Shannon’s Favorite Things 2020

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Solstice, Happy every single winter holiday that occurs this season!

And most of all, happy sales and free shipping!

About a month ago I had really big and grandiose plans for another installment of my dysautonomia inspired gift guide—I had plans to work on it over Thanksgiving and scour the internet for deals and recommendations and provide you with the greatest ideas ever for your loved ones.

Welp. Here we are.

I want to blame my lateness on the fact that I threw my back out on Thanksgiving and was stuck in bed sleeping for a full week after, but that doesn’t do much to explain why I’m still another week late.

This year I’m incorporating a lot of non-dysautonomia items, which is why this year is just Shannon’s Favorite Things. Life with COVID has introduced the need for a lot of new products in our lives and SURPRISE, I HAVE A LOT OF OPINIONS.

Happy shopping, and happy holidays, I hope you find a product or an idea you love!

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FACE MASKS

I think the greatest nuisance of COVID is wearing a face mask. We always have to be aware of where our masks are, keep spares in the car, clean them… Plus I’m too scared to wash my masks in my laundry machine because if I’m losing socks in there, who knows what will happen to my masks.

The good part is that shopping for masks is actually fun and it’s now the perfect gift because every one needs them and having an extra is always helpful.

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WATER BOTTLES

I recommend a water bottle every year because it is always a correct gift to give, provided you’re giving a quality bottle.

It’s a very cliche option to choose, but the one I’m loving the most is the 32 oz Hydroflask with the straw lid.

Bonus: get someone a pack of vinyl stickers to decorate their bottle with.

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HAIR DRYER BRUSHES

I sometimes call myself a failure of a woman because I can’t use a standard blow dryer to save my life. I lack all coordination required to hold a hair dryer and brush my hair at the same time without smacking myself in the head every 3 seconds. In addition to that, POTS makes it impossible for me to lift my arms for any extended amount of time. As a result, I’ve strictly relied on air drying my hair for… my entire life?

I used my friend Katie’s hair dryer brush at DysConf one year and it’s a GAME CHANGER. It’s fast, it’s easy, it only requires one arm, and I LOVE IT.

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SALT

If you have POTS, you’re probably not getting enough salt in your diet… and no matter how much chips and salsa I eat, I’m still a bit low on sodium.

My lovely cousin Catherine decided to remedy that by sending me the nicest birthday gift, which was a ton of amazing salts from a mine in Utah called Redmond Salts. I have REALLY been enjoying their seasoning salts in particular–their garlic salt in particular. There isn’t anything that garlic salt can’t make more delicious.

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TILE

I lose things a million times a day—keys, wallets, prescriptions… it’s no good for anyone. After a few too many upset moments looking for keys, I finally decided to get a Tile and I love it. You put a little key fob on your keys or phone or whatever device you lose most often and use an app on your phone to locate it. And you can even do the reverse—if you lose your phone, you can press the button on the key fob and it’ll make your phone beep.

It’s come in handy A LOT.

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MEAL & GROCERY DELIVERY

When I moved into an apartment, the best thing I ever did for myself was sign up for sign up for Instacart’s premium service which lets you get your groceries delivered with no delivery fee—just pay for the groceries and tip your shopper!

It’s been such a lifesaver during quarantine and also on days when I just DON’T have the energy. When I know I have a big haul of heavy things, it’s the biggest relief in the world that I can pay someone to do it for me.

I also recommend gifting someone a meal delivery service! The one I hear the most good things about is Freshly, which delivers pre-made meals and all you have to do is heat it up.

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JOGGERS

My greatest discovery of this year is joggers. Before 2020, I was strictly a yoga pants girl (and still, yoga pants and bike shorts are the bomb), but I feel spectacular in joggers, just like the 90s kid I am, who lived in sweatpants and Gap sweatshirts.

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HAND SANITIZER LOTION

I get really dry hands in the winter which has only been made worst by washing them constantly. Thanks, COVID.

I was so happy when I saw that hand sanitizer lotion is a thing, and I LOVE Vaseline’s. With a lot of lotions and hand sanitizers, my skin burns and hurts from the cracked skin, but I don’t have that problem with this lotion at all. This is a perfect stocking stuffer.

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STUFF FROM MY FRIENDS

I have the most incredible and talented friends that you need to check out.

Natasha makes candles that look and smell delicious enough to eat

Sarah hand blows custom glass ornaments and home decor

Kylie 3D prints 2020 themed cookie cutters

Elaine makes stunning mosaics

My mom’s friend Karma makes the most delicious chocolates and caramels

HOW COOL ARE THEY? Please, go buy from them, and tell them I sent you!

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ARTISTS THAT I LIKE WHO I WISH WERE MY FRIENDS

Alyissa makes the cutest earrings

Clare Kim makes amazing pop culture paintings

Claire England makes adorable pins (check out the salty pickle one, perfect for POTSies!)

Michelle, Spoonie Sisters, sells shirts, mugs, and stickers for chronically ill girls — it’s SO cute

Morgan Harper Nichols, who is bananas amazing, makes art and poetry 

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If you’re looking for more ideas, check out my previous gift guides!

Whatever you choose, please be safe when shopping in person, have a social distanced holiday (but still celebrate over zoom!), and have a wonderful holiday season.

All my love,

Shannon

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