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.
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.
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.
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
I have so many kitchen tools, but here are some of my absolute favorite.
It is big, pretty and has measurements directly etched on. It’s perfect for anything that requires rolling dough (pies, cookies, biscuits, etc).
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.
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.
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.
For those who love the corner pieces of brownies (like me), this pan is a must! I no longer bake brownies in regular pans.
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.
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.
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.
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!