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Welcome to A Few of My Favorite Things!

I set up this page as a list of resources to help you (and me!) keep track of all the awesome products and services that I share here on Food Life Design.

Please note that while there are some affiliate links below, I’ve included only my favorite things.

These are all resources that I know and use myself. So, you can be sure they’ve passed the “Vanessa Test” or they wouldn’t be on here!

A Few of My Favorite Things: Resources for Your Everyday Life | Food Life Design



Ticonderoga Pencils

They truly are “The World’s BEST PENCIL”. I use these Ticonderoga Pencils EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. for both design work and writing. They’re probably my favorite of all of my resources because they are so versatile and I use them so often!

Colored Pencils

I couldn’t do what I do, design-wise, without these Prismacolor Colored Pencils. I use them for coloring ALL of my sketches and doodles.



The Strathmore line of sketchbooks are the best in the business. I’ve tried a variety of sketch paper over the years, but I always return to this one. The paper is perfect for pencil drawing and at 9 inches x 12 inches in size, there is plenty of space to work!


I edit and rework almost all of my drawings using Adobe Photoshop Elements. It’s user friendly, affordable and honestly, I find that it can do pretty much all of the same things as a more expensive software. So, why waste your money!?


Pots and Pans

I’ve had a lot of different pots and pans over the years, but this set by Rachael Ray is one of the best I’ve had so far. NOTHING sticks to these and they are super easy to wash by hand or throw in the dishwasher. Plus, they’re oven safe, too!


Most of my baking dishes are the Black on Green style from Bennington Potters in Bennington, Vermont. I’ve been collecting these dishes for over 15 years (long before I moved to VT!) and I absolutely love them! Not only do I have many of the bakeware pieces, but I use the dinnerware daily, too!

Measuring Cups and Spoons

A good set of stainless steel measuring cups and spoons are imperative resources in any cook’s kitchen! These are similar to the kind I use, but mine don’t have silicone handles.

I kinda like those silicone handles, don’t you?

Cookie Scoops

These cookie scoops are probably my favorite things in the kitchen. I use them for all kinds of things. From scooping cookies, to muffins, to ice cream and even making cute little mashed potato scoops. They are so versatile!


I love, love, love my Vitamix Blender. I use this thing for making smoothies, iced coffee, blended soups and even to make my own powdered sugar! If you love to cook, I highly recommend investing in one of these. It’ll change the way you prepare your food!

Food Processor

My husband and daughters bought me this Ninja Food Processor for Christmas a couple of years ago and I don’t know what I’d do without it. I use the mini almost every day!


This KitchenAid Commercial Stand Mixer is probably the most important of my favorite things. I use it ALL.THE.TIME. Literally, almost every day. If I didn’t, I’d have arms like Popeye!

Pyrex Mixing Bowls

When you don’t need the strength of a stand mixer, a good set of Pyrex Mixing Bowls are awesome to have around! They are perfect for mixing all kinds of thing by hand and they clean up really easily!


WordPress is the best publishing software out there and I use it to create Food Life Design. It’s easy to use, offers tons of security options and it’s super customizable so you can use it to create any type of website you want! In fact it’s trusted by companies (like me) all over the world! And the best part is…it’s totally free to use! All you need is your own hosting (see my suggestion below).



There are TONS of hosting companies out there and I know a lot of bloggers use Bluehost, but I’ve been using GoDaddy for over 10 years and honestly, I love them. They are quick to fix any problems and the price to host Food Life Design is only around $100 a year!



I’ve been selling on Etsy for 10 years and honestly, I think it’s one of the best resources online to make money. Whether you are crafty and like to make and sell handmade products or you would prefer to create printables and sell those instead, you can definitely make money on Etsy!

Click here to get free listings to help you get started!



ebates - rakuten

eBates (Now Rakuten)

Ebates (now Rakuten) is one of my favorite resources for saving money! To date, I’ve made over $400 in cash back from Ebates. I use it to order all of the supplies for my stationery business, as well as holiday gifts, groceries, household supplies and even food for my dogs!



Swagbucks is an awesome way to earn free gift cards. Especially, if you do a lot of web searching like I do! Over the years, I’ve earned thousands of points which have provided me with hundreds of dollars in free gift cards for places like Amazon, Walmart and Starbucks (among many others). You can even earn free Visa gift cards that you can use anywhere!

inbox dollars

Inbox Dollars

With InboxDollars you earn real cash for doing things you normally do anyway. You can use it to play video games in the arcade, watch videos, answer surveys, shop at your favorite stores or my personal favorite – download and print coupons! For every coupon you redeem, you get $0.10 back! That’s like turning a $0.75 off coupon into a $0.85 off coupon…every single time!