- Pretty Whimsical's Scrabble Pendants: (see photo above!) I was collecting items for a housewarming care-package for a good (and much younger and stylish friend), when I read one of Pretty Whimsical's tweets about her latest Jane Austen-themed Scrabble-tile pendants. I clicked over and immediately fell in love. She was running a buy two get one free promotion, so I bought a Mr. Darcy's Girl pendant for my friend, an I love Mr. Darcy pendant for myself, and as a bonus, the above Keep Calm and Carry Chocolate pendant for my Hershey's sponsored train trip to BlogHer. I've received a ton of compliments, and they are just the cutest and most affordable accessory I own. Really, they're $6.95! Just keep some Super Glue on hand, in case the tile separates from the bail, but at that price, I'm willing to do some TLC. My female friends and family should know you are very likely to receive one for your birthday or Christmas stocking stuffer this year!
- The family iPad: It's not all that new, but the iPad is the best gadget ever. All five of us play on it daily. This week we've used it like this: the toddler counts animals, the Schmoopette reads along with an amazingly multimedia Alice in Wonderland, the Schmoop plays Plants vs. Zombies, my husband developed an app obsession with Worded and Historic Earth, and I check my email, watch movie trailers and go online to do everything from shop to look up recipes to figure out which hotel to stay at when we're in Europe for our 10th anniversary next summer. It's definitely a splurge, but it has been used so much we feel the cost was justified. ($499-$829)
- Fresh lip balm: I was in San Francisco visiting my lovely editors at Common Sense Media and while strolling around Union Square, it dawned on me that I had zero makeup on. Nada. Usually this doesn't bother me, but I could hear Mami's voice whispering in my ear: "You're walking in one of the greatest cities in the world! Ponte pinta labio!" It was way too early for proper lipstick, so the Fresh manager saved the day by recommending their tinted lip balm. It's got SPF and gives you a "just-kissed" glowy look that's not plumping or over-the-top, just more of what God already gave you. I love it; I just wish the packaging weren't quite so thick. But that's a minor concern for an amazing lip balm. I have it in Sugar Rose and the brand-new Sugar Plum ($22).
- The IGo charger: I received it for free at our final DC Metro Moms party, and it's one of the best goodie bag items I've ever gotten. It's so useful I bought two more tips. Tips, you're asking? It's a universal charger, and it can charge any device as long as you purchase the proper tips. I needed one for my iPhone (which was also given to me), but then I bought one for my Jawbone Bluetooth and another for my husband's BlackBerry. It was a life-saver at conferences or during that tour of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, when you're going to be out all day and have no place to recharge. ($39.95 for charger; $5-$10 for tips)
Photo credit to the amazing Jean, of Stimeyland fame.
Full disclosure: As I already mentioned, the IGo was swag, but everything else was paid for by yours truly.