Junk Day

Most days I eat healthy food, but one day a week I eat my feelings. Lately, my affectual hunger has manifested in doughnuts. Here is what I have learned from my Saturday doughnuts:

1. when you have only one doughnut day a week, the doughnut actually tastes less tasty. Anticipation = let down. Case in point, this peanut butter raised doughnut with banana cream from the Doughnut Plant:


All I could think during the consumption was, this should be more peanut-y, more cream-filled more IMPORTANT.

2. The tyrrany of a once a week treat is picking the right flavor. As soon as the flavor has been selected and ordered you know that you were wrong.


It was the peach, damn it. The peach was the right choice. And now it is too late.

3. Raised donuts seem exciting because they are bigger, but that is wrong, they are merely a mirage of savory dough hiding the air within.

Lessons: eat a cake doughnut everyday.

Dana is a graduate student and nanny in Brooklyn.


Sitting at your vanity, massaging your face with cold cream, smizing at yourself . . . these are the simple pleasures of life. But what most effectively will help your face not fall off?

Christiane and I have often discussed our moisturizing techniques and there is one thing that we really have come to love: Jojoba oil!

The pros: jojoba oil is great for people with weird skin (I have chronic acne and I have heard it is great for people with Rosacea).

If you have acne, you are probably dealing with epically dry skin from all the effective treatments (benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, salycilic acid etc.), and it is important to keep your skin from becoming so dry that the irritation actually causes more acne. Jojoba does the job and comes with a ton of Vitamin E which helps heal the scars left behind by the inflammation. It also helps the skin regulate its own oil production.

Cons: I have heard from interested parties that I look/smell/feel like a salad after I apply it.


However, oils only moisturize the skin by creating a barrier that stops evaporation of water from the skin surface. Other ingredients are needed to actually bind water to the skin: hyaluronic acid, demithicone, glycerin (although in very dry weather it can actually pull water away from the skin) are all super good at this.

So I highly recommend making your moisturizing regime even longer and applying a lotion like CeraVe PM (with lots of hyaluronic acid and glycerin and even ceramides) on top of your jojoba oil.

As for antioxidants, I don’t really understand what they are. They keep your face from rusting right?

Dana is a graduate student and nanny in Brooklyn.

You Are Not Cool Enough to Dress Yourself

For all our 18 year old readers just shelve this for ten years from now, but for the 25 and up set, please accept that you are no longer capable of anticipating or creating trends. But do not worry! There is now a perfectly easy solution to this problem. It is called Zara.


For many years I thought that I could deal with my aging and lack of funky fresh young person style by relying on a few brands to see me through: Madewell, J.Crew, and Anthropologie. I was wrong. These clothes don’t look cool on women who are not 18, they look square or worse . . . boring. But recently I have discovered that the behemoth that is slowly killing our ozone layer and quickly devastating developing nations has anticipated our problem. They have taken the coolest trends that women who can shop at Bird and Need Supply Co. will be wearing this fall and made them dirt ass cheap. So all you need to do is buy three separates from Zara each season and you will look like the kind of hip lady who possibly has both health insurance and an up to date music collection (rather than a podcast subscription to All Song Considered).


However, here are 3 rules you must absolutely follow:

1. Don’t buy anything they make that is %100 polyester

2. Wait for the sales (it cost them 2 cents to make it, why should I spend more than $30?)

3. Remember, you clothes might be hip and cheap, but your shoes should always be orthopedic and expensive (we have after all, learned something from all these years of experience). I’m talking a nice clean pair of black danskos.

Fortunately other comfortable shoes are also kind of in style (I learned this from Need Supply Co. of course. What, you think I can figure these things out on my own?):


Jen’s Morning Routine

What I wish I did:

  • 7:20 Alarm goes off, listen alertly to NPR while getting up
  • 7:25 Make delicious, healthy breakfast
  • 7:40 Read newspaper and eat at leisurely pace
  • 8:05 Take shower
  • 8:15 Brush teeth, comb hair, get dressed
  • 8:25 Grab delicious, healthy lunch packed last night, walk to work
  • 8:45 Start working



The tree-house Jen leaves to go to work in Seattle


What I really do:

  • 7:20 Alarm goes off, listen to NPR in a weird sleep haze
  • 7:35 Jump out of bed guiltily
  • 7:40 Make breakfast of varying quality
  • 7:55 Eat hastily
  • 8:05 Take shower or get distracted by email, news on internet and run out of time for shower
  • 8:20 Brush teeth, comb hair, get dressed
  • 8:30 Grab weird assortment of food, or Kashi steam meal, or nothing, walk to work
  • 8:50 Start working

Banana Smoothie (what Jen actually had for breakfast)


Jen is an international education professional living in Seattle.

In Defense of Goop


Gwynnie, Gwyneth, the Goopertrooper. We are close. I will also defend Gwyneth’s emerging lifestyle brand and groundbreaking newsletter/blog Goop until my dying breath.

It is hard, however, to love such a despised figure. So here is some ammunition for defending your excitement when Goop lands in your inbox every Thursday.

1. Gwynnie is the original mommy blogger, style blogger, here-are-some-photos-of-my-breakfast sharer. The feminine performance of the self is now defined in part by this green juice bragging and “I drink wine during the afternoon nap” confessional culture, and Goop deserves major credit for this development. I haven’t done a careful chronological study, but someone should.

2. One of my favorite innovations of the last ten years is the “Stars, they’re just like us” feature in US Weekly. But Gwynnie resists the fallacy that celebrities pump gas just like us and instead gives us access to world that is fully alien: the world of super fancy people. She applies the method of obsessive chronicling of routines, shopping hauls, and diet regimes to a life that is truly glamorous. Sure we see a lot of sausage getting made in The Real Housewives, but the very fact that they need to be on the show to afford their Hamptons rental means they aren’t truly glamorous. Gwynnie combines the intimacy of the mommy blog with the other worldliness of the un-relatable old fashioned celebrity. We can’t afford her cashmere throw that makes her first class flight to LA bearable, and that is the point.


3. Gwyneth is the Mormons of the lifestyle gurus. Unlike Oprah who repents for her past slip-ups evangelical style (and is reborn again and again and again into new diets and dogmas), Gwyneth simply gets a new revelation. She used to be macrobiotic, and then she was interested in “indulgence” (see the first cookbook), and is now into elimination diets (see the new cookbook), but none of these updates requires renunciation of the former position. She was never wrong, she just hadn’t received the most up to date revelation yet. As her audience we anticipate her new revelations, rather than lose faith when her advice is contradictory.



Dana is a graduate student and nanny living in Brooklyn.

Silver Bullet


Why do I look so happy in this photo? Is it because it is my wedding day and I just got my hair done with my grandmother and mother? Maybe. Or maybe it is because I am wearing my favorite shirt. The shirt that looks good with EVERYTHING. I have worn this shirt/sweatshirt with fake jewels and gone to fancy events, I have worn this shirt to teach (with a nice pair of black slacks), and I often wear this shirt to the library (where things can get chilly).


Some of the virtues of this shirt: the raglan cut makes my broad shoulders look less manly, the fit is loose but does not hide the shape of the body, the slight crop makes it a natural with high-waisted pants and skirts, and finally ,it is a three-season fabric.

Most importantly, Alternative Apparel keeps making it! Not that I have needed to buy another one. I bought this shirt four years ago, and it has not worn out despite constant wear. I am planning on buying another five this fall in case they do stop making it.

I dream of finding the perfect uniform so that I never have to think about what to wear and always look okay. This is an ever receding horizon, but this shirt gives me hope.

Dana is a graduate student and nanny in Brooklyn.

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