The Liebster Award!

My blog was nominated for a Liebster Award by Stephichop's Beauty Blog!  The Liebster Award is nominated to blogs with less than 200 followers to help promote them.

The Rules:
1) Nominees must link back to the blogger who awarded them
2) If nominated, write 11 Random Facts' about yourself!
3)  Answer the 11 questions the person who nominated you wrote for you
4) Come up with 11 new questions to be answered by 11 new nominees

11 Random Facts about Me!
1. I'm naturally a dark blonde, I've been dying my hair dark for years.
2. My favorite line of makeup is NYX.
3. I have a medium case of Emetophobia
4. Patchouli and Sandalwood are two of my favorite smells, both for wearing and for my home.
5. Holistic medicine fascinates me, I've done a lot of reading about it and still do.
6. I've only been out of the United States once... to Canada.
7. I'm scared of the dark, but I love horror movies.
8. My Spotify Starred List has almost 1,000 songs on it.
9. I love earthy colors for my home, and dark colors for my wardrobe.
10. Pizza and pasta are my comfort foods.
11.  My body can't handle caffeine or high amounts of refined sugars.

11 Questions for ME:
1. How do you like to spend your free time?
Shooting pictures, driving random places, or having movie marathons.  If I can't find anything to do, I clean my house with the music up LOUD.

2. What's the reason behind your blog name?
Just a nickname :0)

3. Sweet or Savoury foods? 
I have a HUGE sweet tooth, but my diet makes it a little hard to eat those foods all the time (unless they're organic sugar!).  I love Savoury foods, Philly Cheesesteak is one of my favorites.

4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Hopefully in the same career, maybe married.  Hopefully in a house (with a fantastic mountain view) instead of a rented property!  I've learned so much in the past 5 years, I can't wait to see what I learn in the next five.

5. One thing that irritates you about the same sex? 
They make me nervous.  I'm not sure if it's because I grew up with no sisters, but for some reason I'm much more comfortable around guys.  I wish this weren't as true as it is.

6. Most used make up item?

Foundation.  If I don't use anything else, I at least use a little foundation in a couple areas to brighten up my face.

7. Favorite childhood memory? 
This is more than one, but all the little family vacations we'd take when we were younger.  Going to Ohio for the first time got me so excited (Ohio, can you believe that?!) just because we were going out of state.  But our trips to North Carolina were the best.

8. If you could only shop in one store for the rest of your life, which one you choose?
I'd probably pick Kohl's.  It's not my usual "go-to" for a lot of things, but I can always find great dresses, work clothes, jeans, shoes, even makeup in a pinch.  They have great sales.  I guess I'll need to build my own farm ;)

9. Who is your celebrity idol for make up and hair? 
I'm not sure that I have one that stays consistent, but I always come back to Megan Fox for a classic red lip look.

10. Do you have any life time regrets if so what and why?
A lot I'm sure, but the only one I want to focus on is not doing more with my life so far.  I'm working on changing that, that's the purpose of keeping this blog.

11. Who inspires you most in your life?
AuraJoon at  I decided this when I first read her blog a couple years ago, and I haven't changed my mind since.

My Nominees (in no particular order, of course):
1). Hook, Yarn and Stinkers
2) Simplicity Interrupted
3) Life Astonished
4) Babbling Bridge
5) Miles from Ordinary
6) Honeybees
7) Borrowed Heaven
8) Distract Me Now Please
9) A Beauty Romancee
10) Louise Rose Clarke
11) Veranellies

11 Questions for YOU:
1) What is your favorite thing about blogging?
2) What are the blogs that give you the most inspiration?
3) If you could meet one blogger in real life, who would it be?
4) If you could master any skill, what would it be?
5) Who is your celebrity crush?
6) Define your perfect day (weather, activities, time of the year...)
7) What's one thing that makes you CRINGE?
8) What's your all-time favorite food or recipe?
9) What do you think is your best accomplishment?
10) Are others' thoughts of you important to you?  Why or why not?
11)  What was your most life-changing experience?

Congratulations!  I can't wait to see your responses.  Happy blogging, and keep it up!


Hectic week.

Happy almost Friday (thank goodness).

What a week it's been.  A cold one, at that.  This weather has been messing with us quite a bit here in Michigan.  Although we had two nice Saturdays in a row, one with temperatures in the high 50s/low 60s and one in the mid 40s, Tuesday morning was sub-zero, and temperatures for the past few days have been topping out in the teens.  Thankfully this weekend will be back in the thirties (I can't believe I'm saying that).  But next Tuesday reads 52 degrees and thunderstorms...?  I can't keep up.

On Sunday, I rekindled my love for Noodles & Co.'s Pasta Fresca after a nasty bloodsugar crash (that could have easily been avoided, of course).  I used to eat at this place all the time in high school, but I don't think I've ever tried any of their other pastas.  I really wonder if I'm the only one who puts Soy Sauce all over my Pasta Fresca (with extra Parmesan cheese and Parmesan chicken).  I wish I could remember what made me come up with this idea... but it's delicious!
Dave and I spent time at one of our favorite spots on Sunday night with some friends and had some sort of cute little heart-to-heart, which was then captured in photos.
On Monday, the idea of Geocaching, which I got into during my time in Maryland, was brought back up.  I can't wait to get started on this, hopefully this weekend!  It seems like there are many more popping up around here than there were last summer.  It's great to see so many people getting involved in such a cool hobby!
Then, unfortunately, late Monday night my power went out.... on possibly the coldest night we have had thus far.  That turned our planned movie-night to a bust.  My laptop might have saved this, if I had charged it.  Dave and I lit candles for light (and heat), listened to country music, and played card games with some nervous and sleepy little puppies.

Tuesday, which was supposed to be the highlight of the week with a dinner planned that night, was hectic.  I'm a planner and a list-maker, and I depend heavily on routine.  With the power still down, I had to drop my puppies at my mom's and get ready for work there, then run back to my house to turn the water on to a slow trickle to keep the pipes from freezing, and grab my dress and heels for dinner before finally getting to work late (phew).  Getting to work at a different time than usual already messes with me a bit, but having to change my whole plan of getting prepared for something ahead of time REALLY does the trick. I had planned on taking pictures that night (I even wrote this on my little list, see below), but as you can imagine, that didn't work out.  We had a picture taken at the dinner by a photographer... I hope we get to snag a copy!
Thankfully, the power was back on by around 3 that afternoon (also, thankfully I turned our water on, because pipes were bursting around the complex that night).  I still had to make a stop to pick up a few things before getting all dolled up and heading there, and we definitely were late, but it all turned out well and we had a great time (and a couple HUGE steaks).

Yesterday was calm.  Work was normal, leftover steak from the night before for lunch was delicious (although in combination with the exhaustion from the day before, it induced quite the food coma), and getting home to no plans and no need to rush around was awesome.  We went to our favorite spot, had a couple drinks with a friend, and ended the night with working power and heat.

It's now almost the weekend.  Although it will still be cold, Geocaching is on my list of things to do.  Also on my list is art journaling!  I stumbled upon art journaling through a few blogs I was checking out earlier this week and fell in love with the idea.  What a great way to use the photos we take almost everyday.

I'd really like to make it to the museum to see that Lego exhibit I've been planning to see for the past couple weeks, but this is going on until some time in February.  The Fire and Ice Show is this weekend in Downtown Rochester; for any of you that might be in Southeast Michigan, the list of activities is here.  Frankenmuth's Snowfest is this weekend, too!  If I weren't so clumsy, I'd definitely go to the ice skating rink in Detroit.

I know winter is cold and dreary, and a lot of the time you'd really like to keep cooped up in your warm, comfortable homes, but do a quick search on the internet for events going on in your area.  There might be a few annual festivals close to you that really help you to appreciate the coldest months of the year!

Any plans for the weekend?


Tutorial: Glowing, contoured face.

Happy Saturday everyone!  I decided to put together a short tutorial this morning showing how I do my foundation.  It's somewhat of a process, but it looks great every time... and really, it's simple!  

I use two colors of NYX's High Definition foundation.  The darker shade is the foundation that matches my skintone, and the lighter shade (the lightest one NYX makes) is the color used to highlight.

Apply both shades as shown above; the picture on the right might be easier to follow.  The highlighting shade is put in areas where light would generally hit the face.  The lighter shade will bring out areas of your face, while the darker shade will minimize (and thin) other areas.  A lighter shade above the top lip and a darker shade below the bottom lip will enhance the appearance of your lips.  Overall, the face will look thinner, and the cheekbones more defined.

Blend with your fingertips, but make sure the contrast between the two shades of foundation is still there.  Alternating between fingers (one for light and one for dark) or keeping a tissue on hand to wipe off excess foundation will help.

The two foundations create a bright blow and a minor contouring effect.  You could stop here, or add more depth with a contouring powder of your choice.

The contouring color that I use is part of a blush duo by Avon (you can definitely tell I use this a lot).  A good contouring color is darker than your skintone, but not too dark that it looks unnatural even after blending.  Bronzer can be used for some contouring, but I find that it has too much orange in it which makes it look less natural.  Plus, sometimes I like to use bronzer instead of a pink blush after contouring... when both are applied, you can definitely see the difference in color.

Apply the contouring shade to each of the areas where the darker foundation was applied.  The contouring powder adds more contrast between the two colors, which adds more definition.  Blend until it looks more natural. I use an eyeshadow brush to draw two lines down the length of my nose.  This can help to make a nose look thinner and more straight. When blending these lines, I avoid blending towards the center of my nose (where the highlight is), and focus more towards blending down the sides.  Sometimes I add more contour color under the inner eyebrow, into the inner corner of the eyes.  This can help make eyes that are farther apart look closer together.

Add some blush or bronzer, and you're all done!

What do you think?  Does your foundation routine involve several steps as well, or is yours more simple?  Let me know if you try this!


Ready, with two feet on the ground.

Photo of the day 1/16: two things.
TWO FEET, firmly on the ground.

 Not a very artistic picture is it? But it was a reminder of something important for me today.

 I am here. I am here in this present moment.

 This is something we always are, but hardly ever fully grasp. I focus so much on what's ahead and what's already behind me that sometimes I feel like an extravagant event could take place right before my eyes and I wouldn't notice a bit of it unless I had someone there to bring it to my attention. Can you imagine now, all of the things that we must be missing in our lives?

Taking this photo of my feet reminded me of why I have tried so many times to start (and commit to) this blog. A man I work with said to me the other day, "If you're taking pictures of everything you're doing while it's happening, how are you actually enjoying anything?" At the time, my answer to his question was simply that I love photography, so it added a bit of a personal hobby to each experience. Taking photos allows me to look back on great memories and share those memories with others. But when taking this photo, I realized that I love the hobby so much because having a camera in my hands is what keeps my attention on the present moment. I'm able to readily snap photos of things that, otherwise, I might have never noticed. Even if I had noticed, I'm sure I wouldn't have never taken the time to analyze what I'd seen unless it was in some way significant.

I see my two feet on the ground every single day. But, did I ever really think about what that really means until now?

 Photo of the day 1/17: Ready.

 So for today's photo of the day, I've chosen to take a picture of my camera in my hands. This is me ready to accept all that each present moment has to offer.

 Readers... friends - whether you're ready with a camera in your hands or you're taking little mental snapshots with your eyes, focus on the little things today. Bring yourself back to the present. To peace.


Button Swap

I'd love to swap buttons with you!  Please share your blog (and your button) with me.  I love reading new blogs!

Here's mine:

M i a B e l l a

January 2013 #FMSPHOTOADAY

As you all know, I've been thinking of starting some sort of project for the year... either a 52 or a 365 project.  I've seen these specific Photo a Day posts on a couple different blogs.  I like how each day has a particular topic.  Instead of taking photos of the same thing over and over because you find days where you lack inspiration, this photo-a-day project gives you some direction.  A few of these might even be things that you've never tried to capture.  It could be a learning experience!  I'll start with #16 tonight and go forward!

To play along, check out Fat Mum Slim, the blog where this originated.

Snaps from last week.

Last week was pretty calm.  We watched a lot of movies, and spent quality time with the little puppy dogs.  We had plans to go to see an exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum last weekend, but unfortunately didn't end up making it.  Oh well, there's always next week!

I was having one of those days where a simple ponytail is too simple.  I decided to throw a quick, somewhat sloppy braid in the front to casually spice it up.  It did a great job of keeping my hair out of my face!

We ended up going to Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner.  That place has the best Parmesan Crusted Chicken, and their mashed potatoes are delicious.  (And Dave, what a cutie.)

One excited little Skittles.  She can do so many little puppy tricks (not on command though...yet).  She's begging for attention here, as usual.

 I felt a little bit crafty and took a trip to Joanne Fabrics for a few suppies.... I wonder what this could be?

I fell in love with these dainty little pink prints.

Saturday was in the sixties!  The weather was beautiful.  It's absolutely amazing how much one day like that in the winter can lift your spirits.

Dave and I took advantage of the warm weather and gave the puppies hair cuts.  Milo looks so unbelievably teeny now.  I can't wait to see how big he gets!

Skittles was so matted from getting snow stuck to her. Her collar was tangled into her hair!  I guess they probably would have looked much better if I'd taken them to a professional, but my mom had the clippers and I had the patience, and it probably saved me around $60.  Besides, I still think they both look adorable.

Sunday morning I took a trip to one of my favorite health food shops, Nutrifoods in Royal Oak.  I love the place; their staff is so knowledgeable!  A few of these ingredients were used to make the hair mask I posted about earlier here.  The Almond Dream Bites are vanilla flavored ice cream made from almond milk covered in organic dark chocolate.  They are amazing, especially for someone who can't usually enjoy ready-made sweets like this because of the refined sugar!

I made a list today of some places in Michigan I'd like to visit this year.  Unfortunately I'll have to wait for the cold weather to go before starting any exploring.  I've lived here my whole life, and have still managed to miss out on some of the most beautiful places.... but that'll change this year!

How was your week?  Have you done anything this week that you've never done before?


2013 Creative Pay It Forward!

I've taken this idea from Ashley at Wannabe Green!

I've joined the 2013 Creative Pay It Forward:

5 people to comment with their email and blog address will receive from me, sometime in this calendar year, a gift - perhaps a book, a homemade gift, giftcard - a surprise!  There will likely be no warning, it will happen when the mood strikes me.  The catch?  Those five people must make the same offer on their blog.

I'll pick at random this friday!

I found it. The best hair mask EVER.

I've been doing a lot of reading about strengthening my hair lately.  I tried a couple different hair masks and leave in treatments from Sally's a couple weeks ago, which helped a bit with the look of my hair, but not the actual strength.  I want to not only improve the look of my hair, but significantly cut down breakage, add elasticity to my hair, and give it all the nutrients it needs to grow it out long and strong.

Well, I found it.  I gathered what I've read in the past few days, jotted a few notes down, and took a trip to my favorite organic shop... and I'm glad I did.


Castor Oil

Castor oil is known for its many beauty benefits.  It stimulates hair growth, and even prevents gray hair.  It coats each strand of hair, locking in moisture, thickening each strand, and building strength against breakage.  It's also used in many makeup products.  Since Castor oil is a thicker oil, it's easier to mix with other oils when applying to your hair.  Heating the oil will also increase its benefits and make it easier to apply.  

Read more about castor oil for hair here.

Coconut Oil

There are hundreds of uses for coconut oil.  It's great for hair, skin, and overall health (there are even reports of it helping symptoms of depression).  Coconut oil is used in so many hair products because it is one of the best things for your hair; it's packed with nutrients.  It's no wonder people who live in areas where coconuts are grown have such beautiful skin and hair.  Coconut oil works to strengthen and thicken each strand of hair as well, protecting the hair from further damage.

Read more about coconut oil for hair here.

Aloe Gel

Aloe gel soothes the scalp and promotes hair growth.  It works from the scalp to grow healthier and stronger hair, and to reduce shedding -- which is the key to growing hair longer and longer!  Aloe is also very moisturizing, and it works as a detangler.

Read more about aloe gel for hair here.

Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E oil has tons of beauty benefits for hair and skin.  It's included in many beauty products because of how effective it moisturizing benefits are.  Vitamin E improves circulation in the scalp, promoting hair growth.  It also repairs split ends and adds shine and bounce.  Supplements can also be taken to promote hair growth.

Read more about Vitamin E for hair here.

All together now!

1) First things first, I thoroughly soaked my hair with lukewarm water and dried it quickly with a towel.  

2) I chose to add the aloe gel by itself first since it has a bit of a different consistency compared to the others.  I applied a good amount directly to the scalp (enough to cover the scalp and the rest of my hair), massaging for about 30 seconds, then worked it through to the ends.  

3) Next, I scooped about a quarter-sized amount of coconut oil out of the jar.  Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but melts immediately when it touches your hands (I think this is cool).  I worked this around in my hands a bit until it was all melted, then added about a dime-sized amount of castor oil, and the same amount of vitamin e oil.  

4) After mixing the three ingredients, I worked this in from root to tip, tied my hair up out of the way, and went downstairs to watch TV.


5) Finally, I hopped in the shower and shampooed a couple times.  I had read that castor oil, since it is thicker, would take a little more washing than usual to completely wash out.  I use Mane Boost shampoo, which doesn't require any conditioner afterwards, so I skipped conditioner completely.

The results!

Immediately after washing this mixture out of my hair, still wet and all, I could feel how much smoother and healthier my hair already was. I grabbed a couple strands to check out the new strength I hoped to have.  It was there.  And then some.  My hair has the most elasticity it's ever had.  When pulling one single strand, it stretches until it can't anymore... but instead of breaking, it slips out of my fingers and snaps back into place!
After air drying, my hair is shiny and SUPER soft.  It's softer than it's felt since before I started using any hair dyes or heat styling.  

Going forward.

Using such small amounts has left me with more than enough of each of these ingredients to keep this up as a weekly mask for quite some time.  It's only the first time using this mask, but seeing (and feeling) the immediate increase in moisture, softness, and strength makes me SO excited to see how effective the long term benefits are -- including increased hair growth!

Overall, I am SUPER impressed.  Once again, I've proven to myself that buying a well-advertised product in a store can promise you one thing, but doing further research and finding the REAL (and usually natural) key ingredients to beautiful, healthy, and strong hair pays off.

I'm telling you... try this!  And let me know how it works for you.


2013: Goals.

We're already almost two full weeks into the new year, but I've finally put together my list of goals for this year (better late than never, right?).  I've been jotting these down on a notepad for about a week, and I think I've narrowed them all down to a good, finalized list.

1) Commit to blogging.  Find new readers and bloggers to connect with and learn from.  I love finding new sources of inspiration... and I hope to inspire someone else some day!

2) Start, and also commit to, a 365 or 52 project (I'm also jotting down ideas for this).  I'm not sure if I want this to be based on photography, blogging, or just life in general. I'd like to do something that I will take something from - I want to learn a lesson if I can.

3) Learn more about photography, and practice LOTS with my camera.  I'd love to take a class, but until then, practice, practice, practice... read, read, read.  I joined a few forums with tons of photography experts that should be able to help me learn a thing or two.

4) Try tons of new things.  Break my comfort zone down as much as possible.  Foods, activities, anything.  The only way to fully enjoy life is to actually live it, and I intend to start doing so.

5) Find out where my skills are in terms of craftiness and creativity.  Find a new creative hobby.  I often feel like I dabble in a lot of areas, but I haven't found my true calling.  I have a creative side, and I want to start exploring it.

6) Be more kind to others (and myself, too).  Being rude and angry might seem like the only way to blow off steam when we're frustrated, but being kind often has a better payoff.

7) Travel more.   Not so much to places that are very far, but to places (even locally) that are new and different.  Get outdoors more.  I vow to bring my camera to each and every one of these places.

8) Go through my clothes.  Donate!  My closet is absolutely filled with things that I hardly ever wear... and probably several things I haven't seen in months because they're buried!  These are things someone else might really appreciate.

9) Practice being more grateful for the things I have.  Goal #8 got me thinking.  I often get caught up on focusing on the negative things that happen, but I have a lot of things, opportunities, and really great people in my life.  I really have no reason to not be able to shrug off most of these negative thoughts.

10) Get healthy.  I've already cut out lots of unhealthy foods... now I need to start focusing on bringing in the super healthy foods!  I'd like to commit to exercising more, too.

What are your goals for the new year?


Friday Favorites - My favorite products for beauty right now.

Happy Friday!  I've put together several of my favorite products that I use for beauty right now.  I always search for new and better products to use.  I feel like I hardly ever purchase the same brand of any item twice, but these are the exceptions!  I'll be sticking with these for a while.  Here's why.

Miracle 7 KERATIN leave-in mist
This product is responsible for the tangle-free manageability my hair has when it's wet.  This is the second bottle I've bought; I can't go a day without it!  It adds gorgeous shine and such a healthy look to my hair, and builds strength and protection from damage (which we all need).  This leave-in product is what allows me to comb through my wet hair and round brush it with ease... and it smells great!

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Foundation
I just switched to this foundation from using Too Faced's last summer.  At first it feels a little heavier than some others that I've used in the past, but after a few minutes of wearing it, its very unnoticeable. I use two different colors, one that matches my skin tone (perfectly, I might add), and one that is a bit lighter for a natural looking highlight.  I have oily skin, but it looks great all day, even close up.  I've re-purchased this 3 or 4 times now, and I have no plans of changing that!  I love NYX's whole line.  Compared to Too Faced, this foundation is extremely inexpensive... and a great foundation!

Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer
I alternate between this primer and a primer by Smashbox, but I'd have to say, this one takes the cake.  Even before applying foundation, this primer already makes my skin look more even, shine-free, and poreless.  It also makes applying liquid foundation evenly super easy.  This primer feels light on the skin, doesn't add any strange hues (think Rimmel's!), and helps your makeup to last all day.

Benefit High Beam
Depending on what color I'm wearing, using a lighter foundation as a highlight can sometimes wash me out.  High Beam by Benefit offers a natural looking sheen without washing me out at all.  The pink tint makes the sheen look somewhat iridescent, which overall gives your face a beautiful healthy glow. It's a small bottle at a somewhat steep price, but when applied correctly, it lasts a long time.  The only setback I notice is the type of applicator the bottle has... it's exactly like a nail polish bottle and brush!  Great product, nonetheless.

Aspirin makes a GREAT face mask and scrub to stop and prevent breakouts.  I use warm water to break down two or three tablets, apply to my face, and let sit for fifteen to thirty minutes.  The tablets never completely dissolve, so the texture that remains is gritty - perfect for a face scrub.  Breakouts are quickly flattened and less red.  It also works great as a preventative!  (When I'm in a pinch, I dissolve the tablets and use as a quick scrub without letting it sit as a mask.)

Straight Sexy Hair Smooth & Protect
This is hands down the best heat protecting flat iron spray I've tried.  It's very deceiving .. it goes on oily, but after flat ironing, my hair looks super shiny and healthy, and it's as soft as silk... and never weighed down.  Heat damage was eating at my hair, and this spray is saving it!  This also seems to cut down the time it takes to get my hair perfectly straight, which means, along with protection, my hair is feeling the heat less anyways.  I also apply it lightly just before roundbrushing to protect from the heat of the hair dryer.

Catwalk Your Highness Root Boost Spray
Best.  Root spray.  Ever.  I've tried a million of these, as I mentioned in my previous post about the hair products I use for volume, but I am stuck on this stuff.  I love it.  I even have to tame the volume I get with this root spray a bit before walking out of the house, and the volume lasts all day... even overnight through sleeping.  Use it alone, or with backcombing and some hair spray, and I promise you, you will see the best volume you've ever had.  It doesn't require tons of product either.  Love it.

Vaseline Lip Therapy
These are so tiny and cute!  I keep one of these in my bag and one on my nightstand.  It's still regular old vaseline, but in the tiniest, purse-friendly size.  I use this for my lips, but also for dry cuticles/hands, or at the corners of my eyes to help when they get dry from watering so much.

Baking Soda
Ahh... my absolute favorite product in this list.  Baking soda can be used for many things, but my two favorite uses are for teeth whitening and the best face scrub you will ever need; and it's so cheap!  Mixed with peroxide and applied gently with a toothbrush, baking soda will help scrub stains from your teeth bringing you a brighter, whiter smile.  I've been doing this for a couple years now, and I won't ever go back to the store brand bleaching products.  The effects last, and they don't cause tooth sensitivity.  This mixture will also help whiten the whites of your nails, according to many users on Pinterest (I have yet to try this).  Baking soda can also be added to any face wash (or just water if you prefer) for beautiful, soft, glowing skin.  I use this on a weekly basis, or more if breakouts occur.  It's great to do before bed because of how clean it makes your skin feel!

Out of all the things I've tried, these are my favorites this week.
I'm sure I'll have more to add to the list next Friday!

What are some of your favorites?