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Monday is either my best or worst day, productivity-wise. Today has turned out to be the latter. So in honor of non-productive Mondays, I recommend web browsing. Also good for Tuesdays thru Thursdays, but not Friday. (Never on Fridays.)

To facilitate your web browsing, I am sharing some of my favorite items.

1) Speck Phone Cases

I can't take a photo of mine because it's on the phone

I am an iPhone addict. In fact, I’m on my third iPhone. Every time, I buy a Speck case. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

My fave of all the Speck cases is the Speck FabShell Fabric Hard Shell cases. First, the colors and designs are fun AND it really protects the phone. I’ve accidentally dropped my phone face down outside on the pavement. I picked it up – no damage to the phone. None at all.

The case is secure and wraps all the way around with a raised beveled edge around the screen. The cut-outs are large enough not to cause problems (especially on the camera cut-out) while still protecting the camera lens and the plugs. I’ve never had a problem with the press-thru buttons for the volume and on buttons. I click the up volume and the volume instantly gets louder.

Why I like the Fabric Shell the bestest because when the fabric starts to show some dirt, I simply remove the phone, then use a mild soap to wash it. Then let it dry completely and it looks brand new. I will remain loyal to Speck because they’ve proven to me that they work to protect the phone.

Note: Speck has a complete product line for other smart phones & non-Apple devices. Check out their other products here.

2) Magnetic Bookmarks

I read. A lot. And as convenient as a Kindle may be, I simply can’t adapt to electronic reading. (Weird, I know since I just admitted above to being an iPhone addict.) But I like the feel of a book.

I carry at least one book in my bag at all times for those unexpected delays (like standing in line at the DMV). The problem, regular bookmarks (usually receipts) inevitably fall out and I lose my place. Then I wasted valuable reading time trying to find my place.

One solution could be just remembering the page number. This has been suggested to me. But I have a terrible memory, and I’m currently reading 3 different books. So that could get confusing.

Arrr matey!My solution. Magnetic bookmarks. I particuarly love these Skull & Crossbones i-Clips. Unlike some other magnetic bookmarks I’ve tried, these magnets extend the entire length of the clip on both sides AND are not bulky. Other clips I’ve tried only have a small magnet on each side which results in the marker design getting damaged over time because the design extends 1/8″ – 1/4″ past the magnet. And the magnet makes them a tad bulky.

Added bonus is that on the other side of the skull & crossbones is an arrow so you can have it point to exactly the last sentence you read. For those of us who don’t always stop at the beginning of the next chapter, no more searching the page for where you left off.

Eight in the pack is plenty for your bibliophiles like me who have a book in your bag, another at work, a third by your bed, etc. And then proceed to lose one or two…

3) Sound Machine

No, not Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine, but the HoMedics Sound Spa Relaxation Machine.

But who doesn’t dance to ‘Rhythm Is Gonna Get You’?

Living in a fairly large apartment complex, there’s quite a bit of noise, even at night. People coming and going, cars revving, dogs barking. So sometimes it’s hard to block out the noise. Enter, the sound spa.

41zgLxUAaZLThe HoMedics Sound Spa has 6 nature sounds: ocean, summer night, rain, thunder, brook, and white noise (apparently water sounds make people very sleepy). I always listen to the ocean. I love the sound of the waves crashing along the shore. The sound not only helps block out the outside noise, but helps me relax. Now I can’t fall asleep without it.

This one also allows you to leave it on all night or it has an auto-off timer. It also has an adapter, or you can take it with you by using AA batteries.

There are many versions out there, and some have more/different sounds. (The heartbeat one creeps me out, but apparently it’s great for babies.) But for me, the HoMedics one is reasonably priced and it has lasted.

And last, but not least …

4) A Hot Air Popper!

I haven’t owned a microwave since college (the concept of how they cook is weird to me). Plus, microwave popcorn never pops correctly – it either under-pops (annoying) or burns (really annoying + smelly). So I bought the Presto PopLite Hot Air Popper. Best.purchase.ever.

Doesn't that look yummy?

Doesn’t that look yummy?

Super easy to use. Add your corn kernels, replace the plastic cover AND cup, and plug it in. Within 3 minutes or less, you have a bowlful of perfectly popped pop corn.  

Because it uses hot air, it’s a bit healthier than products using oil, and definitely better than microwave popcorn – no preservatives or other additives. And NO burnt smell or un-popped kernels!

For me, I usually add 1/4 cup of kernels (or a bit less), and that makes a fairly good sized bowl. And it’s rare that I have an un-popped kernel. Usually it all pops. No waste!

And I just buy the generic, store brand kernels. I honestly can’t tell a different between generic and brand name.

Some people worry about putting more gadgets on their already crowded counters. My solution: Ditch the microwave & you’ll have plenty of space! Trust me, you really don’t need a microwave.

So there you have it. For your web browsing pleasure, four of my favorite things.


Disclaimer – all products were purchased through Amazon.com; however, none of the companies listed, including Amazon, have sponsored or is providing any incentive to write these reviews. All reviews are my personal opinions.