Workday Reading

The Edition: No. 195

Only my efforts are my own.  The results aren’t within my control. // Dave Chapelle

+ Should you quit your job, or your career?

+ A lace blouse for the holidays from & Other Stories.

+ Nine Reasons I Would Have Been Accused of Witchcraft.

+ Missoma sells “demi-fine” jewelry that is to-die-for. Love this ring.

+ How men can support female colleagues while working remotely.

+ 50% off sale at Ann Taylor. Grab this tweed jacket and this dot-print shell.

+ On women playing baseball (worth your time).

+ Sephora’s holiday gifts are up. I bought this Olaplex Hair Kit.

+ Mentorship is essential to fixing the ‘women’s recession.’

+ This Lark & Ro tie-neck blouse and button-up shirt are perfect for WFH.

+ Why social media makes you feel so old.

+ Plus-size? I love these burnout blouses in black floral and white dot.

Long Read. Tackling sexual harassment in the standup comedy world could be a model for tackling it in every industry.

I try not to start with Holiday Gift Guides until well into November.  Sadly, that will not be possible this year.

Retailers, hurting from the recession and desperate for the holiday boost, are starting their gift promotions early.  This means that gift guides will be starting next week.  I want to be able to feature the best selection of items, and this is the only way.

So if you have a gift guide you need to see this year (affordable gifts, Mom gifts, etc.) leave it in the comments.  And yes, Kyle’s must-have men’s gift guide will be back this year.  In fact, I decided to give him two guides: one standard gift guide and one under-$75.

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LEAVE A COMMENT

    55 comments

  1. Kate says:

    My favorite ring is back in stock. I won’t miss it this time.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  2. N says:

    I’d love to see gift guides for food gifts, or generally gifts that get “used up”. I hate sending people more things they don’t need! Also a family gift guide – one gift that covers the whole family – would be amazing. All of our gifts are sent by mail and I’m always looking for ways to reduce the volume of stuff I’m sending.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
    • E says:

      +1! What a great ask! I feel like most of us have all the “things” we need after a year in quarantine and nesting accordingly…

      October 27, 2020/Reply
    • Cait says:

      This is the best idea! Some of my family has decreed “only consumable gifts” for the past few years and I’m totally out of ideas beyond coffee, lotion, and candles.

      October 27, 2020/Reply
    • TheLOOP says:

      +1 for family gifts. Also cool new subscription boxes.

      October 27, 2020/Reply
    • Amy says:

      +1 for the family gift guide, and for consumables! I hate giving people more *stuff* if I don’t know exactly what they would love, so I tend to send a gift for each of the children in the household and then a gift basket or food of some kind for the whole family to enjoy. But I’ve gifted ‘ye olde pears and sausages gift box’ too many times and it’s time to change it up.

      October 27, 2020/Reply
    • Deb says:

      +1 more for a family gift guide. Have sometimes given experience gifts but with the ongoing pandemic, that option is off the table so feeling especially stumped this year.

      October 28, 2020/Reply
    • Erica says:

      I love williams sonoma frozen baked goods. I have them arrive right before the holiday to family members who simply don’t need things but I still want to send something! Has gone over well and people now say they look forward to it every year.

      October 28, 2020/Reply
    • Keilexandra says:

      Oh yes, +1 to a consumables (that are shippable without overnighting) gift guide!

      October 28, 2020/Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Definitely consumables that are activity based would be great. I’ve got the food/drink gifts down pretty well but looking for other things.

      I’ve seen a few things- Man Crates craft kits (make your own knife etc), Hunt a Killer murder mystery box, but haven’t seen much else.

      October 29, 2020/Reply
  3. NS says:

    self care gift guides! small indulgences (under $50, under $75) for girlfriends.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  4. Sarah says:

    I’d love to see a gift guide for me! What do I put on my wish list that family/spouse request to buy gifts? I usually do jewlery, but I haven’t worn a necklace in 8 months because my job doesn’t even require videoconferencing. This list may be the same as some of your favorite items you’ve purchased this year.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  5. MEgan says:

    Since we’ve (sadly, regretfully) made the decision not to travel to see my in-laws in Florida for the holidays (three households, two heart patients, a diabetic, and a NICU newborn, which sounds like the world’s worst walked-into-a-bar joke) we’ll be shipping gifts. I’d love some ideas for really nice care packages, subscriptions, etc. at multiple price points.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  6. DianE says:

    Excited to see gift guides early! I am looking forward to the holidays so much more this year and have already started buying gifts, hired someone to put lights on my house for the first time, and am seriously contemplating putting up my Christmas tree on November 1. For reference, I never even got around to putting up a Christmas tree last year because it just seemed like too much work.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  7. Kt says:

    I love the idea of the consumables gift guide, +1 on that from me! Also, though this may not be in your wheelhouse, I’d love to have a gift guide for a nanny and pod teacher – perhaps that could be expanded to someone who has helped out during this weird time this year and is typically younger & female? So, not quite the friend or sister gift guide.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  8. DM says:

    Would love to know about virtual experiences or ways to learn new things. Beyond MasterClass, what else is out there?
    Related- would like to hear about some ‘hobby in a box’ kind of gifts. Are there great starter kits for knitting, calligraphy, backyard birding, etc??

    October 27, 2020/Reply
    • Jessica says:

      Definitely second the new-hobby gift ideas, with a long winter inside ahead. And I know it’s not the wheelhouse of this blog necessarily, but I’d love some “cool aunt” ideas to give to nieces, nephews, and godchildren.

      October 27, 2020/Reply
  9. Leslie says:

    I’d love to see impactful gifts at lower price points. As someone whos salary has been drastically cut I still want to celebrate my loved ones but don’t have the budget I usually do.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
    • Jess says:

      I bought 100% wool sweaters from the goodwill and found a tutorial online to create mittens. You do need a sewing machine but could do them by hand. And you truly just need to know enough to sew a straight-ish line. I’m making them for all the women in my family.

      October 27, 2020/Reply
      • Leslie says:

        Thats a great idea, thanks!

        October 28, 2020/Reply
  10. Christine S. says:

    Food/consumable gift guides would be great! Gift guides for sister-in-law/brother-in-law? Also more under $50/under $75 options. And a random one – small, easily shippable gifts?

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  11. e says:

    I pulled the trigger on the tweed jacket after eyeing it all summer at the last AT sale. Can’t recommend enough! It’s definitely lighter than a traditional tweed but it’s so lovely.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  12. Allison says:

    I’d like to see gift guides that support small businesses.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I’ve tried to add in some small businesses in the past, the issue is twofold: 1) Not everyone lives in the DMV, and 2) that’s basically a free post, because there’s no way to make money with it. I’m not opposed to doing a comp-free small business guide. But I would probably need to have people submit their favorite online small business and then maybe post them to Facebook or Instagram instead, that way I’d get a few follows or more traffic, which would make up for the fact that it’s a freebie. And if you’re not on Facebook, you can just visit the page.

      October 27, 2020/Reply
      • Amanda says:

        Really appreciate this explanation – and wish there was a way to make the business model work better!

        October 28, 2020/Reply
  13. Lindsay says:

    Would love to see a small business/Etsy seller guide and/or a BIPOC-specific small business guide. I loved when you did this a few months ago, and I think it’s so important to try to keep the momentum going with regards to supporting BIPOC makers, creators and businesses.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
    • amy says:

      +1 for the Etsy guide!

      October 27, 2020/Reply
  14. Monica T says:

    Love that women’s baseball article, the final line is so relatable!

    Always look forward to your gift guides, even though in general I don’t do gifts. I dislike gifts where we could have just exchanged a wad of cash instead and so in line with some other readers I’d love a themed care package edition.

    For my friends 45th birthday this month I did a mimosa themed gift, since we would normally do a joint Fall birthday celebration at the local hot springs spa with mimosas poolside. It included: A rainbow anodized insulated stemless flute, a bottle of Espumosa from a local winery, a couple of small bottles of Orange Juice, a box of truffles in Champagne and Chocolate Orange and a cute bandana from Madewell. I left it on her doorstep as a surprise.

    This one was easy, but there are some people where the ‘theme’ needs to be more generic.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  15. nadine says:

    I echo the requests for a guide to consumable/sustainable gifts. Since so many of us won’t be travelling this year, a guide to choosing, packaging, shipping gifts would be useful. I’m also wondering about a who-to-gift guide this year: are there folks beyond the usual whom I should be acknowledging? I get groceries delivered each week from a small business. Should I be tipping the delivery person? There are lots of pandemic-related changes in my life since last year and I want to make sure I don’t forget anyone.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  16. RM says:

    I like the idea of sending fun advent calendars early to friends… the gift that gives all month long, but I need really affordable options.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  17. Clara says:

    Gifts for me! I’m giving my hubby a list to buy from this year and I’m stumped.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  18. RR says:

    I just received the mara sling from Dagne Dover and I’m super happy about it. It is a bit smaller than my lululemon everywhere bag. But perfect when you just need your phone, credit cards, and car keys. The everywhere bag will also fit covid-essentials like a small hand santizier and mask.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
    • RR says:

      Sorry if this seemed random – I meant it as a gift idea.

      We were gifted quarterly cheese deliveries a few years ago and that was super fun.

      October 27, 2020/Reply
  19. Lesia Harhaj says:

    Would love to see small business or women+ owned businesses in a gift guide!

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  20. KC says:

    Another request for a “consumable” gift guide, bonus points if it’s broader than food (since that can be a delicate one for those who are dieting, etc.).

    I also tend to give a lot of experience gifts (concert, sports, theatre tickets) and am struggling with the COVID-safe alternative. A friend recommended Airbnb experiences – not sure if there are other similar virtual (or mail-friendly) experiences that could be gifted this year.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
    • SC MD2 says:

      Instead of “consumable,” I went with “reusable” for those in my life with dietary or medical restrictions. So while on the practical side, I think the gifts are useful and make life easier, plus cutting down on general waste (which is part of my general philosophy). For example: baggu reusable bags that have fun prints and are machine washable so great for grocery shopping or apple picking or what have you; reusable silicone storage ziplock style containers that are dishwasher safe; reusable silicone travel cup that can be squeezed down and also dishwasher safe; a set of pretty bowls that are both microwavable and dishwasher safe; and beeswax wrap for bowls and/or silicone bowl covers (beeswax wraps have fun patterns but def not dishwasher safe while silicone covers are just a translucent white but are dishwasher safe so excellent for covering curry).

      October 28, 2020/Reply
  21. Fan from boston says:

    A gift guide for parents/parents-in-law? Folks in the active retirement (or near retirement or semi-retirement) bracket. Beyond body lotion and golf balls and calendars made of grandkid pictures. A couple of ideas based on things we’ve done: a selection of wines and other foodstuffs related to a recent trip they’ve taken or have planned; charitable donations in their name to causes that they are involved with; “gift certificates” for their inevitable calls for tech support 🙂

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  22. Cindi says:

    Hi – I’m going to do a Zoom Christmas with my millennial age kids this year. I’m thinking of sending them each a stocking with wrapped small gifts. Any ideas for those would be appreciated. I want it to be more festive than opening an Amazon box.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
    • Belle says:

      That’s a really fun idea.

      October 27, 2020/Reply
    • Amanda says:

      That’s awesome. The podcast “Today, Explained” had a recent episode about creative ways to celebrate holidays – suggested some planning before to coordinate everyone sharing recipes to cook the same thing, which I thought was neat.

      October 28, 2020/Reply
  23. Kate says:

    Totally see your point on small business recs being hard to monetize- I was going to ask for a DIY gift guide that doesn’t involve filling a mason jar with candy and tying a ribbon around it or otherwise look like something a five year old would make. Instead, would you mind putting a DIY suggestion into the other gift guides if you find something good? Thank you!

    October 27, 2020/Reply
    • Belle says:

      We could do that, because if I make the links go to Pinterest, then it gets me some Pinterest traffic. Good thought.

      October 27, 2020/Reply
  24. CarlI says:

    Gifts for coworkers/ team members. Normally I give team members $10 gift cards to the local lunch place near our office, and some candy,, but since we are all remote this year I’m looking for an alternative. Thinking of mailing them little things. There are a lot of them so cannot spend too much. Also is it appropriate to use their address I have access to systematically, or should I ask them for their addresses?

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  25. Bee says:

    I’m excited for early gift guides. I like to get gift shopping done super early to put maximum thought into it and not be scrambling at the last minute (I scheme about Christmas gifts all year long). I’d love a gift guide on ideas for experience-related gifts that can be given from afar (gift certificates for cooking classes, for example). I want to buy experiences rather than things, but want to give gifts to loved ones all over the country.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  26. AnnetTE says:

    I need a baby and kids gift guide. Which is kind of annoying since babies have no idea what x was is, but this is mostly for purposes of taking pictures of them with their gift, and then hope its something functional that won’t take up too much space.

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  27. Meg says:

    I’d love to see a Secret Santa gift guide in the $30-40 range, for men and women. Our siblings and significant others have switched over to Secret Santa in the last few years and love getting to out the thought in for just one person! Along the same lines- couples gifts for friends and family (E.g., parents, sibling and spouse, etc)

    October 27, 2020/Reply
  28. Elina Bravve says:

    I’d like to see small businesses, book guides, Etsy or ideas for finding/purchasing affordable art prints.

    October 28, 2020/Reply
  29. Kathi says:

    Gift guide for employees! I have 4 direct reports, and we’re all WFH. Job rules say I need to keep it around $25 each. In the past I’ve done portable batteries/phone chargers.
    Also smaller $10 ish gifts for the office support folks that support us all and keep me out of trouble.

    October 28, 2020/Reply
    • Cait says:

      Seconding this! I usually give gift cards to a local favorite coffeeshop near the office to a group of office assistants (job rules say no cash, individual gifts doesn’t make sense for people I don’t know personally that well, and coffeeshop has lots of good lunch and snack choices too) but with so many people working remotely it doesn’t make sense to do that this year. I don’t really want to do big chain gift cards, but that might be the best option? I always include a handwritten note thanking them too.

      October 28, 2020/Reply
  30. Gift Guide says:

    I would love small gift ideas from (non-Amazon) organizations with low/free shipping. I would like to send more little treats to people who I wouldn’t usually gift (given how terrible this year is, people need treats) but am looking for small presents ($5-$15) and I don’t want to spend an equal amount in shipping as the gift itself.

    October 28, 2020/Reply
  31. Rachel L says:

    I was just thinking about how I was going to miss the usual white elephant girls night with my friends this year… if you stumble across any ideas for virtual or remote gift exchanges/secret santas, etc., that would be helpful! I was thinking it would need to be something like drawing a name beforehand and shipping something to your person in advance to all open on zoom at the same time. if there are any prepackaged party boxes we could all order to enjoy the same treats that would be fun too!

    October 28, 2020/Reply
  32. Amanda says:

    I would love it if Kyle could do a gifting guide for men who are not into fashion. My boyfriend is a doctor who thinks that it is extravagant and unnecessary to spend more than $10 on a pair of jeans. Needless to say, he won’t appreciate the cozy cashmere sweater. I’m at a loss on ideas for him. Please help!

    October 28, 2020/Reply
  33. OJ says:

    Yes, I NEED a Mom gifts guide! Specifically, I want to purchase my mom a nice pair of everyday gold earrings. But, I’m stuck on style. She’s an older (in her 60s) woman. I don’t want to go too conservative but also not too trendy. Any suggestions?

    October 28, 2020/Reply
  34. Amanda says:

    So, we went down a bit of a rabbit hole and spent a weekend crafting on DIY decorations for our home and care packages for teammates. It was a blast and got me thinking – any good ideas for homemade holiday gifts? I’m thinking on the holidays as a good excuse to send cards or gifts that feel like I put some time into it, even if they’re simple – and when I’m buying from a a store, buying local or from small businesses is WAY more important to me than in years past.

    October 28, 2020/Reply
  35. CEE says:

    Affordable gifts for kids ages 2-7 (being the single “auntie-by-choice” when everyone around you is being fruitful and multiplying is a surefire way to stoke weird competition over whose kids you love most and to go broke :()

    October 29, 2020/Reply

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