As I write this, there’s less than one week left of 2018! Can you even believe that?
The year started out pretty rough for me, but it’s turned out to be one of the best years. And as I’ve been looking back, I found I really wanted to share some of my favorite things from 2018. My favorite products, books, podcasts, apps, just anything that I found I really enjoyed or found helpful during 2018. I hope you’ll find this list fun and helpful!
Favorite Health and Beauty:
doTERRA’s Beautiful Deodorant & Body Mist. Y’all, I am so in love with these! You know I usually make my own deodorant, which is great, but this is the first deodorant I’ve found that works just as well and it smells DIVINE. The Body Mist has been just a wonderful. It’s got a 360 spray top so it’s super convient, it has the signiture Beautiful Blend scent and most importantly it keeps my dry skin soft and moisturized all day long. And of course, these are clean products with no harmful ingredients. Love love love.
Toups & Co. Makeup. Now, you probably know I’m not a big makeup girl. I don’t wear it often, and when I do wear it it’s very minimal. That being said, I like it to be clean and to work really well. I go myself some mineral makeup, concealer, and mascara from Toups & Co. during their Black Friday sale and I’m totally impressed and in love with it. First, I was able to match my skin tone over their website. This is sooo impressive to me, because I have always always had the worst time finding makeup to match my olive skin tone. The consistency of the concealer is so smooth and covers like magic. I love the mascara and the mineral makeup as well. It’s only Toups & Co. makeup for me from here on out y’all. They have a bunch of other clean makeup and skin care that is wonderful as well.
Sanuk Yoga Flip-Flops. These are my FAVORITE flip-flops of all time. I’m a Florida girl, so I have a thing or two to say when it comes to flip-flops 😉 and these are the BEST. The soles are made from yoga mat material and they are ultra comfy, and they come in all kinds of styles and colors. They are well made and will last you a good long time.
Letscom Fitness Tracker Watch. If you want a FitBit without the high price tag, check these watches out friends. I got one for mother’s day this year, and I have loved it. It tracks steps, logs sleep and heart rate, and it has several exercises to choose from to track your heart rate, pace, and distance. I picked up running again this year and so I’ve really enjoyed having this watch to track my runs, as well as my sleep patterns, heart rate, and steps everyday.
Patchouli and Vetiver. If you’ve been following me on Instagram then you may know that this year I’ve struggled a lot with anxiety and depression. And these two oils have been a great source of help, healing, and comfort to me. These essential oils have been a resource for me to help me manage and lessen my anxiety and I’m so grateful to have them at my finger tips. They are both very grounding and calming to the mind and body. They’ve definitely earned the spot as my favorite oils of 2018.
Favorite Home and Homestead:
Americaunas and Leghorns. These are my favorite chicken breeds from this year. It’s hard to pick just two, but if I had to it would be these. I love the fuzzy earmuffs and beards of my Americaunas and their light blue eggs are just goregous. And my leghorns, well, they are the most reliable layers I’ve every had. I love the consistency. I got them because I wanted to still have a few eggs in the winter, and they are steadily producing. I’m so grateful and love them for it!
Sweet Potato Slips. Can you believe this is the first year I ever grew sweet potatoes?! Why on earth did I wait so long?! If you live in the south, don’t be intimidated by sweet potato slips. Just buy some, or grow them yourself (I’ll have a post coming on that in 2019) and throw ’em in the ground. I never neglected anything like I neglected my sweet potatoes, I’m sorry to say, and yet, they seemingly flourished! They produced us some beautiful sweet potatoes, and I can’t wait to see what they do with a little more TLC in 2019.
Instant Pot. I was actually gifted an instant pot from my neighbor this year! She bought it and didn’t really like it and so she gave it to me! What a sweetheart! I love it. I’m a minimalist and I’m pretty skeptical of new kitchen gadgetry. But I gotta say, I use my instant pot several times a week, and I really love it. Some of my favorites to make in the instant pot are, mashed potatoes, “baked” sweet potatoes, Peanut Chicken Satay, rice, dry beans, and oatmeal. I highly recommend it if you’re on the fence.
Grocery Pickups. I resisted this for a long time, but this year, I finally gave them a try and I’ve become completely hooked. I’ve used Sam’s Club and Walmart grocery pickups consistently this year, and they have been a life saver for me! Really cuts down on my time in town (gotta love that), makes shopping with 3 kids way easier, and saves me money as I can’t impulse buy anything 😉 If you wanna try Walmart pick up and you haven’t yet, use this code to get $10 off your first pick up! You’re welcome 😉
123 Magic. This is my favorite parenting book that I read in 2018. I love that it focuses on the parent-child bond as well as correcting behavior. And it works, I started seeing results the first day I started implementing it’s advice. If you’re looking for more peace and less chaos in your home life, this is a quick and helpful read!
The Women of The Castle. This is a historical fiction that is set in Germany in the WWII era, and follows 3 different women before, during, and after the war. It’s gripping and simply marvelous. I loved it.
Spenders Guide to Debt-Free Living. If you’re looking for some debt crushing inspiration and advice, this is a great read. We’ve put a lot of this principles in to practice since I read this book in July and we’ve paid off some debts already. I highly recommend it. It’s an easy and fun read, the author is really down to earth and relatable.
The Magnolia Story. I found such inspiration reading Chip and Joanna Gaines story! If you enjoy The Fixer Upper, you’ll love this book. I love how they both take turns writing things from their perspective, it feels like they are sitting in your living room sharing their story and pouring out wisdom.
Make It Happen. This was another really inspiring and healing book for me. I really enjoyed Lara’s openness on her struggle with perfectionism and how she let go and let God do an amazing work in her life. I highly recommend this short wonderful read as you’re looking at making goals for 2019.
The Small Queendom. I really enjoy this podcast, if you’re a mom wanting to go from surviving to thriving, there are some great nuggets of wisdom and inspiration here. She’s very open about her life story and at the same time keeps things light hearted. It’s a delight to listen to.
The Crystal Paine Show. I’ve been following Crystal for a long time, reading her blog Money Saving Mom in my early mom days with a new baby trying to pinch pennies however I could. And she started a podcast this year that’s full of inspiration for women. She too tells her story, as well as has wonderful guests on her show to help address many of the struggles women face on a daily basis.
Better Than Happy. This is a wonderful podcast for mindset work. If you’re wanting to shift your thinking and take control of your life, I can’t recommend this podcast enough. She addresses a lot of common struggles women have and helps us deal with them with our thinking first. This is a really useful tool and I have been really grateful for the wisdom she offers.
iOS Screen Time Settings. If you have an iPhone, you may not know this, but with the latest iOS update, there is a brand new feature where you can set screen time limits! As an entrepreneur it’s really easy for me to spend too much time on my phone, so I jumped on the screen time settings immediately. I love that these are totally customizable, you can choose different limits for different apps, you can choose down time perimeters as well. It’s really great and I highly recommend you use it and experiment with some screen time boundaries for yourself. It’s a real blessing.
Google Calendar. I don’t know if you’re already using this or not, but even if you are, are you using it to it’s fullest? My husband has a bizarre and fluctuating work schedule, and he works two jobs. Add in my church responsibilities, the homeschool group I help run, doctors appointments, and oh ya, our homestead, our calendar is full. And thankfully we’ve been using Google Calendar for a few years and it’s a life saver. You can add different calendar “groups” and users and color code them all, so at a glance you and your spouse can look at your Google Calendar and see what you’ve got going on in the month, week, or the day. I still use a paper planner for my daily to-do’s and weekly outlooks, but we couldn’t survive without our Google Calendar.
Period Tracker. This might seem weird, but I really like having this period tracker app on my phone. It has customizable cycle lengths, and it tells you when you’re ovulating, when you should expect your period, but it also has symptom and mood tracking, as well as a notes section. And it lets you input when your period actually starts and ends. This is a really useful tool if you’re trying to get pregnant, but we are NOT trying to get pregnant and I still like it. Because your menstrual cycle is a really important aspect of your health as a woman, and paying attention to it can really help you notice if other things are off. I also really like the mood tracker feature, it’s easy, and it’s also very helpful to know that “oh wait, okay, I’m a hot mess today because I’m always a hot mess on this day of my cycle, I’m not crazy, I’m hormonal”. Trust me, that’s useful!
MyPlate. This is a new app that I’ve just started using recently but I really do like it. If you follow me on Instagram you know I’ve been on a journey dealing with anxiety and depression this year. And so my mental health has been my main focus in 2018, and I’m happy to say I feel amazing now. And since I feel great in my mind and heart, I’ve recently felt ready to tackle the extra “baby” weight from my last pregnancy. I’ve already been running as a part of my mental health plan, but I haven’t really dealt with food. MyPlate is a really intuitive calorie tracker, it tracks exercise, weight, macros and water intake as well. It’s really easy to use, very visual which I love, and it’s early to say for sure, but I do believe it’s helped me loose a bit of weight in the first 2 weeks I’ve used. So if you’re looking for a calorie tracker, give it a shot.