My job is to find cool stuff. Throughout the week I spend hours scouring the web for things that are useful or fun or ridiculously cheap. Often times, these choices coalesce into a guide of like items—for example, the ultimate guide to making cafe-style coffee in your own home or 19 things that make traveling less stressful. But I often stumble across some pretty awesome gear that doesn’t really fit into a list. So I made a list for those.
Brew your own wine
You’ll need to plan ahead for this. Amazon
These Craft a Brew wine-making kits include enough ingredients for about one gallon—or about five bottles—of wine. Choose between a Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, or Pinot Grigio. All the tools are included, as well as a step-by-step instructional booklet. $51-$63.
Spank the Yeti
A card game for adults. Amazon
This party game is suggested for ages 17+ and demands that the hairiest player of the group goes first. While I was never picked first in dodgeball, I think I’ve got a chance with this. To play, one person gets three action cards and three object cards and must secretly pair each action with a different object. Before revealing their matches, the other players must correctly guess—and explain why—they think the first player made their decisions. You get points if you guessed correctly. The game comes with 436 cards, but you can get this “Geek Pack” expansion deck if/when the native deck becomes too familiar. $25.
A smart scale for your cocktails
Drink right. Amazon
Drinking is easy, but making drinks that taste good can be a little more difficult. There’s nothing wrong with a strong cocktail, but they can be easy to mess up if you’re mixing them yourself. This smart scale comes with more than 400 recipes and will alert you once you’ve added enough of one ingredient. The scale also comes with a 750ml stainless steel cocktail shaker. $100.
Bright Tunes Amazon
These weatherproof, non-holiday-specific lights come on a 26-foot cord, feature 80 white incandescent lights, and have four built-in Bluetooth speakers that can play music from your smartphone. You can connect multiple strings for surround sound. $15.
A compact air fryer
This non-stick 1.6-quart compact air fryer uses air instead of oil to fry your food. It’s a little healthier, not to mention safer—you aren’t dealing with hot liquids—and less messy. The basket is dishwasher-safe and comes in four colors—black, red, aqua, and white. $51.
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