Channel Your Inner Chef Monica Geller With This Friends-Themed Slow Cooker

Hot Topic
Hot Topic

If you're still getting over Netflix dropping Friends at the beginning of 2020, you're not alone. But while you wait for the sitcom to claim its new home on the upcoming HBO Max streaming service, you can bring the best of Monica’s cooking to your kitchen with this Friends-themed slow cooker from Hot Topic, currently on sale for $30.

Adorned with famous lines like “Pivot!” and “How you doin'?” along with other illustrations Friends fans will know and love, this 6.5-quart slow cooker is wrapped in references from the series's 10 seasons. Under an illustration of the well-worn Central Perk couch, you’ll find easily adjustable low, high, and warm buttons, making this slow cooker suitable for a variety of soups, chili, and many other dishes. The stoneware inset is also removable and easy to clean.

Hot Topic

But if you’ve got a big group coming over with unique (and slightly annoying) dietary requests—much like the first time Monica decided to host Thanksgiving—check out this triple slow cooker that's also currently on sale at Hot Topic for $56. Each cooker holds 2.5 quarts and has independent temperature controls.

Did you know that slow cookers are a good way to eat on a budget? Learn more budget-friendly cooking tips by heading here. And while you wait to be able to stream Friends again, be sure to brush up on these facts on the show's history.

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Kodak’s New Cameras Don't Just Take Photos—They Also Print Them

Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Kodak

Snapping a photo and immediately sharing it on social media is definitely convenient, but there’s still something so satisfying about having the printed photo—like you’re actually holding the memory in your hands. Kodak’s new STEP cameras now offer the best of both worlds.

As its name implies, the Kodak STEP Instant Print Digital Camera, available for $70 on Amazon, lets you take a picture and print it out on that very same device. Not only do you get to skip the irksome process of uploading photos to your computer and printing them on your bulky, non-portable printer (or worse yet, having to wait for your local pharmacy to print them for you), but you never need to bother with ink cartridges or toner, either. The Kodak STEP comes with special 2-inch-by-3-inch printing paper inlaid with color crystals that bring your image to life. There’s also an adhesive layer on the back, so you can easily stick your photos to laptop covers, scrapbooks, or whatever else could use a little adornment.

There's a 10-second self-timer, so you don't have to ask strangers to take your group photos.Kodak

For those of you who want to give your photos some added flair, you might like the Kodak STEP Touch, available for $130 from Amazon. It’s similar to the regular Kodak STEP, but the LCD touch screen allows you to edit your photos before you print them; you can also shoot short videos and even share your content straight to social media.

If you want to print photos from your smartphone gallery, there's the Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer. This portable $80 printer connects to any iOS or Android device with Bluetooth capabilities and can print whatever photos you send to it.

The Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer connects to an app that allows you to add filters and other effects to your photos. Kodak

All three Kodak STEP devices come with some of that magical printer paper, but you can order additional refills, too—a 20-sheet set costs $8 on Amazon.

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These Blue Light Glasses Can Help Protect Your Eyes From Your Phone and Computer Screens

Swanwick
Swanwick

You’ve probably read all about the correlation between insomnia and the digital blue light emitted from phones, computer screens, and televisions. And while it's a good idea to limit your exposure to blue light at night, you'll also want to limit it as much as possible all day long. For that, you can pick up a pair of blue light glasses, like the kind put out by Swanwick.

What is blue light?

For those who aren’t familiar, blue light is exactly what it sounds like. It's the blue section of the visible light spectrum, between 380 nm and 500 nm. During the day, exposure to natural blue light is a good thing; it helps tell your brain that it’s time to be awake, thus boosting attention, reaction times, and mood. However, exposure to blue light at night has been shown by numerous studies to suppress the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that signals to your brain that it is time to power down for the night, according to the Harvard Health Publishing blog.

This can throw off your circadian rhythm, which is the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, and can lead to occasional and sometimes chronic insomnia. But even outside of nighttime hours, there's evidence that excessive blue light exposure, especially from screens, could potentially be harmful to the eyes and speed up age-related macular degeneration.

Needless to say, humans are exposed to more blue light than ever before. According to one recent poll, the average American spends 42 percent of their waking hours looking at a screen. That works out to roughly six hours and 43 minutes looking at phones, tablets, laptops, and television every single day. And 79 percent of respondents said their screentime had increased over the last five years.

How blue light glasses work

Unfortunately, making significant cuts to screentime is probably not an option for most people, but blue light glasses can help block the light from your eyes. Day Swannies, by Swanwick, are specifically designed to be worn any time you are using devices with screens during daylight hours. Because we all need some blue light to help regulate our sleep-wake cycle, Day Swannies do not block out all blue light. Instead, they only block 42-80 percent of blue light between 400-450 nm, and 22-42 percent of blue light between 450-500 nm.

Day Swannies currently come in eight different models with different size and color options, so you are guaranteed to find a pair that suits your personal style. These include models designed specifically for kids, for reading, and for prescriptions. Regardless of the model, all Day Swannies have CR-39 lenses, which means they are made from a prescription-grade material that allows for maximum optical clarity. And all styles block 100 percent of UV light. You can get more details here.

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