Weekend Open Thread

Tahari by ASL Jose Surplus Sparkle Chiffon Party DressSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

6pm has a lot of party dresses on sale today — lots of ones marked 75% off, and lots of recognizable brands like Tahari, Donna Ricco, Suzi Chin, and more. I like this sparkle chiffon party dress from Tahari — looks like a great basic, and I like 70% off. A few notes about how it’s styled here: I think the tights are too dark for this dress — if I were wearing this to a party I’d go for sheers, fishnets, or maybe even a lacy tight. Second: I really hope it’s a bra issue and not a dress issue (maybe the model was wearing a strapless bra because she was modeling lots of party dresses that day, or no bra at all). Finally: do your hair a little bit (even a sock bun), and I would totally try to wear a brooch with this dress — either at the waist or on one of the straps, near the clavicle. It was originally $148, but is now marked to $44.99 at 6pm (lots of sizes left). Tahari by ASL Jose Surplus Sparkle Chiffon Party Dress

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Psst: Check out more great deals at the Corporette Bargains page!


  1. Mountain Girl :

    It’s almost the weekend!

    If I’m between sizes on the JCrew Jackie cardigan should I size up or down?

    • Down. I’m normally an M or between S and M, but the Jackie Pullover fits me in an S. I think it looks more tailored that way and the crew fits snugly, so bibs and shorter statement necklaces are displayed better than the looser size.

      • Possible dissent – it depends on whether you wear your cardigans open or buttoned. And I thought the Jackie pullover ran bigger than the Jackie cardigan.

        I’m between a 4 and a 6 in Jcrew button front shirts and choose S Jackie cardigans to wear open (buttoned at the bottom only or unbuttoned). I’d need a medium to wear them fully buttoned as a top.

    • I’d say size down. I sized up for my first Jackie out of fear that it would be too tight buttoned up, but it ended up being way too baggy. I now always go for a S.

    • I’m another voice of dissent – I am usually a large in J. Crew sweaters but I need an XL Jackie to button it without gaps at the bust.

    • The Jackie runs slim through the arms, so I would size up if you are between sizes. If you wear your cardigans buttoned, then there is yet another reason to size up.

  2. I’m just seeing Fifty Shades of Miss Havisham in this dress. All it needs is cobwebs.

  3. I am curious – how many of you ladies buy a new (or more) new dresses for the holidays and how many throw something together from what they have? Or is there even someone who has one or two staple holiday outfits that they recycle every season?

    My shopping list for the holidays: an ugly christmas jumper!

  4. One of my coworkers made me a Christmas mixed tape. Despite getting to feel like a 16 year old girl, it got me thinking about favorite holiday songs.

    Mine is feliz navidad, but as someone pointed out, it may only be because it is the only song that I can remember the words to.

    • Feliz Navidad and Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses are my favorites, along with the First Noel for religious songs. And, of course, the Heat and Cold Miser songs…

      • +1 for Heat Miser and Cold Miser

      • Oops. I forgot Christmas in Hollis by Run DMC, Last Christmas by Wham, Father Christmas by the Kinks, and U2’s version of Christmas, Baby Please Come Home.

        Can you tell I was a teenager during the 80’s?

        • Last Christmas is one of my favorites. I’m also a fan of White Christmas (which my students are singing in my school’s Christmas pageant…hopefully this will not destroy my love of the song) and Silent Night, for the religious ones.

    • nsync christmas cd. still listen to it every year

    • Rockin Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee. There is a Metro conductor that sounds just like Brenda Lee, but I don’t know if the conductor is a male or female. Terrible, horrible when it comes to applying managing speed/applying brakes on the train (just like all the other conductors).

    • guilty pleasure: all i want for christmas is yooooooooooooooooooouuuuu

      make me feel like a kid: andy williams in general – particularly happy holidays; julie andrews’ ding dong merrily on high

      religious: o holy night

    • Oh, I do like Mariah Carey’s christmas album – the one from the 90s. She also has the best MTV Cribs epsiode, EVER. I also like Mele Kalikimaka and Marshmallow World, but I am also known for having horrible taste in music.

    • I like the version All I Want for Christmas is You from Love Actually. And I’m partial to most of Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Album. And Ella Fitzgerald’s versions of Jingle Bells and Sleigh Ride.

      I’m a church singer so I have lots of sacred music favorites, but these are my pop choices.

      • Diana Barry :

        NOLA, which are your favorite carols? I basically hate all pop carols (except maybe White Christmas). Current favorites are Bethlehem Down, Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day (the jazzy one, Gardner?), the Leighton Coventry Carol.

        • I love Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day! Also The Angel Gabriel (most highly favored lady – which we call, in our choir, most highly flavored lady). The Harold Darke version of In the Bleak Midwinter. For traditional carols, Joy to the World, Once in Royal David’s City (with the magnificent soprano descant), and Hark the Herald Angels Sing (another one with a flashy descant).

          I grew up with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir albums. My mother (also a church singer), spent the entire month of December in the basement making Christmas presents and listening to her favorite Christmas albums (and yes, I mean vinyl records).

          • Oooh, I LOVE Tomorrow Shall be my Dancing Day! I also love Tavener’s The Lamb. And I always, without fail, cry when singing “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “O Come O Come Emmanuel”.

          • Charlotte :

            NOLA, I *love* Once in Royal David’s City! I’m in my church choir, too, and it gives me chills whenever we sing it, and our choir isn’t really all that good. My favorite Chistmas songs are O Holy Night and Silent Night. In fact, since last Christmas, I’ve had to sing Silent Night to my boys every night before they go to sleep.

          • One of the other soloists and I sang the duet version of O Holy Night every Christmas eve for so many years that I finally said I’d had enough. The minister and congregation loved it, though.

            We are lucky enough to have brass and big choir on Christmas eve so it’s awesome. We’re also singing the Christmas parts of the Messiah on Dec. 16th in place of Lessons & Carols.

          • Diana Barry :

            At my last church gig, we also used to do the Messiah every year, but it was an extra concert (in addition to carols!) and so kind of a PITA.

            My college choir director did a descant to Silent Night (2 sops) and I cannot STAND singing it without it.

          • King’s Choir has one of the best Christmas albums. I have the cd, but here is the DVD http://www.amazon.com/Carols-From-Kings-Stephen-Cleobury/dp/B001E181W8/ref=pd_sim_m_5

            Once in Royal David’s City is the best.

          • Oh, Most Highly Favored Lady…I love that. But I am super into the BVM.

            For true Christmas carols, “Noel Nouvelet” is my very favorite. There is an awesome setting of “Ave maris stella” to that tune as well.

      • Ooh, All I Want For Christmas! Forgot about that one. Looking it up on YouTube now.

      • My favorite is “O Come, O Come Immanuel”, although, because I am a liturgy nerd, I will note that it’s an Advent song, not a Christmas one.

        I was raised Moravian, and I love a lot of Moravian Christmas music, but no one knows any of it, sadly.

        • Liturgy Nerd :

          A family friend who is a minister converted from Methodist to Episcopalian (sp?) over this issue – the proverbial straw but I’m totally with you on this one.

    • Almost There :

      Fun! My favorites are “Christmas Cookies” by George Strait and “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey. Now I need to put my Christmas playlist on my ipod!

    • I’ve always loved Silent Night, it’s such a pretty calming song. Oh, and the entire Polar Express soundtrack (especially the Josh Groban songs *huge crush*).

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Definitely “Sleigh Ride.” Always gets me in a holiday mood.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I love love love Carol of Bells.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      I’m not Christian, but I love Christmas carols and many Christmas songs.

      My favorite album is Jewel’s “Joy – A Holiday Collection.” Her “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” is adorable and fun.

    • You must have read my mind. I just thought about something similar this morning. I still listen to the awesome mix my boss in college made for the whole staff. Everybody put in a song request and it ended up being a totally wacky soundtrack that I still love.

    • Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols”. But I’m a nerd like that.

    • The entire album of George Winston’s December (including Carol of the Bells). Otherwise, John Lennon’s So This is Christmas is one of my favorites.

    • Nonny and Sydney Bristow, I’m right there with both of you. (I got mad at my mom when I was 10 and heard Ceremony of the Carols in a concert for the first time. She’d KNOWN about this piece for YEARS and hadn’t told me about it! I was a nerdy, nerdy kid.) I grew up in choirs and love all choral Christmas music. Tallis Scholars? Chanticleer? St. Martin in the Fields? I’m THERE.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s version of Carol of the Bells. Not exactly traditional christmas music, but awesome.

    • Equity's Darling :

      Given how much y’all love fondue, I’m shocked no one has mentioned Bieber’s Under the Mistletoe album…I’m not gonna lie, the song Mistletoe is super catchy.

    • Adam Sandler’s Hannukah Song.

    • What’s the one that goes “Simply….having……a wonderful Christmastime!”? Not that it’s my favorite, but that song always reminds me of spending Christmas on LI. (It’s probably called A Wonderful Christmastime, isn’t it?)

    • I love Love LOVE Christmas music, and it takes all my willpower to not start listening nonstop in October… That said, I try to start slowing with the Nutcracker Suite and the soundtrack to Home Alone. Then move into Josh Groban and Michael Buble, maybe some Rat Pack — generally keeping it classy. Finally, after Thanksgiving, I’m listening to Relient K, Mariah Carey, Burl Ives, whatever. It’s a big mish mash. I get so excited to hear Feliz Navidad for the first time every year.

    • Always a NYer :

      My favorite is Adeste Fidelis. Pop faves are A Baby Changes Everything by Faith Hill, Grownup Christmas List by Amy Grant, This Christmas all versions, and Do You Hear What I Hear by Kristin Chenoweth.

    • In addition to the aforementioned Mariah Christmas Album, which I still belt out in my shower, I also love Pavarotti’s Christmas album where he sings oh holy night.

    • SoCalAtty :

      “Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer”

    • My husband and I had a contest to develop the best CD-length Christmas music playlist a couple of years ago. Despite the fact that my husband is a musician and his selections were pretty intense, I won. (and he admitted I won)

      One of my secret weapons was “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer” by Jewel. I know nothing at all about Jewel, but her rendition is hella cute.

      I also really liked Santa Claus is coming to town, performed by Cyndi Lauper and Frank Sinatra (in one of those weird posthumous overdubbings, but it’s good)

    • I have a large collection of Christmas music, partly because it has to include things I listened to growing up.

      So, Christmas in our house is required to include
      * Statler Brother’s Christmas
      * Christmas with the Chipmunks (Vol 1 & 2)
      * Bing Crosby singing White Christmas

      My favorite traditional carol is What Child is This?
      My favorite new religious song is Mary, Did You Know?

      We have tons of Mannheim Steamroller, the Twisted Sister Christmas album, and a couple of Glad albums (acapella) as well as Kenny G and some local musicians (Edgar Cruz for guitar music and Robert Fasol on piano).

      I also get tempted by Christmas albums at Half-Priced books and buy them randomly throughout the year just because I always need more Christmas music.

      And Nutcracker music is almost its own category (my daughter danced in the Nutcracker 7 years).

    • My all-time favorite is Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and I like the versions by Jane Monheit, James Taylor, Barbara Streisand and Diana Krall. Justin who? At Christmas I’m old school. (And, okay, I want the dress Diana wears on the cover of her Christmas album. For the fancy parties I don’t go to. Google it.)

      The Temptations’ version of Rudolph is really great. (If you’ve ever seen the Claymation Christmas, the version that the California Raisins do is basically the Temptations.) The Roches have a really interesting take on We Three Kings.

      We have a friend who is kind of obsessed with Good King Wenceslas, of all things, and gave us a CD with about 18 different versions. I think we loaded about 2 of them onto itunes.

    • I love all Christmas music but I don’t listen to it until after November. I buy a new album each year. Most recently I’ve purchased Michael Buble, the Glee Christmas soundtrack, and both Harry Connick Jr. albums. I honestly can’t think of a Christmas song/carol/hymn I DON’T like. Any song, any genre, I love it all.

      This reminds me that I need to get my Christmas playlist onto my phone so I can start listening again! Also, time to get out my Lego Christmas tree for my office. I get more comments on that Lego tree than anything else in my office!

      • Crimson Clover :

        Ahhh- Thanks for mentioning Glee x-mas songs! I was beginning to think I am the only one who belts out their “Last Christmas” cover in the car on the way to work (…most days) during the holiday season.

        Other than that, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” is second to none and everything else more traditional (Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, O Holy Night -Celine’s version can literally bring me to tears) is all up on my i-pod post Turkey Day!

      • Meg Murry :

        Lego Christmas tree?!? Did you make it out of a kit or just by constructing from green blocks? I think I need one of these! And of course, I can totally justify it by saying it’s for the 5 year old, but I think I would be more excited than him about it

      • onehsancare :

        I adore Christmas music! My son (now a musician) asked me when he was little, “Mom, do you like any music that ISN’T Christmas?” Years ago, I bought my husband (a jazz fan) a 50-CD changer. He’s long-ago moved to i-Pod, so it’s filled with Christmas music year round (not that I’m allowed to play it until December 1). We finally figured out a way for me to calmly choose what’s in it: We have an even-year play list and an odd-year playlist, and we’ll just take all 50 odd-year CDs out tonight and install all 50 even-year!

        I’ve only bought one so far this year, and I’ve only listened to half of it, but I love it: it’s just called “A French Christmas” and has traditional carols sung to an acoustic guitar in very clear French. I’m studying French, so it’s a real treat.

        As a favor, a friend filled an entire iPod for me with songs from my favorite CDs, but given the size of the project, didn’t use any discretion–just downloaded entire CDs, so it’s a little uneven, but much more portable than the entire stereo system!

        Any suggestions for new CDs this year??

    • I play traditional music from my homeland every Christmas Eve. My DH is very gracious about it since he does not understand the language.

    • Snoopy’s Christmas
      Anything from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, best Christmas movie ever.
      12 Pains of Christmas, because I’m the lights guy.
      Father Christmas by the Kinks.
      Christmas in Hollis by Run DMC because “It’s Christmas time in Hollis Queens mom’s cooking chicken and collard greens,” might just be the best line ever.

    • I lovelovelove the Pogues “Fairytale of New York” with Kirsty MacColl. And for the holiday cheer, I’m all about “Feliz Navidad” and Elvis doing a full-Vegas version of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”

    • holiday music :

      Wynton Marsalis’ Crescent City Christmas album – amazing! fave song (not on the CCC though) – the holly and the ivy. :)

    • Silver Bells

      • I love Carol of the Bells by the Bird and the Bee, Happy Christmas (war is over) by John Lennon, Sarah McLachlan’s christmas album, Bryan Setzer’s christmas albums, and so many of the others already mentioned.

    • Anonymous Poser :

      Alison Moyet’s version of the Coventry Carol is haunting…

  5. Equity's Darling :

    Two things:

    1) Nonny! I just ordered a chartreuse nailpolish, Def Defying from China Glaze, their Cirque du Soleil collection…I know you like polish, and chartreuse, so I figured I’d share my purchase

    2) How does everyone stay motivated to working out in the winter?

    I’m trying to keep up with running outside, but the weather is really putting a cramp in my motivation. Today it’s -20C with the windchill, and I honestly can’t stomach the idea of sweat freezing into icicles on my face…and I’m sort of afraid of getting frostbite/wind burn. I also usually walk to hot yoga, but it makes me feel sick going from a room that’s +38C to -20C. Is the only solution to work out in a gym? Any other tips?

    • 1) I was really liking the Deborah Lippmann set (cuticle remover, oil, primer, base, topcoat) but it made my nails peel even more and break. So, I can’t recommend it, which is too bad because the polish would last me a work week. I trimmed my nails back to let them recover. Sigh. Back to the search.

      2) I only work out in the gym or at home in the winter. It’s too cold, I can’t stand a runny nose, a sore throat, and numb, cold digits. When October rolls around, that’s when I go to the gym. Similarly, as soon as it gets nice in March, I try to get back outdoors. I’m not as hardcore as I used to be. Plus it gets dark too early and I don’t live in an area that developed for sharing the road.

    • You just gave me workout motivation for the winter: I should workout because Equity’s Darling would kill to have the balmy 40 degree DC weather I’m griping about!

      • Equity's Darling :

        Yes, I would love the 40F/4C weather! I’m jealous!

        I wear capris for anything above 0C or so when I run outside. I think my favourite temps for running are between 7C and 15C- not hot, but still cool enough that I need to move in order to stay warm.

        Urgh, it’s started snowing, and is apparently now -22C , I’m so not working out today.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      We’re you and NOLA the ones discussing top coat recently? I bought the Seche Vite and its incredible! I was shocked. I’ve been rocking Essie’s Bobbing for Baubles all week and they are perfectly smooth and only started chipping today, 7 days after I painted them in the first place.

      • Not me! I use Sally Hansen Insta-Dri (in the red bottle). Maybe I should try Seche Vite. Now that we have Ulta in N.O. I can probably find it.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Ack typos and I meant to write Nonny instead of NOLA. Obviously I’m still sad I couldn’t go to the meetup last night!

      • It was me. I did my nails again yesterday (with OPI’s “I’m With Brad”). The Seche Vite has changed my personal manicure life.

      • Seche Vite is great, but has a tendency to thicken with time, so you may need to replace your bottle before you use it up. I think most quick-dry topcoats do this.

      • Equity's Darling :

        SV’s top coat is the bomb. But it does smell like melting plastic. And thickens up quickly, so get the restore, unless you’re like me and go through top coats quickly enough for it not to matter.

        A friend of mine joked how I’m so obsessed with avoiding unnecessary chemicals in my life, EXCEPT when it comes to polish, where I firmly believe that acetone remover just works better, and I’m happy to slather on the SV top coat a couple times a week, which smells so chemically that I wouldn’t used it without proper ventilation.

        • Funny, Seche Vite is horrible for me — it makes my nail polish peel off in big flakes. Any ideas as to what I might be doing wrong?

          • Equity's Darling :

            If the entire nail polish coat is flaking, then the problem is with your base coat, or your nail having oils/lotions on it when you start painting. I’ve definitely had flaky problems before, but it’s always been because I used an older base, or because I had put lotion on my hands and forgotten to wipe off the nail before polishing.

            I’ve never had just the top coat flake….

          • Nail Polish :

            beauty brains I think had something about this recently – or somewhere else? It depends on what kind of nail polish you use under the SV, because some have a chemical that causes a bad reaction. Um, no, don’t remember what chemical it was though.

    • To question #1: Whee! I need to find that to match my new cardigan (which is apparently being delivered today).

      To question #2: I have no fricking idea. I am having the same problem and feel like a big lump right now because I haven’t worked out in two weeks. :-(

      • Equity's Darling :

        Yay! Chartreuse sweater! The polish purchase was obviously through nailpolishcanada dot com :P

        I think I may be the reason they’re in business.

    • I am a big runner, but I treat the winter as “off-season” like a baseball player would, and focus instead on strength training. I do P90X because I can do it in my apartment without having to bundle up to go somewhere. I’ll still do a little bit of easy running if it’s a nice day, but having an indoor exercise routine is such a treat in the winter.

      • Equity's Darling :

        I think my concern is that I’m new to running, and I don’t want to fall of the wagon…if I stop now, really, winter doesn’t let up until April here, and so my “season” would be May-October, which is not all that long, and I doubt enough that I would improve.

    • It’s insane to run outside when it’s below freezing! That’s what treadmills are for. It’s also nice if you have a gym that has treadmills and yoga classes. Yoga class after running is fantastic.

    • For anyone that does continue to run outside, I have two recommendations – Gore Tex trail shoes (even if its not snowy and wet, they are way warmer than regular running shoes) and this New Balance Jacket, which is $$, but the best money spent on runner gear hands down:


      Its so warm without being bulky. I can’t wear it unless it below 25F.

      • Do you have recommendations for running tights? I live somewhere warm but will be spending the holidays somewhere cold (sigh, why do I do this to myself?) and haven’t been able to commit to a pair of cold-weather running tights. I’m tall, so a 30- or 31-inch inseam isn’t going to work for me, and many of the tights of seen won’t be long enough. I usually wear capris but that won’t work in 20 F weather.

        • I have a ~35 inch inseam and the UnderArmour cold weather gear tights stretch enough that they are just fine (even though not a tall size). Athleta also carries some tall winter tights, but they are pricy and I am not sure re length IRL.

          • Thanks! I had looked at them but was concerned about the inseam. I’m going to order them based on your recommendation.

        • I can vouch for athleta tall sizes for the running tights. I love mine and they are a tad long on me (5’9″).

    • ED – I know exactly what you mean, being a relatively new runner (5 years or so) and only running outside (and living in the same city as you). My biggest worry is the ice on the sidewalks. In the past I’ve always stopped running in the winter because one of the things I like best about running is being able to get up & go right out my front door. I have a mini trampoline and so I did that as well as the Nike Training app on my iPhone. This year I’ve made more of an effort to run outside whenever I can by buying proper gear for running outside, but still not going if it’s too snowy or icy, and take advantage of any treadmills I may be visiting (hotel or my parent’s house). I also have about 10 free passes to the YMCA by my house that I may try using on the weekends. I’m an early morning runner, and I just can’t see how I can fit the gym into my schedule. I ran 2 10ks this year, and got my ‘regular’ runs up to about 7k (just the right length of time before work). I don’t want to lose too much of that, but I’m not sure how to totally prevent it.

      If you figure out anything let me know!

      • Seattle Freeze :

        Screw shoes! (Google it.) Some folks use YakTrax or similar traction-adding gadgets for running on snow & ice, or trail shoes as MB recommended, but screw shoes are really cheap and easy to make, as long as you have a spare pair of running shoes. I did this a few years ago when we got enough snow to shut the city down for about 2 weeks, and had no problem running even on bare ice.

      • Having run through 4 winters in Indiana and 3 in Boston before moving back home where it is 74 degrees today, :), I can safely say you can comfortably run in temps down to about 10 degrees. Below that, it’s tough. This, from someone who thinks it gets chilly below 80 degrees.

        The right gear is the answer. Hinds Arctic Drylete or UnderArmour cold weather gear is fabulous. (I ran back in law school in old thermal underwear under cotton sweats!) My new swear bys are 1) a “half buff” by Patagonia which I wear around my neck and pull over my ears if it gets too cold; and 2) merino wool running socks. The wool socks will help keep your feet warm without getting too sweaty.

        When you get to ice on teh sidewalks, slow down or walk! Snow gives good traction.

    • I have the cold from hell and it’s going on week 5. I haven’t worked out in at least that long. I need help or a whole new wardrobe.

    • Okay, I am an all-season runner, and I’ve done a lot of sub-freezing running. When it is REALLY cold, I wear fleece-lined New Balance tights, a long-sleeved heavyweight tech shirt, and a vest, as well as Smartwool running socks, gloves, and a cap. Oh! And a neckwarmer.

      I don’t really warm up quickly while running-I stay cold – so I have to put on a lot of clothes. Running on packed snow is easy, but ice is the real danger. You just have to be super, super alert and recognize that you’ll have to go slowly.

  6. Almost There :

    HAH ya’ll will love this: spanx + lady garden parties!

    I changed the e in S3x to a 3 in the link, so change it to paste.


    • OMG I’m dying but I think the author is a moron.

      I’ve been married 12 years and am an avid spanx wearer and just the other day was lazy about taking them off and DH said incrediously “Are you wearing Spanx?” Dude, they’ve been in regular rotation since my sister’s wedding in 2005!!!

      • Charlotte Peloux :

        I’m willing to give the author a pass just for her comment about being turned into “a sleek river otter, stuffed into a c*nd*m.” Too funny.

    • phillygirlruns :

      that is hysterical.

  7. That's me :

    Question to the hive about rental payment related to a family reunion. My extended family is having a family reunion this summer. There will be 7 families total, and each will pay about $1000 for rent. We are all excited to get together. This is our first time renting a house together (we ususally just pile up at someone’s house, but that’s no longer possible given the size of the group).

    My question is this: in the event that a family ends up dropping out due to some unforeseen circumstances, should they still obligated to pay or do the other families just take on that family’s share? I am curious what other families do. I proposed that the initial deposit (40% down) would be forfeited but that the family would not be responsible for the remaining 60% if there was a legitimate reason for cancelling. Legitimate = death in family, serious illness, etc. – not just that they have too much to do and can’t make it.

    DH disagrees and thinks that the family should be responsible for the total amount ($1000) because that’s the risk that people take when doing this sort of thing and that it is not fair to the other families to saddle them with the additional financial burden.

    Thoughts? I want to make sure that the family discusses this up front so that there are no hard feelings later, in the event that one of the families decides to back out.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      I admit I’ve never bought travel insurance. But isn’t this the sort of situation (having to cancel at the last minute) that would prompt someone to buy travel insurance?

      Assuming that’s so, and if family X had to cancel, the travel insurance would cover their flight and rent for the place, right?

    • fluffy bunnies :

      I’m with your husband on this one because it leads to more predicability. Families know they’re signing on for $1000 and that it won’t turn into $1200. Plus, how is the difference between legitimate reason for dropping out and dropping out for convenience determined? It sounds like possible source of contention.

    • Not relevant to your question, but I’m curious what/where/for how long are you renting? Even in the crazy expensive Bay Area where I live, you can rent a REALLY nice house for an entire month for less than 7 grand.

    • We usually collect an upfront amount from each family, representing the likely total fixed cost of the holiday (rental, car rental, help, a small allocation for groceries – sometimes can’t be sure if a rented house comes adequately stocked w loo rolls or dish-cleaning liquid, any extras like museum passes, walking tours etc), usually within a month of having made the booking ie. well before we set off for the actual holiday. Leftover money is seldom a big amount but is returned first to any last-minute cancellations, otherwise returned to the families in the proportion of their original contribution.

      Our friends/ family are generally very ok with this approach because the alternative would be for the holiday organizer to make most of the upfront payments and/ or chase around multiple rounds of collection. The organizer usually puts in tonnes of work already so it seems only reasonable to make it easier for her on the collections front – it may take the sting out if you explain the upfront payments to your family in these terms ?

  8. im in desperate need of shopping help. i cant seem to find a purse to fit my needs.
    an everyday bag, sleek lines, shoulder straps, and a cross body option for bonus points, and non-leather. the kristin tote at banana republic would be ideal, but it is leather: http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=45433&vid=1&pid=230496032

  9. What do you do when a job posting asks that you state your salary requirements in the cover letter? I’m applying to a lot of non-profit jobs and want to aim high, but don’t want to be disqualified before I get into the interview room. Is it kosher to just say “I’m open to discussing salary?”

  10. Thoughts on these shoes: http://tinyurl.com/c763yxx
    Frumpy? Cute? Frumpy cute?
    They are $82 minus 20% off at L&T and I am thinking that maybe instead of looking for perfect gray suede pumps, I should just order these and enjoy their walkability. I feel like they would be super comfortable. Thoughts?

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Not frumpy. I don’t know about “cute” per se, but I’d certainly wear them with my pencil skirts.

      Nordstrom will price match L&T, and then you get its awesome customer service.

    • If those are frumpy, my whole wardrobe must be frumptastic (but then, I do live in DC, so…). Anyway, I love them!

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      I love Geox for their breathability and comfort.

      Am not a fan of round-nosed pumps, not because I think they’re frumpy but because I just don’t like that shape, but if you have no objection to round-nosed pumps, they look fine.

    • Lady Harriet :

      I think they’re really cute, but my standards may be different than most since heels over 3″ almost always look odd to me. I have heard that Geox shoes are comfortable too, so they sound like a good bet!

    • S in Chicago :

      They seem like a more reasonably priced version of the lovely LK Bennets someone linked to yesterday. I bow to your master shopping skills.

  11. I have to share the crazy. Senior partner in my office has stacked up boxes and folders on his computer credenza to lift his computer screen and keyboard so he can stand while he types, because…wait for it…he calculates he will burn an extra 312 calories a day this way. He is not overweight. At all.

  12. nightshowerer :

    for the lawyers – do any of you have gavels? dh is a first year associate and i thought it would be fun to get him a gavel with his nickname ingraved on the band. is that fun or lame?

  13. Am I being cheap? I’m trying to build up my “grown up” pajama wardrobe and I am aghast that nightgowns/longish sleep t-shirts are $30+. Is it unreasonable to expect cotton or modal or rayon knee length sleep dress to be under $25? Does anybody have any leads?

  14. I responded about the care package shipping on the original thread. Hope it helps!


  15. Yay! Weekend Thread’s!!!!!!!

    I have a big weekend planned with Myrna and Roberta!!!!! We are doing all the soup kitchen tomorrow morning, BUT we leave after lunch (1:00pm) and we are headeing up to ROBERTA’s house in Riverdell, where she is takeing us out to eat at a deli off BROADWAY, then we are goeing to some place called WAVE HILL and we are goeing to learn all about what it was like to live there in the 1800’s.

    Roberta used to be a DOCENT there, and she is goieing to get us all in for FREE, and we will learn all about HISTORY!!!!! Then she told me we are goieng to see Edgar Alan Poe’s house (spooky), and learn about him. I remember reading about him in HIGH SCHOOL! Yay! I just do NOT like his middle name. FOOEY!

    Then SUNDAY, I have to bill my NOVEMBER hour’s b/c FRANK wants to get as much cash in hand before the holiday party. It is goeing to cost the firm a MINT, the manageing partner says, but he says I have been “INSTUREMENTAL” in getting our billieng’s up this year! YAY!!!!

    And he is happy about my pledge, b/c I have NOT submited any reimburesment’s for NOVEMBER, and am NOT goieing to b/c I heard on the TODAY show that there are STILL peeople in BROOKLYN without light or power. FOOEY! (This is also why I I have no patient’s for peeople like David, who had power, but acted like a DOOSH!”

    Anyway, I wish the HIVE a better December then our NOVEMBER’s, and my dad agree’s that we should NOT have any more huricaine’s any time soon! DOUBEL FOOEY!

  16. recent grad :

    Any suggestions for a pencil sequin skirt? Preferably red or purple, but I’m open to suggestions. I’d like to wear it to a holiday party at a friend’s house. FWIW a size 2 in J.Crew’s No. 2 pencil skirt fits me like a glove. Thanks!

  17. Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

    Lunch preparation fail — I didn’t bring enough food today.

    So, I’ve been eating junk food since 4pm when I got hungry again. I discovered Indian junkfood when I popped into a local Indian grocery to buy a few spices for a recipe I was trying. I buy the junkfood now and then in a moment of weakness/foodlust.

    Still, soan papdi is incredible with hot tea, and yeah, I ate too many cubes. Also, Haldiram’s Aloo Bhujia (spicy potato noodles) are addictive. I think I’ll try to get some exercise tonight. grrrrr.

    • I love Indian junk food. Love love love it. Now I need some.

    • GirlMeetsWorld :

      Alternatively, can I suggest Maggi noodles? They are just-add-hot-water instant noodles, come in wheat, have a decent amt of protein, and are spicy! :)

    • Tired Squared :

      Cubes of what? Does your store sell papdi in cubes? Because that would be SO much easier for traveling…

    • Have you discovered Chakkali / Murrudu yet? Love that stuff.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        Hmm. I might have had this once, but not from the grocery store.

        DH’s coworker had a Diwali party and brought lots of extra treats to the office in packets to give out to coworkers, which was super nice.

        But I think it was called Murukku (my spelling for Indian transliterated stuff is atrocious, sorry). Spiral fried things. They were crispy, savory, and garlicky and awesome.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      I’ve been buying Haldiram’s Soan Papdi– it comes in a plastic tray, but is already pre-cut into cubes, so one can (with some difficulty) lift out a cube to pop in one’s mouth.

      The problem is, they’re tightly packed in the plastic container, so you’ll be clawing at the edges trying to lift the first cube.

  18. Wound tight :

    I can’t believe I’m even admitting that I have this problem, but is there anyone else who has trouble winding down and relaxing on the weekends? As soon as I pop out of bed Saturday morning, I’m running around like a madwoman trying to catch up on all the laundry, cleaning and household crap that I can’t seem to get done in the evenings. It’s terrible; I’ve noticed that I sacrifice fun playtime with DS and DH because I feel anxious about all the stuff that isn’t done.

    To combat this problem, I’ve tried doing more chores on Friday night (pathetic, but it works) or waking up early in the morning to get things done before DS and DH get up. It definitely helps, but then DH is grumpy that I’m not relaxing with him, and I get a wee bit resentful that he’s sleeping or relaxing while I’m doing things. I just want to be able to enjoy a lazy Saturday morning without worrying about stuff on my to-do list!

    I don’t know if I truly have too much stuff to do, or if I’m just having trouble getting out of deadline/how-high-can-I-jump mode when it’s time to slow down. Whatever the case, it’s making me nuts, and I’d appreciate any advice for turning off my hyped-up brain for awhile.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Are the laundry and chores your share? Or is this for the entire household?

      If it’s for the entire household, can DH pick up the slack? It shouldn’t be you doing the majority of it.

      Also, how old is your DS? If he’s 10 or older, I’d press him into service for basic stuff like — folding towels/laundry, putting stuff away. He might enjoy “helping mommy and daddy” and, he’ll learn how to do stuff, too.

      • I agree but – 10? my kidlets have been folding towels and putting their own dishes/clothes/stuff away since they were 2 1/2. By 10 they don’t want to “help” anymore – gotta start ’em young :-)

        • Agree- my 3 y/o folds all of the towels (very well, she is quite OCD about getting them square) to earn pennies to “feed her piggie”. She likes to help out and thinks its fun. And the chores get done faster. She’s starting to learn to fold her own clothes and put them away, and to sweep the floors (though she isn’t very thorough with that yet). I remember standing on a chair to wash dishes when I was young… no reason they can’t help out in some way. Its part of learning to be a member of a household. Maybe if DS learns this now, he won’t be one of those guys we were discussing in the morning thread when he grows up :)

          • I might be your daughter’s aunt, except my niece is 5.

            OP – if you drink, maybe a bloody mary in the morning? Sometimes, for me, just recognizing an issue helps me relax/step back, etc.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          I’m seriously impressed with you and anon @ 5:36pm!

          I don’t have kids and didn’t want to be known as the evil child-labor (or toddler-labor) person on this site for suggesting that kids that young take part in the chores.

          But awesome that your kids can do these things this well— you’re raising ’em right! There is something lovely about their taking ownership and being part of the family in this way.

          • Dude, I have 3 sisters and in the summer/on weekends and I always made sure to get up early and look at the list my mom would post on the fridge to sign up for the easiest chores. And, I share your perspective. I don’t have kids, but I spend a lot of time with my sisters’ kids and I am exceedingly generous but also pretty no-nonsense when it comes to pitching in, no matter the age.

    • MaggieLizer :

      It might help to think of “family time” as an entry at the top of your to-do list. It’s important for DH and DS to have time with you and to know that they’re a priority. If you think of family time as a responsibility to your family and not just “fun” or being “lazy”, it might be easier to put it ahead of all the un-fun responsibilities.

    • I’m religious and a few years ago decided to institute a real sabbath rest for 24 hours each weekend. I’m casual about it – just pick 24 hours (usually Saturday night to Sunday night for me) and don’t do any “work” during it (cleaning, bill paying, worrying… even limit email/social media where I can) – only things that are enjoyable and/or spiritual. It’s been nice. I tend to be pretty tightly wound, but now I enjoy the rhythm of preparing for the sabbath on Saturday mornings and letting go Saturday night. Could you do something similar as a family? Where you all prepare and then relax together?

    • try a housekeeper who also does laundry?

    • Merabella :

      Fly Lady. For real, it changed my life. It is mostly breaking the cleaning/organizing up into smaller daily tasks so that you free up your weekend for family/fun time.

      She suggests that you do a load of laundry a day. My DH and I don’t accumulate enough laundry for once a day, but I try to get it in during the week, pop it in the washer while I’m making dinner, and then move it over to the dryer.

      I have found that this frees up the weekend a little bit more, and I don’t have that whole “Let’s spend 8 hours cleaning our house.”

  19. a regular but anon for this :

    for those who have cut their mothers out, how did you get to a relationship with siblings who respected you cutting out your mother, whom they did not cut out?

    I cut my mother out recently and my siblings are responding very poorly, feeling like I have to either let mother back in or abandon them, that it’s not fair to ask them to not report back or not tell our mother what they know about me if we have our own relationship.

    I don’t want to be held responsible for abandoning them but it seems really wrong to be expected to continue to let my mother into my life just to keep siblings happy, when it’d make me miserable.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. Did you ask your siblings not to talk to mom about you? I certainly agree that they shouldn’t, but I don’t think you can really tell them not to. Whatever relationship they choose to have with mom is between them and mom, and you trying to control what they say to mom is fruitless (because you can’t really do anything about it anyway) and will just cause tension (because you’re making your siblings choose between respecting your wishes to not talk to mom about you or respecting mom’s wishes to hear about you). If you’re asking them to stay out of your relationship with mom, then you kind of have to stay out of their relationship with mom. You’re totally within your rights, though, to ask them not to talk to you about mom, because that affects your relationship with your siblings. Good luck and hugs.

      • Merabella :

        I would say that you can maintain a relationship with your siblings. You have to be OK with the fact that they still have a relationship with your mom, and they are going to talk about you to her. You can ask them not to, but your mom will most likely still ask, and they will most likely still tell.

        One thing you can do however, is ask your siblings not to talk to you about your mom. You can limit the conversations you have on your end.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      You guys are all going to know way to much about me through my answers to questions like this, but I always feel compelled to answer.

      I was very lucky to have the support of my siblings from the beginning. They are still in touch with my mother, although I understand it is becoming far less frequent. They were younger when everything happened that led to my decision and didn’t experience the full brunt of it in the same way that I did, but they understood.

      Something you may need to get used to is the fact that your mother may still know what is going on in your life. That isn’t something that needs to affect you if you don’t have contact with her. If she doesn’t hear it from your siblings, if your family or city is anything like mine was, she will find out from others. I sort of had to become comfortable with that fact, which did take awhile. I never asked my siblings not to talk about me with my mother. The only thing I asked them to do was to never give her my contact information (I had changed my email address and phone number, so I already had a clean slate there). They agreed to do that for me. I don’t know what, if anything, they ever told her about me. I don’t even know if she is aware that I moved across the country, although I’m sure she is. We just don’t usually talk about it, although its not an off-limit topic by any means. We’ve been able to have a relationship without any connection to my mother.

      It’s a balance that hopefully you and your siblings will be able to find someday. It will take time though. If you want to maintain a relationship with them, then try to do so and after the initial time period where it will seem like this is all you ever talk about you all may be able to move past it as it just becomes a normal part of your life that they have a relationship with someone that you do not.

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