Well, friends, we’re doing something a wee bit different today! In part, because it’s 2014 and we’re working on shaking things up a touch around these parts this year. And also because sometimes I feel like the usual Friday Link Love posts leave me wanting to share even more of what I’m seeing and loving. That said, today is the first installment of a new series I’m calling Monthly Favorites. In short, the first Monday of every month I’m going to share a big huge helping of my favorite things from the month before. We’re talking products, posts, articles, DIY projects, recipes and more. The topics each month will be somewhat random, all rolled up into one over-the-top mish mash of link love awesomeness. Are you digging it? I sure hope so! Because assuming you do, to plan is to keep this party rockin’ all year long. So let’s jump into it, shall we? Here are my monthly favorites from January!
Let’s kick things off by talking about donuts, shall we? Because you know I think donuts are kind of awesome, particularly the homemade kind. But this month I also learned that donuts can be made into amazing little sweets perfect for Valentine’s Day. Clearly we all should have thought of that one long before now, don’t you agree? Better late than never I say! Sure, donuts don’t do any favors for our New Year’s resolutions, but for Valentine’s Day they’re clearly a must.
So, um, let’s not talk about the awkward transitions from donuts to bathrooms, ok? Ok, good. I’m glad we got that out of the way. See, lately I’ve been finding myself really drawn to beautiful bathrooms. Generally with loads of natural light and often with gorgeous tile. What does this say about me? Perhaps that I need to take more bubble baths. Or just that I have a thing for lovely tubs, sinks and commodes. I’m honestly not sure. But I know that in the past month or so, these are just a few of the dreamy bathrooms that have caught my eye.
If you follow me on Pinterest, chances are you know I’m some kind of a freak for pretty type, hand lettering and motivational phrases and quotes. We’re talking nearly 800 pins and counting kind of freak. January being the month of resolutions that it is, this past month I definitely found myself drawn to those words that pumped me up and got me excited to tackle plans and to-do lists. Some of these are available as art prints and some are free desktop wallpapers, so be sure to check them out to get inspired yourself. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing. Which clearly I really really am.
This is the part of this post where I admit to being some sort of weird giant fangirl of Kendi. If you aren’t reading her blog yet, today is the day you should start, ok? Pretty much I want to live inside of her closet or take up permanent residence in her shop. Plus I’m pretty sure in real life she’s one cool chick and we’d have a whole lot of fun over a cup of coffee. Or possibly margaritas. Also, I just gushed about her on the internet and she has no idea who I am. Uuuuugh. Yeah. So so awkward. Anyway, Kendi’s style is pitch perfect, completely in line with things I would choose for my own wardrobe, only she’s way cooler than me. These are four of my favorite looks from January!
I’m a book junkie from way back, but sadly I can’t remember the last time (if ever) that I shared any favorite books with you. How sad is that? I feel like I’ve seriously failed you and our friendship. Lame. So today I wanted to share a few of my favorite recent reads. My pick in books varies wildly, but generally trends toward what I call modern literature. I’m not so much into chick lit (but I can get down with it for sure from time to time) and I really gravitate toward books with richly developed characters. The Fault In Our Stars is actually what I’m currently reading, so I can’t speak too much about it yet other than to say that a few chapters in I’m absolutely hooked. I’ll plow through it by mid-week for sure. The Engagements may seem chick litty on the surface, but don’t be fooled. At it’s heart it’s a story of love in all it’s different forms and the ways we’ve grown to express that love as a society. Such an interesting read and I was sorry when it was over. I picked up The Girl Who Stopped Swimming at a thrift shop for $1 and then promptly left it in the seatback pocket on a plane when I was only half finished. I immediately bought it on Kindle the next day so I could finish it up. It’s kind of haunting, but it was also really beautiful. Does that make sense? You know it does. Finally, do you know Jodi Picoult’s books? They’re everywhere, admittedly, and I think there’s a reason for that, of which The Storyteller is a perfect example. Her stories always revolve around some tragedy, but it’s the rawness of human spirit and the way she develops characters that makes her books so good.
Seriously. Can we just be real for a moment? I’m constantly blown away by all the truly awe-inspiring DIY ideas that my fellow bloggers are dreaming up. It’s ridiculous. Ladies, you got some serious talent going on. In January I was definitely most inspired by home-centric DIYs and easy little upgrades and projects that were just about handcrafting a little pretty without a whole lot of fuss. Think freshening up your bed with a pair of sweet pillows or adding a bit of light to an otherwise dark corner with a crafty wall sconce. And can we talk about concrete counters for a moment? Because I’m obsessed with concrete countertops (have been for years) and this DIY project makes me really wish I had some old ugly counters to makeover. True story.
No linkapalooza would be complete without a look back at a few of my favorite posts of the month! In January I shared my tips for how to get a cake out of a pan and Melina was back to share her amazing banana cake recipe with us. (Yeah, for the record. I love cake in kind of a big way.) We also got a glimpse at this stunning rustic dinner party that still has me wanting to host a dinner party sooner rather than later. Not to be forgotten, I shared an easy DIY tutorial for making mini Valentine’s Day bouquets that would make sweet little gifts all year long.
Sooo, does anyone love this new column as much as I do? (Please, at least three of you raise your hand or it’s going to feel real awkward real quick.) If so, I’m going to be cataloging all of these favorites each month over on my Monthly Favorites Pinterest board so check it out, ok? Cool. xoxo