Episode #66: Best Purchases of 2020

Hello there! This week’s episode is all about purchases we made in 2020.

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

A big thanks to our sponsors for this week’s episode, Leahlani and Ember!

Show Notes: 

This week’s show notes are very link heavy because we’re sharing our favorite purchases of 2020. Normally, we would put these in a blog post, but this year we did it as a podcast episode and I feel like it’s the best of both because we still get to put all the links and info here for you as we normally would, but we also get to expand in a chatty way. And you know we can chat … especially about shopping!

Something that felt like a major upgrade in 2020. 

-Elsie’s coffee setup! Upgraded to a Smeg coffee maker and this pink kettle. And here is the affordable option for the pink kettle.

-Here’s a link to the pizza oven I got Jeremy for Christmas.

-Emma’s robe upgrade. And Emma’s new house slippers.

-Elsie’s fur-lined Birkenstocks.

Something that was a good distraction from 2020. 

-Emma’s holiday mug collection.

-Emma’s Halloween mug collection.

-Elsie’s giant container of Model Magic. Here’s a photo of an ornament we made. It was very magical doing this together all summer.

Biggest splurge of 2020. 

-Elsie’s whole house water filter. I’m so so happy with this purchase. It was definitely a splurge I had been wanting for 10 whole years.

-Emma’s faux leather leggings.

Something amazing under $20.

Cravings by Chrissy Teigen. I also got Hungry For More. 10/10—I think I like the recipes in the first cookbook a little more, but in the second cookbook they have a new puppy, so …

One Line A Day Journal (shout out to our third sister, Elise)

Honorable mentions. 

-Elsie’s Montessori shelf.

-Here’s a link to Elsie’s favorite diaper bag and Elsie’s new MINI bag.

-Elsie’s favorite sound machine, Yogasleep Dohm Sound Machine.

Record display shelves. These started off as a quick, inexpensive solution to stage my house and it ended up being my new favorite wall art.

Girlfriend collective yoga sets (get those pockets!!)

-LOL this ice roller. It’s amazing. Goldie uses it too.

Our Place Always Pan (I actually bought three this year, all with my own $). They are very beautiful and I’m using them so much. I’m very excited about the new steaming baskets.

-Emma’s “mom” swimsuit.

-Four books Emma enjoyed: Permanent Record, Big Summer, Someone We Know, and The Starless Sea.

Please let us know YOUR best purchases of 2020 as well! We’d love to hear.

xx- Elsie + Emma

Episode 66 Transcript

Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. This week, we’re sharing our best purchases from 2020, which range from small to major and definitely random, if you like to geek on product reviews this episode is for you. OK, so let’s talk about shopping. This is fun. We usually do this type of thing as like a blog post at the end of the year. But I figured this would be even better because then we can geek out and talk about like all the little things that were like fun upgrades. And I always think about this post all throughout the year.

Emma: Really?

Elsie: Yeah, because I like sharing. Like, I’ve been waiting to share my water filter all year long.

Emma: Yeah. I have been like, you’ve got to talk about this water filter because it’s really awesome. But it’s also like not really something we would blog about, per se. It’s not very visual. Like there’s no way to really make it cool.

Elsie: This is our chance to talk about things that just like have been great, but like maybe they weren’t going to be like a blog post thing, like a room tour, so.

Emma: Yeah. Or just random stuff. I feel like mine’s just random. So…

Both: OK! (laughs)

Elsie: So the first category is something small that really upgraded your life. So OK, mine is. I recently upgraded my coffee set up so I have the Smeg coffeemaker. It’s just like a traditional what do you call?

Emma: Drip, I think.

Elsie: Drip coffee maker. And it’s just cute, like it’s extra money because it’s cute and whatever. I love it. I will link all this in the shownotes. And then I was doing like I think it was when I was ordering Goldie’s toddler bed. It was one of those like Crate and Barrel sales where it was like, spend more, get a bigger discount. So I did the math, and I realized…

Emma: They got you.

Elsie: Yeah, I realized that if I spent like a little bit more, I could get like a pizza oven and this like really cute pink tea kettle, kind of like for free. So it was awesome.

Emma: I didn’t know you got a pizza oven.

Elsie: It’s…I’m saving it in the closet for Christmas.

Emma: Ohhhh.

Elsie: I’ll link that too just for fun but yeah, it’s like…

Emma: I was like, why have we not made pizza?! Now I get it. (laughs)

Elsie: It’s a fancy but not too expensive — I feel like it’s like a medium priced like a couple of hundred dollars or something like that — pizza oven and you can like carry it outside and put it on the counter and make the pizza and then you can put it back inside and store it. It doesn’t need to have like…

Emma: Its own structure.

Elsie: Right. So yeah, we’re really excited about that. And that’s going to be like. Yeah, like our main Christmas present for the year.

Emma: Clearly I’m excited too. Because I’m like, wait where this pizza oven?!

Elsie: So I wanted to get a tea kettle for a few years that was like appropriate for pour overs, because I had, like, I do have a hot water kettle that we loved. But it wasn’t like…

Emma: It pours too fast because of the way the spout is.

Elsie: Yeah. And like, if we ever took a picture with the pour over, it was like, this is embarrassing. Like, this isn’t the right thing.

Emma: This isn’t how to do it. Yeah.

Elsie: So, yeah, the gooseneck tea kettle and I’ll, I’ll link to it. And then also I remember Laura found a couple like more affordable options that were also pink so I’ll just link all that. It’ll be just link happy.

Emma: Yeah. Because yours is beautiful. But it was…you kind of got it on a sale, so…the other options are great too.

Elsie: It was a bit of a splurge, but yeah…

Emma: It’s really pretty.

Elsie: It’s really special. I use it to make tea mostly because I drink tea kind of like two or three times a day during the winter season. And that’s really special. Like as soon as coffee time is done, it’s like tea time till night time. And also my kids are crazy into hot chocolate. So (laughs) anyway…

Emma: Smart. Smart girls.

Elsie: So a couple little upgrades there and then I reorganized it and I also spent the year. So one of my commitments for 2020 once like covid started setting in and I started to realize like this is not like a two-week long thing, you know, like at first we were like, oh no big deal. And then we were like, oh…

Emma: This is life for a while.

Elsie: Yeah. Yeah. Like our new reality. So I started making sort of like a handmade shopping goal. And now, like a part of my month every month is supporting small handmade shops.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: I just feel like that’s just like one good way to do 2020, like to counteract all the other shittiness. Right?

Emma: Yeah, I love it. Something you can do that’s helpful and also fun.

Elsie: So I have amassed a homemade mug collection that’s like pretty epic. I’ll put a picture of it. And it’s so special because I remember all the shops and you know some of them like send thank you notes and become like your Instagram friends and it’s just very special.

Emma: Yeah. Yeah.

Elsie: What was something that really upgraded your life this year?

Emma: OK, I had to kind of small random things. So one, I got a new robe! (laughs)

Elsie: (laughs) Tell us about the robe! Spare no details.

Emma: So my previous robe was a very random IKEA purchase, I was at an IKEA, which we don’t have one in Springfield, Missouri, so this was a rare occurrence for me, and they just had it in a bin as I was walking in the store and I was like, oh, that looks like a really comfy hotel robe. I’ll buy that. So I bought it and I realized, right, this has been years ago that I love robes because I, I let my hair mostly air dry, usually because it takes so long to dry my hair. It’s very long and so I hate it if my pajamas or whatever clothes I’m wearing get wet from my hair. So I always, I always wear a robe after a shower, like kind of over my clothes or over my pajamas or whatever.

Elsie: Nice.

Emma: So anyway, my IKEA white robe got worn out over time and just like had some stains that I couldn’t bleach out. Like it just you know, I had it for years. So it was time to get a new one. And I decided against white this time, although I liked the look, I decided to go with a color. So I got this like kind of purply periwinkle kind of robe and it’s like very bath towel texture. So it’s good for all year to me because it’s not too warm. So in the summer you’re like, oh my gosh, I’m suffocating, but I want to wear this robe.

Elsie: Is it cotton?

Emma: Yeah. Yeah. So you can wash it and yeah, I love it. I think I just bought off Amazon , I’ll link it, but yeah, I really love it and I use it almost every day. And then I also got (laughs), here’s another epic one, a new pair of house slippers!

Elsie: Oh man, me too.

Emma: Mine just got worn out in grody and I was like OK it is time. So I got these pink like faux fur Jessica Simpson house slippers.

Elsie: Aw yeah, you guys know we love Jessica Simpson.

Emma: I really in part was buying like — I was really like I’m just going to get Jessica Simpson pair, let me see which ones she has because I just like supporting her brand even more now ever since reading Open Book her latest memoir, because it was so awesome and we’ve talked about it too many times. But yeah so now I have my Jessica Simpson house slippers and they’re just comfy. And I’m one of those people that I work from home, even before covid. I’ve done that for years and I usually get dressed every day like I wear jeans and normal clothes every single day. I just like that. But I am often wearing house slippers with…especially in the winter. So that’s kind of my vibe.

Elsie: I’m the opposite, I never change out of my pajamas.

Emma: She’s in pajamas right now, and I’m sitting in jeans right now. (laughs).

Elsie: Yeah, I always wear pajamas and I love it and it’s like when I wanna be fancy I wear yoga pants, you know.

Emma: (laughs) Yeah.

Elsie: But I realized that I miss the feeling of shoes so I got a pair of fur-lined Birkenstocks and they’re sort of like my house shoes, so that I don’t feel like I’m like always in bare feet. So I kind of like that.

Emma: Yeah. Because you’re a ‘no shoes in the house’ person, too.

Elsie: Right. So these are like strictly like you don’t wear them outside.

Emma: Right. Yeah. My house slippers are they do have a like hard sole. Like I can walk outside to get the mail if I want, but I don’t. Like their shoes I wear in the house. So…

Elsie: It’s just like when you leave your house two times a week you realize like I’m literally never wearing shoes. And I was like, is that weird? So I just got these to be a little more like, supported or whatever and not like lose the ability to wear shoes for life. (laughs)

Emma: (laughs) Oh boy.

Elsie: OK, so the next category is something that was a good distraction from 2020. I love this question because we all love and need distractions. It’s like the main thing that I am always looking for.

Emma: Yes. For sure.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: So mine is sometime in the summer, I don’t remember when, I want to say it was June or July. Could have been August. I don’t know, but I think it was June or July. I was I won’t lie — I was a little bit tipsy one evening and I just was like, you know what I love? I love my holiday mug collection. And this year’s so sad. I think I’m going to get a Halloween mug collection, too, so I could double up on the joy that these mugs bring me. And so I bought, like, I don’t know, like eight random Halloween mugs in the summer off Amazon. And since then, I’ve added one more that was a handmade artist. And I’d like to add a lot more handmade artists over time. But this was just kind of like my starting point was I just bought all these Halloween mugs and they came in the mail. It was still summertime. And I was just so excited. I like went ahead and washed them and then stored them just like waiting for Halloween so that I could get them out all of October. And I loved them.

Elsie: And how much joy did it bring you when you opened up the box?

Emma: Lots of joy. It was a great buzzed purchase. I regret nothing. (laughs).

Elsie: Yeah, we should do a tipsy shopping thing sometime because I definitely have some of those as well.

Emma: Yeah. And it can go really well or really wrong depending.

Elsie: (laughs) Yes. True. OK, so I bought — this is so silly. But like do you remember in the very beginning of COVID when people were like sort of like don’t buy stuff on Amazon unless it’s absolutely essential! Like that was like a thing for a couple of months.

Emma: Oh, because the shipping like so everyone can get their things, they need kind of thing.

Elsie: In the toilet paper phase.

Emma: Right. Right, right.

Elsie: In the spring still…so I thought and thought about this and I bought a pretty huge like gallon-sized container of Model Magic by Crayola.

Emma: Yes.

Elsie: And I started making Christmas ornaments with my kids and we did all summer we moved.

Emma: So this is like air-dry clay, basically.

Elsie: Yes, it’s the foamy air-dry clay. And the first time we ever used it, was like when we first adopted Nova, we made like a handprint ornament and it worked great. And then we made one with Goldie, her first Christmas. And then this past year, we just made like a ton of stuff with cookie cutters. And they made a lot of like just little like kid art, like wormy looking Christmas ornaments. And then we painted them. We have like a whole collection that’s butterfly themed and then a whole collection that’s little like gingerbread men. I showed it to Emma this morning. It’s like a pretty large collection of ornaments…

Emma: It’s a pretty big collection. Yeah.

Elsie: And it was a good distraction. And I do not regret my model magic purchase. I think it was essential to my mental health.

Emma: I mean it sounds like a fun little activity.

Elsie: It was something joyful in a very unjoyful time.

Emma: Yep. Model Magic: hire us! Just kidding (laughs) But you just, you just got a free commercial so you’re welcome. (laughs) Ok, before we get into our biggest splurge of twenty twenty, let’s take a break and listen to a word from our sponsor.

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Elsie: So I love a big splurge, as we’ve discussed in previous episodes.

Emma: Yes, I feel like the level of splurge here is really going to give you a look into Emma and Elsie and the ways they spend money. I feel like this episode makes me look like the cheapest person on the planet, basically.

Elsie: Which is accurate. So…

Emma: It kind of is. Yeah, I’m not necessarily even proud of that at all. I’m more like. Hmm, I need to just borrow all my sister’s stuff because she has the good stuff (laughs)

Elsie: No, I’m shameless and in love with this thing. OK, so ever since I was like twenty years old and I first learned about, you know, like gross stuff in your water, I have always wanted a whole house water filter. So we’ve had like, you know, the individual filters that you put in your fridge and things like that.

Emma: Well, and sometimes certain city water, it’s not that it’s unhealthy, it just tastes really bad, like and it’s not enjoyable to drink, you know? And I feel like it’s hard — being hydrated is really important. We all know that. So but it’s really hard when your water tastes terrible. It’s like you feel like you have to turn it into Kool-Aid before you drink it. (laughs)

Elsie: You’re either someone who cares about water passionately or you’re not. And I am. I care passionately. And for years I bought water in big jugs and bottles and, you know, like…

Emma: Yeah…

Elsie: I did that whole thing. And I always wanted this whole house water filter. But I was like, oh, I might move. Oh, I might move. Oh, like, you know, we had never been in a home where we felt truly settled. And this is the ironic thing about it. (laughs)

Emma: Oh, no.

Elsie: Is that right when we moved to our house last March, I immediately was like, I’m going to finally do this. And I ordered and I, I did a lot of research. So I’m going to link for you the exact water filter we got. They run a lot of sales. It’s called Aquasana, and the water…I’ll just give you, like the full sell: it tastes amazing.

Emma: It really does.

Elsie: Yeah. Like and it’s in our garage hooked up, and then everywhere in our house, whether you take a shower or you get water out of a bathroom sink or you get water out of the fridge or the sink or whatever, it’s all filtered and it all tastes great. So I consider it a very worthy splurge. Anyway, so we got the water filter installed (laughs) and we decided to move like a month later! And my realtor was kind of mad at me because I made him like put on our listing and like, explain like they’re taking this water filter with them. Because I was like, there’s just no way…

Emma: I’m not leaving it!

Elsie: Well, if they would have, like, asked for it specifically, but I just felt like there’s no way anyone cares about this thing in this way like I do. And it was like a couple of thousand dollars.

Emma: Mm hmm.

Elsie: And it was like, you know, I think like five or six hundred dollars just for a plumber to like hook it all up — it took him a whole day. So…and then he had to unhook it up and then he had to hook it up in our new house. So anyway, moral of the story, though, even with the big hiccup of the unexpected move, it was my best purchase of the year, my best splurge, and I’m so happy about it.

Emma: Yeah, well…

Elsie: I love water!

Emma: I’m drinking water at your house and it’s delicious. So…and I can just get it out of any tap and it’s great. So I love it.

Elsie: It’s all equal!

Emma: You don’t have to go to the kitchen where the one filter is or whatever. You know, it’s nice. So you’re in the middle of the night, just gets them from the bathroom sink and it’s still tastes the same. Great! So I think it’s a worthy splurge if you’re if you’re into that sort of thing…anyway. OK, mine is not a whole-house water filter. I have been wanting these Spanx leggings. They’re like the faux leather moto style Spanx leggings. I’ve been wanting them for like years…every time I see someone wearing. So I’m like, oh, those are so cute. But they’re like, usually when they’re are full price to like one hundred and ten dollars. So for one pair of leggings, I just never really…I would think about it and then, you know, I would maybe like see like a twenty percent off sale or something and I just never pulled the trigger because it was like something I wanted, but I was like, oh I have other leggings or I don’t know. But anyway, I recently finally just bought them because I definitely wear leggings all the time and I love to have leggings that are like, you can wear them out in the world and still feel kind of put together? And I feel like winter is especially big legging season for me because you can wear the long sweaters or like bigger…if it’s not a sweater, it’s like a kind of oversize sweatshirt…

Elsie: A long cardigan…

Emma: Yeah. A long cardigan, or that type of thing and with boots, and I feel like leggings fit inside of your boots, and anyway, so. Yeah. So I’ve got that and I’m really excited to wear them nowhere because it’s 2020 but I still think they’re really cute and I probably should have bought them like two years ago. (laughs) So there you have it.

Elsie: Okay next category: something amazing that was under 20 dollars.

Emma: Okay!

Elsie: Yes. So mine is this is kind of like my Spanx leggings — for years I have wanted a Chrissy Teigen cookbook and I always see them because they’re like everywhere all the time. And I’ve even like looked through them before. And I was like, okay, that looks fun, that looks cute. And I finally just ordered them and they were so inexpensive. Like, I order cookbooks kind of a lot and they were like, quite the deal. And anyway, so I will link them in the show notes. But I will say this is my review for a hipster cookbook and how I qualify or classify a hipster cookbook is like a cookbook that has a lot of like spinoffs and a lot of like variety where it like skips through different types of foods. It’s not focused on one type of food. It’s just like, you know, this a little of this little of that.

Emma: It always feels like this is stuff I actually make for my family because it’s kind of random.

Elsie: Yes, basically. So her cookbooks are a lot of dinner recipes that are kind of indulgent, like fun, like it’s called Cravings, so obviously it’s like that fun type of like, exciting to make food. And there’s lots of French recipes, like I think that Jeremy and I are actually going to cook through the cookbook, which is so cool. Like we’ve never done that before, like cooked through a whole cookbook.

Emma: You should do it.

Elsie: I think this is the moment.

Emma: I have her second one and I’ve made quite a few things from it. And it’s all been really good.

Elsie: What was your favorite?

Emma: The banana bread.

Elsie: Ooooooh!

Emma: I don’t know if your is in a banana bread as I am, but hers is so amazing.

Elsie: I am one of those people that I’m always like, oh, I don’t like banana bread. And then I have a piece, and then I have another piece and then another piece…it is so good.

Emma: Yeah, it’s amazing. But she has a lot of also like chicken strip recipes or like things — or drumsticks. I think I made some drumsticks that were really good. And I’m not a I’m not — I was vegetarian for so many years. I’m not great at cooking meat. I feel like I’m always kind of building up that skill. She has a lot of really tasty, good ones that are like very flavorful, but very simple yet to make. So I’m a fan.

Elsie: Yeah. In her first cookbook it has a whole chapter, that’s like her mom’s recipes that are like Thai recipes, and it is so good.

Emma: I love Thai flavors so much in cooking. It’s delicious. So yeah. Amazing. OK, mine is I have a one line a day journal that I bought. I actually got it from Elise’s newsletter.

Elsie: Yes, third sister Elise, you guys know!

Emma: She had talked about it, third sister Elise, so yeah. So I, you might think that I am a big journaler because I like to write and I’ve been trying to write fiction and all that kind of stuff, but I actually don’t like journaling. I feel like my life’s too boring or something. I don’t know, I just don’t. But I’ve started to feel this desire where I want to remember more of the small things in life. I think I do a good job documenting my year with photos, which tends to be a lot of travel and what I’m doing with my family. And so that’s great. But I feel like there’s lots of times where I’m like, oh, what was that book I read two years ago? It was so good or what was that TV show we watched, remember when we were obsessed with this or whatever, you know, and it’s kind of those little things that I feel like I always forget. So this kind of appealed to me where every day you just write — it really gives you like three or four lines. Like you can write two sentences. You really can’t write very much. You have to be pretty strategic. And each page is like October twenty-fifth and it has like five slots. So five years from now, provided I don’t lose this journal, (laughs) that’s the big thing. That’s the key! Is I’ll be able to see what I was doing this day and then a year from now and three years from now and I feel like something about that —

Elsie: Oh my gosh!

Emma: …so I’m going through kind of a tough season in my life at the moment, too. And something about this has really made me feel very hopeful. It’s like I see the slots that are for two years from now, five years from now…

Elsie: That’s so beautiful.

Emma: And I think, man, what am I going to be doing five years from now on this day? Because this day is kind of hard and kind of sucked. But I know that I got next year. I got the year after that. I got the year after that. And I’m going to look back at this time like, you know, well I kept going and I kept doing it. And I’m going to…it just makes it reminds me that I’m going to survive it and then I have this future ahead of me. Anyway. So, yeah, one line a day journal. Love it.

Elsie: I’m going to add a roaring cheer sound effect right here because. Oh my God. Holy shit. Emma that is so beautiful.

Emma: Thanks. Just trying to journal over here. So yeah.

Elsie: Ok, let’s take a quick break for an ad.

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Emma: All right. We have a few honorable mentions.

Elsie: (sings) Honorable Mentions!

Emma: That didn’t make it into the categories.

Elsie: Some people like to shop in this podcast. So…

Emma: Yeah, let’s hear it. All right.

Elsie: So I recently bought a Montessori shelf I’m very passionate about it.

Emma: It’s very cute.

Elsie: It’s this low like, you know, kids sized shelf. And all it really is, is a place to store toys for your kids to be able to access them on their level. And then you switch them out, switch them out, switch them out. So that it’s always like new and exciting. And I love it! It’s like the other day I put the little like, a little bowl of little reindeer toys there. And immediately they noticed it. And were playing with them.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: And it’s just so special.

Emma: It’s cute.

Elsie: I also switched, OK recently, from a full on diaper bag to a small little fanny pack for my purse because I realize, like, I’m never going to change a diaper in public during covid and it could be a while like I just didn’t. I have the kind of a heavy, like, full of stuff, diaper bag.

Emma: Right.

Elsie: And so I switched to this like very small, little — like if it’s my phone, my wallet, my sunglasses and my mask, and that’s all I really need to like…

Emma: It’s like you don’t even have kids! No…(laughs)

Elsie: …go to the grocery store and come straight back home, you know?

Emma: Yeah, yeah.

Elsie: So that’s kind of fun. I’ll link to that. We got the…we really researched sound machines this year. So I don’t remember if I talked about on the podcast or on Instagram stories, but we had like a problem finding…so we wanted to stop using the box fan in our bedroom. That was like a big goal for me because they’re huge, they’re ugly. And I feel like no matter how epic I make our bedroom, we always have a box fan and…

Emma: You can’t travel with it, which not that you’re traveling this year, but…

Elsie: I know someone here is like “you’re such a bitch for taking away your Husband’s box fan!” And like, that’s fine. I own that.

Emma: Get out of here! You’re not invited! (laughs)

Elsie: We replaced the box fan with an exceptionally great sound machine that’s very small to travel with. And now when we go somewhere, we have something to take with us. We don’t have to buy a box fan in Palm Springs at Wal-Mart. So it’s called the Yoga Sleep Dohm…Yoga Sleep Dohm sound machine. And it looks like a sound machine, but is actually a tiny fan in there. So the big thing for us is that we didn’t want it to have a loop.

Emma: Like where you hear it stop and then start.

Elsie: Yeah, there’s like sounds in our kids’ sound machine that will keep us up all night like, once you like it, you can’t hear it. And either you like, know about this kind of thing or you don’t. But Jeremy could hear them in like any kind of recorded sound machine, so that wouldn’t work for us. And this was a little miracle. OK, next up was our record display shelves. So when we moved into our last house. We had this like big open wall. And I was like, you know what would be kind of cute is like a big collage of records on the wall. So I was looking at like frames and stuff. And then I found that there’s like these little acrylic frames, or these little acrylic shelves where you can can kind of like set a record in it so you can actually just pull it down and use the record. And it made so much more sense to me than framing them. And so we ended up using them again in our new house. And…

Emma: They’re very cute. Very simple.

Elsie: Yeah. It’s just like this simple way that you can fill a wall. And if you already collect records, like I’m about to switch mine into my Christmas records, and then it’ll be Christmassy and it’s just kind of fun and simple and definitely like a high impact art idea that’s affordable if you already have records, you’re kind of done.

Emma: Yeah, and album art, I’m sure it’s still a big deal. But with everything being digital now, basically, you know, it’s not as…but I feel like it used to be, like I’m sure a lot of those artists spent tons of time thinking about what was going to be on the cover of this record.

Elsie: Absolutely.

Emma: You know? So they are little pieces of art, too, so.

Elsie: Yeah. Oh, another thing that was great this year is I started really getting into my yoga sets from mostly from Girlfriend Collective is my absolute number one favorite place to buy them. They’re so great and they come in lots of colors, like they’re always putting out more colors. The brand itself is just like very inclusive and very cool and very high quality. And the one tip I would give is if you’re a person who likes to like run or walk with your phone, they started making sets with like a big pocket on the side where you can like put your phone into it, which is so awesome. Or like your car keys, you know, if you have that whole thing.

Emma: Yep, yep.

Elsie: And then, OK, I finally got — I feel like this is like a blogger thing like a year or two ago — that ice roller. Do you remember this?

Emma: Yes I do. It’s kind of like a jade roller but it’s bigger.

Elsie: It’s giant. And it’s pretty much just like a big roller of ice that you freeze in your freezer and then you can use it on your face, like if you’re having a puffy day. But I actually like use it a lot on my neck and my back and like the back of my head. I’ve had a lot of like headachy things lately. And like part of Twenty Twenty is like I haven’t been to get a massage. I used to go all the time for back issues, but I’m just like I’m one of the covid people who does not do appointments that are not completely necessary.

Emma: Yeah, I haven’t done massage this year either. I’m just scared you might need to wear the mask when your face is like down.

Elsie: You would.

Emma: And yeah, you probably should. So, and I just— something about it makes me feel too anxious. So I’m like, yeah. Never mind.

Elsie: Yeah. So if you’re having back issues or just or just like you want some little like fun spa thing, this ice roller I will say it’s like a hundred times better than any jade roller could ever be.

Emma: Well and your two year old really likes it, too! (laughs)

Elsie: (laughs) Oh my gosh. OK, our two-year-old likes to have it rolled on her back. It’s so cute.

Emma: Yeah. It’s more of a it’s more of a challenge for her I think. (laughs)

Elsie: Yes! Ok, my last special purchase is…I finally got an Our Place pan, which if you’re like you probably have seen it, they do a ton of like ads on Instagram and like,

Emma: Oh yes, I need to get one of these. I keep seeing it.

Elsie: They are just like a healthy pan that, you know, like a lot of people are like, I don’t want the pan that’s like, you know, like a lot of people think they, like, cause cancer and like, you know, you don’t want aluminum and all these things.

Emma: Right.

Elsie: So anyway, it’s a healthy pan. It’s very durable. It’s very high quality. It’s a woman-owned business.

Emma: It’s really pretty, too.

Elsie: It’s beautiful. So I first got, like, the grayish color and then I recently got a lavender one and they just came with, like a steaming compartment. So you can steam in them now. So anyway, we will link to those and they are worth every penny. They’re super good.

Emma: And I just have some books and one random honorable mention. So as you all know, Elsie got a swimming pool this year and I love to come visit and my nieces are still quite young. So if I play with them in the pool, a lot of my swimsuits, I found it was basically like they would pull my top off. They weren’t meaning to. But this is just a little kid thing. I think any mom or aunt out there knows…

Elsie: They hold themselves up by your boobs and that is true.

Emma: So they immediately pull your swimsuit off basically. So I bought what I would consider a mom swimsuit, even though I’m not a mom. So now it’s an aunt swimsuit, I guess. But it basically it’s sleeveless, it’s a swimsuit, it’s a one piece, but it goes all the way up to my neck and it zips up the front and it’s just black. And I bought it off Amazon. I actually really like how it looks on, but it was basically so I could swim with my nieces and not have to feel like I’m like nervous about my swimsuit the entire time. Like, they can just kind of crawl on me.

Elsie: You don’t what you’re fully exposed in front of Uncle Jeremy.

Emma: No, that’s going to make him feel weird and me feel weird. So that’s not good. Yeah. So my mom swimsuit, I’ll link it and our show notes. And then I also I’m just going to mention four books that I really enjoyed reading this year. These are all fiction, pretty different genres. And again, these will be in the show notes so you can find them and you can find the authors: Permanent Record, which is a modern love story. It was very beautiful, Big Summer, which I did read over the summer. It came out over the summer, but you don’t have to read it in the summer. It’s just a fun read and it has a big twist about halfway through. So it’s really fun. Someone We Know, which is a thriller and you probably won’t be able to guess the ending. I wasn’t. And then if you want something whimsical, I really loved The Starless Sea which is by the same author who did The Night Circus. And I love both of those books. They’re just beautiful. I hope this author writes more and more.

Elsie: OK, so we talked about so many different things in this episode. So if you want a quick guide with lots of links, be sure to check out our show notes at abeautifulmess.com/podcast. And we would love to hear what your best purchases were of 2020 in those comments as well. Have a good week!

Emma: Bye!

 

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  • Such a fun episode — your podcast has been such a balm during this tough year!

    2020 purchases: I pretty much upgraded all of my sweatshirts and leggings — no more skinny jeans for me! I bought a few headbands and one necklace from Etsy. I also bought two vintage bronze wall hangings from EBay.

    For free I have enjoyed audiobooks and print books from my local library and shopping my closet.

    Sending hugs and thanks. ❤️

  • Hi, girls! Just wanted to say that I listen to your podcast every Monday. I love the 80s talk-show vibe of the theme song, and listening to the two of you just makes me happy. I hope you both have wonderful holiday seasons and a fantastic 2021!

  • My husband and I write in a the same line-a-day journal and it is one of my favorite things ever. I’ve never journaled but we are going on 4 years of writing in it. I love rereading all the entries every night.

  • I bought the journal for myself and one for my 13yo – so exited, I love this idea and what Emma said about it inspiring hope and look-forwardness for the future.

    I love the steam mop I bough this year that comes with a wand attachment for cleaning/steaming clothes. And I embraced bike shorts over the summer which was huge, I I never really wear shorts but I loved the ones from Aerie. And I leveled up in the kitchen with a cooking/high powered blender! Used it all year so much.

  • Three top buys of 2020. My splurge has been a new lavender front door. Our house is fairly drab from the outside and this makes such a difference. I love my Donna Wilson Kaleido mug, the perfect shape and her designs are so quirky. Finally I started running this year and the tikiboo rainbow tiger leggings give me a laugh every time I jog in them. They are comfy and stay up too. Xxx

  • Is Elise really your sister? I had no idea and I’ve been following you all separately for years!

  • Super late to the party BUT I listened to this episode recently and LOVED IT! My weirdest (but best) purchase of 2020 was a mega pack of Yum Earth Sour Beans. The beeeest jelly beans ever! I bought like a 50 pack of them off Amazon….after Easter….and I basically ate them all myself. I told myself I was going to give them to the kids and share with friends (dropping things at their doors, etc) but let’s be real. I ate them all. And I LOVED IT. I also splurged on a rainbow midi skirt from J Cree that I wore for family photos…because I’ve had nowhere else to wear it all year 😂 and I recently upgraded to cloth maxi pads that I bought from an Etsy Seller – holy cow I love them. Ok that is all. I’ve binged your podcast while re-arranging my house last weekend so I feel like we are BFFs even though you don’t even know me 🤣 k love you guys bye!

  • Im wondering if you guys have made kettles popular in the US? Every house has an electric kettle in Australia.. but we as a nation were shocked to learn that its not the case in the US?!?! 🙂

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