1. A tin of cocktail sugar or salt so you can create cocktails way more delicious than the boring vodka soda you'd have at a bar (and no, it won't cost you $15 for one drink).
BuzzFeed writer Emma Lord has it and says, "I started putting this on my end-of-the-week whiskey drink (2021 made me go full Mad Men, who knew!!) and it is SO darn satisfying. I tried the citrus petals version, and it's got a light lemon, faint floral, and vaguely minty taste with its sweetness that just makes the whole experience a delight and a half. The container it comes in is actually quite wide, so what we did was pour lemon juice on the top half to prep the rim, and a bit of sugar in the bottom half to coat it. In other news, I am officially too fancy to exist."
Promising review: "I have tried more than six different brands of cocktail sugars and these are THE BEST ones. I have a cocktail a week following on Instagram and Facebook and I have had the most success with your rimmers! They taste GREAT, there's always a nice flavor in every sip, it sticks to the rim of the glass sooo well, it doesn't clump in the container like every other one I've used, and the nice hints of flavorings are a perfect blend. I have now purchased all your flavors and won't go back to any other brands." —H. FISHBURN
Get it from Amazon for $7.84+ (available in seven flavors).
2. A set of LED curtain string lights to create a perfect soft, dreamy glow that will bring some hygge into your life and make you never want to leave your house again.
These string lights are also perfect for your living room and outdoor spaces, including patios and porches.
Promising review: "This is exactly what I wanted for my living room window to add a warm, cozy ambiance. They have way more settings and speeds that I even expected, so that was a nice bonus! I usually keep them on a slow fade, but I'm planning to speed it up for Christmas. These lights create a soft glow and a very relaxing environment, but you can change the mood by using different speeds. Money well spent!" —LeslieE
Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in six colors and two lengths).
3. An Unsolved Case Files Game perfect if you and your friends are obsessed with crime-solving shows and figuring out who's guilty. This game comes with all the evidence you'll need to crack this case: newspaper articles, crime scene photographs, police reports, town maps, secret letters, suspect interrogations, and more!
Promising review: "Every once in a while I come across a product that is so amazing that I want to do what I can to help the people that created the product. This Unsolved Case Files case was one of those times. My family had so much fun with this. By the end of the night we felt like we had solved a real mystery, and we felt bad for the unfortunate victims. I immediately purchased another of these files and we are looking forward to playing it as soon as it arrives. If you even *think* that this might be interesting to you then you should purchase it. It was way more fun than I was expecting, and I was expecting it to be a lot of fun. The only real downside was that we didn't really budget enough time. Our kids stayed up well past their bed time. Luckily they didn't have school the next day." —Jason Earl
Get it from Amazon for $26.99.
4. A Bluetooth speaker so you can create your very own dance party in the comfort of your home and not surrounded by a bunch of sweaty strangers. Plus you get to control what songs are played right from the app screen, or you can connect it to your device.
Former BuzzFeed Shopping writer Christine Forbes loves this speaker! She says, "If you love music, get this speaker. It'll become the center of your home listening experience. Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, and other streaming services are integrated into the app. It's also Bluetooth compatible so setting it up with my iPhone and Apple TV was really easy. I love that it displays the time and has practical uses beyond playing music. This speaker isn't that big, but it gets stupid loud (in a great way). Plus, you can connect it with other Bose Speakers through the app for a bigger listening experience."
Get it from Amazon for $379 (available in two colors).
5. A set of Crayola Globbles because honestly sometimes it's more fun to invite your friends over without having any specific agenda and just being ~weird~ together. These little gooey balls are fun to stretch, squeeze, and chuck at the wall. And before you get worried about being the host of this event, no, they don't leave any sticky residue for you to deal with.
Promising reviews: "Super duper fun. Bought my adult self something silly-fun and have no regrets. Had my niece in mind to play with them as well. Works on any kind of ceiling (tried all types except popcorn ceiling). Easy to clean and after they dry on their own they are even better than new!" —Sabrina S.
"Everyone played with these for hours. Throwing them at the ceiling and walls and each other. Trying to stick them together mid air..? Didn’t think they were gonna be so much fun. When they get dirty you wash them off. Ez Pz." —Z
Get a set of six from Amazon for $10.69+ (also available in 16-pack).
6. A collapsible microwave popcorn maker for those more chill nights in when you just want to curl up under a blanket with a delicious snack. Don't worry about making a bunch of dishes you'll have to clean — this bowl doubles as a serving bowl.
Just add any popcorn kernels to the bowl, drizzle some oil or butter if you feel so inclined, and pop it in the microwave. A few minutes later, you'll have perfectly popped popcorn seasoned exactly how you like it.
Promising review: "This is a fast, effective, and low-cost means to prepare popcorn. I got tired of paying a premium for microwave popcorn packets at the grocery. I didn’t want another appliance on my counter to air pop either. This was the perfect solution. I use inexpensive bulk popping corn, no oil or salt and I don’t have to worry about the metal in the microwave popcorn bags that gets extremely hot and scorches the upside down paper plate I have to put under the microwave bag each time. Plus, weren’t we told not to put anything metal in the microwave anyway? I pull the Salbree out, expand it and add a 1/4 cup of popping corn kernels in the base to the full line. I put it in the microwave for three-plus minutes and listen for the kernels to stop popping. Using the cool handles I lift it out of the microwave, give it a minute to cool and add just enough butter to give it flavor. Then I eat right out of the same bowl I cooked in. When done I dump out the few kernels that didn’t pop. I wash it out with dish soap and hot water, let it dry, and then put it away for next time. Economical, safe, less oil and salt, and only one bowl to clean. No new appliance and no metal in the microwave. Pure genius. A great value." —RobG
Get it from Amazon for $16.99 (available in 22 colors).
7. *Plus* a cult-favorite ~secret~ popcorn salt so you can create that delicious flavor of movie theater popcorn, except this kind won't cost you an arm and a leg!!
BuzzFeed writer Emma Lord loves this: "Our family recently unearthed this because beloved To All The Boys I've Loved Before author Jenny Han mentioned that it was her secret to delicious popcorn, and it may have just wrecked me for other at-home popcorn for the rest of my life. It genuinely tastes just as salty and buttery and savory as fresh movie theater popcorn. I inhaled it so fast that every single one of my organs lit up in mild alarm."
Promising review: "I used to use Flavacol during my time working at an amusement park and popping popcorn for hungry guests, so I knew this was what the 'professionals' use. I am happy to report that using this does make your popcorn taste like it was just popped at a movie theater. I like to put a little bit of oil on my kernels, mix in some Flavacol, and then add it to the pot of oil on my stove top when it's hot enough (as opposed to sprinkling it on top of freshly popped corn, which I could see easily accidentally adding too much). It also means that I'm no longer loading up my popcorn with additional toppings like butter or plain salt. Yum!" —Kate R.
Get it from Amazon for $9.25+ (available in two flavors).
8. A night-light projector to create exquisite vibes that will have your friends begging to come over every night. The projector has customizable options to make the ceiling look like the night sky or calming ocean waves.
It even comes with a built-in Bluetooth music speaker so you can sync your favorite songs or audio with it, plus a remote with 10 color and dimming options so you can control it from wherever you are in the room.
Promising review: "Bought this for a galactic-themed party recently, and I'm amazed by the quality! The LED lights are crisp and clear, and very colorful on empty canvases. This can also be used for kids' rooms, gaming rooms, or for a night under the 'stars' when it's rainy out. The instructions are clear on which buttons are which on the remote control, so you can change the colors of the simulated nebulas, set timers, etc. easily." —Shin-Chiao Fang
Get it from Amazon for $21.99+ (available in two colors).
9. Or, a sunset lamp so no matter the time of day or year, you can create a beautiful sunset ambiance in any room. Say hello to vibes that really elevate your night in.
Check out a TikTok of the sunset lamp in action.
Promising review: "This lamp really exceeded my expectations. I bought it on a whim and honestly wasn't expecting that much, but I'm really happy with it. Feels like it's made of durable, quality material and emits a strong light, but it's not too bright — I use it in the evenings when I'm trying to wind down before bed and it's bright enough to light up my room without feeling like it's going to mess up my sleep cycle. Highly recommend — really does feel like you're watching a lovely sunset :)" —amazon customer
Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in two styles).
10. A set of mismatched silicone cupcake baking cups because a night in isn't complete without at least one type of baked good. Now those regular old cupcakes can be elevated because this set comes with nine shapes including stars, hearts, sunflowers, and roses.
PS — people also love these for soap and bath bomb molds!
Promising review: "These are amazing!! I just started using my air fryer again and needed something to bake my muffins/cupcakes in. I bought these not knowing what to expect for the price. I was beyond impressed!! They are absolutely wonderful. I made muffins and it was a breeze. The muffins popped right out. Clean up is a breeze. I use warm water and a new toothbrush to clean it because of ridges. I am upset with one thing — I should have bought two sets, I love them so much!!!" —swyatt
Get a set of 36 from Amazon for $15.99+ (available in five sizes and three color schemes).
11. A puzzle that is so stinkin' cute you'll love putting it together and revealing the adorable pups and their phrases.
Badge Bomb is a small business based in Portland, Oregon, that sells adorable puzzles, patches, enamel pins, stickers, magnets, socks, and more!
Promising review: "This is a fun puzzle and it is very good quality. The pieces are sturdy and do not bend. The colors are bright and sharp. The pieces fit well together without issues. This puzzle will give you a very fun experience and it's so cute you may even want to frame it to hang on the wall." —Mari N.
Get it from Badge Bomb for $20.
12. A copy of Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist, a recipe book that will give you inspo for creative cocktails and snacks based on literary classics. You could even make a little game out of guessing which book inspired which drink.
Promising review: "Love the recipes, and the variety: simple, complex, sweet, tart, bitter, etc. The literary puns were spot-on, and I liked the idea that the drink could match both the themes at work in the story, and sometimes even the literary criticism surrounding the novel. The suggested games at the end were very funny, and the illustrations also added to the whole presentation." —Spilt Over
Get it from Amazon for $7.39+ (available as hardcover or Kindle).
13. Or, a deck of cocktail cards that each feature a classic cocktail recipe so you can always have a wide selection of ideas on hand. The deck also includes a few blank cards in case you have your own ~special~ recipe that you want to add to the collection.
Cartesian Cards is based in London, United Kingdom, and sells this deck of cocktail cards as well as cocktail greeting cards.
Promising review: "It’s a nice and original gift! The quality of the cards is really good and every card explains in detail how to make the cocktail." —irene
Get it from Cartesian Cards on Etsy for $17.47.