My Favorite things 2014… {a little gift guide, of sorts.}

I love buying gifts for others. I would make a brilliant millionaire, in that way. (and the people I love would agree, I’m sure!) I’ve been told I am a good gift giver, which naturally makes me happy since I love it so much.

We made the decision, as a couple, a few years ago, to really take a step back from gift bingeing at Christmastime. It’s often vulgar and unnecessary. We reevaluated the gifts we bought our kids, and who we bought for in general. (and why)

As I wrap up the last of my very modest Christmas shopping, I thought I’d share with you a handful of things I love, in case you need a little help! Most of these are things that I fell head over heals with, just this year. (One of them though, has been on my wish list for years and years, and someday I’ll get it.)

Stocking Stuffer Wonderfulness…



EOS Coconut Milk lip balm is my FAVORITE “lip gloss” ever! I have a dozen of these little EOS eggs floating around in various flavors, but this and the new Vanilla Mint (blue swirl) are the BEST! (you can buy them at Target, drug stores & Kohls.)



Marrying Mr. Darcy is a really great card game! For anyone who love Jane Austin or P & P, this would make a delightful gift! We were turned on to it by a friend and our family really loves it, though I’ll save him a bit: Chw will play it and have fun- it’s probably not his first choice on family game night… (You can buy the game Here. There is also an expansion back with Zombies, and an Emma expansion pack coming soon!)



It’s the Girls is a brilliant cover album, by the amazing Bette Midler. While I’m not the sort of girl to cry and watch Beaches regularly, or belt out Wind Beneath My Wings whenever it’s on the radio- (who am I kidding, I am the sort of girl to do BOTH of those things!) it wouldn’t matter, because this album is for every girl. It’s stunning!


Chef on Blu-Ray or DVD. This has been, by far, my favorite movie of the year. So entertaining and fun! So poignant! It was one that I had to drag my husband to, after I waited anxiously for it, and then he LOVED it so much he immediately wanted to see it again right away. It’s one of the few movies anymore that makes me sit back and feel this is why we have movies… (Target, Amazon)

crabtree evelyn hands care therapy scrub cream dry skincare blog 60 second fix manicure treatment soft beauty reviews ingredients how to use


Crabtree & Evelyn Citron Hand Therapy would win my Product of 2014 award, if I gave out Product of the year awards. This stuff is phenomenal. Your lady’s* hands deserve to be treated like precious treasures and this is the product to do it, whether it’s in Citron or any scent. Citron just happens to be my favorite. (*or your hands, if you are a guy and want great hands. I don’t judge. My hubby will not balk at a hand therapy treatment because it’s just “good hygiene” and because it feels pretty incredible.) (Crabtree & Evelyn hand Therapy kit)

A little something under the tree…


Kate Spade Umbrella– Yes, it’s true, i love Kate Spade. Because of this, I will admit that maybe there are a hundred other brands of umbrellas that are equally as awesome. That being said, allow me to point out a few facts…

1.) I LOVE umbrellas and have many different kind/styles/sizes/varieties.

2.) When my hubby bought me this one, in Chicago this summer, I fell into Umbrella love and haven’t used another since. It is stylish, practical and just the best umbrella ever! (Kate Spade)



Whitney English Day Designer– My husband bought this for me last Christmas and it was easily the best gift ever. In so many ways I did not utilize this planner for all it was capable of, but it really was the absolute best planner I’ve ever had. Some of us girls will forever be paper planner gals and if this describes you or someone you know, this planner is PERFECT! (though the 2015 line isn’t out yet, so gift wrapping it would be creative…)



Sponsoring a Child through Compassion International– Our family sponsors a little girl named Elisabeth, and we adore her. Her letters and pictures are the first things we open, when they arrive. Just the other day her social worker (she’s only 5) told us about how she bought a goat, a dress, a rake and cake with her birthday money. This was mind-boggling to me, in fact we talked about it for most of the evening. They had written before about how Elisabeth loved to play with the family goat, and we had to wonder what a difference a second goat could make to  a family…

What an amazing Christmas gift idea, to sponsor a child for someone else. It blesses the life of a child immeasurably, as well as the person whom you sponsored for as they get to see the joy and blessings spread through this life because of them. (Compassion International)



Dean & Deluca metropolitan spice rack– this is, obviously, the item that’s been on my wish list for the better part of a decade. I have several D & D spices in my spice cupboard. They are my favorite spices, I hoard them like crazy because they are amazing. If I lived in NY, I would absolutely shop there, even if their market made Whole Foods prices seem comparable to the Dollar General. The reviewers complain about the tins stacking odd, or smudgy labels. I don’t care about any of that… If you have a cook on your list who A.) loves quality spices, B.) has a huge empty space in their kitchen to store a beautiful D & D spice rack, and C.) your Christmas shopping budget is infinite- then this is definitely the gift for you! (Dean & Deluca)

While we are on the subject of gifts, we’re also talking about gift giving over on the podcast this week. (Be sure to subscribe, and remember we love hearing from you!)

6 thoughts on “My Favorite things 2014… {a little gift guide, of sorts.}

  1. You are truly the best (best) gift giver and I wish you would do a list on your blog of your favorites once a month (honestly). I would consider that in itself a gift!! You know that I love (love) the EOS lip balms!! – and I haven’t tried this one. I love the Kate Spade umbrella, this is so you!!! Hoping Chw reads your blog and gets you the spice rack. This year, I had Ryan go through the World Vision catalog and we bought a cow for a family for Christmas (which I found very exciting!!) but I really like the idea of corresponding all year with a child and the idea of sponsorship so I’m going to pray about this. I’ve purposed to do some type of journaling this year but not to the degree that you do — just some type of accountability for self (which is highly overdue). I recently discovered Crabtree & Evelyn and I was a quick fan!! On a side note, I wish Hal played board games ((sulking)) — Love, love this post!!!! Better than Oprah’s favorite things!!!!

  2. You have great goodies on your list–the Marrying Mr Darcy game sounds fun, and I’ve been eyeing the movie Chef, but haven’t sat down to watch it; now I’ll have to!

  3. Really loved this list. (I know a little late to the game on the post but…) Read it a few weeks ago and obsessed with the Whitney Day calendar! It was sold out so I went with another for 2015 so I wouldn’t be lost in my daily To Dos but… LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. Especially love the daily gratitude entry.

    The Kate Spade (bubble umbrella – as I affectionately call it) is wonderful. These were my favorite growing up. They really keep you dry and you can see out of them. As an aside I once saw someone make a jellyfish costume using one of these! Too cute!

    Great posts!

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