1. JOCO 12-ounce glass mug — $24.95
After I wrote about how much I liked these pretty mugs on my personal blog, my mother-in-law sent me one as a sweet "just because" gift. I have since purchased another one and customized two others, and I just bought my mom one as a Christmas gift.
Most travel mugs are way too tall for both a Keurig machine and the amount of coffee I am likely to drink in one sitting. The 12-ounce Joco mug is just the right size for an 8-ounce cup of coffee plus creamer. (Though there is a 16-ounce version and an 8-ounce version if either of those sizes is more your style.) It's also beautiful. One morning after I'd finished filling my cup in the office kitchen, my co-worker said, "Wow, that's a really beautiful cup of coffee." This is the first time I've ever received a compliment of that nature, but I have to say I agree with him; it is a beautiful cup of coffee. I think it has to do with the fact that most of us aren't used to seeing coffee in clear glass mugs, but it's actually quite aesthetically pleasing. (I'm partial to the white and the pale blue, but the black looks great IRL too.) We can joke about objects ~sparking joy~, but this mug really does give me that little spark of happiness every time I use it.
2. The New York Times print edition — $7–14 a week, depending on your subscription
3. Bud Light Lime — ~$8
4. Foot Traffic Combed Cotton Tights — $20
5. Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule — $12.48
In 2014 I was the kind of girl who often went to bed with makeup still on, feeling guilty but not quite guilty enough to do anything about it. Washing my face at night felt like a chore, and suffering from dry patches compounded my desire to stay away from the cleansing process. After repeatedly hearing about this mysterious “Korean Skincare Routine," I decided that I was going to do this thing and emerge a whole new person. A better version of myself! The kind who could keep an actual nighttime routine!
The problem? Taking on the Korean skincare routine means adding up to eight additional products into your nighttime routine (assuming before you were just cleansing and moisturizing, like me on a good day). That shit ain’t cheap. For those unfamiliar, the routine involves double-cleansing followed by layering a slew of different products that address specific needs in order from lightest to heaviest. The steps themselves varied from each source I came across, but a typical routine might look like this 10-step version.
Since I didn’t want to drop upwards of $200 only to have this not work out, I decided I would introduce one new product into my routine at a time. If I felt like I was seeing results, I would buy another new product. I’m up to six products now and just bought myself a sleeping pack for Christmas! My favorite product is Mizon’s Snail Intensive Repair Ampoule, or “snail jizz” as I affectionately refer to it. I felt the most significant improvements to my skin after introducing this product into my routine.
So far I’ve seen very positive results. I no longer experience dry patches. My breakouts are less frequent. My skin has a consistent dewy finish and I feel more confident not wearing any makeup at all. But the most dramatic change is that I've actually been able to stick to a routine! The 10 minutes I spend slathering shit on my skin before bed feels like “me” time. It doesn’t feel like a chore, it feels like I’m pampering myself. It’s almost meditative.
Hot Tip: You might find some Korean products at Urban Outfitters, but be aware that they are being sold for a huge markup. You can also find a lot of this stuff for a reasonable price on Amazon, most of which is Prime eligible.
6. TSA Pre-Check – $85 for five years
I fly maybe four to five times a year — some work trips, visiting family, and the inevitable out-of-town weddings. That's not exactly a frequent flyer, but it's enough that it seemed worth it to make it a little more convenient. Flying sucks, and making it less time-consuming and stressful is great.
TSA Pre-Check has two main advantages:
1) You get to go in that way shorter security line (which makes you feel like a high roller).
2) You don't have to take off your shoes, light jackets, belt, or take out your laptop from its case, which not only saves a few minutes, but lots of hassle. Personally, the laptop thing is my favorite benefit. I always felt like I was scrambling to get it in and out in time, and I was always nervous one day I'd just leave it in the tray by accident.
To sign up, you have to go on the TSA website to fill out an online form. Then you have to go in person to a local office or the airport to get fingerprinted. You can either sign up for an appointment in advance, or you can walk in. I made an appointment at the fingerprinting office in midtown Manhattan, went on my lunch break, and was done with the whole shebang in about 15 minutes. It took about two weeks to get my letter in the mail with new "known traveler ID number." Then you just always enter that number when you're buying your tickets, and it'll be printed on your boarding pass.
One note: TSA Pre is for U.S. citizens and residents (there's more detailed info about this on the site). Non-U.S. citizens can get the TSA Pre benefits if you sign up for Global Entry. U.S people can do Global Entry, too, but it's more of a hassle (more paperwork, you have to go to an airport, not just an office) and more expensive, so unless you travel internationally a lot, I'd say stick with just TSA Pre.
Obviously, there's an annoyance factor (going to get fingerprinted) and monetary cost (85 buckaroos) to getting TSA Pre. For me, the cost/benefit analysis says: "Yes, this was worth it!" If you don't fly very much, it might not be worth it. But for a few flights a year, I totally recommend it.