I don’t think I’m stating anything groundbreaking or earth-shatteringly novel when I say that 2018 was pretty suck-ass. I don’t drink and weed isn’t legal in my state. I haven’t smoked cigarettes in over a decade, and gambling’s not really my scene. I enjoy feeding my face when I’m craving something sweet, but when I’m anxious or stressing, food doesn’t give me comfort; I’m not a stress-eater. So, that leaves me with few options for dealing with my daily irritation, anger, sadness, outrage, fury, frustration, disbelief, rage, horror, etc. I mean, yeah, I guess I could do something healthy like yoga or meditation or running, but fuck that shit. That feels like effort and I’m generally opposed to that.
Instead, my drug of choice when it comes to avoiding my feelings is internet shopping. In the course of that shopping, I’ve found some truly useless crap I’ll never use (and can’t even gift away because it’s that useless) and some delightful finds that have made the dogshitty days of 2018 slightly less dogshitty. In the spirit of giving, I’m going to share some of them with you. You may not find the same amusement or joy in them that I have, but don’t ruin it for me, please. Like, don’t tell me the company is owned by Nazi KKK baby-skin-wearers or something, ok? I NEED MY TINY BITS OF JOY WHERE I CAN FIND THEM. Don’t take it from me.
Some of these are affiliate links, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them. I just love them so much that I also want to get points or money or freebies for sharing them because, Jesus, wouldn’t you like to get free shit for sharing stuff you love and were going to share anyway? Some of them aren’t. Some of them might go to Amazon — don’t lecture me about the evils of Amazon. Just don’t go there if you don’t like it, OK? Cool. Good talk.
And then, because I think sharing is fun (unless it’s the last of my favorite thing, then sharing is not only NOT fun, but is bullshit and I’m not doing it and you can’t make me because you’re not my real mom!) you can share things that made you happy this year! And if you have affiliate links, POST THOSE EMMEREFFERS! See? Everyone wins.
1) Live Love Polish — This is stupidly expensive nail polish that I’ve become ridiculously smitten with. They have gorgeous colors and finishes that are interesting and that entertain me, because I am a 4-year-old at heart and nail polish that changes color when it’s cold or hot tickles me beyond description.
2) Honey — Honey is a browser extension that will find promo codes for sites where you’re buying things. It’s so cool. Like, let’s say you’re going to ThinkGeek to buy stuff. You go to check out and Honey will pop up and announce that it’s found 4 codes and ask if you want to try them. If you say yes, Honey will then run the codes through the site’s promo field and if they apply, boom! You saved yourself some cashola. If there are no working code oftentimes you’ll earn back percentage points from the store to your Honey account and that gets turned into Honey Gold points, which gets turned into actual money. (Personally, I think they should call it Honey Money, but no one asked me.) So far this year, I’ve gotten back $48 in Honey Gold and then traded that in for gift cards to Target, Amazon, and Sephora.
3) Octopus Serving Bowl — I didn’t think I needed an octopus serving bowl. Then I saw this one. And clearly, I knew I needed an octopus serving bowl.
4) Function of Beauty — This custom blended shampoo and conditioner is not only my personal favorite to use, but it’s also one of my favorite things to give as a gift! I’ve been using it for going on two years, but they keep adding new fragrances and will be adding some new products next year, and they just keep getting better. I have difficult hair (long, thick, wavy, coarse, dry, tangly, frizzy underneath) and it has helped with all of my issues PLUS I no longer need to add additional products like leave-in conditioner, detangler, and shine serum. And it’s personalized, so if those aren’t your issues, no worries! You’d get the shampoo and conditioner made for your concerns and hair goals. It’s too late to order in time for delivery before Christmas, BUT you can still do an electronic (or print at home) gift card as a present! The link above will get you $5 off your first purchase.
5) The Ordinary — There was a lot of controversy and Instagram drama going on with The Ordinary’s CEO this year, but all of that notwithstanding, they make some damn fine skincare products that won’t break the bank! I’ve been using their Virgin Marula Oil, which costs, like, $10 compared to Drunk Elephant’s version, which runs around $40, and I can’t notice a difference. I also love the powdered L-ascorbic acid. (And the tiny little spoon that comes with it!)
6) Isle of Paradise Tanning Drops — The sun and I are not friends. We don’t hang out together. Additionally, I have long, white/silver hair. So, that combined with my ghostly pale skin, I have concerns that someone will see me in the passenger side of the car and assume my husband is transporting a corpse. One or two drops of these mixed with my regular moisturizer or oil every few days keep me looking alive without looking orange.
7) Sugarfina — I love gummies. I used to take vitamins as an excuse to eat gummies (the Biotin blueberry gummies are the best, IMHO). Then the hostess at a baby shower I attended had Sugarfina gummies as little gifts and now I’ve been spoiled and pretty much will only eat those. It’s not that Sugarfina makes better tasting or better consistency gummies than anyone else, it’s that they have more interesting flavors and flavor combinations AND they make better tasting gummies than anyone else! They have chocolates and caramels, too, and they’re good, but it’s the gummies I crave. Bonus: They have a lot of boozy gummies and candies that make great gifts.
8) Lady Alice Apples - These are just really good apples. I’ve never had them before this year and I think they may have moved up to the number 1 spot on my apple list, bumping Cortlands out of their reigning champion position.
9) Allure Beauty Box — I used to get a lot of subscription boxes, but I’ve pared it down to three, (and that might go down to two next year). The one I can’t seem to quit is Allure. It’s a monthly box, filled with a combination of makeup, skincare, tools, nail products, and masks. I may not like *everything* in each month’s box, but there’s always at least an item or two (or three) that makes it worth the $15 cost of the box.
10) Penzeys Spices — Who would have ever imagined that I would have purchased/acquired, like, 20 different jars of spices this year and also given gift sets of spices? Sure as hell not me. But then I started following Penzyes Spices on Facebook after they were giving away free cinnamon or garlic or something one day. They were giving away the spice, but that wasn’t the big draw. The draw, for me, was the eloquent and passionate letters written by the owner of the company, Bill. Bill doesn’t mince words (he does mince shallots, though! *HEY-O*) about how he feels about this Administration or its abhorrent policies. Penzeys may have lost some customers when Bill “got political” (read: criticized the Trump regime) but he gained a lot more fervent customers in doing so.
What have you bought this year that’s made life slightly less wombat crappy?
Image sources (in order of posting): Warner Brothers, ThinkGeek