Friday Favorites: Polar Vortex Edition

Welcome to Friday Favorites, the Polar Vortex edition! I never imagined I’d be writing about the damn Polar Vortex in mid-November, but alas, here we are. So here, dear reader, are a few items to help you get through the fall-turned-dead-of-winter this year:

sweatshirtThug Life Shirts ‘I Am Freaking Cold’ sweatshirt
This sweatshirt is high on my Christmas wish list. I figure it will save me tons of time since I won’t have to spend every day of the next few months whining about how freaking cold I am!


Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea
There are many winter days when the promise of a cup of Harney & Sons’ Hot Cinnamon Spice tea is the only thing that will pry me out of my warm bed in the morning. Hot Cinnamon Spice is a blend of black tea, cinnamon bark and other spices, and orange peel. It’s so naturally sweet, it’s hard to believe there’s no sugar in it. Harney & Sons supplies tea to Caribou Coffee, so you can also find it packaged under the Caribou label.


Ugg Australia – Women’s Classic Short Leather in Peacoat
Maybe it’s the former Californian in me talking, but I will give up my Uggs when someone pries them off my cold, dead feet! I don’t care if they’re uncool and I don’t care if they’re ugly. They’re just so damn cozy! My only qualm about Uggs has always been that the suede ones aren’t waterproof…not so much a problem in LA, but definitely an issue just about anywhere else in the winter. That’s why I’m giddy with excitement over this waterproof leather version. The “Peacoat” and “Oxblood” colors are particularly lovely. And, just in case anyone out there is looking for the perfect holiday gift for me, I wear a size 8.

enviro-logEnviro-Log Fire Logs
I love Enviro-Logs. They’re made from 100% waxed cardboard and burn cleaner than firewood. (They emit 30% less greenhouse gases, 80% less carbon monoxide and 86% less creosote.) Enviro-Logs light easily and the 5 lb. firelogs burn for about 3 hours. I usually buy cases of Enviro-Logs at Whole Foods, but they’re now available on Amazon and ship for free using Amazon Prime.

turquoise_hootyHooty Microwaveable Plush Owl
Hooty is one of Biggie’s and Smalls’s favorite things. This little guy is stuffed with millet grains and dried lavender and can be warmed up in the microwave or chilled in the freezer. We’ve never tried chilling it, but we warm up the girls’ owls every night before bed in the winter. Hooty is super soft, smells wonderful and stays warm for about 20 – 25 minutes. We warm our Hooties for about a minute and a half because they tend to get a little “sweaty” if warmed much more than that. (OK, that just sounded all kinds of wrong!)

Friday Favorites

It’s a rainy Friday here in Atlanta, perfect conditions for online shopping and maybe even making some homemade almond milk. Do I know how to party or what? 
Mally Beauty Evercolor Poreless Face Defender
Just yesterday, I was standing in front of the mirror thinking, “My skin looks pretty good for a 45 year old.” Then I made the mistake of looking at myself with my glasses on! Yikes! Apparently, there’s a damn good reason our vision starts to go downhill the same time our faces start to show some serious wear and tear. Enter Evercolor Poreless Face Defender by Mally Beauty. This stuff is magic and that’s no exaggeration. No regular pressed or loose face powder is truly translucent. It tends to settle into fine lines and make aging skin look crepey. Not pretty. Mally’s Evercolor Poreless Face Defender, on the other hand, is totally invisible, yet it leaves your skin looking dewy, but not oily, it erases large pores and imperfections and it’s light and velvety on your skin. It’s kind of like an airbrush for your face. Like I said…magic.

hanky_panky_boyshortsHanky Panky boyshorts
Hanky Panky’s boyshorts are my very favorite undies. They’re sweet but sexy, super comfortable, and they don’t show lines even under my skinny jeans. They also come in an incredible array of colors and patterns. They are, admittedly, pretty spendy, but mine have lasted years with machine washing in a lingerie bag and hanging dry. And, Hanky Panky has many different styles, from low-rise thongs to vintage-style, high-waisted briefs, if boyshorts aren’t your thing.
woolrich_whitecap_bootWoolrich Whitecap Bootie Slippers
I’m one of those people who, unapologetically, still wears Uggs. I love my Uggs. Maybe it’s the LA girl in me. I used to tell Ad Man I wanted a pair to wear as slippers in the house in addition to the ones I wear outside (we’re shoes-off in-the-house people). Unfortunately, that would be a ridiculous amount of money to spend on slippers. Luckily, I found the perfect alternative last fall. These Woolrich Bootie Slippers are cute, warm and easily as cozy as Uggs. I actually look forward to cold weather so I can pull these babies out of the closet.harvey_milk_stampHarvey Milk Forever Stamps
Harvey Milk was an American politician who became the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He was also an outspoken advocate for for the LGBT community. It is about time he be be honored with a U.S. postal stamp and take his rightful place beside other, more well-known, civil rights leaders in our country. “It takes no compromising to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no survey to remove repressions.” -Harvey Milk

homemade_almond_milkHomemade Almond Milk
And speaking of milk (har, har), I feel it’s my duty to tell you how easy it is to make your own almond milk. Stop buying the stuff in the carton! All you need is raw almonds and water. Easy, peasy. If you’re feeling a little more energetic, my very favorite almond milk recipe from Oh She Glows (a fantastic vegan cooking website) adds a bit of vanilla, a pinch of cinnamon and a few dates for sweetness. It’s absolutely delicious!

Ellie's_nut_milk_bagEllie’s Bigger, Better Nut Milk Bag
And, a bonus favorite thing today is my new nut milk bag! (The jokes practically write themselves.) The process of making almond milk and other nut or coconut milks is pretty simple. Depending on your preference, you may choose to soak your nuts overnight. You then throw the nuts, some water and any other ingredients you like to use for flavoring into the blender until everything has been mixed to a pulp. Then, you get to the only tricky part of making nut milks…straining the liquid from the pulp. I have done this with both a fine sieve and cheesecloth in the past and, while either method does the trick, they tend to be messy and a bit of a pain. To make this process much, much easier, get yourself a good nut milk bag (try to say it without giggling). With a nut milk bag, you just pour the pulp mixture from the blender into the fine mesh bag, tie it closed and squeeze out all the liquid. Homemade almond milk is less expensive and so much yummier than the almond milk you buy at the grocery store!