40 Things I am Loving in My 40's

I turned 40 in September and I was more than ready for it. I think having a kid in college ages you. I think I'm really going to love this decade though. I've been thinking about all the things I'm loving right now and thought I'd put them together in a post because being 40 kind of allows you to decide what you love and it gives you the permission to leave behind the stuff you don't. That said, here are 40 things that I'm loving right now. I put a LOT of effort into this post, so I'd love it if you checked it out because coming up with 40 awesome things is a lot! I even leave you with a little challenge at the end if you care to accept it! 

40 Things I'm Loving in My 40's

1. Jeans with Spandex: My husband just bought his first pair of "stretchy" jeans as he calls them. I think there really is something to getting older and having the need for some spandex in your jeans. I'm all about it. I've gotten my favorite jeans from Stitch Fix. I'm not sure what it is, but I could take in 29 pairs of jeans to try on at the store and not get one single pair right, but Stitch Fix can send me a pair in the mail and they fit like a glove.

2. Balayage: I color my hair and have since I was in high school. Mostly I do it because I have such fine hair and it needs a little damage to hold any style, but my daughter convinced me to try a balayage and I love it. It makes me feel younger having some different shades in my hair rather than having all one color. I bought mine using a groupon and it was totally worth it. See also number 5.

3. Custom dog portraits: Since we lost our sweet Sophie to cancer a few months ago, I've been looking into getting a personalized portrait of her made as a memorial keepsake. Because who doesn't need a custom portrait of their dog?

4. Personalized socks: Speaking of Sophie, I was able to get our whole family socks custom made just after she passed away. You can get any face on your socks. They are kind of awesome.

5. Groupon: I have been splurging on things I don't normally buy like manicures and hair treatments. I always check out Groupon first to see if I can find a deal.

6. Aromatherapy diffuser: My youngest son bought this for me last year for Christmas and I love it! I run it nearly every single day and love the mild scent it leaves in the room. It also works as an air purifier and humidifier which is perfect this time of year.

7. Essential oils: I've been trying lots of different essential oils. I love them for everything from adding them to homemade cleaners that I make to putting them into my diffuser. Lemongrass is one of my favorites for cleaning and there is one called love more that has ylang-ylang {probably a made up thing} and cinnamon and unicorn tears mixed together. I just started subscribing to Simply Earth and I love the monthly boxes and the recipes that come with it since I'm just now getting started. Use code RACHELFREE for a pretty great gift.

8. Leather dog leash: We adopted a rescue in March and while she's got a long list of issues, we are grateful for the snuggles and distraction she provides. I love this leather dog leash that can be personalized. Check out the name that is on the leash.

9. Dog clothes: Dressing a 100-pound dog is much different and not as cute as dressing one that is 7 pounds. I love putting Frankie in clothes. She's probably got more sweaters than I do. 

10. Candles: I love burning a candle at home. My husband is sensitive to smell, so I have to blow them all out when he gets home, but it's so dang cozy to burn candles all the day long. 

11. Spaghetti as a lighter: You know those wand lighters? If you have a candle with 3 wicks, you are using up a lot of that fluid inside those lighters and those things aren't cheap. I found that I can light a piece of spaghetti on fire and that's how I've been lighting my candles. 

12. Openfit fitness app: I was in a major rut with my workouts. And what they say is true about getting older, your metabolism slows down and I noticed the pounds creeping on. I love the variety of live and on-demand workouts I can get on my phone. I'm getting results and I'm crushing goals and this is the cheapest way for me to get a personal trainer. 

13. Daily 40: This is an Openfit challenge class and I have been joining in on various challenges-the current one is daily 40. I love that I get a new class with a new focus every single day. In the past, I joined in on Fitcamp and Fitcamp express. Best thing is, after you complete the classes there is usually some fun prize like movie tickets or a box of Oly bars. I'm like a dog, I like to be rewarded.

14. Delicate necklaces: I am drawn to small and dainty especially when it comes to jewelry. One of my favorite necklaces I wore every single day for almost two years just broke and so I guess it's time for a replacement.  

15. Baths: We moved into our home and I think for the first 7 years we lived here, the only people that took a bath in my large jacuzzi tub was my son. I am always cold, and I found that I could set my laptop up on this DIY tray I made and I could get warm and clean all at the same time. Score.

16. The library: I have always loved the library. But now as an adult, I think I love it more. I can put books on hold, borrow hot titles and escape. Plus buying books is expense yo.

Check out this post: Surprising Library Benefits that will Save You Money!

17. Sloths: I'm kind of obsessed with sloths right now. Maybe because they look a little like Frankie. I may spend too much of my time looking for a super soft sloth stuffed animal and then talking myself out of buying it because what adult needs a stuffed animal? But it is probably acceptable to have a sloth tea infuser though. 

18. Llamas: There is zero reason why I love llamas. I just think they are dang cute. We put up a picture similar to this one of a llama we named Lloyd. It brings me great joy. 

19. Animals in clothes: I hope this trend never ends.

20. Hydroflask: When my kids went back to school shopping, I picked up a Hydroflask for myself. I love it. Well, I mostly love it. I wish it had a straw lid because I spill it on myself more times than I would like to admit, but it does make me drink more water because...

21. Ice Water: I don't drink enough water. Not since my little 4-week challenge a few years ago. But if it's cold and icy, I love it. 

22. Teenagers: Maybe this is a funny thing to love. I always thought I loved little kids. Teenagers kind of scared me, but man, I'm just so enamored with not only my teens but with teenagers that I surround myself with. This next generation is going to be pretty dang amazing.

23. Online shopping: It took me longer than it should to come around to being a dedicated online shopper. I hate paying for shipping and that was my big hang up. But I am busy. I don't have the time to be running all over the place looking for something specific that I can find in a quick keystroke.
24. Amazon prime: The is probably the greatest thing to hit this decade. Seriously. I love that I can browse through items and then click to order and send a birthday gift to my nephew 3000 miles away or get something I need on my doorstep the next day and I never have to leave my house. It takes away what I hated about online shopping {the shipping} and leaves me zero excuses.

25. Days off: I have been taking more personal days. Days where I take a long bath and then do whatever I want just because I can. I like that.

26. All-inclusive vacations: I love a good beach vacation, but a good beach is made that much better when everything is included. 

mother and daughter on paddleboards

27. Vacations with my family: We get distracted easily so I love having uninterrupted time with my family away, so I'm loving the planning and expectancy and then, of course, the actual vacation with my family. I just booked the most random unplanned trip ever for our family to go to Italy over spring break. I'm so dang giddy with excitement and am so looking forward to it. There is just something about giving your kids the gift of travel that is pretty awesome. 

28. Coffee breaks: I hate spending the money on coffee, but I do love the act of walking into a warm and cozy coffee shop. The vibe is just so dang cool and I love sitting there and sipping on a yummy drink.

29. Starbucks mobile order: I love that I can order my drink on my phone and pick it up. This is a technology win. Now if they could deliver it to you with a drone when you drive into the parking lot so you never had to get out of your car, that would really be winning. Bring it Starbucks.

30. Overalls: These were my go-to wardrobe item about 20 years ago. I love this pair I got from the Gap. Side note: also where I used to get all my other overalls in college too.

31. Fleece Jeggings: Who am I kidding, these are pretty much just sweatpants. I call them comfy pants and I live in them. Size up though because Hollister is determined to make all of us older folks feel fat to keep us from shopping in their store.

32. Podcasts: I drive a lot and I listen to podcasts almost exclusively when I'm solo. I have a list of my favorites here. I'm thinking I should venture into audiobooks next. Stay tuned. 

33. Bluetooth headphones: I've taken to using my Bluetooth headphones when I vacuum the house and when I go grocery shopping. It helps pass the time and it keeps me entertained and not thinking too much about the task at hand. I have this pair and I really like them. 

34. These earrings: I got these for Christmas last year and every single time I wear them I get so many compliments on them.
35. Earrings in an unlikely place: Did you know Joann's carries earrings too? They are nearly always 40 or 50% off their already screaming low price anyway. I don't love Joann's but if I happen to go in there {I'm not boycotting the way I once was}, I almost always pick up a new pack of earrings and I love them and it only sets me back like $2.

36. Babies that I can play with and give back: Maybe it's because I had kids young {and there are benefits to that} that I've fallen into this desire to hold all the babies and play with all the toddlers because it's been awhile. I'm serious, if I see a toddler in a shopping cart, I'm smiling at that kid and sticking my tongue out like a lunatic just to see if I can get a smile out of the kid. Don't get me wrong, I don't have the baby bug {I've got Frankie for all my snuggling needs}, I just like the chance to play with a baby or a little one and then give them back. Volunteering in the church nursery has given me such a thrill lately.

color block stripped blanket on middle aged woman

37. Messy buns: I think I was ahead of my time on the messy bun thing. Here's a little story. I had gotten ready for bed one summer about 8 years ago and thrown my hair on top of my head {as one does}. It was probably June, so the neighbors were lighting off fireworks {as they do} and a kid of mine clambered to run out to watch them in the cul-de-sac. I went out with him because safety first and the neighbor looked at me and said "what did you do to your hair?' I throw my hair up on my head like I just don't care. That's what.

38. Portrait mode on my iPhone: I feel so dang professional when I use portrait mode on my phone and it works just how I want it to. I love the in focus out of focus crisp clear don't have to think about it way I can take a pic and blamo, it's awesome.

39. Child sponsorship: The more I immerse myself in the work that World Vision does, the more I love everything about it. I love that I can write my sponsored kids letters and that I get real mail with amazing win stories not only from them but from their community. I love that being a sponsor makes my world smaller and I love that I can do something good not only in one child's life but for each sponsored child that is in the World Vision program, 4 children that aren't, receive benefits. How cool is that? Seriously, why have you not found a child to sponsor yet? Find one here

40. This blanket: I'm always cold. Always. I bought this blanket on sale last year and then people fought over it so I bought another one. It's like wrapping up in a sleeping bag. I will tell you, the print SUCKS. It goes with nothing in my home so I tuck it away, but, it is the warmest blanket ever. And it's worth every penny. 

Phew! That was an exhaustive list! It literally took me a few months to put this all together because come up with 4 things, let alone 40 things that you love right now. I dare you! Heck, do it, and comment below with your 4 favorite things you are loving right now. I'd love to hear what they are.

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