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.


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?


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!

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, " 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.


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.)


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.


The Naked Turtle.


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.


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

Poor Red Lion.


My boy, he is lovely.


And drooly.


Linda Ski

Dump it -

Pomme Granite

In the 2nd to last photo of Noah, he look exactly, but exactly like you.

I like the Smackdown b/c of the stories you tell when answering the questions


I didn't get to see the trainwreck thing, so not sure exactly what was said and can't sit up long enough to read the TWO HUNDRED AND TWO comments to see if someone enlightens me, but I, personally, like the Noah stuff. Tickles me every time. Then again, I'm all nutty for the Noah like that. Can I be an honorary Aunt? I give great goodies and can be used as a reference in times of need... you know, so when Noah thinks his life is hard, you can point to me and say 'Hey, it could be worse... you COULD live with your crazy Aunt Nola!'

I like the smackdown. I spend too much time being broke to be able to buy half the stuff you talk about, but I still like to read it and pretend I have a life that involves actually getting OUT of my bathrobe.

I check Amalah regularly... don't change a thing :)


I have a tweener for Kate: Dove Essental Nutrients Day Cream SPF 15:

Love it. It feels so good.


The thing that makes the Smackdown great is you, Amalah. I vote you only answer the questions you really want to and/or think would make good posts. I have a like/love relationship with the smackdown, but sometimes it's freaking awesome, so I really think if the questions inspire you to be funny, then you will have a winner entry answering those questions.


De-lurking to say KEEP THE SMACKDOWN!! (But possibly make it a little less product orientated? I love the smakdown, but I don't liive in the US so most of the products don't help me!)

the kim half of glamorouse

Is the irony that a moisturiser claims to be "essential dead sea treatment" only humorous to me?


:( You deleted my comment. But I still have you on my I need to vent blog. Boo hoo.

Anyway I thought of you last night when I saw a commercial and they said, "Let's put the smack down."


LotionBarBunny: I didn't delete it! It's still (way, way) up there, but probably easy to miss among this truly crazy, like Noah's-birth-announcement crazy, number of comments. Lord.

Curly Haired Girl

I like the smackdown - it's how I found out about my bronzer, which I use religously (am so pale that some people say, "you should think about bronzer" even when wearing it!). I shudder when I look at pictures and remember my pre-bronzer days. Thanks for the smackdown! Keep it!


Ok this is what pregnancy does to you! I get all hurt and upset...and there it is. You're right. You didn't delete it! Sorry sorry! I guess so many bloggers have been deleting my comments lately, I was getting my feelings hurt. (I also have delicate little feelings--more heightened being 11 weeks pregnant--crazy hormones!!!). ;)


Regarding the peeing-in-your-MOUTH sidebar: I once heard a rumor that big-time celebrities will use urine as a protectant/color enhancer for their hair. Next time Noah takes aim, maybe you could just flip your head around to get a quick treatment.


Since pretty much all we cook at home is Indian curries, we get the curried cat puke quite frequently. If I forget to throw away the leftovers, the next morning there will a bee-yootiful trail of it emanating from the stove across the kitchen......

reluctant housewife

My vote: keep the smackdown. Pretty please?


Keep it please!!! Where else am I going to turn for advice when I go back to work in March and need sytlish clothes??!! And I'm even considering starting (*gasp*) to wear makeup, and will definitely need advice then!!!!

(and Noah is SO CUTE - as long as you don't stop w/the pictures, I guess we'll all survive)


Keep it! It helps us homely types.


Keep the smackdown! I found your site through my addiction to advice columns.

(My husband doesn't understand why I love reading advice. Do I ever follow it? No. Do I get a warm glow from looking down on people's pathetic problems? No. It's just a genre of writing I enjoy, so sue me.)

And trainwreck...bah. There's plenty to make fun of on the internet, yes, but that doesn't change the fact that mean people suck.

Heather B.

If you didn't have the smackdown, I wouldn't have known about the ahava moisturizer. Though to be honest, this is the first advice smackdown that I've actually read through. But I say write whatever makes you happy.


so like most others...keep the smackdown...also i'm kind of a nerd and i like the noah-talking pics. also, the thing about an amalah loves list? v. good idea...theres a lot of archives, and this seems like it would be easier. for us. so, you know, quit your job and spend all your time tying to please us.


Keep the smackdown, pretty please. Also, I am dying for Noah to do a guest smackdown.


Keep the smackdown!!!!!

who doesn't looove to get advice about coach bags, cool shoes, and wonderful work attire? I want to put in a request for a little haiku smackdown action!! that was funny shit man!!! but also keep those beautiful noah pics. (I am a stingy whore like that) I also love to over use exclamation mark!!!!!!!!!!

The comments to this entry are closed.