I had hoped to get this list out a little sooner than five days before Christmas, but here you go. Here are a few of my favorite things.
First up are Hickies. They are little elastics for shoes that function as laces. These were originally a Kickstarter project and are really taking off. I heard you can even buy them at Brookstone now! My kids are terrible about tying their shoes. Problem solved. And bonus, hello fashion statement. They come in loads of colors and are awesome for those high profile shoes your kids want. Ever notice how in the ads for shoes they don't ever show them with laces tied in bows? Exactly. These fasteners let your shoes take center stage, not the floppy laces! And unlike bungee laces, don't have any cording that hangs out. Love them. You can order them direct here: At the HIckies online storefront.
Next, After Eight mints. I grew up eating these at Christmas and I'm so glad they are still available. They are little, thin (and it's the "thin" that makes them so good) squares of dark chocolate filled with minty goodness. Each one is in it's own little sleeve inside the box. They are fantastic! I found them at Cost Plus this year and I think you can also buy them in bulk at Amazon. I gave a lot of these little boxes as gifts this year. They are just right for a little something special.
Ok now, do you want to know my very most favorite place to buy holiday wrapping paper? Hobby Lobby. They sell these big (thick) rolls of beautiful Christmas paper. It's that wonderful heavy paper that you can run your scissors across to cut without actually doing any cutting motion. Bonus, it's more than reasonable at $4 (at the 50% off price). Double bonus, they always have patterns in the Christmas paper aisle like the one above that can work year round. Stock up!
Instagram. What can I say. I love it. So much. Such an easy way to take ordinary photos, tweak them with a nifty filter and turn them into something amazing. In less than 10 seconds. Some of my most favorite photos from this past year have been taken on my phone and created in Instagram. I'm a fan. Not to mention, some of my favorite bloggers are also on Instagram too! Love seeing the little snippets they post between blog entries. ❈
The Kindle Paperwhite. I lovvvvvvveeeeee this baby. It's actually pretty funny because I know quite a few people who claim to be purists about their reading. They'll "never" give up books for a reader. That's what I thought too... before I got my first kindle. Slowly over time, with the sweet lure of instant buying... I've been converted. And now I say I'm a purist. But not for books, for ereaders. Because this Paperwhite with all of it's you can read me in the dark and not hurt your eyes? Is perfection. I don't want a Kindle Fire, although I hear they are pretty cool. I don't want a reader that can play movies, or surf the web. I just want one to be my book and only be my book. And the book after that, and the one after that...
Real popcorn. At the beginning of this year I stopped making microwave popcorn and started making real popcorn. I'd forgotten just how easy it is! You can make it in a pot or get a popper. The best part is, you can can add herbs and spices (rosemary, garlic powder,etc.) to the popcorn before you fire it up and it tastes fantastic! I'll never go back to microwaved popcorn, I tried some the other day and it tasted like plastic. Just another way to cut unnecessary chemicals out of your your food. Popcorn, YUM! My favorite is Orville Redenbocher's. I've tried the store brands and Jolly Time and other brands that promise yummy goodness, but they just don't measure up. Trust me.
Ok, a couple more things, since it's almost the start of the New Year and all...
Hands down my favorite workout DVD continues to be the 30 Day Shred. It's challenging, but seriously, I can do challenging for 20 minutes. It makes me feel great physically when I'm working out, even if it's only a few times a week. And then I feel smart and productive and well, you know how it feels when you are doing something good for yourself, your self esteem soars. 20 minutes of doing something challenging but doable can do that for you. It's amazing.
Confession: I have been eating garbage and have not worked out for the last three months since we moved into the rental house. I guess I was just wallowing and giving myself a free pass. Apparently a free pass to a place where I don't really want to be mentally and physically. (Insert sarcasm here) Sometimes I can be SO helpful to myself. Guess what happened? Um....... yeah.
Guess who worked out today? Time to claw my way back onto the wagon, but we can talk more about that later.
Hope you have enjoyed a few of my favorite random things.
Have the Merriest of Christmases! ❈