My Favorite Things: Winter 2012 Edition

It hasn’t felt like winter here the past few days. This weekend, it was near 70 degrees, which is usually unheard of in Columbus this time of year. Yesterday it poured most of the afternoon and cooler weather settled in, but I’m not complaining because it could have been snow! I don’t like cold weather so I would be happy if the entire winter stayed like this, but I don’t think that is going to happen – it is Ohio, after all. Still, a non-white Christmas would be just fine with me.

So, even though it may not feel like winter, welcome to the Winter 2012 Edition of my favorite things. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Old Navy Moccasin/Sherpa Lined Shoes

These were only $19.99 at Old Navy and came in a variety of colors – brown, back, glittery, neon pink, navy, sequined, etc. I love them. They are surprisingly comfortable and really warm (okay, so I kind of wish it was colder here so I could wear them). I saw similar shoes at Target too, if you don’t have an Old Navy where you are. Perfect for winter!

Spoiled Steel the Show Nail Polish by Wet n Wild

Just about the time I decided to stop biting my nails and grow them out, I also decided to work in a winery and be really hard on them. I found that keeping polish on them is the only way to keep from biting them and I also found that it is hard to find polish to stay on when I am constantly dealing with water and chemicals. I picked up a bottle of Spoiled Nail Polish at CVS for something like $2.99 because I liked the color and it has turned out to be the best nail polish I have ever owned. It rarely chips, never peels, and I can wear it for about ten days with only minor touch ups and re-application of top coat periodically. Love this – get some!

The Retro Metro Tote by Thirty One Gifts

I may have found the perfect tote (which kind of turned into an everyday bag for me because I lug around so much stuff). I have the Patchwork Paisley and I love it. It is loaded with pockets inside and out, making it an ideal bag to carry everything you need – laptop, books, notebooks or you could even use it as a gym bag. With Thirty One, you can also get it personalized. I really like this bag when I need to carry more than a few things and can’t wait to see what the new spring colors are. It is $62 and Thirty One offers regular specials and discounts so find your local consultant to learn more.

AwesomeNote Lite iPhone App

I go back and forth between using an electronic/online calendar and a paper planner. I love to write things down and sometimes carry multiple notebooks (and pens) with me at one time, however, I also love the convenience of having everything in my iPhone since I use it all the time anyway for communicating, social media and blogging. With my iChameleons case, I can literally grab my phone and my keys and have everything I need, especially now that I downloaded the free AwesomeNote app. It has everything and so far, I have been using it instead of a paper calendar. It syncs with your Gmail or iPhone calendar and has a quick note place where you can type or use your finger to write a quick note, which appeals to my note-taking side. You can also create folders and different note layouts to keep in the app. I can keep track of appointments quickly directly from my email with the quick calendar feature too. So far, so good!

Homemade Cinnamon & Sugar Pumpkin Seeds

While I am not supposed to be overdoing it with seeds, these have been a nice treat this fall. My mother-in-law made them. They are lightly spiced so the Cinnamon is not overpowering, but just enough to put a smile on your face. 🙂 The recipe is pretty simple-

Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Seeds

  • Take the seeds out of the pumpkin and let dry overnight. Remove any leftover pumpkin skins.
  • Put Cinnamon and Sugar to taste in a large (gallon-size) Ziploc bag to your tastes and shake the desired amount of seeds in the mixture.
  • Add about 1/4 cup melted butter to the mixture and shake well to coat.
  • Put the coated seeds on a baking sheet in one layer.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Let cool and enjoy!

Camelot Cellars Hot Mulled Wine

A large number of holiday wine drinks in this country stem from the spiced wine tradition of northern Europe. Mulled wine is a term used to describe wine, usually of a red variety, infused with spices and served warm. Serving mulled wine is prominent throughout Europe and has been served there and elsewhere during the winter for centuries. It is traditionally sold by street vendors during cold weather and also during holiday celebrations. It was made popular by author Charles Dickens in his short story A Christmas Carol and was infamously referenced in the holiday cinema classic It’s A Wonderful Life. A traditional favorite in colder locations, mulled wine goes well with the various celebrations that come around the end of the year. The mulled wine we are serving at Camelot is specially made with Australian Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend and simmered with fruits and spices –such as citrus and cinnamon –to create a delicate balance of warm and spicy flavors that many proclaim is the best they have tasted. The wine is a deep red in color and delivers a savory aroma from the moment you enter the winery. Mulled wine has become a favorite during the winter months because of its warming qualities and if you have the opportunity to try some – make sure you do!

Surprise Care Packages that feature Key West Green with Envy Jalapeno Key Line Hot Sauce

Send me hot sauce and we are friends for life! 😉 I’m only joking (kind-of). The wonderful Stephanie over at Kitchen Kilometers sent me a surprise care package with some goodies that meet all of my dietary restrictions. Thank you, Stephanie – it made my week and you are so kind to do so! The Jalapeno Key Lime Hot Sauce is fantastic and would go perfectly with any Mexican dish. I can’t wait to try it on eggs. It is hot, but also savory because of the jalapenos, which are not overpowered by the hotness. So. Good. If you don’t read Steph’s blog, you should. She is a constant source of inspiration to me!

What are your favorite things right now? Is there anything you can’t live without? Have you tried any of these products for yourself? Let me know in the comments!

Until the next mile marker,