3 sisters. 2 states. 1 story.


Donna's Favorite Things - Holiday 2015 Edition

Friday, December 18, 2015

Last year, we Harris Sisters brought you three lists of "Favorite Things" to get you in the Christmas spirit and to give you some great ideas for your last-minute shopping lists.

Those lists can be found here if you missed them:

This year, we bring ALL NEW lists to you. Hope you enjoy!

Good  Eats

These first few ideas will allow you to treat yourself, treat your friends, or get together a holiday party on short notice. ;-)

I have always been a little partial to these cookies ever since we got our baby Smithers (who is a tri-colored Tibetan terrier). You might think that these cookies wouldn't be that impressive since they're labelled as shortbread cookies, but you'd be wrong. They're made with real butter, and they just melt in your mouth. And it doesn't hurt that they're shaped like little Scottish terriers to up the cuteness quotient!

And if that weren't enough, the absolute best time to buy these cookies is at Christmas time, when you can find them in specialty tins. You can purchase these online, but you should also be able to find Christmas tins locally at shops like World Market and the goodie aisle of Homegoods. Happy hunting!

Locally owned and operated, this small business has been churning out the best tasting popcorn you could ever imagine. With more than 70 flavors to choose from, they truly have something for everyone. Their flavors run the gamut from traditional caramel to the more adventurous (dill pickle, anyone?). The mini size bags make great stocking stuffers, and their larger size bags are perfect to add to your holiday party table. You can order directly from them online if you're not local, and they'll pack it up and deliver directly to you.

OK, so I was completely unawares that people had such strong feelings about pimento cheese of all things. But, then I found out that we had this local fellow who made his own brand. Always one to support small business when I can, I searched for it AND IT IS DELICIOUS. Now, I must interject that Ryan Barrett Walkush much prefers the Smokin' Habanero because it is the spiciest version they make. All of them are fantastic because they are made from real cheese. (Most pimento cheese is made from processed cheese.) They are sold locally in North Carolina, but you can find them at Lowes Foods Stores as well as some independent retailers. Try these as an appetizer at your next holiday party!

4. Flavored Oil and Vinegar

Perfect for mixing and dipping homemade breads, these unique flavors are sure to liven up your next get-together. We found some interesting flavors at The Artsy Olive, a locally operated business that has two locations: Gatlinburg, TN and Dillsboro, NC. They were happy to let us sample different flavors before deciding on the ones we took home. Two of our favorites were Pineapple White Balsamic Vinegar and Calabrian Hot Chili Pepper Olive Oil - they taste amazing mixed together! With about 20 oil flavors and more than 40 balsamic vinegar flavors, you'll find the one for you. Different sized bottles are available to allow you to buy just a taste or buy more of your favorites.

Good for What Ails You

With the added stress of the holidays, these ideas will make sure that you're taking care of yourself too!

5. Trigger Point Massage

A trigger point (also referred to as trigger site or a muscle knot) is a very tender spot in the body, often an isolated area within a particular muscle group, which will cause shooting pain in other areas of the body when stimulated. Trigger points can make themselves apparent in visible knots or in tight bands of muscle fibers. Trigger point pain is one of the more common ailments that affect the muscles in the human body. It is also one of the most painful considering the pain does not occur in just one area, but can cause tingling, numbness, and various other discomforts in areas at a distance from the source of the trigger point itself. Trigger point massage, which should be readily available at most massage centers, helps to alleviate the pain and muscle stiffness associated with trigger points.

Let me be the first to say that I will TRULY try ANYTHING that purports to get rid of headaches. I have suffered from migraines since I first started college, so I have tried nearly every single remedy posted on Pinterest- twice - and then some. So, I was absolutely delighted to find this little gem. 

It is an aromatherapy blend of lavender and peppermint in a roll on dispenser that is small enough to carry in your purse. You roll it on your temples or the base of your neck (where ever the pain starts - as soon as it starts), and it will keep the pain at bay. Has it staved off every single migraine? No. But, it has prevented quite a few. And that, my friends, is a success.

Speaking of roll-ons, here's another to add to your list. This is a pain reliever that comes in a roll-on. I love this for many reasons. As you know, I had knee surgery on my left knee in 2014. It still whacks out on me every now and again. So, rather than popping a bunch of pain pills or slathering myself with stinky muscle rub, I just roll on some Biofreeze. It calms down my knee with little to no smell and I can get on with my day. And, because it's in a roll on format, you don't even have to get your hands messy. How simple is that? ;-)

Good Lookin'

These ideas will make sure you're looking good for all those holiday parties.

This product is truly a game-changer. You simply put your jewelry into the basket with a little water and dish detergent, set it for a pre-programmed amount of time, and let it run. It will shut off automatically, and when you pull out your jewelry, it will be sparkling! A must-have for anyone who is short on time and doesn't have the luxury of stopping by the jewelry store to have each piece of jewelry professionally cleaned.

This sunscreen is specially designed to provide sun protection without causing breakouts. Perfect for daily use underneath makeup to keep wrinkles and age-spots at bay, this liquid-lotion leaves a weightless, matte finish so skin can breathe. 

And after you've finished applying it to your face, rub what's left on the backs of your hands. Mama always taught us girls that you can always tell a person's age by their hands, so make sure those are daily sun-protected too! :-) Available in a variety of SPFs and you can find it online or at your local drug store.

Good Boy

This last idea is for your four-legged friends.

This is prescription medicine for your dog that replaces the topical medication that you've previously administered monthly for flea and tick protection. Bravecto is a chewable tablet that you only have to give once every three months. Not only is that more convenient, it's less messy than the topical "skunk stripe" as our family so affectionately calls it. Ask your vet about this medication for your pet to take advantage of this convenience.

And here's Deanna's Favorite Thing's List for 2015 if you missed it.

I hope you've enjoyed these lists.  You've got a few more days to wrap up Christmas shopping and parties. Hope we've given you some good ideas - happy shopping!

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