So we can all agree that 2020 holds the prize for some of our country’s worst moments and low points. And while we trudged through it, we tried to make the best of what we could from new television series we binged to special moments with our families we’ll never forget. Then there were the little pleasures that helped make things better—a new lipstick color, a kitchen gadget that helped make all this home time easier, a favorite mug we bought that brought some joy to these Groundhog Day mornings. I rounded up some of our favorite things we bought this year to bring you this ultimate list of “Buying things can’t fix problems, but buying the right thing for the right reason can sure make life a little easier.” These are a few of my 2020 Favorite Things.
Supernatural Cleaning Spray
I purchased this as we were driving home from Michigan after the sponsored ads kept popping up in my feed. We had been away from home for so long, and I wanted some inspiration to deep clean my home once we returned—not to mention safer, more sustainable cleaning products. The entire cleaning set is a splurge, but then you only need to buy refills. The solutions are amazing—they all smell so good and make cleaning less of a chore. I use the glass/mirrors one the most (I use it on my counters too, so I don’t use the counter/granite one very much).
This pan is 100% what it’s cracked up to be. I bought it for Brett for Christmas because he loves his kitchen gadgets and his special pans. We use it every day for everything, and it is the easiest pan to clean. Plus, it’s so pretty!
Dig and Co Flat Sauté Set
Another Christmas present for Brett, I had been eyeing these for a while. They’re handmade from the most gorgeous wood tones and sold in my friend’s shop. And they’re so versatile!
Interior Define Asher Sectional
This was our biggest purchase this year. This couch completely transformed our living room, and I love it more every day. We needed some color and personality in our living room, and the entire space is happier now.
Commercial Manual Juicer
I’ve had electric juicers, hand held twist juicers and plastic citrus presses, but this takes the cake. It’s pretty enough to leave out on my counter and juices citrus better than anything else I’ve used. We make our own orange juice, grapefruit juice and can quickly juice limes and lemons for recipes now.
Eastfork Pottery Mug
If you follow my Instagram stories, you’ve probably heard me gush about this mug. I am very into a good handmade pottery mug and have collected some beautiful ones from traveling over the years, but this is the holy grail of mugs. There used to be a waiting list, but now you can snag one right from their site (they also have discounted seconds). It’s perfect—perfect shape, perfect height, perfect weight, perfect matte finish. I had two I named Mary Kate & Ashley, but Santa brought me a third for Christmas and she doesn’t have a name yet (what goes with Mary Kate & Ashley?). That’s how good these mugs are—you will personify them and want to keep them safe and maybe even make little beds for them so they’re comfy on their shelf at night.
Battery Operated Taper Candles
I ordered these after Anna from @inhonorofdesign posted how much she loved them, and they are the best battery-operated taper candles I’ve seen. I love the look of taper candles, but they drip too much (and unevenly with our air conditioning vents) to use them. I’ve had other battery-operated tapers, but they don’t look as real as these; and it’s too much work to pull them out of their holders to click them off and on. But these? They turn on and off with a remote! And they flicker and look so real. Now I have them all over the house (also so many of you have messaged me on stories that you bought them and love them too!).
Brooklinen Linen Sheets
We loved our Brooklinen cotton sheets already, but I had been wanting to try the linen ones. Verdict? They are deliciously luxurious.
How much do I live my charcuterie board? Let me count the ways. I didn’t link to it because it’s a handmade one-of-a-kind, but I did find this shop on Etsy that looks like it makes ones just like it. Mine was hand carved by an amazing grandpa—Leroy—in Northern Michigan. I got to pick out the tree slab it was cut from and visited his garage while he made it. It’s 45 inches long, footed, has a live edge and no lacquer per my request (some of the ones on Etsy are way to shiny and lacquered, and it’s absolutely beautiful. We use it multiple times a week for cheese and fruit, buffets of sandwich fixings, s’more goodies, Movie night candy and popcorn displays, taco toppings, etc. And when it’s not in use, it sits on the middle of my dining room table with candles and a vase of flowers.
Bath and Body Works Cedarwood Vanilla Spray
I love spraying a little bit of perfume after I wash my face and put my pajamas on—a nice little way to add luxury to my before-bed ritual, but I felt silly wasting my expensive perfume just to go to sleep. I went on a hunt for an inexpensive light fragrance and fell in love with this one, part of the Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Sleep collection. I also bought the lavender vanilla, and they’re both absolute perfection—clean and cozy feel-good scents. I use it every night.
Charlotte Tilbury Foundation
I switched to this foundation this summer, and I’m hooked. Best foundation I’ve used—weightless with a flawless finish (and not shiny!).
Maison Louis Marie No 4 Perfume Oil
I went hunting for a Le Labo Santal 33 dupe and found this perfume oil which is cheaper and still has that intoxicating blend of earthy/spicy that I love—sandalwood, cedar wood, vetiver and amber notes.
Microfiber Face Towels
I use these to take makeup off and wash my face. They’re magic—you don’t even need soap! Everything comes off with warm water, and they’re super soft and easy to wash and reuse.
The Grace Effect Candles
I LOVE my candles and am picky about how they smell, what they look like and how they’re made. Along came the Grace Effect who just happens to be my neighbor and dear friend. Their mission is everything—to create a company that can employ people with disabilities, something their daughter Grace (who has Down syndrome and is one of Nella’s best friends) can be a part of. And they’re doing it. I’ve watched Katie every step of the way as she’s created this company and am astounded by her drive, her business sense and everything she does. I’ve sat at her kitchen counter, smelling sample scents. I’ve tested the products. These are the candles I’d pick up in a fancy boutique and fall in love with—divine scents that fill a home with love and candles with a purpose we share.
These Noonday Collection Earrings
I love a good statement earring, and these are clean and classy enough to pass as every day earrings too—which is exactly what they have become for me. There isn’t an outfit they don’t complement.
Hands down, these are my favorite jeans. I have them in both the dark worn and charcoal colors. I love the frayed edge and very subtle flair on the hem, love the high waist and button fly, love the little bit of stretch.
Summersalt Long Torso Swimsuit
This is another one of those purchases after seeing so many ads and reviews on it. It did not disappoint. In fact, I know several friends who’ve have bought Summersalt suits who agree—the most flattering, comfortable, well made suit. I have a really long torso and fight with suit wedgies because of it, but Summersalt offers an extra 1 3/4 inches of length on their long torso styles which makes a huge difference.
I wanted good Bluetooth headphones for my runs without spending $100–and I don’t like the ear bud kind because they bother my ears when I’m running. I did a little research and found these with great reviews. They’re less than $30, and I LOVE them.
My dad taught us growing up to always have a good pen on hand. I’m picky about my pens, and nothing makes me more frustrated than A: not being able to find a pen when I need one, and B: grabbing a pen to write something only to find it doesn’t write good. Enter one good thing to come out of 2020: I found my pen! The Sharpie gel pens glide like buttah—smooth as hell. I buy boxes of them at a time and tuck them in every pocket, cup, glove compartment and drawer I can think of. The world may be going to hell in a hand basket, but I’ll be darned, I’m writing with a good pen while it does!
Hope and Henry Kids
I discovered Hope & Henry this year and have bought so many amazing pieces for the kids. They offer high quality stylish clothes for kids at affordable prices, using organic cotton and giving back profits to the makers who sew their clothes. Nella has this swimsuit, and the quality is impeccable.
Canon Ivy Cliq Instant Camera
I’ve linked our little instant printer several times, but they stopped making it. And as much as I love it for myself, it did require you to pull photos from an app on your phone or iPad which made the kids less likely to use it. Now that same printer technology is built right into this little instant camera which the kids have been LOVING (Santa gave it to Dash for Christmas). Photos print immediately (backing can be pulled off to turn them into stickers), and they’re much better quality than the Instax camera photos. A perfect beginner camera for kids.
Nella is a huge fan of flowy nightgowns, and I’m always on the lookout for quality 100% cotton ones (that won’t wrinkle too much) with vintage vibes—think Wendy in Peter Pan. My mom found this one on Amazon. We loved it so much, we bought it in two colors (white vintage and lavender).
What did I miss? Do you have a product you discovered in 2020 that’s so good, you want the world to know? Do tell!