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Gift Yourself

Cool New Toys for Little Ones -- But Really For Yourself

Posted by Caroline Fong April 16, 2014 05:00 PM

Spring is here! Or rather was here. It seems to be taking a hiatus in New England at the moment. I did just wake up to a sheet of snow covering all the cars in the neighborhood this morning.

If youíve had to bring the fun back inside, youíre probably hunting for some fun things to do other than Netflix. Iíve rounded up five cool toys that will delight the kids in the house, but also entertain the grown-ups -- even if the only kid around is your inner child!

1. Siege Toys Catapult ($40)


This nifty little miniature replica of a medieval siege engine is made from birch wood and assembles in 10 minutes. Itís suitable for children ages 12 and up, and that includes grown-ups. Donít be shy in engaging office warfare or duking it out in a friendly fight with the kids! Did I mention you can catapult gummy bears?


Weave Comfort Into Every Part of Your Day

Posted by Caroline Fong April 9, 2014 05:00 PM

Most of us donít have the luxury of living close to work and have to regularly commute for long stretches. Couple that with all the little fires we deal with at different points of our day, itís easy to feel deflated at dayís end.

If youíre like me, I am a fan of creature comforts. Yes, Iíll take an extra fluffy pillow for my head in bed. Yes, I need extra cushions on the couch. Yes, Iíll wear fluffy socks. And yes, Iíll sometimes sit on a Yogibo bean bag to work.

In the name of relaxation, Iíve rounded up 6 items to work into your day for some points of comfort. Simply choose from the three groups below for whatís most important -- and relaxing -- for you.


Ever had a case of itchy or suffocating underwear? Sure you have, and Iím sure itís a place you never want to be in again.

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For the lads, find comfort in Charles van de Pear ($49) boxer shorts, which combine the best-of-both-menís-underwear-worlds. Adjustable with built-in support, these luxury menís underwear are made from lightweight woven cotton shirting fabric that softens with each wash.


5 Spring Steals to Send Winter Off

Posted by Caroline Fong April 7, 2014 10:30 AM

This recent winter felt especially long. It seemed like a snow storm greeted us every other week. But with springís official arrival, I am more than happy to take the sunnier mornings and afternoons even though the past few days have seen some dark clouds and chilly winds come nightfall.

And for me, there are certain mini milestones that come with the sought-after seasonal change. Iíve been wearing my spring leather boots more than my thick winter boots. I feel happier (and other folks seem so, too). There are more outdoor activities. In fact, just this past weekend, I participated in a fun public pillow fight in the Cambridge Common. What a way to welcome spring!

If youíve been looking for a way to shake up the Ďole routine a bit and welcome spring, here are five steals under $30 to start you off for some spring times.

1. Rice Cube ($19.95)


Friends love friends who can cook. With the nicer weather and the upcoming warm weather vegetables that will be available, nowís a great time to try your hand at sushi-making. If youíre intimidated, use this sushi tool to easily make cubes of this healthy and delicious food.


9 Things to Prep for a Safer, Easier, and Happier New Year

Posted by Caroline Fong December 31, 2013 07:30 AM

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There is one day of 2013 left. As we approach the end of the year, I'm sure everyone's been pondering how they spent 2013 and how they can have an even better year. There will be 365 whole new days to navigate, to create, to live.

I, for one, have been on a digital ďspringĒ clean. I tended to all the emails collecting in my personal email inbox, put aside a few hours during a day off to make all the calls (to the doctor's office and whatnot) that I pushed back in the name of long work days, and sorted through my to-do list and goals.

And that's the other big thing for the new year...goals. Every year, many of us make a great many new year's resolutions that don't become much more than just writing on paper.

This year, if safety, saving money, and happiness are on your list (and why not?), take a look at this roundup of fresh finds I've put together. Mix and match according to what you need and want for the new year.


The What-to-Buy-When-Santa-Brings-You-Cash Gift Guide

Posted by Caroline Fong December 27, 2013 07:15 PM

Yesterday, I went into work and asked my favorite post-Christmas question: ďWhat did Santa bring you?Ē

My adjacent seat-mate told me Santa had brought her brandy to which everyone nodded in agreement that Santa was a smart man. Bobby (star of The Grommet trip to the R. Murphy Knife factory) told us that Santa had brought him clothes and money to which everyone exclaimed the latter was an awesome gift as an adult.

Santa had brought me money, too. With the extra cash, I had wondered about the different ways I should spend it. Wasting it on a few big meals seemed too gluttonous. Buying more shoes would make the shoe racks a walking hazard. And I have more books on my book list than I can keep up with.

If youíre in the same boat as me, hereís a quick gift guide for things that you can buy with the new year in mind:

Youíve been overworked and sleeping poorly this past year. And Santa just gave you $200.

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Gift Yourself: How to Create a Simple and Relaxing Home Spa

Posted by Caroline Fong December 4, 2013 09:30 AM

After a long busy week, I like to unwind by taking a nice bubble bath. Around this time of the year, youíre probably looking for ways to unwind too, but donít have the time -- or energy -- to drag yourself to the nail salon.

This is the perfect time to treat yourself to a ďmini vacationĒ in the comfort of your own home. Building your home spa experience is the gift that keeps on giving. Youíll be able to gift yourself a relaxation treat every time youíre feeling ragged.


First, youíll need some tools. For dry, neglected skin on your feet, invest in a Microplane Pedicure Tool ($14.95). The pearl orb file is made of surgical grade stainless steel and will gently slough off dry skin on your cracked and calloused feet.

microplane pedi.jpg

Then use a Unitrex Personal Humidifier ($29.95) to deliver moisture-balanced air. Small but mighty, it uses just one cup of water; itíll help help relieve any remaining dryness of your skin, nose, and throat.



Second, youíll need products that will clean and maintain the beauty of your skin. Get a Fiat Luxe Felt Soap ($14) to use in the shower. All-natural and enveloped in soft wool felt, these handcrafted soaps not only smell great because of the botanically derived essential oils, the felt will gently exfoliate your skin in a rich lather. Load up a small basket of the two scents, and theyíll last you a while (you can refill the felt with your own soap).

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About The Grommet

We launch undiscovered products and help them succeed; we call them Grommets. Grommets aren't just things. Grommets are products with a purpose invented by people with stories. More »
Buy Differently is a sponsored blog powered by The Grommet, and part of Finds, a site you can count on to bring you the best discoveries around Boston and beyond. This blog is not written or edited by or Finds. The author is solely responsible for the content.
Caroline Fong
Caroline hails from a tiny tropical island originally, but calls Boston home. A curious bird, she spent a spring trekking all over Ireland, has been an Air Force Junior ROTC cadet, and worked at Disney World as a merchandising intern. With a love for all things interesting, she found herself at The Grommet, where she gets to eat, sleep, and breathe innovative undiscovered products. Say hello to her on Twitter.