Gift Idea: Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo Review | CorporetteMy brother and I have a history of gifting my mother robots.  TiVo and Roomba are the two that stand out, but I’m sure there have been others through the years.  This year, for her birthday (Dec. 2), we got her the Amazon Echo.  I’ve had one for a few months now, and as far as a review goes, I like it a lot.  I think of it as a cross between Siri (which I never use) and the ship computer on Star Trek — except the Echo has a pretty short range.  Still, I like being able to easily shout out, “Alexa, set timer!” after putting something in the oven, or listen to a podcast or music while doing dinner prep. I usually just link my iPhone to Echo via Bluetooth, but it’s also nice to rediscover Pandora. I mostly think of the Echo (and Alexa) as a fancy bluetooth speaker, but she can also tell you the weather forecast, the time, current sports scores, and a handful of other things — it’s definitely a work in progress. The Echo is $179 at Amazon.  Amazon Echo

(Random Q for you, ladies, techwise — does anyone have opinions on Roku vs. Amazon Fire? We’ve been considering one for a while and can’t decide between the two.)

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Comments

  1. This is just technology in my life I don’t need. Sometimes I like peace and quiet and my own thoughts.

  2. Anonymous :

    I have a phone that does this (“Ok, Google now. Set timer/alarm/text message/etc.) Which I can sync to Chrome to play over the TV speakers. Or play on it’s own speaker. So, I’m not seeing added utility in this for me. Or either of my parents or siblings who all have similar phones (or no wi-fi to do significant streaming with).

  3. I’ve had a Roku for several years now. I’ve never had a problem with it! I am able to watch Netflix, Amazon Instant Play (I don’t buy DVDs anymore, I just buy or rent the instant play version), certain selections from Smithsonian Channel, Hulu, some PBS, Youtube, etc…

    • I love my Roku!

      • I have both the Roku and the Fire. I use them both but I’d go for the Roku if I only wanted one device. The Roku is able to stream Amazon Prime video etc so pretty much no need for the Fire. I also have a Chromecast which is great for streaming whatever is playing on your computer to a TV.

        • I just got Roku and don’t really know how to use it. With Chromecast, can I display on the TV whatever is on my computer screen (including livestreaming of whatever random video I am watching), regardless of whether there is a Chromecast ap for it? I’ve tried the Roku mirroring function (still in Beta) and it doesn’t work for my set-up.

    • +1 Very happy with my early gen Roku.

    • Anonymous :

      I also love my Roku. Its super easy to use (maybe too easy, given that my kids can use it).

    • Lobbyist Loves Roku :

      Roku is great. Highly recommend.

    • Just don’t get the Roku stick. Go for Roku2 or 3.

  4. Is there some reason people no longer say they gave someone something? Why do we have to gift things now? This drives me nuts, ancient stick in the mud that I am. I cannot understand the point of an Echo, but I am clearly not the target audience as I am still just giving people crap.

    • I give gifts. To me, gift is a noun. But then I’m an old fogey, so…..There are many “new” words (rather, word usage) I don’t like and therefore don’t use….

      I also live in the boonies and have limited data so I can’t stream anything and wouldn’t use many of the tech gifts available today….

    • Cream Tea :

      I am on the younger side and this drives me nuts, too. But I hate it in general when people use nouns as verbs. (With the notable exception of, “Facebook me”.)

    • YES this is a total pet peeve. I can’t stand it! What’s wrong with “give?”

    • Anonymous :

      + infinity

      I thought that this was a carryover from estate planners who talk about annual exclusion gifts (and even then, “gifting” is a term of art with a few limited tax-code-derived meaning).

      Gift as a verb makes me stabby.

    • YES.

      I vehemently hate use of “gift” as a verb. I’m young, FWIW. We all know from context that when you “gave her a rolex for her birthday” it was a gift. Maybe it bugs me because it puts extra unnecessary emphasis on the gift aspect of it and highlights the giver? I have know idea why it drives me so crazy but it does.

    • Wildkitten :

      I assume it’s an offshoot of the verb “re-gift” which has no synonym.

    • The use of gift as a verb has bugged me for ages. At least if you present a present the emphasis is different.

    • I feel the same way about talking about “baby” rather than “the baby” when the baby is in utero. Why??? It’s not “Baby” with a capital B, it’s a baby. The baby. One’s baby. I hate the baby-talk sound of “too much stress is bad for baby” or “what are we going to name baby?”

      • Wildkitten :

        Don’t watch Call the Midwife. That bothered me in that show and I haven’t even noticed it in real life.

    • +100. I almost commented this earlier on my own but thought I was going to sound too crabby. I hate it! Just say you GAVE someone something. It’s an unnecessary new verb and I think it’s mostly used because it sounds snooty!

    • Anonymous :

      apparently, it is also a verb:

      Full Definition of gift

      transitive verb
      : to endow with some power, quality, or attribute
      : present

    • Cannot STAND this. “Gift” is a noun. “Give” is a verb. You GIVE a GIFT. Let the words have their proper parts of speech! #giftisnotaverb

  5. gift to my dry skin :

    Does anyone have any experience with whole-house humidifiers–either the standalone units, or the ones that piggy-back onto your existing HVAC?

    • In our last house we installed one on our furnace. We loved it. It instantly cut my husband’s and son’s chronic winter nosebleeds by 95%, and my skin felt better. I live in a really dry climate.

    • Yes, mine is on the HVAC. They are wonderful. You should already be getting your HVAC serviced once a year and especially so if you install a humidifier. I don’t use it year-round, but when I do, it makes a big difference. One caveat- I find many humidifier dials to be very misleading, i.e. they will tell you to pump it up to a certain percent depending on the temperature. Don’t do this or you will come home to dripping wet windows like I did. I just keep it between 0-15% (mostly around 7%) when I decide to turn it on and it’s perfect.

      • Anonymous :

        Do you know how much they cost to install? And do they affect your monthly utility bills? I’m using a small portable humidifier in my bedroom now but I would love to get a whole-house one.

      • Anonattorney :

        Dumb question: Is the 0-15% (or 7%) added humidity? So if the humidity inside is at 38%, the 7% will just bump it up to 45%?

  6. Just a rage-y PSA: stay home when you are sick. Our whole hallway is now sick because patient zero insisted on coming in (don’t know why, his work could have been done from home/telephonically) this week. (He isn’t even shutting his door to quarantine himself!)

    Just because you felt worse before, you are not “over it” now if you are still blowing your nose constantly and coughing phlegm-y coughs. No. You are still sick. And now everyone else is.

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah, my whole office is getting it as well.

      Unfortunately, there is not much of an option for those with limited leave (in my world, contractors) and no ability to telework.

      • I understand and workplaces shouldn’t penalize someone for speeding up recovery and selflessly preventing everyone else from illness. The problem is that my workplace DOES allow telework and this individual does so often and does not need to be HERE now. (For example, assistants who are unable to telework are now sick because of our patient zero. They cannot work from home, commute further, and make less pay, so a sick day means more to them.)

    • Anonymous :

      Well…it’s entirely possible patient zero was infecting everyone before he actually got symptoms (colds can work that way).

      • Anonymous :

        That’s my understanding. I am never next to a hacking coughing person and yet I get sick. Some seemingly well person passed a germ or virus along to me. [And when my spouse or children are sick and hacking, I never seem to get sick even though the children have iffy hygiene at best and seem to always have a finger in their mouth or a pacifier that they waive around and drop.]

      • Not in this case because he said he got sick over the holiday and he was not here the week of Tgiving. This has all gone down since Monday. On Monday, it was obvious he was infectious-sick because he was “leaky.” Not dry blowing his nose or dry coughing or sneezing because of the normal office dust, but rather full on droplets in the air which infects everyone. I’ve had my door closed and kept my distance and washed my hands, never touch my face, and lysol wiped everything in my office and common areas and have kept it at bay.

        I agree with other commenters that office policies can stink, but in this case this guy is higher up and does not need to be “in” this week. Everyone knows he is sick by his voice because he sounds very sick so he doesn’t even have to “prove” it. I have a lot of sympathy for the assistants – they are the ones with limited sick/pto days who are now sick because of him and who are hourly.

    • Basically Trash :

      In a perfect world, no one would go to work sick. But in some offices, people either can’t work from home and don’t have enough sick/PTO days to cover every illness they get throughout the year, or they work in an office where people make comments like “Sick huh? Suuure . . . ” (especially if they happen to be sick on a Monday or Friday), or “Harumph, she gets to sit around in her pajamas while the rest of us have to bust our butts up here all day. Must be nice . . .” or “So? I had a cold last week but I was here, some people need to suck it up!”

      If someone hears comments like that, even if they’re not directed at them and even if they know those comments are needlessly nasty, they might inclined to come to work sick in the morning to prove how sick they are, in the hopes that their peers will not only not give them a hard time when they do go home, but they’ll encourage them to do so.

    • Anonymous :

      This assumes you work in an office where you can actually take sick leave. There’s no such thing as “calling in sick” in Big Law unless you’re on an operating table. (Although working from home is fairly common and should be done whenever possible, I agree). But FYI usually by the time someone starts feeling better, they’re not infectious. It’s only the first 24 hours or so of symptoms that you’re infectious, and that’s usually when you feel the worst.

      • Infectiousness :

        I don’t think this is true, according to my husband who is an infectious disease doctor (med school, residency and fellowship at top 10 schools). As long as you are secreting things, you can infect others.

        • Yeah, this really varies. Depending on the virus, you can be infectious before you show symptoms, while you are symptomatic, and sometimes you can sound sick but not be infectious (brochonitis, is an example, I think).

          I think a big part of staying home when you don’t feel good is that the (theoretical) rest helps you get over being sick faster, which should help reduce your window as an infection vector.

        • Yes, I had a comment that was eaten about this. These are not dry coughs or sneezing bc of normal office dust this is blowing the nose constantly, coughing phlegm constantly. There are infectious droplets in the air. Said person is also higher up and has the ability to work remotely and often does for other personal matters (i.e. repair man at the house) and there was no need for him to be here in the office this week. He was not here for most of Thanksgiving week and said he got it over the weekend. Everyone in our hallway has come down with something since Monday (except for me), when he arrived back at work claiming he was “better,” when it was obvious that wasn’t the case. It has made others in the office sick who are not able to take pto/vacation days, like assistants.

          While I agree that big law is silly about the “unless youre on an operating table” standard, that still means he could have worked from home, as is the standard around here when you are able to function and big law wants work but are too sick to be around others.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        “There’s no such thing as “calling in sick” in Big Law unless you’re on an operating table.”

        Really? It is normal at my firm to get emails from team members who are either (1) not working because they are sick or (2) are working from home because they are sick.

        • As I said, working from home when sick was very common (though I certainly knew partners who gave associates grief about it). But I never saw anyone do (1) unless they were very ill or injured (hospitalized or under doctor’s orders not to work, basically, and some documentation from the doctor was usually provided).

    • My work doesn’t have sick days (they lump it in with our “super-generous” 10 vacation days) and I don’t have the option to work from home, so I come in sick (exception being GI issues). I try to quarantine myself, but there is no way I am using a vacation day if I can function.

      • Yup. My old firm lumped PTO and sick days all under PTO and no way was I sacrificing a vacation day or being paid out at the end of my time at the firm instead of coming in sick. I did quarantine myself in my own office though. I was staff, and in biglaw and we also had to come in unless we were near-dead.

    • I will forever hate one of my DH’s co-workers. He was really sick but would not go home because they got paid hourly. Multiple people suggested that he go home but he refused and he ended up getting all 20 people on the project violently ill. I then got sick from being around DH. I was pregnant and could not take any medicine and had to deal with just being violently ill without relief. I soon thereafter lost that child. I can’t conclusively say that it was his fault but it surely did not help.

      • Infectiousness :

        This is terrible, so sorry.

      • I think this is an important point — some people are more vulnerable to illnesses than those who are “sucking it up” to come into the office. One man’s cold/flu is another man’s very serious illness (i.e. people in chemo, pregnant women, people with compromised immune symptoms).

        (I’m so sorry for your loss.)

      • I’m so sorry for your loss.

        And to second Batgirl’s point – my sister has an autoimmune disease, but you would never know by looking at her. But the average cold to the average person will knock her flat for a long time.

    • cannot agree more :

      My workplace offers incentive to employees who don’t spend any of their sick leave. This is a horrifying policy. And it’s not like we have one pot of leave–we have both sick, vacation, exempt or comp time, and short term disability. I can understand (sort of) if you have a meager benefit and only one pot to pull your time from.

      • My workplace does this, as well. $50 giftcards or so. Now it’s just a breakfast. But it’s so dumb.

  7. Senior Attorney :

    I love Alexa! And you can extend her range by getting the remote control. It’s $20 or $30 and let’s you talk to her from anywhere in the house.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Gah. I’m Ellen now. That was an autocorrect apostrophe in “lets.”

    • Yes, my dad bought one and swear’s by it. He says it is more responsive then mom is to him and this poi9nt, but he does not get any kind of love from the machine. Ha Ha! He want’s to suggest to Amazon that they make a few improvement’s so that he can get out of doeing my work for me. He wants a machine to write my check’s, pay my bills and control my SPENDEING with the ability to LOCK and UNLOCK my credit cards automatically. I TOLD HIM I do NOT aant a machine for that, i want a HUSBAND. Where can I find a HUSBAND to do all that and support me like Ed does ROSA? When I find a HUSBAND who can do all that AND LOVE ME FOR WHAT I DO, I will take him….YAY!!!!!!!!

    • I love ours too. We have replaced some light switches to connect to her so you can ask her to turn the lights on or off as well.

  8. We actually ended up with both in my house, and we far prefer the Roku for its ease of use

  9. Basically Trash :

    Today I was in the kitchen, around noon, waiting for my food to finish microwaving, when some young woman comes into the kitchen, walks right in front of me, stops the microwave and opens the door, and just as she started reaching in to take my food out I went “hey!” and she said “sorry, didn’t see you there.”

    First, I know my reaction wasn’t super polite. I should have said, “Excuse me, I’m still using that, but I only have another minute to go, could you please wait?” but I was so baffled by her audacity to stop the machine and actually open the door to put her stuff in. Is this a thing people do, like taking people’s stuff out of the dryer mid-cycle to put theirs in? Do people really do this when someone’s food is still cooking as long as they think that person isn’t around?

    • Anonymous :

      Nah – your reaction was perfectly acceptable.

      And it’s not a thing I’ve ever seen.

    • People in my office do this ALL THE TIME. I like to sit at a table as if I’m not the one waiting for the microwave, then bust them on it. It’s seriously so common that I made a game out of it. Goodfornothins…

      • Basically Trash :

        I just . . . why? What is their thought process? How do they justify this to themselves? Do they ever explain themselves to you, like “oh sorry, I thought someone just left this here . . .”?

        Are they hoping that the person will come back, see their steaming food on the counter, and not realize it was taken out early? Do they figure that as long as it’s in its last minute or so, it’s probably done?

        • I actually have had people say to me “oh sorry, I thought it was done.” Oh? Did the bright numbers counting down to zero and the loud microwave-y noise not alert you to the fact that it was not, in fact, done?

    • How rude! Her, not you.

    • Anonymous :

      That is so bizarre.

    • No, never seen it and I’d react the same way (how rude!?). That said, if you leave your food in the microwave post-cook for more than a minute or so, I’m not apologizing for removing it.

      • Basically Trash :

        oh totally! I stay in the kitchen with my food, although I usually walk around and stare out the window.

      • Right, the only way I’d remove someone’s food is if it was done cooking and the person was not around. What this person did was incredibly rude.

        • Basically Trash :

          And to be fair, sometimes people stop the microwave and take their food out before it’s done, and sometimes I’ll go in and see a stopped countdown, look in and see nothing in there, then I’d open it up. But the thing was on! It was making noise! The numbers were changing!

        • I did that once. Someone was heating their food and left it there for awhile after it finished and was nowhere in sight and we had ONE microwave so I removed it and so of course, she comes by while mine is in there and gets all huffy about my touching her food. RUDE.

    • To channel Stephanie Tanner, “How rude!”

      As far as dryers go, I’ve always lived in complexes with common area laundry rooms. I always pick up my clothes within 5 min of my phone alarm. Whenever someone just simply cannot.wait.that.long and removes my clothes, I go to the dryer that I was using (which is now full of their clothes), and crack open the door to stop the cycle. Can’t wait 5 min? Try waiting another 45.

      • Basically Trash :

        Yeesh, I’ve never done that! I will say that, if it seems busy, I’ll aim to get down there a minute or two early just in case. And if my stuff is taken out by an impatient neighbor, I’ll be like “crap, I’d better be quicker next time!” But I’ve heard of people who actually take clothes out *during* the cycle, either to dry on someone else’s dime (er, quarter) or because they just don’t wanna wait.

        “I don’t wanna wait, for your cloooothes to be dryer, I gotta dry mine now, don’t you seeeeeee”

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, I’ve done this too. I never let my stuff sit for a long time. And when it’s been removed while still damp? I clearly wasn’t done, a-hole.

        Vindictive? Maybe. Do I care? Nope.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Oohh you just hit on a pet peeve of mine. If the dryer ends and you aren’t there to get it in a minute or two I will take it out. I’ll do my best to put it in a clean basket and won’t take it out if it’s damp, but I’m not waiting 5 minutes. I set my phone alarm to go off so I arrive in the last minute or 2 of the cycle on purpose so nobody has to do that to me.

      • But they don’t know you’ll be there in 5 minutes. Only you do. They just see a dryer full of dry clothes and no one to clear it out.

        I don’t remove clothes from washers or dryers b/c I don’t like touching other people’s belongings (and wouldn’t want them messing with mine), but I understand the impulse to clear out a finished dryer if it’s been a little while. Shutting down their cycle in retaliation just seems so out of proportion and mean.

    • Honestly, a few times when I have been super-dazed I have gone to the microwave and tried to open it without even realizing that there was food cooking in it. Perhaps this was the case here vs. her intentionally taking out your food mid-cook.

    • Yep, just happened to me yesterday. In my case I had just popped around the corner to check my mailbox and came back and caught a lady taking my food out, which hadn’t yet beeped (I would easily have heard it) and HER THUMB WAS IN MY FOOD.

      I will admit I rarely take lunch to work, and even more rarely take something that needs to be reheated but I was shocked.

      I walked past the same woman in the hallway later that day and she wouldn’t look me in the eye.

    • wasn't raised right :

      Holy cow! While the micro was running??? I can understand removing food from the ‘wave if it’s finished, and the owner isn’t around. But while it’s running? That’s just plain awful.

    • Someone in my apartment building decided they couldn’t wait for the dryer to be emptied, so they put all of the clean, dry clothes in the trash.

    • I think your response was super polite. Mine would have been more along the lines of WTH do you think you’re doing?

      I’ve taken things out when the oven had stopped, but even then only after waiting a few minutes to see if they came back and it was really done. Sometimes you have to stir and keep going. And if I did take something out and the person came back while I was still there, I would always offer to take mine out if they needed more time.

  10. Cream Tea :

    Can I just say how much I LOVE this outfit featured on the ‘rette’s instagram??? https://www.instagram.com/p/-1f03Orsa8/

  11. Anonymous :

    Ugh, does stress give anyone else tummy troubles?

    I’ve been going back and forth with my doctor on IBS for a while, but sometimes I just feel so terrible I want to just be at home in bed on my own, instead of being at work wearing tights that are digging into my so bloated tummy.

    • Wildkitten :

      Not me personally but stress triggers IBS in affected people.

    • It definitely does for me. Yup.

    • Yes. It’s terrible. And then I get more stressed because I don’t feel well – I’ve been battling it for years. I have some comfy go-to outfits for those days (though would probably still need tights), and I give myself full permission to roll the tights down over the bloated tummy when I’m in my office alone. I’m really sorry :( Do whatever your dr says to help (different things work for different people so I won’t try to give any tips) and just try to make it through. :( and then dream of going home and putting on your loosest sweatpants :)

    • Yes. I’ve never been diagnosed with IBS, but stress kills me. I have had a running scrip for zofran for about 2 years now, because of stress plus the added stress of a chronic (non-GI) illness, and then the added stress of being stressed and feeling sick like APC.

      I just battle nausea a lot (like sometimes debilitating), and decreased appetite, which is actually pretty terrible.

      Vicious cycle, and I have no idea how to break it.

    • Anonymous :

      I get IBS symptoms for weeks at a time, it seems like, but have never been able to pinpoint a cause. Generally its starts after lunch and gets worse throughout the day. But yes, its a horrible feeling… nothing but yoga pants feels comfortable, and I swear I gain about 2 inches around my middle… :(

  12. Can anyone recommend a spa or nail salon in the uptown area of Dallas? I would like to get my SIL a gift certificate for a mani/pedi for Christmas, and she works in that area.

    • Anonymous :

      Close to but not technically in uptown:

      Candle Nail Spa
      Bliss (at the W)

      Nail Bar is an option in uptown, but I haven’t been in years.

    • Dallas-ite :

      I have several friends who love Spa Habitat in West Village (a shopping area in Uptown) for massages and facials. I don’t know about nails.

      I like Riviera Spa on Travis Street for nails. It’s not in Uptown, but also not far away. Parking is so much easier, they have tons of windows, and my nails always look great afterward.

  13. Not sure if this has been posted here already, but it brought back some old threads:

    http://nymag.com/thecut/2015/11/woman-gets-infection-from-her-hair-tie.html

    PSA: Hair ties on your wrist can kill!

  14. I’m trying to decide what to get for my Mom for Christmas. She and my dad enjoy traveling, good food and wine. She doesn’t really like trinkets and candles. I was thinking of a nice pashmina that she could use for travel. She’s a teacher and does recess duty. It gets very cold where she lives, so I was also thinking of a nice pair of gloves or cashmere socks.

    I’m not sure what to get for my dad. I was thinking of something travel related. My mom jokes about this inflatable neck pillow he uses, so I was thinking of getting him a nice plush one.

    Any other ideas or recommendations for online gift guides? Thanks!

    • Wildkitten :

      Get her gloves that let you use your smartphone with your fingers!

    • Anonymous :

      I got my parents with similar interests a backup charger that is also a hand warmer. It was one of the first times my mother said out loud that she particularly liked a gift I got her. This could kill two birds with one stone for your mom — recess duty and travel gadget.
      Be careful with the pillow if your parents travel a lot. If the plush pillow is not inflatable, it might get left behind for being too bulky. My constant traveler parents are extremely finicky about travel gear now that it is essentially their profession and they aim to be expert at it.

    • If she’s a teacher I wouldn’t get cashmere socks. They’re cosy but not particularly durable and I imagine she’s on her feet all day. If smart wool do anything with merino and nylon that might be a good bet – otherwise cashmere is great for something that doesn’t get as much stress.

      • hoola hoopa :

        I had the same thoughts about cashmere, although I love the sock idea. I second Smartwool. Also consider fleece tights, because even thought they are ubiquitous here, it’s exactly the kind of thing that my mom wouldn’t know existed.

        I got my mom a rashguard. She’s not much of a swimmer (at all, really), but she burns easily. She mentioned that she’d like one for boat trips with my dad and sitting poolside with grandkids. She plans to just wear it as a quick-dry and SPF t-shirt.

    • I’m in a cold climate and have been pining for some UGG gloves. They are pricey.

  15. Moisturizer :

    Can anyone recommend a good moisturizer for men? DH is VERY sensitive to smells and chemicals, but his skin has been super dry and flaky lately. He’s been stealthily stealing my moisturizer (Paula’s Choice) but refuses to (1) admit that he likes it, or (2) get his own. So I thought it’d be a nice stocking stuffer for him. Suggestions?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Just get him his own bottle of what you use!

      • I know right? I gave him a bottle the last time it went on sale and he just put it back on my side of the sink. I buy extra to account for his use. I just thought HIS OWN brand might be a good (slightly tongue in check) stocking stuffer. Though I might slip in one of mine too….

    • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. So good, so worth it. Neutral packaging.

    • facial? body/hands? both?

      I’m also very sensitive to smells. For hands, Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. Body, the Creme de Corps. For face, first aid beauty makes a good one that I used on my face and occasionally on hands. In really dry winter, I like la mer, but you have to warm it in your fingers first.

      • Face mainly, but he could definitely use something for his hands.

      • My husband likes the CeraVe cream for his body and face as needed. Another good stocking stuffer would be good shaving stuff. Pre-shave oil, non-alcohol based sensitive skin aftershave, if he hasn’t tried that route yet.

        • hoola hoopa :

          +1 CeraVe is scent-free. I love it for face and body, as does my husband. (We just share the bottle).

    • I personally love Kiehls’ Panthenon cream. It’s cheaper, larger, and for me, better than the Ultra Facial Cream (which does nothing for me), especially for winter skin dryness and flakiness.

    • N.C. anon :

      My husband likes Neutrogena Daily Moisturizer. They discontinued their men’s version, but the current packaging is pretty gender-neutral.

    • lucy stone :

      I use the yellow Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. My husband uses Jack Black Face Lotion but steals mine when he’s out.

      • My husband likes the Clinique for Men line and has been using their moisturizer for a few years.

    • a little late but.. :

      Cetaphil! My husband uses it and I find myself stealing it from him. The moisturizing cream is really soothing and seems to cure skin ailments.

  16. One of our staff members recently had a baby and takes time to pump during the day. If I go to her desk about something and she isn’t there, I will ask the person covering her phone if she is “on her break.” The person will usually respond “she’s pumping” which is what I meant. I’m trying to respect her privacy and not loudly announce “is she pumping” but I think the covering person takes offense to me saying that she’s “on a break” when pumping in the way you might be offended if I said you were on vacation while on maternity leave. I only ask because if she just ran to the copier or bathroom I will wait but if she is pumping I”ll come back in a half hour or so. I guess I could say instead “when will X be back?” instead.

    So, for ladies that have pumped, it is offensive that I’m referring to it as “her break”? It’s worse though to say “is she pumping?” right? I’m guessing if I just said when will she back the person covering her would say “oh, she’s pumping, 20 minutes.” Maybe I should just tell that person I only need to know the time, not why she is away.

    I wonder if the person covering is afraid she is going to get in trouble for being away or something but we don’t operate like that.

    • Personally, I wouldn’t have cared at all either way. I usually made an effort to say “I’m pumping” when talking about myself (because I wanted to normalize that idea in my male-heavy workplace). But I also think it’s fine (and thoughtful) to ask if she’s on break.

    • “Did she step away for a bit?” or ask when she will be back. This is only awkward because it’s still new. She’s probably got somewhat of a schedule for this so you might be able to time your visits a little better.

    • I wouldn’t want someone to refer to time I spent pumping as “being on a break” for the reasons you enumerated.
      If you see she’s not there, why not just tell the person covering “Please tell ‘X’ I came by and could use her help when she returns” or something to that effect?
      It’s also possible the person covering is saying she’s pumping because the staff member herself speaks that way about it.

      • Anonymous :

        +1
        I would be annoyed if I were pumping and someone referred to it as a “break.” It’s anything but. I think it’s likely the staff member who says ‘she’s pumping’ is trying to communicate to you that the pumping staff member is not goofing off/gallivanting around the office.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I would be a little annoyed if someone had referred to my pumping time as “a break” for the exact reasons you mention.

      I’d just ask if she’ll be back shortly or if it will be 15+ minutes, since that’s really what you want to know. But it’s not too personal to say “pumping”.

    • I always tell people I am pumping when I am out. The more we talk about it like it’s going to the restroom, etc the more we normalize it.

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      I once had a coworker who, while pumping in her office, would hang a picture of a cow on the door as her do not disturb sign. I thought it was awesome, but obviously this would not fly at many offices!

  17. Wildkitten :

    Where can I get a long strand of pearls without raiding my retirement fund?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Do they have to be real? You can get nice-looking fake pearls at pretty much any price point. I have nice ones from Nordstrom.

      • Wildkitten :

        Good idea! They don’t have to be real but I want them to be nice. I had a fake strand that started to peel that I need to replace with an upgrade.

    • Kojima pearl is a great resource. They have a website but not everything is on there. You might just send Sarah, the owner, an email (link on site) telling her what you are looking for and she will give you some options. And they are having a 20% off sale right now with code GLOW2015. You can get something really pretty for a few hundred bucks if you aren’t hung up on perfection (I actually prefer slightly baroque shapes), and the natural luster will beat fake pearls any day of the week. No affiliation, just a happy repeat customer.

    • Go to a bead supply shop. They will know a wholeeeee bunch of local crafters. Depending on size, length and clasp you can get a necklace custom made for 75-200. They will be top quality and exactly what you want.

  18. Can somebody help with a referral to a laser place in Princeton? (It’s for my daughter who goes to school there) TIA

  19. ginamarie135 :

    Between Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, and Apple TV I definitely think Roku is the most comprehensive. I love my Chromecast, but it doesn’t have Amazon stuff on it, whereas the Amazon Fire Stick doesn’t have HBO. Roku is really the only one with access to all in a cheaper price range than the Apple TV!

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