You know the cliche “the best things in life are free.” But I also happen to think the best things are things that are actually helpful: tools, recommendations, products and every-day items that solve a problem and make life easier.
Here is a list of the incredibly helpful items I cannot live without.
- Collapsible folding cart
- Fabric bandage Ace wrap
- Pre-workout energy supplement
- Trident gum 12-pack
- TSA approved luggage locks
- IcyHot cream for muscle aches
- Nalgene water bottle
- RTIC water cup
- The best hostess gift: bath & shower gel by Philosophy
- Month/day organizational planner
Collapsible folding cart
This thing is literally so helpful, “he” has a name and has a permanent spot in the back of my car. His name is Henry! Years ago my mom bought me this fold-up, rolling cart from Office Max and I wore it out completely. It has helped me lug groceries to and from my car, move in and out of several apartments, and it’s fantastic for that large CostCo run.
Fabric bandage Ace wrap
Yes, there is a big difference between the sticky adhesive wrap tape and Ace brand elastic bandage. I love the Ace brand. It’s my go-to because unlike the sticky sports tape for wrists and ankles, the elastic fabric is gentle on your arm (it won’t rip out your tiny arm hairs), and you can use it again after a wash. It packs well; I usually always have one in my gym bag or dance bag.
Recently I had to start ordering these from Amazon because CVS doesn’t carry the Ace brand anymore.
Pre-workout energy supplement
I’m always on the hunt for great-tasting energy supplements to add to my water. I like the Optimum Nutrition brand and found the Juicy Strawberry flavor particularly tasty; it almost has a tangy flavor. We bought it at CostCo and my fiance and I both love it. When we went to purchase it again on our last CostCo run, it wasn’t stocked. So, I turned to trusty Amazon to restock. It was a smaller amount but worth it because we like the taste so much.
That being said, if you’re not all that into supps, you can’t go wrong mixing in a bit of Vitamin C to your water. I like this blueberry-acai flavor by Emergen-C and it’s great to mix in with regular water a few times a week to keep my immune system up to par.
Trident Gum 12-Pack
This is on par with those little life-hacks. I was always buying 1-2 packs of gum at the grocery store or at a gas station. I finally stopped doing that because I just buy a 12 or 14-pack on Amazon and pop one in my purse, one in the car, one by my laptop at my desk. It’s amazing. I’m probably saving money NOT buying one-off packs of gum.
I always get a minty version of Trident because I love the flavor and it’s good for my teeth.
TSA approved luggage locks
Did you know, even the best locks can be ripped off in transit, misplaced or go missing if a TSA agent simply forgets to put the lock back on? I’ve been in situations where the week before I’m set to travel out of town for work, I can’t find my luggage locks, so I had to get these via Prime in time. Is it coincidence that it rhymes? I think not.
For muscle aches: this cream by IcyHot
This little miracle cream is amazing to have on hand at home or when you’re traveling to apply topically on your muscles for sore shoulders or to your neck –even your wrists if you’re experiencing inflammation from something like tendinitis. A word of caution, it has an incredibly strong minty smell so be mindful you’ll get some looks if you apply it while on an airplane. You’ve been warned. I’ve tried a lot of different pain creams over the years from Bengay to Tier Balm. Icy Hot is one I started using a few years ago and I’m hooked.
Every day water bottle
One of the best gifts you can give your body is hydration. Maybe Vitamin D, but definitely being hydrated is up there. This water bottle is always packed in my gym bag and comes along on day trips. Whenever I fly, I take my Nalgene bottle with me (hint: you can fill it up once you’re through security) so that I have access to my own water on the flight. Amazon has a bunch of different, pretty colors so you can choose whatever you like. The bottles are durable, travel well, and are dishwasher (top rack) safe.
RTIC tumbler water cup
Are you sensing a hydration theme? In addition to the Nalgene bottle, I also have this RTIC water cup. I received it as a gift one year, and it is so amazing at keeping water icy cold that I also bought one for my fiance. Ice cubes literally are still in the cup the next morning. It’s pretty amazing. This will have you drinking more water faster than you can say “new years resolution.” You’re welcome 🙂
The best hostess gift: Philosophy bath & shower gel
This is one of my favorite brands for bath & shower gel. Philosophy also makes amazing lotions and face wash products too. In particular, this melon daiquiri scent smells really yummy. It doubles as a shampoo and body wash and makes a great hostess gift if you’re staying as a guest sometime and want to send a little “thank you” to your host. You can never go wrong with a practical bathroom item that leaves you smelling nice.
Daily & monthly organizational planner
I’ve always keep a physical calendar in addition to an online one in my phone because I like being able to quickly write things down and have them be visible in one place. I keep one in the kitchen as a “master household” calendar. It’s our go-to place for grocery lists and recipes. In my home office, I keep a year long month & daily planner for business related tasks, projects, upcoming conference travel, and noting the timing of special invoices that will be due.
Franklin Planner has my organizational heart when it comes to these calendars. These are the ones I’ve ordered two years in a row now:
That’s all for now. If you have any products that are practical and helpful I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.