Friday, December 5, 2008

Stuff that is totally worth the money.

OK, I know this is a little strangely timed, given my post yesterday about saving money, but of course posting about a thing gets me thinking about the thing's flip side, which is things that are worth spending money on. So, here I am with seven things we own and use on a regular basis that are totally worth the money, at least to us.

1. A WaterPik. My dentist told me that people tend to have one of two types of teeth issues. Either they get cavities and have structural problems that require root canals, etc., or they have plaque issues that can lead to gum problems. I fall into the latter category, so she recommended the WaterPik. It's better and more effective than floss. Of course, it also costs more, but she pointed out that with the money I'll save by not needing root canals, I should really invest in protecting myself from gum disease, and I have to say I agree. The first time I used it I was basically spitting blood, but my gums toughened up right away and I could see a difference after literally two days. My teeth were brighter and cleaner and stood out from my gums better, and the gums themselves looked bright and healthy and pink. Plus, it's more fun than flossing, which means I'm more likely to do it regularly.

2. My Kindle. I've posted about this before, but I cannot rave about it enough. I love it. I always have so many options of books to read, and they're so easy to read, and they cost less than actual paper books. It fits right in my purse and it is super convenient. And I would have suffered on our honeymoon without it--I read at least 25 books while we were there, and I'm pretty glad I didn't have to haul all those on the plane. And to those who asked, no, I don't really miss regular books. I still read them sometimes--after all, I owned quite a few of them before I got the Kindle.

3. This hair dryer. It has a diffuser and a concentrator, and while obviously I use the diffuser more often, they are both great. It works really well and quickly, and for a hair dryer, especially with those attachments, it's quite affordable. After buying my own, I got one for my sister for her birthday too.

4. This grocery bag holder. OK, it's not a gadget per se, but it is FABULOUS. We used to have bags seriously exploding out of all our cabinets. We felt bad throwing them away and we really do reuse them, but it kind of comes in cycles so sometimes we have lots of extras. I know a lot of you use reusable grocery bags, and I applaud you, but even if you do that, you must sometimes find yourselves at the grocery store unexpectedly, allowing them to give you plastic bags--and they are very useful if you have to scoop your dog's poop. This thing keeps the bags organized and compressed and in one place, and it's easy to get the bags in and out. They have a version that you can hang on the wall, too.

5. A Squeezebox. The Squeezebox is a wireless digital music player that hooks up to your home speakers and plays all sorts of digital music files--MP3s, Rhapsody, and Pandora. We use it mostly with Rhapsody, and it is awesome. It plays everything, all in one place. And they recently came out with a version that has its own speakers, which is smart if you don't have good speakers already.

6. A Gorillapod. We used this more before we got a DSLR as a wedding present, because it works best with lightweight cameras (though they do make a much larger version for SLRs), but it's really great. You screw it onto your camera like a regular tripod, but it's tiny and flexible, which means it's much easier to take pictures from funky angles with it, and you can secure it to things that don't have flat surfaces. It's great for low-light shots or self-timed photos--basically anything that you can't do with the camera in your hand. And it fits right in most camera cases.

7. A MediaVault. This is one of the most worthwhile things we own. It's an external hard drive with wireless capabilities and tons of storage space, and it's great for us especially because we each have our own computer. We save everything remotely without having to be hooked up to any wires--it's the exact same process as saving locally, except that you click on a different drive--and then we can access each other's files and our stuff is backed up in case one of our computers dies. And I just got a new computer and I didn't have to transfer anything over--I can just go through the MediaVault and everything is still right there. Plus, it allows for wireless printing AND remote file access, so that you can access your files from work or elsewhere if you need to.

So, what are the things you own or want that you think are totally worth YOUR money?


  1. Right now I am really wanting a KitchenAid Mixer, one of the top of the line professional ones. From what I 've heard they are totally worth the money.

  2. Wow! You have a lot of fancy stuff. :)

    I love my new hair straightener and Friz Ease Dream Curls spray. (For opposite reasons, obviously.)

  3. I am about to write a review of it, but I love my Clarisonic skin care brush SO MUCH.

  4. I love my kitchen aid mixer. Expecially now for the holiday season. I love my philosophy skin care products. My skin has never felt better.

  5. :) A little dental hygiene knowledge - your water pik, while fabulous, is not better than floss. However if you use it all the time, then it probably is more effective than you flossing. Most of my patients who use them love them though!

    I need a new hair dryer - I'm gonna check yours out :)

  6. The one thing that worries me about those Wireless Reading Devices is that my eyes would hurt after a time. Is it very similar to reading things off the computer?

    What happens to me is, my eyes hurt after reading through blogs and emails and computer things all day, so when I pick up a paperback to read for pleasure, I actually feel it as a rest for my sore eyes.

    Do you find this at all? It might just be my eyes being sensitive. It's just the one concern I have, otherwise I think Digital Readers are incredibly cool and at the rate I read, I would really love to have one.

  7. I need a new hair dryer! And that grocery bag thing looks nifty.

  8. I think I need to look into that MediaVault. Hmmmm ...

  9. i love my sonicare toothbrush. i've had it forever but it's ok because all you have to do is replace the heads every few months. i also really love my digital camera, my ipod shuffle and of course, my macbook. all of those things are worth the money!

  10. um, my car. because this way my sister can still come visit me when I move into the suburbs where there is no public transportation. I mean because this way I can move into the suburbs where there is no public transportation and pick my sister up so she can come visit me.

  11. I have the same dental issues and REALLY want the waterpik.

  12. I agree with the grocery bag holder being awesome. It keeps the area under the kitchen sink free from a bag overflow.

    Biolage shampoo. I spend so much money on coloring my hair, and the shampoo keeps it soft and healthy.

    TiVo. I love not having to watch commercials, being able to rewind live TV, and having my shows easily accessible.

    Really nice knives and pots and pans. I love to cook, so it's great to have top of the line items to use.

  13. My mom got Chris a gorillapod for Christmas and I am dying to try it out!

  14. You can't get Kindles in Canada.


  15. I must always have face moisturizer. There is nothing worse this time of year than having dry skin. So even though we're tight on money right now I have to splurge to replace my empty bottle. :)

  16. A guy on my dune buggy ride in Peru had one of those gorillapods, they're awesome!

    Hmmm... I never floss, and my dentist always yells at me. Maybe I should invest in a water pik.

    As for me...

    My ghd hair straightener. I got it for less-than-retail on eBay but still paid a pretty penny. But I use it every day and it doesn't fry my hair like the cheap one I had before. Definitely worth it.

    Also, my expensive make-up and skincare products are definitely worth it. First off, they look better. Second, my skin is in much better condition than when I used the cheap stuff.

  17. My waterpik was my best friend when I had braces this year. However, they are really expensive and turn out to be pieces of junk 99% of the time. I know ZERO people that have had one last for over a year. And they get so full of gross bacteria if you don't clean it obsessively. I went through 3 in the year I had braces. Now I just floss.

    After reading your list of all of the cool gadgets you have, I don't think we splurge on much. I guess we do spend more on groceries shopping at Whole Foods, but the peaceful environment, organic produce, lack of crowding, and helpful workers makes it totally worth the money for us.

  18. In our house, most of the splurgy is done on baby Madeline, but I do have a few non-baby things too.

    -AngelCare Monitor (with exception to this week's incident). Peace of mind = sleep = invaluable to new parents.

    -Good cleaners. Like the green, friendly, good-smelly ones. I know they're more expensive but I love them.

    -Dishwasher tabs. A small thing, yes, but it's so easy to toss 'em in and go.

    -And finally, a WEIRD splurge: CITY WATER. Yes, we live in the boonies, and we just had city water installed last fall. It was $14K and undoubtedly the BEST money we've ever spent. (Other than my c-section, that is).

  19. My KitchenAid is SO worth the money. I don't know how we ever lived without it.

  20. For the trash bag holder, Bed Bath and Beyond has it and you can use their 20% off coupons to get it even cheaper :-)

    I also love my stand mixer, I got it from JC Penneys, it's their brand, Cooks. Half the price of a Kitchenaid, and it has a higher power. Loving it!

    My panasonic epilator is probably my best investment. It's so much better than shaving; the hair comes back a lot later and lighter.

  21. Ok, my stuff I really think is worth the money:

    I love my kitchenaid mixer, which was a wedding registry gift. It is WONDERFUL. Makes holiday cookies SO MUCH FUN.

    My vacuum.Hoover - Tempo Widepath Upright Vacuum - Blue. Best buy we've made in a while. I got tired of the Eureka we had that had no suction and constantly was getting clogged up. So we went to a bagged vacuum and it makes a huge difference.

    My Oddysey. I can fit both my kids in, and still have enough room for other people. It gets me where we need to go, and I like it. (It doesn't have all the automatic door openers, but truthfully I don't mind doing that myself.)

    My IPOD which was an anniversary/birthday gift from my hubby.

    My mac. I'm sorry, I've become a mac person after many many years of yelling at the blue screen of death with our pc. Mac is awesome. I will never go back.

  22. #1) Lasik. Absofuckinlutely the best money I ever spent. Every time I think about it I want to start singing "Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles..."

    #2) iPhone. Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. The thing has seriously changed my life.

    #3) My car. Not only does it get me to and from my parents' house 4 hours away, but it drives fast. I LOVE driving and don't think I could ever give up having a car (even though I commute to work using public transportation - I'm not a totally evil Earth-killing person). In fact, I don't think I could ever give up having a nice car that drives fast. It matters to me that much. If I gave up the car, I'd have to learn to fly jets and I'm pretty sure jets cost more than cars. :)

    #4) The stretch stain cocktail dress I bought last Christmas. Makes me feel like a million bucks. And hopefully makes me brave tonight.

  23. oooooh i want that mediavault!! drool!

    currently i want a food processer (boring! but omg want it so bad!) and a speaker dock to play my ipod, now that i have one :-)

  24. The only thing that I have on your list is the Kindle and I TOTALLY agree. Worth every penny.
    AND it does't hurt your eyes like a computer screen, to those who asked. :)
    TiVo - hands down the best invention EVER. EV.ER.

  25. my bare escentuals makeup is definitely worth the money for me. it feels so much better than regular makeup. i need to get some of those grocery bag organizers. we have them piled up under our sink. although, if we moved them, where would dizzy sleep??

  26. I am going to keep that squeezebox in mind for husband's birthday. thanks!

    I totally can not live without restaurants. They are totally worth the money. They're good food, a mini-vacation, and quality time with the fam all in one. No matter how squeezed we get for other things, we still like to eat out.

  27. I really want a super nice, less-damaging hair straightener, an iPod speaker dock, and now that WaterPik. I also need new car tires. Which will be totally worth the money if it means I can drive in the rain again!

    But I think a good digicam is worth the money, too. I'm going to try to get one for my dad for Christmas.

  28. I would like to say:

    1) legal services. We paid a lawyer to do our immigration shit and my god nothing relieves the stress like just handing over a pile of money and an even bigger pile of paper work and saying Solve This.

    2) Nike Shox. Not as cool as they once were, I know, but also the most comfortable multiple pairs of shoes I have had in my life.

  29. My flatmate has a gorillapod! I play with it all the time. It's too small for my camera though...

    the Kindle is so on my wish list :)

  30. Great ideas here!

    I hate flossing so maybe should check out the waterpik.

    Also cant live without my DVR and
    coffee grinder which gives me fresh tasting coffee every time!

  31. jumping on the bandwagon, i eatsleepbreathelive for my kitchenaid. as an avid baker, i'm not sure what i did before i got it. and i didn't even have to get married (i think my parents realized how long it would be before that happened and gave in...). the ice cream attachment is essential for making homemade sorbet in the summer!

    my wine fridge. keeps my regular fridge neat & orderly but allows me to always have a few bottles perfectly chilled for surprise company.

    my le creuset EVERYTHING. most notably, my dutch oven, 9x13, tea kettle, and tangine. how does anyone cook without cast iron???

    frye boots/shoes. i am too embarrassed to list how many pairs i own, but i love each pair so dearly that i try to make sure they each get the same amount of wear time. :)

    my dog, Lulu. she was a birthday present 2 years ago, and also a rescue dog. she's my best friend, constantly makes me laugh, makes me get out and exercise, and the best part is that i know i gave her a better life.

    thanks for this post and your last one--it's really got me thinking about the "things" in my life, both those i can't live without and the ones i can. great food for thought!

    p.s. i am dying for a kindle EVEN MORE now. :-P

  32. I had a water pik back when I had braces in grade school, but it's never even occurred to me to use it since then! I wonder if it's still at my parents' house.

    And I got a friend of mine a gorillapod for Christmas last year, but I doubt she's ever even used it. I think it would be super handy! I should ask for it back. :-)

  33. You know what I want? A massage.

    Actually, a whole day at the spa.

  34. ummmmm
    My IPhone... couldn;t live without it ATM... I've locked it inside the house and forgot the key the other day... I almost died of withdrawal symptom hehehehehe. :)
    my laptop.... that one is my most valuable work tool... no not in pryce... that would be my video camera...... but this laptop is the center of all my business operations... :)
    there are some many things I would like to have that I think I won't comment on them...

  35. Oh I really enjoy this post! That gorilla pod looks amazing - same with the media vault.

    What's worth the money for is is our electronics - the macs, our PVR (I think you guys call them DVRs), and our iPhones. We've had no trouble with any of them that cost us money, completely worth spending more money up front.

    And on a more warm and fuzzy note, the puppies. They are really expensive, but I love them dearly.

  36. I covet the Kindle and am trying to decide if it's worth it for me.