Open Thread: Resolutions

What Are Your New Year Resolutions? | CorporetteWhat are your resolutions for the new year, ladies? What are you hoping to change and otherwise accomplish this year? We haven’t talked about resolutions in a while, and I just randomly found my resolutions from 2006, so the subject is on my mind. My all-time favorite resolution that I ever made (and kept) was way back in college, when I resolved “to be more uncomfortable” — to challenge myself, and to challenge that feeling of “I can’t” or “I shouldn’t,” or “I feel awkward” or so forth. Fun to look at my resolutions from 2006, though:

  1. Listen more closely to people.
  2. Arrive on time for things.
  3. Arrive early for work.
  4. Continue to exercise and watch diet regularly.
  5. DATE more often.

Sadly, I’m still working on most of those — even with dating, my husband and I should make an effort to get out more often than we do as a couple! For 2014, my goals are the same as they’ve been in recent years: to eat healthier dinners, to get up earlier and work out, to be more diligent about really focusing during work time (along similar lines, to only focus on ONE thing at a time), and to be less anxious. Sigh. What are your resolutions, readers?

(Pictured: Nicolas Feuillatte champagne, originally uploaded to Flickr by Sergey Melkonov.)

Beauty Wednesday: How to Apply Mascara

How To Apply Mascara | CorporetteThis may well be one of those moments where I’m the insane one, but here’s a question for today’s open thread:  how do you apply mascara?  I’ll admit: I haven’t done a total survey of the field here, but every YouTube makeup tutorial I’ve ever seen has women applying mascara as the very last step when they’re done with their makeup — and some of them even curl their lashes after the mascara is on them.  But what I do is completely different, and over dinner with a girlfriend recently we wound up having a 30 minute conversation about it, so I thought it might be interesting to ask the readers.

(Pictured:  For those of you really into mascara, the Sephora “Lash Stash” gift set is a must — $145 worth of mascaras for $45.  It’s limited edition for the holidays.)

For my $.02: I don’t know if it’s the shape of my eyes or the length of my lashes, but I always, always, always get mascara on my eyelids.  Always.  (I would describe my lashes as being of average thickness and average length (maybe a teeny bit longer than most?) but with no natural curl to them whatsoever — their natural tendency is to point down; my eye lids are fleshy enough that not a lot of my lower lid is exposed in general.) Something about this combo means I get mascara all over my lid — so if I were to apply mascara the very last step of my routine, I would totally screw up my eye makeup.  Instead, for me mascara is one of the very first steps, generally right after I put my concealer under my eyes. For those of you interested in my routine, here it is, in all of its gory detail: [Read more...]

What Are Your Shopping Habits? Moratoriums, Spreadsheets, and Crop Rotation

What Are Your Shopping Habits? Moratoriums, Spreadsheets, and Crop Rotation | CorporetteSilly question, right — how do you shop?  But if I’ve learned one thing while doing this blog, everyone has their own methods — and while we’ve talked about clothing budgets, we haven’t talked about shopping habits.  For example:

  • Some people only shop the sales (generally buying last season’s clothes)
  • Some people only shop to fill holes in their wardrobe with trendy, of-the-moment pieces (generally paying full price for this-season clothes)
  • Some people like to shop for one item at a time (such as blazers) (I remember a reader once likening this to “crop rotation“)
  • Some people only buy outfits (they won’t buy a piece without buying something that definitely matches it)
  • Some people keep shopping spreadsheets (I know Jean at ExtraPetite has definitely talked about this)
  • Some people have a set budget (for a month, for a year) and when the budget is used, they’re done
  • Some people do the “big shopping trip” method (also seen in “What Not to Wear”) where you take you annual clothes budget, go to the closest big city, and spend spend spend (within your budget, of course).
  • Some people set shopping bans to try to control their spending

So I’m curious — how do you guys shop?  For my $.02: [Read more...]

Good Grammar Costs Nothing

good grammar.indexedI’ve seen a lot of fun grammar roundups lately, such as The Oatmeal’s breakdown of who versus whom, and this Buzzfeed roundup of grammar jokes.  So I thought we’d have a little discussion: what are your biggest pet peeves when it comes to grammar (particularly with coworkers)? What are your best tips?  (Pictured: I own this shirt!  Good grammar costs nothing, $16 at Glarkware.)

For my $.02 — as a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern (my undergrad degree), I sat through so many lessons in copyediting that I still remember the different meanings of ordinance and ordnance, and the proper spelling of ophthalmologist.  (Ha, I kid, WordPress’s spellcheck just changed my A to an O. Fine.) [Read more...]

How to Plan a Vacation

How to Plan a Vacation | CorporetteIt seems counter intuitive, but I’ve read that at the end of August is one of the best times to plan a vacation because you can get the best deals.  We’ve talked about how to deal with vacation stress (including how to be a good employee while on vacation, and a vacation time poll to gauge how much you’ve actually taken) and we’ve talked about office etiquette around the holidays — but we haven’t talked about planning a vacation in a long time, so I thought we could discuss.  How do you budget for a vacation, both in terms of money and time?  (Does anyone do the “extra savings account just for vacations” thing?) Do you like to vacation in the summer or some other time of the year?  Have you taken the same vacation multiple times (for example, I’ve been on FOUR Paris vacations — I love the city and love seeing new sides to it every time I go)?  Or are vacations all about family for you, spending time with your parents (either in your childhood home or at a family beach house or the like)?  [Read more...]

Open Thread: When Did You Set Up House?

When Did You Set Up House for Yourself? | CorporetteWhen did you first really set up house for yourself — buy dishes and nice furniture? Did you wait until you were married, or when you bought a house or apartment for yourself? When you turned 30? Are you still waiting? I don’t know why this has been on my mind lately, but I just thought it might be an interesting topic.

For my $.02, I had some basic (cheap) stuff — kitchen basics and furniture — from college onward, but it wasn’t until I was 29 or so that I started buying nice dishes and furniture for myself.  This was due to a lot of factors, I suppose:  when I was in my early 20s I was on a tight budget; I spent my middle 20s in law school; and I spent my late 20s working extremely long hours so I was never really home that much.  (I am also about as far as you can get from a domestic goddess like Martha Stewart.)  I do think another big reason is that I spent my 20s, for the most part, single, and didn’t want to “jinx” future happiness/”give up hope” by setting up house by myself. A few random memories around this topic: [Read more...]