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My 10 favorite discoveries of 2023

As the year comes to an end, I am loving seeing so many brands and people do roundups of their year. The “best of” posts, the “favorite things” posts … I love them all.

Here’s my own list of 10 things that I have discovered in 2023 and have loved. It’s a bit of a random list, but man do these things bring me so much joy! I hope they inspire you to look back on your year through eyes of joy and gratitude, even if your year is perhaps not finishing the way you thought it would.

1. Jon Guerra’s album, Ordinary Ways

I actually went to undergrad with Jon, and we sang in the gospel choir together. Now when I listen to this new album he has released, I’m woefully embarrassed that he ever heard me sing. One time, he even had me audition for a solo, which I totally regret even auditioning for. Needless to say, I DID NOT GET THE SOLO. Singing has never been my thing, but this album is. It is thoughtful, reflective, poetic, mindful, biblical, and so much more. It’s been on repeat for Austin and I regularly this year.

2. Putting my face wash in a foaming dispenser.

This might seem so trite, but man have I loved it. I use a tea tree face wash by Trader Joes, and this year I wanted something a little lighter in texture for washing my face in the morning — particularly when I’m not showering. So I mixed it with water and put it in a foaming hand soap dispenser and it’s been perfect. Such a little morning joy every day.

3. Salad kits for lunch.

I love eating a good lunch, but I often don’t have the energy to really prep something I’ll enjoy. Enter the salad kit. I can easily make a half a kit for lunch, and it has all the toppings, the dressing, and breaks down to just a few dollars a meal. Lovely.

4. Biographies and Memoirs.

I’m a big reader, but 2023 was the first year I really got into biographies and memoirs. I started with Becoming Elizabeth Elliot, and loved it. Read Beth Moore’s My Whole Knotted Up Life, and by the end of that book I was hooked on this genre. I’m now reading Being Elizabeth Elliot and it’s riveting, engaging, thoughtful, and so much more. Plus, I will now read anything by Ellen Vaughn, who wrote both Elliot books.

5. Training my babysitter.

For a while I was content when I came home to a house that was relatively torn apart by happy kids playing. Leaving my kids with a sitter and knowing they were safe and happy was a good bar to initially set, and I was happy with it. But now, in the last few months, I have started to think about my sitter a little more holistically. My goal is to spend the first 10 mins with her every time she comes over and show her how I do random household tasks — “here’s how I unload the dishwasher and where everything goes”, “here’s how I fold this load of towels”, “here’s where the bath toys go after bath time.” Training in these little tasks has meant that when the girls nap or go down for the night and I still have a sitter on the clock for an hour, these tasks that would be mind to do when I get home are already done. It takes the investment up front, but is well worth it.

6. Good Earth tea.

The perfect spicy fall tea. I buy it in bulk.

7. The Lazy Genius Podcast.

I’m a bit of a late adapter in this regard, but I love Kendra’s big sister energy and practical ideas for getting everyday tasks done. She doesn’t pressure or guilt but helps you notice what matters to you and live a life you care about. She’s also a person of faith, and while her platform isn’t explicitly Christian I pick up on her faith values throughout.

8. Saturday morning dates.

We have struggled to know when to find time for dates during our regular weekly rhythms. So we introduced a Saturday morning date. It’s great. We go to a coffee shop, and when we come home it’s the girls’ rest time. It gives us a chance to connect after we’ve had a full week, and after we’ve enjoyed family day on Friday with our girls so we don’t feel like we’re totally missing out on family time on the weekend.

9. Marking text messages as unread on my phone.

This is incredible, and I’m not sure whey I didn’t know this was possible until 2023. But did you know that if you swipe to the right you can mark a text as unread? Swipe to the right to delete or flag it. It’s a game changer, folks.

10. Nood.

This little device was a splurge for me this year, but I loved it. It’s an at home hair remover that uses laser tech to remove unwanted hair. I’ve done my bikini line, my arm pit, spots on my face, and I’m now doing my legs. And so far this thing works! I even convinced my sister to put it on her Christmas list, so she’s about to join me for hair removal parties. (My advice is to skip the exfoliator and the sunscreen lotion if you already have something similar that you use!)

That’s my list! What did you discover this year that you loved?

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