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Getting real assistance from the consumer ‘help’ line

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I just got off the phone with a customer “service” rep from my cable television provider, and I’m exhausted, angry and defeated. All I wanted to know is what I was paying for so I could decide if I could cancel some of the monthly charges to reduce my enormous monthly bill ($213, crazy right?). What I was after ...Read more

The 9 best small islands in the Caribbean

Famed for its postcard-perfect beaches, azure water and welcoming atmosphere, the Caribbean continues to reign as a premier travel destination. While larger islands like Jamaica and Puerto Rico hold a wealth of attractions, there’s an undeniable appeal to discovering a tiny island paradise.

Whether you’re looking for a Crusoe-style escape...Read more

How to beat the stuck-at-home blues: from improving air quality to a reno project that you can actually finish

CHICAGO — While we have been staying at home during the pandemic, Zoom became our new favorite bar, we purged our closets, built endless 1000-piece puzzles, got serious about cooking, lived in sweats, embraced houseplants, and haven’t interacted with many other humans except our immediate family members and the masked strangers that we ...Read more

8 fun hotels for the cheesiest Valentine’s Day getaway ever

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you may be scrambling for a fun and creative way to celebrate the day with your loved one. There’s a certain playfulness associated with the holiday that appears in the selection of oversized stuffed animals, chocolate candies, and over-the-top gestures meant to symbolize our love.

For those ...Read more

Elizabeth Wellington: Are we making Kamala Harris’ controversial Vogue cover all about us?

I have tried for the life of me to find a problem with Vogue magazine’s controversial February cover of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Harris, 56, is wearing a textured blazer by her friend and designer, Donald Deal. The jacket is paired with ankle-length pencil trousers and on her feet are her signature black and white Converse ...Read more

Beyonce grant helps this Philly fashion designer who up-cycles used and vintage clothes

PHILADELPHIA — Kimberly McGlonn is a down-to-earth entrepreneur with a lofty mission. She wants to help other women save the world and look fabulous while doing so by wearing her one-of-a-kind, up-cycled, sustainably made garments.

McGlonn and her imaginative all-female team of designers utilize vintage or used clothing, as well as virgin ...Read more

Sunday Best: With the death of designer Pierre Cardin, an era in fashion comes to a quiet end

An era in fashion ended quietly during last year’s final days: Legendary fashion designer Pierre Cardin died at a Paris hospital on Dec. 29, at the age of 98.

Cardin established his first fashion house in 1950, after apprenticing with Christian Dior and Schiaparelli (and working on the costumes for the classic 1946 Jean Cocteau film “Beauty...Read more

Pantone picked a dynamic duo for 2021′s Color of the Year. Here are great ways to bring the colors home

Color trend forecaster Pantone has announced its Color of the Year for 2021, summing up the global vibe that the company is seeing. That color will now trickle down to what we see and influence what we buy, from clothes and cars to the way we decorate our homes.

This year, for the second time in the program’s history, the company brought ...Read more

3 pretty-yet-practical planners for 2021

For some, picking out a planner can be as head-scratching as sticking to a new year’s resolution. Small or large? Hardbound or spiral-wire spine? Dated or blank for customizing?

Some of my favorite yearly organizers (as well as ones that typically show up high on “best planners” lists) all have one thing in common: They’re the product ...Read more

8 underrated US destinations that should be on your radar in 2021

If you’re anything like us, you’ve already started gathering ideas on where to travel next year. And while there are plenty of big-ticket destinations worth a spot on your 2021 travel bucket list, we want to call out a few places that may have been overlooked.

Whether you want to discover something new or spread the love (overtourism is ...Read more

What’s ugly and making a fashion comeback?

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I read somewhere that Crocs are making a comeback. That CAN’T be true!! Whaaat? Why? What’s your opinion of these ugly shoes?

— Pammy J.

Dear Pammy: I guess I don’t get out much these days because this is a trend that totally escaped my attention. But you’re right. “We Can’t Believe It, Either: Crocs ...Read more

9 things you never should pack in a checked bag

While we're big fans of packing light and sticking to a carry-on bag, for longer vacations or trips with lots of souvenirs (hello, wine from France), checking a bag can be the best option.

But before you stuff everything into your suitcase and send it on its way, check out the nine things you should never pack in checked luggage, whether for ...Read more

Answer Angel: Getting the smell out of thrift store bargains

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: Since I have been isolating because of COVID, I have not been able to enjoy my favorite pastime: thrift store shopping. I feel strongly that we should buy used because it is best for our environment.

But I had a problem when I finally did, carefully, go thrifting and joyously purchased several nice tops. I was so ...Read more

Elizabeth Wellington: The best advice I heard in 2020 that will help me get through 2021

This year was long. This year was hard. This year was sad. Yet it was full of life lessons.

Throughout the year, we shared with readers lots of ways to cope gracefully. They included creating rituals, learning to listen to loved ones, and practicing self-compassion in these unchartered waters. Here is a roundup. Here’s to a better 2021....Read more

8 affordable wellness retreats

Now hear this: Wellness isn’t just for well-to-do one-percenters. Increasingly, self-care has become accessible to everyone, whether that’s through a free meditation app or a bike-share program.

But there’s one aspect of health and wellness that still feels reserved for the ultra-rich — the restorative getaway. Plenty of seasoned ...Read more

A look at top fashion trends from 2020 (and maybe for 2021)

PITTSBURGH — Even though a lot of us wore sweats for most of 2020, a handful of fashion trends still managed to find their way to the top of people’s shopping lists.

ShopStyle — an online fashion discovery and shopping platform — recently released its list of the top consumer trends people searched for online this year, driven by ...Read more

Say good riddance to 2020: 6 ways to reboot and start a fresh year with better habits and better gear

To say that 2020 was a supremely challenging year is a major understatement, with stress and turmoil that never seemed to end. It’s time to look ahead and start the new year with realistic resolutions that will pay off with a healthier, happier you.

You may not be going back to the gym anytime soon, but you can give up the nonstop snacking ...Read more

After a tough 2020, retailers are optimistic for 2021

PITTSBURGH — After a year of temporary shutdowns, safety restrictions and slumping sales, fashion and retail insiders are hopeful that better days are ahead in 2021. But they’re not there yet.

COVID-19 case numbers are still surging in many states, and it will take a while for vaccines to be widely distributed. That means the pandemic ...Read more

The best packing list for a blissful wellness trip

Sometimes, you need to take a vacation designed to truly get away from it all. Wellness trips offer the chance to indulge in yoga, spa treatments, nature hikes and clean eating, so you can return to the real world rested and recharged. But before you bliss out completely, you have to pack.

Don't worry, we came up with a list of essential ...Read more

Answer Angel: A plethora of nontoxic nail polish options

Dear Answer Angel Ellen: I would like to find a safe, nontoxic, low-odor nail polish and polish remover I love. So far, I have tried marketed-for-kids Piggy Paint. While I loved the polish, it was impossible to remove! I bought their brand of remover, with no luck. Regular acetone remover didn’t work. Like many people who had left reviews on...Read more