Tracy’s Favorite Things List 2017

I scrolled through Oprah’s Favorite Things on Amazon today… alllll the way through. Oprah has a lot of favorite things, but surprisingly I only wanted a couple of them for myself. I am not sure why her audience was always so excited when she gave her list away. I cannot imagine anyone spending $16 on a key chain or $100 on foot lotion, but I am clearly not Oprah. So, what would be on Tracy’s Favorite Things list? Let’s see…

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The Cousins’ War series & Tudor Court novels by Philippa Gregory

I am on book #7 of 14 in this series and I am so very hooked. I first fell in love with The White Queen, a British television drama series in ten parts, based on 3 of the books in this series by Philippa Gregory (The White Queen, The Red Queen, and The Kingmaker’s Daughter). If you enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), staring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson, you will love the full collection. It begins with Henry VIII’s Great-Grandmother and follows through Elizabeth I, written as part historical nonfiction and part fictional drama. It tells the stories of the women behind the men, who were often not recorded and written about in historical documents.

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Biokleen Auto Dish Powder (Free and Clear) and Biokleen Laundry Liquid (Citrus Essence)

Our family has been actively trying to eliminate all bad chemical from our home over the last year and a half. I was thrilled to find the Biokleen family of products, specifically the Auto Dish Powder and Laundry Liquid, because now I know that I do not have to sacrifice performance for the health & safety of my family and our environment. Now, if you are an extreme couponer, you will not be able to get Biokleen for as cheaply as you can Tide or Cascade, but I think you would be surprised to see how cost efficient green products can be. Biokleen Dish Powder costs me about $3 a month, which I think it very affordable.

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Glass Nail Files

I have tried a lot of nail files in my life and not one filed as well as these nor held up as long as these. They won’t last forever; the first file will be better than the 20th, but I’d rather use a product that doesn’t need tossed after the first use or two. Good little stocking stuffer.

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Amazon Fire Tablet Kids Edition

I know that it is possible to survive parenthood without giving your child electronic devices such as a tablet, I just don’t understand why you would want to try. This device has saved our sanity a million times over.

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McDonalds Coffee

No link here- you’ll have to go through your local McD’s drive-thru for this favorite thing. Call me crazy, but I love McDonalds coffee. A $1.06 small black coffee is such a treat for me! I hear they are now selling bags of ground McDonalds coffee. I’ll have to drop a hint to Santa to fill my stocking with some!

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Crayola Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar

I bought this for my son this year because he loves doing art crafts & I trust Crayola to bring it. Bring it they did! We are on Day #2 and I already love this Advent calendar. Each day your child (or you, I won’t judge) pulls out a numbered activity card from the back of the calendar and then opens the corresponding door on the front, which contains a new tool- such as a scented marker, Model Magic packet or paint. Day #1 was a letter to Santa and Day #2 was a sign for Bryan to paint & hang on his bedroom door. (‘This room belongs to…’) I will definitely be on the look out for a discounted one after Christmas to save for next year.

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Deluxe Utility Tote by Thirty-One Gifts

I was a Director with Thirty-One Gifts for a couple years and it was a blast! I miss it, but my home is definitely well organized now. Storage and home organizational solutions is my jam. One of my most favorite Thirty-One products is the Deluxe Utility Tote. I have like three… maybe four… okay fine, six of them. I use them for everything, from packing stuff up to haul across town to my parents or across the country for vacation. *The link above will take you to my former Senior Director’s page. Her name is Tina, she will take great care of you!

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BeautyCounter Daily Shampoo & Conditioner

Shampoo was one of the last ‘bad chemical’ personal care products I was still using, until my friend Kristen introduced me to BeautyCounter. I had been dreading the process of finding a new, ‘safe’ shampoo. I assumed it would be expensive and time consuming, going through bottle after bottle that didn’t work well on my hair. I am totally happy with the results of BC Daily Shampoo and am even okay with the price. In terms of eliminating chemicals that could be harmful to my health, this shampoo is hands down an improvement over what I had been using before. If you are unsure of how safe or unsafe your personal care products are, check out their rating at EWG.org/skindeep*The BeautyCounter link above will take you to my friend Kristen’s online store; tell her I sent ya  😉

Move and Groove Game by Think Fun

This is a game the whole family will enjoy. It’s perfect for burning off energy during those long, cold winter months. If you invite us to your child’s birthday party, there is a 98% chance this is what we will gift him/her, especially if there is a younger sibling. The soft dice is perfect for toddlers to toss while big kids run around like crazy people play. Early readers can work on their skills by reading the motion cards.

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Usborne Lift-the-flap Books

We just love these: a variety of topics, lots of learn, and perfect for kids who have a little trouble sitting still to read. The flaps keeps kids engaged. I always learn something new myself!

Annie (1982) 

This is my favorite movie of all time. No, I didn’t name my daughter after this Annie. My grandparents have called me Annie my whole life, so she is named after me with a nod to my grandparents. And it’s a stinkin’ cute name. For at least 10 years prior to having children I dreamed of having a Bryan & an Annie one day, and now I do. Dream come true! All of Annie’s doll babies are named after the orphans in Annie. Thus far we have Pepper, Molly and Tessie. We need a Duffy, Kate and July. Did you know there was an orphan named July? I will not entertain any other version of this movie. Just no.

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Brothers, The Black Keys

I love this album. If the kids are not in the car, I am likely listening to the Keys. It is somehow my happy and bad mood music, all at the same time. Back when I worked at the museum, my coworkers knew that if they heard me listening to this album, they should probably steer clear of my office for the day.

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OnGuard by DoTerra

We use a variety of essential oils in a number of ways and I am very grateful for them, but my favorite hands down is OnGuard by DoTerra, for it’s immunity boosting properties. We diffuse it, use it diluted with coconut oil in a rollerball on our feet morning & night, use their foaming hand wash and I use their toothpaste as well. I have noticed a significant decrease in illness among our family since being introduced to OnGuard. This time of the year, it’s essential. Ha, get it? Essential.

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Norwex

I can’t have a Favorites List without including Norwex. Clearly, I believe in their products, so much so that I became an Independent Consultant. I have been working on this list for a week and had been racking my brain trying to think of a single product to include but the reality is, I love them all for different reasons. It’s like picking a favorite child; can’t be done. But here are a couple worth singling out:

  • EnviroCloth- because it literally cleans everything. Single best investment you can make when it comes to keeping a clean, safe home. This cloth will save you oodles of money & time. Scouts honor!
  • Body Pack- these washcloths give you clean skin without the cost/use of soap products (such as shower gels or shave creams) that clog your pores, introduce bad chemicals into your body and upset your PH balance. It took almost 2 years for my husband to try our Body Pack washcloths and now he said he won’t go back to soap because ‘it’s more efficient.’ So to the efficiency lovers of the world, give ’em a try!
  • Fluff & Tumble Wool Dryer Balls- if there is one ‘bad chemical’ product in your home that you should eliminate first, it’s fabric softener/dryer sheets. Google it- bad stuff! I love these; gentle on clothing, 1 time investment (two year warranty but will likely last much longer), cuts down on energy use AND static. No brainer.
  • Superior Mop System- because this household is hard on mops, and this mop takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. It just works, really well. I have two children who eat everything like Cookie Monster. If they ever make me into an action figure doll, I will come with a tiny cell phone and this mop as my accessories.

What would be on your Favorite Things List?

 

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