Archive for December 2015

8 Kitchen Gadgets No One Really Needs

Trying to scale down your life in the upcoming year? Just running out of space in your kitchen? Then stop buying useless gadgets that serve no real purpose and get ones of the ones you have. Here are a few gadgets that no one actually needs in their kitchen.

Specialized Slicers

Whether for avocados, bananas, tomatoes, strawberries, eggs or any other specific food, specialized slicers are always a waste of time and space. You know what else makes a great slicer for these and other foods? A knife -and it will work on practically anything.

Asparagus Peeler

This asparagus peeler will skin your asparagus and clip off those hard tips at the end. That's handy when prepping asparagus. The only problem? Any other peeler and knife would do the same without taking up space in your kitchen for a vegetable that most people eat no more than once a month.

Strawberry Huller

Strawberries can be hulled in seconds with a knife. A plastic straw can also be used in a pinch. So why would you need this bulky huller just for this one particular job?

Ice Cream Sandwich Maker

What's so hard about filling two cookies with ice cream that you need a specific mold to do the job for you? Even if you're really concerned with making the thing look perfect -remember that this tool requires your cookies to be the exact right size to even work right.

Rainbow Cocktail Layering Tool

Layering ingredients in a cocktail can take practice, but it doesn't take a special tool and any bartender will tell you that all you need is a spoon and some patience to master this skill.

The Dipr

Oreos and milk really are a winning combination, but if you dip by hand, you either get your fingers wet or part of your cookie is left dry. The Dipr makes it easy to dip your Oreo and avoid this problem. The only problem is putting a fork through the middle of your Oreo can help you do the same thing and you'll actually use a fork for other things besides eating cookies.

Egg Cracker

There's a reason good products make people question how they lived without the item for so long. An egg cracker on the other hand is something you can live without for the rest of eternity. You know what else cracks eggs? Just about anything.

Rollie

Perhaps the epitome of a totally useless kitchen gadget, all this strange device does is cook eggs into a tube form. It doesn't seem to cook any quicker than simply scrambling them and it presents the end result in a totally unappetizing shape. Oh, and according to the Amazon reviews, the thing breaks easily too.

Of course, we'll be the first to admit that some useless kitchen gadgets are just plain fun. Here is our round up of other gadgets you don't really need, but could probably enjoy playing with anyway.


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11 Last Minute Crafts That Make Great DIY Christmas Gifts

Christmas is only a few days away now and it's too late to order anything but overnight shipping from most websites if you want to get gifts. If you still haven't marked some people off of your list and don't want to experience the madness at the malls or just don't think they'll have the perfect gift for the people on your list, consider crafting some handmade gifts instead. Here are some great gifts your friends and family members are sure to love.

Custom Photo Ornaments

If you have a laser printer (or can get to a FED EX/Kinkos location), you can easily make these cool photo transfer ornaments. Landeelu has a handy tutorial that requires a surprisingly small number of components.

Mint Sugar Scrub

Who doesn't love great bath products? This mint sugar scrub recipe from Love Grows Wild is a festive and elegant gift that costs practically nothing.

Engraved and Illuminated Ornaments

These ornaments take a little practice, but the only tools you need are cheap plastic ball ornaments, tiny lights and a dremel. The Kim Six Fix has the full video tutorial to make these yourself.

Handmade Soaps

Making soap from scratch can be a nightmare, but with glycerin soap bases available at craft stores like Michaels, it's never been easier to make your own soaps at home. I Heart Naptime has a few handy tips for what to mix with your soaps to make something truly memorable (and giftable).

Peppermint Brownie Mix

There are tons of mason jar mix recipes out there, but this peppermint brownie recipe by I Heart Naptime sounds particularly delicious and seasonal. She even provides downloads so you can package them with the same adorable labels.

Scrabble Tile Ornament

This Crafts By Amanda tutorial shows how to make a cute Let it Snow ornament with scrabble tiles, but you could easily make an ornament that says just about anything, which makes this a great customizable gift.

Custom Christmas Poster

Homemade Gifts Made Easy offers a simple tool to make your own custom word posters like the ones seen here. Just select your colors, choose your own words to display, buy the high-res download and then print out the resulting masterpiece.

Felt Holly Corsage

This quick Martha Stewart craft is festively fabulous. Perfect for ladies of any ages, you can even customize the look of your corsage to match the personality of the person receiving the gift.

Mitten and Santa Hat Ornaments

It's a little late to knit anything major like a sweater, but these cute ornaments by Milk Shed are a perfect last minute addition to any gift.

Gum Drop Pops

There are tons of instructions online to create your own snow globes, but these festive gumdrop displays look just as cool and are a lot sweeter too. Just be sure not to shake the jars up too much or it might look like your snowman survived an avalanche.

Let It Snow Ornament

Spread a little holiday cheer with this fun snowball ornament by Creative Green Living that is not only adorable, but also incredibly inexpensive to make.

Now that you've got your presents covered, it's time to think about decorating. Here are some great last minute Christmas decorating ideas and here are a few fun Christmas decorations you can make with your kids.


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8 Awesome Alternative Christmas Trees

Not everyone can have a large Christmas tree in their living room and not everyone wants to. If you're looking for something a little different this year, here are some great alternatives to a traditional tree.

The Record Tree

Vinyl lovers are sure to appreciate the fun look of records hung up in the shape of a Christmas tree like this display by Paige Russell. If you include a record player in the base like she did, you can even listen to the albums so you can really enjoy "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree."

Ladder Tree

Whether you include a shelf  to put up displays like Country and Victorian Times or just lights and ornaments like the more simple ones on Eclectically Vintage, a ladder tree is a surprisingly elegant holiday touch to add to any home.

Book Tree

Book nerds everywhere will love getting to see their favorite hard covers out on display this holiday -just organize, stack and light as seen on this Instructable. For a more traditional look, you can always break out an old, green encyclopedia set to make a beautiful green tree.

Wire Tree

With a strong copper wire, you can create a malleable spiral tree that can collapse into a small, flat coil. Natalina's Instructable shows how simple it can be (though I'd add a few ornaments to the mix as well).

Wooden Board Tree

This white wooden tree from Etsy seller dittographic is a great alternative to a traditional tree that can still be covered in lights and garland. You can even turn the branches to extend in any direction.

Post-It Note Tree

With a few colors of Post-It notes (particularly green ones) and a few paper ornaments, you can create a simple, flat tree on your wall like this one by Fashion Class For All.

Chalkboard Tree

Here's yet another advantage of chalkboard paint -you can easily decorate any wall any way you want for any holiday. In this case, A Legg Up used a wall to create a brilliant and beautiful Christmas tree. If you aren't quite as artistically inclined, you can always used colored chalk to create a more traditional green tree with a few ball ornaments drawn on.

Driftwood Tree

This neat tree by MarzaShop doesn't just feature beautiful driftwood log slices, but also soft lights that are seamlessly blended into the creation. It's a tasteful and subtle addition to any home's Christmas display.

If you need some more holiday decorating ideas, don't miss some of our other great Christmas articles, including wreaths you can make yourself, decor you can put together with your kids and how to make some great last minute decorations.


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