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How do we describe this past year without breaking out into hives and screaming expletives? Simply put: 2021 was a lot.
We struggled with the ongoing pandemic, lockdowns, heatwaves, snowstorms, working from home and the subsequent WiFi hiccups. Oh, and raccoons stealing our DoorDash orders.
Fortunately, we bought a couple of things that made the year go by a bit smoother. We got the opportunity to test out a bunch of products and here's what lived up to the hype and made us incredibly happy in 2021.
Natalia's Pick: LATME Ice Roller
This summer was a real scorcher and I was thankful for my air conditioner and this handy dandy ice roller I found on Amazon. It helped me survive the heat — and migraines!It's actually a beauty product designed to reduce puffiness and smooth out wrinkles but I use it as cold therapy and it worked like a charm.
I often suffer from nasty migraines but after rolling the device on my forehead for 10 minutes, my throbbing headache subsided.
Natalia's Pick: TUSHY Classic 3.0
Technically, I bought this TUSHY bidet for my boyfriend on his birthday but I ended up loving it, too.This easy-to-install and simple-to-use bidet will keep your bum clean and it's a total game-changer. I won't lie, I feel a bit fancy using it. It also makes me feel good knowing I'm cutting back on my toilet paper consumption.
It only took a few minutes to set up. All we had to do was connect it to our water supply valve. Now we're members of an elite society called The Clean Butt Club.
Natalia's Pick: Wildcraft Skincare Renew Eye Serum
A few good things did come out of 2021. For starters, I discovered a bunch of Indigenous beauty brands like Poetry of the Gods, Cheekbone Beauty and Wildcraft Skincare that I will continue to support in 2022.
I especially loved this eye serum from Wildcraft Skincare that's loaded with turmeric, yarrow, elderflower and other nutrients. Look, 2021 drained the life right out of me and the turmeric in this product helps reduce puffiness and brighten my dull skin. No more dark circles and bags under my eyes!
May's Pick: The Five Minute Journal
With so many uncertainties and changes around the pandemic, my anxiety was at an all-time high in 2021. I always wanted to take up journaling since I've heard how much it helps people stay grounded, but I lacked the discipline to keep it up.
I love this specific journal because, as the title says, it literally only takes five minutes. Each day has specific prompts for when you wake up and right before you go to bed, so you don't have to think of them yourself. I also like that each day has an affirmation to help get your mind in the right direction before you start your day.
May's Pick: Satin Pajamas
Like many of us, I basically lived in PJs this year so I wanted to get a set that would make me feel cute and less like a hot mess. While I love the feel and look of silk, I couldn't bring myself to spend over $100 on something I'd just be sleeping or lounging in, so I found this satin set on Amazon instead. They're lightweight and so comfortable to sleep in, not to mention incredibly stylish!
May's Pick: L'Oreal Telescopic Mascara
This mascara is hands down the best one I have ever used. I rarely wear makeup anymore (since I rarely leave my house and when I do, it's with a mask on), but the one makeup item that I still love to rock is mascara.
This one separates your lashes like a dream and adds so much length. If you're looking for volume, I'd say there are better ones out there for that, but no mascara has ever made my lashes look as long as this one has!
Brit's Pick: RENPHO Mini Massage Gun
This mini massage gun has been a total game-changer for my achy body this year. Despite its tiny size, it's super powerful and has helped ease tension and release all that built-up lactic acid in my muscles.
This massage gun has five intensity levels to alternate between and four massage heads of varying shapes and sizes. It's surprisingly lightweight so I can use it on my neck and shoulders without my arm getting tired from holding it up.
Brit's Pick: KitchenAid Cordless Chopper
Brittany Barber | Narcity Media
I'm absolutely obsessed with this cordless chopper/food processor. I use it all the time, whether I just need some chopped onions or I'm making something elaborate like harissa paste,
Along with the bladed attachment, it also comes with a whipping attachment that I've used to make whipped cream and hollandaise sauce. It has a slow-pour spout that makes adding oils and other liquid ingredients a breeze. It's super easy to clean, too, which is a huge plus, IMO.
Brit's Pick: De'Longhi Dedica 15-Bar Stainless Steel Espresso Machine
Brittany Barber | Narcity Media
I would have spent way too much money at coffee shops this year if it weren't for my precious espresso machine. It's easy to use and yields next-level crema on every shot.
The machine itself is super slim, which is perfect for my teeny-tiny kitchen. It comes with three coffee filter cups that allow you to use coffee pods or make singles and doubles with ground beans. The steamer is adjustable, so you can decide how frothy you want your milk to be.