10 Life-Changing Things To Try In November
Because we tried them for you in October!
1. Plant Nanny — Free for iOS and Android
2. Insulating Window Plastic — $14 for a pack of nine
They are, unfortunately, kind of ugly; even if you manage to wrestle them perfectly smooth (a time-consuming and fiddly process) there's no way to avoid the fact that you just Saran-wrapped your house like day-old leftovers. But curtains and blinds help distract from this, and the temperature payoff is worth it. THANKS AGAIN, MA. —Alanna Okun
3. Scanner Pro app — $2.99 for iOS
4. Wet N Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain — $3
I love the way lipstick looks on me, but I hate constantly having to reapply. So, when my mom — who shares my pale lips and distaste for high-maintenance makeup — told me I had to try this balm stain, I did.
It stayed put ALL. DAMN. DAY.
5. An Amazing Taco Soup Recipe
6. Velcro for Fixing Gapping Button-Front Shirts
Some disclaimers: Obviously, I tried this on flannel, and it may work differently on other fabrics. Also, this is meant to be permanent (and washable, if you follow the instructions), so you can peel it off afterward, but it's not as easy as with regular tape.
Also, PLEASE PLEASE (PLEASE!) TRY A SPOT TEST FIRST if you want to try this on your fave shirt. If you decide you hate the Velcro and want to peel it off, you want to make sure it won't ruin your shirt. My shirt was fine when I peeled it off, but every shirt is different!
Did it hold my shirt together? You bet your sweet bananas it did!
Did it last throughout the day? Dude, yes, it was crazy! I was asking people basically all day if a) anything was holding together my shirt, and b) if they could see what was holding it together. Literally no one could tell that anything was there, let alone Velcro!
If you really stare, you can tell it's slightly curved, because I stuck the Velcro on there while I was wearing the shirt (maybe don't do that) but no one is paying that close attention, and let's take our lazy victories where we can. —Kristin Chirico
7. Learning to Be Body Positive One Selfie at a Time
I don't really understand what my body looks like. I can look in a mirror two times in a day and see something totally different. Unfortunately I spend much of that mirror time pulling apart things I dislike about it. It can be exhausting and is not great for my self-care. So I decided to try something new.
For the whole month of October, I took photos of every outfit that made me feel good about my body. I uploaded some to my Snapchat story (saving them once they'd loaded up) but I kept most on my phone and favorited them so they'd collect in an album. I got this idea from two people; the first was BuzzFeed BFF boss and all-around good person Summer Anne Burton who said we should take more selfies in 2015 because we're all beautiful. The second was a stylist named Cindy Gordon whom I hired to redo my closet last year to help me become comfortable with my personal style. She told me that we should always take photos when trying on clothing because it shows us what others see, as opposed to what we see. And it's true. Over the course of the month I found myself becoming more understanding of my body. I naturally gravitated toward items of clothing that were both flattering and ~classically me~. And on days when I just felt like I couldn't be there for myself I was able to find an outfit that gave me a little push instead of heading to the baggy sweaters that I usually do. It also had the added bonus of creating a Cher Horowitz–style virtual closet. Taking selfies gets a bad rap, but now that my phone is filled with photos of me looking my best, I'd never go back. —Mackenzie Kruvant
8. PopTop Popcorn Maker — $19.95
Popcorn is a lovely snack for a lazy afternoon (particularly an afternoon spent staring at Netflix like a zombie). But I can't stand the taste of typical microwave popcorn — sorry if you love it, but it tastes weird to me — and while stovetop popcorn is delicious, standing over my stove shaking a pan back and forth really interfered with my laziness. This is where this silicone microwave popcorn maker comes in handy. You use normal stovetop popcorn kernels, a drizzle of olive or vegetable oil (you can also pop it without oil, but I think it's too bland like that), and your microwave.
9. Lettermate — $9.95
I found that the Lettermate will help you make all of your letters level, evenly spaced, and ready for little embellishments like serifs and dingbats. It also comes with a super-helpful tip sheet and examples, and the website has printable practice envelopes, sample letters, and adornments, and a bunch of videos that show you how to get the most out of it.
It won't, however, magically give you better handwriting. It took some practice to ensure that all of my E's looked kind of the same, and even with practice, rounded letters still appeared boxy around the edges. Using a very fine felt-tip pen definitely helped, and $9.95 isn't terribly expensive for something that should last through several seasons of addressing holiday cards. If you're hand-addressing invitations or thank-you notes, then it's way cheaper than paying a stationer, and much more personal than running envelopes through the printer. —Terri Pous