My name's Cass, and I'm a reading teacher living in a suburb of Boston with my husband and two kids. My girls are in middle school and participate in cheerleading and lots of other extracurricular activities, so we're always on the go! And we love being active as a family, especially at the beach house we share with family on Cape Cod. Check out my picks for everything from outdoor family fun to taming thick, curly hair!
We hope you find these products as awesome as we do. Just an FYI: We are a participant in the Amazon affiliate program, and Brainjolt may receive a share of sales from links on this page.
This Birdfeeder That Attaches Directly to Your Window
via: AmazonThe best part of having a birdfeeder is being visited by birds (duh). But this window-mounted feeder offers something even better: An up-close-and-personal view of your feathered friends! I just recently put mine on the window in my office and I can't wait until my bird friends come to visit.
This Rainfall Shower Head That Basically Turned My Bathroom into a Spa
via: AmazonThis was one of the first things I purchased after moving into a new apartment. I installed it myself in about five minutes and ever since, my showers are like mini getaways I get to take every day.
This Plug-in Air Sanitizer
via: AmazonThis little sanitizer plugs directly into your outlet and sanitizes and deodorizes the air around it. I have one in both the living room and the bathroom and I think it really makes a difference in making the air feel much fresher.
This Angry Orange Cleaning Spray
via: AmazonThis Angry Orange spray cleans up tons of messes easily - it even gets the cat pee smell out of rugs!
This Magnetic Cable Organizer That Keeps My Sidetable Organized
via: AmazonI was getting sick of having to pick all my various charger cables up off the floor, so I went searching for a solution and found this. I like the wood-grain appearance and the fact that each cable clip fits three different sizes of cables.
These Charging Cords
via: AmazonYou can never have too many charging cords - I love this set because they're really durable and are long enough to reach an outlet across the room.
This Milk Frother Is a Genius Parenting Hack
via: AmazonPerhaps the best secret in my arsenal of parenting hacks, this milk frother made calcium cool again. My kids decided milk was gross one day, and images of future osteoporosis flashed before me. Then I remembered they loved the foamy milk on top of cappuccino and found this little gadget. It creates mountains of foam and the kids love using it to make "fancy milk", which they request on the daily. #winning
These Bag Cinches Will Keep Your Bread Fresh
via: AmazonI'll be honest -- I bought these cinches because they reminded me of the little barrel-shaped things that came on Starter-brand sweatshirts in the 1990s, that I always wanted, and never had. Well, these are about three times the size as those, and twice as cool! They work great to close basically any kind of bag, and are easy enough for kid-fingers to operate. And if you get stressed, they make a pretty decent spring-loaded stress reliever.
Gochujang Korean Hot Pepper Paste is the Perfect Mix of Hot, Sweet, and Tangy
via: AmazonMy favorite hot sauce isn't hot sauce at all. I was introduced to Gochujang Korean Hot Pepper Paste by a Korean friend years ago and it has since become a staple in my fridge. It makes everything better.
This Wearable Blanket Sweatshirt
via: AmazonThis is the coziest wearable blanket for cold winters. It's so toasty you can save money on heating bills!
This Charging Station Dock Can Bring Peace and Harmony to Your Family
via: AmazonHave you ever had a my-phone-is-more-dead-than-yours argument with someone you love? If so, then I suggest buying one of these Charging Station Docks. It tames the mess, and eliminates the competition for chargers.
This Vitamin C Serum That Smells Divine
via: AmazonI'll be honest: The main draw of this product was the fun squeezy-top bottle that it comes with. But it also smells so great and definitely leaves my skin feeling very hydrated and nourished.
These No-Tie Shoelaces Streamlined My Kids' Morning Routine
via: AmazonI'm so in love with these elastic no-tie shoelaces for making our mornings run much smoother. My kids don't have to fuss with tying shoes and boots when we're trying to rush out the door before they miss the bus, and shoes don't come untied during the day. They also fit adult sizes - you just trim to fit, pop on the plastic closure and go on your merry way! They turn any shoe into a slip-on, the best for moms with no extra hands or lazy people (I qualify for both).
These Big Wool Spheres Will Replace Dryer Sheets
via: AmazonI'm officially a member of the Big Wool Ball club. Seriously, throw out those dryer sheets and fabric softener. These solid wool balls are a wildly popular solution to soft and static-free clothes. They're cheap, and they last forever!
These Gentle and Effective Exfoliating Gloves
via: AmazonIn my quest for a baby soft face, I decided to up my game from scrubs to some exfoliating gloves. This machine washable pair does wonders with a gentle touch, but a normal touch could pack a punch for rougher areas. Whether you need a clearer face or heels like butter, these gloves have your back.
This Magnetic Phone Mount For My Car
via: AmazonThe magnetic mount itself clips onto your car vent. Then, you put a thin metal disk inside your phone case for it to connect to. I cannot overstate how convenient this little gadget is. I even make sure to bring it with me whenever I'm traveling and using a rental car.
This Fluffy Slime
via: AmazonMy kids play with this fluffy slime for hours on end. I love that it's not sticky or goopy like some other kinds, and it totally smells like real birthday cake.
This Slim Laundry Basket Is Made for Small Spaces
via: AmazonOur washer and dryer are in a closet in our not-huge bathroom, and our old laundry hamper was too large for the space. Now we have these slim, streamlined laundry baskets (one for lights, one for darks) on wheels that easily roll to and from the laundry closet and hold a decent amount of clothing from our family. These would be great for small laundry rooms and apartments as well. They've held up really well for a few years of heavy use so far and look great!
I Use Aroma Naturals Vitamin K Moisturizing Cream as a Night Cream in the Summer, and a Daily Moisturizer in the Winter
via: AmazonI first stumbled across this Vitamin K Moisturizing Cream after my dermatologist recommended an extremely expensive vitamin K cream. Instead, this affordable cream did the trick. It's moisturizing enough for me as a night cream in the summer, when my skin tends to need a little less, and it's perfect as a daily moisturizer under my makeup in the winter when my skin tends to be drier.
This Conditioning Spray Detangles and Prevents Lice!
via: AmazonFrequent lice outbreaks strike fear in many a grade school parent's heart - just the thought of the little buggers makes me itchy. I saw this lice-repelling conditioning spray recommended on a mom blog and immediately bought it - we've been using it for years and haven't ever had a lice incident (knock on wood). It detangles my kids' curls effortlessly and smells really fresh.
These Hair Coils Never Pull, Tangle, or Get Stuck no Matter How Messy Your Messy Bun Is
via: AmazonAwhile back I saw a curly hair life-hack video that showed a woman twisting her hair up into a tight, high bun, and wrapping it with one of these Hair Coils before going to bed. In the morning, instead of bent, crushed, messy, horrible curls, her little bun unravelled into neat ringlets and waves. I immediately bought the hair ties and my morning hair is 1000x better than it ever was before.
This National Geographic Factbook For Kids
via: AmazonMy niece is obsessed with memorizing all of the random facts in this National Geographic Fact Book and dropping some knowledge on us, There are over 5,000 facts, so it should keep her busy for a while!
Every Pet Owner Should Have Some FurZappers
via: AmazonThese little sticky discs changed my clothes forever. They remove pet hair from your clothes while you wash and dry them! Just toss them in your washer whenever you're doing a load of laundry. The fur will stick to the discs instead of your clothes. You can also use them in the dryer to remove even more hair! They're reusable and safe to use on all types of clothing.
This Ceramic Lunch Bowl
via: AmazonI love bringing my lunch to work in this ceramic salad bowl. There's a silicone strap that keeps it securely shut so nothing ever leaks in my lunch bag.
This Color-Changing Light Bulb Is Pretty Smart
via: AmazonI essentially live in a cave, so my favorite thing to do with this smart bulb is set sunrise alarms. I use the app to set the bulb to slowly brighten to the color of my choice over the course of 30 minutes. In addition to helping me rise and shine, the bulb can emit light in more colors than I could ever choose in my lifetime.
These Sticky Notes Are Also Divider Tabs, And Help Keep Me SaneI'm not in school anymore, but that doesn't keep me from using these through my books, journals, calendars, you name it. You could stick them to the beginning of each chapter in your book and take notes covering the most important details.
This Sink Caddy Is the Perfect Place to Store Your Sponge
via: AmazonI used to keep my sponge and dish scrubber balanced precariously on the divider between the two sink halves, and let me just tell ya: It's not great. They constantly fall off into the sinks themselves and are also constantly soggy and kinda gross. Then I got this simple, inexpensive caddy. It hangs off the faucet and provides the perfect little cubby for your sponge. It's like a little home for your sponge friend!
This Cozy Blanket Scarf
via: AmazonI love this cozy blanket scarf as an easy layer to add warmth on chilly days - it's unbelievably soft and toasty. And somehow, it's so affordable!
This Washable Scrubber Will Replace Your Sponge
via: AmazonDitch the dirty sponge and grab one of these scrubbers. Unlike other eco-friendly options, they hold suds well, so you rest assured that you’re dishes are getting clean. The best part? They’re machine washable and dishwasher safe, so you can keep using one for up to a year!
This Digital Microscope That Gives a SUPER Close-Up View
via: AmazonJust plug this thing into your computer's USB port and grab a bunch of stuff from around the house to look at (I recommend socks, pennies, and sand!). It magnifies objects up 500 times so you really get an awesome view.
These Marker Pens That Came in a Convenient Storage Case
via: AmazonThese are the perfect pens for bullet journaling. I've literally used them every single day for the past two years and they haven't dried up at all (even though I've definitely left the caps off overnight on a few occasions).
A Lightweight Vacuum for Lightweight Use
via: AmazonWith the exception of clearing up broken glass, there’s not much a broom can do that a vacuum can’t do better. I love using this stick vacuum on hard floors and my low pile area rug. It can also easily get into little nooks and on stairs with the two handheld modes. Contrary to popular belief, filters for this model are available straight from Bissell and I’ve never had an issue stocking up on them.
A Simple, Refreshing Toner
via: AmazonI’ll be honest, I only really started taking care my face about a year ago, but I’ve grown to love this toner. So many toners rock a million bells and whistles (and price tags to match) when all you really need is witch hazel. This witch hazel toner features rosewater for a pleasant scent and aloe vera — which has definitely helped calm my face down when I over-exfoliate. I never enjoyed using tons of cotton swabs, so I particularly love that they finally started putting this toner in a spray bottle.
A Tissue Box Holder That Feels Like Home
via: AmazonLet your tissue box become decor with this little house. It fits standard-sized tissue boxes while looking adorable. Just make sure you remove all of the plastic from the top of tissue box to stabilize it and you’re good to go.
Swimsuit Tape That’s Almost Too Sticky
via: AmazonI’m the proud owner of a knockout one-piece with a plunging neckline that is a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen. This tape sticks fast, well, and it’s waterproof. Peeling it off after a beach day is a price worth its effectiveness.
These Chalk Markers Are So Satisfying
via: AmazonIn a fit of domesticity earlier this year, I decided to up my meal-planning game and write the weekly menu on a cute chalkboard. The regular chalk was too dusty and blunt, so I was so happy to find these smooth, bright white chalk markers. They write like a dream and have reversible tips for thin or thick lines. Just use a wet paper towel or Magic Eraser when you're ready to erase!
These Harperton Nail Clippers Will Be The Last Ones You Ever Buy
via: AmazonIf you haven't tried a REAL pair of nail clippers, trust me, you need to. These provide a completely different (and far superior) experience from those $2 clippers. I'm never looking back.
The Magic Stone Is the Barbecue Cleaner You've Been Looking For
via: AmazonMy husband loves cooking out on the grill, but (surprise), does NOT love doing the cleanup. The Magic Stone makes it easier than ever to scrub all the grease, dirt, and grime off your grill with minimal effort on your part. It's made from heat-treated glass that is completely odorless, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic. It also prevents the spread of E. coli, salmonella, and other harmful bacteria.
This Shoe Rack Possibly Saved My Marriage
via: AmazonYou could say I've got a bit of a shoe problem. They just always fit (unlike pants and swimsuits) and I like lots of footwear options, ok? The clutter drives my hubby crazy so we needed a storage solution that holds lots of shoes in a small space. This over-the-door shoe rack holds an impressive 26 pairs and fits easily on our closet door. There's even space for a pair of his shoes!
This Coconut Oil Cream is the Perfect Body Lotion and it Smells Amazing
via: AmazonI love this little tub of Coconut Oil Cream. I use it daily and my eczema-prone daughter also uses it to keep dry, itchy skin at bay. It doesn't have a strong, lingering, perfume-y smell and it will leave your skin baby soft.
The Ringer Is the Only Thing I Use to Scrub My Cast Iron Skillet
via: AmazonI love my cast iron skillet and am a little obsessive about keeping the seasoning in good condition. The Ringer lets me scrub any baked-on crud off of it without damaging the seasoning. I've been using it for several years with no complaints.
I Was Totally Surprised By How Much I Like This Anti-Frizz Microfiber Hair Towel
via: AmazonI bought this microfiber hair towel mostly for the button. I wanted something that would stay easily and securely in place, rather than using my giant, cumbersome, and completely not secure regular towel as a hair wrap. What I didn't expect was how much this improved my hair. It really does make it less frizzy and more curly. I don't know how or why, and I don't care. I love this thing.
This Sleek Air Purifier Will Help You Breathe EasierI took a chance on this air purifier last year when it was pretty new. Over a year later and tons of reviews from those caught in proximity to California wildfires, both me and thousands of people agree that this purifier’s a hit. It has a True HEPA filter — replacements are dirt cheap — that will help you do everything from dusting less to surviving wildfire season with intact lungs.
The Rotring 600 Is the Best Mechanical Pencil Ever Made
via: AmazonBeloved by architects, designers, draftspeople, and myself, the German-engineered Rotring 600 may be the perfect writing implement. A solid brass body provides a weighty feel, which, coupled with a nicely knurled grip, allows ultra-precise use. Plus, it just looks really, really cool.
These Gel Pens Are Smooth as Silk
via: AmazonA friend gifted me some adult coloring books last Christmas and the kids' dried-up markers weren't cutting it for the intricate illustrations. Enter this set of 48 gel pens. The colors are amazingly bright. These smooth pens are perfect for coloring, doodling or jotting down notes - over 1,000 five-star reviews aren't wrong!
The Anker Soundbuds Are the Best Inexpensive Bluetooth Headphones on Amazon
via: AmazonI use these headphones every single day. Not only are they comfortable, they also block out almost ALL noise, and have a surprisingly long battery life for their category (right around 9 hours per charge). Sure, they can't compete with $160 Airpods for ultimate convenience, but considering their price, they're just about perfect.
These Dirt Cheap Drain Snakes Both Disgust And Fascinate MeWhen you first snake your drain, you might gag. Then you're gonna wonder where all that hair came from. Then you're gonna be so happy you spent $5 instead of calling in a plumber. Then you still might gag. Then you'll move right on to the next drain. Not sure how I've lived without these things!
These Statement Earrings
via: AmazonThese earrings make a big statement but they're so lightweight (and affordable).
This Comfy Stadium Seat
via: AmazonThis foldable stadium seat makes the bleachers at long cheerleading practices and competitions so much more comfortable.
This Digital Scale Is Sleek and Accurate
via: AmazonDuring my annual New Year health kick I did a search for the best digital bathroom scale and found this baby. It's incredibly sleek and thin so you can store it away easily and has been very accurate so far. Super easy to use, just step on and the backlit display quickly pops up with your weight. It even comes with batteries for added convenience!
This Zinc Sunscreen Goes on Clear!
via: AmazonAs a very pale mom of two redheaded kids, sun protection is non-negotiable in this house. This zinc sunscreen is perfect for faces, and the best part is it's immediately effective so you don't have to apply 30 minutes before going outside. (Which for kids waiting to go in the pool is equivalent to 798 years). Good news is that it's free of Oxybenzone, parabens and other yucky stuff, and it's reef friendly.
Clean Your Makeup Brushes with This Cleaner Sponge
via: AmazonThis product really shines if you happen to be applying more than one color with the same brush. Rather than just tapping the brush off or rubbing it with a tissue, simply swirl it on this sponge. It removes all the remaining eyeshadow from the brush, allowing you to switch colors without muddying up your look. You don't have to use any chemicals or wait for the brush to dry!
This Tiny Gadget Not Only Charges Your Devices, But Also Adds Bluetooth Functionality To Your CarFor those of us who like to "get the most out of their investments" (aka, drive an outdated car until it's basically dead), the concept of Bluetooth audio always seemed out of reach. Until now. This thing not only charges your phone, it acts as a Bluetooth receiver that hooks up to your car stereo. Voila!
And Now For Something Completely Different. My Favorite Recent Find is This 2-Person Inflatable Kayak
via: AmazonMy husband and I have wanted kayaks for years. But they're big and expensive, and we'd have to invest in a car rack, and a garage rack, and the whole thing seemed like too much of an investment for something we'd only use a few times per year. Then, this summer, we found these 2-Person Inflatable Kayaks. THESE ARE AWESOME. They inflate easily and in no time. They really can fit two adults, but can also easily be used as single kayaks. And the best part is that when we're done, it takes about 5-10 minutes to deflate them and fold them away into their carrying bags to easily fit into our car. Every time we've taken them out people have approached us to ask where they can buy them. I'm starting to think I should be sponsored by Intex.
This Apple Slicer Changed My Life
via: AmazonOk, maybe that's a bit dramatic but it's totally true! As a mom of two ravenous, apple-loving kids, I used to spend so much time chopping fruit into small pieces so nobody chokes. This apple slicer and corer cuts 16 perfect pieces with one push - the best part is the kids can even do it themselves so I can get back to playing Words With Friends.
This Children's Chef Knife Is Perfect for Budding Cooks
via: AmazonMy seven-year-old loves helping chop veggies but her current knife skills give me a heart attack. To make sure she keeps all her fingers and doesn't bleed all over dinner, we got her this beginner chef knife and it's working like a charm. The handle is heavy enough and the blade sharp enough to cut crunchy veggies and soft fruit (but not little fingers) and sized right for small hands.
This Revlon Hair Dryer Styler
via: AmazonThis Revlon One Step Hair Dryer lets me dry and straighten my long, thick curly hair in one step. It saves me so much time on busy mornings!
This Decadent Hot Cocoa
via: AmazonPro tip: Cadbury chocolate you buy in America is basically the same as Hershey’s chocolate. Being an avid cocoa lover, especially in the winter months, I make a point to buy Cadbury Drinking Chocolate from England. In addition to making the coziest cuppas (skip the water, just milk or a milk substitute will melt your heart), this cocoa powder is baking-friendly. My chocolate banana muffins have never been the same!
This Portable Ring Light for Perfect Low-Light Photos
via: AmazonThis rechargeable ring light clips onto my phone to light both selfies and regular photos. With three brightness settings, I always get great shots without blinding anyone in the process.
This Korean Sunscreen Doubles as a Primer
via: AmazonAs a reckless teenager I didn't practice safe sun and have definitely dealt with repercussions, evident from the basal cell skin cancer removal scars on my face. Sun protection is an essential part of my everyday routine but I detest the smell and feel of most sunscreens, especially on my face. I read about this Korean sunscreen on reddit and fell in love - it's more milky than creamy, not greasy and the "soft finish" dries matte so it doubles as a primer. I love that there's no white cast and the SPF protection is more sophisticated than brands typically sold in the US.
This Sturdy, Rust-Proof Shower Caddy
via: AmazonWho can’t use a little more storage space in their shower? This flexible, yet sturdy silicone caddy hooks onto your showerhead and stays put. Little knob hooks on the side are great for loofahs and there are even circular holsters nearly empty product bottles.
I Said Bye-Bye to Dry, Chapped Lips With This Collagen Lip Mask
Perfect for dry, chapped lips in need of pampering, this 20-pack of collagen masks will moisturize and soothe your lips. Yes, they look hilarious (so definitely take a selfie), but they also come loaded with aloe, strawberry extract, and other healing ingredients. I recommend lying down while wearing them, since they don't stay in place without a little help from gravity.
If You Have a Body, You Should Also Have a High-Density Round Foam Roller
via: AmazonNothing attacks sore muscles as thoroughly, and sometimes painfully, as a good foam roller. But even if you're not into that hurts-so-good type of self-torture, rolling out your back is the best feeling in the world.
These Pencil Grips Are Teacher-Endorsed
via: AmazonMy 2nd grader still has trouble with the pinch grip, so I was looking for some of the old school triangle-shaped grips I used as a kid. These modern pencil grips are SO MUCH BETTER. One reviewer who's a teacher says they're "perfect for hands of all sizes and learning to hold a pencil correctly". They come in a set of 6 bright colors that my daughter loved and we saw a big improvement in her writing immediately!
With This Gap Cleaning Brush You'll Have The Cleanest Window Tracks On The Block
via: AmazonThese are so cheap, I ordered a few on the chance they'd work. Well, they do. I swept out literally decades of dust living in the crevices of my windows. Disgusting? Yes. Satisfying? Oh yeah.
This Syrup Dispenser That I’ve Never Used for Syrup
via: AmazonI think all the maple syrup bottles I’ve ever bought did the job just fine. This dispenser sits in my fridge holding canned evaporated milk because it makes the perfect cup of tea. Pouring the creamy milk is a spill-free process and I like that the clear glass lets me know exactly when I’m running low. You can use it for its intended purpose or as a table cream dispenser on those big breakfast mornings.
This Truffle Zest
via: AmazonThis truffle zest tastes amazing on everything from veggies to pizza!
This Tie Dye Kit
via: AmazonThis tie dye kit includes everything you need to make 36 projects, just add water! It's great for birthday parties or playdates.
These Mini Planter Pots
via: AmazonThese mini planter pots are so adorable and are the perfect touch in the kitchen or bathroom.
These Little Succulent Plants
via: AmazonThese little live succulents add life to our space and more importantly, are hard to kill! Just pop them in the mini planters above and voilà, instant decor.
This Instant Snow
via: AmazonThe neighborhood kids love using this instant snow to make a winter wonderland inside any time of year!
This Tangle Teezer Comb
via: AmazonThis comb gets tangles out of kid's hair so easily - no more tears while brushing! And it's compact enough that it's easy to pack for travel.
This Cute Winter Hat
via: AmazonI wear this cute winter hat nonstop during cold winters (and springs). It comes in so many colors and is inexpensive enough that you can stock up on a few!
These Customizable Yoga Pants
via: AmazonThese yoga pants are customizable - need I say more? You can choose from three waist styles, three lengths and two colors to make your perfect pair.
These Satin Pillowcases
via: AmazonI've noticed such a big difference in frizz reduction since I started sleeping on these satin pillowcases. My hair and skin look smoother!
This Versatile Bronzer
via: AmazonThis What Up Beaches bronzer helps me keep a subtle beachy glow all year round and it's a total bargain.
These Lightweight Leather Earrings
via: AmazonThese leather earrings are so lightweight for a statement earring, and they come in a ton of colors to go with all your outfits. The rose gold is my fave!