This is where I get to go really nuts w affiliate linking (*all images), and I’m stoked because, well, I may be able to earn a small commission on qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate, but I also get to redeem myself for purchases that have served me well but I’ve never reviewed. Ho yeah. (My profile eventually evolved into reviews for only (indie) books (as you can see)).
I’ve had an Amazon account since ‘08. Most of my purchases are eBooks & music. I’ve never really been an Amazon head. I think my buying habits have remained relatively the same, but maybe a little less bc of fraud for copycat & low-quality products. But I buy mostly everything online; I’m a specific person and I can live w out it, but I do like the customization the internet provides. (I also use Amazon as just a database search) I am tho a Whole Foods head, and I’ve made a lot of grocery delivery orders since (the shutdowns in) 2020. WF has since started charging a 9.95 delivery fee in my area on top of the 14.99/mo. Prime membership, but it’s convenience so ok, and I cancel it when it’s not useful to me. I’ve used Amazon Fresh a lot bc they offer free delivery on orders $35+, but the food/brand selection is not as healthy (or available) & there are no substitution options. By default, I get access to free movies to stream bc of Prime membership (some of my favorites I included at the end for fun). Most of the products here I still have and buy, & the stars represent their ranking on Amazon. I didn’t include prices bc, like packaging and product pages, they change constantly! As w all things, make sure to do your own research and assume liability for your own purchases; We’re all different—bodies skin hair; we even vary in how we use and treat the same product! Enjoy!
Last Updated May 2022
GROCERY & KITCHEN –
McCafe Medium Premium Roast Ground Coffee 12 Ounce
HAUSPROFI Stainless Steel Funnel 5.1-inch w Mesh Strainer
OXO Good Grips 3-Inch Mini Strainer
OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler Non-Slip Grip
iDesign Gia Stainless Steel Sponge Holder w Suction Cups
Bellemain Stainless Steel Colander (5-Quart)
The colander I bought in ’16, and the peeler in 2017. Everything else I bought for the 1st time in March ’22. I’m the kind of coffee drinker that has never been enough of a coffee drinker to care about making it properly in a machine at home, but enough of one to drink it bad and instant for most of my life and bc I worked night shift on/off for 10+ years. I also don’t like clutter or gadgets, so I make coffee the old-fashioned way & now w coffee that for the first time in my life doesn’t give me instant heart palpitations and the shakes. I love McDonald’s coffee (They had me long ago at $1, but, seriously, it’s good). The funnel and insertable strainer work perfect, so I didn’t need the white mesh or mini strainer. OXO products are generally well made, and that goes for the mini strainer too. It’s very sturdy, a little bigger than I thought, and I’ll probably use it for loose leaf tea. The white mesh strainer stained right away, but I’ve somexs used it being lazy to make oat milk & not using a whole nut bag. I got the 5.1” funnel which came w everything pictured, but the company may’ve changed their combo packages so read carefully.
Lodge Combo Cooker Cast Iron 10.25″ Black
Corelle Super Soup/Cereal Bowl Set of 3 Winter Frost White
Corelle 18 Piece Dinnerware Sets for 6 Winter Frost White
I’m gonna do right by my next Lodge set, promise. I bought this (& the Corelle) set in 2016. The whole thing wound up in the garbage as a sticky mess—Don’t ask—bc I had no idea how to take care of cast iron. But the old timers had it right, turns out, since this is how we easily get our iron intake. They discontinued the Corelle set I bought, which was 16-piece (also frost white) & included cups but only 3 soup bowls which is why I re-upped for 3 more in 2017. I started w this dinnerware set actually bc my grandparents used the Corelle brand (it’s been around a minute, and for good reason: it’s elegant enough in looks while not sacrificing utility; you could hurl these things out of a 5-story window and set the table w them still looking like this by 6).
KITCHEN & HOUSEHOLD –
Brita Standard Metro Water Filter Pitcher Small 5 Cup White
Ninja Blenders-Countertop Gray 48 & 16 oz
International Silver 20-Piece Stainless Steel Flatware Set
Neat-O Stainless Steel Metal Wire Medium Dish Drainer
Nordic Ware Microwave 10.5 Inch Spatter Cover
Boyata Adjustable Multi-Angle Stand for Laptop up to 17”
The microwave cover I’ve had since 2016, and the flatware and dish drainer since 2017. No complaints, tho the drainer can rust; but for all things stainless steel, I use vinegar and voilà! Like new. I originally bought this Ninja in 2015, and for whatever reason I don’t think had anything to do w its functionality, got rid of it after ~ 2 years. And I love it. It’s cheap, plastic (sorry), simple and well made, works for me. All those fancy-dance-y hoity-toity blenders with reviews of exploding glass and scary burning electric motor smells scared me right back into the memory of my Ninja. (I’m already pretty accident-prone; I’d had a pretty good (glass) Oster blender in the interim, but I broke it) This is also my second go-round with a Brita, but it’s my 1st new one (that I bought in ’21). It’s sleek and has a helpful indicator at the top to signal when to change the filter (my first was larger w no indicator and a hand-me-down that I dropped and broke the handle to after ~ 2 years). & speaking of sleek—last but not least—I LOVE my laptop stand; I love cleanly and simply-designed products (w multi-uses). It’s stiff but you can bend this thing into several useful configurations. I have a 13” laptop that fits perfect on it, so if yours is wider (up to 17”) it will fit but hang off.
Alaffia Charcoal Reishi Authentic African Black Soap 5 oz
Betterway Bamboo Toilet Paper 3 PLY 12 Double Rolls
Alaffia Authentic Shea Butter Unscented 11 oz
I loooove Betterway tp. Never thought I’d say that about toilet paper. But seriously. It’s environmentally friendly, soft like crazy but also sturdy. I started on Amazon w 12 double rolls in 2021 and then—when they were out—going to the Betterway website. I also love the Alaffia brand. I buy their soap & butter from Whole Foods, but also from their website. I use the bar soap on my hair as a shampoo (which is extremely clarifying), & the butter as a salve to heal and lighten blemishes, cuts, etc. I also use it in an old lip balm jar for my lips. Somexs I also use it on my (toe) nails & cuticles. I recommend slathering it around your hairline especially if you are black and have experienced hair loss there. (I sometimes slick my hair down or up into a (loose-enough) ponytail/style w Black Castor Oil & Flaxseed Eco Style gel and lots of shea butter, and just keep reapplying both until I wash it (I have a lot of hair and it’s very coarse)) Right now, I struggle w a very dry scalp and flaking, so since black soap can be drying, I either pre-grease my scalp w coconut oil, or grease it after, or use jojoba oil during the wash.
HOUSEHOLD & GROCERY –
365 Whole Foods Market White Vinegar Distilled 64 Oz
365 Whole Foods Market Baking Soda 16 Oz
Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar 32 Oz
Honestly, where do I begin? These are household staples. Together with dish, laundry & body soap and essential oils, this is pretty much all I use for home & body care (and I used to be quite the Clorox wipe, abrasive burn-your-eyebrows-off chemicals kinda person (I still use bleach for body and bed linen)). I spray the underarms of white tees w white vinegar pre-wash to prevent & lighten yellow stains. Once every month or two, I do whole body ACV rinses and use it to clean and disinfect my scalp. (ACV makes my hair and skin super soft!) Somexs I gargle and rinse my mouth w it and drink a splash diluted in water or tea. I also use a splash to boil body rags. Sometimes I wipe my (toe) nails w it (and it seems to stave off brown stripes/hyperpigmentation down the middle of my nail). Somexs I use it to “reset” my underarms, and to wipe my face to clear & prevent breakouts. (Be careful w ACV usage bc it can cause chemical burns) I only use Bragg, but I’m less specific about baking soda. Sometimes I use Arm & Hammer. I use baking soda sometimes w my laundry (for natural whitening & deodorizing). I also sometimes mix it w lemon oil & water to re/freshen and deodorize my clothes/shoes and body.
KITCHEN & BODY –
Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap Peppermint 32 oz
365 Whole Foods Market Unrefined Coconut Oil 14 oz
Alba Very Emollient Body Lotion Maximum Dry Skin 32 oz
More household staples! I have very dry skin so I probs shouldn’t use Dr. Bronner’s (w a washcloth it’s very stripping), but I do and love it and use it in combo w essential oils to bathe, but I also switch it out with my A La Maison (bar) soaps, which are more supple and moisturizing bc of vegetable glycerin. I only use Peppermint from Whole Foods and I somexs also use it to wash my hair and as a household cleaner. (I bought it 1x from Target & it wasn’t the same, like it’d been watered down, and it smelled funny) I’ve been using it for years along w Alba’s Very Emollient Lotion, which is the closest I can get to a near medicating lotion w/out crazy chemicals. Sometimes I seal it (on my body) w coconut oil, which…can we just join hands and sing a song for coconut oil? I love coconut oil. It cooks extremely clean and makes my hair super soft w/out weighing it down. I also love that it’s temperature sensitive and can change states quickly. Super lightweight, I also use it for my face after cleaning it w a clean rag and water. Note – I have eczema/super dry but sturdy skin. I need emollients! Lotions that are creamy and oily and watery at the same time. Creamy moisturizing but lightweight like jojoba or coconut oil. I sometimes steam my face w a regular pot on the stove and that’s it. I’ve got pretty good/clear skin.