Monday, October 23, 2006

My favorite gizmos.

There are certain little things in life I just wouldn't want to live without. I could, sure, but I wouldn't want to.

And I'm not talking about things like my computer (I'd certainly die without that!), my cell, my car, etc. I'm talking about the little things that make life so much easier.

For example, an apple slicer. I must use it five or six times a day. We eat a lot of fruit in my house, and I use the slicer for apples and pears. Constantly. It never even gets in the dishwasher; I have to wash it by hand all the time.

My newest favorite makes-life-easier gadget is the Tide-to-Go Pen!

My aunt introduced me to this little baby when my five year old daughter splashed ketchup on my white pants. She whipped out this pen and showed me how to use it, and I was hooked.

If you haven't used one, get thee to a store and buy a package of three. One for your purse, one for your diaper bag (if you still carry one), one for the kitchen, keep one at your desk, etc. They literally erase stains--as long as they are fresh--of pretty much any type. Even chocolate from my daughter's white shirt! Great invention. Love it.

I also love duct tape and binder clips. You can do so much with just those two things--I swear you could probably fix a leaking roof (Holli!) or even a flat tire.

My other very favorite little gadget is something I never leave home without. I carry it in my purse--I'd even leave my planner home in order to make room for this nifty little item if necessary.

It's my leather book weight. I love to read while I'm eating (at restaurants or when I'm eating at home alone), and this little gem is one of the best gifts I've ever received. And the comments I get! I can't tell you how many times someone has come up to me in a restaurant--customer or waitstaff--to take a look at it. Love it. If you're a bibliophile, or know one, this is a great inexpensive gift.

So...tell me about some of your favorite gadgets/gizmos. What little thing can't you live without and why?

And don't forget to watch Studio 60 tonight!


Anonymous scifichick soliloquized...

That leather book weight looks cool.. I've never heard of it!

My favorite gadget is my remote starter for my car!.. can't live without it in the winters now!

I don't care at all for Studio 60, but I'll definitely be watching Heroes!

Monday, October 23, 2006 9:12:00 AM  
Blogger Carl V. soliloquized...

That apple slicer looks fantastic! May have to get one of those!

Not sure I use alot of gadgets actually, at least not the kind you mention here.

I just finally got around to getting one of those candle warmers...the kind that you put glass jar candles on and it heats them and diffuses the sent all over the room. Love it! Especially with my new mulled cider candle on it!

Monday, October 23, 2006 9:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Gypsy soliloquized...

I've never seen one of those book weights! How neat.

Monday, October 23, 2006 9:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Caryle soliloquized...

I may just have to get one of those leather book weights.

And those Tide sticks? Life savers. Seriously. I need to pick up more of them next time I'm at the store.

Monday, October 23, 2006 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous sassymonkey soliloquized...

Ok. Where can one buy one of those books weights??? I *need* one. I frequently take notes on books and while I've perfected the keeping the book open with my arm and holding the notebook with that hand and then writing with the other that would make my life easier.

Love binder clips! Love em!

In Canada we get to see Studio 60 on Sunday nights...hehehehe so I've already watched it.

Monday, October 23, 2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Heather Harper soliloquized...

I'm obsessed with binder clips.


Binder clips alone are a good reason to continue writing and submitting manuscripts.

And the leather book weight thingie looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing that one.

My must have? A tuna strainer. Fits neatly inside an open can of tuna.

Monday, October 23, 2006 10:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous soliloquized...

Heat-proof silicone spatula. Without a doubt, that's my Must Have in the pastry kitchen.

Monday, October 23, 2006 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Janet soliloquized...

I love my OXO peeler! And I used the apple corer just yesterday while preparing apples for an apple crisp recipe! My only complaint is that I wish the slices were smaller.

Monday, October 23, 2006 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Alyssa Goodnight soliloquized...

Hey Colleen,
Do those book weights work on paperbacks too? I read mostly paperbacks and it seems like they'd just slip out from under there. If it works though, it would be perfect!

I love those Mr. Clean magic erasers...perfect for getting those impossible scuffmarks off floors and stains off counters and walls. You just have to make sure you use them sparingly or they'll rub off paint and the top layer of a formica counter top...

Monday, October 23, 2006 11:34:00 AM  
Anonymous N. Mallory soliloquized...

I absolutely love my apple wedger. I need to buy a second one so I can have one at home and one at work.

And I need one of those leather weight thingies but I think my dog would just chew on it.

I love my yogurt maker, my rice cooker, and my electric steamer too.

Monday, October 23, 2006 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger Colleen Gleason soliloquized...

May, did you say pastry kitchen? I'm there. I know you're around the world from me, but I'm such a sweet tooth kind of gal. Yum. What do you make?

Carl, you mean you don't burn the candles, you put them on a little heater thing that warms them up? Cool! Good idea for a house wiht little kids and a dog with a long tail.

The book weights definitely do work with paperbacks. You can even use them without cracking the spine, although you have to be carefule. (I crack my spines, though, so I don't care.)

You can get a book weight at Levenger and I think has them too. Make sure it's leather, though. The one I have is from Levenger, although it's so old, the ones they sell now are different.

Try this link:

This looks exactly like the one I have (so I know it works) except for the croco-style. :-)

Monday, October 23, 2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Colleen Gleason soliloquized...

Oh, Janet, that reminds me I need a new peeler. I'll have to look at an OXO one.

(How does one loose a potato peeler? It's not like a pair of scissors that someone could potentially take from the drawer and use for something else....)

Alyssa, I have to check out those Magic Erasers. Haven't seen them, but sounds like something I could definitely put to use.

Heather, what's this about a tuna can strainer? I need one of those! Where can I get one?

Monday, October 23, 2006 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Jana DeLeon soliloquized...

I love the Tide pen too. Especially with all the business travel - it's a lifesaver! And now that I've seen one, I've got to have that leather book weight.

Monday, October 23, 2006 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Colleen Gleason soliloquized...

Oh, here's an even better link for the book weight:

Monday, October 23, 2006 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Mailyn soliloquized...

My iPod. First it was the regular kind and now the iPod video. Cannot live without it. It helps me focus on something when I am bored, hyper, stressed. I have to have music like 24/7!

Monday, October 23, 2006 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Carl V. soliloquized...

I do now! They are only $4.95 at Walmart. Good buy.

I couldn't use that leather book thing...I'm one of those that doesn't bend my books back all the way. In fact, I get sympathy pains in my spine when I see others do it! ;)

Monday, October 23, 2006 1:37:00 PM  
Blogger Jaye Wells soliloquized...

In the wein of the Tide pen, I love the bleach pens they have now. Just rub a little of the bleach gel on the stain and throw it in the wash. It works wonders on my son's white unifrom shirts.

Also, I am addicted to double stick tape. My best use so far is repairing peeling wallpaper.

Monday, October 23, 2006 2:01:00 PM  
Blogger Heather Harper soliloquized...

Mr. Clean magic erasers are fantastic! A must have for removing crayon marks off the walls.

And I purchased my tuna strainer at Walmart. I think. It is flat and round with holes and has a small handle.

Monday, October 23, 2006 2:25:00 PM  
Blogger Colleen Gleason soliloquized...

Hey Carl, I used my book weight today at lunch on a paperback and I didn't crack the spine. It does work just as well, I promise.

So maybe give it a try, and you won't have to worry about those sympathy pains. ;-)

Monday, October 23, 2006 2:28:00 PM  
Blogger Lara Adrian soliloquized...

Oh, yeah, let's hear it for binder clips! Love. Them.

I also second the recs for Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. Those things are amazing! I use them for cleaning practically everything.

And don't even get me started on how much I adore my iPod. Le sigh.... As a music freak, I am in heaven.

My other favorite gadget isn't really a gadget. It's a text-to-voice software package called TextAloud, which is available online. It will convert RTF files to (relatively realistic) mp3 voice files, which can then be played on . . . yes, an iPod (or a computer)! So, what I do is, export my ms draft chapters and play them back to get a feel for how they will read outside of my own head. Verra cool.

Monday, October 23, 2006 2:47:00 PM  
Anonymous scifichick soliloquized...

If Borders had them, I'd be stopping on my way home..

Monday, October 23, 2006 3:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Jaci Burton soliloquized...

I love that leather book weight. That is so going on my xmas list.

I need an Ipod, though I'm one of those weird people that cant' listen to music when I write. But I want to do what Lara does and playback the voice thingy *g*

My favorite gadget is my pocket knife. I keep it in my purse and it has 1001 uses and always comes in handy. Plus ya just never know when I might need to pull out a switchblade in self defense *snicker*

Monday, October 23, 2006 3:56:00 PM  
Anonymous SilverWillow soliloquized...

I love that apple slicer! I always try to peel an apple like Med Ryan in "Sleepless in Seattle"...but never quite get it right. LOL My favorite gadgets, an ultra fine Sharpie pen and a fine tip screwdriver.

Monday, October 23, 2006 4:43:00 PM  
Anonymous SilverWillow soliloquized...

Oops..."my bad"..I didn't spell Meg right... Sorry Meg!

Monday, October 23, 2006 4:45:00 PM  
Blogger Colleen Gleason soliloquized...

We knew who you meant, SilverWillow.

And I've been able to peel an apple like that about twice...but I've been trying since forever.

Monday, October 23, 2006 5:00:00 PM  
Blogger The Cosmic Kid soliloquized...

My favorite "Gadgets are....hmm....

I love my accordion file. I can never put my music in binders with sheet protectors, plus that gets uber expensive. So, I use a great accordion file that I've divided alpabetically. It's wonderful!

Of course, I love my iPod...but that's obvious.

Monday, October 23, 2006 6:46:00 PM  
Blogger Sparky Duck soliloquized...

you read my mind, since this was going to be a TT in November. Though the tide pen just leaves more stains on our clothes. Not sure what we do wrong

Monday, October 23, 2006 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger scribbit soliloquized...

I'd never seen a book weight. I'm gonna get me one of those--one for my cookbooks too.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 12:28:00 AM  
Blogger booklogged soliloquized...

Colleen, I can't believe you carry that book weight around with you - it's heavy when added to everything else in a purse. I do use mine a lot at home.

Can't live without Mr Clean Magic Eraser or my apple slicer - Pampered Chef makes a really good one. Scissors are pretty inddispensible, too. This could lead into several TT ideas: Favorite gadgets in the kitchen, must haves for scrapbooking, items for my office supply fettish and the list goes on and on.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 1:26:00 AM  

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