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My Favorite Purchases of 2021

My Favorite Purchases of 2021

These are the products that I discovered last year and don’t want to live without. I’m including everything – snacks, skincare, fashion, and furniture.

Just a quick note – this post isn’t sponsored. These are just products that I adore and want to spread the word about. One item was gifted and I stand behind it 100%. This post does include affiliate links.

My Favorite Products of 2021

Joybird’s Outdoor Convertible Sofa

This sofa converts into a lounge chair! It’s the perfect piece of outdoor furniture for us. We have two of these sofas. When Charles and I have an outdoor movie date night we set them up as lounge chairs. When I invite friends over I use them as couches. The process of converting from one to the other takes just a few minutes. Note: It’s currently out of stock but I am thinking it might come back in stock in the spring.


The brand very kindly gave me a deluxe set of Tubelox and Gwen loves this toy! It’s very similar to Pipe Works which was one of my favorite toys as a kid, but it’s even easier to build with and has more shapes and accessories. Eventually, Gwen will be able to build her own structures with the Tubelox, but right now we built her a little fort that she loves to climb. She squeals with delight when she reaches the top! (Not pictured: cushions we added to the area for safety).

Bombas Sesame Street Socks

When my sister mentioned that it is good to let toddlers make some decisions, we started to let Gwen pick out Charles’s socks each morning. This got much more fun when I gave Charles and Gwen sets of Sesame Street socks. Most importantly, Gwen actually enjoys wearing these socks and keeps them on all day.

Vuori Joggers

My sister introduced me to these super soft and flattering joggers. Somehow they seem even cozier than my Lululemon Align leggings. Plus, they come in 14 colors.

Studio McGee for Target Basket with Lid

This $70 basket is so good that I have two! It’s perfect for storing Gwen’s toys … and Gwen often climbs right in it to play. I love that it has a lid, and that the lid is easy for Gwen to take off. And I don’t have to worry about little fingers getting pinched because the lid is light. You can see my second basket in the first photo – we keep it up on top floor and use it as blanket storage/a coffee table when we are on the roof. (Note: it’s always brought inside, I don’t think it is weatherproof).

Bondi Boost Hair Growth Shampoo and Conditioner

Did you know that many women shed a lot of hair after having a baby? I did, and when the hair started to grow back I had lots of difficult to tame short hairs to deal with. I do think that since I switched to this shampoo and conditioner that my hair is going faster – the post-baby hairs can almost make it into a ponytail!

Lumene Nordic-C Overnight Bright Sleeping Cream

I have been a huge fan of this Finnish brand for years, but only recently discovered this night cream at Target. It’s just $19.99 and it feels so good going on and it leaves my skin soft and moisturized – even during Chicago’s cold dry winter.

My Favorite Food Products of 2021

Tortello’s Meal Kits

I love having fresh handmade pasta available right down the street. You can eat in or buy pasta, sauces, or meal kits to take home. I often buy the cacio e pepe or tortelli di burrata meal kits when we have friends over for dinner.

Mott St Everything Sauce

You can buy this sauce at the Wicker Park restaurant or at Foxtrot and Goddess and the Grocer. The sauce is described as a marinade/glaze but sometimes I use it to cook meat and veggies in the slow cooker. It’s sweet, spicy, salty, and perfect on beef or chicken.

Momofuku Spicy Soy Noodles

These noodles that cook in just 3 minutes are a staple in my pantry. I combine them with chicken or beef and veggies that I slow cook in the Mott St Everything Sauce. It’s one of my go-to weeknight meals. These noodles can be hard to find in-store since they sell out; you might want to purchase them online.

Freeze Dried Mango

This is Gwen’s favorite snack – we go through a couple of bags a week. I love it because it has just one ingredient: mango. Gwen’s 5-year-old cousin loved this snack although I think toddlers especially like the texture which is similar to a teething cracker.

Zingerman’s Pimento Cheese

I am obsessed with this cheese that comes from Ann Arbor. I buy it locally at Olivia’s Market in Bucktown and it has become a fridge staple. Gwen LOVES it too. I think it’s superior to other pimento cheeses because it is made with Cabot Cheddar.

Gaspard Pinot Noir

This $23 wine is my go-to. It’s available at Foxtrot and it pairs easily with most foods and is great on its own. Plus, it’s organic. You can get $10 off your first Foxtrot order with this referral link.

Dot’s Pretzels

I love the original flavor. These pretzels are tangy with a hint of spice. I often eat these with my lunch since they are a healthier option than potato chips. Gwen loves these and especially likes licking all of the flavorings off.

What are your favorite purchases of 2021? I am so curious! Tell me in the comments.