I’m not one to buy very many things. I am a minimalist at heart, and I just really don’t like spending money (I don’t like asking my friends to spend money, either, which is why I love having a blog of free recipes). That said, the right tool or product can make such a difference in life. Here are some of those finds that I’m grateful for. Most of them are things I use every single day. Some of them were gifted to me, but were bought on Amazon. These are all affiliate links. If you’re interested in buying any of these things, clicking on these links to do so would be much appreciated to support the time I put into this blog.
Around the House
Vava lamp. I bought this while pregnant with our daughter, so I’d have something to see with while nursing during the night. It’s a perfect baby shower gift! Baby or not, you’ll want to buy a couple for all around your house. I love that you don’t need to plug it in, and it lasts a long time after charging it. You can make it very bright or very dim. We use it on camping trips and as a bedside reading light.
Marpac White Noise Machine. This is one of the cheaper white noise machines, but not cheap quality! I love how portable it is. We take it everywhere to help our baby sleep through anything. This tiny thing can produce a great range of volumes.
Honest Beauty mascara. My new favorite mascara! I’ve been using this for months and think I’ve finally found a mascara that I’m content with and won’t be looking for any other kind. It has purer ingredients than most, which is what I was looking for since I put this close to my eyeballs every day. Aside from clean ingredients, it’s just great mascara. Doesn’t flake, lasts a long time, and makes your eyelashes look so long and lush. I like to spend about half this amount of money on mascara, but this is worth it and lasts a long time. You really do get what you pay for.
In the Kitchen
Bamboo Cutting Boards. I’ve been using these little boards for years! They are so convenient for quickly chopping a little cilantro or green onions, or to serve bread. I usually use a really large bamboo cutting board, but sometimes its too crowded, and I need an extra little one. These are super convenient to have around, or to let kids practice cutting on.
Wilton Mini Loaf Pan. Bake several mini loaves of pumpkin bread, banana bread or zucchini bread for the perfect little neighbor gift! When I make a double batch of muffins I’ll often bake some batter into mini-loaves. Giving away mini-loaves of pumpkin bread is one of my favorite Thanksgiving-time traditions.
Bella Electric Non-stick Skillet. My mom sent me this from Amazon and I use it all the time for pancakes, curries, and stir-fry. It heats evenly and is non-stick so I usually don’t even have to grease it or saute with any oil. For a large family, I would order the biggest size.
Green Life Ceramic Skillet. I only have one stove-top skillet, and this is it! I’ve been using it about three years. I love that it’s ceramic. I used to use Teflon ones…yuck! Go ceramic!
West Ox Apple Slicer. I’ve always thought these are unncessary and take laziness to a whole new level, but in reality I think they help us eat more apples! For $5, why not? We made applesauce so much faster by using one of these, too. I actually got mine at a thrift store, so it technically doesn’t belong on this list, but it’s a lot like this one.
Perfect for cutting apples to eat with my Peanut Butter Pumpkin Spice Dip!
Mini Whisks. I didn’t know mini-whisks were so handy until my husband gave me these one year “to whisk yourself a mug of hot chocolate,” he said. I definitely use them for that! Also great for mixing salad dressings and sauces, or dry ingredients.
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Good Cook Grater. I grate ginger several times a week on this, using the fine grate side. It’s “grate” for grating carrots, zucchini, apples. My previous grater was super cheap and flimsy and made grating unncessarily difficult.
My favorite quick and easy recipe using grated ginger is my Easy Asian Bowl!
OXO Good Grips Garlic Press. After years of mincing garlic by hand with a knife, I finally got a garlic press for Christmas last year. I use it almost every day and it holds up so well. It is strong enough that I can stick 2 or 3 cloves and they’re all minced with one squeeze.
I press garlic in almost all my savory recipes, including: Instant Pot Lentil Barley Minestrone, Madras Lentils, Thai Peanut Veggie Pizza, Crockpot Black Bean Soup, and Chopped Thai Power Salad with Sesame Ginger dressing.
Talented Kitchen Glass Spice Jars with Labels. The day I finally organized my spices was an amazing day. I cook so much faster now, being able to find a spice in a flash. I love these jars that are 6 ounces and hold a good amount, and have stickers with literally any spice name you can think of. Love, love, love. This is a picture of my spice cupboard.
Alcok Chef Kitchen Knife. Last but not least, I can’t help but post about my FAVORITE knife. It’s pretty much the only one I use. It’s usually $19.99 but right now it’s $9.99?! I’ve used it every day for two years and it’s still sharp and makes cutting so much faster. Get it for everyone on your Christmas list! At this price, seriously!
Vegan Omega-3 DHA. These DHA supplements are a great way to get Omega-3’s without fish oil, which has risks of it’s own (like heavy metals). Where do fish get their oemgas? From algae! Skip the middle
man fish and go straight to the nutritious plant source. I’ve yet to find a plant-based prenatal vitamin I like that includes DHA, so I just take this separately.
Garden of Life Gummy Prenatals. I’ve taken all kinds of prenatals, but honestly the kid in me just loves gummy vitamins best. I have been loving these gummy plant-based food-based vitamins. Alicia Silverstone (long-time plant-based eater, actress and author) created them after seeing a need for a food-based prenatal. No synthetic vitamins here, but the real deal from fruits and vegetables–the BEST way to get nutrition. They are a little pricey since you need to take 4 a day, which makes the bottle go by fast, but they are not nearly as expensive as many other food-based prenatals out there.
Innate Response Food-Based Plant-Based prenatals. If you don’t want a gummy vitamin, these are a great choice. They are also feature food-derived nutrients which is so important. They have folate instead of folic acid, which is something I look for.