Mio "strapless" heart monitor, but what else is new.
Amazon Prime. There are certain things I have ethical objections to buying on Amazon (media, mostly) because I like to support my independent, small neighborhood businesses when I can. But I just moved into a new house and there is a lot of shit I need that is just not covered by the mom-and-pop shops near us. Also, actual physical IRL shopping where you, like, travel to a brick-and-mortar building via car or public transit is just not something my life is optimized for. (See: the parking situation, the amount of time I spend commuting already, and my extremely limited free time.) Am I going to drive my ass to Target and spend ten minutes trying to park and unpark and half an hour in between navigating the domestic hellscape of screaming children and shopping cart-inept adults because I need a fruit bowl, and a French press, and a dish drainer? HELL NO! Ain't nobody in this house got time for that. I'll take ten minutes of perusing dozens of (better) options and having that shit brought straight to my door 36 hours later any day of the week and twice on Sundays. (There are also apparently a bunch of other benefits like free movies/music, free cloud storage for photos, etc., but I never use them.) See also: Prime Pantry.
Dollar Shave Club. Have you heard about this? Oh my god. It has changed my life. Basically all razor/razorblades are a ripoff and lady razors are even worse because of the Pink Tax. About a year ago I decided I hated my current razor & refused to buy new blades because I wasn't going to keep using it. But then every other one I looked at also seemed to be a racket. I was about to look into some sort of Amazon Subscription situation when I stumbled across Dollar Shave Club. How does this work? 1) You sign up and choose from their three types of (unisex) razors (basically "cheap," "middling," and "fancy"; I went with the middle option). 2) You decide how often you want them to send you a new four-pack of razors (every month or every two months). 3) They bring that shit straight to your door. And how much, you might ask, will this set you back? $1/$6/$9 per shipment, depending on which level of razor you get. The first razor is free. Shipping is free. An extra razor cost me I think $4. I now spend $36 a year on shaving. Basically, it's genius. (Full disclosure, that link is an invite-your-friends-type link. If people click on it and join, I get $5 credit, but I did not actually know that was a thing until I'd already written this. I really do love it!)
Audible. Probably two-thirds of the books I go through are audiobooks. Originally, I got into audiobooks when I started my current job in 2012 & knew I'd be spending 2+ hours a day driving. I did almost the same commute for five years when I was teaching in the mid-aughts, and the sheer amount of time I felt like I was utterly wasting ate away at me every day until I started feeling sick to my stomach every time I got in the car. With my audio books (also, let's be real, the flexibility I have in my current job to not drive during rush hour), it's a completely different story. I actually kind of look forward to a relaxing hour of just zoning out and listening to whatever book I'm currently plugging through. And even if I do hit traffic, oh well, I'll finish it that much sooner! Since then I've also started listening to them at the gym and while running (a single person talking doesn't drown out sound the way music does, so it feels pretty safe), and it's made my life so much better. Yes, it's money (they have a range of plans; the one I have is $22.95 a month, which gets me 2 book credits per month plus 30% off anything else I buy, and they're also having coupons and sales and 2-for-1 deals all the time), but I feel like there are certain situations in life that can be significantly improved by throwing a little money at them, and for me, this was one.
Coconut Oil. A few years ago when I found myself dealing with some terrible skin allergies, I read up on the chemistry behind health and beauty products and was absolutely horrified by what I learned. The 10 second story is that the US allows all kinds of chemicals in our health/beauty/cosmetic products that are banned everywhere else in the world, and because the health & beauty/cosmetic lobbies are rolling in money, the FDA can do nothing about it except "strongly recommend" that companies stop using certain chemicals (which most don't). When I threw out just about everything in my bathroom & started over from scratch, plain old coconut oil replaced lotion, shaving cream, and makeup remover, and works better for all three than any other product I've ever used for those things. (Re: lotions, if the first ingredient in your lotion is "water," it's basically a scam since, ironically, nothing dries skin out faster than water.) It's light, rubs in quickly (so doesn't feel greasy), and comes in unscented versions if you don't like the coconut smell. Best of all, a $6 jar from Trader Joe's lasts me a year. When I first started using it, Don was like, "You're a weirdo hippy freak." Now it's all he uses & he won't travel without it.
ThinkSport Sunscreen. ICYMI, I'm a sunscreen evangelist. Do not try to talk to me about the Vitamin D deficiency "epidemic." A) Your body can only produce a certain amount of Vitamin D per day, and you max out on it with a pretty small amount of UV exposure. If you are an outdoor athlete, I guarantee that you are not at risk, even if you wear sunscreen. B) You can take a pill to fix vitamin D deficiency; you cannot take a pill to fix skin cancer. So, when it comes to sunscreen, I have Standards (which you can read more about in that first link). First, physical screens only (preferably zinc oxide). Second, no dangerous ingredients. Third, SPF 30 minimum (SPF x lets through 1/x of UV rays, so SPF 30 blocks ~96.7%). The nice thing is that there are plenty of products out there these days that qualify. The sad part is that many of them are gross-feeling or have other consistency issues. Since I'm always open to trying new brands, I picked up ThinkSport at REI before we went to Mexico, and it is without a doubt the lightest, smoothest-feeling, best-smelling sunscreen I've ever been willing to use. Would buy in bulk!
WHAT DO YOU HELLA LOVE RIGHT NOW???? I promise I'm not
just being a douchey blogger; I seriously want to know.