After hunkering down at home over the last month and a half or so, I’ve made somer revelations, friends. Home revelations, garment revelations, cleaning revelations, life revelations and so much more, and it’s made what’s essential, what’s useful, what works and what just downright makes our lives at home easier and more comfortable so much more clear. Since I’m sure so many of you have made similar revelations, I thought it would be fun to share the things that have made my life at home just a little bit more awesome over the last month and a half in hopes that maybe one or several of these things speak to you and what you’ve come up against while at home! This may feel like a little bit of a mashup of items, but I wanted to be comprehensive while also being concise because, well that’s exactly what this list is – a curated, distilled, but complete list of the things that have been seriously put to the test over the last month and a half and proven extremely useful during my time at home. The best of the best!
And as a timely addition, basically all of these items would make amazing, thoughtful, extremely useful Mother’s Day gifts in my humble opinion. Well maybe with the exception fo the Scotch felt pads and the Magic Erasers. On their own those might be a weird gift, but if you’re assembling a really cool, super useful home cleaning care package then I wholeheartedly approve of including those items! Everything else, though is 100% Mother’s Day approved on its own and will make you look like an expert gift giver with a heart of gold, and like you’re taking a really thoughtful departure from tchotchke territory. Anything that make’s mom’s daily life easier, more comfortable and just all around more awesome is a huge gifting win in my book, and all of these things fall into that category. To up the ante I also listed a few fun, creative Mother’s Day care packages below the list using the products mentioned that would make such thoughtful, themed gifts when combined!
I’m actually kind of pumped to be switching it up from the Mother’s Day gifting norm around here and curating a list of gift ideas that have all been put to the test and serve really specific, helpful purposes in a woman’s life. I hope this is helpful for you guys, too!
Shop Home Essentials & Mother’s Day Gift Ideas
Hoka One One Rincon Sneaker | Essie Treat, Love & Color Nail Polish | Mr. Clean Magic Erasers | Athleta 7/8 Tight | Acure Seriously Soothing 24 Hr. Moisture Lotion | Acure Dry Shampoo | Deebot Robot Vacuum | Felt Pads | Freedom Moses Sandals | Boneco H300 Air Purifier/Humidifier Combo | Retrospec 1” Thick Yoga Mat | Cleancult Glass Suite & Refills | Scrub Daisy Dishwand Kit | Fresh Sugar Coconut Hydrating Lip Balm
Alright guys, if you’re even moderately active and have yet to get on the Hoka train, I’m here to do my best to convince you that you need these in your life. While I’ve been at home I’ve been trying to tweak my home workout routine to be even more conducive to getting a really good workout in several different spaces both inside and outside our home, without back or hip pain, I’ve realized that part of the solution is wearing friendly footwear. I know that the look of Hokas can be a little bit jarring for those who have yet to experience their charms firsthand, but trust me when I say that you get over that really quickly when you wear them and never have joint pain again after a run or a workout… or just a day on your feet. Wearing Hokas feels like walking on clouds and I’ll never ever go back to wearing another sneaker for my workouts. If you’re active or on your feet a lot, these are positively heaven sent. Hoka also has tons of really fun color combos, which makes me really happy. I have this particular pink color combo linked and I couldn’t love them more!
I’ve talked about my love for Essie’s Treat Love & Color line of nail polish before in my tutorial all about how to give yourself an easy, beautiful, natural manicure and pedicure at home, but since nail salons have been closed over the last month and so many of my home mani/pedi averse friends have been searching for an easy way to freshen up their nails at home, I’ve realized just how awesome this stuff really is. I swipe Essie’s Treat Love Color on both my fingers and toes about once a week right now, and not only has using it visibly strengthened my nails, it’s insanely easy to apply and doesn’t require a base or topcoat. Just swipe it on with the nice wide wand and you’re done! I’m really partial to the natural, subtly pink shade Minimally Modest for my fingers, but also just put Power Punch Pink on my toes and absolutely love the pretty bubblegum pink color. The dry time of this stuff is also extremely fast in comparison to other nail polish formulas I’ve used, which is just another reason it makes my at-home nail care life so much easier.
I was already convinced that Mr. Clean Magic Erasers were sent straight from the heavens before we started hunkering down at home, which is almost hilariously obvious if you read my easy quarantine home improvement tasks post. They’re listed as my tool of choice for easily tackling almost half of the tasks on that list because they can basically clean anything and everything with ease, even the most stubborn stains, marks, scuffs, etc.! I kid you not – if you have stubborn marks or stains on furniture, walls, countertops, outdoor surfaces, and the like that you’ve tried to clean but have yet to be successful, try a Magic Eraser and watch the magic unfold. Seriously! I don’t know what the “magic” is behind the Magic Eraser and I don’t think I ever want to know, but what I do know is that they’re my household cure all and make everything better. Over the course of the last month and a half, I’ve been tying to get a handle on some of the home improvement tasks that have plagued me for far too long, and one of those was a giant coffee stain on the carpet in one of our spare bedrooms that not even the carpet cleaners could get out. I’ve been wracking my brain to think of creative ways to attack the stain from another angle, and finally remembered that whenever I run into a cleaning problem I can’t solve, I always try the Magic Eraser. So I looked it up to see if anyone else had cleaned tough carpet stains with the Magic Eraser and low and behold, they had! In my desperation, I gave it a try and I kid you not, it’s the stain was never there. A stain that had been there for over a years. Insane!
I thought I loved Athleta’s leggings, and specifically any of their leggings made in their super soft Powervita fabric before, but since I’ve pretty much lived in them and put their comfort and durability to the ultimate test over the last month and a half, I can safely say that never have I ever worn any kind of pant that’s as comfortable as these leggings. I particularly love the Salutation 7/8 Stash Pocket and the Elation 7/8 tights. And because I know Chris will question that statement, yes, they’re even more comfortable than my old, softer than soft grey sweatpants with the holes in them that I refuse to part with and have had for two decades. If you have yet to experience these for workout wear or simply as athleisure while hangin’ around the house, take the leap and order a pair, then come back and tell me you love me!
This may seem random, but over the last month and a half my skincare routine has really come into focus. I’ve been bare-faced and letting my hair air dry every day, which has made taking really good care of my skin the sole focus of my beauty routine as of late. Which has forced me to carefully analyze what works, what doesn’t, what’s good for my skin and what’s just not. Enter: Acure. I’ve always had pretty sensitive skin. A clean diet and major hydration help immensely in mitigating just how irritated my skin can get, but in general it’s just plain sensitive. Seriously – that’s a direct quote from my dermatologist. Your skin is just sensitive. Period. Which is why finding a clean body lotion that doesn’t include harmful ingredients, but still leaves my skin feeling soft and soothed is so important, and this lotion has been a total game-changer on that front. Not only does it go on like butter and blend in with ease, it’s fragrance free, uses clean ingredients I can feel good about and leaves my skin feeling so soft and calm for the entire day. And I can order it on Amazon, which is always a plus! As an aside, I also swear by the Acure Simply Smoothing Coconut & Marula shampoo & conditioner. My hair has never been fuller, stronger, healthier or more lustrous!
Speaking of quarantine beauty revelations I now can’t live without, I’ve befriended yet another clean beauty product by Acure that’s been such a revelation in my daily routine. And I think it’s time we got honest about dry shampoo. Yes, it’s awesome. Yes, it’s a necessity. Yes, it makes all kinds of hair magic happen, but I’d be lying if I said that I think all of the dry shampoos out there, especially those of the aerosol variety, are super safe and healthy when we’re using them on a daily basis. Hey, no judgement! I’ve spent a good chunk of my adult life fogging up the bathroom with my dry shampoo aerosol can, but I started to have nightmares about an X-Ray of my lungs simply reading the words “patient displays extreme dry shampoo blockage” and called it quits. In my hunt to find a cleaner dry shampoo option that actually does what it needs to, I finally found Acure’s dry shampoo, that has a subtly fresh rosemary and peppermint scent, and I love it so much it . Not only does it extend the life of my hair and give it that fresh bounce, it doesn’t weigh it down or require several washes to return my hair to squeaky clean, sans dry shampoo buildup.
This is another household items we loved before we spent every waking hour at home, but over the last month and a half have fallen even deeper in love with. The Deebot has truly been our best friend during this particularly pollen-laden season while at home and made it easy for us to keep our floors clean and dust/pollen free while we’re walking in and out all day. If not for the Deebot, I swear I’d lose my mind with how much debris we’ve been tracking in and out all day! What’s more, over the course of the year we’ve had zero programming or tech problems with this little gem, it’s super easy to empty the waste basin when it’s full (also slightly disturbing just how much dirt, dust and other undesirable things it collects every time we run it), and it comes with a remote control that you can use to conveniently press the “home” button if you want it to finish its cycle early and find its way back to its charging station for a nap. Most importantly, while we work, it works, without us having to lift a finger. To say that this worker bee is life changing is a total understatement!
Ok I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t this one a little weird? No, friends. It’s only weird if you actually enjoy seeing scratch marks across every single one of your home’s surfaces thanks to unfriendly home decor accessories and tech necessities like remote controls, trays, candles, speakers, lanterns, planters, chairs, table legs, and on and on and on. It wasn’t until I was home every second and inspecting all of the aforementioned surfaces that I realized that they were all needlessly marked up to high hell thanks to all of those items listed being pulled across them with reckless abandon over the course of however many years. I say needlessly because if I’d just kept a stash of these felt pads in all sizes in our drawer and applied said pads to all of these items when I added them to the mix in our home, I wouldn’t have that problem. Now pretty much all of our chairs, table legs, tabletop accessories and tech necessities have these pads underneath them and it’s so incredibly satisfying. Not only do they not scratch our surfaces when pulled around, but they’re actually easier to move around, too thanks to how easy felt slides across any surface.
One thing I’ve come to realize during this time at home is that there are few things that bring me more joy than footwear that marries form and function. I love fun footwear, sure but what I love even more is fun footwear that I can wear around the house, both inside and out, that’s comfortable and can stand up to my active, all-sorts-of-messy lifestyle, which is why I’ve become so smitten with Freedom Moses sandals. These are similar in style and concept to the Birkenstock Arizona EVA waterproof sandals, but what I like about Freedom Moses sandals is that they’re slightly more flexible than the Birks and have a slimmer profile than than the ultra-wide Birks. Just like my ultra functional, beloved wellies, I can get these wet, muddy, and covered in all sorts of gunk and simply hose ‘em off to make them shine like new at the end of the day. It’s to liberating.
Spending every waking minute in and around our home during peak allergy season over the last month and a half has really illuminated what an incredibly helpful little machine our Boneco air purifier/humidifier combo is. We loved it before, but now that we’ve seen, over the course of a month and a half, just how much it helps clean the air inside our home and keep our allergies at bay and humidify our house so our sinuses don’t getting painfully dry, we’re convinced that every household needs one of these bad boys! Originally I bought this to help ease Hamlet’s trachea issues and make it easier for him to breathe, but I think it’s helped Chris and I just as much as it’s helped Ham. This chic little machine covers a 540 sq. ft. room, so we have it in our living room/kitchen area where we hang the most. It’s also so easy to clean and refill, which is so important since you’ll be cleaning and prepping it daily. I’m fairly certain that falling madly in love with an air purifier/humidifier is the definition of adulting.
Chris got this mat in the “Cool Lavender” color for me for my birthday, and little did I know it would become such an essential in my life! When I got this I knew that it would make at-home yoga sessions and workouts much more comfortable on my hard floors, but I had no idea that I’d soon be using it on a daily basis over the last month and a half and what a serious game-changer it would be in making at-home workouts so much less painful! Before this super soft, padded gem came into my life, my back and hips were taking a beating during those workouts at home on our hard floors. Now, even after the toughest of tough Body Coach workouts and yoga sessions, I never have that really awful back, knee or hip pain I was having after pounding the hard floor through a paper-thin mat and I feel completely confident jumping, hitting the ground for a burpee, lying on my back for crunches and everything in between. It has also held up really, really well after tons of use and daily cleaning. I’ll never go back to a regular old yoga mat again! Also of note – finding a 1” thick yoga mat is surprisingly hard. There are a lot of 1/2” thick mats, but the 1” thick variety seems a little bit tough to come by. I did find this one on Amazon, but can’t speak to how well it holds up. But it’s ultra budget0-friendly, so maybe it’s worth the gamble!
I wrote an entire blog post all about why cleancult is a complete revelation in my life at home and specifically my cleaning routine, but over the course of this time at home I’ve fallen even deeper in love with this game-changing cleaning supply purveyor for just how effortless they make stocking up on cleaning supplies, and how effective they are against household messes while using ingredients that are safe for the whole family, furry friends included! That’s not to mention how absolutely heavenly they smell. From the hand soap to the household cleaner, the scents are nothing short of amazing! Seriously though… I feel like I’ve really put the entire cleancult system to the test this last month and a half. From ordering refills to washing my hands with the hand soap about 5 million times to cleaning every countertop surface in our house about ten times daily with the household cleaner to scrubbing endless pots and pans after cooking every single meal at home with the dish soap, cleancult made every single one of those tasks so much easier and more awesome. I’ll never go back!
I realize that chic wood dish scrubbers are all the rage right now and don’t get me wrong, I completely understand the allure because I’ve purchased one, but it lasted about four days before it got demolished. Not only that, but it was pretty much only useful on completely flat plates that didn’t have any complicated nooks and crannies or tough grease/grime spots. Which is why I’ve been singing the praises of the adorable and ultra functional Scrub Daisy dishwand system over the last year. Sure, it’s not a minimalist wood scrubber that blends right into our cozy cottage home design, but it is pretty darn cute and what’s more, it’s beyond functional and so incredibly durable. With three interchangeable scrub heads that all serve different, extremely useful scrubbing purposes (that you can replace on the cheap if any of them ever need to be retired), a self-draining storage vase and a wand that dispenses a metered amount of soap, it’s made our kitchen cleanup lives ten times easier and tidier while we’ve been at home cooking three meals a day, every single day. Scrub Daisy, I heart you.
As I mentioned, my quarantine beauty routine has been really focused on the basics, which has allowed me to analyze the effectiveness of my beauty products and distill my collection. Which is where this must-have item comes in! I’ve talked about my love for Fresh’s ultra hydrating and totally yummy coconut sugar lip balm before, but during my time at home when my beauty routine has been distilled to only the essentials, I’ve realized that I truly never want to live in a world where this lip balm doesn’t exist. I swim this on at night before bed and in the morning, and probably a few times in between, and my lips are so soft and hydrated! It just makes them feel silky smooth and never ever dry or cracked, and the sweet coconut scent just makes it that much more heavenly. Paired with my favorite Coconut Milk Mango roller ball perfume, I feel like I’m in some sort of sun-drenched, seaside summer dreamland!
Genius Mother’s Day Care Package Ideas Any Mom Would Love
At Home Mani/Pedi Kit w/ Several Essie Treat, Love & Color Polishes Inside
Acure Lotion + Acure Dry Shampoo + Acure Shampoo/Conditioner
Fresh Coconut Sugar Hydrating Lip Balm + Essie Treat, Loe & Color Nail Polish Assortment
Athleta Leggings + Freedom Moses Sandals + Retrospec Workout Mat
Hoka One One Rincon Sneaker + Restospec Workout Mat
Freedom Moses Sandals + Retrospec Workout Mat (it would be so cute to do this set in mom’s favorite colors since both items come in tons of colors!)
Home Essentials Mom
EcoVacs Deebot Robot Vacuum + Scrub Daisy
Scrub Daisy + Cleancult Glass Suite w/ Refill Subscription
Scrub Daisy + Mr. Clean Magic Erasers + Cleancult Glass Suite w/ Refill Subscription