Most Used Items in 2018

It’s Small Business Saturday, so naturally I’ve pulled together a list of all of my favorite items, resources, pretties, and everyday tools that have made 2018 fun, productive, and a little more lovely.

I was so inspired after visiting Market Day and spending an afternoon in the East Village with my mom that I came home and started putting this together. As I started building my favorites list, I realized there were so many “things” that added value to my life in 2018 as a small business owner and because I supported small business. Fun!

Below are categorized sections of what inspired me, kept me in line, and were straight-up practical purchases.


All Things Coffee

This was first on the list last year, and first on the list this year. I ditched the Chemex and kept just the Hario V-60. I always enjoy stocking up on beans at Horizon Line Coffee, The Grateful Chef (they carry a local brand), or Mars Cafe (they do $2 off bags of beans on Wednesdays). And almost a year ago I fell in love with oat milk, so I bought an espresso machine on Facebook Marketplace and made my own oat milk lattes every single day until we left for SE Asia.

Yeti Tumbler

Ok this probably could have gone above, but I use it for water, iced tea, and so many other daily drinks. I absolutely loved my Hydro Flask from Active Endeavors, but it started leaking. I heard so many good things about Yetis, so I snagged one! You can get these at Active Endeavors or on Amazon. I say go local, but it’s fun to look online at the options.


Just yesterday, I snagged a “Visionary” wool-cashmere blend sweatshirt from Aimee (one of my absolute favorite boutiques in Des Moines). I’m living in my Des Moines sweatshirt as well, along with a Stateside pullover from Active Endeavors. Crew sweatshirts are my favorite as of late.

You can pre-order your very own Des Moines ❤️ sweatshirt by Friday, November 30 to get it by Christmas.

I’m also an avid supporter of my friend + client, Christina Davis, and her cabi business. I would say 75% of what I wear is cabi because I believe in what the brand does and stands for, and the quality is top notch!


Our living room has a Des Moines neighborhoods map, our National Parks Map (50% off during Black Friday weekend) and an Iowa beer cap map!

Here is a photo of our map from the amazing Morgan DeBoest Julson.

I’m also a pretty big fan of the Letterfolk board and local art from Jenna Brownlee, Laura Palmer, Amy Koenig, and John Bosley.


When I find a brand that aligns with all my core values and happens to be incredibly innovative, I’m a lifer. I’ve been a Beautycounter consultant for over three years at this point and am continually in awe of the products they create that are safe + super chic. My five staples are: charcoal bar, tint skin, cream cleanser, this night + day lotion, and the #1 brightening facial oil (this is liquid gold). Everything is 15% off until end of day Sunday and free shipping with orders $50 and up.

Want to keep it more local? Head to Eden in the East Village or check out Olga’s Organics. Olga is a Des Moines gal I recently met who is making amazing products that are also safe. Eager to try her stuff!




We refinanced our loans earlier this year using Credible and it was such a wonderful experience from beginning to end that I refer business to them all the time. It was truly so simple and the customer service was fantastic. The fact that we could see how much we would be paying and saving in interest for every option available helped us make the decision to get these paid off as quickly as possible.

Every Dollar

Ok, so I just downloaded this app like a week ago based on a friend’s recommendation, but I can already tell this tool is going to be incredibly helpful for Zach and me. We have some big goals for 2019 and every dollar matters. Both of us are pretty impulsive humans so using this will hopefully help keep us on track!




We’ve been using Dubsado for the past three months for Brand Launch and I am a huge fan of all of it. From the ease of writing and sending contracts to the recurring invoice feature (that allows for auto-pay), I’m all about the functionality and UX of the tool.

Camp Climb

I am so excited to do my first business “conference” of sorts in 2019, featuring some amazing women in business I have followed for years. They will all be in the same place. In IOWA! If you need a dose of inspiration and good community, you should join me! I’m locking arms with the founder of Camp Climb to share a 15% discount code for the weekend and anything in her shop. Just use EMILYSTEELE at checkout during November.


This amazing community of positive women in business is making such a big impact in my life and the lives of women in our city. If you have felt even remotely inspired to join as a corporate intrapreneur or someone looking to make like-minded friends in biz, this community is full of remarkable women. And our membership is 50% off ($99) until the end of the day Monday! Snag it here.


This is such a fantastic and intuitive tool for email marketing. I love how easily you can tag people, create your own automated email sequence, and set up simple opt-in forms and landing pages. ConvertKit is my favorite among the many, many other options out there!

Day Designer

This deserves to be top of the list because I use this beauty all the time. My Google Calendar keeps me just as sane and organized as this beauty. Really, truly, I’ve got my fourth Day Designer for 2019 already (mom knows this is my go-to birthday gift) and having paper to jot notes on, keep my list organized, and help me time block my days brings me such joy. Here’s the one I’ll be using in 2019. Want to keep it local? Ephemera and PINK typically offer fun planners as well you can peruse if you take a trip to the East Village!


I realized I had like 20 other things I wanted to write about, but alas, I must make my apple crisp for Thanksgiving so I will leave you to exploring these items. Happy shopping + perusing! ❤️



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