By TMoM Team Member Anna Keller
The balance I try to strike in our home is safety + convenience. I aim to choose products and appliances that make our busy lives easier, sure, but also prioritize the safety of products and want to choose clean versions whenever possible. (The same applies to food and personal care products!)
I’ve shared about this journey toward a healthier home on my personal blog here, and am excited to address this topic again from a bit of a different perspective on Triad Moms on Main. In this post, I’m digging into appliances and products that make life easier at our house (while also, as I mentioned above, keeping safety in mind when appropriate).
In no particular order, here’s my list!
Roomba Vacuum: Our Roomba is such an integral part of our lives that she even has a name (Rosie, named after the robot maid from The Jetsons), and I have so much love for her. It’s so incredibly convenient to be able to turn her loose in the kitchen (to get up the ever-present toddler crumbs), in the bedroom (to vacuum the whole room, including underneath the bed), the living room (getting every nook and cranny), etc. You can program Roombas to run daily, but we just deploy Rosie as needed at our house.
Vitamix Blender: After years of being Ninja blender owners, we upgraded to the Vitamix a few years ago and haven’t looked back. We enjoyed our Ninja, and it lasted for years. (And frankly, my husband was very skeptical that a Vitamix would be all that different. He somewhat begrudgingly bought me one as a Mother’s Day gift and was quickly convinced of its superiority.) We make lots of smoothies at our house (especially when the weather is a bit warmer), and the Vitamix is a miracle worker when it comes to blending everything to a perfect, smooth consistency every time. This is definitely one of the most-used appliances at our house.
Nespresso Coffee & Espresso Machine: This was a pandemic purchase for us (my husband got it for me for my birthday this past summer), and it’s been wonderful to have especially during this time where we’re at home so much and very rarely buy coffee elsewhere. We have the Vertuo machine, which allows for espresso as well as full-sized coffees. One thing I especially love about the Nespresso is that the pods are recyclable. You can add free shipping bags to every pod order you place and then drop off the bags at your local UPS Store when they’re full. Nespresso then composts the coffee grounds and recycles the aluminum from the pods!
Ready to Wake Clock: We moved my daughter from her crib to a regular bed almost a year ago and I grabbed this clock off of Amazon to help with that transition. It’s proven to be an incredible investment, and we are grateful for this clock every single day! (I’ve heard clocks like this work for some kids and aren’t helpful for others, based on their personalities, but our 3.5-year-old daughter responds really well to it.) We named our five-pointed star-shaped clock Cinco, and he helps us make sure our daughter stays in her room during rest time each day and at night, letting her know when it’s okay for her to come out and get us.
Bobo&Boo Plant-Based Kids Dinnerware: So many kids’ dinnerware options contain plastic or melamine, which aren’t things I want my daughter to be eating off of regularly thanks to the toxins they contain. (Both plastic and melamine are much safer when hand washed rather than put in the dishwasher and when not used in the microwave, because fewer chemicals are released that way, but I definitely need a dishwasher and microwave safe option!) I also wanted something sturdier than silicone, which is another safe option, for her plates, etc. (We have some small silicone bowls that work great for things like berries, small servings of yogurt, etc.) After doing lots of research, I landed on this Australian-based brand (available on Amazon) that is plant based (free of plastic and melamine) and is also dishwasher and microwave safe. SOLD!!!
Dustbuster Vacuum: Yes, this is another vacuum for my list, but it plays a different role than our Roomba. We have this one and appreciate it for its small size and sleek design, but also love it for its versatility. We use it to vacuum our stairs, to get crumbs out of kitchen chairs, and to remove food from the grooves in our kitchen table (which we eternally regret buying!). It’s also incredibly easy for our toddler to use, so she often helps us clean up underneath her seat after snacks or meals and loves that she has a job she can do all her own. (Obviously we love having her help with that, too!)
Air Fryer: This was a great investment for our family, and we use our air fryer often to make food ranging from baked potatoes (SO GOOD) to crispy Asian appetizers we love from the Trader Joe’s frozen food section to delicious tofu. It’s far more effective than an oven for making things extra crispy and usually takes less time, too!
Humidifier: These are must-have appliances for bedrooms in our house during cold, dry winter months. We pulled our humidifiers out a few months ago and run them religiously, and I haven’t had a single one of those common winter mornings where I wake up with a dry and uncomfortable nose. We’re having a new baby next month and a humidifier was one of the first things we added to our registry for his nursery!
Force of Nature Cleaner: This multi-purpose cleaner has made our lives easier because it checks the box for safety but is also an incredibly effective disinfectant (even proven to work against COVID-19). It’s a combination of salt, water, and vinegar that you mix at home, and the cleaner can be used on surfaces ranging from counters to cutting boards to high chairs to glass to fabric stains and more.
Outdoor Heater: Making the space in your home work as hard for you as possible is a big priority these days, with so many of us at home virtually all the time. We have a large screened in porch area that we love, and so investing in an outdoor heater has helped us continue to enjoy that space even as the temperatures have dropped.
Sonicare Electric Toothbrush: We love our Sonicares so much that when I asked my husband to put together a list of items for a guys’ gift guide last holiday season, his toothbrush made the list!
Peppy Co Cleansing Egg: After wanting to add a silicone cleaner to my skincare routine for a while, I grabbed this one during a Cyber Monday sale. It took a while to arrive thanks to it being from Australia and mail delays in general, but talk about being worth the wait! I LOVE THIS TOOL. Its gentle vibrations help your face cleanser work harder for you than it would if you were just using your hands to rub it in, and I’ve noticed smoother, softer skin after just a couple of weeks of use.
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