Dec 12, 2018

Things I Like

If you are looking for ideas to buy a gift for someone (or for yourself), here are a few of my favorite things. No marketing here -- I paid full price for everything and get nothing if you buy. Links are suggested places to buy -- you may find lower prices elsewhere.

"Beauty" Stuff

Aquage Uplifting Foam -- My hair always needs "uplifting" -- it's very fine and flat. I blow it dry and it has body for 5 minutes (1 minute if I go outside). This is the only mousse that leaves my hair puffy all day long. Just be sure to dry your hair completely.

Dove Dermaseries Dry Skin Relief Face Wash -- Once I got old (HA), my skin got very dry and always had an uncomfortable tight feeling. The only thing I found that left my skin soft was Estee Lauder's Tender Creme Cleanser. It was expensive and my family would give it to me for Christmas and my birthday, but then Estee Lauder stopped selling it. I tried a LOT of skin cleansers since then, and finally found one that works. My skin is not tight! And I get it at the grocery store.

Dial Marula Oil Body Wash -- Same issue with the rest of my skin! This is great stuff, but I always make sure to let the water in the shower run an extra few seconds so that the floor is not slippery. Another grocery store find.


I'm reluctant to recommend books because our preferences vary so much, but here are a few just in case you are looking...

The House of God by Samuel Shen 

This classic, irreverent, novel does to medicine what MASH did to the military. Written by a real intern at a real hospital in Boston, it is both comic and tragic. If you want to know (and you may not) what it is really like to be a doctor in training or a patient at a big city hospital, read this and get ready to laugh (and cry).

When the author, who uses a pen name, finally revealed who he is, the academic medical community shunned him. However, as the years went by, it became a must read for all medical students.

The Chosen and The Promise, by Chaim Potok 

The first, The Chosen, is a coming of age novel about two boys growing up in New York City in a tight ultra orthodox Jewish community, and their struggles dealing with their respective fathers and the secular community. The Promise continues the story into their professional and personal lives. I fell in love with the two boys. I've read these books many times as the characters, plot, and information about the Hasidic Jewish community are fascinating. I think it's time to read them again.

Rosie's All-Butter Fresh Cream Sugar-Packed Baking Book  My mom's theory on knitting was that, if she was going to take the time to knit something, she might as well use the best yarn she could find. That's my theory on baking. If I'm going to make cookies, cheesecake, etc. I want real butter, real everything.

Every recipe I've tried is fantastic. Two are standouts -- Cream Cheese Poundcake and Brownie Cheesecake. The latter is my family's favorite dessert. I've make it so many times I don't need to read the recipe anymore!


Azul  It's a board game using tiles. We love it and everyone we've played it with loves it as well. Easy to learn and play, hard to beat my son!

Simple Houseware Microfiber Cleaning Cloths  This is such a small thing, but I really like these so much. I use them every day for something -- including cleaning my stamps.

For stamp cleaning, I use water or rubbing alcohol. Inks will stain the cloths but the stains don't affect their use. BTW,  I've used rubbing alcohol (very cheap) for years to clean my stamps and all my stamps are fine. HINT: try cleaning your stamps the regular way and then clean them again with rubbing alcohol and see all the dirt on the cloth.

I also use them for dusting, washing kitchen counters, sinks, etc. I use them to dry the glass shower door and the tiles after a shower. I use them all day (I need to stop cleaning.)!  After I bought these, I cut my use of paper towels by about 75%. The towels are soft, cheap, and can be thrown in the washer and dryer.


Would love to know if you have anything you'd like to recommend! 


Leslie Miller said...

I clicked on everything to check it out and then ended up at Bath and Body Works. It was your post that made me think of it. I have one person I'm putting together a gift basket for and this was a help. Thanks!

SmilynStef said...

Thanks for the game idea ... just sent it to my nieces. I'm always looking for things they can enjoy together.

luvhymns said...

I wrote down books to read, skin product to try, and above all, rubbing alcohol as my stamp cleaner..... Gee, it feels like Christmas!!!! Thanks so much!

Diana K said...

My favourite things about this post are: first, and foremost, your disclosure statement. Ha! Second, the House of God book recommendation. The face wash that I use is Spectro Cleanser, the Canadian equivalent of Cetaphil but so much better. Happy holidays to you and yours, Joan. Hugs.

Lisa said...

Thank you for your recommendations! I will be getting the game for my mom and step-father; they'll love it. I have microfiber cloths all over my house; one might say it's an addiction. So glad you included a link to those. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Marie said...

So, I am a redhead (naturally, enhanced by Christopher the last ten years), and I have really light colored lashes. They are fairly long and not too thin. I love Maybelline New York Lash Discovery Waterproof Mascara. It does not flake and it's pretty much waterproof. All it does is add color to my lashes. It comes off easily with soap and water. I shower every other day so I also love Costco, Kirkland Signature Daily Facial Towelettes. I only use them every other day; to get off the powder and the mascara that bleeds overnight. (don't wear foundation) I am not embarrassed to say that I wash my face in the morning. I don't do it before bed and my skin is just fine. (I dry and save the towelettes and they get a second use on our boat for greasy bilge projects. LOL)

I love windex and a toothbrush for cleaning my wedding/engagement ring. I don't do it nearly often enough; but when I sparkles.

I love Organic Mixed Vegetables from Costco. (Frozen) We eat them at least three times a week. Our favorite side dish is some ditalini noodles, cooked al dente; mixed in with the veggies that I have sauteed in olive oil. YUM

Caramel M&M's. My family does not like them; I think they're great!

Haven't been reading lately. Missed you Joan!

Karen @ Misplaced Mojo said...

Great suggestions! I'll be trying the mousse for sure as I also have very fine hair. I have 2 recommendations of my own. FurryFreshness pet stain and smell remover.... its not a "cleaner" nor is it a "enzyme" treatment. It works based on a chemistry process using a high potentency hydrogen peroxide and other ingredients that break down the organic matter naturally. Nothing toxic; its easy and quick, and I swear it performs miracles. A blogger recommended {Thrifty Decor Chick}, with pictures of the before and afters. I had to try and I am a huge fan of this product now. Even worked on coffee stains that every other product couldn't touch. Amazon carries it but its cheaper at

My other recommendation isn't for everyone, only those that suffer from yeast infections or bacterial vaginitis. Its NutraBlast Boric Acid Vaginal Suppositories. I've struggled with both for decades and this stuff is nothing short of miraculous!!! It has seriously changed my life. I was hesitant to try it but am so glad I finally did and am kicking myself for not trying sooner. If anyone suffers from those problems, especially chronic reoccurrences, try this stuff ASAP. You'll feel better in mere hours and works long term. Simply amazing. Its funny, I never talked about my issues with friends before but now I'm sharing this with everyone I know cause I am so impressed. That's all I got. Hoping others chime in too!

Andrew and Bertha Pilgrim said...

Thanks so much for the great tip on rubbing alcohol! I have had dried ink on my stamp tool for over a year and nothing would get it off (not even their suggested cleaner). Rubbing alcohol took it off in seconds. Rubber stamps next! Do you think clear stamps would be ok too?

Under Miscellaneous I would recommend a computer game that I recently discovered at a work game day. I thought it was so good I purchased it for my nephews. It is called "Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes" by STEAM. It is a team game in which one person tries to describe various puzzles that s/he must solve in order to diffuse a bomb. Team members have to listen, use the manual and work together to help their teammate solve the puzzle. Good for problem solving, building camaraderie and getting to know those young ones who love computer games. Those who are interested can check it out at STEAM's online store:

Thanks again and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

Diane McVey said...

Great recommendations! Always helpful to know what works well for other women. Thank you!
My favorite thing now is Force Of Nature. It’s Hypochlorous acid you make yourself. It cleans and disinfects everything, and heals wounds!! Yes, the same product does both. It is amazing. Read about it at and see what you think. Ophthalmologists even use it in eyes. But of course they sell a tiny bottle of it for a very high price.
I want to read House Of God now, I must. I gave up all my stamping stuff when I moved, but I will still follow you and Anna Wight, both of whom I consider friends. Everyone else is unsubscribed. I can’t bear to see pretty cards too much, knowing my stamping days are over. Let’s hope I make some money at the estate sale in January. I certainly spent a fortune!

Unknown said...

THANK YOU SO much for sharing the post. Wanting more from you.