I saw a post on a friend’s blog the other day about her best purchases from the past year. I can’t link to it because I cannot for the life of me remember where I saw it, but I’m assuming that it must have been a friend’s site because I tend to only read blogs written by friends (mostly because whenever I go on a professional blogger’s site the only thing that happens is I panic because I start realizing that I am doing everything – like, everything in my life – wrong). Anyway, it got me thinking about what my own best purchases from 2015 would be.
The real best purchase, of course, was our house. I was standing outside with Goldie yesterday morning, just leaning against the car and waiting for Kendrick and Indy to come out so we could get started on our day, and I looked up at the foothills and the palm trees and whispered to her, “We live here.” It never stops being amazing to me: the fact that we just changed everything, just like that. And now here we are.
But let’s set all those grand, life-changing decisions aside for a moment. In no particular order, here are ten little (and sometimes big) luxuries that I picked up in 2015 that ended up being totally worth the investment.
1. Matching bedroom furniture. For my entire life (or since I moved out of my parents house, in any case), my bedroom furniture has consisted of whatever we have laying around that doesn’t fit anywhere else. In our Hell’s Kitchen apartment, we had no room for end tables (or lamps, or a dresser, or a bed larger than a postage stamp), so that was that. For our UES apartment, we had one bedside table that we inherited from my friend Vanessa, and another that used to be my grandmother’s storage cabinet and that I transformed into a sort of Lucy-house.
In our Westchester house, we had a table I found at HomeGoods and bought because I loved it, and then another, different table that I found at HomeGoods and bought because I loved it. Which is one way to furnish your place – and a way I’m generally on board with – but our new, light-flooded bedroom made me crave simplicity and order. So: matching end tables (from HomeGoods, obvs, but I found them online here) and matching lamps (they’re these). I love mismatched spaces, but in this case a little symmetry felt right.
2. Eyelashes. I’m pretty lazy when it comes to beauty treatments: I only get my hair cut and colored when it’s an absolute emergency; I haaaaaate hanging around in nail salons getting pedicures; you could not possibly pay me enough money to go get any part of my body waxed (been there, done that for years, and noooooooo). But eyelash extensions – which I started getting regularly just before Goldie’s birth last summer – are the one thing I absolutely, without fail take an hour out of my life once every month for. They just make me feel so much better, especially on mornings when I’m exhausted and wandering around in sweatpants that I’ve been wearing for three days straight and maybe someone has vomited on me. With eyelash extensions, I can look in the mirror and (usually) be pleasantly surprised by the (relative) non-terribleness of my appearance.
3. My Fairfax flea market denim jacket. Thirty dollars! It’s just so cool. (This one is not-too-dissimilarly priced and very cool as well.)
4. White converse sneakers and cashmere sweatpants. This is a twofer because I wear both of these items a really embarrassing number of times a week. Like, all of the times. The Converses (pictured above) are obviously a good buy because they go with virtually everything, but I felt ridiculous when I bought the cashmere sweatpants (which I only did because they were suuuuuper on sale at DKNY, and I had just spent the day hosting an event at the store and staring at them, so it really couldn’t be helped). And now, right this very moment, nearly a year later, I am laying on my bed writing this post wearing…that’s right: cashmere sweatpants (these are similar to the ones I have). They’re just so, so good, and make you feel all chic and glamorous while still allowing you to wear what amounts to pajamas.
5. Our yucca tree. You may have noticed that my yucca tree makes the occasional appearance on Ramshackle Glam (in, like, every post about my house). That’s because I love it so much that I carry it around from room to room trying to figure out where it looks best, but can’t figure that out because the answer is EVERYWHERE. It’s basically another family member at this point.
6. AirBnB stays, generally. When we decided to move across the country and started trying to figure out how, exactly, we were going to make this happen, we eventually landed on the idea of driving, which kicked off my discovery of just how seriously awesome AirBnBs can be (I mean, check out the treehouse we discovered in Asheville. Or the Southwestern-meets-midcentury oasis we found in Joshua Tree. Or this crazy place. Lifelong convert.
7. Botox. Not for wrinkles (although I have zero problem saying goodbye to a couple of those); for this. It didn’t just make me feel “prettier” (although it did; I’ve been insecure about my eyes for as long as I can remember); it made me feel more awake somehow. I don’t regret it for one second.
8. This long-sleeved, striped J.Crew tee. Everyone needs a really good striped tee, and as someone who has bought a hell of a lot of them over the course of her life, let me tell you: this one is really good. It’s fitted enough to look neat but not so fitted that you’re uncomfortable; it’s got a cool little neck detail; it’s got extra-long arms that hang at the perfect spot just above your knuckles. (Mine is a size small, if you’re curious about sizing – I usually buy shirts in a size M because I like them a little relaxed-fitting, but this one should be worn true to size.)
9. A really good pot. They can get expensive, yeah, but once you make the investment you will use the thing more or less daily (and ssssssh but you can get Le Creuset pots at HomeGoods or TJMaxx for like half-price). If you’re going to get just one, go for the dutch oven (but I also have the braiser – thanks, mom – and use it constantly).
10. A dining room table that we can beat up. I’ve always loved the idea of having one of those massive dining room tables that get used for everything: eating dinner, studying, paying bills, playing board games – just everything. But I hate the idea of having a dining room table that you have to be all precious about. When we first brought home our reclaimed wood (from a bowling alley! isn’t that cool?) dining room table from Big Daddy’s Antiques, the first thing that happened was that someone put down a glass on it and made a big ring that wouldn’t come out. And I got all bummed out for a minute, and then remembered that I don’t live in a showroom; I live in a house. The more dings and dents the better; all it means is its being used and played on and loved.
Aaaaand that’s the roundup. (Honorable mentions go to this affordable and wonderful eye pencil, my favorite new fragrance, and my beloved rug.) If you feel so inclined, would love to hear what your favorite 2015 purchase was!