Make Your Amazon Wishlist Public for the Holidays

When we rounded up our staff’s weekly updates last Friday, our editors supported IFTTT, experimented with ballet, and finally got things off our floors and shelves.

This week, we’re listening to ambient noise, optimizing holiday gifts, fighting insomnia, and more.

What updates have you made this week? Let us know in the comments.

Hear the sounds of rain while you work

While I work, I listen to Rainy Mood . The sound of rain and thunder is really soothing, especially here in Southern California where we don’t hear it too often. It helps me to flow. There are several different ambient noise options in the app (such as “chatter” and “shoreline”), but I’m just using the default rain sounds in the browser.

Michelle Wu, parenting editor

Make gifts easier with Amazon’s public wishlist

In a conversation with my colleague Nick, I realized that everything I want for the holidays is stored in one place: on my Amazon Wishlist. It turns out that you can make this list easily accessible to anyone remotely interested in getting anything by changing your Amazon account settings. So I took some time, completed my Amazon profile (along with an image to make sure potential donors had the correct Patrick Austin) and posted my wishlist. Want to find a friend’s account? Open your Amazon Wishlist page, select the Your Friends tab and enter their name or email address.

Patrick Austin, staff writer

Do all your streaming in one place

I started listening to podcasts on Spotify instead of iTunes. That way, if I start listening to a podcast on my phone, I can ask Alexa to resume it, and vice versa. It makes my life better because I have an Echo Dot in my kitchen for the sole purpose of listening to music while I cook or wash the dishes. I never wash the dishes long enough to finish a podcast, so now I can listen to podcasts in the same way.

Beth Squarecki, health editor

Outsmart insomnia

As a perpetually poor sleeper, I rarely come across a new or effective trick, but I recently listened to the Fresh Air series with sleep scientist Matthew Walker, who suggested an illogical but completely effective trick for insomnia: Get up. Tossing and turning in bed teaches your brain to associate that space with wakefulness, Walker says, which is not good for developing a strong sleeping habit. Now that I cannot sleep, I move into the living room. More often than not, I either doze on the couch, get tired again and go back to bed, or do some work or read – which is much better than staring wide-eyed at the ceiling and wondering what time it is. …

Caitlin Schneider, social editor

Outsource cold beer

This is not a recent update, but I’m still obsessed with Trader Joe’s Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate . I sometimes brew my own iced coffee, but the ease of pouring a little of this magic elixir into a glass and then adding water to dilute makes morning coffee easy and relatively cheap. It tastes great and will last for a long time! I like it.

Patrick Allan, staff writer

Splurge on discounted furniture

As it happens every holiday season, I may or may not shop for myself more than for other people. Well. I was slowly but surely furnishing the apartment I moved into in July, and this week I made a major purchase that I had been putting off for a while: a sofa bed. I received this model at a significant discount from Wayfair and am looking forward to its arrival. I am very happy that my living room will look more collected and also have a place to sleep for friends from the city when they come to visit.

Virginia K. Smith, Editor-in-Chief

Move to a new calendar system

I have Uncalendar, my favorite organizer on this earth . It has many fields and columns for composing lists, and it’s the lists that keep me sane. I’ve tried other calendars / planners, but they just don’t have enough fields and columns for the lists.

Claire Lowe, Food and Beverage Editor


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