The Sponsored Products I Still Use Religiously (After All These Years)

Look at baby me modeling!

For many years, I made a living, in part, by writing about products and integrating them into this website. These were literally called "integration posts," and they were what gave me the leeway to do the writing I loved, both here and elsewhere. But they weren't exactly a hardship - I always really enjoyed the challenge of being presented with a new product or brand, seeing how it worked in my life, and then creating a story around it.

It was also, honestly, just super fun to get to try out new stuff all the time, from makeup to washing machines to married-people dating services. Which is all to say that, of the bazillions of things that I've written about over the years, there are a few that may have started out as brand partnerships, but then quickly evolved from a novelty to a must-have - products that I ended up loving and religiously keeping stocked in my house, long after my formal relationships with the brands ended.

Before & After Renovations

My Little Pink Kitchen

I have a lot of conflicting feelings about my condo. On the plus side, I bought it! All by myself! The building it's in burned to the ground during the Woolsey Fire, so it's brand-new construction - which means everything works (!). Having lived in extremely ramshackle (hee) housing over the years - from our adorable-but-not-super-functional Hudson Valley house to a trailer with multi-million dollar views but no especially reliable electrical or plumbing - this is quite exciting. Sometimes I just open the closet where the water heater is kept, think back to the spricket-infested basement hellscape where the water tank lived in Tarrytown, and marvel at its shiny newness.

Our very first house. I LOVED it, sprickets and all.



Hi! Welcome to Ramshackle Glam. From 2009-2020, I wrote daily blog posts right here about everything from divorce to anxiety to soup. In the past couple of years I've switched my focus to books, screenwriting and my marketing business, so I'm not writing here as much anymore, but ohhh my goodness are the archives ever extensive.

If you’re new to this site, you might have gotten here by way of a Google search for makeup tips for asymmetrical eyes, or because you’re nervous about having a baby (or a second baby) and how it’ll change your life, or because you read the saga of my hacking, or maybe because you’ve stumbled across my (many) musings on single motherhood. All of these ways of arriving here are completely legit, because those are all things that I write about.

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The Big Activity Book for Teacher People

Teachers: They’re basically superheroes. They’re educators, sure—but they’re also counselors, custodians, referees, detectives, party planners, epidemiologists, and traffic controllers (among the many, many other jobs that they don’t get paid for, but should).

Now available for preorder: The next book in the Big Activity Book series, The Big Activity Book for Teacher People. This one was inspired by the many, many, many hilarious tales my teacher friends have told me - and by the fact that teachers are wonderful, and they deserve presents.

Activities include:
 a word scramble of useless stuff you have to teach anyway
 draw the administrator in their natural habitat
 color in the break room of horrors
 things you do not want to receive from a parent, like, ever

Before & After Renovations

Before And After: Charcoal Bathroom Makeover


OK, so nothing was wrong with the second bathroom in our new place - not technically, at least. Our condo is a new build - the original structure burned to the ground in the Woolsey fire a couple of years back - so everything was in great shape, but it just felt like...a hotel. You know, what with the large flat mirror, the nickel-plated lights, the white walls. It was one big "meh."

You know what I enjoy, though? A blank slate. Give me a boring room, and I am a child on Christmas morning.


Mudder F-er (Or That Time I Ran A 5K Tough Mudder While Shockingly Unprepared)

Questionable advertising on that faux tattoo there

I am not a runner. I've tried to be, from time to time: When I briefly lived in Malibu back in my early twenties, I decided to try running on the beach in the mornings because it seemed like the kind of thing that one does when one lives in Malibu, only to have my knobby little offset kneecaps swell to the size of tennis balls. More recently, I adopted a golden retriever puppy under the misguided belief that ownership of said puppy would automatically transform me into the kind of person who does things Spoiler: It did not, although it did transform me into the kind of person who needs to vacuum her house several times a day.

The first time I did a mud run - essentially an untimed race that includes massive mud pits and obstacles and various forms of water torture - it was because someone paid me to do it. St. Ives hired me to participate on their behalf and write about the experience, and I did so with massive reluctance, only to discover that it was actually really fun (!). The event was called "Mudderella," and it was a women-only thing that was much more about teamwork and positivity than anything else - the women went at their own pace, cheered each other on, and wore funny costumes and bright headbands. And at the end you get a free beer!

Before & After Renovations

Before and After: Blush & Bashful Powder Room

The "before" (totally fine, but zzzzzzzz).

First, please tell me you get the reference in the title. Thank you. Now, you may recall I have a thing for pink bathrooms - I painted the tiny bathroom in our San Jose house a deep rose shade (vastly improved from the prior olive-and-vomit-themed aesthetic). In my new place, the main bath is very much not-tiny: There's an entirely separate vanity area (pictured above) with its own sink and walk-in closet in addition to the toilet-and-bathtub bathroom itself. Which means my "personal suite" in our apartment constitutes about 1/3 of the total square footage.

Which is A-OK by me.


The Everybody Gets Anxious Activity Book

Available for preorder now: My first kids' book with Erin Williams, and what might be my favorite project I've ever worked on. It was written during lockdown, while all of us watched our children struggling with anxiety. I've dealt with (clinically diagnosed) anxiety for years - as readers of The Big Activity Book for Anxious People and anyone with even a passing familiarity with this site know - and have discovered that, for me, the best ways to cope with anxious feelings are to 1) Talk about them, right out loud, and 2) Find the humor in them, when you can. Which is precisely what The Everybody Gets Anxious Activity Book aims to teach kids - while absolutely never making them feel like they're being *taught* anything, because hello: Activity books are supposed to be fun!

Activities include:
 How to Calm Down When You're Freaking Out! (It's easier than it sounds.)
 Word Search: Stuff Literally Everybody Does (Even if you think you're the only one.)
 Unscramble the Easy Fixes for Everyday Problems! (Sometimes the answer is right in front of you!)
 Design Your Own Emoji That Perfectly Expresses How You’re Feeling Right Now
 Draw Faces On Underwater Creatures, Who Are Feeling Lots of Things (They're in their deep-sea feels.)

I'm excited about this because it's a book I would like to have had, and I'm so glad that my kids (and yours) get to have it now. With this project, as always, I am so grateful for your support.


Surprisingly Speedy Chicken-Ginger Broth (For Ramen Soup)

During quarantine, I got really into making my own ramen. I made it in the biggest possible pain-in-the-butt way that I could, because honestly: What else did I have to do? Might as well spend two days making soup!

Except I don't always want to spend two days making soup. Sometimes - like last night - I want truly excellent ramen, except I want it now.

Enter: This absolutely spectacular (ifIdosaysomyself) broth, which blends in hints of lemongrass and ginger to make it a perfect, ever-so-slightly-spicy base for noodles. It's about two hours start to finish (much faster than most stock recipes), because of a little secret: While it tastes 100% homemade, it actually involves a little cheating (ssh).

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