There is not that much stuff that is really “essential for survival”, however there are certain things that make life easier. This type of stuff is what I like. So, here we go – a list of my favorite things (in the order of remembering, not in the order of significance):
- Robotic lawn mower – if your terrain is relatively big this is simply a life-saver! I cannot even imagine how many weekends were saved by this machine. It just does what it has to do and you get a perfect lawn, so you can get yourself a glass of wine and admire your picture-worthy backyard (or front-yard, or both). Ours is Robomow RS630. Of course, this thing is not cheap, but it is worth every penny.
- Nespresso Aeroccino – I like to have a strong espresso in the morning, but my second cup is usually a latte. How I used to make it was just putting in the respective capsule in my Dolce Gusto machine. The problem was – this way I got only 8 cups of coffee per box of capsules (instead of 16 which I get with a box of espresso capsules), making it pricey. Also, it limited the choice of milk – if I felt more like skimmed or wanted to use for instance almond milk – bad luck! Obviously if you have an espresso-maker with a milk frothing function, you don’t need any additional devices. However, if you brew your coffee in a french press, or use any other device (Aeropress, siphon, percolator, Dolce Gusto machine…), for a perfect latte Aeroccino is a very good choice.
- Silicone mat and rolling pin – mine are from Lekue – I am their devoted fan. If you have ever tried to roll dough with a traditional rolling pin you know what I mean. Yes, it also works, but be honest how many times you were scraping the dough from the rolling pin (or from the table) and swearing like hell? Even if you weren’t, trust me with a silicone mat and rolling pin it is just easier. Full-stop.
- Stand-mixer – if you bake on a regular basis this is a must, otherwise you can do without. My stand-mixer serves also as “a classic kitchen design element” because it is a KitchenAid Artisan. I do bake, so I use it intensively. Also, its flat-beater makes perfect mashed potato!
- Steam-mop – at first I was skeptical if it will clean the floor thoroughly. However, after I cleaned it with our steam-mop, I wiped the previously dirty floor with a clean paper tissue and was positively surprised to find it absolutely clean. The only problem I have with my model is that the cable is not long enough… Otherwise, my Black+Decker is a perfect cleaning companion.
- Oven and cooking surface with integrated timer and automatic switch off – this is simply genius! If I hadn’t had it, I would have surely burnt a lot of pots… And would have bought a couple of stand-alone timers in the end. 🙂 I still remember that once I put water to boil in a kettle and forgot about it, to come to my kitchen and find the kettle glaring red in the darkness. Scary! It was by pure luck that a fire didn’t start! So I am now sooo happy with my Neff oven and induction hob with integrated timer and switch off function – you just set for how long it needs to cook and then it just switches off and informs you about it with a loud beep. Amazingly convenient!
- SodaStream – I simply love this device. It allows you to make sparkling water with a taste of your liking from just usual tap water. Normally I have about 6 to 8 different syrups to choose from: from unusual limited edition stuff like “raspberry, lychee, rose” to traditional cola or orange (~Fanta) or lime (~Sprite).
- Gym Ball (big one – 90 cm / 35.4 in) – I used it when at one point in time my son was being difficult at falling asleep and required some gentle shaking (it is much easier to do it while sitting on a gym ball). I use it for doing exercises at home. And finally, I just use it instead of a chair at the dining table already for two years. I personally find it very convenient for my back to sit on it and then again – if while sitting I move my fine ass a bit, my conscience becomes clear that I already did at least some exercises today (giggle).
- Tempur bed with Tempur mattress – We spend at least a quarter of our life in bed, so the investment in making this time better makes a lot of sense. For many years I was waking up in the morning and feeling discomfort in every part of my body, before I discovered this bed and mattress. The material used in the mattress was developed by NASA scientists and is temperature-sensitive and able to evenly distribute body weight. Tempur offers better sleep than inner springs, air, and “memory foam” – tried them all. This beauty sadly comes with a price tag, but my back says “thank you” for it every single morning!
- Kindle Paperwhite – for long I was refusing to read from electronic devices, because I wanted to have the real feel of a book. However, with moving to another country I gave it a try and never regretted! Kindle Paperwhite gives you the feel that you are reading from a paper. Even in the bright sunlight there is no glare and no reflection whatsoever. Additionally, eBooks are much cheaper than paper books (which also require to be delivered, hence add delivery costs) and don’t require space on your shelf.
Other items I have around the house are nice-to-have ones or just nice ones, but not even close to being essential. Frankly, also the above items are not essential, but for me they are still pretty close to being such.
What are your favorite items around household that simplify your life? I would love to know, as maybe I am missing something spectacular!