EE's Best Buys of 2013: coffee and makeup and toys, oh my!


I'm sure our neighbors were thrilled when, at 5:15am on Christmas morning, our twins ran screaming into the backyard to find a Propel 12" trampoline from Santa Claus. But wow. Within five minutes I realized this Christmas present was one of the best gifts our kids have ever gotten. #1: They burn off a ton of energy. #2: It's super fun. #3: They invent all kinds of trampoline games. #4: The enclosure nets keeps them from falling off. #5: It's fun for ALL ages--my teenager AND my twins love it! #6. They burn off a ton of energy. Oh, wait. I already said that. So, #6: Mama likes bouncing, too!


LEGO DUPLO DISNEY PRINCESS CINDERELLA'S CASTLE:   This was probably the "most played with" toy of 2013--at least, for my twins. It was like dollhouse meets Cinderella. They didn't just play "princess" they played house, hospital and school with this set. The instructions were easy enough for them to follow without needing my help (win!!) and they literally spent hours rearranging the furniture, creating various stories for the characters and building and rebuilding the legos into different configurations. I kept the set in a plastic, lidded box separate from their other Legos. These specialty sets are more expensive than open-ended sets but if your girls are into the Disney Princess thing, it's worth the extra time they'll spend playing with it.



This year, I fell in love with these felt-covered, jumbo heat rollers. They are so easy to use and I reliably deliver soft, bouncy curls. Big puffy heart of love for these babies.


I used to love Lancome's eye makeup remover, but these days I just can't justify the expense. This Neutrogena eye makeup remover works just as well and is much easier on ye olde wallet.


Another money-saving habit I've developed this year is coloring my own hair.  I've experimented with many different brands but my very favorite is L'Oreal's Feria Midnight Collection. My go-to color is Violet Soft Black. This box also includes a tube of conditioner that lasts for two weeks!



I'm not a PURIST coffee snob, but I really don't know where I'd be without my morning cuppa Peet's Major Dickason Blend coffee. It is the smoothest deep roast I've ever tasted and combines perfectly with half-and-half. Every morning when I wake up, I always look forward to my first sip. It's my daily ritual.


Last year, I gave up Diet Coke. I replaced my afternoon soda with an afternoon cup of tea. Trader Joe's Mango Black Tea is my absolute favorite! The mango flavor is soft and subtle, complemented perfectly by the black tea undertones. I drink this every day at 2pm!


I think we can fairly call 2013 The Year of Cookie Butter. I've been swooning over this stuff all year. It's responsible for my weight gain. One spoonful of cookie butter and I fell off the Paleo wagon with a resounding crash. Cookie Butter is a hug for your mouth™ (I COINED THAT PHRASE!!). Also, you won't believe this until you taste it but seriously? Cookie Butter slightly warms on your tongue. It's like Christmas and New Year's and puppies and unicorns and sparkles all rolled into one delightful spoonful. I've put cookie butter on: toast, crackers, pretzels and even carrots. But mostly, I just eat it straight out the jar. OH, COOKIE BUTTER! THOU HAST ECLIPSED MY LOVE OF MINT MILANOS!!



Um, did you know Downton Abbey Season 3 is available on Amazon Prime? NOT ON NETFLIX? Yeah. Hello-I-am-signing-up-right-now! I just signed up for Amazon Prime because LADY MARY. But also, I am LOVING the free, 2-day shipping. Actually, I'm getting super spoiled by it. Honestly, I can't wait until my personalized little Amazon drone comes to my house to drop off my Cookie Butter. :) Amazon Prime, man. It's rocking my shopping habits in all the right ways.

Disclosure: as an Amazon affiliate, I receive a small percentage any goods sold through my link. Which is just another way of saying "please BUY THROUGH MY SITE so I can send my daughter to American Ballet Theatre this year!" :) Kisses + hugs. EE. p.s. I only recommend products I have used and enjoyed.