First Friday Faves – December – Best of the Best

first friday faves december

Every first Friday of each month I reveal three of my favorite products, items or services.  This month, December, I’ve decided to do a round-up of my very favorite faves.  A best of the best group.  Obviously I love all of the items I choose but there are certain things on these lists that I couldn’t live without.  These are those items:

  1. Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri Top Coat
  2. Consumer Cellular
  3.  AirBake Cookie Sheets
  4. göt 2b Powder’ful
  5. Ever Clean Cat Litter

Don’t get me wrong, I really, really love the others and narrowing it down to these 5 was almost impossible.  My criteria?  Would I cry if I couldn’t use or have the Fave anymore.  I actually changed number five because I realized I wouldn’t cry if I couldn’t use the Power AirFryer XL but I would if I didn’t have the Ever Clean.

Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri Top Coat

So, let’s get to it!  My first December Fave is Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri Top Coat.  Hands down my favorite top coat for the last five years or so.  You can read my initial post about it here or you can read my praises about it now.  This is such a great product and it’s super inexpensive when you buy it at Wal-Mart or Target.

first friday faves

I’ll only do my (and my daughters’) nails at night before I go to bed.  I hate the whole “curing” stage so it’s easier for me to do it at bedtime and wake up with them ready to go.  I love that I can do it then and still wake up with a perfect or 99% perfect manicure.  Very, very rarely does anything happen overnight to ruin the job.  You know those dreaded sheet creases I’m talking about?

On the occasion something is wrong with them it’s something that happened before I went to bed.  Sometimes I’ll get a small nick while digging for a dog treat or taking off my socks (if I forgot or my hubby’s asleep already).  Other than that they’re pretty much exactly the way they were before I went to bed.

first friday faves dec

I love the shiny look it gives my polish and it lasts for about 4 or 5 days depending on what I’m doing.  Sometimes I’ll put more on to spruce up my shine but most times I don’t.  And when I say 4 or 5 days for the shine, I’m not talking about wear.  I know all polishes wear differently but I can usually get an entire week under this top coat.  As a matter of fact my current polish has been on since Thanksgiving eve and I finally feel like it’s time to take it off.

Nothing is going to beat a curing light when it comes to drying your nails but if you don’t want to invest in one and you already own a ton of regular polish I totally recommend trying the Inst-Dri!

Consumer Cellular

Next up is my favorite money saver, Consumer Cellular!  I love CC so much I seriously don’t even know where to start.  First of all, anyone can use Consumer Cellular for cellphone service.  Before I signed up I thought only retired people could use it.  I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials, retirees looking to connect to younger family members or dip their toe into the smart phone realm.  Well thankfully you don’t have to be an A.A.R.P. member to join, but  you can get a special discount if your are.

first friday faves

I signed my family up with Consumer Cellular about 4 or 5 years ago.  We were brand new to the smart phone world having just come from Tracfone.  There was NO way we could afford a plan with the most mainstream wireless service providers so I set out to research different ones.  I looked at every one you’ve probably heard of but the only one that seemed like it would work for our family of four was CC.

Make sure your device is compatible.

When doing my research I learned that if I didn’t want to buy one of the phones CC offered (currently selling the brand new iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones plus more) I’d need an unlocked GSM phone.  That worked out great because I wanted to buy a certain phone elsewhere to use with CC and it would work.  Long story short, we bought our phones outright then signed up.

I have to tell you, when you sign up you’ll be sent SIM cards for your phones.  Follow all the directions given.  We had a few minor, and I mean minor issues when we first signed up but their customer service was fantastic at getting everything taken care of and getting us up and running in no time.

first friday faves

We were paying less than $120 for service for 4 smartphones back then.  At first we kind of watched our text and data usage but honestly, we really don’t anymore.  One of my favorite things about Consumer Cellular is that they’ve improved our plan numerous times over the years and we still pay less than $120 a month.  Recently they upped our data plan to 20 shared GB but our monthly cost didn’t go up.  Same thing happened a couple of years ago when we went to unlimited talk and texting.  Our monthly bill didn’t change.

Change your plan anytime you want.

What’s great about CC is that you’re not locked into a plan and you can change the plan you’re on if you think you’re going to use more or less data each month!  Your first line with them is free and each additional line is $15.  From there you choose your talk plan and connect plan (text and data).

If you’re worried about how good the service is, I have never had any issues with call quality or connectivity.  I can honestly say I’m 100% satisfied.  What else can I say besides I not only signed up my family but since then my sister and her family and  my mother and father in law have also gone with Consumer Cellular.  So if you’re in the market for a new cell service provider or looking for a less expensive plan check them out!

AirBake Cookie Sheets

Tis the baking season and my AirBake Cookie Sheets are going to be getting a real workout soon!  These baking sheets are the best things evah!!  I would be lost without them during cookie baking season for sure.

first friday faves

Pros:

  • I never burn anything
  • My cookies come out perfect

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Should not be immersed in water – Not a biggie for me because they clean up very easily by washing the cooking side with soap and water over the sink, not dunking in the sink.

first friday faves dec

I use my sheets with and without parchment paper and always get great results which is something that never happened with my old cheap single layered metal pans.  They cooked unevenly or something and I was never satisfied with the final outcome of my cookies, biscuits or whatever.  The AirBake sheets also come in a variety of sizes, too so you’ll always have the right size for any cooking endeavor.

göt 2b Powder’ful

This product will give me the ugly cries when it’s gone.  I am in love with göt 2b’s Powder’ful but sadly I’m pretty sure it’s been discontinued.  I just bought six, yes 6 of them from Ulta the other day because I don’t know what I’m going to do when it’s completely gone.  If you’ve read my post on it you know that I also like Sexy Hair’s Powder Play as well but this one was my favorite of the two.  Thankfully I’ll have that to fall back on but still, it’s gonna be tough.

first friday faves dec

Anyway, if you can get your hands on the Powder’ful, do it!  It is the best hair volumizer I’ve ever used.  It is truly a miracle worker on my fine hair but I do have to caution against using too much.  I know sometimes we think that if a little bit works this good then a lot must work great but not with Powder’ful.  Less is more!  Otherwise you risk having to wash your hair over again, not that I would know or anything.  😉  Believe it or not this powder becomes a sticky, tacky mess when too much is applied.

Try it before you can’t find it anymore or if you’re worried you’ll fall in love and be broken-hearted once it’s gone check out Sexy Hair’s Powder Play.

Ever Clean Cat Litter

My last Fave for the month is Ever Clean Cat Litter.  I have a herd of cats.  Well, not a herd but multiple cats and one of the requirements my hubby had so that I could keep them was to find a descent litter.  Cat urine has a very ammonia-like smell and some litters control it better than others.  When our cats were kittens we experimented with various litters but I could always smell the boxes so I sat down and did what I always do.  I researched the heck out of cat litter.

first friday faves

The one I kept going back to was Ever Clean by The Clorox Company.  The downside to this apparent Godsend?  The price.  I never thought I’d be able to convince my hubby to spend $20 on a box of cat litter when he used to balk at spending $7.99 on Tidy Cat years ago but it was worth a shot.

We took the plunge and tried it and haven’t looked back since.  What a world of difference between the Ever Clean brand and all the others we tried.  Yes it does cost more but for what it does it’s totally worth it to us.  We even got my mother in law hooked on it for her cats!  I never smell her litter box anymore.  The only negative for me and I can overlook it is the dustiness.  This is a dusty litter so we try to be careful when dumping it into the boxes.

It may not be your litter, it may be your boxes.

Also, recently I was beginning to smell our litter boxes more so than before but I don’t think it has anything to do with the litter.  Our boxes were due for a change after being used a couple of years.  After a while the ammonia odor leeches into the plastic and the only true way to get rid of it is to start with new, fresh boxes.  We just bought new ones and we’re good to go.

There are a couple different varieties of Ever Clean Litter to choose from.  I like mixing the Multiple Cat with the Extra Strength but I’m pretty content with either.  And it’s not just the odor control I like, it’s also the clumping action.  It clumps well which is important when scooping multiple boxes daily.  Try it and see how it works for you and your feline friends.

Honorable Mention: Power AirFryer XL

Okay, I do have to give an honorable mention to that Power AirFryer XL!  Why?  Because we’ve been without a microwave for about a month.  I know right?!  Yes it’s been difficult but because of the Power AirFryer XL it’s not been that big of a deal.  We’ve been heating lots of different things up in it.  Of course my daughter can’t heat up her corn bag that she puts at her feet every night but we can heat up edible food.

first friday faves

It does a great job at heating pretty much anything non-liquid.  I’ve used it for everything from pizza to cheeseburger subs to leftovers from my favorite restaurant. (Steak, rice and broccoli wrapped in foil and it came out great!)  It really is a handy little device.

So there you have it.  My best of the best Faves.  I hope you check them out and they become your favorites, too.  Let me know if you have tried any and what you think.

 

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