The first month of 2019 is nearly over! Can you believe it? Let’s pause for a check in. How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions? Are you on track to reach your goals this year? I made a few lofty New Years goals and have been looking for items and products to help me along the way.
One of my goals was to share a monthly round-up of the items and products that impacted my life over the previous month. These are things I talk about with girlfriends and recommend to my family. I am starting this as a monthly series to share all my finds with you!
Here are five things that helped me start 2019 on the right foot. They have made my January faster, cozier, and more efficient!
Revlon One-Step Volumizer Hair Dryer
One of my goals for the New Year was to simplify my morning routine. Getting ready is time consuming and often feels like more of a chore than anything enjoyable. Plus most days I am usually running late and don’t have an hour (or more) to get ready.
So, I made it a goal to streamline my daily routine. You may have already seen my 10-minute makeup blogpost, which goes over my simplified makeup routine. If you haven’t read it, be sure to check it out for tips and tricks to save time and still look your best.
Naturally, the next area to tackle was my hair situation. This dryer/brush combo has helped me simplify my hair styling. It takes hair from ‘straight out of the shower wet’ to completely dry in under 15 minutes!
The combo of the hot air blowing through the vented styling brush (in an oval shape) is genius! The wand basically styles (and adds volume) while you blow dry. So basically two ‘birds with one stone’ or in this case, ‘two haircare needs with one tool’. It’s easy to clean and has a surprisingly long cord so you can easily blow-dry your hair upside down without risk of unplugging it.
My mother would be so proud of me! She is always reminding me to not leave the house with wet hair because otherwise I would ‘catch a cold’ especially in these frigid New England winters. Problem solved! 🙂
It comes in both pink and teal color options. You can find it on Amazon or at Ulta (around $60).
I started taking these little pills of ‘bacteria’ every day over past month. After the holidays and all of my indulgent snacking, my stomach really needed a break. I was feeling bloated and having GI issues from all the rich foods (and glasses of Champagne) I had been enjoying.
I started taking Culturelle probiotics (the ones with 10 billion cultures). The package says it ‘works naturally with your body to keep you digestive system in balance’ and that it helps with occasional symptoms such as ‘gas, bloating and upset stomach’. Those claims were all I needed to make me want to purchase a box.
I started taking one pill in the morning (with my standard 8 ounces of water) and then one in the evening for the first two weeks. Then, as my symptoms improved, I cut back to one probiotic in the morning and that’s where I am now. One pill in the morning.
Since starting this new regimen, I have had significantly less bloating and my stomach isn’t upset at all. I highly recommend probiotics if you need to give your digestive system a little help or just want things to work more efficiently.
You can also get similar ‘active culture’ benefits by eating yogurt or other probiotic rich foods. I personally try to limit my dairy consumption and I really do not care for yogurt, so a probiotic pill works perfectly for me.
There are several brands of probiotics available and some even come as gummies. I am partial to Culturelle and I found this easily at my local CVS. I try to use coupons and buy it when it goes on sale because it can be a little pricey. You can also find it at Target and online.
The Amazing ‘Amazon’ Sheets
You have likely seen me talking about these sheets on Instagram. I did a quick review of them in late December after I purchased my first set.
A little backstory. I tend to change my bedding colors and aesthetic with the seasons. These sheets were recommended to me by a friend while I was shopping for a new winter look for our bedroom and guest room. I was a little skeptical because of the price point, but she assured me I would be pleasantly surprised, so I ordered a set to test them out.
The verdict: I am impressed. These sheets are comfortable, breathable and hold up well in the wash. We wash our sheets weekly and they are just as soft and comfortable after several washing as they were the first time we slept on them.
They are a brushed micro-fiber material and they feel like a dream. Plus they come in a variety of colors to compliment my seasonally changing bedding! Yay! We love them so much we even purchased a set for our guest bedroom.
If you haven’t tried them but are looking for fresh new bed linens, these are a great choice. They do feel like super luxurious sheets, but cost a fraction of the price! We got our set for under $ 25 dollars. Seriously! It’s a great investment and the price point makes it that much better! Plus they come in SO many colors!!
Tatcha Indigo Soothing Hand Cream
The winter does a number on my skin. First, the humidity in the environment decreases as the weather gets cooler. Then, the lack of moisture in the air is compounded when you use forced hot air indoors. Top that off with the constant use of hand sanitizers and cleansers at the hospital, and my hands are super rough and dry. Even with the best of moisturizing intentions, my hands would still get red, irritated, and have tiny cracks around the knuckles. Even my cuticles were dry and peeling.
Enter my most recent exciting find! Tatcha Indigo Soothing Hand Cream. I got this as a sample with a recent skincare order, and I immediately fell in love with it. It is a non-irritating, non-sensitizing hand cream made with Indigo, Silk extract, and Squalane to soften and calm irritated skin. Exactly what my hands needed!
It goes on slightly blue initially (thanks to the Indigo) and then absorbs in colorlessly to help hydrate and moisturize skin. I used every drop of the sample and then immediately bought two tubes of this hand cream. It’s that good!
One lives in my work bag and one stays at keep at home. My hands have been much happier and there is no more cracked knuckles or peeling cuticles from dry skin. The difference is noticeable.
Part of my New Year’s resolution was to declutter and reduce excess. In general I think we all have too much ‘stuff’. Without getting too off topic, I do sometimes feel stuck on a consumerism wheel and need to remind myself to take a shopping and ‘consuming’ break every now and again.
Shopping used to be a stress reliever for me, until my bank account decided to step in and put at stop to things. (That’s a story for another time.) Gratefully, I have reassessed my shopping habits over the past couple of years and no longer indulge in ‘retail therapy’ nearly as often.
Having said that, my closets and drawers are kind of overflowing yet I still find myself saying that I have ‘nothing to wear’. So, 2019 is the year I decided to downsize! Starting with my wardrobe, I have been making a concerted effort to get rid of the things I don’t need or don’t wear.
I’ll admit I can’t follow the backwards hanger trick. I constantly forget which way I put the hanger on the rod or what each direction means and things end up all willy-nilly anyhow.
So, I decided to go through my closets and get rid of anything that I hadn’t worn in the past year. It ended up being easier for me to pull out the clothes that I definitely knew I had worn recently and work my way through the rest of my closet from there. Less than a half hour later, I had a small mountain of clothes that hadn’t been worn in months, or in a few cases, still had tags and hadn’t ever been worn. This pile destined for another owner.
I use thredUP to pass my clothes on to the next loving home. If you aren’t familiar with thredUP, they are a fashion resale website where consumers can buy and sell secondhand clothing online.
The website explains that thredUP is part of a larger Collaborative Consumption movement, which encourages consumers to live in a more collective, sharing economy. They encourage you to think about your choices (including fashion choices) and the impact on the world.
You can order a ‘Clean Out’ bag directly from their website. This bag is for all your unwanted clothing items, including bags and shoes, that need a new home. They accept gently used (as well as new) clothing items that were made and on trend within the past 5 years. Currently, they do not accept mens clothing, but do welcome Women’s and Children’s clothing.
The company sends you their signature large white and teal polka dot bag to put your items in, you fill it and drop it at the Post Office, and then it goes on to the sorting warehouse. There, a team decides if your items are acceptable to sell on the thredUP website, or if they should be passed onto another charitable company.
(There is also an option to have your clothes sent back to you if the company decides they cannot sell or repurpose them.)
They usually offer a flat payout for the items you are getting rid of, but higher ticket price items can be placed on consignment and you would get a payout if and when the item sells.
I love to use thredUP because I know that my clothes are going to someone else for them to love and wear, and not into the landfill. Plus, the potential to get money (or store credit option) for items I am parting with anyway, is great. It’s also a great place to look for gently used clothes that need a new home! I have found several true gems and lots of popular brands on their website!
The company also passes along the good vibes! Like I mentioned before, anything that doesn’t make the cut for resale goes to other charities or to clothing projects where the clothes are upcycled into new and different garments and to those in need. This is another great way to reduce your impact on the environment and lessen your contribution to the landfill.
I highly recommend thredUP for your next clean out project. You can find out more about the company, their mission and how they give back, as well as the top items and brands they are looking for on their website.
That rounds out the top 5 things I love this month! I hope you find this post helpful! Perhaps one of my January finds will help you shave a few minutes off your daily routine, or help you declutter and maybe even make a little money!
I look forward to sharing more of my favorite finds each month! Stay tuned!