Whether giving or receiving, I gravitate toward gifts for the home — and always choose functional items over decorative ones. You never know if the recipients have room for a decorative wall piece (or if they will even like it). With my husband’s birthday just a few days away, I have started compiling of list of potential home gifts that I know he can put to good use.

Outdoor cooler

We often entertain and rely on small, portable coolers when fridge space runs low. However, space also runs scarce with small coolers, and we always seem to misplace them. A dedicated outdoor cooler can stock all the beverages in one place. Plus, by assigning it to the space (rather than occasionally taking it togo), we can also outfit it with other party essentials like bottle openers, drink koozies, towels and other accessories.

Tool rack

Since we moved into our home back in May, we have slowly but surely added to our tool collection. At first, there were plenty of small tools that necessitated a larger toolbox. Over time, the tools got bigger as we added things like rakes and shovels. A tool rack, assembled and mounted in the garage, would help to get the tools up and off the floor and keep them organized.

Air fryer


Often up with our new son for late-night feedings, I find myself watching infomercials more than I would like to admit. One As Seen on TV item my husband would love is the air fryer. He and I both enjoy fried everything, but could also benefit from having healthier options. Plus, the capability to throw food in, set a timer and come back is especially appealing with little ones dominating our time and attention. Another bonus: We won’t have to deal with the messy chore of disposing of cooking oil.

Wall-mounted bottle opener

I cannot tell you how many times we misplace the bottle opener. I have several stashed in several places, and yet, come party time, they go missing. A wall-mounted bottle opener is an inexpensive solution that takes up little space. Opt for one with a cap catcher to avoid chasing scattered caps on the floor.

Himalayan salt block

Use these to grill up and serve seafood, steak and veggies. The block heats up, heats your food and adds seasoning as it goes. The blocks are naturally anti-microbial, so they are easy to clean with just a quick rinse and scrub.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.