A few things I’m loving these days.

A few things I’m loving these days.

1. Elbow length sleeves. (Followed closely by three-quarter sleeves.)

This length has always read as classy to me. I always feel a little better-dressed and a little less what do I need to finish off this outfit?, whether I’m wearing nautical stripes or plain navy or coral with a collar.

whole bean coffee

2. The local decaf.

I adore coffee, but a few years ago my caffeine tolerance vanished overnight. Can I tell you how embarrassing it is for a former coffee snob to have to order the decaf?

If you, like me, were to find yourself needing to abstain from the caffeinated stuff, you would soon discover how demoralizingly few the options are. Most coffee shops have ten varieties of regular and one of decaf. And I love to try new coffees, so the decaf gets old.

That means when I’m on the road, I always try to find some good local decaf—the kind I’m not already drinking every day at home.

This month I was on the road and I got to bring home a new to me Counter Culture Blend and it made me very, very happy.

iphone wallet collage

3. My iPhone wallet.

I had the pleasure of meeting the delightful and charming Emily Lex of Jones Design Company last month, and I noticed that she never went out with a bag. She only had a little wallet that held her phone, her driver’s license, and a few debit cards.

I’ve been halfheartedly looking for one of these for years, but never found something I actually liked at a price I wanted to pay. I assumed Emily’s was expensive (because it looked nice, and she has great taste) and was surprised to hear she found it on Amazon for less than $20.

Emily and I have different iPhone models, so I couldn’t order the exact same thing, but after 5 minutes on Amazon I found this iPhone wallet and I love it. Mine holds six cards (more than I need!) and has a slot for cash. The wallet came with a separate cell phone case with a magnetic backing, which makes it easy to pop the phone in and out of the wallet. (When I want it in the wallet, the magnetic backing holds it there. But if I want to take it out—to take pictures, or take my phone on a run—it pops right out.

I’m extremely happy with my $9.99 purchase, and if I needed any validation I’d found a winner, two friends have seen my new wallet, begged me to text them the link, and ordered it on the spot.

(I’m so glad Emily posted about her wallet. Go check out her post here about the iPhone case that changed her life.)

4. Cheap expensive wine.

I was just at Lucky’s and told the eager-to-help employee that I wanted a full-bodied red for less than $12 a bottle. He pointed me to the $5 display at the front and said, I know it seems too good to be true, but you can’t do better than this right now. 

I’ll take that.

Book of the Month club review

5. Book of the Month Club.

I’m a new subscriber to this service and I love it. Every month a panel of five judges each chooses a book the love; subscribers pick one from that curated list and get it shipped straight to their door with free shipping. It’s a fun, convenient, and affordable way to discover books you might not find otherwise.

If you’re not interested in any of the selections, you can skip that month. (Although I looked back through their monthly selections for the past year and that wouldn’t have been an issue for me.)

book of the month club april 2016 selections

They have a special deal going on this month that’s much better than the one I signed up with: get 50% off a new 3-month subscription with the code APR50. That means you get 3 new hardcovers for $7.50 each, which is pretty darn fantastic.

This a great month to start because the selections are amazing: there are 3 books here I’m considering for inclusion in this year’s Summer Reading Guide, and you know I’m picky!

If you’re not sure what to get, subscribers can order additional titles each month for $9.99 each. (Free shipping is always included.)

6. Liquid smoke. 

I’ve been using this copiously lately. $2 a bottle, Cook’s Illustrated-approved.

tulips 2

7. Tulips. 

Whether they’re growing in my yard or bought at Trader Joe’s, these are my favorite. Not pictured: last fall we added pinks and purples to the mix (although we’re still waiting on the yellow ones to bloom, which is strange). Maybe the purists think that riot of color is tacky but I don’t care.

What are YOU loving these days? 

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  1. Tish says:

    Tulips are my favorite. They remind me of my grandmother. They used to mean that Spring was here but this year not so much. It was 29 degrees last night! I replaced my coffee with a London Fog (decaf earl grey tea, a shot or two of vanilla syrup, steamed milk with some frothy foam on top. EXCELLENT!!

  2. Corby says:

    I’m loving my red wine right now in particular Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah, audio books for long car rides, vegetarian cooking (trying to do 3 days a week), homemade lattes (decaf espresso from Sprouts market is not bad). Of and a bit more daylight and the return of baseball….Go Angels

  3. Brenda says:

    Lately I have been trying my hand at blogging since you make it look easy! I have been waiting for the local Iowa tulips to bloom. I am thanking God that I can still drink coffee, but some of the places your readers suggested might convert me to decaf. You have some wonderful followers. Oh, I almost forgot…I am really enjoying some of this years new garden and gardening books.

  4. Christina says:

    Green tea made with my new metal thingy for putting loose-leaf tea in. (I was just estimating how many tea bags that thing has saved.)
    Leggings, muck boots, and the same shirt over and over! Because I now live in a place where you can wear the same outfit every day and no one cares.
    A hat that I thought was too hipster, but turns out is perfectly light-weight.

  5. I’m loving my phone wallet, also. I have an LG, and I like that my phone isn’t exposed to the world when I’m using it. I haven’t being able to bring myself to use the slots, though. When I use my grocery list app, I feel vulnerable to having my cards and money out in the open for long periods of time. Maybe, one day. I am loving getting back to working. I’m loving working from home, even more. the freedom is amazing.

  6. Hannah Beth Reid says:

    Thank you so much for mentioning and linking to the post about you giving up caffeine. I am seriously considering quitting again. I know I can survive quite fine without it because I’ve given it up when my three children are new babies due to their intolerance, but I definitely enjoy the ritual aspect of coffee first thing in the morning or soda with pizza (a rare treat all by itself). After a weekend of too much caffeine I can feel the aftershocks for days affecting my mood and as a homeschooling mother of three I just can’t afford that part of caffeine. My biggest dread is the initial caffeine withdrawal headache(s). 🙁
    My current love is sunshine!
    Your posts are a delight!

  7. Katie Roper says:

    It is so freeing to go out without having to worry about a purse! I started this habit when I got a case for my phone that just flipped open in the back and could fit two cards: my id and my debit card. When I moved into married student housing and was given a card to open my front door, I had to get something a little bigger, which came in the form of a wallet. Its not attached to my phone, but is small and slim, easily fitting into my pocket, fitting several cards and cash, if I need it. It is wonderful! I’m not sure how I’ll ever remember to bring a diaper bag with me when I have kids.

  8. Have you ever tried Caribou Coffee? I am so caffeine sensitive that I can’t even tolerate the decaf, but it is amazing. When I spent a semester in Virginia a friend sent me a bunch of grounds to enjoy down there, but fresh ground is best! (it’s a Minnesota thing primarily but they do have the odd location here and there, and target should at least have it online).
    Right now we just bought our first house after two years of no dishwasher and three stories between us and the shared laundry room and I am luxuriating in now having both right at my fingertips!!!

  9. Javi says:

    I am loving the almost 2 gallons of cambucha we made last week! I haven’t had a coffee in almost 15 years. I love the smell, but I hate the taste.

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