These are a few of my favorite things~

We’ve all got things in our collection of STUFF that we .  We’ve all got things we wonder “WHY did I spend good $ on this??”  I may have to keep this an open-ended post, as we come across things we love and things we can do without.  It’s all about simplifying our life, not adding crap to fill drawers or pole barns.

If I may quasiquote Lance (again, can you tell, I’m quite a fan of his).  If I heard this once, I’ve heard it 32 times “Baby, it’s all in the tools”.  We say that to each other at least once a week.  I like it when I understand his idioms.  Other things he says I’m often left scratching my head – for weeks.  Like this one by Abraham Maslow, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”  I think I get it, but I won’t go requoting that verbally, just yet.  To quote another favorite person in my life, Della Pender JUST told me today “I truly believe we are to share our experiences and hard knocks with others in hopes they will not have to go thru things we go thru in life.”  ←That, my dear blog readers is the main reason for this blog: share our ups, downs, trials and accomplishments.  Hopefully you can learn from us and your journey will be even more enjoyable.

Back to a few of my favorite things (those of you old enough to remember, feel free to sing while you browse the list →Flashback~Favorite things).

First off, I loathe going to Walmart these days – crowded, rude, lack of selection (and NO ONE can read the EXIT/ENTER written over the doorways).  Have any of you EVER gone and bought just one thing at the store?  You may save money on one item, but the other 12 ‘must haves’ usually put the tab well over $50.  That’s one reason I love Amazon – FREE shipping if you spend over $25. I read somewhere that they’re Walmart’s #1 competitor, not Target (as I expected).  My links take you to where they can be found on Amazon, but feel free to endure the crowds, traffic, dumb cashiers and shop till you drop at your local retailer.

Many of my recent product ♥s are Lance induced. A few I discovered on my own. No matter, we love’em. Maybe you will too:

◊ Why pay grocery store prices for sprouts?  They’re so much healthier, tastier and cheaper if you make your own sprouts at home

◊ Lance isn’t a fan of anything Black & Decker, but this Rice Cooker has served us well. It was a gift (thank you Fay!) and we use it all the time.  Rice is one of the cheapest ways to feed and fill up your family (not to mention store, for the future – think TEOTWAWKI).  It’s not just a rice cooker, either. We steam veggies in it, too.

◊ I try to resist infomercial deals, but I really love my Magic Bullet. I use it for smoothies & shakes. Lance uses it for mixing up sauces, like when he makes Kimchi. It’s great for pesto and chopping nuts, too.  Very little to clean up and its gadgets are all pretty handy.  I store all mine in the bag it comes with, so I don’t have to go looking for stray parts.

◊  Any ice cream lover must get one of these (or borrow Kristie’s, cause mine is in Idaho): Ice Cream (made easy). The first time I used it I went all fancy and made mango sorbet (TOO MUCH WORK). Then I made the old fashioned kind (again TMW).  I stumbled upon an easy vanilla recipe that Lance loved.  End of experimenting (+ end of paying $6 for premium ice cream).

◊ We love our cheese. This tool is quite handy, a Cheese Slicer .  Easy to use and adjustable slice thickness – a must have for cheese addicts.  It wouldn’t hurt to friend the Sasha J, from B’ham, she’ll keep you stocked with the best cheese around.

◊ If it doesn’t stack right or isn’t microwave friendly, it’s not welcome in our cupboard.  Form AND Function (another Lism). That’s why we really enjoy our Corelle Dishes. They’ve got enough style to to avoid a “ho hum” label. Plus they’re light-weight, thin, stack well and come with a 3-year break and chip warranty.  We use the heck out of them and they look brand new.

◊ We drink alot of coffee. We had so many mismatched to-go mugs, we threw a bulk of them out and kept only a few. My son gave me one of these  XOXO Java 2GO . Lance liked it so much, he ordered one in every color.  We can mix ‘n match lids. Now we’re well stocked for life!

◊ My life would not be complete without this Micro Popper.  I do not care for the prepackaged microwave popcorn (+ it’s not healthy for you). The bowl is so easy and cheap. Plus it uses very little, if any, oil.  I don’t even wash it out between uses – I call it seasoned.  Sometimes I splurge and put butter on it, but usually just butter salt.

OK, that was fun (and a lot of work)!  I’ve got a long list of favorite Pampered Chef items I love (+ some Lance loves that I can do without – I sent those to Idaho on the first boat up there).  Stay tuned for PC faves (maybe my PC lady will give me some free stuff if I pimp her wares).  But she may not be happy when I express some dislike for some PC products.

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