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Best Things I Bought in 2020

2020. What can I even say about 2020? Good riddance, perhaps?

Considering the vast majority of my time was spent at home, my purchases and spending habits definitely shifted, and looking back, none of my most-used purchases were beauty or style-related this year. Unsurprisingly, they were food, drink, and wellness-related so I thought I would share!

Best Things I Bought in 2020

Firstleaf Wine Club

I like to drink wine. Dustin likes to drink wine. What better time to join a wine club than during a lockdown, pray tell?

Joining the Firstleaf Wine Club was a really smart move for us – not only because hello, great wine, but receiving our wine selection every month was a really fun learning activity and sparked some great conversations between the two of us. Beyond receiving 6 bottles a month for a great price, you also get these beautiful informational cards that tell you all about the wine you are drinking.

Dustin and I loved reading these cards and learning more about the regions and wines we were trying. And I have to say, my first box was spot on after taking Firstleaf’s online quiz. We loved 5 out of the 6 bottles we tried of that first box and have kept a 90% approval rating since. It’s so nice that you can rate each bottle which helps Firstleaf hone in on your perfect selection in months to come.

All in all, we have enjoyed the whole process so much and if you click here, you can get your first month’s delivery for just the cost of shipping! Yes, 6 bottles of wine for $9.95. It just doesn’t get better than that, folks.

Splendid Spoon

I love vegetables. I really do. The problem with vegetables is that I’m a lazy ass and hate prepping veggies, especially around lunchtime. (“Do all your weekly prep one day of the week,” they say! Y’all, I appreciate the wishful thinking, but it ain’t happening.)

So I spent the early part of 2020 focused on finding a meal delivery service that would provide me vegetarian lunch options that were quick to prepare and most importantly, delicious. Splendid Spoon has been that service for 7 months and I am still loving it.

I started out with the Breakfast + Lunch plan which includes 5 Soup & Grain bowls + 5 Smoothies, but now just order the 5 Soup + Grain weekly bowls for my lunch. I’ve also done the Noodle Bowls on occasion, but come back to the Soup & Grain bowls time after time.

The best part is you can customize exactly what’s coming to you every week and can easily skip weeks as well, which I have done a few times.

The bowls are delicious and can be easily heated up on the stove (when I’m home) or in a microwave (when I’m a the studio). Some of my favorites are the Kale & Lentil Bowl, Moroccan Lentil Stew, Potato Channa, Cuban Black Bean Bowl, and the Roasted Cauliflower Bowl.

The bowls are truly delicious and so good for you- packed with vegetables and healthy grains!

Right now, you can try Splendid Spoon and get a total of $60 off! It breaks down to $20 off your first 3 boxes of Breakfast and Lunch, Breakfast, Lunch & Reset, Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner & Reset plans. Splendid Spoon for all the details.

Ninja Foodie 8-in-1 Toaster Oven

We are big toaster oven fans over here – we have used our toaster oven daily for years – for toast, heating up leftovers, and baking smaller dishes for dinner. (Why use a big oven when you don’t have to?)

We also love to air fry and dehydrate, but in the past, this meant needing two additional large appliances in our kitchen that we would have to store away and pull out when needed, and DID I MENTION LARGE? (Have you seen most air fryers and dehydrators?)

Well, let me introduce you to the Ninja Foodie 8-in-1 Toaster Oven which does it all. I am obsessed with this appliance – it’s super compact, flips up to save counter space, and does everything I need! I got rid of my other appliances and I don’t why this makes me so incredibly giddy, BUT IT DOES. The only thing I haven’t been able to make in this oven is a roasted chicken due to the height constraints, but I just use my regular oven for that. We toast bagels and bread in the morning, as well as easily baking 6 pieces of salmon in the oven, which is on constant rotation over here. And the air frying setting is incredible! We air-fry just about every vegetable, plus let us not forget about tater tots and all the good stuff.

Six-Figure Blog Academy

2020 was my most successful year financially since I transitioned into blogging as a career over a decade ago.

I’ve hemmed and hawed over whether to include this in my roundup due to 2020 being an incredibly challenging year for so many (and I don’t want to be construed as being boastful), but ultimately my goal is to help some of you who might be considering a career change (or have been forced into one) and/or have an interest in starting a blog or being an “influencer.” #hatethatwordsomuch

In 2020, I was able to open my own studio, and my relationships with brands, retailers, and affiliates are thriving. But as simple as the career of blogging might seem from an outside perspective (hello! watch me put on lipstick!), it has required a TON of work behind the scenes over the years.

A lot of this I had to figure out on my own and frankly, it was a slow process that I don’t wish on anyone, but you don’t have to slog through it because the lovely Kate Kordsmeier has condensed what took me years to learn into her program, the Six-Figure Blog Academy. And the best part? Kate shows you how to do it without a huge audience or being a slave to social media.

Yes, you can absolutely make six figures yearly by blogging. I do. And I LOVE my job. But it takes a solid framework to get things rolling.

“But starting from scratch is going to be so hard! I don’t have many followers at all!”

Let me fill you in on a secret. Social media numbers don’t mean much in terms of actual income. Trust me – I consistently accrue more revenue than influencers who have double, triple, quadruple the amount of followers that I do. It’s all about laying the framework, building your community, and cultivating engagement while staying true to YOU.

This probably should have been its own post, but I wanted to include it in this roundup because it was a game-changer for me in 2020. When I first acquainted myself with this program in 2019, it was like seeing 10 years of learning packaged up in an easy-to-navigate program…but then when I applied a few of Kate’s concepts in early 2020 that I hadn’t focused on before, I saw a definitive increase in my bottom line.

If you are considering starting a blog, what are you waiting for?! People are online now more than ever. Now is the time!

You can learn all about the Six-Figure Blog Academy here.

Looking to get started today? Kate’s 21 Days to Impact Program is a complete beginner’s roadmap to lay the foundations for your blog from day one. This course is intentionally designed to put you on the fast track to learn, step-by-step, how to go from idea to influence using her framework that will save you boatloads of time and frustration.

Also, Kate offers a free video training series as well.

Cooking with The New York Times Subscription

I have loved The New York Times online subscription for quite some time so this year I added the cooking subscription as well. $40/year for a HUGE collection of incredible recipes. Love it.

Whole Foods Delivery via Amazon Prime

Hello, my name is Sarah and I haven’t stepped foot in a grocery store since March 2020 and y’all, I don’t know if I ever will again. Why would I? Grocery shopping has always been the bane of my existence and the free Whole Foods grocery delivery service for Amazon Prime members is EVERYTHING.

I’ve used this service every week (many weeks more times than one) since the pandemic started and the service/delivery has been impeccable. It’s changed my life, for real!

Tracy Anderson Online Studio Streaming

It took me 45 years, but I finally found my optimal workout. More on this in the new year, but I finally found a program that I know I can continue year after year…and isn’t that the hardest part of committing to a workout? Knowing that it’s all about the long haul and not just some quick fix?

Heading into my late forties, I had a big wake-up call this year. Quick fixes don’t work for this body like they used to and it’s going to take commitment throughout the next decades to keep my body happy and healthy.

Tracy’s online program is STEEP ($90/month), but it’s the only program I’ve encountered that doesn’t bore me after a few months. I’ve been doing it since last spring and I still love it! It’s 100% worth the money, in my opinion.

sarah chapman facialift review

Sarah Chapman Facialift

I know I’ve gotten so many of you on the bandwagon, but this device is the best thing I’ve ever used for jaw tension. My full review is here!

Road Trip Necessities

When you road trip halfway across the country and aren’t super interested in entering rural, roadside gas station bathrooms, you pull out the big guns. This and this were lifesavers out on the open road. Great for camping and hiking too! (Um, not that I do those things…)

Seed Probiotics Subscription

Oh, how I love my Seed Probiotics subscription. Not only is The Daily Synbiotic formulated with probiotic strains that have been clinically and scientifically-studied to provide benefits in gastrointestinal function, skin health, heart health, gut immune function, gut barrier integrity, and micronutrient synthesis (24 strains! 53.6 billion AFU!), it has this incredible ViaCap delivery technology (basically a capsule inside a capsule) that ensures survival through stomach acid so it can get to where it needs to go. (Ahem, your colon.)

Most importantly, my stomach is happy, bloating is reduced, and GI issues are barely an issue. Not to mention that your first month of probiotics comes in a beautiful glass refillable jar and the remaining refills come in sustainable packaging.

This leads me to the most most important part – it’s a subscription so I never have to worry about running out and then ordering refills too late and yada yada yada. Subscriptions = Compliance. I know supplements are a personal thing so you can try the Daily Synbiotic risk-free for 30 days. (You may also reschedule or cancel your subscription easily from your account at any time.)

Interested in giving it a shot? Click here and use the code WHOORL15 for 15% off your first month of probiotics!

Okay. That was a novel. What were your best purchases of 2020?

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15 Comments
  • Kathleen

    December 29, 2020 at 5:38 pm Reply

    I’m a huge Seed Probiotic fan too. I’ve been taking them for about 14 months and I have tried a lot of probiotics since being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease 7 years ago. I noticed a marked improvement in my energy levels and overall health when I started taking these probiotics.

    Also, in general, just wanted to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed all that you put out into the world, here on your blog and on your Instagram. Although I think I had heard of you before this year, this is the year I started reading your blog regularly and following you on Insta and I’m grateful for your authenticity and honesty.

    Wishing you an improved 2021 (compared to 2020 in general) and no more ice storms!

  • whoorl

    December 29, 2020 at 5:41 pm Reply

    Thank you so much for your kind words, Kathleen! And I’m so glad to hear how much you are enjoying the probiotics, especially with Crohn’s.

    Wishing you an improved 2021 as well!

  • Jamie Moilanen

    December 29, 2020 at 10:56 pm Reply

    Trying out the wine! We love it a lot and I’m canceling another subscription that’s just too expensive, so this is a great trade. I recently starting using the Magnesium Ease and I swear I sleep a ton better! Working on reducing charley-horses with it, too. Appreciate all you share!!

  • Jamie Moilanen

    December 29, 2020 at 10:56 pm Reply

    STARTED. Ugh!

  • whoorl

    December 30, 2020 at 8:08 am Reply

    Hi Jamie! That Magnesium Spray is incredible! I have it listed in my Clean Beauty Picks post coming up soon. Hope you enjoy the wine!

  • Meggie

    December 30, 2020 at 11:16 am Reply

    I was inspired by your magnesium spray purchase to make my own. It’s super easy and inexpensive and fragranced to personal taste. It does have the sticky/itchy situation, not ideal, but I can live with it. Been considering a toaster oven/air fryer situation for months after our beloved Breville died RIP, but was kind of enjoying the extra counter space. The Ninja might do it for me!

  • whoorl

    December 30, 2020 at 11:19 am Reply

    Meggie, that’s awesome! (And the toaster is MAGNIFICENT. We’ve already used it twice today and it’s 11:18 am. LOL)

  • Kelly

    December 30, 2020 at 11:23 am Reply

    I too love the Magnesium spray and swear it helps me fall back asleep after feeding my little one in the middle of the night. I also am obsessed with the Sarah Chapman Facialift. I gifted it to my sisters for Christmas I loved it so much! And now I have just signed up for Splendid Spoon. I have been looking for a plant based subscription, specifically low in sodium because all of the meal services are so high in sodium! Thank you so much for sharing. Now…do I signed up for TA classes or not?? Heheh…happy new year!

  • whoorl

    December 30, 2020 at 11:25 am Reply

    Yay, Kelly! Well, all this Magnesium love makes me think I should have added it to this post! ;) I’ll definitely include it in my beauty picks of 2020 post, even though it’s not technically beauty, whatever haha. You will love Splendid Spoon!!

  • Sara LeBlanc

    December 31, 2020 at 6:44 pm Reply

    I completely get what you mean by finding your workout. I pay a crazy price for a monthly membership to my local barre and cycle studio and it was the only (I do mean only) splurge I didn’t give up while out of work. It’s that good.

  • Melissa

    January 1, 2021 at 12:59 pm Reply

    Thank you for being such a light. I never post but read regularly and it’s high time I tell you that you’ve brought much inspiration and motivation to me. Thank you! Also, please share the name of those beautiful hexagonal wall tiles. I’m about to start a kitchen remodel and I am smitten.

    May you be happy, healthy, safe, and live with ease and awe.

  • whoorl

    January 1, 2021 at 7:36 pm Reply

    Thank you, Melissa! The tiles are by Pratt & Larson.

  • Melissa

    January 3, 2021 at 5:56 pm Reply

    Thanks!

  • Kirsten Messina

    January 4, 2021 at 7:30 am Reply

    I look forward to reading your weekly “Odds and Ends” and somehow stumbled upon you on on insta pre-covid. Then covid hit and I went down the rabbit hole on Detox Market, Credo and more based on your recommendations and have LOVED everything I’ve tried. I’ve shared so many of your favorite products with family/friends and can’t wait to read your Favs of 2020 and add to my collection! I need to check out the Ninja-I LOVE my air fryer, but HATE how much space it takes up for a single function. Thank you for curating a great list and for all of your posts-you can tell you put a lot of time in them and it shows! Happy New Year!

  • Jennifer Perez

    January 8, 2021 at 11:24 am Reply

    I just signed up for Seed Probiotics because I purchased some for our new dog (it’s called Perfect Poop, really!) and I thought hmm, if I’m taking care of my dog this much, shouldn’t I be taking care of myself too?? Yes. Yessssss!!! Lol thanks for the recommendation :)

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