Weekend Reads #82

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Every year I have a photo of my husband lifting our daughter to put the star on the tree. This year getting close to 5′ tall, he struggled to lift her and the resulting photo is both sweet and hilarious!

Cyber Week may still be going strong, but I chose to not share sales this weekend (except one exceptional one below in my Weekend Reads) so you could get a palette cleanser. While this is a fabulous season for shopping, there's more to December than gifts and holiday outfits. And December can be a bit hectic. So instead I upped the number of my Weekend Reads so you can enjoy some non-sale scrolling hopefully with a warm mug or a cool glass of your favorite beverage.

I don't think I thank you all often enough for your support and community. I think of previous jobs I've had and when it's the chaotic busy season, I am miserable and resentful and compensate with fast food and baked goods and liquor. I get this pain deep under my left shoulder blade and entertain myself with reality TV, celebrity gossip, and snark. I get the work done, but at the end I'm completely miserable and depleted. The busy season in blogging may stress me out, give me brain drain and headaches, but it's so much more FUN and it's because of you! I love creating content for you, engaging with you, looking for ways to do things better. I'm not looking at 2020 for a time to start new, but to continue the good things I already have happening (or at least happening in journals and the Notes app on my phone).  Thank you.  You inspire me daily to work hard and provide honest, quality content that you deserve.  I'm so honored you come hang out with me here at Wardrobe Oxygen! 

Weekend Reads

The best way to help your favorite small business?  Share a review.  It can be on Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, Etsy, Amazon, and other sites.  And for us bloggers and influencers, reviews also help us! A mention in a thread in a Facebook group, a share on Instagram Stories, a forward of an article to a friend or a listserv.  Fohr also gathers testimonials from readers; if you'd like to leave a testimonial for me you can do so at this link.  These testimonials will be seen by brands who may consider working with me in 2020.

DC-based organic skincare line Skincando is one of my faves (read my Skincando review).  It is a small woman-owned business, and because it's small she can't afford sales very often.  However, right now Sara of Skincando is offering 40% off EVERYTHING!  This is HUGE!  Use promo code Alison_40 at checkout for 40% off, this code will not only get you the discount but I will get a 5% commission.  Again, small businesses can't always afford affiliate links, so I thank you for considering using this code for your purchase. Below I share my favorites and products that would make for excellent gifts:

Jamie Lee Curtis on addiction, beauty standards, famous parents, writing kids’ books, and her encounters with Bette Davis. (New Yorker)

I don't know, I feel that messy bedrooms will become the next overly curated “Instagram vs. Real Life” where beautiful women share a goofy photo of them still looking beautiful to try to appear relatable but maybe I'm just a bitter middle-aged lady who is over all the latest “getting real” trends that are just a grab for likes and a hope for viral stardom. Just writing that makes me chuckle, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. (Elle)

I loved this piece about how missing a concert gave the author confidence to do activities solo. (Vox)

Looking for ideas on what to get your kids' teachers?  Check out my friend Letitica's gift guide; she is a former teacher who still works in education and will give it to you straight (spoiler alert: she doesn't recommend baked goods or coffee mugs). (Tech Savvy Mama)

“I never tried to be anything except myself. I think of myself as a relatively colorful character who doesn’t take himself or herself too seriously.” A must-read profile on Billy Dee Williams. (Esquire)

Do you have an Away suitcase?  Have one on your gift list?  You may want to read this. (The Verge)

  • I personally adore my Tom Bihn Aeronaut (USA made and recommended by a reader a few years ago), and my two suitcases from the Delsey Titanium collection that I scored during an eBags sale.  Karl and I both have an Aeronaut; it goes from handheld bag to backpack and if you buy the strap, a crossbody.  I've carried it across my body and on my back for up to a mile, I've used it twice to fit everything for a two-week trip, my friend borrowed it for nine days in Italy, it still looks like new.  My pale silver 29″ spinner has been checked dozens of times and only has a few scuffs, and the International spinner is compact yet holds a ton, looks chic, and won't topple over even if you put a super filled heavy bag on top of it. 

I'm all about the celebrity profiles this weekend!  Here's another one of my Instagram guilty pleasures – Diplo. (The Cut)

A new study shows that The Pill affects the hypothalamus which has a strong correlation with anger and depressive symptoms.  (iNews)

Border Patrol threw away migrants’ belongings. A janitor saved and photographed them. (LA Times)

In our city, Santa arrives on a firetruck on the first Friday of December.  There is a mailbox at the community center where kids can fill out a form with their name, a few details, and two things they want for Christmas and Santa will call them the week before Christmas for free.  Visiting Santa is changing with malls dying and the internet taking over; this piece delves into the modern-day Santa. (The Washington Post)

Homelessness is more rampant than is regularly reported, and it doesn't always look the way you'd think.  This piece shares the story of a hardworking employed family and their experience being homeless. This is a tough but important read, no matter your thoughts on the subject. (The California Sunday Magazine)

A fantastic piece on being “menopaused” at work. (LinkedIn)

“Instagram succeeded because it exploited the basest aspects of human behavior until concepts like “authenticity” and “honesty” barely meant anything at all, to the point where even when we do see something vulnerable or “real,” we inherently distrust it. On Instagram, and increasingly in real life, everyone is suspect. Even if Instagram deleted itself from the internet tomorrow, we couldn’t get back what we lost.” Oooh, this is a good one. (Vox)

For Your Entertainment

Inspired by the racial microaggressions she experienced as a Japanese woman growing up in London and later attending Cambridge, Rina Sawayama wrote “STFU.”  Yes, this song uses the F word and middle fingers are brandished by Sawayama and other women in lingerie but I can't think of a better reason to use both the word and the gesture. The video starts with Sawayama on a horrible date with a horrible man who finds himself quite witty and cultured as he says the most racist and stereotypical comments while disrespecting Japanese culture and their sushi dinner.  Sawayama has enough and that's when the song begins. While Rina Sawayama has been known as a pop musician, this song takes a hard rock turn and it's a fun change.

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. Thank you for compiling these reads each weekend! I look to your blog for fashion advice (thanks for the red for that amazon snowflake pin, btw) but increasingly look forward to these reads as well. That homeless one is a good read, and one I probably wouldn’t have come across on my own. I appreciate that you take the time to cultivate these links.

  2. Wow! Lots of harsh thoughts about messy houses, which to me miss the point. I think the issue is with the affectation of strategically messy rooms as part of a brand, or part of making someone “authentic” when the reality is exactly the opposite of authentic because it’s carefully cultivated for effect: “Look how few fucks I give! LOOOOOK!” I’m a little surprised the the judgment in some of the posts and I am hopeful that’s not what Allison meant. I think people should keep (or not keep, as the case may be) their homes however they want. If a pile of unfolded laundry accumulating in several rooms and a dresser with so much clutter you can’t see the wood doesn’t bother them, who am I to judge? And why do I care? Maybe it just isn’t something about which they don’t care, or maybe they have to choose between a tidy house or a couple hours of extra sleep after a second job and taking care of some kiddos. Either way, you do you (and they do them). But to use it strategically (and perhaps even create mess purposefully for effect) to give street cred to someone wanting to be seen as real and down to earth? That’s no different than showing all the laundry out of the way to take one perfect photo. It’s fake either way.

  3. Oh my…didn’t know about the messy bedroom thing being a trend. Years ago we started a pintrest board titled messy beds and it is about comfort not an explosion of stuff. I’d be sick to see my clothing so neglected. This is the exact opposite of what most of our clients want..serenity thru minimalism in their havens from the days grind. Thanks for keeping me in the “in” loop!-laurel

  4. Wow! After reading about the Away luggage company, I feel very conflicted about using my Away piece ever again. I don’t want to support a company who expects their employees to work unreasonable hours and believes employers shouldn’t communicate their opinions. I will continue to go with my Briggs & Riley duffle bag for longer trips

  5. Ack…perimenopause! Yes, why does NO ONE prepare us for this? I had a terrible moment when I was strolling through Costco, nowhere near my period, felt something, looked down and blood was running down both of my legs and into my shoes. By far the worst though was years of heart palpitations that scared the bejesus out of me and caused terrible anxiety. I can’t count the number of meetings and public presentations I had while my heart was trying to jump out of my chest and I just had to ignore it while terrified I’d die in public. My mantra was it’s nothing, it’s nothing, it’s nothing. I was so relieved when my hormones finally calmed down and one day I realized I hadn’t had a palpation in…forever. Haven’t had one since and good riddance.

  6. I can’t believe in this day and age, there are still people who might feel stigmatized or intimidated by going to a show on their own. I was hoping we’d be more advanced by now?
    Good for that writer to have realized it sooner than later.

  7. I agree with you about the “messy bedrooms” trend being just another contrivance and affectation. So obvs and thirsty. I hate that stuff. But I know there are segments of the population who eat fakeness up. I have never understood that trait in humankind and still don’t. As far as messiness goes, I wouldn’t be able to relate either way because I simply am not a messy person. I love cleanliness and organization. I love to be surrounded by beauty and order (not perfection or starkness, mind you; I do like things to be well-lived and interesting). It grounds me. If my house is tidy and well-groomed, I feel I can conquer anything this life throws at me.

  8. The story about working at Away is a horror story. Another example of how curated brand media content can warp a company’s values. Forcing employees to work 18 hour days is presented as a mission and opportunity for empowerment. The founder, Korey, sounds like a nightmare person and worse business manager. I’ll never purchase the product. Yikes!

  9. I’m not a big follower of anything on Instagram. I don’t understand the women with the filthy, messy rooms though, who think if their outfit looks good, then life is grand and dirt and clutter be damned. What happened to clean up as you go along? You take off your work clothes or your gym clothes and pieces get hung up or put in the laundry basket or bag for the dry cleaner. How long does that take? Same with eating and dishes. You clean up as you go along (assuming you have cooked). If you get take out, you throw away or recycle the bags/packaging the food came in, wash your utensils/glassware when you are finished and et voila!-you’re done. I learned decades ago that if you clean up and put away as you go along, there is never any panic if unexpected company comes over nor is there a need to spend an entire day or weekend cleaning. No one needs to be Martha Stewart but what is wrong with being neat and clean? Keeping things up as a matter of routine, as part of the flow of your day?

    Clare Marcus wrote a wonderful book in 1995 called House as a Mirror of Self: Exploring the Deeper Meaning of Home. When I see these faked reality selfies of well coiffed, smartly dressed young women standing in their unkempt surroundings, I am gobsmacked by how they have disassociated themselves from their homes. And their deeper selves.

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