Monthly Archives: February 2019

The origins of 12 of your favorite stores’ names

Target's name came to be during a PR meeting.

Target’s name came to be during a PR meeting.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

  • Many of our favorite, go-to stores have surprising origin stories.
  • CVS is anacronyms with multiple meanings, and Starbucks is named after a character in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick.”
  • Other businesses, like Zara and Applebees, were forced into new names after learning competitors had already taken their original ones.

Target, 7-Eleven, Applebees, and CVS – these are stores that make up our everyday lives. But have you ever stopped to wonder what their names actually mean, and how they came to be?

Starbucks is named after a minor character in “Moby-Dick.” Panera Bread‘s name is a portmanteau with Latin and Spanish roots, and the Gap is a reference to the generation gap.

Keep scrolling to learn more about 12 popular businesses and how they got their unique names.

Zara was originally named “Zorba,” after the 1964 film “Zorba the Greek.”

Zara storefront.
Thomson Reuters

Back in 1975, Zara founder Amancio Ortega opened up his flagship women’s clothing store in La Coruña, Spain – and it was called “Zorba.”

Ortega was set on naming it after the 1964 film “Zorba the Greek,” and he even had the letter mold for his storefront sign ready to go. But there was a bar about two blocks over with the same name, and the owner told Ortega it would be too confusing for them both to be called “Zorba.”

So, Ortega rearranged the letters to say “Zara,” and the rest is history.

In 1946, 7-Eleven was named after its extended hours of operation: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

Though 7-Elevens have been in existence since 1927, they didn’t officially get their name until 1946. Previously known as the Southland Ice Company, the convenience stores reemerged after the Depression in the ’30s and rebranded, calling themselves “7/11” or “7-Eleven” to represent new, extended hours of operation.

Though they were originally open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week, 7-Elevens are now open 24/7.

H&M stands for “Hennes & Mauritz,” which is a nod to its Swedish origins.

H&M shopper.
Sara Sette/Shutterstock

H&M opened in Sweden in 1946, and it was originally called “Hennes,” which means “hers” in Swedish. After the store started to gain some traction, it acquired Mauritz Widforss, a hunting and fishing apparel company.

The fusion led to both men’s and women’s apparel being sold at the store, as well as a permanent name change: Hennes & Mauritz. The store is now commonly, if not exclusively, referred to as H&M.

Target originated as a discounted, offshoot branch of Dayton-Hudson department stores.

The first Target opened its doors in 1962 as a discount store, an offshoot of the Dayton Company (later known as Dayton-Hudson). According to Target’s website, their iconic name and logo was a spur of the moment idea via the Dayton-Hudson PR team, who “debated more than 200 possible names … on a red-and-white whim, they came up with ‘Target’ and immediately envisioned a classic bullseye logo with three rings.”

By 1968, Target had surpassed its parent company in popularity, leading revenue production to nearly $1 billion. As a result, the first Target Greatland store – which offered a wider array of merchandise – opened its doors in 1990, and Dayton-Hudson officially changed its name to the Target Corporation in 2000.

Starbucks is named after Captain Ahab’s sidekick in “Moby-Dick.”

Starbucks storefront.
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

In a 2008 interview with The Seattle Times, Starbucks co-founder Gordon Bowker described the exhaustive process of figuring out a name for his now-iconic coffee chain:

“We were thinking of all kinds of names and came desperately close to calling it Cargo House, which would have been a terrible, terrible mistake. Terry Heckler [with whom I owned an advertising agency] mentioned in an offhand way that he thought words that begin with ‘st’ were powerful words …

“Somebody somehow came up with an old mining map of the Cascades and Mount Rainier, and there was an old mining town called Starbo. As soon as I saw Starbo, I, of course, jumped to Melville’s first mate [named Starbuck] in ‘Moby-Dick.’ But ‘Moby-Dick’ didn’t have anything to do with Starbucks directly; it was only coincidental that the sound seemed to make sense.”

The founders of Applebees wanted to call it “Appleby’s” but the name was already taken. So, they changed the spelling.

When the original Applebees opened in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1980, it had a much longer name: T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixirs, to be exact.

According to Mental Floss, the original owners of the restaurant wanted to name it Appleby’s, but that particular spelling had been registered by someone else. So, they traded the “y” for two “e”s and added the “T.J.” in front – a nod to one of the founders, T.J. Palmer.

The name was altered to the (much simpler) Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill in 1986, and its popularity soon soared. Nowadays, we just call it Applebees.

Wendy’s is named for the founder’s daughter, Melinda Lou, whom he called “Wendy.”

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

According to Wendy’s website, the fast food chain’s founder, Dave Thomas, tried out all of his children’s names before settling on “Wendy” for the restaurant. The irony? His daughter’s name was Melinda Lou, and Wendy was her nickname.

Gap is a reference to the generation gap.

Gap employee.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The first Gap store opened in 1969, and the iconic name was chosen as a reference to the generation gap – “the differences in opinions and values between younger people and older people,” per Merriam-Webster.

CVS originally stood for “Consumer Value Stores,” but the acronym has also been interpreted in different ways.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Per Reader’s Digest, “Consumer Value Stores” – aka CVS – opened its doors in 1963. The store’s sign featured both its full name and the now-famous acronym.

But the company’s past CEO, Tom Ryan, attributed a different meaning to the three letters: “Convenience, Value, and Service.” According to, he said that this could also be an interpretation of CVS.

Banana Republic is a reference to the founders’ desire to dress people who loved “safaris and expeditions.”

Banana Republic show at 2016 New York Fashion Week.
Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic

When Banana Republic was founded in 1978 by husband and wife duo Mel and Patricia Ziegler, it also had an accompanying travelogue. According to the company’s site, the store opened “as a shop for people with passion for safari and expedition wear from faraway places.”

The store has since mellowed out, and pivoted to trendier, professional attire after being acquired by the Gap.

Panera is an actual combination of the words “pan” and “era.”

Panera Bread employee.
John Grees/Reuters

Per Panera Bread’s Facebook page, the restaurant’s name has both “Latin and Spanish roots.” “Pan” refers to “bread” or “bread basket,” and “era” refers to the measure of time. Slap the two together, and there you have it: Panera.

IKEA is an acronym that stands for “Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd.”

An IKEA employee.
Andreas Rentz / Getty

IKEA is yet another acronym – but it’s a little more complicated than CVS.

“IK” are the initials of the furniture company’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad. The “EA,” on the other hand, represent Kamprad’s childhood – Elmtaryd is the name of the farm on which he grew up, and Agunnaryd is the name of his village.

Throw it all together, and you’ve got IKEA. And probably a good piece of furniture, too.

Tesla is shuttering most of its stores as the company switches to an online-only sales model

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

  • On Thursday, Tesla announced it would eliminate most of its stores and move to an online-only ordering model.
  • Tesla is also doing away with the traditional prepurchase test drive.
  • It’s unclear if this plan will work in the US, given the prevalence of franchised auto dealers who have traditionally opposed direct sales.

There was a lot of speculation about what Tesla CEO Elon Musk would announce this week after he tweeted that some big news was coming.

But nobody expected Tesla to kill off its physical retail locations.

The top news was the arrival of the long-awaited $35,000 Model 3, the true mass-market vehicle that Tesla promised in 2016 but hasn’t been able to deliver until now.

Arguably, the bigger news was that Tesla is going to an online-only (or mostly) sales model.

“You can now buy a Tesla in North America via your phone in about one minute, and that capability will soon be extended worldwide,” the carmaker said in a statement.

Read more: I put Tesla’s high-performance Model S and Model 3 up against the BMW M5 and M3 to see how they compared – here’s the verdict

“Shifting all sales online, combined with other ongoing cost efficiencies, will enable us to lower all vehicle prices by about 6% on average, allowing us to achieve the $35,000 Model 3 price point earlier than we expected. Over the next few months, we will be winding down many of our stores, with a small number of stores in high-traffic locations remaining as galleries, showcases and Tesla information centers. The important thing for customers in the United States to understand is that, with online sales, anyone in any state can quickly and easily buy a Tesla.”

Potential opposition from franchise car dealers

Elon Musk at the unveiling of Tesla's new Roadster.

Elon Musk at the unveiling of Tesla’s new Roadster.

It’s not clear how Tesla will achieve this e-tailing objective in the face of the resistance it has traditionally received from franchised auto dealers in various US states. It is possible to configure and price a vehicle via a manufacturer’s website, but a customer must complete the purchase by connecting with a dealership.

On a conference call with the media after the announcement, Musk said that the new plan would enable Tesla to sell cars more effectively and that the carmaker would be ramping up its service side. But in response to a question from Business Insider, he acknowledged that Tesla expects pushback from established auto dealers.

“This is 2019,” he said. “People want to buy things online.”

But he added that franchise-dealer opposition would be a violation of interstate commerce, and that is unconstitutional.

“Good luck with that,” Musk said.

To achieve the shift to online-only sales, Tesla will also streamline the buying experience.

“We are also making it much easier to try out and return a Tesla, so that a test drive prior to purchase isn’t needed,” the company said.

“You can now return a car within 7 days or 1,000 miles for a full refund. Quite literally, you could buy a Tesla, drive several hundred miles for a weekend road trip with friends and then return it for free. With the highest consumer satisfaction score of any car on the road, we are confident you will want to keep your Model 3.”

More than 300 store closures are announced in a single day as the retail apocalypse rips through JCPenney, Gap, and Victoria’s Secret

Gap, JCPenney, and Victoria’s Secret announced more than 300 store closures over the course of 24 hours this week, sending a clear signal that the fallout from the retail apocalypse is far from over. Tesla also announced it would close “many” of its 378 physical dealerships in favor of online-only sales.

Gap said Thursday that it would close 230 namesake stores over the next two years as it reported that the brand’s same-store sales fell 7% during the holiday quarter. The company also said it would spin off its Old Navy brand.

Earlier in the day, JCPenney said it would close 27 stores in 2019, including 18 full-line department stores and 9 home and furniture stores. The department-store chain said same-store sales fell 4% during the fourth quarter.

Victoria’s Secret’s same-store sales also fell during the holidays, dropping 3% during the quarter. The company said late Wednesday that it would close 53 stores this year, citing a “decline in performance.”

These announcements will bring the number of planned store closures this year to nearly 4,500, not counting the unknown number of Tesla closings.

“Shifting all sales online, combined with other ongoing cost efficiencies, will enable us to lower all vehicle prices by about 6% on average,” Tesla said in a blog post.

Also read:

‘Keto crotch’ and 5 other scary things that could happen to your body on the keto diet

The keto diet requires you eat a high-fat, low-carb diet.

The keto diet requires you eat a high-fat, low-carb diet.

  • The ketogenic diet is seeing wild popularity for its supposed weight-loss effects.
  • Its potential negative, and even harmful, effects, however, are seeing less attention.
  • The keto diet can trigger the “keto flu” and possibly “keto crotch.”

Surely you’ve heard of the keto diet. But you may not have heard of the negative effects this intense low-carb, high-fat diet can have on the human body.

The diet is called “keto” in reference to the ketogenic state your body enters when it gets essentially no carbs – its default form of fuel for energy – and instead, uses fat as its source of energy. If you think about it, that’s a pretty dramatic shift for your body to make. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that aside from hastened weight loss, keto can bring with it some significant complications.

With that being said, here are some things that can happen to your body on the keto diet.

You might get the ‘keto flu’

You might experience flu-like symptoms.

You might experience flu-like symptoms.

Again, the dramatic shift away from carbs can shock your system – and for some people, that shock comes in the form of the keto flu.

According to Healthline, the keto flu will typically last a week – though sometimes longer – and can cause symptoms such as weakness or fatigue, nausea, headache, diarrhea or constipation, muscle cramps, bad breath, skin rashes, and mood swings.

It’s best to keep your doctor in the loop regarding extreme diet changes and any possible symptoms you might experience.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the ‘keto flu’ – the condition that plagues many trying this trendy diet

It limits your fruit and vegetable intake, which could cause your body to have micronutrient deficiencies

The keto diet isn't intended to be a long-term diet.

The keto diet isn’t intended to be a long-term diet.
Carsten Koall/Getty Images

On the keto diet, one apple, at 21 grams of total carbs, can steal your entire carb allotment for the day. After all, this is a diet that requires 60 to 80% of your food intake to be fat, according to Men’s Health, and less than 10% can be carbs.

This rule eliminates your ability to eat many fruits and vegetables, as many of them contain natural carbs. A diet low in fruits and vegetables can put you at risk for certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies. It can also lead to your body not getting enough fiber, a type of carbohydrate often found in fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Without adequate fiber intake, you might experience constipation and be at risk for certain diseases.

It can cause dehydration

A lot of the initial weight loss from the keto diet is water weight.

A lot of the initial weight loss from the keto diet is water weight.
Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

A 2007 study on the clinical aspects of the keto diet lists dehydration as a main side effect of the popular diet.

This is because when your body burns fat instead of carbs, it produces ketones, which must be passed via frequent and increased urination. This can lead to dehydration and a loss of electrolytes.

There’s a chance you can get kidney stones

Excess protein may overload your kidneys.

Excess protein may overload your kidneys.
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty

The popular diet has been associated with an increase in kidney stones and other kidney problems.

Dr. Koushik Shaw, a urologist at the Austin Urology Institute, told a local Fox affiliate that he was seeing more and more kidney stones in recent years.

“A lot of it I attribute to a lot of these high-protein, low-carb, keto-type diets,” he said.

This may be because an increase in protein intake can put added stress on a person’s kidneys.

You might experience ‘keto crotch’

Keto crotch can cause a

Keto crotch can cause a “fishy” smell.
VW Pics / GettyImages

Another lesser-known possible side effect of the keto diet is what people are calling “keto crotch.” Keto crotch, though not researched, may occur because of the change in pH levels that accompany the extreme change in diet.

“Foods change the pH of the body. When this happens, the body will emit certain odors,” Lisa De Fazio, a registered dietitian nutritionist, previously told INSIDER. “The keto diet [may] change your vaginal pH, which alters your vaginal odor – and it may not smell like roses.”

Following such a tedious diet can affect your mental health

Dieting can be mentally draining.

Dieting can be mentally draining.

The keto diet can make it really hard to maintain an active social life. From drinking with friends to celebrating with cake, there are many common things that are forbidden on the keto diet.

Further, the tedious tracking of carbs can be exhausting, emotionally, mentally, and physically. This doesn’t just apply to the keto diet but dieting in general. Scientists at the University College London found that dieting can actually make you depressed, even if you do lose weight.

About the results of the study, researcher Sarah Jackson told the Daily Mail, “We can speculate that the experience of restricting food intake and resisting temptations is bound to be hard, despite the undoubted satisfaction of seeing the inches go down and getting fitter.

“Dieting requires considerable willpower and it might involve missing out on special meals and eating in restaurants. It is not necessarily the most pleasant experience for people,” she added.

13 McDonald’s fast-food items everyone should try from around the world

You can order a

You can order a “Purple McShake” at McDonald’s in Japan.
McDonald’s Japan

  • McDonald’s boasts more than 36,000 locations in over 100 countries.
  • Across the world, different McDonald’s restaurants have varied and exciting menu items to offer.
  • Between Taro Pies, Carbonara fries, and McSpaghetti, there are plenty of items to dig into before returning to your tried-and-true Quarter Pounder.

Boasting over 36,000 locations in over 100 countries, McDonald’s has fashioned itself as one of the world’s most ubiquitous brands. That doesn’t mean you’ll find the same menu at every McDonald’s, though. Instead, the fast-food chain seems to carefully tailor its menus to cater to the diverse communities it serves.

Staples like the Big Mac still remain at some locations, but unexpected twists on existing fare – along with surprising new additions – have become the norm in McDonald’s locations the world over.

Before digging into your tried-and-true Quarter Pounder, take a moment to consider some of these popular staples available to McDonald’s enthusiasts around the world.

China and Hong Kong’s “Taro Pie” could make you rethink dessert.

The signature neon purple filling is what catches most people by surprise.
McDonald’s Hong Kong

A notable twist on one of its most classic menu choices, McDonald’s locations in China and Hong Kong have long offered a neon-colored alternative to its famous apple pie. Deep fried and filled with taro – a root vegetable popular in Asian cuisine – along with a gooey filling meant to resemble ube, or purple yam, it’s a far cry from the 50-year-old pie Americans have grown up with, with reviewers describing the taste as being like a “sweetened” sweet potato.

India’s “Maharaja Mac” is the Big Mac’s not-too-distant cousin.

A slight twist on a restaurant’s classic.
McDonald’s India

During an international expansion in the ’90s, McDonald’s faced an Indian subcontinent whose population largely didn’t eat beef, which either abandoning the restaurant’s most iconic item or adapting it to fit local needs – and the latter choice, as we now know, reigned supreme.

Though it might look close enough to a Big Mac, the Maharaja Mac is comprised of different ingredients. Made with a chicken patty, much of the Maharaja Mac remains familiar to Big Mac enthusiasts, save for a leaner patty and a healthy heaping of extra vegetables.

No one knows the convenience of the McRib like Germany does.

An American classic turned German staple.
Jerry Huddleston/Flickr

Though the McRib was invented in America, it’s not available there year round, but McDonald’s serves the cult sandwich year-round in Germany. Within the McRib is a barbeque-drenched pork patty, though there are no actual pork ribs to be found.

Try the sweet potato-based “Purple McShake” if you’re in Japan.

The “Purple McShake” is a little similar to the taro pie served in China and Hong Kong.
McDonald’s Japan

A recent addition to McDonald’s Japan’s slew of eclectic shake flavors (namely its matcha, peach, and Hokkaido melon), the new Purple McShake departs from the restaurant’s usual fruity offerings, employing murasaki imo, a native Japanese variant of purple sweet potato, savory in taste.

“Bubur Ayam McD” pays homage to traditional Malay cuisine.

Bubur Ayam McD is McDonald’s’ take on a traditional Malaysian congee.
McDonald’s Malaysia

Originally an Indonesian variation of congee (a rice porridge common in East Asian cuisine), McDonald’s introduced its own version for Malaysian customers. Chicken strips, ginger, onion, and chilies add to the porridge for an eclectic combination of flavor and textures popular amongst congee newbies and lovers alike.

Celebrate American-Canadian relations with McDonald’s’ very own poutine.

Poutine is a dish so ubiquitous to Canada, McDonald’s can’t miss it.
McDonald’s Canada

A fixture of Canadian culture, poutine is undoubtedly one of the most iconic dishes to hail from North America. McDonald’s’ version of the dish combines its signature fries with gravy and cheese curds.

Japan’s “Idaho Burger” is an attempt to bring a taste of the US to Japan.

The Idaho Burger is heavily packed with ingredients.

According to some, the Idaho Burger served at McDonald’s Japan is not the most visually appealing. Nevertheless, the burger captures the culinary essence of the American heartland, made with a beef patty, pepper relish, a hefty hash brown, bacon, and plenty of onions. The burger comes as a part of a larger series of dishes dubbed “Big America.”

Yes, there even is a “McSpaghetti.”

This is definitely not a burger.
McDonald’s Philippines

At McDonald’s locations in the Philippines, you can order the McSpaghetti, a dish of al dente spaghetti served with tomato sauce, shredded cheese, and pieces of sausage.

McDonald’s had once trialed spaghetti and other fast-Italian options in America in the late 1980s to little success, so anyone disgruntled by the lack of Italian fare at their local McDonald’s should find some solace in the fact that McSpaghetti has found a home.

McDonald’s pays tribute to Brazil with “Pão de Queijo.”

Roughly translated as “cheese bread,” pao de queijo is a popular Brazilian snack food.
McDonald’s Brasil

Loosely translated as “cheese bread,” pão de queijo is a baked, starchy cheese roll that has been a staple in Brazilian diets for centuries, earning its status as one of the country’s most famous dishes. Understanding its ubiquity, McDonald’s started selling the roll at its own locations across Brazil.

Scandinavia is lucky to have the Toblerone McFlurry.

This Toblerone dessert is one of many regionally exclusive McFlurrys Americans cannot purchase.
McDonald’s Denmark

McDonald’s patrons in Denmark and Sweden can order a Toblerone McFlurry, which combines the iconic nougat and honey-flavored triangular chocolate bar with whipped vanilla soft serve ice cream. A regular staple of the McDonald’s menu for over 20 years, the McFlurry has spawned a flurry of creative and regionally-exclusive varieties, the Toblerone McFlurry being no exception.

“Carbonara fries” are a recent addition to the McDonald’s menu in Japan.

McDonald’s Japan’s take on carbonara takes away pasta and adds fries.
McDonald’s Japan

The latest to come out of McDonald’s Japan is a simple yet delectable concept: McDonald’s fries topped with a carbonara sauce. Rather than the typical cream, the sauce is made up of a three-cheese blend flavored with bacon and black pepper. Released in October 2018 and available for a limited time, the dish is being sold at most major McDonald’s outlets in Japan.

Cocoa lovers are in for a treat with Singapore’s Hershey’s ice-cream line.

McDonald’s is rolling out a variety of Hershey’s themed desserts in Singapore.
McDonald’s Singapore

In partnership with the Hershey Company, McDonald’s Singapore announced the creation of the “Chocolate Hershey” series, a collection of signature McDonald’s desserts made with Hershey’s chocolate. “Chocolate Hershey” desserts are available at McDonald’s Singapore outlets for a limited time, and consist of the “Chocolatey McFlurry,” the “Chocolatey Sundae,” and the “Chocolatey Cone.”

McDonald’s in Japan offers a “Gracoro Burger” in the winter months.

The sandwich debuted back in 1993.

According to the Huffington Post’s Rachel Tepper, McDonald’s Japan’s “Gracoro Burger” features a “patty of macaroni, shrimp, and white sauce with a breadcrumb crust.” Though it seems like an unusual combination, the fresh seafood known to Japan may just be enough to make this sandwich a tasty treat.

11 kitchen tools that help me make the most of my small New York City kitchen

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ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide


  • I live in a New York City apartment, and the space in my tiny kitchen is prime real estate.
  • I’ve had to learn some cooking hacks to make the most of my space and seriously consider the appliances that have earned their place in my kitchen.
  • Below you’ll find the tools and appliances that made the cut, from an $11 kitchen scale to a $304 stand mixer.

In my dreams, I cook in a huge, fully fleshed out kitchen with tools and accessories that would make Gordon Ramsey jealous. When I wake up, I cook on a countertop that’s barely big enough for my cutting board and a range with three functioning burners.

These restrictions haven’t kept me from cooking, but they have made me really selective about what I keep in my kitchen. Everything needs to earn its keep, whether it’s a basic kitchen scale or a high powered stand mixer. At the same time, I’ve had to figure out ways to make the most out of my space without doing major construction in my apartment.

Below, you’ll find the tools I use to trick people into thinking I have a big kitchen and the handful of tools and appliances I use often enough to justify keeping them. If having a small kitchen has kept you from getting into the kitchen, use these recommendations as a guide to make it work. It takes a little effort, but the results are fulfilling, and tasty!

Keep scrolling to check out my favorite kitchen tools and appliances.

A smart sous vide tool that lets me effortlessly cook restaurant quality meals


What it is: Joule Sous Vide, $199, available at Amazon

Why I love it: If my kitchen has a “secret weapon,” it’s definitely ChefSteps’ Joule Sous Vide. The tool lets me make perfectly cooked meat and vegetables without much effort, and it has smart features that actually makes sense. If you’ve never cooked sous vide, here’s how it works.

First, you take the food you want to cook and seal it inside a plastic bag. Next, you fill up a container (a dutch oven will work perfectly) with water. Then you clip the Joule onto the pot, open its app, and select the food you’re going to prepare. The Joule will kick on and start circulating water to get it up to that exact temperature.

When it’s ready, the app will tell you to insert your sealed food and set a timer to alert you when it’s done. This might sound complicated, but the Joule makes it really simple. Once the food’s done, you’ll get an alert on your phone. I’ve used the Joule several times, and it’s never failed me. My food is always perfectly cooked, and I never had to worry about a pan overheating or forgetting to turn the oven off.

A waffle maker that I actually use very often


What it is: Krups Waffle Maker, $52.99, available at Amazon

Why I love it: Krups’ waffle maker is one of the few super niche appliances that I actually use very often. It has a knob that lets me set my waffles’ doneness – from pillowy soft to nice and crispy – and a loud bell that alerts me when its grates have come to temperature and when the waffles are fully cooked.

Once I’m done, I can pop the grates off and wash them off in the sink. The grates are dishwasher safe, too. I always felt like waffles were one of the few foods I’d always have to order out, but Krups’ waffle maker has turned them into one of my Sunday morning staples.

A powerful compact kitchen mixer that makes baking less messy


What it is: Kenmore Ovation Pour-In Top Stand Mixer, $304.99, available at Amazon

Why I love it: I don’t have a lot of space in my kitchen for bulky appliances, but I’ve made an exception for Kenmore’s Ovation stand mixer. Its five-quart glass mixing bowl is large enough to accommodate big batches of bread dough, cookie batter, or cake mix with ease, but its design is what sold me.

Instead of pouring ingredients into the mixing bowl and hoping nothing flies out, the Ovation has a sealed bowl and a hole on top. When I bake, I put my dry ingredients in the bowl, seal it, and pour wet ingredients through the hole on top. The system works wonderfully and has cut down the amount of time I spend baking because I never have to think about cleaning flour or sugar from my floor.

A cast iron skillet that’s easy to clean


What it is: Milo Cast Iron Skillet, $65, available at Milo

Why I love it: If I were transported to a desert island and could only take one kitchen tool, it would have to be Milo’s cast iron skillet. The direct-to-consumer startup wowed me with its dutch oven, but its skillet takes things to the next level. The cast iron skillet is flat and heats evenly, so I’ve never noticed any hotspots or scorch marks on my meat or vegetables.

I’ve used it to sear food on my stove top, bake it in the oven, and transferred it between one to the other without any problems. My favorite thing about this skillet is that its cast iron is enameled, so you can clean it off in a sink or dishwasher without it getting rusted.

A movable island that lets me extend my kitchen


What it is: Linon Kitchen Island Granite Top, $74.63, available at Amazon

Why I love it: I live in a tiny New York City apartment, which means counter space is premium real estate. Linon’s kitchen island has allowed me to extend my kitchen without having to do any construction. What I like best about this island is that each of its four layers serves a different purpose.

The bottom layer is flat, so it’s perfect for holding bowls, plates, or bakeware. Its produce basket can hold a surprising amount of fruits and vegetables and it’s high enough that you can easily grab them. The four-bottle wine rack is a good place to store alcohol or a few extra bottles of sparkling water. Finally, the top layer is made out of granite, which makes it the perfect surface to keep a cutting board.

If you’re trying to make a small kitchen feel bigger or less cluttered, I can’t think of a better investment for less than $100.

A simple kitchen scale that lets me get my ingredient amounts just right


What it is: Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale, $10.98, available at Amazon

Why I love it: For years, I wondered “does measuring your ingredients really make a difference in the final result?” The answer is yes. It does. Etekcity’s digital scale lets you weigh things in ounces, milliliters, pounds, and grams, which are the basic measurements you’ll need. This is a kitchen essential most people put off getting, but I can’t recommend it highly enough.

An expandable shelf that’s allowed me to double my cabinet space


What it is: Seville Classics Expandable Kitchen Counter and Cabinet Shelf, $18.58, available at Amazon

Why I love it: My apartment only has a couple of small cabinets, but Seville’s expandable shelf has let me double their usable space. The shelves come in two pieces, which you position to fit the exact size of your cabinet. How much you can fit in your cabinet will depend on its height, and the size of what you’re trying to store, but I’ve been able to significantly reduce the clutter in mine with these shelves.

Mason jars for storing, freezing, and pickling my favorite foods


What it is: Ball Glass Mason Jar with Lid and Band (12), $16.99, available at Amazon

Why I love it: Mason jars are the unsung heroes of my kitchen. I use them to store sauces in my freezer, hold dry ingredients on my shelves, and pickle vegetables to the perfect level of crunch. The reason I rely on these jars so much is their uniform size and shape, which makes them easy to organize and stack. If you’re still keeping your ingredients in their original packaging, you’ll appreciate this upgrade.

A set of magnetic tins that keep my spices organized and at an arm’s length away


What it is: Hanindy Spice Tins, $39.99, available at Amazon

Why I love it: The key to a clean kitchen is using vertical space, and Hanindy’s magnetic spice tins are the perfect example of this. Instead of keeping my spices in their original jars, I keep them stuck to the side of my fridge in these tins. Hanindy includes several sheets of labels, so you always know what you’re grabbing.

This set of tins even comes with a set of measuring spoons, so you can always add the right amount of spice instead of eyeballing it.

A rotating utensil holder that keeps my smaller tools organized


What it is: OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Rotating Utensil Holder, $19.95, available at Amazon

Why I love it: Everyone is guilty of having a kitchen utensil drawer stuffed to the point that it’s hard to open or close. I solved this problem with OXO’s utensil holder, which fits everything from my citrus press to a potato masher.

The holder has three slots, so you can organize your tools by size and shape, and it sits on a rotating base, so you can turn it around for easy access to the one you’re looking for. I’m admittedly a fool for little kitchen tools, but this is a great $20 investment for anyone who loves to cook.

Baking mats that are non stick

Williams Sonoma

What is it:Silpat Silicone Muffin Pan, $49.95, available at Williams Sonoma

Why I love it: Silpat’s French-made baking mats have earned a reputation for being best-in-class, but I’m still floored at how great its non-stick muffin pan is. The pan is made out of a custom-made silicone, which is non-stick, so I don’t have to put any fat in to keep the muffins from sticking.

I was skeptical about this pan when I first tried it out, but each muffin popped out perfectly cooked without much mess. To clean the pan, all I do is run some water into each cup to remove its crumbs. I’ve used this pan for muffins, cupcakes, and cinnamon buns, and the results have been uniform and excellent every time.

Khloe Kardashian seems to address Tristan Thompson’s reported cheating: ‘Your one stupid weekend, you just demolished a relationship’

Khloe Kardashian talks about trust in the new trailer for KUWTK season 16.

Khloe Kardashian talks about trust in the new trailer for KUWTK season 16.

  • In a new promo for the upcoming season of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” Khloe Kardashian talks about how hard it is to rebuild trust.
  • Tristan Thompson has recently come under fire for reportedly cheating on Khloe with longtime family friend Jordyn Woods.
  • Last season, the show focused on Kardashian finding out about reports that Thompson had cheated on her just days before giving birth to their daughter, True.
  • Season 16 of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” premieres March 31 on E!.

Khloe Kardashian’s love life – namely the reported cheating scandal involving Tristan Thompson and Jordyn Woods – has been in the headlines lately, but in a newly released trailer for “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” that was released Thursday, Khloe seems to be still dealing with the aftermath of his first reported cheating scandal.

At the end of the last season, which finished airing in December 2018, fans finally got to see what happened behind the scenes when Khloe found out about reports that Tristan had been caught cheating on her just days before she was due to give birth to daughter True Thompson last April.

In the trailer, Khloe is speaking to someone off-camera and says “It’s really hard to regain trust. Your one stupid weekend, you just demolished a relationship.”

“It’s really hard to regain trust.”

The trailer ends with a clip of Khloe in tears as she’s on the phone, saying, “This is unreal.”

The clip was likely filmed before new reports claiming that Thompson had cheated with Kylie Jenner’s longtime best friend Jordyn Woods, so she is most likely not addressing the recent headlines in the clip. Still, it shows us that her relationship with Thompson will likely once again take center stage in the new season.

The 30-second promo also includes Kim Kardashian telling husband Kanye West, “I’m not going to be nice,” and Khloe telling the family that Kim’s house is on fire, referencing the California wildfires that struck her family’s homes last year and was the deadliest in California’s history.

“I’m not going to be nice.”

New episodes of “KUWTK” premiere on March 31 on E!. You can watch the entire trailer below.

18 tips for working out while pregnant

Alysia Montaño competed at the 2017 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships while five months pregnant.

Alysia Montaño competed at the 2017 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships while five months pregnant.
Andy Lyons/GettyImages

  • It’s healthy to work out while you’re pregnant, but figuring out what’s OK can be confusing.
  • Experts recommend doing low-impact activities several times a week.
  • Swimming, yoga, and light weight lifting are great options.

When you’re pregnant, you want to make the healthiest choices for your baby and yourself. For many, this means getting into some sort of exercise routine. According to the American Pregnancy Association, unless you have a high-risk pregnancy or your doctor says otherwise, working out when you’re expecting is not only healthy but recommended.

That said, figuring out what you should and shouldn’t be doing at the gym can be confusing and overwhelming. INSIDER spoke with fitness experts to find out what you need to know about working out while pregnant, so you can stay your healthiest during your nine-month journey.

Exercise is safe and can be healthy for your pregnancy

Noam Tamir, the founder of TS Fitness and a pre- and postnatal certified trainer, told INSIDER that while exercise is always a good idea, it’s especially important when you’re pregnant. He said, “It has shown to decrease the chances of pregnancy complications and decrease recovery time post-pregnancy.”

Nichole Tipps, a certified personal trainer at V Shred and a mother of three, told INSIDER, “Exercise has amazing benefits for pregnant women, and a safe routine can cut back on the aches and pains and improve circulation.”

Talk to your doctor first

Tipps said consulting with your doctor is the most important first step you can take. She said: “Your doctor will most likely want to clear you from any medical or obstetric risks. For example, your pregnancy could be more delicate than other women’s, so the safest way to incorporate fitness might be going for afternoon walks with a friend or partner. There are also differences in the intensity at which you can work out depending on the trimester you’re in.”

If you’re just starting out, keep things simple

If you didn’t exercise a lot before you got pregnant but want to start now, that’s OK, as long as you keep it simple – pregnancy isn’t the time to try out tough new things or push your body to the limit. Tipps said that for beginners, “the simpler the better.”

She suggested starting out with 20 minutes of low-impact activities, like swimming or yoga, three or four days a week and working your way up as your body adjusts. She added, “The key is to keep moving, keep the blood flowing, and work yourself into working out for the benefit it will have on your pregnancy.”

Read more: 6 low-impact workouts that burn a ton of calories

Even if you exercised often before your pregnancy, you still need to be careful

“You have a little more capability when you have experience with exercise prior to pregnancy, but the same cautions still apply,” Tipps said. She recommended avoiding high-risk activities and any kind of jolting, bouncing, or jerking movements. “Modify your routines to target balance, core strength, and range of motion,” she said. “Just because you worked out before your pregnancy does not make it advisable to overheat or overwork your body.”

Do what feels good

Pay attention to what your body is telling you – that’s how you’ll know if you’re doing too much or too little. Katrina Scott, who is a co-founder of Tone It Up and who recently gave birth, told INSIDER, “Listen to your body and honor what you’re feeling because each day is so different.” She said, “In my first trimester, I focused on walking and doing the “pregnancy on demand” workouts in the Tone It Up app. In my second and third trimesters, lifting weights felt amazing. Fit in what you can, and be sure to rest when you need to.”

Stay hydrated throughout

“Now more than ever, your body needs plenty of water and healthy nutrition to fuel you,” Scott said. “Carry a water bottle and a healthy snack or two wherever your workout takes you.”

Read more: 11 easy tricks for drinking more water

There are certain exercises you should avoid

Tipps recommended avoiding exercises that have a high risk of falling or that could harm your abdomen, like surfing and scuba diving.

Nichole Tipps said pregnant people should avoid activities that involve a high risk of falling, like surfing.

Nichole Tipps said pregnant people should avoid activities that involve a high risk of falling, like surfing.
Kat Wade/Getty Images

Julie Tamir, a certified trainer and the founder of pregnancy fitness and wellness blog Mamala, gave a list of exercises pregnant people shouldn’t do:

  • Spinal flexion/extension (crunching movements, i.e. sit-ups or mountain climbers)
  • Rotation with flexion/extension (i.e. bike crunches, Russian twists, yoga twists where hips and shoulders are disassociated, moving in the opposite direction)
  • Downward-facing movements (i.e. planking, prolonged downward dog)
  • Advanced supine exercises (i.e. tabletop, dead bugs, leg lifts) or any prolonged time lying on your back
  • Very heavy lifting and high impact are also to be avoided, as well as breath holding (always breathe through the rep)

She said, “Many of these moves put excess pressure on your stomach muscles and can cause diastasis recti or pelvic floor dysfunction.”

Scott also recommended avoiding exercises in supine positions, saying: “Once you reach the second trimester, it’s best to avoid any moves that require you to lay flat on your back for extended periods of time. This can compress the vena cava, which can restrict circulation to you and your baby.”

Focusing on strengthening your legs is a great way to work out while pregnant

Tipps suggested moves such as sumo squats and chair squats, which she said strengthen the core, glutes, and legs. “It also helps during delivery to have a sturdy pelvic floor and core,” she said.

Swimming is a fun way to get your workout in

If using machines at the gym or doing an exercise video at home sounds boring, try something like swimming. Tipps said swimming is great for pregnant people because it uses your whole body and it’s low-impact. She said it “helps improve circulation and blood flow, it is a staple for many people when it comes to cardiovascular workouts, and it helps tone the body and strengthen that core.”

Prenatal yoga is also a wonderful option

Yoga is a good low-impact exercise.

Yoga is a good low-impact exercise.
Susana Vera/Reuters

Tipps recommended prenatal yoga and tai chi, both of which she said help you work on balance, muscle tone, and core strength. She said yoga and tai chi are “particularly relaxing as well, and studies have shown that both activities lower sleep disturbances, anxiety levels, and somatic symptoms.”

Weight loss should not be your goal

“Pregnancy is not the time to work out for weight loss,” Tipps said. “It is a time to stabilize the core and help the body cope with the aches and pains of having a baby inside your belly.” She said pregnant people often have issues with “swelling, backache, lack of energy, poor circulation, and gestational diabetes.” Exercise can help with all that.

Try to work out a few times a week

Julie Tamir said how much you work out depends on how much you were exercising before and the intensity of the workouts you’re going to do. She recommended 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, three to five days a week, and cited the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which says pregnant people should get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week.

But remember, it’s about how you feel. Scott said: “If you’re feeling especially tired or just not yourself one day, that’s OK. Listen to your body and jump back in the next day.”

Don’t be afraid of working up a sweat

Julie Tamir said that if you’re already fit, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest, you should be aiming for your workouts to be a 7 or 8. “In the first phase of training, the foundational phase, we recommend a level 6 or 7,” she said. “In the strength phase, which is your most intense phase, 7.5 to 8.5, and then in stage three, a 7 or 8. The high end of the scale is for highly conditioned women.”

Because you’re training for labor – which she described as “a high-intensity interval class, times 100” – she said you should “end your pregnancy stronger than you started and slowly ramp up, and then slowly ramp down towards the due date, but still end stronger than you started.”

Read more: Why Serena Williams decided to play the Australian Open right after finding out she was pregnant

Pay attention to your heart rate, but also to how you feel

Some pregnant people wonder if there’s a specific heart rate they should stay below when working out. Noam Tamir said that it used to be 140 beats a minute but that it’s been “replaced by how a woman feels.” He said that the 140 BPM “didn’t take into consideration a woman who frequently exercises” and that women who exercise regularly “have the ability to go higher in their heart rates.”

He said that as long as you can talk and breathe comfortably, you’re OK. And remember: “pregnant women have a slight increase in heart rate to begin with.”

Building a strong foundation is important

Noam Tamir told INSIDER, “If I had to recommend a type of workout, it would be strength training.” Pregnancy puts your body through a lot of stress, and increasing your strength helps you deal with that. “Having overall strength helps your body take on the trauma of childbirth,” he said. “It also helps with the ability to bounce back from pregnancy.”

You can do that by focusing on certain areas of your body. “Strengthening your booty, back, and arms will go such a long way during your pregnancy, delivery, and life as a mom,” Scott said, adding that “functional moves like these will help build a strong foundation for all the changes happening in your body and prepare you for what’s ahead.” She said some of her favorite moves while she was pregnant were “squats, lunges, dumbbell rows, and shoulder presses.”

Don’t be afraid of weight lifting

Julie Tamir said she encourages strength training for pregnant people.

Julie Tamir said she encourages strength training for pregnant people.
Ute Grabowsky/Photothek/Getty

Some pregnant people are hesitant about lifting weights because they don’t want to get hurt, but Julie Tamir encourages it. She said research has shown that “prenatal workouts should be predominately strength training with key, performance-based fundamental exercises – squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull, rotate, carry.”

Don’t bounce around too much during cardio

But you shouldn’t only be lifting weights: cardio is also an essential part of staying healthy. Tipps recommended opting for exercises that are low impact, have a low risk of falling, and can help stabilize and support your core. She said, “If you are trying out aerobics, make sure to keep it low impact, as it is best to avoid jumping and bouncing and movements that jerk you and your abdomen around.”

Walking is better than nothing if you’re exhausted

Take things as slow as you need to. Scott encourages even the most exhausted pregnant people to start small. “That can be calling up a girlfriend to go on a 10-minute walk outside,” she said. “Chances are, those 10 minutes will turn into 20 and will leave you feeling so much stronger than you gave yourself credit for.” She said walking is a great way to get some movement into your day, adding, “If you’re on a treadmill, walking on an incline is such an amazing way to get your heart rate up and keep your lower body toned.”

Bryce Harper’s 13-year contract hints that the Phillies are preparing for a long-rumored rule change to come to the National League

  • Bryce Harper has agreed to a record, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.
  • The deal is 13 years long and comes with a no-trade clause and no opt-out for Harper, suggesting both sides are digging and expecting Harper to still be on the team in 2031.
  • Some view the deal as a bargain for the Phillies, but many have criticized the length of the contract for a National League player who is already sub-par defensively.
  • The contract could be a sign that the Phillies are expecting the designated hitter to be added to the NL in the near future, a sentiment that is apparently shared by the New York Mets.

Bryce Harper has agreed to a record 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, ending the outfielder’s protracted free agency.

The deal breaks Manny Machado’s recent record-setting contract for free agents (10 years, $300 million) and Giancarlo Stanton’s record for all players (13 years, $325 million).

Read more: Bryce Harper to sign with Philadelphia Phillies in record-setting $330 million deal

With the contract’s average annual value of $25.4 million, the deal is seen as a relative bargain compared to other superstars in Major League Baseball.

However, the 13-year length has led to a lot of criticism, especially considering there is no opt-out for Harper and there is a full no-trade clause. In other words, unlike Stanton, both sides are seemingly digging in and expecting to still be together through the 2031 season.

Yes, 2031!

The criticism might be warranted considering Harper is already a sub-par defensive outfielder and he will be tied to a team with no designated hitter until he is 39 years old.

Unless, of course, one of those assumptions changes.

The Mets reportedly signed Robinson Cano with the idea of making him a DH in the future.

The Mets reportedly signed Robinson Cano with the idea of making him a DH in the future.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The New York Mets recently traded for 36-year-old Robinson Cano even though they will owe him $100 million over the next five seasons.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets made the deal with the expectation that the DH will be added to the NL in the near future. Sherman speculates that the Phillies made the same consideration with Harper.

“Also worth noting that Mets took on Cano because they believe a DH is coming to the NL at some point soon,” Sherman wrote. “I am sure this is in the calculus for the #Phillies giving 13 yrs to Harper.”

The universal DH was proposed by the players’ union recently as part of their negotiations with MLB over pace-of-play rules. The proposal would have added the DH to the NL this season.

The changes were never agreed to, but presumably, the change would be made by 2022, at the latest, the first season after the current collective bargaining agreement expires. The DH – and the 15 additional high-paying roster spots that would come with it – would be an enticing carrot for MLB to dangle in exchange for the pace-of-play changes the league desires.

In the meantime, Phillies fans have to enjoy the present and hope they never have to see 39-year-old Bryce Harper play in the outfield.

Tesla is finally releasing the long-awaited $35,000 Model 3

  • Tesla is releasing the long-awaited $35,000 version of its Model 3 sedan.
  • The $35,000 model is now available for order on Tesla’s website.
  • Delivery for the vehicle will take two to four weeks, the site says.

Tesla is releasing the long-awaited $35,000 version of its Model 3 sedan.

The $35,000 model is now available for order on Tesla’s website. Delivery for the vehicle will take two to four weeks, the site says.

The $35,000 “standard range” trim has a 220-mile range, a maximum speed of 130 mph, and the ability to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds.

Tesla has also made available a “standard range plus” trim, which has a 240-mile range, a maximum speed of 140 mph, and the ability to go from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. Delivery for the “standard range plus” trim will take two weeks or less, the automaker’s site says.

Trading of Tesla shares was paused by Nasdaq at 4:57 pm for about 43 minutes.

Read more: Tesla is shuttering most of its stores as the company switches to an online-only sales model

Tesla said in a blog post that it would close many of its retail stores and shift sales online, a move that allowed the automaker able to introduce the new Model 3 trims. Tesla will increase investment in its network of service centers.

Customers will have a seven-day or 1,000-mile trial period within which they can return their vehicle for a full refund, Tesla said, an extension of the automaker’s prior three-day trial period.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk presented the Model 3 as the automaker’s entrance into the mass market, saying the vehicle would begin at $35,000 when it was unveiled in March 2016. The Model 3 received over 400,000 preorders, but until Thursday the least expensive version of the vehicle started at $42,000, before federal and state incentives.

Tesla began producing the Model 3 in 2017, but production was subject to significant delays because of what Musk would call excessive automation at the automaker’s assembly plant in Fremont, California, and its battery factory in Sparks, Nevada. Tesla reached a long-delayed goal of building 5,000 Model 3s in one week in June 2018, and met its production guidance for the vehicle during the fourth quarter of 2018.

Musk would frame the Model 3 as a make-or-break moment for Tesla in a 2018 interview with Bloomberg, in which he said the vehicle would be the last product on which the automaker would have to bet its existence.

“I believe Model 3 is the last bet-the-company situation,” he said.

The Model 3 has received positive reviews from automotive critics and topped Consumer Reports’ 2019 owner-satisfaction ranking for cars, but the vehicle has also been subject to reports of quality issues. Consumer Reports retracted its recommendation of the Model 3 as a result of feedback from subscribers, who cited problems with the Model 3’s door handles, loose interior trim and molding, paint defects, and cracked windows.

Have a Tesla news tip? Contact this reporter at