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I don’t travel anywhere without this $16 flip case organizer that holds and protects all my essential tech accessories

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The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

flip case 3_4

  • If you want to keep your chargers, cords, batteries, headphones, and other small accessories organized and accounted for as you travel, a travel tech organizer should do the trick. 
  • I found a slim, padded, and stylish one for less than $20, Porte Play's Flat Flip Case ($15.99). 
  • It contains one large compartment, three smaller mesh compartments, and five elastic loops to hold and protect all your beloved tech essentials. 

When you leave your hotel room for a day of sightseeing and exploring, you probably don't so do without your wallet, passport, phone, and a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Thanks to your increasing use of tech, you probably also wouldn't be caught without your chargers, portable battery, headphones, and a variety of other small accessories.

To keep things simple, I usually just stuff these various cords and chargers in the pockets of my purse or backpack when I board a flight or embark on a day trip. It doesn't actually turn out to be the path of least resistance because I forget which pockets I put what accessories in, and the scattered mess in turn transforms my brain into a scattered mess — not an ideal state of mind for traveling a new and unfamiliar city. 

On my most recent trip, I decided to get my travel tech organized for once, and now I wish I had bothered with a travel organizer earlier. The Porte Play Flat Flip Case ($15.99) is a slim case that slipped into my purse and made it easy to access my cords, chargers, and earphones at a moment's notice. 

porte play travel organizer

It unzips smoothly to lay flat and has the perfect number of compartments to store my accessories: one large, zippered pocket, where I put my slightly bulky portable battery; one narrow, zippered mesh pocket for my USB wall chargers; two small, elastic slip pockets, which I used for my pairs of wireless and wired earbuds; and five elastic loops to hold down charging cords and camera memory cards. I could identify where each accessory was (save for the portable battery in the largest pocket, but that one was obvious due to its size and weight) through the mesh.

The slightly padded cover protected these tech essentials as my bag bumped up against anything from walls to other people. The color and embossed patterns of the cover also set it apart from other organizers that are purely functional. I unexpectedly loved its soft feel, too. The cushion-y texture was easy to distinguish when I reached into my bag, so I didn't have to look down to pull out the organizer. 

porte play travel organizer 1

Since the case held everything in one place, I wasted no time finding the exact accessory I needed. No more panicked statements starting with "Wait, where's my...?" Everything had its place, and I could tell instantly when something was missing as I packed up each morning. 

It's not only great for traveling, and it can be used any time you're going from point A to point B with tech essentials in tow, whether you're a student or office commuter. I've found I prefer it over roll-up tech organizers because of its flat, compact shape that allows it to stack in any configuration and ease of access via the zipper opening. 

This useful case costs less than $20 and did exactly as promised to organize my tech, while also looking and feeling unique. I don't normally dwell on utilitarian purchases like a travel tech organizer, but this one has been on every one of my packing checklists lately because of its simple effectiveness and stylish look. 

Shop the Porte Play Flat Flip Case (Blush) for $15.99 at Target here

Shop the Porte Play Flat Flip Case (Black) for $15.99 at Target here

SEE ALSO: I found ice cubes in this $25 stainless steel water bottle 24 hours after filling it

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We visited convenience-store rivals Wawa and Sheetz to see which does it better — and the winner is worth a trip in itself

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Wawa   Sheetz thumb 1

  • Wawa and Sheetz are both convenience-store chains with a cult following. 
  • We visited both to see which was better.
  • After the face-off, Wawa reigned supreme for offering food that's worth a trip in itself.

The Capulets versus the Montagues.

Harvard versus Yale.

Britney versus Christina.

Among history's fabled rivalries, perhaps none is more fiercely contested than Wawa versus Sheetz.

In Pennsylvania and the surrounding states where these premium gas stations dominate highway pit stops, everyone has an opinion as to which is the convenience chain of choice.

To definitively settle this schism, we took it upon ourselves to journey to the heartland of the two rivals — the borderlands of Pennsylvania and New Jersey — and see which chain reigns supreme:

SEE ALSO: We ate dozens of meals at restaurant chains in 2017 — here are the 9 absolute best things to try right now

Our quest begins in the parking lot of a Wawa in south Phillipsburg, New Jersey, off Route 22. The gas pumps are plentiful and bustling with activity, but we're more interested in what's inside.



Wawa, with more than 720 locations in six states on the East Coast, is renowned for its high-quality yet inexpensive food. Walking inside, we find the vibe to be clean and professional yet unassuming. Muted yellows and browns are the key colors, leading to a relaxed but often bland visual landscape.



It takes a few minutes to even comprehend the array of food options available at Wawa. The well-stocked prepackaged section is ambitious and diverse in scope. Even packaged food appears fresh — not as though it has been abandoned on the shelf for untold lengths.



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No, Instagram isn't restricting your posts so that only 7% of your followers see them (FB)

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Instagram dog

  • There's viral disinformation circulating about alleged changes to Instagram's algorithm.
  • The hoax claims that the Facebook-owned social network is restricting the reach of users' posts to just 7% of their followers.
  • Spoiler alert: It's not true.

Another day, another viral hoax about how social networks operate.

 Misinformation has been spreading recently about Instagram's algorithm, with claims that the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app is restricting the reach of users' posts to just 7% of their followers.

The claim has prompted Instagram to speak up and debunk it in a series of tweets.

"We’ve noticed an uptick in posts about Instagram limiting the reach of your photos to 7% of your followers, and would love to clear this up," the company wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. "What shows up first in your feed is determined by what posts and accounts you engage with the most, as well as other contributing factors such as the timeliness of posts, how often you use Instagram, how many people you follow, etc.

"We have not made any recent changes to feed ranking, and we never hide posts from people you're following – if you keep scrolling, you will see them all. Again, your feed is personalized to you and evolves over time based on how you use Instagram."

In other words: Instagram's algorithm does try and guess what users want to see,  and that means some accounts will be seen by some users more than others. This will be especially pronounced if a user follows hundreds or even thousands of accounts on the service; unless they spend hours scrolling each day, they're unlikely to see every post every one of the accounts they follow.

But still, Instagram hasn't placed an artificial limit on the percentage of accounts that will see any given post.

These kind of hoaxes spread regularly, fueled by an apparent lack of clarity among users about how tech companies' algorithms operate. A similar one concerning Facebook alleges that the company is restricting users' News Feeds to just 25 or 26 friends unless they copy and paste a chain message "warning" about it. 


Do you work at Facebook or Instagram? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via Signal or WhatsApp at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at rprice@businessinsider.com, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: The 'Apple of China' teased a double-folding smartphone just 2 months after Samsung

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos is worth over $100 billion — here's how the world's richest man makes and spends his money

This 'herbal coffee' tastes just like the real thing — it helped me quit for good and clear my skin

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The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

Dandy Blend Herbal Coffee Replacement

  • Dandy Blend, an herbal coffee substitute, features dandelion root, chicory root, barley, and rye and tastes just like the real thing.
  • Coffee, with its high acid content and diuretic properties, can lead to dry, inflamed skin, but Dandy Blend is packed with vitamins and nutrients that aid in the overall health of the body — including skin health.

Quitting coffee is one of those things I dabble in, without fail, at the beginning of every new year.

Intellectually, I know the habit isn't great for my body — but I always go back to it because, as researchers have shown, caffeine addiction is real. Some of the symptoms of coffee withdrawal prove it: Headaches, fatigue, and irritability set in when the caffeine-spiked morning Venti goes away.

I have another theory about coffee addiction, though. In my experience, the habit of making, pouring, grabbing, and sipping on a cuppa is just as addictive as the caffeine itself. When my hand is grasped around a warm mug and that sweet-bitter taste hits my tongue, I feel like the day has officially begun. So when I made up my mind to quit coffee once and for all, I knew I needed a replacement habit — something that would easily fit into my already-established morning routine and trick my body into perking up.

Enter herbal coffee, or more specifically, Dandy Blend.

Dandy is an herbal blend featuring dandelion root, chicory root, barley, and rye. It looks strikingly similar to instant coffee and is just as easy make; you simply scoop a heaping tablespoon or two into a hot cup of water and stir. Voilá! "Java" is served. But where Dandy differs from other herbal coffee alternatives I've tried is that it actually tastes like the real thing. Chicory root mimics that full-bodied coffee taste I've grown to love, but in a slightly earthier way.

With Dandy Blend in my cup, my first two coffee-free weeks flew by without any of the headaches and irritability I anticipated… probably because Dandy Blend is more than just a coffee substitute — it's actually healthy. Whereas coffee is highly acidic (which can cause heartburn and stomach issues) and a diuretic (which leaves the body dehydrated), Dandy Blend can reduce inflammation in the body (thanks to dandelion root) and regulate digestion (courtesy of barley and chicory root).

But the biggest change I noticed from cutting out coffee? My skin started to G-L-O-W.

"Coffee may cause insulin resistance, which is your body's ability to process sugar, and that can stimulate your sebaceous glands to produce extra oil," Jill Therese, a skin and nutrition specialist and the founder of Heal Your Face With Food, tells Business Insider. "Excess oil can lead to blocked pores on the skin and potential breakouts." Additionally, the caffeine content in coffee directly stimulates the adrenal glands. "This overstimulation of the adrenals over time can lead to dehydration and premature aging down the road," Therese says. So if you struggle with problem skin and consume coffee on a daily basis, you may want to cut back to see if caffeine is the culprit.

My improved skin tone wasn't just a result of eliminating coffee — it turns out, Dandy Blend is full of glow-inducing vitamins and minerals, too. "Dandelion root is like the nectar of the gods for your skin because of its ability to support the liver's detoxification process," Therese notes.

The liver has long been connected to skin issues, since it's basically the body's detox center. When the liver isn't functioning properly, it doesn't filter toxins out of the body, and these toxins can show up on your skin in the form of pimples, rashes, and even eczema and psoriasis. "Dandelion increases the flow of bile in the liver and as a result, all excess hormones and toxins are efficiently processed out of the body," Therese explains. "This leads to better digestion, less stress, and much clearer skin."

The chicory root in Dandy Blend helps as well. It's packed with antioxidants to neutralize the effects of pollution on the skin (like wrinkles, fine lines, inflammation, and age spots) and features high levels of Vitamins A and K — two of the most important vitamins for skin health. Vitamin A is famous for its anti-aging and anti-acne properties, while Vitamin K boosts the body's ability to heal, so skin issues clear up faster and don't leave scars behind.

As soon as I realized that ditching my daily cup of joe in favor of Dandy Blend would lead to better skin, I knew I'd be off coffee for good. I've even altered my go-to Dandy recipe to include additional skin-boosting benefits.

Want my clear skin recipe?

In an eight ounce cup of hot water, I mix together one tablespoon of Dandy Blend, a half tablespoon of bone broth collagen (for plumper, firmer-looking skin), and one tablespoon of coconut oil (since healthy fats help to keep skin moisturized from the inside out). You can also make this with cold water and add ice cubes, if you're into a cold brew-esque experience.

After a week of Dandy, I promise you won't miss coffee — or the inflammation, dehydration, and dull skin that come with it — at all.

Buy Dandy Blend Herbal Coffee at Amazon from $12

SEE ALSO: This $12 magnesium and vitamin C serum brightened my dull, tired skin practically overnight

DON'T MISS: This $8 reusable K-cup filter saves me more than $1,000 a year on coffee

Join the conversation about this story »

14 of the most anticipated skin-care product launches of 2019 you can buy now

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The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

Youth to the People mask

  • As a beauty editor, I've had the chance to test-drive some of 2019's most anticipated skin-care launches — and these are my favorites.
  • I've noticed a few consistent themes across the best of 2019: sleeping masks (to get you glowing in eight hours flat), accessible retinol (which no longer requires a prescription pad), and a focus on skin wellness (via vitamins and supplements).
  • Want to make 2019 the year of your best skin ever? These products can help.

If you've already broken your New Year's resolution (guilty), here's an easy one to keep: Treat your skin to a little extra care with the best new products of the year.

Many of 2019's most anticipated beauty launches — hinted at on social media for months on end and teased by your favorite influencers — are finally available for purchase. And yes, they were worth the wait…

As a beauty editor, I was lucky enough to have early access to a few of these new additions to the skin-care space to test. The trends I'm most excited about? Sleeping masks (to get you glowing in eight hours flat), accessible retinol (which no longer requires a prescription pad), and a focus on skin wellness (via vitamins and supplements).

"Typically, a sleeping mask features a specific special ingredient or group of ingredients that help skin while you sleep," Dr. Audrey Kunin, a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of DERMAdoctor, tells Business Insider. According to the dermatologist, regular face masks are often clay based and should be rinsed off after 15 to 20 minutes — but "sleeping masks are often more concentrated creams that are marketed for nighttime intensive use."

Two standouts are KORA Organics' Noni Glow Sleeping Mask, which features hydrating silver ear mushroom and coconut milk to nourish the skin while you sleep, and Youth to the People's Superberry Hydrate and Glow Dream Mask, a creamy vitamin C formula that brightens and helps even skin tone. The best part about this new skin-care category? It's hassle-free. Simply layer the sleeping mask over your usual product lineup before you go to bed, and that's it — you'll wake up looking totally refreshed and renewed (even if you don't necessarily feel it after hitting snooze one too many times).

In contrast, the star ingredient of 2019 — retinol — works hard. A member of the retinoid family, this potent ingredient is known for increasing cellular turnover to give you an acne-free, wrinkle-free face. Although it was onceonly available via prescription, these days, there are more over-the-counter options than ever. My personal favorite is Drunk Elephant's A-Passioni Retinol Cream, since it marries low-dose retinol with hydrating ingredients; if you have sensitive skin, this is the most foolproof way to work retinol into your regimen. Prefer a higher dosage? Check out Sunday Riley's much-hyped A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum, which has already racked up a handful of near-perfect reviews on Sephora.

Wellness buffs, rejoice: This the year of self-care as skin care. HUM Nutrition's recently released Hello Sunshine supplement set features ingestible morning and night capsules packed with skin-healthy vitamins that give a whole new meaning to the term "inner beauty;" while Josie Maran's Skin Dope oil soothes stressed skin with a hit of super trendy (but equally effective) hemp oil. Keep an eye out for more from Briogeo's new wellness line, B. Well, as the year goes on. The brand's initial offerings — Organic + Australian 100% Tea Tree Oil and Organic + Cold-Pressed 100% Castor Oil— feature pure ingredients that can be used alone or mixed and matched with your usual skin care and hair care, to give any product a boost of healthy oils.

Resolve to make 2019 the year of your best skin ever, thanks to the anticipated beauty launches ahead.

Josie Maran Skin Dope

Former model Josie Maran's namesake skin-care brand is known for its signature ingredient — argan oil — but in 2019, the brand is branching out with the much-anticipated Skin Dope. The product blends argan oil with organic hemp seed oil, making it a must-have for anyone looking to simultaneously soften and strengthen their skin.

Here's how it works: The fatty acids and vitamin E that naturally occur in argan oil help to keep skin moisturized and plump, while hemp seed oil delivers amino acids — the building blocks of protein — to the skin's surface. The combo strengthens collagen and boosts the skin's barrier, keeping it protected from the elements (not to mention firm-looking).

Buy the Josie Maran Skin Dope Argan + Hemp Oil for $65 from Sephora

 



Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate and Glow Dream Mask

In my opinion, Youth to the People's Superberry Dream Mask couldn't be more appropriately named. It's the literal superhero of my skin-care routine, since it's targeted to treat all my personal skin concerns: dryness, dullness, and acne scarring. And boy, does it deliver.

This overnight mask, designed to be the last step in your regular nighttime regimen, features a slew of natural ingredients — most notably, maqui berry. As the most antioxidant-rich fruit in the entire world, it's a smart choice for helping skin fight the fine lines and discoloration that often result from pollution damage. On top of that, a skin-friendly version of vitamin C (THD Ascorbate, to be exact), boosts collagen production and evens skin tone, for skin that feels firm to the touch — and looks brighter, too. Finally, squalane oil fights dryness by sinking deep into pores without clogging them.

Buy the Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate and Glow Dream Mask for $48 from Sephora



Kora Organics Noni Glow Sleeping Masks

Are you a fan of fuss-free skin care? Then grab a tube of KORA Organics' Noni Glow Sleeping Mask. It's a multitasker that can be used a number of ways to achieve one major goal: hydrated skin that's glowy, not greasy.

Although this mask is intended to be worn overnight (it can be layered over your moisturizers and face oils, no problem — and won't mess up your pillow), busy women can also use it for a quick hit of hydration. "Because it dries as a translucent film, you can also pop out and do errands while it's working its magic…. I picked Flynn up from a play date the other day and no one knew I had the mask on," Miranda Kerr, a model and the founder of KORA, told The Zoe Report.

Noni Glow Sleeping Mask relies on three key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid delivers moisture deep into the pores, noni extract — the brand's key ingredient — is packed with antioxidants to protect the skin from environmental damage, and kakadu plum brightens thanks to a super-infusion of vitamin C.

Buy the Kora Organics Noni Glow Sleeping Mask for $48 from Sephora



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

We drove a $39,000 Toyota Camry V6 to see why it's the best-selling car in America. Here's what we found.

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Toyota Camry V6 XSE 2018

  • The Toyota Camry is the best-selling car in America. In 2018, Toyota sold more than 343,000 Camrys in the US.
  • The Camry is known for its impeccable build quality and rock-solid reliability. But it's also known for being a bit dull.
  • The Camry was all-new for the 2018 model.
  • Our Camry XSE V6 is powered by a 301 horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine. A 203 horsepower four-cylinder and a 208 hp hybrid are also available.
  • We loved the Camry's beautifully appointed interior, edgy sheet metal, and potent V6.
  • The 2018 Toyota Camry starts at $23,495, while our test car carried an as-tested price of $38,730.

The Toyota Camry is the best selling car in America. Only full-size pickups like the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado have been able to consistently beat the Camry in the sales department over the past 30 years. Even with its traditional buyers flocking towards crossover SUVs, the Camry has been holding strong with more than 343,000 sold in the US last year.

Over the years, the Camry has earned a reputation for its inspired engineering, impeccable build quality, and rock-solid reliability. Turn on. Drive. Turn off. Repeat. With some basic maintenance, the Camry will keep going as long as you want to keep it around.

However, it has also earned the somewhat unenviable reputation for being the archetype for unspeakably boring — yet unfailingly reliable — daily transportation. The Camry comes off a bit soulless, like a kitchen appliance. 

Read more: We drove a $39,000 Toyota Camry that's loaded with cool features — here are the best ones.

Even though Toyota's worked hard to shake that reputation, it's one that persists.

Toyota introduced an all-new eighth generation Camry in 2018 with fresh sheet metal, interior, and powertrain. 

Last summer, the Japanese auto giant dropped off a top-of-the-line 2018 Toyota Camry XSE V6 sedan for us to check out. The base Camry starts at $23,495 while the XSE V6 opens at $34,950. With options, our Kentucky-built Toyota Camry XSE V6 test car left the showroom at $38,730.

So has the king of boring been reborn with an extra dose of pizazz? Let's find out. 

SEE ALSO: The legendary Toyota Supra sports car has returned to America after a 20-year absence to take on Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes

FOLLOW US: on Facebook for more car and transportation content!

Over the decades, Toyota's stalwart sedan has changed with the times.



Its styling and capabilities represent the pinnacle of steady daily transportation.



However remarkable its quality, engineering, and sales prowess may be...



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Why it's okay to eat the brown part of an avocado

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  • Avocados, like apples, turn brown when exposed to air. It's actually a chemical reaction and not a sign of spoiled avocado.
  • Compounds in the flesh are reacting with oxygen, with the help of enzymes, to produce brown pigments called melanin.
  • The brown part of an avocado might look unappetizing and can taste bitter, but it's still safe to eat.
  • You'd have to leave an avocado out for a few days before it spoiled from oxidation.
  • WATCH NEXT: Take a look inside this avocado-only restaurant

If an avocado is brown on the inside, it might not look pretty and might taste bitter. It's still safe to eat, but the less browning there is, the better.

Narrator: Would you eat this avocado? How about this one? They're actually the same, just one's been sitting out for a few hours. And sure, one doesn't look as good, but that doesn't mean you should just throw it out. In 1989, the average American ate about one pound of avocados a year. By 2017, that amount had increased sevenfold.

But as much as we like to eat them, the struggle with browning avocados is real. Some people might try to prevent it by putting the avocado pit in the bowl, but it does not work that way. Just like with apples, bananas, and potatoes, the flesh of an avocado browns when it's exposed to oxygen in the air. It's a process called oxidation, and it happens when the oxygen reacts with compounds called polyphenols with the help of enzymes called polyphenol oxidase. This damages the tissue of the flesh, in the process turning it brown. But the brown color is not a sign that it's spoiling. You'd have to leave it out for a few days before it spoiled from oxidation. That brown color is actually from a nontoxic chemical called melanin. It shows up in everything from fruit to the iris in your eyes.

Needless to say, that bowl of brown avocado won't hurt you. However, the more oxidation that takes place, the more tissues it damages. For example, bruising or chilling an avocado for too long can lead to significant oxidation, which actually damages so much tissue that it changes the texture and flavor of the fruit so that it's mushy and bitter. But a little browning won't make a difference. To prove it, we did an experiment. We served green avocados and avocados that were left to brown for a few hours.

Normal Avocado:

Gina Echevarria: "Okay, tastes like a normal avocado, I think."

Abby Tang: "I don't like that one. I don't know why. I just like, it tastes a little bad."

Clancy Morgan: "Pretty strong taste, I would say. Pretty strong avocado, earthy taste. But yeah, it tastes very ripe."

Echevarria: "Yeah, pretty standard avocado."

Tang: "It tastes like a regular avocado but rotten. Why did you feed me a rotten avocado?"

Brown Avocado:

Echevarria: "I feel like that one actually tastes a little bit better."

Morgan: "Oh. Oof."

Tang: "This one doesn't taste rotten, so that's good."

Morgan: "Okay, that is much more ripe, super mushy."

Echevarria: "The other one kind of just tasted like wet paper, and this one actually tasted like something."

Tang: "This one's fine, I like it enough. It's an avocado. They taste the same other than one tasted older."

Cameraperson: "And that's the first one?"

Tang: "The first one tasted older. It was, like, sour. And the second one tasted like a regular avocado."

Narrator: How fast your avocado browns depends on the environment, like how much oxygen is in the air, what the temperature is, and how acidic it is. Warmer temperatures accelerate the chemical reaction, turning your avocado brown faster. But if you squirt some citrus on the top, the acidity prevents oxidation, and you can keep it looking fresher for longer. Either way, even though we couldn't agree on which tasted better, both were perfectly edible. So next time you have some old avocado, don't just throw it out. And if the unsightly brown ruins you're appetite, just give it a quick stir, and voila.

Join the conversation about this story »

Putting your comforter into a duvet cover is simple with our foolproof method — here's how to do it

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The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

brooklinen duvet cover

  • Duvet covers are essentially sheets that encase and protect comforters, but they also add fun style and flair to your bedroom.
  • The first hurdle you'll run into with your stylish new duvet cover is how to actually get it onto your comforter.
  • With our foolproof burrito method, you'll have no trouble getting the job done.
  • If you don't have a duvet cover or comforter yet, we recommend Brooklinen's cover and comforter because they feature an easy-to-use tie system that ensures everything stays in place.

Traditionally, duvets and their covers were more commonly found in Europe, but now, they're coming to American homes as well — and we couldn't be happier about it. 

The advantages of duvet covers are twofold: You can wash them more easily and frequently than bulky comforters and you can swap them out regularly to give your bedding a refreshed look with new colors and patterns. The more duvet covers you own, the more variety of styles you can have — just like with sheets.

We've personally tested a number of duvet covers and comforters on the Insider Picks team, and the first problem we all encounter is how on Earth do you get a duvet cover on your comforter? We did a lot of research and tried several different methods to find the easiest way.

We've also found that some companies make it easier for you to get duvet covers on your comforters with internal ties, buttons, zips, and other features. We recommend a few of our favorite duvet covers and comforters at the end of this post. 

The struggle is real: How to put on a duvet cover 

The frustration over putting a duvet inside its cover is enough to drive many people back to comforters. But don't give up. Here's how to do it without breaking a sweat or pulling out your hair.

  1. Start by turning your duvet cover inside out, and then spreading it across your mattress with its opening at the foot of the bed.
  2. Lay your duvet on top of its cover.
  3. If your duvet and duvet cover have inner ties, fasten them now. If not, you can use safety pins to fasten the corners of the cover to the duvet, or simply do without.
  4. Roll the duvet and its cover together like a burrito, starting from the head of your bed. It's easiest if you have a partner, but if not, switch from side to side as you work.
  5. When your "burrito" is rolled, fold the duvet cover opening back around the bedding bundle.
  6. Close your duvet cover with its zipper, buttons, or ties.
  7. Unroll your "burrito" towards the top of the bed.
  8. Fluff as necessary, and voila! Your duvet is back in its cover.

The best duvet covers you can buy

If you haven't taken the plunge to buy a duvet cover yet, don't worry. We've done the research and testing to find the best ones you can buy for any budget in a variety of fabrics, patterns, sizes, and styles.

Although duvet covers can be expensive — just like high-end sheets — they don't have to be. One of the best things about duvet covers is you can change things up every time you wash your sheets and get a new pattern or color on your bed without having to own more than one comforter.

However, keep in mind that the duvet cover you choose can be compatible with the comforter that goes inside. For example, Brooklinen's duvet cover has ties that you can attach to the company's comforter to make it easier to get your cover on and ensure it stays in place. Crane & Canopy's comforter and duvet cover also use this system.

Read our full guide to the best duvet covers



The best comforters you can buy

You may already have a comforter that you can stuff inside a duvet cover, but if not, we've pooled together some of our favorites.

Again, if you buy a duvet cover from Brooklinen, Crane & Canopy, or any other company that uses ties, buttons, or another system to make putting on a duvet cover easier, you may want to buy a compatible comforter from the company, too.

If you do, you won't regret it, as Brooklinen and Crane & Canopy have excellent comforters made from real goose down or high-end down alternatives for those with allergies.

Read our full guide to the best comforters



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says Mark Zuckerberg once served him a goat he apparently killed himself (FB, TWTR)

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goat eyes thumbnails 01

  • Mark Zuckerberg once served rival Jack Dorsey a dead goat he had killed himself for dinner.
  • That's according to a new interview from Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter.
  • The curious, symbolism-laden meal appears to have happened in 2011, when Zuckerberg spent a year only eating the meat of animals he had killed himself.
  • Dorsey claims Zuckerberg's goat was served cold, and that he ate salad instead.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey claims that Mark Zuckerberg once served him a dead goat that he had killed himself for dinner.

On Wednesday Rolling Stone published a wide-ranging interview with Dorsey, and it includes a fascinating tidbit about a strange repast in which the Facebook CEO served his rival an animal he slaughtered himself — and how it didn't go down very well. 

Asked about his most memorable encounter with Zuckerberg, the 42-year-old Dorsey said: "There was a year when he was only eating what he was killing. He made goat for me for dinner. He killed the goat."

Dorsey elaborated, recounting a dialogue between the two that could easily pass for the script of a Samuel Beckett or Edward Albee drama:

"I go, 'We’re eating the goat you killed?'

He said, 'Yeah.'

I said, 'Have you eaten goat before?'

He’s like, 'Yeah, I love it.'

I’m like, 'What else are we having?'

'Salad.'

I said, 'Where is the goat?'

'It’s in the oven.'

Then we waited for about 30 minutes. He’s like, 'I think it’s done now.' We go in the dining room. He puts the goat down. It was cold. That was memorable. I don’t know if it went back in the oven. I just ate my salad."

The incident appears to have taken place in 2011, when Zuckerberg had set himself the challenge of only eating animals he had killed himself. "I started thinking about this last year when I had a pig roast at my house," he wrote in an email explaining to Fortune at the time. "A bunch of people told me that even though they loved eating pork, they really didn't want to think about the fact that the pig used to be alive. That just seemed irresponsible to me. I don't have an issue with anything people choose to eat, but I do think they should take responsibility and be thankful for what they eat rather than trying to ignore where it came from."

He killed it with a laser gun and then a knife

Dorsey added that he believes Zuckerberg had "knifed" the goat. "He killed it before. I guess he kills it. He kills it with a laser gun and then the knife. Then they send it to the butcher ... A stun gun. They stun it, and then he knifed it. Then they send it to a butcher."

The revelation also offers a rare window into the private and sometimes-unconventional encounters that can occur between powerful and wealthy rivals in Silicon Valley's tech industry. But Dorsey's account also raises further questions: Who ate the other five goats Zuckerberg was rearing? Why was the goat cold even after being cooked in the oven? What was in the salad?

A Facebook spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment as to why the goat was served cold.

So, how should you cook goat? "The gist is you want to lean on fresh rosemary, thyme, and lemons as well as the classic sea salt and pepper. Ask your butcher if you have questions," Business Insider's data editor Walt Hickey, a seasoned goat-cooker, advises. 

"Oh, and garlic, as if that even needs to be said. The classic Mediterranean profile. But goat's versatile, there's a reason it's one of the most common meat dishes on earth, the flavor lends itself well to cuisines from all corners."



Do you work at Facebook? Do you know how to cook goat?
 Contact this reporter via Signal or WhatsApp at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at rprice@businessinsider.com, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

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NOW WATCH: The fabulous life and career of 34-year-old Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the fifth richest person on earth

Fender is helping Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band's first album with a limited-edition Telecaster guitar

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Jimmy Page Telecaster small

  • Legendary Led Zeppelin founder and guitarist Jimmy Page approached Fender to recreate his "dragon" Telecaster from the band's early years.
  • Working with Fender master builder Paul Waller, Page matched the original artwork, which he painted in the late 1960s.
  • Page played the original 1959 Telecaster when he was in the Yardbirds and on the first Led Zeppelin album, released 50 years ago.
  • To celebrate the anniversary, 50 dragon Teles will be manufactured, as well as 50 recreations of an earlier Page modification to his '59, with mirrors applied. All will bear Page's signature and come with special cases and accessories. 


Jimmy Page hasn't played guitar much in public since Led Zeppelin's reunion concert in 2007, at London's O2 Arena where the band celebrated the legacy of Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun. There was a rendition of "Whole Lotta Love" at the 2008 Olympics closing ceremony and a lovely stint on the acoustic at Roy Harper's 70th birthday concert in 2011. But otherwise, the 75-year-old musician has been content to refine Led Zeppelin's considerable legacy in other ways.

Fender master builder Paul Waller didn't see Page play last year when the musician visited the company's Custom Shop and factory in Corona, CA. But he saw something altogether rarer.

He saw Page paint.

The occasion was Page checking out a special project with Fender to mark the 50th anniversary of the release of Led Zeppelin's first album in 1969. For generations of fans, Page will be forever associated with the sunburst 1959 Gibson Les Paul that he bought from Joe Walsh. But the guitar that he wielded in pre-Zep days with the Yardbirds and on Led Zeppelin I was a Fender Telecaster.

And not just any Tele. The 1959 model came to Page as a gift from Jeff Beck when the pair were in the Yardbirds (the band also launched the career of Eric Clapton). In the fashion of the psychedelic times, Page had modified the guitar twice. First, he first added circular mirrors. Then in mid-1967, he stripped the guitar's finish himself and, art student that he was, hand painted a red, orange, green, and blue motif that evoked a dragon. He finished it off with a clear-plastic pickguard protecting shimmery foil.

Jimmy Page Telecaster small

Enter the dragon

This "dragon" Telecaster was Page's weapon of choice for the first appearances of Led Zeppelin, after the guitarist assembled the lineup of fellow session veteran John Paul Jones on bass, vocalist Robert Plant, and drummer John Bonham. The quartet was briefly called the "New Yardbirds" before switching to Led Zeppelin.

Page once said that the Tele was a more demanding instrument than the Les Paul he'd later deploy to great effect in Zep's live performances through the 1970s. But he also lauded its rewards, and anyone who's ever turned up the volume on the proto-punk riff of "Communication Breakdown" knows what he's talking about — it's pure Telecaster attitude and bite.

The dragon Tele, sadly, was done in, the story has it, by a Page friend who eliminated the dragon artwork. Page then saved the neck and used it for a brown B-bender Tele that he has pulled out periodically (the B-bender has a special apparatus that enables Page's Tele to mimic pedal-steel tones). 

According to Waller, Fender wasn't thinking about reviving the dragon design.

"Jimmy approached us," Waller said in an interview with Business Insider. "That was an exciting day for me."

Page Telecaster

Waller labors at Fender's famous Custom Shop, where he builds coveted takes on Fender's guitars for professional musicians and discerning collectors. But working with Page over the course of the year set a new standard.

Page is an exacting steward of Led Zeppelin's legacy, and the new dragon Telecaster introduced Waller to the guitarist's scrupulous process. 

"He provided a formula for each color," Waller said. "He had spent months mixing them. That made the project quite a bit easier."

But the nearly eight-month undertaking, commencing last February, wasn't a breeze by any estimation. With Page in London and Waller in southern California, samples of Telecaster bodies had been sent back and forth. "I provided many in the beginning," Waller said. What was tricky was matching the grain of the wood, which on the original instrument was distinctive.

The dragon design was worked out using what Waller described as a "paint by numbers" template. "It took me hours to do the first couple of guitars," he recalled.

Jimmy Page Telecaster

Waller wasn't really able to move forward until he'd gotten feedback from Page, which could take a few weeks. "He knows what he wants," Waller said. He has something complete in his head. He's like an artist envisioning a painting."

Faithful recreations of the original Page Teles

Reviving Page's Tele wasn't merely about the visuals. The Telecaster was Leo Fender's first proper solidbody guitar, revolutionizing jazz, country, and blues and kicking off rock 'n roll; it was preceded by a more basic design, the Esquire. It's a simple thing, intentionally — a cutting board with a neck, tuners, pickups, and strings. The bridge pickup is an icepick, while the next pickup is mellow. In the middle position, the Tele can imitate an acoustic guitar. 

Waller knows his instruments from this period. "We've probably made more '59 Teles than they did in 1959," he joked. 

One peculiarity of the Page Telecaster was its toploaded bridge. A Tele with this bridge can be strung through body holes, or the strings can be anchored at the bottom of the guitar's "ashtray" bridge plate. Page's '59 had three saddles, a rosewood fingerboard, and with a toploaded string job, Waller said, Page could use "slinkier," easy-to-bend strings, achieving a less sharp tone than the Tele was known for. (Page is also famous for his massive note bends.)

Two packages will be available for the 50 dragon Teles and the 50 mirror Teles, called "Limited Edition Jimmy Page Telecaster Set." The mirrors guitar will have a Fender tweed case and include the Herco nylon picks that Page favors, as well as a coiled lead and a signed certificate of authenticity. The dragon will come with a special display case, a violin bow, and two straps: one white "seat belt" and one extra-long leather. It will also include Herco picks, a coiled lead, and a signed certificate of authenticity. The sets will go on sale in March and cost $25,000 apiece.

Jimmy Page Telecaster

"Fender will also build both mirror and painted versions on its production lines, which will be more accessibly priced for a broader base of fans to purchase," the company said. Those guitars will run $2,499 for the mirror Tele, available in spring, and $1,399 for the dragon Tele, following in summer.

"While these will not be hand-signed and hand-painted by the artist, Page did consult with Fender throughout the design process to ensure the guitars are true-to-spec of the original Telecaster."

Jimmy Page, visual artist

Last year, as Fender was preparing to compete the 100 "Limited Edition Jimmy Page Telecaster Sets," Page journeyed to the Los Angeles area to sign headstocks, tour the Fender factory, and add some finishing touches to the Custom Shop dragon Teles.

"He applied paint to every dragon body for sale," Waller said. "It was his request. "He wanted to make sure it was authentic."

No Telecasters were played in Waller's presence. But Page actually painting? His brief time in art school is the stuff of Led Zeppelin lore. Page himself is a noted collector of Pre-Raphaelite art and he lives in William Burges' architecturally important Tower House in London, built in the late 19th century and a stunning example of the Victorian era's gothic revival style.

Jimmy Page Telecaster

Page always thought of Zep as art — alchemical sonic aesthetics, in fact, four unique elements coming together to create a magical fifth — and for the better part of a decade, he's dedicated himself to preserving the group's legacy, through remastered box sets of Zep's albums as well as a photographic autobiography. But his personal, pre-Zeppelin art has always been a mystery, and the dragon Telecaster is essentially the only example anyone has ever seen.

But clearly, the pleasures of painting have never been far from his mind.

"He was having a lot of fun," Waller said.

Page evidently agreed. "They really got it 110 percent right, or 150 percent right," he said in a statement. "It's so absolutely as it is, as it should be, and as it was."

Watch Page paint some Telecaster and discuss the project here.

SEE ALSO: Fender is filling the biggest gap in its product lineup with a new range of effects pedals

SEE ALSO: Everyone thinks 'Coda' is Led Zeppelin's worst album — but it's really surprisingly great

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NOW WATCH: This man's life changed forever when a stranger gave him a guitar 15 years ago — now he's trying to find him

These stylish compression socks are perfect for sitting at a desk all day, traveling, or working out

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Comrad Socks

  • Comrad Socks is a new startup that's designing stylish socks with surprising health benefits.
  • Compression socks help promote blood flow in your legs, preventing soreness aches, and blood clots, and potentially even improving energy and reducing fatigue.
  • They can be especially useful on long flights, during or after workouts, or for anyone who sits or stands still all day — like at a desk.

"Compression socks" are never really thought of as a stylish piece of clothing. Nor are they really something that you'd think to wear unless you had to — for instance, if you had a medical condition, were running a marathon, or, in some cases, were taking a long flight.

Comrad Socks, a new startup, wants to change that.

Although compression socks haven't really been seen as a mainstream fix for anything, the minds behind Comrad think that light-compression footwear can actually have a lot of benefits for normal people, every day.

Andrew Ferenci, Comrad's founder, came up with the idea after years of feeling exhausted after spending his days sitting in cramped cubicles and airplane seats. Learning that his stiff legs, sore back, and tired body could mean that he — like anyone who spends extended periods of time sitting — was at risk for blood clots in his legs, he decided to try compression socks, and right away found a huge difference.

Compression socks are designed to fit your legs and feet ergonomically but tightly, gently squeezing the muscles and blood vessels in your calves and feet. That promotes blood flow, which prevents blood from pooling in your legs and potentially clotting (causing a dangerous condition called deep-vein thrombosis). The compression also helps support the movement of lymphatic fluid throughout your lower body.

In addition to reducing your risk of blood clots, Comrad claims that their socks carry benefits ranging from overall body health to helping you feel generally "better" and more energetic.

What ultimately makes Comrad different than other brands is that the socks are stylish. These aren't the beige socks that your grandparents wear for varicose veins, or the athletic socks that you might wear with running shoes. You can wear Comrads with anything.

Comrad supplied the Insider Picks team with a few pairs to test out. While it would be overkill to describe the socks as a miracle cure, we all found the socks comfortable — considering that they're too tight by design — and derived benefits from them.

Check out our full thoughts below:

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I love traveling and flying, but I definitely feel stiff, achy, and a bit puffy after long flights. I brought my Comrad socks on my latest trip to Amsterdam and wore them on my flight home. 

I've never worn compression socks before, so when I put the socks on, I was actually worried that they were too tight. I kept them on for a few minutes, though, and realized that they felt exactly as they were supposed to. They were snug, but not so snug that they cut off my circulation or made my feet fall asleep. That meant that I could wear them all day without any discomfort.

The flight was about eight hours, and I definitely felt better at the end of it than I normally do after a long flight in coach. My feet and legs were less swollen — something I noticed when I put my shoes back on — and I felt less achy.

Obviously, the aesthetics of the socks make them more wearable than your standard medical or athletic gear, which means that you're more likely to actually wear them. All in all, I was a fan, and I'm planning to take them on my next long-haul flight. – David Slotnick, Insider Picks senior reporter

Comrad Compression Socks in Navy White, $18

I wore these socks while working out and felt the difference: My legs and feet were still sore from a run the day prior, but the pain wasn’t nearly as bad with the socks on. I loved that you couldn’t tell they were compression socks at all — they just looked like a pair of cute, regular pink socks. — Connie Chen, Insider Picks reporter

Comrad Compression Socks in Muted Rose, $18

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When I first put on the compression socks, it felt like my calves were being slowly choked. These are definitely not for everyday wear, but they really proved themselves on some very long flights I took recently. It's hard to quantify exactly, but I walked off the flights where I wore these socks feeling 15% better than usual. I had more energy and generally felt more alert. I totally get why these are useful now and they're going to be my go-to on any flight over a couple hours. – Breton Fischetti, VP of Insider Picks

Comrad Compression Socks in Jet Black, $18

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I flew on one of the 'worst airlines in America'. Here's why I'd do it again.

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Frontier Airlines Airbus A320

  • Frontier Airlines is one of many ultra-low-cost airlines in the US offering passengers cheaper fares than what major carriers charge.
  • But there's a catch to flying one such airline, especially one that has often been ranked as one of the worst in the country.
  • I recently flew from San Francisco, California, to Austin, Texas, aboard a Frontier flight.
  • Here's why it was a painfully mediocre experience — and why I would still most likely do it again, under certain conditions.

SEE ALSO: I flew 14 hours on one of the best airlines in the world that you've probably never heard of — and even its worst seat put other long-haul flights to shame

FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

As this was my first year living out of my home state, I needed to get home to Texas for Christmas, and I knew from the start that I’d be looking at an expensive flight home.



I wasn't thrilled, since the holidays are typically one of the most expensive times to fly in the US.

Source: Kayak



Since I was on a budget, I looked into some budget airlines. These airlines allow thrifty passengers like yours truly to book a flight for less than what other big airlines offer.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

22 unique, low-key gifts to celebrate your first Valentine's Day as a couple

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The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

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If you're spending your first Valentine's Day together, you're probably looking for the ideal way to say "I enjoy spending time with you, let's keep at it" in a way that's as effective but less extravagant than a yacht or surprise flash dance in Times Square. At this stage, shared activities, romantic classics, and thoughtful small gifts are going to be ideal. 

Whether you've only been seeing each other for a few weeks or almost a year, you'll find 22 low-key, foolproof gifts below you can feel good about gifting. 

22 gifts to give on the first Valentine's Day you're spending together:

SEE ALSO: 30 affordable and meaningful Valentine’s Day gifts that won't cost you more than $50

DON'T MISS: 27 sweet Valentine's Day gifts you can get on Amazon

Beautiful, farm-fresh flowers

Personalized Bouquet, available on Bouqs, from $44

Flowers are a classic for a reason —  and sending an armful to grace their living room is a nice way to brighten up their living space every time they see them. The Bouqs Co. flowers are farm-fresh, sustainably harvested, and beautifully packaged. They're our top pick for flower deliveries online, but if you're looking for more options, check out the Insider Picks buying guide to the best flowers you can buy online.

If they're the kind of person who's not sold on flowers, you can also send them a low-maintenance and already potted succulent. If they have pets, though, check to make sure the plant you're eyeing isn't toxic to them. 



A dressed-up dinner-and-a-movie date night

Fandango gift card, available on Fandango, from $15

If something is really new, but you still want to celebrate together, why not dress up the dinner-and-a-movie date? Bring your own checkered tablecloth and flameless candles if you're going the whole nine yards. 

 



A cold brew coffee maker

Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, 1 Quart, available on Amazon, $19.70

Are there small inconveniences in your partner's life that you could alleviate? It shows that you listen when they rant about their tiring commute, are well-aware of their cold brew habit, and know that they love taking a long bath at the end of the day but have nowhere to put a wine glass

This $20 gem will make a quart of cold brew, fit comfortably in the door of most refrigerators, and save them as much as a few hundred dollars per year with convenient, at-home cold brew. It works well, but if you're looking for something more elegant, you may want to check out the $35 Blue Bottle Hario Cold Brew Bottle



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I attended Instagram influencer Caroline Calloway's 5-hour, $165 creativity workshop that people have called a 'scam.' Here's what it was like inside (FB)

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caroline calloway influencer

  • Instagram influencer Caroline Calloway made headlines last year for holding "creativity workshops" for her followers that were poorly run and derided as "scams." 
  • When Calloway decided to relaunch her tour, I was able to attend her five-hour-long workshop this past weekend in New York.
  • Calloway first rose to prominence in 2015, when she started posting personal stories about college life and heartbreak. Since then, she has amassed more than 800,000 Instagram followers.
  • Many of Calloway's fans say they admire the 27-year-old for her realness and authenticity, and jumped at the chance to attend her $165 workshop.

While many of us were making resolutions to bring in the New Year, Instagram influencer Caroline Calloway was paving the way for her redemption tour.

The 27-year-old Calloway has headlined the most recent news cycle after stories about her $165 "creativity workshop" gained traction in December. A viral Twitter thread accused Calloway of running a scam, and the Instagram star was forced to cancel her tour and refund attendees after she received heavy criticism.

Details emerged that Calloway, who has more than 800,000 Instagram followers, was wholly unprepared for the tour and even made people bring their own food to events. Supporters say Calloway was simply "in over her head," but that hasn't stopped her actions from drawing comparisons to the people behind the infamous Fyre Festival.

But last week, Calloway changed her mind: Along with the rest of the world — or at least Calloway's 800,000 followers — I found out that she had decided to un-cancel hercreativity tour. The first rescheduled workshop would take place in New York this past Saturday — three days out from her announcement.

So I went.

Calloway's 'personal brand'

By many, Calloway is considered one of the first iterations of what we refer to as "influencers," the people behind those established social media brands who are able to make ripples across the Internet, just by posting content for their thousands of devoted followers.

Calloway first started to develop a following back in 2013, when she began documenting her picturesque life as an American expat studying at the "real-life Hogwarts" — also known as the University of Cambridge. Her posts were unique for their accompanying long, flowery captions describing romantic relationships and emotional break ups with Josh, then Oscar, then Conrad.

The first night Oscar and I slept together he didn’t kiss me. I had made it aggressively clear that kissing wouldn’t be allowed. However unlike the plot of Pretty Woman, I didn’t let Oscar touch me at all. Also I didn’t get paid. “I need you to stay with me tonight until I fall asleep,” I said abruptly. Oscar, who had been whistling as we navigated the maze of castles back to our dorm, went quiet. “But like seriously,” I said. “I’m going to need you to lie in my bed and maybe pat my hair, but only because I have anxiety problems.” I looked at him with an expression between ‘hopeful’ and ‘crazy eyes.’ “REAL ANXIETY PROBLEMS. If you try to make a move I will burst into tears and it will be super fucking unsexy.” I paused for breath. Oscar let out a strained sort of laugh. “Is this a question, Miss Calloway, or—” “Please.” I said more urgently, shutting my eyes. “Please.” I had felt fine until the sun went down. It’s always been like this for me. Not every day, or even every week, but once in a while I sink into a certain part of myself and get overwhelmed by loneliness. Fun fact! When I was little my father begged my mom to send me to therapy because I couldn’t fall asleep without audiobooks. I needed the stories, but also the illusion of human company. Nowadays someone will occasionally ask, “Isn’t it weird for you to have so many people following your life?” Obviously not! I’d feel even lonelier without them. As we sat on the banks of the River Cam, Oscar had watched the sun set while I watched groups of friends coming and going over the old stone bridges. Passing through the courtyard in this picture, I studied the red ivy on the roof—the same ivy that would be gone when we climbed up there in the spring. I wished that my own college wasn’t ugly and space-age. I wished that I lived in a castle with red ivy. I wished, for a moment, that I had never left New York. When Oscar climbed into my bed that night I said sternly, “If you try to pull what you pulled in the elevator tonight I will literally kill you.” But secretly I was glad to have him there. To Be Continued… #adventuregrams PS – Want even more adventures? Follow me on Facebook, friends!

A post shared by Caroline Calloway (@carolinecalloway) on Apr 3, 2015 at 11:44am PDT on

By spring 2015 she had amassed 300,000 followers, the Daily Mail reported.

"She is famous for something that didn't really exist until a few years ago: a personal brand," Man Repeller wrote about Calloway in June 2018. "Posting intimate personal details on social media is now commonplace, but when Caroline first started sharing stories about her life, her friends and her romantic relationships, it was different. Unique. A bit scandalous, even."

Her long captions read like excerpts from a young adult novel, and publishers agreed: Calloway nabbed a $500,000 deal with Flatiron Books in 2015 to write a memoir called "And We Were Like," based off the life she detailed on Instagram.

It’s been 84 years, and I can still smell the fresh paint. The bulletin boards had never been used. The wall-to-wall carpeting had never been cleaned. My freshman dorm was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really—Wait. You know what? I’m sorry, guys. I’m doing that thing where I confuse my memories with Titanic. Happens to me all the time. But it's easy to get distracted with photos like this one lying around. Oscar’s is a face that was meant to front boy-bands, host Disney Channel shows, be used in the same sentence as the phrase ‘teen idol.' Clean cut, dirty blond, with an ‘aw shucks’ half-smile—basically everything a suburban teenage girl (like I once was) would want from a free poster. And I often wonder how if under even slightly different circumstances we would have started dating that fall. I can’t imagine how we would have met or spent so much of my first term at Cambridge together if Oscar hadn’t been randomly assigned to the same dorm, in the same college, in the same hallway, in the room that shared a wall and balcony with mine. And then, of course, there’s the exquisite fluke that Cambridge accepted me at all. And the fact that Oscar, quite frankly, would have been scouted, yanked from high school, and whisked away to LA for pilot season had he grown up literally anywhere in the world but the Swedish forest primeval. What I’m trying to say is that a lot of big variables had to line up exactly as they did to deposit Oscar on my bed in Cambridge as you see him in this photo. And while my dorm room no longer exists as it did my freshman year, I still hold on to certain details. Like how Oscar used to call me Miss Calloway because, at one point, we were strangers. Or early fall afternoons like this one when Oscar would stretch lazily across my bed after polo practice and crack the kind of smile that makes a belieber hurl herself against a police barricade. If there had been fresh paint, I would remember the smell of that, too. But instead I can still feel the adrenaline rush when Oscar patted the space beside him on my bed and said, “Come sit.” To Be Continued

A post shared by Caroline Calloway (@carolinecalloway) on Apr 2, 2016 at 10:32am PDT on

But that deal shuttered sometime later (her last post about the book is from April 2016). Calloway realized that the "the boy-obsessed version" of herself she painted on Instagram wasn't the one she felt comfortable conveying, she said during her workshop.

She backed out, and is still responsible for paying back the $165,000 advance she got for her book deal. (She joked during the workshop that she now takes Uber Pool instead of UberX because, "Hello, debt!")

Calloway's personal posts didn't end after she backed out of the book deal. But she leveled with her massive Instagram following in a post in November 2018, where she revealed she was feeling "broken and scared and still worthy of love," and archived two years worth of Instagram posts. She also shared on Facebook that she had struggled with an Adderall addiction during college.

I’ve fallen in love for the first time since Oscar and I broke up. His name is Conrad. But for a long time I lost my love of writing. I had a whole plan to do non-stop sponsored posts going forward, but it turns out you don’t reconnect to the work that gives you purpose and joy by monetizing it. Shocking, I KNOW. What I love is pairing beautiful photos with sad stories and flowers. And so that’s why I’ve archived all of my posts from the past two years. ARCHIVED—NOT DELETED. Maybe I’ll bring them back some day, in some form. But my favorite kind of writing is when you say inventively and with grace and without trying to look cool at all: This is how I am. Broken and scared and still worthy of love. And those old posts were incohesive and just not vulnerable enough. So I trimmed my account down to my last “To Be Continued.” The last time I told our story—the one that takes place at Cambridge, in my freshman year dorm room. The story I want to pick up and intertwine with all my new memories and all I’ve learned about activism and all the parts of old memories I never told until now. I ended the post prior to this one with these words: “and that was how I began to fall in love.” I was talking about Oscar then. “When you fall in love the things you lost come back to you.” That quote is from @lianafinck’s beautiful memoir and it sunk its fangs into my heart. I’m talking about Conrad now. But to her quote I would also add: When you fall in love the things you lost come back to you—just not all of the things and you don’t choose which ones. I don’t know if you’ve ever gone through a tough chapter with your creativity. Maybe you had it once and drifted away from it. Maybe you’re still trying to find it. Well. Creative engagement is not a guarantee just because you have a loving partner in your life. Creative engagement is something you have to find. Like love, it meets you when you’re ready. But also like love, you really have to look. Things that have come back to me since I’ve fallen in love: breathlessness, a sense of comfort, cuddles. And the memory of what it was like to sit at my desk in my freshman year dorm room as Oscar sat on my bed. To Be Continued...

A post shared by Caroline Calloway (@carolinecalloway) on Nov 27, 2018 at 10:08am PST on

The person that emerged, Calloway says, was her more authentic and true self. Instead of posts, Calloway informs followers about her day-to-day life through long Instagram Stories.

Her Stories contain lengthy blocks of text you might have to screenshot just to be able to read them in their entirety. She's used the Snapchat-like feature since it debuted in 2016 in a way much like she used her image captions: as a personal journal to share with the masses.

'Are you here for Caroline Calloway?'

So on Saturday morning, I found myself approaching a nondescript warehouse in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood, double-checking Google Maps to ensure I had plugged in the correct address. There were no markings and no numbers on the building's exterior.

After messaging Calloway, I had secured myself an invitation to her un-canceled workshop. In a 1,500-word email I and other interested attendees received, Calloway shared the detailed itinerary for the five-hour workshop. She also shared what would change this time around: there would be no flower crowns, but there would be catered food.

"So can I guarantee you’ll like this workshop? No," Calloway wrote in the email. "But I think there is a 95% chance you will, especially since you felt moved to buy this ticket in the first place."

caroline calloway warehouse

When I arrived at the warehouse, I had a fleeting thought that this was the scam itself: that all these people would show up to a building that didn't exist to attend a workshop that wasn't actually happening.

But as I approached the building, walking toward me with the same confused look were two 20-something women with blown-out hair, expensive-looking boots, and long, designer coats.

"Are you here for Caroline Calloway?" one of them asked me. The two women were lost, and had banded together to find the workshop.

I was definitely in the right place.

We were ushered into the warehouse by one of Calloway's assistants, and followed her up four flights of dark stairs. (Later, I learned that Calloway’s assistants are two sisters in college, overwhelmed and overworked by how much time they've had to devote to helping Calloway put her un-canceled workshop together at the last minute.)

We followed the assistant into a gorgeous loft apartment filled with knick-knacks and plants, tailor-made for an Instagram photoshoot.

caroline calloway influencer

As we entered, we were told to explore the space and locate our "personalized notebooks" before sitting down to talk with other attendees and grab coffee. The cover of my notebook was adorned with cheap, sticky letters spelling out my name, and an envelope inside contained scrapbook-ready stickers you could use to decorate your notebook.

The first hour of the five-hour workshop was devoted to "new student orientation," which Calloway said she wouldn't attend because she didn't want to "steal focus."

During the orientation, I chatted with some of the women seated around the room. Besides the three journalists in the room, there was a woman in Yale University's nursing program who had traveled down from Connecticut for the day to attend. There was an aspiring actor studying psychology in the city, and two woman who had flown in from Seattle for the workshop and were making a weekend of it in New York. Another woman said she had just quit her job, and had bought a one-way ticket to Los Angeles for next week.

Four of the women there were given scholarships to cover the costs of the $165 workshop. Some of these scholarships were able to be offered by charging reporters to "cover a sensationalized news-storm of their own making," Calloway's assistant told me in a text.

caroline calloway

After an hour of mingling, Calloway arrived, albeit a little late. She showed off her white t-shirt that read "SCAMMER," and pointed out the Fyre Festival banner she proudly says she made herself, without using stencils.

"It was not a part of my dream to be compared to a literal Caribbean island where people almost died," Calloway said.

Calloway made her way around the room, stopping for long introductions and intimate conversations with some of the groups. Her prep for the event was evident: she came in knowing each person's last name, and was ready with remarks about any mutual friends or interests. She smiled widely and cracked cheeky jokes, letting attendees in on secrets like they were her friends. She was bubbly and easy-to-like, if a bit calculated.

During the workshop, Calloway said her class would cover topics like resiliency, creativity, heartbreak, and authenticity. In reality, this translated to long narratives about her life — many of which her fans already knew, since she had told them in past Instagram captions.

She also shared philosophical one-liners like, "You cannot read that doubt like tea leaves," and, "Sometimes closure is picking up a pretty red leaf and putting it on a bench and walking away." At one point, she compared sex to Thai food: "If you go to a restaurant and order Thai food and don't like it, you shouldn't keep eating Thai food."

Calloway also talked about her past. She talked about her addiction to Adderall in school, which she hadn't revealed much about online. She said the book deal "suffocated" her. And she insisted she's not trying to scam anyone, despite what the media says about her.

"People make a lot of assumptions of young, fit, white girls on Instagram," Calloway says. "You know what, I don't even read the news. I haven't read about what people think I am."

'I just totally connected with you on another level'

Many of the women in attendance told Calloway they had been following her since 2015. Several referenced a Total Sorority Move article from March 2015 that called Calloway's Instagram a fairy tale — "if a fairy tale consisted of drinking wine, flirting with boys, and studying in Europe."

These women said they felt a connection with the raw emotion she described in her captions. (Calloway maintains she was one of the first people to post a "crying selfie" to the Internet.) Several of the woman said they were drawn in by Calloway's authenticity, and that she seemed to just "get it."

"I just totally connected with you on another level," one attendee told Calloway.

That connection does not seem lost on Calloway. She described her life as a "journey" she and her fans had shared, that her highs and lows were something everyone in the room experienced. She painted a picture of "us versus the world" — Calloway and her followers on one side, the "haters" on the other.

"We've been through some crazy f-----g s--t together," she said at one point during the workshop. "You guys are in your own category of people I'll never forget."

Her fans have stuck behind her loyally, even as stories have referred to her as the creator of "the next Fyre Festival," or have — as Calloway calls it — "hate-followed" her on Twitter. Multiple attendees told me they had enjoyed the workshop, and said it was worth the $165 fee.

"I think she is someone who is learning and growing like the rest of us," one attendee told me in an Instagram message after the workshop. "I didn't expect too much from it after the rescheduling, but she is very relatable and kind. She went out of her way to remember everyone's first and last names as well as their letters they've written."

"Caroline did a brave thing. She wanted to offer her time, her heart, and her experiences to a community that she has quite literally grown up with," one of Calloway's assistants told me after the event. "Even though there were details of the tour and workshop that weren't perfect, I think she did a good job of making something beautiful for the people that came."

Later, after attendees took their solo portraits with Calloway, each person was given a "care package" to remember the workshop by: another notebook, a mason jar, and small colorful drawstring pouches holding a small candle, a "crystal" rock Calloway swears by, a bunch of flower seeds, a matchbook with a "Calloway House" crest, a face mask, and a stick of incense.

Journalists attending the event were also given an emergency thermal blanket — Calloway said she wanted the blankets to be a tongue-in-cheek nod to Fyre Fest. 

caroline calloway influencer

At one point during the workshop, Calloway interrupted her lesson to take a video for her Instagram Story.

In the video, she pans around the room of eager workshop attendants sitting in front of her. "What do you guys think?" she asks them.

"10 out of 10!" someone shouts.

She then turns the camera back on herself and deadpans: "Total f-----g scam, right?"

SEE ALSO: Instagram influencers are so overwhelmed by hackers, they’re hiring hackers of their own to get their accounts back

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NOW WATCH: China made an artificial star that's 6 times as hot as the sun, and it could be the future of energy

Democrats are rejecting Trump's immigration deal for 3 glaring reasons, and it shows just how far apart the 2 sides still are

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donald trump

  • The Senate is set to vote on two dueling bills on Thursday that would end the government shutdown — and both are almost guaranteed to fail.
  • Republicans released a bill backed by President Donald Trump on Monday that would fund his border wall, but also overhaul much of the asylum system.
  • Democrats immediately struck down the proposal, accusing Republicans and Trump of negotiating in bad faith due to "poison pills" in the bill.

A bitter stalemate between President Donald Trump and Congressional Democrats is expected to hit a new low on Thursday, as the Senate prepares to vote on two dueling bills to end the government shutdown. Both appear destined to fail.

The votes come after Senate leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer brokered a Tuesday agreement to bring their respective plans to the floor.

The Democrat-backed plan, already passed by the House, would reopen the government with no border wall funding.

In December 2018, the Republican-controlled Senate passed a similar bill unanimously prior to the shutdown, However, after Trump suddenly changed his mind in December, saying he wouldn't sign a bill without wall funding — kicking off the shutdown — Republicans have held the line. Thus far, McConnell has not brought a clean spending bill to the floor.

The GOP bill is fashioned from a plan introduced by Trump on Saturday, which the president billed as a "common sense compromise." The measure would open the government, secure funding for the border wall, long-promised to his base, and make limited concessions on extending temporary protections for Dreamers and other immigrants.

But the supposed "compromise" measure has little chance at passing. Democrats balked at the proposal as soon as it was released. Democratic skepticism increased after Senate Republicans released text of the proposed legislation on Monday evening. The bill contains a slew of unexpected and severe cuts to the US asylum system and other immigration programs that were "poison pills" for Democrats.

Overhauls US asylum, especially for Central American children

The bill's most stunning change to current asylum law was a rule that unaccompanied children from Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras)  would be required to apply for US asylum at not-yet-established processing centers in Central America, rather than journeying to the US-Mexico border to apply for asylum and wait in the US for their cases to be heard.

If the bill were passed, it would mean nearly all unaccompanied children who arrive at the US border seeking asylum would be immediately deported back to their home countries.

A migrant father and child, who traveled with the annual caravan of Central American migrants, rest where they set up camp to wait for access to request asylum in the US, outside the El Chaparral port of entry building at the US-Mexico border in Tijuana, Mexico, Monday, April 30, 2018.Beyond that, the GOP bill would add a 50,000-person cap on the number of asylum applications the US government accepts, with a further cap of 15,000 on the number of applications granted.

Customs and Border Protection arrested more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors in the fiscal year 2018, who then requested asylum.

"The administration hopes that this will deter people from coming to the United States. It's unclear whether that would work," Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, a policy analyst at the American Immigration Council, told INSIDER. "People who are in fear for their life often are willing to accept a lesser form of status, if it saves their lives. So many may still come anyway. It's hard to tell that this would even have the deterrent effect that the administration hopes it would have."

Narrows protections for Dreamers

Democrats also faulted Trump over the DACA proposal offered in the bill. The GOP bill offers a three-year extension to the popular program that shields young, unauthorized immigrants from deportation and allows them to work legally, which the Democrats believe is not enough.

The bill's text also contains several other provisions that would dramatically restrict the program. The proposed bill would limit the pool of eligible Dreamers to the roughly 700,000 immigrants who currently have DACA protections, rather than the estimated 1.8 million who potentially qualify. They would also have to reapply, rather than renew their application as is currently the policy. The proposed application process would also be more stringent, NBC News explains, with applicants having to meet a higher annual income if they are not students, and pay a higher application fee.

Instead of extending DACA protections for Dreamers, the bill "replaces it with a totally different program that will exclude untold thousands of Dreamers who would have been eligible under DACA," according to David Bier, an immigration policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute.

Trump ended DACA in 2017, however it has remained in place due to federal court rulings, and on Tuesday the Supreme Court declined to review the program.

Slashes Temporary Protected Status

Temporary Protected Status is given by the Department of Homeland security to those who cannot return safely to their home country. The GOP bill extends TPS by three years for roughly 300,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

However, it leaves behind immigrants from five other countries for whom Trump terminated protections, and as a result their TPS status has either lapsed or will expire without congressional action.

The Trump administration has rescinded TPS for immigrants from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Nepal, and Sudan over the last two years, and the Trump-backed bill would do nothing to reinstate their protections.

The bill would also overhaul the TPS application process adding a higher evidentiary burden on immigrants to prove that they're eligible for protections and significantly increasing the financial burden on applicants.

A 'lack of good faith'

While the original outline that Trump proposed was rejected by Democratic leaders, some analysts believed that the suggestions showed a pathway forward for talks coming out of the weekend.

"Both parties are still dug in publicly, but in private there's some movement on two key issues – the Democrats could accept funding for a border barrier, and the Republicans could bend further on the issue of protection for the so-called Dreamers,'" Greg Valliere, chief global strategist at Horizon Investments, wrote in a note to clients.

But as more details came out about the proposal, Democrats argued that the GOP bill was not even close to a compromise and designed to fail in order to make Trump appear to be offering concessions.

"No one – no one – can call this a new effort at compromise," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. "The asylum changes are a poison pill if there ever was one, and show the lack of good faith that the president, and now [Senate Majority] Leader McConnell, have in trying to make a proposal."

White House officials even said privately that they added controversial provisions to the bill they knew Democrats would balk at, according to The New York Times.

So despite the "compromise" attempt and votes in the Senate, when the bills likely fail the two parties will be just as far apart as ever.

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NOW WATCH: MSNBC host Chris Hayes thinks President Trump's stance on China is 'not at all crazy'

Bedding startup Boll & Branch now makes a $2,500 eco-friendly mattress — if it's in your budget, we can't recommend it enough

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Boll & Branch mattress review

  • The Boll & Branch mattress creates a perfect balance between firmness and comfort, featuring eco-friendly materials you can feel good about sleeping on.
  • It's expensive at $2,500 for a queen, but its quality and attention to detail makes it worthy of the cost if you have the budget.

Getting its start as a bedding company, Boll & Branch is predominantly known for its luxurious Fair Trade Certified Organic Cotton Sheets. However, the company recently introduced its own hand-crafted mattress to its product line-up. The Boll & Branch mattress keeps all the important qualities that have made the sheets so popular. It's crafted from fair-trade materials that are ethically sourced and naturally derived, and it provides the same level of balanced comfort needed for quality sleep.

First impressions

After testing the Boll & Branch for myself, I can confidently say that this is a mattress even Goldilocks would have approved of. It feels just right in terms of firmness, comfort, and support. This is not a bed-in-a-box situation either — so there's no unrolling or off-gassing involved here. Boll & Branch provides white glove delivery service, complete with the offer to take your old mattress off your hands.

Our mattress took several weeks to arrive because each mattress is made to order and hand-crafted in the United Sates. While the time it takes isn't necessarily convenient, especially if you're in a hurry to replace an old mattress, I can say first-hand that it is worth the wait. The quality of this mattress shows both in its construction and its level of comfort.

boll branch mattress 2Construction

The Boll & Branch is comprised of five layers.  The soft wool and poly blend topper is surrounded by a layer of breathable, organic cotton. Just beneath the topper is a layer of graphite-infused latex which creates a natural cooling effect, and a layer of latex for stability. Below these layers is where the micro-coils sit to prevent motion transfer and provide greater air flow, and just beneath the micro-coil layer are the foundational coils, which provide even support throughout the mattress. Obviously if you have a latex allergy, this isn't but mattress for you, but if eco-friendly products are important to you, you'll appreciate that the materials are naturally derived and ethically sourced.

Hand-sewn tufts allow the top layer of the mattress to be held together without any glue, but I found that they did create hard spots on the surface of the mattress. These could be an annoyance if you were leaning on your elbows while reading in bed and accidentally leaned on one. However, I didn't experience any issues while sleeping on my stomach or side, and my partner, who sleeps on his back, also slept comfortably through the night.

Comfort

If you're looking for a medium firm mattress, I would highly recommend the Boll & Branch. It provides support without feeling too hard, and I could sleep comfortably through the night without any aches or pains in the morning. In my opinion, its level of firmness makes it suitable for all sleeping positions.

I'm a light sleeper who frequently wakes up multiple times during the night, but while sleeping on this mattress, I woke up far less often than usual — even with our new kitten bouncing around on the bed and my partner rolling over in the night. I definitely attribute to this to the combination of micro coils and latex that help minimize motion transfer. The graphite-infused layer of latex also seemed to do its job — neither my partner nor I felt like we were overheating during the night. This mattress won't absorb heat, which makes it great for those who tend to sleep hot.

Final thoughts

With the Queen sized mattress coming in at $2,500, the Boll & Branch mattress is definitely an investment. However, it's a worthwhile one considering your mattress has a huge impact on how you sleep at night, and thus, your quality of life during the day. This mattress doesn't skimp on its attention to detail, with natural materials you can feel good about sleeping on, and handcrafted construction that ensures durability. Additional features like the white-glove delivery service also make the Boll & Branch mattress worth the price.

If you're still unsure whether you'll like this mattress, it comes with a 100-night trial so you can make sure it will meet your needs. According to Gear Patrol, it's a perfect fit for those who "value ethical business practices working to make high-quality products" and it's deemed as "exceptionally comfortable" — a description I heartily agree with.

The Boll & Branch is available in Queen, King, and California King sizes, and comes with a 10-year limited warranty.

Buy the Boll & Branch Mattress for $2,500-$2,900

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APPLY NOW: Insider Inc. is hiring a careers editor, a retail reporter, fellows in the UK, and more

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Insider Inc. has a number of editorial openings across both Business Insider and INSIDER. If you're interested in joining a fast-paced, growing newsroom, apply at the links provided below. Unless otherwise stated, positions are located in our New York City headquarters and begin immediately.

Editorial internships

Full-time positions

For a constantly updated list of openings, see our careers page.

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NOW WATCH: Your Christmas tree could be a big fire hazard — take these steps to stay safe

The best women's multivitamins you can buy

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the best multivitamin for women

  • A multivitamin is key to making sure you get your daily fill of nutrients without having to take a roster of supplements.
  • Our top pick is the Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Women, which contains all the essentials plus probiotics and enzymes to help you digest. 

Vitamins, if you bother to take them at all, are the least fun part of the day. Growing up, my parents would set out a cupful of various supplements at dinnertime, which I carefully distributed throughout the meal to minimize the torture (swallowing pills is the worst).

As an adult, I’ve largely fallen off the vitamin bandwagon, much to their chagrin. If, like me, you’re trying to get back into the habit of supplementing your diet with some additional nutrition, a multivitamin is a great place to start. All the essentials, packed into just one pill — what more could you want?

But before you grab the first multi for women you see on your drugstore shelf, do a little research. Not all multivitamins are created equal, and different body chemistries and lifestyles will require boosts of different vitamins and minerals. For example, pregnant women or women over the age of 40 may want to look into specialty multivitamins formulated for their specific needs. Medical News Today has a useful breakdown of which vitamins are most important for women at different ages.

Multivitamins are highly personal and it’s difficult to recommend just one that works for everyone. That said, we’ve rounded up five highly-praised multivitamins for women here, so there’s likely to be one that suits you on this list.

Here are the best women's multivitamins you can buy:

Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

The best multivitamin for women overall

Why you'll love it: The Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Women is packed with essential nutrients, plus probiotics and enzymes to aid with digestion.

If you’re in search of a multivitamin that does it all, Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Women is a great choice. It’s designed to meet the average woman’s nutritional needs, so it’s a solid option if you want a basic, effective supplement. Jam-packed with folate, calcium, magnesium, Vitamins A, C, D3, E, and B-Complex, the raw formula also reinforces breast and reproductive health.

A gluten-free and vegetarian vitamin, Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Women is made without binders or fillers and contains probiotics and enzymes to help with digestion. This is especially useful for anyone who suffers from stomach distress that can be aggravated by some multivitamins. Verywell Fit notes that "unlike other multivitamins, you can take them on an empty stomach."

In addition to 1,300 5-star reviews on Amazon, this product is Verywell Fit’s top women’s multivitamin pick and has been recommended by ConsumerSearch, which cites  "accuracy in labeling" as one of the pros.

"These vitamins are great! They are large and have a slight veggie taste when swallowing, but they are so worth taking! I have really bad fatigue and I noticed a big improvement in my energy when I started taking these," writes one Amazon reviewer.

Pros: Kosher, gluten-free, vegetarian, contains probiotics, can be taken without food

Cons: Pricey

Buy Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Women (120 capsules) on Amazon for $15.70



The best bargain multivitamin for women

Why you'll love it: Nature's Made Multi for Her gives you a boost of iron, calcium, and D3 at a great value.

Vitamins can be expensive. If cost is a top concern for you Nature's Made Multi for Her comes at a great value: 300 capsules for less than $25.

Nature's Made Multi for Her contains 23 nutrients vital to women's health, including the daily recommended amounts of iron, calcium, and D3. It boasts a USP Verified Mark, demonstrating that the product has been vetted for safety and accurate labeling.

These supplements are highly recommended by experts on the Internet, having been featured in Verywell Fit, Everyday Health, MyDomaine, and Women's Day, which notes that the vitamin was formulated without gluten or yeast, "[making] it a viable option for those suffering from celiac disease or yeast overgrowth."

The multivitamin is an Amazon's Choice item due to its high user rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. One reviewer writes, "I have tried so many vitamins and I really love these. They have been around forever and no fake stuff added in. Easy to swallow and no bad taste in your mouth. I feel like they do give you an overall bit of extra energy."

Pros: Great value, 23 nutrients, contains daily recommended amount of iron and calcium, yeast- and gluten-free, USP certified

Cons: Some users might find size large

Buy Nature's Made Multi for Her (300 capsules) on Amazon for $24.05



The best necessities-only multivitamin for women

Why you'll love it: Get the nutrients you absolutely need — nothing more, nothing less — with the paired-down Ritual Essential for Women formula.

More isn’t always better when it comes to your multivitamin. Ritual Essential for Women is made with just the necessities in mind and absolutely no added bells-and-whistles or unwanted chemicals or fillers.

The Ritual philosophy, as described on the brand’s website, is that “most multis have 20+ ingredients you already get enough of from food.” In response, the brand has created a bare-bones formula containing only nine of the most essential nutrients: Iron, Omega-3, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, Folate, Vitamin K2, Boron, Vitamin E, and Magnesium.

Ritual also boasts transparency in ingredient sourcing and provides a ton of background information on each nutrient included in its supplements. The unique-looking gel capsule contains beads of vitamins and minerals suspended in oil, and the design is supposed to aid in digestion.

The capsules are vegan and gluten-,  allergen-, and GMO-free. Ritual offers a subscription model. For $30 each month, the company will send you a fresh bottle of your chosen supplement, so you’ll never run out. In addition to Essential for Women, the company currently offers Essential Prenatal for pregnant individuals.

The vitamins have also recently been featured by Barbend, MyDomaine, and BuzzFeed.

Pros: Subscription model, transparency about ingredient sourcing, no-nausea capsule design, can take on empty stomach

Cons: Pricey

Buy Ritual's Essential for Women for $30 for 30 capsules



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6 resale sites that help you declutter your life and make some money while you're at it

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thredup

  • Do your belongings spark joy? That's what Marie Kondo is asking people to consider when they try to declutter their lives. 
  • This method of organization has gotten a lot of buzz, and there's definitely something to be said about the power of a tidy space.
  • If you have a lot of stuff, decluttering can do more than just make you more organized — it can also make you money.
  • Here are six reputable sites you can go to when you want to get rid of some old stuff and get paid for it. 

If you're a Netflix buff, neat freak, or have just been keeping up with the latest headlines, you've probably heard a thing or two about Marie Kondo and her life-changing organizational method, KonMari. Kondo first came onto the scene as a professional organizer, then became a best-selling author on the subject, and now has a heart-warming Netflix series where she helps individuals find joy through decluttering their lives. 

As a perpetually messy person, tidying up is always on my agenda, and decluttering is usually where I try to start. I say "try" because my attempts almost always fail. When it comes down to it, I have trouble getting rid of things. I get attached to material items, saving them for sentimentality's sake or with the hopes that one day I'll put them to better use. What I end up with is cluttered drawers full of old gadgets, clothes I don't really care for anymore, and other odds and ends I never got around to tossing.

My messy mindset may be why I've been so drawn to the buzzing world of Marie Kondo, who offers some unique insight on how to get organized for good. One of the main tenants of Kondo's famous KonMari method is to only keep items that spark joy. While this might mean something different for everyone, the general idea is that if something you own doesn't make you happy, you should get rid of it. 

But just because something doesn't spark joy for you anymore doesn't mean that it won't make someone else happy. More importantly, there are probably a lot of people that would pay good money for some of your stuff. So, if you have a bunch of old stuff lying around, there's no better time than right now to start digging through and seeing what you could get rid of. And, if the feeling of being tidy isn't enough incentive, you can actually make some serious money selling your old things online.

Here are six reputable sites where you can get rid of your old stuff and make some money in the meantime:

ThredUP

Clean out your closet with ThredUP

How it works: ThredUP makes your closet clean out process simple with three easy steps. First, thredUP sends you a free kit which you can fill with any women's and kid's clothing, jewelry, shoes, handbags, and accessories you'd like to get rid of — so long as the items are from thredUp's list of accepted brands. Then, you send your bag back to thredUP, where it will be processed. Once processed, you'll earn cash or credit for whatever thredUP chooses to accept.

ThredUP usually only accepts 40% of items in the average Clean Out Bag, but you can choose to have the rejected items recycled or sent back to you. ThredUP also offers two different payout options to help you get the most out of your sales (either immediately or after your items sell, the latter of which may earn you slightly more), as well as the option to donate your cash earnings. 

Why you'll love it: ThredUP accepts over 35,000 brands including everyday wear brands like Gap to luxury designers like Gucci. They handle the photography and listings, so really all you have to do is clean out your closet, fill up your box, and leave the rest to the professionals. While relinquishing control means you may not make as much money as you could on some other sites, it also means that you can save a ton of time, and reap the rewards with minimal effort. 

ThredUP also has a great new collaboration with one our favorite minimalist brands, Cuyana. With the Lean Closet initiative, you can earn Cuyana credit and discounts when you use the special Cuyana x thredUP clean out kits. 



Luxury Garage Sale

Consign with Luxury Garage Sale

How it works: Luxury Garage Sale is an online consignment shop that specializes in pre-owned and vintage pieces from designer brands. If you have any luxury goods you want to get off your hands, you can have a Luxury Garage Sale rep pick them up for free (if you live near one of their boutiques), drop them off at one of their boutiques, or ship them in to be consigned for free. Then, the Luxury Garage Sale team will check to make sure your pieces are in great condition and are authentic. They'll come up with a price recommendation proposal for your approval. From there, a stylist team will handle the listing and selling of your piece. 

Why you'll love it: When selling a very expensive piece, you want great service to help with any of your questions and make sure you're getting the best price. Luxury Garage Sale gives you this from the moment you sign up to consign, when they'll match you up with an account manager. This is your point of contact throughout the consignment process and they're there to answer any questions you may have and make your selling process a breeze. 



The RealReal

How it works: The RealReal accepts luxury and designer goods, but not just in fashion — they'll also take home decor and fine art. Simply choose to have your goods pick up at home (for free), ship them in to be authenticated with a free, prepaid label, or visited one of their Luxury Consignment Offices for a free valuation and drop-off. Their team of over 90 experts (including gemologists, art curators, and horologists) will evaluate and authenticate your pieces. Then they'll photograph, price, and list your items on the site for you. 


Why you'll love it: If you have a lot of luxury items to sell, The RealReal is for you. They offer rewards for different commission levels, so the more you sell, the more you'll earn. You can also choose from three different payment options: direct deposit, a mailed check, or site credit which rewards you an extra 5% each month. If you like to shop on the site, this is a nice bonus. Most items on the site sell within three days, so you can expect a quick turnaround on your pieces — and the accompanying gratification. The RealReal also frequently offers heightened commissions on certain categories, which can work in your favor depending on what you have to sell. 



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A Canadian woman is selling her 3-bedroom, $1.3 million mansion for $19 and an essay, but the contest has a catch

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alberta canada contest house

  • A Canadian woman is selling her $1.3 million home for the low cost of $19 and an essay, the BBC reported on Monday.
  • The three-bedroom house in Millarville, Alberta, is the subject of a Facebook page that has been liked by more than 15,000 people.
  • But the contest will be canceled if the owner does not reach enough entries to cover the asking price. At $19 per entry, that would more than 60,000.

A Canadian named Alla Wagner is selling her $1.3 million (1.7 million Canadian dollars) three-bedroom luxury home in Millarville, Alberta, for $19 through an essay contest called "Write a Letter, Win a House," BBC News reported on Monday.

The contest began on January 5 and is set to end in early April, with a possible extension of up to three months if Wagner is close to the required number of entries.

In a post on the competition's Facebook page, Wagner said that her family was selling the home because of her declining health and that the contest would ensure her beloved home goes to the right person. The Wagners listed the house in 2018.

Wagner's contest asks that interested parties use a maximum of 350 words to answer the question "Why would moving to this lakefront dream home change your life?" She said a panel of judges would choose the winner from a group of 500 finalists determined by votes on social media.

Read more: What a $250,000 home looks like in the biggest city in every state

However, there's a significant catch to the competition.

If Wagner does not receive enough entries to cover the asking price of the house, the contest will be canceled and the house will not be awarded to any applicant — applicants would receive a refund for their entry fee, minus the cost of postage. At $19 per entry, that would mean more she needs than 60,000 entries.

alberta canada contest house

The terms of the contest have raised concerns. The BBC cited criticism of previous housing competitions that failed to meet their required entry count, including one in Maine and another in Hampshire, England. In both cases, the properties never changed hands.

In her explanation for listing the house via the contest, Wagner referred to Alberta's "current turmoil." While a Canadian real-estate company recently described the Calgary market as "remarkably resilient" despite oil prices in an interview with BNN Bloomberg, Geoffrey Morgan of the Financial Post has linked higher unemployment rates and layoffs in Calgary with economists' predictions of slower home sales and falling prices in 2019.

Housing-market statistics from the Alberta Real Estate Association reflected declines in 2018. And Business Insider's Dennis Green has reported on McMansions in the area being abandoned because of flood problems.

Excluding the area's housing concerns, saving for a million-dollar home has its challenges. As Business Insider has reported, a person would have to save between $1,152 and $12,392 a month for several years to afford a 10% down payment on a $1.5 million house.

SEE ALSO: More Americans are selling their homes online to real-estate companies like Zillow, who make an offer in 2 days and can close in a week

NOW READ: Here's what the most expensive house for sale in every US state looks like

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