Things I was happy to have paid for in 2013

These are a few things I’ve been using a lot in the last year. I figured I’d share them. Maybe you’re looking for some comfy chinos or a pen that lets a lefty write letters and not smudges. Let me know if there’s something you think I should try in 2014!

Harry’s Razors

The most affordable razor blades I’ve ever enjoyed using. I get a super close shave even after a month of shaving at least once every day.

Moleskine Notebooks
These notebooks are a theme in my life. Some call them overpriced, but I find them to be just affordable enough to be practical and just expensive enough to make me feel bad for not using them. The small sizes are perfect for thoughts, notes, and sketches.

Shave Oil
I’ve only just discovered this fantastic category of shave product, so I don’t have anything to say about specific brands, but the shave oil I’m using has me hooked. Rub a few drops on a wet face. Benefits include closer shave, less razor burn, cool and refreshing, great smell, a bottle lasts forever. I’ll be exploring this stuff a little more (if the bottle I currently have ever runs out).

Zebra F-301 Ballpoint Pens
These are the only pens I’ve yet to use without leaving illegible smears where the letters should have been. Not perfectly smudge-free and a tad bit expensive, but they have good line quality. I can use them to take notes and make sketches. Don’t use the gel version, those are crap.

Staedtler Lead Holder
A fat, hard piece of graphite gripped firmly in talons of steel.  Makes you feel like a pro. Best sketching tool ever.

Evernote Premium
I wasn’t sure if this one was going to be worth it, but shared notebooks and premium syncing has changed how I take and organize notes. I can finally stop hoarding all those tiny scraps of paper and napkins. Keeping note-related images out of my camera roll is a boon, too.

Bombay Gin
Not much to say here, but this gin is good to sip and affordable to sip every day. It also mixes well (but what gin does’t, really?).

Apple’s iPhone is the only device I’ve ever found to increase my focus and help me set good habits. There are reasons to dislike it, but my overall feelings are positive. Since getting an iPhone, I take more (and better) notes—offline as well as digital—read more, and spend less time on the computer.

Bullhead Chinos
In an effort to expand my wardrobe, I gave chinos a try. These fit great, so comfy. Just skinny enough: they come in 28×30 and look damn sexy every day. My wife says she loves them ((I think she likes to stare)).

Cole Haan Franklin Saddle Shoes
Alyssa bought these for me as a “congratulations on the new job” present. They look sharp with jeans or dress pants (and chinos!). I wear them every day.