The holiday shopping season is in full swing — stores are packed, discounts are aplenty, and Amazon’s warehouse team is busier than ever. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some of the notable purchases I made this year. It’s just a simple list of great products that I would recommend taking a look at.
I had grandiose plans of building a much more interesting way of sharing these items, but those were put on the back burner after my fiancée’s parents had a house fire. Thankfully, they are both fine. The fire was found shortly after it started and it was quickly contained to their home’s front wall. Luckily, there wasn’t anything of great importance lost. But they were displaced for a few weeks and have lost much of their free time communicating with insurance companies and contractors to get it all cleaned up.
They were able to move back into their house yesterday and repairs on the damages have already begun. I’ll have to postpone my gift guide plans until next year, but I’m just happy to see that their lives are on track toward something a bit more normal.
Apple Watch Sport: It took me about a week to get used to having a watch on my wrist all the time — I’ve never worn them before. And I’d love to say that the device transformed my life, but it really hasn’t. I wear it everyday and use it to check the time, set timers while cooking, quickly check the weather, and glance at my calendar. But in my opinion, the Apple Watch has two key pieces of functionality — notifications and fashion. If you come at the device expecting it to be a powerful computer on your wrist with unlimited possibilities, I think you’ll be disappointed. But if you’re looking for a way to quickly check notifications and you find the Watch’s design aesthetically pleasing, I think you’ll be more than happy with the device.
Hopkins Subzero 50″ Crossover Super-Duty Snowbroom: I purchased this particular ice scraper based on the recommendation of The Sweethome and it did not disappoint. It’s still early in the season, but the few times I’ve had the opportunity to use it have been an absolute joy. It’s a little long, but when we start getting snow in a few weeks, I’ll be happy to only have to shovel out one side of my car.
Ticket to Ride Nordic Countries: A fantastic board game in which each player is tasked with building railroads to connect various cities on the board. It’s easy to learn and fun to play. I specifically enjoyed this edition of the game because of its cramped nature — forcing players to compete for the same sets of tracks in order to fulfill their destination cards.
simplehuman Compact Dishrack: When we set out to find a new dish drainer, we knew it didn’t need to be very big — we only have a few pots and pans that aren’t dishwasher safe. We eventually decided on this one because of its attractive look and clever water drainage system that lets you decide which direction the water goes. If you have a small kitchen and your dish drainer needs are minimal, I suggest giving this one a try.
iPhone 6s: I’ve already written my review of the iPhone 6s and I still think it’s an outstanding product — probably the best Apple’s ever made. I still have trouble reaching the far corners of the device when using it one-handed, but I don’t think anyone would be disappointed with this one.
Lifefactory 22-Ounce Flip Cap Water Bottle: I’ve been a huge fan of Lifefactory products for years, but I never actually owned one of their larger bottles. That changed this year when I purchased one in red. I don’t use it everyday — their 16.9oz bottles are typically sufficient — but the larger size comes in handy enough for me to recommend it.
Zeroll Original Ice Cream Scoop: Every year, my fiancée and I make homemade ice scream over the summer. It’s an incredible treat and homemade really is leaps and bounds better than anything you can buy at your local grocery store. This past summer we decided to upgrade our ice cream experience with a better scoop. We ended up with this one, again based on The Sweethome’s recommendation, and it really is the best ice cream scoop I’ve ever used.
iPad Air 2: This singlehandedly transformed the way I work. Most of what I publish on Initial Charge is written on the device and over the past ten months I’ve reworked nearly all of my workflows to be easily performed on iOS. I would also credit the iPad Air 2 for my recommitment to writing — probably the best decision I’ve made all year.