eight things I started using in 2017 that rule!

by Kaylah Stroup


1. Paper Mate InkJoy pens. I have found THE pen of all pens. To be honest, I only bought one of these because I went into a store and felt dumb leaving without buying something (please, tell me I’m not the only person who does this!) Turns out these pens are amazing so for once my anxiety worked in my favor. They write so smooth! I’m hooked.

2. Smart home devices. This year we acquired both an Echo Dot and a Google Home Mini. I like both of them. We have one in the kitchen (Echo), and one in the living room (Google Home). I think if I had to choose a favorite I’d lean toward the Google Home Mini simply because we have it hooked up to the televsion via Chromecast and being able to say “Hey Google, turn on ~whatever show~” is the bee’s knees! Definitely one of those things you don’t need but once you have one you kind of wonder what in the world you did without it.

3. iDevices Switch. My brothers got us one of these for Christmas last year and it was basically the start of us going nuts about smart home things. You plug it into the wall, plug a lamp or whatever into that and then you’re able to control it from your phone. It’s also compatible with the smart devices listed above so you can say “Alexa, lamps on!” and boom! There are the lights! We currently have two of these (one for the living room lamps, and another in the bedroom.) I probably won’t be satisfied until I have one in every plug! It’s super nice to be able to turn on everything you want with just the tap of a button or a single command.

4. Thayers witch hazel. First of all, holy smokes, this smells amazing. Basically I bought witch hazel because I read multiple places that tea tree oil shouldn’t be used by itself on your skin since its so strong. I could have chosen any number of products to use it with but witch hazel was definitely the right choice. Its known to be calming, help tighten pores, and smooth all without drying. Every night I squirt a little witch hazel on a cotton pad, add a few drops of tea tree oil and run that over my face and neck. My skin feels so amazing afterward.

5. Stash. Stash is an investment app that aims to make finding and selecting investments easy and approachable for beginners. Prior to this year I had zero investments, and quite honestly, no interest whatsoever in investing. Jeff bugged me for a while before I finally signed up and now I’m way into it! I never thought I’d be someone who enjoyed watching the market but here I am!

It’s just a minium of five dollars to start investing, and if you sign up before Christmas through the link in this post, you get your first year free (only $1 per month after that for accounts under $5k) Seriously, even with zero previous knowledge of the stock market Stash makes it easy to grasp everything thats going on. Love watching my money grow!

6. Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop. At the beginning of the year I moved into an apartment with a big, open kitchen with gorgeous white and gray faux marble flooring. For the first five months we cleaned it on hands and knees. I got sick of doing that and hated how infrequently I did it because I hated it so much so I finally bit the bullet and ordered a steam mop. HOLY SMOKES. If you don’t already own one, go buy this bad boy now. It gets up everything and leaves the whole room feeling so much cleaner. I actually enjoy using it so much that I look forward to cleaning the floor! The water tank is big enough I can do both the kitchen and bathroom without refilling it too! I honestly have nothing but good things to say! $90 well spent! A steam mop changes everything!

7. Aveda Damage Remedy. I have already found my holy grail hair product (hask placenta!) but I still like to test out other hair products. Aveda Damage Remedy quickly became my second favorite hair product! It repairs damage, protects from heat styling, and detangles. I’m normally not a fan of leave in products like this since they tend to leave my hair greasy but suprisingly this one doesn’t! It makes my hair feel so soft, and look so shiny.

8. MagicLight Bluetooth Smart Light Bulbs. Last smart thing, I swear. We have two of these in the living room, one on each side of the couch and I could not love them more. Controlled from an easy to use app, we’re able to change the color of the lights, the brightness, and even set up silly things like syncing it to the music that is playing.

At around 30 dollars per bulb they’re not exactly cheap but they do seem to be the best option if you’re looking for smart bulbs, especially since they don’t require you to purchase a hub. You just need the bulb, and the app (which is free.) 

PS. If you’re into fun lighting – I recommend checking out this post from earlier in the year. You knooow your bathroom would be so much cooler with a toilet light!

Did you find any products this year that are off the hook? I wanna hear all about them.

Check out six things I started in using 2016 that rule here.

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