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Ready to ditch your winter boots? Here are the best ballet flats for spring

Thu, 03/07/2024 - 20:14
https://tags.remixd.com/player/v5/index.js?cb=%%CACHEBUSTER%% These versatile shoes are perfect for your warm-weather outfits

When spring weather starts to roll in, you can finally put away your heavy winter boots. When you’re switching out your winter wardrobe, ballet flats work with many spring outfits.

In fact, it’s their versatility that makes ballet flats so popular. So whether you’re going to work, grabbing lunch with friends or just running errands, the right pair of ballet flats can complete your look.

If you’re looking for new shoes to add to your closet for spring, check out these top-rated ballet flats that are stylish enough to dress up any outfit.

How should I style ballet flats?

Because of their versatility and the various styles available, you can wear ballet flats with plenty of items already in your spring wardrobe, from casual looks to more polished outfits.

Some items that look great with ballet flats include:

Ballet flats look best with pants, skirts or dresses that hit above the ankle, so there isn’t fabric pooling on top and hiding your ballet flats. Skip the socks and tights, too. Wearing ballet flats without hosiery usually gives them a more sophisticated look.

Best ballet flats under $50

Amazon Essentials Belice Ballet Flat

These classic ballet flats have a round toe and elasticized design, making them both comfortable and flattering. They are made of soft faux leather, have a flexible outsole and come in more than 30 colors, including several animal prints.

Ollio Lace Ballet Flat

These unique lace ballet flats are ideal for spring because they have a breathable design to keep your feet cool and comfortable. They stretch to fit your feet comfortably and have an anti-slip rubber sole to keep you steady.

Clarks Sara Orchid Ballet Flat

Made of 100% leather, these chic ballet flats are comfortable and durable enough to wear every day. They have a soft, supportive foam footbed, elastic around the top edge for a better fit and a slight heel that measures less than an inch.

Lucky Brand Alba Ballet Flat

These faux leather ballet flats have a square toe that sets them apart from other pairs. They have a synthetic lining and a lightly padded footbed to improve their comfort. They’re also available in 14 colors.

Naturalizer Flexy Ballet Flat

These basic ballet flats earn high marks for their comfortable, supportive design. They have a soft, breathable lining and a cushioned footbed with targeted arch support. They also come in seven colors.

Skechers Cleo Point Ballet Flat

These soft, stretchable ballet flats are perfect for daily wear. They are made of woven, machine-washable fabric and feature an air-cooled memory foam cushioned insole to keep your feet comfortable all day.

Ollio Faux Suede Decorative Flower Ballet Flat

These faux suede ballet flats add a fun element to any outfit with their large flower decorations. They also have an elasticized top edge that provides a comfortable fit and a durable rubber sole. They’re available in 14 colors, including bright red and purple.

Best ballet flats for $50-$100

ALDO Blanchette Ballet Flat

These ALDO flats offer a sophisticated take on the traditional ballet flat. They are made of supple genuine leather and have a pointy toe that helps elongate the look of your legs. Their rubber sole also provides excellent traction.

Lucky Brand Emmie Ballet Flat

These classic leather ballet flats have a stretch top that provides a more secure fit. They also have a memory foam insole to provide support and a flexible rubber sole that allows for more comfortable walking.

Anne Klein Umeko Ballet Flat

These chic ballet flats have a striking metal buckle at the front to give them a more dressed-up look. They also have an Ortholite footbed that provides cushioning and support and a water-resistant design that’s ideal for wet spring weather.

Nine West Speakup Leather Ballet Flats

These classic ballet flats have sleek leather uppers that make them a timeless addition to your closet. They also feature flattering almond-shaped toes, a low profile and a durable synthetic sole. The shoes are even lined for greater comfort.

Frye Carson Ballet Flats

Made of premium leather, these stylish ballet flats offer a smooth, comfortable fit because they stretch with your feet. The supple leather also provides a subtle sheen that helps them stand out, while the outsole is durable and holds up well to wear and tear. They’re available in more than 15 colors.

Anne Klein Oalise Ballet Flat

These unique flats have a pointed toe with stretch that provides plenty of room for a comfortable fit. They are made of durable faux leather and have a flexible outsole that moves easily with your foot. They also come in 15 colors, including classic black and spring-ready coral.

Best ballet flats for $100+

Vionic Minna Ballet Flat

With genuine leather construction, these sophisticated ballet flats are highly comfortable and durable. They feature Vionic’s patented motion support, which conforms to your foot’s natural curve as you walk. They also have a cute bow at the front for added fun.

Sam Edelman Felicia Flats

These elegant ballet flats are made of 100% premium leather and have a cute bow detail with the brand’s logo charm at the front. The top edge is elasticized for a more comfortable fit, while the padded insole offers cushioning and support. They come in more than 30 colors.

Michael Kors Fulton Moccasin

If you want more mature-looking ballet flats, these shoes are for you. They are made of premium leather and feature a metal buckle with the Michael Kors logo across the toe. The cushioned footbed makes them more comfortable, too.

Tory Burch Minnie Travel Ballet Flats

These ballet flats don’t just look great; they also feature a design that makes them easy to pack for all your spring trips. They are made of soft napa leather and feature multiple layers of foam cushioning for comfortable all-day wear.

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

Check out our Daily Deals for the best products at the best prices and sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter full of shopping inspo and sales.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Age-appropriate tech that’s safe for your kids

Thu, 03/07/2024 - 20:14
https://tags.remixd.com/player/v5/index.js?cb=%%CACHEBUSTER%% Younger kids are becoming increasingly comfortable with technology

More and more kids are adopting tech at younger and younger ages. In fact, a recent NewsNation article brought to light how COVID-19 increased kids’ comfort with technology. The downside is kids are much more vulnerable when they are comfortable. This means parents have to be more vigilant and learn which tech products are safest for their kids to use.

How to protect your tech-savvy kid

It happens with every generation: Kids are exposed to new technology first, so they become more comfortable with it than their parents. To protect a child who may know more than you, you need to take advantage of the built-in tools, such as Parental Controls and Screen Time monitoring, that nearly all modern devices have. This is your first line of defense in keeping your child from venturing onto potentially dangerous sites and helping them learn to limit their daily screen time.

Products that help keep your kid safe online

While Amazon might not have the slickest products, such as iPads or Galaxy tablets, we have been testing items in our lab and found the company’s strength is in offering devices that are ideal for children.

The Amazon Fire 8 Kids Tablet, for instance, has built-in, easy-to-use parental controls that let you block undesirable content and access to inappropriate websites. It also lets you set screen time limits by category and has a rugged, child-proof case.

Similarly, the Echo Dot Kids has comparable protection. Additionally, it can help your child with homework, read to them and more.

If your child streams a lot of content or listens to music using headphones, it is important to protect their hearing because excessive volume can cause permanent hearing damage. A pair of Onanoff foldable headphones are a great accessory because they limit the volume level to a WHO-recommended 85 decibels.

Tech that keeps kids safe in the real world

Keeping your child safe in the real world has different challenges than keeping them protected online. Because of that, you need a different set of tools. For instance, an Apple AirTag can be placed on your child’s backpack, so you know that they made it to their friend’s house after school.

Best products to protect your kids

Amazon Fire 8 Kids Tablet

If you are considering getting a tablet for your kid, this is the best choice. Not only does it have a bevy of built-in parental control features, it comes with a two-year worry-free guarantee — if it breaks, simply return it for a free replacement.

Kindle Kids

Kindle Kids is a great way to start your child reading. This latest model has twice the storage, a longer battery life and an upgraded display. Purchase includes a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+. The Parent Dashboard lets you easily protect your child.

Echo Dot Kids

Whether they need help with homework, would like to listen to some music or want to hear a story, the Echo Dot Kids is there to help. With the Parental Controls, you can filter out songs with explicit lyrics, ensure kid-friendly responses, set daily screen limits and more.

Onanoff Explore Volume-Limiting Kids Headphones

These award-winning headphones limit the volume level to protect kids’ hearing. They are built using hypoallergenic materials and have a foldable design to make them easier to store. These headphones are also built to withstand a kid’s curiosity, such as wondering how far they can bend.

Apple AirTag

While the Apple AirTag is not designed to track objects that are in motion, it is a great, affordable way to know if your child is where they are supposed to be. Just attach a tag to your child’s backpack or belt loop in order to make sure they are where they should be.

Jiobit GPS Tracker for Kids

For a little more protection, and the ability to monitor anywhere in the nation in real time, consider purchasing this tracker. Know precisely where your child is at all times by discreetly attaching this tracker to clothing, shoes or a backpack. It also features smart alerts and location history for even more protection.

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

Check out our Daily Deals for the best products at the best prices and sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter full of shopping inspo and sales.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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9 books to read during Women’s History Month

Thu, 03/07/2024 - 20:13
https://tags.remixd.com/player/v5/index.js?cb=%%CACHEBUSTER%% What are the best books to read in celebration of Women’s History Month?

While March officially became known as Women’s History Month in 1987, courageous women have been fighting for rights and opportunities since the beginning of time. One of the best ways to gain insight is through reading, from history books that recount the stories of inspirational women, such as Abigail Adams and Rosa Parks, to fictional characters written by talented female authors.

Even though you don’t need to wait until March to celebrate the achievements of phenomenal women, it’s a great reason to cancel plans and cuddle up with an exciting book. So, whether you’re looking to learn about real-life heroines or get lost in a motivating fictional novel, we asked BestReviews book expert, Ciera Pasturel, to recommend the top books for children, teens and adults to read during Women’s History Month.

Women’s History Month and the importance of telling women’s stories

“Women’s stories deserve to be heard and read,” said Pasturel. “From real-life heroes like Michelle Obama to fictional characters like Katniss Everdeen, books about and by powerful women are essential tales to inspire future generations of female leaders.”

The first unofficial celebration of women was a weeklong event full of contests and parades in Sonoma, California in 1978. After years of building on the hard work of many individuals and groups, congress proclaimed March 7, 1982 as Women’s History Week and eventually declared the entire month of March as Women’s History Month in 1987.

Not only have women played a significant role in building the country, they also continue to create opportunities and inspire women, both young and old. But for years, girls have read womanless history books that have precluded female contribution to society. However, thanks to countless women who have gone before us, women are now being recognized as influential leaders or educated scientists, and that’s why it’s important to tell women’s stories.

Whether you’re staying up late to devour these inspirational stories or are reading them to your children or classroom, you’ll find a book for every circumstance. “The number of books celebrating Women’s History Month is endless,” said Pasturel. “It is vital to continue to lift up and honor women who have changed history through the art of storytelling.”

Best books for children to read during Women’s History Month

“Play Like A Girl,” by Misty Wilson

When boys tell a girl they can’t do something, the only thing to do is prove them wrong. This book chronicles a young girl’s experience as the only girl on the town’s football team while learning about passion, teamwork and friendship.

“Mae Among the Stars,” by Roda Ahmed

As the first African American woman to travel in space, Mae Jemison is the inspiration for this book written for young readers with big dreams. It contains gorgeous illustrations and inspiring words that are perfect for the classroom or as a bedtime story.

“Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice,” by Nikki Grimes

With inspirational verses and stunning illustrations, this book recounts the phenomenal story of Kamala Harris, the daughter of immigrants and the first woman, Black person and South Asian American elected Vice President of the United States. It encourages young people to fight for each other and the American dream.

Books for teens to read during Women’s History Month

“Squire,” by Sara Alfageeh and Nadia Shammas

Teens will love this fantasy graphic novel about a girl who dreams of becoming a knight and gaining full citizenship. But while undergoing rigorous training and navigating friendships, she has to choose between her heritage or loyalty to the empire.

“Last Night at the Telegraph Club,” by Malinda Lo

In this story based in America in 1954, two teenage girls must navigate love during a dangerous time, especially for Chinese Americans. They battle for their place in the world in the face of deportation, citizenship and prejudice.

“We Deserve Monuments,” by Jas Hammonds

Three girls learn about friendship, love and whether it’s more important to know the truth or keep the peace in this contemporary romance novel. It’s a slow-burn mystery exploring the effect of racial violence on generations of families.

Books for adults to read during Women’s History Month

“Maame: A Novel,” by Jessica George

Follow along in this novel as it explores contemporary themes in modern life with humor, including racism, the complexities of love, friendship and familial duty. It also details the hardships of being torn between home and culture and celebrates finding where you belong.

“Lessons In Chemistry,” by Bonnie Garmus

The main character of this historical fiction romance book is a gifted research chemist in the early 1960s. With the unpredictability of life, she finds herself a single mother and the star of a beloved cooking show who’s not just teaching women to cook, but challenging them to fight.

“Know My Name,” by Chanel Miller

When she stunned the world with her letter giving her statement as a survivor, she was known as Emily Doe. Now she wants everyone to know her name and story while challenging beliefs about assault and encouraging fellow survivors.

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

Check out our Daily Deals for the best products at the best prices and sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter full of shopping inspo and sales.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Winderman’s view: Another Heat chance for statement squandered with stumble in Dallas

Thu, 03/07/2024 - 20:04

DALLAS – Observations and other notes of interest from Thursday night’s 114-108  loss to the Dallas Mavericks:

– It has been a season yearning for a quality win.

– Yes, there was the road victory over the Bucks before the All-Star break, but that was with Milwaukee playing on the second night of a back-to-back and the Heat idle the previous night.

– There was the victory in Sacramento on the recent west trip, but that was the same situation, with the Kings completing a back-to-back set and the Heat idle the night prior.

– There was the victory in Cleveland in November, but also that same rest, no-rest situation.

– And there was the Christmas victory over the 76ers at Kaseya Center, but Joel Embiid was out that  night.

– And then this back-to-back set that opened Thursday night in Dallas and concludes Friday night in Oklahoma City.

– Statement time.

– This time with an early 15-point lead.

– But, ultimately, another test squandered.

– At a point it has to be about more than good job, good effort.

– So on to OKC, in search of the elusive.

– With Tyler Herro again out, the Heat again opened with a lineup of Bam Adebayo, Nikola Jovic, Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson and Terry Rozier.

– Also again out for the Heat was backup center Kevin Love, further altering the rotation.

– Inactive for Heat were Alondes Williams, Josh Richardson, Love and Herro. That had two-way players Cole Swider and Jamal Cain both active.

– Every Heat starter scored within the first two minutes.

– The Mavericks altered their starting lineup, with former Heat forward  Derrick Jones Jr. and trade-deadline acquisition Daniel Gafford in and Dereck Lively II and Josh Green out.

– That was with Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving and P.J. Washington as the other Dallas starters.

– Jaime Jaquez Jr. was first off the Heat bench.

– Followed by Caleb Martin.

– Thomas Bryant then entered at center, playing ahead of Orlando Robinson, as he did in Tuesday night’s second half against the Pistons.

– With Haywood Highsmith making it nine deep for the Heat.

– Butler extended his streak of games with at least one steal to a season-best 14, his longest streak since 18 consecutive games with the Heat in 2020-21. His career best is 44 consecutive games, with the Heat record at 27 by Sherman Douglas in 1990.

– Butler also extended his career-best streak to 16 consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer.

– With the steal and 3-pointer, Butler tied Rafer Alston’s 15-game run in 2004 as the longest such streak in the franchise’s 36 seasons.

– Adebayo passed Chris Bosh for fourth on the Heat all-time list with his 352nd game scoring in double figures.

– Rozier’s fourth basket was the 3,000th of his career.

– There was an odd officiating replay challenge by Erik Spoelstra with 8:34 left in the second period on a steal attempt that was called a foul on Butler.

– The play merely would have left Butler with just his first foul and the Mavericks with possession but no free throws.

– Spoelstra lost the challenge, and therefore the right to challenge the rest of the way.

– Dallas had stood as the lone team the Heat had yet to face this season.

– By contrast, the Heat already have completed eight season series against the 15 Western Conference teams and five against the other 14 East teams.

– The game opened the 10th of the Heat’s 13 back-to-back sets. They entered 6-3 on the first nights, 5-4 on the second.

– Spoelstra before the game addressed for the first time Wednesday’s season-ending shoulder surgery for guard Josh Richardson.

– “It’s one of those tough things,” Spoelstra said. “He was playing really well. You could see for those three weeks to a month right before he was injured how he was able to fit in and really help our group with his versatility. His offense was really coming around. But I think more importantly, his defense was really starting to shape up once he got his legs under him.”

– Richardson was injured in the Feb. 11 home loss to the Boston Celtics.

– “So it’s a shame,” Spoelstra continued. “But some of these things happen. You can’t control it. He had really a great spirit going into it and the surgery went really well. We’ll just look forward to rehabbing him and getting him ready for next year.”

Heat go up big but then come up short 114-108 vs. Mavericks, as Luka Doncic seizes triple-double control

Thu, 03/07/2024 - 20:03

DALLAS – Even with the Dallas Mavericks entering with losses in five of their previous six, this was a step up in competition after the Miami Heat had banked recent wins against the Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz and Detroit Pistons.

The Heat failed to meet the challenge, falling 114-108 Thursday night at American Airlines Center.

Despite sizzling early 3-point shooting, a can’t-miss start by Duncan Robinson and solid numbers by Bam Adevayo and Terry Rozier, the Heat proved unable to meet the moment.

The ante now rises, with the Heat moving on to a Friday night game against the Oklahoma City Thunder to close this road back-to-back set.

With Jimmy Butler seemingly limited after hurting his left wrist in the first half, and tested by double teams the entire night, the Heat proved unable to match the challenge of Luka Doncic, who closed with 35 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, his fifth consecutive 30-point triple-double.

Robinson closed with five 3-pointers and 19 points, with Butler scoring 14. From Rozier there were a personal Heat-high 27 points and 11 assists , with Adebayo adding 14 points and nine rebounds.

Five Degrees of Heat from Thursday night’s game:

1. Closing time: The Heat went up 15 early, led 36-28 at the end of the first quarter and 58-54 at halftime.

Dallas then took its first lead, at 69-68 in the third quarter, later pushing the advantage to 11 before going into the fourth up 91-83, with Doncic scoring 17 in the third.

The Mavericks scored 37 in the third, with the Heat only combining for 47 in the second and third period.

And then, with 7:21 to play, it was tied 95-95.

From there, 3-pointers by Dante Exum, Donic and Kyrie Irving moved Dallas to a 109-104 lead with 1:28 to play, effectively ending it.

2. Rotation alteration: The Heat opened for the fifth consecutive game with a lineup of Butler, Adebayo, Robinson, Rozier and Nikola Jovic.

But with Kevin Love again out, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra opted for Thomas Bryant as his backup center instead of Orlando Robinson. It was the same approach Spoelstra took in the second half of Tuesday night’s home victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Despite it being the first night of a back-to-back set, Spoelstra kept Orlando Robinson, Delon Wright, Jamal Cain, Alondes Williams and newcomer Patty Mills out of the mix.

3. Still rolling: Robinson again was on with his shot, closing the first half 5 of 5 from the field, including 4 of 4 on 3-pointers.

That had him outscoring Doncic 14-12 at the intermission.

Robinson then converted a 3-pointer on his first attempt to move to 6 of 6 and 5 of 5, with a driving layup lifting him to 7 of 7.

Robinson’s first miss came with 3:39 to play in the third period, when he was off on a 3-point attempt. He then was forced to the bench shortly thereafter with his fourth foul.

He closed 7 of 10 from the field 5 of 8 on 3-pointers.

4. The wrist of the story: Butler was clutching at his left wrist after a second-quarter attempt was blocked by Maxi Kleber,

Butler remained in the game, with six points and four turnovers in the first half, at 1 of 2 from the line.

He then was back in with the starters at the open of the second half, but did not score his 10 third-quarter minutes, with only two shots in the quarter.

There also was ample effort exerted defensively, with Butler taking the assignment on Doncic.

Butler closed 6 of 12 from the field and 1 of 2 from both the foul line and on 3-pointers, adding five assists and four rebounds.

5. Debut on hold: In uniform for the first time as a member of the Heat, Mills did not see action Thursday.

But Spoelstra said there is ample upside to the addition of the 35-year-old point guard.

“I’m excited about it,” Spoelstra said pregame of the signing. “Again, at this time of the year, to be able to add somebody with that much experience, playoff experience, winning experience –  and he’s a great teammate – he knows how to fit in.

“We just think he’s another really good fit for a lot of different reasons. Stylistically, the way he plays, the way he competes. Offensively, he can create space. And his catch-and-shoot game, his dribble-handoff game, is something that we already have in our system.”

Spoelstra then joked about Mills being a Heat pest for much of his 15-season NBA career.

“And also,” Spoelstra said, “we’re just tired of being on the other side of him being a Heat killer. If we can get him to join us, that’s a really good thing. I have deep respect for him.”

Retro appliances to give your kitchen a blast from the past

Thu, 03/07/2024 - 20:02
https://tags.remixd.com/player/v5/index.js?cb=%%CACHEBUSTER%%

From clothing to hairstyles, nostalgia is all the rage. While it’s easy to think of ways to bring some traditional flair to your wardrobe, many incorrectly believe that vintage-looking kitchen appliances and electronics can only be found in antique markets.

Actually, classic designs and old-fashioned color palettes are becoming readily available everywhere home furnishings are sold. Thanks to manufacturers getting in on the trend, you don’t need to sacrifice today’s modern conveniences for a previous decade’s good looks.

What exactly is retro, anyway?

Today’s perception of retro takes inspiration from the decades between 1950 and the late 1980s. While clothing and fashion sensibilities currently draw heavily from the ’80s, thanks in no small part to pop-culture entertainment like “Stranger Things,” home appliances call back to pastel colors and metallic accents made popular in the diners of the ’50s and ’60s. In today’s world of connected devices and always-on technology, many find the simplicity of years past to be compelling.

Countertop kitchen appliances

Toaster ovens, waffle makers, coffee makers and more can be found in decidedly vintage designs. Even brands that don’t make products specifically to appeal to nostalgia are getting in on the action by offering appliances in colors that appeal to the retro revival. If you see a coffee pot you like but find it to be a bit too modern, shop around because you may find the same item offered in a refreshing mint green or robin’s egg blue.

Full-size kitchen appliances

Nostalgic looks aren’t confined solely to the countertop. You can also find convection ovens, ranges and refrigerators with designs and color palettes straight out of the ’50s. If you want to go all in and give your kitchen a top-to-bottom retro makeover, you can do so with quality appliances from reputable manufacturers that don’t prioritize form over functionality.

Retro shopping tips
  • Match colors: From cotton-candy pink to marshmallow white, many manufacturers offer appliances in colors that look alike and follow similar naming conventions. However, when placed side by side, you may find that they clash. To avoid this, keep your appliances far enough away from one another to not notice slight color differences. Better yet, purchase them all from the same manufacturer to ensure a perfect match.
  • Choose an era: If you intend to create a consistent retro theme, select the era you like the most and stick to it. Combining ’50s art deco with ’80s boldness, for example, can deprive your decor of intention and give your space a haphazard, cluttered feel.
  • Shop for quality: Don’t choose an item based solely on how it looks. Makers of cheap appliances tend to be quicker to jump on hot trends than reputable manufacturers due to lower overhead costs and inexpensive materials. Choose carefully, read reviews and try to stick to brands you trust to provide warranty options and stand by its products.
Best retro kitchen appliances

Redmond Retro Two-Slice Toaster

This fancy-looking toaster has classic-car vibes, thanks to its luxurious chrome trim. Available in white and aqua green, it also features a setting you can use to perfectly crisp bagels.

Lily’s Home Retro Kitchen Wall Clock

You can check the time and temperature and even set a timer with this vintage-looking wall clock. Powered by a single AA battery, it’s as functional as it is beautiful, and it can be purchased in five bold colors.

Nostalgia Retro Compact Microwave Oven

Don’t let the classic styling and five retro color options fool you. This countertop microwave oven features multiple settings and a bright LED display, making it the perfect choice for a small kitchen or dorm room.

Redmond Retro Electric Hand Mixer

You can whip up some classic recipes with this timeless-looking mixer. It has five selectable speeds and includes a storage case that conveniently doubles as a measuring cup.

Nostalgia Retro Coffee Maker

Looking like a 1955 Chevy, this coffee maker seems to have jumped out of a Norman Rockwell painting. It has a 24-hour timer, can hold up to 12 cups of coffee and features an anti-drip mechanism that lets you safely pour yourself a mug before the rest of the coffee has been brewed.

Elite Gourmet Retro Toaster Oven

You can bring the diner home with this toaster oven in traditional pastel blue. It includes a crumb tray, a baking pan and a wire rack.

Magic Chef Retro Two-Door Mini Fridge

Magic Chef brings its reputation for quality to the retro revival with this mini fridge that looks like it was just retrieved from a time machine. Featuring a separate freezer compartment and four color options, this fridge complements garages, kitchens, dorm rooms and man caves alike.

Unique Appliances Retro Gas Range with Convection Oven

This oven’s stylish art deco design makes a bold statement. With four sealed burners and two oven racks, it also makes any dish you may be in the mood for.

Dash Express 8-Inch Waffle Maker

Enjoy a nostalgic breakfast for one with this adorably retro waffle maker. Simple to use, it comes in three colors, and you can even buy one that creates waffles in the shape of a heart.

Nostalgia Electrics Classic Retro Snow Cone Maker

You can keep summer going all year long with this countertop snow cone maker that only requires ice cubes and syrup. An LED indicator lets you know when the machine is ready to go.

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

Check out our Daily Deals for the best products at the best prices and sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter full of shopping inspo and sales.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Ready to ditch your winter boots? Here are the best ballet flats for spring

Wed, 03/06/2024 - 20:56
https://tags.remixd.com/player/v5/index.js?cb=%%CACHEBUSTER%% These versatile shoes are perfect for your warm-weather outfits

When spring weather starts to roll in, you can finally put away your heavy winter boots. When you’re switching out your winter wardrobe, ballet flats work with many spring outfits.

In fact, it’s their versatility that makes ballet flats so popular. So whether you’re going to work, grabbing lunch with friends or just running errands, the right pair of ballet flats can complete your look.

If you’re looking for new shoes to add to your closet for spring, check out these top-rated ballet flats that are stylish enough to dress up any outfit.

How should I style ballet flats?

Because of their versatility and the various styles available, you can wear ballet flats with plenty of items already in your spring wardrobe, from casual looks to more polished outfits.

Some items that look great with ballet flats include:

Ballet flats look best with pants, skirts or dresses that hit above the ankle, so there isn’t fabric pooling on top and hiding your ballet flats. Skip the socks and tights, too. Wearing ballet flats without hosiery usually gives them a more sophisticated look.

Best ballet flats under $50

Amazon Essentials Belice Ballet Flat

These classic ballet flats have a round toe and elasticized design, making them both comfortable and flattering. They are made of soft faux leather, have a flexible outsole and come in more than 30 colors, including several animal prints.

Ollio Lace Ballet Flat

These unique lace ballet flats are ideal for spring because they have a breathable design to keep your feet cool and comfortable. They stretch to fit your feet comfortably and have an anti-slip rubber sole to keep you steady.

Clarks Sara Orchid Ballet Flat

Made of 100% leather, these chic ballet flats are comfortable and durable enough to wear every day. They have a soft, supportive foam footbed, elastic around the top edge for a better fit and a slight heel that measures less than an inch.

Lucky Brand Alba Ballet Flat

These faux leather ballet flats have a square toe that sets them apart from other pairs. They have a synthetic lining and a lightly padded footbed to improve their comfort. They’re also available in 14 colors.

Naturalizer Flexy Ballet Flat

These basic ballet flats earn high marks for their comfortable, supportive design. They have a soft, breathable lining and a cushioned footbed with targeted arch support. They also come in seven colors.

Skechers Cleo Point Ballet Flat

These soft, stretchable ballet flats are perfect for daily wear. They are made of woven, machine-washable fabric and feature an air-cooled memory foam cushioned insole to keep your feet comfortable all day.

Ollio Faux Suede Decorative Flower Ballet Flat

These faux suede ballet flats add a fun element to any outfit with their large flower decorations. They also have an elasticized top edge that provides a comfortable fit and a durable rubber sole. They’re available in 14 colors, including bright red and purple.

Best ballet flats for $50-$100

ALDO Blanchette Ballet Flat

These ALDO flats offer a sophisticated take on the traditional ballet flat. They are made of supple genuine leather and have a pointy toe that helps elongate the look of your legs. Their rubber sole also provides excellent traction.

Lucky Brand Emmie Ballet Flat

These classic leather ballet flats have a stretch top that provides a more secure fit. They also have a memory foam insole to provide support and a flexible rubber sole that allows for more comfortable walking.

Anne Klein Umeko Ballet Flat

These chic ballet flats have a striking metal buckle at the front to give them a more dressed-up look. They also have an Ortholite footbed that provides cushioning and support and a water-resistant design that’s ideal for wet spring weather.

Nine West Speakup Leather Ballet Flats

These classic ballet flats have sleek leather uppers that make them a timeless addition to your closet. They also feature flattering almond-shaped toes, a low profile and a durable synthetic sole. The shoes are even lined for greater comfort.

Frye Carson Ballet Flats

Made of premium leather, these stylish ballet flats offer a smooth, comfortable fit because they stretch with your feet. The supple leather also provides a subtle sheen that helps them stand out, while the outsole is durable and holds up well to wear and tear. They’re available in more than 15 colors.

Anne Klein Oalise Ballet Flat

These unique flats have a pointed toe with stretch that provides plenty of room for a comfortable fit. They are made of durable faux leather and have a flexible outsole that moves easily with your foot. They also come in 15 colors, including classic black and spring-ready coral.

Best ballet flats for $100+

Vionic Minna Ballet Flat

With genuine leather construction, these sophisticated ballet flats are highly comfortable and durable. They feature Vionic’s patented motion support, which conforms to your foot’s natural curve as you walk. They also have a cute bow at the front for added fun.

Sam Edelman Felicia Flats

These elegant ballet flats are made of 100% premium leather and have a cute bow detail with the brand’s logo charm at the front. The top edge is elasticized for a more comfortable fit, while the padded insole offers cushioning and support. They come in more than 30 colors.

Michael Kors Fulton Moccasin

If you want more mature-looking ballet flats, these shoes are for you. They are made of premium leather and feature a metal buckle with the Michael Kors logo across the toe. The cushioned footbed makes them more comfortable, too.

Tory Burch Minnie Travel Ballet Flats

These ballet flats don’t just look great; they also feature a design that makes them easy to pack for all your spring trips. They are made of soft napa leather and feature multiple layers of foam cushioning for comfortable all-day wear.

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

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Age-appropriate tech that’s safe for your kids

Wed, 03/06/2024 - 20:55
https://tags.remixd.com/player/v5/index.js?cb=%%CACHEBUSTER%% Younger kids are becoming increasingly comfortable with technology

More and more kids are adopting tech at younger and younger ages. In fact, a recent NewsNation article brought to light how COVID-19 increased kids’ comfort with technology. The downside is kids are much more vulnerable when they are comfortable. This means parents have to be more vigilant and learn which tech products are safest for their kids to use.

How to protect your tech-savvy kid

It happens with every generation: Kids are exposed to new technology first, so they become more comfortable with it than their parents. To protect a child who may know more than you, you need to take advantage of the built-in tools, such as Parental Controls and Screen Time monitoring, that nearly all modern devices have. This is your first line of defense in keeping your child from venturing onto potentially dangerous sites and helping them learn to limit their daily screen time.

Products that help keep your kid safe online

While Amazon might not have the slickest products, such as iPads or Galaxy tablets, we have been testing items in our lab and found the company’s strength is in offering devices that are ideal for children.

The Amazon Fire 8 Kids Tablet, for instance, has built-in, easy-to-use parental controls that let you block undesirable content and access to inappropriate websites. It also lets you set screen time limits by category and has a rugged, child-proof case.

Similarly, the Echo Dot Kids has comparable protection. Additionally, it can help your child with homework, read to them and more.

If your child streams a lot of content or listens to music using headphones, it is important to protect their hearing because excessive volume can cause permanent hearing damage. A pair of Onanoff foldable headphones are a great accessory because they limit the volume level to a WHO-recommended 85 decibels.

Tech that keeps kids safe in the real world

Keeping your child safe in the real world has different challenges than keeping them protected online. Because of that, you need a different set of tools. For instance, an Apple AirTag can be placed on your child’s backpack, so you know that they made it to their friend’s house after school.

Best products to protect your kids

Amazon Fire 8 Kids Tablet

If you are considering getting a tablet for your kid, this is the best choice. Not only does it have a bevy of built-in parental control features, it comes with a two-year worry-free guarantee — if it breaks, simply return it for a free replacement.

Kindle Kids

Kindle Kids is a great way to start your child reading. This latest model has twice the storage, a longer battery life and an upgraded display. Purchase includes a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+. The Parent Dashboard lets you easily protect your child.

Echo Dot Kids

Whether they need help with homework, would like to listen to some music or want to hear a story, the Echo Dot Kids is there to help. With the Parental Controls, you can filter out songs with explicit lyrics, ensure kid-friendly responses, set daily screen limits and more.

Onanoff Explore Volume-Limiting Kids Headphones

These award-winning headphones limit the volume level to protect kids’ hearing. They are built using hypoallergenic materials and have a foldable design to make them easier to store. These headphones are also built to withstand a kid’s curiosity, such as wondering how far they can bend.

Apple AirTag

While the Apple AirTag is not designed to track objects that are in motion, it is a great, affordable way to know if your child is where they are supposed to be. Just attach a tag to your child’s backpack or belt loop in order to make sure they are where they should be.

Jiobit GPS Tracker for Kids

For a little more protection, and the ability to monitor anywhere in the nation in real time, consider purchasing this tracker. Know precisely where your child is at all times by discreetly attaching this tracker to clothing, shoes or a backpack. It also features smart alerts and location history for even more protection.

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

Check out our Daily Deals for the best products at the best prices and sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter full of shopping inspo and sales.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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Best ways to crate train a dog with separation anxiety

Wed, 03/06/2024 - 20:54
https://tags.remixd.com/player/v5/index.js?cb=%%CACHEBUSTER%% What’s the best way to crate train a dog with separation anxiety?

Crate training can be a useful tool for many dog owners. Some may want their dog in a crate when they’re sleeping or when they leave the home, while others may want to give the dog space all their own. Crate training is also helpful for dogs with separation anxiety since the crate can provide calm and protection. Dogs that do not like being alone may welcome the crate during moments of distress. Crate training takes time and patience. Relieving separation anxiety requires an owner’s full attention and dedication. Don’t miss our testing insights on the Furbo Dog Camera.

What is separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety is the fear of being alone. Dogs that have been abandoned, have moved to a new space or have undergone a sudden shift in lifestyle may develop separation anxiety. In particular, dogs that develop a strong bond with their owners may become anxious when alone. Especially if the owner has been home frequently only to have a new schedule in which they are often away. Separation anxiety may develop at any age among any breed. It can also be exacerbated by a lack of mental and physical stimulation, leading to a bored dog that may start to lash out.

How to identify separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is easy to identify and can manifest in a variety of ways. Most commonly, your dog barks excessively while you’re gone. They may also develop destructive behavior such as chewing furniture, rummaging for food or ripping up anything left out. They may also mark or relieve themselves when left alone. Some behavior may be noticeable before you leave. Dogs can associate certain sounds and actions, such as the handling of keys or putting on a coat, as signs they are about to be left alone. As a result, they may begin to pace, pant, drool, shake or even try to sneak out the door with you.

Crate training advantages

When afraid or anxious, a trained dog may retreat to its crate. If it becomes a place of refuge, dogs can be more comfortable when alone. It gives them security and confidence and offers you peace of mind while away. Many owners prefer to crate train a rescue dog since past trauma may be unknown and it’s likely they are in need of stability.

How to crate train

Crate training can take weeks or months and requires strict discipline and patience by the owner. The first step is to choose the right crate. Your dog should be able to comfortably stand up and turn around within the crate. Wire crates are most popular as they are durable and easy to set up and take down. Some have two doors for easier access, while others feature a bottom platform that can pull out for easy cleaning.

Initially, the crate should be a place your dog can safely explore without owners nearby. Fill it with a comfortable bed or blankets, especially ones that have a familiar smell to them. You may put in calming toys or clothes that have your scent on it to make the dog feel safe.

Spending time in the crate should be relaxing. If your dog does not initially explore the crate, a favorite toy or tasty treat might entice them. Let them enter and exit as they wish and keep your distance if they seem hesitant. Early on, their time in the crate needs to be rewarding and stimulating. A challenging puzzle or a treat-dispensing toy is useful to get them to make positive associations.

As they grow more comfortable, you can experiment with closing the door but keeping it unlocked, allowing your dog to push it open and leave if they wish. Over time, begin to lock the door, keeping them in for a few minutes. Slowly increase the time they stay in there as they grow more comfortable, building up to longer periods away.

Crate safety

There are some precautions to take when crate training your dog.

  • Dogs with severe separation anxiety may seek to break free, which can be dangerous.
  • They should never wear a collar or apparel within the crate as it may get caught.
  • They should have water if you’re going away for more than an hour. Some water bowls can affix to the side so they don’t step in it or knock it over.
  • Avoid leaving your dog in a crate for more than six to eight hours. Especially younger dogs that may not have full bladder control.
  • If your dog is anxious and prone to chewing while stressed, do not leave any toys within that they could destroy and ingest.
Additional solutions

Crate training is only one way to curb separation anxiety. Before leaving, your dog should enjoy both physical and mental exertion. Tiring them out with a walk and playtime, even something as simple as fetch, can help them settle and relax. Some dogs also benefit from having the sides and top of the crate covered to create a cozier, more protective space with less stimulation.

Some dogs may enjoy calming treats and supplements. Popular ingredients include hemp and chamomile to soothe the dog and help them sleep. Some dog owners may want to keep an eye on their dog while they’re away to better see how they are coping with being alone; a dog camera may be a worthy investment. Our tester found the Furbo Dog Camera‘s treat-tossing feature excellent for interacting with your pet while away. They also liked the recording feature, saying it made training out their puppy’s bad behaviors much easier. For serious anxiety, your vet may prescribe medication in conjunction with dedicated training.

Best treats for crate training for separation anxiety

Merrick Power Bites Salmon Treats

Delicious, high-value dog treats should only be for training. These nutritious chews feature salmon and potatoes. Use these only for crate training so your dog makes positive associations.

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

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Straight out of ‘Ghostbusters,’ do ghost detectors really work? Our tech expert weighs in

Wed, 03/06/2024 - 20:53
https://tags.remixd.com/player/v5/index.js?cb=%%CACHEBUSTER%% What kind of ghostbuster do you want to be?

Each year, Halloween becomes less of a kids’ holiday and more of an adult holiday. One reason is there are so many ways to celebrate. You can eat candy, engage in cosplay, throw a party or indulge in truly spooky activities, such as ghost hunting. If you want to try tracking spirits, there are a few things you’ll need. We asked BestReviews’ tech expert, Jaime Vazquez, to weigh in on the type of gear you require to be a real-life ghostbuster.

Do ghost detectors really work?

Before going too far, we need to answer the big question: Do ghost detectors really work? According to Vazquez, the answer depends on what you’re using them for.

“If you’re using ghost detectors to measure electromagnetic radiation, then absolutely they work,” he said. “But there is no valid scientific proof suggesting that they detect any kind of paranormal activity. However, there is plenty of proof that they provide a ton of fun for folks who like to hunt for ghosts.”

Why do so many people believe ghost detectors work?

The tool most ghost hunters swear by is an EMF meter. This helps people identify electromagnetic fields. It’s a real tool, and it works. It can help quickly identify problems with electrical wiring.

There are several reasons why ghost hunters say a spike in EMF levels indicates paranormal activity. Some believe these spikes are picking up energy from what’s left of the deceased individual’s mind. However, a more common theory is that paranormal researchers claim that ghosts can generate their own electromagnetic fields, which allows them to close doors, flicker lights and more.

When paranormal activity occurs, an EMF meter will detect the field created by a ghost and register a spike. One effect that an electromagnetic field can have on people who are sensitive is it stimulates certain areas of the brain to make it feel like something is watching from behind, which can be quite unsettling.

Three types of ghostbusters

If you want to be a ghostbuster, Vazquez noted there are three different categories. Before deciding which equipment to buy, you need to decide which type of ghostbuster you are. Vazquez said you can do this by asking yourself three questions:

  • Do you want to search for real ghosts?
  • Do you want to keep your home secure from any kind of weird activity?
  • Do you want to be a Ghostbuster for Halloween?

Once you know the answers to these three questions, you’ll know which equipment you need.

Equipment for real ghost hunters

“If someone is legitimately interested in seeing if there are ghosts in their house or they want to get into ghost hunting, then they will want a kit,” Vazquez said. “The kits usually come with at least one EMF meter.”

Vazquez pointed out that it’s important to monitor the things in your house that you can’t see. “There is a percentage of people who are sensitive to electromagnetic energy, in general. So those folks might want one if they’re trying to pick a room to sleep in or an office to work in. If you happen to be one of the few people who is sensitive to electromagnetic energy, an EMF meter can be a lifesaver.”

Vlifree EMF Meter

If you want to ease into the whole ghost hunting thing, Vazquez said the most essential piece of equipment is the EMF meter. This model tests magnetic field radiation, electric field and ambient temperature.

GhostStop Spirit Box Ghost Hunting Kit

If you already know you’re going to take this hobby seriously, this is a kit that Vazquez suggests considering. It’s well-built and rugged for times when you need to go investigating. It comes with everything you need to verify paranormal activity, including all the expected equipment plus an SBox spirit box and an SBox ghost scanner.

Ghost Hunting Logbook

If you discover any paranormal activity, you’re going to want to document your findings. This high-quality logbook lets you do exactly that. It features 108 pages designed to record paranormal activity information.

Equipment for securing your home

“If you’re really serious about this,” Vazquez said, “get some night vision goggles, a camera and a motion detection device.”

These items aren’t needed for seeing ghosts, they document evidence of paranormal activity. A camera can record when a fireplace lights up by itself or when a door swings open without a breeze. The night vision goggles let you clearly see what that thing is standing at the edge of the woods. Is it an animal or something else?

Kasa Indoor Pan/Tilt Smart Security Camera

Vazquez noted this Kasa camera is perfect for ghost hunting because it has a motion sensor and night vision. “It’s not recording all night. It’s waiting for motion. If something happens, the camera kicks on and you can see everything because it has night vision.”

Frienda Ghost Hunting Light-Up Cat Balls

Cats love these balls because if they tap them just once, they light up. This makes the cat freak out and chase the ball all over the place. “You can leave these items out, so if one of the balls shifts at all, it will light up and you’ll immediately know where to look for paranormal activity,” Vazquez said.

Fvtga 4K Night Vision Goggles

These high-end models are for the serious ghost hunter. They offer 4K pictures and video and the unit has an anti-shake function in case your hands are quivering while using.

Cosplay gear

Vazquez advised, “If you’re going to do any of this, you should dress the part.”

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” Child Classic Costume

You can’t look any more the part than this. It’s an officially licensed “Ghostbusters” Halloween costume for kids. The costume comes with the jumpsuit, a Spangler nametag and an inflatable proton pack.

Kolossus Pro-Utility Cotton Blend Long-Sleeve Coverall

Adults who want the look can buy this long-sleeve coverall. It’s the perfect start to creating an authentic “Ghostbusters” uniform. It features two zippered front pockets and oversized back pockets.

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

Check out our Daily Deals for the best products at the best prices and sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter full of shopping inspo and sales.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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Smart rings may be gaining in popularity, but smartwatches still reign supreme. Here’s why

Wed, 03/06/2024 - 20:52
https://tags.remixd.com/player/v5/index.js?cb=%%CACHEBUSTER%% Reasons a smartwatch is still worth buying

With how busy life can get, most people are looking for ways to make their daily activities a little easier. Having a wearable device that lets you automatically track your fitness and health data, respond to messages, use apps and more can certainly help.

Smart rings have become popular in recent years among those who want to track their health and fitness stats. But smartwatches have a much longer track record of doing all that and more.

How do smartwatches work?

Smartwatches have sensors that track your biometric data through the skin. These sensors can detect health and fitness data like linear acceleration, rotational movements, heart rate and blood oxygen levels.

Some smartwatches also feature a built-in Global Positioning System, so they can track your runs, hikes, bike rides and other fitness activities. Other watches use their Bluetooth capability to connect to your smartphone’s GPS for tracking. Both types of smartwatches also allow for remote use of other apps on your phone, making it easy to adjust the settings right from your wrist.

What features do smartwatches have?

While smart rings have some of the same features that smartwatches do, their size generally limits their features. In addition to many fitness and health tracking uses, smartwatches offer additional functionality that makes it easier to lead an active life.

Display

Unlike smart rings, smartwatches all have some type of display that not only shows you the time but also all the data it captures throughout the day and notifications from your smartphone. The display also provides access to apps and settings on the watch. Some watches have simple black-and-white screens to conserve battery life, but others have crisp, clear full-color displays that are easy to read even in bright sunlight.

A smartwatch display often has touch-screen controls that make it easy to scroll through the watch’s settings and features. Some utilize buttons or bezels to perform certain functions, such as taking a photo.

Fitness tracking

All smartwatches offer basic fitness tracking stats. They capture data like the number of steps you take, distance traveled and calories burned. In addition, some watches can automatically detect what type of workout you’re doing based on your movements and log them. This makes it easier to get a complete picture of your fitness progress.

Smartwatches with built-in GPS can track your runs even if you don’t have your phone. Those with Bluetooth connectivity can also map your runs, rides or hikes, but you need to have your phone nearby to utilize its GPS feature.

Health tracking

Most smartwatches also offer detailed health and wellness data by tracking your heart rate, oxygen saturation, blood glucose, blood pressure and/or stress levels. Some advanced smartwatches even offer electrocardiogram readings that measure your heart’s electrical activity to alert you to potential issues.

You can also find smartwatches that track your sleep to let you know how long and how well you rest. Some offer guided relaxation and breathing exercises to help you calm down when feeling stressed, too.

Phone calls and messages

Nearly all smartwatches provide notifications of incoming phone calls, text messages and instant messages on their display. Some even allow you to reply to these communications right from your wrist. Certain models let you choose from generic replies like “I’ll call back later,” but other smartwatches have a built-in microphone and speaker that allow you to take phone calls when connected to your smartphone.

But you can also find smartwatches with cellular capabilities. These models don’t rely on your phone’s cellular connection, so you can make calls and send texts from the watch even if you don’t have your phone handy.

Voice assistance

Smartwatches with built-in microphones and speakers also allow you to communicate with virtual assistants, such as Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant. You can use voice commands to make calls, send texts and even search the internet.

Battery life

Battery life varies among smartwatches, so it’s essential to think about how long you need your watch to go between charges. Some models can only last a couple of days on a single charge, while others can go up to two weeks before they need to be recharged. If you frequently go on camping or hiking trips where you might not have access to electricity, you’ll want a model with a longer battery life.

Water resistance

If you don’t want to worry about getting caught in the rain or want to wear your smartwatch to track swimming, choose a model that offers some water resistance. Most models are splashproof, so rain isn’t an issue. Other smartwatches offer full water resistance and can usually be submerged in water up to 50 meters deep, making them ideal for swimmers.

Best smartwatches

Apple Watch Series 8

One of the most popular models on the market, this smartwatch has a large display with crack-resistant glass. It captures all the standard fitness data, as well as advanced health metrics like oxygen saturation and ECG data. You can also make calls, send texts and control streaming audio apps with it.

Fitbit Sense

This fitness-focused smartwatch tracks steps, distance covered, calories burned and heart rate. It features a built-in GPS to track your runs and bike rides and has a built-in microphone for hands-free phone calls. It also offers up to six days of battery life on a single charge.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

This feature-packed smartwatch stands out for its ability to provide body composition data, including body fat, muscle, water, body mass index and basal metabolic rate, right from your wrist. It automatically tracks common exercises and offers advanced health data like ECG monitoring and oxygen saturation. It provides access to some Google services and apps, too.

Apple Watch SE (2nd generation)

As one of Apple’s more affordable models, this smartwatch provides excellent value for the features it offers. It’s durable and waterproof, so you can wear it for outdoor adventures like hiking and swimming. It also has emergency SOS and fall detection, so it can alert emergency services when needed.

Garmin Venu 2 Plus

This smartwatch works with your smartphone’s voice assistant to send texts, adjust streaming audio and control smart home devices. It offers excellent battery life, lasting for up to 10 days on a single charge. It also provides all the fitness tracking features that Garmin is known for.

Fitbit Versa 3

This smartwatch is perfect if you want a fitness-focused model. It offers advanced sleep tracking and built-in GPS to track running and other workouts. It also allows you to take calls, read texts and control music. Its display is brighter and clearer than previous models, and its heart rate data is more accurate, too.

TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra

With an impressive battery that lasts three days in Smart Mode and up to 45 days in Essential Mode, this smartwatch is excellent for anyone whose travels take them off the grid. It captures advanced health and fitness data, including irregular heartbeats, oxygen saturation and stress levels. It also offers a built-in GPS for tracking runs and hikes.

Fossil Neutra Hybrid Smartwatch

For those who want a device that looks more like a traditional watch, this simple, sleek smartwatch is for you. It offers heart rate, activity and sleep tracking to help you stay on top of your health and fitness goals, but it also provides call and message notifications from your smartphone to keep you in touch. It’s compatible with iPhone and Android devices, too.

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

Check out our Daily Deals for the best products at the best prices and sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter full of shopping inspo and sales.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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Unranked Gators knock off No. 16 Crimson Tide

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 20:10

GAINESVILLE — Will Richard scored 23 points, Walter Clayton Jr. added 22 and Florida handled No. 16 Alabama 105-87 on Tuesday night to stay in contention for a top four seed in the upcoming Southeastern Conference Tournament.

The Gators (21-9, 11-6 SEC) won for the 10th time in 13 games and finished 14-1 at home. More important to coach Todd Golden, they moved a step closer to potentially landing a double bye in the league tourney.

It’s not that hard. Gators stopped court-storming 30 years ago | Commentary

Tyrese Samuel and Zyon Pullin chipped in 19 points apiece after being honored on Senior Night. The graduate transfers helped Florida avenge an overtime loss at Alabama two weeks ago and hand the Crimson Tide (20-10, 12-5) a third loss in four games.

Walter Clayton Jr. scores 22 points Tuesday night to help the Gators avenge an OT loss to the Crimson Tide a few weeks ago. (James Gilbert/Getty)

The biggest surprise was how easily the Gators controlled the rematch. They opened up a double-digit lead late in the first half, extended it to 20 midway through the second and never let up.

It was a huge sigh of relief for a team that hadn’t shown a knack for delivering knockout punches. Florida had lost five games, including three in the past month, after leading at the break. And several of those included double-digit advantages.

It was a trend Golden and his guys desperately wanted to reverse before the postseason. Now they have something to build on moving forward.

Mark Sears led Alabama with 33 points, including 29 in the second half. Aaron Estrada added 17 points, and Grant Nelson chipped in 12 before fouling out late.

Alabama’s Rylan Griffen was helped off the floor and to the locker room with 4;15 remaining after colliding with Florida’s Richard. Tide coach Nate Oats drew a technical foul for arguing it should have been a foul.

Florida shot 48% from the field and was nearly flawless (40 of 46) from the free-throw line. Clayton hit 15 of 16 from the stripe. The Gators, who were 2.5-point favorites, also outscored Alabama 27-8 on fast breaks.

A return

Alabama guard Latrell Wrightsell Jr. returned after missing the last four games following a concussion. Wrightsell was seemingly on the road to recovery before a setback last week. But he was able to practice Monday without limitations or lingering issues and was cleared to play at Florida.

He finished with two points in eight minutes.

Senior night

Pullin and Samuel were among five players recognized in pregame ceremonies that included family, friends and framed jerseys. The other three were walk-ons Jack May, Alex Klatsky and Bennett Andersen. May’s father is current Florida Atlantic head coach Dusty May.

Big picture

The Crimson Tide lost consecutive games for the first time since dropping three in a row in early December. This was the first unranked team Alabama has lost to since Clemson upset the Tide in late November.

Alabama wraps up the regular season at home against Arkansas on Saturday.

The Gators have been close to unbeatable at home, with the lone loss coming against Kentucky to begin 2024. They closed the season with eight consecutive wins in the O’Connell Center but will need to bottle that energy and take it on the road for the postseason.

Florida ends the regular season at Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Nick Cousins scores twice as Panthers beat Devils, extend winning streak

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 20:09

By TOM CANAVAN

NEWARK, N.J. — Nick Cousins had two goals and the Florida Panthers beat New Jersey 5-3 on Tuesday night for their sixth straight win, spoiling the debut of interim Devils coach Travis Green.

Eetu Luostarinen, Evan Rodrigues and Sam Reinhart also scored as the Panthers won for the 12th time in 13 games. Florida leads the NHL with 43 wins and 90 points, and it is 25-4-2 since Dec. 23.

Anthony Stolarz made 22 saves, giving 35-year-old Sergei Bobrovsky a night off after a big performance in a win over the Rangers on Monday.

Jack Hughes, Timo Meier and Colin Miller scored for the Devils in their first game since general manager Tom Fitzgerald relieved Lindy Ruff of his coaching duties on Monday. The move was made less than a year after Ruff led New Jersey to its best regular-season point total.

New Jersey goaltender Akira Schmid made 26 saves. He relieved Nico Daws in losses to Anaheim and Los Angeles last weekend.

Cousins was the difference. He opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the season 2:54 into the first period. He made it 4-2 when he reached back to tip a shot home 5:33 into the third.

Luostarinen had snapped a 2-all tie midway through the second with a shot from the top of the circle that Schmid seemed to miss.

The Devils got off to a slow start. They fell behind 2-0 in the opening 6:30 as Cousins tallied and Rodrigues followed with a power-play goal after Luke Hughes was called for delay of game.

Jack Hughes got the Devils going with a somewhat lucky power-play goal. His shot was tipped past Stolarz by Florida defenseman Gustav Forsling.

Meier tied the game with a great individual play at 11:01 of a second period dominated by New Jersey. The big forward outdueled two Panthers for the puck in front of the net, kicked it to his stick and one-handed it past Stolarz.

A little more than a minute later Luostarinen took a stretch pass from defenseman Dmitry Kulikov at the blue line, cut to the middle and beat Schmid with a shot from top of the right circle for his 11th goal.

Referee Pierre Lambert left the ice for a couple of minutes in the second period after being hit with a deflected shot in the chest area. He returned before the period was over.

UP NEXT

Panthers: Return home to face the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday

Straight out of ‘Ghostbusters,’ do ghost detectors really work? Our tech expert weighs in

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 20:09
https://tags.remixd.com/player/v5/index.js?cb=%%CACHEBUSTER%% What kind of ghostbuster do you want to be?

Each year, Halloween becomes less of a kids’ holiday and more of an adult holiday. One reason is there are so many ways to celebrate. You can eat candy, engage in cosplay, throw a party or indulge in truly spooky activities, such as ghost hunting. If you want to try tracking spirits, there are a few things you’ll need. We asked BestReviews’ tech expert, Jaime Vazquez, to weigh in on the type of gear you require to be a real-life ghostbuster.

Do ghost detectors really work?

Before going too far, we need to answer the big question: Do ghost detectors really work? According to Vazquez, the answer depends on what you’re using them for.

“If you’re using ghost detectors to measure electromagnetic radiation, then absolutely they work,” he said. “But there is no valid scientific proof suggesting that they detect any kind of paranormal activity. However, there is plenty of proof that they provide a ton of fun for folks who like to hunt for ghosts.”

Why do so many people believe ghost detectors work?

The tool most ghost hunters swear by is an EMF meter. This helps people identify electromagnetic fields. It’s a real tool, and it works. It can help quickly identify problems with electrical wiring.

There are several reasons why ghost hunters say a spike in EMF levels indicates paranormal activity. Some believe these spikes are picking up energy from what’s left of the deceased individual’s mind. However, a more common theory is that paranormal researchers claim that ghosts can generate their own electromagnetic fields, which allows them to close doors, flicker lights and more.

When paranormal activity occurs, an EMF meter will detect the field created by a ghost and register a spike. One effect that an electromagnetic field can have on people who are sensitive is it stimulates certain areas of the brain to make it feel like something is watching from behind, which can be quite unsettling.

Three types of ghostbusters

If you want to be a ghostbuster, Vazquez noted there are three different categories. Before deciding which equipment to buy, you need to decide which type of ghostbuster you are. Vazquez said you can do this by asking yourself three questions:

  • Do you want to search for real ghosts?
  • Do you want to keep your home secure from any kind of weird activity?
  • Do you want to be a Ghostbuster for Halloween?

Once you know the answers to these three questions, you’ll know which equipment you need.

Equipment for real ghost hunters

“If someone is legitimately interested in seeing if there are ghosts in their house or they want to get into ghost hunting, then they will want a kit,” Vazquez said. “The kits usually come with at least one EMF meter.”

Vazquez pointed out that it’s important to monitor the things in your house that you can’t see. “There is a percentage of people who are sensitive to electromagnetic energy, in general. So those folks might want one if they’re trying to pick a room to sleep in or an office to work in. If you happen to be one of the few people who is sensitive to electromagnetic energy, an EMF meter can be a lifesaver.”

Vlifree EMF Meter

If you want to ease into the whole ghost hunting thing, Vazquez said the most essential piece of equipment is the EMF meter. This model tests magnetic field radiation, electric field and ambient temperature.

GhostStop Spirit Box Ghost Hunting Kit

If you already know you’re going to take this hobby seriously, this is a kit that Vazquez suggests considering. It’s well-built and rugged for times when you need to go investigating. It comes with everything you need to verify paranormal activity, including all the expected equipment plus an SBox spirit box and an SBox ghost scanner.

Ghost Hunting Logbook

If you discover any paranormal activity, you’re going to want to document your findings. This high-quality logbook lets you do exactly that. It features 108 pages designed to record paranormal activity information.

Equipment for securing your home

“If you’re really serious about this,” Vazquez said, “get some night vision goggles, a camera and a motion detection device.”

These items aren’t needed for seeing ghosts, they document evidence of paranormal activity. A camera can record when a fireplace lights up by itself or when a door swings open without a breeze. The night vision goggles let you clearly see what that thing is standing at the edge of the woods. Is it an animal or something else?

Kasa Indoor Pan/Tilt Smart Security Camera

Vazquez noted this Kasa camera is perfect for ghost hunting because it has a motion sensor and night vision. “It’s not recording all night. It’s waiting for motion. If something happens, the camera kicks on and you can see everything because it has night vision.”

Frienda Ghost Hunting Light-Up Cat Balls

Cats love these balls because if they tap them just once, they light up. This makes the cat freak out and chase the ball all over the place. “You can leave these items out, so if one of the balls shifts at all, it will light up and you’ll immediately know where to look for paranormal activity,” Vazquez said.

Fvtga 4K Night Vision Goggles

These high-end models are for the serious ghost hunter. They offer 4K pictures and video and the unit has an anti-shake function in case your hands are quivering while using.

Cosplay gear

Vazquez advised, “If you’re going to do any of this, you should dress the part.”

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” Child Classic Costume

You can’t look any more the part than this. It’s an officially licensed “Ghostbusters” Halloween costume for kids. The costume comes with the jumpsuit, a Spangler nametag and an inflatable proton pack.

Kolossus Pro-Utility Cotton Blend Long-Sleeve Coverall

Adults who want the look can buy this long-sleeve coverall. It’s the perfect start to creating an authentic “Ghostbusters” uniform. It features two zippered front pockets and oversized back pockets.

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

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Best ways to crate train a dog with separation anxiety

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 20:09
https://tags.remixd.com/player/v5/index.js?cb=%%CACHEBUSTER%% What’s the best way to crate train a dog with separation anxiety?

Crate training can be a useful tool for many dog owners. Some may want their dog in a crate when they’re sleeping or when they leave the home, while others may want to give the dog space all their own. Crate training is also helpful for dogs with separation anxiety since the crate can provide calm and protection. Dogs that do not like being alone may welcome the crate during moments of distress. Crate training takes time and patience. Relieving separation anxiety requires an owner’s full attention and dedication. Don’t miss our testing insights on the Furbo Dog Camera.

What is separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety is the fear of being alone. Dogs that have been abandoned, have moved to a new space or have undergone a sudden shift in lifestyle may develop separation anxiety. In particular, dogs that develop a strong bond with their owners may become anxious when alone. Especially if the owner has been home frequently only to have a new schedule in which they are often away. Separation anxiety may develop at any age among any breed. It can also be exacerbated by a lack of mental and physical stimulation, leading to a bored dog that may start to lash out.

How to identify separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is easy to identify and can manifest in a variety of ways. Most commonly, your dog barks excessively while you’re gone. They may also develop destructive behavior such as chewing furniture, rummaging for food or ripping up anything left out. They may also mark or relieve themselves when left alone. Some behavior may be noticeable before you leave. Dogs can associate certain sounds and actions, such as the handling of keys or putting on a coat, as signs they are about to be left alone. As a result, they may begin to pace, pant, drool, shake or even try to sneak out the door with you.

Crate training advantages

When afraid or anxious, a trained dog may retreat to its crate. If it becomes a place of refuge, dogs can be more comfortable when alone. It gives them security and confidence and offers you peace of mind while away. Many owners prefer to crate train a rescue dog since past trauma may be unknown and it’s likely they are in need of stability.

How to crate train

Crate training can take weeks or months and requires strict discipline and patience by the owner. The first step is to choose the right crate. Your dog should be able to comfortably stand up and turn around within the crate. Wire crates are most popular as they are durable and easy to set up and take down. Some have two doors for easier access, while others feature a bottom platform that can pull out for easy cleaning.

Initially, the crate should be a place your dog can safely explore without owners nearby. Fill it with a comfortable bed or blankets, especially ones that have a familiar smell to them. You may put in calming toys or clothes that have your scent on it to make the dog feel safe.

Spending time in the crate should be relaxing. If your dog does not initially explore the crate, a favorite toy or tasty treat might entice them. Let them enter and exit as they wish and keep your distance if they seem hesitant. Early on, their time in the crate needs to be rewarding and stimulating. A challenging puzzle or a treat-dispensing toy is useful to get them to make positive associations.

As they grow more comfortable, you can experiment with closing the door but keeping it unlocked, allowing your dog to push it open and leave if they wish. Over time, begin to lock the door, keeping them in for a few minutes. Slowly increase the time they stay in there as they grow more comfortable, building up to longer periods away.

Crate safety

There are some precautions to take when crate training your dog.

  • Dogs with severe separation anxiety may seek to break free, which can be dangerous.
  • They should never wear a collar or apparel within the crate as it may get caught.
  • They should have water if you’re going away for more than an hour. Some water bowls can affix to the side so they don’t step in it or knock it over.
  • Avoid leaving your dog in a crate for more than six to eight hours. Especially younger dogs that may not have full bladder control.
  • If your dog is anxious and prone to chewing while stressed, do not leave any toys within that they could destroy and ingest.
Additional solutions

Crate training is only one way to curb separation anxiety. Before leaving, your dog should enjoy both physical and mental exertion. Tiring them out with a walk and playtime, even something as simple as fetch, can help them settle and relax. Some dogs also benefit from having the sides and top of the crate covered to create a cozier, more protective space with less stimulation.

Some dogs may enjoy calming treats and supplements. Popular ingredients include hemp and chamomile to soothe the dog and help them sleep. Some dog owners may want to keep an eye on their dog while they’re away to better see how they are coping with being alone; a dog camera may be a worthy investment. Our tester found the Furbo Dog Camera‘s treat-tossing feature excellent for interacting with your pet while away. They also liked the recording feature, saying it made training out their puppy’s bad behaviors much easier. For serious anxiety, your vet may prescribe medication in conjunction with dedicated training.

Best treats for crate training for separation anxiety

Merrick Power Bites Salmon Treats

Delicious, high-value dog treats should only be for training. These nutritious chews feature salmon and potatoes. Use these only for crate training so your dog makes positive associations.

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

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Winderman’s view: Yes, a win, but Heat running risk of being middling in the middle

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 20:02

MIAMI – Observations and other notes of interest from Tuesday night’s 118-110 victory over the Detroit Pistons:

– On the day the Heat reached agreement with 6-foot-2 Patty Mills, it was apparent something bigger was missing.

– With Kevin Love out for the third consecutive game with a heel injury, Erik Spolesta’s power rotation again was compromised.

– Love is 35.

– These things can happen.

– Then Nikola Jovic was ejected for two technical fouls.

– Jovic is 20.

– Those things also can happen.

– So first Spoelstra turned to Orlando Robinson.

– Who looks decidedly better in summer league and the G League.

– Then there was a move in the fourth quarter to Thomas Bryant for the first time since Jan. 31.

– Who actually had his defensive and hustle moments.

– But it basically was center-by-desperation.

– Yes, Mills is playoff tested.

– As the Heat well know.

– But, as it is, Delon Wright isn’t getting minutes even with Josh Richardson out.

– And even with Tyler Herro out.

– The Heat are well stocked at guard.

– Not so much at center.

– And now the roster is full.

– Even with this middling in the middle.

– For now, it looks like Bam or bust.

– It shouldn’t be this difficult.

– With Herro still sidelined, the Heat again opened with a lineup of Bam Adebayo, Jovic, Jimmy Butler, Terry Rozier and Duncan Robinson.

– Also out for the Heat were Love and Richardson.

– The Pistons opened with Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Ausar Thompson, Isaiah Stewart and Jalen Duren.

– Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Caleb Martin were first off the bench for the Heat.

– Orlando Robinson and Haywood Highsmith followed.

– With Bryant eventually called into service.

– Spoelstra went in stressing that Tuesday night was about far more than the Pistons being at the bottom of the standings.

– “We have a lot at stake and we’re not where we want to be right now,” he said, “one, in the standings, but more importantly, the consistency to what we’re trying to do.”

– He added, “But this is what’s great about the league right now, everything’s just really competitive and that should bring out, hopefully, a better level out of us.”

– The last time the Heat met the Pistons was in the teams’ season opener.

– Asked to reflect back to that matchup, Spoelstra said pregame. “I don’t even really remember. We watched some of the clips, but that just feels almost like a different season. Probably for both teams, probably more relevant is what we’ve been trying to get to more consistently, to our identity.”

– Of facing the Pistons, Martin said at the morning shootaround, “Those are some of the toughest games. You expect to come in here and win, just like we’re playing anybody. But people who pay attention to them know they haven’t been playing bad at all.”

– Martin said the six stitches in his mouth was the extent of treatment required from the inadvertent elbow he took from Butler in Saturday night’s victory over the Jazz.

– “It was tough, especially with two minutes left. But that’s how usually those types of thighs go,” he said of the timing of the injury. “It’ll be alright. It’s not my first time; it isn’t going to be my last. It just comes with it.”

– Both of the Heat’s two-way players currently on G League assignment had big outings Tuesday for the Sioux Falls Skyforce in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder affiliate. Jamal Cain closed with 39 points, 13 rebounds and six assists today. Alondes Williams had 21 points, 16 assists, eight rebounds.

Jimmy Butler comes through when needed as Heat hold off Pistons 118-110

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 19:59

MIAMI – The trap door was open.

The Miami Heat were teetering.

Because this would have been the type of loss that leads to the dangers of the play-in bracket.

Eventually, order was restored Tuesday night at Kaseya Center.

Barely.

And, so, with a 118-110 victory over the Detroit Pistons. make it 11 victories in the last 14 games for the Heat, and a drop to 9-52 for the Pistons.

With forward Jimmy Butler seizing control late, the Heat averted the unseemly.

Butler closed with 26 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

Again playing in the absence of guard Tyler Herro, who remains sidelined by foot pain, the Heat got 18 points apiece from center Bam Adebayo and guard Duncan Robinson, 17 from guard Terry Rozier and 15 from forward Caleb Martin.

The ante next rises considerably with a two-game trip against the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday and Friday nights.

Five Degrees of Heat from Tuesday night’s game:

1. Closing time: The Heat led 36-26 at the end of the opening period, 61-60 at halftime and 93-88 going into the fourth.

In an ongoing twist from the Heat’s approach over the first half of the season, Butler then was on the court to start the fourth quarter.

But with Butler on the bench, the Pistons closed within 104-101 with 4:16 to play, with Butler returning at that stage.

After the Pistons drew within one with 2:40 to play, the Heat pushed their lead to 111-105 with 2:05 left on a Robinson transition 3-pointer.

But a 3-pointer by the Pistons’ Simone Fontecchio drew Detroit within 111-108 with 52.5 seconds to play.

A Butler basket and then a Butler 3-pointer eventually put it away.

2: Butler does it: Butler’s late 3-pointer not only kept the Heat afloat, but also three Butler streaks.

Butler now has recorded both a 3-pointer and steal in 14th consecutive games, one off Rafer Alston’s franchise record for such a streak.

He also extended his career-best streak of games with at least one 3-pointer to 15.

And he extended his season-best streak 13 consecutive games with at least one steal.

He closed 7 of 13 from the field and 11 of 12 from the line.

3. Slow, then go: It was an uneven first half for Adebayo against the Pistons’ size, at 3 for 10 over the first two periods.

That’s also when he seemingly said enough was enough, converting his first four shots of the second half, including an alley-oop dunk that capped a 12-0 run and forced a Pistons timeout.

Adebayo was up to 17 points going into the fourth quarter.

He closed 8 of 17 from the field, with seven rebounds.

4. Rough go for Niko: Nikola Jovic, who has been playing as the Heat’s starting power forward, was ejected with 5:43 to play in the third period with his second technical foul, cited for the second time for over-vigorously contesting a foul call.

The ejection came eight days after Jovic was suspended from last week’s road victory over the Sacramento Kings for leaving the bench during the melee against the New Orleans Pelicans three days earlier.

Jovic played 21:22, closing with eight points on 5-of-3 shooting, four rebounds and two assists.

5. Altered reality: With Jovic banished to the locker room, it led to the first action since Jan. 31 for backup center Thomas Bryant, who entered at the start of the fourth quarter.

Bryant had been held out of nine of the previous 12 games by coach’s decision, suspended by the NBA for the other three for his role in the melee in New Orleans.

The Heat’s power rotation already was shorthanded with Kevin Love missing his third consecutive game with a bruised right heel.

Orlando Robinson had played as the Heat’s backup center in the first half, with five rebounds in his 7:33.

Daily Horoscope for March 05, 2024

Mon, 03/04/2024 - 22:00
General Daily Insight for March 05, 2024

Finding opportunities won’t require much effort today. The Moon in capable Capricorn begins with a supportive sextile to masterful Saturn, helping us identify what needs to be done, but then a special lunar trine to fortuitous Jupiter at 1:30 pm EST will show us the best and most exciting way forward. The Moon will go on to sextile the Sun before forming a square to Chiron, so we will need to look inward to ensure our outer actions are aligned with our deepest desires.

Aries

March 21 – April 19

If you put in a little effort, the reward can be quite grand. You get what you give ten times back as the Moon in your career sector forms a special trine to lucky Jupiter in your money sector, helping you get properly recompensed for your work (plus a little extra). This is great if you’re already engaged with a certain project or happy with your current gig, and if you’re looking for something new, this is the perfect time to find it.

Taurus

April 20 – May 20

There’s no such thing as too big or too far on a day like this. You are happy to take in the whole wide world as the Moon tours your 9th House of Expansion and trines bountiful Jupiter in your 1st House of Self-Expression. All this cosmic energy fills you up with a special dose of positivity. The world is like a great buffet just waiting for you to come and sample its offerings, so dive in and explore your options.

Gemini

May 21 – June 20

Having faith in others is often a good idea, but you know better than anyone that it doesn’t always prove useful. Fortunately, other people have your best interests at heart today. A trine between the Moon in your 8th House of Bonding and Jupiter in your 12th House of Dreams brings aid from unexpected places. You may wonder what you’ve done to earn such kindness, but it’s well-deserved. Believe that what you receive now is the benefit of previous good work.

Cancer

June 21 – July 22

People have quite a bit to offer you. There is a lovely trine overhead between the Moon in your partnership sector and Jupiter in your friendship sector, bringing all sorts out of the woodwork, begging you to come out and play. Whether you find yourself surrounded by a big group or just one or two important individuals, the only way you can waste this energy is by avoiding company altogether, so by all means, go circulate! People are dying to see you.

Leo

July 23 – August 22

This could be a fantastically productive day. The Moon in your 6th House of Daily Work is making a wonderful trine to Jupiter in your 10th House of Career, helping you check off lots of little tasks in order to pull off something big. Don’t worry too much about trying to make a splash — it’s the little things and small matters of efficiency that will pay off in the long-term. Look to a co-worker or client to boost you up.

Virgo

August 23 – September 22

You are willing to travel far and wide in your search for pleasure, now more so than ever! A special alignment between the Moon in your passionate 5th house and Jupiter in your adventurous 9th house is going to make the day feel like a window has blown open and a fresh breeze is coming your way, beckoning you to go explore. You never know what exciting things await! With this cosmic energy, you simply have to go looking for them.

Libra

September 23 – October 22

It’s easy to get wrapped up in your feelings today. The Moon is in your emotional 4th house, so you’re prone to being a bit more sensitive than usual, but it’s also forming a trine to Jupiter in your supportive 8th house, allowing you to feel without getting overwhelmed. This energy is very helpful for internal processing … but less beneficial for external interactions, so don’t be surprised if you want alone time while you work things out. You’re simply cocooning before becoming a butterfly.

Scorpio

October 23 – November 21

There’s rarely been a better day for dynamic duos. A special trine between the Moon in your chatty 3rd house and Jupiter in your relationship-focused 7th house is stirring up the social vibrations, offering you lots of chances to come together with people who totally get you and what you are all about. Even if you normally prefer to fly solo, this is not the time for that, so put on a smile to go meet the world — and a few new faces, to boot!

Sagittarius

November 22 – December 21

It’s up to you to make productive use of the day, but it shouldn’t prove too difficult. A helpful trine between the Moon in your 2nd House of Income and Jupiter in your 6th House of Efficiency will make the tasks in front of you feel as easy as one-two-three. Jupiter will be acting especially in your favor, sending financially promising projects your way and helping you capitalize on them. There’s money on the table — don’t leave it for someone else to grab.

Capricorn

December 22 – January 19

Everywhere you turn, there’s something to make you smile. This day is full of positivity and possibility as the Moon in your home sign trines Jupiter in your 5th House of Pleasure, putting a cosmic emphasis on you and your desires. Even if you had plans to roll up your sleeves and put your nose to the grindstone, something much more exciting could draw your attention away from mundane matters. Don’t feel guilty about enjoying yourself — chances like this are meant to be taken.

Aquarius

January 20 – February 18

You can move at your own pace without fear others will rush you along. You prefer to take life easy today as the Moon drifts through your sleepy 12th house, and a supportive trine to Jupiter in your cozy 4th house will only amplify the cocooning vibes. If you want to retreat from the world for a bit, then go right ahead! You’ve got cosmic clearance to curl up on the couch and do as you please. You’ll return to reality soon enough.

Pisces

February 19 – March 20

You could become privy to some very interesting information today. There is a particularly potent trine between the Moon in your 11th House of Social Networks and Jupiter in your 3rd House of Communications, and together, these heavenly bodies will send you some sound bites you can’t possibly ignore. Whether you’re linking up with friends for a group adventure or happen to catch wind of something through the grapevine, keep your eyes and ears open for the unexpected when it shows up.

Get your bathroom tech on par with the rest of your home with these products

Mon, 03/04/2024 - 20:13
https://tags.remixd.com/player/v5/index.js?cb=%%CACHEBUSTER%% Which high-tech bathroom products are best?

Technological advancements have improved our lives drastically, helping us stay organized, monitor our health and automate daily tasks. Still, despite the tech in our living rooms, cars and home offices, many of us neglect upgrading our bathrooms. Bathroom tech lets you clean your toothbrushes, listen to music while you shower, track essential information about your health and much more.

Types of bathroom tech Smart mirrors

Smart mirrors generally feature voice-command capabilities, built-in speakers and adjustable lighting. You can pair your phone with smart mirrors to listen to music or podcasts while you shower. High-end mirrors often feature anti-fog settings and have built-in touch controls.

Fans with built-in Bluetooth speakers

Bathroom fans with built-in speakers let you stream music while showering or getting ready. When buying one, consider the speaker’s volume. If the speaker is quiet, the running shower and fan noise will drown out your music, podcast or audiobook. You’ll also want to think about the fan’s power, ensuring you buy one suited for your bathroom’s size.

Smart scale

A smart scale is a must-have for those looking to improve their health this year. These devices pair with your phone, providing a breakdown of essential health data, such as your weight and body mass index. They’re often compatible with popular health and fitness apps, letting you add the data to what is collected by your phone and fitness tracker.

Toothbrush sanitizer

Bathrooms are covered in bacteria, but toothbrush sanitization is often overlooked. According to the National Institutes of Health, “Oral diseases … can be greatly controlled by reducing the microbial load in the oral cavity, and this can be achieved by maintaining proper oral hygiene, by using a clean and decontaminated toothbrush daily.”

Toothbrush sanitizers often use UV-C light to kill up to 99% of the bacteria on toothbrush bristles. These usually hold three to five toothbrushes and can be mounted on your wall. High-end models include toothpaste dispensers and a fan to dry your toothbrush after use.

Bidet

Bidets offer a green alternative to toilet paper. These devices use water to clean and generally have built-in dryers so you can eliminate toilet paper completely. They often cost around $100-$200, but they pay for themselves if you stop buying toilet paper. When buying a bidet, consider a model with adjustable water settings and an intuitive control panel.

Best bathroom tech

Broan-NuTone SPK80L Bluetooth Speaker Fan

The speaker is loud enough to hear over the fan and your shower. It’s relatively easy to install and comes with a three-year limited warranty.

Greater Goods Bluetooth-Connected Bathroom Smart Scale

The intuitive mobile app syncs with Weight Gurus, Apple Health, Google Fit, MyFitnessPal and FitBit. It tracks your weight, body mass index, body fat, lean mass, water weight and bone mass.

Fenchilin Large Vanity Mirror

This Bluetooth mirror lets you stream music from your phone; it has touch controls on the bottom corner that let you control your music. It has 15 bulbs and adjustable brightness settings.

Salon Sundry Hot Towel Warmer Cabinet

This features a modern design that will fit in with any bathroom decor. It can hold up to 72 towels and has a removable drip tray. It’s available in black or white.

SarmoCare Toothbrush Holder and Cleaner

This holds five toothbrushes and a tube of toothpaste. The built-in UV light kills bacteria on your toothbrush bristles, and the fan dries them in around five minutes. It’s easy to set up, and the wall-mounted design saves counter space.

Butylux Anti-Fog Smart Mirror

This features touch controls that let you adjust the brightness or warmth of the light and defog the mirror. It comes with everything you need to install it and has a two-year warranty.

SmartBidet SB-2000 Electric Bidet

This has five water-pressure levels and three temperature settings. It has a warm air dryer, and the control panel is easy to use. The skin sensor ensures the bidet only turns on when you’re seated.

Worth checking out

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

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Smart rings may be gaining in popularity, but smartwatches still reign supreme. Here’s why

Mon, 03/04/2024 - 20:13
https://tags.remixd.com/player/v5/index.js?cb=%%CACHEBUSTER%% Reasons a smartwatch is still worth buying

With how busy life can get, most people are looking for ways to make their daily activities a little easier. Having a wearable device that lets you automatically track your fitness and health data, respond to messages, use apps and more can certainly help.

Smart rings have become popular in recent years among those who want to track their health and fitness stats. But smartwatches have a much longer track record of doing all that and more.

How do smartwatches work?

Smartwatches have sensors that track your biometric data through the skin. These sensors can detect health and fitness data like linear acceleration, rotational movements, heart rate and blood oxygen levels.

Some smartwatches also feature a built-in Global Positioning System, so they can track your runs, hikes, bike rides and other fitness activities. Other watches use their Bluetooth capability to connect to your smartphone’s GPS for tracking. Both types of smartwatches also allow for remote use of other apps on your phone, making it easy to adjust the settings right from your wrist.

What features do smartwatches have?

While smart rings have some of the same features that smartwatches do, their size generally limits their features. In addition to many fitness and health tracking uses, smartwatches offer additional functionality that makes it easier to lead an active life.

Display

Unlike smart rings, smartwatches all have some type of display that not only shows you the time but also all the data it captures throughout the day and notifications from your smartphone. The display also provides access to apps and settings on the watch. Some watches have simple black-and-white screens to conserve battery life, but others have crisp, clear full-color displays that are easy to read even in bright sunlight.

A smartwatch display often has touch-screen controls that make it easy to scroll through the watch’s settings and features. Some utilize buttons or bezels to perform certain functions, such as taking a photo.

Fitness tracking

All smartwatches offer basic fitness tracking stats. They capture data like the number of steps you take, distance traveled and calories burned. In addition, some watches can automatically detect what type of workout you’re doing based on your movements and log them. This makes it easier to get a complete picture of your fitness progress.

Smartwatches with built-in GPS can track your runs even if you don’t have your phone. Those with Bluetooth connectivity can also map your runs, rides or hikes, but you need to have your phone nearby to utilize its GPS feature.

Health tracking

Most smartwatches also offer detailed health and wellness data by tracking your heart rate, oxygen saturation, blood glucose, blood pressure and/or stress levels. Some advanced smartwatches even offer electrocardiogram readings that measure your heart’s electrical activity to alert you to potential issues.

You can also find smartwatches that track your sleep to let you know how long and how well you rest. Some offer guided relaxation and breathing exercises to help you calm down when feeling stressed, too.

Phone calls and messages

Nearly all smartwatches provide notifications of incoming phone calls, text messages and instant messages on their display. Some even allow you to reply to these communications right from your wrist. Certain models let you choose from generic replies like “I’ll call back later,” but other smartwatches have a built-in microphone and speaker that allow you to take phone calls when connected to your smartphone.

But you can also find smartwatches with cellular capabilities. These models don’t rely on your phone’s cellular connection, so you can make calls and send texts from the watch even if you don’t have your phone handy.

Voice assistance

Smartwatches with built-in microphones and speakers also allow you to communicate with virtual assistants, such as Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant. You can use voice commands to make calls, send texts and even search the internet.

Battery life

Battery life varies among smartwatches, so it’s essential to think about how long you need your watch to go between charges. Some models can only last a couple of days on a single charge, while others can go up to two weeks before they need to be recharged. If you frequently go on camping or hiking trips where you might not have access to electricity, you’ll want a model with a longer battery life.

Water resistance

If you don’t want to worry about getting caught in the rain or want to wear your smartwatch to track swimming, choose a model that offers some water resistance. Most models are splashproof, so rain isn’t an issue. Other smartwatches offer full water resistance and can usually be submerged in water up to 50 meters deep, making them ideal for swimmers.

Best smartwatches

Apple Watch Series 8

One of the most popular models on the market, this smartwatch has a large display with crack-resistant glass. It captures all the standard fitness data, as well as advanced health metrics like oxygen saturation and ECG data. You can also make calls, send texts and control streaming audio apps with it.

Fitbit Sense

This fitness-focused smartwatch tracks steps, distance covered, calories burned and heart rate. It features a built-in GPS to track your runs and bike rides and has a built-in microphone for hands-free phone calls. It also offers up to six days of battery life on a single charge.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

This feature-packed smartwatch stands out for its ability to provide body composition data, including body fat, muscle, water, body mass index and basal metabolic rate, right from your wrist. It automatically tracks common exercises and offers advanced health data like ECG monitoring and oxygen saturation. It provides access to some Google services and apps, too.

Apple Watch SE (2nd generation)

As one of Apple’s more affordable models, this smartwatch provides excellent value for the features it offers. It’s durable and waterproof, so you can wear it for outdoor adventures like hiking and swimming. It also has emergency SOS and fall detection, so it can alert emergency services when needed.

Garmin Venu 2 Plus

This smartwatch works with your smartphone’s voice assistant to send texts, adjust streaming audio and control smart home devices. It offers excellent battery life, lasting for up to 10 days on a single charge. It also provides all the fitness tracking features that Garmin is known for.

Fitbit Versa 3

This smartwatch is perfect if you want a fitness-focused model. It offers advanced sleep tracking and built-in GPS to track running and other workouts. It also allows you to take calls, read texts and control music. Its display is brighter and clearer than previous models, and its heart rate data is more accurate, too.

TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra

With an impressive battery that lasts three days in Smart Mode and up to 45 days in Essential Mode, this smartwatch is excellent for anyone whose travels take them off the grid. It captures advanced health and fitness data, including irregular heartbeats, oxygen saturation and stress levels. It also offers a built-in GPS for tracking runs and hikes.

Fossil Neutra Hybrid Smartwatch

For those who want a device that looks more like a traditional watch, this simple, sleek smartwatch is for you. It offers heart rate, activity and sleep tracking to help you stay on top of your health and fitness goals, but it also provides call and message notifications from your smartphone to keep you in touch. It’s compatible with iPhone and Android devices, too.

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