From the best Amazon gadgets, to a new laundry soap, to my favorite fashion finds, these are my 20 favorite things I discovered in 2023 (and now can’t live without!)
I love hearing what friends and other bloggers buy or discover, so I figure some of you might want to hear about some new things, too! So I took a look at every item I bought in 2023 (yep, everything!) and today I’m sharing the top 20 favorite things I bought!
These aren’t large purchases or big investments. These are new things that I discovered and loved this year that make life easier or bring joy. Or, in some cases, things I had eyed for a long time and finally purchased. And it’s everything from a life-changing scrub brush, to my new favorite laundry soap, to our new luggage that I love!
From gadgets to favorite fashions to household staples, as well as a few travel items, these are my favorite things I found in 2023!
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Favorite Things of 2023
L.L. Bean Flannel Sheet Set. As you may remember, last year I finally updated our very old and dingy sheets with a new set that we love. But then winter hit last year, and for California, it was a doozy. There were days and days of rain and low temps, and as a result, we were both cold every night. So I decided to look for a good quality flannel set. After googling and reading lots of reviews, I ordered the L.L. Bean and I couldn’t be happier! The reviews were glowing (a 4.7 with over 5k reviews), and they are everything I hoped they’d be. They are so soft and cozy (in fact, way softer than the inexpensive sets I bought for the kids years ago), they wash well, and they don’t pill.
Natural Bristle Wood Pot Brushes. I had seen these adorable brushes in kitchens all over Instagram and Pinterest, and I loved the old world look of them, but honestly, I didn’t expect much. In fact, I kind of thought they were just for looks! I ended up purchasing one just to see if I liked them, and boy, was I surprised! They are wood with natural fiber bristles and they clean like you can’t believe! Crusty pots and pans are no match for this – it even works better than an SOS pad. It’s amazing to me that there are a million ‘claim-to-be-the-best’ cleaning tools out there, and yet this simple, old-fashioned item beats them all (and looks good doing it!)
J.Crew Icon Trench Coat. As much as I love a good trench coat (and have written all about them), I didn’t actually own one until this past year! I finally bit the bullet and bought the J.Crew and I couldn’t love it more! I took it with me to New York and I was warm and dry during two days of non-stop rain. Plus, it makes even jeans and a tee look chic and pulled together. Now I wish I would have bought it sooner! (it’s on sale now for over 40% off!)
Over-the-door Steel Hooks. These have been a game changer when organizing things for travel, putting away laundry, or just planning outfits. They fold up and out of the way when you don’t need them, and the door can be shut when they are on. I move mine from the closet door to the bedroom door depending on where I need them. They’re also useful for holding clothing while I’m ironing, or for drying laundry. And the rubber grips keep them from damaging the door. Love, love, love them!
Cinq à Sept Ruched-Sleeve Blazer. I had seen many bloggers and fashion stylists wear this blazer and loved it, but I was hesitant as it’s pricey. Then I found them on sale last spring and I decided to go for it, and I’m so glad I did! I purchased the ivory and it is the perfect shade of off white; not too white or too yellow. I wore it several times on our trip to Europe, as well many times during the summer months. It is so flattering – I get compliments every time I wear it! To be honest, I had wondered how the reviews could be that great, but there is just something about the way it’s cut that makes it super flattering to any figure. 😉 (Also available at Nordstrom).
Charlotte Tilbury Makeup Setting Spray. This was something a friend turned me onto just recently, and I am hooked! Called ‘Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray’, it really is just that! This spray is light, doesn’t have a strong smell, and helps set makeup for up to 16 hours without melting, fading or settling into fine lines. And it does all this with no parabens or sulfates which I love. Definitely one of my favorite things of 2023!
J.Crew Cashmere Wrap. This wrap has proven to be everything I dreamed it would be. It’s warm, stylish and so versatile. I took it every time we traveled this past year and it’s the perfect thing for staying warm while also feeling chic. You can use it as a wrap, a blanket, or a pillow, and it doesn’t wrinkle! Plus, it comes in lots of colors.
Rug Grippers. Who knew something so small could make me so happy?! Previously our bathroom rugs were constantly moving around, driving my husband crazy. These little power houses really do the job of keeping our throw rugs in place, and they do it without damaging our hardwood floors (something that did happen when I previously used a ‘rug tape’). They are thin not bulky, and they keep the corners flat and the rug in place. Makes it a lot safer too!
MZ Wallace Deluxe Metro Tote Bag. I was looking for a new tote bag prior to going to Europe and bought quite a few to try, but never found one that was perfect. Then this tote was recommended to me by a friend. To be honest, I bought it thinking I’d probably return it because it was more than I wanted to spend, but I fell in love with it! It’s lightweight (which is KEY), has plenty of pockets for holding all the things, comes with 3 zip top pouches, and zips closed which is a must-have for me. Though I usually gravitate to leather, I’m really glad I got this as it’s so much lighter and it holds so much!
Joico Hair Color Therapy Treatment. When it comes to hair, I’m not a huge product person. However, I color my hair and it was feeling very lackluster, overly brassy, and not nearly as shiny as it should. Then a blogging friend recommended this color treatment and I decided to try it. It helps maintain my hair color longer, infusing it with shine and softness, too. It definitely lives up to the hype!
Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder. After reading this book all about how everything I was doing when it came to laundry was wrong, I decided to try switching to a laundry soap. Detergent is very hard on clothes and counterintuitively, doesn’t actually clean them very well as it leaves residue. I had noticed our clothes weren’t smelling very clean either, so I decided to try it. This gets our clothing cleaner, they smell much better, plus it’s natural and less hard on your clothing as well. It’s highly concentrated so you use a very small amount in each load, which makes it less expensive, too.
Quince: Here I’m not listing just one item, but rather a whole website. I discovered Quince early last year and I’ve been a fan ever since. They sell cashmere, leather, and washable silk pieces at incredibly reasonable prices. And not only do they get consistently rave reviews, but they also have a 365-day return policy. I have and love both the Cashmere Boatneck Sweater and the Silk Slip Skirt. Dying to try more of their silk line, as well as some of their leather accessories!
Brooklinen Super Plush Towels. One of the things I’ve been doing the last couple of years is slowly updating and improving our household basics like sheets and towels. This year I changed out our hand and bath towels for these from Brooklinen. I did lots of research before choosing, and though I can’t compare them to the ones I didn’t choose, I really love how fluffy they are. They truly give that ‘spa-like’ feeling and they seem to be washing and holding up well. I have to say, once I actually spent the money and starting using them, I had zero regrets and actually wished I’d done it sooner!
Airfly Wireless Audio Transmitter. I read about this gadget on a travel website and ended up getting it before our Europe trip. I bought one for each of us and we were so glad we had them. They make it so much easier to stream anything with your Airpods. It worked really well and had plenty of battery life for the long haul flight. And because it’s wireless, you can get up from your seat and walk around without worrying about cords or disconnecting. You can even buy a version that will pair with two sets of headphones so you can both watch at the same time! (side note: be prepared for people to ask you about it!)
Veja Campo sneakers. I’d been eyeing these for a couple of years now. I love the look of them and of course, the fact that they are French doesn’t hurt! 😉 I ended up getting them for Christmas and love them. I’m a big fan of leather sneakers as they last much longer, plus these are stylish, simple, and they’re very comfortable. Not only that, Veja produces responsibly, using fair trade and all organic raw materials – a win/win!
Nail-on Chair Pads. These might be the least expensive thing on this list, but they have made a big difference in our dining area! After using the stick-on felt pads for the past 20+ years, these have been a game-changer. The other ones were constantly bunching up or coming off and as a result, our floors ended up getting very scratched. These really stay in. We installed them last January and they haven’t budged!
Maeve Cropped Wide-Leg Jeans. That these jeans are one of my favorite things won’t come as a surprise, as many of you love them, too! I purchased them last spring and I’ve worn them literally dozens of times since then. They’re soft and comfortable while still feeling stylish, plus they go with everything and don’t stretch out.
Maison Margiela Replica Eau de Toilettes. This is a new-to-me fragrance brand and I have to say, I’m blown away. And I’m not even a person who wears fragrance! Their Replica line is about reliving memories and evoking emotions through fragrance. They are light and not overpowering, yet complex and like nothing you’ve ever smelled before. Since they are pretty pricey, I decided to buy this mini sampler set so that I could try them all. You can find all of their full size products as well as individual small perfumes at Sephora. But if you want the mini sampler I got, it’s now only available at Kohl’s. (side note: so far Beach Walk and By the Fireplace are my favorites, but I’ve yet to try all 10!)
Wool Dryer Balls. More laundry products? I’m afraid so! As part of my ‘laundry overhaul’, I also switched from using fabric softener or sheets to using wool dryer balls. It turns out that liquid fabric softener actually coats your clothing, keeping it from getting clean, and the sheets cause waste. Wool dryer balls actually help your clothes dry faster, they’re natural, plus they’re much more economical. I purchased ours about a year ago and they’re still going strong (apparently they last for 1000 loads or more!) And if you’re a person who prefers scented laundry, you can always add a few drops of essential oils to them.
Away Luggage. Our new luggage is the bomb! We researched and debated and researched some more, and ended up ordering the Away brand. We have the bigger carry on and the medium. They come expandable or not, and you can even bundle them and get a better deal. Not only is it highly rated, but their luggage has a lifetime warranty! It already traveled with us several times this year and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It was an investment, but we love everything about them.
Shop my Favorite Things
I hope you enjoyed learning about my favorite things as much as I enjoyed sharing it! Of course we all know when we make bigger purchases or splurge on something that we’re going to love it, but it’s also fun to see what small things make life easier or spark joy.
And hopefully you’ve found some things you’d like to try, too!
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out more fashion and home favorites below: