As everyone else around the blogosphere compiles their year-end lists about one thing or another, I thought I would put my own on here. Presenting....
12 Things I Bought This Year That Were Totally Worth It
Usually I buy and try new things and am very underwhelmed. But as I was thinking back over this year, I realized I bought some stuff that was actually quite awesome. So in no particular order, here are my winners:
Reflective Car Sun Shade
I have lived in Florida for how long and haven't had one of these? Yeah, I went to college.... It was amazing this summer to see how much of a difference this thing made! It easily lowered the temperature of the car by at least 10-15 degrees on a hot summer day. And considering that I could cook a turkey inside my Honda after only having it parked for 12 seconds during August, any little bit helps. Now I just have to get one for Jacob and the flesh-melting black leather interior inside Lucy.
This purchase was a toy solely for me as my reward for surviving the Census. Little did I know just how much this little gadget can do! I have been totally amazed at its usefulness. Not only does it flawlessly entertain and distract my children in so many situations (so much so that I can buy Luke's Iron Man action toy he got for Christmas RIGHT BEHIND HIS BACK and he never saw a thing!!! Brilliant!!) but I have used it for looking up recipes while I am in the kitchen, reading scriptures and preparing primary lessons, all my music is on there for running, I can update my Facebook status whenever I happen chance upon free WiFi- I seriously love that little thing. His name is Oh Claude! just in case you were wondering...
Over-the-door Shoe Hanger for Bathroom Supplies
I knew of this idea for years, but I just never thought it would work for me over time. But finally I wised up and got the over the door shoe holder thingy for my bathroom and it is a lifesaver. Especially in tiny little bathrooms like mine. Wish I done this sooner. I can actually see and use my counter now! It's so radical!!!
Color Coded Towels and Child-height Hanger-upper
Up until about 4 months ago my kids used white towels in their bathroom. Last time I counted we had somewhere of about 147 white towels and I think the kids were using all of them every time they showered. It was getting totally out of hand. I couldn't tell what was dirty, whose was whose, and where the heck they were all going. I finally broke down, went to Wal-Mart and got Luke a yellow towel, Cindy a purple towel and a small towel hanger thingy (actual name) and solved my problem. Now they only use one towel a piece, they can hang them up themselves, and I know exactly what they look like and where they are. $10= Happy Mom :)
I bought my second pair of Nike Pegasus shoes this year. You really can't go wrong spending good money on quality running shoes you actually use.
Back to Nature's Pacific Heights Trail Mix
Like many good things I stumble upon, this one was introduced to me by my Mother-in-Law DeAnne. I tried this at her house and have since bought myself a few bags here and there. This is the best trail mix on the planet: Almonds, Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds, and Dried Cherries. 'Nuff said.
I didn't want to give in to this one, but due to the layout of our house, I have just had to accept that it is more convenient to keep most all of our shoes in the kitchen. That is where we take them off, so it stands to reason that is where we will put them on. So if they are going to be there, then I better find a way to contain them that works. We had been using a totally ineffective basket, but then I saw this shelf thing at Sam's Club and took a risk. It actually has worked in controlling our shoes and their horrendous breeding habits. Of course our shoes all get dumped on the floor most times, but when it is time to clean up, at least they have a home.
Frizz Eease Moisture Barrier Hair Spray
I would like to thank the TSA for this discovery. Upon packing for my trip out to Utah for my brother's wedding this summer, I realized I had to get hair spray that was 4 oz. or less. Drat! My bomb-making plans were foiled again! This hair spray happens to be one of two choices for travel hair spray at Wal-Mart and it was the best $2 I ever spent. It really does an amazing job at holding your style, being lightweight and repelling humidity. Can't wait to save up and buy the BIG bottle!
Refillable Juice Box
I am absolutely not trying to save the planet with this one. I just can't afford sending Cindy with a juice box to school every day. I love the convenience of Capri Sun, but keeping enough on hand all the time is killing my budget. Plus, I'm pretty sure Cindy doesn't even drink most of it. I got this refillable juice box and now I can send her with whatever random beverage just happens to be in the fridge. Which right now is either expired pineapple juice or expired Clamato. Decisions, decisions....
Force Flex Trash Bags
I had been really wanting these things forever, but I never bought them before because they're like a million dollars and I could never allow myself to indulge. However, while at Sam's one day, I threw caution to the wind and spent 13 bucks on garbage bags. Whoa. Granted I got 120 of them for that price, but I was sweating it out all the way home wondering if my money could be better spent on actual food for my children. Nope! I love these bags. They really do SO much better of a job at stretching and not ripping. They are absolutely fantastic. I will never switch back :)
Bissell Sweep and Steam
I finally decided that if I am expected to keep my house clean and orderly, I need the proper equipment. I needed to solve the dang problem of my wood floors and how I simultaneously love and hate them. I just HATE sweeping them and keeping them clean. Nothing works. Anyway, to make a long story even longer, I got this sweeper and steamer combo by Bissell and I love it. If you want to read my full review I posted on Amazon.com, go here. If you actually have a life and don't care one whit about floor care, keep reading, my friend...
Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner- Lime and Rust Remover
This has to be the winner for the year. Our master bath toilet has always been a little dirty with hard water and stains ever since we moved in. I have never found anything that would clean it. I was literally going to rip out the entire toilet and replace it with a new one, but I decided to try this new cleaner I saw. It was $2.97 at Wal-Mart and is the most amazing thing I have ever used. It completely cleaned that toilet. Sparkling clean. Brand new. I have used it on shower tile, the tile on my bathroom floor- it is incredible. It even cleaned that crusty little plastic tray that pops out on my fridge where the water and ice dispenser are. MIRACULOUS!! And the best part? It smells like really strong Spearamint. No, not lame peppermint- Spearamint, people! Oh, I love this stuff :)