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  • Tara Lenney

September favorites

Another month of this rollercoaster we call 2020 is coming into the rearview mirror. This month we’ve packed up our entire house, moved into a rental just this past weekend, and I had a birthday. Oh and also a super-full work calendar plus sending our kids back to face-to-face school (hallelujah). PHEW.

This month’s favorite are all about making life easier or more beautiful (or both). Our house is filled with boxes and not quite the relaxing sanctuary that it typically is, so finding other ways to infuse some calm and beauty has been essential for me to keep my sanity. Here’s what is saving my life lately.

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Theology of Home book – this was gifted to me for my birthday, and it’s truly hard to put into words how deeply it hit my soul. Designing homes is what I do for a living, but it’s always been about so much more than just making something pretty. This book dives into why as humans we all feel this pull to create a sanctuary at home and how we can use our homes as a tool for our families, for hospitality, and for our spirits. It’s both inspirational and practical with advice on how to create an environment of light, nourishment, comfort, and balance at home. It’s written by three Catholic moms, but you don’t have to be Catholic to appreciate it! If you’re a person of faith I highly recommend checking it out!


Robe – Steven got me this robe for my birthday and I am obsessed. When Theo was born I made him a baby blanket out of this same double gauze cotton and it is insanely soft. What I love about this robe is that it’s hefty but not bulky, and it’s a bit longer than many robes I’ve had in the past. Meaning that I can walk outside or sit on my porch drinking coffee and not feel exposed. It comes in lots of great colors too!


My all-time favorite whiskey glasses – you know how every once in awhile you come into contact with a product, like a great pair of jeans, and think this must have been made JUST FOR ME because it fits so well?! This whiskey glass, my friends, is exactly that kind of fit but for your hand. It looks a little bit like a crumpled can. All of those facets make the glass look interesting, but with an amazing added bonus of fitting your hand like a glove. After a glass (or two) of whiskey you don’t have to worry about it slipping out of your hand because your hand will contour it so perfectly. These are of course good for other things besides whiskey. I also make my favorite jalapeno margarita in them as well!


Houseplants – Last month I showed you my dream houseplant propagation vessels, but wanted to back it up a minute and show you the easiest house plant to start with! I’ve had this philodendron heart leaf for many months, and it’s already gifted me with about a dozen plant-babies. And even if you’re not ready to dip your toes into propagation, this guy makes a great beginner houseplant or gift. Once we’re settled into this house the Monstera plant will be next on my list. TLD plant loving friends can use code NEWBLOOM10 to get $10 off your first order of $50 or more, and free shipping over $75.


Rothy’s – if you have known me for 5 minutes, I have probably talked to you about Rothy’s at least once. I own 3 pairs and I am truly obsessed with them. They are made from recycled plastic but the DO NOT FEEL like plastic. They are soft and amazing and mold to your foot. The best part (other than the fact that they are comfortable and gorgeous) is that they are machine washable. I wear them to job sites, get them filthy, and then just toss them in the washing machine. I have 3 pairs of the points, and am looking at the sneaker next! Tip – if you go with the point, I recommend ordering a half-size up. But not to fret if you don’t get the sizing just right, their exchange process is so simple. Here is a Link for $20 off your first order.


Papermate markers – If a designer of any kind - be it architect, Interior, or graphic – recommends a pen, take note, because we are all PEN SNOBS. I will ruthlessly rid my life of any under-performing pen, and I’ve essentially cut out all others except for these. Not only are they awesome for color coding, if you’re into that (I AM) but they write so smoothly and well. And they aren’t those crummy felt-tip pens that just die after a couple of weeks of use. I’ve had mine for months and they are all still going strong.


Get Organized with the Home Edit on Netflix – yup, the Home Edit is showing up twice on this Month’s list, and for good reason. Watching people organize is both calming and invigorating for me. And it must be for many of you, because they have more than 1M followers on the ‘Gram. Whether you want your house to be organized and color coordinated, or just want to watch something on TV that won’t make your blood pressure rise, I highly recommend you check it out!


McGee & Co’s new Target collection – We love sourcing from McGee & Co. for our clients and ourselves, but sometimes their exquisite style can be a little…ahem…cost prohibitive. But if you love that casual-new-traditional-yet-also-coastal-but-still-approachable style without breaking the bank, allow me to introduce you to their Target collection! Their first collection launched about 12 seconds into COVID and sold out immediately as we hunkered down and nested. This new collection has so many great things to love. I’m eyeing this console table for the entryway at our new house. And probably like 20 other things.


Waffle weave towel – my obsession with waffle weave continues with this cutie little hand towel (a waffle weave blanket made our favorites list last month). We have exactly one of these in our powder bath, and all of our guests rave about it. To the point where they text me about it days later because they are still thinking about it. It’s so full and soft and absorbent. I will definitely be ordering another one (or ten) now that we’re settling into the new house.


10· Powdered Tide – This list wouldn’t be complete without a totally random household item. With the staging and showing of our house, we have been doing A LOT of cleaning. My BFF tipped me off to my new favorite Instagram Account GoCleanCo , which, has the greatest cleaning hacks and tips I’ve ever seen. Check out the highlights for step by step videos on how to clean literally everything in your house. And her magic ingredient for nearly all of it? Powdered Tide. Not just for laundry, you guys. Definitely check out their tutorial for stripping laundry. My sheets look and feel like new again!


11· Target dinnerware – Can plastic dinnerware really bring you joy? YUP. Like so many families with young kids, I found our kitchen cabinets overflowing with mismatched kids dinnerware from 9 years of having littles. They didn’t stack neatly and were always toppling out of the cabinets. It’s one of those tiny little hassles that one day just hits you and you realize “I don’t have to live this way!” So I donated every mismatched piece, went to Target, and for about 15 bucks had an entirely new gorgeous set of dinnerware for the kids. It’s all dishwasher and microwave safe, and I love that the plates are BIG since our boys are growing and so are their appetites. They’re perfect for grown ups as well when we have dinner in the backyard. We went with Olive, but I am still eyeing the blush colored ones to maybe add to our set.


12· The Home Edit Life book – yes, two books this month! Coming from the woman who had barely completed a book in 12 months before COVID hit, it’s quite an accomplishment to have finished two. This book I bought for myself after following The Home Edit on Instagram for YEARS. The book is crammed with inspirational organizational eye-candy and advice on how to organize based on your unique personality and needs. And also everything is in ROYGBIV order which is my preferred method of organization, despite the arguments it leads to within my marriage!



Are any of these on your favorites list?! Let me know if you try any of these with an email or in your Instagram Stories! We love to see you guys using and enjoying the products we love and recommend!



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