Favorite Finds: January Edition

We are feeling the full strength of winter at our house. It has already been a snowy January for us in Portland. Two nights ago, we got a full foot of snow and woke up to that hushed feeling of magic.

That gave me a chance to try something new from me to you. Well, I have done this before in Favorite Finds: Back to School Edition and sometimes just for my White Pitchers Friends (just become a subscriber by clicking on the subscribe button in the menu bar to get the extras).

Now, I'd like to make this a monthly post between us.

Does this ever happen to you? You see a gift or product, but don't need it at that moment. You think you'll remember it when a birthday or Christmas rolls around. But when it does, you draw a blank. I hope to make life eraser for you by gathering these ideas for you into one place with links in place. Maybe its just me forgetting ideas when I need them most.

So each month I thought I'd gather a few favorite things that are currently making me smile and that you might use. These things might be podcasts, gadgets, decorating ideas, gifts, products, Etsy shops or books (of course).

My gifts to you this month are three simple things: an artist, a lip balm and a podcast.

Here are my Favorite Finds: January edition.

1. Nikki McClure (Pacific Northwest artist)

You probably have your calendar all picked out and gracing your kitchen wall. (Yes, even with most all of my appointments in my iPhone, I still handpick a calendar for my kitchen.) In case you don't have one yet or gave up that tradition for a digital calendar, but want to return, take a look at the one I chose for 2017. It is by artist Nikki McClure and it is currently making my kitchen a happy place. Each month is given a word to live by, which is made for this my writer's heart.

Y'all these images are made with paper and knife!

In Nikki's own words,

I cut my images from black paper with an X-Acto knife. Everything is connected. It is all one piece of paper, yet now it holds a story.

2017 Nikki McClure calendar

If you already have your calendar, check out the notecards, baby journals and children's books she has illustrated. They're gorgeous!

The set of 20 notecards are happy, original and could take you through the long gray winter. Below is one of her designs.

Nikki McClure notecards

Nikki McClure Journal

When the Wonders were born, I gave their mamas, Kate and Monica, one of these journals written and illustrated by Nikki.

The First 1000 Days: A Baby's Journal

One day about a year ago, my youngest daughter, Ryan, and I were poking around in a bookstore-coffeeshop (the best kind), when we happened across these children's books. You don't even have to have kids or grandkids to appreciate these books. I love the cover art, so pardon me while I share several with you.

All in a Day

To Market,To Market

Mama, Is it Summer Yet?

Believe or not, this is not sponsored by Nikki McClure in any way, though I would love to meet her one day and thank her for her art.

2.Dr Bronner's Lip Balm

Really anything by Dr. Bronner's is full of clean ingredients and good smells, but I found this lip balm while Christmas shopping and my chapped lips got happy right there in the check out line. I may start buying these babies by the six pack for the winter months.

The scent is mild and there are several to close from like peppermint or unscented.

Dr. Bronner's Orange Ginger Lip Balm

3.Interview with author Ann Voskamp

Put this podcast in your ears while you're doing dishes or laundry, driving or out on a walk and you'll come out wiser for it. She has some great things to say about mentoring, writing, her life on the farm and the creative process.

About mentoring, she says she found four older women who "read deep, think deep and pray" and invited them all together. I love that!

I have always thought we all need mentors in our life, and always more than one.

Here are a few of her pearls I strung into my common place book:

'Don't let critique go to your heart or praise go to your head.'

'To write well, you need to carry other people's story.'

'Incarnate God in a winsome way.'

These could be words of wisdom for whatever your work might be, but also for parenthood, marriage or for life.

Happy listening!

Hope*Writers Chat with Ann Voskamp "Inside the Writer's Heart"

Stay warm this January and comment below on your own favorite finds so we can all discover something new. I might choose the best of the bunch at the end of the year and credit you with the find.

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