Here we go! Up 1st this year….
I absolutely, positively, without a doubt LOVE my french press coffee maker! This is all I use at home! (and yes, this exact one!) I also love Starbucks Veranda Roast and I love drinking my coffee from fun coffee mugs….it’s one of those simple things in life that brings much JOY! (the cups are from Pier 1, btw).
Register your name and email address in the comments section below, and Hitch will randomly draw a name by 7pm tonight! We’ll announce the winner on my blog tomorrow morning!
Staying in the kitchen…my Favorite Thing #2 is The Pioneer Woman’s “A Year of Holidays” Cookbook! I love this cookbook! Ree literally walks through the entire year … New Year’s, The Super Bowl (yes, it’s a holiday), Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day and so on … and shares her holiday inspired recipes. This is great gift for the one who loves to cook! I actually got one for my daughter for Christmas, but I couldn’t wait – I’ve already given it to her! We’ve only made a couple of things so far. But will definitely be trying additional recipes over the Christmas break! This is also a great gift for that newly wed or newly engaged couple, too!
I always always have a pair of earrings every year on my favorite things list! This year, it’s a pair of Flirties from Rusty Crickett’s! These earrings are only $16! My personal favorites are the clear ones and I love them!! I wear them at least 4 days a week; shoot I have them on right now! You can dress them up or down! Thank you, Charlie, for providing me some to give away! (BTW, if you want a pair you can call Charlie at 941.720.7677). Register in the comment section on my blog between now and 7 p.m., and we’ll announce the winner in the morning!
Last year it was Table Topics, this year it’s Chat Pack! Yep, my favorite thing #6 is a Christmas Chat Pack! Using Table Topics or a Chat Pack has become a staple around my table! My kids expect it, and they love it! The Chat Pack is very inexpensive; I found mine at Barnes & Noble, but you can also get them on Amazon. This makes a great hostess gift, as well, for the Christmas parties you’re attending this year.
One of my FAVORITE THINGS, not just at Christmas, but IN LIFE, is CANDLES!!!! I love love love candles! It’s one of my guilty pleasures, and if I’m totally honest….I spend way too much money on candles; I’ve had to go on a budget! I actually buy different candles for different seasons. I have a great Summer candle that I love, one for the Fall, etc. And this year, while it was very hard not to list the Woodwick Fireside again, I did look around and find a candle that I think smells like a Christmas tree. Nothing can duplicate the original scent of a real tree (and there are a LOT of bad Christmas tree smelling candles out there!), but, I think this one comes pretty close. It’s Yankee Candle’s Holiday Garland scent. Btw, Yankee Candle’s Vanilla Lavender is a favorite, too.
I wasn’t a believer, but now I’m a believer! Dave & Bill converted to a Kindle a few years before me. But my girlfriend, Becca, sold me on the Kindle Paperwhite that had the lights that went around the screen! And that meant I could lay in the bed and read!! (Reading makes me sleepy, and since I get up at O’dark :30, I need all the help that I can get to shut my brain down). I ended up getting Dave, Bill and my husband Pete each one for their birthdays last year….and all 4 of us LOVE our Kindles. I think Pete has read more books in the last year than he has in the past 10. It’s well worth the money, and you’ll certainly make up the difference because Kindle books are less expensive than traditional books. One last note, this isn’t me selling out on hardback books; I still buy them too!! I just love books, period.
“The experts” say you should walk an average of 10,000 steps per day. Of course, we had no idea how far 10,000 steps was. But we certainly found out when we ordered our Fitbits this Fall! We quickly learned we were NOT walking 10,000 steps per day….hahaha! So, my favorite thing #7 is the Fitbit! I’ve worn mine everyday since September, and it’s really motivated me to get out and get some steps in, when I might not otherwise would have. Welp, that and the fact that we’re super competitive….and with the friend feature on Fitbit, Dave, Bill & I can see exactly how many steps each of us is getting! It makes being active fun, while it holds you accountable. I’m actually getting my family these for Christmas!
I’m not kidding when I tell you I’ve been listening to his Christmas record since September! It’s no secret that Brandon is family to us, so it should also be no big shock that my favorite thing #8 is Brandon Heath’s Christmas is Here! Y,all!! he knocked it outta the park!! The instrumentation (especially the strings!) are top notch on this record. If you like Nat’s version of “White Christmas”, you’ll love Brandon’s! The choir in “Silent Night” feels like you should be at a Christmas Eve service somewhere in New York City, and “Just a Girl”….well, the first time I heard it, I cried. Brandon wrote this song from the Inn Keeper’s perspective, and it’s hands down, no question my favorite song on the CD. I gave the CD to the women in my bible study this year, and Pete is giving to his clients. This would make a great Christmas gift for a co-worker, girlfriends, a hostess gift for the parties you attend, or a fantastic stocking stuffer!
My favorite thing #9 is straight up nostalgia! It’s a light-up ceramic Christmas tree! I was having lunch with a friend a month or so ago at Cracker Barrel, and as I was leaving I spotted ‘em!! Most would say this falls in the “tacky Christmas decorations” category, but both Maw-Maw Brown & Me-Maw had one of these, and it reminded me of them! Mine is sitting on the corner table in my den and I love it!! Every time I glance over at it, I smile and think of a sweet memory I have with each of them. And, aw man, do I still miss Maw-Maw Brown’s chicken & dumplings that she made me every year for my birthday. I can’t wait to see them both again one day!
And lastly, my favorite things #10 is incredibly special to me. As you know, we’ve partnered with Abolition International the last few years, forming Team Freedom, to run for those who aren’t Free.To.Run….yet! Abolition International exists to bring an end to sex trafficking and exploitation. They focus quite a bit on quality care and restoration, after the rescue. This year they launched the Penh Lenh Collection. Penh Lenh means “whole” in the Cambodian language Khmer. Abolition sent a jeweler to Cambodia to teach rescued girls how to make jewelry, so that they may support themselves in a gainful way. My favorite things #10 is the whole Penh Lenh collection, but I’m specifically giving away the Dalmatian Jasper Flower bracelet. Each piece of jewelry is hand-made by a girl who was rescued from sex trafficking in Cambodia. What a meaningful gift, and what a terrific way to help fight this evil. And, if you’re interested in joining Team Freedom, you can find information HERE!