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These are just a few things we have in our house that I love. 

I love things that work consistently, help keep our family budget in line, make our lives simpler and aren’t complicated.



We got a Keurig about 8 months ago and have grown to love it!

It brews 1 cup at a time, so it’s not the ideal when you have a house full of coffee drinkers who all wake up at the same time, but it’s very fast; brewing that one cup in under a minute.

For those concerned about the environment and throwing away all those plastic cups, we don’t buy those, instead, we use a refillable BPA-free cup that is dishwasher safe. That way we can buy whatever coffee we want (ground or whole bean), grind if necessary (I like to fresh grind and my wife likes the convenience of ground), pour into the cup and we’re good to go and so is the environment.

There are several different models of Keurig, but the one we like is the Keurig Classic (click to check current prices on Amazon Prime). We bought the red one (they call it rhubarb), but it also comes in black, blue or white.

Grab a set of 6 Refillable K-Cups (click to check current prices on Amazon) for under 10 bucks while you’re at it! It does have free Prime shipping on orders over $25.


After years of issues with higher end traditional coffee makers, my wife and I made the move (before getting our Keurig) to this simple, inexpensive 12 cup French Press by Bodum (click to check current prices on Amazon).

It is ready inside of 6 minutes, makes a great cup of coffee, is 100% dishwasher safe and was cheaper than most coffee makers (and makes a far superior cup compared to the cheap ones). It’s also an Amazon’s Choice product with great reviews and comes with free Prime shipping.

The only downside is being glass-walled, it doesn’t keep the coffee hot indefinitely so we use this lone holdover from our previous coffee maker.  A steel lined coffee thermal carafe by Cuisinart (click to check current prices on Amazon).  

Also has great reviews and while not Prime, it does come with free shipping.

Thus we brew, we pour ourselves a cup and put the rest in here.  Also dishwasher safe and keeps the coffee hot for up to an hour.


I just recently got a Hewlett Packard touchscreen laptop after our desktop computer died. Ironically, everyone else in the family (wife and 2 older daughters) already had laptops so Layla (a toddler) and I were the lone holdouts.

But it’s a game changer!

Being a blogger, I’m on it a lot. I used to be isolated in my upstairs office, but now I can sit anywhere! We have a front porch, a back deck, and a stone patio off the front of the house. I can take it with me on vacations too. I’m loving it!

Being much newer than our old desktop, it also has a lot more memory and is significantly faster. Since I’m old-school, when I’m using it at my desk, I have it hooked up to a traditional mouse, keyboard, and bigger screen so I don’t miss anything about my old desktop.

The HP Pavilion with a 15.6″ Screen (click to check current prices on Amazon) is the one I got. Check it out and see what you think! Just a little over $300 and free shipping and great reviews make this one a no-brainer!


A few years back when we were trying to get out of debt we ditched our expensive cable and cut back to internet only (saved us over $50/month).

We got 2 Roku boxes and stream Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, and other similar channels.

Don’t have Amazon Prime? It’s got tons of channels, movies, and TV shows. Try Amazon Prime free for 30 days! You’ll also get their famous free 2-day shipping on all qualified purchases.

We’ve had a couple of versions but the one we currently use, which I prefer is the Roku Streaming Stick (click to check current prices on Amazon).

It comes with free Prime shipping and has thousands of awesome reviews.

This simply plugs into an available HDMI jack on your TV and you don’t have to hold the remote towards the TV! 

You can also put a remote app on a phone or tablet (great if you have daughters that like to lose the remotes!)  Even if I hit the lottery today, I don’t think I’d go back to our old system; this works great.

TRAVEL HACK – Bring the Roku stick (smaller than your phone) with you when you travel as most hotel TVs have an HDMI port on them; watch what you want to watch when you want to watch it!  Use the app on your phone as a remote and your phone charger to power the stick (same as an Android charger).


I don’t know about you but I have WAY too much stuff on my to-do list to keep it all organized in my head.  I used to make written lists and never fell in love with daily planners.

What I use now, both personally and in my 9to5 is a web-based program (but also a phone app) called GQueues!  This is an online based to do list.  I organize mine by month and by category (my kid’s school, important dates, work stuff, blog stuff, etc).

When I complete a task, I simply check it off and it automatically archives.  If I don’t get to it, it shows up in my overdue view or I can change the due date to a future date.  I can also share queues with others and it even integrates to my Google calendar!

I love it and use it on desktop, laptop, and my phone.  The desktop version is free and the phone app is way cheap!  Check them out if you need to be better organized! 

Check out my detailed Review of GQueues!