Your Top 20 Picks From 2019

I had planned to do an entire 2019 recap and “this is what I learned” and “this is what happened” blah, blah, blah…you know the drill. But let’s be honest, I think the thing we’re most curious about is what you guys loved in 2019!

This past year was so crazy! It was the year I was supposed to slow down and take a break. Umm, that didn’t happen. However, I didn’t travel as much and I was able to spend more time with my family so that was a HUGE awesome bonus. It’s strange. I thought that if I took it easy in 2019, that things would slow down. I think being more present and at home more just made things even crazier! But a good crazy. The best kind.

So I’m just covering all the positives! The best of the best. The best blog posts, the funniest moments, and the things you love best. Including, your TOP 20 PURCHASES from all the links I shared this year!

JANUARY

I think we can all agree that we started out the year on the right foot…with the right bra! I had so many questions about the right bras, the ones I loved the most. So I broke it down and put my top 3 in a blog post for you! If you’re still wearing a bra that makes it unbearable to wear one, make sure you read this post!

SPORTS BRA | RELAX WIRELESS BRA | FULL COVERAGE BRA

FEBRUARY

February was a big month for me! And despite appearances, these pictures were hard to show! But what I loved most, and I think most of you really connected with, is that my journey wasn’t about losing weight. Most of you know that I live a gluten-free lifestyle due to a celiac disease diagnosis a few years back.

After struggling with gluten and arthritis for more than a decade, I found myself with really low energy levels, an uncomfortable level of softness, and daily pain/discomfort. I was diagnosed with arthritis and really high levels of inflammation in my teens and I’ve dealt with the side effects of it throughout my teen/adult life. It’s one of those things that is hard to see on the outside but definitely wreaks havoc on the joints and ligaments of the body. There’s a definite disconnect when how you look on the outside doesn’t match how you feel on the inside!

Compound that with my digestive issues and there were a lot of years I wasn’t a super happy camper. I remember when I was pregnant with Dash (8 years ago) and having to brace myself to even go up the stairs. My joints were giving out on me and I was MISERABLE. A day didn’t go by where I didn’t have to take some sort of medication. I was always trying to fight off a migraine or coax myself to go up the stairs. That isn’t a fun way to live.

Changing the way I treated my body resulted in a complete 180 in my health. If you are looking for the motivation you need this year to jumpstart your own health journey, make sure you read this post!

SHOP MY LULU DUPES

MARCH

This month was big – Pennie was new-ish to our family and still wreaking havoc everywhere she went! We love her and we’re glad we all made it through 2019 alive. I thought Braun was going to ship Pennie off there a few times!

Speaking of Braun, his blog post about mindset and the books that have helped him cultivate his was one of my favorite posts. Braun is the most driven person I know.

He’s the type of guy who says things like “Positive Mental Attitude” or “Decide To Like It” and he totally means it! Not in a sarcastic way. But in a heartfelt, you-can-do-better, life-is-what-you-make-it type of way.

He goes to the gym to work on his physical strength. Church to work on his spirit. And books to develop his mind. When I asked him how he chooses books and why these specific ones, he had this to say:

“I focus on books that can help me in my relationships, with my work and leadership skills, with sales, and self-help or becoming a better me.” His post on his books is a must-read. Especially if you’ve got some big New Year’s resolutions to tackle!

SHOP BRAUN’S FAVORITE BOOKS

• • •

APRIL

We love to travel. But with 2 adults and 4 kids, we usually have to book 2 rooms. According to Statista, the average daily rate (ADR) of hotels in the United States was 128.94 U.S. dollars as of February 2019.

And that’s $2 up from last year! Every month and every year rates go up and it gets more and more expensive for a family of our size to stick to a budget while traveling, let alone go on vacation.

But over the years, we’ve gotten a bit smarter about how we do vacations and lodging is one of the things we try to figure out and get out of the way first! And yes, price is always something we’re trying to get as low as possible but there are also a few things that make my vacations more pleasant. So I broke down all my tips & tricks so you can travel 2020 in style and within budget!

MAY

Now that I think about it, 2019 was a very “Tara’s an open book” year! But I really wanted to demystify the whole influencer gig for you guys. I wrote a few blog posts last year about this very topic and they were some of my top blog posts of all 2019!

There’s a handful of common questions I get asked on a daily basis from followers and people I meet in real life, but none more popular than these two:

How did you become a product tester?

and

How do you make money as an “Influencer?”

Both GREAT questions and ones I haven’t really known how to answer. I’ve been in your shoes!

How do bloggers make money? Are people just giving them free clothes and trips? I still wonder about these things – haha. But this post goes over all “Influencer” thing for you, dispells some myths, and maybe inspire one of you to follow your passion and do something you love!

JUNE

You can never teach your kids about financial responsibility too early! I remember watching movies like Clueless and thinking Cher had it all. A cute car, an automated closet, and a credit card that made it feel like money grows on trees. But as Emery has gotten older, Braun and I talk about how to teach not just her, but all of our kids about money and fiscal responsibility.

Enter Greenlight – the kid-friendly debit card that let’s them spend and earn. And I can honestly say it’s one of the best choices we made in 2019.

July

I am a better person when I’m tan. And I believe most of us are. So I broke down my top 10 tips and tricks to getting the perfect faux glow. Even if you’re a newbie!

SHOP ALL SELF TANNERS

• • •

AUGUST

It’s not pretty but it’s yummy. And if your food is so good that there isn’t any leftover at the end, does it even matter if it was pretty to begin with? I made this Chicken Pot Pie up at the cabin this weekend and it was AMAZING!

I made a gluten-free version, gave you some dairy-free options. And, it’s the yummiest thing you’ll make all winter. Check out the full recipe in this post!

SEPTEMBER

If you’re the only mom who didn’t get Christmas pajamas for her kids, don’t worry, I gotchu. It’s that time of year where the sun sets earlier and the crisp air means cozy nights inside become a must. One of my favorite things is to snuggle with my kids and read books in their pajamas at night. But if you’re like me, you’ve struggled to find that you and your little ones can agree on. Either you’ve got one that sleeps really hot or one that gets too cold. Don’t even get me started on cartoon pajamas…

DASH’S PAJAMAS | JETT’S PAJAMAS

Be the mom that gets New Year’s pajamas…read that post HERE.

OCTOBER

Don’t worry, we’re definitely going to get to your top 20 picks of 2019, but there is another list I think that’s worth a mention! And I know you guys loved it because it was one of my top read posts in 2019. As mom, we don’t get a ton of presents. We often get forgotten on birthdays and Christmas because we’re the ones shopping! But if you’re way overdue for a little #treatyoself therapy, this is the blog post for you!

LEOPARD BLANKET

I put together my top 10 items that are spendy, but WORTH the splurge. And it’s like giving yourself a little gift for all of your hard work. After all, reviews are in and you got top marks. So check out my top 10 items that are splurge-worthy!

NOVEMBER

This is when things really got crazy and I knew I just needed to get you guys something that would support you through the holidays and all the running around: JEANS! So I rounded up all of my f

Your Top 20 Picks from 2019
1.
BRAUN'S FAVORITE T-SHIRT (JUST BUY IT ALREADY)
NEXT LEVEL
Seriously? If you haven't snagged these for your man, have you been living under a rock? Over 41,000 are in the know and your guy has been thanking you ever since. It's no wonder that these are #1 on your 2019 list! *Hot man bod not included*
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2.
3-PACK SPORTS BRA
MIRITY
Your bank account just called, they want all the money you've been lighting on fire buying pricey sports bras back. Guys, these bad boys are the real deal. They hold your money maker's in place just as well as an expensive Lululemon bra, come equipped with removable padding, and are priced at a whopping $7! You're welcome.
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3.
LULU DUPE - 7/8 JOGGER PANTS WITH POCKETS
CRZ YOGA
There are two types of travelers in this world: those who arrive at the airport looking like they just stepped off the runaway and those who look like they just rolled out of bed. I'm team cozy, comfort, bed head all the way. Comfort is king for me when I travel! These pants are the first step in bridging the gap between airplane divas + airplane hobos. If you're familiar with Lululemons On the Fly 7/8 pants, these are an amazing dupe! Super similar, and come in even better colors than they offer at Lulu! Did I mention they're 1/3 of the prize as their OG counterpart? No wonder they came in at #3!
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4.
WOMEN'S HIGH WAISTED LEGGINGS W/POCKETS
CRZ YOGA
There must be something in the air because there are like 7 or 8 items in the top 20 that are leisure wear! And I totally get it! Plus, the fact that we found these awesome dupes makes it that much easier! For $26 - $29 bucks a pop, you can buy 3-4 pairs of these instead of one pair of Lulus. I'm not saying you have to ditch the Lulus completely but these definitely make the wallet happier and they're just as good if not better!
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5.
WOMENS RAZOR SUBSCRIPTION
BILLIE
They say you can’t put a price on happiness, but for $9 I can maintain a sleek, dolphin smooth skin, and I’m pretty sure that’s going to keep Braun a lot happier than the apparent Sasquatch look I’ve been going for this winter! Pick how often you shave and it calculates how often you'll need new cartridges and sends them right to you! So simple, and so affordable. Plus it's got this fancy magnetic holder than keeps the razor from constantly dropping. I absolutely love it! I even started ordering it for the girls!
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6.
SELF TANNING DROPS
ISLE OF PARADISE
The results are in! We are ALL better people when we're tan! haha I love these drops and so do you. And ever since QVC offered this amazing deal, you guys have been buying them like crazy and moved them to the top 20 list. I mix a few drops with my moisturizer and my face sports an otherworldly golden glow all year round. Even in the dead of winter, I look like I've just come back from a 2-week vacation in Hawaii. A girl can dream, right?
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7.
WOMEN'S WORKOUT SPORTS RUNNING SHORTS PANTS WITH ZIP POCKET - 4 INCH
CRZ YOGA
Do you know what I love? Spending a ton of money on something I can get for a fraction of the price elsewhere... said no one ever. These are a really close dupe for the Lululemon speed shorts! I love working out in these and the quality is shockingly great for the price! Have you tried this dupe yet? What did you think? I love it when I can find a product I love for cheaper!
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8.
SPONGE MAKEUP BLENDER
BEAKEY
Pro makeup tip #127: Buy these and take the $30 you were going to spend on a single beauty blender and buy more of your favorite makeup! These are the BEST! The price is unbeatable at $8 for 5, and they are so much better than the beauty blender! If you've seen any of my makeup tutorials you know my love for these bad boys. I was surprised to see them come in at #8 on this list but once I thought about it, it totally made sense! I love it when my beauty tools don't cost me an arm and a leg.
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9.
PIMPLE HEALING PATCH
RAEL
Coming in hot at #9 are the things that make me look better every morning. For those of you with a little more self-control than me when it comes to pimple popping + zit picking, this product is for you! These little magic pimple patches suck out all the crap and junk right out of your zits making them smaller and less frightening in no time. Perfect for those days when a big, angry, whitehead just doesn't go with your outfit.
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10.
SILICON AIRPOD CASE
AHASTYLE
We're halfway through the list and you've basically got everything you need to take on your New Year's resolutions...or sit on the couch in suuuuper comfy clothes and listen to your favorite true-crime podcast. Nothing says fashion quite like Air Pods attached by a carabiner to your belt loop. Jk, please don't attach this there. I love this case though! Air Pods are pricey, and I'm not about to lose or break 'em! This cute little case keeps them protected and the clip really is convenient for attaching to the inside of your purse or hanging on a key hook! Comes in a bunch of different colors too.
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11.
GLASS SEED BEADS
MANDALA CRAFTS
What's a girl to do when she has approximately 1,344 free hours to occupy her kids' time? Give 'em tons of microscopic beads that take hours of backbreaking intensive labor to create jewelry and tell them it's "fun". Seriously, my girls have been on such a bracelet/jewelry making kick lately and I've been loving it too! They've been making some for themselves, some for me, and some to give to their friends too. It's the gift that keeps gifting and earned its place as #11 on our list!
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12.
SENSEBOOST RUNNING SHOES
ADIDAS
Studies show you actually work out harder when you like what you're wearing. Actually, I haven't looked into the science of that, but I can only imagine that's accurate, right? That seems like a true statistic. Either way, these puppies made it onto the list and punched their way to #12. Look good, feel good, work out great! Seems reasonable. Plus these are easily $100 LESS than my Ultraboost favorites. They're comfy, durable, and cute! Lots of color options too.
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13.
LIGHT WEIGHT DRAWSTRING TRAINING SPORTS JOGGER PANT WITH POCKET WITH BANDED ANKLE
CRZ YOGA
Once upon a time, I shared a massive Lululemon dupe haul and uncovered the best wannabes of everyone's favorite Lulu classics! This pair was by FAR one of the favorites - so much so that when they restocked in early June, you guys sold them out AGAIN! Then you sold them out again in August, October, and again in early December! The waistband is thick and reinforced, the material is super light, and best of all...I'm not breaking the bank (or robbing one) to pay for them! Can I get an amen?! I'm loving this pant and at less than $30, I'm loving the price even more!
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14.
4 GALLON TRASH BAGS
PLASTICPLACE
Do you know why garbage bags made #14 on this list? Because us moms are sick of picking up used q-tips, used toilet paper, and other gross things that kids and husbands leave around the bathroom. Bathroom garbage is the pits! I believe in miraaaacles since ya came along, you sexay thang! Admit it. You’re still using old Target sacks as bathroom garbage bags. It’s okay, we all are. Or were! I’m here to say there’s a better way! These drawstring bags are perfect for those itty bitty bathroom garbages - no more garbage bags falling in! This is another one of my, why didn’t I try these sooner products!
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15.
VELVET SCRUNCHIES
SUSULU
I honestly didn't think we would ever see the day when scrunchies made a comeback but here we are! At #15, they almost didn't make the list! Let's just keep our fingers crossed stirrup leggings paired with oversized neon graphic t's stay buried in fashion history. My girls (okay and me!) are loving the scrunchie fad and these are our favorite! The velvet makes it a little more modern and the "bunny ears" add a fun detail! Snag all 12 colors for $9.99!
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16.
PANCAKE BATTER MIXER AND DISPENSER
WHISKWARE
I'm not a Pinterest mom, but I can fake it with the best of 'em! And at #16 on our list, you obviously wanted to fake it till you make it as well! You may have noticed over on my personal page, that here in the Thueson house we are passionate about pancakes. We eat them all the time! This little kit makes breakfast a little more fun! The pancake bottle makes it super easy to make fancy designs, and the blender ball keeps the batter from getting lumpy. It's all easy to use, and easy to clean too!
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17.
AIR MAX THEA MID-RISE BOOT
NIKE
Can we all agree that this is the shoe you guys have been the most curious about the last 2 years? And I hold you guys solely responsible for clearing out every Nike outlet from here to Minnesota! I don't blame you. These boots are the comfiest, cutest, it's-freaking-cold-outside boots ever made. Plus they go with everything, they don't get water spots, and they will keep your feet high and dry in the snow. I'm just glad we were able to find them again!
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18.
INSTANT SPOT REMOVER
FOLEX
Fun fact: Folex is actually French for "Most amazing carpet cleaning product ever put on planet Earth" or something like that. Seriously, if you have any amount of carpet or rugs in your house you NEED this. In fact, I would have been surprised if this DIDN'T make the list! It's gotten out stains in our rugs that I thought for sure couldn't be lifted. It's basically a magic potion! With four kids and now TWO pups in the house, we keep this on hand at all times.
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19.
LONG SLEEVE CREWNECK FLEECE TUNIC PULLOVER SWEATSHIRT
UNIVERSAL THREAD
Have I purchased this sweatshirt in every color? Yes. Did I live in the pink one my entire camping trip? Yes. Did it make the list? Also, yes. And it's no wonder! Super simple look, goes with everything, and only $25! It will keep you warm AND hide the food baby you have from winter snacking. Obviously, I'll be wearing mine constantly all season long
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20.
BOY'S HAIR GEL
JOHNNY B MODE
I was hoping this entire list (aside from the shirt for your husband. He should get at least ONE thing) was going to turn out to be a #treatyoself list! I was hoping that 2019 was the year that you guys were going to do a little self care. And by self care, I mean shopping, just for yourself. But I guess if your husband gets something, your kids should too. Whoever cracked the code on creating a gel that actually keeps sweaty little boy hair in place deserves the Nobel Prize. Seriously, we’ve tried so many products and nothing worked for my guys until I found this! It comes in a ton of colors and smells so dang good. For best results, put it in dry hair! It helps with volume and holds all day.
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