Disclosure: I was sent an Aerogarden 3SL at no cost to me, for a fair and honest review, by Miracle Gro (through KitchenPLAY). They also supplied me with the giveaway item. All opinions are 100% my own.
I’ve been asking my husband almost every day if I can convince him to go in the attic and bring down all of our Christmas decorations. The answer never changes…”Wait until Thanksgiving.” Well, next week is Thanksgiving!!
Also…next week is Thanksgiving? Dang!
It’s getting to be that point of the year where family/friends are asking me what I want for Christmas. While I can’t really figure things out (besides new plates/bowls in our kitchen…how boring!), I figured I’d share my favorite things that I’ve been using this year. Maybe this will inspire your wish lists? Who knows…but I figured I would share some of my favorite things with you guys, and also offer a pretty awesome giveaway (at the bottom of this post, if you make it that far…) :-).
Aerogarden 3SL (pictured top middle)- I’m not very well known for having a green thumb. If there’s a way to kill a plant, I somehow kill them. I’ve learned through the years that I can keep a few hardy plants alive, but for the most part, bugs take over or they just wilt and die, no matter how much I water them.
I was sent the Aerogarden 3SL, and I was so excited to use this again! I had an Aerogarden 3 about 5 years ago, and I loved it. Unfortunately, in our previous house, I didn’t have room to keep it on our kitchen counters continuously, so I sold it at a garage sale. It was a great product though…we had herbs through the fall/winter and I grew flowers in the spring/summer. Anyway, I’ve had the 3SL for a few weeks now, and I’m already picking basil and dill off to use in my cooking (The curly parsley just germinated last week, so it’s not quite ready for picking). I just LOVE that I’m going to be able to enjoy fresh basil all fall/winter long.
The Aerogarden is pretty much fool-proof…you don’t need a green thumb at all to keep these plants alive! You feed it every two weeks (there’s a light indicator that tells you when it’s time to feed the plants), and make sure the reservoir always has water (which you can easily see on the side of the Aerogarden). Easy peasy. 🙂 I love it! Retails for $69.99 and is available on Aerogarden.com and select Wal-Mart stores.
GIR Spatulas (pictured bottom right)- I own 5 or 6 of these in different sizes (the mini, skinny, ultimate and pro). I first got hooked on these when they were in the swag bag for Food Blog Forum a couple of years ago. I love that they are all one seamless piece (so food, liquid can’t get trapped between the handle and spatula), and they are just awesome for scraping. They’re pricier than most standard spatulas, but I use them almost daily! GIR also has quite a few more products that are out there, with the latest being their silicone lids (the Kickstarter for this ends in less than a day). Retails anywhere from $9.95 to $19.95 and is available at ProductofGIR.com and Amazon.
OXO Pop Containers – I received a set of these from Sam’s Club for Christmas last year, and they are just PERFECT for organizing my baking supplies. Right now, I keep my all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cake flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, confectioners sugar. chocolate chips and other mix-in candies. It’s an air-tight seal, and it just makes my shelf look crazy organized. 🙂
Americolor Food Coloring – I used to be a Wilton food coloring fan, but I started using these and never looked back. There’s no need to grab globs of coloring with a toothpick…you just squeeze out what you need. You don’t need much since this is a gel food coloring, so this stuff lasts! For red velvet recipes, I did purchase a large bottle of Americolor dye (Super Red), because it’s one of the few dyes that doesn’t have a chemical taste when you add so much of it to cake batter.
Candles by Victoria (pictured top left) – I’m a big fan of these candles, since I started burning them a few months ago. My favorite sizes are the 9 oz. country jar and the 16 oz. country jar. They have so much fragrance to them, and they last a good while. My favorite scents are Gooey Pumpkin Butter Cake, Under the Harvest Moon, Buttercream, Pink Cupcake and Christmas Kitchen.
Urban Decay Naked Palette (pictured top right) – I have owned the original palette for about 2 years now, and it’s my favorite. I grab for it almost every single day, which kind of sucks since I own quite a few palettes. I just know that I can’t mess up my eyeshadow with this palette…maybe one day I’ll branch out. 🙂 I can do an easy day/work look or dress it up to a fun, smoky eye look. It’s a little over $50, and if you divide that by the number of shadows in there, it’s about $4 per shadow. That’s as cheap as drugstore eyeshadow…if not cheaper!
Tarte Pin Up Girl Blush Palette (pictured bottom left)- Ok, so this blush. I know it’s expensive ($26 each), but for my birthday last year, I decided to give this stuff a try. It lasts all day on my face, and it’s extremely pigmented. I feel like I’ve barely made a dent in the pan, but I’ve used it almost every day. Well, Tarte came out with a holiday palette that comes with 5 blushes for $42. That’s less than the price of two of their blushes, but you get 5 (almost) full-size blushes in it. Holiday gift sets are such a steal!
Too Faced Melted Lipstick – I originally purchased this lipstick in Melted Nude, because I’m not one for bold colors. It was terrible…the worst shade of nude I’ve ever seen…too brown and orange, all at the same time. So, I went back to Sephora to return it, and the employee told me that Melted Nude doesn’t work for most people. However, she mentioned to me that their other shades are beautiful, and I should just exchange it for another color, since the formula is fantastic. I exchanged it for Melted Fig, because it looked like a nice, plum-like shade for the fall that wasn’t too bold. I adore it. ADORE IT. The color stays on for a few hours (even after coffee/bottled water throughout the morning), and it’s not very drying on the lips, in my opinion. It’s more of a matte finish, but goes on like a gloss. It’s a little pricey, but there is a gift set on Sephora’s site with mini lipsticks, if you wanted to try a few colors (sadly, it includes the nude color that just didn’t work for me…).
Real Techniques Brushes – I’ve heard about these brushes on a few YouTube pages, and since they were so much cheaper than my MAC brushes, I decided to buy a set and give them a try. They are SO soft and wonderful! I have the eye set, and the foundation brush. I think I can count on one hand how many times a bristle has shed from it…they’re wonderful quality, especially for the price!
Erin Condren or Plum Paper Planner – I LOVE my paper planner. As much as my husband nudges me towards a Google calendar, there’s just something about writing lists/to-dos/events on paper. Both of these planners are excellent, IMO. The only reason I have the Erin Condren this year, is because I got a gift certificate. The Plum Paper planners are about $20 cheaper, but the color scheme isn’t as bright as Erin Condren. It all depends on your preferences…they are both pretty much the same size/style/layout.
Paper Mate Flair Pens – I have this in a variety pack of 10. They are like skinny markers, and they are just awesome to write with. I love flair pens. This is so random, but my place of work purchases these too. I can’t tell you guys how happy I was when I discovered this…you just never deal with ink skipping with these, and I feel like I write prettier using them (maybe it’s just me…).
Washi Tape – This is just a general thing that I love. I love decorating my planner with washi tape, and so many brands make them nowadays…you can find them pretty much at any craft store. 🙂
Bondi Bands – This is more of a spring/summer item, but I can’t tell you how great these are. If you live in majorly humid/hot areas, and you sweat like crazy on your hairline/forehead, these absorb all of it so you don’t feel disgusting with sweat dripping down your face. It also holds in hair flyaways from when I put it up in a ponytail. I own 3 of them, and they are just awesome!
Harbinger Weight Lifting Gloves – When I started lifting weights, I started noticing how red and rough my hands got after a month or so. I didn’t even THINK about getting gloves for lifting weights, but my husband suggested it. They definitely help with grip and no more hurt hands! I purchased mine at a local sporting goods store, since I wasn’t sure of my size. They’re very reasonable and they don’t feel constricting on my hands at all. 🙂
Polar FT4 – This is such a great motivational tool for me when I’m working out. I can easily see if I’m in the right heart rate zone during workouts, and I usually keep it on calorie count mode. If I notice I’m just 40 calories away from 500 or something, I will get on an elliptical or row machine until I’ve met that number. I love making calorie goals for workouts, and this tool makes it SO easy! (Hint: These are a lot cheaper on Amazon vs. Polar’s webpage)
Knit Picks Interchangeable Needles (pictured bottom middle) – If you love to knit, these are a great set of needles to own. Personally, I like the feel of wooden needles, so this set is perfect for me. I love that it comes with its own little case, so everything stays together. I have to admit, though, that I totally purchased one off of Etsy (which is in the picture above), because it was a whole lot cuter. (Yes, I could’ve sewn it, but I didn’t feel like figuring out a pattern..plus, I like to support fellow crafters!)
GO! Baby Fabric Cutter – This is such a time saver for quilting. I use it to make charm packs for the charm pack quilt that I love to make, and lately, I just used it for this adorable circle quilt. I really don’t enjoy cutting fabric out, so anything that makes the cutting process easier is a win for me. 🙂
Gingher Left Handed Scissors – These scissors are pricey, but I purchased them with a coupon from Jo-Ann Crafts. They are amazingly sharp, and anything that says “left-handed”, I’m a sucker for. I hate standard scissors. I also own their rotary cutter for lefties. They cut into fabric like butter. Seriously…worth the splurge!
Man, that’s a lot, but I seriously love everything on this list! 🙂 Well, if you’ve made it this far, you definitely deserve the chance to enter this great giveaway!
The generous folks at Miracle Gro want to offer one lucky reader of The Nifty Foodie an Aerogarden 3. While it’s not their newly released 3SL, it’s a very similar model (pictured below). Image provided by Miracle Gro/KitchenPLAY Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below (continental US readers only): Note: This giveaway is supplied by Miracle Gro, and is open to readers in the continental US only. Entries will be accepted until November 24th at 11:59pm (central standard time). Winner will be emailed (make sure you leave an email address in the form), and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.