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An industry on fire: Candle stores see huge rise in sales

RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mo. — Kayla Schneider’s candles speak to her customers.

“Um …,” begins the label on her gardenia candle. “Can I Please Unsubscribe From 2020?”

“Girl,” starts the lavender eucalyptus, “You Need To Go Relax.”

One recent Sunday at the Boulevard Farmers Market in Richmond Heights, shoppers lifted the lids...Read more

15 holiday gifts for music lovers: Taylor Swift, Bob Dylan and more

We missed concerts. And album release parties. Even televised performances in front of live audiences.

Now it’s the holiday season, and another round of the COVID blues is upon us, thanks to the surge in cases, government rules and CDC recommendations. We need music more than ever.

So we’ve compiled a gift guide for music lovers on your ...Read more

Minneapolis man fueling global craze for the hottest quarantine toy you've never heard of

If you’ve never seen a kendama before, you might think it’s some sort of small wooden doll, or handheld weapon or tool for assembling IKEA furniture. In fact, it’s a Japanese toy made of two parts — a cross-shaped handle (the “ken”) and ball with a hole in it (the “tama”) — connected by a string.

For centuries, kendama was ...Read more

Fresh ways to shop online this holiday season

If there’s been one overall winner in the global pandemic this year, it’s been Amazon, the online shopping megastore with one-day delivery for Prime customers. But if you’re all shopped out on Amazon and want to avoid the potential crowds at retail stores this season, we have some recommendations for several other, little-known shopping ...Read more

An industry on fire: Candle stores see huge rise in sales

RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mo. — Kayla Schneider’s candles speak to her customers.

“Um …,” begins the label on her gardenia candle. “Can I Please Unsubscribe From 2020?”

“Girl,” starts the lavender eucalyptus, “You Need To Go Relax.”

One recent Sunday at the Boulevard Farmers Market in Richmond Heights, shoppers lifted the lids...Read more

15 holiday gifts for music lovers: Taylor Swift, Bob Dylan and more

We missed concerts. And album release parties. Even televised performances in front of live audiences.

Now it’s the holiday season, and another round of the COVID blues is upon us, thanks to the surge in cases, government rules and CDC recommendations. We need music more than ever.

So we’ve compiled a gift guide for music lovers on your ...Read more

Answer Angel: Keeping dry hair shiny

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I have natural curly hair. What are the best products to seal in moisture and shine? Also, what are some natural hairstyles I can realistically do myself that will last?

— Barbara G.

Dear Barbara: Everything you need to know about wearing your natural hair in a do-it-yourself style — one that embraces the natural...Read more

The best holiday gifts under $25 for travelers

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it's time to turn your attention to the holidays -- specifically, holiday gifts. This is a great time to shower friends, family and co-workers with some thoughtful travel inspiration, whether that means making a frequent flier a little more comfortable in flight or psyching someone up to take that trip they'...Read more

Handmade Arcade crafts a 9-day virtual marketplace

PITTSBURGH -- The annual Handmade Arcade was Etsy before there was Etsy, bringing together local artisans and prospective buyers in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center or other city venues since 2004.

With COVID-19 cases rising, it became clear this spring that this year would be different.

“We realized pretty quickly during the ...Read more

Our 9 favorite cross-body bags for travel

A cross-body bag ranks just as high on the necessary-travel-items scale as comfy walking shoes, a scarf or sarong and a portable phone charger.

Actually, cross-body bags aren't so much travel essentials as they are life essentials. Meant to be worn on one side of the body, they feature long, usually adjustable straps that stretch over the ...Read more

Minneapolis man fueling global craze for the hottest quarantine toy you've never heard of

If you’ve never seen a kendama before, you might think it’s some sort of small wooden doll, or handheld weapon or tool for assembling IKEA furniture. In fact, it’s a Japanese toy made of two parts — a cross-shaped handle (the “ken”) and ball with a hole in it (the “tama”) — connected by a string.

For centuries, kendama was ...Read more

Fresh ways to shop online this holiday season

If there’s been one overall winner in the global pandemic this year, it’s been Amazon, the online shopping megastore with one-day delivery for Prime customers. But if you’re all shopped out on Amazon and want to avoid the potential crowds at retail stores this season, we have some recommendations for several other, little-known shopping ...Read more

The best holiday gifts under $25 for travelers

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it's time to turn your attention to the holidays -- specifically, holiday gifts. This is a great time to shower friends, family and co-workers with some thoughtful travel inspiration, whether that means making a frequent flier a little more comfortable in flight or psyching someone up to take that trip they'...Read more

Lily + Rein brings sophisticated approach to CBD bath-and-body products

PITTSBURGH — Need some help relaxing? Allison Bentley hopes Lily + Rein — a new CBD-infused line of bath, body and wellness products — can help.

Bentley launched the brand less than two months ago with Hemp Synergistics. The biotechnology company, headquartered in Leetsdale, Pa., specializes in creating hemp-based ingredients and consumer...Read more

Sunday Best: Exhibit at the Met, online through Feb. 7, showcases 150 years of fashion

I won't be going to New York anytime soon, alas — but that doesn't mean I can't vicariously enjoy "About Time: Fashion and Duration," the current Costume Institute exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibit, celebrating the Met's 150th anniversary, showcases a century and a half of fashion and examines how clothing ...Read more

Retailers get creative for holiday shopping during the pandemic

PITTSBURGH — How do you plan for holiday shopping in a pandemic?

That's the question that has owners of local women's boutiques and men's retailers scratching their heads in the weeks before Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. Many are hoping private shopping options, curated gift boxes, gift card incentives and online ordering will ...Read more

Forget fancy designs. This Seattle startup will put your beautiful face on your mask

SEATTLE — These days when we tell our friends we miss their faces, we really mean it.

It was interesting to see masks highlighting causes, cute fabrics and novel constructions, but we're over that, aren't we? Don't we just wish for an old-fashioned smile?

That, along with the desire to make people want to wear masks, is what motivated the ...Read more

9 nearly perfect pieces of luggage for kids

Traveling with children has its rewards — fun family bonding, seeing the world through your kid's eyes, and losing yourself in a childlike sense of adventure, to name a few. It also comes with a tiny challenge: packing and schlepping a lot of extra stuff. Make that part of the journey a little easier on yourself by equipping your young globe...Read more

Shake things up with your makeup this pandemic season

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Is it the pandemic? Politics? The weather? The fact that it gets dark at 4:30 p.m.? All of the above? Whatever the reason(s), I feel like I've never looked worse. I go back and forth with my sister on what we can do to at least improve our looks, if not our psyche! I know you can't fix all of our problems, but how ...Read more

7 safety tips for staying in a hotel during COVID-19

If you're going to travel during the pandemic, there are things you can do to help reduce your risk. Follow these simple steps to make your hotel stay during COVID-19 as safe as possible.

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Chose a hotel that's following enhanced safety protocols

Your safety strategy starts before you book. Do some research before making a reservation to ...Read more