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Patti Payne"s Cool Pads: Rimrock Farms estate, shades of "Yellowstone," lists for $7M

At 38 acres, the Union Hill estate is believed to be last large equestrian parcel on the Eastside, with a 4,450 square-foot home and two barns......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsAug 5th, 2022

45 unique gift ideas they"ll never forget, from lightsaber chopsticks to a portable karaoke mic

Amazon is a treasure trove of fascinating gift ideas. These picks will make them feel like you spent forever searching for the perfect gift idea. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.We rounded up fun and unique gift ideas on Amazon perfect for every occasion, from handmade goods to funny finds.Amazon/TKIf you're looking for a gift that will stand out from the rest, you might be surprised by how much Amazon has to offer. Not only can you find something special and unique, but if you're a Prime member, you can get it delivered fast, too.Amazon handmade offers artisan products from small businesses around the country, and Amazon even has curated gift lists and ideas catered to different hobbies, styles, and more. You can also shop Amazon's portal to specifically support Black-owned businesses.Below, we've listed some of the best standout gifts available on Amazon, from handmade specialties to funny home goods.Here are 45 cool and unique gifts ideas, all available on Amazon:A wireless Bluetooth karaoke microphone for entertainingAmazonWireless Bluetooth Karaoke Micrphone, $17.99A must-have for anyone who regularly hosts karaoke gatherings, this Bluetooth microphone lets you connect your phone to play music through its speakers, as well as turn the volume up and down depending on your comfort. It's the perfect thing to shake up a night in or to break the ice at a gathering.A retro-looking rice cookerAmazonDash Mini Rice Cooker, $24.99This little gadget not only cooks rice but can make stews, oatmeal, soup, pasta, veggies, and more. The style and colorful enamel coating add a retro look to their kitchen.A bamboo bath tray for the most luxurious soaksPricepulseLuxury Bathtub Caddy Tray, $50.97A bamboo bath tray is one of the best gifts one of our editors ever received. This model comes with extendable sides to fit their tub, silicone grips to keep it in place, and a range of compartments that store everything from books and tablets to wine glasses and soap.A comfy fleece blanket they can wear all winterEbayPavilia Premium Fleece Blanket with Sleeves for Women and Men, $20.99Available in a wide variety of styles and prints (from plaid to burrito), this fleece blanket comes with sleeves and a front pocket to provide maximum, wearable comfort all fall and winter long.An easy attachment to make homemade pastaAmazonKitchenAid Gourmet Pasta Press Attachment, $180.49If your giftee already has a Kitchenaid stand mixer, get them this attachment that lets them easily make their own fresh noodles. Six different interchangeable discs mean they can switch between noodle types, including spaghetti, bucatini, rigatoni, fusilli, and large or small macaroni.An original TamagotchiAmazonOriginal Tamagotchi, $19For those nostalgic for the '90s, there's nothing like playing an OG Tamagotchi. They'll love getting to feed and play with their digital pet.A travel pillow that actually worksAmazonTrtl Travel Pillow, from $39.99We've sung the praises of the Trtl Pillow before — it's essential for any traveler. The cozy and supportive neck pillow is a great gift for any frequent traveler or anyone who's about to head out on a trip. An insulated pint glass that keeps their brew coolAmazonBruMate HOPSULATOR, from $29.99If they like their beverages ice-cold, they'll appreciate this thoughtful bottle holder. It can hold 12- and 16-ounce cans, or be used as a pint glass holding 16 fluid ounces, so it's really a three-in-one gadget. When they need a break from beer, this is perfect for keeping their water bottles chilled too. A snow cone machineAmazonHawaiian Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine, $49.99There's nothing like cooling off with a delicious snow cone treat. Now it's easy to make them right at home with this handy and easy-to-use machine. Don't forget to pair it with shaved ice syrups.A fun inflatable loungerAmazonWekapo Inflatable Lounger Air Sofa, $39.98From a backyard hangout to a beach picnic, this inflatable lounger will come in handy as a comfy seating option. No pump is required, it comes in a handy carrying case, and it's available in 16 different colors and patterns.A calming bonsai growing kitAmazonPlanter's Choice Bonsai Starter Kit, $14.99An ideal gift for those with a nurturing spirit, the Planter's Choice Bonsai Starter Kit is a great introduction to gardening and is a calming addition to their desk, nightstand, or entryway table. The kit comes with a learning guide, seeds stored in vials for germination, four biodegradable growing pots, one expanding-soil disc, four bamboo plant markers, and one bonsai clipper.A bestselling cheese board with all the fixingsSmirlySmirly Bamboo Cheese Board and Knife Set: Large Charcuterie Boards Set & Cheese Platter, $39.99For the person who lives to host (or just really loves cheese), this cheese board comes with a drawer for extra storage, a matching fruit tray, and a set of cheese knives to make their wildest charcuterie dreams come true.Lightsaber chopsticks for 'Star Wars' fansAmazonChop Sabers Light Up Lightsaber Chopsticks, $10.97May the force be with them at every meal with these lightsaber chopsticks. A fun addition to any dining table, these LED chopsticks come in various neon colors to suit their mood.A heated eye mask with musicAmazonRenpho Eye Massager, $58.97Help them unwind from a long day and mentally turn on their "do not disturb mood" with the Renpho eye massager. The built-in heating pads relieve eye strain and stimulate blood circulation via acupuncture points. It even features a Bluetooth music option so they can put on soothing music to further relax.A soothing desk fountainAmazonAlpine Corporation Tiered Tabletop Fountain with Candles, $50.99Give the gift of zen with this soothing 11-inch tall tabletop fountain. Water trickles from each tier to mimic the sounds of a small waterfall and they can light the candles for an extra calming touch.A charging stand for all of their devicesAmazonelago Charging Hub, $28.99This gift is a no-brainer for loyal Apple users. Instead of dealing with a tangle of cords from charging all of their products, they can streamline with this singular hub, which has a designated spot for their iPhone, Airpods, and Apple Watch. Soft butter whenever they need itAmazonNorpro Glazed Stoneware Butter Keeper, $12.79Butter bells, made popular by TikTok, keep your butter soft and fresh for up to 30 days. Just fill the bell with your butter, submerge in clean water, and enjoy. It means your butter stays clean and spreadable without hardening in the fridge.A device for sanitizing smartphonesAmazonPhoneSoap 3 UV Smartphone Sanitizer and Universal Charger, $69.99Constantly in the palm of our hands, smartphones are quick to get dirty and accumulate bacteria. Allow your gift recipient to easily clean the exterior of their phone with a UV light sanitizer. The PhoneSoap 3 sanitizes phones in 10 minutes and includes a USB and USB-C charger. Any germaphobes on your shopping list will appreciate this useful tech accessory.A cute reusable bagBackcountryBaggu Standard Reusable Shopping Bag, $36Whether it's used to carry their groceries or random knickknacks, everyone needs a good reusable bag. We love the original Baggu. It can hold up to 50 pounds of stuff, but can also be folded down to fit in your pocket. It also comes in tons of fun colors and patterns.A portable printer that lets them print instantlyAmazonHP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer, $92.98Nowadays, most of our photos live on our smartphones and social media apps, but many of us still love getting to look through or hang up printed pictures. This portable printer lets them do that super easily and with no wires so they can print pictures in a snap.A trio of flavorful honeyAmazonBushwick Kitchen Bees Knees Honey Sampler Gift Set, $54.99If they can't bear the thought of a meal without something sweet, upgrade their condiments with this set of funky flavored honey from Bushwick Kitchen. A cute and practical phone holderAmazonDinosaur Silicone Phone Holder, $9.99This endearing little dino isn't just a piece of decor, it can actually can hold their phone. It comes in over 10 colors, so you can find one in their favorite shade.Premium Silly PuttyAmazonCrazy Aaron's Liquid Glass Thinking Putty, $14.50Fun for kids and adults alike, Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty brings back the nostalgia of Silly Putty with a ton of different colors, textures, and scents. From Liquid Glass to Glow Putty, there's a fun option for every user.A warmer to keep their coffee hotAmazonDimux Coffee Mug Warmer, $29.99The Dimux coffee mug warmer is a necessary addition to any tea or coffee lover's workstation and keeps beverages at a constant temperature of 131 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also work with their favorite candle to gently release the scent without the need to actually light it.The perfect socks for pizza loversAmazonPizza Socks Box (4 pairs), $25.99From pizza ovens to pizza apparel, there's no shortage of gifts catered to pizza lovers out there. We're partial to these socks for their packaging, which is made to look like an actual pizza in an actual pizza box. Packing cubes that get them pumped for their tripsWalmartCompression packing cube set for carryon luggage, $22.98Packing cubes are one of those gifts that your recipient will use all the time (and endlessly thank you for), but they can feel a little bland as a gift. This set, featuring pretty prints of different landscapes, will get them even more excited for their upcoming national park trip (especially when packing all their outfits just got so much easier).A pack of sticky notes to keep them on trackAmazon/InsiderKnock Knock "To Accomplish" Sticky Notes, from $12.55For the friend who likes to keep it really organized, help them stay on track with this thoughtful set of sticky notes. With categories like "To Ponder," "To Remember," and "To Buy," they can keep track of everything they need to accomplish in the near future. Beautiful bookends that double as decorAmazonJIC Gem Agate Bookends, $28.88These gorgeous geode bookends add a magical touch to home decor and come in a range of colors from teal to amethyst. You can also choose from various weights and they come with rubber bumpers to ensure bookcases and shelves don't get scratched.A keychain for hot sauce loversAmazonTabasco Hot Sauce Keychain, $11.88They'll never have to endure a flavorless meal again. This mini bottle of Tabasco sauce comes with a keychain for spice that goes wherever they do. Decorative tealights to add some greeneryAmazonSanSeng Succulent Tealight Candles, $9.99If even simple succulents seem like too much work to take care of, these cute candle tealights are handmade in the shape of cacti and succulents. They offer a fun touch of green decor for any space.A fruity hand cream that’ll look great on their counterAmazon/InsiderTonyMoly Peach Hand Cream, $12This rich hand cream is made with shea butter and peach extract to moisturize seriously dry skin. We love the refreshing, light peach scent and the adorable container, which looks just like a peach. A cape for the aspiring home barberAmazonFoldable Hair Cutting Umbrella Cape, $8.99Quarantine forced a lot of us to take up new hobbies, and for many, that included hair cutting. This barber's cape features an upturned edge to catch all of the falling hair during a trim. It's an extremely useful, albeit silly-looking, gift.An affordable neon lightAmazonQiaoFei Led Neon Lighting Sign Shaped Decor Light, $9.99For under $20, these neon lights come in lots of fun shapes and colors, from aliens and lips to crescent moons and rainbows.A LEGO-style coffee mugAmazonBOMENNE Build-on Brick Mug, $19.95Brighten the start of any day with this fun coffee mug. It's compatible with Lego and most building bricks so they can customize it and it's available in six color options.Simple illustrated prints to hang around the houseAmazon/InsiderDream Big Printables Botanical Prints (set of 6), $19.97Finding unique home decor that's also affordable can be a tough feat, but these artistic prints check off all the boxes. The illustrations of plants make a great addition to their kitchen, or even their bedroom if they want to show off their green thumb.A hydrating face cream that the French swear byAmazonEmbryolisse Lait Cream Fluide, $35French pharmacies are known for their readily-available, high-quality skincare products. Gifting your buddy a ticket to Paris may be out of the budget, but you can still snag them some of these cult-favorite products, like this seriously hydrating face cream.A fanny pack for hands-free organization on the goAmazonEGOGO Travel Sport Waist Fanny Pack, $20.99For hikers and day-trippers, this handy fanny pack has plenty of zippered pockets to keep essentials like their phone, keys, and credit cards organized while on the go. Made from durable and water-resistant nylon, it even features a spot to keep their water bottle and the waist strap tightens to ensure a good fit.A cool planet lampAmazonUooEA Saturn Lamp, $19.99You may be seeing trendy moon lamps popping up, but you can make your gift even more unique by opting for this Saturn lamp. The dimmable LED lamp has seven different settings and you can even set it to change colors to a bright hue. Easy to move from room to room, it lasts for up to eight hours after each charge.A bracelet with a hidden messageAmazonIEFWELL Morse Code Bracelets, $13.99These beaded sterling silver bracelets aren't just stylish — they also spell out fun messages in Morse code. Choose classic options like "BFF" or "I Love You" or fun phrases like "Tribe" or "She Did."A punny apron that reminds them of their favorite showAmazonGOT "Dinner is Coming" Apron, $25If you're looking for the right gift for that special person who loves "Game of Thrones," is always cooking, and has a great sense of humor — we think we've found it. A special-edition bag of coffee for NBA fansBLK & BoldThe Warm Up Blend from BLK and Bold Coffee, Western Conference Bag, $10The Warm Up Blend from BLK and Bold Coffee, Eastern Conference Bag, $10.50Whether your gift recipient prefers the NBA's Eastern or Western Conference, this 12-ounce bag of coffee from a Black-owned business is a great gift for caffeine-loving basketball enthusiasts. The coffee company, BLK & Bold, pledges 5% of its profits to charitable organizations supporting young people, and the NBA is matching the contributions for these special edition bags. Roasted in the Midwest, the coffee is smooth with notes of caramel and fruit.Relaxing bath saltsKnackHerbivore Botanicals Coconut Bath Soak, $20Everyone deserves some relaxation, which is why this calming bath soak makes such a great gift. Inside there's dehydrated coconut milk, vanilla, and Himalayan coconut CO2 extract, which together help soothe the skin and calm the mind.A customizable Spotify night lightAmazonCustom Spotify Glass Art Night Light, $13.99Let their favorite song take shape in this customizable song acrylic plaque that doubles as a night light. You can personalize the plaque with a picture you upload when ordering, and include a Spotify song code that plays once scanned by a phone.A DIY felting kitAmazonDIY Needle Felting Kit with Lavender Bunch, $29.99Creative friends and family members will enjoy learning the basics of needle felting. The DIY kit allows your giftee to create unique fiber art to display at home and includes a piece of wool felt, wool batting, two needles, an 8-inch display hoop, and crafting directions.A bright and colorful hamperAmazonPehr Designs Pom Pom Hamper, $45.99No one wants to see a giant pile of dirty laundry on the floor. Help them conceal their mess with this hamper, which is actually nice to look at and adds a pop of color to their room. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJul 8th, 2022

What"s next for the US housing bubble? Industry experts break down the bull and bear cases for home prices in the months ahead.

Where are home prices headed the rest of this year? Here's a look at both sides of the argument from some of the most renowned experts in real estate. dszc/Getty Images Concerns about a housing-market crash are growing as the Fed begins hiking interest rates. Over the past few weeks, we've collected experts' views on the direction of the market. Below, we've compiled four pieces highlighting both bearish and bullish views on the market. With mortgage rates rising as the Federal Reserve begins to hike the federal funds rate, investors and prospective homebuyers are wondering: Is the housing market due for a downturn?Some economic data shows that the market is already cooling. Pending-home sales fell 3.9% in April, by more than economists had expected and for a sixth straight month. New-home sales slumped by 16.6% from March, far more than the consensus estimate of -1.7%.Worries about the fate of the market are especially pertinent given the tear that home prices have been on since the start of the pandemic. Median home prices have risen as much as 27% since spring 2020, data from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development indicated.But prices fell slightly for the first time since then in the fourth quarter of 2021, and they could continue to do so. To explore more on what direction the market could take in the months ahead, Insider collected the views of a handful of experts. The articles are shared below.Are we in a housing bubble? We asked 32 experts, and most said no. They explain their answers and offer insight about what we could see with housing prices in the coming months.peterschreiber.media; irina88w; Savanna Durr/InsiderThe group of experts — which includes esteemed economists, lenders, and investors — shared their insights and offered analyses of how the current market compares with previous booms and busts, as well as some predictions for what could come next.Even though most of the experts did not see an ongoing bubble, they overwhelmingly said the market could cool as higher interest rates and inflation drive down the value of buyers' cash savings.  2 top strategists at $2.6 trillion UBS break down why housing bubble concerns could be overblown — but also advise buyers against trying to time the marketjhorrocks / Getty ImagesSolita Marcelli, UBS Global Wealth Management chief investment officer Americas, and Jonathan Woloshin, the top equity strategist for the real estate and lodging sector for UBS Financial Services, said in an April 5 note that comparisons of the current market to that of the mid-2000s are misguided. "We believe there are a number of factors that differentiate today's housing market from that of the mid-2000s," Marcelli and Woloshin said. "This is not 2008."Still, the two strategists said they see the pace of home price appreciation slowing down in the months ahead as interest rates rise and homebuyers deal with inflation in things like food and gas.A chief economist who called the 2008 housing crisis warns that the US housing market is in the 'early stages of a substantial downshift' as demand subsides — and says surging home prices and rents are due to cool off in a big wayTomas Winz/Getty ImagesIn this piece, Ian Shepherdson, the founder and chief US economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, breaks down why he thinks the growth of home prices and activity in the market is due for a big pullback. "The housing market is in the early stages of a substantial downshift in activity, which will trigger a steep decline in the rate of increase of home prices, starting perhaps as soon as the spring," Shepherdson said in a March report.One expert explains how today's housing market is different (and similar) to the real estate booms and busts of the recent pastEven though a full-blown housing crash is unlikely, market momentum could slow, suggests analyst John Wake."People always say, 'It's not going to be like 2005,' and yeah, that's pretty much certain," he said. "But we could get into a situation where prices fall 10% or 20%. That's not going to happen this year, but it could happen in the following year."Are we on the verge of a housing-bubble bust? An economist advises buyers to sit out the current 'irrational' market and lists the 11 most overvalued cities in the US.The Bellagio Hotel on the Las Vegas strip.George Rose/Getty ImagesKen Johnson, an economist at Florida Atlantic University, said in March that current market dynamics were "irrational" and recommended waiting to buy homes. While he said the entire US market was overvalued, some markets were frothier than others. This piece shares the 11 most overvalued cities in the country based on Johnson's model.Out-of-town homebuyers are driving up real-estate prices in these 10 overvalued cities, and it's fueling housing-bubble fearsf11photo/ShutterstockSticking with a more granular view of the US housing market, the real-estate brokerage Redfin identified in a February report 10 cities where housing prices were being driven up by outside investors. It broke down some of the factors driving the surges, such as favorable tax laws, budget disparities between buyers given varying local living costs, and people fleeing more expensive cities during the pandemic.A heightened appetite for flipping may be a sign of a bubble in the market, some say.Is the housing market setting up for a crash? 2 experts — including one who called the 2008 bubble burst — share the warning signs that a real-estate downfall is coming.ReutersIvy Zelman and Desmond Lachman are both relatively bearish on the US housing market, but for different reasons.Lachman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, former deputy director for the International Monetary Fund, and former strategist at Salomon Smith Barney, said in an interview with Insider that rising mortgage rates were the driving factor behind why home prices would fall.Meanwhile, Zelman, a former Credit Suisse analyst and the founder of the research firm Zelman & Associates, is bearish because of issues stemming from potential supply increases. Are home prices going to crash? A real-estate expert who's written multiple books on investing strategy breaks down why prices could grow 'faster than we can get a handle on.'Michael H/Getty ImagesDavid Greene, the host of the BiggerPockets podcast and owner of a mortgage company, is extremely bullish on the housing market in the near term. "Prices are going to continue to grow. I think they're gonna grow faster than we can get a handle on them," he told Insider in March. "I think this spring is going to be one of the busiest and hardest homebuying seasons that we've seen in my lifetime."For this piece, we asked Greene to address several bearish talking points and why he disagreed with them. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMay 26th, 2022

UrbanStems is the best flower delivery service we"ve ever tested, and we"ve tried a lot

UrbanStems flower delivery makes ordering and sending flowers a breeze. Here's why its arrangements make the perfect gift. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. UrbanStems delivers affordable fresh and dried floral bouquets and plants (starting as low as $45). We named UrbanStems our best overall pick for flower delivery service after extensive testing. The company delivers all over the country and has same-day delivery options in select cities. Lauren Savoie/Maria Del Russo/Rachael Shultz/InsiderUrbanStems Flower Delivery Service$45.00 FROM URBANSTEMSOrdering flowers is a curious shopping experience because you usually don't get to see the final result to determine if the flowers met expectations for design, size, and longevity. We recently tackled this issue by sending 27 bouquets from 12 popular flower delivery services to 10 testers all over the country for our guide to the best online flower delivery services.We've long been big fans of UrbanStems, but we really put the service to the test for this guide, sending bouquets, plants, and dried flowers to New York City, Boston, and rural Colorado. This was a big task for UrbanStems since our Colorado-based tester reports that most flower services don't deliver to her small town, and if they do, the flowers usually arrive late or in bad shape from the long journey down unpaved roads. Despite the challenge we posed, UrbanStems delivered some of the freshest, most attractive bouquets to all our testers — on time and in excellent condition. All the arrangements were bright and lively, with creative blooms in a range of color palettes. For this reason, it earned the top spot as our best overall pick for flower delivery service. Here's what we love about UrbanStems.How it worksThe Luna, one of the arrangements we had delivered from UrbanStems.Rachael Shultz/InsiderWhen you head over to the UrbanStems website, you'll find a fantastic product selection spanning everything from fresh bouquets, dried flowers, gifts, plants, and subscriptions. All of the flowers and plants are sourced from sustainable farms, with which UrbanStems' in-house floral designers collaborate to create unique bouquets. With prices that start at $45, UrbanStems is a relatively affordable option as well. UrbanStems' website was also very easy to navigate. Filters allow you to sort by product type, occasion, price, color, and collection. When you navigate to the product page, it tells you exactly what flowers are in the bouquet (a must if you have pets at home for whom plants could be toxic) and the recommended occasion.Once you've picked which bouquet you like, put in your desired delivery address and choose from the delivery date options listed. UrbanStems provides a calendar that shows which delivery dates are available, as well as notes when the bouquet will be back in stock if it is sold out. UrbanStems also suggests vases that complement each bouquet, should you want to spend a little extra to send a vase as well. Moving to checkout is simple. UrbanStems has you sign up with your email so they can inform you of the status of your order. Then all you have to do is fill out the delivery information and a cute note to go with your flowers. If you're stumped, UrbanStems has some sweet prewritten options for you, but you can completely customize this part on your own.Delivery optionsPrice range: $45 to $185Delivery area: Lower 48 statesSame-day delivery: Yes, in New York City and Washington, D.C. onlyNext-day delivery: YesShipping: $10 to $15, depending on delivery date and methodIf you live in New York City or Washington, D.C., you can receive same-day delivery on some bouquets. Otherwise, many products are available for next-day delivery to the lower 48 states, though you'll have more options if you choose a delivery date at least a few days out. Our three testers all had a different experience with delivery options. Our New York City tester was able to quickly arrange next-day delivery for her Juliet bouquet, while our tester out in rural Colorado had to choose a date a little over a week out for her Luna. Despite having more limited delivery dates depending on location, all our blooms arrived on the day the company said they would. Our review of UrbanStemsThe Aspen, a dried bouquet that one of our testers ordered from UrbanStems.Rachael Shultz/InsiderOur testers took the opportunity to sample a wide arrange of products from UrbanStems. Between the three of us, we ordered The Juliet, a blend of bright orange and pink roses with spots of muted blue delphinium; the Luna, which features curvy veronica flowers and snapdragons in cool shades of purple and blue; and Double the Pink Champagne, a lush arrangement of roses and carnations in shades of pink. We also ordered the Claude from UrbanStems' collection of live plants and the Aspen from its selection of dried bouquets. Just browsing the site was a fun experience for each of us. The arrangements are modern, playful, and gorgeous, and we each oo-ed and ah-ed at each other's selections.The Juliet, one of the arrangements delivered to our New York City-based tester.Maria Del Russo/InsiderAll of the products arrived on time in colorful pink boxes that built excitement. The bouquets were lush, vibrant, and lively. Our Colorado tester was particularly impressed with the quality of the blooms since she's had bad experiences with flower delivery before. The Aspen dried bouquet was gorgeous, albeit a bit stiff compared to bouquets from our favorite dried flower brand. My Double the Pink Champagne arrangement was a bit more purple-y pink than the pictures on the site showed, but some variation is to be expected with fresh flowers, and the bouquet was still bright, vibrant, and full.All the bouquets arrived with some closed buds; however, this is fairly normal, and they eventually opened up after a couple of days. The flowers lasted a little over a week — average for fresh-cut flowers, though a few days shorter than some of the other services we tested. What are your alternatives?After testing 12 flower delivery services, we think UrbanStems is your best bet. However, it might not be the right choice for every situation.If you need to send flowers the same day or to locations further afield than the lower 48 states, you may prefer a service like FTD, which uses local florists and offers services in all 50 states and 150 countries.If you're specifically looking for preserved or fresh roses, we recommend RoseBox and Roses Only, respectively, for best results.The bottom lineDouble the Pink Champagne, an arrangement delivered to our Boston-based tester.Lauren Savoie/InsiderUrbanStems is our top choice for flower delivery service for its robust selection, flexible delivery dates, and beautiful blooms. We love that it delivers flowers on time and in great condition to even more remote corners of the lower 48 states. If you're looking to gift flowers that your recipient will remember, UrbanStems is the best option. UrbanStems Flower Delivery Service$45.00 FROM URBANSTEMSRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 6th, 2022

The 55 best gifts for new moms for Mother"s Day, from bath bombs sets to sentimental jewelry

If you're not sure what to give a new mom for Mother's Day, we rounded up 55 of the best gifts, including useful baby gear, flowers, and jewelry. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.If you're not sure what to give a new mom for Mother's Day, we rounded up 54 of the best gifts, including useful baby gear, flowers, bath bombs, and jewelry.Aurate; Lush New moms will appreciate gifts that help them relax, save time, and mark milestones with their baby. Here are 55 of the best gifts for new moms, from funny parenting books to on-the-go accessories. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. Becoming a mother is a life-changing experience. New moms are suddenly responsible for another human being, and there are quite a few things that can make that job easier. In a very uncertain time, new moms will appreciate gifts that are both practical and luxurious — things that can save them money and time. They also appreciate items that bestow a few precious moments for self-care.New moms are among the busiest people in our lives, and they undoubtedly deserve a meaningful gift — especially for Mother's Day. Some of these gifts will help them care for their new baby, while others are simply geared toward a mother who is ready for some "me time." Check out 55 of the best gifts for new moms on Mother's Day:A bath bomb set for their night offLushLush Mom Gift Set, $32.95, available at LushIf they're the type of person to spend 40 minutes in a Lush store eyeing all the bath bombs, this mother's day set is perfect: it comes with 4 bath bombs in fun, bright shapes and calming scents like citrus and jasmine.A platter of foods that were off limits during pregnancyWilliams SonomaEuropean Cheese & Charcuterie Selection, available at Williams Sonoma, $79.95My favorite gift for the new moms in my life is a collection of all the things they couldn't eat for nine long months of pregnancy: raw cheese, cold cuts, and wine. This cheese platter features the good stuff like runny cheeses and cured meats that she's likely been craving for the better part of a year. Pair with a bottle of her favorite wine for best results. A ridiculously comfy PJ set for the rare sleep-in morningTommy JohnTommy John Second Skin Sleep Shirt and Sleep Shorts,$52 each, available at Tommy JohnMade from Tommy John's ultra-soft Second Skin fabric, this adorable pajama set offers the height of sleep luxury with the casualness of wearing a t-shirt and shorts to bed. A picture book for momAmazon"Go to Sleep (I Miss You)" by Lucy Knisley, available at Amazon, $9.39 The early days of motherhood can be a weird time. Lucy Knisley brilliantly captures the mixed feelings "from the fog of new motherhood" in this graphic novel. This is an especially good gift for the mom who is navigating a cavalcade of new emotions; Knisley's tales of early motherhood will make any mom feel less alone. A T-shirt that makes a statementEtsyGreatwood Boutique Tough as a Mother Shirt, available at Etsy, from $7.62It goes without saying that moms are tough. Remind her just how tough and resilient she is with this super soft T-shirt. It's available in 22 different colors and sizes XS to 3XL.A luxurious bathrobeParachuteClassic Bathrobe, available at Parachute, $99Deemed the best robe on the market, Parachute's bathrobe is super comfortable and fluffy. It's perfect for a mom looking for moments of relaxation during an otherwise hectic day. A wet bag for messesBuy Buy BabyItzy Ritzy Travel Happens Sealed Wet Bag, available at Buy Buy Baby, $18.99Wet bags are commonly used to store dirty cloth diapers, but new moms will find them useful for everything from onesies that were victims of a blowout to wet swim diapers. A wet bag is a gift many parents never knew they needed but are happy to have in the diaper bag when messes inevitably happen.A convenient case for diapers and wipesOXOOXO Tot On-the-Go Wipes Dispenser with Diaper Pouch, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, $20.99Sometimes parents need diaper change supplies, but they don't want to lug around the whole diaper bag. This convenient pouch is designed to hold wipes, diapers, and diaper rash cream. There's even room for some hand sanitizer.Whimsical crib sheetsAmazonRookie Humans Crib Sheets, available at Amazon, from $37.99These sheets are beautifully designed and can be the focal point of a themed nursery. Some of the designs are high contrast, which appeals to a newborn's developing eyes. After testing a sample of these sheets, I found that they fit my daughter's mattress well without popping off the corners or having too much extra fabric. A simple milestone blanketMaisonetteBaby Milestone Mat, available at Maisonette, $49Moms delight in capturing their babies at all ages and stages. From one day old to one year and beyond, this blanket makes it easy to capture their baby at every age. The neutral design also gives parents the opportunity to add seasonal elements or themes to each picture.A letterboard for memorable milestone picturesTargetPearhead 10-by-10-inch Letterboard Set, available at Target, $12.99Letterboards help parents say it all with a picture; they're often used for baby's birth announcement picture and to get a snapshot of milestones. This one is just the right size to prop next to baby for a picture.Basic birth recovery suppliesFridaFriday Mom Postpartum Recovery Essentials Kit, available at Amazon, $49.99After having a baby, things are a bit messy to say the least. Help mom recover with this kit that includes disposable postpartum underwear, instant ice maxi pads, perineal cooling pad liners, and perineal healing foam all stored in a convenient toilet-top storage caddy. A treat just for momMilk BarAssorted Truffle Box, available at Milk Bar, from $28Doesn't a mom deserve some time to sit down and indulge a bit? They'll certainly be able to with this assorted truffle box from Milk Bar. It includes three different flavors of cake truffles: Birthday, Chocolate Birthday, and Apple Cider Doughnut Cake.A necklace that symbolizes the unbreakable bond between mother and childAUrate14-Karat Connection Necklace, available at Aurate, $390This beautiful necklace, available in yellow, white, or rose gold, manages to be simultaneously elegant and bold. The company has ideals they'll support, too: Its ethical solid gold is sourced from conflict-free suppliers and it donates a book to a child in need with each purchase. Mom and baby matching PJsHanna AnderssonMommy & Me Pajamas, available at Hanna Andersson, from $73One of the perks of having a kid is getting to dress them up however you please, at least until they're old enough to say otherwise. These matching pajama sets from Hanna Andersson are sure to encourage plenty of photo shoots and #twinning moments.A smart bassinetHappiest BabyHappiest Baby Gift Card, available at Happiest Baby, from $25This smart bassinet helps new moms and babies get sleep by combining gentle rocking with soothing white noise. The smart technology responds to baby by increasing motion and shushing when it detects fussiness. It also keeps babies in a secure swaddle so they stay safely on their back.A floral arrangement to brighten their dayThe Bouqs Co.A Fresh Floral Arrangement, available at The Bouqs Co., from $49These fresh flower arrangements come from farms that minimize waste and recycle water. Choose from classic bouquets like roses or sunflowers or opt for a more unique option that she can plant. The floral arrangement will be a bright spot in her day.Something to help them stay caffeinatedAmazonTakeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker, available at Amazon, $27.99New moms need all the coffee. If cold brew is their thing, gift this cold brew coffee maker. It makes four servings of coffee. If mom preps it the night before, fresh coffee will be ready at the crack of dawn — right about when the baby wakes up. A minimalistic diaper bagKibouKibou Bag, available at Nordstrom, $89Moms need their hands free to do all the holding, rocking, wiping, and feeding that comes along with new babies. This small diaper fanny pack is made of high-quality vegan leather and has room for wipes, diapers, credit cards, keys, mom's phone, and more. It even comes with a built-in changing pad.The best socks they've never triedBombasBombas Gift Bag or Box, available at Bombas, from $55You might be thinking: Really, socks? But having a nice pair can make a world of difference. Bombas spent two years perfecting its gym socks. With thoughtful innovations, like a blister tab and performance cushioned footbeds, their feet will notice the difference. Bombas also donates a pair to a homeless shelter for every pair purchased. A pick-me-up for her eyesPeach & LilyCold Brew Eye Recovery Stick, available at Peach & Lily, $28With one swipe of this stick, mom's eyes will feel more awake and less puffy. They probably won't have time to put on a full face of makeup, but this will help them feel a little more put together after a night of broken sleep.The best pillows to help them sleepAmazonCoop Home Goods Pillow, available at Amazon, $69.99I know what you're thinking: Is it really worth $70 for a pillow? The answer is yes. This memory foam pillow is adjustable so it's comfortable for every type of sleeper. New moms need all the help they can get when it comes to sleeping.Their favorite quote, framedMintedA Framed Custom Quote, available at Minted, from $38Maybe a new mom has a favorite quote that reminds them of their baby or they're just a lover of words. This gift will be a beautiful keepsake for them to always remember the newborn phase. Merino-wool sneakersAllbirdsWool Runners, available at Allbirds, $110When you're on your feet all day, a pair of good shoes makes all the difference. Allbirds wool runners won't fail them — they're soft, comfortable, and machine washable. You can't go wrong with the originals, but the new Tree line is similarly light and comfortable. A virtual baby bookQeepsakeQeepsake Membership, available at Qeepsake, from $47.88Qeepsake texts parents or caregivers questions to answer about their child. Parents simply text their answer back with accompanying photos if they desire and Qeepsake saves the responses. Then, users can order a book that displays all the questions, answers, and memories.A personalized beauty subscriptionBirchboxBirchbox Three-Month Subscription, available at Birchbox, $45New moms will inevitably be dealing with spilled milk, spit-up, and lots of dirty diapers. Make them feel pampered with a personalized beauty subscription. They'll be able to create her own Beauty Profile, making each box just right for them.A sentimental gift for a lasting memoryMainEventUSA/EtsyBaby Hand and Footprint Kit, available at Etsy, $25.95This gift freezes the littleness of their new baby in time. Nothing shows how fast a baby grows quite like comparing their growing hands and feet to how small they once were. This kit allows new moms to do the prints at home and add two pictures.A treat to satisfy their sweet tooth while supporting milk productionAmazonMunchkin Milkmakers Lactation Cookie Bites, available at Amazon, $21.99These delicious cookies come in prepackaged bags so they can easily grab a snack while nursing. Although more studies examining the benefits of lactation cookies need to be conducted, this convenient treat certainly won't hurt.A nightlight that will help their baby — and in turn, them — sleep wellAmazonHatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light and Time-to-Rise, available at Buy Buy Baby, $69.99Rest is a nightlight, sound machine, and wake-up alert that grows with children — from soft light and white noise for midnight newborn feeding sessions to a preschooler's nightlight. Parents can customize everything — color, brightness, sound, and volume level — or they can choose from presets recommended by sleep experts. A neck and back massager they can use any timeAmazonZyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager, available at Amazon, $59.95New moms spend a lot of time hunched over: picking up baby, putting down baby, carrying baby, and feeding baby. This massager has heated nodes that rotate, and moms can move it around to any spot they're feeling tension.A memorable piece of jewelryMarky Baby Milk Jewelry/EtsyMarky Baby Milk Jewelry DIY Kit, available at Etsy, from $34.04Moms who choose to breastfeed often face an emotional journey. The piece of jewelry from this DIY kit is made with their own breast milk so they can remember this special time long after their baby has grown up.A personalized T-shirtKnown Supply/InstagramPersonalized Fitted Crew, available at Known Supply, $32 + $10 monogramLet's be honest — they're probably going to be spending a lot of time at home in the first year. What could be better than a cozy, comfortable tee made of Pima cotton? Bonus points if you choose a color that will hide a spit-up stain.A variety of Korean sheet masks for an at-home spa dayFacetory/Business InsiderFacetory 7 Lux 1-Month Gift Subscription, available at Facetory, $19.90They could try a different Korean sheet mask every day of the week if they wanted to. The unique sheets made with innovative ingredients are hard to find anywhere else — Facetory curates only the most interesting and effective in the K-beauty world. Adorable leather baby moccasinsFreshly Picked/InstagramFreshly Picked Baby Moccasins, available at Buy Buy Baby, $35These 100% genuine cowhide leather moccasins have a soft sole to help children who are starting to walk. They're easy to put on, will actually stay on your kid's feet, and come in many stylish prints and colors. An Audible gift subscriptionAudible/Business InsiderAn Audible subscription, available at Audible, from $15Do you know what's really hard to do when you're holding a baby, a bottle, and trying to cook all at once? Read a book. What's easier? Listening to one on Audible. They can listen to audiobooks, podcasts, and more while multitasking at home or strolling through the neighborhood.A 5-year journalWrite to MeThe First Five Years Baby Journal, available at Write To Me, $49.95This linen-bound guided journal prompts parents to record milestones and memories to cherish for a lifetime. They'll be able to look back at all the firsts — first birthday, first haircut, first steps — and beam with pride.A funny book about the realities of motherhoodAmazon/Insider"The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby's First Year," by Dawn Dais, available at Amazon, $15.99Any mom knows that motherhood is not all rainbows and sunshine. This book dispenses practical and useful information in a humorous format that will have new parents laughing through the particularly hard days.  A selection of soft, high-quality baby clothing basicsPrimaryA Primary gift card, available at Primary, from $25Shopping for baby clothing is easy at Primary, which was founded by two moms. The adorable, colorful, and gender-neutral styles are classic and made from safe Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified, soft fabrics. Primary offers sizes from newborn through age 12.A fitness app so they can work out with a trainer at homeKira Stokes/Business InsiderA subscription to Kira Stokes Fit, from $14.99/monthFlexibility is paramount for busy moms, and a good fitness app offers just that. The Kira Stokes Fit app has abs, legs, core, and full-body workouts available to stream anytime, on any device, so moms can sweat on their own time. Crib sheets from an Internet-famous bedding startupBrooklinenMini Crib Sheet Set, available at Brooklinen, from $32Adults love Brooklinen sheets, and now babies can enjoy the soft and comfortable experience, too. If they don't yet have a set for themselves, include a gift that will help them sleep as well. A versatile diaper bagAmazonSkip Hop Forma Backpack Diaper Bag, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, from $67.99The lightweight, minimalist design of this diaper bag makes it a versatile option for new moms. The included cubes make it easy to organize diapers, wipes, bottles, and snacks. There's also a convenient changing pad within one of its pockets.Dinner on the table in under an hourHelloFresh/InstagramA HelloFresh Gift Card, from $70Meal kits take the guesswork out of cooking. Food is delivered weekly, meaning fewer trips to the grocery store, and the kit includes easy step-by-step recipes to prepare dinner — a snap when they're basically too tired to function.A long-distance touch lampFiliminFilimin Long-Distance Touch Lamps, available at Uncommon Goods, from $99A new mom's life is busy and tiring, so they might not always be available to talk and catch up. When you want to let them know you're thinking of them and vice versa without actually saying anything, just tap the lamp to make the other one light up. Stress relief in a tiny jade packageWalgreens/Business InsiderRevlon Cool & Depuff Jade Stone Facial Roller, available at Amazon, $9.99This facial roller can be used on all skin types to help improve circulation and reduce the puffiness that comes with sleep deprivation. It may temporarily firm skin, too. Most of all, it just feels good, especially when kept cool in the fridge.A modern baby bookArtifact UprisingA Baby Book "The Story of You," available at Artifact Uprising, from $99With a sturdy fabric-bound cover (available in seven color/foil pairings), this interactive photo journal is a beautiful way to focus on the everyday moments rather than major milestones. The book is 100 pages and holds 47 photos. Register it online and get a complimentary set of Everyday Prints. Leggings that feel and look great90 Degree by Reflex/Facebook90 Degree By Reflex High-Waist Power Flex Leggings, available at Amazon, from $16.98We love these leggings because they are versatile, supportive, and silhouette smoothing. They also have a little pocket to hold keys or a credit card if she needs to run out. Available in 13 colors, these leggings are available up to size XXL and run true to size.A moment of zenChijiA Positive Energy Candle, available at Home of Chiji, from $39.99This brand's motto is "illuminate positivity" and when a baby has been crying for hours, a positive vibe is desperately needed. These candles are infused with crystals like amethyst and rose quartz to bring some calm to a chaotic house.A book that helps new moms who have endless questionsAmazon/Business Insider"Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool," by Emily Oster, available at Amazon, $13.39If they loved Emily Oster's pregnancy book "Expecting Better," they'll dive right into "Cribsheet." The "data-driven guide" helps new parents with sleep, potty training, and much more. A comfortable nursing braAmazon/Business InsiderMotherhood Maternity Women's Wrap Front Nursing Sleep Bra, available at Amazon, from $13.09All a new mom wants is to be comfortable, since chances are they aren't for most of the day. This wrap-front bra is soft, wireless yet supportive, and perfect for wearing all day and all night.A smart home deviceAmazonAmazon Echo Dot (4th Gen), available at Amazon, $39.99Hands-free music streaming, news and weather reports, thermostat controls, and alarms for naps or feeding, the Echo Dot does it all. They'll become a multitasking mom in no time with this smart home device.A soothing under eye treatmentSephoraWander Beauty Baggage Claim Eye Masks, available at Sephora, $26These gold foil eye masks provide a soothing treatment for tired eyes. They help with puffiness and dark circles. Best of all, they won't fall off like some sheet masks, so they can hold baby upright while pampering themselves.Bubble bath made from plant-based ingredientsWalmart/Business InsiderHello Bello Bubble Bath, available at Walmart, $5.98Hello Bello, the baby line from Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, prides itself on making premium, plant-based products like body wash, baby lotion, wipes, and this bubble bath. The gentle, hypoallergenic formula is dermatologist-tested and safe on sensitive skin, so both mom and baby can enjoy a nourishing playful bath.A soothie to keep pacifier off the floorAmazon/Business InsiderPhilips Avent Soothie Snuggle Pacifier Holder with Detachable Pacifier, available at Buy Buy Baby, $14.99This adorable pacifier and holder be used beginning at birth. The pacifier and animal detach from each other, so it's easy and fast to clean both pieces. It comes in a variety of cute critters like an elephant, giraffe, monkey, and seal. A reusable smart notebookAmazonRocketbook Everlast Reusable Smart Notebook, available at Amazon, $18.74New parents live and die by a schedule. This notebook is surprisingly handy — it sends handwritten notes directly to the cloud. It makes sharing with the entire family a breeze, all without wasting paper.A pair of embroidered makeup towelsWeezieMakeup Towels, available at Weezie, $40We've personally discovered Weezie's makeup towels are unexpectedly useful, and so will they. Even if they aren't washing off makeup, the fluffy fabric will feel great at the end of a long day. You can even have them embroidered to say "Mama" or a phrase of your choosing.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 15th, 2022

The 53 best gifts for new moms for Mother"s Day, from bath bombs sets to sentimental jewelry

If you're not sure what to give a new mom for Mother's Day, we rounded up 53 of the best gifts, including useful baby gear, flowers, and jewelry. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.If you're not sure what to give a new mom for Mother's Day, we rounded up 54 of the best gifts, including useful baby gear, flowers, bath bombs, and jewelry.AUrate New moms will appreciate gifts that help them relax, save time, and mark milestones with their baby. Here are 53 of the best gifts for new moms, from funny parenting books to on-the-go accessories. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. Becoming a mother is a life-changing experience. New moms are suddenly responsible for another human being, and there are quite a few things that can make that job easier. In a very uncertain time, new moms will appreciate gifts that are both practical and luxurious — things that can save them money and time. They also appreciate items that bestow a few precious moments for self-care.New moms are among the busiest people in our lives, and they undoubtedly deserve a meaningful gift — especially for Mother's Day. Some of these gifts will help them care for their new baby, while others are simply geared toward a mother who is ready for some "me time." Check out 53 of the best gifts for new moms on Mother's Day:A bath bomb set for their night offLushLush Mom Gift Set, $32.95, available at LushIf they're the type of person to spend 40 minutes in a Lush store eyeing all the bath bombs, this mother's day set is perfect: it comes with 4 bath bombs in fun, bright shapes and calming scents like citrus and jasmine.A platter of foods that were off limits during pregnancyWilliams SonomaEuropean Cheese & Charcuterie Selection, available at Williams Sonoma, $79.95My favorite gift for the new moms in my life is a collection of all the things they couldn't eat for nine long months of pregnancy: raw cheese, cold cuts, and wine. This cheese platter features the good stuff like runny cheeses and cured meats that she's likely been craving for the better part of a year. Pair with a bottle of her favorite wine for best results. A ridiculously comfy PJ set for the rare sleep-in morningTommy JohnTommy John Second Skin Sleep Shirt and Sleep Shorts,$52 each, available at Tommy JohnMade from Tommy John's ultra-soft Second Skin fabric, this adorable pajama set offers the height of sleep luxury with the casualness of wearing a t-shirt and shorts to bed. A picture book for momAmazon"Go to Sleep (I Miss You)" by Lucy Knisley, available at Amazon, $9.39 The early days of motherhood can be a weird time. Lucy Knisley brilliantly captures the mixed feelings "from the fog of new motherhood" in this graphic novel. This is an especially good gift for the mom who is navigating a cavalcade of new emotions; Knisley's tales of early motherhood will make any mom feel less alone. A T-shirt that makes a statementEtsyGreatwood Boutique Tough as a Mother Shirt, available at Etsy, from $7.62It goes without saying that moms are tough. Remind her just how tough and resilient she is with this super soft T-shirt. It's available in 22 different colors and sizes XS to 3XL.A luxurious bathrobeParachuteClassic Bathrobe, available at Parachute, $99Deemed the best robe on the market, Parachute's bathrobe is super comfortable and fluffy. It's perfect for a mom looking for moments of relaxation during an otherwise hectic day. A wet bag for messesBuy Buy BabyItzy Ritzy Travel Happens Sealed Wet Bag, available at Buy Buy Baby, $18.99Wet bags are commonly used to store dirty cloth diapers, but new moms will find them useful for everything from onesies that were victims of a blowout to wet swim diapers. A wet bag is a gift many parents never knew they needed but are happy to have in the diaper bag when messes inevitably happen.A convenient case for diapers and wipesOXOOXO Tot On-the-Go Wipes Dispenser with Diaper Pouch, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, $20.99Sometimes parents need diaper change supplies, but they don't want to lug around the whole diaper bag. This convenient pouch is designed to hold wipes, diapers, and diaper rash cream. There's even room for some hand sanitizer.Whimsical crib sheetsAmazonRookie Humans Crib Sheets, available at Amazon, from $37.99These sheets are beautifully designed and can be the focal point of a themed nursery. Some of the designs are high contrast, which appeals to a newborn's developing eyes. After testing a sample of these sheets, I found that they fit my daughter's mattress well without popping off the corners or having too much extra fabric. A simple milestone blanketMaisonetteBaby Milestone Mat, available at Maisonette, $49Moms delight in capturing their babies at all ages and stages. From one day old to one year and beyond, this blanket makes it easy to capture their baby at every age. The neutral design also gives parents the opportunity to add seasonal elements or themes to each picture.A letterboard for memorable milestone picturesTargetPearhead 10-by-10-inch Letterboard Set, available at Target, $12.99Letterboards help parents say it all with a picture; they're often used for baby's birth announcement picture and to get a snapshot of milestones. This one is just the right size to prop next to baby for a picture.Basic birth recovery suppliesFridaFriday Mom Postpartum Recovery Essentials Kit, available at Amazon, $49.99After having a baby, things are a bit messy to say the least. Help mom recover with this kit that includes disposable postpartum underwear, instant ice maxi pads, perineal cooling pad liners, and perineal healing foam all stored in a convenient toilet-top storage caddy. A treat just for momMilk BarAssorted Truffle Box, available at Milk Bar, from $28Doesn't a mom deserve some time to sit down and indulge a bit? They'll certainly be able to with this assorted truffle box from Milk Bar. It includes three different flavors of cake truffles: Birthday, Chocolate Birthday, and Apple Cider Doughnut Cake.A necklace that symbolizes the unbreakable bond between mother and childAUrate14-Karat Connection Necklace, available at Aurate, $390This beautiful necklace, available in yellow, white, or rose gold, manages to be simultaneously elegant and bold. The company has ideals they'll support, too: Its ethical solid gold is sourced from conflict-free suppliers and it donates a book to a child in need with each purchase. Mom and baby matching PJsHanna AnderssonMommy & Me Pajamas, available at Hanna Andersson, from $73One of the perks of having a kid is getting to dress them up however you please, at least until they're old enough to say otherwise. These matching pajama sets from Hanna Andersson are sure to encourage plenty of photo shoots and #twinning moments.A smart bassinetHappiest BabyHappiest Baby Gift Card, available at Happiest Baby, from $25This smart bassinet helps new moms and babies get sleep by combining gentle rocking with soothing white noise. The smart technology responds to baby by increasing motion and shushing when it detects fussiness. It also keeps babies in a secure swaddle so they stay safely on their back.A floral arrangement to brighten their dayThe Bouqs Co.A Fresh Floral Arrangement, available at The Bouqs Co., from $49These fresh flower arrangements come from farms that minimize waste and recycle water. Choose from classic bouquets like roses or sunflowers or opt for a more unique option that she can plant. The floral arrangement will be a bright spot in her day.Something to help them stay caffeinatedAmazonTakeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker, available at Amazon, $27.99New moms need all the coffee. If cold brew is their thing, gift this cold brew coffee maker. It makes four servings of coffee. If mom preps it the night before, fresh coffee will be ready at the crack of dawn — right about when the baby wakes up. A minimalistic diaper bagKibouKibou Bag, available at Nordstrom, $89Moms need their hands free to do all the holding, rocking, wiping, and feeding that comes along with new babies. This small diaper fanny pack is made of high-quality vegan leather and has room for wipes, diapers, credit cards, keys, mom's phone, and more. It even comes with a built-in changing pad.The best socks they've never triedBombasBombas Gift Bag or Box, available at Bombas, from $55You might be thinking: Really, socks? But having a nice pair can make a world of difference. Bombas spent two years perfecting its gym socks. With thoughtful innovations, like a blister tab and performance cushioned footbeds, their feet will notice the difference. Bombas also donates a pair to a homeless shelter for every pair purchased. A pick-me-up for her eyesPeach & LilyCold Brew Eye Recovery Stick, available at Peach & Lily, $28With one swipe of this stick, mom's eyes will feel more awake and less puffy. They probably won't have time to put on a full face of makeup, but this will help them feel a little more put together after a night of broken sleep.The best pillows to help them sleepAmazonCoop Home Goods Pillow, available at Amazon, $69.99I know what you're thinking: Is it really worth $70 for a pillow? The answer is yes. This memory foam pillow is adjustable so it's comfortable for every type of sleeper. New moms need all the help they can get when it comes to sleeping.Their favorite quote, framedMintedA Framed Custom Quote, available at Minted, from $38Maybe a new mom has a favorite quote that reminds them of their baby or they're just a lover of words. This gift will be a beautiful keepsake for them to always remember the newborn phase. Merino-wool sneakersAllbirdsWool Runners, available at Allbirds, $110When you're on your feet all day, a pair of good shoes makes all the difference. Allbirds wool runners won't fail them — they're soft, comfortable, and machine washable. You can't go wrong with the originals, but the new Tree line is similarly light and comfortable. A virtual baby bookQeepsakeQeepsake Membership, available at Qeepsake, from $47.88Qeepsake texts parents or caregivers questions to answer about their child. Parents simply text their answer back with accompanying photos if they desire and Qeepsake saves the responses. Then, users can order a book that displays all the questions, answers, and memories.A personalized beauty subscriptionBirchboxBirchbox Three-Month Subscription, available at Birchbox, $45New moms will inevitably be dealing with spilled milk, spit-up, and lots of dirty diapers. Make them feel pampered with a personalized beauty subscription. They'll be able to create her own Beauty Profile, making each box just right for them.A sentimental gift for a lasting memoryMainEventUSA/EtsyBaby Hand and Footprint Kit, available at Etsy, $25.95This gift freezes the littleness of their new baby in time. Nothing shows how fast a baby grows quite like comparing their growing hands and feet to how small they once were. This kit allows new moms to do the prints at home and add two pictures.A treat to satisfy their sweet tooth while supporting milk productionAmazonMunchkin Milkmakers Lactation Cookie Bites, available at Amazon, $21.99These delicious cookies come in prepackaged bags so they can easily grab a snack while nursing. Although more studies examining the benefits of lactation cookies need to be conducted, this convenient treat certainly won't hurt.A nightlight that will help their baby — and in turn, them — sleep wellAmazonHatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light and Time-to-Rise, available at Buy Buy Baby, $69.99Rest is a nightlight, sound machine, and wake-up alert that grows with children — from soft light and white noise for midnight newborn feeding sessions to a preschooler's nightlight. Parents can customize everything — color, brightness, sound, and volume level — or they can choose from presets recommended by sleep experts. A neck and back massager they can use any timeAmazonZyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager, available at Amazon, $59.95New moms spend a lot of time hunched over: picking up baby, putting down baby, carrying baby, and feeding baby. This massager has heated nodes that rotate, and moms can move it around to any spot they're feeling tension.A memorable piece of jewelryMarky Baby Milk Jewelry/EtsyMarky Baby Milk Jewelry DIY Kit, available at Etsy, from $34.04Moms who choose to breastfeed often face an emotional journey. The piece of jewelry from this DIY kit is made with their own breast milk so they can remember this special time long after their baby has grown up.A personalized T-shirtKnown Supply/InstagramPersonalized Fitted Crew, available at Known Supply, $32 + $10 monogramLet's be honest — they're probably going to be spending a lot of time at home in the first year. What could be better than a cozy, comfortable tee made of Pima cotton? Bonus points if you choose a color that will hide a spit-up stain.A variety of Korean sheet masks for an at-home spa dayFacetory/Business InsiderFacetory 7 Lux 1-Month Gift Subscription, available at Facetory, $19.90They could try a different Korean sheet mask every day of the week if they wanted to. The unique sheets made with innovative ingredients are hard to find anywhere else — Facetory curates only the most interesting and effective in the K-beauty world. Adorable leather baby moccasinsFreshly Picked/InstagramFreshly Picked Baby Moccasins, available at Buy Buy Baby, $35These 100% genuine cowhide leather moccasins have a soft sole to help children who are starting to walk. They're easy to put on, will actually stay on your kid's feet, and come in many stylish prints and colors. An Audible gift subscriptionAudible/Business InsiderAn Audible subscription, available at Audible, from $15Do you know what's really hard to do when you're holding a baby, a bottle, and trying to cook all at once? Read a book. What's easier? Listening to one on Audible. They can listen to audiobooks, podcasts, and more while multitasking at home or strolling through the neighborhood.A 5-year journalWrite to MeThe First Five Years Baby Journal, available at Write To Me, $49.95This linen-bound guided journal prompts parents to record milestones and memories to cherish for a lifetime. They'll be able to look back at all the firsts — first birthday, first haircut, first steps — and beam with pride.A funny book about the realities of motherhoodAmazon/Insider"The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby's First Year," by Dawn Dais, available at Amazon, $15.99Any mom knows that motherhood is not all rainbows and sunshine. This book dispenses practical and useful information in a humorous format that will have new parents laughing through the particularly hard days.  A selection of soft, high-quality baby clothing basicsPrimaryA Primary gift card, available at Primary, from $25Shopping for baby clothing is easy at Primary, which was founded by two moms. The adorable, colorful, and gender-neutral styles are classic and made from safe Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified, soft fabrics. Primary offers sizes from newborn through age 12.A fitness app so they can work out with a trainer at homeKira Stokes/Business InsiderA subscription to Kira Stokes Fit, from $14.99/monthFlexibility is paramount for busy moms, and a good fitness app offers just that. The Kira Stokes Fit app has abs, legs, core, and full-body workouts available to stream anytime, on any device, so moms can sweat on their own time. Crib sheets from an Internet-famous bedding startupBrooklinenMini Crib Sheet Set, available at Brooklinen, from $32Adults love Brooklinen sheets, and now babies can enjoy the soft and comfortable experience, too. If they don't yet have a set for themselves, include a gift that will help them sleep as well. A versatile diaper bagAmazonSkip Hop Forma Backpack Diaper Bag, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, from $67.99The lightweight, minimalist design of this diaper bag makes it a versatile option for new moms. The included cubes make it easy to organize diapers, wipes, bottles, and snacks. There's also a convenient changing pad within one of its pockets.Dinner on the table in under an hourHelloFresh/InstagramA HelloFresh Gift Card, from $70Meal kits take the guesswork out of cooking. Food is delivered weekly, meaning fewer trips to the grocery store, and the kit includes easy step-by-step recipes to prepare dinner — a snap when they're basically too tired to function.A long-distance touch lampFiliminFilimin Long-Distance Touch Lamps, available at Uncommon Goods, from $99A new mom's life is busy and tiring, so they might not always be available to talk and catch up. When you want to let them know you're thinking of them and vice versa without actually saying anything, just tap the lamp to make the other one light up. Stress relief in a tiny jade packageWalgreens/Business InsiderRevlon Cool & Depuff Jade Stone Facial Roller, available at Amazon, $9.99This facial roller can be used on all skin types to help improve circulation and reduce the puffiness that comes with sleep deprivation. It may temporarily firm skin, too. Most of all, it just feels good, especially when kept cool in the fridge.A modern baby bookArtifact UprisingA Baby Book "The Story of You," available at Artifact Uprising, from $99With a sturdy fabric-bound cover (available in seven color/foil pairings), this interactive photo journal is a beautiful way to focus on the everyday moments rather than major milestones. The book is 100 pages and holds 47 photos. Register it online and get a complimentary set of Everyday Prints. Leggings that feel and look great90 Degree by Reflex/Facebook90 Degree By Reflex High-Waist Power Flex Leggings, available at Amazon, from $16.98We love these leggings because they are versatile, supportive, and silhouette smoothing. They also have a little pocket to hold keys or a credit card if she needs to run out. Available in 13 colors, these leggings are available up to size XXL and run true to size.A moment of zenChijiA Positive Energy Candle, available at Home of Chiji, from $39.99This brand's motto is "illuminate positivity" and when a baby has been crying for hours, a positive vibe is desperately needed. These candles are infused with crystals like amethyst and rose quartz to bring some calm to a chaotic house.A book that helps new moms who have endless questionsAmazon/Business Insider"Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool," by Emily Oster, available at Amazon, $13.39If they loved Emily Oster's pregnancy book "Expecting Better," they'll dive right into "Cribsheet." The "data-driven guide" helps new parents with sleep, potty training, and much more. A comfortable nursing braAmazon/Business InsiderMotherhood Maternity Women's Wrap Front Nursing Sleep Bra, available at Amazon, from $13.09All a new mom wants is to be comfortable, since chances are they aren't for most of the day. This wrap-front bra is soft, wireless yet supportive, and perfect for wearing all day and all night.A smart home deviceAmazonAmazon Echo Dot (4th Gen), available at Amazon, $39.99Hands-free music streaming, news and weather reports, thermostat controls, and alarms for naps or feeding, the Echo Dot does it all. They'll become a multitasking mom in no time with this smart home device.A soothing under eye treatmentSephoraWander Beauty Baggage Claim Eye Masks, available at Sephora, $26These gold foil eye masks provide a soothing treatment for tired eyes. They help with puffiness and dark circles. Best of all, they won't fall off like some sheet masks, so they can hold baby upright while pampering themselves.Bubble bath made from plant-based ingredientsWalmart/Business InsiderHello Bello Bubble Bath, available at Walmart, $5.98Hello Bello, the baby line from Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, prides itself on making premium, plant-based products like body wash, baby lotion, wipes, and this bubble bath. The gentle, hypoallergenic formula is dermatologist-tested and safe on sensitive skin, so both mom and baby can enjoy a nourishing playful bath.A soothie to keep pacifier off the floorAmazon/Business InsiderPhilips Avent Soothie Snuggle Pacifier Holder with Detachable Pacifier, available at Buy Buy Baby, $14.99This adorable pacifier and holder be used beginning at birth. The pacifier and animal detach from each other, so it's easy and fast to clean both pieces. It comes in a variety of cute critters like an elephant, giraffe, monkey, and seal. A reusable smart notebookAmazonRocketbook Everlast Reusable Smart Notebook, available at Amazon, $18.74New parents live and die by a schedule. This notebook is surprisingly handy — it sends handwritten notes directly to the cloud. It makes sharing with the entire family a breeze, all without wasting paper.A pair of embroidered makeup towelsWeezieMakeup Towels, available at Weezie, $40We've personally discovered Weezie's makeup towels are unexpectedly useful, and so will they. Even if they aren't washing off makeup, the fluffy fabric will feel great at the end of a long day. You can even have them embroidered to say "Mama" or a phrase of your choosing.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 15th, 2022

The 54 best gifts for new moms for Mother"s Day, from bath bombs sets to sentimental jewelry

If you're not sure what to give a new mom for Mother's Day, we rounded up 54 of the best gifts, including useful baby gear, flowers, and jewelry. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.If you're not sure what to give a new mom for Mother's Day, we rounded up 54 of the best gifts, including useful baby gear, flowers, bath bombs, and jewelry.AUrate New moms will appreciate gifts that help them relax, save time, and mark milestones with their baby. Here are 54 of the best gifts for new moms, from funny parenting books to on-the-go accessories. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. Becoming a mother is a life-changing experience. New moms are suddenly responsible for another human being, and there are quite a few things that can make that job easier. In a very uncertain time, new moms will appreciate gifts that are both practical and luxurious — things that can save them money and time. They also appreciate items that bestow a few precious moments for self-care.New moms are among the busiest people in our lives, and they undoubtedly deserve a meaningful gift — especially for Mother's Day. Some of these gifts will help them care for their new baby, while others are simply geared toward a mother who is ready for some "me time." Check out 54 of the best gifts for new moms on Mother's Day:A bath bomb set for their night offLushLush Mom Gift Set, $32.95, available at LushIf they're the type of person to spend 40 minutes in a Lush store eyeing all the bath bombs, this mother's day set is perfect: it comes with 4 bath bombs in fun, bright shapes and calming scents like citrus and jasmine.A platter of foods that were off limits during pregnancyWilliams SonomaEuropean Cheese & Charcuterie Selection, available at Williams Sonoma, $79.95My favorite gift for the new moms in my life is a collection of all the things they couldn't eat for nine long months of pregnancy: raw cheese, cold cuts, and wine. This cheese platter features the good stuff like runny cheeses and cured meats that she's likely been craving for the better part of a year. Pair with a bottle of her favorite wine for best results. A ridiculously comfy PJ set for the rare sleep-in morningTommy JohnTommy John Second Skin Sleep Shirt and Sleep Shorts,$52 each, available at Tommy JohnMade from Tommy John's ultra-soft Second Skin fabric, this adorable pajama set offers the height of sleep luxury with the casualness of wearing a t-shirt and shorts to bed. A picture book for momAmazon"Go to Sleep (I Miss You)" by Lucy Knisley, available at Amazon, $9.39 The early days of motherhood can be a weird time. Lucy Knisley brilliantly captures the mixed feelings "from the fog of new motherhood" in this graphic novel. This is an especially good gift for the mom who is navigating a cavalcade of new emotions; Knisley's tales of early motherhood will make any mom feel less alone. A T-shirt that makes a statementEtsyGreatwood Boutique Tough as a Mother Shirt, available at Etsy, from $7.62It goes without saying that moms are tough. Remind her just how tough and resilient she is with this super soft T-shirt. It's available in 22 different colors and sizes XS to 3XL.A luxurious bathrobeParachuteClassic Bathrobe, available at Parachute, $99Deemed the best robe on the market, Parachute's bathrobe is super comfortable and fluffy. It's perfect for a mom looking for moments of relaxation during an otherwise hectic day. A wet bag for messesBuy Buy BabyItzy Ritzy Travel Happens Sealed Wet Bag, available at Buy Buy Baby, $18.99Wet bags are commonly used to store dirty cloth diapers, but new moms will find them useful for everything from onesies that were victims of a blowout to wet swim diapers. A wet bag is a gift many parents never knew they needed but are happy to have in the diaper bag when messes inevitably happen.A convenient case for diapers and wipesOXOOXO Tot On-the-Go Wipes Dispenser with Diaper Pouch, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, $20.99Sometimes parents need diaper change supplies, but they don't want to lug around the whole diaper bag. This convenient pouch is designed to hold wipes, diapers, and diaper rash cream. There's even room for some hand sanitizer.Whimsical crib sheetsAmazonRookie Humans Crib Sheets, available at Amazon, from $37.99These sheets are beautifully designed and can be the focal point of a themed nursery. Some of the designs are high contrast, which appeals to a newborn's developing eyes. After testing a sample of these sheets, I found that they fit my daughter's mattress well without popping off the corners or having too much extra fabric. A simple milestone blanketMaisonetteBaby Milestone Mat, available at Maisonette, $49Moms delight in capturing their babies at all ages and stages. From one day old to one year and beyond, this blanket makes it easy to capture their baby at every age. The neutral design also gives parents the opportunity to add seasonal elements or themes to each picture.A letterboard for memorable milestone picturesTargetPearhead 10-by-10-inch Letterboard Set, available at Target, $12.99Letterboards help parents say it all with a picture; they're often used for baby's birth announcement picture and to get a snapshot of milestones. This one is just the right size to prop next to baby for a picture.Basic birth recovery suppliesFridaFriday Mom Postpartum Recovery Essentials Kit, available at Amazon, $49.99After having a baby, things are a bit messy to say the least. Help mom recover with this kit that includes disposable postpartum underwear, instant ice maxi pads, perineal cooling pad liners, and perineal healing foam all stored in a convenient toilet-top storage caddy. A treat just for momMilk BarAssorted Truffle Box, available at Milk Bar, from $28Doesn't a mom deserve some time to sit down and indulge a bit? They'll certainly be able to with this assorted truffle box from Milk Bar. It includes three different flavors of cake truffles: Birthday, Chocolate Birthday, and Apple Cider Doughnut Cake.A necklace that symbolizes the unbreakable bond between mother and childAUrate14-Karat Connection Necklace, available at Aurate, $390This beautiful necklace, available in yellow, white, or rose gold, manages to be simultaneously elegant and bold. The company has ideals they'll support, too: Its ethical solid gold is sourced from conflict-free suppliers and it donates a book to a child in need with each purchase. Mom and baby matching PJsHanna AnderssonMommy & Me Pajamas, available at Hanna Andersson, from $73One of the perks of having a kid is getting to dress them up however you please, at least until they're old enough to say otherwise. These matching pajama sets from Hanna Andersson are sure to encourage plenty of photo shoots and #twinning moments.A smart bassinetHappiest BabyHappiest Baby Gift Card, available at Happiest Baby, from $25This smart bassinet helps new moms and babies get sleep by combining gentle rocking with soothing white noise. The smart technology responds to baby by increasing motion and shushing when it detects fussiness. It also keeps babies in a secure swaddle so they stay safely on their back.A floral arrangement to brighten their dayThe Bouqs Co.A Fresh Floral Arrangement, available at The Bouqs Co., from $49These fresh flower arrangements come from farms that minimize waste and recycle water. Choose from classic bouquets like roses or sunflowers or opt for a more unique option that she can plant. The floral arrangement will be a bright spot in her day.Something to help them stay caffeinatedAmazonTakeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker, available at Amazon, $27.99New moms need all the coffee. If cold brew is their thing, gift this cold brew coffee maker. It makes four servings of coffee. If mom preps it the night before, fresh coffee will be ready at the crack of dawn — right about when the baby wakes up. A minimalistic diaper bagKibouKibou Bag, available at Nordstrom, $89Moms need their hands free to do all the holding, rocking, wiping, and feeding that comes along with new babies. This small diaper fanny pack is made of high-quality vegan leather and has room for wipes, diapers, credit cards, keys, mom's phone, and more. It even comes with a built-in changing pad.The best socks they've never triedBombasBombas Gift Bag or Box, available at Bombas, from $55You might be thinking: Really, socks? But having a nice pair can make a world of difference. Bombas spent two years perfecting its gym socks. With thoughtful innovations, like a blister tab and performance cushioned footbeds, their feet will notice the difference. Bombas also donates a pair to a homeless shelter for every pair purchased. A pick-me-up for her eyesPeach & LilyCold Brew Eye Recovery Stick, available at Peach & Lily, $28With one swipe of this stick, mom's eyes will feel more awake and less puffy. They probably won't have time to put on a full face of makeup, but this will help them feel a little more put together after a night of broken sleep.The best pillows to help them sleepAmazonCoop Home Goods Pillow, available at Amazon, $69.99I know what you're thinking: Is it really worth $70 for a pillow? The answer is yes. This memory foam pillow is adjustable so it's comfortable for every type of sleeper. New moms need all the help they can get when it comes to sleeping.Their favorite quote, framedMintedA Framed Custom Quote, available at Minted, from $38Maybe a new mom has a favorite quote that reminds them of their baby or they're just a lover of words. This gift will be a beautiful keepsake for them to always remember the newborn phase. Merino-wool sneakersAllbirdsWool Runners, available at Allbirds, $110When you're on your feet all day, a pair of good shoes makes all the difference. Allbirds wool runners won't fail them — they're soft, comfortable, and machine washable. You can't go wrong with the originals, but the new Tree line is similarly light and comfortable. A virtual baby bookQeepsakeQeepsake Membership, available at Qeepsake, from $47.88Qeepsake texts parents or caregivers questions to answer about their child. Parents simply text their answer back with accompanying photos if they desire and Qeepsake saves the responses. Then, users can order a book that displays all the questions, answers, and memories.A personalized beauty subscriptionBirchboxBirchbox Three-Month Subscription, available at Birchbox, $45New moms will inevitably be dealing with spilled milk, spit-up, and lots of dirty diapers. Make them feel pampered with a personalized beauty subscription. They'll be able to create her own Beauty Profile, making each box just right for them.A sentimental gift for a lasting memoryMainEventUSA/EtsyBaby Hand and Footprint Kit, available at Etsy, $25.95This gift freezes the littleness of their new baby in time. Nothing shows how fast a baby grows quite like comparing their growing hands and feet to how small they once were. This kit allows new moms to do the prints at home and add two pictures.A treat to satisfy their sweet tooth while supporting milk productionAmazonMunchkin Milkmakers Lactation Cookie Bites, available at Amazon, $21.99These delicious cookies come in prepackaged bags so they can easily grab a snack while nursing. Although more studies examining the benefits of lactation cookies need to be conducted, this convenient treat certainly won't hurt.A nightlight that will help their baby — and in turn, them — sleep wellAmazonHatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light and Time-to-Rise, available at Buy Buy Baby, $69.99Rest is a nightlight, sound machine, and wake-up alert that grows with children — from soft light and white noise for midnight newborn feeding sessions to a preschooler's nightlight. Parents can customize everything — color, brightness, sound, and volume level — or they can choose from presets recommended by sleep experts. A neck and back massager they can use any timeAmazonZyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager, available at Amazon, $59.95New moms spend a lot of time hunched over: picking up baby, putting down baby, carrying baby, and feeding baby. This massager has heated nodes that rotate, and moms can move it around to any spot they're feeling tension.A memorable piece of jewelryMarky Baby Milk Jewelry/EtsyMarky Baby Milk Jewelry DIY Kit, available at Etsy, from $34.04Moms who choose to breastfeed often face an emotional journey. The piece of jewelry from this DIY kit is made with their own breast milk so they can remember this special time long after their baby has grown up.A personalized T-shirtKnown Supply/InstagramPersonalized Fitted Crew, available at Known Supply, $32 + $10 monogramLet's be honest — they're probably going to be spending a lot of time at home in the first year. What could be better than a cozy, comfortable tee made of Pima cotton? Bonus points if you choose a color that will hide a spit-up stain.A variety of Korean sheet masks for an at-home spa dayFacetory/Business InsiderFacetory 7 Lux 1-Month Gift Subscription, available at Facetory, $19.90They could try a different Korean sheet mask every day of the week if they wanted to. The unique sheets made with innovative ingredients are hard to find anywhere else — Facetory curates only the most interesting and effective in the K-beauty world. Adorable leather baby moccasinsFreshly Picked/InstagramFreshly Picked Baby Moccasins, available at Buy Buy Baby, $35These 100% genuine cowhide leather moccasins have a soft sole to help children who are starting to walk. They're easy to put on, will actually stay on your kid's feet, and come in many stylish prints and colors. An Audible gift subscriptionAudible/Business InsiderAn Audible subscription, available at Audible, from $15Do you know what's really hard to do when you're holding a baby, a bottle, and trying to cook all at once? Read a book. What's easier? Listening to one on Audible. They can listen to audiobooks, podcasts, and more while multitasking at home or strolling through the neighborhood.A 5-year journalWrite to MeThe First Five Years Baby Journal, available at Write To Me, $49.95This linen-bound guided journal prompts parents to record milestones and memories to cherish for a lifetime. They'll be able to look back at all the firsts — first birthday, first haircut, first steps — and beam with pride.A funny book about the realities of motherhoodAmazon/Insider"The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby's First Year," by Dawn Dais, available at Amazon, $15.99Any mom knows that motherhood is not all rainbows and sunshine. This book dispenses practical and useful information in a humorous format that will have new parents laughing through the particularly hard days.  A selection of soft, high-quality baby clothing basicsPrimaryA Primary gift card, available at Primary, from $25Shopping for baby clothing is easy at Primary, which was founded by two moms. The adorable, colorful, and gender-neutral styles are classic and made from safe Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified, soft fabrics. Primary offers sizes from newborn through age 12.A fitness app so they can work out with a trainer at homeKira Stokes/Business InsiderA subscription to Kira Stokes Fit, from $14.99/monthFlexibility is paramount for busy moms, and a good fitness app offers just that. The Kira Stokes Fit app has abs, legs, core, and full-body workouts available to stream anytime, on any device, so moms can sweat on their own time. Crib sheets from an Internet-famous bedding startupBrooklinenMini Crib Sheet Set, available at Brooklinen, from $32Adults love Brooklinen sheets, and now babies can enjoy the soft and comfortable experience, too. If they don't yet have a set for themselves, include a gift that will help them sleep as well. A versatile diaper bagAmazonSkip Hop Forma Backpack Diaper Bag, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, from $67.99The lightweight, minimalist design of this diaper bag makes it a versatile option for new moms. The included cubes make it easy to organize diapers, wipes, bottles, and snacks. There's also a convenient changing pad within one of its pockets.Dinner on the table in under an hourHelloFresh/InstagramA HelloFresh Gift Card, from $70Meal kits take the guesswork out of cooking. Food is delivered weekly, meaning fewer trips to the grocery store, and the kit includes easy step-by-step recipes to prepare dinner — a snap when they're basically too tired to function.A long-distance touch lampFiliminFilimin Long-Distance Touch Lamps, available at Uncommon Goods, from $99A new mom's life is busy and tiring, so they might not always be available to talk and catch up. When you want to let them know you're thinking of them and vice versa without actually saying anything, just tap the lamp to make the other one light up. Stress relief in a tiny jade packageWalgreens/Business InsiderRevlon Cool & Depuff Jade Stone Facial Roller, available at Amazon, $9.99This facial roller can be used on all skin types to help improve circulation and reduce the puffiness that comes with sleep deprivation. It may temporarily firm skin, too. Most of all, it just feels good, especially when kept cool in the fridge.A modern baby bookArtifact UprisingA Baby Book "The Story of You," available at Artifact Uprising, from $99With a sturdy fabric-bound cover (available in seven color/foil pairings), this interactive photo journal is a beautiful way to focus on the everyday moments rather than major milestones. The book is 100 pages and holds 47 photos. Register it online and get a complimentary set of Everyday Prints. Leggings that feel and look great90 Degree by Reflex/Facebook90 Degree By Reflex High-Waist Power Flex Leggings, available at Amazon, from $16.98We love these leggings because they are versatile, supportive, and silhouette smoothing. They also have a little pocket to hold keys or a credit card if she needs to run out. Available in 13 colors, these leggings are available up to size XXL and run true to size.A moment of zenChijiA Positive Energy Candle, available at Home of Chiji, from $39.99This brand's motto is "illuminate positivity" and when a baby has been crying for hours, a positive vibe is desperately needed. These candles are infused with crystals like amethyst and rose quartz to bring some calm to a chaotic house.A book that helps new moms who have endless questionsAmazon/Business Insider"Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool," by Emily Oster, available at Amazon, $13.39If they loved Emily Oster's pregnancy book "Expecting Better," they'll dive right into "Cribsheet." The "data-driven guide" helps new parents with sleep, potty training, and much more. A comfortable nursing braAmazon/Business InsiderMotherhood Maternity Women's Wrap Front Nursing Sleep Bra, available at Amazon, from $13.09All a new mom wants is to be comfortable, since chances are they aren't for most of the day. This wrap-front bra is soft, wireless yet supportive, and perfect for wearing all day and all night.A smart home deviceAmazonAmazon Echo Dot (4th Gen), available at Amazon, $39.99Hands-free music streaming, news and weather reports, thermostat controls, and alarms for naps or feeding, the Echo Dot does it all. They'll become a multitasking mom in no time with this smart home device.A soothing under eye treatmentSephoraWander Beauty Baggage Claim Eye Masks, available at Sephora, $26These gold foil eye masks provide a soothing treatment for tired eyes. They help with puffiness and dark circles. Best of all, they won't fall off like some sheet masks, so they can hold baby upright while pampering themselves.Bubble bath made from plant-based ingredientsWalmart/Business InsiderHello Bello Bubble Bath, available at Walmart, $5.98Hello Bello, the baby line from Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, prides itself on making premium, plant-based products like body wash, baby lotion, wipes, and this bubble bath. The gentle, hypoallergenic formula is dermatologist-tested and safe on sensitive skin, so both mom and baby can enjoy a nourishing playful bath.A soothie to keep pacifier off the floorAmazon/Business InsiderPhilips Avent Soothie Snuggle Pacifier Holder with Detachable Pacifier, available at Buy Buy Baby, $14.99This adorable pacifier and holder be used beginning at birth. The pacifier and animal detach from each other, so it's easy and fast to clean both pieces. It comes in a variety of cute critters like an elephant, giraffe, monkey, and seal. A reusable smart notebookAmazonRocketbook Everlast Reusable Smart Notebook, available at Amazon, $18.74New parents live and die by a schedule. This notebook is surprisingly handy — it sends handwritten notes directly to the cloud. It makes sharing with the entire family a breeze, all without wasting paper.A women's multivitamin subscriptionRitual1-month supply of Ritual vitamins, available at Ritual, $30New moms have a lot to juggle, and eating healthy, balanced meals may fall by the wayside some days. Help them get the nutrients to keep their energy up with these vegan multivitamins, which contain folate, vitamin D3, B12, iron, and magnesium, and are free of artificial colorants, synthetic fillers, and gluten.A pair of embroidered makeup towelsWeezieMakeup Towels, available at Weezie, $40We've personally discovered Weezie's makeup towels are unexpectedly useful, and so will they. Even if they aren't washing off makeup, the fluffy fabric will feel great at the end of a long day. You can even have them embroidered to say "Mama" or a phrase of your choosing.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 15th, 2022

A housing bubble is on everyone"s mind right now — here"s what it is and how to know if the US is in one

Demand is booming and supply is lagging, triggering a heated debate about whether or not the US is in a housing bubble that's about to burst. An aerial view of a neighborhood.Getty Images Experts are wondering if the US housing market is in a bubble — and whether it could soon burst. A bubble is when the price of an asset surges, often for irrational reasons or reasons unrelated to underlying fundamentals. Home prices soared throughout the pandemic as debt was cheap and people sought more space during lockdown.  You may have heard, the US housing market is booming. But booms often end in a bust, and the housing situation across the country has led experts to debate the possibility of the whole market imploding. As the number of homes available for sale continues to fall short of historically high demand, talk has been simmering for months about whether or not the real estate market is bracing for a crash.Google searches for "housing bubble" soared during March as the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate for the first time during the pandemic, setting mortgage rates on an upward path. So what is a housing bubble, how did the US get here, and what will happen if it bursts?A housing bubble happens when home prices become artificially inflatedThe most recent housing bubble is borne out of a severe imbalance in the real estate market.It is somewhat different than the housing bubble that preceded the 2008 crisis, when a combination of cheap debt, perverse incentives among mortgage lenders, and complex financial engineering led to many borrowers being placed into mortgages they could not afford.When that bubble burst, it triggered a foreclosure crisis among homeowners, as well as a credit crisis among the investors who owned bonds backed by these underwater mortgages. The end result was a global recession.  Today, the problem is a bit simpler: housing supply is unable to meet demand. Spurred by cheap mortgage debt and the need for more space, buyers are clamoring for a limited amount of inventory, and home sellers capitalize on that by raising prices. Since 2020, buyer competition has intensified, sparking bidding wars and crushing affordability, especially for first-time buyers. The concern of a bubble bursting is when — and how quickly — the market rebalances. An abrupt shift could result in turmoil. For example, if prices see a sudden sharp decline, many people who recently bought a place could suddenly be paying for a mortgage that is worth more than their house. While the events that led to the housing crash of 2008 differ from the issues plaguing the housing market today, talk of a bubble bursting is again on the rise.Last week, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas published a report suggesting that although the underlying causes of home price growth differ from those during the last housing boom, there is growing concern that US house prices are again becoming unhinged from fundamentals — meaning that buyers are increasingly purchasing homes out of the fear of missing out, rather than based on their fundamental value or their own ability to afford them in the long run."Our evidence points to abnormal U.S. housing market behavior for the first time since the boom of the early 2000s," the Fed researchers wrote. The affordability crisis could lead to the bubble bursting "Housing affordability fell to a decade-low during the third quarter of 2020," Robert Dietz, the SVP and chief economist of the National Association of Homebuilders, told Insider. "Given that interest rates are expected to increase, housing affordability will be under additional pressure in 2022."While home builders are slowly increasing housing supply, the recent uptick in mortgage rates is likely to put additional pressure on affordability. With the median US listing price sitting at an all-time high of $405,000, that may be unsustainable as buyers adjust to the prospect of higher monthly mortgage payments. "The housing market is in the early stages of a substantial downshift in activity, which will trigger a steep decline in the rate of increase of home prices, starting perhaps as soon as the spring," Ian Shepherdson, chief economist and founder of research consulting firm Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a research note.While the result may not be as severe as the Great Recession that came after the 2008 housing bust, there would still be consequences. As houses are the among the largest sources of wealth for many Americans, a plunge in home prices could lead to a serious wealth destruction that could take people many years to build back up.Housing is also a driver of economic activity more broadly, with consumer spending usually rising when the housing market is strong. If the market declines, that would be another economic headwind among many for the US as it climbs out of the pandemic. Read more Insider analysis on a possible housing bubbleA chief economist who called the 2008 housing crisis warns that the US housing market is in the 'early stages of a substantial downshift' as demand subsides — and says surging home prices and rents are due to cool off in a big wayAre we on the verge of a housing-bubble bust? An economist advises buyers to sit out the current 'irrational' market and lists the 11 most overvalued cities in the US.Out-of-town homebuyers are driving up real-estate prices in these 10 overvalued cities, and it's fueling housing-bubble fearsIs the housing market setting up for a crash? 2 experts — including one who called the 2008 bubble burst — share the warning signs that a real-estate downfall is coming.Are home prices going to crash? A real-estate expert who's written multiple books on investing strategy breaks down why prices could grow 'faster than we can get a handle on.' Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 7th, 2022

54 gifts for new moms that aren"t on her registry, from meal delivery kits to a comfortable pillow

If you're not sure what to give a new mother, we've rounded up 54 the best gifts for new moms, including useful baby gear, flowers, and jewelry. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Etsy New moms will appreciate gifts that help them relax, save time, and mark milestones with their baby. Here are 54 of the best gifts for new moms, from funny parenting books to handy on-the-go accessories. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. Becoming a mother is a life-changing experience. New moms are suddenly responsible for another human being, and there are quite a few things that can make that job easier. In a very uncertain time, new moms will appreciate gifts that are both practical and luxurious — things that can save them money and time. They also appreciate items that bestow a few precious moments for self-care.New moms are among the busiest people in our lives, and they undoubtedly deserve a meaningful gift. Some of these gifts will help them care for their new baby, while others are simply geared toward a mother who is ready for some "me time." Check out 54 of the best gifts for new moms:A platter of foods that were off limits during pregnancyWilliams SonomaEuropean Cheese & Charcuterie Selection, available at Williams Sonoma, $79.95My favorite gift for the new moms in my life is a collection of all the things they couldn't eat for nine long months of pregnancy: raw cheese, cold cuts, and wine. This cheese platter features the good stuff like runny cheeses and cured meats that she's likely been craving for the better part of a year. Pair with a bottle of her favorite wine for best results. Matching PJs for mom and babyHanna AnderssonMommy & Me Pajamas, available at Hanna Andersson, from $56One of the perks of having a kid is getting to dress them up however you please, at least until they're old enough to say otherwise. These matching pajama sets from Hanna Andersson are sure to encourage plenty of photo shoots and #twinning moments.A picture book for momAmazon"Go to Sleep (I Miss You)" by Lucy Knisley, available on Amazon, $9.39 The early days of motherhood can be a weird time. Lucy Knisley brilliantly captures the mixed feelings "from the fog of new motherhood" in this graphic novel. This is an especially good gift for the mom who is navigating a cavalcade of new emotions; Knisley's tales of early motherhood will make any mom feel less alone. A T-shirt that makes a statementEtsyGreatwood Boutique Tough as a Mother Shirt, available at Etsy, $12.30It goes without saying that moms are tough. Remind her just how tough and resilient she is with this super soft T-shirt. It's available in 22 different colors and sizes XS to 3XL.A luxurious bathrobeParachuteClassic Bathrobe, available at Parachute, $99Deemed the best robe on the market, Parachute's bathrobe is super comfortable and fluffy. It's perfect for a mom looking for moments of relaxation during an otherwise hectic day. A wet bag for messesBuy Buy BabyItzy Ritzy Travel Happens Sealed Wet Bag, available at Buy Buy Baby, from $18.99Wet bags are commonly used to store dirty cloth diapers, but new moms will find them useful for everything from onesies that were victims of a blowout to wet swim diapers. A wet bag is a gift many parents never knew they needed but are happy to have in the diaper bag when messes inevitably happen.A convenient case for diapers and wipesOXOOXO Tot On-the-Go Wipes Dispenser with Diaper Pouch, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, $20.99Sometimes parents need diaper change supplies, but they don't want to lug around the whole diaper bag. This convenient pouch is designed to hold wipes, diapers, and diaper rash cream. There's even room for some hand sanitizer.Whimsical crib sheetsAmazonRookie Humans Crib Sheets, available at Amazon, $38These sheets are beautifully designed and can be the focal point of a themed nursery. Some of the designs are high contrast, which appeals to a newborn's developing eyes. After testing a sample of these sheets, I found that they fit my daughter's mattress well without popping off the corners or having too much extra fabric. A simple milestone blanketMaisonetteBaby Milestone Mat, available at Maisonette, $23Moms delight in capturing their babies at all ages and stages. From one day old to one year and beyond, this blanket makes it easy to capture their baby at every age. The neutral design also gives parents the opportunity to add seasonal elements or themes to each picture.A letterboard for memorable milestone picturesTargetPearhead 10-by-10-inch Letterboard Set, available at Target, $12.99Letterboards help parents say it all with a picture; they're often used for baby's birth announcement picture and to get a snapshot of milestones. This one is just the right size to prop next to baby for a picture.Basic birth recovery suppliesFridaFriday Mom Postpartum Recovery Essentials Kit, available at Amazon, $49.99After having a baby, things are a bit messy to say the least. Help mom recover with this kit that includes disposable postpartum underwear, instant ice maxi pads, perineal cooling pad liners, and perineal healing foam all stored in a convenient toilet-top storage caddy. Something to help them stay caffeinatedAmazonTakeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker, available at Amazon, $25.80New moms need all the coffee. If cold brew is their thing, gift this cold brew coffee maker. It makes four servings of coffee. If mom preps it the night before, fresh coffee will be ready at the crack of dawn — right about when the baby wakes up. A treat just for momMilk BarAssorted Truffle Box, available at Milk Bar, from $29Doesn't a mom deserve some time to sit down and indulge a bit? They'll certainly be able to with this assorted truffle box from Milk Bar. It includes three different flavors of cake truffles: Birthday, Chocolate Birthday, and Apple Cider Doughnut Cake.A pick-me-up for her eyesPeach & LilyCold Brew Eye Recovery Stick, available at Peach & Lily, $28With one swipe of this stick, mom's eyes will feel more awake and less puffy. They probably won't have time to put on a full face of makeup, but this will help them feel a little more put together after a night of broken sleep.A smart bassinetHappiest BabyHappiest Baby Gift Card, available at Happiest Baby, from $25This smart bassinet helps new moms and babies get sleep by combining gentle rocking with soothing white noise. The smart technology responds to baby by increasing motion and shushing when it detects fussiness. It also keeps babies in a secure swaddle so they stay safely on their back.The best socks they've never triedBombasBombas Gift Bag or Box, available at Bombas, from $70You might be thinking: Really, socks? But having a nice pair can make a world of difference. Bombas spent two years perfecting its gym socks. With thoughtful innovations, like a blister tab and performance cushioned footbeds, their feet will notice the difference. Bombas also donates a pair to a homeless shelter for every pair purchased. A minimalistic diaper bagKibouKibou Bag, available at Nordstrom, $89Moms need their hands free to do all the holding, rocking, wiping, and feeding that comes along with new babies. This small diaper fanny pack is made of high-quality vegan leather and has room for wipes, diapers, credit cards, keys, mom's phone, and more. It even comes with a built-in changing pad.A floral arrangement to brighten their dayThe Bouqs Co.A Fresh Floral Arrangement, available at The Bouqs Co., from $49These fresh flower arrangements come from farms that minimize waste and recycle water. Choose from classic bouquets like roses or sunflowers or opt for a more unique option that she can plant. The floral arrangement will be a bright spot in her day.Something to help them sleepAmazonCoop Home Goods Pillow, available at Amazon, $69.99I know what you're thinking: Is it really worth $70 for a pillow? The answer is yes. This memory foam pillow is adjustable so it's comfortable for every type of sleeper. New moms need all the help they can get when it comes to sleeping.A virtual baby bookQeepsakeQeepsake Membership, available at Qeepsake, from $35.88Qeepsake texts parents or caregivers questions to answer about their child. Parents simply text their answer back with accompanying photos if they desire and Qeepsake saves the responses. Then, users can order a book that displays all the questions, answers, and memories.Their favorite quote, framedMintedA Framed Custom Quote, available at Minted, from $38Maybe a new mom has a favorite quote that reminds them of their baby or they're just a lover of words. This gift will be a beautiful keepsake for them to always remember the newborn phase. A sentimental gift for a lasting memoryMainEventUSA/EtsyBaby Hand and Footprint Kit, available at Etsy, $25.95This gift freezes the littleness of their new baby in time. Nothing shows how fast a baby grows quite like comparing their growing hands and feet to how small they once were. This kit allows new moms to do the prints at home and add two pictures.A treat to satisfy their sweet tooth while supporting milk productionAmazonMunchkin Milkmakers Lactation Cookie Bites, available at Amazon, $21.99These delicious cookies come in prepackaged bags so they can easily grab a snack while nursing. Although more studies examining the benefits of lactation cookies need to be conducted, this convenient treat certainly won't hurt.A nightlight that will help their baby — and in turn, them — sleep wellAmazonHatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light and Time-to-Rise, available at Buy Buy Baby, $69.99Rest is a nightlight, sound machine, and wake-up alert that grows with children — from soft light and white noise for midnight newborn feeding sessions to a preschooler's nightlight. Parents can customize everything — color, brightness, sound, and volume level — or they can choose from presets recommended by sleep experts. A neck and back massager they can use any timeAmazonZyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager, available at Amazon, $74.95New moms spend a lot of time hunched over: picking up baby, putting down baby, carrying baby, and feeding baby. This massager has heated nodes that rotate, and moms can move it around to any spot they're feeling tension.A memorable piece of jewelryMarky Baby Milk Jewelry/EtsyMarky Baby Milk Jewelry DIY Kit, available at Etsy, from $34.77Moms who choose to breastfeed often face an emotional journey. The piece of jewelry from this DIY kit is made with their own breast milk so they can remember this special time long after their baby has grown up.A personalized beauty subscriptionBirchboxBirchbox Three-Month Subscription, available at Birchbox, $45New moms will inevitably be dealing with spilled milk, spit-up, and lots of dirty diapers. Make them feel pampered with a personalized beauty subscription. They'll be able to create her own Beauty Profile, making each box just right for them.A personalized T-shirtKnown Supply/InstagramPersonalized Fitted Crew, available at Known Supply, $32 + $10 monogramLet's be honest — they're probably going to be spending a lot of time at home in the first year. What could be better than a cozy, comfortable tee made of Pima cotton? Bonus points if you choose a color that will hide a spit-up stain.Merino-wool sneakersAllbirdsWool Runners, available at Allbirds, $110When you're on your feet all day, a pair of good shoes makes all the difference. Allbirds wool runners won't fail them — they're soft, comfortable, and machine washable. You can't go wrong with the originals, but the new Tree line is similarly light and comfortable. A variety of Korean sheet masks for an at-home spa dayFacetory/Business InsiderFacetory 7 Lux 1-Month Gift Subscription, available at Facetory, $19.90They could try a different Korean sheet mask every day of the week if they wanted to. The unique sheets made with innovative ingredients are hard to find anywhere else — Facetory curates only the most interesting and effective in the K-beauty world. Adorable leather baby moccasinsFreshly Picked/InstagramFreshly Picked Baby Moccasins, available at Buy Buy Baby, $35These 100% genuine cowhide leather moccasins have a soft sole to help children who are starting to walk. They're easy to put on, will actually stay on your kid's feet, and come in many stylish prints and colors. An Audible gift subscriptionAudible/Business InsiderAn Audible subscription, available at Audible, from $15Do you know what's really hard to do when you're holding a baby, a bottle, and trying to cook all at once? Read a book. What's easier? Listening to one on Audible. They can listen to audiobooks, podcasts, and more while multitasking at home or strolling through the neighborhood.A necklace that symbolizes unbreakable bond between mother and childAUrate14-Karat Connection Necklace, available at Aurate, $390This beautiful necklace, available in yellow, white, or rose gold, manages to be simultaneously elegant and bold. The company has ideals they'll support, too: Its ethical solid gold is sourced from conflict-free suppliers and it donates a book to a child in need with each purchase. A 5-year journalWrite to MeThe First Five Years Baby Journal, available at Write To Me, $49.95This linen-bound guided journal prompts parents to record milestones and memories to cherish for a lifetime. They'll be able to look back at all the firsts — first birthday, first haircut, first steps — and beam with pride.A funny book about the realities of motherhoodAmazon/Business Insider"The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby's First Year," available at Amazon, $14.99Any mom knows that motherhood is not all rainbows and sunshine. This book dispenses practical and useful information in a humorous format that will have new parents laughing through the particularly hard days.  A selection of soft, high-quality baby clothing basicsPrimaryA Primary gift card, available at Primary, from $25Shopping for baby clothing is easy at Primary, which was founded by two moms. The adorable, colorful, and gender-neutral styles are classic and made from safe Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified, soft fabrics. Primary offers sizes from newborn through age 12.A fitness app so they can work out with a trainer at homeKira Stokes/Business InsiderA subscription to Kira Stokes Fit, from $14.99/monthFlexibility is paramount for busy moms, and a good fitness app offers just that. The Kira Stokes Fit app has abs, legs, core, and full-body workouts available to stream anytime, on any device, so moms can sweat on their own time. Crib sheets from an Internet-famous bedding startupBrooklinenMini Crib Sheet Set, available at Brooklinen, from $32Adults love Brooklinen sheets, and now babies can enjoy the soft and comfortable experience, too. If they don't yet have a set for themselves, include a gift that will help them sleep as well. A versatile diaper bagAmazonSkip Hop Forma Backpack Diaper Bag, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, from $74.99The lightweight, minimalist design of this diaper bag makes it a versatile option for new moms. The included cubes make it easy to organize diapers, wipes, bottles, and snacks. There's also a convenient changing pad within one of its pockets.Dinner on the table in under an hourHelloFresh/InstagramA HelloFresh Gift Card, from $70Meal kits take the guesswork out of cooking. Food is delivered weekly, meaning fewer trips to the grocery store, and the kit includes easy step-by-step recipes to prepare dinner — a snap when they're basically too tired to function.A long-distance touch lampFiliminFilimin Long-Distance Touch Lamps, available at Uncommon Goods, from $99A new mom's life is busy and tiring, so they might not always be available to talk and catch up. When you want to let them know you're thinking of them and vice versa without actually saying anything, just tap the lamp to make the other one light up. Stress relief in a tiny jade packageWalgreens/Business InsiderRevlon Cool & Depuff Jade Stone Facial Roller, available at Amazon, $9.98This facial roller can be used on all skin types to help improve circulation and reduce the puffiness that comes with sleep deprivation. It may temporarily firm skin, too. Most of all, it just feels good, especially when kept cool in the fridge.A modern baby bookArtifact UprisingA Baby Book "The Story of You," available at Artifact Uprising, from $99With a sturdy fabric-bound cover (available in seven color/foil pairings), this interactive photo journal is a beautiful way to focus on the everyday moments rather than major milestones. The book is 100 pages and holds 47 photos. Register it online and get a complimentary set of Everyday Prints. Leggings that feel and look great90 Degree by Reflex/Facebook90 Degree By Reflex High-Waist Power Flex Tummy Control Leggings, available at Amazon, from $16.98We love these leggings because they are versatile, supportive, and silhouette smoothing. They also have a little pocket to hold keys or a credit card if she needs to run out. Available in 13 colors, these leggings are available up to size XXL and run true to size.A moment of zenChijiA Positive Energy Candle, available at Home of Chiji, from $39.99This brand's motto is "illuminate positivity" and when baby has been crying for hours, a positive vibe is desperately needed. These candles are infused with crystals like amethyst and rose quartz to bring some calm to a chaotic house.A comfortable nursing braAmazon/Business InsiderMotherhood Maternity Women's Wrap Front Nursing Sleep Bra, available at Amazon, from $13.55All a new mom wants is to be comfortable, since chances are they aren't for most of the day. This wrap-front bra is soft, wireless yet supportive, and perfect for wearing all day and all night.A smart home deviceAmazonAmazon Echo Dot (4th Gen), available at Amazon, $49.99Hands-free music streaming, news and weather reports, thermostat controls, and alarms for naps or feeding, the Echo Dot does it all. They'll become a multitasking mom in no time with this smart home device.A soothing under eye treatmentSephoraWander Beauty Baggage Claim Eye Masks, available at Sephora, $26These gold foil eye masks provide a soothing treatment for tired eyes. They help with puffiness and dark circles. Best of all, they won't fall off like some sheet masks, so they can hold baby upright while pampering themselves.Bubble bath made from plant-based ingredientsWalmart/Business InsiderHello Bello Bubble Bath, available at Walmart, $5.98Hello Bello, the baby line from Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, prides itself on making premium, plant-based products like body wash, baby lotion, wipes, and this bubble bath. The gentle, hypoallergenic formula is dermatologist-tested and safe on sensitive skin, so both mom and baby can enjoy a nourishing playful bath.A soothie to keep pacifier off the floorAmazon/Business InsiderPhilips Avent Soothie Snuggle Pacifier Holder with Detachable Pacifier, available at Buy Buy Baby, $14.99This adorable pacifier and holder be used beginning at birth. The pacifier and animal detach from each other, so it's easy and fast to clean both pieces. It comes in a variety of cute critters like an elephant, giraffe, monkey, and seal. A women's multivitamin subscriptionRitual1-month supply of Ritual vitamins, available at Ritual, $30New moms have a lot to juggle, and eating healthy, balanced meals may fall by the wayside some days. Help them get the nutrients to keep their energy up with these vegan multivitamins, which contain folate, vitamin D3, B12, iron, and magnesium, and are free of artificial colorants, synthetic fillers, and gluten.A reusable smart notebookAmazonRocketbook Everlast Reusable Smart Notebook, available at Amazon, $17.17New parents live and die by a schedule. This notebook is surprisingly handy — it will send their handwritten notes to the cloud and wipes clean with a damp cloth. It makes sharing with the entire family a breeze, and no more wasting paper.A book that helps new moms who have endless questionsAmazon/Business Insider"Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool," available at Amazon, $13.39If they loved Emily Oster's pregnancy book "Expecting Better," they'll dive right into "Cribsheet." The "data-driven guide" helps new parents with sleep, potty training, and much more. A pair of embroidered makeup towelsWeezieMakeup Towels, available at Weezie, $40We've personally discovered Weezie's makeup towels are unexpectedly useful, and so will they. Even if they aren't washing off makeup, the fluffy fabric will feel great at the end of a long day. You can even have them embroidered to say "Mama" or a phrase of your choosing.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMar 30th, 2022

China"s Belt-And-Road Comes To America"s Heartland, Part 2: This Is Not The End

China's Belt-And-Road Comes To America's Heartland, Part 2: This Is Not The End Authored by Fortis Analysis via Human Terrain, Earlier this year, Fortis Analysis released details on the proposal by Fufeng Group, a CCP-connected company, to build a wet corn mill and amino acid production facility in Grand Forks, ND. In conducting further research, interviewing local residents, and working with recognized experts in national security and United States trade law, it is more and more clear that the Grand Forks city council and mayor Brandon Bochenski are both economically and constitutionally illiterate. Pictured: Fufeng USA Chief Operating Officer Eric Chutorash, speaking to Grand Forks City Council A single line of inquiry into this project is impossible, so we will work to highlight a range of domains where this project falls short of both good sense and the law of the land. To that end, let’s first explore the FAQ on this project released by the Grand Forks Regional Economic Development Council. There are numerous claims so easily rebutted that making them is either knowingly spreading false information, or an inexcusable lack of attention (or ability) to performing due diligence. A selection: CLAIM: ”Fufeng USA is a global leading bio-fermentation company manufacturing products that serve fast-growing animal nutrition. Their headquarters is in Chicago, Ill. Fufeng USA has chosen to invest in Grand Forks to establish a wet corn mill processing plant in the United States.” FACT: Fufeng USA Incorporated was established in the United States at the address of a private residence in Wheaton, IL. As of this writing, Fufeng USA Incorporated imports to the United States using the same Wheaton location as its official consignee address registered with US Customs and Border Protection. Another Fufeng USA corporate address noted on the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce website (under the “Manufacturers” section) is located inside a multi-tenant office building in Oak Brook, IL. This entity is wholly-owned by Fufeng USA Holdings Limited, which is domiciled in Hong Kong, and is itself wholly-owned by Trans-Asia Capital Resources Ltd., also domiciled in Hong Kong. Trans-Asia Capital Resources Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fufeng Group, which has its principal place of business in Junan in the Shandong Province of China. It is beyond a stretch to say that Fufeng USA is anything more than a shell company to facilitate Fufeng Group’s ability to do business in the United States. This information comes directly from Fufeng Group’s annual report for 2020, published in 2021. CLAIM: “The North Dakota Trade Office has done a search for illegal import/export activity for Fufeng USA and its principles. No red flags or areas of concern were found. NDTO resources include access to 30 federal databases. Fufeng USA has been operating in the United States since 2020. Also, First Biotech, Inc., a Fufeng USA subsidiary, has been doing business in the US for over 10 years. Both have filed federal taxes in the US and have established international banking accounts with large financial institutions that have significant federal oversight. The company will be subject to all the same US laws, regulations, and oversight and any US company. Fufeng USA Group is publicly traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has a supervisory oversight relationship with the Exchange. Fufeng USA Group has many US and European institutional investors including TreeTop Management, Vanguard, Fidelity, Mellon, and Blackrock, all heavily regulated.” FACT: This is, quite simply, a word salad intended to obscure the real issue at stake here - the absence of correct and proper due diligence. The United States has multiple layers of regulatory oversight beyond basic financial oversight, few if any of which have been notified by GFREDC, the city, or Fufeng, let alone conducted formal inquiries. One other point that must be noted is that “Fufeng USA Group” is not a real entity, nor is any Fufeng USA entity “publicly traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange”. The publicly-traded entity is the ultimate parent company, Fufeng Group Limited. More detailed explorations of these points follow further in this analysis. In short, the absurd and incorrect statement that a cursory review of trade databases and some correctly-filed taxes is sufficient proof of Fufeng’s safety to national security should embarrass all involved in this process. CLAIM: “The development of the Fufeng USA plant will create a local market for corn and improve pricing. Regional farmers will have the option to sell to elevators or Fufeng USA. The North Dakota Corn Growers Association, a farmer led membership organization focused on policy that impacts North Dakota corn producers, were pleased with the announcement that Fufeng USA will establish a wet corn mill in Grand Forks. They issued a press release indicating the project will have tremendous value to regional farmers.” FACT: The claim made elsewhere by the city about the economic impact to farmers betrays a startling ignorance about the mechanisms of grain production and sales. The estimate of $.20 to $.40 per bushel of corn in premium versus current market conditions was not derived from careful analysis conducted by third-party experts. When pressed on the matter by Shaun Beauclair, himself a farmer and former board member of a regional corn processing facility, the GFREDC admitted that the premium assumption was given by a single farmer. In a February interview with AgWeek about the Fufeng project, Dr. Frayne Olson of North Dakota State University said that he believes the $.40 per bushel claim is only realistic for the first year or two to incentivize sales to the corn mill. Once the market settles back in future years, the realistic premium is closer to $.10 to $.20 per bushel. In practice, the grain elevators in the area who do not have direct interest in a value-added market for their purchased corn will quickly be faced with the choice of becoming a de facto origination and storage facility for Fufeng, or closing their doors. As one can see from this selection of “facts”, the Grand Forks Regional Economic Development Council has not done its best work to provide complete or accurate information to its stakeholders. Now, if this was the only vector of misinformation and all others involved were honest brokers, one might understand how an economic development group would choose to shade the truth a bit in order to bring a splashy, high-revenue project to town. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Multiple other individuals in positions of city leadership have also willingly promoted dishonest talking points, or chosen unscrupulous partners for the city, all in the interest of pushing the project forward. Let’s examine a few of these. Fufeng Group Has No Financial Connection to the Chinese Government On November 17, 2021, in a publicly-posted comment on his official Facebook account, Grand Forks mayor Brandon Bochenski stated that: “…the company is an American subsidiary of a publicly traded company that has zero govt. ownership. They are investing in an American facility built by American contractors, using American corn stock to produce products sold in America and manufactured by American workers. The company is more American than Apple, Nike and Amazon quite frankly in the global economy of today.” Members of the city council have used similar talking points in publicly-available council discussions. Now, this particular formulation of the zero-affiliation claim is intended to reassure listeners that as Fufeng Group Limited is a publicly-traded company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (a subsidiary of HKEx, or Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing), it is not reasonable to believe that the firm or any of its subsidiaries would choose (or be forced) to act in any way outside the direct fiduciary interests of its global shareholders. A complete overview of the complicated (and compromised) relationship between the HKEx and the Chinese Communist Party is beyond the scope of this piece, but for now, the following data will more than suffice to rebut this talking point. HKEx’s largest single shareholder is the Hong Kong Government, which also has the right to appoint six of thirteen directors to HKEx’s board. This matters for a number of reasons, but perhaps the most important is the Hong Kong national security law unanimously passed by China’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on 30 June 2020 in the wake of widespread pro-democracy protests throughout Hong Kong. Among the various deeply anti-democratic provisions of the law are the requirement that companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange act in accordance with the security directives of a secret body called the Committee for Safeguarding National Security. This entity has the ability to at any time investigate, indict, prosecute, or ruin any non-compliant company who has any business interest in Hong Kong - and extend these enforcement protocols anywhere in the world in violation of sovereign law and international norms. It is impossible to believe that HKEx will push back in any way if the Chinese Communist Party directs Fufeng Group to perform certain actions or disclose confidential business, community, or employee information in any of its subsidiaries - including Fufeng USA Incorporated. In simplified form, if the secret national security entity in mainland China or Hong Kong creates any pretext whatsoever, it will be able to force Fufeng USA to reveal all personal details of any employee, contractor, or even guests of the corn mill, regardless of the laws of the United States. This is an extremely important detail that as of yet, has not been properly addressed by Fufeng or city officials. Moreover, it is not even accurate to say that Fufeng Group does not have a financial connection to the Chinese government. In the same annual report referenced earlier, Fufeng Group Limited lists an interesting disclosure: a 30% ownership stake in Jilin COFCO Biomaterial Co Ltd. This joint venture between Fufeng Group and China Oil and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) is notable because COFCO is the largest agribusiness in China, and is a 100% state-owned enterprise under the management of the hyperpowerful State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC). Note that SASAC manages numerous entities that are currently sanctioned by the United States for espionage activities, use of forced labor in Xinjiang and elsewhere, and violation of international treaties or laws. Though COFCO has as yet not been similarly sanctioned, it is important to note that its sister companies under SASAC were penalized for carrying out the will of the Chinese Communist Party, and that COFCO can at any time be similarly leveraged by the CCP to perform illegal activities against the United States. As with numerous other claims made by the North Dakota Trade Office, Mayor Bochenski, GFREDC, and the Grand Forks city council, one cannot help but wonder how much due diligence has actually been put into this project. The City Is Taking All Appropriate Steps to Examine the Impact on U.S. National Security Interests This omnibus talking point, used repeatedly by city officials, is also completely inaccurate. There are numerous checks and balances that exist at the federal level concerning real estate acquisitions and foreign investments into the U.S. economy. The most well-known of these, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), is a multi-agency group under the Executive Branch that has the mandate of reviewing transactions by foreign entities into companies or technologies designated as “critical” to national security, and/or real estate transactions located within 100 miles of designated military installations. An examination of the facts shows that the Fufeng project may fall into the category of a “covered real estate transaction”, which means CFIUS expects voluntary disclosure of the project’s details. The risk is that if stakeholders do not disclose and CFIUS chooses to open an inquiry at some point, then an adverse finding from CFIUS will result in significant penalties for all involved, up to and including the forced sale of the property and assets to an approved third party. That the city and county have been courting Fufeng Group since mid-2020 and as of yet have not sought out independent legal review for compliance with FIRRMA (the law governing CFIUS’ activities), or submitted for a free voluntary review with CFIUS since the public reveal of this project in November 2021, does not argue well for the city council’s competence or motives in continuing to ignore public outcry and push the process forward at a breakneck pace. Another talking point used by the city and GFREDC is that the county and city’s “base retention” consultant, retired USAF General David Deptula, has reviewed the proposal and discussed it with the leadership at Grand Forks Air Force Base. The claim is that no one has issued an objection to the Fufeng proposal. There are a few things about this, however, that raise red flags. First, Deptula was the subject of a multi-year investigation by Department of Defense into illicit contracting activities and fraud while he was in uniform. In February 2015, Deptula agreed with the Department of Justice to pay a fine of $125,000, and was barred by the Air Force from conducting business with the federal government from November 2014 to February 2016. Despite this, the Grand Forks city council continues to authorize a $5,000 per month direct payment to The Deptula Group (Deptula’s lobbying and consulting firm) for base retention activities. When questioned about this, city council president Dana Sande initially insisted that Grand Forks County employs Deptula, not the city. After being reminded of the monthly expense approved by Sande and the rest of the city council, Sande admitted that the city pays a portion of the funding for base retention activities, but the county is in charge of selecting and coordinating with Deptula. However, a review of the county’s 2021 budget does not show a request or approval for funding to be allocated under the Base Retention line item, nor do county minutes throughout 2021 show approvals to remit any funds to Deptula, his company, or for base retention activities. It is possible that the county has allocated funding under a different line item to pay for Deptula’s services, but such is not noted. However, if the county is indeed not contributing to paying Deptula, then the city of Grand Forks appears to be willingly carrying the cost of Mr. Deptula for “base retention” activities, even as the Air Force already publicly committed in 2021 to expanding the base’s role and increasing its footprint in Grand Forks. Regardless, the ongoing payment of Deptula for at least $5,000 per month from city funds reflects the council’s comfort with employing fixers who have a questionable at best code of ethics when it comes to personal enrichment at the expense of taxpayers. Moreover, it is not for the leadership of the local military installation to make a determination on if a particular project is compliant with national security regulations. Thus, the constant talking points by city officials that Grand Forks Air Force Base has reviewed the project and not issued a complaint is misleading and wholly incorrect. The base leadership cannot review and rule on the Fufeng project, or any other potential commercial investment by foreign entities in the area of the base. The fact that city officials have continuously asserted that the Grand Forks Air Force Base commander has done so is incorrect, and jeopardizes the careers of both the commanding officer and any active duty personnel so connected to the claim. It also opens the door to civilian law enforcement involvement, as active duty military personnel allegedly issuing inappropriate and unauthorized statements in support of foreign investment may also entangle the civilians making such claims into criminal or civil charges. This is a tightrope for city officials to publicly walk, and it would seem from the outside that they have created a fiasco in the making in their haste to justify a lack of responsible and legal due diligence. There Are No Other Conflicts of Interest on the City Council with This Project Before each City Council vote on this project, the council brings up councilmember Jeannie Mock’s conflict of interest in the project and votes to force her to abstain. Mock’s company, AE2S, was involved in the preparation of land-use and infrastructure data before the project was publicly revealed, as can be seen on Slide 12 of the city’s pitch deck for the project. It is not known for certain how Mock would vote on the project, but it is proper for her to abstain on the basis of conflicts of interests and good ethics. However, there are other potential future conflicts of interest on the council not discussed or considered as exclusionary by the council. Kyle Kvamme is employed by ICON Architectural Group, a regional commercial project design firm headquartered in Grand Forks. Kvamme is the Director of Community Engagement and Project Development. He also recently became an owner in the firm. ICON is an obvious potential beneficiary of such a massive development as Fufeng’s, being a prominent local firm specializing in the design of buildings and layouts for large-scope projects. Bret Weber, who has been one of the most supportive voices on the council for the Fufeng project, is employed by the University of North Dakota as Department Chair and Professor of Social Work. Also employed by UND is Danny Weigel, who is the Investigations Commander and Public Information Officer for the UND Police force. Both have disclaimed any conflicts of interest. However, neither has disclosed that Fufeng USA is a tenant of the UND Center for Innovation, the university’s on-campus “entrepreneurial incubator”. Nor has Weigel shared if he has conducted any background checks on Fufeng Group or its representatives prior to them establishing occupancy in campus facilities. It is currently unknown if Fufeng USA is simply paying rent for part of the Center’s co-working office space in order to have a local presence, or if the company is a more integrated user of Center resources, such as the wet lab. The Center touts the wet lab as such: “High tech, bioscience, and scientific companies are all welcome at the UND Center for Innovation. Our state of the art wet lab makes innovations happen.” Given that Fufeng USA is, fundamentally, a biotech company that must cultivate and maintain various strains of bacteria to manufacture amino acids, it is not unreasonable to assume that the company has been, or will be, a major stakeholder in the Center. As the university already financially benefits from Fufeng’s presence in Grand Forks, the full scope of UND’s interest in current and future projects involving Fufeng should be disclosed. So, too, should it be considered a potential conflict of interest for university employees to vote as city council members on favorable considerations for a company that is an active revenue stream for the entity that cuts their paychecks. The obvious rebuttal of “it’s a drop in the bucket in the university’s overall revenue stream” is beside the point, and frankly, is an inappropriate attitude for a public official to hold. Just as with the city utilizing a disgraced former general to help gain Department of Defense approval for the project, or Weber indicating in the March 7th city council meeting that he feels public concerns about the project’s impact to national security are overblown, it seems that a number of city officials involved with this project are willing to excuse impropriety and ethical lapses as the cost of doing business with Chinese companies. Fufeng USA and Its Parent Companies Have No Known Connection to Forced Labor or Human Rights Crimes In China This is the murkiest and most troubling of all the accusations Fortis Analysis and other groups have leveled against Fufeng, yet has been hand-waived away by project proponents as unfounded innuendo because the firm has not been sanctioned specifically by U.S. authorities. But like most of the complex issues involved with this project, such casual dismissals betray a malignant ignorance of how and why sanctions law functions as it does in our nation. Fortunately for the Grand Forks city officials, we are here to provide accurate and detailed information that can help those officials make informed decisions in line with their sworn duty to their offices. The United States takes very seriously the issue of China’s human rights abuses, particularly in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of western China. In fact, the devastating suppression of non-Han ethnic groups in Xinjiang has been so intense that on 13 July 2021, the U.S. State Department issued its “Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory”, with the summary reading as such: The People’s Republic of China (PRC) government continues to carry out genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang), China. The PRC’s crimes against humanity include imprisonment, torture, rape, forced sterilization, and persecution, including through forced labor and the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement. Businesses, individuals, and other persons, including but not limited to investors, consultants, labor brokers, academic institutions, and research service providers (hereafter “businesses and individuals”) with potential exposure to or connection with operations, supply chains, or laborers from the Xinjiang-region, should be aware of the significant reputational, economic, and legal risks of involvement with entities or individuals in or linked to Xinjiang that engage in human rights abuses, including but not limited to forced labor and intrusive surveillance. Given the severity and extent of these abuses, including widespread, state-sponsored forced labor and intrusive surveillance taking place amid ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, businesses and individuals that do not exit supply chains, ventures, and/or investments connected to Xinjiang could run a high risk of violating U.S. law. Potential legal risks include: violation of statutes criminalizing forced labor including knowingly benefitting from participation in a venture, while knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that the venture has engaged in forced labor; sanctions violations if dealing with designated persons; export control violations; and violation of the prohibition of importations of goods produced in whole or in part with forced labor or convict labor. Now, given how adept Chinese companies are at masking their participation in, or benefit derived in part from, these evil activities, the U.S. will utilize a standard called “rebuttable presumption” when investigating abuses and issuing sanctions under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and future similar laws. What this means is that a company accused of connection to human rights abuses in Xinjiang (or other provinces) in China are treated by U.S. authorities as essentially being guilty until proven innocent. Importantly, this does not just mean that the company in question is directly employing forced laborers. Any company that uses raw materials, goods, or labor at any point in its supply chain where forced labor is involved is considered just as guilty of the abuse - a presumption of illegal benefit that extends to every single subsidiary, wherever it may be located. As just one example of the new risk to American stakeholders from this expanded enforcement against China’s human rights abuse, Fufeng Group lists in its annual report that coal is the primary energy feedstock for its corn mills in China. Coal is one of the sectors most heavily targeted for enforcement and sanctions due to Chinese coal mining companies making extensive use of forced labor to keep production costs low. Fufeng Group specifically notes that it strategically locates its facilities close to coal-fired power plants, and that such practice is “instrumental in strengthening the Group’s pricing power.” Even more so than coal, Fufeng consumes corn at enormous rates. Thus, it makes sense that Fufeng tends to locate its operations not only close to coal power production, but also major agriculture regions. Here, too, Fufeng should be assumed to benefit substantially from lower raw material prices derived from the involvement of forced labor. In Heilongjiang province, Fufeng’s subsidiary Qiqihar Fufeng is located less than 50 miles from the sprawling Liusan Prison farm, managed by the Communist Party Committee Deputy Secretary of Liusan. Only a few miles further southwest from Liusan inside Inner Mongolia, there are numerous other farms at Wutaqi, Ulan, and the notorious Bao’anzhao Prison. Hulunbeier Northeast Fufeng Biotechnologies is located approximately 200 miles from the large prison farm at “Genghis Kahn Ranch” in Zalantun City. One of Fufeng’s largest plants, Neimenggu Fufeng Biotechnologies, is located in Hohhot City in Inner Mongolia. The entire administrative apparatus for the corporation that sells forced prison labor goods to Chinese and international consumers is called Inner Mongolia Hengzheng Industrial Group Co., Ltd., and also happens to be located in Hohhot City. As of October 2019, the company was run by Xu Hongguang, a CCP member and the Deputy Director of the Ministry of Justice of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Among the company’s primary goods produced in the prisons and sold to companies in China are grains, processed agriculture commodities, and food ingredients. Notably, the company was sanctioned by the United States in October of 2020 for use of forced labor in manufacturing stevia sweetener, which like Fufeng’s products, are a derivative of biological processing. [Edit, 21 March 2022 - The original comment that stevia sweetener is a derivative of corn processing is not correct. The author has corrected the article.] It would require an absurd leap of faith to state that Fufeng has no plausible connections to, or benefit from, the expansive use of forced labor in agriculture production so logistically close to Fufeng’s major corn- and coal-consuming plants in Xingang, Heilongjiang, and Inner Mongolia. Should an investigation be raised by Commerce, State, or Treasury into the activities of any Fufeng Group subsidiary in connection to forced labor, it is highly likely that Fufeng would be unable to satisfy the rebuttable presumption of participation in the forced labor and abusive regimes in place in China. This would trigger automatic sanctions not only against Fufeng Group in China, but also their international subsidiaries such as First Biotech and Fufeng USA. Such sanctions would make it impossible for banks to lend to any of the affected entities in the United States or conduct normal business operations, shutting down the entire project in Grand Forks and invalidating the letter of credit the city proclaims as providing a no-risk guarantee to local taxpayers the city has not wasted money chasing a pot of gold at the end of the CCP’s genocidal rainbow. This Is Not the End As one can see, there is not much more that needs to be said about the Fufeng Group’s bid to purchase 370 acres of land in Grand Forks and build its wet corn mill. Nearly every single major talking point used by city officials and Fufeng USA is provably false or shaded with just enough truth to pass scrutiny of low-information voters. This is how it works when one chooses to do business with CCP-aligned entities who deliberately target local and state officials to circumvent the United States’ federal national security countermeasures. The officials, craving a big win to build their next campaign on, or perhaps finding some compelling self-interest in the economic aspects of the project, suspend all good sense and dive headfirst into extreme legal and moral hazard at the expense of their communities, their state, and their nation. Grand Forks Mayor Brandon Bochenski, City Council president Dana Sande, and their grasping enablers have (to this point) made the choice to do just that. And at least for now, we know that the most powerful weapon in the CCP’s gray zone war against the United States is not hypersonic missiles, cyberespionage, or theft of intellectual property. It’s 30 pieces of silver wrapped in a box of false promises to our elected officials. Addendum A number of Grand Forks residents and concerned stakeholders around the nation have expressed to this author their alarm and despair at the ease with which the Chinese Communist Party continues to corrupt and undermine the United States. That it all feels hopeless, and that our collapse as a nation is both certain and imminent. I will share this, then - Winston Churchill’s words to the Harrow School on 29 October 1941, in the midst of the darkest hours of Great Britain’s seemingly hopeless defense against the mighty Nazi war machine. “…Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy… Do not let us speak of darker days: let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days - the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.” Dum spiro spero. Subscribe to Human Terrain Tyler Durden Fri, 03/25/2022 - 23:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMar 25th, 2022

The 8 best online flower delivery services we tested in 2022

Fresh flowers make a thoughtful and easy gift. We ordered 39 bouquets from 16 brands to find the best flowers for Valentine's Day and beyond. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Lauren Savoie/InsiderWhether it be a holiday, a milestone, sympathy, or just because, sending fresh flowers is a thoughtful way to let someone know you're thinking of them. And it's easier than ever: a plethora of online delivery services have streamlined the process down to a couple of clicks. There are now dozens of these merchants out there, with a wide array of options — fresh bouquets, live plants, dried or preserved arrangements, subscriptions, and more — all at varying price points. While our reporters and editors have used nearly every one of these services to send loved ones bouquets over the years, we wanted to know exactly how they stack up against one another. To find the best flower delivery service, we ordered 39 arrangements from 16 popular brands, sending the flowers to Insider Reviews team members all over the country. Our goal was to find a service that delivers the freshest, most attractive flowers that arrive on time no matter your location. You can read more about our methodology, and find out more about what services didn't make the cut here.Here are the best online flower delivery services in 2022Best flower delivery service overall: UrbanStemsUrbanStems makes some of the most stunning bouquets we've found and offers something for everyone, with a diverse selection of fresh flowers, dried flowers, plants, gifts, and subscriptions.  Best flower delivery service for farm-fresh flowers: Farmgirl FlowersFarmgirl Flowers offers unique and playful arrangements that change with what's in season and with many blooms sourced from California farmers.Best flower delivery service for custom arrangements: FloracracyFloracracy's custom arrangements are a unique way to mark life's meaningful moments, and make gifting flowers feel incredibly personal and special. Best flower delivery service for same-day delivery: FTDFTD offers hundreds of bouquets, gifts, and plants for delivery in all 50 states and 150 counties, with many options for same-day arrival.  Best flower delivery subscription: BloomsyBoxBloomsyBox offers a la carte bouquets and plants, but its wide variety of subscription plans are where the service really shines.   Best flower delivery service for preserved roses: RoseBoxPreserved roses are incredibly popular and can last more than a year with proper care. We love Rosebox for preserved roses because of its robust selection of arrangements, vases, and colors.Best flower delivery service for fresh roses: Roses OnlyAs the name implies, Roses Only sells just one product but it does it remarkably well, delivering some of the most pristine, stunning, long-stemmed roses we've ever seen.Best flower delivery service for dried bouquets: East OliviaFresh flowers have a short lifespan but dried florals from East Olivia can last for years with proper care and feature inventive colors and textures not found in traditional fresh bouquets. Best flower delivery service overallLauren Savoie/Maria Del Russo/Rachael Shultz/InsiderUrbanStems makes some of the most stunning bouquets we've found and offers something for everyone, with a diverse selection of fresh flowers, dried flowers, plants, gifts, and subscriptions.  Price range: $45 to $185Delivery area: Lower 48 statesSame-day delivery: Yes, in New York City and Washington, D.C. onlyNext-day delivery: YesShipping: $10 to $15, depending on delivery date and methodPros: Lots of options to choose from, including dried bouquets and plants; attractive floral designs in a range of styles, sizes, and pricesCons: Some testers noted flowers lasted a few days less than other brandsUrbanStems offers a robust selection of modern, fresh bouquets, along with dried flowers, plants, candles, chocolate, and subscriptions. It's a great one-stop shop to find something that feels unique to your recipient. We tried the Juliet, Luna, and Double the Pink Champagne fresh bouquets, along with the Aspen dried bouquet and Claude plant. Everything arrived on time and in excellent condition. The arrangements were some of the freshest, most attractive bouquets we tested, and were filled with lively, creative blooms in a range of colors.The bouquets lasted a little over a week — average for fresh-cut flowers — and the dried bouquet and plant are still going strong. The site is also very easy to navigate and lets you filter by occasion, color, price, and more.Read our full review of UrbanStems.Best for flower delivery service for farm-fresh flowersLauren Savoie/Connie Chen/InsiderFarmgirl Flowers offers unique and playful arrangements that change with what's in season and with many blooms sourced from California farmers.Price range: $42 to $250Delivery area: Lower 48 statesSame-day delivery: NoNext-day delivery: Possible, but not guaranteedShipping: $25Pros: Whimsical, in-season blooms; each bouquet is unique; moderately priced; offers some rare flowers; some florals are grown in the US Cons: Surprise bouquets not ideal if you have specific flowers you want to include or avoid; some customers report wilting or short-lived bloomsIf you're after an arrangement that looks like it was recently plucked from the garden, Farmgirl Flowers offers inventive and playful bouquets based on what's in season. Farmgirl's flagship offerings are the Fun Size, Just Right, and Big Love bouquets (formerly Mini, Midi, and Maxi). You don't get to choose what you receive; instead, Farmgirl puts together a bouquet based on what's available and in season. The company's website and social media give you an idea of what to expect, but every bouquet is slightly different, giving it a special, unique feel. I received a Just Right and a Big Love, and had another Just Right sent to a tester in California. I love that the arrangements had a whimsical, wild shape to them, and they were gorgeous from every angle. The Just Right and Big Love both appeared the same size when I first received them, but after a few hours in water, the Big Love's closed buds opened up to create a fuller bouquet. If you want your bouquet to include (or avoid) certain flowers, Farmgirl also offers a few dozen specialty bouquets, including some rare blooms like flower breeder David Austin's Juliet and Patience roses.Best flower delivery service for custom arrangementsLauren Savoie/Connie Chen/InsiderFloracracy's custom arrangements are a unique way to mark life's meaningful moments, and make gifting flowers feel incredibly personal and special. Price range: $155 to $350Delivery area: Lower 48 statesSame-day delivery: NoNext-day delivery: YesShipping: IncludedPros: Completely customizable arrangements, online tool helps you choose the right arrangement, beautiful presentation and packaging, thoughtful extras like a petal pressing book and mini shears, letter writing serviceCons: Online tool can be a bit tricky to navigate, lots of packaging (though most is compostable or recyclable), few budget optionsIf you really want to wow your giftee with something special, a custom arrangement from Floracracy is perhaps the most personal flower gift you can buy. Every aspect of the design can be customized, from the shape, to the colors, to the blooms. If you're not sure where to start, the company's design tool walks you through a quiz that lets you select the intended recipient, occasion, and meaning you wish to convey, and then makes a recommendation for you. Each flower is paired with a meaning from the company's thorough research of historical flower symbolism. You're also given the option to write a letter yourself or have the company write one for you based on information you provide.The arrangements we received from Floracracy were the most lush and vibrant we've ever seen from a flower delivery service. Each arrangement comes with a coordinating vase, a handbound book for pressing petals, and an illustrated card with each of the flowers and their meaning. Our blooms lasted almost three weeks; longer than any other arrangement. While this service is pricier and requires some of your time to design, it makes for a truly meaningful and memorable flower gift. Read our full review of Floracracy here.Best flower delivery service for same-day deliveryLauren Savoie/Jenny McGrath/InsiderFTD offers hundreds of bouquets, gifts, and plants for delivery in all 50 states and 150 counties, with many options for same-day arrival.  Price range: $40 to $225Delivery area: All 50 states, 150 countriesSame-day delivery: YesNext-day delivery: YesShipping: Starts at $17.99 and varies based on delivery date and order totalPros: Orders filled by local florists; a large selection of bouquets, plants, and giftsCons: Experience can vary based on which florist fills your order, designs are more traditional and less modernWhen you need to send flowers fast, a floral wire service is your best option. Florists' Transworld Delivery Service (FTD) has been in the flower delivery business for more than 100 years and partners with local florists to fufill and deliver orders in all 50 states and more than 150 countries. In many cases, you'll also have the option of same-day delivery. The arrangements lean toward more traditional colors and flowers, instead of more modern or unique designs.Compared to other similar floral wire services, both my testers and I had the better experience with FTD. The bouquets and plants we received were fuller, fresher, and in better condition than blooms from 1-800-Flowers. Of course, since orders are typically filled by local florists, your experience may vary depending on who ultimately fills your order.If you need to send flowers quickly, internationally, or to hard-to-reach places, FTD is the best same-day service we've found.Read our full review of FTD.Best flower subscriptionLauren Savoie/InsiderBloomsyBox offers a la carte bouquets and plants, but its wide variety of subscription plans are where the service really shines.   Price range: $45 to $70Delivery area: Nationwide, except Puerto Rico and HawaiiSame-day delivery: N/A for subscriptionsNext-day delivery: N/A for subscriptionsShipping: Included in cost of subscriptionPros: Multiple weekly and monthly plans to choose from, offers month-to-month and prepaid plans, bouquets are gorgeous, a la carte bouquets and plants availableCons: Don't get to choose which flowers are in your bouquet, which might not be a good option for those with allergies or petsFlower subscriptions are a great way to brighten someone's day on a more frequent basis — or to liven up your own home with regularly-scheduled blooms. BloomsyBox offers a robust fleet of weekly and monthly subscription options at reasonable prices. You can pay month-to-month or save a few dollars by prepaying for 3-, 6-, or 12-month subscriptions. While the retailer also sells a la carte bouquets and plants, we think it's subscriptions offer the best value.I tried BloomsyBox's priciest subscription: its NYBG Collection. Each bouquet in the subscription curated by the New York Botanical Garden's floral experts and features blooms that are in season. A portion of the subscription goes to supporting the NYBG's plant science and conservation efforts.I'm two bouquets into my 3-month subscription and so far, everything has been stunning. It's a nice treat each month when I get an e-mail in my inbox saying my bouquet is on the way. April's bouquet featured white and purple lilies with a bunch of lush greenery, while March's selection was a springy mix of pink roses and purple veronica. I highly recommend BloomsyBox's subscriptions to anyone looking for a bit of floral cheer on a regular basis.Best flower delivery service for preserved rosesLauren Savoie/Maliah West/Hannah Freedman/InsiderPreserved roses are incredibly popular and can last more than a year with proper care. We love Rosebox for preserved roses because of its robust selection of arrangements, vases, and colors.Price range: $89 to $1,119Delivery area: All 50 statesSame-day delivery: Yes, in Manhattan onlyNext-day delivery: YesShipping: $0 to $30, depending on delivery date and order totalPros: More than 20 rose color options, many container types, smell and look like fresh roses, can last a year or longer with proper careCons: Don't have the same feel as real rosesIf you've been on Instagram lately, chances are you've seen these trendy preserved roses somewhere on your feed. Usually packed into boxes or displayed in a classic ball arrangement, these flowers are incredibly popular with influencers and celebrities. We tested three preserved rose brands and found the quality very similar. Ultimately, we chose RoseBox as the best preserved roses for its diverse range of color and display options. We particularly liked that its plentiful display containers had discreet branding or none at all, unlike other preserved rose brands that their cover containers (which can't be separated from the flowers) with logos.  Almost all of RoseBox's 90+ products can be customized with 21 or more different rose color options. One of our testers opted for turquoise, while others opted from more classic red and pink varieties. Preserved roses are expensive, no matter what brand you choose. A single preserved rose will cost you anywhere from $44 to $89, which is the same price as a full-sized bouquet from most of our other top picks. Expect a medium-sized array of preserved roses to cost about $300. That said, they can end up being an economical alternative to buying flowers every week. We're eager to see if our arrangements live up to their purported longevity.Best flower delivery service for fresh rosesLauren Savoie/Katie Decker-Jacoby/InsiderAs the name implies, Roses Only sells just one product but it does it remarkably well, delivering some of the most pristine, stunning, long-stemmed roses we've ever seen.Price range: $65 to $669Delivery area: All 50 states and internationally to the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, and AustraliaSame-day delivery: Yes, in New York City and Los Angeles onlyNext-day delivery: YesShipping: $19.95Pros: Stunning roses; beautiful presentation; long-lasting flowers; available in quantities from six to 100Cons: Limited product and color choices.Roses are such a big seller that I made sure every arrangement I received as part of this guide included at least some of them. Having seen the spectrum of what's out there, I can confidently say that Roses Only delivers the most pristine, long-lasting roses I've found.So much care is put into the delivery: the cartoonishly perfect long-stemmed roses (which you can order in quantities of six to 100) come packaged in a long, elegant box with a linen ribbon, and every rose has its own water reservoir to ensure it arrives pristine. The roses themselves are flawless, with big velvety petals. They lasted about two weeks and gradually opened up until each bud was about the size of my palm. At about $8 per flower, Roses Only sells some of the most expensive roses out there, but if it's just fresh roses that you're after, no flower delivery service does it better.Best flower delivery service for dried bouquetsLauren Savoie/InsiderFresh flowers have a short lifespan but dried florals from East Olivia can last for years with proper care and feature inventive colors and textures not found in traditional fresh bouquets. Price range: $55 to $225Delivery area: All 50 statesSame-day delivery: NoNext-day delivery: NoShipping: $12.99Pros: Unique and inventive designs, each arrangement comes with a coordinating vase, options change seasonally, arrangements can last a year or longer with proper careCons: Order processing can take up to five business days, limited edition collections can sell out quicklyNo matter how pretty the bouquet, fresh flowers will all eventually wilt. Dried bouquets are a good solution for those who love the look of florals but hate the upkeep. Some of the most creative and beautiful preserved arrangements we've seen come from East Olivia.The offerings change seasonally, but at the time of our testing the brand featured a winter collection and Valentine's Day collection, both featuring ornamental grasses and filler flowers dyed dreamy pastel colors. We tried The Rose from the winter collection and The Harper (currently out of stock) from the Valentine's Day collection. Each bouquet comes fully arranged and delicately packaged with its own matching ceramic vase. The Rose features miscanthus, pampas grass, ruscus, helecho fern, and bunny tails in varying shades of pink, set in an ivory porcelain vase. It currently lives in my office, where it makes me smile every time I walk past it. I love knowing that I'll get many, many months of enjoyment out of it. The fact that East Olivia's collections change with the season makes each arrangement feel special and limited edition. Order processing can take up to five business days, so you'll want to plan ahead if you plan on gifting one of these dried arrangements, especially considering the limited edition collections can sell out quickly.What else we testedCaitlin Petreycik/Lauren Savoie/InsiderWe tested 16 brands for our guide to the best flower delivery services. Here are the ones that didn't quite make the cut.What else we recommend and why:The Bouqs Co. (starting at $39): The first time we tested The Bouqs, we received lackluster results: My grand Santa Cruz'n arrangement came with half the number of promised blooms, many were wilted, and flowers were zip-tied directly to the shipping box with only a single sheet of paper laid over them for protection. The Bouqs claimed they fixed these issues, so we tried the service again recently with three more bouquets sent to three testers. The bouquets were noticeably fuller, better protected, and fresher this time around. We're upping the brand's status from "not recommended" to "recommended," but still keeping a close eye on reader reports of quality and freshness.  Ode à la Rose (starting at $56): Ode à la Rose makes beautiful, minimalist bouquets often consisting of just one to three flower types. The bouquets we received from Ode à la Rose were breathtaking, and this service is a fantastic option if you live in New York City, Philadelphia, or Chicago where you can choose from a wider selection of arrangements and have the option of same-day delivery. However, the selection is limited, especially for nationwide delivery (only 10 bouquets were available for delivery to Boston).Venus Et Fleur (starting at $44): This preserved rose brand delivered fresh-smelling, attractive roses. We loved the quality of the blooms and the creative options available on the site. However, we wished there were more container options; especially those that don't have Venus Et Fleur branding so prominently displayed.Bouquet Box (starting at $99): Bouquet Box offers you a chance to hone your flower arranging skills with a kit of flowers and instructions for arranging them. It's pricey compared to other comparable services, but I really enjoyed the experience and the instructions. I felt like a learned a skill and got a great bouquet; plus, I still use the shears, thorn-stripper, vase, and grid from my welcome kit for my own flower arrangements.Pomp (starting at $75): Pomp just launched this summer and features sustainably-grown flowers from the owners' farms in Colombia. The roses are the stand-out option. We're looking forward to seeing Pomp's selection expand as the brand grows.Fresh Sends (starting at $55): Fresh Sends offers two products: a "regular" or "full" bouquet. You don't know what sort of arrangement you'll be receiving; the offerings change daily. While this is a great option if you struggle with decision fatigue (and the packaging was really fun), the "full" bouquet was quite small for $85.What we don't recommend and why:Rosepops (starting at $32): This preserved rose brand sends its arrangements packed in lidded boxes. When it arrives, you remove the lid and pull on the box strings to "pop" the roses up above the lid of the box for presentation. The popping mechanism was unique (and nice for storage). However, our testers thought the large and prominent logos on all the containers cheapened the presentation, and the website isn't intuitive to navigate.1-800-Flowers (starting at $34.99): While the selection is robust (I counted 53 bouquets available for same-day delivery in my area), the website is a bit tricky to navigate. The bouquet I received was skimpier and less impressive than others from similar services. Our Seattle-based tester noted that the orchid she ordered wasn't packed very well for shipping, and a lot of the gravel and soil in the container was spilled when it arrived.Our flower delivery service testing methodologyLauren Savoie/InsiderTo find the best flower delivery service, we conducted hands-on testing of every brand in this guide. We ordered two to three arrangements from each brand, evaluating the selection, ordering, and delivery process. We sent bouquets to testers in different parts of the country — including New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, rural Colorado, and suburban Connecticut — to see if quality and delivery time varied based on location. In all, we tested 39 bouquets from 16 brands. Here's what we looked for in the best flower delivery service:Ordering: We scrutinized the ordering process of each service, noting whether the website was simple to navigate, what the product selection was like, and how easy it was to place an order. We also looked at shipping options and estimated delivery times.Delivery: We noted whether the arrangements arrived when they said they would (all did), evaluated packaging, and looked at the condition of the flowers when they first arrived. Testers across the country compared notes; we found delivery times and quality consistent across the country.Quality of flowers: We looked for full bouquets of lively-looking flowers that matched the description and photo of the arrangement we ordered online. We read all care instructions and followed them meticulously, noting how long the flowers remained fresh enough to display. Consistency: A good flower service should deliver quality blooms no matter the location of your recipient. Our testers across the country took photos and detailed notes about delivery and bouquet quality to compare experiences.FAQs about flower delivery servicesLauren Savoie/InsiderWhen should I order flowers for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and other popular holidays?While many flower delivery services offer next-day delivery for most of the year, all bets are off when it comes to major holidays like Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. When ordering around popular holidays, a safe bet is to place your order two weeks in advance of the day you want the flowers delivered. This will ensure you have plenty of arrangements and delivery dates to choose from.Is it safe to have fresh flowers around pets?It depends on the types of flowers. The ASPCA maintains a comprehensive list of flowers and plants and whether they are toxic or safe for dogs and cats. It's important to remember that certain plants can still be toxic to animals even if they are kept out of reach; pollen and other airborne spores can get into the fur of animals and be ingested during grooming. If you're ordering flowers for a household that has pets, it's best to stick with a service that allows you to see the types of flowers in the arrangement before ordering. Some brands, like Fresh Sends or subscription services, don't allow you to preview the bouquet before it's sent, which could land you with a bouquet that isn't pet safe.Our top pick, UrbanStems, lists the type of flowers in each arrangement, so you can check to make sure it's safe for your pet. Some brands, like Floracracy, take it a step further and let you completely customize your bouquet so you can be sure to only include plants and flowers that are safe.  How long do fresh flowers last?A lot depends on how recently the flowers were cut before they arrived at your home. Flowers can be cut hours, days, or weeks before shipping to you, greatly varying their lifespan in your home. On average, however, you can expect fresh flowers to last five days to a week in a vase with good care. If you're interested in longer-lasting flowers, preserved roses or a dried bouquet are great options.What's the best way to keep fresh flowers alive longer?Some ways to extend the life of your fresh flowers include cutting the stems before putting them in water, using flower food in the water (often supplied with the bouquet, but can be homemade), and changing the water whenever it gets discolored or cloudy. You can read more tips for keeping flowers fresh here. Remember that you don't have to trash the whole bouquet if a few flowers are dead or wilted; just remove the dead flowers and rearrange or tighten the bouquet as needed (you may need to downsize to a smaller vase). Hardy flowers with woody stems like roses can last several weeks with proper care.   What are the best types of flowers to buy?When in doubt, roses are a great pick. They're long-lasting, easy to care for, and largely pet safe. You can get roses in all sorts of colors, shapes, and sizes to suit any recipient. Check out related guidesHow to keep fresh-cut flowers alive longerThe 8 best chocolates in 2021, according to a professional chocolatierThe best wine subscriptions in 2021The best Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and other sparkling wines for any budgetRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 21st, 2022

8 Staging Secrets from a Top Real Estate Professional

Sell faster. And for more money. This is what every home seller (and agent) wants. And according to the Real Estate Staging Association, staged homes sell 73% faster with an average 297% return on investment. With so many differing opinions on home staging, we turned to Jay Hart, a co-principal at Sold with Style, a […] The post 8 Staging Secrets from a Top Real Estate Professional appeared first on RISMedia. Sell faster. And for more money. This is what every home seller (and agent) wants. And according to the Real Estate Staging Association, staged homes sell 73% faster with an average 297% return on investment. With so many differing opinions on home staging, we turned to Jay Hart, a co-principal at Sold with Style, a pre-sale consulting and home staging service for clients in and around NYC, to give us his best intelligence on staging. Hart’s staging advice is often featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, as well as a spotlight on HGTV’s “Selling NY.” 1. Home staging is all about making more money. Staging is a business move, not just making things look pretty. In many markets, you should be able to get a three to ten-time return on your staging investment. “I recently worked with a client who debated spending $5,000 on flooring. In the end, we convinced him to invest in the flooring and it resulted in a $150,000 price increase,” says Hart. 2. Your best offers will come in the first 40 days. This means the house needs to be in order and staged by the time you take listing photos, so that the very first day on the market, it can sell. “We see many sellers who decide they won’t make any changes to their home until it’s on the market for a while. They create if-then lists, which are never good: If the property doesn’t sell, then I’ll invest in some new paint,” says Hart. “The thing is, buyers don’t want to do the things on your if-then list. They don’t want to have to take down all of the wallpaper the seller put up 30 years ago. They see the amount of time or money they would have to put into the property and decide to move on.” And unfortunately, if you don’t get to your if-then list in the first 40 days, your sellers are going to lose a lot of potential buyers. 3. Buyers really don’t want to choose their own style. Many sellers or real estate agents abstain from making updates to a property because they think a buyer will want to choose their own style. “This is the single worst piece of advice a real estate agent can give a seller,” says Hart. “Only 10% of the people on the market are looking for a fixer-upper, and those people want a really great deal on a house. You’re losing 90% of your potential market by not making any updates,” says Hart. 4. If you don’t make the updates, that money is already gone. Oftentimes sellers are concerned that the updates they make on their home won’t be worth it financially. But Hart says that if they don’t make the improvements, that money is already gone. They can fix it now, or the buyer will just end up deducting it from their offer price. If sellers have many updates to make to the home, they can prioritize by making small bathroom or kitchen improvements first, which will get the most return. This includes things such as painting, re-glazing a blue bathtub, installing a new toilet, updating lighting, and so forth. 5. Stay true to the architecture. When staging a home, it’s important your clients stay consistent with the architecture of the home. This means staying away from ultra-modern designs in a Tudor, and so forth. 6. Perceived space is worth money, too. Whether the home you are selling is 500 square feet or 5,000 square feet, squeeze every inch of perceived space out of it. This means de-cluttering both horizontally and vertically. Hart says that another area to look for perceived space is a deck, patio, or outdoor living area. “While this isn’t counted toward the square footage of a home, it’s perceived as an extra room to homebuyers, and buyers value that.” 7. Don’t forget who your market is. It’s important a home is staged to capture the attention of the largest market demographic who might be interested in that house. Is the house in a young, cool, hip area where you might have a lot of single buyers? Make sure design choices reflect that. Is your target market 30-50-year-old couples with young children? Then you’ll want to ensure the house reflects what type of lifestyle their family can have while living there. 8. Encourage your clients to disconnect from their home. The way they are using their space now might not be the most appealing to potential buyers. They should know who the target market is that you’re going after, and make sure all spaces in their house reflect that. McKissock Learning is the nation’s premier online real estate school, providing continuing education courses and professional development to hundreds of thousands of real estate agents across the country. As part of the Colibri Real Estate family of premier education brands, McKissock Learning, along with its sister schools Real Estate Express, Superior School of Real Estate, Allied Schools, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, Gold Coast Schools, The Rockwell Institute and Hondros Education Group, helps real estate professionals achieve sustainable success throughout each stage of their real estate career. Learn more at mckissock.com/real-estate. The post 8 Staging Secrets from a Top Real Estate Professional appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaJan 13th, 2022

54 Amazon gifts teenagers actually want, from a mystical board game to cozy loungewear

Finding a gift for a teenager can be tough, but there are a lot of options on Amazon. Here are 54 gift ideas teens will actually want to keep. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.Amazon has an abundance of great gifts for teens, from the "Dune" books to a Kindle to read them on.Amazon Teens are notoriously difficult to shop for, especially when it comes to gifts.  To help ease shopping stress, we put together a list of 54 cool and convenient Amazon gifts.  Still looking for gift ideas? Check out our list of the all-time best products we've ever tested. Teens may be difficult to shop for, but you don't need to search far and wide for gift ideas — Amazon has options in everything from tech to beauty products.From the popular book-turned-into-movie "Dune" to a Nintendo Switch, we rounded up the best 54 best gifts for the teens in your life. They cover a range of prices and brands, including newer startups you didn't even know you could find on Amazon. Check out all 54 gifts for teens on Amazon:A board game that feels like a video gameAmazonThis collaborative board game (good for 1-4 players) is sort of like "Dungeons & Dragons," "Magic the Gathering," and other cult-favorite fantasy-adventure games that invite players to contend with monsters and mercenaries, explore a new world, and discover treasure and fame. Players make tactical decisions and the game unfolds in reaction to their choices. $111.47 FROM AMAZONA magnetic dartboardAmazonA magnetic dartboard is a fun, compact activity they can play alone or with friends, indoors or outdoors. This one is also magnetic, so you don't have to worry about ant exceptionally sharp flying objects.$29.99 FROM AMAZONA soft, wearable blanketAmazonWhat teen doesn't want something decadent and ultra-comfortable to wear around the house? This soft fleece blanket-turned-sweatshirt is perfect for making every activity cozier, whether it's reading, studying, watching shows, or sleeping.$36.99 FROM AMAZONA pair of trendy, easy-to-use AirPodsAmazonIf you're after the title of their favorite relative of the year, AirPod Pros could be the convenient, easy-to-use gift to get.If you're looking to spend less, we also recommend great headphones that won't break $50.$197.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $249.99 | Save 21%$199.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $249.99 | Save 20%$219.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $249.99 | Save 12%$179.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $249.00 | Save 28%$209.00 FROM B&HOriginally $249.00 | Save 16%A cute waffle makerCrate & BarrelSometimes all anyone wants is anything delicious and aesthetically appealing — like mini waffles. This waffle maker is small, too, so it shouldn't crowd their kitchen too much.$16.98 FROM AMAZONSmart lights that are compatible with Amazon AlexaAmazonThey can use their voice to control these smart light bulbs through an Alexa Echo, Echo Dot, or Google Home Assistant. They can also give hands-free commands to set the brightness, turn lights on and off, change colors, create timers, and more to customize their space.$15.29 FROM AMAZONA GoProAmazonGoPro is the rugged, waterproof action camera they can take with them anywhere. While older models will still get the job done, the Hero10 is the newest and best overall model.You can read a full GoPro Hero 10 review here, but the gist is this: The Hero 10 is a performance camera, but its upgrades allow it to do what even bigger and more expensive cameras can do, too. $488.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $588.99 | Save 17%A fun outdoor game they can play with friendsDICK'S Sporting GoodsOn a beautiful, sunny day in the city, you'll probably see at least one group playing this fun and active game in the park. With rules similar to volleyball, it's incredibly easy to learn — so friend groups or families can get involved.$64.98 FROM AMAZON$69.98 FROM DICK'S SPORTING GOODSThe new Fire HD 10 tablet for music, games, and mediaAmazonWe think Amazon's latest Fire tablet is the best and most affordable tablet for basic needs on the market (as long as you don't expect to use Google apps). With it, they can stream videos, browse the web, and read books. Read more about it here.$149.99 FROM AMAZONThe popular Dune seriesAmazonAfter "Harry Potter" and classics commonly found on high school syllabi, Dune is the #15 bestselling young adult book on Amazon. The first movie in the series, which stars Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, premiered on October 21 (you can watch it on HBO Max) and the second is coming out October 2023 — so they'll have enough time to catch up before the next installment.$84.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $108.00 | Save 21%The Nintendo SwitchNintendoThe Nintendo Switch is one of the gifts that, with good reason, tend to elicit lots of excitement. This model has a battery life of up to nine hours and can be played with friends or solo, and at home or on the go.Note: Some colors are currently out of stock.$299.00 FROM AMAZON$299.99 FROM GAMESTOP$299.99 FROM BEST BUYAn instant cameraAmazonInstax's cute instant camera is great for anyone who loves taking photos. All they need is some film to get started. It features a small selfie mirror to ensure proper framing, a macro lens attachment, and a variety of modes to account for different indoor and outdoor environments.$59.99 FROM AMAZONA multi-color alarm clock that doubles as a speakerAmazonBeyond helping ensure they're up on time, this alarm clock doubles as a Bluetooth speaker and as a dimmable, multi-color bedside lamp.$39.99 FROM AMAZONA beanie with built-in headphonesAmazonSoundbot makes soft beanies that have built-in headphones for on-the-go listening. They have a rechargeable battery, built-in microphone, and wireless range of up to 33 feet. $19.98 FROM AMAZONOriginally $25.10 | Save 20%An Echo Dot that doubles as a clockAmazonThe Amazon Echo Dot is the most popular Amazon device for a reason — it's compact and has all the capabilities of Alexa (weather updates, recipes, music, and news). $34.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $49.99 | Save 30%One of the best young adult books of the yearAmazonIf you're looking to gift a good book they likely haven't read yet, we suggest snooping through literary awards, where judges do the heavy lifting for you. This book, a queer love story set in 1954 Chinatown, was shortlisted for the 2021 National Book Award in young adult literature.Some more book suggestions: "All the Bright Places," a popular YA book on TikTok"Scythe," a bestselling dystopian YA book similar to "The Hunger Games"The best young adult books, according to a teenagerThe best young adult romance booksThe best young people's literature of 2021 according to the National Book AwardsThe best books we read in our 20s$14.20 FROM AMAZONAn effective electric toothbrushAmazonWe love this electric toothbrush as a budget-friendly option that doesn't compromise on performance. It's also the path of least resistance to helping your teen build their own healthy habits.$39.97 FROM AMAZONOriginally $49.94 | Save 20%A necklace featuring their zodiac signAmazonZodiac signs, and the unique personality traits tied to each one, have become extremely popular in recent years. Pick up their sign in a dainty, gold-dipped necklace they can wear every day.$16.98 FROM AMAZONA portable chargerAmazonWhether used for traveling or keeping in contact with friends or parents while on the go, this external battery is great for giving parents and teens convenience — and peace of mind. $49.99 FROM AMAZONPopSockets for the back of their phonePopSocketPopSockets have become their own cultural phenomenon. Besides being useful, they offer a bit of personalization to tech and come in a variety of colors and patterns.$7.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $9.99 | Save 20%$15.00 FROM POPSOCKETSNew video games: "Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury"AmazonUltimately, no gift may compare to a great new video game they can play solo or with friends. $59.99 FROM AMAZON$59.99 FROM BEST BUY$49.94 FROM GAMESTOPNew video games: "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD"Amazon$49.94 FROM AMAZONOriginally $59.99 | Save 17%$50.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $59.99 | Save 15%$49.94 FROM GAMESTOPOriginally $59.99 | Save 17%$49.94 FROM WALMARTOriginally $59.99 | Save 17%New video games: "Animal Crossing: New Horizons"Amazon$59.99 FROM BEST BUY$49.99 FROM AMAZON$59.99 FROM GAMESTOPNew video games: "FIFA 22"Amazon$69.98 FROM TARGETA hair towel that cuts drying time in halfAquisAquis' cult-favorite hair towels can cut the amount of time it takes your hair to dry in half — a claim we're happy to report holds up. They also help keep hair protected from harmful friction in its most vulnerable state. If the teens in your life have ever complained about frizzy hair, this and a silk pillowcase are thoughtful gifts they'll actually use.$20.99 FROM AMAZONOne of the best young adult books ever writtenAmazonFor the kind of gift they'll still mention 10 years later, give them one of the best young adult books you've ever read — or one of the 37 best young adult books Business Insider staff members recommend. Or, check out Amazon's list of the 100 books you should read in a lifetime.$5.89 FROM AMAZONA splashproof, portable Bluetooth speakerAmazonThis rugged, compact speaker can go with them anywhere. It's waterproof, has an "outdoor boost" button specifically for listening outside, is "drop-proof," and boasts a 13-hour battery life.$99.99 FROM BEST BUY$99.99 FROM AMAZON$64.98 FROM AT&TOriginally $99.99 | Save 35%$79.98 FROM DELLOriginally $99.99 | Save 20%A set of Korean sheet masksAmazonThe best way to initiate a pampered staycation is a cult-favorite, 16-pack of Korean sheet masks — something any beauty- or skin-care-obsessed teen will likely already know about.$11.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $13.30 | Save 10%A waterproof e-reader with a no-glare screenAmazonThis isn't the latest or most features-packed Kindle (that'd be the Kindle Oasis), but the Paperwhite is still a great product, and we think it's the best mid-range Kindle that combines cost with performance.It's waterproof, has a six-week battery life (based on 30 minutes of reading daily), and the 32GB option stores thousands of books or 160 Audible audiobooks.$129.99 FROM AMAZONComfortable, high-quality sheets for their bedBrooklinenWe recommend Brooklinen often, and for good reason. Most of the Insider Reviews team sleeps with Brooklinen on their own beds; we think they're perfect for sleeping in on lazy Saturday mornings.$240.00 FROM AMAZONA surprisingly good projector that's the size of a soda canAnkerAnker's Nebula Capsule is tiny but mighty. It's the size of a soda can, weighs only one pound, and has a quiet and continuous playtime of four hours. It'll kick movie nights up a notch, and they can easily pack it on trips. Find a full review here.$299.99 FROM AMAZONMario Badescu's cult-favorite facial mists with aloeAmazonMario Badescu's cult-favorite facial mists refresh and hydrate the skin for a dewy glow. They're available on Amazon individually or in a two-pack of the rose water and cucumber sprays.$14.00 FROM AMAZONA leather toiletry bag for grooming and beauty essentialsLeatherologyLeatherology's shave bag is a great purchase if you want to gift your teen a leather beauty bag that will age gracefully. $110.00 FROM AMAZONComfortable headphones with long battery life and good soundBeats by DreThe Solo3 headphones are perfect for commuting, studying, or zoning out during family road trips. They offer good sound quality and up to 40 hours of battery life, but the best part? Five minutes of charging equals three hours of playback. $129.94 FROM AMAZONOriginally $199.95 | Save 35%A slime-making kitAmazonOne of the ongoing internet trends is a fascination with slime, and teens have run successful businesses by sharing videos of it. And what's better than vicariously living through TikTok slime-makers? Making your own. $26.95 FROM AMAZONA gentle facial cleansing deviceFOREOFOREO's cult-favorite Luna 2 cleansing device gently and effectively cleans with thin, antimicrobial silicone touchpoints, and claims to remove 99.5% of dirt and makeup residue without irritating the skin. Plus, it's waterproof, and the battery life lasts for a few months per charge. The Luna 2 is available in five varieties: men, normal, combination, sensitive, and oily skin. Find a full review from a female reporter and a male reporter here.$169.00 FROM AMAZON$169.00 FROM FOREOA cult-favorite clay maskAmazonThe Aztec Clay Mask is one of those cult-favorite products that's been plucked from obscurity and gone straight to the limelight of YouTube testimonials with over 4 million views and widespread popularity. You can read a full review here.$14.95 FROM AMAZON$12.19 FROM TARGETString lights with photo clipsAmazonPerfect for creating the archetypal teen room that's most often seen in Netflix movies and old Taylor Swift music videos, photo clip string lights add warm light to your teen's favorite Polaroids or memorabilia. $10.98 FROM AMAZONColorful reusable strawsAmazonTrying to adopt more eco-friendly habits is one of the great characteristics of younger generations, especially teens who grew up among videos of sea turtles being harmed by discarded plastic straws. These are colorful, bendable, and fun to use. $6.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $10.00 | Save 30%Gift card for everything: VisaShutterstock/Zivica KerkezFor teens who often rely on part-time jobs to fund their hobbies and cravings, gift cards are one gift that's always appreciated. Here are some of Insider Reviews' top choices:$105.95 FROM AMAZONGift cards for everything: AmazonAmazonA gift card to Amazon is a gift card to pretty much anything they've got on their wish lists — tech, clothing, books, and more. $10.00 FROM AMAZONGift card for coffee: StarbucksStarbucks/FacebookWhether they're ordering multi-hyphenate drinks at Starbucks or regular hot chocolates, they add up.$25.00 FROM AMAZONGift card for food: ChipotleChipotleOne of the mainstays of teenage life is meeting up with friends at fast-casual restaurants — and Chipotle is a perennial favorite.$50.00 FROM AMAZONGift card for gaming: XboxAmazonIf you know they have an Xbox but don't know which games they already have or need, this is a great way to ensure they get exactly what they want.$100.00 FROM AMAZON$100.00 FROM NEWEGGGift card for clothes: NordstromNordstromNo matter how spot-on your gifts are, your giftee is the best person for the job of dressing themselves. And even if you nail the latest trend they're excited about, there will be more in the future — this lets them pick things out for themselves, without having to dip into their allowance or savings.$200.00 FROM AMAZONGift card for tech: Best BuyAmazonUnsure of which tech they already have or which tech they'd want? A Best Buy gift card will save you the probing questions and help you give them a gift they're really excited about. $25.00 FROM AMAZONA music subscription that includes 50 million songsAmazonIf they don't already have a music subscription, give them access to 50 million songs with Amazon Music Unlimited. $7.99 FROM AMAZONColorful scrunchiesAmazonScrunchies are having a moment. If you want to get something particularly on-trend, you may want to look into a few. This set comes with a whopping 46 colors.$8.99 FROM AMAZONAn audiobook subscriptionAlyssa Powell/Business InsiderIf they love to read, or you're trying to get them to love to read, a gift subscription to Audible is a great idea. They'll get three free titles for each month they're a member (one audiobook and two Audible Originals), and 30% off any additional audiobooks they buy. They can listen and read anywhere and anytime using the free app. $45.00 FROM AMAZONA popcorn machine for movie nightsAmazonPerfect for movie nights with family or friends, this popcorn maker can make as much as six quarts of popcorn for a night in. $43.45 FROM AMAZONAn eyeshadow paletteAmazonIf they're getting into makeup, an eyeshadow palette is one of the coolest gifts you can probably give them. This option has 16 shades, almost 15,000 reviews, and a 4.4-star rating overall. $13.95 FROM AMAZONA karaoke machine that allows duetsAmazonThis system has more features than a really nice car. It has two mics, a sing-along and record function, and 300 songs ready for action.$199.99 FROM AMAZONA cool, holographic fanny packAmazonWhat's old is new and cool again — and that includes fanny packs!$16.98 FROM AMAZONA mini griddle for individual servings of foodAmazonThis tiny griddle is perfect for making individual servings of breakfasts and pretty much any food — from eggs to cookies to grilled cheese.$12.99 FROM AMAZONRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 13th, 2022

When a lawmaker is your landlord: Capitol Hill is packed with senators, House members, and senior staff who rent out property

There is no limit, under current law, on how much money members of Congress can make as landlords. Cynthia Malkin, the wife of Democratic Sen. Richard Blumental of Connecticut, earns as much as $1 million a year from Empire State Realty Trust, a now publicly traded company.Chris Trotman/Getty Images At least 238 federal lawmakers are also landlords. More than 200 senior congressional staffers also own properties and land they rent across the US. There is no limit, under current law, on how much they can rake in as landlords. The Empire State Building has decorated the New York City skyline for more than nine decades. One of the world's best-known buildings, it has inspired memorable movie scenes and drawn millions of tourists to its sky-high observation decks.The 102-story skyscraper also happens to be operated by the family of Cynthia Malkin, the wife of Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. Malkin's father was a real-estate mogul who today remains chairman emeritus of Empire State Realty Trust, a now publicly traded company.For Cynthia Malkin, that real-estate investment trust earns as much as $1 million a year, according to Blumenthal's personal financial disclosures, in which lawmakers are required to report spousal income. It's just one facet of her inherited real-estate wealth that makes Blumenthal, who is up for reelection in 2022, one of the richest people in Congress.The holding was among the hundreds of real-estate investments from Congress that Insider uncovered as part of its Conflicted Congress project, which reviewed nearly 9,000 financial-disclosure reports for all sitting lawmakers and their top-ranking staffers.The Insider analysis identified real estate as a favorite way for members of Congress to pad their $174,000-a-year salaries. In all, 44 senators and 194 US House members had such properties in 2020, annual personal financial disclosures show.Blumenthal's financial disclosure lists at least 43 real-estate investments held by his spouse, including limited-liability companies that are earning interest on rental properties in France, Spain, and England.Empire State Realty Trust includes not just the Empire State Building but numerous other office and retail properties in the Big Apple and New York metropolitan area. Blumenthal's disclosure says 18 retail and office spaces are part of the portfolio. Donald Trump, whose real-estate holdings and political ambitions collided throughout his presidency, tried and failed to acquire the Empire State Building in the 1990s. Today, Malkin's brother, Anthony Malkin, is president, chairman, and CEO of the real-estate investment trust. "Senator Blumenthal's wife, and not Senator Blumenthal himself, is a passive investor in various investment vehicles that hold properties over which she has no control, influence, or discretionary power," Maria McElwain, the communications director for Blumenthal, said when Insider asked about the properties.The Empire State Building's tenants have included Walgreens and LinkedIn, though The New York Times reported that some of the building's other tenants suffered economic disruptions during the coronavirus pandemic. The Empire State Building also has received federal funding from the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program that helps restore historic buildings, according to documents from the US Department of the Interior that didn't specify the date of the tax credit.In general, members of Congress and their senior staff members are not allowed to earn more than $29,595 in income outside their federal salary. But rental properties are exempted from these limits, as are certain other earnings including from stock trades and book deals.Every member of Congress is required to report any of these outside earnings annually, including any property owned by a spouse.Some government-watchdog groups warn that renting out property without certain guardrails — such as disclosing who is renting housing or commercial property — could pose conflicts of interest.Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio at the White House.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesLawmakers lay claim to homes, office parks, and even wineriesInsider's analysis of every congressional disclosure revealed a panoply of properties beyond lawmakers' personal residences.There are hotels — including Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio's reportedly haunted inn — cattle farms, basement apartments, urban row houses, and commercial office buildings.Also listed are wineries, vacant lots, apartment buildings, rollicking houseboats, storage facilities, parking garages, ranch land, rustic cabins, beachfront condos, tourist-friendly duplexes, sequestered villas, and at least one island getaway.No matter the property type, lawmakers made money. What's less clear is how much — congressional disclosure rules don't require members to note whether they're disclosing gross or net real-estate income, and for most of the listings lawmakers didn't voluntarily specify.Some highlights from the money-making ventures among 238 members of Congress include: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who rents out a carriage house in Washington, DC, reported on his 2020 financial disclosure that he earned up to $50,000 a year from the rental. His office didn't reply to questions about the tenants' identity.19 lawmakers reported earning income in 2020 from rental properties located in the Washington, DC, area.25 lawmakers reported earning rental income in 2020 from properties located anywhere other than Washington or their home state.88 lawmakers reported earning at least $15,001 or more in rental income in 2020 from a single property.15 lawmakers reported owning at least one property where they listed earning up to $1 million in rental income.Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, for his part, is piecing together a small real-estate empire stretching across the Deep South. He's reported that he and his wife, Becky, own nearly three dozen properties, including parcels in his birthplace (Centreville, Mississippi), his adopted home state (Louisiana), and the Florida panhandle (Santa Rosa Beach). His holdings include three residential homes, six commercial buildings, and 23 unimproved lots.Republican Sen. Rand Paul may represent Kentucky, but he's happy to spread his money around the Lone Star State. The two-term lawmaker reported owning six properties in Lake Jackson, Texas, his hometown. The holdings include five residential homes as well as farmland. He also has a rental property in the retirement haven of Destin, Florida. Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, reported a property in Sanibel Island, Florida, that earns as much as $50,000 in rental income. His office did not reply to questions about the rental.Democratic Rep. Ami Bera of California reported that he and his wife, Janine, owned nine rental properties — all within 3 1/2 miles of one another — in the Golden State's capital. "They believe in the growth and potential of the Sacramento County area, which they have called home for over two decades," a Bera spokesman, Travis Horne, told Insider.Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has a commercial property in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, that earns $100,000 to $1 million a year, according to his financial disclosures. (Generally, lawmakers are required by law to report their assets in income only in broad ranges.)Johnson's senior communications advisor, Vanessa Ambrosini, told Insider the senator had "no operational role" in the property. "He just rents it," she said.The tenant of the property is Pacur LLC, a plastics company where Johnson's brother, Barry Johnson, was CEO before retiring in November. Pacur is facing a federal civil-rights lawsuit after one of its employees alleged sexual harassment."The senator does not have any knowledge of the alleged incident. He believes all allegations of misconduct should be taken seriously and fully investigated," Ambrosini said. "He continues to have no knowledge of the lawsuit, and is only aware of it because of your inquiry."Ron Johnson sold an ownership stake he had in Pacur in March 2020 for $5 million to $25 million, according to his 2020 annual financial disclosure. Those disclosures show Johnson and his wife still listed earning $1 million a year from Pacur. It also listed a limited-liability company for Pacur that earns more $5 million.Ambrosini said Johnson ceased all operational involvement in Pacur in May 2010 and as of March 2020 no longer had any ownership in the company.The state director for Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa lists earnings from six of his rental properties located in Iowa and California.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesCongressional staff are also cashing in on rental properties More than 200 senior congressional staff members reported rental income in 2020, according to an Insider analysis of recent congressional financial documents.Capitol Hill staff must report this income every year. The documents they file are tucked away in Senate and House information offices and, for the most part, can be accessed only through in-person visits to Capitol Hill.Clarke Scanlon, the state director for Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, lists earning $1.2 million to $12 million a year from six of his rental properties located in Iowa and California. It's not clear whether the documents report gross or net income, however, and Scanlon did not respond to requests for comment. Both staff and members are required to report their earnings only in broad ranges.James Lazarus, the state director for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat of California, reported earning $600,000 to roughly $6 million combined from seven of his rental properties. Among the properties are a Hawaii vacation home, a Panera restaurant in Missouri, a Walgreens drug store in Oklahoma, and a shopping center in Arizona."All of Senator Feinstein's staff comply with laws related to the reporting of their assets," Tom Mentzer, Feinstein's communications director, told Insider. He did not elaborate on the particulars of Lazarus' properties. Leonard Young, the chief of staff for Rep. Julia Brownley, a Democrat of California, owns four properties all in Los Angeles. While he listed $200,000 to $2.1 million in income on his financial disclosures, he told Insider he'd reported gross income rather than net income. "I netted a little over $50,000 combined last year," he said, adding that he has had rental properties since 1998."The market value is in the middle of each range," he said. "They all have disclosed loans in the 60% loan-to-value ballpark."Kimberly Ross, a former chief of staff for Rep. Joyce Beatty, a Democrat of Ohio, has 10 properties in Baltimore that pull in between roughly $75,000 to $240,000, her 2020 financial disclosures show. She did not respond to Insider's questions about the properties.Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat of Oregon, and his wife have four rental properties located in Washington, DC, and Portland, Oregon, that are being operated by management companies,Drew Angerer/Getty ImageRenting property a conflict of interest? Some watchdogs want to see more requirements for congressional staffers and lawmakers to disclose the exact dollar amounts they make from their rental incomes each year.Tyler Gellasch, a former congressional staffer who helped write the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, said lawmakers should provide more transparency on how their rental properties are managed and who's renting them.Gellasch, who is now a fellow at the Global Financial Markets Center at the Duke University School of Law, said that any lawmakers operating their own rental-property businesses could ultimately find themselves in a similar situation as Trump, whose holdings as he was sworn into office included the Trump International Hotel a few blocks from the White House."There was a lot of speculation to what extent were people such as foreign dignitaries, for example, coming to visit the Trump hotel to curry favor?" he said. "That was always sort of a concern or an accusation that was leveled. But that sort of concern happens with many members of Congress that is very significant."Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat of Oregon, and his wife are together earning up to $200,000 from their four rental properties. These properties, located in Washington, DC, and Portland, Oregon, are being operated by management companies, his office said."Senator Merkley discloses information on each rental in his annual financial disclosure and utilizes professional management companies to ensure that they are properly managed," Merkley's communications director, Ray Zaccaro, said.Asked whether the senator had ever rented his properties out to lobbyists, his office responded "none have been rented to lobbyists, and there are no known conflicts of interest."Gellasch, for his part, recommends that lawmakers scale back their rental-property efforts."We need them to act as public servants," he said, adding that might mean "sacrificing perhaps some of their own income and opportunities to do so."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 17th, 2021

52 Amazon gifts teenagers actually want, from instant cameras to a necklace of their zodiac sign

Finding a gift for a teenager can be tough, but there are a lot of options on Amazon. Here are 52 gift ideas teens will actually want to keep. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.Amazon has an abundance of great gifts for teens, from the "Dune" books to a Kindle to read them on.Amazon Teens are notoriously difficult to shop for, especially when it comes to gifts.  To help ease shopping stress, we put together a list of 52 cool and convenient Amazon gifts.  Still looking for gift ideas? Check out our list of the all-time best products we've ever tested. Teens may be difficult to shop for, but you don't need to search far and wide for gift ideas — Amazon has options in everything from tech to beauty products.From the popular book-turned-into-movie "Dune" to a Nintendo Switch, we rounded up the best 52 best gifts for the teens in your life. They cover a range of prices and brands, including newer startups you didn't even know you could find on Amazon. Check out all 52 gifts for teens on Amazon:A pair of trendy, easy-to-use AirPodsAmazonIf you're after the title of their favorite relative of the year, AirPod Pros could be the convenient, easy-to-use gift to get.If you're looking to spend less, we also recommend great headphones that won't break $50.$179.00 FROM AMAZONOriginally $249.99 | Save 28%$179.99 FROM TARGETOriginally $249.99 | Save 28%$189.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $249.99 | Save 24%$179.00 FROM WALMARTOriginally $249.00 | Save 28%$209.00 FROM B&HOriginally $249.00 | Save 16%A cute, heart-shaped waffle makerCrate & BarrelSometimes all anyone wants is anything delicious and aesthetically appealing — like heart-shaped waffles. This waffle maker is small, too, so it shouldn't crowd their kitchen too much.$16.98 FROM AMAZONOriginally $17.98 | Save 6%Smart lights that are compatible with Amazon AlexaAmazonThey can use their voice to control these smart light bulbs through an Alexa Echo, Echo Dot, or Google Home Assistant. They can also give hands-free commands to set the brightness, turn lights on and off, change colors, create timers, and more to customize their space.$17.98 FROM AMAZONA GoProAmazonGoPro is the rugged, waterproof action camera they can take with them anywhere. While older models will still get the job done, the Hero10 is the newest and best overall model.You can read a full GoPro Hero 10 review here, but the gist is this: The Hero 10 is a performance camera, but its upgrades allow it to do what even bigger and more expensive cameras can do, too. $429.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $499.99 | Save 14%A fun outdoor game they can play with friendsDICK'S Sporting GoodsOn a beautiful, sunny day in the city, you'll probably see at least one group playing this fun and active game in the park. With rules similar to volleyball, it's incredibly easy to learn — so friend groups or families can get involved.$55.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $64.98 | Save 14%$69.98 FROM DICK'S SPORTING GOODSThe new Fire HD 10 tablet for music, games, and mediaAmazonWe think Amazon's latest Fire tablet is the best and most affordable tablet for basic needs on the market (as long as you don't expect to use Google apps). With it, they can stream videos, browse the web, and read books. Read more about it here.$99.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $149.99 | Save 33%The popular Dune seriesAmazonAfter "Harry Potter" and classics commonly found on high school syllabi, Dune is the #15 bestselling young adult book on Amazon. The first movie in the series, which stars Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, premiered on October 21 (you can watch it on HBO Max) and the second is coming out October 2023 — so they'll have enough time to catch up before the next installment.$75.59 FROM AMAZONOriginally $108.00 | Save 30%The Nintendo SwitchNintendoThe Nintendo Switch is one of the gifts that, with good reason, tend to elicit lots of excitement. This model has a battery life of up to nine hours and can be played with friends or solo, and at home or on the go.Note: Some colors are currently out of stock.$299.00 FROM AMAZON$299.99 FROM GAMESTOP$299.99 FROM BEST BUYAn instant cameraAmazonInstax's cute instant camera is great for anyone who loves taking photos. All they need is some film to get started. It features a small selfie mirror to ensure proper framing, a macro lens attachment, and a variety of modes to account for different indoor and outdoor environments.$69.19 FROM AMAZONA multi-color alarm clock that doubles as a speakerAmazonBeyond helping ensure they're up on time, this alarm clock doubles as a Bluetooth speaker and as a dimmable, multi-color bedside lamp.$45.99 FROM AMAZONA beanie with built-in headphonesAmazonSoundbot makes soft beanies that have built-in headphones for on-the-go listening. They have a rechargeable battery, built-in microphone, and wireless range of up to 33 feet. $19.98 FROM AMAZONOriginally $25.10 | Save 20%An Echo Dot that doubles as a clockAmazonThe Amazon Echo Dot is the most popular Amazon device for a reason — it's compact and has all the capabilities of Alexa (weather updates, recipes, music, and news). $29.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $49.99 | Save 40%One of the best young adult books of the yearAmazonIf you're looking to gift a good book they likely haven't read yet, we suggest snooping through literary awards, where judges do the heavy lifting for you. This book, a queer love story set in 1954 Chinatown, was shortlisted for the 2021 National Book Award in young adult literature.Some more book suggestions: "All the Bright Places," a popular YA book on TikTok"Scythe," a bestselling dystopian YA book similar to "The Hunger Games"The best young adult books, according to a teenagerThe best young adult romance booksThe best young people's literature of 2021 according to the National Book AwardsThe best books we read in our 20s$14.88 FROM AMAZONAn effective electric toothbrushAmazonWe love this electric toothbrush as a budget-friendly option that doesn't compromise on performance. It's also the path of least resistance to helping your teen build their own healthy habits.$39.97 FROM AMAZONOriginally $49.94 | Save 20%A necklace featuring their zodiac signAmazonZodiac signs, and the unique personality traits tied to each one, have become extremely popular in recent years. Pick up their sign in a dainty, gold-dipped necklace they can wear every day.$16.98 FROM AMAZONA portable chargerAmazonWhether used for traveling or keeping in contact with friends or parents while on the go, this external battery is great for giving parents and teens convenience — and peace of mind. $49.99 FROM AMAZONPopSockets for the back of their phonePopSocketPopSockets have become their own cultural phenomenon. Besides being useful, they offer a bit of personalization to tech and come in a variety of colors and patterns.$7.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $9.99 | Save 20%$15.00 FROM POPSOCKETSNew video games: "Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury"AmazonUltimately, no gift may compare to a great new video game they can play solo or with friends. $59.25 FROM AMAZONNew video games: "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD"Amazon$52.99 FROM AMAZONNew video games: "Animal Crossing: New Horizons"Amazon$44.99 FROM BEST BUYOriginally $59.99 | Save 25%$49.94 FROM AMAZON$59.99 FROM GAMESTOPNew video games: "FIFA 22"Amazon$24.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $39.99 | Save 38%A hair towel that cuts drying time in halfAquisAquis' cult-favorite hair towels can cut the amount of time it takes your hair to dry in half — a claim we're happy to report holds up. They also help keep hair protected from harmful friction in its most vulnerable state. If the teens in your life have ever complained about frizzy hair, this and a silk pillowcase are thoughtful gifts they'll actually use.$20.99 FROM AMAZONOne of the best young adult books ever writtenAmazonFor the kind of gift they'll still mention 10 years later, give them one of the best young adult books you've ever read — or one of the 37 best young adult books Business Insider staff members recommend. Or, check out Amazon's list of the 100 books you should read in a lifetime.$5.89 FROM AMAZONA splashproof, portable Bluetooth speakerAmazonThis rugged, compact speaker can go with them anywhere. It's waterproof, has an "outdoor boost" button specifically for listening outside, is "drop-proof," and boasts a 13-hour battery life.$99.95 FROM AMAZONOriginally $110.95 | Save 10%A set of Korean sheet masksAmazonThe best way to initiate a pampered staycation is a cult-favorite, 16-pack of Korean sheet masks — something any beauty- or skin-care-obsessed teen will likely already know about.$11.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $13.30 | Save 10%A waterproof e-reader with a no-glare screenAmazonThis isn't the latest or most features-packed Kindle (that'd be the Kindle Oasis), but the Paperwhite is still a great product, and we think it's the best mid-range Kindle that combines cost with performance.It's waterproof, has a six-week battery life (based on 30 minutes of reading daily), and the 32GB option stores thousands of books or 160 Audible audiobooks.$129.99 FROM AMAZONComfortable, high-quality sheets for their bedBrooklinenWe recommend Brooklinen often, and for good reason. Most of the Insider Reviews team sleeps with Brooklinen on their own beds; we think they're perfect for sleeping in on lazy Saturday mornings.$285.00 FROM AMAZONA surprisingly good projector that's the size of a soda canAnkerAnker's Nebula Capsule is tiny but mighty. It's the size of a soda can, weighs only one pound, and has a quiet and continuous playtime of four hours. It'll kick movie nights up a notch, and they can easily pack it on trips. Find a full review here.$299.99 FROM AMAZONMario Badescu's cult-favorite facial mists with aloeAmazonMario Badescu's cult-favorite facial mists refresh and hydrate the skin for a dewy glow. They're available on Amazon individually or in a two-pack of the rose water and cucumber sprays.$14.00 FROM AMAZONA leather toiletry bag for grooming and beauty essentialsLeatherologyLeatherology's shave bag is a great purchase if you want to gift your teen a leather beauty bag that will age gracefully. $110.00 FROM AMAZONComfortable headphones with long battery life and good soundBeats by DreThe Solo3 headphones are perfect for commuting, studying, or zoning out during family road trips. They offer good sound quality and up to 40 hours of battery life, but the best part? Five minutes of charging equals three hours of playback. $129.94 FROM AMAZONOriginally $199.95 | Save 35%A slime-making kitAmazonOne of the ongoing internet trends is a fascination with slime, and teens have run successful businesses by sharing videos of it. And what's better than vicariously living through TikTok slime-makers? Making your own. $27.95 FROM AMAZONA gentle facial cleansing deviceFOREOFOREO's cult-favorite Luna 2 cleansing device gently and effectively cleans with thin, antimicrobial silicone touchpoints, and claims to remove 99.5% of dirt and makeup residue without irritating the skin. Plus, it's waterproof, and the battery life lasts for a few months per charge. The Luna 2 is available in five varieties: men, normal, combination, sensitive, and oily skin. Find a full review from a female reporter and a male reporter here.$169.00 FROM AMAZON$169.00 FROM FOREOA FitbitFitbitFitbits track the wearer's health and fitness as well as offer insights into their sleep and physical activity trends. Teens can set personal goals and get real-time updates during workouts. It's water-resistant up to 50 meters, and its battery life can last up to seven days. $122.99 FROM WALMART$115.98 FROM AMAZONOriginally $149.94 | Save 23%A cult-favorite clay maskAmazonThe Aztec Clay Mask is one of those cult-favorite products that's been plucked from obscurity and gone straight to the limelight of YouTube testimonials with over 4 million views and widespread popularity. You can read a full review here.$14.95 FROM AMAZON$12.19 FROM TARGETString lights with photo clipsAmazonPerfect for creating the archetypal teen room that's most often seen in Netflix movies and old Taylor Swift music videos, photo clip string lights add warm light to your teen's favorite Polaroids or memorabilia. $21.95 FROM AMAZONColorful reusable strawsAmazonTrying to adopt more eco-friendly habits is one of the great characteristics of younger generations, especially teens who grew up among videos of sea turtles being harmed by discarded plastic straws. These are colorful, bendable, and fun to use. $6.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $10.00 | Save 30%Gift card for everything: VisaShutterstock/Zivica KerkezFor teens who often rely on part-time jobs to fund their hobbies and cravings, gift cards are one gift that's always appreciated. Here are some of Insider Reviews' top choices:$105.95 FROM AMAZONGift cards for everything: AmazonAmazonA gift card to Amazon is a gift card to pretty much anything they've got on their wish lists — tech, clothing, books, and more. $10.00 FROM AMAZONGift card for coffee: StarbucksStarbucks/FacebookWhether they're ordering multi-hyphenate drinks at Starbucks or regular hot chocolates, they add up.$25.00 FROM AMAZONGift card for food: ChipotleChipotleOne of the mainstays of teenage life is meeting up with friends at fast-casual restaurants — and Chipotle is a perennial favorite.$50.00 FROM AMAZONGift card for gaming: XboxAmazonIf you know they have an Xbox but don't know which games they already have or need, this is a great way to ensure they get exactly what they want.$100.00 FROM AMAZON$100.00 FROM NEWEGGGift card for clothes: NordstromNordstromNo matter how spot-on your gifts are, your giftee is the best person for the job of dressing themselves. And even if you nail the latest trend they're excited about, there will be more in the future — this lets them pick things out for themselves, without having to dip into their allowance or savings.$200.00 FROM AMAZONGift card for tech: Best BuyAmazonUnsure of which tech they already have or which tech they'd want? A Best Buy gift card will save you the probing questions and help you give them a gift they're really excited about. $25.00 FROM AMAZONA music subscription that includes 50 million songsAmazonIf they don't already have a music subscription, give them access to 50 million songs with Amazon Music Unlimited. $7.99 FROM AMAZONColorful scrunchiesAmazonScrunchies are having a moment. If you want to get something particularly on-trend, you may want to look into a few. This set comes with a whopping 46 colors.$8.99 FROM AMAZONAn audiobook subscriptionAlyssa Powell/Business InsiderIf they love to read, or you're trying to get them to love to read, a gift subscription to Audible is a great idea. They'll get three free titles for each month they're a member (one audiobook and two Audible Originals), and 30% off any additional audiobooks they buy. They can listen and read anywhere and anytime using the free app. $45.00 FROM AMAZONA popcorn machine for movie nightsAmazonPerfect for movie nights with family or friends, this popcorn maker can make as much as six quarts of popcorn for a night in. $39.99 FROM AMAZONAn eyeshadow paletteAmazonIf they're getting into makeup, an eyeshadow palette is one of the coolest gifts you can probably give them. This option has 16 shades, almost 15,000 reviews, and a 4.4-star rating overall. $13.95 FROM AMAZONA karaoke machine that allows duetsAmazonThis system has more features than a really nice car. It has two mics, a sing-along and record function, and 300 songs ready for action.$159.99 FROM AMAZONA cool, holographic fanny packAmazonWhat's old is new and cool again — and that includes fanny packs!$16.98 FROM AMAZONA mini griddle for individual servings of foodAmazonThis tiny griddle is perfect for making individual servings of breakfasts and pretty much any food — from eggs to cookies to grilled cheese.$12.99 FROM AMAZONRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 16th, 2021

53 gifts to show new moms they"re appreciated, from handy accessories to thoughtful keepsakes

If you're not sure what to give a new mother, we've rounded up 53 the best gifts for new moms, including useful baby gear, flowers, and jewelry. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.The Snoo Smart Sleeper Bassinet can soothe a baby while a new mom gets some rest.Happiest Baby New moms will appreciate gifts that help them relax, save time, and mark milestones with their baby. Here are 53 of the best gifts for new moms, from funny parenting books to handy on-the-go accessories. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. Becoming a mother is a life-changing experience. New moms are suddenly responsible for another human being, and there are quite a few things that can make that job easier. In a very uncertain time, new moms will appreciate gifts that are both practical and luxurious — things that can save them money and time. They also appreciate items that bestow a few precious moments for self-care.New moms are among the busiest people in our lives, and they undoubtedly deserve a meaningful gift this holiday. Some of these gifts will help them care for their new baby, while others are simply geared toward a mother who is ready for some "me time." Check out 53 of the best gifts for new moms:A wet bag for messesBuy Buy BabyItzy Ritzy Travel Happens Sealed Wet Bag, available at Buy Buy Baby, $18.99Wet bags are commonly used to store dirty cloth diapers, but new moms will find them useful for everything from onesies that were victims of a blowout to wet swim diapers. A wet bag is a gift many parents never knew they needed but are happy to have in the diaper bag when messes inevitably happen.A convenient case for diapers and wipesOXOOXO Tot On-the-Go Wipes Dispenser with Diaper Pouch, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, $20.99Sometimes parents need diaper change supplies, but they don't want to lug around the whole diaper bag. This convenient pouch is designed to hold wipes, diapers, and diaper rash cream. There's even room for some hand sanitizer.Whimsical crib sheetsAmazonRookie Humans Crib Sheets, available at Amazon, $38These sheets are beautifully designed and can be the focal point of a themed nursery. Some of the designs are high contrast, which appeals to a newborn's developing eyes. After testing a sample of these sheets, I found that they fit my daughter's mattress well without popping off the corners or having too much extra fabric. A simple milestone blanketMaisonetteBaby Milestone Mat, available at Maisonette, $23Moms delight in capturing their babies at all ages and stages. From one day old to one year and beyond, this blanket makes it easy to capture their baby at every age. The neutral design also gives parents the opportunity to add seasonal elements or themes to each picture.A T-shirt that makes a statementGreatwood Boutique/EtsyGreatwood Boutique Tough as a Mother Shirt, available at Etsy, $12.30It goes without saying that moms are tough. Remind her just how tough and resilient she is with this super soft T-shirt. It's available in 13 different colors and sizes XS to 3XL.A letterboard for memorable milestone picturesTargetPearhead 10-by-10-inch Letterboard Set, available at Target, $12.99Letterboards help parents say it all with a picture; they're often used for baby's birth announcement picture and to get a snapshot of milestones. This one is just the right size to prop next to baby for a picture.Basic birth recovery suppliesFridaFriday Mom Postpartum Recovery Essentials Kit, available at Amazon, $49.99After having a baby, things are a bit messy to say the least. Help mom recover with this kit that includes disposable postpartum underwear, instant ice maxi pads, perineal cooling pad liners, and perineal healing foam all stored in a convenient toilet-top storage caddy. Something to help them stay caffeinatedAmazonTakeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker, available at Amazon, $24.99New moms need all the coffee. If cold brew is their thing, gift this cold brew coffee maker. It makes four servings of coffee. If mom preps it the night before, fresh coffee will be ready at the crack of dawn — right about when the baby wakes up. A treat just for momMilk BarFall Assorted Truffle Box, available at Milk Bar, $44Doesn't a mom deserve some time to sit down and indulge a bit? They'll certainly be able to with this assorted truffle box from Milk Bar. It includes three different flavors of cake truffles: Birthday, Chocolate Birthday, and Apple Cider Doughnut Cake.A pick-me-up for her eyesPeach & LilyCold Brew Eye Recovery Stick, available at Peach & Lily, $28With one swipe of this stick, mom's eyes will feel more awake and less puffy. They probably won't have time to put on a full face of makeup, but this will help them feel a little more put together after a night of broken sleep.A smart bassinetHappiest BabyHappiest Baby Gift Card, available at Happiest Baby, from $25This smart bassinet helps new moms and babies get sleep by combining gentle rocking with soothing white noise. The smart technology responds to baby by increasing motion and shushing when it detects fussiness. It also keeps babies in a secure swaddle so they stay safely on their back.The best socks they've never triedBombasBombas Gift Bag or Box, available at Bombas, from $69You might be thinking: Really, socks? But having a nice pair can make a world of difference. Bombas spent two years perfecting its gym socks. With thoughtful innovations, like a blister tab and performance cushioned footbeds, their feet will notice the difference. Bombas also donates a pair to a homeless shelter for every pair purchased. A minimalistic diaper bagKibouKibou Bag, available at Nordstrom, $89Moms need their hands free to do all the holding, rocking, wiping, and feeding that comes along with new babies. This small diaper fanny pack is made of high-quality vegan leather and has room for wipes, diapers, credit cards, keys, mom's phone, and more. It even comes with a built-in changing pad.A floral arrangement to brighten their dayThe Bouqs Co.A Fresh Floral Arrangement, available at The Bouqs Co., from $44These fresh flower arrangements come from farms that minimize waste and recycle water. Choose from classic bouquets like roses or sunflowers or opt for a more unique option that she can plant. The floral arrangement will be a bright spot in her day.Something to help them sleepAmazonCoop Home Goods Pillow, available at Amazon, $63.99I know what you're thinking: Is it really worth $63 for a pillow? The answer is yes. This memory foam pillow is adjustable so it's comfortable for every type of sleeper. New moms need all the help they can get when it comes to sleeping.A virtual baby bookQeepsakeQeepsake Membership, available at Qeepsake, from $47.88Qeepsake texts parents or caregivers questions to answer about their child. Parents simply text their answer back with accompanying photos if they desire and Qeepsake saves the responses. Then, users can order a book that displays all the questions, answers, and memories.Their favorite quote, framedMintedA Framed Custom Quote, available at Minted, from $38Maybe a new mom has a favorite quote that reminds them of their baby or they're just a lover of words. This gift will be a beautiful keepsake for them to always remember the newborn phase. A sentimental gift for a lasting memoryMainEventUSA/EtsyBaby Hand and Footprint Kit, available at Etsy, $25.95This gift freezes the littleness of their new baby in time. Nothing shows how fast a baby grows quite like comparing their growing hands and feet to how small they once were. This kit allows new moms to do the prints at home and add two pictures.A treat to satisfy their sweet tooth while supporting milk productionAmazonMunchkin Milkmakers Lactation Cookie Bites, available at Amazon, $18.49These delicious cookies come in prepackaged bags so they can easily grab a snack while nursing. Although more studies examining the benefits of lactation cookies need to be conducted, this convenient treat certainly won't hurt.A nightlight that will help their baby — and in turn, them — sleep wellAmazonHatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light and Time-to-Rise, available at Buy Buy Baby, $59.99Rest is a nightlight, sound machine, and wake-up alert that grows with children — from soft light and white noise for midnight newborn feeding sessions to a preschooler's nightlight. Parents can customize everything — color, brightness, sound, and volume level — or they can choose from presets recommended by sleep experts. A neck and back massager they can use any timeAmazonZyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager, available at Amazon, $69.95New moms spend a lot of time hunched over: picking up baby, putting down baby, carrying baby, and feeding baby. This massager has heated nodes that rotate, and moms can move it around to any spot they're feeling tension.A memorable piece of jewelryMarky Baby Milk Jewelry/EtsyMarky Baby Milk Jewelry DIY Kit, available at Etsy, from $33.04Moms who choose to breastfeed often face an emotional journey. The piece of jewelry from this DIY kit is made with their own breast milk so they can remember this special time long after their baby has grown up.A personalized beauty subscriptionBirchboxBirchbox Three-Month Subscription, available at Birchbox, $45New moms will inevitably be dealing with spilled milk, spit-up, and lots of dirty diapers. Make them feel pampered with a personalized beauty subscription. They'll be able to create her own Beauty Profile, making each box just right for them.A personalized T-shirtKnown Supply/InstagramPersonalized Fitted Crew, available at Known Supply, $32 + $10 monogramLet's be honest — they're probably going to be spending a lot of time at home in the first year. What could be better than a cozy, comfortable tee made of Pima cotton? Bonus points if you choose a color that will hide a spit-up stain.Merino-wool sneakersAllbirdsWool Runners, available at Allbirds, $98When you're on your feet all day, a pair of good shoes makes all the difference. Allbirds wool runners won't fail them — they're soft, comfortable, and machine washable. You can't go wrong with the originals, but the new Tree line is similarly light and comfortable. A variety of Korean sheet masks for an at-home spa dayFacetory/Business InsiderFacetory 7 Lux 1-Month Gift Subscription, available at Facetory, $19.90They could try a different Korean sheet mask every day of the week if they wanted to. The unique sheets made with innovative ingredients are hard to find anywhere else — Facetory curates only the most interesting and effective in the K-beauty world. Adorable leather baby moccasinsFreshly Picked/InstagramFreshly Picked Baby Moccasins, available at Buy Buy Baby, $29.99These 100% genuine cowhide leather moccasins have a soft sole to help children who are starting to walk. They're easy to put on, will actually stay on your kid's feet, and come in many stylish prints and colors. An Audible gift subscriptionAudible/Business InsiderAn Audible subscription, available at Audible, from $15Do you know what's really hard to do when you're holding a baby, a bottle, and trying to cook all at once? Read a book. What's easier? Listening to one on Audible. They can listen to audiobooks, podcasts, and more while multitasking at home or strolling through the neighborhood.A luxurious bathrobeSnoweAn Ultra-plush Terry Bathrobe, available at Snowe, $100Deemed the best and most absorbent terry robe on the market, Snowe's bathrobe is super comfortable and fluffy. It's perfect for a mom looking for moments of relaxation during an otherwise hectic day. A necklace that symbolizes unbreakable bond between mother and childAUrate14-Karat Connection Necklace, available at Aurate, $390This beautiful necklace, available in yellow, white, or rose gold, manages to be simultaneously elegant and bold. The company has ideals they'll support, too: Its ethical solid gold is sourced from conflict-free suppliers and it donates a book to a child in need with each purchase. A 5-year journalWrite to MeThe First Five Years Baby Journal, available at Writer To Me, $46.95This linen-bound guided journal prompts parents to record milestones and memories to cherish for a lifetime. They'll be able to look back at all the firsts — first birthday, first haircut, first steps — and beam with pride.A funny book about the realities of motherhoodAmazon/Business Insider"The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby's First Year," available at Amazon, $14.99Any mom knows that motherhood is not all rainbows and sunshine. This book dispenses practical and useful information in a humorous format that will have new parents laughing through the particularly hard days.  A selection of soft, high-quality baby clothing basicsPrimaryA Primary gift card, available at Primary, from $25Shopping for baby clothing is easy at Primary, which was founded by two moms. The adorable, colorful, and gender-neutral styles are classic and made from safe Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified, soft fabrics. Primary offers sizes from newborn through age 12.A fitness app so they can work out with a trainer at homeKira Stokes/Business InsiderA subscription to Kira Stokes Fit, from $14.99/monthFlexibility is paramount for busy moms, and a good fitness app offers just that. The Kira Stokes Fit app has abs, legs, core, and full-body workouts available to stream anytime, on any device, so moms can sweat on their own time. Crib sheets from an Internet-famous bedding startupBrooklinenMini Crib Sheet Set, available at Brooklinen, from $32Adults love Brooklinen sheets, and now babies can enjoy the soft and comfortable experience, too. If they don't yet have a set for themselves, include a gift that will help them sleep as well. A versatile diaper bagAmazonSkip Hop Forma Backpack Diaper Bag, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, from $68.80The lightweight, minimalist design of this diaper bag makes it a versatile option for new moms. The included cubes make it easy to organize diapers, wipes, bottles, and snacks. There's also a convenient changing pad within one of its pockets.Dinner on the table in under an hourHelloFresh/InstagramA HelloFresh Gift Card, from $70Meal kits take the guesswork out of cooking. Food is delivered weekly, meaning fewer trips to the grocery store, and the kit includes easy step-by-step recipes to prepare dinner — a snap when they're basically too tired to function.A long-distance touch lampFiliminFilimin Long-Distance Touch Lamps, available at Uncommon Goods, from $85A new mom's life is busy and tiring, so they might not always be available to talk and catch up. When you want to let them know you're thinking of them and vice versa without actually saying anything, just tap the lamp to make the other one light up. Stress relief in a tiny jade packageWalgreens/Business InsiderRevlon Cool & Depuff Jade Stone Facial Roller, available at Amazon, $9.98This facial roller can be used on all skin types to help improve circulation and reduce the puffiness that comes with sleep deprivation. It may temporarily firm skin, too. Most of all, it just feels good, especially when kept cool in the fridge.A modern baby bookArtifact UprisingA Baby Book "The Story of You," available at Artifact Uprising, from $99With a sturdy fabric-bound cover (available in seven color/foil pairings), this interactive photo journal is a beautiful way to focus on the everyday moments rather than major milestones. The book is 100 pages and holds 47 photos. Register it online and get a complimentary set of Everyday Prints. Leggings that feel and look great90 Degree by Reflex/Facebook90 Degree By Reflex High-Waist Power Flex Tummy Control Leggings, available at Amazon, from $9.99We love these leggings because they are versatile, supportive, and silhouette smoothing. They also have a little pocket to hold keys or a credit card if she needs to run out. Available in 13 colors, these leggings are available up to size XXL and run true to size.A moment of zenChijiA Positive Energy Candle, available at Home of Chiji, from $39.99This brand's motto is "illuminate positivity" and when baby has been crying for hours, a positive vibe is desperately needed. These candles are infused with crystals like amethyst and rose quartz to bring some calm to a chaotic house.A comfortable nursing braAmazon/Business InsiderMotherhood Maternity Women's Wrap Front Nursing Sleep Bra, available at Amazon, from $12All a new mom wants is to be comfortable, since chances are they aren't for most of the day. This wrap-front bra is soft, wireless yet supportive, and perfect for wearing all day and all night.A smart home deviceAmazonAmazon Echo Dot (4th Gen), available at Amazon, $29.99Hands-free music streaming, news and weather reports, thermostat controls, and alarms for naps or feeding, the Echo Dot does it all. They'll become a multitasking mom in no time with this smart home device.A soothing under eye treatmentSephoraWander Beauty Baggage Claim Eye Masks, available at Sephora, $25These gold foil eye masks provide a soothing treatment for tired eyes. They help with puffiness and dark circles. Best of all, they won't fall off like some sheet masks, so they can hold baby upright while pampering themselves.Bubble bath made from plant-based ingredientsWalmart/Business InsiderHello Bello Bubble Bath, available at Walmart, $5.98Hello Bello, the baby line from Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, prides itself on making premium, plant-based products like body wash, baby lotion, wipes, and this bubble bath. The gentle, hypoallergenic formula is dermatologist-tested and safe on sensitive skin, so both mom and baby can enjoy a nourishing playful bath.A soothie to keep pacifier off the floorAmazon/Business InsiderPhilips Avent Soothie Snuggle Pacifier Holder with Detachable Pacifier, available at Buy Buy Baby, $14.99This adorable pacifier and holder be used beginning at birth. The pacifier and animal detach from each other, so it's easy and fast to clean both pieces. It comes in a variety of cute critters like an elephant, giraffe, monkey, and seal. A women's multivitamin subscriptionRitual1-month supply of Ritual vitamins, available at Ritual, $30New moms have a lot to juggle, and eating healthy, balanced meals may fall by the wayside some days. Help them get the nutrients to keep their energy up with these vegan multivitamins, which contain folate, vitamin D3, B12, iron, and magnesium, and are free of artificial colorants, synthetic fillers, and gluten.A reusable smart notebookAmazonRocketbook Everlast Reusable Smart Notebook, available at Amazon, $32New parents live and die by a schedule. This notebook is surprisingly handy — it will send their handwritten notes to the cloud and wipes clean with a damp cloth. It makes sharing with the entire family a breeze, and no more wasting paper.The gift of hydrationWalmartSodaStream Fountain Kit, available at Walmart, $49.88Staying hydrated is key, especially for nursing moms. Indulge their sparkling water obsession with this sleek gadget that turns regular water into bubbly bliss in seconds. You'll also be helping to save the planet by eliminating hundreds of single-use plastic bottles.  Stress relief in portable balm formAmazonScentered Aromatherapy Balm Sticks Gift Set, available at Amazon, $33Scentered's balm sticks come in five functions — Focus, Sleep Well, Love, Escape, and De-Stress — and help them relax wherever they are. Each non-greasy balm contains up to 25 essential oils and is formulated with a blend of moringa and moisturizing shea butter. A book that helps new moms who have endless questionsAmazon/Business Insider"Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool," available at Amazon, $13.89If they loved Emily Oster's pregnancy book "Expecting Better," they'll dive right into "Cribsheet." The "data-driven guide" helps new parents with sleep, potty training, and much more. A pair of embroidered makeup towelsWeezieMakeup Towels, available at Weezie, $40We've personally discovered Weezie's makeup towels are unexpectedly useful, and so will they. Even if they aren't washing off makeup, the fluffy fabric will feel great at the end of a long day. You can even have them embroidered to say "Mama" or a phrase of your choosing.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 6th, 2021

What is Vegan Wine? An Essential Guide for Plant-Based Wine Lists

Increasing interest from wine drinkers has inspired wineries to certify their wines as vegan. Here are some to savor Outspoken Italian winery owner Sebastiano Cassia Castiglioni is a wine pioneer in the plant-based food movement. He turned vegetarian at age 15, eventually went fully vegan, and more than a decade ago extended that commitment to Querciabella, his now-organic and biodynamic Chianti Classico family estate. “I didn’t want to be part of the way conventional agriculture devastates the environment and abuses animals,” he says. “We removed all animal products from every aspect of our winemaking process, including the vineyards. You don’t need them to make great wine.” The proof is in his reds and pricy white, which have steadily become livelier, more vibrant, and more intense. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] As everyone knows, the plant-based trend is booming. In the U.S., sales of vegan groceries, such as replacements for milk and meat, grew 27% from 2020 to 2021, according to data from Spins, a wellness-focused technology company, and the nonprofit Good Food Institute. U.K. supermarket chain Sainsbury’s recent Future of Food report predicted that fully 25% of the country’s population will be vegan or vegetarian by 2025. Health concerns are one reason, eco-consciousness is another. The U.K.’s Vegan Society says the diet will reduce your food carbon footprint by up to 50%. In May, one of New York’s top restaurants, Eleven Madison Park, announced that its food menu would go almost entirely vegan. You may be wondering how wines fit into a philosophy that opposes eating meat, dairy, and eggs and tries to avoid the exploitation of animals. It’s just fermented grape juice, right? Isn’t that automatically vegan? Well, not necessarily. Here’s what you need to know: Some winemakers still use traditional animal-derived “fining” agents such as egg whites, gelatin, or casein (derived from milk) to clarify the liquid, reduce bitterness, or bind and extract excess tannins in red wines, leaving behind softer ones. The agents are removed before bottling, but their use is still a vegan no-no. Today, animal-free alternatives, such as bentonite, a form of clay, are more commonly used. But it’s hard to identify which wines use what, since neither the EU nor the U.S. requires ingredients or winemaking processes to be listed on labels. Just because a wine is organic, biodynamic, natural, or kosher doesn’t mean it’s also vegan. One hint: If the front or back label says the wine is unfined, it’s vegan friendly—if you define vegan as simply not introducing animal products into the wine itself. Helpfully, major retailers in the U.K., like Bibendum, now publish the names of these vegan wines online. The Barnivore Vegan Alcohol Directory lists more than 5,000, but it isn’t always up to date. Increasing interest from wine drinkers has inspired wineries to certify their wines as vegan, entitling them to put an official trademark on their back labels. Larry Stone, co-founder of Lingua Franca, says the top Oregon winery did it “because it’s important to so many people to verify our wines have no animal by-products.” (All those in the list below are certified.) But there’s a big catch to all this. The definition of vegan wine is blurry, with certification covering only what happens to wines after the grapes have been harvested. The European Vegetarian Union doesn’t give its V-label to bottled wines sealed with beeswax. But it does certify producers that fertilize vines with animal manure, something that those embracing a wider vegan philosophy than just dietary choices object to. Such traditional biodynamic practices, such as burying a cow horn filled with manure, are considered non-vegan. Querciabella’s completely animal-free, vineyard-to-glass approach isn’t the norm for wineries with vegan certification. Still, the U.S.’s first all-vegan wine subscription club and online wine shop, veganwines.com, claims to ensure that its winemakers aren’t using any animal by-products, from soil to bottle. When in doubt, consult a winery’s website or call it for further information. A few restaurants are beginning to identify vegan-friendly wines on their lists with some sort of symbol (such as a green leaf, or sometimes just the letters V or Veg). Gautier Soho in London, which transitioned to an all-vegan menu in June, offers only vegan wines. New York’s Eleven Madison Park, which drew wide attention for the plant-based menu it debuted in June, doesn’t quite describe itself as “vegan.” The wine list, which features several Bordeaux châteaux that fine with egg whites, such as Château d’Armailhac, is decidedly not vegan. Wine director Watson Brown says his goal is not to adjust the wine program but to offer the highest quality wines possible; he says many are inherently vegan but not necessarily labeled so. When consumers request a vegan wine, sommeliers steer guests to regions and producers that don’t fine their wines. You don’t have to learn a new set of rules to match vegan wine and food. Mushroom risotto works just as well with a vegan pinot noir as with a conventional one. There are two main principles. Since vegan food doesn’t include butter or animal fat, wines with less oak, alcohol, and tannin tend to match best. Texture and cooking methods are all-important. Roasted beets or grilled cabbage both taste great with red wines. Nine Certified Vegan Wines to Savor Sparkling NV Champagne Leclerc-Briant Brut Reserve This revived Champagne house, noted for such quirky innovations as aging Champagnes 60 meters below sea level and maturing wine in a barrel lined with gold, has a long biodynamic history. This non-vintage cuvée is bold and intense, with aromas of golden delicious apples and fresh croissants. White 2019 Babich Headwaters Organic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Pure and vibrant, this white comes with orange blossom aromas and tangy citrus and herbal flavors. The winery claims its grapes aren’t touched by animal-based fertilizers or sprays. Serve with salads or asparagus. 2020 Miguel Torres Cordillera de los Andes Chardonnay Grapes from northern Chile’s cool Limari Valley go into this fine-boned, spicy-smoky white from eco-conscious producer Torres. It’s crisp and savory, with a ripe, creamy texture that pairs well with vegetarian risotto. 2017 Domaine Wachau Riesling Terrassen Federspiel An entry-level white from one of Austria’s top large estates, this bright, fresh, dry Riesling exudes a zesty lime and peachy fruitiness. It makes a top partner to a cauliflower curry. Rosé 2020 Chateau Sainte Marguerite Love Provence Rose Salmon-colored and delicate, this refreshing, silky-textured organic cru classé rosé is a blend of mostly grenache and cinsault. Pair it with Vietnamese vegan spring rolls or a tofu tortilla. Red 2019 CVNE Organic Rioja This new wine from an historic Spanish producer has bold fruit flavors and a mineral finish, ideal with a bean or lentil chili. 2016 Querciabella Chianti Classico This super-classic, polished Chianti from an exceptional vintage has pure tart cherry flavors and rose petal aromas. Try this with grilled vegetables, and look also for the outstanding Chianti Riserva and expensive pricy white, Batar. 2018 Lingua Franca Avni Pinot Noir The winery’s pinots have been vegan since the second vintage, 2017. This one is fragrant and juicy—especially delicious with earthy mushroom dishes or roasted beets. 2019 Vietti Barbera d’Asti Loaded with fruit and energy, this bright, tangy red from a top producer has the kind of acidity that goes well with tomatoes. Try this one with vegan pizza. 2016 Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Savory, rich, and suave, with dark berry and tobacco aromas, this wine comes from a Tuscan estate that is also certified as biodynamic. It’s a good match for baked eggplant......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 19th, 2021

46 truly unique gift ideas available on Amazon, from lightsaber chopsticks to agate stone bookends

We rounded up fun and unique gift ideas on Amazon perfect for holiday shopping, from handmade goods to funny finds. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Amazon stocks just about any product you can think of, including plenty of fun and unique gifts. From handmade goods to funny finds, we rounded up the best unique gift ideas on Amazon. Amazon Amazon may not be the first company that comes to mind when searching for a gift that feels personal, but the retailer has a surprising amount of unique gift options.Amazon handmade offers artisan products from small businesses around the country, and Amazon even has curated gift lists and ideas catered to different hobbies, styles, and more. You can also shop Amazon's portal to specifically support Black-owned businesses.We've done the tough work for you and scoured Amazon to find truly singular and cool gift ideas.Here are 46 cool and unique gifts ideas, all available on Amazon: A DIY felting kit Amazon DIY Needle Felting Kit with Lavender Bunch, $29.99Creative friends and family members will enjoy learning the basics of needle felting. The DIY kit allows your giftee to create unique fiber art to display at home and includes a piece of wool felt, wool batting, two needles, an 8-inch display hoop, and crafting directions. A rare pack of Haribo gummies Haribo Freche Fuchse (Naughty Foxes) Gummies, $5.95These delicious German gummies with a lemonade and cola flavor are called "Freche Füchse," which translates to "Naughty Foxes." Costing only $6 a pack and available through Amazon Prime, the adorable candy is a great gift for anyone with a sweet tooth. From sour french fries to raspberry forest spirits, you can buy many international gummies online from Haribo. A device for sanitizing nasty smartphones Amazon PhoneSoap 3 UV Smartphone Sanitizer and Universal Charger, $69.95Constantly in the palm of our hands, smartphones are quick to get dirty and accumulate bacteria. Allow your gift recipient to easily clean the exterior of their phone with a UV light sanitizer. The PhoneSoap 3 sanitizes phones in 10 minutes and includes a USB and USB-C charger. Any germaphobes on your shopping list will appreciate this useful tech accessory. A special-edition bag of coffee for NBA fans BLK & Bold The Warm Up Blend from BLK and Bold Coffee, Western Conference Bag, $12.99The Warm Up Blend from BLK and Bold Coffee, Eastern Conference Bag, $12.99Whether your gift recipient prefers the NBA's Eastern or Western Conference, this 12-ounce bag of coffee from a Black-owned business is a great gift for caffeine-loving basketball enthusiasts. The coffee company, BLK & Bold, pledges 5% of its profits to charitable organizations supporting young people, and the NBA is matching the contributions for these special edition bags. Roasted in the Midwest, the coffee is smooth with a caramel and fruity taste. A customizable Spotify night light Amazon Custom Spotify Glass Art Night Light, $18.99Let their favorite song take shape in this customizable song acrylic plaque that doubles as a night light. You can personalize the plaque with a picture you upload when ordering, and include a Spotify song code that plays once scanned by a phone. A layered sandwich maker Amazon Breakfast Sandwich Maker, $24.99This clever layered sandwich maker makes preparing meals more delicious and effortless within five minutes. This gift allows them to be creative in their sandwich ingredients while enjoying a hearty meal at any time. A calming bonsai growing kit Amazon Planter's Choice Bonsai Starter Kit, $18.99An ideal gift for those with a nurturing spirit, the Planter's Choice Bonsai Starter Kit is a great introduction to gardening and is a calming addition to their desk, nightstand, or entryway table. The kit comes with a learning guide, seeds stored in vials for germination, four biodegradable growing pots, one expanding-soil disc, four bamboo plant markers, and one bonsai clipper. Lightsaber chopsticks for 'Star Wars' fans Amazon Chop Sabers Light Up Lightsaber Chopsticks, $9.98May the force be with them at every meal with these lightsaber chopsticks. A fun addition to any dining table, these LED chopsticks come in various neon colors to suit their mood. A warmer to keep their coffee hot Amazon Dimux Coffee Mug Warmer, $29.99The Dimux coffee mug warmer is a necessary addition to any tea- or coffee-lover's workstation and keeps beverages at a constant temperature of 131 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also work with their favorite candle to gently release the scent without the need to actually light it. A wireless Bluetooth karaoke microphone for entertaining Amazon Bonaok Karaoke Microphone, $32.99Bring musical fun to their lives with this Bonaok karaoke microphone. A great accessory for any event or just to liven up a dull day, this Bluetooth microphone works as a speaker, plus records and plays music for up to 10 hours. A heated eye mask with music Amazon Renpho Eye Massager, $75.99 Help them unwind from a long day and mentally turn on their "do not disturb mood" with the Renpho eye massager. The built-in heating pads relieve eye strain and stimulate blood circulation via acupuncture points. It even features a Bluetooth music option so they can put on soothing music to further relax. An original Tamagotchi Amazon Original Tamagotchi, $16.99For those nostalgic for the '90s, there's nothing like playing an OG Tamagotchi. They'll love getting to feed and play with their digital pet. A snow cone machine Amazon Hawaiian Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine, $44.99There's nothing like cooling off with a delicious snow cone treat. Now it's easy to make them right at home with this handy and easy-to-use machine. Don't forget to pair it with shaved ice syrups. A soothing desk fountain Amazon Alpine Corporation Tiered Tabletop Fountain with Candles, $29.95Give the gift of zen with this soothing 11-inch tall tabletop fountain. Water trickles from each tier to mimic the sounds of a small waterfall and they can light the candles for an extra calming touch. A Lego-style coffee mug Amazon BOMENNE Build-on Brick Mug, $16.90Brighten the start of any day with this fun coffee mug. It's compatible with Lego and most building bricks so they can customize it and it's available in six color options. Beautiful bookends that double as decor Amazon JIC Gem Agate Bookends, $28.99These gorgeous geode bookends add a magical touch to home decor and come in a range of colors from teal to amethyst. You can also choose from various weights and they come with rubber bumpers to ensure bookcases and shelves don't get scratched. A drool-worthy cozy blanket Amazon Casofu Burritos Throw Blanket, $22.99This whimsical tortilla blanket is both funny and functional. Many from a cozy flannel fabric, it comes in four sizes from 47 to 80 inches. And just in case they have a food obsession beyond burritos, you can also opt for pizza, waffle, or pie blanket options. A fanny pack for hands-free organization on the go Amazon EGOGO Travel Sport Waist Fanny Pack, $17.99For hikers and day-trippers, this handy fanny pack has plenty of zippered pockets to keep essentials like their phone, keys, and credit cards organized while on the go. Made from a durable and water-resistant nylon, it even features a spot to keep their water bottle and the waist strap tightens to ensure a good fit. A fun inflatable lounger Amazon Wekapo Inflatable Lounger Air Sofa, $39.98From a backyard hangout to a beach picnic, this inflatable lounger will come in handy as a comfy seating option. No pump is required, it comes in a handy carrying case, and it's available in 16 different colors and patterns. Decorative tealights to add some greenery Amazon SanSeng Succulent Tealight Candles, $10.58If even simple succulents seem like too much work to take care of, these cute candle tealights are handmade in the shape of cacti and succulents. They offer a fun touch of green decor for any space. A cool planet lamp Amazon UooEA Saturn Lamp, $26.99You may be seeing trendy moon lamps popping up, but you can make your gift even more unique by opting for this Saturn lamp. The dimmable LED lamp has seven different settings and you can even set it to change colors to a bright hue. Easy to move from room to room, it lasts for up to eight hours after each charge. A trio of flavorful honey Amazon Bushwick Kitchen Bees Knees Honey Sampler Gift Set, $54.99If they can't bear the thought of a meal without something sweet, upgrade their condiments with this set of funky flavored honey from Bushwick Kitchen.  A cute reusable bag Amazon/Insider Baggu Standard Reusable Shopping Bag, from $12Whether it's used to carry their groceries or random knickknacks, everyone needs a good reusable bag. We love the original Baggu. It can hold up to 50 pounds of stuff, but can also be folded down to fit in your pocket. It also comes in tons of fun colors and patterns. A starry sky light projector Amazon IYUT 3-in-1 LED Ceiling Galaxy Light Projector, $35.99This fun light projector brings the night sky inside and features 10 lighting colors, three brightness levels, and three speed settings. It also includes built-in speakers and works with smartphones via Bluetooth or USB to play music as the lights twinkle around you.  A keychain for hot sauce lovers Amazon/Insider Tabasco Hot Sauce Keychain, $11.88They'll never have to endure a flavorless meal again. This mini bottle of Tabasco sauce comes with a keychain for spice that goes wherever they do.  An easy attachment to make homemade pasta Amazon KitchenAid Gourmet Pasta Press Attachment, $199.00If your giftee already has a Kitchenaid stand mixer, get them this attachment that lets them easily make their own fresh noodles. Six different interchangeable discs mean they can switch between noodle types, including spaghetti, bucatini, rigatoni, fusilli, and large or small macaroni. A retro rice cooker Amazon/Insider Dash Mini Rice Cooker, $24.99This little gadget not only cooks rice but can make stew, oatmeal, soup, pasta, veggies and more. The style and colorful enamel coating add a retro look to their kitchen. A bracelet with a hidden message Amazon IEFWELL Morse Code Bracelets, $12.99These beaded sterling silver bracelets aren't just stylish — they also spell out fun messages in Morse code. Choose classic options like "BFF" or "I Love You" or fun phrases like "Tribe" or "She Did." A cute and practical phone holder Amazon/Insider Dinosaur Silicone Phone Holder, $9.99This endearing little dino isn't just a piece of decor, it can actually can hold their phone. It comes in over 10 colors, so you can find one in their favorite shade. A hydrating face cream that the French swear by Amazon Embryolisse Lait Cream Fluide, $35French pharmacies are known for their readily-available, high-quality skincare products. Gifting your buddy a ticket to Paris may be out of the budget, but you can still snag them some of these cult-favorite products, like this seriously hydrating face cream. A bunny-shaped speaker with good sound Amazon/Insider AEO Bunny Bluetooth Speaker, from $19.99This compact Bluetooth speaker may not be the best around, but it's surely the cutest. Shaped like a little bunny with floppy ears, you get your music and a fun piece of decor too.  A punny apron that reminds them of their favorite show Amazon GOT "Dinner is Coming" Apron, $25If you're looking for the right gift for that special person who loves "Game of Thrones," is always cooking, and has a great sense of humor — we think we've found it.  A bright and colorful hamper Amazon Pehr Designs Pom Pom Hamper, $43.99No one wants to see a giant pile of dirty laundry on the floor. Help them conceal their mess with this hamper, which is actually nice to look at and adds a pop of color to their room.  Relaxing bath salts Amazon/Insider Herbivore Botanicals Coconut Bath Soak, $18Everyone deserves some relaxation, which is why this calming bath soak makes such a great gift. Inside there's dehydrated coconut milk, vanilla, and Himalayan coconut CO2 extract, which together help soothe the skin and calm the mind. An insulated pint glass that keeps your brew cool Amazon/Insider BruMate HOPSULATOR, from $19.99If they like their beverages ice-cold, they'll appreciate this thoughtful bottle holder. It can hold 12- and 16-ounce cans, or be used as a pint glass holding 16 fluid ounces, so it's really a three-in-one gadget. When they need a break from beer, this is perfect for keeping their water bottles chilled too.  A creative journal that’ll help them get some sleep Amazon/Insider "The Nocturnal Journal" by Lee Crutchley, $16A great night's sleep is essential to our well-being, but getting those eight hours each night can be easier said than done. If you know any night owls who need to catch up on their sleep, this journal will make a great gift. It's full of prompts, illustrations, and questions to put their minds at ease when they're up in the wee hours of the night. A cute purse for the wine lover Amazon Insulate Wine Clutch Bag, $28For the wine lover in your life, this bag does double duty as a cute outfit accessory and an insulated bag to easily bring along a bottle of wine to that house party, backyard barbeque, or picnic at the park. It comes in numerous pattern and color options, including nautical stripes, black tweed, beaded patterns, and more. A pack of sticky notes to keep them on track Amazon/Insider Knock Knock "To Accomplish" Sticky Notes, from $12.55For the friend who likes to keep it really organized, help them stay on track with this thoughtful set of sticky notes. With categories like "To Ponder," "To Remember," and "To Buy," they can keep track of everything they need to accomplish in the near future.  A fruity hand cream that’ll look great on their counter Amazon/Insider TonyMoly Peach Hand Cream, $12This rich hand cream is made with shea butter and peach extract to moisturize seriously dry skin. We love the refreshing, light peach scent and the adorable container, which looks just like a peach.  The perfect socks for pizza lovers Amazon Pizza Socks Box (4 pairs), $25.99From pizza ovens to pizza apparel, there's no shortage of gifts catered to pizza lovers out there. We're partial to these socks for their packaging, which is made to look like an actual pizza in an actual pizza box.  Simple illustrated prints to hang around the house Amazon/Insider Dream Big Printables Botanical Prints (set of 6), $14.99Finding unique home decor that's also affordable can be a tough feat, but these artistic prints check off all the boxes. The illustrations of plants make a great addition to their kitchen, or even their bedroom if they want to show off their green thumb. Reusable lunch bags that they’ll actually want to use Amazon/Insider Diweiya Reusable Snack Bags, $11.59Plastic bags are an unnecessary expense when you could just have reusable ones. Their environmentally-conscious and frugal sides will thank you for these sandwich and snack bags, which are dishwasher safe and BPA free. They'll save a ton of money and plastic waste by using these, plus the colorful patterns are much more fun than clear plastic.  A travel pillow that actually works Amazon Trtl Travel Pillow, from $29.99We've sung the praises of the Trtl Pillow before — it's an essential for any traveler. The cozy and supportive neck pillow is a great gift for any frequent travelers or anyone who's about to head out on a trip.  A cutting board of their favorite place Amazon Totally Bamboo State Cutting Board, from $29.99Entertainers and those with state pride will love this cutting board. You can find a board shaped like any of the 50 states or Puerto Rico, each laser engraved with important landmarks, cities, and sights. It's a fun, personal gift that they're sure to love.  A portable printer that lets them print instantly Amazon HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer, $99.72Nowadays, most of our photos live on our smartphones and social media apps, but many of us still love getting to look through or hang up printed pictures. This portable printer lets them do that super easily and with no wires so they can print pictures in a snap. A charging stand for all of their devices Amazon elago Charging Hub, $24.99This gift is a no-brainer for loyal Apple users. Instead of dealing with a tangle of chords from charging all of their products, they can streamline with this singular hub, which has a designated spot for their iPhone, Airpods, and Apple Watch.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 3rd, 2021

53 cool and unique Amazon gifts that teenagers will actually love, from Spikeball to astrology jewelry

Finding a gift for a teenager can be tough, but there are a lot of options on Amazon. Here are 53 gift ideas teens will actually want to keep. Amazon has an abundance of great gifts for teens, from the "Dune" books to a Kindle to read them on. Amazon Teens are notoriously difficult to shop for, especially when it comes to gifts. To help ease shopping stress, we put together a list of 53 cool and fast Amazon gifts. Still looking for gift ideas? Check out our list of the all-time best products we've ever tested. Teens may be difficult to shop for, but you don't need to search far and wide for gift ideas - Amazon has options in everything from tech to beauty products.From the popular book-turned-into-movie "Dune" to a Nintendo Switch, we rounded up the best 53 best gifts for the teens in your life. They cover a range of prices and brands, including newer startups you didn't even know you could find on Amazon. Check out all 53 gifts for teens on Amazon: A pair of trendy, easy-to-use AirPods Amazon If you're after the title of their favorite relative of the year, AirPod Pros could be the convenient, easy-to-use gift to get.If you're looking to spend less, we also recommend great headphones that won't break $50. A cute, heart-shaped waffle maker Crate & Barrel Sometimes all anyone wants is anything delicious and aesthetically appealing — like heart-shaped waffles. This waffle maker is small, too, so it shouldn't crowd their kitchen too much. Smart lights that are compatible with Amazon Alexa Amazon They can use their voice to control these smart light bulbs through an Alexa Echo, Echo Dot, or Google Home Assistant. They can also give hands-free commands to set the brightness, turn lights on and off, change colors, create timers, and more to customize their space. A GoPro Amazon GoPro is the rugged, waterproof action camera they can take with them anywhere. While older models will still get the job done, the Hero10 is the newest and best overall model.You can read a full GoPro Hero 10 review here, but the gist is this: The Hero 10 is a performance camera, but its upgrades allow it to do what even bigger and more expensive cameras can do, too.  A fun outdoor game they can play with friends DICK'S Sporting Goods On a beautiful, sunny day in the city, you'll probably see at least one group playing this fun and active game in the park. With rules similar to volleyball, it's incredibly easy to learn — so friend groups or families can get involved. The new Fire HD 10 tablet for music, games, and media Amazon We think Amazon's latest Fire tablet is the best and most affordable tablet for basic needs on the market (as long as you don't expect to use Google apps). With it, they can stream videos, browse the web, and read books. Read more about it here. The popular Dune series Amazon After "Harry Potter" and classics commonly found on high school syllabi, Dune is the #15 bestselling young adult book on Amazon. The first movie in the series, which stars Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, premiered on October 21 (you can watch it on HBO Max) and the second is coming out October 2023 — so they'll have enough time to catch up before the next installment. The Nintendo Switch Nintendo The Nintendo Switch is one of the gifts that, with good reason, tend to elicit lots of excitement. This model has a battery life of up to nine hours and can be played with friends or solo, and at home or on the go.Note: Some colors are currently out of stock. An instant camera Amazon Instax's cute instant camera is great for anyone who loves taking photos. All they need is some film to get started. It features a small selfie mirror to ensure proper framing, a macro lens attachment, and a variety of modes to account for different indoor and outdoor environments. A multi-color alarm clock that doubles as a speaker Amazon Beyond helping ensure they're up on time, this alarm clock doubles as a Bluetooth speaker and as a dimmable, multi-color bedside lamp. A beanie with built-in headphones Amazon Soundbot makes soft beanies that have built-in headphones for on-the-go listening. They have a rechargeable battery, built-in microphone, and wireless range of up to 33 feet.  An Echo Dot that doubles as a clock Amazon The Amazon Echo Dot is the most popular Amazon device for a reason — it's compact and has all the capabilities of Alexa (weather updates, recipes, music, and news).  One of the best young adult books of the year Amazon If you're looking to gift a good book they likely haven't read yet, we suggest snooping through literary awards, where judges do the heavy lifting for you. This book, a queer love story set in 1954 Chinatown, was shortlisted for the 2021 National Book Award in young adult literature.Some more book suggestions: "All the Bright Places," a popular YA book on TikTok"Scythe," a bestselling dystopian YA book similar to "The Hunger Games"The best young adult books, according to a teenagerThe best young adult romance booksThe best young people's literature of 2021 according to the National Book AwardsThe best books we read in our 20s An effective electric toothbrush Amazon We love this electric toothbrush as a budget-friendly option that doesn't compromise on performance. It's also the path of least resistance to helping your teen build their own healthy habits. A bath bomb gift box Amazon If their favorite pastime is some version of decadent self-care, then a gift set of bath bombs will go over well. This set has an array of great scents: sandalwood, eucalyptus, lavender, vanilla, rose, ginger, cedar, lemon, and orange. A necklace featuring their zodiac sign Amazon Zodiac signs, and the unique personality traits tied to each one, have become extremely popular in recent years. Pick up their sign in a dainty, gold-dipped necklace they can wear every day. A portable charger Amazon Whether used for traveling or keeping in contact with friends or parents while on the go, this external battery is great for giving parents and teens convenience — and peace of mind.  PopSockets for the back of their phone PopSocket PopSockets have become their own cultural phenomenon. Besides being useful, they offer a bit of personalization to tech and come in a variety of colors and patterns. New video games: "Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury" Amazon Ultimately, no gift may compare to a great new video game they can play solo or with friends.  New video games: "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD" Amazon New video games: "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" Amazon New video games: "FIFA 22" Amazon A hair towel that cuts drying time in half Aquis Aquis' cult-favorite hair towels can cut the amount of time it takes your hair to dry in half — a claim we're happy to report holds up. They also help keep hair protected from harmful friction in its most vulnerable state. If the teens in your life have ever complained about frizzy hair, this and a silk pillowcase are thoughtful gifts they'll actually use. One of the best young adult books ever written Amazon For the kind of gift they'll still mention 10 years later, give them one of the best young adult books you've ever read — or one of the 37 best young adult books Business Insider staff members recommend. Or, check out Amazon's list of the 100 books you should read in a lifetime. A splashproof, portable Bluetooth speaker Amazon This rugged, compact speaker can go with them anywhere. It's waterproof, has an "outdoor boost" button specifically for listening outside, is "drop-proof," and boasts a 13-hour battery life. A set of Korean sheet masks Amazon The best way to initiate a pampered staycation is a cult-favorite, 16-pack of Korean sheet masks — something any beauty- or skin-care-obsessed teen will likely already know about. A waterproof e-reader with a no-glare screen Amazon This isn't the latest or most features-packed Kindle (that'd be the Kindle Oasis), but the Paperwhite is still a great product, and we think it's the best mid-range Kindle that combines cost with performance.It's waterproof, has a six-week battery life (based on 30 minutes of reading daily), and the 32GB option stores thousands of books or 160 Audible audiobooks. Comfortable, high-quality sheets for their bed Brooklinen We recommend Brooklinen often, and for good reason. Most of the Insider Reviews team sleeps with Brooklinen on their own beds; we think they're perfect for sleeping in on lazy Saturday mornings. A surprisingly good projector that's the size of a soda can Anker Anker's Nebula Capsule is tiny but mighty. It's the size of a soda can, weighs only one pound, and has a quiet and continuous playtime of four hours. It'll kick movie nights up a notch, and they can easily pack it on trips. Find a full review here. Mario Badescu's cult-favorite facial mists with aloe Amazon Mario Badescu's cult-favorite facial mists refresh and hydrate the skin for a dewy glow. They're available on Amazon individually or in a two-pack of the rose water and cucumber sprays. A leather toiletry bag for grooming and beauty essentials Leatherology Leatherology's shave bag is a great purchase if you want to gift your teen a leather beauty bag that will age gracefully. Comfortable headphones with long battery life and good sound Beats by Dre The Solo3 headphones are perfect for commuting, studying, or zoning out during family road trips. They offer good sound quality and up to 40 hours of battery life, but the best part? Five minutes of charging equals three hours of playback.  A slime-making kit Amazon One of the ongoing internet trends is a fascination with slime, and teens have run successful businesses by sharing videos of it. And what's better than vicariously living through TikTok slime-makers? Making your own.  A gentle facial cleansing device FOREO FOREO's cult-favorite Luna 2 cleansing device gently and effectively cleans with thin, antimicrobial silicone touchpoints, and claims to remove 99.5% of dirt and makeup residue without irritating the skin. Plus, it's waterproof, and the battery life lasts for a few months per charge. The Luna 2 is available in five varieties: men, normal, combination, sensitive, and oily skin. Find a full review from a female reporter and a male reporter here. A Fitbit Fitbit Fitbits track the wearer's health and fitness as well as offer insights into their sleep and physical activity trends. Teens can set personal goals and get real-time updates during workouts. It's water-resistant up to 50 meters, and its battery life can last up to seven days.  A cult-favorite clay mask Amazon The Aztec Clay Mask is one of those cult-favorite products that's been plucked from obscurity and gone straight to the limelight of YouTube testimonials with over 4 million views and widespread popularity. You can read a full review here. String lights with photo clips Amazon Perfect for creating the archetypal teen room that's most often seen in Netflix movies and old Taylor Swift music videos, photo clip string lights add warm light to your teen's favorite Polaroids or memorabilia.  Colorful reusable straws Amazon Trying to adopt more eco-friendly habits is one of the great characteristics of younger generations, especially teens who grew up among videos of sea turtles being harmed by discarded plastic straws. These are colorful, bendable, and fun to use.  Gift card for everything: Visa Shutterstock/Zivica Kerkez For teens who often rely on part-time jobs to fund their hobbies and cravings, gift cards are one gift that's always appreciated. Here are some of Insider Reviews' top choices: Gift cards for everything: Amazon Amazon A gift card to Amazon is a gift card to pretty much anything they've got on their wish lists — tech, clothing, books, and more.  Gift card for coffee: Starbucks Starbucks/Facebook Whether they're ordering multi-hyphenate drinks at Starbucks or regular hot chocolates, they add up. Gift card for food: Chipotle Chipotle One of the mainstays of teenage life is meeting up with friends at fast-casual restaurants — and Chipotle is a perennial favorite. Gift card for gaming: Xbox Amazon If you know they have an Xbox but don't know which games they already have or need, this is a great way to ensure they get exactly what they want. Gift card for clothes: Nordstrom Nordstrom No matter how spot-on your gifts are, your giftee is the best person for the job of dressing themselves. And even if you nail the latest trend they're excited about, there will be more in the future — this lets them pick things out for themselves, without having to dip into their allowance or savings. Gift card for tech: Best Buy Amazon Unsure of which tech they already have or which tech they'd want? A Best Buy gift card will save you the probing questions and help you give them a gift they're really excited about.  A music subscription that includes 50 million songs Amazon If they don't already have a music subscription, give them access to 50 million songs with Amazon Music Unlimited.  Colorful scrunchies Amazon Scrunchies are having a moment. If you want to get something particularly on-trend, you may want to look into a few. This set comes with a whopping 46 colors. An audiobook subscription Alyssa Powell/Business Insider If they love to read, or you're trying to get them to love to read, a gift subscription to Audible is a great idea. They'll get three free titles for each month they're a member (one audiobook and two Audible Originals), and 30% off any additional audiobooks they buy. They can listen and read anywhere and anytime using the free app.  A popcorn machine for movie nights Amazon Perfect for movie nights with family or friends, this popcorn maker can make as much as six quarts of popcorn for a night in.  An eyeshadow palette Amazon If they're getting into makeup, an eyeshadow palette is one of the coolest gifts you can probably give them. This option has 16 shades, almost 15,000 reviews, and a 4.4-star rating overall.  A karaoke machine that allows duets Amazon This system has more features than a really nice car. It has two mics, a sing-along and record function, and 300 songs ready for action. A cool, holographic fanny pack Amazon What's old is new and cool again — and that includes fanny packs! A mini griddle for individual servings of food Amazon This tiny griddle is perfect for making individual servings of breakfasts and pretty much any food — from eggs to cookies to grilled cheese. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 28th, 2021

49 of our favorite gifts for new moms, from keepsakes to postpartum recovery kits

New moms will feel appreciated with these gifts. Here are 49 gifts for new moms, including baby books, a neck massager, and newborn soothers. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Happiest Baby We rounded up 49 gifts for new moms, from humorous parenting books to handy tech gadgets. These gifts are great for relaxing, saving time, and marking milestones. Check out all of Insider Reviews' gift guides. Becoming a mother is a life-changing experience. New moms are suddenly responsible for another human being, and there are quite a few things that can make that job easier. In a very uncertain time, new moms will appreciate gifts that are both practical and luxurious - things that can save them money and time. They also appreciate items that bestow a few precious moments for self-care.Some of these gifts are specifically related to the baby, while others are simply geared toward a mother who is ready for some "me time." New moms are among the busiest people in our lives, and they undoubtedly deserve a meaningful gift. Here are 49 of the best gifts for new moms: A T-shirt that makes a statement Greatwood Boutique/Etsy Gift a Greatwood Boutique Tough as a Mother Shirt, $11.90It goes without saying that moms are tough. Remind her just how tough and resilient she is with this super soft T-shirt. It's available in 13 different colors and sizes XS to 3XL. A letterboard for memorable milestone pictures Target Gift the Pearhead 10-by-10-inch Letterboard Set, $12.99Letterboards help parents say it all with a picture; they're often used for baby's birth announcement picture and to get a snapshot of milestones. This one is just the right size to prop next to baby for a picture. Basic birth recovery supplies Frida Gift the Friday Mom Postpartum Recovery Essentials Kit, $49.99After having a baby, things are a bit messy to say the least. Help mom recover with this kit that includes disposable postpartum underwear, instant ice maxi pads, perineal cooling pad liners, and perineal healing foam all stored in a convenient toilet-top storage caddy.  Something to help them stay caffeinated Amazon Gift the Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker, $24.99New moms need all the coffee. If cold brew is their thing, gift this cold brew coffee maker. It makes four servings of coffee. If mom preps it the night before, fresh coffee will be ready at the crack of dawn — right about when the baby wakes up.  A treat just for mom Milk Bar Gift a Milk Bar Fall Assorted Truffle Box, $44Doesn't a mom deserve some time to sit down and indulge a bit? They'll certainly be able to with this assorted truffle box from Milk Bar. It includes three different flavors of cake truffles: Birthday, Chocolate Birthday, and Apple Cider Doughnut Cake. A pick-me-up for her eyes Peach & Lily Gift the Cold Brew Eye Recovery Stick for $28With one swipe of this stick, mom's eyes will feel more awake and less puffy. They probably won't have time to put on a full face of makeup, but this will help them feel a little more put together after a night of broken sleep. A smart bassinet Happiest Baby Gift a Happiest Baby Gift Card, from $25This smart bassinet helps new moms and babies get sleep by combining gentle rocking with soothing white noise. The smart technology responds to baby by increasing motion and shushing when it detects fussiness. It also keeps babies in a secure swaddle so they stay safely on their back. The best socks they've never tried Bombas Gift a Bombas Gift Bag or Box, from $69You might be thinking: Really, socks? But having a nice pair can make a world of difference. Bombas spent two years perfecting its gym socks. With thoughtful innovations, like a blister tab and performance cushioned footbeds, their feet will notice the difference. Bombas also donates a pair to a homeless shelter for every pair purchased.  A minimalistic diaper bag Kibou Gift a Kibou Bag for $79Moms need their hands free to do all the holding, rocking, wiping, and feeding that comes along with new babies. This small diaper fanny pack is made of high-quality vegan leather and has room for wipes, diapers, credit cards, keys, mom's phone, and more. It even comes with a built-in changing pad. A floral arrangement to brighten their day The Bouqs Co. Gift a The Bouqs Co. floral arrangement, starting at $31These fresh flower arrangements come from farms that minimize waste and recycle water. Choose from classic bouquets like roses or sunflowers or opt for a more unique option that she can plant. The floral arrangement will be a bright spot in her day. Something to help them sleep Amazon Gift a Coop Home Goods Pillow, $60.99I know what you're thinking: Is it really worth $60 for a pillow? The answer is yes. This memory foam pillow is adjustable so it's comfortable for every type of sleeper. New moms need all the help they can get when it comes to sleeping. A virtual baby book Qeepsake Gift a Qeepsake Membership, from $47.88Qeepsake texts parents or caregivers questions to answer about their child. Parents simply text their answer back with accompanying photos if they desire and Qeepsake saves the responses. Then, users can order a book that displays all the questions, answers, and memories. Their favorite quote, framed Minted Gift a Minted Custom Quote, from $38Maybe a new mom has a favorite quote that reminds them of their baby or they're just a lover of words. This gift will be a beautiful keepsake for them to always remember the newborn phase.  A sentimental gift for a lasting memory MainEventUSA/Etsy/Insider Gift a Baby Hand and Footprint Kit, $25.95This gift freezes the littleness of their new baby in time. Nothing shows how fast a baby grows quite like comparing their growing hands and feet to how small they once were. This kit allows new moms to do the prints at home and add two pictures. A treat to satisfy their sweet tooth while supporting milk production Amazon Gift the Munchkin Milkmakers Lactation Cookie Bites, $21.75These delicious cookies come in prepackaged bags so they can easily grab a snack while nursing. Although more studies examining the benefits of lactation cookies need to be conducted, this convenient treat certainly won't hurt. A nightlight that will help their baby - and in turn, them - sleep well Amazon Gift the Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light and Time-to-Rise, $59.99Rest is a nightlight, sound machine, and wake-up alert that grows with children — from soft light and white noise for midnight newborn feeding sessions to a preschooler's nightlight. Parents can customize everything — color, brightness, sound, and volume level — or they can choose from presets recommended by sleep experts.  A neck and back massager they can use any time Amazon Gift a Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager, $44.95New moms spend a lot of time hunched over: picking up baby, putting down baby, carrying baby, and feeding baby. This massager has heated nodes that rotate, and moms can move it around to any spot they're feeling tension. A memorable piece of jewelry Marky Baby Milk Jewelry/Etsy Gift the Marky Baby Milk Jewelry DIY Kit, starting at $33.04Moms who choose to breastfeed often face an emotional journey. The piece of jewelry from this DIY kit is made with their own breast milk so they can remember this special time long after their baby has grown up. A personalized beauty subscription Birchbox Gift a Birchbox subscription, from $45 for three monthsNew moms will inevitably be dealing with spilled milk, spit-up, and lots of dirty diapers. Make them feel pampered with a personalized beauty subscription. They'll be able to create her own Beauty Profile, making each box just right for them. A personalized T-shirt Known Supply/Instagram Gift a personalized Fitted Crew at Known Supply, $32 + $10 monogramLet's be honest — they're probably going to be spending a lot of time at home in the first year. What could be better than a cozy, comfortable tee made of Pima cotton? Bonus points if you choose a color that will hide a spit-up stain. Merino-wool sneakers Allbirds Gift Allbirds Wool Runners, $98When you're on your feet all day, a pair of good shoes makes all the difference. Allbirds wool runners won't fail them — they're soft, comfortable, and machine washable. You can't go wrong with the originals, but the new Tree line is similarly light and comfortable.  A variety of Korean sheet masks for an at-home spa day Facetory/Business Insider Gift the Facetory 7 Lux 1-Month Gift Subscription, $19.90They could try a different Korean sheet mask every day of the week if they wanted to. The unique sheets made with innovative ingredients are hard to find anywhere else — Facetory curates only the most interesting and effective in the K-beauty world.  Adorable leather baby moccasins Freshly Picked/Instagram Gift Freshly Picked baby moccasins, from $30These 100% genuine cowhide leather moccasins have a soft sole to help children who are starting to walk. They're easy to put on, will actually stay on your kid's feet, and come in many stylish prints and colors.  An Audible gift subscription Audible/Business Insider Gift an Audible subscription, from $15Do you know what's really hard to do when you're holding a baby, a bottle, and trying to cook all at once? Read a book. What's easier? Listening to one on Audible. They can listen to audiobooks, podcasts, and more while multitasking at home or strolling through the neighborhood. A luxurious bathrobe Snowe Gift the Snowe Bathrobe, $100Deemed the best and most absorbent terry robe on the market, Snowe's bathrobe is super comfortable and fluffy. It's perfect for a mom looking for moments of relaxation during an otherwise hectic day.  A necklace that symbolizes unbreakable bond between mother and child AUrate Gift the AUrate 14-Karat Connection Necklace, $380This beautiful necklace, available in yellow, white, or rose gold, manages to be simultaneously elegant and bold. The company has ideals they'll support, too: Its ethical solid gold is sourced from conflict-free suppliers and it donates a book to a child in need with each purchase.  A 5-year journal Write to Me Gift The First Five Years Baby Journal, $46.95This linen-bound guided journal prompts parents to record milestones and memories to cherish for a lifetime. They'll be able to look back at all the firsts — first birthday, first haircut, first steps — and beam with pride. A funny book about the realities of motherhood Amazon/Business Insider Gift "The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby's First Year," $14.99Any mom knows that motherhood is not all rainbows and sunshine. This book dispenses practical and useful information in a humorous format that will have new parents laughing through the particularly hard days.   A selection of soft, high-quality baby clothing basics Primary Gift a Primary gift card, $25-$250Shopping for baby clothing is easy at Primary, which was founded by two moms. The adorable, colorful, and gender-neutral styles are classic and made from safe Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified, soft fabrics. Primary offers sizes from newborn through age 12. A fitness app so they can work out with a trainer at home Kira Stokes/Business Insider Gift a subscription to Kira Stokes Fit, from $14.99/monthFlexibility is paramount for busy moms, and a good fitness app offers just that. The Kira Stokes Fit app has abs, legs, core, and full-body workouts available to stream anytime, on any device, so moms can sweat on their own time.  Crib sheets from an Internet-famous bedding startup Brooklinen Gift the Brooklinen Mini Crib Sheet Set, from $32Adults love Brooklinen sheets, and now babies can enjoy the soft and comfortable experience, too. If they don't yet have a set for themselves, include a gift that will help them sleep as well.  A versatile diaper bag Amazon Gift the Skip Hop Forma Backpack Diaper Bag, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, from $74.99The lightweight, minimalist design of this diaper bag makes it a versatile option for new moms. The included cubes make it easy to organize diapers, wipes, bottles, and snacks. There's also a convenient changing pad within one of its pockets. Dinner on the table in under an hour HelloFresh/Instagram Gift a HelloFresh Gift Card, from $70Meal kits take the guesswork out of cooking. Food is delivered weekly, meaning fewer trips to the grocery store, and the kit includes easy step-by-step recipes to prepare dinner — a snap when they're basically too tired to function. A long-distance touch lamp Filimin Buy a set of two Filimin Long-Distance Touch Lamps, $85-$170A new mom's life is busy and tiring, so they might not always be available to talk and catch up. When you want to let them know you're thinking of them and vice versa without actually saying anything, just tap the lamp to make the other one light up.  Stress relief in a tiny jade package Walgreens/Business Insider Gift Revlon Cool & Depuff Jade Stone Facial Roller, $9.99This facial roller can be used on all skin types to help improve circulation and reduce the puffiness that comes with sleep deprivation. It may temporarily firm skin, too. Most of all, it just feels good, especially when kept cool in the fridge. A modern baby book Artifact Uprising Gift the Artifact Uprising Baby Book "The Story of You," from $99With a sturdy fabric-bound cover (available in seven color/foil pairings), this interactive photo journal is a beautiful way to focus on the everyday moments rather than major milestones. The book is 100 pages and holds 47 photos. Register it online and get a complimentary set of Everyday Prints.  Leggings that feel and look great 90 Degree by Reflex/Facebook Gift the 90 Degree By Reflex High-Waist Power Flex Tummy Control Leggings, from $18We love these leggings because they are versatile, supportive, and silhouette smoothing. They also have a little pocket to hold keys or a credit card if she needs to run out. Available in 13 colors, these leggings are available up to size XXL and run true to size. A moment of zen Chiji Gift a Home of Chiji Energy Candle, from $39.99This brand's motto is "illuminate positivity" and when baby has been crying for hours, a positive vibe is desperately needed. These candles are infused with crystals like amethyst and rose quartz to bring some calm to a chaotic house. A comfortable nursing bra Amazon/Business Insider Gift the Motherhood Maternity Women's Wrap Front Nursing Sleep Bra, from $12.76All a new mom wants is to be comfortable, since chances are they aren't for most of the day. This wrap-front bra is soft, wireless yet supportive, and perfect for wearing all day and all night. A smart home device Amazon Gift the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen), $49.99Hands-free music streaming, news and weather reports, thermostat controls, and alarms for naps or feeding, the Echo Dot does it all. They'll become a multitasking mom in no time with this smart home device. A soothing under eye treatment Sephora Gift Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Eye Masks, $25These gold foil eye masks provide a soothing treatment for tired eyes. They help with puffiness and dark circles. Best of all, they won't fall off like some sheet masks, so they can hold baby upright while pampering themselves. Bubble bath made from plant-based ingredients Walmart/Business Insider Gift the Hello Bello Bubble Bath, $5.98Hello Bello, the baby line from Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, prides itself on making premium, plant-based products like body wash, baby lotion, wipes, and this bubble bath. The gentle, hypoallergenic formula is dermatologist-tested and safe on sensitive skin, so both mom and baby can enjoy a nourishing playful bath. A soothie to keep pacifier off the floor Amazon/Business Insider Gift the Philips Avent Soothie Snuggle Pacifier Holder with Detachable Pacifier, $14.99This adorable pacifier and holder be used beginning at birth. The pacifier and animal detach from each other, so it's easy and fast to clean both pieces. It comes in a variety of cute critters like an elephant, giraffe, monkey, and seal.  A women's multivitamin subscription Ritual Gift a 1-month supply of Ritual vitamins, $30New moms have a lot to juggle, and eating healthy, balanced meals may fall by the wayside some days. Help them get the nutrients to keep their energy up with these vegan multivitamins, which contain folate, vitamin D3, B12, iron, and magnesium, and are free of artificial colorants, synthetic fillers, and gluten. A reusable smart notebook Amazon Gift the Rocketbook Everlast Reusable Smart Notebook, $27.99New parents live and die by a schedule. This notebook is surprisingly handy — it will send their handwritten notes to the cloud and wipes clean with a damp cloth. It makes sharing with the entire family a breeze, and no more wasting paper. The gift of hydration Walmart Gift the SodaStream Fountain Kit, $49.88Staying hydrated is key, especially for nursing moms. Indulge their sparkling water obsession with this sleek gadget that turns regular water into bubbly bliss in seconds. You'll also be helping to save the planet by eliminating hundreds of single-use plastic bottles.   Stress relief in portable balm form Amazon Gift the Scentered Aromatherapy Balm Sticks Gift Set, $33Scentered's balm sticks come in five functions — Focus, Sleep Well, Love, Escape, and De-Stress — and help them relax wherever they are. Each non-greasy balm contains up to 25 essential oils and is formulated with a blend of moringa and moisturizing shea butter.  A book that helps new moms who have endless questions Amazon/Business Insider Gift "Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool," $14.29If they loved Emily Oster's pregnancy book "Expecting Better," they'll dive right into "Cribsheet." The "data-driven guide" helps new parents with sleep, potty training, and much more.  A pair of embroidered makeup towels Weezie Gift the Weezie Makeup Towels, $40We've personally discovered Weezie's makeup towels are unexpectedly useful, and so will they. Even if they aren't washing off makeup, the fluffy fabric will feel great at the end of a long day. You can even have them embroidered to say "Mama" or a phrase of your choosing. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 22nd, 2021

Walmart defined Bentonville, Arkansas, for decades. Now the small town is ready to rebrand itself as a tourist destination for the young and outdoorsy.

Bentonville wants to attract young professionals and bikers. Longtime residents say housing prices have increased and the town is busier than ever. Bentonville, Arkansas.Getty Images The small town of Bentonville, Arkansas, has been the headquarters of Walmart for 50 years. Longtime residents, leaders, and real-estate agents say the town has changed a lot. Bentonville hopes to become a destination for bikers and young professionals. For 50 years, the small town of Bentonville, Arkansas, has been known as the home of Walmart headquarters. Now, the town that the Census Bureau reports has grown by more than 50% since 2010 is building a new reputation as a place for tourists and young professionals.This reputation has hundreds of millions of dollars behind it, thanks to Walmart, the Walton Family Foundation, and individual members of the Walton family. Local leaders, however, told Insider that the entire community has embraced the changes. "When I moved here in 2005, people bought a meal coming into a meeting at Walmart and bought a meal leaving that meeting," Kalene Griffith, the president of Visit Bentonville, whose job is to bring tourists to a town that's historically been known as a corporate center, told Insider. "We had one retailer and two restaurants downtown. Now, we have 16 restaurants and eight retailers."Kalene Griffith is the head of Visit Bentonville.Visit BentonvilleWith 63 miles of mountain-biking trails, Bentonville leaders declared the city the "mountain-biking capital of the world." Other attractions include two state parks located within 30 minutes of the town and an annual half-marathon. Bentonville's mayor, Stephanie Orman, said the city's museums "bring in more tourists than biking." Visit Bentonville estimated that 500,000 people visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art annually, compared to 250,000 cyclists on the town's trails.Stephanie Orman is the mayor of Bentonville.City of BentonvilleThe first five miles of bike trails were added in 2007 — the same year voters approved a 10-year bond to expand the municipal airport, build and improve parks, and provide general infrastructure upkeep. According to data collected by Visit Bentonville, the number of homes in the town has increased by 150%. The prices have also shot up, Trina Hammond, who heads a team at Keller Williams Realty, told Insider. She owns a home in downtown Bentonville and has been a realtor for 15 years."One of the biggest real-estate changes is that downtown home prices have more than doubled in the last five years. People want to be able to walk to the bars, restaurants, museums, and bike paths," Hammond said, adding that northwest Arkansas is reshaping how people view the state. "The big surprise that transplants from places like California have is that they expect cheap land and housing, but as the city has boomed, it has pushed them to more affordable housing in the suburbs."The decades-long rebrand has attracted visitors who in the past may have driven by Bentonville without giving it a second thought. Chris Moody, a roving freelance writer who travels thousands of miles a year with his wife in a self-built camper van, told Insider the pair recently made a detour just to see Bentonville after hearing about the city's expansion and investment in the arts, particularly the Crystal Bridges Museum.Chris and Cristi Moody.Chris and Cristi Moody"We had a great time visiting the museum. It was worth the trip," Moody said. "Bentonville is making a clear play to attract young families looking for a modern quality of life without having to live near a big city."Walmart is still a major influence in the city's growth and evolutionWalmart is the elephant in the room with any discussion about Bentonville's growth. Service-providing companies are the largest employers in Bentonville, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Orman attributed this to Walmart building its new corporate headquarters in the town; additionally, more than 1,600 Walmart suppliers had offices in the town as of 2018, up from 445 in 2001.And even funding for community projects that doesn't come from Walmart often comes from its founders. OZ Trails and the holding company Runway Group, which have taken leading roles in trail and biking development in northwest Arkansas, including in Bentonville, are run by Sam Walton's grandsons, Steuart and Tom. In a 2018 press release, the Walton Family Foundation said that it had invested $74 million to build 163 miles of trails in the region.Walmart and many Waltons also support the city's museums: The Crystal Bridges Museum was founded by Alice Walton and received $20 million from Walmart in 2011 to cover free admission to the museum, while the Momentary, a contemporary art space, opened in 2020 with financial support from the Walton Family Foundation.Alice, Rob, and Jim Walton, children of Walmart founder Sam Walton.AP Photo/April L. BrownAnother Walton nonprofit, the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, has funded a three-year grant at NorthWest Arkansas Community College for the nation's first bicycle assembly and repair technician program to be accredited by the Bicycle Industry Employers Association, which creates educational partnerships for bike technicians. The program is intended to support the influx of competitive and casual cyclists. The first cohort of 23 students started last fall, Megan Bolinder, the college's dean of workforce and economic development who heads the technician program, told Insider. "Students will take nine classes to receive the certificate, and then if they choose, the coursework can be used for an associate's degree in general technology at NWACC, which then transfers to two universities in Arkansas," she said. Longtime residents have mixed feelings about the town's growthJack Lloyd has spent his entire life in Bentonville, as have his children and grandchildren. Born in 1964, he told Insider he estimated the town's population was around 3,500 people at the time — which is barely larger than the student population he now oversees as principal of Bentonville High School."Bentonville really began changing around 2004," when Walmart vendors began moving operations to the town, Lloyd said. He added that while the growth has been explosive, "outgrowing anything that could be planned," it was very well-managed."You couldn't build roads and homes fast enough, and we were adding 100 to 200 students per year at the high school," he said. But Bentonville's rural environment worked in its favor. "Sleepier communities and farms that weren't developed became places for new homes and businesses without causing major issues," he said.While Lloyd said a lot of locals complain about increased traffic and housing prices, it's a matter of perspective. "People from Sacramento think this is nothing. And for locals, you can earn more money than other parts of Arkansas. I've spent 32 years as a teacher, vice principal, and principal, and I've never seen so many opportunities for students to work with the businesses that have come to town," he said."When I was a kid, the town center was where things happened," Lloyd added. "That changed a few decades ago, when Walmart built new headquarters near the highway. But with the museums, restaurants, and bike trails all centered on downtown, it's now the happening place again."Elizabeth Ganey has mixed views on Bentonville's rapid growth. She and her husband moved to the town to work at Walmart 11 years ago, when the company offered them jobs after they recieved their MBA degrees. "There are opportunities here that my kids wouldn't have had 10 years ago," she told Insider. "But I'm also not a crowd person, which is something you have to deal with in Bentonville."Visit BentonvilleTo avoid the increasingly crowded neighborhoods and downtown streets, Ganey and her husband moved with their three children to an 11-acre property between Bentonville and nearby Siloam Springs. She said living outside of the town proper allows the family to "pick and choose" which parts of northwest Arkansas they visit for different needs. "The Bentonville library is the best in the area. Our kids go to a private school one town over, and we take the kids to Siloam Springs for non-crowd fun," she said.Ganey is now the marketing coordinator for St. Stephen Catholic Church in Bentonville, while her husband works at a tech startup. She said his choice is common for alumni of Walmart's corporate headquarters. "There are a lot of consumer-data startups in the area because they can provide service to Walmart's corporate headquarters, Walmart stores in the area, and Walmart vendors," she said. Conor Brown and Shane Smith live near Bentonville and told Insider they're regulars on its trails as active members of the region's mountain-bike community. They welcomed the town's new brand."It's not a secret that Walmart is trying to attract young people to their corporate headquarters," Brown said. "Creating a high-quality environment and brand to live, work, and play is part of that strategy.""Bentonville's aspirations are clear, but so is their investment in all aspects of the town," Smith added. "They've gone from a few trails to a massive infrastructure, which services recreational and experienced bikers alike, and my girlfriend and I enjoy regularly partaking of what Bentonville offers." Griffith and Orman stood behind their "world capital" claim. "Eighty percent of mountain bikers are leisure cyclists," Griffith said. "Our trails feature art installations, family-friendly and competitive options, and a trailhead that goes straight into downtown. Places like Cherokee, North Carolina, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, contact us about building their own trail networks. We're happy to help share our experience with them.""The 2016 World Summit basically put us on the cycling map," Orman added. "We have one of the few trailheads that doesn't require a car to get to. Our trails are open year-round, which is very attractive to mountain bikers from snowy regions."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider15 hr. 3 min. ago