Happy New Year!

It’s 2015, and I’m back.

I’ve been gone for a while because I was planning my wedding and recovering from my undergraduate years in the summer, and then in the fall I started my MA and was applying to Ph.D programs.

One of my new year resolutions is to pick up blogging again, and I’m excited to come back to this space.

I’m in Korea for break and it’s almost 3AM here, so more to come soon…


101 things to fix right now (but that I never do)

This is a pretty impressive list…

I have 1 and 2 down pat, but the rest…not so sure…


1. Apply Sunscreen

UV rays are damaging your skin even on cloudy days, so it’s important to apply a sunscreenwith an SPF of 30 or higher every day.

2. Back Up Your Data

For the love of all that is good and beautiful, backup your data! When backing up or a tablet or a phone, make sure you know the difference between backing up to iCloud and backing up to iTunes. (See also: Comparing Online Backup Services)

3. Balance the Ceiling Fan

Is that squeaky fan slowly making you crazy? Fix it in a flash.

4. Blow Out the Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Dirty exhaust fans are a fire hazard. Use canned air to blow out dust and debris. Then wash the fan cover in soapy water. Cleaning the exhaust fan can make your bathroom up to 80 percent less stinky.

5. Bring Out Your Dead

Dead bugs in your light fixtures won’t kill you, but they sure are disgusting to look at.

6. Cancel Your Junk Mail

Register online with the Direct Marketing Association and opt out of junk mail.

7. Caulk Your Bathtub

I learned how to caulk a bathtub when I was 8. It’s so easy, even a kid can do it . . . literally. New caulk makes the bathroom look instantly cleaner and protects your walls from mold and rot.

8. Change the Baking Soda in the Refrigerator

An open box of baking soda in the fridge really does help eliminate odors.

9. Change Your Facebook Settings

Once again, Facebook has made changes to privacy settings. Update your settings to make sure that you have all the privacy you want.

10. Check Your Credit Report For Errors

You can get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting company: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Check your report for errors that could be hurting your credit score.

11. Check Your Oil

Oil lubricates your car engine. Check your car’s oil level once a month and top off as needed. Letting your engine run out of oil is one of the best ways to kill your engine. And by best, I mean worst.

12. Check Your Tire Pressure

Under inflated tires add additional wear to your tires and waste gas. Check your tire pressureregularly to ensure that you are getting the best performance out of your car.

13. Clean the Coils on the Refrigerator

Dirty condenser coils will make your refrigerator work harder and use more energy. Extend the life of your fridge and save on your electric bills by cleaning the coils every three months. (See also: Make Your Fridge Last Forever)

14. Clean Your Computer

Your computer’s keyboard is probably dirtier than your toilet. Don’t put off cleaning your computer for another day.

15. Clean Your Glasses or Contact Lenses

Get a better outlook on the world, instantly.

16. Clean Your Hairbrush Like a Hairdresser Does

Use a comb to remove hair from your brush. Then wash the brush in the washing machine with your towels. Alternately, add a few drops of Dawn dish-washing detergent to some hot water, dip the brush in the soapy water, and scrub with a toothbrush.

17. Clean Out Your Handbag or Wallet

In college I developed shooting neck pains. After a full battery of tests and X-rays, my doctor still couldn’t figure out the origin of my pain. Then he watched me pick up my handbag . . . which contained $40 in spare change.

18. Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet

While many over the counter and prescription drugs are perfectly safe and relatively effective to take even if they are expired, this is not true for cosmetics, hydrogen peroxide, andrubbing alcohol.

19. Clean the Pet Hair Off Your Sofa

Use a rubber glove to quickly remove the furry coating from your upholstered furniture.

20. Clean Your Phone

Because most people are disgusting and don’t wash their hands after pooping, everything iscovered in poop. This includes your cell phone. One in six cell phones are contaminated with fecal matter. Gross. Clean your phone.

21. Collect Spare Change

Check under the sofa cushions, in your pockets, and in the laundry room. Put everything into a piggy bank for a rainy day treat.

22. Condition Your Leather Jacket

Leather is a natural fiber that will weaken over time if it’s not properly cared for. Extend the life of your leather jacket by using leather conditioner as a moisturizer. There are a number of top leather conditioners you can buy that will clean and help weatherproof even the most creaky leathers. While you are at it, why not condition your bicycle seat, your baseball glove, your vintage handbag, and your leather sofa?

23. Create a Treasure Chest For All Your Play Money

Go through your wallet and home and find all the store credit receipts, all the partially used gift cards, and any other alternate form of currency that stores use to force you to only spend money with them. Put them all in one box for easy reference.

24. Curate Your Netflix Queue

You can add multiple profiles to one Netflix account to create multiple queues for easy reference. Or use a custom queue management script to import Rotten Tomatoes ratings or increase sorting options.

25. Darn a Sock

Small holes are a pretty simple fix.

26. Defrost Dinner

Cooking in advance only saves time if you remember to defrost your food in advance. Thawing food on the counter or under hot water can actually make you sick. Use safe defrosting methods to thaw homemade and prepackaged foods — thaw in the fridge; thaw in cold water; thaw in the microwave. (See also: Don’t Rinse the Bird)

27. De-Fuzz Your Pet

Give your dog or cat a good brushing to help control shedding. What’s more fun: Spending time with your pet or vacuuming hair off the floor?

28. De-Ice Your Ice Maker

Is your ice maker not ice-making? Before spending money on replacement parts, check the refill tube for ice build up. You can defrost this part yourself with a hairdryer.

29. De-Lime Your Coffeemaker

Improve the flavor of your coffee by cleaning the mineral deposits out of your coffeemaker.

30. De-Stink the Garbage Disposal

You don’t have to use a harsh cleanser to clean a stinky garbage disposal — just toss a couple of ice cubes and some kosher salt in it. Maybe follow up with half a juiced lemon.

31. Ditch Key Clutter

I am 100 percent sure that my husband has keys to his college dorm room, his childhood bike lock, and to the garden shed that collapsed in the 1989 Northridge Earthquake. Don’t be my husband.

32. Drink a Glass of Water

If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Staying hydrated helps energize muscles, aids digestion, and maintains the balance of your body’s electrolytes.

33. Dump the Science Experiment in the Refrigerator

Those just-gone-by leftovers are not going to get any fresher. Do it now or do it later while holding your breath. Then make a plan to stop wasting so much food.

34. Dust the Ceiling Fan

Don’t wait until the cat hair and dust floats down on your house guests like gray snow from your ceiling fan. Use a pillowcase to pull the dust from the blades in seconds and contain while you take the pillow case outside to dump the gunk.

35. Dust the Lampshades

Use a lint roller to remove the dust on fabric shades.

36. Empty the Trash Can in Your Car

Or, if you are like me, empty the trash from all over your car.

37. Empty the Vacuum Cleaner Bag

Most vacuums will lose suction when the bag is more than half full. The fuller the bag, the harder the motor has to work. Vacuuming on a full bag is a good way to kill your vacuum.

38. Examine Yourself For Cancer

Examine yourself for breast and/or testicular cancer. Five minutes spent squeezing yourself could save your life.

39. Exercise

Do 20 push-ups, 20 squats, 100 jumping jacks, or just some simple stretches. You would be surprised how many mini workouts you can squeeze out of your schedule.

40. Empty the Lint Trap and the Dryer Vent

The dryer is the number one source of fire in the home. The majority of these fires are caused by lint buildup in the trap and dryer vent. Empty the lint trap after every dryer cycle andregularly clean the dryer vent.

41. Filing the Papers on Your Desk

Ugh, terrible. But if you are being held hostage at your desk while on hold anyway, you might as well just do some filing.

42. Find Unclaimed Money

You might be owed money and not even know it! You can search state by state for unclaimed funds and property owed to you. When I did a search through the California State Controller’s Office, I discovered that I had a $1525 sitting in some bank vault, waiting for me to collect it. (See also: You Might Be Owed Money)

43. Flip Your Mattress

Flipping a mattress is the bed equivalent of rotating the tires on your car. Flipping extends the life of your mattress by evening out the wear and tear. If you have a double-sided mattress, pin some index cards to the foot of the bed to keep track of which way your mattress needs to be flipped and turned. If you have a single-sided mattress, you’ll need to rotate the mattress but not flip it.

44. Floss

Only 49 percent of Americans floss daily and 10 percent never floss. Don’t be part of that 51 percent who put their teeth at risk.

45. Hang a Picture

Avoid Swiss cheese walls by using these pro tips from Bob Villa. Also, most people hang their art too high on the wall. For a more intimate viewing experience, even with a huge piece of art, take a cue from art galleries and hang your art at eye level. The standard gallery measurement is 57 inches from the floor.

46. Write a Thank You Note

Who doesn’t like feeling appreciated? Write a thank you note to someone who has helped make your life better.

47. Invite Other People to Dropbox

Gain up to 16 GB in free extra online storage space from Dropbox by referring friends.

48. Label Cords and Electronic Accessories

I label all my power cords, adapters, and accessories so I can match them up with the proper electronic equipment quickly. It makes troubleshooting so much easier too. Personally I’m a big fan of the P-Touch printer, but there are lot of ways to label cables.

49. Make a Complaint

Is your Internet not working . . . again? Is your elected official an idiot? Did Trader Joe’s discontinue the best snack ever? Tweet your displeasure. Even better, write a letter. Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

50. Make a Grocery List

One of the easiest ways to save money at the grocery store is to make a grocery list. If you are terrible at figuring out how much food you need to buy week to week, use an app likeOut of Milk to help you fine tune your shopping list.

51. Make a To-Do List

Take charge of your schedule by making a daily to-do list. It will save you time and stress.

52. No More Wire Hangers!

What is it about wire hangers? How do they accumulate so fast? Do they breed when they are alone in the dark of the closet? I just pulled approximately 467,923 empty wire hangers out of my husband’s closet, which freed up about four inches of rod space. The hangers will be returned to the dry cleaners for reuse and recycling.

53. Oil a Squeaky Door

Now you have one less thing that will wake you up in the night.

54. Open the Bills

Ignoring your money problems will only make them worse.

55. Open an Etsy Store

Are you a rabid collector of fabulous things? Are you now bored with these fabulous things? Finance your next eccentric collection by selling your old one on Etsy.

56. Organize Your Address Book

Use an app like EasilyDo to manage your contact list or manually enter and correct information in your address book.

57. Organize Your Jewelry

Separate out broken pieces for repair or reuse. (A solitary earring can be turned into a pendant or barrette, for example.) Set aside gold or silver jewelry you don’t wear to sell for cash. Once you’ve sorted your collection, look on Pinterest for a jewelry organizing system that will work best for your space.

58. Organize Your Membership Cards

Go through your membership card collection and ditch all your expired cards. Put the cards you use regularly into your wallet, or onto a separate key chain to carry with you. Store the rest of your cards in an easy to remember place for quick reference. For those who hate carrying around all that plastic, yes, there are phone apps that allow you to digitize all your membership card data.

59. Organize the Art on the Refrigerator Door

Most Americans use their refrigerator door as a bulletin board. UCLA researchers discovered that there is a direct relationship between the clutter on the fridge door and the clutter in the rest of the house. Start clearing clutter by organizing the front of the refrigerator.

60. Pay a Compliment

Compliments are free, and everyone loves to feel appreciated. Don’t be creepy about it, however.

61. Play Matchmaker to Your Tupperware

Store your plastic ware with the lids on. Yes, it takes up a little more room when stacked, but it will save time. No more rooting around for a matching lid.

62. Plot a Murder

Of aphids, of course. Mix one tablespoon of dish-washing liquid and one gallon of water. Load your squirt bottle and go on a killing spree in your victory garden.

63. Pluck Your Eyebrows

Well-shaped eyebrows add instant polish to your face, even without make-up.

64. Polish Your Shoes

I’d say, stop dressing like a slob, but slobs already know that polishing your shoes makes you look respectable and extends the life of your shoes.

65. Program the Stations on Your Car Radio

Tuning your car’s radio, like texting, can be a deadly distraction. Preprogram your favorite stations while your car is parked, so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road while driving.

66. Purge Your Email

As of this moment I have 434 unread emails cluttering my inbox. See how many old emails you can trash before you are interrupted. My record is 2505 emails in two hours.

67. Put Away Your Clothes

Are your clothes hanging over the treadmill in the corner of the bedroom and not in your closet? Put those clothes away!

68. Put Your Consumer Electronics on One Power Strip

In addition to protecting your expensive electronics, putting your consumer electronics on one power strip (make sure your strip doubles as a surge protector) can save you money. This helpful chart shows the average energy wasted by household appliances, even when they are in standby mode. Save money and time by turning off all your appliances at once with the push of one button on the power strip.

69. Put Footie Pads on Your Furniture

Put felt pads on your furniture to protect your wood floors from wear and tear.

70. Put Your Hoard of Tins to Work

I am a sucker for cute packaging. Luckily Altoid tins are the perfect size to organize and store tiny office and craft supplies.

71. Read the Manual

To anything. Reading the manual never makes any gadget harder to use. I promise.

72. Repair Your Cracked Patio

If you can use Play-Doh, you can fix the cracks in cement with quick-drying hydraulic water-stop cement.

73. Replace Your Windshield Wipers

Don’t wait until it’s pouring down rain to do this chore. Replacing wipers is easy.

74. Restock Your Emergency Kit

Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with at least the basics. Replace the batteries in the flashlight. Check the expiration dates on your food and medications. (See also: 5 Emergency Situations You Must Prepare For)

75. Re-Up Your Prescriptions

It’s Murphy’s Law that you will run out of what you need, in the middle of the night, on a holiday weekend. Don’t wait until you are having an emergency to get refills.

76. Revive Your Cutting Board

Season your wood cutting board with mineral oil to extend its lifespan. Rub it on, wait a bit, rub it off.

77. Round Up Old Magazines

Collect all the magazines that are cluttering your house. Donate the ones you are done with to your local veterinarian, emergency room, or battered women’s shelter. Create one central to-be-read pile with the remaining magazines.

78. Sanitize Your Makeup

Use a makeup sanitizing spray or wipe to keep your cosmetics bacteria-free.

79. Scrub the Bathtub

If you use non-toxic household products like baking soda, salt, and vinegar to clean the tub, you won’t even need to put on gloves.

80. Sell Something Online

List unwanted items on Craigslist, eBay, Etsy, Half.com, or another online market. More money in the bank. Less to dust.

81. Set the Clock on the Microwave

Why not make your appliances with a clock feature that much more useful?

82. Sew on a Button

Save a little money at the dry cleaners by replacing missing buttons yourself.

83. Sharpen a Knife

It’s counter-intuitive, but it’s more dangerous to use a dull knife than a sharp knife. Save money on professional knife sharpening by learning how to do it yourself.

84. Sign a Petition

Don’t have the money or the time to spare for your favorite issues? At least sign a petition! Petitions do get results because they show popular demand for a cause. Even the White House pays attention to petitions.

85. Silence a Squeaky Floor

Use talcum powder and a paintbrush to quiet wood floors.

86. Snip Your Too-Long Bangs

Scary, right? Not if you look online for all sorts of helpful hair cutting tutorials for guidance.

87. Start Some Seeds

Growing plants from seeds is a relatively inexpensive way to grow a variety of plants. There are far more plants available from seed that there are from started plants. You don’t even need special equipment.

88. Steady a Wobbly Toilet

Sitting down on a wobbly toilet is always a little disconcerting. Luckily, steadying a toilet is usually an easy fix.

89. Steam Away Microwave Stains

Heat a bowl containing a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar in the microwave for five minutes. The steam will soften stuck-on stains so they can be wiped off with a sponge.

90. Store Your Hairbands on a Carabiner

I love this organizing hack for the bathroom. Although I keep my hairband carabiner in a drawer, I could also hang it on a hook or at the end of a towel rack to save cabinet space.

91. Swap Out Your Toothbrush

Swap out your old toothbrush for a new one every three months, or sooner if the bristles are bent or you’ve been sick. Toothbrush bristles develop sharp edges over time that can make tiny nicks in your gums, making you more prone to infection. Also, worn bristles are less effective at cleaning your teeth.

92. Sweep Away the Cobwebs

Does your home look like the Haunted Mansionette? Use a feather duster or Swiffer broom to remove cobwebs from your ceiling and crown molding.

93. Test Your Smoke Detector

Prevent a fatal fire in your home. Change the batteries in your smoke detectors TWICE a year. Also, pushing the red button on the smoke detector only tests if the battery and the alarm sound work. A better method of testing if the smoke detector is actually detecting smoke is to hold two freshly blown-out matches under the unit.

94. Throw Away Your Dried-Out Pens

If you are waiting on hold, you will eventually need a pen to write down a confirmation number. Use this time to test out your pen collection to find one that works. Throw away the dead ones.

95. Trim Your Photo Collection

Unless you are a hardened blackmailer, there is no reason to keep terrible photographs of yourself or others, unless, of course, they are hilarious. Dump the bad photos from your albums and hard drives and give yourself more space to store flattering memories.

96. Turn Off the Lights

If you aren’t in the habit of turning off the light as you leave a room, save money and energy by turning off all the lights (and fans) in the house except in the room you are using right now.

97. Unsubscribe

Be honest with yourself about how much information you can process in a day. Unsubscribe from email lists, online groups, podcasts, and so on that are piling up in your inbox. You can always re-subscribe when you have more free time.

98. Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Even if you aren’t looking for work, there are plenty of companies that headhunt solely viaLinkedIn. A better job might fall right into your lap! Also, every time you update your profile, LinkedIn will spam everyone in your network, a passive (and great) way to reconnect with business connections.

99. Untangle Your Cords

Pretend this is a game and not an odious chore. Store your freshly untangled cords inside toilet paper tubes. For extra credit, cute-ify your toilet paper tubes with colored tape.

100. Vacuum Your Hairdryer

Suck the gunk out of the back vents of your hair dryer to keep it from crapping out.

101. Wrap a Present

Pre-wrap holiday and birthday presents and save time and stress later.”

20s bucket lists

I’m coming across so many of these “before 30s” and “life hacks” lists. They’re pretty predictable but still nice to go over for the sake of reflection.


30 Things All Women Should Have in Their Arsenal Before 30

“Turning 30 is a big milestone because you finally feel like a real adult instead of playing one in your early 20s. Here are some things you probably have accomplished in your 20s:

  1. Eyeliner and mascara that doesn’t smudge.
  2. A bad relationship that will make you treasure the good ones.
  3. The experience of negotiating a raise or asking for a promotion. Because you deserve it.
  4. A love for yourself — flaws and all.
  5. A good mattress.
  6. Enough self-respect to not put up with an unhealthy relationship and friendship.
  7. A home that looks lived in and not like a rental. Which includes a piece of furniture you splurged on that’s not from Ikea and an original piece of art you love.
  8. One international trip experience that took you to another continent.
  9. Wild stories of past shenanigans that you love reminiscing over with your friends. And zero urge to relive it all.
  10. A résumé and LinkedIn profile that you had to struggle to shrink.
  11. Six months of living expenses in your emergency fund and a robust 401(k).
  12. A friend that makes you laugh, lends an understanding ear when you need a shoulder to cry on, and tells you things you need (and not want) to hear.
  13. Forgiveness and letting go of past hurts and grudges. Life’s too short for that.
  14. And the realization that forgiving doesn’t mean accepting that it was OK. Forgiving means accepting the fact it happened.
  15. Go-to recipes for key occasions, from a fancy dinner party to leftovers night.
  16. A backup system for your important documents and photos.
  17. Something you can take care of, be it a plant or a pet (or maybe even a baby!).
  18. The ability to enjoy things alone, whether it be a trip, a dinner out, or a show.
  19. A coffee machine so you stop wasting your money at Starbucks.
  20. A good skin care routine, which includes applying sunscreen.
  21. The confidence to go without makeup, wear a bikini, and have an opinion.
  22. A sewing kit and a set of tools that you’ve actually used.
  23. A reliable dry cleaner and a tailor.
  24. A chic outfit that you can transition from work to play — not to mention, a high-quality bag or purse to bring to work every day.
  25. A safe place for you to relieve your stress and recharge — be it your reading nook or yoga studio.
  26. The resolve and discipline to kick at least one bad habit. Bye-bye, soda and Cheetos.
  27. The satisfaction with what you have and not worrying about if you’re missing out on something better and newer.
  28. An exercise routine beyond cleaning your home or commuting to work.
  29. A credit card that you pay off in full every month.
  30. The realization that life just gets better.”



Screenshot 2014-06-10 18.41.44 Screenshot 2014-06-10 18.42.02

Keeping White Clothes Fresh

I always had that dread of taking out white clothes that I’d stored the previous year and finding that it has yellowing areas.

Hopefully these tips will help!


“1. Sort Your Laundry Pile

1. Sort by Color

Separating whites from colors might be one of those classic nuggets of wisdom every mom passes along to her college-bound child. Still, it can feel silly to have a heaping pile of laundry with just a handful of whites. But resist the temptation to merge.

Why? If you’ve ever seen a clothing tag with rather specific care instructions — “Turn Inside Out to Launder,” “Use Cold Water,” “Color May Wash Down,” or “Wash Before Wear” — it’s because those garments aren’t colorfast, so their dye molecules wind up in the wash water only to settle on other fabrics. (Anyone who’s ever accidentally put their new red towels in with their crisp white bed linens knows what this means.)

2. Sort by Fabric

Color separation is Priority No. 1, but if you’re a bit fanatical, you might consider separating them by fabric or level of dinginess. Linens and cottons can be washed together, and so can acetates and acrylics. Wash wool pieces on their own, and if your delicates should be washed by hand, just suck it up.

And if you are determined to whiten your heavily soiled socks, don’t throw them in with your just-worn white tee — the dirt removed from one might end up on the other.

2. Don’t Wait Long

Yes, we get it: You’ve got a measly “pile” of whites that consists of a tank top, a button-down, and a pair of denim jeans. As much as you might think it best to set these aside until you’ve gotten a few more pieces to add to the pile, it’s not.

The longer you let those clothes sit before laundering, the more time once-invisible stains have to set. If you wait a month to wash that white button-down, for instance, by the time you throw it in the washing machine, it has very likely acquired yellow stains under the armpits from perspiration and deodorant that have taken hold of the fabric.

White-Hot Tip: Wash white pieces after every wear, even if they still look clean. We’re all for rewearing jeans and sweaters, but your whites should be the exception.

3. Pretreat Problem Areas

1. How to Tackle Grease Stains

If you’ve got perspiration or other oil stains, pretreat them with liquid detergent, dishwashing liquid, or even clear shampoo. Don’t rub in the liquid with your fingers if you can avoid it — instead, opt for a toothbrush.

2. How to Tackle Colored Stains

For anything that has left a color — whether it’s a dribble of coffee, a splash of red wine, or a dollop of pasta sauce, and even those yellow deodorant stains — apply an undiluted oxygen-based bleach like OxiClean.

White-Hot Tip: If you’ve got time, soak the pretreated garment in hot water to loosen up the stain before throwing it in the wash.

4. Wash Your Whites

1. Don’t Overload

A benefit to not having a ton of whites? You won’t run the risk of overstuffing your washer. You need enough space for the detergent and water to work their magic.

2. Use Hot Water

The best way to retain whiteness is to wash items in the hottest water possible, at least 120 degrees.

3. Don’t Scrimp on Detergent

Now is not the time to be conservative about how much detergent to measure. Use the maximum amount recommended for your whites.

4. Add a Whitening Boost

Baking soda or oxygen-based bleaches can increase the effectiveness of your wash. If you prefer a more natural route, a good alternative is lemons! Use a half-cup of fresh-squeezed lemon juice with your detergent to slightly whiten those whites.

White-Hot Tip: Steer clear of bleach. It’s a common misconception that chlorine bleach is a cure-all for all your laundering woes. In fact, if used over time, it weakens the fibers in your clothes and, if you have water that’s high in iron, can even cause yellowing.

5. Rinse and Repeat

If you take a wet garment out of the wash and see that it’s still stained or dingy, do not even think about drying, unless you want the stain to set. Instead, repeat the washing process again. If it’s an aggressive stain, consider applying ammonia directly to it, soaking it for 10 minutes, and then putting it back in the wash, by itself, for another go.

6. Dry Your Whites

For the most part, drying will set the fabric, so what you see is what you’ll get. However, if you are able to air-dry your clothes outside, the ultraviolet rays of the sun act as a natural whitener. (This method works best if you used lemon juice in the washing process — just as putting lemon juice in your hair in the Summer can make you blonder, the same works for clothes!)

White-Hot Tip: Clotheslining your garments in the direct sunlight for a few hours should be enough, but to make them even whiter, feel free to put them back out for a few hours another day. Just don’t leave them out for days at a time, as that can weaken the fabric.

7. Accept What You Cannot Whiten

You can surely keep your whites looking crisp, but after a few wears, they might never look fresh-from-the-store perfect, no matter how hard you try. White fabrics are typically treated with optical brightening chemicals that boost whiteness, but they eventually wash out over time.

White-Hot Tip: Annoyingly, storing whites in the dark can even cause yellowing, which is especially frustrating for those who do the seasonal closet switch. Storing items in acid-free tissues and nonplastic boxes can help.

8. And If All Else Fails . . .

You can always wear black.”

#YesAllWomen #NotAllMen

If I had a son, this is exactly what I would want to teach him. (http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/05/27/not_all_men_how_discussing_women_s_issues_gets_derailed.html)


 The following article is a discussion about violence, violence against women, and the oppression women face every day. Have a care if these topics disturb you. Note too: I am a cisgender male, and the hashtags I discuss below deal with the issues in binary men/women terms, so I do as well. Trans and other folks may well have very different feelings about these issues, and I welcome their input.

On Friday, May 23, 2014, a man killed six people (and possibly himself). The manifesto he left behind stated he did it because women wouldn’t sleep with him. I won’t recount the details here; they can be found easily enough. I also won’t speculate on the controversies involving his mental health, or about the NRA, or the police involvement in this. I want to focus on a narrower point here, and that has to do with men and women, and their attitudes toward each other.

The murderer was active on men’s rights fora, where women are highly objectified, to say the very least. They are seen as nonhuman by many such groups, and at the very least lesser than men—sometimes nothing more than targets or things to acquire. What these men write puts them, to me, in the same category as White Power movements, or any other horribly bigoted group that “others” anyone else. While it may not be possible to blame the men’s rights groups for what happened, from the reports we’ve seen they certainly provided an atmosphere of support.

Of course, these loathsome people represent a very small percentage of men out there. Over the weekend, as the discussion across Twitter turned to these horrible events, a lot of men started tweeting this, saying “not all men are like that.” It’s not an unexpected response. However, it’s also not a helpful one.

Why is it not helpful to say “not all men are like that”? For lots of reasons. For one, women know this. They already know not every man is a rapist, or a murderer, or violent. They don’t need you to tell them.

Second, it’s defensive. When people are defensive, they aren’t listening to the other person; they’re busy thinking of ways to defend themselves. I watched this happen on Twitter, over and again.

Third, the people saying it aren’t furthering the conversation, they’re sidetracking it.The discussion isn’t about the men who aren’t a problem. (Though, I’ll note, it can be. I’ll get back to that.) Instead of being defensive and distracting from the topic at hand, try staying quiet for a while and actually listening to what the thousands upon thousands of women discussing this are saying.

Fourth—and this is important, so listen carefully—when a woman is walking down the street, or on a blind date, or, yes, in an elevator alone, she doesn’t know which group you’re in. You might be the potential best guy ever in the history of history, but there’s no way for her to know that. A fraction of men out there are most definitely not in that group. Which are you? Inside your head you know, but outside your head it’s impossible to.

This is the reality women deal with all the time.

Before what I’m saying starts edging into mansplaining, let me note that also over the weekend, the hashtag #YesAllWomen started. It was a place for women to counter the #NotAllMen distraction, and to state clearly and concisely what they actually and for real have to deal with. All the time.

Reading them was jarring, unsettling. I have many friends who are vocal feminists, and it’s all too easy to see what they deal with for the crime of Being a Woman on the Internet. But this hashtag did more than deal with the rape threats, the predators, the violence.

It was the everyday sexism, the everyday misogyny, which struck home. The leering, the catcalls, the groping, the societal othering, the miasma of all this that women bear the brunt of every damn day.

Those tweets say it far better than I ever could, for many reasons. The most important is because I’m a man, so I haven’t lived through what they have. I can’t possibly understand it at the level they do, no matter how deeply disturbed I am by the situation and how sympathetic I may be to what they’ve gone through.

This is not a failing, or an admission of weakness. It’s a simple truth. I’m a white, middle-class male, so I can understand intellectually what black people have undergone, or what women have dealt with, or what Japanese-Americans suffered in America in World War II. As someone raised Jewish, I may have more of an understanding for what an oppressed people have withstood in general, but I’ve never really been oppressed myself. That puts me in a position of—yes—privilege.

All that means is that I can only speak from my own point of view, and try to understand others as best I can. When it comes to sexism, to my shame, that took me a long, long time to figure out. I had to have my head handed to me many times in many embarrassing situations to see how I was participating in that culture, that everyday sexism. It was like air, all around me, so pervasive that I didn’t see it, even when I was in it and a part of it.

What made that harder was coming to an understanding that I will never truly understand what women go through. I can’t. So I listen to what women say about it, try to understand as best I can, and try to modify my own behavior as needed to make things better.

I’ve done a lot of modifying over the years. And there’s still a long way to go.

Over the weekend, I retweeted a few of the #YesAllWomen tweets I thought were most important, or most powerful, and saw that again and again they were misunderstood. In almost all the cases I saw, the men commenting were reacting to it, being defensive about the hashtag instead of listening to what was being said.

Earlier, I mentioned that the conversation is about the men who are the problem, not the ones who aren’t. Well, at this point, a conversation needs to be had about them, too. Even though we may not be the direct problem, we still participate in the cultural problem. If we’re quiet, we’re part of the problem. If we don’t listen, if we don’t help, if we let things slide for whatever reason, then we’re part of the problem, too.

We men need to do better.

Part of this problem is the mislaying of blame, and the misdirection of what to do. When it comes to legal action, to the enforcement of rules, to societal pressure, it all comes down on the women and not the men.

Which leads me to the best tweet using this hashtag that a man put up.

That is exactly right. We need to change the way we talk to boys in our culture as well as change the way we treat women.

And one final word on this. As a man, having written this post I expect there will be comments insulting me, comments questioning my manhood (whatever twisted definition those people have of such a thing, if it even exists), and so on.

But you know what there won’t be? People threatening to stalk me and rape me and kill me for having the audacity to say that women are people, and that we should be listening to them instead of telling them how to feel. Yet that is precisely what every woman on the Internet would face if she were to write this.

And that is, sadly, why we so very much need the #YesAllWomen hashtag.


Food Trends


As someone who cares about food and food trends, this was interesting.

I don’t know if I agree with this definition of food trends, it seems too strict: “There’s a fine line between a trend and a fad. Trends are longer-lasting and more impactful. They stay on even after it stops being the thing that Bon Appétit and every other food publication writes about. Think about extra virgin olive oil—with the gourmands it hit big in the late ’70s, early ’80s, and it trickled down to everyone else in the ’90s. It became the “thing.” Now it’s not a trend, nobody really talks about it. But it’s the default oil. It becomes a part of your eating culture. Trends do that. Fads don’t. Fads are the Cronut of the season.”

This is definitely interesting: “The difference now is that the 21st-century food media is an unprecedented food creature in its breadth and its scope and its speed. The Cronut is the most beautiful example. It went from an item to a food trend—or fad—instantly, and it was entirely because of the media. The speed of trends, the cycle of trends, and the volume of their impact is exacerbated by the food media.”

And this is so true: “How closely tied is health with food trends?
The line bleeds again—you can get chia-seed cupcakes and burgers with kale on them. But health trends are the most powerful food trends. When you see the mania around health and food in North America—”What should we eat? What’s the best thing to be eating? I only eat goji berries, I only eat chia seeds, I put it in this. You want as many antioxidants as possible. You want as few antioxidants as possible. Eat as much butter as you can. Eat no butter. Eat only natural fats”—it drives people crazy, but it drives sales. The power of someone like Dr. Oz to say something like, “Eat blueberries, you’ll live longer,” is going to sell a shitload of blueberries. Then people are going to take note of that and put blueberries in whatever the hell they can. Blueberry Doritos. Blueberry-flavored 7-Up. There was a product called Cherry 7-Up Antioxidant. They put a little bit of cherry juice in there and yeah, legally it has antioxidants. But it’s a can of diabetes. It’s not going to save you.”