2020 has been a year, am I right? A few years ago I stopped developing a traditional holiday gift guide and instead started taking a different approach to gift-giving. These are some of the products that made 2020 more tolerable for me and might be worth purchasing for someone on your list – or for yourself! And while it’s getting a little bit late in the season to order some of these online for holiday delivery, you may just want to go ahead and order one (or more) of these items to kick off your 2021 on the right foot!
Products That Made 2020 More Tolerable
Alternate post titles:
The work from home starter pack
The self-quarantined sanity saver
Disclosure: Links marked with an asterisk are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of those links I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This usually means I earn an extra $10 or so per year. But I am required to tell you there are affiliate links, so if you do order something, thanks for the $0.25!
1. Nespresso Vertuo with Aeroccino*
Last year I save all of my birthday and Christmas money and ordered myself a Nespresso during the after Christmas sales. I’d been wanting one for years and was so excited to finally have one. Little did I know how much this little machine was going to mean to me come March!
My daily latte has become a highlight of my day. I can count on one hand the number of store-bought lattes I’ve had in 2020, and while it’s still a nice treat, I don’t really miss them because my Nespresso makes such good ones without me having to leave the house!
You can purchase a Nespresso directly from the Nespresso website, in select stores (like Canadian Tire and Best Buy), but I ordered mine directly from Amazon (this is the actual one I purchased*).
When you enjoy a good latte, but you are in lockdown, a good coffee maker can quickly become one of your besties!
2. Joe Fresh Slipper Socks
I tend to have cold feet and prefer socks over slippers, so these slipper socks are my jam. I have a few pairs of slipper socks but these are my favourite. They are slightly loose so I don’t feel like I’m squeezing my foot into them, they are lined with faux fur and they are just so cozy!
I wore mine so much that I wore multiple holes right through them and recently had to do the unthinkable and throw them out.
It was a really painful moment for me. If anyone reading is looking for a last-minute gift for me I would ADORE one or two (or more) pairs of these! Bonus – they are currently on sale for $7.50!
3. Aerie Eyelash Lace Plunge Bralette
This bralette is amazing for a number of reasons:
- no wire.
- it comes in bra sizes versus S/M/L like most bralettes. Because a person who wears a A cup is going to need a much different sized bralette than someone who wears a DD, and S/M/L just don’t cut it.
- it’s not a racerback. As a girl with hefty trap muscles, I HATE a racerback bra when it’s not required for sports
- it has good coverage & support
- the straps stay in place
- it’s actually cute and comfortable.
If there is anything this year has taught me it’s that I cannot deal with underwires or bra straps that won’t stay put on a daily basis. This bralette has saved the day many times.
I’ve recently ordered this one which I also have high hopes for, but it’s lost in the vortex of holiday shipping, so I can’t give you a report on it yet.
4. Knix period underwear
Last year I ordered myself a few pairs of the original period underwear as my Christmas bonus (haha, doesn’t my boss give the best Christmas bonuses!?), and fell in love.
The original period underwear serves more like a pantyliner and can only be used on its own on light days but still was a game-changer. So when I discovered they had super leakproof underwear I ordered a few pairs of those too, and they are fantastic!
Would I wear *just* these? No. I would still use something else the first couple of days with these as a backup, but then after day two I feel pretty good about wearing just these – even while teaching. I love that they are more environmentally friendly, way more comfortable and in general make me feel better.
You do need to rinse them after use so if the thought of rinsing them out is too gross for you, then you won’t like these, but personally, I’m not bothered at all.
I’ve purchased all black underwear because well, I wasn’t sure about staining and I normally opt for black underwear during my period anyway, so I can’t talk about other colours, but with a year of use under my belt, my original ones look like the day they arrived so I know they will hold up for years to come.
5. Reitmans Ultra Soft HYBA Joggers
I purchased the original version of these joggers over 2 years ago and have been obsessed ever since. They are a lightweight jogger in the softest fabric. Basically, they are like wearing PJ’s without actually wearing PJ’s.
During the lockdown, I basically wore these every day I wasn’t teaching a class, and many days when I was. They are the perfect cozy bottom without being too hot. I love them and have already influenced a number of friends to buy them – you know you want to join the club!
6. 3- Tier Cabinet Organizer*
I know, I know. It’s very weird to have a cabinet organizer in my list of things that made this year tolerable, but it’s true. I used this to help me organize my spice cabinet and haven’t stopped singing its praises ever since. I was so sick of never being able to find anything, I decided drastic measures were in order.
I bought this and a small lazy Susan that would fit in my spice cabinet and was ruthless in choosing what got to stay and what had to go. Now I find myself opening the cabinet regularly and looking at how lovely it is–haha. When you are home most of the time and cooking constantly, a nice spice cabinet definitely makes life a pinch happier!
7. Thunderbolt to HDMI Adapter*
2020, the year of virtual courses and conferences. At some point, I got tired of watching everything on my Macbook screen (which has green lines through one side when the screen is black or red) so I invested a cool $20 in an adapter that would allow me to connect my computer to the TV via HDMI.
This was such a gamechanger, especially when it came to yoga classes and the Zumba conference! This specific adapter is only good for MacBooks with a thunderbolt port on the side, but if you had a Macbook from the past 5ish years, chances are you have one of those.
One thing to note, this adapter doesn’t pull the sound through the TV so you will either have to listen to the sound via your computer speaker or connect to another speaker. We have a sound stand for our TV so I was able to connect to it via Bluetooth, but I have also used my little Bluetooth speaker, as well, and the sound was just fine.
8. Echo Dot*
This is the new Echo Dot (I have this one*), but the reasons I love my Echo Dot will still apply to the new one. Not only is Alexa a nice virtual friend to have around when you spend most of your time at home alone, but she’s pretty smart too.
I’ll be honest, our Alexa mostly acts as a kitchen timer, weather report, and turns our lights on and off for us, but it’s also nice to have her there to ask questions when you don’t feel like looking something up. And I couldn’t help but think during the lockdown, wouldn’t Alexa (or Google) be great for people who lived alone?
No, it’s not like talking to a human, but you can play games with her and it feels more like interacting with a human than a regular computer game. You can get her to play music for you, play your audiobook and about a million other things that I don’t even know about.
The Echo Dot is really easy to set up and can be a nice little buddy to have around. Yes, I know how sad that sounds, haha, but I stand by my statement!
9 Clear Air-Tight Containers*
These are not the exact air-tight containers I bought when I organized our pantry recently, but these are the same style of containers. Mine are Flip-Tite brand but these are similar. I bought mine at Winners so if you are looking for ones exactly like mine you should check there, but these look to be a fairly close copycat.
Similar to the much more expensive OXO containers they are air-tight and allow you to easily see what you have and what you are running low on. I am obsessed. Not only is it easier to make meals because I can see everything, but there is much less double buying or letting things go to waste.
Two thumbs way up for these types of containers.
And same with the 3 tiered step – when you are eating at home more than ever, anything you can do to make it easier and/or more enjoyable is a bonus in my book!
I hope you found this interesting, and if I’ve inspired you to check out any of these products let me know!
Heather Laura Clarke says
I’m intrigued by the bra! I tried a Gap bralette and hated it because it kept riding up. This one sounds much better!
I wear this one almost all of the time I’m not in a sport’s bra. I would rather it didn’t have the lace along the bottom as it does scrunch a tiny bit, but it isn’t annoying at all. And the straps don’t fall down which is my #1 issues with regular bras (aside from wires and well being straight up uncomfortable)