Entries Tagged as 'Stuff to Buy'

Just good shit: 2017

December 31, 2017

As you may know, I love stuff and things! I don’t actually really love to shop, and I research everything pretty aggressively before buying, so I most of what I buy is stuff that solves a very specific problem, and that I end up loving.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun/useful to put all of my favorite stuff and things in one place! (And, per usual here, all of the Amazon links are affiliate links.) So here, in no particular order, is all the good shit that was worth every penny, sparked joy, and really made my 2017:

  1. Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House. A game-changer.
  2. Puzzles! Especially this beautiful ombré barrette one.
  3. Smartwool socks. One of my big goals for 2018 is to own a lot more pairs of Smartwool socks.
  4. White flannel sheets and a lovely white cotton blanket.
  5. Muted pastel sticky notes. I love the Post-It Helsinki collection. (Other sizes here and here.)
  6. An electric tea kettle. 2017 was the year I became a looseleaf tea person, and I love this kettle a lot.
  7. Alpine Punch looseleaf tea from David’s Tea. I drink it before bed with a little vanilla syrup (like the kind you’d get in a coffee shop) and a splash of half-and-half and it’s heaven.
  8. A beautiful Dutch oven that replaced the shitty old pots that I hated. (And that is way cheaper than most beautiful Dutch ovens on the market.)
  9. My beloved Pilot Juice 0.38 pens.
  10. Book darts (mostly for my journal, but also for books)
  11. A rolling pet carrier (that also converts to a backpack), which makes taking Chuck places in the city (or taking him on Amtrak) less of a chore.
  12. Original Soylent. OK, Soylent is dumb but it’s also incredibly helpful if your appetite is shit or on days you just, like, cannot cope with all of your lunch options. (Which is..a lot of days for me.) A friend of mine who is nursing also mentioned that she has relied on it to help her get the nutrition she needs. (I also like the chocolate flavor.)
  13. Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patches. These things are god damn witchcraft, and I’ve sold a bunch of friends on them, too.
  14. An inexpensive wash basin, which actually got me to wash my stupid bras.
  15. A set of pretty Millennial Pink food storage bowls
  16. Uniqlo cashmere crew neck sweaters (keep an eye out for sales; I think mine were BOGO).
  17. A great little space heater. (WHYYYYYY didn’t I buy this sooner?!)
  18. This clear tumbler for drinking water. (I own two.)
  19. The Shhhowercap.
  20. And Grace Eleyae satin-lined caps. (I have two ivory ones and a navy one, which is currently on sale.)
  21. A pair of kitchen gloves that I love. (I actually have a pair for my kitchen and a pair for my bathroom. Wearing gloves was such a game changer for me in terms of cleaning motivation.)
  22. Two new perfumes: Riddle Oil (get a small sample dram here) and Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt.
  23. O’Keeffe’s Working Hands hand cream. After my hands literally bled from being so dry, I realized I needed to take better care of them. I bought this stuff based on the positive Amazon reviews and I’m so impressed. (I actually bought a tube to keep at work, too.) The packaging is truly hideous, but I just scooped some into a smaller clear jar and all’s well.
  24. A high-quality rolling cart for laundry/groceries.
  25. The Muji oversized lint roller (so helpful for cleaning my velvet headboard).
  26. Dish cloths. (Home Comforts really sold me on switching to dish cloths instead of using a dish brush. I have a bunch, in a few different colors, and also use them for general cleaning/cleaning my bathroom.)
  27. Marvis Jasmine Mint toothpaste, which made brushing my teeth a million times a day (THANKS INVISALIGN) less of a chore.
  28. A Kokuyo Campus notebook (for morning pages) and a Kokuyo Campus High Grade MIO notebook (for evening pages).
  29. Public Supply notebooks.
  30. Kneepads for DIY projects and chores. (Another “WHY DIDN’T I BUY THIS SOONER?”)
  31. Candles! I’m currently loving the rosemary mint one by Illume at Target (not available online).
  32. A hot water bottle. The Sänger one I have is currently sold out, but this one is actually cheaper and has really good reviews.
  33. A butter dish that is very beautiful and is also big enough to hold Kerrygold butter.
  34. Glossier Haloscope. (If you use this link you will get 10% off and I will get a $10 credit.)
  35. A lush (hooded!!!) robe that turns me into a snow queen.
  36. We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True. I’m just gonna keep stanning for this book until all of you read it!!!
  37. NPR’s Up First podcast and the New York Times’ The Daily.
  38. And the Done app!  

Blush things I recently bought and liked

February 9, 2017

You know I love me some winter pastels, and Millennial pink is no exception. Here are some of my recentish blush purchases:

1. Midori notebook cover. This was a Christmas gift and I love it so much; my Leuchtturm1917 A5 notebook journal fits in it perfectly.

2. H&M skinny sweatpants in powder pink. I’m not really a sweatpants person, but these are the goddamn best. I just bought a second pair.

3. H&M sweatshirt in powder pink. (I also have it in lavender!)

4. West Elm cozy texture throw in rosette. I got this on sale for $19.99 right after Thanksgiving, and it’s currently on sale for $24.99.

5. Standard space mouse pad in pink gray. Also this is the first wireless mouse I’ve ever bought that doesn’t suck — highly recommend.

6. Everlane cashmere sweater in pale pink. This sweater is thin (but not too thin), very soft, and fits perfectly. Also, I guess I’ve reached the point in my life where I buy cashmere sweaters!!! Really moving up in the world.

Still considering: Warby Parker Finch glasses in Bellini and this wall art.

New clothes I recently bought & liked

November 3, 2016

As my IRL friends know, I keep my wardrobe pretty small and I have no qualms about wearing the same exact outfits over and over again. (I often just buy doubles of the things I love instead of buying a wider variety of clothes.) I buy a few new things, like, four times a year, and usually sort of all at once. In September I bought a few new things for the colder weather, and since I really love everything, I thought I’d share them here! Everything is extremely cozy (v. important) and goes with my standard uniform of white jeans, a pastel or neutral top (usually a sweater or sweatshirt), and tan/beige/taupe shoes. (You can see a previous iteration of this uniform here; you’ll see that very little has changed.)

Anyway, here we go!

1. Sole Society Romy booties in taupe. After deciding I wanted booties (like, a year after everyone else did), I finally pulled the trigger on these. (I really loved these and these — I really love the look of booties with a little bit of heft around the ankle — but I played it safe and went with the ones with the lowest heel height.) The Romy booties have enough of a heel to make it seem like I’m trying, but are still 100% manageable for the amount of walking (minimum of 30 minutes) that I do every day. I’ve been wearing them a lot since I got them and they are great! BTW, you can use the code IAF_V7E6A3 to get 20% off your Sole Society order. (Also if you shop Sole Society using this link, I’ll allegedly get $25 to spend at Sole Society, but I’m a liiiiiiiittle skeptical that that is true, TBH. IDK. Use the link and the code, I guess, and we’ll see what happens?)

2. ASOS Ultimate Boyfriend Sweat. I bought the nude in a petite US 6 (because the nude was sold out in the regular) and am really happy with the fit and the color. (The exact one I got is also currently sold out, but there are other colors/sizes at the link.) I wasn’t sure how it would fit but it’s perfect (it’s on the longer side — you could definitely wear it over leggings) and is SUPER cozy.

(Me wearing the sweatshirt in the spot with the best selfie lighting in the BuzzFeed office)

3. L’Ecoles Des Femmes Sage Comme Une Image sweater. I came across this brand on Instagram one day and when I went to their site, there was a 50% off sale so I bought this sweater. (P.S. There’s currently a 55% off sale happening sitewide! I used it to buy this sweatshirt.) The sweater is really really soft and cushy and just feels really nice on my skin. This was a total impulse buy, but it totally worked out.

4. Uniqlo plaid flannel shirt. I bought this in pink plaid, though I had to order it online because there were only two left in the store and neither were my size. The flannel is really soft and I love the pink. (You can browse a bunch of other color options here; I may get a second one in a different color because it’s SO comfy and cozy.) FYI, I got a size small and it’s still SUPER roomy on me. It’s totally fine — it’s a casual “boyfriend” (ugh) fit and looks good over skinny jeans — but if you prefer a slimmer fit or want to layer it under sweaters, you should size way down.

5. J. Crew Factory City Coat in Heather Stone. I initially tried on the regular J. Crew version of this coat (aka the Cocoon Coat), which my friend Lauren has and loves and says is super warm (and she lives in Chicago). I liked it, but I didn’t $350 like it, or even $230 like it, which is about what you can expect to pay with one of their frequent coupon codes. So I went to check out the J. Crew Factory options, and saw that they had a version that was much cheaper (regularly $228, but pretty much always on sale). Of course, it’s less expensive because it’s lower quality, but that’s actually fine with me in this case because I’m not looking to be buried in it. (I’ve also had great luck, quality-wise, with the many items I’ve bought at J. Crew Factory over the past few years.)

I initially took a risk and ordered the 4 petite (because they don’t keep petite sizes in stores for you to try on!?!) and the sleeves were a liiiiitttle too short, so I exchanged it for the 4 regular and it fits perfectly. It’s soft and cozy and I really love how it looks on. (I’m wearing it over the L’ecole sweater in the photo up top.) If they ever make the original Cocoon Coat in mint green or blush pink, I would absolutely pay more for it. But I was fine with spending $135 for this color/quality level.

Things I may still buy: an Everlane crewneck sweatshirt, an Everlane cashmere sweater, and this beautiful cape that had me channeling my inner Samantha Parkington.

Cute earrings

May 5, 2016

I bought these earrings a few weeks ago at Urban for $14 and I really love them!

I wear them so they are positioned more like ear crawlers, and I love that they actually perfectly match the design I draw around the date on my bullet journal daily entries. I’ve been wearing them pretty much every day since I bought them!

Learning in 2015

December 31, 2015

learning in 2015

Every year I choose a verb instead of a resolution; over the years, I’ve found that this really helps me prioritize and focus on my goals throughout the year. My verb for 2015 was learn. My main goal was pretty simple: I just wanted to read more books. Beyond that I wanted to journal more and learn some new skills. Here’s how I did:


I set a goal of reading 35 books, though I had no idea if that was reasonable or not. Thanks to a few spans when I just wasn’t as focused, I now have 26 books on my reading list for this year. I think I could have definitely done 35 if I’d pushed myself harder during those times, but I really don’t care about the number too much, so it’s whatever.

Mid-way through the year I realized that I hadn’t read any books by straight, white, cisgender men… or any books by men at all. I decided to keep it that way for the rest of the year, a choice I still feel good about.

Of the 26 books I read, some were definitely better than others. Here are my six favorites, in no particular order:

1. Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbot. This was the first book I read in 2015 and it’s so good! It’s about four women who were spies during the Civil War and it’s just fascinating. Also: females are strong as hell.

2. In the Country: Stories by Mia Alvar. This book was amazing and I can’t recommend it enough. Full review here.

3. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson. This book is informative, intense, heartbreaking, and inspiring. It’s non-fiction but it flows like a novel (think Devil in White City), and I recommend to anyone who likes history or who cares about racial justice.

4. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. This is the last book I read in 2015 and it will haunt me for a long time. It’s beautiful and sad and lovely and magical and I want everyone to read it.

5. Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum. I picked up this book because I loved the cover, but I ended up really loving the intense and dark story. Full review here.

6. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. This book genuinely changed the way I look at my home, and it gave me a name/explanation for a lot of the things I was already doing. I know it’s gotten a ton of hype so the backlash is inevitable, but I think it’s worth a read, even if you don’t KonMari your entire house or take every bit of her advice. (I actually haven’t done everything yet.) But my apartment is a really, really pleasant place now, and I can definitely credit this book for some of that! Summary/review here.


I did a lot more journaling in 2015, but mostly via the Day One app and not my actual paper journal (though I used that on occasion). I set the app to notify me every night at 9:30, and I’ve added entries pretty regularly, especially in the second half of this year. I also liked being able to add a photo from the day on nights I didn’t feel like writing much.


When I made this goal, I was thinking I’d take some writing classes… which I looked into, but the writing classes in NYC aren’t cheap, so I started looking at options that were more budget-friendly. I had been wanting to learn more about illustration and lettering, so this summer I started taking a bunch of online classes in that area. These classes were one of the biggest (and unexpected) highlights of my year and helped me develop a new hobby that I’m really excited about. Here are the ones I liked best/recommend:

1. Intro to Calligraphy Video + Kit from Laura Hooper Calligraphy (which, full disclosure, I got for free through work)

2. Intermediate Watercolor from CreativeBug

3. Hand-Lettering Basics from Brit.co

4. Amy-Style Calligraphy Worksheets from The Postman’s Knock

5. Free Brush Calligraphy Worksheets from The Postman’s Knock

6. Calligraphy 201 from Brit.co

Reading on my Kindle (or reading physical books) was really great for unwinding and unplugging at night, but there were some nights when I just didn’t have the mental energy for, say, reading about systemic racism, or simply wasn’t in the mood for the book I was currently reading. Practicing calligraphy was a great alternative because it got me away from a glowing screen and got me making something with my hands, but I learned it can also be a very mindless activity — I could just zone out while doing it when I wanted to. It also forced me to be more patient; the first couple of weeks, I was frustrated working with the nib pen/link, but I ultimately realized that I had to go slowly if I wanted it to work. (That turned out to be the case with brush calligraphy too. Even though most people say it’s easier, I find that it’s still rather fussy.) Laura Hooper suggests three 45-minute practice sessions a week, which sounded like a lot, but didn’t turn out to be all that hard to do. It was often hard to get myself to put down whatever article I was reading on my phone and get started, but the time always flew by; I usually ended up working for 90 minutes or so without even realizing it. A lot of times, I practiced while listening to podcasts, which allowed me to learn new things/be entertained without staring at my phone or laptop. Other times, I’d forget to put on music or a podcast and would just work in silence.

I cannot overstate how incredibly relaxing calligraphy is. Making rows and rows of lowercase “l”s and “e”s was so soothing. Less pressure on the upstroke, heavier pressure on the downstroke, over and over again. Things like the sound the nib makes as it moved across the paper or hitting the turn of an “l” or a “v” just right were so satisfying. 2015 was the year that I left a really comfortable home and lifestyle and had to find my place and my people in a city that is very much Not Texas; calligraphy (and watercolors too) helped me deal with the with the anxiety, uncertainty, and loneliness that were very present this year. Both reading and calligraphy turned out to be very good habits/hobbies to focus on in 2015, and I know both will remain a part of my routine in 2016.

The perfect one-piece swimsuit

July 4, 2015

Just a reminder: Modcloth’s Bathing Beauty one-piece swimsuit is seriously the best swimsuit. I put off buying a good suit for so long because I always waited too long (I’m not buying a swimsuit in March, EVERY RETAILER EVER) and didn’t want to spend more than $30 on a suit. But last year, I finally sucked it up and bought this one and I’m so glad I did.

It’s so comfortable, plus it comes in a ton of colors/prints and the customer-submitted photos prove it looks good on tons of bodies. Such a worth-it purchase. 

Photos by David Bertozzi for this BuzzFeed post.

BuzzFeed: 21 Wedding Registry Items That Are Totally Worth It

July 2, 2015

Photo: Etsy

I worked with The Sweethome (a site I LOVE) for this post and I love how it turned out! Read it here.

BuzzFeed: 10 Life-Changing Things To Try In July

July 1, 2015

Photo: Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed Life

Like putting your flowers in the fridge to keep them fresh! See the rest of the ideas on BuzzFeed.

BuzzFeed: What Classic ’90s Bath & Body Works Scents Smell Like To Adult Women

June 23, 2015

Country Apple 4 Life!

Bath & Body Works classic fragrances

Photo: Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed Life

Read the full post here.

Places to Go: Fishs Eddy

June 23, 2015

Have you heard of ASMR? Fishs Eddy is my version of that. The store is just dreamy and it makes me feel kind of tingly all over.

fishs eddy

I’d come across Fishs Eddy products online several times — uh, I Google “cake stands” like…a lot — but the fact that it was a store that was basically made for me hadn’t ever really clicked. But last month, I saw a blurb in Time Out that mentioned it and I added it to my list of places to check out…and then the next day, I happened to find myself standing in front of it, so I decided to go in. And after about 30 seconds, it was all over for me.

Fish's Eddy

The vibe is a little bit Anthropologie, a little bit Crate and Barrel, a little bit antique store, and…a whole lot food stylist’s wet dream. I wanted to buy pretty much everything, including those adorable cone-shaped ice cream cups for myself and RBG mugs for all my friends…along with the gorgeous white hotel dinnerware that just sort of beamed at me whenever I walked past it, the cute party cups, the charming food storage bowls, everything from the Amy Sedaris collection (!!!), and I don’t even know what else because at that point I’d pretty much turned into Lily when she found out her parents were taking her to Disneyland. (To Eric’s credit, he didn’t respond to me with a side-eye as epic as Chloe’s.) But like…there are only so many jadeite berry baskets that my heart can take, you know?

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