If you have any friends or family members who enjoy brainteaser games (or are missing their SAT days), this little app might be a cute gift idea — there are “35+ games to help you perfect your reading, writing, speaking, and math,” and thousands of different levels within each game. There’s a 14-day free trial, so you might want to get them an iTunes giftcard for the full, yearly amount of the app ($40) and then suggest it to them.
It’s visually beautiful, fun, and not too heavy, although I have learned that I’m embarrassingly bad at doing long division in my head. I don’t know if I’m getting smarter, but I bought the app a month ago or so and consistently take the 5 minutes or so that it takes to do your “daily training” and enjoy it.
It’s available on both iTunes and Android; pricing varies depending on what level/length you buy. Elevate App
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Workwear sales of note for 6.02.23:
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale has started! See our thoughts here.
- Ann Taylor – $50 off $150; $100 off $250+; extra 30% off all sale styles
- Banana Republic Factory – Up to 50% off everything + extra 25% off purchase
- Boden – Sale, up to 50% off
- Cole Haan – Up to 50% off select styles; extra 20% off sandals & sneakers
- Eloquii – 60% off all tops
- Express – 30% off all dresses, tops, shorts & more; extra 50% off clearance
- H&M – Up to 60% off online and in-store.
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off “dressed up” styles (lots of cute dresses!); extra 50% off select sale
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 60% off everything; 60% off 100s of summer faves; extra 60% off clearance
- J.McLaughlin – The Sale Event: extra 30% off
- Loft – 40% off tops; 30% off full-price styles
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty.
- Shopbop – Up to 60% off sale
- Sue Sartor – Lots of cute dresses on sale!
- Talbots – 25-40% off select styles
Other noteworthy sales:
- CB2.com – Up to 40% off; pop-up sale up to 30% off
- Joss & Main – Up to 60% off, plus an extra 20% off with code
- Tuft & Needle – Save up to $775 on mattresses (Reader-favorite brand; Kat really likes hers!)
- West Elm – Up to 25% off in-stock furniture; up to 60% off clearance
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- Favorite comfy pants for an overnight plane ride?
- I’ve got a nasty case of tech neck…
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What’s the best commuter backpack?
- I’m early 40s and worry my career arc is ending…
- I canNOT figure out the proportions in this current season of fashion…
- How is everyone wearing scarves in 2023?
- What shoes are people wearing to work between boot and sandal season?
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What are some of your go-to outfits that feel current?
- I need more activities that are social, easy to learn and don’t involve extreme running/jumping/etc.
Does anyone have thoughts on Of Mercer style and quality? I’m considering getting this: https://www.ofmercer.com/collections/tops/products/dusty-rose-chrystie-top
Anyone want to talk me in or out of it?
Don’t have any myself but I’ve popped into their store in NYC and thought the quality was good; on par with Classiques Entier or Ann Taylor I guess.
Book lists for gift ideas?
I know about the Edgar Awards (mystery books) and RITA (romance books) – what other book lists/awards do you follow for gift ideas or reading ideas? Looking for a new historical non-fiction for my husband but also looking for a good list to check in the future…
Not at all related to your genre, but the Hugo Awards for Sci-fi are usually solid. The Bancroft Prize for American History is good for non-fiction, although might be a bit academic depending on your husband’s tastes.
I like the Best American series – annual anthologies of short stories, travel writing, science writing, etc.
The Man Booker Prize (see the Longlist)
The NYT does a 100 best books of the year list at the end of every year and I’ve found a number of good reads from those lists.
NPR has good lists.
Isabela the She Wolf
I’ve found gems I would otherwise have missed recommended by Powell’s bookstore. They’re picked by real staff members, not algorithms, and the staff is eclectic enough to get a fun mix of genres, not just prestige lit (although it skews hipster).
Indie Next List
An organization of independent booksellers publishes a newsletter nearly every month with recommendations from the bookstores’ staff. Indiebound dot org.
Bailey’s Women’s award always has reliably good picks.
What are your coping mechanisms for seasonal affective disorder, aka the winter blues? It’s killing me this year!
I go for a long walk every morning with my dog, I have a sunlamp, and I’m already on Zoloft year-round (just shy of the max dosage, too). My life is truly wonderful, so I’m not sad about anything, so much as I am trapped in metaphorical mud up to my chest and can’t summon the wherewithal to do anything more than wallow in it. I like PJs and cozy blankets during the winter as much as the next girl, but I can’t even scare up any holiday cheer for my usual traditions, which is really disconcerting for me.
Do you need to do the sunlamp longer? I know I need 17 minutes of mine every AM. Maybe try to adjust the length of time? And definitely do not skip a morning.
Vitamin D supplements.
+1 Vitamin D supplements…I started taking two weeks ago and noticed an immediate improvement in mood and sleep. I think I had developed a deficiency as this year’s rainy weather cut my days in the sun short by end of August. Safe up to 10000IU a day.
For me, really structured and protected sleep (8 hours a night…I don’t work biglaw and I don’t have kids so this is possible-r), staying reallllly hydrated, opening the curtains/blinds first thing every morning, using a sunrise wakeup alarm clock, and trying to get outside during the day help.
From November through April, I take 1000IU of vitamin D (doc suggested) and a full dose of St John’s Wort, daily. Obviously YMMV with the second one depending on the zoloft and/or other medication you may be on (esp BCP, which I’m not on).
Socially, I need to stay balanced between my usual extroversion and my SAD-lovin’ introverted tendencies.
Sleep is huge for me, too. My mental health is the first thing to go if I don’t get enough (like at LEAST 7 1/2 hours). Seems like Vitamin D could help and is a good two birds-one stone solution when it’s part of calcium supplements.
I don’t think a call to your doctor is out of the question either. It might be time to explore a different medication if Zoloft isn’t working. Or, time to try the higher dose, if only during the winter months.
Touch on a first date
I had a first date on Saturday night and the oddest thing happened. The guy started touching me during conversation – we were seated at the bar, next to each other. I’m talking about little gestures like linking two of my fingers with his, etc. Then putting his hand on the small of my back as we moved to the ‘back bar’ for a second drink. First kiss happened shortly thereafter. By the end of the night we were hugging and sharing a few kisses at my car.
I am almost 38 years old and I have NEVER kissed someone on a first date. I like my personal space and I keep my distance…even where the guy is insanely smoking. In the moment on Saturday, at each new threshold my brain was like “wait this is strange” but not repelled like I think I would have been with every prior date in my life. It was…comfortable, which only weirded me out more!
What does this mean? I am just so confused. It could be an indication of compatibility or an indication that I am getting looser in my older age. Anecdotal responses encouraged.
None of that touching seems out of the normal for a first date. Not suggesting that you should engage in anything you are not interested in. But I wouldn’t judge a guy for initiating that type of touching on a first date and would not have been surprised by it.
This all seems perfectly normal. Enjoy it!
Honestly, some guys are just really good at initiating touching without it coming off creepy or unwelcome. Generally a nice thing to have if you’re on board but isn’t terribly indicative of too much else other than maybe he’s had a lot of practice (also often a nice thing).
This is completely normal first date interactions.
Enjoy it! Sounds like a great date to me!
I’m relatively prudish, but I don’t think what you described is a red flag of any kind.
I agree with the finger touching, but if you do not put a lid on it, pretty soon guys fingers go under your skirt, and those do NOT belong anywhere near your private parts in public, even on a 10th date. That is why you go to your apartement if you are going to do stuff privately. Not in public. FOOEY!
I feel like both “compatibility” and “I’m getting looser in my old age” are perfectly fine states of affairs! (Heh. Affairs.) I think it all sounds great!
I had a first date like that once. The small touches were strange. I think nothing of a kiss on a first date, and don’t think the small touches are anything to be concerned about, but I share your general “what is this?” reaction to the small touches. Something about them is oddly intimate, even though they’re not necessarily sexual in nature.
Hahaha just because it’s never happened to you doesn’t mean it’s weird.
Looking for advice for talking to my doctor about my possible depression. I’m concerned if I’m too vague then I won’t get treatment but if I’m too honest my doctor might try to have me committed or something. I’m busy at work and really can’t afford time away from the office; it’s hard enough to keep a doctors appointment. Any thoughts on how much you can say about thoughts about self harm? Or is it better not to mention it?
I was scared to talk to my GP, too. Start with a simple sentence like, “I’m not in a good place mentally and I need some help.” The office probably has a questionnaire they’ll have you fill out where you rank how you feel 1-5. I was worried about having to “prove” my depression to my doctor, but I didn’t have to. It was enough that I was there and asking for help.
Hopefully the questionnaire will have a spot for you to mark about self-harm. I know my thing was suicidal thoughts (but no actions) and they didn’t make me go into it at length. Remember, they aren’t a therapist, so they don’t need to get to the bottom of whatever you’re going through.
Are you talking to a therapist/specialist or a general practitioner? I’ve shared that I had thoughts about self-harm, with no desire/plans to actually act on them, with therapists several times before and they were met with understanding and no dire consequences. I think there are a number of factors that go into this kind of risk assessment, and I am no expert in this, but just having thoughts is probably not grounds for commitment. So I encourage you to be as candid as possible with a therapist. Hopefully others with more experience seeking treatment from general practitioners can weigh in with more advice. Good for you for seeking treatment and best of luck!
“I have been depressed in a way that is unusual for me. I’ve started to feel like life is not wort living. Because I would never harm myself, I know that I need treatment.”
You Can Do This
I encourage you to be honest so that you get the right treatment. Nothing is more important than your health!
If you need to be hospitalized, chances are that it would be brief and that you could choose to follow your doctor’s recommendation to go rather than being committed.
You won’t be hospitalized unless your condition is deemed very serious, or potentially very serious, in which case you should accept the help offered to avoid bad outcomes. Consider. , if you had chest pains would you lie about some of your symptoms and decline hospitalization if it was recommended? Consider, if you were unconscious from a car accident and had to miss work for a few days … well, you would stay in the hospital until you were better and worry about everything else later.
And while the hospital would be willing to confirm that you stayed there on certain dates if needed, they will keep your information confidential … so all work needs to know is that you genuinely had a medical emergency.
It may turn out that hospitalization is unnecessary, but if it is recommended, that could be okay. The important thing is that you get better. Following professional advice and being willing to try treatments until you find the right one is the best/only way to recover.
Are you me?
Thank you for posting about this. I needed to see this today – that someone else is going through something very similar to me. Also thanks to the ‘rettes who have responded. I’ve got a GP’s referral to a psychiatric practice in hand, but was afraid to fill out the intake form. I promise I will do it tonight!
Yes, please fill it out. You are worth it and you can get better and feel better. It is worth exploring what is going on with you and figuring out how to improve the situation.
I had a very serious bout of depression last year. I was already under the care of a doctor and a therapist for ongoing but far less serious depression. Neither was at all inclined to have me admitted to a hospital even though I was having suicidal thoughts and told them both. They did ask how I handled it in the moment, in part to assess my support system and whether I would use it when needed. We also discussed other support systems I could use if needed (including calling my therapist and what it would look like if I or a member of my family called 911). Be open and honest with your doctors. Given the nature of mental health, it is impossible for them to treat you appropriately unless you tell them what is going on in your head. They want to help, they have tools that can help, and they have almost surely seen worse. Good luck and keep going–it gets better.
In case this is reassuring (or good for a laugh), once when I was really struggling with depression/ anxiety and was having trouble getting treatment and more support quickly I went to a psychiatristric emergency room and basically asked to be admitted, and they had to break it to me that I didn’t qualify (thoughts of self harm included). They did let me stay the night so they could give me sleeping medication, and admitted me to a day treatment program that wasn’t that great but gave me something to do at a time when I had no structure and little community (summer break in grad school). 20 years later, I’m doing well. I met some great people in the day hospital too, many of whom were originally in patient. You are not alone, and you can recover and have a great life. Take care!
Holiday when you have no traditions?
Hi hive, would love your thoughts and tips on how to mark/celebrate the x mas holidays when you come from a country/culture where this was not a thing? No kids. Sometimes we travel but sometimes that is not possible. Not sure if it all the holiday marketing, but I have been feeling a bit bummed that I have no family here/nearby to celebrate with and friends leave town to celebrate with their families. Weird to feel lonely about it when it is not even a thing for you? Any traditions you have created without kids, even if you have no memories or connections religious or otherwise to the this time of the year?
Hmmm. I’m not sure anyone else can decide this for you. I think this is where you thoughtfully set your own traditions if you want them. Is there something about the X mas or Hanukkah traditions that you want to adopt? Do you like the idea of a tasteful light display on/in your home, bringing extra light in during the darkest days of the year? Do you love roasted chestnuts by an open fire, snuggled in with a movie marathon? Would creating a tree decorated with symbols of your own culture or collected mementos be a good cap to the year, reminding you of your favorite things or events from the prior year? A special meal from your own culture that perhaps takes extra care/time/ingredients that you could plan for the time off?
Or do you want to host an open house on Christmas or Christmas Eve, with great eggnog or another special drink, cookies of all kinds, and tasty snacks, so your friends and neighbors drop in and surprise you throughout the day when their own celebrations hit a lull?
Or you could go a different direction. Take these days when everyone else is busy and scurrying around doing silly holiday tasks to eat takeout, see movies (the best movies come out around Christmas), sleep in, and take care of household tasks so they won’t bog you down in the New Year.
I think you pretty much have free reign to try whatever parts you want, e.g. Christmas lights, tree, gingerbread houses, cookies, egg nog, Santa, etc.
I am in somewhat similar situation. We are not christian and not from this country, so we don’t celebrate Christmas. However, it feels weird not to be doing anything when every one else is doing something.
I have fall traditions down (go apple picking, apple pie, apple cider, cooking pumpkin and squash at home, and some small natural decorations like decorative corn, pumpkins etc) and watch movies for Halloween. For Christmas, I get fruit cake, cookies and go around the town to see Christmas decorations and lights. If we had kids, may be we would have gone to meet Santa or something like that.
You mentioned that you try to travel, but can’t always. It’s not clear what stands in the way. If it is that you don’t always have a lot of time off and/or a lot of money for a big trip, but you could do something more scaled down, consider whether there is a sort of “holiday tourism” locale within a short distance. For example, I live in Atlanta, and within a short drive is a mid-level resort that has a massive (mostly non-religious) light display all across the property, which you can tour by tram or on foot or maybe by other modes, lovely accommodations at several price levels, several restaurants on property, and some outdoor and indoor activities for the daytime. It’s a great place to spend a night or two (or longer) at the holidays, with no real religious overtones and plenty to do, but in a relaxed atmosphere. That might be a nice tradition to start.
Calling all tea drinkers
For those of you who drink tea in the morning, what are your favorite supplies? Trying to back away from my 2-cup of coffee a day habit and pondering if I should move to an electric kettle or one of those brew-a-whole-pot-of-tea pots. Also, what’s your favorite morning tea? I like black or rooibos in the afternoon.
From the Department of Sacrilege, I microwave my cup of water – with teabag already in – for 1:15.
ha ha on Dept of Sacrilege. My husband always says, “My Scottish ancestry is about to be revoked.” before pouring water over a tea bag for the second time.
Also a member of this department for the past 30 years or so. I did ask for an electric teakettle for Christmas…
I use an electric kettle and drink a ton of Earl Grey, with the occasional Black Vanilla Chai (I am a Bigelow fan).
If work didn’t already have hot water dispensers, I would go for the electric kettle. I just leave the tea bag (peppermint tea, not black, tho) in the mug – first to let it steep, and then because I’m too lazy to walk back to the kitchen to throw it away.
There is someone at work who has the whole teapot thing…and that just feels like a lot of work.
Gail the Goldfish
I have an electric kettle or, if I’m at work, the hot water in the starbucks machine (I have found that the hot water out of the starbucks machine has no coffee residue, whereas the hot water out of the keurig does. Don’t ask me to explain this. Or to explain why my office has both a keurig and a starbucks machine). I’m a fan of Bigelow Constant Comment Green tea. If that’s not available, any of the bigelow green teas will work for me (peach, lemon, etc). I prefer green tea over black. Or I’ll drink herbal, but if you’re going for caffeine, that doesn’t help.
I actually do it with my Kurig without a K cup in it. Gives me an appropriately warm cup of hot water. :) And I haven’t had a problem with coffee grounds, but maybe not the best idea for a shared office space.
Same here. Sometimes there can be a little bit of a coffee taste but it doesn’t bother me enough
I am an earl grey drinker, not super fussy about the brand. I have twinnings at home and Bigelow at work and like them both. At Christmas time someone will usually give me a tin of some fancy earl grey from the UK, and i enjoy it, but I like my grocery store tea too.
At home I have an electric gooseneck kettle – and please everyone, get one of these if you can swing it because they are so, so handy for lots of things other than tea because they heat up so fast!- but at work I just use the hot water spigot on the industrial coffee maker we have there. I let it steep for a couple of minutes, throw out the tea bag and then add half a packet of brown sugar crystals – the natural stuff. I kind of prefer how the natural sugar tastes but I could certainly live with white sugar if that were all we had. I do not like artificial sweeteners and would do without rather than use those. I don’t add milk to tea.
The thing I like about tea rather than coffee is that I like it at all temps. If I get distracted and it cools down on my desk – awesome! Iced tea!
Isabela the She Wolf
Steer clear of the stove-top kettle! My mom keeps a running poll of who has melted kettles, and its essentially: all mothers or working women who’s kettles don’t auto-shut-off.
Personnally, I drink a lot more tea at work, because the coffee machine has a very hot water tap, and it’s a perfect excuse to stretch my legs.
At home, I used to make it by the cup. I’ve been mostly converted to the teapot since gaining a British MIL who has supplied me with:
A) someone to drink the other 2 cups, at least when she’s visiting the states.
B) the perfectly shaped teapot. It’s not actually a famous “Brown Betty”, but similar. Over the years, I have owned many other teapots I didn’t really like, and thereforeven never used.
C) a tea cozy, made of true insulating material, like oven mitts. Keeps said teapot hot for hours.
I mostly use that kit on the weekend, amd not every weekend, but since you specifically asked about equipment…
Just found out a dear close friend who lives far away is pregnant (very early– just a few weeks). I’m the only person who knows. Would love to surprise her with a luxurious care package (for her, not for baby) so she can feel celebrated and pampered during early uncomfortable days. Something she (a budget conscious and practical spender) would not buy for herself. Budget is 200 or under. Any ideas?
Some fancy pregnancy-safe skincare/beauty items would be nice (look at Mustela, Beautycounter, Honest Company, etc.). Or maybe a gift certificate for a prenatal massage at a spa in her area?
Barefoot Dreams cardigan. Socks with aloe in them. A book you recommend (not about baby, just a regular book). A nice water bottle that she can carry around. Lip balm. Unscented but really luxurious moisturizer. Sheet face masks. Movie tickets.
I love Barefoot Dreams stuff–I have a huge blanket on my bed that my dog and I both love–thankfully it washes very well! It’s the first thing I grab if I feel lousy and want to snuggle up in front of the TV. The prenatal massage idea is great too, as are SC’s other recommendations.
Other ideas: glass water bottle, ginger lemon tea, aromatherapy anti-nausea bands, Pink Stork Flakes (bath salts), preggie pop drops, morning sickness relief drink mix [these came from a gift basket my sister put together for our other sister…they are generally morning-sickness related b/c she was having a lot of nausea].
Not exactly what you asked…My friend is giving birth in a week, I got her organic winter themed cotton socks (three pairs), kiehl’s face masque, body lotion , lip balm. I am getting two pounds of her favourite sweets from our home country. I spent less than $50 though and I will give it to her when I visit her after the baby is born.
Fancy candied ginger.
My go to gift for close friends:
A wedge pillow. Super versatile – can go between legs, under belly, behind back, etc. I do the Boppy Pregnancy Wedge.
Fancy lotion, as sometimes stretching skin can get itchy.
Fun water bottle, to stay hydrated.
Giftcard for grocery delivery – I try to calculate out the fees for one delivery per week for 6 months, to cover 3rd and 4th trimesters.