These are a few of my favorite things! This gift guide is filled with happy treasures for any budget that would make great Christmas gifts or a fabulous treat for yourself!
NOTE: THIS POST INCLUDES AFFILIATE LINKS TO PRODUCTS I HAVE USED AND LOVED. SEE MY DISCLOSURE TO LEARN MORE.
UPDATE: GIVEAWAY CLOSED.
This is a season of celebration for me. A few weeks ago, my blog turned FOUR years old! Plus, this week is my birthday. Hooray! All these milestones have gotten me in the mood to celebrate, so I thought it would be fun to host a little giveaway!
But what to give you? I wondered.
Well, in honor of my birthday, I’ve decided to share with you some of my very favorite little joys…the things that I use ALL the time and make me super happy!
Then, in honor of YOU who read this blog of mine (for which I’m SO grateful), I’m going to give away a prize pack made up of some of the items on my “favorite things” list. See below for details on how to enter the giveaway.
I also hope this list will give you some ideas for Christmas gifts for your favorite people this year. I intentionally chose items to fit a variety of budgets…the prices range from $3 to nearly $300, so there’s something for everyone!
Random fact: Whenever I think of “favorite things” it takes me back to being a seven years old. That year, I played Gretl in our local high school’s production of The Sound of Music. It was the highlight of my acting career (I peaked early). Really, though, I am still so grateful I had that confidence-building experience at a young age. It made me feel like I could do anything I put my mind to…and I’ve been dreaming big ever since.
Alright, on to the favorite things gift guide…
My favorite health & beauty products
I’m a pretty low-maintenance girl, but these are a few must-haves in my bathroom drawer…1. EOS lip balm: A friend of mine gave me one of these iconic egg-shaped lip balms in a post-partum care package a couple years ago (when this little guy was born), and I’ve been hooked ever since! I especially love the sweet mint flavor. It’s the one thing I told my husband last year he had to put in my Christmas stocking…and it’s on my list again this year.
2. Aveeno moisturizer: Living in Utah where the air is bone-dry, daily moisturizing is a must. For years, I was frustrated with moisturizers that left my skin feeling greasy, and then I found this one. It’s silky smooth, but not at all greasy, and it has SPF 15 built in to it! It’s a little pricey, but if you buy it at Costco, it’s cheaper and often comes with a bonus trial product.
3. Detangling brush: Long, thick hair can be a beast, but this brush is fabulous at getting through my hair without yanking it painfully. It’s pretty inexpensive and is wonderful for sensitive heads. Win!
My favorite kitchen products
I’m admittedly a total food nerd…the kind of girl who happily gets spatulas and blenders as Christmas presents. Here are just a few items that make cooking for a family of six a little more fun…4. 9-inch wire whisk: This is my favorite thing to cook with. I know what you’re thinking…it’s just a whisk. But you’re wrong. This whisk it amazing. It’s smaller than most whisks, so the wires are closer together and stiffer, which means you have more control when stirring. I use this ALL. THE. TIME. It’s my go-to tool when beating eggs, making sauces…almost anything. Basically, if I have to stir something, this is the first thing I reach for. I have bought it for multiple friends and family members as gifts because I think everyone needs this whisk. Yep…I’m a food nerd. I’m okay with it.
5. Magnetic measuring spoons: These are pretty much the best simple invention ever! No more rummaging around in drawers trying to find the right spoon. No more struggling to keep other spoons on a ring out of the way while you use the one you need. These spoons nest perfectly within each other and are held in place with magnets. Plus, they are double-sided! I have had mine for close to 8 years, and I’ve gifted them countless times as well. I think everyone needs a set of these!
6. Cooking parchment: Do you cook with parchment? I didn’t grow up using it, but I received a package of these pre-cut parchment sheets as a wedding gift along with a baker’s half sheet pan (sometimes the basics are the best!). I use these all the time for baking cookies, roasting veggies, making pizza, and more. Still have doubts? Here are 7 reasons to love parchment straight from The Pioneer Woman!
Related: The Best Kitchen Tools Under $20
My favorite books
Choosing a favorite book is pretty much impossible for me, so I’m just going to share with you a couple that I have been loving recently. There are SO many good books in the world!7. Line-a-day journal: A book written by YOU! I’m a big proponent of journaling. For me, it’s a way to process my thoughts, ground myself daily in gratitude and my core beliefs, and preserve my family’s story for the future. Still, I don’t have a lot of time these days for journaling. That’s why this little book is fabulous. Each page includes an short entry for five years in a row. I’m on year three of my own journal, and while I haven’t been perfect at doing it every day, it’s been really interesting to look back on previous years’ entries each day(ish) when I open it up. I just keep it on my nightstand and try to write every night before bed. It’s a little smaller than I’d ideally like, but it’s the best journal I’ve found of its type for a reasonable price.
P.S. – I also love this quote journal for keeping track of all the crazy things my kiddos say.
8. Interrupting Chicken:This book simply makes me happy. I laugh because it’s ridiculous. I laugh because it’s SO true-to-life. And I smile at the end because it’s really quite sweet. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
9. The Read-aloud Family: I just read this book a few weeks ago, and I devoured it! If you’re not familiar with Sarah Mackenzie from Read Aloud Revival, go meet her NOW. She is just fabulous! Her claim? “Reading aloud has the power to change your family–it has the power to change the world.” Guys, she’s not just blowing smoke. If you’re going to do ONE thing as parent, READ to your kids. It’s so doable, and it is powerful. Her book is full of the why, the how, and the what of building stronger family relationships through stories.
These items are simply too good not to share. Who needs a category anyway? 🙂10. Outdoor zippered blanket: I use this picnic blanket ALL the time. We take it to the park, to outdoor concerts, to the pool, to the beach, everywhere! I keep it in the back of my car in with my summer adventure kit, so we always have it with us. After twelve years of regular use, it’s still going strong! I couldn’t find the exact one I have (it is twelve years old, after all), but the one I linked above looks almost identical; it just has different pattern.
11. Wool dryer balls: I just bought these a couple months ago because I’ve been hearing about them for years and bought them on a whim one day (yep, that’s how I treat myself…with laundry supplies). They reduce wrinkle, shorten drying time, and make dryer sheets obsolete. So far they do everything they claim!
12. Pilot G2 Pens: These have been my favorite pens for over 20 years! I’ve been using them since high school! (Please don’t do the math.) I use them all the time for outlining blog articles, writing to do lists, etc. I have a whole pile of them in my bedside drawer so I can always find them (I hoard them there instead of in the kitchen where my kids will steal them).
These items might require saving up for, but for me they have been more than worth the money:13. Robot Vacuum: This is the closest thing I’ll probably ever have to a regular maid, and I LOVE it! I bought it on Amazon Prime day last year, and it has been a total game changer! Almost every night after I put the kids to bed, I do a quick tidy of the floor and then I set the robot vacuum to work. I have been amazed (and slightly disturbed) by how much dirt, hair, and gunk this little robot picks up. My floors are SO much cleaner, with so little work from me. I do have to rescue it occasionally when it gets stuck under something or eats a cord (my mom and I joke that robot vacuums are like puppies), but it’s seriously a marvel.
14. Vitamix: Is ANY blender really worth that much money…maybe not at full price, but Black Friday prices made it worth it me! After years of debating and researching the various premium blender brands (I told you I’m a food nerd), I took the plunge last year and bought myself a Vitamix for my birthday. This thing is POWERFUL! I use it all the time to make some of my favorite go-to recipes: smoothies, date balls, and whole grain pancake mix. Beyond perfect smoothies, it can grind oats and even nuts. I’ll never regret it.
15. Nike Free shoes: I bought these shoes right before our trip to Florida this summer, and they have been seriously the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. Even though I didn’t have a chance to break them in before the trip, I never got any blisters and they were probably the only reason my feet didn’t FALL OFF by the end of three straight days at Disney World. Plus, for a girl who thinks tying shoes is a complete nuisance, the fact that I can slide these on without untying is a huge bonus. They are pricey, but they’re so worth it.
Are you excited now?!?!?!
Then let’s get on with the giveaway! Here’s what will be in the prize pack:
- EOS lip balm
- 9-inch whisk
- magnetic measuring spoons
- Line-a-day journal
- The Read-aloud Family
- Interrupting Chicken
To be entered to win, head on over to Instagram for all the details. I can’t wait to send one lucky reader all these goodies! I hope you love them as much as I do!
The giveaway will be open until Monday, November 18th at 8:00 p.m. MDT. Winner will be notified by DM (direct message in Instagram). Good luck!
P.S. – This post is completely unsponsored. I just wanted to spread a little cheer in honor of my birthday this year!
Alright, now it’s YOUR turn!
What are your favorite things? Have you used any of my favorites? Do you love them as much as I do? Tell me in the comments below!