It all started with the Yonanas.

A few weeks ago, my cousin Andy told me about the Yonanas machine which turns frozen bananas into a healthy, frozen treat. Considering I love bananas and healthy, frozen treats, I ordered Yonanas on Amazon that very same night, waited for the drone, and settled for my old, boring UPS delivery two days later (thank you, Prime; more on that later). The Yonanas Fest of 2013 commenced, and many frozen delights later, I started recommending Yonanas to everyone I knew. Sometimes, though a trifle dramatic, I would follow said recommendation with, “It will change your life,” despite–or maybe because of–the eye rolling of my 12-year-old who is suddenly very annoyed by everything I do.

Turns out I have a lot of favorite things that I want other people to know about in case these items might change their lives. Or the lives of their lucky gift-giving recipients. So, without further ado or qualification, I present this author’s recommendations of the products that will change your or your recipients’ lives (not really, but maybe a little).

The Yonanas might be the Buzz Lightyear of our kitchen, but our Vitamix is definitely the Woody. We’re a big kale shake family and this machine pulverizes the s#*t out of kale. $450 (Costco often has special in-store promos)

Amazon Prime
With Prime, not only do you get your purchases two days later with free shipping, but you get Instant Video and you can borrow books from the Kindle Lending Library. That, my friends, is what we call a win-win-win. $79

Lululemon Shirt and Pants
Everyone likes to bash Lululemon for being so trendy and yuppy and expensive, but their stuff rocks. Kinda like Gwynie’s Goop. Almost daily, you can find me in Lulu’s Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve. I have, ok embarrassing, six of them! But I wear them every day. And because I’ve changed my middle name to comfort (Lynn was so boring), I also live in the Dog Runner Pants. Comfy, lined with fleece (I have the unlined ones, too), and not tight on the butt. Just tight on the perfection. Shirt: $68 Pants: $118

Kleen Kanteen Insulated Steel Bottle
I carry one of these around all day filled with tea or warm water. Consistent, persistent hydration (right, Nancy?). I have done a lot of research and am comfortable that this bottle is pure stainless with no toxic coatings, BPA, or phthalates that leach awful stuff into our bodies especially when heated. $30

Serenity Rejuvenation Buckwheat and Wool Pillow
I didn’t realize I was old until I started waking up with those neck problems that old people wake up with. And I now have regular appointments with a physical therapist. Pathetic. Except that he recommended this pillow and it’s not pathetic. It’s a rockstar in my bed. And now my sweet husband’s got to compete with that. $65

Betty Lou’s Just Great Stuff Powdered Peanut Butter
I eat a lot of pb and almond butter. Just Great Stuff seems to have all the good nutrients of nut butters but it takes out the oil so it’s got loads less fat. It mixes easily with water for a normal spread. But sprinkle it dry on top of your Yonanas and you’ll go out of your mind. Comes in chocolate, too. Wish it didn’t have coconut sugar in it, but I’ll deal. $8.50

My favorite gift of all and I’m not just saying this because I have a book I want you to buy for everyone you know. Books bring joy, adventure, learning, and so much more to people’s lives. So buy some books. And then buy some more. Some of the books I’ve really enjoyed this year: You Knew Me When by Emily Liebert, Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan, The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Heft by Liz Moore, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, Elly in Bloom by Colleen Oakes, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis, and On Grace by moi.

I’ve got so many more recommendations but I’ll save them for another time. And if you know of a product or a book that you think will change my life, please let me know! Happy Holidays!!

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