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Friday Finds Volume II

As we inch up to the holiday season, I would like to toss into our Fridays finds, some of my favorite things for travel and gathering. I am aware that for some, this time of year is your best self, game on, all the good feels. And for others, well, it can cause variations of ugly to bubble to the surface of our lives. Whether that be from ourselves or difficult family situations we must manage.

I believe we can try and set some proper expectations for ourselves and for those sandpaper people in our lives. Which may help us manage the mayhem of this time of all the people and all the gatherings. Maybe it’s having a conversation ahead of time with a loved one, establishing a healthy boundary of what is appropriate behavior and what is not. Or maybe it’s offering grace and forgiveness for someone who is just not where we think they should be yet. For some of us, maybe we just need to get over ourselves, think outside the box, and add something different to the mundane mix, like a shared experience or a game night or a meaningful conversation starter. (I will be sure to add some real life examples here on future Fridays for us to incorporate)

Whatever the case, I’m in with you friend! So, let’s try our darnedest with the help of all the baby Jesuses, and make the most of those special people and moments in our sphere. Today I’m bringing a few things to get us started.

Ink App

Emily Post would be proud… and so would your mama!

This is an app for creating and sending greeting cards. Why is this important to me? Warning: I am going to mother you for a hot minute. Out of doting love of course! First, I am a big believer in showing appreciation to people in our lives. And I am still a work in progress here myself. I remember as a child receiving thank you notes from my cousins every year after Christmas. The fact that someone would take the time to let me know how much they appreciated the gift they received, made such a mark on me. That may sound trivial or silly but there is something meaningful about acknowledging others.

When my children were younger, ok maybe even as they’ve gotten older, I have encouraged/hounded/nagged them to send thank you notes as one way to express appreciation and gratitude. Mamas, this is a small way, in a self absorbed culture, that we can lead our kids to be others oriented.

My daughter thanked a friend of a friend for allowing us to shoot her engagement photos in the beautiful backdrop of this woman’s garden. Months later when I ran into the garden owner, she told me how much it surprised her and meant to her to receive a note like this. Sometimes our small efforts have a big impact on others.

Considering the upcoming holiday period, one way we can bring gratitude and thoughtfulness to this time of hectic over-commercialization is to practice a little old school etiquette. For example, when you attend a holiday party or receive a special gift, take less than five minutes to get on the Ink App and send your host or gift giver a note. Or maybe you want to thank a friend who showed up to help you throw a holiday party. You can even snap a photo of them at the party or of yourself, using the gift you received, and add it to the digital card. And NO ONE had to go to the store for stamps! Your own words and even your personal picture, if you choose, will be delivered to their very mailbox. This little app correspondence is even a great option while sitting in car pool line or “watching” sports with your man.

You know you have real friends when they drive an hour to help you celebrate your birthday all the while dressed in costume!

Of course there are a myriad of other Ink greetings and cards to send using this app or this desktop version. So, take a look and explore all the ways to channel your inner Emily Post and minimize your chances of getting completely lost in the greeting card isle at Target.

Travel Mirror

Don’t leave home without it

Sometimes, it just comes down to not wanting hotel bathroom make-up (aka hello, is this clown day?) while away from home. Without swerving into vanity, I would like to offer one up for those of us with aging eyesight or the mere challenge of our precious grandma’s poorly lit hall bath.

This mirror always lives in my travel make-up bag so it’s one thing I don’t have to spend an eternity hunting for while packing at the last minute. I keep the batteries separate in that same bag and just put them in when I use it. It’s possible that I’ve been know to corrode plenty of battery operated items in the past for lack of appropriate battery protocol.

Anywhoooo. This little LED lighted bad boy will magnify your face 10x. That’s the point right??? Besides being compact and light-weight, it has a suction cup and a swivel arm that is completely adjustable! So, I just plop down on the floor in front of the hotel full length mirror, with all my make-up paraphernalia and suction my travel mirror onto that floor mirror. You can also have this same set up with any other mirror or glass surface in the room where you find yourself. My favorite set up is to attach my travel mirror to a window because this is THE. BEST. LIGHTING of all! This is the one I use from Amazon.

Dots Pretzels

The pretzel to make all other pretzels jealous

So, here’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I have a strained relationship with pretzels. I love the crunch and the salt BUT I am forever disappointed in pretzels for one reason… their utter lack of flavor! Then… along came Dots. These guys are coated in some kind of magical savory seasoning. It’s a buttery, garlicky, salty concoction of wonderment.

I keep these little individual packets year round in my snack drawer. This holiday season, I’m making them available for all of the small children who come into my home. Hoping to maintain my Aunt “snack queen” status and help them keep their tiny little children germs from partying with one another, thereby hijacking their fun.

Dots are not necessarily found at your local grocer, unless of course you live in North Dakota. I don’t. Therefore, these pretzels are on repeat with my Amazon orders. I keep one of these one pound bags in my car and a bag always goes with me when I travel.



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