My Favorite Things Series: Melody’s Edition

by Melody on November 21, 2011

In the spirit of the shopping season, we are excited to share with you some of our favorite things! Our hope is by sharing our tested and approved ideas, it may help buy for some of the people on your list and come up with a wish list of your own.  Every Monday for four weeks we will be featuring some of our favorite things and will even be giving away a couple of them!  All of these are things we genuinely love and think you might love too.

A bit about Melody:

Becoming a blogger has given me the somewhat misguided notion that everyone in the world wants to hear all about the things I love.  This “My Favorite Things” series gives me an excuse to tell you all some of my favorites, hopefully without coming across as bossy.  I am constantly telling anyone who will listen about the wonderful things we use on a daily basis.  I always feel like if we have found something time-saving or life-changing, everyone else should know about it too.  A few of my favorites that are not on this list:  My crazy boys and my crazy husband, coffee, sports of all kinds, fantasy football, a really amazing song that comes on the radio when I am in the car by myself (which is almost never), stolen moments to myself, really good cheese, working out religiously and food.  All food.

Tastefully Simple Fiesta Party DipMy mom actually introduced me to this dip.  A few years ago, when both my brothers were living at home and they had a 17-year old foreign exchange student, I think she went through about 17 bottles of this a week.  All you need to make it is mayonnaise and sour cream.  I generally always have it made in the fridge to use as dip, to spread on hamburgers or just to eat with a spoon.  I love to make it for last-minute get-togethers because everybody raves about it.  My husband eats it like candy.  It’s also an easy and fun hostess gift.

Peeled Snacks Raisin ExpectationsI hate raisins.  I tell anyone that will listen that I think raisins are gross.  They are hard and tasteless and look disgusting.  Until I had Peeled Snacks raisins.  Then my life changed.  I am a converted raisin-hater.

They are chewy and sweet and delicious.  My kids wolf them down.  I sneak bags of them when nobody is looking.  I make oatmeal raisin cookies just so I can give the raisins a sweet home.  I just ordered a case of them because I can’t stop eating them and I figure there could be far worse snacks.

Flip & Tumble Reusable BagsThis may be the most amazing, the most used and the most loved item that I own.  This reusable bag is made out of a super stretchy material and holds up to 25 pounds.  Rolled up, it is about the size of an avocado and fits neatly in your purse so it is always with you.

What I dislike about most of these type of bags is that the folding is obnoxious.  You have to lay them out, fold them just right and hope they don’t fall apart while you snap it.  The Flip & Tumble has a little bag stitched on the inside and you literally just shove the outer bag into the inner bag.  My toddler can do it.  It takes 2 seconds.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion – I realize you may be a little shocked by this one, as I am an avid Rite Aid shopper and buy 99% of my toiletry items there.  However, I have been using this lotion since I was in high school and it is the most consistently effective product I use, no matter what my stage in life.  Dry cold weather?  Check.  Crazy hormonal pregnancy skin?  Check.  It’s like a ray of sunshine for your face.  An ice cold drink of water for your skin.  It’s amazing.  It’s so hydrating, but so light.

It is definitely one of the more expensive things I buy for myself, but I try to wait until they offer a free gift with purchase either online or at their makeup counter.  I have never purchased a makeup bag, Clinique’s free gifts come in the cutest bags ever.  They also come with mascara, eyeshadow, lipstick and a few other fun items.

Totally Together Planner/Organizer by Stephanie O’Dea – You can read my original review on this planner here.  You may have also seen me rave up one side of the blog and down the other about this thing.  I have been using it for about a month and a half and it is seriously a game-changer.  I was on the verge of forcing my husband to eat Top Ramen for every meal, just so we could hire a housekeeper.  I don’t mind cleaning the house at all, but it tends to make me anxious because I just don’t feel like I can get to it all.

This planner keeps me organized, reminds me to clean, reminds me to take care of those oft-forgotten chores, reminds me to bake cookies with my kids.  Since I’ve been using this planner, I have dusted my ceiling fans twice, actually cleaned under my couch cushions and thoroughly cleaned the inside of my washing machine.  All while easily keeping up with the rest of the house and feeling far less stressed about it all.  This thing is brilliant.  You should definitely own it.

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch – I realize this is a children’s book, but I truly think it was written for the parents.  Before my husband and I had our two boys, we suffered a miscarriage.  I was about 3 months along and this book had been one of the things I had already bought for our baby.  Part of the reason I love it so much is that it is wrapped up in a very emotional time for me and every time I read it, I am reminded of how lucky we are to have two healthy boys.

The other reason I love it is that it is such an amazing story.  It is a wonderful description of the sweet cycle of life and a parent’s love for their children.  Even though I’ve read it a million times and know exactly how it goes, I still tear up at the end every time I read it.

Thanks for letting me share some of my favorite things!  I’d love to hear what your favorites are or if you have tried any of mine.  If you haven’t, I think you should.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, you are supporting this blog. Thanks!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marla November 22, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Thank you for doing this series! I love the idea and am always looking for unique tried and true products for me and my family! Just ordered the bag…by the way :).


Lora November 23, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Love this Melody! I swear I’m pretty much to the point where if you say it’s a “must have”, I just buy it. 🙂 I bought the flip and tumble bag from when you mentioned it before, and it lives in my purse and gets used a lot. Today I bought the planner and I’m excited to see if it helps tone down the chaos! The only thing about the peeled snacks is that I have a hard time getting my kids to eat them for some reason….little stinkers! But they are yummy and healthy. Thanks so much!


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