Sometimes shopping can seem frivolous, and other times like a welcome distraction from the world. If it’s diversionary tactics you’re after, then retail therapy just may be what you need. Us too.
As part of our monthly series, we’re talking about all the goodies our staff treated themselves to over the past few weeks. From gardening supplies to face masks to roller blades, we were all about the purchases that will keep us safe and sane during these trying times. If you have the means to do so, we recommend that you treat yourself, too.
Below, what the Mashable staff bought in May.
“Ever since social distancing began, I’ve been desperately chasing nostalgia to, you know, feel something. So, I decided to pick a hobby back up that I used to be super into back in my high school days: Skating. My old board’s hardware was pretty beat up, so I picked up some new trucks and wheels before I hopped back on. Here’s hoping I don’t break my ankles.” —Dylan Haas, Shopping Reporter
“Most of my jewelry is pretty cheap and has gotten discolored over time. Two pieces I wear pretty much every day are a little hoop earring and a necklace, so I bought nicer versions of both that’ll hopefully last and not oxidize so quickly.” —Dylan Haas, Shopping Reporter
“I’ve always wanted to start growing my own herbs for cooking, and right now seemed like as good a time as ever to do just that. This little kit looked like a good way to get started — so far my parsley and dill plants are growing quite nicely.” —Dylan Haas, Shopping Reporter
“It happened. I got sucked into the skating trend. I used to love rollerblading when I was a kid, so I bought these inline skates to keep me active and occupied during quarantine. My roommate got a pair too, so we’ve been shredding it up in the empty parking lot near our apartment. I have definitely fallen on my ass a few times and I still don’t actually know how to stop, but I’m having a blast.” —Miller Kern, Shopping Reporter
A razor that will last
“My razor was on its last leg, so I thought it was time to invest in an actually good razor — though, admittedly, I’ve been shaving less since I’ve been leaving the house less. I love Flamingo’s branding and that they give a portion of sales to nonprofit organizations that focus on women. I like the razor, but the real star of this bundle is honestly the lotion because it smells AMAZING.” —Miller Kern, Shopping Reporter
“This is a ripe time to start decorating and moving things around in the apartment. Society6 recently had a Memorial Day sale and I’ve been eyeing this tapestry by this one artist for a long while now.” —Elvie Mae Parian, Associate Animator
“Being away from an office made me realize my working station at home is definitely less than ergonomic.” —Elvie Mae Parian, Associate Animator
“I wanted an air fryer but I didn’t want a whole other appliance in my tiny apartment. This air fryer hat worked great! Super easy to use and my sweet potato fries tasted just like the $6.99 side dishes I miss so dearly.” —Vickey Leta, Illustrator
Some Harry-Potter-themed decor
“I’m a huge fan of high-quality fan art, but for decor I like stuff that’s more subtle. There’s an amazing British artist on Etsy that goes by Georgiodraws — she specializes in these old-fashioned, botanical watercolor prints. Of the three I bought, my favorite was an herbology chart inspired by Harry Potter. It’s so detailed that it looks like a botanist drew it — but if you look closely, you can see a mandrake, a shrivelfig, the venomous tentacula, dirigible plums, (depicted growing upside down) a mimbulous mimbletonia, and even a fanged geranium. As a nice touch, the bottom of the chart features a scholarly side note — “produced in collaboration with Phyllyda Spore and Professor N. Longbottom.” I bought two other botanical prints (one of British butterflies) so that it won’t be obvious it’s a Harry Potter piece at first glance. Right now, nostalgia brings a lot of comfort, and it’s always great to support talented artists if you can.” —Tulika Bose, Associate Producer
“I bought a single reusable cloth mask from a local seller on Etsy when Illinois’ governor mandated masks in public at the beginning of May (I live in Chicago), naively thinking I wouldn’t need to use it much. A friend stumbled upon this six-pack of masks on Nordstrom’s website and put the link in our group chat in case anyone needed more (I did!), and I managed to place my order before they sold out. They went fast — at one point, Nordstrom’s website said there were over 25K people viewing the product page.” —Haley Henschel, Freelance Deals Writer
“My nephew will be turning 8 years old at the end May. I’d be at a Toys “R” Us or GameStop checking out gift options if it wasn’t for the lockdown, but since I’m not at liberty to do that, my next best recourse was online shopping. I did some research and decided to go with a Fortnite ‘Wild Card’ figurine, since he loves anything Fortnite, like any kid his age. Also, got him an inflatable kids bowling set that he can share with his brother. I’ve told his mom to send me a video of him unwrapping my gifts. Can’t wait to see his expressions!” —Danica D’Souza, Producer
“I recently bought the Amazon Fire 7 tablet. Now that I’m spending more time at home, I needed something to occupy me, but my laptop is too heavy to carry and my phone is too small and bad for my eyes, so I bought a tablet to stay busy. I got the twilight blue color and it is really aesthetically pleasing.” —Gigi Wong, Audience Development Analyst
“Also, I bought a small air purifier for my room as I don’t have much space. This has really helped with my health as I’m stuck indoors almost all day and there’s a lot of dust due to the air pollution in NYC.” —Gigi Wong, Audience Development Analyst
“I bought a Winix 5500-2 air purifier with a HEPA air filter for my apartment, since I spend so much time in it and I tend to get bad seasonal allergies. I also picked up a used Game Boy Advance SP on eBay along with a new shell for it, and made a small project of refurbishing the system by moving its components into the new shell. I also might have ordered some cloth face masks with cute anime mouths and teeth on them.” —Will Greenwald, Senior Analyst, Consumer Electronics for PCMag