Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things

Why yes, I am humming the song as I type this.

Anybody else a big Sound of Music fan? My husband has decided he can't watch it with me anymore because I insist on singing EVERY. SINGLE. SONG. along with Julie Andrews (note: I do not sound like Julie Andrews....)

Favorite things! I have been planning this post for a while, especially after I started a Pinterest board called "Things I love". I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the items I love and HIGHLY recommend.

So here we go...

Amy Joy's Top 10 Favorite Things (in no particular order)

1) Norwex
I have mentioned Norwex before on this site, and I am still in love with their products after nearly a year and a half of using them. You can clean your entire home with Norwex microfiber products and water. No more chemical cleaners, and not even any natural ones (like vinegar, which needs to be kept wet on a surface for 10 minutes at least in order to disinfect). My favorite products are their "household package", which include the Enviro Cloth, Window Cloth, and Dust Mitt.
With those three products I can clean pretty much my entire home. I also love their makeup remover cloths and body cloths (remove your makeup and clean your body without harsh chemicals and soaps). I am also excited to use their baby body cloths on our little one instead of bath soaps.

Norwex is sold by representatives, so you can look one up near you in order to get in on the action. I HIGHLY recommend these products, as they not only work, but save a lot of money.

2) Garden of Life Primal Defense
This probiotic was recommended to my uncle, who suffers from crohn's disease and wasn't finding relief from the medications his doctor was giving him. He went to a health food store and was told there to start taking this supplement, and that if there is one supplement everyone should take, it is this. Since then, many people in my family have begun taking it and the change is remarkable, even if you don't suffer from digestive issues. I have noticed that this formula is particularly good for women, as it keeps the bacteria in our reproductive organs in check.

You can get this at most health food stores, but I buy mine at, which I enter through ebates to get cash back. I find Vitacost tends to have the best price.

3) Oil Spritzer
I grew up with my mom using one of these, so I was not surprised when I received one from her at my bridal shower. What I was surprised by was how many people have never seen one before! It is a spritz bottle which allows you to cook with any type of high quality oil you prefer. You simply fill it up with oil and then pump the cap to create pressure so it sprays like the PAM aerosol sprays you see at the store. A great money saver AND it allows you to use better quality oils.

I have seen these for sale at many stores, but recently saw them being sold at World Market and Pampered Chef has a nice glass one

4) Aveda Lip Saver chapstick

I curse the day my sister-in-law introduced me to this stuff. It is THE perfect chapstick/lip balm. The problem? It is a little pricey.... ok a LOT pricey. But I am so in love with the stuff that it is one of my only splurges. At $8.50 a pop, this chapstick is like heaven in a tube. It is the perfect texture (I dab it on because a little goes a long way), comes from Aveda which means it is made with natural ingredients, and makes your lips super soft. My husband has even been known to steal a tube or two of this from me.

You can find it at any Aveda salon or online

5) Babyganics Pure Mineral Sunscreen

AND they make it in stick form

Some of the chemicals normally found in sunscreen really are not very healthy. Enter this amazingness in a tube. Sure it is made for babies, but my husband and I both use it. It contains no chemical sunscreens or other harsh chemicals, but still does a great job protecting from the sun's harsh rays and it doesn't stink like most sunscreens. It is also one of the most affordable natural sunscreens (I use a $5 off Bed Bath and Beyond coupon to buy it at BuyBuyBaby). Oh, and it comes in a small stick form to keep in your purse too!

You can buy this online or at any baby store (Babies R Us or BuyBuyBaby). 

6) Vegeta seasoning
My husband's parents immigrated to the US from Poland, and one of the must-have items in my mother-in-law's kitchen is this seasoning. I have since started using it and it is now one of my kitchen staples. It is perfect for any type of meat (especially chicken), adding a little "something" to soups, or even on veggies. A little also goes a long way, so I have been using the same container for quite a while. I often give it out to friends as well, and have always had rave reviews in response.

You can buy this online or at some grocery stores which have a "World foods" section, like Meijer. Note that some containers will look different or will call the seasoning "soup mix"

7) Adagio Tea
I love tea. I think this is a left-over from my time spent living in Turkey, where Turks claim "tea cures everything". A friend of my mother-in-law knew I loved tea and introduced me to this company. It is an online store which sells SO many different types and flavors of tea. There is literally something for everybody. Some of them can be a little on the pricey side, but I tend to stick with a few basics, which include:
White Peach , White Pear, Pomegranate Green, Earl Grey Bravo, and Peach Black tea.

I always order this tea through ebates to receive cash back, and my sister-in-law and I will split orders so we get free shipping. Occasionally you can find this brand in grocery stores, but I usually don't have much luck with that.

8) Yankee Candle in Meadow Showers 

Just when you all thought I was getting all natural with my living, a scented candle shows up. Hey, I'm a work in progress. I cannot stand the smell of most candles, and I am very picky about the scents I put in my home since I don't want others entering and thinking "eww what is that smell?". Enter this perfect little scent in a jar. It is a very subtle scent, and very outdoorsy (it really does smell like the outdoors after it rains). I have only ever had good comments about it (if someone is perceptive enough to even smell it), even from people who usually like very different scents than me.

You can purchase this scent at any Yankee Candle store or online (don't be fooled by yankee candles that are sold in other stores. They are made by different divisions of the company, so the scents are often different or not as high quality).

9) Avon Skin So Soft Original Bath Oil Spray
You may remember seeing this in your grandmother's bathroom at one time or another, but let me tell you, this product stands the test of time. It literally has over a hundred different uses, and it is very affordable. And yes, this product falls into my "probably not the healthiest product on the block but I don't care" list. Some things are worth it. I personally love using it for keeping mosquitoes away. I hate spraying on stinky bug spray, but mosquitoes LOVE me. So this is my go-to option, and I panic when we run out of it.

You can buy this online or from a local avon rep. They often run specials on it, so it's good to get in with a rep (I also like Avon's mineral makeup)

10) Hot Shot Tools Ionic Professional Hair Dryer
I learned something in the last few months: not all hair dryers are created equal. I have had the same hair dryer for years, which didn't bother me because I usually air-dry my hair. Well, when my dryer died last fall, my mom bought me this one for Christmas, and holy moly has my life changed! It is a little pricier than most drug store brands, but very reasonable when you see how well it works. It has special settings based on what type of hair you have, and I find that my hair is always super silky smooth after I use it. This little machine also dries my medium-thick hair in minutes. It is truly a time saver, and I know if I want my hair to look good quickly, all I have to do it dry it with this. I'm converted.

This dryer is actually on sale right now at Sally's beauty supply, and they have free shipping

Alright, now I want to hear from you. What is one of your favorite things?


  1. Really enjoyed this post!! On the note of your last item, my hair must have is my Remington T-Studio Pearl Curling Wand in 1/2-1 inch. I LOVE it!! So much so that in late April I attended a formal event at the college that I transfered from last year (which is in North Carolina) and accidently left my curling wand there. I didn't have any time to go back for it, because I had final exams at my current college the next day and then was moving home to New England for the summer! I couldn't bare the thought of a whole summer without my beloved hair tool, so I quickly hopped on Amazon that very night and ordered a replacement. ;-) It curls my hair so beautiful and quickly!!

    xoxo A

    1. Ooo great recommendation! I am in the market for a new curling iron (my old trusty one is not so trusty anymore), so that is good to know.

  2. What a fun post. I could go on and on about products I simply love. But I wanted to zero in on your lip balm. I have sold Avon for nearly 30 years and some of their products are fantastic and some are not so much. But I can not live without my Anew moisturizer and my lip balm. When people ask how I can have 9 kids and still look so young I tell them its my Avon Anew. :) I have tried probably every lip balm out there over the years and I always come back to my Care Deeply with Aloe. Nothing feels so soothing. It is the perfect base for my lipstick and excellent to rub on chapped baby cheeks or itchy spots of eczema. I was in Boston last fall and I lost my lip balm. I bought some other "high quality" brand in the drug store. It was so expensive and felt like wax going on my lips. I couldn't wait to get home to a new Care Deeply. It is one of my biggest sellers (the teen boys in our church secretly order it from me) so I don't guess I am the only one. I keep one in my pocket all the time and one in my purse, and in my make up bag... and in the kitchen... and the family room... and my bedside table. My boys always have one in their pocket and my hubby keeps one in his car and briefcase. And you can't beat the price... I buy them on sale by the 10's and 20's for just .69 each. Although, even at full price (.99), they are a steal. Give it a try. Avon has a no questions asked, 30 day, even if you've used it, return policy on their products. You can't lose. And you might save quite a bit of money. Oh, and I love their mineral makeup, too.

    1. YES! I love Avon's chapstick as well. I am personally a big fan of the Dew Kiss ones. Those definitely make up a big chunk of my stash. My Aveda ones are the ones are my splurge ones. I just haven't been able to find another one with the same exact texture


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