When Cheesiness & Corniness Combine...
From the It-Was-Bound-To-Happen-Sooner-Or-Later File:

Wednesday Advice Smackdown Special Thursday Edition

Reason #47549234 Why IKEA Is Out To Destroy Me: This morning, as I went to retrieve my keys from our adorable PAVO cabinet (I painted it purple! I am so craftsy!), the little dowel-like knob thing went flying through the air and landed in places unknown. After crawling around on the floor for some time, cursing IKEA and dust bunnies and this job that makes me leaving the fucking house in the first place, like do they not understand what a damn challenge that is, I gave up and attempted to open the key cabinet without the knob.

MOTHER OF GOD, IT WOULD NOT OPEN. IT WOULD NOT SURRENDER MY KEYS. I used my fingers, a pen and a fork in an attempt to jar the stupid thing open, while thinking that hey! What I could really use to open this thing would be a nice, pointy key! Fuck you!

I finally yanked the whole cabinet off the wall and shook it violently until my keys came unhooked and blew the door open from the inside. My keys are Jack Bauer, apparently.

Then I collected my keys, baby and bag (more on THAT later, grr) and stepped outside, only to accidentally kick the rogue knob (which had rolled UNDER my front door and out onto the stairwell landing) down the stairs, where it bounced and bobbed down TWO FLIGHTS before I found it and stompily took it back upstairs, unlocked my front door and hurled it blindly into the living room, where I will deal with it LATER.

So. Who has a question for me? Preferably one that lets me yell a lot?

Dearest Amalah,

I'm in need of some really really good advice. Firstly, i have medium-length and layered hair. Naturally, my hair is frizzy and wavy. Put together 'layered' and 'frizzy', and what you get is volume. Now what i would like to have is frizz-free hair and soft, natural, separated waves. I think I want to use Bed Head, but I'm still not sure which product to use. Either Small Talk or Hard to Get...but which one of them will give me the desired result?

Now, Small Talk de-frizzes hair and also gives hold. But it also gives volume, and I don't want that. As for Hard to Get, it gives texture and separation, but I assume it does not de-frizz hair. So what do you think I should use? Team up Control Freak and Hard to get?? Thanks in advance.


P.S I don't want to use the Catwalk mousse coz i want 'soft, natural' curls.

You do not want Small Talk OR Hard to Get. Small Talk is mostly for thickifying and volumizing, and yes, "thickifying" is totally a word, shut up. Hard to Get is a finishing paste, more along the lines of a pomade, and is to be used very, very sparingly. It also does nothing for curls.

You do want to use a Catwalk product, but yay! It's not a mousse. It's the Curls Rock Curls Booster, and it's a lightweight spray that defrizzes and defines curls. Spray it on wet hair before using a diffuser, or spray it on dry hair and scrunch.

If you've got extra-stubborn frizz, add in the Curls Rock Leave-In Moisturizer, which further defrizzes and defines, but has the added benefit of a detangler. And if you're one of the curly-haired girls who doesn't like to shampoo your hair every day, but finds that your hair is a little dry on the second day, this is the stuff to use.

And while we're on the subject of curly hair, a lot of people asked me how I got my hair to do the thing it is doing in this entry, since I actually have very straight, fine hair. So I will tell you, because I am feeling chatty and helpy.

Two products that will change the life of every faux-wavy-hair girl out there: Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray and Catwalk Frisky Scrunching Gel. Oh, my lands.

First, I blow-dry my hair straight with a wide, flat paddle brush, lifting at the roots. Then I take a medium-sized and very hot curling iron and wrap small pieces of hair around the ENTIRE iron. Don't open up the...thing you usually open. You know. Wrap your hair and hold the ends as close to the iron as you can without burning your fingers. Let set for a bit and then pull the iron away. This creates, in the words of my beloved hairdresser, the "modern ringlet." Instead of fluffy poodle curls you get hair that's just kind of wavy and bent.

Do as many of these as your arms can stand and then lightly spray one of the two products I mentioned earlier all over. Scrunch. You're done.

The Bumble & Bumble product is better for this look, in my opinion, but it's pricey, and if you've got oily hair it probably adds more build-up and "grit" (the whole idea is that it makes your hair kind of beachy and salty) than you want. In that case, go with the gel.

Obviously? Not so much of an everyday look. I only attempt this when we're going out, and even then I usually end up with an abbreviated version because I sort of have a baby who may be more important than my hair. I know!

(Cagey? I so wanted to do my hair all pretty like this for our lunch, but I never got around to it because MY child threw his tantrum at home. But just so you know, you are Curling Iron Worthy, at least in theory.)

Amalah, love -

I am going nuts. A year ago I decided to stop playing Happy Hippie and started actually getting my hair cut and styled. I've kept it pretty short, shoulders or above, but I got very tired of that and so I have begin growing it out. This is not going well. I have thickish, wavy (I live in Texas, so translate "wavy" to "ball of frizz") hair that is now to my shoulders, more or less. It's gotten better since I started following your advice on shampooing roots, conditioning ends, but that kind of also points out that There Is More To Be Done. But what?

I think I need real bangs, but I'm not sure. I think I need better de-frizzing products. I know I need to trim off the ends. And for sure I need a new style while I'm growing it out that won't make me want to just pull this all into a ponytail (because I have heard awful stories about constant ponytails and one's hairline and oh my god I don't want to go bald heeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp!). Can you guide a girl who doesn't know what to do with misbehaving hair that badly needs a great style? I enclose a picture that should never see the light of day because it is hiiiiiiiideeeeeous.

You will be my heroine forever if you can help me nail down the final steps to lovely hair.


(Am I still your heroine if I give you advice like, six months after you asked for it? No? Yeah, didn't think so.)

Part the first: As usual, you are being too hard on yourself. Your hair looks healthy and not frizzy at all. So yay for that.

Part the second: Um. I just poked around your site and your Flickr photos and saw that you got bangs. Which...well, that was kind of my advice. You needed bangs, and now you have them, and I like them very much. Also your rack, but that's another matter altogether and I am NOT bitching about breastfeeding today, no I am not.

Anyway, I have no idea if you still have any problems regarding frizz, but I will say this: anyone who has a problem with frizz should start by adding a weekly deep-conditioning treatment and a good leave-in conditioner before moving on to specific anti-frizz styling products. I like the Alterna Caviar and Bumble & Bumble Deeep conditioners and the Catwalk Fast-Fixx leave-in spray. You may still need something extra, or you may be like me, who used to goop lots of anti-frizz stuff in her hair before starting the deep conditioner/leave-in conditioner regimen and discovered that oh! Not so frizzy after all! Just thirsty.

Dearest Amalah,

My dear friend has been with her man for three years. I have never particularly cared for him, but of course, she doesn't know that. I liked him even less when he tried to pick up my roommate, not realizing that I knew her and heard all about the transgression. His girlfriend never found out. That was a year and a half ago, but last week, I found his profile on My Space, billing himself as "single," and I accessed several of his flirty and suggestive communications with semi-nude internet girlies. Like I said, I've never trusted this guy. I'd like to tell my best friend, but will she take my word over his? Also, she's been through a lot lately--when is the appropriate time to bring this up? Internet hookups are on the road to cheat-dom, am I correct? If you could help me out, that would sort of make my life complete. Many thanks.


Oh, the never-ending dilemma over Whether To Get Involved Or Not.

While it's entirely subjective and on a case-by-case basis, I am generally in favor of Getting Involved whenever cheating is, well, involved.

Because I would want to know. First, because I would be furious if my friends let me be made a fool of by some cheating dickweed, and secondly, because HELLO, diseases and shit.

Think about it: if she's been with this guy for three years, there's a good chance that they are no longer using condoms. And if he's out there trying to pick up random girls (in real life, not just online), there's also a good chance that he's succeeded. And while I may be making sweeping generalizations here, people who cheat don't usually have their partner's sexual health at the top of their priority list.

Plus, you're her friend.  You did the right thing not going to her with the general "I just don't like him" business, because if that was all you had on this guy, I'd tell you to keep your mouth shut. But you have a MySpace profile and other online evidence, and dude, she needs to know. It sucks and she may shoot the messenger first, but you have to let her know.

Send her his profile and the stuff you found. Keep quiet about the roommate thing, for now anyway.  Let her deal with one thing at a time.

Oh, and from my own personal experience with Getting Involved When Your Friend Is Dating A Lying Cheating Jerkwad, be prepared: She might forgive him. She might get mad at you. Be patient though, because six months later she might find some damning evidence of her own, like say, HIS STASH OF GLOW-IN-THE-DARK CONDOMS, belatedly kick his ass to the curb and then email you an apology, because damn.


Hey now! That story wasn't appropriate for children!

Dear Amalah,

Last March I went to Texas with Habitat for Humanity to build houses for people who wanted houses. Saintly, right? Except I abused my body in the worst possible way by forgetting to apply sunscreen until the second day, and by that time, the damage had been done. To this day, both shoulders are pink and wrinkly-looking and bear brown spots.

(Here's a note to tell you that I just pulled on the collar of my turtleneck--without closing the door to my office--to verify that my shoulder description was on target. Also, I considered taking pictures in order to give you crystal-clear visual but realized that sending you images of my bare skin just might cause you to take back your original e-mail.)

On May 12 of this year, I will finally get myself married. I am wearing a strapless dress once again and have no intention of tanning. The shoulders, they need to look good for the close-ups. Can you recommend anything?


Okay, one day I am just going to write an advice column that reads like this:

Sephora.com. The end.

Sephora's website has semi-customized product recommendations to go with every goddamn problem you can think of.


Just click on your problem, answer some questions, and ta-da! A nice line-up of products appears, and yeah, I'm sure they're paid placements, but they really help narrow down the overwhelming list of skincare options out there, and in most cases, give you confidence to find a cheaper alternative.

I think the type of product you need is somewhere in the Body: Uneven Skintone & Texture section. (There's also the Body: Loss of Elasticity section if your shoulders are honest-to-God wrinkly, but I'm guessing that's probably just an illusion created by the sunspots.)

Unfortunately, I have not personally tried any of the products Sephora recommends there. I've never heard of the most expensive option (MD Skincare), the Dermadoctor product certainly SOUNDS promising, and the Peter Thomas Roth product contains jojoba beads, which I can vouch for: those suckers polish and moisturize like nobody's business. I think the Fresh and the Sephora products are load of nice-smelling crap and wouldn't do a thing for you.

So! I am getting very tired and kind of confused about what I was talking about!

If you feel like splurging, go for one of the Sephora recommendations. But I personally would recommend going here and buying a bottle of their ($10!!) Body & Face Spa Polish, and then making an appointment with a dermatologist.

That polish also contains jojoba beads, just like the expensive scrubs, and I've actually used it. The site is run by our own Amalah.com commenter LotionBarBunny, who totally sold me on their very cool $7 lotion bars and then sent me a slew of free samples along with my order, because she rocks and was probably hoping I'd plug her site. And I am, because it really, truly is great stuff, and you cannot beat the prices. The shea butter fucking CURED Noah's baby eczema in two applications, and the spa polish is the first scrub I've been able to use since Noah's birth that evened out my red, splotchy skin tone on my face and upper arms.

(Edited to add, because the link keeps going wonky, that her rep number is 7227.)

Highly recommended, although I am equally serious about the dermatologist appointment to see what advice he or she might be able to offer.


Here's some advice for you: How about you get me off the damn ground already?


And now, Dear Internet, I come to YOU with my own dilemma.

Since my fall, I've been trying to streamline the amount of crap I carry in every day.  Behold, the shit I lug around:

Bag #1, the Daycare Bag: three or four bottles of formula, ice pack, container of cereal, spoon, some bibs and an extra outfit.

Bag #2, the Breastpump Bag: an Avent Isis pump and two containers.

Bag #3, the Purse: wallet, phone, hairbrush, powder, lipgloss, other assorted pursey things.

And on days when I run errands or meet friends after work? Bag #1 becomes a full-on diaper bag, with wipes and diapers and burp cloths and toys.

So here's my problem: I really, really only want to carry one bag. I know I can do it.

My regular diaper bag doesn't work because it only has one internal pocket for a bottle, and it's not even insulated. It's totally a nursing mother's bag, is what I've discovered. Also, it's impossible to keep shit organized in it. His bottles would sink to the bottom and probably leak, there's a key ring but no place for a wallet, and honestly, it's way bigger than what I need or feel like dragging into the office everyday.

Jason's diaper bag is super awesome and functional, but a backpack looks kind of dumb with my suits and heels and stuff.

Thus, I've been using this:



Y'all, I got that bag for FREE from the hospital. It is nylon. It is shapeless. It is from the makers of Similac and has a damn plastic bear dangling off a zipper. It offends me on many levels.

But the inside has a pocket for four bottles and an icepack. It's lined in plastic for easy clean-up. It has lots of pockets on the outside to keep my lipgloss and cellphone handy. It's not huge.

But God. It's ugly. And it makes me kind of sad.

So I need a bag. Yet I have no time to hunt for a bag. So I am asking the Internet to go shopping for me.

(I know y'all are bored! I see you refreshing!)

So, today's challenge: Try to find a cute, small-to-mid-sized diaper bag that does not really look like a diaper bag for under $100. Under $50 would be heaven. Under $25 might make me want to marry you. It must hold everything I've mentioned, bonus points if there's room for diapers and wipes and super-gonzo-bonus points if it has wicked organizational features. And I plan to carry this to WORK too, so nothing Winnie the Pooh or whatever the fuck else.

Although I don't care what kind of material it is or who makes it. Just...you know...cute.

And no plastic teddy bears. GAH.


Number Twelve

I think I'm the first to comment and have absolutely nothing to say... except that Frema is a dear friend of mine and thanks for highlighting her in your column!


Two words: LANDS. END.


Many more words:

Seriously. They make the best, more organizy diaper bags. They are the nylon, though, but are much classier than the Similac bag.

The Similac bag from 8 years ago was PURPLE, so you're lucky.


i never thought i would see a day that the amalah would ask bag advice.

my world has been rocked.


Buwahahaha!! Sorry, I'm not laughing at you, really! It's just that I am also using that diaper bag... and um that ugly little bear CAN be removed, duh! ;)


vera bradley has some cute mom bags. i don't know if patterns are really your style... but they are pretty *in* right now. and a lot better than that craptastic bad you're toting at the moment. :-)


ugh... typo... "bad" should be "bag"


Amen to the advice about when cheating is involved, get involved. As someone who just went to Planned Parenthood to get all tests available after finding out my husband cheated on me the month before we got married, I say if you're a good friend then tell your friend. I was not mad at my friend who told me but I will kick the crap out of her husband (who kept the secret for the past 2.5 years) the next time I see him.


eddiebauer.com, it's called the Diaper Case Bag, and it's under $50. insulated, etc, etc.


What happened to the Petunia Picklebottoms bag? That was totally cute.


Um, does this work? Seems like it's got everything you're looking for...I personally like the Pink Diana one myself!

Also cute, but may not have *all* the functionality you need...

Bozoette Mary

Here's a link to the three Land's End bags:


All under $50!


I think today was the day of bad mornings, because my morning totally got off to a bad start too! Hope the rest of your day is going better.

Also, I so want to try Bumble & Bumble products but have a hard time getting my husband to agree to let me spend so much on hair products. Any suggestions on how to convince him that they are so worth the money?


Um, where the hell did my second link go?? Here it is! JouJou Baby!


theresa - That's the "regular diaper bag" I wrote about. I still use it on the weekends, but it's just not quite right for what I need during the week for a multitude of reasons.


These are both cute and useful and $2 under $100. This one is almost cute enough for me to have a baby for and this would be a good summer one. Ebags has a bunch you can search for by price too.


I totally second Land's End. Though I don't have kids, I have friends who use their bags and love them.

BTW: Great advice on the "get involved" thing. As a chronic meddler, I'm all for it!


My diaper bag recommendation is the Lexie Barnes Darling--about $90, totally cute, comes in prints and solid colors, extremely well organized with great pockets and layout, and holds a surprising amount though it is compact and lightweight. Plus, you can hang it on your stroller easily and it has a comfy shoulder strap with pad. I think you'd love it!


I don't know if this will do it for you or not, but this is the diaper bag I bought for our impending arrival. http://store.babycenter.com/product/kalencom/5319;jsessionid=LKDTG40KEG02UCUAQMLSHPQ?intcmp=&stage=

I think it's kind of cute; it's quite big, actually, and looks like it will fit lots of stuff, and it's lined with plastic. Plus, the price was definitely right. You can find more bags by the same manufacturer here: http://www.dreamtimebaby.com/babydiaperbags.html. (I thought for your particular needs, you might prefer the "ribbon diaper bag gift set" that's a little more flexible & has the insulated bottle holder.)

Good luck in the quest for the perfect bag!


Lissa should check out LHC's forums for info on de-frizzing hair and growing it long. Oh, anyone else should, too. I am also hella frizzy and living in Texas.


Oh, and this one raises money for Susan G. Komen!


found ur blog..luv it..here's some links to trendy diaper bags:


Target also has a few..

u might also want to look up the:
Travelers Club Luggage 3-In-1 Diaper/Cooler Bag
I saw it only cost like 30 dollars...and includes this:

Thermal insulation to keep temperature stable
Detachable 3 baby bottle compartments (bottles not included)
Elastic loops on side panels for accessories
Changing pad
Zippered PVC dirty diaper pouch
Mesh front pocket for easy access
2 side pockets for extra storage
Removable shoulder strap
Backpack straps for hands-free carrying

This third one u can find at walmart online:
Jeep Tote Diaper Bag, Pink or Blue
I'm not too crazy on the colors but it's cute

Hope that helps...


As a non-parent, I have recently become painfully aware of ugly diaper bags. There are an unseemly amount of them out there - and you moms know that bad bags can happen to good people.

That being said...check out the following links. One of them is even on sale! For $30! How much do you love me?! Modernseed can be pricey, but they are absolutely one of my favorite baby-related sites. I shop there religiously.


Enjoy, and keep us updated. Good luck!


That Country Bunny stuff looks great, but alas! There appear to be no representatives in Massachusetts, so I guess I can't buy any.


I love y'all so much. So much!

Except that I will hold each and every one of you responsible when I:

1. Am fired for spending all day following all these links, and

2. Spend thousands of dollars because I want every single damn bag I see.


I can't compete with these bags that are so adorable I might order one for myself and use the insulated part for my Diet Coke, so I'm not going to look.

Diaper bags make excellent laptop bags, by the way.


Look! It's me on the Wednesday/Thursday Advice Smackdown! Hooray!

Thanks again for answering my question. You da bomb.


This will be the bag for you. Try llbean.com, under totes, the diaper bag. It is so cute! Heck, have it monogrammed even! All that for $36.00


I have that black nylon bag. I took the damn bear off--did you know they come off? And since i never leave the house anyway because I HAVE NO LIFE it works.

But I lust after a Lands' End diaper bag. And if we have a third child, I will tell my husband that i have EARNED a Lands' End diaper bag. Possibly the weekender AND the smallish one you can take on short little errands. So there.


so, i know i'm late to the party...

the practical mom in me is gonna tell you that you've gotta go with the land's end. there's not a better made bag for a better price out there.

but the ex-bloomingdales buyer in me wants to tell you that the kate spade bags are totally worth it and soooo very cute.... and you'll be the envy of everyone when you carry one :)



Slightly plain, but under $50 and not terrible. Looks more prefessional than a traditional diaper bag.


Yikes, that's one hell of a link....sorry. It's kinda cute though. The bag, not the link.

Duh, about my other question. If I woulda read it better, I could've answered it myself. Thanks though.


Yes, I know I can take the stupid bear off, but I actually left it there ON PURPOSE so I would have something to complain about.

I am not kidding. I am purposely playing the martyr when it comes to a free diaper bag.

I need help. Badly.


hahaha...you are SO going to regret asking for our assistance with diaper bags that you will run out and buy another dress in hopes of less comments! Yes, a mad refresher....so?!


I don't have a baby-so not really an expert, but this Vera Bradley bag is just under your price limit and doesn't scream baby bag.


I was looking at the "Lizzy" one from the humongous link I left in my previous message.

heather b


she makes diaper bags. you pick all your materials and shit, and they ship, and I get more compliments on my pickle purse than anything else in the world.



Heather B.

I say this with love; if you buy a Vera Bradly bag I will have no choice but to toss it out the window.

heather b

And I agree with Heather B. Vera Bradley bags are straight from the devil, yo.


Amalah! You answered my question! (I am Laura who now comments as LCA, which are my initials and therefore, not a very good internet pseudonym.) And it is wonderful advice, and it is still relevant, and I will let you know what happens, and wow, I even got a Noah photo with my advice!

Thanks. Stopping with the exclamation marks now.

miss cavendish

But does kate spade have the insulated pockets Amalah needs? I've used the same navy ks through three children, over six years, and even when I'm not lugging baby gear. Men can carry it too, w/o looking goofy.

weaker vessel

Firstly, you are treading dangerously close to IKEA heresy in this post, young missy; you'd better watch out, or the High Church of Very Organized Swedes may decide to excommunicate you.

Secondly, not to challenge Amalah's beauty products omniscience, but when I hear a female utter the words "frizzy" and "wavy," I instinctively yell out "TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock!" before I have even had the chance to determine whether she is talking about her hair or the way her mind felt the next morning after drinking too much cheap champagne on Valentine's Day. I started using this line of products about a month ago, and it has absolutely revolutionized my frizz. I like the shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, and curl amplifier; I don't like the hairspray-like curl fixative stuff. For me, the net impact has been overall improved curliness, near-total frizz elimination, and really nice curl definition.


Check this one out...I want one in the worst way...just don't know which one!



I love the bag I got from periwinkle baby! It doesn't have insulated pockets though, but it is machine washable.

Ca-Ca Hewes

Go to Target or Walmart and get an insulated bottle bag. You can easily get (3) 8 oz bottles in it...then you just put that bag in your cute diaper bag and you dont have to worry about leaks. Do try to keep it upright though.


Meghan! Buy from LotionBarBunny! They ship! Online shopping! There's the link in my entry to her store, and there's also a text ad in Project Sellout.


Can't help you on the bag, but if you do find one that you LOVE that is simply missing the ability to organize your smaller purse type items in it, you could always get a Purseket. I love mine because it means I never have to search the bottom of my purse for my pen, and I can always find my cell phone before it stops ringing.

Also, the friend who bought it for me has twins, and bought an extra giant one for her diaper bag so she could quit carrying her purse. Which seems to work for her.

Good luck!


Ca-Ca: I actually tried that. Damn Dr. Brown's bottles are extra tall and don't fit in the standard bottle bags. Learned that one the hard way, since I bought TWO different ones before figuring this out.

miss cavendish

Vera Bradley bags are soft, flowery, and quilt-y. I see Amalah with something edgy or funky.


Can you leave the extra clothes at daycare instead of bringing with you everyday? Also I keep my diaper bag in the car full of wipes, diapers, etc once I got so tired of hauling it with me.

I now have streamlined to a very cool bag I got at Marshalls and I leave my son's lunch bag at daycare.

But that is not what you were asking so...here is what I found:
More than you want to spend but you have to love the "quick release pacifier holder".


I'm Curling Iron Worthy? Garsh - I am so flattered! Although, the weather that day would have rendered a curling iron worthless, so I didn't think twice of it. I was just hoping that you wouldn't notice that I had obviously hacked at my own hair with nail scissors (I got my bangs fixed yesterday, FINALLY).

re: the "telling the friend about the loser boyfriend" bit - I have been on BOTH sides of that No Win Situation - it's never pretty. Since the girlfriend is clearly at risk, I think the friend should tell her knowing full well that she may lose the friendship.

re: diaper bags - I am having a similar dilemma, slightly reversed. I LOVE my Eddie Bauer mini-tote for everyday use and the Eddie Bauer backbag for travel, BUT I need a mini-purse that would hold my wallet and keys. So, I can recommend the Eddie Bauer bags and I have also heard great things about Lands End.

Keep the Jack Bauer references coming, please! I'm still not over the fact that he is saving the world with his Treo 650. I have that phone and believe you me, it's not all that.


People! The Amalah is not going to get a monogrammed bag! She wants HIP! STYLISH! LOOKS-LIKE-A-DESIGNER-BAG-BUT-JUST-DOESN'T-COST-AS-MUCH-AS-ONE! Stop with the plain functional bag madness! There are plenty of big-city-super-awesome bags out there and she does not need to shop at The Evil Wal-Mart to get one!

Sorry. I had to say it. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Let us know what you decide to buy!


1. Leave the pump at work. Unless you're using it at home, too, then buy an extra one and leave it at work. Seriously. It's so worth it. I lugged the gdmf Medela Pump in Style back and forth for a week before I realized that the pump and the briefcase and my harried ass weren't all going to make it to and from the car every day. And I didn't even have to worry about a baby and a daycare bag.

2. We received an L.L. Bean boat and tote bag as a baby gift. It is neither stylish nor hip, and it's the size of a Geo Metro, but it effing ROCKS. Ours was personalized with Lumpyhead's name, so that was kinda cool. You could use it as a daycare bag - it's clear who it belongs to - and your purse-with-nonbaby-things-in-it can fit inside it.


It almost seems like fate that the two fitness magazines I was reading on my commute this morning both featured the following website: www.1154lill.com.

You can either buy previously designed stuff, or design your own. They seem to have three diaper bag options (Diana, Erika, Laurie). The fabric seems divine and the prices, while not cheap, seem good for the choice.


I can't see the Vera bags as being very Amalah, but they are sooooo pretty. And I see a whole heck of a lot of college girls carrying the "diaper bag" size Vera Bradley bags around as opposed to the messenger or other bags designed more with students in mind. Also didn't know Veras had a following outside the Hoosier state, but absolutely 'everyone' has one here at Purdue. So you know they have to be cool...

Ann Coleman

I, too, have been victimized by the PAVO cabinet! The same thing happened to me two months ago (without the stair part, but only because I'm on the ground floor). Mine has a magenta stain- left over from my IKEA bench that I use as a coffee table! We used wood glue to stick it back together but I don't trust it anymore... do you? Plus, my Lillehammer bed died recently. Both leg joints broke at the foot end, and I can't find the receipt, and they won't replace them unless I have one, so now I have to get a new bed frame, and I can't afford to get one I like anywhere else waaaaah!
Thanks! I feel better now.


Liberalbanana! HA!

Yes, I do have to say, those super sporty/functional bags? I know they're great (we have a Columbia baby backpack that fucking ROCKS), but I just can't see myself carrying it into my office while wearing my suit and heels without it screaming I HAVE MY BREASTPUMP IN HERE AND MAYBE SOME SOGGY BURP CLOTHS.

Oh, and I have to bring my pump home everyday to wash and sterlize it -- it's just a small hand pump though, so really, the least of my space worries.

heather b

I still vote for viv pickle.


In my experience, I gave up carrying all of the bags everywhere. The "big" diaper bag would stay in the car and only the additions and subtractions would come into the house. To do this I kept a "mini" bag for bottles that would fit in my purse. Then, while shopping or what not, a diaper, a baggie of wet-wipes, and one bottle would hang out in my purse. This works, because you have outfit, many more bottles, many more diapers in the car. At one point, I even left a whole case of diapers in the trunk. Never a worry! The point is to quite carrying around the many extras and only traffic what you need.

mama speak

I did not read all the comments so maybe someone mentioned this (or not). I am a girl w/curly (frizzy) hair. I so understand the needs far too well. If you want wavy/curly hair minus the frizz, try the Bumble & Bumble line for curls. (One for medium textured hair, one for fine.) I've used both, depending on my hair length. I think they're great and this is from a girl who has SUFFERED for many years with fighting her curls. BUT that's if you WANT the waves/curls. If you're trying to straiten your hair minus frizz, well that’s where your advice is right on the money. Also, please note, if it the weather has moisture in it, then stop fighting it—you’ll lose. I’m 37, it took me many, many years to finally give in and realize that’s the way it is with wavy/curly hair. Last, but most important of all, make sure you have a good haircut for hair with curls! Layers are usually not I, but it depends on your length and texture too. Pony up and pay for a good stylist, it’s the very best investment you can make on this front. I found once I did that, I started to actually like my curls (gasp—maybe it was just maturity, maybe both.) This subject is so near & dear to my heart I can’t tell you. After many years of experience I wanted to try and save a few people from some of the frustrations I’ve been through.


I am using the same Similac diaper bag, except a) I took off that bear, b) went out and bought small clips typically used for rockclimbing (sold in the camping supply section), and c) got a smallish handbag. Now I clip my purse to the handles of the bag. I know that bear tag has a place for your name and phone number; I wanted to keep my contact info on the bag so I wrote my information on the back of a great piece of wrapping paper then laminated it and attached it where the bear was. Just an idea.


My wife uses a Patagonia bag as a diaper bag and loves it. You can take a look at them at the Georgetown store after visiting Jason for lunch.



The bags here are awesome, awesome, awesome -- except they aren't in budget. I have a small (10% off coupon) if you are interested in them.



If you're looking for a messenger bag type thing, I can make one tailored to your specific requirements that might work. I made myself one out of jeans and vintage buttons that is cool, if you're interested at all.

I'll post a picture on my blog so you can see it, and just email me or whatever if you're interested.



I'm jealous of your stupid Similac bag because I got cheated out of one when I was leaving the hospital. I just have to know-- what was inside it, if anything?


Wow, what fun reading today!
You've already gotten tons of great suggestions about the bags. For the bottle insulation, have you tried just a regular insulated lunch bag? Not a cooler, but the ones that fold over. They're kind of floppy. You can get a few bottles & ice pack inside of them. If that doesn't work, fire away a letter to Dr. Brown's company, see if they have any suggestions....like free ones.


Follow-up to my first comment: I even left an entire can of formula and a few bottles of purified water in the "big" bag for when breastfeeding just wasn't an option.

Repeat after me- "I will not haul around everything baby might need all the time. I will simplify."

Good luck!

Lisa Ann

Can't help with the bag dilemma
(you should see the amount of shit I carry around every day & I don't have a baby) but will offer my 2cents on the whole curl frizz thing. Kiehls Leave In Conditioner with Coconut Oil works wonders. They used to make a xtra strenght hair gel that was also fabulous but they went ahead and discontinued that so if anyone can suggest a heavy duty (but curl friendly) everyday gel I'd be most appreciative.

Oh? That bottom picture? Too cute for words.



This one is probably too lame for your tastes and seems to be only a moderate improvement on your hanging bear bag, but look! It comes with "Expert Advice for Keeping Your Baby Safe"! I am so certain that you were looking for such quality suggestions from your diaper bag, eh??


Forgot to add that I use my breastpump ice packs in my son's lunch box- works great. I had the medela pump in style- the packs are pretty thin. For his lunch box I use a playmate cooler- the small one. Got freaked out by all the reports about lead traces in the soft ones. At our daycare once you graduate to the toddler room you move out of the frig and your milk, juice & food for the day stays in the cooler.


I would get one of these...


I think Nordstrom carries them so you could check them out in person first.

good luck!


If the insulated bottle bags don't work for the Dr. Brown's bottles, what about a regular ol' insulated lunch box? I use the $10 one from LLBean (I swear I'm not a Beans shill, but god, I sound like one) to carry milk back and forth. It easily fits three Avent 9 ouncers and an ice pack - it might fit the Doc Browns in the "portrait" orientation.


Samsonite Daycare to Business Diaper Bag, currently on sale for $50! Down from $80!

Diaper bag with changing pad, wipes dispenser, two bottle pockets, baby food jar pocket, multiple accessory pockets, and adjustable, removable shoulder strap

Briefcase with padded laptop compartment, multiple compartments for cell phone and other personal items, zippered outside pocket, and two shoulder straps

Now people at work think I'm baby-crazy. Yay.


Full size 1990's Samsonite rolling suitcase: no one will suspect "Baby", everyone will think "Crazy Overpacking Traveler".

Keeps 'em guessing.


Just had to shoot you a line to say I am in total aggreance with the advice for the girly with the friends man cheating on myspace or in real life. SAME thing happened with my BF except she was married. All her friends knew he was...except me...and no one told her. What happened...well she lived with him an entire 2 years of hall longer than she should have. She finally found out and could have KILLED her friends for not telling her...needless to say they are no longer friends while I the one who told her I thought he could be cheating but didnt know for sure...I am still her best friend. DONT keep it a secret. It will only hurt them more. yes, in the beginning they will hate you and maybe not even believe you but they will love you for it later! I know I would!


these are cute too...several designs, and machine washable



Oh liberalbanana! I love it!

Too chic!

If DC didn't strike me as a sombre sort of town, this might work... but only in someplace where summery and spring are in all year (like Georgia or Florida).


I didn't have time to read all the other comments, so apologies if I'm double posting a previously made suggestion.

Most of my friends use the Diaper Slings made by Diaper Dude.


They are available many places online for under $100. They are made in a variety of patterns, designs and materials so you should find something you like (I chose the suede-y one to link too because it looked more work-like)

The sling design makes carrying baby and diaper bag easier. It is big enough to tuck a small purse into for going out after work while baby and bag are at grandma's (or insert similar scenario here).


I thought you invented diaper bags?


Is this the deep conditioner that you were talking about? It just says conditioner treatment, so I'm not sure if they don't carry it or if it has a slightly different name. Plus, they have the same product, same size but at different prices. Must be different vendors.

Also, where do you buy your haircare products? I wish I could get mine at Sephora and do the whole one-stop shopping but that doesn't seem to be happening.


Its over your budget but so VERY worth it!!! You can get it in tons of colors. It looks cool and better yet it has everything in it! UYOu will not be dissapointed at all!!!!


Kate: Yes, that's it. I should have clarified -- you can use the Alterna conditioner as a every day one OR leave it on for 30 minutes for a deep treatment.

I buy MOST of my products at my salon, because my hairdresser gives me a discount. ULTA is also fabulous and sometimes a little cheaper, and I can usually score super-cheap Bumble products at Loehmann's.

I don't use any of the lines that Sephora carries.


Ha! Bye Anna. Or Jade, or whatever the fuck you're calling yourself today.

Get your own site and you can let people call you names all you want! It'll be great!


Gee, and here I thought the monogrammed LLBean diaper bag WAS stylish and hip! So much so that I am going to buy it for the sake of having one, except my baby is twelve and that is just weird and he would disown me, so nevermind.


Don't laugh, but I custom make diaper bags for my sister-in-law and her friends. The first one was (gasp) Mossy Oak Camo with (gag) hot pink fringe and (sigh) matching hot pink embroidery of my niece's name. The next one was (vomiting) John Deere with tan fringe and matching embroidery for someone's child's name. (and yes, I took pictures- needed a record that I stooped to that level) Needless to say, I have quite the custom-bag making business here. I'd suggest you find some loser SAHM like me (except I'm working now) to make you the bag you desire, out of fabric you pick, to turn you into the fashionista/organizational wizard you desire (not saying you aren't already of course!)

For the cost of the material, plus $10, everybody got what they wanted. I even custom made matching quilts for the beautiful babies LOL and even a set of overalls.

Life is so odd sometimes. Good luck.


I must be a dork, because I like the similac bag. But I do agree, you must consolidate for your own safety.

Now, how about more pictures of the boy?


Damn. I thought I was right on target with my email I sent you and the Lands End bag, but that would look like ASS with heals. I forgot about that factor. Damn.

(Dont hate me b/c I can wear casual attire to work)


Holy cow, the comments!! Unfortunately, I think you are expecting a lot from a diaper bag manufacturer. But I do think there should be something that could at least fit all of Noah's stuff. Here is one I found, but there are no interior pictures. But it would look nice for a professional such as yourself!


Silly Hily

HA! Was refreshing to see if any new suggestions were made and totally caught the "comment" and was like whoa! and then you come in and "poof, be gone." That was too good!


Beware trolls! I am swift! Am IP banning ninja!

And an INSECURE IP banning ninja at that!



I LOVE That diaper bag. I hope the link comes through for you, if not email me. It has lots of little compartments and stuff, and I think it's big enough, plus it looks nice, and it's only like $40.


Oh - and our daycare has drawers in these funky magneticly lockable dressers so I can leave extra clothes/bibs/diapers etc there and not have to carry them around. THANK GOD. Why? B/c I'd forget them every day and the teachers would talk bad about me behind my back.


I love oi oi bags. Mine is chocolate and blue, but no longer available. But gorgeous! http://www.oioi.com.au/


Hi Amy, I don't have time to read all the comments above (I have to go to CLASS, EWW) but wanted to suggest in case no one else had... Ebay! Trust me, I am on a graduate student's budget (read: less than minimum wage, AWESOME!) and I buy mostly everything on ebay. Especially if you don't mind whether it's used, you can get some great stuff for really cheap! Good luck, love your site.

Laura B

I know that the Kate Spade diaper bags are going to be well over $100 and also that you previously said you thought they were boring when you did your original diaper bag search... BUT I carry Kate Spade diaper bags as regular tote bags (I have no kids yet) and I just LOVE LOVE LOVE their organizational pockets. I use them as work totes and load them up with books and papers and the pockets leave plenty of room for my wallet, phone, keys, water bottle, umbrella, etc. The lining is lovely and wipeable. So long as you don't get a hot pink one, it would look very professional. The one I have is the college stripe grey and black flannel diaper tote, and it is perfectly office appropriate. People compliment it all the time. That one is no longer available in stores from what I see. I think it is a design from a few years ago, but I bought it on eBay and got it for less than $200.

I currently seriously lust after this one: http://store.nordstrom.com/product/product_brandboutique.asp?styleid=2811986&boutique=kate_spade&category=2376779~2374605~2378506~2378507&Search=True&keyword=kate+spade+diaper+%3E+In+All+Categories&SearchType=keywordsearch

A Kate Spade bag would be such a good investment and would last you well-past Noah's baby years.


I haven't actually needed a diaper bag yet, but I have been eyeing this one. It looks stylish and classy, in my oppinion. They also have one is green and the material is a "snake skin" look.



How can you possibly sift through all of these comments?? "Gah!" :)

NOT about the diaper bag...about IKEA. I *miss* Ikea. My ex-husband and I bought our entire first house at Ikea in Virginia. The same one you frequent. We were able to load an entire bedroom, kitchen, living room (minus the couch), bedding, accessories, etc into a FORD FESTIVA. Jesus. Do you know how small that is?

And then we had it all shipped to Iceland (we were in the Navy, stationed at the Navy Annex across from the Pentagon) because someone hated us and sent us to Iceland.

Guess what? There's an Ikea in ICELAND too - so we were easily able to accessorize.

Thirteen years later and I still have the Pello chair, a down comforter, and an end table and coffee table. They're sturdy. The other stuff? Yes, the falling off of things happened.

think the demise of our marriage started with the very first putting-together of the furniture. Two weeks and a full complement of furniture, we wanted to kill each other.

Good luck on the diaper bag.


Sorry if I'm duplicating others -- there are just too many comments to read. Also, xtine linked to a bag I almost sent, but check the comments. It wasn't rated too poorly, but some users said it was easy to lose stuff b/c it's so big. But is does have room for everything and it separates -- one side for DC, other for BP, maybe.





Oh? And almost forgot. Those special little wrenches that come with your Ikea furniture? You know the ones. They can suck it.

The comments to this entry are closed.