Seven Favorites

November 11, 2018 | My Jottings

I really enjoy when blogging or Instagram friends share their favorites. One of my online friends who lives near Atlanta always has the neatest list of what she’s reading, watching, eating, decorating with, wearing… her information is always good and I look forward to her Sunday night posts a lot.

I have a few favorites of late and thought I’d share them with you.

I have a thing about the soap I wash my hands with. I like a milled bar soap when I’m taking a bath, do not like body washes at all, and prefer a watered down liquid soap dispensed in a foamer for use by the sink. I’m not a fan of the liquid hand soap that comes out of the bottle thick and gloopy — I just want a little foam to wash with. The bottles with foamers don’t always last, so I decided to look for one on Amazon and found this one below. It fits on any mason jar, and comes with labels. I have this aqua colored one in my master bathroom and love it. I put about 20-25% liquid soap in the jar (plain castile is good), then fill it with water, slosh it a bit to mix it up, and then fasten this foamer lid to it. It lasts and lasts and it doesn’t take me a full minute to rinse my hands now.

I just finished reading Becoming Mrs. Lewis and loved it. If you’re a fan of C.S. Lewis you must read it. It’s well-researched fiction based on Joy Davidman Gresham’s life, and how she met Lewis, became pen pals with him, then the best of friends, then his legal in-name-only wife, then the love of his life. I couldn’t put it down.

Anything with curry, vegetables and coconut milk gets my vote, and this Indian Curry with Potatoes, Peas, Cauliflower and Chickpeas is scrumptious and comforting. It’s by Cooks Illustrated and I’ve made it several times. Now that we’ve had our first snowfall here by Lake Superior, soups and stews are on my mind, and I think a pot of this might be what I’ll make sometime this coming week.

I bought these black shoes recently and they’re super comfortable. They’re Born brand, and the style is called Sylvia. I think they’re really called booties, but I just can’t manage that. I’m 61 years old and cannot picture myself saying, “Okay, just let me put on my booties and I’ll join you in a minute.” These are shoes to me. You can’t beat Zappos for free shipping both ways.

I’ve been diffusing essential oils instead of lighting candles in my house for almost two years now. I am a Young Living distributor only so I can get my own oils, and I don’t sell to anyone. My favorite blend right now is seven drops of Cedarwood, five drops of Lemon, three drops of Thieves and five drops of Peppermint. I have this smaller diffuser in my room, on top of my electric fireplace, and I probably run it at least three hours a day. People ask all the time what makes my house smell so good, and that is a good thing. I have this irrational fear that as I get older, my house will begin to smell like old lady pee, gravy, stale grease, White Shoulders cologne and mold. And because I only have about 50% of my smelling capacity, I might never know if those did become the dominant aromas. If you ever come over to my house and you smell any of those things, please tell me. I would want to know.

I have been trying to keep clutter to a minimum (or non-existent) for a long time, so I don’t subscribe to many magazines. I know two people who say Magnolia is their favorite and worth the subscription, so I treated myself. I got my first issue a couple of days ago and love it. It’s not too much information, it’s thoughtful, it’s helpful, and gave me ideas I hadn’t thought of before. Have you read it?

Do any of you floss your teeth every single day without fail? I have been blessed with healthy teeth, but I confess for years I was one of those people who began flossing about a week before my twice-yearly dental checkups. And then the hygienist would floss my teeth as part of the cleaning, and I was sure she was using steel wire. When I got Invisalign two years ago to straighten my bite (which was off due to my CPAP, which is another story), I knew I was going to have to floss every single day, after each and every meal or snack. So I went from flossing a few times a year to flossing 3-5 times a day. That’s about 1,400 times a year. I quickly learned which floss was going to work the best for me, after trying every brand known to mankind, and here’s my recommendation. I have used Plackers daily for years now, and will never go back. My dental appointments have the dentist and his staff standing in a semi-circle around my reclining body and singing The Hallelujah Chorus, and it really is amazing what these flossers bring out of the hidden places. Have you read that cardiac health is very dependent on whether or not you floss? You could Google that if you’re interested.

I think having a bag of these in the car is a good idea too. Your children could floss on the way to school, you could floss on the way to your appointment, and your gums would thank you.

Well, I must be back to my Sunday afternoon activities now. I’m working on my Community Bible Study lesson, and I will be taking one of my foster gals out for her birthday tonight. She chose the restaurant and we’ll pick up her boyfriend on the way.

What are some of your favorites?


  1. Kay in Kernow says:

    Hello Julie
    That book looks very interesting! I loved the film ‘Shadowlands’ and its story of C.S. Lewis life. And those shoes look lovely, I’ve given up on heels completely now. Two falls this year resulting in a fractured ankle with a torn ligament and a torn ligament in my knee after another fall has made me feel quite unsafe on my feet!
    I’m a great believer in the usefulness of floss. I use it every day.
    I have a couple of favourite magazines. I like the BBC History magazine and have it on subscription every month, history being of great interest to me. I also like ‘The Lady’ magazine. It sounds very grand, but it’s not. I enjoy the variety of articles and the cryptic crosswords.
    I have to discipline myself re magazines because they’re not cheap.
    My favourite musical radio station at the moment is Classic fm. It provides a lovely mix of classical music. Alan & I are also enjoying listening to old radio programmes on British Comedy Radio. Our favourite is ‘Men From The Ministry’. It’s a situation comedy probably made back in the 50s/60s about a couple of ineffective, inefficient civil servants. I used to be a civil servant, but not that long ago! 😉
    Today at church we sang ‘Abide With Me’ at the end of the two minutes silence (Armistice Day). It’s rare that we sing old hymns in our church and this hymn wasn’t one of my favourites, but today the words became fresh, new and inspiring to me.
    I like to read the little things that you write about. The simple, everyday details of a friend’s life. It’s very much appreciated, dear Julie.

  2. Just Julie says:

    Kay, I’ve been thinking I want to see “Shadowlands” again now that I’ve read this book. I’m so sorry to know about your falls and injuries! I’m the exact same way — took a fall a few months ago and tore a shoulder muscle which gives me fits every day. I walk like a 90 year old because I’m so afraid of falling now that we have snow. I hate feeling so vulnerable on my own two feet. I enjoyed reading about your favorites and wish I could partake in them. And the older I get, the more I crave old hymns — the rich, ancient words preach a sermon to my soul and I feel fed by those songs. Much love to you, dear Kay. xoxox

  3. Pen says:

    Gosh. What an interesting post.

    I don’t think we have that magazine in the UK — like Kay, I read the Lady. It has great puzzles.

    I definitely want some of your curry.

    You have inspired me to floss.

    And despite sharing your determination to keep clutter to a minimum, I now have oil diffuser envy and want one of my own. At the moment I just mix the oils into cream and slap it onto my dry old body. Yarrow, Rosemary, Frankincense, Myrrh, Lavender, Thieves, all mixed in together. And I just use straight lavender instead of deodorant. Plus Weleda Wild Rose day cream on my face.


  4. Just Julie says:

    I’d like to learn more about essential oils and skin care, Ember. I know people who swear by Frankincense oils, right on their face, but I haven’t done that yet. I shall make you this curry someday. Let me know if the flossing ever takes! God bless your week, dear Ember… xoxo

  5. Nancy Roney says:

    I picked up the floss habit when traveling with a friend who had those floss picks. They are easy to use. When I told my hygienist she said the floss you wrap around your finger is better and gets more food. I still use the picks as it is easy and I am flossing more often.

    Nice soup dish. Perfect for cold weather.

  6. Just Julie says:

    It’s true about the other kind of floss, Nancy. I might graduate someday. 🙂 I hope you’re staying warm and doing well. xoxo

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