When I started this "blog," I never wanted it to feel like work, or something that I HAD to do. I wanted to keep it authentic and fun, but instead I started feeling stressed out and disappointed that I wasn't keeping up with the posting schedule that I decided I should be keeping up with. So I stopped and decided to take a break. Maybe I wouldn't come back to it again at all. I didn't know, and I was okay with that. But lately I've been feeling inspired again, and remembering how therapeutic it sometimes felt to share my thoughts in this way. It made me happy when someone would tell me about a post I wrote that they related to, or when a reader ended up loving a product I recommended. It was great to get that kind of feedback and know that, on some level, no matter how small it might be, I was connecting with and maybe even helping someone out. Really, we were helping each other, because it was good for me to be vulnerable and share my thoughts. And anyone who knows me knows that I love to shop and that I get super excited when I find what I think is the "next best thing." So I decided to start again. Because sometimes it's as simple as that. And because I got 5 on it, bitches.
1. Trust your gut. You guys, my intuition is SO strong. I swear I can feel or sense things about people and situations before my conscious reasoning or rational thought infers the same thing. The problem I run into is believing that #1. I am really that powerful, and #2. Knowing when that feeling is irrationally shaped by my past experiences vs. being inherently wise and empathetic to something that's actually exuding the energy I think I'm picking up. Does that even make sense?
I think we all have a 6th sense (or whatever you choose to call it). Some are more in tune with it than others, some have a stronger intuition that speaks to them and others might just be better listeners. Either way, it's the reason I think it's so important that we connect with ourselves. Whether that be through meditation, journaling, music, yoga or just sitting with yourself and your thoughts for a few minutes, it's important to check in with what you're feeling.
What is it that pushes you inward? What is the universe, maybe even God (depending on your beliefs), trying to tell you? I believe we are completely connected to the world around us and, if we just pay attention, we are given information everyday about whatever it is we need to know. Sometimes we might not want to hear it, but it's always there for us to tap into.
I'm not saying you should make all of your decisions based solely on a gut feeling, but tuning into what your body and the energy around you is saying will give you a true superpower if you'll let it.
2. And now...let's talk about booze. And not just any booze...bougie booze. In fact, the bougiest booze of all the boozes...Champagne. I mean, who doesn't like bringing a good bottle of champagne to a party? Even better, something other than the mainstream Veuve or Dom? One that everyone hasn't already tried and, quite frankly, probably hasn't even heard of yet? Not only does one of my "next best things" have a good story behind it, but it also has a direct tie to the Midwest (and even better, my hometown)! I'm talking about Champagne Jeeper. A truly excellent champagne, created in the spirit of gratitude, entrepreneurship, modernity and accessibility. Here are a few fun facts:
- Founded in 1949, the heir to this family business was a man names Armand Goutorbe. He was an intelligence officer for the French Army during the 2nd World War and was taken prisoner without divulging any military secrets, which would have brought certain death to many American and Allied soldiers. In return for saving their lives, the U.S. troops gave Goutorbe a Willys Jeep after he arrived home finding his vines disabled and in ruins. In homage to the troops and the "truck" that had helped bring his family's business back to life, he renamed their Champagne "Jeeper."
- Jeeps have been made in America and, more specifically, my hometown of Toledo, OH, since 1910. Thus, Americans, Midwesterners, and especially Toledoans have a personal connection to the story of Champagne Jeeper...what's not to love? But wait, there's more.
- Rated 92 pts by James Suckling of JamesSuckling.com who said, “An interesting Champagne that is made from organically grown grapes with sliced apple, lemon and dried pear character. Full body and dry mouthfeel with phenolic tension. A serious Champagne. Blend of 70% pinot noir and 30% chardonnay. Drink now.” I interpret the latter as, "Le Duh."
Better bottles, better Champagne. The round-bodied bottles (designed by Nicolas Dubois, veteran Champangnois winemaker) are exclusive and a key part of the brand’s identity. Thanks to the thin neck, the wine-oxygen exchange is limited and the champagne will age better.
CJ is one of the most sustainably-produced champagnes in the world, holding two very important French environmental certificates, the first being the VDC, Sustainable Vine Growing in Champagne, and the second being HVE (High Environmental Value).
- Working on getting a better way for you guys to get your hands on this gem. But for now, go the old-fashioned route and order by phone at 419-214-0666. Pricing varies from roughly $35-$150, depending on the cuvee. Or shoot me a message and I'll put one big order in and have it delivered right o your front door!
3. Wanna know about a skincare secret that's sweeter than honey? Cleaning your face with it! Honey, I mean. I've been washing my face with honey, and oh how sweet it is!
About a year and a half ago, I started having patchy facial dryness. At first it was just around my eyes, but eventually it was kinda all over and really. effing. annoying. After 2 trips to the dermatologist and a few failed prescription cream attempts later, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Long story short, I found out I was probably over-cleansing my skin, stripping it of it's natural oils and creating imbalance. So I cooled it on the drying face wash and just started using warm water to clean my face. My skin issues actually cleared up, which was amazing (obvi)!
Eventually, I knew I needed something more than just water to remove dirt & oil. I read somewhere (I think it was from a Well+Good article) that you could use raw, organic honey as a facial cleanser, so I decided to try it. Aaaand...I'm hooked. My skin looks amazing and my face "wash" is not only edible, but it tastes great, too! I bought the one below. Here is another great article with more info.
WARNING: MEN SKIP TO #5. YOU'RE WELCOME : )
4. Vicky's Back. Victoria's Secret, that is. And just in time for Valentine's Day.
That's right, ladies. I dissed Victoria's Secret on this very same blog not too long ago. But let me tell you something, Someone very high up in the company (who will remain unnamed) sent me a boatload of bras and some workout leggings (not sponsored, just a friend who believed in her product), and not only did I TRULY love every single thing she sent me, but I've been back a few times for more goodies and have worn one of the four VS bras that I now own everyday since! My size at Nordies ended up being roughly the same at VS (I think I went up one cup size in the Dream Angel Demi, but overall, sizing was comparable). If you have decent-sized melons like I do, you might want to check out the bras below that I ended up really happy with:
Last thing I'll say. BUY THEIR LEGGINGS, THEY ARE AMAZING! I have 2 pairs of the Knockout by Victoria Sport Pocket Tights and they are perfection. Literally my favorite workout leggings I've ever owned; I can't recommend them enough (I'm a size medium, for reference). PLUS, they are currently 50% off (limited time only, but they have awesome sales all the time). I will be buying another pair as soon as I finish this post : )
5. Farm House Candle Co: I discovered this company when I was on vacay with my family last August up in the Leelanau Peninsula of Michigan. Their candles are crafted from 100% natural soy for a carbon neutral burn, and every candle is hand poured to ensure the highest quality. The best thing about their candles and room sprays though, are their remarkable aromas. They have a unique mixture of fruit, herb and masculine scents, my fave being the Tree Moss and Cedar. You can order online here or check out their Facebook page.
That's it for now...hope you enjoyed and thanks for stopping by! XO, Betsy