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 the favorite things, kids version, talking about all the toys we have loved the most in our home over the last four years but today its all about my personal favorite 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. Of everything on here though, the gift that I’ve most loved receiving is probably the hand lettering workbook. This would be such a fun gift for a creative girlfriend or a mom who is looking for some kind of hobby outside of her kids.
AI 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, you’ll love them as much as I do, promise 🙂
If you’re a photography enthusiast, these are my all time favorite lenses. I currently shoot with the 50mm and 85mm from Sigma’s art line of lenses. They’re pricey but cheaper than their comparable Nikon or Cannon lenses.
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).
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 only used them for a few months but they’ve made my favorite things list already. I’ve linked the 10 piece set we have but you can also get this smaller set at a lower price point.
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).
My most worn/ favorite sneaker purchase of the last year (in addition to my APLs). These are my particular favorite for traveling because they’re comfortable while still being a chic.
I splurged on my first pair of these almost two years ago and they have become my favorite sneakers. I wear them just as much to the gym (running, weight-lifting, classes like high-fitness) as I do out and about. They’re a great travel shoe because you can exercise in them and wear them walking all around a city. Ben also has three pairs of these and LOVES them. They’d make a great gift for yourself or a guy on your list. There are a few different styles but I’ve only owned and worn the Techloom Phantoms so I can’t vouch for the others.
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.
This is my all-time favorite purse/ investment piece. 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 three years now and it still looks as good as new (and it got caught in the rain in London last month and held up just fine).
My two tried and true perfumes. Daisy by Marc Jacobs is very feminine with velvety jasmine, soft violets, wild berries, and hints of sandlewood. If you’re more of a fruity perfume girl, DKNY Delicious is always a good idea.
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.
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.
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).
The #1 best-selling beauty subscription box is new to me in 2020 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.
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.
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.
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.
These go on like lipgloss but look like a matte lipstick. They come in so many good colors and I’ve loved them for years.
My favorite cleanser/ face mask since 2015. My skin is noticeably better when I use it. (original post talking about how much I love it here).
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.
This is my top selling affiliate item of 2020 and I’m glad you love it as much as I do. Cute, comfortable, and an unbeatable price. This comes in so many great colors and has held up to plenty of washing at my house.
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)
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.
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 $5-$10. 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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).
I’ve had 4-5 of these over the last four years. I keep rebuying them because they’re great (for the gym, for the diaper bag, for my desk).
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).
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.
Other great gift ideas/ honorable mentions:
- I got this new bathrobe last year and it is still o soft! It’s under $30, comes in lots of colors, and would make a great gift. They also have a mens version here.
- I got the Freshly Picked city pack last year and its on HUGE sale right now. The backpack is beautiful and I love the sleek, classic silhouette. If you use the code FPxElisabeth to sign up for their “fringe” membership program you get a free $10 credit in your account and an extra 20% off the sale making the backpack under $100. It is a great diaper backpack but also works for my laptop.
- 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 comfortable heels, ever (except maybe the Margaux ones which over $100 more). I’ve had them for the last year and, while there haven’t been that many occasions to wear them in 2020, they are incredibly comfortable and don’t require breaking in.
- These long sleeve tees are fantastic. I have them in a few colors and have worn and washed them for years. They hold up well and still look new (especially in comparison to similar priced shirts I love).
- 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 loved so many pieces from Everlane in 2020. These flattering dark wash skinny jeans are my go-tos for date night and these dayboots are as comfortable as they are gorgeous.
- 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 last year and I have LOVED it (a new one is on my 2020 Christmas wishlist here). 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.