Friday Favorites - February 3rd 2017

TGIF.  Happy Friday, everyone!

I am grateful for the weekend to be here.  This has been a busy week as well as last weekend being very busy, but mostly all good things.  Do you ever feel like you're in a dream, moving with the flow of things just to keep up with what life is presenting you yet expecting to wake up at any moment?  That's what my past week has felt like!  After you read  what's happened this past week in the #1 favorite below, you'll understand why this week's favorites are sort of centered on the things that have helped me stay afloat especially during the couple of nights I stayed overnight.

Favorite #1

God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.  I have to take a moment to praise God for answering so many of our prayers in providing miracles and solutions for my friend's health situation.  It has been a scary couple of weeks, but God provides and she is officially on the healing path forward after a liver transplant earlier this week and a 2nd emergency operation for internal bleeding.  I did not want to detail her health situation on here, but I do want to give God the glory for He was with her every moment and provided for her so I also do not want to minimize the severity of the "health situation"  by labeling it with a general phrase.  My friend has a long healing journey going forward, but we are ever so grateful.  I also want to acknowledge and thank everyone who I confided in about her health situation and who have been praying for her and her family because the power of prayer is real, and it is STRONG.  Praise be to God.  He is so good to us.

Favorite #2

Pure Leaf Unsweetened Black Tea.  For real, I am thankful for this.  I discovered it on a road trip late last year in my first month of Whole 30 and I am pretty sure I shed a tear of joy.  Most of the other brands have sweeteners and tons of additives.  Not every convenience store carries it so when I come across it while on the go I do a little happy dance.  I steep tea at work and put ice in it, no problem.  But, when I'm on the go it is nice to have options for a cold, caffeinated beverage.  Needless to say, I have toted one around most of this past week while visiting at the hospital every day.  

Favorite #3

All the yeses for RX Bars.  It is difficult to find nutrition bars while eating Whole 30 but they do exist!  These have a very chewy consistency which you'll either love or come to terms with.  I find it makes me slow down from inhaling them so I actually like the texture.  I suspect it's the dates that causes that.  They're not easy to stumble upon just yet.  For example, I have yet to see them at my local Whole Foods.  The first time I tried them was at an airport in New York actually and then I didn't see them again until they appeared in a store in the downtown Houston tunnels called the Daily Juice.  Needless to say, I try to stock up on them when I pass by there.  You can order them from Amazon for less money than I spend per bar at the Daily Juice, so that's good (for me) to know.  You can click on the varying links within this favorite to find them or on the pictures themselves to hop over to Amazon.  

So far I have tried the Mint Chocolate (above), Coconut Chocolate, Blueberry, and Apple Cinnamon.  I've enjoyed them all.  Mint Chocolate tastes the most like a dessert (think Thin Mints).  Blueberry and Apple Cinnamon both tasted like their respective muffin counterparts.  Delicious.  Coconut Chocolate was good too, just the more mild of the four I have tried.  As you'll see below there are additional flavors, some of which may not be Whole 30/Paleo like the Peanut Butter or the Maple Sea Salt.  Since I haven't evaluated all of them, make sure to read the ingredients before assuming each flavor is Whole 30/Paleo friendly.

Favorite #4

I have super, duper sensitive skin.  I have tried a facial only ONCE and the Esthetician (?) raved on and on how her sensitive skin clients LOVE the sensitive skin products she uses and they don't have any problems.  Literally two minutes in to having the product on my face for what was supposed to be ten minutes (for that one part of the treatment), my face felt like it was burning and she had to wipe it off.  That's when she told me I have the most sensitive skin she's seen in 20 years (or whatever it was) and that I probably shouldn't get a facial again.  I was red for a while...

I read about the brand Acure in a magazine article about sensitive skin a couple of years ago and tried the face wash first which has been great to remove eye makeup, etc. because I can't use my prescriptive (Rosacea) face wash on my eyes.  It doesn't irritate my skin at all and I take it with me when I travel and have to leave my giant bottle of prescriptive wash at home.  This lead me to try the Acure argon oil face wipes.  You can imagine the thrill I felt when these didn't irritate my skin after previously using other brands' "sensitive skin" face wipes that would cause my Rosacea to flare up.  Aside from Amazon, Acure can be found at Target (hello Target vortex also known as the money pit) and likely other places, too.

Favorite #5

Flats.  If you're a female, you understand that flats are critical.  I love heels, don't get me wrong.  But, after many years of wearing them plus running, my feet can get sore at times.  Once my boss and I switched firms and I had to walk a couple of blocks to my parking garage, I immediately said goodbye to wearing heels to work...ever.  #solongsuckers!

Years ago a friend/former co-worker introduced all of us ladies in the office to these inexpensive and RIDICULOUSLY comfortable flats from Payless called Dexflex.  They're so comfortable and look like any other expensive "ballet" flat you'd buy. I've purchased so many pairs through the years mainly because once you do wear them out after a year or more, it doesn't hurt the pocketbook to toss them out and start over.  I've had numerous pairs of Tory Burch Reva's and good golly they ALWAYS hurt my feet no matter if I size up nor the type of material the flats were made of.  Eventually I sold my Reva's (except for one rare pair of grey flannel, sorry not so sorry they're mine all mine!) and converted to these Dexflex Claire flats.  The funny thing is, I get compliments on them!  Mainly the leopard print and the two tone white/black pair that I don't think are currently sold...  But, don't you worry...they'll be back.  

You can pick these up from your local Payless or online, OR for the same price on Amazon.  They come in black, nude, navy, and sometimes other colors like the leopard print, grey, white with black tips, etc. that go in and out of stock.  Word to the wise, pick some up and you'll see what I'm talking about.

They've since come out with a similar version called Caroline that has a string tie.  The fit and comfort is the same and I've recently replaced my old leopard print Claire's with the leopard print Caroline's.  I dig it.  The Caroline comes in black, navy, leopard print, wine, red, and a black & white pattern.  Here's a few examples of them below, but click the link here or the pictures themselves to be taken to all of the colors.

This weekend I am gearing up to sleep as much as possible (it's been a while), hopefully exercise (it's been a while for that too), visit a couple of friends and also my bestie in the hospital,  go to my beloved churches, and avoid the Super Bowl crowds around Houston  I haven't even decided if I will watch the game yet, nor where as life has been quite uncertain this week but I assure you that IF* I watch it I will be rooting for my beloved, long standing crush Tom Brady.  Uh, I mean, The Patriots!  ;) you believe in love at first site or do I need to walk by again?  ;)) Yes, I am the stereotypical female Tom Brady fan and I am not ashamed. you believe in love at first site or do I need to walk by again?  ;)) Yes, I am the stereotypical female Tom Brady fan and I am not ashamed.

Don't let that offend you if you're a Falcons fan...I haven't watched a single football game this season so truthfully do not have a clue which team is better.  Is anyone watching the game somewhere fabulous or actually going to it?  It's pretty neat that my city is hosting it, but I'm not prepared for the massive crowds. 

I hope everyone has a great Friday and wonderful, safe weekend!