My Favorite Purchases of 2019

‘Tis the season of mass consumption and year-end best-of lists! I enjoyed rounding up my favorite purchases in 2015, so I thought I’d do it again.

I’ve sorted the list by purchase price in descending order. I linked to where I purchased each item myself. Mostly Amazon, but if you’re anti-Amazon (understandable), you can surely find them elsewhere. Note: none of these links are sponsored or referral.

#10. Rejuvenation Hood Pendant Light

Price: $439 / Link. I thoroughly documented our staircase renovation on Instagram (everything is saved in my stories highlight), but I know not all blog readers are on IG (hi, Dad). I owe you full recap! In the meantime, here’s a peek. Installing this Rejuvenation light fixture was the crowning glory of finishing the renovation. I didn’t let myself install it until I finished all of the less appealing tasks on my to-do list (hi, baseboard painting).


Ordering custom-made light fixtures is daunting because you can’t return them: I stressed a little over the length – thanks to Jarrod for helping me visualize it!


I wound up ordering the Hood fixture in the Aged Brass finish, 32″ length, with the 14″ Opal Globe Shade. It’s lovely.

#9. Ryobi 40-Volt Cordless Mower

Price: $279 / Link. When we bought our house in 2015, our former landlords sold the apartment building we had been living in. The landlords used to pay me to mow the lawn of that property, and they didn’t need their plug-in mower anymore, so they gave it to me. I kept hoping it would die so I would have an excuse to buy a cordless one. It never did, so this year I finally decided to pass it on to a coworker-friend who had purchased her first house (hi, Katie!) and treated myself to a new one.

All that to say: I love this mower. It uses the same 40-volt Ryobi battery as our string trimmer. It easily mows our front and back yard on a single charge, and it’s so nice to not be tethered to a power outlet or to worry about mowing over an extension cord.


#8. Eley Garden Hose Reel

Price: $189 / Link. Speaking of treating myself: this hose reel is luxurious. It’s one of the sturdiest things I’ve ever purchased. Five stars.


I took a “before” photo but failed to take a photo after I installed the reel, and I can’t take one now because we put it away for winter. You’ll just have to trust me.


Please ignore the tuckpointing cracks in our front stoop’s wing wall – that’s what I do everyday. It’s fine. It’s probably fine.

#7. Foresake Patch Hiking Boots

Price: $140 / Link. We went to Ireland in April to visit my younger brother, who was shooting a movie there (Green Knight). I bought these boots for the trip.


Very comfortable for hiking and they look cool/streamlined enough to wear in the city, too.


Jarrod bought these Danner boots, by the way, which are also very nice. If you don’t wear brand new hiking boots in Ireland, how will they know you’re American?


#6. Bunkerwall Parking Guides

Price: $48 / Link. We used to have a hanging tennis ball as a guide for backing into our garage, but it kept getting pulled down when we’d shut our Subaru Forester’s back hatch. I bought these parking guides after the forever-accident-prone Jarrod closed the garage door onto the front of our car… twice.


When we back in, we bump into these things – they’re heavy enough to stay in place without being affixed to the floor. Now we always park perfectly: staying clear of the garage door while maximizing space in the back.

#5. Sloggers Clogs

Price: $28 / Link. Ashley at The Gold Hive recommended these outdoor clogs on in this blog post. I always keep them at the back door in our mudroom. They’re easy enough to slip on that they’ve stopped me from going outside in my socks or slippers, which is what I used to do anytime I wanted to quickly pop outside – e.g. when I want to take a photo of the parking bumpers in our garage.


#4. Floor Register Grates

Price: $12 / Link. Last month I replaced all of our tan floor grates with these dark oil-rubbed bronze ones. A cheap, super easy upgrade! They look so much nicer.


I spray painted our return grates to match.


True story: I left a grate off while it was drying. Lola, our cat, had been in mudroom all afternoon and I wasn’t thinking of him. He came into the living room and immediately went right into vent. Not a moment’s hesitation – it was like he had been waiting his whole life for the opportunity. Jarrod just happened to be standing there when it happened. He plunged his hand down the vent and pulled Lola out by his tail. Phew!


You can see Lola’s claw marks in the dust above. He spent the rest of the day staring insolently at the covered vent, as though he had been denied something rightfully his.

#3. H&M Waffled Hand Towel

Price: $7 / Link. I bought this H&M hand towel for our half-bathroom. I like that the hanging loop is in the middle of the long edge (instead of on the short edge) – that makes it look nice and full when it’s hanging on a hook. The material is pretty yet utilitarian.


That is all I have to say about this hand towel.

#2. Tree Finder: A Manual for Identification of Trees by their Leaves

Price: $6 / Link. Jarrod and I attended the Basic Tree ID class at The Morton Arboretum this fall, which I highly recommend if you’re in Chicagoland. It taught us simple ways to identify trees. Tree Finder was one of the books they recommend. Jarrod likes that it’s small and lightweight – much easier to carry around than most field guides.


#1. Crunchy Cheetos

Price: $2 / Link. When I was reviewing all of my 2019 Home Depot purchases – so many Home Depot purchases – I saw this receipt and laughed. Crunchy Cheetos are amazing, obvs, and the Home Depot purchase history is, too.


If you save your credit/debit card to your online Home Depot account, it automatically pulls in all of your in-store purchases – even ones you made prior to linking your card to your account. It’s super handy if you need a receipt for a warranty, or if you need proof of spending $1.93 on Crunchy Cheetos at 11:39am on September 21.

2 thoughts on “My Favorite Purchases of 2019


  2. Ha, I’m definitely a blog reader not on IG. I’m always so bummed when I find new beautiful older houses people are renovating well … only to find that they’re only documenting them on IG. Maybe it’s because I’m on the slightly older side of the millennial age range? But I refuse to add IG to my social media life for no real logical reason. Yes, I sometimes cheat because I couldn’t stand not seeing those amazing stairs as soon as possible. I do have an IG account, a remnant from years and years ago, an account that has been remade under my cat’s name and purged of all but a handful of cat pictures. It serves its purpose to let me see pretty pictures on these rare occasions. (And those stairs DROOL)

    Love those register grates btw. I’ve recently seen these beautiful wood ones that are perfectly flush with the wood floors and blend so nicely that they’re almost not even there. I really like that idea, though I think these Art Deco style are very much in line with Craftsman details. I probably would’ve gone this route too, if it were my house. Oh, and I was just informed that thinking that much about floor air vent grates is apparently weird *shrug* thanks, random coworker

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