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I’m a big fan of Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products, which are all-natural and smell great (I especially love the geranium-scented countertop spray).  Unlike many other household cleaning products, they are chemical-free and won’t leave you with a headache once you’re done using them. They are also safe to use around children and pets. I recently found out that they also make a candle–it comes in geranium, lavender, and lemon verbena. The candles are made from vegatable wax and come in a cute jelly jar that you can reuse as a juice glass. Light them while you’re cleaning or just hanging out. I know which one I’ll be ordering! $9,99; mrsmeyers.com.

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If you’re looking to spruce up your kitchen, an easy way can be updating your refrigerator door décor. I’ve seen everything from using chalkboard paint to create an interactive writing surface for kids, to using flowery contact paper for a vintage look. But the simplest solution is often just some funky magnets. I love these super strong zipper magnets by Amalia Versaci Design. They come in sets of six in shades of blue, green, orange, and purple. They’d also make a great gift, as the designer ships them in a cute box with wrapped in a vintage zipper tape ribbon. $18; etsy.com.

I’ve always admired this line of modern wire baskets available only at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), and now the online shop is currently having a 50% off sale. The basket is made by Alessi and comes in a red (in a square shape), or yellow (in a round shape). It’s perfect for fruit. You could also use it as a bread basket, or even line it with a towel and fill it with tortilla chips.  It would be a bright, sophisticated touch to any kitchen counter top. $39.95 (the usual price is $85) at moma.org.

I usually use my microwave to keep track of cooking times, but there’s something much more satisfying about using an actual kitchen timer. Maybe it’s that the ring is less jarring than the mechanical beep of the microwave. Not long ago a friend of mine bought this old-fashioned vintage timer, and not only is it a funky kitchen gadget that looks great on the fridge (it’s magnetic), but it has a nice ring to it, too! It comes in four colors: light blue, red, black, and yellow. $10.95 at wrapables.com.

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I’d tout these gorgeous and eco-friendly lacquerware bowls.  Handmade in Vietnam, they’re created from 100% organically-grown bamboo, non-toxic water-based adhesive, and natural lacquer derived from cashew nut trees. In other words, they’re all-natural. Not only that, but they come in a collection of vibrant colors that will just make you feel happy while you eat.  I think they’re perfect for cereal, but of course they can be used for anything from ice cream to pasta to soup. The only catch is that it’s best not to put them in the dishwasher or microwave–though perhaps that’s a good thing, as it’s one more way to better the environment. The bowls are $17 each and available at branch.com.

Even though we’re all online these days, I like to believe the printed word will never go out of style—and that includes recipe cards. There’s something sentimental about a recipe card, written in the hand of someone passing down one of their favorite dishes to you. That’s why I was happy to discover that Cosa Verde has a recipe card that you can download for $5 and print as many copies as you like of. Use them for yourself, for friends and family, as hostess gifts, etc. The 4×6 inch cards have space for the recipe ingredients and instructions on one side, while the reverse side features a lovely illustration of whisks in gray and robin’s egg blue. The card design is sent as a PDF file via e-mail, and comes with printing instructions and paper recommendations. $5; cosaverde.com.

This past year I’ve become obsessed with reusable shopping bags to the point where my local grocers don’t even reach for a plastic bag after they ring me up, and instead wait for me to whip out my own (though they never offer to fill it, and I end up having to do that job myself, unlike with the plastic bags…which I don’t get).  But what about when you’re going to pick up a few bottles of wine? The idea of them rolling around and clinking against each other sounds like a recipe for disaster. So I like the idea of a reusable shopping bag just for bottles. The bag pictured here is designed by Reisenthel, a 30+ year old German company known for its functional designs. It also comes in two other colors–black and floral.  $12.74 at reusableshoppingbags.com.

When you’re cooking it just feels nice to prep your ingredients in bowls that happen to look great on your counter top, too. This gorgeous set of blue melamine bowls by Martha Stewart is on sale for half off the original price at Macy’s. I love the different shades of blue and the fact that they’re a great space-saver.  On sale for $17.50 (marked down from $34.99) at Macy’s.

Sur La Table Colander

A friend of mine sent me one of these mini colanders as a gift, and it’s become one of my favorite things. It comes in a variety of colors–I have the turquoise. It’s also easy to store (which is great if you have a small kitchen like me) and doesn’t take up much space in your sink.  I find that the only time I need to use my big colander now is with big heaps of pasta or when I am washing greens or veggies in bulk. $7.95 at Sur La Table.