In the spirit of “Oprahs’ Favorite Things”, I had been thinking about doing a “Jessie’s Favorite Things” blog post this year. Then Oprah decided not to do her typical favorite things episode due to this year’s economic issues. I bet the people in the audience were pissed that day -- "What do you mean we DON'T get $100,000 worth of free gifts??" I wanted to still share the list of cool things I have discovered this year because most of the things on my list are very affordable and might help some folks with last minute gifts.
So here we go, in no particular order:
1) Busy Body Book Academic Calendar. This is an awesome planner book for any mom. It shows a week at a time and has 5 columns so you can assign each family member a column to keep track of everyone’s schedules. When I had a normal corporate job and had to be responsible for only myself, I had an electronic calendar so it’s kinda weird that I have gone back to a paper calendar now. But I am totally in love with this thing and have bought it as gifts for a couple of friends. Mine is the academic year version (August 08-Sept 09) but I am pretty sure it also available in a normal calendar year version that starts in January.
2) Lands End Chalet Shoes. These are so warm and comfortable, they are like wearing slippers but are actual shoes. We normally don’t wear shoes in our house, and these have become my “inside shoes.” As you know, I work from home so when I have to meet with someone, at least I am not wearing my slippers. LOL! Snatch them up now because as of this posting, they are on sale for $19.99.
3) Tracy Joy Camera Bags. These cool and trendy camera bags created in some of today’s hippest patterns and prints. I have the original Reese and I love it. I can’t wait to get my hands on the new Reese, which has been redesigned to be larger, and my only complaint about my Reese is that it is a tad too small. I cannot speak for the other bag models, but the Reese is sturdy with its zipper closure. Sign up for Tracy’s blog and watch for specials!
4) Phat Straps. These are custom designed trendy camera straps created in hip patterns and prints. My favorite feature about these is the quick release, which allows me to switch from a neck strap to a wrist strap in just a few seconds.
5) Tyke Light. What a great idea…. A nightlight that a child who is afraid of the dark can hold with them, and even carry with them during a midnight trip to the potty. Both of my kids have one. Genius, I say!
6) Alba Very Emollient Body Lotion. I am not normally one to shout from the rooftops about a lotion, but if you get dry winter skin you really gotta try this stuff. If you start using it at the beginning of winter, you will never even get dry or scaly the whole season. Don’t be fooled by the name. Most things with the word “emollient” in them are thick and greasy, but this is surprisingly light. Give it a whirl.
7) Bare Minerals. I too am totally annoyed by the long infomercials, but ladies and gentleman – believe the hype! I started using Bare Minerals last December and my skin has never looked better. It’s really hard to give makeup as a gift due to all the shades, but Bare Minerals are available at Ulta and Sephora so maybe you can give your special someone a gift certificate to one of those stores.
8) Teavana. I just discovered Teavana this fall. Even if you are not a tea lover, stop in and try some samples because they have something for everyone. There are even tea-free drinks for kids made of dried fruits that brew like tea but look like juice. The woman at the counter was so knowledgeable about the teas, their different uses, health benefits o the different types of teas, etc.
9) Molly Cupcakes.
Unfortunately you need to be in Chicago to take advantage of this little treasure. It’s a cute coffee shop/bakery specializing in (of course) cupcakes. I am not normally a big fan of cupcakes but would sit in traffic for 2 hours to get to Molly’s Cupcakes if need be. The story of Molly’s cupcakes dates back to when the owner was in grade school. His teacher, named Molly, would bake cupcakes for the kids’ birthdays and was kind enough to share the recipe. The shop itself is really cute, with actual playground swings suspended from the ceiling at the bar instead of stools. Be sure to check it out when you are in town.