When you're blessed with an unexpected chunk of extra cash - a little bonus at work, or maybe you find a bill tucked in the pocket of a coat you haven't worn for a while - how do you spend it? Do you:

  • Stock up on necessities?
  • Plunk it all down on one splurge-y treat?
  • Stare at it for a few days, frozen in indecision because seizing lucky opportunities isn't exactly your forte?

If you picked door number three, you and I have a lot in common.

My editor, Mary, emailed me recently with an assignment to spend $100 on Amazon, then write up my petite shopping spree. Amazing! Man, do I love my job! But truthfully, after the initial "woo hoo!" feeling subsided, I found myself scrolling through the digital marketplace for hours, unable to commit. To echo the sentiments of fellow LTK Commerce Writer, Emily, this assignment was proving to be a lot more difficult than I'd expected it to be.

Thankfully, I was offered a few creative parameters to help focus this exercise: I was to find one item that I needed, one item that I wanted, and one wildcard item. With that in mind, I set off on my mission and here is what I found.

NEED: A New Laundry Basket

I had been using an old IKEA bag as my laundry hamper for entirely too long, so when my boyfriend finally yanked one of the handles off about a month ago, I took it as a sign that it was time for an upgrade. This one appealed to me because it's tall and soft-sided yet stands up on its own - my closet is tiny, so it was essential that I find a hamper that could be manipulated to fit around the other boxes in there. The construction is surprisingly sturdy given the price, and it's cute!

WANT: An iPad Mount for My Bathtub

Something to know about me: I love, love, love taking a bath. I'm always looking for ways to make my little rental bathroom feel more luxurious, and one day, it occurred to me that I could affix my iPad to the side of my built-in cabinet using one of those adhesive suction mounts meant for the car. Reader, it was as if I had ascended to the Galaxy Brain version of myself. The idea felt divinely inspired. So as soon as I got a handle on this assignment, I smashed that "Buy Now" button on the AboveTEK tablet mount. The grip is strong and secure, and adjusting the arm with the included hex key was very simple. And as you can see from my pic, it worked exactly as I'd hoped. Hallelujah!

WILDCARD: A Buzzy Supplement Rec'ed By My Editor Herself

For the Wildcard pick, I looked to my own editor for inspiration. She mentioned the benefits of Vital Proteins Collagen Powder in an article she wrote last year so I thought, what the heck, I want better skin and less bloating, too! Though it's only been a few weeks, I actually have noticed a bit of a difference in my energy levels and the texture of my skin. It also seems to be helping with some joint pain I'd been having, so that's a plus!


EXTRA WILDCARD: This TikTok Approved Electric Whisk

There was some wiggle room left in my budget, so I tossed one of these into my cart and I'm so glad I did. Having a velvety, frothy latte at home in the morning has been such a delight! This thing is shockingly powerful and I love that the whisk detaches for easy cleaning. A+!

RUNNER UP: Some Fancy House Slippers

It was very tempting to take the $100 and use it on a big treat for myself. These have been in my cart for a while, but I just couldn't justify using a majority of the budget on a pair of slippers, regardless of how seductively fuzzy they are. I will eventually need some comfy indoor/outdoor slides, so hopefully they'll go on sale soon, but for now, they'll have to live in the "Saved for Later" section!

RUNNER UP: Under Eye Patches for My Dark Circles

Real talk: your girl looks tired. Ever since I entered my 30s, the circles under my eyes have become darker, the skin thinner, and I've been debating whether to give mask gels like these a shot. The reviews of this product are excellent, full of encouraging before-and-afters of folks happily showing off their brighter plumper peepers. Really, the reason they didn't make the cut for this assignment simply came down to keeping my cart total at $100 or less, but I'm sure one day soon they'll make it through checkout.