My Favorite Product Discoveries of 2013


newyearseveclock-main_fullI can’t believe it’s already the end of 2013. It feels just like yesterday I was ringing in the New Year, and now I’m about to do it again. Strangely, 2013 ended up being a year of big transitions.

A relationship I was in for 3 years ended, my sister got married (and also become pregnant a few months later), I found out I’m moving, I started liking mushrooms (crazy!) and job-wise, I started three new writing jobs, and blogging for the Unlimiters is one of them.  It’s been a crazy year, and it’s awesome sharing all the products I could never live without with the disability community.

So I thought, Why not create a list commemorating the most favorite products I profiled my first year of blogging for the Unlimiters? I’m always talking about the latest product I love on here anyways, now you can get a “Best of” overview; and that’s the best kind.

My4Hands

Given to me as a gift from inventor Dale Lehn, My4Hands is the ultimate tool for anyone with a small kitchen, is lacking counter space or if your lap simply isn’t flat enough. This sturdy hard plastic piece sits on your lap and can be used as a cold/ heat protectant too. What I love doing is using My4Hands for the prep and the setting of hot pans. And the best part, MyHands only costs $20.

Check it out: My4Hands

Camelbak Water Bottle

Coming from someone who has used the same drinking cup for years, the Camelbak water bottle is one of the smartest water bottle designs ever. I had a bum shoulder this year and needed an easier way to drink in bed without overreaching. In comes this sweet water bottle. It has a unique top that makes it impossible for the water to come back up through the straw. All you do is flip out the straw and suck.  You don’t have to lift the water bottle up at all to drink, making it a great option for anyone with limited arm mobility.

Check it out: Camelbak Eddy Water Bottle

Gorilla Tape

Move over duct tape. Made with Gorilla Glue, Gorilla Tape is a must for temporarily fixing mobility equipment. This tape can literally hold anything together, even the body of a car onto the frame. Personally, I use it for all kinds of things – holding down sticky mat to create cushioning on the sharp parts of my shower chair and even putting it under the ramp for my patio so it doesn’t slide on my new wood floors. I use this stuff all the time; no joke.

Check it out: Gorilla Tape

Ugg Boots

I’ve always known about Uggs, gorgeous oversized boots made out of soft leather and wool, but I never tried them until a couple of months ago. Reason being – I thought they would be too hard to put on with paralyzed feet (my toes always like to curl whenever I put on a boot that doesn’t have any buttons on the side; my PCAs can’t reach into fix them).

But finally Uggs has created a style with buttons on the side, making it finally easy to put on. Since buying these boots, my feet have never been more warm or relaxed after a day of being in my wheelchair. They feel so good I can almost feel them on my feet.

Check them out: Ugg Bailey Button Triplet Boots

BB Cream

For a girl who likes to look her best before leaving the house but has limited arm strength, BB cream (standing for “beauty balm”) has rocked my world. This stuff is your daily lotion, sunscreen and foundation in one, and several brands are making their own version of it. It’s really great for your 30’s on up…my age range; giving you coverage but not over done.

This stuff really works and the best part – it has eliminated several steps from my beauty routine, preserving my arm strength for more important things. I’ve tried a few different brands, but my favorite by far is L’Oreal’s BB Cream. It has illumination in it; great to hide fine lines.

Check it out: L’Oreal Magic Skin BB Cream

Reverse Osmosis Water

I’m supposed to drink water all of the time because of my neurogenic bladder, and I usually just drink tap water. I live in Minneapolis and the water here isn’t that bad. However after suffering from unexplained bladder issues over the last year, I decided to change the type of water I drank and started buying reverse osmosis water by the gallon from the grocery store.  Reverse osmosis water is the most filtered water you can buy, as all toxins are removed in the reverse filtering process.

I buy five gallons of reverse osmosis water for $2.00 by bringing in my old plastic containers, which I now do each week with my PCA. And the water? Yes it’s definitely improved my bladder function.

Learn more: Reverse osmosis water

F.Lux Monitor Light Adjuster

I work on the computer all day long and the older I get, the less my eyes like this routine. As a solution, one of my friends recommended free software called f.lux to help my eyes feel better. This awesome software detects the light in the room and adjusts the light of your monitor accordingly, making sure it’s always the right level and not too bright on your eyes. I think my favorite part is when the software adjusts the lighting at night to a warm orangey glow. So cool.

Check it out: f.lux software

Re-Discovered Product: Touch Lamps

I also rediscovered something I forgot that really makes my life easier – touch lamps.  I used to have one in the nineties and loved it. I ended up purchasing another one for $10 from Wal-Mart in a pinch this year when my bedside table lamp broke, and I was delighted all over again by how awesome it is to be able to touch a lamp anywhere and make it turn on. Just be careful when changing the light bulbs . The wrong bulb can break the “touch” ability of the lamp.

Check it out: Mainstays Touch Control Mini Dome Lamp

Yup, 2013 was a great year for product discoveries. Can’t wait for 2014.

What products did you discover in 2013 that blew you away?

Photo courtesy of The Romantic Vineyard

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