Cooking When You Can’t (or Hate It)

(This blog post coordinates with the following video on my channel.  Enjoy!)

Hello, my name is Kari, and I have a confession to make: I hate cooking.

I hate cooking so much that I actually refused to learn when I was a teenager.  My dad would try to show me different recipes and insisted that I cook at least one meal a week for the family, but I full-out refused to commit any of it to memory out of sheer spite.  After a helping of my infamous “macaroni and cheese soup” (overcooked noodles), my mother informed me that I wouldn’t be forced to cook again.  A few years later, when I went to college, I subsisted mostly on dining hall offerings, pizza rolls, and rice.  It wasn’t until I moved back home and started working at my retail job that I started to cook anything outside of those major dishes.  I learned very quickly that I wasn’t great, but I was passable, but I was the best at baking and making sauces.

But then I ended up with a man who loves to cook, and whose oven was broken.  The stovetop was his playground, and specifically frying things.  I hate heat (even campfires make me uncomfortable), and I’m terrified of oil spattering up and hitting me in the face, so I stopped cooking again.  Once our was born, I was too tired or too busy to cook even my basic rice or pasta dishes.  Due to our conflicting schedules, my husband would often cook for the kiddo and himself, while I would subside on fast food.  A few years ago, once I became a stay-at-home-mom, I realized that I’d have to pick up the slack on the days when my husband couldn’t cook, so I started up again.  I still hated it, but I found a few things to make my life in the kitchen an easier thing, and I’m here to share them with you.

Learn What Works For You

I use my slow cooker maybe once a year.  I know, I know.  Right off the bat, I’ve broken the cardinal rule of easy cooking: always use a crock pot, slow cooker, pressure cooker, what-have-you), but before you beat me over the head with yours, let me explain.

I’m sure that most of you would agree with the statement that having a crock pot has made your life so much easier.  You just toss a meal in the pot, set it up, and let it cook for a few hours while you do other things.  It’s fantastic, at least in theory (for me); you see, I am a “fiddler”, constantly wanting to mess with all of my things while cooking.  I hate to cook, which means I want it done quickly – so of course, I’m constantly tasting, checking, poking, pacing.  If I’m not actually “doing” something in the kitchen, I can very easily forget about the food, or even forget to turn it on – and even if I do everything properly, what’s to say I won’t wait eight hours, then come back, only to not be in the mood for what I made earlier?  Sure, I’ll still eat it, but I probably won’t eat as much as I would if it was something I wanted right that moment, and we really don’t “do” leftovers in this house, so a lot of that food will go to waste.  That’s also why we shop for groceries on a daily- or near-daily basis, too: I pass the grocery store at least twice a day every school day, so I can easily stop in either after I drop off or pick up the Kiddo.  It stops waste, and it means we’re eating what’s being cooked, which stops a lot of the hard feelings when a meal is cooked but not eaten.

The Internet is Your Friend

Look, I used to think I couldn’t cook, and for a while that was true.  The advent of Pinterest has made me believe that 98% of those who currently “can’t cook” simply aren’t trying to do so.  Harsh, but true, and I’ll admit that I was that way.  The internet has made recipe searching a breeze – want to know how to make flan?  Google it!  The first result is too complicated?  Go back and find another recipe!  I do this all the time, and I especially love taking some of the things from the “fancy” recipe and inserting them into the “easy” recipe, to make it just a little more decadent.

Familiarize Yourself with Your Tools

I don’t even mean in the proper way – I used a meat tenderizer to mash potatoes, because my potato masher was giving me a headache.  What I mean is, make a few simple things (I recommend boxed mixes for cakes, muffins, etc.) and just learn your way around your kitchen from scratch.  This will help you see what you use vs. what you have.  Have 800 baking pans, but only use 3 (plus two cookie sheets)?  Maybe it’s time to cull the herd a little.  Have a mixing bowl, but you were slapping batter out of it?  Might be time to get a bigger one.  Just stuff like that.  Once you’re familiar with baking, perhaps move into easier stove-top dishes, like macaroni & cheese or five minute rice.  Just get yourself familiar with what you have and how you use it.

On that note, familiarize yourself with the basics of your pantry.  Learn how to make a roux, pay attention to the difference salt can make, see what happens when you swap milk for cream or vice versa.  Just make these changes gradually (no more than one or two DIFFERENT types of changes – so if you swap your liquids, don’t make any other texture changes like using applesauce in the place of eggs, or if you decide to add a flavor, don’t add anything else with a strong flavor), that way you can pinpoint any errors.

Get a Core Set of Recipes

Look, we’ve all that this happen: no matter how hard we try, we’re either guilted into or voluntold that we have to bring a dish to the company potluck or Grandma’s holiday dinner.  How many times has this happened last-minute, or simply forgotten about until the last possible second?  Until I followed my own advice, I used to Google for a recipe and hoped it turned out – sometimes it would, and sometimes, I’d be so frazzled that I’d mess up something big, or (like my favorite “oops”) I’d be measuring out sugar, only to have my kid and my dog run into me at full speed, causing me to drop the bag into the recipe and dump it everywhere, and leaving me with nothing to serve because I didn’t have time to Google anything else.  I cried.  It wasn’t pretty.

It was after one of those fiascoes that I decided to simply search for simple recipes on Pinterest and Google.  I went in without any specific plan in mind, simply the knowledge of what I did best (baking and sauces) and went from there.  I ended up choosing five recipes that I loved, were quick to make (generally under an hour from conception to plating), and that played to each of my strengths.  Once I had my five recipes decided, I worked for about a week to get to the point where I could basically make each of them in my sleep.  It has been such a lifesaver to know that if I mess something up, or if I need something to take to an event in a few hours, I have five recipes I can whip up in a matter of minutes.

I’ll confess something, here – if you and I met on the street and you asked me how to make my alfredo, I wouldn’t be able to tell you.  It’s pretty much pure muscle memory at this point.  Oops?

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

My husband is an incredible cook – absolutely incredible.  I adore him and his cooking.  He literally spends so much time thinking up new dishes or flavoring things, and I can’t even come close to his creativity in the kitchen.  He made a marinade out of FROG jam & red pepper flakes the other day, and I honestly believe it was the best thing he’s ever made – and he came up with that on his commute home.  I can’t do that on a regular basis, and that’s fine.  I can’t cook at his level, but I have my strengths (I’m a much better baker, and we often play off of each other when it comes to cooked sauces).  If I spent my time comparing myself to him, I’d feel like a failure…  So, I’ve learned to let it go.  It took a while, but it’s honestly been the biggest help with regards to cooking while hating to cook – I found a lot of my dislike stemmed from the fact that I’d compare myself to other people.  I can’t cook steak and potatoes like my dad, I can’t cook at all like my husband, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.  Nope, I can’t, but I can make some pretty awesome sugar cookies without breaking a sweat, and I have yet to mess up a cheesecake recipe, so I’m doing pretty good, I think.

Anyway, I just want to share some of what I learned when I intentionally made changes in my mentality.  I still hate to cook, but now it’s less of a chore.

(If only I could figure out some way to apply these tips to doing laundry and washing the dishes…)

As always, thanks for stopping by, and have a good one!  🙂

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Mom Life: Why I Halved My Wardrobe

Hey yall!  Yesterday on the vlog, I talked about my wardrobe choices (you can read the corresponding blog post HERE), and I mentioned that I planned to go through all of my clothes and pare everything down.  This post is actually going to be a kind of behind-the-scenes look into why I did this, which was basically by asking myself a few questions and going from there.  If you’re interested in picking my brain, or maybe you’re just looking for your own motivation, keep reading.

Why start this whole thing at all?

Well, I’d been asked quite a few times about my style choices.  I don’t think it was malicious in any way, but it comes down to that first impression, and on the outside, I tick a lot of boxes for a specific category of person:

  • Young mom (I was 21 when I had my son),
  • Young wife (married at 21),
  • Stay-at-home mom,
  • Wears skirts all the time,
  • Wears hair long.

Seeing it listed out like that actually made me realize: wow, I really do give off an impression of living my life a certain way, and I can see how it might be alienating to some people.  My posts were simply a way for me to clear up any misconceptions, hopefully in a way that wasn’t abrasive to anyone in particular. 🙂

Why cut down my wardrobe?

Honestly, for the videos.  No, really.  Over the last few years, ever since I started phasing pants out of my daily life, I’ve been removing items of clothing from my closet on a pretty regular basis.  This was just one of those times, and it was borne out of the idea for a video.  It also came from the knowledge that I’ve moved into a sort of “uniformity” in my wardrobe – I found myself wearing the same skirts about once a week or so, the same shirts about once a every two weeks, the same dresses, the same sweaters and cardigans, and there were items of clothing in my closet that I hadn’t touched in over a year.

Now, I originally planned on moving into a capsule wardrobe, and maybe I will in the future, but as I started going through my things, I realized that I really do wear a lot of the clothes that I have, and as such, it would be pretty pointless (at least for me) to remove them.

Do I plan on continuing this, perhaps with the parts of my wardrobe that I didn’t bring on camera?

No.  My PJs, underthings, and leggings aren’t really that interesting, trust me.

What if I regret this, or what if I just toss it in a bag and let it rot somewhere in my house?

I actually donated everything the day after I filmed, thanks in large part to a local clothing bank that constantly needs inventory.  I knew they’d accept it, and I knew that if it stayed too long, I’d pull things out and back into my closet, basically undoing all of my work.

Lastly, do I plan on keeping my wardrobe small?

Not particularly?  I mean, if I find an item of clothing I really like, I’ll get it.  If I wear it a lot, I’ll keep it.  If I don’t, then I’ll donate it.  If I wear it at the expense of another item, I’ll decide which I prefer more after a few weeks, and donate the one I like the least.  I don’t have a set amount of clothing I want to own, I just want to make sure I like and I wear what I have, you know?

Well, that’s really it for the behind the scenes.  If there’s anything you want to know that I’ve missed, please let me know, and if you’ve decided to declutter your closet because of me, please drop a comment down below or let me know on my vlog.  Thanks for stopping by, and as always, have a good one!  🙂

Secondary Infertility: October 2017

PSA: I will be discussing a form of pregnancy loss in this post.  Please feel free not to read this if that will bother you.  Thank you.

First and foremost, this month will not be good news.  This just wasn’t our month.  Before it even started, I knew it was going to be a rough one – the end of September and beginning of October, our house was plagued (heh) by sickness.  My son and I got pretty sick in September, and my husband managed to fend it off until the first week of October, which honestly upset me a bit (we still haven’t done my birthday dinner).  Finally, once things started looking up…they didn’t.

My husband couldn’t shake the sickness, and our water heater went out.  While we were getting the water heater checked out, we ended up finding out that our furnace was having issues.  We had to replace the water heater, and the furnace is still waiting on a part, but is luckily still usable.

Things start looking up again!  My husband’s car is working pretty well!  But then, disaster.

My husband’s car has a belt slip off.  It’s raining and dark when he finds out, so he just calls me to get him, which I do.  On the way to drop him off the morning after, my truck’s transfer case, which we replaced LAST November (just before my husband’s car stopped working) blew, about halfway to his work.  Giant hole in the side.  Not a chance in heck of even babying it home or to his work.  We had to leave it at a gas station with a promise that we’d pick it up.

In the meantime, we receive notice in the mail that my husband has a civil infraction in his name, for parking over a sidewalk.  The only problem?  He had no idea about it, because it wasn’t his vehicle.  He’d never even been to the place where the infraction had happened.  Luckily (and thankfully) that was easily squared away, but it was still an added stress on our plate as we were trying to figure out what to do about me suddenly being without a vehicle.

We rented me a car.  Everything went well.  Until we found out my truck’s necessary part, which we’d been told was in stock at three different places near the shop where we’d taken it, was actually a mislabeled part.  In all three spots.  And the part we needed wasn’t even available in the state of Michigan.  Oh, and we didn’t know if they’d even be able to get the part in by the next week, let alone have it installed and my truck ready to go!  Did I mention that we rented a vehicle, and it was expensive?!  Thankfully, the part ended up coming in on Friday *as I was returning the car*, and we got the call to pick her up on Monday.

Yes, this past Monday.

This has been a heck of a month.

So, when I felt like death warmed over on Tuesday, I didn’t think anything of it.  I was an emotional wreck, constantly yelling, losing everything even when I literally set it down for seconds…  And I jokingly told my husband, “I’m taking a pregnancy test in the morning, because I am not acting properly.”

At 1AM, I woke up ready to puke.  I managed to hold off for the moments it takes to get to the bathroom, and while I was in there, I decided to take a pregnancy test, just for giggles.  It’s too early, almost a week before I’d even consider my period to be early-but-close…

Positive.  Not glaringly so, just faint.  And I was so out of it that I simply went back to sleep.

Woke up the next morning with the image of the test in my head.  It was a positive, but it was faint.  That could mean it’s an early, early, early test, or the beginning of a miscarriage.  Only one way to find out, right?  Went into the bathroom, sat down, started rummaging through the drawer to find a test to take.

My period.

This isn’t my first chemical pregnancy.  I know what that’s all about – the baby wasn’t viable before a heartbeat was even there.  If I hadn’t taken the test, I wouldn’t have known a thing about it.

But I did.  And at the time of my video, it was still a bit painful.

It’s two days after I recorded that video, two days after I got my period, and I thought I would give a mini-update.

First off, I’m fine.  Like I said in the video, this isn’t my first chemical pregnancy, loss, whathaveyou.  This is old hat.  It honestly doesn’t even bother me to think about it now.  If I’m honest with myself, I know that this was biologically no different than me having a “weird” period, and if I hadn’t tested, I’d be quite sure that that’s all it was – a period, one week early, probably brought on by all the stress from this month.  On an emotional level, I’m fine now.

I didn’t make that video for me, even though it probably seems like I did.  Sure, it was cathartic, but that’s not why I did it.  You see, when I was 22, 23, 24, and my husband and I were still trying to figure out what was going on, I googled everything.  I remember the first time I had a chemical pregnancy, and I got the rundown from both my doctor as well as Dr. Google.

But not many people openly shared their stories.  I knew it was common, but I felt alone.  So I decided, even though I’ve done this before, I’d make a video for those who are like the young me, wondering what happened, what I did, what other people felt and how it affected them.  I made that video because it was something I would have wanted to see at that time in my life, had it existed.

Hopefully, this helps that one person, reaches that one person who needs it like I needed it, and if it does, I’ll be happy.

As always, thanks for stopping by, and have a good one! 🙂

Humor: Cleaning like a Messy Person

Step One: Don’t
And I don’t just mean “Don’t clean up”, I mean, “Don’t clean.”  Don’t pick things up.  Don’t wipe things down.  Don’t fold laundry., don’t wash dishes, don’t sweep  Don’t.  Things will get sticky, crummy, underfood & broken, or otherwise made unusable.  Meh, it’s not so bad.  You can still get from points A to B along your path, right?  It’s fiiiiiiiine.

Step Two: Ignore
What pile of laundry?  What stack of dishes?  What random clump of kids things piled in the corner?  What tower of books, perched precariously on a desk?  What?  Where?  I don’t see them.  Neither should you.  Should you dare start to notice them, make sure to turn on an episode of Hoarders, because trust me, your house will seem immaculate after that.

Step Three: Panic
There are people coming over tomorrow at 5PM?  Suddenly, you can see everything, and you wonder if perhaps the film crew of Hoarders was actually filming in your house – not that you’d be able to tell anyway!  All the mess.  All the clothes, the piles, the towers, the cobwebs.  You can see them everywhere.  No space is safe.  And so begins the meltdown.  You panic, cleaning one small section and then feel overwhelmed that that isn’t enough – you picked up two things and the stuff in your house wasn’t suddenly completely gone?  IT WILL NEVER BE CLEAN YOU ARE DOOMED.

Step Four: Resignation
Well, your guests will simply have to deal.  You wonder if, perhaps, you can run out to Hobby Lobby to find one of those “Love me, Love my Mess” signs that were all the rage not so long ago.  Perhaps Wal*Mart or Meijer has one.  Why stress?  This is simply too large to handle in one day.  Hopefully, no one calls CPS on you…  Though, you lost the kids to the cavernous ruin that was once their bedrooms a few hours ago, so they may be beyond help.  Oh well, at least they won’t bother you when you have to use the bathroom, right?
(Wrong.  They will always find their way out and OMGOMGIMMEDIATELYNEEDTOPEEGOINGTOEXPLODEPEEINGPAAAAAAAAANTS!!!!! the moment you begin to go.)

Repeat Steps Three and Four until

Step Five: Breakthrough
A glimmer of hope begins. Maybe you cleared a small space, small enough to see a part of the floor you haven’t seen in months.  Maybe your desk is suddenly devoid of wrappers and other trinkets.  Maybe your sink is clear, or your hamper, or your countertops.  Maybe you managed to clean an entire room without noticing, and things look pretty darn snazzy.  Whatever it is, it gives you hope.  You can do this, you can clean.  You decide to crack down and clean.  You are motivated.

Step Six: Humanity
It is 3:37AM, and you are bone tired.  And the house is still mostly a mess, but sleep is a necessity.

Step Seven-A: Rejuvenation
It’s the next morning.  Maybe you’re an early riser like my mother, someone who only needs minutes of sleep.  You’ll wake up at 7:30AM feeling like sunshine and roses, ready to tackle the day.  Life is incredible.  You should be able to tackle the house and get it properly presentable in no time.

Step Seven-B: My Reality
Or maybe you’re like me, and you wake up at noon, still exhausted.  You look at the clock wondering why you feel such dread, then lay your head back down, only to wake up at 1:00PM to a text that says, “Things ended early.  We’ll be there at 2.”
Oh Sh——

Step Eight: Panic Redux
So you fly into panic cleaning.  Suddenly, life doesn’t matter.  Order is chaos, and chaos is clean.  Things are shoved into drawers, cabinets, closets, rooms with closing doors.  Things are stashed in cubbies and downstairs, laundry is ignored completely.  Grime is cleaned, but basic dirt is not.  Windows are ignored, stains on the furniture are ignored, the floor is not.  Most of the counter space is not.  Things are packed into boxes and totes if available, everything is removed haphazardly.  Dinner is started and prepped by one of you, leaving the other to clean solo.  Dirty dishes are shoved under the sink, in a dishpan if you’re fancy.  Candles and air freshener is used to take away any “dirty sock smell” that is simply wafting about.  Floors are swept and Swiffered.  The shower curtain is drawn around the tub.  This is less about cleaning and more about masking the mess.  Oh, and don’t forget, you have to get cleaned up yourself.

Step Nine: Last Minute Rush
Depending on your last minute, this could be a few minutes in advance (“We’re getting off the highway now!”) to literally last-second (a ring or knock at the door).  This is the last chance to get presentable, both for yourself and your house.  Check a mirror for any stray dirt on your face, do a once-over for piles on the floor, and pray that any science experiments are safely contained in the fridge (for now).

Step Ten: Swear You Will Get Better About Cleaning…And Then, Don’t.
When your guests leave, you’ll look around.  You’ll see what you missed, what you pray they didn’t see.  Handprints on the walls, crumbs on the table, a book out of place.  You’ll swear that you’re going to change, that you’re going to get a hold on your mess and become a better person.  You’re going to have a Pinterest- and guest-worthy home at all times.
And as you think this, you will, almost without thought, step right over the toy on the floor.  You won’t even see them – it’s almost like a sixth sense.  But you will do it.
And the cycle will start again.

I am a messy person, I admit it, and I have dealt with each one of these steps (except for one, which I’m pretty sure you all know, because I do not do “early mornings” very well).  I hate cleaning so much that I have just decided not to see a mess – because if I can’t see it, I can’t be expected to deal with it.  My clean is probably still messy to some people, if not most of them, but hey, it’s clean for me.  I’m not a cleaning expert, or a messy-to-clean expert.  I’m still learning myself.  This is a cutesy way for me to poke fun at myself, while realizing what habits I have formed to make me the way I am.

Do you recognize yourself in my Steps?  Are you confused as to how someone can just not see a mess?  Feel free to drop a comment down below, or on my Youtube or Twitter – I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you so much, and have a good one! 🙂

Three Store Haul Video!

Hello everyone!

First, I want to apologize for basically starting this blog and then going dark.  I wasn’t expecting my entire house to get hit by the plague (or whatever it is that’s going around our area), and I will be completely honest with you – I don’t remember much of anything between Sunday night and Thursday morning.  I got hit fast and hard, with chills, a fever, headaches, a sore throat, painful sinuses, and all that fun stuff, while the Kiddo had a stuffed head and maybe a small fever, but nothing too major.  My husband (usually the worst hit in these cases) was actually hit the least, and I have to say that I think he got lucky after it all.  I decided to come back to vlogging yesterday to give me some extra time to heal as well as to give me a bit of time to edit some videos and pull together a few blog posts, like these.

Of course, what would this be without the video itself? 🙂

So, today’s vlog was actually a haul video – and a pretty massive one at that, considering. I decided that my blog post would be a more in depth version of the vlog, so if you’re interested in prices, why I chose what I chose, and stuff like that – well, you’re in the right place!  Please note, this was from a couple of weeks ago (I believe I filmed it on September 22nd), so I may not remember exact prices, but I should be able to give an approximation.  🙂

Dollar Tree

Luckily, I don’t have to worry about price issues with these items.  Like I mentioned in the video, we actually had a few items that we had to give away prior to the video – two birthday cards, a gift bag, and an extra set of the Kinex-type BOLT toy kits.  We also purchased four of the WWE Mighty Mini Mystery Packs, which will be showing up in an opening video later this week, as well as a set of the BOLT toys for the Kiddo himself.

TOTAL: $13, before tax.

Meijer

This section will be easiest for me to put into bullet form; sorry about the different format!

Again, there were items I had used prior to the video:

  • Sterelite Plastic Crate in White – $3
  • Rubbermade 18Gal Tote – $5

To add to that, I bought:

  • Halloween shirts ($12 ea., $36 total).  I normally wouldn’t have bought them due to the price, but I saw them and I was in love.  These were purchased from the “center aisle” that runs near the seasonal section – folded, not hung up.  I showed and/or described the shirts in the video, so if you’re interested in those, make sure to check it out!
  • A pair of Falls Creek flats in black ($20).  These were from the shoe section, not on clearance, and they were on hangers.  I am always on the lookout for black flats, and the FC brand seems to last me the longest.  They’re comfortable and seem to run a bit wide.  I wouldn’t have purchased these, but the shoes I was wearing were on their last leg, so I needed a replacement.
  • Rechargeable batteries and a charger ($20 for the 8pk, $20 for the 4pk with charger).
  • A Gudetama Dangler mystery pack (I believe this was about $4?).  I’m kind of amused with this little guy, and my son has picked up my interest.  I admit, though, that this is probably more for me than for him. 😛
  • Three Super Mario mystery packs ($3 ea., $12 total).  I admittedly encourage my son’s love of Mario, what can I say?  I’d rather he watch Super Mario Brothers 3D playthroughs instead of some of the really weird kid shows they have out now.  😛

TOTAL: $120, before tax.

Wal*Mart

And finally, my favorite part of the haul was my trip to Wal*Mart.  Like I said in the video, I had a very specific reason for going to Wal*Mart, one that almost didn’t happen – you see, I originally found a camera I liked on Amazon, but after a few rounds of research, I realized that the camera I like wouldn’t be very good for what I call “talking head” vlogging, where I just vlog to the camera, as opposed to a more action-based style, like some DITL styles, “prank” videos, or other action videos.  I ended up deciding on a Kodak PixPro AZ252 ($119), due to the price and the quality that I wanted.  It’s a 16 megapixel, wide-angle lens camera, that can record 720p HD.  I could have spent a few more bucks and bought the red version (which had a higher zoom capability), but that wasn’t something I was interested in.  I believe the camera I bought was slightly cheaper in-store than the website, but your store may vary – I think the store I was at was trying to lower prices to change up stock for the upcoming holiday season.

I also picked up an onn 50″ free-standing tripod ($15), so than I can film on face-level without having to have some sort of table.  It came with a small drawstring carrying-case, but the little slip-button for that did break after a week.  I don’t mind, as the bag itself still works – I’ll just have to redneck up some sort of closure if I need it, but it doesn’t seem to be that important.

Finally, I purchased a simple black camera bag, also by onn ($12).  This was clearanced, but I’m sure similar ones can be found on the website and at other stores for a modest price.  This fits my camera well, and leaves room for any additions I have (such as my battery charger, a lens if I had one, and my manuals).  I didn’t think I’d want a camera bag myself, but you know what?  It has been an awesome investment – I’ve been able to use it as an extra compartment, for if something won’t fit in my purse but I need to have it (like extra feminine products at the Renaissance Faire).

TOTAL: $146 before tax.

WEEKEND TOTAL: $249, before tax.

Anyway, that’s it for today’s post; I hope you enjoyed it and the little extras I added into this post.  This is one of the first times I’ve done this type of thing, so if I’ve missed anything that you wanted to know, either in the video or in this post, please let me know!

Thank you so much for stopping by, and have a good one! 🙂

September 2017 Favorites

Hey everyone!  It’s the beginning of October, and that means it’s the perfect time to start something new!  I thought I would start doing “monthly favorites” on the first Monday after the month’s end, which would mean I could vlog and post about them.

Of course, I’m blogging about these products because I like them, not because I’m sponsored.  I’m not even going to have affiliate links in this post, because I don’t have any.  Plan and simply, I’m not getting paid for this, at all.

I’m not quite sure how I want to go about this, so let’s just jump right in.  First, the video itself:

“Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice” Long-Sleeved T-Shirt – This is possibly my favorite shirt now.  I’m a fall fiend, but I don’t often get new items of clothing (especially seasonal ones), so this was special.  I love the phrase (I actually have a little Fall decor pillow that says “Pumpkin Spice and everything nice, that’s what Autumn is made of”), I love the fact that it’s pretty neutral…  I just think it’s a cool shirt.  Also, it comes in S-XL, and 1X-3X, all at the same price point.  Please note: this was not in the clothing section – it was by the fall/Halloween seasonal area.  $12 at Meijer – no links because there isn’t one available.

Candle-Lite Spiced Pumpkin Latte Candle – Smells so good, especially with added cinnamon! The flame is low so I don’t have to worry about it. I got mine on-sale from my local Kroger, so let me just say that yours may not have the scent – if it doesn’t, I’m sorry!  I noticed an apple pie scent at mine, but I wanted the Spiced Pumpkin.  I like sweeter, more bakery/coffee shop scents than the woodland or tree-themed candle scents; they always smell so fake to me, and I can’t stand it.  Pine-scented candles drive me up the wall!  Sweet shop scents all the way, at least for me.  🙂 $4.95 on sale at Kroger, also no links because this apparently doesn’t exist.  I mean, it does – I’m burning it right now – but it’s not on the website and I can’t find anything about it online.

Private Selection Huckleberry Hibiscus Cream Soda – $1 at Kroger, it’s made with real cane sugar and you can tell, it’s sweet enough to make you want to stop after one, which is awesome (I hate HFCS for that reason, plus it leaves a weird film on my teeth). You can definitely taste the vanilla in the cream soda base, too. It has a flavor similarity to blueberry, which is nice, and brings back memories of a blueberry pop I had in Wisconson once as a child, so that brings up the best memories of spending a summer travelling with my family and seeing all these amazing sights.  Of course, since we were in Wisconson, we were in the home stretch, which made the pop even sweeter – we were that much closer to home. 10/$10 at Kroger.  Private Selection Link, does not appear available to buy there, though.

Lipsmackers Tsum Tsum Cheshire Cat Lip Balm in Plumberry Wonderland – Okay.  Guys.  Yall know I’m obsessed with my Cheshire Cat stuff, but I also used to enjoy playing the Tsum Tsums connect-three game.  I wasn’t obsessed, but I did like it, so when I saw this lip balm, I had to get it for those two reasons.  Luckily, I like the flavor, plus it lasts pretty well, for being a Lipsmackers balm, and it doesn’t dry out my lips. $3.99 at Kroger, though this may have been a sale based on some of the prices I’m seeing online.

Fabuloso Fruit Passion Scent – this was an accidental favorite.  I grew up hating the smell of Fabuloso because the lavender, which basically meant my family used Comet and Pine Sol, because at least those didn’t make me throw up.  I wish this scent had been around when I was younger, but I’m kind of glad it wasn’t, because I totally would have drank it.  It smells just like a green apple Jolly Rancher or those caramel apple suckers – and sometimes, I was not a smart child. 😛  That’s okay, I managed to survive. Available at local stores (Wal*Mart, Meijer, probably Kroger) for under $5.

Anyway, those were my September favorites.  I hope this gave you a little more of an insight into why I chose my favorite items!  Have you tried any of this stuff?  Do you agree or disagree with me?  Have a recommendation based on my favorites?  Feel free to drop me a comment below.