It’s time for our annual Favorite Things list for 2021! This year has been… well, it’s been a year, huh? We filled it with wonderful times, like beach playing and outdoor dining and small group gathering. But when I start to feel funny feelings, I’m reminded of this article on ‘languishing’ that sums it up exactly. In the end, I’m still going to call this year a good one. We celebrated a few victories, we saw our friends’ beautiful, smiling faces more, and Lucy continues to amaze us as her personality blossoms.
As has become tradition, we’re thinking back on the year and the ‘things’ that made our life a little easier. The things that made us smile every time we used it, wore it, watched it, or listened to it. Sharing them below, and we’d love to know yours, too!
Kim’s Favorite Things
- High waisted slouchy straight jeans | While on the hunt for an inexpensive pair of straight leg jeans, I came across these and haven’t looked back. I’m thrilled that jeans of all shapes and sizes are back (baby!), and I’ve learned that my petite frame loves a high waist, straight leg and a bit of ankle showing.
- U Crew sweatshirt | This was My Year of the Sweatshirt. I think I bought over a dozen new sweatshirts over the course of 2021, and this was, hands down, my favorite. I sized up to a large for an oversized fit, and it fit just as I’d hoped! Comfort was king this year, and this fit the bill.
- Glossier Cleanser Concentrate | I’ve raved about the cleanser concentrate countless times across multiple platforms, that’s how much I love this! I can’t imagine not using it now that I have. It gently exfoliates while cleaning deep down, and it was my favorite Glossier discovery of the year (because you know I love Glossier).
- White Lotus (HBO) | This show captivated more than any show has in a long, long time. The social commentary was spot on; it felt like a wake up call over and over again. We had to pause it so many times just so we could laugh or digest the quick wit. It’s on our list to watch again over winter break!
- Stanley Adventure Quencher Travel Tumbler | The hype is real. On my never-ending quest to drink more water to fuel my soul, I quickly snagged two of these (one for each of us) during the last re-stock. It fits in a cupholder, has a strong handle, and keeps our water cold ALL day. It’s worth signing up for the waitlist!
- Turkish cotton throw blanket | 2020 allowed us to better understand what matters most. We’ve been relaxing more in the evenings and cuddling up with Lucy as much as possible, and this is the blanket we pull out for snuggles over and over again. It’s thick yet lightweight, large but not fussy, and it supports a family-owned business.
- Valspar Milk Toast | I consistently say that our entryway is my favorite ‘room’ of our home. It took us years and years (and years!) to call it complete (and even still, I’d like to add family photos lining the stairs), but since painting it Valspar Milk Toast, you can find me beaming from ear to ear every time we come home.
- Norman Leigh dining table | Our dining table has changed everything. It’s been the most perfect WFH setup, and gathering for dinner feels more conversational and cozy than ever. I’m so glad we completed this project in 2021, as it’s an integral part of our day-to-day.
- Champagne Stopper | This is THE stopper for your bubbly drinks! It’ll pay for itself in one use, since you won’t be wasting half a bottle of champagne – or fizzy whites, rosés or any other bubbly! – down the drain anymore. It’s a nifty little gadget that perks me up every time I pop its top on a few-day-old bottle at the end of a long day.
- Planter Pocket | Our planter pocket has seen several variations over the years, but recently, it has started to downright THRIVE. (You can see it in the first photo of this post, and right here in the playroom reveal.) It’s the first thing I see when I walk up the stairs, and it’s the first thing that has people saying wow! when they see it. Dorky as this may sound, it’s been really fun to watch our plant babies mature this year.
- phone tripod with wireless shutter | I finally bought a tripod for my phone, and WHY did it take me so long? The remote shutter is so easy to use, and I find myself taking more family photos on the fly because of this. These are memories frozen in time, people! (Anyone?)
- Instax mini camera | Speaking of which, I’m using my Instax more than ever. So much so, my current one is knocking on death’s door, and I’m eyeing this one to replace it. I’m no longer using it only for travel or milestones. This was the year I pulled it out for anything and everything, from taco night with friends to sleepovers for Lucy + company.
Scott’s Favorite Things
- Mac Miller | Mac’s been gone for a few years and we’re admittedly late to the party here. Kim and I were both aware of his music prior to this year, but he just kept popping up on Spotify playlists and catching our ear. in 2021, we found ourselves working through his catalog and realizing just how insanely talented and prolific he was. Personal favorites are his final two albums Swimming and Circles. Bonus – Check out Season 9 of Dissect for a truly deep dive (pun intended).
- Sport Joggers | These Everlane pants have become a staple of my wardrobe. Much like everyone’s favorite shacket, I have these joggers in multiple different colors. Structured enough to wear out and about but comfy enough for evening and weekend lounging, they’re a go-anywhere, do-anything basic. Everyone needs a pair or three!
- Family Tandem Rides | We purchased a second-hand Trek tandem from FB Marketplace this spring as an upgrade to our heavy (although incredibly cool!) 70’s Schwinn. The more modern bike is about 30 pounds lighter and fits perfectly into the bed of our truck with the wheels removed so we can take it anywhere. We use this seat and this helmet for Lucy so all 3 of us can ride together on one bike!
- Ultra Repair Cream | This stuff keeps my newly 40 year-old (more on that later) face looking not a day older than 39. I apply liberally after I shower or wash my face and can absolutely tell a difference when I forget to use it. Like a lot of fellas, I have very little patience for skin care, but this is a great one step solution to stay moisturized.
- Inside | One of the most inventive comedy specials we’ve ever seen. Bo Burnham wrote, directed, filmed, lit, edited and starred in this avant-garde special. The songs are insanely catchy, the jokes are clever, and the insight into the human condition is spot-on. Dare I say this special might contain the best song(s) ever written about Jeff Bezos?
- Insulated Soft Cooler | This perfectly-sized cooler accompanies us almost every time we hit the road. It fits perfectly between Lucy’s car seat and Caftish’s dog bed in the back of our truck and easily swallows up tons of snacks and drinks.
- Amber + Moss Incense | We recently picked up this cute little incense burner from one of our favorite local design shops and haven’t stooped burning this exact scent ever since.
- Hybrid Down Parka | I grabbed this coat a couple months ago as a foul weather fall layer, but I’ve found myself wearing it almost daily. It’s warm but not heavy. Waterproof but breathable. The shape is classic but modern. Highly recommended!
- Waterproof Work Boots | I’m guilty of handling DIY duty in a beat up old pair of sneakers for waaaay too long. This year I finally ponied up and bought a pair of real work boots and my feet and back have been thanking me ever since. These sturdy boots are the perfect height and are fully waterproof for work outdoors in even the worst weather.
- Vaccines | Kim and I both got vaccinated the minute we were eligible. Being as protected as possible gave us peace of mind to visit family and friends, start to travel again and even attend a couple of events this year. We believe in modern medicine and in doing our part to get back to as close to ‘normal’ as possible. It’s been hugely healing for us to safely spend time with the people we love.
- Sonos Roam | We’re big fans of Sonos and this little powerhouse packs a punch! Rather than spending hundreds wiring our renovated front porch with in-ceiling speakers, we invested in the portable Roam. This versatile speaker integrates with our current Sonos system and can also go pretty much wherever we go. It’s waterproof and dustproof so trips to the park or beach are no problem! If you’re looking for something a little larger, we also absolutely love the Roam’s bigger sibling, Move.
- Turning 40 | I turned 40 in June and I’m loving it so far! Sure, my joints are a little creaky and I need a little more sleep than I used to, but I’m feeling good overall. I rekindled my love of mountain biking this summer and got out on the trails almost every weekend that weather allowed. I felt strong and fast and I intend to keep it up. Who said being over the hill was a problem?
What made you happy this year? Tell me something good!