Atopalm Face Cream


Hello! This isn’t an ad, it’s a thing I use. My friend Tess and I like to give everyday things we love as presents, so I thought I’d start telling you about some of mine. Atopalm is top of the pops.

I have dry, sensitive skin, and I’ve been using Atopalm Face Cream on my face and neck for about five years. It’s perfect in the following ways:

• Not crazy expensive, it’s about $25 for a 3.4 oz jar, and I don’t need to use much at a go.
• It goes on light, very moisturizing but not greasy, and it soaks in completely.
• The fragrance is very faint, and doesn’t compete with my perfume. If I had to nail it down, I’d say faintly citrusy?
• It layers well, so I can use it with sunscreen and foundation and my makeup doesn’t slide around.

I use it in the morning under my makeup and before bed in combination with a few other products for fine lines, and so forth. Anyway, good stuff.

Do you have any skin creams you swear by? I’m curious because I feel like it takes forever to find the right one for your particular skin.

Classic Valentine’s Day 101

You’re the less romantic one in your relationship, and maybe Valentine’s Day is causing some anxiety. If you’re curious how to make the day a win for you, these are some sweet, hyper-traditional gifts. They say the only thing your love wants to hear on Valentine’s Day: I remembered.


For Valentine’s Day, the actual Valentine is obligatory. You can buy a card, but a handmade Valentine is sweeter. This set of ten heart cards with envelopes, $9 lets you write love notes for other occasions too. Earnest expressions of affection are a safer bet than humor. “Be my Valentine, [love’s name]!” is just fine. Maybe draw a little picture, or cut and glue some photos from magazines. Effort counts here.

Now you need a present. You don’t have to spend a lot, google free or cheap Valentine’s Day gifts if you need help.

A small heart-shaped box of good chocolate is kitschy fantastic.  Prestat Artisan Pink Heart Shaped Box, $25 is a great one. (You can get it on Amazon for $34, if ease is your thing.) If your Valentine is dieting, ask if chocolate would be a nice treat or an act of sabotage.

A dozen red roses, $31 is Valentine’s Day in floral form. If you’d prefer a grand gesture, you can order two dozen roses, $48. People who find this cheesy can be ferreted out by asking, “Do you think red roses on Valentine’s Day are cheesy or nice?” And if the answer is “Cheesy, but I like flowers.” look for another bouquet with only one type of flower. Because of the flower rush on Valentine’s Day, florists sometimes sub-in weird stuff when you order a “mixed bouquet.” If your person doesn’t like flowers “because they just die,” your partner may not actually give a crap if you remember Valentine’s Day.

Love Poems by Pablo Neruda, $10 is solid. Ideally, you’ll read it first, and inscribe the book with something romantic. If you’re at a loss, “I love you!” is a good bet, but you can also quote a line from one of the poems. If Neruda isn’t your jam, here’s a nice edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. For bonus points, read through and mark a few applicable sentiments.

Jewelry as a gift says you’re serious about this person. Diamond studs, from $235 are classic, but you can buy any kind of jewelry in your price range. Like these gold-dipped studs for $20, or this pretty bangle for $28.

Unless the person has specifically mentioned they want a piece of jewelry, you’ll want to keep your choice very simple. Avoid heart-shaped pieces, because most of those are cute on Valentine’s Day but a little odd to wear otherwise. Also avoid rings, because they can cause a confusing Is this a proposal? moment.

Okay! Today is February 1. Order something now and set an alarm on your phone for February 13, so you can get everything sorted for presentation on Valentine’s Day morning.  First thing. This is so your love doesn’t spend the day worried that you forgot, instead of smiling about how uncharacteristically thoughtful you’ve been.

In addition to a card and a gift, plan for one special meal or event — maybe breakfast in bed, or a nicer dinner than usual. If you’re broke, a long walk or lighting candles for regular dinner counts too.

Happy Valentine’s Day, friend. You got this.

See also:
Not Stupid Gifts for Women
Valentine Gift Guide for Her

Literary Valentines

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, so I’m about to come down with another gift guide flurry as an exercise in alleviating my anxiety. Love! It’s chiller than hate.

The couple that reads together lives happily ever after.

Walt Whitman Valentine, $4
The ultimate outcome of growing old together.

George Orwell Valentine, $3
Let’s embrace our dystopian future as a team.

Reader Valentine, $4
Another year in paradise. Until she meets his old friend Milton, am I right guys?

Pablo Neruda Valentine, $5
Charming or foreboding, depending on where we’re at with this relationship.

Ernest Hemingway Valentine/Print, $8
I have no snark for this quote. Classic.

Gifts For Men with Good Stories and Smiley Eyes

Oak Bar Tool, $39
He gets a cool toy, you get cocktails when you get home from work.

Mini Lumio Book Lamp, $125
We got one of these illuminated books as a wedding gift, and it’s one of the most magical things we own.

Tiny Everstrike Lighter, $10
So much of masculinity is based on the ability to call forth fire in myriad circumstances.

Arduboy, $49
Arduboy is a credit-card-sized, open-source game system that you can program yourself. It was funded on Kickstarter and looks pretty cool.

Ceramic Flask, $92
Now he can feel sophisticated sneaking booze into the movie theater.

Paper Bots: PaperMade, $13
Sometimes he misses getting toys for the holidays.

Felt Bedside Caddy, $20
What he really wants in life is first crack at the remote.

Gifts for Little Kids with Big Eyes and Sticky Hands


Toysmith Hoppy Ball, $14
Remember these? I still want one.


Sit ‘n Spin, $27
One of these too.


Metal Race Car Kazoo, $15
She wants to drive race cars, you want her to consider the Philharmonic — compromises.


The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, $31
We have this fairy tale edition, and the one by Brothers Grimm, and they’re top notch. Beautiful fabric binding and tons of full-color illustrations.


Boon Pipes Water Pipes Bath Toy, $25
You know how kids refuse to get out of the bath, this worsens that condition.


Boon Cast Fishing Pole Bath Toy, $20
Fill a casserole dish with water, put a towel underneath, and enjoy a little free time.


Moluk Oogi Figure, $15
Sticks to windows, mirrors, and itself.


Califone First Kids Headphones, $12
Now your neighbors on the plane don’t have to listen to Minions four times in a row.

Gifts for Sweet, Stumbly Toddlers


Dinosaur Sweatshirt and Tail, $55 KidHub
For the holidays, I got you a two-year old T-Rex shouting “ROAAAR!”


Moluk Bilibo, $30 Amazon
These things are awesome imagination pods. Kids use them as chairs, shells, boxes, you name it.


Upper and Lowercase ABC Blocks, $22 Uncle Goose
Blocks that look artsy when your kiddo leaves them scattered over the floor.


Submarine Bath Light, $10 Amazon
Everything in childhood is more memorable if it happens when it’s dark outside.


Left Right Ergonomic Crayons, $5
Crayons that fit perfectly in tiny fists.


Plui Bath Toy, $13

Gifts for Tiny, Yawning Babies


David Bowie Rock n Sole’ Baby slippers, $39 MrsBojingles
Amost everything in this shop is amazing. Go consider all the tiny baby feet in Daft Punk slippers.


Felt Grey Whale Baby Rattle, $20 Newmies
Call me Ishmael.


Grimm’s Wooden Stacking and Nesting Bowls, $32
A pretty developmental toy.


Boon Marco Light-Up Bath Toy, $9 Amazon
1,000 Leagues Under the Sink Faucet


Rhino Toys Oball Original, $7 Amazon
These balls are so easy for babies to grasp.


Natural Disk Rattle, $21 Cooper Hewitt


Playable Art Ball, $30 MoMA Store

Also have a look at Toys that are Good for Baby Brains, 0-6 Months.

Pinkies Up! Tea Gift Ideas

Tea keeps your hands warm, and your worries at bay. Let’s get all cozy.


Sori Yanagi Stainless Steel Kettle, $78
I bought this a few months ago, and it’s one of my favorite things. The handle feels beautiful when you lift it, it’s not heavy when it’s full, and the lid is loose enough that you can keep your hands away from the steam when you lift it for a refill.


iNeibo Tea Infuser, $8


Matte Grey Kitchen Canister, $20 on Letliv
Pretty for storing loose-leaf tea on the counter. Or weed, if you live in one of the seven hippie states.


Friend Mug, $28 on Aurelie Dorard
Hi, little guy. Handmade in France.


OXO Good Grips Anniversary Edition Uplift Tea Kettle, $80
Cork handle is so genius. Plus, when you lift the handle of this kettle, it triggers a lever that moves the whistle so you can pour.


Kusmi Tea Collection, $105 on Amazon
Kusmi tea tins are gorgeous, I save all of mine. This sampler set contains fifteen mini-tins, and the tea is very good quality. If you’re looking for a more modest gift, consider their tins of Prince Vladmir black tea ($18), or Rose Green Tea ($18).


Takeya Double-Wall Glass Tea Tumbler, $20 on Amazon
If your tea person drinks whole-leaf tea, half the point is watching the leaves unfurl.


Robot Hanging Tea Leaf Infuser Strainer, $7
Tea robot. Crucial.

Gifts are my thing. If you’re looking for more, here’s my gift board, which will likely have these items pinned to the top.

Shop Blue, the Democrats’ Gift Guide


I just launched Shop Blue, a gift guide for Democrats.

Shop Blue features product listings from stores owned by Democrats who are women, religious and ethnic minorities, or members of the LGBTQ community. Those are the folks I feel will be most negatively affected by a Trump presidency, and I’d like to do what I can to support them.


Thanks to those of you who submitted stores to me via Facebook or Twitter. If you’d like to submit more stores for consideration, you can do that below, or email direct to


There’s only a handful of products listed now because I wanted to get it up in time for Black Friday, but there will be lots more in the coming days and weeks. So send me more shops you love!

If you’d like to, please share the site with friends, or on your social media channels. Every purchase helps support someone who thinks the United States should be a safer, more just country. We’re together in this.