8 Unique Gifts for Valentine’s Day

Fuji/Amazon
Fuji/Amazon

There's a lot of pressure on Valentine's Day to find a unique gift for your special someone. Go beyond the typical heart-shaped box of chocolates with these gifts that have a personal touch for all different tastes.

1. Planet Lollipops; $30

UncommonGoods

Skip the chocolates this year and give your significant other sweets that not only taste good, but also say you mean the galaxy to me. Each lollipop is decorated with an edible 2D image representing all eight planets in our solar system (plus Pluto) and the Sun. And each one has its own flavor: Mercury is tropical punch; Venus is cherry; Earth is cotton candy; Mars is pear; Jupiter is Key lime; Saturn is guava; Uranus is blackberry; Neptune is mango; Pluto is strawberry-kiwi; and the Sun is marshmallow.

Buy it: UncommonGoods

2. saint candles of historical, literary, and cultural icons; $14

Unemployed Philosophers Guild/Amazon

The Unemployed Philosophers Guild adds a touch of personal flair to the traditional saint candle by slapping icons from pop culture, literature, and politics right onto them. Decorated with the likes of James Baldwin, Jane Austen, and Harriet Tubman, just to name a few, you can give your loved one a unique gift adorned with their personal hero.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Fuji Instant mini Film Camera; $116

Fuji/Amazon

While your phone is great for capturing photos, there’s something special about being able to hold actual prints in your hand. But unlike traditional film cameras, you won’t need to wait on getting pictures developed as the Fuji prints out credit card-sized photographs instantly. With a built-in flash and manual brightness adjustment, this gift is perfect for the photographer in your life.

Buy it: Amazon

4. 100 Things to Do Scratch-Off Poster; $15

UncommonGoods

Give the gift of spending time together with this scratch-off poster of bucket list activities you can do as a couple. Once you've done an activity, just scratch off the top layer of each panel to reveal an illustration that goes along with the different ideas, like a ski trip or bungee jumping. And once you’ve scratched them all off, you’ll have a unique piece of wall art to commemorate all the adventures you’ve had together. Or if you’d rather, check out this scratch-off poster with 100 different date ideas.

Buy it: UncommonGoods

5. Bob ross mug; $16

UncommonGoods

Everyone needs to be reminded that "We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents" every now and again. And what better way to remind your significant other of those wise words than with Bob Ross and a morning cup of coffee? Like Bob Ross's canvases, this mug looks blank at first, but simply add a hot beverage to make a beautiful nature scene and his signature quote appear.

Buy it: UncommonGoods

6. Valentine hot Chocolate on a Stick; $15

UncommonGoods

Hot chocolate just got even sweeter with these added hearts inscribed with cute messages. Depending on your recipient's preference, you can order a three-pack of Belgian milk chocolate or French dark truffle.

Buy it: UncommonGoods

7. Literary Scarves; $48

UncommonGoods

Each of these scarves is silkscreened by hand and contains passages from either Jane Eyre, Alice in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice, or Sense and Sensibility. They're also made of medium-weight cotton, meaning they're perfect for early spring weather, which is just a few weeks away. If you aren’t interested in those particular titles, check out the artist’s other literary and music scarves.

Buy it: UncommonGoods

8. Bourbon-Infused Coffee Beans; $20

UncommonGoods

If you have someone that loves their bourbon and a morning cup of coffee, give them the gift of both. These are 100 percent Arabica beans that are infused with bourbon for a kick of flavor without any actual alcohol. And if your loved one is more into wine, check out this merlot-infused coffee.

Buy it: UncommonGoods

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10 Rad Gifts for Hikers

Greg Rosenke/Unsplash
Greg Rosenke/Unsplash

The popularity of bird-watching, camping, and hiking has skyrocketed this year. Whether your gift recipients are weekend warriors or seasoned dirtbags, they'll appreciate these tools and gear for getting most out of their hiking experience.

1. Stanley Nesting Two-Cup Cookset; $14

Amazon

Stanley’s compact and lightweight cookset includes a 20-ounce stainless steel pot with a locking handle, a vented lid, and two insulated 10-ounce tumblers. It’s the perfect size for brewing hot coffee, rehydrating soup, or boiling water while out on the trail with a buddy. And as some hardcore backpackers note in their Amazon reviews, your favorite hiker can take the tumblers out and stuff the pot with a camp stove, matches, and other necessities to make good use of space in their pack.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Osprey Sirrus and Stratos 24-Liter Hiking Packs; $140

Amazon

Osprey’s packs are designed with trail-tested details to maximize comfort and ease of use. The Sirrus pack (pictured) is sized for women, while the Stratos fits men’s proportions. Both include an internal sleeve for a hydration reservoir, exterior mesh and hipbelt pockets, an attachment for carrying trekking poles, and a built-in rain cover.

Buy them: Amazon, Amazon

3. Yeti Rambler 18-Ounce Bottle; $48

Amazon

Nothing beats ice-cold water after a summer hike or a sip of hot tea during a winter walk. The Yeti Rambler can serve up both: Beverages can stay hot or cold for hours thanks to its insulated construction, and its steel body (in a variety of colors) is basically indestructible. It will add weight to your hiker's pack, though—for a lighter-weight, non-insulated option, the tried-and-true Camelbak Chute water bottle is incredibly sturdy and leakproof.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mappinners Greatest 100 Hikes of the National Parks Scratch-Off Poster; $30

Amazon

The perfect gift for park baggers in your life (or yourself), this 16-inch-by-20-inch poster features epic hikes like Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Once the hike is complete, you can scratch off the gold foil to reveal an illustration of the park.

Buy it: Amazon

5. National Geographic Adventure Edition Road Atlas; $19

Amazon

Hikers can use this brand-new, updated road atlas to plan their next adventure. In addition to comprehensive maps of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, they'll get National Geographic’s top 100 outdoor destinations, useful details about the most popular national parks, and points on the maps noting off-the-beaten-path places to explore.  

Buy it: Amazon

6. Adventure Medical Kits Hiker First-Aid Kit; $25

Amazon

This handy 67-piece kit is stuffed with all the things you hope your hiker will never need in the wilderness. Not only does it contain supplies for pain, cuts and scrapes, burns, and blisters (every hiker’s nemesis!), the items are organized clearly in the bag to make it easy to find tweezers or an alcohol wipe in an emergency.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hiker Hunger Ultralight Trekking Poles; $70

Amazon

Trekking poles will help increase your hiker's balance and stability and reduce strain on their lower body by distributing it to their arms and shoulders. This pair is made of carbon fiber, a super-strong and lightweight material. From the sweat-absorbing cork handles to the selection of pole tips for different terrain, these poles answer every need on the trail. 

Buy it: Amazon

8. Leatherman Signal Camping Multitool; $120

Amazon

What can’t this multitool do? This gadget contains 19 hiking-friendly tools in a 4.5-inch package, including pliers, screwdrivers, bottle opener, saw, knife, hammer, wire cutter, and even an emergency whistle.

Buy it: Amazon

9. RAVPower Power Bank; $24

Amazon

Don’t let your hiker get caught off the grid with a dead phone. They can charge RAVPower’s compact power bank before they head out on the trail, and then use it to quickly juice up a phone or tablet when the batteries get low. Its 3-inch-by-5-inch profile won’t take up much room in a pack or purse.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Pack of Four Indestructible Field Books; $14

Amazon

Neither rain, nor snow, nor hail will be a match for these waterproof, tearproof 3.5-inch-by-5.5-inch notebooks. Your hiker can stick one in their pocket along with a regular pen or pencil to record details of their hike or brainstorm their next viral Tweet.

Buy it: Amazon

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Feel Nostalgic With the New Hello Kitty-Themed Tamagotchi

Bandai America/Amazon
Bandai America/Amazon

Back in November 1996, Bandai released the cult favorite Tamagotchi, a tiny virtual pet that users could feed, play with, give medicine to, and more. The name itself is actually a combination of two Japanese words, tamago and tomodachi, meaning egg and friend—and it was the toy's egg shape that was key to its distinct design. They could fit in pockets, on keychains, and inside the backpacks of any kid who wanted a distraction during the school day.

According to NME, more than 82 million of these egg-shaped digital pets have been sold since their initial release in the ‘90s, with 10 million of those coming within the first year alone. Now, the handheld pets are back again in the form of a collaboration with another famous Japanese creation, Hello Kitty.

Hello Kitty first took over hearts starting in 1974 when a Japanese company called Sanrio put the design on a vinyl coin purse. More than 45 years later, Hello Kitty (her real name is actually Kitty White) has been developed into video games, cafes, hospitals, wine, and more. This new Tamagotchi is the perfect mixture of two of Japan’s most famous brands, both of which have reached a global audience.

Bandi America/Amazon

In these new editions, Hello Kitty will help you raise your Tamagotchi. You’ll be able to feed them Hello Kitty’s favorite foods, like apple pie or milk, and play a balloon game and piano game. Based on how well you raise your Tamagotchi from an egg to an adult will determine which of the seven surprise characters you receive.

These new Tamagotchis will be released on December 1, 2020, and are available to pre-order in red and white on Amazon for $20.

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