I love my stick blender and the crock-pot! I have two different sizes. The smaller one is supposed to be used for dips, etc. The thing is great when you're making a meal for one or two people and don't want to drag out the big one. I use it many times when I'm making dinner for just myself or for my SO (when I don't want what he's eating).
As far as slicing up vegies, I rely on good, sharp steak knives. They do a better job than many choppers, and it's more convenient.
A little kindness goes a long way.