sunday circular

9 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Cozy PJs to Coppola-Approved Pens

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

We write about hundreds of products each week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked some of our recent favorites: expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly launched gizmos, and very good deals we uncovered while trawling through the vast online-shopping universe — including Elvira’s environmentally friendly toilet cleaner, a nostalgia-inducing perfume, and a cool-yet-comfortable robe.

White boots for the whole family

For her birthday this year, Strategist contributor Diksha Basu’s two daughters insisted they all get matching boots. After combing through options at Betsey Johnson, DSW, and Nordstrom Rack, Basu stumbled upon these white Chelsea boots at Target, available in both child and adult sizes. “They have both been wearing them daily since we got them, and I marvel at how effortlessly stylish they are in whatever they pair them with, whether that’s leggings or ballerina skirts,” Basu writes. “I could never look as cool, but I have also been wearing my boots near-daily as the weather turns cooler and wetter.” She usually wears hers with everyday pants, but inspired by her girls, she’s lately been pairing them with midi dresses.

Elvira’s environmentally friendly toilet tablets

When we asked Elvira what she can’t live without, she said she couldn’t “stand buying the plastic containers of toilet cleaner” and swears by Blueland’s plastic-free tablets. “They do a fantastic job, they smell amazing, like lemon and cedar, and they come in a cute metal canister,” she told us. “You can buy refills in a paper bag.” All you have to do is throw one in the toilet and let it sit for around 30 minutes to an hour; then give it a good scrub and “voila, your toilet is perfectly clean. And you haven’t smelled any horrible chemicals or bought any plastic.”

A digital paintbrush that turns an iPad into a convenient canvas

A few years ago, Strategist contributor Grace Banks bought a set of beautiful paintbrushes … and barely touched them. Then she saw some brightly colored digital paintings done by the artist David Hockney, captioned “iPad drawings.” Banks “tracked down both the digital Butouch paintbrush and the app he uses, called Brushes. Quickly, I started to imagine an easier way to paint in the evenings than pulling out canvas, watercolors, and my cursed brushes.” Now, instead of coming home and turning on the TV, she’ll fire up the Butouch brush and start doodling on her iPad — “still lifes, gardens I hope to have in the future, and even my favorite red wine,” Banks says.

The best present for mothers-in-law with great skin

As the holiday season draws near, we’re here to help with a slew of gift guides for every person on your list. For the skin-care-obsessed mother-in-law, we recommend this mini-fridge that’ll help her keep all her products chilled and in one place. Dermatologist Dr. Corey L. Hartman says it’s “the ultimate gift for any beauty enthusiast” who would be thrilled not to have to trek to the kitchen to grab their ice roller. And though the fridge is perfect for storing face mists and vitamin C serums, it’s also suited for keeping snacks and drinks at the ready by their bedside.

A perfume that takes you back 25 years

When Strategist contributor Erica Cerulo first sniffed Henry Rose’s Windows Down, she was instantly transported back to junior high. It smelled just like Gap Dream, a “flowery, upbeat” fragrance that she bought “while purchasing khaki cutoffs to complete my first-day-of-school look” in the ’90s. Although Cerulo found Windows Down to be less heady, it wasn’t “sugary sweet, either,” as if it “landed in 2022 knowing full well that nostalgia can be dangerous, and still can’t help itself.” She compared the scent to reading a romance novel “in which you know you’re going to get a happily ever after or rewatching an episode of Friends for the seventh time.”

Spooky skeleton pajamas …

Strategist-approved kids’ brand Hanna Andersson, popular among parent circles for its comfy, long-lasting cotton PJs, is currently holding a sitewide sale that includes lots of Halloween gems such as pirate-, mermaid-, and skeleton-print pajamas. Or you can pick up something more classic and get creative: Strategist senior editor Jen Trolio says she’s used the brand’s striped pajamas as a base layer for costumes for both of her kids. Lots of accessory sets are marked down as well, such as fairy wings and dalmatian ears; they’re perfect for the kid who still wants to get into the festive spirit but can’t abide by an itchy, uncomfortable costume.

… And a creepy candle collab

In unexpected-collaboration news, Martha Stewart and canned-beverage company Liquid Death have teamed up to release a limited-edition candle just in time for spooky season. Aptly named “Dismembered Moments,” it resembles a severed hand holding a can of Liquid Death, made from onyx-black wax topped with a blood-red wick. To make sure it arrives by Halloween, be sure to place your order by Thursday, October 20.

Sofia Coppola’s preferred pen

For our latest installment of Saw Something, Said Something, we noticed an interesting detail in Sofia Coppola’s very first Instagram post: the pen Coppola has been using to annotate the script of her upcoming Priscilla Presley biopic is a V-Sign from Strategist-favorite brand Pilot. A bit bolder than the average fine-liner, it features a “liquid-ink 2.0-mm. soft tip” allowing for an elegant, Sharpie-like effect with “a certain dramatic flair on the page.” While Coppola has opted for a classic black, the V-Sign is also available in blue, red, and green ink.

A swaddle-worthy blanket robe

When Strategist writer Latifah Miles thinks of her perfect loungewear outfit, “a robe is non-negotiable, no matter the weather.” Her dream robe is one that “looks nice enough to wear out but is ‘lying on the couch’–level comfortable,” and she found it in Casper’s Blanket Robe. “It has a weighty yet breathable feel, thanks to its smooth cotton shell and polyfill stuffing,” Miles writes. Plus, its sculptural A-line silhouette and functional wrap design makes it “surprisingly chic” and cool enough for her to wear out “to get groceries or overspend at Target.”

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 Things That Delighted Us: Cozy PJs to Sofia Coppola’s Pens