The Southlake Foundation is planning to unite the community through running, fun and all of the colors that make Southlake so special. 

Next week, the Southlake Foundation will host “United We Run,” its first fun color event where families can gather to run, walk and throw colors at each other. Southlake Foundation President Kush Rao says the idea came from the Hindu holiday Holi, otherwise known as the festival of colors. 

“It’s a vibrant festival where people smear each other with colors celebrating the arrival of spring and end of winter,” Kush says. “‘United We Run’ builds upon the essence of Holi and extends it to a walk or run that is open to all Southlake residents to come together and show our unity.” 

Along with the run, attendants can play with multiple color throw stations, listen to live music, eat from food trucks, get henna dyed onto their hands and much more. Tickets are $10, and proceeds will go towards the Carroll Education Foundation

“This past year has been very challenging in numerous aspects,” Kush says. “Celebrations are instrumental in bringing people of different cultures together, and we believe this will bring a breath of fresh air for everyone to put aside their differences and focus on the similarities and positivity.” 

“United We Run” runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 24 at Bicentennial Park. To register, visit

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As times go by, more phone brands have started to build ecosystems that connect your devices for a convenient smart lifestyle. If you have a Samsung Galaxy S21 series phone, you know it’s one of the ultimate flagship devices around. It can empower you to connect with other people and devices the smart lifestyle way, all in the palm of your hand. By pairing your Galaxy S21 series phone to a Galaxy Buds Pro and Galaxy Watch Active2, you will be well on your way with the Samsung Ecosystem. This combo ensures that you will enjoy the best-personalised audio experience and health tracking system wherever you go.

This is where the Limited Violet Edition Galaxy Ecosystem Pack promo comes in with a new promotion that can save you up to RM798. But before we go into how this ecosystem can benefit you, here’s a quick recap of some Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G key tech specs. The flagship features a large 6.8-inch Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED 2X display (with 120Hz refresh rate), 8K video recording capability, a 108MP quad rear camera (with 100x Space Zoom), up to 16GB + 512GB memory configuration, 5000mAh battery and many more. Now, into the Samsung Ecosystem!


Galaxy Buds Pro – Samsung’s best wireless earbuds for Samsung fans yet


We have reviewed a pair of these wireless earbuds before, so we won’t go into details here and just give you a summary of what you can expect. With the Galaxy Buds Pro, you can automatically initiate the connection between them and your Galaxy S21 series smartphone without the need to set it up manually. Trust us, the moment you take the Galaxy Buds Pro out of the charging case – the connection is seamless.

In terms of sound quality, we think the Galaxy Buds Pro is the best one by Samsung by far (read our review here). It has better mics for crisp, clear network calls, and it also has Game Mode if you play a lot of mobile games with your friends. In that mode, you get reduced audio latency, and the settings can be adjusted further on the Galaxy Buds Pro.


Galaxy Watch Active2 – Access your Galaxy phone from your wrist


Next, the Galaxy Watch Active2 is perfect for sports enthusiasts or users who actively monitor their own health. Like most smartwatches, you can reply to text messages even when your Galaxy S21 series phone isn’t with you. It can also be used to instantly access your music playlist, connect to Samsung Health, Samsung Pay, Knox security, Bixby and other third-party apps like Spotify.

By the way, did you know that you can also use the scroll capture feature on the Galaxy Watch Active2? Now that’s something you don’t hear every day. When you take a screenshot from your smartwatch, it will be automatically sent as a new image to your smartphone. That way, you can quickly capture message threads, workout information and many more for future reference. Pretty cool, huh?

 Limited Violet Edition Galaxy Ecosystem Pack.jpg

It’s uncommon for brands to sell three different devices as an ecosystem bundle (pre-orders don’t count), so this is a pleasant surprise. As a reminder, this Limited Violet Edition Galaxy Ecosystem Pack comes in two packages – one with a Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G or Galaxy S21 5G model for RM5099 and RM4599 respectively. Compared to buying the devices separately, you can save up RM798, which is quite the steal. If this is what you would be interested in, head over to the Samsung Online Store here to find out more.

For your information, the bundle promo begins today (15th) until 30 April 2021. So don’t wait too long as it’s a limited deal! Start your ecosystem journey with Samsung Malaysia today while stocks last. Also, stay tuned for more local tech deals at


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If a massive, 14,880-square-foot mansion set on 27 acres in Greenwich, Conn., doesn’t already tempt with its spaciousness, privacy, classic beauty and proximity to Manhattan, this one amps up the offerings.

In addition to a modern and heated indoor pool, the lakeside boathouse and dock are just a short walk down the manicured lawns to the water’s edge if you want to swim, paddleboard, kayak or row. Or maybe you want to work up a sweat on the Har-Tru tennis court, while friends or family watch your match from the shaded pavilion. Or if it’s one of those dreary New England days, too wet to be outdoors, you can head to the home gym and yoga studio. Whatever your preference, this house has it.

The home, called Topping Hill, has six bedrooms, nine bathrooms and what seems like an endless array of entertainment and family rooms. From the playroom and au pair suite to the beautiful limestone-and-timber wine cellar, custom made for collectors who want case as well as single-bottle storage, to the Kevlar-lined safe room and soundproofed music room, the house meets just about every need a family could have.

The huge motorcourt leads to the four-car garage. 

Photo: Chris Meech

And the details are all top-notch. The walls in the gym and pool house are also soundproofed to prevent echoes, and the pool has fingerprint-access security as well as a high-tech infrared cleaning system to control humidity. A huge skylight runs almost the length of the space, with custom lighting for evenings. Other thoughtful touches include heated flooring in all the bathrooms, as well as on the patios. There’s an elevator that connects all floors, motion-detection lighting throughout and a central heating and cooling system that’s been wrapped in soundproof materials for quiet. Windows have a UV treatment to help protect important artworks from the sun.

The vast kitchen begs for a gourmand with its marble countertops, La Cornue range, Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances—including a warming drawer and wine cooler. Stone floors and oak cabinets anchor the space. In the primary bedroom suite, the views to the lake can be seen from the balcony. And in addition to a beautiful bathroom with mosaic tiled floors and a massive walk-in closet, the space includes a meditation room and is adjacent to that Kevlar-lined safe room.

Greenwich Mansion

The indoor pool 

Photo: Carlos Marques, Marcott Studios

The residence also includes a home office, a screened porch, five fireplaces, living room, family room, a separate laundry room with two washers and dryers and a dedicated drying room and a four-car garage. Wood paneling and wide-plank wood floors mark many of the indoor spaces.

Outside, the exterior is clad in hand-honed granite with custom gutters and bronze windows trimmed in limestone. Geothermal heating is included, as is a separate generator that can power the house at full capacity for seven days. A formal rose garden, as well as an expansive vegetable garden, were included on the grounds, with many walking paths. The property abuts conservation land and links up with the Greenwich horse-riding trail system. The only thing not included here is a guest house, but with 27 acres at your disposal, there’s plenty of room to build one or two.

Greenwich Mansion

The dramatic foyer 

Photo: Carlos Marques, Marcott Studios

Greenwich Mansion

The cozy family room 

Photo: Carlos Marques, Marcott Studios

Greenwich Mansion

The chef’s kitchen 

Photo: Carlos Marques, Marcott Studios

Greenwich Mansion

The formal dining room 

Photo: Carlos Marques, Marcott Studios

Greenwich Mansion

The breakfast nook 

Photo: Carlos Marques, Marcott Studios

Greenwich Mansion

The sunny living room 

Photo: Carlos Marques, Marcott Studios

Greenwich Mansion

The music room 

Photo: Carlos Marques, Marcott Studios

Greenwich Mansion

The wine room 

Photo: Carlos Marques, Marcott Studios

Greenwich Mansion

The fitness studio 

Photo: Carlos Marques, Marcott Studios

Greenwich Mansion

The primary bedroom 

Photo: Carlos Marques, Marcott Studios

Greenwich Mansion

The walk-in closet 

Photo: Carlos Marques, Marcott Studios

Greenwich Mansion

The manicured gardens and tennis court 

Photo: Chris Meech

Greenwich Mansion

The dock 

Photo: Chris Meech

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For many people stuck at home over the past year, it wasn’t the walls starting to close in that made us crazy, but the wall color. Maybe you’ve concluded that your kitchen backsplash is dingy or the bathroom will never truly shine because the linoleum floor is outdated. Homeowners wanting a design fix flocked to home-improvement stores, but renters may have felt stuck, not wanting to risk violating their lease.

“During the pandemic people became more in tune to design by binge-watching HGTV and other networks. They want to make the space they live in beautiful, comfortable and personalized to reflect their style, even if they rent instead of own,” says Annie Elliott, an interior designer in Washington, D.C.

Businesses have taken notice, evidenced by an uptick in trendy renter/rental-friendly products, says Melanie Berliet, general manager of the Spruce, a home and lifestyle website. “It’s been a few years coming, but with people home all the time they tire of decor or notice areas that need an upgrade. The obstacle is a landlord who may, or may not, let you make changes.”

Kelli Lamb, editorial director of interior design publication Rue Magazine, knows the challenges firsthand. For the past five years, she and her husband have rented a home in Los Angeles and must live with the rules established by their landlord. That hasn’t kept her from having a space that she loves, though.

“The homeware market continues to innovate and rental-friendly decor is here to stay,” Lamb says. “Consumers need to seek out what they love and figure out how to bring it into a space.”

Before shelling out money for changes, review your lease. Talk to your landlord. Show them pictures of what you plan. They may like it, says Lamb. And if it raises the value of the property, they may even be willing to chip in. But there are also plenty of temporary solutions for renters (and even commitment-phobic homeowners) that can add personality without being permanent. Here are some options:

Removable wallpaper

Peel-and-stick wallpaper is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to change smooth, flat surfaces. “I love the idea of peel-and-stick for accent walls,” says Elliott, who suggests you test a small piece in a hidden spot to ensure no residue remains after removal. Look for paper with a high plastic content, so any underlying texture on the walls doesn’t show through.

Lamb used peel-and-stick paper in a spare room. “I chose a bold green leaf pattern and it looked as if a professional had installed it. Four months later, I realized it was a bit too wild for me and removed it with no issues,” she says. Among the more popular brands: Chasing Paper, Tempaper, NuWallpaper, RoomMates, Kathy Kuo and Rifle Paper Co. A company called Wallsauce makes peel-and-stick wallpaper murals in thousands of patterns, including tropical rainforests, city skylines, a Monet watercolor or a star-studded galaxy, if that’s more your style. And if you’re hesitant to go big, ease into it by adding small geometric-shaped wall decals, which are easy to apply and remove.

Peel-and-stick tiles and flooring

Thicker vinyl-sheet products you can trim to fit are popular for creating faux-tile kitchen and bath backsplashes and floors, Berliet says. Not only have the aesthetics improved to the point that the tiles and grout look like the real deal, but the laminated coating makes it water-resistant and durable. As with adhesive wallpaper, stick-on tiles work best over a flat surface so the adhesive can touch every spot. And new technology makes it simple to remove. Use water or a hair dryer to get rid of excess residue.

Floating floor

For temporary flooring, Elliott suggests interlocking cork squares over wood. By fitting the squares tightly from wall to wall, the floor should stay in place without the use of adhesive. Another temporary option to cover any smooth surface is carpet tiles. Elliott uses Flor tiles in her home office. The large carpet squares stick to one another and not the floor itself. The effect is wall-to-wall and it stays put, she says.

Adhesive strips and hooks

No longer relegated to college dorms, the 3M Command Hook has become a go-to product for those who need hangers that can be repositioned or removed without leaving holes or sticky residue on walls, doors or cabinets. Some new versions will hold up to eight pounds. Both Elliott and Lamb suggest heavy-duty Command hooks and a dowel or curtain rod to hang lightweight curtains or fabric panels over less-than-attractive windows or unsightly blinds.

Stick-on paper

The 21st-century version of contact paper is so realistic it can be used to mask damaged or outdated cabinets and appliances. Try a wood-finish look on cabinets, or one that mimics stainless steel on the front of a dishwasher or refrigerator.

Adhesive shelving

Other than a carpenter’s level, no tools are required to install peel-and-stick acrylic shelves, which can be affixed to any smooth wall with adhesive strips. “Just be sure the shelf is level before you peel off the backing and adhere to the wall,” says Berliet. This a great option for adding open shelving to hold lighter items (typically five pounds or less) such as mementos and pictures.

Gallery walls

Don’t limit yourself to framed pictures. You can hang an arrangement of hats, clocks, mirrors or cherished mementos. The beauty of a gallery wall is you don’t need to measure or be super precise in your placement, but can arrange objects to please your aesthetic, says Berliet. Use masking tape, Command hooks or tiny nails (if allowed) to hang your items.

Closet kits

Customizable closet systems such as the Everyday System from California Closets are a DIYer’s dream. These free-standing, modular components are easy to assemble, adjustable and can be reconfigured to move from room to room or home to home.

Furniture rental

Much like renting haute couture or designer accessories, you can now lease trendy sofas, dining tables, full bedroom sets and more from companies such as Feather, Fernish and Rent the Runway (in partnership with West Elm). Fernish even lets you swap out items at the end of the lease or within the first three days after delivery if you decide an item isn’t for you. Because renting high-end furniture doesn’t necessarily save you money in the long run, it’s best for those who aren’t inclined to stay in one city for any significant length of time and want to avoid pricey moving costs. “Unless you can rent a large piece that you really love, I’d opt for buying inexpensive pieces that will last you for one or two apartments,” Elliott says. Still, she says renting an oversized, heavy (and usually expensive) mirror may be worth it to help pull a room together or give a space a more finished look.

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Spring Session — Stacie Dread & Mystic of Broken Down Guitars: the rock, soul and Americana duo will perform on the outdoor patio that will be live streamed on Worthy’s Facebook page; 6-8 p.m.; Worthy Brewing Company, 495 NE Bellevue Drive, Bend;

Thursday in the Yard with Bobby Lindstrom: The local singer-songwriter will perform on the outdoor stage; 6-8 p.m.; Bunk+Brew Historic Lucas House, 42 NW Hawthorne Ave., Bend; or 458-202-1090.

The Junebugs Live to Your Home: The Portland folk band will perform via livestream; 6-8 p.m.; Bend; or 541-317-0700.

Eric Leadbetter & Aaron Moore: The local rock artists will perform on the outdoor stage; 6-9 p.m.; River’s Place, 787 NE Purcell Blvd., Bend;

High Desert Nights feat. Michalis Patterson and Travis Walker: The local artist will perform an acoustic show on the outdoor stage; 6-8 p.m.; Bunk+Brew Historic Lucas House, 42 NW Hawthorne Ave., Bend; or 458-202-1090.

Sleepless Truckers: The outlaw country band will perform on the outdoor stage; 6:30-9:30 p.m.; $10; General Duffy’s Waterhole, 404 SW Forest Ave., Redmond;

HWY 97: The classic rock band will perform; 1-4 p.m.; The Horseshoe Tavern, 410 N. Main St., Prineville;

Loose Platoon: The Delta blues band will perform; 4-6 p.m.; Silver Moon Brewing, 24 NW Greenwood Ave., Bend; or 541-388-8331.

Kristy Kinsey and the Whiskey Bandits: The country band will perform; 5-8 p.m.; Renegades BBQ, 1255 NE Third St., Prineville; or 541-640-1004.

Four Bands for Trey: Four local bands including the High Street Band and members from Precious Byrd will perform the benefit concert; 5:30-9:30 p.m.; $20; General Duffy’s Waterhole, 404 SW Forest Ave., Redmond; or 541-527-4345.

Saturdays in the Yard with Mystic Jake: The country blues, electronic fusion band will perform on the outdoor stage; 6-8:30 p.m.; Bunk+Brew Historic Lucas House, 42 NW Hawthorne Ave., Bend; or 458-202-1090.

Bob Baker & Brian Odell: The rock, funk and blues fusion duo performs on the patio, reservations recommended for groups of six or more; 6-8:30 p.m.; Sisters Depot, 250 W. Cascade Ave., Sisters;

Spring Sessions — Crystal & Joe of Never Come Down: The bluegrass duo will perform live on the outdoor stage and will be live streamed on the Worthy Facebook page; 6-8 p.m.; Worthy Brewing Company, 495 NE Bellevue Drive, Bend;

Dave & Melody Hill: The duo will play originals and covers of Americana, blues, country and Southern rock music; 6-8 p.m.; River’s Place, 787 NE Purcell Blvd., Bend;

Spring Sessions — Strong Alibi Unplugged: The rock band will perform on the outdoor stage and be live streamed on the Worthy Facebook page; 6-8 p.m.; Worthy Brewing Company, 495 NE Bellevue Drive, Bend;

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Keri Hilson is projected to have a busy year, but it doesn’t include releasing new music. The two-time Grammy nominee is preparing for the release of several film projects, and if that surprises you, you’re not alone.

“It took even me by surprise,” said the singer-turned-actor. “I always dreamt of leading a film — never thought that I ever actually would or even feel capable of doing so.”

Hilson stars is in the TV movie “Lust: A Seven Deadly Sins Story” which premiered on Lifetime this past Saturday. It’s part of a two-film partnership between the network and megapastor and entrepreneur T.D. Jakes. The collaboration also falls within Lifetime’s “Broader Focus” initiative dedicated to hiring female directors, writers and producers.

“I love throwing myself in situations where I’m forced to grow and learn and catch up and be challenged,” said Hilson of her rapidly budding film career. “I’m really loving this shift that just occurred so naturally.”

“Lust” follows Tiffanie Cooper (Hilson) as she prepares to marry Damon King (Tobias Truvillion). Her life is interrupted by an unexpected passionate interest in her fiancé’s ex-convict friend (played by R&B artist Durrell “Tank” Babbs).

Labeling this her “manifestation season,” the “Pretty Girl Rock” singer starred in TV One’s “Don’t Waste Your Pretty” in February, and the actor will also appear in a short film later this year. She’s expected to be in a full-length theatrical release, too, although there have been no public announcements.

Making a giant musical splash the late 2000s, the songstress released hits like “Turnin Me On” featuring Lil Wayne, her empowerment anthem “Pretty Girl Rock” and “Knock You Down,” a smash featuring Kanye West and Ne-Yo. Prior to solo success, she started as an in-demand writer whose credits include songs for Chris Brown, Mary J. Blige, The Pussycat Dolls, Jennifer Lopez, Timbaland, R. Kelly and Britney Spears.

Hilson, who collaborated on several songs on Spears’ “Blackout” album, has not seen the “Framing Britney Spears” documentary and says she isn’t familiar with any of the polarizing allegations, but does remember getting a sample of the pop star’s life.

“I knew her to be just a genuine young woman who was in very unfortunate type of surveillance at the time when we worked. It was ridiculous. People cut the bushes out of the studio — like, they cut holes in the bushes where we worked for weeks,” recalled Hilson of the paparazzi. “That would literally affect anyone to be under that kind of scrutiny.”

While adamant she’s not taking sides, Hilson said her own family has had the difficult experience of making decisions for a relative unfit to make choices for themselves. So she’s thought of Britney often.

“I’m obviously going to support her,” said Hilson. “I’ve actually prayed and meditated for her.”

Hilson is no stranger to the pressures of the music industry herself. At the height of her career, her reputation took a massive hit when an unreleased remix of her 2009 single “Turnin Me On” was leaked. In the record, Hilson threw subliminal jabs at unnamed female R&B artists, causing fans to speculate at least one was Beyoncé. Denying it at the time, she admitted last year on “ Out Loud with Claudia Jordan ” that Queen B was the target.

But there was more to the story: The songstress, young at the time, said she didn’t write the lyrics and was actually forced to record them under the threat of career-threatening retaliation from parties within her camp — a move she regrets.

Hilson, who hasn’t released an official album since 2010, has kept a relatively low profile throughout the last decade as she’s nourished her mental health, publicly acknowledging her bouts with depression. But she’s cautiously emerged from her self-imposed cocoon, and even prepared to drop new music last year before the sudden loss of her father halted her plans.

Despite her hiatus, the hit maker still receives calls from musicians requesting her magical pen. She’s always creating and has “a lot of work in the arsenal.” But her priority now is acting.

“I have to be in an authentic space to pursue anything. It’s got to be genuine for me,” said Hilson. “For now, all of my focus is in learning a new craft.”

More wise and confident now than the young, bright-eyed songwriter just happy to pursue her dreams, Hilson says she’s in control of the direction of her life, and much like her music, she’s the one penning the lyrics.

“Don’t allow others to impose their beliefs, their methods upon you,” said Hilson. “That’s the way I approach so much in life. Not just music, not just career, it’s like anything — I’m going to fight to make sure that my voice is heard… it’s always worth the fight. It always has been, and I believe it always will be.”

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This photo shows a person browsing Abashiri City Digital Library’s website in Abashiri, Hokkaido, on March 16, 2021. More than 900 people registered to use the library in the first three months after its launch. (Mainichi/Takeshi Honda)

SAPPORO — The stay-at-home lifestyle necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic is boosting traffic numbers at e-libraries operated by local governments in Japan’s northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido.

The ratio of e-books among all loans by the city of Abashiri library grew to some 10% in three months after it launched the service last December. In some municipalities, e-book loan numbers doubled compared to the previous fiscal year.

Abashiri City Library advertises its e-library with the slogan: “24 hours a day, 365 days a year, read books anywhere.” A library representative said, “Picture books to read to children seem popular among mothers, and ‘Aozora Bunko’ (a Japanese digital library similar to Project Gutenberg), which catalogues classic books, appears to be a hit among the elderly.”

The library started the e-library service on Dec. 15, 2020 with about 2,000 e-books, increasing that to some 3,000 volumes in three months. As of March 6 this year, 905 people had registered to borrow the e-books, with loans reaching 2,340. That makes up a little less than 10% of the library’s usual loan number, which clocks in at about 10,000 per month.

December was when a third wave of coronavirus infections hit Hokkaido, prompting people to stay inside. This, in turn, is suspected of boosting interest in e-libraries. The trend appears especially strong among stay-at-home moms, who have few chances to go out, and corporate salarymen, who find it hard to get to libraries during the day.

According to the Association for E-publishing Business Solution, as of January e-libraries had been instituted by 143 local governments across Japan, including five municipalities in Hokkaido. The city of Noboribetsu also introduced an e-library in March, and the city of Obihiro launched one on April 1 with one of the largest stocks of e-books in the prefecture.

The numbers of library users have grown in Hokkaido municipalities other than Abashiri, as well. In the city of Kitami, registered users almost doubled from 1,055 at the end of March 2020 to 1,906 by the end of February 2021. The number of lent books grew 2.3 times. In Sapporo, Hokkaido’s capital, the number of e-books lent between March and May last year, when libraries were temporarily closed, was over twice that in the same period the previous year, and the number has remained 30% to 50% higher each month compared to the previous year.

When Tomakomai City Library simplified its e-book borrowing procedures last June, such as allowing users to set passwords without physically visiting the library, the number of e-book loans surged from 26 in June 2019 to 207 in the same month the following year.

The merits of e-libraries for local governments include not needing a physical space to store books and being able to save on acquisition costs if they use free Aozora Bunko e-books, whose copyrights have expired. Some libraries are introducing unique services to lure in readers, such as the town of Teshio’s tie-up with a U.S. e-library service to enrich its English-language offerings, and Sapporo’s feature e-books on particular topics including “armchair travel.”

“The genres that saw more e-book loans, such as computers and cooking, precisely reflect stay-at-home demand,” said Takao Asano, the chief of the circulation service division at Sapporo Municipal Central Library, an e-library book pioneer in Hokkaido. “I think the coronavirus caused many people to notice the merit of e-books, which you can read even when you’re on the go.”

A Kitami City Public Library representative commented, “E-books not only allow readers to avoid the three Cs (confined spaces, crowded places and close contact), they have features that print books don’t have, such as an audio function and moving pictures. I want people to experience them.”

(Japanese original by Takeshi Honda and Mitsuko Imai, Hokkaido News Department)

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When someone is having a baby, they aren’t just welcoming a tiny human — they’re also welcoming an endless amount of stuff into their home. And although parents quickly learn that not all baby gear marketed as a “must-have” is actually essential, there’s one category that definitely is: the stroller. However, when going to buy one for the first time or adding one to a registry, parents quickly learn another parenting truth: A stroller isn’t just a stroller.

There are many distinct types of strollers at different price points and each is intended for a specific lifestyle or need. We consulted experts to learn more about the various types of strollers and what stroller features you should be considering, plus got some specific expert recommendations.

What to know before shopping for a stroller

Although there are many factors to consider when buying a stroller, Natalie Diaz of Twiniversity, a resource for parents of multiples, explained that shoppers should always start with size before anything else. “Families need to first measure their trunk, doorway and stroller storage area to see what size might work best,” she said.

Then they need to think about how the stroller is going to be used. “If it’s for daily use, where do you live? Will you be on concrete, gravel, grass, dirt path? Then narrow it down,” she added.

Next, consider whether you plan to expand your family anytime soon. “Will you want a stroller to grow with you and your family or will you just buy another one?” Diaz said. And then there’s the budget: Not everyone can afford the “best” on the market, “but many might be surprised to find out that the ‘best’ might not be the best anyway after thinking about the above scenarios,” she added.

Baby gear expert Jamie Grayson of the Baby Guy Gear Guide said that two other essential aspects to consider are where you live and your lifestyle. “In an urban environment your stroller is your car — you’re using it all day not only to walk with your kids, but also to schlep your groceries and goods around,” he noted. “So investing in a great stroller in an urban environment can be more important than investing if you are in and out of a car constantly in the suburbs.”

Different types of strollers to shop

As Grayson noted, not all strollers are created equal, so it’s important to know the difference between stroller types to ensure you are looking at models in the category that best fits your needs.

  • Jogging stroller. Typically, this is a three-wheeled stroller made for multiple terrains and fast movement, explained Diaz.
  • Travel system stroller. This versatile stroller first accommodates an infant car seat and then converts into a typical single stroller as your child grows. “Travel strollers are just as convenient as car seat carriers, but offer more versatility, with a full-size stroller that includes a detachable car seat,” said Grayson. “Parents can choose if they want a standard size with extra storage, a lightweight [stroller] or even a jogging stroller travel system.”
  • Convertible travel system stroller. This stroller does all of the above “but has the ability to convert and add a second seat if you expand your family,” explained Diaz.
  • Umbrella stroller. This is the lightest and easiest option for parents or caregivers who can’t lug around bulky baby gear. “They are the most portable wherever you go and fold up into a slender umbrella that is easy to carry around,” said Grayson.
  • Full-size stroller. This is typically a four-wheeled, all-in-one convertible stroller, so you can use it from birth up to 50 pounds, depending on the recline level. “They offer ample storage space and accessories to accommodate your growing child, but may be a bit bulky,” said Grayson.
  • Side-by-side double stroller. This wider stroller seats two children conveniently next to each other. “Double strollers are a must for life with two little ones,” added Grayson. “Whether it’s to safely accommodate twins or a baby and toddler, these strollers remove the challenge of pushing one child in a stroller while trying to manage another child by hand.”
  • Inline double stroller. This is a double stroller that has two children “stadium seated,” or one below the other, Diaz explained.
  • Infant or car seat carrier stroller. These metal frame strollers include a base that connects to hold one or two infant car seats in a snap. “They are compact and convenient for traveling with infants when you need support carrying a baby in a heavy car seat,” said Grayson. You might also see them referred to as Snap n’ Go strollers.

Best strollers to shop 2021

We asked the pros to recommend the best strollers on the market across categories and used their guidance and experience to compile a list of top options.

Best overall all-terrain and side-by-side double stroller: Bumbleride

Bumbleride Indie All-Terrain Stroller

All of our experts agreed that Bumbleride is the gold standard of strollers. As Grayson put it: “If you know, you know.” You can convert this beloved all-terrain stroller into a modular system by purchasing a bassinet or infant car seat. “Bonus: it’s eco-friendly,” he added.

And if you have a new addition or are a twin parent, Diaz called out the Indie Twin as the best side-by-side double stroller she’s encountered. Both models have large storage baskets, one-handed backrest reclines and UPF 45+ canopies.

Best car seat and stroller hybrid: Doona

Doona Car Seat & Stroller

Diaz told us there is only one hybrid stroller like this. In car seat mode, it works as rear-facing only and the stroller’s adjustable handlebar serves as an anti-rebound bar.

“While it is one of the heaviest infant seats on the market due to the mechanics involved that turn it into a stroller, when it comes to convenience for travel and for people with limited space in their home, the Doona is a great product,” added Grayson. This car seat and stroller combo is suitable for babies weighing from 4 to 35 pounds and comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Best stroller for newborns: UPPAbaby

UPPAbaby Vista V2 Stroller

In addition to being compatible with the MESA infant car seat, this travel system also comes with a bassinet and bassinet bug shield so your newborn can stroll safely and comfortably. When you get home, the stroller folds into upright storage. There’s also a bassinet stand option for a seamless transition from outdoors to indoors or for traveling. Ana Taney, a maternal health advocate and postpartum doula, also noted this expandable stroller’s long-term appeal, as it can convert to carry up to three with a ride along board as your family expands.

Best for growing families on the go: CYBEX

CYBEX Gazelle S Stroller

If you invest in this versatile stroller with your first (or twins), you may still be glad you did by the time you welcome your second or third. This 3-in-1 travel system supports over 20 single, sibling and twin modes, whether you’re looking to stroll with an infant cot or a CYBEX infant car seat. It weighs 27.7 pounds and has machine-washable fabric, a detachable shopping basket, a multi-position recline, an extendable UPF 50+ sun canopy and all-wheel suspension.

Best affordable single-to-double stroller: Evenflo

Evenflo Pivot Xpand Modular Travel System

“For [under] $400, you get a stroller that converts from a single to a double and the car seat is included,” noted Grayson. “You also don’t need extra adapters or parts, so you get quite a bit of bang for relatively little buck here.”

In addition to a self-standing fold and 22 configurations, this versatile stroller comes with a toddler seat that accommodates up to 55 pounds. “Fairly new to the market, this stroller and car seat combo has all the newest bells and whistles,” added Diaz.

Best high-end stroller: Bugaboo

Bugaboo Fox 2 Stroller

An upgraded version of the popular Fox, the Fox 2 model weighs 21.8 pounds and has large “puncture-proof” wheels plus a new sun canopy. “Aside from the fashion component to this stroller, it truly pushes like a dream so you are able to have an incredibly smooth ride and one cute stroller,” Grayson said. “Bugaboo is also one of the only companies that truly engineers every single part of their stroller and nothing ever really goes wrong with them, which means they hold a very high resale value if that’s something you’re thinking about.” If something does go wrong or you’re not satisfied, the stroller comes with a 100-day trial period and a 3-year warranty (as long as you register online).

Best stroller for running: Thule

Thule Urban Glide 2 Stroller

Freda Singletary, MD, a pediatrician in North Carolina, recommended this sleek all-terrain stroller for parents on the move, as it allows for a one-handed, compact fold at the end of an adventure.

It can be used from birth with the Thule Bassinet, and when your little one is older and you’re ready to run, you’ll both appreciate the smooth suspension and convenient twist handbrake for controlled braking. “Thule is known for their recreational gear, so the next step into the juvenile industry just made sense,” added Grayson. “It features a handbrake, a great fold and a covered undercarriage basket to keep your belongings inside and the elements out — just a terrific product.”

Best high-end stroller travel system: Nuna

Nuna MIXX Next + PIPA Lite RX Travel System

This luxe travel system accommodates children from birth to 50 pounds with four different mode options: bassinet, car seat, parent facing or world facing. With all-wheel suspension and one-hand five-position recline, your little one might even snooze on the go. The oversized canopy’s coverage is secured with convenient magnets, offering UPF 50+ sun protection from head to toe. It also boasts an adjustable pushbar for personalized height, a compact standing folding mechanism no matter which position the seat is in and a self-guiding magnetic buckle to make clipping in squirming bodies much easier.

Best umbrella stroller: Summer Infant

Summer Infant 3Dlite+ Convenience Stroller

This durable stroller weighs 14 pounds, bringing convenience to everyday use. It has a one-hand, multi-position recline as well as cup holders for both parent and child. The oversized canopy has a peek-a-boo window and there’s a zip-close pocket as well as a roomy basket for storage. “It’s a small fold, [it’s] super light and [it’s] easy to carry with an attached shoulder strap,” said Diaz.

Best high-end stroller for expanding families: Silver Cross

Silver Cross Coast Stroller

This is one of the few convertible strollers that allows a bassinet in the upper position, and the additional seat has a weight limit of 45 pounds, which is one of the highest on the market. “There are plenty of strollers that convert from a single to a double, but a few things set the Coast apart,” Grayson explained. “Instead of having to buy a few extra accessories and adapters to make this stroller a double, you can use it as a double out of the box, which is rad, and the upper seat adapters are integrated into the frame so you never lose them.”

However, updated for 2021, the new Wave Double Stroller is also worth noting for growing families or twin parents. This double travel system can create up to 30 modes depending on your little ones’ ages and preferences, and it comes with a tandem seat that holds up to 55 pounds.

Best lightweight stroller: UPPAbaby

UPPAbaby MINU Stroller

Taney’s top pick was the MINU stroller, which is lightweight yet robust at 14.8 pounds. Despite having a roomy interior for your little one, this stroller with shock-absorbing, all-wheel suspension doesn’t feel bulky or cumbersome. Instead, the one-handed fold, built-in carry handle and shoulder strap make it conducive to a busy lifestyle.

In addition to the MESA infant car seat, this stroller is also compatible with the Maxi-Cosi, Nuna and Cybex models. It’s recommended for babies aged 3 months to 50 pounds — however, the From Birth Kit allows you to utilize the MINU from day one by transforming it into a completely flat resting place for your newborn.

Best affordable stroller travel system: Chicco

Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System

Both Taney and Grayson recommended Chicco when it comes to a quality travel system at an affordable price. The 3-in-1 Bravo Trio comes with the KeyFit 30 infant car seat, a lightweight stroller frame and a stroller seat that accommodates up to 50 pounds.

“There are a few variations in this Bravo line, but at the core, you get a very solid car seat, a solid frame and a great toddler seat,” said Grayson. “The stroller has a one-handed fold and the canopy is terrific — especially when you’re using the included Keyfit infant seat. The undercarriage basket is also very large, so if you’re looking for a travel system, this one should be high up on your list.”

Stroller features to consider

When looking for strollers, Singletary said it’s all about looking for convenience. “Bringing the baby home is already stressful, and planning can make this transition much smoother,” she said. So with that in mind, here are different aspects to consider depending on your needs.

  • Wheels. ”Remember you are buying a stroller to push, so check those wheels and suspension,” said Grayson. “Larger, air-filled tires typically give a much smoother ride than smaller plastic wheels.”
  • Handlebar. A solid handle makes it easier to push one-handed, Grason noted. However, that usually means it will not fold as compactly as an umbrella stroller with two handles.
  • Seating configurations. Not all strollers have the option to switch up seating configurations as the child grows or your family expands. “I am a big fan of reversible seats because it’s nice to have the option of your child facing you or facing out,” Grayson added.
  • Brakes. If you like to wear sandals, Grayson strongly recommended looking for “flip-flop-friendly” brakes. “If it hurts your feet to engage them, you’re less inclined to use them and brakes are there for a reason,” he said.
  • Weight. When considering how heavy a stroller is, Diaz reminded shoppers consider who will be behind it. “Will grandma and grandpa help you with the baby? Can they lift the stroller?”
  • Bells and whistles. Undercarriage basket size, adjustable handle height, canopy size, rain shields (they’re for more than just rain, Grayson noted), cup holders and the ability to hold an infant car seat are all other features to consider.

Singletary said she understands how hard it can be hard to pick just one stroller because of the features factored into finding the best unit for your family. “Start with combining two or three features that are must-haves and compare the best of each, [then] pick the one that fits the family,” she suggested.

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Today’s Sound Off is about websites:

Dear Heloise: Nearly every website I go to wants me to enter my email address or name or more. I might be looking for just some information, but these sites won’t allow me to just enter and look around at what they are offering without getting information I’d rather not give them. The next thing you know your email inbox is loaded with spam from these people who demanded your email address or from others who buy lists from them. It angers me that I get so much junk mail for trash that I don’t want. No, I don’t want a musical dog leash or a motion detector light on my toothbrush.

There should be more regulations and laws pertaining to internet use and the protection of our privacy. The majority of people I know are fed up with having to enter our personal information on websites that we may only visit once or twice. — Mike and Stella T., Battle Creek, Mich.

Here are some new uses for wine racks:

• Roll up magazines and store in the openings.

• Roll up placemats and store inside.

• Store slippers in them.

• Store small toys inside.

Dear Heloise: Today I got a call from some woman saying she was from the county health department, asking if I had my COVID vaccine yet. I told her not yet but I intended to get the vaccine soon. She said she could help me get the vaccine in a couple of days, and that while we were on the phone she would need to take down some information. I got suspicious. She wanted my Medicare number and Social Security number, which I refused to give her. She hung up on me.

When I told my son about this he made some calls and found out scammers are out there promising to send a nurse to your home with the COVID vaccine but it’s a lie. Instead, they rob you blind and it’s a mess to untangle your finances in the future. Please warn your readers about this. — Wade S., Lima, Ohio

Wade, there are so many scammers out there, and they’re always coming up with new ways to take advantage of the elderly or innocent. Once again, keep all financial and personal information private and don’t give it out to random strangers, no matter what they promise you. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: Warranties! We used to keep losing them, but one day I decided to get organized and bought a large binder. I now put all warranties in this binder and place the binder on a shelf in my home office. However, I also have a metal filing cabinet with all of our personal things organized inside. Items such as a wedding certificate, our wills, passports and medical records are in each person’s file. — Meredith B., Bend, Ore.

Dear Readers: Have you been to our renovated website? You can find all sorts of good advice, recipes and much more when you visit — Heloise

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