Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hope you had a lovely weekend (and Monday).

As it's been far too long since my last weekend links post, let's get crazy and have one on a Tuesday, shall we?  (Your work productivity levels can thank me later.)  A special shout-out to any bar exam taking Tall and Salty readers -- good luck guys!  You will for sure pass, and once your fog has lifted, you can catch up on the following very important news.

Popples and Glo-Worms and Cabbage Patch Kids, oh my.

Kristen Bell sounds pretty awesome (in case you needed more evidence than this).

My favorite blazer, for a steal!

Great news: salt makes you smart (though the effect must be limited; otherwise I would be a freaking genius).

What a fascinating lady

Yet another reason that the billable hour is stupid.

Something to think about when you're getting dressed.

Summer treat:  Pimm's Cup popsicles (via Daily Candy). 

Chicago ladies: NYC lingerie shop Journelle is coming for a weekend!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I don't get it.

Could someone please explain this to me?
Run: Pace-Setter Skirt*R
I do not understand workout skirts.  Perhaps if you're playing tennis, as is the tradition.  But for running?  Regular gym-going?  Just . . . why?  Perhaps my aversion to backside-covering-pleats stems from my Catholic high school uniform days, but this just strikes me as a Venus-and-Serena fever dream.  Yet people appear to love them.  What gives?

Thanks for your help in this flummoxing matter.  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The best work blazer for summer.

I went to lunch a few weeks ago with a friend who works at a big law firm.  She was wearing a cute striped blazer, which is about as wild as you can get with prints in a work environment like that.  (Speaking of big firms, this article is nightmare-inducing.)  I told her I liked it, and she said it was her favorite work purchase ever, because it feels like a sweatshirt.  
Even better news:  it's perfect for summer in the office over a sleeveless blouse, comes in petite, regular, and tall sizes, and is 40% off today (with code BRWED40).  SOLD.

Cool enough for warm weather, warm enough for chilly office a/c, polished for the office, comfortable for wearing all day.   

Friday, July 19, 2013

Orange is the New Black

I've been hearing and reading a ton of great buzz about Orange is the New Black, a new Netflix series.  "Netflix series," of course, meaning that it's tailor-made for binge-watching in an air-conditioned paradise during the upcoming sweltering weekend.  The show is about a Brooklyn woman with an artisanal soap business (i.e., the most yuppified yuppie who ever yupped) who ends up with a fifteen-month sentence in federal prison for some long-past indiscretions involving her ex's drug dealing.  Everything I've read indicates it's awesome -- lots of comparisons to Mad Men and Breaking Bad. 
Once I finish Friday Night Lights (just a few years too late, though Tami Taylor's hair is forever), I might have to move on to this.  Are you watching anything good these days?

(Top image via The Atlantic; bottom image via Entertainment Weekly.)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The wonder that is Target

My usual provisions-and-cleaning-supplies-run got a little spice last night: Target is, as per usual, killing it.  The downside to this, of course, is that a) I vastly exceed my paper towel budget; and b) I wander around in there for ages and end up eating dinner (Giada, obviously) at 10 pm.  I refrained from purchasing too much that wasn't on my list, but some great things that caught my eye, in case you care to indulge:  
And if you want some advice from real Target pros, follow these ladies on their site or Instagram -- they find the best Target stuff.  Happy shopping!

Top to bottom: 
Carlisle Metal Dining Seating, $94.99 - $99.99 per pair.
Threshold Oilcan Soap Dispenser, $9.99 (I have one of these next to every sink in my house -- I love them).


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Complimenting a nanny.

Here's a quasi-moral dilemma for you to ponder.  A few days ago, I was taking the train back from downtown, and there was a bit of a scary-man-ruckus in the car where I was riding.  He was "out of sorts," so to speak . . . and eventually yelled "hell yeah I'm drunk!" at one of the CTA folks questioning him.  So that answered that.  This went on for several stops, and while this was all happening, two little girls, probably about 8 and 10, and their nanny were sitting on the bench seat next to me.  We chatted a little bit about where they were coming from and what they were doing: they had been visiting their mom at her office downtown.  The girls were obviously and understandably scared, but the nanny -- she looked to be a college student -- was wonderful with them.  I don't know how I would've handled the situation, but she really did it perfectly: distracting them with little games, reassuring them that there was nothing to worry about, and even physically shielding them from the pacing, shouting man with her body.  He was eventually escorted off the train, and everyone continued on their way.  I got off at my stop, and coincidentally, so did my new friends.  I was about half a block behind them, and they went into a house just across the street from my apartment.

So here's the question: I was so, so impressed with the way that this young lady handled such a tricky situation, and I am wondering whether it would be appropriate to leave a little note for the parents, explaining what I saw.  Or . . . is that just completely weird, and I'd be way better off minding my own business?  On one hand, if I was a mom, I think I'd appreciate knowing that my nanny did a great job in a tough situation like that, and if I was the nanny, I think I'd be grateful for someone pointing out that I was doing the right things.  And if I saw a caregiver mistreating a kid, I would feel compelled to say something.  On the other hand . . . wouldn't it just be altogether odd to leave a random note from a neighbor?  Like creepy, crazy-neighborhood-busybody-on-the-prowl-weird?

What do you think?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.  Moms, what would you think if someone left you a note like that?  Or have any of you ever been nannies or babysitters?  Would you prefer someone just keep their mouth shut?

(Image by Flickr user Janusfinder via Cup of Jo.)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Three great things about visiting Washington D.C.

Ahoy, mates!  Hope you had a great Fourth and have recovered from the barbecuing, fireworking, and celebrating.  I spent mine in Washington D.C., visiting family and meeting my new nephew (who is obviously darling).  I've been to D.C. a number of times, but this time, I noticed three really awesome things about visiting the city.  If you're heading that way, a few tips and ideas for you:

D.C.'s bike sharing setup rocks.
Capitol Bikeshare is truly awesome.  For $7, you get unlimited 30 minute rides for a whole day (longer rides cost a bit more).  There are tons of stations all over the city, so it's easy to ride from place to place and pick up and drop off.  D.C. has a lot to see, and you can cover so much ground on these easy-to-ride bikes (which even come with bells and a rack for your bag).  Warning: if you're a midwesterner, remember that the whole country isn't quite as flat as it is here.

The museums are free!
The Smithsonian and its associated museums are completely free -- which means you can pop into any of them for an hour or so, free of the pressure you feel to spend hours when you pay a steep fee for a ticket.  Perfect for visiting with kiddos, adults with short attention spans, or big groups that are trickling in from all directions at various times (no latecomers get left waiting outside because they don't want to pay to come in for twenty minutes).

Union Market is a great place to eat lunch and linger.
One day we went Union Market for lunch, and it was such a fun place.  The market is indoors, which is a nice break from D.C.'s notoriously steamy summer weather, but still sunny thanks to a huge bank of windows.  There are dozens of artisanal food stands and counters, places to get coffee, local produce, delicious ice cream, and fresh flowers.  And you can do wine tasting.  There's something for everyone.  Not to be missed: Salt & Sundry, a darling little shop that I would like to move into, pronto.  I met the lovely owner, Amanda, whose favorite food is salt.  We should clearly all be friends.

Honorable mention, if you're visiting the neighborhood: this cool restaurant, which has fantastic cocktails, a pretty interior, and an open patio bar in front in lieu of tables.  

(Image of the National Air and Space Museum via here; other two images by me.)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Working on my fitness (sort of).

I am a horrendous exerciser.  a) I just don't really like it that much; and b) (this is so lazy and shameful) I hate showering.  So then I just don't exercise, because committing time to something you don't like in the first place which in turn requires you to do something else you don't like afterwards is a skill of adulthood I have not mastered.

This is not sustainable.  Enter: the Seven Minute Workout.  12 exercises, 30 seconds each, with a 10 second break in between.
You can do this in your house.  It takes, from start to finish, seven minutes, and even I have to admit that I surely have time for THAT.  In sum, it's over once it starts, so you don't even really have time to quit in the middle -- by the time you decide to give up, you're done.  Are you going to lose tons of weight?  No.  Will you get ripped?  I can't imagine that you will.  But for someone like me, who adheres to a "shopping is my cardio" lifestyle, this works.   

I also dipped a toe into the world of Flywheel lately, for a friend's birthday party.  It's hard, but a lot of fun -- they play awesome music and it's a serious workout.  I personally found using the bike a bit  awkward for someone as tall as I am, but it wasn't impossible.  And I discovered this mashup of I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Last Friday Night, and Feel So Close, which is my new favorite workout song.
Workout gear tip for tall ladies: I abhor their rigid return policies and general attitude towards customer service, but Lululemon makes maddeningly good workout stuff, including a pair of leggings that are designed to be worn over people's feet while they do yoga.  The upshot of this is that they're super long, so if your'e looking for a pair, check out the Wunder Unders.  And if you're looking for cropped pants that aren't too short, try these
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