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Guest Strategist Haul: What Sloane Crosley Bought in July

Photo: Caitlin Mitchell

Every month, the Strategist editors do their version of a haul blog, jibber-jabbering about their favorite purchases of the last four weeks. To get that same personality and taste insight (via receipts), we’re inviting interesting friends of the Strat to run down their own buys. For this installment of the Guest Strat Haul, Sloane Crosley, author of I Was Told There’d Be Cake and Look Alive Out There, tells us what she bought in July.

These are the best for travel, and I keep them in my refrigerator when I’m home. One thing that’s annoying is that you have to buy the variety pack. All I really want are the forehead ones, not the “smile lines” ones, but I suppose this is nothing to complain about.

A saga and a half, this one! I’m working with the Criterion Collection (I wrote an essay for their reissue of The Princess Bride) and they let me raid their famous closet. So now I have this big pile of Blu-rays. I figured I’d just buy a cheap, portable Blu-ray player, but my desktop and my laptop are so old, it took me forever to find a compatible one. The first one I ordered required holes that my laptop doesn’t have. It was like trying to mate a frog and a hamster. I also refuse to go into an actual store and discuss what is surely an easily solved issue. I’d rather just keep ordering and returning different iterations of these things.

I invested in this fancy lip balm while I was on book tour in Miami and then immediately lost it. So I bought it twice. As punishment. [Editor’s note: Our beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton loves this, too.]

These are immunity-boosting cat treats. According to my vet, a lot of cats hate them and they need to be encased in additional treats. But not my cat, Mabel. I am bragging about this because she excels at nothing else. She goes on hunger strikes. She is unamused by all toys. She once chipped a tooth trying to jump onto a counter. It’s real “you had one job” territory.

I lost my headphones (are we sensing a theme?). I think the wireless Apple ones look ridiculous. Even if I did not think that, I know myself. I am way too much of a gesticulator and a hair-flipper. I don’t care if they are designed not to pop out — mine would.

I was raised to equate hair spray with old ladies and holes in the ozone layer. But this stuff has saved me all summer, and it doesn’t even smell like a gas leak.

My mother just retired after 40 years of teaching special education, and she’s gotten into making her own pottery. So now there’s a kiln in my parents’ garage. That should end well. I bought this book for her, so she has something to peruse while we wait for the house to explode.

I did this anthology for the 92nd Street Y that was sponsored by Xerox, and they gave everyone involved nice printers, but mine won’t fit in my apartment. So even though I have access to this cool printer, I am still using my old HP LaserJet Nightmare. It eats these cartridges like candy. Meanwhile, the new printer is sitting in my parents’ garage. Until the kiln blows up, that is.

For years, I got the NYRB for free, but then I changed addresses and stopped. The fact that I’ve been reading half-locked articles and friends’ old issues was getting shameful. So I paid for a subscription like the supportive books person I claim to be.

I have a single upper piercing on my left ear. I usually wear nothing or a cuff. I wanted something a little less Handmaid’s Tale and also made of real gold, so it wouldn’t start to hurt after a while.

I was supposed to move apartments but didn’t, which is a long story not meant for the Strategist. In a kind of cleansing snit, I decided to put some money into my rental. I’m starting small, with the bathroom. I painted the walls with this color, which looks antiseptic in swatches, but is really warm when you’re surrounded by it.

The best way I can describe the feeling of installing new shelves in one’s bathroom is that it’s like being a little kid and having a new case for your pencil collection. I keep rearranging bottles and candles. These shelves make me want to invest in sea sponges.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatmentsrolling luggagepillows for side sleepersnatural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

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Guest Strategist Haul: What Sloane Crosley Bought in July