There’s a flamenco dancer living in Madrid named Sofia Echegaray. I wonder if she secretly wants to be a singer-songwriter living in Austin, Texas.


Beauties want to be known as smart. 

Brains want to be known as pretty.

Heiresses want to be known as accomplished.

Hard workers want to be known as fun and cool. 

We all want something.

Useless Packaging

I hate extraneous packaging. Case in point: the toothpaste box:


This box isn’t packaging holding the product. It just holds the other packaging. If the average person buys 3 tubes of toothpaste a year, that’s 900 million completely useless toothpaste boxes thrown away in our country every year. 
What’s more, as they’re currently designed, each box could fit 2 tubes, so they’re each half-empty. So that means, when this product is shipped across country, the trucks are burning gasoline to ship cargo that is 50% air. And then in the grocery aisle, they’re taking up twice as much square footage as they need. And all of that inefficiency wastes fuel, trees, environmental resources, and money.
When companies say things like, “We’ve always done it this way,” or “We couldn’t change it because ______”, what they’re really saying is, “We’re lazy.” Fixing packaging problems like these requires some upfront investment of time, money, and creativity, but once the solution is implemented, it saves money. And we’d no longer have to throw useless boxes away, just so that companies can continue to ship air. 
Here are my top packaging pet peeves: 
1. Products that come in a tube or bottle, that then are also packaged in a box (aspirin, nyquil, toothpaste, deodorant) 
2. Those plastic death-grip packages for toys and electronics that have to be opened with a chainsaw 
3. Packaging that makes it impossible to retrieve a large amount of the product. Toothpaste tubes, for example. I usually cut the bottom off of toothpaste towards the end, and I’m able to extract another week’s worth in a very messy way. Why not put toothpaste in a jar, like face cream?
4. Products that are designed so that it is impossible to re-use them — one-time pepper mills, throway cameras, etc. 
5. Hermetically sealed items that do not need to be pristine. I’m looking at you, toilet paper. Do we really need toilet paper to come wrapped in 18 layers of plastic, arriving at your bathroom stall pure as the driven snow? You do know where this is going, right? Ditto paper towels, maxi pads, diapers. These are not state secrets. 
..What are your packaging pet peeves?

Reuse News

yogurt canister pnts yogurt canister rice

I just made my old yogurt containers useful by turning them into dry-goods canisters with a peekaboo window. I cut out a small vertical panel by following the lines of the nutrition info box, and taped re-used plastic from an empty bread bag.

This makes me happy.

7 Things I’ve Learned from Magazines

During my period of extended convalescence, I’ve had a lot of free time in my apartment, stuck inside. So, I started doing things I never used to do before, like reading glossy magazines. Waste of time and/or money? What else was I going to do all day?

Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. A Flat Stomach makes you Pure.

In the olden days, our culture was obsessed with a woman’s virginity. Nowadays, we’ve decided it’s ok to have sex, as long as you look like you are a virgin — i.e., 12. So, our strange compromise has led us to fetishize 25-year-old women with the body fat of preadolescents.

If at any point of your life, your curves do not make you appear 12, then you must be a witch a prostitute “fat.”

2. A Well-Appointed Closet is the new Porn. 

Did you know that if your bedroom closet is perfectly arranged and color-coded.  you have succeeded at the game of life? There will be much Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth, as other women Rue Your Victory.

Now sit down, perfect-closet-having-person, and have a nice romantic dinner for two, just You. And Your Closet.

3. Inherited wealth is an accomplishment. 

An “accomplishment” is when you do something remarkable with what you are given — such as becoming rich after being born into poverty. Or, for that matter, becoming compassionate after being born into privilege. But starting a frivolous clothing line at Bendel’s because you’re an heiress with nothing better to do is not that remarkable.

4. A nice home bought with lots and lots of money is also an accomplishment. 

Look, if I had 5 million dollars to spend on a Paris apartment, I’m sure my place would look nice, too.

5. The best way to live a simple, uncluttered life is to buy lots of new stuff.

“But honey, it’s a zen coffee table!”

6. The second best way to live a simple, uncluttered life is to buy lots of magazines advocating simplicity. 

Piles of old magazines will give your Buddhist-retreat vibe that perfect touch.

7. Have a major life decision on your horizon? A short quiz written by strangers may be your salvation.

Yes, it’s true that some people spend years of searching to figure out their ideal mate, career choice, and management style, but maybe that’s because they didn’t take the quiz in the middle of O Magazine.