but first coffee blog January favorites

8 Things I Loved in January

Just me or was Janurary the longest month in history? Well, it’s finally past and it’s that time again- time to look back at the month and see what things I loveloveloved. This month was definitely all about some amazing new products I’m excited to share with you!

but first coffee blog January favorites

1. Neato Vacuum

Yep, we have a robot vacuum. I have to be honest, I’ve been wanting one of these things for a long time. With two dogs and a pretty active life, our floors get dirty in about 36 hours. And if you think I was dragging my vacuum out every other day then you have legit lost your mind.

Michael surprised me with Neato Botvac for Christmas (we refer to Neato as a “he” and we can continue as such for this post). Michael is one of those people who will research a new product until the cows come home to make sure he got the “best” one. According to Michael, Neato outperformed in the robot vacuum department, especially for dog owners like ourselves. I can’t tell you how liberating it is to press a single button and know the floor is being vacuumed (and being vacuumed really damn well) while I do something else.

Now, some people my scoff at a vacuum robot. How does he get under chairs? What if something is in the way? Listen, I’m not going to pretend Neato is like the robot from The Jetsons and is picking up stools or moving baskets to vacuum underneath them. But, he’s pretty darn smart and versatile as far as a robot vacuum goes. I’ve found the most effective way to use him is to take about 90 seconds when I get home to pick up 1-2 things off the floor (like a basket or a stool) and slide chairs out from under the table. Then, I just hit “clean” and away he goes. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take a 90 second vacuum time to the usual 45 minute vacuum time.

but first coffee blog January favorites

Even Austin is obsessed with Neato.

No, but really, Austin follows Neato around. He’s actually OBSESSED with this robot. It’s so funny because I thought he was going to HATE Neato, but he just loves him.

2. Nintendo Switch

I bought Michael a Nintendo Switch for Christmas and would have NEVER thought that I would have gotten so hooked. But hell, guilty. It’s so much fun. Most nights by about 7:30ish, dinner is done and it’s time to just unwind.

Since I am a morning person, doing work at night has never worked for me. My brain pretty much shuts off after about 7pm. Usually, to unwind Michael and I will watch a TV show, or waste time reading articles online. But, now a couple nights a week we play the Switch together. It’s a lot more stimulating, but still relaxing enough for the end of the day. Currently we’re playing Zelda.

but first coffee blog January favorites

3. L’Oréal Elvive Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm

Wow, I love this stuff. I was sent it c/o of a PR company and it almost ended up in the “product closet” like a lot of my other samples. But, I was running low on conditioner and so I popped it into my shower instead and BOY am I glad I did that! It works as well as my beloved Macadamia Natural Deep Repair Masque for a quarter of the price -if not even better.

My hair felt shiny and smooth and soft after using it! And that’s really saying something considering It’s been WAY too long since I got a hair cut. The L’Oréal Elvive Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm only costs about $6, and I HIGHLY recommend it!

4. Updated Filming Space

Since we moved into our current house (a year ago) our extra bedroom has worn A LOT of hats. First, it was a guest bedroom with a daybed and nightstand. Then, when we completed our office makeover, we put a Murphy Bed in that room to make it a quasi-guest bedroom since it has its own bathroom and more privacy. That’s when this room was pretty much empty and I used it to film.

Then… my dear husband decided he wanted to get a new workout bench and not one to get in the way of the possibility of abs, I gave up half the space for that. And after that, well, it was just a downhill spiral of the room gathering all sorts of random stuff. The cherry on the cake was in December when my mom was in between moving and had her boxes stacked in it (not that it mattered, we weren’t using the space anyway.)

With a fresh start for January, I decided to finally put the room back together so it could operate as “filming” headquarters for me. I needed a space like this because it’s really A LOT easier to have a dedicated space to blog and film that have my lights and tripods all set up (carrying them around the house was becoming my least favorite task when it came to making videos.) I’m SO pleased that I finally have this space put back together. You have no idea how nice it is to have a little corner where I can just sit down, turn on my LED panels and get work DONE.

Shop my Filming Space

5. YouTube Play Button

I hit 100,000 subscribers on YouTube a few months back, I think it was around Halloween. For those that are not privy to YouTube, when you hit 100k you get a silver play button – YouTube sends it to you in the mail. At 1 million subscribers the creator gets a Gold play button. But, YouTube is notorious for taking a while to send them out, so mine just arrived last week.

Even though I’ve since doubled my subscriber count, 100k still feels like the greatest milestone. I think it is because it’s not really about the number of followers, but just the feeling of support for the time and effort I put into all my content. Making videos is no walk in the park – it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of FUN work, but nonetheless, work. This little plaque (you can see it hanging in the picture above of my filming space) is just a nice reminder to me to keep on working hard. It’s like that little piece of validation that hustling your booty off can reap rewards.

but first coffee blog January favorites

6. Bhue Rose Highlighter

So happy to finally share this highlighter. One of my blogging pals, Adaleta Avdić, designed this rose highlighter with Bhue Beauty. I was excited when she said she wanted to send me one. It’s always uplifting to see other blogger friends doing awesome collaborations with products they love!

When the highlighter first came, I have to be honest… I was unsure of it. In the tub it looked really pink. I wasn’t sure how I was going to pull it off for normal wear. A lot of highlighter companies have been going a little too wild with their highlighters lately and I find it hard to make them work for everyday wear. But, about a week later I decided to pop it on top of a blush I was wearing and was instantly in love. It does have an obvious rose color, but in a dewy, glowing way – not fake or unnatural.

Here’s how it looks on the cheek.

I LOVE how it brings a little more color to the apples of my cheeks and just the right amount of highlight. It makes my skin look luminous and dewy without looking fake. Too much highlight can be so overpowering, and so I love that this stuff just sort of melts into the skin in a really natural way. It’s super creamy and easy to apply and the smallest bit goes a long way! Get it here.

7. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

So, there’s a story behind this product. About two years ago, Vital Proteins (the company) reached out to me to send me their dietary supplements. They sent me a ton of products: the collagen peptides, the marine peptides, their beauty water. It arrived and I was so busy at the time (and not really in a place where I was trying to be healthier) that I nearly forgot about them. I used them 1-2 times and then they ended up in the back shelf of my kitchen until we moved. Overwhelmed with all our “stuff” during the move, I gave them away to a friend. During that time I kept seeing them show up everywhere: people were talking about them on their Instagrams, I was seeing them on YouTube, etc. At first, I sort of brushed it off, assuming they were just doing a lot of influencer targeting (they had sent to me after all.) But, people were raving about the product and I was STARTING to catch on that maybe I should have tried this stuff out after all.

Then, 2 months ago when I asked you guys on Instagram story for some tips and tricks for thicker hair, SO MANY OF YOU responded very exuberantly that I should get Vital Proteins Collegan Peptides. So, I swallowed my pride and paid full price for a bottle that I had just given away for free the year before. I’ve been using it about 3 weeks now and I am starting to see the beginning of the benefits!

So let’s back up, what the heck are Collagen Peptides? Well, it’s actually just that, the product is 1 ingredient – collagen peptides. Collagen is an important building block of our bodies for everything from our skin and hair to nails, bones, and joints. This means it not only helps your skin look better and your hair and nails grow stronger, but it’s also linked to helping you sleep better, improving digestion and gut health, and keeping your bones and joints optimal. The problem is our bodies alone cannot synthesize enough collagen and our diets don’t contain enough.

That’s where Vital Proteins and their Collagen Peptides come in. I’ve been taking the lowest suggested amount of only 1 scoop a day and already notice that my skin is starting to look healthier. I’ve also noticed that I’m sleeping better. The fact that it’s packed with natural protein is also great, because it means I can get some extra protein into my diet.  I am looking forward to continuting with this product to continue to reap its benefits. I imagine by next month I’ll have even more good things to say! Thank you again for suggesting this product to me – you guys are the bessssttttt (extra S’s and T’s for emphasis, clearly.)

8. Fitbit

I have to be honest…I always thought Fitbits were kinda kitschy. Like a trendy tech gadget that wasn’t worth the hype. Either way, I asked you guys on Instagram for tips to get moving and a lot of you said your Fitbit encouraged you to stay active. You’ve never steered me wrong in the past and so for Christmas, I got myself a Fibit Alta HR as a present to myself (‘cause treat yo-self).

I’m hooked.

It really helps me stay accountable for getting up and getting moving. It has made me more active in my day to day life – which is really important to me as someone who works at a desk. I love that the reminders get me up and moving and doing challenges online with friends gives me a little fun competition to work against. I’m still years away from being Mrs. Active (let’s be honest, there’s a slim chance I ever will be) but my Fitbit has DEFINITELY helped to increase my activity and even has me working out a couple times a week. Who am I?

Browse This Month’s Favorites

What are some of the things you loved this month? Any new products that were game-changing for you, like there was for me?!

Hey There!

I'm Kallie!

Also known as That Practical Mom

I’m all about helping you simplify the chaos of life so you can slow down and enjoy it.

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