Friday, December 28, 2018


Welcome back, ladies!!  I hope your Christmases were all so merry and bright!!  We spent Christmas Day in our PJs, napping, eating, playing games, watching Christmas movies and helping the boys figure out all their Christmas gifts.  It was absolutely perfect.

And now...I'm over it all and ready to tackle the most annoying part of Christmas--un-decorating.  Boo.

But now it's all about New Year's!  And to end 2018 with a bang, I thought I'd share some of my FAVORITES from this year!  I've got everything from favorite books to favorite beauty products and everything in between.  Consider this the All-Stars of 2018.

Let's get started, shall we?

First up.



If there is one thing I've learned about mascara, it's that everyone has a favorite.  But another thing I've learned?  (Almost) everyone is always looking for their NEXT favorite!  ;)

Lancome's Monsieur Big Mascara has been my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE, hands down, all year long.  It makes my lashes thick, lush and long!  It's a total triple threat and even after trying samples of tons of others throughout the year, none of them beat out my love for this one.


My favorite beauty vlogger, Harmonize Beauty, talked about her love of these Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink lip colors earlier this year so I decided to give them a try.  They stay on all day which is the ONLY reason I even bother.  I love a pretty lip gloss but those tend to come off SO QUICK.  And I'm not going to stop and reapply at all.  I just don't care enough.  haha

They come in 22 colors but Dreamer, Seductress, and Lover are my favorites!


The Tarte Shape Tape Concealer has been my go-to all year when it comes to helping to hide dark circles and blemishes. I love the large applicator and a little goes a very long way!

And to go with it, the Becca Under Eye Brightener is still a favorite although I've been using it for longer than just 2018.  I dab it lightly on my dark spots under my eyes and then follow that up with the concealer.  



My friend told me about this shampoo/conditioner earlier this year and basically said it will change your life.  ;)  Ok, so maybe it didn't change my life but it did change my hair!  After just the first wash, my hair was sleeker and shinier.

A lot of shampoos claim to do this but they either cost an arm and a leg for a tiny bottle or don't work at all. Not these!  These aren't super cheap but they won't break the bank either.  And the bottles are really big so they'll last quite awhile.  If you'd like to try out a new shampoo/conditioner set, give these a try!  Currently on sale right now too for almost half off!!!  This is when I stock up!  Deal can end at any time.  Conditioner HERE.  Shampoo HERE.

I'm also adding this Mega Sleek Iron Smoothing Defrizzing Leave-In Spray because it is also a favorite! I spray it on before I flat iron my hair and it leaves it soft, sleek and silky.  It was an impulse buy but I'm glad I did it!


Ok friends.  This one snuck in right here at the end and it may be one of my FAVORITES of ALL my favorites from 2018.

It's this Revlon One Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer.  And it is AWESOME.

I bought this a few days before Christmas but didn't use it for the first time until yesterday and after drying the first section of my hair, I was just giddy.  Such an awesome blowdryer!

What it is:

It's a blow dryer and round brush combo in one.  So if you love a good blow out using your round brush, you will LOVE THIS! You get sleek, smooth hair with major volume and it's easier than using a round brush and a blow dryer separately.  (Seriously.)  The brush doesn't get your hair all tangled up either.  I'm telling you, I love this thing!! There are videos of people using it on YouTube if you want to check it out.  Here's one if you want to watch.  (NOTE:  The girl in the video uses a separate blow dryer to dry her hair a lot first.  I didn't do this and don't see what that's necessary at all but to each their own. Just know you don't need to do that.)

So again, for me, this is a magic hair tool and I am THRILLED that I finally took the plunge.  Money well spent!

(This pic was taken immediately after I finished drying my hair.  I used the Aquage Uplifting Foam on my roots when my hair was wet and then dried the whole thing with the new blowdryer.  I didn't use any other serums, products or even a flat iron.  My hair NEVER looks like this when I finish blowdrying it!  I am a believer!!!!!)

I do want to let you know that there are quite a few knockoffs on Amazon though and they may be great or they may be sketchy.  I honestly can't tell you.  I'd go ahead and make sure to grab the Revlon one though just to be certain. And if you are in my Facebook Daily Deals group, I'll be sure to let you know if I ever find it on sale!

And since we're talking about volume, you MUST grab the Aquage Uplifting Foam, friends.  It has a cult following.  Everyone LOVES it.  It was another happy find in 2018.  And it's currently on sale for under $11!!  (reg $21)



In case you missed my Drunk Elephant Skincare Review, you should go back and read it!  I'm still using these products and those little sample bottles lasted me over 2 months!  So I'd definitely suggest starting with that Littles Kit if you just want to try out a wide variety of their products and see what works best for you.

I've gone through a couple of bottles of the Face Wash now and purchased full-size bottles of the C-FirmaB-Hydra and T.L.C Night Serum.  I also looooveee that marula oil and need to get some more of that.

And then DUH!  Of course, I have to mention my favorite beauty find!  I think I've mentioned these about 27,000 times on the blog this year.  These are "Day of the Week" microfiber washcloths for your face and the second I used one, I knew I would NEVER go back to a regular old washcloth again.

These washcloths are so incredibly soft and get every trace of makeup off your face.  They are that good.  They always leave my face feeling like I've just come out of a spa facial.

I love that this little pack of 7 has the days of the week embroidered on them too!  How fun is that!?!  And these guys are cheap too.  I got mine for around $13 on Amazon but since then they seem to be holding steady around $10!  They are a little bigger than a regular washcloth too so I use one side in the morning and then hang it on a hook to try and then use the other side at night.  They dry so fast!

After a while, I realized that I just needed more of these guys.  Microfiber is where it's AT, y'all.  So I snagged a pack of 20 of them (no embroidery) for under $13!!  These have completely replaced my old washcloths I used to use on my face.  I now use these exclusively to wash my face in the morning and at night before bed and when I use my Clarisonic, they are perfect for wiping away the soap and drying my face off.


I grabbed this face mask earlier this year after I'd heard buzz about it from almost every beauty blogger there is.  Charcoal has been all.the.rage in 2018...from skincare to teeth whitening...and so I felt the pressure to join in.  And I'm so glad I did.  Best Face Mask goes to this Loreal Pure-Clay Mask.  This one is perfect to detox and brighten skin.  It also makes it super smooth and I even use it as a spot treatment overnight for blemishes.

************STORAGE & ORGANIZATION**********


Oh my acrylic makeup organizer!  I have talked about this so many times on the blog and in the Facebook Group. I try to post them every time they go on sale because I love these guys so much!

Here's mine.  It holds so much and it has kept things so organized and neat all year long.

You can find my exact one HERE or there are also tons of other configurations that are bigger or smaller that you can check out HERE.  


I think this has been the year of the packing cubes.  You've probably seen them on a million blogs lately...including this one!  I'm a huge fan.  I bought some this summer and used them for the first time on our trip to the beach.  They made packing so much easier, so much more organized and even helped me save space.  Since then I've used them for our Green Bay trip in September, our trip to Disney World last month and Matthew took them to 5th-grade camp a few weeks ago.  It's safe to say we are all a fan.

These were another great purchase in 2018!  See my exact ones HERE.


Books are one of my favorite things to chat about here on the blog and with my other bookworm girlfriends.  You can see all my book reviews from 2018 HERE.  I didn't do official reviews for November and December this year because of our trip to Disney World during Thanksgiving and then the Christmas craziness just pushed it all even more to the back burner.  If there are any that you need to read, I'll make sure to mention them on the review in January!  :)

I read 62 books this year, re-read three or four more and am halfway through my last of 2018.  But please know that I use the term "read" loosely.  I am an audiobook girl.  I only READ 2 or 3 physical books this year.  I just don't have time to sit and read.  Audiobooks are much more my speed and speak to my sense of efficiency and my constant need to multitask.  ;)

Favorite mystery/drama goes to:


I just finished this book.  It was #62 on my list this year and I decided to go for it after hearing 3 different friends talk about it at three different times in one week.  I knew it must be good.

And it was!!  The story is so original.  The setting is so unique.  The main character is so endearing and strong and smart and brave.  Aside from that, there is a murder mystery and a twist at the end.  I won't go into a full review because this is all getting pretty long but you need to read it or listen. The narration is great so no worries there.  This was a great way to end 2018!  Read more about it HERE.

Favorite chick lit goes to:

As for my favorite funny chick lit, it HAS to be Big Sexy Love.  I've talked about it a hundred times.  I've gotten at least 2 dozen messages from y'all letting me know you read it and loved it too which makes me so happy!

Big Sexy Love: The laugh out loud romantic comedy that everyone's raving about! by [Greenwood, Kirsty]

This book had everything I love about chick lit.  A sweet romance, hilarious characters, true friendship, and big cities.  I loved it from beginning to end.  It's also available for free with your Kindle Unlimited membership.  (You can try Kindle Unlimited free for a month HERE.)

And for my favorite thriller of 2018...

The Wife Between Us

The Wife Between Us was my absolute favorite!  You'll never see the twist coming.  Your mouth will drop open and hang there for a good long while before you are even able to go on.  It's AWESOME.  I have compared every single thriller to this book since I read it in January and nothing has come close.  If you still haven't read this, make it next on your list!

***********ONLINE RETAILER************

You probably know my love for by now.  It is 100% my favorite place to shop for clothes these days.  I've always preferred online boutiques over department stores and Jane brings you cute clothes from real, established online boutiques for great deals!  

It's been my go-to for all my cute graphic tees.

As well as adorable tops.

As always, make sure to read reviews first!  Every once in awhile, you'll get a seller with less than stellar reviews.  I just skip those altogether.  But 99% of the stuff I've purchased on Jane have been AWESOME!  Shop all those great deals HERE.


Yes, I have my own shop so there are a lot of my own things that I carry that are my favorites.  Like these stainless steel insulated tumblers.

And these water tracker tumblers have been a huge hit this year as well!  (You need one!!)

My confetti cups are so pretty!

And I can never choose my favorite sign.  I love them all so much!

  But my teacher signs have been my best seller this year.

And good news!  The shop is now OPEN!!  After a few weeks off, I'm back at it so get those orders in!

As much as I love my own stuff though, I also love supporting other Etsy sellers.  And THIS GORGEOUS CUP is my FAVORITE Etsy purchase of the year.  It wasn't cheap but it was totally worth it.  It is spectacular.  And a little extra. ;)  haha

The seller's shop is currently closed while she catches up on orders too but you can find it HERE.  She has a ton of different designs and uses an entirely different process to glitter her cups (much more expensive to do and a much more technical process).

I just love this thing so much!


I can't believe I almost forgot to add in one of my favorite Amazon finds of the year!  I had to come back and update the post to include it.  But this inverted umbrella is most definitely a favorite of the year.  It's how all umbrellas should be made.  I'm not really sure why they aren't because these make so much more sense.

These close the opposite way which helps you slide into the car quicker, easier and dryer and then the water is trapped on the INSIDE of the umbrella which keeps you from getting your car soaked as you pull it on in. (You still may get things a little's not magic.  It's just so much better.)

This is a great quality umbrella too and feels very sturdy.  It comes in a ton of colors and even goes on Lightning Deal every once in awhile (like NOW) in certain colors.

Find them HERE in a bunch of pretty new colors and patterns!


To end my favorites, I wanted to make sure to throw in something soft, warm and cozy.  And this blanket has it all.  It's a Barefoot Dreams throw that is currently on sale for 50% off at Nordstrom Rack and is what I gave away in my last Giveaway in the Facebook Group.
Image of Barefoot Dreams Trimmed Throw - 45"x60"

It's like heaven, friends.  If you have some Christmas money you are itching to spend, you might want to consider this.

And with that, I think I'm done!  It has been an amazing year and I am so thankful for all of you who read each post, take the time to leave sweet comments, support my Etsy shop (opening again soon!), hang out in my Deals group and just provide a positive place for me to share bits of my life.  I am so grateful for all of you.

See you back here in 2019 with my FINAL post from our Disney trip (Magic Kingdom day!) and a look at our Christmas and New Year's Eve fun!

I hope you all have a fun and safe night ringing in the New Year!

See you next year!



  1. Thanks for all the tips! Happy New Year!

  2. We like so many of the same things! I’ve had the revlon hair dryer for couple of years.. best purchase ever! Love the Matrix shampoo, Maybeline Lipstick in Lover, my makeup organizer and I LOVED listening to Where the Crawdads Sing!

  3. That mask is my favorite now!

  4. Loving the book reviews-- and the best part is I haven't read any of them!

  5. I am loving your book reviews and cannot wait to get my hands on all of them! Thanks for sharing. I am also on my way to find that lip gloss!

  6. You need to read An Anonymous Girl by Greer and Sarah. I just saw them at my bookstore and finished the book. It’s good!! I’m curious about how the Revlon dryer works for blowing curly hair straight.
    Happy 2019!

    1. I've read it! I got an advanced copy of it and reviewed in my October review! It was good! It wasn't as good as their first book but I liked it! And here's what I think about the dryer. I get a lot of people saying they don't know if it will work for their particular hair type but I don't see why it wouldn't work on ANY hair type. If you have ever used a round brush and blowdryer to blowout your hair then this will work. There's nothing crazy about it. It's just a very sturdy round brush that blow hot air. And the brush is large and the bristles can handle a good deal of hair although to do it best you need to be doing it in sections. So you can go as small or as big with your sections as you need. I think this would an amazing tool to straighten out curly hair!

    2. (October review!) :)


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