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.

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My boy, he is lovely.

Img_2163

And drooly.

Comments

sixmilechick

I vote to keep the SmackDown! I really enjoy it and have learned a lot.

Irony Queen

1. You sooooooo need to keep the Advice Smackdown. You are way better than Carolyn Hax. And people PAY her!

2. While we're on the subject of moisturizers...at what point should one switch from please-god-no-more-breakouts Noxema-like substances to please-god-spare-me-the-wrinkles-until-I-can-afford-Botox overnight hydrating mask-like substances?

3. Keep the Noah pics coming. Those cute "when you were a baby..." stories you'll be telling 16 years from now will be ever so much better when he realizes that they've already been shared with zillions of Amalaholics.

MandaCakes

The best thing to keep your face from getting dry? Move to Houston, Texas, where the humidity NEVER GOES AWAY! and it is hot! and your hair is gar-un-teed to always be frizzy! And your face will not be dry! But it may be zitty! And you will weep! And the salty tears will not dehydrate your skin because the humidity, it is never ending!
After you subtract the cost of relocating, it's the cheapest moisturizer available.
To Smackdown or Not to Smackdown? I am happy when you post and I am free to distract myself from the tedium which is my job. Girl, you make me so happy when you post, you can do no wrong.
Now, where are those baby pictures?!

mapletree7

Keep smackdown!

LCA

Keep it. but maybe some diversity in the questions...I know fashion and beauty are your specialties, and that's great, but I'm a bit more interested in human interactions and relationship. And you have such great perspective and you're tuned into people, you give excellent advice in that area, too. And finally, if you miss/don't feel like writing a Smackdown some week, don't feel guilty! No apologies! It's your blog, and you can do whatever the ehll you want to (but I know I don't have to tell you that).

Ida

So I totally love the SmackDown and look forward to it every Wednesday although if you need to do it less now that you are working I would be okay if you cut it back. It always makes me laugh, but then again all of your posts do.

Also, that Trainwreck site??? One of my favorite posts was the one that Noah wrote. Keep doing exactly what you are doing. It obviously works, people love you!!

spammit/ anne nahm

How does one get on the sacred Amalah Links page anyway?

Jem

Totally keep it! I love me some Smackdown.

Wacky Mommy

My favorite Noah caption ever was: "Look! Am squirrel! Haaaaa!" (The kid's not even six months old yet and I'm already doing a "Best of...") That one did me in, though, I was laughing my booty off.

Jem

Totally keep it! I love me some Smackdown.

Lori

I want that trainwreck woman DEAD. And then I want to kill her again. What a supercilious bitch. And navigating her site is the on-line equivalent of a root canal, sans nitrous oxide.
I am grateful to you for:
1. Snarkywood,
2. Posting pictures of your son and sharing his infancy with us,
3. Coach. My GOD, now I have four of them!
4. The BedHead line by TIGI
5. Makeup brush advice, and finally
6. Putting either a smile on my face or a tear in my eye almost every week.
You are a truly gifted writer and I suspect you are a very nice person as well.

jennifer

keep it! and lots of noah pictures!

Jackie Joy

I was going to say exactly what Rockstar Mommy said. Trainwreck mocks little ole people baring their souls on a blog. Snarkywood mocks rich attention whores with eating disorders. Bit of a difference, don't you think?

Lancome makes about a million faboo moisturizers, but if you have sensitive skin just go wander around Whole Foods' beauty section for a bit. They'll have something for you.

Also, love the Smackdown. Not so much for the advice but for the way you kind of ramble off about yourself a bit in the advice-giving. I think it's quite endearing.

Whitney

I like the Smackdown BUT if it's a pain to you don't do it anymore. And I like your Noah captions!! Who cares what someone else says?

Starfruit

Smack my bitch up!!! Keep it going!!

In fact, I bought Cetaphil on one of your recommendation on an earlier Smackdown entry and LOVE it!!

slyeyes

Love the pic of Noah sporting the Russian look

Ali G

ok, i am commenting AGAIN, perhaps b/c i am crazy and perhaps b/c i am procrastinating like a mofo... but christine, do not belittle the beauty advice. amalah may be a mommy, but she has ROCKSTAR HAIR and it is important to know what shampoo achieves this! just ask noah! (or his future girlfriends...)

CHRISTINE, DO NOT DENY THE SPARKLE! OR THE SHIMMER... OR THE SHINE... they will brighten up your dull, important world!

ookkkkayyy... ali needs to stop mixing the cold medicine with the coffee candies...

Natalie

I can't live without my entire line of Neutrogena products because I have super sensitive skin. I tend to ramble on my blog about my horrible skin and winter is extra harsh on me. The Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture for Combination Skin is great and like $10 at Target. My t-zone manages ok, but I lather that goodness onto my cheeks.

Cari

I LOVE the advice smackdown! But, I also love those absolutely adorable pictures of your little guy (who looks so full of personality already!!). So, uhm... I say keep it. But if it means that your blogs will decrease, then move it to every other week or once a month. I understand the time restraints of a working mom!

callistawolf

Keep the Smackdown! It's because of you I now go to Sephora and drool over all their goodies. :) And you're the reason I have a foundation brush. :D

I don't even know if I remember how I found this blog. I think it was from Julie's blog list: http://www.alittlepregnant.com/alittlepregnant/blogs.html There are a ton of offerings there (including mine! I get more hits from there than anywhere else), so that could keep you busy a while. :)

lissa

I like the smackdown, but either way I will continue to read your site because I am addicted. But I promises not in the creepy way.

Anne

Keep the advice coming!

katbliss

Keep it, a couple of weeks ago I actually followed your advice to someone else about weird head itching.... but that's a whole other story...

Isabel

See how late I am at commenting on today's post? That's because my work sucks and has blocked me from your glorious site. They have also blocked my fabulous gossip sites. Where will it end? Will they eventually black me from my OWN BLOG? Is that even legal?

Anyway, I love the smackdown. I have learned so much. I am a whole new women, with all new hair (that I thought was due to my new washing method, thanks to you, but is probably due to the fabulous pregnancy hormones and protein).

So-keep it up!!

Lilly

I don't think you realize just how many of us are pathetically un-glamourous. (See, I don't even know if that's a word!) I am surrounded by beautiful sisters who all got the genetic code responsible for makeup tips, love of shoe shopping, and an inate ability to match their clothes. I, on the other hand, can type without looking at the keys, and find the answer to any damn question a 5-year-old asks me (For example, did you know that puffins have clear eyelids?) So please, please, please keep the Smackdown. Because I will never understand the sense in spending my rent money on a purse and my sisters would all be shocked if I asked them to explain... I need your insight to help make up for my sadly lacking genetic code.

BTW, my genetic code? Totally loves the Noah posts... He is a cutie and the complete opposite of a trainwreck (no, wait, that would be a train that arrives on schedule, right, and he's not that... hmm....) Well he's a fabulous boy whose pictures(and random wisdom shared with us internets) brighten my days.

Kate

1. Yes to the smackdown!
2. Kiehl's Panthenol Protein Moisturizing Face Cream (Sephora, Kiehl's, etc) has been great for my dry skin in winter. And you can get it in either $16.50 or $24.50 sizes.
3. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that I'm 24 and using a night anti-aging moisturizer (damn those Sephora free samples that get you hooked). The worst part is that a tiny 1 oz. tube costs $59! It's a fancy-shmancy French brand, Caudalie, that was just featured in the NYTimes travel section a few weeks back.

JJ

Keep the smackdown! Many, many of us are still desperately clueless and need your help. Plus, I'd read anything you wrote anyway.

And yay for Ahava. My Israeli relative introduced our whole family to it. AmAzing stuff. Her momma carts a whole suitcase of it over every time she visits the States.

Lisa V

How lacking in creativity are you if your whole site just criticizes other sites. There is a little button you can hit if you don't like looking at pictures of Noah, or entries written by very talented dogs.

I say keep everything the way it is and fuck people who don't get the joke.

I thought your sister was you.

vedjen

Long time stalker, First time commenter.

First and foremost, I think the advice smackdown is great. As another female, who cant seem to get reliable makeup advice from any of my 'real world' friends I enjoy reading your, and your readers, suggestions and recommendations.

Secondly, I love reading your blog - especially when Noah provides commentary. Your writing topics and style are excellent.

As a new (eek) blogger I am curious if it is customary to request permission before adding blogs to my blogroll?


kim

STS- Save the Smackdown! Smackdown that advice like Noah smacks down Red Lion- Yo!
(also, talking in 1st person as your baby in your blog? so not a trainwreck when you do it)

Jenny

HA! I just woke up my husband with my cackling about the wrapping ponytail holders around little Noah's feet to keep the socks on. Because, damn, I remember when my babies were losing a sock an hour, just while sitting in the gentle forward and back motion of the baby swing. Baby would be sleeping, and every time I'd turn around there would be a baby sock on the floor, as if it were mocking me about those raggedy-ass baby toenails I was too terrified to cut.

superfantastic

Many years ago I wore a headband daily for months before seeing a picture of myself. Yikes. So you may want to take a Polaroid before appearing headbanded in public.
As a single person with no kids in her forseeable future, I vote for at least as many Noah pics and captions. Where else am I going to get my turtle face fix? (Not Noah pics as opposed to the Smackdown though--I need the help! Perhaps shiny hair and not-shiny skin can help bring about the end of the singleness.)

mim

I like the Smackdown.
If people don't like the makeup and handbag questions, they can send in other types of questions. Still though, if you aren't enjoying it anymore, then don't. Maybe make it a Wednesdays when I feel like it Smackdown. Hrmm...or maybe a Wednesdays slightly more often than I feel like it Smackdown. In case you don't feel like it a LOT:p Cos I like the Smackdown, y'know:D

mim

erm, in my previous comment, I meant Wednesdays-when-I-feel-like-it-Smackdown, where "I" refers to you, Amalah. Not me. Well I know, durrr, but all the pronouns confused me when I reread it, so yeah, just clarifying:p

Kelsey

Okay, first, you MUST keep the Smackdown!
I adore it, and am considering Coach just because of you.

Second, I found your site while pregnant and I Googled some odd list of pregnancy symptoms I was freaking out about. (Can't remember what they were now, since my baby is 3 months old and fine - but you'd apparently had similar symptoms/concerns)

Third, yours was the first blog I found. And the other one? Your husband's. I feel like such a dork reading up on DC cuisine, since, guess where I am? West Texas. But I don't know any others, so yours are it. (But I'm still wishing I hadn't seen that last pic of Tyra on Snarkywood- talk about an image you DO NOT want running around loose in your mind. Ick.)

tiffany

ummm, can't even begin to think about smackdown, because i am too stunned by the person who called the noah entries a 'trainwreck.'

my roommate and i have nearly peed our pants several times after reading the noah entries--i didn't find anything nearly as interesting when i followed the link that you posted...
i'm just saying.

stinkerbell

your boy he does be seriously lovely!!
And oh yeah... for the love of bacon (and let me tell you since I cant get real bacon here that often... LOVE LURVE LOAVE of Bacon) keep the smackdown going :)

Lori

Wow, those Corbett girls have luscious hair.

MandaCakes

Okay, so... Am I maybe not the only one who thinks of Amalah while I'm in the shower? Every single time I shower?
Let me explain.
Her FANTASTIC hair washing advice was PERFECT for me. PERFECT! FANTASTIC! And now, every time I shampoo(which is daily) and every time I condition (which is also daily) I think of Amalah! For her PERFECT FANTASTIC hair washing advice! Which came from the Smackdown!
So, Amalah, thank you for your advice which has made me think of your PERFECT FANTASTICNESS while I'm, er, naked.

MandaCakes

Hmmm...I hope previous post does not count as a reason to strike said Smackdown. For that would make me cry in the shower. Which would be sad, and also pathetic.

PaintingChef

I am in LOVE LOVE LOVE with the Smackdown and will cry salty tears if it goes away. Or, you know, whatever you want to do because its your world squirrel.

Oh, and the moisturizer? One word...KINERASE. Love, love, love!!

Michelle

The smackdown must stay. It is not only interesting and witty and full of quality advice, but it is soooo amalah dot com and those of us who have been reading it since the way very beginning would miss it, wah!

Fraulein N

Save Our Smackdown!

Peyton

OK, I know I'm about the 200th person to comment, but I will say -

SAVE THE SMACKDOWN! But then again, I'm a girly girl and into all things makeup.

Lena, try http://roughdraft.typepad.com/dotmoms

DotMoms is a wonderful collection of mommy bloggers, plus there is a HUGE blogroll (over 400, I believe) of parenting blogs.

And I will have to second the recommendation for Clinique's Dramatically Different. I've tried lots of other moisturizers, including two from Chanel that were a complete waste, and I keep coming back to Clinique.

Anne Glamore

Keep the smackdown! By the way, my sister LOVED the purse her hubby got her for Christmas-- it was a Nordstrom one that YOU recommended. So you really are contributing to world peace and happiness, at least in that marriage.

alfredsmom

Well, clearly you are going to keep the Smack Down, which I do like- but my suggestion? Im not a giant fan of the makeup beauty stuff but I love the relationship and other stuff.

Stacy

Kill the Smackdown!
Lately I prefer the fresher write-as-baby "trainwreck".

Jes

Yours was my first blog too, found through snarkywood. I also think of you in the shower b/c of the hair washing advice from long ago.
As for the babalah, I may not have any and I may miss some of the craziness from the old entries but he is your life, this is your blog and most of us heart it so much we will be here regardless.
Oh, but do keep the smackdown, I mostly like the word smackdown...but have actually learned there also.
P.S. best moisturizer, Baton Rouge, LA; no such thing as dryness

Jes

Oops, forgot, when we say "headband", is that like bandana type thing that I can't figure out anyways, or something more simple? 'Cuz I could be persuaded to try that...

Lauren

I love the contrast between your sister's obvious aversion to that freaky freaky baby einstein world with Noah's blissed out, this-is-AWESOMENESS expression. Cutie pie!

ambrosia

so totally keep it. who the hell will i turn to if i ever happen to need advice? my mom? the cosmetics department in belk? some other complete stranger from the intetnet? i only trust you amalah.

and of course, noah is freakin' adorable.

jomama

All babies DO NOT look alike! Noah is adorable and I love to see pictures of him and I also love the captions because they are funny, just like everything else on your site. It annoys me that people are always criticizing "mommy blogs". I love them; I don't know how I could have gotten through my pregnancy without them. You have the right to write about whatever the hell you wish.

I think keeping the Smackdown depends on the variety of questions you have in your queue right now. If they're all about beauty products-- yawn. I think you have exhausted that topic (although the headband question was something new).

Lena,
I found most of the blogs I read from reading the comment sections of the blogs I really like. I think every blog I read can be linked back to Dooce's comments somehow, but that has long been disabled so my suggestion is to start with amalah's commenters and branch out from there.

Jennifer

Kill 'er dead already - MORE BABY PLEASE. I have a little girl three weeks younger than Noah and am like TOTALLY into this baby junk!

Alishia Hanson

Although I think the smackdown is funny, I'd say jettison the smackdown for other regular updates.
Also, there's something about your boy that reminds me of the look of my girl. It's really odd.

Julie

I vote to keep the Smackdown if you're willing to keep doing it.

And, also, I thought that entry written as Noah was adorable and hilarious. So there, Trainwreck.

Pamalamadingdong

Your Noah is SO cute and innocent! I want to roll him in coconut and pop him in my mouth. MY Noah is 3 and is right now stark naked, soaking wet and wrapped in a Harry Potter polar fleece blanket...that the dog...the SHAGGY dog was sleeping on last night.Just thought I'd share.

Nicole

Save the Smackdown!! Or at least save it until you answer my question.

Nicole

Save the Smackdown!! Or at least save it until you answer my question.

amber

Save the Smackdown!!! Please!

Mers

Just to echo the almost 200 other people who have commented. Keep Smackdown!

Also, on the face cream topic, I have very dry skin also. I find that Aveda All-Sensitive Cleaser and Moisturizer along with Pure Vital Moisture Eye Cream. I find that is great especially if I wear their Inner Light Tinted Moisturizer over top during the day.

Carolyn

Save the Smackdown! For those of us who are beauty-product ignorant, it's been a lifesaver.

Pamela

Your kid is so freaking cute, I don't care what "trainwreck" says. He's the only reason I come back and visit on a daily basis.

wordnerd

Since I'm relatively new around here, I don't know if my opinion matters. . .but KILL THE SMACKDOWN. I'm just sayin'...

HBT

Smackdown- yes
Baby pics- yes
Moisturizer- still searching myself, I am a sucker for the packaging though. Guess I should care what's in it.

The only thing that would keep socks on my wee one last winter was Robeez.

Carrisa

Keep the smackdown! I like it!

HipMamaB


I heart SMACKDOWN 4Ever!

I think the nice little gay man that works at the Sephora at the mall that just happens to be RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from my office would miss the massive amounts of sales that's he's gotten from me after reading your smackdowns.

Also, I am forever indebted to you for turning me onto to LUSH. Alas, there is no Lush in San Diego, but there are 2 in LA! :)

beth

1. STS!

2. Moisturizer: I swear by Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15. I don't remember how much it costs because I've had this 8 ounce bottle for ages. Seriously, a bottle this size will last 6-8 months. I'm guessing I paid somewhere around $30-45. I have majorly sensitive skin issues on earth so I'm mindful of what I put on my face. And we should wear sunscreen EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Beyond the skin issues, I have moral issues and do not use any products that are tested on animals, which puts Oil of Olay out of the running because it is made by Procter & Gamble and they do animal testing.

3. Blogs to read...well...mine is fabulous, but the way I've found many of the ones I enjoy is by checking out recommendations on blogs that I enjoy. Nearly everyone has a blogroll of some sort. There's also Technorati. You can put in a subject of interest and they will give you a list of blogs that pertain to that category.

4. Headbands--they're not for everyone. And even if you look cute wearing one what about that dread "headband headache" from the little points sticking in behind your ears? So not only do you end up with headband hair--that really attractive dent, but a headache as well. Bottom line: approach with caution (coming from someone who looks totally cute in headbands).

fcali

PLEASE PLEASE do not stop the Smackdown. I depend upon it, really I do. Please, I beg of you.

fcali

PLEASE PLEASE do not stop the Smackdown. I depend upon it, really I do. Please, I beg of you.

Jonster

KEEP IT!

I love the smackdown it's super and great and I don't know anyone else that can (and does) pull off a weekly theme-type (ask me questions and I'll answer 'em) post.

Though I know many have tried.

Please keep it keep it keep it.
Hooray for the smackdown!

Tom

Dude, speaking of finding new blogs and links sections...

did you steal my "friends, romans, countrymen" menu? because I think you did.

really. I've got my eye on you. that photo of the cute blonde girl? also looks very familiar. (haha, no just kidding about that one. but seriously, f,r,c? totally my idea.)

Love the Smackdown. Please keep it.
-tom

Genevieve

What I'd really like: a link that leads to an archive of all the smackdowns. Otherwise I guess I could just page down through the archives, but when people mention cool things they learned from earlier Smackdowns, it makes me want to read them!

So, the Smackdowns? Keep them.

Silly Hily

Good Lord! I take yesterday afternoon off to work on getting settled in my new house and I come back to this!? It's taken me all morning to catch up....
Smackdown-I like it, don't LOVE it b/c I'm a pretty gloss, mascara, and powder only kind of girl with my hair pulled back, BUT I do like it. Also, you haven't answered my question I sent you back in August or September about maternity leave and I'm now only three months away from it and would LOVE to have an answer. Do you even still have my question?
Noah-He is just the cutest thing ever and if you stop letting "him" comment on what he is thinking or doing in his pictures b/c of that ASS (where are they all coming from these days?) I will be VERY disappointed in you! The "American Idol audition" was one of the funniest things ever.
You and your blog-I LOVE it! You are such a good writer and are honestly my blog idol! You inspired me to start a blog of my own and it is my new obsession/hobby!

Arwen

I love the Smackdown. Please keep it.

Genevieve - there is a link to all the past smackdowns on Amalah's about page. I'd link to it, but I'm technologically challenged and don't know how, sorry.

HBT

My son (17 months) got a hold of my headband (that I got to hold back the bangs I should not have gotten) last night and was running around with it on. Hysterical.

Tip: don't ever get bangs if you have a toddler. Who has the time to deal with them!

Amalah

Yes, a link to the previous Smackdowns is on my About page, but now, also right here!

And Tom? You're William Shakespeare? For real? That's so awesome. Would you autograph my copy of Julius Caesar? Rock.

Big Gay Sam

Noah for President?

KT

Smackdown: Rock on. I learned foundation brush lore from the SD.

Moisturizer: I'd third (or thousandth) the Aveeno suggestion and add shoutouts to Kiss My Face and Body Shop products, too.

Blogs? Just click. Find a new blog, then a new one from that. And soon? No time in the day to work.

arielle

Keep the Smackdown!

Erin

Amy - For the sock issue, try fleece slippers that they sell at Carter's and Target - my son can't pull them off (9 months) and they are way warmer than Robeez (and cheaper.) They have elastic around the cuffs. We called my son "shoedini" for a while until we found the magic slippers...

jen

Longtime reader, first time commenter.

1. Keep the smackdown!! For the love of pete!

2. I have super dry skin that also breaks out and is super sensitive (joy). I find Kiehl's to be the best - super moisturizing, doesn't smell like anything, and doesn't make me break out or itch. The ultra moisturizing cream SPF 15 is pretty inexpensive too - $21 in Canada for a little bottle that lasts for months.

Real Girl

Ok, commenting again because the first time there were no BABY PICTURES, and every time I see that happy baby face (and bonus baby feet here!), my womb flops around and starts saying things like, "Hello! I do exist, you know!" And then I have to say, um, YES I know--my mother reminds me ALL THE TIME, womb. The rest of me just isn't READY yet.

Moral of story: Baby cute. Amalah.com can speak to me in his voice any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

LotionBarBunny

I guess I showed up in the nick of time! Who needs to spend "moderate" amounts of money on moisturizers? Well if you want to, you can buys lots of them from me, I won't mind at all. ;)

OK seriously, Here is my shameless plug. I am a Country Bunny Bath & Body rep. and my blog is A Girl's Gotta Spa (http://gottaspa.blogspot.com). I just wrote up a whole thing on face care the other day. Our two moisturizers are Enriched Daily Moisturizer with Soy for normal to oily skin and Enriched Daily Moisturizer with Soy & Shea Butter. The first is $14 and the second is $16. It won't break the bank and because our products are not made with petroleum, mineral oil or lanolin--it ACTUALLY moisturizes your skin. Yes I can send you a sample if you ask nicely. ;) But only to those in the US. (Sorry :( )

Anyway Amalah I found your blog by word from another blogger who thought you were so funny. And I love funny. So I am adding you to my second blog called I need to vent (http://tovent.blogspot.com)

annapurna

Delurking to vote for the Smackdown and to suggest Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisterizing Gel which I use everyday (even got the boyfriend to use it but he won't admit it in public). Love both your blog and Jason's!

Dillygirl

183 comments! Holy Amalah!

My vote is to SAVE OUR SMACKDOWN. Are you kidding me? Just the thought of losing it made me hyperventilate for, like, a second.

As for the dry skin thing, I highly suggest doing microdermabrasion (I have a kit from Neutrogena that works great) as well as using a moisturizer, otherwise the dry skin just sort of builds up.

Oh, and thanks a lot for the pee in the mouth comment. Yikes! That is my one big fear about having a boy, the pee going everywhere thing. But in your mouth? Are you serious? They really do?

Lori

Note to Billygirl: Yes, they most emphatically do. And godforbid you ever hoist them high over your head with a big shit-eating grin to make them giggle, because then you just may get some spit up in there, too.

Danell

Me <----- sitting in stunned silence staring at the feet.

Nonny

I love the Smackdown, love it, love it, love it and how much does your sister look like you! I was all "Whoah, she's cut her hair, when did that happen" I had a wee panic but it's not you and it's not your hair.

Magpie

Smackdown: YES YES KEEP KEEP. And you should be getting a cut from Sephora on that foundation brush, so many of us have bought it on your recommendation.

Moisturizer: Neutrogena, or for the lazy, the Bibo Amazing Grapes moisturizer recommended on DeLush (http://www.delush.com) a couple of weeks back, which moisturizes AND has antioxidants AND SPF 15 for $23.

Finding blogs: Try http://www.holidailies.org/, because (at least until tomorrow) you can skim an excerpt from everyone's entry and find out who you may like without all that tedious pointing and clicking. Also, you know people are actually updating regularly.

cate

ahhhhh, he is so cute!!!!! I showed him to my mom and she couldn't believe how much he smiles already!

Shannon

I highly recommend the Robeez shoes to help with the socks-falling-off issue. My daughter can NEVER get them off, no matter how hard she tries. So yep, amazing! And they come in THE most adorable prints (well most of them, some are butt ugly).

S. Faolan Wolf

I would like the Smackdown if it went back to its original roots of being a weekly thing where people sent in ridiculous questions. I mean, you give good advice and all but I enjoy it much more when you are given license to get real creative and funny. Kind of like Snarkywood.

If Smackdown stays like it is...I will vote, "Kill it please with a side of bacon" or whatever I was supposed to say.

S. Faolan Wolf

I just realized how late I am to the voting...are the polls closed? Do you even read the comments way down here? Oh well...at least I tried.

Katrina

Keep the Smackdown!
I second Robeez.
Peeing in the mouth- 'my' little boy got his forehead and ear yesterday. Straight back in the tub.

ireann

NO, GODDAMNIT. WE MUST SAVE OUR SMACKDOWN!!!!!!!!! I ALWAYS WANT TO SEND IN QUESTIONS BUT I AM LIKE, AMY WOULD NEVER ANSWER MY STUPID QUESTIOOOONS. (I had a hippie mother, too, yo).

Save Our Smackdown. Please. please. please and thankyou.

Noah is lovely, by the way.

CL

SAVE THE SMACKDOWN.

Noah is gorgeous.

Sarah

Ok, I just died from the adorableness.

Julie

Sorry but I say dump the smackdown. As a fellow mom of a little one I find your day to day "antics" much more amusing than the smackdown. Don't worry, if you keep the smackdown I'll still read 'ya!

Jonna

I like the Smackdown! And Noah is perfection. And HE DOES LOOK LIKE A TURTLE! A totally perfectly adorable turtle, of course, make no mistake.

I hope you're doing well!

erika

I love the Smackdown. I also love Cetaphil - but you are right about the moisturizer not lasting the whole day. However, it is cheap and it does not make me break out.

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