Ask the Editor: Vol. IV, No. Twenty-Three

Jul 2, 2024

Due to the short week, I thought I would answer a few more reader questions. I hope everyone has a safe and fun Independence Day holiday.

Thoughts on dermaplaning?  Getting inundated on Insta.

I had it done before my wedding.  Did the makeup go on smoothly?  Yes.  Did my skin look a bit brighter?  Yes.  Did I get small whiteheads all over my face the week after?  Also, yes.  

Verdict:  Whether derma planing is a great idea for you depends entirely on your skin type.  The aesthetician who did mine swore it was fine for acne-prone skin, but it actually isn’t recommended for all skin types, so your mileage may vary.

You’ve talked about your Soaq in the past.  Do you still like it and will it clean tarnished stuff?

I bought a Soaq ultrasonic cleaning device for Christmas three (?) years ago, and I love it.  My earrings get so gunky with makeup and hair products, and a quick trip through the Soaq keeps everything sparkling.  You can buy cheaper devices, and I have, but both of those developed leaks over time.  This one is definitely worth the $75.

Tarnish is a chemical reaction, so it’s not removed by simply cleaning jewelry.  The best way to prevent tarnish is by keeping silver jewelry in an anti-tarnish bag made for silverware.  To get it off, use a tarnish polishing cloth or a cleaning solution that you can use in your Soaq.

How’s the personal training going?

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that my birthday gift to myself was 5:00AM sessions with a personal trainer.  I went for a few weeks, and realized that the trainer and I just were never going to click.  She was 15 years younger, and every time I went, I left in pain.  Not sore, in pain.  And it’s tough telling someone who hasn’t aged or had children what it feels like to try to rebuild a body after having a baby at 40.

My previous trainer was 50+ and in phenomenal shape.  And that’s what I need, someone who knows how it feels to get older and is somehow still killing it.  I’m currently looking for another trainer, but it’s going to be tough to find.

Reccs for casual Friday appropriate maxi dresses.  I need something in this heat!

I bought this Caslon gauze maxi a few months ago, and I love it.  The collar, the tie front, and the structure, make it a good choice for the office.  It’s also currently on sale.

This belted gauze dress from Gap is also a nice choice.  It comes in petite, tall and runs up to XXL.  I also found this chambray dress at Tuckernuck, which looks great for a Friday.  This Poplin dress from BR Factory is also a great choice. 

Can you help me find a pair of golf shoes?  I can’t do the bright colors and patterns on all of them.

I just started golfing after 20 years of people telling me I should try it, so take my opinion on this topic as that of a newbie who did research.  I bought these Adidas golf shoes because I also wanted simplicity.  They’re almost all white with just a hint of color.

What lotion do you use on Sloane?  

Poor kid got my dry skin, so we’re just using Kiehl’s Creme de Corps on everyone.  Thank goodness, the Anniversary Sale starts soon so I can stock up.

Where are you eating in Spokane?  I have a conference there this summer and our Spokane colleague says we should just eat at the hotel.

First, the reason why people think there is no good food in Spokane is because you cannot trust 95% of the recommendations you get.  The restaurants everyone says are amazing are usually mediocre but with ambience or history.  They’ve either been eating at that place since childhood or it looks fancy, so they’re all in.  

Also, people cannot bring themselves to tell you that an expensive restaurant is bad, even if the food is terrible.  They paid for that meal and admitting that it was underwhelming would be a betrayal to their wallet.

Second, the best places are not usually near the convention areas.  So when people visit, they often stick close to the downtown core and as a result, they eat a lot of passable American fare.  Wagyu sliders, anyone?

So where do Kyle an I eat?  My top pick in Spokane for a nice dinner is Inland Pacific Kitchen.  The menu changes frequently based on what is fresh and the team really knows what they’re doing.  But it’s a fancier spot, so that may not be right for a convention group.  

Second pick is Luna on the upper South Hill, it’s a nicer restaurant in vibe, but in practice it’s a neighborhood place.  The people next to you might be dressed up, they might be sweaty and in jogging shorts holding a toddler in a swimsuit.  You never know. The food is good, the cocktails are great.  Try a $40 martini, which comes with a side of toasted cashews and a fondant potato.  It’s my go-to special occasion drink.

For a brunch, we love Italia Trattoria.  It’s relaxed.  The food is solid.  The drinks are good.  The vibe is chill.  The patio is nice and shady.

If you want a more casual breakfast, do not, I repeat, do not wait in line to eat cardboard eggs at Frank’s Diner.  That place is the ultimate Spokane staple — dull, flavorless, and located in a train car, which your grandpa at dry white toast in 30 years ago. Instead drive to Morty’s on the upper South Hill for the best bar meal in town.

If you absolutely cannot leave the convention center area, go to Cease & Desist lounge early for a great drink (they also have fabulous mocktails, but no food).  Then, head to Durkin’s Liquor Bar or Ruins.  Both are good restaurants who use fresh, seasonal ingredients.  For a casual meal, Kasa is a good spot, and you can probably walk there.  

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  1. Laura says:

    *Googles “fondant potato”*
    Not what I was expecting, but what I was expecting was horrifying and I was concerned for you.

  2. Caroline says:

    Hi there – Long time reader here but first time commenting. I completely identify with your post-kid fitness journey. @Get Mom Strong’s SLAM program – there is a “bridge” program specifically for building back after having a baby – really worked for me. It is hard but do-able, 30 min, and I love her focus on strength and functionality (vs. “getting smaller” etc.). You can do it in the gym or invest in some bands/weights for yourself at home. I have no affiliation or anything, just wanted to help another mom. Good luck!

  3. Mercedes says:

    For golf shoes I love these – they are the same one Nelly Korda wears. G/FORE also has great stuff.

    https://www.nike.com/t/free-golf-nn-golf-shoes-rK2wQk/FN0332-100

  4. Sarah says:

    What you said about the trainer is what makes me crazy about especially young trainers. I want to get into better shape and build muscle. But if I cannot sit down on and stand up from the toilet for a week after I see you, this isn’t the way to do it! I will rapidly come to hate the workout and I’ll only be able to do it once per week, neither of which get me to my goals.
    Why are there not more trainers who understand that slow and steady is the best approach? Your experience (and some of my own) are the reason that I consider becoming a trainer when I retire. To be that woman who has an older body and has lived life and can help other people ease into workouts. No suggestions. Just commiseration.

  5. Rachel says:

    Regarding the trainer situation — from my own experience, (I’m coming off years of inconsistent activity due to chronic health issues) meeting with a physical therapist first has been extremely helpful. She’s addressing core stability, neck tightness, and a bunch of other issues that would have likely flared if I had jumped straight into traditional workouts. I was able to get a referral from my PCP, so it’s covered by my insurance as well. and a good PT might know good trainers, and vice versa. good luck!

    • SLG says:

      Ditto the physical therapist recommendation. I started working out for the first time in my life at age 41, and if I had to do it all over again, I would have just started by working with a physical therapist who could help me get ready to work out in a gym. But whatever path you choose, you’ve got this.

  6. E says:

    For an office appropriate maxi, I like Boden’s Eve Linen Midi Dress (https://www.bodenusa.com/en-us/eve-linen-midi-dress-green-tambourine/sty-d0849-grn).

  7. Mary says:

    I really like the Cole Haan golf shoes, they typically come in fun colorways. I find them to be true to sneaker size and quite comfortable. They also go on sale frequently!

    • Jen says:

      I was also going to suggest Cole Haan golf shoes. I’m a golfer, and my current ones are white leather Adidas (no longer available), but I think that white leather comfortable golf shoes are your best bet. You can wipe them clean and they match everything. G/FORE is a trendy brand around here, but I’ve been eyeing some Cole Haan Oxford styles on sale right now.

  8. Jess says:

    Spokane food rec – highly recommend Wooden City downtown. Should be walkable from any of the downtown hotels. The beet ravioli is incredible (and this is from someone who previously would have eschewed ANY beet anything on a menu). Get a bunch of apps and share them around. Soooo good. Also suggest getting a reservation. 🙂

    If you’re in the mood for a great burger, Wisconsinburger is 5 minutes from downtown and is my personal favorite. Republic Pi on the south hill does some great wood fired pizzas (my rec: the Bluff).

    You can eat well in Spokane!

  9. Sam says:

    I bought an inexpensive facial hair remover from Amazon and use it on my face with no issues. My aesthetician warned me not to derma-plane on my acne-prone skin.

    • Sam says:

      Also, I’ve been using https://www.trainwithkickoff.com since last summer. I entered in my info and goals and was able to choose a trainer that was aligned. I work out at home 3-4x/week with minimal equipment and my trainer has mixed in everything from yoga to weights. My kid’s 10 but I am 40 and trying to take better care of myself for the long run.

  10. Mary G. says:

    Hi Abra, not sure how you feel about group fitness classes but if you are open to it may I suggest Barre3? It’s incredibly versatile and they offer a lot of variations – just went to class this morning in DC and the instructor said, “any variation you choose in this class is still a good choice,” which I loved. I see there is one in Spokane!

    • Holly says:

      I love their online classes as well!! Most online classes have 2-3 instructors with one doing a modified version of the workout. Also love the online format for when you want to workout at a random hour (naptime) and there’s not an available class!

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