When we rounded up our staff's Weekly Upgrades last Saturday, our editors were simplifying long-distance correspondence, exercising more, and tracking our habits and caloric intakes.
This week, we're bringing plant life into our workspaces, kicking long-term habits, and strategising on how we can kill it with our Halloween costumes next year.
What upgrades did you make this week? Let us know in the comments.
Be your own Halloween doppelganger
I learned the trick to a last-minute Halloween costume: If you've ever thought of, heard of, or read an Instagram comment that points out some celebrity you look like, dress up as them. Especially if you noticed the resemblance thanks to a specific outfit. The night before Halloween, I was stuck without a costume. But in my summer hat, a jacket, a scarf, and a bandage on my ear, I became Van Gogh. Since I already have his beardy ginger face, it was easy for people to make the connection.
- Nick Douglas, Staff Writer
Get a new, improved and cheaper beauty routine
I got a better brow product - it's just the Ulta brow tint. It's super pigmented, and only $US10 ($13). I like it more than the Benefit stuff I was using. I also started using lip liner whenever I wear lipstick. It is a game changer. Can't believe it took me until 31 to realise how important lip liner is.
- Claire Lower, Food & Beverage Editor
Surround yourself with greenery
I'm surrounded by more processors than plant life. I decided to rectify this with some low-maintenance plants. I purchased not one, but two succulents (one for home, one for work). Sure, they're not going to revitalise my environment or hook me up with a ton of oxygen, but the addition of a little greenery does force me to acknowledge the presence of a world filled with trees, leaves and actual nature, as opposed to the verdant, virtual grasslands found in my latest obsession, Breath of the Wild.
- Patrick Austin, Staff Writer
Don't gotta have that java
I am loathe to publicise this, but my upgrade this week is giving up coffee. I don't have a particularly out-of-hand caffeine addiction - I was drinking probably two to three cups per day, tops - but in my ongoing efforts to improve my acid reflux, I very reluctantly decided that it was time to take a break. For the last several days I've been drinking green tea (UGH) in the morning, and it does seem to help. I've been a regular coffee drinker since maybe Year 7, so this is a pretty radical change for me. We'll see how things go.
- Virginia K. Smith, Managing Editor
Separate your browsers to stay organised
This one is just a little trick with Chrome tabs. I'm one of those 99-open-tabs kind of people, and I always have Slack in a pinned tab on the left side. If I'm trying to work head-down on a writing project, it's usually in Google docs, so I can still see that Slack tab light up.
Some people fullscreen their browser so they don't see the tabs, but I need them for research: Maybe I have interview notes in one tab, reference materials in another, and I keep popping open new ones to google specific points. Here's the "duh" solution: Control-click just the tabs you're working on, and you can drag to open them in a new window dedicated to that project.
- Beth Skwarecki, Health Editor
Use your plane ride to catch up on your viewing
I am perpetually behind on movies, but on a plane ride this week, I watched two that were really wonderful: The Big Sick and Lion. If you haven't seen them, The Big Sick is a quirky modern rom-com based on a real love story, and Lion is about a lost boy in India, also based on a true story. I highly recommend both films, and also plane rides for catching up on all the media you've missed.
- Michelle Woo, Parenting Editor