Friday Favorites Vol. 22: Coconut Jelly Sheet Masks, Easy French Dip Sandwiches, Affordable German Knives & More

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I can’t believe it’s been almost two months since my last Friday Favorites! It’s been extremely busy in my neck of the woods and with the current state of the world, I just couldn’t bring myself to write. Holiday preparations and end-of-the-year business management have kept me preoccupied, and on top of all that, I’ve been making it a priority to really focus on my health.

That said, I don’t think it’s sustainable for my energy levels to continue publishing a new Friday Favorites every week, but I will do my best to keep them coming every so often. Additionally, I’m dialing back from sharing something from each category during each Friday Favorites just to keep it short and simple and centered on the things that I’m truly obsessed with at the moment. I obsess over things easily, but I don’t want to pressure people into senseless buying – I still want to save you money and encourage you to shop slowly, consciously, and confidently.

What’s New This Month:

Part of my silence during these past two months is because I finally found a doctor of functional medicine that has been helping me heal from my chronic illness. Dr. Anju Mathur of Angel Longevity Medical Center has been a dream come true for me! She ran a lot of different tests that no previous doctor of mine has thought to check, and the discoveries were crazy. I have always been suspicious that I had an Epstein Barr viral infection, and I turned out to be right after all. Dr. Mathur tested me for a few different viruses that cause autoimmunity, and not only did I have a high load of Epstein-Barr, I also had a high load of Herpes 6 as well as Mycogen (which is a type of bacteria that lacks a cell wall). These viruses and bacteria are very common and most of us are exposed to them during childhood; however, there is a combination of factors that will trigger autoimmunity along with the presence of a virus, which is chronic inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and food allergies. It turns out that I had all of these qualifiers, which is why I currently have such terrible health.

Almost every kind of food is triggering an inflammation reaction for me, so I’m on a very strict diet. It’s been 3 weeks since I started this diet and I’m feeling so much better! I’m also getting ozone and high-dose vitamin C intravenous treatments twice a week, which have been greatly helping with my energy levels. I’m really glad to see that this personalized autoimmune program IS giving me results. Cold weather has finally hit Southern California, but my Raynaud’s flare-ups are becoming less frequent and less severe. For the first time in over a year, I’ve been able to sleep through the entire night, and my energy levels are quite stable. I’m really glad to have found Dr. Anju Mathur and I’m excited to see where my health will be after a few months. I feel like I’m getting my life back!

Additionally, the events leading up to the 2020 American presidential election have made me think deeply about the direction in which I want The Baller on a Budget to go & how I can contribute to cultural change. I acknowledge that American capitalism has pushed us severely out-of-balance between ruling and working class, and I’ve always thought about the role I can play in helping bring our world back to a place that serves the people – not just the wealthy or people in office. While I encourage all of us to continue our self-education on capitalism, racism, and the many structures that contribute to colonization, I also believe that change starts by voting with our dollars and learning how to break the cycle of toxic consumerism. My blog was created to help women break free from the shackles of fast fashion & quick consumerism, and I wanted to help women regain control over their impulse buying & make purchases from a place of empowerment, not insecurity.

Running a blog can be overwhelming as there is so much production and marketing involved, and I’m not sure I can get my message out there as efficiently as I’d want to with this platform alone. I’m working on a podcast as another platform so we can have in-depth, relatable discussions about money & the way our culture programs us to earn & spend it. I have no intention to discontinue this website, but moving forward, my written content will change to better fit with my mission. That means less product recommendations and more honest talks about money and consumerism. I hope that as I pivot, you will all continue to be here for the ride!

More Friday Favorites:


Beauty: Mask Moments Sheet Mask Subscription

My friend and fellow esthetician Sophia has her own company called Mask Moments that offers sheet mask subscriptions. As much as I love sheet masks, I wind up getting acneic reactions to most sheet masks that touch my face. Sophia explained to me that it could be the sheet mask material causing the reaction, and that it’s actually quite common. She developed a bio-cellulose sheet mask that uses fermented coconut jelly to hold onto active solutions 20 times as much as their dry weight. Bio-cellulose was originally used to heal burn wounds and is breathable, bio-degradable, anti-microbial, naturally heals, restores, and calms inflammation without irritating your skin.

Mask Moments offers truly luxurious sheet masks that are far more effective than other sheet masks on the market at affordable prices. As someone who has highly reactive skin, I can honestly say that these mask formulations actually absorb well and don’t sit sticky on top of the skin after removing the mask. I highly recommend giving Mask Moments a try for just $1 and subscribe if you fall in love just like I did!


Style: Chenille Loungewear Set


The tough thing about having Raynaud’s is that during winter I have to be very particular with the kind of material I wear, as a lot of polyester-blend clothes sit extremely cold on my skin. A lot of functional winter loungewear doesn’t look all that cute, so I’ve been trying to find loungewear that is just as cute as it is cozy.

When I first saw Kim Kardashian’s Cozy loungewear line from Skims, I knew if I’d just give it some time, there would be fast fashion companies producing dupes of this warm bouclé collection. I got this tan set from Pretty Little Thing that looks strikingly similar for much less, and although it’s made of chenille, it’s still extra cozy! I loved it so much I wanted more colors, but PLT was sold out of other options. However, I got a white set on Nasty Gal that was exactly the same. Fashion Nova and Honeybum also carry similar sets, so check out other retailers to find something similar (I’m sure they all buy their stock from the same wholesale companies, anyway). 


Food: Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

I can’t eat this dish because of my strict autoimmune diet, but I had to share this recipe, because I’m sure you can! If you love sandwiches and if you also love the au jus sauce on prime rib, these slow cooker French dip sandwiches are for you. The cut of meat used is a chuck roast, which makes the meat super moist and flavorful after it’s cooked for hours in the slow cooker. It’s easy and incredibly delicious and I recommend it 10 times over!


Home: Cangshan 6-Piece Knife Set

$179.97

Since I’m spending a lot of time meal prepping in the kitchen for my autoimmune protocol, I thought my beloved Cangshan knives deserved a mention! These knives are affordable yet comparable to Wusthof knives. They are made of German steel and are ranked HRC 58 +/- 2 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale. I cannot believe the quality you get for the price you pay! We’ve had our set since 2018 and have been in love with them ever since then. I can’t stress enough how having good quality knives changes the entire cooking experience – cutting is faster, easier, and funner (seriously!) with some good knives! I have the 6-piece S1 series set which is currently sold out on Amazon, but Cangshan offers the same knives with different handles, like this one. They also have larger sets available.

Cangshan is also available at Costco. They have a 12-piece S1 series knife set for only $109.99 – a complete steal!


Entertainment: Avatar the Last Airbender Series

I just finished marathoning Avatar the Last Airbender on Netflix and sobbed up a storm, like always. Avatar is one of my favorite TV shows of all time (cartoon or not!), and it never gets old for me! I was excited to hear that Netflix was making a live-action Avatar show with the two original creators, but after hearing them back out of the project I’m a little hesitant to see what Netflix will make of this show. Regardless, the original series is always amazing, and it’s a show I can watch over and over and never get tired of.

 

Hope you enjoyed this week’s Friday Favorites! If you liked Volume 22, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter below so you get informed as soon as I hit publish on a new Friday Favorites post. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!


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