The 10 Best Items I Purchased in 2019

Alan Cassinelli
Dec 31, 2019 · 5 min read

I am always on the search for products that will in some way or another improve my life. I love to read gear/kit lists but those are usually confined to one’s profession or hobby, so I thought I’d share a list of products that I purchased this year that benefited all aspects of my life.

From the tiny things that make daily life easier to the potential life-changing investments, these were my favorite purchases of the year that I would buy again in a heartbeat:

1. Xpand Elastic Shoelaces — $9.99

This may seem like an odd/hokey product to start out this list, and I will admit that it was prompted by an Instagram ad, but these elastic shoelaces are actually really convenient. I put them on my white Kurt Leather Sneakers and they make it easy to slip the shoes on and off while looking very sleek. I wore those shoes probably at least twice a week from Spring to Fall so the convenience of the elastic laces made my life just that much easier.

2. Atomic Habits by James Clear — $16.20

This was my favorite book I read this year and one I wish I could have read 10 years ago. It breaks down how to build good habits in a super clear and actionable way that was easy to consume. I was very inspired after reading it, but instead of trying to create a bunch of new habits at once, I decided to start with a simple one: flossing. Using the techniques in the book, I was able to floss my teeth for 100 straight days and build it into a habit that I continue to this day.

3. Wood Hangers — $30.27

After using a mishmash of random plastic hangers in my closet for all of my adult life, 2019 was the year I bought a few sets of these wooden hangers and my closet has never looked better. There’s something about the uniformity of how all the jackets and shirts hang at the same height with even spacing that makes it just look nice. After arranging my shirts by color, my wife remarked “It looks like a J. Crew display!”

4. Kitchen Drawer Divider Organizers — $34.15

After I Konmari’d our kitchen tools and supplies last Spring I put these dividers in to give every gadget/tool it’s own parking spot. It makes for a great before & after experience. We cook a lot at home and it’s made it much easier to remember where everything should be.

5. OXO Broom & Dustpan Set — $34.99

With an 18-month-old son who can be a picky eater at times, our floor is constantly rained down on with banana pieces, goldfish, and cheerios. This broom and dustpan have made it much easier to keep the floor somewhat clean. The broom can extend to be full length and the dustpan’s cleaning comb is great for capturing cat hair and dustballs.

6. Duvet Cover with a zipper — $45.99

After being frustrated for months by the buttons on our Brooklinen duvet cover coming undone and the comforter falling out, I bought this duvet cover on Amazon for the sole reason that it has a zipper enclosure. The zipper works flawlessly and now I can sleep in peace.

7. Thursday Boots —$199

I’ve been eyeing Thursday Boots ever since their Kickstarter launch in 2014 and I finally pulled the trigger on a pair of Captains this year and couldn’t be happier. They are by far the most comfortable boots I’ve ever worn with a cushy cork-bed midsole and look fantastic with everything from jeans to chinos.

8. Ooni Koda Gas-Powered Pizza Oven — $299

This futuristic-looking, portable propane-powered pizza oven has been a great addition to our outdoor cooking options. It can get up to 900°F and cooks a 12-inch Neapolitan-style pizza in 60-90 seconds. We got our money’s worth out of it, making 100+ delicious pizzas for friends and family this year.

9. Sonos Surround Sound (Beam and two Play:1s) — $557 on sale

I took advantage of Amazon Prime Day to get a great deal on this Sonos set, finally adding some decent audio to our basement TV. The surround sound is awesome for watching soccer matches, making you feel like you are in the crowd at a Portland Timbers game chanting along with the Timber’s Army. Playing video games is much more immersive as well as you can hear explosions to your right or bullets wiz past you in Call of Duty.

10. Peloton Bike — $2,245

A lot of people balk at the price of a Peloton bike, not to mention the monthly subscription, but for me it was a no-brainer to make a long-lasting investment in my and my wife’s health. Despite never taking a spin class beforehand, I was confident that I could stick with it because of all the positive word-of-mouth and reviews of all types of Peloton owners (new parents, 50+ year olds, not “gym people”, etc). The bike is an exceptional product: well-made, easy-to-use, with motivating instructors, and actually can be fun. I’m hoping and planning that it will be one of my most-used products in 2020 and beyond.

What were your favorite products you bought this year? I’d love to hear about them!

Alan Cassinelli

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