Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Alyssa's Favorite Things: 2015!

That time Oprah helped me get into the holiday spirit.

I have so much love and respect for Oprah and the empire she built, and I get pretty, prettaaaayyy, excited when she shares her Oprah's favorite things each year:

This year, I decided to do a favorite things post of my own. In the past calendar year, it feels like I've had to replace every expensive thing I own: car, tv, laptop, mattress, tablet, phone... they all reached the end of the line. I spent a lot of time researching and replacing these things, and too much time shopping online in general, so maybe some of you can benefit from my wealth of knowledge re: buying stuff, or at least enjoy these very technical FaceInHole-generated images. 


Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 Instant Film Camera - $107 - Now that Polaroid film is harder and more expensive than ever to find, I switched over to this camera. The film is readily available, and the colors are dreamy. Has two focus zones + light and dark control. 

Swedish Hasbeens Emy Clog Boot - $399 - Sigh. Someday. 

Laurel Hill necklace - $286 - I lucked into a deep discount during Laurel Hill's Good Karma sale, so this hunk of goodness is going to be my Christmas present from my folks!  

Harney & Sons Green Tea with Coconut - $8.50 - Working from home can make a gal real snacky, so I've been drinking tea when the snacking urge strikes. 

Nike Women Rosherun - $135 - call me an old lady, but I started to have bunion pain this year. I tried so many pairs of athletic shoes both for the gym and running errands, and these were the winners. 

Cape Clogs in Bronze - $73 - Cloggin' all day erryday. 

TONYMOLY sheet face masks - $13.85 for 11 - sheet masks are great for looking like a monster on a girls night in. I first found them at Korean beauty stores. They make your skin feel fresh and moisturized. 

Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit - $16 - These make a great gift for any woman who travels frequently. I wish I could give these to every one of my music industry ladies every festival season. 

Kitchen stuff: 

Hamilton Beach 2-Speed Hand Blender - $21.99 - It's soup season, fools! I got Rachel this immersion blender for Christmas, and gave it to her early for making butternut squash carbonara. I hear it also comes in handy for milkshakes. 

Coconut Oil - $9.99 - Hello! It's me, your hippie friend who thinks coconut oil is the answer to everything! It's in my smoothies, on my dry elbows, I'm washing my face with it... it's everywhere, and I hope we don't someday learn that it's actually bad for us, because I'd be screwed. 

Kim Kim Korean Hot Sauce - $14.99 - Made in Richmond, a Virginia friend brought me a bottle, and it became my favorite hot sauce. I could go through a bottle per week if I wasn't trying to ration it. Think miso hot sauce. It's an all natural hot sauce made from fermented bean paste and red chili paste, and i want to put it on everything. Put it on a kimchi quesadilla. 

Lodge enameled cast iron dutch oven - $59.99 - The Le Creuset version is $299.99, and we've already established that it's soup season. One of this will last you forever. And then you'll pass it down to your kids, who won't appreciate it, because they'll have a food machine straight out of the Jetsons. 

Lodge cast iron skillet - $14.95 - I can't remember the last time we used any other skillet. It's oven proof, gets super-hot evenly, and becomes better and better seasoned over time. This is another item you'll have forever, and then pass on to your kids, who will think it's a cute thing to hang on the wall because it reminds them of a time before 3D printed food. 

Nutri-Ninja Pro - $99.50 - For a while I was so good about making smoothies ever morning in this. Next year I need to get back on the green smoothie train. It's just hard to get off the pimento-cheese-toast-for-breakfast-every-morning train. I bought my parents one too, since adulthood is this weird role-reversal where you start pestering your parents to eat their vegetables. 

Cuppow drinking lids, set of two - $19 - Cuppow is a socially acceptable sippy-cup for your adult life. It turns mason jars into hot or cold travel mugs.  Pretty sure everyone on your holiday list drinks stuff sometimes. I still don't always remember to bring my own cup to coffee shops, but at least I feel really guilty now when I forget it. 

Bodum Copper French Press Set - $24 - $48 - You can make cold brew in your French press overnight, too. 

Stay Home Club

Tuft & Needle Mattress - $600 - I replaced my mattress this year with one of those fancy new made-in-America mattresses. It's supposed to sleep cooler than memory foam with the same sort of support, and comes with a 30 day trial. I should have done this long ago instead of sleeping on a caved-in pillow top. In arrived rolled up in a box, and poofed out when it hit the air. (Watch Dean unpack it here.) It's super comfy, and works just fine without a box spring on this inexpensive frame, and then I have under-bed storage drawers. New bed, new TV, bye bye social life. 

Netflix & Chill dog hoodie - $26.99 - In Willie Mae's perfect world, we'd stay home every night. 

No-slip ultra-thin flocked hangers - $18.99 for 50 - these lived up to the hype, and now my closet is tidy! 

SUPERFIGHT - $30 - If you like Cards Against Humanity, you'll love Superfight. You're dealt a character card and attribute cards, and then argue why your fighter would destroy. A few beers can really enhance the logical, impassioned arguing. 

LED Edison bulbs - $12.99 - They're long-lasting, don't draw much power, and look like tiny chandeliers inside light bulbs. 

Gifts for Good: 


She Crew Pits Against Patriarchy tank - $25 - All profits go to {she crew} to assist with operation costs & programming. {she crew} is an arts empowerment program in Chicago for girls ages 12-14.

Umano Cactus Tee - $36 - Our hometown heroes Umano recently went on Shark Tank! Kids draw the art and with every product you purchase, Umano will give a backpack full of school supplies.

Femme International - packages vary - For schoolgirls, having a menstrual cup allows them to attend school -- every day of the month. Girls in Kenya will miss an average of 4.9 days of school each month because of her periods, adding up to around 20 per cent of the school year. Giving a schoolgirl a menstrual cup means she no longer needs to leave school to find a latrine during the day. She is no longer afraid of leaking, and being mocked by her classmates. I think this organization is so vital to improving the health and education of women around the world.

If loving the blanket scarf trend makes me basic, I don't want to be deluxe. 

L- R: ASOS, ASOS, and Etsy

Vices & Devices: 

(Yeah, I have no idea how to make a collage of electronics look nice.)

Kindle Fire - $49.99 - When I'm at the gym, I try to forget I'm running on the elliptical by watching Netflix and SkillShare classes. I ordered a Fire because... well.. it was pretty cheap, and it's the same Netflix regardless of what you watch it on. 

TCL Roku TV - $189.99 - When my TV broke, I replaced it with a smart TV, and went from that friend who goes "oh, I don't watch much TV. I kind of forget that watching TV is even an option!" to "thanks for the invite, but X-Files is on Netflix, so..." 

Lifeproof waterproof iPhone case - $45.85 - Did you drop your phone in a toilet this summer and zap it instantly? ME TOO! I learned my lesson, and sprung for the waterproof case. 

Reclaimed Wood Farm Table for Dogs - $99 - The Sons of Sawdust crew made just the thing for the discerning pup in your life. 

And finally, to tie up all of this Oprah-inspired hullabaloo, an enamel pin, illustration, and sticker set following Oprah's hairdos through the years! It's like Abby from Broad City's dream come true! Far too much of my 2015 income went to enamel pins, and I don't see that trend stopping anytime soon... 


  1. This is awesome Alyssa. I'm going to ask for some of these!

    1. also this is Kara - I don't know why it's showing up as unknown :)


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