On a day-to-day basis, it's rare that I think about all the stuff that goes into making life run. I am a physically active foodie with a penchant for sweets and a book collecting habit bordering on hoarding (don't judge me - I swear I read most of them). But on top of that, I'm also a mom, an editor, and in a few short months, a Master's student - what the heck was I thinking?!

In between the scrambles to and from varies errands and activities, I rely on a number of absolute must-haves from the world's greatest coffee maker to my well-loved running shoes. Let me take you on a journey through my day and everything I simply cannot live without.

I was definitely influenced by TikTok to buy this, but honestly, I'm so glad that I did. I keep this elegant glass carafe on my bedside table for late night sipping and first-stretch-after-the-alarm hydration. Not only do I find it gorgeously classy and aesthetic, I've also discovered that it helps me remember to drink my water throughout the day!

A Coffee Maker That Suits Two (or More)

While we're on the subject of coffee, this gift from my brother and sister-in-law has been a treasured part of the morning routine for years. We can program a full pot the night before, my firefighter husband can fill his giant thermos to take to work with him, and I have plenty leftover for my two cups of necessary caffeine per day.

A voracious reader like me loves to be surrounded by books - that includes first thing in the morning. Especially if I'm able to peel myself out of bed before kiddo wakes up, I love getting a few quiet moments snuggling on the couch with the dog, a cup of sweetened blonde roast, and my latest read. This lovely mug sets the mood perfectly.

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Struggling with my skin was just a fact of life for my entire adolescence and into adulthood. That is, until an aesthetician told me, "you know you don't actually have oily skin, right?" Life changing. My mind was blown. She recommended I switch to this gentle cleanser from La Roche Posay, and I've washed my face with it twice a day, every day, ever since. It's the perfect starting point to a simple, seamless skincare routine that doesn't rip all the natural moisture out of my face.

I swear, every single winter, like clockwork, my skin finds new ways to torture me. The second (and I mean, the second) the dry air hits, bits of me start cracking and flaking. Awful. Aquaphor is an enormous help. I keep a few little tubes here and there - in coat pockets, inside my car's armrest, you name it - so I can dab on a little ointment when my knuckles start feeling... well. Not so bendy.

Pale girls like me cannot afford to be caught out and about without a bit of sun protection - though, come on, by now we all know that UV damage is universal. To keep it super simple, I go for a clear, mattifying sunscreen, and Supergoop's Unseen is my absolute favorite so far. A little goes a long way, it glides on so nicely, and once it's on, it sits perfectly under makeup on the days I want to go a little glam.

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Don't judge me. I get somewhat... particular about food storage, and cereal is no exception. If your ten-year-old regularly left those inner plastic bags open for things to go stale on the regular, you'd be annoying about it, too. This pair of cereal bins not only ensures freshness, they include easy to pour spouts, avoiding before-school countertop messes!

So technically, I suppose this used to be my husband's, but as I'm the one who uses it every day (and I mean every single day), we can go ahead and call it mine. Once a green smoothie person, I also get super finnicky and annoying about ensuring a blender is cleaned properly - not a task I enjoy doing on the regular. Hence, I am fully converted to dropping a scoop or two of protein and some cold water in this bottle with a blender ball and just shaking!

Although the mid-morning shake's recipe changes from day to day - to accommodate coconut water or a new flavor of protein powder, you name it - the one thing that remains consistent is my use of collagen peptides. It gives me my much-needed Vitamin C boost, and while I'm not saying it's the cure-all for joint pain, mine has definitely improved since drinking this regularly.

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Okay, okay. This won't track with everyone, but I would be remiss if I didn't include my favorite running sneakers. My first half marathon years ago killed my feet, and I resolved to find better comfort and longevity with a new pair. I'm very happy to relay that I found it in my treasured Brooks Ghost shoes. I get a new pair every six months or so, and they have yet to steer me wrong.

The Coziest Slippers to Wear All Day Long

Working from home has some major perks and one of the biggest (in my humble opinion) is getting to stay cozy at all hours. These suuuuper comfy MUK LUKS were a Christmas gift from my sweetie, and I've happily worn them every day since.

A Variety Pad Full of Sticky Notes

Oh, do I love a good sticky note. From annotating my favorite bits of a new novel to marking parts of the family calendar with important things to remember (that neighbor's birthday, that sister's baby shower, you get it), there's no reminder that doesn't suit a sticky note. This perfectly sized pad keeps a selection of them right on hand.

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A Beautiful Sticker Book Full of Artwork

Okay, go with me on this one. Things are just better with a little decoration, and I tend not to listen to anyone who tries to tell me that stickers are for kids (though my daughter has been known to "borrow" these from time to time). The Antiquarian Sticker Book is full of stunning flowers, animals, portraits, and anything else you can think of to add some loving pizzazz to a notebook page or letter to a friend.

Is it just my house that's full of tiny messes? The ones that aren't worth breaking out the whole vacuum for but a swipe with a paper towel just won't cut it? Just mine? The crumbs of my kitchen just looooove to find their way into corners and crevices, and this little handheld gem is the perfect tool to snatch them up.

Okay, fine, maybe not every single day, but on the day I wrote this piece and most days both before and since, I reach for this beauty. I've been a loving fan of Claire Saffitz since she started crafted gourmet versions of Twinkies and Hot Pockets on YouTube, so when she released Dessert Person, I snatched up a copy immediately. At this point, I can definitely put together her Almond Poppy Seed Bundt cake without even needing to double-check measurements, yet I crack this book open most evenings for guidance and inspiration regarding the evening's sweet treats.

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Whether I'm getting my steps in on the gym's stair master, studying for grad school, or catching up on work at the neighborhood cafe, I need some background tunes. These headphones absolutely do the trick with crisp sound and hours upon hours of play time on a single charge.

Chapped lips are the worst, and I dealt with them firsthand for long enough. After endless tubes of lip balm and petroleum jelly, I stumbled upon this nighttime lip mask and figured, "sure, why not?" Oh. My. Goodness. This stuff is magical. I apply a generous layer at night before bed, and by morning, my lips are perfectly moisturized in no need of Chapstick reapplication throughout the day. Incredible.

This Super Versatile Reading Light

If you've ever found yourself staying up long beyond midnight to finish a novel you just cannot put down, I can't recommend this reading light more highly. I can stay up with my beloved characters for hours after my husband has turned over to snooze. Brightness levels are easy to adjust and each side can twist and bend in whatever direction you like. A post-dusk reader's dream.

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Looking for more favorites we can't get enough of? Check out some more things we love here!