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It’s not even winter yet, but I’ve already worn a hoodie at least four times this season, so I’m going ahead with my winter favorites. This will be my last post for 2021; I plan on taking a long break from writing before the new year hits. If you celebrate Christmas, maybe my favorites will give you some last-minute gift ideas for yourself or someone you love (also yourself).

Favorite Gadgets

  • Bestinnkits Smart Coffee Warmer
    • There’s only so many times you can drink lukewarm coffee before you give up and do something about it. This coffee warmer isn’t all that smart (there are no apps or other fancy functions). However, it keeps my coffee nice and warm, and since it’s pressure sensitive, I don’t have to worry about turning it on or off. Just plug it in and go.
  • Wyze Plug
    • We’ve been using this plug for our Christmas tree. It comes with an app that allows us to control the outlets from our phone and/or Alexa. I also love that it has a switch right on the plug, so I don’t have to always go through the app.
  • Candle Wick Trimmer
    • Having burned candles since childhood, I’ve no idea how it took me this long to discover the simple satisfaction of a wick trimmer. Its angle makes it easy to trim wicks in super low candles, and the flat surface holds on to the trimmed wicks so that they don’t fall into melted wax.
  • Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries
    • Eneloops are an investment that I’ve used happily for years. We never pay for batteries anymore, and they’ve faithfully recharged every single time.
  • Atumtek Selfie Stick
    • I absolutely dread taking selfies. This stick hasn’t changed that, but it does make the process a whole lot easier. I’m also looking forward to taking it on future travels, so my husband and I can achieve the goal of taking a picture of us together more than once a decade.

Favorite Food & Drink

  • San Pellegrino Blood Orange Italian Sparkling Drink
    • It comes in a can, but it deserves a fancy glass. Forget champagne, I’ll be toasting with this on New Years.
  • Trader Joe’s English Toffee with Nuts
    • Does a more perfect sweet treat exist? I’m not sure. I only know that I can’t be trusted with another can of my favorite toffees. Throw them in a pretty bowl and gift them to someone you love (yourself).
  • DeBrand’s Connoisseur Collections
    • This chocolate shop is mostly a local treasure, but the chocolates can be shipped anywhere. They’re quite the splurge, so they’re perfect for gift-giving. Their connoisseur collection is great for anyone who loves trying new things, but pretty much everything on their menu is amazing.
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse Recipe
    • A family member recently had mouth surgery, and I was on the hunt for something they could eat as they were healing. This pumpkin cheesecake mousse was perfect. It’s so easy; if you can stir ingredients together, then you can make this. It’s quickly become a favorite.

Favorite Music Stuff

  • String Swing Guitar Hanger
    • When we moved into our first house this summer, I knew I wanted to hang my guitar and ukulele. These String Swing Hangers worked perfectly and keep my instruments within easy reach.
  • PennyandHorse Shop on Etsy
    • This is one of my favorite shops on Etsy, and it’s where I got my ukulele chord chart that you see in the picture. The owner is incredibly kind and has added even more fingering charts to their store recently.
  • Gaelynn Lea
    • I’ve been a fan of Gaelynn’s for a while now, and I recently created a resource all about her and how she uses loops in her compositions, which you can find HERE. It’s a listening lesson where students move to the music and participate in a singalong and works well for 1st grade or older.
  • Incredibox
    • This is an oldie, but goodie for creating loops. Students have four versions from which to choose, and assuming your students can ignore some of the ads, this is a great choice for upper elementary or middle school students.