ROSEMARY HARRIS: Roach motels, flash drives, those wine bottle openers with the two side thingys. Flat irons, Arm & Hammer Baking Soda toothpaste and Yves St Laurent's Touch Eclat. Suitcases with four wheels...
What do these things all have in common? In their own small ways they've changed my life for the better.
When I had my first apartment in Brooklyn you couldn't pay me to get up in the middle of the night and walk into my kitchen. Heaven knows what I would have found. Enter Roach motels. OMG you could kill them without ever seeing them!
The toothpaste - my mother always bought Colgate..hated the taste...wow, this new stuff tastes pretty good!
Every once in a while something comes along that isn't just more of the same. We're not talking about the telephone or computers (or fire!) But sometimes a new product REALLY makes things easier, more fun, mo' better!
Sometimes the feeling wears off (as I'm afraid it will with the Green Goodness drink I've been sucking down for the past month.) But then again...some things are here to stay for me...like BB cream and Dannon's Lit and Fit Greek Yogurt.
What new products changed your lives??
RHYS BOWEN: The one that comes immediately to mind is the portable hair dryer. When I was a child hair washing meant walking around with wet hair for hours, which wasn't fun in the cold house I grew up in, OR sitting under my mother's hair dryer, which was a giant hood thing and took hours too.
I remember getting my first transistor radio when I was a kid. Magic. Portable magic. (I realize as I write that I am dating myself horribly. Next I'll be saying I remember the day they discarded corsets. Actually my very proper aunt sent me money for my fortieth birthday telling me to get myself fitted for a good corselet as after forty the figure starts to sag).
ROSEMARY: Rhys, they're back! Only they may be called merry widows or bustiers...your aunt was ahead of her time.
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: SPANX. Best shapeware ever. I think it's Rhys' corselet for the 21st century. Hold everything in place, and it's relatively comfortable to boot. And - this isn't terribly new, but it's become widespread in the last twenty years - remote keyless entry for cars. Remember what it used to be like juggling a bag of groceries on one arm and a squirming kid in the other while you hunted for the right key on your chain? Or trying to jam the key into an ice-encrusted, frozen-over lock? Searching up one row and down another in a dark parking lot? Thos automatic key fobs are a great boon to womankind.
LUCY BURDETTE: This isn't very creative, but all I can think of is how much I love my iphone. I love being able to take pictures and send them on the spot. And look at maps to see where I went wrong (although my phone has been acting weirdly on that score lately, turning the map sidewise, which is very confusing.) Keeping up with email and Facebook and Twitter while on the road (a mixed blessing though.)
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN : With ya, Ro, on touche eclat. Hmm. Paying bills by internet. How about ATM's? And cabs that take credit cards? All good. TIVO! And any DVR--and On Demand--it lets you watch any show on TV whenever you want. The advent of time shifting has changed the world. GPS has obsoleted maps, (is that a word?), sadly, but whoa. Saved many a marriage, I bet. And gee, of course, what would I DO without my iphone. I will confess to a queasy feeling when it takes me a minute to find it--I think--oh, NO what if I don't have my PHONE? That is scary.
ROSEMARY: I would be very happy without my iPhone - but the GPS?? Game changer!!
So what new products have changed your lives? One thing that's changed the lives of a lot of writers is the ability to self-publish. Check back tomorrow as self-publishing guru Vincent O'Neill visits and gives us the lowdown on formatting your book before you self-pub!
DEBORAH CROMBIE: All those things! (Although I have to disagree with Julia on the Spanx. I think they're torture. But then, I haven't worn a corset...) And I'm with Rhys on the blow dryer, but my two cents, and I'm totally with Ro, is the FLAT IRON. From someone with hair that is too wavy to be straight, and not wavy enough to be curly, the flat iron is a godsend. Be glad that I'm not posting a pic of me without the use of my Chi.
HALLIE EPHRON: Magic Eraser! I'm so not a neatnik, but when houseguests are coming and all the scrapes and smudges on my walls and floors seem like beacons of doom, it very nearly is magic. My immersion blender! No more having to dump hot soup into a blender where it invariably explodes scalding hot soup all over the room in order to make a potage. What's Touche Eclat?