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Best of the Best 2018

I often get asked what items I use to help me get things done. As a disabled wife, mother, and professional, things aren’t always easy. I made a promise to myself that I would not let my disability stop me from living the most normal life possible.

This year, I had a lot of help. Here are the items that made 2018 a lot easier for me.

     1.  iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum – $299 iRobot.com

This is by far, the most helpful item I received this year. Vacuuming from a wheelchair is very difficult. You get tangled in the cords and most units are very heavy. Cordless vacuums are high maintenance and generally don’t have the power to pick up large amounts of dog hair. I used to dread vacuuming and would put it off as long as I could. Now, it’s as easy as saying “Alexa, tell Roomba to clean.” The Roomba 675 is Bluetooth enabled and can be controlled from your Alexa or smartphone. Even if you aren’t in a chair, I highly recommend this vacuum. It has absolutely changed my life.

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     2.  Amazon Echo Plus – $149.99 amazon.com

As a family, this has really helped us all. But me, especially. From being able to tell it what to add to my grocery list (instead of having to find somewhere to write it down) to using it as an intercom to let my husband know I need his help from the next room, it really has been so important. It’s also nice to incorporate with light bulbs that I can’t reach to turn on…and I can control my Roomba with it, as well. We have Amazon Echos in every room of our house and it was such a great investment.

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     3.  Apple Watch (Series 3) – $279 apple.com

I previously had the Series 2 Apple Watch and I honestly barely used it. I ended up selling it after letting it sit on my dresser for months. With the release of the Series 3 Apple Watch, Apple finally incorporated features for individuals in wheelchairs. Instead of a daily “step” or “stand” goal like most activity trackers have, the Apple Watch has a “move” and “roll” goal. It lets me know when it’s time to push myself around and it keeps track of all my activity. I don’t have to guess if I’m on track. Also, the Series 3 (as well as the new Series 4) Apple Watch has cellular capabilities so I don’t have to worry about bringing my phone if I’m going somewhere where I may drop it or my lap/hands are already full. I am glad I decided to give this watch another try because it’s quickly become something I can’t go without.

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     4.  PopSockets and Car Mount – $15 and $10 popsockets.com

I absolutely can’t live without a PopSocket on my phone. I have very limited finger dexterity and my iPhone XS Max is very heavy. I like knowing I have a good grip on my phone with texting and, of course…taking selfies. The mount is a must-have for the car. I can see my maps without having to take my eyes off the road.

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     5. Universal Wheelchair Cup Holder – $14.99 amazon.com

I swore I would never be that lame-o who put a cup holder on their wheelchair…until I was. What a life I was missing! I used to have to ask someone to hold my coffee or try to hold it between my legs, which generally ended in me somehow burning myself and, worse yet, wasting a $4 latte. I bought 2 of these bad boys…in case one ever breaks. Because there’s absolutely no way I’ll ever go another day without it.

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2018 was a year full of new things for me and I’m thankful I am able to share the items that made life a lot easier for me. I’m excited to see what 2019 brings and how I will navigate my way through it! Thank you all for coming along for the ride! Happy new year!!

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