January 2024 Favorites

Due to February being a crazy month with an unexpected broken elbow setting me back, I’m a month late getting my January 2024 Favorites post published. (I’m still ahead of schedule compared to where I was for recapping monthly favorites during all of 2023 though!) Anyways, January is traditionally my least favorite month of the entire year. It’s cold and blah, and the warm fuzzies and festivities of the holiday season are over. However, January 2024 was an amazing month-probably one of my favorite Januarys ever! Here’s my favorites from January 2024:

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Figment Little Golden Book

As a 90’s kid, I have an affinity for Figment, the mascot of the Imagination pavilion at Epcot. Although I miss the original Journey into Imagination ride from the 90’s, I’m glad Figment has made a resurgence in recent years. When I learned that a Figment Little Golden Book was releasing in January 2024, I preordered so that I received it on release day. It’s so cute and is based on the classic Journey into Imagination ride. So if you’re a fellow millennial who has fond memories of Epcot in the 90’s, you will love this!

Figment Little Golden Book January 2024 Release

Classic Movies

In January I got on a kick with watching some iconic movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood that I had never seen. My best friend came over one Saturday and we spent the afternoon watching Gone with the Wind. It’s one of her all-time favorites. I read the book over 14 years ago, but hadn’t seen the movie. We had talked about wanting to watch it together for awhile, but there never seemed to be a good time. It’s nearly four hours long, so you have to devote a good chunk of a day to it! January was perfect because it’s cold and there’s not much else going on.

Gone with the Wind was so good, especially when you consider that 1939 didn’t have the technological advances that film production has today. I realize that this movie has been the subject of controversy recently. But there is a very well-done intro on (HBO) Max that discusses the historical context and how we can appreciate Gone with the Wind for its place as a piece of cinematic art while also being critical of problematic themes!

(Coffee and Gone with the Wind)

“We’ll Always Have Paris”

That same January weekend I watched Casablanca on my own the next day. Previously my primary exposure to Casablanca was the famous airport scene in now-extinct Great Movie Ride at Disney World. And I had heard some of the famous catchphrases such as “here’s looking at you kid” and “we’ll always have Paris,” but didn’t know the context.

I loved Casablanca for the history and the acting. And the noteworthy “we’ll always have Paris” took on some significant meaning for me once I had some context. Two of the characters determine that despite their feelings for one another, they can’t be together. During their farewell, one of them says “well what about us?” The other replies, “we’ll always have Paris,” which refers to a passionate love affair they had in Paris years earlier. I love that line because it shows that even if a relationship doesn’t work out, you can still have healthy closure and cherish the happy memories together. I’ve now adopted this mindset with someone I briefly dated a few years ago!

Casablanca

Draper James Pink Plaid Ruffle Skirt

After eyeing the Draper James Pink Angie Plaid Ruffle Skirt for awhile, I finally bought it in January! It was a great addition to my winter wardrobe, but will also transition nicely into spring! This skirt runs true to size and is still fully stocked in all sizes at time of publishing this post!

Draper James Pink Plaid Ruffle Skirt

Lilly Sunshine Sale Haul

Due to lots of purchases at the end of 2023, I didn’t want to spend much at the January 2024 Lilly Pulitzer Sunshine Sale. However, I did grab two great accessories- a Lilly floppy straw hat and a pack of Tombow x Lilly Pulitzer Dual Brush Pens.

I have another Lilly Pulitzer straw hat that I received as a gift with purchase over 10 years ago. The Lilly straw hat I bought during this Sunshine Sale is slightly more casual. It will still look good with dresses for a Kentucky Derby party, but will also work with more causal outfits. My other Lilly floppy straw hat has a pink border at the edge of the brim, and the printed ribbon at the middle is wider. Because this new hat has a narrower printed ribbon and no other color accents, it will match some of my dresses that my other Lilly hat doesn’t.

Lilly Pulitzer Straw Hat

Then I couldn’t resist grabbing these Tombow x Lilly Pulitzer Dual Brush Pens in custom Lilly colors. They had previously been a gift with purchase. Leftover gift with purchase items that I couldn’t justify the minimum spend level during initial release are some of my favorite things to get in Lilly sales. These are so fun, and they will help me in my goal to get back into art with mediums that don’t require drying time!

Lilly Pulitzer x Tombow Dual Brush Pens Lilly Pulitzer x Tombow Dual Brush Pens

Bloomingdale’s Little Brown Bear 

Late last year I saw this adorable Gund teddy bear wearing a sweater with “Little Brown Bear” printed in the same font as Bloomingdale’s famous Little Brown Bag pop up in an ad. He’s carrying a shopping bag that says “Big Brown Bag at 50” and has a smaller bear inside. Apparently Bloomingdales does a limited edition teddy bear during the holiday season, and their 2023 edition commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Little Brown Bag. I thought this bear was so cute, but held off on buying it. Then it sold out, and I was a little bummed. So when I got a notification in January that the Bloomingdale’s Little Brown Bear was back in stock, I bought it. It’s so cute, soft, and well made. Since I love teddy bears and fashion history, it’s a nice collector’s item for me.

Although this bear is now out of stock and probably won’t return, you can check out some currently available “Little Brown Bag” commemorative merchandise here.

Bloomingdales Little Brown Bear 2023

Mr. & Ms. Wuf Pic

One evening in January I took myself to an NC State Women’s Basketball game primarily to see Mr. & Ms. Wuf. I was happy to get a cute picture with them, and they are so much fun to interact with. Even though I’m a Tar Heel and a Tiger, I sure do love these two!

Mr. & Ms. Wuf at NC State Women's Basketball Game

UNC Gymnastics Meet + RJ

Watching college gymnastics is one of my favorite ways to beat the winter blues, and I try to go to at least one UNC gymnastics meet each year. I went to the UNC vs NC State gymnastics meet in January and got to watch some excellent gymnastics plus get a photo with Rameses Jr (RJ).

UNC vs. NC State Gymnastics Meet January 2024 Meeting RJ at UNC Gymnastics Meet

Volunteering with Pregnancy Support Services

I mentioned in my 2024 Goals post that I am wanting to volunteer more in the community this year, and that I already had the opportunity to volunteer with Pregnancy Support Services (PSS), a local organization in Durham whose cause I adamantly support. Pregnancy Support Services exists to walk alongside women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy. They inform women of all of their options, provide free ultrasounds, and assist women who decide to keep their baby. This includes either walking them through the adoption process, or parenting classes. PSS also provides free baby supplies for clients who plan to keep and raise their baby. All of their services are free!

My Life Group from church provided dinner for one of the PSS parenting classes in January. A few people made sandwiches and bought chips and drinks. Then me and a few others set up the food before participants arrived. Once participants arrived, we mingled with them while they ate dinner. After dinner wrapped up we were free to go, but one other person and myself stayed to observe the first portion of the parenting class. The night we attended they were discussing how to read to your kids and the importance of regularly reading to them. It was so sweet, and I learned a lot, even though I’m not a parent and won’t be for awhile.

If you or someone you know in the Durham/Chapel Hill area has an unplanned pregnancy, I highly recommend Pregnancy Support Services. They offer tangible help, but most importantly they walk alongside women in a nonjudgemental way while sharing the love of Christ.

Peanuts Character Hersheys Kisses

I love Valentine’s candy, and when I saw these Hershey’s kisses with Peanuts characters on the wrappers, I had to get them. I’m pretty sure these were new for 2024.

Peanuts Characters Valentine's Hershey's Kisses

Meeting Kayleigh McEnany

Towards the end of January I had the amazing opportunity to meet former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany at an event in Raleigh. She was so sweet and nice! I love her boldness in sharing her faith and being an inspiration to young women!

Meeting Kayleigh McEnany in Raleigh, NC

PS. I wore the Draper James skirt mentioned earlier in this post for the first time to this event.

Carolina Ballet Rhapsody in Blue Dress Rehearsal

I mentioned in my 2024 Goals post that I am looking forward to attending more Carolina Ballet performances this year, and that I had already gotten to see a dress rehearsal for one. Rhapsody in Blue was one of the shows in Carolina Ballet’s 2023-2024 season that I did not purchase a ticket for in my season ticket package. But I love Gershwin’s music, so was considering buying a ticket to it separately. Then my friend Diane mentioned that she had the opportunity to see the dress rehearsal for Rhapsody in Blue for free with the Raleigh City Club and could invite a friend. I hadn’t bought a ticket yet, so I jumped at the chance to go to the dress rehearsal.

The dress rehearsal was amazing and felt just like an actual performance, complete with a program. In addition to Rhapsody in Blue, the show included two other short ballets- An American in Paris and Gershwin Shorts. The Gershwin Shorts ballet included Piano Prelude No. 1, one of my favorite Gershwin pieces. (I have the Music Appreciation class I was required to take at Furman nearly 20 years ago to thank for exposing me to Piano Prelude No. 1. You could say that class achieved its objective of teaching me to appreciate music!) Overall it was a lovely evening enjoying beautiful dancing set to beautiful music!

Carolina Ballet Rhapsody in Blue Dress Rehearsal January 2024

Before the dress rehearsal Diane and I ate dinner at City Club Raleigh, which they had asked members invited to the dress rehearsal to do in exchange for the access to the show. We had the most gorgeous view of the Raleigh skyline during dinner!

View of downtown Raleigh skyline from The City Club champagne toast at The City Club in downtown Raleigh

“Restored” Daily Grace Co Study

Months ago I bought a few Bible studies from The Daily Grace Co. In January I finally got around to doing “Restored: A Study on the Book of Joel.” This was such an encouraging study that I highly recommend! It really emphasizes that while God is a God of justice and can’t be in the presence of sin, He is also a God of mercy who desires for His people to be restored to a right relationship with Him. He is the God of second chances, and it is never too late to turn back to Him with a genuine heart of repentance.

This study discusses how God restored the people of Judah both physically and spiritually during a tumultuous  time in their history. In addition to the historical Old Testament context of restoration, it does an excellent job of incorporating the ultimate hope of restoration that followers of Jesus have. God so desired for His people to be reconciled to Him that He provided His Son, Jesus, to atone for humanity’s inherent sin through His death on the cross and then conquer death through His resurrection. Those who trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior have the hope of eternal security even in the midst of this present fallen world.

The book of Joel also has end times prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled, and speaks of the day of the Lord when Jesus will return once and for all to defeat sin forever and restore this fallen world into a new heaven and new earth where there will be no more pain, death, or dying. Those who trust in Jesus need not fear this day of judgement. Because they have a personal relationship with Him, they will enjoy eternity in paradise with Him.

Restored study of the book of Joel from The Daily Grace Co

Thanks so much for reading my January 2024 Favorites! It was a great start to the year. Stay tuned for my February 2024 Favorites!

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-xoxo Liz

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I'm Liz- and I'm here to inspire you to embrace the simple joys in life and encourage you to be your authentic self!

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