My Favorite Things | January 2017

Votive Church in January - Vienna, Austria

Have any of you done a social-media detox?

I decided to completely unplug from all social media and blogs for the entire month of January, and it was such a nice, refreshing way to start the year that I might make this an annual thing. I literally have not opened up Facebook, Instagram or Twitter in over a month.  And I haven’t missed it one bit.

Instead, I spent the month spending time with family and friends, playing in the snow, and getting organized for 2017.

I’m also switching things up a little bit on the monthly Favorite Things posts. In addition to my favorite links from around the web, I’m sharing a few things that really made my month. I hope you like the new format!

A few of my favorite things this month…

Minimalism: a Documentary About the Important Things

I have been following The Minimalists for years. I have read all of their books, most of their essays, and I listen to their podcast every week. And I recommend their stuff to just about everyone I talk to. So of course I was excited to watch their documentary, Minimalism: a Documentary About the Important Things. (I swear I’m not a groupie, I just love minimalism!) The documentary was every bit as good as I hoped it would be. I especially liked that we were able to watch it as a family. I have been trying to talk to my 7 year old about minimalism and this documentary allowed us to expand our conversations about things like advertising to children and thoughtless consumption. Apart from a few swear words (which I wish they would have cut) it was great.

Grandparent Prints from 76th & Newbury

Every year, we struggle to think of meaningful gifts for our parents. They all have everything they could ever want or need. And we prefer to give gifts that won’t turn into clutter. So we try to give something that has sentimental value, and has to do with the kids. We gave this Grandchildren Art Print to my mother-in-law for her birthday this year, and she absolutely loves it. She had so much fun picking out the silhouettes to match the personalities of each of their 10 grandchildren. And she was even able to pick colors to match her decor. I am not sure who is enjoying the beautiful wall canvas more, my mother-in law or all of the grandkids who love finding themselves in the picture every time they come visit.

Nourishing Facial Serum

We have had a very very cold January here in Austria. (The coldest January in 30 years!) And all of this cold, dry air has been terrible for my skin. The only thing that seems to help keep my skin hydrated is a generous application of my home made all-natural Nourishing Facial Serum, morning and night. And sometimes mid day as well.


I spent a lot of time this month getting organized. And my favorite tool for organizing everything from recipes to travel itineraries to my never ending to-do list is Evernote. The more I use it, the more impressed I am with the capabilities of Evernote. And how it helps me simplify my life. If you are serious about getting organized, and you aren’t already using Evernote, stop what you are doing and go download it to every device that you have.

A Man Called Ove

I was on the waiting list for A Man Called Ove at my library for months, and it was so worth the wait. Written by a Swedish blogger who has a few things in common with Ove, this feel-good story of “the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others.” I loved this book so much that right when I finished, I got on the waitlist for all three of his other novels, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and LongerMy Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here. (Judging by how many people are on the waitlists for each, I’m not the only one who had this idea!) This is best book I have read in a very long time. But be warned, I was crying ugly tears at the end.

A few more of my favorite things from around the web…

What are some of your favorite things lately?

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