As I inch closer to 30, I've definitely noticed that a lot of the things that feel like they've changed my life dramatically have been investments in myself and my health. I'm also a relatively new dog mom, so there are a few products on my list that have made life with a super-sweet, but sometimes crazy husky much more manageable! Here are the 10 things that have changed my life dramatically (plus one bonus):
Skincare trio: I visited the dermatologist for the first time about a year ago to finally deal with my late 20's onset hormonal acne. A year later, I've discovered a trio of products (and a few other important things, like stepping away from the cheese plate) that have finally cleared up my skin for good. The trifecta: Neutrogena's Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask (a mild benzoyl peroxide wash for those of us with sensitive skin), Differin, and CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion. If you have sensitive/combo skin that's prone to hormonal acne, this trio of products may work for you too. Somewhat recently (after a recommendation from my skincare Yoda, our email marketing manager, Anne), I began switching between the Neutrogena cleanser and CeraVe's foaming facial cleanser every other day, which my skin (especially the sensitive areas) has been a big fan of.
Vitamin B12: A few years ago, my doctor told me I had a slight Vitamin B12 deficiency. I took supplements for a while, but then stopped because I didn't really notice if they were making any difference. When Emily gave me the tip about this sublingual version, I gave it another shot and have actually noticed less of an afternoon slump—it's easier to get out of the bed in the morning, too. Yes, please!
High Anxiety Dog Crate: This is by far the most expensive thing on my list (well, except for the very last item...), but it changed our lives DRAMATICALLY, in all caps. Alexa, our rescue husky, has separation anxiety. When we first adopted her, we couldn't leave her alone for even 10 minutes because she would howl on volume 100 and destroy things (she broke out of her basic wire crate and ate some donuts we had sitting on the counter the very first time we put her in it). We tried everything from CBD oil to a Thundershirt, and nothing worked for her. After a neighbor threatened to call the cops on her howling, we took the plunge and bought her a $1,400 crate specifically for dogs with anxiety. Finally, Alexa can't break out, has quieted down a lot, and we can actually leave the house without her for a few hours—she even goes in voluntarily when I ask her to (good girl!). It truly feels like it saved our lives, and our relationship.
Quip Electric Toothbrush: I was very late to the electric toothbrush party, but when I finally gave in, I had two requirements. First, I knew I didn't want something with a base that plugs into an outlet because I have very limited counter space (and I hate cord chaos). Second, I wanted it to be PRETTY, which seems to be too much to ask of the major players like Sonicare and Oral-B. I read about Quip in a random Buzzfeed article, and when I saw that it was both battery-powered and comes in a copper metal color, I hit the "buy" button. Almost three years later, I'm still in love (and so are my teeth).
Sunski Polarized Sunglasses: About a year ago, I finally figured out that some of my insane migraines were being caused by too much sun exposure (and dehydration - my #1 nemesis as I get older). Polarized sunglasses almost entirely fix the issue, but most of them are pretty expensive. I discovered Sunski at Nordstrom, and I love the Makani style, which are a reasonable $58. I get tons of compliments on them, and they actually fit my tiny head.
Hinge: As you may have read, I got engaged recently, so I have to shout-out to the app I met my fiancé on! Obviously, meeting him changed my life pretty dramatically, and I think I only paid $7.99/month for it. I suppose that's probably one of the biggest ROI's of anything I've ever bought. ;)
Dog Poop Bag Holder (with a zipper): The first poop bag holder I bought for Alexa was a hard plastic case that was REALLY difficult to use. The bags kept falling through the hole, and I cut my finger a few times digging around trying to get the bags out. This $6 poop bag holder from Wilderdog has a zipper, which makes the whole process 100x easier. The poop bags with poo emojis on them also make picking up husky poo just a little bit less icky.
D-Mannose Powder: I never thought I'd share this on a public platform, but I've had recurring UTIs for over a decade. (Ladies, if you've ever had one, YOU KNOW what I'm talking about.). Two years ago, I finally found a long-term, life-saving, preventative solution in the comments section of Amazon: D-Mannose supplements. It's the only thing I've tried that actually works to prevent UTIs from happening in the first place, rather than focusing on treating it after the fact. If you have this problem, my very unprofessional health advice (please always check with your doctor first!), is to switch to D-Mannose like, yesterday.
Series 4 Apple Watch: Last year, I started having heart issues that are related to caffeine and dehydration. After an expensive visit to the ER for an SVT attack (a sudden, lasting spike in heart rate for no apparent reason), I cut out all caffeine (RIP) and have been doing a lot better ever since. When Apple came out with the Series 4 Apple Watch that can measure your heart rate and perform an ECG, I knew it was time to get one. It gives me peace of mind and more information about my heart that I can easily share with my doctor.
Glossier Boy Brow: I started wearing Glossier's Boy Brow (in blonde) about two years ago, and now I rarely leave the house without it. It just makes me feel more confident (thick brows are definitely still having a moment... I love you, Cara!), and it takes approximately 15 seconds to put on. I love a good low-maintenance beauty product that makes a big difference.
Bonus: Master's Degree in Marketing: I just finished my graduate degree at USC, and it feels SO GOOD to finally be done—obviously I'd be remiss not mentioning it in a post about purchases that changed my life most dramatically. This was a gigantic investment in myself that had been in the works for years, so finally getting that diploma was the best feeling in the world!