Saturday, January 24, 2009

Favorite Things

Tomorrow is my birthday. While I'm not thrilled about turning 32 (it's not so much the getting older part as much as the getting older while still childless part - age is so much more than a number when you're in this situation) I decided to do a post today in honor of the occasion. I want to tell you about a few things that I really wouldn't want to live without. Of course my family and friends would top the list, but I'm talking specifically about products here. No, I'm not being paid to promote any of these things, but if you have connections I would consider it. (Ha ha)

And now, a few of my favorite things:

1. Swiffer Products

I love any and all things Swiffer. The dusters, the sweeper, the Sweeper Vac, and the Wet Jet - I own all of them. Honestly, these things make cleaning up so easy. The main living space in my house has laminate wood floors, and we are working on phasing out the carpet in the rest of the house. Only the master bedroom has carpet now and it won't be long before we remove it. I go through the house two or three times a week with the Swiffer sweeper for a quick clean up. I love the Wet Jet for mopping because you don't have to wring out a nasty mop! It's seriously my favorite system for cleaning house. Have I convinced you to use it? I always say I should be on their commercials!

2. The Chi Flat Iron

I can't believe I made it through high school and college without this thing. It's not just a flat iron; it's a flat iron from heaven. My hair is relatively thick and wavy (really more like frizzy) but I always want it to be straight. Every time I wash it I use the blow dryer and then the flat iron to smooth it out. I wish I knew how to work with the wave and let it be natural some days but when I try it I just feel ridiculous! Anyway, this flat iron is pricey but it's worth every penny if you want straight hair. I love it.

3. Amazon dot com

Maybe I told you this around Christmas, but I love this website. The only negative thing is that I'm sure it has played a pretty big part in further enabling me to be a hermit. I do most of my Christmas shopping there and other various shopping throughout the year. I have my own wish list and I have created gift idea lists for my family members. I love it when I can look on the idea list or their own personal wish list (which you can search for by email address) and it makes shopping very easy. I think they have the best prices on books, and you only have to spend $25 to qualify for free shipping on an order. Love it!

4. Picasa

What if I told you that there was a fantastic and incredibly user-friendly method for organizing and editing your digital pictures on your computer? (Do you feel like you're watching an infomercial? I swear if this thing could be used as a juicer we'd really have something magical.) Seriously, my husband introduced me to the software application Picasa several years ago after we first got a digital camera. I thought I could never learn how to work with such a thing, but I am in love with it. Better yet, brace yourselves people, it's FREE. When it first came out we actually purchased it, but now it's owned by the nice people at Google and you can download it for free. No joke. It has the best features - you can correct red-eye, do all of your cropping, change to black and white or sepia, and so many other things. It's simple to email photos or add them to your Facebook or blog. In my opinion, the best things about it are first that it's easy to use and it is a great tool for organization. I never have to search long for a photo. When you empty your memory card you simply give the album a title and date and everything is right where you need it. Second, I absolutely love the Web Album feature. You can upload groups of photos into a web album and share the entire album with friends by email. The album is saved so that if I'm away from home and want to show an album I've uploaded to friends, I just sign in to my account from their computer and there is my album. Ok, one more thing that is awesome about it. Let's say I'm at my sister's house for a birthday party and we forgot our camera at home. She takes a whole bunch of great pics and uploads them to a Picasa Web Album to email to me. I can get home, open her email, and download that same album straight into my Picasa. There are the photos all stored neatly into my own computer, just as if I'd taken them myself. Picasa, will you marry me? Ok, even though Picasa is my fiance, he has lots of brothers who are still available. You can get your own here.

5. DVR
I won't spend a lot of time on this one except to tell you how happy I am that we finally got on board with digitally recording our favorite TV shows. We don't have the actual Ti.vo brand, but we have the DVR that comes through our cable company and we are thrilled with it. Maybe this sounds goofy but I think it has saved me so much time. Watching my shows when it's convenient for me (often late at night when I can't sleep) and being able to skip through the commercials is great, not to mention that I don't have to worry about looking for a blank tape or recording over something I want to keep. Anything that makes my life more organized and clutter-free is likely to be on my list of favorite things! This is not a photo of a DVR, but if Simon Baker doesn't motivate you to start recording or watching The Mentalist I don't know what will!

I'm sure I could go on but I think 5 is plenty for today. Market research shows that if you start using these 5 things, your happiness will increase by 30%. Ok, that's not true but it's worth a shot. These are definitely at the top of my list. Now it's your turn. What things have you discovered that make your life so much easier? Tell me all about it and I'll add it to my Amazon wish list.


Life In Mazes said...

Hope you have a great day!

Rebeccajean34 said...

I sooooooo agree with you about the DVR, that is my favorite thing ever. And I like the picasa program pretty well too. But seriously, can not live without DVR.

Anonymous said...

They've just started screening The Menalist here in South Africa about 2 weeks ago and we recorded each episode using something similar to your DVR, its through our satelite company and called PVR! Hahaha!
Hope you have a wonderful birthday!

Amy @ Experience Imagination said...

Happy birthday to you!

I hope you have a wonderful day, just a start to a wonderful year.

andrea_jennine said...

Happy birthday!

(Mine's tomorrow; fun to share birthday time with a friend!)

Becky said...

Happy Birthday!!! You've definitely sold me on Picasa and I was looking for a good flat iron so thank you for the recommendations. I also do most of my Christmas shopping online and Amazon is also one of my favorites. However, one thing I was surprised to discover this past Christmas was that Barnes and Noble can sometimes have even better deals than Amazon if you are looking for books so it is worth comparison shopping.

Emily said...

Perhaps you've already seen my "Favorite Things" post, but here it is in case any one else reading this loves coffee, blankets, etc. as much as I do!

Connie said...

What a fun post.

You're welcome...for the Chi. :)

Jenn said...

Okay, I'm slow. Somehow I skipped this blog. Shame on me! I have always wanted to try the Swiffer products but never have. I have only heard good about them!

Jenn said...

Oh darn, I forgot something..I just have to say about the Chi flat iron. I have had three different kinds/brands in my lifetime and I feel the Chi is highly over-rated. (I hear all the gasps from the Chi fanatics!)And it actually quit working after I had it not more than two years and I spent $150 on it!!! And Stace, you know how curly/frizzy my hair is! I discovered a Remington at Wal-Mart for $25 w/ceramic plates and it's a wet2dry flatiron. It works absolutely the same, if not better than the Chi, in my opinion. Kaylin and I each have one and we use ours daily and have been since back in the fall of 2008.

Stacy said...

I bought the swiffer sweeper today based on your recommendation! I cannot keep my floors clean so I will give this a try (I hate cleaning so that is definitely part of it). Thanks for the suggestions!

Chuck said...


Let me give you a man's perspective on the Swiffer. When Stacey needs me to clean the floor because she's sick, out of town, etc., I don't mind so much because the Swiffer is so easy to use. You can really knock out a room quickly. It really helps if you have a Dustbuster too. When you get done, just suck up what's left and toss the Swiffer cloth.

Stacy said...

Seriously.....I was looking at Dustbusters at Target today too! I am not used to living with hardwood floors and didn't know what I needed to replace my vacuum. Now I do. Thanks!