Welcome to the third edition of My Favorite Things…and this time anything goes! When I shared my story and some tips for What To Do When It All Falls Apart, I heard from so many of you who just wanted ideas for ways to enrich your everyday life. Nothing fancy…just simple tips and suggestions. Like I’ve said a million times before, I am no expert…but I’d like to share a little bit about how I run my life. I’m including a bit about shopping, meal planning and also a few of my favorite products.
I have always had a love/hate relationship with shopping. I do love to shop…I enjoy taking a whole day to escape inside a lovely mall. Doing so, however, sometimes gets me into trouble. I usually arrive home with impulse buys that end up getting returned…and without the things I really needed. I live in a smallish town in Northwest Ohio. Shopping here is very limited and the nearest “nice” mall is about an hour away. Several years ago I started shopping online. My very favorite place to shop for clothes is Talbot’s. There are a few things that make it so easy:
- They coordinate their colors so it’s simple to mix and match.
- They have great sales. I never buy anything full price.
- They have quick shipping. Usually when I place an order it arrives in a few days.
- They have reward points which is like getting free money!
- I don’t have to worry if what I’m buying is age appropriate!
Here are a few of my all-time favorite things from Talbot’s:
Talbot’s has been making these tees for years. I bought my first one back when I was still working at the school…so for a long time! They don’t shrink and they don’t hug your body. They can be dressed up or down and they launder beautifully. I wear Petite tops because I’m very short waisted and the regular tops are usually too long. These shirts come in Petite, Regular and Plus so you should be able to find the perfect fit. (I wear a Petite Large.)
I seriously don’t know what I would do without Talbot’s Bi-Stretch pants. When I was working, I had every color they made. Now I can get away with just black and camel…or grey would be a great choice too. They launder like a dream and don’t shrink. There is a size for everyone for sure. I wear a 12 Regular in the slim leg ankle pant.
Just one more thing. Talbot’s makes a sweater they call The Charming Cardigan. It comes in different colors and a nice selection of patterns. I usually end up with one or two every time they come out with a new collection.
One thing I used to buy at Talbot’s were their cotton tanks. I loved them and I would add a few to my arsenal every year. (I wear a tank every day under my shirt…even in the summer.) Unfortunately, they stopped making them. They didn’t replace them with anything I liked so I went on the hunt for something similar.
I finally found something at J.Jill.
They don’t call it The Perfect Tank for nothing! I have been wearing them for a few months and love them. Again, they don’t shrink and launder nicely. I wear a Petite Large but they come in a ton of different sizes. In regular clothes, I’ve found that J.Jill runs a little larger than Talbot’s. I wear a Petite Medium in tops at J.Jill. I’ve only recently started shopping at J.Jill but I’ve liked everything so far. I got this linen top and it’s very cute.
*Please don’t be put off by the prices at Talbot’s or J.Jill. They have great sales and the bonus points at Talbot’s are an added plus. Both places are affordable with a little smart shopping.
The only other place I shop for clothes is TJMaxx. There is one about five minutes from my house and I hit it up every week or two. Rarely do I walk out with nothing!
Planning and Preparing Meals
I have to admit that planning meals is not on my top ten list of things I love to do. I honestly don’t mind preparing them…but figuring out what to have is getting harder by the day. My husband is a bit particular and doesn’t like a lot of things. (Who doesn’t like asparagus?) Anyway, I have several meals that I use in a rotation that are easy and quick to prepare. I hope you don’t think we’re too boring!
- Rotisserie Chicken & Rice – I buy the chicken at Kroger and this is the rice.
- Baked Spaghetti
- Beef Barley Soup – I actually just made this a few days ago!
- Vegetable Soup – mostly in the fall and winter
- Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken – in spring and summer
- Rosemary Parmesan Chicken – in fall and winter
- Chicken and Noodles
- Grilled Turkey and Provolone Sandwich
I usually only have to cook two or three nights a week so this rotation stretches to about a month. On the weekends we get take-out at least once which I love. (I’ve started putting my husband in charge of this. He decides where to go and also picks it up. That may seem like a small thing but for us it’s a giant leap!)
I try to have dinner with my dad at least twice a week. He is super easy to cook for and will eat almost anything…but he does have a few favorites. Here they are:
He told me not too long ago that my pot roast was his favorite meal and that it tasted just as good as my mom’s. That definitely made me smile.
My husband and I don’t entertain much anymore. I make a fuss when the kids are home but other than that, it’s usually just the two of us. I used to love to entertain, but it got to the point where it seemed like work and wasn’t any fun at all. When the fun stopped, I stopped too!
A Few Favorites
Here are a few things I’ve purchased lately that have been winners!
I recently got a new set of cutting boards that I love. They actually seem to make my knives sharper if that’s possible, and are so easy to cut on. Plus they go right in the dishwasher.
I got a new pair of walking shoes and I think they are amazing. They are slip-ons and very light weight. I actually saw them at TJ Maxx but they didn’t have my size. I came home, checked Amazon and there they were. I’d love to have a black pair too at some point!
I just got this ice cube tray with a cover to freeze some herbs. Believe it or not I didn’t own even one single ice cube tray. I will be sharing how I did it soon on my eBay blog and will make sure and let you know. If you’ve never done it you won’t believe how easy it is!
Well, that’s a wrap. Don’t forget about The OSP Market…it’s a shopping page you can find right HERE where I feature items that I have purchased, use and love. There’s kitchen stuff, decor, books, movies and lots more.
If you missed the first two editions here they are:
See you soon!