Happy 2022!! 🎉 It’s that time of year when I’m looking back at the past year and taking stock of how it went and all the things that made it better.
I love reflecting on the year before – I think it’s helpful to think about the people, experiences, and things that made our lives better and happier… and thinking through my best purchases helps me make better purchases the next year too. 🙂
When it comes to spending in 2021, I can say that hands down the best money I spent was doing things with people I love – the special trip I got to take with my mom to celebrate her retirement, my annual weekend trip with my bestie, dinners out with my hubby, friends or fam. Truly, those are some of my favorite purchases because they gave me extra time with the people I love….
But aside from that, I’ve also made some great purchases that have been a fun addition to my year!
Below are the best purchases I made in 2021, broken down by category [beauty, lifestyle, maternity & toddler]. I hope you find some inspiration if you’re on the hunt for a few ideas for yourself or anyone else.
- Slip Silk Pillowcase – I have LOVED using this pillowcase ever since I got it as a Christmas gift last year – and I totally understand why people rave about it! I have seen a total improvement in my skin (I wake up with few if any creases and my skin is clearer) and my hair (it’s nice and smooth when I wake up). I love using this pillowcase and can’t wait until I give birth so I can pack up my maternity body pillow and bring this favorite back!
- Naturalizer Joy Ankle Strap Sandal – I love a pretty pair of heels – but I definitely want to feel comfortable too. These heels in my opinion are a great mix of gorgeous yet walkable. I wore these on our anniversary dinner, and I felt great in them. If you love a pretty yet comfy heel, these definitely won me over… and they’re so pretty in person! (I also paired them with my favorite Foot Petals to keep me from sliding forward in them.)
- Thrive Infinity Waterproof Eyeliner – I’ve been searching for a great waterproof eyeliner with clean/gentle ingredients for months… and this is the clear winner! I typically don’t wear waterproof eyeliner – but I like to use it for special events or weekends, and I was struggling to find one that didn’t irritate my eyes. This eyeliner is great – wonderful pigmentation and lasts so long – plus the ingredients are gentle and non-irritating. So glad I found this!
- Shutterfly Annual Photo Book – I started making an annual photo album around the time my son was born and now it’s one of my *favorite* things to make each year and something I treasure even more as the years goes by. Shutterfly makes creating an annual album so easy because it offers a FREE design service where all you have to do is upload the photos from your year (you don’t have to choose all the best pictures you have – just upload the pictures you have and they select the best, avoid duplicates, etc.), select a book style you like, and then they organize your pictures into a beautiful book for your review just a few days later. At that point, you can print it as is or make any edits you like. I have to say, they have done a GREAT job with all my books. I’m always surprised at how well they do, and I enjoy adding small touches here and there to make it even more personal and fun for me. All in all, it’s such an easy and time-saving process! For my albums (which tend to be around 30-ish pages) I’ve paid about $100-130 depending on how many sales/promo codes I find (and this includes upgrades like lay-flat pages, hardcover, and deluxe print colors that I think make a big difference.) This album is for sure one of my favorite things I buy every year!
- Boll & Branch Pillow in Soft – If you’re a stomach or side sleeper like me, I can’t recommend this pillow highly enough! I think I literally tried about a dozen pillows before I found this one. I tried it on a whim after hearing about it on a podcast – and omg I love using it so much! It’s just the right softness/sturdiness for me as a stomach and side sleeper. I can’t explain how much of a relief it is to find something that doesn’t cause my neck to hurt each morning. I will keep buying this pillow until they stop making it… that’s how much I love it!
- PowerSheets (goal planner) & Full Focus Planner (daily planner) – I have loved using these 2 planners so much this year – and they’ve made such a difference! I have a post coming soon where I’ll share more details about how I use these – but wanted to include them here since they’ve been absolute favorites in 2021. I use Powersheets to help me plan out my goals for the coming year (so I use this at the start of the year and then once a month to check in on goals) and then I use the Full Focus Planner as my daily planner for managing day-to-day to-do’s and planning out small daily actions towards the goals I set in my Powersheets. Such a powerful combo that’s made a *huge* difference to my year & I’m excited to use them both again in 2022!
- Kindle books – Over the past year, I have totally converted from reading physical books to reading books on my phone using the Kindle app – and it’s been such a game-changer! For years, I resisted because I love reading physical books… but currently I’m usually chasing down a toddler and so I need something that I can read at a moment’s notice – so my phone works perfectly. I made the switch to reading on the app after hearing multiple moms of littles mention they started reading more once they switched to reading on their phones, and I decided it was worth a try. It totally worked! Now I love reading on the Kindle app and it’s my preferred way of buying books. I love the ease of highlighting and adding little notes where I want to, and having an easy way to see everything I’ve highlighted or noted all in one organized place. Plus, I love seeing what percentage of the book I’ve read so far – it keeps me motivated to read more. A great option if you’re having a hard time reading physical books like me. (If you’d like to try a month of Kindle Unlimited for free, you can check out this link)
- Old Navy Maternity CozeCore Full Panel Leggings – These maternity leggings have been what I reach for nearly everyday since the weather began cooling down. Love these! They’re super soft, cozy and warm enough to run outside with my son at any given moment. A great deal and I only wish they offered them in more colors!
- Snoogle Maternity Body Pillow – I remember when I was pregnant a few years back and got this as a gift thinking I’d probably never use it – but I happily use it every single day! I start using this pillow around my second trimester and it makes sleeping on my side so much comfier – I definitely sleep much better using this. One of my best purchases in the maternity department that truly makes my days better!
- Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal Vitamins – Because I was super nauseous in my first trimester, I looked everywhere for a quality prenatal that would also be really gentle on my stomach. I heard about these from nutritionist Kelly Leveque and I couldn’t be happier (they also sell a non-methylated version if you need that). They’re the gentlest prenatals I’ve ever tried and I genuinely felt a boost in energy when I started taking them. They don’t contain iron so you’ll want to get a separate iron supplement if you need one (this is the what I currently use and really like). [And as always, best to check with your doctor about what prenatal if a good fit for you… this just happens to be a great fit for me so wanted to share.)
- Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair – My son adores a soft, comfy chair! After about a year of him using chairs that his grandmothers gifted him last Christmas, he started to outgrow them so my husband and I bought him this new one for Christmas. He loves his new Anywhere Chair – he drags it around, climbs all over it, and of course, sits all comfy and cozy to watch his favorite shows. Such a great gift that we’re happy he enjoys using so much!
- Bombas Gripper Socks – Such a random favorite, but these socks are amazing if you live in a house with slippery floors. They have the best grippers on the bottom of any socks I’ve ever come across (and we’ve tried many since our wood floors are pretty slippery) plus they’re super well made and keep my little guy’s feet nice and warm through these winter days. Pretty much the only socks he wears now.
- HALO Big Kids Wearable Blanket – It can be tough to find a blanket that will stay on an energetic toddler who tosses and turns a lot at night – but this has been a major win for our little guy. Typical wearable blankets are great for babies – but once they’re walking around, they can be hard for toddlers to not trip in. These are such a great solution since the bottoms fit like pants. Now, our son can sleep cozy and warm all night, yet he can still walk around his crib and get into whatever shenanigans he gets into once we close the door. 😉 These also come in different thicknesses depending on your needs. So glad they make this product!
That’s it! I hope this list helps you reflect on your favorite purchases of the past year and maybe even provided some inspiration if you’re looking for a few ideas…
And if you have any favorite purchases you’d like to share, feel free to drop them below or comment on today’s Insta post. I’m always on the hunt for great recommendations to try!