Our Team's Best Buys of 2019 - Cupcakes & Cashmere

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Our Team's Best Buys of 2019

Including everything from pasta makers to pet warmers...
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Philips Pasta Maker Pro: I'm pretty sure this marks my Pasta Maker's fourth(!) mention since I bought it on Black Friday. It's an obsession. Basically, it works like a bread maker, but for pasta—you add flour into the top of the machine, which it automatically weighs, then tells you how much liquid to add (I usually add an egg, topped off with some water and maybe some lemon or vegetable juice). Three 👏 minutes 👏 later 👏, it spits out pasta in the shape you've designated. It's life-changing. Last week, Jonah and I used it to make homemade ravioli (!). We cut sheets of pasta into squares, and improvised with a mixture of ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes, and chopped spinach, then pressed a sheet on top in with a fork. We bought it with a gift card paired with a Black Friday discount, but even if we hadn't, this machine would have paid for itself over time—we've already opted to stay in and entertain with pasta parties instead of going out to dinner with friends on three separate occasions. It's also made weeknight dinner decisions even easier—we usually have vegetables and other pasta ingredients on hand, so we can whip it up with our preferred shape as long as we have flour and water on hand. I didn't realize this until a nutritionist friend pointed it out, but it's also healthier than regular pasta! Because it's fresh, it doesn't require stabilizers or additional preservatives. I mean the list goes on and on...

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Amazon Echo Show: I'm someone who actively battles technology. I never update my software, have countless tabs open at any given time, and regularly voice my hatred of podcasts and apps. I'm also easily swayed, and when Rob really, really wanted an echo show in our house, I caved, then accepted it, and ultimately fell in love. The Show plays us music in our kitchen, calls our families, works as a timer, and even video calls into our living room so we can "visit" our cat while we're away (we have a sticker over the camera most of the time). It tells me the time, asks trivia questions, and keeps all my random wedding to-dos completely organized and coherent. Is big brother watching? Probably, but I'm also playing Jeopardy as I cook dinner, so who really wins in the end? 

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Collection of Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colours: Never thought I'd be addicted to eye shadows, but here we are. I had been a mascara-only gal when it came to my everyday eye makeup, but after hearing Emily talk about these for months, I bought three (Burnished Bronze, Amethyst, and Moonlight) on a whim. They're basically dummy-proof–you glide as much or as little as you want on your lids, and can leave it as is or use a brush to make it a bit more subtle, and the colors are flawless. I've since added five more colors to my collection (two that I just purchased on Black Friday!) and I have a sneaking suspicion that I may wind up owning the entire collection.

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Peloton Bike: Well, you've all seen the disastrous Peloton ad by now (but have you seen the response ad from Aviation Gin? LOL). It's the worst commercial I saw this year, but I'm not going to love the product any less because of an ad gone horribly wrong. I bought a Peloton for myself this summer after thinking about it for a long time, and while I wouldn't say that it's "changed me" (cue the inspirational music), it has completely solved my workout problem. I'm proud of all the work I've put in and genuinely miss Cody after a few days off the bike! I was never trying to lose any weight (and I haven't), but it helps me alleviate stress and I feel stronger and considerably less lazy than I did before June. No matter how you choose to do so, investing in your physical and mental health is never a bad idea.

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Thermo Snuggly Heated Pet Sleepers: Aww, this picture! My sweet fur child has one fault: He is an excellent snuggler, and when we first brought Chub Chub into our home we couldn't resist bringing those sweet snuggles into our bedroom every evening when we went sleep. However, those snuggles run fairly aggressive, and it wasn't long before he took over the bed and our relationship with our sanity. That's when—many Google searches later—we found this heated dog bed, which keeps his body toasty warm and away from our precious beauty sleep. We also got a smaller version for our cat (not pictured here, equally cute) and now can sleep without guilt that our animals are remotely chilly. Now, off to find a human-sized version for myself! 

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Cuisinart Roll-Away Gas Grill: We have been in the market for a new grill for over a year, and finally took the time to find the right one for our small outdoor space. Grills can be expensive, and for a debatably inessential appliance, we were dragging our feet on spending the money on one that was a good fit for us. Our outdoor space is small, and we plan to go camping a lot in the next year. We came across this portable grill from Cuisinart, which is "a large gas grill that happens to be portable". The smaller size is perfect for a household of two like ours and has the capacity to fit food for a barbecue with several friends. We purchased an adapter hose that connects the grill to our large gas tank since it will act as our permanent grill at home, but it takes cans of propane gas fuel for when you are at a campsite, beach, or tailgating! If this grill had a larger body, you would never be able to tell it was portable. We have already used the grill over 15 times this year, and it's my best buy of 2019! 

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Waterpik Water Flosser: I have a rough relationship with the dentist and although I brush my teeth (on most days) 3 times a day, I still get cavities! I was complaining to Lisa about how I hate flossing and she mentioned that getting a waterpik flosser is a game-changer. After sorting through tons of reviews and filtering under $100, I decided on the Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser. It has 10 pressure settings, 6 different tips and is super compact. I use the machine at least 3 times a week and over the last few months I have seen a major difference. One tip I've learned is to add a splash of mouthwash to the water, it makes your mouth feel so fresh and so clean.

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AMC Stubs A-List MembershipMovies!! I am a sucker for a night out at the theatre. I love all different types of film, from action to comedy to documentaries to animation, and draw a lot of motivation and inspiration from watching a good one. I was brokenhearted when the Movie Pass drama of 2018 hit my friends and family, and I was no longer able to watch an unlimited amount of movies for $10 a month. But the best is always ahead... AMC has a monthly subscription where you can watch up to three movies every week, discounted parking, discounted popcorn and candy, and even a rewards program (free stuff!). Most people can watch movies at home but for me, I instantly fall asleep, no matter what movie it is. Now I can watch them in the theatre and enjoy them on the big screen for only $24 a month. Best purchase ever

P.S., Don't miss Emily's Best Buys of 2019 here!

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