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!
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:
- Skincando has a baby line that is super clean, super gentle, and great for anyone with extra sensitive skin. The Baby Wash is great for those with eczema, and the balm is that jane-of-all-trades sort of product perfect for diaper rash, bug bites, wind or sunburn, torn cuticles, and anywhere on the body that needs some moisture and pampering.
- A bug repellant that is kid- and pet-safe and also effective. It's so effective troops deployed overseas use it!
- Skincando is known for their Combat Ready Balm, which was originally used by soldiers in war zones. For dry skin, itchy skin, bug bites, burns, scars, and more this is a must in any medicine cabinet and a product that a low-maintenance guy in your life won't mind using himself.
- This is one of the best eye creams I have ever used. I'm out, I need to get some more, my eyes miss it!
- Cleaning with an oil may seem counter-intuitive but it's a great way to deep clean your face without stripping it. I found by oil cleaning my T-zone disappeared. This cleaning oil + makeup remover is super effective while being super gentle and luxe.
- And of course the Aloe Foam Cleanser which I adore and my daughter is constantly stealing from me!
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)
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.