By Sarah Jio
I’m always on the hunt for the next big thing that will make life easier, and better—as every hardworking woman is, right? Once my kids and I saw an infomercial about a UV light system that supposedly kills bacteria on your countertops, and I almost bought it. But while I may have stopped short at three easy payments of $19.99, I’ve splurged on a lot of nifty home gadgets over the years. Yes, some were total flops (did I really need that electric scalp massager? Probably not), but some turned out to be winners, like these:
I know what you’re thinking—there’s nothing stressful about wine, right? Well, no, not really. But wouldn’t you agree that breaking a glass—and/or cleaning them—is the worst? At least it is for me. I’m a strict believer in handwashing wine glasses because they either get chipped in the dishwasher or come out with spots. Then, add to the fact that with each year of my life, I seem to get clumsier, which has resulted in more broken wine glasses than I’d like to admit. But that was before I discovered two life-changing products that made all the difference.
The first: a handy scrubber, made to fit perfectly inside your wine glasses for stress-free cleaning that really works. Pair that with my absolute favorite wine glasses by the German company, Schott Zweisel, which are made with their proprietary chip-proof “Tritan” glass, and you’re all set (I switched to these ultra-durable glasses last year, and haven’t broken one yet!).
I’ve always been someone who wanted to love humidifiers since they’re so good for your skin and health. Unfortunately, many of them are prone to mold and mildew build-up and can be really difficult to clean—gross! Then I discovered Canopy, a humidifier that’s virtually resistant to mold. It uses new, mist-free, technology that keeps things fresh and clean (aka, no mold spores floating around in your air), while also offering aromatherapy options.
I’ve been using my Canopy for almost a year, and am totally in love (and my skin has never looked better!). Yes, at $125, it’s a little pricier than what you’d find on Amazon, but I promise, it’s worth every penny.
If you told me last year that a product that cost less than $20 on Amazon would completely transform my morning routine, I don’t think I would have believed you. But when Lauryn Bostick from the popular podcast, The Skinny Confidential, raved about her coffee-warming plate in a recent episode, I was intrigued and ordered one for my home office. Now, when I make my daily oat milk latte (with Oatly Barista Edition oat milk, of course!), I set my mug on this genius thing, and my coffee stays the perfect temperature—huge for me, as I’m a ridiculously slow sipper and like my Joe to last all morning.
You’re either a straw person or not, and I am one—100 percent. (I mean, if it was socially acceptable to slip a straw in my wine glass, that’s how I’d drink my pinot grigio!) I find that straws help me sip more throughout the day, which keeps my hydration game strong. I’ve tried a million types over the years: The plastic ones aren’t good for the environment, and they make your water taste weird, and the paper ones fall apart too quickly. Then, I discovered copper and stainless-steel straws. They’re weirdly satisfying, and you can pop them in the dishwasher and reuse them. The only drawback? My husband gets annoyed by the clinking sound they make on my glass in the night, but whatever—he can deal with that, right? Right.
I think we can all agree that 2020 was, in a word, awful. If Covid anxiety and children learning from home wasn’t already enough, then all the restaurants closed. I missed my friends, the old way of life, and the luxury of going out to eat—especially at our favorite wood-fired pizza place in Seattle, MioPosto. I tried making pizza in my oven a few times, but it just wasn’t the same, until I got my hands on a revolutionary new product: an at-home pizza oven from Ooni, which uses either gas or wood-fired heat (you pick) and cooks your homemade pizza in as little as 90-seconds.
While it took a little practice at first, I can now make delicious pizza for my family, right on the patio. The crust is perfectly crisp and the cheese and toppings come out beautifully blistered. I’m a forever fan!
Sarah Jio is a journalist and The New York Times bestselling author of 11 novels with Random House and Penguin Books. Her novels are published in more than 30 countries. To learn more, visit www.sarahjio.com or www.instagram.com/sarahjio.