Tool of the Trade: What Small Purchase Has Made Your Life Better?

Small purchases that make your life betterI saw an article on Lifehacker (I think?) a few weeks ago about small purchases that make your life markedly better. One of the things listed was a 6-foot-long lightning charger which, as soon as I saw it, I said, ACK, I have that, and it HAS made my life so much better. I primarily use mine to plug in on my bedside table while I’m sleeping so I can use the SleepCycle app, but I always grab it when I travel and it just makes everything better in hotel rooms, at the airport, or at other random “have outlet, will charge” kind of places. (Another good thing to throw in your bag: a three-sided wall tap.) So I thought we’d have a fun little “Tool of the Trade” feature: What small purchase has made your life markedly better? What small thing brings you joy, makes your life easier or more efficient, and otherwise makes you grateful for buying? I’ve got a few purchases that I’ll share…

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The Best Girl Power Songs for Women

girl power songsHere’s a random open thread for today: do you enjoy listening to female empowerment anthems — aka girl power songs? Which are your favorites? I rounded up a few of the ones that I’m thinking of here, but they’re all very dancey…

For my $.02 – a political commentator I follow on Facebook just posted a link to the new Kesha song Woman (link goes to YouTube; NB that the lyrics NSFW!). Sample lyrics:

I buy my own things
I pay my own bills
these diamond rings
my automobiles
Everything I got I bought it
boys can’t buy my love…
I do what I want
say what you say
I work real hard every day

I was listening to it for the first time this morning and thought, oh, I like this genre of song! It’s like a two-second decision for me to buy this kind of song on iTunes. Other songs I’d put in this “self-empowered woman” genre (links go to YouTube and are probably NSFW for the most part):

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How to Decorate Your Home If You Work All the Time

How to Decorate Your Home If You Work All the TimeReaders, how do you feel about your home decor — does the vibe match what you want to feel when you come home from a long day at the office? What are your best tips on how to decorate your home if you work all the time? Did you decorate your home yourself, or did you hire help to do it? How often do you change your decor? Do you prefer a cozy home with lots of books and accessories, or a more minimalist, clean look? Colors or neutrals?

I’ve talked before about how I intentionally chose bright, uplifting colors (hot pink, yellow, and navy) for my first apartment out of law school because I knew I’d be working long hours, would probably only be home when it was dark outside, and wouldn’t be able to “build” my decor slowly (because I expected to be working all the time). I’m still grateful for the fun, girly space I came home to every night and I’m glad I took the time and energy to decorate it a little bit ahead of time. I lost a lot of the pink and yellow accents when my husband and I married and moved in together, and right now it seems like we’re mostly hostage to all of the toys and other colorful kids’ things in our home — definitely not a planned, restful space!

Readers, over to you — do you like your home decor? Did you spend a lot of time on it and/or do you feel like home decor comes easy to you? On the flip side, for those of you who suspect or know you aren’t gifted at home decor (like me, honestly), have you worked with an interior designer? There are a ton of online-only services cropping up these days, including HutchHomepolish, Curio Designs, Decorist, and more! Have you used any of these more affordable online-only interior design services, ladies? Any reviews to share? In general, what are your best tips for how to decorate your home if you work all the time?

Psst: We’ve talked about where to buy grown-up furniture, when to buy “nice” dishes and other things you may associate with wedding gifts (even if you’re single), and how a good cleaning service makes it ALL better. We’ve also, of course, talked a lot about office decor.

Image source: to decorate your home if you work all the time

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Open Thread: The Best Podcasts for Professionals

the best podcasts for professionalsReaders, which are your favorite podcasts? What do you think are the best podcasts for professionals — the ones you recommend to friends, bosses, and colleagues? Do you think there are any particularly great podcasts for professional women?

It’s been a while since we discussed podcasts for working women (it was the year after Serial‘s first season, in fact!), and because new ones are being created all the time, we thought it was time to post an open thread! And here’s a side topic for our general discussion: Have you noticed that it can be hard to find women-hosted and/or women-centered podcasts? Do you actively seek them out? Do you have some to recommend to other readers? Here’s an interesting (but not surprising) statistic from The Economist: “In America, men host 63 of the top 100 podcasts on their own, while only 13 are hosted by women and the rest by mixed teams. In Britain, 58 of the top 100 podcasts were hosted by men, compared to 12 hosted by women.” By the way, are there any readers out there who make their own podcasts?

Last time we talked about this, these were some of the readers’ favorites:

So, tell us: What are your favorite podcasts lately? Which do you think are the best podcasts for professionals? Do you prefer to listen to podcasts for fun and entertainment, to learn something, to hear political or social commentary or keep up with the news, to get career advice/inspiration, or something else? Which podcasts do you think are underrated or overrated? Do you tend to listen to podcasts while exercising, commuting, cleaning the house, or (if you’re an expert multitasker) while working?

Picture via Stencil.the best podcasts for professionals - picture of a woman with pink headphones

Guest Post: Reader A’s Experiences with Cosmetic Rhinoplasty

Taking Time off Work for Plastic Surgery: What to Expect From an Adult Nose JobReader A recently pulled through the trigger on a nose job (rhinoplasty) that she’d considered for a long time — and lucky us, she wrote in to share her experiences with us! Her post is largely about what you should know about rhinoplasty as an adult, but in general I think there’s a broader Q that would make for a fascinating discussion with readers: Have YOU had any plastic surgery as an adult? Were you concerned with taking time off work for plastic surgery, discussing plastic surgery changes with your coworkers, or just general expense/recovery/risk issues? In particular, have you ever considered getting a cosmetic rhinoplasty? (Those of you who HAVE had a rhinoplasty for cosmetic reasons, please weigh in!) Optional surgery isn’t something we’ve talked about a lot, but in the past we’ve discussed breast reduction surgeryfreezing your eggs, and making time for many doctors appointments (and I know there have been a zillion reader threads on weight loss surgery and more!). HUGE thanks to Reader A for sharing her experiences with us! – Kat 

I used to be very self-conscious about my nose. It was too big for my face, the tip turned down a bit, and there was a significant bump on the bridge. Whenever my picture was taken, I always faced the camera head-on to try to make my nose look slightly better, although it didn’t help much. At the end of 2016, I started seriously considering a rhinoplasty (AKA a nose job), and after a lot of online research and an appointment at my chosen plastic surgeon’s office, I was really excited to schedule the procedure (so much so that I wasn’t even that nervous about having the surgery itself, and the only surgery I’d had before was a C-section).

Now, five months out from surgery, I am thrilled with the results and wish I had done it years ago. My nose isn’t the first thing you notice about my face anymore, I’m much more confident about how I look, and I actually like photos of myself. I offered to write a Corporette guest post on my experience, and here’s some of my advice:

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How To Improve Your Posture

How to Improve Your Posture.Let’s have an open thread today about POSTURE — have any of you tried to improve your posture? Have you had success with small adjustments and simple exercises, or did you need a systematic overhaul? I was thinking the other day about how good posture is SO key for looking polished. I mean, we can talk about clothes and fit and style until we’re blue in the face, but if you’re slumping and slouching in your $2000 Armani blazer you’re going to look as bad as if you had a $20 blazer. Good posture is also incredibly important if you work in a desk job — if you have bad posture, sitting all day just seems to amplify the problems. This is something I personally struggle with, so let’s discuss — what are YOUR best hacks for improving your posture? Do you feel like your posture has gotten better or worse over the years?

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