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Things I Love

In honor of Black Friday Weekend, I bring you a list of products that made my life easier in 2011 (all links go to Amazon, because they belong on this list, too):

  • Dapper Snapper Toddler Belt – Have skinny kids that jeans won’t fit? This belt snaps around the back loops of jeans, solving the problem!
  • Contigo Autoseal Kids 14-Ounce Trekker Cup – This kid cup looks grown-up, is easy for kids to use, and never leaks.
  • Country Save HE Laundry Detergent Powder – I bought this detergent on the recommendation of my sister-in-law, who manages to keep four incredibly active kids (three of them boys) looking impeccable. It gets clothes clean, and doesn’t have any scents or leave any residues. I’ve stopped using Oxi Clean even!
  • Stainless Steel Rice Cooker by Miracle Exclusives – Just in case I wasn’t the only person searching for a stainless steel (rather than teflon-coated) rice cooker. This one cooks rice nicely for us, and doesn’t leak so long as you cook the rice with the steamer basket on top to catch the steam. It’s on sale right now, and I know I didn’t pay full price for it…
  • Thirsties Duo Wrap Snap – If you want to give cloth diapering a go, try these covers! Snap covers are easy to use once you get the fit down, and they don’t catch gunk in them like velcro. These have never leaked on me. They got shipped off to my sister last month, because I have NO kids in diapers!!!
  • Neewer IR Wireless Remote Control – I wanted a remote for my camera, and for $2.89 this was worth trying. It works!!!
  • Wood Bristles Hair Brush – I bought this after reading that Elisa at Blissfule likes natural bristle hair brushes. The thin bristle brushes never work for my hair, but I love this wood bristle version. This brush seems to help ease both frizz and tangles.
  • J Fit Hi-Density Foam Roller – I learned about this while going through weeks of physical therapy this year. It’s much more affordable than a massage (or physical therapy), and goes a long ways towards combatting muscle knots. It’s also made in the US, and sturdy enough to withstand the various alternate uses Johnny devises for it…
  • Press Here – This book makes my kids giggle, and it has provided an ever-popular gift choice for friends! We like it enough that I just ordered The Game of Light by the same author.
  • Kindle Keyboard 3G – I gave this to Mike as a gift at the beginning of the year, and in the past month or so I’ve started stealing it to use for PDF crochet patterns. This is an expensive e-ink reader, but the logical choice for a husband who travels constantly, including overseas. Unlike newer and less expensive models, this kindle allows for free 3G internet around the world, which means Mike can see what we’re up to by reading the blog and send me a quick email to let me know he has arrived and send updates on his missing suitcase…
MaryAnne at Mama Smiles
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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

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