Things I Continue to Love

Things I continue to love, year after year:

Bath & Body Works lavender-vanilla scent. I just searched “lavender vanilla” in my archives, to see if I could find when I first mentioned it: 2007, when I was pregnant with Henry and was having trouble sleeping. Henry is turning 10 this year, and I just placed another order for lavender-vanilla lotion and body wash (Bath & Body Works is having a buy-1-get-1-free sale). [Update: the scent has changed, and I don’t really like it. I am sad.] I wish so hard I could still buy the shampoo/conditioner, but they discontinued it ages ago; I bought a whole bunch of the conditioner on eBay and I try to USE it and not hoard it. I have sniffed many, many bottles of things marked “lavender vanilla” but I ONLY like the Bath & Body Works one; and I like NO other scents from Bath & Body Works. I would never have found it except that Paul’s sister gave me a gift set one Christmas, I think when I was pregnant with the twins or maybe the Christmas after they were born.

Sense and Sensibility, the version with Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson. A few years ago I was studying some Jane Austen as a way to dig myself out of crippling boredom. (Here is my syllabus for Sense and Sensibility, if you want to do the same.) I still had the movie on hand, and… This sentence needs to start again, because it is several sentences: We usually watch tv while we eat dinner, and Paul is in charge of selecting what we’re going to watch. Earlier this week, he said he was out of ideas, and I said I would choose something. (This turned out to be as startling to him as when we are going somewhere together and I get into the driver’s seat, which makes me resolve to do both things more often.) Anyway, I picked Sense and Sensibility, thinking it would PROBABLY bore the children but maybe not. And it did bore Henry, but all the other four really liked it. (They also liked counting how many Harry Potter actors were in it.) And I liked seeing it again, and possibly I was a little annoying because I kept pausing it to share my wisdom: “You see, this is because it was WILDLY INAPPROPRIATE for a young lady to send letters to a man unless she was engaged or married to him!” Anyway I just loved it. Again.

Cadbury Eggs. The large creme-filled kind and the small solid ones with the crispy shells. This is the best time of year for candy. (By the way, last year I bought a whole bunch of Cadbury Creme Eggs right at the end of the season, so that I could continue to eat them for months. This did not really work. You might think the reason was that I ate them all the first month, and this is not an unreasonable guess—but actually it was that they are much better eaten fresh, and significantly less yummy if eaten in, say, July. The creme filling separates or else crystallizes, and the chocolate has a stale flavor.)

22 thoughts on “Things I Continue to Love

  1. Celeste

    I agree with you on candy going stale; it is definitely not something to put away for a rainy day. We are fragrance twins for sure. I feel just the same about B&BW. I stopped last night and bought 2 body washes and two scrubs, so thank you again for the tip! I’m not a fan of Cadbury eggs. What I really wish you could try is a Fannie May buttercream egg; they are sublime. It’s the same buttercream filling they use in individual chocolates all year, but in a larger pastel coated egg shape for Easter.

  2. Suzanne

    This has me thinking about easter candy now and my favorite is the large reeses peanut butter eggs. They should be, in my opinion, closest to the reeses peanut butter cups, but the chocolate is slightly thinner and the peanut butter filling is… different somehow. Anyway I love them and now it is clear I need to do a taste test to really get to the bottom of why the eggs are different from the cups.

    1. Christy

      My husband has Strong Feelings about Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs and he says it’s all in the PB to Chocolate ratio. It’s much higher than with the cups. He ranks the eggs the highest, then the pumpkins, then Christmas trees and hearts tied. He’s put a lot of thought into this.

  3. shin ae

    Important information re: Cadbury Creme Eggs. I could see myself trying to buy and hoard and then experiencing terrible disappointment. Thank you.

    Also I am eating a salad right now and when I was making it I thought of you!

  4. Kate

    I really love this post even though I don’t share the same loves, because I feel like it’s really important to keep a mental catalog of this stuff, for when you’re not feeling so great, emotionally/physically/whatever.

    I think my list would be:
    – The TV show “Scrubs”
    – “Anne of Green Gables” (only the book)
    – L’occitane almond shower oil

  5. Mtbakergirl

    Ooh ooh! I want to add mine!
    Purdy’s dark chocolate marshmallow bars (true dark chocolate, just the right side of butter with a really fluffy marshmallow inside, plus last thing I ate before labour with my first so has a place in my heart), Vaseline hand and nail (absorbs quickly, light non-offensive scent), and the tv show Brooklyn-99 (great heart, laugh out loud funny, my husband also likes it and we have almost no overlap in our tv taste).

  6. Di

    I need some favorite things today. It’s been rough:
    – The West Wing – but only seasons 1-5.
    – Chef (the movie, with Jon Favreau)
    – Hot showers with the coconut sugar scrub I bought for myself for Christmas
    – tinted lip balm (“I’m doing something healthy! And it makes my appearance different, but it’s easy”)
    – walking by my favorite coffee shop and seeing my friends, so that I have to stop in.
    – having the money on the laundry card come out even. So that there’s either an even number of washes and dries left OR I’ve emptied the whole card. If you don’t use a laundry card, then you may not appreciate things like this.
    – Yellow Peep bunnies.

  7. Alison

    I LOVE Cadbury creme eggs. I can’t eat eggs right now because the baby may be allergic (nursing) and unfortunately Cadbury eggs do in fact contain eggs. My mom brought me some that I was planning to hoard, but I guess I will let the older children have them. Boo, but good to know. Thankfully Starburst jelly beans are still fair game.

  8. Rae

    Delurking to say that this blog, in fact, is a thing I continue to love, year after year. Thank you, Swistle. Also putting in a vote for Cadbury’s Creme Eggs, as well as Neutrogena Rainbath, E.M. Forster’s ‘A Room With A View’ and clean sheets after a shower.

    1. maeby

      I second this – that this blog is something I love year after year!

      I will add that I love these things because of Swistle: Station Eleven, my Wet hairbrush, and Last Tango in Halifax.

      And I will also add that I love See’s Candy, but I can’t give Swistle credit as I have always loved it having grown up near a store (sadly, I don’t live near one now, but my sister does so she sends it periodically).

  9. Jenny

    Thanks for the heads up on Bath and Body Works! I use their shampoo and conditioner (Orange Ginger scent). I don’t love the smell (but I don’t hate it). I really like the smell of the spearmint one, but for some reason, the shampoo is different. So I just ordered $100 worth of shampoo and conditioner for $50 and an additional 20% off my order. What a deal! I did the same thing at Christmas, so I am probably set for shampoo for the rest of the year. But a person really can’t pass up that price. It’s the 20% off that really gets me ;)

  10. Beth (A Mom's Life)

    I’m not sure if this holds true for the shampoo/conditioner at Bath and Body Works but several years ago I was there and purchased Butterfly Flower body mist. I was talking to the sales girl and told her I was excited to see it in the store because I thought they discontinued it. She told me that every January they bring back favorites/best sellers that have been discontinued but they only do that in January. I bought 4 bottles right then and am just about to use the last of it.

  11. Jana

    I just love that version of “Sense & Sensibility”! I tear up every time Alan Rickman appears on screen, though. I miss that guy.

  12. Shawna

    It’s funny how surprised I am that I have no overlap between the things you listed and the things I’d list. I’ve pictured us as having a lot in common for some reason. I’ve never liked the Easter Creme Eggs, though to be fair I’ve never seen Sense and Sensibility or smelled the Bath & Body Works lavender-vanilla scent, so maybe there is an overlap just waiting to happen?

    I do, however, love the Body Shop Satsuma-scented body wash, and wish they made it in a moisturizing version. And my all-time favourite movie is The Princess Bride.

  13. dayman

    Little Miss Sunshine is my addition. That movie makes me so happy.

    And I can’t stand cadbury creme eggs but mini eggs are candy perfection.

  14. Christy

    OK, I have it on good authority (my sister who volunteered this info just yesterday, weirdly) that Cadbury Creme Eggs freeze/defrost beautifully. It hadn’t occurred to me, but she told me she was eating the last of her stash *from 2016* and I was amazed. I will be trying this asap.

  15. Ruby

    I have never tried Cadbury eggs (I KNOW) and I think this year might just have to be the year I try them!

    My list:
    –This one brand of fancy chocolate bar with chili pepper and dried cherries. It sounds weird, but it’s probably my favorite candy. It’s a combination of sweet, sour, and a little bit spicy that just works really well somehow. (Also, I cannot for the life of me remember what the brand is called.) I buy them whenever I see them because they’re so hard to find.
    –Let the Good Times Roll face scrub from Lush. Is it a bit of a hurdle to spend $14 on a beauty product, especially one that appears to made mostly out of corn? Yes. Do I buy it anyway? Also yes. It smells amazing–like some sort of dessert, almost, but in a non-artificial, grown-up way–and it makes my skin look and feel great. Plus, I only use it once a week or so, so the tiny overpriced container actually lasts quite a while. The big downside? I haaaaate going inside Lush because the people who work there never leave me the heck alone. Enough with the sales tactics, Lush employees! I’m already buying something!
    –The Great British Bake Off (or The Great British Baking Show, as Netflix calls it). I can’t explain it. It’s so pleasant and relaxing to watch, and it’s so so SO British. I’ve never been much of a fan of cooking-themed reality shows because the networks *cough Food Network cough* always try to set their contestants up to fail and/or fabricate drama and it just seems unnecessary. But this show is less, “You have twenty minutes to cook a three course meal using only the contents of a Happy Meal,” and more, “You have five hours to bake a pie of your choice.” It’s fun. I love it.

  16. Heather

    If ever you want to do a chocolate taste comparison (and I know you do!), find a bag of BRITISH made Cadbury mini eggs (yellow package) and compare to the US made Cadbury mini eggs (purple package). A world of difference! I now only eat the British ones. Luckily for me, my son goes to college in Scotland so he keeps me stocked.

  17. Jessemy

    I’m in the middle of the audiobook version of Persuasion read by Olivia Williams (Silksoundbooks). It is my favorite of the Austens after many years of watching the movies and re-reading the books. I can also heartily recommend the film starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds. Attractive but normal looking people in an outstanding adaptation. Swooooooon.

    Oh! And in case you’d like to explore some “new” Austen material: amazon prime has a film called Love & Friendship starring Kate Beckinsale. The production is beautiful but it is much more cheeky that the movies that came out in the 90’s and 00’s.

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