Sunday, December 3, 2017

Jan's Favorite Things, Christmas 2017


I have two biggies, both new this year.  If you have read my blog, you all know that I’m the Gadget Queen and I don’t believe on skimping on kitchen equipment.  For me, it’s important to have good tools.  Long after you’ve forgotten how much you paid for things, you will love them and be glad that you didn’t cheap out.  

I bought a new butcher block this summer for my center island.  I’ve been a fan of BOOS blocks for years and have had a couple of their free-standing footed butcher blocks in the past, the one I bought a few years ago for the condo is now sitting in the garage because I couldn’t bear to part with it.  I get sentimentally attached to kitchen things, seriously I do.

I had been eyeing up this beauty for a few years.  You see variations of Boos Butcher Blocks a lot on FoodTV, Pioneer Woman has the 3” thick end grain round block, Trisha Yearwood used to have the 2.4” running grain rectangle and this year she upgraded to the 3” version.  At first I thought I wanted the round version, I knew I wanted the 3” thick one.  I did the research and knew I also wanted end grain wood, not running grain, it looks better and it doesn’t show cuts as much.  I also wanted the traditional maple board, not the cherry or the walnut.  Practicality won out in the end, that round one wouldn’t have worked as well for me, and I made the right choice.

So I bought it.  Don’t gasp at the price, Here’s the link, and it’s worth every . single . penny.  I could have gotten the 2.4” cheaper, but I knew I would never be happy with it, so I just bought the damn thing.  And I love it, I really, really love it.  It looks so great sitting on my counter and it performs like a champ.  You can get beeswax-mineral oil conditioner from Boos online, or you can just oil your board with mineral oil.  Never use olive oil or vegetable oil, it makes the board sticky.  You can also have it monogrammed with your initials as in the picture above, but that wasn’t for me.  I just wanted the authentic board.

I did one change though.  My previous cutting board had little stainless steel flat discs that fit on the corners on the underneath side.  It was great, it gives your board dimension and it also lifts it enough that you can get a Bash n/ Chop underneath it.   What’s a Bash n’ Chop?  It’s this little gadget, I think I got my first one from Galloping Gourmet in the 70’s and it’s great for scooping up your veggies and plopping them in your pan.


This would make a great little stocking stuffer and it’s only $8 and change PRIME from Amazon.  Want the link, sure you do.

But back to the cutting board.  My new board sat flat on the counter, and I wanted to lift it up a bit like my previous board, so I called John Boos outlet store in Effingham, IL, and asked them about those little stainless discs, they had them and they shipped me a set of 4 for under $20.  Then hubby drilled the underside of the board, attached them and now my board has dimension and that little Bash ’n Chop slips right underneath it.

I also purchased Pioneer Woman’s Turquoise Knife Set this year.  It’s inexpensive, as far as knives go, but it’s the best I’ve ever had and I’ve had several in my lifetime.  My favorite knife is her Japanese Signature Knife, it’s my go to, that knife is superb.


They’re out of stock at WalMart onlne, guess I’m not the only one that likes them, but you can usually find them at your local WalMart.  They do have them available in Rosewood, but they’re not quite the color pop as the turquoise or red.  Link here...

And the other biggie I blogged about a couple of months ago, it’s the Phillips XL Air Fryer.  They sell cheaper air-fryers but this is the big dawg that started the whole trend.   It’s amazing, we use it almost every single day.  


Here’s my original article, check it out - it’s GREAT! 




The Kindle Paperwhite - I was a little late to the Kindle e-reader game.  I started with a Sony Reader when they first came out, it was kinda meh and I got rid of it when I got an iPad and was perfectly content to read books on it.  Then last summer, Amazon had a Christmas in July sale, and the Paperwhite was $89 instead of $119, so I bought it on a whim.  And I love it.  Why, when I have an iPad Mini?  Because it doesn’t get hot, it’s lightweight, it’s so easy to grab, tuck in my purse and go.  The battery lasts forever, and if you have books in .epub format instead of .mobi which the Kindle uses, it’s really easy to convert from .epub to .mobi on your Computer using a free program called Calibre.  

You can buy a Kindle reader for $79 now on Amazon instead of the Paperwhite, which is now $119, but I’m a bells and whistles girl and the $79 version just doesn’t do it for me.  I want the  backlight, perfect for reading in bed without bothering a sleeping hubby, and it has Wi-Fi and Celluar Connectivity.  And it’s WHITE, thats the best part.  You don’t get all of these features on the cheaper version, it’s a matter of what you need.  The best part about the Kindle is that it doesn’t glare like the iPad does, so when you’re outside it’s easy to read.

Here’s the link

And they have really cute covers for them on Amazon, here’s mine, and the link


I also got this bag from Pioneer Woman.  I just love this, the dimensions are 16” x 15” so it’s really roomy and the vertical shape is perfect.  It’s my go-to bag and the more I use it, the more it looks worn-in and vintage, and the pockets on the outside are perfect for my cellphone and my glasses.  I love vintage looking bags and this one delivers and the best part is the smell, you open it and the leather just wafts right up to your nose, it makes me smile every time I open it.  These bags sell out regularly at The Mercantile, if you’re interested you might want to scoop one up here.  When I first opened it, it was a little stiff, but the more I used it the more it softened, it’s really a great bag.


I also bought one of her mugs, talk about vintage, this is so cool and the price is right, $10.  It’s a great stocking stuffer.


You can grab this mug here


And last are Uggs.  I’m a big fan of UGG boots, they’re super comfy and I walk really well in them.  I had quite a dilemna with UGG boots this fall, but that’s for another blog entry.  These are the ones that I really liked and UGG discontinued them.  So, then of course I really wanted them.  And you can find them, they’re on eBay, if they don’t have your size or color, just put an eBay search on them and they will alert you when they are available.  I got them in Chestnut, they’re not exactly Booties, but they aren’t high either, and they work great with that bag from The Mercantile.

Just search Google for Ugg Azalea Boots if you like these, they just recently discontinued them and you can find them.  UGG has replaced them with the LiLou, same boot different button and tassel, but I don’t like them nearly as well.  You can find the LiLou here.

And these are a few of my favorite things, some are a little spendy, but it’s Christmas, and you or someone in your life just might enjoy some of these treasures.  If I have time I’ll post another list of inexpensive favorite things, which tends to be more make-up related.  ~ Jan


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