By Derek Reimherr
In case you missed it, we recently moved from Boston to Atlanta. And there’s nothing like upgrading to a 2 bedroom apartment with a giant patio, walk-in closets, and full-size bathrooms to make you realize how much you do (or don’t) have.
Being an interests guy, there are many things I love in this world. Surprising no one who knows me, two of them are entertaining and decorating. Something something gender roles, whatever. As we looked around at our new apartment, Maggie and I got the itch to start buying stuff we probably don’t need to make our new home feel more comfortable and entertaining easier.
Some of that stuff we definitely didn’t need (like a mousepad with a Rambo cat riding a fire breathing unicorn), but several of our purchases have been really, really great.
So as you’re gearing up for the summer, we’ve got a few (non-sponsored, no one is paying us for these) recommendations based on our recent purchases. We think they’ll make your home a lot more fun, cozy, and comfortable.
1. New bar stools for your kitchen
In the south, people gather around food. Lucky for us, our new kitchen comes complete with a nice, long bar. Unfortunately, it’s been sitting naked for the past several months. No more! Target came in clutch with these really slick stools that perfectly fit our apartment aesthetic, and at only $180 for 2 pairs.
2. Decorations for your patio. Extra points for copper.
All copper everything. I don’t even care how ~basic~ it makes us, we LOVE copper in the Reimherr household. Our patio is perfect for summer sitting since it doesn’t get much direct sun and we want to spruce it up with unique lighting features. One trip to Target yielded this copper lantern and following Kinja Deals on Twitter served us these copper wire lights for a steal. The lantern is on our patio set (also from Target) and the lights are now strung through our patio fence/railing.
P.S. Be careful with Kinja Deals. Every time I click on their daily deals, I have something in my Amazon shopping cart 5 seconds later. Speaking of Amazon….
3. Amazon Prime membership
If you don’t already have one, what are you doing? You’re too busy to run to the store for every little thing this summer. 2-day free shipping has been a major time saver for us. But wait, there’s more! Amazon Music, Amazon Movies and TV (like Man in the High Castle - so good), and early access to deals. What are you waiting for?
4. Cold brew coffee maker
If you haven’t explored the world of cold brew, summer is the perfect time. There’s nothing worse than hot coffee when it’s already 80 degrees at 9:00 am. Yes, you can make cold brew in a french press or a pitcher (with some finagling). But wouldn’t you rather get a super cheap, super easy to use cold brew maker instead? This one is 1 quart which is perfect for two travel mugs every morning. Yes, cold brew takes a lot more coffee beans to make, but it’s still about $0.75 per 10 oz coffee vs. $3.50 at the coffee shop across the street from us.
5. Self-care essentials
Maggie is all about the self-care and it’s rubbed off on me, too. For her, that means bubble baths, frequent trips to the library, and the occasional massage. If you’re partial to relaxing baths, here’s what she’s been using lately. While you’re at it, get a bath caddy to hold your glass of wine. I gifted Maggie one for Christmas and she loves it.
6. A good pair of headphones
Anyone that plans on bebopping (people still say this, right?) their way around coffee shop patios in the summer knows the value of decent bluetooth headphones. Alternatively, they’re great for air travel or long car rides. Trust me, your ears deserve better than those iPhone headphones. I have a pair of Bose on-ears but recently bought a well-reviewed and deeply discounted pair of over-ear headphones. Yes, there’s a difference.
7. Portable battery/charger
Man, these things are absolute LIFE SAVERS. Get it, like battery life? From the research I’ve done, Anker is the undisputed king in this category. Their portable batteries come in all shapes and sizes with a variety of ports. I got the small model - it fits in my pocket and backpack super easily.
8. Lightweight cotton sheets
Maybe you’re still using your sheets from college, but we were fortunate enough to get a set of 600 thread count sheets as a wedding gift. They’re unbelievably soft and cozy, but they retain heat like nobody’s business. This does not bode well in a Georgia summer.
I did some research recently and found Brooklinen sheets had the highest ratings. (This is a referral link btw. You buy anything and Maggie and I get some credit. Thanks in advance!) As an avid Casper brand evangelist, it pained me to go off-brand. One cannot ignore reviews, though. These 270 thread count sheets were exactly what the doctor ordered. No more waking up sweaty for this couple. Bonus points if you get polka dot sheets because you know your wife will think they're "cute."
9. Game night options
We are big board/card game people. Okay, I’M a big board gamer and I’ve converted Maggie. Having a couple beers with friends while crushing them in not-Monopoly is the perfect Sunday night for us. (Seriously, Monopoly is the worst.) Not all game nights are created equal, though. Cards Against Humanity (or Exploding Kittens, Utter Nonsense, etc) is awesome for 6 or more people - we just bought an expansion for this exact reason. But nothing beats a rousing, yes rousing, game of Settlers of Catan, 7 Wonders, or Pandemic with another couple or small group of friends. Make sure you have options.
10. TV upgrades
What does this have to do with summer, you ask? Isn’t summer for going outside? Yes, but the night is dark and full of terrors. For all you non-Westerosi out there, Game of Thrones is coming back this summer. So is House of Cards. And Orange is the New Black. Invest in your binging viewing experience by grabbing a soundbar - your TV speakers aren’t doing Jon Snow’s brooding justice. There are options as cheap as $150, but I spent a bit more when I upgraded.
We recently bought a strip of bias lights. They’re supposed to reduce eye strain and increase the perceived on-screen contrast. Or something. I’m enjoying them so far.
There you have it. Go forth and shop.
What are you planning on buying this summer? Let us know!