Clever Thing-a-ma-jigs That Are Worth the Splurge

posted in: Home & Garden

If we’re going to treat ourselves, that splurge should be super innovative and functional (and stylish doesn’t hurt!). I tried and tested a ton of items and found 10 must-haves; from a suitcase that doubles as a table to a European cafe-worthy hot chocolate maker, these items are worth every penny!  Looking for more? These clever options are all under $50.


BÆRSkin Tactical Hoodie 3.0 Women ($99.95, originally $300)

If you’re someone who has different hoodies/jackets for various outdoor activities, you may have just found the perfect all-in-one. This hoodie, which is available for men, women, and kids, is super comfortable, has a flattering cut, and it’s available in lots of colors. It’s warm without being bulky and it’s designed to withstand wind and rain, with a generously sized hood, adjustable cuffs, and waist toggles. There are also 12 pockets (some internal, some external) designed to hold all your essentials, like earbuds, money/credit cards, gloves, etc.  

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Ugly Christmas Sweater – Customized ($65)

Sure, the holidays are over, but once you’re in the spirit again, I recommend treating yourself to a custom Ugly Christmas sweater. You can choose from several sweater designs for men, women, and kids. You submit a logo, words, and more, and, BINGO, you have your very own customized holiday sweater that’s not ugly at all! I recently gave one to my artist Dad featuring his own artwork and he absolutely loved it (it was hard to give away, TBH).

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Ringo All-in-One Water Bottle ($67)

If you’re always propping your phone against a wall or along a railing to get the perfect photo or video on the go, this water bottle is a must. The Ringo, in addition to being a stylish water bottle that keeps drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12, has a magnetic, adjustable, and stable phone mount built into the lid. And if your phone isn’t magnetic, the bottle comes with a magnetic ring to make it so.

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Props Luggage ($349.99)

When you travel, sometimes it’s tough to find a spot to place your laptop to get some work done or grab a bit to eat. This TSA-approached rollaboard has a patent-pending leg system that allows you to create a table wherever you are! Plus, it has a unique way of opening so you can easily access the contents without requiring a lot of space to do so. Props also has smooth spinner wheels, an adjustable trolly handle, a combination lock, an expansion zipper, and multiple carry handles.  

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VOLOOM 2.0 Hair Volumizing Iron ($139.99)

Looking for bigger hair? Apply this iron in the under layers of your hair to create “volume pockets,” thanks to the patented checkerboard ceramic plates. The application is similar to a crimper, but you only use the iron near the scalp, creating lift and bounce in seconds. This even worked with my very curly hair and the lift held all day! The popular iron has 5k reviews on Amazon and #voloom has 24.3 million views on TikTok.

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Filterbaby Skincare Filter 2.0 ($119)

You filter the water you drink, but what about the water you use to wash your face? This stylish gadget attaches to most bathroom faucets to remove 99.9% of contaminants as small as 0.1 microns, including chlorine, hard metals, bacteria, rust, and other contaminants. The result? In addition to improved hydration in just two weeks, clinical tests found that 87% of participants felt their skin has never looked or felt better, while 93% would never return to using unfiltered tap water. In addition to the filtered water setting for washing your face, there’s also an eco-friendly setting that saves 30 percent of water, plus a regular tap setting.  

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JordiLight (currently $99. Regularly $139.99)

When a power outage occurs or you’re on your next camping trip, you’ll be glad you have one of these sturdy, waterproof lights. The JordiLight, which was selected as one of Time Magazine’s Best Inventions for 2022, is a multifunctional, customizable, and rechargeable light that can be used as a flashlight, headlamp, and more. The bendable loop shape allows it to be held in the hand, worn as a headlamp, or attached to a backpack or tent. You can change the color and brightness of the light and there’s even an SOS setting and a e-compass feature. 

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Dupray Bloom Air Purifier ($249.99 and up) 

A winner of a Domino Good Design Award, this air purifier is a combination of function and fashion. It’s probably the most chic air purifier you’ve seen, and it’s super quiet. Unlike any purifier I’ve seen, you can use it as a planter or side table, while it cleans the air with 3-stage medical grade HEPA-13 air filtration, eliminating 99.97% of air pollutants in rooms as large as 1517 sq. ft.  It is tested to remove dust, smoke, viruses, pet dander, and other harmful particles, along with odors. It also tests the air quality! The pre-filter that is applied to the outside of the unit is available in several stylish colors to suit your decor.   

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Felt Right ($50 and up)

These customizable felt wall tiles will help you stay organized at home or in the office, while elevating your decor, by adding color and visual interest to any surface while also functioning as a felt pinboard. They also dampen sound, eliminating 35 percent of noise, making them ideal for rooms near high-traffic areas, like hallways or in a room that faces the street.  And they are sustainable; made from at least 50 percent recycled plastic. You can fully customize the designs or select from pre-made designs. My favorite is the Twist.    

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Hotel Chocolate Velvetiser Starter Kit ($150)

A must-have device for hot chocolate lovers, the Velvetiser makes incredibly smooth, European-style hot chocolate using flakes of real chocolate from Hotel Chocolat combined with your choice of milk (dairy or dairy-free).  The starter kit contains the Velvetiser in your choice of four gorgeous colors, two beautiful mugs, and 4 flavors of chocolate (40 servings). This is seriously amazing hot chocolate, made in minutes right in your own home.  Items will be back in stock on January 13.

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Trae Bodge is an accomplished lifestyle journalist and TV commentator who has specialized in smart shopping, personal finance, and retail for more than a decade. She has appeared on TV over 1,000 times; including Today Show, GMA3, NBC Nightly News, Inside Edition, and network affiliates nationwide. She has been named a Top Voice in Retail by LinkedIn, and her expert commentary has appeared in Forbes,, Kiplinger, Yahoo Finance, and numerous others.