Stuff I Like, Early 2013 Edition.

Since we have two birthdays and Christmas all within three weeks of each other, we have a large influx of “stuff” all at once.  And so, I typically find myself at this time of year anxious to share some new, helpful finds.  No one asked me to talk about these things – they’re simply additions to my life that I just can’t keep to myself.

The Wet Brush – Ali has a sensitive head and very tangle-prone hair.  As such, much of our daily frustration comes when it’s time to brush it.  So I commented on my Facebook Page a couple of weeks ago about how sad I was that there was no such thing as a Magic Hair Brush.

And you ladies came through for me, as you always do.

Several people suggested The Wet Brush and a couple more recommended The Knot Genie, so I ordered both right away. The Wet Brush was perfect, and I swear it really is magic. Her tangles dissolve at it’s very presence, making both of our lives much more tenable.  The Knot Genie didn’t work as well on Ali’s hair, but Noah sure likes it for a head-scratcher.


Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing – this children’s devotional is written by Sally Lloyd-Jones, the same woman that wrote our all-time favorite children’s Bible, The Jesus Storybook Bible.  Her writing style is so beautifully touching, and she does a fabulous job of weaving the gospel throughout the entire bible.  The illustrations are also stunning. The devotionals in the new book are at a bit higher of an intellectual curve than The Jesus Storybook Bible, which is excellent for Ali’s growing mind.

Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing and The Jesus Storybook Bible



Noah’s Motorcycle – This ride-on toy is surprisingly stable, way more fun than any other toddler ride-on toy that we’ve ever had, and has become an absolute favorite around our house.  I’ve never seen it in stores – I just happened to run across it on Amazon and think that it would be perfect for Noah.

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Lisa Frank Stickers – Yes! Who doesn’t remember adoring these when they were a kid?  And they still exist!  I’ve started ordering them for Ali for school prizes and such, and she adores them as much as I did at her age.

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Iwako Erasers – Speaking of school prizes, this is another favorite in “Mommy’s Treasure Drawer” – you all may have these in all your bookstores already, but they are such fun take-apart erasers.  They’re so cute and great for girls who love to collect tiny things.  Oh – and we never actually use them for erasing – just for play.  They’re also in all kinds of other varieties now, such as Angry Birds.


Crazy Cups K-Cups – Chris and I have now had a Keurig for over 4 years, and are still loving it.

(Actually, we’re on our second Keurig.  Our first died a sad and painful death.)

One of our favorite features is having a variety of coffee types and flavors, and the best way I’ve found to achieve variety is to order Crazy Cups.  You get 35, 70, or 105 different K-Cups with no repeats.  And you can order certain collections, such as Flavored or Decaf, to make sure you get what you want.

(By the way, if you want my complete K-Cup over-analysis and recommendations, you can find them here.)

50 Best K Cups


Lego Educational Minifigure Sets – These are some of my best gift-giving moments for Chris (yes – my husband, not my kid.)  Because we all know – the minifigures are the best parts of Legos anyway.  I got him the Fairytale set last Christmas, and the Community Set this Christmas.  I’m only hoping that they’ll come out with new sets before next Christmas!


CS Lewis’ Cosmic Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength) – my friend Nikki loaned this set to us, and we were both hooked.  The parallelism and fantastical storylines are like Narnia for adults – reliving the wonder of discovering a CS Lewis imaginary world is priceless.  Unfortunately, I hit the third book right as Christmas festivities heated up, so I got off track and never finished it, but I am definitely wanting to get back to it.


Hot Tools 1” Curling Iron – Months ago, I asked my Facebook Page how best to get big, wavy curls.  My friend Renee has the exact hair I wanted, so I went with her advice.  It was a good choice, because it takes no talent, 10 minutes, and the results were pretty much exactly what I was looking for:

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Graham Webb Shampoo and Conditioner – I had been searching for a new Shampoo because my long-time favorite, Brocato, was getting impossible to find in discounted sets, and it was too expensive at full-price.  One of the brands I tried was Graham Webb, which was much cheaper, and makes my hair soft and shiny.


Windows Live Writer – I wrote about this in my very first “Stuff I Like” post, and it’s important enough to mention again.  Despite my extreme hatred of the Windows operating environment including but not limited to the ridiculous ease in attaining viruses and extraordinarily slow processing speeds, I will not switch to a Mac because of this one free download from Microsoft.  Windows Live Writer makes blogging possible for me – it’s easy, it’s beautiful, it has great buttons,  and your blog posts actually look like they’re going to look while you’re creating them.

It’s good enough to keep me married to Microsoft until someone gets off their butt and creates a like-featured program.  So if you’re blogging and have a Windows-based PC and you’re not using Live Writer, you’re missing out on a life-changing program.  So off with you – go download it and thank me later.


And last but not least, my new blog design!!  It’s been in the works for a few months by Karla Archer of Archer Creative.  She was awesome to work with – she listened to the ideas I had and translated them perfectly into the site.  I’m excited about the more streamlined look, the featuring of my love of line art (I love the objectivity of that sort of art – bet you would have never guessed,) and all of the category headers and buttons to make navigation easier.  Thanks, Karla!!


Okay – that’s it for me.  What have you found lately that has been an exciting addition to your life?  What are you looking for to change your life?

Leave your comment below!

Comments

  1. 1
    Michele says:

    I love the new layout! And thanks for sharing tips…especially hair brushing tips because I have a daughter that dreads the process, too!!

  2. 2
    Lisa says:

    So many of the same likes:
    The brush – AWESOME! my girls use it in the bath – then a quick braid for bed and a tangle free morning. My husband prefers the knot genie (or as he calls it horse brush). Got to recommend one more step for tangles: It’s a 10 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002CMLHEC/ref=ox_ya_os_product (I paid less for it, gotta watch amazon prices). a 4oz bottle lasts a year (and that is with two daughters and myself on occasion using it). Just a couple sprays in my hands rubbed together and through their hair and the tangles go away – left with soft hair. Completely worth it!

    The 1″ hot tools – the best for soft waves! Much better than any pinterest trick I’ve tried and failed at.

    Off to order some Lisa Frank stickers!!!

    My #1 Stuff I Like share: these sneakers: http://www.zappos.com/puma-zandy-wns-black I can wear them to work and on weekends all spring/summer long. They are on sale right now so I ordered a new pair (plus a new color) so I am ready the minute the snow melts (Ohio).

  3. 3
    Becky says:

    My daughter has thick, wavy hair that goes well passed her mid back. It took me literally 4 plus years to figure out that I should start combing (I use a wide toothed “conditioner” comb, I think it’s called) from the bottom up. It works SO much better than top down!

    I couldn’t believe Lisa Frank was still around, but my daughter loves her!

    We also love anything by Sally Lloyd Jones (http://goodbadquirky.blogspot.com/2013/01/dear-sally-lloyd-jones.html)! We’ve been using Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing at supper and my 6 year old loves to highlight the verse for each one in her Bible. She also highlights really random verses that aren’t generally considered “inspiring” or “convicting” and she will probably really wonder what she was thinking when she reads that Bible when she’s older :) But, I love that she’s taking ownership of it!

    Have a super day!

  4. 4
    absepa says:

    Bless you for passing a love of Lisa Frank down to future generations! What would little girlhood be without sparkly unicorn and rainbow stickers? (sigh) I would probably still plaster them all over my work datebook if it didn’t make my coworkers laugh at me.

    My hair is crazy-thick and really curly, and (even though I’m in my 40s), I still remember the epic battles I had with my mom over getting it brushed. By the time I was old enough to manage my own hair I had developed a very tough scalp. It’s nice that they’re finally developing really good products and tools for managing curly mops.

  5. 5
    Breenah says:

    You’ve just made my day now that I’m aware that Lisa Frank stickers still exist. Also, I’m pretty sure that crazy cups is what I’m getting my mom for whatever holiday has gifts next!

  6. 6
    Becca says:

    I got a wet brush for Christmas, and it is awesome! My hair is stronger and doesn’t fall out as easily, and its so easy to brush!

  7. 7
    Holli says:

    I have just added the Wet Brush to my Amazon Wish List. I hope that when I order it, it will help my daughters hair. Thanks to Rapunzel, our hair is well below our waist and she has no plans on cutting it. :)

  8. 8
    Adrienne says:

    I LOVE the layout!

    I also had NO IDEA Lisa Frank was still around! (It really is a shame I only have boys)

  9. 9

    I love, love, love The Body Shop Almond Oil Hand & Nail lotions and hand wash.

    I’m allergic to almost everything, and this is one of the few things that not only is okay on my skin, but also has a scent I can handle and not get a headache.

  10. 10
    Laura Gallitz says:

    Great post! I pinned a bunch of things here to my wish list, especially the brush. AJ will love it. I’ve been blogging about things I love on Tuesdays this year. So far, I’ve hit up: the sofa in my office, my cake carrier, my iPhone, and the bracelet AJ bought me with her own money at Big Lots. My latest thing I love (but I don’t know if it will make today’s post) are my shoes I got on sale from Target’s website: red high heels – the tallest and probably sexiest shoes I’ve ever owned. They’re not meant for comfort, but I love them just the same. (These, but in red: http://www.target.com/p/women-s-mossimo-pearce-pumps-taupe/-/A-13139817#prodSlot=medium_1_3&term=pearce )

  11. 11

    I didn’t know that you could just buy LEGO minifigures. Good to know! LEGOs are a new thing around our house, but it’s fast becoming one of my kids favorite toys.

    And since you asked about an exciting addition to my life, here it is: conditioner in the place of shaving cream. It can be the cheapest conditioner you can find. It doesn’t matter. Shave with it and your legs will be silky smooth. It has revolutionized my shaving! I can’t believe I’ve been shaving for over 2/3 of my life, and I’m just figuring this out now. :)

  12. 12
    LoraLynn says:

    Looks fantastic!!! Another brush to try: Tangle Teezer. You can get it at Sally’s beauty supply. Highly recommend.

  13. 13
    Leanna says:

    Love the new design! I just cut my hair but I wonder if the wet brush would work with short thick curly hair. I dread combing or brushing mine usually thanks to the tangles and knots. Though I love having the curls back. It had gotten so long and weighted down the curls were gone. But I digress into a tangent so I will move one from my hair.

    I haven’t really found anything new that has changed my life. Sad really I don’t get to shop much. Most of my new discovers come from having to change to a gluten free diet and trying new gluten free products. It is hard to find them in a small town most stores don’t carry much Gluten Free stuff if any, but I recently discovered that our health food store here in town has quite a selection considering. And they have gluten free english muffins and hamburger buns which I am happy about. It has been forever since I ate a hamburger on a bun. and they tasted good. Often gluten free foods don’t taste the same as regular food so it is nice to have bread that tastes and feels like normal bread. Oh and they had gluten free corn dogs which I know terrible but corn dogs where something I always liked as a kid so it was nice finding them . So finding a larger gluten free shop is my newest happy discovery. It probably doesn’t touch most of your readers but it was a big deal to me I actually called my mom all happy about it.

  14. 14
    Jennifer says:

    Do Lisa Frank stickers still smell thesame? Its such an integral part of my childhood…

  15. 15
    Rachel says:

    Oh good! I was thinking about ordering the brush but I thought I’d wait and see what you thought first. Ordering it right now! We have lots of Liza Frank stickers around here…they are fun for the girls, but I HATE finding stickers everywhere! The rule is only on paper or yourself, but somehow they still end up everywhere! Oh and I totally didn’t know you could buy minifigures in big sets like that! I know what Tyson is getting for his birthday!

    • 15.1
      Rachel says:

      Yes, Noah is really good at sticking stickers where they ought not be stuck – I’m constantly scraping them off the floor. But they’re so entertaining, it’s somehow worth it.

  16. 16
    Stephanie says:

    Our newest favorite thing is Nalgene water bottles/sippy cups for kids!! These bottles do not leak like other sippy cups have! We picked up a couple of bottles at Cabelas a couple of months ago and they haven’t leaked yet! Amazon(of course) sells them for a little cheaper. Read the reviews, one reviewer mentioned that before your use the cup pinch the valve to open the little crosshatch. Otherwise your kid will be sucking in his cheeks trying to get liquid out. We had that little problem the first couple of uses. :)

  17. 17
    Elle says:

    I tried Windows Live Writer once about a year ago but didn’t “get” what was so great about it. Now I’m thinking I should give it another chance thanks to your endorsement.

    The redesign is really nice. Thumbs up!

    • 17.1
      Rachel says:

      I think one thing that helps is to download your blog’s template into Live Writer, so it actually looks like you’re writing on your actual blog. The visual aspect helps me compose, somehow.

  18. 18
    Karla Archer says:

    Three things:

    1) I have to absolutely agree with you on Windows Live Writer. I always recommend it to my clients who are still Windows (or run Parallels on their Macs << you know you can do that, right??) A total sanity saver!!

    2) The Jesus Storybook Bible is a favorite in our home – the illustrations make my creative side so happy…

    3) Thank you :) Absolutely enjoyed every moment working on your design!!

  19. 19
    Tracie says:

    I’m happy to see you mention CS Lewis’ Cosmic Trilogy. I had forgotten about them, and found them again just last week on Goodreads, and added them to my to be read list. I’m excited that other people are reading them too.

  20. 20
    Stephanie says:

    Hi Rachel, I wanted you to know I love the new look of your sight. It’s really pretty! I think I will look into getting that brush for my girls. Thanks for all the info. :)

  21. 21
    Melanie Miller says:

    Fun idea! Most of your favorite things are new to me, so, yippee! I had a favorite things Christmas party with my two best friends and it was so fun. One of mine that turned into a hit was a hands free soap dispenser. I have one at the kitchen sink and it is awesome when my hands are covered in something sticky or gross to just wave my hand under the pump and, viola! Soap comes out! (I got mine at Bed Bath & Beyond, Simple Human brand.) The kids and hubby think its awesome, too.

  22. 22
    Lindsay says:

    Oh, those darn stickers…. I’ve peeled about 8,346 off of various surfaces in my house thanks to a certain goody bag my kids received recently. I do not share your love for them :).

    • 22.1
      Rachel says:

      Ah well. The only thing you WOULD like that would fit in a goody bag would be rocks.
      No, wait…they’d throw those at each other.
      Broccoli?

  23. 23
    Meridith says:

    My new favorite is raw organic virgin coconut oil. I use it for lots of stuff but mostly as a moisturiser both for me and the baby, lovely after a bath or shower & smells yummy too ! Apparently great for pregnant & breastfeeding mum’s to eat as well as it does wonders for breastmilk from what I’ve read .

  24. 24
    Abbie says:

    I totally bought one of those brushes for Della, and it’s working great for me too! Huzzah!

    Oh, and I totally agree about Windows Live Writer. I don’t know that I’m exaggerating when I say that I don’t know if I’d still be blogging if I had to compose everything in (in my case) the blogger format. Absolutely miserable. I’m definitely going to check out some of your app/game recommendations for my boys.!

  25. 25
    Abbie says:

    P.S. I meant to tell you that I love, love, LOVE your new site design. Fantastic!

  26. 26
    Jui says:

    Love the new look!!
    Its much much much better!!! And less bright colors make it office compatible too :-D

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