(You’re my) Favorite THINGS!

That’s right, friends! For today at least, YMFT stands for “You’re My Favorite THINGS!” And while all of you are certainly my favorite things, that’s not what I’m talking about.
Wah wah.

Do you have little things you use all the time (if not every day) that quickly get taken for granted? Things you love but are so used to that they rarely get the love? Poor things! Today I thought I’d share a few of mine with you … which gives you plenty of time to hustle to Target to buy and then conveniently leave out for someone to put in your stocking or under the tree. Or, fine, for you to buy for someone else (but let’s be honest, that’s just not as much fun).

*Most photo links are to Amazon, where yes I do get pennies if you click through and buy, but since no one ever has and I have yet to earn .01 from this blog in the almost nine years of its existence, please do not think I’m gauging you. I honestly do not care where you buy this stuff from. I really just needed a photo.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Water Gel

I’ve been using this soft, smooth, sensational smelling gel for years now. I just love it. It’s called hydration boost for a reason — you instantly feel your skin soak it in the moment you rub it on (actually, it’s so smooth it glides on).

I use it year-round but appreciate it most in winter, where here in Minnesota our dry, cold outside air and overly heated inside air cause our skin to feel like stretched-our Rhino leather. Every morning, right after I get up, I glob this on my dry face and neck, and it feels amazing. Does it help wrinkles? I mean, I’ve been using it for years and still am shocked by my reflection every day (seriously, who is that?), so I’ll say probably no, but it’s totally worth it for how — and here I’m going to use a word we all detest but one that actually fits perfectly — moist it makes your skin feel. Plus, it smells heavenly (my husband thinks it smells a little like summer).

Neutrogena makes a whole line of the Hydro Boost Gel lotions for all areas of your body, too. I also keep a small tube of it in my purse for my hands.

Vegamour GRO+ Hair Serum

In the summer of 2019 I noticed a serious balding spot on my right temple. Like, I was shocked.
I talked to my doctor who ran thyroid and vitamin deficiency tests, and when they all came back okay she told me it could be stress.
Oh, well then, why didn’t you lead with that? Could’ve saved me like two vials of blood.

Anyway, I was despondent. Seriously. I don’t have much hair to begin with; I can use a braces band to tie off the end of a braid.
I’m not joking.

I was complaining and lamenting about is so much that I magically started getting ads for hair growth serums in my newsfeeds. Naturally.

So I did a little research and landed with Vegamour, because of the unbelievable before/after pics, because it’s all-natural (no toxins or hormones and 100% cruelty-free), satisfaction is guaranteed, and because last year on Black Friday they had an amazing deal.

I chose the GRO+ Serum, and the first three months you have to use a dropper twice a day, which means you do go through about a bottle a month which is a bit of an investment, but one I was willing to make.

I’ve stuck with it for about a year now (now I use a dropper every night — just massage it in my upper scalp) and you guys, it’s a noticeable difference. Not only in my balding spot (which I wouldn’t even really call bald anymore), but I swear I lose far less hair after every shower than I used to.

While I may not have the luscious hair the “after” models have, I believe it’s working and I plan to stick with it. Check out their website; they have a lot of great products! Pricey? Sure, but if they work, worth it. Oh, and their customer service is amazing!

Jergens Lavender Body Butter

Back to lotions.
I discovered Jergens Body Butter this summer and am obsessed. It’s thicker than lotion (why it’s called butter, obviously) and smells amazing — but not Bath & Body Works strong. (I love me some BBW but honestly can only stand a couple of the lighter, spa scents anymore. Most of their stuff is way too strong and makes me gag a little bit.)

I am obsessed with this lavender butter, and use it every single night on my arms, hands, and chest before I go to sleep. They have a few other scents, too. I keep the Eucalyptus Mint on my desk for a little pick-me-up when I’m working (again, totally approachable, mild scent). There’s also a Citrus I keep meaning — and forgetting — to try, and a Rose scent I will not try (not a fan of the smell of fake roses).

Gold Bond Neck Firming Cream

Here’s a wrinkle-reducing cream that I do know works. I mean, relatively speaking.

I started using this Gold Bond Neck firming cream twice a day about six months ago and I actually think I might see an improvement in the way my neck looks! IDK, let’s also not forget I cannot see anything without like two strengths of readers so the blur could be from my eyes.

At any rate, this little tube of magic gets fantastic reviews, so I’ll keep using it and telling myself that by next year my neck will look like it did 20 years ago.

No. 7 Wrinkle Remover Serum

Let’s keep the wrinkle removing going, shall we?

I’ve been using this No. 7 Wrinkle Removing Serum religiously for probably a year and a half on a few (cough) problem areas on my face, and you guys, I swear the wrinkles are less visible! I’d show you the before and after pics but the lines are to the sides of my mouth and I don’t want my sagging jowls blown up on your screen.

But for real, the skin around my mouth is slowly drooping like a bulldog. It’s getting out of hand. I’m super self consciuous of it. My dermatologist tells me he can inject some fillers above it and it will pull it up, but honestly, I’d rather look like a bulldog than Meg Ryan. (He swears I wouldn’t but I’m sure that’s what Meg Ryan’s doctor told her, too.)

So anyway, besides the sagging face muscles, there are — were — deep lines as well. But after dedicated use — twice a day — of this serum, they’re definitely less visible! I also rub it in the wrinkles between my eyebrows and on my forehead (no Botox for me because I’m certain I’d be the cautionary tale) and I’ve also noticed a difference there.

I know, it’s pricey, but I wait for Target or the No. 7 website to have it on special — which they often do — and buy a few at once. One vial lasts me about 3 months. I also use a lot of the other “Protect & Perfect” No. 7 face serums and creams and love them all.

No. 7 Hydrogel Eye Masks

Oh! And as these No. 7 under-eye masks are amazing! I honestly have no idea if they diminish wrinkles or not, but they are so hydrating that they have to be doing something, right? Plus, I totally feel like a celebrity when I use them.

Epsom Salts

Full disclosure: I do not use Dr. Teals Epsom Salts. They’re way too expensive. I actually get the Target Brand, which is right next to the Dr. Teals on the shelf, and only like $4 a bag. However, I needed a photo to be able to use here.

I take a hot bath every night.
I have my entire life.*
Years and years ago I had to stop using any kind of bubble bath or liquids because they were activating The Beast (what we call a yeast infection in my house). So I switched to salts.

They say Epsom salts help sore muscles, but I have yet to confirm that, even after years and years of using them with post-workout pains. Honestly, I think it’s psychological. But what I do appreciate is the magnesium hopefully filtrating into my body — because lord knows we all need more magnesium to help us sleep (but not enough to make you run to the potty — been there, done that).

I use lavender salts when I want to relax, and I use Eucalyptus when I take a middle-of-the-day bath to recharge (yes, that is too a thing). Again, I appreciate the mild scent, and the softness of the salt is heavenly. And again, get the less expensive Target brand. You have to use like 2 cups in each bath and it can get pricey.

*Explains all the lotions in this post

Frasier Fir Essential Oil (+ Diffuser)

It seems like all my favorite things revolve around scents, doesn’t it? It’s true that I use pleasing smells to help relax, and this time of year there’s nothing better than the smell of Frasier Fir — diffused, of course.

By now we know that I don’t like strong scents, which makes using an essential oil diffuser the perfect solution for me because I can control how much oil I put in and how strong the smell is. I keep a diffuser on my desk in my office, and throughout the year I switch up the oils I use, but right now I’ve been sticking with this Frasier Fir, and seriously, it makes my office smell so good. Just the perfect amount of fir-i-ness.

I got my diffuser years ago and love it because it has a lime green light, but you can find diffusers in pretty much any shape, size, color that makes you happy. And they’re pretty cheap! Amazon doesn’t sell mine anymore, but here’s a photo I took of my desk so you can see the green glow!
I just wish you could scratch-n-sniff.

Vionic Slippers

Okay, they’re not the prettiest slippers in the class, let’s just all admit that and move on. Because sometimes it’s not about looks, but what’s inside that counts, right??

About three years ago I was diagnosed with Plantar’s Fasciitis — terrible heel and arch pain. However, for decades I haven’t been able to walk barefoot on our hardwood floors without pain. (Really, the only place I can go barefoot is at the beach.) I have to put arch inserts in all my shoes (I love these Blue Footbeds from Birkenstock — I have several pairs and just slip them under the insoles of all my shoes).

I used to love UGG slippers, but honestly, where’s the arch? So a few years ago I tried (and returned) a bunch of brands of slippers and landed with Vionic. I’ve had a few different styles over the past three years (I wear them year round so go through about two pairs a year) but this year am really liking these “Indulge Carlin Flannel Mules.”

Warning: The arch support is not for the faint of heart. Especially at first. It feels very high and very hard, but after you’ve worn them in about a week it relaxes and actually kind of molds to your foot and arch. And after awhile, they actually start to look kind of cute.

Bombas Socks

I’m obsessed with Bombas socks. I think I discovered them via Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast a year and a half ago (at least) and I used his code to try them out.

I was skeptical.
I mean, socks are socks, right?
Bombas socks actually hug your feet and never stretch out. And the no-shows actually stay in place. I have many pairs of the cushioned no-shows (my absolute favorite) but also love the athletic socks. I’m hoping for a pair of Grover socks in my stocking this year (and a few other pairs that I already *cough* ordered).

Check out all the fun styles and patterns on their website!

Dr. Dan’s Cortibalm Lip Balm

It’s entirely possible I’ve shared this lip magic with you before because I’ve been addicted for a few years now, but it’s so good I’m sharing it again.

My dermatologist is actually the person who recommended this to me (and they sell it at his office) so you know it’s that good. The secret ingredient? Hydrocortisone! I keep tubes of this everywhere — purse, desk, car, nightstand, travel bags — and honestly, cannot go to sleep until I’ve smeared it on my lips.

Oh, and sorry, but you can’t get it at Target. I order these 3-packs from Amazon and they last a long time!

That’s all the things I can think of (today). I hope you found one or two of them interesting enough to slip in your stocking (or fine, someone else’s).

Happy moisturizing and relaxing!

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