Favorite Things 2023: my friend Kari Dawn!

08 November 2023

I am so excited that you get to meet another dear friend of mine today: please welcome Kari Dawn!! Basically anything she touches turns into magic and she just knows how to make experiences and people just feel special. I adore her and am thrilled that she agreed to share her favorites. Here we go:

When Melissa asked me to share my favorite things my first thought was “Melissa is one of my favorites!”  If you are one of her loyal readers then you will know what I mean and if you are new to her blog- get ready to love her and her suggestions!  She is the best and I am beyond grateful that I get to be a part of her and her family’s life!  My favorite things are the things that help me create memories with my favorite people and places.  So with that in mind here is my list:

Favorite things that help me feel confident:

I have five older sisters and at one point there were four of us in one room and one bathroom, and I remember feeling like we had to RUSH to get ready, but one thing my mom taught us was to take the time we needed to get ready so that "once you leave the house you forget about yourself."  So to this day I look for items that help me feel comfortable and confident all day so I can think of others and enjoy the moment.

I love every Unite Hair product that I have, but I LOVE their Silky Smooth system! When your hair is wet it kind of has a weird texture and isn’t like other conditioners- but start drying it and it turns silky smooth.  It’s like hair magic. I also highly recommend their Beach Day Spray and their 7 Seconds Detangler Spray.

Epicuren products were introduced to me at a Park City spa and this moisturizing set is my favorite of all the products I’ve tried.  The lotion has a citrus smell that is so refreshing and it glides on and never feels heavy or sticky and I love the spray that adds a touch of moisture anytime, but I especially love it right out of the shower to rehydrate before applying the rest of my facial products and in the middle of the day. 

I’ve ended up using this tanning mist almost everyday since I got it.  I love that it’s just a hint of color, is so gentle on the skin, and is SO easy to use. I usually apply it at night and wake up to a hint of color. No rubbing it in, no streaks, and no color bleeding onto anything else.

This pillowcase is a must- less hair breakage, break outs, and wrinkles (I’m assuming it helps with wrinkles- or at least that is what I’m telling myself- positive thinking!). And it comes out the dryer looking brand new.


Making memories as we travel is one of my favorite things! But packing and planning can be stressful so here are a few practical items that I have found to be very useful. 

I love this phone case for everyday use but I especially love it when we travel. It keeps my camera ready to capture any moment, easy access to my credit cards and I wear it across my body so I don’t lose it or get it stolen. 

These bags are a favorite of mine because we like to travel light and separating clothes and minimizing the space they take is very helpful. But my favorite use for them is also for dirty clothes as we travel. I seperate whites and colors as we go so when we get home I can unzip the bags and dump the dirty clothes directly into the washing machine. 

I know a pen on a favorite things list is random- especially in regards to travel- BUT this pen fits in most passport holders (I also recommend getting a passport holder with a pen holder attached). You always need a pen on a flight to fill out the customs and declaration forms and then there’s just random times as you travel that you need a pen.  And this one is my favorite bc it is small, doesn’t leak, and comes in cute colors including this gold. (Makes a great gift for missionaries- my husband got this pen as a missionary and now always has one in his pocket)

Rick Steves travel guides are a perfect place to start when planning a trip and have SO many practical tips. His guides are where I start my research and he has never let us down. His tip of how to see the Sistine Chapel made us feel like insiders and shaved hours off our day. And in our most recent trip to London we went to the Imperial War Museum, Churchill war rooms, Westminster, Buckingham Palace, and Phantom Of the Opera all in one day with 5 kids based on his suggestions and routes. Note: double check the year it was published and always look for the most recent. 

Good footwear when traveling is essential and for me- these sneakers are my favorites. Check out the other cute styles and colors. They are a Scandinavian company- that’s where I discovered them- and they are made to withstand all types of weather and look good on trails and in the city. 

- There are a lot of cruise lists and recommendations out there of what to bring. We went on our first Disney cruise this spring break and I can confidently say you can ignore most of the list. But magnetic hooks and a hanging organizer were the best suggestions and super helpful. The walls are all magnetic so having the hooks and organizers made the small rooms more manageable with all of our stuff. I also 100% recommend decorating your door and participating in the fish extender gift exchange and pixie dusting- it was so fun. 


There’s no place like home and being together! Here are a few of my favorite things that help create memories together. 

I love to bake and these baking mats are a favorite for consistency and durability. And they make cleaning easy! My kids love to see me pull out these mats bc they know something yummy is coming!

I love,love, love arts and craft projects but having 4 boys meant I had to look far and wide for projects they would want to do and Djeco always has something fun and unique.  They are a Danish company and so while they weren’t ever as popular with my boys as Legos (their preferred Danish toy company 😂) the occasional cool craft from Djeco was acceptable. My daughter’s room is full of Djeco arts and crafts. 

- Reading together was a big part of our family culture, but the most cherished reading together happened at Christmas. I wrap books and put them under the tree as a countdown for Christmas. I re-use the books each year but am always looking for new additions to swap out and keep it fun so they look for the book they think is their favorite each year and are also excited to find a new one. Song of the Stars is my all time favorite and is now reserved to read each Christmas Eve. When Santa Was a Baby is the perfect example of a fun new one that made us giggle and is super cute. 

 - Games are another fun memory maker at home. We love playing lawn games in the summer together and Kubb seems to be showing up now in the USA but we discovered it a couple years ago at a Viking village and think it’s so fun. 

Sushi Go is a great table game and one we pull out on Sunday nights in the winter. It’s fast, you are constantly passing cards so everyone is involved the entire time, and it’s easy so conversation is fun and keeps flowing. 

Thank you, KD!! I'll take one of everything 😉 To catch up on  all of the Favorite Things you can click here.

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