Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens …

— The Sound of Music

Goethe said that we are shaped and fashioned by what we love. If this is the case I am a brownie with sprinkles and a French manicure, that smells like lemony bleach wrapped up in cellophane with gingham ribbon, from Target (of course!) Seriously, I believe it is both FUN and important to know and be loyal to what you love. Some of my favorite things are rather general, while others are specific “lovemarks” that I go out of my way to purchase. Either way, here is my ever-growing, alphabetized list of “… brown paper packages, tied up with string.”


A is for: Apple

As in Macintosh, I’m no techie, but I am a busy woman who knows that the design, convenience and intuitive ease of all things Mac enhance my daily life. iLOVE my iMac and MacBook computers and my Apple iPod and iPhone. Since my work is my life, I need iWork and iLife programs to help me find, track and create what I need. Other mothers might wish for a doctor or lawyer, but I need at least one of my children to grow up and become an Apple Genius!


B is for: bath by bettijo

I had sort of given up in the body wash department until Betti Jo sent me a bottle of her phenomenal and delicious smelling recipe for fresh, clean, happy skin. Trust me, when I tell you that Betti’s Lemon Almond Organic Body Wash is like taking a bath in your shower!


B is for: Bigelow Lip Shine

Lipstick isn’t my thing, but I’m all about the sticky, gooey almost-as-good-as-dessert taste of Bigelow #502, a mint-infused lip balm that refreshes, revitalizes, rejuvenates and restores… OK, so I’m starting to sound like a Maybelline commercial, but you get the idea — I’m sold. Sorry Chapstick.


B is for: bracelets

I am very particular about what I wear around my neck and I only have one pair of earrings (long story.) Perhaps this is why I get such great pleasure from accenting my mom attire with brightly colored and blissful bracelets. I’m always on the look out for something a bit unusual and I love wearing two or three at a time, deliberately mixing beads with baubles or even buttons. I’m unusually fond of those that my sister-n-law designs and sales on her website.


B is for: brownies

I’m definitely a baked-goods kinda girl. I’ll pass on cheesecake, ice cream or any other confection if there’s a brownie on the horizon. I’m not sure when I realized brownies were my hold out, but I spent 2007 tracking every single one I met (and ate) and I’m happy to report that it was a rich and rewarding experience.


C is for: Compendium Books

When “live inspired” is your tag line then you know it has got to be good. I surround myself with Compendium Books because to me, they are the epitome of simple abundance. Fresh, clean design paired with words that enrich and elevate — the best part is I know the people behind the product and they are the real thing!


C is for: cute paper napkins

We women need visual reminders that we are in charge and holding it all together, even amid the chaos of everyday life. As I race through my kitchen and out my back door, I catch a glimpse of my napkin holder stocked with seasonal or holiday napkins. If you don’t think that does something for my ego, then you clearly don’t understand the power of cute paper napkins. My advice? Get some and give it a try.


G is for: Gurgle Pot

My mother gave me my first fish-shaped Gurgle Pot for Christmas in 2008. It is yellow. It accompanies many a meal at our house, with its smile-inducing, water-chugging sound. Because I love unique gifts that tell a story, the GurglePot is now my wedding gift of choice. Click. Pay. Send. Love that. Learn more about artist and creator Matt Ellison here.


J is for: Jelly Bellies

My “Jelly Belly” cup runneth over and quite intentionally inviteth my husband and children to come sit in my studio and eat. I love to nibble on the fruit flavors (Green Apple, Juicy Pear and Raspberry are the best) but can honestly say there isn’t a Jelly Belly bean I won’t eat.


J is for: Jergens Original

This may be one of those favorite items that stems from a positive association with childhood or grandma or something, because I can’t remember when I learned to love this famous cherry-almond scent. All I know is I refuse to put another bottle of hand lotion by my kitchen sink.


L is for: Label Makers

My brother Cougar visited my home a while back and after two days, accused me of having O.L.D. (Obssesive Labeling Disorder), “I can understand the cupboards and drawers he said, but no one in her right mind labels the inside of a fridge — Sis, you need help!” He’s right. I got my first orange and white Dymo when I was in the 6th grade and I’m still a huge fan. I would probably label my kids if I could.


L is for: Little MissMatched Socks

I distinctly remember the first time I found a package of three unique and colorfully pattern little-girl socks in an airport gift shop. I thought to myself “This is the cutest and most clever thing I’ve ever seen!” You might think I’m exaggerating, but the truth is, I shortly thereafter discovered that big girls like me could acquire such socks and I now have a “Little Missmatched” sock drawer. I even have a pair of mismatched tights!


M is for: Method

Probably the first truly “green” thing I have consistently done, since recycling aluminum cans in jr. high is to purchase Method products to clean my home. My favorite is the omop and the wood for good floor cleaner. To me, Method is the cleaning equivalent of eating raw cauliflower—without the dip. It feels that healthy.


N is for: Nike + iPod

Do you have any idea how good it feels to finish a long run and hear Lance Armstrong’s voice saying “Congratulations, that was your farthest workout yet!” The first time I experienced a run with my Nike + iPod sensor in my shoe and my receiver plugged into my iPod … whoa. It is the best form of middle-aged motivation I know.


P is for: Pottery Barn

Simply put, my stacks of Pottery Barn catalogs are little mini-vacations. In ten minutes I can escape to a world of domestic perfection and return rejuvenated with the notion that such an ideal might be possible … if I spend just another 500 bucks. I’m sold.


R is for: Rowenta

R is also for REALLY good iron. If you think an iron is an iron, then you’ve never ironed with a Rowenta and that’s all I have to say.


S is for: scented candles

I have a quarterly budget for scented candles. I also have a personal candle consultant. This is because scented candles have become a daily essential — I love how the smell fills my home and how the flame and flickering light early in the morning help me plan and prioritize my day. By the way, I tend to choose scents that are fresh and fruity over those that are sweetie-eatie (yep, just made that up.)


S is for: scriptures

Which I read by the light of scented candles. I’m absolutely convinced that if I start my day with prayer and scripture study I invite a spirit of inspiration and discernment into my heart that is fundamental to my roles as mother and creative professional. I especially enjoy The Book of Mormon and the The New Testament.


S is for: Sprinkles

Life is better with sprinkles. If I had to pick one thing to represent what I do and how I’d like to do it, it would be sprinkles. Sprinkles make things pretty and they make people happy. That’s what I want to do.


S is for: Swatch Watch

The first Swatch watch went on sale the year I graduated from high school. It has become the most popular wristwatch of all time and its success grew out of the worst downturn the Swiss watch industry had ever experienced. In other words, wear a Swatch and never, never, never give up.


T is for: Target

Robin Waters’ 3H Design Theory is what guided new hires at Target when she was president of Trend, Design and Product Development. Customers want products that speak to the Head (I need that), the Handbag (that’s a good value) and the Heart (I love that and have to have it.) I’m sure this is why I go to Target once week and buy stuff.


T is for: TOMS Shoes

I like companies that have a cause. I like companies that start small. I like companies that make comfortable, unique shoes. I like TOMS.


T is for: Tide

I don’t care what other detergents there are. I’m a Tide (with bleach) mom.


V is for: Vitamin Water

Can you imagine having to write information on product labels for a living? People do this you know. The people that do this for Vitamin Water are having a really good time. I like Focus, Balance and Endurance the best—or maybe that’s just what I need more of?

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