Once again, we’re back with one of our favorite blog posts of the year – The CMteam Favorite Things! Many of the team members are sharing with you their top three or four favorite items and why they love them so. Everyone loves a little enabling right?!
1. NATIVE UNION Pop Phone Handset: I’m a product of the 80’s and the only way I feel comfortable on the phone is with my big ol’ handset. This one plugs into my iPhone and looks super cool while driving around town.
2. Anthropologie “K” Mug: I received this as a gift from my son, Charlie, on Mother’s Day. It’s the perfect mug – white interior (a must for me), large base, and it’s a little larger than the average mug.
3. Oragins VitaZing™: Great everyday lotion with a little extra glow and vibrance, so my skin looks fresh even when I don’t do the whole make-up thing.
1. MAC Liquidlast Liner: I’m still on the hunt for the perfect mascara, but I have found THE world’s best ultrablack liquid eyeliner. Fine line, smudge-free, and it stays on forever … I can go to sleep with it on and wake up with eye makeup still flawless.
2. H2EO Ultrasonic Diffuser: Who doesn’t appreciate a house that smells amazing? Since I have young children, I love that the cold mist technology is super safe for them and uses all natural essential oils. I pair it with the NOW Foods essential oils that I order through Amazon: lemon to make the house smell clean, cinnamon when I want a comforting scent, and peppermint to keep my mind fresh and alert when I’m working in my office. I also have one in my boys’ room that we use with lavender essential oil to relax them as they fall asleep.
3. The Hopper: I wouldn’t call myself a couch potato, but I definitely like my TV when I’m working in the evening. Skipping commercials is nice. Pausing in one room and picking a show up in the next is fine. But the reason I am obsessed with the Hopper is because it tapes EVERY network show from 7p-10p … which means I never miss a thing, there’s always something new to watch, and the only thing I have to set on my DVR is a little bit of USA, a lot of BRAVO, and some Disney/Nick/PBS (WordGirl, anyone?) for the kids. Heaven.
4. Pasta Boat: I was skeptical, too, but this thing is amazing! No more waiting for water to boil or constantly testing for “al dente” in those last few minutes before pasta turns to mush. Water, pasta, microwave, built-in drainer, DONE! Love mine.
1. Pandora Radio: I love being able to listen to whatever type of music fits my mood at the time… these days my station is pretty much set to Dave Barnes Holiday.
2. Handstamped Charm Necklace from Vintage Pearl: I have the small circle stamped with the names of the 5 people in our family, and the outer circle is stamped with a saying that is especially meaningful to me. The charms paired with a 24 in chain go with anything from jeans and a t-shirt to something more dressy and put together. I wear this necklace several times a week, and I love that it’s both stylish and personal.
3. Pinterest: I could get completely lost in the inspiration found on Pinterest! I think I use the search function in Pinterest just as much as Google these days when I’m looking for a new recipe, DIY project, or ideas for decorating my home. Some of my personal Pinterest successes this year are this, this and this.
1. Gumdrop Case for iPad: This case has paid for itself several times over. Our iPad has survived 4 foot falls off of the counter onto a tile floor and multiple other small falls as well. I love the built in screen protector as well… it’s easy to wipe off all of the toddler mess when an adult would like a turn with the iPad.
2. Hidden Fox Teacup: My brother just gave this to me for my birthday in October, and I love it! Larger than a traditional coffee mug, white (yay!!), and has a really nice tapered lip on it that allows for easy sipping with no annoying drips down the side. All that and a super cute touch of whimsy.
3. Lancome La vie est belle perfume: Sweet, but not too sweet, warm and embracing. A really lovely scent for the winter months.
1. DataPro 5GB Personal Hotspot Plan through AT&T: This allows me to get on the internet on devices that don’t have service plans. I absolutely love the convenience of it. I’m not a huge fan of the mobile version of websites because they are often missing features I use. I bring my laptop around with me everywhere because of this. It makes it so convenient to do all my CM stuff now. A little unknown secret to my kids, they could watch their own movie in the car on the iPods linking to my service.
2. Pinhole Press Magnets: My refrigerator is glossy black. When we got it, we quickly found out that magnets were a huge no-no. Then I discovered Pinhole Press magnets at WPPI. The photo quality is outstanding and its a soft magnet perfect for my fridge. Now, I want to do a whole collage on it! I love there new M is for Mama set. How cute would a couple of these sets be for a toddler learning her abc’s?!?!
3. Paperless App: I love to make lists. This app is so fun because you can choose your own icon from so many. My Target list has a target for an icon-love it. As you check things off, they disappear to the bottom. Its so handy! I have lists for groceries, to-do, Target, photo ideas, etc all with cute little icons. Did I mention I love the icons, lol.
1. Origins Rain and Shine Liptint: The only lipstick I’ll ever wear. It’s super smooth and a great moisturizer, too.
2. MiniBoden Jammies for Girls (no longer available): My kids like these because they are super soft and the patterns are cute. I love them because they are thick and wash really well!
3. Etsy: Seriously, who does not love Etsy. You can find whatever you want or someone who will make it for you. The only downside is that you can get easily distracted and end up finding many more “must haves” than you originally intended.
4. Crewcuts for Boys: I can order almost anything there for my son and know that it will fit well and stand the test of time. Plus, their clothes are super cute!
1. MacBook Air: A desktop for editing is a must but the mobility that comes from a laptop is freeing. I love being able to sit outside and browse the internet (okay, facebook and CM) and work on my blogging while the kids ride their bikes and graffiti the driveway with sidewalk chalk. My productivity has increased since getting my first laptop in well over three years!
2. Click and Kinfolk Magazines: Magazines are something I’ve always loved. While I know that digital versions are better for the environment, there is nothing quite like snuggling up in a warm, quiet spot in your home and flipping through your favorite magazine. Click and Kinfolk are the only two subscriptions I have but I also love picking up Martha Stewart, Food Network, Real Simple, and National Geographic at the newsstand. Once in a while I’ll also grab a fashion magazine or two.
3. Opteka 5 in 1 Reflector: I love shooting with a reflector. Absolutely love it! I resisted for a very long time, thinking I didn’t need one but I was wrong. One of my favorite ways to shoot is to set my subject up with some great backlighting and then use the reflector to pop some light back onto their face which helps with clarity and dimension. I also love that I can take the reflector part off and just use the scrim for diffusing the strong light.
4. CrockPot (I have this one in white): What’s a kitchen without a slow cooker? This is my favorite way to make a good, home-cooked dinner when I know time will not be on my side. While some of my favorite meals include marinara sauce, taco chicken bowls, beef pot roast, and chicken caesar sandwiches, I can’t wait to try recipes like crock pot bread and spinach lasagna.
1. Downton Abbey: I know I was one of the last women on the planet to tune in but just in case there’s still anyone out there who’s not watching, you need to get it now so that you’re ready for season 3 (coming in January 2013)! It’s so good that I gave up sleep to watch the first two seasons over the course of 48 hours.
2. Sticky Albums: This has taken word of mouth marketing to the next level for me. I loved the idea from the beginning but when my clients started sharing them with strangers at the park and those people began to book me, I was sold!
3. Bare Minerals Round the Clock Eyeliner: This is the best waterproof eye pencil that I have ever used. It goes on like butter and stays put all day (and if you’re bad about washing your face at night, you’ll be good to go the next day too). I love 9 pm Chocolate Suede!
1. ThinkFun Rush Hour Jr.: We took a 15-hour road trip this summer, so I searched high and low to find things that would keep our kids entertained along the way. It’s hard to find non-electronic games that can be played in the car, but this one is perfect! Everything comes in a small bag, you can easily set the game on your lap to play, and it’s terrific that it’s a single player game. My six-year-old loves it!
2. Linen Pinboard: When we turned our dining room into a playroom, I knew I wanted some kind of bulletin board or magnet board that would hold all of our daughter’s school papers and artwork. I wanted something functional but also something that looked nice, that was fairly neutral, and that was good quality. This pinboard from Pottery Barn was the perfect solution! I have two of the small size in our playroom now – one for school papers and reminders, and one for artwork – and I absolutely love them and the way they work with the rest of our playroom decor. They’re expensive to ship, but if you wait for Pottery Barn to have a free shipping sale, you can save quite a bit!
3. Clarisonic Mia: I finally broke down and joined all the other people who already knew how amazing the Clarisonic is, and I’m so happy that I did! My skin feels so clean every time I use it, it’s easy to use, and it’s easy to clean. I just wish I had jumped on the bandwagon sooner!
1. NARS Powder Foundation SPF 12: I love this foundation because it is light, but still has great, even coverage. No messy liquid to deal with and the SPF 12 is a bonus! Seriously a must have!
2. Lenspen: This little device makes me happy! It is small, inexpensive and cleans my lenses quickly and efficiently! No more wiping them down with my shirt!
3. Apple iPhone 5: Need I say more? HAHA! I love this phone. It is so user friendly, it keeps me in touch with all my friends through social media, viewing my emails is a cinch and I am just all around more organized! Not to mention it is so PRETTY!!!! I would marry it if I could!
4. Pretty Much anything from RUCHE!: I am a big fan of their clothes, shoes and jewelry. They have the vintage inspired look and are so feminine and girly. Not to mention, their prices are so reasonable! I always get compliments on outfits I have bought from Ruche!
1. Crossfit: It’s an addiction, pure and simple. I never enjoyed working out until I started this … and it’s so amazing. Every workout is different. Every workout targets a different area. I have never been so strong and confident. I have made such amazing connections and friendships … all across the country … it’s a weird bond I can’t explain. They are my family. It rocks!
2. Birchbox: I love that I can get a customized box full of sample products to try each month … and often, they are ones I’d never buy on my own.
3. Amazon Prime: From the free shipping and great deals (free movie streaming, etc), it makes shopping so super easy since carting three kids to the store is so difficult these days.
4. Lululemon Wunder Under Crop: While I love all things lululemon, these are my absolute favorite item. I love that these crops are super thick, short enough for flops but long enough to be worn under my Uggs.
1. Moroccan Oil: I use this after every time I wash my hair, on both myself and my kids. It lasts forever (a little bit goes a looong way), smells great, and leaves my hair shiny and healthy!!
2. Status Anxiety’ Wallet: I received this wallet in tan as a Birthday gift, and it was love at first sight!! It is the perfect balance of space and storage, without all the bulk!!
3. Annies ‘Audrey Lu’ Camera Bag in Aqua: I love this bag! The color is gorgeous, and the fact that it is real leather was a big win for me. It comfortably fit’s my D700 (gripped), and three lenses, and still has room for my phone, wallet and lip gloss etc. There is a dedicated iPad pocket at the back, too – which may even hold my copy of ‘Click’ Magazine!
4. DeLonghi CitiZ & milk Nespresso Machine: This machine is so easy!! It’s quick, quiet, requires minimal effort and it looks gorgeous!! And what’s more, the coffee is delicious. Rosabaya de Colombia is my favourite flavour.
1. Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets: These are beyond soft and so big…perfect for swaddling newborn babies and also comforting older ones as they grow! My boys have just loved these. I always give Aden + Anais blankies to new mommy friends and suggest them to my newborn clients. I’ve even started to stock up for my new little one!
2. Rocket Dog Flats: I have almost a dozen pair, in all colors and patterns. They fit my feet sooooo wonderfully, are super comfortable, cute and affordable!! What more could you want in a shoe!?
3. Canon 5D MarkIII: This is an INCREDIBLE camera. I’ve always been a Canon-girl and was very happy with my MarkII but this camera takes the cake! With the majorly improved focus system and outrageous ISO capabilities I am in LOVE.
1. YSL Touche Eclat: This hides even my worst under eye circles and helps to camouflage lines! It’s really silky and smooth and doesn’t get chalky or icky in lines.
2. iPad: I use it with clients in conjunction with my apple tv to view slideshows that I created with Animoto. I also use it for reading, checking email on the go. Of course I also love the CM app, grocery lists, recipes, kid activities and pretty much everything… I don’t go anywhere without it!
3. Frye Paige Tall Riding Boots: I love these because they have no heel and are crazy comfortable. I have been wearing them to shoots as well as just regular every day errands and couldn’t be happier!
4. Note Books: I know that is probably silly, but I’m a list maker and a note taker, so I use a ton of notebooks. I love these and also love her planners!
1. Moleskin Mini Ruled Notebooks: I just love these little things! I write a lot about my girls everyday and I use these journals to jot funnies down that they say. These notebooks are the perfect size to keep in my bag and the colors are great. My girls have one of their own, too. They like to draw pictures and write little stories as well. If you came over right now you’d see a couple of these cuties lying around.
2. Olloclip for iPhone: LOVE!!!! It’s easy to pop on and off and also comes with a cute little case.
3. Pure Raw All Natural Clover Honey from Bullfrog Bees: It is delicious! Right now, we are gobbling up their honey that has a kick of habanero. It is the perfect little combination, but don’t feed it to your little ones. Or your cat.
4. Bose SoundDock for iPod: Probably my MOST favorite of my Favorite Things. We may or may not have three of them. We listen to music a lot and this sound dock has an amazing sound quality. It’s also portable so we take it outside while playing, too. We’ve even taken it to the park, the beach, and the pool. When I was in business, I took it on shoots and played music that the little kids loved. You know, like The Hokey Pokey, Justin Bieber, Metallica and the like. This sound dock also comes with a nice case.
1. Nik Silver Efex Pro: Used in creating black and white images, this program is just amazing. It’s way more than just a conversion or action. I love being able to fine tune any section of an image (instead of just global adjustments).
2. Sirius XM Radio: This was always one of those things I never thought I really needed, I was fine without it. When we bought a new car last year, it came with a month-long free trial. I was immediately hooked, and signed right up. I love having access to my favorite music styles, commercial free, any time I want.
3. This iPhone 5 case: I have the champagne gold case. It’s sleek, pretty, and sparkly – need I say more?
1. ExpoDisc: I started using my neutral ExpoDisc in September and I’m totally hooked! My SOOC shots are spot on, cutting my post processing time down a ton!
2. Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher: I use this along with other Estee Lauder products as part of my skin care regimen and it makes my skin unbelievably smooth. It smells fantastic, too!
3. Tim Hortons Coffee: My absolute favorite coffee! Just because I live in Texas doesn’t mean I can’t drink Canadian coffee! We always have a few tins of these at home.
1. Uno de 50 Bracelet: I adore my Uno de 50 bracelet that my lovely hubby bought me while I was in Spain. I also got earrings and two necklaces from there – love their stuff.
2. CM Ketti Camera Bag: And how could I forget this; I’m so, so loving it!
3. NARS The Multiple: I also LOVE NARS The Multiple in Portofino. I use it on my eyes, cheeks, lips – everything.
And that’s it, some of our absolute favorite things! What are some of your favorites? Please share them in the comments below; we can always use a few new great products to add to our lists!