All posts filed under: You Should Know

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How I Avoid Gossip in a Small Town

I hate to admit it, but I love gossip. It’s fun, it’s easy, and as I am a naturally nosy person, completely satisfying. But as with drive-thru French fries, some delicious habits simply are not good for you. Despite my love for it, I’ve had to reduce my indulgence. I live in a small wine country town, and, as you can imagine, we socialize at lots of wine and food events. In this kind of atmosphere, it’s a real challenge to avoid talking about each other. Wine-fueled + small-town = the perfect storm for gossip. A quick definition: Gossip is social talk that judges someone when they’re not there to defend themselves. It’s usually personal, sensational, or far too intimate. Often, gossip is mean-spirited. An easy test for me to decide whether or not something is gossip is by asking myself the question, “Is this something I want the subject to hear?” If the answer is no, well, it’s gossip. Avoiding gossip is tough because we humans are hard-wired to share information about each other …

14 Ways to Be an Ally Right Now

The physical and emotional well being of our friends and families require that we show up. This means leveraging our privilege, should it come in the form of religion, class, gender, race, etc., to fight against the tide of awfulness that’s coming. Here are some ways to do it: 1. Walk folks who have been specifically targeted by Trump (Muslims, Latinos, etc) home. This form is for New Yorkers who are willing to accompany their neighbors on their commute in light of recent harassment and threats toward people of color, LGBTQ folks, and Muslims. 2. Diversify your media consumption. If everyone you follow on Twitter is white and straight, and if you’re getting all your news from CNN, you’re doing it wrong. 3. Do not dismiss or diminish people’s fear. People are not overreacting, and it’s not your job to tell them to be positive. 4. Distribute information to other allies so targeted folks don’t have more work to do. 5. Make yourself available to friends who need help/support securing a passport, going to the doctor, and other things …

Serious About SPF: Expert Tips & Busting Myths

By now we all should know that the days of tanning oils and silver sun reflectors are dunzo. As good as the warmth may feel on our face, as lovely as it may make our skin look (at first), the fact of the matter is that the sun emits ultraviolet rays that are incredibly harmful to our hides. It wasn’t that long ago that the majority of sun-lovers were blissfully unaware of this. But as science began delivering the unhealthy news, and as the sun-is-bad-for-you stats got worse and worse, so did the myths and misinformation. Which still continue today. “No sunscreen is 100% effective in protecting the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays,” says Fayne Frey, a 20-year board certified dermatologist and founder of the resourceful skincare site FryFace.com. “Sunscreen use should be the third line of defense against the sun; the first two being seeking shade and wearing protective clothing when outdoors.” Now if your main intention is to hit the beach and bake, we know you’re thinking, “Yeah right, like that’s going to happen.” …

The 5 Bras Every Woman Must Own, Especially During the Summer

Remember when you were in your 20s and you could get away with wearing a black bra under a white t-shirt? Or when a loose, neon-colored strap sitting on your shoulder was all cute and sexy-like? Occasionally, I miss those days. But on the whole, I find that ill-fitted, notice-me-now bras make me seem like I’m trying to look younger than I am. Which I’m not. I’m pretty happy with my almost-40 status. And since the days that I spend not working from home usually involve an office, a potential or current client, or a combination of the two, I want to look presentable, stylish, maybe a bit edgy —  but professional nonetheless. This isn’t easy for women during a hot-as-hell summer, especially when it comes to bras. We’re down to wearing thin, as-cool-as-possible fabrics, so it’s a challenge to disguise a bulky bra or avoid unsightly shoulder straps. Securing our boobs in a way that’s appropriate, comfortable and properly fitted is no easy feat. But it is possible! It just takes a little brassiere …

You Should Know: How to Buy Better Leather

In “You Should Know” we tackle the stuff you think you probably should know at this point (but probably don’t). There was a day, before I started working in the world of design accessories, when I looked down at my “Genuine Leather” handbag and noticed that it just didn’t look like a hers. That classy lady who sat across from me on the N train had a bag that looked relaxed but kept its shape, a handle that looked firm but soft, and a charismatic patina that attested to years of service. Mine looked like a lump of dimpled plastic, honestly! What made the difference? Fine leather represents an investment that should reward the wearer with years of great first impressions. Yet with so many gussied up fakes competing for our attention, and tags that say “Genuine Leather” sewn into veritable road kill, how can one choose leather that looks beautiful and ages with character? Having worked as technical designer for companies like Coach and Baby Phat, I can now help you answer that question. Use …

You Should Know: Cow vs. Goat vs. Sheep

You’re scratching your head. Of course you can tell the difference between these three barnyard animals. Heck, any five-year-old can tell them apart! But do you know the difference when it comes to one of the most fantastic foodstuffs on earth? We’re talking cheese.                               Many of us take the advice of gourmet goddesses like Ina Garten to heart when composing a cheese plate, going for a threesome that includes one “soft and fresh,” another “semi-hard or hard” and a third pick that is resolutely “blue.” (Yes, we’re still talking about cheese. Get your mind out of the gutter.) But, with a good number of cheese plates under your belt (literally and figuratively), it is time to seriously consider the provenance of your selections. Not talking country of origin — although national “cultures” do offer up distinct styles — but speaking of the animal of origin. When it comes to cow’s milk cheese, there can be a wide range of flavor …