sunday circular

10 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Balaclavas to Baby Cardigans

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 the heated vest Reba McEntire wore while filming Big Sky, a non-boring balaclava, and the lip filler that doesn’t require any needles.

A sewing machine for those who don’t “get” patterns

It took Strategist contributor Maayan Zilberman nearly 30 years to find the Bernette Academy 05, which she calls the best machine for her unfussy “sewing philosophy.” Despite being a beginner model, the Bernette can “sew through ten layers of fabric or stitch together vinyl without sticking,” Zilberman says, and it’s so quiet she even uses it at night. “Mostly I make clothes for my 3-year-old daughter, Freddie, by cutting and sewing up my most special vintage pieces,” she says.

For the Valentine with a green thumb

Valentine’s Day is less than a month away, and while sending your special someone flowers isn’t exactly groundbreaking, a decadent arrangement is a classic (and convincing) way to show you care. If they’re allergic to most bouquets, try this spunky, low-maintenance succulent that will stick around long past the holiday.

A magical gas-colic cure

$12

If she could redo her baby registry all over again, former Strategist editor Ashlea Halpern told us she would include this gas-passing device, which her husband used on their 4.5-month-old son Julian after “a desperate 3 a.m. Amazon order,” she says. “It showed up at dawn and within 15 minutes of sticking this magical tube up the baby’s bum, Julian was finally able to relieve himself.”

Lip filler sans injections

Strategist contributor Annie Hamilton recently tried skin-care company Ourself’s Lip Filler, which bills itself as an “in-home alternative to lasers and needles.” To enhance her self-described thin lips, she applied multiple applications of the serum daily. Although the product is pricey and stings slightly while it absorbs, Hamilton says it made her lips rosier, livelier, and more visible. “My lips do look bigger,” she says. “My top lip can probably be seen from far away. I can’t believe it.”

The detox spray Julie Bowen’s kids call “the good smell”

From $18

Julie Bowen can’t live without this air-detox spray, which her three kids have named “the good smell.” Calling the Air Detox “spa-like” for its eucalyptus scent, Bowen says she keeps one in her house and a smaller bottle in her car for on-the-go refreshing. “Anybody who knows me knows I’m constantly pulling this out and spritzing the air,” she says.

A Sofia Coppola–approved fuzzy cardigan for new parents

This infant cardigan, as seen in the Strategist Baby Registry, is a favorite of Strategist contributor and clothing designer Wendy Mullin. She’s gifted the “sturdy and utilitarian” sweater to several new parents — including Sofia Coppola and her production designer Anne, plus Vicki Farrell, who is Amy Sedaris’s costume designer — and though it is made of a polyester microfiber, “it actually has a very natural hand feel,” Mullin says. The other key fact is that it’s highly absorbent, so it doubles as a handkerchief — “you can use it to wipe all the drool and snot that flows endlessly from a baby’s face,” she says.

A toboggan for double the sled riders (and double the fun)

From $36

The first snowfall of the year (and every one thereafter) calls for hours of sledding, so we spoke to toy experts, parents, and outdoor-gear specialists like Bass Pro Shops merchant Jesse Schulte to find the best snow sleds for kids. A plastic toboggan is “a great all-around sled in terms of price, durability, and group use, including the younger kiddos,” Schulte says, and this one in particular is a heavy-duty, extra-durable option designed to hold up to two riders at a time.

Ganni’s Lunar New Year collection

This relaxed T-shirt from Ganni’s Lunar New Year drop can be found in our roundup of things that’ll almost definitely sell out. The ten-piece collection includes red, pink, white, and gray tones, along with rabbit designs adorning several offerings.

The best gift Reba McEntire has ever received

$126

When we asked Reba McEntire about the things she can’t live without, she told us that this heated vest, which her son and daughter-in-law gifted her, is the “greatest invention known to man.” During the filming of Big Sky, McEntire says the temperature would drop down to 23 degrees in the mountains, but this kept her toasty. “You just push this button on your left chest and it heats up around your neck, back, front, and in the pockets,” she says.

A cashmere balaclava to brighten the New York winter uniform

Lisa Yang Blue Jackie Balaclava
$112
$112

To bring you the most stylish winter hats, we surveyed 14 design-y folks about the ones they’ve been seeing and wearing lately, which includes bucket hats, beanies, bonnets, and this balaclava. Rilka Noel, Food52’s brand marketing manager, says she’s into the bright-green and blue colorways specifically because they’d “make the classic New York–uniform black puffer jacket a bit more exciting.”

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.

10 Things That Delighted Us: Balaclavas to Baby Cardigans