HomeAway
HomeAway

Grand Getaway: Vacation Like Belle and the Beast in a Castle

HomeAway
HomeAway

Face it, your living situation is no magic kingdom. Treat yourself to a lavish stay somewhere with a few more turrets: an actual castle. In honor of the new Beauty and the Beast movie, vacation rental company HomeAway created the 2017 Castle Collection. The series includes luxurious lodgings from all over the world, including the United States.

Living like royalty normally comes with a hefty price tag, but if you travel with friends, booking a castle could be as low as $20 a night. Of course, filling a place like this one in Montespertoli, Italy might be hard unless you have 120 close friends all available at the same time. Just you and a loved one? You could book this modest (we use that term very subjectively) cultural monument in Germany for around $59 a night.

HomeAway is also holding a Beauty and the Beast-themed castle contest. You and 20 friends can win a free stay at the Duns Castle in Scotland, or if you're one of the five runners-up, a free HomeAway vacation.

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Bristly
A New Chew Toy Will Help Your Dog Brush Its Own Teeth
Bristly
Bristly

Few pet owners are willing to sit down and brush their pet's teeth on a regular basis. (Most of us can barely convince ourselves to floss our own teeth, after all.) Even fewer pets are willing to sit calmly and let it happen. But pet dental care matters: I’ve personally spent more than $1000 in the last few years dealing with the fact that my cat’s teeth are rotting out of her head.

For dog owners struggling to brush poor Fido’s teeth, there’s a slightly better option. Bristly, a product currently being funded on Kickstarter, is a chew toy that acts as a toothbrush. The rubber stick, which can be slathered with doggie toothpaste, is outfitted with bristles that brush your dog’s teeth as it plays.

A French bulldog chews on a Bristly toy.
Bristly

Designed so your dog can use it without you lifting a finger, it’s shaped like a little pogo stick, with a flattened base that allows dogs to stabilize it with their paws as they hack at the bristled stick with their teeth. The bristles are coated in a meat flavoring to encourage dogs to chew.

An estimated 80 percent of dogs over the age of 3 have some kind of dental disease, so the chances that your dog could use some extra dental attention is very high. In addition to staving off expensive vet bills, brushing your dog's teeth can improve their smelly breath.

Bristly comes in three sizes as well as in a heavy-duty version made for dogs who are prone to ripping through anything they can get their jaws around. A Bristly stick costs $29 and is scheduled to start shipping in October. Get it here.

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iStock
Yes, You Can Get Retailers to Price Match Amazon
iStock
iStock

With the recent demise of brick-and-mortar brands like Toys"R"Us, some experts have blamed the downsized or halted operations on Amazon. The online shopping giant—which recorded nearly $178 billion in sales in 2017—depends on low prices, cheap (or free) shipping, and massive inventory to trample physical stores.

But not all retailers are capitulating to the idea that Amazon will inevitably be a consumer’s cheapest shopping option. According to Money, a number of stores are allowing employees to price match the company in an attempt to retain business. Among them: Nordstrom, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Best Buy, and Staples. (A full list is viewable here.)

Naturally, terms and conditions apply. While they vary by store, items typically need to be in stock on Amazon’s site and sold directly, not by third parties. If a price requires a coupon or other additional step, it may not qualify for a deal. On the plus side, several retailers, like Home Depot and J.C. Penney, will not only match Amazon’s price but beat it by 5 to 10 percent as an added incentive to retain your business. Typically, you’ll either have to provide proof of the lower price or direct a sales associate on how to locate it online. In the case of appliances and other big-ticket items, the product also needs to have an identical model number, which can get tricky, as manufacturers often provide slightly different models to different retailers.

On the chance you find a lower price offline and want Amazon to match it, you might be out of luck. The company doesn’t offer price matching as a policy, though anecdotal reports say that their customer service team does have some leeway when it comes to lowering prices on a case-by-case basis.

[h/t Money]

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