When we last rounded up our staff's Weekly Upgrades, our editors were pickling red onions, embracing bathtime cocktails as a lifestyle, and putting the finishing touches on our home improvement projects.
This week, we're focused on holiday planning, spending quality time with our pets, and experimenting with a boozy, brilliant clothes-cleaning technique.
What upgrades did you make this week? Let us know in the comments.
Reap the benefits of a mini holiday...
I worked a little late throughout the week and took Friday off (an option I'm very lucky to have), and my wife and I spent the day on Governors Island, a public park between Brooklyn and Manhattan.
It was a lot quieter than on the weekend, but still lively enough to be fun, and our Friday adventure made us feel fine about doing errands and side projects for the rest of the weekend.
Nick Douglas, Staff Writer
...or do your planning in advance for a big one
After years - literally, years - of telling myself I needed to save more money before booking a big holiday, I finally took the plunge and scheduled an international trip with a friend at the end of the year.
It's pricey, yes, but the amount of excitement I've already gotten out of simply imagining what we'll do and where we'll go has been well worth it. Only six more months until we're actually there!
Alicia Adamczyk, Staff Writer
Just get a cat already
My upgrade is that I adopted a cat. Her weird cat energy has made my apartment more lively and entertaining.
Claire Lower, Food & Beverage Editor
Get an instrument that works the way it's supposed to
Until recently I had two ukuleles: One that plays pretty well for a toy, and one that seems like it should be a better instrument but could never really stay in tune. So I upgraded the tuning pegs with shiny new geared tuners, and it turns out that it's still a crappy ukulele.
So my real upgrade this week is that I finally treated myself to a decent ukulele, this blue mahogany Kala model. It sounds amazing and it's easier to play and I'm kicking myself for not buying it months ago
Beth Skwarecki, Health Editor
Splurge on some new dog gear
Got a new leash for the doggo. It's comfortable to grip, retractable, and is long enough to let the dog do his business, then catch up to us while we keep walking.
Patrick Allan, Staff Writer
When in doubt, just go to Las Vegas
I wrapped up a lovely trip to Las Vegas by winning Absinthe's lap dance contest, which upgraded my self-confidence considerably given that I was called up on stage in a spiegeltent of about 500 people or so.
I also saw my favourite band, ate my favourite food (beef wellington), drank my favourite drink (ABC coffee), and generally had a great time. Lifehack? Take awesome holidays. You deserve it.
David Murphy, Senior Tech Editor
Use vodka to freshen up your clothes
I took a tip from our resident cleaning expert Jolie Kerr and filled a spray bottle with... vodka. Vodka, according to Jolie, can freshen up clothes that aren't quite ready for the dry cleaner or washing machine.
And I am here to tell you: This works really well. I spritzed the pits of a dry-clean-only dress and now you'd never know that I wore it on one of the hottest days so far.
Bonus: You can spray a little into your mouth when you're done. Try doing that with Febreze.
Alice Bradley, Deputy Editor