I’m back with more Amazon finds, friends. Try as I might, I just can’t stay away. No self-cleaning toilet gadgets this time (more on that little miracle, and the 16 other finds that got me through a summer of staying-at-home, in this post) — but plenty of accessories to complement our new stay-at-home reality: school-from home! Like this desk organizer, which was the result of a month-long hunt for the perfect combination of form, function and affordability ($13!). And, of course, this chic, affordable little face roller to massage away all the tension and wrinkles that accompany said abode-based academics. (It’s exceptionally well-made, less than half the price of the Nurse Jamie version, and so, soooo soothing.)
Keep reading for everything you never wanted to know about my morning matcha routine, our latest LEGO obsession, a polarizing twist on classic Adidas (you’ll either love ’em or hate ’em, I can already tell)…and plenty of other recent Amazon purchases that have exceeded expectations.
These get a TON of use. (Who knew that kindergarten involved SO MUCH COLORING?) They’re also available in a smaller, more affordable (though not by much), 8-crayon pack, which still offers a decent array of colors. But the best deal of all: we just picked up a case of 24 8-packs for Lana’s class, and it breaks down to $1.25/box. They make markers and colored pencils, too.
2. Washi Tape
So many fun uses for washi tape, but our favorites are 1) creating bedspreads, wall art and rugs on flat LEGO tiles, and 2) using it to tape up Lana’s art and schoolwork in her little desk area. Something about the washi tape adds charm and character to a wall full of unapologetically crooked paper projects. Her own little gallery. I also add a decorative swatch of washi tape when we gift mason jars of this homemade granola, which is about as Pinteresty as it gets around here these days.
I spent an embarrassing amount of time looking for an attractive, minimal school supply caddy that wasn’t exorbitantly overpriced, and at just $13, this, friends, is THE ONE. (We removed the slim bamboo tray so we could stash Lana’s shorter markers and crayons up front.) It’d make a cute organizer for makeup brushes and toiletries, too. It comes in and out of stock a lot, so if you see it, snag it.
4. Candy Eyes
If I had to recommend one Halloween hack this year? THESE. We recently stuck them on these (deceptively simple) no-bake pumpkin spice cake truffles, but you can use them to add goofy or spooky whimsy to just about anything: cupcakes, cookies, rice krispy treats, ants on a log, PB&Js. Easy. (And, for what it’s worth, they actually taste ok, too.)
Kiddo gift and coffee table book in one! We picked up the previous edition of this book for Lana (5-years-old) to enjoy on vacation, and she pored over it for HOURS in one sitting. It’s so fascinating — and especially fun because she has many of Chris’ and my LEGO minifigures from the ’80s, all of which are covered in here, too. Now we’re pre-ordering this new edition, which comes out later this month, for her for Christmas since all of her recent minifigs will be included, too.
We use these mugs almost daily when we’re walking around the neighborhood or to the beach. I love that the handled design feels more like you’re drinking from a traditional coffee mug — versus a travel mug designed for the car, which always feels like it needs to be hurriedly consumed on-the-go. I use mine most often for keeping my matcha piping hot (more on that, below), but we’ve been known to fill them with spiked cider, hot toddies or cocoa for evenings in the backyard, too.
Truly affordable blue light-blocking glasses that I genuinely believe have reduced my eye strain and fatigue. They also happen to be dang cute. I finally picked up a second pair to leave next to the bed for late-night phone scrolling (I know, I know…) or reading on my tablet.
My preferred matcha for daily drinking, hands down. Quick little tip: I make my daily latte directly in an Aeroccino (whoa, on sale!! we’ve been using ours for 8+ years and it’s still going strong with daily use — though I am jonesing for this SMEG milk frother, because…pretty). I combine oat milk (full-fat Oatly, please), about 1 tsp matcha and a dribble of maple syrup directly in the frother, and then when it’s about halfway done spinning, I gradually sprinkle in a heaping scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen. Next to washing my face with this magic balm, it’s my favorite ritual of the day.
9 & 10. Pacifica Salty Waves Shampoo and Conditioner
I love Pacifica’s products (vegan + cruelty-free!) and always feel like they offer great bang for the buck. I wash my hair once to twice a week, and this sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner duo leaves it feeling thoroughly clean, with just the right amount of texture. It also has a tropical smell not unlike a less-cloying version of banana Runts. (As such, Lana calls it “banana shampoo” and has graduated to using it occasionally, too.)
11. Face Massager
If you’re as much of a sucker for Vogue’s celebrity skincare and makeup videos as I am, chances are you’ve seen the Nurse Jamie version of this tool over and over again. I was intrigued, so I snapped up this one, which is less than half the price — and friends: this thing is a find. It genuinely feels well-made, with a satisfying weight in-hand, and it rolls so smoothly. The one-minute process of rolling it over my skin every morning and night feels luxuriously indulgent. My skin feels invigorated — and I swear that little “11” crease between my eyebrows? It’s even a little less prevalent than before.
A while ago I started looking for a thicker, textured cotton cardigan and snapped this one up on a whim. Turns out, it’s pretty good. The weight and the texture are both great. The sleeves are long and cozy. It feels like a quality piece. I’m debating whether I wish the buttons offered a little more depth — maybe if they were wooden, or tortoise shell. But at the same time, sometimes when I look at a cardigan, all I see are the buttons, so it’s kind of nice that these disappear into the sweater a bit more. Tempted by the mustard color, too.
Grits on Amazon? I know, but wait: these are, undoubtedly, the creamiest, most flavorful grits I’ve ever had. They’re on the finer side, so they end up with more of a consistency somewhere between polenta and cream of wheat — but in the best way. Even without butter and salt, they have a nutty creaminess that is so SO good. (That said, butter and salt are still no-brainers.) They cook up in 10 mins, and we’ve been topping them with fried eggs + hot sauce / chili + chimichurri / blistered tomatoes + feta / ratatouille + pesto — you name it. And the story behind them is cool, too. Professor Torbert bred this corn the old-fashioned way, hand-selecting kernels year after year until he arrived at this bright orange, nutritionally dense corn full of carotenoids. Phew. Never thought I’d have so much to say about grits, but, dang, these are good.
I’ve mentioned this before in passing, but it’s so good, it’s worth a dedicated shout because it’s one of the best Amazon purchases I’ve made, period. We use this insert (in the size Large) inside our fave Fjallraven Kanken packs, and it exponentially increases their function. (When Lana was tiny, it even allowed us to organize our Kanken into a compact diaper bag alternative.) It also makes it easy to swap packs on wash day (we have two packs and wash each one every couple of months; mind the center agitator, if you have one, and hang them dry) — and it helps restore shape to wrinkly, just-washed packs, too. There’s an insert with a rounded top, too, for more conventionally-shaped packs. Overall great product.
These are, inevitably, going to be a little polarizing, but I have been thoroughly charmed by their nostalgic ’90s vibes. Lana immediately ooohhed and aaaaahhhhed at them, which makes me wonder if they’re a bit too…L.O.L. doll, especially at my age? (I think someone on Facebook also used the term “baby booties” — ha.) But they’re also SUPER-cushy, lighter weight than you’d expect, comfy, flattering on the foot and just…fun. With joggers, with cropped or rolled jeans, with dresses. Also available with classic black striping and in a white-on-black colorway, and many sizes are on sale on Amazon. (Also available on Adidas’ site, here.) Sizing note: reviews say these run small, but my usual size fits perfect in length; I did have to lace them a little more loosely than with my other Adidas street sneakers, so they may run a bit narrow.
What Amazon gems have you dug up lately?
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And this one’s for the Pinners!