Coffee Break: Extra Long Heated Neck Wrap

heated neck wrapI’m not sure if I’m dealing with allergies or a cold right now (or, hey, possibly strep, although I just had that in January), but I barely have any voice and my throat is sore from coughing all the time. I’ve been a fan of microwavable heating pads for a while, but the big, square, rice-filled one I have (and use a ton) isn’t quite doing the trick for me on my neck. I’ve just ordered this heated neck wrap, which I’m also hoping will make my throat feel nice AND help when my shoulders feel tense from carrying all my stress there. (But note that if you’ve got aches and pains, ice is often better to reduce inflammation, and heat might not be good — so follow your doctor’s (or Dr. Google’s) instructions. The neck wrap is $25 at Amazon. Sunny Bay Extra Long Heated Neck Wrap

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  1. My frustration level is HIGH today. I’m 5.5 months pregnant so that may have something to do with it but MAN. Work has been a mess for awhile. My BFF is visiting this weekend and I suggested some things to do that sort of fit with my 5.5 month pregnant energy levels, and she just ignored all of the things I said, and an ex-boyfriend (the last person I dated before I met DH almost 5 years ago now), who despite being married and having his own kid, tried to remain friends with my friends and family, and posted on FB on a picture of my nieces. I’m constantly irritated when he likes/posts/anything for anyone who is MY friend or MY family, but I’m feeling very weird and overprotective over this one because they are my nieces (both under 3). Ugh. I need to find a way to chill right now.

    • Anonymous :

      All of those things would bother me and I’m not pregnant so…put your foot down about the weekend regarding what you feel like doing, block the ex so you don’t have to see it (cause that is weird) and have some chocolate .

    • Anonymous :

      I’m assuming your sibling knows about his posting and is ok with him sharing photos of your nieces? If so, I think your issue is really more with your sibling than the ex. Tell your friend point blank you’re tired and not up for doing XYZ activity and she can choose from the more lowkey things you’ve suggested. If she’s a good friend she’ll understand.

    • Anonymous :

      There’s a way to adjust your FB settings so someone is still your friend but they see basically none of your posts. It looks like you never post. Have your family do that for this guy. Also, unfollow him yourself so you can’t see anything he posts. Or just unfriend him.

  2. Travel scarf :

    Any favorite scarves/wraps for travel? Specifically to Europe in the spring? The Lululemon Vinyasa scarf is supposed to be good but looking for alternative suggestions.

    • I have an infinity scarf with a (hidden) zip pocket perfect for a passport, phone, anything you want to keep with you. I love traveling with it. I can’t find it online anymore but you can google similar things.

      • Anonymous :

        I have one from Etsy. I’m sure they’re still available from various sellers. But I confess to never using the secret pouch. I mostly wear a crossbody or keep stuff in the inside pocket of my jacket.

      • Beginner sewing :

        I have a couple of these too. So handy for travel and really simple to sew – I ended up making a dozen of them and giving them to friends for Christmas one year. Turned out to be my most popular gifts ever!

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      I always take a couple of the cheap pashminas (I see several on Amazon for less than $10). I use it for everything – blanket on the plane, headwrap if it rains, wrap under jacket for warmth, traditional scarf, etc.

    • I like using a Turkish towel. It rolls up small in my carry on, works as a lumbar support pillow or blanket on the plane, works as a scarf/wrap/sarong, and washes & dries quickly.

  3. Miz Swizz :

    I’m thinking about getting the Lo and Sons Brookline, does anyone have it and love or hate it?

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Have it. Love it. I’ve had it since 2014 (carried every day summer 2014, 2015 and probably 3/4 of the days Sept 2016 to now, plus many days in 2016) and it still looks almost new- the handles are worn (although I could probably make them look nicer with a bit of work), but I’ve carried A TON of stuff in it at times with no issues. There are enough pockets, both inside and out, and I like the laptop pocket (although I wish the fabric on the outside of it (facing the bag) was a bit stiffer). I really like the zip pocket in the front; it’s deep and goes across the entire bag. I also like the key clip. The strap is wide enough it doesn’t suck to carry, even with a TON of stuff inside.

    • I also have one, bought in early 2014, and it was my primary, daily bag until recently. It looks great, aside from the patches where I accidentally rested it on the brick part of my macbook powercord and it melted the nylon. :( But I don’t think that’s the bag’s fault – and it’s still fine, just cosmetic damage. It’s not my primary bag anymore for that reason – I ended up getting a Seville (which I also love) for work because I was interviewing and needed something that I hadn’t accidentally melted. I do miss the cross-body strap, and would want another Brookline if I had a walking/public transit commute rather than a driving one.

      • In-house in Houston :

        Does anyone else just love to watch the videos on the Lo & Son’s website?

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Oh yes. Everything is so neat and tidy and fits perfectly.

          In other news, my bag looks like something blew up in it today with how much loose stuff is in there.

  4. Consignment Stores Online :

    Hi ladies, I’m on the hunt for an online consignment store with free/reasonably priced international shipping. Can anyone recommend one?

  5. PCOS and electrolysis :

    I have an appointment to see an endocrinologist but looking for personal anecdata. I have PCOS but not been treated because I was pregnant/nursing for a while and didn’t have issues with that. I have excess facial hair and acne, which have been ongoing issues for me. Wondering if anyone has used anti-androgen meds or done electrolysis for this (I can’t take bc pills for other reasons). Would appreciate hearing anything you can share about your experience. Thanks!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I have PCOS and had laser hair removal. It worked really well for me but I have really dark hair and pale skin, which is the ideal. It was life changing for me, truly.

      • PCOS and electrolysis :

        I did it years ago, and it worked relatively well but then it grew back (maybe due to pregnancy?).

        • Never too many shoes... :

          I know it is late, but I also had to have some touch-up sessions post-pregnancy.

    • Anonymous :

      I use sprinolactone for the same reason. Works wonderfully.

      But you can’t get pregnant while on it. But maybe you need a break for awhile!

    • Take a look at the book Women Code, the FLO Living blog/FB site/app. The program if you can afford it! Good stuff for PCOS. Spiro is like anti Retin A. It will give you wrinkles and bags under your eyes that are permanent because it inhibits collagen production in the skin. Check out the reviews and medical studies. I believe it has even been applied topically to scars for that reason. Docs are ignorant about this, but you will be sorry if you take it.

    • Electrolysis :

      Don’t have PCOS but I’m just generally hairy so this has been an issue for me :( I’ve done laser hair removal on legs, bikini and underarm but went with electrolysis for facial hair as wanted truly permanent solution. It’s taken a lot of sessions of electrolysis (think 9 over about 15 months) but finally seem to be free of those stubborn chin hairs (at least, haven’t had any in… over a year since my last session) and most upper lip hairs (I didn’t get all of them removed, just the thick ones). I will say it was painful, particularly along the upper lip (which is why I just did the thick hairs, and I don’t mind a bit of natural very fine hair). I used a numbing cream prescribed by my doctor; it didn’t completely numb it but it did help. Also was expensive and I learnt quickly to only book sessions with the most experienced person at the salon – much quicker, more effective and less painful. Overall would recommend, just wish I’d done it years ago!

  6. Anonymous :

    What would be your “third piece” for a bold-patterned sweater and pants?

    • Anonymous :

      Striking earrings in a similar color palette?

    • Anonymous :

      Does it need one?

      • I’m not sure – that’s exactly what I asked myself! Somehow wearing the sweater and black pants just looked incomplete to me. I ended up doing a long pearl necklace double-looped. This particular sweater is leopard print, but I’ve had the same mental block on other patterned tops and sweaters that don’t look good with a necklace.

    • Big earrings in the least represented color of the sweater’s pattern

  7. Soliciting gift ideas. My team is very friendly with another team in a different department (and different city) within the same firm. Because our department heads are extremely close friends, we jokingly refer to them as our work cousins. We typically work together a few times a year, and they are always great — super on the ball, take us out to dinner when we’re in town, a real pleasure to work with. (I also went to grad school with one of the team members, so we are friends outside of work). Their department head unexpectedly passed away a few weeks ago. It has been a big shock, and it looks as if the entire team will relocate elsewhere after finishing up their current projects (they had been attracted to the company to work with this person in particular, who was truly exceptional).

    My team would like send them something in order to express our appreciation for the work that they’ve done and to acknowledge their grief, but we’re not sure what. (One person thought of flowers, but we all agreed that that felt a bit out of place.) Any suggestions??

    • Anonymous :

      A box of cookies from Cheryl’s would be nice.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Could your team buy them lunch? Might be a nice time for them to come together to share memories of Dept Head and to spend time together before their group disbands.

      • That sounds lovely. We’re in a different city, but we definitely could contribute a gift card to a restaurant in the area.

  8. Anonymous :

    Someone asked about soda this morning. IME yes if you don’t ever drink it, it can mess up your system. While the bubbles aren’t in you days later, you consumed a lot of sugar at once that you’re not used to and certain bacteria grow w sugar. Probiotic! And I would try to eat just to get your system digesting your regular lean foods and sometimes food starts absorbing gas.

    As for soda – leave you with 1 story. Few years ago a friend was starting a commercial cleaning business. Shoestring budget so one day he shows up and realizes they don’t have enough cleaners left for the toilets. His junior goes – go to a vending machine and buy a few cans of cola, it does the same job. Sure enough there are videos online about cola as a decent cleaner in a pinch. Now consider how that’ll make your insides feel if you’re not used to it.

    • This is funny, but true. Dad says that some soda can take the paint off of cars, so it could make you very gassy. My Ex, Sheketovits, drank alot of soda all the time and he was always very gassy, “heating up the bed” at night Morover, it was NOT his prowess that got the bed warm. In fact it was very FOOEY gasseous emissions. Dad says there were men in the milatary like my ex stinking up the barracks. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • Another weird cleaning hack: you can use Tang (the powder) as a great dishwasher cleaner! The citric acid leaves it bright and shiny and smelling vaguely orange-y. (The various acids in cola are why it can be used for cleaning, as well.)

    • Anonymous :

      The cleaning affect is coming from the acidity of the soda – and stomach acid is already pretty acidic (pH of 1-2, right?), the carbonic acid (carbonation) isn’t going to affect it much. The phosphoric acid might, a little.

      So, I wouldn’t worry about the acidity of soda having a big impact on your intestine – it’s already used to really acidic stuff coming out of your stomach.

    • For real. When I did a rehab of a hundred fifty year old house, I removed the doors’ hardware and soaked the pieces in buckets of cola for a day or so. It effectively removed the crud of ages from the handles and hinges. Haven’t had many soft drinks since.

  9. Anonymous :

    If you have an in-person interview for a job, and don’t get it, is it too much to expect an email from the HR person you worked with? I just got a robo-response “thank you for your application, we regret to inform you …” Should I still reach out to the people I met and thank them, etc.?

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Yeah I think it’s too much to expect an email. They rejected you which is better than some places which just leave you to wonder. Now you can move onto the next thing. I don’t think a “thanks for your time” email will hurt anything, but I don’t think its necessary either.

      • Anonymous :

        I hate that. Just an application, fine, you don’t need to tell me anything. But if I come in for an in-person interview, at least let me know that I didn’t get the job. It is the worst to be left wondering.

        • Elegant Giraffe :

          But it sounds like they did let you know, with the robo-response? I agree that it never feels good though :(

          • Anonymous :

            OP here. I was thinking of being a jerk and forwarding it to the people I met with a note of thanks. :) No, I won’t do that.

      • This. I had two rounds of interviews at a law firm last year, met with 8 different people, was asked for my references, and then NOTHING, despite sending polite emails (total of 2, several weeks after and apart) asking what the status of the position was. I’d have been much happier to receive an automated ding, because at least that’d be an answer!

    • Linda from HR :

      I think it’s great when they send you a personalized email like “Hi Anonymous, thank you for coming in and speaking with us, the hiring manager was impressed with your background and really appreciated your mention of ___. However, [he/she] has decided to move forward with a candidate with more expertise in ___. I do think you could make a great addition to the team someday, and I will make every effort to keep you in mind for similar openings, but please don’t hesitate to apply to any other positions you see listed. Good luck with your search!”

      It’s very easy to make that a template and send it to everyone who comes in, and ideally that’s what HR/talent acquisition teams should be doing at the very least! However, in my experience recruiters aren’t detail oriented, and many see the task of sending these emails to be a waste of their precious time, so when I’m job hunting I appreciate any sort of closure even if it does seem automated and impersonal.

    • It depends what kind of feedback you’re looking for. If you’d like to know what you could do to be more competitive for this type of position in the future, then I think you can send an email to the hiring manager expressing your thanks for bringing you in to interview and asking whether he or she would be open to a short conversation about what you could do differently in the future. Ask A Manager has posts on how to do this.

      I would only reach out to one person there, though, not everyone I met.

  10. Clementine :

    Shopping help please! My mother (60, kind of a boho-hippie lady) is looking for a new purse. She has been buying $30 purses that aren’t quite right and then finding that they only last a year and are never exactly what she wants. I think I’ve convinced her that she should ‘splurge’ on a bag but it also might be a join Mother’s Day gift from my sister and I.

    She’s looking for: something that looks a little more professional, is big enough to hold a clutch wallet, big phone, a notebook, sunglasses, and her chapstick.

    She liked my Michael Kors Jet Set Zip Top tote, but I’m not sure if there’s something better out there she might prefer. The OMG is definitely too big, but she’s also not opposed to Nylon. She wants shoulder straps, doesn’t need cross body, and although her inital budget was ‘Under $50’, I think I’ve convinced her to increase it to under $150.

    • Anonymous :

      Man, good luck. My mom has been complaining about purses for a decade and keeps buying them, only to be dissatisfied. I’ve given up on purses for her at any price point!

    • All the ladies I know meeting this description/age group wear fancy nylon backpacks.

    • Anonymous :

      She sounds like she may fall into the Longchamps Le Pliage camp. My similar-sounding mother does.

    • I’m 60ish, and someone’s mom. I work in a biz casual office. I love my SAK tote, and my Baggallini tote. They both have lighter colored linings that makes it easy to find things with my aging eye sight. ;) And pockets for organization that help with my aging memory lapses. Both are readily available at TJ Maxx and the Rack, so they also appeal to my mom sense of “Don’t spend your hard earned dollars on me, dear.”

  11. J Crew Factory :

    I placed a big order during the recent BOGO sale. I was super impressed with their customer service (there were a few issues during the ordering process, one was their fault but one was at least partly my fault and they went above and beyond to fix everything), but I just got the order and nothing fits the way I’d hoped. I bought my usual size, which I wear in tons of mall brands. I got mostly sweaters and blouses and everything seems very boxy and like the shoulders are way too wide for me. But I don’t think I could size down because they’re already a little too short on me (I’m tall but don’t have an especially long torso and normally wear regular sizes in tops) and also I think the fabric would be too stretched across my chest. Does have experience with this brand and can weigh in if this is normal or an anomaly? I’m going to return the stuff that doesn’t fit, I guess I’m just curios if I should try again with this brand, which again I want to support because their stuff is cute and they had great customer service, or if I should just give up.

    • Anonymous :

      FWIW, I’ve never been able to wear anything from the J. Crew family. It’s not friendly for those with long torsos or who are larger-chested.

    • FWIW, I’ve never been able to wear anything from the J. Crew family. It’s not friendly for those with long torsos or who are larger-chested.

    • Anonymous :

      I mean, you have the evidence right in front of you. It doesn’t fit you well. Move on.

    • This seems to be the overall trend everywhere this year. Boxy shoulders and too short.

  12. Heading up to Olympic National Park for a week next month to unplug/recharge. I’ll be staying at the Lake Crescent Lodge and looking to do some great day hikes/trips. From my research, looks like the weather will likely be cool and possibly rainy. Any recommendations from the hive for favorite spots/hikes or other tips for the park?

    • Nerfmobile :

      The Olympics are a temperate rainforest, so cool and possibly rainy is about as good as it gets, especially this time of year. Bring lots of extra socks.

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