I’ve compiled a small list of some items that I’ve loved this year. Yes, it may be too late to get these by your 12 days of Christmas list, but try some of them out for your 2012 year! I’ve linked all these items for you so you can have easy access to them!!
1. Larabars- Ok, these things are delicioso. They have several different flavors, but save yourself some time and get the best one, apple pie! Kellie and I are trying, as much as we can, to eat vegan things. Don’t let that word, vegan, fool you though. We were eating these long before we were trying to do some vegan dishes. Now knowing these bars are vegan, makes it that much better. On a side note, I still enjoy a nice juicy hamburger. Just trying to eat a little more healthy when I can.
2. Cliff Bars- “Ok Ok, enough with the food bars Adam!” Sorry, one more! Cliff Bars, although not vegan, are simply irresistible and amazingly healthy. We’ve been snacking on these little guys for a long time. Definitely one of my top, “Go-to” snacks. Try them, you won’t be sorry.
3. Otterbox Case for iPhone- If you read one of my last blogs, you know that Kellie dropped her iPhone in the toilet exactly 1 day before our water resistant otterbox came in the mail. Of course. Although this case isn’t water proof, it definitely helps out a ton. Luke throws our phones all over the place, and this case is such a good protector. If you have the 4s, always make sure the camera hole is one big circle on the case. That’s how you know if the case is for the 4s. If the camera hole is shaped like a weird rain drop, that is for the iPhone 4.
4. Reusable K-cup lids- For all you Keurig coffee people out there. These lids are awesome. You can re-use your k-cups several times by simply removing the foil off your old cup and emptying out the coffee grains. Just rinse out the cup and add one large scoop of your favorite coffee to the same cup. Then, put on this cap. We always let our filter dry out a little bit, first, though. The best way to do this, is order 10 of these lids and fill all of your used k-cups with coffee at once. That way, you have 10 cups of coffee ready to go and you don’t have to hassle with it every morning. We like these WAYYYY better than the device that comes with the keurig. These lids plus the used cup make a stronger cup of coffee and you don’t get coffee grounds in your coffee when you drink it.
5. Vitamix- Ok, so yes, spending this much on a blender seems ridiculous. BUT, if you really really use it, you will make your money back. I have never seen a blender do what this thing can. Kellie used this all through out Luke’s baby years to make his organic fresh baby food. She’ll also use it, of course, for our next baby. You can actually makes soup in this thing too. The blade spins so fast it will make your soup very very hot. On the flip side, we put tons of veggies in this thing and top it off with an assortment of frozen fruits for an AMAZING healthy fruit smoothie. It makes them just like you would buy at any smoothie store. A little tip, though, if you’d like a shot of flavor….add a tablespoon or two of your favorite non-fat sugar free pudding mix. mmmm mmmm mmmm. This thing does it all and we couldn’t live with out it. Once you taste homemade peanut butter, coconut butter, and fresh basil pesto….you’ll never go back.
6. Ipad 2. Ok, so I don’t have one of these. But, I’d love one. I’ve played with my brother’s iPad and that will be next on my list for next year. These things are so cool. With a toddler who loves watching barney and other cartoons, these things are great tools for quick entertainment for a baby squirming away from a diaper change.
7. Canon T2i DSLR Camera.- I have the T3i camera, only because I won it in an auction. The T2i, is basically the same exact camera but almost $150 cheaper. The only difference is a few small things to do with the video. Nothing too major to notice, at all!! So, I’d suggest getting this amazing camera for you and your family. It’s the perfect camera for someone wanting great pictures, but who doesn’t want to worry about the one million different buttons that come on the $5,000 cameras. It actually takes just as good of a picture, in my opinion. Get the body only, though. Read below for some great lenses to get. Yes, this may be an expensive camera…but for us, it can save a bundle of money over getting professional photographers to come and take pics each time another child is born (and throughout their childhood). So, in the end, you’ll save money.
8. 50mm F/1.8 Lens for your Canon DSLR Camera- This is such a great lens, especially for the price. This takes amazing close up photos that gives your subject the clarity you want, with that awesome blurry background. The body of this lens has some plastic parts on it, which makes at not as sturdy as my next lens, but such a good lens for the price. It definitely blows the kit lens away (that’s the Lens that comes with your camera if you bought it as a package)
9. 50mm F/1.4 Lens for your Canon DSLR Camera- This lens is only a couple hundred bucks more…but such a great sturdy lens, with an even better picture than the 1.8. This lens will last you a good while for sure. Again, like the last lens, this is a prime lens. That means you can’t zoom in and out. If you want the option of zooming out, the kit lens will go out to 15mm for a decent picture. This lens is fixed at the 50mm depth though. But, any good photographer will tell you that to get the clearest picture….walk closer towards your subject…rather than just simply zooming in on them (unless your taking a picture of a Lion. In that case, zoom in and don’t put the camera up next to it’s nose). The next step up from this lens, is the F1.2 (which takes amazing pics), but it’s like $1000 more than the F1.4. So, you can see what kind of a deal you are getting by simply bumping up to the 1.4 from the 1.8.
10. Light Room- This is a must for any photographer, I think. This is way different than photo shop (and much cheaper). Photoshop is the world’s leading pixel manipulator. It is amazing for what it does. If you need to crop out that boyfriend/girlfriend in your family picture, that you know won’t be there next year. Photoshop is the way to go. Lightroom users learn to create “templates” and “presets” within this program to automate repetitive tasks, making it easy to organize, enhance, and share an image with the world in seconds. Mastering Lightroom means capitalizing on every possible time-saving feature. Lightroom is fun, efficient, powerful, and creative. This program is a huge help for thousands of serious digital photographers. You can change colors, smooth textures, and make a decent looking picture look amazing.
11. Battery Grip- This is just a cool device for your camera. It holds two batteries instead of one. It also gives you more to grasp, making the camera more sturdy. When you turn the camera sideways, you still have all the buttons on the grip for easy access to taking the pic. I love it!
12. Baby Bjorn Bib- Oh My Oh My. This probably could be my top 2 picks. This bib is amazing. It is made of a harder plastic that allows you to simply run it under water to clean. Not to mention, it has a little tray to catch all of your babies mishaps. It’s incredible. We once made a 30 minute detour to buy another one of these bibs when we left it at home before our vacation. It’s that good.
13. A Mighty Fortress CD- You’re right, my list was for 12 things. But, I’m making this a baker’s dozen list. I can’t end this list without a shameless plug for my new CD!…ha. It was so amazing getting to work with some very talented musicians and producers on this album. I was/am very happy with this CD and it is my favorite one to date!! I hope you enjoy it!
Have a Merry Christmas! And remember, “things” will never replace the joy you can find in Jesus Christ! He is the reason we celebrate EVERY season!