Weekend Open Thread

Design History Allover Sequin Tank, Dolphin Gray Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Last Call by Neiman Marcus is having its “Wow” sale, offering an extra 20-40% off the entire store and site. I’m eyeing these Design History knit tanks, covered in sequins — there’s a number in neutral colors, like the “dolphin gray” (pictured) or goldish “dune,” but there are also some color-saturated looks like this island green or this red one. I can see all of them being great with anything from skinny jeans to a fancier pant or skirt, perhaps with a velvet blazer on top… It was $80, then marked to $49, but with the extra 40% off it comes down to $29.40. Design History Allover Sequin Tank, Dolphin Gray

(L-all)

Psst: Check out more great deals (including prior recommendations, now on sale) at the Corporette Bargains page!

Comments

  1. Love the sequin tank, Kat.

    Threadjack – I know I might be out of the main demographic here but the IUD discussion made me want to ask this. (I loved my Mirena.)

    Have any of you lovely crones (spoken as one, as a term of affection) used the Estring? It’s like the Nuvaring but it is for post-menopausal women to help with low estrogen to enable happier ladygarden parties. I currently use Premarin but it’s not optimal.

    • This crone would also love some thoughts on this topic. I’m still peri-menopausal at 51 and HRT was not effective in enhancing libido or making for happier lady garden parties. I know part of it is life stress (elder parent issues, crazy busy @ work, grown kid worries), but it is downright scary how little I know/trust my body anymore. And the same kind of resources available to help girls make the transition to womanhood just aren’t there when our bodies are making this transition. :(

    • (literally) senior lawyer :

      I don’t know of any good news on this topic. I used the Estring and it didn’t help at all. (It also didn’t help that when I went to the ER for acute diverticulitis, the resident who did a speculum exam said: “what the h*ll is THAT!!!”) I also used an estrogen creme and that was not useful.

      Over the counter local moisturizing agents are the only things that work . . . and really not that well. One issue is that I’m just not that interested anymore. I’ve been s*xually active for 40+ years. I’ve always been in tune with my biology. When I was of reproductive age, well, I was really, really into that area of my life. Now, not so much. I’m healthy, still litigating, happy, etc., so I don’t think my lack of interest is medical or emotional. I think it’s biological and natural. Of course, YMMV.

      I’m truly not that thrilled with the makers of Viagra, and I bet more than one old lady agrees with me.

    • Crone here. I use a combination of Vagifem (2x/week vaginally-inserted tablets that contain estrogen) and Replens, the best of the OTC moisturizers (which are different than a lubricant that you use for sex). They help, but it’s not the same as being 20, or even 40, again.

  2. Dang, that’s a good price!

    Fun game: describe the last really fun party you went to, and what made it so fun.

    I went to a murder mystery dinner party a few months ago. I wasn’t sure if everyone would take it seriously, but they sure did, which made it really great.

    • sdchicky619 :

      This was earlier in the year, but my friend hosted an Oscars party; everyone was asked to dress up and wear their high school prom dresses. It was a hoot.

      I also hosted a clothing swap party last month, which was a blast. It’s nice getting rid of stuff that’s cluttering up your closest, and scoring some new duds, too.

      • Ooh, those are both fun! The Oscars party might be difficult for people living away from home but I still might consider doing that next year.

    • Merabella :

      My friend regularly has a beer tasting party at her house. She asks everyone to bring different bottles of beer and we all taste it. It is also sort of a potluck/a place to practice my pinterest recipes. I’m not a huge beer fan, but it has opened me up to trying different kinds. I guess you could do it with wine, but that always seems so fancy shmancy.

      • We did wine parties in law school and I can promise that it wasn’t fancy shmancy on a law student budget. It was super fun though and we tasted a lot of wines that were >$15.

  3. TO Lawyer :

    AHH sequins!! Be still my beating heart…

  4. SF Bay Associate :

    SF meet up – 1:30 pm on Sunday, November 4, at Rosamunde’s Sausage on Mission at 24th (next to Bart).

  5. Okay. Tis Halloween has convinced me that I need to lose my sugar habit. I’d love to hear any shortcut “rules” that take the thinking and guesswork out of it and what I can expect during the withdrawal period. I assume there will be one. How long will it last. I’m currently jonesing for the leftover candy outside my cube.

    • Skippy pea :

      I am zoo interested in this one!

    • I did this! I’m on day 21, I think? I gave up all sweets: candy, my beloved haribo, hot chocolate, cake, cookies, and biscuits. The first two days were rough, definitely got a headache but after that, it has been okay. I still get a lot (maybe too much) sugar from natural sources but I figure munching on carrots and red peppers is better than gummy bears. The key is figuring out your sugar habits (is it sugar after meals, the chewiness of gummy candy, etc) and finding a reasonable substitute (carrots, fruit, dried fruit without added sugar)

      My issue was less a calorie issue than a substituting sugar for protein, wholesome meals, and rest so this has forced me to cook. However, my caffeine consumption has probably increased as I look for an energy boost.

      *True confession: I am going to a chocolate festival tomorrow but I’ll have a few pieces of dark and then it’s back to the sugar ban.

    • I started doing this a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been surprised that it hasn’t been that hard. I think the key for me as been a mental shift. If you read any of Jen Dziura’s columns on the Grindstone or the Gloss (the only things worth reading on those sites, if you ask me), she talks frequently about motivating yourself with disgust. In onecolumn she wrote “I find sugar disgusting, and when I see other people eating it, my inner voice says, “You have the palate of a toddler. Are you wearing a diaper?” And then I eat a dozen oysters with horseradish and drink a Hoegaarden.” So I’m trying to cultivate that attitude myself, thinking that candy is for children and a person cannot be desperate for candy, cake and cookies and maintain the level of gravitas I would like to have. I am also focusing on how gross I feel after eating sugar and ramping up a level of disgust toward that feeling that I can employ before I eat something sugary. I’m also letting myself eat whatever else I want, no matter how unhealthy (cheezy poofs, ahoy!). I figure it’s better to conquer one thing at a time.

      As for “rules,” it’s pretty simple for me: no foods that are primarily sweet, including candy, cookies, cakes, pastry, ice cream, sweetened yogurt, sweetened beverages, etc. Fresh fruit is ok in unlimited quantity. Fruit juice only when mixed about 1:4 parts with seltzer. I am allowing myself small quantities of sweet condiments – syrup, jam, ketchup, bbq sauce – but I don’t really eat those things very often.

      • Eek. To be honest, that sounds like a way to warp your relationship not only with yourself (because you will be human and have times where you want sugar) and with everyone else. People aren’t children because they eat something sweet. They don’t deserve judgement for you. And you don’t deserve judgment from yourself for wanting something sweet, nor do you have the palate of a toddler.

        You may well decide you don’t want to eat sugar, but berating yourself for merely wanting it strikes me as a recipe for shaping a really disordered relationship with food. It reminds me of how I thought in college when I had an eating disorder, and I never felt so free in my life as when I was able to shake that type of thinking. Cultivating it deliberately . . . does not seem like a recipe for long term mental health and happiness, even if it might make you thinner. (Or might not; plenty of people react to that kind of mental absolutism by backlashing.)

        • Totally agree.

        • Well this is certainly not something I’m saying out loud to anyone else. If people want to eat candy, I 100% think they should eat candy and it’s none of my business at all. I hope no one here feels judged by my statements. I probably shouldn’t have written this, so I’m sorry if I upset anyone.

          To allay your concerns, I am definitely not judging or berating myself for eating or wanting anything. I am just cultivating disgust for sugar, not for myself or anyone who eats it. This might be hard to explain, but it’s the difference between “Ew, candy is sugary and gross and will rot your teeth and is really just for kids,” vs. “Ew, Jenny you are so gross and childish for wanting candy.”

          • I feel disgusted in a similar way regarding food on occasion, and it was never a thought I willed myself to have, but I hate that I think it and I do not think it’s healthy. So, be careful. I would just worry that once you start training yourself to think “ew, candy is gross,” it’s not hard to naturally progress to “ew, I am gross for eating/wanting candy,” even if that’s not your intention at all.

          • ChocCityB&R :

            I think I understand where you are coming from DCJenny, in that I have an extremely powerful disgust response and it is a surefire way to keep me away from things (whether rationally or not). I also understand the fears that others have about developing disordered eating as a result. It really is a delicate balance. One of the hallmarks of an eating disorder (at least among my small sample size of me and a friend) is a feeling of superiority towards others without the control around food you have.

            On the other hand, the disgust response has completely eliminated my desire for fastfood, so I can’t say that it is totally a bad thing. Even smelling McDonalds can make me nauseated, and the last time I ate fast food I felt sick all day and then threw up. I don’t know if it was the actual content of the food or my mental images of how it is manufactured and prepared. In any event, this is one disgust response that I won’t be letting go of. And while I do think I’m a bit of an asshole for judging people I see eating fast food so harshly, I keep my judgments to myself and endeavor to never treat those people differently as a result, so I think in the end its ok.

          • ChocCityB&R :

            *sigh*, I meant to put quotation marks around “control” so as not to imply an eating disorder is a matter of will rather than a mental illness.

          • I think I see what you’re trying to do, but agree that disgust may be a slippery slope.

            Maybe a mindset like “that food won’t provide the fuel my body needs” instead? Ie, if you’re planning on going for a run after work, an afternoon snack of apple plus PB plus yogurt will fuel you, an afternoon snack of 5 mini twix will not. Just a thought.

          • I don’t see why it would be a bad thing to have an aversion to something that is unhealthy. I have only a limited about of willpower, the energy to resist things I want, so I think it’s a much better solution to try to stop myself from wanting the unhealthy thing in the first place.

            I promise you all, I am in no danger of developing an ED or a superiority complex about food. Did no one see the part about the cheezy poofs?

          • I’m the OP. I get what people are saying about a potentially disordered relationship with food. But what you wrote does address some of my reasons for wanting to go sugar free. I have literally felt sick a few days this week. And I want to build a stronger connection between how bad I feel and the fact that I will go into a meeting and someone will bring the da&m Twizzlers and I eat still more of what has already made me feel uncomfortable.

            My desire isn’t so much about the calories, but it is true that sugar confuses my hunger sensations. First they are dulled, then I am ravenous and I eat badly ( poor nutrition, processed, etc?) it’s a viscous cycle and by being more aware of how I feel – physically uncomfortable- I hope to find motivation to treat myself better. It is a kind of aversion therapy, but not shaming.

          • I think there’s a distinction between physical disgust and moral disgust, and I think it’s beneficial to separate the two. For instance, cheap pizza (Pizza Hut, Dominos, etc.) makes me awful – sick, thirsty, just awful. So when I see it, I get this “uggggh, I’m going to feel awful if I eat that” pre-sick feeling. Which is great – it’s my body knowing what will work for it and acting based on that.

            That’s different than cultivating an attitude of moral disgust, which is what the article quoted was doing. Say “that pizza is for pigs, and if I eat it, I’m a pig. Stop looking at it, you pig.” I’m not a bad person for eating cheap pizza that’s going to make me feel sick; what I am is a person who made a stupid decision about a particular meal and should try to remember that it’s not a decision that’s going to make me happy going forward.

          • Meg Murry :

            @DC Jenny-
            The concern is because the disgust can become a slippery slope from – “ew candy” to “ew refined sugar” to “ew pizza” to “ew salad dressing” to “ew calories in general”. In my case, my eating disorder was all about control – controlling what I put in my body was one of the only things I had control over, and I took it way too far, along with the “I can’t believe she’s going to eat that” superiority thoughts. I had myself convinced for a long time “I don’t have an eating disorder, I’m just trying to eat healthier, I can stop at any time, just 5 more pounds” but I was actually pretty far out of control, to the point where when I tried to start eating “semi-normally” again (as in 1 slice of pizza after a whole day of celery and diet soda) I would be so disgusted with myself I would throw up – not bulimia stick you finger down your throat – just so upset I would throw up. I also had a friend going through EDs with me, and we fed off each other’s disgust “Ew, I can’t believe so and so is eating that, does she know how many calories that has?!”

            So that is where I think some people are coming from – the slippery, slippery slope that starts out as disgust and eating healthier. If you can actually concentrate on “ugh, last time I ate mini-twix I felt gross, I should have apples and peanut butter instead” that is an ok attitude, its when you start with “ugh gross I can’t eat that I won’t eat anything or I’ll just eat celery and diet soda” that it can get ugly.

          • Meg Murry :

            Oops, didn’t realize DC Jenny wasn’t the OP – my comment was aimed at the OP or anyone that thinks “food shaming” is a good way to lose weight – it can be a very slippery slope.

          • You know, I’ve been thinking about this and I’m going to say one other thing. The writer of that article is wrong. I’m not saying she’s wrong for not wanting to eat sugar; of course that’s her personal decision and only she knows how it affects her. But the idea that there’s something inherently bad about an adult eating sugar is, actually, wrong. It’s no more wrong than an adult having a beer or having sex with a new partner or mountain climbing or laying out in the grass on a sunny day. All of those things entail a certain amount of negative consequences or risk, and plenty of people reasonably choose not to do any of them and those decisions should be respected (and we should encourage people we know who want to make them). And all of those things can be dangerous when taken to excess or not done responsibly. But defining any of those as wholescale gross is just a lousy, negative, and disrespectful way to live and, honestly, I think people who make their living hocking that kind of view are either (a) pretty disturbed, or (b) cynical opportunists who recognize they can make $$$ by exploiting the fears and anxieties of others in culturally sanctioned ways. I’m tired of it.

          • I am with Em. Judging others is not a way to improve yourself. I am a recovering alcoholic and that means I cannot drink. But you all should feel free to drink! So sick of the attitude against people who: smoke, shop at Walmart, eat doughnuts. etc., because we are all human and we all have our little guilty pleasures and our vices. Just stop!

      • This is an interesting method but I’d worry about what it would do to my long term relationship with food.

        • I have certain food allergies that prevent me from eating certain fruit or raw nuts. It’s remarkable how I have no desire for them even though I used to eat these things all the time in the past and actually really liked them. Perhaps rather than try to create a “sugar = gross” association, you can achieve similar results by telling yourself that it’s just not something that is okay for you. No need to get weird about it, but you just don’t do those things because, as you say, it makes you feel sick.

          • This is really what I should do with McDonald’s. But every six months or so, I get a McDonald’s craving and I.Have.To.Have.It. Then I feel sick within thirty minutes, without fail. I really need to train myself better.

          • This happened to me too. I thought I’d really miss things like noodles and pasta and bread after discovering I had a wheat allergy, but when I had a few bites just for taste, the pleasure in eating these things was gone – maybe because there’s such a strong mental link between these foods and my allergies now.

            As for sugar – after going off it for a couple of months, I can tell when something has too much sugar (meaning, you actually taste sugar as opposed to sweetness or a vaguely sweet flavour) and it totally turns me off. It’s not that I consciously cultivated disgust for sugar, it’s just there.

        • I did it unintentionally with mayonnaise when I was like, 9. I read the ingredients and saw that it had lots of fat, and also eggs and vinegar. Even though I had until that moment liked mayo, from then on I thought to myself, “if i eat this mayonnaise it is like eating straight fat and butter.”

          It’s the only food for what I’ve ever had a strong aversion; i won’t touch anything that has straight mayo on it and SO HELP ME GOD if that mayo is even the slightest it warm I physically RETCH.

          All because I read the ingredients 20 years ago. Too bad I didn’t also read the ingredients of beer, wine or chocolate :)

      • Anonymous :

        I’m totally with you DC Jenny. Something that’s bugs me from time to time about this site is that every small thing is potentially indicative of a mental illness (or spousal abuse). I think that cultivating a bit of disgust towards things that are bad for you is a good thing, especially if you naturally love them. As another sugar addict, I’m with you! My trick was to cultivate disgust towards sugary goodness and simultaneously cultivating a love of healthy things. In the beginning it was rough because they were both artificial, but now a few years later, I get a lot of personal pleasure from choosing carrots or bell peppers over candy, and I actually like the taste more than the taste of sweet things.

        • Everyone who’s spoken on this, as far as I can tell, did so from personal experience. Dismissing is that is honestly kind of a jerk thing to do (offering your own experience as a counter isn’t; you could have left it at that). And nobody said you shouldn’t choose bell peppers over candy; the comments were much more nuanced than that.

    • Meg Murry :

      One thing that I’ve found is that eating something sweetened (even artificially sweetened) sets off a sugar cascade for me. So drinking a soda (even diet) leaves me wanting M&Ms leaves me wanting a doughnut, etc etc. So one rule that works for me when I’m trying to kick my sugar habit. So for me, cutting all sweetened triggers – soda, juice, sweet tea, sweetened cereal helps me keep my cravings for even junkier sugary food at least somewhat at bay. I’m ok with fruit, and occasionally dried fruit like raisins, but not things like juice or fruit leather. I still struggle with it on a day by day basis, but I need to get stricter with my sugar intake.
      The other thing that makes a difference to me is to allow myself to “cheat” only at parties or restaurants on truly special occasions, so I don’t feel like I’m denying myself, but I don’t bring the sugary food into my house. Again, these are my theoretical rules, my willpower isn’t so strong right now.

    • KansasAnalyst :

      I feel your pain! I have been restricting my sugar for the last few months, and it has been tough, but I found a really great resource. Google search for Stumptuous “How to dump sugar for good”, it’s a fantastic blog that will get you thinking and give you a plan to get rid of the sugar. I have also discovered that when I eat something (really anything) with sugar, my cravings really ramp up. Be prepared to be super sad when you discover that there is sugar in EVERYTHING! I’m not kidding! I started reading labels, and that is a rabbit-hole you can’t un-see.

      It’s weird, the other day I let myself have a cheat and eat a cookie. The whole experience was disappointing, because it wasn’t as good as I had remembered cookies tasting. So now when I’m really hankering for something sweet I gently remind myself that it is probably not as good as I’m imagining it to be. The upside is that all the other food really tastes a lot better when you cut out sugar. Fruit is crazy sweet and you will be able to tell when food has even small amounts of sugar in it.

      Good luck with your sugar kicking!

      Next, I’m going to cut out bread products…. Gulp!

    • ChristinaMD :

      I gave up sweets – cookies, candy, treats, etc for Lent this year. I love sweets, sugar, Swedish Fish/gummy candy – the best! I substituted a lot of natural sugars in fruit, and I told myself I wasn’t going to be worried about the sugar inherent in foods like breads, etc. For the first week of two, I relied very heavily on canned fruit (in juice or water) and greek yogurt post dinner to get my through my cravings. I had a terrible headache and was a nasty person to be around for most of the early part of the second week – and then I broke through. Once you get through the withdrawal it honestly isn’t that hard, and much more about making cognizant choices than just reaching for what is in front of you.
      The week of Easter, I took a client to an event that Georgetown Cupcake had a table at – and I smuggled out a Salted Caramel Cupcake – my fave – and shoved it into the fridge until Easter Day. I ate half that cupcake and almost passed out. I could feel my heart racing, my face sweating. it’s was scary, because I hadn’t gone completely sugar free – how much sugar I had cut out to get that reaction (By Comparison, we had a friend in town in last December and did a walking/metro tour of all the cupcake places in DC, and probably ate 4 cupcakes that day without batting an eye).
      By summer, I felt off, I couldn’t put my finger on it, I had gone back to eating sweets though my comsumption was still down from prior to February. I was lethargic and tired. By mid-July, I made the decision to give up, what I consider to be non-essential sugars – the cookies, candies, etc. No one NEEDS a gummy worm. I haven’t looked back, I give myself cheat times – I was at the beach during the summer, I had ice cream and taffy, I had some treats for halloween. Now, I try to limit the impact – I give myself a window of a couple days. I find I also make better choices – I’m really going to enjoy this bowl of handmade ice cream from my fave place at the beach, but I’m not going to just graze on crappy food all day like before.
      Long story, but my take aways – start with a solid list of what you are and are not limiting before you start – is it all sugar, is it some (what are those, specifically)? That will help you in weak moments push through and make better choices. There is a social aspect to sugar: the office birthday cakes, the brownies your co-worker brought in. Find a way to still be present in those moments (if you want to) without giving into the treats. I found that for me, Chocolate Zone Bars were OK – so if something sweet showed up, I grabbed a zone bar and it got me through and limited the office comments on what I was and wasn’t eating. If you have a slip, drink a lot of water afterwards – as someone else expressed, sugar starts a domino effect of craving sugar.
      Good Luck, once you get past the sugar withdrawal things get markedly easier!

    • Anonymous Poser :

      If you don’t or can’t eat chocolate, some of this won’t be helpful to you, and of course YMMV. My advice translates, though, to working on changing your tastes. So it isn’t “cold turkey” advice.

      I worked my way into a taste for darker and darker chocolate. 87% cocoa was a special treat, with my regular chocolate being TJ’s 73% organic chocolate bar.

      This pretty much ruined me for sweets that tasted solely like sugar. I was not in the least tempted by the cake at the communal birthday parties at work, and in general it helped me pass up most sugar that showed up because I just thought, “I have something tastier at home that I’ll get to eat instead of this, which I know wouldn’t taste as good to me, even if I did sample it.” Got me home plenty of times without taking a bite.

      Of course, with the low-acid diet I’m checking out, the chocolate is no longer an option for me. :-(

      Lara bars also helped. All the sugar comes from the dates, which yes, are high in sugar, but I don’t think that’s the kind of sugar you are trying to avoid.

      Not having any added sugar in the morning was also key. I took my oatmeal plain, with added almonds for texture interest, and some plain Greek yogurt. Yum!

  6. Skippy pea :

    Quick question!

    Anyone use the Tarte amazonian lay foundation? Does it provide good coverage?

    Also, if anyone has any foundation recommendation for freckly, sun damaged dry skin, I would love to hear those.

    I think I really need to go see a derm for my skin. I have a lot of discoloration. :(

    • I swear by it! My sister and I both use the Amazonian clay foundation and love it. It provides just enough coverage for me, and I use Bare Escentuals sheer mineral veil over it to “set” the foundation.

    • I use their “Amazonian clay BB illuminating moisturizer” and love it. It gives a nice, sheer level of coverage, but I have pretty good skin, so I really just use it to even out my skin tone. It’s moisturizing too, which I like.

  7. momentsofabsurdity :

    Okay, so I’m thinking of slow-cooking up something fancy tomorrow (because I’m lazy, but I also like fancy things. Don’t judge me). I’m considering doing pesto-stuffed, prosciutto wrapped chicken breasts in the slow cooker. I don’t have a recipe, it just seems like it should work (all those things taste good alone, therefore, they should taste good together). Anyone ever made anything like this in their slow cooker?

    My worry is that the chicken might dry out – though I could put in a can of chicken broth, and the pesto should add some moisture. I’m worried with too much moisture though, the pesto will lose its flavor.

    Hmm. Would appreciate anyone’s thoughts!

    • I think you’re right and the chicken will dry out if you don’t include liquid. But if you do include liquid, I think it’s likely to shred instead of maintaining nice distinct chicken breasts. Actually, this seems like the kind of recipe that would be just as easy in the oven – the slowcooker is only going to save you time if you’re planning on being out of the house for most of the day since you’re still going to need to stuff each of the individual chicken breasts. I might be inclined to stuff the chicken breasts, put them in a glass roasting pan with a bit of broth and then roast for 30 minutes or so until done.

      Agreed that those flavors sound great though!

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Well I was hoping to put them in, go on a super long walk and come back to a yummy smelling early dinner. But yeah, I guess I could stick them in the oven too — maybe I could pre-stuff and wrap them before my walk, in a glass pan, and then stick them in the oven on my return?

        Hmm. I found this recipe which seems like it could be modified to include pesto rather than mustard and herbs, but isn’t quite the same.

        http://comfortablydomestic.com/2012/10/14/chicken-prosciutto-roll-ups/

        However, if that needs gravy to taste good, I know I won’t like it. I hate gravy.

      • Merabella :

        I think the oven would be better for the prosciutto as well because it will end up being crispy and the slow cooker could make it kind of slimy.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          If I were to stick it in the oven (showing my ignorance here) is there any issue with prepping it, leaving it in the fridge for a few hours, then sticking it in the oven when I get back? (Re: drying out, bacteria, etc).

          • Turtle Wexler :

            I prep stuff in advance and leave it in the fridge until I’m ready to cook it all the time. The only thing that could be an issue is putting a cold baking dish into a hot oven — just make sure your baking dish is safe for this or let it warm up for a few minutes before putting it in the oven and you’ll be fine.

          • Meg Murry :

            The only thing I can think of is that when I pre-prepare food in a glass baking dish then refridgerate it can take a lot longer to cook since the dish gets so cold in the fridge. But as long as you are not shooting for “we must eat at 6″ it should be fine. Do you have a thermometer to check the meat temp to make sure it is done? I’m super paranoid about serving undercooked meat and making someone sick, so I use my thermometer on anything I cook now.

    • It sounds really yummy. Maybe you could use white wine instead of or with the chicken broth. Let us know how it turns out.

    • Chicken breasts take less than 3 hours on High in my slow cooker. I have made a spinach and pesto lasagna in the slow cooker (amazing!), so I think the pesto will be fine and won’t lose its flavor. One suggestion for avoiding using too moisture: put seasoned chopped veggies (carrots, onion, potato – whatever you want to eat) in the bottom of the slow cooker, pour some chicken broth over the veggies, and then put the chicken on top of the veggies. This way the chicken isn’t submerged, but there is extra moisture in the slow cooker.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Oh good idea! I usually do chicken breasts for 6-8 hrs on low, ~3hrs on high, so yeah, sounds like they’re similar. Not sure whether I’ll cook on low or on high — depends on how long of a walk I want to take.

        I will try putting the broth/white wine on the bottom, and then a small amount drizzled over the top so it won’t overpower all the other flavors.

        Thanks everyone!

  8. Skippy pea :

    Weight loss help!

    Okay I am all over this thread, but I need help and inspiration.

    Many posters here have posted about successful weight loss. I think one poster even mentioned that her weight has been “falling off” consistently over the last year. How do you guys do it?

    I guess I theoretically know what I need to do to loose weight. One big thing being giving up sugar. However I seem to have no. Self control. at. all. I keep craving and eating that candy.

    • The only way I’ve ever successfully lost weight is by diligently counting calories and crediting calories from exercise and then trying to stay below a certain “goal”. That way I’m not denying myself any particular item (like sugar), but I am constantly aware of what I’m eating. You can do this successfully using the MyFitnessPal app or on-line program and there is even now a [this site] group on there for support!

    • Ha! What’s in the air that we’re all posting weight loss threads?

      • Post-Halloween candy guilt.

        • And Halloween baked goods… our office has had some sort of pumpkin/apple/spice goodie each day. I’ve managed to avoid the candy bowl, but the baked goods are a whole different story.

      • The holidays are in the air . . .

        • No kidding. Went to St*arbucks this morning and they had magically become Christmasland overnight. Speaking of disgust responses….

          • I was at the mall today and the Christmas tree was up. Albeit undecorated, but still up. It made me feel stressed out. I don’t even have a Thanksgiving plan, yet.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        My money is on holidays coming up / therefore family time coming up / I CANNOT hear my mom make a snarky comment about my weight AGAIN this year / I have to pull it together OMG.

        Um. At least, that’s where I’m at.

        • Amen to the snarky comment by mother. My frustration is that my mother could use a solid dose of her own snark. The reality is that I need to start snarking at myself to get thy arse to the gym. Consistently.

          • Ugh….I’m so not looking forward to the “So, are you dating anyone? Still single?” repetitions this holiday season.

          • Can you have a redirect prepared? Like “No, I’m not seeing anyone. I did take this awesome vacation this summer, let me tell you all about it.”

            I find the dating questions are usually just people trying to start a conversation (yes, it can be annoying and insensitive), and usually aren’t meant as a dig as to one’s unattached status. And even if it was meant as a dig, ignore it and talk about something you are excited about. Or avoid the worst offenders if at all possible :)

          • That’s a good idea, I think we all relate to the snarky comments from mothers et al, and whether it’s weight, boyfriends, jobs, etc., better to go in with an idea of a subject change!

      • I’m going to Cabo for Christmas. I’d like to be 10 lbs lighter, I just don’t know if that is a realistic goal at this point in my life. I can cut back on my food/calorie intake, just not up my exercise still (back surgery).

    • Round Two... :

      At one point I ate NO fried things for about 6 months, and my usually feeble weight loss results got a lot better. It wasn’t difficult once I got past the idea that a burger needed to be accompanied by french fries.

    • For me, I think the key was 3 things
      1. Major portion control. We even switched to smaller plates at home.
      2. I don’t drink things with calories except for rare splurges. No juice, no nothing. I don’t do diet drinks either, as a rule. I pretty much drink water.
      3. We’re eating low carb now.

      For us, it wasn’t really a choice because my husband had some health issues that have dictated our diet.

      I definitely “cheat” occasionally, but only when he’s not around which controls the frequency of the cheats.

      The hardest part for us was learning new grocery shopping habits and new menus for the house. Now, we have a list of meals and it seems no harder than our old/bad ways.

    • The only way I have ever successfully lost weight is by finding a good* endocrinologist to diagnose and treat some hormonal issues. I used to crave sugar and carbs uncontrollably before I got on the right medications. Just something to consider.

      *From experience, a good endocrinologist is not the one who tells you that your conditions make it very difficult or impossible to lose weight, but instead of medication you should just try harder, eat very little, and do the South Beach diet forever.

      • Skippy pea :

        DcJenny, care to share more about how the meds helped you?
        I too have hormone issues- PCOS, but it’s meds do not do anything for me neither can I tolerate them

        • For me it was a matter of getting up to an effective dose of Metformin and Victoza (+ thyroid medicine). And yes, they made and sometimes continue to make me horribly sick to my stomach. The only way I was able to do it was to rachet up very, very slowly. I now find that if I make sure to take my meds every day and avoid eating too much sugar (hence the controversial discussion above) I manage pretty well, but it has not been easy. Once I got up to the max dosage of metform and a middle dosage of Victoza I was finally able to lose. I had some mixed feelings about the whole process, but overall I am glad I did it.

      • Anon for this :

        To DC Jenny – your satement about the endocrinologist made me laugh (but want to cry): “From experience, a good endocrinologist is not the one who tells you that your conditions make it very difficult or impossible to lose weight, but instead of medication you should just try harder, eat very little, and do the South Beach diet forever.” I am so sick of hearing this from primary care docs and am trying to find an endocrinologist that will work with me.

    • My current work-in-progress solution to self control – don’t have anything around that you don’t want to eat. Anywhere. Everyone else in the family will just have to deal with it. Tell coworkers that you’re doing your best show self-control. Ask them to help you stop when you mindlessly reach into their candy buckets.

      Find a habit to pick up anytime you’re craving something you can’t have. Drink a glass of water, take a walk, do ten lunges, whatever.

      Make sure to have a healthy snack (preferably one that has been already split into a snack size portion).

      • And maybe in addition to not letting the food you don’t want in the house, make an active plan about the food you will allow in the house, and how it will be cook etc (menu planning), which provides a positive bent to food control issue, instead of just denial.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      When I creep up on the scale, I impose a few rules which I enforce religiously on weekdays and relax slightly on weekends.

      1) no liquid calories. water or unsweetened tea online. occasional exceptions for a glass of wine :)
      2) no fried food
      3) no processed food
      4) no white carbs – white bread, white sugar, regular potatoes, pastries, bagels, muffins, cookies, etc
      5) no “carbs” at all after lunch (in my mind, veggies and fruits are not carbs)
      6) no candy or sweets, occasional exceptions for a square of dark chocolate
      7) no pre-sweetened anything – though I do add a little honey to Fage
      8) half of plate is veggies
      9) glass of water before each meal
      10) no nut butters (I’m in a long term relationship with Justin’s nut butters)

    • Praxidike :

      I have lost 90lbs over the past two years. Here is how I did it. 1) Paleo diet, 90% of the time; and 2) personal trainer + training for half-marathons.

      I will never stop eating like this. I eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m full, never have cravings, and I still get 10% of “leeway” if I want to have pasta at a family dinner or something.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      Weight has never “fallen off” me. The only way I’ve accomplished it (recently lost 60+ lbs) is to eat very little for a long time. I don’t know that this is effective in the long run though, as I’ve often gained back the weight I’ve lost that way. Now I’m working on maintaining my weightloss through balanced eating and regular activity. I’ve just never found that an effective method for losing it in the first place.

      I recently started listening to this podcast called “the smarter science of slim” which provides a scientific explanation for an inability to lose weight and proposes a solution that basically is: eat as many veggies and meats as you want, go ahead and eat fat, but stay away from non veggie carbs, starchy veggies like potatoes, and anything manufactured. It seems legit, but I’ve never tried it so I can’t say it will work.

      • I eat pretty much exactly how that podcast sets it out. I don’t diet, because I am naturally skinny, and I am not necessarily trying to lose weight. What I was trying to do was feel healthier, be less bloated and just feel better. I avoid gluten when at all possible, which has helped greatly wtih the bloating, and generally just eat meat, veggies, other protein and fruit. My snacks are all nuts and berries and fresh fruit and I rarely eat anything processed/packaged. I use almond milk when I need something milk-like. I have been losing weight, but the most noticeable changes are that I no longer am bloated and I just feel better. I feel and look great.

      • Merabella :

        This is basically how I’m eating right now (podcast). I’m currently in a weightloss study, and I have actually seen weight falling off, I’ve been losing about 1-3lbs a week, which is still in a healthy range, but I’m never hungry. I always feel satisfied. For breakfast I eat full fat greek yogurt with berries and low carb high fiber cereal or nuts on top or eggs with veggies and cheese, lunch is usually some protein with a large salad with cheese (full fat), and dinner is some more veggies with some kind of protein. I am not eating anything that is low or non-fat. It isn’t that far off from how I was eating before, but I am paying attention to portion sizes. I also feel less bloated, and my clothes fit better almost immediately, even without a huge drop on the scale.

        • Merabella :

          This study also promotes a “no-diet” approach, which I really enjoy. It is more about eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are satisfied then calorie intake.

    • I lost about 35 pounds on WeightWatchers in 2005. You have to be very conscious of your calorie intake. Now I’m trying to lose 10 pounds.

    • Meg Murry :

      The only thing that really worked for me to lose weight (besides anorexia and bulemia, which I would not recommend) has been to do Weight Watchers with my sister. I need rules and guidelines (“eat X points per day, earn more by exercising” or “eat only foods from this list plus 1 treat off this list every day”), which Weight Watchers provides, the weekly weigh-ins keep me semi-accountable and it became a friendly competition with my sister to see who could lose more and we would support each other at family dinners. Without a strict plan, I flounder and allow myself to think “its Tuesday, that’s a special occasion” instead of “its Christmas, that is [actually] a special occasion”.

      The other thing that makes somewhat of a difference to me is to be strict with my bedtime and getting enough sleep, because I often snack when I’m tired. Not working so well with a baby right now, hoping he will start sleeping better soon so I can get more rest at night.

      • I did the whole HCG deal last year and lost about 60 pounds in a few months. It was great, except the diet is a total PITA if you have to do anything where you aren’t at home to eat, and if you have to do social events (lunch, happy hour, etc.), forget it.

        Then I got lazy studying for the bar and gained about 20 pounds back. No way the HCG thing was going to work with my current lifestyle. Like Meg Murray said, I need rules. If its “just eat reasonable portion of anything you want,” its a recipe for failure. Thats what I thought I was doing when the 20 lbs showed up this summer.

        Now I’m doing a program called Isagenix. It is kind of expensive and has the same maintenance issues with any low-calorie diet, but its worked so far (down about 18 lbs in a month). I plan to try weaning myself over to “real” foods in the next couple months as I get closer to my goal weight, and then just keeping some around the house for convenience and maintenance if I see the scale start to creep. That was probably the other problem– I stopped weighing myself. Then it was an I-don’t-want-to-know situation until I got stuck in a dress I couldn’t zip and my SO had to help me out. Enough. I will weigh myself weekly now forever.

    • You might like to try South Beach, particularly if you’re trying to give up sugar. There’s two week period at the beginning where you cut out all refined sugar, bread, pasta, etc. (but not as crazy as Atkins) and it totally kicks the sugar cravings. I’ve been on it for 2 months, have lost 13 lbs that I’d previously given up hope of getting rid of, gone down a pant size or two, and now have a very healthy mid-range BMI.

      This was after many years of success (off and on) with Weight Watchers, but that program just doesn’t work for me anymore. South Beach seems more tailored to the way I like to eat, so I don’t feel as deprived, and thus have more and easier success. Now if I could just find time to work out regularly I’d really be in great shape!

      Today I’m wearing my brand new DvF wrap dress that I bought to celebrate my newfound svelteness. :-)

    • I think it helps to eat better quality food. I know a calorie is supposed to be a calorie, but I think our food is so processed that it’s making us all very sick and it’s leading to a lot of weight gain. I just got back from a vacation where I ate nothing but pasta and gelato for 2 weeks and I lost weight. Yes, I walked a lot but not so much that I should have lost 4 lbs. eating what I was eating. So my strategy for a healthy weight has been not eating things that are processed, eating high quality ingredients, going organic or natural where feasible and just keeping it simple. I don’t feel deprived and I feel great. When I need to lose a few extra lbs., my diet is always no carbs or cheese M-F, regular eating (but not feasting) on the weekends.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve posted about my weight loss over the past year. I’ve lost 50 pounds (as of 3 weeks ago) since this past thanksgiving and about 70-75 from my highest weight of nearly 3 years ago. I have 35 pounds to go to be at a “healthy” weight, but I’d like to lose 50 more to be at the weight that I’m happiest with (which is right in the middle of the healthy range for people my height).

      There have been 2 things that facilitated this. The first is that about 3 days before thanksgiving last year, I started seeing a doctor/nutritionist. I pay out of pocket since I don’t have health insurance and they are monitoring me on a reduced calorie diet. I go in once a month to get weighed and measured and talk about issues, questions, etc. We’ve gradually moved from a focus almost purely on calories and protein to a more sustainable overall healthy eating method although my calories are still restricted. I do allow myself to go off the plan when I am on vacation and they have supported that.

      The other thing, which also started around thanksgiving last year is that I began working 60-70 hours a week. I’m at my desk for such long periods of time and I don’t keep snack food at my desk. I have a box of granola bars and sometimes some nuts in case I get hungry outside of my typical meals, but this turns out to be FAR less snacking than I do with more free time/time at home. This has made it difficult to really start an exercise program, but my doctor and nutritionist have been helpful in finding ways to squeeze it in, although honestly I need to work on that some more.

    • I lost 90 lbs in 2005-2006. It was basically “eat better, eat less, move more.” I tried to eat a lot more vegetables to fill up on that. For example, if I made pasta, I added a lot of veggies and about half of the pasta I used to make. Less cheese, smaller portions. Mostly lean protein and veggies. No fried food (I eat french fries once or twice a year). I stopped drinking other than a very occasional glass of wine (and I was stress drinking before that). I allowed myself small portions of dessert occasionally and didn’t completely deny myself. I think I lost 35 lbs between April and September the first year, then another 15 between September and December (Katrina hit and we were living with my parents and I was not cooking). When I got back home in January 2006 and started cooking for myself again and working a regular schedule and walking in the park every day, the weight did “fall off.” I couldn’t keep up with my dropping clothes sizes. I continued to lose weight until October of 2006. Now, 6 years later, my weight is creeping up and I’m struggling to figure out what to do because I still eat a whole lot better than I did before the big weight loss, still don’t drink, don’t eat a lot of processed food or white food. I also work out about 10 hours a week – a combination of cardio and weights. It is most likely due to age, but I have cut out my beloved chocolate peanuts because I was stress eating (taking the bag upstairs with me when I got home from work).

    • I did Weight Watchers for years, and did eventually lose about 25 lbs, but it took a long time, mainly because I lacked the “diligence” to commit to counting points every day. I think what really caused me to lose weight was changing my life. I got out of a job that I hated, got into a new career that I’m excited about, and now I don’t feel the need to eat my emotions.

      Which brings me to the new thing I’m trying: exercising and eating for happiness, not weight loss. Someone recommended Brene Brown, and I’m reading her book “The Gift of Imperfection.” I completely relate to what she says about eating and drinking to numb, but that when you numb the bad, you numb the good too. Also, my doctor told me that there are clinical studies showing that 30 minutes a day of vigorous exercise is the equivalent of being on an antidepressant. So, I’m feeling super motivated lately to get up every morning and do 30 minutes on the exercise bike. Then, I’m doing 15-30 minutes of mindfulness meditation. And, in the evenings I’m doing yoga (when I have time). I’m not so concerned about losing weight as feeling good in my body. I used to judge myself so harshly for not looking like a model in a magazine, but I’m trying to get away from that attitude and love myself more.

    • I finally exercised self control with regard to food through acupuncture. Initially, I sought ought acupuncture as a last ditch effort to avoid knee surgery or narcotic pain killers, and, frankly, didn’t expect much in the way of results. After reading some the material in the waiting room I asked for weight management assistance as well. That was June 14th. Not only am I 90% pain free, I have lost 40 pounds. Without misery. And without exercise. (Insert lecture to self on health benefits of regular exercise here). The acupuncturist “prescribed” an eating plan of striving toward 2-4 apples per day, lots of vegetables and fruit, some whole grain – that’s whole grains, not whole grain products, some healthy protein – fish, shellfish, tofu, chicken, legumes, very little oil – even the healthy kinds, and no sugar or dairy. I’ve eaten like this pretty much faithfully, but allow myself >whatever< when dining out at a good restaurant and on trips. There was a six day trip to New Orleans at the end of July, and I can assure you that I FULLY enjoyed the wonderful options available in New Orleans. My weight loss stalled that week and the week after, then continued.

    • I start first with developing a regular exercise routine for a few weeks before setting up a healthy menu. For me, the desire to eat junk food decreases when I am a regular exerciser because junk food does not feel as good (physically) compared to actual nutritious fuel.

  9. I’ll also post this on the myfitnesspal board for ladies from this site, but just wondering if anyone had any tips on trying to lose weight post-coupledom. When I met my husband, I was a sleek, marathon-running size 8 (or as sleek as I’m likely to be). In the four years since, I’ve gained about 10 lbs and lost a lot of muscle plus I’m squarely in the size 10 camp. This isn’t that much weight and so it seems like it should be a breeze to take off. Except that it really isn’t. (After law school, I very quickly and easily lost about 25 lbs so I thought this would be just as easy. Although I was in my late 20s then and am now in my mid-30s — guess that probably makes a difference.) I feel like I’ve been trying non-stop for the last three years and I’m just tired of trying and not succeeding. I think a huge part of it is that it’s so much harder now that I’m married. I used to just be responsible for my own food. If I knew I was going out with friends Saturday night, I could be really careful throughout the week. Also, I knew my own weaknesses and could work around them. Now it’s like dealing with two people’s weaknesses (Mr. put on about 25 lbs himself and is also trying to lose them, just about as unsucessfully as I am). To get regular work-outs, I know I have to make them my absolute top priority or else they’ll slide. But my husband sometimes feels like I’m cramming too much into my day and feels bad that he’s not my top priority (not every work-out day, but even missing one or two will often de-rail me). Also, my approach to eating is to work in little treats like a single square of dark chocolate or a glass of wine each day, while my husband needs to cut out temptations altogether (one square of chocolate will become five for him). This can make planning meals very difficult. It’s like instead of reinforcing each other’s willpower, we make it doubly hard to eat right and exercise. Has anyone else dealt with this? Any suggestions on how to make this work?

    • No advice on the food but I will put in a strong plug for the Gym Pact app on iPhone. I haven’t missed a workout I’ve committed to yet, while using it.

      • Mr. TBK has the Gym Pact app and I think we’re in the red on it. :(

        • Eep! That hasn’t happened to me. But then, I have no dough so the concept of being charged is scary to me. Maybe try upping the “stakes”? My friend said she won’t get up and go unless she charges herself at least $20 per missed workout. They go up to $50… I would definitely make it to the gym if it was going to cost me $50 to not go!

    • No advice, but I’ll be watching. I feel like I could have written this. Gained a bit of weight, lost a lot of muscle in the years since I’ve been with my (now) husband. He has the same eating habits as your husband: we can’t keep froyo in the freezer to have in small amounts after dinner, because he will eat it all at once. I also feel like I’m in terrible shape, so I just cannot bring myself to work out. Running used to be stress relief and all-around wonderful for me, and now it just makes me sad and frustrated because I’m so bad. I also don’t drink soda, pack my lunch 9/10 days, and don’t eat out all that much, so I feel like the usual quick tips to change eating habits are not that helpful for me.

      • Yes! The quick tips always seem to be aimed at the people who already have terrible eating habits (shave 500 calories off with these ten tips — like not eating 500 calories worth of ice cream sundae…gee, thanks for the tip). Our problem is that we eat out too much together then separately indulge our personal weaknesses (me, candy and c—tails; him, 7-11 Taquitos and beer). Plus we work out together, which should help us work out more, but really means that if one of us had a bad day/feels sick/etc. we wind up BOTH skipping the work out.

        • Praxidike :

          I disagree with this. Studies have consistently shown that weight loss really isn’t just a matter of calories in vs. calories out. If you feel like you’re not overeating (and I mean the collective you, not you TBK personally), then change WHAT you’re eating. If you’re living off of pasta and very little protein, then … maybe it’s time to consider not eating so much pasta.

          I’m not trying to make this simplistic, but as someone who has lost a LOT of weight and kept it off, and who doesn’t starve herself, I guess I have opinions on the matter!

          • This was it for us. We were living on pasta and white rice. We switched to meat and veggies with small quantities of brown rice and things are so much better.

        • Research, Not Law :

          At a point, you do simply have to look out for yourself. Take home half of your meal, order a sorbet when he gets ice cream, and cut back on your candy and drinks. Go to the gym even when he doesn’t. If you commute together, then he reads a book in the lobby.

          I’ve been there, so please don’t take this as snark.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Do it together. Husband and I went to the gym together, so it didn’t feel like we were picking one or the other. Also makes meal planning easier.

      The treats you need to work out. Either you have them and he doesn’t, you have them away from him, or you quit too. It may work to limit the treats to a time rather than portion, such as just Saturdays. You get a treat, he can partake, but then he’s away from temptation for the rest of the week.

    • My best advice, if you can do it, is to workout with your husband. My husband and I were struggling with this until we got into a routine of working out together every morning. My favorite thing to do is to go running together, because then we also get to talk for an hour uninterrupted. It’s a nice way to start the day. We also do P90X and Insanity in the house if the weather is bad. I’ve never been able to stick to an exercise routine while in a relationship before this. It makes a huge difference to have working out be something that you do together, rather than yet another thing that takes away time from each other.

      • Actually, working out together is part of the problem. If I bail for whatever reason, he doesn’t go. If he bails, he often wants me to bail, too. If I get up early to run, he misses me in the evening because I’ll go to bed earlier. Also, he likes to work out later in the evening. It’s hard for me to motivate that late so if I’ve put off working out because I was planning for us to go together, it’s extra hard for me to go if he then bails at the last minute (which happens a lot).

        • We struggle with this too (like this morning, when DH wanted to eat omelets instead of going running in the dark…). I’ve found that it helps if what we’re doing to workout is something that we both enjoy a lot and then we’re less likely to skip it. For us, that’s running. We also get into bikram yoga in the winter, although that is not for every man… Swimming, hiking, and martial arts are other good options.

          I’m like you though — I can’t stay motivated to workout in the evening, especially late in the evening.

        • Hmm. Have you ever tried competing against each other? Since it sounds like you’re both runners, maybe race each other on the weekends or set up some kind of challenge where the person who runs more miles in a week or runs for a longer period of time gets a massage or something. I do a lot of races with friends and that really motivates me.

    • Turtle Wexler :

      No advice, but I’m in basically the same quandary. My hubby was away for work for most of the summer and I was so good at working out, but since he’s been back, I’ve found it almost impossible. I’m the type who can. not. exercise early in the morning, so I need to work out when I get home. I’m happy to delay dinner by an hour or two to do that. He, on the other hand, starts whining about how he’s *starving* the moment I get home and is unable (or unwilling?) to wait. I can’t run for a couple hours after eating, by which time it’s dark and cold so I just end up not going for my run. He’s also kind of clingy because our schedules don’t match up very well and we only see each other for at most a couple hours on most days, so he feels unloved when I want to take up some of our precious “us”time for something that doesn’t include him (he’s not a runner). I’ve told him how frustrated this makes me and I feel like I’m losing all the good progress I’ve made over the summer, but it doesn’t change anything. I know I just need to do it and he’ll eventually get used to it as the new normal, but it’s hard to shake the guilty feeling that comes from making him sad. Sigh.

      • Yup. Sounds like our situation.

      • I had a similar problem for a while – I would wake up early in the morning and drive downtown to run around the lake, then would shower at the gym and head to work. My boyfriend would always guilt me into not going and staying in bed with him, which would end up making me feel guilty about missing my workout, and then doubly intent on doing it the next day, which would upset him – a big circle.

        Anyways, I have since changed my routine so that I run closer to our house, and shower/get ready at home instead of the gym. I get out of bed at the same time as I used to, but for some reason the fact that I’m would for that extra 45 minutes while getting ready and can have a coffee and breakfast with him really make the difference.

        I think what I’m trying to say is that there may be some kind of compromise in there somewhere where you both can get what you need :)

    • I’ve had similar experiences before but it was a combination of husband, work, travel and family obligations, which made it a bit easier for me to see it as ‘life’ imposing on my fitness and dietary routine, rather than my husband’s habits. The long-term solution was to find more flexible/ sociable ways to look after my health – this included replacing my preference for dance classes with running which can be squeezed more easily outside of working hours or ‘prime time’, sitting down to 2 meals a day and being strict with my own portion control regardless of what, where or with whom I’m eating, pretty much no snacking ever. It may sound daunting but I actually reckon I have it relatively easy without kids in my equation – am really impressed by working mums who manage to look after themselves too.

      The short-term solution may be doing Weight Watchers together or getting controlled-calorie home-delivered meals for a set period, if you and husband share a specific weight-loss goal and you are reasonably confident calorie-counting works for you.

    • Just wanted to say that this is also an issue for me. Both boyfriend and I are at healthy weights, but we have each gained about 10 lbs in our first year of living together. My healthy eating is higher protein, lower carb, his seems to be higher carb, lower fat. We go to to the gym together, but each need to learn to ignore each other’s food in the fridge and figure out meals that work for us both…. It’s really uphill

  10. Job Huntress :

    I ordered this top on Wednesday and I’m really excited for it to arrive!

  11. Neurotic City :

    This is such a bizarre question, but … does anyone here get weirdly anxious when things go well at the office?

    I tend to be kind of anxious in general, particularly about work — am I going to meet the deadline, am I doing a good job, did I mess that up? But yesterday I got great feedback from a couple of different people, one of whom can be a tough room. I felt elated but also wigged out, and wanted to go home and drink three glasses of wine. Am I alone? What’s up with that?

    • Is it impostor syndrome?

      • Anon for This :

        I’ve never heard of this, but just Googled it and wow, that’s exactly what I’ve been struggling with since my first performance review at this job. If anyone has recommendations for dealing with this, I would appreciate it.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      Yes yes and yes. It’s probably impostor syndrome as Rosie above mentioned. I’ve heard that if you work on it, eventually it goes away. I have a workbook if you want to try it, reply with your email and I’ll send it to you. I haven’t used it, so I can’t say if it is useful or not.

      • Is this something I could find on Amazon or EBay? If you have even an approximate title I’m happy to hunt a bit.

        I suck at maintaining disposable email accounts :( Too.many.passwords, not enough time!

        Thank you!

    • I have had the same experience. I don’t think it is imposter syndrome where you worry you don’t think you can do the job you have. I think it is just a natural consequence when you see that something is about to happen (like feedback on your work) and expect that it could be bad. When that bad thing does not come to pass, it can still take time for that to sink in and for the anxiety to go away. Over time as you gain experience and confidence, you no longer expect the bad (or you will expect that if it happens you will be able to handle it), and so much anxiety in these situations won’t happen.

  12. *Senior Attorney* This meets your requirement for Sequin Friday!!!!

  13. Research, Not Law :

    I want to try the kind of mascara that makes tubes around the lashes. Any recommendations? I prefer the convenience of drug store brands but am open to anything.

    • You mean the type where you put the white stuff on first, and then the mascara? I used whatever the red bottle is, I think it’s Revelon. And the rinsing off with warm water part really does work. I really loved it, but for whatever reason switched to Ulta lately.

    • I’ve used Blinc; it came in my Birchbox. I liked it enough, but I went back to what I was using before because it’s easier for me to buy.

    • Kontraktor :

      I’ve used Blinc as well. It’s okay. I don’t particularlly like it all that much because I don’t think it makes my lashes fluffy enough, but it is very convenient for days where I don’t want mascara coming off (and it’s super super easy to remove) and for days when I want a more natural mascara look.

    • I tried Blinc (formerly called KissMe) from Sephora. It was about 5 times the price I usually pay for mascara, and unfortunately I hated it. I have very thin, short lashes and it didn’t lengthen or thicken my lashes at all. It is also really hard to remove. It kind of flakes off weirdly. If you are going to try Blinc, try to get it cheaper online, in case you hate it like me.

    • I’ve used Blinc for the last 2 years and love it. I feel like it’s the only thing that makes me look as if I actually have eyelashes as opposed to short stubby hairs near my eyes. I’m much more interested in length than fluffiness. I would say my eyelashes are average in density and substance; they’re just short.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Hmm… this is interesting.

      I have very long lashes. They are normal thickness, but I’m okay with that. I mostly wear mascara for color, as my lashes are transparent (redhead).

      I’ve decided that regular (non-waterproof) mascara is causing eye irritation and thought this kind would be better than waterproof because it would come off easier with water, but maybe I should just get waterproof…

      • just Karen :

        Have you considered getting your lashes tinted? I have dark hair so I’ve never done it (I use mascara for lengthening/filling) but a blonde friend of mine does it before vacations so that she can skip the mascara and loves it,

        • Research, Not Law :

          I have tinted several times and *loved* it. I also do my brows, so I don’t have to pencil them in (also transparent). I would do it again in a heartbeat, but quick growing lashes + high contrast = frequent dyes, and I can’t commit to the maintence right now due to schedule constraints. Too bad diy home tinting isn’t possible!

      • tube mascara :

        I have used Blinc, Too Faced lash injection and some Tarte version that came in “denim” tube. The Blinc lengthens more than thickens. The Too Faced thickens and lengthens, the Tarte didn’t work very well. Of the 3, the Blinc (what I’m currently using) stays on the best. It still comes off pretty easily with warm water and just a little pressure. I do have to avoid rubbing or touching my eyes during the day, though, as that can cause it to flake, and then irritate my eyes.

        • Research, Not Law :

          It’s the eye rubbing. I try and try, but can’t stop. Sounds like it may not be the right product for me after all.

          • I wear it and don’t have this problem. It won’t come off with rubbing unless your hands or face are wet.

    • It’s not tube mascara, but of all the brands I have tried from either the drugstore or Sephora/Ulta/Department store the current winner is Urban Decay Big Fatty. It’s not waterproof and it still stays on without irritating my contacts.

    • L’oreal double extend beauty tubes. It’s a red and white bottle. The white side is some kind of voluminizing primer that I usually skip. I’ve also used Blinc, but they’re about the same and the L’oreal kind is way cheaper. I love this stuff, it’s the only kind of mascara I can wear on my lower lashes without looking like a raccoon.

  14. JCrew coat help :

    I’m dying over the stadium cloth cocoon coat in the green…and I have a 25% off code burning a hole in my pocket. (Link to follow.) Is it too bulky/oversized? I’m 5’5”, 135, typically wear a 4-6/S at J.Crew. Not sure if I want to be talked into or out of it!

    • JCrew coat help :
      • My issue with the cocoon coat would be that there’s absolutely no definition in the waist. That’s something I actually like about the lady day coat – there’s just a little definition in the waist. The cocoon coat looks super cozy though.

        • New poster :

          I tried it on in the tan yesterday, it’s really cute. It probably depends how you are built, but I would buy my regular size. It’s really not all that oversized (i.e. it’s fitted through the shoulders and comes in at the hips). I tried one size down and it looked strange. I have broad shoulders and smaller lower body, and I found it a flattering style on.

    • Size down from your blazer size, maybe even two sizes. It runs really big. I think it looks matronly in the neutral colors but the green is gorgeous and if i didn’t have two green coats I would be all over it!

  15. Looking for accessory advice – I have a black jersey faux wrap dress with long sleeves from Banana Republic. I worry that without accessories it looks vamp-y. I’ve worn it several times with a colorful scarf but then I get too hot. Other ideas? I feel stupid asking because I realize this should be the easiest thing in the world but I don’t like wearing all black.

  16. Another question, since I’m early to this thread for once. When you wear leggings under casual dresses, what do you do about the b–t cling? A slip? I guess the slip cancels out ‘casual’ in my mind. The dresses in question wouldn’t need a slip for any reason except that the texture of the leggings catches on the weave of the dress fabric and up, up, up it goes.

    • Legally Red :

      I usually wear a half-slip underneath.

      • I know what you’re saying about a slip canceling out the casual factor but you need to figure out whether you care more about the casual factor than cling.

    • I wear a slip. I’ve worn dresses exclusively all of my life, and have never found anything else that works (this isn’t to say there are no other ways, I just haven’t found any that work for me.) Even with a denim skirt, I’ll wear a slip if I’m wearing tights.

    • Anonymous :

      Is the cling static-related? If so, try rubbing a dryer sheet on your leggings. Or, put lotion on your hands, rub it in, and then run your hands over the leggings.

      If the above doesn’t work and you really don’t want to bother with a slip, could you get a tailor to sew a lining into the skirt part of the dress? Basically you would be adding a slip, but wouldn’t have to worry about putting a slip on every time you wear the dress.

      • This. I have a can of static cling at home and in the office – it’s never a problem and I wear dresses and skirts almost exclusively.

  17. Fey and sudden :

    online dating: must we still play hard to get? For example if a gentleman sends me his number this morning, must I wait until tomorrow to textu/call him, in order to appear busy and aloof? Or since the cards are on the table, so to speak, can I text now?
    Also, any advice on how to get over the oh no what if he sees me in real life and I don’t look enough like my photos and he runs away?

    • I don’t play hard to get. I email a couple of times and then say, let’s get together. Exchange numbers and boom, texting ensues. Life is short! And the faster you start communicating the faster you can determine if this person is a dud.

      Oh the photos/running away thing – obviously, I would make sure my photos were up-to-date and an accurate portrayal of what I looked like. If what I look like in person isn’t what that person is into? Oh well, perhaps he isn’t as attractive as I’d like him to be either. It happens. Just because you weren’t what that person was looking for doesn’t mean you aren’t attractive and that some other guy won’t think you are the bees knees!

    • I met my husband on a free online dating site. For reals. His profile popped up as a match for me, I messaged him, we exchanged a few messages, and I invited him out. I was totally not playing hard to get. So, my advice: go for it!

  18. Oh gosh, it’s lovely. I’m a huge fan of oversized clothing though, so I might be biased.

  19. Friendship Question Update :

    I’m the ‘r e t t e who has a best friend whose boyfriend cheated on her twice, and has chosen to stay with him to her detriment. We had coffee yesterday and it turned into an all-out fight.
    She actually denies – DENIES (sorry for Ellen caps) that he ever cheated on her. It basically ended up with me telling her that I can’t deal with her negative energy, and I can’t keep telling her the same thing over and over. We have reached a breaking point in our relationship to the point where I think we’re just going to “take a break.” It sucks that I’m painted as the bad person in this situation, but I can walk away knowing I’ve said what I had to say and that I did the right thing.

    • I’m sorry. I’ve been there, too. My friend’s bf didn’t actually cheat on her, but IMO was emotionally cheating and was borderline abusive. I still can’t stand him and refuse to hang out with her when he’s there, but I decided it was better for her to have a friend she knew she could count on when necessary rather than just bail. We took a break from our friendship too before getting back together, and we aren’t as close as we used to be, but we still are close. Keep it known that she can come to you if need be, with no judgment on your part.

    • I’m sorry that happened. I have to believe that she knows in her heart what the reality of the situation is, but she can’t bring herself to say it. And when I was in her shoes, even though I knew the reality of the situation, it still hurt to hear someone speak the truth, because I felt like it was all my fault. I don’t write that to judge you, but just to offer some perspective. I’m sure you gave her a lot to think about and I hope she snaps out of it.

    • GlassSpider :

      Aww, that stinks. I’ve been there (twice, actually). You’re not going to be able to change her mind and convince her he’s a worthless partner. Trying to do that is most likely going to drive a wedge in your friendship. That’s a separate issue than if she is incessantly complaining about him to you, and then rejecting your reality talk.

      Really, the best thing that you can do if you want to be supportive of her (but not them) is to continue to be her friend but set limits on your involvement in talking about her relationship. Like, frankly saying, “You know I think that X hasn’t treated you as well as you deserve, and I know I’ve been outspoken about this already, but I recognize that it’s your relationship, not mine, so I respect your ability to know what you want and what’s good for you, so I’m going to back off and suggest we not talk about it so much, and go back to [insert a favorite joint topic or activity].”

      If she’s feeling ambivalent, the more you occupy the position that he’s a pathetic jerkwad, the more she’s going to be pushed into taking the opposite position. It’s got to be her choice, and you don’t want to occupy the position you’d like her to move into. However, for your own sanity, if she’s not amenable to boundaries on talking about him, then you may want to limit your contact with her. Or try new methods of changing the topic. Anyway, I’ve temporarily limited contact with two close friends in similar circumstances (one more than the other), and both eventually left said jerks. Both are still (again) very close friends and both are now happily married to great guys. FWIW.

      • It’s only your business if she makes it your business. If she cried on your shoulder one day and goes back to him, then you don’t need to put up with it. But, if she is with him and not complaining, then you don’t have anything to do with it.

  20. I just found out that I’m pregnant, and have to give up all of my “crutches” at once. Adderall and caffeine to pay attention and stay awake for my work, and the fun glasses of wine, etc. Kind of weird how addicted I feel to those things now that I’ve gone *two. whole. days* without them. Does it get easier? Let’s hope! Lawyers, explain how you do your job unmedicated!

    • I was on addreall/straterra in college and had to give it up for a number of reasons. Man it was all alot easier when I was on it! I had to find other things that make it easier to stay focused/remember things. One thing that helps is having music on when I’m researching/writing. If you’re preggo you can’t have caffiene, right? That’s another substitute. I think part of it is being aware of your issues, and learning how to compensate for them. For me, I forget everything instantly (think Dory…). So I write everything down. I ask my manager questions through emails, so that I can go back and refer. In lecture settings/conference calls I doodle, which helps, I don’t know why. I also try to get up every hour to go to the bathroom, have some water, to give my mind a break. And I spend far too much time on here…

    • Meg Murry :

      One thing that makes a major difference to me is to get as much sleep as possible – even if it means giving up some “fun” events to stick to my bedtime – my ADD is more under control when I’m rested. I agree with De – write EVERYTHING down, even things you think you would remember, and set up certain times of the day to review your notes to make sure nothing is slipping through the cracks. Using the basics of the Pomodoro technique (25 minutes on one task, don’t stop or let yourself get distracted until the 25 minutes is up) helps a lot too – something about the ticking alarm (I use the basic alarms on my cell phone, propped up next to my computer) gets me into that anxious/productive state.

      As your doctor about caffeine – some say up to 2 cups of coffee a day is ok, but I tried to avoid it in general, and found that an occasional swig of coffee when I really needed it helped since I hadn’t been taking it at all. Good luck and congrats!

      • Pomodoro? I’m going to have to look into this!

        • Meg Murry :

          http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/download/pdf/ThePomodoroTechnique_v1-3.pdf

          There is a whole lot of the technique that I don’t do – I just do the “to do list” and 25 minutes, no interruptions – no email, no web surfing, if I have a random thought write it down on the bottom of the todo list and move on. When I can make myself do it, it really helps. The hardest part for me is limiting my breaks to only 5 minutes – but if I can get 2 good solid Pomodoros before lunch and 2 after, plus deal with any fires that come in my email in between, that’s a pretty good day for me.

    • Some caffeine is fine.

    • Maddie Ross :

      No advice on the Adderall, but I have been pleasantly surprised how quickly I adjusted to less caffiene. I was a solid 5+ cup a day drinker pre-pregnancy. And I would often supplement with an energy drink if I had extra early morning. (Never have drank soda though at least.) While you can have caffeine while pregnant, both my doctor and I felt my intake was excessive. I pretty much went cold turkey down to a cup a day. And now, several months in, I honestly rarely even have or need the full cup. I’ve replaced it with lots of water. Frankly, you will feel absolutely exhausted (like nothing you have ever experienced) the first trimester anyway. No amount of caffiene could have helped. I’m hoping I have kicked the really bad caffiene habit for good.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Reading with interest as I have only been medicate for ADD for a year and it has made such a huge difference in my life. I fear ever having to stop this med. Also, total side not vent: if I make it through this day without killing someone at work or opposing counsel it will be a miracle. Rawr.

  21. extended business trip :

    Any tips for keeping your life together when your spouse is on an extended business trip? My husband will be away continuously for six weeks. We have a (demanding) one year old and my husband normally handles day care. Because of traffic issues, I cannot drive the baby to daycare and then drive to work (doing so would result in me spending 4-5 hours commuting per day). So I will have to work remotely out of coffee shops or the library near day care rather than going into my office, and if I need to be in the office, the baby will have to come. Luckily my biglaw firm is understanding (or at least tolerant) of this arrangement. We don’t have family nearby so they can’t help out. I can’t justify hiring a nanny while my husband is gone (as I would also have to pay for day care or give up our spot and the combined cost is exhorbitant), and even if I could make peace with the cost I am uncomfortable with the idea of a nanny and would be very nervous about leaving the baby with him or her. Any tips to make this time less awful? I am already mourning my ability to go to the gym (normally I go while my husband and baby are still asleep; gym does not have childcare), and have no idea how I’m possibly going to keep up with work (which is going to be very busy during this time) and chores while he is gone, to say nothing of maintaining my sanity and not collapsing from exhaustion. I know single parents do this all the time and I have no idea how (and have major respect for them), but it’s hard for me to think about ways to step out of my routine. I am planning to hire a cleaning person to take one chore off my plate, but I don’t want to eat out a lot (see above re no gym time). I also plan to hire a babysitter for a couple of hours on the weekends just to give me a break. If any of you have had a similar experience and have any suggestions for me, I’m all ears (or, eyes, technically).

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t have specific experience with this, but a few ideas:
      (1) For meals, can you spend a few weekend days cooking and freezing stuff before your husband leaves?
      (2) Have the cleaning lady do some laundry while she is there. May cost a bit more, but that will at least get one more chore off your plate.
      (3) With respect to child care, I think you may have to just bite the bullet and throw money at the problem. If you can get over your discomfort with a nanny, I think that having a nanny for even 1-2 days every week would be a big help.
      (4) Can your husband negotiate coming home for a few weekends with his employer? Obviously this will not work if he is going somewhere very far away, but if he’s within a few hours of flying time, I think this would be worth doing, even if you have to pay for the plane tickets yourself.
      (5) Could you fly a family member in for part of the time to take care of the baby?

      • Or what about someone to take the kid to and from daycare – responsible college student/part time nanny? More money, yes, but less money that full time, and you still get the daycare you are already paying for.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          I’d do this – hire someone you trust to drive baby to/from daycare and work shorter hours at the office. Of course, it’s scary and you have to check references, etc, but I bet there are college kids, etc who would be willing to do it.

          Alternatively, are there any other parents in your area that use the same daycare? Can you do a carpool thing?

          • I would second this. I actually had a job like this in college. I was working for someone whose spouse had to wrap up an estate that turned into an epic months-long family battle, and her job required her to work beyond daycare closing hours. I took the baby to daycare, picked her up and then stayed with her about an hour until the mother got home. It seemed to work smoothly.

          • Diana Barry :

            Yes. Either this or get a nanny for the time your H is gone. Being out of the office for that long will be majorly bad for you, as per Anne Shirley’s comment below.

        • Your daycare may even have a name for you (if someone else has done this in the past).

      • Yeah, I can’t really imagine a demanding 1 year old in a large law office…. If they really need you there, I don’t know how you can multi-task and deal with child and issue simultaneously.

      • extended business trip :

        Freezing food=brilliant. I am going to start this weekend. Why didn’t I think of this?

        Without going into geography because it will out me (the place H is going is really weird), it takes 3-5 days to get there and non-commercial flights, so no way he can come back early, and depending on factors beyond his control may be gone longer than planned.

        Family can’t come due to work obligations.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        You need a short term Mother’s helper – someone to take the baby to and from daycare, as well as other things around the house for 2-3 days a week. You can pre-cook or pre-plan crockpot meals and have the cleaning lady do a few other chores. 6 weeks is a long time to work remotely and I can remember being uncomfortable with my 1 year old in my BigLaw office when my nanny had an appointment and dropped him to me at 6pm while I was wrapping up something. 1 is an age where you will need to attend, and my kid wasn’t demanding.

        I’ve done the husband abroad/BigLaw thing with one infant as well as with an infant and a toddler (mine are 16 months apart). Bite the bullet for 6+ weeks….

    • Anne Shirley :

      Wow- that is a rough plan. My biglaw office might okay this, but in reality they would not be okay with 6 weeks out of the office or with a baby at work. I really think this is a situation that calls for a nanny, or can you look for a day care near your office or home? I know this will sound harsh, but I think biglaw pays us so much so that we can throw money at these problems, and if you chose not to I’m worried you’ll be mommy-track fired in 6 months.

      • extended business trip :

        I see your point, but one clarification that explains why working remotely isn’t completely terrible. I am the only member of my practice group in my office, so I always work with people by phone/email. So no one in my physical office location needs me around or interacts with me beyond social pleasantries.

        I wish I could get a nanny, but according to the agency I contacted, it will be $10k for nanny for six weeks+ daycare + a placement fee. That is more than my husband’s and my takehome pay, and I am not willing to lose money to go to work. We’ve been on waitlists for the daycares near our home/my office that take infants practically since conception, but no spots have opened up.

        I do like the suggestion below about using backup childcare to go into the office once a week or so. I have limited days left this year, so I should check with HR to find out how many days I have left.

        • Holy goodness.

          Can you work your network at all on this? Maybe there’s a SAHM in your general area who could provide care for you child for less than 10K. Maybe someone knows a responsible, lovely young person who is a recent college grad without steady work? Maybe someone you know has a nanny already and would be willing to do a short-term nanny share for this brief period.

        • I have has great luck with finding responsible, experienced nannies through care.com. You can post your very specific requirements and hours. The site provides a minimal background check, you would be checking references anyway, I assume, and I think there are services which provide a more complete background check.

          I think having that transport/coverage will help a ton and won’t cost a crazy amount in return for the burden it takes off!

        • If you’re in big law dont you have some kind of backup care benefit? You need parents in a pinch or daycare near work.

        • health care anon :

          Have you tried an ad on care.com? That helped my family in a pinch for a while. We hired someone one day/week when my dad became ill (my parents did the bulk of my child care until my son needed preschool). care.com is a godsend. I was even thinking of using it again when my son starts first grade for transportation from school.

    • When this happened to one of my college professors (he was on sabbatical, his wife was left home with kids), he scheduled babysitting for her several days a week (I was one of the lucky beneficiaries of that job). I’m not sure a couple of hours of the weekend will be enough to make a difference in your sanity with your work schedule.

      Does you daycare let you hire workers as babysitters who will be responsible for pickup? If so, that might be comforting because it would be someone your baby would know and you’d know they’d been screened in some way.

      If you have enough freezer space, I’d suggest making meals ahead of time so that you don’t need to think about food. Maybe even plan menus so that takes no brain space (you can always juggle meals around on the calendar later). Also, if possible, I’d grocery shop for all staples (food and household goods like TP) ahead of time (so, if you eat cereal in the morning, make sure you have enough to last the whole time he’s gone). Make a default grocery list for the perishable runs you’ll have to do.

      Maybe use your current gym time to work from home and then use some of the time either right after or right before day care drop off to do some sort of exercise?

      Are you currently using all the daycare hours you pay for (open to close)? If not, I’d consider extending some days in one direction or the other.

    • The above suggestions are good.
      Do you have back-up child care benefits through your office? It may be worth looking into your options to allow you at least one day a week in the office. The workers are screened and the cost to you is minimal (I think it was $2-5/hour at my old firm). I would rely on freezer meals or even one of those assemble 12 meals in 2 hours places to help with dinners.

    • Is there any way you can get someone else to take your child to and from daycare? You might be able to hire a neighbour´s responsible child or a college student for the job. Also check if another child at the same daycare lives near you or on your way to work. Maybe you can drop off and pick up your child at that place instead.

      • extended business trip :

        Good idea re daycare carpooling. I will ask the daycare whether anyone lives near us.

        I can’t imagine anyone would want to spend 5 hours a day driving through brutal traffic, but I guess there are worse jobs out there. I am just so nervous about hiring someone (our usual babysitter has a 9-5 job that would preclude her from driving).

        • SpaceMountain :

          Does your baby spend 5 hrs a day in the car, or is that counting on 2 round trip drives? I’d be calling the closer daycare centers every day, begging for a slot.

          • extended business trip :

            The baby spends 1.5 hours per day. The return trip is the killer part of the commute.

          • extended business trip :

            Sorry, realized my reply was unclear. Day care to my office and vice versa is the time consuming part of the drive; it is through the worst traffic in my city. Getting to and from daycare are outside of rush hour and against traffic, so those trips aren’t too bad.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            If you hire someone to drop off and pick up, they won’t have to be in the car much longer than the baby, right? Surely there’s someone who is writing the great american novel (or a PhD dissertation) who would be happy to work in a library or coffee shop near the daycare when they’re not on the clock driving. I’d also be sure to ask the daycare if there are any families who might be willing and able to carpool.

          • Or maybe there’s a college in the area with students who are commuting that way anyway?

    • Kontraktor :

      Could you hire a babysitter just to drive the baby to and from daycare? My mom was doing this for my brother for awhile. She hired a sitter basically to take him to/from school and that was it (she couldn’t because she was working out of town 3 days/week and my dad’s hours weren’t compatable for driving).

      Are there any other day care parents near you who could carpool for you? Both these options would spare you having to work remotely/take the baby into the office and would be cheaper than a full time babysitter.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My husband’s job gives him an allowance for certain expenses when he is forced to work out of town. It can cover things like putting a dog in a kennel. If he has the option, would his work chip in to cover the nanny or the daycare driver for the time he is away?

    • Kontraktor :

      Another thought. Is it possible to get rid of day care and just hire an in-home nanny? This could be temporary until you get a slot in close to your work daycare. Coupled with the suggestion of calling the close day cares consistently, perhaps you might get a slot sooner rather than later and your nanny expense wouldn’t go on too long. Also, could you call a few different agencies for quotes or ask around your other parent friends for nanny/agency referrals?

    • Coach Laura :

      I think there are lots of good ideas here.

      My top four –

      Outsource cleaning, errands, cooking. Have groceries and household goods delivered via Amazon or Safeway. Many large cities have meal delivery options including low-carb and low-fat semi-gourmet – they deliver them frozen or chilled and ready to heat and eat.

      Crock-pot meals for when you need to cook. This site has been mentioned before – A Year of slow cooking by Stephanie O’Dea – crockpot365 [dot] blogspot [dot] com

      Don’t think of the morning drive and evening drive together. You might have more success hiring someone different for each shift. With the economy the way it is, you should be able to find a reliable, safe person to drive – college or grad student, recent college grad, young retiree. Check with the local junior college that has an early learning/education program. Or even a SAHM who needs cash but can’t do a full-time job. She could bring her kid and yours along in the car. A friend of mine did this.

      A mother’s helper for at least four hours each weekend so you can: lift weights or practice yoga at home or go for a run, or if the gym is close by and the sitter is reliable go to the gym; have a glass of wine with a girlfriend; read a novel or take a nap; prepare a meal.

      Do something fun with your kid each weekend to reward him and you for getting through the week.

      Good luck!

    • I’ve been there. 2 kids, demanding job and travelling husband. The commute wasn’t as big of an issue for me, but still hard. In our 2 years of living this way I had to learn to let some of my evening expectations go. Chicken nuggets or fish sticks for dinner? Normally disgusting, but weeks when DH was travelling they weren’t hard to make and got the kids happily fed. Baths every night and more than a 15 minute nightly pick up didn’t happen either. Paper plates were my friends. Outsourcing was a must.

    • extended business trip :

      Thanks everyone for the suggestions! You all have given me lots of good things to think about.

  22. hellskitchen :

    This is why I LOVE New York – interesting picture story of how New Yorkers acted like New Yorkers during the storm: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/even-sandy-cant-stop-new-yorkers-from-being-new-y?sub=1847824_671119

    • That gave me goosebumps :)

    • long time lurker :

      Loved it. Thanks for posting.

      I’m a lucky NYer that did not lose power. But I haven’t been to work all week, and have drank too much wine and eaten way too much Halloween candy, so I’m ready for normalcy.

  23. Purchased in gold. I really hope “all over” sequins means on the back too. Will report upon arrival.

  24. Need some gift-giving help! One of my direct reports is having a baby girl this weekend (well, his wife is). This is their second child and their first, a son, is 2-1/2. Besides sending flowers from our whole team at the office, I also want to send a separate gift from me personally. I’d like to keep this within the $50 – $75 range.

    I have a toddler of my own AND I’m 28 weeks pregnant, so you’d think I’d have a ton of ideas here but I’m just totally drawing a blank. Any brilliant thoughts from the hive? Baby-specific and/or family gift ideas are both welcome. Thanks!

    • K...in transition :

      I use Amazon as a guide… I go into the kids’ section and they have items divided by age. I go into that and see what best-sellers are and read some reviews. In addition, I intentionally choose items that aren’t gender or race specific. In other words, no pink for girls/blue for boys, I try to find yellow or green. If I get a child toy cars with people inside, I buy them so there is a white person, a black person, etc. or where skin color isn’t human (such as lego people).

      Also, what about the idea of giving a CD such as one by Jay Mankita? His children’s albums are songs for kids that don’t make parents or older siblings want to scream!

    • Research, Not Law :

      Gift card for restaurant take-out or delivery.

      Board books and/or chew toys for the baby (ours were gross after the first child) and a quiet, independent activity without small parts for the older child, like play dough, paint with water, duplos, puzzles, etc.

    • Seventh Sister :

      Those fancy muslin swaddling blankets are my go-to baby gift (the Aden + Anais ones are my favorite).

  25. anonymous :

    Does anyone skip the holidays? I’ve been thinking about the mess of things; spending money I don’t have for gifts folks often don’t want, everyone feeling obligated to show their love with gifts, going to a ton of events where no one wants to be but everyone feels obligated to attend, etc.

    As nice as it can be to use the holidays as an excuse to see friends who aren’t often in their hometowns and such (and I’ll still do that), I’m really interested in eliminating the stressful/expensive parts. I’ve tried asking for no gifts and people don’t follow through, I’ve tried giving cards with info on how I donated to a charity specific to their interests in their name, they got upset they didn’t have a gift.

    Am I a scrooge? How does a person extricate herself from the obligations and commercialism?

    • karenpadi :

      My brother and I skip Christmas every other year. We don’t even call December 25th “Christmas”. This year I am so relieved to not be celebrating Christmas! We go on a trip with just the two of us far away from our relatives and hometowns.

      Bottom line: if you want to be around people who are celebrating Christmas, you do have to celebrate Christmas. If that means presents, well, you’re stuck. Honestly, charity donations do not count as presents.

      • I am a fan of the charity donations as gifts. If you choose a charity specific to the person, as you mentioned, I don’t see how it doesn’t show you know the person and care, especially when you know the money will go further and to people in need rather than a sibling getting 20 other gifts that day or something. Will be interested in others’ opinions of this along with the actual question asked.

        • Research, Not Law :

          While I appreciate the thought, I don’t care for them because (a) it puts me on the organization’s list and I get harassed for more donations for years to come and (b) it doesn’t “feel” like a gift, so I’d prefer that the person just keep their money (or donate it under their name/contact info) and write me a note or give me a cookie. I am absolutely never upset by it, though. That’s rude and selfish.

          I do agree with the general sentiment that if you are going to be with people whose focus is on gifts, it’s going to be impossible to smoothly extract yourself from it. We do small homemade items for adults (siblings, coworkers, etc), like apple butter or ornaments. There can be a moment of awkwardness when the other person gives a full gift, but we have stayed consistent year after year, so I figure it’s their informed decision and don’t let it bother me.

          If you know that family/friends are going to give you a gift, then you can say “I want nothing other than to spend time with you, but if you must, I would appreciate a donation to (charity of choice) or (something tangible but small).” Gift-givers are going to give gifts. I find that the direction can help focus them on something modest that you want rather than going overboard with random items just to give you something.

          • karenpadi :

            This. I think charitable donations-as-gifts make the giver feel all warm and fuzzy (I gave to charity! Yay!) and makes the receiver feel like they’ve just been patronized and condescended to.

            My family does either white elephant exchanges, cash, or very detailed gift lists at every price point (this is how I get my yearly supply of drugstore mascara and socks). A number of people do handmade gifts.

        • I do charity donations as gifts, and my family has embraced it. Honestly, my mom, dad, godmother, and grandma have all the crap they need. I pick charities I know they find meaningful, put my own contact information so they don’t get mad spam, and write a heartfelt card. The end.

        • Round Two... :

          DH and I started skipping Christmas in 2007 after his parents ignored years of requests that the holiday be toned down to something that didn’t invove 20+ gifts for each of us. We were happy buying 1 or 2 gifts for immediate family, and resented the phone calls “reminding” us to buy gifts for every possible person we would see at the half dozen holiday gatherings we were required to attend. For 2007 we flew to Vegas on Christmas day and then in subsequent years we have just stayed home. We attend one family get together on his side on Christmas Eve, which is his Aunt’s birthday so all the presents are for her which is OK. Every year we get pleading letters and bags of gifts delivered on Christmas day, and we’ve just ignored them. We actually have tons of unopened presents in a closet (I did check for perishables before we put them away). Perhaps sometime they will figure out that sending us unwanted gifts and guilting missives is not the way to get us back into the Christmas spirit, but I really doubt it.

    • I have been trying for years to get my family to do Christmas as another Thanksgiving (get together for dinner/socializing, but no gifts). Or just draw names so each person gets one gifts. The one year I thought I’d succeeded, I found out Dec 23rd that I was the only one who stuck to the agreement, and everyone else had bought everyone something anyway. I wish I’d stuck to my guns, but there I was at the store on Christmas Eve…

    • SoCalAtty :

      I mostly do something homemade. I usually can things, and last year I made and canned homemade cranberry-orange relish, and a batch of meyer lemon jelly. I make that and a batch of fudge, and everyone gets a little box of fudge and whatever it is I’ve canned that year.

      I’m thinking about pomegranate jelly this year, I haven’t done that one in a while. Not all that many people know how to make homemade jelly/canned goods anymore, so it is unique and pretty low cost.

      • How do you make pomegranate jelly? We can, too :)

        • I think it is 7 cups of sugar to 5 cups pomegranate juice, with 1/4 c of lemon juice and 6oz of liquid pectin per batch. We get the pomegranates from neighbors with big trees, and back in the 60s my grandpa had someone make him something that looks like a giant potato ricer out of steel to juice them. It takes forever! But it’s really good.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I think this is a great idea. I typically buy a gift for 1 immediate family member (big family so we draw names), something for a few really close friends, and then all my other friends typically get a huge plate of various Christmas cookies that I’ve made. I normally bake all day and make 5 or 6 different types. I normally do it by myself or have 1 other person over, but I’d like to do a cookie party this year, although I guess that doesn’t help with your desire to cut down on events as well.

        The friends that I give gifts to tend to give gifts back to me as well, but they are normally the only ones. It may just be the way my friends and I are though and cookies or nothing are fine for us. It might also be that it will just take a year or two for you and your friends to stop feeling obligated the buy each other gifts and settle into a different pattern.

        I also don’t think there is anything wrong with limiting the number of events you go to (or skipping them all if you want). Pick the people who you most want to see and attend the event that they will be at.

    • Festivus? For the rest of us.

    • I’m right there with you. I lobby for it every year, but I can’t get my husband and his family to go along with it. I really hate shopping for presents that no one wants and receiving the same. It’s mentally draining and completely wasteful for everyone’s time, money, and natural resources.

      • Why are you shopping for your husband’s family? If it’s his Christmas trip and his family, it should be his shopping too. After all, you can argue that he knows them and their taste better than you do..

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