Some Favorite Things

By Kate Riley February 8, 2012

Hello. There’s so much going on in my little world right now. My daughter turned eight yesterday and that just makes my head spin. My husband started growing a goatee for no reason and I’m really not happy about it and so I’m strategizing how to get him to shave it off ASAP. My five year old son announced that he needs me to get him some Pokemon cards so he can play whatever it is with the other kids and I witnessed the Pokemon craze with my nephews and prayed and begged that it would pass over my household and apparently no one was listening. So today I’d like to share a few of the little things in life that help me survive the madness of it all.   

1.  The mirror reminds me I’m getting closer to forty every day so I have found a few beauty products that help me feel presentable when I leave the house.  Here are my four ‘if ever stranded on a desert island’ essentials.

kates fave beauty products

Ole Henrickson Collagen Booster; Smashbox Photo Finish; Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20; Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer (Raisin)


2. In December, my husband listened with close attention when I made my Christmas list clicked on the hyperlink I emailed him and bought me this lovely camera bag from Jo’s Totes for my Christmas present. It’s very green and it’s so lovely. And I will bring it to SNAP (did you know I’m speaking on a panel at SNAP?) and you attendees can all admire its cleverly divided compartments that hold this budding photographer’s lenses and lip gloss. Cause that’s really all I need when I’m out and about, my camera lenses and my Burt’s Bees lip gloss. And a Twix bar stashed away at the bottom.

jos totes camera bag


3.  I’ve taken up abstract painting again for no other reason than that smearing paint on something (a canvas, a wall, a piece of furniture, a child…) makes me feel good.  Clearly I have no idea what I’m doing but maybe in a few years with a lot more practice I will. In the meantime, just pat me on the head and say “That’s so nice dear.”  

abstract art attempt


4.  Remember how I resolved to become a ‘more tea less wine’ person?  Well in order to do so, I bought myself a pretty little glass teapot and some gourmet honey from a local Teavana shop.  I do not like milk in my tea, only honey but let’s take a random poll, how do you drink your tea?


Thank you for indulging me in that profoundly important life changing poll.



white gold honey

My kids’ pediatrician told me to use local honey during allergy season to help with hay fever, which I do, but I cannot resist this latest sweet treat, it is so wonderful. I keep it on my desk and stir it in my tea, it’s pearlescent and creamy and tastes lovely and it makes me happy.  You too can splurge on it here.


5.  I really like Joss & Main. Ever since I joined last year and recommended it to a few of you, good things have come my way.  New club chairs, a curated collection of my own, and this coastal inspired transitional table that I spied in a recent sale that I had to had to had to have for the entry.  It’s solid wood, and I adore the X on the side and it looks so fabulous up close in real life.  Glossy white accent tables make me happy indeed.  

new console table

And because I’m a habitual furniture mover arounder (HFMAs unite! – we need a club) the writer’s desk that used to be there is headed for another home, but speaking of Joss & Main, our pal Nester’s sale is going on right now and she curated quite a charming collection too, so check it out

Those are the things in my life which make my world complete.  What’s your latest favorite thing?




  1. HFMAs unite! My husband would totally sign me up. He thinks he comes home to a different house all the time:) Lately, I’ve been indulging in hot cocoa at night or some dark chocolate dipped in peanut butter. Little guilty pleasures:)

  2. Great post! At least your husband says “oh that looks nice dear” with your abstract paintings…my husband laughs and says “what is that?” and months later still says “I’m still not really liking whatever this is supposed to be.” Gotta love those husbands I suppose.

  3. HFMA’s unite! I love that you included this fact in your post! I often wondered if I had a problem because not many people i know move furniture as much as I do and now I don’t feel so alone in my habit! Ha! I love it! Thanks for always inspiring me. I feel like I’ve known you for years! Keep on keeping on Centsational girl – you rock.

  4. Hi, my name is Megan and I am an HFMA. It has been one week since my last rearrangement.
    -Everyone: Hi Megan! (said in unison)

  5. Dude seriously, I’ve met you in person and I would have never pegged you for being close to 40. I turned 40 last year and let me tell ya, it’s not bad at all. I don’t mind a goatee on my husband but when it turns into the Mountain Man look, forget it!

  6. My husband isn’t allowed to have a goatee at work (uniform policy) so every time he takes an extended period of time off he grows one. And I hate it. But this last time he got two really, really bad ingrown hairs and he’s sworn off the facial hair FOREVER! Yay.

    Pray for the dreaded ingrown hair……lol.

  7. Curious – question for all you HFMAs: Do you ever find the absolutely perfect spot for one piece and end up leaving it there, or is that not what the search/addiction is all about?

    • Hey Liz, it’s true, there ARE certain pieces that don’t get moved, the piano, the master bed, the larger sofas etc, but for all the accent pieces, I find moving them around once a year or so helps you feel like your home is *new* again.

  8. Okay, I’ve been eyeing that console table every time it comes up in a Joss & Main sale. So glad to hear it’s sturdy, the next time I see it I’m going to snap. it. up!

  9. Finn Caraway and Rye crackers. I love them. I love them with all of my heart. Oh. And I have no idea what Joss & Main is. I shall try to figure it out. While eating crackers. In bed. ~ karen! p.s. The Smashbox primer is GREAT.

  10. My new favortie thing is KMS California volume spray. you spray it on your hair at the roots when it is damp and I kid you not it totally works and gives my fine, limp hair volume and it stays nice all day long even in the rain, truly amazing stuff. Oh then there is Trilogy rose hip oil, all natural, I use it in the morning under my moisture cream and I can see a different in the texture of my skin. Now when it comes to tea, my new favorite is Stash’s lemon ginger tea and I put honey and lemon in it. I drink at least two cups a day, it is really soothing if you have a head cold. I get excited when someone ask me a question like this!!! have a good rest of the week! I am going bed shopping tomorrow, read my post about my dilema!!

  11. Such a great post! I’ve been meaning to try the smashbox photofinish and I love burts bees! That table is perfect for your home.. I’m jealous:)

  12. My new favorite thing is the new Estee Lauder revitalizing cream. Using it for two weeks and even in this horrible cold weather, I notice that my skins feels softer. It is rich, but not too rich, great for my hormonal skin…

  13. Ugh, there’s nothing worse than spontaneous husband facial hair. Every winter my husband declares he’s growing a beard to “keep his face warm,” and then he has to shave it off a few days later because he starts to look like a ragamuffin. I wish he would just learn…

  14. You have some expensive taste. The only thing that I’ve bought that was really expensive is this concealer from ultra called amazing. It’s $28 but the tube is tiny! It’s really good stuff though

  15. What do you like about the Smashbox product? I’ve seen it, but haven’t tried it.

    P.S. I’m just an occasional blogger.

  16. I love that camera bag!! Color and all! Working on getting a new camera this spring… then checking out Jo’s designs.

  17. Definitely on the Tea band wagon….there is nothing more relaxing than a cup of tea in the afternoon…even if it is squeezed between an episode of Dora the Explorer and Lego tower building! Love the Harney and Sons tea

  18. I’m so thankful my husband is in the Navy and has to remain clean-shaven. He CAN grow a mustache, but it makes him look like the kind of guy who drives around a big white van that says “free candy” on the side.

    As for the goatee… you could just threaten to Nair him in his sleep. And keep the bottle on the nightstand. Works like a charm. The threatening, that is. I’ve never actually had to Nair someone.

  19. I love your abstract art! I have seen some pieces just like that, and people pay big bucks for them-sp why not!!?? I would like to try myself!

  20. Love this post. I am totally with you on husbands growing facial hair without running it by us first. No bueno. Good luck to you! And you painting looks fun! I’ve always wanted to try out abstract and may just have to do it now. Have a great day!

  21. My husband stopped shaving the day we got married (that wasn’t long ago)…but his beard/mustache got really thick!! Although he did look like a tall handsome lumberjack with a beard, it was really not pleasant to kiss prickly hair. I made a point to tell him that every time I kiss him I get a mouth full of hair and poked in the face and it’s just not as nice as kissing just him. Boo hoo. But it really was true, I had to battle the stache to find those lips!!!!! So last week he shaved (yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and although I no longer have my lumberjack, I have my husband back who now gets showered with kisses. When people ask why he shaved he promptly replies, “I get more kisses this way.” Aww.
    Even though your husband is growing a goatee (mine has the same idea brewing now) I think he’ll tire of it. It does itch, and what I’ve found is men just want to see if the CAN grow one…I dunno…we get to change purses, they get to grow facial hair. Wait a couple of weeks, that’s when you know it’s serious.

  22. One of my favorite things these days is my Singer Curvy sewing machine! I’ve had it for a couple of years but didn’t really read the manual til recently. I learned through another fave blogger (and the manual) that I can sew buttons on with my machine! And I learned how to do a blind hem to fix pants that are too long. Exciting stuff. ;D

  23. Pokemon-crikey I hate Pokemon. I just don’t get it. Indy doesn’t even play the game (I dont’ think he knows how), but he loves those stupid cards.
    James Bond is in the Army, so no facial hair (yay) unless he’s on leave and doesn’t feel like shaving (boo!).
    Ugh, 40 is only 13 months away for me! I’ll be 39 next month. Ack. I have not tried Truth Serum before, but I may have to look into it.

    Your life changing poll cracked me up, but you left our milk and sugar! That’s how I take mine. Well, only the black tea. Anything else is just sugar (but not too sweet). I have hot tea every morning and I’m afraid I’m a bit of a tea snob. I like strong black teas in the morning (sometimes mixed with a bit of yerba) and if I’m having afternoon tea. I like Jasmine or Silver Needle (of COURSE this is crazy expensive-probably why is tastes so good.) tea in the evenings. I occasionally drink green tea, or rooibos, but not that often. My favorite morning tea from Teavana is Strawberry Slender Pu-Ehr. I’m not sure what the “slender” bit is all about, but it tastes fantastic. Here (in Germany) I buy Erdbeere-Sahne, which is a black, strawberry cream tea. It smells heavenly. Good grief, now I have to go make tea. BTW, red wine has been proven to help keep weight off. I”m pretty sure read that somewhere, but I could have made it up. I choose to believe it. :)

  24. I got the same Jo Tote in mustard yellow for Christmas! I love it, but I can’t actually figure out how to make the compartments work. (Spatial relations has never been my strong suit.) Did yours come with instructions? :)
    Thanks for the beauty tips – I’ll be acquiring some collagen booster very soon.

  25. LOVED this post! I think you might have convinced me to try the Burt’s Bees shimmers! My sister and I have also resolved to drink less wine (we were ‘indulging’ far too often, lol) and to drink more tea this year :) To help motivate us, I started a ‘TEA’ board over on Pinterest… maybe it can inspire you too! As for how we take our tea – it’s usually with a bit of cream & splenda, we almost always drink black teas & they taste lovely that way!

  26. Hi, I’m Loora and I don’t have a big enough house to be moving pieces of furnitures around (plus I’m too pregnant for that – ok, so I’ve tried), but I make my husband crazy making small decor and pillows walz around the place. Can I still join ?

    I loved that you began painting. I did that and got my husband’s approval to hang one of the paintings I made. I have to ability to draw whatsoever, so I’m making abstract. Last one is called “Google Earth”… ok, it looks like an ocean view from a satellite. Husband doesn’t know it, but I’m putting that one in our living room to replace his ugly rock poster. Plus, painting abstract is pure fun !

  27. Alright, I might sound kind of silly but my favorite thing right now is my (new!) apartment. It encompasses so many other favorite things- trying out new recipes, having an excuse to go thrifting, a canvas for diy, multiple options for moving furniture, closets to organize.. I could go on for ages but, basically, it’s so much fun!

  28. How fun. I love reading about blog-friends favorites. It’s so fun discovering great ideas and products this way. Thanks.

  29. I love your “X” table! Looks great in your home. One of my favorite things is Temptations Bakeware at QVC. It cleans up like a dream and since I don’t have a dishwasher that is important to me. It comes in an Old World pattern and a super cute Polka Dot pattern. Both patterns is several color choices.

  30. Hi ,
    I recently came across your blog and I’m in complete awe of your projects/ideas and design sensibilities.I’ve actually bookmarked it and visit atleast once to browse your posts.I really liked the console table-has a beachy yet contemporary vibe to it.Could you tell me what’s the color on the wall.I’m on a hunt for something like that light beige with cool undertones.Whatever I mistake for beige has warm undertones and I lately discovered that I’m not a huge fan of that kind of beige.I’m looking for a more soft neutral color like the one on ur wall.Could you please share the details

    -Thank you

  31. After living with my husband’s prickly beard for over a month – I’d had enough! It grew in more grey than brown and no matter how many times I told him that it was aging ME he refused to shave it off. I love my husband dearly and thank God for him EVERY day. But I was left with no other choice than to ban certain “ahem” privledges so to speak. We’ve been married over 20 years and I’d never used that threat before and I didn’t feel good doing it….anyhow, the beard was off within 30 minutes…..

  32. I have the opposite situation. When I met my husband in college, he had a beard. (Okay, beard-ish.) We broke up, lost track, life happened.

    23 years later we re-met. Ironically, he had just re-grown his beard a couple months earlier. (And, his son HATED it.) Having never known him with a bare chin, I saw pics and really hoped the beard would stay.

    We’ve been married a year and a half now, and I’m happy to say the beard has stayed, and his son has become used to it. :)

    If you really want to influence the goatee, you might:
    1) Mention how it make him look older.
    2) How it brings more attention to something he doesn’t like…bald spot, wrinkles, forehead.

    For me, honesty worked :)
    “Sweetheart, I love you in your beard. It reminds me of when we met.”

    ~ Dana

  33. Had (earl grey) with honey, cream and vanilla been an option, that would have been my pic. :)

    My husband has had a goatee for 15 years (much to my chagrin) so you will hear no sympathy from me.

    I have been thinking about that smashbox photo finish, do you like it? Worth the $$? My pores seem to have grown in terms of acreage this year. Hoping that would help.

  34. Obsessed with teapots, although I’m not a huge tea drinker myself. And LOVE Burts products. And that GREEN BAG is just the very best shade of green! Love what you’re loving right now!

  35. U forgot one on yr Poll, tea with milk and sugar the English way and in my case the only way.

  36. Oh I love it, ALL HFMA REJOICE, WE HAVE OUR OFFICIAL SPOKESPERSON. I rearrange everything that isn’t part of the structure, and my husbands chair!!

  37. I love anything from Burt’s Bees..The honey looks yummy..Your little painting actually looks very cute on your wall Kate..

  38. I absolutely love that console table, I want one!
    love raw honey, what a fantastic choice. yum.
    Every time I visit your site I get inspired and want to paint. I love to paint, but haven’t been doing anything of the sort for year. thanks for all the inspiration and ideas you put out for us to enjoy and hope you have a lovely weekend.

  39. Hahaha! I’m totally a Habitual Furniture Mover too! I’ve written a few posts about that exact thing lately! I love everything you’ve done. Lovely. My husband and I are getting ready to redo the bedroom for Valentine’s Day, so there is going to be LOTS of furniture rearranging going on!!!

    Nothing like a room makeover to stoke the fires of romance right? I’m even letting my Honey make some design choices. This is how you trick them into being interested in the process! ;)


  40. I’d love to find this white table! Will pay more attention to those Joss and Main emails.

    Just to mention, a very similar console table can be found at Kohls (a double-X on each side). I just saw it there again today. Only problem for me is that it comes in a dark cherry stain. The price is very tempting though…. on sale for $149 and then always and extra-off coupon. Here’s the link.

    I purchased a piece from the same line at Kohls (a taller, narrower X-sided bookshelf) for the baby’s room, and I really love it. A little lightweight but perfect considering the price. I did start to put it together myself but then hubby took over.

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