Some of My Favorite Things: A Blog Hop

Guess what, everyone? I created a blog hop! 🙂

The truth is, I’ve had a hard time thinking of topics to blog about now that I’m back from my (unexpected) hiatus. It’s as if my brain is a car engine that’s having trouble starting… and it’s a strange feeling, to not know what to write about. So I figured, maybe the best way to get those creative juices flowing again is to do something easy and fun. And that’s how the Some of My Favorite Things was born.

I also had a goal for this post: to choose “favorites” I haven’t blogged about before. In other words, you won’t find anything bookish, writerly, or tea-related (well, at least not tea recommendations *lol*) here. So I think you’ll discover a few new things about me today – and maybe we’ll find we had more in common than we did before. 🙂

So, what did I choose as some of my favorite things? You’ll have to read on to find out. 😉

Some of My Favorite Things

#1: Milk and Honey’s Power Minis

These simple, delicate bracelets are made of semi-precious stones such as amethyst, turquoise, and lapis lazuli. I like mixing and matching three or four Power Minis of different colors to go with whatever I’m wearing each day. And whenever I find the bracelets in local gift shops, I can’t help but buy a couple more for my collection. Which probably explains why I own 20 of them. 😮

#2: The Meditative Mind YouTube Channel

I don’t frequent many YouTube channels (there’s just not enough time in the day). But when I’m stressed or anxious and the calming playlists on my iPod aren’t doing the trick, I turn to Meditative Mind. This “station” features a wide range of healing and meditation music using solfeggio frequencies, binaural beats, mantra chants, and traditional instruments such as Indian flutes and Tibetan singing bowls. These instrumental tracks are quite long, too. The shortest ones last just over 1 hour! So they make wonderful background music for work, blogging, meditating, or falling asleep.

Best of all, though? Meditative Mind’s music really works. When whatever track I’m listening to is over, I usually feel calmer and more relaxed than I did before.

#3: Opening the Windows at Home

Not much can beat this on a beautiful spring or summer days. Winter makes me feel claustrophobic, maybe because I spend a lot of time inside to avoid the cold and the snow. So once the weather becomes warmer and more pleasant, I love letting in the fresh air, circulating it with ceiling fans, and listening to the noises outside when I’m reading at night, even the rain.

Oh yes, I love to open the windows when it’s raining! How do I do that without getting my furniture wet? Well, I live on the top floor of a three-story condo building, and my front-facing windows are shielded by the roof overhang. So unless it’s pouring, the only windows I keep closed when it’s raining are the ones not protected by that overhang.

#4: Dark Chocolate

My favorite kind of chocolate, hands down. It doesn’t matter if it’s a truffle, a candy bar, or chunks in cookies or ice cream. And the more cocoa it contains, the more joy it brings to my tastebuds. (Plus, dark chocolate is better for you than other chocolates, right? *wink*) So those 60, 70, and 80% cocoa bars from Ghirardelli, Godiva, or Lindt? Yes, please!

#5: Rana’s Skillet Gnocchi

Rana’s fresh pasta ranges from flat-cut fettucine and linguine to filled tortelloni and ravioli, and it’s nothing short of delicious. Then there’s the Skillet Gnocchi… and it’s TO DIE FOR. These morsels of potato dough can be boiled in water like other pastas. But my favorite way to prepare this gnocchi? On the stove as recommended, with melted butter. Cooking the gnocchi this way gives the outside a golden-brown color and a crispy texture, yet the center remains soft and tender. Typically I’ve eaten it with tomato sauce and browned beef, but I recently prepared it with olive oil, herbs, vegetables, and cheese for friends – and OHHHHHH my goodness, is it scrumptious that way!

Barred owl @ Museum of American Bird Art, Canton, MA. Photo taken by me.

#6: Owls

One of my two favorite kinds of bird. I’d always liked owls, but that liking turned to full-fledged fascination after I read Stacey O’Brien’s memoir Wesley The Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl. They’re beautiful in a regal, breathtaking way; their eyes seem to be peering right into your soul; and their calls are something I look forward to hearing on pleasantly warm nights when I can open my windows. I also love how owls are considered to be symbols of wisdom and “seeing what others cannot see” (due to the excellent nighttime vision some owl species have).

Oddly enough, I’d never seen an owl in person until this past March, when I went to an owl event at a local Massachusetts Audobon wildlife sanctuary. That’s where I managed to snap the above photo of a barred owl. ❤

#7: Bohemian-Style Sundresses

My favorite summertime clothing! These sundresses are delicate and lightweight, so they’re perfect for hot days, trips to the beach, or casual get-togethers. They also pair nicely with jean jackets and mini / bolero sweaters. I love the intricate patterns and bright colors, and how undeniably feminine and pretty I feel when wearing them.

Breakfast of Champions! Berry-filled crepe at Gulu Gulu Cafe.

#8: Crepes

I rediscovered my love for these super-thin, pancake-like pastries during a recent trip to Salem, Massachusetts, where several restaurants downtown serve them for breakfast, lunch, and even dessert. It doesn’t matter if they’re filled with fresh berries and drizzled with yogurt and honey; stuffed with vegetables and melted cheese; or oozing with melted chocolate and other sweets. They all make my mouth water like a fountain. Too bad there aren’t any creperies closer to home…

“Walk beautifully, talk beautifully, live beautifully…”

#9: Yogi Tea’s “Tag Quotes”

Whenever I brew a cup of Yogi Tea, I look forward to reading the inspiring quote on each tea bag’s tag. They’re simple sayings, but always powerful, like “You don’t need love, you are the love,” “A relaxed mind is a creative mind,” and “I am beautiful, I am bountiful, I am blissful.” To me, these quotes enhance the mindfulness that comes with a cup of tea and give me a boost of whatever I need – enthusiasm, confidence, or motivation – to get through the rest of the day.

Almost sunset at Breakwater Beach in Brewster, MA. Photo taken by me.

#10: The Ocean

This one might not be a surprise, since I’ve professed my love for Cape Cod time and time again. But I really do adore the ocean. The shimmer of sunlight on the water’s surface, the sound of the tides, the smell of salt air… I only have to set foot on a beach, or simply look out at the ocean, and it rejuvenates me. All of my cares and worries ebb and flow away. I even have ocean view paintings and photographs on my walls at home, and not just because they’re gorgeous.

Want to Share Some of Your Favorite Things, Too?

TAG! Anyone who’s interested in doing the Some of My Favorite Things Blog Hop is welcome to do so. I only ask that you link back to this post and/or notify me so I can read your answers and help you celebrate all the awesomeness you love. 🙂

What are some of your favorite things? Do you share the same love for any of the items listed above?

27 thoughts on “Some of My Favorite Things: A Blog Hop

  1. Well, Sara, welcome back to the blogosphere! I’m sure you’re find your rhythm very soon 😉

    I enjoyed your collection of favourite things, and as usual, there are qute a few things that I share: opening the window in my house and dark chocolate? Yes pleas!!!
    I don’t believe you eat Rana’s gnocchi. I mean, he’s from my town! I do love gnocchi, I just prefer to make my own 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sarah! I definitely have found my rhythm in terms of writing blog posts again. It’s been difficult to fit in time every day to reply to comments and take care of administrative things, though. But I do what I can when I’m able to.

      Really?! Rana is from the town where you live?? 😀 And yes, I really do eat his pasta. They sell all kinds of his pasta over here in the States.


  2. I guess you couldn’t resist including something tea related, lol. I also like to have windows and doors open when it’s raining. I love the scent of rain and moist earth. And I love owls too! 🦉 I’m actually wearing a necklace right now with an owl on it.

    Liked by 1 person

      • It’s has a long chain so it reaches to the top of my stomach and has a medium-sized pendant. The plumage for the owl is in different colors, blue, orange, yellow… It used to gold but has turned silver but still looks good so I wear it.
        I also have two others. One is the same length but fancier with a gold chain and the owl pendant is a rose gold color. The material used for the pendant reminds me of pearls and it’s also medium-seized. The other is a small, dainty necklace that’s a little beyond my throat, almost to the center of my chest. The pendant is tiny and also reminds me of pearls. It used to be gold but it’s color change still makes it look nice. The pendants of all three necklaces have large black eyes that I find funny and cute.
        What does yours look like?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mine is small and dainty, like the third one you described, except that it’s silver. The owl pendant is about the size of a fingertip and is mostly silver with rhinestones, two small black eyes, and a tiny gold beak.


  3. I love so many of these as well! I ALWAYS leave my windows open unless the A.C. is on. And I put a fan in the bedroom window at night so the cool air comes in. It’s like natural air conditioning😁 And yes to the ocean! You would think living in California I’d go to the beach all the time, but I’m lucky if I get there once a year. My family is going to a little fishing village on the coast called Morro Bay in a few weeks and I can’t wait😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhhh that would be wonderful, to have weather that’s nice enough most of the time to leave the windows open. We’re going through a warm but humid spell right now, though, so I’ve got my wall-mounted AC unit on. I’d complain about the noise, but I’m more grateful that the condo is cool.

      I hope you have a lovely time in Morro Bay soon! And thanks for stopping by, Tammy. 🙂


  4. I love summer rain. And leaving my bottom windows open is wonderful – they open horizontally, so you kind of push them up to open them, so the rain just hits the glass and slides off – lovely. 🙂

    Lovely to have you back. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a lovely post! Yes… I’ll take you up on it, Sara:)). Like you, I love the sea and we are so very lucky to live so close to it – and take it far too much for granted… I am fascinated to see this handful of your loves – though I absolutely don’t have the windows open when it rains. During the winter it’s too darned cold and during the summer, it brings down all the pollen and starts me sneezing! But otherwise, I can completely empathise with your loves and look forward to writing my own article and linking it back:).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhhh, during the winter, it’s a whole other story for me, too. *lol* It gets too cold here, so the heat is turned on instead. But we had some unusually warm days at the end of February, so the windows were open then!

      I remember your stories of walking along the beach with family and friends and dining by the water. So it doesn’t surprise me that you love the ocean too. 🙂 I look forward to reading about some of your favorite things soon, Sarah!


  6. This is great! I’m totally doing this. ^ ^ Owls and crepes and dark chocolate. YESSS!!! Crepes are so good. I associate crepes with a lot of good travel memories. ^ ^

    Liked by 1 person

    • Go right ahead, Tori! That’s what the open tag at the end was for. 😉

      If you like crepes, then you’d be very happy in Salem, where I went for the Massachusetts Poetry Festival last month. At least four restaurants in the city’s center serve crepes – and at Mr. Crepe, it’s the primary menu item! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, so many great things you shared. I love leaving my windows open too when it’s cool, and especially when it’s raining. It usually works out well for me too, I just have to watch out for the wind blowing in an odd direction or really gets to gusting, otherwise, I can leave my back door and windows open and listen to the gentle patter of the rain falling.
    I missed your last post, so I’m glad you included a link so I could go back and read it. I thought I’d mention in this comment that I love the diffusers for essential oils too. I have three in my house now, along with one of the mini portable ones where you have to change the pads. But it’s great for travel since it is small and battery operated. The other ones I have throughout my house and they are the best. They can really be such mood boosters.
    I’m glad you were able to come up with something fun to blog about. Sometimes it can be hard to feel inspired to write a blog post.


  8. Owls are adorable and they fly so quietly and gracefully. I always enjoy hearing them at night, too.

    I really like keeping the windows open when it’s warm enough outside. I even keep a window down as I drive so I can feel connected to the outside, hear the birds and crickets.

    Are any of those crepes gluten free? I’d love to try some.

    I’ll have to do this tag at some point! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love hearing owls at night, too. 🙂 My brother actually heard a young Eastern screech owl cry in the middle of the night a couple years ago. He didn’t know specifically what kind of owl it was at the time. But he recorded the sound on his smartphone and sent it to the local Massachusetts Audobon chapter, and they confirmed it for him.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if some restaurants make gluten-free crepes. I don’t know which ones in Salem do (I didn’t think to look, tbh), but it’s always worth investigating before you visit.

      And yes, feel free to do this tag in the future, E.! I’m sure I’ll see the email notification when you do, but just link back to this post so I know for sure. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I have to say, number 3 got me thinking of how where we live affects our habits.
    In Poland, I lived on 15th floor (16th by American count 😉 ), so we’d open windows often in spring and summer time (especially in Summer – Polish houses have no A/C, so it was the only way to survive the +85-97F). In Ireland, I stopped opening windows that much. Living for a while on the first (ground) floor a townhouse and an apartment building, I was weary of people being able to sneak up and steal things (I hear dread stories from my coworkers who experienced it in the first person). On top of that, the weather throughout most of the year didn’t invite window-opening: heating system in Ireland is dreadful, especially in older buildings, the air is moist, so you don’t want to get more moist in and the leftover lukewarm air out. Now, in America, I tend to open my windows more often – bugs screens are such a great thing (before you ask – no such thing in Europe in general).
    As for other points, like you, I love dark chocolate and gnocchi (but I make them myself), and ocean (well, seas as well) – there’s something mesmerizing about it, the waves, how it looks and smells and hums… I’m not into sailing, but sitting and looking at the ocean/sea? Sign me up! 😉
    What we differ are the owls – I had a very bad work experience in a company that had an owl as its logo, so I blame them – and the boho dresses. As much as I like looking at them, they’re too colorful and too patern-y to my picky taste.
    I really enjoyed your post and might pick up the tag – maybe as a part of my birthday week?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You make gnocchi?? 😲 Is it… easy? Difficult? I don’t know anyone else who’s made them, so I’m curious.

      I think I’ve noticed that before with windows in European buildings. Windows in Iceland don’t have screens, but I first learned it through Europe-based episodes of House Hunters International on HGTV.

      And yes, please feel free to do this tag if you want! I’ll try to read it if it does. Making time to read friends’ blogs has been… tricky lately.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gnocchi are super easy: boil potatoes, mash them, mix them with egg and flour, form (in Poland we form them easier than the Italian version: roll the dough in the line and cut them at an angle to form diamond-like shapes), and boil them in hot water until they float. Then you can freeze them and reheat them by throwing them in the hot water.
        Of course, you can probably find more complex recipes, but this is the gist. It does make sense to do a huge batch and then freeze them, because it’s easy, but a bit time consuming.
        I likely won’t do this tag soon, but I’m saving this post for later. 🙂


  10. Pingback: These are a Few of My Favorite…Fandoms! – Christine Smith

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