Squiz Picks

Our most clicked buying/reading/cooking/watching/listening recommendations from 2023

Buying under $50


Wooden Herb Stripper

We purchased this wooden herb stripper on a whim at Tasmania’s famous Salamanca Markets, and it’s such a great cooking hack.


2022 Jaraman Chardonnay
Taylors Wines

This one won gold at the International Wine Awards earlier this year, and at $28 a bottle, it's a gift that won't break the budget...

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Preen Screen SPF 50 Reapplication Mist
Ultra Violette

Sunscreen is always a good idea, but it can be a pain to reapply over makeup. This spray sunscreen is a gamechanger, and we'll be chucking it in our bag this summer.


Max Thick Merino Socks
Lindner Socks Factory

We know it's not winter anymore, but these woolly socks are great for gifting. There is a range of styles available and it supports a smaIl business run by 10th-generation sock maker Andrew Lindner in Crookwell, NSW.


Toothpaste Squeezer

One of the more unusual but incredibly handy gifts we received last Christmas was this toothpaste squeezer. It extends the life of your tube, and kids can use it with ease too. Genius.


Water bottle
Squiz Kids

Apologies for the shameless plug but the team behind Squiz Kids - a news podcast for 8-12yos - has opened up a merch store just in time for the holidays...

Buying over $50

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Replica Lazy Sunday Morning Candle
Maison Margiela

We actually bought this from Mecca for a mate, and we ended up keeping it because we liked it so much... It’s on the pricier side, but it burns for hours.

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Face Case

We’ve heard about the benefits of silk pillowcases. Enter Go-To's mulberry silk Face Case - it feels beautiful to sleep on, keeps your face creams on, and even sorts out bed head.


Snowdon: A Life in View

Coffee table books are the home accessory that project the life we aspire to. This one is our fave - it's a retrospective of British photographer Antony Armstrong Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon - but here's a good list of the best of 2023.

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Vera Wave Hoops
Saint Valentine

We’ve basically lived in these wavy gold hoops from Sydney brand Saint Valentine after receiving a pair last Christmas. They’re minimalist with a touch of elegance, even if we do say so ourselves...

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Carry All Backpack

We mentioned late last year that we’d ditched the handbag and become backpack people. It became one of our most clicked links of all time, and for good reason...

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Classic Tee

Our hunt for the perfect white t-shirt is over... Made from organic cotton jersey, we know we’ll get a lot of wear out of it, so it’s well worth the investment.


*Buy using these links and The Squiz may earn a little commission.

Demon Copperhead
Barbara Kingsolver

Inspired by Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield, it’s about a boy who is born into poverty and his experiences growing up in the modern-day American South. It also won this year’s Pulitzer Prize.


Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
Gabrielle Zevin

It was one of our favourite reads of the year - it's a beautifully written novel about 2 friends who are brought together by a shared love of video games - but it’s about so much more than that.


Charlotte Ree

It’s a memoir/cookbook hybrid about how the author rediscovered herself through cooking after her marriage broke down just before Sydney entered its first lockdown.


Forbidden Notebook
Alba de Céspedes

It’s about the inner life of a dissatisfied housewife in post-war Italy. It was serialised in an Italian magazine in the 1950s and has now been translated into English for the first time by the acclaimed Ann Goldstein, who worked on Elena Ferrante’s novels.


Lost & Found
Kathryn Schulz

A great memoir by The New Yorker staffer/Pulitzer winner about the decline and death of her father at the same time she was falling in love with the woman she would go on to marry. It's a beautifully written book that reminds you that life - and love - are precious.


The Bookbinder of Jericho
Pip Williams

We really enjoyed Pip Williams’s historical fiction bestseller The Dictionary of Lost Words*, and we can say the same for its follow-up. It’s about twin sisters who work in a bindery and how the experience of WWI leaves one of them wanting more from life.



'Disco clap' playlist

After coming across this article about the ‘disco clap’ - the iconic sound featured in songs from ABBA’s Voulez-Vou to Dua Lipa’s Levitating - we discovered one Spotify user has created a disco clap playlist. Get ready to dance…


Zoe Foster-Blake's 'Music for Work, Writing, Study' playlist

 We’re always keeping an ear out for a productivity hack, and Zoe's playlist on Spotify has been great for getting into a good workflow. However, if we ever get through the whole 27 hours we’ll know we’ve been really productive…


Who Sh*t on the Floor At My Wedding? podcast

We don’t usually gravitate towards true crime podcasts, but this one caught our eye… It is a 13-part ‘poo-dunnit’ that attempts to answer the uncomfortable question. It’s hosted by the couple and their ‘detective’ friend - hilarious and gross at the same time.

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McCartney: A Life in Lyrics podcast

It's a deep dive into the lyrics written by one of the world’s greatest songwriters, Paul McCartney. In short 20-minute episodes, Macca chats to poet Paul Muldoon about tunes like Eleanor Rigby and Back in the USSR.


Long Shadow podcast

Hosted by former Politico editor Garrett Graff, it’s about the rise of the far-right movement in the US, starting with the 1993 Waco siege and ending with the 6 January Capitol riots. It’s beautifully produced and you can listen on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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Next Year in Moscow podcast

This podcast from The Economist takes a peek into what life is like for Russians who oppose the Ukraine war. It offers a wonderful bit of storytelling from a perspective we don’t often see in the news cycle.


For a fancy but minimal effort Chrissy appetiser, this tomato and goats cheese focaccia looks like you've spent all day kneading when you've really just been kicking back waiting for the dough to rise...

Summertime = watermelon season... This watermelon and pomegranate salad with whipped feta from Aussie chef Matt Moran is the perfect dish to serve for silly season entertaining.

We reckon these miso white chocolate and macadamia cookies would make great Chrissy gifts for all those neighbours/teachers/colleagues you rely on all year. See also: Nigella's totally chocolate chocolate chip cookies...

We're all for eating lasagne all year round, but Hetty McKinnon's summer spin on the classic is packed full of veggies and is perfect for the warmer months.

Sometimes you just need some carbey and cheesy goodness, and a potato gratin ticks both those boxes. This recipe levels it up with a parmesan sourdough crumb.

And as the weather warms up, we recommend this delicious Vietnamese noodle bowl with lemongrass chicken. Like all the recipes we’ve tried so far from RecipeTin Eats, it’s an absolute winner. It’s packed full of fresh flavours and is easy enough to pull together on a weeknight.


What is happening to The Great Australian Dream? - The SMH/The Age put together an excellent series on the housing crisis and the fading great Australian dream of homeownership. It’s a good one to get your property market talking points sorted.

How Israel’s longest-serving leader reshaped the country in his image - This long read on Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu explained a lot about him and the complex political scene in that nation. It’s worth a read if you’re trying to get more than the headlines.

Inside the Billion-Dollar Effort to Clean Up the World’s Most Romantic River - It’s less than a year until the opening ceremony of the 2024 Olympics in Paris, and one thing that’s drawn a lot of attention is the city’s efforts to make its iconic (and notoriously polluted) river, the Seine, swimmable in time. This article takes a look at the massive effort that’s underway to clean it up.

Inside Barcelona’s Unfinished Masterpiece - We went down a rabbit hole with news that the Sagrada Familia - Barcelona’s famous incomplete cathedral designed by architect Antoni Gaudi - is finally nearing completion. This is an excellent read with visuals about the race to finish it before 2026, which is the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death.

Writing for Friends was no dream job - Ever wondered what it would be like to be a writer for a popular TV show? One writer who penned episodes for Friends, Freaks and Geeks, Desperate Housewives, and Breaking Bad spilled the beans in this very interesting feature article. TL;DR: Friends isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…

My Delirious Trip to the Heart of Swiftiedom - Fleishman is in Trouble author Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s insightful account on the interesting mix of Swift fans she spotted at the Eras Tour concert and what it means to be a Swifty is a good one.



Jury Duty on Amazon Prime Video

It is a show a mate told us about as we lamented the Succession-sized holes in our lives. And it’s great… Made by some of the team behind the US version of The Office, it's a look at the legal system through the eyes of juror Ronald Gladden - except he's unaware that everyone aside from him is an actor. Hilarity ensues…


Beckham on Netflix

Even non-sporting types will enjoy this one. It's a 4-part doco series about football great/celebrity David Beckham. But it’s his wife Victoria aka Posh Spice who’s the real star of the show, as this clip proves…


Not Dead Yet on Disney+

If you’re looking for something easy to watch, this scratched our itch for a short/fun series. It stars Gina Rodriguez (from Jane the Virgin), Hannah Simone (from New Girl) and Lauren Ash (from Superstore). And you know our preference for the 27-minute/ep format…


Lessons in Chemistry on AppleTV+

We’re huge fans of the book and loved the mini-series adaptation, too. Starring Brie Larson, it’s about a woman who becomes a beloved cooking show host in the 1960s after being forced to resign as a chemist.


Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy on SBS on Demand

We were very excited when a series about a food tour around Italy hosted by actor/foodie Stanley Tucci was first announced. That was over 2 years ago, and now it’s finally available in Oz… As you would expect, it’s delightful. It's the ultimate de-stressor after finishing Season 2 of The Bear...

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Kitchen Cabinet on ABC iView

It’s been a few years since Kitchen Cabinet graced our screens and Annabel Crabb dusted off her unique format of a home-cooked meal and a chat with pollies across the political divide including Linda Burney, Peter Dutton, and Lidia Thorpe.