Tag: Lists

If you’ve been reading here for any length of time then you probably already know about Let’s Play Oprah.

If you’re new here, (hey! hi!ūüĎčūüŹľ) let me explain: It’s a game we play each month in which I share my top 3 “Favorite Things” at the moment, and then at the end of the month I give one of those things away to a lucky reader.

You’re always invited to share YOUR Favorite Things too, so I hope you leave a comment and tell us all what you’re digging right now. It can be anything- food, products, podcasts, t.v. shows, movies, drinks, music, clothes, you name it. There are no rules, except you must dish because that’s what friends do.

If you’re subscribed to this blog that means you’ve invited me into your email inbox which is a privilege I don’t take lightly, and also why I’ve decided that ALL subscribers are automatically entered to win the monthly giveaway. Forever. The only time your name comes out of the drawing is if you unsubscribe or if you just won (in which case your name goes back in 6 months later).

Sometimes I’ll spice it up by adding extra ways to enter, like commenting on a FB live video or over on IG/Twitter, but by far the easiest way is to subscribe by email, so if you’re picking up what I’m putting down, just scroll to the bottom of this post or to the right margin of the page and enter your email address!

Okay, now that we have all the business out of the way, let’s get to the fun stuff!

This month my 3 Favorite Things are: Read More…

It’s baaaaaaaaack!

Let’s Play Oprah is finally here again which means it’s time to talk Favorite Things and then I’m going to give one away.

Maybe even to you!

I’m not going to lie- I’ve been eagerly awaiting the return of Let’s Play Oprah even more than I’ve been awaiting the return of good fall T.V.¬†And you know how I feel about my fall T.V.

We took the summer off from it but I’m so excited to be back dishing about all my Favorite Things.¬†I had such a hard time narrowing it down to the usual three because I feel like there was so much good stuff we didn’t cover over the summer- like Cobian flip flops (sooo comfy) or my new favorite color of bullet journal (nordic blue), or how I made it 35 years until discovering how funny David Sedaris’ books are- but there’s simply not enough time to go over ALL the things so let’s just get right down to this month’s list.

  1. My absolute favorite wardrobe go-to this summer has been this long floral maxi dress.

It’s loose, comfortable, and¬†IT EVEN HAS POCKETS, Y’ALL!¬†

I just love dresses with pockets. I’m not even sure why? It’s not like I really put much in them. I guess I’m just a sucker for a look that says,¬†“Yah I’m fancy. What.”¬†while also saying,“Look how effortless I am!”¬†at the same time.I feel like a dress with pockets really nails that particular message, you know?

Anyway, I own this dress in 4 different colors/patterns and the red one is my favorite but I wear all of them all the time. But do you want to know the best part? I got it for just 20 bucks! Twenty bucks! For a whole outfit! The length makes it perfect for Fall too, just throw on a cute cardigan and you’re good to go.

2. My second favorite item this Fall is this cute leather backpack from Gap.

I’ve been wanting to transition from a purse to a backpack for a while now but it’s so hard to find one that’s the right size and stylish. Too big and you look like you’re 12 years old, too small and you’ve crossed over into the 90’s-Clueless-mini-backpack-era. I know that the 90’s have come full circle and are supposedly the “cool” kind of retro again, but personally I’m not just there yet.

This backpack is the perfect size for a purse replacement, it’s sleek and simple, and YOU GUYS, it’s so comfortable to wear!¬†I might never go back to a regular purse. No more shoulder pain on long shopping trips! No more stuff flying out and hitting you in the face when you bend over to tie a shoe or unload the car! I am liberated! Don’t even get me started on how perfect it is for travel.

3. My final Favorite Thing, and the item I’ll be giving way this month is this limited edition lipstick at Clinique called Capri Pop¬†from the Jonathan Adler collection.

It’s technically a Lip Primer and Lip Color in one, so it lasts for hours and this shade is just so, so fun. I tend to only wear lipstick if it’s a playful, bold color and this fits the bill on both. I’ve worn it all summer long and I’ll continue to wear it into the Fall. It’s a perfect shade blend between a true red and a berry, making it surprisingly versatile to wear. I wear it with both pinks and reds and it somehow manages to match them all. It won’t be around for long as it’s a limited edition so I snatched up a few and I’m giving one away to a lucky reader.

If you’re wondering how to be entered to win, there’s two ways to make sure you’re in the running:

  1. Comment on this post either here on the blog, or whatever social media channel you found it on (Twitter, FB, IG). You can tell me one of your Favorite Things right now (I’d love to hear!) , you say “enter me”, or you can even just say Hi. Every comment counts towards the drawing. *OR*
  2. Click the blue lighted bar at the bottom of this page and enter your email address. Subscribing with your email gets your name in the drawing FIVE times instead of once, so I mean, if you’re the betting type then you’ve got to love those odds.

Thanks for reading, and keep an eye out for my next Facebook Live, where I’ll go over all the items in person and draw a name from my big red bowl!

Yahoo! Blogging is fun!

Once a month here on the blog, we play a fun game called “Let’s Play Oprah” where we share our current top 3 “Favorite Things” with each other and then at the end of the month I give away one of those items to a lucky subscriber.

Because giveaways are fun! And we just so happen to be fun-havers!

Every once in a while I’ll pick a theme for my Favorite Things but this month I didn’t even choose one on purpose- I just looked at my list and realized they all had one thing in common: Coconut.

I prefer clean, light, earthy scents over heavier floral scents any day, and Coconut happens to be one of my favorite scents of all, so I guess it’s no surprise that it appears in so many of my beauty and household products. The smell reminds me of summer vacation and all things beachy, and who doesn’t want to be reminded of that?

Okay, are you ready?

? Lets Play Oprah! ?

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  1. The Copper Coconut 3 wick candle by White Barn. 

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I have a *bit* of an obsession with candles. I have no problem telling people about my book-buying obsession because it makes me sound quirky and brainy, but¬†I’ll never publicly cop to the number of candles I own. It’s a lot. Enough to be ashamed about. My candle cabinet is in the last place in my house that anyone would look because no one needs to be knowing about my dirty little candle hoarding secret. Read More…

Did you know that it’s National Honesty Day? Apparently it is. Apparently that’s a thing.

Is there like, a National Burrito Day that I don’t know about? National Don’t Do Your Hair Day? (Otherwise known¬†as HairDOn’t¬†Day)?

I just feel like if we’re going to give everything it’s own DAY, then we should be starting with burritos and ignoring¬†our hair. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love honesty too. Real big fan over here.

Huge fan.

In fact, in the spirit of honesty, I thought I’d share a few *potentially* embarrassing¬†things you might not know about me:

1) I have two recurring dreams:

* In the first one, my friend Poopie picks me up from the airport (because I’m a traveler, obviously. I fly places and do things and it’s all very glamorous) and when she pulls up to get me, she yells, “Surprise!” and points to the back seat where Amy Poehler is sitting. Then they both yell “Get in!” and I do, and then we all laugh hysterically the whole way home, just like I always knew we would.

* In the second one, I’m sitting at the dinner table across from my husband, when he casually tells me that he’s leaving me for Angelina Jolie. I am equal parts enraged and destroyed by this news so¬†I try to speak or cry or yell,¬†but no sound comes out. He is nonplussed and asks me to pass the potatoes.

I just now realized that both of my recurring dreams involve celebrities. Maybe I need to quit reading People magazine. P.S. My husband would never really leave me for Angelina Jolie. MAYBE Carrie Underwood… or that chick who played Rogue on X Men (why? I just don’t see it?), but definitely not for Angelina. P.S.S. He wouldn’t really leave me for any of them.

2) The only famous people I’ve ever been told I resemble are¬†Mayim Biyalik and Jerry Seinfeld.¬†So…that sucks. And okay, fine,¬†Blossom is my doppelg√§nger, but¬†I’d like to think that I have more of a Jerry essence¬†than appearance.

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3) I answer to an array of nicknames including, but not limited to, “Poopie”, “Ambergesa”, “LadyBeauFontaine”, “Craig Tippie”, “Google Search Bar”, “Amberuski”, and ¬†“Bombie”. I’m not sure if this says more about me or the people I’m close to.

4) I don’t have a sweet tooth, I have a carb tooth. NO ONE SEEMS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THIS AS A REAL PROBLEM.

5) I like to use old-timey phrases and my friends always make fun of me for it. I like to slip¬†the occasional “hide nor hair” or “willynilly” into a conversation and see where it lands.¬†One time at a BBQ we were all joking around and sipping cocktails when I used the phrase “don’t darken my door” and they all turned on me faster than a dog on a bone. They nearly ate me alive for that one. It’s been 5 years and I still get random texts baiting me into saying it again just so they can make fun of me for it at the next BBQ.¬†My friends are nice people, its just not in our nature to let things slide.

6) This works out well enough, because teasing is basically how I show affection. (You should see how I make out!)

7) Everyone close to me knows me knows that I’m a bad driver. What they don’t know is that I’m actually a really good driver when I’m by myself. Unfortunately I have no way of ever proving this.

8) My mom thinks I’m a hussy.¬†I wear a lot of V neck shirts. My sister wears a lot of crew neck shirts. This makes her the more appropriately clad daughter. Its fine. I know my own truth.

9) I have zero chill. I wreck myself all the time. You know those quieter, peripheral types of people? The ones who can read a room, rarely embarrass themselves, and tend to take it all in more than let it all out? I will never be one of those people.

If you are¬†one of those people and you’re looking to be LESS¬†chill,¬†I wrote this for you ??

How To Have Zero Chill

10) I’m¬†working on my first book proposal. This one falls more under the category of Potentially Embarrassing rather than Already Embarrassing. I’m proud of myself for going for it, but I’ve never done anything like this before. At this point I really can’t tell if I’m hatching brilliance or polishing a turd, but I’m almost done and I guess we’ll find out soon enough. It’s probably not smart to talk about it because what if it goes nowhere? But it doesn’t matter because¬†I’m incapable of keeping things in.¬†Refer to #9-??¬†Classic Blurter over here ??. I know no other way.¬†Wish me luck, though?

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I’d love nothing more than to hear a confession from you!

Give me a juicy tidbit! Tell me an embarrassing story!

Come on! It’s National Honesty Day!¬†Do it for your country?

 

*this post was sent from my computer and my heart*

 

This is a safe place, right?

I mean, we’ve talked about everything from sex, to mothering, to bikini-waxing, and beyond. We all know each other pretty well by know, don’t we?

Actually, now that I think about it, it does seem like you guys know a lot more about me than I know about you.

So if you could each go ahead and email me a short essay revealing your deepest desires and most embarrassing moments, that’d be great.
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Cool, now that we’ve agreed on that, there’s something else I’ve been wanting to talk to you about. Come close and huddle in, because this one is, how shall we say….one of my “less delicate” posts.

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I should start by telling you that I recently turned 35.

On the one hand, life is beautiful. I have a husband who’s loved me well for 15 years and he knows the exact movie quote that will communicate his feelings to me in any given situation (because, priorities! ??).

I have two healthy, spunky kids who fill me up and empty me clear out 10 100 times in a day.

I have a local community of friends, a dream I’m working towards, and Jesus by my side.

Great. Grand. Wonderful.

Nothing to complain about here.

Unless you count the totally unexpected and seriously WHACK things that are starting to happen to my mid-30’s body.¬†

Things are changing y’all, and they’re changing fast.

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Read More…

Well folks, can you believe we’re already halfway through January?

^ Apparently I like to start off my blog posts by highlighting the obvious. It really helps me get those creative juices flowing, you know?

Anyway, January.

I love it and I hate it.

January is the best because it is the freshest of all the fresh starts. Lord knows I love¬†a clean slate. Regardless of whether it’s a new workout program, a writing project, or that whole ‘meal planning’ thing I keep hearing so much about (what sorcery is this?),¬†I’m the queen of “I’ll start on Monday”, or “Next month”, or “Tomorrow. Definitely tomorrow.”

So the allure of a whole new year, stretched out before me, full of promise and good intention is more than enough to make my organizational little heart go pitter patter.

On the other hand, January is also kind of the worst. The weather is dreary, the days are short, the magic of the holidays has faded, and our bank accounts are still recalibrating from Christmas. Summer is a distant mirage, Spring hasn’t sprung yet, and we find ourselves in that weird, cold, grayish area of the year where we feel like we have a lot to do but not a lot of motivation to do it.

Or is that just me?

Don’t answer that.

Anyway, I can’t think of any better cure for the January Blues than a rousing game of Let’s Play Oprah.

If you’re new around here, this is a series we do once a month, where I share with you guys 3 of my most “Favorite Things” at the moment, and then at the end of the month I give away one of those things! To you guys! Because why not?

This series is purely for fun, and my absolute favorite part of the whole thing has been getting to know you all on a much more personal level. (Besides sending prizes in the mail. I really love that part too.)

The amount of interaction from you guys on these posts has been a completely unexpected delight. It turns out that you love to dish about your favorite things and chase the fun just as much as I do. So please keep joining in and telling me all of YOUR favorite things either by commenting on this post, emailing me back, or by sharing/commenting on social media using the hashtag #letsplayoprah.

Okay, are you guys ready? Because it’s time.

Let’s Play Oprah!

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Here are my Top 3 Favorite Things this month: Read More…

There’s precious little left of 2016 and while it’s been a wild ride, I wonder if you, like me, find yourself eagerly looking to 2017 to bring fresh hope and new adventures.

This year has been full of ups and downs but one thing remains certain- You guys are the funniest, warmest, coolest people I know. By showing up, reading along, openly sharing your own stories, and generously making room for mine, you’ve helped make this not only a soft place to land on Internet, but a uniquely fun and quirky community that I’m honored to be a part of.

I thought it would be fun to look back together and revisit the top 12 posts from 2016, so I did a little investigating, compared the numbers, and found out which essays from this year resonated with you the most.

Most of these are among my own personal favorites from the year, so air-high-five for being in sync with each other! Also, you’re welcome for sidestepping a whole slew of N’Sync jokes there. Consider it my early Christmas gift to you.

Without further ado, here are the Top 12 posts (in order) from 2016.

1. When Women Use Their Magic image

2. How To Have Zero Chillimage

3. How To Order Taco Bell

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4. In Your Dreams: When Creative Work Feels Impossible

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5.¬†Confessions of an Honest Pastor: Why It’s the Best, Worst Job Ever

–¬†A Guest Post by Steve Wiens

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6. In Which I Tell My Big Secret (That Everyone Already Knew Except Me)

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7.¬†Confessions of a Single Girl¬†–¬†A Guest Post by Bruk Marsh

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8. A Real Life Love Story 

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9. House Flip Before & After

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10. What If Hospitality Was As Simple As An Act of Vulnerability?

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11. 5 Ways To Cultivate Rest This Holiday Season 

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12. Why It’s Better To Be Wounded Than Guarded

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As always, dear readers, thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this community such a fun place to hang out. You guys are my favorite.

Here’s to the new year and all the possibility it holds for us.

¬†I’ll catch you on the flip side.

Oh heyyyyy!

We’re going to start something new here on the blog. Something just for fun.

Remember this summer when I told you that I wanted to give you a humpback whale but I made you list instead? (Which was really just a thinly veiled attempt to play Oprah and tell you all my “favorite things”.)

I made you a list of all my favorite podcasts, books, TV shows, and music at the moment and I got a surprising amount of interaction from you guys. It turns out it wasn’t only fun for me.

Because let’s all be real here: who doesn’t love to dish about what we’re currently into?

No one.

No one doesn’t.

(No that’s not proper grammar, and yes I did it on purpose. Because I’m a real renegade like that.)

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to start a monthly series here on the blog where we play “Oprah” and share our favorite things with each other. Unironically enough, the series will be titled “Let’s Play Oprah.”

I’m going to dedicate one post a month to sharing my top 3 favorite things at the moment and you guys can do the same. Leave a comment here on the blog, on social media, or even reply to my email newsletter and we’ll do that thing where we keep each other in the loop of what’s all the rage these days. Because we’re homies, and homies gotta look out for each other.

But that’s not all, guys (she said in her best Oprah voice).

The really fun part is that at the end of the month I’m going to GIVE AWAY one of my favorite things.¬†

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You know how Oprah always had those lists of all her “favorite things” that she’d share with America, and then at the end of the show she’d surprise her audience members with all the things by telling them to look under their seats?

Well guys, I don’t want you to get too excited or anything, but¬†I made you a list of my own “favorite things”.

At the end of this post, I would love to tell you all in a singsong voice to look under your seats because “everyone gets humpback whaaaaa-ales! YOU get a humpback whale! And YOU get a humpback whale!”

But let’s all be real here: this is problematic for a number of reasons.¬†Namely, because I’m not¬†Oprah.¬†Secondly, because “humpback whale” is fun to say in a singsong voice, but ironically enough, is not actually on my list of favorite things.

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But I digress. Back to the list. I don’t know about you guys, but I fully plan on indulging myself this summer.

“In what,” you might ask?

Well, all the things.

All the television. All the books. All the food. All the music. All the podcasts.

It might be a little over-ambitious to cram so much delight into two and a half short months, but I can’t help it. I tend to subscribe to the Liz Lemon philosophy in life:

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So without further ado, here is my list of Favorite Things at the moment:

T.V. Shows

  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt:¬†Because the one-liners are pure gold. They’re always saying things like, “Teeth are the boobs of the mouth!” Or “If I find a job in the classifieds, am I allowed to tell anyone?” They weave the jokes in so seamlessly, you have to pay close attention or you’ll miss at least a third of them.
  • Barely Famous: Because it’s like a new Curb Your Enthusiasm, but with sisters. One is a writer and one is an actress, but they’re both beautiful, funny, whip-smart women who have zero sense of self-preservation in their pursuit of sharp comedy. They poke fun at themselves and it’s brilliant, not just because they’re in on the joke, but because they’re telling the joke.
  • Scrubs re-runs: Because these characters stole my heart and I actually miss them. This is one of those shows that definitely started off wonky but got better and better with time. My all time favorite episodes were when JD dates a girl he really likes, but ultimately dumps her because he can’t stand that she always says “That’s funny” instead of actually just laughing, and when JD confesses he is a poo-fainter. As in, he faints every time he takes a #2.
  • 30 Rock re-runs: Because Liz Lemon is my spirit animal.
  • Outlander: Because I’ve adored the book series for years, and because Jaime and Claire are one of the realest made-up love stories of all time. Don’t even get me started. I could talk about Outlander for days.
  • Fixer Upper re-runs: Because Chip & Jo are everything. Also because Husband and I began flipping houses this year, and even though we’ve seen every episode, we still can’t seem to get enough shiplap inspiration.

Music

You should know that I used to be very cool and hip. (Operative word there, being “used” to, as evidenced by the fact that I just said “hip”, which everyone knows isn’t cool at all.) I used to go to shows at the Troubadour and other hidden little back-door venues in L.A. I used to pride myself on knowing about cool bands before they were cool.

That was a long time ago and while I do still care about music, now it’s more about how fun it is to car-dance to, than how edgy, age appropriate, or popular it is.¬†So basically, yah- I’m a 34 year old woman who “bee-bops” in the carpool lane to that Amy Grant/ Tori Kelly remix of “Baby, Baby” and I don’t care who knows it. Apparently my inner 90’s-church-geek has a strong sense of nostalgia that won’t be denied.

Don’t get me wrong, my playlist is awesome, even though I just spent two whole paragraphs telling you how my taste is music is slipping. Just know that it’s random and fun and maybe even a bit surprising. If you’re looking for some kickass summer jams, I’ve got you covered, with everything from Ice Cube, to The Cure, to Death Cab for Cutie.

So if you’re curious, this is the soundtrack to my life right now. Whether I’m writing, driving, cleaning the house, or cooking dinner, I pretty much always have this playlist on shuffle.

 

Podcasts

  • Rose Buddies with Rachel and Griffin McElroy:¬†Okay, these two are quickly becoming my new favorite humans. This podcast is a husband and wife duo, who not only watch all episodes of The Bachelor franchise TOGETHER (how cute is that?), but they break it down for us each week in a way that’s arguably more entertaining than watching the show itself.¬†Laura has been telling me how funny it is for months, and I wish I would have listened sooner because now¬†I am obsessed. I listen to it as a distraction when I do cardio at the gym and I always wind up cackling like a fool the whole time. People around me are beginning to wonder what’s so hilarious about the treadmill.
  • Hope*Writers¬†with Emily Freeman, Myquillin Smith, Brian Dixon, and Gary Morland.¬†It’s no secret that Hope*Writers has been a huge source of inspiration to me, and the podcasts are by far my favorite element. They’re informative and funny, and for some reason hearing their voices has a calming effect on my frazzled writer’s-nerves. I feel like the angsty kid-sister who’s cooler, wiser siblings are going, “Shh. There, there. It’s going to be okay. Here’s what you do…” Somehow just listening to them makes me feel a thousand times smarter and braver.
  • This Good Word with Steve Wiens: I love this podcast for the diversity. Each episode Steve chooses one word to discuss and it could be anything from Fear, to Sweat, to Creativity. He speaks with all different kinds of people about all different kinds of things, but I can always expect an interesting, thought provoking conversation. I was honored to be a guest on this podcast a few weeks ago. The word we discussed was “Courage”, but we also managed to include faith and fear, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, writing and dreaming, and how to correctly order Taco Bell. So yah, there’s not much we didn’t cover. I made a few confessions and over-shared as usual, but we laughed a whole lot. You can listen by clicking here: Episode 43: COURAGE, with Amber Salhus.

Books

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Okay, this is just embarrassing. My summer reading list needs to calm down already. For months I’ve been ordering and stashing books away for the perfect lazy summer day at the beach, but now it’s just gotten completely out of control. I didn’t realize exactly how many books I intended to read until I pulled them all out yesterday.¬†I’m going to need to separate them into little piles around the house before Husband starts asking questions about how much money we’ve been spending on Amazon Prime.

A lot of these are classics and I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t finished a single one of them yet. But that’s all about to change! Because the whole point of the Summer of Fun is to fill up the tank and enjoy life. For me, one of the best ways to recharge and get inspired is by reading a good book.

Or 20.

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The Summer of Fun is already off to a strong start, if for no other reason than the fact that I’ve at least made lists.

I do love lists.

Almost as much as school supplies.

I’d love to hear what you’re listening to/ reading/ watching! Leave it in the comments!

Love you guys.