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I'd love to hear what you are thrilled to have bought. Share links!!

I'll go first: a twin-size electric blanket that goes on my side of the bed only so it doesn't bother DH.

I should have bought one years ago! 🙃

W.

Edited by Alicia64
Updated: share links! :)
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I just fainted.  Asking gently: is this black tea, and at what temperature does the water hit the leaves...?

If you are enjoying your tea and not making it for me, there's no 'wrong' involved.

I figured it was to turn off the lights on a teen who had been in the bathroom for too long. ;)

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1 minute ago, Alicia64 said:

I'd love to hear what you are thrilled to have bought.

I'll go first: a twin-size electric blanket that goes on my side of the bed only so it doesn't bother DH.

I should have bought one years ago! 🙃

W.

what brand is the blanket?  I want to get my oldest one and everyone I look at has such bad reviews. 

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5 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

what brand is the blanket?  I want to get my oldest one and everyone I look at has such bad reviews. 

The brand is MaxKare.

This is the one I bought over a month ago for $52. I bought a red one, but now it only comes in gray for $63. Not sure why. I think the brand is excellent. I'm so happy with my blanket that I'm spending a lot more time in bed!! Like you, it's super confusing to read five-star reviews along with one-star reviews. I don't get that. (I guess it's possible that people are trolling.)

Wendy

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My big game-changer (just under $100 on sale) purchase this year was an over the sink drying rack. I prefer to air dry stuff, but hated giving up the counter space in my tiny kitchen. My kitchen runs so much better with this in place.

https://www.amazon.com/Drying-Stainless-Storage-Adjustable-Kitchen/dp/B08839TVPF/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=over+the+sink+dish+drying+rack&qid=1606663548&sr=8-5

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For $55, a ukulele. Was my birthday present to myself, and it’s been so much fun. My two youngest kids have even gotten a little more interested in music because of it.

 It has been gratifying to find out that despite several failed attempts to learn guitar, I am not musically hopeless.

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11 minutes ago, slackermom said:

My big game-changer (just under $100 on sale) purchase this year was an over the sink drying rack. I prefer to air dry stuff, but hated giving up the counter space in my tiny kitchen. My kitchen runs so much better with this in place.

https://www.amazon.com/Drying-Stainless-Storage-Adjustable-Kitchen/dp/B08839TVPF/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=over+the+sink+dish+drying+rack&qid=1606663548&sr=8-5

Wow, that is beautiful!! I didn't even know they made these!

Wendy

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50 minutes ago, slackermom said:

My big game-changer (just under $100 on sale) purchase this year was an over the sink drying rack. I prefer to air dry stuff, but hated giving up the counter space in my tiny kitchen. My kitchen runs so much better with this in place.

https://www.amazon.com/Drying-Stainless-Storage-Adjustable-Kitchen/dp/B08839TVPF/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=over+the+sink+dish+drying+rack&qid=1606663548&sr=8-5

Like a pp, I didn't know these existed...but now, of course, I think I need one! Which is perhaps weird, given that to the right of our sink is just enough counter space for a traditional dish drying rack. And it's not it a location where we'd do other stuff on that counter space. But, I am definitely thinking hard about adding this to my wish list. 
 

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Kindle paperwhite (I didn't expect to like it, and given the choice I prefer paper books, but with kindle unlimited and daily deals, it a lot cheaper and more convenient), instapot, and pajama jeans.  And good quality shoes that fit...I slowly replaced my cheap stuff with birkenstock, vionic, clarks, etc, and as long as I wear good stuff a couple of days each week my feet don't hurt, even when I wear flipflops all day.  

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Just bought a 2-zone electric mattress pad. I inadvertantly shorted out our electric blanket last year (oops), but this seems like a more efficient approach which scratches a big itch for me. 2-zones keeps everybody from getting grumpy in the night time. 

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@Alicia64 https://www.pajamajeans.com

I've got 2 pairs of the boyfriend ones - I can leave them almost full length or roll them up to right below the knee, so they are great when I'm outside all day at the ball field.  I've gotten a pair of bootcut, which are a slightly less loose cut, but I haven't worn them yet because it's been warm here and we are just now having to wear real shoes instead of sandals.  They look normal except at the waistband, and since I don't wear cropped tops that's not a problem.  They are just slightly less comfortable than leggings.  When I commented on wearing pajama jeans, the other co-op moms were surprised because they said they hadn't noticed them not being regular jeans. If you're with people who wear fancy jeans then I'm sure they'd notice, but in my world these are great.  

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I got a great snack bar for my home theater.  Bought off craigslist for $60.  Big enough I can put a 2.7cuft minifridge in half of it, and plenty for storage for goodies.  (there are cubbies behind doors on the ends for cups, napkins, etc.)

 

TSA approved computer backpack.  (they're hit or miss as to whether they'll allow it to just be opened flat or not.  - At DFW - there was a VIDEO PLAYING THAT SHOWED THIS STYLE OF BACKPACK IN USE AS APPROVED, and the agent I got demanded i take my laptop out of the backpack.

 

118647292_734074864106259_7404444901569647021_n.jpg

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LLBean silk longjohns.  OMGosh they are wonderful.  Lightweight, non bulky, quite warm, very soft.  We have come a long long way since the honeycomb ones I wore in the 80s to ski.

Altra trail running shoes.  Zero drop, nice cushy feel, ROOM FOR ALL MY TOES TO SPREAD OUT NATURALLY.  Not suitable for backpacking as you do feel the sharp granite through them, but fantastic for every day use, for day hikes, and for running/HIIT.

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27 minutes ago, Clemsondana said:

@Alicia64 https://www.pajamajeans.com

I've got 2 pairs of the boyfriend ones - I can leave them almost full length or roll them up to right below the knee, so they are great when I'm outside all day at the ball field.  I've gotten a pair of bootcut, which are a slightly less loose cut, but I haven't worn them yet because it's been warm here and we are just now having to wear real shoes instead of sandals.  They look normal except at the waistband, and since I don't wear cropped tops that's not a problem.  They are just slightly less comfortable than leggings.  When I commented on wearing pajama jeans, the other co-op moms were surprised because they said they hadn't noticed them not being regular jeans. If you're with people who wear fancy jeans then I'm sure they'd notice, but in my world these are great.  

I'm in. Thank you!!

W.

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7 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

LLBean silk longjohns.  OMGosh they are wonderful.  Lightweight, non bulky, quite warm, very soft.  We have come a long long way since the honeycomb ones I wore in the 80s to ski.

Altra trail running shoes.  Zero drop, nice cushy feel, ROOM FOR ALL MY TOES TO SPREAD OUT NATURALLY.  Not suitable for backpacking as you do feel the sharp granite through them, but fantastic for every day use, for day hikes, and for running/HIIT.

Just nosy: where did you ski? I grew up partially in Reno and then outside SF, so I learned to ski at Northstar (it wasn't snooty back then). I love your LLBEan idea of silk long johns. Thank you!!

W.

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Oh, and if you are looking for super-cheap useful items...I saw a life hack that the spinny blade that you screw on to the bottom of a blender will also screw onto standard size mason jars.  I make smoothies and protein shakes all the time for my kids and they are often needing to take them in the car on the way to sports events, so I found 2 different types of lids that screw on to mason jars - you just drink out of one type, and the other set has a hole and a silicon straw. I think each type was maybe $20 for a set of 4.  We use them daily and it is so convenient to make smoothies, rinse the blade, and twist on the lid and be ready to go - no pouring into separate containers and then having to wash the big one that you made the smoothie in.  

And, I checked the pajamajean site - all summer they were sold out of shorts and capris and options were limited for jeans.  I think they were having supply issues, as were many other stores.  I just told my husband that I'm planning to order shorts and capris and he can give them to me for my birthday.  🙂  

Edited by Clemsondana
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35 minutes ago, Clemsondana said:

@Alicia64 https://www.pajamajeans.com

I've got 2 pairs of the boyfriend ones - I can leave them almost full length or roll them up to right below the knee, so they are great when I'm outside all day at the ball field.  I've gotten a pair of bootcut, which are a slightly less loose cut, but I haven't worn them yet because it's been warm here and we are just now having to wear real shoes instead of sandals.  They look normal except at the waistband, and since I don't wear cropped tops that's not a problem.  They are just slightly less comfortable than leggings.  When I commented on wearing pajama jeans, the other co-op moms were surprised because they said they hadn't noticed them not being regular jeans. If you're with people who wear fancy jeans then I'm sure they'd notice, but in my world these are great.  

You had me at “pajama.”

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5 minutes ago, Alicia64 said:

Just nosy: where did you ski? I grew up partially in Reno and then outside SF, so I learned to ski at Northstar (it wasn't snooty back then). I love your LLBEan idea of silk long johns. Thank you!!

W.

I learned when I lived in Vermont, mostly at Smuggler’s Notch.  Then I moved back out here to CA and tried lots of places—Dodge Ridge, Bear Valley, Northstar, Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, Sierra at Tahoe, Heavenly Valley, Kirkwood.  My favorite was Kirkwood.  I don’t really ski anymore though.  It has gotten too crazy expensive, too showy/upscale, and also the styles in skis are wrong for me now—I catch edges and need long cruisers, and the skis they use now have such radical side cuts that I am not sure I could use them at all.  I’d have to go back to beginner lessons and hope for the best.

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We actually had this on hand, sitting unused in the basement, but it's available under $100 and has been *great* for COVID shopping limitations: a Sodastream (big seltzer drinkers here). Now I'm never going back -- cheaper, easier, eco-sustainable.

At $10-14 each, I'm on my sixth gorgeous lined journal printed by Peter Pauper Press as I document the experience: here and here and here and so many more.  Such great designs and excellent paper quality.

We got a portable bluetooth speaker that we've used for all sorts of new things -- the audio for outdoor-projected Netflix movies, listening to music out by the (!) chicken coop, podcasts by the garden, etc.

My son got a cheap greenscreen that he's had a lot of fun with.

 

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10 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I learned when I lived in Vermont, mostly at Smuggler’s Notch.  Then I moved back out here to CA and tried lots of places—Dodge Ridge, Bear Valley, Northstar, Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, Sierra at Tahoe, Heavenly Valley, Kirkwood.  My favorite was Kirkwood.  I don’t really ski anymore though.  It has gotten too crazy expensive, too showy/upscale, and also the styles in skis are wrong for me now—I catch edges and need long cruisers, and the skis they use now have such radical side cuts that I am not sure I could use them at all.  I’d have to go back to beginner lessons and hope for the best.

I don't ski either as an adult. I was never that in love with it. My parents just used lessons as a way to get us out of the house. My mom really loved it, so I think she assumed that we would too. I never skied Kirkwood, but I was stunned by how beautiful Heavenly is.

Where are you in CA? You must miss VT. I've never been, but friends rave.

W.

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7 minutes ago, Alicia64 said:

I don't ski either as an adult. I was never that in love with it. My parents just used lessons as a way to get us out of the house. My mom really loved it, so I think she assumed that we would too. I never skied Kirkwood, but I was stunned by how beautiful Heavenly is.

Where are you in CA? You must miss VT. I've never been, but friends rave.

W.

I was totally in love with it, but DH hurt his back and couldn’t go for a long time, and I kind of gave it up in sympathy.  Then when I wanted to go back to it, there were snowboarders all over the place, randomly skiing sideways, which I found very difficult, and subsequently the equipment AND down to earthiness shifted badly for me.

I’m in Silicon Valley, basically.  We also spend a lot of time near Pinecrest.  Are you out here too?  

I miss Vermont in October.  The maple trees were unbelieveable then.  I used to get in my car every Saturday and just pick a direction and drive randomly to see the sights, and this never disappointed.  But skiing there is not super great.  It is extremely cold, and the snow is thin and icy.  CA is much better.

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4 hours ago, Alicia64 said:

I'd love to hear what you are thrilled to have bought. Share links!!

I'll go first: a twin-size electric blanket that goes on my side of the bed only so it doesn't bother DH.

I should have bought one years ago! 🙃

W.

 

4 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

what brand is the blanket?  I want to get my oldest one and everyone I look at has such bad reviews. 

 

4 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

Flannelette sheets

latex pillows

The Well Educated Mind

Bamboo leggings/tights from next (for under layers only as they are thin.  They are so soft and comfy for winter.

 

 

 

4 hours ago, Alicia64 said:

The brand is MaxKare.

This is the one I bought over a month ago for $52. I bought a red one, but now it only comes in gray for $63. Not sure why. I think the brand is excellent. I'm so happy with my blanket that I'm spending a lot more time in bed!! Like you, it's super confusing to read five-star reviews along with one-star reviews. I don't get that. (I guess it's possible that people are trolling.)

Wendy

 

2 hours ago, SusanC said:

Just bought a 2-zone electric mattress pad. I inadvertantly shorted out our electric blanket last year (oops), but this seems like a more efficient approach which scratches a big itch for me. 2-zones keeps everybody from getting grumpy in the night time. 

To piggy back off of all these, I also bought an electric mattress pad. It’s true love. I could sell these things! I can turn on my side only and it doesn’t slip like a blanket can. It feels amazing when my back is sore. I tried, and loved, flannel sheets, but Dh acted like he was going to burst into flames.  

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1 hour ago, gardenmom5 said:

I got a great snack bar for my home theater.  Bought off craigslist for $60.  Big enough I can put a 2.7cuft minifridge in half of it, and plenty for storage for goodies.  (there are cubbies behind doors on the ends for cups, napkins, etc.)

 

TSA approved computer backpack.  (they're hit or miss as to whether they'll allow it to just be opened flat or not.  - At DFW - there was a VIDEO PLAYING THAT SHOWED THIS STYLE OF BACKPACK IN USE AS APPROVED, and the agent I got demanded i take my laptop out of the backpack.

 

 

I had been eyeing backpacks like that but I was wondering how well the TSA agents would handle it. I've got TSA Pre-approved now which definitely makes life easier and rarely do I have to take things out. Once an agent made me take the food out anyway. 🤦‍♀️ Now if only I could get my boots to stop setting off the metal detector.

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1 hour ago, Laura Corin said:

I have the tips for my normal hiking poles, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what to do with them.  How are they supposed to be oriented?  And what makes this a full body workout?  How are they used?

 

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47 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I have the tips for my normal hiking poles, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what to do with them.  How are they supposed to be oriented?  And what makes this a full body workout?  How are they used?

 

You need a hand harness. It's a completely different action to hiking poles.  The arms are straight and the poles are oriented backwards,  as in cross country skiing. You push yourself forward with the poles. I walk at about four miles per hour up and down hills, sweating and with a cardio heart rate. 

 

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Total hijack, but are those of you with electric blankets & such not old enough (or too old) for hot flashes? I go between feeling fine under the covers to wanting to stand outside in the snow. Rinse, wash, repeat. All night. [My vitamins that kept the hot flashes at bay went AWOL during the pandemic & I haven't ordered them since they went back in stock.]

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56 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

Total hijack, but are those of you with electric blankets & such not old enough (or too old) for hot flashes? I go between feeling fine under the covers to wanting to stand outside in the snow. Rinse, wash, repeat. All night. [My vitamins that kept the hot flashes at bay went AWOL during the pandemic & I haven't ordered them since they went back in stock.]

I am perpetually cold and my house is chilly year-round because I live with human furnaces. I’d welcome a flash of heat in the winter. 

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1 hour ago, RootAnn said:

Total hijack, but are those of you with electric blankets & such not old enough (or too old) for hot flashes? I go between feeling fine under the covers to wanting to stand outside in the snow. Rinse, wash, repeat. All night. [My vitamins that kept the hot flashes at bay went AWOL during the pandemic & I haven't ordered them since they went back in stock.]

Link, pretty please?

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5 hours ago, Pam in CT said:

We actually had this on hand, sitting unused in the basement, but it's available under $100 and has been *great* for COVID shopping limitations: a Sodastream (big seltzer drinkers here). Now I'm never going back -- cheaper, easier, eco-sustainable.

 

 

I am so interested in this!! We all drink La Croix in this house. Well, mostly the cheaper Aldi knock offs. So can you buy "essense flavors" and make La Croix? 

3 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

I live in my Vionic flipflops. Vionic and Allegria are about the only shoes I can wear now.

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Weighted blanket, can’t sleep without it

Electric lint remover for sweaters, makes a huge difference, but I wonder if the sweaters will disappear one day as I seem to gather more lint than the average person, need to stop moving my arms so much when I walk

Target's dark gray storage ottomans, double as benches, keeps the house tidy and minimal-looking

Ikea's high gloss white cabinet, making it look like there is nothing on the bathroom walls, giving it a clean, minimal, uncluttered look, don’t need to be constantly reminded of the amount of skincare I own 

Sodastream, I drink carbonated water every day, it’s under $100 but the one that regulates the amount of bubbles is more expensive

 

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1 hour ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Link, pretty please?

Pro-Cycle PMS No guarantees for anyone else!! Just what I found was when I go off these, I started getting hot flashes, more anxious, and have trouble sleeping in the middle of the night. They have another formula that is similar but requires taking 3 x 2 pills instead of 2 x 2 pills. It also doesn't do the trick to reduce my symptoms. Humorously, their "post-menopause" (which is a weird term) formula makes my symptoms worse. :sad: 

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re electric blankets

1 hour ago, katilac said:

 I hate running the heater, so I love electric blankets, but I got rid of them all the day I found scorch marks all over dd's blanket. Not a cheap one, either! 

This happened to me years ago and I've never wanted to try again (shudder).

The solution: old fashioned HOT WATER BOTTLES, BABY. They are an old time miracle, used all over the highland world in places where electricity is erratic. They are AMAZING, they are still totally warm in the morning, the covers are washable, the worst case disaster is that they slow-leak (too slow to burn) and you end up with perfectly clean warm water on your bedclothes.

 

Re sodastream:

45 minutes ago, popmom said:

I am so interested in this!! We all drink La Croix in this house. Well, mostly the cheaper Aldi knock offs. So can you buy "essense flavors" and make La Croix? 

...

You can indeed by "essence flavors." I don't really know how closely they approximate LaCroix -- I just pop an IRL lime/ lemon/ orange/ cucumber slice in and call it good.  We got the thing when my kid was about 10 and he went through a phase of making root beer, which was quite yummy until he lost interest, but these days we're just using it to carbonate the tap water.  One CO2 cartridge makes a million liters or something, and you return the used cartridges so I feel much better about the environmental impact than all those bottles & cans we used to go through.

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20 minutes ago, matrips said:

What do you like about them?  I’m interested in them.  Thanks!

My opinion might be colored by the fact that I've gone for years without adequate lighting in the living room where I read, grade papers, etc.

I like these because you can easily toggle between cool and warm light and varying degrees of brightness.  They're inexpensive enough that I could afford multiples and place them where I needed them.  

 

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1 hour ago, Pippen said:

My opinion might be colored by the fact that I've gone for years without adequate lighting in the living room where I read, grade papers, etc.

I like these because you can easily toggle between cool and warm light and varying degrees of brightness.  They're inexpensive enough that I could afford multiples and place them where I needed them.  

 

Thanks.  Does it brighten the room, or just the area where where you are working/reading? 
 

I’m sitting in a room without adequate lighting. One nice, bright floor lamp, but the other side of the room needs light too.  I’m not a lamp person.

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2 hours ago, RootAnn said:

Pro-Cycle PMS No guarantees for anyone else!! Just what I found was when I go off these, I started getting hot flashes, more anxious, and have trouble sleeping in the middle of the night. They have another formula that is similar but requires taking 3 x 2 pills instead of 2 x 2 pills. It also doesn't do the trick to reduce my symptoms. Humorously, their "post-menopause" (which is a weird term) formula makes my symptoms worse. :sad: 

Thanks.

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Great thread! I already added something to my cart - the garden clogs. 😄 

These true wireless earbuds are great. They were $50 everywhere when I first bought mine 2 years ago. Now they're $25-$30. They're perfect for listening to audio books or podcasts but also have good sound for music.

JLab true wireless bluetooth earbuds

I'm always wearing ballet flats and these are the most comfortable ones I've found due to that little cushioned tab on the heel. I bought them in several colors. 

Naturalizer Ballet Flats

This ceramic pet water fountain has saved my floors. We have a cat who likes to either push the water bowl all around the house (spilling more than half in the process) or try to drink from the sink faucet, neither of which is acceptable to us. She loves this fountain and our older cat just drinks from the bowl part. This one is for cats or small dogs but they make larger ones for bigger dogs. It's also very quiet, unlike the first pet fountain we had before this one.

iPettie Ceramic Pet Drinking Fountain

Small rags for mopping up small spills, so I don't have to use paper towels. I'm linking to the larger size but I bought both these plus a set of smaller ones (8x😎 from the same seller. 

11x12 unpaper towels

Finally, in the under $10 category, I LOVE this for washing my face, especially when washing off makeup. 

Stretch Terry Hair  Holder

Edited by Lady Florida.
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2 hours ago, crazyforlatin said:

Weighted blanket, can’t sleep without it

Electric lint remover for sweaters, makes a huge difference, but I wonder if the sweaters will disappear one day as I seem to gather more lint than the average person, need to stop moving my arms so much when I walk

Target's dark gray storage ottomans, double as benches, keeps the house tidy and minimal-looking

Ikea's high gloss white cabinet, making it look like there is nothing on the bathroom walls, giving it a clean, minimal, uncluttered look, don’t need to be constantly reminded of the amount of skincare I own 

Sodastream, I drink carbonated water every day, it’s under $100 but the one that regulates the amount of bubbles is more expensive

 

Do you have a certain weighted blanket you recommend? This would be for my 16 year old, weight lifting ds. I have always thought he may benefit from a weighted blanket and thinking of getting him one for Christmas. 

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4 minutes ago, Just Kate said:

Do you have a certain weighted blanket you recommend? This would be for my 16 year old, weight lifting ds. I have always thought he may benefit from a weighted blanket and thinking of getting him one for Christmas. 

I know I would benefit from one. When I was a child, I would sleep with 5 blankets on top of me and the window open. @crazyforlatin please post a link!

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