You’ve Just Won the Lottery. Like, a LOT. Now What? (Fantasy Open Thread)

just won the lottery, fantasy threadI was looking around the designer dresses and clothes at Nordstrom recently and found myself thinking, man, if I ever win the lottery I am immediately going to the closest Max Mara store. (Then I started debating myself — Akris Punto? Armani? Hmmn.) So I thought this might be a fun fantasy open thread today — what would YOU do if you won the lottery? I’m assuming many of you would pay off student loans or credit card debt — maybe even family members’ student loans. (I seriously know someone this happened to!) After that, where would you turn? Just for kicks let’s say you’ve won $50 million dollars.

For some reason here’s what comes to my mind (after mortgage, college for the kids, and checking with close family and friends to see about helping with debts, and doing some serious thinking about charitable donations/setting up our own foundation):

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Tool of the Trade: Bluetooth Keyboard

Corporette's Tool of the Trade: The Bluetooth KeyboardI’ve mentioned my love for my Bluetooth keyboard a few times, but I don’t think I’ve ever done a whole post on it, so I thought we’d discuss. If you tend to do a lot of writing in your life (even just emails!), I highly recommend it.  There are a ton of options out there; the one that I have is the AmazonBasics Bluetooth Keyboard, which sells for around $25. Mine was a gift from my father, received around the same time I got my first iPad, and it mostly lay around collecting dust until I figured out how to use it… (2018 Update: it looks like the exact one I bought is sold out; this $19 keyboard is Amazon’s top pick for a replacement, though. Want more thoughts on essential tools for bloggers? Sign up for Kat’s email list here.)

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Business Travel Tips and Tricks

business travel

Whether you travel every week for work or it’s rare that you find yourself at an airport for a business trip, travel can be a series of small hassles — but a little planning can be a huge help. It’s been a while since we’ve talked about business travel — although we’ve shared plenty of posts about all kinds of travel topics, such as:

We’ve rounded up a bunch of helpful business travel tips that readers shared in recent comments:

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Coffee Break – Stripeweb Large Weekender

LeSportsac - Stripeweb Large Weekender (Bright Stripe) - Bags and LuggageHow many LeSportsac Large Weekenders (Large Weekender LeSportsacs? hmmn) can one woman own before people think she’s seriously crazy? I already have two, but this one is calling my name — love that bright stripe against the blackness. (There’s another version of this with a gray/blue stripe in much more muted tones if the pink/orange isn’t your thing.) As I’ve said before, these are the perfect bags to scrunch up elsewhere in your luggage and use if you need extra luggage on the way home (such as when you’ve shopped a bit too much). I’m also a fan of using these as my “laundry bag” during the trip itself. This one is $108 at Zappos. LeSportsac – Stripeweb Large Weekender (Bright Stripe) – Bags and Luggage

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Traveling for Work: Our Top Tips

Our top tips on traveling for work, including how to fold a suit jacket, how to keep track of expenses, and more!Traveling — whether for work or pleasure — can be a harrowing experience. We thought we’d try to summarize some of our best tips that, we’ve found, make everything go a bit more smoothly, from planning, to packing, to enjoying the experience — including how to pack a suit jacket!

Illustrated packing list1. Draw what you plan to pack. If you’re anything like this author, in the days leading up to a trip you’ve got a zillion thoughts racing around your head for what to pack. I should bring that great dress! Oh, can’t forget my laptop cord! And yet, if you actually start packing a bag several days ahead of time, you have no idea what’s actually IN the bag when it comes time to close it up and head for the airport.  So I picked up this great tip from one of my best friends, who blogs at stellou.com — she draws what she plans to pack. This solves so many problems — you can add to the drawing over several days. You can see how things work together and where you can reuse different items of clothing. And yet, when it comes time to physically packing the bag, you can do it in one fell swoop, so you know exACTly what’s going in there. Pictured:  This is one of our friend’s packing lists from a trip to Paris. They can be less fancy than this, though; one of my own I-have-no-artistic-ability illustrated lists is here (weirdly, also from a trip to Paris). [Read more…]

Traveling for Business and Surviving It

traveling-for-businessToday’s question about traveling for business comes from Nancy P…

I’d love a post on tips for traveling for business. (Thought of this last week when I was going to Chicago for a deposition and security took away my spray wax, because apparently it was an aerosol not allowed by the TSA. How am I supposed to sit through 2 days of deposition without hair product?!) Tips for packing? Good travel-sized products?

My (rather obvious) tips:
-Pack in the same color range — black, brown, navy — so you only have to bring one pair of dress shoes
-Bring a nice soft sweater to wear on the way home. I love changing out of a suit jacket to a cashmere sweater on the way home.
-Never bring shampoo/conditioner if you can help it — as long as you stay in decent enough hotels, you’ll have good products.

This is a great question, and we’re hoping our readers will be a wealth of information. For our $.02 — Almost everything can either be bought in a small size (see, e.g., Minimus) or converted to a small size (we like the travel supplies at The Container Store, but most any place has them).  You can also ship anything that the TSA might confiscate, or just purchase a new item when you arrive.  (The concierge is almost always helpful in directing you to a local drugstore — you may also want to see whether your arrival airport has any stores for beauty purchases, such as an Aveda or Sephora store.)  We would advise to save your packing space for things that you truly need large quantities of — for example, if your eye-makeup remover comes in a huge bottle, change it to a much smaller package that holds the quantity you need for your time away.  (We’ve actually used stacking pill containers to keep things like eye makeup remover, facial moisturizer with SPF (a little bit goes a long way!), and more serious SPF (on the off chance we go for a run outside or something).) (Pictured: Broken suitcases, originally uploaded to Flickr by toyohara.) [Read more…]