If you read Wee regularly, you know that when we find things that make life as a parent easier and/or better, we loooove talking about them. (See: This, this and this.) Lately, though, I’ve been thinking about the handful of things that aren’t necessarily parent-related but that I still love deeply enough to talk about because they simplify or comfy-up life in one way or another. (And any tool that simplifies life is a good parenting tool, no?) Is this list random? Yes! But is it awesome? Big yes. Here, some of our favorite life tools that help us keep it all together.
For Bug Emergencies: The Bugzooka.
So my husband bought this thing off an infomercial a few years back and gave it to me as a Christmas present. (I know! Romantic!) But honestly, as a lifelong bug-hater (who’s not?), I have found it to be a game-changer, if only because it allows me to deal with things like thousand-leggers (shudder) without getting remotely close to them. It operates with suction (no plugging in or batteries), and sucks up even the biggest, scariest bugs. (It doesn’t kill them: You can still release them into the wild, if you care to do so. Or make someone else do it, like your children.)
For Housework: Black and Decker Cordless Cyclonic Dustbuster
I sound like party in a bag, here, don’t I? Bug-suckers and dustbusters, woo-hoo!! (Honestly, this paragraph basically encapsulates everything I always feared about becoming an adult.) But look: When you have a professional crumb-dropper in the house and an endless parade Cheerios that keep on appearing under the couch like the loaves and fishes, these things start to gain a new importance in your life. I’ve had four other (expensive!) models in five years, and they have all totally sucked (no pun intended) and sputtered out really quickly. But this one? This one is super-light, it holds a charge for ages, it’s stronger than some vacuums I’ve owned, it’s got an attachment that lets me dust baseboards really easily, and my two-year-old is obsessed with using it to dustbust the floors. I love, love it. And it was less than $50.
For Decorating: Paper Source Garlands
Ice cream cones, doggies, honeycombs, tropical leaves, flags, elephants: Paper Source carries the most adorable paper garlands online and in the store (the tropical leaves on is pictured above!). And while I think they’re meant to be used for parties (and they are great for parties, and for showers), I’ve also hung some up in the nursery as insta-decor: They’re cheery, colorful and (relatively) cheap, as far as interior decorating goes. (Just be sure they’re out of reach of little hands, as they’re basically long stretches of string.) Some of them come in kits, so you can make them as an art project before you hang them.
For Pretty Skin: Get Fresh’s Grapefruit Sugar Body Scrub
Years ago, Danuta Mieloch at Rescue Spa turned me onto this body scrub as a gentle way to buff my skin up before my wedding — skin that is incredibly sensitive and that runs dry. It’s a gentle, chemical-free sugar scrub that smells fresh and delicious, and it makes your skin soft and smooth. It remains one of my favorite things, especially this time of year, when I want to slough off winter.
And a few from Ash ….
For Staying Connected: Apple Watch
Is it obnoxious to say this? It’s totally a novelty, but now that I have it, I love it. Mostly because I feel like I don’t always have to be carrying my phone around the house or the office. When I’m in meetings, it’s a relief to know that if I get an emergency text or call from daycare, I won’t ever miss it.
For Schlepping: Backpacks from Baggu
I feel a little silly being a 36-year-old that carries a backpack, but after I made the switch a few years ago, I probably won’t go back to purse carrying until my kids are school-aged. It holds everything and my hands are always free to carry the 800 things I need to be carrying. I love the ones from Baggu because they’re washable, durable, and cheap enough that I can get a new one anytime it feels really beat up.
For Hair Help: Hair-curling Wand from Remington
Instead of fighting my hair’s crazy, inconsistent texture (yay pregnancy!), I just let it do what it does and touch up any weird angles or waves/curls with this wand. It takes 2 seconds to heat up and 2 seconds to use. Plus, it’s light and easy to throw in a suitcase when I travel.
Photo credit: Paper Source tropical leaf garland from Paper Source