Another installment of my (current) favorite things! Per the usual, it’s a hodgepodge of things that I’m currently loving. They follow absolutely no theme, which seems to be a theme in itself for these posts, and are in no particular order.
Toddy Cold Brewing System
As I mentioned earlier, I’m currently on a cold brewed coffee kick. I’ve seen “cold brewed” coffee before, but never had the opportunity to try it from a store, and was too lazy to try it at home on my own. The difference between cold brewed coffee and “traditional” coffee is simply the lack of heat. Instead of heating up the water (in a coffee maker) and having it flow through the coffee grinds, a cold brew uses regular water. Because it’s cold water the process takes a little bit longer, but what you get is basically coffee concentrate, meaning in order to enjoy it you need to mix it with water or milk. Since I’m an avid iced coffee drinker, the idea of already cold coffee that I don’t have to cool down and subsequently water down with ice cubes was appealing.
I had seen the Toddy online, and added it to my Pinterest board of “Gift Ideas” (don’t judge me, it makes it easy for people to see things I’m not going to buy for myself, but would like as a gift when the occasion arises), and got it for my birthday! The instructions are simple (grind up some coffee, pour in water, pour in grinds, repeat, let sit and then filter), and it produces a decent amount of coffee concentrate that can last for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. I’ve enjoyed it a few times now, mixed with both water and milk, and LOVE it. I use about half the amount of ice cubes I used before, and the flavor is awesome (hard to describe, but definitely “smoother”). I definitely recommend checking this out if you’re an iced coffee fan!
Hydroxatone CC Cream
I don’t usually wear makeup, and even when I do it’s definitely on the minimal side. So when the craze of BB and CC creams started, I figured these would be a perfect addition to my morning routine, as I could kill multiple birds with one makeup stone. Since I don’t wear makeup often, I really don’t know enough about the differences between primer, moisturizer, tinted moisturizer, BB cream, CC cream, foundation… the list goes on. I have an elementary understanding, but that’s where it ends, and is a huge reason why I don’t wear makeup. The other reason is that I have what I’d like to refer to as the ultimate combination platter of skin – dry, oily, acne prone, dull, bright…. I’m really not sure how I have it all, but I do. So naturally I’m wary when it comes to my choices, as I don’t want a product that will accentuate any of my “problems.”
After trying a few free samples of BB and CC creams (gotta love the Ulta and Sephora samples that come with your orders), I realized that there were only a few things I needed in my “everything” cream. I need it to: moisturize, mattify, and balance my skin without clogging it up. I didn’t think I was asking for much, but apparently I was! A lot of the creams were either the wrong tint, not oil-free, or left me glowing (and not the ‘dewy glamorous’ kind). Enter Hydroxatone’s CC cream! This cream has all the benefits of a typical CC cream (color corrects, smooths out your skin, etc.) but it also has salicylic acid to aid in mattifying your skin and also prevent break-outs! Of course I thought it may be “too good to be true,” but after a few days of using it (in translucent), I couldn’t be happier. It leaves my skin feeling fresh all day while moisturizing and not leaving me a ball of shine by the afternoon. Now I just need to find the right kind of makeup to wear over it for those rare makeup days!
Oiselle Mio Mesh Tank
I don’t know why I waited so long – I think I tried to convince myself that I wouldn’t like it because 1. it was too “everyday wear” for me, and 2. the mesh would be more annoying than not. I suppose the first reason I didn’t think I would like it is the same reason why I’m yet to try a running skirt. But eventually after seeing so many awesome reviews by people who generally enjoy the same things as I do, I ordered it. I mean, with the summer heat and my timidness for sports bra running, I figured I would try this ‘light as air’ tank top.
Well, I’m kicking myself for not having ordered this top earlier. I should have known better than to doubt Oiselle! I now want one in every color, and then some. I’ve worn the top a few times since getting it last week; once in the pouring rain, and once on a super hot long run. By the end of both runs my shirt looked the same – completely soaked! Despite the fact that the shirt was really wet, it didn’t feel heavy or cumbersome to be wearing on either run, which is rare. Also, because it’s mesh, it breathes really well allowing for some airflow (even if it’s just a hot air breeze), which is always welcomed on a soupy hot day. I really wish I had more than just one mio mesh tank, but at least I have the one!
Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
This is a cookbook I actually ordered quite a few months ago, but only recently started cooking from it. I’ve been so wrapped up in Pinterest recipes lately that I’ve really neglected my cookbooks. So, I’ve recently been trying to get back into “use the cookbooks you already have” mode, and found that this particular book pairs nicely with my weekly fresh box. I think I’m often intimidated by vegetarian cookbooks because the recipes have a lot of ingredients, and a lot of times the things they call for aren’t easily found at my local grocery store. But thanks to the fresh box program I’m signed up for in the summer, the fruits and vegetables I have are not only fresher, but I also get things that my grocery store either doesn’t carry, or rarely has.
I’ve made a few things from the book so far, but my favorite has been leek fritters. At first glance they don’t seem to be different from any other fritter recipe, but the addition of cinnamon to the mixture was a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t really sure what the sweetness would bring to the table, but I absolutely loved it. I served the fritters with homemade tabbouleh and hummus for a dinner “snack plate” and really enjoyed it. I have a bunch of other recipes bookmarked to try – I just have to remember to open up the book and step away from Pinterest!
So those are my current favorites… what are some of yours?!