Sunday, November 15, 2015

Favorite Things Party {2015}

Hi everybody!  Hard to believe, but it's already that time of year again for Melissa's annual Favorite Things Party! Except for last year when I took a blogging break, I have been participating in this since 2009 - aka the blogging Dark Ages!  ;)   I love getting a big cup of coffee and checking out everyone's links and getting new gift ideas - it's like getting a bunch of free personal shoppers at once - I love it! And I'm so honored to be part of the link-up this year - so thank you, Melissa! :)

As usual, since we seem to be on a perpetual budget over here (ha!), I have kept everything super affordable on the list - in fact, this year I believe everything on here is less than $10! It's always a bummer to see a blogger rave about something fabulous only to find out it's way out of your price range - so my goal was to find, once again, things that I loved that hopefully everyone could afford.  I figured if I can afford it on my budget, anyone can! ;)  

I've included gift items, personal items, some favorite foods, and even some favorite recipes below.  So grab your favorite drink and come browse - I hope you leave inspired with something new! :) 

{T O   B U Y}

{1 - Starbucks Packets}

Sometimes Christmas gifts are easy to find, but stocking stuffers can be tough  - am I right?  Enter...these fabulous Starbucks packets.  Just add warm milk, pop it in the microwave, and you are good to go!  My husband loves these drinks and they can be found at Target and other stores. (I found mine at Christmas Tree Shop this year for only $4.99!  They make a ridiculously cold New England day a little easier to bear!}

{2 - Essie Polish in "Velvet Voyage"}

Another fun item to gift is nail polish - no size required and every girl likes a fun new color to try out! :)  I love Essie colors - they go on thick and I can go longer between coats than other brands.  This color is a little darker than I normally go (it's a deep, DEEP purple) but I've been loving the bold color this fall!  

{3 - Yes To: Coconut Lip Balm}

I'm slightly seriously obsessed with all things coconut and this Yes To one is fabulous!  No scary ingredients and easy to find at drugstores - it's like a little bit of summer on your lips all year round! ;) 

{4 - Earrings from Walmart - YES, Walmart!}

I can't remember where I first heard that Walmart sells jewelry, but they do!  And most of it is crazy cheap - these earrings were $2.88!  Now I'm not saying that they might be the best quality metals (haha!) but I've been wearing these silver ones for months now and they haven't bothered my ears at all.  For $2.88 (!!!) they have lots of fun choices so you can pick a pair up to add to a gift or just buy something fun for yourself! :) 

{5 - Sugar Paper Products}

Every year I go to Target to get my Sugar Paper calendar!  They are simple, gorgeous, and affordable.  I mean, if you have to look at a calendar every day, it might as well be pretty, right?  

{6 - Secret Deodorant: "Stress Response"}

Lastly....deodorant.  You may ask why I'm including this in a favorite things party - well, because I sweat.  Like a lot.  Like A LOT a lot.  I am a nervous sweater, which means I am the lucky kind of person who can literally sweat through a sweater if I get nervous enough.  It's awful. I have literally tried every single deodorant out there, including a prescription for a while but it burned so bad I had to stop.  This deodorant is pricey (it will run you about $9 or so probably) but it is SO WORTH IT.  I'm not saying I don't still sweat, but it helps it bajillion times more and - how to put this nicely - helps you not be stinky.  If you are like me and sweat like crazy, seriously try this!  It will help!! :)  

{T O   E A T}

{1 - Trader Joe's Coconut Cookie Thins and 72% Dark}

Continuing on the coconut theme, if you have a Trader Joe's near you, you MUST go purchase these Coconut Thins!!! The coconut flavor is SO good - seriously, you just have to trust me on this!  And if you're a highly classy eater like me, break off a piece of the 72% dark (they sell it right by the registers) and alternate bites of dark chocolate and coconut crisp cookie. can thank me later! Haha! 

{2 - Starbucks' Caffe Verona blend}

Whether for you or for a gift, Caffe Verona is our favorite blend lately.  I totally won't pretend to be smart enough to know about "finishes" and "notes" and all that stuff when it comes to coffee...but this has a deep, rounded (?) flavor that Chris and I both love.  Plus it's a dark roast so we can get by with slightly smaller tablespoons when filling the coffee pot - see? Delicious AND cost-effective. ;)

{T O   M A K E   &   B A K E}

{1- Feta Dip from Clover Lane}

For the last several years, I have made this Feta Dip from Clover Lane for Christmas Eve with my dad's side of the family.  I buy a baguette at the grocery store (although she also has a amazing baguette recipe on her site that I've made before, too!), slice up some thin rounds, and serve it alongside the dip.  It always gets devoured - it's easy and delicious, and BONUS points - with green onions and Roma tomatoes in it, it automatically has Christmas colors in it! Try it for your next party - I promise you won't regret it!


Photo via Clover Lane

{2- Paula Deen Cheesecake}

The second recipe is a little more complicated - but only because it has several steps (the steps themselves aren't difficult).  The recipe is Paula Deen's "Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping" (say that five times fast! lol!) and it is TO DIE FOR.  Shortbread crust, then cheesecake, then chopped apples with cinnamon, then a brown sugar crumble, then drizzled with caramel.  HELLO!!!  I'm including it here because it would make an amazing Thanksgiving dessert.  I made it in October for our small group and everyone loved it too - you really can't go wrong with a Paula Deen dessert! ;) 

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

Photo via Food Network

That wraps it us for me this year! Please take a peek at all of the other fabulous ladies participating this year, and thank you to Melissa for having me! {If you don't follow Melissa already, you must - she is so down to earth, her style is impeccable, and she just has wonderful ideas to share! I've been following her for years now and she continues to have great content to share.} I'm the last girl to share for today, but tomorrow Centsational Girl heads the list so be sure to pay her a visit! :)

If you want to see things I've shared in years past, click this link to see what I've shared before - things like my favorite perfume and movies haven't changed.  Either that makes me boring or traditional - you can decide! Haha!

Let me know if you were here and if we share a love of anything on my list!  Happy Monday, everyone! :)

Displaying favorite things 2015 at 320 Sycamore.jpg
Displaying favorite things 2015 at 320 Sycamore.jpg


  1. So glad you like the feta dip! :)

    1. We LOVE it, Sarah! Seriously, my whole family looks forward to it! Lol! Thank you so much for sharing it with the blogging world. :)

  2. Hello Jessica! I love that your lists are always budget conscious but wonderful! I love her feta dip too :) And I just picked up my sugar paper planner for next year, I love them. I think I tried the salted caramel because of you last year and loved it. So glad you could join us, thanks for a great list. ♥

    1. Thank you so much for having me, Melissa! I was at Target last night and saw the endcap full of Sugar Paper - hooray! :) Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  3. Hi There! Very nice blog.......

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