So imagine the glorious honor of making it onto Renaissance Dad's Top Ten Products of the Year list! Yes, here for the second year in a row, is my Top Ten list, with ten of my favorite products from last year. Note: These are glowing endorsements from me with no compensation or free product (unless noted). These are just products that I used and loved in 2020. In no particular order, here they are:1. Stealth Core Trainer - I really don't like to exercise, and I don't usually look at exercise equipment. But at my age, I need to start thinking about getting and staying healthy. The Stealth Core Trainer is a plank board, but with the fun of video games. The games all work off of your phone, and your planks control the object on the screen, whether it's a motor cycle, a rolling ball, a Pac-Man, or a runner. Since June 26, 2020, I have only missed one day, and have done more than 11 hours of planks. And while I don't have abs of steel yet, that's 11 hours of exercise that I otherwise would not have done. Boards start at $100, some games are free, and there is an amazing network of supportive people and trainers available to help you along. https://trystealthnow.com/
2. Fluidstance Balance Board - I've used a standing desk for years, and after a bit of time standing, my feet start to get fidgety. I came across this balance board last year and decided to try it out. It's fantastic! It gives my feet the ability to get the wiggles out while I'm feverishly typing away. I can pretend I'm Shaun White and twist and bounce, and it can easily store under my desk when my core needs a break. I also have a snap on challenge cap, raising the center of gravity and giving my legs and torso a great workout. Great for people who love their standing desk but also don't like standing still for very long. Prices start at $249, but they sometimes have scratch and dent sales (which is when I got mine), so you can stalk their website for deals. https://fluidstance.com/https://venomsteel.com/
4. Valspar Paint - It's kind of weird to have paint on this list, but remember that 2020 was a pandemic year and we were in lockdown. Since I didn't have after school events, and school ended earlier in the spring, I had a lot of time on my hands. I ended up painting more than 20 walls in my house, including the walls by our stairs and our really tall downstairs wall. I used 7+ gallons of paint or so, and I am so happy with how well the Valspar paint coats the wall. They have occasional rebates around holidays, so if your project can wait watch for a $5 rebate off of a gallon deal. Available at Lowe's and some independent retailers. https://www.lowes.com/search?searchTerm=valspar+painthttps://www.purdy.com/https://www.greenworkstools.com/
7. Allison Jr. Dollhouse Kit - We bought this for my middle daughter for her 9th birthday. She and I spent over a year working on it. It is a great kit that is somewhere in between completely fabricated and completely DIY. I was really impressed with the quality and detail of the kit. There are a lot of pieces and a lot of assembly (hence making it a "more-than-a-year" project), but the time spent with my daughter working on it was priceless. A stand-alone blog about this project is forthcoming, but nonetheless, this was one of my favorite purchases of the year. The kit runs about $250, but I bought mine at Hobby Lobby and used a 40% off coupon to get an amazing deal. https://www.realgoodtoys.com/products/alison-jr-dollhouse-kit-milled-mdf
8. Otterbox Phone Case - I have been using a smartphone for over 10 years, I have only ever used an Otterbox phone case, and I have never had a cracked screen. NEVER. I currently use the Otterbox Defender, which costs around $40. A little pricy for a phone case, but pretty inexpensive considering the number of screen replacements most people go through in the life of a phone. Available everywhere, but you can check out what they have for your phone on their website. https://www.otterbox.com/https://www.levi.com/US/en_US/
10. Keen Shoes - I am on my feet most days, and I struggled through last school year to find shoes that were both comfortable and durable. Then I remembered how much I loved the Keen casual shoes I owned in the past and got another pair. These shoes are amazing. While they are not dressy (I'm still waiting for Keen dress shoes to be a thing), they work with a shirt and tie and pair of jeans/casual pants, which is my typical attire. I love the durability and comfort, and one of the great things about my Keen shoes is that once I'm ready to replace them they become great yard work shoes. Because of their great comfort and durability, these will continue to be my standard work shoe. https://www.keenfootwear.com/
There you have it. There are ten of the top products that I have used and loved in 2020. I am excited to see what products 2021 brings my way! If you have any favorite products that you would like for me to check out, please leave a note in the comments below, or use the Contact Form at the bottom of the page to get in touch with me.