Friday, January 3, 2020


Happy New Year, friends!! I hope everyone has had a great start to this new decade!  I still can't believe it is 2020.  It feels so futuristic even to say it.  I still remember all the ridiculous Y2K pandemonium from 20 years ago like it was yesterday.  (To this day, I still have no idea what that was really all about. I just remember thinking everyone seemed to be overreacting. 😂)  But I am excited to start a new year and I just pray that it's a good one.

Now on to the fun stuff!  Just like last year, I decided to round up a list of some top favorites from this year. Some of these are repeats from my 2018 All-Stars list.  Which means they are REALLY good. ;)  And some are new products or finds that are really recent but managed to score high enough marks with me that they landed themselves here with the All-Stars.  So let's take a look!

I thought we'd start with hair stuff because I had a lot of favorites in this category.

Once again, my beloved Matrix Mega Sleek shampoo and conditioner combo made the list.  I just can't quit it, friends.  It keeps my hair moisturized, shiny, soft and sleek (especially when I straighten it).  And right now, it's on sale for 50% off in the jumbo sizes (shown below) for just $12.99!  I always try to stock up when they go on sale for half price!

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Another shampoo made the list too and it's the Amika purple shampoo that I use once every 10 days or so to keep my blonde from getting too brassy or dull.  I was out for a while and when I finally remembered to get more and used it for the first time in a couple of months, I really noticed a difference.  It's subtle but it's there.  It's a great way to keep your blonde bright!

Next up...the Kenra Blow Dry Spray I've been talking about all year.  It smells like a Pina Colada and protects your hair from the heat of your styling tools. I only use this when I actually take the time to dry and style my hair--so maybe once a week.  haha  But it's got a cult following and some even say it helps speed up dry time.  (I haven't tested this but I can see it being true.) 

After I've sprayed the heat protectant, I use my Aquage Uplifting Foam at my roots and then run any excess through the rest of my hair.  Then comes the true miracle product that I really wish I'd had all my life.  The Revlon One-Step Dryer and Volumizer!  Both of these products made the cut in 2018 and honestly, they'll probably be there again in 2020. Right now, the Revlon dryer is on a major sale too!  It's down from $60 to just $35 but it can go back up at any time so just a heads up on that.

Another favorite this year is this Amika Un.Done texture spray.  I love this stuff! I ordered it in this little travel size to try it out first and as soon as I ran out, I ordered more.  I use this after I curl my hair and spray UP into my hair.  Does that make sense?  So I don't spray the top layer of my hair. I spray up into it from the ends.  It gives my hair some pretty volume with my curls and gives some nice texture.  Another great Amika product!!

Now onto beauty!

Soooo...yep. The Colleen Rothschild Cleansing Balm is one of my FAVORITE FAVORITES OF ALL MY FAVORITES.  EVER.  Is that dramatic?  Maybe.  But I love this stuff!  I know it's been all over influencers and bloggers lists this year and for good reason.  It makes my skin feel amazing and it MELTS my makeup off plus any excess oil and dirt as well.  It heats up into an oil once it touches your skin and it's just so so good.  I can't imagine not using these microfiber washcloths with it though.  Rub in your balm, let it melt into your skin and then wipe it away with one of these warm, wet washcloths.

washcloths | cleansing balm in all sizes/prices (I buy the Jumbo)

And speaking of Colleen Rothschild, I just started using this new Retinol Supreme Eye Serum and it feels luxurious.  If you need a new eye cream, I'd highly recommend this one!

Now onto a favorite drugstore find.  I very recently started using this Loreal Collagen Moisture Filler after walking by it at the store the other day and this stuff is legit!  I've even had a few messages from y'all saying how awesome it is! My face feels plumper and super hydrated in the morning when I wake up so I think it's working to fill in some of those fine lines!

Also, I've had several people ask about my skincare routine and some of my skincare post I've been working on has kind of gotten rolled into this one so I'm just going to give a quick version here.  This is the full routine and what I'm currently using.  My product lineup will change frequently throughout the year depending on what I run out of and what I decide to try next but this is what I'm using now.

1. Cleansing Balm (linking the page with multiple sizes and price points although I buy the Jumbo size)
4. Tula Blurring Face Filter (for my moisturizer/primer.)

2. Obaji Tretinoin Cream (prescription only, .05%)
3. Obaji Blender (Mine is the prescription-only one but you can get the non-script one HERE.)
4. Loreal Collagen or Clinique Moisture Surge (I switch back and forth because I love them both)

And now, let's move on to favorite makeup!

I usually buy a new palette every year just to try something new and this was the one I got this year.  It is the Tarte Treasures Collector's Set and it comes with this awesome double-ended brush, a full-size Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara and the palette.  

Image may contain: makeup

Now when I bought this for $49 I thought it was totally worth it.  The palette alone is worth $49 to me but adding in that mascara which is SOOO GOOD plus the brush?  I was sold.  But to make this even better, it is now on sale for just $30.  For all of it!! Again, this mascara is gorgeous.  It is right up there with my favorite Lancome Monsieur Big and (coming up next) the $5 Lash Princess that works just as good as the big dogs!

Here's the Lash Princess mascara.  I can't even remember how I ran across this and decided to try it but it is worth so much more than the $4.99 price tag!!  I've been posting this in my Deals group on Facebook for months now and so many of y'all have agreed that this stuff is LEGIT!

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Whew.  Ok, I think that covers beauty products.  So let's move on to a few more random finds before I close it out.

I get asked about these sunglasses a lot.  Probably because I wear them in tons of pictures (they hide a multitude of sins) and they just look good on almost every face shape.  So here ya go.  I got these at Academy Sports on a whim next to the checkout line.  😂😂  They are about $16 and I ended up going back for a second pair just to have as a backup because I love them so much.  Is that weird?!

As for clothes, one of my very favorite finds of 2019 has been this Mama Bear pullover.  It looks like a sweatshirt but it's not.  It's this super soft, thick, slightly stretchy tshirt material and it's from Amazon!  I loved it so much I asked for the Mom Mode one for Christmas.  It runs TTS and I'm wearing a small in both.  Size up for a more oversized look.  But y'all.  I flippin' love this thing.  If they come out with new designs in this exact shirt I will be all over it!

I went ahead and linked my jeans because I've been obsessed with this KanCan brand all year long, especially this pair I'm wearing above.  But I can only find them here on Amazon in very limited sizes and on Jane (Jane is the BEEESSSTTTT place to shop....) every once in a while.  You're going to find the best deals on Kancan jeans on Jane so check HERE (deals are only good for 72 hours so they change all the time!) and I link to them over on my Daily Deals group any time I see them for y'all!  So be sure you join over there!!

Now y'all.  I am ashamed and super upset with myself.  I have been a major bookworm (audio bookworm...) forever.  And I was doing so good with my monthly book reviews!!  Until July.  And then school started and baseball and band and work got busy and holiday and blah blah blah...I just completely got so far behind with all the books I'd read and needed to review.  And I just quit.  I read/listened to some really good books from August til now.  But I have zero reviews of them.  Ugh.  I keep thinking I'll sit down and go back through them and remind myself what they were about and write the dang review but honestly, I just don't have it in me.  I may at some point this month, go back and pick out my favorites to tell you about but it makes my head spin to try and think about all the catching up I have to do.  Eeeek.

Instead, I'm going to point you toward my July book review because it was the best book month I'd had in a very long time.  Maybe that's why I figured I'd just quit while I was ahead?  haha  But anyway, if you love chick lit, you MUST read these three books!  I read a lot of books every year and they all kind of run together.  But there are a handful of books every year that stand out to me and stick with me and those are the ones I want you to know about.

Starting with...

The Friend Zone.  Read it or listen to it.  I listened.  I'm an audio girl who loves to listen while I work.  But this book was so cute, so sweet and so funny.  You will love it!

The Friend Zone by [Jimenez, Abby]

Another one that is a must read. The Unhoneymooners. Both of these books have the same tone so if you love one, you'll love the other. I love books because I want to get lost in another world and worlds that make me feel happy are the best. This makes you feel happy. Read it!


And my third pick was Surfside Sisters by Nancy Thayer. Yes, these are all beach reads but sometimes you need a little sunshine in January!
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This was one of those "what could have been" type books. Keeley is returning home to face her high school boyfriend and her ex-best friend who married said boyfriend. And she's confronted with the life she could have had. It will resonate with you if you had a high school boyfriend. But it's so much more than that.

Go HERE to read my reviews on all of these! You won't be sorry, I promise!


UPDATE: I completely forgot to add one my BEST favorites of the year! KETO!! Y'all, I lost 20 pounds in 2 months this summer without working out and kept it off for almost 6 months now. I'm about to start on it again with the hubs this time just to drop a few holiday pounds that crept up and to help energize him into losing a lot. But if you are thinking you are interested in doing Keto too, be sure to read my Let's Talk Keto post. It has all the stuff you need to get started and understand it better.

And I think that's about it. Whew. That was a lot of favorites in one post but it's been quite a year!

What were your favorites of 2019?? Let me know in the comments and I'll be sure to check them out! (Maybe they'll make the list for 2020!)

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog every week and for supporting my Etsy shop and my Deals group! I've loved getting to know some of you through messages on Instagram, comments in the group, comments here etc. I truly appreciate your kindness and your support!

2018 All-Stars HERE





  1. I LOVE the Lash Princess mascara. I used to spend big bucks on expensive mascaras, but this one is SO CHEAP and so so good. I highly suggest the book The Giver of Stars (Jo Jo Moyes). Super good. I love when you post about favorites.

    1. It really is SO good! And thanks for the book rec! I just got a new Audible credit today so I'm looking for a good one! :)

  2. Happy New Year!! I am so happy to have found your blog and follow your tips for everything above!

  3. Your keto post is my fav! I started it two months ago and am down 8.6. Not as awesome as your results but it works! Still doing it and am hoping to hit the 10 pound mark soon. I think I need to do the intermittent fasting to see quicker results. Plan to start that next week.

    1. That's awesome, Rachel!! And yes, intermittent fasting works so well combined with Keto! I think it's also helped me maintain my weight after I stopped Keto when I lost what I wanted to. You can ease into it too. Start with going just 13 hours between meals (like maybe 8pm to 9am) and then slowly start to extend it to 16. Knocking out an entire meal full of calories and carbs really helps keep your numbers in line! Let me know if you have any questions! I'm not an expert but I've got experience. :)

  4. I would like you to do a blog post on how your mom cares for her skin. She looks very youthful and obviously has taken good care of nerself.

  5. This was an ALL-STAR of a post!!


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