A Few Of My Favorite Things {December 2014}

posted by Andrea | 12/1/2014

favorite things december

Here are a few of my favorite things for the month of December… 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.

Oral-B Power Toothbrush

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I’ve been using the Oral-B Power Toothbrush since high school (I have replaced mine a few times over the years). I LOVE this toothbrush! It’s like the perfect “middle ground” between a regular toothbrush and the super-expensive rechargeable toothbrushes that I personally don’t see spending money on any time soon.

I can always find great deals on the replacement heads, and I really feel like this brush cleans my teeth extremely well.

replacement heads

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Sur La Table Mixing Bowls

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I actually received this set of Sur La Table mixing bowls (pronounce ‘sir-lah-tahb’) as a hand-me-down from an older friend who was purging her kitchen around the time Dave and I got married. Since I loved red, I happily agreed to take them off her hands.

NINE years later, they are still my most favorite mixing bowls. 

They are extremely lightweight, microwave and dishwasher-safe, non-breakable, stackable, and come with a convenient pour spout and handle. They also have a rubber grip on the bottoms so they don’t slip.

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Yes To Intense Repair Hand Cream

hand lotion

This time of year, I’m ALWAYS on the look-out for good, thick, moisturizing hand cream to heal my super-duper dry hands.

I’ve used a variety of brands over the year, but just recently switched over to the Yes To brand thanks to my recent ePantry orders. I’ve been very pleased with how well it has worked on my overly-washed, dry hands — and it’s VERY light scent is perfect for my taste (even Dave uses it).

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Britax Marathon Car Seat

I’ve shared some information about our car seats in this post — but since that post, Simon has outgrown his infant carrier and has made the switch to a convertible car seat. We now own FOUR Britax Marathon car seats (two for each vehicle) — and no, we didn’t pay full price for any of them!

We got one brand new (for free) from our insurance company back when we had our accident 2 years ago. After I realized how much we loved this car seat, I searched for another one on Craigslist — it didn’t take me long to find a really nice one for a great deal.

When Simon made the switch to a convertible car seat, I found 2 more matching seats also on Craigslist.

I could literally list 20-30 things we love about this seat, but my two favorites are:

  1. It’s convertible (rear or forward facing) and will accommodate infants from 5 pounds all the way up to 70 pound children!
  2. All the adjustments can take place without undoing the straps. Just push a button to raise or lower the shoulder straps — done!

Oh, and I guess my #3 reason I love these car seats is because both our kids seem to really like them 🙂

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66 Qt. Sterilite Storage Tubs

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I don’t purchase many storage containers — because I’d honestly rather purge and save my money 🙂 However, there is some stuff we do need to store (like a few memorabilia items, minimal holiday decorations, a few baby items, extra light bulbs and batteries, etc.)

For the things I want/need to store, I have approximately 10 of these Sterilite 66 quart rectangular storage containers with latching lids. We keep most of them on storage shelves in the basement, but a couple are also upstairs in a large storage closet we have. (NOTE: I only paid a few bucks for each one from Target… so the Amazon price is definitely not the best one I’ve seen.)

I love that they are rectangular so there is very little wasted space. Plus, since they are all the same, they stack nicely and fit perfectly on our shelves. And I personally prefer clear storage containers because then I can see what’s inside.

I am SUPER happy with how these containers have held up and performed over the past 5+ years — and if I ever need to buy additional storage containers, it’s nice to know that Target has been carrying these exact tubs for years and years!

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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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27 comments

  1. Tiffany

    09/10/2017

    I’m thinking about getting the Britax Marathon. We just bought the Graco 4Ever and it pushing DDs head forward. So you can only imagine once she falls asleep that it hangs forward. Has head position ever been an issue with the Britax from the head rest thickness – while asleep or awake?

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  2. Tracy

    12/04/2014

    Thanks so much for this post! I just ordered the toothbrush for my preteen boy and I’m hoping it will eliminate the “get back in there and brush again!” daily argument!

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — well my favorite things don’t come with guarantees for pre-teen boys, but it’s worth a try 🙂

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  3. lyss

    12/03/2014

    I have very similar bowls and I love them, too! They look identical, although they are from Williams Sonoma. My only word of caution…I melted my largest one. I had dough rising and my oven was not warm enough. So…yes, I turned it on “for just a couple minutes” and yes, left the room. Duh, I know. So do not put bowls like this in the oven. Do not turn the oven on with towel covered dough inside. Bowls melt. Towels catch fire. The end. Okay, that wasn’t the end…I did throw a bowl full of water into the oven to put the fire out. lol

    While I’ve never tried the hand cream you mentioned, my favorite to use on my wintertime sensitive hands is made-on hard lotion. Any lotion with scents/chemicals/preservatives stings my hands. Other natural creams don’t help. But hard lotion is awesome! The only thing I’ve found to help my red/burning/raw hands.

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — thanks for the tip Lyss 🙂 My bowls clearly state “not oven safe” so I doubt I’ll be trying that any time soon 🙂

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  4. Erin Branscom

    12/02/2014

    Those are my favorite storage containers too! 🙂

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  5. Elisabeth

    12/01/2014

    Hi! love your posts. do you know the brand of Nora’s doll swing (was pictured in one of Simon’s month old posts….maybe 6 month post?)? My daughter really liked the swing. I was wondering if y’all like it.
    Thank you!

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    Andrea Reply:

    sorry, I have no idea about the swing. It doesn’t have a brand on it and my sister got it from a thrift store for $1 well over a year ago 🙁

    it’s really cool though because it can be a high chair, a swing, or a car seat!

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  6. Charlene

    12/01/2014

    Until the 3rd of December, Lowes has the Hefty 66-quart tote (clear with a red or white lid that latches) for $9.98, plus you get a free 15-quart latching lid storage tote.

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    Andrea Reply:

    cool — thanks for sharing! I honestly think I paid less than $5 a piece for my containers (but that was 5 years ago on a good sale!)

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  7. Kristen

    12/01/2014

    I love my sonicare toothbrush – definitely feel it was worth the money for the reduction in plaque I see on my teeth 😉 But I had an Oral-B power toothbrush left over when I switched brushes and I love to use it for cleaning the shower! Gets the grout and crevices clean pretty quickly.

    I was curious about the safety aspect of used carseats too. I guess you have to really trust the people selling them?? I have to hope no one would sell a carseat that had been in an accident, but I worry that people are dishonest or just don’t know better. I imagine I’ll probably always pay the extra $$ for my own peace of mind.

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  8. Liane

    12/01/2014

    The first time we went away in our motorhome I immediately discovered that hauling a truckload of kitchenware back and forth from our house to our motohome’s storage lot was a huge pain in the neck. I forgot stuff, broke stuff and was generally in a bad mood trying to cook anything other than grilling chicken breasts. Our coach is 15 minutes away from our home and our house is on a very steep street, so anything forgotten would either have to be retrieved from home in the truck, or just not be available. No way to stop by in a huge vehicle! So that leads me to this:

    I had to furnish an entire kitchen with duplicate items to what I had and loved at home. Except mixing bowls. My set of glass mixing bowls needed a similar solution. I found the red bowls at one of the big box discount stores – Marshalls or Home Goods, I forget which one.

    I LOVE those bowls and the bright red color is so festive! They are one of my favorite things too! Along with my red Le Creuset scrapers and spatulas.

    As far as the other goodies – I am going to try one of those toothbrushes. I have the rechargeable version but hate cords on my counter top so I was only charging when it was dead. Batteries are a great idea! Put that on my Christmas list!

    My kids are so old they predate car seats. I did have one for my granddaughter and we had to move it from car to car. Ugh. Genius- have seats for both cars and make them all the same. That way you only have to figure out how to work it once! You are soooo smart!!!

    p.s. I am so old I predate seat belts as standard equipment on family cars.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Glad you like the bowls too Liane! and if you hate the cords for the rechargeable toothbrush, you’ll LOVE the one in this post! I didn’t want the cords either so that’s why I opted for batteries 🙂

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  9. Aimee

    12/01/2014

    I love those mixing bowls, too. However, melamine products are not microwave safe. 🙁 http://www.doctoroz.com/article/dr-oz-kitchen-cleanout

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    MrsD Reply:

    Love that article Aimee! I’ve been wondering about the safety if melamine. Thank you!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for that link — maybe mine aren’t melamine because they say “Microwave safe” right on the bottom. I literally got my bowls (used) almost 10 years ago so the website link could have changed since then. I’m not 100% sure???

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    Lisa K. Reply:

    I did not click on the link, but from the picture they look like melamine bowls. “Microwave Safe” could mean you are able to use it in the microwave and it won’t melt, but not refer to the fact that chemicals in the melamine could be leaking into your food when heated. I’ve read that melamine is ok for cold foods, but should not be used for anything hot.

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  10. wilma

    12/01/2014

    loved the marathon, because it has the highest butt to shoulder height for a convertible seat. but, it’s super wide, so not great for three across. my boys grew out of them before three years (i always think those upper seat weight limits are useless, because height is the real indicator of how long a car seat will fit a kid). remember that the straps, when forward facing, cannot fall below shoulder height.

    if you’re looking for a five point harness (that converts to a high back booster), the “tallest” one is the britax frontier. my five year old still fit in the five point harness, before we had to switch to a booster (as the frontier is also super wide and we could not fit three across in our car). but i LOVED that seat. it had AT LEAST two more inches of strap height compared to ANY other seat (20 inches), which is a huge difference.

    the radian, on the other hand, only goes to about 18 inches, so my three year old is already on the top slot, which i don’t like. but, short of buying a bigger vehicle, we have to work with what fits in our car 🙁 good luck!

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    Andrea Reply:

    yes, Nora’s torso is REALLY long so I noticed that a friend’s carseat for an older child was already too small for Nora.

    Thanks for the tips on the high-back booster too 🙂

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  11. julie

    12/01/2014

    I think those storage containers would be tops on my list too! We bought a few for storing our dishes in while we were undergoing our kitchen renovation and have found them quite useful to have on-hand ever since.

    When we held my daughter’s birthday party at our local community center, i used a storage container to pack up everything we would need to bring with us (decorations, food, paper plates, etc.. ). And when we rented a condo this summer with my sister, i used one to pack the food and supplies we needed to bring along.

    So my advice? Keep at least one completely empty.

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — yes! We usually have at least 1 or 2 of our 10 tubs empty for “new” purposes 🙂

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  12. Jen

    12/01/2014

    YEAH for Britax! My dad used to work for them (after working for Graco Children’s Products for almost 40 years!) and we loved all their products! Needless to say, we always had an endless supply of “baby gear” for our kids!

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    Andrea Reply:

    wow — free baby gear is definitely a great perk for your dad! cool!

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  13. Kate

    12/01/2014

    We used to use marathons, since my daughter outgrew hers we switched to diono radians and like them even better. But car seats are one of the few things I would not buy used or on craigslist. Unless they come from a close friend, there is no way I would buy a used car seat. There is a reason the insurance company pays you to replace the seat after an accident, and you just can’t guarantee that someone isn’t trying to make a few extra dollars after the insurance company replaced theirs. (My insurance company made me hand mine in after our accident, before they would write me a check for the new ones, but I have a number of friends who have car seats they kept as “backup seats” after the insurance company replaced theirs post-collision).

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    Amanda Reply:

    Totally agree… unless I know the person they’re coming from really well, and could guarantee that they hadn’t been in an accident, I wouldn’t risk it. Even if you’re in a minor fender bender, the insurance company will replace them, because there’s a chance that the structure of the seat was compromised. I know someone w/ 3 kids – it actually cost the insurance company about the same amount of money to replace her seats asit did to fix their car after they were backed into in a parking lot.

    You can still find sales or coupons with enough regularity to not pay full price, but honestly, even if I had to pay full price, my kids safety is 100% worth it.

    We too love our Britax, although I sometimes it hard to pull the straps tight enough for my liking (so that seat is in my husband’s car). I actually have an Evenflo as the main seat in my car, because it has a knob to tighten, and I feel like I can get the straps tighter.

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  14. Beth

    12/01/2014

    In the winter I often put a 50/50 mix of raw sugar and coconut flakes (unsweetened of course!) by the sink.m after washing, scoop a small amount into Palm and massage over wet hands and rinse. Helps some with dry, itchy winter hands. Think I saw this on crunchybetty.com a few years ago. 🙂

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    Andrea Reply:

    this sounds lovely Beth! And I like that you have it all mixed up and ready to go right by the sink — that probably makes it much more convenient to use regularly!

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