Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Wee gizmos that make my life easier and better

First thing in the morning, chez nous, is coffee. Not negotiable, and certainly not optional.  But in the super-hot weather, heating water for the French press can bring added heat to the wee apartment that is NOT necessary.  But we discovered the idea of the electric kettle when we lived in Ireland - furnished apartments included the kettle!  And it heats up a full pot of water in about a minute, AND you can adjust the temperature for the nuances of optimizing black tea, green tea, French press coffee etc. It doesn't leave behind a hot stove burner, and it uses electricity for only a very short period of time.  Through the day, when I want to drink tea, I turn it on repeatedly...

electric kettle - Breville

Our very lovely little apartment has one ENTIRE wall of windows.  Most of the time this is a source of beauty and delight, but sometimes, it makes sleep more difficult.  I could never wear sleep masks because the pressure on my eyelids made me feel claustrophobic.  One of belovedest's closest friends bought us a couple of these nifty masks  - they're molded foam, shaped so that you can OPEN YOUR EYES while you're wearing them.  It takes about 2 minutes to get used to wearing them - they're feather-light - and they transform sleep during the "long daylight" parts of the year.  And on an airplane, they're amazing.  The flickering from other people's movies and activities is completely blocked out.  When coupled with good earplugs or headphones, sleep is almost possible, even in coach class!
eye mask - Bucky

Extremely inexpensive, lightweight, folds down into most handbags, and essential when power surges hit - I would be a very unhappy girl without my hand fans.  Muji carries them from time to time, with aluminum frames - if you ever see those, grab a couple. 
hand fan - Luna Bazaar

I have a problematic relationship with nail polish; while I'm certainly not immune to the appeal of shiny toes during sandal season, I'm not really willing to get involved in spending the money, the time, the chemicals, nor the non-recyclable little bottles and brushes. It's maddening to me to get my nails done, knowing full well that it's only the most temporary of gestures, due to start looking worn and chippy in just a short time.  Even the "chip-proof" gel polishes will grow out...

 But I DO like nice-looking hands, so I've started buffing my nails.  These little blocks cover all of the necessary steps, take up no space, and last for months...
nail buffer - Sephora

As with all things, your mileage may vary!


  1. unexpected post from a fashion blogger lol I have that exact kettle cheap as chips here in Australia - LOVE IT !!

    1. Ah, I am trying to be a STYLE blogger - more long-term than fashion. And sometimes, I just want to talk about some of my favorite things, that someone may not have noticed, but that make life a bit better. Making our lives more joyful is what I most want to do!

    2. well the eye mask tip may just improve my travel life for the better so goal achieved Janice xx

  2. Found one of those lovely folding fans in a box from my mom's apartment. Fabulous little gizmo to get the internal thermostat back into normal range. And a nail buffer should be a required tool for all women; you'll never smear a buffed nail. :)

  3. I love pedicures and manicures, but agree that they are expensive and time intensive. In summer, I indulge while my toes are still exposed and will do the occasional manicure. But why should I not have the manicure and ask the technician to simply buff? The manicure would certainly last longer, wouldn't?

    Since I do the occasional mani/pedi, I have opted to stop buying nail polishes which simply languish in a box until they turn to goop. When the mani-polish wears off, it stays off.

  4. I am with you on the manicures. It is filed under the life I would like to live.I don't ever seem to be still long enough to get my wear out of it. Now for the toes, at least I can do my weekly ironing while I tend to them. Love my Breville kettle, and will give these shades a try.

  5. You're so right about the electric kettle. I have a Cuisenart version that I cannot imagine living without!

  6. Loving that kettle, thanks so much for the tip!

  7. Eye mask is on my list of "must buy" purchases- will make great small gifts too!

    Thanks - oh, and please, please do a collection based on a Gauguin painting.

  8. The electric kettle, liked the most. The ultimate one of this collection. Thanks to you for sharing. :)