Another year has come to an end. I’m a little bit older. And if wisdom is realizing that you know nothing at all, then I’m a lot wiser. 2016 feels like a bit of a loss, really. I spent most of it treading water, which is never a good feeling. But a New Year means a fresh slate, and a chance to begin moving forward anew.
But while 2016 may not have lived up to expectations, there were still a few highlights. Here are “The Six Best Things I Bought in 2016.”
A short bathrobe may seem like a strange lead-off hitter, but let me explain. For years, I used a big, fluffy white bath robe. It was warm and cozy, but also bulky and matronly. Then, I spotted this Josie Kimono Robe ($30) in Nordstrom Rack.
The lighter fabric, shorter style, and internal tie allow me to wear this robe while I complete morning chores. It’s also easier to put my makeup on while my hair sets. And, bonus points, my 85-year-old Nana and I no longer wear the same robe.
When I say Ole Henriksen’s Invigorating Night Treatment ($48) saved my skin, I am not joking, overstating, or doing that blogger thing where every product is described with nothing but positive adjectives. I am being deadly serious.
In the weeks prior to discovering The Treatment, my right cheek was a nothing but one giant breakout, and left the wasn’t much better. Every day, I would stand in the bathroom, on the verge of tears, and pile on concealer. I have always loved OH products, so I thought this “overnight resurfacer” was worth a try.
In a week, the terrifying breakout was gone. When, for a brief moment in November, it looked like they might be discontinuing my beloved serum, I panicked and bought 10 bottles. Yes, you read that right. Ten. So deep is my love. So deep.
The Gibson Convertible Cowl Sweater is soft, comfortable, and just $54. Most days, I wear it with leggings for hours of bar studying. (The tunic length and longer back make it perfect for this.) And if I need to run out, I put on a pair of jeans, and “convert” it into a one-shoulder or off-the-shoulder top. It’s the best; I now own it in three colors.
When preparing to go to Cuba, I had two problems: 1) there is no toilet paper in Cuba, so you have to pack toiletries with you everywhere (thanks for the lifesaving tip, ladies), and 2) I did not want to take a nice bag. This $24 bag from Old Navy was a godsend. It looks like the 10x the price Cuyana Carryall, but it take a licking and keeps on ticking. I just organized the inside with some nylon pouches and it was the perfect travel bag.
When I graduated from college and got my first ‘real’ apartment, I treated myself to a nice set of sheets. 800 thread count, Egyptian cotton sateen sheets to be precise. And their pillowy softness ruined me. I am now a sheet snob. But when K moved in last year, and I started sharing my bed with a guy whose questionable personal grooming habits necessitate that I change the sheets weekly, I burned through two sets of very nice sheets in just six months. Whatever was a girl to do?
Enter the Charter Club 700tc 4-pc sheet set from Macy’s, which for a limited time is $49 instead of $120. (I need to buy 50.) I also recommend Charter Club’s Damask Duvet Cover ($170). Now, we soften.
You take these good quality, semi-soft sheets and you wash them with hot water, one cup salt and a 1/4 cup of washing soda. (This is the same mixture that will give cotton t-shirts vintage softness. #protip) And then dry them on high heat with a set of dryer balls. Repeat this process three times. And you will have the greatest sheets ever. Like ever, ever.
I came of age in an era where women wore Uggs everywhere. You saw them on your commute, at work, at the grocery store, even at the bar. They were dirty, worn, and wrinkled shearling foot prisons. They were filled with bacteria, and potentially dangerous. There name even stood for ugly, but none of it mattered. They were unstoppable.
I railed against their hideousness, agains walking into work wearing glorified bedroom slippers. But so many of my lovely readers would say, “But Belle, they’re so warm, so comfortable, try them, you’ll see.” Yet, I refused. Until one -26 degree day in Montana, when my hypothermic toes could take no more. And thus, I bought a pair of grey Ugg Moccasins ($99).
While I now recognize the merits of the comfort argument, I maintain that they are slippers. Their delights are only to be enjoyed inside your house or hotel room. Oh, you don’t think you’ll travel with them? Go to a work conference where you’re in high heels for three, 12-hour days, and you’ll wish you had them.
They are like a vacation for tired, cold feet. But they are slippers! They shall not cross the threshold of your home. Praise be to Jimmy Choo, amen.