Kate’s Favorite Things Winter 2020

CATEGORIES: Friday Faves, Gift Guides

So you know how when you send your oldest kid to kindergarten, they come home with every disease known to mankind for about a year? Yeah, that’s been me the last couple of weeks, only I’m not in kindergarten. I’ll be honest, I haven’t cooked anything in about two weeks (I have an entire week’s worth of groceries in my fridge right now), let alone photographed anything. Knowing I had to go out of town on Monday, I stumbled into Urgent Care on Sunday in a romper and gave the staff quite a show when I had to remove the top half of my romper so they could give me a shot in each hip (lesson learned, no rompers at urgent care). So. I’m here. Sharing my favorite things. A lot of these are from my Instagram that I’ve gotten lots of questions about (especially that deodorant–who knew that would be such a hot topic!😂)

kate's faves


So when all this sickness started, I found myself scrolling Instgram at 2:30 in the morning because I couldn’t sleep and apparently that’s when the ads target people who can’t sleep with things that will help them sleep better. When I woke up the next morning, I discovered I had ordered myself a Nodpod, which is a weighted eye blanket, which sounds and looks pretty silly. I got a lot of requests to keep people updated on how I feel about it and I can say that I feel AWESOME about it. It has a soft, minky-ish side and a jersey cotton side, so the cotton side is very cool and nice. It’s not super heavy and it has a pull-through tab so you can either lay it over your eyes or tuck it around your head like a sleep mask. I’ve been wearing it in a hotel room full of giggly 7th graders and it has definitely helped! I’m considering ordering another one so I can wash one and use  the other!

“Into the woods” by for king & country

This song came on my Spotify Weekly playlist a couple of weeks ago and it sounded familiar…and I realized it was a cover of “Out of the Woods” by Taylor Swift. I might like this version even more–t’s been a regular in my rotation ever since!

swell skin

Last October, I decided I needed to do something about my skin–I have kind of problem skin because it’s very sensitive and also acne prone. I felt like I had tried just about everything. After years of spending a lot of money on Rodan + Fields and getting just okay results, I decided to ditch it and try something else. That is a post of it’s own in and of itself, and my skin is still a work in progress, but I’ve been exploring a lot of the little boutique skincare products. One of my favorites has been Swell Skin . I started with the oil and the cleansing bar, and I’ve added in the Vitamin C Serum and Toner and I LOVE them…they’re affordable (and if you use this link, you’ll get 20% off your order!) with incredibly fast shipping. If I had to pick two products to choose from, I’d say the serum and the sea buckthorn oil…just a few drops as a moisturizer (or added to a moisturizer) and it heals all sorts of business without clogging your pores.

1950’s-style dress & Petticoat

My daughter had to have a black dress for choir this year, so I found one on Amazon for under $30 and added a petticoat for $15 and she looked like a little Audrey Hepburn, which led to TONS of questions about it on my Instagram. My daughter loved it so much that we ordered the same dress in this blue china pattern and petticoat for her winter semiformal at school (can we also talk about how amazing it is to not spend $200+ on formals anymore??)

schitt’s creek

Sara and I have talked a LOT about Schitt’s Creek. I only watched it because Sara told me it was very important to our friendship that we be able to talk about it (I had started and stopped it a handful of times). It reminds me a lot of Arrested Development, but with a lot more heart, sweetness, and character development. It is MA (at least some episodes), but it’s not exactly the f-fest that shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel are–one or two strong, carefully placed words (and it seems like there are fewer of them as the show goes on). It is easily one of my most favorite shows EVER and I owe Sara big for making me watch.

natural deodorant

I asked about natural deodorant last summer and still get at least 5 questions about it a week. Last summer, I went on a quest to try as many brands as I could. Keep in mind my aforementioned comments about sensitive skin–I have VERY sensitive skin. So anything with baking soda is an automatic no-go for me. Also keep in mind that I’m a big sweater AND I live in a place where it’s hot and humid 9 months out of the year (and just humid the other 3.) So. The stakes are high here.

    • Kopari did nothing for me except make me smell like a European man. I returned it to Sephora.
    • I wanted to love Lume. I like Lume. But I don’t love Lume. There’s something in it that starts to irritate my skin over time, so I can’t use it multiple times a day for days on end. I had the best results when I used Smarty Pits with a Lume booster from time to time.
    • Schmidt’s smells amazing, but I got terrible chemical burns from it and it didn’t really make me smell less.
    • I haven’t ordered the baking soda free Native, but everyone keeps telling me to.
    • I still love Smarty Pits the best. It helps with chest breakouts, too, during the summer. There’s something about the probiotic formula that just takes care of the icky bacteria and keeps me from smelling bad. I’ve found the best price on it from Grove (and if you use this link, you can get a free cleaning kit–just search for Smarty Pits.)
  • hello toothpaste

Okay, so back to my sensitive skin. I kept getting breakouts around my mouth (like big, cyst-y breakouts) and I mentioned it to my friend, who said I might be allergic to  my toothpaste. I ordered this Hello Toothpaste from Amazon, which doesn’t have sodium lauryl sulfate in it, which apparently irritates skin. Sure enough, as soon as I started using it, my mouth started clearing up. This version is good for sensitive teeth and still has fluoride in it, so you’re not going completely off the scientific grid  here, haha.

casely phone case

Finally, Casely Phone Cases  (I have the blue stripe). I know I post about phone cases just about every favorite things post that I make, but I have just about zero loyalty when it comes to them. I want something cute and affordable and that protects my phone, and these fit the bill. Plus, there’s usually some kind of promo so I can get a couple at a time (either for me or my kids). If you use this link, you get 35% off!)



  1. The lavender & rose Native deodorant left a a pale purple oily stain under the arms of a new white blouse after it was washed. I haven’t dared use it again.

  2. Ugh, don’t you hate skin? If it wasn’t a vital organ I’d just go have it removed.

    I have an alternative for deodorant for anyone who cares to listen. I got it from the dermatologist, so it’s legit. If your skin can tolerate it (it dries mine out if I do it more than once or twice a week), get a thing of 10% benzoyl peroxide acne wash and use it on your armpits in the shower. Leave it on there for a couple of minutes while you’re doing other stuff, then rinse it off and go on with your day. It’s obviously not an antiperspirant, but it does de-stinkify your sweat by killing all the surface bacteria on your skin. It totally works. I’ll see how things go in the summer, but for the last two months I haven’t been messing with deodorant at all.

  3. I feel the same about most of the deodorants you mentioned–wanted to love Lume (and it did keep me from stinking) but I was sensitive to something in it… Kopari and Schmidts did nothing for me… I haven’t tried Smarty Pits yet, but I do LOVE the deodorant from Just Ingredients. You may want to give it a try…

  4. Thanks for sharing the romper story! Cracked me up. I had a horrible experience with a mammogram today and was able to relate somewhat!

  5. Omg I get chemical burns from skin products too. I’ve never heard of anyone else suffering from that. I suppose if I Googled I would, but that is NOT something I want to see. I can’t wait to try Smarty Pits cuz I am a sweater and every deodorant except for secret solid makes my skin raw but I have to use cortisone once a week to control the itching.
    PS I’m 45 and also have acne and just for fun, wrinkles.

  6. Thanks for the suggestion for affordable skin care. And Schitts Creek… I have N O words that will express adequately how much I love that show! My gal pals and I can’t love anyone if they haven’t drunk the kool aid of that show!

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