Gift Idea: NAP Touch Throw Blanket

I’ve mentioned this awesome blanket before, but I don’t think it’s been a while — and if you order today you can still get delivery by Christmas, so today seems just as good as ever. I’ve bought these a number of times over the years — first for my sick grandmother who had broken a rib and needed to sleep sitting up — second for my television-loving mother to nuzzle under — and, more recently, for us. These things are amazingly soft, machine washable, and they hold up like iron — all of the ones I’ve bought (as long ago as ten years now) are still in great condition. Brookstone now sells several iterations of it — textured blankets, “luxury” blankets, bed blankets, socks, robes, etc. — but if you’re looking for an easy gift that will be loved, the nap blanket is a sure bet. It’s $49.99 at Brookstone, and eligible for free 2-day express shipping. Nice!  NAP Touch Throw Blanket




  1. Senior Attorney :

    Okay, I’ve discovered the best thing yet about Amazon Echo: I got one of those smart plugs and now Alexa can turn on my Christmas tree lights for me. So, so, fun!!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      My parents bought a fake tree this year for the first time and it came with a remote to turn the lights on and off but also to change them from white lights to multicolored. Pretty cool!

      I think I’m one of the only people who really doesn’t want an Alexa. I’m freaked out by having something listen to you all the time. My coworker has one and said Alexa heard a commercial on tv and then completely unprompted said that the advertised item was a Gold Box deal of the day. Maybe I’ve just read too much about hacking issues, but it makes me nervous.

      • Anonymous :

        I think it seems completely pointless!

        • Anonymous :

          Oh it absolutely is, but it’s still good fun if you are into that sort of thing! I have two Dots and it’s more for my own amusement than anything. Consumerism at it’s finest!

          • Senior Attorney :

            One of the columnists in the Los Angeles Times wrote a multi-hundred (maybe thousand) word column last week about how he doesn’t want to get an Echo because it’s pointless. It made me giggle a little.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Oh I agree. I don’t need a device like that in my house. No thank you.

      • BabyAssociate :

        You can mute it, FYI

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        Agreed here too!

      • Do you have “hey Siri” turned off on your iPhone? Because it’s basically the same thing. Every once in a while Siri speaks up out of the blue and says “I didn’t quite get that” or “here are some options for …..(whatever word she thinks she heard)”

        I have nothing to hide in my life. I just think of her as my almost senile Aunt.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Yeah, I turned it off for the same reason.

          I have nothing to hide either. I’ve just read several books about cybersecurity and one detailed all sorts of creepy things that have been hacked through the “internet of things.” While it may be unlikely, it still freaks me out a bit.

          • PatsyStone :

            Yup. I’m not typically paranoid, but these and similar IoT devices make me question the amount and type of data collected from my household.

          • I work in cybersecurity and no way, no how will I ever have one of those things in my house.

        • I didn’t know that was even a thing. Thanks.

        • Anonymous :

          I never even set up Siri on my iPhone (or it was sold without Siri, but I think it comes with all of them right?)

      • Senior Attorney :

        Now that you mention it, Lovely Husband and I have discussions almost nightly about our fears for our nation and the world, and there’s Alexa on the bedside table, taking it all in. I guess it’s more than conceivable that a fascist dictatorship could get hold of the Echo audio stream and find out who’s a big ol’ dissenter. Hopefully it won’t come to that.

      • Anonymous :

        I find it very creepy (and pointless) too. You’re definitely not alone.

        • Anonymous :

          +1. I don’t want a device listening to me all the time, even if it has a button that supposedly makes it stop listening. This is why we also don’t have an Xbox, or a smart TV. And I never enabled “Hey Siri.”

    • I asked for one for Christmas. Seems like it would be very handy to set timers, etc., while I’m cooking and don’t want to keep washing my hands.

    • Anonymous :

      Alexa does that for me too! I love coming home and asking her to turn on my Christmas tree :)

      • Dad has Alexa — he loves it. He tells mom that the new upgrade to Alexa may replace her. He is onley kidding but Mom is anxius about that. Alexa has a nice voice, even nicer then Rosa’s and Dad is taken by pretty girls with nice voices. Mom says that she will talk to Grandma Leyeh about Dad’s weird behaviour around Alexa, b/c she is ONLEY a machine. She has banned Alexa from the bedroom, so she is now in Dad’s study. The world is getting VERY strange when machines get to sexy. FOOEY on sexy machines. DOUBEL FOOEY on men that think they can replace us women with machines. There is at least 1 thing we can do that Machines can NOT do and we all know what that is. TRIPEL FOOEY!

  2. Sydney Bristow :

    Can anyone recommend nice tech gloves for under $50? My flip top gloves are nice, but my thumb is still fully covered and its difficult to read on my phone on the subway without being able to use my thumb.

    • Depends what you mean by “nice,” but I have several pairs of the Uniqlo ones that have the tech stuff in the thumb and forefinger. Bonus for me is that they are cheap so I can have multiple pairs for stuffing in different coat pockets and don’t care if I lose them.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yes – just got these and they’re pretty good.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        By “nice” I guess I really just mean something that works. I know some of them don’t actually work very well on touch screens.

        I’ll look into the Uniqlo ones but I’d love something that I can find on Amazon/Nordstrom/etc for free shipping. Should have mentioned that up front. Thanks!

        • Anon in NYC :

          If you live/work near a Uniqlo store, you can ship it to the store for free. Not quite as good as free shipping to your apartment, but at least it’s free.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I have some leather Isotoner tech gloves with the touch stuff in thumb and forefinger I got a few years ago that work well. I thiink I just got them at a department store, but they should be available anywhere.

  3. Sloan Sabbith :

    So sick. Want this so bad.

    • Hope you feel better soon. I have bronchitis so I feel you (working from home in fuzzy slippers)

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Just got home for Christmas vacation and am so, so excited to just be able to sleep and have my parents take care of me (#adult). Sitting with a fuzzy blanket up to my chest right now and the puppy on my legs.

        The nurse who saw me last night (to put a central line in my arm for IV antibiotics, ehhhhh) said it sounds like I have pneumonia. :|

        • Yikes! Don’t push yourself. As a mom I can tell you I love it when my kids need me. Let your parents do it all!

          • As the mother of a 2 year old that just made me cry (in a good way). I am so tired from doing everything for my kid all the time, and it’s so sweet to think of some day when I will think of it as a joy.

  4. I received a fuzzy blanket like this at a gift exchange in early December. I brought it home and haven’t seen it since.

    Did I mention I have a 15 year old daughter?

    • (not that) Ellen :

      I got one of these as a gift about 10 years ago and loved it so much that I’ve bought 3 of them for our beds and given 3 or 4 more as gifts. So soft. Like sleeping under kittens.

      The year I put one of these in my family’s gift grab, it was the most fought-over item. My sister in law actually “stole” it from her own daughter.

  5. oil in hair :

    I’ve read that putting oil in your hair can work as a good deep conditioner. This is what I’ve been doing: put hair into pony tail (I have long hair and don’t want the oil soaking in my clothing, this helps keep it away), melt spoonful of coconut oil in hands (already had oil in cupboard), sit with oil in hair for 20-30 minutes (I’ve read too long can be damaging), wash hair with shampoo twice (less than that leads to stringy, greasy hair the next day), condition regularly… I’ve noticed my hair looks smoother and seems to be in healthy condition. Is this the same way others deep condition there hair? I question whether its more efficient to use a shower cap or heat up my hair with a blow dryer a bit during the soaking in phase. Any pointers?

    • BabyAssociate :

      I do pretty much exactly this. I really massage it into my scalp too and find it helps with dryness.

    • Depends on your hair texture. My daughter has very curly hair and just leaves the coconut oil in.

    • I just use jojoba oil instead of conditioner. Shampoo, put a few drops of oil in hands and spread through soaking wet hair, mostly on the shaft but a tiny bit on the scalp, wait a few minutes, comb through and rinse out.

      My hair is pretty curly and dry though, so oily hair is basically not a thing I have worried about, ever. I wash it like this every … 3 or 4 days ish? Whenever it needs it.

    • I wash my hair every three or so days, and the days I don’t wash I use a hair oil just to jazz up the ends. It makes it look healthier and glossier and more alive.

    • On nights before I wash my hair, I’ll rub some Argan oil in my palms and then smooth through my hair, focusing on the ends of my hair. I’ll then put it up in a high bun to avoid getting oil all over my pillowcase, sleep on it, and rinse out in the morning.

    • PatsyStone :

      I have very curly hair and I use a deep conditioner with a cordless heated hair bonnet every week or so. For such a dopey looking product I am really pleased with the results. I also don’t use shampoo and co-wash with conditioner, which has made a big difference.

      I also really really like that blanket, but I am currently on new blanket probation.

    • oil in hair :

      Thanks for all the feedback on this!

  6. Sounds Mean :

    Is it normal to feel a little “eh” about a sizable cash gift you have to contribute toward a shared secretary when he’s just not very good/makes mistakes often/other secretaries seem to really hit it out of the park?

    I think part of it is that I’m in the process of moving and it’s so expensive to do that in the city (non-NYC/non-LA, still high COL city) during the holidays and it’s my stub year. Basically I’m horrible. A lot of other associates are doing their own gifts for their secretaries and I think I’d like that more, particularly because I know of a few things he’d enjoy and wouldn’t make my budget a little sadder for the holidays.

    • Yep. There was a big thread on this recently. It’s obnoxious that the bonus/gift comes from associates rather than the firm, and it’s frustrating when your secretary is just bad. The absolutely worst is having to give $ to the bad ones who have a bad attitude. Obviously you’ll do it with a smile on your face because you’re a nice professional but don’t beat yourself up for feeling irked. Just chalk it up to the cost of doing business and don’t dwell (for your own sake).

    • Yes, normal, you’re not mean. I sort of hate the expectation that I’m supposed to spend more on my assistant than I do on my mom. I super hate the expectation that I have to give money to a pool a) for a bunch of people who barely work for me, b) do mediocre work when they do actually work for me, and c) my contribution doesn’t even buy me much goodwill because it’s a group gift.

      • Anonymous :

        When I was in Big Law, I spent more on my assistant than literally everyone else in my life combined. Gifts that cost more than $20 are just not common in my family/social circle. My assistant was great and she totally deserved the money but I just felt like it should have come from my employer not me, especially since I frequently did not get a bonus (my firm was very stingy with them). I hated the whole assistant gifting culture. You’re not mean for being annoyed about it, especially if your assistant is not good.

        • Sounds Mean :

          Yes! I think that’s what bothers the most. SO and I (because of moving, etc.) have capped our gifts at half of what I’m spending on my secretary. And I LOVE my SO and have been with him for YEARS.

          BLAH. Thanks for making me feel less horrible and mean.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I think if you’re feeling “eh” rather than ragey, you’re ahead of the game…

    • SF Lawyer :

      “Eh” is exactly how you should feel. I keep seeing people post about this and I want you to adjust your thinking. This is not a gift. It is an investment in future good work by your assistant. It is a bonus. It’s a business expense. It’s a cost of doing business. Pick whatever metaphor works for you, but don’t even consider this in the same realm as gifts to family members. I routinely give my assistant more in cash than I ever spend on anyone else as a gift, including my mom and my husband of 20 years.

      • My last year at the law firm, we did not receive bonuses and my assistant was actively and obviously interviewing elsewhere so it was definitely not an investment. She was not great at her job and had a bad attitude so it wasn’t a thank you either. It was really difficult to give her a bonus when I didn’t get one and she was leaving. She gave her two weeks’ notice the first day back into the new year.

        I gave her a small one and gave another assistant – who wasn’t even mine – one, too, because *she* was the one that was doing my work when the other one was out (as it turns out, interviewing) and calling out all the time. In 6 months, she called out day-of 21 times, leaving us to scramble morning-of, which often meant this other assistant picking up the slack. (Does not include vacation or the times she left early and didn’t tell anyone either.) And when she announced she was leaving, that second assistant was my temp while we interviewed for a new one, so she got the investment/thank you bonus.

  7. Like an extra from Hamilton :

    So, we have Casual December at work. I am seeing a lot of riding boots, with skinny jeans tucked in (or jeggings), flowy shirts, and duster-type coats and long sweater vests.

    I have riding-type boots. I thought they were cute in a Pippa Middleton / horsey set sort of way. Like having a gentlemen’s farmette outside of Charlottesville.

    I saw something that cannot be unseen — it’s like everyone is an extra from Hamilton (or the redcoats are coming). It’s not a full-on Han Solo vibe, more like revoluntionary war re-enactors have invaded my workplace.

    And now I am really questioning how to syle riding boots so that I won’t look all Aaron Burr and will be more Lovely Farmette.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I kind of love this and would wonder how far I could push it – like, gold buttons on my coat? A lacy cravat? A feather pen?

      • KateMiddletown :

        I’m going to say this not to sound braggy, but it was truly hilarious. I saw Hamilton this weekend and there was a gaggle of teenage theater geek girls dressed in period wear.

    • I think that the flowy-ness of the upper body garments, and especially in combination with vests, is what makes this classic look veer into Han Solo / founding fathers territory.

      I live in flat black riding boots in the winter, mostly paired with black denim but also with dark wash blue. I pair them with tailored blazers, slightly long long-sleeve tshirts or sweaters, and scarves. Polished and preppy.

    • Anonymous :

      I wear them with sweaters and blazers and don’t think I look like a revolutionary war re-enactor…

    • So when I look back at law school, I dressed like that and I admit I essentially looked like Han Solo all the time. Low-slung tight jeans, cropped moto jacket, tall boots…the only difference was earrings. I *think* Han didn’t wear chandelier earrings, although it’s been a while since I watched the original movies.

    • Turtleneck sweater with riding boots and jeans tucked in is, IMHO, the ultimate Horse Girl Chic outfit. My boss wears this and she looks awesome (and she does ride horses!).

  8. Gail the Goldfish :

    Is there a way to search for tickets over multiple performance dates on Ticketmaster? I spent a solid hour this morning searching the new block of Hamilton tickets only to have someone beat me to everything I could find, and not having to search each day separately would have helped. Google is not being helpful.

    • Anonymous :

      No advice, but how do you find out about the new blocks of tickets??

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I just happened to be randomly looking this morning, but I think if you sign up on the website ( they send an email when they release the new blocks. There are still some of the $450+ tickets from the new set left (Aug-early November 2017 dates), but all the cheaper mezzanine seats are gone, at least as far as I could tell. I didn’t even bother checking weekends on the theory those went first.

        • anon for this :

          Also, are you looking in NYC or Chicago? I have two tickets for December 24 performance in NYC that are on Ticketmaster for not much more than the face value.

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            NYC, but I don’t actually live in NYC any more and learned long ago I do not want to set foot in that city near the holidays, not even for Hamilton (plus my mom might be a little annoyed if I missed christmas eve), or I would totally snatch those up.

    • about a month ago, i bought tickets in Chicago for a saturday in September 2017. of course after i already saw it in Chicago during september 2016 but its that good :) :)

  9. Anonymous :

    I’m newly pregnant. My OB mentioned at my appointment today that I have a very narrow pelvic arch and that there’s a good chance of a C section unless the baby is smaller than average, which is unlikely, given that my husband and I were both 8.5+ pounds. She said that unless the baby is huge, she’d be open to me trying natural birth, but the idea of laboring for hours and potentially having the baby get stuck before having an emergency C scares me a lot more than a planned C. I’m obviously not making any decisions today and she said things could change as the pregnancy progresses but I’m curious to hear if anyone has a similar anatomy and what your birth experience was like. (This news came as quite a surprise: I’m almost 6′ tall so it never occurred to me that I’d be too small to give birth naturally!)

    • “This news came as quite a surprise: I’m almost 6′ tall so it never occurred to me that I’d be too small to give birth naturally!”

      I’m not a mother so no real advice but I’ll never forget talking about this with my OB/GYN when I was a teenager. He assured me that body size and pelvic arches don’t always correlate- he said “I’ve seen women your size (5’1, petite) who you could drive a truck through!” O.O

    • Anonymous :

      Were you born via c-section? Or a sibling? Do you have a sister who has delivered?

      I’ve never heard of such a thing, but read something (granted it was on Drudge) recently that some people are just narrow, vis-a-vis their babies.

      FWIW, my aunt and her daughters have only c-sections in 8 deliveries, so maybe there is something there (they have a range of sizes and children’s sizes at birth). My similarly-sized mother and sister and I have zero c-sections among 8 deliveries.

    • Anonshmanon :

      Congratulations! Sorry no advice here, you’ll figure out what’s right for you.

    • DH and I were both 8+ pounds; our baby was 5 pounds. It may not be a problem. If he or she IS huge, you’ll have an idea of that in advance. I had to have a C anyway because he wasn’t responding well to contractions– there are so many factors outside of your control that you unfortunately may not even get to make this decision. My friend recently had a big baby (almost 9 lbs. I think) and did what you’ve described; labored for hours and finally had to have a C after 24 hours of labor. It was miserable for her, but I think as much because of the labor as the fact that it ended in a C. To the doctors, C sections are not scary, and even though they may be an “emergency,” they are very controlled and routine. If you choose to labor, they will already be prepared for an “emergency” C section, so it won’t be a frantic “omg get the room ready where are the scalpels” type emergency. It will still be very routine for them. I think the key is what your OB said, “things could change as the pregnancy progresses.”

    • I haven’t had that issue, but my personal recommendation would be to strongly consider getting an elective c-section if it looks like you’re truly likely to need one. It really seems to me that there’s a big difference in the experience of people who have planned ones verses emergency. I’ve had two, planned (first was breach and the second was because I opted against a VBAC), and found them to be really not bad at all (I’ve never done the other way, but I find it hard to believe that it’s less unpleasant). Obviously, keep talking to your doctor and see what happens; that’s just something to keep in mind.

      Congratulations and good luck to you!

    • PatsyStone :

      Congratulations! Non-sequitur: my favorite term I learned as a pregnant lady was “proven pelvis.” As in, once you’ve had a vaginal birth w/o those issues you have a proven pelvis.

    • It’s also so hard to predict baby size. Ultrasounds can be off by a couple pounds in either direction. My husband was almost 13 pounds at birth, and paternal birthweight is one of the biggest indicators of your baby’s size. Based on ultrasounds, my doctor said baby would be close to ten pounds. Even at the hospital, based on the exam the doctor said “at least” 8 1/2 pounds. Baby HSAL was under 8 pounds. Don’t worry yet.

    • Anonymous :

      My 90 pound friend pushed out her baby in five hours. I of the Milkmaid hips couldn’t dilate more than 3cm, had to be induced and then gave birth by C section. Don’t sweat it, just see how it goes in the end. And kiss expectations goodbye now.

    • workingmomz :

      Congratulations! This isn’t the last time the baby will surprise you :). I wouldn’t be too concerned. It could also be that the pelvic arch is small for your height but still ok. See how things go and you can decide what to do in month 8 or so.

  10. Another assistant gift question. My assistant is currently on an extended leave and won’t be back until a few weeks after the holidays. Another assistant has been covering for me in her absence, and I’ve been keeping her pretty busy. I’d like to give a holiday cash gift to both my assistant and the temporary assistant. 1. Should I wait until my assistant comes back to give something to the lady filling in? I don’t want my assistant to feel slighted that she didn’t get anything, but I don’t want the temporary assistant to feel like she’s not getting anything. I don’t have access to my assistant’s home address and I don’t really want to send cash in the mail anyway. 2. I plan to give my assistant $150; apparently gifts from associates aren’t “required” in my office, but it’s biglaw and I’m fairly senior, I feel like I should give something. Is $50 enough for the temporary assistant or should I go to $100? 3. Is it weird to do an Amazon GC instead of cash? My former assistant was pretty crazy about Amazon and preferred to get a GC because it forced her to use it on stuff for her, but idk about the current ladies.

    • Anonymous :

      1. Give to the temp assistant now, and to your current assistant when she returns from leave.
      2. I think $50 is enough for the temp.
      3. Amazon GCs are basically as good as cash, so I’d give whatever is easier or more comfortable for you.

    • I’d give it now to the sub, & $50-100 sounds reasonable (on the higher end if she’s with you for several months), and I like Amazon GCs since it isn’t as cold as cash and can be used on just about anything.
      If you’re in touch with the regular secretary by email, you could send her an email with an electronic gift card, but I think you can just hold off until her return and give it to her then, too.

  11. Baconpancakes :

    While I’ve worn sunscreen religiously since I was 14, at 32 I feel like it’s time to get into some “real” skincare. I haven’t really seen any concrete effects of aging yet, just overall don’t feel like I look as youthful, and the large pores and slight hyper pigmentation from years of acne are starting to bother me. I still get occasional solitary whiteheads if I am incredibly stressed or don’t take off my makeup.

    I bought a Mia 2, and Cerave hydrating wash to go with it, a good night moisturizer, and got a sample size to Tatcha’s Camilla cleansing oil. Apparently I’m supposed to also get a serum? And an AHA? But an AHA what? Serum? Wash? Mask? Toners seem completely baffling to me. What products do you ladies like? Basically, what’s the least amount of product and effort I can put into this while still keeping my skin looking great?

    • The only things proven to fight aging are sunscreen and retinoids. I’d add the latter first. Anything else you add should be to make your skin cleaner or more moisturized. You won’t need an AHA with the retinoid.

    • Piggy backing on this – wtf is a serum? I recently switched moisturizers to Supergoop because it’s a high-ish SPF without being super thick or beachy-smelling. I noticed that it’s technically called a serum? What even is that? Am I supposed to be using a moisturizer too? So confused.

      • Marshmallow :

        Yeah, serum is a treatment step that is supposed to go under your moisturizer. But maybe you just don’t need a lot of extra moisture? If you feel fine using just the serum– and it has SPF– I wouldn’t worry about it.

    • I don’t wear makeup on my face (I sometimes wear mascara and eyebrow pencil, but that’s it), so since you mentioned that you do you might need a different regime to take it off properly.

      I find that toners just dry my skin out horribly. I’ve had decent luck with charcoal masks (I don’t know the brand, I usually just pick up whatever looks promising at the grocery store) brightening my skin for a few days if it’s looking dull (or, lets face it, if I’m bored).

      My daily cleanser is just jojoba oil. I don’t use any kind of soap or other face wash. I used to but I found that when I used that kind of thing I always had to follow with a moisturizer. Then I read about using oil as a cleanser, tried it, and found that when I use it I don’t have to follow with a moisturizer and it cleans my face just as well as a face wash.

      I use CeraVe SPF 30 face lotion in the morning.

    • Marshamllow :

      I love all things skincare and beauty, and I’m 29 so in a pretty similar place skin-wise. Here’s my routine:

      Wash face with Avene cleanser and Foreo Luna brush (you’d use your Clarisonic here)
      Mist/tone with rosewater just for fun and because it smells good (feel free to skip)
      Serum: I alternate between Glossier’s Super Bounce hydrating serum and Ole Henricksen Pure Truth vitamin C serum, depending on how my skin feels that day. A serum with hyaluronic acid is good if you’re dry, while vitamin C is good for discoloration.
      Oil: I am VERY dry. I follow up my serum with a few drops of Ole Henricksen Truth face oil. Most people wouldn’t need or want to do this.
      Moisturizer: Avene Antirougeurs or Glossier Priming Moisturizer.
      SPF: Always! Every day! I like Biore Watery Essence SPF 50. You can get it on Amazon.

      Remove makeup with makeup remover or micellar water, swipe micellar water all over face to cleanse.
      Tone with Pixi Glow Tonic (available at Target). This is your exfoliating acid, similar to an AHA or BHA. Helps with skin tone and dry or rough patches.
      Eye cream with retinol: I use Shiseido Benefiance and love it, have definitely noticed improvement in my crow’s feet.
      Another face oil, this time Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery. Yeah, super dry skin. You could also use a night cream and/or serum with retinol.

      What works for each person is really individual. I have very dry skin so I use oil twice a day. Things with fragrance break out my skin, while many others can tolerate fragranced products just fine. I’d say the basics are to use a cleanser and moisturizer AM/PM; SPF in the AM; and retinol in the PM. You can add a serum or toner to that base if you have specific concerns that those products would target.

    • It’s helpful to think of layering your products from lightest to heaviest, with sunscreen being the “heaviest”. I typically cleanse, followed by a serum or two, then a cream or moisturizer, then sunscreen during the day, then makeup. I have dry skin, so I skip toners completely. I would also an exfoliating product used 2-3x per week to your skin care routine.

      As a skincare and beauty junkie, here are some of my favorite, continually repurchased products:
      Dr. Jart Every Sun Day UV Illuminating Sunscreen SPF 36 – perfect for no makeup days where you still want your skin to look good and be protected (it’s pretty glow-y, though, so don’t wear it under makeup or you look crazy)
      Origins Ginzing Eye Cream
      Philosophy Microdelivery Detoxifying Oxygen Peel – this two step mask is relatively quick, is kinda fun to apply and remove, and makes your skin look and feel amazing the next day
      Sephora Rose Eye Mask – for the days when your dark circles are out of control
      Any of the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair face products – the best moisturizer for dry winter skin

      I play around with different serums and daytime moisturizers and haven’t found a to-die-for product yet (plus I think experimenting with different products is part of the fun).

    • SF Lawyer :

      I finally got sick of spending money on skincare and not seeing results, went to a facialist connected with a dermatologist, and bought “real” skincare products, including a prescription strength hydroquinone and a retinol. It made a huge, huge difference with respect to sunspots and discoloration as well as the general texture and “glowiness” of my skin. I know lots of people love to play with new products but for me, it was easier to just go to a professional, have them tell me what to buy, and then do it. Not cheap, but way more effective (and probably not that different from spending a bunch of money on different random Sephora products). I use the Obagi system FWIW but I’m sure there are lots of good options.

    • Anonymous :

      If you can’t make yourself do anything else, do sunscreen. I prefer the Japanese brands (right now on one of the Skin Aquas, but have used Biore Watery Gel in the past and I like Mommy UV gel in the winter – all available on ebay or Amazon) but if you can find a western one you like with high enough SPF, go for it. Anything is better than nothing.

  12. PSA for those with slightly more expendable cash than I: Nordstrom Rack has the Black Halo Red Jackie Sheath Dress for $150 in not just lucky sizes! Sigh.

  13. I just got my hair cut today, and I hate it. Normally I have it in a chin-length bob that looks stylish and age appropriate (I’m 27), but my stylist got a little crazy today and did too many layers and now my hair looks literally exactly like my grandma’s did when I was growing up.

    Is there any way to hide this until it grows out a little?? Fortunately it’s winter so I can wear hats a lot, but I’m dreading going to work.

    • It’ll probably look better tomorrow. Sometimes when I come out of the salon my layers fall oddly. They don’t like blow outs, I think; they’re used to being wild and free. Wine helps them to calm down.

    • Can you go somewhere else and get a new, shorter cut that will get rid of some layers and look more modern? After all, if you already hate it, it can’t get much worse, right? I’d definitely go with an expensive stylist for that, though.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        I’d give it a day and see if they layers fall better tomorrow – sometimes it’s just a matter of styling it your “normal” way.

        If you still don’t like it – do you feel comfortable going back to your stylist and telling him/her what you don’t like? If you’re unhappy they should fix it for free. I had a BAD cut a few years ago at a place that rhymes with Rate Slips – ya get what ya pay for – and someone there was able to make it presentable the next day.

        Or it might be time to go for a pixie. :)

    • Second the above suggestions but also realize it may look better to people who don’t know your grandma and therefore don’t have your same associations with the style.

    • Thanks for the responses! Wine is helping me get over it. Depending on how it looks tomorrow morning, I may go back to my stylist.

      I do think that part of it is my association with my grandma’s look. My mom would actually threaten to cut my hair like my grandma’s if I didn’t stop doing (insert bad behavior here). She would never have actually done it, but the threat definitely made an impression on me.

    • workingmomz :

      Can you get some styling wax? That might help the layers look more piece-y and less grandma

  14. Rant/self-congratulations ahead but I need to tell someone and I don’t want to complain irl – I cut a very close friend out of my life about a year ago. Long story short, she was awful to me and I was tired of taking her abuse. We had a lot of mutual friends and they’ve sort of taken her side by default – they acknowledge that she treats me poorly but they don’t want to get in the middle of it so they insist on “including everyone” knowing that means I can’t attend anything. It’s been a very difficult process for me. I’ve gone back and forth about whether I did the right thing, maybe I should’ve just sucked it up, etc.

    Well this morning I saw her being terrible to someone and it confirmed for me that I did the right thing. Ex-friend has this sort of… helplessness?… thing going on where she acts like she’s super overwhelmed and she needs everyone in the world to help her with random tasks large and small. When I saw ex-friend, I think she was trying to direct her helplessness at me, but I actually didn’t notice her at first because I was sort of in my own world. It was pre-coffee, ok. But some poor woman saw ex-friend struggling and tried to help her. Ex-friend promptly began barking instructions at this woman, who did her best to be helpful but had this what did I get myself into look on her face. I pretended to continue to not notice and went on my way. It felt incredibly satisfying to walk away from that mess with zero guilt. It might sound small and petty, but I’m really proud of myself for sticking to my guns.

    • Shopaholic :

      Sounds like a situation in my life – All of our big group events are now really uncomfortable for me. I refuse to skip it but then I can’t relax and be myself with this person around who used to treat me horribly until I decided I was done.

      Good for you in sticking to your guns – I haven’t been able to do it yet!

      • Ha! Me too. And people in the group are like, “We’re not taking sides!,” but all that really means is you’re just not on MY side. Harrumph.

      • I didn’t get a chance to check back last night so idk if you’ll see this – but the friend group thing was probably the hardest part of cutting her out. I really tried to continue to hang out with them and to go to events where she was but it just got to be too much. I don’t want to spend my limited free time being treated like that. It’s also not fun to remain outwardly cheerful or feign obliviousness to avoid making the situation more uncomfortable for everyone else. I figured, why am I doing this to myself for the sake of hanging out with people who don’t have my back? I miss the community that I had but my life is so much better now that I actually look forward to the social events on my calendar rather than dread them.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      This sounds horrible. I’m so grateful for my friends who took my side, and asked why it hadn’t happened sooner, and does this mean we can stop inviting the person to things?!?!?!?

  15. Sydney Bristow :

    Given our discussion recently of words we don’t know how to pronounce, I thought you all might get a kick out of this. Link in reply.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      We are not alone!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Ugh, moderation. It is on Book Riot and titled “Words We Mispronounce Because We’ve Only Ever Read Them.”

    • I have a very distinct memory of seeing street signs that said “Left Turn on Arrow Only” for years as a young kid and thinking “arrow” was pronounced “a row”. When I was 4 I didn’t know what an arrow was. Sometimes I still read it that way in my head.

      I was also like 14 before I figured out what a “Ped Xing” was.

      I’m a smart person, I swear.

      • Or that the line of medical-esque home health products found in many drug stores – Homedics – is not pronounced “Home Dicks”

      • Thank you for making me laugh. I have spent the last 45 minutes ruminating over an email typo and repeating to myself ‘I am a smart person, I swear.’ Email typos – ugh.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Haha I love that. Not a pronunciation issue, but I didn’t put it together until college that the green tube things in Mario are not “tubes” but actually pipes…because he’s a plumber.

        The pronunciation issue I most vividly remember is the name Claudia from the Baby Sitters Club. I actually still hate reading out loud for fear of mispronouncing something.

      • When I was a teen I was always asking people to be Pacific, as in the opposite of being general (specific)

        and at my first job as a statistician I said sto-kee-ass-tic instead of sto-kas-tic and I still burn pink with shame. (for real, 4 years of stats in college and I don’t think I’d ever heard stochastic said out loud)

    • Just ask me how I used to pronounce rendezvous or facade.

    • Epitome, it’s huge, like a really big heavy book, right?

      Also “infrared” rhymes with “shared.”

    • This thread makes me chortle with a “ch.”

    • “Chaos”. Did not realize it was the same thing as KAY-os, though it was pronounced CHA-oohs.

      Same with Subtle. I was convinced the t was pronounced.

      • It’s not? How do you pronounce it? I always say “suttle,” without aspirating the t.

        • I assume she meant she thought the “b” was pronounced. It is absolutely pronounced “suttle”

        • lost academic :

          that’s probably a typo – she likely means the B isn’t pronounced. (I still do that half the time because my sister always did)

    • I just learned at my MM LaFleur appointment that “jacquard” is juh-KARD and not JACK-ard. *sigh*

      • and thanks to your post, I just learned this too!

        Past highlights:
        Foreign (I thought it was for-EE-gin until… 5th grade?).
        Adidas (my sister totally called me out on this in middle school when I tried to just skip it while reading aloud and said “gym bag” instead)
        Biopic (like the movie. I assumed it matched “myopic” until very, very recently)

        And there are more. oh so many more…

        • Wait, how do you say biopic?? Because I say “bye-OPP-ick” and “my-OPP-ick”. Which one (or both) am I wrong on?

          • lost academic :

            It’s bye – oh – pic. It’s essentially an abbreviation from biographical picture.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Oh lord. I’ve been pronouncing it “jah-quard.” Thank you, kind internet stranger.

  16. Could someone please help me understand why Lena Dunham would say that she wished she had had an abortion solely so that she could better champion women’s rights surrounding that issue? I am pro-choice, hands down, but I can stay with every fiber of my being that I do not wish I had an abortion so that I could better understand or fight for the right of women to have an abortion in the present and in the future.

    • Sensationalism, click bait

    • I think that it is as simple as the fact that she needs attention, and making it about some rights issue was her way of rationalizing it. Honestly, I don’t think that she is well, mentally speaking.

    • Anonymous :

      I cannot stand Lena Dunham. Statements like that are why the right says being pro-choice is synonymous with being in favor of killing babies. I am super pro-choice/super liberal, but also grateful for public health education and birth control, so that I’ve never had to exercise my right to an abortion.


      A bit more of the context surrounding the statement and a recording of the podcast, which I didn’t listen to. I think she was TRYING to maybe say that she has been working to rid herself of any feelings of stigma about abortion and somehow what came out instead was … a series of words in a bizarre order that mostly show a fair amount of narcissism.

    • SF Lawyer :

      Who knows, but one thought: because she believes reproductive rights are essential and wants to be an effective advocate for those rights, but understands that her perspective is limited because she has not experienced this particular procedure. Because she thinks that advocacy is more powerful when it stems from personal experience. Maybe?

      • I think your last statement is correct. I started my career in an activist-y type role. Some activists know that they don’t have to have the lived experience to be effective; you can have empathy for someone and want to improve their lot without going through the same thing they have. Others, however, think that the only way to truly be credible is to have gone through the same struggles as the population you’re trying to assist. But even with the latter group, I have never heard someone say “I wish I had gone through the same thing as these people!” That sh*t cray.

    • it’s her job to be extreme and make headlines. I’m sure she doesn’t mean it literally.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      She doesn’t think before she speaks.

    • Anonymous :

      I wish I had an internet filter to tune out Lena Dunham… and people who seem to do nothing but complain about Lena Dunham et al. alike. (Not you, OP, just a general observation.)

  17. A friend of mine is getting married and she asked me to be a bridesmaid!

    She said I have the option of wearing either a purple dress or a grey suit; I’m not a very feminine person and I’ll be helping carry things around and set things up, so I’d much rather wear a suit, but I’m coming up with a giant blank as to how I should actually choose/find a grey suit that will make me look good and not like I’m going to a job interview. Are there any guides to how to find a nice suit for women? Or even advice on dressing groomsmen? I can extrapolate from there.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve seen pictures of bridesmaids/groomswomen in suits and I always like it when the menswear style is fully embraced with a full 3-piece suit with the vest.

      As for finding something that looks good, my guess is you’ll just need to try a ton on. A darker gray, especially pinstripe, seems more interview-like to me. So maybe a lighter gray is the way to go.

    • Lots of good suits for women here:

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Get on Pinterest and search “dapper women fashion.” And rock that suit at the wedding!

  18. paging "hive question for the hive" :

    To the OP from yesterday who had an issue with hives…dry cleaning can cause hives for some people. As people indicated in the responses yesterday, allergies to things that never caused reaction before CAN develop. If you wear clothing that is often dry cleaned, this could be the culprit. Sorry I can’t add more at the moment but Dr. Google may have more to add on the topic if you believe this applies to you. There is a prescription medication called Atarax that can help with hives. Best of luck. Hives are the worst. Except for this particular “hive” here :)

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