You don't need to spend a bunch of money on something to vastly improve your life. Here, most useful and (relatively) affordable things we bought this month to bring a little ease into our lives.
“I am a gigantic fan of Smartwool socks—they’re warm and, unlike most socks, defy holes for years at a time. Yes, they are a bit pricey, but on a cost-per-wear basis they're actually a deal. So it's no surprise I also love these liners, which my in-laws gave me for Christmas. Worn under my winter mitts, they keep my constantly cold hands toasty warm, even while skiing and biking. Worn solo, they're great for winter running because wool stays warm even when it's wet.” —Gillian Grace, deputy digital editor
“This may seem like a silly little purchase, but every cat parent needs one (or two, or three!) of these silicone cat food can covers. Having a reusable lid is a lifesaver—I’m no longer wasting aluminum foil and it keeps my cat’s food fresher for longer, so she’s less likely to turn up her nose at it. It’s a win-win!” –Kevin John Siazon, associate editor
“As soon as winter hits, my scalp gets incredibly dry and flaky, and the only thing that helps is using the foul-smelling Neutrogena T-Gel shampoo once a week. I recently started using this silicone scalp massager along with it, and it makes the experience a little more gentle. Not only does it help me work the product onto my scalp without the need for vigorous head scratching, but it also dislodge flakes effortlessly. It feels luxurious, even when my entire bathroom smells like tar shampoo.” —Andréanne Dion, senior style and beauty editor
“When we moved into our current home, the first thing I wanted to re-do was the main bathroom. That was five years ago, and the bathroom has stayed the same since (life gets busy!) except for this one thing: I got a new shower head last fall. It's nothing fancy—just a detachable one with decent pressure and a wider head for better spray circumference—but it's dramatically improved how I feel about this one space in my home. It's so nice to wash my hair, and infinitely easier to scrub down the stall or get my kids to wash when they won't get in the bath. That many incremental daily life improvements for less than $100? It's totally worth it and a fraction of the price of a bathroom reno!” —Chantal Braganza, deputy food editor
“The tortoise colour scheme of this band blends into my wardrobe much better than the one that originally came with my Apple Watch. It was easy to adjust to fit comfortably on my wrist and the band is reasonably priced, so I’m not worried about it getting banged up with daily wear.” —Aimee Nishitoba, deputy art director
“After spending hours searching for specific Christmas decorations last December, this year I vowed to radically overhaul my storage system. I managed to condense eight boxes of decorations into five, and I labelled the contents of each using my handy-dandy $19 label maker. I honestly don't know why I didn't buy one sooner.” —Maureen Halushak, editor-in-chief
“Last year, my wife and I moved into a first-floor apartment in a Toronto duplex. The place was perfect for us, save for a small, nagging issue: a forced-air heating system that left our bedroom air dry and the both of us parched and sniffly every winter morning. This year, we decided to give a humidifier a try to combat the problem. We bought this inexpensive Honeywell model, set it up on our dresser and let it do its magic. And, seriously, it is magical: We’re breathing better while we sleep (no more sniffly snoring!), I don’t wake up with a dry throat, and our lips and skin stay hydrated through the night. There’s also a slot on the humidifier to add essential oils that get diffused while it runs. It’s by far the best self-care investment I’ve made this season.” —Erica Lenti, deputy editor, features
“This small (and inexpensive) milk frother turns a good coffee into a great one. The device is handheld so it’s easy to use and froths milk in seconds. It also makes a great gift; I recently bought another one for my aunt.” –Rachel Aversa, editorial intern
“I ordered a sticker book for my daughter on Etsy for Christmas and it brought back so many childhood memories that I couldn't help but order another one for myself. It's been a very therapeutic activity to fill it with my favourite stickers.” —Stephanie Han Kim, art director
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