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Fab5 Products That Make Us Happy

We are here to help make your life easier, curating the best of the best from online and beyond. FabList provides lists across a variety of item categories, from apps and books to gifts and clothing items.  We want to start off by sharing our ‘everyday Fab5’ – the 5 key items that we use and enjoy every day. These are products that we would be really really sad if they weren’t a part of our daily lives. We didn’t include obvious things like our phones or laptops, and some items may seem inconsequential, but if it makes us happy on a daily basis it was in the running! More specific Fab5 favorites will be in later blogs…  ‘Fab5 Items in Our Office’, ‘Fab5 Wardrobe Staples’, etc…but let’s get started with our FabList of the 5 products we each use daily and love!

Joanne:

1. Alexa

This device sits on our kitchen table and acts as my personal assistant.  “Alexa, what is the temperature out?” before I head out with the pup.  “Alexa, set the timer for 8 minutes” when I put cookies in the oven.  “Alexa, play Bruce Hornsby” when I need some tunes.  Alexa can also read my audiobook, add butter to my Whole Foods grocery cart, and entertain me with jokes.  

2. Instapot

I resisted getting on the Instapot train for a loooong time because I didn’t want another appliance and I already had a slow cooker (actually I have 2) and a rice cooker.  Also, I had nightmares of growing up with the certainty that my mothers pressure cooker, skipping and spitting across the countertop, would blow up at any moment!  However, I’m a total convert. With the instapot in my life, I’m almost tempted to get rid of my stove and oven.  It sautes, slow cooks and pressure cooks. It’s truly a one-pot wonder.  I can cook a decent meal – pot roast, chicken curry, beef bourguignon, pork puttanesca – in 30 minutes or less with no fear of an exploding pressure cooker!

3. GE Countertop Pebble Ice Maker

I received this best gift ever from my favorite friends who know how much I love pebble ice – those little nuggets that you can usually only find in the hospitals, gyms, and a few fast food restaurants.  In-home, built-in pebble ice machines can cost up to $5K, need to be connected to water, are loud and frequently break.  This gem is a countertop model, doesn’t need to be connected to a water source (you fill it like a coffee machine), and it churns out perfect pebbles for great icy beverages – sodas, cocktails, even a perfect iced coffee.  This was THE perfect gift that keeps on giving and I use it multiple times a day. 

4. Altra shoes

I’ve had flat feet and I’ve worn orthotics most of my life.  I’ve tried about every shoe over the years, which means a lot of shoes because I’m old.  Then I read “Born to Run”, about the Mexican runners of the reclusive Tarahumara tribe who run ultra distances without getting routine injuries while wearing thin sandals or no shoes at all.  The book convinced me to chuck my orthotics, buy the Altra zero drop shoes I’d read about forever and hit the road and trail.  I don’t run . . just walk and hike . . and I’ve had zero foot or ankle issues and minimal blisters on really long hikes since switching to the Lone Peak (for hiking) and the Timp 2 for around town. Yes, they are ugly but they work!

5. Espresso Maker & Nespresso Pods

I love the convenience of making espresso drinks at home any time. This little coffee maker is a workhorse and I order the pods online and keep an assortment of caffeinated, decaffeinated, and limited edition roasts at the ready.  I use it first thing for my morning jolt of joe and it is an easy go-to in the afternoon for an espresso shot to get me through the day. It is quick, easy, and this little gem of a machine goes on the road with us when we travel. 

Chrissie:

1.Breville Foamer/David Rio Orca Chai 

I know these are technically two items, but in my life they go together so I’m listing them as one. I love my chai latte in the morning (sipped via my special Yeti Ramble mug which I also love but didn’t quite make my top 5 so I’ll sneak it in here anyhow), but am very picky about what chai, what consistency of milk, and what vessel (see Yeti note above). Breville makes a foamer that offers consistently awesome foamed milk, in a large enough quantity to fill a whole mug when about ½ cup of milk is foamed. This is the kind of foam you need a spoon to scoop the top off of, with the heated milk buried deep below. I add the chai powder to the milk before I froth (I add less than they recommend so it’s not too sweet) and then let the Breville do its foaming magic. You can control the heat from cool to hot. David Rio Orca is a non-sugar chai mix (their Tiger Chai mix with sugar is also deliciously awesome) and is my chai of choice….after trying a lot of them. My husband uses the foamer to make his regular latte, pouring it over his Nespresso coffee, and it can also be used for hot chocolates.  

Note: The Breville doesn’t foam 1% milk or non-dairy milk as well as it does 2% or whole – I think it may be a property of those milk types in general? 

2.SuperGoop CC Cream

This is the one item I don’t leave my bathroom without when I get dressed in the morning. It has a light coverage, not like a heavy foundation, that evens out my skin in tone and color. I am freckled/sun-damaged and it helps cover/smooth that out, without leaving me looking or feeling like I have a makeup mask on. Plus it’s got sunscreen so that is an automatic part of the morning routine by default. Win-Win. Comes in a ton of shades for all skin colors.

3. iPhone Case by Smartish with a Credit Card Pocket

I’ve had a variety of iPhone cases before and am sold on those with a credit card pocket in the back as then I don’t have to carry a wallet. But some of these cases have failed me in that the card slot only holds a couple of cards or, if the pocket stretches out or you have to carry fewer than the ‘allotted’ number of cards it can fit, then the cards can fall out. The magic of this case however has a little ‘spring’ in the pocket that holds the cards securely, whether you have one card or three, so I carry it with confidence. 

4. Birkenstocks

I was very late to the Birkenstocks game. It wasn’t until the pandemic when, after seeing Joanne love hers so much for home and travel, that I bit the bullet and got a pair. I have worn them almost every day since…literally. They make my feet say ‘ahhhhh’ when I put them on, and I now have a furry pair (warm like slippers), a waterproof version, and a ‘platform’ pair as well…but none as comfy as my originals

5. Audible App

I love reading, and included in that broad category is listening to books via Audible. I always have one book going on my Kindle and one on my Audible. I start my day with The Daily podcast from the NY Times, and after that, if I’m in my car or have time to myself cooking or walking, etc, I’m listening to a book. I have many favorites (check out our books list), but tend to lean towards historical fiction, fiction, and memoirs predominantly, with a little bit of mystery thrown in more recently. Check out all our book lists here.

So I guess, based on the above, I’m pretty happy when I’m sitting outside (in the sun which is ok cause I have on SuperGoop), wearing my Birks, holding my foamy cup of chai, and listening to my book (on my phone, which is sitting in my Smartish case). That sounds about right!

2 thoughts on “Fab5 Products That Make Us Happy”

  1. Janice Savidge

    We just had someone gift us a countertop ice maker and I had considered exchanging it. Now you’ve convinced me to give it a try. It may change my life as well! Thank you for all the tips!

  2. I could read about these tips and products to make our lives more fun, fulfilled and efficient all day long. LOVE this so much! Thanks for sharing!

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Picture of Joanne & Chrissie

Joanne & Chrissie

Chrissie and Joanne love discovering, curating and creating. They developed FabList as a place to share their favorite finds with you.

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Joanne & Chrissie

Chrissie and Joanne love discovering, curating and creating. They developed FabList as a place to share their favorite finds with you.

2 thoughts on “Fab5 Products That Make Us Happy”

  1. Janice Savidge

    We just had someone gift us a countertop ice maker and I had considered exchanging it. Now you’ve convinced me to give it a try. It may change my life as well! Thank you for all the tips!

  2. I could read about these tips and products to make our lives more fun, fulfilled and efficient all day long. LOVE this so much! Thanks for sharing!

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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