My good friend, Ali, chilling with some pins in her ear
A new chiropractor/acupuncture/sports massage wellness clinic opened near me a month or two ago and they were offering free services on their opening night. Never one to turn down a free massage, I dragged Ali along with me one Tuesday.
When we got to the place, I saw a number of people trying out acupuncture and became intrigued. Everything I know about acupuncture, I know from Jazz. (Read: i know nothing about acupuncture, other than Jazz likes it a lot.) I was curious if it would hurt. So I let them put a few pins in my ear.
In case anyone has the same questions I did, here’s what it felt like to me: you know if you were to stick a pin in your finger but not far enough where it could hurt? That’s what the pin placement felt like. Less intense than a shot/needle, but it definitely didn’t feel good.
For the first few minutes, I didn’t really notice anything but after a while, I realized my body parts were starting to feel heavy. (And I only had pins in one ear.) That’s the best way I can describe it. You know when one of your body parts has been anesthetized and as you regain feeling, it feels heavy and weird? That’s how acupuncture felt for me. It was more of a drugged/forced relaxation than a natural one. In short, if I were going to get some type of service with the sole goal of relaxing, I’d still get a massage. What intrigues me most about acupuncture is how it can be used to treat all kinds of body ailments; specifically, I’m fascinated by how it aids/affects digestion.
All this being said, Ali experienced totally different sensations than I did and enjoyed it a lot more on the whole. Different strokes for different folks. Now you know.
P.S. Their deep tissue massages are fantastic.
I am so overwhelmed by the customer service of this company that I feel the need to tell everyone about it.
I’ve bought a few items from Everlane in the past and like their style a lot, so when I received one of their t-shirts for Christmas I was pumped. Unfortunately said shirt didn’t look great on me and even more unfortunately, I waited until post-90 days to try to return it.
Not only did they agree to accept the return, but SEE BELOW.
TL;DR: They’re letting me KEEP THE SHIRT I already bought and giving me credit to buy a new one, aka they’re just sending me a free shirt.
Most incredible customer service experience EVER. Go buy all their clothes.
After looking through pretty much all the major luggage brands (Tumi, Briggs & Riley, Delsey, Travelpro, Samsonite, Hartmann, Rimowa, etc.) I’ve decided to buy two Victorinox Mobilizer NXT 5.0 bags.
The larger one is a 27” Expandable Upright, which will go with me on 2-3 week trips. The smaller is a 20” Expandable Carry-On that meets international size requirements. (Did y’all know the overhead bins on a lot of European and Asian planes are smaller than U.S. planes? The more you know.) They are navy blue because I love no other color more and they have really sturdy handles and great wheels and tons of storage space and now I’m gushing about luggage.
Best of all? My parents are ninjas and belong to a club that sells furniture basically wholesale so my bigger suitcase is only $211 (MSRP $645) and the carry-on is $178 (MSRP $545)! Less than $400 for two pieces that are gonna last me years and years.
Shout out to Macy’s for letting me drag their luggage all over the store, to my parents for their sweet membershipz and to Matt for his business travel acumen (aka not letting me buy the pretty suitcases that would have immediately fallen apart). I can finally stop
mooching borrowing other people’s luggage when I go somewhere ! I’m coming for you, Adulthood.
a "cheeky flowchart" for selecting wine from wine folly & 4 rules of thumb:
- If you can’t pronounce the words on the wine list, ask for the “Coat Do Roan” - French wines can be uber expensive in the U.S. But Cotes du Rhone gives you the biggest bang for the buck.
- When your only choices are cheap ones, take a cab - Making wine with the grape variety cabernet sauvignon is easy peasy. The cab fruit thrives even under less-than-ideal conditions. So it’s hard for winemakers to mess up a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, even when they’re working with cheap grapes. (For those on a budget who prefer a white, go with chardonnay.)
- For fancy noirs, think pinot - The pinot noir grape is the opposite of cabernet sauvignon: It’s hard to grow and do right.She recommends buying this “hedonisic joy ride” for “wine lovers” and “your favorite people in the world.” Or to help you get through a dreaded birthday.
- For cooking, remember the sauvignon blanc - Puckette performed some experiments with a chef cooking with different types of white wines. Her conclusion? Sauvignon blanc was the best for use in white sauces, because it adds a jolt of acidity, like a lemon or lime. (When a recipe calls for reds, try a Chianti or sangiovese.)
read more & explore the infographic here via NPR.
It’s Friday. What else would we talk about?
Ali’s post the other day inspired me to dig up the to-do list I wrote my senior year of high school. I drafted the list 9 years ago and now that I’ve reread it,
I see I was a pretty big asshole it’ll require some significant updates to match my current hopes and dreams.
[Crossed out means I’m no longer interested in completing it.] (Current day commentary is italicized.)
- stop worrying about the future & be happy in the moment - AS COMPLETED AS IT’S EVER GOING TO BE
- learn how to surf - COMPLETED
- kiss at the top of the Eiffel Tower
- climb a mountain or part of one - COMPLETED
- learn exotic dances like the salsa, flamenco, tango
- write and publish at least one bestseller (maybe? not taking this one off the list just yet)
- get married to someone who I’m deeply and unconditionally in love with
ride a mechanical bull
- attend at least one major sporting event (Super Bowl, Olympics, World Cup, etc.)
have my portrait painted(nothing beats the narcissism of an 18yo)
- learn how to swing dance
go skinny dipping in the middle of the night somewhere exotic
- own a room with a view - COMPLETED (well, renting one)
- learn how to take a compliment - COMPLETED
- stay out all night dancing and go to work without having gone home (just once) (this no longer appeals to me that much, but i’m keeping it purely on principle #clingingtomyyouth)
publish an article in Cosmo(oh come on, baby steph) be a member of the audience in a TV show
- join the mile high club
- send a message in a bottle
- complete the monopoly board pub crawl - COMPLETED (look it up, it’s so much fun)
- be my own boss
- run a marathon - COMPLETED
learn how to belly dance(half this list is about dancing) build a snow fort that I could actually sit in(i might just be crossing this out due to polar vortex bitterness)
- be someone’s hero
- dance with a stranger in a foreign country - COMPLETED
- shower in a waterfall - COMPLETED (not sure if I meant this, like, with shampoo & conditioner?? but i have rinsed off in one.)
- take a cruise - COMPLETED
direct at least one movie(meh, maybe) wade in a public fountain(jesus christ, i really wanted to eat pray love my way through life)
- learn to play (at least one song on) the
guitarpiano (piano is more appealing to me now)
- learn to cook - COMPLETED
- experience weightlessness
- attend a film festival
ask someone I’ve just met on a date(all for it, but probably won’t be doing this unless Matt keeps loading the dishwasher the wrong way) learn to drive stick shift(have no interest in owning a car in the foreseeable future; i think this is something high school me thought “cool girls” would know how to do) road trip across America(an important part of traveling is learning what kind of traveler you are. give me skies over road any day of the week.) (although i did road trip down highway 1 if that counts for anything.)
- get Lasik eye surgery
have kids(another thing i think i assumed everyone does)
- see cirque du soleil - COMPLETED
- sleep under the stars - COMPLETED
make love in Italy(please note, even baby steph was embarrassed to use the phrase “make love” but she was also aware people (e.g. her parents) would be reading this list as it sat framed on her desk for years) (i also no longer feel the need to specify in list form the places i’d like to engage in said “lovemaking”)
- go to Carnaval in Rio
- spend one Christmas on a beach - COMPLETED
- overcome my fear of death
buy a house & revamp it into exactly what I want(still like the idea of this but not sure i ever want to live in something as big as a house and don’t plan on buying property in the foreseeable future)
- take a hot-air balloon ride - COMPLETED
- learn to bartend - COMPLETED
- learn how to sail
and own a sailboat if I end up loving it(own a sailboat LOL) have a widely read blog- COMPLETED? (not sure what qualified as “widely read” in my mind but this one’s not a big priority anymore either way) attend a movie premiere
- attend an awards show (Oscars, Emmys, etc.)
- pay for the person behind me at a fast food drive through window (how have i not done this by now?!)
- visit all 7 continents (will visit #5 this summer)
be an extra or have a small part in a movie have a drink named after me(#narcissism #again) make love on a beach(this is a bad idea) drive a really expensive & fast sports car(see above for total disinterest in cars for the last 5 years running) dance and sing in the rain
- watch the sun rise on a mountain - COMPLETED
- shake hands with any President
- stay in the best suite in a five star hotel
- throw a dart on a map and travel wherever it lands
18 out of 63 completed in the last nine years. Not too shabby.
Now, for a new list.
I was hanging out with a few coworkers one Saturday night and noticed our admin’s skin was absolutely glowing. She told me she had just gotten a facial and I was intrigued. I’d only gotten one in my life, during high school, and I didn’t remember having overly positive feelings afterward. Seeing as that was ten years ago (ugh), I figured I’d give it a second shot. My skin has been dry, my pores were sizable and I was hoping to even out my complexion and give it a glow.
Last Saturday morning I went in for a facial - “the works”, as it was called. Microdermabrasion, extraction, heat wraps, creams, etc. My aesthetician was nice, super knowledgeable and made the whole experience a delight and not overly painful.
I left the appointment and my skin was red, but that was to be expected. Acne that hadn’t been visible an hour before seemed to be rising to the surface, but I figured I’d let things settle overnight. … Ah! Things looked worse the next morning. The overall redness had calmed down, but my face broke out like I was back in college. In that moment, I remembered why I hadn’t enjoyed my facial in high school. Three days later, the break out is calming down but is definitely still noticeable. There has been no “glow”, to say the least. I don’t think it was the aesthetician’s fault; I just think maybe facials aren’t my bag.
I began doing some research: are facials good for your skin? Dermatologist recommended? A waste of money? (I probably should’ve done this BEFORE getting the facial.) You can find arguments in favor of and against facials, but here are a few of the articles I found most handy:
The 6 Biggest Skin Care Mistakes - written by a dermatologist, getting facials is #4
Are Facials Harmful to Your Skin? - written by same dermatologist, where she takes a less severe stance
An Expression of Doubt About Facials - a NYT article
Lest this all sound one-sided, I found these posts by googling, “Do dermatologists recommend facials?” The gist of these articles is: if you like what facials do for your skin, great. As long as you see a skilled aesthetician, facials can be beneficial in the short term. But facials aren’t for everyone and all skin types; I suspect I am one of those people. The thing I found most comforting (in first link) is there’s no need to spend a lot of money on skin care. I’m looking to make a few changes (in face wash and lotion - the only things I currently use on my face), but I don’t want to fork over a ton of cash for products I use constantly.
Have you ever gotten a facial? Love em or hate em? What skincare routine works best for you?
Humans have a big cluster of dead keratin tendrils growing from our heads and we arrange them in different configurations and worry about whether other people find our keratin tendril arrangements aesthetically pleasing.
About ready to become someone who wears elegant keratin tendril buns every day because I can’t with the hair anymore.
Have you guys heard of HowAboutWe? It started as a dating site, where you could suggest a date idea, find a person who’s also interested in that idea, and meet your match. I want to tell you about the other half of the site, which is HowAboutWe for couples.
Basically, it curates a bunch of cool date ideas and does all the planning for you. All you have to do is pay and show up. There are some “typical” dates (chef’s tasting menu at X restaurant, whiskey flights at Y bar, etc.) but there are also pretty unique ones. Matt and I tried our first one out a couple weekends ago, a chili cook-off at Spudnik Press on the near west side. For $10 total, we got 5 chili sampling tickets each, two drinks (Moscow Mule, cider, or (of course) PBR) each, and two screen-printed t-shirts (which we never actually ended up retrieving). Sold.
Spudnik Press was further west than we ever venture on a Saturday night, but that was kind of the point. We hopped in a cab and found our way over there. When we showed up to check in, we received a baggie with all our tickets, tasting spoons, etc. enclosed. Guys, it was so fun. We each got to sample five different chills made by local businesses/nonprofits around Chicago. After trying the chills, we got to vote on our favorite, all while enjoying a few drinks and each other’s company. It was awesome doing something other than dinner and a bar, which has become our go-to.
Since then, we’ve signed up for a Zanies comedy show and the chef’s tasting menu at TWO. There are options for everyone - a pizza tossing class, cabaret show, ice cream sundae kits, fencing classes, scavenger hunts, zombie survival tours, bondage classes, neighborhood food tours, arcade battles, movie night in a popcorn shop, dance lessons, robot date night (whatever that is), leather crafting classes, etc.yougetthepicture.
While I’ve only tried this out with Matt, the cool thing is most of these dates would also make for a fun night with a best friend. (Maybe not the bondage class.) I always want to do different activities/dates, but never feel like putting in the time to research what those dates might be. Boom. Problem solved.
TL;DR: HowAboutWe is fun. You should try it.