Materialistic Year In Review: The Best Things I Bought In 2013

I’ve already done quite a bit of serious reflecting on the life lessons I learned this year. Now it’s time to reflect on a much shallower topic: the cool stuff I bought. After selling most of my belongings in the spring, I tried to be a bit more careful with my purchases this year, although I’ll admit to more than a few impulse buys and giddy-if-not-entirely-logical purchases made for the sole purpose of decorating/filling up our new place (antique “hot pretzel” sign, I’m looking at you). Here are the 10 products I’m most excited about, in no particular order…

1. The Genie Bra. I never thought I’d find an underwire-free bra that keeps my gigantic boobs supported without hurting my neck, and gives me amazing cleavage. Genie Bra, you are truly a wish come true!

2. Wristlet wallet. Something happened to me this year when suddenly I got very resentful about the idea of carrying a purse. Every time Nick and I were out somewhere and I was schlepping my big bag, my shoulder sagging under the weight of it, I would lash out at him about how unfair it was that guys just get to tuck a wallet in their back pocket and call it a day. “You could do that too, you know,” he would say helpfully, at which point I would remind him that none of my clothes have pockets and resume grumbling. The “oh, duh” answer? A wristlet! It holds my cards, money, and phone, and keeps my hands (and shoulder) free. It’s also easy to toss it in a larger bag when I need to carry more stuff. Random purse issue solved.

3. Dolly Parton prayer candle. My life is so much more blessed with Dolly on my desk. I’ve noticed a significant increase in the height of my hair, too.

4. Cuisinart food processor. My friend Katelyn, AKA The Food Processing Queen, finally convinced me to get a food processor, and it’s revolutionized my fridge/kitchen/grocery shopping habits. I’ve been making my own hummus, salsa, nut butters, and other grocery list staples. It’s already saved me a ton of money. And everything tastes so fresh, because, well, it is.

5. Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment. A flattering red lip tint that moisturizes and conditions my lips? Yes, please! Sometimes I even put this on before I go to bed, because it guarantees I’ll wake up with soft, smooth lips. I know I need to get the non-tinted version for bedtime, but I kind of secretly like going to bed with red lips. It’s a little Diana Vreeland-esque, no?

6. New Balance Gym Socks. I started running a few months ago. I hate running. These comfy, cooling, moisture-wicking socks make me hate running a little less.

7. Archipelago vanilla diffuser. I have this little bottle to thank for my office not smelling like the previous tenant’s cigarette smoke, and for that, I am eternally grateful. Also the vanilla scent is one of the best I’ve found (and as a vanilla maniac, I’ve smelled them all) — it’s pure, strong enough to scent a room, but not overly sweet.

8. Joe’s Jeans. As a short, curvy gal with thick thighs and an ample tummy, finding jeans that fit right is usually a difficult, if not impossible, task. I found a pair of Joe’s “Andrea” skinny ankle-length jeans on super sale at Nordstrom Rack and was shocked to find that they not only fit great, they’re super comfy too. Soft, stretchy, perfect with sandals or tucked into boots. Love, love, love!

9. “Do Or Die” notepad. When it comes to getting shit done, I not only need to make compulsive to-do lists, I also need to feel vaguely threatened by the repercussions of procrastination. This cheeky little “Do Or Die” notepad fulfills both requirements.

10. Balance ball. Spending the whole day hunched over my computer wreaks absolute havoc on my neck and back. Now I lie backwards over this ball to stretch my back and neck, at least until I get dizzy and tip over. Bliss.