Here are the things I'm crushing on this season! Click the image for more details, or to check prices and vendors.
Heated Electric Blanket
The heated blanket is one of the secret ingredients to a family cure for all that ails you. Seriously, any time I feel the chills, sniffles, or that under-the-weather hint that I'm going to wake up sick the next day, I crank this baby up and sweat it out at night with a large mug of Hot Toddy. I wake up feeling great. It's practically prescription strength. And I love saving money, but I've had to replace THREE of the Sunbeam blankets already, so for only dollars more, this is a better bet.
I LOVE slipper socks, even though my husband hates them! They are just so cozy and warm, and they are super comfortable. And when they get dirty, I just throw them in the wash. I have at least three pairs. They wear down more than a hard-soled slipper, but because I wear them all the time, and because they don't cost too much, it is worth it to replace them rather than switch. I'm wearing a pair as I type this--I wear them all the time!
Everyone needs a comfy cardigan. I like them as over-sized as possible, in neutral colors to go with everything. In Texas, you can almost get away with one of these instead of a coat in a mild winter. I don't know if they truly look great with everything, but I feel both comfortable and put together, so I will throw one over jeans or sweats--doesn't matter!
Something else I love about fall 2020--my book release is October 1! That's right, I finally took the book I started writing back in 2009, dusted it off, finished it, and published it myself. It is book one of an entire series, and you can already read the prequel novella. Book two is completing the editing process now, and is already available for pre-order if you don't want to wait. The entire series should be published by early 2021. Warning--it is a fantasy series aimed at young adult readers, so if you don't currently like reading those types of books, you won't like this one either. You can get it either way, but don't say I didn't warn you. My next project after this one will be aimed at even younger readers--my next adult writing project is further down on the list, so stay tuned!
Virginia Lee's Vintage Kitchen
This local caterer serves all your favorites for every season in large family-sized portions delivered right to your door. The fall menu is especially tasty, and has my ultimate favorite--their award-winning chili. The menu rotates so you have to check every week to find your faves. Besides the chili, don't miss the Mississippi Pork Roast--it is served with tortillas and sour cream and is a total winner. You can always order items from the pantry, including a garlic sauce I could drink by the gallon, and candy bacon, which needs no description.
Utz Crab Chips
My family LOVES these. There aren't many local grocery stores that sell crab flavored or Old Bay seasoned chips, but luckily I found this deal online. I get 60 individual bags for around $13! Perfect for lunches or just for a nice snack. They aren't over seasoned, and have less calories per bag than many other options, so it is definitely an item I feel good about buying over and over again. My Alexa dot even suggests for me to buy them whenever I'm getting low.
Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan Beer
Admittedly, I'm not much of a beer drinker--I prefer red wine. However, fall is the season when beer gets a makeover and all of the delicious autumn varieties make their way on the shelves. It is possible this pecan beer is available all year long, however I only just noticed it the other day while checking to see if my usual favorite (the Blue Moon fall variety box) was out yet. It wasn't. But I found this little gem, a beer made out of roasted pecans instead of wheat. It tastes as good as it sounds and has become my new go-to for my sporadic beer purchases.
I've been really enjoying my workouts, but I've found that as I (rapidly) approach my 40s, losing weight is a whole process. It isn't enough to do cardio and lift weights, I also have to tend to my skin and hair along the way. As I lose weight, I worry about sagging skin that doesn't snap back as quickly as it used to, so I actually will workout while wearing a face slimmer to keep skin in place. I see from the reviews other users wear their slimmers while relaxing, but it is not comfortable enough for me to consider wearing it any more time than I already do. But I do like it for workouts. Maybe it's just in my mind, but I feel like it has really helped keep my skin tight.
JLab Audio Earbuds
Personally, I find you cannot workout watching television if you want to keep a good pace. The best way for me is to run with music. A nice song keeps my mind engaged, and helps me keep the pace of the workout without slowing down. Its also really important to have buds that you know are going to stay secure in your ears because messing around with them once already running is a sure way to ruin a good sweat. I like these because they have easy settings, and a comfortable hook to keep them secure. My favorite music to listen to while running is indie rap (Tobi Lou) or KR&B (Colde, Crush), but that's a post for another day.
I am late to this party, but once I bought one, I was convinced. Well, I didn't buy one, I bought 6. It's not my fault--virtual schooling made me do it! I desperately needed help managing the schedules and setting reminders for the kids to log in to their different Zoom calls. After hearing that Alexa helped others, I went ahead and bought them to put all over the house. The kids have since went back to school, but we still use our old friend Alexa to listen to music, set reminders, collect my shopping list items, and more. Also, I have her play relaxing sounds on a sleep timer for all my kids to help them go to bed without a fuss. They love trying out new sounds. And I've found I sleep much better with the sound of a thunderstorm rumbling in the distance.
Digital Programmable Rice Cooker & Food Steamer
I know the trend has moved from rice cookers to Instapots, but I've had both and I prefer the rice cooker. We cook a lot of rice at my house (I buy it by the 20 lb bag) and this one can make up to 14 cups of cooked rice. If you have lots of kids (I do), and they eat a lot (they do), and you need a quick option to make something they like that fills them up and takes little effort (PLEASE!!), then this is a great item to have!
GE Profile Opal Ice Maker
While the price of this machine might make some balk, let me assure you, this appliance is worth its weight in gold. I started by purchasing one of those standard tabletop ice makers for around $100. I didn't think we would even use it, but in a matter of days it quickly became a daily necessity. Then...of course, it broke. The few days we went between machines was almost unbearable. I quickly replaced it, but this time was willing to spend more in hopes for an even better machine. I spent more then double the cost, but when the machine arrived, it was poorly designed and kept shutting off before it was filled. I returned it, and upgraded--again. This time I was more than willing to pay the price for this counter-top machine that makes SONIC ICE nuggets. It holds a ton of water, has a great self-cleaning feature, and it looks beautiful. If you like cold, frosty beverages all year long, you NEED this machine.
What are your fall favorites? Respond and let me know. I am also curating a list of perfect holiday gifts for every person, so if you have suggestions, let me know--I'd love to try them out!
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