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The 20 best bride-to-be gifts that she"ll cherish before the wedding

Whether bridal shower gifts or a little token to mark the big day, thoughtful bride-to-be gifts can help her de-stress and enjoy the experience more. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.fizkes/Getty Images Getting married is stressful, but these thoughtful gifts for the bride-to-be can help settle nerves. Friends often give a little gift at the bachlorette party, the bridal shower, or on the big day. Practical, cute, or thoughtful items like slippers, a bouquet of flowers, or champagne flutes are great. Before they officially say "I do," there are a few items a bride may need leading up to their big day. Bride-to-be gifts are typically given any time prior to the wedding, whether it's at the bachelorette party, at the bridal shower, or the actual day of itself. They'll particularly appreciate the gifts that pamper and help them de-stress, or ones that aid them in preparation during this typically-stressful time. So from self-care presents to fun gifts, the bride-to-be deserves something special that's made just for them. Here are the 20 best bride-to-be gifts:A satin eye mask for sleeping beautyAmazonBride Sleep Mask, available at Amazon, $13.99What better way to help the bride-to-be get their beauty rest than with this cute sleep mask. Better yet, the satin sleep mask has their title decorated on it to show everyone not to disturb the bride. A portable, insulated champagne fluteWilliams SonomaCorkcicle Stemless Champagne Flute, available at Williams Sonoma, $19.95Cheers to them saying yes to a loving lifelong commitment with this stemless champagne flute. The insulated flute keeps beverages cold for up to nine hours or hot up to three hours, although it's intended for champagne and prosecco.A gel manicure kit for professional nails at homeAmazonSally Hansen Salon Pro Gel Starter Kit, available at Amazon, $59.99This Sally Hansen nail kit is a lifesaver if they're too busy or forget to get their nails done for the wedding day. The gel polish kit provides flawless two-week wear that makes every manicure and pedicure look professional. You can find other spa-themed gifts here.A game-changing exfoliator toolAmazonLuna 3, available at Foreo, $199The Foreo Luna Go softly exfoliates the skin for a beautiful, clean complexion. This portable silicone cleansing device takes care of fine lines, pores, dullness, and uneven texture while also offering an app-enabled skin analysis. You can find our Foreo Luna 2 review here.A fast-drying hair towelVolo BeautyThe Volo Hero Towel, available at Volo Beauty, $39Soon-to-be brides can protect their hair from damage with the plush Volo Hair towel that's ultra-absorbent and cuts dry time in half. There is also a strap to hold the towel so it will never fall off in any situation. A cute tumbler with her engaged statusKate SpadeMiss to Mrs. Tumbler with Straw, available at Kate Spade, $18In addition to the ring, this tumbler lets the bride show off their soon-to-be status as officially "married." No matter the season or time of year, the bride-to-be will always stay hydrated at any time. A notebook to plan the perfect weddingAmazonWedding Planner & Organizer, available at Amazon, $33.99If they've always dreamed of happily ever after, they've surely planned everything for their wedding to the last detail. This interactive wedding planner organizes everything on 132 pages filled with helpful tips, an 18-month countdown calendar, a 12-month checkpoint list, and more.  A supremely soft robeGirlfriend CollectiveDawn Dream Robe, available at Girlfriend Collective, $98A ridiculously soft robe that's also sustainable like the Dawn Dream Robe is a smart choice for when the bride-to-be finds the time to settle down after all the planning. A clever candle to calm her nervesRyan PorterBride Chilla Candle, available at Ryan Porter, $31If the bride-to-be happens to be a bridezilla, hopefully, this cheeky candle will calm the imminent meltdown. There's no nicer way to tell the bride-to-be to chill than with this Bride Chilla candle. Rosé-infused candies for a sweet celebrationSugarfinaRosé All Day 3 Piece Candy Bento Box, available at Sugarfina, $30Treat them to these delightful rosé infused candies as they get ready for the dream day. A pair of personalized bridal slippersEtsyPersonalized Bridal Slippers, available at Etsy, $18.99Make the wedding day feel even sweeter with these fluffy slippers that are personalized with the bride-to-be's new surname. After all the festivities, slide off the heels and slip into these comfy slippers that feel like a dream. A skincare kit with glowing resultsMaeloveFade Scar Spot Kit, available at Maelove, $67.88A glowy, refreshed face is essential on the wedding day. This Maelove skincare kit provides a flawless complexion with faded scars and spots. It includes a hydrating face serum, night cream, and an exfoliator scrub. A fun bridal accessory for beveragesAmazonFetti Bachelorette Party XL Bride Straw, available at Amazon, $6.99Sip and savor every celebratory drink for the bride-to-be with these reusable bridal straws that are a fun party accessory. A fresh flower bouquet delivered to themUrban StemsThe Amethyst, available at Urban Stems, $95Gifting flowers is as easy as it is thoughtful for the bride. The bride-to-be will feel delighted to receive Urban stem's stunning flowers as a congratulatory gift to kick off the days leading up to the wedding. A classic-styled smartwatchFossilHybrid Smartwatch Carlie Blush Leather, available at Fossil, $155Rather than a classic watch, this Fossil smartwatch is a game-changer that's still a timeless piece. The Carlie watch features an activity tracker, notification alerts, music control, and more. A trinket tray for the bride's accessoriesAmazonMrs Jewelry Ring Dish Ceramic Trinket Tray, available at Amazon, $14.99Small but meaningful gifts are always appreciated. Give them this adorable ring tray to keep their cherished accessories safe. A set of soothing skincare treats for nighttimeLushRelax Gift Set, available at Lush, $39.95A self-care gift is always a good idea. This Lush gift set is filled with lavender-infused items to help relax at night, from an aromatic bath bomb to soothing lotion. A chic canvas toteThings RememberedWhite Canvas Mrs Mini Tote Bag, available at Things Remembered, $22.40Whether it's errands or a quick getaway trip, this stylish canvas bag carries every necessity with ease. The gift feels more personal with the option to inscribe name or date on the charming tote. A humorous mug for the bridezillaFrancesca'sKeep Calm BrideZilla Mug, available at Francesca's, $4.98Even if the bride-to-be struggles with staying calm, at least this coffee mug will give them a good laugh. A wedding survival kitPaper SourceWedding Survival Kit, available at Paper Source, $26.95When it comes to wedding preparations, this survival kit helps the bride to navigate their wedding stress. This comfort pack includes a countdown calendar, eye mask, decision dice, a miniature notebook plus pen, and more survival tools. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 14th, 2022

44 sentimental gifts that"ll make anyone feel loved, from a zodiac necklace to a custom painting

Unique mementos are a way to show someone they're valued and loved. Here are 44 of the best sentimental gifts to make them feel extra special. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Birthdate co. For those feeling extra softhearted this year, we put together a list of sentimental gift ideas. From personalized gifts to meaningful flowers, you're sure to find inspiration for anyone. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. If you always give generic gifts, select something off a wishlist, or just send a gift card, you're not alone. It can be difficult to think beyond the practical to pick items that will delight and surprise your recipient. Whether you're on the search for a sweet long-distance gift or looking to truly impress your loved ones, you'll want to choose gifts that are custom, unique, and thoughtful. You can convey just how much you care by referencing fun memories, inside jokes, and hidden interests.We've compiled 44 sentimental gifts, which include a flower subscription, a personalized photo book, and custom socks. Each of these heartfelt gifts are sure to make your giftee feel special and remind them of loving memories and events. If you're looking for more gift ideas, be sure to check out all of our gift guides here.Below are 44 sentimental gift ideas:A book holder for their nightstandCOLwoodCraft/Etsy ColWood Night Stand Book Holder, available at Etsy, $27Your book lover can get rid of their paper bookmark and replace it with this wooden book holder. They can place their book on the stand and pick up where they left off later. You can choose from six different wood color options.A cartoon book illustrating you and your giftee's relationshipLoveBookPersonalized Birthday LoveBook, $54.95LoveBook has customizable cartoon books for you to create your own nonfiction story of you and your giftee. Whether it's a birthday gift for a friend or an anniversary gift for your significant other, LoveBook offers over 10 occasions for you to choose from. A personalized gift boxGreetablPersonalized Gift Box, available at Greetabl, from $19Let them know you're thinking of them with a cute custom gift box from Greetabl. Choose to a mini gift like caramels or chocolates, a gift card, and add a note and photos to be delivered to their door. A monogrammed vegan leather passport coverMark and GrahamFillmore Vegan Leather Passport Case, available at Mark and Graham, $39 ($12.50 monogram fee)For the giftee who loves to travel, a passport cover is a great gift. You can have their initials monogrammed onto the cover to add a thoughtful and special touch to the gift. A name bracelet with handwritten letteringEtsyHandwriting Bracelet, available at Etsy, $27.75A custom piece of jewelry is already a thoughtful gift but this handwritten bracelet from Etsy goes the extra mile. Surprise your gift recipient with a gold, sterling silver, or rose gold bracelet with words on it written in yours or a loved-ones' handwriting. A family cookbook to pass downUncommon GoodsMy Family Cookbook, available at Uncommon Goods, $30The My Family Cookbook is a sweet gift that will keep on giving. After having various family members add recipes, the book can become an heirloom gift that gets passed down to generations. A mug with handwritten wordsLittle Gem Girl/EtsyLoved Ones Handwriting Coffee Mug, available at Etsy, $23.49A mug with a meaningful message is a tender gift for people who may have lost a loved one or who live far away. You can customize this mug with any words you want, printed in your handwriting or someone else's.A floral paint-by-numbers kitUncommon GoodsBirth Month Flower Paint-by-Number Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $30Inspired by the birth month of your gift recipient, this paint-by-numbers kit is a gift and a fun activity rolled into the one. The kit lets them create a painting of the flowers for their respective birth month, along with an explanation of the characteristics of each month and flower. For example, October is a marigold that represents optimism and positive energy.A monogrammed notebookPapierScallop Spine Notebook, available at Papier, $24.29Whether they love making lists or jotting down new ideas, every writer needs a durable, trusted notebook to store their notes and stories. These unique notebooks can be customized with a monogram and lined, dotted, or plain pages. The notebooks come in solid colors and several fun designs, including the brands The Pahari, Constellation, and Colourblock styles.A fresh flower subscriptionFresh SendsThe Send Bouquet, available at Fresh Sends, from $60Instead of gifting flowers solely during holidays and special occasions, send them beautiful arrangements on a more consistent basis with a subscription from Fresh Sends. Choose from three delivery frequencies and two size options for a unique bouquet every time.A calendar full of cherished personal photosArtifact UprisingPersonalized Walnut Desktop Photo Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, from $35Photos of loved ones are an instant source of joy. Structuring your daily life around them with a calendar is a great way to fill each day with more gratitude and happiness. Artifact Uprising's desktop calendar is sustainably made from reclaimed wood and fully customizable. You can also choose the calendar's starting month, so you don't have to wait for a new year to create one.A book for your favorite astrology loverBirthdate Co.The Birthdate Book, available at Birthdate Co., $95If they know their sun, moon, and rising sign, this made-to-order astrology book will make the perfect gift. Provide their birthday and time of birth, and the company will create a 70-page book with information and insights customized from their birth chart.One Insider Reviews writer said the book felt extremely personalized, and no two books are the same.A cube of conversation-starting prompt cardsUncommon GoodsTable Topics cards, available at Uncommon Goods, $25Never experience another boring dinner again with these cards from Table Topics. Each cube comes with 135 thought-provoking topic cards to help keep your meals and relationships interesting.With six themed options ranging from card sets for families, couples, and friends, you'll give them the chance to get to know everyone in their life a little better.A customized puzzleEtsyCustomizable photo puzzle, available at Etsy, $34.99Help them stay entertained by gifting them a customized puzzle of their favorite picture. This puzzle also comes with a customized box, making this gift even more special. Choose from any image to commemorate a special event, remember a great vacation, or show love to their favorite pet.A video montage of and from their loved onesMontageA video montage of their loved ones, available at Montage, from $29Ask their friends and family to record and upload videos to be automatically compiled, scored, and delivered for a thoughtful present that's sure to bring on happy tears.An astrology necklaceMejuriA necklace with their zodiac symbol, available at Mejuri, from $90If they're into astrology, get them their zodiac sign in gold. Mejuri offers all signs in its Zodiac Collection in gold vermeil, sterling silver, and 14k yellow gold.A set of socks with their pet's face printed on themTribe SocksCustom Socks with Your Pet's Face, available at Tribe Socks, $24For dog- or cat-lovers, a pair of custom socks with their pet printed on them is a lighthearted but thoughtful gift. For more inspiration for pet-themed gifts, take a look at our guide to the best gifts for dog owners.A custom night sky star map to commemorate a birth, anniversary, or any other dayStarry MapsCustom star map print, available at Starry Maps, from $55Commemorate any special night of their (or your) life by getting it printed on museum-quality 200gsm Matte paper or on canvas.An e-gift card to GoldbellyGoldbellyAn e-gift card, available at Goldbelly, from $25Whether you spend most of your time together trying out different recipes — or they're often treating you to a delicious meal — you may want to turn your gift into a thoughtful, shared experience. Wherever they are in this big old world, they can call in any comforting favorite they please from Goldbelly.A bottle of bourbon as unique as they areReservebarJefferson's Ocean: Aged At Sea Bourbon, available at Reservebar, $79If they're bourbon drinkers, nautical lovers, or both, they might just cherish this forever.An Airbnb gift cardYou could take a coffee masterclass with a national judge in Mexico via Airbnb Online Experiences.AirbnbAn Airbnb Gift Card toward the experience of their dreams, available at Airbnb, from $50Travel might not be an option right now, but Airbnb is currently offering Online Experiences held by instructors from around the world. Treat them to a coffee master class, history lesson, or even a dance class. And in the meantime, they can daydream about their next far-flung adventure or cozy staycation. A custom map posterGrafomapCustom map poster, available at Grafomap, from $49Grafomap is a website that lets you design posters with maps of any place in the world — including their hometown, college town, or favorite travel destination. A personalized photo bookSnapfish/Business InsiderPersonalized Snapfish photo book, available at Snapfish, from $12.99Convert their pile of photos and favorite mementos into one glossy book they can showcase around the home for a cohesive, beautiful keepsake. Expertly framed memoriesFramebridgeFramed photo, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge gift card, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge makes custom framing for not-custom-framing prices. You can print or paint something on your own and have it framed, or have them print and frame it. You can take advantage of a team of designers to help decide what frame to get.An engraved timepieceUncommon GoodsPersonalized watch, available at Timex, from $75If you're looking for subtle and impactful, engraving a watch is a classic for a reason. They can keep it forever, wear it every day, and know how much personal significance it has without always answering questions from onlookers. It's functional, thoughtful, and timeless.A custom-made comic book telling your shared storyEtsyCustom comic book, available at Etsy, from $549.92If you have the means, few comic book nerds would turn down owning a detailed, beautifully designed comic book featuring them as the lead character or superhero or a comic book version of the story of how they met their partner.Purchase the comic, email the makers telling them the story, and send photos of the characters and event setting to make sure everything looks right. You'll see a rough draft, send back any edits you have, and they'll complete the final copy. Opt for a digital print (emailed) or get it sent to you as a canvas print.A personalized letter necklaceAUrateMini Letter Charm Pendant with White Diamonds, available at AUrate, $560AUrate offers engravings and personalized jewelry, like this necklace with a mini letter charm. Pick a letter and select from 14-karat or 18-karat white, yellow, or rose gold. Learn more about online startups making sustainable, relatively affordable fine jewelry here.A framed quoteMintedPersonalized custom quotes, available at Minted, from $38Frame one of their favorite quotes, lyrics, or sayings and customize everything from font color to matting to make it theirs.A family portrait that includes petsHappyMomentsArts/Etsy/Business InsiderCustom family portrait, available at Etsy, from $15A perfect gift for a couple or a family, you can get a digital download of a custom family portrait that includes their furry roommates.A custom pet portraitCanvasPopCustom pet portrait, available at CanvasPop, from $89If they love their pet more than pretty much anything in the world, a Pet Portrait immortalizing them is a uniquely thoughtful gesture — and decor they're unlikely to have already. You can also get them a custom painting (from $250) if that's more their style or a framed print (from $35.55) of them with their pet.A cute set of mugsUncommon GoodsPersonalized family mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, from $30Turn your family or friends or a newly engaged couple into characters that actually look like them. One side features the artists' depiction of them (personalized through your choices of skin tone, hair, and clothing color) and the mug owner's first name, while the other displays your family name and year established — for friends, this could be the year you met. Turn meaningful audio into artEtsySoundwave art print, available at Etsy, from $70Send in a song and artist or email an audio file of you or a loved one speaking, and this Etsy shop will turn it into personalized sound-wave art. This gift is particularly thoughtful for long-distance relationships or for commemorating a loved one.Long-distance touch lampsUncommon GoodsSet of two Filimin Long-Distance Touch Lamps, available at Uncommon Goods, from $99Everyone is busy these days, and it's not as easy to keep up with loved ones as we all wish. A set of paired lamps, one of which lights up when the other is touched, lets them know you're still thinking of them even when you don't have time to talk. One Insider Reviews editor uses them to keep in touch with her parents.Brightly embroidered pillows of their favorite stateUncommon GoodsHand Embroidered State Pillows, available at Uncommon Goods, $225Bring their favorite state to them with detailed and brightly embroidered pillows that pay homage to each state's cities and cultural touchpoints. A photo print of an important life momentUncommon GoodsIntersection of Love Frame, available at Uncommon Goods, from $75Commemorate the moment their paths first crossed in a sophisticated, unique design.Personalized wine labelsTopBananaPrints/Etsy/Business InsiderCustom wine labels, available at Etsy, from $4.48Celebrate a loved one's birthday, achievements, or new life stages such as a marriage with a bottle of wine and a thoughtful, personalized label they'll want to keep. The blueprint of a beloved ski resortUncommon GoodsSki resort blueprints, available at Uncommon Goods, from $75Whether they grew up on the slopes or drag friends and family along as adults, skiers can take their favorite slopes home with them with this blueprint-inspired art. Featuring iconic ski resorts such as Park City, Vail, and Breckenridge, each officially licensed print is created with a vintage, distressed finish and contains detailed historical and statistical facts about the area.A bound book of love letters, curated from A-ZUncommon GoodsHow Do I Love Thee From A-Z, available at Uncommon Goods, $20Follow 26 prompts laid out in old-school typewriter font to leave your loved one with a bound book of love letters they can keep forever. It's the perfect spot for recording your favorite romantic moments, memories, inside jokes, and all the tiny and enormous reasons why you love them. A poster of you and a loved one styled as your favorite drinksoflifeandlemons/Etsy/Business InsiderPersonalized drinks print, available at Etsy, $23.27Whether you're turning a best friend or a lifelong partner into a cocktail avatar, the quirky Personalized Drinks Print is a sweet and fun approach to sentimental gifting. A portable printerTargetPolaroid Hi-Print Printer, available at Target, $99.99Polaroid's Wireless Mini Printer prints mini photos from your phone or tablet using a WiFi connection. It's small enough to stow in a purse for travel, and there are customizable features like stickers, filters, and borders to edit photos within the Polaroid app. A reel viewer filled with snapshots of old memoriesUncommon Goods/Business InsiderCreate your own reel viewer, available at Uncommon Goods, from $14.95As a kid, flipping through a reel viewer was one of life's greatest joys. Just because they're all grown up doesn't mean they won't like playing with the gadget. Fill the reel with snapshots of their most cherished memories (use the redemption code included with your viewer) for a gift that'll flood them with all sorts of nostalgia.A custom watercolor of their wedding venueJustArtinAround/EtsyCustom watercolor wedding venue illustration, available at Etsy, from $35.99For a deeply thoughtful gift for newlyweds, commission a custom watercolor of their wedding venue or location. All you'll have to do is send the artist a photo of the location, the couple's first and last names, and the wedding date. A candle that smells like homeUncommon GoodsHomesick Candles, available at Uncommon Goods, from $34It's hard to put a finger on just what makes home smell like home, but a whiff of a Homesick candle will transport them there with its nostalgia-inducing scents. Uniquely specific scents are made to capture the ethos of states and cities or memories like road trips, backyard BBQs, and cooking in Grandma's kitchen.If they're far from home, this affordable candle is a small but meaningful gesture that can bring them just a little closer. A cutting board that memorializes a meaningful recipeUncommon GoodsFamily Recipe Cutting Board, available at Uncommon Goods, $100There's something about family recipes that make them taste even better. This cutting board offers a unique way to preserve those special favorites. Ingredients and directions are engraved on solid cherry wood and can even be etched in the recipe writer's handwriting. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 21st, 2022

The 20 best bridal shower gifts, from a fun instant camera to a cooking class for two

Celebrate their upcoming nuptials with these thoughtful and unique bridal shower gifts, including a personalized charcuterie board and luxe cookware. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Gorkem Yorulmaz/Getty Images A bridal shower is a party to celebrate the bride before the couple's wedding. Bridal shower gifts are usually small but meaningful tokens for the couple's new life together. From home goods to wedding accessories, check out these 20 thoughtful bridal shower gifts. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. Getting married is an exciting time not only for the couple, but also for their friends and family. A bridal shower is typically held to celebrate the momentous occasion coming up and, although it's held in the bride's honor, bridal shower gifts are meant to help shepherd the lovebirds into their new life stage. That means wedding keepsakes, charismatic home items, and experience gifts that will bond the couple all successfully highlight their marital status. When it comes to bridal shower gifts, thrill the bride and the groom (or the other bride) with something neither will forget.Here are the 20 best bridal shower gifts:A set of mix-and-match dinnerwareFood52Casafina Modern Classic Ceramic Dinnerware & Serveware, available at Food52, from $52The classic wedding gift of dishware offers a fresh start to their next life chapter with new dinnerware that's beautifully crafted and a necessary home good. Mix and match these charming pastel dishes for a picturesque meal.An instant film camera to capture every momentBest BuyFujifilm Instax Mini 11, available at Best Buy, $69.99This Fujifilm camera instantly captures exciting wedding moments and splendid memories, both before and after. The Instax Mini 11 comes with an automatic exposure function and a selfie mode that shows off any great angle.A geometric print throw blanket to keep warmBrooklinenBrooklinen x Pendleton Paths Blanket, available at Brooklinen, $330.65 This striking blanket may be a more costly bridal shower gift, but this collab from two iconic brands makes an impact. This Brooklinen and Pendelton throw features warm, vibrant geometric prints inspired by traditional hand-sewn quilts and cityscapes.A pair of ultra-soft shearling slippersTkeesInes Shearling, available at Tkees, $150The Ines Shearling slippers are as pretty as they are comfortable, making them the perfect pair for getting ready on the big day. These are the go-to soft slides for the big day that she can slip on with ease. You can find our best slippers review here.A romantic silk slip for nights at homeFree PeopleNext Step Slip, available at Free People, $59.95This lovely lingerie is irresistible thanks to the way it romantically frames a silhouette. Her wedding night can't go wrong with this silky slip. You can find our best lingerie review here.A digital picture frame to remember each momentAura FramesCarver Digital Frame, available at Aura Frames, $159Rather than a simple photo frame, update the gift to a digital photo frame that continually displays each treasured memory with its unlimited storage. This innovative frame presents a slideshow of landscape photos and pairs two portraits side-by-side.A luxe dutch oven for home cooksLe CreusetRound Dutch Oven, available at Le Creuset, from $230A Le Creuset dutch oven is the cream of the crop when it comes to wedding gifts — it's an unbeatable, high-quality kitchen appliance coveted by home cooks everywhere and just exudes elegance. Available in various dreamy colors, this popular dutch oven is great for slow cooking, braising, baking, and more. You can find our best dutch oven review here.A journal to write down their love storyUncommon GoodsThe Story of Us, available at Uncommon Goods, $35Starting with the day they met, the bride can write down their entire love story with this thoughtful gift. The fill-in journal includes prompts and photo corners to keep your special memories together alive forever.A milk frother for Sunday breakfast at homeAmazonAphse Milk Foamer, available at Amazon, $15.99This powerful milk frother whips up a creamy base or topping for your coffee that makes it taste more delicious with a professional finish. A fitness tracker to maintain a healthy lifestyleBest BuyFitbit Versa 3 Health & Fitness Smartwatch, available at Best Buy, $179.95The Fitbit Versa 3 makes sure she's accomplishing her pre-wedding fitness goals and feeling her best self in the most productive way possible. The smartwatch features fitness tracking components, Amazon Alexa voice control, and a touch display for notifications and apps. You can find our best Fitbit trackers review here.A virtual pasta cooking class for twoNonna LiveVirtual Pasta Making Experience with Nonna, available at Nonna Live, $49Surprise the happy couple with an entertaining bonding activity like a virtual cooking class taught by Italian nonnas (that's a grandma, y'all). They can learn from scratch how to make delicious homemade pasta and have an unforgettable experience. Modern recipes for the recently married coupleBarnes & Noble"The Newlywed Table: A Cookbook to Start Your Life Together" by Maria Zizka, available at Barnes & Noble, $29.95With forever to spend together, this newlywed cookbook features over 100 recipes of both classic and modern dishes that teach any couple to function as a team in the kitchen. The couple can put in the work together to make modern recipes filled with love. Festive candles to set the moodHomesick CandlesJust Married and Let's Toast Candles, available at Homesick Candles, $34This adorable keepsake candle emblazoned with "Just Married" on the front already feels celebratory, and as an added bonus, the smell features crisp notes of champagne. A rustic cake standAnthropologieGlenna Cake Stand, available at Anthropologie, from $58If anyone in the couple loves baking, they'll appreciate this stand's vintage charm. Plus, it can act as a keepsake to pass to their own children. A coffee machine to brew any beverageAmazonNinja Hot and Cold Brew System, available at Amazon, $159.99A high-quality coffee maker is something that will help the couple get through late-night wedding planning, early morning venue prospects, and every day of the rest of their lives. We love this versatile coffee maker as it brews various brew sizes along with specialty and classic drinks. You can find our best coffee makers review here.An elegant smartwatch that looks timelessFossilHybrid Smartwatch Carlie Rose Gold, available at Fossil, $175The bride probably already has an abundance of wedding day jewelry, but this watch is different. The Fossil hybrid smartwatch has an elegant design that can track your activities, display notifications, and more. You can find our best smart jewelry review here.A personalized glassware pairUncommon GoodsPersonalized Tree Trunk Glassware Duo, available at Uncommon Goods, $85These personalized, hand-engraved glasses show that opposites do attract with a wine and pilsner glassware duo. Also available in separate wine and pilsner duos, these glasses mark their romance with their initials and iconic date. A smart indoor herb gardenAmazonClick and Grow Smart Herb Garden, available at Amazon, $96.95Instead of an outdoor garden, the lovebirds can grow their own fresh herbs and vegetables indoors. Grow anything you like with over 50 pre-seeded plant pods from thyme to wild strawberries.A monogram charcuterie boardUncommon GoodsMonogram Cheese and Crackers Serving Board, available at Uncommon Goods, $85This monogram charcuterie board is not to be overlooked as a bridal shower gift. It's as elegant as it is unique for a signature dining piece. A gold cake serving set with a personalized touchThings RememberedChampagne Gold Cake Serving Set, available at Things Remembered, $42 What better way to celebrate their love in a sweet way than with this stunning cake serving set. The gold set can be engraved with a name, date, or short message for the lovebirds. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 13th, 2021

44 sentimental gifts that"ll make anyone feel loved, from a family cookbook heirloom to an astrological birth chart

Thoughtful mementos are a way to show someone they're valued and loved. Here are 44 sentimental gifts to make them feel extra special. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Birthdate co. For those feeling extra softhearted this year, we put together a list of sentimental gift ideas. From personalized gifts to meaningful flowers, you're sure to find inspiration for anyone. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. If you always give generic gifts, select something off a wishlist, or just send a gift card, you're not alone. It can be difficult to think beyond the practical to select items that will delight and surprise your giftee. If you're looking to truly impress your loved ones, you'll want to choose gifts that are custom, unique, and thoughtful. You can convey just how much you care by referencing fun memories, inside jokes, and hidden interests.We've compiled 44 sentimental gifts, which include a flower subscription, a customized puzzle, a personalized photo book, and more. Each of these gifts are sure to make your giftee feel special and remind them of loving memories and events. If you're looking for more gift ideas, be sure to check out all of our gift guides here.Below are 44 sentimental gift ideas:A personalized gift boxGreetablPersonalized Gift Box, available at Greetabl, from $19Let them know you're thinking of them with a cute custom gift box from Greetabl. Choose to a mini gift like caramels or chocolates, a gift card, and add a note and photos to be delivered to their door. A monogrammed vegan leather passport coverMark and GrahamFillmore Vegan Leather Passport Case, available at Mark and Graham, $39 ($12.50 monogram fee)For the giftee who loves to travel, a passport cover is a great gift. You can have their initials monogrammed onto the cover to add a thoughtful and special touch to the gift. A name bracelet with handwritten letteringEtsyHandwriting Bracelet, available at Etsy, $37A custom piece of jewelry is already a thoughtful gift but this handwritten bracelet from Etsy goes the extra mile. Surprise your gift recipient with a gold, sterling silver, or rose gold bracelet with words on it written in yours or a loved-ones' handwriting. A family cookbook to pass downUncommon GoodsMy Family Cookbook, available at Uncommon Goods, $30The My Family Cookbook is a sweet gift that will keep on giving. After having various family members add recipes, the book can become an heirloom gift that gets passed down to generations. A personalized children's bookAmazonGoodnight Little Me Personalized Book, available at Amazon, $39.99The Goodnight Little Me book is a sweet gift for new parents or your favorite kids. This custom bedtime book can be personalized with any child's name and includes gorgeous illustrations from the designer of the Harry Potter series' US covers. Check out our guide to the best gifts for new parents for more gift-giving ideas. A mug with handwritten wordsLittle Gem Girl/EtsyLoved Ones Handwriting Coffee Mug, available at Etsy, $29A mug with a meaningful message is a tender gift for people who may have lost a loved one or who live far away. You can customize this mug with any words you want, printed in your handwriting or someone else's.A floral paint-by-numbers kitUncommon GoodsBirth Month Flower Paint-by-Number Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $30Inspired by the birth month of your gift recipient, this paint-by-numbers kit is a gift and a fun activity rolled into the one. The kit lets them create a painting of the flowers for their respective birth month, along with an explanation of the characteristics of each month and flower. For example, October is a marigold that represents optimism and positive energy.A monogrammed notebookPapierScallop Spine Notebook, available at Papier, $26.99Whether they love making lists or jotting down new ideas, every writer needs a durable, trusted notebook to store their notes and stories. These unique notebooks can be customized with a monogram and lined, dotted, or plain pages. The notebooks come in solid colors and several fun designs, including the brands The Pahari, Constellation, and Colourblock styles.A set of low-maintenance plantsThe SillPlant Parent Set, available at The Sill, from $48Add some greenery into their space with this set of easy-to-care-for plants from The Sill. Choose from sets of three to seven plants that change seasonally.A fresh flower subscriptionFresh SendsThe Send Bouquet, available at Fresh Sends, from $55Instead of gifting flowers solely during holidays and special occasions, send them beautiful arrangements on a more consistent basis with a subscription from Fresh Sends. Choose from three delivery frequencies and two size options for a unique bouquet every time.A calendar full of cherished personal photosArtifact UprisingPersonalized Walnut Desktop Photo Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, from $35Photos of loved ones are an instant source of joy. Structuring your daily life around them with a calendar is a great way to fill each day with more gratitude and happiness. Artifact Uprising's desktop calendar is sustainably made from reclaimed wood and fully customizable. You can also choose the calendar's starting month, so you don't have to wait for a new year to create one.A book for your favorite astrology loverBirthdate Co.The Birthdate Book, available at Birthdate Co., $115If they know their sun, moon, and rising sign, this made-to-order astrology book will make the perfect gift. Provide their birthday and time of birth, and the company will create a 70-page book with information and insights customized from their birth chart.One Insider Reviews writer said the book felt extremely personalized, and no two books are the same.A cube of conversation-starting prompt cardsUncommon GoodsTable Topics cards, available at Uncommon Goods, $25Never experience another boring dinner again with these cards from Table Topics. Each cube comes with 135 thought-provoking topic cards to help keep your meals and relationships interesting.With six themed options ranging from card sets for families, couples, and friends, you'll give them the chance to get to know everyone in their life a little better.A customized puzzleEtsyCustomizable photo puzzle, available at Etsy, $31.49Help them stay entertained by gifting them a customized puzzle of their favorite picture. This puzzle also comes with a customized box, making this gift even more special. Choose from any image to commemorate a special event, remember a great vacation, or show love to their favorite pet.A video montage of and from their loved onesMontageA video montage of their loved ones, available at Montage, from $29Ask their friends and family to record and upload videos to be automatically compiled, scored, and delivered for a thoughtful present that's sure to bring on happy tears.An astrology necklaceMejuriA necklace with their zodiac symbol, available at Mejuri, from $75If they're into astrology, get them their zodiac sign in gold. Mejuri offers all signs in its Zodiac Collection in gold vermeil, sterling silver, and 14k yellow gold.A set of socks with their pet's face printed on themTribe SocksCustom Socks with Your Pet's Face, available at Tribe Socks, $24For dog- or cat-lovers, a pair of custom socks with their pet printed on them is a lighthearted but thoughtful gift. For more inspiration for pet-themed gifts, take a look at our guide to the best gifts for dog owners.A custom night sky star map to commemorate a birth, anniversary, or any other dayStarry MapsCustom star map print, available at Starry Maps, from $55Commemorate any special night of their (or your) life by getting it printed on museum-quality 200gsm Matte paper or on canvas.An e-gift card to GoldbellyGoldbellyAn e-gift card, available at Goldbelly, from $25Whether you spend most of your time together trying out different recipes — or they're often treating you to a delicious meal — you may want to turn your gift into a thoughtful, shared experience. Wherever they are in this big old world, they can call in any comforting favorite they please from Goldbelly.A bottle of bourbon as unique as they areReservebarJefferson's Ocean: Aged At Sea Bourbon, available at Reservebar, $79If they're bourbon drinkers, nautical lovers, or both, they might just cherish this forever.An Airbnb gift cardYou could take a coffee masterclass with a national judge in Mexico via Airbnb Online Experiences.AirbnbAn Airbnb Gift Card toward the experience of their dreams, available at Airbnb, from $50Travel might not be an option right now, but Airbnb is currently offering Online Experiences held by instructors from around the world. Treat them to a coffee master class, history lesson, or even a dance class. And in the meantime, they can daydream about their next far-flung adventure or cozy staycation. A custom map posterGrafomapCustom map poster, available at Grafomap, from $49Grafomap is a website that lets you design posters with maps of any place in the world — including their hometown, college town, or favorite travel destination. A personalized photo bookSnapfish/Business InsiderPersonalized Snapfish photo book, available at Snapfish, from $12.99Convert their pile of photos and favorite mementos into one glossy book they can showcase around the home for a cohesive, beautiful keepsake. Expertly framed memoriesFramebridgeFramed photo, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge gift card, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge makes custom framing for not-custom-framing prices. You can print or paint something on your own and have it framed, or have them print and frame it. You can take advantage of a team of designers to help decide what frame to get.An engraved timepieceUncommon GoodsPersonalized watch, available at Timex, from $75If you're looking for subtle and impactful, engraving a watch is a classic for a reason. They can keep it forever, wear it every day, and know how much personal significance it has without always answering questions from onlookers. It's functional, thoughtful, and timeless.A custom-made comic book telling your shared storyEtsyCustom comic book, available at Etsy, from $433.88If you have the means, few comic book nerds would turn down owning a detailed, beautifully designed comic book featuring them as the lead character or superhero or a comic book version of the story of how they met their partner.Purchase the comic, email the makers telling them the story, and send photos of the characters and event setting to make sure everything looks right. You'll see a rough draft, send back any edits you have, and they'll complete the final copy. Opt for a digital print (emailed) or get it sent to you as a canvas print.A personalized letter necklaceAUrateMini Letter Charm Pendant with White Diamonds, available at AUrate, $560AUrate offers engravings and personalized jewelry, like this necklace with a mini letter charm. Pick a letter and select from 14-karat or 18-karat white, yellow, or rose gold. Learn more about online startups making sustainable, relatively affordable fine jewelry here.A framed quoteMintedPersonalized custom quotes, available at Minted, from $38Frame one of their favorite quotes, lyrics, or sayings and customize everything from font color to matting to make it theirs.A family portrait that includes petsHappyMomentsArts/Etsy/Business InsiderCustom family portrait, available at Etsy, from $15A perfect gift for a couple or a family, you can get a digital download of a custom family portrait that includes their furry roommates.A custom pet portraitCanvasPopCustom pet portrait, available at CanvasPop, from $89If they love their pet more than pretty much anything in the world, a Pet Portrait immortalizing them is a uniquely thoughtful gesture — and decor they're unlikely to have already. You can also get them a custom painting (from $250) if that's more their style or a framed print (from $35.55) of them with their pet.A cute set of mugsUncommon GoodsPersonalized family mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, from $30Turn your family or friends or a newly engaged couple into characters that actually look like them. One side features the artists' depiction of them (personalized through your choices of skin tone, hair, and clothing color) and the mug owner's first name, while the other displays your family name and year established — for friends, this could be the year you met. Turn meaningful audio into artEtsySoundwave art print, available at Etsy, from $70Send in a song and artist or email an audio file of you or a loved one speaking, and this Etsy shop will turn it into personalized sound-wave art. This gift is particularly thoughtful for long-distance relationships or for commemorating a loved one.Long-distance touch lampsUncommon GoodsSet of two Filimin Long-Distance Touch Lamps, available at Uncommon Goods, from $85Everyone is busy these days, and it's not as easy to keep up with loved ones as we all wish. A set of paired lamps, one of which lights up when the other is touched, lets them know you're still thinking of them even when you don't have time to talk. One Insider Reviews editor uses them to keep in touch with her parents.Brightly embroidered pillows of their favorite stateUncommon GoodsHand Embroidered State Pillows, available at Uncommon Goods, $225Bring their favorite state to them with detailed and brightly embroidered pillows that pay homage to each state's cities and cultural touchpoints. A photo print of an important life momentUncommon GoodsIntersection of Love Frame, available at Uncommon Goods, from $75Commemorate the moment their paths first crossed in a sophisticated, unique design.Personalized wine labelsTopBananaPrints/Etsy/Business InsiderCustom wine labels, available at Etsy, from $4.47Celebrate a loved one's birthday, achievements, or new life stages such as a marriage with a bottle of wine and a thoughtful, personalized label they'll want to keep. The blueprint of a beloved ski resortUncommon GoodsSki resort blueprints, available at Uncommon Goods, from $75Whether they grew up on the slopes or drag friends and family along as adults, skiers can take their favorite slopes home with them with this blueprint-inspired art. Featuring iconic ski resorts such as Park City, Vail, and Breckenridge, each officially licensed print is created with a vintage, distressed finish and contains detailed historical and statistical facts about the area.A bound book of love letters, curated from A-ZUncommon GoodsHow Do I Love Thee From A-Z, available at Uncommon Goods, $20Follow 26 prompts laid out in old-school typewriter font to leave your loved one with a bound book of love letters they can keep forever. It's the perfect spot for recording your favorite romantic moments, memories, inside jokes, and all the tiny and enormous reasons why you love them. A poster of you and a loved one styled as your favorite drinksoflifeandlemons/Etsy/Business InsiderPersonalized drinks print, available at Etsy, $22.95Whether you're turning a best friend or a lifelong partner into a cocktail avatar, the quirky Personalized Drinks Print is a sweet and fun approach to sentimental gifting. A portable printerTargetPolaroid Hi-Print Printer, available at Target, $99.99Polaroid's Wireless Mini Printer prints mini photos from your phone or tablet using a WiFi connection. It's small enough to stow in a purse for travel, and there are customizable features like stickers, filters, and borders to edit photos within the Polaroid app. A reel viewer filled with snapshots of old memoriesUncommon Goods/Business InsiderCreate your own reel viewer, available at Uncommon Goods, from $14.95As a kid, flipping through a reel viewer was one of life's greatest joys. Just because they're all grown up doesn't mean they won't like playing with the gadget. Fill the reel with snapshots of their most cherished memories (use the redemption code included with your viewer) for a gift that'll flood them with all sorts of nostalgia.A custom watercolor of their wedding venueJustArtinAround/EtsyCustom watercolor wedding venue illustration, available at Etsy, from $35.99For a deeply thoughtful gift for newlyweds, commission a custom watercolor of their wedding venue or location. All you'll have to do is send the artist a photo of the location, the couple's first and last names, and the wedding date. A candle that smells like homeUncommon GoodsHomesick Candles, available at Uncommon Goods, from $34It's hard to put a finger on just what makes home smell like home, but a whiff of a Homesick candle will transport them there with its nostalgia-inducing scents. Uniquely specific scents are made to capture the ethos of states and cities or memories like road trips, backyard BBQs, and cooking in Grandma's kitchen.If they're far from home, this affordable candle is a small but meaningful gesture that can bring them just a little closer. A cutting board that memorializes a meaningful recipeUncommon GoodsFamily Recipe Cutting Board, available at Uncommon Goods, $100There's something about family recipes that make them taste even better. This cutting board offers a unique way to preserve those special favorites. Ingredients and directions are engraved on solid cherry wood and can even be etched in the recipe writer's handwriting. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 3rd, 2021

41 sentimental gifts that"ll make anyone feel loved

Thoughtful mementos are especially impactful right now. Here are 41 sentimental gifts that'll make your loved ones feel valued and appreciated. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Birthdate co. For those feeling extra softhearted this year, we put together a list of sentimental gift ideas. From customized gifts to meaningful flowers, you're sure to find inspiration for anyone. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. If you always give generic gifts, select something off a wishlist, or just send a gift card, you're not alone. It can be difficult to think beyond the practical to select items that will delight and surprise your giftee. If you're looking to truly impress your loved ones, you'll want to choose gifts that are custom, unique, and thoughtful. You can convey just how much you care by referencing fun memories, inside jokes, and hidden interests.We've compiled 41 sentimental gifts, which include a flower subscription, a customized puzzle, a personalized photo book, and more. Each of these gifts are sure to make your giftee feel special and remind them of loving memories and events. If you're looking for more gift ideas, be sure to check out all of our gift guides here.Below are 41 sentimental gift ideas: A set of socks with their pet's face printed on them Tribe Socks Custom Socks with Your Pet's Face, available at Tribe Socks, $24For dog- or cat-lovers, a pair of custom socks with their pet printed on them is a lighthearted but thoughtful gift. For more inspiration for pet-themed gifts, take a look at our guide to the best gifts for dog owners. A personalized children's book Amazon Goodnight Little Me Personalized Book, available at Amazon, $39.99The Goodnight Little Me book is a sweet gift for new parents or your favorite kids. This custom bedtime book can be personalized with any child's name and includes gorgeous illustrations from the designer of the Harry Potter series' US covers. Check out our guide to the best gifts for new parents for more gift-giving ideas.  A mug with handwritten words Little Gem Girl/Etsy Loved Ones Handwriting Coffee Mug, available at Etsy, $22.40A mug with a meaningful message is a tender gift for people who may have lost a loved one or who live far away. You can customize this mug with any words you want, printed in your handwriting or someone else's. A floral paint-by-numbers kit Uncommon Goods Birth Month Flower Paint-by-Number Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $30Inspired by the birth month of your gift recipient, this paint-by-numbers kit is a gift and a fun activity rolled into the one. The kit lets them create a painting of the flowers for their respective birth month, along with an explanation of the characteristics of each month and flower. For example, October is a marigold that represents optimism and positive energy. A monogrammed notebook Papier Scallop Spine Notebook, available at Papier, $26.99Whether they love making lists or jotting down new ideas, every writer needs a durable, trusted notebook to store their notes and stories. These unique notebooks can be customized with a monogram and lined, dotted, or plain pages. The notebooks come in solid colors and several fun designs, including the brands The Pahari, Constellation, and Colourblock styles. A set of low-maintenance plants The Sill Plant Parent Set, available at The Sill, from $48Add some greenery into their space with this set of easy-to-care-for plants from The Sill. Choose from sets of three to seven plants that change seasonally. A fresh flower subscription Fresh Sends The Send Bouquet, available at Fresh Sends, from $55Instead of gifting flowers solely during holidays and special occasions, send them beautiful arrangements on a more consistent basis with a subscription from Fresh Sends. Choose from three delivery frequencies and two size options for a unique bouquet every time. A calendar full of cherished personal photos Artifact Uprising Personalized Walnut Desktop Photo Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, from $35Photos of loved ones are an instant source of joy. Structuring your daily life around them with a calendar is a great way to fill each day with more gratitude and happiness. Artifact Uprising's desktop calendar is sustainably made from reclaimed wood and fully customizable. You can also choose the calendar's starting month, so you don't have to wait for a new year to create one. A book for your favorite astrology lover Birthdate Co. The Birthdate Book, available at Birthdate Co., $95If they know their sun, moon, and rising sign, this made-to-order astrology book will make the perfect gift. Provide their birthday and time of birth, and the company will create a 70-page book with information and insights customized from their birth chart. One Insider Reviews writer said the book felt extremely personalized, and no two books are the same. A cube of conversation-starting prompt cards Uncommon Goods Table Topics cards, available at Uncommon Goods, $25Never experience another boring dinner again with these cards from Table Topics. Each cube comes with 135 thought-provoking topic cards to help keep your meals and relationships interesting.With six themed options ranging from card sets for families, couples, and friends, you'll give them the chance to get to know everyone in their life a little better. A customized puzzle Etsy Customizable photo puzzle, available at Etsy, $34.99Help them stay entertained by gifting them a customized puzzle of their favorite picture. This puzzle also comes with a customized box, making this gift even more special. Choose from any image to commemorate a special event, remember a great vacation, or show love to their favorite pet. A video montage of and from their loved ones Montage A video montage of their loved ones, available at Montage, from $29Ask their friends and family to record and upload videos to be automatically compiled, scored, and delivered for a thoughtful present that's sure to bring on happy tears. An astrology necklace Mejuri A necklace with their zodiac symbol, available at Mejuri, from $90If they're into astrology, get them their zodiac sign in gold. Mejuri offers all signs in its Zodiac Collection in gold vermeil, sterling silver, and 14k yellow gold. A custom night sky star map to commemorate a birth, anniversary, or any other day Starry Maps Custom star map print, available at Starry Maps, from $49Commemorate any special night of their (or your) life by getting it printed on museum-quality 200gsm Matte paper or on canvas. An e-gift card to Goldbelly Goldbelly An e-gift card, available at Goldbelly, from $25Whether you spend most of your time together trying out different recipes — or they're often treating you to a delicious meal — you may want to turn your gift into a thoughtful, shared experience. Wherever they are in this big old world, they can call in any comforting favorite they please from Goldbelly. A bottle of bourbon as unique as they are Reservebar Jefferson's Ocean: Aged At Sea Bourbon, available at Reservebar, $79 (custom engraving included)If they're bourbon drinkers, nautical lovers, or both, they might just cherish this forever. An Airbnb gift card You could take a coffee masterclass with a national judge in Mexico via Airbnb Online Experiences. Airbnb An Airbnb Gift Card toward the experience of their dreams, available at Airbnb, from $25 Travel might not be an option right now, but Airbnb is currently offering Online Experiences held by instructors from around the world. Treat them to a coffee master class, history lesson, or even a dance class. And in the meantime, they can daydream about their next far-flung adventure or cozy staycation.  A custom map poster Grafomap Custom map poster, available at Grafomap, $49Grafomap is a website that lets you design posters with maps of any place in the world — including their hometown, college town, or favorite travel destination.  A personalized photo book Snapfish/Business Insider Personalized Snapfish photo book, available at Snapfish, from $13Convert their pile of photos and favorite mementos into one glossy book they can showcase around the home for a cohesive, beautiful keepsake.  Expertly framed memories Framebridge Framed photo, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge gift card, available at Framebridge, from $25Framebridge makes custom framing for not-custom-framing prices. You can print or paint something on your own and have it framed, or have them print and frame it. You can take advantage of a team of designers to help decide what frame to get. An engraved timepiece Uncommon Goods Personalized watch, available at Timex, from $75If you're looking for subtle and impactful, engraving a watch is a classic for a reason. They can keep it forever, wear it every day, and know how much personal significance it has without always answering questions from onlookers. It's functional, thoughtful, and timeless. A custom-made comic book telling your shared story Etsy Custom comic book, available at Etsy, from $443.12If you have the means, few comic book nerds would turn down owning a detailed, beautifully designed comic book featuring them as the lead character or superhero or a comic book version of the story of how they met their partner.Purchase the comic, email the makers telling them the story, and send photos of the characters and event setting to make sure everything looks right. You'll see a rough draft, send back any edits you have, and they'll complete the final copy. Opt for a digital print (emailed) or get it sent to you as a canvas print. A personalized letter necklace AUrate Mini Letter Charm Pendant with White Diamonds, available at AUrate, $560AUrate offers engravings and personalized jewelry, like this necklace with a mini letter charm. Pick a letter and select from 14-karat or 18-karat white, yellow, or rose gold. Learn more about online startups making sustainable, relatively affordable fine jewelry here. A framed quote Minted Personalized custom quotes, available at Minted, from $38Frame one of their favorite quotes, lyrics, or sayings and customize everything from font color to matting to make it theirs. A family portrait that includes pets HappyMomentsArts/Etsy/Business Insider Custom family portrait, available at Etsy, from $15A perfect gift for a couple or a family, you can get a digital download of a custom family portrait that includes their furry roommates. A custom pet portrait CanvasPop Custom pet portrait, available at CanvasPop, from $79If they love their pet more than pretty much anything in the world, a Pet Portrait immortalizing them is a uniquely thoughtful gesture — and decor they're unlikely to have already. You can also get them a custom painting (from $250) if that's more their style or a framed print (from $35.55) of them with their pet. A cute set of mugs Uncommon Goods Personalized family mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, from $30Turn your family or friends or a newly engaged couple into characters that actually look like them. One side features the artists' depiction of them (personalized through your choices of skin tone, hair, and clothing color) and the mug owner's first name, while the other displays your family name and year established — for friends, this could be the year you met.  Turn meaningful audio into art Etsy Soundwave art print, available at Etsy, from $70Send in a song and artist or email an audio file of you or a loved one speaking, and this Etsy shop will turn it into personalized sound-wave art. This gift is particularly thoughtful for long-distance relationships or for commemorating a loved one. Long-distance touch lamps Uncommon Goods Set of two Filimin Long-Distance Touch Lamps, available at Uncommon Goods, $85-$170Everyone is busy these days, and it's not as easy to keep up with loved ones as we all wish. A set of paired lamps, one of which lights up when the other is touched, lets them know you're still thinking of them even when you don't have time to talk. One Insider Reviews editor uses them to keep in touch with her parents. 90 tiny messages in a bottle Amazon/Business Insider Infmetry 90 Pcs Capsule "Message in a Bottle" Letters, available at Amazon, $12.99Write 90 tiny personal messages to a loved one and stuff them inside these cute capsules for easy, daily reminders of love — none of which you have to remember to send every morning. Brightly embroidered pillows of their favorite state Uncommon Goods Hand Embroidered State Pillows, available at Uncommon Goods, $225Bring their favorite state to them with detailed and brightly embroidered pillows that pay homage to each state's cities and cultural touchpoints.  A photo print of an important life moment Uncommon Goods Intersection of Love Frame, available at Uncommon Goods, from $75Commemorate the moment their paths first crossed in a sophisticated, unique design. Personalized wine labels TopBananaPrints/Etsy/Business Insider Custom wine labels, available at Etsy, from $4.56Celebrate a loved one's birthday, achievements, or new life stages such as a marriage with a bottle of wine and a thoughtful, personalized label they'll want to keep.  The blueprint of a beloved ski resort Uncommon Goods Ski resort blueprints, available at Uncommon Goods, from $75Whether they grew up on the slopes or drag friends and family along as adults, skiers can take their favorite slopes home with them with this blueprint-inspired art. Featuring iconic ski resorts such as Park City, Vail, and Breckenridge, each officially licensed print is created with a vintage, distressed finish and contains detailed historical and statistical facts about the area. A bound book of love letters, curated from A-Z Uncommon Goods How Do I Love Thee From A-Z, available at Uncommon Goods, $20Follow 26 prompts laid out in old-school typewriter font to leave your loved one with a bound book of love letters they can keep forever. It's the perfect spot for recording your favorite romantic moments, memories, inside jokes, and all the tiny and enormous reasons why you love them.  A poster of you and a loved one styled as your favorite drinks oflifeandlemons/Etsy/Business Insider Personalized drinks print, available at Etsy, $23.43Whether you're turning a best friend or a lifelong partner into a cocktail avatar, the quirky Personalized Drinks Print is a sweet and fun approach to sentimental gifting.  A portable printer Target Polaroid Hi-Print Printer, available at Target, $99.99Polaroid's Wireless Mini Printer prints mini photos from your phone or tablet using a WiFi connection. It's small enough to stow in a purse for travel, and there are customizable features like stickers, filters, and borders to edit photos within the Polaroid app.  A reel viewer filled with snapshots of old memories Uncommon Goods/Business Insider Create your own reel viewer, available at Uncommon Goods, from $14.95As a kid, flipping through a reel viewer was one of life's greatest joys. Just because they're all grown up doesn't mean they won't like playing with the gadget. Fill the reel with snapshots of their most cherished memories (use the redemption code included with your viewer) for a gift that'll flood them with all sorts of nostalgia. A custom watercolor of their wedding venue JustArtinAround/Etsy Custom watercolor wedding venue illustration, available at Etsy, from $35.99For a deeply thoughtful gift for newlyweds, commission a custom watercolor of their wedding venue or location. All you'll have to do is send the artist a photo of the location, the couple's first and last names, and the wedding date.  A candle that smells like home Uncommon Goods Homesick Candles, available at Uncommon Goods, from $34It's hard to put a finger on just what makes home smell like home, but a whiff of a Homesick candle will transport them there with its nostalgia-inducing scents. Uniquely specific scents are made to capture the ethos of states and cities or memories like road trips, backyard BBQs, and cooking in Grandma's kitchen.If they're far from home, this affordable candle is a small but meaningful gesture that can bring them just a little closer.  A cutting board that memorializes a meaningful recipe Uncommon Goods Family Recipe Cutting Board, available at Uncommon Goods, $100There's something about family recipes that make them taste even better. This cutting board offers a unique way to preserve those special favorites. Ingredients and directions are engraved on solid cherry wood and can even be etched in the recipe writer's handwriting.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 19th, 2021

We Analyzed the Emissions 4 Families Generated in a Week. Here’s What We Learned About Living Greener

If 2021 was one of our last, best, chances to save the planet, it was also the year that we bought lots and lots of stuff, cooped up at home and frustrated with the pandemic. That shopping acted counter to the goal of reducing our carbon footprint; consumption drives about 60% of greenhouse gas emissions… If 2021 was one of our last, best, chances to save the planet, it was also the year that we bought lots and lots of stuff, cooped up at home and frustrated with the pandemic. That shopping acted counter to the goal of reducing our carbon footprint; consumption drives about 60% of greenhouse gas emissions globally, as the factories that make our stuff and the ships and trucks that bring it to us generate emissions, not to mention the emissions caused by mining for raw materials and farming the food we eat. Amazon alone reported in June that its emissions went up 19% in 2020 because of the boom in shopping during the pandemic. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Still, it can be hard, as an individual or a family, to care enough to change habits. Buying things has become one of the few sources of joy for many people since COVID-19 began sweeping the globe—and shopping online has become necessary for people trying to stay at home and avoid potential exposure. But goods are so cheap and easily available online that it feels harmless to add one more thing to your shopping cart. Convincing yourself to be environmentally conscious in your shopping habits feels a bit like convincing yourself to vote—obviously you should do it, but do the actions of one person really matter? As I kept buying things that I thought I needed while cooped up at home, I wondered: how much was my shopping, individually, contributing to climate change? Those pairs of extra-soft sweatpants, those reams of high density rubber foam that I use to baby-proof my apartment, those disposable yogurt bins and takeout food containers, all made from plastic and paper and other raw materials; was I—and other U.S. families spending so much money on stuff—making it that much harder to reach the COP26 goal of preventing warming from going beyond 1.5°C? Read more: Our Shopping Obsession is Causing a Literal Stink In order to estimate the carbon footprint of the shopping habits of families like mine, I asked four families in four cities—Denver, Colo., Atlanta, Ga., San Francisco, Calif., and Salem, Mass.—to track their spending the week beginning on Cyber Monday, Nov. 29, so I could try to determine what parts of their holiday spending were most harmful to the environment. I chose to calculate their carbon footprint rather than other impacts like the amount of water used to make the products they bought because scientists agree on the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to protect the planet’s future.   Courtesy photoThe baby in the Salem family opens a holiday gift. Measuring one’s carbon footprint is difficult, especially because much of the environmental impact from spending is upstream, at the factories that burn fossil fuels to make cars, for example, and at the farms that raise cows for our consumption and release methane. So I asked for help from David Allaway, a senior policy analyst at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, who has been working for years to calculate the carbon footprint that comes from consumer spending. To figure out how much the consumption habits of Oregonians contribute to climate change, and what the state should be doing to remedy this, Allaway commissioned the Stockholm Environment Institute to produce the first state-level analysis of the environmental footprint of Oregon’s consumer spending in 2011. This analysis, called consumption-based emissions accounting, roughly estimates the emissions that come from consumer purchases in 536 different categories, including things as specific as beef cattle, books, and full-service restaurants. It counts the emissions of all purchases by consumers, regardless of where those emissions were created—in Mexico, picking, packing, and shipping bananas; in Saudi Arabia, drilling for and refining petroleum. Allaway has refined the analysis since then and completed it again in 2015. Allaway agreed to use the model he has honed to calculate the carbon footprint of these four families, based on how much money they spent in each category. The families sent me their expenses, excluding housing, and I entered them into the categories in Allaway’s model. This is, of course, an inexact model: The families only tracked one week of spending, and their spending was self-reported, so it’s possible they missed an expense or two. Still, the estimates give a good overview of the emissions driven by the behavior of different families. They only tracked one week of spending, and I prorated their electricity and power costs, so this is still an inexact calculator. A family might spend a lot one week and not much the following week. Still, the estimates give a good overview of just how much of a difference individuals can make in reducing their carbon footprint, and they shed light on exactly how our spending drives emissions. Although many consumers have a lot of guilt about disposing of things once they’re done with them, whether it be plastic packaging or a shirt that they’ve worn a few times and then stained, we just looked at consumption. That’s because the emissions from the disposal of goods is tiny compared to the emissions created from producing something in the first place. “By the time you purchase something, 99% of the damage has already been done,” Allaway told me. This means that the “reduce” part of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” is the most important. Read more: How American Consumers Broke the Supply Chain Buying less stuff is a piece of reducing emissions, but families can most reduce their carbon footprints through their eating and travel habits. The Denver family, which is vegetarian and has solar panels on their roof, had a significantly smaller footprint than the others. The families that ate beef and dairy and that bought plane tickets were responsible for the most emissions. There’s a reason the Swedish have a word “flygskam,” or “flight shame”: one flight can cancel out the most tightfisted family’s progress for a week. In general, spending on services and experiences, like concert tickets or museum subscriptions, is more environmentally friendly than spending on goods, because part of what you are paying for is labor. Allaway estimates that every $100 spent on materials accounts for about three times more emissions than $100 spent on services. Of course, there are exceptions—spending $100 on a steak dinner for two could have higher emissions than spending $100 on groceries to make a vegan meal at home. A few more quick caveats: these are all families with annual incomes of more than $100,000, and I sourced them from friends of friends and social media. They are all white, which is the group that is responsible for the highest levels of consumption in the U.S., and as a result, the most emissions. TIME agreed to use only their initials and the cities in which they live in order to encourage them to openly share their consumption habits without fear of being shamed for their purchases. The results varied widely, from a family in San Francisco that had a weekly carbon footprint of 1,267 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent—about the same as driving from New York to San Francisco in a gas-powered car—to the family in Denver whose weekly carbon footprint was just 360 kgCO2, the equivalent of driving from Denver to Tucson. Here are their detailed weekly breakdowns. The Family That Spends a Lot Online A.S. + W.H. Location: Salem, Mass. Children: 1-year-old Combined household income: about $200,000 Total emissions: 819 kgCO2e   This family spent about $2,800 for the week and had a carbon footprint of 819 kgCO2e, the equivalent of a passenger car driving 2,058 miles, according to the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator. That’s the same as they would have emitted from driving from Salem, Mass. to Charleston, S.C., and back. A.S and W.H. own their home in the coastal community of Salem, Mass. and have a baby daughter. Before becoming parents, the couple was used to buying things and using them for years. But they’re finding that as their daughter grows, their pace of shopping has sped up. “One of the things that makes having a baby so wasteful is that you need something, and when you need it, you need it urgently,” A.S. told me. “You need it for three weeks, and then you don’t need it anymore.” Online shopping has been a source of contention for the couple; W.H. buys almost everything online, which his spouse thinks creates needless waste. The two have asked their extended family to cut back on buying goods and to gift them experiences or services instead, but relatives have been resistant to change. Their biggest single source of consumption-based emissions from the week, 138 kgCO2e, came from buying stuff online. They spent $298.99 for gifts for two family friends: two subscription boxes from Little Passports, which will send the recipients crafts, puzzles and books about different locations around the world for a year. This falls into the “dolls, toys, and games” category, which means the emissions-per-dollar would have been calculated the same regardless of what dolls, toys, and games they bought. Most of the emissions in this category come from the factories that make this stuff, rather than the materials mined or produced to create them, Allaway said, so it wouldn’t really matter environmentally whether they bought these toys at Amazon, Walmart or at a local toy store. They also bought a $269.20 wall sconce, a purchase that created 105 kgCO2e. Aside from those purchases, their biggest emissions came from the food they ate—specifically beef and dairy products. A.S. and W.H. had a pizza dinner with family during the week and a few snacks and coffees at local restaurants; all meals out, whether sit-down or take-out, are categorized as services. But they did buy around $40 worth of ice cream, yogurt and cheese, and they participated in a food share that provided them with around $28 of red meat (the protein changes every week.) Dairy and beef cause a lot more emissions than vegetables; the family spent roughly the same amount on vegetables and on dairy products, but the dairy was responsible for more than double the emissions as their veggies. The couple told me that they’ve been trying to cut back on dairy but have had a hard time finding an environmentally-responsible alternative; almond milk uses up crucial water, for example, and coconut milk requires a lot of emissions-heavy transport to get from where coconuts are grown to New England. They also wonder whether cutting back on things they enjoy is worth the sacrifice. Spending $30 on beef produces about 47 kgCO2e, which is the same as driving about 120 miles. Why should they stop buying cheese if their neighbor is driving that far to commute to and from work every week? “That’s one of the big pieces of friction between me and my husband,” A.S. told me. “I think he sees this as too big of a problem for any individual behavior to change.” The Family That Eats Out a Lot M.C. and N.A. Location: Atlanta, Ga. Children: 14 months and 3 ½ years old Combined household income: $100k-$200k Total emissions: 757 kgCO2e   This family spent about $1,361 for the week and had consumption-based emissions of 757 kg CO2e, the same as if they’d driven a car 1,902 miles, according to the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator. That’s the distance from Atlanta to Las Vegas. The Atlanta family’s emissions came in slightly lower than the Salem family’s. M.C. told me that this week was atypical for them because they usually buy diapers and fill up on gas, and they didn’t do either this week. They did eat out a lot—they were surprised by how much, once they started counting, but because of the way Allaway’s model works, restaurants are a lower-emissions way to spend money than buying a lot of goods. (The model doesn’t account for what you eat at a restaurant, but since so much of a restaurant’s bill is for service, rather than a tangible product, the spending often creates lower emissions.) M.C. told me that because they’re in their car so much, they often stop by quick-service restaurants like Chick-Fil-A to get a fast dinner if they don’t have time to prepare something at home. The pandemic has made them feel guilty about the environmental repercussions of eating out so much, because even sit-down restaurants serve food on disposable plates, with plastic utensils. But their biggest source of emissions for the week was something out of their control—electricity generation. Their electricity bill is about $200 a month but can be as high as $500 in the summer and winter, the family told me. I prorated that to $50 a week, which led to 254 kg CO2e, one of the highest single weekly sources of emissions for any family. (That’s the equivalent of a car driving from New York to Detroit.) The Atlanta and Denver households had higher emissions from their electricity and natural gas bills than the other two families in part because these regions are more reliant on coal-fired power plants, Allaway said. N.A., who works in finance, takes public transit to work, and the family has been trying to move away from spending money on things and toward spending on experiences. But something like cutting back on red meat or being more conscious about the products they buy can be hard, M.C. said. She has enough going on already. “With two little kids, I don’t think about it,” she said. The Family That Travels A.A. and M.T. Location: San Francisco Children: 18 months Combined household Income: more than $300,000 Total emissions: 1,267 kg CO2e   The wealthiest families create the most emissions, and that was certainly true with the San Francisco family, which was the highest-earning of the four families and which generated the highest emissions: the equivalent of driving from San Francisco to Miami. A.A. told me she thought the family had been buying way too much stuff online, and they did buy more stuff online than any of the other families —$60 on clothes from Target, $23 for a baby float on Amazon, $48 for diapers on Amazon, $21 for baby wipes. They also shopped at brick and mortar stores—$26 at a local bookstore, $37 at CVS for razors and snacks, $18 at a local hardware store. And they spent a lot on restaurants—about $300 in total. But none of those purchases drove the bulk of their emissions. Instead, that came from a $400 purchase of two round-trip airline tickets from San Francisco to Los Angeles, which created 436 kg CO2e, the single largest emissions from any purchase of the four families for the week. Because prices were discounted when they bought the tickets, that’s probably a low estimate of the emissions from their flight; the emissions calculator run by myclimate, an international nonprofit, estimates that a roundtrip flight for two between those two cities would generate 614 kg of CO2e, more than the 333 kg the family would have created by driving. (Taking a train would have lowered their emissions further, but also would have taken 12 hours one way.) They also spent $400 on hotel reservations, leading to 123 kg CO2e. This is intuitive—we all know that flying creates a lot of emissions. But it was illuminating to see just how much more it creates than other things do. That one trip to LA bumped the family’s emissions from 708 kg in the week to 1,276. A.A. told me they haven’t flown much since the pandemic started and bought the tickets to attend a close friend’s wedding. In the last two years, they’ve flown far less than they did before the pandemic and before having children. Instead, they’ve stayed home and explored San Francisco, or driven to destinations within an hour or two. They say they feel lucky to be able to do that where they live and will think twice before buying plane tickets on a whim going forward, but that unless costs go up, it may be hard to resist a getaway. The Family That Buys Used M.C. and N.A. Location: Denver Children: 9, 7, and 4 years old Combined household income: More than $200,000 Total emissions: 360 kg CO2e The Denver family has been trying to be more environmentally-conscious for years, and they had the lowest emissions, despite having the most family members (although they were the only family without a kid in diapers.) Their emissions were far lower than those of the other three families, adding up to the equivalent of a drive from Denver to Tucson. They do just about everything they can do to reduce emissions: M.C. doesn’t eat meat or cook it at home; her husband and children only eat meat if it’s served at a friend’s house. The family tries to avoid dairy products (one of the items they bought this week was vegan “egg”nog); they buy used clothes from ThredUp; their home has solar panels. M.C. said the family has always been conscious about reducing waste but became more serious about it a few years ago; when all their friends were moving to the suburbs, they moved to a more urban area of Denver, where N.A. could walk to work. “The driving we were doing was more impactful than the plastic wrap on a bag of pasta,” M.C. said. The couple knew they would have to make some sacrifices when they had children, but they didn’t want to give up on their environmental goals. They decided to wrest control over what their life looked like. “We realized that we could make some more intentional choices, set up our life in a way that not only decreased environmental impact, but also made our life happier,” she said. They enjoy being able to walk to so many places. M.C. has really never liked meat; she would occasionally cook it for her kids but stopped doing so three years ago. They’ll treat themselves to real cheese or real eggnog occasionally, but usually they go vegan. Their biggest emissions came from their use of natural gas—they spend about $44 a month on natural gas, despite their solar panels. Because solar power is so variable—it may be sunny one day, and then cloudy for a week—most systems that run on renewables like solar also use some natural gas. Still, the Denver family avoided a lot of emissions in places where other families didn’t. They spent $156 on clothes, but all from ThredUp, a used clothing site, which generated only 17 kg CO2e, according to Allaway’s estimates. The San Francisco family, by contrast, spent $61 on new clothes, which resulted in 26 kg CO2e. (Allaway’s model treats used goods as having a very low carbon footprint because it assigns the carbon footprint to the previous user, who bought them new; but buying used clothes does have some carbon footprint since the clothes are transported from the warehouses where they’re stored.) M.C. said she knows her kids might resist wearing used clothes as they get older and that there may be a day when they don’t want Christmas gifts from the thrift store. But they’re trying to teach their children not to be consumed by materialism, she said. She wants them to find happiness from something other than new things. When I asked M.C. if she thought her sacrifices were worth it, she said yes. Her family’s choices allow the couple and their children to focus on relationships, she said. She hopes she has motivated some friends and family to change their behavior, too. But ultimately, it’s about being aware of the urgency of environmental awareness, she said. “By trying to reduce my own emissions, that helps me stay in touch with the broader issues and think about the ways I can be an advocate for change in the areas that really will have an impact,” she said. What Your Family Can Do Of course, the emissions that the Denver family saved compared to the San Francisco family would be wiped out by one individual taking an hourlong flight on a private jet. It can be hard to rationalize making dramatic behavioral changes when reducing individual emissions can feel fruitless. Even the annual emissions of the San Francisco family—around 66 metric tons of CO2—pale in comparison to the electricity use of just one U.S. supermarket over the course of a year: 1,383 metric tons of CO2. But changing your behavior is not fruitless, Allaway says. Individuals by themselves might not be able to make enough of a difference to prevent the worst effects of climate change, but collective action—lots of individuals working together—might. Still, many of our preconceived notions about what to buy can be wrong. In the winter, Oregon consumers who buy tomatoes from nearby British Columbia have a bigger carbon footprint than those who buy tomatoes from faraway Mexico, because the Canadian tomatoes are grown in power-hungry greenhouses, Allaway has found. Out-of-season apples from New Zealand may have less of a carbon footprint than local apples that have been put in cold storage for months. Coffee beans delivered in a fully recyclable steel container have a higher climate impact than beans delivered in non-recyclable plastic because of the steel container’s weight. There are behavioral changes you can make that will almost certainly lower your emissions. You can reduce your driving and flying. You can switch to renewable energy. You can buy lighter goods, which use less materials than heavyweight goods, and buy things that have to travel a smaller distance to get to your home (although that in itself is hard to parse out, because a “locally-made” toy may have been created from materials imported from China, which negates the benefits of buying something local). You can buy things that are made from plants rather than animals, and buy used goods whenever possible. (Of course, there’s a caveat there, too—buying a used car that is a gas guzzler would be worse than buying a new electric vehicle.) But if you’re trying to choose individual products that were created with lower emissions, you’ll have a tough task ahead of you. Right now, one of the only ways to know which products have the lowest carbon footprint is to read their life cycle assessment, which is a document that measures their environmental impact from cradle to grave. In Europe, many companies also offer Environmental Product Declarations, which are abbreviated versions of life-cycle assessments, says Sarah Cashman, director of Life Cycle Services at ERG, an environmental consulting group. These documents are hard to decipher, dotted with words like “eutrophication potential,” (the nutrient runoff from farming or manufacturing). EPD InternationalA chart in a 49-page diaper environmental product declaration document There is no report card that lets customers easily see which products are made, transported, and sold with lower emissions than others. Amazon has tried to start labeling some products as “climate-pledge friendly” so that shoppers can choose green products that have received a third-party sustainability certification from a qualifying organization. But even that puts a lot of burden on a consumer to read every label on every item that they buy. So much responsibility for creating less waste has already fallen onto the consumer that asking them to take one more step, as the families above said, is too much. There is a solution, though. Consumers can demand more from companies, who can take on the responsibility of lowering emissions for the products they make every step of the way. The supply chains of eight global industries account for more than 50% of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Boston Consulting Group. There are companies that already have a head start. Patagonia says that 86% of its emissions come from the raw materials it uses and their supply chains, and through its Supply Chain Environmental Responsibility Program, it is aiming to use only renewable or recycled materials to make its products by 2025. Most companies won’t do this unprompted, but if consumers start shopping at places that are reducing emissions in their supply chain, companies will start looking at their supply chains in order to stay in business. A database of companies that are legitimately working on this would be a good first step. It may feel like there’s nothing you can do as an individual or as a family, but collective action could look like millions of families preferring to shop at places that are working to dramatically reduce emissions in their supply chain. Buying less may not be an option for many families, but Americans have proved, if nothing else, that they know how to shop smart.  .....»»

Category: topSource: timeJan 6th, 2022

Amazon is dominating the wedding registry market, leaving Bed Bath & Beyond behind at a crucial moment as retailers prep for a wedding boom in 2022

According to estimates from wedding planning site The Knot, a record 2.6 million weddings are expected to take place in the US in 2022. The US is prepping for a wedding boom in 2022.Mavinhouse Events/Molly Anne Amazon is gaining share in the wedding registry market, overtaking former leader Bed Bath & Beyond. Registries are important business for retailers as they boost margins and drive loyalty. Amazon has lured couples with discounts and bonus gifts.    Amazon is gaining share of the wedding registry market, leaving former market leader Bed Bath & Beyond behind. Bed Bath & Beyond's market share of wedding registries slipped to 30% in the fourth quarter, according to a new survey conducted by investment bank Baird, which tracks data from wedding planning site the Knot. The survey's findings were first reported by CNBC, This is Bed Bath & Beyond's lowest share of the wedding registry market recorded in the six years that Baird has tracked this data. Meanwhile, Amazon accounted for 45% of listing penetration of wedding registries in the quarter.The drop is significant for Bed Bath & Beyond, which is in the midst of a major turnaround effort. Its wedding registry service is an important part of its business as it can help to drive higher margins as couples tend to ask for pricier products, and the people that buy them are more likely to pay full price.Moreover, it helps to drive customer loyalty to the retailer and puts it front of mind for future purchases. "If you are capturing a customer at a point of time when they're married, what comes after that is maybe a new apartment or a new house and maybe after that your family is expanding with a new baby or two," Baird analyst Justin Kleber told CNBC. Bed Bath & Beyond's declining registry market share is also significant as it comes just as the US market gears up for a wedding boom in 2022. An estimated 2.6 million weddings will take place in the US in 2022, marking an all-time high, according to The Knot. Amazon has gradually become a more formidable force in the registry market by luring couples with discounts and offering bonus gifts when gift-givers spend over a certain amount. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 4th, 2022

5 Stocks to Buy for a Likely U.S. Wedding Boom in 2022

We narrowed our search to five stocks that should benefit from a U.S. wedding boom in 2022. These are: HGV, TPR, SIG, BOOT, ULTA. Wall Street is set to finish an impressive 2021 after an astonishing bull run in 2020. Both years were fraught with the unprecedented pandemic. In 2021, U.S. stock markets have primarily benefitted from the reopening of the country’s economy and its solid fundamentals.This year, the primary driver of the U.S. economic growth has been massive pent-up demand, which will usher in the country’s GDP growth in 2022 too. A particular surge in demand, which is likely next year would be in the market for weddings and related celebrations that were postponed due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 infections.Consequently, investing in stocks that will benefit from a U.S. wedding boom should be fruitful ahead. We have selected five of them with a favorable Zacks Rank. These are - Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. HGV, Signet Jewelers Ltd. SIG, Boot Barn Holdings Inc. BOOT, Tapestry Inc. TPR and Ulta Beauty Inc. ULTA.A Likely U.S. Wedding Boom in 2022U.S. weddings are likely to rebound in 2022 after two lukewarm years. Both years were affected by the coronavirus pandemic and several stringent restrictions set by state and federal governments in order to curb the rapid spread of the highly transmissible COVD-19 infection.As the U.S. economy has fully reopened with nationwide vaccination, restrictions on social life have been mostly repealed. Also, positive news regarding the less severity of Omicron — the latest variant of coronavirus — have cleared the path for U.S. citizens to go ahead with weddings and celebrations.Hospitalitynet reported citing Milestone data that U.S. weddings will top 2.5 million in 2022 compared with 1.93 million in 2021. Average spending on weddings is likely to rise to $24,300 in 2022 from $22,500 in 2021. The Washington Post reported that 47% of couples postponed their marriage ceremonies in 2020 due to lockdown and other social restrictions.The Wedding Report estimated that approximately 2.5 million weddings will take place in the United States in 2022, the highest since 1984. The report said about 2.1 million  weddings per annum took place in pre-pandemic era. However, it dropped to 1.2 million in 2020 and 1.93 in 2021. The average wedding cost is likely to rise to $24,300 in 2022 from $22,500 in 2021.The Wall Street Journal reported citing Knot data that an estimated 2.6 million weddings will take place in the United States in 2022, a record high. The WSJ reported “Right now, finding the perfect life partner might be easier than planning the perfect wedding event.”Our Top PicksWe narrowed our search to five stocks that should  benefit from a U.S. wedding boom in 2022. Each of our picks carries either a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The chart below shows the price performance of our five picks year to date.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchHilton Grand Vacations is a timeshare company that develops, markets, sells, and manages vacation ownership resorts primarily under the Hilton Grand Vacations brand. HGV also manages and serves club membership programs which include Hilton Grand Vacations Club and The Hilton Club.Hilton Grand Vacations operates primarily in the United States, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, Scotland and Thailand. HGV has two segments: Real Estate Sales and Financing; and Resort Operations and Club ManagementZacks Rank#1 Hilton Grand Vacations has an expected earnings growth rate of more than 100% for next year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for next-year earnings improved 8.8% over the last 30 days. The stock price of HGV has jumped 63.2% year to date.Tapestry provides luxury accessories and branded lifestyle products in the United States, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Europe, Canada, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. TPR operates through three segments: Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman.Tapestry highlighted that strength in North America as well as sustained growth in Digital and China contributed to its recent performance. Management also raised its revenue and earnings per share guidence for the fiscal year. TPR’s focus on improving SKU productivity, maintaining price discipline and effective marketing have been contributing.Zacks Rank#1 Tapestry has an expected earnings growth rate of 17.9% for the current year (ending June 2022). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 4.8% over the last 60 days. The stock price of TPR has surged 32.8% year to date.Boot Barn Holdings operates as a lifestyle retail chain devoted to western and work-related footwear, apparel and accessories. In addition, BOOT provides gifts and home merchandise.Boot Barn Holdings’ products include boots, denim, western shirts, cowboy hats, belts and belt buckles, and western-style jewelry and accessories. BOOT also offers rugged footwear, outerwear, overalls, denim, and shirts, as well as safety-toe boots, and flame-resistant and high-visibility clothing. It sells its products through bootbarn.com.Zacks Rank #1 BOOT has expected earnings growth of more than 100% for the current year (ending March 2022). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 1.7% over the last 30 days. The stock price of Boot Barn has rallied 169.4% year to date.Ulta Beauty has been benefiting from its omnichannel strength, thanks to efficient store and digital operations. ULTA’s skincare category has been gaining on consumers’ rising interest toward self-care. Further, management raised its fiscal 2021 guidance.Ulta Beauty has been seeing market share gains in major beauty categories for a while now, with skincare standing out. Its foremost priority is to strengthen its omnichannel business and explore the potential of both physical and digital facets.Zacks Rank #2 Ulta Beauty has an expected earnings growth rate of 5% for next year (ending January 2023). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for next-year earnings has improved 9.6% over the last 30 days. The stock price has climbed 36.6% year to date.Signet Jewelers has been gaining from growth in the e-commerce business and advancements made with respect tof the Inspiring Brilliance strategy. SIG’s efforts to boost banner value propositions, product newness, marketing efforts and connected commerce strategy have been yielding. The digital business of Signet Jewelers is the key growth driver and management is focused on enhancing the data-analytics capabilities.Zacks Rank #2 Signet Jewelers has an expected earnings growth rate of 415.2% for the current year (ending January 2022). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 5.1% over the last 30 days. The stock price has soared 206.3% year to date. Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through November, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks gained an impressive +962.5% versus the S&P 500’s +329.4%. Now our Director of Research is combing through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank to handpick the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these stocks when they’re released on January 3.Be First to New Top 10 Stocks >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Ulta Beauty Inc. (ULTA): Free Stock Analysis Report Signet Jewelers Limited (SIG): Free Stock Analysis Report Boot Barn Holdings, Inc. (BOOT): Free Stock Analysis Report Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. (HGV): Free Stock Analysis Report Tapestry, Inc. (TPR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 27th, 2021

The 20 best young adult books of 2021, according to Goodreads reviewers

Goodreads reviewers voted "Firekeeper's Daughter," "Ace of Spades," and "The Hawthorne Legacy" as the best young adult books of 2021. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.Goodreads reviewers voted "Firekeeper's Daughter," "Ace of Spades," and "The Hawthorne Legacy" as the best young adult books of 2021.Amazon; Rachel Mendelson/InsiderWhen you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Young adult books are adored by readers of all ages. We turned to Goodreads reviewers to rank the best YA books of 2021. This year, readers especially loved "Firekeeper's Daughter" and "Ace of Spades." Although young adult books are geared towards 12-18-year-old readers, I'm absolutely part of the adult community that still loves to read young adult novels. The stories are inventive, entertaining, and usually end with hopeful endings that have me excited to grab another YA release. In 2021, some incredible new young adult novels were released, from exciting thrillers in high school settings to new installments of adored fantasy series. To rank the best young adult novels of 2021, we turned to the recommendations of Goodreads reviewers. On Goodreads, over 125 million readers rate, review, and share their favorite book recommendations. So whether you're looking to start a new YA series or lose yourself in a fun young adult romance, here are the most popular young adult books of 2021, according to Goodreads reviewers. The 20 most popular young adult reads of 2021: "Firekeeper's Daughter" by Angeline BoulleyAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.2318-year-old Daunis Fontaine once dreamed of leaving her hometown but put her future on hold to care for her ailing mother. When a shocking murder thrusts Daunis into the center of an FBI investigation in her hometown and the nearby Ojibwe reservation, she agrees to go undercover and track down the source of a lethal new drug, uncovering painful pasts and buried secrets along the way. "Ace of Spades" by Faridah Àbíké-ÍyímídéAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.47When Devon and Chiamaka are selected to be senior class prefects, everything seems to be going perfectly — until an anonymous bully begins sending text messages that reveal their most precious secrets. In this high-suspense thriller, Devon and Chiamaka must find a way to stop the bully before the consequences ruin their futures or worse: Turn deadly."The Hawthorne Legacy" by Jennifer Lynn BarnesAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.55In this second mystery novel of the "Inheritance Games" series, Avery Grambs has been left with more questions than answers, including why a wealthy stranger left his fortune to her rather than his own family. As Avery searches for her connection to the Hawthorne family, enemies and adversaries lurk around every corner, taking readers on a ride of puzzles, clues, and secrets."Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World" by Benjamin Alire SáenzAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.49In this sequel to "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe," Ari and Dante have fallen in love and are determined to be together, no matter the challenges they face. Loved for the incredible character development and emotional writing, this is a romantic tale of two boys growing up, facing the world, and connecting with themselves and each other."As Good As Dead" by Holly JacksonBookshopAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.49"As Good As Dead" is the third book in the bestselling "A Good Girl's Guide to Murder" series, which reads like a fascinating true-crime podcast. In this installment, Pip is still receiving online threats, and everything quickly escalates when she realizes someone is following her in real life. Finding a connection between her stalker and a serial killer from six years ago, Pip must find the suspect before she becomes the next person to disappear. "Concrete Rose" by Angie ThomasAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.98In this "The Hate U Give" prequel, readers meet 17-year-old Maverick Carter who makes money to help his mom by dealing for the King Lords while his father is in jail. When Maverick finds out he's going to be a father, he's offered the chance to make an honest living in this story about loyalty, responsibility, and what it really means to become a man."The Cousins" by Karen M. McManusAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.72In this multi-POV young adult thriller, Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins who barely know each other and have never met the grandmother who has just invited them to work at her island resort for the summer. Hoping for an opportunity to get back into their rich grandma's good graces, they travel to the island and soon discover her plans for their stay are far different than they imagined."Last Night at the Telegraph Club" by Malinda LoAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.47In 1950s Chinatown, it's not safe to be a lesbian, especially as the Red Scare panic looms. As 17-year-old Lily Hu struggles with her identity in this coming-of-age novel, a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club serves as a sanctuary in otherwise deeply uncertain times."Instructions for Dancing" by Nicola YoonAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.40In this romantic story of magical realism, Evie Thomas is a romance skeptic, especially since she discovered her unique ability to see other's romantic fates, each love story destined to end in heartbreak one way or another. Meanwhile, Evie meets her remarkable and adventurous dance partner named X at her dance studio. As she and X grow closer, Evie tries to resist falling for him in this story about love and risk."The Box in the Woods" by Maureen JohnsonAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.71In this fourth book of the "Truly Devious" mystery series that can also be read as a standalone novel, Stevie Bell is an amateur sleuth looking for her first murder to solve outside of Ellingham Academy. When Stevie is invited to Sunny Pines camp, where four brutal murders took place in 1978, Stevie quickly agrees and brings along her friends to try and solve this long-dormant case."Tokyo Ever After" by Emiko JeanAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.46In this charming romance that will remind readers of "The Princess Diaries," Izumi is having a hard time fitting in with her mostly white town when she learns her father's true identity as the Crown Prince of Japan. Flying across the world to discover the father she never knew and explore her new princess title, Izumi quickly learns that being a princess comes with heaps of traditions, jealous family members, and challenges from grappling with two identities."She Drives Me Crazy" by Kelly QuindlenBookshopAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.55In this fun enemies-to-lovers and fake-dating queer romance, Scottie just lost in her first basketball game against her now ex-girlfriend when she gets into a fender bender with her ex's arch-nemesis and captain of the cheerleading team, Irene Abraham. Seeing an opportunity to help Irene with her car and get back at her ex, Scottie proposes they publicly fake date in this adorable, sporty rom-com."Rule of Wolves" by Leigh BardugoAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.78This "King of Scars" sequel and finale that begins with exciting twists follows the Demon King, the Stormwitch, and the Queen of Mourning to the end of their journeys through war, devastation, and darkness. Armed with their own motivations, these three will fight for their country, for freedom, and for healing."Chain of Iron" by Cassandra ClareAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.49"Chain of Iron" is the second book in a new "Shadowhunters" series set in early 1900s London where a serial killer is now hunting the Shadowhunters and vanishing without a trace. Cordelia, James, Lucie, and the Merry Thieves must try to follow the scarce trail to stop the killer while grappling with their own secrets."Lore" by Alexandra BrackenBookshopAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.34Every seven years, nine Greek gods are forced to earth as mortals in the Agon, hunted by those hoping to steal their power and immortality. Though her family was murdered in the Agon, Lore has avoided the hunt for years, until a childhood friend and the goddess Athena both seek her help. "How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories" by Holly BlackAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.55This illustrated novella is a delightful read for "The Cruel Prince" lovers, offering Cardan's backstory before he became the high king of Elfhame. With plenty of romance, drama, and humor, this story contains prequel details of the series, nods to beloved characters, and a new adventure for readers to cherish."Any Way the Wind Blows" by Rainbow RowellAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.50"Any Way the Wind Blows" is the final installment to the "Simon Snow" series and follows Simon, Baz, Penelope, and Agatha on their journey back to England for one last adventure. These beloved characters grapple with relationships, hard conversations, and new worlds in this highly anticipated and highly emotional conclusion. "Iron Widow" by Xiran Jay ZhaoAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.55In this fascinating fantasy world of Huaxia, boys and girls pair up to power Chrysalises, giant robots that battle aliens, yet often kill the girls due to the immense mental strain. When Zetian offers herself up as a pilot, seeking revenge for her sister's death, she emerges unscathed and earns the title of Iron Widow, feared by many and determined to change the system to keep girls from being sacrificed."The Gilded Ones" by Namina FornaAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.77When 16-year-old Deka's blood runs gold in her village's blood ceremony, she faces a consequence worse than death. Approached with an intriguing offer, Deka leaves to join the alaki, an army of girls with rare gifts like hers, but the brutal training still can't prepare her for the dangers and surprises that lie ahead."Our Violent Ends" by Chloe GongAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.67In this sequel to "These Violent Delights," 1927 Shanghai is on the edge of a revolution as Juliette tries to keep Roma, the boy she loves, safe from the Scarlet Gang by letting him believe she killed his best friend. When a new danger emerges, Juliette and Roma must overcome all their feelings of love and hate to conquer the rising threats to the city. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 21st, 2021

"The Problem Is Getting Worse" - China Sees New Marriages Fall To Lowest Level In 13 Years

"The Problem Is Getting Worse" - China Sees New Marriages Fall To Lowest Level In 13 Years Back in April, we reported that the Chinese government had just documented its first decline in its massive population since the Communists seized power in 1949, raising fears about systemic deflation. Could China, lauded as the world's rising super power, fall victim to "Japanification" before the 100th anniversary of the CCP seizing power in 2049? The possibility is clearly a cause for consternation among the most senior CCP officials, including President Xi himself. Beijing has only recently eased its restrictions on family size, allowing couples to have up to three kids. But it will likely take decades for these changes to make a difference. In the mean time, Chinese couples are facing some of the same obstacles to marriage and starting a family that young people in the US are also complaining about. According to the FT, efforts to lower the cost of marriage and child birth have largely failed to encourage more marriages in the rapidly-aging Asian society. Back in April, the Ministry of Civil Affairs launched an "education drive" to try and make marriage more affordable in 29 cities, as the cost of the ceremony has risen beyond the reach of average families. Instead of boosting the marriage rate, the rate of Chinese weddings fell to a 13-year low, according to the rate of new marriage licenses. Issuance of new licenses fell to 5.9MM during the first three quarters of 2021, marking the lowest level in 13 years. Rates of marriage license issuance has fallen for the past 8 years now. And authorities aren't ignorant of what the demographic impact will be since out-of-wedlock childbirth in China is much less common than it is in the US. "A drop in marriage will affect birth rates and in turn economic and social development," said Yang Zongtao, a senior official at the MCA last year. “We are hoping to...actively create favourable conditions for more people of suitable ages to walk into marriage." One study carried out by researchers at Chengdu-based Southwest Jiatong University in five provinces found the average cost of a dowry and engagement gifts, including the bribe's dowry (items given range from cash to housing) had exploded over the past 7 years by between 50% to 100% to at least 300K RMB ($47K). That's more than 6x the annual household income. "The problem is getting worse and worse," said Wang Xiangyang, an author of the Southwest Jiaotong study. In many ways, the CCP created this problem with decades of its one-child policy. The policy has led to major imbalances in the population of men vs. the population of women. The imbalance has barely improved since the 2010 census, despite the fact that Beijing first abolished the policy more than 5 years ago. Right now, there are 2.2M single men aged 25-34 and only 1.2MM single women in the same age group, according to official data. But there's little Beijing can do now, aside from "importing" women from poorer nations en masse. Men are effectively encouraged to find wives abroad since there simply aren't enough age-appropriate women at home. "The space for new policy is limited when you have more young men than women," said a Beijing-based government adviser. "It is inevitable that a lot of men will remain single in their lifetime." [...] "We are not going to see a recovery in marriage when gender imbalance is so big," the adviser added. In addition to the "education drive" we noted above, the central government has also ordered the creation of hundreds of marriage councils involving local officials, dignitaries and matchmakers to persuade couples to marry and follow the official line. As for the expectations surrounding dowries, one anonymous CCP official told the FT that "we keep telling young women and their parents that happiness has nothing to do with how many engagement gifts they receive." But at least one young, recently-married man told the FT that the propaganda encouraging marriage likely won't be accepted by the Chinese people. "No woman will marry me if I take the official propaganda for granted," said a 28-year-old man surnamed Wang, who paid his in-laws Rmb99,999 in cash and Rmb50,000 worth of gold jewellery before his August wedding. "I am happy to have a wife, but not so about my parents having to empty their savings to help me achieve that goal." Ultimately, the biggest hurdle for Beijing is similar to the hurdles facing the US: fewer women see marriage as a necessity, and a growing share of those who do want to settle down are waiting longer, leaving them less time to build a family. One survey conducted in May of young adults in Lishui, a rural county in eastern China, found that 60% of female respondents considered marriage necessary, compared with 82% for men. Tyler Durden Wed, 12/08/2021 - 20:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 9th, 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

34 unique and thoughtful gifts your husband will love, from stylish clothes to the latest tech

From sweet treats to items that will get him a better night's rest, these 34 gifts tell your partner how much he means to you. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Inside this curated cocktail kit, he'll find all the top-shelf spirits and ingredients he needs to bring two creative cocktail recipes to life.Saloon Box Celebrate your partner with a gift that he'll love to keep around.  Our 34 gift ideas include blue-light glasses, delicious cakes and cookies, and lounge pants. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. The holidays are a great time to splurge on a gift for your husband or partner. Whether you're looking for a gift to supplement his hobbies or something you can enjoy together, we have a wide range of ideas that he's sure to love.Whether he has a sweet tooth or needs a better night's sleep, these 34 gifts tell your partner how much he means to you. And if you have kids, some of the gifts might even benefit the whole family. The 2021 holiday shopping season is feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Many manufacturers are experiencing supply-chain issues that limit their stock. Delays in shipping are also widespread. We recommend paying close attention to shipping times when ordering products to ensure they will arrive on time.Here are the best gifts for husbands in 2021A waterproof speakerJBLGift the JBL Clip 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker, $49.95Portable Bluetooth speakers are ideal for rocking out on the go. The JBL Clip 3 is great because it's affordable and waterproof so he can listen to tunes or catch up on podcasts in the shower.For more great options, check out our guide to portable Bluetooth speakers.A high-quality electric razorBraunGift the Braun Series 7 (7085cc) Electric Razor, $149.94The Braun Series 7 is tops in our guide to the best electric razors for several reasons. It senses the thickness of his beard and automatically adjusts the power for a clean one-pass shave. The shaver has a 50-minute runtime, and it's waterproof for wet use.A GPS smartwatchJames Brains/InsiderGift the Garmin Forerunner 945 GPS Smartwatch, $599.99A good GPS fitness tracker is a must for anyone who runs outdoors. The Garmin Forerunner 945 is as good as it gets. The watch supports hundreds of apps, including Spotify, so he can stream music without having to lug around his phone. I like that I can enable the watch to send my location to my wife when I run. That way, if something happens, she can find me easily.If the 945 is out of your price range, consider one of these fitness tracker watches.A fashionable leather walletBellroyGift the Bellroy Apex Slim Sleeve Wallet, $129Bellroy's Apex Slim Sleeve isn't your dad's wallet. Made of eco-friendly leather, it fits folded bills and up to eight cards. A magnet keeps the sleeve closed. And, it features RFID protection to keep personal information safe. A snack box subscriptionTokyoTreatGift a 3-month TokyoTreat subscription, $106.50Who doesn't love snacks? If your husband is an adventurous eater, he'll love a TokyoTreat subscription. Each month, he receives 17 unique snacks from Japan, including fun KitKat flavors. Check out our guide for other snack subscription box ideas.Stylish, sustainable sneakersNothing NewGift a pair of Nothing New Sneakers, from $95What's better than giving the special eco-conscious guy in your life a stylish pair of shoes? Giving him shoes that are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. With a style similar to Chuck Taylor All-Stars, Nothing New sneakers come in several colors, and each pair saves 160 gallons of water and keeps 5.6 plastic bottles out of landfills.You can read our full review of Nothing New Sneakers here.Waterproof bone-conduction sport headphonesAmazonGift the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction Sport Headphones, $129.95Any active person who likes to bring their tunes or podcasts on workouts will tell you it's hard to find comfortable headphones. This is especially true if you have unique ears. Bone conduction headphones are fabulous because they don't depend on your ear shape to provide comfortable listening. A smart-home light starter kitPhilipsGift the Philips Hue White and Color LED Smart Button Starter Kit, $275.63One of the biggest gripes many dads have around the house is, "Who left the lights on?" If your partner has a similar commitment to the environment, thrift, and complaining, a smart light kit is the way to go. If the Philips Hue Starter Kit is out of your price range, check out our guide to the best smart light bulbs for more options.A wagyu steak gift boxBlack Hawk MeatsGift a box of American Wagyu steaks, from $49Wagyu steak is prized for its high fat content, which makes it melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The gift boxes from Black Hawk Farms offer an affordable way for the meat lover in your life to experience American Wagyu. Thanks to the extensive marbling, I like that even a cheaper cut of American Wagyu comes off the grill tender, juicy, and flavorful.A portable fire pit and grillBioLiteGift the BioLite FirePit+, $187.46If your husband enjoys camping and grilling, the BioLite FirePit+ is a must-have. It features a built-in fan that allows him to adjust the heat easily and control the smoke. It's our favorite outdoor fireplace and grill because it cooks efficiently, is easy to transport, and protects you from getting a faceful of smoke.A water bottle with a built-in purification systemAmazonGift the Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier [+ Filter] Bottle, $69.95If he's a traveler or adventurer, he'll appreciate this water purifier bottle that lets him access clean drinking water no matter where he is. It doesn't just filter out sediments and chemicals like chlorine; it gets rid of 99.9% of viruses, disease-causing bacteria, and more with a purifying filter that includes positively charged ions to cling into negatively charged pathogens and activated carbon to catch chemicals.   Silicone rings that look like the real thingEnso RingsGift the Enso Rings Classic Elements Silicone Ring, $39.99Silicone rings are great alternatives to metal wedding bands for anyone with an active lifestyle, even if it's just a weekly game of golf. The silicone won't get scratched or bent out of shape, and it's sweatproof and easily washable, too. Delicious cookies and truffle ballsMilk BarGift the Milk Bar Party of Two set that includes a 6-inch B'Day Cake and 12 B'Day Cake Truffles, $75If he lives every day like it's his birthday, he'll love digging into Milk Bar's B'Day Cake Truffles and 6-inch B'Day Cake. Items are packed securely and can be shipped nationwide. There's a $15 flat rate shipping on all orders.A Disney+ subscriptionAlyssa Powell/Business InsiderSubscribe to Disney+ for $79.99/yearDisney+ gives him unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox and costs $79.99 a year after a free seven-day trial. Read everything there is to know about Disney+ here.And if he needs some binge-spiration, here are all the new movies available to stream.A convenient way for him to discover new productsBirchbox InstagramGift a Birchbox Grooming 3-Month Subscription Gift Card, $45If he doesn't have the time and energy to hunt down new skincare and hair-care products, hand him over to Birchbox. The service will send him five samples catered to his hair, skin, and personal style every month. Breathable, supportive golf socksBombasGift the Bombas Performance Golf Ankle Sock 3-Pack, $49.50Little details, like the mesh under-toe ventilation zone, will make him appreciate these performance socks specially designed to up his golf game. Would it be extreme to attribute his birdie to Bombas? A gift card from one of our favorite activewear brandsRhoneGift a Rhone Gift Card, from $20Rhone makes some of our favorite workout gear for both inside and outside of the gym. Plus, the e-gift card is immediately sent upon purchase, so there's no need to wait for shipping. A vinyl record subscriptionVNYL InstagramGift a Vnyl subscription, from $29Vnyl's curators look at his music tastes, member profile, and Spotify playlists to send three records he'll want to dive into immediately. The included handwritten note explaining the suggestions makes the experience feel more like he's stepped into a record store. A sleek portable charger for his laptop and phoneAmazonGift the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD 45W, $159.99 If he travels often, he's probably taking along all his tech — laptop, phone, e-reader, and more. All those gadgets have their own chargers, which can be frustrating to keep track of and take up space in his luggage, too. Anker's device can help him streamline and replace a few of the major chargers. It's a portable battery pack with enough power to charge a laptop and comes with a wall charger and USB-C to C cable so it can replace most, if not all, of his other cords and cables. Silky soft lounge pants that fit like a second skinTommy JohnGift a pair of Tommy John Lounge Pants, from $58The brand's beloved lounge pants are delightfully airy, stretchy, and soft. Matching underwear in a fun printMeUndies InstagramGift a matching set of MeUndies Matching Underwear, from $42Choose your favorite underwear cuts (over 15 options), then go on to the fun part. Find a print so the two of you can match. MeUndies offers solid colors, but we love the adventurous, cartoon-splashed prints more. The actual underwear is very comfortable and soft.A mini cast iron skilletField Company InstagramGift the Field #4 Cast Iron Skillet, $95The smallest version of Field Company's lightweight and smooth vintage-style cast iron is the perfect size for cooking small sides. Cookies that look like himEtsyGift the Custom Portrait Cookie Cutters from Etsy, from $30Having his likeness recreated on these delicious cookies is a gift he'll never forget. Make sure to take a side-by-side photo before he eats them all. A protective spray that keeps his shoes shiny and newAmazonGift the Jason Markk Repel Spray, $17If he loves shoes, he should have the right products to take care of his favorite footwear. This spray protects shoes from water and oil stains, and there are multiple people on our team who swear by it for every new pair of shoes they get. Creatively sentimental cufflinksLove LetterGift Uncommon Goods' Love Letter Cufflinks, from $80The tiny envelopes open up to reveal a small and thoughtful reminder. You can replace it and surprise him with your own sweet message, too.Vitamin-infused body washNecessaire InstagramGift the Necessaire Body Wash, $25Gender-neutral personal care brand Necessaire treats the body with clean, sustainable ingredients and vitamins. He'll love using the Eucalyptus or Sandalwood body washes to nourish his skin without stripping it of moisture. Glasses to reduce eye fatigueFelix Gray InstagramGift a pair of Felix Gray Sleep Glasses, from $145The blue light that comes off our screens affects sleep, so gift him these blue-light-blocking glasses. His eyes won't feel as tired or dry, and he might have an easier time drifting off to sleep. A framed photoMintedGift the Minted Best Dad Ever Frame, from $94.50You can never go wrong with a photo of the family framed by handcrafted wood or metal. The metallic foil gives it a special touch. Dress clothes that fit him perfectlySpier and MackayGift a Spier & MacKay Gift Card, from $50He can get custom-fit suits for surprisingly affordable prices from Canadian startup Spier & Mackay. Insider Reviews reporter Amir Ismael calls it the best choice "if you're having a treat-yourself moment or you need a shirt for a special occasion."A 15-pound weighted blanketJen Gushue/InsiderGift the Brooklinen Weighted Comforter, from $211.65This heavy weighted blanket will ease him to sleep after a long day, thanks to its comforting embrace. If this option doesn't feel quite right, check out our guide to the best weighted blankets.A new electric toothbrushQuipGift the Quip Electric Toothbrush, from $25With Quip's sleek metallic styles, this toothbrush is both a pretty and thoughtful gift. Because he'll always have a new brush head on the way via its subscription, you're also taking one more chore off his plate.A curated cocktail kitInside this curated cocktail kit, he'll find all the top-shelf spirits and ingredients he needs to bring two creative cocktail recipes to life.Saloon BoxGift a SaloonBox Cocktail Kit Box, $172.99Inside he'll find all the top-shelf spirits and ingredients he needs to bring two creative cocktail recipes to life. Rather than regret all the money spent on ingredients he'll only use once, he can refocus his energy to enjoying his boozy creation. A cool phone case and phone grip accessoryAmazonGift a Scooch Wingman Phone Case, $39.99It's a multi-talented force the likes of which the phone accessory world has never seen before — a grip, stand, car mount, and phone case, all in one convenient and sturdy package. Learn more about why we love it in our Scooch Wingman review.A staycationAirbnb/FacebookBook a unique online experience at Airbnb, price variesA staycation is a good excuse to get away from the kids for the weekend and reset, all while staying in your home. It'll help him appreciate a familiar place in a new light, and he'll return to his day-to-day with renewed energy and vigor. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 1st, 2021

I Tried Buying Only Used Holiday Gifts. It Changed How I Think About Shopping

Pre-owned or vintage gifts are often better for the environment, and won't run into the supply chain issues facing new goods made overseas. I love the double dopamine hit that comes from buying something new—the rush when you click “purchase,” and the second one when it arrives at your door and you tear open the box. And there are plenty of real benefits to our incredibly efficient online shopping network: grocery shipping is shrinking food deserts, rural communities with few store options can quickly and easily get items they otherwise couldn’t have, and the time we used to spend driving to stores and searching for things that may have been out of stock we can now spend more productively. But over the last few years, I’ve had a front-row seat to all the problems created by Americans’ obsession with shopping. I’ve seen cargo ships idling off the coast of Long Beach because the ports are so backlogged, containers stacked high as apartment buildings, the horizon a smoggy cloud of emissions. I’ve talked to truckers who spend weeks living out of their vehicles, prohibited from using the bathrooms at the warehouses where they’re waiting for hours to unload goods, all to get paid barely minimum wage. I’ve interviewed Amazon workers about the physical demands of packing goods in the fast-moving warehouses that provide much of the stuff we buy, and I’ve even undertaken the stressful toll of delivering Amazon packages myself. I’ve tried to look away as we devour resources like trees, water, and rare earth minerals in the pursuit of making more, more, more. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] This year, I was feeling too guilty to buy my family new holiday gifts from Amazon. COP26 reminded me that nearly half—45%—of greenhouse gas emissions come from the way we make and use products and food, meaning that this consumption that drives our economy is also choking the planet. And even as scientists try to capture our attention about the urgency of reducing emissions, we’re consuming more and more. U.S. shoppers spent a record $638 billion in October at stores and restaurants, up 22% from October 2019. Forecasters are predicting even more spending in a holiday season where some families may be seeing each other for the first time in two years. Read More: How American Shoppers Broke the Supply Chain Was there a way, I wondered, to keep getting that nice little feeling I get when I buy something without also ruining the planet? Advocates talk of a Circular Economy where, instead of buying things, using them, and throwing them away, we reduce what we buy and reuse a lot more stuff. Even big companies are eyeing the practice; Apple announced last week that it would allow customers to repair their own iPhones, a giant shift in how they approach devices. ThredUp, an online resale company was valued at $1.3 billion in its IPO in March, after GlobalData projected the market for secondhand goods would double to $64 billion by 2024. ThredUp says that if everyone bought one used item instead of a new one this holiday season, we’d save 4.5 billion pounds of carbon, the equivalent of planting 66 million trees, and 25 billion gallons of water. I’ve long tried to buy used clothes and acquire toys and other household items from sites like NextDoor, Craigslist, and Buy Nothing, a Facebook group where members of your community post things they no longer need and anyone can claim them. (Buy Nothing recently launched an app, too.) But gifting used is a whole new arena. Still, the U.S. drives the world’s largest share of consumption-related emissions, and many of the things we buy are purchased for the sake of giving a gift and will sit languishing in a closet, unused. Maybe it was time to expand the circular economy to gifting, too. Jeremy M. Lange for TIMENovember 20, 2021. Carrboro, North Carolina. Sarah Urquhart browses the aisles at CommunityWorx Thrift Shop. Sarah tries to avoid buying new items and typically shops for herself and friends at thrift stores throughout the area. The rise of pre-owned I’m not the only person thinking this way. TheRealReal, a luxury resale site, saw a 60% increase in orders with gift boxes from 2019 to 2020. Poshmark, a secondhand clothing site, has seen a 31% increase in vintage sales in men’s clothing from last year. ThredUp has seen orders increase 28% from the third quarter in 2020 to the same period this year. And eBay reported $19.5 billion in sales in the last quarter, up 9% compared to the same period in 2019. This is all happening at the same time that younger generations are embracing “vintage” and “pre-owned” and buying clothes on online resale sites like Depop, which was acquired by Etsy for $1.6 billon earlier this year. Buy Nothing groups now have 4.3 million participants across the country, having grown by about 2 million people during the pandemic. Stress about the supply chain has also contributed to this turn toward used stuff, says Jordan Sweetnam, eBay’s general manager of the North Americas market. “People who may have been on the fence about shopping pre-owned are going to go to a traditional retailer and just see empty shelves,” he says. Already, on eBay, sales of certified refurbished products are up 25% since June, he says. Baby Boomers may still balk at the idea of using someone’s old blender, he says, but Generation Z has no qualms buying used goods, whether it be clothes or electronics. Read More: Why Is Everything More Expensive Right Now? Let This Stuffed Giraffe Explain Supply chain bottlenecks coupled with a growing disgust with rampant consumerism motivated Maria Patterson to accelerate her practice of not buying anything new for the holidays. Patterson, a 29-year-old mom in Austin, Tex., usually makes a craft like hot sauce or recipe books or beeswax wraps and gives them to many of the people on her gift list. She used to buy some new items around the holidays, but this year, she’s trying to not buy anything at all. It’s easy to bake treats or give a friend a sweater of yours they’ve always admired, she says, or just give less stuff overall. “The world cannot continue with the level of consumption that it currently has,” she says. I don’t mind receiving used gifts: for my November birthday, I asked my parents to gift me a used hiking Deuter backpack in mint condition from Craigslist, saving hundreds of dollars in the process. I’m always scouring the “finds” section of NextDoor for free kid stuff that’s being given away so I don’t have to buy clothes that my son will outgrow in a matter of months; I got a giant Fisher Price Jumperoo on Buy Nothing that my son loved until we couldn’t tolerate the space it took up, and we gave it to the next family. But giving used stuff to other people seems different. Spending less money on a used gift somehow feels like indicating the receiver is less valuable to you, which of course is not the intent. People who grew up wearing used clothes for financial reasons say they don’t want to revisit the stigma of having old stuff. Plus I’ve gotten accustomed to the ease of buying something on Amazon, not having to pay for shipping, and knowing it will arrive in time for a birthday or special event. A few gifts were easy to find used. I got my brother a Red Sox collectible Monopoly set from eBay because he loves sports and playing board games. From Facebook Marketplace, I found a used bamboo balance board for a standing desk for my husband, who has been half-jokingly asking for a treadmill under his home standing desk. I found a toy wooden dinosaur at a neighbor’s “free store”—they put out stuff to give away daily—and resolved to wrap it for my son in an old Amazon box, which he would probably enjoy as much as the toy. Read More: Price Hikes Will Likely Continue Through the End of 2021, Fed Signals But when I started looking for specific items, shopping used started to get a lot harder. My dad’s sweaters are always getting holes, but buying a used sweater would probably just mean they’d get holes even more quickly. My husband needed new sleepwear, but even I felt a little weird about getting him used pajamas. My mom likes painting, but I didn’t think there was such a thing as used paint. My son needed some shoes because he had outgrown the old ones, but kids’ shoes take such a beating I wondered if I’d be able to find any used that weren’t falling apart. Besides, after years of shopping on Amazon, where items are listed with multiple pictures, from many angles, and now even include videos, the presentation on sites like ThredUp and eBay left me feeling a little cold. On ThredUp, sweaters are poised on white headless mannequin torsos, and bizarrely, the site doesn’t seem to have a Men’s section. I know free shipping is bad for the environment, since it incentivizes people to buy, buy, buy, but I couldn’t help but balk at the shipping rates on some items. One eBay seller wanted me to pay $21.15 for shipping alone, which probably accurately reflects the environmental cost, but was more than the item itself. I settled with what seemed to me like a compromise—I found some RockDove Memory Foam slippers for my husband, whose old ones came from Amazon and are currently in shreds—on eBay, but they were in new condition, according to the seller, with the tags still on. I bought them for less than they cost on Amazon, paid $2.99 for shipping, and tried not to think about whether they had fallen off the back of a truck. Jeremy M. Lange for TIMESarah Urquhart browses the aisles at CommunityWorx Thrift Shop. Sarah tries to avoid buying new items and typically shops for herself and friends at thrift stores throughout the area. What will happen to the U.S. economy? Of course, if Americans stop buying so much new stuff, the economy could crater, which is exactly what happened at the beginning of the pandemic when people hunkered down and didn’t go out. GDP growth fell 31% in the second quarter of 2020, as Americans stopped spending. Millions of people lost their jobs as economists wondered how bad things could get. If Americans stopped buying so much new stuff, a very similar situation could unfold, says William Emmons, the lead economist in the division of Supervision, Credit, and Learning at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Consumer spending drives nearly 70% of economic growth in the U.S., and while much of that is spending on services like meals out or massages, a big chunk of it is also all the stuff we buy for our homes and loved ones. With less consumer spending, there would be fewer jobs; Amazon alone employed 1.3 million people at the end of 2020. There would be less money created in the economy, and since so many government programs like the recent infrastructure bill are funded by taxing earnings, there might be less money for those programs, too. There’s a reason that federal policy in recessions has often been to give people stimulus money to spend—the government knows that increasing consumer spending will jumpstart the economy. Read More: 6 Things to Know (About Yourself) to Have a Successful Black Friday “The big rise in consumer spending we’re talking about may not be the best from its environmental consequences, and it is exacerbating distributional questions,” says William Emmons, the lead economist in the division of Supervision, Credit, and Learning at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. “But it may be the most feasible way to keep the motor running.” Sweetnam, of eBay, argues that if people started buying more used goods, other businesses would spring up to create value for the economy. There could be new businesses that sell used goods, that refurbish old clothes, that collect old products to make them new again. There are already companies that have succeeded in embracing the circular economy—Lehigh Technologies in Atlanta takes old tires and rubber waste and turns it into a type of rubber powder that can be used in construction. But economists say that just switching to a circular economy outright could be catastrophic in the short term because so much of economic growth right now depends on people buying lots and lots of new stuff. They say the best way to get people to stop buying so much wasteful stuff is to levy a carbon tax, which would make goods that have larger carbon footprints more expensive. Read More: ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Apps Are Taking Over Holiday Shopping Season. Here’s What to Know About the Risks Right now, says Mark Zandi, an economist at Moody’s Analytics, we’re not paying the true cost of the products we’re consuming. Since it is often cheaper to buy a new toy made from virgin materials in China and then shipped across the ocean than it is to buy a high-quality used toy from a stranger, that’s become the default way to shop, he says. A carbon tax could change that equation, by making people pay not just for the cost of the toy, but for the environmental cost of all the carbon its production generated. People will think twice about buying flights if they cost $600 instead of $300, he says, and the planet will benefit if the money raised is invested in new technology. A carbon tax would also save shoppers like me the headache of trying to figure out what gifts are more and less environmentally friendly. Buying your kid a used car might be worse for the planet than buying a new one, because older cars tend to have higher carbon emissions. “We just have to price carbon and if you do, the cost of things we spend money on that have a high carbon footprint will cost more, we will buy less of it,” Zandi says. “That’s the magic of our system: prices work.” Changing the way we shop Apple may be changing its approach by allowing customers to reuse and repair its devices, but there still isn’t a huge economy for buying high-quality used stuff. I felt guilty that I couldn’t find much used stuff that I felt comfortable gifting, but a nanny named Sarah Urquhart helped me realize that until companies fully embrace the circular economy, I would have to change how I bought gifts. Urquhart wasn’t always a nanny. She used to work at an Amazon call center. Saddened by the amount of waste she saw—of people endlessly buying things and returning them—she decided to change the way she shops. American affluence has meant most of us go into the holiday season in November and start thinking about what specific things our family members want and how to acquire them. It’s always been easy to make a list, and then tick the items off one by one, and online shopping has made it even easier. “It was just a culture I didn’t want to be a part of anymore,” Urquhart says. This year, she’s holding what she calls “Merry Thriftmas.” Buying used, she says, won’t work if you start shopping with specific gifts in mind. “If you’re only looking for that thing, you’re not going to be successful,” she says. Instead, she keeps an eye out year-round for used stuff that might appeal to a friend or family member, and then she sets it aside until the holidays. She doesn’t shop with a list of things her family members need; she keeps an open mind for things that might make her family laugh, or smile, or might make their life easier. Jeremy M. Lange for TIME. Urquhart bought a coffee mug that she says looks like her father in law. Sheet music that Ms. Urquhart collects to make wrapping paper with. She’s found some good gifts recently. There was a mug that looks exactly like her father-in-law, and a like-new Buzz Lightyear doll for the kids she nannies. She sanitized the doll, she says, “and it was the happiest kid I’d ever seen.” Her mother-in-law plays the piano, so she found some old sheet music to wrap her gift in—Urquhart hasn’t yet thrifted the right gift, though. Urquhart, who is also a member of her local Buy Nothing groups, says that giving used gifts can be much more satisfying than buying new. When she gives away and picks up things from Buy Nothing, she makes a connection to her neighbors that has much more longevity than her connection to a random box that arrives at her doorstep. She can now point to the houses where she’s picked something up or dropped something off. Finding the just the right unique used gift gives her even more of a dopamine hit than buying something new, she says. So does giving away something on Buy Nothing and learning that the person you gave it to really loves it. The day I talked to Urquhart, I gave away an agility ladder on my local Buy Nothing group that my husband bought to get in shape before our wedding, but had been sitting in our closet for a year. I dropped it through a gate on the way to pick up my son from daycare, and I got a message from the recipient telling me she works at a nursing home and was going to use it to help residents relearn how to step over things for fall prevention. Now, every time I pick up my son from daycare, I imagine elderly people gingerly stepping through my old bright yellow agility ladder—improving their fitness and unknowingly reducing carbon emissions all at once. It still makes me smile, which, you could argue, is the point of the holiday season.    .....»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 24th, 2021

60 cool gifts for dog lovers and their canine companions, from matching sweaters to TikTok famous dog buttons

We curated 60 cool gifts for dog lovers and their pets, including subscription boxes, books, pj's, custom stickers and portraits, and dog treats. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.West and Willow makes custom pet portraits that dog parents can proudly display at home.West and Willow We rounded up unique and cool gifts for dog lovers and their dogs, from subscription boxes to books. Here are 60 thoughtful, entertaining, and adorable gift ideas dogs and their humans will love. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. As one of the most magical and amusing creatures on earth, dogs are more than deserving of a gift every now and again. And their human guardians? Yeah, they deserve a little something too.In this list of gift ideas, we've curated 60 of our favorite gifts for dogs and the people who love them, including a DNA kit, a monthly subscription box filled with toys and treats, and custom pet stickers.Whether they want to add a little doggy decor to their home or you want to give your favorite pet something new to play with, these gifts evoke pure joy of the canine kind.Here are 60 of the best gifts for dog lovers and their dogs:French confections made just for dogsAmazonBonne et Filou Dog Macarons, available at Amazon, $23.99Bring home a taste of the classic French patisserie to your good boy or girl with these handmade macarons. The cookies are made in small batches and, unlike those made for humans, are hard enough for long-lasting chewing. Choose from ten flavors including mint, cheese and strawberry/mint/lavender made with top-notch, locally supplied ingredients.A DNA test to determine their rescue dog's breedChewyEmbark Breed and Health Dog DNA Test, available at Chewy, Amazon, and Embark, $149Anyone with a rescue or a mutt will love this key to finally answering every stranger's favorite question: "What breed is your dog?" The Embark Breed test delivers one of the most accurate analyses of a dog's genetic makeup. It's cheaper than other tests that also measure health markers, and your money is going toward a healthier future for dogs everywhere — if your recipient opts in, Embark will add their dog's DNA to its ever-growing database used by researchers to identify genetic-related health conditions.Matching sweaters for celebrating the holiday seasonDog ThreadsThe Great Yukon Sweater for Pups and People, available at Dog Threads, from $42Keep cozy this winter in Fair Isle designed for the whole family. The white sweater, patterned in antlered moose and red and black geometric motifs, comes in doggy sizes XS to XXL and human sizes kids small to adult unisex XXL. Each is ethically made in China and 2% of all sales are donated to animal rescue organizations.A pack of dogs to plan the coming yearAnthropologieDog Squad 2021-2022 Planner, available at Anthropologie, $19.95Get organized with this 17-month canine-inspired planner featuring a pack of watercolor pups. Inside they'll find everything they need to keep track of 2022 — pages for tracking daily tasks, annual events, goals, and their monthly budget. The one and only dog bowl they'll ever needAmazonYETI Boomer 8 Dog Bowl, available at Amazon, Dick's Sporting Goods, and YETI, $49.98Yeti, a company known for its virtually indestructible coolers and outdoor gear, also makes one of the most dependable dog bowls on the market. The stainless steel, 8-cup dish is resistant to punctures, rust, and being flung across the room by a Great Dane with the zoomies. It's also dishwasher safe, BPA-free, has a nonslip ring at the base, and is available in 10 colors.An engraving of their dog's paw print to wear around their neckMYMILLIEjewelry/EtsyYour Pet's Actual Paw Print Necklace, available at Etsy, from $39.60They can keep their pup close to their heart with this custom engraved necklace. Send in a photo of an inked or clay paw print, or even just a picture of the dog's foot. My Millie Jewelry will turn it into a miniature likeness in gold or silver and hang it on a delicate chain.A travel kit for keeping their dog's essentials organizedOrvisDog Weekender Travel Kit, available at Orvis, $89Upgrade them from plastic bags and mismatched containers to a coordinated travel kit made for holding the things their dog can't leave home without. The rugged carrying case comes with a zip-up dog food bag and two collapsible dog bowls and has a padded shoulder strap for convenient carrying. They can stash leashes, treats, toys and more in the two mesh side pockets. For just $8 more, you can even have their dog's name embroidered on the outside.A way to communicate with their dogFluent PetGet Started Kit, available at Fluent Pet, $79.95They'll never wonder again what's on their dog's mind with these talking dog buttons. This kit popularized by TikTok phenom Bunny comes with six recordable buttons, three easy-to-assemble tiles and 67 ideogram ID stickers. They can start with easy everyday concepts like "potty," "outside," and "play" and it'll be no time before they're having full-fledged conversations with their dog.A biodegradable alternative for cleaning up after their dogChewyPooch Paper, available at Chewy, $12.99Stop sending all those plastic poop bags to landfill with this eco-friendly alternative. Pooch Paper is made from surprisingly strong recycled paper and each sheet is a generous 12-by-12 inches to keep their hands clean. Read our full review here.Their dog in sock formCuddle ClonesCustom Pet Socks, available at Cuddle Clones, $24.99Wrap their barking dogs in puppy love with a pair of customizable socks. Cuddle Clones will pattern a pair with the face of their furry friend using just a photo. Choose from dozens of backgrounds, including holiday patterns.A tiny pup tent for their tiny pupTiny TentsBasecamp Dome Tent, available at Tiny Tents, $39.99Just because camping season is over doesn't mean your dog can't still bed down in their own personal tent. The Basecamp is a miniaturized version of the real thing, with a geodesic dome shape, ultralight poles, and two mesh windows for ventilation. The durable tarpaulin floor means that, once the weather warms back up, this little tent can go with you to your favorite campground.A monthly box of canine surprisesBark BoxBark Box Monthly Subscription, available on Bark Box, from $23Don't bother trying to figure out exactly what the dog or dog lover in your life wants. Bark Box has done the work for you. Its monthly dog subscription boxes contain curated collections of toys, treats, and chews based on fun themes like summer camp, magic, and spa days. Send Bark Box as a gift or, better yet, get your own.A pack of dogs to protect their smartphoneSociety6Pet Friendly Dog Pattern Phone Case, available on Society6 for both iPhone and Android, from $18No more scrolling their social media feeds to find cute dogs. With this dog phone case, there will already be dozens of pups at their fingertips. The pack, which includes corgis, shiba inus, and poodles, can be customized as a slim or tough case for almost any iPhone or Android model.A squeezable dog water bottle for instant hydrationChewyHighwave Auto Dog Mug, available at Chewy, from $14.99Offer the dog a drink single-handedly with this unique dog water bottle. Just squeeze the leak-proof canister to fill the attached dish with water. When they've had their fill, the leftover liquid drains back into the bottle for the next time they're thirsty.Flannel pants for cold-weather canine snugglingL.L.BeanL.L. Bean Flannel Pants, Dog Print, available on L.L. Bean, $49.95These extra soft dog pajama pants will keep them warm and cozy on crisp nights. They've been designed for maximum comfort with a drawstring waist and pockets. Choose from three dog-tastic colors and prints and 13 sizes.A stress-relieving coloring book full of dogsAmazonDog Lover: Adult Coloring Book, by Gina Trowler, available on Amazon, $6.99This charming adult coloring book is packed with 64 pages of intricately drawn black-and-white canines. Go ahead, make your great dane blue and your chihuahua pink. The book's pages are nice and thick so the colors won't bleed through.A mind-blowing book about a dog who 'talks'Amazon"How Stella Learned to Talk by Christina Hunger," available at Amazon and Target, $14.39In this fascinating book, speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger chronicles her journey teaching her dog Stella to communicate using programmable buttons. This book not only details Stella's education but breaks down Hunger's techniques so that you, too, can teach your dog to "talk."A pack of doggy chip clipsAmazonKikkerland Doggie Bag Clips, available at World Market and Amazon, from $4.99Reseal your goodie bags with an assortment of canine faces. This posse of chip clips includes a corgi, Boston terrier, bulldog, collie, dalmatian, and shiba inu, each of whom are very good dogs. The clips are made from extra-strong plastic with steel springs.A handsome dog crate to dress up your decorAmazonDiggs Revol Dog Crate, available at Diggs and Amazon, $245Down with ugly dog crates that mess up your decor! Diggs Revol isn't just stylishly designed, it folds flat in seconds and has wheels for rolling out of sight. The crate is available in three colors and comes with a puppy divider and removable, easy-to-clean floor.Fresh dog food to fill their pup's bellyJust Food For DogsJust Food for Dogs, available at Just Food for Dogs, from $5.95Just Food for Dogs uses fresh, human-grade meats and veggies to produce nutritious canine meals across six different recipes. The food is flash frozen and delivered right to their door. Read more about the best fresh dog food in our buying guide.Custom dog stickers that are (almost) as cute as the real thingMy Sticker FaceMy Sticker Face Sampler Sticker Face Sheet, available on Amazon, $15.99Give the gift of sticky immortality with these customized dog stickers. Just upload a photo of their dog and My Sticker Face will create a spot-on version made from vinyl that they can affix to anything that needs a puppy pick-me-up.A food puzzle to work the canine brainChewyOutward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Twister Dog Puzzle, available at Chewy and Amazon, from $14.20For smarty pants dogs that need a job to do, these food puzzles are a great way to both entertain and work the brain. Pop treats or kibble into the compartments and tap into their dog's under-utilized scavenging instincts. A book to decode your dog's star signUrban Outfitters"Dog Astrology" by Stella Andromeda, available at Urban Outfitters, $14.99The astrological sun sign under which your dog was born matters, according to this playful book by Stella Andromeda. Find out what an Aries or Leo looks like among the canine set, your dog's luckiest days ,and whether you and your pup are a match written in the stars.Puppy throw pillows to dress up their decorUncommon GoodsDog Face Pillow, available at Uncommon Goods, $25Accent their home with the friendly faces of adorable dogs. Hook-sewn by hand in the form of three different breeds — golden retriever, pug and Boston terrier — these 8-by-12-inch wool pillows will never shed, drool, or leave muddy paw prints on their sofa.A pack of dogs to keep them dry in rainy weatherReed Evins ArtReed Evins Art Umbrella, available at AKC.org and Reed Evins Art, $29.99Artist Reed Evins hand-cuts paper to create spot on collage portraits of his canine clients. He's selected a couple dozen of his favorites — droopy eared basset hounds, friendly schnauzers, and half-smiling fluffs among them — for his wind-resistant 42-inch umbrella. The water-blocking parasol has a black rubber handle with an automatic opener and comes with a dog-patterned sleeve for storage.A pair of icy bulldogs to keep their highball coolWilliams SonomaNovelty Bulldog Ice Molds, available at Williams Sonoma, $21.95Bring a little canine class to their next cocktail with Williams Sonoma's bulldog-shaped ice cubes. Made from flexible silicone, just fill the two molds with water, freeze, then run under warm water to release the hounds. The long-lasting cubes will keep their shape sip after sip.A pet camera that lets them interact with their pupAmazonFurbo Treat-Tossing Dog Camera, available at Chewy and Furbo, from $168For those who can't stand to be away from their dog, it's the Furbo dog camera to the rescue. With the free Furbo app, they can monitor their pet from afar with a 160-degree wide-angle view, speak to them through voice chat, and toss them a treat anytime they want. A dog-splattered dish towel that really sees themBlue QDogs Tea Towel, available at Blue Q, $12.99Anyone who's ever loved a dog knows the best people are the fluffy, four-legged kind. And this canine-covered tea towel, it's not afraid to speak the truth. Short-haired, curly-haired, little-legged, and big, they'll be ready to go anytime a dish needs drying. A pair of Bernie's viral mittens to squeak and tugBarkBernie's Paw Warmers, available at Bark Shop, $10Bernie Sanders' mittens, one of the standout stars of the 2021 presidential inauguration, are now available in doggy form. Even if they have no upcoming political events to attend, playtime with these woolly squeakers on a rope will warm up your pup with practical, no-nonsense Vermont style. All proceeds go to the state's PAWsitive Pantry, which provides families in need with food for their beloved pets.A way to finally remember if the dog actually got fedAmazonThe Original "Did You Feed The Dog?" available at Amazon, $8.02Did you feed the dog? Can't quite remember, can you? But this simple little device, it knows. Just move the button at feeding time and they'll never get taken by their pup's second-dinner-desiring hungry eyes again.Sweet long johns for a winter full of pajama partiesChewyToy Story "To Infinity and Beyond" Dog & Cat Jersey PJs, available at Chewy, from $12.93Dress up their pup for the world's cutest pajama party in these "Toy Story" themed PJ's from Chewy's Disney collection. The outfit comes in six sizes so that even the big boys can let their snuggle flag fly.A homemade dog treat makerTargetDash Express Dog Treat Maker, available at Amazon and Target, $29.49Treat your favorite chef to a pup-approved kitchen addition. Fill the waffle iron-like Dash with one of the recipes from the included cookbook (think: peanut butter pumpkin or cheddar bacon) for fresh bone-shaped treats hot out of the oven. A hoodie with a kangaroo pouch to keep their pup closeAmazonRoodie Pet Pouch Hoodie, available at Amazon, $99Cuddly pups and the humans who love them never have to be apart with this soft cotton-polyester hoodie. The zip-up 14-inch by 9-inch by 4-inch pocket supports pets up to 15 pounds and comes in six colors.A ball launcher for supercharged games of fetchChewyChuckit! Launcher, available at Chewy and Amazon, $5.28It's almost impossible to tire out a fetch-loving high-energy dog before tiring out your throwing arm, that is, unless you have the Chuckit! With just a flick of the wrist, this simple plastic launcher sends the ball farther than puny human muscles alone and is guaranteed not to quit halfway through the game.A matching bandana and face mask for twinning with their dogGoodboyGoodboy x Sock Fancy Bandana & Mask, available at Goodboy, $24Social distance in style with this dog bandana and face mask duo. The pair comes in four machine-washable custom cotton prints and the triple-layer mask has adjustable ear loops and a 3D chin design.A pair of fur-sonalized silver cufflinksUncommon GoodsCustom Pet Portrait Cufflinks, available at Uncommon Goods, $260They'll wear their heart on their sleeve with these pet portrait cufflinks by designer Erin Harris. The engraved sterling silver accessories arrive with a bonus gift, too: a rubber stamp of their dog to use on anything that needs a bit of puppy love.A collar for tracking their dog's location and activityChewyFi Series 2 GPS Tracker Smart Dog Collar, available at Chewy, $149Like a FitBit for the canine set, this smart collar will not only help dog owners keep tabs on their dog's daily activity (and compare it to other pups in the neighborhood) but on their location, too. Using GPS tracking technology, this little device sends alerts anytime a door-dashing escape artist is on the move.The one toy every dog needsChewyKong Classic, available at Chewy, from $7.99Whether they've got a puppy who's learning the ropes, an adult dog who loves a good game, or a slow-moving senior, the Kong Classic is a must for busting boredom and tapping into a dog's scavenging instincts. Just pack the heavy-duty rubber cone with treats, kibble, or peanut butter (among other things) and that big, slobbery tongue will do the rest.An elevated bed to keep their dog cool in the heatChewyK&H Products Elevated Dog Bed, available at Chewy, from $40.99Make the dog days of summer a little more bearable for their pooch with this elevated cot. Made from waterproof nylon with a mesh center, the raised design promotes airflow that helps keep dogs from overheating when the mercury rises.A sleepy puppy hamper to snuggle their dirty clothesAmazonFankang Dog Hamper, available at Amazon, $10.99Add a dose of cute to laundry day with this dog hamper. The folding, pop-up basket made of waterproof-coated cotton fabric with handles for ears also makes a great storage bin for toys, whether they belong to a dog or to a dog-loving kid.A smiling bouncy ball that doubles as a puzzle toyAmazonRogz Grinz Treat Ball, available at Amazon, from $10.95This durable ball will put a maniacal grin on their pup's face. Bounce it on the ground, float it in the water, or fill it with treats or kibble for extended play. It comes in four bright, impossible to lose colors and three sizes.A bucket list activity journal for dog lovers and their canine compatriotsAmazon"Chew This Journal" by Sassafras Lowrey, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, from $13.99Drawing from 20 years of experience, certified trick dog trainer and doggy writer extraordinaire Sassafras Lowrey's "Chew This Journal" is jam-packed with fun activities for both dog and human. From urban agility and tips on setting training goals to dog-friendly crafts like DIY treat puzzles and tug-toy-making, this book will encourage them to never stop seeking out new adventures.A bag of delicious treats with a minimal carbon paw printChewyJiminy's Chewy Cricket Treats, available at Chewy and Amazon, from $9.79Maybe dog treats can't save the world, but Jiminy's cricket treats are doing their part to help our pups live more sustainably. These tasty morsels are hypoallergenic, probiotic, and produce 740% fewer greenhouse gasses than those made with beef. Choose from two chewy flavors, sweet potato and peas or pumpkin and carrot, or crunchy peanut butter and blueberry cookies.A people-approved mattress made just for dogsCasper/InstagramDog Mattress, available at Casper, from $125.10Mattress company Casper takes dog bed comfort next level with a memory foam model that rivals those they make for humans. The result of 110 prototypes and 460 hours of lab testing, with this dog bed they'll rest assured their best friend will be getting a good night's sleep. A custom cookie cutter for making edible puppy portraitsSusancraftsShop/EtsyCustom Pet Portrait Cookie Cutter, available at Etsy, from $30If they think their dog couldn't get any sweeter, Bakers Street Cutters begs to differ. Send in a photo and they'll 3D print a custom cookie cutter that makes a perfect impression of their pup every time.A blueprint of their favorite breed's best qualitiesEtsyDog Blueprints, available at Etsy, $29.99These vintage-inspired blueprints by canine architects Wet Nose Wiggly Butts break down the characteristics that make different dog breeds unique. Each 16-by-20-inch print features picture-perfect representations of 54 of the most popular pups, from chihuahuas to Newfoundlands. Choose to add their dog's name to the drawing for a personalized touch.A yoga mat covered in stretching FrenchiesSociety6Huebucket Frenchie Yoga Mat, available at Society6, $35.75Flexible Frenchies show off their yoga skills on this adorable yoga mat. Their favorite pose? Downward-facing dog, of course.An honest mug that works as hard as they dozoeysattic/Etsy"I work hard so my dog can have a better life" mug, available at Etsy, from $17For anyone with lingering doubts about where pet parents' disposable income goes, this fully customizable mug spells it out in plain English. No one needs to know that dogs work hard to keep us happy, too. Sloppy kisses and dog hair may not pay the bills but they're worth their weight in gold.A lickable mat for anxiety-reducing enrichmentChewyHyper Pet IQ Treat Mat 2-pack, available at Chewy and Amazon, $14.95Licking a flavor-filled surface doesn't just release calming endorphins in a dog's brain, it gives them something to focus on when their stress levels become elevated. Spread these dishwasher-safe rubber mats with a soft-and-creamy favorite like yogurt, pumpkin, or peanut butter for a snack that will last and last. Read our full review of the Hyper Pet IQ Treat Mats.A flirt pole for tough tugging thrillsChewyOutward Hound Tail Teaser, available at Chewy and Amazon, $16.99Release the hounds — or their energy, at least — with a doggy flirt pole. Like a beefed-up cat wand, this canine version features a squeaking, rattling faux-fur tail strung with durable nylon cord to a long, flexible pole that can be swung around for a high-speed game of chase, jump, and tug. A collar from a company that supports and empowers Kenyan artisansUbuntu LifeTriangle Dog Collar in lavender, pink, or cobalt blue, available at Ubuntu Life, $59Yes, this fashion-forward collar produced by Maasai women in Kenya's Ngong Hills looks good, but it does good, too. Ubuntu Life is a public benefit corporation that provides sustainable employment, education, and healthcare to its workers and artisans, as well as pediatric health and special needs education throughout the region. The carefully crafted, highly resilient collar is made from leather and glass beads and comes in three sizes and four colors.A playful seat cover to brighten up the carChewyMolly Mutt Multi-Use Seat Cover, available at Chewy and Amazon, $59Protect their car from doggy dirt and slobber with a fun toile-like dog patterned seat cover. The versatile cotton canvas can be draped over the back seat (the design features seatbelt slots, nonskid backing and adjustable headrest straps), converted into a car hammock or layered over the cargo hold.A 2-in-1 tool to make bath time less stressfulChewyAquapaw Pet Bathing Tool, available at Chewy and Amazon, $24.95Speed up bath time with this flexible water sprayer and massaging scrubber. The tool slips over the palm, leaving their fingers free to reassure their pup or toggle the built-in on-and-off switch.A vet play set to inspire young animal loversAmazonMelissa & Doug Pet Vet Play Set, available at Amazon, $19.47Encourage the little animal lover in your life with a play set that lets them practice pet care and the empathy and compassion that comes along with it. This kit comes packed with all they'll need to make a house call, including a stethoscope, syringe, bandages, and a cone of shame, as well as two plush pets to practice on.A gallery-worthy portrait of their beloved petWest & WillowCustom Pet Portrait, available at West and Willow, from $65Immortalize their fur baby with a custom portrait they'll cherish for years to come. Choose from a handful of backgrounds and hardwood frames. Each gallery-quality image can include up to three pets.A cashmere turtleneck for cold weather walksThe BarkersFido Turtleneck, available at The Barkers, $89The beatnik vibes are on point with this cable-knit turtleneck from The Barkers. Made from 100% cashmere, this luxurious dog sweater will have them wishing for a human-sized version all their own.A pack of dogs who love a relaxing bathtandemsy/Society 6Dog Shower Curtain, available at Society 6, $42.24Add a touch of canine couture to their bathroom with a dog print shower curtain patterned in artistically arranged pups. The polyester 71-by-74-inch curtain comes with 12 buttonholes for easy hanging.A combination backpack and airline approved carrier for versatile adventuresPetcoSherpa 2-in-1 Travel Backpack, available at Petco, $52.99Up in the air or on the trail, their dog can go anywhere they do with Sherpa's 2-in-1 travel backpack. The cozy, well-ventilated go bag has removable straps that convert it from a backpack to a traditional airline approved pet carrier that fits under the seat in the cabin.A boho bed cover to rest their weary headThe Foggy DogAmani Sea Dog Bed, available at The Foggy Dog, from $65Upgrade their naps with a mud-cloth inspired, upholstery-grade cotton bed cover. The durable, zip-up doggy duvet can be fitted over an old bed, pillow, or pile of blankets, or you can purchase a new memory foam or "Sustainafill" insert for maximum comfort. It's machine washable and sold in three colors.A book for youngsters about a dog's most valuable superpowerAmazon"What the Dog Knows Young Readers Edition" by Cat Warren, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, $7.99In the young readers edition of the New York Times bestseller "What the Dog Knows," Cat Warren uncovers the science behind the amazing canine nose. If you know a kiddo with a love of dogs, this book full of photos and illustrations is sure to intrigue, surprise, and delight.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 18th, 2021

17 of the best places to buy affordable fine jewelry, from simple gold hoops to gemstone stacking rings

Beautiful jewelry doesn't have to be expensive. These are the best places to buy fine jewelry that's easier on your wallet yet still high quality. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Fine jewelry costs a bit more than costume, but you can still get quality pieces on a budget. Brands and retailers like Catbird, Mejuri, and Vrai are changing the game. We've rounded up our favorite pieces and retailers below.  Svetlana Evseeva/Getty ImagesWith its inaccessible prices, technical terminology, and nebulous production practices, the world of fine jewelry is intimidating to step into and, for a generation that cares simultaneously about value, style, sustainability, and ethics, often a world that's avoided altogether. Not too long ago, we wouldn't even have considered buying nice jewelry online. But with direct-to-consumer jewelry companies taking center stage, no middlemen or mark-ups mean that you can pay a palatable price that's closer to the true cost of making that beautiful gold necklace. Plus, high standards for sourcing and production quell any fears that your purchase sets other livelihoods or the environment back. These online jewelry companies will help you make the decision without overcharging you in the process. The best places to buy affordable fine jewelry in 2021:MontserratMontserratFor everyday pieces still that make a statement, Montserrat has a collection of playful designs that are easy to wear alone or layered with minimalist pieces.A playful blend of pearls, charms, and 14-karat gold plated settings make up Montserrat's jewelry line. With its enamel fruit designs, the latest collection transports you to a state of constant vacation. Though statement-making, the pieces are still dainty enough to layer with other pieces you own, and you can pick up a necklace and earring set without spending more than $200.What to buy:The Limón Huggie Earrings (small)The Frutti Di Mare Fresas Set (small)The Seta Set (small)ItalicItalicJust by skipping the brand name, Italic lets you buy jewelry made in the same workshops as designer artisans at a fraction of the price.Italic is an online retailer where you can find clothing, handbags, home goods, and more that are made in the same factories as designers like Miu Miu and Prada — just without the label and for a fraction of the price. Recently, it added fine jewelry to the mix. You can now pick up timeless additions like diamond necklaces and solid gold huggie hoops for as little as $225 and $150, respectively. What to buy:Diamond Solitaire Necklace (small)Gold Faceted Huggie Earrings (small)Diamond Pavé Bar Bracelet (small)Page SargissonPaige SargissonLook to Page Sargisson for handmade solid gold and sterling silver jewelry that's perfect for gifting and starts as low as $32.Brooklyn-based designer Page Sargisson makes custom pieces that run well into the thousands, but you'll also find plenty of more affordable options as part of the 10kt & silver collection. Everything is made by hand out of solid gold or sterling silver and includes pieces like an opal-studded evil eye necklace ($350), tiny stud earrings ($32), and a calendar charm (from $835) that can be personalized to commemorate a special date.What to buy:Teeny Tiny Double Post Earrings (small)Evil Eye Small Ring (small)Zodiac Constellation Charms - Silver (small)Small Calendar Charm (small)CatbirdCatbirdKnown for its delicate rings and transparent sourcing, Catbird is the epitome of cool, affordable jewelry. Cool, Brooklyn boutique vibes meet the ease of online shopping at Catbird, where you can find delicate $44 rings alongside sparkly $14,100 engagement rings. It's fully transparent about the source of its materials and donates 1% of all sales to non-profits including the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. In addition to jewelry that's crafted in-house, Catbird is home to other designers and beauty and home goods. What to buy:Sleeping Beauty Opal Ring (small)Snake Moon Earring (Single) (small)Ballerina Bracelet (small)MejuriMejuriMejuri provides dainty, minimal jewelry at an affordable price point. Toronto-based startup Mejuri, founded by a former art director and a former engineer and third-generation jeweler, drops new pieces every week of the year, and without fail, its largely female clientele return again and again to its 14-karat gold, gold vermeil, and sterling silver jewelry that's made for everyday wear. Mejuri's mission is to have women "embrace a daily dose of luxury." With plenty of under-$100 options, it makes fulfilling this mission very achievable.  What to buy:Bold Sculpture Band (small)Curb Chain Bracelet (small)Lotus Studs (small)AUrateAUrateAUrate offers both minimal, everyday pieces as well as bold statement pieces, so you can create a well-rounded jewelry collection. AUrate offers both the solid foundation pieces and the unique statement pieces that you'll need for a jewelry refresh. Everything is crafted in New York City, which also means that NYC dwellers can enjoy same-day delivery of 14- and 18-karat gold, AAA pearls, and ethically sourced diamonds (the rest of the country gets free shipping).What to buy:Love Me Knot Ring (small)Gold Huggies (small)Flower Earring Back Small (small)Birthstone Anklet (small)SokoSokoFor handcrafted pieces that won't break the bank, Soko is a go-to. At the helm of the movement towards "ethical fast fashion" is Soko, a jewelry startup with an innovative, efficient, and empowering model that uses technology to connect with independent artisans in Africa. Soko's jewelry is guaranteed to attract attention, not only for its unique sourcing and manufacturing origins but also for its structural, powerful style. These hand-made pieces are produced from less conventional, but more affordable materials like brass. What to buy:Nia Earrings (small)Ripple Band Ring (small)Capsule Link Bracelet (small)AuvereAuvereThe pieces at Auvere are investment pieces, but they'll appreciate in value over time. For top-line luxury, specifically 22- and 24-karat gold, at surprisingly affordable prices, Auvere is the place to go. There's a range of feminine and more masculine designs, so there's something to fit everyone's style. There's no denying that the architectural pieces are investments, but you get what you pay for — pure gold, wrapped into beautiful designs without the mark-up — and they'll only appreciate in value over time. What to buy:Wishbone Pendant and Chain (small)Cage Stud Earring (Single) (small)Astra Bangle (small)Hug Me Huggie Earring (Single) (small)Ariel GordonAriel GordonAriel Gordon designs cute, delicate jewelry that is meant to be worn over and over again. This Los Angeles-based brand is a celebrity favorite and it's easy to see why. Launched out of her apartment while Gordon worked as a Hollywood publicist, the collection is made up of pieces designed to be worn over and over again, transitioning from occasion to occasion without losing quality and durability. Its charm pieces, which include animals and flowers, are truly sweet designs that'll brighten your day. What to buy:Roman Holiday Ring (small)Helium Huggies (small)Lido Strand Necklace (small)Frutta Studs (small)The Last LineThe Last LineFor those who love bold, beautiful jewelry, The Last Line is a must-shop. Founded by a Parsons grad and industry veteran, The Last Line wants to be the one and only place you buy all your jewelry. That might not be as ambitious as it sounds considering the brand sells everything from show-stopping rainbow pieces to chunky rings to classic gold hoops. If you thought fine jewelry couldn't be fun or colorful, The Last Line is here to prove you wrong. What to buy:Pink Tourmaline Perfect Tennis Bracelet (small)Emerald Large Biggie Earring (small)Rainbow Eternity Band (small)GorjanaGorjanaFor jewelry that is effortlessly cool, look no further than Gorjana. If you love the "I-just-threw-this-on" jewelry look, you're going to want to check out Gorjana. If you haven't heard of it already, this Laguna Beach-based brand is well-loved for its range of affordable, gold-plated pieces that range from simple and dainty to funky and trendy, which pretty much all cost under $100. If you want something a little more luxe and have extra room in your budget, Gorjana recently introduced a line of fine jewelry that's made up of solid 14-karat gold and diamonds.What to buy:Classic Gold Huggie (small)Wilder Necklace (small)Amara Ring Set (small)Classic Gold Huggie (small)Stone and StrandStone and StrandEthically sourced and conflict-free, Stone and Strand has its own capsule collection while also curating other like-minded brands on its site. Stone and Strand produces its own high-end jewelry and curates other like-minded brands on its site, creating an online space where shoppers aren't intimidated to explore fine jewelry. Most pieces are made of 14-karat solid gold — though you can also find more affordable gold-plated options — and the diamonds and gemstones used are ethically sourced and conflict-free. Its first capsule, Good Girl Tools, sets the tone for the types of jewelry you can expect from the rest of the brand: bold, pretty, and wearable for every day. What to buy:Babyheart Signet Ring (small)Branch Diamond Studs (small)Large Pave Diamond Initial Charm Necklace (small)VerlasVerlasIf you tend to be indecisive about purchasing jewelry, you'll love Verlas' at-home try-on service. Investing in a nice piece of jewelry without trying it on first can feel risky. If you can't make up your mind right away, Verlas makes it easy to make sure you'll love your new piece. The brand offers a try-at-home program where you can try any three pieces from the site for 15 days. The test pieces are made of replica materials (like cubic zirconia and brass), but when you're done, you can choose the ones you love best and then order the real deal made with diamonds and gold. If you want to pass on them all, that's okay too. Of course, if you know what you want right off the bat, you can go straight to purchasing. What to buy:Essential Round Necklace (small)Diamond Arc Hoops (small)Essential Tennis Bracelet (small)Round-Embellished Band (small)VraiVraiSkeptical about buying diamond rings online? Vrai helps to streamline the process. This downtown LA-based company only uses solid gold and Diamond Foundry diamonds, which are physically and chemically indistinguishable from mined diamonds, and created using solar energy. Vrai's simple and timeless pieces will delight minimalists and anyone who hates to be plagued by pages and pages of choices. Couples should take advantage of its free home try-on program for wedding rings, which decreases the pressure of choosing the perfect ring. What to buy:Tiny Diamond Station Necklace (small)Tiny Diamond Ring (small)Diamond Ear Arc (Pear) (small)Interlink Necklace (small)HoldenHoldenCustomized wedding rings are super affordable thanks to Holden. When wedding ring shopping gets so stressful that it detracts from the real experience of starting your life with someone, that's a problem. Holden is making it easy to shop for and customize wedding rings that start at only $249. Simply request a free ring size kit, choose your ring profile, width, metal, karat, and finish, and add an optional engraving, and your rings will be made-to-order with 3D printing technology. What to buy:Domed Profile Ring (small)Half Eternity Profile (small)Line Profile Ring (small)Faceted Profile Ring (small)CoupleCouple/FacebookCouple gives couples the opportunity to purchase their engagement rings online. The idea for Couple began when one of its co-founders had difficulty finding an engagement ring for his now-wife and saw an opportunity to also lessen the environmental and ethical challenges of mined diamonds. Couple works with lab-grown diamonds that look identical to mined ones (and are actually of higher quality) so that marriages can start off on the right foot — with trust, transparency, and thoughtfulness. Many of the rings can also be engraved for a truly personal touch. What to buy:Knife Edge Ring (small)Classic Thin Ring (small)The Halo Ring (small)The Pavé Signature (small)GemistGemistIf you love a ring stack, you'll love Gemist's wide array of rings that you can layer. Love a finger full of stackable rings? You'll love Gemist's wide variety of affordable pieces. The brand offers a streamlined at-home try-on process, where you're given three costume rings to play with for two weeks. Enjoy the pieces? Just let Gemist know, and they'll send you the custom pieces after you send your testers back. Gemist also has a variety of earrings, wedding bands, and engagement rings, too.What to buy:Gloss Heroine Ring (small)Solid Gold Ring (small)Solid Gemist Huggie (small)The Round Solitaire (small)QuinceQuinceFor minimalist styles at a minimal cost, Quince has a collection of solid gold jewelry that starts as low as $50.Similar to Italic, Quince is able to offer solid gold and diamond jewelry at affordable prices by cutting out the middleman. If you're looking for exceptionally dainty pieces, this is where you can pick up a pair of 14-karat gold hoops for less than $50 and a simple 14-karat gold stacker ring for less than $70. The minimalist designs and low prices make Quince an easy destination for rounding out the foundation of your jewelry collection.What to buy:Large Organic Freshwater Cultured Pearl Hoops (small)Diamond Beaded Ring (small)Classic Diamond Stud Earrings 0.12 carat (small)IdylIdylIdyl's modular jewelry lets you create multiple looks from a single necklace or pair of earrings, all of which are made with lab-grown diamonds and conflict-free gold.What Idyl lacks in options, it makes up for in versatility. The jewelry brand currently only sells necklaces and earrings but what makes it unique is that everything is modular — all of the pieces are designed to be mixed and matched with various add-ons to create different looks. Once you own the basic round studs, for example, you can purchase 17 separate attachments to look like an entirely new pair of earrings. Idyl also aims to bring transparency and sustainability to its jewelry line by using lab-grown diamonds and traceable solid gold.What to buy:Diamond Stud (small)Laila Chain (small)Lucia (small)Check out our other jewelry guides and roundupsEMS FORSTER PRODUCTIONS/Getty ImagesThe best places to buy engagement rings onlineThe best pieces of jewelry we've ever bought onlineMinimalist jewelry gifts for womenThe best places to buy affordable jewelry that still looks expensiveRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 17th, 2021

18 unique and personal Etsy gifts that come with free shipping, from a map of their travels to a pair of socks with their pet"s face on it

Finding a great gift on Etsy is easy, but shipping can tack on extra costs that make it less appealing. Here are the best Etsy gifts that ship free. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Bearloom Expensive shipping fees are one reason why you might not enjoy shopping for gifts on Etsy. There are a number of Etsy shops that offer free shipping to the US. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. While Etsy is one of our favorite places to find unique gifts, it can be frustrating to shop because of expensive shipping fees. If you're cost-minded or on a budget, these fees might force you to go to another site that doesn't offer as robust a selection of unique or handmade goods but does offer free and convenient shipping.Etsy not only has an incredible selection of products to give as gifts, but they also have tons of options that have free shipping. To save you time from sifting through thousands of Etsy shops, we rounded up a variety of gifts that offer free shipping. If you're in a time crunch, use the "Shipping & Returns" section on each product page to double-check arrival dates and see if the gift has expedited shipping options. We've also marked the gifts that may not arrive in time. Here are the best gifts from Etsy with free shipping: A modern, minimalist watch Etsy Mandujour Clarion Analog Quartz Watch, from $19.99This beautiful and simple watch will make a great gift for anyone in your life.  An elegant pair of birth flower earrings LynnMinimalist LynnMinimalist Personalized Birth Flower Earrings, $40.99You can never go wrong with a pair of minimalist gold earrings as a thoughtful gift to give.  A unique piece of wall art LoveMezay LoveMezay Terracotta Abstract Wall Art, $32.80A trendy piece of art for their wall is a useful and stylish gift.  A monogrammed charcuterie board CopperFoxCompany CopperFoxCompany Personalized Cheese Board, $61A monogrammed wood serving tray or charcuterie board is a cute gift idea for an engagement gift or wedding gift.   A sampler of four sustainable coffees Etsy Driftaway Coffee Beans Sampler, $18For the adventurous lover of coffee in your life, this coffee bean sampler will give them something new to try.  A wall hanging for the astrology lover Bearloom Bearloom Zodiac Woven Wall Art, $44This woven wall art decor has constellation designs for every astrological sign and makes a solid gift that even a picky Leo will love.  An eye-catching lunch bag made from organic cotton Etsy NaughtyCatApparel Reusable Lunch Sack, $15These reusable lunch sacks are super useful and adorable at the same time.  A vintage-style leather Apple Watch band GoldenHornLeather GoldenHornLeather Genuine Brown Leather Apple Watch Band, $35.45To make an Apple Watch look timeless, a leather band will do the trick.  A box of succulents SaltSide SaltSide Succulent Gift Box, $40An alternative to a bouquet of flowers, a box of live succulents is a great gift option for the giftee with a green thumb.  A way to keep track of all the states they've traveled to ThunderBunnyLabs ThunderBunnyLabs 50 States Photo Map, $69This map of the US is a great gift for the family or couple that loves to road trip around the country. They can add their own photos to the map after trips to commemorate their travels.  Granite stones that keep their drink cold without diluting it Etsy LazerGirlz Personalized Whiskey Stones, $14.99These whiskey stones are the definition of drinking whiskey on the rocks.  A mug for avid climbers Etsy Climbergoods Rock Climbing Mug, from $29.99These mugs are creative and a cute gift for the rock-climber giftee.  A bath caddy to create their own home spa setup Etsy PegandAwl Wood Bath Tray, $168-$264For an at-home spa experience, this wooden bath tray will keep their book or drink nice and dry as they relax.  A geometric charging dock Etsy Oakywood Wood Charging Station, $69-$79A gift for keeping them organized with their electronics, this wood charging station is sleek and will look nice on their desk or nightstand too.  A holiday-scented candle Sunday Glo Candles SundayGloCandles Spice Scented Soy & Coconut Wax Candle, $24This vegan candle will fill their home with scents of pumpkin, clove, and ginger.  A custom leather passport cover Leftcoastoriginal Leftcoastoriginal Personalized Leather Passport Cover Holder, $39.57If you're shopping for someone who loves to travel, a passport cover is a perfect gift. Plus, customizing the cover makes it even more special.  A pair of socks with their dog's face on them PetPartyCo PetPartyCo Customized Dog Socks, $16.99Surprise them with a pair of socks featuring their dog's face everywhere. For more gift ideas, check out our guide to the best gifts for dog lovers.  A DIY whiskey kit Doyourgin Doyourgin Whiskey Making Kit, $64This DIY Whiskey Making Kit lets you curate flavors and bottle your own whiskey for a fun, unique experience.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 12th, 2021

25 unique engagement gifts, from someone who recently got married

While wedding gifts are easy to figure out thanks to their registry, the engagement phase can be harder. Here are some engagement gift ideas. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Getty Images Shopping for engagement gifts without a registry to go by can be a little tough. When I got engaged, we got a lot of bottles of wine - a gift that never goes unused, but stops feeling special after a while. If you're looking for something with a little more flair, look no further than the following 25 gifts any couple will make good use of. Shortly after my partner proposed to me over a year ago, we began planning our engagement parties - yes, parties plural. We wanted to celebrate with my family in Florida, their family in New Jersey, and our friends in Brooklyn. Needless to say, it was a lot of work. We decided not to register for our engagement parties because we didn't love the idea of people feeling obligated to buy us fancy gifts twice. For the wedding, sure - we registered for a Vitamix if anyone's wondering. But for the engagement parties, we just wanted to be with our friends and family, celebrating this exciting next step we chose to take together. I'll be honest - money is always a great gift for a newly engaged couple. The cost of a wedding these days could make your head explode, and it's likely that your gift will go toward helping them build a budget. But if you want to get them a physical gift, it's best to go with something relatively inexpensive that they can enjoy together.Save the big gifts for the wedding once they've registered for the things they really want and need.Here are the best gifts for any newly engaged couple: A custom-made tic-tac-toe board for game nights Uncommon Goods Personalized Tic Tac Toe, available at Uncommon Goods, $50The competitive partner will always be game for this unique tic-tac-toe to play on family game night. This fun engagement gift comes custom-made with their initials, making each win feel more personal. A keepsake box to store memories of their special day Uncommon Goods Personalized Wedding Keepsake Library, available at Uncommon Goods, $140This keepsake box stores each precious memory of the couple's love story from their engagement party to their happily ever after. The personalized organizer features drawers, files, fabric bags, and envelopes to preserve your items forever. An elongated cheese board for hosting Anthropologie Long Marble Cheese Board, available at Anthropologie, $38For the couple that loves to host, this elongated cutting board lets their charcuterie spread appear even more aesthetically pleasing and irresistible than before. An instant camera for capturing life's sweetest moments Walmart Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S Instant Camera (with 10-pack film), available at Walmart, $78The fanciest DSLR can't beat the novelty and instant gratification of this Instax camera, which produces mini prints to slip in wallets and hang on the wall. Personally, we plan to pick a couple of these up for our wedding day so guests can take photos of each other and bring them home! A cake stand for sweet celebrations to come Mosser Glass Glass Cake Stand, available at Food52, from $44 (prices vary by color and size)It's becoming more and more common to have the top tier of a wedding cake preserved for the couple to eat on their one year anniversary. Give them something beautiful to serve it on at their engagement party, or to use for all their dinner parties and family gatherings in between.  A decanter for the whiskey-loving couple UncommonGoods Your, Mine, and Ours Engraved Decanter Set, available at Uncommon Goods, $75Whiskey is a way of life for some couples. You know the type that likes to enjoy a night cap at the end of a long day. A nice decanter set with gender-neutral glasses as an engagement party gift will make this couple very happy indeed.  A literal wedding planner for the organized couple Erin Condren Wedding Planner, available at Erin Condren, from $35If I've learned anything from wedding planning over the past year, it's that checklists are your best friend. This planner from the queen of planners, Erin Condren, includes handy lists and built-in timelines to take the guesswork out of wedding planning. It's not for everyone, but if you happen to know that one partner or the other is highly organized and loves making lists (*raises hand quietly*), they'll be grateful for this thoughtful engagement party gift.  A custom map of where they got engaged Grafomap Custom Maps and Posters, available at Grafomap, starting at $49As a Christmas gift this year, I got my partner a Grafomap of the exact spot where she proposed to me. It totally blew her away! The maps can be customized with different colors, zoomed in or out as far as you want, and you can even include a special date on your map.  A calendar with photos of the happy couple Artifact Uprising Brass Easel & Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, from $49Assuming they live together, they'll both be able to take advantage of this little desktop calendar to keep track of their days — but more importantly, they'll be able to reflect on all the sweet memories you chose for them to see again. Photos can easily be pulled from Facebook and Instagram to fill the calendar out.  An engagement photoshoot for the happy couple Wendy/Flytographer Flytographer Gift Card, from $285If they haven't had an engagement photoshoot yet, consider a Flytographer gift card that will help them find and hire an amazing local photographer. The most popular gift card costs $500 and includes a 90-minute photography session and 45 photos. The most affordable gift card costs $250; you get a 30-minute shooting session and 15 photos to treasure for years to come. A place to put all the wine they're going to get Crate and Barrel 11-Bottle Graphite Wine Rack, available at Crate & Barrel, $49.95They'll be getting enough bottles to fill up a whole rack, so this compact storage unit sure will come in handy.  A beautiful bouquet of flowers UrbanStems Personalized Bouquet, available on UrbanStems, from $45If they've been living together for a while and you just can't think of anything to gift at an engagement party, a beautiful bouquet of flowers is always a safe bet. If you're looking for more options, check out the Insider Reviews buying guide to the best flowers you can buy online. A cake-serving set for the wedding day Amazon Kate Spade The Cake Knife and Server, available at Amazon, $69.63The engraving on the cake server says "how sweet it is" — perfectly apropos for a loving couple as an engagement party gift.  A cookbook they'll want to use together for date nights in Anthropologie Date Night in Cookbook, available at Target, $15.99Date night doesn't always have to mean going out for a fancy dinner. Sometimes it's just about spending a night in with a pile of takeout, or taking the time to cook a nice meal together. Get them a cookbook that portions out ingredients for two so they know just what to make and how much to buy at the grocery store.  A Champagne-scented candle that's just as good as the real thing Homesick Let's Toast Candle, available at Homesick, $30.60Shake things up a bit with a Champagne candle instead of a basic bottle (they'll be getting enough of those — I can tell you from experience!). A set of tea for the chillest couple Vadham Tea Vahdam Assorted Tea Gift Set, available at Amazon, $34.99If wine isn't quite their thing, a gift set of loose-leaf tea might be the perfect alternative as an engagement gift. It feels special and celebratory, but you can still operate a vehicle safely after having a few cups. A gift card to pick out a luxurious set of sheets that matches their decor Brooklinen Brooklinen Gift Card Box, available on Brooklinen, from $50Give the newly engaged couple new sheets — and the freedom to personalize prints, sets, and sizes — with a gift card box to the internet's favorite bedding startup, Brooklinen. Our editor in Chief, Ellen Hoffman, calls them one of the best purchases she's ever made. A custom stamp for all their invitations and thank-you notes Paper Source Custom Stamp Gift Set, available on Paper Source, $39.95Planning a wedding includes quite a bit of snail mail — invitations and thank-you notes, for starters — and a custom stamp can make the process go by much faster. Each gift set includes a self-inking stamper, one black ink cartridge, and one gift certificate that allows them to customize a stamp plate online.  A framed picture from their engagement shoot Framebridge Framed digital photos, available at Framebridge, from $69There's a chance they had an engagement photoshoot shortly after the proposal, but even if they didn't or weren't able to, it's not too hard to find a sweet photo of them together on social media to be framed. With Framebridge, all you have to do is upload the digital photo to the website, pick a frame and frame size, and they'll do the actual printing, framing, and shipping for you.  A monogrammed passport and luggage tag set for frequent travelers Leatherology Leatherology Passport Cover + Luggage Tag Set, $65 [monogram from $20]For their honeymoon and all their future travels, they'll definitely make use of this set. Either split the engagement gift between them, or purchase one for each person — either way, you can't go wrong with a simple and useful gift like this. An unexpected and clever sweet treat Sugarfina Sweet & Sparkling 8-Piece Candy Bento Box, available at Sugarfina, $55Pop the Champagne ... bears, that is! They're probably going to be drinking a lot of Champagne in the upcoming months as they celebrate their engagement, so gift them these sparkling Champagne candies for a sweet, edible change.  A candle that brings a romantic ambiance to any room Otherland Single Flame Gift Box, available at Otherland, $36Candles might be a common gift, but Otherland's are among the best ones to give. That's because the scents are unique, the packaging is gorgeous, and everything down to the matchbox message — the engagement-themed one says "The Perfect Match" — is thoughtfully designed. A cute set of mugs Shelley Klein Personalized Family Mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, from $30When my partner and I got engaged, someone sent us a set of these mugs with our avatars printed on and the year we met on the back. I'm not one for kitschy gifts, but honestly these were too cute. The idea itself was so thoughtful and sweet, and the mugs themselves are actually really great quality.  A book with ideas to add spontaneity to date nights The Adventure Challenge The Adventure Challenge Couples Edition, for $39.99This book can help couples of any relationship stage liven up their date nights with fun experiences and adventures, like cooking a delicious apple pie blindfolded and recreating your grandparents' first date. It comes with 50 ideas that range from $0-$50, but they can all be modified to fit within their budget. The pages also leave room for them to add photos and journal about each experience. A smart lighting kit to add a little flair to their home Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation), available at Amazon, $39.99Their entry to the perfect smart-home setup starts with this Echo Dot, which will let them use their Alexa enabled devices with a simple voice command. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 10th, 2021

The 4 best bath towels in 2021

We tested 13 bath towels ranging from waffle weave to organic cotton to find the best towels in 2021. Connie Chen/Insider Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky The best towel should absorb water quickly, feel pleasant, and hold up after frequent washes. The plush, 800-GSM Kassatex Atelier Bath Towel dries slowly, but it's very absorbent and soft. We also tested 13 towels of various textures and weights to find the best one for your preferences. It's something you use every day and probably don't think twice about: your bath towel. But dry off with a thin and scratchy towel, and you'll definitely notice. When shopping for a new towel, always keep comfort and durability in mind. "A towel is a deeply personal decision," said Emily Forrest, the director of communications and resident towel expert at wedding registry site Zola. "The main factors to consider are size, material or type of cotton (Egyptian, Pima, and Supima cotton are all very fluffy), and also GSM [a measurement of the towel's weight], which will define how luxurious and also durable the towel is. Price and color are of course other factors to consider." For more on different materials and towel terms - including a deeper explanation of GSM - check out our FAQ slide. Since not everyone wants a heavy, plush towel, our final selection represents a variety of textures, weights, and budgets. To test the best towels, we evaluated the durability, feel, and absorption of each of the 13 contenders in this guide. Read more about our methodology here. Here are the best bath towels in 2021Best towel overall: Kassatex Atelier Bath TowelBest quick-dry towel: Pottery Barn Hydrocotton Organic Bath TowelBest waffle towel: Onsen Bath TowelBest Turkish towel: Coyuchi Mediterranean Organic Towel Best towel overall Connie Chen/Insider Kassatex's Atelier Towels are the densest and most absorbent of all the towels we tried. They remain soft after several washes, and the hanging loops are a thoughtful touch. Weight: 800 GSM Size: 30" x 56" Colors: 6 Customization: Add a 16-character monogram for $7 Pros: Soft, heavyweight, absorbent, durable, has a hanging loop, monogramming is availableCons: Dries slowly, limited color selection This thick towel is heavy and absorbent, with an 800 GSM (a measurement of a towel's weight), and takes a while to dry (about four to six hours in my experience) but it's all worth it if you want to wrap yourself in the equivalent of a comforting hug. Made from combed cotton, which is cotton that goes through an additional process that combs out shorter fibers and impurities, the towel feels soft and sumptuous. While other towels I tested got rougher after multiple washes, the Kassatex towel remained as soft as it was at first use. Even though it wasn't as plush as a close contender from Frontgate, I loved Kassatex's towel the most because of its long-term softness potential. It has an attractive dobby border — the decorative weave above the edge of the towel — that's not too big or small. If you don't like to hang your towels on a bar, you have options: each towel has a sturdy sewn-in hanging loop. I tested the towel in the color Chalk, which was a little lighter in person than the photo on the brand's website indicated, so if you're choosing a specific shade to go with your bathroom style, keep this discrepancy in mind. The good news is that Kassatex offers 60-day free returns on non-monogrammed towels. Best quick-dry towel Connie Chen/Insider The Hydrocotton Organic Bath Towel from Pottery Barn has a soft, extra fluffy, and substantial feel and it dries surprisingly quickly despite its weight. Weight: 550 GSM Size: 28" x 55" Colors: 16 Customization: Add a 3-character monogram for $12 Pros: Fluffy, made from organic cotton, dries quickly, comes in many colors, monogramming is availableCons: Loose threads may emerge after multiple washes I usually associate quick-drying towels with thin or textured construction, but this towel from Pottery Barn proves you can enjoy a fluffy, moderately thick feel without compromising drying ability.On average, the towel took between 3 and 3.5 hours to air dry. Our picks for best waffle towel and best Turkish towel below actually dried faster. However, we're designating the Pottery Barn our best quick-dry pick because it also has the traditionally soft and fluffy cotton terry feel that most people are looking for. Based on our testing, the towel was the most well-rounded quick-drying towel. The towel retains its softness after multiple washes because it's made from 100% Turkish, GOTS-certified cotton and with untwisted yarns. Forrest said, "To make a towel, the yarns are twisted together, and the more the yarn is twisted the harder and less absorbent the towel becomes. But, if the towel is constructed with very little twist or with no twist, the outcome is a fluffier towel that will dry more efficiently because there is simply space between the yarn so each strand can dry."That being said, I did notice a few loose threads emerge after I took it out of the dryer. We'll continue to do more washing and drying tests and monitor whether more threads come out.  Best waffle towel Connie Chen/Insider The Onsen Bath Towel is a lightweight and resilient waffle-weave option that absorbs water well but doesn't drag or hang heavy like other waffle towels. Weight: 400 GSM Size: 31" x 57" Colors: 8 Customization: Not availablePros: Light, dries quickly, comfortable texture, durableCons: Thinner and less soft than traditional towelsFluffy, thick terry towels can sometimes feel stifling, especially if your body temperature runs hot or you live in a warm climate. Onsen's bath towel is a great alternative because it's thin, light, and quick-drying but still highly absorbent and comfortable. It's made from 100% Supima cotton, which is a fiber that's strong yet soft. Adding to the towel's durability is a relaxed waffle-weave construction that seems to stretch and adapt to however you handle the towel. Though I could see the thin, individual fibers, I was impressed with how the towel never came out of the wash with frayed or loose threads. It also never snagged on my jewelry, which was a joyous revelation since I keep my earrings and nose ring on in the shower, and they can catch even on terry towels. Meanwhile, the bonded 2-inch edges provide structure to the flexible fabric.Though it has the measurements of an average-sized bath towel, it dries quickly and takes up much less space, making it a good travel towel. And unlike other waffle weave products we've tried, the Onsen towel doesn't shrink in the wash. The lattice texture can take some getting used to, but overall the material feels pleasant and springy. The towel also absorbed water off of my skin without clinging to it, a combination that's especially welcome in humid weather.  Best Turkish towel Connie Chen/Insider The Coyuchi Mediterranean Organic Towel is a lightweight, tightly woven towel made from organic Turkish cotton that not only looks great but also ticks all the boxes for comfort, absorption, and thoughtful production standards. Weight: 320 GSM Size: 28" x 54" Colors: 5Customization: Not availablePros: Lightweight, absorbent, durable, stylish, sustainably made, doubles as a beach towelCons: Thin, fringed edges can tangle or unravel Turkish (also known as Hammam or Fouta) towels are characterized by their traditional flat weave and knotted fringes. Coyuchi's Mediterranean towel is a thoughtful and beautiful interpretation, made from Turkish-grown and woven organic cotton and available in five coastal-inspired colors. Its fringes are soft, thick, and hand-knotted. While thin, the towel is tightly woven and sturdy. It's not soft or fluffy like a cotton terry towel, which means it can also double as an effective beach towel since sand slides right off the woven surface.Turkish towels aren't for everyone, but they dry quickly and are very lightweight and packable, making them ideal for vacations. I brought along this towel on many recent road trips, and it barely took up any space. The main con I discovered is that the fringed edges can get tangled in the wash or unravel. It also seems to bleach more easily than the other towels I tested; if I could go back, I'd probably choose the white color to hide any potential bleach stains. Coyuchi only uses GOTS-certified organic cotton, which certifies that every part of the supply chain is free of toxic chemicals and meets social standards for worker conditions. It also takes back products to be mended, cleaned, and resold in order to reduce textile waste. Thanks to practices like this, the towel is sold at a premium price, but you'll know exactly what your money is going towards.   What else we tested Brooklinen's Ultralight Towel (left) and Riley's Spa Bath Towel (right) Connie Chen/Insider What else we recommend and why Revival Bath Towel: Revival started out as a rug company, and it surprised us with its well-made, soft, and weighty towel. It's made from long-staple organic Turkish cotton and has an attractive wavy pattern. The only problem we encountered is that the towel loops may snag on jewelry. Boll & Branch Plush Bath Towel: This towel has all the certifications that matter: Fair Trade, GOTS, and Oeko-Tex. It's on the more dense side at 700 GSM and comes in nine versatile, earthy colors. We also liked that it was quite fluffy for its weight. The only potential problem you may run into is loose threads after multiple washes and uses. Brooklinen Ultralight Bath Towel: These super light 320-GSM towels only come in a set of two and are made from 100% Turkish cotton. Consistent with our experience with Brooklinen's sheets, these towels delivered a strong performance for a great value. Unlike other thin and light towels, these are strong, durable, and very soft — a nice change from the usual scratchy, threadbare towels you'll encounter at the same GSM. Riley Spa Bath Towel: This 700-GSM towel is made with combed, long-staple cotton and has a hanging loop for convenient drying and storage. It can also be personalized for an extra $10. It's heavy, thick, and durable; however, it's pricier and less dense than the Kassatex, our top pick. Frontgate Resort Cotton Bath Towel: This towel is soft, thick, and plush, with a luxurious and almost spongy feel. It's absorbent and doesn't cling to the skin, and there are a ton of colors to choose from. After a few washes, it started to feel less fluffy, although it was still comfortable. The dobby border may be too big for some people's tastes. Sand Cloud Towel: I've used this durable Turkish-style towel for a couple of years now, and I love its versatility as a regular bath towel or beach towel. Its price and GSM are pretty close to Coyuchi's, it comes in various sizes, and it has a social initiative too, with 10% of profits going towards marine conservation efforts. Ultimately, Coyuchi's towel and fringed edges felt a bit more substantial, though.  What we don't recommend and why Tombo Bath Towel: Tombo's towel is a lot smaller than average (25 inches by 53 inches). Even though it has a pleasant gauzy and cushioned feel, it's too small for the price. Weezie Piped Edge Bath Towel: Weezie's towel is soft and fluffy, but it's expensive for what you get. However, it's a nice option for gifts or special occasions because Weezie offers a large variety of custom embroidery styles. Wamsutta Micro Cotton Bath Towel: Though the price and large color selection are tempting, these towels weren't that soft or comfortable. However, they are absorbent. Note: This towel is no longer sold by Bed Bath & Beyond.  Our testing methodology Connie Chen/Insider Here's how we tested the towels over a period of eight months. Knowing that this is a fairly short amount of time, we'll continue to follow these steps in the upcoming months and note any changes.Washed each towel three times and evaluated it for shrinkage, fraying, color loss, and roughness. Dried my entire body after a shower. Used each towel to wring out water from my wet hair (I have thick, medium-coarse hair).Timed how long each towel took to dry completely when hung normally on a towel bar. Noted softness, fluffiness, and thickness and how the towel clung to or wicked water off damp skin.  Bath towel FAQs Connie Chen/Insider What is GSM? GSM stands for grams per square meter and is a measure of towel density. The higher the GSM, the heavier and more absorbent the towel is, and the longer it will take to dry."Typically, the higher the GSM (900 is considered very high), the more luxe and plush the towel. A lower GSM (300 would be pretty low) indicates a lighter weight and more quick-drying towel," said Emily Forrest, an expert on towels at the wedding registry site Zola. "A safe bet is a towel with a GSM that is between 400-600 for a towel that's not on either end of the sumptuous to thin spectrum."Why do my towels smell? If a wet towel is left bunched up in the hamper or on the ground, mildew starts to grow, leading to a musty smell. To avoid mildew, hang your towel right after use so it has the space and time to dry completely.If it still smells, wash it in a hot cycle with a cup of white vinegar, and then run it in a second wash cycle with half a cup of baking soda. Dry it in a machine or hang it up to line-dry. Why do my towels stain or become discolored? There are a couple of possible culprits for stains and discoloration:Skincare products that contain benzoyl peroxide. People who regularly use benzoyl peroxide products may want to consider sticking to white or light-colored towels.Using fabric softener or bleach in the washing machine. Even if you don't actively add bleach, leftover bleach in the dispenser can sometimes leak into the current load. Bath sheets vs. bath towels The towels we test and review here are bath towels and typically measure around 28 to 31-inches wide and 54 to 58-inches long. Bath towels are designed to drape around your shoulders or wrap around your body comfortably, but if you find you want even more coverage, you'll want the much larger bath sheet. Bath sheets typically measure around 35 to 40-inches wide and 68 to 72-inches long.Keep in mind that the increase in size also means bath sheets are more expensive and take longer to dry than bath towels. What is Oeko Tex?You may notice that some of our best picks have an Oeko Tex certification. This label means the final product has been independently tested for more than 100 harmful chemical substances and is safe for human use.While it's not the only certification out there, it's widely used and known in the textile industry. Our experts say you should look for the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification for basic safety, but if you also care about manufacturing, look for STeP by Oeko Tex. It checks for environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and safe practices all along the production process.What is GOTS?The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is another certification, used specifically for organic textiles. GOTS-certified sheets contain at least 95% certified organic fibers and meet environmental and social standards at every stage of processing and manufacturing. Taking care of your towelsWash your towels before you use them for the first time. Manufacturers often add finishes or softeners to the towel, and this buildup can make the towel less effective and absorbent. "Go easy on the detergent," Forrest said. "Because too much can lead to residue buildup, which diminishes the fluff factor." Wash your towels frequently. "Think about when you dry yourself off with your towel — you are collecting oils and skin, and so you want to wash your towels every few uses. [That's also] why it's important to have a stocked linen closet," Forrest said.Is it OK to use the same towel for a week?A bath towel may seem relatively clean since you only use it to dry off after a shower. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Bath towels provide an environment for bacteria to build up and grow. You should try to wash your towel after three or four uses to keep your towel in good condition. Are Turkish or Egyptian cotton towels better?Both Turkish and Egyptian cotton towels feature longer fibers for efficiently absorbing moisture. Egyptian cotton towels tend to be thicker than Turkish cotton, so they will absorb water better.However, since Turkish towels are less thick, they will dry faster than Egyptian cotton towels. It ultimately depends on your preferences for towels, but Turkish and Egyptian cotton towels are both soft, absorbent, and durable.  Glossary Long-staple cotton: Cotton with longer-staple fibers that result in smoother and stronger yarn. Short-staple cotton, on the other hand, has fiber ends that stick out and cause the towel to be rougher and less abrasion-resistant.Egyptian cotton: Cotton grown in Egypt. It's often assumed that Egyptian cotton is long-staple, but it could also be lower-quality, short-staple cotton that just happens to be from Egypt, so be careful of this labeling, and look specifically for "long-staple cotton." Pima cotton: Also known by its trademark name, Supima cotton. Extra long-staple cotton that is grown only in the US and has a fiber length of at least 1.5 inches. Extra long-staple cotton is even smoother, more flexible, and more resistant to pilling than long-staple cotton.Turkish cotton: Extra long-staple cotton that is grown in Turkey, usually in the Aegean region.Combed cotton: Cotton that has been combed through to remove impurities and shorter fibers. The fibers left over are the longest, resulting in an ultra-soft yarn once woven. Ringspun cotton: While regular cotton fibers are twisted together into yarn and then woven, ringspun cotton is continuously twisted and thinned to make a smoother yarn. Zero twist cotton: Cotton made with yarns that are not twisted together and are instead held by a wrapping thread, which lets them be woven without breaking. The thread is removed after weaving, and the final cotton is softer than twisted cotton. Microfiber: A thin, synthetic fiber usually made from polyester. It's gentle and highly absorbent. Dobby border: The decorative weave near the edge of a towel.  Check out our other bathroom accessory guides Amazon The best shower headsThe best bath matsThe best shower curtainsThe best shower curtain liners Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 9th, 2021

18 adorable Baby Yoda gifts that "Mandalorian" fans will love

Baby Yoda is the most beloved part of Disney Plus' "The Mandalorian." Products featuring the popular character make great holiday gifts. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Baby Yoda, also known as Grogu, in "The Mandalorian." Disney Plus Baby Yoda, now known as Grogu, is the breakout character of "The Mandalorian" on Disney Plus. The powerful yet adorable alien has inspired a slew of products that make great gifts for the holidays. Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all Insider Reviews gift guides. Even if you haven't watched "The Mandalorian" on Disney Plus, you've undoubtedly seen all the Baby Yoda memes, fan art, and merch. As soon as the lovable green creature appeared on TV screens, everyone wanted a piece of Baby Yoda (aka Grogu). Thankfully, there are now tons of products inspired by the breakout "Star Wars" character. From toys to coffee mugs, there's a perfect gift out there for that special Baby Yoda superfan in your life. Here are 18 Baby Yoda gifts for fans of 'The Mandalorian': A Disney Plus gift subscription Disney Plus Disney Plus gift subscription, $79.99 for a year, available at Disney PlusIn addition to hundreds of classic Disney movies, old shows, and original programming, Disney Plus is the only place to see Baby Yoda in action. From day one of Disney Plus, "The Mandalorian" has been a hit both with audience and critics. If your giftee doesn't already have Disney Plus, now's the time to get it for them.Here's everything to know about Disney Plus and about its gift subscription here. A fun Baby Yoda ornament for the holidays Amazon Hallmark Keepsake "The Child" Christmas Ornament, $16, available at Amazon Baby Yoda fans will appreciate this adorable ornament hanging from their tree during the holidays. The playful keepsake is an ideal stocking stuffer and features the character holding his favorite knob while sitting on top of a stormtrooper helmet.  A Baby Yoda-themed Monopoly game Gamestop Monopoly: "Star Wars" The Child Edition, $15.74, available at GameStopMonopoly remains a timeless board game and there are many "Star Wars"-themed versions out there. This one is all about Baby Yoda, and features the character front and center on its artwork and cardboard player tokens.   A pair of comfy Baby Yoda slippers Gamestop The Child Moccasin Slippers, $14.97, available at GameStopWith these Baby Yoda-inspired moccasin slippers, your giftee can lounge around their house and keep their feet warm in style. The Child is pictured in his cradle and the inner sherpa lining is colored green to match the theme. Note: Only the small/medium size is currently in stock at GameStop. A funny Baby Yoda pocket T-shirt Amazon Precious Cargo Pocket T-Shirt, $22.99, available on AmazonProtect The Child at all costs by carrying him around in the pocket of your T-shirt.   Collectible Baby Yoda figures Amazon "Star Wars" the Bounty Collection, The Child 2.2-inch Collectible Toys: Sipping Soup and Blanket Wrapped, from $16.99, available at Hasbro Pulse and AmazonJust when you thought Baby Yoda couldn't get more adorable, these collectible mini figurine sets are here to prove you wrong. Each set comes with two different Baby Yodas inspired by memorable scenes from the show: The above set depicts Baby Yoda sipping soup and wrapped in a blanket, but you can also purchase Baby Yoda with a Mandalorian helmet or a froggy snack.  A Baby Yoda puzzle they can frame after completing Amazon "Star Wars: The Mandalorian" - The Child 500-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle, $7.63, available at Amazon This 500-piece puzzle would be great for any puzzle lover, especially those who like to frame them after they're completed and hang them on the wall.   A cuddly and soft Baby Yoda plush shopDisney The Child Plush Toy, $24.99, available at shopDisneyThis Baby Yoda plush is one of the cutest and cuddliest versions of the Child we've seen. A Baby Yoda PopSocket PopSockets Baby Yoda PopSockets, from $15, available at PopSocket and AmazonMake your phone 10 times adorable by adding a Baby Yoda PopSocket. They'll smile every time they pick up their phone, which is about every second.  A coffee mug marking the moment when Mando first met Baby Yoda shopDisney The Mandalorian - The Child Film Still Mug, $16.95, available at shopDisneyMemorialize the moment when Mando discovers the intergalactic sensation that is Baby Yoda with this coffee mug. You can customize the size, style, and color of the mug too. A tall posable Baby Yoda figure Hasbro Pulse "Star Wars" The Child 6.5-inch Posable Action Figure, $11.99, available at Best BuyIf they want a bigger Baby Yoda, this will do just fine. At 6.5 inches, it's among the bigger active figures and the head and arms can be manipulated into various positions. A warm and comfortable Baby Yoda crewneck sweatshirt Target 'The Mandalorian' Sweatshirt, $31.98, available at TargetMay the Force be with you every time you wear this sweatshirt. The comfy shirt features a silhouette of the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda. A set of Baby Yoda stickers BeewitchingDesigns/Etsy Baby Yoda Stickers, from $1.90, available at EtsyDeck out your phone, laptop, tablet, calendar, and more with these Baby Yoda stickers so he and the Force will always be with you. A Baby Yoda bobblehead Disney The Child Pop! Vinyl Bobble Head Figure by Funko, $9.99, available at Best BuyThe Child Super Sized Pop! Vinyl Bobble Head Figure by Funko, $29.93, available at WalmartAt a little under four inches in height, this Funko bobblehead of the Child will fit nicely on a desk, bedside table, or even on the front dash of your car.Funko also sells a 10-inch version of the Child — still Baby Yoda, just a bit taller. A book of collectible Mandalorian and the Child-inspired posters shopDisney "Star Wars: The Mandalorian" Poster Book, $7.99, available at shopDisneyThis collectible book features 16 double-sided pull-out posters so you can cherish artwork featuring the Child (and sure, Mando too) forever.  Another Baby Yoda plush toy Disney The Child Plush by Mattel, from $17.99, available at Walmart and Best BuyThis 11-inch toy isn't as a soft as the other plush we recommend (this one has a vinyl head), but it comes in special packaging that looks like the crib from the show. A moveable Baby Yoda with its favorite food, broth, and toy Target "Star Wars" The Black Series The Child Action Figure, $18.35, available at WalmartThey can move the head and arms on this Baby Yoda to create and animate scenes while waiting for the next season of "The Mandalorian." It comes with a full suite of Baby Yoda accessories like the frog, cup of bone broth, and ball. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 4th, 2021

31 magical "Harry Potter" gifts every Potterhead will love

These magical gift ideas for your favorite wizards and muggles will impress even the most die-hard "Harry Potter" fan you know. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Le Creuset's new Harry Potter collection. Williams Sonoma If you're looking to gift a "Harry Potter" fan, don't trust anything that wasn't written by one. We put together a list of gift ideas to suit every witch, wizard, and half-blood out there - from baking supplies to Patronus lamps. Need more gift ideas? Check out all of our gift guides here. It's hard to imagine someone not being a "Harry Potter" fan, save for You-Know-Who himself. But for that one slightly obsessed friend who has a Deathly Hallows tattoo, is a total wiz at "Harry Potter" trivia, and has re-read the books multiple times, the term "fan" probably doesn't even begin to cover it. If they have yet to receive their Hogwarts letter, the next best thing they could get might just be one of these gifts. We rounded up something fun for every type of muggle and wizard, from the ones who just love the movies (aka the muggles) to the die-hards who can tell you the answer to what you'd get if you added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood (the wizards). 31 of the best "Harry Potter" gift ideas: A casserole dish for the "You-Know-Who" in your life Williams Sonoma Le Creuset x Harry Potter Lord Voldemort Casserole Dish, available at Williams Sonoma, $140 Not every "Harry Potter" fan is rooting for the protagonist. For those with a soft spot for ol' Voldy, this all-black casserole dish features the Dark Mark and the Elder Wand. Use its dark power to transform uncooked casseroles into piping hot dinners, just like magic.  A cozy Forbidden Forest robe Vera Bradley Harry Potter Cozy Life Robe, available at Vera Bradley, $75Cozy up for Harry Potter movie marathons with this plush Vera Bradley robe. This limited-edition robe feels as dreamy as it looks with its charming Forbidden Forest imagery. A set of the Golden Snitch ice molds Williams Sonoma Harry Potter Snitch Ice Balls set, available at Williams Sonoma, $21.95If your drinks aren't staying cold for long enough, these spellbinding Golden Snitch ice balls do the trick. These oversized ice molds melt slowly so you can enjoy your drink for longer, unlike other muggle ice trays.   A refined Deathly Hallows patterned tie Nordstrom Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Silk Tie, available at Nordstrom, $40.60This sophisticated Deathly Hallows silk tie is subtle enough to wear for any businessman who's a secret Potterhead at heart.  A monogrammed velvet travel case Pottery Barn Teen Harry Potter Velvet Train Case, available at Pottery Barn Teen, $79 Stash your travel necessities in this plush train case that makes each trip a magical experience. Even if the destination isn't Hogwarts, this travel case shows off your Hogwarts house with pride and you can stylize it with your name.  A wizard wand makeup brushes set to make their makeup glam more bewitching Amazon Harry Potter Wizard Wand Makeup Brushes Set, available at Amazon, $16.99If they're looking to add a bit of magic to their beauty routine, this wizard wand shaped makeup brush set will create the most exquisite glam. This 10 piece set is used for eyeshadow, eyebrows, eyeliner, lips, concealer, contouring, highlighter and blending.  This Expecto Patronum pillow cover that will give you magical dreams Pottery Barn Teen Harry Potter Expecto Patronum Pillow Cover, available at Pottery Barn Teen, $39.50Keep your bedroom safe from Dementors with this Expecto Patronum pillow cover. Your happy memories will send you off to sweet dreams of Hogwarts and charms class. And if you want to keep muggles unaware of your magical inclinations, the pillow cover reverses to solid blue. A set of socks any house elf would love to receive Amazon Harry Potter Ankle Socks Pack, available at Amazon, $12.90I hope you'll be buying these for every house elf you know. S.P.E.W. thanks you for your generosity. An illustrated collection of the "Harry Potter" books to make reading them again feel like a new experience J.K. Rowling Harry Potter The Illustrated Collection (Books 1-3), available at Amazon, $85.52Perfect for Potterhead parents, this collection of illustrated books is a child's perfect introduction to the series. Parents can read aloud while children marvel at the gorgeous illustrations as they too fall in love with images of Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, Buckbeak, and Dobby. But this boxed set isn't just for kids. It's the perfect gift for someone who would love to see their beloved universe interpreted in a new way in full color. A Hedwig jar for your Honeyduke's sweets Harry Potter Harry Potter Hedwig Cookie Jar, available at Williams Sonoma, $69.95Pay homage to this true hero of the Second Wizarding War by giving her a prominent place in the home in the form of this cookie jar. It's the least we can do to honor her great sacrifice. And it's a great place to store the cookies they made with their new Harry Potter cookie cutters. A Wizard Chess set that won't destroy itself every time you play The Noble Collection Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set, available at Amazon, $49This might be one instance where I prefer the muggle version to the wizard version. This Wizard Chess set doesn't come with the danger of bodily harm when bishop takes knight. It's also convenient for those of use who love to play chess, but just don't have the space in our cursed dungeon to keep the life-sized set. A set of cookie cutters for your favorite house elf who loves to bake Harry Potter Harry Potter Cookie Cutter Set, available at Williams Sonoma, $29.95These cookie cutters (or biscuit cutters if you're Professor McGonagall) let them bake up some of their favorite Potter icons like Hedwig, a Nimbus 3000, a Golden Snitch, and more. They'll want to treat their friends to some festive treats during their next "Harry Potter" marathon. As McGonagall says, "Have a biscuit, Potter!"Check out all of Williams Sonoma's "Harry Potter" items here.  A Hogwarts PopSocket grip for muggle communication devices Pop Sockets Harry Potter Hogwarts PopSockets, available at PopSockets, from $15Our smartphones might be the closest things we muggles have to magic wands. Think about it: We use them to communicate, have all the knowledge in the world at our fingertips, and even control other devices from afar. Treat their phone like the true magical tool it is by adding some Hogwarts flair with this PopSockets grip. A welcome mat that shows off your wizard pride Harry Potter Harry Potter Wizards Welcome Door Mat, available at BoxLunch, $29.90Unfortunately science hasn't figured out a way to allow muggles to apparate yet, so we have to settle for walking, which means dirty shoes are always a danger. Keep that "No-Maj" dirt off their clean floors with this doormat that clearly states their preferred company. A Golden Snitch clock that's not hard to find Harry Potter Harry Potter Golden Snitch Clock, available at Pottery Barn, $49There's a "Snitch in time" joke somewhere in here... A house scarf to keep you warm when you venture out to Hogsmeade Amazon Harry Potter Scarf, available at Amazon, $34.95This scarf is a classic. It's almost an exact replica of the ones the characters wear in the films, and it's one of the basic pieces of Harry Potter memorabilia every fan should own. They can represent their house or remain neutral with a Hogwarts crest version if they just can't come to terms with the fact that they're a Hufflepuff when they've always insisted they were a Slytherin. A build-it-yourself Hogwarts LEGO set that muggles will have to do by hand LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall LEGO Set, available at Walmart, $149.99Kids will love this Lego set that lets them build Hogwarts and recreate iconic scenes from the books and films. Plus it features the whole gang from Harry, Ron, and Hermione all the way to Nearly Headless Nick, Professor Quirrell, and the Basilisk. It's rated for ages 9 to 14, which is just the right age for them to be reading the books for the first time. This is a great pairing for someone just discovering the world of Harry Potter. A Time Turner clock that actually spins Harry Potter Harry Potter Time-Turner Clock, available at Pottery Barn, $69It may not be able to take them back in time or help them be in two places at once, but this time-turner clock will help them stay on top of their appointments. Its functional hourglass on the back can even time study breaks. Don't be late for divination class! "Harry Potter"-themed jewelry too dainty to ever become Horcruxes Alex and Ani Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Adjustable Bracelet, available at Alex and Ani, $69If they prefer their fandom to take a subtler form, this Deathly Hallows bracelet is a great choice. It's essentially a more delicate and elegant version of the necklace Xenophilius Lovegood wears to Bill and Fleur's wedding. It comes in both silver and gold and it's adjustable so they can perfectly position it as they see fit. Might we suggest wearing it to the next Yule Ball?Check out all of Alex and Ani's other "Harry Potter"-themed jewelry here. A sentimental lamp that projects Snape's Patronus Amazon Harry Potter Snape's Patronus Lamp, available at Amazon, $20.99Always. Just a single word has become one of the most famous lines in the entire Harry Potter series. It's an encapsulation of Severus Snape's entire story arc and a profession of unconditional and everlasting love that rocked readers everywhere. What better way to provide a reminder of that love than in the form of light? A notebook with a moving image that looks like a cutout from the Daily Prophet Amazon Harry Potter Lenticular Movement Notebook, available at Amazon, $6.60This notebook with Harry's wanted poster on the cover is a great place to keep a journal that's not possessed by the soul of the Dark Lord. Horcrux free, guaranteed! Plus, the lenticular photo moves when the notebook is shifted back and forth, giving it an extra magical air. A jewelry holder they won't need to go under water to open Pottery Barn Teen Harry Potter Quidditch Hoops Jewelry Holder, available from Pottery Barn Teen, $99They can keep their jewelry tangle-free and hidden from any nargles who might try to swipe them with this Quidditch inspired jewelry holder. A cookbook that imagines recipes for everything from Pumpkin Juice to Acid Pops Dinah Bucholz Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, available at Amazon, $9.99Forget the magic, I was always envious of the food in the Harry Potter universe! This cookbook lets them recreate some of the gang's favorite meals, drinks, and sweet treats. It's got all the classics like butterbeer and pumpkin pasties, classic British desserts like treacle tarts, and some deep cuts from the HP universe like lemon drops, the password to Dumbledore's office in "The Chamber of Secrets," and Kreacher's french onion soup from "The Deathly Hallows," the best Harry's ever had. Plus it tells you exactly where in the books to find the references to each food. A jar of Bertie Bott's Beans that... don't all taste good. Williams Sonoma Harry Potter Bertie Bott's Beans, available at Williams Sonoma, $9.99Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans are perhaps the most famous sweet to come out of the Harry Potter universe, and the flavor roulette is half the fun. Will they get tutti frutti or vomit? They won't know until they try. Plus, the glass jar that remains after they've eaten all the beans is the perfect place to store their powdered root of asphodel for potions class. A blanket to curl up with when your day's mischief has finally been managed Warner Brothers Harry Potter Marauder's Map Tapestry Throw Blanket, available at Amazon, $23.53Once their mischief has been managed, they'll love getting cozy with this Marauder's Map throw blanket to rest up for their next adventure. It's perfect for just lounging around or for movie marathons on the couch. Accio, popcorn! A disappearing Marauder's Map pillow case that magically appears with the right light Pottery Barn Harry Potter Marauder's Map Pillow Cover, available at PB Teen, from $49.50Turn on your black light to reveal the Marauder's Map, printed on the front and back of this decorative pillow cover. Just don't carry it around your house or dorm — muggles might get suspicious.  A spinning toy that any seeker will want to fidget with MAYBO Sports Golden Snitch Fidget Spinner, available at Amazon, $11.99Every Harry Potter fan gets the chance to finally catch the Golden Snitch with this identical fidget spinner. The iridescent toy keeps them occupied and entertained with each spin. A magical mug that reveals the Marauder's Map with hot liquid Morphing Mugs Harry Potter Morphing Mugs, available at Amazon, $20.99To a muggle, this is just a black coffee mug. But witches and wizards know that once it's full of hot frothy butterbeer, it comes to life to reveal the Marauder's Map. If butterbeer's not their thing, any hot beverage will do — like coffee. Coffee's magic, right? And once they finish their drink, the mug will transform back to black. Mischief Managed.If you want something more classic, you can opt for these mugs that heat change from black to the original covers of the "Harry Potter" books. An invisibility cloak Amazon Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak, available at Amazon, $69.96Every kid who's ever known of Harry's Invisibility Cloak has wanted one of their own. Now they can pair this movie-accurate cloak with an app that actually makes you disappear. Channel your inner Weasley and record your mischief as you float around undetected. Just watch out for Mr. Filch. Snacks for the train ride to Hogwarts Williams Sonoma Harry Potter Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, available at Williams Sonoma, $24.95Give the gift of these Harry Potter Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, since a certain student has the tendency to buy up the entire contents of the Honeydukes Trolley on the Hogwarts Express. This way, they won't be without a snack on their magical journey. Plus they can share with friends, no matter what house they've been sorted into. A swaddle set for the Potter-loving parent Aiden + Anais Aden + Anais Harry Potter 47" Classic Swaddle Set, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $59.99Start their love of the magical world of witchcraft and wizardry young with this set of four swaddle blankets with Harry Potter motifs. These cozy and comforting cloths keep your young witch or wizard safely asleep with gentle patterns won't get in the way of their slumber.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 2nd, 2021

A California couple celebrates their wedding at "the coolest Taco Bell in the world" as the fast-food wedding trend grows

The high school sweethearts held their wedding reception at Taco Bell Cantina Pacifica, a location popular for its breathtaking seaside views. Analicia Garcia and Kyle Howser share a taco at Taco Bell Cantina Pacifica to celebrate their marriage. Courtesy of Emily Jenks A California couple celebrated their wedding reception at Taco Bell's Cantina Pacifica location this week. The high school sweethearts were inspired after seeing TikToks about weddings held at Taco Bell Cantina Las Vegas. "Of course, since it is a Cantina, we also had the spiked Freezes as well as beer and wine for the guests," the bride told Insider. Nothing quite says "Just Married" like a Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme. That's especially true for high school sweethearts, Analicia Garcia and Kyle Howser. After sealing the deal at San Francisco City Hall on Tuesday, the newlyweds hosted their wedding reception at Taco Bell Cantina in Pacifica, California - a location often hailed as "the nicest Taco Bell in the world" thanks to its breathtaking seaside views.The lovers join a growing number of couples opting to celebrate their nuptials at fast-food joints like Taco Bell. The company told Insider in June it has married nearly 500 couples at its Las Vegas Cantina location - which boasts its own chapel and a $600 wedding package featuring a half-hour ceremony, officiant, custom merchandise, and food and drinks - since it first began offering the service in 2018. And Taco Bell isn't the only fast-food chain attracting couples tying the knot. Brands ranging from White Castle to Olive Garden have started offering everything from wedding giveaways to catering. This week alone, a couple released wedding photos taken at a Subway restaurant in Michigan where the two met.Garcia told Insider she first got the idea after stumbling across a TikTok video about weddings at Cantina Las Vegas. She then contacted James Aman, a district manager for several Taco Bell locations in the Bay Area, who helped with planning. "The reception was served buffet style," she told Insider. "The staff was amazing and constantly brought out fresh items. Of course, since it is a Cantina, we also had the spiked Freezes as well as beer and wine for the guests." The couple walk into their wedding reception at Taco Bell Cantina Pacifica. Courtesy of Emily Jenks Enjoying some beverages in front on Cantina Pacifica. Courtesy of Emily Jenks Wedding photographer Emily Jenks captured the festive event, which included decor like bouquets made from hot sauce packets, Taco Bell-branded wine bottles, a wedding cake lined with Cinnabon Delights. "It was such a fun reception," Jenks wrote in a message to Insider. "Unlimited Taco Bell - I was like, is this a dream?"While Garcia and Howser did not, in fact, first lock eyes over Quesaritos, the couple told the San Francisco Chronicle the restaurant has been a staple of their relationship. "I remember we used to drive to Taco Bell and go on long drives and just chitchat when we were younger," Garcia told the Chronicle. Added Howser: "The $5 box was too good of a deal for a college budget. It kind of became a date for us." Garcia and Howser post in their custom Taco Bell hats. Courtesy of Emily Jenks A wedding cake lined with Taco Bell's Cinnabon Delights. Courtesy of Emily Jenks Though Taco Bell has more than 7,000 locations globally, Pacifica Cantina regularly ranks among its top destinations around the world. A beloved favorite among community members and tourists alike, the Pacifica location first opened in the 1980s and was transformed into a Cantina in 2019. In addition to typically being larger and more upscale, Taco Bell's Cantina models sell alcoholic beverages including wine, beer, and its signature Twisted Freeze drink. The California restaurant has continued to gain popularity in the past year, thanks to a number of viral TikToks sharing a glimpse inside. A post from travel influencer Megan Homme shared last November has more than 2.5 million views. "The views are incredible, the tacos are amazing, you can literally just sit here and watch the surfers," Homme said in the video. "Ten out of ten." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 30th, 2021