Philips Wake-up Light: I really get stressed out by noise, so waking up to a blaring alarm clock, or even music from my phone, wasn’t working well for me. I wanted something that would wake me up silently. Enter the Philips Wake-up Light! I set my “alarm” and in the 30 minutes before I want to wake up, and the light gradually gets brighter to simulate the sun rising, which makes my body wake up naturally, right on time. This has been a total game-changer for me, particularly for my goal of waking up earlier and having an effective morning routine, but also for the calm it brings to my room in general. It has the added bonus of working as light therapy for those dreary winter months when I crave the sunshine so badly. It has so many great features. I don’t know how I’ve lived without it all these years.
Nikon DSLR Camera: This was a big purchase for me, but it has absolutely been worth the investment. I am not a professional photographer, nor do I aspire to be one, but I am a parent, and having a good camera has been one of my best parenting tools. I want to take pictures of the kids, but they’re constantly in motion–a good camera has the settings I need to capture their wiggliest moments beautifully. I want regular family photos, but they usually cost a fortune and it stresses me out to wrangle all five kids for an hour-long photo shoot–a good camera, with a tripod and remote, makes a free family photo possible whenever and however it works for me and my family. Newborn and birthday portraits? No problem with my great camera! Don’t be intimidated by all the features, either! There are so many tutorials that will get you started in minutes. OR, you can do what I do and just keep it set to flash-off mode and take everything you can in natural sunlight. (Look for my photography course coming soon.) I particularly recommend this package because it has all the extras I love included for a great price.
Brother Wireless Inkjet Printer and Scanner: Oh my gosh, you guys! Do you know how many printers I’ve owned that I have cursed to hell and back?! Several. This is the best printer I have ever owned. I love it SO MUCH! I don’t know what I would do without the wireless printing feature, the super huge scan and print capabilities, the high quality printing (and scanning), or the scan-to-pdf feature. Also, it never jams, I don’t have to change the ink more than a few times a year, and it was easy to set up. This is a great choice for homeschoolers or anyone who just prints a lot. I chose it especially for the scanning qualities to digitally save my paintings which were large and cost too much to have scanned at places like Staples. And it has Amazon Dash Replenishment for ink!
TUL Retractable Gel Pens: These are the best pens. I discovered them when my husband brought one home from work–he’s a prosecuting attorney for the biggest county in our state, so a lot of people had a say in what pens they wanted the office to buy. This was the winner, and I can see why. So easy to write with, a really beautiful line, just simple and perfect. I order new ones for myself every Christmas; and because I’m a huge nerd, I’ve also given them as gifts . . . for other huge nerds.
Wopex Eco Pencils: Yep, I have a favorite pencil, too. My kids know that these are “mom’s pencils” and are not for homework use. I also love that they’re green; what a nice break from the usual yellow (although that is one delightful thing about pencils, huh?). The write smoothly and erase and sharpen better than other pencils. I use them for my calendar/bullet journal mostly, but I also use them for sketching in when I paint. This is another one of my Christmas purchases every year.