Our Perfect Picks: Amanda's favorite things

I wouldn't say I'm picky, I just know what I like. I spent a few weeks in graduate school taste-testing yogurts (unrelated to my degree, just to clarify) to decide on the best one to pack in my lunches... maybe a bit extreme, but if Oprah can have favorite things, why can't I?

I think we established our love of cake.

Many of these are registry-worthy items if you're building one, but they also make good housewarming gifts, upgrading what you have or a birthday-present-to-me (just sayin'). And some are just a "trust me and buy this thing." For the most part I would consider these 'underrated items' so you won't see my beloved KitchenAid mixer on this list, although I love her very much. Oh and I think we established our love of cake.

- I'll start with the most urgent, time-sensitive one: SweeTango apples. If you see these, buy some and also grab a bag for me. Not always easy to find (and are seasonal, only available in the Fall - go now!), but so amazing. I first had one a few years ago and it’s pretty much ruined all other apples for me. Yes, I do follow/stalk them on social media.

- Making a wedding registry is overwhelming and suddenly you are registering for $200/5-piece set everyday flatware that will possibly get lost or destroyed in a garbage disposal #truestory. At $34.99 for a 60-piece set (plus you can buy a bunch of individual pieces, like the small spoons that keep disappearing...) this silverware is all kinds of perfect. It has a nice weight, simple style and somehow the perfectly sized big and little spoons (a registry argument averted for us). They have quite a nice variety of styles, all at great prices.

- I've been known to include this unregistered-for ice cream scoop in wedding presents… hey, if you register for anything that looks like it could hold ice cream, then you need this.


- If you know us, you know how much we love tea and I am really happy with this water kettle, which has been used heavily for a few years now (note: I have a slightly older model). It’s cordless, glass and the shape is just adorable.

- And speaking of tea… this tea box is so pretty in my little beverage station.

- It's not sexy, but food storage containers are a necessity and I recently fell in love with these. I can't take credit for the discovery as my favorite testing kitchen did the hard work here, but after you watch this video you'll see why. I love all the interchangeable compartments, how well they seal and how easy they are to open/close. I've also been trying to reduce our consumption of single-use plastics and these make that so much easier.

- A cute cheese board and knife set (or pretty much anything else on this website). Cheese is already great, it doesn't need help impressing people, but it deserves to be treated like the party royalty we all know it is.

And really, pandas. Pandas are definitely my favorite thing.