Thanksday #97 :: Stocking Stuffer Edition



My name is Monica, and my last Thanksday was ONE YEAR AND 10 DAYS AGO. I haven’t blogged here in general in NINE MONTHS. I’m not sure what to say about that, other than my creative cup has overflowed because of Be Still Be Free, and there were no words left for over here.


I’m starting to feel a shift coming…thoughts and such have been swirling around in my mind and heart, and my fingers have been itchy, and I’m starting to gravitate toward writing again. Maybe that’s because it’s quiet in my house during the day now (thanks, Kindergarten!) and so I have time to think the thoughts.

At any rate, I can’t make any promises about what the future holds over here, or that I’ll have any sort of consistent writing schedule. What I can promise though, is that once a year I’ll do a Thanksday. (I’m all about setting realistic goals.)

That being said, I thought it would be fun to do a Thanksday that is focused on items you could consider for stocking stuffers for your daughter/sister/mom/friend. I don’t know about you, but stocking stuffers are the HARDEST things to buy. You don’t want to give 500 packs of gum and candy canes, right?

So as I was thinking about it, I realized there are some various items in my life right now that I ADORE, and would be darling for Christmas stockings. These run the gamut in prices, so there’s something for everyone…and in case there’s something here you might like for your own self, you could always accidentally send the link to this post to your husband.


Without further ado, here are this year’s Thanksdays!

1. Dead Sea Minerals Dead Sea Mud Bar Soap ($4). Okay, guys. My skin has never looked better since I started using this as my daily face soap. Perhaps my clean(er) eating has something to do with it, and maybe my spinny-face brush too, but from the first day I started using this I noticed it looked and felt a bazillion times better. And I was able to buy it at my local grocery storewhich for the mountains is a huge win.


2. Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Lip Balm ($3). You can tell me all about your EOS, your Susie Chapstick, your Carmex and your Vaseline, but I will turn up my nose and shun you, because this is the only chapstick I will ever use, forever and ever amen. I do not want the original beeswax, the tropical, the Acai or even the Blueberry and Dark Chocolate. Give me Pomegranate or give me death, I say. (Not literally. You know what I mean.)


3. Peter Thomas Roth Pore Putty Pore and Wrinkle Reducer ($38). Straight up, here’s where I’m at: I’m officially “in my 40s” now and cannot, any longer, rely on grocery-store makeup to do the trick. I could get away with it in my 20s for sure, and slid by in my 30s…but the time has come when my pores are enormous, the wrinkles are coming and Maybe it’s Maybelline isn’t going to help me. I can’t remember where I found out about this product, but I have to tell you it’s easily my most favorite facial product ever. It’s extremely lightweight and non-greasy (don’t let the name “putty” deter you), and can be worn alone, under make up or even over makeup. Between the Dead Sea Mud soap and this, I literally use nothing else on my face most days — not even powder. Supposedly, the longer you use it, it “provides long-term clinical benefits to help reduce the appearance of pores to impart a smoother, more youthful look.” I haven’t used it long-term enough to verify this, but I will tell you I am very well pleased.


4. Yankee Candle Mistletoe Car Jar ($5). Forever and always and all the year through, Christmas tree smells will always be my most favorite. I grabbed this little number over Thanksgiving and immediately put it in my car and have driven with happy grins ever since. Granted, my brother-in-law may have nicknamed me Buddy the Elf because of how gleeful I am over the whole thing, but I just called  him a Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins and carried on with my pine dreams. (There are other scents too, of course, but why even bother?)


5. Nordstrom Gift Card (Any Amount!). Did you know that you can use a regular Nordstrom Gift Card at a Nordstrom Rack store? ‘TIS TRUE. Is there anything better than having a gift card for a great pair of boots you find on sale at the Rack? ‘TIS NOT.


6. Starbucks Christmas Blend Espresso Roast (on sale right now online for only $10.46, regularly $15). This will always make my favorite things list each year, because it’s amaze. The regular Christmas Blend roast is delicious too, of course. Who wouldn’t want a stocking that smells of coffee?


7. Darling Magazine Subscription ($64 Yearly Subscription). If you don’t know about Darling magazine yet, you need to get thee on the ball. Started by a former Christian book publisher, it’s an oversize, gorgeous quarterly magazine that prides itself on celebrating “The Art of Being a Woman” and proudly boasts in NO RETOUCHING EVER. Just read their mission statement which is on the back cover of every issue:


Their photography is breathtaking, no advertising ever, and every single photo, article and fashion item is modest, uplifting, encouraging and delightful. You know what it’s like to read this magazine? It’s like your eyes take an enormous deep breath.


8. Return to Tiffany Round Tag Key Ring ($135). OKAY YES, I PUT SOMETHING FROM TIFFANY ON THIS LIST. A girl needs to dream, right?? And this is fairly affordable (by Tiffany standards) and I just adore it. There’s also a plain tag that’s engrave-able (wouldn’t a nice BE look sweet on there??) and the best part of the gift is that darling blue box and ribbon. Can you imagine my her sheer delight pulling that box out of her stocking??


9. Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb Travel Spray ($26). My favorite scent, hands-down, is Rosewood by Banana Republic. I’ve worn it for ages and never once thought to look elsewhere until I discovered it’s now discontinued. Soon after my tears dried up, Nordstrom sent a booklet in the mail with samples of current fragrances, and lo, I fell hard for this one. I have no idea what it would actually smell like on me, but it’s “a floral explosion, a profusion of flowers that has the power to make everything seem more positive.” I don’t even normally like florals, but something about this was spesh. And the travel size of this lets you give it a good try without committing to the full size.


10. Live Inspired Write Now Journals ($7). I found one of these journals years ago at some cute store in Nashville, and fell head-over-heels. The paper is great quality, the lines are light and not too bold, it’s an odd-over size,  yet has just a small number of pages. I don’t know what it is about these, but I can’t get enough. There’s a wide variety of cover options, sure to make your journaler’s day.


Well friends, that felt good. I hope you’ve been able to get some new ideas for that special loved one in your life, and I think there’s just enough time to find something and get it ordered!

What are some of the things you love to give? Leave a comment and share the love.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Thanksday #67

I dreamt about coffee last night. True story. And in my dream I said to heck with it and drank some. And it was silky and smooth and glorious and wonderful.

And then I woke up.

I’m still abstaining…but honestly, not sure how long I want to go. I love coffee too much. It’s a part of me. I’m from the Pacific Northwest, you know. Starbucks was in my baby bottle. It’s like denying my roots.

(Speaking of roots…I really need a trip to The Big City. My hair’s a-flummoxed.)

It’s been a crazy busy first week of summer, but it’s been fun. We’ve had a dance rehearsal, dance performance, sleepover, play date, and pizza party. The only issue has been the weather. Where is summer?! Fortunately, the beach beckons and we leave Saturday for a week-long trip. Yippee!

Thankfuls this week:

1. Dance. My gorgeous girl had her dance recital on Saturday and knocked it out of the park in her jazz and tap numbers. She smiled beautifully the entire time and knew exactly what she was supposed to do. So proud of her. The best part was each girl got a trophy with their name on it. Made her day.

2. Crossing Off To-Do’s. My lists are long, especially getting ready to get out of town. (And yes, I know we just had Greg’s graduation and then a cruise. I have no idea who this vacationing person is that looks like me, but I don’t want to let her go. I love her.) But removing each item from the list is sweeter and sweeter the shorter it gets. (And my inbox is down to five emails, which is an amazing bonus.)

3. This picture. Because it’s awesome.

4. Water. I’m drinking my weight in water each day. And that’s pretty much a literal statement. The good news is I can tell it’s helping my skin and helping me be healthy and all that. The bad news is that my toilet paper expenses have skyrocketed.

5. Quitting. I’ve quit stuff over the past few weeks. And it feels good…really good. And I feel like I now have room to add in new stuff that I’ve wanted to make a focus and a priority. I hesitated for so long to let go because I felt guilty about walking away from some things. But Psalm 81:10 says, “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” To me, that says you have to posture yourself to receive first, and then God will provide what you need. So I’m posturing. My mouth is open wide. Fill it, Lord!

6. Laziness. It’s 3:23 on Thursday and Jaana STILL has not changed out of her PJ’s. And since it’s not warm enough to go swimming, why not?

7. Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt. I’m reading this book right now, and it’s awesome. If you’re trying to build a brand or a business or a blog or yourself or whathaveyou, you need to read this.

8. Dallas. Did anyone watch this last night? It was so good. JR and Bobby and Sue Ellen and the gang were all there. I watched it an immediately felt like I was 12 years old again staying up late on a Friday night to watch with my parents and a large bowl of buttered homemade popcorn. Or something like that.

9. One Step at a Time. This whole journeying-with-God thing is equal parts exciting and scary. Sometimes it’s completely overwhelming to consider what is ahead of you. And other times it’s absolutely electrifying. The good news is all we have to do is just listen for the voice saying “this is the way, walk in it.” Because He says to walk in the way. Not to run. No need to get ahead of myself. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

10. No School Pick-Ups. Yes I love the change of pace. Yes I love having Jaana home with us. But perhaps the best part of summer is not having to watch the clock to leave the house at 3 pm daily to pick her up from school. Add on top of that being able to take off the carline number for a few months and I’m one happy Mama.

Oh look…Jaana finally got dressed.

Your turn! Let me know what you’re thankful for this week and share the love. Leave a comment below or link up with Candra. It’ll energize you like a good cup o’ joe and warm you like the sun.