A few of our favorite things: 2014 holiday edition

A few of our favorite things: 2014 holiday edition

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and time for our most favorite post of the year, the CMteam favorite things list. Perhaps not the most favorite post for our spouses or wallets though.

sarah wilkersons favorite things

  1. Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens: I’ve had and loved this lens for years, but in the past few months, it’s been on my camera more often than any other. Fast, versatile, and close focusing, it’s the perfect storytelling lens.
  2. Cold Brewed Coffee (Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, Chameleon, Stumptown, and local): I’ve always loved iced coffee, but I don’t have the patience to cold brew myself, and brewing it hot over ice results in a watered down disappointment. Bottled cold brew changes everything. I’ve tried a lot of varieties, and my favorites are Chameleon or Trader Joe’s for concentrates and Starbucks or Stumptown for a good, rich basic brew. My local coffee shop also carries cold brew growlers that they’ll refill for me whenever I go in.
  3. Sanuks Flip Flops: I’m a dedicated flip flop wearer, and I tried Sanuks earlier this year on the recommendation of several friends. They are a game-changer! The footbed is made out of an actual yoga mat, and the materials are all vegan. My favorite style is the Yoga Spree 2 (in every color!), though the original Yoga Joy flip flops in metallic gold are about as comfy-glam as flip flops can possibly be.
  4. Miquel-Rius Notebook and Jetstream Bold Retractable Pen: This is basically the world’s best note-taking, brainstorming, list-making system. The spiral notebook’s polypropylene cover is flexible and practically indestructible, the paper is crisp and super smooth, and the hybrid pen ink glides satisfyingly onto the page. Get the 6×8 — small enough to throw in your bag, big enough to do serious writing. Get the grid version if you’re into bullet journaling. You’ll want to write/work all day. No kidding. Just try it.

april nienhuis favorite things

  1. Madewell Transport Tote: I’m not one to buy myself a lot of purses but I splurged on this beauty and boy am I glad I did.
  2. A Million Little Ways book: This book was so encouraging to read. Even though I read it at the beginning of the year, it’s time to break it out and read it again.
  3. Marc Jacobs genius gel foundation: This makeup is worth the higher price tag. The coverage is fantastic and it doesn’t feel heavy on my face.
  4. Urban Outfitters Modern chair: It might not be big and fluffy but I love the comfort and style of this chair. In fact, I’ll be ordering a second one soon.
  5. Artifact Uprising prints: There’s nothing like seeing your work in print and the prints from AU are top notch.

nina oconnell favorite things

  1. Young Living Essential Oils: Thanks to the combination of Peppermint, Lavender and Lemon. I was able to drop the two antihistamines and steroid I was taking in addition to my allergy shots.
  2. Das Keyboard — Brown MX: I adore the way this keyboard sounds when I type on it. The keys are beyond solid.
  3. Starbucks: When the local Starbucks knows your name and asks where your child is when he is not in the car, chances are, you go there too much. Tall Non-Fat Chai Tea Lattes are my choice of beverage. And on occasions, an unsweetened Venti Passion tea makes its way in there.
  4. Hearthstone: I am a gamer and this has become a recent favorite. It is tying me over until the launch of the new WoW expansion. Plus, I can play it on my iPad — Bonus!

kelly rodriguez favorite things

  1. The Vintage Clothespin’s Scarf Camera Straps: LOVE my scarf strap so much – it is not only super cute and fashionable, but it is so comfortable around my neck!
  2. Ann Taylor Loft: I pretty much just love shopping here. They always have great styles and always fits great! I love their Petite section since regular length pants are always way too long on me. They have skinny cords right now that fit like a glove and I adore them!
  3. Kinetic Sand from Brookstone: Okay, I know you’re thinking “but that’s for kids!” but I love this stuff. We have a few types of kinetic sand in the house but, by far, Brookstone’s is the best. It keeps the kids entertained for a long time also. It’s just amazing to the touch, mess-free, holds shapes easily, and just melts in your hands when you play with it. I say get yourself some and put it on your desk – it’s way better than squeezing a stress ball. They have perfectly sized sand box and shape molds to go with the sand.
  4. Nespresso: I think this is my favorite item year after year – best little espresso maker and I have a homemade latte daily. Love this thing!

julia tulley favorite things

  1. Maui Jim Baby Beach sunglasses (gold): I have a really small head which makes finding appropriately sized glasses tough- but these fit perfectly! And to top it off, the lenses are polarized which is fantastic- they cut out glare and make colors especially vivid- a great way to view the world!
  2. Yves Saint Laurent TOUCHE ÉCLAT: Another genetic trait of mine? Dark under-eye circles, which have only been made exceedingly worse by age and lack of sleep. I’ve been addicted to this under eye concealer for over 10 years- it is the one thing that is always on my face.
  3. Earth Cadets Pillow: I’m obsessed with these fun, unique pillows and love that they are handmade locally where I live in Chicago. I have them all over our home- just can’t stop buying them!
  4. Veep: This is one of those shows that I could happily re-watch any episode a hundred times- I get super excited when I see a Veep Marathon is running on HBO. Completely witty with a great cast, this show just makes me laugh.
  5. The Protein Bar: I discovered this restaurant over the summer and have frequented it an embarrassing number of times since then. They have great, filling vegan options and yummy fresh-pressed green juice, and, as the name implies, everything on their menu is packed with protein!

michelle turner favorite things

  1. Nespresso Lattissima Plus: This is the best latte maker ever– it’s easy to use, simple to store, and it has a very small footprint. In addition to that, the capsules are recyclable and you can use any milk you’d like (whole organic milk from grass fed cows for me!)– I simply pull the milk out and store it in the fridge. It’s as close to a European latte that I can get, and I LOVE it!
  2. Frye Carmen Harness Tall Boots: You’d be hard pressed to find a single day during the winter when I’m not wearing my Fryes. Come to think of it, you’d be hard pressed to find a day in the fall or spring, either. I lived in them at Click Away.
  3. May Lindstrom Skin: The Good Stuff: This body oil is AMAZING. It smells fantastic and makes my skin feel great, and a little goes a very long way. Plus, it feels luxurious– I feel great when I put this on!
  4. Kjaer Weis Cream Foundation: I threw out all of my questionable beauty products in the spring and I replaced them with this wonderful line (with some RMS Beauty lipgloss thrown in as well). Not only is it completely safe, but it’s a gorgeous line with very subtle shades. I have grumpy/sensitive skin, so it’s a bonus that it causes no irritation whatsoever.

lisa benemelis favorite things

  1. EOS Lip Balm – Sweet Mint: I love the Sweet Mint lip balm so much that I haven’t been able to take the leap to try a new flavor.
  2. Pittman & Davis Ruby Red Grapefruit: They are the best tree-ripened ruby red grapefruits you’ll ever eat!!
  3. Tiffany Red Wine Glass: These glasses make wine drinking an event. They are tall, elegant and weighted just perfectly.
  4. Anthropologie: Undoubtedly I will always find something to purchase here from clothing, candles to vintage household items.

kellie bieser favorite things

  1. Old Navy Printed Compression Capris: I own more expensive, “fancier” workout pants, but I reach for these every time…they are comfy, cute, and I can’t help but buy every single color and style as soon as they come-out.
  2. Jeni’s Build-Your-Own-Sundae Kit: Jeni’s is a local ice cream shop…but that description doesn’t do it much justice. The flavors are “weird” and yet always delicious, the ingredients are often locally sourced, and even the design aesthetic is perfect. For those poor souls who don’t have a scoop shot close to them, this little kit will do the trick.
  3. Laura Mercier Radiance Primer: It minimizes pores, makes foundation application a breeze, and leaves skin with a subtle glow that is oh-so-pretty.
  4. Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton: I love to knit and this yarn is a dream to work with. It is soft, organic, and the colors are gorgeous. I made Baby Bieser’s blanket with this and it is one of my most favorite things in his nursery.

megan cieloha favorite things

  1. Love Bean Super Fudge: So, so tasty. I could sit and eat a whole jar, but that would be excessive, wouldn’t it
  2. Rick Steves Pocket Travel Books: We’ve been doing a good bit of traveling around Europe over the past year and the Rick Steves pocket books are my favorite guidebooks. Small enough to be easily packable, they still contain plenty of relevant information and it’s easy to tuck a page of notes on additional sites or restaurants in to supplement the provided recommendations.
  3. Hudson Collin Skinny Jeans: These jeans fit my long legged, hippy silhouette beautifully. They do get saggy in the rear after a full day of wear, but the lack of gapping at the waist and the comfortable rise height make up for the need to wash between every wear or two.
  4. The Little House Series: I bought these books with plans to read them to my kiddos, myself, because of my warm memories of reading the series as a child. However, my husband had not read the books and so he took over the nightly reading duty, enjoying the adventures of Ma, Pa, Mary, Laura and baby Carrie right along with our boys.

mickie devries favorite things

  1. Project Life: I love how simple it is to scrapbook with this system. It is a quick, easy, and creative way for me to document my family’s life!
  2. Momento app: I use this app to help me scrapbook. Not only does it prompt me for journal entries each day it also syncs with my social media accounts so when I scrapbook I know if I posted photos or status updates.
  3. Family Do Dots: I recently ordered this system to better manage responsibilities at my house without so much nagging and whining! I am amazed at how well my children took to this system, they were so excited to start it, and their excitement is still going strong several months later. This has been life changing at my house!
  4. Kindle Fire HDX 7”: I love to read, and since I read daily I go through a lot of books. I love that I can load my kindle with lots of books including many free and highly discounted books. Our library also has ebooks that I love to reserve.

megan dill favorite things

  1. Stila eyeshadow in Kitten: I don’t use a lot of makeup and have pretty much been doing the same thing since high school, but this has quickly become a favorite in my makeup bag. There is just enough sparkle to make it appropriate for the office or a night out!
  2. Pentax 645N: This medium format film camera came into my life this past summer, and I’m in complete love. My go-to lens is the Takumar 105mm f/2.4, adapted from the Pentax 67. The bokeh when shot wide open is sublime.
  3. 1-Hour Photo app: This simple app forces the user to wait an hour while the black and white photo ‘develops’ in camera. Some might call it torture. As a film enthusiast, I call it fun!
  4. Alba Botanica Sea Moss Moisturizer: I’ve been using this for a few years now with great success. It works well on my combination skin regardless of what season it is.

kristy dooley favorite things

  1. GEFU Spirelli Spiral Slicer: This is my newest kitchen gadget which turns just about every vegetable quickly and easily into “pasta.” Atleast that’s what I’m telling my kids.
  2. Philosophy Miracle Worker:  This product is amazing for your skin- and I love that it requires sunscreen usage because we all need that.
  3. Benefit They’re Real Mascara:  This mascara makes my eyelashes look WAY longer than they really are. Enough said.
  4. Salaam Clothing: Why I love it?! It’s unique, fun, and really comfortable!

melissa gibson favorite things

  1. Zoku Slush and Shake Maker: We all love this slushie and shake maker! We keep it in our freezer so that it’s good to go whenever we are ready to make slushies. My girls are able to use them on their own, love to create their own slushies and they are super easy to clean up. Our favorite recipe is: 2 cups strawberries, 6 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, 2 cups crushed ice. Combine these into a blender, pour into the Zoku and stir. Makes 4 slushies and they are yum!
  2. Brookstone Sandbox: This sandbox keeps my 6 year old busy for hours. And I mean HOURS. It is such a fun, tactile little toy. Keep in mind that the shape molds are sold separately, but you’re going to want those, too.
  3. Blue Sky Planner: I spent a long time trying to find the perfect planner that wasn’t covered up with fluff. I like planners with big spaces to write and this one has it AND it’s very reasonably priced.
  4. Handpainted pet portraits: This artist is local to me and I have purchased two original paintings from her. I simply emailed an image of each of our dogs and she mailed back the most adorable 5×5 painting of each one. I have them framed and displayed and we get so many compliments on them!
  5. Strawberry Corer: This is one of those simple things that I wish I had invented. It’s perfect and I’m certain many people probably have one, but we all think it’s just so cute and fun.

marissa gifford favorite things

  1. Tieks: You knew that was coming, right? I haven’t worn another shoe (aside from workout shoes) since I got them earlier this year. They are the most comfortable ballet flats I’ve ever owned and they fold up small, making them perfect for travel. I love the rubber soles because I never feel like I’m going to slip when I’m chasing after my kids. They’re the perfect blend of stylish and comfortable!
  2. Jo Malone Perfume: I’m a fragrance girl. What I love so much about Jo Malone fragrances is the huge variety of scents available to wear alone or to mix and match. I my current favorite mix is Blue Agava & Cacao with Orange Blossom on top. It’s warm but bright at the same time.
  3. Duolingo App: I LOVE this app! I’m a big fan of learning foreign languages and I’ve been teaching myself French with this app for months. It’s free and you can do it online or download the app to your device. It makes learning a language easy and fun.
  4. Lipsyl Lip Balm: This is the best lip balm and well worth the slightly higher cost. We have lip balm in most drawers in our house, but this is the one that always gets used up first. It’s everyone’s favorite and is a stocking stuffer staple in our home. You can find them at any Target, Walmart, etc in the pharmacy lip care section.
  5. 13″ Macbook Pro: I LOVE the freedom this little laptop gives me to work and still be with my family, working in bed at night after the kids are asleep or away on a trip. I do my major editing on my desktop computer, but this is perfect for being mobile and not feeling tied to my desk all the time. I thought it would be redundant when I bought it, but I’ve been surprised by how much work I actually do on it compared to my big computer.

elicia graves favorite things

  1. Insulated Klean Kanteen: I don’t leave the house without this! It keeps coffee hot and I love it for that, but even better is having a nice sized stainless steel bottle for keeping water cold without sweating.
  2. Perricone MD Photo Plasma SPF 30: The texture of this lotion is amazing. It leaves your skin so soft without the greasy feeling of a high SPF lotion.
  3. Madewell Skinny Skinny Jeans: great everyday denim. I love the slight bit of stretch to them while still feeling like denim instead of a legging.
  4. Essie Playdate Nail Polish: seriously the most perfect purple. It’s a great color for spring and summer especially.

caroline jensen favorite things

  1. Sony a7s: I LOVE this camera. Mirrorless gear has stolen my heart and this full frame sensor is dreamy in any light. I can use my favorite Lensbaby lenses on this camera, and focus peaking makes it almost effortless! It also can use legacy glass with inexpensive adapters. I am looking forward to getting a Leica lens for it too. I have shot portraits at over 60,000 ISO and the files are amazing. It is also small enough to be a great walk around camera.
  2. Vionic Flip Flops: I have pronated feet and I can wear these all day and my arches don’t hurt. They are the best supporting flip flops ever, plus they are cute too!
  3. Teavana: I LOVE this company and you can now get it in Starbucks! My favorite teas are any of the Chai teas and Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls. You can re-steep the high quality teas up to five times and it is a great bargain. I love this travel tea cup too. Just keep the Rock Sugar Jar away from your kids (mine loot it daily).
  4. Glaze App for iPhone: I use this app all the time. I just love how it prints too!

jenni jones favorite things

  1. The Laundress Signature Detergent: This stuff smells AMAZING! When I purchased some fancy sheets, the lady suggested I use this detergent….so I tried it. Then I tried it on all my clothes because it smells so darn good!
  2. Gel nail polish kit from Red Carpet Manicure: I am a clumsy human, and the very second I get my nails done is precisely the second I will screw them up (it’s science). Ain’t nobody got time for that! I needed something that dries immediately, and whaddya know, gel polish does just that. Making nail appointments is not conducive to my schedule, so now I get a mani at home, whenever I want….and the polish looks fresh for two weeks.
  3. Makeup Forever HD Powder: I didn’t even know what this stuff was, y’all, but someone called it real-life photoshop, so I was all, “sold!” Turns out, it’s awesome! Smooths and evens out tone, brightens under the eyes, and gives a soft matte finish.
  4. Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray: I’m an oily mess. I do my makeup, and in no time at all I’m all oily and my eye makeup is melting off my face and I look awful. This spray is legit, y’all! It sets your makeup and, I kid you not, even after an 8+ hour day at Click Away, my makeup was still on my face….in the same place it was when I put it on….and I wasn’t oily! Love it!
  5. Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Lens: I feel like I don’t even need to explain this one. Crazy sharp….crazy fast….crazy awesome. Best 50mm I’ve ever owned.

nina mingioni favorite things copy

  1. Benefit Mascara: Bought on recommendations of CM team – this is an amazing mascara!
  2. Taos shoes: super comfortable shoes i can wear to work with slacks and with jeans on weekends to spice things up. Seriously, amazingly comfortable. They got me through Click Away. I have these and just bought two more pairs.
  3. Gap Jeans: My absolute faves are the boot cut.
  4. Lensbaby sweet 50 optic: Softer blur than 35, and now you can change the aperture on the fly…love it!
  5. Laura Morita’s Nothin’ But Blue Skies sky overlays, cloud brushes, and video tutorials: Seriously awesome stuff.

meredith novario favorite things

  1. Audible: because I like to be read to while I’m doing the dishes and walking the dog.
  2. Furikake: How to give rice a face lift with one shake of your wrist.
  3. For those of you that can’t resist black licorice and rope-shaped food items.
  4. Geocaching: is one easy way to plan your day around random adventures.

celeste pavlik favorite things

  1. Giorgio Armani ‘Si’: When looking for a new scent with a hint of vanilla yet a little bit woodsy, I stumbled across the new Giorgio Armani ‘Si’ and I absolutely adore it. It’s undernotes are deep blackcurrant nectar, airy florals and musky blond wood. It stays with me most of the day and everytime I smell it it makes me feel happy and content.
  2. Elf Volume Pumping Mascara: I don’t wear much make up but I never go without mascara. I picked this up quickly one day because I forgot my usual in my bag and I was shocked that for $3 it actually makes my lashes appear longer! Definitely a good buy!
  3. Crazy 8 Children’s Clothing: Cute clothes for boys are hard to find. This is by far one of my favorite stores for my boys. They’re great quality, are long lasting and stylish.
  4. Williams Sonoma Chocolate Ice Cream Starter: I love ice cream and homemade ice cream is the best!! Definitely one of my favorite things to make and eat with my family.

kristen ryan favorite things

  1. Maui Jim sunglasses: As an avid runner and tennis player, I love these sunglasses for any activity. I hardly even know I’m wearing them!
  2. White House Black Market jeans: I love these jeans for their fit and their style.
  3. Breville single cup brewer: This K-cup brewing coffee maker is one of my favorite purchases ever and makes my morning coffee super simple and fast!
  4. Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0: This is my go to lens for my landscapes. It is wide and sharp and I’m in love with it!

melissa stottmann favorite things

  1. Virgo Constellation Necklace: It’s such a bonus when accessories can be pretty yet meaningful!
  2. Laura Geller Beauty Eye Calligraphy Liquid Liner Kit: A pack of three liners- one for any occasion!
  3. Feed Function Bag: Not only are they sturdy but every purchase feeds 100 people!
  4. Ona Bag Insert: Works perfectly inside of the Feed Function bag or any other bag that you’d like to convert into a camera bag!

sarah vaughn favorite things

  1. Chanel nail polish: This nail polish goes on smoother and stays longer than most others I’ve tried. I love their classic colors. It’s my small splurge.
  2. Deva Curl products: I have curly hair – and I’m trying to embrace my inner Curly Girl with these products that bring the best out in your curls. They have special (non) shampoo, conditioner and gel. And the best is you just air dry and go – I love not having to deal with the blow dryer on a daily basis.
  3. Tiffany jewelry: Every year my husband gets me a small something in a little blue box. Tiffany’s silver jewelry can be surprisingly affordable with beautiful, original designs. I especially love the Elsa Paretti collection. I’m also obsessed with their stylish pens, which make writing anything – even To Do lists – fun.
  4. Purpose facial products: When I was in my teens and twenties, I had oily, sensitive skin. My dermatologist recommended Purpose face soap and moisturizer, and I’ve used it ever since. It’s perfect for anyone prone to breakouts or who needs a gentle skin cleanser with hypoallergenic ingredients.
  5. Moleskine journals: You can’t go wrong with journals inspired by the notebooks used by artists and writers like Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Ernest Hemingway. They are simple, practical, well-styled, and make me feel more creative just writing in them.

elle walker favorite things

  1. Kerastase Elixir: I love this!! You can use it as a hair mask, pre-heat treatment, or just as a leave in ‘shine’ serum – it smells divine and is prescriptive, while it both restores and protects. Did I mention I love it! (Their shampoo and conditioner are excellent also).
  2. Wooden Necklace by Elk Accessories: I’m not sure if it stems from my love of geometry within photography, but I would wear this necklace every day if I could! It’s the perfect length, and strong enough for little kiddy hands to pull on without worrying about it breaking.
  3. Clinique ‘Anti-Blemish’ liquid foundation: This is really lightweight, and I love that it has an anti-blemish formula, so I don’t feel as though it is wrecking my skin. Apply it with a brush and it will last you for ages!
  4. Personalised Painting by Sam Michelle: Send in a photo of your child/children and Sam will work with you to select colours, and fine tune a simple design that makes a beautifully unique gift or keepsake!

So that’s it. Those are the products we’re loving right now. What items are you loving?


About the Author:

From the parent company Click & Company, Clickin Moms has revolutionized the photography industry as the first and largest organization to embrace and serve female photographers of all levels, from hobbyists to professionals. Visit Clickin Moms Blog online.


  1. Jenni Dec 02 2014 at 11:53 am - Reply

    ahhhh! My favorite post of the year! Time to go shopping!

  2. Megan Dec 02 2014 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    my wallet just audibly sighed! 😀

  3. Rain Klepper Dec 02 2014 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    I love this post!!! Beyond the vicarious shopping thrills, it is truly a peek into some of my favorite people on the planet!

  4. Celeste Pavlik Dec 02 2014 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    What a perfect way to spend my money, I mean Monday!! 😉 I love all of your suggestions ladies, my wallet just got a little bit lighter!!

  5. Jennifer Rosen Dec 02 2014 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    Oh, boy! Somehow a vegetable slicer just got added onto my Christmas list.

  6. Melissa Stottmann Dec 02 2014 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    Gah! My Amazon wish list just got longer…

  7. Michelle Turner Dec 02 2014 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    My favorite post of the year!!! 🙂

  8. Lisa Benemelis Dec 02 2014 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    I love this post!! I’ve had fun adding many items to my Christmas list. 😀

  9. Kristin Dokoza Dec 02 2014 at 10:45 pm - Reply

    and I’m off to go shopping! Thanks ladies, some new gadgets I must have – and lot’s of my faves listed too!

  10. Kristy Dec 03 2014 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    This list is dangerous!! 🙂

  11. Lacey Meyers Dec 03 2014 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    Such a great list of awesome things. 🙂 Thanks for sharing ladies! <3

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