Every year we discover new products (to us) that make our lives simpler, better, or easier. In no particular order, here are my top 11 favorite products of 2011:
1. DRY SHAMPOO
I hate washing my hair so anything that allows me to delay the process excites me. And that is exactly what Dry Shampoo does. Just spray this stuff in your hair (kind of like hairspray) and it takes the grease out so you can delay washing your hair at least another day or two. It is great for days when you don’t have time to wash, dry and style your hair. Perfect for the busy mom. You can get dry shampoo at any beauty supply store and I usually stock up when they have sales.
2. BALL REALFRUIT INSTANT PECTIN
My MIL and SIL have been canning strawberry jam for years and have always used Sure-Jell Pectin. They use the recipe on the box and it is yummy so I thought I would try it this year. When I went to the store to get some Sure-Jell Pectin, they were out, so I just grabbed the Ball RealFruit Instant Pectin. When I got back home, I realized that the recipes on the box were different so I decided to follow the Ball recipe for strawberry jam. It called for way less sugar than the other pectin and it didn’t have any light corn syrup in it either. The Ball pectin was significantly healthier so I was worried it wouldn’t be as good, but I ended up liking the Ball jam even better. It tastes so fresh- like straight strawberries. And my kids love it too. Elle loves to put the jam on her waffles.
3. CARNATION INSTANT BREAKFAST
I discovered Carnation Instant Breakfast powder packets by mistake. I bought a big box at Costco for 72 hr kits and then realized you need milk so that wasn’t going to work. I was stuck with a box so I decided to try the shake recipe on the package. I add a little peanut butter and my kids loved it. I make individual servings in our Magic Bullet. When my bananas are about to go bad I cut them in half and freeze them so I I always have frozen bananas on hand so we can make this breakfast whenever. I serve it with a piece of whole grain toast and it feels healthy.
Okay, Toms really deserve their own post because they are that great– hands down the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. I wore my first pair all day at Disneyland and didn’t get any blisters or hot spots. And you can feel good about yourself because when you buy a pair of Toms you are giving another pair of shoes to a child in need.
5. MAKE-UP WIPES
I bought a box of Kirkland make-up wipes and have found them so handy and helpful. They make my life easier on those nights when I just can’t face taking my make-up off (which has been every night lately). And they are awesome to take traveling or camping- less products to pack. I also love them to take off my kid’s make-up after Halloween or dance recitals or play time. The kids can wash their own faces.
6. LAUGHING COW LIGHT CREAMY SWISS CHEESE
Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese is yummy and delicious. My Body for Life, diet, exercise addict sister introduced this product to me. She put it in our scrambled eggs and we also spread it on Triscuits. I discovered that it is great for school lunch sandwiches because you don’t have to use mayo or cheese. It gives the moisture plus the cheese flavor and it doesn’t go bad as fast. I got it at Costco and it lasts forever in the fridge.
7. SLOW MELT POPSICLES & MIGHTY MINIS POPSICLES
Popsicle brand came out with these two little beauties a couple of years ago, but I only just discovered them from a friend’s blog. They made summer so much easier with my little guy Locke. He could sit outside with the other kiddos and eat a popsicle without it dripping all over him. Thank you Popsicle for thinking of us moms.
8. FRESHLY GROUND PEANUT BUTTER
Did you know you could just go to the store and put whole peanuts down a shute and out comes freshly ground peanut butter with out all the sugars and preservatives? You probably did, but I didn’t. I still can’t get my kids to eat it, but I love the idea of it and I am going to keep trying. I did stick it in their Carnation shakes and they didn’t notice.
9. HUGGER MUGGER YOGA MAT
I got me a Hugger Mugger Tapas Performance series Yoga Mat and it is awesome. It is just the right amount of cushy and thick and sticky. It also comes in a long size if you are tall. It is time to pass on my cheap, TJ Maxx, pink, 8 year old mat to my daughter. I can’t wait for yoga 2012.
10. COCO-LATTE MACHINE
(I just realized that 6 out of the 11 products have to do with food. Does this say something about me or what?) We have loved our Back to Basics Coco-Latte machine. It is a Mormon girl’s coffee maker. We just pour in Winder Dairy chocolate milk, add some cinnamon or nutmeg or vanilla and turn the machine on. The machine froths and warms the milk and turns off on its own when the milk is hot enough. We top off the hot chocolate with whipped cream or marshmallows and enjoy being together. I love it because I don’t have to vigilantly man the stove. The kids can make the hot cocoa on their own with no worry of burning or scalding and they can even serve themselves with the little flip switch.
11. SHADE LEGGING JEANS
I bought my first pair of Shade Leggings Jeans in November and I think I have worn them every day since. No joke. So I went and bought me another pair in a different denim wash as a Christmas present to me . They are soft and comfortable with a higher waist so there is no muffin top. And they keep their shape well and don’t stretch out (even after wearing them day after day). They are my favorite jean right now and they are on sale for $29.99 today.
What was your favorite new product of 2011?