A LOT of My Favorite Things 2011 - Must Have Christmas Items!

One of my least favorite questions asked around the holiday time is...
"What do you want for Christmas?"
Don't get me wrong, I'm a girl who LOVES gifts, but it's always hard for me to know what to tell people. Mostly because I'm usually not even aware of what I SHOULD be asking for, and my gifts always seem "too practical"... or at least that's what Cason says. ha! Does this ever happen to you?
On the flip side...I see people getting all of these cool things, and I say... "I want that!", but when it actually comes down to listing things I want/need, I always draw a blank.
So for the last few months I have been compiling a Favorite Things list JUST FOR YOU! Items or products that I personally use and love, that I want to share with everyone. I did a post last year of my favorite things, and so I thought I would carry on the tradition. I know that not all of these items will pertain to each and every one of you, but it's always nice to have suggestions for great products, don'tcha think?
And yes, just so you're aware, I would totally ask for all of these things from Santa. Even wood floor cleaner. haha!

Can't get enough of these little gems. They are light, colorful, and you can pick from TONS of styles to go with any outfit! From small to really large... there is a perfect set for every girl!!! GREAT stocking stuffers for teenagers or as a small gift for the trendy friend in your life :)

Addicted. Our favorite. Exquisite.
All words to describe how I feel about these amazing hair and clip-on accessories. There is just something about the look that these unique pieces give, that set them apart from all other "hair bows."
I always try to throw a WhippyCake in my girls' hair when I photograph them. It accentuates their beauty and makes our little chicks look so glam and special.

I just tried these fun nail shields a few weeks ago, for the first time. I was totally impressed with how LONG they stayed on! Through showers, dishes and tapping away on my computer :)
Jamberry nail shields come in solid colors, as well as TONS of other amazing designs. They cause no damage to you nails and are easy to apply. Again, awesome gift for pre-teens and friends!

A question I get asked frequently (when not sporting cute nail shields) is... "What is that dark color on your nails in your photos!?" Well, here it is! OPI's Eiffel for this Color. (ya, it's a long name. ha!) I'm addicted to dark polish, but it has to be the PERFECT shade of warm, purple-y goodness. Not black, not red, not brown. Eiffel for this Color totally fits the bill. LOVE!

I've posted about these adorable, unique products before, but I just had to give another mention to how fun and happy these ruffly creations make me. The days of the week dish towels have been some of my personal favorites, and I also adore the Mollies for kids that Jillie Willie now sells! Check out their one-of-a-kind aprons too. You'll die over how CUTE all of their products are!

I know, I know. It's like I'm a broken record. But that's how much I love these Jo Totes camera bags. If you're going to be getting a camera this year from Santa. Just round it out with one of these stylish, fashion forward bags...mmkay? :)

I'm a huge fan of MAC products. They don't always agree with my budget, but here are 2 of my MUST haves, for everyday.
MAC's Prep + Prime: This product is what you apply to your skin after your lotion, but before your foundation. It's like Spackle for your skin. It makes it smooth and fills in your pores and fine lines, to help your foundation look flawless.
MAC's Strobe Cream: I actually combine my foundation and a dab of this on my sponge applicator, when applying my base. It's gives your skin a glow, and makes it look a little dewy and fresh. Awesome for winter time when skin is extra dry and flat.

My go-to Shampoo and Conditioner for my thin, dry hair. Enjoy Luxury shampoo is sulfate free, lathers like a dream and is paired with the most KILLER conditioner! I first got turned onto it because my girls' hair was getting so hard to comb through after baths, that my hair stylist friend recommended it to me. The conditioner is better then ANYTHING else I've tried for tangles. It makes hair silky smooth and easy to work with. PLUS it smells yummy :)
This is a professional hair care product, so it's a bit pricey, but totally worth it. You'll have to get it from your stylist, or find someone who has a hair license to buy it for you, if you want it locally. Or you can buy it here:

Age spots, dark circles, zits...oh my! Yes... I have all three. Ugh. I wasn't blessed with the best skin in the world, but I can sure make it look like I was, with this magical little tube.
Clinique's ADVANCED concealer is thick, concentrated and works like a charm! You have to ask for it specifically, or they'll just give you the regular ol' concealer. I get the lightest version and one little tube lasts me for about 5 months.

I've been wearing Ed Hardy for years! Don't let the scary, trendy, weird skulls from 2009 scare you. hee hee. This fragrance is SO yummy. Not flower-y at all, but more fresh, slightly sweet and citrus-like. It has a clean smell and I always get compliments when I wear it.

Before ANY products go on my face, this hits my skin first. I was going to wait till Christmas to "let" Cason buy for me, but I just couldn't hold out any longer. My skin NEEDED it! Again, the Clarisonic Mia is a bit pricey, but worth every penny. It has totally changed my skin. It has made it softer and brighter.
Can you tell that I'm on a healthy skin kick lately? ha!
Seriously, all the products in the world won't do any good, if you don't start off with a nice clean pallet first. And this Clarisonic has been the key for me to be able to even out my red spots, minimize breakouts and shrink my pours.

If you live in a dry climate like I do, then you're constantly battling the war with dry, itchy skin. Cason picked up some of this crazy cow cream at Walmart a few weeks back and I was a little hesitant at first... mostly because it looks like it came from a farm. LOL. But I tried it, and surprisingly it works AWESOME! Cason REALLY likes it because it's not greasy at all but still penetrates the skin well, to hydrate it.
I think I would recommend this product for guys or boys especially who have cracked or really dry hands or skin. I found out that my brother uses it too, and he says that it's his "non-chick cream". HA!
There is no scent and a little goes a long way.

Here I am again, sounding like a broken record, but I just wanted to throw it out there for any of you ladies who forgot to put it on your list for Christmas. Natural-looking eyelash extensions... beautiful face requirement!
(unless of course you have amazing eyelashes already, and if that's the case, I kind of hate you)
I've had my extensions on for about 8 months. I am thankful for them EVERY day. I get them filled about every 3 weeks, and Heather always does an amazing job.

Are you dieting during the holidays, or just trying to "watch it" this year? Then you HAVE to try these sugar-free York Peppermint Patties. No lie, I actually think that they are better then the real thing. I swear the chocolate is darker, and the filling isn't so sweet and artificial tasting.
I have one everyday. Usually on my way home after dropping the kids off to school... yes, that's when ME-time starts :) Ask Santa for sugar-free candy in your stocking this year. The taste is seriously really good, and way better for you.

Love. Love. Love. LOVE!
I'm an Instagram freak! I'm on my iPhone all day, so taking photos of everyday moments and documenting them, straight from my phone is PERFECT for me! I've talked about the Instagram app for the iPhone before, but now you can print your cute everyday memories with StickyGram and they turn them into magnets! Awwwesome!

You know I'm a Scentsy lover freak already, but just in case you haven't caught on, I thought I'd mention them again :) Seriously, these warmers are fabulous, and I'm currently dying over the plug-in warmers latey. I have one in the girls' bathroom and ours. They permeate the whole room, without leaving strong chemical smells like an air freshener.
My ALL TIME favorite scent by FAR, is the Sunkissed Citrus. It's clean, fresh, and oddly enough, when I smell it, it makes me feel SO happy and relaxed. I melt it all year long, especially in the summer.
My other favorite scent for the holiday is Sentimental Cider. Yum!

I just received some Oreck products this week to review for the blog (more on that later), and immediately fell in love with this Oreck handheld vac. It is the PERFECT size and literally sucks up anything! (even screws from your last DIY project. oops!) My girls like to tote it around the kitchen looking for crumbs, because it's so light and small. I think they think it's a toy. LOL. Whatever!? I'll take help wherever I can get it :) I recommend this little guy to the everyday crafter or home DIY'er because it's perfect for small messes, like sawdust from a drill, giltter and tiny papers.

That's pretty much all I have to say. I buy it at Walmart, it lasts a long time because it's concentrated.
The smell is AMAZING! Shiny, supple, soft floors. Just try it. You'll see what I mean.

Wouldn't have granite without it. I buy it at Target, but you can also find it online. Again, the smell is yummy, and it makes my granite shine WAY better then any other product I've tried.

If you have a flattop stove, you've probably already tried this magical little product, but if not... run, don't walk to your local grocery store and pick it up. It's the BEST!

The DIY tool sent straight from Heaven.
No. I'm not being dramatic.
Sanding in corners, cutting holes for outlets in beadboard, sawing through plastic pipe and taking out small pieces of drywall... this Oscillating tool can do it all!!! We usually use it for the straight blade cutting feature, but I'm tellin' ya what, this tool has come to our rescue more then a handful of times when in the middle of Home DIY projects. And it's TOTALLY affordable too!
I consider it a Gotta-have Christmas gift.

This is Cason's pick for any DIY man or woman around the house :)
I remember the first time he picked this up at Lowe's. I rolled my eyes mumbled something like... "Oh gosh, do we really need that?" under my breath.  But now that we've had it for a little over 6 months, I have to tell you, it's a LIFE SAVER when doing molding or cutting anything with tricky angles. This tool literally has it's OWN storage space in our mess of tools, so that Cason can always be sure to find it. ha!
Just be sure that you're smarter then the actual tool, or else you won't have any idea what those little lines and numbers mean. LOL. (remember, I said this was CASON'S pick) ha!
Shelley = Failed almost every math class.

Whew! Are you still with me!? ha! 
I know that was a lot of items to take in, but I've really wanted to share these things with you for a long time. I'm always a big fan of learning what products other people recommend, because then I'm not so scared to spend my money on trying them out!
I hope that some of these things work for you too, and that you find yourself loving them as much as I do!

*** I was not paid to talk about any of the items for this post. I truly and honestly use and love each of these things. Also, links to buy items are only suggestions for places to purchase, or where I found the lowest prices. You can also purchase lots of these items locally, if you just look for them ***


  1. Everything you want I want! Including that Clarisonic for my face. The way my son puts his hands all over my face, oh lovely!

  2. WOW!! What a FANTASTIC list with tons of GREAT ideas! So glad you are loving your earrings!! I got my Jo tote in the mail yesterday and I am in LOVE too!! Now I need to go give this list to my husband so he knows all the things I want!! XO, Mandy

  3. Oooh! I can't wait to buy something from Hoop-La Earrings! I just got something similar and I love that style! I also love Whippy Cakes & just got my JoTotes bag! Such fun stuff, thanks for sharing!

  4. Such great ideas! I'm going to have to get that Clarasonic thingy. My face is such a struggle.
    I love Scentsy too.... I'll have to try that Sunkissed Citrus one. Have you tried Go Go Goji or Camu Camu? Those are my FAVORITES!! Obsessed...

  5. Thanks Shelley! I love your list... I am totally checking out the Ed Hardy perfume and the Clarisonic to add to my Christmas list :) And I am going to pick up the Scotch Brite cooktop cleaner at the store tomorrow! Thanks for sharing your favorites with us.

  6. Love your favorite things. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Wow what fun! I love these kind of posts. It's like dishing with a girlfriend, getting in on their DIY secrets and looking in their makeup drawers all at once :) fun list!

    ~ Emily N. from "too Blessed to Stress"

  8. For Reals, best favorite things list ever. Prolly most likely going to buy that angle tool and other nifty tool for the hubs for Christmas. I'm a makeup artist, so I'm a snob with "fancy" face products as well! I also was lusting after the Clarisonic, but before I "let" my husband buy it for me for my birthday, I saw that Olay makes one. It's smaller, but it's only $29.99 @ Target! Woot Woot! I've been using it for just over a week, and it's AMAZE! I already see a difference! Thanks again for the great ideas!

  9. Do you recommend the Multipurpose Oscillating Tool over a mouse sander for sanding purposes? I guess I really need both a little saw and a sander, but I probably sand more than cut. Which do you think does a better job? If you recommend the mouse sander, do you recommend the brand you have (which is...?)? Thanks!

  10. I have to second your recommendation of Udderly Smooth. My son has psoriasis and it's the only cream we have found that moisturizes, but doesn't burn. We all use it on our dry skin and I even use it as my face cream!

  11. Looks like a great list with some really awesome ideas! You have great taste!

  12. K, I NEED the earrings!! So cute :) and I also can't live w/out the prep & prime! Cracked up at the spackle comment, so true! And My fav scentsy right now is the sentimental cider too! :)

  13. Great list! Stopping by to tell you that I gave you a shout-out on my blog: http://heartofmorgan.blogspot.com/2011/12/diy-my-christmas-sign.html Hope you'll check it out and follow me back! Thanks! LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog (I'm a Smith too...) :)

  14. LOVE

  15. Oh, Shelley! Thank you so so much for sharing your list! Girl, you have got great taste!

  16. I LOVE my mia clarisonic, I was nervous to shell out the money, but won't turn back, and even have my 11 year old son use it! I just checked out the etsy earring shop--SUCH cute earrings!!! Thanks and Merry Christmas!

  17. After reading your list of Favorite Things, I looked into Jamberry Nails and am now a consultant! Thank you for the inspiration!!! Check me out! http://hautenails.jamberrynails.net

  18. GREAT list Shelly!!

    I'm curious about the lashes......I'm so envious every time you talk about them, BUT my daughter is a stylist and she has told me to never get them (unless you want them for just a one time event)....she said when they fall out (which they do at a much quicker rate than your own lashes) they pull one or two of you own lashes with them. For a one time event she said it would be fine, but not to use it as a permanent solution or you'll end up with none of your own lashes. Thoughts?


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