sponsored links:

Hobby Wednesday: Coloring Books for Adults

Coloring Books for Adults

What kinds of hobbies do you like to take part in after work and on weekends? (We’re talking about offline activities here — no computers required/allowed!) This is the first in a series of occasional posts where we’ll take a look at how to pick up various hobbies. Today we’re talking about coloring books for adults, an activity that has exploded in the last year or so. You can find coloring books of all kinds at sites like Amazon or stores like Michaels or Jo-Ann Stores — I even saw a small selection at the grocery store the other day. I’ve dabbled in this trend myself; I received a Doctor Who coloring book as a gift a while ago and just took it up a notch by buying Color Quest: Extreme Coloring Challenges from Amazon, a color-by-numbers book in which each mystery picture has teeny-tiny squares or other shapes to fill in. (The picture isn’t revealed until you’re done.)

If neither of those appeals to you, don’t worry — there are many, many options out there for coloring stress relief (or just for fun) — in fact, it’s almost overwhelming. You can find coloring books of mandalas, animals, flowers and landscapes, fashion, abstract designs, tattoos, TV and movies (from Bob’s Burgers to Buffy to Lord of the Rings), lawyersarchitecture, sports, quotes, Internet-famous cats, and anatomy. There are religious coloring books, coloring books of Disney villains and Disney princesses, and several books with titles like Calm the F*ck Down: An Irreverent Adult Coloring Book (which has 800+ reviews). Your favorite website may have even put out its own coloring book, for example, The Oatmeal or Young House Love.

A few books that are highly rated at Amazon are pictured above. From L to R:

[Read more…]

sponsored links:

How Do You Keep Up with Current Events?

How Do You Keep Up with Current Events? What’s your favorite way to keep up with current events? Has it changed recently (such as when Facebook changed their “trending stories” to “trending topics”)? Have you adopted a new curated source that seems like a helpful one for you, like theSkimm or The Broadsheet, or have you rediscovered an older source (like the NYT or WSJ)?

Readers had a lively debate the other day while discussing reading news online and paying for media/content in general. Some felt that it’s important to, for example, pay for New York Times online access (which is $4–6/week), while others didn’t see a problem with finding the loopholes that let you keep reading for free (or, say, with using your parents’ HBO GO password). Looking at the bigger picture, The Media Insight Project did a survey in 2014 that led to some interesting conclusions on news consumption among the generations and genders. For example:

  • “Adults age 18–29 … are less inclined than those 60 and over to follow news about national government (57 percent vs. 79 percent) or foreign affairs (59 percent vs. 79 percent overall).”
  • “[F]or the youngest adults, age 18-29, social media and the web in general have hardly replaced more traditional ways of getting the news. Nearly half … also read news in print during the last week, 3 in 4 watched news on television, and just over half listened to it on the radio.”
  • “Women … are more likely to share news and get it through social media, and to follow news about schools and health and lifestyle. Men are more likely to watch cable news and follow different subjects, including sports and foreign affairs.”

Do those numbers seem to ring true for you and your family, friends, and coworkers? And all of this makes us wonder: How do you like to keep up with current events? Do you:

[Read more…]

Open Thread: TV, Streaming, and Movies

fall TV open threadSince we’re all getting back into the swing of things after the long weekend, I thought we’d have a fun open thread today: what new TV shows are you looking forward to this fall? What second, third, and beyond seasons are you eagerly awaiting? What shows are you so glad you’ve caught up with via streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Prime — and have you seen any great documentaries or movies lately? (Here’s another great question: for those of you who love to binge watch things or tie TV-watching to workout time — what are your favorite shows?) Do you put limits on your TV watching (e.g., no more than 7 hours per week, only on the treadmill)? (Cord cutters / those without a TV, I’d love to hear from you too — how’s it going?) 

For my $.02: With two small kids and limited grown-up/unscheduled time outside the house, we almost never go to movies in theaters — the last time I can remember going was when I saw Gone Girl by myself the week it opened… oh and of course we saw The Force Awakens the week it opened. So almost all of my picks will be TV-based! For new TV, I just set my TiVo to record (links go to the official trailers on YouTube):

  • MacGyver – I’m kind of really psyched about this reboot; we watched the old series all the time while growing up. (Pictured.) It premieres Sept. 23.
  • Bull – I read the description (it’s loosely based on the backstory of Dr. Phil and his jury consultant years) and thought, OK, fine, it sounds interesting — but the trailer makes it look like a really fun mix of a procedural/character study, so I’m now properly excited. It premieres Sept. 20.
  • The Good Place – Kristen Bell plays a woman who dies and wrongly goes to Heaven instead of Hell; the comedy is about her trying to change her less-than-stellar ways.  It looks OK to me, but I like Kristen Bell, so I’m hopeful. It premieres Sept. 22.
  • One Mississippi – I mostly set the TiVo based on the recommendation of Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker’s TV critic (but a quick Google shows it’s getting a TON of good traction from the critics, along with Fleabag and Atlanta — here’s the NPR article on all three).  One Mississsipi is a dark comedy inspired by comedian Tig Notaro’s life: “Tig returns to her hometown in Mississippi, where she contends with the death of her mother and her own mortality as she embarks on a painful yet hilarious journey that unearths uncomfortable truths about her family and her self.” It premieres Sept. 9.
  • Designated Survivor – Fiiiiine, I thought, I’ll record it since this show is getting so much buzz, and hey, I had a crush on Kiefer Sutherland many many moons ago, although I do not remember why. After watching the trailer I’m intrigued, though — Sutherland plays “a lower-level cabinet member who unexpectedly becomes president after a devastating attack on Washington.” It premieres Sept. 21.
  • Braindead – I’m not quite sure where to put this one — it’s eleven episodes into its mid-summer premiere. I started watching it primarily because I’d read about how the costume designer from The Good Wife was doing this as his next show, and while the clothes are fine (I’d say unremarkable, honestly), the show itself is a delight — quirky, funny, smart.  The premise: “A government employee discovers that the cause of the tensions between the two political parties is a race of extraterrestrial insects eating the brains of the politicians.” Big thumbs up.

[Read more…]

4 Types of Vacation Packages for Busy Women

Specialty Vacation Packages2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on  vacation packages for busy women— links have also been updated below.

Travel planning can be a lot of fun, but it’s also time-consuming — and stressing out about a vacation kind of defeats the purpose. Vacation packages can take almost all the planning out of the equation — and they don’t have to be the run-of-the-mill, giant-tour-bus trips that might spring to mind, either.

We’ve rounded up five types of vacation packages that seem just right for busy professional women who don’t have a lot of time to spend researching hotels, restaurants, activities, sightseeing spots, and so on. These companies are booking through 2017, but if you’re looking for something last-minute, you’re in luck: Now is a good time to find deals, as late summer is a less popular vacation time than early/mid-summer. (Check Last Minute Travel, CheapCaribbeanTravelzoo, or Groupon. You can also read our guest poster’s tips for traveling solo, as well as check out our last discussion about using all your vacation time.)   [Read more…]

Weekend Prep for Monday: Do You Do It?

weekend prep for mondayOne of the things that came up in the comments on our diets for busy women post was the idea of prepping meals and snacks on Sunday for the week ahead — and I’ve read a ton of advice saying that you should steal an hour during the weekend to review the major tasks you need to accomplish in the week ahead. So I thought it might be an interesting open thread today:  Do YOU do weekend prep for Monday or the week ahead? When do you do it, and what do you do?

Pictured: veggie meal prep from @squirrel_kitchen, featured in this DailyBurn article about 21 inspiring instagram accounts for meal prep. 

For my $.02, when I was working in BigLaw I liked resting/playing on Saturday and coming into the office on Sunday for a few hours if I needed to do some work. Because I was well rested and there was no one else in the office (or, at least, vastly fewer people, and everyone was there to work), my focus was so much better — I used to call them “Super Mondays” because I was so productive. These days, I often try to get at least half of the short morning and afternoon posts written for the week on Sunday afternoons, putting in a few hours of work while my youngest son naps. If at all possible I also try to write a to-do list of my tasks for the week ahead, and put papers to review on my desk so I can get some focused work done before turning on the computer — easier said than done when your business is online! This probably isn’t even that noteworthy, but another thing I try to do is look at the NYT and WSJ and other news outlets on Sunday, because I’ve found that I waste far too much time looking at articles on Monday, particularly the longer magazine articles.

So ladies, let’s hear it — what routines and practices have you put in place for your weekends that lay the groundwork for a great week ahead? For those of you who do meal prep or have other healthy habits on the weekend, I’d love to hear what you do!  

Psst: here’s our last discussion on morning routines for successful people.

weekend-prep-for-monday

Summer Workouts: Open Thread

Summer WorkoutsWhen it’s hot and muggy out, it can be difficult to stick to your regular workout routine, whether it’s running outside, walking to/from work, or doing a studio class like barre.  So let’s hear your thoughts on summer workouts!  Do you tend to exercise less during the summer? Do you move your workouts inside (perhaps with the help of a personal trainer?), or do you simply switch your summer workouts to mornings or evenings, when it’s cooler? Maybe you’re a hardcore runner who still goes for several runs a week and trains for the many 5Ks, 10Ks, and other races offered in the summertime — or maybe the closest you’ll get to vigorous exercise this summer will be watching the Olympics next month. It’s been a long time since we last talked about working out in the summertime, so let’s chat about it today!

Before we hand it over to the readers, we’ll share a few general tips for summer workouts from our last discussion:

[Read more…]

work fashion blog press mentions