10 Best... Semi-Boring Adult Things I Bought This Year

I am going to end this year with one of my favorite end-of-the-year trends: top ten lists. Of course we'll get to the books, but for now, let's look at my favorite practical (read semi-boring) things I bought this year.:

Quick note: I get that everyone has different price-points, priorities, and budgets, so this is what works for me. Recently I told my friend how much I spent on a hair product and she made so much fun of me, which I then did the same to her when she told me how much her sunglasses cost (I only buy ones less than $20 from Target). So, yeah, this isn't a budget blog, plus we all know that I get defensive about spending money because I'm really a poor kid at heart.  

1. A leaf cannister for my pool vacuum- I am always torn between being so thankful for my pool guy for recommending this contraption to me and angry that he didn't do it TEN YEARS AGO. We have a TON of foliage in our backyard that I refuse to tear our, since it provides a lot of privacy from the neighbors, but it also means I spend a lot of time skimming the pool. This, for less than $100, has been a total game changer.

2. Reading couch- Ever since March of 2020 I've been retreating to my room most nights for some much-needed alone time to read and decompress. I had an old rocker for awhile, but it was worsening a hip problem I had, so I bought a large love seat and it's a dream.

3. Shani Darden Retinol Cream- As a life-long "wear at least a little makeup before leaving the house" kid of lady, I realized recently I felt totally fine skipping foundation or any sort of BB cream, and I owe Shani Darden all the credit. I've been using it a few times a week since the summer and it's definitely a long game, but I'm seeing the results. It lasts forever and I didn't get any of the infamous retinol burn when I started using it, either.

4. A sensible new car- As soon as I paid off my student loans this spring I promptly acquired a new monthly payment, but the piece of mind of having a reliable car when I'm out and about with a small kid is worth it. I had had my old car for a decade and a few things needed repairs, so it was time. 

5. A fanny pack- I begrudgingly joined the fanny pack club (well, I guess technically rejoined, since I rocked one back when I was a kid) for my twice-daily walks with the dog, since it holds my phone and the dog citrus spray I need in case YET ANOTHER dog tries to attack mine (I have had two bite her in the last few months, so I pack the heat now). I won't leave home (on foot) without it.

6. Two new pairs of Frye boots- Listen, I know they aren't cheap, but the first pair I bought back in 2015 are still in great shape, so I know I'm getting my money's worth. I have a lot of foot issues and I have to spend money on shoes so that I'm not miserable when teaching all day. My feet don't hurt at all in these! 

7. A new dishwasher- Technically, it has had a few issues, but after not having one for over a year it was a miracle (ours broke a little bit before COVID started and my husband didn't want outsiders in our house for a loooooong time). 

8. Benebone dog toys- If you have a super aggressive chewer on your hands like I do I can't recommend these toys enough. We probably go through one or so a month, but they keep Ellie occupied and Sawyer's toys safe-ish. 

9. LEGO sets- This is definitely not a practical adult purchase, but I bought myself, not my child, a few LEGO sets this year and I have had so much fun doing them. They're challenging enough to occupy my mind so I don't ruminate, but also really enjoyable. Plus, I get street cred with my kid. I just finished the Home Alone set in time for Christmas and I was so sad to be done. 

10. Disposable contacts- At the beginning of the year I started having terrible, terrible eye problems that I let go for a few months until I went to the optometrist. Long story short, he forced me to get really expensive toric daily contacts and after being totally miserable all day every day I was a new woman.

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