1) My Smart Phone. I am of the generation that the first cellphones were large, shoe-box size boxes that you could keep in your car. I did not have a cell phone until I was a senior in college. I can not think of living without it long-term. I do think it has a place and a time and I would like to keep my son from getting a cell phone until he is driving. We will see how that works out. I think it's very easy to become addicted to our devices, so I do try to go without it at times so I don't develop a dependency. But let's face it, my schedule, my calendar, my grocery list, my to do list, my access to Liturgy of the Hours (a prayer resource), podcasts, news updates, e-mail and texting all do help keep my life organized and connected.
My smart phone definitely does make my life easier, but it's good to go without it when on vacation and other times, to know I don't NEED it at all times. The American Society of Pediatrics has seen a rise in playground and other childhood injuries related to parents being distracted on their cell phones. There is also some concern that in children the radiation from the cell phone is twice as high in the brains of children and 10 times as high in the bone marrow of children as it is in adults. I am trying to keep my cell phone away from my son as much as I can, or turn it onto airplane mode.
2) Immersion Blender. I love my immersion blender. I use it for smoothies, soups, homemade salsa and more. It is a time-saving wonderful kitchen device that I continually use. I like to make strawberry, pineapple smoothies with a little bit of kale thrown in (not enough to make it taste like kale) and am always looking for more recipes to try. I also like making fresh salsa with it, which is way more tasty than store-bought and helps save money and is great with fresh cilantro and tomatoes.
3) Spot Bot Pet. My Spot Bot was a wedding gift that has possibly saved our marriage. With the dog, cat and baby, we get all sorts of stains all over. I love that I can just put it on top of whatever substance anyone does and it sucks it up, cleans it and steams the area while I'm away getting other stuff taken care of. It also has worked well with its attachment on our microfiber furniture. (In retrospect, as a pet owner, I would probably stay away from microfiber in the future, it sometimes seems like it's just a giant tape-roller).
4) Roomba. Our Roomba is not 100% great at keeping the floor free from pet hair and crumbs (it is an older model, so maybe they have gotten better with the newer versions). It is great at at least keeping the coating of hair at bay. My son actually was the one who when he was messing with it taught me it can be set on a schedule (he also changed it to speak in German and go off at midnight, a task that he completed in 2 minutes and took me 30 minutes and a online tutorial to reverse). I still try to use the regular vacuum to get problem spots and do a thorough cleaning, but the Roomba is great at at least getting big material and removing a layer 2-3x a week when everyone else is away from the house.
5) Creuset- Dutch oven. I use this quite frequently to make the bread I talked about previously.
http://www.jocooks.com/bakery/breads/crusty-bread/. I find it works best with King Arthur bread flour and letting it sit 10 hours. I have also added Asiago cheese to it and made it nice and tasty. I'm trying to stay away from bread, but this is still really tasty and I know it is completely free of treenut allergens. I also created a recipe in this that my husband loves. It's one dish-nachos. I'm kind of lazy when it comes to washing dishes. I really don't enjoy it. One night as a newlywed, I browned the meat in the Creuset and then kind of shimmied it all to one side and then put down tortilla chips. Then I flipped the meat over onto that side and put the chips down on the other side. I like to mix it taco seasoning (and stewed tomatoes to stretch the meat and make it a little healthier. I will add in onions and beans as well. To top it off, I will put cheddar cheese and move the pot from the stove to the oven and cook it in the oven at about 300 F for about 6 minutes (or until the cheese is melted).
Just thought I'd share some of the things that make my life easier : )