My name is Justina. I’m a 36 year-old mom to one almost 4-year-old girl, a writer, dancer, and choreographer. We’ve been shopping almost exclusively online for the last 14 months (wonder why…), but I’ve been collecting my best-ever purchases for years, and am excited to share them here!
Hope you enjoy!
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I absolutely love this thing. Before this charging stand came into my life, my nightstand was a mess of charging cables and devices, and I was constantly fumbling around trying to match the right gadget to the right charger. No more! I love how it keeps all of my favorite gadgets set up in one convenient place so I can always remember to keep them charged. It even doubles as a nice iPhone-holder for when I want to watch movies in bed!
The instant I walk in my house, I’m done with zippers, buttons, denim or any thigh-squeezing uncomfortable fashion. I’m wearing lounge pants… these lounge pants ! They’re inexpensive and silky, crazy comfortable. Even if I’m wearing a blazer on that Zoom call, you better believe I’m sitting pretty in these lounge pants below my desk.
I had been working through some dog-induced, kid-induced ruined-rug trauma when I found and fell in love with Unique Loom’s Tekke area rug . Having been forced to throw away large expensive rugs that fell victim to my messy family life, I’d nearly sworn off rugs entirely. But the Tekke rug’s price was too good to pass up, so I bought it anyway. The rug has a timeless style with a quality that is incredibly high for the price. And the rug’s price is so low that I won’t have to cry when the dog or the child eventually pees on it.
We live in an old house with old plumbing that seems to clog at the drop of a hat (or many, many hairs). We’ve tried all of your normal solutions, including those mesh things that cover the drain, but still we were getting clogs and slow drainage. Then we got the Tubshroom, and we haven’t had an issue since! It sits in your tub drain and catches every hair before it can enter your pipes, without impeding the flow of water. It can get pretty gross pretty quickly (especially after we bathe our dog!), but it’s also pretty satisfying to peel away the coating of hair that it catches every week or two.
I kept seeing this dust-eating slime all over the internet, and decided it was time to try it. I’m glad I did! It’s ridiculously fun to use. You just smush it into whatever nooks and crannies you’ve got collecting dust and debris, and it basically eats the stuff up. We’ve used ours in our cars plenty, but I really like to keep it around my computer to get all the dust, crumbs, and whatever else collects on my keyboard.
Here’s another one of those products I kept seeing on listicles, so I took the plunge and bought it. I’m so glad I did! This inexpensive mascara provides insane volume (like, false-eye-level volume) and day-long wear, for a bargain price.
Before we got this DrawerStore, our silverware drawer was a mess. I love how efficiently it uses space, with stacking compartments for each pieces of silverware, and generously-proportioned storage for serving ware and other kitchen tools. This thing let us combine two kitchen drawers into one, so now I have even more room for new kitchen gadgets.
Our old dishwasher is a workhorse, but it has seen better days cosmetically. These Affresh tablets turned it from an aging soap-scum monster to a fresh, sparkling clean agent of dirty-dish destruction. It was SO satisfying to open the dishwasher and see those results from just one cycle!
It’s called the Cactus Scratcher, and according to my husband, it’s the greatest back-scratcher ever manufactured. Seriously, after I got him this as a stocking stuffer, he spent days complementing its construction quality, the two different grades of ‘scratching spikes’, and even the “rigidity of the telescoping handle”. Since then it’s become a fixture of our living room, and I won’t lie – I find myself using it fairly often too (it’s great on the scalp!).
I ordered some of this Debrox earwax remover after seeing the before-and-afters on another listicle. I couldn’t help myself! We used it on my husband’s ears (he’s not a q-tip addict like I am) and the effects were pretty remarkable. The foaming solution dislodged what must have been years (if not decades) of impressively gross build-up that ranks up there with some of the Amazon reviewer photos. He even enjoyed the experience, and feels like he can hear more clearly now.
I’m not kidding – we all love busting out the kinetic sand! If you’ve ever played with the stuff, you’d understand. If not, just imagine a cross between sand and clay that leaves no residue, never dries, and can be molded into pretty much any shape. It’s incredible stuff.
I have yet to find any product that can exfoliate as effectively as these abrasive Korean washcloths, and I’ve tried them all. Just a few passes across shower-wet skin, and you’ll see rolled-up balls of dead skin forming all over yourself. It’s a bit jarring at first, but the results (super-soft, healthy skin) are well worth it. Plus, they make fantastic back-scratchers!
I can’t believe how well this thing works. I’m prone to blackheads, especially around my nose, but using this little scrubber daily has wiped out most of them, and left my skin looking clearer and feeling healthier!
For the past for years, when winter comes around, I’ve been getting horribly dry, crusty, cracking knuckles. I’m talking full-on rough, scaly, bleeding knuckles! I’ve tried changing soaps and literally every lotion under the sun, and nothing worked. So when I discovered this O’Keeffe’s Hand Cream, it was a revelation. You only have to rub on a little bit each day, and the healing begins. The scales start to disappear. The cracks start to heal. And within ONE week my knuckles were back to normal. I don’t know WHY it works so well, but it does. I can’t recommend this stuff enough.
After watching about 15 YouTube videos about how to season my cast iron pan, I learned that you can’t just scrub the dang thing with soap and water! What can you do? Scrub it with this kitchen chainmail ! You just throw a little water in the cast iron rub the chainmail on it to loosen up any gunk, and rinse it clean. And because the chainmail is just a bunch of metal loops, it doesn’t wear out, get smelly or require any additional cleaning.
Not only do these fridge bins add much needed order to our most popular appliance, but they also speed up food prep immensely. Making a sandwich? Grab your condiment bin and your meat-and-cheese bin. They’re made of heavy, clear plastic that’s easy to clean, and I even bought a set to add sanity to our freezer!
Getting zits well into your mid-30s is no treat, but thankfully these pimple patches exist. These round little stickers cover your pimples and draw out all the nasty stuff overnight – you can even see it on the patch! As soon as I feel a new zit emerging I put one on, and it helps speed along the inevitable healing process.
This Car Cache keeps your purse or handbag right where you want it – next to you! No more reaching into the back seat to grab what I need, or watching my purse spill out all over the passenger’s side wheel well.
If you’ve got some stubborn, thick calluses you want to get rid of (and who doesn’t?), then this miracle gel is for you. I use it regularly to keep my toes and heels in check. It goes on with a bit of a tingle, softening even the thickest, gnarliest calluses so you can scrape or peel them away. Now, if I can only convince my husband to give it a try…
As I mentioned before, we’ve dealt with some annoying clog issues in our old house, and these drain snakes have been lifesavers – disgusting, effective lifesavers. Just push them down your clogged drain (for us it’s been the shower, and occasionally the sink), and they’ll grab onto whatever vile amalgamation of hair, soap scum, gunk, and (probably) evil that’s clogging things up. I’m very glad these come in multi-packs, as most of the time I’m far too squeamish to want to do anything but throw the entire mess out after I’m done!
I’d never bought a sweater off of Amazon before, but I think I struck gold with this cardigan. It’s incredibly soft, warm, and just roomy enough to wrap around myself like a blanket, and I like how well it pairs with pretty much any type of outfit. I’ve worn it SO much since I bought it, and it still looks brand-new.
I’ll admit it: I’m an avowed skin-peeler and scab-picker, and judging by the reviews on this cult-favorite foot-peel, I’m not the only one! It took a few days after wearing the foot-mask booties to start to feel the results. For a few days it feels like you’re wearing an extra sock of skin around your foot (gross, I know), and then you’re in for a treat: small sheets of foot-skin peeling off, revealing beautiful, ultra-soft foot skin. Give it a try!
As a dancer, I generally steered clear of leggings, but this pair has won me over. They’re the perfect blend of soft and stretchy, and the fact that they’re non-see-through and have actual POCKETS means they’re suitable for casual daily wear. And the added tummy control doesn’t hurt.
I discovered this cleansing oil via YouTube research into the Japanese Double Cleansing technique. With that technique, you use a cleansing oil first to remove makeup and sebum, followed by a normal, water-based cleanser. I love the results so far, and the fact that the cleanser is pretty cheap and the reviews are outstanding. They even offer disposable refills, so you can keep and reuse your pump (less waste)!
I’ve been a major fan of these resistance bands since I started dance training as a tween. You can use them to work out effectively any part of your body, and this multi-pack provides five different levels of resistance you can work up to. You don’t need expensive workout equipment to get fit at home!
These Anker double-braided lightning cables are without question the best charging cables I’ve ever used. They’re built like a tank, reinforced where it counts, and even come with a lifetime warranty…though I doubt you’ll ever need it. We use them for all of our gadgets, and keep even keep them in the car. I love these!
I’ve tried a lot of different phone mounts in my car over the years, but this magnetic mount is the only one worth keeping. I love the simple, straightforward design: just place a paper-thin metal pad on the back of your phone (under the case is fine), and attach the mount to one of your air vents. The mount has extra-strong magnets that’ll hold onto your phone like nobody’s business. Best of all, it’s SO much cheaper than most other mounts, and will work with nearly every phone.
It’s called the Wrap-a-Nap, and I use it every single night. You wrap it around your head (as tight or loose as you like), and it blocks out ALL light, muffles noise, and surrounds your head in ultra-soft comfort. I love whatever stuffing they use in here, as it helps the Wrap-a-Nap fill in any nooks and crannies where light could possibly get in. I’ve gifted dozens of these to friends and coworkers over the years, and they all seem to love it!
You know those surprise, inexpensive gifts you buy people that end up being their favorite thing ever? This blade-cleaning brush was that gift for my mother. She uses it for everything from forks to knives to spatulas, and still regularly thanks me for it. She loves it so much, I’m fairly sure I need to get one for myself!
We use these generic magic erasers on everything, which is why we buy them in bulk. They’re incredible for cleaning walls, sinks, countertops… we even got a stubborn marker stain out of our walnut dining table the other day (thanks, daughter!). They work just as well as the real-deal magic erasers, but at a small fraction of the price.
I kept seeing these silkworm cocoons on different “weird beauty” articles, and had to try them out. They work so well! They fit on the ends of your finger so you can easily rub away dead, built-up skin, while stimulating blood flow and (supposedly) collagen creation. I’m not sure about the latter, but they do an amazing job exfoliating and removing sebum and excess oil in the process. Weird, but great!
I’d never owned a decent set of nail clippers before I bought these, and I’m never looking back! They’re heavy and razor-sharp, leaving my nails smooth and cleanly-cut every time. They’re SO much better than the old, generic clippers I’d been suffering through for years.
I don’t often find myself drawn into non-fiction books in the same way I do a fantastic novel (or, y’know, enjoyable airport-read), but Why We Sleep grabbed me from the introduction. It’s a fascinating look at what sleep is, what it does, why we need it, and what happens when we don’t get enough of it. The author is a UCLA-based sleep expert, and a great, clear writer. You’ll come away realizing how important your sleep is, and never feeling guilty about stealing a nap here and there again.
Maybe it’s my age, but lately it seems like there is an old wrinkled dry layer of face on top of my face. And I’ve been willing to try anything to peel, burn, suck or scrape it off. I hold out hope that there is a perfectly decent, possibly more moisturized looking face under there! I wanted to see if all the fuss over hyaluronic acid was true or just hype. So I tried The Ordinary’s moisturizer with hyaluronic acid . It was pretty inexpensive and had an insane number of positive reviews on Amazon. It has been about two weeks and, for the first time in the history of me trying things out on my face, I see a noticeable difference! My face actually looks brighter and smoother. It has done nothing for my occasional adult acne, but maybe there’s a cream for that too…
The Lilly Brush is SO effective! You just run the rubber-edged gadget over whatever surface you want to remove hair from, and it’ll pull up every last bit of hair. We use ours in our cars, on our couches, and especially on our carpets, where our pup’s hairs tend to get embedded beyond the reach of the vacuum. It’s a surprisingly robust little invention, and has our upholstery and carpets looking new again!
I’m not easy to please when it comes to bedding, but this down-alternative comforter hits all the right notes. It’s the perfect weight (we use it inside a duvet), and doesn’t get too hot in summer, or too cold in winter. I love down-alternative for that very reason, and the fact that it’s easily washable!
My husband loves to buy and restore old machine tools, which I have no problem with. The constant greasy handprints all around the garage are another story. We’ve avoided that issue in the house, however, with this old-school pumice scrub. Just a dollop of this stuff and he can scrub off even the most stubborn of ancient grease from his hands. It’s actually incredible how well it works!
My sister-in-law bought me a set of these Norwex body cloths. She’s used them for years, only with water, to keep her face cleansed and blemish-free. I started using them within the last year, and they really do work! They leave my face feeling like I just used a cleanser, without using any chemicals whatsoever. They’re even great for makeup removal. All-in-all, a terrific find!
A few years ago, my husband strung four sets of these awesome string cafe lights back and forth across our backyard, and it’s completely transformed! We have them hooked up to a remote switch, so when we want to go enjoy a drink and some conversation on the backyard couches (built by the husband!), we just flick these on and the entire yard takes on an almost magical look – subtle, pervasive, warm light everywhere. It’s really one of those small purchases that’s added some major value in our lives!
These are possibly the least glamorous choice on my list, but these socks really are incredible. In the thirteen years we’ve been together, I’ve watched my husband work his way through hundreds of name-brand socks. These are the only ones that have held up – and held up well! We bought two packs to start with, and over two years later, I think around 95% are still in use. Incredible quality for the price!
It’s called Bondic, and it’s like the world’s greatest superglue… except it’s not a glue. It’s liquid plastic that cures with UV light, so it’s more of a plastic welder than anything else. We’ve used to to fix a $300 pair of glasses, innumerable fraying power cords, and even a beloved mug my husband dropped in the sink.
This mask is easily the most fun weapon in my arsenal against clogged pores. You brush it on and within minutes, it (somehow) starts to bubble up. You can feel the ‘carbonation’ against your skin as it rises, lifting away sebum, oil, and other pore buildup. My daughter thinks this one’s particularly hilarious (probably because it is!)
I was an Airpods skeptic for years, until my husband got a pair and I couldn’t resist giving them a try. Yeah, they look at little bit silly, but MY GOSH they’re incredible! I borrowed my husband’s so much in the first few months, he eventually surprised me with a pair of my own. I use them constantly: gardening, washing dishes, on walks. They’re fantastic for phone calls, you can start or stop a podcast or music with a couple taps on the ear, and they come in the most addictive-to-fiddle-with case on earth. If you’ve been thinking about getting a pair – do it! You will NOT regret!
I have yet to find a more effective way to get rid of fruit flies and little black plant flies than these cheap, effective traps. They’re eco-friendly, sticky-as-all-get-out, and darn good at their job! I originally bought them to take care of a fruit-fly issue we had, and then started to use them around our larger interior plants. I can’t say I love just HOW many little critters they’re catching, but I’d rather have ’em on the traps than flying around our house.
I love First Aid Beauty (FAB) products because they’re non-comedogenic, and very easy on my sensitive skin. These toning wipes are terrific – I love that I don’t have to have extra cotton balls or cotton wipes on hand to use them, and can see all the dirt and oil I remove.
My husband has been using a KeySmart key ring for years. According to him: “They’re built really well, and they nest the keys in a way that I can barely tell I’ve got them in my pocket. It’s a really clever design.” KeySmart even makes more deluxe models, with built-in memory cards, and Tile tracking technology, so you can always track down your keys.
Believe it or not, my husband originally bought this phone-holding tripod to record the birth of our daughter (from an at-the-shoulders-angle, of course). It holds any sized phone, and the flexible legs allow you to attach it to pretty much anything, so you can still capture photos and video without being ‘that person’ who’s holding your phone the whole dang time. Instead, you can focus on actually being present, and enjoying the situation! Oh, and it’s also fantastic for Facetime chats with family – we even used it to set up my Mom at the dining table to join us for a virtual, Facetime Christmas dinner.
This may be the best bang-for-your-buck pick on the list. This rubber-edged dish squeegee helps you scrape and wipe any food-gunk off your plates before getting them into the dishwasher. I love how it saves time, water, effort, and my nails. And it’s barely more expensive than a small bottle of dish soap!
These Nip + Fab cleansing pads were one of my rare, no-regrets impulse buys. They are soaked in exfoliating glycolic acid, which is great for aiding skin cell turnover, so I use them anywhere I’m feeling bumpy, clogged pores. They’re incredibly effective.
Over decades of dancing, I’ve collected some pretty serious calluses on my feet. In combination with my favorite callus-removing gel, these pumice stones help scrape away what seems like mountains of dead skin from my feet. They’re inexpensive, very effective, and once I’ve used one up on my feet, I keep it for scrubbing the toilet (they’re amazing for that too).
We try to be frugal, and that means one of us (ahem, Me), drives a 15+ year old Toyota with zero Bluetooth capabilities (though it does have a tape deck!) This little adapter changed all that. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and broadcasts to your car stereo over the radio so you can listen to whatever you want, take and make calls, and ask Siri any question that may pop to mind. It’s also a life-saver for when we’ve got our daughter in the car on long trips, when 2+ hours of Winnie the Pooh stories are a crucial distraction.
I’m not gonna lie, I thought the PopSocket was one of the goofier (and uglier) inventions of the last few years…until I got one. Is it handsome? No, but at this point I can’t imagine using my phone without it! You stick it on the back of your phone or case, and Boom: you’ve got a collapsible handle that will save you from dropping your incredibly expensive phone on the ground, or — and don’t ask me how I know this — dropping it straight onto your own face while reading in bed.
We have precious little space in our tiny kitchen (we don’t even have a microwave), so any new kitchen gadget has got to earn its right to take up counter space. This electric tea kettle is well worth the space. It’s incredibly light and boils water with a press of a button while staying cool enough to pick up and pour. While grandma’s traditional screaming tea kettle was somewhat charming, I prefer to have hot water quickly and quietly.
My dog and I both hate clipping my dog’s nails. Neither of us wants to do it, but my dog lacks the dexterity to do it himself. So that that leaves me, once a month, struggling to clutch my wriggling, yelping, angry little dog as I try to cut his nails with surgical precision. And there’s nothing worse than finally getting a hold of a nail on angry paw…only to have the clippers fail. So, when I found these miracle dog nail clippers that quickly and easily crack through his tough claws, I bought two pairs.
We love outdoor lighting at our house, but with so few outlets outside we’re forced to improvise with a tangle of power strips and extension cords to plug our lights in. That’s why this SOCKiTBOX outdoor cord keeper was a game changer. First, (and most importantly) it protected kept our power strips and cords from ever getting wet outside. Yikes! Second, it got rid of that “never-mind-that-mess-of-cords” eyesore that was plaguing our yard.
How often do kids, parents and podiatrists agree on something? If you’d asked me before I stumbled upon these kid-sized classic Reebok’s , I would have said, “never!” But when my kid’s podiatrist prescribed high top sneakers, and my little girl demanded blue, I unearthed these retro gems in the depths of Amazon! Not only does my little girl love them because they’re super comfy and colorful, but every adult who remembers jazzercise feels like they need a pair, too. We’re on our third pair!
I’d heard so much buzz about cast iron skillets for years, and didn’t believe the hype…until I got one. This thing can cook anything, from perfectly-browned steaks to beautiful eggs. It’s even our go-to for making pizza at home, since it creates a perfect, crisp crust. And the best part? The more you use it, the more of a natural, non-stick surface it develops, making cleaning even easier.
If you haven’t used a foam roller before, you’re in for a treat. I’ve been using one for years, and they’re incredibly effective. They’re great for pre- and post-workout muscle massage, but I find I’ll use mine whenever I get stiff or sore as well. I’ll be honest – they hurt a little bit at first, but once you get used to it, they feel incredible. And the results speak for themselves!
I’m a bit of a klutz when it comes to my phone, and have cracked and shattered more screens than I’d care to admit. Thankfully I’ve been able to repair my phone every time with simple screen-replacement kits like this one! It comes with the screen and every little tool you’d need to make the swap. Sure, you can pay someone else $100+ to replace your screen for you, but these kits save serious money, and you’ll feel amazing when you fire up that brand-new-looking phone!
We do a LOT of crafts at home, and these googly eyes have become an indispensable part of about 90% of our daughter’s creations. Whether they’re adoring a clay monster, a birthday card to Grandma, or self-applied to her belly to make a “belly-face”, she loves these things. And I love that you get well over 1,000 of them for a bargain-basement price.
Like so many families this last year, we took the plunge into home hair-cutting this last year. The initial results were… rough (thanks, Fiskar scissors), but after investing some time in YouTube videos and a bit of money in these professional-quality shears, I think we’re well on our way to acceptability! These scissors are an amazing value: they’re heavy, beautifully-made, comfortable to use and SO sharp. Like, seriously, scarily sharp.
Whenever I recommend The Beauty Detox Solution to a friend, I spend a lot of time convincing them to read past the title. Because it’s actually about a scientifically sound approach to looking and feeling better. Is it written by a celebrity nutritionist with too-perfect teeth? Yes. But her book (published in 2011) is all about gut-health, which is now all the rage. After buying the book, I actually did (most) of things she recommended and actually experienced the benefits she promised. So it works…if you keep doing it.
Our beloved pup is getting older, and had been having increasing trouble getting on and off the bed (his very favorite place to be). After helping him off and back on for the third time in a single night (he gets very night-thirsty), we made the call: it was time for some doggie stairs. We’ve never looked back. This set is fantastic: very soft, easy to disassemble and wash, and equally easy to re-assemble. Dog-stairs will never win any home-design awards, but they’re worth it for the extra sleep you’ll get, and the sense of empowerment your pup will get too.
I’m almost embarrassed to admit how excited I am about this silicone sink trap . (Seriously, this is where adulthood has taken me.) But after more than 30 years of cringing while I scooped out the goopy contents of the metal sink trap, the solution to this minor misery was like a breath of fresh air. This silicone trap is flexible so it can be bent to empty its contents without touching them. I just pop this down over the drain and, when it fills with sink crud, pop it out over the trashcan. Boom. Brilliant.
I’d list sweeping and mopping on a looong list of super annoying chores. And even more annoying was having the contents of the broom closet tumble out every time I opened it. So I ordered a set of these removable stick-on broom holders removable stick-on broom holders, and never looked back! They’re even strong enough to hold my Swiffer Wet Jet. It’s so easy to put away my cleaning tools now that I almost look forward it it…almost
These sheets are incredibly soft, durable, and come in a host of different colors with a price that can’t be beat. We don’t need high-end hotel-quality sheets here, and these fit the bill perfectly. It makes sense why they’re one of the most highly-reviewed products on Amazon!
With a toddler and a messy dog, we’ve been a pretty heavy paper-towel-household for a while. But when the pandemic hit, it became almost impossible to find them in the quantities we needed. So we took a chance and ordered a 50-pack of these shop towels, and we haven’t looked back! They’re a great replacement for paper towels: ultra-absorbent, reusable, and cheap enough to toss guilt-free when they get too nasty. They’re 100% cotton and clean up well in the washing machine. Seriously, give them a try!
When you’ve got a 3-year-old stuck at home indefinitely, you’ve got to find ways to manufacture fun. This terrarium was one of our earliest hits! My husband and daughter outfitted it to collect “Roly Polys” – little bugs that roll up into balls when you touch them. What I thought would be a passing phase became an obsession (mostly for my husband), in which they’d set out on “Roly Hunts”, terrarium in hand. After more than one year of collecting, they’ve got thousands of the things crawling around in there, munching on carrot shreds and, much to my husbands genuine delight, reproducing en masse.
I love gardening, my husband loves tinkering, and our daughter is a 3-year-old. What does that mean? About 30 dirty nails on a daily basis. That’s why I grabbed this cheap set of nail brushes to keep at every sink in the house. With a little bit of soap they’ll clean even the dirtiest of nails quickly.
We use Amazon-brand batteries for everything: our daughter’s toys, our security cameras, our remotes, even the backyard bubble machine that just…won’t…die – thanks in large part to a constant fresh supply of well-priced batteries. These last just as long as the “big names” and come in often at around half the price, especially when you buy in larger quantities.
I’ve burned my forearms on the edges of our (ancient) oven dozens of times, so either I’m just bad at oven-ing, or all oven gloves before this fantastic pair were just too short. These fit perfectly: they’re sized for a woman’s hand, they provide extreme heat protection (it’s actually crazy how well they work), and since they’re gloves and not bulky mittens, you can grab basically anything with accuracy and ease. I highly recommend these to any of my burn-prone friends out there!
Our daughter has a head full of auburn ringlets, which are incredibly beautiful, and incredibly prone to tangles. We tried most detangling brushes on the market before I found this one recommended on a Mommy blog. Yes, it’s marketed by Bass as a dog brush, but I’m telling you: nothing works better than this brush for curly hair. It glides through her hair with a little bit of water, minimizes painful hair pulls, and saves serious time every single day.
This vacuum This was one of our few Cyber Weekend splurges last year, and now vacuuming’s become one of my husband’s favorite chores. According to him: “It’s the most powerful vacuum I’ve ever used, hands-down, and will pick up anything. You can even take the thing apart to vacuum steps, curtains, corners, whatever. Easily the best purchase of 2020 for me.”
If her love for – and skill with – these magnet tiles is any indication, our daughter’s on her way to becoming an architect. These things are so fun! They’re plastic tiles of different shapes and sizes, with magnets arranged inside them so they can bond to any other piece in the set. It’s amazing to watch what a not-yet-preschooler can create with these.
I was so happy to find this no-drill, stick-anywhere towel ring. I installed it myself under the counter overhang, next to the sink, so we’ve always got a dish towel close at hand. It’s incredibly easy to install with NO drilling required, and painless to remove as well, despite the adhesive being strong enough to support a 3-year-old constantly pulling on it!
Our daughter’s favorite toys have always been any kind of ball (she requested to go as a “blue ball” for Halloween when she was 2… a request which we kindly obliged with some impressive paper mache work), so when it came time to upgrade the nightlight situation, a ball-lamp was a no-brainer. This model comes with a remote that lets you set it to 16 different colors at varying levels of brightness. It’s even rechargeable, so she can bring it anywhere she wants. I’m always impressed with just how much bright it can get, and how saturated the colors can be.
This oral irrigator (aka, water flosser) is a fantastic addition to any dental-care routine. We got one after my dentist recommended it as a good counterpart to brushing and flossing, and I use it every day to quickly and effectively blast out all the gunk from between my teeth. It’s strong, reliable, rechargeable, and costs about what an “oral irrigator” should, to my mind.
This food processor is one of the few kitchen appliances to gain permanent placement atop our tiny amount of counter space. It’s just that good. While we do use it for quick veggie-mincing and sauce making, we mostly use it like a blender to make fantastic smoothies. It’s super-durable, easy to clean, and so fast. If you haven’t owned a food processor before (and I didn’t!), go for it. You won’t regret it.
This awesome JBL bluetooth speaker was one of our favorite wedding presents. It’s got the perfect mix of room-filling volume, with beautiful, clear sound quality, and fantastic battery life (even all these years later). We keep ours on our fireplace mantel and use it for dinner-time tunes and pre-bedtime “family dance parties”. Oh, and it even charges your devices for you!
I got very into gardening during the pandemic, which got me heavily into following gardening YouTubers, which made me realize one thing: they’re all wearing Crocs. Yes, I too jumped on the cushy, molded-foam bandwagon, and I’ll tell you what: I haven’t regretted it for a single moment. They’re incredible comfortable, supportive, breathable, and best of all, VERY easy to wash. While I started wearing them exclusively for gardening, somehow they’ve become my go-to-shoe for almost every occasion. My husband doesn’t love them (and I don’t care), but I’ll be getting him his own pair soon enough. Then he’ll understand.
OK, so it’s not an actual water cooler (just looks like one, doesn’t it?), but this water dispenser allows our constantly thirsty pup to get his fill of water whenever he wants, while we only have to refill it once a week.
If you haven’t heard of water beads, they’re these tiny, hard little balls made of ultra-absorbent material. Soak them in water for a few hours, and they become large, colorful, squishy and slippery balls that are incredibly satisfying to play with. We’ll toss a bunch into our daughter’s water table in the spring and summer, and before you know it, it’s like the world’s smallest ball pit. Incredibly cool!
Here’s one of those products you get that make you say: why haven’t ALL bibs been made this way? These amazing bibs are crafted from solid silicone, and feature a built-in food-catcher, which has saved us hours of chair and floor scrubbing over the years. Our daughter still enjoys using hers (and it still looks like new), especially when she’s eating something she wants every last bit of. She’ll spend the last few minutes of every meal fishing out her select ‘bites’ from the food-catcher.