My Favorite Gadgets for the Home

Susie Homemaker I am not (it may be pretty, but not always tidy), but there are some little gadgets we have at home that really are amazing at making life easier and that I see as really valuable investments in our hectic, busy lives.  I thought I’d share them here in case perhaps you needed recommendations or have your own life-saving device to enlighten us all about!

I hesitated to buy this Dyson cordless hand vacuum for a long time and tried cheaper versions that sucked (or actually, didn’t suck!) This thing is AMAZING. It acts as a dust-buster and powerful vacuum all in one- amazing for easy cleanups or a quick clean before company comes. INCREDIBLE if you have kids and dogs. I have clients who keep one on every floor of their house. For my smaller house, one is fine. :)

I love our Cuisinart coffee maker.  It’s WAAAAAAAAAY more durable and attractive than basic models (this one has lasted us years with no issues, which I can’t say for our old Keurig brand machines). An essential in our house.

We got the new “verbal control” Comcast Xfinity X1 remote and holy amazingness.  It’s incredible! You just say “Ryan Gosling movies” (me) or “Paw Patrol” (when Henry is FREAKING out) and up pops what you want to watch. Henry actually now picks up the remote and tries saying “Paw Patrol” into it (can you tell what his latest obsession is?)

We’ve had really expensive blenders and cheap blenders and none seemed to work for me.  Then I got this little immersion blender and VOILA! It’s so great!  Also handy for purees, soups, etc. with SO much less clean up and mess than a food processor or blender.

Since I don’t have a wall oven, sometimes I run into issues with preparing side dishes the same time as a main dish.  This Breville countertop oven saves the day (and also is great for cooking kids food like chicken nuggets, pizzas, etc.!)

I would not put the Amazon Echo on my list because I find her annoying as all get out, but Andrew LOOOOOOOOVES her. So I am adding that here on his behalf :) I do like the new wood finishes coming out soon though.

 

What is YOUR favorite home gadget?? Share in comments so we can all check them out!

57 comments

  1. SONOS in home speakers are almost life changing
    so much better than bluetooth in function and quality
    all done over wifi

    1. Agree. Love our Sonos. I listen to so much more music at home now that we have Sonos + Spotify controlled by our phones.

      1. QUESTION!! …that i’ve been trying to figure out. Here’s the situation i am looking for – one in kitchen, one on deck, they both play the same thing at the same time from spotify on my phone or laptop….is that how it works? Thanks….

    2. Completely agree with the Sonos. My husband pushed for it and I rollerblading my eyes at another man electronic but now I love it. I don’t like the big speaker he placed on my console table though so if Sonos could figure out pretty options for decorators that would be great!

  2. After years with crappy toasters, my husband complained so much that I did some research and bought the Hamilton Beach four slice toaster. It works great. I didn’t think there would be much difference between toasters. Wrong, burnt toast breath!

    After my Kitchenaid blender started leaking, I went back to the store for a replacement container. They just applied the cost of the Kitchenaid to a new blender. I got the Ninja. It blends ANYTHING. Frozen fruit, ice, ice bergs possibly? I use it primarily for smoothies.

  3. I purchased a mini steamer off of amazon for 20/30 dollars and its amazing….for steaming clothes to draperies or linens in my home. Never thought I would use it as much as I have.

  4. Love, love, love my Breville countertop oven!!! Use it for everything. Being an empty nester, seems I only use my conventional oven for Thanksgiving cooking. Come to think of it, the Breville holds a 14 lb. turkey.

    1. I also LOVE my Breville toaster oven and was going to comment that anyone with kids HAS to have one, but it makes sense that they’re equally great for empty nesters. I use mine far more than any other appliance we have. Toast, pizza, nuggets, french fries, tortillas, etc. Also love my Sonos Connect Amps

      1. Another vote for the breville smart oven. I have the xl one. Bought it when my oven went on the fritz 5 years ago and never used that oven again. Actually finished renovating last year, got new fancy double wall ovens… And still rarely use them. I use my breville 2-3x a day.

  5. I have two Dysons and they are the best! Always worth the investment to me. We have the traditional (corded) ball vacuum which is great, but my favorite is the V6 trigger handheld! So easy when you just need to do a quick clean up, or get the dust bunnies (dog hair) out of corners before guests arrive.

  6. The immersion blender is one of the BEST devices ever created! I make soups all the time and that gadget makes my life so easy. I don’t even have a blender, anymore!

  7. That vacuum cleaner is amazing! We use it multiple times per day. We also love our instant pot and our Sonos system.

    I’m curious about the Nest thermostats. Anyone have one and care to share their experience? I’m considering making the switch.

    1. The nest is fantastic. We have the thermostat, smoke alarm/carbon monoxide detector, and two best cameras (we use as video baby monitors). The products are all so easy to use, never break and most importantly, the thermostat completely saves us money on heating/cooling our home. I like that I can control and monitor all of these items through one easy app too. But really, the thermostat is awesome and such an energy saver

      1. “And so now Google really knows everything about you, your preferences, and your schedule …”
        Yikes, I was considering the Nest, too, until my electrician made this point which, given all the hacking into prominent databases lately, no longer sounds paranoid. There are other wifi thermostat choices out there like Building 36 and Honeywell Lyric Round (looks like the Nest) that are worth looking into.

      2. One of the greatest things about the Nest thermostat is that you can change the temperature from your phone, which means that you don’t have to get up off of the couch to adjust it!!

    2. I’m obsessed with Nest! I have two smoke detectors, one camera and the thermostat, all of which I installed myself and can monitor from one app on my phone!

  8. Ring Doorbell. It works as surveillance. I can see who is at my door through my phone. Other fun features.

  9. Is the touch button on the Dyson ever a problem? I read that there is no on/off switch, you have to hold the button down to run it. I really need a vacuum like this but concerned about this feature, and possible wear/fatigue on hand). Anyone?

    1. I read the same thing in reviews! My husband just got me the V7 two weeks ago and I can’t stop telling random people about my new vacuum.🙈 The whole thing is super lightweight; I can’t fathom how the trigger button could possibly bother anyone. Actually, I love that I can so easily let off the trigger to save battery while I move a piece of furniture or pick up some toys. I can’t recommend it highly enough!
      A whole sleeve of crackers crumbled on the hardwood is still easier to clean up first with the broom, but for the majority of cleaning I pull out the Dyson (five times a day). I love that it comes with attachments so I can do baseboards and tight corners, too.

      1. One more thing: we have one of those inexpensive power inverters in our van so we can plug in small appliances on the go. I brought the Dyson along on a 20hr road trip with our 4 small kids recently. So awesome!

  10. I just bought the “Instant Pot” and its pretty great so far. I have used the slow cook, pressure cook, and rice functions and all worked perfectly. It saves time and functions as several appliances in one. One of my favorite features is that you can brown meat or saute veggies right n the pot before slow or pressure cook! Awesome.

  11. We have a Honeywell wi-fi thermostat which has been a game-changer for me. I love being able to adjust the temperature from my phone. It’s handy when we’ve been gone for days and want to cool the house off before we get home, or when I’m laying in bed and too lazy to get up in order to adjust the thermostat. Instant Pots are neat, too, once you figure out how to use them and are no longer scared that they might blow up in your kitchen (just me?). Also that Dyson! I have the handheld version of the one you talked about and a regular Dyson and I love them both so much. They were worth every dime I paid! Fun post–clear sign I’m an adult when these are the things I get excited to read. :)

  12. Is anyone else creeped out by the voice command things like the remote and Echo/Alexa/Siri? They are listening to your voice even when you don’t think they are (at least that is what I’ve heard), and while it might be for benign reasons now – you mention to someone that you are out of laundry detergent, and then you suddenly see ads for Tide on your phone/computer/TV – I see a short jump to eavesdropping for scary reasons.

    I may be an alarmist, but when I heard that Mark Zuckerberg keeps a piece of paper over the camera on his computer as I do, I figure I am not that paranoid!

    1. Kate, I agree about the voice command items and don’t use any of them.

      On the fun side of things, I’m a long time Vita Mix user and got an Instant Pot about a year and a half ago. The IP is great. I recently made veggie stock in thirty minutes.

      I’m going to check into the hand held Dyson.

    2. yeah – too creeped out to use almost any AI….. when i read about the ones in cali talking to each other, that was it for me….

  13. Love the Dyson cordless vacuum! We also love the Ring doorbell – so nice to see who is coming and going, when packages are delivered, etc. We installed a separate camera in our backyard as well. I saw a commercial that they have a new product with flood lights if you’re really concerned about security. I also love my immersion blender and use ALL the time.

  14. Love our Sodastream! For water consumption, the fizz makes all the difference. I also like my Magic Bullet blender. I make quick smoothies for breakfast all the time. It’s small enough to keep out for everyday use.

  15. The Instant Pot! Puts the crockpot to shame. Cooks meats so tender and juicy and it’s fast! I use it 3 days a week usually. Makes this mom of three so happy. Got mine on Black Friday last year on Amazon. Keep your eyes peeled for good deals coming up 👍🏼

  16. My latest (to me) find is a robot vac. I have the Eufy 11 and LOVE it. It’s a “he”, by the way. I have three long haired cats and Eufy handles all the fur with no issues. No clogging, tangles, etc. I never used my vac system anymore, and only use the cordless Dyson to do the areas Eufy can’t get to (stairs, behind things, under low furniture, etc.). The first week I had it I ran it every day. Now I run it maybe 4 times a week.

  17. I was just telling my husband about how much I love my cordless Dyson. When I told him the price, he was a little shocked by the price, but in my mind, it was worth every penny!

  18. I bought the Dyson Animal with the mini motorized head in 2013 and have to say I’m not that crazy about it. We now have three cats and I reach for my bigger vacuum to clean the litter off the floor most often. Heard good things about the Miele.I do love the Dyson fan I bought last year. Getting the heater this year.

    I love love love my Breville Smart Oven. Williams Sonoma had a sale in June and I haven’t used my regular oven since. It has an air fryer ,which I’ve only used for french fries so far, a dehydrating function plus many others. Very easy to use. I even made short ribs in it. Will hold a 14lb turkey too.

    I love my Vita Mix, it’s a power horse that can do it all. I prefer to use my immersion blender though for soup.

    Bought my husband Alexa last Christmas. the novelty has worn off for us, and my daughter now has it. She uses it for music. I hated that it would sometimes turn on by itself, reminding you it’s listening in.

  19. In the kitchen: Breville Panini Press– EASY weeknight meals (roast beef and havarti on sourdough!!!)

    In the laundry: Rowenta Master Steamer– heats up in 90 seconds and easier on your clothing!

  20. Erin have you heard of a Thermomix? These are made in Germany and are used widely domestically and commercially in Australia. This was life changing! When I renovated I designed my scullery just for it.

  21. Love that Dyson trigger and all! The only thing I don’t feel it does great on is the deep shag throw, so once a week I pull out the big animal version.
    Kind of bummed you don’t like the Echo, and it’s funny because it can do the same, “play La La Land” thing as the remote if you have fire TV, and without the hassle of finding the remote! Also I love to ask her to set the level and temperature of all my lights throughout the evening.
    And though there was a major but in the Google home recently recording everything (!) Alexa doesn’t transmit any voice recordings to the cloud unless triggered and lit up.

  22. My VitaMix is my favorite purchase ever! It has changed our heath for the better with very little effort.

    I bought a regular sized ball Dyson vacuum last year and I do not care for it. It picks up stuff well, but the attachments are a pain and it is SO heavy! It does not function well in the areas of our house with stone floors. I prefer using a canister with a floor attachment.

    We love our nest thermostats and cameras!

  23. Definitely my vitamix- I make smoothies, soups, sauces and salad dressings in mine and it has lasted years with no problems. I neee to try that vacuum!!

  24. Looooooove this post. Requesting that vac for Christmas from the grandparents. Stylish function = SO HOT (shocker: didn’t realize this til my 30’s). Feel free to do another of your favorites at Container Store, which (sadly? or AWESOMELY?) would also be hot.

  25. Everything mentioned on here is great — sodastream, anything dyson, immersion blender… HOWEVER I am also in LOVE with my spiralizer! It makes zucchini noodles like a hot damn and they taste great!

  26. I can’t live without the following (and i’m a mom of two toddlers!)

    1) Rumba – cleans while we sleep at night
    2) Airfryer – heats chicken nuggets, pizza, slice sweet potatoes and make sweet potato fries using no oil! Easy to clean, fast and healthy!
    3) Vitamix – personally i’m a fan of nice blenders. My kids drink lots of green juice so this is absolute necessity.
    4) Nespresso maker

  27. The Ring doorbell Pro is my latest obsession! It’s cool because you can set it to motion sensor for an area you define, and your phone will record anyone who comes into your yard. You can also see your yard at any time just by pressing a button, so if you are traveling and want to know if it’s sunny out, you can just look at the app. It’s very cool, and now I want Ring cameras all over my house.

  28. What I don’t like about these coffee makers is the k-cups – a) they’re expensive and b) hello landfill, you can’t recycle them. I have an Italian coffee maker that grinds whole beans and makes coffee and espresso as strong/light as you want.
    Vitamix I agree with – I love it!!
    Dyson? I have a Miele, nice and quiet…..is the Dyson quiet?

  29. I’m looking for a hand-held and/or cordless vacuum, that’s easier than dragging out my heavier/corded vacuum, AND that works really well on pet hair. Like REALLY well (we’re talking chow-chow dog hair and a 3 dog home). I read mixed reviews on the Dyson, and it’s certainly not cheap, but then I don’t hear resoundingly positive reviews on any other hand-held, pet hair friendly brand, either. . .

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