This post may contain affiliate links. Any purchases from those links may give me a commission which help me to maintain this website. Thank you for your support 🙂
For the last 7 years my book club has hosted a “Favorite Things Party”. It’s basically a white elephant gift exchange, with the caveat that each person should bring something that’s one of their “favorite things” that fits within our budget. It’s so much fun because as we go around each person gets to explain what their favorite thing is that they brought and why they like it so much. Every time I leave not only with someone’s favorite thing but also some awesome ideas for other things that might make me happy too.
I always struggle though with what to bring for my favorite thing. Most of my favorite things are either above the price point that we’ve set, or too far below the price point that we’ve set (i.e. free), or require knowing the recipient’s size or hair color (difficult with white elephant style exchange), or I just don’t know if it will fit into someone else’s lifestyle like it does mine. But I have lots of favorite things that I really want to be able to share with people! So I decided to put together a blog post with some of my favorite things so I could share them with all of you. If you’re looking for something to add to your Christmas wish list maybe you’ll find something you’ll love here too. My real favorite things are my family and the gospel, but these are some favorites that might be able to go under the Christmas tree. I started working on this and found I had too many favorite things so I’ve split this into a few different posts. This post has some that didn’t fit well into some of the other general categories – but stay tuned! I have recommendations for tech, beauty, kids, board games, books, babies, pregnancy and more still to come!
Alright, without any further ado, here are some of *my* favorite things:
- Fabric Christmas Bags – My mom was an environmental reporter when I was younger and she has always had her eye on how to make choices that were more environmentally friendly. One of the things she decided to do was to switch to making fabric gift bags to put our Christmas presents in. When I got married she gave me a few starter bags and I was hooked. I LOVE our fabric Christmas bags because they make everything really easy to wrap – open a bag, put the present in, tie the bow. Even if the present is something awkward shaped it can fit in a bag nicely without worrying about angles. There’s no waste because everything is reused from year to year, and I don’t spend any money on wrapping paper, ribbons and tape! It’s also nice so that if a sneaky toddler gets into a present before Christmas day, I can just put the present back in the bag without having to re-wrap it (not that that’s ever happened in our house). Some people have asked me if I’m concerned that it makes it too easy for my kids to peek at their presents – but I figure if they’re motivated they’ll figure out how to do that with or without easy access, and really they only ruin Christmas for themselves so that’s a lesson they would only need to learn once 🤷♀️ I’ve made most of mine, and one of these days I’m going to post a tutorial for how to make them yourselves… I just can’t completely remember how I did it and I’m not a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination so it’s been tricky to reverse engineer what I already did. I usually raid the remnants section of the craft store around November and get lots of different Christmas fabrics – I use all different sized bags so I can use whatever pieces are leftover. I use little hanging tags like these ones to label the bags – and because I’m extra cheap I save the tags and just reuse them every year. I store my bags in a storage bin like this one and the tags in a storage bin like this one. It makes clean up on Christmas morning super easy because we just fold up the bags and collect the tags into their boxes! No huge trash can run! (at least, not from wrapping paper 😜)
- The Chosen – Ok, I know, you already know – I love the Chosen. But seriously, especially at Christmas time, could there be a much more appropriate favorite than a high quality, free show about Christ? It’s available on Netflix now as well as at thechosen.tv.
- Paired – This is a great app for married couples to have an excuse to connect on a daily basis. Each day they have a new question that you and your spouse can answer and then discuss your answers together. I splurged for the premium account, which opened up all of the content on their platform for us to discuss, but even just the free account is a pretty great way to discuss things that you might not think to discuss otherwise. I will note though, that I really would limit this recommendation to married couples. A decent amount of the questions are in regards to physical intimacy, so not for anyone casually dating. It’s a lot cheaper and more convenient than couples counseling – whether you think you might need that or not!
- Honey – This is a browser extension that will check the internet for coupon codes for websites where you’re already shopping. I particularly appreciate that they do price tracking for items on Amazon and will tell you if something you’re purchasing is priced higher or lower than usual. It has been invaluable on Black Friday and Prime Day. More than once I have found out that the item that I thought I was getting a good deal on – was actually priced lower the day before! Plus, Honey will give you cash back on a number of websites that you might have been shopping anyways. I will note that Honey makes their money by using the affiliate programs for the sites that you’re shopping on. If you are shopping based on someone else’s affiliate link (a site that does reviews or something similar) using Honey will negate their affiliate link a lot of the time. Which isn’t to say not to use Honey! I just try to be aware that if I was coming from Wirecutter because they saved me a lot of research, I try to not use Honey so I don’t negate their commission.
- Plan to Eat – This is a virtual recipe box but it does SO much more than I expected to find in a recipe box app. It can easily import recipes from any website so all your favorites are right at your fingertips. Plus you have the capability to plan out your meals on a calendar and have that meal plan automatically generate your grocery list for you. The list is even organized by store sections to make grocery runs easier. One of these days I’m going to post a full review of why I love this app so much, but you should really just try it for yourself! It’s free for 30 days and then $39/year after that. My link will give you 20% off of your first year if you decide to sign up past the free trial 🙂
- Lindor Dark Chocolate Truffles – These were my very favorite treat… until last year at our favorite things party. (I told you it was a good place to find new favorites!) Our hostess shared with us Lindor Peppermint Cookie Milk Chocolate Truffles… and they are delicious, but also impossible to find almost anywhere because they are limited edition and only come out at Christmas-time 😭. SO, I will say that generally the plain dark chocolate truffles are my favorites – I love how smooth, delicious and simple they are. However… you can bet that I’ve been scouting the stores this Christmas season on to find the peppermint cookie ones! They’re kind of like a regular Lindor truffle with bits of Thin Mint cookie inside. Thin mints were already another favorite of mine. So put them together… 🤯 I’m building up my stash to get me through the next year.
- Ruby Ribbon – Bras are the worst. A couple years back I made the switch from wearing underwire bras to wearing wire free camis and it has been life changing! I cannot say enough how much more comfortable I am, and (if I’m allowed to say so myself) I look better in them too! The pictures above are all me – I took them because I wanted to be able to show the side by side results with images that I knew weren’t doctored or faked. That’s my actual body and my own results with what had been my previous favorite bra vs my favorite cami. My personal favorite cami when I want to look my best is our Siren cami. However, our Lace cami is my daily go to (it is our bestseller for a reason). When I was pregnant I switched away from our full coverage camis in favor of our demiettes, but either way I’m just grateful to not have to wear a bra! I sell Ruby Ribbon directly so please let me know if I can help you break up with your bra for good! I actually built my own application for sizing and recommendations – you can get custom recommendations here.
- Labelmaker – Funny story about my labelmaker. A few years ago after Christmas there was a sale on labelmakers. After a little bit of deliberation I decided to get one for myself and I told my husband about it. He was annoyed – but not for the reason you would think. He had considered purchasing one for me for Christmas but had decided it was a lame gift and so he didn’t. He was annoyed that he *had* picked out something that I would really enjoy but then talked himself out of it 😛 I decided to credit him with the purchase as a Christmas present anyways (it came out of the same checking account either way 🤷♀️) and we joke about it sometimes. Sorry, that’s off topic, but I purchased this labelmaker thinking that I would probably think it was cool for about 24 hours and then never use it again. I was wrong! I use it ALL the time and it is SO much more useful than I expected it to be! I have bins all over the house with these labels on them. It is so easy to use this little printer and have clean labels to stick on things. I feel like things stay a little better organized too with boxes being labeled so that we know what *really* belongs in a box rather than trying to reinvent our organization every time. It’s been a great purchase!
- Enso Rings – A few years back my husband made the switch from the tungsten band that I gave him at our wedding to a silicone band. He’s a violinist and after getting his original band stuck on his finger and being told that he would be more likely to lose his finger than the band… he wasn’t inclined to go back to wearing tungsten on a daily basis. Most of the silicone bands out there look cheapy and very utilitarian. I bought him the Enso Rings Elements Contour Silicone Ring in Platinum and it is virtually indistinguishable from his original wedding band. Honestly if you didn’t take it off and hold it in your hand you would think it was the real deal. Much more comfortable, safe and a fraction of the cost! I purchased myself a Unicorn band as well after being jealous of Eric’s comfortable ring. I don’t need to be wearing a diamond while I scrub the dishes but I do like to have the constant visual reminder of our covenants
- Everything in my 72 Hour Kit – I spent a few months in 2020 putting together our 72 hour kits and at the time I thought that it was going to prove to be a waste of money. I couldn’t have been more wrong! I have used nearly every single item in my 72 hour kit since putting it together and I’ve been SO grateful for the time I took to put them together. It’s never been for a serious emergency where I’ve needed the whole kit all at once, but I’ve been so grateful to have all of those things easily accessible when I’m out and about. One of my surprise favorite things have been my tactical sporks. You’d be surprised how often it comes in handy to have eating utensils handy! I actually like them better than the cheap silverware that I’ve used in the past, and I am surprised at how *not* awkward the design is to eat from. They don’t feel janky to eat with at all, which I really expected them to. My other favorite utility item has been these little fleece sleeping bags. They are NOT a full sleeping bag, or what you’d want on a really cold night, but they zip out into a handy little picnic blanket and roll up into a small stuff sack. If you’re at a chilly soccer game they’re a lifesaver! I’ve also taken mine on a flight and I really loved that I was all the way covered while I slept (as best as it’s possible to sleep on planes). There are certainly better blankets out there, but I haven’t found something that beats these for the price and utility. That year I made most of the items for our 72 hour kits stocking stuffers for our kids. Can you imagine how excited my kids were to get headlamps and multitools in their stockings? They were ready for an adventure!
There you have it. I may not be Julie Andrews but there are a few of my favorite things! What are some of your favorite things?