Chris' Favorite Items of 2018

Yeah, yeah, it’s that time of year again. A new year, a new you. Resolutions. Wish lists. I decided to look backwards instead of forwards. Here are some of my favorite things I acquired over the course of 2018. 

  • Apple iPhone XS: My wife and I both upgraded our iPhones in the fall to the brand new iPhone XS. It was quite the substantial upgrade from the iPhone 7 that I had been rocking for the last 2 years. Overall, I think this might be my favorite iPhone out of the 8 different models that I’ve owned. The camera is stunningly good in both focus depth and color representation. I love the design of XS, but I do hope future iPhones pull design direction from the most recent iPad Pro design. The glass back of the XS gives a nice weight and depth to the phone I think the last few models have been lacking (thinner isn’t always better Apple). You also can’t beat FaceID, wireless charging, and the larger screen size.

  • Anker Wireless Chargers: I’ve owned two different models of Anker’s wireless chargers. The first was the standard “hockey puck” round flat charger. You simply lay your phone onto the charger and it starts charging. Magic! The charger is great, but I like being able to see my screen when I get a notification, so I needed something different. At the end of 2018 I grabbed the vertical Anker wireless charger to sit on my desk. It sits at just the right angle so my phone doesn’t fall off and I can still see all of my notifications while it charges.

  • Apple Watch: I think this is my favorite item I bought in 2018. I’m proud of myself. I held off on buying an Apple Watch until the 4th generation. I’ve always wanted one, but I never felt like I needed one. With the addition of the health benefits (fall detection, ECG heart rate detection, etc.) the watch shifted to a need. I’ve been working really hard to lose weight and get healthy since I had brain surgery in 2016. The watch is a huge motivator in my journey. It drives me to be active each day, take standing breaks from my desk job, and allows me to more accurately track steps and calories. It’s such an intuitive device to use and really is a pleasure. I think the Series 4 Apple Watch is Apple firing on all cylinders. It’s the epitome of what makes Apple, Apple.

  • Watch Bands: Hi. I’m Chris, and I’m an Apple Watch Band addict. Seriously, I have a problem. One of my favorite features of the Apple Watch is that I can easily swap out the bands to fit any occasion. Working out and need a band that can breathe while you work up a sweat? Easy, Nike Sport band. Going to a wedding and need something that dresses up to match your suit? Got it. Need something casual for the office or a weekend of hanging out? Done. Let me be the first to say this: don’t waste your money on the super pricey Apple bands. I LOVE Apple products, but the markup on these bands is just insane. I’ve had great luck on knock off bands on Amazon. I did receive a defective band, but Amazon’s amazing customer service quickly sent me a replacement for free.

  • Watch Charger: I travel every weekend and I have 2 small children. This case is a life saver. It allows me to safely store and charge the watch in one easy to use case. Plus it looks like a Pokéball.

  • Nintendo New 3DS XL: As we have discussed at length in our podcast, I am woefully behind in the world of gaming. I grew up in the golden era of video games (Nintendo anyone?), but life and children of prevented me from investing time and money into modern gaming systems. I purchased the beautiful Super Nintendo style New 3DS XL this past fall and it has been a blast. I don’t have a huge game collection, but the ones I’ve played have given me the same sense of wonder I felt when playing Nintendo back in the day.

  • Smart Scale: This is another great item that motivates me to be healthier. It pairs with my iPhone and includes a ton of data. It’s also a nice looking scale!

  • WeMo Smart Plug: Start the HomeKit obsession! I Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve wanted to have a smart home. Luckily for me, we are living in the future. I’m staying with Brad in Nashville while my wife and kids rent in Indiana, so I don’t have a lot of stuff I can automate just yet. The WeMo Smart Plug is the perfect first step. We have a living room lamp in the Indiana house that my wife or I can remotely turn on or off through our phones while we are at home or away from the house. It’s so convenient to just flip the light on on our way home so we don’t walk into a pitch black house.

  • Amazon Basics Mic: This is what started the podcast revolution for Brad and I. If you are wondering if you can get great audio from an Amazon Basics USB microphone, the answer is yes. You can hear the quality of this microphone on every single one of our podcasts.

  • Travelambo Front Pocket Wallet: Having a huge wallet in the back pocket of your pants is such a pain in the ass. It literally hurts your butt and hips on a long drive. It’s uncomfortable. This wallet is functional, nicely designed, and the quality is great for the price.

  • Byrd Matte Pomade: What nerds can style their hair? It does happen, and if you are looking for a nice styled look that takes seconds to achieve, then look no further than Byrd Matte Pomade. I like it because it’s not shiny, it lasts all day, and it smells great.

  • New job: In October I started a new job with a “tech startup.” I was at my previous job for over four years (sharing an office with Brad). Change is hard, especially when you work somewhere for four years and love your coworkers. My new job has been really great though. I work in a great location in the heart of touristy Nashville and I have some kick ass coworkers.

  • Roommates: I haven’t had a roommate since college and that was many, many, moons ago. My wife and I sold our house this past fall and decided not to immediately pull the trigger on purchasing a new home in Nashville. We are waiting on some things to settle with my new position (we are currently in temporary office space) and we simply want to take our time in figuring out our next move. Enter Brad and Blaire. They were nice enough to offer me their spare bedroom at no charge (amazing, right?) while my wife and kids stay with family in Indiana. I think it’s been a blast living with them and hopefully they aren’t sick of me quite yet. You can find us on most nights watching tv, playing video games, or eating some delicious food (Blaire is a badass in the kitchen).

Like my list? Hate it? Have some items that you acquired in 2018 that you want to share with the world? Leave a comment below and let us know.