Best Purchase of 2014

Today I’m participating in a blog link up. I thought it would be fun for everyone because you can bop around different blogs to see what other people included in theirs. The question for this is… “What did you purchase in the past year that became invaluable to you? Something that makes you think– how did I live without this item!?!”

THE PARTICIPANTS: The B Bar // Girl in Betsey // Glitter & Bow // Pretty Much // White Cabana // Healthfully Ever After // Boulevard House // Always Craving // Southern Charm & Prints // Perfect Enough For Us // Modish &Main // Alessandra Marie // Jenn Inspired // Luv in the Bubble // A Little Leopard // All the Pretty Stars // York Avenue // PR Blonde // Alyssa J. Freitas // A Loyal Love // Burlap & Lace // Brunch on Chestnut  // Average Girl’s Guide // The Yuppie Files // Cassandra Monroe // Always Anita // PR Girl Diaries // Life Modifier // Business Betties // Cake & Lilies // Little Wild Heart // The Not Quite Adult // Annie Reeves // Rossetto // Lemon Stripes // Meg Biram // Victoria McGinley (**posts will be going live throughout the morning)

I’ve been racking my brain trying to think about all the things I purchased in 2014. To be honest, I really wanted my purchase to be from the business/productivity side of things. But as I was thinking about all the things I’ve bought, I realized I haven’t really bought anything for my business in a while. I already have everything I need (my iMac would be my best purchase back in 2012) and many things I use are free, see the post script.
Also, as you know in the blogging world, a lot of stuff gets sent to me for free. I wanted my answer to be something I truly bought, otherwise I would have 100% hands down named the Nespresso the best thing ever.
So what was my best purchase from 2014?! I narrowed it down to two things and they both ended up being shoes (ha…): Converse Shoreline Sneaker and Hunter Tour Boots (packable). The Converse sneakers were a summer purchase. I’m not really what I would call a “Converse girl,” but I saw a mom wearing them in a bagel shop one afternoon and loved how they looked like a sporty ballet flat. The fit and shape are super feminine and don’t make your feet look like they belong to a clown. I wear them SO much, especially during the warmer months and found that after just two/threeish wears they were completely broken in.
I have to put the Hunter boot as #1 though. I originally bought them for my trip to Scotland at the beginning of the year. (I think that also makes them coincidentally one of my first bigger buys of 2014.) Fashion aside, these are the most functional and comfortable choice of shoes I could have picked. In college, I got a pair of the original boots and loved them, although they were a bit on the clunky side and my legs would get tired after wearing them too long. That first trip I had the Tour packable boots? I wore them for the entire flight with zero problems, climbed Arthur’s Seat, and wore them every day of touring the cities. Then I came home from the trip to a constantly cold/slushy/wet city, while trying to train a new puppy… aka I was spending a lot of time walking outdoors and running him in and out of my apartment. I lived in these boots and they work year round.
The lightweight, flexible material makes all the difference. I feel a little silly choosing a pair of shoes as my best purchase for 2014, but these really were the best decision. Just having an option of practical footwear that I know I’ll be comfortable enough to walk long distances in and a pair that will keep my feet warm and dry during poor weather is a bonus. When my feet are blistered or tired or just plain hurting, I can be a miserable person. Happy feet makes for a happy Carly.


PS I wanted to include some “free” things I’ve used that made me think how I lived without it before: OneNote (download it, trust me), the Bank of America app (mobile check deposits are incredible), switching afternoon coffee for an afternoon tea (not technically free, but it kind of cancels out?), walks with Teddy off the leash in Central Park (really any kind of walk in general), Serial the podcast, Paypal’s app, and Spotify mood playlists.

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Krystal Alexsmumma

I absolutely love that your top two items are shoes!! I have a pair of Converse All Stars and never thought I would love them as much as I do. Fantastic answer to an awesome question. 🙂

White Cabana

Yes! I've got the classic non-packable Hunters and I am so glad I purchased them a few years ago. I wear them quite a bit – in rain and snow/slush (with the fleece socks) – and they haven't let me down. Definitely a great purchase, I agree.

Audrey Lin

I bought my first pair of rain boots a few months ago, and they are red Hunter Tour Boots! I feel so powerful whenever I wear them now, because usually I'm always sidestepping puddles and treading very carefully. Now I can walk as I please and stomp as hard as I want! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

erica kartak

I love a good pair of shoes. No shame in naming them your best purchases! I have a pair of the Hunter Originals. I love them, but wish I would have done a little more research before getting them. The Packable Hunters seem like they'd be a better fit. Maybe the Packable version will become my best purchase of 2015!

Southwestern Prepster

Ahh so true, find a good pair of shoes and you won't regret buying them, even if they cost a bit more! I've been wanting to buy a pair of Hunters, but hopefully I'll get some soon!
xx, Mikkaela


I coincidentally climbed Arthur's Seat in my Hunter's as well! Although, I think I definitely need packable ones – the original ones are a little bit too clunky. I'd say my top purchase(s) were my various plane and train tickets to and around Europe 🙂

Jenn Specketer

I love the boots! I don't have a pair of Hunters yet, but they are forever on my shoe wish list! And the Converse…I never thought I could be a Converse wearer either until I saw all the chic, fashionable French ladies rocking them with everything! They are on my list for the spring for sure! You are right. You'd think they would clunky, but they end up being so effortlessly chic. Love your photo too!
Jenn @ Jenn Inspired


These are both such great purchases! I think my best purchase of 2014 would have to be either my pink coat from Anthropologie or my Michael Kors tote bag– they have been such great items to have throughout the year!

Prep on a Budget