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Saturday, February 13, 2016

some "winter" favorites in a new way



We've been getting more snow lately which is so beautiful and makes it definitely feel like winter is finally here!  And, speaking of winter...check out our expected wind chill for tonight.
Yes, you read that correctly-
MINUS 33 DEGREES

Since it's been so cold I've wanted to share some of my favorite products (which you've seen before) and tell you of the new ways I have just discovered to use a couple of them that might come in handy at your house.


Magnolia and Ella enjoying the snow!




Up first is:
 THAYERS Organic, unscented, alcohol-free witch hazel with aloe vera
which I wrote about last winter after recently discovering it. HERE  It is now my year-round go to and I can't recommend it highly enough.  This one is not used in a new way, but I just wanted to remind you about it in case you are suffering from dry, itchy skin this winter.... you're welcome!!  Every time I use it I think "I need you remind you about it!"   See, you are always in my thoughts:)
 This is not the witch hazel from your adolescences- it does not contain alcohol and is not the 
"astringent" form of witch hazel.   Witch hazel is a deciduous shrub that has many medicinal uses HERE and HERE.  The THAYERS brand of witch hazel products is made of non-distilled extract from the witch hazel shrub maintaining the highest levels of therapeutic tannins.
If you have dry skin in the winter (or anytime of year for that matter) you will love this product.  I use it after showering by lightly towel-drying then applying the witch hazel directly on damp skin and gently rubbing it on arms, legs, back, etc.  Let it air dry, then you can apply your regular body lotion.  In the summer I will use it alone, without lotion.  I use it on my face morning and night after washing, then apply a Vitamin C serum followed by moisturizer.
If your hands are dry use it as hand lotion.  Simply pour a small amount in the cup of your hand (be sure to dip your cuticles in the witch hazel) then rub your hands and cuticles as if you were applying regular hand lotion.  I do this often throughout the day (after washing my hands) and it keeps my hands from cracking from the dry winter air and keeps your cuticles looking great.  You can put lotion on at this point, but I use the witch hazel by itself.  I literally keep a bottle upstairs, in the kitchen, and a small container in my purse!  Think the father in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding and his Windex! :):) In fact when we went to Baton Rouge this past summer to pick up Louise and Magnolia my precious little great-niece, Stella, would get a bug bite or a scratch and she would go get my witch hazel and dab it on- yes, it works on bug bites and stings, and helps heal minor scrapes and cuts.
In the winter I use it on my hands and feet every night before going to bed.  I apply a coat, let it dry, then use a heavy cream and am always impressed with the way they look and feel.  Using the heavy cream alone did not give me the same results.  I purchase my witch hazel on Amazon in a 2-pack 
 HERE 
 since I can not find it locally, and because it is usuallyreally good price, but yikes, I just checked the link and it was $19,95 :O.  I just ordered some last week for $13.85, so keep checking the link.  The price fluctuates based on availability, but is usually between $13-$16 for 2. 
It also comes scented in Rose PetalCucumberLavender, but I personally prefer the unscented.
I've heard from many of you that you tried it last year and loved it, so please leave a comment so others can know of your experience too.




Next up is Eucalan Delicate Wash which I mentioned last winter as a great product to use at home as an alternative to dry cleaning (of which I am not a fan) for wools, cashmere, and anything delicate.  It is non-toxic, biodegradable, free of optical brighteners, phosphates, synthetic fragrance and dye. (ingredients)  It is a no-rinse product.  You can use it to hand wash (or machine, depending) cashmere, wool, silks, etc.  A very small amount goes a long way.  It's a great eco-friendly alternative to dry cleaning.   
I even use it to bathe the girls as it is made of lanolin. (Though I do rinse them!)  I think their coats stay cleaner longer using this product and I love that it is unscented (a dog's sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 more intense than a humans (source) .  Because of that fact I feel very strongly against using any perfume laden shampoos, unnecessary chemicals, etc.on dogs.


 Like many of you I have several faux fur throws around the house in the winter (the girls love them).  One pair of throws in the barn room I've had for about 3 years and they were in dire need of a cleaning.  The cleaning directions all say "dry clean only."  I really didn't want to take them to the dry cleaners, so one day I decided to wash them with the Eucalan and take my chances.  I washed them each separately on the delicate cycle in cold water using about 2 tablespoons of the Eucalan for each load (a little goes a long way). After washing I dried them on a low-heat setting in the dryer and they came out PERFECT!  I washed a third faux fur throw since I was so pleased with the outcome of the first two.  I'm happy that the pups don't have to sit on and breathe in all those dry cleaning chemicals and I can only imagine how much it would have cost be to have had them dry cleaned. 







I purchase the unscented HERE.
It is also available (click on the scent) in EucalyptusLavender, Grapefruit and Jasmine- all scented using essential oils.



And, finally the Swiffer Dusters that I mentioned in one of my favorite lists: 10 house things I can't live without HERE




Last week while dusting in the master bedroom I noticed the black fabric lampshade on the table in the corner was really dusty.  I always see it when I'm dusting then forget about it by the time I get the vacuum out,  (and besides, I find lampshades are a pain to vacuum since I always end up unleveling them and then have to jockey with them to get the shade "just right" and back to level...)  so I decided to use the Swiffer Dusters and I couldn't believe that it actually worked and worked great.   Try it on your fabric shades and see what you think!  It was so much easier than vacuuming.
(I should mention that it was a "fresh" Swiffer, not a previously used one;)


So, that's it.  Just a couple of things that I wanted to share with you in hopes of making your day a it nicer/easier.  xxo
Hope you are warm and comfy!

To read more of my "favorite lists" HERE.  On the bottom of the page click on "older posts" to continue reading.

78 comments:

  1. Swiffer dusters are my secret weapon as well. There aren't many commercial cleaning things that I buy but these are really, really good!

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    1. I used to use a feather duster, but the Swiffers work so much better:) Glad to know you use them too.

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  2. That is cold. Thank you for sharing your favorites.

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  3. Love posts like this! So fun to see what others have discovered and love. I'm recently bought some Witch Hazel to make DIY facial toner and I LOVE it! My face has been so much happier since using it (2 weeks now) and I don't struggle with dry skin anymore. I'll have to start using it all over now. I didn't know you could do that but duh! It only makes sense. :-)
    And I just added some Eucalan to my Amazon cart. I have several dry clean only items like wool slacks and wool coats and like you, I don't like the conventional method of dry cleaning. So thanks for sharing about it!
    Love the pictures of your home. It's beautiful!
    Stay warm tonight. -33 sounds like a good time to get under a blanket with a cup of hot tea or chocolate and read a good book! :-)
    Blessings,
    Hannah

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    1. Thank you for your comment Hannah. I use it on my face too. Should have mentioned that. I use it first, then a vitamin C serum, then lotion both morning and night. There are some good tips and I think a video on the Eucalan website for washing wools.

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  4. Thanks so much for posting these favorites. I was planning on taking down all our linen drapes and having them dry cleaned, but I may try washing one of them with the Eucalan as a test. Don't worry! I'll try one panel that hanging in our bedroom as a test so that if it shrinks, it won't be as noticeable because it's hanging behind our bed and you won't be able to tell! Just think of the money you may have saved me!!!

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    1. I hope it works Jane. Be sure to wash in cold water and hang to dry. I recently washed something linen expecting it to shrink, but it didn't. Can't remember what it was now. Fingers crossed it works for you!

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  5. Love your posts! When it comes to cleaning fabric shades, I have found that nothing works better than Evercare pet hair rollers that use masking tape. I use it on shades, upholstery and even small rugs. Can't be beat!

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  6. I didn't know about Eucalan but the other two I've used for years. I am diabetic and my doctors always comment on how soft and lovely my feet are. I just tell them it's the Witch Hazel.

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  7. I LOVE a good favorite list and yours are the best.

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  8. Oh I just love your posts...feel like I'm spending time with a dear friend. Thanks for sharing more faves. Oh and the snow looks gorgeous! Happy Winter!

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    1. ohhhh, that is so sweet, thank you. May I get us some wine while we chat?!! :)

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  9. This is the weather here where I live .. at this moment lol
    Overcast
    -7°F
    -22°C

    More snow is forecast. My daughter is sending me links to real estate in Florida LOL
    I am thinking about the packing that begins tomorrow. while it snows. and snows. and ....

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    1. I think Florida is going to be a good move for you Candice. You'll be that much closer to BA:)

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  10. Great recommendations! I use a lint roller on my fabric lamp shades. It works great, and is so much easier than dragging out the vacuum cleaner.

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  11. One of the best uses for a Swiffer duster is to put it under the front seat of your car and then whip it out while you are waiting for the light to turn green and dust your dashboard. Brilliant!

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    1. omgosh.... this IS brilliant! Thank you so much for the great idea Andrea Jane!

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  12. Joan,
    Thank you for this. I've always enjoyed, and found helpful, your posts about your favorite products. I love the wax chandelier sleeves and other items you've shared.
    I will definitely try the Eucalan Delicate Wash and Thayers Witch Hazel...I already use the Swiffer Dusters and love them.
    I hope you stay warm. We're (Southern California) currently under an unexpected heat wave. I'd prefer your cold, but some say I'm crazy.
    xo,
    Karen

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    1. I'm with you Karen. My niece in Baton Rouge told me it was 61 degrees tonight and still tons of mosquitoes :( I'll take the cold thank you:):)

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  13. hi joannie! i love glimpses of your home. i will try the swiffer on the lampshades, great tip! x

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    1. hi Janet! Have you ever tried the alcohol free witch hazel since you're in "the business"?!! xxo

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  14. I discovered Thayer's Witchhazel last year and it has been such a godsend!! My poor shins were so dry. It really is soothing. It makes me happy to see someone else loves it as much as I do. I also use Swiffers. But I have never heard of Eucalan , so I will check it out. Thank you for the informative post. You have such a lovely home. It has been cold here (Utah) but no where near as cold as you are experiencing!

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    1. Arell, It really is so soothing isn't it?! Stay warm in beautiful Utah.

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  15. Thanks so much for all these recomendations! I will try the Swiffer on the lamp shades. I agree, vacuuming them is a pain! STAY WARM!!! We are at 12 degrees right now and going down. UGH, I hate this:) Happy Valentines day to you and your hubby!!!!!

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    1. Thank you Pinky! Happy Valentines to you and Joe!

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  16. I bought Eucalan on your recommendation! I have a lot of cashmere sweaters and have always hand washed them; this is the best product so far! I soak them in a bucket in lukewarm water and Eucalan for 10 minutes or so then tip the lot into the washing machine and put them on a delicates rinse and low spin. Shape and lay flat to dry! I love that it's unscented. Thanks for your tips - stay warm!

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    1. So happy you are pleased with it Iona. Thank you for commenting. The spin on delicate is a good idea. I also then use a large beach towel and roll the item inside and it really helps wick away any remaining moisture.

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    2. Yes! I do this as well if needed and dry them right on the towels on the floor in a guest room or somewhere out of the way.
      I'd love to hear more of your recommendations for looking after your treasures. What do you use to polish your antique furniture?

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  17. Ohhhh my gosh brrr ya'll are Cold there!!
    Ya pics are Awesome and I love love
    ya blog n posts!!!!! It is my mostest fav
    well too luv following ya blog on the
    Precious Sisters and on that Beautuful
    Home!!!!

    I love the thayers witch hazel unscented
    I have been getting it at Whole Foods,
    Keep some in a glass spray bottle
    Thank you

    Hope Ms Ella is feeling better
    Kissaroos n Bear Hugs to those
    Sweetie Pies!!!!!
    Happy Happy Valentines Day

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  18. Oh goodness, I've been using Eucalan for years for my hand knit woolens, but would never have thought to try it on my faux fur throw OR our dog! Thank you for the suggestions :-)

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    1. You will love it Julie! Yes, I used to be able to find it a local knitting shop, but sadly it has closed so I now order it on Amazon.

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  19. I began using Witch Hazel after reading about it on your blog. Now my grown son uses it and I even gave a bottle to my brother who works outdoors on a large horse ranch. My brother is a real "manly man" and would never think of using lotion on his dry, cracked face and hands which take a beating from the elements. So I am thrilled you told us about this! Just and FYI - I have found it at Natural Grocers and even Walmart.

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    1. I can't tell you how much I love your comment Michelle!:) You must get that brother to wear sunscreen too:) I've had Dan wearing sunscreen for years and people are always surprised when they find out his age as they think he is much younger. It really does make a difference, but hard to talk men into it sometimes. OMGosh.... I just looked at the Walmart website and you can find it on line- good to know, though when the price goes down on Amazon I think it is a better deal.

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  20. My skin is so dry- all over- that it hurts! I will definitely try this witch hazel. Our temps in LA are the opposite of yours. It was 86º and sunny today. We've had a heat wave all week and El Nino has been El No Show so far. I fear our summer is going to be super hot.

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    1. Linda, you will LOVE it! And try this lotion too, it's amazing. Together combined they will stop the hurt (which I totally understand btw;)
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003TQU1Q0?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B003TQU1Q0&linkCode=xm2&tag=forthelove005-20

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  21. I am ordering the Eucalan today ..in Lavender :)

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  22. Hi, I've been a reader of your blog for some time, but this is my first time commenting. I love your sense of style, and while I don't love every item, I love your overall aesthetic and it's so fun to see how someone else applies a similar approach. I learn something or get new ideas almost every post. And how great is that? Thank you for taking such care in your posts. I've spent over 30 years in advertising and marketing and am somewhat of a layout and design junkie. My only suggestion to you, respectfully submitted, would be for you to consider laying out your type to be justified left, rather than centered. There is a lot of advertising research that confirms it's harder for a reader to plow through copy when it is not justified left. (Readers from cultures in which we read left to right, that is.) The eye has to do a lot of adjusting and searching on every line. I think those who love design think it's prettier to be centered, but I just pass this onto be helpful!

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    1. It is great indeed Tracy! As an advertising major myself (UT Austin) I understand your suggestion and have tried the justified left, but it just didn't feel right to 'me.' I think you hit the nail when you mentioned the design perspective and thinking it is (and seeing it as) " prettier" to be centered. I've decided centered was acceptable here since it isn't a novel or a lengthy read. Hope you'll indulge me:)

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  23. Happy Valentine's Day! Thank you for your ALWAYS enjoyable posts. Personally, I love all seasons, including "real" winter. I believe it is nature's way of recharging deep roots, resting and preparing for the business of the next seasons. Your favorites are the best. Because of your Thayers tip our household is itch free for about a year now! It is cold in Ohio also, and we are looking forward to a brisk (possibly short 😉) afternoon walk, then snuggling in for Downton tonight. A perfect to us! 💕

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    1. Love that you are itch free too Tina! Love me some Downton too!:)

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  24. I've been enjoying your blog for some time now and although I haven't left a comment before, I thought I'd do so now. Thank you always for the inspiration and the information you provide. Whenever I feel the winter "blues", I hop onto your site for a pick-me-up. Thank you for sharing!

    In gratitude,
    Teresa

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    1. oh Teresa... Thank you for your dear comment. I greatly appreciate it! xxo

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  25. Did not know that about witch hazel. Thank you for sharing!!

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  26. I love each and every post!! Last year I ordered the witch hazel and Eucalan which I love!! (also vacuum cleaner and others on your list!!)
    A comment I want to share is I also have several Faux fur throws for my sweet English Bulldog Ethel! 2 of them are from World Market (3 years ago) and 1 from home Goods. They also said dry clean and as I hate dry cleaning I decided to wash them. They have been washed over and over again (regular wash and detergent) and look pretty much like they did brand new!! A shock to me! I'm sure that some throws might not stand up that well but mine sure did! Try to stay warm and look forward to each post!

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    1. hi Kerry! Thank you so much. I am glad to hear of your experience of washing the faux fir throws.
      kisses to Ethel (love her name!!)

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  27. After your post last year I bought the Eucalan and bath my cats with it and various items, I also got the lemon spray, and the witch hazel. Now I am using the witch hazel daily as my skin gets very dry in winter and I hate that greasy lotion, just the other day I ordered more and some spray bottles from Amazon so I could spritz my back and face. I Love all three but especially the witch hazel as I have spent hundreds on lotions and potions over the years that don't work as well. I like that it isn't greasy, dries quickly, and most importantly that I don't smell like I bathed in perfume. I too hate scents....

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    1. Nathan!!!!! You are the best! Yes, the spray bottle is the perfect way to get good coverage on the back. Try this lotion... I just re-purchased it and it is AMAZING! It is the only lotion I can wear to bed since I can't "feel" it on me. (I've been known to get up in the middle of the night and wash off some lotions because there is just something about the feel to them that makes me unable to sleep... weird, I know:):) I apply it with hands I've rinsed under warm water to spread it out a bit and thin it. I slept like a baby last night... a moisturized baby!!!! No scent either. Yay.
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003TQU1Q0?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B003TQU1Q0&linkCode=xm2&tag=forthelove005-20

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  28. Hi Joan, I've been reading your blog for a few years now. No doubt my favorite! Because of you I have been trying to find beauifully worn rugs like yours. I've only been lucky enough to find two small ones. I was wondering if you you have any recommendations on cleaning them?
    Thanks,
    Diane Narkawicz
    Coventry, Rhode Island

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    1. I do Diane. I'll do a post on it as I need to get Dan's input... he's my rug cleaner man!

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    2. Thanks Joan & Dan! I'll look forward to it.

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  29. I've used your recommendation on the witch hazel for a year on both my skin (very dry; I use lotion on it every single day, and usually multiple times a day) and on my 3 y.o. son's skin, who has a touch of excema. This stuff is awesome. In the summer months, we can get away with just using this. In the winter, we still have to put lotion on top of it. But I've noticed my hands don't get flaky at all if I use it, and my shins and ankles, which always get so dry, don't get nearly as scaly when I apply the witch hazel first. Our son's excema is completely managed by this stuff - we still put on Aquaphor afterwards, but I haven't had to use the prescription cream to control is since we started putting the witch hazel on first. I also use it on my cheeks, which have large pores, and it really helps to tighten them without drying them out. THANK YOU FOR THIS RECOMMENDATION! Seriously it has been fantastic! Our two bottles are still going strong, even after a year.

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    1. hi Julianne! Love hearing of your experience, thank you so much. I can not believe you are still on the two original bottles :O I go through a good 1 a month;) Just yesterday I re-purchased this cream for my winter skin. It is the only creme I can wear to bed as it is the only cream I don't "feel" on me after application. It is for eczema and is amazing. Unscented and offers immediate relief. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003TQU1Q0?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B003TQU1Q0&linkCode=xm2&tag=forthelove005-20
      Thought you might want to give it a try for you and your son!

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  30. Burrrr!! I can't even image that!!! I use to use witch hazel! Thanks for the reminder!! xo Leslie Sinclair

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  31. I started using both the Eucalan and the Thayers witch hazel after you wrote about them last year and both of them have been life-changing. Never again will I suffer through the winter with eczema all over my hands! I had the same idea and washed my faux fur throws with the Eucalan and they came out perfectly. I also washed several vintage NOS Pendleton throws I purchased from eBay and they also laundered beautifully. Thank you so much for the tips, Joan. They are always spot on!

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    1. Thank you so much Debi for leaving your comment! I agree... life changing!

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  32. Your house is simply beautiful. Every inch is stunning.
    Would you mind sharing what brand/color your faux fur throws are?
    Thanks!

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    1. Thank you! I purchased these throws at Home Goods. They are made by Tahari Home (they carry several brands, but I have found this brand to be the most realistic looking.) I would say these are supposed to be "bear." I have two others from T.H. and they are all lovely and warm.

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    2. You might also want to try Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware.

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  33. Oh thank you for the info! I have one from PB, but really liked the color and look of yours. Thanks again!

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  34. Not only have I put both the witch hazel and the Eucalan in my Amazon shopping cart, but I am off to read your other favorite lists as well! Love, love, love this post! Like you I just love reading other people's "favorites" as they then often become mine.

    Thanks for such an informative post!

    Sheila
    www.maisondecinq.blogspot.com

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  35. going off on a different direction here. i don't know how to post on instagram so i thought i would just ask here. can you tell me if you made the girls their mufflers or did you buy them? if you did buy can you tell me where? i took an old scarf of mine and made my dog his muffler but i like the way yours fits the girls. thanks

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  36. Thanks so much for the tip about washing faux fur throws. I have two that I've wanted to wash for quite awhile. After reading how you successfully washed yours, I washed mine. They just came out of the dryer and they look GREAT! Thanks you!

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  37. I was very interested in your direction toward witch hazel and intend to order it when completing my question to you. Can you also help me with the Vitamin C serum you recommend? I would love to try the entire regime. I am in SW Georgia and believe it or not it is hot her already.

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    1. Here is the Vitamin C serum I use. It contains 25% which is the highest I've found. I wash my face, use the no alcohol witch hazel and then apply moisturizer. Letting all products dry between applications. The product smells of rosehips when first applied (not a smell I am particularly fond of) but it goes away quickly. And the price is great! I just recieved a shipment of 4 this morning (there is a coupon code for 15% off when you order 4;) See the listing for other discounts.
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OKY87OS?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00OKY87OS&linkCode=xm2&tag=forthelove005-20

      Good luck. Let me know how this works for you!

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  38. I cannot wait to try the witch hazel, off to order it now!

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  39. Love the witch hazel... who would have thought! feel like my pores are less visible.
    Thanks,
    Janie

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