11 Gifts for the Home

iStock
iStock

If home is where the heart is, it should reflect all the things its inhabitants love. And whether that's quirky cat prints or voice-command electronics, we have your gift-buying covered.

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

1. JASS JUMBO CHALK PENCIL; $4

For the artistic friend who always has a chalkboard of doodles or inspirational quotes hanging in the entryway, this oversized chalk pencil from Switzerland will make the decorating process far less messy than the traditional options.

Find It: CW Pencil Enterprises

2. ARTIST PALETTE CHEESE TRAY; $40

This ceramic serving tray is perfect for the foodie who fancies their cheese and charcuterie spreads to be masterpieces.

Find It: Fishs Eddy

3. TILE SPORT KEY FINDER; $35

Losing your keys when you need to run out the door is a time-honored tradition, but attaching a Tile Sport helps ensure that your giftee's keys can’t hide for too long. Plus, it can be used in reverse—if they lose their phone, the Tile attached to the keys can be used to call their cell, even if the phone is on silent.

Find It: Amazon

4. FRED TAKE-OUT COMPOST BIN; $25

The EPA estimates that up to 30 percent of what we throw away could actually be composted, which would help reduce greenhouse gasses and improve soil quality. This cute carbon-filtered countertop container will hide any banana peels, coffee grounds, or—yes—late-night fried rice until you can take it out to the backyard or a local community composting program.

Find It: Amazon

5. WHITE SAGE; $9

Whether your friend appreciates the scent of natural incense or might want to cleanse their home of any bad juju before the new year, these mini bundles of dried white sage are the perfect gift to keep on hand for the hosts of any and all holiday parties.

Find It: Juniper Ridge

6. CIRCADIAN OPTICS LIGHT THERAPY LAMP; $65

The dead of winter requires some proactive steps to combat any potential seasonal sadness. This long-lasting LED bulb (good for 50,000 hours, or roughly five and half years of nonstop use) is designed to take up minimal space while still emitting a full-spectrum light that can help alleviate the December doldrums.

Find It: Amazon

7. LARGE CAT ART PRINT; $35

Called "You Asleep Yet?", this 22" x 25" print of a furtive feline by artist Laura Graves would be a welcome companion for anyone whose apartment doesn’t allow pets.

Find It: Society6

8. AMAZON ECHO, 2ND GENERATION; $80

"Alexa, change your look!" The latest Echo device comes in a variety of new looks, from chic charcoal or sandstone fabric to a walnut veneer. But, beyond the visual, the new Echo has enhanced speakers and a new, richer Dolby audio processor, making it much clearer, and Alexa now boasts more than 25,000 skills, including new game features and voice-command purchasing on Amazon Prime.

Find It: Amazon

9. WILSON KEY RING; $15

Made in Connecticut and New York, this brass wire key ring is a solid holiday (or housewarming) gift. Because almost everyone could use a minimalist upgrade, no matter how small.

Find It: Upstate Stock

10. DACHSHUND BOOKEND SET; $30

Add some doggone personality to any bookshelf—this good boy, who comes in black or white, will guard your book collection from any mailmen or squirrels. Or whatever books' major predators are.

Find It: Amazon

11. ULTIMATE EARS WONDERBOOM WATERPROOF BLUETOOTH SPEAKER; $80

With a 10-hour battery life and 360-degree sound, this petite portable speaker packs a punch. And, for the clumsy among us, the waterproof feature safely allows it to be accidentally knocked into bubble baths or splashed with cannonball water poolside without skipping a beat.

Find It: Amazon

12 Items Every Taco Lover Needs

Amazon
Amazon

October 4 is National Taco Day. Let’s tacobout some products you can buy to show your love for this most excellent of foods every day of the year.

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

1. TRICERATACO HOLDER; $22

Two dinosaur shaped taco holders with tacos in them.
Amazon

Yes, you could buy some more standard stainless steel taco holders, but why not get these punny and whimsical stands instead? They’re made of BPA-free plastic and are dishwasher safe. If carnivorous dinos are more your speed, try the TACOsaurus Rex.

Find it: Amazon

2. SHORT SLEEVE TACO SHIRT; $16 - $25

Subtly show your taco appreciation with this button up shirt, which is equipped with a tiny taco print and is made of 100 percent cotton. (They recommend buying a size up from your usual size.)

Find it: Amazon

3. TACO WAIST PACK; $11

A fanny pack with tacos on it.
Amazon

Don’t call it a fanny pack: This taco-adorned waist pack has three compartments and an adjustable strap that will accommodate taco bellies up to 46 inches.

Find it: Amazon

4. TACOS: RECIPES AND PROVOCATIONS; $21

This book, written by New York City chef Alex Stupack, is filled with essays, gorgeous photographs, and, of course, recipes. Learn how to make tortillas from scratch, whip up delicious salsas, and top it all off with fillings that are anything but basic. The book promises to “change the way you make—and think about—tacos forever.”

Find it: Amazon

5. TACO HAT; $20

A hat that looks like a taco.
Amazon

Perfect for Taco Tuesday or Halloween (or both!), this hat measures 8 inches by 18 inches.

Find it: Amazon

6. TACOS VINTAGE TEE; $20

This retro shirt comes in men’s and women’s cuts and five different colors.

Find it: Amazon

7. TACO CAT BED; $48

A cat in a bed that looks like a taco.
Amazon

This adorable, cozy taco bed is perfect for your feline friend. Made of padded fleece and microfiber yarn, it has wire in the trim to help it hold its shape and comes with catnip-stuffed pepper toys.

Find it: Amazon

8. TACO DOG COLLAR; $20

A dog collar with tacos on it.
Amazon

This dog collar is both durable and stylish: Made of polyester with a plastic buckle, it’s adorned with a mustachioed taco.

Find it: Amazon

9. KIDROBOT TACO PILLOW; $30

A cute taco pillow with a happy face on it.
Amazon

This friendly-faced pillow will look great on your bed or couch. If photorealism is what you’re looking for in your taco, consider this one.

Find it: Amazon

10. TACO SOCKS; $12

These crew length cotton socks are adorned with avocados, peppers, limes, hot sauce, and tacos. On the bottom, they say “If you can read this” and “bring me some tacos.”

Find it: Amazon

11. TACO POOL FLOAT; $11

A pool float shaped like a taco with a face on it.
Amazon

At 5 feet long, this vinyl taco float is made for lounging in the pool. It comes with a patch kit for easy repairs.

Find it: Amazon

12. TACO KITCHEN TOWEL; $15

Made of microfiber fabric, this tea towel—which measures 16 by 24 inches—is both cute and functional: Made of microfiber terrycloth, it’s ultra absorbent, and the dyes won’t fade.

Find it: Amazon

16 Magical New Harry Potter Products

Business Wire
Business Wire

Another September has arrived, and with it, the realization that—once again—you won’t be going to Hogwarts. But don’t cry into your butterbeer: These Potter products from Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, and Target will help you forget that you’re a mere Muggle.

1. HOGWARTS CANDLE LANTERN; $99

Pair this turret-like lantern—which is made of aluminum and glass and features an antique bronze finish—with a pumpkin juice candle from Wick and Fable to get that Hogwarts at Halloween vibe.

Find it: Pottery Barn

2. HOGWARTS COMFY THROW; $13

Don this fleece throw—which looks exactly like a Hogwarts student robe—for studying in your house “Common Room” (a.k.a. your living room) or before mealtime in the “Great Hall” (a.k.a. your kitchen). Get some treacle tart on your robe? Don’t worry—it’s machine-washable.

Find it: Target

3. GRYFFINDOR APRON; $40

As all wizards know, food is the first of the Principal Exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration: Tasty treats don’t just appear out of nowhere—someone has to make them. Now you can display your house pride in the kitchen with this cotton twill robe. The neckband is equipped with a d-ring to make adjustments a snap.

Find it: Williams Sonoma

4. HOUSE BACKPACK; $63

These adorable canvas backpacks (available for all houses) feature interior and exterior pockets, a padded laptop pocket, and a roomy interior. See if you can make it even roomier with an Undetectable Extension Charm!

Find it: Pottery Barn Kids

5. VELVET TRAIN CASE; $59

Arrive at Platform 9¾ in style with one of these chic velvet toiletry cases.

Find it: Pottery Barn Teen

6. TRIWIZARD CUP LAMP; $18

Great for your bedside table or your Halloween costume, this cordless, battery-powered acrylic lamp will make you look like a Triwizard champ.

Find it: Target

7. MIRROR OF ERISED JEWELRY CABINET; $399

If you don’t have room for the full-length mirror, this jewelry cabinet is the next best thing: It opens to reveal hooks, shelves, and pegs for all of your baubles.

Find it: Pottery Barn Teen

8. WALL DECALS; $16

What better way to show of your hoggy hoggy Hogwarts pride than with these house crest vinyl wall decals? Each set comes with five decals, which reviewers give high marks.

Find it: Target

9. HOUSE CREST COOKIE CUTTERS; $17

These detailed cookie cutters are fun for witches and wizards of all ages. Plus, they’re dishwasher-safe.

Find it: Williams Sonoma

10. HOGWARTS MAP; $129

This vintage-looking aerial map of Hogwarts is a true work of art. It’s printed on canvas and has grommets for easy hanging. And it won’t talk back like the Fat Lady!

Find it: Pottery Barn Kids

11. WIZARD CHESS; $40

It’s not life-sized, but this set is a detailed replica of the smaller board Harry and Ron play with in Sorcerer’s Stone.

Find it: Target

12. FAUX BOOK LOCKBOX; $139

Whether you’re hiding a Hallows or a Horcrux, this 20-inch-long facade—which looks like a shelf straight from the Hogwarts library—will keep all of your most precious things safe.

Find it: Pottery Barn Teen

13. GOLDEN SNITCH SNACK BOWL; $40

Made of gold-plated aluminum, this adorable bowl is perfect for serving up all kinds of snacks, from jelly slugs to Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans. (Just watch out for the earwax flavor!)

Find it: Pottery Barn

14. QUIDDITCH PILLOW; $50

This Quidditch pillow—which is made of cotton velvet—has a delightfully retro vibe. There’s also a Snitch pillow, a Hogwarts letter sham, and this throw pillow featuring one of Harry’s signature spells.

Find it: Pottery Barn Kids

15. DEATHLY HALLOWS BLUETOOTH SPEAKER, $79

This gold-gilded Bluetooth speaker is compatible with all smartphones. It’s also cordless, which means you can take it with you—and listen to the Weird Sisters—wherever you go.

Find it: Pottery Barn Teen

16. ETCHED SCENE SHEET SET, $79 - $149

These cotton percale sheets come in every size from Twin to King and are adorned with scenes from the Hogwarts grounds and the Forbidden Forest.

Find it: Pottery Barn Teen

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