Her GadgetMatch

7 gift ideas for pets and paw-rents on your list

Happy pets, happy paw-rents

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Know someone whose life has been completely run over by their fur-baby? With the holidays just around the corner, it may actually be a good idea to get a joint gift for pets and their paw-rents. That’s hitting two birds with one, perfectly-wrapped stone and making sure you’re always welcome when you visit.

If you’re a pet owner yourself, why not use these gifts to give your best buddy a treat this holiday season? We all know they deserve it. Here are some gift ideas that will make both your friend and their little bundle of fur happy:

1. Petcube Bites

As someone who has always been a fur-mama, I tend to wonder what my pets are up to while I’m away. Are they behaving at home? More importantly, is everything okay? With the Petcube Bites, there’s no need to be such a worrywart. You’ll get notifications when there’s been excessive movement at home or even when your pet is making noise. The camera also records these and sends the footage to a cloud, making sure you don’t miss anything. Watching my dog Juancho on the app gives me so much comfort when I’m away.

The Petcube Bites also allows you to throw treats at your pets and talk to them. Just be careful you don’t scare them with your new-found omnipresence. For our full review (and more of @JuanchoTheCorgi), click here.

2. Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Give your stylish paw-rent friend and their pet the best of both worlds with the Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer. When Juancho was still pretty small, he would get scared of any normal hairdryer because of the noise. That’s something you won’t have to worry about with this powerful hairdryer.

It cuts drying time in half and makes sure the fur mom and the pet are frizz-free. It’s also gentle on the hair and regulates the temperature. This makes sure the paw-rent’s hair and their fur-baby’s fur aren’t damaged and that they maintain their natural shine. Apparently, we can have our cake and eat it too!

Available at the official Dyson online store, with prices starting at EUR 359. A little steep? Don’t worry. Monthly payments start at EUR 14,95 per month at zero interest.

3. Litter-Robot Connect 3

Cats are pretty much low maintenance. Cleaning the litter box, however, is still a chore most cat-owners would prefer to get easier. That’s where the Litter-Robot Connect 3 comes in. This litter box from the future does the scooping for you every time your cat needs to go potty. You only need to take out the drawer and do one massive throw every time it gets full.

It also connects to an app which will remind you to empty the waste drawer or if it needs a refill. Less time spent scooping means more time with your fur baby and we’re so on board this idea.

Check out the Litter-Robot Connect 3 here.

4. Alfawise V8S Pro E30B

For most cats and dogs, shedding can be quite the nightmare they give to their fur-parents. As someone who’s a corgi mama, I can definitely attest to this. Hair accumulating in corners of your rooms even after brushing and the often-repeated chore of vacuuming throughout the week.

Give the gift of a less-painful back and more time spent playing with their pet through the new Alfawise V8S Pro E30B. This robot vacuum even has a mop attachment which will be helpful to new paw-rents who are still training their dog on doing their business outside.

You can find the full review in this link.

5. Embark Dog DNA Test

Ever wanted to look in your dog’s ancestry as well as their biological family’s health history? Yes, that’s a bit too specific. However, wouldn’t you really want to know? If you’re one of the good souls who adopted a rescue, knowing what diseases your dog might get in the future could actually be helpful in your quest to prevent them.

All you have to do is use the swabs that come in the package sent to you after ordering. Then, you send it back to the Embark offices. After comparing your pooch’s DNA with about 250 other breeds and almost two hundred disease patterns, you’ll shortly get the results that will help you understand your dog better.

Prices for kits range from US$ 129 to US$ 199. You can order them here.

6. Whistle Go Explore

You love tracking the progress of your fitness goals using your own fitness tracker or smartwatch. Why not track your pet’s as well? The Whistle Go Explore is attached to a collar and monitors their health. This makes it easy to share their reports with your vet and that you’ll surely stay on top of your pet’s well being. It also records their daily activity, allowing you to set goals and gives you gentle nudges to ensure you’re walking your pet enough.

Love exploring the great outdoors with your fur-baby? You can also track their location through the app. This also comes in useful if your pet loves escaping from your backyard.

Get the Whistle Go Explore for US$ 129.95 here.

7. Cloud7 Dog Bed

Good sleep means healthier fur-babies so why not a gorgeous bed that will also fit with the paw-rent’s aesthetic? The Sleepy Deluxe from German brand Cloud7 has four single, circumferential chambers. These are filled with low-noise and dimensionally stable granule beads for a more quiet environment even when your pet loves to twist and turn in the night.

The separately inserted quilted mattress is sag resistant. The mix of undyed, untreated new wool and polyester in the cover ensures that it’s easy to clean and machine washable. You can view other colours and designs here.  For the ones who love to travel with their pets, there’s a portable version that will ensure your pet gets the same level of comfort he gets at home even when you’re in an AirBnB.

Our pets give us so much love and bring a lot of happiness into our lives. So, spoiling them a little this season is truly justified and will surely put a smile on their paw-rents’ face.

Her GadgetMatch

Mercury in retrograde: When technology and communications go haywire

Your survival guide to a crazy season

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Buckle up, everyone! Mercury is in retrograde once again. In Astrology, this means the planet that governs technology, communications, and our very own thought processes spins backward. In our reality, it means doomsday is coming.

When Mercury is in retrograde, flights and travels are usually delayed, people from the past pop back in our lives, communication systems break down, and our gadgets get into accidents or start malfunctioning.

More importantly, this season makes everything fluid. Nothing will be set in stone. Decisions are usually changed when the season ends, so it’s not a good time to sign contracts, schedule surgeries, have makeovers, launch a new project, or shop for electronic devices.

But fret not, this season shall pass. Here’s what you should do before, during, and after the Mercury retrograde.

Protect your gadgets and gizmos with trusty cases and accessories

Honey, this season makes us feel frustrated, agitated, and annoyed. Often, we’ll be rushing and getting into accidents. You might drop your phone on the toilet, break them, or forget them on a cab or restaurant. You gotta get yourself some strap to keep your phone with you at all times and dress them up with hard, shock-proof cases. Should they fall from your hands, you know they’re safe.

Back up your data, make sure it’s safe and secure

Okay, Jenny, listen up. Mercury in retrograde is the season where we lose important stuff moments before we actually need them. It can be your keys, card, or presentation for your next meeting. The point here is you should back up all necessary data. Flash drives might break, Google Drive and other forms of storage may not work properly at the time you need them. The next thing you know, your life is in shambles.

Another thing to worry about is security and privacy. This season is also the time when people’s secrets tend to get exposed, such as your affair with your best friend’s boyfriend or your intimate videos getting leaked in the deepest, darkest corner of the internet. Keep your reputations from being smeared!

Double check what you type and say

Be careful with miscommunication, my dear. It’s normal to feel there’s chaos in your head since Mercury in retrograde disrupts our thought processes. We become forgetful and more prone to mistakes, so double check your typos before hitting send. In addition, think twice before voicing out your opinions and emotions. Take a deep breath, and think before you click. Your words are powerful. Once you’ve hurt someone with it, you can be forgiven but they’ll never forget.

P.S. Be mindful of what you post or tweet if you don’t want to get dragged on social media.

 

Keep your emotions in check and block your exes

If you haven’t blocked your exes until today, you need to re-evaluate your life, Susan. During this season, we barely use our logic and just follow our emotions. There might come a time where you want to send a seven-paragraph message to your ex, please don’t. You owe it to yourself to move on from the past and stop them from coming back to your life.

Oh, one more thing: Stay open to possible opportunities. Sure, Mercury in retrograde brings our past lovers back from hell, but they also bring in colleagues we’ve worked with. Most of the time, they want to work with us again. Additionally, this is a good time to reconnect with old friends. Seriously, this period isn’t that bad.

Be extremely flexible (not just in yoga but also in life)

If there’s one thing you can learn from this, it’s that life doesn’t always work out in our favor. It’s a reminder to always find a way. Be flexible and adaptable to every surprise that life brings. If we’re going to give in to our emotions, we already lost. Take a step back and reassess what’s happening, compose yourself and think of a solution. This is just another storm that’s passing by. You will overcome this.

Take a moment to slow down

Lastly, like any retrograde season, it’s a cue from the planets and the stars to slow down. We’re all rushing from one point to another, and we’re moving extremely fast. Planets spin backward to remind us that we need to look back and slow down to appreciate how far we’ve come, what we’ve been doing with our lives, and catch up on what we missed. Above all, it’s a reminder to rest. You’re doing well, my friend. I’m proud of you.

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3 must-haves when traveling, in case you want to be like ‘Emily in Paris’

Never ever forget these!

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Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen Emily in Paris, please read with caution.

Bonjour, mademoiselles and monsieurs!

I’m certain I’m not the only one obsessed with French culture, and of course, the latest Netflix series — Emily in Paris.

In case you’ve been living under the rock, Emily in Paris re-awakened people’s lust for travel. A bit of escape from the horrific reality we’re currently facing; a year that has gone haywire.

Think croissants, cobblestones, fine architecture, chic fashion, good food, art, and sex. This is the surface of what Emily in Paris is about: Emily Cooper’s hilarious misadventures in navigating her career, romance, and friendships.

Photo NETFLIX

While the series showcases how Emily documents her life and adventures in Paris through Instagram, there are a few things she forgot to bring. For a supposedly tech-savvy millennial, Emily Cooper forgot some travel essentials. Or maybe she didn’t know she needed them.

Based on a few episodes from Emily in Paris, I realized what gadgets must be deemed travel essentials, so we don’t experience Emily Cooper’s misadventures next time we’re in another country.

A battery-powered vibrator (so you don’t blow up the fuse)

First of all, Emily was in a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend in Chicago. The couple was having sexy time via video call but crappy internet connection got in the way.

To continue pleasing herself, Emily pulled out an effin’ gigantic, old-school wired vibrator. After plugging it into an electric socket, the vibrator short-circuited the electricity in her apartment. The blow-up was so bad, it shut down the power in the entire neighborhood.

As funny as it is (and no, it wouldn’t really happen in real life), there are a lot of battery-powered, wireless vibrators. Some are even high-tech enough to be controlled by your partner through a mobile app.

Consider this next time when you travel. Although before you pack your sex toy, make sure it’s not illegal in the country you will visit. In some Islamic countries, they confiscate toys as they fall under pornographic material. Last thing you want is to get persecuted in a foreign land.

An instax printer or a pocketable instax camera

Paris is the so-called city of romance. You can literally feel the love in the air. Throughout the series, Emily captured streets, everyday moments, and her life in Paris and uploaded it to her Instagram account.

But to travel — or live — in a romantic city, moments should be captured in a sentimental and romantic way. For instance, preserving memories through a pocketable instax camera which you can bring anywhere, or an instax printer where you can print your photos directly from your smartphone.

That’s exactly what we did one Sunday morning along Upper East Side in New York City. That je ne sais quoi of summer in the city is not something anyone can describe with mere words or capture on Instagram without losing its essence. Of course, we weren’t able to, either.

But we caught some vignettes on film, complete with audio recordings using the Instax Mini LiPlay. We found a way to reminisce those moments. That’s something we believe should be part of any travel.

Get a smartwatch or other running essentials

Forgive me for crying out loud, but smartwatches are made to accompany you while you run. Not hold your gigantic phone with tiny hands, huffing and puffing along the river Seine.

It’s a good idea that Emily didn’t forget how important working out is. But it’s not exactly a good idea to hold your phone while you run. Better to invest in a smartwatch like the Apple Watch to measure your heart rate, track your miles, and answer calls while you listen to music through your wireless earbuds.

And if you’re not the smartwatch-wearing type, invest in pockets, running pouches, arm wallets, or wrist straps. There are different ways to safeguard your phones, keys, and other essentials without putting yourself in potential danger.

Besides, Paris — like any other city — isn’t exactly crime-free. You can’t keep running around like crimes don’t happen. Even when I was running around Taipei, a city with low crime rate, I didn’t let my guard down. The same goes for traveling to any other city. It’s always best to keep yourself safe, no one else will do it for you.

Stream Emily in Paris on Netflix.

SEE ALSO: 24 Hours in Paris | Sights and sounds of summer in the Upper East Side | 5 lessons we learned from Crash Landing on You

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Her GadgetMatch

Here are our favorite iOS 14 custom home screens

Some inspo to get creative

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The recent iOS update has taken social media by storm, shining a light on creativity expressed by iPhone users and designers.

In case you’re living under a rock, #iOS14homescreen trended in Twitter highlighting the prettiest and most creative home screens.

As of writing, many users are still having fun expressing their wit and style through custom widget designs. If you’re looking for inspiration to create your own, we’ve rounded up our favorite iOS 14 custom home screens!

If you love coffee and earth tones

For those who love a minimalist approach

Feeling blue?

It’s time to go green!

Making it futuristic and dystopian a la Vice City

For party freaks missing the neon lights

How about Karasuno High from Haikyu!!?

Paint the town pink!

Keeping it dark, eerie, and sexy~

Toodles, doodles!

That pastel and nude colors used by several Instagram aEstHetIc influencers

When you just love the universe…

…or your idols

And so far, here’s the best one… especially if you want to keep yourself from being addicted to your phone

Which one do you like best? Share your custom home screen designs on Instagram and tag us @gadgetmatch!

SEE ALSO: Here’s everything new on iOS 14 | These are the iPhones that will work with iOS 14

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