Ranking Everything I've Purchased This Year

Saturday, October 19, 2019
So this is probably a bit crazy.

If you're following along at home, you'll know I've been having some Thoughts about shopping. You can blame Hannah Louise Poston over on My Beauty Budget for this, because I've been watching a lot of her videos on her no-buy year and her subsequent budgeting adventures. Back in July she made a video ranking everything she had purchased with her budget in 2019, and it was absolutely fascinating. Maybe I'm just weird like that, I don't know. Either way, I immediately started writing down a list of everything I purchased and I'm here to share it with you. Brace yourselves -- I'm sure you're on the edges of your seats with excitement.

Now I was never planning on doing this post, so here's my disclaimer: I haven't been saving receipts or writing things down throughout the year, so I put this list together just based off of credit card transactions and order histories. I'm sure I've missed some stuff. I guess if I've forgotten them, that tells you a lot about where they'd be ranked, right?

Also, I'm not including boring things like food, bills, housing payments, etc because well, those are boring purchases I have to make. Except maybe that unnecessary jar of cookie butter from Trader Joes, but whatever.

Without further ado, here's my 2019 purchases so far, organized into a few categories and ranked from best to worst.

(FYI: Several of the following links are affiliate links.)

Thinkx underwear - Absolutely love not having to worry about pads or a cup if I don't want to!
Loewe puzzle bag knock off - This bag is the only bag I've been using. It's cheap and plastic, which isn't great, but I absolutely love the design of the real bag just not the price tag so this is a good compromise.
Shark vacuum - I did not know I could enjoy vacuuming so much. So. satisfying.
Uniqlo U crew neck t-shirt - This is the best white tshirt known to mankind.
Everlane cashmere sweater - I only got this because I had store credit. I would have never purchased a sweater this expensive if I had to see that money come out of my pockets, but I've learned sometimes it's worth it for something this classic, simple and perfect.
Anne Nowak print - You've already heard me talk about this.
New Plant Parent book - I learned so much.
Blue decorative bowl from Danish design museum - Honeymoon souvenir
Glass flower vase from Danish design museum - Honeymoon souvenir
Bowl from Hay - Honeymoon souvenir
The Danish Chair book - Honeymoon souvenir from the best museum room ever
So many books from the library book sale
Palm, pathos, schefflera plants - Plants make my living room look so much cozier
Black decorative bowl from a local artist
Everlane indigo wash blue jeans - I haven't owned jeans in this wash in years. They've been getting a ton of use so far
Everlane blue cotton sweater - A sweater I don't tuck in?? Wild.

Who Gives A Crap toilet paper - Yes this is toilet paper. It comes in fun paper, it's recycled paper, no plastic and they donate a bunch to charity. It makes me feel happy, and it's not that crumbly, flakey mess that is 'plush' toilet paper from the fancy brands.
Peter Thomas Roth face mask minis set - I like a good Sunday evening mask.
Book haul from Waterstones - I love buying UK chic lit.
Homeostick lip balm - Idk what happened, but this was definitely not 16 bucks when I bought it. Seriously best lip balm ever, especially when you have eternally peeling lips like me.
Lamps from West Elm - These fit my living room so much better than what I used to have
Dishware from West Elm - Just in time for the holiday meal season
H&M oatmeal tank - A lifesaver in the summer.
H&M grey fuzzy sweater - And a lifesaver in the winter
H&M army green linen shorts - I didn't own shorts until this H&M haul. These were super comfy this summer.
Veja tennis shoes - My only pair of tennis shoes.
Birkenstocks - Errand running, summer weather essentials.
Edinburgh Gin Distillery liquor - Another Honeymoon duty free souvenir
Bombay Sapphire gin - We went to this distillery on our Honeymoon!
Sipsmith gin - More duty free purchases
Cashmere blanket from Marshalls - This is the softest blanket ever.
Zanna Van Dijk 'Sculpt' guide - I like having another set of pre-planned workouts to choose from.
Wax Buffalo locally made candle - Got this on our wedding day. It smells like fresh spring trees. I love it.
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter - Bottled glow for those of us without our own.
Madewell mules - I love the style of these, and I keep wearing them, but they won't stop giving me blisters. I will persevere.
Flowers from Trader Joes - Sometimes you just need some eucalyptus.

Necessary But Meh
Garden plants - I have a garden every year. Buying plants is kind of meh by now.
NARS soft matte concealer in a darker shade - I've got ridiculous dark circles. This was just a necessary repurchase
Glossier bow brow x 2 - Repurchases of my tried and trues
Glossier lash slick x 2 - Repurchases of my tried and trues
Deciem - Natural Moisturizing Factors - Super solid everyday moisturizer
Deciem - Lactic Acid 10% - Upped it from 5% to 10%!
Deciem - 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil - Nice little natural vitamin A
Uniqlo white crew socks - I really needed more socks.
Kitchen towels from a local weaver - Hemp blends >>> Cotton
CosRx overnight rice mask - This is such a boring product to use, but I always feel like my skin is so much brighter in the morning.
Deciem - Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% - Gritty, but works
Deciem - Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% - VitC combo
Deciem - Squalane Cleanser - Boring, cheap, doesn't hurt my eyes
Everlane black micro rib - Wore too many holes through the elbows of my previous black cotton crew
Glossier cloud paint in Beam - I can't be assed to wear blush most days, but this is good when I do. Easy and natural. Kind of wish I had it in the pink shade instead though.
Glass spray bottles - Sometimes a girl's gotta get some prettier spray bottles for spraying naughty cats or cleaning showers.
Washcloths - Finally purchased a bunch for dedicated face washing.
Reusable makeup remover rounds - Been sitting on this purchase forever as well, for no good reason.
H&M white tank - I needed some basic tanks...
H&M black shorts - And some shorts...
Hourglass blush - For my wedding. I like this, but again I rarely wear blush
Sunscreen - The most basic of purchases
Bed set for guest room  - I needed to keep my guests warm? Boring adult purchase
Deciem - “Buffet” - This product brings me no joy whatsoever, but I want those peptides and it's cheap.

Hindsight is 20/20
Black vase from a local artist - I just don't have anywhere for it!
Hydrangea - I planted this in a spot that will ultimately be too small for it once it grows, so that was dumb.
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation - A repurchase for my wedding, but I never actually fully finished the previous one, so now I just have two when I should have just waited.
Glossier brow flick - This is fine, I just like bow brow better still
Isle of Paradise tanning spray - I'm just pale. It's so much effort to tan. I should just embrace it.
H&M oatmeal linen pants - I like these, but they're a bit more formal than my everyday outfits.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer - This is nice, but I use the NARS one more often
Briogeo hair care minis duo - Eh. Used this up. It was fine. Probably didn't need to spend money on it.
Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize - Wore this in my wedding. I like the shade and product, I just probably could have borrowed something from someone else.
IGK hair mask and styling spray - I have been wanting to try IGK stuff for so long, and I found some at Marshalls but both of them have crazy spray nozzles so the product just sprays out in super fast jet stream and so I have to spray it onto my hands first, which is annoying. Maybe just defective products?
Deciem - 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil - I like this, I just don't use it much.
H&M earrings - Again, too formal for most days. Still glad I have options when I dress up though.
Glossier color slide - This just doesn't stay put on my hooded eyes
H&M white shorts - Ok maybe as a pale person I don't really need white shorts? Idk.
H&M jumpsuit - Got this because my mom and sister told me I needed to dress up for my rehearsal dinner which is dumb and pointless when it's your wedding and you don't want to. Whatever. I own a jumpsuit now that I look good in.
H&M oatmeal-colored sweater - Got this oversized, now it just feels a little too oversized
Everlane blue cotton long sleeve - I thought this would be useful, and I have worn it, but it just is maybe a bit too thin?
Terracotta vase from a shop in Seattle - I like this, but I just don't think it fits in with my decor like I thought it would
Plant mister - I just thought this was cute. It is still cute, but also kind of pointless.
Zanna Van Dijk cookbook - I haven't cooked out of this at all yet. I always forget about ebooks.
Vases for guest room - Target finds. Nothing special. Probably not even necessary
Decorative pillows for guest room - Are decorative pillows ever necessary? I don't really love them either, just meh
Throw for guest room - Target again. Not great quality. Thought I needed to "finish" the room when in fact it's still not really that polished.

Total Regrets
Gold and tortoiseshell bracelets - These are cute, but bracelets just kind of annoy me.
H&M mustard tank - Haven't worn it. So much color.
H&M blue and white striped shorts - Haven't worn these either. Getting cute when it's 100 degrees is just not something I'm interested in apparently.
Nail polish - This color just sucks
Essential oil lavender lip balm - I really needed lip balm. I don't actually like this one.
2 pairs of mule heels, one in black, one in leopard - Impulse buy on clearance while with my sister. Haven't worn either.
Lamp for guest room - I don't actually like this at all anymore.

Too Soon To Tell / Just Purchased
JCrew waxed cotton winter coat
Steve Madden heeled Chelsea boots
Wallpaper city guides for Porto and Lisbon

So, some thoughts, in case you're not bored of reading yet.

1) Consumable things don't rank as highly on average.
2) Things purchased on a whim rank lower.
3) Useful things tend to rank higher.
4) Clothing items only rank highly when they slot in nicely with the rest of my wardrobe and they're things I love. Items that are a little too different or statement-y don't get as much love.
5) The longer ago I purchased it, the less likely it is that I think it falls into the 'Love' category. Am I just still infatuated with the things I listed as loves? Will that wear off in time too?
6) I really have my daily makeup routine down pat. No need trying to tweak anything there. The makeup that ranks lowly is makeup that doesn't get used often.
7) Same with skincare. It's boring at this point, but it's a perfectly good and fairly cheap routine.
8) Purchases that help me be more sustainable ranked higher than an equivalent non-eco-friendly purchase probably would have. Case in point, period undies vs regular tampons.
9) Souvenirs from travel rank highly, likely because of the associated memories.
10) Art or locally make products rank highly.

Now that I've done this, I've been extra conscious of my purchases so it was definitely work well worth it. Perhaps it bored you to death, which is fair enough, but I'd definitely be interested to hear your own reflections on your purchases if you do something like this too!

New Art

Saturday, October 12, 2019
Sure, I may have purchased a car, a house, gotten married, advanced my career, etc, but I think the single most adult thing I've ever done is spent my hard earned money on art. And then on framing said art.

After purchasing this way back in April, taking it to a framer in May, I finally have this back and hung. (Turns out if you have really thick paint on paper rolled up in a tube it takes a loooonng time to flatten back out.)

I love how this little corner is starting to feel a little more intentional and cozy. Now I'll just have to start making some actual decisions on how to reupholster the reading chair I have near this so it's not so 1980s... (Living room decor update soon maybe?)

Anne Nowak Northern Light. Green

Summer Highlights

Saturday, October 5, 2019
Before my little unexpected sabbatical, I used to post one of these at the end of every month as a nice roundup of the major events, the things I'd been enjoying or the feelings I was having. Ironically I've missed posting them for some of the most life-changing months of my life, so let's take a sec to look back on the summer as a whole.

Wedding - Obviously the biggest event of my summer. It was an absolutely perfect day, from the setting, the people, the weather, the food all the way to the playlist (which is honestly probably the thing I spent the most time on during the entire wedding planning process 😂). Planning a wedding is truly a nightmare if you're not a detail-lover, even if you're doing a smaller affair, but it was worth it because I felt like our wedding was a great reflection of us as people and as a couple, and I had the time of my life forcing all my friends and family to make fools of themselves on the dance floor and during karaoke. I just never want to do it again, thanks.

Honeymoon - We had a few weeks after we got married to recuperate, but then it was off to Europe for our honeymoon. We spent a few days in Copenhagen, a city that surprised us by how much we liked it, and then over to London again because we just can't stay away from it. It was a very laid back, cozy, enjoyable trip for just the two of us -- the perfect antidote to the more stressful wedding planning time and all the extroversion that requires.

Selling John's House & Nesting - Technically this can be part of the Honeymoon section, because it actually sold at 4am Copenhagen time a few days into our honeymoon. We spent so much time fixing the house up right before and after the wedding, so having the house sell on the first day it was listed was such a great outcome. It's so nice to be down to one place, no more shuttling between the two homes all the time, mowing two lawns, cleaning both places, etc. Even now, three months later, we're still getting all of the remaining things that hadn't been moved over before all settled in (does anyone know how to hang a 25 ft ladder in the world's smallest garage??), but we're making good progress. I am really pushing for the day when everything has a designated spot in our home again. The end is in sight!

Seattle Family Trip - At the end of July my family went to visit my brother-in-law's family in Seattle. We stayed at their house for the weekend and got the highlights tour of the city. We haven't been on a family trip for a few years so it was nice to spend some time together and to see a new city guided by incredibly hospitable locals.

Seeing Friends - Summer is the most social time of the year for me. Every year we get together for all the summer birthdays -- Thai food and beers for one, after work drinks and burgers for another, morning sand volleyball for another. Then there was the annual trip to Brews at the Zoo, where we old people pretend we can still drink in excess prior to eating dinner, with a backdrop of cute animals. We celebrated new jobs with old coworkers, met up with old roommates in different cities and window-shopped at many, many stores. It's always nice to hang out with all my various people, and something about the warm weather makes it even more fun.

A few other things of note that I've been enjoying this summer: our little garden, seeing Nick Offerman, going to the Omaha symphony with my sister and brother-in-law, new vegan restaurants in town, free yoga at the park near our house, my dad's retirement and the mayor declaring it Steve Henderson day, biking to pop-ups, fall sports starting, scheduling overdue maintenance and improvements for the house, swimming in family friends' pools, composting, new house plants, summer scented candles and our new diffuser, reading early in the morning on weekends.