December Favorites: The Best Purchases I Made in 2020

Welcome to my first favorites post of 2021! This post, as you may have noticed, is different from my usual favorites post, in that it’s taking the form of a “year-in-review.” In this edition of my monthly favorites, I’ll be looking back on 2020 and some of the best purchases I made this year.

I’m defining “best” in different ways based on the items in question. Sometimes, the “best” purchase is the one I use the most. Other times, it’s one that’s had a significant impact on my life, in one way or another. Either way, I’m sharing products that I found helpful and that brought me joy in 2020.

Cost was not a factor in selecting these products, so you’ll see a wide range of price tags in this post. The value of each of these items, however, is — for me, at least — priceless! But, you should know that none of the items in this post were gifted or sponsored items, so they are all things that I personally selected and used over the past year.

So, without further ado, let’s review the best purchases I made in 2020.

Cove Migraine

By far the most life-changing purchase I made in 2021 was signing up for Cove. Cove is a telehealth service that caters to migraine sufferers. It makes it easy to get a prescription for migraine medication and helps you save money on doctors’ fees. Cove also saves you a trip to the pharmacy each month by sending your medications straight to your door.

Before Cove, my migraines were debilitating. I’m on progesterone for endometriosis, which significantly increased the frequency of my migraines; I went from once monthly migraines to up to twice weekly migraines. After losing way too many hours of productivity to laying in a dark room with a pillow over my head, I decided to pursue medication for my migraines.

After filling out a questionnaire and taking video of a quick neurological exam, my Cove doctor prescribed me Maxalt (rizatriptan) — which, for me, has worked miracles. Now, I can take my medication within 30 minutes of noticing migraine symptoms, and my migraine will completely disappear within an hour. It’s game-changing because I no longer have to take time off work when I get a migraine… which, as a sole proprietor and freelancer, means losing income.

I spend about $40 a month on Cove, but the cost of your subscription depends on your prescription. The doctor’s fee itself is only $4 a month. The rest of what you pay goes toward getting your migraine medication shipped to your door. In my opinion, it’s absolutely worth it.

Nintendo Switch Lite

I arrived to the Nintendo Switch system much later than the crowd, but I am so glad I finally splurged this Black Friday. My last gaming system was the Nintendo DS (not the DS Lite — the original DS), so the Switch Lite is definitely a step up!

Over the summer, I became addicted to (and spent way too much real-world money on) playing Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp on my cell phone. At the time, I thought I was saving money by playing Pocket Camp, but because Animal Crossing: New Horizons and the Switch are one-time purchases, I genuinely believe I spent less money in the long run than I would have by continuing to buy leaf tickets on Pocket Camp.

Now that I’ve played Animal Crossing: New Horizons, I know that Pocket Camp can’t possibly hold a candle to New Horizons. I never played New Leaf, but I can attest that New Horizons is one of the most sophisticated video games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. I love that you can customize your entire island and had so much fun searching for inspiration online!

Recently, I also splurged for a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. At just $4 a month, this allows me to travel to other players’ islands to shop, trade, and explore. I was reluctant to spend the extra money at first (and originally thought it would be much pricier than it is), but it has truly enhanced my gameplay experience. Now, I lurk in several Reddit threads related to Animal Crossing so I can trade, sell turnips, and make new friends while I play New Horizons.

People joke that New Horizons has helped them survive quarantine, but I literally don’t know if I could have made it through the holiday season without my Switch. The animals in that game feel like my babies at this point, and I definitely found joy in playing Animal Crossing when I couldn’t see my family in-person over the holidays.

Monoprice Graphic Drawing Tablet

Technically, the Monoprice Graphic Drawing Tablet is not a purchase I made, because it was a gift I received from my partner for my birthday. However, I’m still counting it because it completely changed my world! Thanks to the Monoprice Graphic Drawing Tablet, I was able to open my own Etsy store at the end of 2020, where I sell hand-drawn stickers made using my tablet and Adobe Photoshop.

The iPad Pro is a great option for a sophisticated drawing experience using Procreate, but if we’re being honest, it simply wasn’t in my budget this year. So, since I don’t have an iPad (and couldn’t afford to buy one), I started looking into other ways to digitize my artwork. After some trial and error, I eventually decided on a drawing tablet, which my partner lovingly purchased for my birthday.

The Monoprice Graphic Drawing Tablet is affordable, clocking in at around $50. It’s highly compatible with Adobe Creative — I personally am more comfortable in Photoshop than Illustrator, so that’s what I use — for creating digital artwork. Using tutorials I found online, I taught myself to create digital artwork, both with and without layers. Now, I feel almost as comfortable sketching on the Monoprice Graphic Drawing Tablet as I do with a pencil and paper.

My one complaint about this drawing tablet is that the pen that comes with it is not as sensitive as I would like it to be. The pen functions both as the mouse and the tool when using Photoshop, so you sometimes need to press hard in order to use the drawing tool. But, it’s worth noting that once you get it going, the pen has great sensitivity when it comes to creating lighter or darker lines while sketching. For $50, I’m satisfied with my drawing experience, and won’t be switching to an iPad anytime soon!

Leuchtturm 1917

2020 was the year I finally committed to keeping a bullet journal for more than a few weeks. One of the steps I took to commit to my bujo habit was splurging on a Leuchtturm 1917. I thought by having a nice bullet journal (not to mention, one with page numbers and a table of contents built in), I would save myself time and motivate myself to keep up with the habit. Turns out, I was completely right!

The Leuchtturm 1917 is a cult-favorite in the bullet journal community, and for good reason. The pages are exactly what you would hope: neither too thick nor too thin, slightly off-white, and absorb pen like a dream (without bleeding onto the next page). The dot grid layout is my personal favorite, since it makes for straight lines and neat handwriting while bullet journaling.

Among other features, the Leuchtturm 1917 comes with a table of contents and page numbers, making it perfect for bullet journalers. Previously, I found it tedious to create my own index and label each page with a number by hand. Finally getting a Leuchtturm 1917 saved me that time and energy. You may run out of room in your table of contents at some point, but at least you will never need to label your page numbers by hand!

Best of all, the Leuchtturm 1917 is one of those journals that just feels luxurious. Between the consistency of the pages and the smooth faux-leather cover — not to mention, the ribbon bookmarks — the Leuchtturm gives me serious dark academia vibes, and I loved that for me in 2020.

Sakura Koi Watercolors

Last but not least, I finally purchased the cult-favorite Sakura Koi watercolors — and they did not disappoint. The travel-size palette I purchased comes with a water-dispensing brush, miniature sponge, and twelve highly-pigmented shades of watercolor.

One of the things I found most amazing about these watercolors, compared to the cheaper ones I used to use, is how little paint you need to use to get the desired effect. Because they are so highly pigmented, you can use more water and less paint, conserving more of the watercolor palette for the future.

I bought the twelve pack for budgetary reasons, but I do sort of wish that I had bought the bigger palette with more color options. The twelve pack is best if you are going to be doing a lot of painting of natural objects, like wildlife or landscape scenes. It comes with mostly shades of red, orange, green, and brown — which isn’t the most helpful for painting still life.

But, I will say that the Sakura Koi watercolors were definitely worth the lofty price tag. Between the high pigmentation and the fact that they’re going to last me a lifetime, I am excited to continue to using these watercolor paints in 2021.

Kawaii Black Friday Deals 2020

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links, meaning I receive a small commission on any purchases made from my blog. Thank you for supporting Heal with Haley!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve already spent way too much time and money on Black Friday this year. But if you’re still looking for the perfect gift for that special someone, or need a sweet kawaii treat to pick yourself up, I’ve got you covered. Here are the cutest, pinkest deals for Black Friday 2020 from all over the web!


You all know Amazon, so you don’t need me to tell you what’s up. Because Amazon is made up of independent retailers, they’ve got a wide variety of deals going on this Cyber Week.

My Picks

Save on this adorable money bank with a passcode lock, which makes the perfect gift for you or the child in your life. ($21)

If you, like me, went out and bought a Nintendo Switch on Black Friday so you could play Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you’ll need this cute carrying case to protect your purchase. ($17)

You’re never too old for a nostalgic toy like a Tamagotchi. The new Tamagotchi On is $10 off on Amazon today — and comes with cool new features like a garden and, yes, even marriage. ($50)

Sanrio USA

Sanrio USA, the American home to Hello Kitty and her kawaii friends, is offering 30% off any purchase, as well as a free gift with any $50 purchase: a mirror compact shaped like Hello Kitty’s signature bow.

My Picks

Adorned by Chi x Hello Kitty Journal

This super-cute notebook was designed by Adorned by Chi, so you’ll be supporting a Black artist with your purchase. ($25)

Lazy 80s Gudetama Put Yo Hands Up Joggers

These comfy ‘n’ kawaii sweats come from Gudetama’s Lazy 80s collection, a clothing line inspired by both the neon era and everyone’s favorite egg. ($40)

JuJuBe x Hello Kitty Kimono Midi Backpack

This JuJuBe x Hello Kitty backpack is a bit of a splurge, but I think it’s worth it to tote around your essentials with something that makes you smile. ($70)


Everyone’s favorite destination for vintage clothing also carries kawaii items, if you know where to look. Their entire site is 30% off, while sale items are an extra 40% off, in your cart.

My Picks

As a sale item, you’ll be pleased to know you’ll get an extra 40% off this sweet floral midi dress — sizes run up to 4X! ($33)

This cheerful rainbow ornament may be 30% off, but it’s going to look 100% adorable on your Christmas tree. ($10)

Get ready to feel like the ultimate girly-girl when you pull on these flirty pink socks. ($11)

Dolls Kill

Dolls Kill is an alternative fashion store that carries cute goth and kawaii clothing, as well as beauty, pop culture items, and more. Their entire site is marked down and they are offering a free bucket hat with every purchase.

My Picks

Cherish My Love Wrap Sweater

This fuzzy cropped sweater — inspired by ballerina warmup attire — will help keep you warm in any weather. ($34)

This 40%-off gingham bow clip is the most adorable way to accessorize a messy ponytail or sweet half updo. ($5)

And, speaking of 40% off, Dolls Kill also carries a bunch of items from your favorite K-beauty brands, like this Pocket Bunny Sleek Mist from Tonymoly.

Hot Topic

If you had a middle school punk phase like I did, you probably remember Hot Topic pretty well! This pop culture store has deals such as $15 tee shirts and B1G1 50% off sweatshirts. For items without promos, they’re offering 30% off the rest of the store.

My Picks

Kawaii Potato T-Shirt, CHARITY PINK, hi-res

While you’re lounging around at home, pull on this pink potato tee shirt to instantly feel more kawaii. ($15)

Sailor Moon Crystal Star Makeup Bag, , alternate

Harness the power of the moon with this adorable Sailor Moon Crystal Star makeup bag — it’s perfect for holding your kawaii beauty finds! ($9)

Strawberry Milk Enamel Pin, , hi-res

If you collect enamel pins, then now is the time to stock up on goodies from Hot Topic, such as this kawaii strawberry milk pin. ($5)


Inspired by Asian food favorites like dumplings and boba, Smoko sells plush, ambient lights, and other cozy accessories to help you stay home in style. Their entire site is 25% off this Black Friday — with no exceptions!

My Picks

Stay toasty with this microwaveable plushie shaped like a lil dumpling — it’s even lavender-scented for an extra layer of relaxation. ($17)

If you love an internet kitty as much as I do, then you need this Pusheenicorn ambient light for your bedroom. ($12)

Stay clean and safe in style with this kawaii boba tea-themed hand sanitizer keychain, which comes with an empty bottle for pouring in your favorite sani scents. ($9)

Bunniful Wishes

Bunniful Wishes is your one-stop shopping destination for all things squishy and collectible! This independent kawaii store is offering 20% off purchases over $10, as well as free gifts with purchases over $30.

My Picks

Bring home one of these super-cute lollipop girl plushies and find a new friend in Claire, Luna, or Lola! ($24)

This Picnyan cat bread toast squishy is almost gone, so don’t wait to get your hands on one of these adorable, stress-relieving toys! ($6)

Or, if ReMent miniatures are more your thing, the Kirby terrarium collection is a great way to get to 20% off! ($16)


Support a small business this Black Friday by shopping on Etsy. Each store owner sets their own sales, so you never know what you’re going to find!

My Picks

Dittogotchi Enamel Pin Ditto x Tamagotchi image 0

This artful enamel pin from the artist Reallybigdill combines the retro Tamagotchi design with Ditto from Pokemon for a unique addition to your backpack, purse, or denim jacket. ($8)

Kawaii Sticker Mystery Surprise Oops Grab Bag image 0

I love Oops Bags like this one from sticker artist Kat Blush, since you never know what will be inside! This was one of my personal Black Friday purchases, and I can’t wait to receive it. ($4)

Chic kawaii surprise mistery bag super cute image 0

Today, you can get a baggie full of kawaii goodies from the Etsy artist ChicKawaii for the price of two cups of coffee. I couldn’t resist buying one of my own! ($8)