New Favorite: Ten Things I Have Loved In 2014

It’s been a while since I posted a New Favorites list, so today I’m teaming up with my blog buddies to bring you guys a list of SOME of my favorite things.  I say “some”, because I have an EPIC GIVEAWAY in the planning stages that will feature even MORE of my favorite things (and they are like, WAY,way, wayyyy big ticket kinds of things that will be up for grabs).  But, you will have to wait until December 1st to see all of those kinds of favorite things.  That’s the day I’ll start handing them out like Oprah with a Showcase Showdown..

Today, I’m talking about a few of my favorite things that are just for fun gift ideas and totally in no particular order.

Starting with….

Homemade Body Butter Recipe-7

1. Homemade gifts made with essential oils

From body butters to sugar scrubs, I have given my heart completely to Young Living essential oils this year. I use essential oils for EVERYTHING, y’all, and I do literally mean everything.  I’m talking from all the products under my kitchen sink, to my medicine cabinet, to my hair and beauty products, essential oils have been incorporated into every nook and cranny of my life.  If I have an ailment, I go straight to my Essential Oil Desk Reference and look it up.  If I need a cleaning tip, I go to Pinterest and search for whatever I need with “with essential oils” typed right behind it. I LOVE THESE OILS. I believe every single home in the world needs a stash of YLEO’s in them, and I’m working hard to spread the news about them to everyone I know.  If you want to join me on the essential oil journey, click here. That is all.

Canon 1.8 85 mm lens

2. This Canon 1.8 85 mm lens
(Warning, affiliate links ahead!)

I bought this lens used from a photographer friend of mine less than a month ago, and it shot straight up to the tippy top of my favorites list within minutes of pulling it out of the box.  My friend used it for portrait shooting, but I wanted it for blog vignettes of food and craft tutorials.  She warned me that I might have to stand across the room to get the shot with this 85 mm fixed lens, but I have been shooting blog stuff on a crate on top of my kitchen table with this lens on a tripod a few feet away, and it works like a charm. So far, this lens is  It makes me heart melt every time I look at the stunner photos it produces.  The difference it’s made in kicking up my blog photography was worth the expense. Need some examples?

Exhibit A, B, C.   No further questions, your honor.

Wildtree Guacamole Mix

3. Wildtree Seasonings, any and all

They are organic, they taste amazing, and they have saved my sanity with meal prep with their freezer meal workshops.  I haven’t talked about it here on the blog because I refuse to be crazy MLM lady hocking every product under the sun (YLEOs are my main squeeze) but I signed up as a Wildtree Rep a few months ago.  Not only to get the discount on the products but because I LOVE these seasonings.  They helped us get through the Whole30 we did in May. And hey, the starter kit only cost me $50 bucks and I got tons of free stuff, so why not?   I love throwing WT seasonings on some organic meat and having a guilt-free dinner on the table in a few minutes.  #Monsantocansuckit  If you’re interested in more info, let me know and I’ll send you an email.

Sharpie Pens
4. Sharpie Fine Point Pens

Told you this was a random list. I keep these pens stashed all over my house and car and office desk. I got so tired of never being able to find a pen when I needed to sign Garrett’s homework sheets or add a quick note to a gift, so I bought a 12 pack of these and keep them everywhere.  They are THE perfect pen for me and my handwriting style. You need to try them! No smudge, no mess.  Just great.

Things to do in Nashville Weekend-48
5. The towns of Franklin and Leipers Fork, Tennessee

These two towns just south of Nashville are up at the very top of my favorite places for a weekend getaway these days.  Oh, how I love ‘em. Let me count the ways…The Antiques Shoppes, the food, the music, the Pop-Up Shows, the talented people I call my friends, the celebrity sightings…. the ham and biscuits, the flea markets, the roadside stands, the bourbon distillery tours, the cozy inns nestled in the horse farm hillsides… I could keep going.  But I’m too busy planning my next vacation there, stat.


6. This Shadepop umbrella

And a bunch of crazy girlfriends to put drinks under it with me.  And a sunny pool by a lagoon or a beach or a bayou. With good music. And lots of food.  Girlfriends weekends are the best.

Decorating porches for Fall -13 copy
7. Every single thing in this photo. Every.Single.Thing.

mud pie acorn spreader

8. This acorn and oak leaf serving stuff by Mud Pie.

I saw it. I needed it. I bought it. I don’t regret it.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls in Cast Iron

9. Baking my own breads from a sourdough starter

Yet another thing I haven’t talked about much here on the blog (yet) but if you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen some of my bread making fails and successes.  I bought a sourdough starter from Cultures for Health, and I’ve been slowly learning about the art of baking bread over the past few months.  Lemme just say that this process is WAY harder than it looks. Baking bread is truly an art form that takes lots of practice, but it’s one that I’m more than happy to practice for as long as it takes.  I’ve got many reasons for baking bread at home, and I’ll tell you more about it soon. In the meantime, this giant cast-iron pan full of cinnamon rolls was my biggest sourdough success so far.  I will be posting about them on December 7th for the Sweets and Treats Blog Hop that I have coming up, so stay tuned for more on this mouthwatering goodness.

Favorite Things Collage
10. Beautiful things created by my talented friends.

Clockwise from left to right: Handmade Signs from Between You and Me  |  DIY Wood Pallet Book from The Space Between | Reclaimed Wood “B” from Urban Farmgirl | Lucy Lockets  | Creatively Christmas by Jen Rizzo  | Watercolor Pumpkin Pillow cover by Craftberry Bush

I am so blessed to have met many kindred spirits and likeminded friends from around the world via this here blog of mine, and this collage of greatness reminds me of all the people who have been placed in my life in a seemingly serendipitous way. I really believe God just knew we needed to be a part of each other’s lives. There are so many wonderfully talented people in this big blog world, and I’m stunned to say so many of them call me a friend.  Y’all go show them some love this holiday season!  Small business Saturday is just around the corner, and each of the people in this collage represent a few of my very favorite small businesses on this great big planet we call home.

Ready to keep hopping right along? Follow this fun Favorite Things blog hop right on over to my friend Ann’s blog at On Sutton Place and find out what all her favorite things are this year.  Favorite Things 2014

Before you go— care to share some of YOUR favorite things in the comments?  I’d love to hear what you’re loving right now!

PS: I went and read Ann’s post, and I cannot BELIEVE I actually forgot to include this one in MY post.  OUTLANDER!!!
I threw an Outlander Premier party this year and somehow this still slipped my mind! Oh, how this has been the highlight of my 2014.  The hours I’ve spent reading the books, the new tv show, the period costumes, the wool shawls, the plaid, the hot eye contact between Jamie and Claire (among other hot contact)…  This is one of my very favorite book series of all time, and now that it’s on Starz??? I cannot even handle it. My apologies for forgetting you, Jamie Fraser.  It won’t happen again.

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Speak Your Mind



  1. What a great list! I live in the Nashville area and needed to read about all of the fun things to do here. I will definitely be checking out some of the places/things you listed!

  2. I want the sourdough starter but even more than that I want a cast iron skillet! Very fun post.

  3. Hello Beth! Okay, now I really need to see Outlander, lol! I really want your lens and now I want to visit Franklin, Tennessee. Loved this post — thanks again. 🙂

  4. You forgot jaime’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Love your list! Thanks for sharing it with us. Now I need to go check out the Mudpie acorn leaf spreader and see if I can find it on Amazon!

  6. LOVE your list!! It is just so ‘Beth’ which means it’s totally awesome! 🙂

  7. Hi Beth,
    I just stumbled on your blog and your 2014 favorite things! I had to laugh when I read your last one-only because it also one of my favorites for this year too! I had never heard of Outlander and after seeing previews for the upcoming STARZ series, went directly to the library and checked it out. Totally hooked…loved the books, and the series on STARZ, now obsessing about Scotland and all things Scottish. I will be reading your blog from now on!

    PS…I have started talking like Jamie in the book…

  8. I love your list and I NEED your sourdough starter! My favorite things right now: Wide plaid satin ribbon that has red AND turquoise in it! I agree about fine point Sharpie’s. One Love Candle & Bath “Frankincense & Ginger” soy candles. Talented Blogger friends (including YOU my sweet friend). Caren “Blue Linen” hand treatment (a portion of their proceeds go to Breast Cancer Research. Caldrea “Herbs of Provence” Hand Soap in a refillable glass container from Target. Buying holiday wreaths from the Boy Scouts. Jen Rizzo’s new book “Creatively Christmas” (I even got some to give as Christmas gifts. Crocheted white cotton face and dish cloths, Flour sack dish towels. That’s it for “this week”. Hugs to you!

  9. Nice list! Thanks a lot for sharing these memories! I love the summer. I remember the beautiful sunny days and I can’t stop thinking about holiday. Regards!



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