection. Many Pandora fanatics often interchange them and only wear them seasonally, however, I don’t. I like to wear them regularly because it makes me think of the day/person that gave it to me. Some of my Christmas charms are actually my favorite, because they remind me when my mom used to give me charms when I was younger as well. The two that I have my eye on are the Red Nosed Reindeer Charm and the Christmas Tree Charm.
  5. Giftcards: Last, but certainly not least, the one thing that I really want this year for Christmas is gift cards. I purchased a Kindle Oasis, and so I want to get Amazon gift cards to download books on as well.

So that is my Christmas list. Honestly, the best part about this holiday is the fact that this is the first holiday that my boyfriend and I are making our own traditions. I am really enjoying the fact that I am healthy and have a lot to be grateful for, even though Christmas is one of the hardest times of the year for me since it was one of my mom’s favorite holidays.

What is on your Christmas list this year? Let me know in the comments below?

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What I Love Wednesday: November 18, 2020

Happy Wednesday everyone! How is everyone doing? I am preparing for a social distancing winter and potentially for stricter guidelines pretty much during the winter season. For me, that just means a few extra trips to Joann Fabrics and Michaels to bulk up my yarn stash, since that was something that I had a lot of trouble with during the first phase of COVID.

That said, I wanted to share this week’s favorites. They are a little bit random, but I am still happy to share them with you.

Adina’s Jewels Gothic Initial Pendent:

You can say that I was influenced by Brooke Miccio for this purchase. She wears the gold necklace with a B, and I loved it. Furthermore, Adina’s had a 50 percent off sale, and I knew that it was meant to be to grab it. The shipping was really quick, and I am really happy that I ended up purchasing it because I’ve been wearing it a lot since receiving it.

Music:

I’ve been getting into music more and more since I got my iPod Touch. Since I’ve been listening to a lot of different music, I’ll just list my favorites here: Positions (album) by Ariana Grande, Midnight Sky by Miley Cyrus, and Stevie Knicks along with Fleetwood Mac. I’m sure that I’ll be listing more music favorites again now that I’ll be listening to music more frequently.

Pandora Jewelry:

I have been taking advantage of the Pandora Black Friday sale, as well as the Jared 50 percent off sale. I did purchase the Cinderella ring, and am waiting for the other packages to arrive in the mail. Furthermore, I recently redid my Pandora bracelet from when I was a kid, and have been wearing it all of the time. What I love about Pandora is that with every piece that I received new, the quality really stands up. Some of my pieces are over a decade old, and they still look new. Furthermore, many of my charms were gifts from my mom throughout the years, so I am happy to wear them again.

Disney Movies:

You can say that I have been getting my money’s worth from my Disney Plus membership this past week. I’ve been watching – binging I should say – Disney movies. So far, I’ve watched Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, The Princess and the Frog, Lady and the Tramp, Aladdin, and Arsitocats. I started Brave, but really didn’t enjoy that one as much. Watching Disney movies have been providing me a lot of comfort, and now I get the millennial obsession with Disney characters.

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Women Who Work: Shea Witherspoon, Owner of the Sudsy Spoon

I love bath products. For me, they are one of the best things to get for self care, and they always make me feel good about myself whenever I indulge in getting bath products.

Today’s feature is Shea Witherspoon, owner of the Sudsy Spoon. The Sudsy Spoon is an online shop that sells soaps and a few other body care products. And, they are gorgeous. What I really love about The Sudsy Spoon has so many products not only by season, but with popular TV shows. There are a ton of Gilmore Girls products, which is something that I love. Furthermore, all of Witherspoon’s products are perfect for holiday gift giving, and are vegan.

sudsy spoon, small business, holiday gift ideas, gifts, bath products, vegan bath products,
One of Witherspoon’s handmade soaps, Starry Night. Photo Credit: Shea Witherspoon

So, let’s learn more about the Sudsy Spoon:

  1. How did you get started with the Sudsy Spoon?
  • The Sudsy Spoon started about a year ago after my therapist noticed that I needed an outlet for my mental health. She suggested soap making and I thought she had lost her mind. I found Royalty Soaps on Youtube and realized that I could make really unique and intricate soaps. I started out making bath products like bath bombs and lip balms and wanted something more. I watched a few videos, bought my supplies, and got started. 
  1. Are soaps the only things that you sell?
  • Soaps are my main focus, but I also really enjoy sustainable living. I have dabbled in other sustainable body products such as lotion bars. I also sell whipped soaps which are whipped soaps that feel great on the skin and can be used for washing or shaving.
The In Omnia Paratus Soap is one of my favorites. Photo Credit: Shea Witherspoon
  1. What is the soap making process?
    • Soap making is a really fun process. You combine oils and lye and scent it and color it however you desire. There are so many different creations one can make. I find that the process of soapmaking can be really soothing to watch, so I like to film the process for my Instagram stories. 
  2. I noticed and am so excited to see that you have Gilmore Girls themed soaps. What are some of the other shows or movies you reference?
    • Gilmore Girls is my comfort show. I always know that when I am having a bad day that I can escape to Stars Hollow for a bit. My Gilmore Girls soaps are my main pop culture inspired soaps. I cannot get enough of them. I also have plans to make soaps inspired by my other favorite shows. I am in the process of designing soaps inspired by Parks and Recreation. I think a Ron Swanson Lagavulin soap would be really cool. I also live in a city with a lot of pride, so I have plans on making a Wichita inspired soap collection.
  3. What is your inspiration for the pop culture ones?
    • I get inspiration from soap from everywhere! Gilmore Girls is my main inspiration, but I also find inspiration other places. I made 12 days of Soapmas Advent Calendar and many of those soaps are inspired by my favorite Christmas movies. I have a Charlie Brown inspired soap and a Buddy the Elf inspired soap. I also have a Whipped Coffee inspired soap from the early days of quarantine. I also love the art of Van Gogh, so I have a Starry Night themed soap that I adore.
  4. Will you have any holiday themed ones?
    • My holiday themed soaps drop on November 14th! I have two low top soaps and two high top soaps. The low top soaps are more winter inspired with scents like pine and evergreen. The high top soaps are a little different with one being inspired by the Stars Hollow Winter Carnival scented in Caramel Corn. The other is a night sky inspired soap scented in a duplication fragrance of Twilight Woods.
  5. How has making soaps helped with your mental health?
    • I started making soap every time I was sad. It got to the point where I had so much soap and no way to use it all. I started The Sudsy Spoon as a way to make other people happy with my soaps and to promote mental health.
  6. What soap do you recommend for the gift giving season?
    • There are so many to choose from, but I would say my Soapmas Calendar. It is 12 mini soaps for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. It is the perfect gift for the pandemic because handwashing is so important. The scents range for winter/holiday, to coffee, to masculine/woods, so there is something for everyone. 
  7. What would you like those who have never heard of your brand to know about your soaps?
    • I would like people to know that at The Sudsy Spoon we value the environment and try and be as kind as possible with our packaging. Additionally, we know that everyone has mental health and so we think it is important to start conversations about mental health whenever we can to stop the stigma.
  8. Finally, do you have any advice for anyone who is interested in starting their own business?
    • Consistency is key. I put the majority of my focus on production and not marketing. I did not start to sell product until I was able to market myself. It is so important to be consistent with your social media and to show up for your customers. I also like to show my customers the face behind the brand, so I often share myself on Instagram stories, so people can see that there is a real person behind my brand.
The Be Here Tomorrow Soaps are gorgeous! Photo Credit: Shea Witherspoon.

Be sure to check out Witherspoon’s shop on Instagram as well.

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Toxic Positivity Needs To Stop.

There is no science backed behind the fact that no one on this Earth is happy one hundred percent of the time. We all have bad days, we go through hard times, and we have times in our lives when it is simply challenging to survive. 

Yet, we are told to just shake it off, to cheer up or that it will get better. 

There is a name for that. That is toxic positivity. 

The true definition of toxic positivity, according to the Science of People, is feeling of acting happy or cheerful when you’re really not. It can be inflicted on yourself, or it can be the things that people say to you directly. 

I am going to be real – 2019 was the hardest year of my life for many reasons. The biggest though was the fact that my mom died unexpectedly. I cannot even begin to count how many people told me to “just be strong,” “fake a smile,” or just to push my own feelings aside to be happy. I felt this pressure during the holidays, a season that my mother truly loved, to just grin and bear it. It felt almost as if I was a weight around those around me that brought everyone around me down.

The truth is, that is not okay. In fact, it’s dangerous, because I was holding my feelings in. 

And, I am not alone. The article states that more than 75 percent of people said that they sometimes, often, or very often ignore their emotions in the favor of being happy. Furthermore, what is also damaging is that 67.8 percent of people have experienced toxic positivity in the past week alone. 

I am going to be the first to admit that I find the positive in practically everything, because I do have a lot to be grateful for. Sometimes, this is a fault of mine, but that’s another story. However, one thing that I am learning that suppressing my emotions in light to “look at the bright side” may not be the best idea  because it bottles them up. Going back to my example earlier, it is a very natural emotion to experience grief when you lose a parent and to admit it. Or, on lighter examples, that are not losing a parent, you can feel frustrated with something that happened in your day, or even with a situation. It’s okay to feel those emotions. 

One of the things I would like to change with everyone who is reading this blog post is to seriously stop this toxic positivity garbage. Instead, I want everyone to learn to say “I know you’re hurting, but it’s okay,” give the people in their circle a chance to be upset, and stop saying “cheer up.” 

For example, I’ve had a few moments where I was frustrated from it being one of those days. My water bottle spilled all over my car and soaked my rugs. Things weren’t working at work, and everything that happened was the ultimate test of my patience. I began to feel annoyed and frustrated, which is to be expected, only to tell myself to hold everything together. 

Newsflash – we don’t have to, nor do we need to be positive all of the time. Sure, we can’t explode, but we are allowed to feel that way. I am allowed to vent about the fact that I am frustrated, instead of saying “that’s okay.” 

So, the takeaway here is this: you are allowed to feel however which way you want to feel. And, no one should tell you differently. 

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Gift Guide to the Person Who Just Moved Out

It’s safe to say that Christmas season is now here and we are in full swing on the gifting season. Today, I want to touch upon a unique sort of type of gift – a good holiday gift for someone who is moving out on their own for the first time, whether that may be for college or their first apartment. Many of these gifts are things that they may want, but they probably won’t think to ask for something like this for themselves. That said, here are some great ideas for someone who first moved out on their own. 

Air Fryer:

This is hands down one of the best things I could have ever done for my kitchen, because I can do so much with it. I warm up frozen foods, leftovers, I make French fries, and there is so much more you can do with it that the options are endless. If they don’t already have this, I highly recommend that this. 

Coffee Maker:

Coffee makers are expensive, but they are so worth it. If they drink coffee, then this will save them so much money. And, there are so many different price points for coffee makers, as well as different brands. For example, there’s Nespresso, there’s Keurig and so much more. Having a coffee maker is so helpful because you can make a cup of coffee almost anytime that you want. And, the price per cup is significantly lower than Starbucks. 

If you can’t decide between the many different options out there, I highly recommend that you get a Keurig, and the mini one would be perfect for someone who is living alone. My reasoning is because you can do so much with it. You can brew hot water for tea, coffee, and so much more. And, the variety of pods is also amazing as well. 

Amazon Firestick:

This is hands down one of the best things that I have purchased for my house. I recommend this to anyone, because there is so much that you can watch with it. You can stream YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Prime TV, Disney Plus, and more. This is such a cheaper way to get cable, and what I personally love about it is that you get to watch whatever you want whenever you want to do so. 

Brita Filter:

This is one of those items that you would never purchase for yourself, but once you do, you can’t live without it. I’ve had this for a few years now, and I’ve been loving it. It saves both money and space, since you’re not buying water bottles. This is a cheaper alternative to buying water, because you pay anywhere from $17-$30 for the actual pitcher, and then you pay $17 for four filters. Since you change the filters once every three months, that’s basically $17 a year for water. This is definitely going to be a gift that will be used. 

Blankets/Towels:

These are the go-tos, and for good reason – everyone can always use them. In the case of towels, one of the things that people don’t realize that you need more than one of is dish towels. Furthermore, it’s also good to have an extra throw blanket around as well for décor, for the bed or even to have lying around on the couch when watching TV. 

Phone stands:

This is hands down one of my favorite Amazon purchases. Basically, it’s a stand that keeps your phone, your watch, and your AirPods organized. What I love about this is that it keeps everything in one place, and looks great on your nightstand.