Christ on a $9 Cracker
This Week in Guilt

Wednesday Advice Smackdown

Dear Internet.

Re: the whole Cease & Desist thing. We're done. Over it. Move on. Now go eat a damn sandwich.

Love,

The Foodarazzi

Anyway, how's about an Advice Smackdown? Remember those? Weren't they sort of amusing once, a long long time ago?

(Be honest: Do y'all really like the Smackdown? Are you just sending in all these questions to humor me? Would you be sad if it went away or is the whole thing just cutting into your baby picture crack habit?)

(By the way, the Noah photo essays are, apparently, a "trainwreck." The Internet is so nice! And so full of people with very rich and rewarding hobbies.)

(Yeah, I took the link down because I think they just orgasmed all over themselves with glee and ego over the little flurry of traffic they got, so they went apeshit with the personal attacks on me and my "e-cock" or whatever. I...don't really get what I ever did to these people, so I'm just going to back away from the whole thing verrry slowly. Wow.)

Anyway, use the comments section to vote for either 1) Save Our Smackdown, or 2) Kill It Dead Please, for the Love of Bacon.

Dear All-Knowing Amalah, Mother to Quite Possibly the Most Beautiful Baby in All the Land,

Winter reeks havoc on my skin! My t-zone gets so dry, and thanks to being raised by a hippie mother I am clueless when it comes to all things makeup and skin related. Can you give a poor girl some guidance and point me in the direction of a good moderately priced moisturizer?

Kate

Hmm. The key here is what, exactly, you consider to be "moderately priced."

Moisturizers can be obscenely expensive, falling just short of anti-aging treatments on the cosmetic price scale. I use Ahava moisturizers (the Matifying Moisturizer for oily skin, to be exact), and at $28, it's money well spent for my tempermental, combination skin.

If it's just your t-zone that's dry (and your cheeks and neck are okay), then I'd suggest you try their basic moisturizer for normal to dry skin. It's also $28, but I swear, it will last a very long time. Ahava makes thick, creamy and almost-concentrated moisturizers that require a light touch.

I have a friend who swears by the "very dry" version, which costs $42. Her skin would actually crack and flake in the winter, and she STILL buys me the occasional martini as a thank-you for telling her about the Ahava line two years ago.

Considering most of the high quality (read: non-drugstore) moisturizers at Sephora average between $35 and $50 (and go all the way up to $570, holy mother of crap), I think $28 can qualify as moderately priced.

Of course, for the cash-strapped among us, there's always Cetaphil. Wonderful, miraculous Cetaphil. I'll use the cleanser in the winter when my skin gets raw or chapped (and on Noah's tush), and while I don't think it has the same staying power as a "real" moisturizer (your face may re-dryify itself by lunchtime), it's super gentle and best of all: super cheap.

Readers? Any suggestions to fill in the price gap between $6 and $28?

Hi Amy-        

I saw today a piece on tabloid tv regarding the resurgence of the headband.  All the stars are doing it, should I?

Melissa S.
Martinsburg, WV

I will not lie: some girls look so totally gosh-danged adorable wearing headbands.

Unfortunately, I am not one of them.

Even more unfortunately, I refuse to accept this and will still occasionally buy a headband and (even worse) attempt to wear it.

It does not end well, because I usually spot my reflection in a store window or something and realize that oh my GOD, I look like an MORON and I yank off the headband and shove it in my purse and then I'm left with a  headband dent in my hair the rest of the day.

So if you want to try a headband, you have my blessing, but I advise you to be really, really comfortable with your headband so you don't change your mind five minutes after leaving the house because it only takes five minutes to achieve a permanent headband dent.

Dear Amalah,

I came across your site by accident one day last winter, when blogging was still, to me, something that they mentioned on CNN once in a while, and since then I've been hooked.  I absolutely love it! (and had a very sad moment when I realized that I had, indeed, read every archived entry, and had no more that I could use to distract me while waiting for an update...)

I started looking at your blogroll and started reading a few of the links there, too.  And now I think I'd like to expand my horizons even further...But I don't know exactly how one goes about finding interesting blogs, if you know what I mean.  So, how did you find all the blogs that you like to read?? Also, I would like to find some in other languages because I am really geeky that way (well, German, since that is my other language, and maybe French as well, since it would probably help me improve...), and while I realize that you might not be able to give personal recommendations, I thought you might have general ideas of how to go about looking, or your readers might have some ideas...

Thanks so much!
Lena

Ha. One of the first questions I get from people after they find out about my website (and yes, I have someone in my life who calls it a blob too, and I am so jealous of Dooce's new masthead because I was TOTALLY going to do something blobbery like that, only more ugly probably, and now I can't, and this sentence has gone on just long enough), is usually along the lines of, "So...how do people...find your website? Like, search engines?"

No, only people who are searching for "damn flour beetles kill die hate" find me through search engines.

Most people find me through other blogs. But this confuses the questioner even more, because how do people find THOSE blogs?

It's like the chicken or the egg thing, except that here, it's just a really bored person with a high-speed internet connection at work who came first.

I find blogs to read by visiting the blogrolls of blogs I already read. Like, my links page lists sites that I read and have followed for awhile and with a few exceptions (type a cough cough), they all update regularly and are basically my reading recommendations to y'all.

I also have an unlisted blogroll that I keep in my browser: it's mostly made up of my regular commenters' blogs and other sites I've just found and maybe even a trainwreck or two.

There are blog "directories" that list blogs in other countries and languages, but personally I've never found a site I'm really interested in through one. They're kind of like the blog yellow pages, while I prefer to let my reading list evolve organically through friendly recommendations.

So keep visiting the recommendations of bloggers that you already read, and pretty soon you'll have a list of sites so long you will never get anything done ever again and will basically be chained to the Internet 24 hours a day.

And to speed that prcess up, let's go to the phones. Readers? Any good German or French blogs out there?

Okay listen, I have a couple more questions I want to answer and YES, I have baby pictures to include, but I left the camera at home and also I kind of have a job now. So I'm going to post this drivel now and let you get started with the recommendations and the Smackdown votes and the yelling at me for the lack of baby pictures, and then when I get home I will post the rest, I SWEAR.

Unless I forget! Ha!

Update! A Bazillion Hours Later!

I didn't forget, honest. It's just that at home there's a cranky hungry baby and cranky hungry cat and a dog that crapped on the carpet and no food and no clean dishes and then an Indian food delivery and the dog got out when the delivery guy got here and ran down the stairs yap yap yap yapping and got trapped in the trash room and I couldn't find her and I left the baby in his swing and the Indian food on the coffee table and the baby was screaming and the dog was howling and the cat got into the Indian food and is now puking all over the damn place.

But here are your baby pictures!

Hell, they're better than mopping up curried cat puke.

Img_2107

This one dates all the way back to CHRISTMAS, which was like, forever ago, and it's documenting Noah's first viewing of a Baby Einstein DVD, and my sister's not-super-impressed reaction to Baby Einstein, but HA HA, THIS IS HER FUTURE TOO, as she's having a baby boy in March.

(I ask you, does she look six months pregnant? NO. SHE DOES NOT. HATE.)

(Except not, because I am besides myself with excitement because Noah is going to have a little cousin and I get to scare the crap out of my big sister with the little-boys-pee-in-your-MOUTH stories.)

Img_2182

You know, Noah was a little surprised at how much attention the whole Buck's Fishing and Camping thing got yesterday, and hopes that his jaunty hunting cap does not cause similar controversy.

Img_2195

The Naked Turtle.

Img_2202

Feet! Big feet, by the way. Big feet that do not fit into any of those little twee socks anymore and since I haven't had time to go BABY SOCK SHOPPING, and yes, it will be a whole separate shopping trip, Noah is wearing some too-big socks that his Grandma bought (thinking he'd use them like, next year sometime), and he's all trash baby in daycare with the losing of socks left and right and yeah, I'm THISTHISCLOSE to wrapping ponytail holders around his ankles to keep his damn socks on.

Img_2129

Noah and Red Lion, seconds after Noah punched Red Lion DOWN, YO, and seconds before Noah barfed on Red Lion.

Poor Red Lion.

Img_2133

My boy, he is lovely.

Img_2163

And drooly.

Comments

shawnessy

Of course I can't just vote Yes or No... but maybe once a month? Either once a month, for Smackdown, or KILL IT DEAD!
I guess I just like reading about you and your, er, um.. foibles, etc.

Thank ya!

Lucy

Oh, yes. Keep it. Keep it. A thousand times, keep it. The Smackdown is much good fun. I would be sad if it went away.
Huge fan of your work, Amalah.

Jessie

The Smackdown is good (although not my favorite of all your posts) but I do learn things from it, so yeah, I vote save it.

For the moisturizer question, I have the same problem as the question-asker, and I use Clinique Moisture Surge at nights and just Oil of Olay for day and it seams to work well.

And for finding blogs? I also look at the blogs of commenters on the sites I read. I've found some good ones that way.

Incredimom

eh. I usually don't read the smackdown. I know. Gasp. I do scroll it for pictures. But I'm not into hair and fashion, being behind a computer monitor hides that. I'd vote to limit it to monthly or kill it. Don't hate me. Totally love your blog :)

Frema

I heart the Smackdown and would love to see it continue. While we're at it, I would love to see one of my questions featured, but no worries. I am perfectly willing to keep submitting!

In the line of moisturizers, I love Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. It's around $20 and it goes on very light and it keeps my skin feeling oh-so-moist until I wash it off. It lasts me about four or five months, so even though I'm living on a tight budget right now, I will continue to make room for this, since I don't have to buy it that often.

TB

I have been carefully crafting a question that I'm sure you will answer and I haven't sent it in yet. So I'm being selfish and saying save it.

Lori

First: keep the smackdown.
Second: *redryify??!*
Third: Burt's Bees for a moderately priced moisturizer; I use the carrot one.

Danell

Lena, try www.sundrymourning.com

I like the advice smackdown, seems like a great way to write more funny stuff!

cate

I like the smackdown but I adore the pics of your lovely son. Ultimately, it's your choice! My skin is a hopeless case so I've got nothin' there. I'm also jealous of Dooce's skills at making mastheads.

Leslie

Oh keep the Smackdown - it answers questions I didn't know I had for pete's sake! And, it makes me laugh, but so do all of your entries....

Nicole

Keep the Smackdown!! This is how I found out about foundation makeup brushes and, I don't know, other stuff I now can't live without. All I need to sustain life is Amalah-isms like "dryify" and "assvice" and Noah pics!

As far as moisturizers, I've had fairly good luck with the Aveeno line. It's in every Walgreens and is under $10.

zebby

I vote to keep the Smackdown, at least sometime. Even though I'm in Australia and can't buy most of the stuff, I'm making a list for Sephora when I visit later this year. Distracted by visions of beautiful skin....

always write

Couple things:

1. Another quality moisturizer is Kiss My Face Olive & Aloe lotion (other formulas, like Peaches & Creme, are equally good). It's available at Whole Foods, fine for face AND body, easy on the nose, and runs about $9.00 for a big bottle.

2. I really just wanted to introduce myself to Amalah. Hi! I'm your next-door neighbor on DC Blogs. Great site. Nice baby too. Happy New Year :)

Pam

RE: Moisturizers - in the winter, I use plain old olive oil on the really dry, chapped areas of my face (usually just at night so no one can see my shininess). Bad? Good? It seems to help, especially since my skin reacts poorly to Cetaphil and other "gentle" cleansers and lotions.

RE: Smackdown - keep it! I love it, because the questions usually mirror my own concerns (see above moisturizer comment).

RE: Blogs - I use Google's blog search when I just want to look for something totally different. I find that just following links will take me to other blogs that are very similar to the one I just left. In some cases, this is good (when the linked blogs are just as funny and well-written as say, amalah.com). In other cases (especially with political blogs), you end up reading the same boring thing over and over with no new perspective.

ktbug

I vote for keeping the Smackdown but admit that most often I scan the questions to see if I really care about the answer...
For what it's worth -- I have sensitive skin and use the Aveeno line of moisturizers for daytime when I'll have foundation on and Clinique or Estee Lauder nighttime stuff at night. And have tried every under eye puffiness-reducer, dark circle eraser known to womankind. Clinique moisture surge eye gel is the winner.

Pratt

I love me the smackdown. which sound so Ike and Tina-ish .but hey you know I lurve it when you make you laugh.

yammer

Keep the smackdown! I love the days when I see that you've done a smackdown column.

Andrea

I love the smackdown, and want it to stay. i think that it makes the blog less mommy. While noah is completely adorable and i love your misadventures with him, i did start reading before he was born and like when sometimes things that are Noahless. But then as a single woman i'm probably representing a small minority of your readers. Either way i'd like the smackdown to stick around.

Kimmie

I'm an amalah whore, so I'll pretty much read anything you decide to post. Smackdown? I'm there. Adorable pictures of your son with witty captions that are so NOT a train wreck? I'm there. Snarky missives on a variety of topics? Oh, I'm SO there! So, you know...whatever works for you.

Becky

I love the Smackdown! As a girl with a serious lack of style but who is totally willing to improve, I find them a) highly informative and b) highly hilarious.

Also, you give the same advice (usually better) than fashion mags, etc... but you do it for free.

Rock on with the Smackdown :)

Kathleen

Keep the Smack!

My own personal reasons you should keep the smackdown alive:

A) I don't know about other readers, but yours was the first blog I really connected with. And why was that, you ask? Because you were reachable. You asked us to ask you questions. You asked us to contribute humor (or fodder for it) to the loverlyness of your site. Having the opportunity to ask real questions to your favorite blogger and have her share them with the internet makes you feel very special and loved. (by the way, I am still loving my short haircut!)

B) As much as I love the Noah and the adorableness of him and his cute photogenic self, and as much as I find everything baby related very informative and helpful for whenever I decide to have a child of my very own, I think the smackdown might be a good transitional device to aid you in maybe just sometimes talking about other things which you find interesting. Like cute shoes.

So keep the smackdown and the baby photos! The two can co-exist happily!

Patchie

Keep the Smackdown! It is how I found out about Tigi Bed Head Afterparty, which has transformed my growing-out-from-a-nightmare-hairdo into a very nice looking head of hair, All hail the Smackdown! Plus i have yet to send in a question and I would hate to lose my chance. :)

FMS

Excellent Moisturizer for between $6 and $28.
http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=73304&catid=21503&trx=PLST-0-SRCH&trxp1=21503&trxp2=73304&trxp3=1&trxp4=0&btrx=BUY-PLST-0-SRCH

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moist.
Affordable, its gentle on my skin which is SO tempermental. Even in summer, it doesn't leave my t-zone looking like an Exxon-Valdez mistake. And, it smells nice, not overpowering. And! SPF ... because, as I learned last week of our friend the Internet:
From: www.fabulousmisss.typepad.com (12/29/05)
1. Was greeted this morning by the Internet declaring that women in their 20s are now using anti-aging products on their skin. The women in the article were 24 years old. I am less than 2 months from 26. If you want to read this load of crap, click here, (and by load of crap, I mean: Shit, why didn't I think of this before I turned 25? In reality, I have abused sunbathing way too much - and that is mentioned in the article, see - validity!!)

Spencer

STS!!
Save The Smackdown

Heather

Bacon...mmmm...

But more smackdown for me, please!

Sabrina

Keep the smackdown! Love reading it!

Erin

i LOVE the smackdown and will probably cry if it is taken away! whenever i have a question about something fashion-y, i go through your smackdown archives and usually find the answer!!

Linda

Keep the Smackdown!
and I must be a geek, because I love the first person baby comments - they never fail to make me laugh (so there!).

Tricia Bailey

Please I LOVE the smackdown. Don't take it away! I heart Noah too.

Cagey

Playing the "how did I get here" game on blogs is FUN.

I wonder where I could go with a swift round of Six Degrees of Amalah? :-)

janet

1. keep smackdown, because it makes me think that I, too, one day could be a glamorous and famous advice columnist.

2. Oil of Olay. Maybe that makes me grandma-y but I love the stuff. LOVE.

Zoe

SOS!

Save Our Smackdown!

Seriously though, I love the Smackdown, product whore and general nosy person I am. You always get some good comments for Smackdowns too.

Also, the Noah essays? Sooo not trainwrecks. I have to admit that some babies... well, just look like every other baby with really proud parents. Noah, though, is an extremely cute baby which I can vouch for because I am a random internet person. Seriously, the baby pictures are like crack for Amalaholics!

quinn

I do enjoy a good Smackdown, so I vote to keep it. Also- headbands look stupid on me. I know this, yet, like you, continue to buy them. Kind of glad I'm not the only one in denial.

Terry

Smackdown is awesome, to me it's like reading a magazine -- and if there's Noah pics it's really rockin'!

Plus, everyone's input on the Smackdown is usually entertaining/informative as well.

Kate

I found your blog when I was searching for "dog eye goop." Sorry though, it's not the first hit.

Laurie

I second the Oil of Olay. I have been using it since I was 16 (many many moons ago) and I still get carded when I buy beer! Score!

STS....seriously. It cracks me up and is yet informative...all in one.

Noah = cuteness (keep the pics coming!)

JustLinda

Keep! Keep! Keep!! I vote keep.

Can I ask a question?

Dear Amalah,

Why don't you have JustLinda's blog on your blogroll? I hear, from friends and very respectable people who work at very important jobs that are SO important they don't even go casual on Fridays, that she is very funny and she totally deserves to have people flock to her website so she can sell gobs of advertising for high, high prices (except for the Amalah discount, of course) and quit her dumb suckass job and just stay home and do MORE blogging. I can't attest to the absolute truth of all that, but my friends who say it are very trustworthy so it MIGHT be true.

Signed,
Um, uh, Bob

Lauren

I like the smackdown! Please keep it. Others who have posted are right, it's a good way to keep the "mommy blog" label off your site! Which you may or may not be interested in, but I can at least tell my husband that I am not reading a mommy blog, and no I do not have baby fever, and pick up your clothes, what the hell?! Anyway, yay advice!

Also, moisture surge is an eye gel?! Wha? I use it all over my face and it's so lovely!

elizabeth

keep the smackdown! it's a ton of fun. (plus, you can learn things, too!)

as for moisturizers, i'm probably not qualified to answer this (because i'm too chicken to ever try anything new for fear of offending my poor face) but i have to second the vote for aveeno. i've used both the positively radiant and the clear complexion ones, and they are super. however, in a pinch, when i run out, i return to the staple of my younger years: johnson's baby lotion. it's good and gentle and CHEAP! :)

Leslie

Keep the Smackdown! As cute as that baby is, we need to know you have other skills. And, some of us, need the advice.

Moisturizers: I like Dr. Hauschka products, but have tried the Ahava (on your advice) and like the oil control.

Lisa B

Since I'm not all that girly and get my makeup from a Wal-greens or Target, it doesn't matter to me whether you keep Smackdown or not. I like reading it but if you put something else in its place, I'm sure that would be great too. Because you are all wise and all funny and all knowing about beauty products. And I do love the Noah pics. So, my vote? I'm leaving it up to you...

Laura

I like Smackdown, but I think you should do what you want to do. If you like writing it, then continue. If you don't want to, stop. It's your blog, your choice.

mmf!

keep smackdown - for variety! also, i think you post more often when its coming up!

as for french or german blogs, well, you could start by reading Chocolate and Zucchini, a wonderful English-language foodie blog written by a French woman. She has links to French blogs. So does Parisist probably (which is fantastic, itself, but probably less fun if you are not living in Paris). the french blog e/b/t/b is also not bad.

Le Monde links to blogs (besides being good in itself) and i think the Sueddeutsche Zeitung does too (also, good in and of itself). just google any of these titles.

have fun!

Maria

Keep your perfect blog as is... the Smackdown and more importantly we want (better make that demand) photos of that gorgeous baby.

Doreen

Had to de-lurk for this one.....for the love of Dog, keep the smackdown!

Liz

I am a fellow dry/sensitive skin girl, and my dermatologist gave me some perscription-strength hydrocortisone to use in combo with Cetaphil. It's great stuff and is really cheap (like $10 for two tubes w/insurance)if your insurance kicks in. If your co-pay is cheap, I'd go to a dermatologist anyway and they'll load you up with samples!

Megan

Keep the Smackdown!

And list my blog! :D

scoutsadie

Can I have bacon AND the Smackdown? ...Wait, was that the question?

I vote yea, for I find le Smackdown entertaining and informative, especially on subjects about which I know nada and had never considered considering.

Also love the non-trainwrecky-to-hell-with-those-bastards photo essays of that boy. I think they're funny and cute, and anyone who doesn't should go read something else on the Internets... I hear there are a lot of other options out there.

That is all!

P.S. Oh, props also for Snarkywood, for it is how I found thee, and I reread the archived ones regularly cos they make me laugh out loud (except the making-fun-of-the-Olsen-twins-for-being-touchy thing, cos my twin sister and I hold hands all the time... well, when our hands are in the same state. But that is all we have in common with those scary monkey-looking girls).

Really, that is all!

Dooneybug

Keep the Smackdown!! Even if you only do it occasionally.

As for finding new blogs...what about using Google's blog search feature and blog google a topic of intrest to you? Sorry if this has already been suggested but I am just not patient enough to read through the other comments.

And Noah photos? He is the CUTEST baby on the internet so you HAVE to keep feeding our addiction!

Chloe

Yes, please keep the smackdown! And while you're at it, how about the Judith Light Brigade & Haiku Tuesdays? In all of your spare time of course... (snicker snort :-)

Catherine

Yes, keep the Smackdown, but guess what -- I thought you made up all of the questions (which is a compliment, in a weird way). And while you're at it, how about shopping at IKEA again? We could always use another IKEA story!

Ali G

keep the smackdown! i like your advice...

i'm another single girl... while i think noah is absolutely adorable (and you're hysterical no matter what) i must admit a yearning for the non-baby entries. but i figure as time goes on, more balance will be achieved, right?

(but, whatever, b/c i totally drop whatever i'm doing to read the latest entry. and i do think it's ok to be somewhat mommy blog so long as you are as funny as you are...)

sooo... just keep writing! regularly! b/c i've run out of archives...

kelli

I vote keep the smackdown! I big NO.1 for me. I love the Wednesday smackdown, but then again, I also love photos of babies and all caps. So who am I to judge?

As for French blogs, La Coquette isn't French really, but she's in denial and currently in Chicago. Her blog is tres magnifique or some French bather like that. www.lacoquette.blogs.com

Bethany

No shit, whats up with Type A being blog flakey lately. I'm beyond sad, it's getting into annoyed territory. I still got the love though.

Heidi

Please keep the Smackdown!! I love it and I feel so pretty after following your makeup and hair advice!

Ali G

keep the smackdown! yay beauty advice!

as another single gal, i do admit a small (tiny!) yearning for the pre-baby entries, but whatever, noah is adorable and you're still really funny! but while you're a mother now and i know things are different, it's good to have some non-baby-focused entries now and again.

(but with noah pics of course internet mommies please don't hurt me)

but overall, we still love you. update! regularly! lots and lots!

Jilleyn

Save Our Smackdown! Think of all the unbought foundation brushes relying on you.

ann

Keep the Smackdown! I love it.

Ali G

ok - really sorry about the double-commenting, computer is being stupid! but i blame the landing ad page, what is WITH that, oh queen of everything with fabulous hair?

drea

i love the advice smackdown. plus, as cute as noah is, it's a nice break from teh constant onslaught of baby pictures.

Plus, you're just freaking funny.

Dawn

Save Our Smackdown! Save Our Smackdown! (hoists fancy picket sign)

Seriously... Amalah... YOU are the reason I use a foundation brush. YOU are the reason that I've spent all my moolah on Coach and Sephora. YOU are the reason I make homemade peanut butter cups (which may not have been in a smackdown.. but come on.. point is I LOVE THE ADVICE! And Lord knows I need it!)

for Joke!

I'll keep my comments short.

1. Keep the Smackdown

2. Oil of Olay daily Moisturizer, from any drugstore, costs about $8.99. Goes on silky and I looooove it.

3. Read my blog! www.forjoke.com Or Ali's blog http://alidancer.typepad.com/
Or read any of the blogs of the people who comment here.

Sara

1. Keep the smackdown!
2. Aveeno works great for me, even on the face, but the "generic brands" are crappy, so watch out.
3. Rock on, Amalah. Those trainwreck people are haters; keep the cutness coming!

Amy

I LOVE the smackdown! Don't get rid of it!!

Oh, and on the inexpensive, drugstore moisturizers? Neutrogena is wonderful. My combo skin loves their Anti-Wrinkle, Anti-Blemish cream.

Autumn

Definitly keep smackdown, I look forward to it every week.

DavidS

I'm with Shawnessy re. Smackdown "Either once a month...or KILL IT DEAD". What can I say, I'm not big into the makeup and cleanser scene, for some weird reason.

Wacky Mommy

Yes, keep smackdown. You inspired me to start my own advice column (well, you and Dear Abby) and they're fun! Even "Please God I'm Only 18" used to be fun, in a sick way.

Re: Trainwreck. Sour grapes, babe. Sad to say, but not all babies are cute. Some are just homely and not interesting. Noah is funny and handsome and his little mug always cheers up the Wacky Kids and their mommy.

Re: Mommy Blogs. Those who belittle us can kiss my curvy ass. I think it's cool that there are many, many talented chicks out there who finally have the space to get creative and broadcast it, without, say, having to pray that their version of "The Bell Jar" gets published.

IOSHHAB. (That's code for "If Only Sylvia Had Had A Blog.) Kisses from Portland, Ore.

HD

As a mom and a girl, I vote for baby pics and the smackdown. Noah is what your life is mostly about these days and the young singles will just have to deal with it. Also, I am way older than you, yet still learn from your smackdowns. You are just a very knowledgeable and hilarious person and so, I say, keep the whole package!

Shu

Keep the Smackdown! Where else would I learn about the wonder of foundation brushes accompanied by an illustrated step-by-step guide?

Audrey

I am fairly new around here, but I vote for keeping the smackdown.

Also - moisturizer. I live in Colorado where we get the driest of dry winters. And, of course, I can't use anything but oil-free moisturizer without breaking out. My recommendation would be Clinique's Dramatically Different. It is around $25 (I can't remember exactly, since the one bottle has lasted so long that I forgot how much I paid for it), but it is well worth it. A little bit goes a long way, even on my super dry T-zone.

Bren

I hear you on the "everyone naming their kid Noah" thing. I named my son Aidan in '97 and today I read that it's the #1 name. GRRRRRR.

slyeyes

If you don't keep the Smackdown, I may have to sic that crazy chef on your ass.

OK, I won't go that far, but I do enjoy it and hope it continues.

rebecca

I love the smackdown - keep it coming.

also, you can't go wrong with the Oil of Olay complete moisturizer. It's awesome and cheap (can be as low as $10 if you are really brave and go to Walmart).

Aimee

2- dump the smackdown.

Aimee

I may be the only one, but I vote to dump the smackdown. I really enjoy your blog otherwise!

Ana

This is just to say: I adore the Smackdown and would be sad if it departed.

CK

I like the smackdown - I'm a fairly new reader, but LOVE everything you write about. It's the first thing I do everyday, checking to see if you've posted. And yes, I love NOAH stuff - anyone that doesn't needs their own smackdown.

Happy new year.

bethgirl

my vote is: keep the smackdown unless it's stressing you out.

Bozoette Mary

Yes! Keep the Smackdown, please.

And whatever moisturizer you precious darling girls use, do be sure it's at least SPF 15. Oil of Olay Complete fills the bill beautifully and it's cheap, cheap, cheap.

And my journal got a trainwreck nod too -- so now I feel very special!

Amalah

Ugh. That ad. I'm sorry.

AdBrite (who handles my text ads) slipped in a new product type (an "intermission ad") without asking, and I didn't notice when I approved the ad that it wasn't a normal text ad.

So my bad, people. You should only see it once every 24 hours. (And of course, AdBrite won't tell me how long it's running for, which is even more weirdly sneaky.)

Amalah

And Bozoette: Your site's mention on that nasty site made me so mad I couldn't even see straight. I'm sorry people are such assholes.

contrarychick

1) I'm thinkjng that if Smackdown is popular enough to have a backlog of questions you have a responsibility to continue doing it. Unless you don't want to. Then you should stop. (Yes, I know. That was no help. Sorry)

2) Trainwreck chick really burned my ass (know what burns my ass? A flame about 3 feet high. I am the funny,no?)

So I was ranting (to myself, so as not to scare the children) 'how dare she think it's her right to say what Amalah or anyone can put on their blogs?(err...websites) If she doesn't like it, she doesn't have to read it!

Then, I realized the same could be said for her blog. It's all free speech, baby. So I just won't hurt my eyes with her free speech anymore.

Carolina

Dearest Amalah,

Were it not for your smackdowns, I would not know what Coach is, let alone now officially own two beautiful new Coach bags(so exciting). Were it not for smackdown, I would never set foot (mouse?)on Sephora.com, as neither of these things exist in the dead centre of Canada and quite possibly the coldest major city in the world, Winnipeg. Were it not for smackdown, I could not justify to my beloved Jason (too) the reason for keeping old make up or buying it in the first place. Were it not for the smackdown, I would have still thought I was the only person with an "if there's loops, put a belt in 'em" belief system.

God bless you, your family, and the smackdown.

Big Gay Sam

I think she got stuck in traffic. :P

dev

a. Please keep The Smackdown.
b. I have very, very dry skin and use Clinque's yellowy-coloured moisturiser (whatever its called). It's about $25, which isn't shocking, as it lasts ages. But I do recommend it for sensitive skin, as anything else makes me break out in horrible red bumbs-- though for less finicky, breakout-probe skin that olive oil bit sounds natural and lovely.

MKN

Don't do it! Don't kill the smackdown please!!
Please, please, pretty please. It's where I learn the girly stuff I never learned growing up with brothers.

Real Girl

AH, the skin care. LOVE the skin care. Should be writing about it right now, in fact.

I'm with you, Amalah, in the oily/combination skin category, but at least several of my dry-skinned readers swear by Clinique's Moisture Surge, which is a bit more than $28.

I'll add just a wee word of caution against their Dramatically Different Moisturizer, though, in that it's petroleum based and so potentially quite pore clogging.

If I might go further, try looking for a moisturizer with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which are great sunscreens for dry skin. Here's a reasonable, reputable one. Years from now, your skin will be grateful for it.

Finally, if you're willing to go the extra mile, using a night time AHA treatment with glycolic acid or lactic acid will help slough off that top layer of skin and let your dewy, normal skin shine through. Try either an 8% concentrate every other day or a 15% concentrate mask once a week.

Paige

Oy. 83 comments... don't have time to read all right now, so I apologize if I repeat what others have said (at 84, I'm sure I am...)

1. On the Smackdown. I like it. But I like it MOST when it includes pictures of the Babalah. Also, if I'm not in the mood, I'll just skip it.

2. On the blog-finding.
I do several things: If a comment I read on a site I like seems funny or clever, I'll try their blog. But blogrolls tend to be the way to go. Sometimes, also, a blog I'm reading will link to another blog- I've found a few really, really good ones that way.

zorgon

Smackdown: Yes!

But when you get tired of it, have Noah guest-column it for you:

Q: "Dear Queen of Everything, does this purse make my pants look fat?"

A (Guest Columnist Noah): BbbbBBBbbbbbblllpppcchhh*giggle*

Harper

So, it's like nearly 7:30 pm EST now and I'm thinking you must be home by now...so the Noah pictures are...where?? Give us the pictures! Must see the baby!

capello

Keep the Advice Smackdown. I'm not girly, and I need all the help I can get.

Also, for the lotion... I use to use the Oil of Olay; they discontinued the oil free version (WTF?) and so I switched to the original (I too, have combination skin) and I started getting cysts under my eyes from the trapped oils.

So, I switched to a neutrogena oil-free face lotion, and after a few months the cysts were gone and the lotion works fantastically (not oily, not dry, blah blah blah). And I saved myself from a trip to a dermatologist to remove the cysts.

Overshare over.

RockStar Mommy

Wow, that Trainwreck site is fucking horrible. There's a huge difference between Snarkywood and Trainwreck. You guys make fun of rich celebrities who are looking like shit when they have stylists and so much money that they have no excuse to look like shit... This trainwreck site picks on regular people and I FUCKING HATE THAT. And not just because he knocked Mommy Blogs (barf) and my site happens to fall into that category whether I like it or not. But because Average Joes, whether their site sucks or not, should be left the hell alone.

Bah. I'm done now.

BTW, did I ever respond to your thank you email? I can't remember. That's because I have no memory anymore. Not quite as bad that 50 First Dates Movie, but I see it getting that bad in the very near future. So, if I didn't, you're very welcome and Noah is so scrumptious. The end.

joaaanna

I like the Smackdown - I say it's a keeper!

I didn't read through all the comments - so sorry if this is a repeat. For a cheap moisturizer. Neutrogena's stuff. I love it. It goes on really light and plus it's got that SPF stuff that I keep hearing about.

kate

thank you so much for answering my question!

i am all for keeping the smackdown. but i do have no say posts without pictures of noah make me a wee bit sad.

RockStar Mommy

PS - The Smackdown: I always read it but I usually skip over the beauty tips because, well, I'm so naturally beautiful, I don't need any tips. Heh. Ummm really it's because, and everyone knows, I have the worst sense of fasion ever with no beauty regime. Facial cleanser? Why bother when there's soap and water present? Moisturizer? Ehhhhh, why not just use the same stuff I put on my legs.

I know, I can hear you crying right now. I'm sorry. But I'm the only one apparently because everyone else is all OOOOOOHHHH! Moisturizer tips, I need more! So keep it up.

But, I LOVE LOVE LOVE when you have the crazy relationship questions and stuff like that. Always good stuff.

Doodle

1 vote to keep
You are so very knowledgeable and interesting and funny. I SO don't know what I would do with out Smackdown. I read daily but it's like Smackdown is what I look forward to on Wednesdays.

JP

Keep the Smackdown! Please, if you have time. My Wednesdays go to hell in a handbasket when there isn't a new Smackdown. Wednesdays will forever suck if you cancel the Smackdown (and hasn't enough stuff been cancelled this year? Reunion, Arrested Development, American Dreams, etc.).

And Noah is yummy, but he can't tell me what kind of shampoo to use or what color socks to wear with my new camel-colored loafers (suggestions?). Maybe you should make an Amalah Loves list that will answer many of the repetitive questions you receive.

Ivie

If keeping the Smackdown means that there (more or less) is a new Amalah post each Wednesday, then keep it. Otherwise, feel free to kill it. I love reading what you write, so you could be writing about killer clowns in Kansas, and I'd be happy. LOL

And ignore that trainwreck thingy. Your captions are hilarious! And they fit the pics of Noah so well! Keep the captions coming!

Christine

I suggest doing the Smackdown once or twice a month (but only if YOU like to do it.) Your life is changing and so are your interests it seems. If you're losing interest in the Smackdown, it's going to show. Also, I think it's kind of odd that people would write to you for advice on something as simple as wearing a goofy headband or which shampoo to buy when you obviously have more important things going on in your life. I mean, come ON people... if you're competent enough to type out a question on a computer, you should be able to figure out stuff like that on your own. Just my two cents.

Polichick

I do like the smackdown and would miss it. BUT, if you hate writing it, its absence won't leave a hole in my heart for too long.

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