A year is a long time and granted, most people purchase quite a few things throughout the space of one year. I enjoy hearing about things that people use in their life on a daily basis and thought I’d share some of those types of discoveries from this past year with you.
So, in no particular order…
1. Short Rain Boots
You guys. I live in Oregon, and it rains A LOT. I also work at a grade school which means I’m in and out of the building a few times a day to be with my students during recess. Hence, rain boots are a bit necessary. I have a pair of knee high Hunter rain boots, but when I’m moving around with little kids all day, those can get a bit bothersome. The ankle length boot is so great and I’ve been known to wear them five days in a row with all kinds of outfits. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
2. Leather Journal Bible
Journaling has been a big part of my life and the way I process things since I was about eleven years old. When the binding on my Bible completely fell apart, I knew I wanted to save up and invest in a leather journaling Bible, one that would last me for years to come. I found this shop on Etsy and worked with Susan to have a custom Bible made. I couldn’t find a journaling Bible that I liked anywhere else and Susan was absolutely wonderful to work with! I’d totally recommend her shop if you’re looking for any type of custom Bible or journal.
3. Makeup Eraser
I totally thought this was a hoax when I first saw it. There was no way that a cloth and water could remove all my makeup at the end of the day. But, after doing some research and reading reviews I decided to give it a try.
Oh.my.gosh. You must get one. I was a fan from day one. The best time that I ever used it? On my wedding night to remove all the wedding makeup (yes, it was a lot), including water-proof mascara. No joke, that mascara was no match for this washcloth. This would be great for someone who doesn’t like to wash their face at night because the Makeup Eraser is so quick and easy to use. And going to bed with your makeup on is gross, okay?
4. Cast Iron Skillets
I would dare to say that our most used wedding present is a set of cast iron skillets. Now, these skillets also hold sentimental value to me. When my husband and I got engaged, my mom-in-love collected these skillets for us. She got them from thrift stores and re-seasoned them so that they would be ready to use in our new home. Cast iron is amazing and we use these every day. If you are careful to never use soap and always oil them a bit when you’re done using them, they just keep getting better and better with time. I can definitely say that I will never be without cast iron in my kitchen!
5. The Spark Planner
Over the past year or two, I’ve tried various planners attempting to find one that I could use easily…and every time I’d give up after a week or two. Most of them were too structured or not structured enough, and once I even tried making my own but failed miserably. I found out about the Spark Planner during their Kickstarter campaign and immediately thought that this might be the thing that works for me. Now, I will confess that I bought this in 2015, but have only been using it since the beginning of January (it is the 2016 planner after all). So why am I including it on this list? Because I know I’ll be using it all year long and I’m already planning on buying another one for next year. For the first time, I actually enjoy using a planner and look forward to using it! The genius about this planner is that it is goal-focused. The emphasis on yearly, monthly, and weekly goals really helps you think through your tasks and keeps you on track. This is critical for me as someone who can easily set goals but completely sucks at completing the small steps needed to achieve the goal. Or even really think of the small steps…
*The 2016 Spark Planner is all sold out, but you can pre-order the Spark Notebook that will be delivered in March. Check out with website for more info, but the main difference is that the notebook covers six months instead of twelve and it is NOT dated so you can start any time! It also includes lined pages for note taking. I might actually go with this for next year instead of the planner….we’ll see!
6. S’well Water Bottle
I love my water cold, cold, cold. And my pet peeve is having the ice cold water that I put in my water bottle in the morning warm up to room temperature in a few hours. I’m the same way with hot drinks. Who wants their hot tea to become lukewarm tea when you’re traveling with it? The S’well bottle fixes all my first world water bottle problems. When I first got it, I decided to test it out with some hot tea. Steaming hot tea went into the bottle around 7:00 pm and when I got up the next morning at 6:00 am, I opened the bottle and…
…the tea was still steaming. Like, STEAM was coming from the bottle.
Sold. Their claim of keeping drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 is no joke.
7. Tangle Teezer
Using this is the only way I can comb my tangled hair without any pain. It’s amazing! I’ve used it exclusively since I bought it at the beginning of summer, and I don’t miss any of my old brushes. I’m loving it even more now because of how little I’m washing my hair. Lately, I’ve been washing my hair about every four days. (Don’t worry, I shower much more often than that!) I usually just finger-comb my hair on days that I don’t wash it because I like the texture and volume that my dirtier hair has (this is just sounding really gross, sorry) but that also means by the end of that time, my hair would normally be sooo painful to brush out. But not anymore, woohoo!
8. Essential Oils
Okay, so I feel like I’m cheating a bit by only counting this as one, because I now use essential oils for so.many.things.
Sleeping better. Seasonal, ahem, annoyances (curses!) brought about by pollen. Washing clothes. Skincare. Brushing my teeth. Boosting my immune system. Making my home smell like Christmas. Hand soap. Burns. Digestion. Cleaning every surface of my home.
You guys, it’s crazy. I love that by doing all these things I’m not just avoiding stuff that’s bad for me…I’m using things are are GOOD for me.
“Kids, clean the bathroom! It’s good for your health!” That’s totally what I plan on saying to my kids someday thanks to this amazin’ stuff.
I bought a kit back in April and it was probably the second best thing I did all year. (First best was marrying my husband, of course. And I always hesitate to for sure say it was the second best because what if I’m forgetting some super important thing? Yikes. Anyways, you get the picture.)
I know that there’s been a lot of hype lately about EO’s but I think it’s great that these oils that have been used for centuries are making it back into mainstream use! And the more I learn about how they work, the more I realize how incredible God made our bodies and our world. If you’re interested more about the science behind essential oils and why everyone should be using them, watch this Youtube video. So fascinating! Does anyone else like watching these kinds of things for fun? Please tell me I’m not alone.
I know…this a bit embarrassing. I finally graduated myself from a cell phone with a slide out keyboard (not joking) to and iPhone. And besides looking so much cooler (or just thinking I do), I really get a lot of use out of it. I don’t think much more needs to be said about this one so…on to number ten!
10. Wedding Band
A second wedding band, actually. A couple of months after we got married, we spent less than $100 and got me a second wedding band. It’s very simple, just a plain rose gold band. We bought it for me to wear during times that I don’t want to wear my engagement ring/wedding band combo that has all the diamonds. More specially, I will mostly wear this band during vacations, traveling, missions trips, camping, etc. Any time when raised diamonds might get in the way or I don’t want to risk any of the diamonds falling out. I don’t want to ever have to be without a wedding ring though, so this was the best solution! And sometimes I just like the look of a plain band, so it’s fun to have that option.
There you have it! I’m sure the minute I hit “publish” I’ll think of another item that should have made it on this list, but right now it seems good to go. Maybe some of these you already have, but if one of them is new and the knowledge of it makes your life a bit better/easier/more fun, that’s great! I’d love to hear about some of your 2015 discoveries that you will be using for years and years to come.