It’s the simple things: Your most meaningful purchase

“Mom, I can’t wait to give you your Christmas present,” said my second grader, Alexa, eyes shining. “It’s something you’ll use everyday.” I secretly wondered how this could be. She had just returned from her school’s Christmas fair — an annual fundraiser rife with exactly the kind of tchotchkes we didn’t need, let alone use everyday.

The gift turned out to be a mug that said “Beautiful Mom.” I love it. And Alexa was right, I do use it everyday. I could throw out all my other mugs and be happy. Intrigued by the idea that the simplest, inexpensive items could be so meaningful, I asked you guys — our game-faced blog subscribers — to tell us about what under $100 item you’ve bought or received in the past year that has been life-changing. What would you take with you to a desert island? Rescue from a burning building? Pack even when space is at a premium?

A close runner-up to Alexa’s mug is my wireless headset and Audible/Stitcher set-up. Because of these, I can rip thru more books, talks and podcasts every week than I’ve read all last year. I love listening to books while I run, cook, fold laundry, whatever. The most mundane, tedious task becomes an opportunity to descend into the world of ideas, words and inspiration. It’s a multi-tasker’s dream come true.

Here are some of yours:

  • Udemy course on advanced guitar playing: StitchMethod Blues Master Class
  • Simple but elegant grey felt laptop case and matching ‘purse’ to house the bulky cord. I bought this on Amazon for $15 and it still brings me joy to use these items when commuting.
  • My Garmin GPS running watch! It helped me gamify my running and keep track of my progress as I prepared to run my first marathon
  • Lightweight raincoat from Uniqlo
  • iPhone wallet case
  • Electric kettle (like British people use?) for maybe $15 to make coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon

Let’s hear from more of you! If you have a simple useful item you love, post it in the comments.

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