Mighty Life List
Mar 26 2010

Ask Maggie: DSLR Case for Your Bag

Stephanie had a question about my gadget case roundup. She says:

Do you have something to hold your DSLR camera that you slip into a normal purse? I’m looking for something to protect my Canon xsi with the lens attached that I can use when I don’t want to lug an extra bag around with me. But it’s tough to find! Thanks for your recommendations!

Good question, Stephanie, I can’t believe I didn’t think to include one. Here are a few options:

Cloak Bag, $49

The Cloak Bag is a compact “shoot-through” camera bag that I think would work well to offer a little extra protection in a larger bag, but you can also use it as a stand alone when you’re traveling. The bag strap is actually your camera strap, so you just unzip the bottom and shoot, which means you can go from case to shooting much faster. I don’t own this, but I want it. (via Swiss Miss)

Zing 501-104 SG1 Standard SLR Cover, $19

Here’s a more standard neoprene case, and you can find all sorts of styles online by searching for“dslr neoprene case.” It also comes in black, grey, and plum, and they have a larger one if you want to use a big lens. (FYI, reviews seem to indicate that the color on the bag isn’t photographing well, and it’s a deeper green than it appears.) They also offer an ZING Large Universal that doesn’t look as cool, but might be more functional.

Ephiphanie Bags, $170

My final suggestion is to just use a camera bag as your day bag, which is finally, finally possible. A while ago, I was complaining that there were no attractive camera bags for women. Maile contacted me to say that she’d had the same problem, so she decided to make some. She sent me a one, and it’s fantastic. It’s excellent quality, allows for quick access, and there’s plenty of room in there for your camera, cell, a little clutch with essentials, and even a flash or extra lens. Best of all, you don’t have to wrap a towel around your camera and shove it it your bag when you want to go out to dinner.

Jun 5 2009

Ask Maggie: Nine Toddler Things I Can’t Live Without

Hi team. I’m having trouble keeping up with email, but I’ve been getting a lot questions from you guys that I feel bad ignoring. I figured I’d start answering some of them on Fridays, so this is the first one.

If you don’t care about toddler gear, here’s a video of a guy doing an entirely a cappella version of Thriller, using only his voice in place of all the instruments. It is rad. (Thanks, Kottke):

Awesome, right? I know! Now, on to the toddler question.

Hi Maggie,

I built my baby registry around your product recommendations on Mighty Girl. I have never regretted purchasing a single thing you recommended, and consider my registry, and the fact that none of my baby products went unused, to be one of my major parenting achievements. Is this weird?

…Please, please post your recommendations for toddler buys, esp. strollers.

Much appreciated,
Ainsley

Hi Ainsley,

Here you go.

1. The BOB Stroller

We have two strollers. A little umbrella one that I kind of hate, and the Bob, which is so good that I’d like to hold it close and whisper naughty things to it in the night.

It’s a little heavy when it’s folded, but the wheels are so big that I just drive it up and down our stairs while Hank walks, so I rarely have occasion to carry it any distance. You can also order an infant car seat adapter bar and make it your primary stroller from the beginning, but it’s kind of big for restaurants. Our Bob is excellent because it:

Moves like hot butter in a frying pan. (I could drive it with one finger.)

Is easy to fold and unfold.

Fits though airport security scanners.

Is crazy durable.

Can be driven easily on dirt and grass.

Is big enough that your kid won’t outgrow it instantly.

Serves as an outdoor bed.

Let me reiterate that last point. The Bob is so comfortable, that we can recline the seat fully and Hank will sleep in it. This means we can put him down for a nap or bedtime while we’re out on a walk and go for lunch dinner at an outdoor cafe (the stroller is kind of big for indoor dining). It doesn’t always work, but it works enough of the time that the stroller has paid for itself in saved babysitter fees. It also comes in a double stroller version if you have two kiddos.

2. Playtex Coolster Tumblers

One thing I wish I’d done from the beginning was buy a bunch of the same sippy cups, so the parts could be interchangeable. I love these BPA-free toddler cups, because they’re like travel coffee mugs, but with a restricted flow valve inside. They’re great for teaching kids how to use a cup. I just ordered a bunch of them in the same color, so I can just use whatever lid I come across. Also, you can order new lids and valves without replacing the whole cup.

3. Water Shoes instead of Sneakers

If you get a cute pair of water shoes, they often look a lot cooler than designer kids sneakers, and they’re way, way cheaper. Easier to pull on, they don’t get all gross when they get wet, and they last a little longer because they’re stretchy. Bonus, they’re comfortable without socks if laundry day comes a little late that week.

4. Phil and Ted’s Me Too Chair and the Handysitt Child Chair

We’ve never owned a high chair. The Phil and Ted’s was small enough to throw in the stroller basket and take out with us to dinner where we could easily attach it to a table ledge. When he outgrew that, we bought a Handysitt, which sits on a dining room chair most of the time. We throw in the car for dinner at a friend’s house, and it also stows easily if you’re having company and it’s not mealtime. Bonus, no tantrums about not getting to sit in a grownup chair.

5. iPhone

Bless you, iPhone video. So ludicrously useful for preempting tantrums, we call it the neglect-a-tron. Download a few of the kid’s favorite videos, and the most exhausted toddler can be dissuaded from throwing himself on the floor at the DMV. These stands are pretty great too.

6. Apple Slicer

It’s gonna come up.

7. Circle Wooden Train Set

If you have a little boy, this set is likely to be a hit.

8. Hanna Andersson Floppy Sun Hat

I don’t own one of these yet, so this is risky, but I’ve been searching high and low for a decent sunhat with a chin strap, and I just placed an order for one of these on the recommendation of mom-of-three Margaret Stewart. She says, “My kids wore these for years. I handed the same hats down through three kids and they were still in good enough shape to give away to another family after 8+ years of use!” Good enough for me.

Margaret also recommends this for the beach. It’s the cutest mullet hat I’ve seen, and yet it remains a mullet hat. I can’t do it.

9. Flashlight with Click Button

If you’d like to finish a novel start to finish? Hand the kid a flashlight for the first time. Enjoy.

That’s it. What can’t you live without? Tell us. Do!

And if you want to ask me a question about whatever, send it to maggie at mighty girl dot com.

Mar 25 2009

Is it Slutty, or is it Fun?

I was having a drink on the patio in the tourist district of Boston, watching the wildlife with a guy friend. Every girl who passed us was kitted out in spike heels, clingwrap skirts, smokey eyes. It was a Saturday-night sea of sex.

Then a girl passed by who looked refreshing.

“What’s going on there?” I said.
“You mean how she doesn’t look like she’s advertising?” he replied.
“Yeah. I mean, you can practically see her underwear in that skirt, and her cleavage is hanging out. Why doesn’t she look slutty?”
“She’s wearing flats,” he said.
“Oh my god. She’s comfortable.”
“Yep.”

Wear whatever you want, ladies, but be at ease. If you’re tugging at your skirt, worrying about being judged, or limping up the street, you’re hobbled.

Hobbled girls may get laid, but only because they’re the weakest ones in the herd.

Apr 11 2007

Business Advice

A teacher recently emailed asking what advice I would give high school students who want to start their own businesses. Here’s what I said:

1. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that something is too competitive. Once you subtract the people who don’t work very hard, or the people who aren’t as good as you, your competition shrinks dramatically.

2. That said, an original idea sells itself. Instead of spending a year pushing the same product everyone else has, spend that time thinking of a product or service that no one else offers. If you do, you won’t need to do much marketing, people will find you.

3. Don’t believe the myth that “if you liked your job, no one would pay you to do it.” It’s essential that you love your work for you to be as happy and financially successful as possible in your life. The person who loves her job will always beat out the person who’s doing it for the paycheck.

I’m curious about what you guys would say. What’s your take on success?