April 2012: New car, new hair, and a better way to poo

This is a new series I’m trying out – monthly roundups. I do a ton of research and optimization all the time, so why not share my findings?

This month…

HealerTree: In the Works

We are I am building HealerTree. I’ve been thinking through a lot of business strategy around pricing and features. I’m loving the OnStartups and UX Stack Exchange.

The New Car: Still lovin’ it!

I got a new car in March! A Toyota Corolla. I got it at Broadway Toyota and had a great experience. I donated my old car (’86 Camry) to the Portland Rescue Mission, which was painless. They actually recondition and sell your car, they don’t just scrap it for cash like some of the national car donation places do. My car was old, but still in good shape; it pained me to think of it being demolished when it had a lot of use left in it. New car smell = awful. I got an in-car VOC air filter which helped a bit. Rolling all the windows down while driving helps a lot, but in Oregon you can’t do that every day. After a month it is much better. I also got these floor liners instead of mats – way more protection and they fit pretty snug.

My Hair: Longer and Redder

I’m growing out my hair–final length to be determined. Mid-length hair is a different beast than short hair: I’m experimenting with new product and a fancier hair dryer. I decided to dye it red again. Bright orange-red, with henna. Henna is permanent, unlike any red chemical dye – they wash out of my hair pretty quickly and become a dull blech-y color. Henna stays bright and dramatic forever. Plus it coats your hair, thickening it and giving it more volume. And bright colors in general give the illusion of volume. Which I need, since my hair is super-fine and if left to itself it looks incredibly limp.

henna-ing henna'd

The Pattern Eraser

I developed a very cool process to change an unwanted habit I’m calling “The Pattern Eraser”. I’m going to publish it on Tao of Prosperity – email me if you want an advanced beta copy. It helped me shift my “holding on to clutter” pattern and divest myself of nearly all of my Windows machines and peripherals (donated to FreeGeek), my Xbox (traded it at GameStop for credit toward a PSP Vita), and a ton of Goodwill items and books. I donated my car instead of going through the laborious process of selling it…I’m letting go of things all over the place. Feels great.

Tax Software

Uh, boring, I know, but it’s still got to be done. I’ve used H&R Block Online for several years, but people say good things about TurboTax so I demoed it. Didn’t like it. H&R isn’t perfect but the switching costs wouldn’t be worth it anyway. I have a tax procedure and know exactly what I need to do so it takes awhile but it’s doable. I did NOT pay the extra $5 for the “Best of Both” because I did that in 2009 and what I learned was a) it delays things considerably with all the back and forth and b) she didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know and couldn’t have figured out by looking carefully at my return and making sure everything was correct. Which is what I did this time. I caught several errors, which I had to go back and address. Taxes aren’t difficult; they just require focus and precision, which are my strengths. So it’s faster for me to do them myself than to gather up all the materials and explanations for someone else to do them. I like to understand where my money is going anyway. So, YMMV. And thankfully, Oregon now lets you pay your estimated taxes online. It’s a horrible interface, but it works. With all the money I’m paying them, can’t they hire a better software team? The only check I have to write for taxes now is the Tri-met tax.

RC-S: The Most Efficient Form of Therapy?

I took the RC-S intensive from META. RC-S is a way to work with people to state-shift out of being un-resourced or triggered, into a resourced place, without engaging in any of the content of the trigger or story. Of course there is more to it than that, but it can be quite a shortcut. After the training I felt solid as a rock for a week. Then it wore off, but I’m still feeling in general more grounded, and I have a new framework to understand my crazy when it comes up.

The Squatty Potty

Don’t laugh…ok, laugh if you want. It’s pretty amusing. But it’s good for your colon. People are meant to poo while squatting; this stool (heh) helps you assume the position.

I am loving:

  • Evernote – between Evernote, Dropbox, my iPad, the ScanSnap, and Google Docs, I’m going as paper-free as possible.
  • Pandora – with in-car BlueTooth! Excepts it kinda kills my data plan.
  • IFTTT (if this, then that) – set up conditions like, if I star an item in Google Reader, it tweets it.
  • bionaturea Gluten-Free pasta – yes, it is actually good! And erm, no, it is not Paleo….I’ve been kinda slipping off the wagon a bit.
  • Nuts.com – mmmm candy. More slippage.
  • Moo Cards – we want to integrate with their API for HealerTree so our customers can print cards that match the design of their site. It’s going to be EPIC!
  • Lechuza self-watering planters – so good for my laziness.

That’s all for this month!


  1. Grace Potts says:

    Hey Emma! I know you from FB 🙂 I just have to say that the squatty potty thing is the sh*t… (no, I couldn’t help myself) But seriously, squatting is all they say and them some. It was the only way I could go after a very painful abdominal surgery last fall- I’ve just kept it up because it’s so much easier. Thanks for posting about it!

  2. Totally blown away by the Squatty potty – new concept to me except.. oh, yeah, that’s how 9/10 of world populations do it – hmmm. Really like your blog – what the heck is UX though?? I need an abbreviation guide :~)

  3. UX = user experience.

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