Welcome back to Friday Favorites! It’s been about three months since my last Friday post and I’m ready to jump back in. It felt a bit inappropriate to write about my new favorite things when all the pandemic stuff started up and then it was hard to FIND any new favorites when I was never leaving the house. But I finally sat down and looked through all the new things I’ve ordered and tried since then and compiled a nice little list for you guys. Maybe you’ll find a new treat to try out too!
- Bri McCoy’s Homemade Starbucks Double Shot Recipe
Bri is one of my favorite instagram follows. She’s always got so much energy and spunk! She also has a ton of great ideas for recipes and new drinks to try out. Early on in quarantine she posted a video about her homemade Starbucks double shot and I immediately had to find a way to make it for myself. Iced coffee drinks are my favorite to order when I’m out and I’m thrilled to finally have a great way to make them at home for just a fraction of the cost.
- Bialetti Moka Espresso Maker
Until I saw Bri’s video I didn’t even realize stovetop espresso makers existed! I just assumed I’d never be able to make a cool latte at home because I’d never invest in a true espresso maker just for the rare indulgence. Well, you don’t NEED a huge espresso maker, you just need one of these little guys! I originally bought a cheaper 6 cup version and it leaked, but I really enjoyed the taste so I decided to upgrade to a true Bialetti moka pot – but the 3 cup version which is the perfect size for a single pint sized iced drink. Technically I bought a teal one (no longer available on amazon) because I want everything possible to be in COLOR. I’m in love with it!
- LavAzza Decaf Espresso
When I first started making myself iced double shots I was drinking them every day. And then something crazy happened – I stopped being able to sleep at night (lol). It actually took me quite awhile to realize it was the intense amount of caffeine I was drinking every day. I’ve never in my life felt that caffeine had any affect on me until I started drinking these. So I decided to try out a pre-ground decaf espresso mix, expecting something I didn’t grind myself to be rather subpar to the “real” stuff. But this coffee is fantastic! It’s the only thing I use in my moka pot now. It’s delicious and turns out perfectly every time.
- Black Lives Matter Coffee Blend
Brandywine Coffee Roasters is my all time favorite place to order coffee beans. It tastes miles above anything I’ve ever gotten anywhere else. (Though Grounds & Hounds is also really delicious!) My most recent favorites have been this new Black Lives Matter variety and the Social Distancing blend they released a few months ago.
- Dorothy’s Comeback Cow Brie
In the first month or so of the stay at home order I was pretty desperate to find ways to get good food to the house. I started ordering from all different kinds of cheese companies. Some were good, most were not. Then one night when I couldn’t sleep I got a random facebook ad for Dorothy’s Cheese. Brie is pretty much my favorite – if it’s a good one – so I HAD to try it out. I originally bought one of each of their two flavors, but this Comeback Cow was the true winner. The key is leaving it out until it gets really soft and spreadable before you eat it. And then it’s amazing. Definitely the best brie I’ve ever had. I’ve bought it a couple more times since then and gifted it to a lot of my friends. If you like brie, this is definitely worth trying out!
- Crunchy PB&J Trail Mix
I’m not sure I can call something a favorite if I just tried it for the first time an hour ago. But…this is really good. I bought it last week to give to my father-in-law for his birthday, but was intrigued enough to buy it again this week for myself. I’ve never been a fan of any trail mix – peanuts are definitely not one of my favorite nuts to eat by themselves. But I’m trying to slowly get back in the habit of eating more nuts (I’ve lost MANY of my good habits these last three months!) so I gave it a shot. And…it’s so good. If you LOVE sweet and salty things (I live for them!) you need to try this mix.
- Perdue Chicken Breast Chunks
I picked these up at Costco back in February for the first time. I like to always have some sort of chicken nuggets on hand for quick meals, but usually don’t really enjoy eating them myself because they’re…fake-ish. But these are not. They are so good! Especially made in the air fryer. Definitely my favorite nugget. Perdue also makes a really good gluten free nugget, which is the one we’ve been eating the last few months because it’s actually available at our little Pick n Save.
- Inflatable Pool
We’ve been very committed to staying at home as much as possible the last three months and plan to continue in the same way for the rest of summer. Which meant we really needed to find more things to keep the boys active and happy at home. We debated for a long time over whether we could get them a pool or a trampoline – the two things they seemed most excited about. We actually landed on the trampoline because we felt like getting a real pool would be too much of a risk factor when we can’t fence in our yard and neighbor kids sometimes get a bit too curious about our stuff. But at the time the trampoline was just a preorder for some unknown future date, so I was still on the lookout for some sort of inflatable pool to splash around in that wasn’t too tiny and lame for their sizes. I had in stock alerts set on a couple of different brands and this is the one I ended up being able to snag. I think it’s perfect! I actually think they like the pool more than the trampoline…
- Calphalon 7 Quart Pan
How do people with large families cook meals in a single pan? I struggle so much with just cooking for the four of us! Granted I usually aim to make enough of a meal that it’ll last for at least the next day’s lunch as well, but still. Pans are never big enough! Until this one! Not counting my new grill and recent air fryer purchases, I almost exclusively cook meals on the stovetop. I was using another large pan most of the time, but the bottom nonstick surface was so scraped up that I finally decided to ditch it and get something else. I was assuming I was buying something the same size, but I got it in the mail this week and it’s significantly bigger – and PERFECT. I made two pounds of tikka masala in it the other night and it looked like I was cooking a small meal for just two of us, the pan was so big. Also, I bought this from Target for a lot cheaper, but it says it’s sold out now.
- DRMTLGY Acne Spot Treatment
I’ve tried a lot of spot treatment gels over the years. And this is the one that actually seems to work. I definitely recommend trying it out if you struggle as well!
- No Pore Blem Primer
I’m always trying to find a better primer. I tried this one on a whim a few months ago and I really like it! My only issue is that I’m to the bottom 1/4 of the bottle and it’s really hard to get it out. But other than that it works great!
- Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire by Jen Hatmaker
My reading life has been really up and down the past few months, but I have these three solid nonfiction recommendations that I thought were fantastic. Jen Hatmaker’s is the most recent one I read and I loved it so much. It’s a great motivational book to just BE YOU. It gives you permission to live whatever kind of life you want to live because you are made to be you and that is enough. I loved this book.
- The Rural Diaries by Hilarie Burton Morgan
This was the most wonderful book to read during a stay at home order and in May when you’re starting to think about getting your garden in order. It was such a beautiful look at two celebrities and how hard they fought to live the life they wanted to live – out of the spotlight and on a large plot of land where they could grow their own food, fix up their own house, get close with the locals and their businesses. It was really great.
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Short and interesting essays that pact a huge emotional punch? This is the book! I loved it!
We’ve watched a lot of tv lately. Most of the shows were just okay, but I really enjoyed this one. I’m maybe a bit biased because I really love Rory Scovel, but I thought this show was so funny! Give it a couple episodes and I think you’ll really enjoy it too. And it’s on youtube, so anybody can watch it if they have internet!
- FabCBD Oil
I’ve been on a never ending quest these last eight months to find some sort of way to heal or at least manage my plantar fasciitis pain. There are so many days that I can barely even walk. Which REALLY SUCKS. I feel like I’ve tried pretty much every option there is and nothing really helps. But then I decided to give CBD oil a try. I did research into a bunch of different top companies, and Fab is finally what I picked. I’ve only been using it about a week and a half, but I’ve already noticed a change in my foot pain. I’m not sure I can ENTIRELY attribute it to the CBD oil, but I believe it’s at least part of the reason why I’ve finally been getting some pain relief.
- 7th Street Salvage Candles
I am a candle addict. They bring me so much joy. I love seeing the warm flickering light, but when you find a scent that just fills the room with a delightful smell – it’s magical. I very carefully curate which scents I put in which areas of my house and only light them when I’m going to be in that spot for a significant amount of time and can enjoy the full experience. And because of that, I’m willing to pay more for something that delights my senses and will last a long time. These candles fit the bill. In my first order I chose a large Picket Fence and a variety pack of smaller ones. I LOVE the Picket Fence scent. It’s so wonderful! I also really like the Library Ladder scent, which I’ll eventually buy in a large size for my reading area. I also recently bought the new summer scents, Rolling Pin and Button Jar. I use Button Jar when I’m sewing. I’ve really liked all the ones I tried so far, so I don’t think you can go wrong!