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What’s on my Birthday Wish List + my Most Brilliant Life Hack

Backpack // Book // Curling Iron // Tray

Planner // Belt // Lens // Earrings

Mat Strap // Bow Barrette // Heels // Duffel

So as you know, I have been attempting the Contentment Challenge for the last three months. I was doing wonderfully in July and August. After a few Maui-prep purchases, I was ready for a spending juice cleanse, and it went really well. Well, confession: I kind of fell off the wagon this month. It started out innocently enough with an Elsa at the Lilly Junior League event. Then it was like well, I really need this Mizzou scarf to cheer on the Tigers this fall, and then well, my hair has been looking terrible lately, so I should really try those Living Proof products

How I Keep Track of my Wish List

But we are almost to the finish line of this thing, my 29th birthday! And today I want to share one of my greatest life hacks. I believe I came up with it myself (hair flip). It is: a Google Sheet Wish List. Basically I just keep a running Google spreadsheet that the hubs is invited to, starred in my Google Drive. I have four columns for what the item is, the link to it, the price, and size/color/notes. Over the years I have become better and better all the time at knowing exactly what I like and will last, what is worth the splurge, and what I can find cheaper. I have found that with more thoughtful purchases, I really appreciate and use the things I buy so much more, and this Google sheet is my secret sauce.

I created the sheet when we were poor newlyweds in the summer of 2015, and it has been so beneficial for so many reasons. First, when I see something I really need, I think my primary reason for buying things has been that I think I’m going to forget about it and how much I really need it. 🙂 Well, if I diligently put it down on the spreadsheet, that’s not going to be a problem, because I can refer back to the list! Fast fashion may be sold out by the time I get back to it, but quality items will remain, and that’s just an added fringe benefit.

Secondly, every once in a while I comb through the list and delete items I don’t really want or need anymore. This really helps me eliminate impulsive spending. I often find myself thinking “you know I really need/want X thing” and then find that lo and behold, it has been on the Google Sheet for months. (That Catherine knows me so well.) Voila, zero hunting for the product, because I already saved the link! That’s how I know something’s a good buy that will actually fill a void in my life or wardrobe.

Finally, just think of what this can do for America’s husbands. Will is invited to my sheet, and because I always have about twenty-ish items on there, by the time it’s my birthday/Christmas/our anniversary, I have no idea what he’s going to choose. It’s a perfect happy medium for us Type-A control-freak, I-say-I-do-but-I-don’t-really-like-surprises gift receivers. He knows that he is buying me something I legitimately want and will use without me dictating to him exactly what to get me. EVERYBODY WINS.

My Current Wish List 

Ok, but on to what is on my current Wish List, just in time for my birthday:

A Small, Chic BackpackI was inspired by Carly on this one. As I get older, I’m getting more no-nonsense, and seriously, backpacks are glorious for hands-free life. Also, Will got a little Patagonia (in black) for Maui that he now uses nonstop for basically every weekend outing, and I got jealous.

The Ubiquitous Gray Malin Beaches Coffee Table BookYes, I know I’m late to this party, but my office decor was inspired by Amalfi, and it needs this for its console table. Also, PSA: support brick and mortar bookstores! We don’t want them to go away.

A Beachwaver S1 Rotating Curling IronDid I mention my hair looks terrible? This may be a future post, but I think my hair has changed texture as I’ve gotten older, and that means I need to totally revamp my hair products/routine. I think the main obstacle is time, and this curling iron rotates on its own!

A Small Dish for my Keys at the OfficeThe last item on my office decor shopping list is a small decorative tray for my keys. This is primarily because I have to take my keys every time I leave (or even go to the bathroom), because I need my fob to get back in. I need something cute and easily accessible to keep me from losing those bad boys.

The 2017 She Plans To Do List PlannerThis could also definitely be a whole post, but I have been around and around with all the beautiful planners this year. I bought the Day Designer, and it’s gorgeous, but it’s huge and weighs a ton. I swear, it could cause back pain if you plan to carry it around in your purse, which isn’t worth it if you aren’t really using it. I also love the Emily Ley Simplified Planner, but that was very similar and the format just doesn’t work too well for me. What I really needed was a weekly list for all those things that need to get done sometime very soon, but not necessarily today, and I needed blank pages for all my weird lists and a place to put my monthly goals. Enter the To Do List Planner, which has changed my life!

A Knotted Waist BeltFor the impending season of sweater dresses, I need to finally find a waist belt that can cinch without looking dumb. I think this is the answer!

A 35mm f/2 Prime LensTHIS IS THE BIG KAHUNA. My 50mm f/1.8 lens has served me very well, and I will love her for many years to come, but for shooting humans, she isn’t as practical on my 60D. I need a wider angle lens for people, parties, and close-ups so the photographer (usually me) doesn’t have to back waaaaaaay up to fit anything in the frame.

Tassel EarringsIs it too late to jump on this bandwagon? I wanted tassel earrings a long time ago, put them on the sheet, and then forgot. I think people may still be wearing them for a while, and sometimes I think they can look weird when they are truly overpowering, so a subtle blush color would be a great way to slightly neutralize the statement. This pair from Tuckernuck is my fave.

A Yoga Mat StrapY’all, hold me accountable, I really need to start some yoga. My back often hurts at work no matter what my chair is like or what kind of ergonomic posture I practice. I’m just not flexible anymore, and there is a Core Power right by my office, so expect to see this on future goals lists. Luckily, I WON an amazing Lululemon yoga mat at my friend Jessie’s bachelorette weekend last year, and now I just need a strap. Yeah, it’s totally the lack of portability of the mat that has kept me from the studio.

This Gorgeous Bow BarretteI tell you what, every time I see Julia Engel in a bow, I die. Bows are not just for toddlers, and I am determined to rock this ladylike look.

Chunky Strappy HeelsI love this shoe trend with the chunky heel and delicate toe strap. I like this pair, because they are affordable, the color goes with everything, and suede works in the fall.

The Best WeekenderAnd last, but not least, I have been wanting this preppy weekender forever. I love the classic design, the monogram, everything. And who needs the perfectly-sized lightweight weekender more than I do? I think duffels are so much more convenient for quick trips, and I need one that is easy to tote around without being too small to fit everything. Carolina Dandy also makes the same bag for less, so I would buy that one in the cream/navy!

Whew! Sorry, that was long. Maybe the Contentment Challenge has led to a very backed up wish list line…

What’s on your list?


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