“Hey Red, are you going to give me a Christmas list anytime soon?”

He already had the mittens. #CatsWithThumbs #OneEyedCats #CatsDressedAsSanta

“I have a Pinterest board. I mean, ignore the $3,200 ring (so pretty!)…but there’s some good stuff on there!”

I’ve since employed Shireen who is essentially a female Cody with much nicer boobs to help him pick out any and all Christmas gifts. Honestly there isn’t much that I want (Except maybe a storm door, hey! I want a storm door! A full glass insulated one that locks! Christmas for grownups! So glamorous!) but I know I always appreciate a good list of fully backed suggestions from people I trust. My friend Anna says she always thinks of me (and often consults me) before making a major purchase so I’d like to think I know what I’m talking about.

While some of these things aren’t exactly amazing Christmas gifts (stocking stuffers maybe?) they are things I am loyal to, buy over and over again and use on a daily basis. (None of them are samples or freebies either. Bought with my own money or bought for me as a gift.)

EOS Ultra Moisturizing Shave Cream – 3 x 7-ounce bottles $10.44

Whoops, lies. I received my first bottle of this shave cream from BlogHer in 2009. But I’ve bought at least two dozen bottles since so that kind of negates the fact that the first bottle was a gimme. I’ve been known to use coconut oil as well but it seems to wear my razors down a lot quicker. I like the vanilla kind best.

Clarisonic Classic – $195 Olay Pro-X Advanced – $21.97

I own the Clarisonic, have since early 2010 and it is the best darn thing ever. I use it twice a day and nothing (NOTHING!) has ever helped my skin more. Natalie did an extensive comparison of the Clarisonic vs. the Olay Pro-X and guess what? The Clarisonic won! Here’s one thing the box won’t tell you, when you first start using the Clarisonic your skin may purge, meaning it may break out even more, specifically in little whiteheads. It’s all the deep garbage working its way out. I used to be able to feel the zits bubbling under my skin, especially on my cheeks and chin. Now? Nothing. If I were to tell you to save up for one thing? This. This is what you save up for.

Microplane Zester – $12.95

If you have ever zested anything with a cheese grater, this thing will change your life. You will find excuses to zest all the things. Oranges! Limes! Lemons! Nutmeg! Hard cheeses! No pie will be too much for you and your zester.

Dyson Digital Slim Multi-Floor Cordless Vacuum Cleaner – $263.20


Cody got this for me for Casey week (my birthday and Mother’s Day in the same week) THE THING IS AMAZING. Yes, I have a big Dyson for real vacuuming, but to be able to just pull this one out when Vivi spills cereal or to get a little pile of cat hair off the couch? Angels sing. I’m not kidding.

In-Oven Thermometer – $21.00

Do you cook meat? You should have one of these. Once your meat is prepared you stick the thermometer in, throw your meat in the oven (or on the grill), set an alarm to go off when the meat reaches a certain temperature and BOOM! Perfectly cooked meat. You’re welcome.

UP – $16.46 Finding Neverland – $1.99

I judge people by how they react to the first 15 minutes to the movie UP. You should own it. Same with Finding Neverland. These are movies that make you feeeeeel. Sometimes you just need to feeeeeeel things.

Nature Bright SunTouch SAD Lamp – $70.99

Do you have your SAD lamp yet? You know how I love my SAD lamp. This one has taken the internet by storm.

Contigo Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle – 2 for $30.48

BEST WATER BOTTLES EVER! I put ice in one the first night I had them and when I went to fill it up the next night I found the ice from the night before hadn’t even melted completely. WHAT? I have kept one of these in my car on a sweltering summer day and the ice never completely melted. Even better? They never sweat! BEST! BOTTLES! EVER! (Shireen can also vouch for best bottle ever status.)

Urban Decay Naked or Naked 2 Palette – $50 each

The colors in the Naked palette are a little better (lots of sparkles in the Naked 2) but the Naked 2 case is aluminum, snaps shut and is super sturdy (the brush is better too.) I’m not an eyeshadow wearer but when I do? I want them easy to use and I want them all to match. These all match (super flattering neutrals) and are really easy to use.

Kindle – Starting at $69

I can read in bed without my glasses while lying on my side. I could read with one hand while pumping, breastfeeding or holding a baby. I know some people love real books, I like books, I love to read, but real books are kind of a hassle. Kindle to the rescue.

Silver Tag Earrings – $28 also available in gold $42

My friend Lisa makes these. I wear these earrings 90% of the time because they go with everything and are in a word, lovely.

Fresh Sugar Lip Balm – $22.50

Emily got me hooked on this stuff when I was pregnant. I’ve since gotten several more people hooked on it since. I’ve tried every shade except for coral. Rose is my favorite followed closely by Berry. It feels wonderful, it looks wonderful and it works wonderfully well. The case screws instead of snaps so there’s less chance of user error or the cap popping off.

Layering basics from Shade Clothing – starting at $12

You will find one of these, or some version of these, on my body 95% of the time. They keep all the parts you want covered (armpits, cleavage, butt crack) covered without bulk. Best basics ever. (I prefer the baby tee in a medium for layering and adore their more casual t-shirts. ADORE.)


(this photo illustrates the earrings, the effectiveness of the Clarisonic, the Fresh lip balm (Rose) and two layered Shade shirts.)

So now it’s your turn, what do you LOVE that I should know about?

(Cody’s gift is already taken care of. BOOM! It’s amazing, I can’t wait for him to see it. I’ll tell you about it in private if you need an idea! I also really want to tell you about the gifts I’m giving my family but they read this (hi guys!) and I don’t want to spoil it.)


  1. Honestly, I want to be you when I grow up.

  2. Love the sugar lip balm – I was going to buy a naked palette but couldn’t decide which one I wanted (and didn’t think I needed both – LOL)

    My favorite thing right now is Trish McEvoy’s Blackberry and Vanilla Musk – it’s pretty, not overly perfumy and clean smelling.

  3. Kindle Paperwhite. I have my older Kindle Keyboard with 3G still, and I keep that one in my purse because with the 3G, it can easily sync wherever I am. But for reading in bed without bugging my SO? The Paperwhite rules. The light thingy is amazing. No more booklights that slide around and light the page unevenly. Since I already had the 3G Keyboard, I went with Wi-Fi only, and no ads.

    Totally random, but good tips for the crafters in your life: I love Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue with the purple label. I love to craft, but I’m a disaster with glue guns. Enter Aleene’s. I’m a devotee. Also Glue Dots. And the Scotch ATG 714 adhesive runner is amazing.

    And Amazon Prime. My Prime membership has changed my life. Instead of running all over town looking for the lowest prices on school supplies and trying to track down those TWO ITEMS that every store within a 20 mile radius is sold out of, I just click away in my pajamas and have everything come to my front door, with free shipping. When everyone is talking about a certain movie or show? Use the Blu-Ray player to find it for free watching WHEN I FEEL LIKE IT using Amazon Prime. And then I can have, say, a Downton Abbey marathon when the hubby is out of town, and suddenly know what all the hype is about. (true story.) If I read about a certain product that isn’t available locally (Teeccino, Organic Whole Cane Sugar), I can always find it on Amazon, and if I like it so much I never want to run out, I can set up a recurring order so I don’t even have to think about it. Amazon Prime, baby. Changed. My. Life.

    BTW, so did you.

  4. Hem Gems for jeans…nice alternative to “hemming” your jeans.

    Ticket Stub Diary..but I scrapbook so much, this was a no-brainer for me!

    I want the Naked Palettes so. darn. bad. now!! 😉

    Have a good Thanksgiving Casey!!

  5. I have wandered around the store SO MANY HOURS with the Naked Palette in my arms and yet have not pulled the trigger. You make me want it now. Not that I don’t have 45 shadows too many already. Ahem.

  6. a. you’re the best.

    b. my fav thing (today) is Stila self adjusting blush. I’m not a huge cheeky fan…but this…this I love. 🙂

  7. Amen on the Kindle (seriously a lifesaver during breastfeeding and vacations—I don’t need to take seven books with me anymore) and Up and Finding Neverland (whose idea was it to fade to white at the end of FN? I want to be able to ugly cry and search my bag for tissues without everyone in the theatre being able to see my running nose and mascara, thanks).

  8. My Kindle Fire is the one thing I tell everybody about. I’ve got hundreds (yes, hundreds) of books – most that I got for free, dozens of apps, and a complete set of scriptures, along with Sunday School manuals, church magazines, etc. For church, I downloaded the teacher’s manual for Sunday School, and can follow along perfectly. When the teacher references a scripture from the lesson, I touch the highlighted part and it goes to that scripture, which is highlighted. So easy. And I’m never without something to read. Doctor’s office? I’m covered. Long line at the grocery store? I’m good. (In case you were wondering, I’ve got hundreds of real books, too. And not enough bookcases.)

    I do like the idea of using Pinterest for a wish list – I know they have secret boards, but I think I’ll leave mine public in case any relatives want to know what my kids want for Christmas.

  9. So the clairsonic is really good? I’ve been on the fence forever because the price tag. And I know you’ve written about it before but I’m still straddling this fence. Once I buy it is there anything else I have to buy new brushes? special face wash or something? Or you pay the big bucks once and you’re all done?

    I LOVE coming up with great Christmas gifts for everyone on my list. Thank you for some great ideas for my own list 🙂

  10. A motivating discussion is worth comment. There’s no doubt that that you should publish more on this topic, it may not be a taboo subject but generally people do not talk about these subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!

  11. I am SO glad you rec-ed this SAD lamp to me on twitter. Seriously…it’s been just under a week and the very least it’s given me is 30 minutes of peace and tranquility each day. At the most it’s also helped my mood/depression. so THANK YOU!

    Also…I totally want to know what you got Cody because I am wandering aimlessly on the etsy and other places on the internet searching desperately for a creative gift “for him” that does not involved nudity or a key chain.

  12. I just found the Fresh Sugar Lip Balms and adore them. My daughter has asked for Naked2, but I think I’m liking Naked1 better – decisions, decisions.

  13. So, I’m clearly way behind in my blog reading…
    But I love your list & have added some things to my own wishlist!
    And I really need to know what you got Cody for Christmas… I am at a loss! And time is ticking…


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