Off The Clock


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Is your penchant for showing up tardy causing you to become a potential social pariah? Take our quiz to find out.

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The latest you’ve ever arrived to a first date is…

a) One beer behind.

b) Never! Punctuality failure is a total dealbreaker.

c) So late that you ended up a third wheel—after your would-be suitor started chatting up someone else at the bar.

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One time you walked into yoga class…

a) Ugh, yoga. Yeah right!

b) Totally out of breath from running to the studio. Sure pedestrians may have stared; but you scored a coveted mirror spot—a must for a well-aligned tadasana.

c) Mid-way through the second sun salutation. No biggie.

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 When you hear the words “tardy to the party” you think…

a) Real Housewives.

b) Real Housewives.

c) About the infamous dinner party incident of 2010, when your BFF went on a wine-fueled rant about your absence during the appetizer course. 

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Have you ever been late to an interview…

a) Once, but you called ahead to let HR know and apologized profusely.

b) Never.

c) A few times…but there’s a ten minute grace period on everything these days.

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Air travel is such a pain, one time you…

a) Pulled a muscle while racing to the gate—those security lines are a real b-tch!

b) Bribed a taxi driver into taking the carpool lane to make check-in.

c) Slept in O’Hare when you missed your flight.image

If you answered mostly As you get a Late Pass. You know it’s ok to be fashionably late every now and again—as long as you’re gracious about it. Consider a stylish watch for checking the time while you’re on-the-go.

If you answered mostly Bs you are Perfectly Punctual. You bend over backwards to arrive on the dot. Pick up a cool calendar to keep all your appointments in order.

If you answered mostly Cs you are Tyrannically Tardy. It’s time to get a grip on your lateness—you’re practically holding people hostage with your laissez faire attitude towards timeliness. Get a clock now, before it’s too late.

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The Art of Re-Gifting: A Beginner’s Guide

The holiday season calls for strategic cost-cutting and clutter-combatting measures. Efforts to combine the two have spawned a sort of hush-hush practice known as “re-gifting”—that is, passing off an undesired gift as new to an unsuspecting recipient.

For those who feel naughty just thinking about it, we’ve compiled some pro tips to help you proceed with the necessary caution.

The DOs and DON’Ts of Re-Gifting: 

DO: Know the trends.

Faux fur was the “it” accessory of 2010. So before you (finally) re-gift that clutch covered in imitation chinchilla, consider the recipient. If she’s style-savvy, abort mission—she’ll be onto you immediately. A bit on the eccentric side? Slap a bow on it and pat yourself on the back.

DON’T: Acknowledge when you’re a re-giftee.

The first rule of re-gifting is that you do not talk about re-gifting. Even if the notion of receiving a re-gift makes your skin crawl, it is imperative that you maintain a veil of innocence regarding the entire practice. When friends successfully pull one over on you, they’ll never expect you to do it back. 

DO: Keep track.

The holidays are overwhelming, and the impulse to get it all done can lead to some serious slip-ups. Keep a spreadsheet of incoming/outgoing gifts to avoid accidentally rebounding an item, or bringing it to an exchange where the original gifter will be present. (No amount of Prosecco can alleviate that kind of awkward.) This will help you sleep at night. 

DON’T: Re-gift freebies (without doing your research).

You have a zillion bottles of nail polish from charity event gift bags, and indigo glitter is so not your thing. But wait…was your potential re-giftee also in attendance at one of said events? Do your research—or better yet, avoid comps completely—to prevent the ultimate faux pas.

DO: Leave original packaging intact.

We shouldn’t even have to say this—but it’s amazing what people will do when budget panic sets in. If you want to burn a copy of that album for yourself, just keep it. If you pulled the tags off that scarf to wear it “just this once,” consider it yours. Re-gifting items that you actually want is an abomination of the art form.

DON’T: Feel guilty.

It can blow your cover, and it causes wrinkles. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with turning over a well-intentioned gift to a potentially more appreciative recipient. Letting it collect dust in the corner is a waste, so pay forward the good sentiment. Wouldn’t you want your giftees to do the same? (Don’t answer that.)

Follow this outline and enjoy a highly efficient holiday season devoid of awkward missteps…that is, assuming you go easy on the eggnog.

—Kate Canary

HOW TO: Survive Your Office Holiday Party

          Your office is a landmine of awkward situations. There are unusually brief quarterly reviews (what does that mean?), uncomfortable bathroom encounters (remember when you heard the HR girl sobbing in a locked stall?), and those special conversations with your company president in which you have to repeat, as nicely as possible, that you’re not interested in dating his nephew. And then, there’s the Office Holiday Party. 

            You really sort of have to go, though. And admit it: There’s something in you, however small, that wants to go. There’s something thrilling about the small chance that you might get embarrassingly drunk, or receive a perfectly desirable gift in the gift exchange, or grab a drink with your office crush after the soiree winds down.

            But before you set out trying to survive this year’s bash, you have to narrow in on a mission. Tell us what your motivation is, and we’ll tell you what you need to know. Click on the links to stock up.

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A.) GET DRUNK AND STUFFED

You’re smart. You’ve already been given a holiday bonus (unless that didn’t happen…sorry!) so there’s no reason to play it safe anymore. Let loose and let fly and let yourself get a little wasted. First thing’s first: Bring your own wine opener. There will be amateurs present, and you don’t want to be left without libations if someone breaks the corkscrew. And who wants to wait for someone to run across the street to grab one? You came to drink. Next, make sure you bring a really terrific sweet treat in a really terrific serving dish (like this one of the Virgin Mother). The bigger the better: That way, no one will bat an eyelash if they notice you’re having fourth and fifth helpings of everyone else’s. We suggest you brush up on your cocktail skills, too. Unless you have a bartender present, you don’t want to be left with boxed eggnog and a recipe for poinsettias that some guy learned in college.

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B.) WOO AN OFFICE CRUSH

You have guts. We respect that. You’re going to need to forgo the abrasive holiday sweater if you want to take that flirtationship to the next level. Opt for something simple, subtle, but sleek as hell. That should take care of looking good, but we suggest one of these flasks when it comes to feeling good. Liquid courage is essential, but no one wants to see you guzzling the free stuff in plain sight. And about that smartphone of yours: It’s more important than you think. Whether you’re showing your crush a few pictures of your dog doing something hilarious, or you have to fake an incoming telephone call to get out of an awkward situation, you should give them something nice to look at. Try these. 

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C.)  APPEAR HAPPY AND ENTERTAIN YOUR COWORKERS

You could be choosing this route for a multitude of reasons. Maybe seeing your coworkers enjoying themselves really makes you warm and fuzzy. Maybe you’re deeply sad and you want to put on a convincing front. Regardless, you’re going to need a slightly abrasive holiday sweater. It wouldn’t hurt to decorate your desk with some inexpensive yuletide trim a week or so before the party either—that really says “I’m balanced and healthy and therefore I love the Holidays.” You should really bring your A-game to the gift swap, too. Check out our Secret Santa Shop for some ideas. Warning: An extremely approachable exterior can triple the chances of boring, uncomfortable conversation. Have an escape plan ready. We suggest, “So, how about the Fukushima nuclear disaster? Seems pretty dire, doesn’t it?”

And that’s that. Now you’re armed and ready to survive any Office Holiday Party, no matter how brutal. That Fukushima thing, though? We can’t help there.

Words and drawings by Jordan Shavarebi. Coloring skills by Kailyn Wilson.

Our Christmas List, Revisited

Dear Santa,

We apologize for all those haphazardly scrawled, poorly curated Christmas lists of yore. You see, we grew up in a time when wishes sprung only from our own imaginations—a time when a place like Fab was just a twinkle in your little elves’ eyes.  

Today—thanks to a little Christmas magic and a lot of bandwidth—we have your entire workshop at our fingertips. So it seems only right to offer a long overdue revision of our childhood wish list.

RoboMe: Robots are the new puppies. The only thing better than a furry ball of love leaping toward you on Christmas morning is a sophisticated piece of circuitry that recognizes your face, responds to your voice, and syncs with your iPhone. It’s Man’s Best Friend of the Future, and we gotta have it.

Lightshow DJ: Psshh…totally not afraid of the dark anymore. But the nightlight was once a bedroom staple. So if we (hypothetically) wanted one (for nostalgic purposes only), this device would be it. It creates a light show to the beat of the music it plays—so let’s kick back and count some sheep like it’s 1992.

Wonder Woman Mrs. Potato Head: Few things are as satisfying as disfiguring an anthropomorphic potato. But back in the day, the fun was limited to a few fundamental facial features. Not so with this bona fide superhero—or should we say “spud-hero”?

Humungous Heart Plush: Just because we’ve all outgrown Pauly the Purple Platypus doesn’t mean we don’t need a snuggle buddy now and then. Forget the cutesy plushies of our youth—in the shape of a human heart, this one is downright academic. (Note: This is what the Grinch’s ticker really looked like after it grew a few sizes.)

Super Mario Checkers Game Set: This is pretty much our childhood dream come true. It’s the lovechild of one epic video game and two ageless board games: checkers and tic-tac-toe. That’s like three presents in one (plus another chance to fight with our siblings over who gets to be Luigi).

Elemental Block Set: We scoffed at the so-called “educational” toys as kids—having perfected our ABC’s while the other kids were spewing gibberish—but this block set taps into the adult intellect. Instead of letters and numbers, each cube highlights six elements of the periodic table. Crisp, colorful, and crafted by hand, it’s a chemistry lesson-turned-conversation piece.

No need to stop there, Santa. We’re sure you already have plenty of tricks up that puffy red sleeve of yours. Oh, and by the way? Don’t worry about weighing down the sleigh this year…Fab delivers.

Yours,

The Kids @ Heart @ Fab

—Kate Canary

Under Wraps: Three Fab People’s Holiday Faves

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Sebastian Arguello, Lead Photographer

1. What is on your wish list this year?

My wish list consists of several graphic print T-shirts, for example,  mr gugu and miss go’s flower print shirt, and The Mountain’s bulldog tee. I would love the Nolan shoe in ice by Giorgio Brutini, 420G black boot by gram, and a set of blocks by NAEF, they are gorgeous and colorful. A wooden slingshot by Hella slingshots would be a blast for starting the year off with some mischief. 

2. What is the best gift you ever received? 

As a child, I never really had much. Usually, my brother and I would get one gift to share, but one Christmas I received a large 100 piece Dinosaur kit and my brother opened up an awesome Lionel train set. Let’s just say that for months we lived our own version of Dinotopia!

 3. What gets you into a holiday mood?

I have a very weird trigger for the holiday season. I can’t feel the holidays until I hear Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas”…but the catch is that I can’t play it myself. It has to be a surprise!!! For example, it could be playing in a store or in a passing car. 

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4. How do you wrap your presents?

 I’m not a great wrapper, but this is how I open presents: I usually admire the wrapping and smile at my gift giver, follow up with a hug and a “you shouldn’t have, really”… and rip the packaging apart like the Tasmanian devil. 

5. What is your strangest holiday memory?

One Christmas, our family took a trip to our uncle’s house in Chicago. My brother and I saw snow for the first time and went hog wild in the street. [Ed. Note: Sebastian is from Miami.] Needless to say, all that white made us disoriented and we didn’t recognize the right house. Hence, we walked right into another family having dinner. I didn’t recognize a soul and thought “Oh, cool, more guests…” So we sat down with the other kids at the kids’ table. Meanwhile, my parents are going nuts, and, finally, one of the neighbors asked us who we were and…tada! there’s my mom at the door with a red face asking if anyone had seen her children, and there we were, eating mac and cheese. 

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Kimberly Oliver, Senior Director, Communications

1. What is on your wish list this year?

I have my eye on a few things for myself:

mrs Jermyn gold on black painterly clutch - I like the simple shape, the touch of gold, and that each one is slightly different.

Morris Kitchen Ginger and Preserved Lemon Syrups paired with SodaStream carbonated water = best homemade soda ever.

And for a splurge gift, a cashmere scarf from Chan Luu - the perfect accent for any outfit in any season, and great for traveling.

And a few things for different family members:

For my dad, a reminder of time spent paddling around on the lake during summer vacations while I was growing up.

I got one of these for myself and will also get one for my mom, sister, and daughter - it’s a simple and elegant necklace to connect us even when we’re spread out around the world:

For my stylish teen son and my stylish best friend, the Necklush in navy, silver, and black (yes, I will want to borrow it from one or the other of them).

2. What is the best gift you ever received? 

As a young girl I was obsessed with the Betty Crocker Boys and Girls Cook Book, and specifically with the Enchanted Castle Birthday Cake. My mom was not a baker, nor particularly artistic, but for my fifth birthday, she tackled the cake, frosted turrets, flying flags, Hershey’s Bar door, drawbridge, and all. I loved it then because of the cake itself, and I love it now because of the effort and time she took to make it for me. 

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3. What gets you into a holiday mood?

Baking—unlike my mom I am into it! This year I’m excited to try a gluten-free crust for my go-to chocolate pecan pie recipe (topped with bourbon whipped cream - it’s the best). Getting Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour to make it with.

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4. How do you wrap your presents?

Eco-frugal-simple. I crumple up dry-cleaning tissue paper or brown Kraft paper and then smooth it out to give it an interesting texture. Red or gold metallic ribbon for material contrast, and we’re done.

5. What is your strangest holiday memory?

Spending Christmas Eve having an epic late night snowball fight just outside a fancy restaurant at a mountain resort. I, my husband, and the kids trooped out in full ski gear, including helmets and goggles, and spent a few hours running around, throwing snowballs, dodging and ducking, ending up exhausted, entirely covered in snow, and falling down with laughter. We had so much fun, but we must have looked slightly unhinged to the people enjoying their sedate holiday meal inside the lodge.

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Eurie Kim, Junior Art Director

1. What is on your wish list this year?

At the top of my list right now is this Korean fashion designer KYE’s black faux fur leather jacket. it’s sold out everywhere I’ve looked…arghh!!! I want it so bad. That huge Warhol book...Andy Warhol “Giant” SizeA Yoshitomo Nara pup in a cup sculpture. I love Nara’s work. His characters are so awesome and adorably dark.

2. What is the best gift you ever received? 

When I was little, I was obsessed with Polly Pocket. I wanted them all. I mean, they were just so small and precious! I remember one Christmas, I asked “Santa” for this Polly Pocket that I had had my eyes on for a while…I had it circled and highlighted and everything in the Toys R Us catalog…and come Christmas, BAM, I got my Polly Pocket! It felt like victory. Sweet, sweet victory.

3. What gets you into a holiday mood?

Holiday treats and holiday flavors, like gingerbread, pumpkin pie, peppermint, hot chocolate…mmm.

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4. How do you wrap your presents?

I’m not much of a present wrapper…I’m actually pretty terrible at it. I’m all about the gift bag.

5. What is your strangest holiday memory?

I don’t have a strange memory, but a silly one. One Christmas, for some reason, my parents decided to surprise my brother and me by putting our Christmas gifts at the end of our bed on top of the blanket (instead of under the tree).  So, in the middle of the night, as I’m sleeping and cuddled up under my blanket, I tried to cuddle into my blanket some more, and I felt something heavy preventing me from getting more blanket! I legit thought it was a monster and I held my breath and closed my eyes…hoping it wouldn’t hurt me. But after what seemed like an eternity of holding my breath, I peeked over with one eye…and gasped with relief and joy at seeing the gift-wrapped boxes at the end of my bed!!! Woohoo!

Be sure to flip through these Fab Staffer Faves in the pages that follow!