sunday circular

10 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Popped Seeds to Poplin Pajamas

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

We write about hundreds of products every 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 a kicky ACV, the compression socks Lisa Barlow wears, and a very fabulous teddy bear.

The snack Adrienne Bailon-Houghton munches on at the movies

When we asked the Cheetah Girls’ Adrienne Bailon-Houghton what she can’t live without, she told us about these AshaPops water-lily seeds. She first sampled the snack at her gym after a workout and now buys it in bulk. “One of the things I really love about it is that it has a nice amount of magnesium, which has a calming feel to it — if anybody suffers from anxiety or has ever just been a little on edge,” Bailon-Houghton says. She’s a big snacker, especially when she’s watching something, and will bring packets of these seeds in her purse to the movie theater as an alternative “to buttery popcorn,” she says. “It gives me that same crunch.”

A tool for popping off can tops

Strategist junior writer Brenley Goertzen’s dad is “a well-known gadget man” whose kitchen is full of “odd-looking, often Kickstarter-funded contraptions,” she says. On a recent visit, Goertzen discovered a new doodad: a “chunk of plastic about the size of a Ouija-board planchette with spring-loaded ‘wings’ on the sides.” Turns out the tool is called a Draft Top Lift; similar to a can opener, it’s designed to remove the entire top of aluminum cans. She gave it a go on a can of Canada Dry, and “within seconds I was sipping my favorite pop from, essentially, an open metal cup.”

Comfy cotton pajamas for any climate …

This winter, Fran Miller, founder of the skin-care line F. Miller, and her partner, Jackie McKeown, decided to leave their freezing Toronto home and embark on a meandering 23-day road trip to sunny Los Angeles. They made plenty of pit stops along the way, including New Orleans, where they dined on beignets and moules-frites; Marfa, where they toured Donald Judd’s apartment and studios; and Tucson, where they stopped into a few vintage and surplus stores. To stay comfortable through all the climate fluctuations, Miller and McKeown brought along “five or six sets” of these Tekla pajamas. “They’re the ideal material: a crisp cotton that works when it’s hot but is still cozy and warm when it’s chillier,” Miller says. “We strategically buy different prints and colors so we can mix and match.”

… And a boot-sneaker hybrid for any weather

April showers bring May flowers, so we’ve rounded up the best rain boots for kids that will keep tiny feet dry and cozy no matter how hard they puddle stomp. Kendel Shore, a marketing executive and mom of two in Brooklyn, recommends these Vans shoes that, while not technically rain boots, offer weatherproof protection with the mobility of a sneaker. That means her 9-year-old can wear them year-round, not just when it’s wet out. “They are easy to run in but have a thick rubber sole with ample protection from rain around the toes,” Shore says. “I think they are far superior to rain boots because kiddos can put them on without help thanks to the Velcro straps, and they don’t need to switch into ‘regular shoes’ at school.”

Night cream that won’t clog pores

If you tend to break out, you may be cautious about adding a rich, heavy night cream to your skin-care routine. The First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Night Cream, however, is water-based and noncomedogenic, and it feels “almost whipped and fluffy when going on,” says Dr. Georgina Ferzli of Sadick Dermatology. That’s why it’s our pick for the best night cream for acne-prone skin, and right now it’s 25 percent off as part of SkinStore’s Friends and Family Sale, where plenty of beauty products are discounted at up to 30 percent off until April 18. Just use the code FRIENDS at checkout.

Apple-cider vinegar for dressing-obsessed moms

If you’ve been racking your brain as to what to get Mom this Mother’s Day, we think an edible gift is always a sure bet. For the mom who whips up a mean salad dressing, this apple-cider vinegar from Little Apple Treats doesn’t contain any of the yeastiness or mustiness you might find in a bottle of Bragg (no shade!); instead, it actually tastes like bright, ripe fruit. She can use it in all sorts of ways, including taking a shot for gut health, but it would play particularly well with other acids and citrus in salad dressings.

An attractive see-through plant pot

The Strategist hive mind came together to present readers with an accumulation of expert tips and well-sourced recommendations for shopping small makers and secondhand sellers on Etsy. When Strategist senior editor Jen Trolio went looking for “a non-terra-cotta pot with drainage for a picky carnivorous plant,” she came across Sheer Potted Plants, which offers a sleek, good-looking glass option that lets you easily monitor your plant’s growth. It even “includes a saucer and is a fantastic upgrade to plastic nursery pots,” Trolio writes.

Hair-regrowth serum that really works

Strategist contributor Linda Dyett used to have “long, curly, wavy, frizzy hair,” but around three years ago, she began noticing “thick strips of scalp where my curls parted. My hair was thinning.” Then she heard from a hairstylist about Harklinikken (“hair clinic”), a Danish hair-growth regimen that centers on the brand’s Extract, a liquid blend of natural ingredients that help regrow hair. After undergoing an initial consultation, in which patients are evaluated for the type of hair loss they’re experiencing, Dyett began applying the treatment, and in just six weeks, she noticed “peach-fuzz haze in my partings — new growth where there’d been visible scalp.” She’s happy to report that now she has a “cascade of bouncy curls at the back of my head” and “knife-thin partings where my curls separate.”

A collab between two iconic pop-culture institutions

In what may be the most unexpected pairing we’ve seen lately, Build-A-Bear Workshop recently teamed up with iconic drag queen RuPaul to release a very glamorous teddy bear replete with gold sequined gown and curly blonde wig. The one-of-a-kind collector’s item is part of the company’s “adult” collection of stuffed animals called the Bear Cave. Drag Race superfans are bound to snap up this limited edition, so if you want to add it to your collection, don’t dillydally.

Lisa Barlow’s secret to reducing swelling

$20 for 4

Real Housewives of Salt Lake City cast member Lisa Barlow counts these compression socks among her very favorite things. While she was on a Mediterranean yachting trip a few years ago, she woke up one day and found her ankles terribly swollen. The massage therapist on the boat told her it was a lymphatic problem, and when she got home, her regular massage therapist recommended these compression socks. “Now I live by them. Especially because I’m traveling so much and drinking so much Diet Coke,” Barlow says.

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: Popped Seeds to Poplin Pajamas