Helping You Help Yourself #16

feature image via shutterstock

Unexpected job loss is really awful and can make you feel like a failure and there aren’t always cultural blueprints for how to deal with it. Here’s a small guide with some suggestions, which won’t make everything better but hopefully will be a bit of help.

A comprehensive look at how to trim your own bangs.

Probably not like this

Probably not like this

If you need your space to smell better, an oil diffuser can sometimes be preferable to a scented candle or incense because you don’t have to worry about flames and watching out for them. Here’s how to make your own oil reed diffuser.

If you’re starting a new job, here are some tips on having a great first day.

If you live in a part of the world where winter is coming, you’re gonna need reliable winter boots. Here’s advice on picking them out.

Have you heard the gospel of the one-pot pasta? It rescues your weeknights by letting you throw some pasta and whatever else you have in your fridge into one big pot, cooking it for a bit, and then eating it all together. It’s stupid easy and dumb delicious. Here’s a general guide to putting together your pot, and here’s a list of one-pot pasta variations.

The string came out of your hoodie hood? No problem.

Here’s how to spend less on your energy bill.

How much water do you need to drink each day, for real? This much.

We’re all going to be hearing a LOT about the US presidential election for months and months. To numb the pain, here’s a recipe for Election Cake from 1912 from my 2016 Farmer’s Almanac.

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Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. This is a good list.

    You can also restring a hoodie string by hooking a safety pin on the end, which is something I am much more likely to have around than a straw.

  2. “I wouldn’t expect anyone to dare try and cut a blunt short bang at home. It never fails, you usually end up with way shorter bangs then you wanted because you couldn’t get them straight so you kept trying… and before you know it you have Lloyd bangs. Not in a cute way. Never in a cute way!”

    my bangs are currently one centimeter long in some places due to this method but I will have you know I am still fucking adorable

  3. came for the cake, stayed for the water tips. i am so dehydrated. also, just for clarification, you just put some bread dough into a cake dough? like…i’m a little confused. also, “boiled milk frosting” sounds…well, it sounds like something from 1912

  4. The energy one would be more helpful if I had 1) a washer 2) a dryer 3) central heat (or a/c) 4) modern video game consoles 5) a TV and/or 6) a desk-top computer.

    And I’d give up my pillow before I’d give up my electric kettle. Which was the only item they listed that I own.

  5. I’m just here to say I never realized how much back kangaroos have, but wow, that feature image! wow.

  6. I am all in on the one pot pasta. I hate cooking and also doing dishes, and yet apparently I have to eat? It’s the Worst. This will probably save my life.

    I lost a job unexpectedly a little over two years ago, I got a new job one month before my unemployment ran out, and I am only now starting to feel secure. That trauma is for real, & power to anyone going through that.

  7. Thank you again for this useful compilation. My bangs are currently in my eyes because I’ve been procrastinating cutting them because they always end up slightly lopsided and/or too short.

  8. After looking at the hoodie re-stringing thing I made the mistake of watching the ‘How To Tie Your Shoelace In Two Seconds’ video and my brain completely exploded.

  9. I was hoping the water requirement would be less than the 8 glasses we´re always told (I can never manage to make myself drink more water). Turns out it´s more! fml

  10. I had my first day at a new job 2 weeks ago but still read that article to make sure I was doing okay. I think I am!

    + That article on energy consumption was fascinating.

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