Friday, April 26, 2013

More of my Favorite Things

Last spring or summer I think I did an entry on some of my favorite things going into the warmer weather, even if it had nothing much to do with the weather. People seemed to like the recommendations so I'm going with it again. I will probably have to do another once summer actually comes but since we're pretty much down to two seasons- winter and summer, this is as good a time as any....

Abeo footwear- It's exclusively sold at The Walking Company, as far as I know. I got the Balboa Neutral "Flip Flop" and fell in love with it two summers ago. I put flip flop in caps and quotes because when you typically think of that kind of shoe, you think of crappy Havanias (sorry, but I bought a pair at Loehmanns and not only weren't they comfortable but they gave me blisters), or $5 things you get anywhere- on the boardwalk, in CVS, wherever. These look like flip flops but they're SO MUCH MORE.

I judge any shoe by how long I can wear it without constantly thinking about my foot pain. I'm such a pain baby to begin with but I can't deal with foot pain. I barely wear heels, comfort is optimum for me, and I'd wear flips all year long if I could. The Abeo shoes are on the more expensive side for this kind of shoe- I KNOW. But, how many uncomfortable, cheaply made, really just shitty pair have you shelled out $15-$30 or more for because they were cute, but you couldn't wear them for more than an hour? Add up a few of those and you have one pair of Balboas. And they have other styles- "dressier" so to speak. I just don't need that. But if I did, I'd be buying them all. They are stylish but made for comfort. But it's not your mom or grandma's Aerosoles or Naturalizers. And FYI, I have a pair of strappy Naturalizers I got for a wedding and they're awful. Blister city.

I now own two and a half pair of Abeo Balboas. I say "half" because I can't bear to part with them but the reason I got the second pair was because B flat-tired my first pair and when that happened, I tripped forward and it ripped the thong part partially out. In my mind they're fixable. I wore them EVERY day the summer of 2011 and part of last summer. Till B stepped on the one. I just ordered purple, which is my last pair for awhile so I don't mind letting everyone in on my shoe secret. The size 9's and 10's always seem to go first.

If you have an Ebates account, they're on there and it's 5% back!

EZ Freeze Stayfit products: I bring my breakfast to work. I use Jenny Craig frozen breakfasts because they're easy to transport and heat on the go. But I'd rather eat cereal. It's cheaper. But it's a PAIN to transport. I don't want to keep milk in the refridgerator at work because it's small and the milk will end up going bad because I'll never be able to use it all. I've brought it but it's always been annoying. THEN- I went to my friend Margaret's house & she showed me these contraptions she has for her son to bring cereal to school. The smaller one has a frozen part you would put the milk in that attaches to the bowl part so it's all one piece for easy transport. You'll have to look at the link I'm going to post to really understand. But it's amazing and I'm waiting on mine to come in the mail. Except I got the "deluxe" one because I do love me some cereal. Frosted Mini Wheats, to be specific. But there are so many options for cold food storage- salad things, sandwich things, smoothie things, etc.

Shellac nail polish: I don't care what the news says. Having been a tanning bed girl all my life, the little bit of UV on my hands to get this done like once a month is nothing. Wear fingerless gloves if you must. But not having to sit and wait for nails to dry, only to smudge one anyway? Priceless. You can pretty much get it done anywhere now and I think it's usually around $30. More if you need the gel nails too- which I do. $30 for just the shellac, $45 total with gels at 4U Nails in Glen Rock. The palatte of colors has gotten larger over time and the time and aggravation saved is totally worth it.

Color Coating: This is work related but it's really wow. It's "new" to us for lighting so I'm mentioning it because it's just so unbelievably cool that we're doing it like mad lately. We're taking people's old metal lighting pieces and coating them and we're taking new lamps and chandeliers and doing those too. It's just added such a fun, unique twist on the traditional looks people are used to. The iridesents come out so awesome. When the light hits the pendants and the chandeliers, it looks amazing. We took the most basic looking, really unattractive chandelier and made it into a showpiece by doing it in a root beer coating that is something I've never seen anywhere else. I'm just really excited about all the possibilities. We're doing pendants over kitchen islands like are totally one of a kind just because of all the special components we've been able to put together.

Chocolate Twizzlers: All I have to say is, they're back! Back the way they were meant to be. For a few years they changed the consistency and they were awful. They totally ruined them. Apparently there were even blogs about it. But they put them back the way they were and I'm thrilled.

Pack It: I have written about these before, but I think that was before all the sizes were available. I strongly dislike having to buy those reusable ice packs. They rip, they're bulky, take up too much room, etc. But these have them built in and they're awesome. I've been using the mini one for E's lunch all school year. Perfect for a toddler, preschooler or probably even a kindergartner. The mid-size or their "standard" size is perfect for me to being my breakfast, lunch and snacks in. Then there is the large one which is good for all of us.

Mini Countryman: The car. Yup. The "SUV" of Mini Coopers. I just got one. It was time to turn in my leased "mom car"- the Honda CRV and get back to feeling like me. I know, the CRV is no minivan. But for me it was way too big. I hit all kinds of things in that- including our other Mini Cooper S that was parked behind me once in the driveway. There was nothing wrong with the CRV, it's just kind of conservative and nothing really special about it. It's perfect if you want a small SUV, good on gas, with a lot of bells and whistles in the highest model. But if you want cool zip, the Countryman is the way to go. It's four door which I needed with a four year old. But mine has satellite, navigation, it's roomy in front and back, the trunk space is deceptively large for a Mini and I LOVE it. I just feel cooler. And it was less a month to lease, fully loaded, than the Honda! Now we're a Mini Family.

Profile by Gottex swim dress: I think I may have discussed swimdresses. While it's not like I think I'm really disguising anything, I just feel better covering up a little more when I'm bending all over the kiddie pool. No need to have ugly naked all over the place. I hate bathing suits and I hate trying them on. I used to just get all mine from Victoria's Secret catalog. Scoop bottom, halter top, done. But I don't know what happened to their stuff, but the bottoms are way too small for my generous behind. So I got some swimdresses last year. Three Nautica and two Coco Rave or Coco Reef. The Nautica ones are fine but they're pretty conservative. I tried the Profile one on a whim one day whizzing through Macy's on the way to my jellybean store in Garden State Plaza. It's a little more on the sexy side, if a swimdress can be sexy anything. I tried it on and was pleasantly surprised for once. It looked pretty good, it's made nicely, and it has a removable strap. If you catch Macy's at the right time, you can get like 20-25% off.

I'm sure I'll come up with more as soon as I post this but this is all I've got off the top of my head today. Check back for more. Unfortunately, I'm not Oprah and I can't just give them all away to every reader. But I'd like to!!


  1. Thanks for more things to look at and try/buy! I actually have nails now and was debating trying the Shellac polish... think I will. Also like the swim dress... I like 2 pieces (Tankini NOT Bikini) and Lands End has some nice skirty things... swim mini, I think. (and currently has a 40% off sale I got an email for).

    Can't wait to see more of your favorite things! :-)

  2. I have a Lands End from the summer after I had E. But I barely wore it. They're so...thick. So in the heat- it's just too much heavy material. I was always sweating. I also thought I was going to LOVE this one pink swimdress last year but it was all out of proportion for my body.

    I'd prefer a two piece for ease of getting it on and off and such but I find that they can look a little dowdy. Like the skirt is just a bit too long or something when it's two pieces. Although, I did see a few from the Profile by Gottex brand that look ok. I just had enough of the longer, more conservative Nautica ones so I wanted more of a "sexy" look.

    The shellac is awesome. I don't even remember when I last got my nails done- 3 weeks maybe? And they still look good.