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Favorite Things

Favorites Things Party (30 fun gift ideas!)

Boy have I got some great weekend reading and shopping for all of you!!  Time for the favorites from the Favorite Things party!  Woot Woot!  SO excited to share all of these fun gift ideas with all of you!  They were AMAZING this year!  I want one of everything.  :)

Horrible lighting but here we all are!  Love these girls.

This is my beautiful friend Ann who is the Favorites hostess!  And her darling daughter who is one of our favorite babysitters.  :)  For those of you who are new to my blog, Ann throws an annual “Favorite Things” Party every year in late  Nov. or early Dec.  Everyone invited chooses one of their all time favorite things that is around $15 and brings three of that item to the party.

We spread out on tables throughout Ann’s beautiful house and chat away the evening eating delicious food.  I love catching up with so many of my favorite people!

Then it’s time to get down to business.  :)

Our items are displayed on a table and each of us goes up one at a time to explain what we brought and why it’s our favorite thing.  After we’ve all done that we go around the room one at a time and pick something to keep.  We do this three times until everyone has three fun new things to take home with them.  But the best part is that we also go home with LOTS of great Christmas gift ideas!  Chances are that if it’s a friend’s favorite thing you will like it too.  So many of my current favorite things I have picked up at this party in past years!  So here we go with the 2014 favorites!  (Click on each item for a direct link to where you can find it.)

Body Brush and Oil – Have any of you heard of Dry Brushing?  You brush your skin with this body brush for a few minutes each day before you shower.  It takes off dead skin and has lots of health benefits (can even help to reduce cellulite!).  You can read this article about it to learn more.  Then put on the oil (this was Ann’s favorite and she uses pure almond oil) and watch how amazing your skin glows after a few weeks!

Ulta Mineral Bronzer – this is a friend’s all time favorite bronzer.  On days she doesn’t have time for make-up she just ads a dab to her cheeks, forehead and nose and she has a sun kissed glow!

The Wet Brush – This is a brush that is meant for wet hair!  Gets out the tangles without the tears.  I have used The Wet Brush for years on Addison’s hair and love it!

Baker and Olive – This is a local store in San Diego that everyone in my area LOVES.  They specialize in premium Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars from around the world.  Two different people brought favorites from their store!  One friend brought a bottle of the Cranberry Pear Balsalmic and another brought a Traditional Balsalmic.  They use them for so many things!  With bread, on salads, on fresh vegetables.  They are supposed to be DELICIOUS!  I know about the store but haven’t tried them yet.  Going to soon!

Gratitude Journal –  Most of you know I’m a big fan of gratitude journals.  I’ve written in them for years and have had my girls write in one too in the past (I wrote a post about that here).  My friend brought a beautiful notepad and pen to write down things you are grateful for every day.  I linked to an actual gratitude journal but you can obviously use any notepad.  I think this is such a cool gift idea!

Urban Ears – my friend swears by these!  Said they are the BEST headphones ever!  She uses them to talk on the phone, listen to books on tape, tune people out.  ;)  They cost more than $15 and it looks like they are sold out on Amazon!  These went fast at the party.


Enjoy Hair Straightener – Yea!  This is what I brought!  Most of you know this product has been a LONG time favorite of mine.  I love it!  I put a little on my wet hair after I wash it and it makes it so silky and straight and smooth!  Also so much easier to blow dry.  And you all know – I have big hair.  If it can tame my hair, it’s a good product!  :)  I’ve given it to friends for gifts in the past and they all love it too.  A staple at my house!

Hip Sister – I wanted one of these and was bummed I didn’t get one!  They went fast.  It’s a fabric like yoga pants that you put around your waist when you walk/jog and it holds your phone/keys while you exercise.  Like a fanny pack but much sleeker and cooler.  :)  I found it on Amazon for more than $15 (my friend got them on sale).  Asking Santa for one of these because I love walking and jogging with my friends and I always want to keep my iphone with me in case there is an emergency with one of my kids.

Jackery Portable Battery Charger – Also asking Santa for this one!  It’s a portable battery charger for your cell phone!  So handy to take on trips or just anywhere with you so you always have a way to charge your phone if it dies.  My friend brought the $19 (you can get various sizes) and says she loves it and uses it everyday.  I’ll take one of these in my stocking too!  :)

Maybeline Lash Stelleto Maskara – I’ve tried this mascara and it really is a good one!

Nuface – K – this is a lot more than $15!  But one of my close friends SWEARS by it!  It’s a facial toning device that you use each night to help improve your skin tone and wrinkles.  Because it’s expensive, my friend brought $15 gift cards to Nordstrom where you can buy the Nuface (or something else!).  We all decided that we’d tell our husbands that this product will actually SAVE money in the long run since if we had it we wouldn’t need spa trips and spa trips can get costly and add up.  Ha!  (As if our husbands are sending us to the spa all that often…)  ;)

Benefit They’re Real Mascara – So excited to try this one!  Also more a little more than $15 but looks like it would be worth it!  You can also find it at Sephora.


L’oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray and a bun shaper.  This was one of the favorites I got!  Excited to try this hairspray (several friends love it).  Also my friend who brought this always has her hair in such a cute side bun.  This bun shaper from Nordstroms is her secret!  Not sure if I can pull off her look because she has such a beautiful face and that might be why the bun looks so cute.  :)  But I’ll try it and let you know how I like it!

Anthropologie candle “Volcano” Capri Blue – This was the first thing I chose!  I walk into Anthropologie every time I’m at the mall just to smell that smell!  Their store smells like heaven on earth!  I had to have this candle.  :)  They are usually $28 which is why I’ve never bought one before (a lot for a candle!) but my friend got them for less on Black Friday.  SO excited to make my house smell like Anthropologie!  I’ll never want to leave.  **Sidenote – My favorite Christmas candle is Bath and Body’s Fresh Balsam (discovered at the favorites party years ago!).  They go on sale after Christmas every year and I stock up!

Orfluido Hair Oil – Another hair product I want to try!  Seems similar to a product I love and use now – Moroccan Oil (I put this on my hair after I blow it dry and it makes it silky smooth!)  Either of these hair oils would make great Christmas gifts.

Good Grips Salad Dressing Shaker – ideal for mixing, serving, and storing salad dressing and sauces!  Complete with measurements on the side.  Getting one of these!  It looks better than the one I have.

Apotheke M Body Scrub  and a pumi bar and Aquaphor for your feet!  Have you ever tried that?  Rub your feet with a pumi bar, put aquaphor on them, and wrap them in plastic wrap to sleep.  Makes your feet SO soft and smooth and takes away dry cracking.  I’ve never done it, but so many of my friends swear that it makes your feet look and feel amazing! (Works for dry hands too.)

Moroccan Beauty Oil Moisturizer  and Rose Stem Cells – I’m having a hard time finding a link to these exact product so I need to check with my friend and see where she buys them because they both look like great skin care products to try!

Headsweats Outdoor Sports Visor – K this was another favorite I wanted that just went too fast!  I have so many friends who LOVE these visors!  We live in a non stop sunny climate so you need good hats and visors around here.  These visors keep the sweat away and are perfect for exercising or for moms who live at outdoor sports events.  :)  They come in so many fun colors!  Also on my wish list!

Comal Griddle – a favorite pan for cooking tortillas and pancakes!

Penzey’s Spices – Have you heard of Penzey’s?  I hadn’t.  Apparently it’s a store that sells amazing spices!  When my friend was talking about these so many other friends said they only buy their spices at Penzey’s and once you do you’ll never buy anything else!  If you love to cook or know someone who does a small package of their spices would make a great gift!  I was thinking it would be fun to give someone  a few of these spices with a pretty hand towel or a cook book.  :)

Stretching Strap from Lu Lu Lemon – brought by Ann’s sweet daughter who is a runner!  She swears by this stretching strap to get a good stretch before or after a workout.

Lush Shower Gel/Body Conditioner – I’ve never shopped at Lush before but apparently they have great products!  Their Shower Gel and Body Conditioner sound amazing.

CND Vinylex Nail polish top coat – This is supposed to be the BEST top coat for nail polish out there.  Goes over your nail polish and will make it so your nail polish really lasts.  I’m excited to try this because I never paint my finger nails for that very reason.  Within two days it’s all scratching off!

Incipio Cell Phone Case – This cell phone case looks awesome.   It has a place to also carry your credit card or drivers licence.  Perfect for when you are going somewhere that you don’t want to take your whole purse.  Disneyland came to our minds.  You can tell we all live in Southern Cal.  :)

Diamond Dazzle Stick – This ring cleaner looks so cool!  My friend loves it to clean her rings each night.  Another item I’d love!

Kitchen Aid Dish Scrubber This makes washing dishes a breeze!  I have to mention that when this product was brought up so many of my friends said they all use and LOVE the OXO dish scrubber that I brought to the 2011 Favorites Party!  Has been one of my favorite things for years!  One year I gave it to teachers with some cute dish towels.  A practical gift that anyone can use!  Either of these dish scrubbers would make great gifts.

WHEW!  That’s it!  What did I tell you!?  SO many fun gift ideas this year!  I hope this post helps give you lots of ideas for Christmas shopping!  Sharing favorites is one of my favorite things.  :)

If you want even more gift ideas, here are links to past Favorite Things Posts:





 {MY FAVORITE THINGS 2012 – Kitchen and Beauty Products}





Only 19 days until Christmas!  Yikes!
Happy Shopping everyone!
xoxo, Erin
Join the Conversation

22 thoughts on “Favorites Things Party (30 fun gift ideas!)

  1. Yay! Thank you, Erin. I have the wet brush and use it right when I get out of the shower. My daughter and I use the Benefit They’re Real mascara and love it. It’s the only mascara we will buy. I’m going to have to order the Hip Sister for sure. My Samsung Galaxy phone is too big for the pockets in some of my running leggings. And, I’d love the Anthro candle. Oh, and thanks for the reminder to go pick up the BBW Balsam candle. It’s on list of things to pick up today. Thanks so much, Erin. :)

  2. Yea! You’re welcome Nancy! I’m glad to hear you like the Benefit mascara. I’m excited to try it! And yes! Hip Sister is a must have. :) Happy Holidays! xo

  3. Wow – so many great ideas — I think I want them all for myself too and will definitely looking into the hair straightening, calming items for my challenging hair! Thanks for sharing! What a great party!

  4. I love the wet brush too. And I’ve been dying to have a favorite things party. Maybe one day…

    And now, I say this in the nicest way possible – I really miss your “old” blog style. The stuff you used to post about before you moved.
    Also, I’m really sad about the cut-off posts. :(

    1. Hi Allison! Sorry about the cut off posts! I don’t like them either but there are a lot of people out there who steal blog content and this is one way to protect your blog. I’ve always been nervous that I haven’t done it in the past. You can read a post about it here:

      As far as missing my old posts, I will be sharing a lot more of a variety of posts starting in January. I blog about whatever I’m doing at the moment and lately that has been lots of new house stuff so that’s all I’ve have time to share. I’m also trying to be a little more careful about how much I share about my kids and their lives since they are growing up and it can be scary to have too much info. about your kids on-line. I hope you understand! xo

  5. Erin-thank you for taking notes and typing and linking each product! SO MUCH WORK!!! Your post was so sweet! Love you!! xoxo

  6. We have some mutual friends and I peek in on your blog once in a while. I don’t very often because your life looks so incredibly perfect that it makes me feel pretty awful to be honest. I know you won’t publish this comment because everything has to remain “sunny” on here but I’m requesting that you do some real posts. Let’s see you with hair and makeup undone, kids not perfectly dressed and a messy kitchen and let’s hear about something hard in your life. I love real and think it’s healthy to let others see us as we really are. I’m sure this probably won’t even be considered because it might faint your image.

    1. Hi Anonymous – I’m sorry you feel that way. If you peeked in on my blog more than once in a while you’d see that I write a great deal about “real things.” If you’d like to read about something that was hard for me, feel free to check out a month worth of posts when I almost died after giving birth to Kole and suffered depression. Here are a few links to get you started:
      I also have hundreds of posts about not so good days like this one here:
      And posts about “real life” like this one here:
      If you’d like to see my kitchen a mess check that out here:
      And last but not least, most of my organizing posts (which make up a good portion of this blog) include a lovely “before” of what the space originally looked like. Here are just two examples:

      If you’d like to see me without make-up feel free to scroll through past Christmas morning posts. As far as the “kids not perfectly dressed” I can’t help you there. I take pictures of my kids in whatever they happen to be wearing for the day. At least half of their clothes come from Target. If we really do have mutual friends, I’m sure they’ll tell you that I’m pretty “real.” This blog is my happy place and I do like to keep it sunny and talk about positive, happy things, but I’m not afraid to share real life. Like I said before, maybe you’d see that if you read more often?

  7. Great post! Thanks for sharing such great ideas for gifts and making it easier for me to shop.
    Enjoy these last weeks before Christmas!

  8. I find the comment by “anonymous” to be incredibly rude. I think it is easy to leave these kinds of comments under the guise of “anonymous” when the same things would not be said face to face or with a name attached to it.

  9. Hi Erin, I just recently found you online and love this post. I filled up my amazon cart with lots of new items I’m excited to try. I’m with you on the “never paint my nails because within two days it scratches right off” I just found out about a new favorite thing and I’d love to send you some for you and your girls. Where can I get your shipping address and I’ll send you some for free to try out.

    you can email me the shipping address if you prefer…kellie(at)

    p.s. Not that you need validation, but I find that you are abnormally real on your posts. You always share little snippets of real life but I also enjoy the inspiration of some really beautiful images that inspire me to get cleaning, organizing, and decorating. Which is why I keep following. If I want messes, and disorganization I’ve got plenty here at home to keep me entertained.

    1. Hi Kellie! I’m so glad this post helped you with your shopping! Thank you for your kind words about my blog. You made me laugh! :) SO thoughtful of you to offer to send something for me and my girls! I’ll e-mail our address. Thank you! Your sweet words mean so much to me. xo

  10. Yay! I always look forward to favorite things!!

    Thank you Erin for giving us this yearly treat, and please keep posting the good, the bad, and whatever else you are inspired to share… we enjoy reading it ALL and wish that those who want to remain “anonymous” would remain silent and do just that!!!

  11. I am SO doing this with my girlfriends. Just sent the invite out and the response is overwhelmingly YES, GREAT IDEA! How do you determine who gets to choose first? Something fun or a simple draw?

    Now I have a month to whittle down my favourite things to just one…what to choose?? :)

    1. That’s the hard part Karen! :) My friend always just starts at one end of the room and then goes back the other way the second time and then starts in the middle the third time. But a draw would be fun too!

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