The Dina *almost* 100

In honor of the Cookie 100, I figured I’d start a Dina 100.  The 100 things I can’t live without (in no particular order)!

1)  Peet’s Coffee- Major Dickenson’s Blend. So I don’t drink coffee anymore. No more coffee, sugar or dairy.. SO instead, any green or herbal teavana tea!

2)  Well-seasoned cast iron pan

3)  Kut from the Kloth Jeans (trendy, but not so short-waisted that your behind sticks out when you sit) OK so not really a super fair cross out ’cause they are good jeans, but I’m not overweight anymore so I can wear those fancy-ass jeans cause I fit in them.

4)  Gap warmest jackets for kids (Seriously, these are the BEST winter jackets for kids… they wash & dry very well and are super warm) I don’t know why I thought these were good- the NorthFace jackets are SO thin, wash & dry well, and warm as hell- and they don’t make your kid feel like the kid in a Christmas Story that can’t put his arms down.

5)  Le Creuset french oven (the BEST to make soups and stews in)

6)  Marc Jacob’s perfume

7)  Highlights (hides grey hair better than single process color)

8)  Nordstroms (they have the BEST customer service of any department store)

9)  Food/Recipe magazines (Everyday Food, Bon Appetit, and Everyday with Rachel Ray are my favorites- if you cook a lot, it helps to get a new infusion of recipes to keep things fresh)

10)  Kefir (like a drinkable yogurt with all those good-for-you cultures.. available in your dairy section) Why did I like this- ewe!

11)  Greek Yogurt (thicker and more tangy than regular yogurt- delish with a drizzle of honey and a handfull of fresh berries) I think I wrote this ’cause I was trying to convince myself that I liked yogurt. I don’t like yogurt. All true.

12)  Facebook (why wait for your 10, 15, or 20 high school reunion when you can reconnect on facebook today for free?)

13)  ING Direct automatic savings plan- the only way I can save money! (I still have this account but I have no idea what company owns it now).

14)  Shutterfly (instead of individual photos, I make a yearly photo book of my daughter that tells her “story” month-by-month)

15)  LG Rumor cell phone- the slide out keyboard makes texting so easy!   See below

16) Yves St. Laurent lipgloss- not sticky and filled with subtle sparkles that make your lips glow

17)  The gift card “center” at my local supermarket- the BEST place to go for a last-minute gift!

18)  McDonald’s Happy Meals- I know, I know, I really should push better nutrition.. but when my skinny minny is in a no-eating mood, the cheeseburger happy meal is my go-to meal (and bribe). Yeah my kids don’t eat this anymore- what was I THINKING!!

19)  blik wall graphics (this was on the Cookie list too)- I have blik in my livingroom and in Maddie’s room.  Super affordable and WAY easier than painting-

20)  TJ Maxx/Homegoods home section-  I can always score something for hardly any money in these two stores (both owned by the same parent company).  From $10 frames to $19.99 framed art.. they are my go-to place for home accessories.

21) – seriously, how did we LIVE before google?

22)  Fiestaware- something about the bright colors makes me happy- and my table setting is different every time it’s set.

23)  Carol’s Daughter body cream- almost all-natural, creamy, and deliciously scented.

24)  Proactive solution- what can I say?  At 33, I still have oily skin.  This face-care trio keeps it under control at a price-point I can afford.

25) Church on Sunday- even if only an hour a week, the only place I feel at peace without the pull of the world’s chaos.

26)  Laurie Berkner CDs- when Maddie is acting up in the car, Laurie Berkner calms her down.

27)  oversized Oakley sunglasses

28)  John Hardy bracelet- my 5th year anniversary present.  Silver, heavy, casual, fancy, and different- all at the same time.

29)  Netflix- what’s to say?  So convenient!

30) Tivo/DVR- how else can one watch TV when they have a toddler? (Thanks, Cathy)

31)  Wireless Internet – sometimes the only time I get to blog is in the bathroom

32)  Insulated coffee cups- otherwise, I’m always drinking lukewarm coffee

33)  Havaianas flip-flops- the most comfortable flip-flops in the WORLD!

34)  Nine West pointy-toe basic pumps- comfortable and just the right height.  Not too tall, not too short.

35)  Lands End bathing suits- I know I’ll always be able to find one that looks good and cute- takes all the pain out of bathing suit shopping (well almost all of it).

36)  Converse all-stars (on the cookie list as well)- but they really ARE awesome and look sort of cool-ass when they get worn in… even Maddie has a pair now

37)  Fancy brands at Target- you know, Botkier handbags, etc… a little bit of faux-luxury at a price that doesn’t make me feel bad for not putting the extra money in Maddie’s 529

38)  Caller ID- because sometimes you don’t want to talk to people

39)  Text messaging- again, because sometimes you just don’t want to talk to people

40)  Venus 5-blade razors.. makes legs super smooth

41)  American Apparel boy-beater tank tops.  I have to have at least 20 of these- they are my favorite because you can wear them solo or under another top and they hit to hip (at least my hip)

42)  Noggin (TV Channel) because I can bring Maddie in bed with me, turn it on, and get an extra 10 minutes

43)  Mini Balloons on a Stick (you know, the ones by the register at the supermarket)- because they are cheap and I can promise one to Maddie when she’s acting up in said supermarket and she’ll be good.

44)  Starbucks in the supermarket…. not all Starbucks, just specifically the one in the supermarket because I can get a chai latte or skim latte, or whatever, and feel like I’m having a coffee break instead of doing a chore.

45)  Coupon Organizer …. i know i know i know- soooo dorky- but it is the ONLY way I can remember to actually use all the coupons that I clip!  (Yes, I know double dorky on the coupon clipping.. what can I say, I’m lame)

46)  Wine.  I like Californian Reds mostly (Clois DuBois Red) but in the summer branch out into white- mainly Sauvignon Blanc…. sometimes absolutely necessary to have a glass with dinner and wind down!

47)  Headbands- because sometimes you just don’t want to do your hair and a headband makes a regular ponytail seem, well.. fancier!

48)  Norstrom’s Point-of-View section- (ok, so this is sort of a repeat, but I’m leaving it in anyway) seriously, I can’t say enough about Nordstrom.  They have the BEST customer service in the WORLD!  And before you say, “they’re expensive”…go check it out, they aren’t that bad.  A pair of decent jeans start at $75 which are just slightly more expensive than what you’d get at the Gap and the alteration is included if you need a hem!

49) My Hello Kitty Rice Cooker- so it doesn’t have to be a hello kitty rice cooker… but I love mine b/c it’s cute.  But that’s not the reason it’s on my list.  It’s on my list because I never, ever burn rice when I use it.  I don’t have to check on the rice or fuss with it- it makes perfect rice every time.  No more rescuing a burnt pan!

50) Hooded sweatshirts… I just can’t live without them. They are a serious staple of my wardrobe.

51)  Homemade jam- i can’t belive it took 32 1/2 years on Earth to discover homemade jam- it’s easy and WAAAAYYY more delicious than anything you can buy in the store.  AND people are all impressed that I know how to make it!

52)  Method brand baby shampoo, lotion, and bubble bath.  I just feel MUCH better knowing that I’m not using harsh chemicals on Maddie’s skin.  And it’s all available at Target, so I don’t have to go out of my way to buy it.

53) Maclaren umbrella stroller- light weight, easy to fold, comfy enough for Maddie to sit in, easy to turn/steer, and pretty sturdy.  Totally worth the money.

54)  Snack Traps.  Great to give Maddie her snack in so she doesn’t spill (and feed the dogs too much of whatever it is she is eating).  I’ve given her goldfish, cheerios, and pretzels in the cup and it always works out great.  Also excellent for snacking in the car.  If you aren’t sure what they are, check ’em out here.

55) Family & Friends:  I really didn’t want to put people on this list- but after the past few days, I realized what’s life without them?  Really, they should be #1 because that is how important they are.  How could I get by without my husband, my daughter, my mom and dad, my stepmom & stepdad, my siblings (Jimmy, Kristen & Cara), my grandparents, my in-laws, my cousins, my best friends (cathy & rachel- I love ya, you reading this?) and the rest of my extended family.  Life wouldn’t be as sweet or as wonderful without them.

56)  Oversized handbag:  allows me to carry mommy stuff and Maddie stuff all in one big bag, instead of having to schlep around a diaper bag!

57)  Lip Stain- another must for Mommy- don’t have to worry about reapplying lipstick- just stain and gloss!

58) Uggs.  I know, so over.. but they keep my feet warm so I have to put them on the list.  And Maddie likes hers too!

59) MZ Wallace Baby Jane bag- ok so the price tag is a little bit steep- BUT it’s awesome for so many reasons: 1) nylon is easily cleaned AND lightweight, 2) hot-pink interior makes it way easy to find what you are looking for, this bag is not a black hole, 3) the little market purse- great to throw in your CCs, money, lipstick- take & go, 4) all the pockets- exterior, interior- just the right amount of organization a mom-on-the-go needs, 5) the drop handles- perfect height for hand OR shoulder carry.

60) L’Oreal Double Extend Mascara- at first I didn’t believe the hype, but HOLY MOLY.  If you are short-lashed like me, please run out and buy this mascara. It is SO amazing- it’s a two-step process that creates these little lash-tubes around your own lashes and lengthens them WAY more than traditional mascara can.  And at $7.99/tube, way cheaper than fancy department store brands!

61) Frye brand motorcycle boots- going on 3 years and they still look brand new and super cool with jeans!  These NEVER go out of style.

62) Slow Cookers- OK, so most of the recipes I’ve attempted in slow cookers weren’t the best- but there are a few things, like pulled pork, that are absolutely BEST made in the slow cooker!  For that, it’s worth it to have one!

63) Public Library- I used to LOVE the public library as a kid- I would spend many a summer day there reading and picking out books.. I just recently rediscovered it after all these years and am happy I did!  It’s such a money saver to get books out instead of buying them!

64)  M&Ms- Nothing is a better bribe than a small bag of M&Ms.. allows me to get at least 30 seconds of peace while my 2 1/2 year old inhales them.  What- bribing with food isn’t Nanny 911 certified?  Screw her!

65)  Hondas- OK I will admit that I used to be an “I only buy American type of girl”.  I will also admit that I own Ford stock.  So, why the love affair with Hondas?  They are just sooo darn reliable and an excellent value for the price.  I just don’t have to worry about anything happening to them for the term of my 36 month lease.  That’s right Suze Orman- I lease.. and I  LOVE it!

66) iPhone 4s- seriously- I can’t believe I liked my LG Rumor- that phone totally blew compared to the iPhone 4s.  LOL wow how far technology has come.  If I could marry my iPhone, I totally would.

67)  NYDJ- Not Your Daughter’s Jeans- because, when you get to a certain age, you need something that covers your rear end properly.

68)  crocs- but not the dorky ones, the mary janes ones.. because my podiatrist SAID so and they totally have made a difference (hey, after wearing flip flops and uggs for YEARS your feet start to get pissed off not having arch support. Darn, getting old SUCKS).

69)  YouTube- because EVERYTHING I need to know I can find on youtube- how to do a fishtail braid, how to solve complex math problems, how to truss a chicken, and anything in between.  Every stop to think about what we did before Youtube? me. too.

70)  sort of a gang up on number 65- but a mini van w/ automatic doors.  Obviously mine is a Honda.  Yes, it’s totally lame.  But you know what, SCREW you- because when I have TWO kids and arm loads of groceries I don’t have to deal w/ a SUV door.  YAY.




  1. that’s only 29-what about the next 71? you need to put some form of aspirin/pain reliever in there. for when you get only a few hours sleep and wake up with a headache and have a small child to entertain all day. also, comfortable yet supportive shoes when you have to run around with a small child all day, run errands, etc. and some form of tivo/io so you can keep said child occupied when they want to watch one of their shows-10 times in a row.

  2. I’m still looking for a pair of cute, comfortable, and supportive shoes that aren’t trainers… anyone know of any good ones?

  3. i actually got a pair of sneakers in kmart. i think they’re champion brand for like $25. they’re cute and comfy. they look like expensive athletic sneakers but they’re not. everyone thinks they’re new balance. you should try them.

  4. yes i’m reading this. i’m sure somewhere rachel is too-if she’s not too busy working hard. love you too. you still need to finish the list though or rename it dina’s top almost-100. if you think about it i’m sure you can add some more to that.

  5. I just realized that your last comment was in 2008 and your list stops today at 65! Keep going! It’s awesome!!! Hope you’re OK 🙂

    • Yes- I am fine- life some how got in the way- I added a few more- only 30 ’til 100 🙂

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