I don't mean to brag, but I have a pretty awesome job. I get to spend my days browsing the virtual aisles of Amazon.com, seeking out new and interesting items that make life easier and way more fun. And just yesterday, my editor sent me $100, told me to fill up my cart with whatever I wanted (thanks, Mary!), and write about it. How cool is that?!
But here's the surprising part: it was way harder than I imagined. There are so many products that have been on my wishlist that I've discovered through writing articles, and narrowing them down was a struggle. So I broke it down into three categories: something I want, something I need, and a unique find, preferably one that would be fun for my family to enjoy together. Keep scrolling to see what three products I landed on as well as a few that almost made the cut.
I've wanted an air fryer for years, but with a new baby in the house, I just couldn't justify the extra expense. So when I got this assignment, "air fryer" was literally the first thing I typed into the search bar on Amazon. This one seemed like the perfect combination of affordability, multifunctionality, and compact size (my kitchen is pretty small). With all of that and more than 17,000 five-star reviews, this was a clear winner.
I upgraded to a king-sized bed about a year ago, but in that time, I have only managed to buy one set of king-sized sheets. I don't really know how I allowed such a thing to go on for so long, but this assignment gave me the opportunity to change my foolish ways and buy a second set. These sheets have an absurdly high 1800 thread count, and one reviewer said that they "sleep like a baby every night." I happen to have a baby who hates to sleep at night, so I'm hoping that I at least sleep better than she does.
My three-year-old son and I have recently started a tradition of making popcorn and watching movies on Friday nights, so when I stumbled upon this nifty popcorn popper, I knew it would be something we could enjoy together. I love that I can use as much or as little butter and salt as I want, and the glass design means my son can watch the kernels pop. I can't wait to enjoy some homemade popcorn while watching Cars for the millionth time.
And now, for the things that didn't make the cut.
I own a 112-year-old house, and the upstairs bathroom needs some help. Okay, it needs a lot of help, but since I won't be completely remodeling it for a few years yet, I considered buying this showerhead to give it a mini upgrade. I was intrigued by the two-head design, and I always appreciate a handheld showerhead that can detach from the wall. And while the price seems suspiciously low, it gets great reviews with one shopper comparing it favorably to an $80 top-name version. A future possibility for sure.
I live in Wisconsin, and during the winter months, my skin becomes incredibly dry and itchy. I've been on the hunt for a new brand of lotion to try since none of the drugstore varieties seem to make a difference. I've used Moroccanoil hair products in the past and loved them, so this lotion was in my cart for a while before I decided against it. Maybe it's my midwestern thriftiness, but the idea of spending $28 on a bottle of lotion seemed a bit much. Plus, I was concerned that the formula would be too greasy, which is a pet peeve of mine. I may still try it out before the winter is done, though. As I write this, I'm currently scratching my dry elbow skin.
This set was actually my first choice for new sheets, but when added up with my other picks, it put me just slightly above my $100 limit. And while I'm sure my editor would have been okay with it, I refused to sacrifice my journalistic integrity - under $100 means under $100! I was drawn to both the organic cotton fabric and 300-thread count of these sheets. I might just buy them anyway, although owning three sets of sheets seems a bit excessive... right?
Looking for more products that will instantly make your life easier? Check out this list of 50 things that reviewers say changed their lives.