My November and December Monthly Favorites (Better Late Than Never)

With all the busyness of the holidays, I never got around to sharing some of my favorites for the months of November and December…and here we are in the last week of January! Below you’ll find just a few of my favorites, hope you find this helpful!

A few months back I purchased a sampler Discovery Set of Frederic Malle Perfumes, mainly because the set included two perfumes I’ve heard reviewers rave about online. The two I most wanted to try were Portrait of a Lady and Carnal Flower. The Sampler Set is available here for just $35 which I thought was pretty reasonable since there are 6 perfumes included in the set: Frederic Malle Discovery Set.

I like a lot of the perfumes in this set but my favorite is, Portrait of a Lady, so much so I think I’m going to purchase a full-size bottle at some point. The top notes are Rose, Clove, Raspberry, Black Currant, and Cinnamon. Middle notes are Patchouli, Incense, and Sandalwood and the base notes are Musk, Benzoin, and Amber. It’s different from anything else that I have and I really do like it. You’ll find it available here: Portrait of a Lady Perfume.


I’m always raving about this miracle lotion, Cutemol, and how it saves my fingertips from cracking during the wintertime. I love what it does for my feet/heels, too–turns them into babies feet! (It’s available here: Cutemol.)


When I was visiting with family during the holidays, I had forgotten to bring body lotion with me. My skin is so itchy in the winter unless I slather on the lotion. Curel Itch Defense has great reviews so I decided to give it a try. It’s awesome! I put it on all over my body as soon as I get out of the shower and it definitely calms the itching.

So I recommend Cutemol for feet and hands and the Curel Itch Defense is great for all over. You’ll find it available here: Curel Itch Defense.



I just tried these velvet clips for the first time in December and they work great! They are designed to keep clothes that have a tendency to slide off a hanger, on the hanger where they belong. I have a few tops/dresses that want to slide off and these do the trick without hurting the clothes. You’ll find them available here: Velvet Clips.


I can’t do this post without mentioning the tissue holders I purchased this past fall season. I have various styles all over my home now and they give me a little moment of happiness each time I see and use them. I love them so much, definitely a favorite buy for the month of December. You’ll find this one here: Birdie Tissue Holder. (Pssst: It’s much prettier in person than in my photos.)


I have this one in both my upstairs family room and a bathroom. Love it! It’s available here: Rattan Tissue Holder.


And I’m crazy about the beautiful walnut tissue holder I ordered for my downstairs living room. It’s available here: Beautiful Walnut Tissue Holder.


Had to include these Cornhole boards I bought just before my son, daughter-in-law, and grandsons visited for Thanksgiving.


They enjoyed playing multiple games of Cornhole and I’m glad I’ll have them for future visits. You’ll find these here: Cornhole Set.


My SUV is quite old…it’s a 2007 so almost 14-years-old now! I’m thinking of replacing it this year, especially since its hybrid battery days are numbered.

Unfortunately, since my car is so old, it doesn’t work with a Bluetooth phone, so I have to carry a Bluetooth speaker with me in order to listen to a book on Audible when running errands or on long trips. I love my little Bluetooth speakers but they can be hard to hear at times, especially if I’m on the interstate.

I discovered this Bluetooth speaker below a few months back and I really like it. It hooks onto my visor and when left on, it will automatically pair with my phone when I get in the car. If I don’t leave it on, it’s just a  flip of the switch to turn it back on and it pairs again automatically. It was such a blessing on my trip to and from Ohio!

Because it fits over my visor and is near my head, I have no trouble hearing it. If you have an older car or a car that doesn’t sync to your phone, definitely recommend this cool device. You can even use it to talk on your phone when a call comes in. You’ll find it available here: Bluetooth Speaker.




I’ve really been working on a lot of puzzles since I returned home in early January. Before I left for Ohio, this was one of the puzzles I completed–I snapped a photo before removing it from my puzzle board. It’s a painting hanging in a beautiful library and the painting depicts many of the animals you would spot while on safari in Africa. It reminds me of my trip in 2015 to Kenya.

Apparently, the owner of the painting has just brought the painting home from the art gallery where he purchased it, and the animals are all very curious about their new home–so curious they have decided to leave the painting to check it out for themselves! lol


The puzzle is designed with sort of a 3-D appearance–notice how a bird appears to be flying right out of the painting at the left top corner. A lion, along with her cub, is hanging out across the lower part of the frame. The cheetahs have already exited the painting and are happily lounging on the beautiful red sofa in this lovely library. Looks like three birds have joined them. Ha!

I love the whimsy of this puzzle sooo much! It was a fun one to do! If you love puzzles, you’ll find this one here: African Savannah.


I think I’m going to order this one next. I love the water (and the ducks!) spilling out of the pond onto the table! 🙂  You’ll find this one here: English Cottage with Pond and Wildlife.


Have a great weekend! See you on Monday for Metamorphosis Monday!

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  1. Ha – I love that last puzzle – so cute! I can’t wait until I have puzzle time again, and I’ll definitely be coming over here for puzzle suggestions! 😉 Thanks for the tips on the other great things you got. I put a lot of stock in your reviews because I know you’ll always give us your honest recommendation. Hope you’re having a lovely weekend!

    • Judy Duncan says

      Just purchased the Ninja Air Fryer with the dual baskets that you recommended. Most of the recipes recommend misting with olive oil. What is the olive that you recommend and have you purchased a mister/sprayer yet? Look forward to your answer. Also any special air fryer cookbooks?

  2. Franki Parde says

    Hmmmm…that perfume sounds interesting! Is it Spring yet….franki

  3. Love all your favorites. On your recommendation, I’ve used Cutemol for years, and really appreciate how it’s helped my cuticles. I don’t have your cold weather out here in CA, but my hands are in water ALOT, and it works wonders. Your puzzles are amazing! I’m sure you’ve answered this question before, but what do you do with them when they’re completed? I’d be hard put to take a puzzle apart that I had put so many hours into completing! As always, thank you for taking your time to offer all your suggestions! Take care.

    • Thanks! Usually, I tear them apart and place them back in the box to do again. If I haven’t especially enjoyed one and don’t think I’ll ever want to do it again, I donate it to my local Goodwill.
      I just finished one that I’ve done once before…it’s a puzzle of the Governor’s Palace in Colonial Williamsburg at Christmastime. This time I’m going to “preserve” it since I’d like to keep it but don’t plan to do it again. Not sure if I’ll frame it or not. I have found a great way to preserve them without having to use messy glues like people normally do. You can read about how that works in this previous post:

  4. When you finish your wonderful puzzles what do you do with them? Do you display them?

  5. Cyndi Raines says

    Susan, I’m happy for you that you have discovered a new perfume, but forgive me, I don’t understand what you mean by “top notes, middle notes and base notes?” Are they the type of fragrances for each sample? I don’t purchase really expensive perfumes so that may be why I don’t know. If it were a song, I would understand, haha. Also, before I forget I wanted to ask you want do you use to dye your eyebrows ? I know you said it was a bit pricey, but you thought it did a good job. I am getting more and more gray ones popping in and if I keep plucking them, I am concerned it will start making my eyebrows look too sparse. Funny you should mention it may be time to replace your 2007 vehicle, we just did ours, (same year) and we are happy. We are loving our heated seats! Good luck in your search. Thanks for the shopping tips, I’ll be ordering those clips. LOVE those puzzles and by the way I just took my window wreaths down today, (sigh).

    • I didn’t know about notes until I started watching perfume reviews on YouTube. Notes are just the different elements/ingredients in a perfume. The Top notes are the ones you notice right away in the first few minutes after you spray it. As the fragrance starts to dry down…say about 30 minutes in, you will start to really notice the middle or heart notes. After you’ve been wearing a perfume for a while, maybe a few hours, the Base notes will become more apparent. A lot of people will love the tops notes of a perfume the most and will keep reapplying throughout the day to enjoy those again.
      Here’s an article that explains a bit better and explains which ingredients/scents are normally found in the Top, Middle and Base notes.

      Here’s what I use to dye my brows when the grays start to show: .

      It’s a bit pricey but lasts a long, long time. I’m still using the first tube that I ordered back on December 4, 2019, and there’s still several more applications left in the tube.

      When I apply it, I just leave it on for about 5-6 minutes, the wipe it off with a tissue. Occasionally, I’ll apply it a second time if I need to…usually I don’t need to. It will last for 3-4 weeks before I normally have to dye them again.

      It doesn’t come with the developer that you need to mix in. This is what I bought and it works great: .

      I still have at least a half bottle of it left even after using it for a year. So the initial cost seems a bit high to me, but it lasts a long, long time.

      I’ve found regular hair dye will not cover my resistant gray eyebrows so it takes this type dye made just for brows to really work. I love how they look…just like having my 25 year old eyebrows back again. lol

      Before I started coloring the, I was doing the same thing you are, plucking the grays, but there got to be sooo many, I was worried I’d have gaps and that if I kept plucking them, they might stop growing back. I’m glad I stopped before that happened.

      I’ve been really pleased with the Intensive products, so will def keep purchasing them. I recommend you dye your brows about 24 hrs prior to going out anywhere. I always manage to get some dye on the skin underneath my brows, which actually doesn’t look that bad because it kinda fills them in. lol But I prefer to not go out for about 24 hours because it gives the dye that may get through to your skin time to wear off. I have dyed mine many times just a few hours before leaving the house when I realized they needed done, so it’s not a big deal if you do have to do that.

    • Oh, and I bought these to mix it up in…you only need one but it came in a set:

      And to apply it, I use a very small paint brush that I already had.

    • Cyndi, I was having a real eyebrow problem. They were so thin and graying. I have been putting cocoa butter on them at night. They look fuller and darker without dying.

  6. Susan, the puzzle is beautiful, I need to order one, thinking of getting the Noah’s Ark one so the grandkids can help. The 5 year old loves Noah’s Ark and likes doing puzzles. I always put mine together on the DR table but am looking for a stand or tray to use. Do you have any recommendations? What do you use when putting your puzzles together?

    • I use a puzzle board like this one…really saves the back. It used to kill my back leaning ove a table. Love my puzzle board!
      The Noah’s Ark is really cute!

      • I sold my 13 year old Toyota Sienna van in August. Our son and daughter-in-law listed it on craigs list or something and their phone started ringing off the hook. It was a single owner little old lady car! Who knew there was such a demand for 13 year old Toyotas. I got a new Highlander which has heated seats and steering wheels which are lovely in the winter here. It has Apple Car Play which I love as well. Cobb County Toyota was great because you don’t need to dicker there over price. They beat all the Kelly Blue Book, etc. excellent price quotes and made the whole process easy. Good luck on your new vehicle hunt. (The birds are eating us out of house and home right now. Crazy busy feeders)

  7. Hi Susan! As soon as I saw the words “favorites”, I got excited. I’ve ordered so many of your recommendations! Told my husband about it, now he enjoys hearing your choices. Today’s pick for me is the Blue Tooth Speaker. My hubby’s truck is a 2006 F-150, his pride and joy! That will be perfect for him, as we’ve often remarked that we wished we had that feature. And good luck on the car shopping when the time comes! Sooo many good choices out there! We bought the AWD Buick Enclave Avenier, great fuel economy for a mid size SUV and plenty of room to haul the 4 grandkids around in! Our daughter just purchased a used Infinity QX60, another great size with a 3rd row if needed. Have a great week!

    • Thanks, Gina! I’m so glad you enjoy these posts!
      I do love that Bluetooth speaker. It paired very easily to my phone. It comes with a charger that has a nice long cord so if I discover the power is getting low, I can plug it into the charger, then plug that into the lighter thing to charge it. Hope your hubby likes it!

  8. We work a lot of puzzles , I am not happy with the table we use , it seems to reflect too much light , do you use a pad under your puzzles

  9. Those puzzles with a twist–so clever and creative!

  10. I just wanted to let you know you have done wonders for my life, first with The Car Guys cleaner. Then with recommending Cutemol.  I am writing to you today to suggest that you try Cutemol on your face (if you haven’t already).I am 70, tried every cream, serum to achieve that dewy glow from within that I probably never had!  Yesterday as I was putting some on my hands, I decided to use some on my face.  As I started to wash my face last night, I was amazed that my face was a dewy joy to be seen!    Thank you for recommending these products.   Could you start searching for a facelift cream or pill??

    • Wow, that’s awesome! I’ve never used it on my face before. I’m totally going to try that, though! I have used a tiny bit on my lips at night since it holds in the moisture so well. REALLY! Someone needs to invent a facelift pill! Ha! I love The Car Guys cleaner, too. I use it for practically everything. Can’t live without it!

  11. Susan, quick question. I got the rattan tissue holder and put a box of tissues (Walmart brand) in it. It is a really tight squeeze to get it closed…there’s a slight gap between the lid and the bottom. Do you actually take your tissues out of the original box they come in or does the box fit in your tissue holder without any problem? Thanks for any help!

    • I have both of the rattan tissue holders–the small square rattan tissue holder and the larger, rectangular rattan holder. For the smaller square one, the tissue box fits inside just fine. It’s snug, but it goes in and closes without any problem. For the larger, rectangular one that I keep on my desk, the tissue box will not fit in so I just took all the tissues out and layed them inside. I wonder if it was designed too small or if they meant for it to function that way. It seems to work fine without the cardboard box. Which one do you have…the smaller square one or the longer rectangular one?

      • Thank you, thank you for the reply! I have the smaller square one and looooove it. But it is a little snug fitting for the tissue box I have. Maybe I will buy another brand and try that. I’m a tissue holder lover from way back and have had all kinds over the years but I really like the texture on this one. I love your recommendations, Susan. So many have been winners for me. Just got the black socks from Amazon and they are great! Why in heck-o-la is it so hard to find the right pair of socks? It’s kinda like Goldilocks…they’re either too thick, too thin, or…call 911, I’ve lost all circulation! HA! Thanks again.

        • lol I know what you mean. That’s one thing I love about those socks…they aren’t too thick, so shoes still fit well, but they are super warm.
          In case it helps, this is the tissue I buy. I had a really bad cold a few years back and rubbed my poor nose raw with the tissue I had. It was so sore, I shopped for something that was softer and found this Kleenex Ultra Soft brand. They are wonderful! It’s the only type I buy now, they have ruined me. This size box fits great inside the rattan cover, closes very easily. If you try this brand and it doesn’t close easily, you may need to exchange the one you have. I’m guessing these may be handmade and maybe they vary slightly. Hope this helps. Let me know if you try the Kleenex Ultra Soft brand and if it fits okay.

  12. Yes, I will get that one and see if it fits better. And, if not, I will return my holder for a replacement. It’s going in a guest bathroom so it wouldn’t hurt for me to up my tissue game anyway. Ha! But geez, with Covid and all I’m not sure when guests will be back to visit and blow their nose. #makeitgoaway When they do, though, they’re gonna covet my tissue holder. LOL!


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