sunday circular

9 Products That Delighted Us Last Week: From Face Shields to Pedal-Powered Washers

Photo: Retailers

We write about hundreds of products a week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked out some of our favorites — expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly launched gizmos, and the very good deals we uncovered while trolling through the vast online-shopping universe this past week, including the gummy vitamins Kesha eats like candy, a (very) last minute Mother’s Day gift, and a luxurious chair to lounge in outdoors.

A (very) last minute Mother’s Day gift

With everything else going on in the world, we would understand why some may have forgotten to get mom a gift for her special day today. (We can’t speak for mom, though.) The good news: A gift given digitally can still arrive on time, and we found 16 far more thoughtful options than the old gift card. If she’d rather be jet-setting than shuffling from bedroom to living room and back, for instance, we wrote that Airbnb’s new “experiences” can take her to the New Zealand countryside to “hang out with a posse of wooly sheep for an hour,” to Japan to “meditate with a Buddhist monk”, or to Croatia to “tour an olive-oil orchard.” (If she likes art, she can take an hour-long “immersive, interactive” session on Vincent van Gogh, for just a buck.)

A luxurious lounger for your outdoor space

Photo: Retailer

From our list of outdoors chairs recommended by people who sit outside a lot comes this top-of-the-line lounger that one super camper calls the “ultimate in backyard comfort.” He says that there are many zero-gravity chairs out there, but GCI’s is the only one that you can lock in place while your feet are off the ground, adding that it “does a good job of relieving pressure points, and is great to nap in, too.” REI has it in navy, while Dick’s has three more colors, including black, “antique bronze,” and this gray.

The gummy vitamins Kesha eats like candy

We caught up with the performer while she’s spending time at home, and she told us these vegan gummies are something she can’t live without. According to Kesha, they’re “like candy, but good for you — they’re great for your immune system. I love that I can eat them and be like, ‘No, they’re vitamins.’”

A starter scooter for young kids

According to one retailer who sells a lot of scooters, the Ybike GLX Cruze is “a perfect first scooter” for toddlers or new to scooting. Three-wheeled scooters offer extra stability, we wrote, and “compared to a traditional straight handlebar, the curved bar on this gives kids more room to find their center of gravity.” Plus, “the large rear foot brake is easy to use, too.” It’s one of nine models on our list of expert-recommended scooters for kids, which includes several traditional-two wheeled styles for more experienced riders. (While there are three in the photo, the price shown is for a single scooter.)

A face shield to help with social distancing

According to contributor Alison Freer, who received her first such shield from “a group of older Chinese ladies who gather on the sidewalk in front of my house to do Tai Chi every morning,” the headgear is often called “an ‘isolation hat’ or ‘anti-pollution hat,’ and it’s basically a regular person’s version of the face shields worn by doctors in hospitals.” In telling us about all the different styles she’s worn, Freer writes this visor version is her favorite because it keeps “the top of your head cool and doesn’t mess up your hair.” She wears it, “along with a mask, anytime I have to go into a store or am in a situation where I fear others might not be able to properly social distance themselves. I’ve found that people tend to naturally keep a six-foot radius when you’re wearing what amounts to a dog ‘cone of shame.’”

Guess Who, made just for you

“Upload 24 photos of family, friends, or even famous faces and this Etsy seller will make customized Guess Who boards for a game that’s guaranteed to crack everyone up,” we wrote of this personalized twist on the classic board game. “Keep one board and send the other to mom” — or any other pal — “so you can play over Zoom and ask questions like ‘Is this person known for tearing up the dance floor at weddings?’

An easy, breezy button-down that’s now half off

With a 25 percent sale-on-sale going on at Anthropologie through the weekend, thousands of pieces like this roomy, wear-anywhere button-down featured in a recent micro sale are now even cheaper. “You could wear it on a Zoom meeting,” we wrote, or, soon enough, on “a socially distant trip to the beach.”

A pedal-powered washing machine

“Perhaps my biggest surprise when using the Drumi was how simple it really is to use once you get the hang of it. Fill the domed lid with water (hot or cold), gently pour it into the drum, add a splash of detergent, lock in the lid, and start pedaling,” writes contributor Rebecca Firkser, who adds she can “enjoy listening to a podcast” while “doing a few small loads of wash.” She adds that, while small, it can accommodate “about six shirts, two pairs of leggings, or a pair of jeans” per cycle, and that “from start to finish, one wash and spin cycle takes about ten minutes, and the clothes are totally clean.” There’s no dryer, but if you would rather not air dry, may we direct you to the equally compact Panda (that’s basically a salad spinner for clothes).

And, for good measure, some googly eyes

Googly eyes, writes contributor Chantel Tattoli, “have always been around, but now they’re everywhere. In mid-March, the satirist Audrey Burges ordered a bulk pack of googly eyes: ‘It’s about to get real anthropomorphized in here,’ she announced. About that time, the NPR producer Lauren Migaki tweeted, ‘A social distancing decorating tip: while stocking up on TP, make sure to check out the craft aisle for some googly eyes.’ Googly eyes are ‘necessary quarantine supplies,’ someone agreed. A few weeks later, SNL writer Melissa Villaseñor tweeted, ‘I’m so close to getting googly eyes and putting them on my furniture so they become friends.’” Tattoli adds that she’s seen them on everything from Roombas, to KitchenAid mixers, to record players, to booze bottles, to oat milk cartons — “even on images of the coronavirus itself.” If you’re looking to lighten the mood around your home, this pack of 200 can certainly help.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

9 Products That Delighted Us Last Week on the Strategist