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 trawling through the vast online-shopping universe this past week, including whimsical napkins that embody a trend you might not have heard of, a stove-top teapot for hosting Nowruz, and the mushroom coffee Josh Peck drinks for mental clarity.
Spring-ready suitcases in cheery colorways
In our most recent Don’t Dillydally roundup, we found that Away, one of our favorite luggage brands, recently launched a new, limited-edition Technicolor version of its popular suitcases. The Carry-On and Bigger Carry-On are available in two color-block options: Tropic, a bright-orange-and-green combination, and Bloom, which is magenta on one side and orange on the other. Meanwhile, the medium and large sizes have been reimagined in a bright orange called Beam. The collection also includes a new color of the sling bag (a multicolored situation named Prism) and a passport wallet.
Whimsical sergercore décor
“A trend without a name has, for the past few years, spread throughout the fashion industry: exposed, decorative seams sewn on a machine called a serger (also known as an overlock machine), a style I’ve been calling ‘sergercore,’” Strategist writer Erin Schwartz writes. Seen everywhere from Shein to Café Forgot, the technique can be incorporated into your home with these hand-dyed napkins, whose unfinished edges suggest whimsy and “plain fun.”
A stove-top samovar for hosting Nowruz
Naz Deravian, a Los Angeles–based cookbook author and recipe developer, shares how she hosts family and friends for Nowruz, which commemorates the first day of spring and the Iranian New Year, in our latest installment of Steal My Party. “Tea is a big part of Iranian culture,” Deravian explains, and it’s the first thing she offers guests when they walk in the door. This year, she plans to make traditional Iranian tea in her samovar. “Basically, you make a tea concentrate in the top part and then dilute it to your preference with hot water from the bottom part,” she explains, adding that the water should be adjusted to each guest’s liking.
A whisk that replaced all others for gluten-free baking (and everything else)
During lockdown, Material Kitchen’s Air Whisk became Strategist writer Chloe Anello’s No. 1 tool for gluten-free baking. The combination of a ball- and a balloon-style whisk allows for maximum aeration so that her bread “rises just as well as its gluten-filled counterpart.” Eventually, Anello replaced all her other whisks with it, calling it perfectly suitable for “fluffier-than-ever omelets, perfectly smooth stracciatella alla romana, and unbelievably consistent red sauce.”
Protein-packed cricket treats
Picking the right kind of dog treats can be overwhelming, so Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo asked ten experts about the treats they recommend or feed to their own pups to narrow down the choices. Cricket treats “require fewer resources like land, water, and energy to raise,” resulting in lower carbon emissions. And they’re healthy since they’re “higher in protein and more nutrient dense than beef or chicken treats.” Corsillo’s own dog, Uli, is so obsessed with them that they’re “among the only treats she actively seeks out on the shelf in my kitchen, barking and pawing at the bag.”
Josh Peck’s mushroom coffee he drinks before college shows …
“If I’m drinking coffee, it means I’m looking to get some energy, and stuff like Lion’s Mane can really help you,” Josh Peck told us when we spoke to him about the things he can’t live without. It’s especially helpful while he’s at colleges for comedy-slash-speaking gigs and recovering from a day of travel. “It’s a bit of a nootropic; it makes you feel like you can think a little bit quicker and that your head is slightly clearer,” Peck says.
… And a space-saving cold brew–maker for college students
College students are surprisingly challenging to shop for, so we went straight to the source to find out what’s topping their wish lists. This portable cold brew–maker is small enough to fit in their dorm or college apartment — “and sustain my normal levels of caffeine needed to function,” says Bella Cimarusti, who graduated from American University last year.
The Goldilocks of jeans for nearly anyone
Of all the recommended and Strategist-approved jeans from Levi’s, this pair is called the Goldilocks — and for good reason. It’s beloved by New York deputy editor Alexis Swerdloff and Strategist editor Maxine Builder, who describes the rise as “deliriously high, easily clearing my belly button,” but promises that they don’t “feel uncomfortable when I sit.” Petite women and teens alike are also big fans: Content creator Amy Serrano, who is five feet tall, says it gives her “legs for days because of the ultrahigh waist,” while teen Claudia Perez calls them her “soul-mate jeans” because they’re “comfortable and fashionable and perfect to lounge in.”
On-sale vintage-inspired wall art that holds up over time
While searching the internet’s sale bins for daily deals, Strategist writer Leah Muncy unearthed this deeply discounted, “mood-enhancing” postcard print. She notes that the vintage-inspired wall art is made with “fade-resistant archival inks on textured Giclée canvas, both of which prevent warping and color loss over time.” And while the poster alone could be a pick-me-up for your living room or bedroom, Muncy says it would look nice in conjunction with this playful area rug that also happens to be on sale.
Weighted blankets that reduce stress and sweat
If you’re looking for a weighted blanket that won’t leave you sweaty, we found plenty of cooling options for those who run hot. This Amazon-reviewer-favorite YnM bamboo-covered option was recommended to us by Dani Donovan, creator of ADHDDD, a community platform for adults with ADHD. She calls it a “game changer” because she can control the amount of “gentle” cooling by putting it above or below her sheets — and because it improved her sleep quality so much that her husband noticed she doesn’t move around anymore.
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.