Tag: faves

Friday Faves: Cookbooks edition

October 19
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A few new cookbooks have come out this fall so I wanted to talk about a few I am loving and a few more I still want to read. I few of these are from bloggers I’ve followed for some time and a few are just things I’ve seen and tried out. I love to buy my favorites, but I also check them out from the library to test them out and make sure I even want the book.  Some of these are Instant Pot based books which is perfect if you’re just getting in to electric pressure cooking.

I’ve been following Brittany Williams for some time now. I learned of her website, Instantloss.com from an Instant Pot Facebook group I used to belong to. Her recipes focus on JERF (just eat real food) and are a whole foods based diet plan. She lost over 1 pounds using these recipes. I am not on a diet, but I like to use healthy, whole foods when I cook and these recipes fit the bill. Most are gluten-free, dairy-free, and low carb. If you are looking for new healthy meals, or to loose weight you really need to pick this one up. Most recipes are made in the Instant Pot and they are all super easy and quick.


I love Lisa Leake and her 100 Days of Real Food books and blog. Her most recent title, 100 Days of Real Food on a Budget is perfect for people looking to get in to healthy whole foods, but afraid of the cost. In the opening of the book she goes over simple budgeting tips as well as swaps you can make at home to save. She even includes a price list from several stores including Aldi. Even if you don’t use the recipes, the information shared in the beginning of the book is priceless. My favorite parts of her recipe section are those for packed lunches which are perfect for adults and kids alike. I sometimes have a hard time finding lunch recipes that actually work for those of us who work outside the home and don’t have the time to prep a fancy meal in the office.


I haven’t had a chance to try the recipes in this book yet, but I am for sure looking forward to it. I grabed Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow at the library on a whim because I’d like to get in to running and quick meals are my favorite. What I love about this book is that each recipe includes tips for runners as well as nutrition tips and tips to help you save time. The book also has a great introduction which goes over proper nutrition, especially for athletes. Like the other books, this one focuses on healthy whole foods and using ingredients that you most likely already have. I highly suggest this book if you are a runner or athlete or want to become one.

Megan, of Detoxinista also released a new cookbook this fall. Her new book, The Fresh and Healthy Instant pot Cookbook includes 75 Instant Pot recipes with photos for each one. What is interesting about Megan and Detoxinista is she follows certain rules for food combining that helps with digestion.  Each recipe is designed with this in mind and includes vegan and vegetarian substitutions. While I have not tried this one yet, I will be getting a copy soon, at least to try.


The last cookbook I wanted to talk about today is the one I know the least about. This one just came up in my Amazon search and it looks intriguing. Although I am not vegetarian, not do I follow a keto diet, I enjoy trying out recipes from both and am curious how the author successfully melds the two. I have it on hold from the library and if I like it I will share more.

Do you enjoy cookbooks? Have you tried a new one recently that you love? Share it with me in the comments on on Instagram!

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Friday Faves- Madewell sale

August 24
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Happy Friday everyone!

Madewell is having a big sale right now for insiders, so I wanted to take the chance to share a few of my favorites of theirs with you. Madewell items can be a little pricy, but are for sure high quality so its worth it sometimes. They don’t have sales often, and when they do usually jeans and leather goods are excluded so this is a bit of a rare deal.  The items I am sharing are all ones I have myself and enjoy so you have my seal of approval or something. Note: to get the sale pricing you must be a Madewell Insider. This is totally free to join and with it you get free shipping, returns, personalization, and this sale.

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Lets start with bags. I have been using this Medium Transport bag for about a year now and it is still going strong. The leather is thick but also forgiving and is something I know will last for years to come.

I recently grabbed this canvas transport bag because I’ve been looking for a bag that size for my airplane personal item and this one fits the bill. (More on that next week.) They change out the colors here and there, but I have it in a nice blush pink color that works for all seasons.

I think I have finally found my favorite tank. The Madewell Whisper tank is a new favorite. They are the perfect weight and the V-neck is just right for me. I have one in a pink/purple color and ordered one in gray. I really could just get these in all the colors and call it a day.

I just bought these mules and honestly, I am still on the fence about them. I LOVE them as a shoe, I am still not sure about them for ME as I don’t need another pair of brown shoes. But hey, they are comfortable and adorable.

Lastly, I bought this dress recently and I love it. It is a perfect summer/fall transition piece here in the south and wears wonderfully. Dress it up with a cardigan or down with a denim vest or jacket.

The Madewell jeans I own are no longer for sale on their site, but I do love their jeans. Any tips on the best pair to buy? Leave them in the comments!

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Amazon Beauty Favorites

August 22
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So if you haven’t noticed, I’m addicted to Amazon. Honestly, any time I can order something online and have it delivered to my home is a win. It is not that it is so hard to go buy a new lipstick or whatever, it is just annoying to have to remember to do it, to make the stop, and then to not buy the entire store while I am there. Also, I don’t actually spend much time in normal stores like Target or CVS. I buy my groceries at Aldi and Costco so to go buy a mascara is a special trip.

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Anyways, because of this I have been shopping for beauty products on Amazon more and more over the last year. Also, I have been using this as an excuse to try out new drugstore brand products. Hello saving $$!  My newest thing has been to use the Amazon subscribe and save option to subscribe to my favorite holy grail items so I always have them on hand.  The best part? When you subscribe to five items you get 15% off, and the prices are already low to start.

FYI this is not a sponsored post. Yes, a get a small commission if you buy anything from my Amazon links, but I am just sharing because this is awesome. 

So, on to my personal Amazon favorites. These are the items I am subscribed to. I get them every six months and if I don’t want an item one month I skip it.

This NYX concealer is my favorite. It is just as good as a $20-30 product for less than $5.  I have thin pale skin so without a concealer I totally look like I have a black eye.

My favorite moisturizer is a great Amazon staple. Sometimes I cannot find it in the store so knowing I can grab it on Amazon is helpful.

I am always a sucker for a new mascara so having one delivered is great.

This primer is a favorite. Super affordable and just as good as other pricy options.

This eyeliner is less than $4 right now. Cannot be beat. I use a liquid marker style liner on my top lids but I love these for the bottom as you don’t have to sharpen it. I keep one at home and one in my bag for on the go.

Other favorites include this NYX dewey finishing spray, ELF lip exfoliator,

All my Amazon beauty favorites as well as other favorite products are available on my Amazon page. I try to keep this page updated with my favorite things that are on Amazon. Remember, I do get a small commission from purchases, but that does not affect your price.

What are your favorite Amazon beauty staples? Share them in the comments or tag me in a photo on Instagram, I’m @_amberdowns.

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Friday Faves

July 27
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Happy Friday!

I’ve been busy with birthday stuff as well as some home projects around here, but I wanted to share a few things today for my Friday Faves.

Last week I posted a photo on Instagram of a bowl of avocados that I said I was going to freeze. Of course the internet froze over as that idea of freezing avocados is kind of interesting. Anyways, If you are interested in this process head over here for more info.

I got this book from the library just the other day and it is great if you’re into houseplants. The guide is easy to follow, has real photos, and give solutions to common problems for each plant. I’ve already seen improvement due to tips I learned.

Surprisingly, I made it through the Nordstrom sale, Amazon Prime day, and the L’ange sale without any purchases. I did however nab this cute dress at Madewell with my birthday gift card from them. (Read about my fave birthday freebies here.)

I hope you’ve had a great week!

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Friday Faves- Nordstrom Anniversary sale

July 13
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Happy Friday!

Today I figured I’d share a few favorites from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. Honestly, I don’t shop at Nordstrom very often. We don’t have one here in Central Florida, and let’s face it, I’m cheap and they are not. But, they do carry some brands that I like and if you ever want to try out their stuff now is the time.

The way the anniversary sale works in the first week (July 12-19 is just open to cardholders. Then, July 20-August 5th the sale is open to everyone else. You can buy online or in store, up to you.

 

So below are some of my favorites from the sale. Two lovely Kate Spade bags are on sale. The large one is $100 off and perfect to take to work. The other is a great travel back with a cross strap and zip closure. (see more on my travel bag tips here.)  Be sure to click the bags to see more color options.

A must for me will be the Zella leggings. I hear so many good things about these, better than Lululemon! They will sell out so act fast. The Spanx leggings are pretty popular as well. These are a faux leather and are super slimming. Both items rarely go on sale.

The other items are just cute things for fall. Check them out if you’re interested.

Well, that is about it! Have a great weekend!

Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. – Amber D.

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Friday Faves

June 1
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Hooray for a short week being over, right? Things are finally starting to slow down around here and the summer and the rains are still in high gear. We were lucky to have a surprisingly nice Memorial Day and I even got a sunburn. Not great, but very surprising due to the fact that it was shady and windy most of the day. Anyhoo, my mother and I hung out in the pool and she brought over a great summer salad. I have been eating more and more salads lately, and I love how the blueberries in this one liven it up.

I avoided Memorial Day shopping just because I didn’t really need anything. However, I am looking for a new swimsuit. I am looking at either a two piece or a bikini, but I would like something that is a bikini bottom but actually covers my rear end. I am pretty sure I am past this “cheeky” stuff. If you have a favorite store for semi-modest swimwear let me know. I am still totally for  something cute, I just don’t want to fall out of it.

 

My garden is going pretty good. I can’t wait for these little lemon squash to be done. I have never had them before but I hear they are similar to other summer squash.

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I realized the other day that my work planner, an Agendio is almost finished.  I will be ordering a new one soon. I love they have a fully customizable planner builder on their site so you get exactly what you want. You can even have it start whenever you need it to. I will share more once I receive the new one.

 

Last week for work I did a mini presentation on one of my favorite apps, PicTapGo. Have you used it? It is perfect for image editing on the go. I use it all the time to edit images for the blog or just social media.

 

 

 

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Friday Faves

May 11
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Happy Friday everyone! I hope the end of the work-week is treating you well. I have family over this weekend so we will be out and about enjoying what we can in this semi-tolerable Florida weather. I will be having both my parents and my in-laws over for Mother’s Day and am super excited for the menu I have planned.

Now on to my faves!

Right before I cut my hair, I picked up a Curl Bar. This is a unique curling iron with a handle with a 90 degree angle. Although I haven’t used it much since the chop, I really liked it and felt that the ergonomic design really does make a difference. Anyways, if you are in the market for a new curling iron check it out.

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Remember “channel flipping?” Yeah, luckily we don’t have to do that anymore. However, while scrolling Hulu the other day I came across a new show on Fox, LA t0 Vegas. If you’re in the mood for a fun, feel-good sitcom this is your show. Perfect for before bed when you just want something light. Also, it is super bingeable as I totally watched 5 episodes in one day.
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Did you see what The Happy Planner released at the Go Wild Conference in Austin? They have a new kids line of planners! Happy Planner Kids are super cute mini planners for boys and girls. Perfect for teaching kids proper planning and how to prepare for the week. These would make a great gift idea. They will be available in the MAMBI Shop on May 15th.

 

I am about two-thirds through the way of Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer on audiobook. As I’ve mentioned before, audiobooks are my FAVORITE. Anyways, I guess this book was a movie recently, but I have not seen it.  I actually got this book because I found a later book in the trilogy on the shelf and thought it sounded so interesting. Of course I wasn’t going to start in the middle so I went back to the first book. If you’re looking for a good sci-fi to pull you in early and keep you intrigued this would be a great series for you. Bonus: All three books are already out so you don’t have to wait for them to be written or published. Want in on all three? Check out this single-volume hardcover edition.

Did you see my post about Old Navy? If you’re looking for some tips on how to dress professionally via their collection check it out. I found some great summer office pieces and the prices are amazing.

Anyways, that is all I have for today. As always, feel free to share awesome things in the comments. You know I am always on the hunt for new awesome.

 

 

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Current Amazon favorites

April 27
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Y’all know I love Amazon. For me, any time I can order something from them instead of stopping at the store to grab it is a win. In an effort to save time I am focusing on Amazon orders more and more. Honestly, knowing the item will be there in two days without checking four stores for the item is so worth it. Run out of soap or mascara? Boom- two days. (Or same day for some items.) So I figured I’d share a few of my current Amazon favorites.

I finally jumped on the Micellar water band wagon and I am already in love. For some reason when this product became popular I just figured it was some hyped up water so I ignored it. This “water” is great for removing makeup and sweat at the end of the day. I squirt some onto a few sheets of toilet paper to wash away the grime of the day. As a person with dry sensitive skin this is awesome. Also, it will take the place of makeup removing wipes on those days I am too lazy to do anything more.  I have this one from Amazon. (Wouldn’t this be great in a small bottle for travel?)

I’ve talked about it before, but if you need a basic mascara L’Oreal  Paris Voluminous Original Mascara is a great deal. Right now it is only $5.50 for a tube. This item is also available for the Subscribe and Save option. With this you get the item delivered every 1-6 months and you save 5% on each order. If you subscribe to five our more items you get 15% off everything. Once I finally pick my subscription items I will share them here on the blog.

You know this e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer has been one of my go-to items for awhile now. It does the job just as well as other brands and has great, useful packaging.  Try some of there other varieties as well to find your favorite.

Although I would like to try some other concealers, I find that my go to keeps being this NYX HD concealer.  It does the job as well as anything else and is only $5 or less. I use this along with NYX Dark Circle Concealer   to combat thin skin and blue tones under my eyes. #palegirlproblems.

So I was going to talk about some home stuff I have purchased, but it looks like this became a beauty only post. I am totally ok with this.

Ok, I will share one more. Although I did not buy this eyeliner on Amazon, I will next time. This L’Oreal eyeliner is super simple and a great everyday basic. I use it for a simple line on my upper lashes and can smudge it out with the bottom if needed. I also use it for lining my lower lid. Although I like something a little more dramatic for evenings, this stuff is great for everyday wear.

 

 

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My Five Favorite Hair Products

March 7
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I do not consider myself a hair expert at all, but I discovered some hair products that really work for me. I have slightly wavy that is thicker than you’d imagine. I wear my hair both straight and curly and use product and heat for both styles. I use a mixture of drugstore and department store products and of course love inexpensive options when available. These are the products that are my favorites.

My favorite hairspray is Kenra Volume Spray 25. This hairspray has a great hold for all styles and keeps my hair in place whenever needed. The bottle is a little pricey, but you don’t need to use a ton so it is worth it and lasts for some time.

Although I have a decent amount of hair I often find that I am lacking body at the root. I fix this I use Aquage Uplifting Foam before I blow dry to really pump my roots. I don’t blow dry every time I wash so I don’t used it all the time, but when I do it is worth it. This product was introduced to my by Kate at The Small Things Blog and is finally available at Ulta.

Over Black Friday weekend last year I tried two Not Your Mother’s products as they were on sale at Ulta. Not Your Mother’s Double Take Dry Finish Texture Spray is amazing. I love using texture spray on clean hair to give it a little extra hold. It also works as a light hairspray on days I touch up curls. It has become a total staple on my vanity and is great to help make styles last.

The other product Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo. I use this dry shampoo on day two and three hair to take away some of the oil from my roots. I have tried many dry shampoos and this one is my current favorite. It cannot be beat for the price and it goes on sale regularly.

I don’t always flat iron my hair, but when I do I use  L’oreal Sleek it Flat Iron Spray. This spray is applied to damp hair before drying and protects hair as well as makes it super sleek after it goes through the iron. I was without for a few weeks and my straight hair was just not the same. This is also a great item for the price .

These are my favorites, what are yours? I am always looking to try something new!

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Fall favorites

November 13
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The heat is finally starting to subside here in Florida and so I figured it was time to talk about some new favorites.

I kind of have a thing with houseplants. It is kind of a love hate relationship. I love them, they hate me. I have been keeping my eyes out  for a fiddle leaf fig and a split leaf philodendron for some time, but hadn’t run across any that worked for me. This month I ran into both of them at Home Depot and was super excited to take them home. I just love the way a houseplant can add life, greenery, and warmth to a room. (They also make a great place for the lizards that sneak into my house to live.) Also, since they are INSIDE my home they are a little easier to remember to water as I see them every day. I also have a majesty palm and a corn plant.

I have never been a big tea drinker, however this fall I have started to get into drinking tea in the evenings. My husband and I enjoy having a cocktail or beer to unwind in the evening, but I was starting to feel that the unneeded alcohol and calories were starting to catch up with me. I knew that I still wanted a nice treat for the evenings and tea seemed to fit the bill. I have been enjoying herbal tea both at home in the evenings as well as in the afternoons at work. Usually around 3pm I want a little something but don’t want coffee anymore. I have been drinking this english breakfast tea at work. It has a higher caffeine content, but still lower than coffee.  I have been enjoying this herbal tea variety pack at home.


So, if you haven’t heard, Stephen King is kind of in right now. “It was super popular in theaters and everything eighties is great. Although I never read his older titles, I have enjoyed King’s newer works. They are more on the thriller/suspense side instead of horror. Anyways, his newest title, Sleeping Beauties came out back in September and is a great read. If you’re looking for a book to get lost in over the holidays, this is your book

Lastly, I am in love with these loafers from DSW. I used to be all about ballet flats, but when loafers started being a thing again a few years ago I was all in. I bought them in black but am probably going to go back for the taupe. They are the perfect blend between a work and casual shoe and super comfy.

 

Ok, that is it for today, what are you crushing on right now?

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