Get a Set of Speakers Just for Your Bathroom
When we rounded up our staff's Weekly Upgrades last Friday, our editors were honing our crossword skills, finally getting eyeliner right, cutting down on tab clutter, and buying clothing for our pets.
In the last week of the year, we're reaping the benefits of early holiday travel, unfollowing friends who post too much on Instagram, adding speakers to our bathrooms, and coming back from bad cases of the flu.
What upgrades did you make this week? Let us know in the comments.
Do your holiday travel before the holidays
This holiday season, I went to visit my family in Mississippi early in December, and stayed home for Christmas. Not only did I get to skip the insane headache of traveling to a very small town in Mississippi the week of the holiday season, but the time spent with my family felt much more chill. Plus I got to decorate the huge tree at my Grandmother's house, which is my favorite part of Christmas in Mississippi anyway. Then on "actual Christmas" I just stayed home and ate and drank champagne in bed while watching Gremlins.
claire lower, food & beverage editor
Unfollow Instagram oversharers
One of the very best things I did for myself this year was unfollowing people on Instagram. Twitter and Facebook and built-in ways of minimizing your exposure to oversharers and frenemies, but Instagram is lagging woefully behind on this front-causing a moral dilemma in people like me who don't want to burn bridges but also don't want to feel a small fire inside every time someone posts their 10th gram of the day. A few months ago I got fed up, severed a few ties, and it's been better than I ever could have imagined. In all likelihood, they'll never notice, and I've been able to hold on to another small sliver of my sanity.
caitlin schneider, social editor
Add lighting to your closet space
I have a decent amount of closet space in my apartment, but none of the closets have lighting, which makes it a little tough to see things that are on the edges or on high shelves, and easy to forget about clothing I already own. To combat the problem, I just bought a few of these touch lights from Amazon , which brighten things up and make it much easier to find what I'm looking for in a hurry.
virginia k. smith, managing editor
Revel in the drama of laser pointers
I did some cat-sitting over Christmas, and my favorite part was turning off all the lights to flash a laser pointer all over the apartment. The cats love chasing that dot so much that as soon as they finish eating, they try to paw the laser pointer out of its storage spot and toward me.
nick douglas, staff writer
Take a group vacation with other families
This week, our group of friends stayed in a house together up in the mountains-all 19 of us, including nine children under the age of five. Was it chaotic? Completely. But we vowed to do it again every year. It's a good way to live-taking turns cooking meals in bulk, having real adult conversations while listening to a stampede of tiny feet in the room upstairs, and not turning on the television even once (we couldn't get it to work, but still). Parents need more of this in everyday life. The village. Why do we keep trying to do it alone?
michelle woo, parenting editor
Get bathroom-specific speakers
I got an Echo Dot for my bathroom. Yes, this is silly, and I asked for it as a gift because I couldn't bear the thought of spending "real" money on such a frivolity. But I love it. When I'm doing my evening skincare and tooth brushing, I ask Alexa to put on some dreamy soothing music. (Still looking for the perfect morning wake-up playlist, suggestions welcome.) Instead of giving it any shelf space, I hang my Dot off a wall outlet with this plug-in mount .
beth skwarecki, health editor
Nurse yourself back from travel-induced illness
Dayquil. It's the shit I need.
Patrick allan, staff writer
Get yourself organized ahead of the new year
Like many other people, I started getting my act together for 2018. This meant reading through my journals from the past year to reflect on what did and didn't change, writing down my goals for the new year, and organizing my apartment. I also finally found a great planner ( from Ink + Volt ) for the new year that has a lot of organizational components to it, similar to a bullet journal, that I really like, and I made my to-do list for the first few weeks of the year.
alicia adamczyk, staff writer
Get a headlamp in your life
This Christmas I was given the most incredible present ever, one I've been using daily since I unwrapped it: a beanie hat with a built-in headlamp. The series of LEDs is sewn into the hat, wired to a small coin cell battery pack, which might look a little dorkier than I can fathom, but it's use as a guiding light during evening walks with my dog have already made it an indispensable tool. It's bright as heck, incredibly comfortable, and is in my favorite color: black. Get one.
patrick austin, staff writer