Doing a little online shopping? 11 items I bought (and loved!) in quarantine

The seesaw, not the kids. ;) (Michelle Ganley/GMG photo)

Amazon Prime Days are here, and as the author of this story, I have to tell you: I did a LOT more online purchasing than I planned on, just while sitting around my house in quarantine last year.

So, I might as well share with the class, right? Here’s what I bought.

We hope you love these recommendations. Just an FYI, Graham Media Group may collect a small share of sales from the links provided on this page.

This see-saw

It’s so cute. Full disclosure: It took my husband way longer than he expected to set up, but once it was assembled, our kids (ages 2 and 4 at the time) were delighted. Although the initial excitement wore off, they still hop on from time to time, and I think it’s a delight to keep in our garage for rainy days.

A spin bike

When quarantine first hit around March 2020, like many of you, I realized that without regular yoga classes as an option, I needed another way to get my workouts in. Enter: A spin bike. I’ll admit, this isn’t the exact the one I snagged (I think mine is a different model), but the Echelon comes with great reviews -- and it’s been worth the investment. If you’re thinking about buying a bigger piece of workout equipment, and you have the space, I recommend biting the bullet and going for it! It’s such a nice option to be able to spin from home; no commute to a studio necessary. The classes on the app are pretty fun, too.

A similar clay mask to this one

Said “similar mask” was basically stalking me in my Instagram ads (why does my phone know me so well?), so I decided to give it a shot.

What can I say, I’m a sucker for skincare products that promise to change your life.

Really though, I’m not sure if it’s just the placebo effect or what, but my skin really does seem to be clearer and smoother. I use it about three times a week, which the makers recommend, but I think I’ll be a repeat buyer on this (well, a very similar!) product.

This comfy thing

There were so many jokes swirling this past year about the pandemic, and women not needing to wear bras anymore, considering we didn’t leave our houses or work in-office for awhile. And that’s what brings me to this bra: It’s kind of the best of both worlds -- it’s like, you’re wearing one, of course, but it’s so insanely comfortable, you tend to forget. The support is pretty great though; I even went spinning in it without realizing once, and I was shocked by how well it worked as a sports bra, which was surprising, considering it seems thin and flimsy to the touch. It’s not! And the material is so soft. I majorly love this item. (I’ll just link to it here).

This sorcery

I know, I said my skin was clearer because of that clay mask. But I’m not entirely immune to pimples.

Related: Does anyone else feel like you were lied to, growing up? Did your parents tell you that one day, you’d turn into an adult, and you’d never get a pimple again? Wellllll, that was definitely the case in my life, and I’m here to confirm I still break out from time to time. Thanks a lot, mom and dad, for the false hope.

Anyway. Enter: These pimple pads.

They were recommended to me by a friend, and they’re pretty life-changing. You just pop one on over the offending zit before bed, wake up (or wait until the patch turns white), then take it off and the pimple is either gone (what?!) or drastically reduced, with some of the … stuff sucked onto the pad. (Sorry, a little gross). And these patches are so small; just like little stickers -- you can even wear them during the day and it’s unlikely that anyone would notice. They totally blend in with your skin. Incredible. Where was this product when I was in the seventh-grade, and got more than just occasional breakouts?

A tablet

Once I started spinning, I realized I could really use a tablet. Sure, there are ways to connect your TV, and of course, you can just pull up an app on your phone. But for workout-tracking purposes, a tablet is ideal. A bigger screen is certainly nice. I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg (that was the bike purchase, after all), so I found this semi-cheapie tablet on Amazon -- and I’ve been more than satisfied. Even if you’re not using it to spin, it just seems like a basic, functional tablet, for a fair price.

Dot’s Pretzels

Snacks are the best, are they not? If you haven’t tried Dot’s Pretzels, now is the time. They make a southwest variety, but if you want my professional opinion, the OGs are the OGs for a reason. Honestly, if you haven’t sampled them, you’re probably sitting there like, “They’re just pretzels. How can they be that different than any other pretzels?” I was the same way. Try one and you’ll see.

This little pool

It’s cute as a button, bigger IRL than it looks online, and we used it all summer long.

An extra Fire Stick

You probably don’t require much explanation here, but we needed one for the basement, and with all the increased time at home, we finally decided to buy one. No regrets, ever, when it comes to these.

This might seem like a random addition ...

But if there are any other hot sauce aficionados out there, this stuff is simply the cream of the crop. Add it to your marinades, your eggs in the morning, your Mexican food, your Bloody Marys, your ice cream. (Just kidding on that last one). But really -- it’s thicker than other hot sauces; almost like a salsa texture. And it’s incredible. I first tried it while living in California, and I’ve been ordering it online ever since. Be sure to try the other varieties, as well. If you end up enjoying the original, you’ll love the garlic.

Final item

Chrissy Teigen has been pretty controversial lately, but if you put all that aside, her recipes are awesome.

The pandemic forced many of us to cook from home more than usual, and I was definitely one of those people. I couldn’t have done it -- or made such delicious options! -- without this cookbook. (Actually, full disclosure, I’m struggling with whether this was purchased during quarantine, or just USED every day during quarantine, but let’s keep it on the list).

Some personal faves include the honey butter French toast, the barbecue pulled chicken, the breakfast bagel bake, the banana bread (of course), the crispy chicken milanese and the coconut short rib curry. Honestly though, those were just a few off the top of my head. Everything I’ve made from that book turns out incredible. Even her recipe for basic white rice … it’s just better than the other rice I’ve made at home, and by a darn landslide. If you order anything on this list, this should be that item. It’d make for a great gift, as well!

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