A friend of mine made a list of some of her favorite things and I'm stealing that idea :) You can check her favorites out here! But, "these are a few of my favorite things" [side note - name that musical!]
Disclaimer: some of these are actually things and they are definitely luxuries. No necessities listed (except number 8).
1. www.memverse.com My husband's dad introduced us to this website for memorizing scripture. You can add verses as you please, or use their list of commonly memorized verses. You can test your verse memory, practice memorizing verses, or quiz your reference recall. The website has a system for tracking how long it takes you to memorize a verse and continues to "quiz" you on it and gives you new verses according to your pace. Not very high tech, but pretty great for an alternative to flash cards (which I still love!)
2. I love browsing this website for decorating ideas. Although not the easiest to navigate, its fun design ideas for small spaces make up for its inefficient website layout.
3. We live in a typical, old Chicago apartment. Detailed window trimmings, high ceilings, arched doorways, open kitchen/ dining/ living layout, no closets, radiators, window air conditioner, kick-butt fire place... with grimy walls, cracked ceiling paint, and floors that would be dusty even if I scrubbed them daily. The sweep, dry swiffer, wet swiffer routine got old very fast and we invested in a vacuum. I LOVE having a vacuum. We have the shark navigator, which I'd highly recommend for both wood floors and carpet.
4. Sally Hansen Maximum Growth plus quick dry top coat. What a name! (You'd think they could come up with something easier.) I put this on top of every self-given manicure and pedicure. Dries fast and keeps the color looking good for at least week. (It also makes it difficult for me to pick off the nail polish... a habit I'm trying to kick!) It also prevents my nails from breaking so easily. A small and unnecessary thing, but hey... it's something I love to have around.
5. Mary Kay face wash and moisturizer. I am not one to spend a ton of money on cosmetics, hair product, etc... But, I recently was hooked on to using Mary Kay Time Wise facial cleanser and moisturizer. Background - I attempted selling Mary Kay in high school (big mistake for a high school student) and loved using velocity. But, I was poor and it's not cheap so when I ran out, I just started buying stuff at Walmart. No shame in that. Recently, I've been so irritated by the dry skin on my forehead and around my nose. A friend's sister gave me a great deal to just try Mary Kay and I LOVE it. Clearly, I'm a walking advertisement. Worth the investment, especially if you have sensitive skin. The girl I bought mine from is sweet, accomodating, and flexible. She gave me a great price and delivered the stuff to my house before I even wrote her a check :) She has also shipped things to me in the mail, for those of you who are not in the Chicago area. E-mail me [email@example.com] for her contact info.
6. Affordable, yet amazing camera. My dad works for Canon, so the brand was a no-brainer (although, I have to say, Nikon makes a great camera). This camera was a Christmas gift for my sweet husband and I, and my parents got a great deal on the price at Best Buy (it was even cheaper than the Canon company discount). Mom and Dad have the digital EOS rebel (one of the professional line cameras) and the picture quality on ours is comparable... of course, I am no professional photographer. The reaction time is quick. It has all sorts of different settings (with explanations for newbies) and it has a 12x regular zoom! (The digital zoom goes even farther, although it tends to get blurry at that point.) Most small digital cameras have only a 4x or 5x zoom. I highly recommend this camera to anyone in the market :)
7. This recipes website is a great source for new recipes of any kind. Everything I've tried from here is tasty. Plus, you can keep your recipes in a digital file on their website (a pretty common feature on recipe websites) and use a menu planner to help consolidate ingredients you buy at the grocery store. Handy if you're on a budget!
8. Speaking of budget, everyone in the world should read Financial Peace and follow Dave Ramsey's plan for getting out of debt (including student loans and mortgages), staying out of debt, purchasing items with cash, and sticking to a budget. If you take only his budget advance, you will be a happy camper :) Check out his website! The website has lots of free articles, tools for budgeting, and more... enjoy!
9. Universal remote. Ours was $10 at target. Why have separate remotes for the tv, dvd, wii, stereo, and cable when you could just have 1? I was at my parents' house this weekend and my mom and I were trying to watch a movie. They have multiple remotes (tsk tsk tsk) and the dvd remote is so small, she was operating it upside down and had no idea. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure why anyone has more than 1 remote control...
10. Standing kitchenaid mixer. Mine is 5-quart and light yellow! They have a large variety of sizes and colors... the bottom line is I have a coffee cake recipe that calls for you to mix the batter for 25-30 minutes. With a standing mixer, I could go for a run while it's mixing. (Haha that was a ridiculous example - I have never gone for a run while the batter was mixing, but you get the point...) My college roommate snagged hers at a garage sale for less than $50.00. Keep your eye out for one this summer, otherwise, make the investment - totally worth it!
Do I have more favorites? Yep! but this list is long enough.... what are some of your favorites?