I am a huge fan of skype - we use it with grandma, with cousins, and even with some of the boys from my son's orphanage. Unfortunately, when I bought my budget laptop a few years ago, it didn't come with one of those fancy built-in cameras, so we have gone through any number of cheap clip-on versions. Recently Microsoft sent me one of their LifeCams, and I am wishing I had bought this from the beginning. It clips on very easily (a huge plus with active kids) and the picture is insanely clear. It has an autofocus feature to keep your video sharp no matter how close an object is to the camera. It's also HD - so the image fills the screen instead. And at only $40, it is far superior to the flimsy versions I've previously used.
We were also stoked to try Dyson's signature vaccum - the d32. I have never been one to salivate (or even look twice) at a vacuum, but I saw a demonstration recently and I was sold. It works on carpet or hardwood, but the selling point is that it is vertified asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. I have a son with hideous allergies and asthma, and I love that this vacuum is a natural solution. The unit expels air that contains up to 150 times less mold and bacteria than common breathing air, thanks to the vacuum's money-saving, lifetime washable HEPA filter. Plus, Dyson's Bactisafe screen traps and kills bacteria, mold and allergens on contact, preventing them from re-entering the air. Which makes me breathe a little easier, ya know?
*products were provided for review . . . but the opinions are our own*