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  • Writer's pictureCarmen

the best of everything in 2023

Welcome to my last post of 2023! At least I think it is. Maybe I can squeak in one more. We'll see.


Anyway, I'm so glad you’re here. This humble little blog/email list has grown tremendously since Pretty Little Pieces launched (I still can't believe that was only a year ago) and I've loved getting to know more kindred spirits across the internet!


To end the year with a bang, I'm sharing my best-of-the-year recommendations for everything from parenting tips, supplements, travel hacks, books (and pillows) that literally changed my life...and more.


(And please share your 2023 favorites in the comments. I would love to know what you loved learning/using/reading/etic this year!)


Here's to 2024!


Best Parenting Tips:


-Don't be the first one to break the hug. I saw this tip somewhere on insta and implemented it. Basically, whenever my kiddos hug me, I don't let go until they do. I started doing this recently, and it's powerful. It helps you realize how much we tend to rush through those precious moments.


-This elderberry syrup. My children LOVE it. It's the best stuff on the market.


-This Omega syrup. I learned how important omegas are (especially for little kids) from Dr. Mark Hyman. All my kiddos drink this with minimal fuss.


-Use the phrase "I delight in you" often. It reminds your children that they bring you so much joy.


-Make screen time a little more productive with a simple change.


Best Books:


-Hands down, I loved Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortmund. It's such a good read for anyone, but especially if you're struggling with doubt or despair.


-Other great reads include The Truth and Beauty by Andrew Klavan

An American Immigrant by Johanna Rojas Vann

Food: What the Heck Should I Eat by Dr. Mark Hyman (currently on sale!)


-Here's a longer list for my bookworms!


Best in Health/Beauty:


-Thorne Magnesium (gradually fixed my wacked out sleep) and Advanced DHA


-Pique Drinkable Skincare. I love their match and their BT Electrolyte.


-Glaze Hair Gloss is giving my hair some much needed smoothness/shine as I grow it out.


-I booked semi-regular sessions in a local hydrotherapy lounge. No matter how stressed you are, a little cold plunge + heat therapy will almost always clear your mind.


-My darling friend Karly Jean made a fabulous little guide to seed oils.


-28 Wellness App: So helpful for tracking your cycle and supporting your hormones!


Amazon Standouts:


-This rug. It's lovely and very large but very inexpensive and thus perfect for those with children and pets.


-These pillows (made in the USA!) will ruin you. You won't be able to travel without them.


-We caved and bought this espresso machine. Now I don't even like regular coffee. But it ends up being cost-effective because I only want this, and each pod is like 81 cents.


-Here's the full list of all my favorite Amazon finds (including the most flattering swimsuit ever in lots of colors.)


Other Best of the Bests:


-Jeff's free flight skills remain unmatched! We took a dozen trips this year and most of them involved free airfare. You can read his ebook in 15 minutes or less.


-The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. Like a dream in real life.


-Gospel in Life, BibleThinker, and Inspiring Philosophy were all wonderful resources for sermons and apologetics.


What were some of your favorite finds in 2023? Tell us in the comments!






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