Hello my friend and welcome back to our Friday-Listicle-Special!
I am checking in from my phone at a cottage on Lake Michigan. The breeze is cool and my mind is still fuzzy from yesterday’s festivities and drama. We spent our Fourth of July BAILING out our boat with a plastic beach pail, I kid you not. Unfortunately, the waves of Lake Michigan ended up inside the boat, flooding the engine and covering the floor. My poor husband had to spend his entire holiday fiddling with the engine while I used a beach pail and a cup to slowly scoop up all the water LOL.
The good news is that it turned out fine, and now I feel like my arms are extra toned from all that bailing.
So today, I’m happy to return to some normal things: the blog, my online family, and some good black coffee. I thought it would be fun to unpack some of my favorite recommendations of all time in a long list of 20 “things” I recommend for a light summertime read.
1. This show: Dog Whisperer
It’s no secret that I love a good makeover show: home makeovers (Fixer Upper,) attitude makeovers (Super Nanny,) body makeovers (Bringing Sexy Back,) and now, even DOG makeovers.
I love Cesar’s show because it shows the transformation of dogs from terrors to sweethearts. He teaches the owners AND the viewers how to deal with dogs, command respect, and engage in calm assertive energy that helps the dogs feel calm.
Obviously, I love using these tricks on my own dog, Harley, and it is one of the reasons our dog is so well-behaved. I also love watching the show with my husband and laughing at all the ridiculous dogs and even crazier owners. If I had to watch one show for an entire week, it would be Dog Whisperer.
2. This Skin Tip: Daily Sunscreen
I have heard this is THE best thing you can do for anti-aging on your face. All of our Korean sisters would agree: sunscreen is the pinnacle of the K-Beauty anti-aging skincare. I’m all about that preventative wrinkle care, and sunscreen is the TICKET!
I have noticed less freckles and fine lines since adopting my sunscreen routine in 2017, and I have no plans of slowing down. I use an extremely high SPF amount from Neutrogena.
3. This Movie AND Book: Pride and Prejudice
Okay ladies: if you’re going to read ONE book in your lifetime, (other than the Bible) let it be this book. It is a classic of course, but it it is also just incredibly romantic story that expands your vocabulary, keeps your attention, and draws you into another era.
I also highly recommend the Kiera Knightly movie. I have seen this movie more times than I can count. It always makes me wish I had a small Elizabeth Bennet bosom, a white empire dress, and a gaggle of laughing sisters surrounding me as I float through country balls with pearls in my hair. Sigh.
4. THIS Laundry Detergent
There’s something about Arm and Hammer products that just seems so old school and wholesome to me. This detergent smells incredible and does an amazing cleaning job.
I HATE, and I cannot stress that enough, HATE the smell of clothing washed by Tide detergent. This detergent smells amazing and is formulated for sensitive skin. I’m not an all-out natural product person, but I do really enjoy this detergent. Buy with my affiliate link today!
5. This Exercise Routine:Taking a Walk Every Single Day
This is the secret to my 15 lb weight loss: daily walks and movement. Bonus points if you have a dog of course, but regardless, a daily 45 minute power walk can do the body WONDERS.
I read about walking for exercise when I was trying to figure out how to lose fat AND muscle on my thighs. So many leg workouts focus on bulking up muscle, but many of us just want to slim it ALL down. Every time I did HIIT or lunges for my legs, I would get stockier and thicker, which wasn’t my goal.
I found out that walking was the best way to slim the legs without bulking muscles. I learned this from a trainer who works with supermodels to keep their muscles down, while also burning calories. The key? Walk for a long time on FLAT surfaces only. You want to get in the fat burning zone and avoiding bulking your muscles. I do this 3-4 times a week and blast a podcast while enjoying the sights around town. My legs are slimmer and my heart is happier!
6. This Hair Hack: Castor Oil
Okay folks, I put castor oil on my hair every night before wash day and it’s incredible. I have tested this routine for three weeks now and I can report back the following information: I have increased hair growth, decreased breakage, and increased shine.
You heard it here! Castor oil is Queen. I wash my hair every third morning, and I put the oil in my hair the night before and let it soak ALLLL fight. I wash it out with a cleansing shampoo and VOILA: healthy hair. Buy with my affiliate link today!
7. This Marriage Hack: Love Language
Find out your husband’s love language. Love languages are the methods by which partners express and receive love. It could be words, touch, gifts, etc, and most couples are different, causing some love miscommunication. Take the test yourself and learn your husband’s as well.
Once your figure out how to communicate love, your entire relationship will transform. You will be able to help your partner feel fully known, seen, and loved, just by expressing love in a way they are most apt to receive. My language is quality time, so if my husband doesn’t spend time with me, I begin feeling very empty. Take the test TODAY!
8. This Instagram Account: Mrs Hinch
Okay so she just had a baby and isn’t posting right now, but this woman changed my life for the better. My mom raised me to be very clean, but Mrs Hinch showed me how to enjoy the journey with cleaning. She's a housewife in Britain who takes her followers along as she cleans her home and lives life. Her account has gained two million followers in ONE YEAR!
She’s hilarious, wholesome, and her family is adorable. She posts daily cleaning stories and the highlights on her page are hilarious. Check out her story highlight "Hinch Potter" and I dare you not to laugh. I recommend this Instagram above ANY other one.
9. This Cookie Recipe: Cranberry Raisin
Ya’ll I ate ten of these cookies this past week. They’re just so dang GOOD! I think it’s all the butter in the recipe to be fair, but I could honestly not get enough of these things!
Make sure you do use the Craisins because that will make them taste incredible. They’re perfect for people who like flat and chewy cookies, and go perfectly with whole milk or black coffee. I made a batch of these at 2 in the morning the other week and they are to die for. Mmmmmmm!! Try today!
10. This App: Goodreads
This is my go-to app all for the books I’m reading. I save books I’m interested in, read reviews, and leave reviews! It helps to get out the frustration of hating a book when you can write a review about it, trust me.
You can even add friends and follow other readers on the app, and search books by categories. Line up your bookshelf and get started with more reading today.
The best part is that you can pull this sucker up when you’re at the library and check out what books you WANT to read, and check out the reviews for books you’re considering. No more flying blind in the library my friends! Download today!
11. This Style of Skirt: A-Line Midi
If you have hips! If you have thighs! If you have long legs! Step right up my friends! This skirt is for you. She is the perfect complimentary shape for anyone wishing to disguise some shapely or curvy legs while emphasizing a small waste. You can wear it longer to hide your calves, or shorter to add some sass.
It’s modest, WHILE also being the hottest. I thrift for these skirts and snap them up whenever I see them. Bonus points for buttons down the front! Slap on a pair of heels and you’re going to feel all Grace Kelly. I will live in these skirts, and honestly now that I think of it, I should tell my husband that I want to be buried in an A-Line Midi Skirt... LOL.
12. Reading this Book: Sex Matters
Ya’ll ask me about femininity books all the time, so here is a good one. It’s informative, statistically sound, and offers some incredible cultural commentary. It talks all things housewife, and adds in some gender theory from a right wing perspective. LOVE! Buy with my affiliate link today...
13. Watching THIS Series: Agatha Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence
Yes ladies, we’re not hermits: we do watch TV. Although I do not consume a ton of TV, I did binge watch this series while staying at my mother in law’s house this past spring. I am such an Agatha Christie addict, and this movie did it all justice. I cannot wait for Amazon to make more content like this!
It’s mysterious, exciting, and oh so dramatic! The costumes are stunning and the cinematography is amazing. It kept my attention until the end, and although I didn’t love their interpretation of Hercule Poirot, it was still lovely altogether. Watch HERE!
14. This Pie Recipe: Peach Delight
I will make peach pies until the end of time. They are my favorite pie and quite possibly my favorite dessert. I'm no snob though: canned peaches all the way baby!
Now I know people are natural and yada yada, but if you want a peach pie on a budget, this pie is for you. Canned peaches do the trick, as does the pillsbury crust! Make it for your friends and family and they will be complimenting you for years to come. Try it today!
15. This Presentation: Stefan Molyneux, The Fall of Rome
I’m a big fan of this man and his philosophy: it’s brash, offensive, and my favorite type of YouTube content. I love his presentations in particular because they combine culture, history, and philosophy into one amazing learning session.
This presentation in particular taught me SO much, and has stuck in my mind ever since. Set aside some time (I listened to it while raking) and really take it in. Watch HERE.
16. This Playlist: Mrs. Midwest
Of course I have to plug my Spotify right now... but seriously, so many of you have asked about my music, so here you go! It’s a mix of jazz, folk, world music, Lo-fi, indie, pop, Celtic, and EDM. I know it’s random, but it’s truly my favorite music. Listen now!
1.7 This Diet: Generational Eating
I’m not going to say much here, but I do believe in following a diet similar to the diets of our ancestors. Because of that, I do indulge in the old "milk, meat, and potatoes" diet of my Dutch grandparents and great parents, and always put a heavy emphasis on protein and animal products.
Ask your grandparents and great grandparents what they ate and begin shopping more natural: local meats and eggs, fresh vegetables, and homemade breads. This diet has helped me feel amazing and I haven’t been ill in over 10 months! Amazing!
18. This Dog Food Brand: Taste of the Wild
We regularly get asked if our dog is still a puppy. She has so much energy and really loves her food. I like that it doesn’t have corn in it and is heavily protein based. Of course, it’s not the cheapest food, but I absolutely adore this product. Buy with my affiliate link here!
19. This Body Type Series: Aly Art
I’m sure many of you have heard of the Kibbe body typing test, but it is basically a yin and yang focused framework that works for a lot of people. The concept is that we're not just hourglass, pear, or apple shaped, but that our body types are really a combination or contrast of masculine and feminine features. The test is complicated, but this Youtuber, Aly Art, explains it well.
Aly Art shows us visual examples for each type AND the fashion and hair that works for it. Even if you don’t end up figuring out your type, it’s still fascinating to watch and begin looking for yin and yang traits in your friends. Watch HERE.
20. This Book of the Bible: James
James is my favorite book of the Bible. It is filled with so much easy-to-understand wisdom AND a lot of conviction. It is my go-to recommendation for Bible beginners, other than the Gospel of Matthew. It outlines so many truths and is so helpful as I navigate trials and problems in my life.
I like to journal as I read and always take time to pray through the verses. If you need to jumpstart your Bible reading, begin with James.
Alright my love! Thank you for reading! I typed this on my smartphone, so I apologize for any typos. It also didn't upload this morning, so we're going to try publishing again. Thank you for your patience my sweet reader.
Have a fabulous weekend and stay fresh my loves!