Today I’m sharing all my favorite things! This post contains affiliate links meaning I may make a small percentage if you purchase something after clicking one of my links (at no additional cost to you). Not all of the products have affiliate links and I do love every single one.
Let’s talk favorite things!
Yesterday I shared our favorite things, kids version, talking about all the toddler toys we have loved the most in our home over the last four years but today its all about my personal favorite things, things that have nothing to do with my kids.
I’ve included everything from my favorite splurge camera lens to my favorite $4 face razors.
I vouch for all of these. I’ll try and show them over the next few days on instastories so if you have specific questions leave them here or come ask over on instagram.
A last note – Black Friday sales and gift guides could leave you feeling overwhelmed with all the ways to spend money (money you might not want to be spending at all). These things are all great. You don’t need all of them. You don’t need any of them. But if you decide to get them, I think you’ll love them as much as I do.
Sigma Art Camera Lenses
If you’re a photography enthusiast, these are my all time favorite lenses. I currently shoot with the 35mm, 50mm and 85mm from Sigma’s art line of lenses. They’re pricey but cheaper than their comparable Nikon or Cannon lenses.
Canada Goose Jacket
You don’t need this coat but if you have it you’ll never be cold again (if you’re looking for an alternative well under $1000, you can read about the best coats for Boston winters in this post). I love this jacket but realistically, won’t be wearing it much this season. I’ve been reaching for this light puffer and this bulkier one for colder California weather and they are both great with SO many beautiful color options.
Calphalon Space Saving Pans
Pans might not sound like the sexiest thing you could get for Christmas but you’ll LOVE having these in your kitchen. They’re ideal for small space living because everything stacks into to piles.I’ve used these for a year and a half and am still a huge fan. I’ve linked the 10 piece set we have above but you can also get this smaller set at a lower price point.
Ben did the research and bought this mopping + vacuuming robot when we moved into our home in California in February and it has been THE BEST. We wake up to beautifully clean wood floors downstairs a few times a week after letting it run after we’re in bed. The price tag is high but we run it so often and it saves us so much time cleaning that it proves its worth quite quickly. Right now it is over $100 off on Amazon when you check the box to apply the extra coupon!
The gift that has been used the most and most increased my quality of life over the last few years is, hands down, the airpods Ben gifted me for mothers day this year. I love the way apple headphones fit my ears and these make listening to books around the house or on the go SO much easier. I was surprised how well they work for phone calls. I use them the most at the gym and in the evenings when the kids have gone to bed and I’m cleaning up while listening to a book or chatting with a friend on the phone. I also LOVE them for airplane rides because my phone can be charging while I use headphones (gamechanger).
I bought two pairs of these early in the spring when I was on the hunt for a comfortable and stylish sneaker I could wear with jeans and dresses. These leather shoes are fantastic because, in addition to being comfortable, they also wipe down easily so I can actually keep them white. I wear the velcro style a lot more often because they’re so easy to put on and add a bit of fun/ interest to any otherwise basic outfit. Veja sneakers only come in full sizes and if you’re inbetween sizes I recommend sizing up (I usually wear a 6.5 and got both styles in a 7).
You can buy Veja sneakers a handful of places but I love ordering from Amazon or Shopbop for the easy return procecss.
Veja Esplar sneakers
Madewell Transport Tote:
I understand the hype about these bags after owning one for a year or so now. Unlike the cheap lookalike I bought originally, this holds up beautifully. It works just as well for carrying diapers and wipes as it does for toting my laptop to a coffee shop.
Rebecca Minkoff Regan Satchel:
This is my all-time favorite purse. It can hold my big DSLR (and not much else) so it is quite roomy for a small bag. You can wear it as a crossbody or hold it by the handles. I looks just as good with a little black dress as it does with jeans and a tee shirt. I’ve used this bag regularly for four years now and it still looks as good as new (and it got caught in the rain in London last year and held up just fine).
lululemon wunder under crops:
The best workout legging. They hold in everything while still being super comfortable (and when I say everything I mean nothing helps the post partum stomach like these do). These are available on amazon but check out how much more expensive they are! Definitely order from Lululemon’s site.
Ready to Rulu Joggers
I have been on the hunt for the perfect pair of black joggers for a few years. I tried a few different Amazon recs from friends and influencers and none of them were quite right. I finally tried on the pair the dupes are trying to replicate at lulu and splurged on these. THEY ARE FANTASTIC. I wear them all the time for everything from exercising to running errands to sleeping. The crop length is just what I was looking for (I’m 5’4″ for reference) but they also come in a full length. I’ve washed these over 60 times and they’re as good as new.
The one item making my favorite things list AND my kid’s list are Saranoni blankets. These are the softest, most beautiful blankets. We have an XL size throw we keep on our couch or at the bottom of our bed and everyone loves to snuggle up in it. Treat yourself (or anyone you know) to one of these beauties. They’ll sell out on Black Friday in lots of colors/sizes so don’t wait on these.
Taka Vitamin / Energy Drink:
I’ve been drinking a powdered vitamin supplement everyday for the last 5 years and Taka is my favorite. The flavors are fantastic and it has everything I need in a daily vitamin plus lots natural sources of energy (aloe vera, guarana, tumeric, and more). Right now I order the regular Taka 4 box combo (just under $100) and the Taka Glow (a collagen version). If we were friends in real life I’d make you try some next time you’re over – the blueberry lemonade flavor in sparkling water is SO tasty.
L.L. Bean Fleece
This is my go-to brand for quality trusted warm-weather wear here in New England and my most worn pieces this fall + winter have been their fleeces. I love this zip up fleece because it is SO lightweight and SO warm. It is the perfect layering piece around the house in the winter or outdoor adventuring. I really like this classic fleece pullover as well but it is definitely a thicker material (great for warmth, but not as effortlessly comfortable as the zip-up). The lined bean boots are also my very favorite winter boots and cannot be beat (worth every penny during a New England winter).
Lou and Grey Lounge Set
This was on my Christmas list last year and my sister and I ended up with three sets between the two of us. Almost a full year later, I still wear them all the time. They are still super soft, super comfortable, and very cute. Lou and Grey has a lot of different loungewear but look for products that say “Signature Softblend” and you’ll be getting the best fabric. I don’t need another one but LOOK at all the colors right now! These hardly ever go on sale and take awhile to restock so if they have your size + color, grab it. I have both the update and the regular softblend sweatpants and vouch for both of them. Under $50
The #1 best-selling beauty subscription box was new to me last year but it has had raving fans for years. I pay $25 a month for the middle tier box which consists of 5 full size products valued at around $150. I love that I get to pick a few things in the box each month and be surprised by two. I love that I get to try high-end beauty brands I wouldn’t otherwise choose to afford and discover new products I wouldn’t otherwise spend the time learning about. You can start with a smaller box for as low as $12 a month and you can cancel anytime. Right now I do the glam bag plus every other month and it is always the happiest mail day!
This would make FANTASTIC gift to anyone (you can fill out your style profile and choose an emphasis on hair, skincare, or makeup). You can give the subscription and then cancel right after you place the first order so it is essentially a one time gift. You can also read my full unsponsored review here and see what has been in my boxes over the last few months.
Olay Eye Cream:
I’ve tried a handful of eye creams over the years and the ones from Olay are, hands down, the best. I love the brightening one for the morning (it helps lighten dark circles immediately) but the hydrating one can be used morning and night and is my #1 pick. You can see the results of using it for 30 days in this old post. I end up with plenty of eye creams from my IPSY bags (I put in a preference for skincare products over makeup) so I haven’t purchased this one in almost a year but it works just as well/better than any of the eye creams I’ve gotten in my IPSY bags (so if I were going to buy one again, it would be this one).
magazine real simple:
My mom gifted this to me for my birthday one year and it is such a fun gift. I love the mix of style, beauty, home, and recipes this magazine has (my favorite column to read every month is Modern Manners). If you’re looking for a gift for someone who has everything, this is a great one.
Do you have any favorite sweaters that start to pill? This sweater shaver has been a game changer for getting more life out of my sweaters. The tiny blades shave off the pilling fabric leaving your sweater looking just like new.
Bare Minerals Clay Cleanser:
My favorite cleanser/ face mask since 2015. My skin is noticeably better when I use it.
Turbie Twist hair towel:
I got this at a favorite things party last year and love them! You use it to put your hair up right when you get out of the shower and it helps decrease frizz (and is also just more comfortable on your head than a huge towel). I use it to keep my hair up while I do makeup or get dressed and will usually blow dry my hair once it is almost dry.
living proof dry shampoo + Dry Volume Blast spray
Living Proof makes the very best dry shampoo and the volume spray helps my hair, especially after it has been freshly washed. I can’t recommend them enough. (linking the smaller dry shampoo and full size dry volume blast)
shein sweater set:
Last year’s addition, out of six years of shopping on Shein.com this is my favorite item yet. It is one size and you can see how it fits me here (wearing a size 27 pant these days). I get compliments whenever I wear it and it looks much pricier than it is.
Hey June Geometric Studs and HUGGIES:
My most worn simple jewelry and these basic geometric studs from HeyJune. They’re great for sensitive ears as well. If you’re looking for fun jewelry, they also have a lot of festive pieces. I like to say it’s Nordstrom quality at Walmart prices (the delicate line is a bit pricier but their basic studs are $10-$12. Also, this is a small shop owned by Bonnie, who is a gem, who you want to support with your holiday shopping. I love following along on their instagram account to get a glimpse behind the scenes in her growing business.
My sister also introduced me to their gold huggies which you never even have to take off. I sleep in them, exercise in them, and live in them. They’re pricier than the studs but worth every penny. I have the small gold huggies but the 18″ are my favorite
I’ve been buying + recommending their earrings for years and this year I finally got a discount code for you! Use ELISABETH for 15% off your order!
When we had a big moving scam a few years ago, the only thing that kept me from sending the truck back with most of our possessions (to save ourselves the exorbitant fee) was the fact that my promptly journals were in boxes on that truck. These are the most beautiful linen bound journals filled with prompts to fill out each month of your baby’s first year of life and then each year after that. They also have a Love journal which Ben and I are working our way through catching up on (we got it at year 6 of marriage), they have travel journals, and they just launched Missionary Journals. I LOVE these and give them often as baby shower gifts. If your child is a few years old already, you can totally go back and fill in what you can remember (I started Adelaide’s when she was 7 months and Lincoln’s when he was 2).
They are available on Amazon but if you want to shop their sales, go directly to their website here. We also have their marriage journal and I bought one of their blank notebooks for a beautiful personal journal.
Handlettering 101 Workbook (and pens):
A few years ago for Christmas I stuffed my own stocking with this handlettering book and this set of dual brush pens. Working my way through the book was a great way to spend the slower days after Christmas filled with extended family and playing with Christmas presents. I gave myself the 201 workbook last Christmas. This is such a fun gift for someone who has been wanting to learn the art of handlettering (or just dip their toes into something creative in general). This is a great gift for yourself and also so fun for a girlfriend.
Bondi Sands self tanner:
Bondi sands makes the easiest to apply natural looking self tanner I’ve found. It is leaps and bounds above the St. Tropez foam in the way it goes on, the color, and how long it lasts. You do need a mitt to apply. I use the dark color during the summer and the light/medium color during the winter. They do also carry it at select Walgreens now in the US but I haven’t seen it at any other retailers.
I bought the lulu belt bag from lululemon ($38 and comes in so many colors) and have worn it almost everyday for the last 6 months. I finally just added another belt bag to the mix and LOVE this tan one from Amazon (under $30). They’re both so functional and I get so much use out of them (I am all about jumping on trends that make my life a tiny bit easier).
Under $10 (or $11)
My mom gave these to me for Christmas last year and I fell in love. I have read about how great they are for your skin but I have noticed it the most in my hair. Because the satin doesn’t absorb moisture like cotton does, your hair maintains its moisture better and you wake up with less frizzy hair. Sleeping on these help my curls last a few extra days and I like them so much I slip one into my suitcase whenever I travel. Also, over 38000 positive reviews on amazon – I am clearly not alone in my obsession.
Volcano Crazy Candles Scents:
Ben pointed out that it is a lot more cost effective to diffuse a scented oil than it is to burn candles so when we moved into our new house I bought this $20 diffuser and tried a few different oils. After ordering this variety pack I fell in love with the volcano scent (which is a dupe for the Anthropology candle or the Capri Blue scent). It is now the only thing I diffuse on our main floor and it smells SO GOOD! Eveyone who comes over can’t believe it is just a $5 bottle of oil that lasts for over a month. I now just buy this three pack of the same scent for $15 (with prime shipping).
These tiny little face razors are great for taking the peach fuzz off your face so your products absorb better and your makeup looks smoother. I was so intimidated to try them a few years ago but they’re super easy to use, I’ve never cut myself, and I’m hooked. They don’t make your hair go back thicker and sometimes I forget about and don’t shave for weeks (months maybe while pregnant). These would make a great stocking stuffer for yourself or a fun white elephant gift (that they’ll end up loving).
Did you know your hair is the most susceptible to breakage and damage when it’s wet? The flexible bristles on this brush are a little farther apart than a traditional brush and it’s ideal for gently loosening tangles when your hair is wet. If you don’t have one of these and have been brushing your hair when wet, get one. Your hair will thank me.
I also love this for brushing out curls after using my curling wand for a more natural look.
You know I love a good audiobook for getting in some reading in the shower, keeping myself entertained while folding laundry/doing dishes, or powering through a workout. Scribd is like Netflix for audiobooks (you don’t own the book but you can listen to many books during the month) and while Audible has a slightly more comprehensive selection, for double the price you only get one audiobook per month (but you do own that audiobook and have it on your account forever). I pay for both each month (along with using Libby through my library).
silicone baking cups:
We use these for baking muffins and cupcakes (you can use them in a muffin tin or just on a cookie sheet). You can also use these for sorting out snacks or separating items in a lunch box. I never have to use a baking spray and just throw them in the dishwasher afterwards.
True Lime Black Cherry
When I’m not drinking Taka, this is my favoite way to dress up regular water. I add one stick to my Stanley cup with fill up the rest with cold water from the fridge and maybe some sparking water. Right now my favorite combo is 1 stick of true lime, 1 can of flavored La Croix and two drops of Orange Vanilla Mio.
Other great gift ideas/ honorable mentions:
I got this new bathrobe two years ago and it is still so soft! It’s under $30, comes in lots of colors, and would make a great gift. They also have a mens version here.
Foundation is hard to gift because you need the right color but Bare Mineral’s Complexion Rescue has been my very favorite daily wear cc cream / light foundation for years.
These are the most flattering jeans at the best price point. I bought a pair last year and they’re go-tos. They hold up just as well (or better) than my designer denim but are under $100.
This little $12 lip balm from glossier was gifted to me for my birthday last year (how cute is giving the birthday cake flavor as a little birthday present?) and it makes SUCH a great fit. There are lots of different flavors (I’m dying to try the coconut and the wild fig). You can also grab it here on amazon but the price is quite a bit higher.
The best beauty purchase I made in 2020 was getting a prescription retinoid from Dear Brightly. I highly recommend a prescription retinoid and I loved how, with Dear Brightly, I only had to send in pictures of my skin and my drivers license to be reviewed by a derm instead of having to make an in-person appointment. They make everything so easy, it is a neat women owned start-up, and the packaging is minimal.
I have so many new beauty favorites from my IPSY boxes in 2020 but this oil cleanser is top of the list.
Ben gifted me as Sugar Paper Planner he found at Anthropologie for Christmas two years ago and I have LOVED it (bought the same one last year again). Buying a planner is a little personal but this one is so beautiful it made a great functional gift I used throughout the whole year.
I picked out these jeans fom Agolde for my birthday this year and they’re so fun (I’m wearing them in the top pic). I’ve worn them on repeat for two weeks. Agolde is one of my favoite denim brands and in this non-stretch denim SIZE DOWN.
This half zip from Everlane is new to my closet last month and SO good! It is my most worn sweater (besides the Lou + Grey lounge sweater mentioned above)