Monday, December 19, 2016

Favorite Things 2016 (and an Amazon giveaway for you!)



One of my most favorite posts to do all year is my Favorite Things post!  For one day, I get to play Oprah and dish about all of the fun finds I've found over the past year.  You can see my previous Favorite Things posts here...

2012 // 2013 // 2014 // 2015

And while I would absolutely love to give away one of everything in this post, I've got bills to pay too. 😉 But I still love to give something to another one of my favorites...you guys!  So scan to the bottom of the post for a giveaway (no sponsors, no companies involved...just my gift for you).


Now, let's get started with my favorite finds of the year!

(Affiliate links used in this post.)

Ninja Coffee Bar - I was offered one of these systems a few months ago and gladly took it - with a baby that still wasn't sleeping through the night, I needed all of the coffee I could get. 😉 We've had Keurig coffee makers in our home for years, but this thing isn't even in the same universe as a Keurig - the coffee it makes is ten times better!

The Ninja Coffee bar has several different options for coffee prep that the Keurig doesn't have, like iced coffee, specialty brews (kind of like espresso shots), and rich brew.  There's a mill frother on the side too, which I love and use daily.  I've used the same kind of coffee in both machines, and there's something about the way the Ninja prepares it that makes it taste so much richer and bolder.  If I had one negative to say about the Ninja, it's that it has me drinking too much coffee! 😆 You don't have to fuss with pods and K-Cups with this, which is nice too.
Clarisonic Mia - I treated myself to one of these during the Nordstrom anniversary sale this year and have just fallen in love with it.  If you've used any other brush system to clean your face, this is just a little different - it uses sonic waves to really give a deep clean.  My face always feels so smooth after using it!  And I've noticed a long-term effect on the texture of my skin from using it too - it seems much firmer and smoother even on the days I don't use it.


BobSweep Pet Hair - I received this item to review a few months ago, and with 2 messy kids and a shedding dog, it has been a god-send!  I've seen a lot of hype about robotic vacuums on social media lately, and let me tell you...they're right.

There's no heavy-duty vacuuming involved with the BobSweep (I still have do do the weekly vacuuming in my cleaning system), but this keeps the daily messes and shedding at bay.  There's very little babysitting of it (just the occasional untangling if something gets stuck or rescuing it from a corner).  We had a Roomba in the past, but it was double the price of this one and the results weren't as good!  I'd highly recommend the BobSweep.


Garnier Texture Tease - This has become my absolute favorite hair product.  I have very flat, limp hair naturally (that doesn't take curl or styling well at all)...this spray is kind of like hair spray, but less crunchy and stiff.  It gives your hair a nice little bit of texture and "oomph" and actually gives it a teeny bit of hold too!  It's super inexpensive and smells great.  I've already gone through almost 2 bottles in almost a year...that's unheard of for me!


Reebok Work Out Ready Pant Tight - I just happened to find a pair of these on Schoola a few months ago, and they have become my go-to leggings.  You know that pair of yoga pants that you always wear first once you do laundry for the week?  These are mine.  They are nice and thick and hold in everything that needs to be held in without being uncomfortable.  They don't roll down every 5 minutes either!


Totally Awesome Cleaner - This is one you probably wouldn't want to buy online, but trust me...so worth making a trip to a store for this.  I heard a few friends rave about the Totally Awesome line of cleaners at Dollar Tree (you read that right...Dollar Tree!), and I figured that, for a dollar, I didn't have much to lose trying these.  Y'all - it might be the best cleaner I've ever used.  Seriously.  It will get dried anything off of counters and cleans upholstery beautifully.  It smells great too!


Instant Pot Duo - Ok, let's talk about a kitchen game changer for a second.  I've seen the hype about Instant Pot for awhile, but didn't really "get" all it could do until I joined this group on Facebook.  Guys - there's not much you can't cook in this thing.  Basically, it's a pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, saute' pan, rice cooker, and several other things all in one. It's incredible.

You can cook frozen meats (from frozen), make slow-cooked meals that normally take hours in just a few minutes, steam foods, cook potatoes, make dozens of boiled eggs at once...it goes on and on.  I've had mine about a month now and have used it at least once or twice a week!



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Buffalo Check Erry-thang - You can say I'm a little obsessed with Buffalo Check right now (in case you didn't notice in my recent printables).  I want to put it everywhere in the new house! I'm already planning out a few rooms and have found a few things to add to my wish list.


It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In - With my thin and tangly hair, I absolutely have to use some kind of leave-in.  I had been loyal to Redken Anti-Snap for years, but found the It's a 10 line this year after reading great reviews from a few beauty bloggers.  It smells absolutely incredible and leaves your hair so soft.  It can be a little pricey, but a little goes a long way - I bought a 4 oz travel size just to try it out initially and it lasted me for months!


BP Square Stud Earrings - I've fallen in love with these earrings over the past few months - they are the perfect little gift to keep on hand for teachers, babysitters, friends, etc.  The set of 2 earrings is on sale often (I'm seeing that they're under $10 right now), but the full price of $16 really isn't a bad deal at all.  I was shocked by the quality of these - they are really well-made!  Do yourself a favor and go on and order a few pairs for last-minute presents (and maybe keep a set for yourself).

Happy holidays, friends!

Now, let's get to giving one of you an early Christmas present!  One lucky reader is going to get a $25 Amazon gift card from me to jumpstart your after-holiday shopping.  This is just kind of my way to say "thank you" to you friends for sticking with my rambling for another year!

Enter with the Giveaway Tools widget below (or click here if you're having trouble getting it to load).  US residents age 18+ are invited to enter.  This giveaway isn't affiliated with Amazon, Nordstrom, or any of the social media sites I use in the giveaway...just sponsored by little old me!

I'll close entries on Friday night (12/23) and email the winner on Christmas Eve.  Good luck, everybody!