It seems that all bloggers eventually do a post about their favorite things and with Black Friday upon us (as well as my loathing for holiday-season retail), I thought, “Hey, Sarah, you should do a favorite things post.” So, here we are.
Now, my favorite things might be vastly different from favorites of a lot of other people, and that is A-Okay! Mostly, because they are my favorite things. Before I get ahead of myself, however, I need to write at Disclaimer:
I am not endorsed by, or affiliated with, any of these manufacturers/businesses (though if they want to pay me for talking about how great they are I won’t object).
Sarah’s Top Five Favorites (in no particular order):
- Simone Chickenbone’s Chicken Poop Lip Junk. One of my good friends thought they would get me a tube of this a few years ago as a joke. I thought it was hilarious and after reading the few ingredients that it has, put some on. This is seriously good lip balm. I buy it in 10-packs and stash tubes all over the place. I also have the outdoor chicken poop which is great for on the water, however, Mr. Muse tells me that I look like I’m hypothermic when I use it, my lips blueish from the zinc. Either way – it is a fantastic product!
- Bog’s Footwear. Prior to Mr. Muse and I heading to England last year, I wanted a multi-purpose pair of something to go on my feet that would look good dressed up or down and that I could wear walking around all the places we might go. Also, they had to be easy-to-care-for and waterproof. I shopped online for the better part of a year, reading reviews. I went into stores and tried on pairs here, there, and everywhere. The day I finally was ready to purchase, I headed to REI and had six different brands and styles strewn about me. I tried-and-retried three pairs for most of an hour, walking about, getting irritated-yet-patient looks from the clerk, before settling on the Kristina Chukka boot. It wasn’t black, my preferred color, and they didn’t have any in stock that color, so I settled for the taupe. You know what? I have ZERO regrets about any of it. These are seriously, hands-down, THE MOST COMFORTABLE BOOT I OWN. Every time I put them on I think my foot sighs in happiness. We left for England shortly after I bought the boots, and I’d only taken them on one short hike and a few walk-about-towns, so I wouldn’t consider them to be broken in, but with all of the walking (including one day where we literally hiked 15 miles over hill and over dale), not a single blister. They were wonderful for the trans-Atlantic flights, too. PS – I’m looking at purchasing another pair of boots from the company.
- Duluth Trading Company’s Free Swinging Flannel Shirts. I have three words for you: hidden underarm gussets. After retiring the Fleet Farm flannel shirt I’d been wearing for over twenty years last fall, I asked for a new flannel for Christmas. I got one of these fancy duds in Classic Red Plaid (it’s being clearanced!). The flannel is thick, but not oppressive. The seams are sturdy, and hell – it even has a chamois for wiping off specs that get dusty! Plus, it’s a long shirt and we ladies who have long torsos know what it’s like when we find a shirt that is actually long enough!
- Kickapoo Coffee Roasters. Coffee roasters in Wisconsin? Darn tootin’! I fell into deep lust with their Guatemala Rio Azul – and wouldn’t you know… they are out of it. I’ll have to find something else of theirs to fall in lust with, and the stickers on the bags with the tasting notes are accurate and helpful. Plus, the company just stands for good things like fair trade, environmental-consciousness. I like that.
- Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I have always loved gardening. Even in those times where weeds have taken over because of my own neglect and I’m cursing them all to hell, I still love gardening. Some years ago I came across one of Baker Creek’s seed catalogs and I loved the write-ups of each of the seeds, including their history, how they found them again, etc. Plant history! Their customer service has also been good. Before I even knew there would be an issue with some carrot seeds I purchased last year, I received a postcard in the mail with a refund and a note saying the seeds wouldn’t be true to cultivar. Sure enough, I planted them and they weren’t at all what I had ordered. I put that refund to use buying garlic and the goats enjoyed the carrots (which turned out to be mostly just tops). Even if you don’t garden, the seed catalogs are essentially gardening porn and if you add up all the time I have spent looking at the catalogs, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say I’ve spent well over a week pouring over the pages of the 2016 catalog. I can’t wait for the 2017 catalog!!
Now, some honorable mentions, no less wonderful than those named above, but just didn’t make the top 5:
- Weird Fish Clothing. I purchased the Chicoa Full Zip Macaroni Hooded Sweatshirt in ecru in Castleton, Staffordshire, on my trip last year after seeing it at a shop one day. After thinking about it for three more days, I decided that I needed the sweatshirt – because it’s a “dressy” hoodie, and I love my hoodies. The sweatshirt is warm, wind-and-rain resistant (it IS cotton, so it won’t act like wool), and was nice and cosy on a trans-Atlantic flight.
- InkJoy pens from Paper Mate. Don’t even TRY to steal these from me! I have them in all the colors. I buy too many pens for a normal person (please note: I know others with this same affliction. We are the proud, the few, and we have all the pens!). However, please know that if I give you one of these pens – I think you’re a good person. Also note that Mr. Muse knows to never steal these from me – he has to ask for one. Obsessive? Maybe.
- Lodge Cast Iron. Yes, cast iron is heavy as fuck, but nothing compares to a well-seasoned cast iron pan when cooking. Nothing! Sorry Analon that we got for a gift our first Christmas together – I have seen the light! Sometimes new does not mean better; as the Analon goes out, the cast iron moves in.
- Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups in milk chocolate or Theo’s Peanut Butter Cups in dark chocolate. It’s peanut butter and chocolate… together… how can people without a peanut allergy NOT love this combo?!
I hope this list helps you with your Christmas (or birthday, anniversary, etc.) shopping needs. Seriously, who wouldn’t want a little chicken poop in their stocking this Christmas?