Gadgets I didn't know I needed

I didn't realize what a practical person I was until I was Christmas caroling at fraternity houses during the holidays. It was a more innocent time. 

When we wrapped up "Rudolph," one of the boys stumbled out of the trashed rowhouse, promising one of my sisters a huge bouquet of roses for Christmas. "No," she countered, "Get a potted plant." Many laughed at how un-romantic it sounded, but she wasn't looking for instant gratification. She wanted a gift that kept on giving. She wanted atmosphere. Ever since that day, I've asked for potted plants over flowers as well. 

In fact, I've leaned way in to my practical ways. Ladles and Linens is filled with gadgets and gifts that may seem decorative or as if they would take up too much space. But in fact, they make my life a whole lot easier. Here are a few must-haves:

citrus squeezer

The juice is loose

When I lived in California, I needed a high-powered juicer for what seemed like the most prolific lemon tree in existence. At peak times, the tree dropped two paper grocery bags full of lemons a day. But now that I'm in Virginia, I grumble over the price of lemons like everyone else. I don't want to break out the juicer for the scant amount that I buy, so I bought this handy citrus squeezer to keep seeds at bay.

What's more, is you can push the juiced lemon halves down the sink when you are finished washing dishes. Warm water and a lemon peel down the garbage disposal cleans and disinfects, and the fresh lemon scent is divine. If you don't have a garbage disposal, you can compost the leftover fruit. 

food huggers

Food huggers aren't just for tree huggers

I was so enamored of these food huggers, that I bought a pack for everyone in my immediate family. When I visit their homes, I snoop to check if they slid a food hugger on the end of a sliced cucumber or tomato. At my sister's home, she left out a cup of coffee so I pooped on a lid and stuck it back in the fridge. I will force these people to understand its glory. 

Food huggers seal off opened foods, such as cans of tomato paste or a summer sausage. Not only does it save your wallet from having to buy all the plastic wrap, plastic bags, and foil, but it's less garbage in the landfill at the end of the day.

spiralizer oxo

You spin me right round

I'm just going to say it: My mother was bad at salads. Iceberg lettuce, squeeze bottles of cheap ranch and giant chunks of carrots. The latter which you could never stab with a fork.

Not with this spiralizer. It can twist hard veggies into juicy, paper thin spirals, making them extra stabby for your salads. And this of course opens up your  options. You can spiralize cucumber, zucchini, carrots and jicama, to name a few. Suddenly your salad is popping with new colors, flavors and textures. Not to mention's highly photogenic. 

silicone cover

Silicone has you covered

Much like the food huggers, you can save money and waste by covering your cups and bowls with these adorable, nature-inspired silicone covers. With bubbly berry-shaped knobs, it adds whimsy to your kitchen.

The small ones are great for drinks outside - keeping them bug-free in the warm months. The larger ones cover popcorn bowls, uneaten leftovers - the whole gamut. And a fun trick? You can pull up the entire bowl by just picking up the fruit-shaped knobs, so long as it's an air-tight seal. It's a fun party trick. 

Look, a bouquet roses is a romantic (albeit fleeting) gesture. But if I had a choice between that and something that will stamp my ravioli better, I'm going to opt for the thing that saves me time. Because at the end of the day, isn't that the one thing we just don't have enough of?




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