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Kara’s Favorite Things 2018

I’m not sure anyone is paying attention, but the second Tuesday of every month has been dedicated to a deployment series. Now, I was right on schedule to post my thoughts on Family Separation Allowance (FSA), that little extra added to the paycheck during deployments. But, to my surprise, the post was picked up by a larger publication and will run next month.

That’s good news! I truly enjoy writing, and it is wonderful to gain a larger audience in the military spouse community.

But that leaves today with a gaping hole on the blog.

So, since it’s Christmas time, I thought I’d share some of my favorite things. I’m not fancy enough to be sponsored, so these are truly my day-in, day-out favorites. Maybe you’ll find something to pick up for yourself or a friend for the holidays.

Consider this my personal gift guide:

Capri Blue Candle: Available in a variety of colors, this has been my go-to candle for over a decade. Often times, I stroll through Anthropologie dreaming of moving in there, and leave with another one of these candles to sprinkle throughout my house.

Trendsend by Evereve: If you do anything for yourself this next year, sign up for this clothing subscription box. Every time my box arrives, I am floored by how spot-on they are in selecting my outfits. No styling fee means absolutely no risk. Keep what you want, send the rest back with free shipping. Honestly, my wardrobe is 90% Evereve, with brands like Z-Supply, Articles of Society, Free People, and I couldn’t be happier.

Of Mess and Moxie: The book for every woman. I own many Jen Hatmaker books, and this one is so relatable, funny, and chock full of wisdom.

Havaianas: I know, I know. Olu Kais! Rainbows! Well-made, expensive sandals! But this is the truth: I live in these $20 flip-flops. They pound the pavement year-round here in San Diego, and can sure handle a summer’s worth of wear in a colder region (ahem, PNW). You’re welcome.

Caboodle: OK. Let’s just get this out in the open. I write my heart out about important topics surrounding military life and collaborate with other bloggers and share their work. And the post that received the highest engagement thus far on my Facebook page was a picture of a Caboodle I was buying my daughter for Christmas. It obviously sent all of us ladies into a fit of nostalgia, knowing we can purchase one of these babies at our local Target. Let the compartmentalizing of accessories begin! Pick one up for a youngster in your life if you didn’t hang on to your middle school heirloom.

Straight from the dry bar!

Blo Drybar: If there is one area of life that I wish I were more knowledgeable about, it would be beauty products and hair care. I must have missed those sleepovers when everyone else was learning how to make a smoky eye and properly use a curling iron for beachy waves. But I’ve discovered dry bars, which are miracle salons that transform my hair into it’s full potential. In about 15 minutes. A luxury appointment that is so totally and completely worth it if you need “good hair now.” Find a location near you!

Emily Ley Simplified Planner: Hey, where have you seen this before? Oh yeah, the giveaway happening now! Make sure you’ve entered to win this beauty. I am all about the calendar on my phone. And the calendar on my wall. And the calendar on my kitchen counter. You get the idea, calendars are my thing. I use them all. I refuse to give up paper planners that I can hold in my hand and are not at risk of deleting or updating or some other nonsense my wireless carrier might impose. This one is so gorgeous, I promise you’ll look forward to scheduling your dentist appointments and PTA meetings.

C & C Beanie: This was a gift from a friend who discovered these hats at a Favorite Things party. This doesn’t get a whole lot of use in Southern California, but when I’m in cooler climates, this is the hat I grab. It’s so stylish, fits perfectly and available in several colors. I visited my hometown last December and wore it to my sister’s house on Christmas Day and she was wearing an identical hat! Yes, this one’s a winner and the price is right.

Anthropologie Throw Blanket: This is what you call a deployment special. When times are tough and you just need to be in a safe place, you head to Anthro. The soothing scent of my favorite candle wafting in the air and beauty surrounding me at every turn. I noticed this super-soft blanket that would perfectly complement my freshly updated bed linens and thought it was part of the clearance section. Turns out I was not so lucky, but FSA, amirite? Mine is a couple years old and out of stock, but these are available in a variety of colors and patterns.

The Nesting Place: There are a zillion home styling books on the market, but this one I actually learned from and put The Nester’s tips into practice. Perfect for renters, military families and others who may not be living currently in their forever home, she shows how to make the best of what we have, right where we are. Her latest book, Cozy Minimalist Home, is on my Christmas List.

Mrs. Thinsters: Have you seen these at Costco? We just bought 6 bags when they were on sale last week. Seriously, I need these in my life. The cookies are perfect after lunch or crumbled on vanilla ice cream after dinner. If Costco discontinues, at least we’ll always have Amazon, unfortunately at a much higher price point.

And that about wraps it up (see what I did there, a little Christmas joke…). I hope you found something new to add to your wish list. Until next week, happy shopping!

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