Elsie’s Best Purchases of 2018

With 2018 over (yikes!), I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite purchases I made this past year—mostly personal with a little bit of work in there as well!

Makeup + Skincare Favorites  
After several years of swapping out and testing clean beauty products, I really felt in my groove last year with more than enough clean options in nearly every category of makeup and skincare, as well as household cleaning and bath products! It feels amazing to have a lineup of tried and true products! Here’s an extensive post for cosmetics and one of skincare, too. I definitely want to call out my Cleansing Oil as a top favorite as well as this Glow Potion. And if I had to narrow down my cosmetics to just one amazing find, it would be this Smooth Affair Primer and Glow Time BB Cream. AMAZING. I am using less foundation than I ever have and more happy with how it looks, which I have to give a lot of credit to the primer. Makeup and skincare are for SURE my favorite indulgence.

Household Items Favorites 
We entered 2018 with a brand new daughter and a mostly decorated and completed home. So I didn’t buy as many items in the decor category this last year as the past few, but my best little splurge was probably finishing our hallway with vintage runners (which you can see here). We have an L-shaped house with a very long hallway that attaches to all five bedrooms plus two of the bathrooms and a laundry room. I already had a couple of runners in the hallway. I really wanted to complete it with runners that went the entire length, but it felt a little excessive. In the end, we only needed five runners to complete it, and it was SO worth the money and time I spent bargain hunting on Etsy and eBay for the perfect runners in the perfect colors. It brings me joy every single day—funny how such a small thing can do that!

Swapping to a king-size bed was a big moment for us. Jeremy had been wanting to make the swap for years. We ended up getting the Serena & Lily’s Webster bed with Tea Leaf Classic mattress from Keetsa. Best decision ever! We are seriously grateful for it every day and our sleep has never been better (which is good because Nova is our alarm clock now, so we basically never sleep past 7:15 a.m.).

Another purchase that brought me so much joy was a bed for Nova. In the early spring, we redid her room with a wicker headboard. It was really pretty in photos, but every night as I was reading her stories, my hair would be stuck in the wicker. It was so annoying because I knew pretty much immediately I had made a mistake and regretted not getting this bed. So I sold the wicker headboard and waited for the best sale I could find (I think it was Labor Day, maybe?) and got her the Jenny Lind bed. It’s so beautiful and I’m so glad we made the swap.

This one is slightly random, but one of Jeremy’s Father’s Day gifts was this upgraded air fryer and we have used the hell out of it. I love making sweet potatoes in it and Jeremy uses it for basically everything he cooks—haha. We use our air fryer more than anyone I know.

I spent a lot of 2018 cleaning out my closet, but definitely added some new pieces as well. I have entered a more minimal season in my life with clothing, but I still love shopping and consider my closet both a hobby and a collection. A few purchases that stand out to me from 2018 are these white Everlane boots and my favorite dress, which is so flattering.

I saved the money I made from my closet clean out sales all summer and bought this Chloe purse (used) and it was such a treat. I definitely plan to do that again in the future. I usually spend my closet sale money on lots of little things (a new dress here, a new pair of shoes there, etc.), but it was fun to save it and use it for something bigger I will keep and use for years to come.

I’m looking forward to doing more vintage hunting in 2019!

Things For Nova 
Shopping for Nova is the greatest. I could go on all day. But here are just a few things I purchased this past year that brought so much joy to our lives.

Instax Square – (We bought this for Christmas for the whole family to use, but Nova definitely thinks it is “hers”). LOVE this thing so much!!! The photos look just like classic Polaroids, just a little smaller.

Luggy Basket – I originally bought this for the farmer’s market and we’ve also been using it a lot for picnics. Nova is obsessed with it and loves having her own tiny basket to cart around.

Greta T-Strap – These are my absolute favorite shoes for Nova. I love that they will last for little sister, too.

Random things 
We started using Shipt grocery delivery. It was $99 for the year and I use it every week. Since I work from home, I like to have the groceries delivered when I am already home working on the weekdays. It’s a game changer because previously we were definitely those people who went to the grocery store every few days for 1-2 bags of groceries. I LOVE saving the time!

Eyelash extensions. The greatest indulgence in my own vanity. I realize how petty it may sound to some, but they help me feel so much more confident even on days I am wearing zero makeup (which is often). I took a long break from them last year to save money and got them back on my birthday. Best vanity $$$ EVER spent.

Microblading. My friend drove me crazy for over two years saying I needed to get microblading. I was finally like OK, OK, OK. And now after getting it (I did it last spring), I am that annoying person to all my friends. It’s SO great! Here are the main things … yes, it is a tattoo, but it does not hurt like a tattoo (not even close!) and it does not look like your eyebrows are tattooed. I got mine natural, so when I don’t wear makeup, they don’t look too dark. And when I wear a full face of makeup, I just darken them a bit (except it’s 10x easier now because I am just making them darker and not trying to give them a shape). The other thing that’s good about microblading is that once you’ve done your two appointments and are happy with them, you only have to go in once a year to get them touched up. If you live in Nashville, I see Olivia for my brows—she’s great.

OK, that’s all I can think of for now! I’d love to hear your best purchase of 2018. I always have so much fun reading these posts from other bloggers. 🙂 xx! Elsie

  • I don’t think I could ever do microblading. Its been a bit funny to see such huge dark eyebrows that have moved half an inch up the face on ladies around town. But I love the makeup recommendations. I don’t wear makeup anymore because it was toxic and the clean ones are $$$$ but I think I will get back into it someday and use your recommendations.

    • Microblading does fade- it’s not as intense as a tattoo. That’s why you have to do it again every year. 🙂

      Not all clean beauty is expensive! They have an aisle at Target now! :)) xx

  • What a great list! I think my favorite purchase from 2018 (which was really a purchase by my husband as a birthday gift to me) was this incredible corkboard world map from Easy Tiger in Kansas City (https://www.easytigerco.com/giant-world-map-corkboard-54×36-1EZR1307.html?cgid=home-decor#start=4). I transitioned to working from home full time in August and this gift really brought my home office together. I added pins in for all the countries I’ve been to and continue to daydream future trips when I look up at it over my desk.

  • Hi Elsie, thanks for the great list! I’m excited to read about your vintage journey this year.

    I had a question. Are you able to use an oil cleanser with lash extensions?

  • That Leahlani face oil is my favorite recommendation you’ve ever made! I love it so much, even got my sister-in-law to start using it too!

  • Thanks for this list! I am using up my current cleanser, but would like to switch to an oil cleanser so am saving this article for when the time comes! I noticed in your bathroom tours that you have vintage rugs in front of your sink area. We’d like to do something similar because our floors can get so cold in our ensuite! I’m wondering if you have any problems with them getting wet/damaged or if it’s not really a problem?

    We purchased a house in 2018 and so that would be a favorite purchase for me- as well as a new mattress/frame and BLINDS for the windows!

  • Ahhh shucks…I probably missed the window of opportunity for a response here, but I’m just curious what kind of lash extensions you use. Is it professionally done and lasts for a few months? Or do you buy drugstore lashes and put them on every day? I’ve been wanting to ask you but keep forgetting.

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