I bought a weighted blanket because they are supposed to be good for anxiety but my cats haven't let me use it yet.

A gift guide for the apocalypse.

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Normally around this time of year I publish my annual gift guide full of all the amazing, fun, and quirky random things I want you to buy for me and my cats. Of course, none of you ever actually buy me anything from that list. But whatever. I’m not bitter about that at all or anything.


This year there is a pandemic and my solution to pandemic depression is to just buy myself everything I see an Instagram ad for. So I don’t really need you to buy me shit this year because chances are if I want it I’ve already spent money I don’t have on it. I mean, if you really want to send me some extra sweatpants or candles or Starbucks gift cards or laundry quarters or credit card debt relief I would happily take it. But you know what I mean.

So instead of sharing a holiday gift guide full of shit you should buy me I am going to share a holiday gift guide full of shit I already bought for myself that has made life in quarantine that much better. Because maybe you want to buy something for yourself that will make staying home 24/7 a tiny bit more bearable. Or are looking for something to buy for someone who isn’t me that you actually buy presents for.


Here is my gift guide for the apocalypse that is 2020…


I bought a weighted blanket because they are supposed to be good for anxiety but my cats haven't let me use it yet.

Bearaby Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets are supposed to be good for helping with anxiety. And I have a whole lot of anxiety that could use some help. I picked up this ridiculously expensive weighted blanket off of an Instagram influencer campaign because I am highly susceptible to influence. But, I mean, it’s pink and ombre and how could I resist? The blanket isn’t exactly a miracle blanket that scrubs my brain of that embarrassing thing I did in 1992 that pops into my head at 2 in the morning, but it does feel nice to sleep with a big heavy thing on top of me because lord knows that hasn’t happened in too long.


Soda Stream

Soda Stream

If you know me you know I drink way too much soda. And in real life that translates to constant visits to Walgreens to grab 12-packs of Coke or stops at 7-11 to pick up a bottle on my way home from work. But in quarantine world where I try to limit my time spent out of my apartment, I no longer had access to cans of high fructose love at my fingertips. Even when I do go to the grocery store it is hard to justify the extra weight of soda cans when I already have to buy ten times as many groceries as I normally would. And I did start off trying to stock up at Walgreens but I still could only carry so much home at one time (and yes, Walgreens worker, I do know it is cheaper to buy three twelve packs over two BUT I. CAN’T. CARRY. THAT. MUCH. HOME.).

But to this dilemma, a found a solution: make my own soda at home. The Soda Stream was one of the best purchases I have made during quarantine, if not in my entire life. With just a few presses of a button I can turn regular old tap water into soda water. And I can drink that soda water as is or add some syrup and make an Italian soda like an indie barista. Peach is my favorite.


Mr. Coffee Iced Coffee Maker

Iced Coffee Maker

Speaking of things I drink too much of, I also bought an iced coffee maker. It’s kind of ridiculous because it just makes hot coffee that pours over ice and melts the ice and makes it cold. So it basically makes coffee… But I think it’s like more concentrated coffee. Or something. I don’t know. I don’t really care. I saw it on one of those Instagram accounts that just posts everything they sell at Target and I wanted it.OK?


Cat Tarot Deck

Tarot Cats Tarot Card Deck

When life gets hard, buy yourself a new tarot deck and ask the universe for answers. Especially if that tarot deck has cute illustrations of cats. (Insert shrug emoji here.)


Cat holding a This is Going Well mug

Diner Mugs

Since I can’t go to Target every weekend and walk around and look at all the random crap I don’t need but am going to buy anyways, I have taken to scrolling through Target-product Instagram accounts. Like there are unofficial Target Instagram accounts that exist to just post pictures of crap you can buy at Target. They all have handles like TargetIsMyBae and post sweatshirts and holiday decor and spatulas and earrings and candles and mugs. Oh the glorious mugs.

I have approximately 10,000 mugs in my cabinet but kind of always want more. I don’t know why. I drink one cup of coffee per day. Sometimes a hot chocolate too. But I also hate doing dishes and love posting cute mug selfies so whatever I keep adding more mugs every time I order something I actually need to buy from Target. Like sweatpants. All. the. sweatpants.

Full disclosure: I have a pending Target order that has three more mugs being delivered next week. I might need help. Or more cabinet space. One of those.

But anyways, my favorite mugs are these diner mugs because they are hefty and thick and remind me of being in a pancake house (remember being in a pancake house?) and have ironic sayings like “this is going well” and “I’m going back to bed after this,” which pretty much are accurate to life right now.


Cat Taco Truck

Cat Taco Truck

Last December I bought a Target cat Christmas villa that lasted well into June. When that broke I bought my cats this taco truck. Because, really, my cats need to start pulling their weight around here so it was about time they got jobs. Of course, they showed me what they think about being forced to work by destroying that thing completely in two weeks. But, I mean, I get it.

For two weeks of my quarantine life I had this adorable taco truck for the cats to play with. And then for two more months I had a pile of unusable garbage on my floor that I was too depressed to move.


My cat in a Top Entry Cat Litter Box

Top-Entry Litter Box

Now that I am home 24/7 I was kind of sick of having to see cat poop 24/7. So I replaced one of my litter boxes with a more stylish top-entry box that hides the poop from my view. It looks much nicer in my dining room but I’ve only seen one cat actually use it so I am hesitant to replace the second one just yet… Of course, what I really want is a litter robot that automatically scoops the poop too. But I’m not quite at a place in my life for to get a $500 litter box…


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What is the best thing you've bought during this pandemic?

Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

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