Thing 17

It’s another catch up day! I am here to proclaim your chafing and blisters at an end. Feet, thighs, nipples, armpits, etc…they’ve all been saved! When I discovered Band-Aid brand friction block after I started running, I soon made the leap to rubbing the stuff all over my body. But it was impossible to find. I would hop around from CVS to CVS looking for that magic little tube, filling my cart like I was on that extreme coupon show if I hit the jackpot. And now it is discontinued.

But one magical day in October 2016, a flagship REI opened on my block. I walked through all of the hip displays, full of pricey camping and outdoor products, imagining myself taking up new hobbies based solely on proximity to gear. And then I saw it: an entire rack of friction reducing products in glorious colors and sizes. My heels and thighs were saved!

Body Glide has products for her, for feet, for body…and a few other things. But honestly, all of the tube types are very similar. There are large sticks, the size of a deodorant, and tiny little ones that fit in any bag/purse/clutch/pocket. Hopefully Ed in Pittsburgh enjoys a friction free life!

TIP: Make sure to clock the mileage on your running shoes. After 500 miles (sometimes less!) you need to get a new pair. Only use shoes you have maxed out on for biking or tubing or anything where you’re not walking.

Sixteen Candles…

…one magic eraser. So, the magic is a quickly degrading sponge and chemicals, but it really is magical. Why are you still scrubbing your tub like a chump? Do you bike or wear rubber heels? You’ve probably got scuffs galore. Mr. Clean has your back. Mr. Clean knock-offs have your back too. They all work GREAT. I buy the big multi packs at Costco, and the biggest generic pack they have at Target. Dave in Seattle will soon be banishing tub scum forever.

TIP: Join Twitter. Seriously…we welcome you (to the end of times). Plus, we have the good memes first.

15!

Today’s Thing takes us back to Marcelle, the Canadian cosmetics company I talked about in Thing 2. But this time it is their *incredible* twist push-up mascara.  We’re living in a land of lashes. Everyone on tv, Insta, Vine (jk RIP), and so on seems to have on a full set of falsies on at all times. It’s lashpalooza everywhere you look! And I have the eyelashes that they describe in the Latisse commercial: inadequate and not enough. But Marcelle twist push-up saves the day.

In search of length AND volume from many mascaras, too often it is one, the other, or just clumps. I’ve experimented with Glossier, Mia Adora, and tons of other products recommended to me on a list or tweet. But nothing holds a candle to the Marcelle twist and shout. Melissa in Santa Monica received her first tube today, and mentioned she was in the market for a new mascara anyway. Maybe this will be the one?!

A note: Because of the twisting (or maybe just because I am truly really bad at applying mascara for someone who wears it almost every day), I find that this mascara can dry out a tad quicker than some of the other products I used to use. While it still works, it flakes a little. So replace your tube with regularity. It’s worth it.

TIP: Order stamps online. You have to pay for shipping, which is dumb, but you get the stamps you want and can avoid the post office. Plus, with most stamps being Forever stamps, just buy a bunch and use as needed. Also, Click-n-Ship is awesome. Your kitchen scale will suffice for most packages.

Thing Fourteen

Today, we’re talking about feet. Technically, yesterday since this post is a day late. But your girl has been busy. Feet. Most of us have them, many of us neglect them.

It’s so easy to let your feet turn to a calloused, dry mess. Especially during the winter months. But winter is the perfect time to find your best feet ever. And turns out- they are directly under your regular feet. You just need to shed like a snake first. Get thee a foot peel, like the one Steph in San Francisco now has.

I highly recommend soaking your feet for 20-30 minutes in water before doing a foot peel, and then soaking every few days after. It will really help the shedding. If you have a shower tub, you can even just plug that up while showering to save time. You won’t see results for a few days; but around day 3 – 6, you will start to shed like crazy. Definitely strategize your timing, and also wear socks everywhere.  I try and peel every 4-5 months.

I first tried the original Baby Foot right before I went to Santiago, Chile last year. I’ve had a lifelong obsession with the Panama Canal, and took the opportunity to do a 24 hour connection through Panama City to behold the engineering marvel. At a brand new hotel in Panama (it only opened two days before my arrival), I was enjoying sitting on the deck after a rooftop swim, when I looked down to see the unholy sight of my shedding feet. I was horrified and wrapped them in towels and scuffled back to my room where I privately viewed my transformation. Basically, don’t go in pools or hot tubs during days 3 – 8. And I repeat: wear socks.

TIP: For the best at home, bootleg pedicure ever, paint your toes a few hours before bed. Don’t worry about staying on the nails, just go nutso. Your morning shower and some light rubbing will leave you with perfectly painted nails. Don’t paint them too close to bedtime or you’ll wake up with polish covered in fibers.

Lucky Number 13

I love skin potions. Cleanse, moisturize, exfoliate, and cast some spells. Everyone has unique skincare needs, but I can’t speak highly enough about lactic acid. Great for sensitive skin, it is an excellent addition to anyone’s  regimen. Lactic acid  helps stimulate collagen synthesis, improve skin texture, decreases the appearance of wrinkles, and improve skin discoloration.

While my very favorite lactic acid product is Sunday Riley Good Genes, at over $100 an ounce, it is my luxurious splurge product, and not part of my regular routine. What makes it into the weekly lineup is The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid 5%.  This product is both priced affordably and makes you feel like a wizard.  I am looking forward to hearing from Dan in Boston on how he enjoys his bottle!

TIP: Facial skin is usually too sensitive for physical exfoliants, so try a chemical one instead. Physical exfoliants are great for your body though! Sugar scrubs and the Reddit nemesis St Ives Apricot Scrub are awesome for your back, booty, and thighs.

Dozen: Tights

I love tights (and bread). For years I overpaid for tights that were quickly ruined by all sorts of things. And then some listicle turned me on to these. And they are great, but you don’t have to take my word for it! Here are some highlights from the Amazon posting:

  • These stylish fishnet tights have the most desired hollow out jacquard patterns voted by thousands of loyal Vero Monte fans (hahaha)
  • They tend to look better on your legs than in the product photos. (truth)
  • The quality, the style, and the classic color make these fishnet tights perfect for your wardrobe collection. (sure thing)
  • These fishnet tights are the best bets of Vero Monte for Fall & Winter 2018.
    Competitors may look similar to Vero Monte, but definitely not the same quality nor the exact patterns as Vero Monte. (don’t be fooled!)

Plus- they are under $4 a pair. And I am sure Maite in Houston will enjoy hers 🙂

TIP: Use IKEA bags at Costco and basically everywhere else. The giant reusable bags make carrying big, boxy things easy.

11 Beans of Jelly

Everyone knows Jelly Belly. They’ve taken jelly beans from occasional Easter treat to year round supermarket candy aisle extravaganza. My personal favorites are the sours. They are readily available and you get a variety of flavors without any bad ones (looking at you, buttered popcorn and chocolate pudding). But I am also here to evangelize for the cantaloupe beans. These fuckers are delicious. If you disagree, you are wrong.

Both favorites will soon arrive at the Kids Table commune, as they already know because FedEx is trash. Watermelon ones are good too.

TIP:  This is the time of year to buy sunglasses. Go to Nordstrom Rack and just buy all of the sunglasses. They’re almost always super discounted in winter. But there’s still sun! Unless you live in Cleveland…😎

#protectyourpeepers

1/3 done with Things!

10!

Ok I’m super behind, but let’s get some of these things KNOCKED OUT.

So! Thing 10 goes to Meagan in the Bronx and hopefully to all of your bathrooms soon too. Cerave tends to be a pretty consistent brand for many things (good face washes, moisturizers, etc) and is very good for most skin sensitivities. The product of choice though is their Skin Renewing Night Cream. I find that this product, available at drug stores everywhere, competes with far more expensive creams. Nothing is better than having amazing soft and firm skin that absolutely no one can touch. This cream will get you there.

TIP: Use contact lens cases for traveling with small amounts of liquids and creams. You’ll save so much room in your liquids bag. Plus, how much snail serum do you really need for a weekend?

Panda #9

It’s no Mambo #5; it’s even better. It’s a panda. Pandas bring me, and billions of others, a lot of happiness. They’re cute and needy and they eat like this.

I hadn’t slept with a stuffed animal since I was a child, but in 2015, I found this little guy at IKEA and he’s been in my bed ever since. He is actually Bei Bei, who lives at the National Zoo, but also my actual son. It’s confusing, but makes sense to me. Just enjoy it. Whitney in Alexandria joins the Panda Mom club. 

TIP: You can watch pandas any time on various pandacams. National Zoo, San Diego, and Gengda,

Thing Eight

A few years ago, a coworker and I were discussing our love of salads. She remarked that she rarely to never used store bought dressing because making your own dressings just made things so much better. I think I scoffed and mentioned that I was tired. Reader, I married her. Not quite true, but I did soon marry her idea. Making your own dressing is so much more delicious and honestly not that much work.

Enter pomegranate molasses, and congrats to Thing awardee Megan in Lakewood, OH. A Mediterranean favorite, soon to be a favorite of yours. I use this in dressings, sauces, cocktails, and anything I see fit. A little goes a long way and a bottle will last you forever. You can find it in most large grocery stores in the so-called “International Foods” section. Just don’t look for it in central Italy. You can also make your own.

TIP: Hazelnut and grapeseed are great oil choices for dressings if you want to avoid the olive flavor for a particular salad. I make all dressings with an immersion blender (takes 2 seconds), and pretty much always use a bit of dijon mustard as an emulsifier.