Which things from The Good Things lists in 2018 were the best? Plus updates on reviews and the movies & TV that are rewatchable.
As I've been looking back at 2018, sharing your favorite recipes & DIY projects here, and my goals here (and looking forward to sharing the best books I read soon), I started to think about the things I talked about and used. Specifically the things I mentioned in the new monthly series I started in 2018 called The Good Things List.
Are they still good? Do I still use them? How are they working? Sometimes we bloggers mention things that seem cool, but then we never touch on them again. I've tried to revisit things over the years, since I think it goes a long way to transparency and trust (for example, I updated this article on nettle tea and Brian and I did an update episode on the podcast), but time gets away sometimes, you know?
But I also think seeing what's working for others is a great way to find things that might work for you. I've gotten some of my best suggestions of things to read, watch, and buy from the bloggers I follow. And so this is what I hope you gain from this "Best Of" The Good Things List - that you would find something that would change, help, inspire, or make beautiful a little part of your life.
Best of The Good Things List
Here are the best good things that I'm still using and recommending, in no particular order (except the movies I would watch again are at all at the bottom!):
Bubble Up Brush from Grove Collaborative. While I got my first Bubble Up Brush in 2016, I mentioned it in one of the first Good Things List because I use it - and am grateful for it - everyday. When anyone comes to my house and helps with dishes, they mention how cool it is. And in fact I gave it as Christmas gifts this year - and you know that's an endorsement!
I've actually seen this other places, but I know it only from Grove, a company I've talked about many times for the quality and mission of their products. If you are new to Grove still, you can get a $10 credit on a $20 order when you use this link.
Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick in Lover. This stuff continues to amaze me - it really does stay on all day. There will still be some left at night when I remove my makeup. The only thing I've learned is that when you leave it on full strength it does tend to cake in the corners of your mouth later in the day. My solution is to blot the lipstain with a tissue when I apply it. Voila - problem solved. Plus I like the more subtle color through regular days.
I've tried a few other colors (though I've just noticed they've come out with some new ones), but haven't been happy with anything other than the Lover color.
Baja Fresh's a la carte tacos. The price has increased a bit but it's still the best deal (under $4) with free chips and their fun salsa bar. We go there quite a bit and often take people there and it's always great food. Tip: I've signed up for their emails and they regularly send out coupons for $2 off a $10 order or $5 off a $20 order, so if you're a fan, too, definitely sign up!
LG Washer & Dryer - are we still happy with the new washer and dryer we purchased last January?
Yes, we are. I was worried when we first got the washer because I had heard you could see that the water didn't cover all the clothes, so how could they be getting clean? Well, that did happen, so I learned that I don't just hit "normal wash" on normal loads, I also choose "water plus" and "extra rinse." The time will change to a ridiculous 1 hr. 22 min but it goes down to 53 minutes after the machine auto adjusts the load. This works great and all our clothes are covered and clean.
Oh, and my specific purpose in getting a top loader was to wash our white slipcovers and be able to soak them and I'm loving this washer for that! It's plenty large at 4.5 cu. ft. for it, too.
The specific models we got aren't available anymore (and I don't think they're making the front control panels anymore, either, though I like them). Here are the newer versions of ours I found if you're interested:
L.A. Colors Matte Eyeshadow pallet in Brown Tweed. This has been my only eye color since buying it last spring (I'm pretty spare on makeup, only buying the handful of things I use regularly - no need to "organize my makeup," ha!) and I still think it's great for the price. It's hard to find matte colors - and wrinkles don't like sparkles - so this is a good way to get all the colors I'd use in matte.
The only thing I mentioned is that I thought this would last more than a year and now I know it won't last even a year - I'm running out now and will need to order a new pallet this month. But I will definitely be ordering!
Our family game nights. We do this twice a month and I'd recommend it to anyone! Grab family and/or friends who are interested and schedule it in - you'll be glad you did. Go here to read more on how we structure ours.
Inexpensive opal Round Stud Earrings. I'm wearing the white version of these as I type this - and I pretty much wear them 24/7 unless I'm going somewhere that I want fancier earrings for. The setting is good quality, not reacting to being worn all the time with my skin at all. They stay in and look good. Plus, it's still a great price (and they came on separate cards, so you can gift the others if you don't want all three - bonus!).
Apple Airpods. I just realized I mentioned these in TWO Good Things Lists last year - oops! But I guess that means I really, really like them, right? And I still do - and now Brian does, too, since my daughter and I got some for him for his birthday. They are a ridiculous price (why does Apple do this to us?) but as a splurge, they really do make life a bit easier and definitely more fun.
I wear them gardening, DIY-ing, cooking, and cleaning and they've yet to fall out. Comfortable and so convenient, I highly recommend them if you can swing it.
Brieftons QuickFold 5-Blade Spiralizer. Okay, now that I've got a number of months under my belt with this I can say that, yes, it's easy to use and store, but all those blades are confusing and it hasn't spiralized carrots good for me yet. Maybe it was the blade I chose? It works great for zoodles, though!
Here's a tip on storing zoodles for 3-4 days in the fridge after spiralzing I learned: line a gallon ziplock baggie with paper towels and lay your zoodles in the towel, zip and store. I actually think they cook better after storing a day or two like this because some of the moisture is absorbed. Try it and let me know what you think!
Fully Compostable San Francisco Bay k-cups in French Roast DECAF. This is still one of the best cups of decaf coffee I can get at home. So many decafs in the store are medium roast or flavored and I like a strong bodied good cup of coffee. The French roast delivers and I have it daily.
This is also the only brand I've found that made compostable k-cups that are affordable. You can get them on Amazon for under $30 for 80 cups with Subscribe & Save. (Wondering what Subscribe & Save is? I wrote about how I use it here to save)
Cuisinart Classic Food Processor. Well, I don't know if this is a "best" but I did want to update you on my food processor dilemma. I wrote here about needing to replace my old classic and how I wasn't sure about the updated model. All I wanted was the same 7-cup model, which is hard to find in any other brands (it's plenty big for us and I just didn't want a huge 11-cup machine to deal with).
The main issue was the odd pusher that consisted of three separate pushers that you lock or unlock. One doesn’t come out completely, so to use the full sized feed tube the food had to fit only inside the tube so that you could still lock it in and get the machine to run. Arrrghhh. After dealing with it a few times, I enlisted Brian to help me and we broke off the two plastic pieces that were preventing the pusher to be removed. That did it! Now I can at least use it like a normal processor, though other things still bug me about all those pushers (like cleaning for one...). This is definitely a case of taking something wonderfully simple and almost ruining it with complications.
I'm not even sure what you should do with this review! If you are looking for a 7-cup, reasonably priced machine that has a good motor, this may be the one for you - if you can adapt it like we did. If not, look somewhere else.
Vegetable Gardening the Easy Way. Well, you're not surprised that I would mention the gardening ebook I wrote last year, are you? These are all the tips and techniques I use to grow a vegetable garden that doesn't exhaust me so much that I can't enjoy the bountiful harvests.
My overall hope with this is to encourage everyone to grow some food, whether it's one bed with lettuce near the house or a whole back 40 - it really is possible to do it with less work! Here's the page where you can learn more.
Me Too Zoey Bootie. Of course I couldn't let a best of list go by without these comfortable booties I raved about in a couple places (Good Things, Podcast's Cool Things, and 2018's Gift Guide). I've since gotten a black pair, too, which replaced an uncomfortable pair. Oddly, I think I need a pair of inserts in the black pair - don't you hate that when the same style will fit differently in different colors? (Don't get me started on Old Navy's jeans...). They are still comfortable, though, with no toe pinching and I'm still so happy I discovered these!
The Movies & TV I'd Watch Again
Here are the movies & TV from last year's Good Things Lists that I'd watch again (I'm planning a whole separate article on the best books of 2018, so look for that soon!):
The Greatest Showman. Just pure fun with feel-good stories and music.
Black Panther. A good story and not your typical superhero movie.
Game Night movie!! Probably my favorite of the year, I actually can't wait to watch it again, I laughed so hard.
Crazy Rich Asians. Another fun movie that had heart and a good moral lesson.
The Good Place. The only TV to make this list because our whole family is waiting for the season to start up again. It's been a long time since we watched something live on TV when it airs, but we work our Thursday evenings around this! NOTE: this is one series that you have to watch in order for it to make sense - older episodes are available on Hulu and Netflix.
So that's it - the best of the best. What about you? Have you been using any good things I mentioned in 2018? Or do you have some good things I need to check out? Let me know - I'm always looking for that next thing!