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10 Life-Changing Things To Try In November

Because we tried them for you in October!

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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.

1. A cheap cold brew maker to save anyone who's basically always sipping on a cup of iced coffee *so* much $$$$.

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Iced coffee is delicious and a year-round delight, but buying cold brew after cold brew gets expensive, and making hot coffee and then putting it over ice just doesn’t taste as good and takes too long to get your morning caffeine fix. This is why I got the Takeya cold brew maker.

You just pour your favorite ground beans into the filter, screw said filter into the lid of the pitcher, fill it with water, stick that baby in the fridge to brew overnight (or up to 36 hours), and wake up to a whole PITCHERFUL of goodness!! Once you take the filter filled with grounds out, the coffee will keep for days and days. Thanks to the airtight seal, the flavor will stay fresh and free of odors from other food in your fridge (looking at you garlicky leftovers).

It's pretty concentrated, so you can either dilute it with water or milk, or just drink it straight with ice (I've done all three). It's so delish, it makes mornings far more bearable. Plus, it's dishwasher safe and great for keeping in the office for when that 3pm slump hits, but you don't feel like going to a coffee shop (or spending $5 on cold brew). —Maitland Quitmeyer

Get it from Amazon for $18.97.

Read our full review of the Takeya iced coffee maker.

2. A miracle sponge that never stinks and actually lasts for months and months and months...and, by golly, maybe even a few more months!

If you use a regular sponge to wash your dishes, you probably know the stinky sponge smell. And you must know what causes that stink: literally ~billions~ of bacteria, throwing a party on the very thing you use to wash your dishes. That's why I'm thrilled about Jetz-Scrubz: the sponge that NEVER stinks. And that lasts through literally MONTHS of dishes without totally deteriorating because it's incredibly durable. The images above = my Jetz-Scrubz, which I've used for about two months now — and it literally shows no signs of wear or tear. Now, I have a dishwasher and don't cook too many tough-to-clean dishes, but I would have gone through at least two regular cellulose sponges in that time. And this Jetz-Scrubz is still kicking; I bet it lasts at *least* four months total, if not six...or more.Its secrets are several: it's synthetic, so it doesn't have any natural fiber that encourages bacteria to thrive. The soft/spongy side makes dishes a sparkling clean, but it doesn't have any holes big enough to pick up food particles. And the scrubby side's super tough but also durable, so it stands up to tough, stuck-on foods. It also won't scratch anything, no matter how much elbow grease you put into it, and it never shows stains, even if you wash out a bowl that used to contain beet salad.So if you're ready to join me at the stink-free, long-lasting, non-scratch sponge party, go get a pack! —Natalie BrownGet a pack of three on Amazon for $19.76.This sponge was our top pick for best kitchen sponge over $5 at BuzzFeed Reviews. Read our full review.
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If you use a regular sponge to wash your dishes, you probably know the stinky sponge smell. And you must know what causes that stink: literally ~billions~ of bacteria, throwing a party on the very thing you use to wash your dishes. That's why I'm thrilled about Jetz-Scrubz: the sponge that NEVER stinks. And that lasts through literally MONTHS of dishes without totally deteriorating because it's incredibly durable.

The images above = my Jetz-Scrubz, which I've used for about two months now — and it literally shows no signs of wear or tear. Now, I have a dishwasher and don't cook too many tough-to-clean dishes, but I would have gone through at least two regular cellulose sponges in that time. And this Jetz-Scrubz is still kicking; I bet it lasts at *least* four months total, if not six...or more.

Its secrets are several: it's synthetic, so it doesn't have any natural fiber that encourages bacteria to thrive. The soft/spongy side makes dishes a sparkling clean, but it doesn't have any holes big enough to pick up food particles. And the scrubby side's super tough but also durable, so it stands up to tough, stuck-on foods. It also won't scratch anything, no matter how much elbow grease you put into it, and it never shows stains, even if you wash out a bowl that used to contain beet salad.

So if you're ready to join me at the stink-free, long-lasting, non-scratch sponge party, go get a pack! —Natalie Brown

Get a pack of three on Amazon for $19.76.

This sponge was our top pick for best kitchen sponge over $5 at BuzzFeed Reviews. Read our full review.

3. A hot air brush perfect for blowout experts as well as anyone who literally has no idea how to do their hair (me, for example).

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If you a) don't know how to do your hair, b) hate your flat iron, or c) have a hard time juggling a round brush and a blowdryer, BOY DO I HAVE THE TOOL FOR YOU!!! It's the John Frieda Hot Air Brush. Let's break down how it works: it combines the smoothing effect of a round brush with the drying and sleekifying power of a traditional blowdryer.

It has two heat settings (plus a cool setting to set your style) AND ***ionic power*** to reduce frizz and add massive shine. And it has ceramic coating to reduce heat damage to your hair. I friggin' love this brush. All you need to do is section your hair out, depending on how thick it is, and roll it under your hair like you would a regular round brush — but because it releases hot air, there's NO NEED FOR A HAIR DRYER! Truly easy. And you get better results than with a flat iron, because you're lifting and brushing out the hair rather than just pressing it flat.

Just add a good conditioner, a little blowout spray, and you don't need any other products for straight-from-the-salon hair! The results last for days — sometimes I'll wear it straight, sometimes I'll toss a few tapered-curling iron waves in — but the blowout lasts until my next wash (so, like a whole week). Basically, throw that flat iron away. —Maitland Quitmeyer

Get one from Amazon for $33.32 (available in 1 and 1.5 inch sizes).

Read our full review of the John Frieda Hot Air Brush.

4. A lightweight denim jacket to complete all your favorite fall looks in a chef-kisses-fingers fashion.

If you've been on the hunt for the perfect denim jacket, you probably don't need me to tell you it's hard work! Every jacket seems to have one small thing wrong with it, whether it's the shape, length, or wash. Personally, I've been searching for a distressed, light washed jean jacket that hit just at my hips. I'm relieved to say my search is over and this Able jacket is everything I've wanted and more. This thing looks great with everything: jeans, slacks, skater dresses, maxi dresses, skirts, sneakers, heels, flannel, EVERYTHING. It has small pre-torn holes in it that look great, and more importantly, don't feel like they'll get bigger over time. It feels lived in right out of the bag, so you don't have to work for that 'well-loved' feel. It's thin, but still pretty warm and great for layering (I ordered a size up for a looser fit). I wore it with a flannel underneath while pumpkin picking in 60 degree weather and felt fine. My favorite part is definitely the large pockets on the inside of the jacket; they're perfect for holding your phone, keys, or whatever you need to grab quickly. This is a reasonably priced jacket and Able publicly publishes the wages of their workers so can feel good about your purchase. I wish I knew about this jacket years ago, when I was staring at other people's beautiful denim jackets longingly on the subway. —Bek O'ConnellGet it from Able for $148 (available in sizes XS-XL).
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If you've been on the hunt for the perfect denim jacket, you probably don't need me to tell you it's hard work! Every jacket seems to have one small thing wrong with it, whether it's the shape, length, or wash. Personally, I've been searching for a distressed, light washed jean jacket that hit just at my hips. I'm relieved to say my search is over and this Able jacket is everything I've wanted and more.

This thing looks great with everything: jeans, slacks, skater dresses, maxi dresses, skirts, sneakers, heels, flannel, EVERYTHING. It has small pre-torn holes in it that look great, and more importantly, don't feel like they'll get bigger over time. It feels lived in right out of the bag, so you don't have to work for that 'well-loved' feel. It's thin, but still pretty warm and great for layering (I ordered a size up for a looser fit). I wore it with a flannel underneath while pumpkin picking in 60 degree weather and felt fine. My favorite part is definitely the large pockets on the inside of the jacket; they're perfect for holding your phone, keys, or whatever you need to grab quickly. This is a reasonably priced jacket and Able publicly publishes the wages of their workers so can feel good about your purchase. I wish I knew about this jacket years ago, when I was staring at other people's beautiful denim jackets longingly on the subway. —Bek O'Connell

Get it from Able for $148 (available in sizes XS-XL).

5. Sheets for (remarkably!) keeping even the world's hottest sleeper cool at night.

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I take sheet buying very seriously. I sleep extremely hot (so hot I could basically take the place of my heater in the winter) and I've owned enough sets to be at the point where I consider myself a sheet snob. With that in mind, I'd been on the hunt for a set that is lightweight, feels crisp yet soft, and keeps me from overheating. I had high expectations, people!!

Well thank you sweet, sweet bedding gods, because after resting my tired body on these Allswell percale sheets for months now, I've gotten some of the best sleep of my life. Truly, this is peak sheet quality and I will never be able to part with them.

First off, they're the perfect combination of soft and crisp. They stayed cool on the hottest summer nights and made me feel like a lil' burrito, swaddled in a tortilla of silk. I got the sand-colored set and — *wipes tear* — I am just so happy with the look (and feel, obviously) of these sheets. They make my bed feel so luxurious and now I never want to leave my apartment.

The only downside I've found with these is that they are more prone to wrinkles than other percale/cotton sheets I own, but this isn't a deal-breaker for me, considering I can actually sleep now (!). And while they're on the pricier side, I will pretty much pay anything if it means getting a good night's rest — so if you also sleep hot, these are totally worth the investment. —Kayla Suazo

Get the set from Allswell or Walmart for $130+ (available in sizes twin through king and in sand and white).

Read our full review of the Allswell sheets.

6. Leak-proof plastic containers that are really and truly the best for packing your lunch in. Just test 'em out for yourself and see!

Honestly, one of the biggest hinderances to packing a lunch (for me) is not having the right container. I have tried so many different kinds (bento boxes, glass containers, reusable takeout containers, plastic containers from popular brands, etc.), but ceased to find the perfect one. After an unfortunate incident where I spilled pasta in my tote bag, I hopped online to look for a truly leak-proof lunch container. I found these from the Rubbermaid Brilliance line and ordered them. After using them regularly for a couple of weeks, I was quite impressed by their performance. The lid and base are both made of Tritan plastic, which is durable and shatter-resistant. They're completely odorless like glass, but a bit more lightweight, and the clear plastic doesn't get cloudy or stained by heavy sauces. They're BPA-free, dishwasher-/microwave-/freezer-safe, the crystal clear appearance makes food look a lot more appetizing, and they have convenient air vents under the latches, so I don't have to open the entire lid to microwave my food, which prevents splatters.Perhaps my favorite feature? The fact that they don't leak — AT ALL!
BuzzFeed

Honestly, one of the biggest hinderances to packing a lunch (for me) is not having the right container. I have tried so many different kinds (bento boxes, glass containers, reusable takeout containers, plastic containers from popular brands, etc.), but ceased to find the perfect one.

After an unfortunate incident where I spilled pasta in my tote bag, I hopped online to look for a truly leak-proof lunch container. I found these from the Rubbermaid Brilliance line and ordered them. After using them regularly for a couple of weeks, I was quite impressed by their performance. The lid and base are both made of Tritan plastic, which is durable and shatter-resistant. They're completely odorless like glass, but a bit more lightweight, and the clear plastic doesn't get cloudy or stained by heavy sauces.

They're BPA-free, dishwasher-/microwave-/freezer-safe, the crystal clear appearance makes food look a lot more appetizing, and they have convenient air vents under the latches, so I don't have to open the entire lid to microwave my food, which prevents splatters.

Perhaps my favorite feature? The fact that they don't leak — AT ALL!

BuzzFeed

One word: SHOOK.

If you're also still searching for the perfect lunch and storage containers, these are ~clearly~ the right choice. —Yi Yang

Get a 10 piece set from Amazon for $18.67 (just choose "Brilliance 10pc Set" from the dropdown "size" menu when you go to add 'em to your cart).

Read our full review of the Rubbermaid Brilliance containers.

7. An adjustable desktop shelf to turn your a cluttered desk into an organized work of art you'll be excited to sit at each day. Well, maybe not *excited*...but more excited than you were before you had the shelf, that's for sure.

I have a pretty big desk at work, and I love to have my books and things out to make it feel more like home. This only took about 30 minutes to assemble and there were no extra tools needed! I also love that it's designed in two separate pieces, meaning you can expand and contract the units to fit it to your needs. —Jennifer Tonti Get it from Amazon for $25.99 (available in four colors).
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I have a pretty big desk at work, and I love to have my books and things out to make it feel more like home. This only took about 30 minutes to assemble and there were no extra tools needed! I also love that it's designed in two separate pieces, meaning you can expand and contract the units to fit it to your needs. —Jennifer Tonti

Get it from Amazon for $25.99 (available in four colors).

8. A futuristic-looking smart ring that's basically a panic button you wear on your finger.

I have mixed feelings about wearable tech, but recently I’ve been testing out a new smart ring and I think I’m sold on it. The ring is as timely as it is stylish: it’s called Nimb, and it’s a smart ring with a panic button that lets you send an alert to 911 (if you’re in the US) or an emergency contact of your choosing if you find yourself in danger. The ring works in conjunction with an app, which sends your location to first responders and lets you chat with them if needed. Right about now you’re probably imagining a scenario where you’re wearing your ring, minding your own business with a glass of wine at home, when suddenly the police show up at your door because you were gripping that Pinot a little too hard. But don’t worry! To send an alert you have to hold the button down for 3 full seconds; the ring will start buzzing and flashing once you do, so you’ll definitely notice once it happens. If you do send one by accident, you can cancel it easily using the app. The ring felt a little clunky on my finger at first, but I got used to it pretty quickly and now I wear it every day. It helps that it’s super stylish — I feel like a futuristic robot-model when I have it on, and I’ve been getting lots of compliments. Most importantly, though, I feel safer when I’m wearing it. There’s something super badass about a piece of jewelry that is both cocktail-party-appropriate and actually works to keep you safe. One downside: I couldn’t find anything about this on the site, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a good idea to get the Nimb wet, so you have to remember to take it off before you wash your hands (something which, so far, I have been incapable of doing). Finally, it’s worth reading the super compelling and emotional story of Nimb’s co-founder, Kathy Roma, who was driven to create the ring after being stabbed by a man in broad daylight. —Gabriela D'AddarioGet it from Nimb for $249 (available in two colors).
BuzzFeed

I have mixed feelings about wearable tech, but recently I’ve been testing out a new smart ring and I think I’m sold on it. The ring is as timely as it is stylish: it’s called Nimb, and it’s a smart ring with a panic button that lets you send an alert to 911 (if you’re in the US) or an emergency contact of your choosing if you find yourself in danger. The ring works in conjunction with an app, which sends your location to first responders and lets you chat with them if needed. Right about now you’re probably imagining a scenario where you’re wearing your ring, minding your own business with a glass of wine at home, when suddenly the police show up at your door because you were gripping that Pinot a little too hard. But don’t worry! To send an alert you have to hold the button down for 3 full seconds; the ring will start buzzing and flashing once you do, so you’ll definitely notice once it happens. If you do send one by accident, you can cancel it easily using the app.

The ring felt a little clunky on my finger at first, but I got used to it pretty quickly and now I wear it every day. It helps that it’s super stylish — I feel like a futuristic robot-model when I have it on, and I’ve been getting lots of compliments. Most importantly, though, I feel safer when I’m wearing it. There’s something super badass about a piece of jewelry that is both cocktail-party-appropriate and actually works to keep you safe. One downside: I couldn’t find anything about this on the site, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a good idea to get the Nimb wet, so you have to remember to take it off before you wash your hands (something which, so far, I have been incapable of doing).

Finally, it’s worth reading the super compelling and emotional story of Nimb’s co-founder, Kathy Roma, who was driven to create the ring after being stabbed by a man in broad daylight. —Gabriela D'Addario

Get it from Nimb for $249 (available in two colors).

9. A towel that'll cut your hair drying time in half — BOOM! — just like that.

I'll get right to the point here: however you like to do your hair, this lightweight towel will help make your routine faster. What makes this one random towel so special, you ask? It's a big rectangle made out of a woven microfiber designed to suck up water like it's a thirsty marathon runner who just finished that very last two tenths of a mile. You put your hair up like you always have, but it's SUPER lightweight and doesn't pull. Seriously. It's so light, I've noticed no breakage.I discovered it through the family grapevine: my mom heard about their 'turbans' from my aunt, who uses hers for her curly hair. Since I ordered mine a little over a month ago, I've used it every night and every other time I shower, and I am IN LOVE. It keeps my pillow from getting wet and my hair from dripping. I don't wake up with still-damp hair. And I'm so happy with the way my hair finishes drying while I'm freaking sleeping that I've just been running a brush through it in the morning and calling it good, all because it's *mostly* dry when I go to bed. It's not perfect, but I think it's pretty good for a heat-free and lazy routine. —Natalie BrownGet it on Amazon for $20.99+ (available in eight colors or prints).Read our full review of the Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair towel.
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I'll get right to the point here: however you like to do your hair, this lightweight towel will help make your routine faster.

What makes this one random towel so special, you ask? It's a big rectangle made out of a woven microfiber designed to suck up water like it's a thirsty marathon runner who just finished that very last two tenths of a mile. You put your hair up like you always have, but it's SUPER lightweight and doesn't pull. Seriously. It's so light, I've noticed no breakage.

I discovered it through the family grapevine: my mom heard about their 'turbans' from my aunt, who uses hers for her curly hair. Since I ordered mine a little over a month ago, I've used it every night and every other time I shower, and I am IN LOVE. It keeps my pillow from getting wet and my hair from dripping. I don't wake up with still-damp hair. And I'm so happy with the way my hair finishes drying while I'm freaking sleeping that I've just been running a brush through it in the morning and calling it good, all because it's *mostly* dry when I go to bed. It's not perfect, but I think it's pretty good for a heat-free and lazy routine. —Natalie Brown

Get it on Amazon for $20.99+ (available in eight colors or prints).

Read our full review of the Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair towel.

10. An easy-to-use, space-saving popcorn maker for anyone who couldn't possibly watch a movie without some popped kernels to munch away on.

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I'm a popcorn addict. In college, I had microwave popcorn almost every night — the really greasy salty kind. Yum. It was my treat for myself after a long day of studying. Now that I've graduated and have a real job and apartment and am supposedly an 'adult,' I guess it's appropriate that I finally started to worry about whatever icky, unknown chemicals are in those microwave bags. But let's be real, as someone who just put the word 'adult' in scare quotes, the deliciousness and ease of microwave popcorn was still hard for me to pass up. I'm lazy.

So when I heard about the Colonel Popper, all my dreams came true. This is a super easy and cute (it's made of soft, BPA-free silicone, comes in bright colors, and is collapsible) microwaveable bowl that can pop good old fashioned plain kernels to perfection in about two minutes — really. You just pour in the kernels (there's a fill guideline on the inside that shows you how much) and add butter and salt to your heart's content. Then you throw it in the microwave for two or three minutes (stick around and listen to get a sense of when it's done popping) with the lid on, and voila — a perfect bowl of popcorn that you can eat right out of the popper itself. It's so delicious, you guys, and I feel much better eating it than corn from microwaveable bags. Then, just when you thought this couldn't be easier, you can simply put the popper on the top rack of the dishwasher to clean it or rinse it with some dish soap, so it's ready to be used again tomorrow. Because it definitely will be. —Katy Herman

Get it from Amazon for $12.97+ (available in eight colors).

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