Favorite Things 2016

Happy December!!  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!  This year we stayed local and didn’t fly back to the frozen tundra to see my family in the Midwest, but instead we drove across the bay to my in-laws for dinner.  My mother in-law is an amazing cook and her delicious turkey dinner did not disappoint.  We will see if she reads my blog….brownie points for the daughter in-law. 😉  Have you started your holiday shopping yet?  I just started this week and so far I have found some pretty good deals.  I’ve been doing my part to shop local, shop the malls, and I shopped on Cyber Monday…..I think I’ve covered it!  My holiday cards are in and I’m hoping to put them together later this week.  I ordered them from Tiny Prints this year and the entire order was 40% off plus free shipping!!  YAY!!

 If you are looking for some gift inspiration you have come to the right place.  I’ve been putting together a list of things I’ve been crushing on this year and I’m now ready to reveal my favorites from clothing to fragrances, to shoes to household goods.  Enjoy!

I really like Benefit products.  Last year I told you about, They’re Real mascara, which I still love, but I have found another mascara from Benefit that is right up there with They’re Real.  Roller Lash is my new favorite and I love the grippy handle and curved brush.  Great for all of the ladies in your life, including teens!  Benefit has great gift packs if you are stumped for a teen gift.  Most teens I know love Benefit.  Even ladies in their late 40’s…wink wink!



Love them or hate them the Kardashians have built quite an empire.  My daughters love the Kylie Cosmetics line so I wanted to share their info with you in case you are buying for picky teens.  To be honest, I like some of their things as well and they offer great colors.  The lip kits were insanely popular last year and were selling out in a matter of minutes.  I think things have calmed down a bit and the kits are not selling as quickly as they were.  So there you have it….the Kylie lip kit!


I really like Bobbi Brown cosmetics and I’ve been using her bronzer powder for years.  But now that the lines are beginning to set in I’ve steered away from powders a bit and I’m beginning to embrace tinted moisturizers that give me a more “youthful” and dewy look….well, kind of. 😉



I’m obsessed with this new to me fragrance line, Le Labo.  My neighbor wears Santal 44 and it is intoxicating…..at least to me it is.  All fragrances are lovingly hand blended in their lab.  They have a variety of different scents to choose from and they sell small sample bottles for $6.00, which is such a nice way to get acquainted with their fragrances.  And I love those little sample bottles for traveling.  I discovered their rose scent this past weekend and I love it!  If you love rose scented products this scent is the real deal!


And now Le Labo has discovery sets so you can decide which of their fragrances are right for you without the commitment of a large bottle.


My favorite cashmere sweater of the moment.  This beautiful sweater is from Neiman Marcus Last Call and is a bargain for cashmere.  If you have a cashmere lover in your household this sweater has her name written all over it!


Love this lightweight cashmere poncho.


My favorite new booties from Sam Edelman.

A fun new look for 2016 and they come in four neutral colors.


Love these cute little slip ons from UGG.  I have a similar pair from Michael Kors and I absolutely love them and wear them all the time!


I love leopard and I’m always on the look out for cute pieces to add to my wardrobe.  Love that this Joie shirt can be worn all year long.  Very lightweight and perfect worn with a black sweater or cute with a pair of white jeans in the spring or summer.  It looks a bit conservative in this picture, but it can be untied for a more “carefree” look.


An army jacket is something I wear all the time and I have found it to be a great piece that I go to again and again.  Note: My teen daughters like them too just in case you are shopping for a teenager.

This one is from Nordstrom at a higher price point.


Here is another option from Nordstrom…..


I love Kendra Scott jewelry and I realize a lot of people do, but it never disappoints.  Her Rayne necklace and Elle drop earrings are my go to when buying a special gift for a friend.  I always get so many compliments on her pieces and they go with everything…dressy to casual!  If you are looking for a special piece to give at the perfect price point Kendra pieces should be your go to!  She has a high end line as well just in case you are surprising your significant other with something super special!  Kendra is always a classic!



Do you have a Hobo in your life?  If not, you need one!  The perfect little purse for all occasions!  Great for an evening bag or a great wallet for your everyday larger bag.  And they come in a variety of different colors!  Perfect gift to give or receive!


Love this very reasonably priced set of cheese knives from William Sonoma.  Long handles assure that your hand will not be touching the cheese.  I hate that.


Here is another hostess gift or something for you to put on your list.  This darling cheese board from William Sonoma includes knives in the handy drawer.

Love this cute little piece.


My favorite TV chef is at it again.  Another beautiful cookbook dedicated to her darling hubby.  Who wants to be Jeffrey?  Boy… that guy sure eats well! :-))  Wouldn’t you just love to know that on your weekly drive from Connecticut to the Hamptons dear Ina has a delicious chicken dinner waiting for you.  Probably with a cocktail and a delicious dessert, too!  FYI….Jeffrey works in Connecticut and drives home to the Hamptons every Friday.  He deserves a good dinner after that drive!


Last year I received this delicious set of oils and vinegars from my mother’s husband.  The products are from a Chicago based company called, Old Town Oil.  If you are a salad lover, and enjoy delicious and unique dressings, this is your company.  Even if you are not a salad lover these delicious oils and vinegars are great for dipping bread, etc.


Are you familiar with Alexa?  We added this fun device to our home last year and we are loving it!  It does so many things…. I could go on and on!!  I will let you read all about it, but if you are looking for a unique gift Alexa is a true winner for sure!


My friend turned me on to these fabulous charging cords.  Where have I been?  They come in a variety of lengths and colors and are super durable.  What more could you ask for?  The perfect gift for anyone, right?!  Now everybody has their own color and no more lost or stolen cords!  If you have teens you know what I mean?!!


So there you have it…. another addition of my favorite things.

What are your favorite items on this list?  Any additions you would add?

I hope to be back with another post this month, but sometimes December gets busy…..I’m sure you understand! xo

If I’m not back I would like to wish you and yours a wonderful holiday full of love and lots of hugs. Thank you so much for reading and for leaving comments. The fact that you stop by to check out this little blog of mine means a lot….thank you! xo

About Ms B in the Bay Area

A San Francisco Bay Area lifestyle blogger Food-Travel-Fashion

12 comments on “Favorite Things 2016

    • Hi Katie, So glad you liked my list! It is always fun putting it together. I love all of your holiday decorations….your house looks fabulous and your girls are adorable. It must be so nice when they visit! Happy Holidays to you and your family! xo

  1. Great post! I clicked on a few items for my gals! Thanks Ms. B in the bay area!
    I have been reading for awhile now…. Great Blog…. Thank you!!

    • Hi Kathryn, Thanks for stopping by! Glad you picked up a few new ideas and happy to hear you are enjoying the blog! I appreciate the nice comment. Happy Holidays!

  2. Thank you for this post April – you have the cutest style and fashion sense. Appreciate the fun ideas. I love the power cord idea for stocking stuffers. Also haven’t heard of that scent – love perfumes so I will have to try that one. My brother and family has Alexa – seems like a fun addition to the family 😉 Great to have Ms. B post in my inbox, keep ’em comin!!

  3. Thanks April, perfect timing…some great gift ideas!! I just ordered the charge cords for stocking stuffers (nice to have them color coded) and the perfume sample set will be a great gift for my friend. Happy Holidays!

  4. I love all your picks, April. We have a similar aesthetic and I love your style. I’m selecting a number of the same type of pieces, from small designers, for my online boutique this season. It’s such fun to see the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit alive and well.
    As you know we were recently at the Fairmont Sonoma and I was excited to see the Le Labo bath products in the suite. Isn’t that cool? I was impressed! Have you been to the Lab in SF where you can mix your own scents? I did a post on it a couple of years ago.
    Great post!!
    Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday!!

    • Hi Heather, I need to check out your online boutique….I haven’t been there in awhile. No, I haven’t been to the Lab in SF, but it sounds like a fun place, although I think I might leave the perfume mixing to the pros. I get the feeling my fragrance mixing might be a little scary. Glad to hear you had a nice time in Sonoma!

  5. April, Wow another great post with some cool ideas. I need a few things especially these cheese knives and the cords. Love the little cheese board too. I love La Labo scents..Great idea the small trials! By the way, like the Contessa book and have made several recipes from it. Also the Alexa is fun and it’s super for playing holiday music! I need to do a holiday blog… Sigh. Just need to find the time. Hoping we can get together soon. Happy holidays!! xx Kim

    • Hi Kim, I can’t wait to try some recipes from the new Barefoot cookbook….love her recipes! A little caloric but always so delicious, right?! Glad you picked up some ideas from my post!
      You did a holiday post….the one about Filoli. 🙂 I haven’t been there in a long time and I definitely need to go back! So beautiful this time of year! Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday! Let’s try to plan something in January! xo

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