Ask Me Anything: March 2024

Mar 28, 2024

It’s almost the end of March, so let’s get to some of the reader questions that came in through Instagram last night. Time for Ask Me Anything.

Are you still working in Montana politics at all?

No. I’ve donated to some friends and candidates I support, but that’s all. Am I retired forever? I don’t know. But politics is a fractious business and I have a young daughter who doesn’t need Mommy to come home in a bad mood every day.

Non-suit options for advocacy visits on Capitol Hill? Or do I HAVE to wear a blazer?

A blazer is not necessary. A long sleeve sheath dress or a-line dress works well. This one from London Times is nice and affordable. If you want something packable, Norma Kamali has this great dress. If it’s summer, even an elbow length sleeve is fine. Want something a bit springier? This Tahari dotted faux wrap is lovely as well.

A candle that smells like you’re at a spa?

People love this Hotel Lobby Spa candle. For my money, the Voluspa candles are my favorite. Their Coconut Papaya is wonderful. I also love the Goji Tarocco is wonderful deep scent.

Thoughts on filler and Botox?

I will probably do Botox at some point. I have some forehead lines that won’t go away. I am against fillers. A local plastic surgeon, who is popular on Instagram, has said he often finds that they have migrated when he is doing face lifts and other surgical procedures.

Can you help me find a dress for a wedding rehearsal dinner this summer?

(I’m assuming from the tenor of the question this is for the bride, if I’m wrong, leave a note in the comments and I’ll make more suggestions.) I recommend wearing white, and I recommend something you can either re-wear or sell easily on Poshmark.

This pearl embroidered sheer dress is really stunning, but on the pricey side. I absolutely love this floral appliqué dress from Tuckernuck (also in red or black). For an <$75, this Lulu’s dress has a very nice look to it with the sheer panels. Plus-size? I thought this Eloquii dress (sizes 14-28) was the best one I found. So chic.

Gifts for someone going to law school (from a professor)?

I would put together a tote bag with some useful gifts. Highlighters that don’t smudge or bleed. Coffee gift cards. Grocery gift cards. Blue light glasses. A warm cardigan to wear in the library. Nothing is overly personal, all of it is absolutely useful and thoughtful.

Eye Cream Rec for super sensitive dry skin.

Sensitive skin is a tough solve when it comes to eye cream. I would start with an inexpensive gel eye cream from Cetaphil, and see how your skin tolerates that before I try to upgrade to a pricier version with the same ingredients.

What are the best pieces for a toddler Mom’s summer wardrobe? Weekends, etc.

I am relying very heavily on gauze maxi dresses. Now, hear me out, they’re breezy. They’re washable. They’re comfortable. And some of them have pockets. I will also be buying shorts from Spanx.

Are you happy?

This has been a difficult year. I feel pulled in many directions and the least content with my life that I have ever been. Overall happiness is probably not achievable right now. So I just have to keep believing it will get better, keep working to improve the things in my life that got broken in 2022-2023 when I was in a bad job situation (twice) and struggling with postpartum trauma and trudging through being a new, working Mom, solo-parenting in Montana. It was a lot. I’m still not recovered.

Instead, I look for a single moment of joy in every day. Bathing Sloane. Listening to Avery snore. A podcast that’s fun. A coffee that tasted good. Sometimes that’s all you can get, so you have to relish it. It feels gloomy at times, but it won’t be like that forever.

Thank you to everyone who submitted questions. See you next month.

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  1. JdHS says:

    Love the Q&A about what’s appropriate to wear for political advocacy. I think women need to let go of the idea that formal work wear for them is the same as formal work wear for men. I hate wearing suits – they pull at my shoulders and are not super flattering on me. So I gave up on them years ago! I wore sleeved or sleeveless MM La Fleur dresses to my very white shoe law firm in DC and to lobby on the Hill. I wore them with confidence and never truly felt more formal and like I fit in to the setting!

  2. Jill says:

    Oh gosh, Abra, thank you for that final comment. You put into words something that I’ve recently been feeling intensely: “Overall happiness is probably not achievable right now.” My personal life is great, but my career is very mediocre, and this makes me feel so unfulfilled and unhappy. I’ve been looking for one small good thing every day, too.
    Thank you for keeping on doing what you’re doing with this blog!

  3. Casey Jacketta says:

    For fellow candle lovers, try Evil Queen! I found them on Instagram years ago and get the subscription box. I love the complex scents. I can get scent triggered headaches and have never had a problem. Search evil Queen candles on Instagram. Enjoy!!

    Thanks Abra. I agree with finding a little joy in each day.

  4. Katie says:

    I have super sensitive skin, especially around my eyes. Even the sensitive eye creams cause a reaction. my.sister.made.me.buy.it on insta has similar issues and recommended the only eye cream I can use – the Avene Cicalfate+ (https://www.aveneusa.com/cicalfateplus-restorative-protective-cream#185=776). I bought the travel size on Amazon and after two weeks of using it, bought the big size.

    • Jill says:

      I have sensitive eyes and like the Estee Lauder advanced night repair eye gel/cream. Comes in two sizes. On sale at Nordstrom at the moment.

  5. Anna says:

    That last question is so hard. A few years ago, I decided I didn’t want work to be my source of happiness. But now I have a kid and a job I love, and it’s been so tough to want to do so much more at work but simply not be able to. I want to stay late and say yes to all the trips and events, but I have to get home and make dinner and get ready for bedtime, and we have no support in our city plus my partner works weird hours, so finding care outside of our normal schedule is hard and soooooo expensive. It’s hard to be happy when I sometimes feel like a shell of my old self.

  6. Anna says:

    I didn’t see your insta story calling for questions until after you’d closed, so please let me submit the first question for the April ask me anything segment! Along with many of your followers I am sure, we are now beginning to be due for colonoscopy with the lower age threshold. I am very curious to hear how your experience was with the prep (I’m terrified!!) and overall the experience you had! Thank you for sharing!

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