Favorites of 2019: Home & Lifestyle

The new year is just two days away, y’all! Can you even believe that? As much as I felt like 2019 just dragged on, when looking back over the year I’ve realized it’s all kind of a blur. We’ll get more into that in my birthday post next week because right now it’s time to share all of my home and lifestyle favorites. We’re talking travel, home decor, cleaning, food, and fitness. So grab a snack and let’s get to it!
Travel
Always my number one favorite is my husband. We don’t normally travel very much, but we did get to take two trips at the beginning of this year. Jacob surprised me with a completely planned out trip to Atlanta for my birthday and then we went to Disney World in May. We had so much fun on both of those trips and it definitely gave us a great start to the year. 
Home Decor
Home improvements are something I’m always looking to do. I love the look of blanket ladders and because most on the market are priced higher than what they should be, I decided to take on the challenge of making one ourselves. DIY projects have never been our strong suit and although it was more difficult than I expected, I love the way it turned out. It’s been the perfect addition to our living room, keeping the blankets organized and out of the way.
One of my favorite blankets that I keep on the blanket ladder is this one that I picked up during last holiday season at Tuesday Morning. It was a great price and probably our most used blanket in the entire house. It’s like a warm sherpa on one side and a soft fur on the other. Places like Tuesday Morning, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls are the best places to find cozy blankets!
Speaking of stores like TJ Maxx, I also found this set of pillows at HomeGoods earlier in the Summer. I was looking for affordable pillows that were a simple cream color without any words and had removable cases that can be washed. These are the squishiest pillows I’ve ever felt and I love how they brighten up a dark sofa.
My laundry baskets also came from TJ Maxx. We don’t keep our laundry baskets in the laundry room and I was tired of carrying heavy baskets across the house. I went on a mission to find new baskets on wheels and loved the way these looked. Because they came from TJ Maxx, I wasn’t able to find them all at the same time. I kept going back and bought more as they’d restock. They’re great quality and I love that the liner can also come off and be washed.
Lanterns have been so popular in home decor lately and I really wanted to add one to my front porch. For the size I was looking for with included candles, the prices were insane. I kept looking for months and just when I was about to give up, I finally found this one for $30 at Tuesday Morning. It mainly stays on the front porch with some planters, but it also looks great indoors too!
Home Faves
I’m a little crazy when it comes to lights, I love things to be bright. Soft white light bulbs are usually fine, but it tends to make our wall paint color look very yellow rather than a light cream. The bright white light bulbs create a green cast, so I needed to find neutral bulbs rather than the common warm or cool toned options. After looking everywhere, I was finally able to find some at Home Depot. They’re called Natural Light and we’ve been slowly switching to these as the soft white bulbs burn out. It seriously makes such a difference!
It’s been years that I’ve been trying to get stains off the bottom of our shower floor. I’ve tried anything and everything possible and nothing has worked. I finally discovered the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Bath and it actually worked!! After seeing the magic (pun intended) of this product, it’s now the only thing I use to clean our showers. It’s unbelievable, and they smell really good too!
Coffee is a huge obsession in our house and we’re constantly looking for new things to try. We finally made the decision to add a milk frother to our collection and it has been so great! This one was pretty affordable on Amazon and it works perfectly. The milk froths in seconds and makes you feel like you’re in a real coffee shop.
Food
I have two favorite foods to mention and they’re both sauces of some sort. I’m one of those people who has to have sauce with everything! A big change in my palate this year has been with buffalo wings. I never used to like buffalo sauce before, but it’s like a switch flipped and now I can’t get enough of it. I’ve tried a few different ones and the Frank’s RedHot Original is definitely my favorite, mixed with melted butter -- of course!
I honestly can’t even remember the last time I went to Starbucks. It’s been well over a year! I’m just not really impressed with them and I’d rather make my coffee at home. White chocolate mochas have always been one of my favorites and that was always my go-to order at Starbucks because I didn’t know where else to get it at the time. I’m so happy I found this White Chocolate Sauce from Torani at Walmart. I put it in my iced coffee all the time and I think it’s even better than a coffee shop!
Fitness
Over the past three years, I’ve been practicing Pilates. I discovered it while preparing for my wedding and just fell in love with the type of exercise that it is. I never would’ve imagined the results it’s given me or the way it makes me feel. I do some type of Pilates routine six days a week and I always look forward to it.
I started with traditional Pilates, which mainly uses body weight and very little equipment. From there, I started adding in what I like to call “toys” to challenge myself even more. Now I switch up my routines with resistance bands, a Pilates bar, a small exercise ball, and a larger stability ball. I’m not interested in going to a studio to do my workouts, so I’m always looking for new things I can do at home. I think of it as choosing which toy I want to play with for the day, or for the week, so I never get bored.
Stretching is one of my favorite things ever and it’s crucial in protecting your muscles both before and after working out. This year I added in a foam roller to my stretching routine. It’s amazing the difference it can make! When using it over all the limbs, it feels like an instant total body massage. Most of the time I’ll just use it on my back when I feel any pressure or tension. It only takes a few seconds and I’ll feel completely better. I even brought this with us on our Disney trip to use after the long days of walking.
While this wasn’t the best year of my life, these things definitely made it a lot better. Home decor takes a lot of trial and error for me, but it’s such a good feeling when I finally get it right. I do plan on writing a separate post about my Pilates journey because it is such a big part of my everyday life and has improved not only my body, but also my mind.

Keep an eye out for Part 2 of my yearly favorites coming on Thursday with all the fashion, skincare, and beauty faves. I hope y’all have a very fun and safe New Year, and I’ll see you in 2020!

XO ♥ Christina ♥

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