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    Just 11 Things To Try In December

    Because we tried them for you in November.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. *THE* Amazon Coat, a chicly oversized parka that'll keep you truly toasty warm — and make everyone think you splurged big time. Mega style, mega warmth, and pockets for days? Yeah this is my new fave winter coat.

    BuzzFeed / Maitland Quitmeyer

    "I have spent a couple years in the city without a 'real" puffy coat — I usually buy (warm!) fashionable coats and just hide in a Columbia cold-weather rain jacket if the weather gets really bad. But I've wanted this Orolay down coat (often called THE Amazon coat) for a while so when it went 30% off on Prime Day, I snagged the chance to get it. It's weirdly fashionable (like...a lot of people in New York own this jacket) and WOW it's incredibly warm. While it doesn't get *that* that cold in New York City (teens and 20s is about how cold it gets, barring a polar vortex — which isn't bad to someone who lived in Minnesota for five years) — we New Yorkers spend a LOT of time outside in the winter. When you walk to the train, wait on the freezing platform, walk to the grocery store etc. it's more time than usual out in the cold — and let me tell you the wind through the buildings and chill off the concrete can be BRUTAL. I love to walk about four miles home from work when I have the time — even in the winter — and I know this will keep me cozy every step of the way.

    This coat HAS IT ALL! It's puffy and super-insulated but not *giant* and covers the butt (very key when you're wearing thin leggings on the bottom all winter — the wind goes right through 'em). The VERY generously sized hood has a sherpa lining for extra toastiness. I very rarely, if ever, find jackets with hoods that actually go all the way over my head (and hair) to shelter my face from the elements, so that's a HUGE PLUS for me. It has tons and tons of pockets — zipper pockets to stash stuff in so you don't need a purse, plus size open pockets to keep your hands toasty on a walk. And it's just really darn cute! I love the green color and the grosgrain zipper pulls to add a little extra chicness.

    I wanted an oversized look, so for reference, I wear a size 2 in most things and I got the small. To me, it's perfect! I've taken it for a spin on unusually cold November days (windchill in the teens), on post-snow mornings, and I know it's going to keep me super warm, no matter how the freezing New York winds blow." —Maitland Quitmeyer

    Get it from Amazon for $139.99 (available in sizes XXS–5X and nine colors).

    Seriously, this coat is so cozy — reviewers from Chicago to the NORTH POLE have stayed warm in it.

    BuzzFeed / Maitland Quitmeyer

    2. A surprisingly effective and easy microwave pasta cooker so prepping the best food in the world won't be such a ~strain~.

    BuzzFeed / Katy Herman

    "Two of the most basic facts about me are that 1) I love pasta and 2) I'm lazy as heck, especially after a long day when I get home HANGRY. Cooking pasta is pretty easy, even for someone like me who rarely cooks. But still, it's a little more than I want to do when I'm feeling hungry and/or burnt out to wait for the water to boil and have to wash the pot and colander when I'm done. What I really needed was something that could have the whole process done in under 15 minutes and that I could just toss in the dishwasher.

    Enter the Fasta Pasta (great name btw). I'd seen this on Amazon for a while and was skeptical, but I finally decided it was something I needed to try for myself. I'm really amazed by what a game-changer it is, as well as how user-friendly it is. It comes with a booklet of instructions on how long to cook/how much pasta and water to use for all different shapes of pasta, plus there's an extended list on the product's website. All you have to do is measure out the pasta and fill the tub with water to the appropriate fill line, then microwave it on high for the noted amount of time. When it's done, you pop on the lid, which has convenient handles. I was nervous about using my bare hands to take this out of the microwave even with the handles, but amazingly it doesn't get that hot!

    The lid also has a built-in strainer, which is perfect for both helping you fill the Fasta Pasta with a precise amount of water and for straining once the pasta is cooked. Sometimes you may also want to break out a colander to dry your noodles more fully, but the lid can handle most of the job. Then voila! You've got pasta! And you can just pop the gadget on the top rack of your dishwasher so it's ready for another day of deliciousness. Of course, just like when you make pasta on the stove, you'll need to play around a bit with cooktimes in your personal microwave or with adding salt to taste, but eventually I reckon you can get pasta that's just as good as what you'd make the old-fashioned way. I've only made orzo in it so far, but I bet it'll be even better with larger pasta shapes. Honestly, anything that gets me to cook pasta on a weeknight is a big time win. Will I ever use my stove again? Who knows." —Katy Herman

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    3. A 2020 question-a-day Jeopardy desk calendar (you technically won't try until January) perfect for any trivia buff who wants to prepare for their eventual game show domination. Each day has a different question and wager amount, so you can keep track of your ~score~ throughout the week (or year).

    BuzzFeed / Maitland Quitmeyer

    "Last year I put the 2019 Jeopardy question-a-day desk calendar in a gift guide or two, and proceeded to buy two: one for my brother and one for myself. We both *love* trivia and used to pull up old Jeopardy episodes on YouTube and keep track of our scores — you know, like competitive weirdos (I won most of the time tbh 💁🏼‍♀️). This is honestly one of my favorite things I've gotten on Amazon — and I buy a fair amount. I keep mine on my desk at work, and answering the question while sipping some coffee is a great way to start my day. The questions are challenging and interesting (I've learned a fair amount and been proud of myself a fair amount), and it's fun to place wagers. Since I keep it on my work desk, I save the weekend questions for Monday, which is a *really* great way to make Monday mornings a little easier. Same goes for post-vacation mornings — doing a whole week's worth of Jeopardy questions makes me feel (almost) happy to be back.

    And I'm not the only one — several reviewers in the 2019 calendar listing mention that they buy one (for themselves or loved ones) *each and every* year. And according to an Amazon question answerer, 'I cannot tell you exactly how many years we’ve been using/enjoying this calendar—perhaps 30—and don’t recall any repeats.' Tl;dr: if you or a loved on enjoys Jeopardy, take it from me — this is a great way to make each day just a little bit brighter." —Maitland Quitmeyer

    Get it from Amazon for $11.76.

    4. A sleek and stylish insulated tumbler available in six sizes so you can choose the perfect one for your caffeinated drink of choice.

    BuzzFeed / Yi Yang

    "When it comes to coffee drinks, I'm partial to a cappuccino. It's the perfect amount for me — I usually can't finish lattes or iced coffees. I've been making coffee at home for a while now and had trouble finding a reusable cup that wasn't gigantic. Enter, the MiiR tumbler. This lil' guy is the PERFECT size for an eight-ounce cappuccino. It's sleek, insulated, and durable — I've had mine for a couple of years now and it still looks new (I do hand wash it). Drinking coffee out of it brings me so much joy, almost as much as the caffeine itself. I highly recommend it, and if you prefer something a little bigger, it comes in larger sizes as well as various other models." —Yi Yang

    Get it from Amazon for $15.95+ (available in five sizes, from 6 oz. to 20 oz., and four colors).

    5. Colourpop's Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic concealer for anyone who wants creamy, cushioned coverage *and* a dose of hydration, especially for cancelling out under-eye circles.

    BuzzFeed / AnaMaria Glavan

    "Dark circles are one of those things that, no matter how much sleep I get or how much water I drink, just don’t go away. They are always present. Like did I get enough sleep last night? Yes, I did actually, it merely looks like I closed my eyes for only five seconds. It’s rough.

    So tldr; Concealer is a must-have for me in general and while there are a few I love (especially Charlotte Tilbury Nars), changing weather makes my skin super dry AKA my concealer begins to look cakey the moment a burst of cold wind hits my face. But that is not so with the newest ColourPop Pretty Fresh formula! This stuff provides truly awesome coverage and is loaded with hyaluronic acid and coconut water, both of which work in perfect harmony to give dark circles and blemishes a boost of hydration. It lasts, it doesn’t crease, and the doe foot wand makes application a summer breeze. And it’s also less than $10 and cruelty-free? It’s almost too good to be true." —AnaMaria Glavan

    Get it from ColourPop for $9.

    Note from Maitland: I've also recently tried this concealer and it's the only one that comes CLOSE to my fave Nars Radiant Creamy concealer (and it's $21 cheaper)— and the pale shades are *truly* pale, 10/10 would recommend!

    6. An extendable, angular shower scrubber to help you reach every square inch of your tub with no problem.

    Amazon

    "This scrubber helps me clean my shower twice as fast as I did before. It won't take up too much space in your bathroom and will be super easy for you to clean the scrubber part. This thing will come in handy for anyone but it's especially a good option for anyone who has neck and/or back pains that prevent them from reaching certain spots in their shower.

    I have asthma so cleaning my bathroom is much more of a task than it is for regular folks. I get winded quickly so I love cleaning products and tools that help me get stuff done faster and easier, which is why this scrubber stick thingy is my JAM. Also, the scrubber part is replaceable so there'll be no buyer's remorse when it wears out from all the scrubbing you're about to do." —Marquaysa Battle

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99 and the scrubber refill for $9.99.

    7. A simply elegant slip skirt you can pair with sweaters, tanks, bodysuits, and more to wear 100% year-round. Time for a no-pants dance.

    BuzzFeed / Sarah Han

    "I've been eyeing the rise of satin slip skirts for a while and wanted one for myself, but never pulled the trigger. That is, until I saw my friend Jenny wearing this garnet Madewell beaut on Cup of Jo, and I just knew I had to have it! Besides the fact that she looks stunning in it, there are two other major reasons:

    1) I trust Madewell quality and know that their items will last, both in style and physical durability.

    2) I've always been a sucker for deep red tones. They're festive, but wear much more naturally than bright reds.

    I debated buying a cheaper slip skirt, but quickly realized that I didn't want to deal with too-thin, see-through material — since these skirts are already thinner by nature. There's a small, hidden elastic waistband that keeps the skirt secure and from slipping down, but it doesn't pinch your stomach at all. ::prayer hands emoji:: The slinky material looks and feels luxurious, and wow, if I don't feel a little like royalty when it's fluttering in the wind! I've gotten tons of compliments on this skirt and plan on wearing it with every sweater in my closet. If you tuck in it, like I did with my Asian American Girl Club tee, some bumps are inevitable — but I, of course, don't mind! But I'm going to pair it with a bodysuit in the near future, which should smooth it out. Thanks, Madewell, for helping me stay on #TeamNoPants even in the winter!" —Sarah Han

    Get it from Madewell for $73.50 (originally $98; available in sizes 00–24 and three colors). Enter promo code GOODCHEER to activate your 25% off!

    8. Journal 29: Interactive Book Game, the perfect book for anyone who loves puzzles and riddles and really wants to give their brain a workout.

    instagram.com

    "I love a good puzzle, whether it's a physical puzzle, a logic puzzle, or a riddle I can roll around in my brain for several days. So working my way through Journal 29 has been one of the most fun puzzle experiences I've ever had. Every time you turn the page, there'll be a puzzle/riddle to solve on the right and a QR code on the left. Once you think you've solved the puzzle, scan the code with your phone, enter the answer, and if you're right, it'll give you a keyword that'll help you solve future puzzles. It starts off relatively easy, but gets harder as you go along.

    The puzzles are challenging, but not so challenging that I ever want to give up (I know I can figure it out eventually, darn it!!) — but if you get really stuck, there is a hints forum that will help you out. And if puzzles aren't really your jam, this book would make a great gift for any puzzle-loving friends or family members. —Kat Angus

    Get it from Amazon for $13.49.

    9. A pair of Spanx faux leather leggings to add a hint of edge to your oversized sweater outfits.

    BuzzFeed / Heather Braga

    "I finally did it — after eyeing these babies for months I caved and splurged on the Spanx faux leather leggings. I have seen COUNTLESS Instagram influencers boast about how wonderful and versatile they are, but I honestly didn't believe them until I tried them for myself. They are very stretchy, not too tight and overall have a nice texture to them. I'll definitely be pairing them with oversized sweaters all winter but can also see myself wearing them with T-shirts and denim jackets when the weather warms up again. I'm only about 5"1 so I ordered my pair directly from the Spanx site, as they have the option to get petite sizing. For reference, I'm about 130 pounds and ordered a medium. They're the appropriate amount of *snug* on top and the length is great. My only complaints would be, as with most high waisted leggings, they tend to fold over a touch when I sit down and they don't photograph super leathery. But, hey, we can't have it all. I look forward to wearing these time and time again and feel good about investing in a pricier pair. Just don't tell my husband what they cost, OK?" —Heather Braga

    Get them from Amazon for $98 (available in sizes XS–XL and five colors).

    10. A bottle of Bathing Culture's Neroli & Rose Mist, a natural toner to refresh your skin and add a subtle scent — and it's vegan and bottled in recycled plastic!

    Bathing Culture

    "My latest obsession is Bathing Culture's Neroli & Rose Mist. The ingredients are a simple blend of three types of rose oil, Moroccan neroli flower oil, and distilled water. The scent is clean with notes of floral, the kind of spray I'll use in any occasion: before work, to freshen up, before a date, and so on.

    Besides being an organic and vegan spray, it's also eco-friendly. The bottle is made from pre-existing recycled plastic and has a unique color to the bottle. In fact, all of Bathing Culture's products use locally recycled plastic for packaging and the company has pledged to use no new plastics in the making of their products." —Whitney Jefferson

    Get it from Bathing Culture for $24.

    11. Human-grade cat food in a variety of options that your cats might truly go wild for.

    Smalls, Emmy Favilla

    "I have two senior cats (they're both 14), and they can be pretty picky about their food. I've been through a ton of canned-food options and thrown down a pretty penny for higher-quality brands (one of them is on a new kidney-health diet), and sometimes they'll be interested in something new for a few days, but then turn their noses up at it all of a sudden. Total divas.

    So when Smalls offered to send me a sample of their human-grade cat food, I assumed I'd be in for a similar scenario. But let me tell you: My cats went completely ballistic for this stuff. While they usually don't eat all of their canned food portions in one sitting, they devoured the Smalls wet food before my very eyes. (They were also extremely into the bonito flakes that Smalls included in my 'welcome kit' to entice kitties who may not be jazzed on the food at first, which clearly wasn't a problem for mine; the fresh food welcome kit also comes with a handy reusable tray to store it.) Basically how it works is this: You answer some questions about your cat(s), pick your recipes — Smalls offers wet food, freeze-dried food, and grain-free, filler-free kibble, each in three different flavors — and then you'll be sent a sampler box. Once you figure out what your kitty likes best, you can make changes to your subscription and skip deliveries or cancel at any time. All food is made with natural ingredients that are good enough for people to eat, and meals are all high-protein, rather than chockfull of the fillers that standard, cheaper cat food is usually made with.

    The one caveat here is that Smalls is certainly a splurge, and more expensive than most store-bought cat food. If you basically consider your cats your children (hi! 👋) — and maybe you're also like me and watched the documentary Pet Fooled and have realized how scary and unregulated the mass-produced pet-food industry is — you probably want to make sure they're eating the highest-quality food possible. The brand touts the benefits of being on Smalls' food long-term including fresher breath, a shinier coat, more energy, and less-stinky poop, so if Smalls is within your budget, it's totally worth it to put your kitty on a path toward a healthy, happy life!" —Emmy Favilla

    Get meal plans at Smalls starting at $1/day (and get 25% your first two weeks with your first order).

    Brb, burrowing into my Amazon coat at my desk to take a nap.

    NBC

    Check out November's, October's, and September's editions for more reviews!

    Want more? Check out our favorite online clothing stores for all your shopping needs, perfect places to shop for clothes if you’re in your 30s, plus the best places to order custom t-shirts online and the best clothing stores for petite sizes. Still not satisfied? Check out all of our clothing content for even more.

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