back to top
Goodful

8 Life-Changing Things To Try In April

The Dripkit pour-over coffee maker, quick-drying camping towels, ~magic~ charcoal shoe deodorizers, Ritual vitamins, and more products that made our lives a little easier this month.

Posted on

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

The BuzzFeed staff is always trying new products, apps, hacks, and DIY projects, and we decided it was time to start sharing the best of them with you. Each month, we post our recommendations for what’s actually worth it. This post features a mix of items that we purchased with our own money and those that were provided to us at no cost for the sake of review. (But! We’re under no obligation to write a review of those things, let alone a positive review.)

Let us know in the comments what sorts of things you’d like us to review next month!

1. Ritual, the minty, design-y multivitamins that might actually convince you to stick to a vitamin regimen.

Rachel Wilkerson Miller / Via BuzzFeed

Ritual vitamins were recommended to me by a friend whose general taste/product choices I deeply trust. I didn't take a vitamin of any sort before this, but she said that taking them genuinely brought joy to her daily routine.

Ritual's marketing hook is that they only contain the vitamins women need (there is no men's version), and they don't contain anything extra. I mean, sure? I'm honestly not certain if I need to take vitamins at all, though my doctor has been bugging me to take a vitamin D supplement for like two years and this is the first thing that actually got me to do it. (Ritual contains 2000 IU of vitamin D, and that, combined with my doctor's D recommendations, helped sell me.) The other hook is that they are non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and don't contain any synthetic fillers or colors. Again...sure? To be totally transparent, this isn't that important to me at this moment in my life. Maybe it should be, but I'm going to need to hear it from someone other than a vitamin brand. Ritual also claims that their vitamins are "joy promoting," "battery charging," and "skin-perfecting." But I mean...what vitamins don't promise this? I'm including all of this because it might matter to you, but the truth is, it did not matter to me.

But after I put my skepticism aside and gave them a shot, I found these vitamins to be as delightful as my friend told me they were. The magic mostly lies in both the (highly Instagrammable) bottle and pill design — WHY DON'T ALL PILLS LOOK AND FEEL LIKE THIS — and also in the magical minty tab. I didn't realize it at first, but each bottle has a clear food-safe plastic tab at the bottom that's infused with peppermint oil; this makes the vitamins smell (and lightly taste) minty. It sounds like a small thing, but opening them the first time and getting hit with that amazing mint fragrance was genuinely wonderful. And overall, taking them each day is a legit lovely experience, so I actually do it. (One of my coworkers said they were the only vitamins she'd ever been able to stick with.) While I was sent the first bottle to try for free, I bought a second one during the third week because I didn't want to experience any sort of break in my new vitamin, uh, ritual. And speaking of the third week, it was around that time that I noticed that my skin was really, really glowy. I started using pure rosehip oil several months ago and have been totally blown away by the results, but I noticed something new and extra after I started taking these. I can't say for certain it's the vitamins (I'm CLEARLY not a scientist), but given that nothing else has really changed in my life, it seems likely enough.

There are certainly cheaper vitamins on the market, but I am able/willing to pay $1/day for a vitamin D supplement (and then some) that brings me genuine, minty-fresh joy, and leaves me feeling like the sparkle emoji morning and night. ✨ —Rachel Wilkerson Miller

Get them from Ritual for $30/month.

2. A quick-drying Wise Owl Outfitters microfiber towel so you can camp without the damp.

I recently spent four days camping on a beach. It was a great environment for morning swims and beach reading, but much less conducive to any fabric drying ever. Which is why I was so proud of myself for buying this Wise Owl Outfitters microfiber camping towel in anticipation of the trip. My boyfriend made fun of me a little because I guess BEING PREPARED IS LAME, but he sure changed his tune when our towels were the only ones that actually dried overnight. (They were dry enough to use again after about half an hour, but given the humidity it took longer for them to be like, British humor dry.) The other camp towels I've used have had the texture of public bathroom paper towels, so I was pleasantly surprised by how soft this one was. And speaking of texture, it didn't have that classic towel problem of trapping sand. I don't understand the science behind microfiber (or "the science," full stop), but this thing somehow manages both to repel water (see the above photo) AND dry me off with remarkable efficacy. Whatever, don't question it! Look, it even comes with a bonus mini towel! The towels also packed very small, which is perfect for camping, and also traveling generally. I tend to bring so much shit to the beach that by the time I have all my stuff together I'm like, "Should I just...stay home?" so I will absolutely be using this towel to lighten my load this summer. If you're camping, beaching, washing your dog, or going to one of those gyms where you have to pay extra for towels, do yourself a favor and buy one of these. —Jessie GaynorGet it from Amazon for $13.95+ (available in two sizes and three colors).
Jessie Gaynor / Via BuzzFeed

I recently spent four days camping on a beach. It was a great environment for morning swims and beach reading, but much less conducive to any fabric drying ever. Which is why I was so proud of myself for buying this Wise Owl Outfitters microfiber camping towel in anticipation of the trip. My boyfriend made fun of me a little because I guess BEING PREPARED IS LAME, but he sure changed his tune when our towels were the only ones that actually dried overnight. (They were dry enough to use again after about half an hour, but given the humidity it took longer for them to be like, British humor dry.)

The other camp towels I've used have had the texture of public bathroom paper towels, so I was pleasantly surprised by how soft this one was. And speaking of texture, it didn't have that classic towel problem of trapping sand. I don't understand the science behind microfiber (or "the science," full stop), but this thing somehow manages both to repel water (see the above photo) AND dry me off with remarkable efficacy. Whatever, don't question it! Look, it even comes with a bonus mini towel!

The towels also packed very small, which is perfect for camping, and also traveling generally. I tend to bring so much shit to the beach that by the time I have all my stuff together I'm like, "Should I just...stay home?" so I will absolutely be using this towel to lighten my load this summer. If you're camping, beaching, washing your dog, or going to one of those gyms where you have to pay extra for towels, do yourself a favor and buy one of these. —Jessie Gaynor

Get it from Amazon for $13.95+ (available in two sizes and three colors).

3. Mini Moso natural shoe deodorizers, an elegant solution to the inelegant problem we all face: smelly shoes.

Yi Yang / Via BuzzFeed

A sad truth is that no matter how clean of a person you are, some of your shoes will become stinky, especially that favorite pair of boots you've been wearing all season. In the past, I never knew how to deal with stinky shoes — I’d try airing them out, but the smell never really went away. The problem was worse with flats (because I usually wear them barefoot) and if they got caught in the rain for some reason, I considered them a goner (RIP, many of my shoes). Little did I know that there was a whole world of shoe-deodorizing products out there for tackling this exact problem.

While I was researching for a post, I stumbled across these bamboo charcoal bags that you insert into your shoes to remove odors. They’re supposed to suck up bacteria- and odor-causing moisture, as well as the odor itself, and leave shoes dry and fresh. I was immediately interested, but I didn’t want to bite the bullet yet — because $10 for two little bags of charcoal? Seemed liked a lot. But eventually, as more smelly shoes started to pile up at home, I decided to make the purchase. If it could save even one pair of shoes, I’d be getting my money’s worth.

I tried them immediately, first on my favorite black boots that I wear daily. They had started to smell a little musty, and the odor was beginning to transfer onto my socks. Overnight, the smell had completely disappeared, leaving only a leather scent behind. To say I was shook is an understatement. I then tried them on another three-year-old pair of flats that had not been smelling the best since, well, three years ago. After one day, it no longer smelled like anything. And keep in mind that I’m using the same pair of bags back to back! In the product description, it says the bags are reusable for up to two years; you simply air them out in the sun to rejuvenate 'em once in a while. I’ve been using the same pair now for six months, and they’re still highly effective. As it turned out, $10 was a steal after all. —Yi Yang

Get a pack of two from Amazon for $9.90.

Advertisement

4. A Ruggish play rug, the reversible, wipe-down-able mat that will keep your kiddo cushioned (and your living room looking sharp).

Rachel Christensen / Via BuzzFeed

Against all odds, humankind has survived and in some cases even thrived without providing our offspring reversible, easy-to-wipe giant yoga mats to play on — which is to say, you absolutely in no way need a $200 play rug. Still, I'm happy I own this.

I'm told Ruggish is owned by a friend of a friend of a friend of a guy who my husband went to a bachelor party with, so...full disclosure there. But the truth is, we were in the market for a new rug, and my 6-month-old daughter's top two favorite things are 1) rolling and 2) hitting her head really hard on her way down from rolling over. This rug allows her to do both without any tears for her or heart palpitations for me. Each side's design is nice (though the ~adult~ side doesn't seem as aesthetically high-quality as the ~play~ side), it takes seconds to clean, and somehow my two cats who are usually intent on destroying everything I own don't go near it.

It also just feels really nice to flip it over after the baby is down for the night and feel like a grown-up for a few hours. Speaking of which, wine wipes off of it really easily, too. 😅 —Rachel Christensen

Get it from Ruggish for $199.

5. Dripkit, the portable pour-over coffee kit that'll simplify your home-brewing game and ensure you're never without a dose of much-needed caffeine during your travels.

Emmy Favilla / Via BuzzFeed

I require at least one single, strong cup of coffee each morning to keep my brain functioning at a level that one might define as "semi-coherent" and my body functioning at a level that allows it to assume positions other than horizontal. That said, I am not a coffee snob. My criteria for what constitutes "good" coffee is strength alone, with pleasant taste an added bonus. The subscription-based Dripkit satisfies my basic requirements with said bonus to boot, and other bonuses: not having to leave my house/put on pants and not having to clean up after a brewing a pot of coffee for one.

I typically grind my own beans (lately, of the Stumptown variety) in my humble Proctor Silex grinder and and brew my coffee in my humble Black & Decker coffeemaker. All goes well, I am caffeinated, and ready to take on the day. Great. There hasn't been a problem with said process to date, but when I tried the Kickstarter-backed Dripkit, boy, was I smitten. Basically, it cuts the process down to: Open up package, pour in water, drink delicious coffee. Each packet contains pre-measured, ground coffee nestled in a mini-filter, all housed in a piece of cardboard that takes on a triangular shape with a groove on each side so it sits sturdily atop your mug. You then pour in very hot (but not boiling) water to the top of the filter and let it drain three times, then add as much water to the cup as you'd like. (I pour in water more like four or five times because I want my coffee to, as per above, be as strong as possible.)

Not only does this result in an uncumbersome coffee-making process, but it also tastes as fresh as ever despite the already-ground beans sitch, with no coffee grounds in my drink to be seen. And according to the company, the coffee — La Basa, a small-batch medium roast from Guatemala, with notes of dark cherry, brown sugar, and a hint of citrus — is "ethically traded and meticulously sourced." Hooray! It's perfect for traveling, and requires no special appliances: Just some water and a cup. Whether you just want to make the coffee-brewing experience simpler on yourself (especially if you're a weekend-only brewer, like me), or the caffeine situation of a particular location you may be traveling to is unclear, I highly recommend giving this subscription a shot. —Emmy Favilla

Get it from Dripkit for $28 for 10 cups or $15 for 5 cups.

6. Boxed.com, which will give you discounts on bulk products (and deliver them right to your door).

Elizabeth Lilly / Via BuzzFeed

As someone who prowls the internet for deals, I’d poked around Boxed.com a few times, but I had never purchased anything until my colleague Elena tipped me off to their winning price of $8.99 for 35 of their in-house brand’s slim velvet clothes hangers. I had been threatening to make the switch from my bulky plastic ones, and Boxed's price was the cheapest I had seen. So I signed up for my first order, and I'm so glad I did.

The website has bulk discounts on products without the membership fees of places like Costco. There’s free shipping on orders of $49+ and one- to three-day shipping. There’s even a Pink Tax Free landing page, in case you think getting charged more for a female-targeted body wash than a male-targeted body wash is bullshit. (It is.)

Once I added my three boxes of hangers ($26.97) to my cart, I had $22.03 left to qualify for free shipping. I added a few things I knew I needed and would actually use, like a box of Bigelow green tea (176 tea bags for $9.99), gallon freezer bags (152 bags for $11.99) and quart freezer bags (216 bags for $9.99) — both by the in-house Price & Spring brand. By then I’d more than qualified for free shipping. I went to check out and selected my free samples, which included Pop-Tarts and a serving of Easy Mac — so I ate like prepubescent royalty for dinner the day my order was delivered. Everything was packaged very nicely (though I underestimated just how heavy a box with all that stuff would be, and carrying it up the stairs to my apartment felt like quite the workout). Grocery shopping is my least favorite chore, so I'll definitely be using Boxed to stock my pantry from now on! —Elizabeth Lilly

It is all (and more!) from Boxed.

7. A candle wick trimmer, a somewhat extra device that will make life so much easier for candle lovers.

Yi Yang / Via BuzzFeed

I’d only recently gotten into candles because of my (possibly irrational) fear of burning my apartment down. Though I am still very cautious about where and when I burn them, I now always have a stash of five or six candles in my apartment to burn after cooking dinner or when I have guests over. I’d never even heard of a wick trimmer until I read this post a couple weeks ago, and the discovery was kind of mind-blowing. I bought one right away.

You might think that a wick trimmer is a very extra thing to own, but it is actually so goddamn helpful. If you burn candles once a year, I wouldn’t say it’s a necessary purchase. But if you're a daily burner, it’s a necessity. Candle tip: You should be trimming your wicks down to a 1/8 inch after every four hours of burn time — if you don’t, the flame will start smoking and stain the container.

Before I bought my trimmer, I made do with scissors, but getting the right angle can be tricky, especially after the candle has burned down a lot. The wick trimmer also catches the tip so you can remove it after cutting, unlike a pair of scissors that’ll leave the trimmings scattered inside the candle. It’s a small thing, but owning a wick trimmer has made burning candles so much easier and enjoyable. Highly recommend! —Yi Yang

Get it from Amazon for $8.95.

8. Wordy Bird Studios floral wall decals, a quick, easy, and gorgeous way to zhuzh up your walls without causing any damage.

As a renter, I was having a hard time decorating my baby's nursery. I can't/won't paint, nor will I invest in anything that will damage the walls. And art is freaking expensive! I found myself in an Etsy hole one day and came across these enormous wallpaper flowers. They're beautiful. The shop's reviews were really good and the seller sends you an automatic 20% discount if you sign up for her emails (or at least she did at the time that I bought them), and I figured $112 for an entire wall mural wasn't HORRIBLE. (Lol, this is what happens when you spend so much time looking at baby stuff and get used to everything costing a million dollars.)Y'all, I am obsessed. These things look impossibly better IRL than they do in the Etsy pictures. They were super easy to put up — it only took a half hour — and really good quality, like fancy wallpaper. Somehow they felt magnetic to the walls and they've caused zero damage. When people come over they ask if we had someone come over paint a mural for us. And then they ask me to send them the shop info. —Rachel ChristensenGet them from Wordy Bird Studios on Etsy for $141.45.
Rachel Christensen / Via BuzzFeed

As a renter, I was having a hard time decorating my baby's nursery. I can't/won't paint, nor will I invest in anything that will damage the walls. And art is freaking expensive! I found myself in an Etsy hole one day and came across these enormous wallpaper flowers. They're beautiful. The shop's reviews were really good and the seller sends you an automatic 20% discount if you sign up for her emails (or at least she did at the time that I bought them), and I figured $112 for an entire wall mural wasn't HORRIBLE. (Lol, this is what happens when you spend so much time looking at baby stuff and get used to everything costing a million dollars.)

Y'all, I am obsessed. These things look impossibly better IRL than they do in the Etsy pictures. They were super easy to put up — it only took a half hour — and really good quality, like fancy wallpaper. Somehow they felt magnetic to the walls and they've caused zero damage. When people come over they ask if we had someone come over paint a mural for us. And then they ask me to send them the shop info. —Rachel Christensen

Get them from Wordy Bird Studios on Etsy for $141.45.

Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides here!

Allison Krausman / Via BuzzFeed