Grok Nation Picks

Things we're *actually* wearing, reading, using, gifting, loving
Updated on 02/27/2019 at 10:36 AM EST \ Originally published 09/05/2018 at 3:19 PM EDT

Each week in Grok Nation Picks, Mayim and the team will share some favorite products. We will include all kinds of things, from books we’ve recently read, to face washes, kitchen gadgets, and fun splurge items.

Click through the gallery below and come back: We’ll be adding new picks each week. And be sure to let us know in the comments what items help you get through—and enjoy—your everyday lives.

OXO Vegetable Chopper

Two of the things I need to chop most in my life are nuts and onions. This chopper takes care of them both in ways I never anticipated. I was very reluctant to try out a new kitchen tool since my old nut chopper and I were very close, but this has been a real game changer for me in the kitchen and I haven’t cut myself once disassembling it.

—Mayim Bialik, founder

Purchase from William Sonoma for $19.95.

Poppy and Mozart: Storybook with 16 musical sounds

Our 11-month-old is on a classical music kick! She loves this Poppy and Mozart book to the point that it is being read and played five to 10 times a day. She waves her arms to conduct as the music comes on, flaps her arms and bounces up and down for the faster scores, and rocks gently side to side on the slower pieces. It’s amazing to watch her pre-verbal engagement with the music—and to then watch her grandmother laugh hysterically at the cuteness over FaceTime. One of her other favorite books is based on Bob Marley’s “One Love,” so we have a lovely variety of music playing in our house!

—Jossie Auerbach, integrated marketing manager

Purchase on Amazon for $15.81.

Whisker City Adjustable Cat Litter Scoop

It may sound a little weird to pick a cat litter scoop for my Grok Pick of the week, but hear me out: This one with an extendable handle is amazing. It saves my nose because I don’t have to get too close to do the job; and it makes my kids more likely to help with the chore. (Okay, yes, they’ve said no—but I’m working on it!) It’s a little more pricey than the typical plastic scooper, but trust me, it’s a game-changer.

—Mayim Bialik, founder

Purchase from PetSmart for $14.99.

Blanket Hoodie

I recently purchased this blanket hoodie for myself because I tend to get colder than the rest of my family. The inside is warm, wooly material with soft-as-silk fleece on the outside. Rather than complain when we’re hit with days that feel like -12°F, I’m now cozy and warm with this incredible sweatshirt/blanket hybrid. That was the plan at least. Since it truly is one-size-fits-all, both my son and husband have absconded with it often. We may need to get a family pack.

—Avital Norman Nathman, contributing editor and writer

Purchase on Amazon for $39.99.

Jerusalem: A Cookbook

One of my favorite cookbooks is Jerusalem, a gorgeous collection by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. (I love Ottolenghi’s vegeterian book, Plenty, too—and can’t wait to pick up his newest book, Simple.) I’m always looking to it for inspiration for new dishes, flavor combinations, and delicious dinner parties. We even had our caterer use the Jerusalem basic hummus recipe at our wedding—and people still talk about the feast, years later. Happy cooking!

—Jossie Auerbach, integrated marketing manager

Purchase on Amazon for $19.79.

Gravity weighted blanket

I am obsessed with weighted blankets. I had a small one, which I was really enjoying, but I found this Gravity weighted blanket on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond, and it really changed the game! The first night I used it, I slept like a baby. It’s the answer. To everything.

—Mayim Bialik, founder

Purchase from Bed Bath and Beyond for $249.99. (Pro tip: Wait for a sale or use a coupon!)

Nectar strain-reducing computer glasses

I spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen or phone screen. Probably about 75 percent of my day. I’m also prone to headaches caused by digital eye strain. What a combo! I recently got these blue light-blocking glasses to see if it would help, and I’m already noticing a difference. The plastic frames sit comfortably on my face, and the blue light blocking lenses are seemingly doing their job. Plus, when you buy any pair of glasses from Nectar Sunglasses, they donate money to save the declining honey bee population! Saving bees and saving eyes.

—Natalie Koch, social media manager

Purchase from Nectar for $44.99.

Assorted Latte Bowls

A favorite in our kitchen, these brightly colored latte bowls are from Anthropologie. We actually have these blue ones in addition to peach and a pair of larger “seafoam” ones that we use as pasta bowls. Having grown up with frequent trips to France, I love that the bowls remind me of French cafes, our family friends’ kitchens, and the pure joy of savoring their warm morning lattes (accompanied by fresh baguette and croissants!).

—Jossie Auerbach, integrated marketing manager

Purchase a set of six bowls from Anthropologie for $36.

Black Tapioca Pearls

Between me and my son, I spend way too much money each week at our favorite, local boba tea shop. Boba or “bubble tea” is a cup of tea with chewy tapioca pearls. It’s a fabulous combination of drinking and eating—that people either love or hate. (We love!) I decided to get my own boba (which comes vacuum sealed and you boil to plump) and make my own tea. It’s a super fast process, the amount of boba you get for the price is enough to make many weeks of drinks, and it helps me use up the hundreds of boxes of tea I already have. A delicious win for all (and my wallet).

—Avital Norman Nathman, contributing editor and writer

Purchase on Amazon for $5.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg sequin throw pillow

What’s one way you could make a sequin throw pillow better? PUT RUTH BADER GINSBURG’S FACE ON IT! I’m obsessed with this throw pillow, which just like RBG, is smart, stylish and sassy.

—Mayim Bialik, founder

Purchase from Amazon for $22.

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