Jenn’s Favorite Things

1. Ginger

I’m in love with anything ginger right now.  I love the hot, spicy flavour.  Yum!  Here are some of my favorite ginger foods.

Chimes Ginger Chews – Original is best, but orange is also really good.  These candies are soft and chewy and keep a strong ginger flavor for the whole candy experience.

Natural Brew Ginger Ale – A refreshing non-alcoholic drink.  Available at some Safeway stores, if you look really hard, it’s usually hiding on the bottom shelf.

Crabbies Ginger Beer – There are a lot of ginger beers out there, but this is my favorite because it is the spiciest, the most like eating fresh ginger.  To fancy it up, serve it chilled, over ice, with a lime wedge.

Instant Honeyed Ginger Drink – This is the perfect hot drink to warm you up.  It’s also excellent if you have a sore throat or feel like a cold is coming on.  You can find this in most Asian groceries, like T&T.

ginger

2. Chocolate

I love chocolate!  Chocolate in any form.  I was spoiled by my parents because at Christmas and on Valentine’s Day we would get Bernard Callebaut chocolates, and they were the most amazing chocolates I ever had.  My mom’s favorites are Purdy’s Chocolate covered Gingers (hey another yummy ginger food!).  For brownies, you can’t get easier or chocolatier than Ghiradelli’s Brownie Mix.  They also make a great hot cocoa mix.  When I can’t make it to France for pain-au-chocolat, Duchess Bake Shop and Bon Ton Bakery make pretty good pastries.  The very best chocolate is my mom’s birthday cake.  It is complete decadence.  She puts ganache on each layer, then covers the whole thing with chocolate whipped cream.  Heavenly!

Mom's Chocolate Layered Birthday Cake

3. Containers

I have an affinity for anything that holds other things.  Boxes, bags, baskets, bins.  I love them all.  Here are some of the best.

To keep your home organized –

  • Jenn's Favorite ContainersCutlery tray, to tame your junk drawer.
  • Knife tray to keep your blades in order and protect the blades, $17 Rationell Knife Tray from Ikea.
  • Compartment box (or tackle box) – I like to keep all my spares keys in here.  It keeps them organized and easy to find.
  • Magazine File for random papers, $3/5 from Ikea.
  • Hanging Storage.  I have absolutely no storage at my back door except for a few coat hooks.  These hanging pockets are perfect for gloves and toques during the winter and sunglasses and sunscreen in the summer.  Notudden from Ikea $10.
  • Laundry Bag (Jall $6 Ikea) or Bag Buddy $13 – I used these for all sorts of things, not just dirty clothes and raking leaves.  I keep one in the garage for car garbage and another one for pop cans or recycling.
  • Mahogany Wood Memory Box, Bombay Company $99.  I have always loved these memory boxes.  I keep my most special keepsakes in them.
  • Jewelry Box.  The best part of jewelry boxes is the tiny little compartments for each pair of earrings, necklaces or rings.  Mine is this amazing cherry red faux-snake skin box with multiple drawers and compartments.
  • Blanket Chest.  When I was a little girl my Ngin Ngin (grandma) had a beautiful Chinese chest.  It was dark wood and elaborately carved.
  • Garage.  My very favorite container is my car house – my garage!  I never had a garage until a few years ago and it is the best!  It keeps your cars warm and covered, so you don’t have to brush snow off your car anymore.  Plus you can keep a whole bunch of other stuff in there too.  Awesome!

For Travel –

  • travelHumangear Gotoob – This is the best travel tube for carrying lotion, soap, or shampoo. $6.75 from MEC.
  • Eagle Creek Packing Folder – You can put 12-15 items in these folders.  It keeps your clothes from rolling around in your luggage and from getting wrinkled.  I especially like that you can keep entire outfits together, $17-$34
  • Lug Two-Step Cosmetic Case – $36
  • Lug Bags – I have to agree with Rachel’s Favorite Baby Things, these bags are great.  They are brilliantly designed, with lots of pockets and zippers, and they come in the most fun candy colors.  They range in price from $31 for a small purse to $300 for a 4-wheel roller bag.  I actually find these bags to expensive at their retail price, so I like to pick them up gently used on kijiji.

4. Rich Moisturizing Cream

If the dry winters weren’t bad enough, I get to battle eczema too. I’m no stranger to flaky, itchy skin or dry cracked hands.  There are a billion of different creams out there, and after a lot of guess-and-testing and some research I have narrowed down my favorites to three different products.  CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is the lightest of the bunch, so it is the favorite for my face.  It also BEST rating from Paula Begoun.  Glaxal Base and George’s Cream are my other two favorites and they happened to be Canadian.  George’s is the richest and greasiest.  I like it for my hands, but it leaves lots of fingerprints on my phone.  CeraVe $23/453g, Glaxal Base $24/450g, George’s $17/450g.

cream

5. Pedicures

Pedicures are my most favorite way to get pampered.  I especially like going to small private nail shops.  For $35 I can get a relaxing hour in a massage chair, with a good foot soak, leg message, and I go home with the cutest toes.

6. Malcolm Gladwell

Anyone who knows me would be shocked to find an author on my list, but less surprised that it’s non-fiction author Malcolm Gladwell.  I’ve read most of his books, and every few pages I seem to be blown away by something different.  He can change the way you think about things.  One great example of this is his article Million Dollar Murphy.  Take some time to read this story and you’ll you what I mean.

Note: We weren’t paid or perked to name any of these products, they really are just our favorites!

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