Posted on Sat 10 August 2019

Stuff I like: 2019 edition

I've written a couple of posts in the past about physical items I enjoy using. Since the last one was in 2016, here's a list of stuff I've been enjoying more recently (no affiliate links):

Brita fill&go Active water bottle

I have very specific tastes when it comes to water bottles. These days the kind with flip tops are all the rage, but I like a pop top that I can open and close with my mouth, so I can drink one-handed. Although pop-top bottles still exist, they often have very sturdy rubber tops that take too much effort to close, so I have to use my other hand anyway. This bottle is not only easy to open and close with one hand, it also includes a Brita filter, so I don't have to filter my water separately in a Brita jug before filling up, and I can refill at the gym but still drink filtered water (I prefer the taste of filtered water now that I'm used to it). It's also made from a squeezable material, so it won't break if I drop it, and it comes with a removable cap that I can pop on while it's in my bag.

Hello Cup

I don't menstruate often, so although I got interested in menstrual cups a few years ago, it never seemed like a worthwhile investment for me. Recently, though, I decided I'd had enough of the hassle, recurring cost, and waste that comes from tampons and pads. After a lot of research I ordered a Hello Cup. It definitely took some getting used to, but I found putting it in got easier every time, as did taking it out, though it's still a bit painful. Definitely an upgrade from disposables, though.

Thinx period underwear

I can't recommend Thinx for actual bleeding, because I haven't tested them that way yet (my cup didn't leak at all, and I timed it just right so there was barely any spotting before or after cup days). But in terms of fit and comfort, they're great. Not nearly as thick or bulky as I'd expected, and so comfortable I could wear them as normal underwear if I wanted to.

Pixel buds

I seem to be the odd one out when it comes to headphones in that I hate the kind that go right inside my ears. I prefer the kind that sit in my outer ear (or over-ear headphones, but sometimes I can't wear those, like when I have my bike helmet on). If you remember these earbuds that used to come with iPods and iPhones before they changed the shape, they're the shape I like best. Pixel Buds are the only Bluetooth earbuds I could find with this shape, so I went with those. They're not perfect; a known bug that occurs after you've had them for a while is that they'll keep connecting to your phone after being disconnected, and while they're connected to their charging case. This drains their battery and stops your phone from playing sounds like phone calls through its speakers, which is confusing. They're also a bit finicky about the tap controls, so I often pause a track when I'm trying to skip ahead (single vs. double tap). But they fit my ears well, they fit under my bike helmet, and once they're connected with my phone, they're quick and easy to use. I probably wouldn't recommend them to most people at this stage, but I wouldn't use any others myself.

Polaroid Zip photo printer

This was on my wish list for a long time before I got one as a present for my 30th birthday. It's a mini photo printer, so you can print photos straight from your phone and stick them in your journal or share them with people. These ones print onto sticker paper, too. I'd seen lots of people using mini photo printers online and hadn't realised how the quality compared to ordinary photo prints. It's definitely not the same as getting a set of 6x4 prints from a photo centre, but the convenience of printing from my phone while I sit at my desk is amazing, and it's definitely worth having so I can include more photos in my journal. Plus, they're really small, and you generally can't get smaller prints at a photo centre than 4x4 inches (around here, anyway), so if you want tiny photos, this is the way to go.

Kobo Clara eReader

I still have my Kindle Paperwhite but I decided not to give Amazon any more money and stopped buying books that way. I was reading in the Kobo app on my phone for a while, until Josh surprised me with a Kobo Clara. It's a bit smaller than my Paperwhite, making it easier to hold, and it's just as nice to read on. Highly recommended if you don't want to help Bezos get richer.

Boody bamboo socks

These are the most comfortable socks I've worn in ages... maybe forever. They're a bit thicker in the sole, which I normally don't like, but I found I didn't notice once they were on my feet. They're very stretchy and very soft, and I really like wearing them. I only have one pair so far, but I'm definitely going to buy more.

P.S. I make some stuff you might like: Exist, a personal analytics app to help you understand your life, Larder, a bookmarking app for developers, and Changemap, a roadmap and changelog for transparent teams.

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