March 17, 2013

These are a few of my favourite things.

When I find something I love, I want to shout it from the rooftops. No, I'm not talking about men, although I guess I found one of those, too, but rather things. I want to tell people about all the things I like and how useful they are and want them to discover how marvelous they are, too.

Now, I do this out of the goodness of my heart as my gift to you. If you think there's any kind of compensation attached to this post that's very sweet of you and you have an excellent sense of humour.


Who doesn't love brown herringbone?

I love my TOMS. I bought them in the fall of 2011 and have never once regretted their purchase, even though they were pushing $50 with a coupon. I'm not sure if they're popular everywhere else, but they're kind of an essential part of west coast living. As in everyone has them and they're amazing. We're blessed with warm enough weather that they can pretty much be worn year round. Ironically, they don't do well in water (being canvas), but one of my friends sent me instructions on how to waterproof them. I'm not entirely sure why I haven't done this yet.

Even though they don't look like much, they are my favourite shoes to walk in and all I know is that when my TOMS eventually die I'll be investing in a new pair. 

If my stunning review isn't enough motivation for you to get a pair, they're also pretty "ethical." For every pair bought a pair gets donated to a child in need. At least it's something.

Joe Fresh

Joe Fresh has long been a staple at Superstore here in the good old Canada but, like Tim Hortons once did, it's now branching out into the states. Where exactly I have no flipping idea, but according to the Twitter it sounds like JC Penny is involved.

Last week my good old home town even opened up its first Joe store and had 20% off opening day. I went after work and it wasn't crazy busy like H&M was three days after it's opening when it arrived a couple weeks ago. In other words, Joe is the best kept secret of the clothing world. 

I guess because it originated in a box store, Joe Fresh is a little underrated and mostly popular with the middle aged crowd. For the record, the designer Joe Mimran was the original designer for Club Monaco. It's ironic because Club Monaco sale items are still hundreds of dollars whereas Joe items are not even close. Sure, there's some "higher fashion" clothes that are in the $40-$100 range, but I'm thrifty and half my wardrobe is Joe so that's got to be telling you something.

I was curious how much Joe I actually owned. This photo is missing some pj pants, a sweater dress, a couple sweaters, a shirt, and a pair of pants. And some snow boots. I might have a problem.

For example, Joe tights are the most mind-blowingly amazing things ever. They are also $6. They will not run on you and I finally had to throw away a pair after almost a year and a half when they had a snag that I cut off, leaving a hole. I am anything but gentle with my tights. My mom loaned me a pair of expensive Jockey tights that I killed in one wear. My equivalent Joe tights are not only more comfortable but way, way more durable. Their nylons, however, are like nylons everywhere and not exactly what I would call "comfortable" but I have yet to snag a pair. 

When I went to the grand opening, I picked up a shirt and a dress for $19 each. Before the 20% off. I have sweaters ranging from $5 off the sale rack and dresses up to $50 from there, but I don't regret any of it. I have a least ten dresses (one was a clothing swap item, okay?) and the average price I've paid is probably $15. I have the same shirt in two different colours I bought there sometime before I got married (at least three years ago, in other words) for $16 each that are still in great shape after regular wear.

There is also Joe makeup but I've never tried it. The nail polish isn't the best, although the colours are pretty, but I've heard that the makeup is even good for people with ridiculously sensitive skin (aka me).

Avon Eyeliner

Avon has the best non-liquid eyeliner I have ever used. Now, I'm not much of an eyeliner guru but I have tried a few pencils and I always feel like I'm stabbing myself just to get it on thinly enough/properly/attractively. I feel like if the pencil isn't sharp enough to kill someone it's just going to make a  big mess (I speak from inexperience experience), but when it is that sharp it only stays that way for ten seconds and my eyeball starts to hurt from the sharp pointy object on the other side of my eyelid.

Enter the glimmerstick. It's one of those twisty types of eyeliners where it stays thin because it's not a pencil. Like lipstick. Or something. It's also softer than a pencil so no eye stabbing feelings need occur.


My favourite colour is the glimmersticks diamonds brown glow. If it sounds a little rave-glam it's really not. I don't even noticed this colour's sparkle. I like it because it's light enough that I don't give myself hooker eyes even if I overdo it when I'm in a rush. Like pencil liners it's pointiest when new and loses that tip pretty quickly so you do need to be aware of what you're doing. I have other colours, and I do love them, but the brown glow is my signature colour. If I had a signature colour.

Did I mention it's cheap?


Now that I have reverted to shorter hair, dry shampoo is even more important than it was with my long, flowing locks. Since I have bangs, it's kind of essential, but the short hair looks nasty pretty quickly if I'm not careful. Enter Batiste. I've tried baby powder/non baby smelling talcum powder to get my roots less oily on days I don't shower, but failed miserably. I could never find anything that was unscented so I always ended up smelling like an old woman. I also looked kind of like one, too, because that stuff is hard to rub in all the way.

Tresemme also has a dry shampoo that I've tried and, while I really like other Tresemme hair products (including their hairspray that doesn't stink!) their dry shampoo was just disappointing. It made my hair feel gross and like it had product in it. Not with Batiste!

With that lighting it even looks like God endorses this stuff. How angelic!

Batiste is nice because it blends in really well, even though I have dark hair, and I don't even really notice I've used it unless I put way too much in. Actually, thanks to Batiste, I sometimes feel like I can go days without showering or washing my hair. Common decency dictates that I don't do that but at least I know I can without looking weird. Well, weirder than normal.

It's about $10 a can, but worth every penny. There are also differently scented ones, as well as ones for dark hair. Personally, I feel like the regular one fits my needs just fine.

Diva Cup

Dad, if you're reading this, please skip this section and move on to the next item. Men in general, actually. Do us all a favour.

The Diva Cup is like the best kept secret of being a woman. They market it as a "menstrual cup" but I like to think of it as a silicone shot glass for your lady bits. Basically, it's safe, it's easy, it's environmentally friendly, and it's only about $40. You can even wear it if you think you're going to need and don't need to worry about dying from strange acronym diseases. It also saves any kind of awkward monthly trips to the store to stock up on supplies. Unless those supplies are chocolate and wine because the only thing that makes those trips awkward is the quantity.

The only downside to the Diva Cup is that Walmart and my drug both don't sell it but, oddly enough, my grocery store does. Karl was horrified when we bought it alongside his lunch meat.

(I did not include a photo for this section because 1) that's gross, and 2) I can't find my Diva pin that came with my cup. Yep, you get swag. What's not to love?)

Tupperware Can Opener

One of my best friends, Caity, sells Tupperware and, as a result, I've had some serious exposure to it in the last year. I never before would have dreamed of buying fancy Ziploc containers that cost more than a night out on the town until I had a connection telling me about the sales, and giving me perks for having parties. I mean, everyone gets perks for having Tupperware parties, but I didn't know about them until Caity started selling.

It's expensive, no question, but Tupperware definitely has its perks. And the best one? The can opener.

Look at that pose! I think it's trying to seduce you.

This sucker doesn't actually touch the contents of the cans so it will never need to be cleaned (unless you drop it or something) and, as a result, never rusts. Like our gorgeous Kitchenaid can opener started to do after less than two years of use. The can opener also makes a smooth edge on whatever its opening so you won't cut yourself. You can lick that sucker and be totally fine. No joke. When it's opening cans, the can opener also has a really good grip. You can spin that can upside down while you're opening it and it won't even drip. It's basically the king of can openers.

It's $40. I initially wasn't going to get one because $40 for a can opener is straight up insanity, but I hosted a party and Karl talked me into it as my 50% off item. $20 for a can opener still felt expensive, especially when our pretty red Kitchenaid one still did the trick, but since I had Karl's support I did it. It's not very often you get to buy a ridiculous kitchen tool for half price.

And you know what? I've never once regretted that can opener.

Every time I open up a can of beans I'm so grateful for a can opener that doesn't smell like beany death afterwards because, as yummy as beans taste, they smell like farting corpses.

Epicure Microwave Steamer

To add to the Tupperware train, another one of my friends sells Epicure. I'm basically a housewife with all the bells and whistles. Except for the whole, having a full time job and not actually love to cook thing. Epicure actually sells some things that are quite similar to Tupperware items, with prices that boggle my mind. In the best way possible.

Now, Epicure doesn't come with a lifetime warranty like Tupperware does, but it's certainly got some perks. Like price. Epicure is also mostly a spice company so it's got that big difference, too.

Epicure has a microwave steamer for $20. Tupperware has a microwave steamer for something like $160. Naturally, the Tupperware steamer has quite a few structural bells and whistles, whereas the Epicure version is just silicone, but I'm quite proficient at steaming veggies on the stove the old fashioned way (with a metal steamer in a pot). It may take a little while, but I never would have dreamed about buying a gadget to help me steam my broccoli. It's a waste of money.

I did, however, develop a taste for popcorn this past summer. Cheap air poppers are at least $20 and come with terrible reviews, but my Epicurean friend wooed me with the microwave steamer. No oil needed, just popcorn and a couple minutes in the microwave. I was sold.

By the time I brought home my microwave steamer I had already mastered he stove-top popcorn making in a pot. It involves oil, unlike the microwave steamer, but it makes so much more popcorn. I also found that my microwave is a little too efficient and can't perfect the art of popcorn making in a steamer. It either burns the popcorn or doesn't pop it all.

Well, one night I was in a rush to make some pasta and, feeling unmotivated, decided there wasn't enough time to make veggies for the sauce. Enter the microwave steamer. In a minute or two I had perfectly steamed peppers and onions for my sauce.

Basically, the microwave steamer has made my lazy meals less tragic and more healthy. I feel like a better wife and human being. At least during the ten minutes it takes to eat dinner, anyway.

So what do you think? Have I inspired you to become a Diva or possibly switch can openers? Or are you just too busy judging my Joe addiction? Let me know!


  1. I just need to suck it up and buy a pair of TOMS, I have been wanting a pair for so long. I love yours, so cute!

  2. Your favourite things are strikingly similar to my favourite things... I don't have a tupperware can opener - but I do have a fancy one that I love more than a person should love a can opener.

    You know, when Oprah talks about her favourite things she gives them away free to everybody... just saying

  3. 1) I neeeeeeeeed some Toms. I've been drooling over them for years, I need to just break down and get a pair. Did you know there's a Toms outlet online?
    2) I honestly didn't believe non-rusting can openers existed until you posted this. I'm still half convinced it's a myth.
    3) The Diva cup (and other like products) terrify me. I honestly don't know if I could bring myself to try one.

  4. I wouldn't say my life would feel incomplete without Toms, but I am pretty stoked that my sister is buying them for all her bridesmaids for her wedding.

    I wish Joe Fresh fit me as well as it fits you.

    I only use soft pencil eye liners too. The last one I bought was Cover Girl, but previously I bought Almay. I can't tell the difference.

    I loved the Diva Cup too! I haven't used it since before getting pregnant (best pregnancy side effect ever!), and since you need a different size after having children, I probably won't get another one until after we are don't have kids. I will stick to the old fashioned way in between.

    My can opener is probably from the 80's. My mom gave it to me when I moved out, and I love it! It doesn't do fancy things, but it opens cans. I do love my Tupperware, though. And so does Calvin. :)

  5. I'm getting a pair of Toms. I need some. Especially since I love on the west coast. I mean, come on?!

    I've never heard of Joe's, but now I think I might have to take a shopping trip to Canada. It's been awhile since I've been shopping up there. Actually, since before the exchange rate evened out.

    Also, I think I need that can opener. Ours is getting gross and we need a new one.


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