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Stuff I Love 2015

Hello Friends!

Happy Thanksgiving Week!  I hope you're gearing up to spending some quality time with family and friends, along with plenty of naps.  And shopping.  When Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick asked me to participate in her favorite things round up, I just couldn't say no.  Lucky for you, I have lots of them!

I don't know if it's because I'm getting older or what, but fighting the holiday shopping crowds just doesn't appeal to me - I've turned into a big time online shopper, so sit back, grab a glass of wine or a cup of hot chocolate, and browse away.  This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.

St. Tropez Self-Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse
If you are wanting a little color this holiday season, St. Tropez Self-Tanning Mousse is my go-to self-tanner.  I use this stuff quite a bit, regardless of the season, and the color it gives is second to none.  I actually had someone ask me where I went on Spring Break this year with the color I got from this stuff.  It's that good.

I also like that it's tinted, so you can see it as you apply it, and since it's "Express" self-tanner, you see the color develop quickly.  You'll also want to get an applicator mit to go with it - it makes application super easy, and saves you from having tan hands.

A Lazy Spoon
I have a spoon similar to this one that I bought at an arts festival, but this Lazy Spoon one is very similar.  I love that when I'm cooking, the slot allows me to rest it right on the pan that I'm using - so smart, and a nice mess-saver.  Makes for a great stocking stuffer!

Cook's Illustrated Cookbooks
A friend of mine who is an amazing cook, introduced me to Cook's Illustrated years ago, and their recipes inspire me to cook.  They test their recipes, to find the best way to make a dish, and then share the details with you.  You can even get a monthly subscription - I still have all of my Cook's Illustrated magazines that I've collected over the years, and reference them often.

Here is a great Cook's Illustrated family cookbook that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.  Their recipes are timeless.

Cute and Clever Napkins
I think I could use these napkins every. single. night.   What a fun hostess gift.

These napkins are a close second, and could also be used in my house daily.

Kendra Scott Tessa Earrings
One of my high school girlfriends shared these Kendra Scott earrings with me - so pretty and in so many colors, you're bound to find a style and color that you'll like.  I'm liking these:

Or these - what a gorgeous color!

Custom Handwriting Necklace
I love this idea and it reminds me of my grandmother's handwriting.  I could spot her handwriting out of a line up any day, and this necklace is a wonderful way to commemorate and save the handwriting of someone loved and lost.

Chalk Markers
We have a few chalkboard walls in our house, and I love to use chalk markers to embellish them.  They give a much cleaner look, and allow you to control the look much easier as well.  

You can see that I used chalkboard markers on one of our chalkboard spaces an instant gallery wall:

Or here, where I framed up our Christmas cards:

I got a little fancier with my outdoor fall chalkboard, using some color:

They're just a fun way to change things up a bit, and give you a really nice finished look.

Stanley FatMax Toolbox
I bought one of these Stanley toolboxes earlier this year in an effort to better organize my painting tools and supplies, and let me tell you - it. rocks.  It stores a ton of stuff (big and small), folds up and rolls around on wheels like a charm.  

It's great for storing all of my painting tools and products, and sets up great for me to grab stuff easily when I need it.  My only problem now, is that I think I need another one.

Garmin Vivoactive Watch
This one is on my husband's Christmas list, and I have to admit, I'm intrigued myself.  I've used a Garmin Forerunner in the past for running, but the Garmin Vivoactive is a multi-sport Garmin.  It has GPS enabled activity tracking for running, biking, swimming and golf.  I think the golf part sealed the deal for him.

Birchbox Man
Since we're on the subject of gifts for men, here's another one that my husband currently has  (and loves).  If you're unfamiliar with Birchbox, each month you get five sample products delivered to your door.  

Birchbox Man is similar to the Birchbox for Women program - you can customize your samples to your own tastes - I'm a little bit jealous of the products he gets every month (the men get four product samples + a "lifestyle item").  They really deliver with some cool stuff.  This month's Birchbox just arrived today, and it included a really cool knitted winter hat.  I never get that in my Birchbox.  Now my 17 year-old is asking for a Birchbox subscription.  True story. 

And it's only $20 a month.  You can give a subscription for three, six or twelve months, which makes it a great gift giving option.

English Laundry Riviera
I'm not one to tout a men's cologne type of product, but this one is too yummy not to share.  My husband got the English Laundry Riviera as a sample in his Birchbox, and liked it so much that he bought the full size.  It's fresh and clean smelling, just like you'd expect by the name.  It's my favorite men's scent, and if you like fresh, clean smells, you'll love this one.  

On a side note - we got the English Laundry Arrogant scent in today's Birchbox, and it's a delicious one too.  Still living up to its fresh and clean reputation, despite the name.

Sonicare Toothbrush
My Sonicare toothbrush is one of those items that I didn't realize how much I needed it until I had it.  My teeth feel like I just walked out of my six month dental check-up (minus my dental anxiety).  The real test was when I was traveling and forgot it and had to use a regular toothbrush.  It's like night and day.

One more thing that's on my Favorite Things List - Christmas Home Tours!  Don't forget to check back on December 1st, when things kick off for the Third Annual 12 Days of Christmas Tour of Homes! 

Don't miss all of the other great blogger picks that are being shared through Wednesday:




Have a beautiful day!


Friday 5+1 (5 Things I Love + 1 Thing I Don't)


Happy Friday friends!  Are you gearing up for Thanksgiving?  I'm hosting this year, and am in a bit of denial about it, quite frankly.  With any luck, I'm hoping to beat the crowds and buy my turkey today.

It's been a couple of weeks since I've done a 5+1, so let's get right to it!

Southern Living Gingerbread House
I'm a wee bit obsessed with custom gingerbread houses right now, and this Southern Living one is just too good not to share.  How cool is this?  Can you imagine how long it would take to put one of these together?  Incredible!

Amazing Paint Store
I want to visit this Japanese paint store - they have their walls lined with 4,200 different pigments.  The paint geek in me is coming out, I know.

Decorated Christmas Cookies
Getting back to the subject of cookies - every year, one of my girlfriends and I try to get together to decorate Christmas cookies.  It's a fun day to just chat and decorate, and I'm already looking forward to doing it this year.  She's a big baker and always does a fantastic job of mixing the frosting so that they turn out looking professional.  

So, I've been looking for inspiration.  How cute are these?  I love everything cars and trucks + Christmas trees, so these are right up my alley.
Or these - 

We did do cute mitten cookies like these from Bee in our Bonnet:

The Lettermate
I thought this Lettermate was a cute idea to make your holiday cards look custom - or at the very least, straight.

They give some great inspiration on their site, as well as some tips to get a good result.

Designer Tack Bulletin Board
After finishing my daughter's room for the One Room Challenge, I stumbled upon this Designer Tackboard at Menard's, and I wish I had discovered it sooner!  It's a great size to begin with (32" x 48"), and it's easy to cut into different shapes and sizes.  You can check out their ideas on their website.

My +1 thing that I don't like is reward cards.  I'm not talking about the ones on your keychain, but the ones that are like business cards that need to be stamped or hole punched or something.  For the life of me, I can't keep track of them, and I wish they would just do it all electronically, so I can finally get my free bag of dog food that I know I have coming to me.

Have a great weekend!