These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

If there’s one thing that I could drool over all day, it’s cars. From the moment I turned 16 (and, let’s be truthful, it goes back further than that) I would obsessively identify cars on the road. I could spot a Ford Mustang from across a parking lot, even if I couldn’t see my own hand in front of my face.

Here are a few of my recent faves:

Volvo Xc60 AWD – I <3 AWD cars, and Volvo is cool again thanks to Edward Cullen. The XC60 is my favorite kind of car — a crossover that looks great on-road but can drive off the beaten path too. It’s also sporty, with plenty of room in the trunk for sports equipment or gear for a doggy day out. It has a 3.0L engine, so it’ll give you plenty of punch too.

Honda Accord Ex-L – Honda Accords used to live firmly in the “dependable” category, but these days you get a lot more options. For example, Honda used to make a V6 Hybrid, which appeals to both my sporty side and my green inclinations. They stopped production on these a few years ago, but you can still find them on pre-owned car lots and they’re well worth checking out. The cool version out now is the Crosstour, which has a V6, decent MPG (16/28) and a streamlined, hatchback look. It comes in red too, so I’m sold.

Mazda Mx-5 – Admittedly, the Miata used to be one of my least favorite cars, but a lot has changed in the last decade. The new Miatas are much more modern-looking. The specs are still unspectacular, until you remember that these things are also small and light. Even with a four-cylinder engine and ~170hp, Miatas can still move.

Aston Martin – The model doesn’t matter; it’s an Aston Martin! Nothing says performance like Britain’s finest sports cars. My personal favorite has always been the DB9, not surprisingly because it appears frequently in video games. It may be out of my price range for now, but it can’t hurt to dream for the future!

Find All the Best Deals

Now that Christmas is over, there are a lot of great deals to be had on items you didn’t find under the tree. I used to use regular search engines to search for products, but this past year I started using ShopWiki to find the lowest prices on products.

A few things on my 2011 Wish List:

Sunglasses – I hope to have these by the time the crazy-bright UK sun comes out around June. Now that we have a nice big garden to tend and play in, I’ll be spending a lot more time outside and my eyes will need to be protected. For me, the style is more important than the brand, so I use ShopWiki to narrow my search down (to sporty style, in case Santa is reading this).

Woman’s Watch – I’m kind of a sucker for watches anyway, but I’ve been looking for something a little more rugged than the watch I currently have. ShopWiki can narrow down my search right away so I don’t end up looking at products that don’t apply to me.

ShopWiki also has fabulous shopping guides written by real humans (!) on a variety of topics, so if you know your crazy Aunt Mildred loves her fashion accessories but you don’t quite know where to go from there, the guide gives you tons of ideas and links to cool products. And I can’t stress enough that, even though ShopWiki is a shopping search engine, they’ve spent a significant amount of time putting these guides together and making them relevant for consumers. I wish I could write for them (hire me, please!).

Hey, you scrub up nicely!

I’ve always been fascinated by how medical professionals portray themselves. From the stately, professor-types to the smiling nurses in children’s wards, each person can create express their personality through what they wear and how they wear it.

Shops specialize in all kinds of scrubs, from designer, traditional and everything in between (for both genders, natch… and kids wear too). Look at — the selection is incredible. Looking for discount scrubs? They’ve got ’em. Hats, jackets and accessories? It’s all there. The products are handmade — showing that there’s quite a demand for quality, long-lasting clothing in the medical industry — and come in all shapes and sizes. They even have medical coats and scrub sets.

But my favorite part of the site was the accessories. When it comes to letting your personality shine through your uniform, the lanyards and jewelry can really make it happen.

Jazzy Address Signs

Halloween was our one-year anniversary of homeownership. It’s taken nearly that long to unpack all of our stuff, but now that we finally have, we’ve been focusing on sprucing up our house. It’s the little things that make a house a home. Last week I talked about mailboxes, so today I turn my attention to address plaques.

Right now, our address plaque isn’t very useful. It’s small and hard to read; I may have bad eyesight, but you have to have 20/20 vision to see our address sign from the street. I want something bigger and bolder, with large numbers and maybe a smaller font with our street name (it’s a pretty name). So I’ve been shopping around, and has a wide selection of address signs of all shapes, sizes, colors and styles. Your address plaque is one of the first things people look at when they’re coming to your home. I think it says a lot about your house, so I want something that really represents us. We may not buy until spring, but it’s never too early to shop around and get ideas!

New Baby? New Car Seat!

My sister-in-law gave birth in July, and the first thing they had to rush out and buy was a baby car seat. Unbeknownst to them, the one they were planning to use was ruined when part of their house flooded, so they had a new baby and no way to get her home.

Thankfully, shopping search engines like ShopWiki make it easy to shop and compare products, all in one place. I love that you get all the shopping listings from around the Internet (not just paid placement) and also that you get informative pages about shopping, like this page for convertible car seats. That attention to detail and editorial content is missing from so many other sites, even Google.

So, my sister-in-law did get her car seat, and she saved a lot of money too. Now that Christmas is coming, we’re using ShopWiki again to find the best deals on presents for our new niece, with shopping advice for baby toys, accessories and essentials like cribs. We’ve already saved on some toys and are fully intending to spoil our new niece–and save money too–this holiday season.