Readers, have you made any recent small purchases that you’re really pleased with? We’ve been rounding up these “little things” for a while now — here’s our latest roundup, including picks from Kat, Kate, Elizabeth, and Ann!
Psst: We’ve started collecting all of our yearlong suggestions along these lines with the tag Little Things. Check them all out here!
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I think we can all agree the highlight of getting a haircut or blowout is the scalp massage while the stylist shampoos your hair. This scalp massager from Briogeo is the next best thing. I use this for a minute or two every time I shampoo my hair. In addition to feeling fantastic, it also helps my hair feel cleaner and pretty much eliminated the dandruff/dry scalp I typically get in the winter.
The brush is $18 on Amazon. – Elizabeth
I’ve written before about my beloved foot warmer (on sale today!), but I have two small complaints: a) a general fear of fire in the bed because it’s got a cord, and b) that cord sticks out on the left side… but I sleep on the right side… so it always feels like it’s getting twisted up for no reason. So I saw this electric foot warmer on Amazon and made the purchase, and it’s really interesting, albeit a bit expensive for what it is.
The Pros: it stays really warm, and I like not having to worry about getting tangled in the cord in the middle of the night. There is an electric component but you basically heat it via cord, then put it in your bed. The cons: it’s $50 for what is essentially a hot water bottle, but if it’s inconvenient to carry a hot water bottle back and forth from the kitchen to your bedroom, then this solves that problem. All in all, I’d recommend. It’s $50 at Amazon. (We also just bought another hot water bottle, and I really like this one (it has a little sweater!) for $12!) – Kat
With summer winding down, I’ve been trying to squeeze in as many outdoor dinners as possible before the weather turns on me. Normally, this would mean that I’d be covered in mosquito bites from head to toe, but a friend recently recommended this mosquito repeller device, and it has been a total game changer. I have no idea how it works, but I’m so thrilled that it does. It’s rechargeable, and I can typically get four to five hours of use before I have to plug it back into the USB charger. Highly recommended!
The Thermacell is $29.99 at Amazon. – Elizabeth
Online shoe shopping can be tricky. Sometimes I’ll get a pair of shoes that are 99% perfect but just a hair too tight in the toe box or the tiniest bit too small. Rather than sending them back or giving myself blisters while waiting for them to stretch out, I recently invested in these shoe stretchers, and they’ve been fabulous. You can adjust length, width, or put in the inserts to help relieve pressure on corns or bunions.
The shoe stretchers are $19.99 on Amazon. – Elizabeth
If you’re looking for a REALLY big laundry bag, you need this one! This would have been great to have when I was living in an apartment complex and had to go to another building to do laundry, but in our current home, our washer and dryer are in the basement, and this is really handy for easily bringing a ton of clothes down two flights of stairs. (Supposedly, the bag can hold up to 44 pounds!)
Several solid colors and prints are available, starting at $15.99 at Amazon. – Kate
I’ve been trying to organize some home areas and this is the weirdest thing to be in love with, but I really like this can organizer. It’s double height, it’s sturdy, and you can adjust the shelves so they’re wider/smaller than what you want. I have multiples (I am perhaps buying too many cans) and I prefer to leave the bottom few shelves without a rack entirely so I can store large, heavy jars like pickles, olives, and marinara sauce. The double-height one (love!) is $28 at Amazon.
(This under-sink turntable is also kind of awesome – also $28.) – Kat
We recently took a road trip, and to stave off another “Are we there yet?” I gave my oldest a toy for each hour of good behavior. One of her rewards was a set of Wikki Stix — she could play with them without getting car sick and the endless creative possibilities meant she was busy for at least a few minutes.
The set is $5.60 at Amazon. – Ann
Although my toddler is not as bribeable as his older sister, it didn’t seem fair not to include him, so each hour he got a baby doll from this Basket of Babies. These soft, multicultural babies come dressed in colorful little sleep sacks. My son loves putting them in their basket or a toy stroller for walks.
The set is 34.98 at Amazon. – Ann
Stock photo at top via Stencil.
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I am unashamedly a collector of kitchen gadgets. I recently just bought a cheap counter top egg cooker and it’s honestly amazing. Hardboiled eggs galore! Easy poached eggs for my grain bowls! I’m never going back to using the stove for that.
I love mine too!
I have one of these too. I chastized myself for buying such a unitasker gadget, but my gosh, this thing is amazing. So simple, so easy, no babysitting the stove.
Go for it
Can you post a link? So interested!
Go for it
Just ordered , thanks ‘
12-foot phone chargers.
I think they’re the modern equivalent of having the 30-foot cord on the kitchen telephone.
Wow! I did not know that these existed. I was thinking I was living large with my 6-footers. But since they all break eventually, I will pre-order my next round.
Yes! And a power bank in the pocket of my favourite armchair.
Olive and June nail polish. I have been looking for an easy way to do my nails at home, and their system has been absolutely perfect for me. Having well manicured hands brings me so much joy.
Counterpoint – a friend gifted me a kit during quarantine and it didn’t seem any different than any other nail polish I’ve used, which doesn’t usually last very long on me.
Fresh flowers every week
My pandemic year gift to myself was monthly flower delivery from Bouqs. Started in March 2020 and ended in March 2021 when I got vaccinated. It was lovely.
Candles. I just bough some fall scented ones. I WFH so it helps my space feel more cozy. I also bought one of those water bottles with the time markers on it. I know it seems gimmicky, but it has been helping me drink more water.
I have fall scented candles on my shopping list for this week! I have been way more into fall (and already getting excited for christmas??) since COVID – I think just something to look forward to/demarcate the time? Any favorite candles you’d recommend?
Trader Joe’s has great seasonal scented candles in little aluminum cans. I just bought a great honeycrisp apple one.
This is the most ‘adulty’ thing I will ever type, but that can organizer looks amazing.
Also – love this post with everyone’s contribution!
Small bowls. Smaller than the behemoth cereal bowls around these days, but bigger than the little prep bowls for cooking. They probably hold about 8-10 ounces and I like them for my morning yogurt or oatmeal. The amount I eat looks like a sad little smear in the bowls that came with my dishes, but looks pretty hearty in the smaller bowls.
Mine is hard boiled egg related too— a German stainless steel egg slice. It was like $20 and a total upgrade from the cheapo plastic ones. Ours has been used almost everyday during COVID—apparently my toddler and kindergartner and I eat a lot of eggs.
Also pro-tip: eat them with soy sauce. Seriously phenomenal!
and a few drops of sesame oil!!
Cute, handmade stickers to put on my wall calendar to mark that I did something that I had procrastinated, or that was a goal.
This is a great idea!
On Thermacell – it uses allethrin, which is toxic to bees. I wouldn’t personally use given the decline in the honeybee population.
Thank you. I was wondering how these worked, as I have multiple chemical sensitivity so have to be careful
Anything that isn’t good for bees (and me!) is ruled out. Love the bees!
French (aka Triple) milled soap. Marshall’s is a reliable go-to.
I love the scalp massager! and related to hair, I just started using shampoo bars, and they have been great, too.
Wheat heat packs, made with organic wheat and organic cotton from a local woman. I bought a huge, hefty one that keeps warm for hours; one with Velcro straps to wear for period paid and muscle aches; one that drapes over my neck and shoulders lightly but perfectly and ones designed for feet (but I thought it was gross to put them in the microwave after being on feet) so I rest my hands on them while I have IV infusions.
Sounds excessive but I use all of them so much.
Wet It towels that I use as rags around the kitchen to wipe down counters and the table. I love the various designs on the Wet It towels. I put mine in the dishwasher almost daily to keep it clean. If it starts to smell mildewy, I can pop it in the microwave. I love them.
A Non Mouse
I’ve recently gotten into tea towels for dressing up my stove a little bit. It’s so fun to rotate them for different seasons, holidays, events, etc. They are very inexpensive at Marshalls/Home Goods/TJMaxx! I just swapped my football season ones (they’re cute, I know it doesn’t sound like it) for my newest find – little dogs wearing scarves with blustery leaves falling around them. As someone who’s not much into kitsch or knick-knacks, this indulgence has been the perfect outlet for my tiny sliver of grandma-esque tackiness in decor.
Lavender scented hand sanitizer spray – $1.99 at Trader Joe’s
“Journal”-type small notebooks with beautiful covers – <$4 at Target in stores (but $7 online) that I use for taking notes both for work and personal to-do lists.
Pack of multi-colored Bic pens form Office Depot (about $7) to write in said notebooks
Faux tortoise shell hair claw clip/butterfly clip for hair – $4 at Shein.com
Tao Chamomile Tea (not straight chamomile; it's a blend) – about $5
Prescription strength hydrocortisone cream for acne, which with my insurance, it was $10 for generic (in combination with prescription trentinoin). Game changer!!
Lately mine’s been a fancy latte from a spot down the block a couple coffee breaks each week. It’s something to look forward to and gets me out of the office chair and off the screen for a bit. Also a craft cider (off-dry is my favourite) have been hitting the spot after a longer day.