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The future is...ultra-violet. Or 2018 is at least. The Pantone color of the year for 2018 is a rich purple shade called Ultra-Violet, and we're big fans. After all, purple is the color of royalty and it's pretty universally flattering. And it makes for a great pop of color in your home decor if you don't like to wear it!

What do you think about the color of the year?

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No longer youngsters, but not quite teenagers, this age group can be quite the struggle to shop for. We have put together a little help with a round-up of the hottest items on this year's must-have list that will leave your tween happy (not an easy feat!)

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The advancement of modern technology constantly leaves us amazed—and often captivated—by the discovery of new and exciting possibilities. But just how much are these developments improving our everyday lives? From phone-accessible home security systems, to "selfie"-taking fridges, you may not need to look much further than your own home, where “smart” technology is already integrating itself into our daily routines.

Smart Doorbells

Once something that was perceived as science fiction, smart doorbells, like Ring Video Doorbell, actually allow you to see who is at the door and communicate with them—all from your smartphone, no matter where you are.

Remote Control Lightbulbs

If you’re like the rest of us, you absolutely hate when you’ve just gotten into bed and under the covers, only to realize that the lights are still on. Luckily, thanks to remote control light bulbs like the LED Bulb by Insteon, they can be dimmed by a remote control using your smartphone. Once the bulb is screwed in, its network address is recognized by any nearby devices and (voila!) you can stay comfy under those covers!

Smart Fridges

Have you ever been at the grocery store and wished you could take a quick look inside your refrigerator just to double check what you had in there? Smart fridges like the Samsung Family Hub Smart Fridge have made this possible, thanks to high-quality internal cameras. You can view the subsequent "fridge selfies" on your smartphone, anywhere you are. Most smart fridges also have HD LCD screens that display calendars, notes, photos, recipes and shopping lists, and can also connect to Bluetooth and stream live television.

Smart Thermostats

Aside from just being another cool technological home advancement, smart thermostats such as the Nest can also save you a ton of money by tailoring heating and cooling cycles according to your comings and goings, all while allowing you to monitor and control the temperature of your home from your smartphone.

Smart Home Security Systems

These days security systems can connect to your home Wi-Fi, so you can monitor and control your system using your smartphone. Most systems, like Vivint Sky, include a motion detector, a few door and window sensors and a communication hub. Extra door, motion and window sensors can be provided at an additional cost. Many new systems also don't require a landline telephone, which prevents criminals from simply cutting your phone line to deactivate the alarm.

Smart Washers And Dryers

If you’re busy with multiple household chores, it can be easy to lose track of when your laundry will be done. However, smart washers and dryers like Whirlpool units can help remind you by enabling an alert sent to your smartphone, which lets you know when each cycle has finished. In addition, they allow for remote start/stop of cycles, and also tell you how much time is left in each cycle.

Smart Smoke Detectors

We all know the importance of having a smoke detector in our home. But we also know how annoying it can be to constantly try and turn that darn thing off when we’re cooking. Luckily, Nest also makes smart smoke detectors that enable you to turn your detector on and off via your smartphone, and also give you the option to call 911 in case you didn’t just accidentally burn the bacon.

Smart Coffee Makers

If you don’t quite feel ready to get out of bed in the morning, but still want to get your coffee brewing, you’re in luck. Smart coffee makers, like the one by Mr. Coffee, allow you to grind and brew your coffee from an app on your smartphone, and even give you the option to select the strength of your brew.

Smart Ovens

Also helping to make our lives in the kitchen a little easier is the smart oven. The June Intelligent Oven features Wi-Fi compatibility and is Bluetooth-enabled, allowing your oven to be turned on or off remotely. It also includes cameras and sensors, helping it to "learn" how to bake, roast and reheat food automatically.

Remote Control Shades

Adjusting the natural lighting in your home can be tricky, and even downright frustrating when the shades won’t cooperate with you. The wireless technology found in remote control shades like Bali Blinds can help eliminate this issue by letting you open and close the shades from your smartphone. They also give you the option to set a daily routine for each individual room.

Smart Vacuums

No smart home would be complete without something to clean it. Smart vacuums such as the Samsung Powerbot Robot Vacuum Cleaner can allow for Wi-Fi connectivity that enables you to drive the device around like an RC car, or send the vacuum out to clean your floors while you’re away from home.

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With the holidays quickly approaching, gift giving can be stressful and overwhelming when it comes to shopping for your girlfriends. These ladies are always here for you, whether it involves a good laugh or a good cry, so they truly deserve nothing less than the best. Let go of your gift-giving worries and check out these fun, interesting and perhaps quirky gifts to get your girlfriends this year.

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No more bulky, unwieldy carts. No more stubbed toes. No more running into aisles as you try to make turns. Check out the new and improved shopping carts of the future. 

17705-cart-red-squareThings have changed at supermarkets in the last few decades, but the shopping cart isn’t one of them. Sure, there’s plastic instead of metal and improvements to the child’s seat, but the basic design has been status quo — until now.

 

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The inventor of the supermarket shopping cart was Sylvan Nathan "Syl" Goldman, back in 1936.

 He established the Folding Basket Carrier Company to manufacture his invention. 

It was just the beginning of a list of creations that revolutionized the grocery industry: the grocery sacker, the folding interoffice basket carrier, and the handy milk bottle rack.

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Goldman shopping cart in use at a Humpty Dumpty grocery store
Barney Hillerman Collection

International company Araven has introduced the Shop and Roll Loop. The 3.5-cubic-foot cart combines the ample capacity of current carts with a design that takes up less space, stacks more easily, produces less noise and easily slips around corridors and corners.

Consumers who have used the cart are drawn to its ergonomics. Designed with a perimeter handle, the cart can be steered from any side and easily changes course, forward or back.

The cart is also reported to improve accessibility as goods are unloaded for checkout, resulting in less bending and lifting.

Araven reports the Stop and Roll Loop delivers a 33 percent increase in customer satisfaction and a lift in supermarket sales of up to 14 percent.

Sounds like an innovation supermarket operators should cart away quickly.

 

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