Harry & David Just Released a Cats-Inspired Gourmet Gift Collection

Harry & David
Harry & David

Year after year, Harry & David proves itself to be the undefeated champion of helping people gain the favor of tough-to-please recipients on their holiday gift lists. From baskets of cheese to buckets of popcorn, there’s a gourmet food—or collection of foods—for pretty much everyone.

This Christmas, the company has partnered with Universal Pictures to release a line of deluxe gifts that all evoke the enchanting, sophisticated style of the upcoming film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's classic musical Cats.

The products don’t come with cat ears, furry bodysuits, or pint-sized action figures of Taylor Swift, Jason Derulo, and the rest of the star-studded cast. Instead, in true Harry & David fashion, the gifts are decorated with tasteful Cats ribbons and subtle touches of black and gold.

The simplest option for anyone with a sweet tooth is the $30 Classic Sweets Box, which includes dark chocolate-covered pretzels, raspberry galettes, dark chocolate truffles, and Harry & David’s signature Moose Munch popcorn. For healthy eaters or fans of fruit in general, there’s a box of Royal Riviera pears, hand-wrapped in gold foil, which you can purchase with (for $70) or without (for $50) a bottle of Pinot Gris. There are also a few larger dessert baskets with a broad assortment of truffles, caramels, popcorn, chocolate-covered cherries, and more mouthwatering confectioneries.

Though you’d be ill-advised to share most of those desserts with your actual cat, they might be able to enjoy the savory meats from the other boxes and baskets—after all, cats can have a little salami. Items include sausage, salami, smoked salmon, pepper jack cheese, sharp white cheddar cheese, garlic-stuffed olives, water crackers, and roasted almonds, among other things.

In summary, the Cats collection is ideal for these demographics: people who like Cats the musical, people who like Cats the movie, people who like gift baskets, people who like gifts, and people who eat food.

You can shop all the options here, and find out everything you need to know about Cats the movie here.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Wayfair Is Offering Up to 75 Percent Off on Furniture, Rugs, and Pet Essentials Through Tuesday

Wayfair
Wayfair

If you’re looking to upgrade your home furniture in the new year, turn to Wayfair. From orthopedic dog beds to convertible couches to luxuriously soft bedding, the online retailer has just about anything you can imagine to spice up your home décor. And through Tuesday, January 21 at 9:00 a.m. EST, shoppers can save up to 75 percent on hundreds of items. Check out some of our favorite deals below.

Living Room Furniture

- Corwin Twin Convertible Sofa $134 (Save $16)
- Swiger Sleeper $481 (Save $57)
- Spraggins Armchair $195 (Save $135)
- Oday Wingback Chair $297 (Save $72)
- Luper Tufted Storage Ottoman $127 (Save $212)
- Tannis Futon Chair $183 (Save $11)

Pet Essentials

- Ginny Pet Crate $88 (Save $83)
- 72-Inch Mya Cat Tree $64 (Save $165)
- Bernice Quilted Orthopedic Dog Sofa $22 (Save $28)
- Cathey Wooden Litter Box Cabinet $142 (Save $9)
- Ian Double Bowl Elevated Feeder $82 (Save $50)
- Boris Ultra Plush Cooling Gel Foam Pillow $23 (Save $27)

Dining Room Furniture

A Wayfair stool
Wayfair

- Marni Bar & Counter Stool $54 (Save $9)
- Boyes Dining Table $187 (Save $13)
- Chelsey Four-Piece Solid Wood Dining Set $256 (Save $256)
- Eaman Dining Table $215 (Save $45)
- Abbey Extendable Solid Wood Dining Table $847 (Save $910)
- Abbey Solid Wood Dining Table $727 (Save $744)

Extra Storage

- Petrone Combo Laundry Center $42 (Save $51)
- Cubeicals Shoe Storage Bench $69 (Save $17)
- Caryl Overdoor Six-Shelf Cabinet Door Organizer $35 (Save $17)
- Arapahoe 24-Inch-By-32-Inch Cabinet $102 (Save $83)
- Wicker Oval Double Laundry Hamper $60 (Save $10)

Bedroom Furniture

-Geraldine 4 Drawer Chest $195 (Save $15)
-Fuente Upholstered Panel Headboard $75 (Save $64)
- Eichhorn Platform Bed $102 (Save $150)
- Kemmerer Vanity Set with Mirror $206 (Save $303)
- Rossford 6 Drawer Double Dresser $263 (Save $42)
- Amher Adjustable Bed Base $271 ( Save $129)

Rugs

Wayfair flower rug
Wayfair

- Brandt Blue Area Rug $26 (Save $52)
- Abstract Multicolor Area Rug $25 (Save $73)
- Shiflett Flatweave Dark Gray Area Rug $31 (Save $29)
- Meador Hand-Braided Natural Area Rug $38 (Save $40)
- Geometric Gray/Ivory Area Rug $34 (Save $25)

Bedding

- Adena Ultra Soft Down Alternative Reversible Comforter Set $33 (Save $97)
- Eldon Solid Color Sheet Set $25 (Save $35)
- Kiril Duvet Cover Set $25 (Save $75)
- Arrington Ruffle Skirt Bedspread Set $61 (Save $89)

Outdoor Décor

- Marquis Vertical Hello Non-Slip Outdoor Door Mat $14 (Save $10)
- Arden Welcome Paw 36-Inch-By-24-Inch Non-Slip Outdoor Door Mat $33 (Save $10)
- Midori Planter Box $73 (Save $37)

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

These Grass Straws Are an Eco-Friendly Alternative to Plastic

Kickstarter
Kickstarter

We know plastic straws have created an incredibly serious environmental issue, and while many alternatives have been introduced, there are definitely some drawbacks to each of them. Paper straws, for example, tend to dissolve faster than you can finish your beverage. Some companies have tried to get around the issues paper and plastic straws present by introducing a special lid to sip cold beverages through. But they’re still made out of, well, plastic.

A Kickstarter campaign is offering a solution by producing sturdy grass straws that work perfectly in hot or cold drinks and decompose in just 15 days. With $3606 raised, the startup La Couleur Monochrome is still working toward a $27,877 goal, but you can back this project until January 31. For as little as $6, you can receive 100 straws in a reusable, eco-friendly zip-up bag, and the more expensive tiers offer bigger rewards.

The straws are made from hollow-stemmed grass that is grown and hand-harvested in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. After the grass is harvested, it is cut into 20-centimeter pieces and disinfected through a boiling process, rather than with harsh chemicals. Buyers have the option of selecting either dried-out straws, which can last for up to one year when stored at room temperature, or fresh straws, which can remain in the fridge for up to six weeks. According to the startup, both straws are suited for hot and cold drinks, but when using the fresh straws, you’ll get “a slight scent of fresh cut grass without changing the drink's taste.”

Grass straws
Kickstarter

If you’re worried about the environmental impact of harvesting the field, there’s no need. According to the campaign, the grass regenerates itself within a year. Currently, the startup is producing 1 million straws a month, but they hope to up it to 10 million by July 2020. Also beginning in July, the company plans to only send out orders once a month to create a more sustainable shipping program.

With so many large-scale changes that need to happen to help the environment, starting with a simple straw may seem inconsequential, but it’s not. Estimates have put the number of straws littering the world's coastlines at anywhere from 437 million to 8.3 billion.

If you want to visualize how much plastic humans have produced, it's equivalent to 25,000 Empire State Buildings or 80 million blue whales. And of all that plastic, only 9 percent has been recycled. At this pace, some have predicted that the amount of plastic in the ocean may outweigh the ocean's fish by 2050.

Cutting out straws is a great way to start reducing single-use products in your everyday life, and you can head here to find out more about the Kickstarter.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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