Before becoming a mother I remember the types of gifts that I would look forward to on special occasions; a nice piece of jewelry, a new cashmere sweater, a bottle of prosecco, or tickets to a show. Don’t get me wrong, I still love receiving these types of gifts on special occasions. A new, cozy cashmere sweater would be ideal on this cold and rainy fall day. But alas, my priorities have changed, and two daughters later I find myself dreaming about a cadre of various small appliances that help make my life easier.

Some of my all time favorite small appliances include: the Beaba Babycook, the baby bottle sanitizer, the pink crane cool steam humidifier, the honeywell turbo force floor fan, the old fashioned crock pot, and an IPod docking station (to play relaxing music when the girls are sleeping).  To this ever expanding list I must add the Black and Decker Dustbuster 15.6v.  This amazing little contraption has made my life easier, and has made meal time clean-up a snap.

Before my wonderful husband surprised me with this purchase, I found myself lugging our vacuum cleaner in and out of the closet after each and every meal. My three year old has more or less mastered eating in a big girl chair at the kitchen table. However, my sixteen month old has not. My youngest daughter stayed in her highchair for a very short period of time. She was eager to join the rest of us at the dinner table. We passed down to her our used booster seat, from her big sister, and from that day on she sat around the table with the rest of us.

The problem is that she is sixteen months, and with that comes the mashing, grinding, spitting, and throwing of food. Some nights are better than others, and some foods are better than others. Rice, couscous, and orzo are the worst. Before I had the Dustbuster I found myself on my hands and knees with paper towels and wet wipes trying to clean up the larger pieces of food. This would be followed by the vacuum, which would be dragged out of the closet, knocking over piles of diapers that were stored in front of it. It was a mess, it was time consuming, and it drove me crazy.

Now, with my Black and Decker Dustbuster 15.6v, I simply unplug it from where it is charging, vacuum the floor under the table (including pieces of food both big and small), plug it back in, and call it a night. A few high points about the item: (1) it is bag-less, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing bags, every so often you simply have to empty out the contents, (2) it has a fold down nozzle for hardwood floors, which is awesome and will not scratch your floors, and (3) it doesn’t take up a lot of room. A few downfalls: (1) the battery doesn’t last long, so it needs to keep charging on a regular basis, (2) if the battery is low it does not have a great deal of power, and (3) it doesn’t work on liquids, so every once and a while I still have to get out a wet wipe or paper towel.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, I could ask for a matching Alexis Bittar bracelet and necklace from the Miss Havisham line, or I could choose the more practical route and opt for the Cuisinart soup maker and blender. Either way, I know I won’t be disappointed.