cultivate your life

January Favorites

January Favorites

We’re already one month in to 2018 and so far so good! A lot of that New Year’s enthusiasm has worn off for sure, but it’s good to get in the swing of things this year. This month was a bit of a struggle with a lot of sneezes, coughs, and baby fevers, but I guess that’s how winters will be for awhile. To cheer things up a bit, I wanted to post my favorites so far in 2018!





+ Things



Boscia Enlivening Amino-AG Eye Treatment – I’m always on the lookout for good eye creams that make my undereye area a little fresher and prettier during the day and restore my skin over time. This one is great! I find Boscia a little hit and miss for me, so I was skeptical of this recommendation at Sephora. I thought I would give it a try and ended up really liking it. It’s kind of on the pricey side, but most good eye creams tend to be.



Clinique Sonic System Massaging Treatment Applicator – Years ago, I had a Clarisonic cleanser that I liked for cleansing, but I found it had a short battery life, was bulky and heavy in the shower, and the brush replacement heads were expensive. It died after maybe two years, and I walked away from cleansing electronics for awhile. When I saw the massaging treatment head for the Clinique sonic cleaning brush, I decided to try out their system. I find Clinique products reliable, gentle, and reasonably priced. Most skin massagers are far more expensive, so I wanted to enter that market at a lower price point. I have to say, I’m IN LOVE with this beauty tool. Slim profile, great battery life, easy to snap on the brush head or massager head, and I feel a real difference in the lift and look of my face. It really has plumped up my skin and boosted visible collagen production. I look far better rested these days with the Boscia eye cream and this device. I don’t use their massage cream, but use my favorite MyChelle Serious Hyaluronic Moisturizing Gel to keep the massage head gliding along.


Living Proof Dry Shampoo – Ohmigosh this is the BEST dry shampoo in the world. I had an Ulta coupon and bought another bottle after a long hiatus. It truly feels like it’s cleaning my hair and refreshes my style. I have very fine, oily hair, so I really do have to wash it every day. I love using this halfway through the day to boost my hair volume and soak up any excess oil. The smell is gentle and doesn’t last long. I love that! Some of the drugstore dry shampoos have a really overpowering scent. With dark hair, it can be difficult to find a low powder formula. I find with the Living Proof dry shampoo, I use less so I keep the ashy grey-ness to a minimum. A really amazing product.


T3 Singlepass Luxe flatiron – This was a birthday gift from my husband, and it’s SO impressive. I was using a CHI iron I bought on clearance from Ulta maybe five years ago. It was just ok, but I felt like it kind of fried my hair, and I had to pull it through so many times to get a nice smooth look. The T3 was recommended to me by my stylist three years ago, and I finally got it. It smooths so well in, yes, a single pass. Because I’m not going over it a bunch of times, it preserves the volume and health of my hair. It also looks really stylish on my bathroom counter.



Prismacolor Colored Pencils and Kari Jobe The Garden Coloring Book – These colored pencils were a gift from my husband and they are gorgeous! (I decorated the cover myself. DIY coming soon!) I wanted to get into a coloring habit because I read recently that just 10 minutes of coloring a day is an effective treatment option for managing anxiety and depression. * It’s also so fun! I love coloring when I’m watching tv at night after my little guy goes to bed. The Garden Coloring Book is the story of Kari Jobe’s niece and how Kari Jobe found God in the process of mourning the loss of her niece. I know it sounds heavy, but Kari Jobe has an uncanny ability to inject hope and joy in even the darkest places.



Artis Fluenta 5 brush set – My bestie & I have birthdays just a day apart, and wow did she surprise me with a gift this year! She read my post about makeup brushes, and spoiled me with the Artis Fluenta 5 brush set. It’s a game-changer! The brush quality is superb. They are so soft and blend pigment so well. There’s a little bit of a learning curve because each brush has a bend in it. The idea is that this allows you to see exactly where you’re placing color. You would think this would make everything easier, but after spending decades placing color blindly, it really took some thinking with these brushes. Once I got it, I got it! Such a cool innovation. I am very, very happy with this gift and love how thoughtful it was.


+ Media


Photo: Netflix

Girlboss on Netflix – I have to admit, the term “girl boss” makes me nuts and the nasty gal founder and brand are NOT my style, but this show is super fun! I love Britt Robertson an actress, and I find she brings a warmth and sweetness to the role of Sophia Amoruso. I loved Dean Norris in Breaking Bad, so it’s fun seeing him play a loving father on this show. Episodes are genuinely funny, light-hearted, and something my husband doesn’t mind on the tv if he’s working at night (this is a big plus!). It’s great to have a show that isn’t crime/hospital/lawyer-based with a strong female lead, great costumes, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It also has RuPaul in it. I mean, RuPaul. I’m in. Unfortunately, it was cancelled after one season, but I’ll take what I can get.


Photo: Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue – Golden – Dancing – I am BEYOND EXCITED about a new Kylie Minogue album in 2018. I am a big big fan and have been for years. The single and cover art seem to indicate a more acoustic, natural-sounding direction for this album. The single Golden is happy and positive and a proven effective treatment for depression. * The last two albums, Aphrodite and Kiss Me Once, were with her old label and not terribly exciting (although good!). I’m happy to see a change in course toward a more mature, fresher Kylie sound. I really hope she goes on tour in the US for this album. I haven’t seen her since 2011, and I’m having serious withdrawal…


Cameron Diaz – The Longevity Book: The Science of Aging, The Biology of Strength, and the Privilege of Time – This book was on sale in the Kindle store, and it seemed like an interesting read. I’m no huge Cameron Diaz fan, but I like to read most celebrity beauty books. I thought I was buying a book about anti-aging secrets, but it’s not that at all! It’s a thorough examination of the aging process and how to truly age gracefully. She and her co-writer interview so many researchers and scientists to understand the aging process and offer science-backed advice on maintaining longevity. She really helped me have a different perspective on the process and look forward to the future. I was very surprised by this book.


Photo: FemmeHead

FemmeHead on youtube – Victoria Fuller is everything! I love this girl! She has a channel dedicated to menstrual health and fertility, natural living, minimalism, and vegan life. She’s also totally gorgeous. (Her brows are flawless.) She just has such a relatable style on her channel with helpful hints and easy to understand science. I love that she promotes and teaches FAM/NFP charting and in real life is an activist for fertility health among young women. She has her own charting e-course that looks really promising. I admire how she really takes charge of her health and presents it in a way that’s totally non-threatening or awkward.


Photo: Netflix

Terrace House: Aloha State – This is the US version of the Japanese reality docu-drama Terrace House that airs on Netflix. It’s set in Hawaii among Japanese-speakers and features the same host comedy commentary in between scenes. Funny, relatable, and aspirational, I love watching how young people chase their dreams and find love. I think the original is a much better show, but Terrace House: Aloha State is still fun and entertaining. The best part about both? If you’re learning Japanese like I am, you can shut off subtitles to practice!


DuoLingo Japanese – Finally FINALLY DuoLingo came out with a Japanese module and it’s great! It teaches language in a holistic, chunk-learning way that imitates natural language acquisition. And it’s FREE! I love the practice sessions and the ability to hone your skills. It also encourages a daily language habit of 10 minutes of practice, which is such an effective way to acquire language. I am the biggest fan. I’ve learned Japanese living abroad in Japan for a year, in a college classroom for a semester, by books, and through Rosetta Stone. I would say DuoLingo is second only to living abroad for my knowledge and acquisition of Japanese.


+ Memories


Birthday Brunch with my squad – My friend Nichole hosted a birthday brunch for my friend Abbie & I this past weekend (we both have January birthdays). Nichole collects gorgeous vintage china and set the most amazing table. The brunch included waffles, eggs, turkey sausage, a tower of sweets and muffins, fresh fruit, and a beautiful pot of tea. It’s always so much fun getting together with friends. Having someone make an afternoon together so special is really one of the sweetest gifts.



Family Photos – My husband, dog, son, & I got family photos taken for Valentine’s cards! I want to post more about this in the future, but it was really far more fun than I had thought. The photos were gorgeous and the process was just relaxing and fun and joyful. The last time I had professional photos taken was 15 years ago at our wedding, so it’s long overdue. I seriously can’t wait to share!!



Somebody Pulling Up on Everything – My little guy is now pulling up on everything in the house! It’s hard to keep up with him and hard to watch him take tumbles all the time, but I’m happy that he’s hitting these developmental milestones and being more curious about his little world. He’s so cute when he’s trying to reach someplace new, and I love seeing the world from his perspective. It’s just such a cute and happy milestone.


Watching all the Harry Potter films – My husband and I aren’t the biggest Harry Potter fans. I think I read one of the books? We liked the first two films and then didn’t give it much thought. HBO started streaming all of the films, so we decided to watch together. We only have Deathly Hallows 1 & 2 left and have had tons of fun working our way through them. Winter is a great time to do movie marathons like this! We try to keep screen time to an absolute minimum for our little guy, but it’s seriously so adorable that my son loves Hagrid. Because he’s really just a tiny Hagrid himself… Whenever he catches a glimpse of the tv from time to time, it’s always so he can smile at Hagrid. How cute is that? I would say after six films, I’m a fan!



Birthday Dinner – My friend Erin and I have birthdays one day apart. We decided to go to a local sushi/teppanyaki restaurant this year. I was able to wear a brand new dress I love and enjoy time with her family. My little family started getting a nasty cold, so I was the only one who attended. It was great to get out and take a break though. Taking a break from parenting is SO ESSENTIAL. Those breaks are even better when you can spend them with close friends!


I had so many more memories and favorites this month, but I’ll try to save some for February! I hope you had a great January and a nice start to your year. Remember, spring is around the corner! Let’s enjoy these last cozy weeks of winter and make the most of them.


For more tips, tricks, and inspiration head over to my Pinterest board , my Instagram, or my lifestyle and fitness Instagram.



* If you struggle with depression and have not sought treatment, please consider following this link and learning more about suicide prevention and how to get help for depression. Don’t let your light go out. You are loved. And listening to Kylie Minogue and coloring only help so much…. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 


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