A Few of My Favorite Things {January 2015}

posted by Andrea | 01/5/2015

favorite things 1-15

Happy New Year! 

Since I took over a week off from the blog between Christmas and New Years (more on that later this week) I ALMOST decided to skip my Favorite Things post this month – I just have so many other posts to squeeze in this month!

However, since so many of you have told me (over and over again) how much you really enjoy these posts, and since I have a bunch of favorites to share with you again, I decided that I’d figure out a way to pack everything in this month.

Here are a few of my favorite things for the month of January… and as always, be sure to check out some of my favorite things from past months.

DISCLOSURE: None of these products are sponsored in any way; however, some of the links below are affiliate links — which means that at no cost to you, I may get a VERY small commission. However, I hope you know that I’m only promoting the products below because I use them daily in my own home and life. Read my full disclosure policy for more information.

Smart Phone Gloves

smartphone gloves

This year, my Christmas gift to myself was a pair of gloves. However, they aren’t just any gloves… they are SmartPhone gloves.

That means, they have a little something special on the tips of thumb and index fingers that somehow allows you to use your smartphone without taking the gloves off.

I’ve been wanting these for a while now, but I figured they were expensive. So when I saw the pairs of cotton gloves for $1.50 at Kohl’s, I just couldn’t pass up that deal.

They aren’t perfect — but I’m amazed at how well they work, and I’ve enjoyed using my phone outside or while riding in the car without the need to remove my gloves!

Netflix

netflix

I know I’ve mentioned Netflix on my blog before, but I’ve never officially included it in My Favorite Things list… until today! We have been using Netflix for about a year now — and we are totally hooked (note: I did not say “obsessed” or “addicted”)

We still have plenty of boundaries for ourselves and for Nora, but having the ability to watch our favorite shows whenever we want with no commercials is SO awesome!

We actually got Dave’s parents a subscription (along with a Chromecast) for Christmas and I’m thinking they’ll enjoy it too. Oh, and in case you’re wondering how Netflix works with Chromecast, check out this post to see how we pair these two together.

Large Utility Tote

large utility tote

I’ve been using the Large Utility Tote from ThirtyOne for almost two years now — and I absolutely LOVE it! I use it all the time. We use it for packing up all our beach/pool towels and gear, for bringing food and gifts to parties, packing for weekend trips, and so much more.

To be perfectly honest, I probably would not have been willing to spend the $35 to buy it myself, but I’m sure thankful I got it as a gift because boy have I gotten a lot of use out of that gift! The bag is ENORMOUS, but extremely light-weight and pretty flexible so you can really pack it full.

Oh, and for the record, I have absolutely NO affiliation with ThirtyOne, I’ve never even been to a party, and I am not able to promote specific ThirtyOne consultants or parties here on my blog (so please don’t email me if you sell ThirtyOne 🙂 )

Industrial Storage Shelves

shelves

Last month, I shared my favorite big organizing tubs with you — and mentioned that we keep them on shelves in our basement. Well, several of you asked about our shelves — so I figured I’d share those with you this month.

We absolutely LOVE our storage shelves (and we’ve had them for at least 6 years, in 2 houses, and in many different configurations).

Not only are they very strong and sturdy (they can hold up to 800 pounds PER shelf!), they are also easily customizable to fit almost any configuration you need.

shelf configuration

These are essentially the only storage shelves we have and they have definitely worked well for us over the past few  years. The best part is that they aren’t even that expensive! We got ours from Menards (several years ago) for about $40 per set. It looks like they are currently on sale for $70 a set — which in my opinion isn’t too bad considering how much they can hold!

Stackable Cooling Racks

cooling rack

I received a set of 3 stackable cooling racks as a wedding gift… and my first reaction was to return them as I didn’t think they were necessary. However, after I realized I would get less than $10 if I returned them to Bed Bath and Beyond, I decided to hang onto them after all.

Over the last 8.5 years, I have used my set of stackable cooling racks HUNDREDS of times. I keep my cooling racks very easily accessible at all times because it’s not abnormal for me to get them out on a daily basis.

They are so handy when I do a lot of baking in one day — or even if I’m just running short on counter space. I also love that they fold up so nicely so they hardly take up any room in my cabinets.

Cooling-Racks-1

That’s all for me this month.

Make sure you check out my previous months’ favorite things — and feel free to share some of YOUR favorite things in the comments below!

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19 comments

  1. Deborah

    01/06/2015

    I absolutely love my 31 totes and my other bags I have from there. Very high on my fave list!

    I have stackable cooling racks from Pampered Chef. They have bars running both ways so it makes a grid and holds baked goods better. 🙂

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  2. Amanda

    01/05/2015

    We use everything on your post this month, lol! We have different shelves, but same principle – I actually use them as part of pantry in my basement (cans/jars of food can get heavy, so we wanted something really sturdy), since our house had some great wood shelves built in our storage area that are perfect for my plastic bins.

    The medium and large utility totes get tons of use around here. My favorite use is during my grocery shopping. They always make the trip. The medium is the perfect size for pool trips in the summer. I have 2 mediums and 1 large. Honestly, I have a slight 31 bag problem – fun prints and useful bags… I can’t help myself, lol.

    For Netflix, we actually set our toddler up with his own profile, which is perfect, because we can better control what he’s watching and hand him our tablet if we just need 20-30min to do something (or when I’m feeding his infant brother)

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh, I never thought about using the utility tote for grocery shopping — I feel like mine would get too heavy unless it was filled with cereal and crackers or something. Also, we have a separate “kids” account for Netflix for the same reasons you stated 🙂

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    Amanda Reply:

    We have an attached garage, so if I do put cans and what not in it, I make my husband bring it in, lol. Usually I put boxed goods or other lighter items in it. I have the big thermal too that I take if I know I’m buying a lot of frozen, otherwise, I use one for fridge/freezer stuff (minus milk, because that does make it too heavy to carry) – I like to keep cold stuff together a) so it stays colder and b) it makes it easier to put away when I get home

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  3. Diana

    01/05/2015

    Any chance you have a picture of the cooling racks when they’re folded? I need some of these, but want to make sure they will fit in my cabinet.
    BTW – I have all the things on this list! We have 5 of those shelving units and they are awesome. And they have those gloves at the dollar store!

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    Amanda Reply:

    They seriously take up next to no space when they’re folded… maybe a couple of inches for the 3

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    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Diana, Yes, these shelves take up only about 3″ when all folded up together. You can see them folded up in the bottom right corner of this picture. Actually, you might not even see them at first because I keep our mini muffin tins on top of them — and they take up so little space!

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  4. Shawn

    01/05/2015

    Funny thing is 2 of my favorite things this month is Netflix and the chromecast. We got both for Christmas and are enjoying it since we haven’t had cable/dish for a few years. I love that the kiddos can watch shows that are more age appropriate!

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    Andrea Reply:

    ah! we LOVE netflix + chromecast!

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  5. Jane

    01/05/2015

    We have 6 of the storage shelves and they are deep and strong!

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    Andrea Reply:

    wow 6 shelves! You guys have a big family and older kids though — I’m sure we’ll need to add to our stash soon enough!

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    Jane Reply:

    Yes, it sounds awful, doesn’t it? Two shelves are dedicated to my son’s music and sound equipment (and he finally thinned out the entire corner of the basement!) Two shelves are miscellaneous keepsake toys in bins, some of my inventory and supplies and the last two my husband has claimed. He keeps tons of things in copy paper boxes – all labeled and easy to throw things in – rags, wires, light bulbs, etc…. My kids all have one large plastic bin in the attic for treasures/keepsakes. However, there are some toys we hope to save for our grandkids and/or give to our kids. Otherwise, we are always on constant thinning out….which is why I look to you for inspiration!

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    Andrea Reply:

    no, it doesn’t sound awful!
    and yes, we’re always “thinning out” as you put it — I totally love that phrasing too 🙂

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  6. Kimberley

    01/05/2015

    As always, all the stuff you show on these posts are awesome! Just wanted to say I appreciate you taking the time to write these every month since you give me some great ideas…

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Kimberley!

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  7. Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving

    01/05/2015

    We have the same shelves from Menards in our basement, and got them several years ago at a similar sale price. I love them! A couple of my pantry boards have warped slightly but we can replace those. The shelves themselves are so sturdy! Oh, and we’re now a Netflix family ourselves, on a family plan with my brother and sister (both out of state). It makes Netflix even more affordable for all that we get!

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    Andrea Reply:

    we were actually on Netflix family plan with my sister too, but now just switched to a family plan with Dave’s parents. So frugal 🙂

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  8. Danielle

    01/05/2015

    My mom gave me a couple of those totes and I love them. They are great for bringing in groceries and helped when packing up christmas gifts to travel.

    I used to have those stackable cooling racks too and left them behind with my mom back when I went to college and just haven’t gown another set since I bake less now but they are awesome for small spaces.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, we used the totes for every single christmas party this year — so handy!

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