If you know me at all, you know I’m not one to push consumerism—I’m all for the old adage to “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” On most days, my goal is to spend absolutely nothing, so I’m not one to really seek out new products or to find out what’s currently trending.
The following products (most that were given to me as gifts) have legitimately been game changers for me, in terms of either convenience, making my life easier, or improving my quality of life (seriously).
***Note: These are Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you click on them and end up buying the product, I’ll get a small percentage of the sale (at no extra cost to you). However, as in anything, I suggest you shop around for the best prices if these look like products you’re interested in buying.
I’ve honestly considered doing a post all about my love for the Squatty Potty, but as that would probably seem a little bit strange, I’ll just wax poetic on my love for it here. Basically, the Squatty Potty sits underneath your toilet, and whenever you need to take a poop, you just slightly pull it out and put your feet up on it (like a glorified foot rest or bench). Basically, the theory behind it is that squatting is the easiest position to make a bowel movement in, so having the Squatty Potty puts you into that ideal position so that going to the bathroom is easier and requires no hard pushing or straining.
Without going into too many details, I’ve had some GI issues since I lived in El Salvador for a year and a half (and had parasites multiple times while there). Although cleaning up my diet helped quite a bit since arriving back in the States, I’ve been told by my GI doc that I’ll likely have some issues for life. Since getting the Squatty Potty, though, I basically feel like I can go to the bathroom like a normal human again. (Note: Matt doesn’t have the same GI issues I do, yet he still loves our Squatty Potty, so it’s not just for people with problems).
Honestly, now that I’ve had the Squatty Potty for so long, I can never, ever go back–I love it too much.
P. S. If you ever want a laugh, go to the link above and scroll down to read the reviews of this product. They are hilarious. (And you will see that I am not the only one seriously digging on the SP here.)
When people mentioned to me before how much they loved their kitchen scales, I was a bit skeptical–who was so OCD that they needed to measure every gram of their food? But I finally gave in, AND I’M SO GLAD I DID.
Basically, any recipe that includes the weight of the ingredients (usually in grams) means that I can perfectly measure out the right amounts of everything without having to deal with measuring cups and leveling knives and all that. Since baking is a pretty exact science (and it’s something I do all the time), the kitchen scale has been kind of a game changer. It means that I have the exact right amount of all the ingredients, every time, which means that pretty much anything I bake turns out fabulously, every time.
Also, when I was more strictly counting calories and trying to figure out portion sizes, the scale really helped me to understand what one ounce of cheese really looked like, or the true difference in size between a small apple and a large apple. (Oh, and bonus! I’ve totally used the scale to measure packages that I need to mail off to people so that I know exactly how much postage I need.)
I’ve been making cookies on my own probably since I was about 8, and so over the years, I’ve gotten pretty adept at the “drop” cookie method (where you take two spoons and drop small mounds of dough onto a cookie sheet). I also got familiar with rolling dough into balls for dipping into sugar or cinnamon (such as for snickerdoodles) or ladling muffin batter into tins or paper liners before they went in the oven.
In other words, I am fully aware that I didn’t NEED cookie scoops before I got them.
BUT, since Matt got me some for Christmas one year, I have been astounded at how often I use them. They make cookie scooping about three times as fast, they make it so that all my baked goods are roughly the same size (if that’s something that’s important to you), and they make it so that I don’t make nearly as much of a mess when putting muffin batter into the tin. Basically, they are the kitchen tool I wish I would have had 10 years ago, just because they make my life so much easier.
(Oh, and since they come in different sizes, they’ve also made it so that I tend to make smaller cookies, which has helped my waistline.)
Note: The link above is I *think* the one that I own, but if you want to pay a bit more and get ones that are a lot cuter, you can check out these.
I know every parent will have the butt cream they swear by for diaper rash, but this is ours. Since the beginning, Raven has had extremely sensitive skin that has been very prone to diaper rash, and while we’ve tried some other things (including Butt Paste and Desitin), this ointment recommended by our pediatrician has blown them all out of the water.
Basically, if I understand correctly, this ointment was actually formulated to treat burns, but it works amazingly well on diaper rashes, often almost healing (or at least drastically improving them) overnight. It also doesn’t sting at all and seems to soothe Raven immediately when applied, and we plan on sticking by this stuff for the foreseeable future.
5. Norwex Antibacterial Cleaning Cloths
The year my mom got me these for Christmas, I was a bit skeptical—I’m not usually a fan of the Tupperware-type parties that these cloths are sold at, so I was glad that the gift at least saved me the trouble of having to attend such an event. However, for the absolutely lazy house cleaner like myself, these cloths are pretty amazing.
Basically, because of the silver embedded in the microfiber (or something like that), these cloths are naturally antibacterial and don’t require any cleaners along with them. All you have to do is get the green one wet, watch in awe as it cleans pretty much any surface easily, and then finish up hardware and mirrors and such with the purple cloth (dry). Since the whole process takes about 3 minutes from start to finish, it means that not even I can make excuses to not clean the bathroom or mirrors.
What products do you wish you’d known about a lot sooner? I’m always on the lookout for things I can suggest to Matt for future gift ideas 🙂