Favorite Things

5 Really Great Purchases I’ve Made in the Past Year

As I’ve been cleaning out my closets and putting things away after Christmas, I’ve been feeling grateful for the products I own that just do their job really well.

I’m not a huge shopper, but I love having tools that really work well for the job I need them to do. There’s something so gratifying about having the right product for the right job.

Here are five that delight me on a daily basis (except for the cake pans, because I don’t make cake on a daily basis. But maybe I should):

  1. Telescopic Mascara. I’ve used about a million different kinds of mascara in my life and only had one that I thought, “This is truly terrible.” But this one is particularly good (I bought it on Rad & Happy‘s recommendation) – I feel like it makes my lashes look longer, it doesn’t get clumpy, and I’ve even quit using eyeliner (I just now use the darkest eyeshadow on the Flawless Flekk palette to make a soft line) and the combo of that with this mascara makes me happier with my eye makeup than I’ve been in my life.
  2. 6-inch Cake Pans. You know those things you keep thinking you should buy and you never ever do? I’ve been wishing for these cake pans for seriously the last six years. Every time we had a birthday, I didn’t have the right cake pans to make a layer cake that wasn’t massive (we do not need a 9-inch layer cake for our little family). Finally, on Ani’s birthday in December, I drove to the store and for $12 got a set of two. And I am SO happy. It was so cute, fit perfectly on my little cake stand, and we actually were able to finish off the cake instead of throwing most of it away. Best $12 I’ve spent in a long time, and I can’t wait to pull them out again for Star and Tally’s birthdays next month.
  3. Flats. This is actually a little longer than a year, but I can’t help mentioning them. I wore these flats CONSTANTLY during my pregnancy and by the time spring rolled around, I figured I was pretty tired of them and probably wouldn’t wear them again. But when sandal weather finally went away, I pulled them back out and now I’m back to wearing them most of the time. They just go with absolutely everything. At this point, they are looking pretty beat up after being worn hundreds of times, but I just looked them up to see if they were still for sale and not only were they available, they were on sale for $19. So I bought a new pair.  What can I say? I like what I like.
  4. Magnetic Phone Mount. This one I didn’t actually buy, but I’m counting it because I told Bart to buy it for me for Christmas and he did. And I love it. It’s so convenient because there’s just a magnetic disc on the back of your phone and then it pop right on and off of the mount (I worried that it would wiggle around a ton because it clips on to the air vent, but it seems very solid). I used to hate using my phone to navigate (I kept using our GPS for years until it finally died) but now that I can actually see it and not worry about killing myself trying to hold it in one hand or balance it in the cup holder, it feels much less stressful to get around. It also comes with two magnetic discs, so there is one for my phone and one for Bart’s so we can both use it in my car. Well worth the $13.
  5. Bissell Mop. This one is not $13, but it’s been some of the best money I’ve spent this year. Someone sent me a message on Instagram saying, “you keep calling it a steam mop, but. . . I don’t think it is.” And they were right! My sister’s was a steam mop, so I just assumed mine was, but it turns out it’s a roller mop. I actually think it’s better for me, because it cleans both carpet and hard floors, plus with a roller it can get the grout more cleaned out since it’s not a flat base. I use it 1-2 times a week and I just love it so much. My mom got one for Christmas and my neighbor borrowed mine to try it out and then sent me a bunch of heart-eyed emojis.

Now to finally replace my miniature colander which is not only too small for a family of six, but also keeps dropping the screws from the handles into the food I’m straining.

Any products – big or small – that you just love?

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13 Comments

  • Reply Maria January 19, 2018 at 3:25 am

    I, too, love my 6inch cake pans. Because I usually make cookies along with a cake when we have a birthday celebration, the bigger cake were just too much. Love the shoes, thanks for the link (gotta decide on the color now?)

    • Reply Maria January 19, 2018 at 3:42 pm

      Couldn’t decide on the color – so at that price bought them both! Hope they fit…

  • Reply Claire January 19, 2018 at 5:13 am

    I adore this milk frothier from Target. It’s like $7 and makes my afternoon tea break feel luxurious: https://www.target.com/p/bodum-schiuma-milk-frother-black/-/A-21561851

  • Reply Sam January 19, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Ok so I need the Bissell Crosswave now! It’s exactly what I was looking for- I asked my husband to get me the Bissell Spinwave for Christmas because we closed on and moved into our new house 5 days before Christmas and there are a ton of hard floors. But I really wanted something that also vacuumed! Since I still haven’t opened the Spinwave, I think I’ll be returning it.

    Also, you throw cake away?! Blasphemy! 🤣

  • Reply Miranda January 19, 2018 at 9:00 am

    I’m not going to lie, when my husband said we needed a new vacuum, I immediately told him about the Bissell because of your last post! And now we have it. It was a little hard to explain to him that the recommendation came from a stranger on the internet but I figured you’ve never been wrong about books so why should vacuums be any different? 😉

  • Reply Diana January 19, 2018 at 11:24 am

    I love that the mascara you linked to is $7. I feel like every time I see beauty things like that recommended they are $30 are something…and that’s just not going to happen. BUT $7 mascara is definitely worth trying!

    • Reply Lisa January 19, 2018 at 6:44 pm

      My thoughts exactly!

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw January 19, 2018 at 7:36 pm

      Ha! I’ve used some high-end mascaras and I liked them, but . . . I frankly couldn’t tell that they were all that much better than drugstore ones. Maybe I just have low-brow taste!

  • Reply Jeanelle January 19, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Okay, I love this thing so much that I looked it up on Amazon to paste the link here but my favorite purchase last year was a flat whisk. I have the regular kinds of whisks but a flat whisk is the absolute best for making a sauce/roux/gravy…it is magical to me and every home (with someone who cooks) needs one! https://www.amazon.com/OXO-Good-Grips-Better-Whisk/dp/B00004OCNT/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1516393195&sr=8-2&keywords=flat+whisk+oxo

  • Reply Paige Flamm January 19, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    I love those flats every time I see you wear them!

  • Reply Moriah January 22, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    Do you adjust normal cake recipes for the smaller pans or are there specific ones you use for the 6inch Pan?

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