Favorite Purchases of 2019

It's the end of the year, which makes it a great time to look back and reflect!  I'll be doing this in a few posts, but I'm starting out with my favorite purchases of 2019.

This was definitely a year of "quality over quantity" in terms of buying things.  I tend to spend more money on travel and try to cut back on other areas in my life, so when I do make a purchase I try to make it thoughtfully and carefully.  Here are the major purchases that I made!

Dog Canopy

Starting with a fun one here- we got a canopy for the car for Selma this year.  We decided to lease a new car after having issues with cars that we've actually bought.  In order to keep it clean so we aren't charged with fees if we decide to turn it back it, we wanted to get a cover to protect the fabric seats from Selma's muddy paws.  This ended up being a fantastic purchase, because Selma actually seems to enjoy car rides now, and we don't have to worry about cleaning her off after a wet or muddy hike.  Even better- it works in both of the cars we have!

Eagle Creek Luggage

Dan bought a carry on bag from Eagle Creek a few years ago, and has always raved about it.  During a sale at REI, I decided to upgrade my Target bag and get one as well.  I love this bag because it's super lightweight and has handles that make it easy to lift to the overhead bin. There are also tons of storage pockets and other handy features.  Paired with my packing cubes, I've had very successful plane rides lately!

Coffee System

I love coffee, and have been using a French Press for years after I got rid of my Keurig (after you see videos of all the mold that's left over, you'll get rid of yours too).  At the beginning of the year, I went to make a cup for myself and the plunger broke off!  I decided to jump on the pour over trend, and got a really cheap one from Target (not a fancy Chemex- they're all the same!).  Over the year, I added to my system and also got an electric coffee grinder, scale, gooseneck kettle, and canisters to store my coffee.  It's made my mornings much better and I love the fact that there's no electric or mechanical component to fail (like with a coffee machine), and I can use any coffee that I want!

Deck Stain

Our big project for the past few years was to replace our rotting and peeling deck.  We (well, mostly Dan) finished building last year, and this year we finally got to stain the wood!  I got this fool-proof stain, and I absolutely love it.  Paired with the reused balusters from the previous deck (sanded down and repainted black), I'm super happy with what we did without any professional help.

Fire Pit

Last year (right after we finished the deck), one of our big trees in the back yard fell down during a storm.  Thankfully, no people or animals were hurt, but we also had to cut down the other trees that shared roots.  Dan did this with help of a Youtube video, and this year we chopped up all of the wood! To get rid of all the wood (we have SO MUCH), we decided to buy a fire pit and have enjoyed it ever since.  We have a pretty cheap and simple set up- a fire ring we got at Lowe's, free plastic chairs I got at a yard sale, and some tiki torches.  We had a few bonfires this summer and I'm excited for more to come.

Hiking Boots

These technically weren't a purchase, since I got them using rewards I received throughout the year at work, but I had to include them.  I love to hike and have some big trips planned, so I had to upgrade my summer-only hiking shoes to be more year-round appropriate.  I love how comfortable these boots are, and they have great traction and are waterproof.  They also have ankle support which is great for uneven or rocky ground.

Racquetball Equipment

Ending with something else fun- Dan and I started to play racquetball this year! We decided to join a gym together once I ended my Classpass membership, and our local gym luckily has courts.  Dan played a bit in college, and I played maybe twice with friends, so I was excited to actually start to play.  It's been so much fun and a great way to exercise.  Plus, the equipment isn't too expensive!  I got a basic racket and goggles, and reused balls that Dan already had from his college days.  Highly recommend trying it out if your gym also has courts.

What are your favorite purchases from the year?


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