Top Ten Favorite Purchases of 2012

Just for fun I thought I’d share my favorite items of 2012, in case anybody’s getting a head start on Christmas shopping…or Christmas wish-list-writing!  Not all of these things were “newly released” this year; they were simply acquired in our household throughout the year.  In reverse order, here are my 2012 favorites:

10. Mariposa Birthday Candle Holders

This is a great gift idea for a woman who’s got everything.  My sister-in-law gave them to me this year, and I love them!  We have used them on everybody’s birthday cake.  Aubrey has already memorized the “3” in anticipation of it appearing on her cake.


9. Inchbug Orbit Labels

Whoever invented these is a genius.  You can buy 4 personalized labels for $12 and never lose a sippy cup again!  (Photo courtesy of



8. Sand and Water Table

We were given a hand-me-down water/sand table from our dear friends when they moved overseas, and it is awesome!  When it’s warm outside, Aubrey can play all by herself, “bathing” baby dolls, “cooking” with Mommy’s bowls, floating boats…  Finally, a safe way to play with water unsupervised.  (Photo courtesy of


7. Etsy Personalized Necklaces

I have fallen in love with Etsy jewelry.  It’s the perfect gift for all the sentimental women in your life because everything is made-to-order by hand.  (Photo courtesy of



6. Personalized Shutterfly iPhone Cover

This was my Father’s Day gift to Clint, and I must admit I thought it was terribly clever.  It’s so hard to buy a guy a sentimental gift because they don’t wear jewelry, or care much for monogrammed things or framed pictures.  You can custom design a case at with your own special photos.


5. Swing Set

If the grandparents have asked you what to buy their grandkids this year and you don’t own a swing set, it’s worth its weight in gold!  When everybody’s at their wits end, “Who wants to go swing and slide?!” is always a great thing to yell.



4. The Meaning of Marriage

At some point I will probably give this book its own individual post because it has so deeply impacted me.  But suffice to say, it cut straight to the heart of many of my personal struggles in marriage.  In my opinion, it’s the best marriage book of 2012.


3. The Jesus Storybook Bible

This book is a must-have for children!  Our church gives them away at baby dedications, and ours has been dearly loved ever since.  The unique thing about this particular children’s Bible is that it places Jesus at the center of every story–Old and New Testament alike.  After reading it for less than a year, my three-year-old can already find her favorite stories, name the characters, and tell the stories back to herself.  Just today I saw her flipping through the resurrection story saying, “And then the stone was all gone, and Jesus could get out.”  (turn the page)  “Jesus is ALIVE!  He is not dead anymore!  And look, Heidi, no more boo-boos!”


2. Illustrated Children’s World Map

We bought this children’s map to teach our kids about praying for the nations.  The best thing about it is that it’s covered with illustrations to help kids learn about the animals, flags, and exports of various countries.  It’s easier for Aubrey to remember where countries are located because she can look for the animals associated with them.


1. Bowflex Dumbbells

This is my all-time FAVORITE purchase of the year!  Each dumbbell adjusts from 10-90 pounds with a single “click.”  Although pricey, when you factor in the cost of buying 10-90 pounds in individual dumbbells, it’s a steal.  Not to mention, they take up a fraction of the space.  But my favorite feature is the accessibility.  Instead of joining a gym, my husband and I opted to invest in exercise equipment for our home.  So I can work out while the kids nap, or (since the “gym” doubles as a playroom) turn on some music and let the kids play while I lift weights.  Amazingly, one of the most fun times of the day is when Daddy gets home and lifts weights.  As I’ve mentioned before, Daddy is the life of the party and Aubrey has her own set of dumbbells, so altogether it is hilarious to watch.  If he ever lets me, I’ll post a you-tube video 😉

2 thoughts on “Top Ten Favorite Purchases of 2012

  1. This is such a fun article. Who would think you can use a simple list of top 10 favorite buys & build a post that holds several possibilities for future posts.

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