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favorite amazon buys

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My birthday is this weekend! Yay! Sipping champagne in a hot bathtub, playing video games, reading a book, and watching boyfriend play a show are how I’ll be spending it. Those are a few of my favorite things, so today I thought I’d share a few more. These are some of the products I’ve found that I can’t imagine living without anymore – they make my life so much easier!

Platypus Water Bottle: This is my absolute favorite Amazon buy ever, and definitely one of my favorite products from anywhere. I try to drink a lot of water, but when I’m out and about, I would never bring a water bottle with me because they’re heavy and take up a lot of space in your bag. Viola, a collapsible water bag! I love this one because it has a double latch closure and it’s never leaked on me, and also has a built-in carabiner clip. I get asked about it all the time because it’s such a handy thing to throw in a bag without taking up any space. (This Contigo water bottle is still my favorite one at home, though!)

tea stand

Tea Bag Organizer: I had seen these advertised a lot and thought they were super gimmicky, but after too many visits to DavidsTEA, it was clear I needed to do something with my boxed teas. When it was on a lightning deal, I finally went ahead and nabbed it – and, as advertised, got SO MUCH space in my cabinet back. If you’re an avid tea bag drinker dealing with piles and piles of boxes in your cabinets, I can’t recommend this enough.

SET: I love games – board games, card games, and even recently video games. SET is a longtime favorite card game of mine. You look for “sets” of three cards that either have everything in common, or nothing in common. It’s a good brain teaser, and I like it because you can play it with someone or solo.

Coat Hook: We have three of these in our house now, and they’re exactly what I was looking for when I found them last year. It was surprisingly hard to find single hooks that were affordable! This hook is $1.88 and we hang additional coats on them in our coat closet, and I mounted one in my office to hang my blanket (forever cold) and work bag.

Boot Socks: A few years ago I ordered these on a lightning deal to give someone else, and ended up claiming a pair for myself. They’re soft, thick, so warm, and really cute. If I had any more space in my sock drawer, I’d order another set so I’d never run out between laundry.

Top Knot-Friendly Beanie: I’m not sure if this is a sign that I Have Given Up, but 99 days out of 100, my hair is just in a messy top knot on my head. That always resulted in me looking pretty silly during the winter, with my beanie half-off my head. I had a similar one from lululemon a few years ago, but the ghosts in my old apartment made off with it somehow, so I was pumped to find this one on Amazon for a super reasonable price!

Drawer Organizer: JosephJoseph has the best kitchen stuff – multi-functional, space saving, and fun. We had a weirdly narrow drawer in our kitchen, and I picked this organizer up after seeing it on Apartment Therapy for the 40th time. It’s a nice use of space that would otherwise have been junked.

Travel Infinity Scarf: This simple, classic infinity scarf would have been perfect when I was traveling non-stop. It features one inconspicuous pocket, big enough for a passport, some cash, and even my iPhone 8 (though that does weigh it down significantly.) I’ve taken to not carrying a purse with me much anymore, so this is a great help in freeing up my hands!

Foldable Duffel Bag: THIS BAG IS AAAAAMAAAAZING! It doesn’t look like much, but holy cow, it can hold a lot of stuff. I’ve used it on two week+ trips, and I don’t find myself struggling to edit or make room for things that don’t fit. It folds up into itself, so it makes a nice extra to throw in a bag on a trip you might shop on, and it’s so lightweight it doesn’t add any extra bulk. It’s become my favorite travel bag.

book club book reviews

Picture Ledge: In my old bedroom, I only had one nightstand, so on nights that my boyfriend would stay over, I wouldn’t have a surface to put my phone or a book on. Enter: the picture ledge. It’s a narrow width so it didn’t jut out (no headbanging in the middle of the night) but large enough to hold my phone, a book, and some other essentials like chapstick or lotion. I even stuck some fairy lights under it to serve as a reading lamp, and mounted a mason jar lid so I’d have a place to “put down” a glass of water!

What are some of your favorite products to make life easier? Have you tried any of these before?

January 17, 2019

2018 gift guide: writer’s block

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gift ideas for writers

It’s that time of year again! Holidays always seem to be the time of year where we feel totally stumped by the people we want to gift. Either they have everything, or they don’t “need” anything. Sometimes it’s a really nice gesture to take a deep look at the recipient’s personality and connect that to any gifts you want to give them. It’s a good tip to keep in mind year-round!

There are tons of different kinds of writers – novelists, journalists, essayists, bloggers, or those who like to journal every day. Show your support for their passion with some of these hand-picked items!

Easy Tiger Literary AF Pen: There’s something about writing with a pen and paper that makes me feel super accomplished, plus removing a computer from the equation can cut down on distractions, increasing productivity and focus. This one from is super heavy duty and features a replaceable ink cartridge, so when they use it up, they can keep on going with this super sleek pen.

Writer Emergency Pack: These are great for both daily writing exercises or to get over a hump in a new piece. Each card provides a tip, situation, or some other way to look at a scene. I used to have these and loved using them to write quick flash fiction pieces.

On Writing Well: This book is a classic for a reason. The style of the book, the timelessness of the advice, and the practical skills make it a must-read for any writer (and that includes people who write anything through the day, be it a text message to your friend or an email to your boss.)

Scrivener: Every writer has their favorite word processor, so they might already have something they’re married to. Even so, Scrivener is widely regarded as the be-all, end-all of writing softwares for writers. Scrivener creates index cards for everything so it’s easy to reorganize, features a robust outliner tool, and basically just provides any feature a writer could dream of. (Plus, the company is called Literature and Lattes. I love that.)

Aquanotes: While it seems like a quirky white elephant gift, these do actually sound pretty useful. I can’t tell you how many ideas I’ve lost in the shower, and the ability to jot down a few notes for later is invaluable.

Frixion Pens: These are some of my favorite kinds of pens. They’re erasable and come in tons of different colors – there are even highlighters to go along with them. I love using these in my bullet journal and planners, but they’d also be great for outlining stories or mindmapping plot points.

Novel Teas: No secret that I love tea! There’s something about a warm cup of tea or coffee on my desk that puts me in the writing zone. These cute ones are themed to American Classics, so the quotes on the bags could offer some motivation through writer’s block. Maybe they’ll be on the next run of bags!

Tea Press/Travel Mug: Even if your writer doesn’t like loose leaf tea, this travel mug is a must-have. Dani and I both bought them recently, and it keeps your drinks hot for HOURS. My tea was so hot that after an hour, I finally took the lid off to let it cool down, and four hours after I made it, it was still warm and toasty!

Aloe Plant: Or any kind of plant, really, but studies have shown that plants can increase productivity! I have this aloe plant and love the nice ceramic pot it came in. Costa Farms on Amazon has many other different options, including hard-to-kill varieties like pothos and snake plants.

What’s on your list? What’s your favorite tool for writing?

November 20, 2018

fall faves: flannel

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It’s no surprise at all that I love flannel. Flannel shirts, flannel pants, anything soft and cozy – and I especially love buffalo plaid. There’s something so cozy about that pattern specifically that makes me want to curl up on a couch with an oversized shirt, mug of tea, good book and cuddly blanket.

My favorite flannel shirt was actually a buy from Walmart last year, and ever since I grabbed it and threw it in the cart on Black Friday without so much as checking the size, I’ve beaten myself up for not stocking up on more. It’s back this year, and I’ll probably grab one or a few since I nearly wore the last one out! Old Navy has a similar one in several prints (and I might have two of these, too!) Their Boyfriend flannel shirt is tunic length with sleeves that look great rolled up or down, and they’re super affordable – I can usually grab them for $10 or $12. I also have a well-loved dress in the print that isn’t carried anymore, but Target has a long-sleeve version as well that is super cute.

To keep up with the “cozy” feel, I love this sherpa-lined throw from Eddie Bauer. It looks SO cozy, and is big enough to curl up in on chilly mornings!

A blanket scarf is a must-have for the fall and winter. It keeps you cozy and warm both inside and out, and often when I’m running errands or stopping by the mall, I won’t even bother with a coat – the scarf keeps me toasty enough. Last year I went a little crazy and ordered a few during a Bourbon & Boots sale, but I regret nothing.

Is there anything better than curling up under a blanket with some tea on a cold fall day? This plaid mug from Starbucks is a must-have for me – or, for some personalization, these customized state-specific mugs are adorable.

I’ve been on the go a lot lately and putting a lot of miles on my favorite travel bags – this Buffalo plaid weekender from Maurices looks like a nice replacement! It’s pretty roomy, and looks like it has some zipper pockets for organization. It also features both shoulder straps and a cross-body straps – something I look for in bags I know I’ll load up when travelling.

November 5, 2016

Iced Chai Tea Fauxlatte Recipe + Tea Sparrow Discount

Posted in Food, Review by

chai tea fauxlatte recipe

In an effort to cut down on my morning stops at Starbucks (which have invariably also led to morning muffins, which I don’t need in my life every day,) I’ve been making myself drinks to tote to work instead. My best friend in college was a barista, so I was always getting delicious concoctions (and often having no idea what was in them) and a few weeks ago, she texted me that she found a replacement for my beloved sugar-loaded chai lattes. After some experimentation of my own based on her recipe, I’ve found my perfect morning brew.

  • Kroger Private Selection Chai Black Tea
  • Honey (I’ve been using local raw honey in an effort to help my allergies but you can use the bear or whatever you have around)
  • Ice
  • Vanilla almond milk, coconut milk, creamer, milk, whatever


Double brew a cup of tea – I usually do two bags in about 8 ounces of water. Once it’s done steeping, I pour in some honey for a little touch of sweetness. (You could also use flavored syrups instead of the honey.) Then I dump that over ice (adding more as it starts to melt – this is why you double brew) and top off with some almond milk. Much cheaper and much healthier than a coffee shop latte. Also very highly recommended: cute travel tumblers to hold your drink, of course!

I have some pumpkin tea and syrup that I’m excited to try when we get closer to fall.

If you’re looking for a way to try new teas, check out Tea Sparrow. It’s a subscription box that sends you an envelope of four loose-leaf teas to try every month. I was not disappointed by my first month – the creators of the box truly love tea and the curation and variety of teas is excellent.

tea sparrow

If you want to try it, I have a Tea Sparrow discount code! Use the password “teas” and you’ll get your first Tea Box for $8 (a 60% discount) with the option to pause or cancel at any time.


What’s your favorite morning beverage?

I was provided a complimentary sample to review, but all opinions are my own.
June 11, 2014