A Few of My Favorite Things

As usual, December snuck up on me. I’ve been scrambling to buy gifts and thought I’d take a moment to share a list of ideas for others still looking for present ideas.

Electronics

Roku

My brother-in-law showed me this during Thanksgiving and I immediately went home and bought one. Mine hasn’t arrived yet due to a shipping glitch, but I cannot wait to use it. It basically turns your non-smart TVs into a smart TV, allowing your TV to connect to the internet and stream Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. Our main tv is a few years old. We bought a tv last year that was internet ready, has a Netflix button on the remote, etc, and I love that tv. I love being able to watch Netflix shows while I’m in the kitchen. But I’ve been so frustrated with our older tv even though it still works perfectly fine. The roku is a much cheaper solution than buying a new tv.

Kindle

Kindle e-reader

My little Kindle is one of my favorite electronics I own. I am an avid reader and when e-readers first came out, I wasn’t so sure. I still sometimes miss being able to feel a book and turn pages, but I love having an entire of library in books in a very convenient and light machine. It makes it so easy for me to bring on the plane, vacation, etc. I had an e-reader by another company before my Kindle which I didn’t like at all. I like how light the Kindle is, the long battery life, and the anti-glare screen. I’ve seen advertisements for the latest version, a Kindle Paperwhite. I haven’t yet tried it out though.

Cameras

If you are into photography, you can read my list of camera equipment and thoughts here. I currently shoot with a Canon 7D and my favorite lenses to use are 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens (for all my recipe posts), 50mm f/1.4 (portrait shots), 28mm f/1.8 Wide Angle Lens (for restaurants). When I don’t feel like bringing my giant camera, I carry around my small Sony Nex-5R

Kitchen

I have so many kitchen tools, but here are some of my absolute favorite.

Catskill Pastry Board

 

It is big, pretty and has measurements directly etched on. It’s perfect for anything that requires rolling dough (pies, cookies, biscuits, etc).

Escali Promo Digital Scale

No more need to have recipes converted when you have this easy kitchen scale. Some recipes require really accurate measurements (like French macarons) so this is perfect for those too.

 

Silpat mats

Anytime I bake something on a sheet, I use my silpat mat. It’s non-stick, easy to wash, and you save on buying rolls and rolls of parchment paper. It’s great for cookies, fruit leather, etc.

Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan

I own more than a dozen different bundt pans, but this is my favorite one. I love the design. It makes all cakes look so elegant. Overall, I also only buy Nordic Ware bundt pans. The quality is really amazing and the bundt cakes come out very easily.

Brownie Edge pan

For those who love the corner pieces of brownies (like me), this pan is a must! I no longer bake brownies in regular pans.

Keurig Brewer

Keurig® K65 Special Edition Brewing System

I love my Keurig Brewer. I use it everyday, for making coffee and heating up water for tea. It heats up water in under one minute, gives you the variety of having a different flavor of coffee everyday, etc. This is definitely one of my favorite items in my kitchen and one we love enough that we have gifted it several times to friends and family and will be gifting some more this year as well.

KitchenAid Mixer

And if you’re really looking for a splurge, this is an item I don’t own but has been on my “list” since my wedding. I have a Cuisinart mixer which works great, especially for bread, but mixing batter can be annoying because I constantly have to manually help along the mixer as it doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Almost everyone I know owns a KitchenAid and I spend a lot of time wishing I did too.

Beauty

Batiste Floral Dry Shampoo

There are a lot of negative reviews when it comes to dry shampoo, but this is one, in my opinion, is the exception. My hair gets oily really easily. This gives the hair near the forehead a “boost” so you don’t look like you haven’t showered. Other ones I’ve tried end up being clumpy, weird smelling, etc. The Batiste one, however, the powder blends in easily and has a pleasant smell like you just freshly shampooed your hair.

Skin79 BB Cream (Triple Function Pink)

I started using BB Cream before it was introduced into the US market. It first became popular in Asia because it’s apparently used by actresses and models in Asia. It’s a all-in-one cream that acts as a moisturizer, primer, foundation and sunblock. I think it works best on light/fair skin and for people who are looking for minimal coverage. There are many brands that offer a BB cream, but I’ve found that they don’t all have the same results (In fact, the American brand ones have pretty bad reviews, though I haven’t tried any of the American brand ones myself). My favorite is Skin 79. When you first apply it, the color appears to be way too light, but it gradually oxidizes and blends into your skin. The coverage is so light and natural that you won’t be able to tell you’re wearing makeup, but it provides just enough coverage to even out your skin and cover blemishes.

So that’s my list. Happy Holiday Shopping!

12 comments on “A Few of My Favorite Things”

  1. Great list! I’ll try out the BB Cream recommendation. I’m starting my own bundt pan collection now, too =) Happy holiday shopping!

    • Ooh, yes definitely give BB cream a try! There’s a lot of youtube videos showing before/after. I saw one particular one which is what convinced me to try it. If I can find it again, I’ll send it to you.

  2. My dad has a Roku and showed us some stuff he can do, but how is it different from having a blu-ray player with access to Netflix, Amazon Streaming, etc? Is it just smaller and cheaper and easier to use with a standalone tv?

    I had a Kindle and loved it beyond words. Not having to pack books for long flights was so worth it. I still have my Kindle, but ever since I got an iPad, I find myself reading my books on that, instead. Maybe it’s my attention span, but I find it nice to be able to switch from a book to a game to e-mail all on one device.

    And I totally share your love for the Keurig. We used to have a water hotpot on the counter and now I just use the Keurig for hot water and tea.

    • I think it should be similar with a blu-ray player streaming. I actually do stream through my Tivo box on my non-smart Tivo, but the streaming program doesn’t work well. It stops after each episode so I can’t continually watch, sometimes the pause and rewind buttons don’t work and I often have to restart my Tivo after watching Netflix through it. So I’m hoping the roku will solve those issues and it’s pretty cheap too.

  3. i didnt know that is what a roku is/did. thanks for explaining! i will have to save up for one.

    I didnt now there were e readers before Kindle. What was it called? Who made it ? Do you still have the original kindle or this is just a pic example?

    What is special about corner piece of brownie( I love sweets but brownies are too chocolately for me so I dont eat it alot).

    Do you order skin79 or stockup when you travel ?

    • there are other e-readers out there other than Kindle. Kindle is just the one produced by Amazon. There is the Nook by Barnes and Noble and a few others, I just think the kindle is my favorite. I do have the original one though the one in the photo is the stock photo from Amazon.

      Corner pieces of brownies are extra chewy because of the edges. It’s usually the piece that people fight over.

      I order skin79 from Amazon third party sellers.

  4. I haven’t tried a Roku but i’ve only heard good things about those devices. I bought the Google Chromecast when it first came out and I *think* it probably works the same way as Roku does, you just have to have a spare HDMI port on your TV for it. I also love that it turns my “dumb TV” into a “smart TV”! 🙂

    I’m gonna have to get me a silpat mat!

    • I think the difference with google chromecast is that you have to stream through your ipad or something similar whereas the Roku streams directly from your tv. I justset mine up yesterday and I love it. It works really smoothly and responds very fast. When I went through my tivo, the response time was much slower.

  5. ahh ok. thanks as always kirbie.
    if you know, does the tv being an old cathode ray tv make the roku not work ? bc tvs now are so crisp and hi def , so wll roku convert so picture is still fresh and crisp?
    we have a old cathode ray tv and an old giant tv that sits on the floor. thanks!

  6. Oh wow, I had no idea that you didn’t have a kitchenaid mixer! I thought for sure you already had one or that someone got you one as a wedding present. XD And because your photos are always so amazing, I think I definitely need to look into getting a good macro lens for my Nikon D5100…

    • I had it on my wedding registry but no one got it =(. I do have a “real mixer,” just not a Kitchenaid one. heh. Macro lenses are so nice. They show such detail on food.

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