20 Recent Discoveries That Have Made Working From Home Easier For Me Over The Last 5 Months – The Hype Magazine


Published on August 29th, 2020 | by Darren Paltrowitz

With everything happening in the world, there is still a lot of uncertainty going around. But everyone needs to take care of their home and overall living situation, even if you are not working from home. Here are 20 recent discoveries of mine — all of which immediately available for ordering through Amazon and/or other websites, which have made my work-from-home existence easier in some form.

Lume Cube’s Video Conference Lighting

I tape a lot of interviews these days; thanks to the great team of The Hype for publishing many of them. Many of those interviews are recorded via Zoom, and let’s face it, most of our home workspaces are not lit like a Hollywood film set. Thankfully, Lume Cube offers plenty of accessible, affordable lighting solutions. I had the pleasure of trying out LumeCube’s Video Conference Lighting For Remote Working offering, which definitely makes things look better on my end. It includes a softening diffuser, easy-to-control color temperature and run time options, and adaptor cables to ensure you never get left in the dark. Also, it has proven to be compatible with both laptop and desktop workstations.

Jar Goods’ Sauces & Pestos

Jar Goods is a fresh, new brand of clean-label tomato sauces and pestos, as made with vine-ripened tomatoes, pure olive oil, fresh onions, garlic and basil. This September also marks its 5-year business anniversary, as the company graduated from self-produced to professionally-packed after expanding its line with Classic Vodka and Classic Spicy in September 2015. Offered a coveted spot in the Chobani Food Incubator in 2016, Jar Goods learned from that opportunity about how to make “Better Food For More People.” The Jar Goods website features recipes which include products, and presently Jar Goods is offering a 15 percent discount on all orders of 6+ jars from its website via the promo code “PIZZA.”

Noodles & Company’s Perfect Bowls

For those days when you would rather take-in food than cook, Noodles & Company is one of those fun quick-serve brands that has something for everyone on the menu. Its Perfect Bowls are keto-friendly dishes for those looking to dine healthier but still holding a pasta craving. They are curated for paleo, keto, vegetarian or gluten-sensitive guests and make it easy to get your favorites without swapping, modifying or guessing. One example is the delicious Zucchini Pesto with Grilled Chicken, a keto-friendly approach to zucchini noodles with basil pesto and garlic, cream, grilled chicken, mushrooms, tomato and parmesan. But so many great things on the Noodles & Co. menu I have not yet tried.

Time Timer PLUS

Over 25 years ago, Jan Rogers invented the original Time Timer. Through the years, it has been proven to help everyone measure and manage their time, regardless of age and ability. Time Timer is an innovative visual timer designed to “show” the passage oftime through the use of a patented red disk that disappears as time elapses. Its timers are individual tools for breaking large, seemingly-overwhelming tasks into manageable pieces — for example, work for 30 minutes, then take a 10-minute break. It operates silently and only requires 1 AA battery required for operation. For those seeking something to write on that has a timer, the same brand also has a Time Timer Dry Erase Board on the market, which is huge on inducing productivity yet light on occupying space.

ZVOX Audio AV50 Headphones

Some days I am not the only person working from home in this particular Paltrowitz household. Enter the AV50 Noise Cancelling Headphones from ZVOX. Said syndicated audio columnist Don Lindich about this product: “With the noise cancellation removing outside noise and AccuVoice bringing voices and dialogue to the forefront, there are no better headphones for flying.” I have not yet tried these headphones flying, due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, but I can tell you that when they are on my ears, I hear only what I want to hear — and lots of it. Light, comfortable, easy-to-use and foldable.

Felix Gray Glasses

Felix Gray is an eyewear brand on a mission to help people live happier, healthier, and more productive lives in today’s screen filled world. Reportedly, the brand pioneered the Blue Light glasses space, with industry-leading eyewear designed to help combat the uncomfortable effects of prolonged screen use; think: eye fatigue, blurred vision, and headaches. Beyond its proprietary Blue Light-filtering technology — as embedded directly into the lens to filter almost 90 percent of high-energy Blue Light — you can expect premium anti-reflecting coating eliminates 99 percent of glare. Now available in both non-prescription and prescription lenses for adults and kids alike.

Pickles, they’re kind of a big dill around here. Pickle a peck of your summer produce using our complete how-to pickle…

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Chef’n QuickQuad Produce Wedger

Need healthy snacks in a hurry? You can leave those knives in the big block and grab the QuickQuad produce wedger. It lets you quickly and safely quarter carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and other healthy offerings for afternoon snacks, lunches, veggie platter and other snack-related opportunities. Its stainless steel blade can even quickly quarter brussels sprouts, it is that strong. Expect uniform slicing when using this one, although it is not for use on foods with pits. Handwash recommended, rather than dishwashing usage.

PlanetBox Rover Lunch Box

Speaking of snacks and lunches, the PlanetBox Rover Lunch Box is designed for variety and versatility. With 4 main compartments and 1 special treat spot, it has been dubbed “the picky eaters’ paradise.” Rover is the perfect box for grazing and small portion sizes, and an excellent way to introduce new food groups to your picky eaters’ diet. It is dishwasher-friendly, thus easy to clean, and includes 2 leak-proof containers in case you fill it with “wet” foods. Furthermore, the Rover — presently the best-selling lunch box from PlanetBox — is toxic-free, containing no lead, PVC, phthalates or BPA material.

Built NY Insulated Food Jar

And for the days when I must eat on the go, this insulating Built Food Jar is intended to keep food cold for more than 9 hours or hot for up to 7 hours, thanks to its double-walled, vacuum-insulated, 18/8 grade stainless steel body. The lid was designed with a softly-curved edge, giving your hand the utmost comfort while using this food jar. The food jar’s widemouth opening is perfect for eating out of and makes for a simple cleaning experience. It also comes with a limited lifetime warrantee.

Fire Department Coffee

For better and for worse, I drink a lot of coffee, and I do that 6 or 7 days a week. But sometimes it becomes challenging to find a brand of coffee that you can love the taste of and also get behind from a philosophical viewpoint. Fire Deptartment Coffee, as founded in Rockford, is both run and made by firefighters. The brand not only donates a substantial amount of its profits to firefighter-related causes, but it also provides free coffee to a lot of firehouses. The growing brand has spirit-infused coffees and is Stipe Miocic-approved.

My current favorite offering from Fire Department Coffee is its Bourbon Infused Coffee. Its bourbon infused coffee beans are bold and smooth, going down easy just like your favorite bottle of bourbon. But for those folks who like to regularly change up their coffee game, Fire Department Coffee has a fun, subscription-based Coffee Of The Month Club. This growing Rockford, Illinois-based company — which I had the pleasure of visiting on-site in 2019 — also runs the Fire Dept. Coffee Foundation.

Sawyer Water Filtration System

A few weeks ago in the midst of interviewing Dani Jordyn for The Hype, my power went out, staying out for 5-6 hours. That led me to thinking about my daily reliance on technology and tools which require electricity, and unfortunately that includes plumbing; with the electricity out, access to clean water also away. That led me to realizing that I was in need of more survivalist tools, and the Sawyer Water Filtration System was obtained.

Weighing just 3 ounces, the Squeeze Water Filter ensures you have access to clean water in the backcountry or anywhere in the world. Simply fill up the pouch at a lake, stream or river — in case your regular water dispensing appartus is unavailable — screw the filter directly onto the pouch, and then squeeze the bag to filter water into a bottle. Rated to 0.1 micron absolute filtration, it removes 99.99999 percent of all bacteria, such as salmonella, leptospirosis, cholera and E.coli, 99.9999 percent of all protozoa (such as giardia and cryptosporidium), and 100 percent of microplastics.


Speaking of being prepared, Geekey adds ease for many of those moments when you find yourself in a bind or need assistance with the task at hand. Inspired by the size and shape of a house key, it is the tool you should never be without on your keychain. No matter what your hobbies are, you will always be prepared via 16+ tool functions in the palm of your hand. Crafted out of 420 Stainless Steel, it takes on big and “tough as nails” jobs, yet measures in millimeters and remains lightweight in a pocket to go anywhere. Presently available via Amazon for just $22.99 before tax and shipping.

Ambrosia Bags

Have you ever purchased products from the grocery store only to have them go bad in a matter of days? It can be disheartening to discard perfectly good fruits and veggies simply because you couldn’t eat them fast enough. Well, enter Ambrosia Bag, the sustainable solution to all of your produce-wasting problems. Saving you time, money and an extra trip to the store Ambrosia Bag is the eco-friendly fix to keeping your food fresh in the fridge. You can eliminate the waste and guilt of spoiled fruits, vegetables, mushrooms and herbs — a godsend to those who garden, Ambrosia Bags keep harvests green and crisp until ready to eat. Sustainably-made from natural flax linen, these bags are more than eco-friendly, they have unique preserving qualities that are beneficial to your perishables. Without a doubt, this plant-based fiber bag will make an incredible difference in the way you store your fresh goods.


Chances are over the past few months you have been missing training for your passion, missing lifting at your gym, and/or probably have resorted to creating your own at-home work out space. Once we are able to get back to our training routine, WOD&DONE ought to be part of said training. An ideal, hygienic way to protect your hands from ripping during high-intensity training, WOD&DONE specifically makes said hand protection and grips happen. It features a top-quality, customized kinesiology material for the utmost hand comfort that feels as natural as your bare hand. This ought to be a great fit for weightlifters, crossfitters, motocross racers, and obstacle course trainers alike. When you are done, so is this single-use grip, so there is no need to worry about bacteria or germs from reuse.

Essential Candy

Essential Candy is all-natural CBD, healthy hard candy infused with pure essential oils. Its proprietary Signature Blends are handcrafted to soothe the palate and benefit the body. Essential Candy only uses all-natural quality ingredients as all ingredients are non-GMO and organic beyond being dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free, low-sugar, low-calorie and low-carb. I had the pleasure of trying its Signature Plus CBD with Mandarin offering, which contains 10 mg of CBD Isolate per piece. It was just as enjoyable as the brand’s Signature Plus CBD with Peppermint candies.

Pricklee Superfruit Water

You can keep hydrated while basking in the sun with water’s better-tasting cousin, Pricklee. Pricklee is natural fruit water — or “superfruit water” — made out of prickly pears and boosted with refreshing flavors of strawberry hibiscus or mango ginger. Each can is packed with natural electrolytes from the pear itself and helps to detox your liver and promote recovery, post-exercise. Currently priced at $32.50 for 12-pack; there is presently a $5 coupon available to new subscribers via the Pricklee mailing list shown upon loading up the brand’s website.

Good Green Cleaner

In spending more time at home in 2020 than you most likely did in prior years, you ought to have noticed that things are getting dusty and dirty pretty quickly these days. Good Green Cleaner ought to be a great partial-solution for that one as it is an environmentally-friendly, food-contact safe cleaner. Its products are bio-based, which means they are composed of renewable sources — including plants and organisms — found in nature and they pose no human health risks when in use, yet they get the job done and clean exceptionally-well. The bottles arrive empty, saving on shipping. Just fill with water, and twist on the recyclable “pod” to release cleaning agents, and then you ought to be good to go.

STMNT Care Collection

You can raise your game with unique grooming goods created by the pioneers of modern barbering. This 5-piece Care Collection lineup from STMNT is designed to create the perfect canvas for styling — in the salon, barbershop or at home. Developed specifically to care for all hair and beard types, the high-performance formulas in the STMNT Care Collection have been infused with activated charcoal to purify and invigorating menthol for that extra fresh, clean feeling. The collection features a refreshing scent of fresh citrus and lavender with tonka bean. These premium products are an essential part of a daily care routine with quick and easy solutions designed to complement the STMNT styling collections from co-creators Julius Arriola aka JULIUS CVESAR, Sofie Pok aka STAYGOLD and Miguel Gutierrez aka NOMAD BARBER. STMNT will be available at Ulta beginning in September 2020.

Pumpkin Spice PBfit

An alternative to traditional peanut butter, PBfit comes in powdered form and has 90 percent less fat and one-third the calories of traditional peanut butter. And it’s made from real roasted, pressed peanuts. PBfit can easily be used in smoothies and mixed into other foods; it also comes in a chocolate flavor. The latest offering from the PBfit brand is its Pumpkin Spice flavor, returning to Amazon as a limited-time offering as of September 2020. Pumpkin Spice PBfit has all the yummy spice and flavor that you expect out of Pumpkin Spice, but combined with peanut butter. You can also blend it into (pumpkin-friendly) breakfast smoothies and other drinks for a tasty, low-fat protein boost after a home-based workout. Expect to quickly get addicted.

ArT Wine Preserver

An estimated $1.5 billion worth of wine is poured out every year due to oxidation, and ArT Wine Preserver wants to change this wasteful drinking habit. At the same time, the ArT Wine Preserver team is promoting moderation drinking in a sustainable way. This made in the USA, recyclable wine-saver uses pure argon gas to displace oxygen; argon gas is the preferred method by winemakers to prevent oxidation in wine. Simply spray ArT Wine Preserver into any open wine bottle you have finished drinking from and seal with any wine stopper. It aims to keep wine fresh 7 to 30 days, preserving up to 40 bottles per can. A reusable ArT Wine Stopper also comes with every order.

Tags: CBD, Don Lindich, Geekey, Lume Cube, Sawyer Water Filtration, Sofie Pok, STMNT, ZVOX Audio

About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren’s writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being “Editor At Large” for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of the bi-weekly “Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz” podcast, as co-produced with V13 (formerly PureGrainAudio.com). He has also co-authored two published books, 2018’s “Pocket Change: Your Happy Money” (Book Web Publishing) and 2019’s “Good Advice From Professional Wrestling” (6623 Press), with a second podcast set for a June 2020 launch.

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