Monday, January 20, 2014

a few of my favorite things


Today I decided to spotlight a few of my favorite things in general. Unlike my previous posts about favorite subscription box items today I am plan to show you things that I love...would be lost without in general NOT just items from a subscription box since one of my blog goals for 2014 is to get back to writing about more than just boxes like I did in the beginning.

 here are 5 of my favorite things (or places),  why I love them and how you can get them

1) Lockhart, TX (BBQ capital of Texas) - a bit of information ya'll don't know about me... for my birthday every year hubby and I usually travel to Austin for a long weekend (not to party, as in my 20's BUT to be less than an hour away from legendary BBQ mecca Lockhart,Texas) tiny lockhart,TX is home to several of the best food you will ever put in your mouth...period... and talk about your food battles...Kreuz Market and Smitty's Market are locked into a family grudge match that divides the town and BBQ lover's be honest, Kreuz is the best in my opinion EXCEPT when it comes to pork ribs... I like Smitty's ribs a trip for me involves BOTH (thus the 3 day weekend...and I eat BBQ almost EVERY meal) For those that are not familiar with this style of BBQ...there is no sauce...please do not insult me with a sauce, the meat speaks for it's self... fresh handmade sausage, succulent greasy, dripping brisket, smoked chicken and ribs that melt in your mouth (now let me point out ribs should NOT fall of the bone...NO that is "over cooked" a nice tender bite, but still on the bone thank you....all served with your choice of break or crackers served in an actual meat market sold by the pound...if you want "extras" pickles, jalapenos, cheese, onion,avocado you can get that in the "check out line" depending on which of the two places you are at you can also get german potato salad.. grab a RC cola, Big Red, Dr Pepper, lone star beer or shiner bock from the cooler Oh...for those too "concerned with proper eating etiquet...let me point put this is all served on butcher paper not plates and you eat it with you hands (you can get a knode for cutting your sausage and a spoon if you got a side item... but this is NOT for someone who cares if they get messy...your clothes will also smell like a smokehouse until washed several times...and I love it and so does anyone else who loves Texas style BBQ that has German/Czech roots (like I do)...Thank goodness Kreuz does ship food to Tennessee so once I move I can still get a regular fix...although this IS my B-day weekend we didn't take usual trip since we will be going to Austin just before we move (because I am heading to Nashville with sausage and ribs on dry ice dammit!)

2) This is a beautiful quilt a friend had made for me recently as a birthday gift , it is so much more beautiful than this photo shows the fine detail is exquisite... I know I have often spoke of my fever episodes but something I don't usually talk about is how bad the "chills" are when your body temperature gets over 103... I always have a blanket in arms reach at all times, you never know when you will need it and typically once your are that deep into your fever episode you're not up to going to find a blanket, you just need to have it ready.
Also for those unfamiliar with the fun of infusions, IT IS COLD... running bags of liquid into your body tends to make me a bit chilled...again blankets are a necessity (most infusion centers DO provide blankets for patients for this very reason) having my own quilt to take with me will be just so much more comforting though, especially because when I wrap up in this one it is like getting a big warm hug from my dear friend...

 so few people understand my day to day struggles and needs... even those who are part of my life... there are just some things you don't talk about... it just doesn't "come up" in conversation...this was in all honesty the most thoughtful, loving gift I have ever been given...and could only someone who knows the daily struggles could have known how much a special quilt would mean to me on so many levels... my friend isn't a dragon slayer although she has battled the dragon... Unfortuantly she knows all to well how deadly the dragon can be...and what the reality really is that many of us "dance around" I would give anything to take that away from her... her husband sadly lost his battle and the Dragon won.... For him, myself and for some many others I will continue to scream at the top of my lungs that we NEED awarness...we need research...we need better meds...we ARE dying...and few people even know we exist...

3)Erin Condren Life Planners, Notebooks & Stationary- I can't hide my Erin Condren obsession anymore, I have way to many EC items all over the house now. The Life Planners are not only beautiful, but one of the best organization systems in a planner you can currently buy and you can completely customize your planner with what you want from the cover to the "special days" printed on the calendar or how many months your planner has. The taupe/tan paisley print above is my "everyday life planner" it is a 15 month calendar that runs from October 2013 to December 2014 and basically this pretty paisley planner hans my entire life in it'
I did however decide that because with all of my medical appointments and now adding moving into the mix that I would try a 2 planner method for 2014 and decided to have a custom planner made for the blog.That is the top right photo, it is the Erin Condren Favorite things planner and I was able to completely customize this one, if you notice all the words on the planner are things I write about or other things that pop up here on Dragon Slayer. 
The pink/Orange candy lace design is one of Erin Condren's Take Note! Notebooks, I actually have two of these in the same pattern since I always have a notebook with me at all times no matter what (between my illness and my meds my memory is no where near what it used to be... if I don't write it down I will not remember it ...period...which is actually WHY it is that I have ALL of the previous mentioned I love all things paper! Which brings us the paisley patterned cornflower blue folded note cards with bright pink envelopes (and actually I have matching address labels but I didn't want to show my address) This actually is not all of my Erin Condren "collection" but these are my most used/loved items (the pink/orange notebook pictured is actually what ALL details of the move is going into including the house hunt listings, to do lists, anything that may pop into my head about the move, keeping track of all expenses since we get reimbursed (the notebooks have the pocket and zipper pouch just like the Life Planners do, so I just put all receipts in there and add it into my running log later)

My next Erin Condren purchases will be in the Acrylic family, I want a recipe box and a tray or two... but I haven't decided in which pattern so I am holding off to see where we move and what I change up decor wise before creating those.

For those of you interested in Erin Condren (and really isn't everyone...please tell me I am not alone in my obsession) anyways... all new customers (or new email addresses can get $10.00 off their first purchase by using the following link...just "sign up for a free account" and they will email you a $10 credit code no minimum purchase required. CLICK HERE.

Tocca Hand Cream- I have every one of the "girls" I think at this point (this photo was just of the ones I keep in my desk drawer)  If you haven't given these luxurious hand cream a try you are missing out bigtime! Tocca has such a wide variety of scents and (all named after women) The lotions themselves are thick, rich, absorbs quickly and leaves you feeling soft and smelling great. My favorite scent (not pictured) is Stella which combines bllod orange,musk and is such a clean scent with a lingering of the sandlewood.... love it...second favorite is Giulietta which has grren apple, pink tulips, cedarwod and amber... it is possiblt the most femenine smelling scent I have ever used as a lotion.
Another great things about Tocca is they don't just do  hand cream (although they  ARE my obsession) they also have body creams, perfumes, candles, laundry soap for your delicates and bath and body products.

Lip Balms- I am a lip balm fanatic (this was just the three I had in my infusion bag)I did not link back to a particular page on this one because I really DO love ALL lip balms...I do think most of you know I particularly love Olio Luxe (which is now Ponteliv Beauty...and they have some GREAT things coming in 2014...I have seen the creations and you will be in love, just as I am )
So now that we have Olio Luxe/Ponteliv out of the way we can talk about a few other particularly notable lip balms Lypsyl is a great brand that you can find at most CVS and Walgreen's and was my one and only lip balm for about 5 years after reviewing it for Bzzagent  around 2005... I eventually started trying other lip balms again, not because I wasn't happy with Lypsyl but because I was reviewing products again and I always use what I review so that I can give a fair review so I opened back up to lip balms and discovered Yes To... lip products, which I am rather fond of and have several around the house right now (I actually have a tube of hand cream and a tube of lip balm in every single room of the house, plus in my desk drawer I have a few of each, purses,diaper bags of all kinds and flavors) I obviously use many many others like Pacifica and various other ones that arrive in my review boxes or that I stumble across on a webpage with organic beauty products...I don't think I will ever "have enough" lip balm (and I really do you them all day every meds REALLY dry my lips,skin and hair) I will admit my love affair with lip products goes way back and is not ever going to stop.

I hope ya'll enjoyed discovering a few of my favorite things that had nothing to do with subscription boxes at all... I kinda think I may do this more often (and I am sure some sub box stuff will find it's way onto my lists since I jhave found many holy grail items from my sub boxes that are now a part of my daily routine)
I just wanted to "shake things up a bot" and get back to writing more abuot me, my life, my loves...the boxes are still here but my life is about so much more than boxes!


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