My Favorite Things!
With Christmas around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite things (sort of like Oprah, except I’m not giving any of them away, and the list doesn’t include $100 lotion or anything like that).
YES the links below are affiliate links, but it’s mostly for your convenience. You don’t get charged extra if you happen to buy anything here. Some things are no longer sold (or it’s a newer version, so I’m not going to include links for those since the newer version may be worse than what we have!). I mostly want to just share with you some products that I enjoy on a daily (or almost daily) basis!
Lodge Cast Iron Skillets
We’ve tried other brands of cast iron (Emeril and one other that I can’t remember), and Lodge is just better. It is easier to treat and is more nonstick from the start. I’ve never tried an enamel cast iron pan, but I would love to. (It’s on my personal Amazon wish list!) I use a small skillet with sides and a larger, flat one on a near-daily basis!
Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair
Okay that’s related to baby led weaning, but seriously, we used it for Alexander, and now we’re using the same chair for Annabelle. It’s pretty expensive for a high chair, but it doesn’t just get tossed or donated when the kids get older. We remove the tray, adjust the foot rest and seat, and then it’s a legit adult chair that we’ll be able to keep forever! We got the chair with tray and seat attachments, but we got them on sale several years ago for about $300 total. The link below is what you’d pay on Amazon, but if you look around in brick and mortar shops, you may find a much better deal!
Scotch Laminating Machine + Papers
I’m sure there are lots of other laminating machines that are excellent. I can’t tell you about any of those, but I do know that I love having my own laminating machine. If you think you won’t use it, it’s only because you don’t have one yet. I got this one about 5 years ago, and even though both trays have broken off (because I’ve moved it carelessly 4 times!), it still works awesome. I just have to hold the paper while it feeds into the machine, and when it’s done it falls on the floor, ha!
Stearns and Foster King Mattress + Box Spring
We live pretty minimally (for the first world, anyway), and we are very cautious with our purchases. That said, we knew that since we spend 30% of our lives in bed, more than pretty much anywhere else, we wanted to have something nice. So we bought the Cadillac of mattresses, a huge Stearns and Foster. It’s incredibly comfortable and will last a very long time. If you need a new mattress, that’s my recommendation.
Sperry Boat Shoes
I found these for $1.91 at a thrift store, basically brand new. I wear them pretty much daily. They’re so stinkin’ comfortable. On Amazon, I can’t find the exact ones I have, but here’s what I have.
When I’m not wearing my boat shoes, I have two pairs of these sandals that are comfortable right out of the box. And because of the strap at the back, you don’t have to squeeze your toes while you’re walking, so they are comfortable all day. I have black and cheetah print, and I love them.
A bidet is more common in Europe, I believe, but we got one to cut down on paper waste. We have a bidet attachment instead of a totally different toilet. It sprays your privates with water so you get cleaner and use very little toilet paper. Some folks even use family cloth (cloth wipes). We don’t do that part of it, but we definitely use much less toilet paper with our bidet! And you just feel cleaner after going to the bathroom. The one that we have is a dual nozzle (one for the front, one for the back), with two different pressures and slightly different aims.
There are a few flavors of Lara Bars that I absolutely love. Pecan Pie is my all-time favorite, followed by Lemon Pie, followed by Cashew Cookie!
Capresso Espresso Machine
While the upfront cost may be a little steep, this is an easy-to-use machine to make amazing espresso drinks. I make a latte (or two) daily! Here’s how I do it, if you decide to get a machine yourself! Be sure to buy espresso ground (or Turkish ground) coffee. You can buy a grinder if you want, but make sure it actually does that fine of a grind! Next pack your espresso shot and press it down. Put it into the machine. You need to get yourself a milk pouring cup (I like mine, but there’s another one I’d like even better. I’ll put a link to it below, but just know, I haven’t personally tried it. It’s just the one I want!). Pour some milk into the cup. Turn on the machine. Once you get the green light, flip the switch to the milk side. WAIT FOR WATER to spit out first, THEN when the steam comes out, put the steam wand into the milk, all the way to the bottom. Wait for the milk to become a thick, paint-like consistency. After it’s too hot to touch the cup (that’s my preference anyway, as I don’t like it TOO hot), turn off the milk. THEN put your cup under the espresso drip and turn it on. You can buy little ounce cups that are made for espresso shots, if you want to be more precise. (Or shoot, get a kitchen scale and go REAL precise.) Fill up the espresso until it turns pretty light brown, as opposed to the dark brown at the start. Then add the milk. If you want to do art, you can! I just can’t help you there.
Parenting Books (!)
I’ve got several suggestions and favorites. Check out my “parenting” page for those! It’s in the same drop-down menu as this.
Boulder Creek Chips
We eat well-balanced meals 3 times a day, but if we want a snack? Potato chips are one of the things we like. These are pretty doggone clean: just potatoes, oil, and salt. And they have coconut oil, avocado, and olive oil as options (instead of canola or vegetable oil).
Marion Rose Prints
We have two printed canvases by the artist Marion Rose. I don’t know who she is exactly, but we just love her style! We have a cow and a rabbit, but if we come across any others, we’ll likely buy them. We got the cow on mega sale at a bulk art supply website. The rabbit, I found for about $8.00 at a thrift store!
Yves Saint Laurent Lipstick
I happened to get this as a gift, and I love it. It stays put for hours and is a perfect shade for me. Here’s a link for their site!
Marc Jacobs Eye Liner
I have the sort of eyelids where as soon as I put on any sort of eyeliner, I end up with a second surprise line in the middle of my lid. I tried gel liners that were a tub of ink plus a tiny brush, which worked but dried out and were tedious, in my opinion. I tried pencils, which were the worst for my problem. I tried liquid liners, which stayed put IF I could actually draw a nice line (that happened 2 times, I think). This Marc Jacobs one is a gel pencil, and it is easy to put on plus stays on forever AND doesn’t give me a surprise line! I’m never using anything else.
Kat Von D Tattoo Concealer
This is meant for covering tattoos, but I use it as my concealer, and it’s perfect. A little bit goes a long way!
Here’s a link to my Amazon store, which includes a lot more things I use regularly, mostly toys and stuff for the kids. It lands on Annabelle’s page for some reason, but you can see Alexander, Decor, Books, and Kitchen off to the right side.