Gadgets and Gizmos Aplenty

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I love a good gadget. Who doesn't, really? Sometimes they are just quirky and fun. Sometimes they reinvent the wheel. I like it either way. Most of them are kitchen oriented. Here of some of my faves:

Urbano Eco Trash Can

This may just be one of the best gifts my husband has ever given me. I'm big on recycling, so I used to keep a plastic grocery bag next to my desk to store my mixed paper recycling between trips to the dump. There would be envelopes and junk mail and postcards, so things were inevitably falling out or the bag would get caught in my desk chair wheels. Ugh. My husband came across this on Uncommon Goods' website and ordered it last Christmas. It's a life changer. You load it up with grocery bags then hang the top one from the handle. All of my recycling stays upright and neat until it's full, then I pull out the bag, knot it, and promote the next bag. So simple, yet so awesome.

Fred & Friends M-Cups Measuring Matyroshkas

Okay, so I didn't really need another set of measuring cups. But I needed these. Another one of my many obsessions is Russian nesting dolls. I got my first set in second grade and there was an instant fascination. So when I saw these, I had to have them. I don't use them often for measuring because they are too pretty not to look at all the time. Instead, they are lined up on the back of my stove. Nobody puts Baby in a drawer. They also make a set of measuring spoons that I'm pretty sure will find their way into my Christmas stocking one year. This company makes a ton of wacky, awesome gadgets that make great gifts.

Tovolo Spoons and Spatulas

I have been slowly but steadily replacing our old cooking utensils with these. I don't know why the wooden spoons keep breaking, Honey. They have the strength and sturdiness of metal, but the flexibility of silicone. I use them for everything. Plus, they are colorful and fun to use. I've scrambled eggs, made cookies and caramelized sugar with them. The possibilities are endless. And I don't have to worry about throwing them in the dishwasher like I do with wood or melting them like I do with plastic. I want more, more, MORE!

The fact that I don't own these is the bane of my existence. I have become quite the baker over the last several years, and the fact that they are not in my repertoire is completely unacceptable. They are a cookie cutter and stamp all in one. I have seen them firsthand in stores, taken them out of the box and lusted for them, but my husband always gives me that really? look that shames me into putting them back on the shelf. The next time I see them, they will be mine. Shamelessly. So will these:

I want bins and bins of funky cookie cutters at my disposal. I would sooo be the cool mom if I made these this Halloween. Why I'm not working for this company is beyond me.

Rainbow Scalp Massager

This thing gets me all twitterpated. When done just right, it makes every hair on my body stand on end. My husband doesn't quite know how to finesse it, which hasn't been too hard on our marriage. My son, however? Oh, he gets it. So we take turns. We bond and tingle.

Wall mounted pot rack in Natural

I'm not sure if this is a gadget or a fixture. Perhaps it is both. For Mario's thirtieth birthday we stayed at a historic hotel in Manchester, Vermont for the weekend. It was laid back and so much fun. There is an incredible kitchen supply store just outside of town we visited that makes and sells these racks. No matter what our next kitchen looks like, this is going to be in it. I bought it for Mario, but it was really for me, too. Aren't those the best kinds of presents?

Magnetic knife rack

My husband is a knife snob. There. I said it. He sharpens them and tends to them on a regular basis. He's even packed one up in his suitcase to take across the country because he knew he'd be cooking at a barbeque; and he couldn't rely on the fact that his friend's knives were up to snuff. It's ridiculous and I ridicule him regularly. Whoa, say that 3 times fast.

This magnetic knife rack was an Ikea find. There are lots of different versions around the internet, but this one was $14 and I liked the simplicity of it. It keeps the knives organized, and this way they aren't getting shoved in a drawer with other utensils. I actually find it to be a safer way to store them. Our son is older, so we don't have to worry about them being out, but we still have it mounted behind a counter where visiting little hands cannot reach it. Plus, the magnet is strong so they stick pretty tight.

Grelz cupcake courier

I always make something for my son's class parties because of his food allergy. My go-to treat is cupcakes. I love coming up with unique decorations for the various holidays. For years I struggled to use a large party tray from a local discount store to transport them on the bumpy road between my house and the school. They'd slide around and get stuck to each other and the lid, and the perfectionist inside of me would cringe with each turn and frost heave I navigated.

This is what it looks like in action. The Christmas cupcakes are from last winter. I'm not season-confused. Although if making them in August would bring a reprieve from the heat, well, I'm on it.

I found this cupcake tote on Amazon and added it to my wishlist. My mother-in-law gifted it two Christmases ago . . . and my life has never been the same. It has three stackable levels (36 cupcake total capacity) that double as serving trays. My only complaint is that occasionally my creations are too tall for the space between the trays (there is a lot of space between the top tray and the lid). I've been brainstorming for a way to remedy this issue. I'm convinced there's a solution . . . some sort of spacer that increases the distance between the lower trays just a tad. In the case of the snowman cupcakes above, I just had to lay the noses down on the first tray rather than have them stick up. No biggie. This thing is genius for anyone who makes cupcakes. It is one of my best and most coveted gadgets.

This is all the stuff I can think of right now. I know there are more and I will probably do a follow-up post once my aha! moments start stacking up. Plus, I don't want to give away all the good stuff at once or you won't come back. I must have you waiting with baited breath. Still, this should give you a lot to think about: What should I have in my home to make it more quirky and gizmo-rific? That's the spirit! Later, dudes.


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