A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

There are a lot of confusing grammar rules out there. So many, in fact, that it can be hard to keep up. Do you know the difference between lay vs. lie? OK vs. okay? “Flush out” or “flesh out”? You may have been using these words and phrases incorrectly all this time without even knowing it. Before you make any drastic changes—or flush out your old grammar habits—let’s flesh out the difference between “flush out” and “flesh out.” Confused? You’ve come to the right place.

What does “flush out” mean?

“Flush out” means to force something out of a small place, most typically used regarding cleaning. Imagine forcing something through a container, like how water travels when you flush a toilet. But besides talking about human waste in the restroom, “flush out” is commonly used surrounding crime—as in, flushing out the enemy. The idiom originates from bird hunting, where another animal can get birds to come out of hiding. But you likely won’t be discussing hunting when you want to use the phrase.

Here are just a few examples of how you can use it properly now.

  • The NYPD is looking to flush out thieves who pickpocket tourists on the subway.
  • Park rangers are trying to flush out bears from the area so people can camp safely.
  • I can tell my cousin is lying, so I want to flush out his untruths to figure out what’s really going on.

What are some synonyms for “flush out”?

Instead of saying you want to flush something out, you could say you would like to clear something away or clear something out. Or you could say you want to make a clean sweep.

Keep the learning going and make sure you’re using affect vs. effect correctly.

What does “flesh out” mean?

“Flesh out” means to expand on an idea, provide more of an explanation, or make something more complete. You may need to flesh out some last-minute details, flesh out your outline, or flesh out your project. Think about using this phrase when you need to add a little more substance to an idea or assignment. For more of a visualization, imagine adding flesh to a skeleton. You’re adding to the bones to make the final skeleton more complete.

There are a handful of ways you can use it in a sentence, but here are a few examples.

  • Let’s flesh out this marketing strategy in our next meeting.
  • The musician fleshed out his acoustic tracks by adding some bass and drums.
  • In her speech, she fleshed out her idea for a new health care policy.

What are some synonyms for “flesh out”?

If you’re looking to clarify what you mean when you say you want to flesh something out, you could also say expand, enlarge, or expound upon. You really could use any type of word or phrase that indicates growth or expansion.

Make sure you also know the difference between grey and gray before your next spelling bee.

Should you use “flush out” or “flesh out”?

Use “flush out” when you want to remove something and “flesh out” when you want to expand on something. Remember, “flush out” is like flushing a toilet to get rid of the waste. “Flesh out” is like adding flesh to a skeleton or making something fuller.

Now that you know whether to use “flush out” or “flesh out,” learn the difference between another set of confusing words: bald-faced vs. bold faced.

Sources:

It’s hard to believe that women have only had the right to vote since 1920. We’ve come a long way over the last 100 or so years, and that’s thanks in large part to the pioneering women who’ve been trailblazers in their fields, ultimately making things more equitable between the sexes. But with the gender wage gap still prevalent in the workplace and the pandemic destabilizing a lot of the progress women have made over the last few decades, we have a long way to go. To help level the playing field and boost a significant part of the economy and our community, it’s essential to support women-owned businesses.

That type of support has made an enormous difference in recent years. Women-owned businesses are catching up to male-owned businesses and now make up 42 percent of all companies in America. But there’s some bad news, as well: Only 10 percent of those businesses have employees, according to the most recent report from the National Women’s Business Council, and as of 2020, companies with a female CEO received less than 3 percent of venture-capital funding, while less than 0.2 percent of funding went to women of color.

It’s often said that we vote every day for the world we want with our dollars. Who and what we give our money to matters, which is why we’ve rounded up 100 women-owned businesses—many of which are also Black-owned businesses—to support year-round. If we shop with purpose, little by little, we’ll start to see the change that should have happened a long time ago. Plus, in the process, you’ll be getting some amazing products that are guaranteed to be your new favorites, whether you’re buying something for yourself or looking for the perfect gifts.

Accessories

Neely & Chloe

Woman Owned Business Neely & Chloe

Accessories brand Neely & Chloe, founded by (surprise!) Neely and Chloe Burch, toes the line between aspirational and attainable with its luxury handbags, travel pieces, and more. Made with the highest quality craftsmanship, yet surprisingly affordable, the brand maintains a core collection of timeless pieces that can be personalized with embossing, hand painting, embroidery, and ornaments. All of their products are beautiful, but if we really had to choose favorites, we’d go with the work-ready Monday Tote, which you’ll wear every day of the week.

Oka-B

Founded by Sara Irvani and Kim Falkenhayn as part of Okabashi Brands, Oka-B’s shoes for women are handmade out of a vegan bio-based material made in the USA. They’re also made to order, which cuts down on any potential environmental impact, so you can feel extra good about your purchase. In addition to being fashionable (and recyclable!), the line is beloved for its arch support, slip resistance, non-marking, and easy cleaning. You’ll want to wear these gorgeous jewel-adorned flats and flirty flip-flops all summer long.

CJW

This brand, created by Christina J. Wang, designs everything from pajamas to face masks, but its scarves make for some seriously great conversation pieces. Exhibit A: This Chocoholic Mini scarf. It’s filled with everything chocolate—even chocolate labs. Other designs feature beauty products, plants, ice cream, cats, candy, more puppies, noodles, and Netflix movie night necessities. In other words, the company turns all of life’s small joys into fashion statements.

Naot

Known for its ethical and sustainable handmade Israeli shoes, Naot has built a cult following among celebs and podiatrists alike. The uniquely engineered insoles in everything from boots to sandals provide unparalleled comfort and support, while the vast assortment ensures a style for every look and occasion.

Gigi Pip

PSA: Fedoras have never gone out of style, and Gigi Pip’s collection is here to prove it—especially with floppy-brimmed styles like this Hannah Floppy Fedora. The brand was founded by Ginger Parrish in 2015 after she decided to turn her hat obsession into a business. That said, whether you’re in the mood to toss on a felt hat, straw hat, baseball cap, or beanie, we can pretty much guarantee there’s something here that will satisfy all of your fashionable hat needs (and complement your face shape, too).

Made by Mary

Back in 2013, Mary Moody was a new mom “drawn to the idea of creating jewelry to represent pivotal moments in life.” With that, she started Made by Mary, which has now grown into a team of artisans. The handcrafted pieces from this woman-owned business are designed to bring simple elegance to every occasion, and many of the pieces can be personalized with names, special dates, birth flowers, and more. For the entire month of March, 100 percent of the proceeds from sales of the “For Ukraine” disc necklace will be donated to the International Rescue Committee to help Ukrainian families who have been displaced.

Kelly Wynne

In 2012, Kelly Wynne had a vision of the perfect handbag: something fun and feel-good, bold and beautiful. Now her company is known for its fresh use of color and unique materials. While the line encompasses a range of accessories, the game-day styles are the most recognizable; these clear bags made their debut after stadium-safety rules changed.

Llani

Woman Owned Business Llani

Honestly, you can never have enough accessories, which is why Alana Oates’ brand Llani is such a great company. You can find everything here, and it’s all made of high-quality materials, like suede, leather, and genuine shearling. One-of-a-kind handbags? Check. Headbands? Check. Jewelry? Scarves? Adorable handcrafted slippers? Check, check, and check. Not to mention, all of Llani’s design and production partners are based in India and are either female-founded or family-owned. Please excuse us while our wish lists suddenly become much longer.…

Alison Lou

There’s a reason Alison Chemla’s fine jewelry brand, Alison Lou, has gained so much traction in the editorial and celeb world—it’s quirky, stylish, and trendy all rolled into one. For proof, just take a look at the carbs-inspired jewelry collection. No, that’s not a typo. We’re talking penne, shell, and bow-tie pasta, pretzels, loaves of bread, and croissants in jewelry form. And that’s just the beginning of the site’s adorable offerings.

Celeste Watch Co.

There truly aren’t enough women-owned watch companies in the world, which is why Celeste Watch Co. is such a great business to support. The owner, Celeste Wong, has “been in love with watches and clocks for as long as [she] can remember.” In 2008, she decided to take a deep dive into the watch-making world. She purchased hundreds of old watches to deconstruct, organize, and put back together in different ways to create brand-new, utterly unique pieces. Now, her high-quality watches are made of Swiss quartz, sapphire crystal, handcrafted dials, and vegetable-tanned leather bands, and they’re customizable. The cat lover in your life will adore this La Luna watch, which features a black cat on a crescent moon.

S— That I Knit

S— That I Knit began as a blog Christina Fagan wrote in college, and through the years, it grew into the company it is today: cozy essentials hand-knit by a team of 200-plus artisans in Peru with locally sourced Peruvian merino wool. Fun fact: The brand was selected as an official partner of Team USA, creating mittens and beanies for competitors at the 2022 Olympics and Paralympics that you can nab for yourself, too.

Susan Alexandra

OK, we need to talk about Susan Alexandra’s products and how they’re all handmade out of beads. We’re not just talking jewelry, either. Founded in 2014 by Susan Korn, this female-forward business crafts everything from cardholders and headbands to entire purses out of hundreds of little beads, like this whimsical Watermelon Dream Bag. In case that’s not impressive enough, you can also customize the jewelry with charms and (yep) beads in whatever way your heart desires.

Flare

Flare’s bracelets, created by Quinn Fitzgerald and Sara Zarraga, are more than just stylish accessories—the brand’s founding was driven by their personal experiences as assault survivors. With safety designs that allow you to take action discreetly in any potentially dangerous or uncomfortable situation, Flare (who counts Natalie Portman as one of its investors) is modernizing the personal-safety industry.

Beauty and Cosmetics

Róen

Woman Owned Business Roen

Despite being founded only a few years ago, Róen has already made a name for itself in the beauty world. The company’s CEO, Tiffany Thurston Scott, has always been fascinated with nature, holistic living, and beauty, but after doing some research on her favorite cosmetic companies, she realized that many of them were made with harmful ingredients. Soon after, Scott started researching how to create clean beauty products, and now, Róen offers shimmery eye shadows, lip balms, mascara, and brow pencils, all of which are formulated with ethically sourced, non-toxic ingredients.

The Brow Project

Big brows are in—and the fact that the Brow Project’s owner and founder, Nicole Blankenship, is fantastic at what she does explains why she’s “the South’s most sought-after permanent makeup artist.” Within four years, Blankenship accumulated an incredible following, full of celebs, press coverage, and an extensive wait list to see the brow guru. Blankenship and her all-female team are based out of downtown Dallas and offer permanent makeup services, like powder brows and lip tints, and cosmetic injectables, like Botox and dermal fillers.

Supergoop!

How many ways can you wear sunscreen? Ask Holly Thaggard, also known as the Sunscreen Queen and founder of Supergoop! This woman-owned business was created in 2005, with the original goal of getting SPF into classrooms in Louisiana and Texas. Now that SPF has been translated into moisturizer, eye shadow, and so much more. Plus, the brand is staying true to its roots with the Ounce by Ounce program, which donates SPF pumps to schools and communities across America.

Scentbird

Finding a perfume you love is tricky. When testing scents in person, there’s often too many to be sure if the one you like is actually the one. Even if you’re pretty sure it is, each person’s unique chemical makeup means it may not smell the same on you as it does in the bottle. This is where Scentbird, cofounded by CEO Mariya Nurislamova, comes in. It’s a fragrance subscription service that allows you to experiment with different fragrances and mix things up every month for only $16.95. If you love this idea, you’ll also want to check out these other subscription boxes in every category.

Dermaflash

When Dara Levy, founder and CEO of Dermaflash and self-proclaimed “girl boss,” opened her Med Spa in Chicago, dermaplaning was the basis of every treatment she offered. After being in business for five years and performing more than 6,000 Dermaflash treatments, Levy decided to create an at-home, user-friendly sonic dermaplaning treatment that could give anyone the benefits of this professional treatment at home. Depending on your skin care needs, Dermaflash offers the Dermaflash Luxe for anti-aging, exfoliation, and peach-fuzz removal; the less expensive Dermaflash One Speed, which focuses on exfoliating and peach-fuzz removal, sans the anti-aging component; and the Dermapore, which is a pore extractor and serum infuser.

Mindalt

Mindalt, cofounded by Christina Vuleta, is what happens when you combine deodorant and aromatherapy. Science says that there’s a clear relationship between scent and emotion, which is why the brand’s all-natural deodorant is defined by what emotion you need more or less of, instead of just how it smells. With four times the amount of essential oils as other deodorants, and whether you need a mood shift or feel self-conscious about your natural odor, Mindalt’s formula is a win for everyone.

Dr. Gio

Woman Owned Business Dr. Gio

Grace Okafor is a Nigeria-born and South Korea–based entrepreneur focused on bridging “the gap between African and Korea” through her Korean beauty brand made for women of color. That brand, Dr. Gio, offers an Ultra 7 Brightening Foundation Cushion in seven shades, all of which are packed with collagen, shea butter, hyaluronic acid, SPF 50+, tea tree, niacinamide, vitamin C, and other ingredients that your skin will love. Check out more of the best Black makeup brands that everyone can use to get gorgeous.

Glamazon Beauty

Kim Baker started as a model and then became a full-time makeup artist. Now, she’s using all of her experience to connect with everyday women through Glamazon Beauty. Inspired by the times she’d have to show up to set with her makeup done because the team didn’t have the right products for her skin tone, she focuses on shades that have been underrepresented by traditional beauty brands. The Second Skin Foundation Stick is a cult favorite for how it effortlessly blends into skin.

Beautiful Me LLC

After earning an aesthetician license from Vogue Beauty College in Austin, Texas, Tracy Fleming started her own beauty and wellness spa, Beautiful Me LLC, in 2005. Her goal? To use a holistic approach to skin care where everything is taken into account, from her clients’ health history to their stress levels. Since being founded, the company has won several awards for its face and back facials, peels, dermaplaning, extractions, laser hair removal, micro-needling, waxing, brow and lash tints, and other services.

Megababe

Many topics about our bodies are considered taboo—and Megababe founder Katie Sturino is making it her mission to change that. From an anti-chafing stick to a detoxifying underarm mask to a body-acne spray, Megababe provides solutions to the problems we wish our bodies wouldn’t have…and lightens the mood with clever product names and colorful packaging.

The Feelist

Entrepreneur Shea Marie isn’t a newbie when it comes to developing successful, women-owned businesses. In fact, before she founded The Feelist in 2020, she was already the owner of Same, a luxury swim and resort-wear line. The creation of this plant-based, clean beauty line was inspired by her own skin’s intolerance to chemical-laden products. “It really was CBD specifically that made me believe in the power of plant-based wellness and skin care,” she says on her website. The Feelist primarily carries CBD-infused products that are vegan, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly.

Bookstores

Cream & Amber

Woman Owned Business Cream & Amber

If you’re looking for a bookstore with a twist, Cream & Amber in Hopkins, Minnesota, is the place. Founded in 2019 by Kacey Hruby Wyttenhove and Katie Terhune, two college friends who share a love of books and beer, this unique shop combines Minnesota craft beer with new and used books for the ultimate book-shopping experience. Did we mention that Cream & Amber is a coffee shop that sells food, too? Yep, you can visit in the morning for some java, or in the afternoon for a craft beer, all while browsing for the best new fiction books to dive into.

Semicolon

Name something more satisfying than walking into a bookstore and getting hit with that freshly printed book smell. You know the one we’re talking about. That’s exactly what you’ll get at Semicolon Bookstore and Gallery in Chicago. This Black-owned bookstore is run by Danielle, who carefully curates each book and piece of merch—like this Semicolon Graffiti Mug—alongside her team of bookkeepers. The store also highlights the city’s street artists and houses a gallery space dedicated to their work.

The Bookworm

Since this independent bookstore opened its doors in 1973 in Camarillo, California, the quaint shop has been exclusively owned by women. In 2019, its keys were passed to its fourth owner, Julie Moore, who currently runs the store. You’ll find everything from classics and history to new releases and children’s books here.

Moe’s Books

If you’re ever in Berkeley, California, Moe’s Books should definitely be on your radar. The bookstore was founded in 1959 by the current owner’s late father, Moe Moskowitz. Since his passing in 1997, his daughter, Doris, has been running the shop. But even if you’re not in sunny California, you can still browse Moe’s collection of books and order online. If you’re into podcasts, they’ve got some of those, too. Telegraph Babylon discusses the “weird and wonderful world of book selling,” while Moe’s Basement Series consists of more than a decade of recorded readings from the bookstore.

Marissa’s Books

A shop with a charming story, Marissa’s Books feels like a hybrid of a full-service bookstore and an antiques shop. Cindy Dumas was inspired to open her first bookstore after visiting another bookstore with her five-year-old granddaughter, Marissa, who was enamored by all the books. As Dumas’ business grew, she and her family had to relocate to a larger space to accommodate all of their new clients’ reading needs. The bookstore is now located in Salt Lake City and houses thousands of books, gifts, games, and more, though you can shop online if you’re not in the area (or even if you are).

Clothing

Symbology

Woman Owned Business Symbology

Symbology was created with female empowerment in mind. Its founder, Marissa Heyl, wanted to shed some light on how fair trade empowers craftswomen. After a research trip to India, Heyl was inspired to incorporate traditional art techniques into fashion. Since then, the brand and its unique prints have gained some serious traction. Whether you’re looking for a wedding dress, maternity wear, suits, jackets, or whatever else, chances are you’ll find it here. Not sure where to start? We particularly love this Cherry Blossom Maxi Wrap.

Lake

College friends Anne Read Lattimore and Cassandra Cannon were pursuing careers in health care when, as new moms, they realized the lack of quality pajamas available to women. This, combined with their desire to work in a creative field, led to the launch of Lake in 2014. Beginning with simple, classic pajamas in softer-than-soft 100 percent Pima cotton, the brand has since expanded into loungewear, daywear, and kids’ and men’s pajamas.

Thunderpants USA

The original Thunderpants brand was created in New Zealand in 1995. But the story of Thunderpants USA didn’t start until 10 years later when an American woman named Celeste tried out her first pair and became obsessed. In 2008, Celeste opened a boutique in Portland, Oregon, called Radish Underground, which is where she started selling Thunderpants products so Americans could enjoy the comfy goodness, too. In 2016, Celeste licensed the NZ brand and officially founded Thunderpants USA. In case super comfortable undergarments aren’t appealing enough on their own, Thunderpants’ designs are what makes the brand really stand out. For proof, check out this bralette covered in peppers.

M.M. LaFleur

M.M. LaFleur, founded by Sarah LaFleur, solves a problem all women have faced at least once: having nothing to wear that’s functional, comfortable, and stylish. The brand is known for classic pieces like this Merritt Jardigan (yep, that’s a jacket-cardigan hybrid) and business casual dresses that will take you from day to night, and complimentary styling services will help you find exactly what you need. Even better, the company is committed to sustainability and will assist you in reviving stained or snagged clothing, making upcycling a priority.

WildFang

The founders of WildFang are incredibly proud of their female-founded and women-run brand—and what it offers to women. “A woman has the right to wear whatever the h— they want and be whoever the h— they want,” the site says. Some of its best sellers? The “Wild Feminist” collection, unisex suits, menswear-tailored button-ups, and super soft workwear. Oh, and FYI, the days of not having pockets are over. Don’t mind us as we buy this eight-pocket (!!!) Essential Coverall in every color. This is a judgment-free zone, guys.

Up! Pants

Up! Pants no longer just sells pants, though they were the original inspiration—pants designed with fit, fashion, and function as equal priorities. From stretchy fabric that smooths and slims to built-in tummy-control panels, those pants are meant to empower women and make them feel more confident in who they are. These will certainly do the trick!

Hermoza

Marisa De Lecce and Tiffany Rivers were on the hunt for swimsuits that were both modern and modest, and when they couldn’t find what they were looking for, they created it themselves. Each Hermoza suit is made with luxury performance fabrics from Italy and designed to flatter every body type. They also offer 50+ UPF protection and resist oils, lotions, and creams. Heirloom-quality construction at an attainable price—what more could you want in a swimsuit? (Especially when you can have this best seller and Oprah favorite?)

AYR

Woman Owned Business Ayr

If you haven’t already heard of AYR (pronounced “air”), let us introduce you to the New York City–based womenswear brand that’s been making headlines since 2014. AYR, which stands for All Year Round, was founded by three friends who set out to create clothing that emphasized comfort and confidence in every season. You’ll love the high-quality button-down shirts and jeans from this women-owned business…and be completely obsessed with “the coziest sweater of all time.”

Dudley Stephens

Terry and fleece have never been associated with fashion—that is, until Dudley Stephens was founded by sisters Lauren Stephens and Kaki McGrath. Though turtlenecks have been their signature pieces since the beginning, they have also now ventured into accessories, kids’ clothes, outerwear, and more. Bonus: Everything is made out of recycled fabrics, and the brand has a partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to donate much-needed funds. Plus, with every purchase of the DS Gives Rainbow Blanket, the company will donate another to a St. Jude’s family.

Awoke Vintage

Awoke Vintage hasn’t always been a successful vintage shop based in Brooklyn, New York. In fact, it started out as a small market stall in Australia. It wasn’t until about five years later that the founder, Liz Power, opened her first New York location. Since then, Awoke Vintage has become a hot spot for vintage finds—from flowing dresses and summery blouses to chic accessories and lots of denim. If you can’t make it to Brooklyn, the site offers free shipping on all orders within the United States.

Carve Designs

The story of Carve Designs starts out with two surf-loving friends and a shared frustration over how difficult it was to find board shorts. More specifically, board shorts that could “keep up with [them]—real women with real bodies and a real passion for adventure.” Fast-forward to 2003, when the duo, Jennifer Hinton and Thayer Sylvester, opened their first surf-apparel shop. Since then, the brand has grown to include everything from swimwear to dresses to fashionable accessories.

Addison Bay

Combining her background as a collegiate athlete and her career in the fashion industry, Marguerite Adzick founded stylish activewear brand Addison Bay in 2018. The pieces, which are produced in Philadelphia, are designed to take you from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If we had to pick, we’d recommend starting with the Filbert Quarter Zip or Court Skort 2.0. Bonus: This one-stop shop is no longer just for women—it now produces equally fashionable options for kids and men, too.

Edith Hour

Emily Hammer believes that there should be beauty in everything, including self-care, and that’s what she had in mind when creating Edith Hour. The brand’s feminine, easygoing pajamas and loungewear are 100 percent cotton and made in small batches in Texas. While it’s hard to choose a favorite, we’re partial to the Dora Nightgown and Becky Shirt, both inspired by a lightweight men’s Oxford shirt.

Nue

Your clothing wouldn’t look half as good without the right undergarments. Aptly described as “a boob job in a box,” Nue breast tape was born out of former fashion and beauty editor Stephanie Montes’ own personal need for products that cater to women of all shapes, sizes, and skin tones. The brand’s goal is to help you celebrate your body exactly as it is in strapless and backless styles. And Nue is all about doing good: A portion of the proceeds from every purchase is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Plus, in exchange for 15 percent off, you can donate your bras to the Bra Recyclers, which will provide them to women and need while also keeping them out of landfills.

Food and Beverages

The Cupcake Bar

Woman Owned Business The Cupcake Bar

So, this place is called The Cupcake Bar. Need we say more? We will anyway. Lori Schneider, the “Chief Cupcake Officer” of the company, launched the bakery in Austin, Texas, in 2007. The other members of her three-woman team are Kimberly Carrillo, Director of Event Operations, and Janie Mote, who touts the loving title of “Janie of All Trades.” It might be called The Cupcake Bar, but this women-run business sells more than just cupcakes. You’ll find Doughnut Bars, Roaming Treat Bars, Caramel Apple Bars, and more at the events that they host. The best part? Everything is customizable.

V Smiley Preserves

Everything about V Smiley Preserves is exactly what you’d expect from a Vermont farm. Its preserves are made without added pectins, sweetened with honey made right up the road, while their fruit is sourced locally and their aromatics are grown by V’s partner, Amy. What also sets them apart is their approach to flavor—namely, combinations that are unique in the very best way. You’ll find the perfect gift sets here to give to coworkers or to anyone as thank-you gifts.

Bev Wine

After identifying a space in the market for a female-friendly drinking culture, Alix Peabody started Bev, which makes canned wine that’s just 100 calories, with 0 grams of sugar and only 3 grams of carbs. The brand’s mission is to disrupt the male-dominated alcohol industry and create a space where women feel like drinking is fun, inclusive, and safe.

Laney & Lu

Nestled away in Exeter, New Hampshire, Laney & Lu was founded by Jennifer Desrosiers in 2015 and has been abiding by the motto “Eat consciously, live vibrantly” ever since. Exclusively sourced from local, organic farms and merchants, nothing on the menu contains antibiotics, hormones, or irradiated ingredients—just pure, healthy goodness. Desrosiers works alongside Stef Heitz, Chief Creative Officer, to serve up delicious smoothies, wellness elixirs, “transformational lattes,” sandwiches, salads, and more.

The Granola Bar

With zero prior restaurant experience, Dana Noorily and Julie Mountain opened The Granola Bar in Westport, Connecticut, in 2013, and what started out as a granola company ended up being so much more. The duo refers to their women-owned business as a “modern diner…at the intersection of healthy and indulgent.” The Granola Bar now has five locations throughout Connecticut and New York. Some must-tries? The Turkish Latte (an irresistible combo of vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, espresso, and milk) and their famous avocado toast.

Provenance Meals

Woman Owned Business Provenance Meals

Founded in 2012 by Carole Lee, Provenance Meals focuses on the healing benefits of clean, organic, and sustainably sourced nutrition that also tastes good. Though based in New York, Provenance has expanded to Los Angeles and now offers nationwide delivery. The company also offers health coaching as a stand-alone or complementary service.

Marvel Cake

This Campbell, California–based boutique bakery has crafted desserts and pastries for some pretty big names, including Google and PayPal—so, as you could probably guess, its baked goods are *chef’s kiss* magnifique. Maryam Menbari created Marvel Cake in 2009 and opened her French patisserie in early 2020. If you’re in the Silicon Valley area and are wondering how to navigate all of Marvel Cake’s goods, trying a Choux a la Creme is a fantastic place to start. Trust us on this.

Brightland

Olive oil can make or break a meal, which is exactly what inspired Aishwarya Iyer to launch Brightland. The company began with olives sourced from a family-run California farm and crafted into custom-blended oils, but has since expanded into vinegar, honey, and more kitchen essentials. What elevates their products further is the modern, aesthetically pleasing packaging that you won’t mind having on your kitchen counter.

Purely Elizabeth

Elizabeth Stein started selling Purely Elizabeth muffin and pancake mixes at a triathlon in 2009, and by 2013, her granola was selling at Whole Foods. The company’s products are all non-GMO, gluten-free, organic, and vegan, and they don’t contain any artificial additives or soy. The ingredients are also nutrient-rich and, when mixed together, completely addictive.

Little Drunken Chef

Founded in 2015 by Bonnie Saran, Little Drunken Chef is a tapas bar, casual eatery, and oyster bar all in one. Self-described as “the eccentric lovechild of all things delicious, from all places exotic,” it’s the go-to spot to satisfy almost any of your food cravings. In the mood for tacos and empanadas? They’ve got it. Wings and burgers? Sure! Ravioli and chicken bolognese? Definitely. Plus, their oyster bar is filled with shellfish sourced from both the East and West Coasts. There are currently two locations in Mount Kisco and White Plains, New York.

Scratch Pasta Co.

After working as a professional chef in New York City and at the Greenbrier in West Virginia, Chef Stephanie Fees had the opportunity to attend “pasta school” in Italy. There, she learned about the range of authentic Italian pastas and sauces, which inspired her to open a pasta shop when she got home. Flavors range between the simple Semolina Fusilli and the bold Squid Ink Campanelle. Buono!

InGarden

Tech-to-table inventions, like InGarden, are changing the way we eat food. Cofounded by Natalie Peterson, this hydroponic, self-sustaining smart container garden grows microgreens in just seven days—no green thumb required. All you have to do is put the three microgreen seed pads in place, add water, press the timer, and check back in a week!

Hair Care

LUS Brands

Woman Owned Business LUS Brands

LUS (“Love Ur Self” Brands) is built on founder Sahar Saidi’s signature 3-Step System to simplify wavy, curly, and kinky-coily hair care. As the company has grown, it’s expanded into specialty products and accessories to continue supporting their customers’ natural hair texture and inspire a stronger self-image.

Yummy Extensions

When it comes to hair extensions, it’s important for them to be high quality—especially considering what they can cost. Yummy Hair Extensions, founded by Yummi O, uses only real human hair, with the entirety of the cuticle layers facing the same direction. This provides customers with extensions that really feel like hair, with the same longevity, luster, and movement.

Kosa Professionals

Another hair care line by Yummi O, Kosa Professionals offers innovative heat tools that style your hair without compromising its health. Not only that, but the blow-dryer and stylers are also sophisticated, ergonomic, and lightweight. Fun fact: In case you were wondering, the “Kosa” in Kosa Professionals means “hair” in Bosnian.

Shaz & Kiks

Inspired by their grandmother and old Indian Ayurvedic practices, sisters Shaz and Kiku Chauduri brought their family’s love of beauty rituals to life with this hair care brand. Their products are made with Ayurvedic herbs, plant oils and extracts, and naturally derived preservatives, as well as manufactured in the USA. Don’t know where to start? Their pre-wash, for both normal and thick hair, is a best seller.

Slip

In 2003, cofounder Fiona Stewart was dealing with acne when her dermatologist recommended a silk pillowcase to help her skin. When she couldn’t find one, she made her own—and experienced such incredible results that she just had to launch Slip. While cotton pillowcases can damage your hair and skin, Slip’s signature, proprietary silk allows your skin to glide across its luxe pillowcases.

Yelani

If you have curly locks and are looking for a totally chemical-free hair care line, please give a warm welcome to Yelani. You won’t find any carcinogens, silicone, sulfates, parabens, mineral oils, or other chemicals in Yetunde Jude’s products. With more than 20 years of hair care experience under her belt, she combined her knowledge and admiration for natural products to create a product line exclusively for curly hair.

NuMe

Woman Owned Business Nume

NuMe’s founder, Sabrina Maren, hasn’t always had gorgeous, frizz-free hair. In fact, she started NuMe in 2009 because she was tired of struggling to style her unruly locks every day. Now, the NuMe hair product line carries high-quality straighteners, curling wands, dryers, accessories, and other hair care products that will leave your hair silky smooth. We’re more than a little obsessed with the Lustrum Curling Wand, which includes a curling wand and five interchangeable 100 percent tourmaline ceramic barrels, as well as a heat-resistant styling glove, paddle brush, styling mat, and travel case. What else could you need?

Taliah Waajid

Taliah Waajid created not one but five hair product lines: Natural Hair Care, Protective Styling, Curly Hair, Children’s Hair Care, and Uncle Jimmy products for men. Her female-forward business is based out of Atlanta, with the brand keeping “curly, coily, kinky, and wavy hair textures” in mind while crafting products with naturally moisturizing, conditioning, and cleansing agents. One of Waajid’s top-rated products on Amazon is her Black Earth Products Tight Hold, which keeps frizz in check while defining natural curls.

Crave Naturals

This woman-founded hairbrush company wants you to enjoy brushing your hair—and not damage it in the process. Kristen Heaton founded the company “after feeling unsatisfied with what seemed like every brush on the market that would pull, hurt, or even break [her] hair.” Crave Natural’s best seller? The O.G. Glide Thru Detangler. With more than 38,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, this brush is perfect for any type of hair and will glide right through it. Tangles? Never heard of ’em.

Superzero

We all know that plastic is bad for the environment, but it’s hard to get away from. Enter: Superzero cofounder, former consultant and beauty exec Conny Wittke. With her brand’s genius hair and body bars, she’s helping the world say goodbye to liquid products…and the plastic bottles they come in. The result? A healthier environment and a happier you.

Health and Wellness

The Power of Elderberries

Woman Owned Business The Power Of Elderberries

When Jessica Lowery suffered a terrible flu episode, she was desperate to find a natural alternative to help relieve her symptoms. That’s when elderberries first made their way onto her radar. “I started making my own elderberry syrup because I wanted control over ingredient quality, safety, and taste,” she says on her website. “And from this, the Power of Elderberries was founded…unexpectedly.” Since then, the woman-founded company has moved its products into wellness stores around South Carolina and also offers nationwide shipping. The Power of Elderberries can be consumed in either syrup or gummy form. (You’ll also find candles, hats, PopSockets, totes, and other goodies on the site.)

Jollie

After meeting at a teacher training for children’s yoga, Elizabeth Thompson and Hilary Amburgey teamed up to open a family-friendly yoga practice. This led to the launch of Jollie in 2021, a line of colorful workout mats and straps made from responsibly sourced materials that benefit pediatric cancer. Plus, for every mat purchase, another mat is donated to a pediatric cancer patient. They make excellent gifts that give back for both yoga devotees and casual exercisers.

Omstars

Omstars bills itself as “Netflix for Yoga,” and they’re not wrong. The company offers 3,000-plus on-demand classes and 300-plus courses—all of which are available whenever you need them to be. Or maybe you prefer to work with an instructor, and if that’s the case, there are live and interactive Zoom video chats you could join, too. Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a tried-and-true yoga enthusiast, like Omstars’ founder, Kino MacGregor, the world’s first yoga TV network definitely has something for you.

MyAir

Cofounded by Rachel Yarcony, MyAir is the first personalized nutrition concept for stress management. This solution is designed to help you combat stress through a long-term health regimen based on data and ongoing monitoring, in a way that easily merges into your daily routine. Oh, and to support your progress, they offer super-plant bars that you can order as a subscription or one-time purchase.

Body & Sole Wellness Spa

When was the last time you got a professional foot massage and treatment? And no, we’re not talking about the one you sometimes get with a pedicure. Dawn Durocher, a licensed nail technician and certified master pedicurist of almost 20 years, owns New Hampshire–based Body & Sole Wellness Spa, which puts an emphasis on the importance of foot care. Durocher uses her background in diabetic/geriatric foot care and works alongside a podiatrist to determine the best foot treatments for each individual. Of course, you don’t need to have any health-related concerns to book a treatment and give your feet some good ol’ TLC.

Womaness

Woman Owned Business Womaness

Womaness was started in 2021 by Sally Mueller and Michelle Jacobs to address the overlooked needs of women as they enter menopause. In addition to offering products (all under $40!) such as Gone in a Hot Flash Cooling Mist and a host of dietary supplements, the brand is focused on empowerment, research, community, and removing stigmas.

Ritual

Simplicity, clean living, and science is the name of the game at Ritual. Founded by Katerina Schneider, Ritual created a daily multivitamin for women called Essential for Women that has zero filler ingredients; it’s also totally transparent about what goes into each supplement. In addition to 18 multivitamins, Ritual has 50-plus prenatal and postnatal supplements for women, as well as vitamins for men and children. Oh, and the COO, VP, and SVP are all women, too—you know, in case you needed more of a reason to try out these awesome, female-forward multivitamins.

Your Super

Cofounded by certified health coach Kristel de Root, Your Super is a B-Corp-certified and 100 percent organic superfoods brand. The mixes include only naturally dried superfoods, which are sourced directly to create a transparent supply chain and positive impact on the local communities. Plus, for every Your Super mix purchased, a food bar will be donated to those in need through a partnership with Action Against Hunger.

House of Wise

House of Wise is a luxury CBD and wellness brand for women founded by Amanda Goetz, who discovered CBD in 2017 while navigating a divorce, raising three children, and working as a VP of Marketing. Every part of the company was built around empowerment, from the product lines (sleep, sex, stress, and strength) to the up-to-20-percent commission you can earn as an affiliate ambassador. They also have an ongoing partnership with Last Prisoner Project, an organization fighting criminal injustice and current drug policies related to cannabis incarceration.

Glory

The skin care industry tends to make melanin-rich skin an afterthought. With Glory, founded by Alisia Ford, women of color are the priority. Not only are the products created in conjunction with dermatologists who specialize in skin of color, but also with psychiatrists who understand how skin and mental health are connected. The resulting clean-beauty products are formulated without what they call the Toxic 20 (the 20 most harmful ingredients commonly used in skin care).

Home, Gardens, and Decor

ChappyWrap

Woman Owned Business Chappywrap

Founded in 2006, ChappyWrap is run by mother-daughter duo Beth Haller LaSala and Christina Livada, and makes what they call “the best blanket you will ever own.” Created from a high-quality natural cotton blend that’s woven on a loom, each blanket goes through a unique process that fluffs the fibers and gives the blankets their unbelievable softness.

54kibo

After hosting a Ghanaian naming ceremony for her twins in Brooklyn, New York, Nana Quagraine was inspired to share the beauty of her African culture with the world through the lens of interior design—and so, 54kibo was born. The contemporary African interior design business took off in 2018, selling one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture and decor accents, all crafted in South Africa. Curated with products that are totally sustainable and 99 percent handmade, 54kibo places an emphasis on traditional African artistry techniques, like weaving, beading, and woodwork. One of Quagraine’s favorites? This Woven Mirror, which will elevate your decor instantly.

Drea’ Custom Designs

Located in New Orleans and founded by Andrea Julien, Drea’ Custom Designs specializes in custom window treatments, with each detail hand-picked and crafted to meet whatever design you’re envisioning. Drea’ does everything from solar shades and custom curtains to wood blinds and sliding panels. Bonus points for them making it work for almost any budget and still delivering the highest quality of window treatments.

Blueland

Cleaning brand Blueland, cofounded by CEO Sarah Pajii Yoo, was started with a desire to eliminate single-use plastic packaging. Every part of the customer experience is designed with sustainability in mind—from reusable bottles to dissolvable tablets in compostable wrappers to recyclable shipping materials. Bonus: By sending you tablets instead of pre-mixing them with water, Blueland helps you minimize your carbon footprint—and save space in your home.

Jolie Home

This boutique paint brand, founded in 2018 by Lisa Rickert, is dedicated to helping customers make life beautiful. Available in a diverse yet curated mix of colors, Jolie Home’s paint brings quality and sophistication to any project. Looking for recs? For furniture, try Uptown Ecru or French Quarter Green. For walls and trim, check out Blue Optimism and Blossom. Or check out the best paint colors for you, based on your zodiac sign.

MoonBeam Homes & Gardens

This Connecticut-based, organic-certified company was founded by Bonnie Sassano-Troy in 2000 with the goal of “[helping] people attain a more organic and sustainable lifestyle.” Having grown up in suburban New England, Sassano-Troy was all too familiar with the amount of work necessary to maintain a home and yard throughout four seasons. So, as her gardening business took off, she started offering more services, including fall and spring cleanups, custom landscape design and maintenance, masonry work, and beehive installations. Recently, she also added real estate to her menu of services.

Ruggable

Even if you don’t have pets or kids, we’re guessing that you’ve wished there was an easier way to clean your rugs. Like, wouldn’t it be amazing to throw them in the washing machine? Well, now you can, thanks to Ruggable founder Jeneva Bell. Like many women-owned businesses, this one involved a very specific solution to a very specific problem—and now everyone can benefit from it. With hundreds of styles and a wide range of sizes to choose from, there’s a Ruggable rug for every household. (We particularly love this shag rug.) Bonus: They’re made to order in the United States.

Sable Candle Co.

Woman Owned Business Sable Candle Co

When Courtney Jones started Sable Candle Co. in 2016, she expected it to be a small side business, but it didn’t take long for people to start spreading the word about it. Now, the Michigan-based company ships its candles nationwide, using ethically sourced, premium ingredients to craft each hand-poured soy candle. Totally vegan, cruelty-free, phthalate-free, and petroleum-free, these scented candles offer hours of natural fragrance without emitting toxins or harming the environment.

Estelle Colored Glass

The definition of luxury? Handblown glass cake stands and stemware in a rainbow of sophisticated hues. Estelle Colored Glass is named after founder Stephanie Summerson Hall’s grandmother, who inspired her with her own colored-glass collection. Vintage yet modern, each piece makes a true heirloom-quality statement.

Lula’s Garden

If you’re looking for a sturdy indoor plant to spruce up your home, look no further than Lula’s Garden. Founder Liraz Birnbaum started her company after spending more than a year creating a planter–gift box hybrid. Her creation was a success, and she now ships the locally sourced succulents and memorable gift boxes all around the country. Just remove the top of the gift box—and voilà! Adorable, ready-to-go succulents. No need to replant or find a vase. We particularly love this adorable Verdant Garden, which houses three medium-sized succulents.

Clare Paint

Interior designer Nicole Gibbons has spent a lot of time in her life shopping for paint. As a result, she realized just how outdated the traditional experience was and decided to change it with Clare Paint. She reimagined paint shopping with peel-and-stick paint swatches, an expertly curated color palette (Whipped is a favorite white), and the highest-quality paint and supplies—all delivered to your home. Say goodbye to weekends spent at the paint store and organizing handfuls of paint chips.

Corey Paige Designs

Corey Paige Designs is all about unique, hand-drawn designs and whimsical art based on popular themes such as fashion, travel destinations, teen activities, and college spirit. The expressive style combines bright, colorful imagery, icons, patterns, and words on a range of products from clothing and accessories to home decor, stationery, gifts, and more. This Happi Vibes coaster set celebrates Women’s History Month and supports other female founders.

The House of Noa

There’s long been a white space in the baby market for products that are both pretty and practical—a white space that Elizabeth Granados took upon herself to help fill with her signature play mat. For adults, anti-fatigue standing mats for the kitchen and laundry room are favorites that, as the company says, “look like an heirloom rug but feel like you’re standing on a zillion gummy bears.”

Pet Care

SquishFace

Woman Owned Business Squishface

In case you didn’t know, those folds that some dogs have (yes, we’re looking at you, bulldogs and pugs) can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which can ultimately lead to infections and other complications. Well, you can say goodbye to trapped dirt and germs, tear stains, and tail pockets thanks to SquishFace Wrinkle Paste and Wrinkle Wipes. These plant-based products and Amazon bestsellers, created by founder Tiffany Burris, work like magic.

Rowan

Our pets deserve the best, right? Rowan was inspired by the belief that the products used on our dogs should be as gentle and effective as the ones used on ourselves. Founded by Michelle Arnau and Sally Clarke, in partnership with board-certified veterinary dermatologist Dr. Anthea Schick, Rowan is the world’s first clean-beauty brand for dogs. The products are so nice, you’re going to wish you could use them, too. Seriously, just look at this pH-balanced leave-in conditioner made from argan and coconut oils!

PoochieBells

Ring, ring! What’s that sound? Ask Cheryl Pederson, creator of PoochieBells. The brand launched in 2005 with the original dog potty-training doorbell. Individually handcrafted with USA-sourced components, it’s designed for all breeds and sizes. Plus, it comes in all kinds of fun prints and colors!

PetCakes

In 2009, Melinda (the CEO of Lucky Paws and creator of PetCakes & YumYum Bones) adopted Ciao Bella, a deaf Jack Russell and Italian Greyhound mix. Soon after, she started developing healthy cakes and ice cream for pets made of human-grade ingredients. The all-natural treats are super easy and quick to make and require no additional ingredients. Whether your furry friend is a fan of pizza, pumpkin spice, carob, cheese, or another flavor, there’s a good chance PetCakes will have something that’s pretty much guaranteed to be pet-approved.

Cat Cave Co.

Cat Cave Co. was founded by Holly Hudson and her brother, who realized there was a lack of diverse and eco-friendly products on the market for cats. After discovering a woman in Nepal with a passion for hand felting with organic wool, the company created a cave-shaped bed (to give felines a sense of security) out of eco-friendly materials in a range of beautiful colors. Since the beginning, the female workforce has been paid 200 percent of the average local wage, which has helped transform local communities.

Petique

This woman-owned business has been developing eco-friendly and nontoxic products—including pet beds and toothbrushes—for more than 30 years. The idea started with Petique’s owner, Kathy Tsai. “What sets [Petique] apart from others are our stylish yet environmentally friendly products that are completely safe for animals and humans,” Tsai told VoyageLA. She’s not wrong about her products being stylish—just look at this Lux Pet Carrier, which makes a great gift for a dog lover with a pint-sized pup.

House Dogge

Woman Owned Business House Dogge

Angela Medlin, a former product designer and director at a host of major brands, started House Dogge as a way to disrupt the production of toxic, synthetic pet toys and products, and instead create ones that are safer for dogs and humans alike. The modern, thoughtful brand takes pride in its small-batch and eco-conscious products, and donates a percentage of sales to organizations that help to rescue and heal dogs in need.

Pomchies

Pomchies’ story has an unusual beginning: in a swimwear factory. Founder Heather Logan used to sell children’s swimwear in Australia when her factory started looking for ways to use leftover fabric scraps. And so, the idea for Pomchies was born. While the company still sells stylish scrunchies and headbands for humans, it also offers products to a canine clientele with its PomPooch line. Snag a cute leash pom or a dapper bow tie and your pup will be the most stylish on the block.

KeriCure

Putting a Band-Aid on your pets’ cuts and scratches isn’t exactly an easy (or realistic) task, which is why KeriCure came up with an all-natural solution to keep your pets safe from infections: nontoxic liquid spray-on bandages. The mild formula is totally safe for dogs, cats, and small animals, even if licked. KeriCure also offers a spray and an antimicrobial silver barrier for horses, livestock, and large animals to reduce inflammation and bacteria. The company was founded by organic chemist Kerriann Greenhalgh.

TruDog

After TruDog founder Lori R. Taylor’s beloved fur baby, Truman, was diagnosed with a terminal illness at a young age, she set out on a mission to try to make sure that kind of heartbreak didn’t happen to anyone else. Taylor turned to the food she was feeding her pup—and realized it was filled with processed scraps that were anything but human-grade. Her determination led her to create a healthy pet food brand with “nourishing freeze-dried raw dog food, dog food toppers, supplements, and a wide variety of limited-ingredient—oftentimes only one ingredient—treats.”

Additional reporting by Brittany Gibson.

Sources:

It has happened to almost all of us. You find the perfect ring, necklace, pair of earrings, or bracelet and you wear it all day long—then it turns your skin green. After feelings of devastation dissipate, you’re left with questions as to why the jewelry is turning skin green in the first place. Fortunately, we have an answer—and tips on how to prevent it from happening.

Why does your skin turn green when you wear certain jewelry?

Copper is often the culprit when discussing jewelry turning skin green. When jewelry is made with copper, it can react with sweat, lotion, and other products on your skin and oxidize. When copper oxidizes, it goes through chemical reactions that create a green type of “film” on the jewelry, which then transfers to the skin. (Did you know the Statue of Liberty’s real color isn’t green? It’s because she’s made out of copper!)

Copper isn’t always the metal at fault, though. “You must be careful with any fashion jewelry that isn’t solid gold or platinum, as it may not always be defined which metals are in the alloy,” says Tori Dundas, founder and president of True Curated Designs. “Many people specifically must ask about nickel as well as copper, because skin allergies to nickel are common.”

Does green skin from jewelry go away?

Yes, green skin from jewelry does go away. Some people may confuse this sensation with their skin being allergic to copper, but that’s not the case. “It’s important to note this is an oxidation reaction, not a skin reaction,” says Beatrix Bell of Beatrixbell Handcrafted Jewelry. “It is physical residue left on your skin. It can be wiped off, but can be stubborn at times.”

As long as you sweat (which is inevitable), chances are, your skin will react with the copper in your jewelry. Despite this, there are always exceptions. If you’re experiencing an itching sensation or a rash after wearing copper jewelry, it may be a sign of an allergy.

How do I stop my jewelry from turning my skin green?

Fortunately, you can still wear your copper jewelry without having green skin as a side effect. Here are some tips that can help prevent jewelry from turning your skin green:

  • Paint the part of the jewelry that touches your skin with a coat of clear nail polish so there is a type of barrier between the jewelry and your skin. Here are some other things you can fix with nail polish.
  • Clean your jewelry regularly to remove excess lotion, sweat, and dirt.
  • Store your jewelry in a dry environment.
  • Keep your skin dry when wearing jewelry.
  • Avoid wearing jewelry on hot days, since you’re more likely to sweat.
  • Take off jewelry when swimming and cleaning.
  • Buy stainless steel or platinum jewelry, or jewelry made from precious metals like sterling silver or solid gold.

Additional reporting by Brittany Gibson

Sources:

It has happened to almost all of us. You find the perfect ring, necklace, pair of earrings, or bracelet and you wear it all day long—then it turns your skin green. After feelings of devastation dissipate, you’re left with questions as to why the jewelry is turning skin green in the first place. Fortunately, we have an answer—and tips on how to prevent it from happening.

Why does your skin turn green when you wear certain jewelry?

Copper is often the culprit when discussing jewelry turning skin green. When jewelry is made with copper, it can react with sweat, lotion, and other products on your skin and oxidize. When copper oxidizes, it goes through chemical reactions that create a green type of “film” on the jewelry, which then transfers to the skin. (Did you know the Statue of Liberty’s real color isn’t green? It’s because she’s made out of copper!)

Copper isn’t always the metal at fault, though. “You must be careful with any fashion jewelry that isn’t solid gold or platinum, as it may not always be defined which metals are in the alloy,” says Tori Dundas, founder and president of True Curated Designs. “Many people specifically must ask about nickel as well as copper, because skin allergies to nickel are common.”

Does green skin from jewelry go away?

Yes, green skin from jewelry does go away. Some people may confuse this sensation with their skin being allergic to copper, but that’s not the case. “It’s important to note this is an oxidation reaction, not a skin reaction,” says Beatrix Bell of Beatrixbell Handcrafted Jewelry. “It is physical residue left on your skin. It can be wiped off, but can be stubborn at times.”

As long as you sweat (which is inevitable), chances are, your skin will react with the copper in your jewelry. Despite this, there are always exceptions. If you’re experiencing an itching sensation or a rash after wearing copper jewelry, it may be a sign of an allergy.

How do I stop my jewelry from turning my skin green?

Fortunately, you can still wear your copper jewelry without having green skin as a side effect. Here are some tips that can help prevent jewelry from turning your skin green:

  • Paint the part of the jewelry that touches your skin with a coat of clear nail polish so there is a type of barrier between the jewelry and your skin. Here are some other things you can fix with nail polish.
  • Clean your jewelry regularly to remove excess lotion, sweat, and dirt.
  • Store your jewelry in a dry environment.
  • Keep your skin dry when wearing jewelry.
  • Avoid wearing jewelry on hot days, since you’re more likely to sweat.
  • Take off jewelry when swimming and cleaning.
  • Buy stainless steel or platinum jewelry, or jewelry made from precious metals like sterling silver or solid gold.

Additional reporting by Brittany Gibson

Sources:

It has happened to almost all of us. You find the perfect ring, necklace, pair of earrings, or bracelet and you wear it all day long—then it turns your skin green. After feelings of devastation dissipate, you’re left with questions as to why the jewelry is turning skin green in the first place. Fortunately, we have an answer—and tips on how to prevent it from happening.

Why does your skin turn green when you wear certain jewelry?

Copper is often the culprit when discussing jewelry turning skin green. When jewelry is made with copper, it can react with sweat, lotion, and other products on your skin and oxidize. When copper oxidizes, it goes through chemical reactions that create a green type of “film” on the jewelry, which then transfers to the skin. (Did you know the Statue of Liberty’s real color isn’t green? It’s because she’s made out of copper!)

Copper isn’t always the metal at fault, though. “You must be careful with any fashion jewelry that isn’t solid gold or platinum, as it may not always be defined which metals are in the alloy,” says Tori Dundas, founder and president of True Curated Designs. “Many people specifically must ask about nickel as well as copper, because skin allergies to nickel are common.”

Does green skin from jewelry go away?

Yes, green skin from jewelry does go away. Some people may confuse this sensation with their skin being allergic to copper, but that’s not the case. “It’s important to note this is an oxidation reaction, not a skin reaction,” says Beatrix Bell of Beatrixbell Handcrafted Jewelry. “It is physical residue left on your skin. It can be wiped off, but can be stubborn at times.”

As long as you sweat (which is inevitable), chances are, your skin will react with the copper in your jewelry. Despite this, there are always exceptions. If you’re experiencing an itching sensation or a rash after wearing copper jewelry, it may be a sign of an allergy.

How do I stop my jewelry from turning my skin green?

Fortunately, you can still wear your copper jewelry without having green skin as a side effect. Here are some tips that can help prevent jewelry from turning your skin green:

  • Paint the part of the jewelry that touches your skin with a coat of clear nail polish so there is a type of barrier between the jewelry and your skin. Here are some other things you can fix with nail polish.
  • Clean your jewelry regularly to remove excess lotion, sweat, and dirt.
  • Store your jewelry in a dry environment.
  • Keep your skin dry when wearing jewelry.
  • Avoid wearing jewelry on hot days, since you’re more likely to sweat.
  • Take off jewelry when swimming and cleaning.
  • Buy stainless steel or platinum jewelry, or jewelry made from precious metals like sterling silver or solid gold.

Additional reporting by Brittany Gibson

Sources:

It has happened to almost all of us. You find the perfect ring, necklace, pair of earrings, or bracelet and you wear it all day long—then it turns your skin green. After feelings of devastation dissipate, you’re left with questions as to why the jewelry is turning skin green in the first place. Fortunately, we have an answer—and tips on how to prevent it from happening.

Why does your skin turn green when you wear certain jewelry?

Copper is often the culprit when discussing jewelry turning skin green. When jewelry is made with copper, it can react with sweat, lotion, and other products on your skin and oxidize. When copper oxidizes, it goes through chemical reactions that create a green type of “film” on the jewelry, which then transfers to the skin. (Did you know the Statue of Liberty’s real color isn’t green? It’s because she’s made out of copper!)

Copper isn’t always the metal at fault, though. “You must be careful with any fashion jewelry that isn’t solid gold or platinum, as it may not always be defined which metals are in the alloy,” says Tori Dundas, founder and president of True Curated Designs. “Many people specifically must ask about nickel as well as copper, because skin allergies to nickel are common.”

Does green skin from jewelry go away?

Yes, green skin from jewelry does go away. Some people may confuse this sensation with their skin being allergic to copper, but that’s not the case. “It’s important to note this is an oxidation reaction, not a skin reaction,” says Beatrix Bell of Beatrixbell Handcrafted Jewelry. “It is physical residue left on your skin. It can be wiped off, but can be stubborn at times.”

As long as you sweat (which is inevitable), chances are, your skin will react with the copper in your jewelry. Despite this, there are always exceptions. If you’re experiencing an itching sensation or a rash after wearing copper jewelry, it may be a sign of an allergy.

How do I stop my jewelry from turning my skin green?

Fortunately, you can still wear your copper jewelry without having green skin as a side effect. Here are some tips that can help prevent jewelry from turning your skin green:

  • Paint the part of the jewelry that touches your skin with a coat of clear nail polish so there is a type of barrier between the jewelry and your skin. Here are some other things you can fix with nail polish.
  • Clean your jewelry regularly to remove excess lotion, sweat, and dirt.
  • Store your jewelry in a dry environment.
  • Keep your skin dry when wearing jewelry.
  • Avoid wearing jewelry on hot days, since you’re more likely to sweat.
  • Take off jewelry when swimming and cleaning.
  • Buy stainless steel or platinum jewelry, or jewelry made from precious metals like sterling silver or solid gold.

Additional reporting by Brittany Gibson

Sources:

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate that special someone in your life. You may look for the perfect gift, flowers, and even the perfect love song to serenade your sweetheart with. Sure, romance is important, but you know what else is? Humor, and lots of it. That’s where these funny Valentine’s Day quotes come into play.

These sweet and funny Valentine’s Day quotes poke fun at love, relationships, marriage, and other hilarious affairs of the heart. Share these witty words with your valentine and you’ll immediately have them in stitches. Then browse through these Valentine’s Day memesValentine’s Day jokes, and Valentine’s Day puns for more holiday humor. Enjoy the laughs—and the love!

Funny Valentine’s Day quotes

1. “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” —Charles M. Schulz

2. “Valentine’s Day money-saving tip: Break up on February 13. Get back together on the 15th.” —David Letterman

3. “I wonder what fool it was that first invented kissing.” —Jonathan Swift

4. “Without Valentine’s Day, February would be … well, January.” —Jim Gaffigan

5. “What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork.” —Pearl Bailey

6. “Oh, here’s an idea: Let’s make pictures of our internal organs and give them to other people we love on Valentine’s Day. That’s not weird at all.” —Jimmy Fallon

7. “I love Valentine’s Day. When you’re a kid, everyone gets a valentine. It’s like, ‘To Tim, nice pants, love, Scott.’ It’s valentines galore!” —Mike Birbiglia

8. “You can’t put a price tag on love, but you can on all its accessories.” —Melanie Clark Pullen

9. “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.” —Albert Einstein 

10. “Valentine’s Day: the holiday that reminds you that if you don’t have a special someone, you’re alone.” —Lewis Black

11. “Love may not make the world go round, but I must admit that it makes the ride worthwhile.” —Sean Connery

12. “If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?” —Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker Funny Valentines Quote

13. “I got a Valentine’s Day card from my girl. It said, ‘Take my heart! Take my arms! Take my lips!’ Which is just like her. Keeping the best part for herself.” —Robert Orben 

14. “Valentine’s Day: rubbing singles’ noses in their lack of a mate and the noses of couples in their lack of time.” —Emma McLaughlin

15. “Love is a misunderstanding between two fools.” —Oscar Wilde 

16. “Today is Valentine’s Day—or, as men like to call it, Extortion Day!” —Jay Leno

17. “Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties.” —Jules Renard

18. “I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” —Rita Rudner

19. “My heart’s in the right place. I know, cuz I hid it there.” —Carrie Fisher 

20. “The jewelry stores say, ‘Tell your wife you love her with a diamond,’ while wives tell you they love you with, ‘OK, but just because it’s Valentine’s Day.'” —George Lopez

21. “If love means never having to say you’re sorry, then marriage means always having to say everything twice.” —Estelle Getty

22. “Love is being stupid together.” —Paul Valéry

23. “No one will ever win the battle of the sexes; there’s too much fraternizing with the enemy.” —Henry A. Kissinger

Henry Kissinger Funny Valentines Quote

24. “Husbands are like fires—they go out when they’re left unattended.” —Cher

25. “Love can change a person the way a parent can change a baby—awkwardly, and often with a great deal of mess.” —Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler)

26. “I wanted to make it really special on Valentine’s Day, so I tied my boyfriend up. And for three solid hours, I watched whatever I wanted on TV.” —Tracy Smith

27. “Being a good husband is like being a stand-up comic. You need ten years before you can call yourself a beginner.” —Jerry Seinfeld 

28. “If love is the answer, could you please rephrase the question?” —Lily Tomlin

29. “Nobody loves me as much as I love me, so I guess I’ll just be my own valentine.” —Adam Rippon

30. “I want a man who’s kind and understanding. Is that too much to ask of a millionaire?” —Zsa Zsa Gábor

31. “At my age, an affair of the heart is a bypass!” —Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers Funny Valentines Quote

32. “There are only three things women need in life: food, water, and compliments.” —Chris Rock

33. “I told my wife a man is like wine, he gets better with age. She locked me in the cellar.” —Rodney Dangerfield 

34. “Remember, your Valentine’s card shows you care enough to send the very best even though you’re too lazy to put it in your own words.” —Melanie White

35. “He or she lucky enough to have a lover in frigid, antsy February has cause for celebration, indeed.” —Tom Robbins

36. “Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache.” —Mae West

37. “I understood Valentine’s Day as a concept. The naked baby shoots you with an arrow, and you fall in love.” —Trevor Noah

38. “The whole Valentine’s thing is fine, but you don’t back it up right next to the biggest gift-giving holiday of the year. Unbelievable. And we find it acceptable.” —Lewis Black

39. “I never want to be away from you again, except at work, in the restroom, or when one of us is at a movie the other does not want to see.” —Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler)

40. “If I love you, what business is it of yours?” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

41. “Love is a lot like a backache. It doesn’t show up on X-rays, but you know it’s there.” —George Burns

42. “Today, folks, should be all about love. Unless you’re old.” —Stephen Colbert

43. “When I eventually met Mr. Right, I had no idea that his first name was Always.” —Rita Rudner

Rita Rudner Funny Valentines Quote

44. “Love is just a chocolate substitute.” —Melanie Clark Pullen

45. “My life’s accomplishments? Sanity, and you.” —Elizabeth Gilbert

46. “Love is an ocean of emotions entirely surrounded by expenses.” —Arthur Dewar

47. “If I eat a huge meal and I can get the girl to rub my belly, I think that’s about as romantic as I can think of.” —Ryan Gosling

48. “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.” —Benjamin Franklin

49. “The man who says his wife can’t take a joke forgets that she took him.” —Oscar Wilde

50. “There is a place you can touch a woman that will drive her crazy: her heart.” —Melanie Griffith 

51. “You can’t buy love, but you can pay heavily for it.”—Henny Youngman

52. “The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing.”—Blaise Pascal

Now that you’ve got your fix of funny Valentine’s Day quotes, read up on how you should celebrate Valentine’s Day according to your zodiac sign.

Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom—2022 marks 70 years since her ascension to the throne. Next in line on the royal family tree is Prince Charles, her son with her late husband, Prince Philip, followed by Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren. Below, follow the line of succession and learn more about Queen Elizabeth’s family.

The Royal Family Tree - each member of the Royal family's face in a circle with name and birth year

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II

Elizabeth was the first-born child of her father, King George VI, who was the second-born son of King George V. As the second-born son, it was not expected that her father, known in his early life as Prince Albert, would become king. However, less than one year into his reign, King Edward VIII, Elizabeth’s uncle, decided that he no longer wished to rule. In what would go down as one of the biggest royal family scandals in history, King Edward abdicated the throne in December 1936 and her father suddenly found himself being crowned as King George VI.

Then, Princess Elizabeth of York, as she was known at the time, became the “heir presumptive.” Unlike the “heir apparent,” whose position as second in line is absolute, the heir presumptive’s position is subject to displacement in the event a male heir is subsequently born, which, as one can see from looking at the royal family tree, never happened in Elizabeth’s case. When her father died in 1952, Elizabeth was crowned Queen.

1. The heir apparent: Prince Charles

Prince Charles

On November 14, 1948, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip welcomed their first child, Prince Charles Philip Arthur George. Prince Charles is next in line to the throne. In August 1969, the year Charles turned 21, he was invested as the Prince of Wales in a lavish ceremony. In 1981, the Prince married Lady Diana Spencer, making her the Princess of Wales. In 1982, the couple welcomed their first son, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, and their second, Prince Henry Charles Albert David (Prince Harry), in 1984. When Queen Elizabeth dies, Prince Charles will become King.

Prince Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005. At that time, the royal family announced that Camilla would take the title of Princess Consort once Prince Charles ascends to the throne. But on her accession anniversary in 2022, Queen Elizabeth publicly stated that she wants Camilla to have the official title of Queen Consort when Prince Charles becomes King.

2. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge

Prince William and Kate Middleton

Next on the royal family tree is Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, the first-born son of Prince Charles and his late wife, Diana, Princess of Wales. By virtue of his being male, from the moment of his birth in 1982, Prince William became next in line to the throne after his father, Prince Charles.

In 2011, Prince William married Catherine Middleton. The two became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Two years later, in 2013, the Cambridges welcomed their first child, Prince George of Cambridge, followed by Princess Charlotte in 2015 and Prince Louis in 2018.

3. Prince George of Cambridge

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge And Their Family

Prince George stands third in line to the throne after his grandfather and father. When Prince Charles becomes king, George will take the place of his father, Prince William, as second in the order of succession. When William becomes king, George will become the heir apparent.

4. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge

On May 2, 2015, the Cambridges welcomed daughter Princess Charlotte into the world. Because the Queen ratified the Succession to the Crown Act (more on that below) just two months before Charlotte’s birth, nothing stands to bump Charlotte from her current place at fourth in the line of succession except the birth of heirs to her brother, Prince George. Since Prince George is at present only eight years old, that could be a while.

5. Prince Louis of Cambridge

Prince Louis, born April 23, 2018, is fifth in line to the throne. His position stands to drop when either of his elder siblings, George or Charlotte, have children of their own.

6. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex

Commonwealth Day Service 2020

At the time of his birth in 1984, Prince Harry was third in line to the throne. Harry has seen his place in the line of succession drop further with the birth of each of Prince William’s children. Today, Prince Harry stands at sixth in line to the throne, despite the fact that he is not currently a working member of the royal family.

Harry, who married Meghan Markle in 2018, with the two becoming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, has admitted to feeling marginalized as the “spare.” This may have contributed to Harry’s stepping down from his duties as a senior member of the royal family, along with other factors, including the discomfort that the Duchess of Sussex has expressed with regard to the royal family, its rules, and its mores.

7. Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor

The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex Visit South Africa

Born in 2019, the first Sussex child, Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, was given no royal title by the Queen when he was born. The Queen was adhering to applicable rules regarding royal stylings and titles, which hold that the child of any son of the monarch is entitled to be styled as an “HRH” and with the title of Prince or Princess. Though Harry himself is the child of the son of the monarch, his children do not fall into that category.

Despite being a “commoner,” young Archie is currently seventh in line to the throne.

8. Miss Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor

Born on June 4, 2021, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten Windsor, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s second child, is named for her great grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, whose childhood nickname had been Lilibet, and for her grandmother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Although “Lili” has no royal title, she stands eighth in line to the throne.

9. Prince Andrew, Duke of York

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson

Prince Andrew, the third child of Queen Elizabeth II, was born a full decade after his older sister, Princess Anne. However, Andrew’s place in the order of succession is ahead of Anne’s because the system of male primogeniture was still in effect at the time of Anne and Andrew’s respective births. Until Prince Charles began having children of his own, Andrew was next in line behind Prince Charles.

Despite Prince Andrew’s apparent “firing” in the wake of recent scandals, he nevertheless still factors into the line of succession, standing currently at ninth. Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, have two children, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

10. Princess Beatrice of York

Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York

Born four years after Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice of York, the elder daughter of Prince Andrew, had once been the highest-ranking female royal family member in the order of succession. At the time of her birth, Princess Beatrice was fifth in line for the throne (after the Princes Charles, William, Harry, and Andrew). That, of course, changed when Princess Charlotte was born in 2015. Today, Princess Beatrice stands at 10th in the order of succession.

11. Sienna Elizabeth Mapelli Mozzi

Princess Beatrice married property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in February 2020. On September 18, 2021, the newlyweds welcomed their first child, Sienna Elizabeth Mapelli Mozzi. Sienna has no royal title, but she stands at 11th in the line of succession.

12. Princess Eugenie of York

In 1990, Prince Andrew and his wife, Sarah Ferguson, welcome a second daughter, Princess Eugenie of York. Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank in 2018. She currently stands at 12th in the British royal line of succession.

13. Master August Brooksbank

On February 9, 2021, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank welcomed their first child, a son named August Brooksbank. Though he has no royal title, August is 13th in line for the throne.

14. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones

Born in 1964, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, is Queen Elizabeth II’s youngest child. He was born before male primogeniture was abolished, and his place in the royal order of succession is after both of his older male siblings and their progeny. For the same reason, Edward, like his older brother, Prince Andrew, appears in the royal order of succession before his older sister, Princess Anne. He married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999, and the pair have two children.

15. James Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn

Next in line to the throne after Prince Edward are Prince Edward’s children. His son, James, was born in 2007, and although James is younger than his sister, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, he is higher in the order of succession because he was born prior to the elimination of male primogeniture. James’ title, Viscount Severn, makes him a peer of the Queen, rather than a commoner like the children of Prince Harry and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. It is also within James’ prerogative to take on the title of prince and the HRH styling when he reaches age 18 in 2025. James is 15th in line to the throne.

16. Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor

When James’ sister, Louise, was born in 2003, her parents, Prince Edward and Countess Sophie, announced that Louise would not be styled as a princess, although she would be entitled to be, by virtue of being the child of a son of the Queen. Instead, Louise became the first granddaughter of the Queen to carry the surname Mountbatten-Windsor from birth.

Like James, Louise has the option of adopting the style HRH Princess Louise if she chooses to do so upon turning 18. Though she was eligible in 2021, her title remains the same.

17. Princess Anne, Princess Royal

Princess Anne and Captain Mark Philips

Finally, we come to the last of Queen Elizabeth’s children, Elizabeth’s only daughter, Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, Princess Royal. When Anne was born in 1950, her place in the royal family tree had her just behind her older brother, Prince Charles, in the royal order of succession. However, Anne’s place was immediately usurped by her brothers, Andrew and Edward, upon their respective births. Anne has been further displaced with each birth of a child or grandchild of Charles, Andrew, or Edward. She is currently 17th in line for the throne.

18. Peter Phillips

Isps Handa Mike Tindall 3rd Annual Celebrity Golf Classic
From left to right: Peter Phillips, Autumn Phillips, Zara Tindall, Mike Tindall

Since Princess Anne is the daughter, and not the son, of the monarch, her children are not born to be styled as HRH princes or princesses (the way children of the Queen’s sons are). The Princess Royal’s first-born child is Peter Phillips. When Peter was born in 1977, the Queen offered to bestow these royal stylings anyway, but Anne and her then-husband, Captain Mark Phillips, declined.

Peter Phillips, who has embraced his life as a commoner, tends to stay out of the limelight. The managing director of Sports and Entertainment Limited UK reportedly did not even tell his future wife, Autumn Kelly, of his place in the royal family tree for the first six weeks that the two were becoming acquainted.

19. Savannah Phillips

The first child of Peter and Autumn Phillips is Savannah Phillips, born in 2010. The first great-grandchild of the Queen, Savannah is currently number 19 in the royal order of succession, immediately after her father, Peter Phillips.

20. Isla Phillips

Born in 2012, Isla Phillips is the second child of Peter and Autumn Phillips. Isla is 20th in line to the throne.

21. Zara Tindall (née Phillips)

Princess Anne’s second child is her daughter, Zara, born in 1981. Zara, like her great-grandmother, the Queen, is an avid equestrian. She even competed in the 2012 Olympics and took home the silver medal. Zara married rugby player Mike Tindall in 2011. They have three children, Mia (born in 2014), Lena (born in 2018), and Lucas Tindall (born in 2021).

22. Mia Tindall

As grandchildren of the Princess Royal, Zara and Mike’s children are in the line of succession. Born in 2014, Mia Tindall is 22nd in line to the throne.

23. Lena Tindall

The Tindalls’ second child, daughter Lena, was born in 2018. Like her sister, Mia, she did not lose her place in the order of succession when her brother, Lucas, was born in 2021.

24. Lucas Tindall

Born in March 2021, Lucas Tindall, the third child of Zara and Mike Tindall, currently stands at 24th in line to the throne.

How the line of succession is determined

According to the official website of the royal family, “the order of succession is the sequence of members of the Royal Family in the order in which they stand in line to the throne.” That order is determined first and foremost by position in the royal family tree. From the late 17th century until 2015, “next in line” after the monarch was the monarch’s eldest son, then that son’s eldest son, and so on.

Daughters were also in the line of succession but stood to lose their place on the birth of a subsequently born son. For example, Queen Elizabeth’s second child was a daughter, Anne, but Anne lost her place as next in line upon the birth of her two younger brothers.

The Succession to the Crown Act

In March 2015, the Succession to the Crown Act went into effect, ending the system of male primogeniture. Less than two months later, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge was born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Catherine Middleton) and became fourth in line to the throne. Three years later in 2018, when Prince Louis of Cambridge was born, Charlotte retained her place in the line of succession, marking the first time that a female member of the royal family tree would retain her place in the line of succession even after the birth of a male sibling.

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As someone who’s been around since before the Internet and cell phones (yes, I’m prehistoric), I appreciate how technology has advanced and improved our lives. It’s kept us connected—and working—during a global pandemic. It answers even the dumbest questions with a quick “Hey, Siri…” And with Apple’s recently released AirTag, a small, Bluetooth- and GPS-enabled device, it ends the hassle of losing your keys or wallet….

Not that misplaced objects have ever been my problem. My ex, on the other hand, was constantly hunting for his lost things. When the Tile tracker came out nearly a decade ago, he was one of the first to place an order. Spoiler: He was an early adopter of Apple’s AirTag too.

I was never going to own one of these devices, but I was going to have to learn how to block and disable an AirTag. Because during a recent trip to Paris, where my ex currently lives, I saw the terrifying side of Apple’s little tracker.

Psst! There’s an AirTag nearby

I touched down in Paris after a long, sleepless flight from Los Angeles, exhausted but excited to see my two kids. They’ve been living with their father in France while he and I navigate an extremely conflictual divorce and custody battle, marred by abuse and assault. I try to keep my contact with him to a minimum for my sanity and safety. For the past three years, I’ve picked up the kids after school as soon as I’ve landed in Paris. Their father has the nanny drop off their suitcase with my 12-year-old daughter at school.

Because my 9-year-old son had a slumber party at a friend’s house, my daughter’s best friend was staying the night with us in our hotel. We splashed around in the indoor pool, went to dinner, and chatted in my room until bedtime. I was getting ready to go to sleep when my daughter’s friend knocked on the door.

“Maggie, you have to come,” she said. “There’s something in the suitcase!”

It was 11 p.m.

I ran into the adjoining room, where my daughter was digging through the big, black Samsonite. She handed me her iPhone. “It says there’s an AirTag nearby.”

“A what?” I had no idea what she was talking about. It was October 2021, six months after Apple released its new product and weeks before a slew of stalking stories would hit the mainstream. I’d heard about iPhone security issues, but AirTag tracking? Nope. Not yet.

“It’s a tracker. I saw it on TikTok,” my tween explained. “Papa got one a few days ago. It was on the kitchen table, and he told me he was going to use it for his keys.”

I looked at her phone and saw a map that pinpointed our hotel location. My heart started hammering, and my stomach twisted. If my daughter was right, it meant my ex was tracking me—and had been since 4 p.m. that afternoon, when he had the nanny bring the suitcase to school.

The iPhone screen displayed a button that promised to make the AirTag beep. I pressed it, and a muffled chirping rang from the suitcase. My daughter and I tossed out all the clothes and unzipped the luggage lining. Duct-taped to the side of the suitcase was an AirTag.

My daughter peeled off the silver-gray tape and showed me the shiny—and obviously brand-new—device. The size of a quarter, with a smoothly rounded design, it looked sleek and deceptively innocuous. “See, I was right,” she said. “This is the tracker Papa showed me.”

Her best friend sat on the edge of the bed, mouth open. “Things are so exciting around here!”

It’s a crime…right?

There was nothing exciting about finding a tracker in my daughter’s luggage. I was anxious and afraid my ex was spying on me. The iPhone had instructions for how to remove the AirTag battery, which I did immediately. The girls and I discussed throwing the tracker into a trash can on the street, but I wasn’t sure what to do. I was scared, but I’m often scared by my ex’s actions. Maybe disabling the AirTag was enough.

Once the kids were in bed, I texted my American attorney. He was alarmed and told me to file a criminal complaint.

“Really?” I asked.

“Stalking is a serious problem in family court,” he said. “At least it is in the United States. Go file a complaint now!”

I hesitated. It was past midnight, and I didn’t know if I should go to the police station since it meant leaving the girls alone. In the end, I went to the reception desk and spoke to the security guard on duty. He assured me that if the girls woke up, he would let them know what happened. Otherwise, they were perfectly safe in the hotel.

“Go!” said the guard. “You need to report this. It’s not right.”

Thankful my son was at a friend’s house, I ordered an Uber.

At the police station, I quickly explained what had happened. The officer in charge said he had to call his supervisor for advice. When a crime is committed in France, the police will either take your criminal complaint or, if they don’t think there’s a penal infraction, take a sworn statement called a main courante. These statements are basically your version of events and serve almost no purpose; they carry no legal or criminal weight.

The supervisor told the officer to take the main courante. Apologetic, the officer said, “My supervisor doesn’t know if this is a crime in France.”

I started crying out of sheer despair. “It seems like nothing is a crime here. My ex can lock me out of my house, steal my mattress, and cut off my heat and Wi-Fi, and none of that is a crime!”

I’d had to file three mains courantes the previous summer. Although the French police officers told me my ex’s actions amounted to psychological and emotional abuse, they also noted that none of it was technically a crime.

The officer walked away as I kept crying. When he came back several minutes later, his phone was in hand, and he was triumphant. “I found the penal code,” he said, noting the situation was considered an invasion of privacy by the transmission of a person’s location. “My supervisor says I can take the criminal complaint.”

By 3:30 a.m., I had filed the complaint and returned to the hotel. I crawled into bed. This was the second night in a row I wouldn’t be getting much sleep. At 10 a.m. the next morning, my ex sent a text: “Nice hotel… You can’t run from justice.”

I switched hotels the next day, spending hundreds of euros for an extra night’s stay because of the abrupt departure.

I’m not alone

Just as most of us don’t consider cell phone security until our phones have been hacked, I never gave a thought to tracking via electronic device until it happened to me.

While I chalked up my AirTag experience to the abuse I’d been enduring for years, it opened my eyes to the dangers of the seemingly innocent device. I started seeing stories about other women who were stalked with the AirTag. The $29 price—cheap for an Apple product—makes stalking an impulse purchase.

Women have had the disk slipped into their purses and coat pockets or attached to their cars while they were shopping or eating out with friends. They realized they were being tracked when they got a notification on their iPhones, hours after the AirTag was placed. What’s especially frightening is that many women had already returned home before they received a notification, meaning their stalkers were able to find out where they lived.

Law enforcement has been slow to respond, with some police officers refusing to take a report because they don’t believe a crime has been committed. This happened to Sports Illustrated model Brooks Nader when she tried to file a police report about being tracked with an AirTag in early January.

“Unfortunately, the majority of law isn’t even trained in the basics of harassment, stalking, and domestic violence,” says author and family court advocate Tina Swithin. “This type of tech adds another layer to abuse that’s hard to prove because it flies just under the radar. It’s next-level, and law enforcement wants to wash its hands of it—and put it into family court—so the officers don’t even take the report.”

Nine months after the tracker’s April 2021 release, Apple finally addressed the creepy ways its tech is being used. The company launched a “personal safety user guide” in January to deal with the rising accounts of people (so far, mostly women) who have been stalked with an AirTag.

Taking steps to stay safe

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7.5 million people are stalked in the United States each year. Women between the ages of 18 and 24, and survivors of intimate partner violence (like me), experience the highest rates of stalking.

Unfortunately, technology like the AirTag and Tile put these women in further jeopardy, but there are some things we can do to stay safe.

  1. “Trust your gut,” says Swithin. “Women are accused of being paranoid, but don’t doubt yourself. If law enforcement isn’t listening to you, go up the chain of command until you find the right person who’s aligned with you and believes you. They do exist.”
  2. Review your iPhone privacy settings and learn how to turn off location tracking on your iPhone and Android phone.
  3. Inspect your bags, coats, and luggage. Empty your bag and pockets, especially if you’ve been out. Look in the seams and check the linings to make sure a tracker hasn’t been placed in there.
  4. Check underneath your bike seat to make sure a tracker hasn’t been attached there.
  5. Cars have plenty of hiding places, so look behind the license plates, in the wheel wells, beneath the front and rear bumpers, and in the space between the hood and the windshield.
  6. If you do get an alert or hear the beeping of an AirTag, try to locate it. You can remove the battery by rotating the silver back to open the tracker.
  7. Get a Bluetooth tracking app or scanner to check for unknown devices, including hidden cameras.
  8. Report what happened at your local police station, especially if there is a history of harassment and stalking. Apple has said it will cooperate with law enforcement to provide information about unknown AirTags that people find.

Living in the aftermath

It’s been several months since the AirTag incident. I wish I could say things have gone back to normal, but my kids and I are still feeling the aftereffects. Now, every time I pick them up, the first thing they do is go through their suitcases and backpacks, looking for a tracker. My son has been terrorized by nightmares about me being tracked. So far, the French police haven’t followed up on the criminal complaint, and I feel constantly surveilled every time I go back to France. I’ve been researching which Bluetooth scanner to buy so my kids and I can feel a bit more secure.

It just makes me wonder why the safety and rights of women and children take a backseat to a conglomerate’s bottom line—and how law enforcement can turn a blind eye to the sinister, tech-enabled ways violence against women is evolving and being perpetuated.

We’ve been able to find our wallets and keys for centuries without a GPS tracker. Was it really that hard?

Editor’s note: The opinions here belong to the author. To submit your own idea for an essay, email [email protected].

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The pandemic has had a profound effect on our health and wellness as a society, impacting everything from relationships and mental health to our willingness to visit a doctor’s office for routine checkups and medical care. If you’re among those who have delayed care, it may help to know you’re not alone. Studies show nearly half of all Americans delayed or cancelled health care services since the pandemic started and 40% said they didn’t feel safe going to a doctor’s office.

The good news is the tides are turning. According to the recently released 2021 study from Reader’s Digest, “Healthy Living Matters: Impact of the Pandemic on Cholesterol Management”— done in conjunction with Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. — there has been a renewed effort toward proactive health practices, with 61% of respondents noting they’re maintaining good health, up 10 points from 2020. And while plenty (36%) admitted to feeling concern about visiting a medical facility, 41% did participate in a telemedicine/virtual appointment with a healthcare provider this past year.

As we continue to navigate this new normal, consider the following ways to help get your health and wellness in check and back on track.

Doctor,appointment,reminder,on,calendar,with,mobile,phone;,medical,concept.

1. Make that doctor’s appointment

As the saying goes, the hardest part is getting started. While the pandemic has caused many of us to become more insular, the fact remains one of the best things you can do for yourself is get a checkup from a medical professional. When detected early, it may be much easier to correct the course of illnesses and improve outcomes. For example, did you know high cholesterol often has no signs or symptoms before heart disease develops? So while patients can’t see it or feel it, high cholesterol can be dangerous if left untreated. When making healthy lifestyle changes aren’t effectively getting cholesterol under control, a doctor may also prescribe a statin like LIVALO® (pitavastatin).

LIVALO is a cholesterol-lowering medication called a “statin.” Along with a heart-healthy diet, helps to lower total cholesterol, “bad” cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides, and Apo B and to raise “good” cholesterol (HDL-C). LIVALO has not been studied to evaluate its effect on reducing heart-related disease or death. Common side effects include back pain, constipation, diarrhea, muscle pain, and pain in the legs or arms. LIVALO can also cause serious muscle or liver problems.

Please read the Important Safety Information for LIVALO at the end of this article. Ask your doctor if LIVALO may be right for you.

2. Get your cholesterol checked

According to the Reader’s Digest study, 57% of those diagnosed with high cholesterol delayed having it tested since the onset of the pandemic. Fortunately, 48% have since been tested. If you’re among those holding out on testing, don’t delay — high cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in the United States. Should you learn you have high cholesterol, your doctor can help in setting up a treatment plan along with healthy lifestyle changes and may include possibly taking a cholesterol-lowering medication such as a statin, like LIVALO. It’s also important to note that not all statins are the same – what works for one patient’s unique needs may not be the most ideal for another.

Young,latin,woman,practicing,meditation,indoors.

3. Manage your stress

Part and parcel to our wellbeing is stress management — particularly since 48% of those surveyed acknowledged an increase in stress over the past year. While a small amount of stress can actually help drive performance, the Mayo Clinic notes a few things that may help lessen its effects on your body, mood and overall behavior. They include identifying your triggers, enlisting relaxation practices like meditation and yoga, and getting help when needed. Otherwise, stress can potentially negatively impact your overall health by way of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity or diabetes to name a few.

4. Set achievable goals

When it comes to your health, developing diet and fitness goals is key — provided you can stick with them. The best way to adhere to your commitment? Find workouts and healthy foods that you actually enjoy. Still having trouble getting where you want to be? Consider enlisting a diet or fitness buddy. Doing so can be motivating and helps provide accountability.

5. Start Moving

On top of offering a powerful cardio workout — which can help lower your risk of heart disease and improve blood pressure, blood sugar levels and high cholesterol — hitting the trails has been proven to boost your mood, therefore combatting stress and anxiety. Hiking not your thing? A good power-walk around the block has the same benefits.

Water,from,jug,pouring,into,glass,on,wooden,table,outdoors

6. Drink plenty of water

Staying hydrated not only helps boost your energy. It also aids digestion and helps you feel better overall since dehydration can impair your mood, concentration and overall brain function. As an added benefit, keeping your fluids up can increase satiety, sense of fullness and boosts your metabolic rate. Aim to follow the 8×8 rule, drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.

7. Connect with family and friends

There is a strong link between having a support network and one’s psychological well-being. People who are supported by close relationships with friends, family or groups — be it via FaceTime or a small outdoor gathering — are less likely to become ill or face premature death. Add that to the fact that human connections take us outside of ourselves, giving us someone or something else to focus on and helping us practice gratitude in daily life.

8. Try something new

Sure, it can require courage but trying a new hobby or activity can help stave off boredom by keeping you busy. Plus, doing so benefits your mental health. Research indicates that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, depression and low mood. The bottom line? Taking action to tackle something unfamiliar shakes up your routine, prevents you from getting stuck in a rut, and has the potential to offer a relaxing, meditative or engaging experience that benefits your overall health and wellbeing.

9. Cut out the takeout

Easy and tempting as it may be, limiting the frequency you dine out can have a positive impact on your health. On top of being comforting, home-cooked meals give you the opportunity to control what you put in your body — and better regulate your intake. Of course, that doesn’t have to mean forgoing restaurants entirely — instead, just rethinking the type of establishments (think healthy, organic, vegetarian or vegan) you frequent.

10. Stay on track

Non-adherence to medications is widely recognized as a major public health concern and contributes to patient morbidity, mortality and health costs. Fifty percent or more of patients discontinue statins within one year of treatment initiation, and more do so over longer time periods. It’s important to know that high cholesterol typically doesn’t have any symptoms, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to tell on your own how well the statin is working. That’s why it’s important to keep taking your statin, such as LIVALO, as prescribed, even if you don’t see or feel any difference. If you stop taking a statin, cholesterol levels can increase, putting you at risk for a heart attack or stroke.

With a few steps, the support of loved ones, regular visits to your healthcare provider and potentially support from prescription medications like LIVALO, can affect your wellbeing and help steer the course of your health and wellness down a positive path.

Important Safety Information for LIVALO® (pitavastatin) tablets

What is LIVALO?

  • LIVALO is a cholesterol-lowering medication called a “statin” for adults with high cholesterol that, along with a heart-healthy diet, helps to lower total cholesterol, “bad” cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides, and Apo B and to raise “good” cholesterol (HDL-C).
  • LIVALO has not been studied to evaluate its effect on reducing heart-related disease or death.

Who should NOT take LIVALO?
LIVALO is not right for everyone. Do not take LIVALO if:

  • You have a known allergy to LIVALO or any of its ingredients.
  • You have active liver problems, including some abnormal liver test results.
  • You are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant, as it may harm the baby.
  • You are currently taking cyclosporine or gemfibrozil.

What is the most important information I should know and talk to my doctor about?

  • Call your healthcare provider or get help right away if you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as rash, itching, or hives.
  • Muscle problems may be an early sign of rare, serious conditions. Tell your doctor right away if you have any unexplained muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness, particularly if accompanied by malaise or fever, or if these muscle signs or symptoms persist after discontinuing LIVALO.
  • Serious liver problems have been reported rarely in patients taking statins, including LIVALO. Your doctor should do liver tests before you start, and if you have symptoms of liver problems while you are taking LIVALO. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you feel more tired than usual, have a loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark-colored urine, or yellowing of the skin or eyes.
  • Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications you take including nonprescription medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.
  • Increases in blood sugar levels have been reported with statins, including LIVALO.
  • Tell your doctor about your alcohol use.
  • Tell your healthcare provider of a known or suspected pregnancy.

What are the most common side effects of LIVALO?
The most common side effects of LIVALO in clinical studies were:

  •        Back pain
  •        Muscle pain
  •        Constipation
  •        Pain in the legs or arms
  •        Diarrhea

This is not a complete list of side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. 
Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

How should I store and take LIVALO?

  • Store LIVALO tablets at room temperature, in a dry place, protected from light, and keep out of the reach of children.
  • Take LIVALO orally once daily with or without food at the same time each day.
  • Swallow the tablet whole. Do not split, crush, dissolve, or chew.
  • The maximum recommended dosage is LIVALO 4 mg once daily.
  • If you take too much LIVALO or you or someone else takes an overdose, call your doctor and/or local Poison Control Center.

Other important information I should know about LIVALO.

  • LIVALO is available by prescription only.

For additional information please see the full Prescribing Information or visit www.LivaloRx.com.
© Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. (2021) – LIV-RA-0142   PI of 09/2020

A couple of years ago, I stumbled off the subway in Upper Manhattan, exhausted after a long and stressful day at work, dreaming about the warmth of my bed. I stopped in a 7/11 on the way to my apartment to buy a bag of popcorn (treat yourself!). A man about three times my size stood in front of me at the register buying a pack of cigarettes and turned toward me, telling me I looked tired. I smiled uncomfortably and became noticeably more alert, as a young woman does when a strange man starts talking to her at night. He turned toward the cashier and said that he was going to get my snack too. I politely declined and was already pulling out my wallet, but this man wouldn’t allow me to say no. He handed the cashier a couple of extra dollars to cover my popcorn and told me that he hoped my night got better. He walked out of the store and I never saw him again.

The world could use a little more kindness. It’s so easy to get caught up in your own routine and everyday personal worries that sometimes we just don’t remember to tune into those around us. The man who paid for my popcorn has stuck with me and inspired me to pay it forward to others who look like they could use a hand. It feels great to be kind, so it’s a win-win! Maybe you need a little guidance on random acts of kindness, but these stories of kindness will definitely encourage you to pass the compassion along. A little bit can go a long way. And if you’re looking for more inspiration, check out these kindness quotes, kindness memes, and acts of kindness for kids.

The man at the market

When the supermarket clerk tallied up my groceries, it was $12 over what I had on me. I began to remove items from the bags when another shopper handed me a $20 bill. “Please don’t put yourself out,” I told him. “Let me tell you a story,” he said. “My mother is in the hospital with cancer. I visit her every day and bring her flowers. I went this morning, and she got mad at me for spending my money on more flowers. She demanded that I do something else with that money. So, here, please accept this. It is my mother’s flowers.” —Leslie Wagner, Peel, Arkansas

Jim and the job

My neighbor Jim had trouble deciding if he wanted to retire from the construction field until he ran into a younger man he’d worked with previously. The man had a wife and three children, and was finding it difficult to make ends meet, as he hadn’t worked in some time. The next morning Jim went to the union office and submitted his retirement paperwork. As for his replacement, he gave them the name of struggling young man. That was six years ago, and that young husband and father has been employed ever since. —Miranda MacLean, Brutus, Michigan. If this inspired you, try these small acts of kindness that will instantly brighten someone’s day.

A family’s food angel

While going through a divorce, my mother fretted over her new worries: no income, the same bills, and no way to afford groceries. It was around this time that she started finding boxes of food outside our door every morning. This went on for months until she was able to land a job. We never did find out who left the groceries, but they truly saved our lives. —Jamie Boleyn, Emmett, Idaho

Color me amazed

I forgot about the rule preventing liquids in carry-on luggage, so when I hit security at the airport, I had to give up all my painting supplies. When I returned a week later, an attendant was at the baggage area with my paints. Not only had he kept them for me, but he’d looked up my return date and time in order to meet me. —Marilyn Kinsella, Canmore, Canada 

a flower and a car key on a bright background

Seven miles for me

Leaving a store, I returned to my car only to find that I’d locked my keys and cell phone inside. A teenager riding his bike saw me kick a tire and say a few choice words. “What’s wrong?” he asked. I explained my situation. “But even if I could call my wife,” I said, “she can’t bring me her car key, since this is our only car.” He handed me his cell phone. “Call your wife and tell her I’m coming to get her key.” “That’s seven miles round trip.” “Don’t worry about it.” An hour later, he returned with my key. I offered him some money, but he refused. “Let’s just say I needed the exercise,” he said. Then, like a cowboy in the movies, he rode off into the sunset. —Clarence W. Stephens, Nicholasville, Kentucky

A little lift

One evening, I left a restaurant just ahead of a woman assisting her elderly mom. I approached the curb and paused to see if my arthritic knees could climb it. To my right appeared an arm to assist. It was that of the elderly mom. My heart was so touched. —Donna Moerie, Goldsboro, North Carolina

Bounty for a navy wife

I was balancing caring for a toddler and working a full-time job, all while my Navy husband was on extended duty overseas. One evening the doorbell rang. It was my neighbor, a retired chief petty officer, holding a breadboard loaded with a freshly cooked chicken and vegetable stew. “I’ve noticed you’re getting a little skinny,” he said. It was the best meal I’d had in months. —Patricia Fordney, Corvallis, Oregon 

My granddaughter’s dress

I saw a dress in a consignment shop that I knew my granddaughter would love. But money was tight, so I asked the store owner if she could hold it for me. “May I buy the dress for you?” asked another customer. “Thank you, but I can’t accept such a gracious gift,” I said. Then she told me why it was so important for her to help me. She’d been homeless for three years, she said, and had it not been for the kindness of strangers, she would not have been able to survive. “I’m no longer homeless, and my situation has improved,” she said. “I promised myself that I would repay the kindness so many had shown me.” She paid for the dress, and the only payment she would accept in return was a heartfelt hug. —Stacy Lee, Columbia, Maryland

a flower in a perfume bottle

White Shoulders

A woman at our yard sale wore a perfume that smelled heavenly and familiar. “What are you wearing?” I asked. “White Shoulders,” she said. Suddenly I was bowled over by a flood of memories. White Shoulders was the one gift I could count on at Christmas from my late mother. We chatted a while, and she bought some things and left. A few hours later, she returned holding a new bottle of White Shoulders. I don’t recall which one of us started crying first. —Media Stooksbury, Powell, Tennessee

Breaking bread

Before work one day last December, I stopped at a deli and ordered an everything bagel with cream cheese. It was toasty warm, and I couldn’t wait to dig in. But as I left the store, I noticed an older indigent gentleman sitting at the bus stop. Knowing it would probably be his only warm meal of the day, I gave him the bagel. But all was not lost for me. Another customer from the deli offered me half of her bagel. I was so delighted because I realized that in one way or another, we are all looked after. —Liliana Figueroa, Phoenix, Arizona

Something to give

As I walked through the parking lot, all I could think about was the dire diagnosis I had handed my patient Jimmy: pancreatic cancer. Just then, I noticed an elderly gentleman handing tools to someone working under his stalled car. That someone was Jimmy. “Jimmy, what are you doing?” I yelled out. Jimmy dusted off his pants. “My cancer didn’t tell me not to help others, Doc,” he said, before waving at the old man to start the car. The engine roared to life. The old man thanked Jimmy and drove off. Then Jimmy got into his car and took off as well. Take-home message: Kindness has no limits and no restrictions. —Mohammed Basha, Gainesville, Florida

Notable gestures

When my husband died unexpectedly, a coworker took me under her wing. Every week for an entire year, she would send me a card, saying “Just Thinking of You” or “Hang in There.” She saved my life. —Jerilynn Collette, Burnsville, Minnesota

Highway hero

Driving home in a blizzard, I noticed a vehicle trailing close behind me. Suddenly, my tire blew! I pulled off the road, and so did the other car. A man jumped out from behind the wheel and without hesitation changed the flat. “I was going to get off two miles back,” he said. “But I didn’t think that tire looked good.” —Marilyn Attebery, Spokane Valley, Washington

My commander’s call

It was one of my first missions on a gunship during the Vietnam War. I was scanning for enemy fire when I spotted a bright object that looked as if it were coming straight at us. “Missile! Missile!” I shouted into my interphone. The pilot jerked the airplane as hard as he could, dumping guys from one side of the craft to the next. Well, turns out the “missile” was a flare we had just dropped. Suffice it to say, the guys weren’t pleased. Back at the base, my commander put an arm around my shoulder. “Sergeant Hunter,” he said, “you keep calling them like you see them. Better safe than sorry.” That kind act gave me the confidence to become one of the top gunners in my squadron. —Douglas Hunter, Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Find out how you can give to charity without breaking the bank.

21 apples from Max

When my grandson, Max, told his mother, Andrea, to donate any check she would give him for his 21st birthday, Andrea got an idea. She handed Max’s brother Charlie a video camera. Then she took out 21 $10 bills from the bank and bought 21 apples at the supermarket. When they spotted a homeless man, Andrea told him, “Today is my son Max’s 21st birthday, and he asked me to give a gift to someone to help him celebrate.” She handed the man a $10 bill and an apple. The man smiled into the camera and announced, “Happy birthday, Max!” Soon, they passed out their booty to men and women waiting in line at a soup kitchen. In a unified chorus, they wished Max, “Happy birthday!” At a pizza parlor, Andrea left $50 and told the owners to feed the hungry. “Happy birthday, Max!” they shouted. With one last $10 bill and apple, they stopped at Andrea’s sister’s office. Unable to contain her laughter or her tears, she bellowed into the camera, “Happy birthday, Max!” —Dr. Donald Stoltz, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

How did she know?

I was driving cross-country to start a new job. What began as a fun adventure turned into a nightmare when I realized I had run through most of my money and still had a ways to go. I pulled over and let the tears flow. That’s when I noticed the unopened farewell card my neighbor had shoved in my hand as I left. I pulled the card out of the envelope, and $100 dropped out—just enough to get me through the remainder of my trip. Later, I asked my neighbor why she had enclosed the money. She said, “I had a feeling it would help.” —Nadine Chandler, Winthrop, Massachusetts

flower in a sneaker on red and yellow background

Raised right

Children were playing at the recreation area of an IKEA store when my five-year-old granddaughter motioned for a small boy to stop. She knelt down before him and retied his flopping shoelaces—she had only just learned to tie her own. No words were spoken, but after she finished, both smiled shyly, then turned to race off in different directions. —Sheela Mayes, Olla, Louisiana. Find out which little compliments you could be giving out every day.

Blanket statement

When I was seven, my family drove to the Grand Canyon. At one point, my favorite blanket flew out the window and was gone. I was devastated. Soon after, we stopped at a service station. Moping, I found a bench and was about to eat my sandwich when a biker gang pulled into the station. “Is that your blue Ford?” a huge, frightening man with a gray-and-black beard asked. Mom nodded reticently. The man pulled my blanket from his jacket pocket and handed it to her. He then returned to his motorcycle. I repaid him the only way I knew how: I ran up to him and gave him my sandwich. —Zena Hamilton, United Kingdom

Just driving through

When my friend and I were injured in a car accident, a family from out of state stopped to help. Seeing we were hurt, they drove us to the hospital and stayed there until we were released. They then took us home, got us food, and made sure we were settled in. Amazingly, they interrupted their vacation to help us. —Cindy Earls, Ada, Oklahoma 

Butterflies of support

I was four months pregnant with our first child when our baby’s heart stopped beating. I was devastated. As the days went on, I was nervous about returning to work. I’m a middle school teacher and I didn’t know how I could face kids. This past May, after four weeks of recovering, I walked into my empty classroom and turned on the lights. Glued to the wall were a hundred colored paper butterflies, each with a handwritten message on it from current and past students. All of them had encouraging messages: “Keep moving forward,” “Don’t give up on God,” and “Know that we love you.” It was exactly what I needed. —Jennifer Garcia-Esquivel, San Benito, Texas

Twice as nice

Two firefighters were waiting in line at a fast-food restaurant when the siren sounded on their fire truck parked outside. As they turned to leave, a couple who had just received their order handed their food to the firefighters. The couple then got back in line to reorder. Doubling down on their selfless act, the manager refused to take their money. —JoAnn Sanderson, Brandon, Florida

a flower on top of a book on a purple background

Designated driver

I’d pulled over onto the side of a New Mexico road and was suffering a panic attack when a minivan full of kids pulled over. A woman got out and asked if I was OK. “No,” I said. Then I laid out what had happened: I was delivering books for a publishing company. My next stop was way, way up this long and winding and, to me, very treacherous road. I couldn’t do it. “I’ll deliver the books for you,” she said. She was a local, and the roads were nothing for her. I took her up on the offer and never forgot the simple kindness of a stranger. —Doreen Frick, Ord, Nebraska

A Christmas story

In January 2006, a fire destroyed a family’s home. In that fire were all the belongings of a six-year-old boy, including his Christmas presents. A classmate from his school who had a birthday around then asked her parents if she could give all her gifts to the boy. That act of kindness will forever warm my heart because the boy is my grandson. —Donna Kachnowski, Lebanon, Connecticut

Direction in the night

As I left a party, I got on the wrong freeway and was immediately lost. I pulled over to the shoulder and called my roadside-assistance provider. She tried to connect me to the California Highway Patrol, but that call never went through. Hearing the panic in my voice, she came up with a plan B: “You’re near this office,” she said. “I’m about to go off shift. Stay put, and I’ll find you.” Ten minutes later, she rolled up. She guided me not only to the right freeway, but all the way to the correct freeway exit. And then, with a wave goodbye, she drove back into the night. —Michelle Arnold, Santee, California

Tattoos and donations

A year ago, Micah Harold had a heart attack, and actually died several times before he recovered. Now, a year later, the coronavirus is here. Micah owns a tattoo parlor (he is an extremely talented artist), and his tattoo parlor has been closed because it is “non-essential.” But Micah has stepped up and is giving back to the community. His shop is on the edge of a not-so-affluent part of town. He has stocked his shop with essentials such as toilet paper, paper towels, different types of non-perishable foods, and emergency items. Some things he bought with his own money, and he has had some donations from the community. He makes hand sanitizer and also has gloves and other items that people need for this pandemic available in his shop. Everything is free. You just go in, tell him what you need, and he gives it to you. His mother, Deborah Allen, is also involved; not in his business, but in making cloth masks for people. She has long been a clothing designer, and now she is making masks and giving them away. They are both helping the community a great deal. —Judy Chandler, Shreveport, Louisiana

The value of essential work

My husband’s job is one of the essential jobs (sanitation engineer); not a glamorous one, but consider the alternative. About the second week of the lockdown, he was having trouble finding a sanitizing spray for his truck. One morning on his way to work at 4 a.m., he stopped at one of the few stores open that early, hoping to purchase some. When he got to the door, he saw that it was only open for first responders and medical personnel. As he turned to head back to his car, a local sheriff’s deputy heading in to the store spotted my husband’s reflective vest and asked him which trash company he worked for, then proceeded to thank my husband for being out there. My husband replied that it was the deputy who deserved thanks. The deputy asked if my husband always shopped this early, and my husband told him about his trouble finding a spray. When asked if he had found it that morning, my husband told him that he couldn’t go in to the store. The deputy then told my husband to stay where he was. He went in to the store, purchased the spray and brought it out to my husband. When my husband tried to pay him, he wouldn’t take any money. —Karen Foster, Hillsboro, Oregon

Through sickness and health

My neighbors, Jay and Treva, have been the best since we moved in. When my husband got brain cancer, they helped with yard work and snow removal. When Jim passed away, they were always helping me with anything they could. Meals, yard work, snow removal, putting my trash can away when I would forget. They still continue to care for me and if they don’t see me outside for a while they text to make sure I am alright, and not down or anything. I know I can always count on them to be there for me no matter what happens! —Shelly Golay, Casper, Wyoming

flowers coming out of a craft-paper envelope on orange background

Bowing to strangers

Going to the post office is usually a weekly event for me. I rarely give it any thought other than to drive there, go inside, and drop off my letter or package. However, our world has changed and now I must give careful consideration to this journey, as my age and pre-existing condition put me into the “vulnerable” category. There are decisions that I need to make. Is this a package that must go out now? I conclude that it is. Is there anyone else who can take the package for me? I conclude there is not. So I have made two decisions already. Next, I must determine which of the two post offices closest to me would be the easiest one to accomplish my goal. I realize the larger one would be my best choice. Three decisions made!

On the drive over, I determine that I will look to see the number of cars in the parking lot before I make my decision to go in. Upon arriving, I conclude that the car population is small enough, so I pull into an empty space. My next thought is, “Perhaps I should wait for someone to come out and ask them to take my package in?” Then I realize, I will be making contact with a perfect stranger, and what is the difference between talking to that stranger and just going in and talking to the clerk? Next decision made, I walk inside. There are only two people and both are standing at the counters making their transactions. I walk to the front of what is normally a very long line. I am standing alone, waiting my turn.

Shortly, I am called to the window. I can see that the postal clerk is aware of the fear in my eyes. She quietly steps back from her station and motions me to come forward. I step up to the counter and place my package on the scale. She then motions me to step back. I move away and she begins the process of weighing it and determining the proper postage. She tells me the price and motions me forward as she takes a step back. Again, I believe she saw the terror in my eyes and said, “One moment, Ma’am.” She leans under the counter and picks up a Lysol wipe. She thoroughly cleans the credit card machine and the entire counter around it. She then steps back and again motions me forward. As I insert my card, tears start to roll down my cheeks. I was so moved by the care with which she accomplished this usually very simple task. When I had completed the transaction, she again motioned me back as she stepped forward. She took the receipt, wiped it down, and lay it on the counter. Beside it, she placed a clean tissue as she could see my tears were still streaming down my cheeks. She again stepped away from the counter. I picked up the receipt and took a step back. In gratitude, I bowed to her. She bowed to me with equal respect. —Jeanne Hall, Nashville, Tennessee

Kind-hearted better half

During COVID, there are orphans whose birthdays are not getting celebrated or they are not getting any gifts from their well-wishers. At this hard time, my wife (Neelam Singhal), collected birthday boxes, gifts, and birthday crowns, and started calling various organizations to see who could accept them. She was able to connect with Kids TLC and she drove there to donate the items. She felt so happy doing something for them that she almost cried when she returned. I am lucky to have such a kind-hearted better half. —Manuj Singhal, Olathe, Kansas

Sharing the wealth

When Clayton, New Jersey, resident JoAnn Kates received her $1,200 government stimulus check, she initially toyed with the idea of giving $300 to each of her four grown children. But the devout Christian says the Lord spoke to her, telling her to use the money to buy meals for frontline medical workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic. While Kates has a daughter who is a NICU nurse in Tennessee, it was actually her six-year experience as a caregiver after her late husband suffered a severe brain injury in 2008 (he died in 2014) that helped her choose her local hospital—Jefferson Washington Township Hospital in Turnersville, New Jersey—for her generous food donation. “Nurses and doctors walked me through the worst six years of my life,” says Kates, whose husband never walked or talked again after a bicycle accident. “I wrote letters praising every nurse and trauma doctor I encountered during that time.”

A fan of Scarpinato’s Italian food in Turnersville, Kates used her stimulus money to purchase 110 lunches that were delivered to the hospital on April 27. Staff from Medical-Surgical Units, ICU, Cardiopulmonary, the storeroom, as well as some physicians and residents, enjoyed the hot meal. —Nicole Pensiero Turnersville, New Jersey. Next, read up on the best charities where your donation will go the farthest.

A couple of years ago, I stumbled off the subway in Upper Manhattan, exhausted after a long and stressful day at work, dreaming about the warmth of my bed. I stopped in a 7/11 on the way to my apartment to buy a bag of popcorn (treat yourself!). A man about three times my size stood in front of me at the register buying a pack of cigarettes and turned toward me, telling me I looked tired. I smiled uncomfortably and became noticeably more alert, as a young woman does when a strange man starts talking to her at night. He turned toward the cashier and said that he was going to get my snack too. I politely declined and was already pulling out my wallet, but this man wouldn’t allow me to say no. He handed the cashier a couple of extra dollars to cover my popcorn and told me that he hoped my night got better. He walked out of the store and I never saw him again.

The world could use a little more kindness. It’s so easy to get caught up in your own routine and everyday personal worries that sometimes we just don’t remember to tune into those around us. The man who paid for my popcorn has stuck with me and inspired me to pay it forward to others who look like they could use a hand. It feels great to be kind, so it’s a win-win! Maybe you need a little guidance on random acts of kindness, but these stories of kindness will definitely encourage you to pass the compassion along. A little bit can go a long way. And if you’re looking for more inspiration, check out these kindness quotes, kindness memes, and acts of kindness for kids.

The man at the market

When the supermarket clerk tallied up my groceries, it was $12 over what I had on me. I began to remove items from the bags when another shopper handed me a $20 bill. “Please don’t put yourself out,” I told him. “Let me tell you a story,” he said. “My mother is in the hospital with cancer. I visit her every day and bring her flowers. I went this morning, and she got mad at me for spending my money on more flowers. She demanded that I do something else with that money. So, here, please accept this. It is my mother’s flowers.” —Leslie Wagner, Peel, Arkansas

Jim and the job

My neighbor Jim had trouble deciding if he wanted to retire from the construction field until he ran into a younger man he’d worked with previously. The man had a wife and three children, and was finding it difficult to make ends meet, as he hadn’t worked in some time. The next morning Jim went to the union office and submitted his retirement paperwork. As for his replacement, he gave them the name of struggling young man. That was six years ago, and that young husband and father has been employed ever since. —Miranda MacLean, Brutus, Michigan. If this inspired you, try these small acts of kindness that will instantly brighten someone’s day.

A family’s food angel

While going through a divorce, my mother fretted over her new worries: no income, the same bills, and no way to afford groceries. It was around this time that she started finding boxes of food outside our door every morning. This went on for months until she was able to land a job. We never did find out who left the groceries, but they truly saved our lives. —Jamie Boleyn, Emmett, Idaho

Color me amazed

I forgot about the rule preventing liquids in carry-on luggage, so when I hit security at the airport, I had to give up all my painting supplies. When I returned a week later, an attendant was at the baggage area with my paints. Not only had he kept them for me, but he’d looked up my return date and time in order to meet me. —Marilyn Kinsella, Canmore, Canada 

a flower and a car key on a bright background

Seven miles for me

Leaving a store, I returned to my car only to find that I’d locked my keys and cell phone inside. A teenager riding his bike saw me kick a tire and say a few choice words. “What’s wrong?” he asked. I explained my situation. “But even if I could call my wife,” I said, “she can’t bring me her car key, since this is our only car.” He handed me his cell phone. “Call your wife and tell her I’m coming to get her key.” “That’s seven miles round trip.” “Don’t worry about it.” An hour later, he returned with my key. I offered him some money, but he refused. “Let’s just say I needed the exercise,” he said. Then, like a cowboy in the movies, he rode off into the sunset. —Clarence W. Stephens, Nicholasville, Kentucky

A little lift

One evening, I left a restaurant just ahead of a woman assisting her elderly mom. I approached the curb and paused to see if my arthritic knees could climb it. To my right appeared an arm to assist. It was that of the elderly mom. My heart was so touched. —Donna Moerie, Goldsboro, North Carolina

Bounty for a navy wife

I was balancing caring for a toddler and working a full-time job, all while my Navy husband was on extended duty overseas. One evening the doorbell rang. It was my neighbor, a retired chief petty officer, holding a breadboard loaded with a freshly cooked chicken and vegetable stew. “I’ve noticed you’re getting a little skinny,” he said. It was the best meal I’d had in months. —Patricia Fordney, Corvallis, Oregon 

My granddaughter’s dress

I saw a dress in a consignment shop that I knew my granddaughter would love. But money was tight, so I asked the store owner if she could hold it for me. “May I buy the dress for you?” asked another customer. “Thank you, but I can’t accept such a gracious gift,” I said. Then she told me why it was so important for her to help me. She’d been homeless for three years, she said, and had it not been for the kindness of strangers, she would not have been able to survive. “I’m no longer homeless, and my situation has improved,” she said. “I promised myself that I would repay the kindness so many had shown me.” She paid for the dress, and the only payment she would accept in return was a heartfelt hug. —Stacy Lee, Columbia, Maryland

a flower in a perfume bottle

White Shoulders

A woman at our yard sale wore a perfume that smelled heavenly and familiar. “What are you wearing?” I asked. “White Shoulders,” she said. Suddenly I was bowled over by a flood of memories. White Shoulders was the one gift I could count on at Christmas from my late mother. We chatted a while, and she bought some things and left. A few hours later, she returned holding a new bottle of White Shoulders. I don’t recall which one of us started crying first. —Media Stooksbury, Powell, Tennessee

Breaking bread

Before work one day last December, I stopped at a deli and ordered an everything bagel with cream cheese. It was toasty warm, and I couldn’t wait to dig in. But as I left the store, I noticed an older indigent gentleman sitting at the bus stop. Knowing it would probably be his only warm meal of the day, I gave him the bagel. But all was not lost for me. Another customer from the deli offered me half of her bagel. I was so delighted because I realized that in one way or another, we are all looked after. —Liliana Figueroa, Phoenix, Arizona

Something to give

As I walked through the parking lot, all I could think about was the dire diagnosis I had handed my patient Jimmy: pancreatic cancer. Just then, I noticed an elderly gentleman handing tools to someone working under his stalled car. That someone was Jimmy. “Jimmy, what are you doing?” I yelled out. Jimmy dusted off his pants. “My cancer didn’t tell me not to help others, Doc,” he said, before waving at the old man to start the car. The engine roared to life. The old man thanked Jimmy and drove off. Then Jimmy got into his car and took off as well. Take-home message: Kindness has no limits and no restrictions. —Mohammed Basha, Gainesville, Florida

Notable gestures

When my husband died unexpectedly, a coworker took me under her wing. Every week for an entire year, she would send me a card, saying “Just Thinking of You” or “Hang in There.” She saved my life. —Jerilynn Collette, Burnsville, Minnesota

Highway hero

Driving home in a blizzard, I noticed a vehicle trailing close behind me. Suddenly, my tire blew! I pulled off the road, and so did the other car. A man jumped out from behind the wheel and without hesitation changed the flat. “I was going to get off two miles back,” he said. “But I didn’t think that tire looked good.” —Marilyn Attebery, Spokane Valley, Washington

My commander’s call

It was one of my first missions on a gunship during the Vietnam War. I was scanning for enemy fire when I spotted a bright object that looked as if it were coming straight at us. “Missile! Missile!” I shouted into my interphone. The pilot jerked the airplane as hard as he could, dumping guys from one side of the craft to the next. Well, turns out the “missile” was a flare we had just dropped. Suffice it to say, the guys weren’t pleased. Back at the base, my commander put an arm around my shoulder. “Sergeant Hunter,” he said, “you keep calling them like you see them. Better safe than sorry.” That kind act gave me the confidence to become one of the top gunners in my squadron. —Douglas Hunter, Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Find out how you can give to charity without breaking the bank.

21 apples from Max

When my grandson, Max, told his mother, Andrea, to donate any check she would give him for his 21st birthday, Andrea got an idea. She handed Max’s brother Charlie a video camera. Then she took out 21 $10 bills from the bank and bought 21 apples at the supermarket. When they spotted a homeless man, Andrea told him, “Today is my son Max’s 21st birthday, and he asked me to give a gift to someone to help him celebrate.” She handed the man a $10 bill and an apple. The man smiled into the camera and announced, “Happy birthday, Max!” Soon, they passed out their booty to men and women waiting in line at a soup kitchen. In a unified chorus, they wished Max, “Happy birthday!” At a pizza parlor, Andrea left $50 and told the owners to feed the hungry. “Happy birthday, Max!” they shouted. With one last $10 bill and apple, they stopped at Andrea’s sister’s office. Unable to contain her laughter or her tears, she bellowed into the camera, “Happy birthday, Max!” —Dr. Donald Stoltz, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

How did she know?

I was driving cross-country to start a new job. What began as a fun adventure turned into a nightmare when I realized I had run through most of my money and still had a ways to go. I pulled over and let the tears flow. That’s when I noticed the unopened farewell card my neighbor had shoved in my hand as I left. I pulled the card out of the envelope, and $100 dropped out—just enough to get me through the remainder of my trip. Later, I asked my neighbor why she had enclosed the money. She said, “I had a feeling it would help.” —Nadine Chandler, Winthrop, Massachusetts

flower in a sneaker on red and yellow background

Raised right

Children were playing at the recreation area of an IKEA store when my five-year-old granddaughter motioned for a small boy to stop. She knelt down before him and retied his flopping shoelaces—she had only just learned to tie her own. No words were spoken, but after she finished, both smiled shyly, then turned to race off in different directions. —Sheela Mayes, Olla, Louisiana. Find out which little compliments you could be giving out every day.

Blanket statement

When I was seven, my family drove to the Grand Canyon. At one point, my favorite blanket flew out the window and was gone. I was devastated. Soon after, we stopped at a service station. Moping, I found a bench and was about to eat my sandwich when a biker gang pulled into the station. “Is that your blue Ford?” a huge, frightening man with a gray-and-black beard asked. Mom nodded reticently. The man pulled my blanket from his jacket pocket and handed it to her. He then returned to his motorcycle. I repaid him the only way I knew how: I ran up to him and gave him my sandwich. —Zena Hamilton, United Kingdom

Just driving through

When my friend and I were injured in a car accident, a family from out of state stopped to help. Seeing we were hurt, they drove us to the hospital and stayed there until we were released. They then took us home, got us food, and made sure we were settled in. Amazingly, they interrupted their vacation to help us. —Cindy Earls, Ada, Oklahoma 

Butterflies of support

I was four months pregnant with our first child when our baby’s heart stopped beating. I was devastated. As the days went on, I was nervous about returning to work. I’m a middle school teacher and I didn’t know how I could face kids. This past May, after four weeks of recovering, I walked into my empty classroom and turned on the lights. Glued to the wall were a hundred colored paper butterflies, each with a handwritten message on it from current and past students. All of them had encouraging messages: “Keep moving forward,” “Don’t give up on God,” and “Know that we love you.” It was exactly what I needed. —Jennifer Garcia-Esquivel, San Benito, Texas

Twice as nice

Two firefighters were waiting in line at a fast-food restaurant when the siren sounded on their fire truck parked outside. As they turned to leave, a couple who had just received their order handed their food to the firefighters. The couple then got back in line to reorder. Doubling down on their selfless act, the manager refused to take their money. —JoAnn Sanderson, Brandon, Florida

a flower on top of a book on a purple background

Designated driver

I’d pulled over onto the side of a New Mexico road and was suffering a panic attack when a minivan full of kids pulled over. A woman got out and asked if I was OK. “No,” I said. Then I laid out what had happened: I was delivering books for a publishing company. My next stop was way, way up this long and winding and, to me, very treacherous road. I couldn’t do it. “I’ll deliver the books for you,” she said. She was a local, and the roads were nothing for her. I took her up on the offer and never forgot the simple kindness of a stranger. —Doreen Frick, Ord, Nebraska

A Christmas story

In January 2006, a fire destroyed a family’s home. In that fire were all the belongings of a six-year-old boy, including his Christmas presents. A classmate from his school who had a birthday around then asked her parents if she could give all her gifts to the boy. That act of kindness will forever warm my heart because the boy is my grandson. —Donna Kachnowski, Lebanon, Connecticut

Direction in the night

As I left a party, I got on the wrong freeway and was immediately lost. I pulled over to the shoulder and called my roadside-assistance provider. She tried to connect me to the California Highway Patrol, but that call never went through. Hearing the panic in my voice, she came up with a plan B: “You’re near this office,” she said. “I’m about to go off shift. Stay put, and I’ll find you.” Ten minutes later, she rolled up. She guided me not only to the right freeway, but all the way to the correct freeway exit. And then, with a wave goodbye, she drove back into the night. —Michelle Arnold, Santee, California

Tattoos and donations

A year ago, Micah Harold had a heart attack, and actually died several times before he recovered. Now, a year later, the coronavirus is here. Micah owns a tattoo parlor (he is an extremely talented artist), and his tattoo parlor has been closed because it is “non-essential.” But Micah has stepped up and is giving back to the community. His shop is on the edge of a not-so-affluent part of town. He has stocked his shop with essentials such as toilet paper, paper towels, different types of non-perishable foods, and emergency items. Some things he bought with his own money, and he has had some donations from the community. He makes hand sanitizer and also has gloves and other items that people need for this pandemic available in his shop. Everything is free. You just go in, tell him what you need, and he gives it to you. His mother, Deborah Allen, is also involved; not in his business, but in making cloth masks for people. She has long been a clothing designer, and now she is making masks and giving them away. They are both helping the community a great deal. —Judy Chandler, Shreveport, Louisiana

The value of essential work

My husband’s job is one of the essential jobs (sanitation engineer); not a glamorous one, but consider the alternative. About the second week of the lockdown, he was having trouble finding a sanitizing spray for his truck. One morning on his way to work at 4 a.m., he stopped at one of the few stores open that early, hoping to purchase some. When he got to the door, he saw that it was only open for first responders and medical personnel. As he turned to head back to his car, a local sheriff’s deputy heading in to the store spotted my husband’s reflective vest and asked him which trash company he worked for, then proceeded to thank my husband for being out there. My husband replied that it was the deputy who deserved thanks. The deputy asked if my husband always shopped this early, and my husband told him about his trouble finding a spray. When asked if he had found it that morning, my husband told him that he couldn’t go in to the store. The deputy then told my husband to stay where he was. He went in to the store, purchased the spray and brought it out to my husband. When my husband tried to pay him, he wouldn’t take any money. —Karen Foster, Hillsboro, Oregon

Through sickness and health

My neighbors, Jay and Treva, have been the best since we moved in. When my husband got brain cancer, they helped with yard work and snow removal. When Jim passed away, they were always helping me with anything they could. Meals, yard work, snow removal, putting my trash can away when I would forget. They still continue to care for me and if they don’t see me outside for a while they text to make sure I am alright, and not down or anything. I know I can always count on them to be there for me no matter what happens! —Shelly Golay, Casper, Wyoming

flowers coming out of a craft-paper envelope on orange background

Bowing to strangers

Going to the post office is usually a weekly event for me. I rarely give it any thought other than to drive there, go inside, and drop off my letter or package. However, our world has changed and now I must give careful consideration to this journey, as my age and pre-existing condition put me into the “vulnerable” category. There are decisions that I need to make. Is this a package that must go out now? I conclude that it is. Is there anyone else who can take the package for me? I conclude there is not. So I have made two decisions already. Next, I must determine which of the two post offices closest to me would be the easiest one to accomplish my goal. I realize the larger one would be my best choice. Three decisions made!

On the drive over, I determine that I will look to see the number of cars in the parking lot before I make my decision to go in. Upon arriving, I conclude that the car population is small enough, so I pull into an empty space. My next thought is, “Perhaps I should wait for someone to come out and ask them to take my package in?” Then I realize, I will be making contact with a perfect stranger, and what is the difference between talking to that stranger and just going in and talking to the clerk? Next decision made, I walk inside. There are only two people and both are standing at the counters making their transactions. I walk to the front of what is normally a very long line. I am standing alone, waiting my turn.

Shortly, I am called to the window. I can see that the postal clerk is aware of the fear in my eyes. She quietly steps back from her station and motions me to come forward. I step up to the counter and place my package on the scale. She then motions me to step back. I move away and she begins the process of weighing it and determining the proper postage. She tells me the price and motions me forward as she takes a step back. Again, I believe she saw the terror in my eyes and said, “One moment, Ma’am.” She leans under the counter and picks up a Lysol wipe. She thoroughly cleans the credit card machine and the entire counter around it. She then steps back and again motions me forward. As I insert my card, tears start to roll down my cheeks. I was so moved by the care with which she accomplished this usually very simple task. When I had completed the transaction, she again motioned me back as she stepped forward. She took the receipt, wiped it down, and lay it on the counter. Beside it, she placed a clean tissue as she could see my tears were still streaming down my cheeks. She again stepped away from the counter. I picked up the receipt and took a step back. In gratitude, I bowed to her. She bowed to me with equal respect. —Jeanne Hall, Nashville, Tennessee

Kind-hearted better half

During COVID, there are orphans whose birthdays are not getting celebrated or they are not getting any gifts from their well-wishers. At this hard time, my wife (Neelam Singhal), collected birthday boxes, gifts, and birthday crowns, and started calling various organizations to see who could accept them. She was able to connect with Kids TLC and she drove there to donate the items. She felt so happy doing something for them that she almost cried when she returned. I am lucky to have such a kind-hearted better half. —Manuj Singhal, Olathe, Kansas

Sharing the wealth

When Clayton, New Jersey, resident JoAnn Kates received her $1,200 government stimulus check, she initially toyed with the idea of giving $300 to each of her four grown children. But the devout Christian says the Lord spoke to her, telling her to use the money to buy meals for frontline medical workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic. While Kates has a daughter who is a NICU nurse in Tennessee, it was actually her six-year experience as a caregiver after her late husband suffered a severe brain injury in 2008 (he died in 2014) that helped her choose her local hospital—Jefferson Washington Township Hospital in Turnersville, New Jersey—for her generous food donation. “Nurses and doctors walked me through the worst six years of my life,” says Kates, whose husband never walked or talked again after a bicycle accident. “I wrote letters praising every nurse and trauma doctor I encountered during that time.”

A fan of Scarpinato’s Italian food in Turnersville, Kates used her stimulus money to purchase 110 lunches that were delivered to the hospital on April 27. Staff from Medical-Surgical Units, ICU, Cardiopulmonary, the storeroom, as well as some physicians and residents, enjoyed the hot meal. —Nicole Pensiero Turnersville, New Jersey. Next, read up on the best charities where your donation will go the farthest.

Your dog is your bestie, your trusted sidekick, a beloved member of the family. Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or a longtime pet expert, it’s no wonder you want to choose a name that matches your pooch’s heart and soul. Since choosing a name is such a big decision, we’ve rounded up some of the most unique dog names known to capture a pup’s personality. We turned to the American Kennel Club, Rover.com, and PetPlace—the latter two organizations analyzed their databases to publish this year’s top unique dog names—to find the most unusual and fun boy dog names, girl dog names, and funny dog names for all the cutest dog breeds.

Top unique dog names for girls

Cute dog breed Maltese is sitting on a pedestal in the park

Leave Bella, Luna, and Bailey in the past and opt for something more expressive. These unique dog names for girls from Rover.com will perfectly showcase all the personality your little gal has to offer.

1. Ana

2. Bellatrix

3. Blair

4. Brooklyn

5. Cardi

6. Coconut

7. Daisey

8. Dorothy

9. Gina

10. Josey

11. Junie

12. Kasey

13. Linda

14. Meg

15. Mira

16. Moma

17. Moon

18. Nadia

19. Patsy

20. Pennie

21. Pippi

22. Posey

23. Shyla

24. Tessie

25. Zora

Top unique dog names for boys

Beautiful labrador retriever dog in the park, sunny day

Leave the ever-popular Cooper, Max, and Charlie to another pup, and take a look at some of Rover.com’s lesser-known boy dog names.

26. Arwen

27. Bambam

28. Beckett

29. Bill

30. Breck

31. Brinkley

32. Crash

33. Cricket

34. Deebo

35. Dennis

36. Dodge

37. Edgar

38. Finnigan

39. Gumbo

40. Kujo

41. Luca

42. Marlo

43. Ninja

44. Oslo

45. Pancake

46. Pickle

47. Porkchop

48. Preston

49. Scotch

50. Seymour

51. Skip

52. Socks

53. Stuart

Noteworthy dog names for big dogs

Portrait of two A Bernese Mountain Dog and a Landseer sit side by side in the woods. Outdoor photo dogs

While giant dog breeds may be intimidating, we know they’re just big softies. If you decide to go for a name that captures their grand proportions, it’ll be all the more amusing when all they want to do is cuddle and play with you.

54. Apollo

55. Astro

56. Bigfoot

57. Buggie

58. Caesar

59. Giant

60. Goliath

61. Kong

62. Monster

63. Moose

64. Moxie

65. Tank

66. Thumper

67. Tita

68. Yeti

Unique dog names for small dogs

Chihuahua Dogs

Toy-sized dogs deserve a little love, too! They may be tiny, but they have big personalities that you can easily show off in their names. One of these should do the trick for your pup.

69. Atom

70. Birdy

71. Cashew

72. Diesel

73. Frank

74. George

75. Jellybean

76. Jeb

77. Little

78. Minnie

79. Peanut

80. Pint

81. Ruby

82. Shrimp

83. Sunny

84. Toy

85. Trifle

86. Weazle

Unique hipster dog names

Cheerful Jack Russell Terrier running at camera

Hipsters may come to mind when you think about unique dog names. Generally speaking, a hipster is an independent thinker and embraces alternative forms of expression. If your dog is just too cool (even for you), you’ll want to give them one of these hipster dog names.

87. Admiral

88. Anastasia

89. Beta

90. Bitsy

91. Bohemian

92. Cabernet

93. Coco

94. Ghost

95. Gidget

96. Gracie

97. Gus

98. Hazel

99. Jersey

100. Jinx

101. Kenzi

102. Milo

103. Mopsey

104. Octavia

105. Onyx

106. Prince

107. Rafa

108. Sugar

109. Teddy

110. Tiberius

111. Trixie

112. Willa

113. Winter

114. Wyatt

115. Yoshi

116. Zeke

117. Ziggy

118. Zooey

Unique strong dog names

Leonberger Dog Sitting In Forest, Giant Breed

Even if your pup isn’t quite a guard dog, you may want his name to show off what a tough doggo he is. These strong dog names will remind you, especially when you forget because you just can’t get over how cute he is. Hey, who said strong dogs can’t also be adorable?

119. Ajax

120. Beamer

121. Bongo

122. Bullet

123. Cairo

124. Captain

125. Chaos

126. Commander

127. Dallas

128. Dash

129. Dracula

130. Flash

131. Gizmo

132. Laser

133. Rex

134. Ranger

135. Saber

136. Shadow

137. Vader

138. Warlock

Unique dog names from movies and TV

Outdoor shot of a Shih Tzu dog walking on the grass land.

Take inspiration from your favorite movies and TV characters for unique dog names. Sometimes a character embodies your dog’s personality so much that a name immediately makes sense. We’ve narrowed the list to a few memorable contenders. If none of these character names fit your pup, they may at least jog your memory for other favorite characters that fit better, like one of these Disney dog names.

139. Abu

140. Aladdin

141. Archie Bunker

142. Barney Stinson

143. Bart Simpson

144. Batman

145. Buffy Summers

146. Bugs Bunny

147. Cersei

148. Cogsworth

149. Derek Morgan

150. Dexter Morgan

151. Dumbo

152. Fonzie

153. Frank Costanza

154. Frasier Crane

155. Fred Flinstone

156. Gandalf

157. Gatsby

158. Hobbit

159. Homer Simpson

160. Jafar

161. Joker

162. Loki

163. Mr. Rogers

164. Muppet

165. Nemo

166. Olivia Benson

167. Pinocchio

168. Spock

169. Steve Urkel

170. Thumper

171. Tinker Bell

172. Tony Soprano

A unique name isn’t the only thing your pooch requires—these are the things you need before you bring your new pup home.

Sources

It’s no surprise that we love fast food: McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell—you name it. It’s super easy to grab while we’re out and about, whether we’re running weekend errands or heading home after a long day. Yes, we love having the time to cook a homemade meal, but sometimes convenience wins out.

So when we find ourselves eating in the car, we need to make the process as easy as possible. And boy do we have the perfect fast-food hack for you.

How to open a ketchup packet

We all know those ketchup packets that come along with our fast food meals: the little plastic bags that we tear open and squeeze the absolute heck out of. Sometimes the ketchup goes onto our burger wrapper. Sometimes it goes into the open box of chicken nuggets. Sometimes it covers the fries themselves, and sometimes it covers us!

Well, thanks to this genius hack from TikTok user @cookiterica, we won’t have to worry about that anymore. When you’re ready to open your ketchup packet, don’t tear off a small corner and squeeze. Instead, rip the edge all the way down one side. That way, you have a large opening—perfect for mess-free dipping (you’ll love this for the kids).

@cookiterica IMPORTANT FRENCH FRY HACK! #tiktokfood #lifehack #savagemom #momsoftiktok #ketchup #frenchfryhack #Buffering ♬ original sound – Food, Family, Fun

Try this french fry recipe for your ketchup

Let’s be honest: We just can’t get enough of McDonald’s fries. There are scientific reasons we love them so much. And now we’re all craving them. Whoops … sorry!

But don’t discount the warmth and love put into homemade french fries. Whenever I do burger night, I always make wedge-cut fries from scratch—they’re delicious and fun to make. The health conscious among us can always use an air fryer to heat up their french fries. However you like to eat your fries, with this hack, you always know you’re gonna have a good time.

Now that you know how to open a ketchup packet the right way, read on to learn how to open a can without a can opener.

It seems to be the golden rule of beauty: Those who are blessed with natural curls dream of a straight mane, while those who were born with straight locks would kill for curls.

It takes a lot of work and the right products to force our hair to submit to our desires, which is why tools like the Dyson Airwrap and Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer are so popular for getting the best blowout ever. But there’s one hot tool that’s all the rage on Amazon, and if you haven’t tried it yet, you’re definitely missing out: the TYMO Ring hair straightener comb.

What is a hair straightener comb?

Tymo Hair Straightening Comb

If this is your first time experimenting with a hair straightening comb, prepare to be wowed by a product that many users say is easier to handle than a flat iron—yet achieves the same results for taming frizzy hair.

The TYMO Ring hair straightener comb reduces the number of hot tools you need to achieve the sleek look you want, because it’s a comb and straightener in one. The hair shaft essentially locks into place when using the product, which helps create a little tension while gliding through each section.

“I love that it offers multiple heat settings and other features that are geared toward protecting the hair, which is very important anytime you are putting heat on the hair,” says certified cosmetologist Denise Dixon, owner of the Cosmetology Institute of Las Vegas, where her students make human-hair wigs for cancer survivors during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. “This product also features ceramic plates with a Moroccan oil coating to minimize heat damage. However, if the consumer’s hair is really coarse and brittle, it may not give the desired result because the product does not seal the ends of the hair.”

Pros:

Here’s what we like about the TYMO Ring:

  • Detangles, straightens, and adds volume and shine
  • Affordable price point
  • 5 temperature settings (from 260 to 410 degrees) for different hair textures
  • 25 ceramic heating plates for even heat distribution
  • Anti-scald design protects your scalp and hands
  • 360-degree swivel cord so you don’t get tangled up while styling
  • Comes with clips (for sectioning) and a heatproof glove (for extra protection)
  • Automatically turns off in case you forget
  • Universal voltage makes this tool travel-friendly

Cons:

Here’s what we don’t like about the TYMO Ring hair straightener comb:

  • Must work in very small sections, which may take longer on thick hair
  • Doesn’t seal the ends of your hair, the way a flat iron does

How to use the TYMO Ring hair straightener comb

Tymo Straightening Comb Set

First, it’s important to begin working on hair that is clean. (Side note: Nothing gets hair cleaner than a scalp brush!) “Do not use this product if your hair is not clean or is oily,” cautions Dixon. “Any kind of oil in hair will essentially deep-fry your hair.” And, your hair needs to be dry, as using it on wet hair could lead to unwanted damage.

Next, use a detangling brush to comb through your hair and remove any knots that would hinder the desired gliding motion. Now, it’s time to apply some frizzy hair products to defrizz, and a heat protectant.

“You absolutely need to invest in a solid heat protectant, which will seal the cuticle and act as a protective barrier on each hair strand,” advises Dixon. “Make sure to straighten with small sections. This will ensure that you are getting the hair straight at the root. Also, go slow and steady. When people are rushing, they tend to go over the same areas repeatedly, and you should never do more than one, or max two, passes.” She says that the sections on your head that are curlier may require a higher heat setting than the areas that are more loosely curled or straighter.

To help keep your blowout looking good for days, Dixon says to wrap your hair at night with a silk or satin bonnet. A silk pillowcase is also a good idea for better hair health. Proper nighttime care means no further heat will be required the next morning.

The best Amazon user reviews

With more than 27,000 reviews on Amazon, it’s no surprise that fans have some pretty strong feelings about their beloved TYMO hair straightener—from the low price tag to the awesome results.

Verified purchaser Keyao An calls it an “unbeatable deal for the money,” adding that “it looks so ‘Dyson’ but with a much more reasonable price.” She also posts some amazing before and after photos.

Erica Burkhard raves that it usually takes an hour to do her hair, but it took only 30 minutes with her TYMO hair straightener. You can see the results from frizzy to sleek in her review photos.

And Victoria Jackson writes that she loves it so much, she’s never going back to a regular flat iron again.

Where to buy the TYMO Ring hair straightener

Ready to purchase your own miracle straightening comb? TYMO ranges from $49 to $74 and is available for purchase on Amazon, Walmart, Sears, and at Tymobeauty.com.

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It’s ugly, it’s frustrating, and it’s definitely happened to all of us at least once: candle tunneling. If you’re a candle lover like I am, you’ve encountered a candle or two that just refuses to melt all the way around. That’s the tunneling part—a solid wall of wax around the inside of the candle jar that just won’t go away.

It usually happens when you don’t allow a new candle to burn long enough the first time you use it. It can also happen if a wick isn’t large enough or it’s off-center. Luckily, there are a few quick fixes for this problem, and one of them involves something you already have in your kitchen—aluminum foil. Incidentally, this is just one of the many aluminum foil hacks you can try around the house.

How to fix candle tunneling

Here are some simple ways to resolve this annoying issue.

Use aluminum foil

My favorite kind of fix is one that only requires items I have in my house (and if it’s yours, too, here’s why you should put paper towels in the fridge and add these secret ingredients to your laundry). For this problem, take some aluminum foil and wrap it around the outside edge of the candle. The trick here is to make sure the foil reaches over the tunneled wax. You’ll also want to keep an open center so the flame can continue to burn as usual. This is the aluminum foil we like, in part because Reynolds Wrap has started color-coding aluminum foil, and this is what the colors mean.

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The aluminum foil allows the flame to stay even and continuously radiate heat, as well as retain heat to help melt the leftover wax. Ellie Martin Cliffe, executive editor at our sister site, Taste of Home, tested this and swears by its magic. “I tried the aluminum foil trick over the weekend, and it worked beautifully,” she says. It doesn’t matter which direction the aluminum foil is facing, but there is a very important reason why aluminum foil has a shiny and dull side.

Buy a candle topper

Yankee Candle Toppers

Candle toppers are cute, open metal lids that often have intricate designs. Like the aluminum foil, they help keep the flames protected from wind and drafts so the wax can melt evenly. On top of that, they’re so adorable. They come in a lot of styles and designs, like this classic scalloped topper and this pretty-in-pink cherry blossom topper.

It’s important to note that candle toppers work best on larger candles with a single wick.

How to prevent candle tunneling

There are a few ways to prevent tunneling and help your candles last longer.

Remember to trim your wicks regularly, and keep candles away from drafty windows. And when using a candle for the first time, let the candle burn for long enough that the entire top of the candle melts into an even pool (usually several hours). Three-wick candles tend to burn the best and shouldn’t have an issue with tunneling.

Now that you’ve got all the info you need, treat yourself to one of the best scented candles that will make your home smell amazing. You deserve it!