10 Life-Changing Things To Try In December
Because we tried them for you in November!
1. HGTV for Sherwin-Williams Painting Gloves — $4.29
2. Sunrise Calendar App — Free
I did not think I was a Calendar Person™ until a few months ago, when I realized I was routinely failing to show up to various personal and professional commitments. The 21st century is hard! So I asked my colleague Nicole what calendar apps she used, because she is a beautiful genius and expert on all things gadget- and productivity-related. She recommended Sunrise and I've used it every day since.
The app allows you to sync all kinds of calendars (like Google and Facebook) into one place, and you can access them offline/underground when you are on the subway, running 20 minutes late to a party whose address you can't remember. You can sync your contacts' birthdays, keep track of work projects that are in Trello or Basecamp, and just generally pretend to be a semi-functioning human being. There's no way I'm using it to its full potential — I haven't taken advantage of its weather services, for example, or the fact that I could somehow apparently tell it my to-do list — but when I wake up in the morning and check my phone it honestly feels way less overwhelming to see my day/week/life laid out in front of me so neatly. —Alanna Okun
3. Bra Converter Strap — $14
The extender wraps around the stomach, and I was a teeny bit worried it would turn into a torture device after I ate a bunch of appetizers, so I tested it by wearing it during a whole day of snacking. To my delight, it felt pretty comfortable the whole time. Bring on the parties, December. —Terri Pous
4. Maybelline New York The Nudes Palette — $9.99
5. Sugared Cranberries
6. Lasagna Soup
7. How to Break in New Shoes
8. Cleaning Squash With a Grapefruit Spoon
9. Vivino App — Free
Hi, I'm Natalie, and I really, really like wine. I buy at *least* one bottle every week, sometimes two — whether it's to go with dinner, to take to a party, or to give to a friend. This means I've also tasted enough wine to know two things: 1) bad wine is bad, and 2) decent wine doesn't have to cost more than dinner.
But when I'm in my favorite wine store faced with that daunting wall of bottles, I don't really know what's ~worth it~. That's where the Vivino app comes in: I pull it out, pick a bottle that's in my price range, and scan it with the app. (Basically, you take a photo of the wine label.) The app recognizes the label, and takes me to a page with a rating, the average price of the wine, details about it, other users' reviews, a place to write my own notes and put in my own rating. This way, I never end up picking out a bad wine, and I know I'm not overpaying for it.
Vivino has tons of other features — for example, as you rate different wines that you try, it puts together a personal "Taste Profile" that will help you understand what you actually like (and dislike) about wines. But my favorite feature is the ability to figure out exactly what I'm about to buy before I buy it! —Natalie Brown
10. Tile — $25
There are a lot of location-tracking gizmos around: minimalist ones, ones for your wallet, ones for your kids. Tile is one of the first and most successful trackers, which is why I wanted to try it for myself. It's a small plastic square that connects to an iPhone or Android device via Bluetooth and can reveal an item's location up to 100 feet away by triggering a loud tone or show the item's last known location on a map.
The most obvious place to put Tile is a key ring, although you could technically attach it to anything (your car, luggage, wallet, bike, etc.). I tested the second-generation Tile, which has an updated ringer that's even louder than before (apparently the loudest on the market). It definitely came in handy when my keys were buried in jean pockets at the bottom of my dirty clothes heap.
The app and web app are very easy to use. They show the location of your Tile (or Tiles) and your phone, plus a "Find" button to ring Tile's alarm. Because Tile's location is synced to your account, you can log into Tile from any computer or phone and see where both your phone and Tile are. Another great feature is being able to reverse-find your phone by double pressing the "e" in Tile. You can also share Tiles, which is great for roommates with a single mail key, for example.
One major downside to Tile is that its battery lasts one year and it cannot be replaced. After 11 months, you have to "re-Tile" for about half the original price, $12. But this isn't so bad — you could just gift the Tile for that person who's too busy to remember where their shit is, year after year after year. —Nicole Nguyen