Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Matte Jersey Dress – Long Sleeve with Ruched Waist

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Armani Collezioni Matte Jersey Dress - Long Sleeve with Ruched WaistI adore this dress from Armani Collezioni — something about it just looks so sophisticated and chic. Love that ruched waist, the crossover detail, and the wrap style of the skirt. It’s $1,195 at Bloomingdale’s. Armani Collezioni Matte Jersey Dress – Long Sleeve with Ruched Waist

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Comments

  1. Downpayment :

    For those of you who have purchased a home, any strategies for saving a down payment? Did you budget a certain percentage of your salary, cut out shopping/eating out, forego vacations, etc.? Any advice/inspiration is appreciated!

    • Merabella :

      Took all the money I was paying towards debts (once they were paid off – debt snowball is awesome) and saved it instead. I also cut out shopping for unnecessary stuff (clothes, dinner out, etc). I took all money gifts and put them immediately into savings. And to be honest, we also used money that I got from my parents to help out – without this I don’t know that we could have done it as soon as we have.

    • Houston Attny :

      I opened a separate savings account in a separate bank and set up direct deposit through work. Sending an amount per paycheck there just made it easier – as if I was living on $300 less per paycheck – and didn’t require as much discipline as it would’ve been for me to transfer money to an account on my own. In fact, even after purchasing the house, I still have the account, and $300 goes in it every paycheck. Saving for furniture now!

      One thing – I tried to find an amount I was comfortable with where I wasn’t overly stretched. I knew I could always add to it if I had some left over. Good luck!

    • My spouse and I managed to save about $45k in two years on a combined gross income of around $100k while also saving for retirement and aggressively paying down student loans. We have no children and currently live in an area with a rather low cost of living (for example, our rent for a 2 bedroom duplex–which is quite nice–is $650). We also saved a lot by: (1) Carpooling. My spouse has a 30 minute commute to work, which he only drives 50% of the time with his car pool arrangement. (2) Eating out no more than once a week, and eliminating this luxury when other expenses were high. Buying high quality food that you’re excited about eating at home will help with this. (3) Eating meat only once a week, if at all, and getting protein for cheaper sources such as legumes and eggs. (4) Drinking cheaper wine. And (5) making a lot of foods, such as bread, crackers, and granola, at home. I can make a loaf of bread for less than a dollar but buying a quality loaf at the store will be $3-5. After two years, this savings really adds up. We took one “big” vacation to Mexico, and 5-8 weekend getaways during this time.

    • What’s your timeframe? We had recently gotten married and knew we wanted a house, so we took all our wedding cash gifts, skipped a honeymoon, and added it to our combined savings for our downpayment for our first home.

      For the second house, we knew a few years out that we’d need a big chunk of cash in addition to the equity in our existing home. We decided on a set amount and pulled that into a separate bank account. Then, on top of that, I added all cash gifts to that account. I also did a “sweep” of all our accounts on a monthly basis and any “excess” money went over into the House account. FWIW, this was the same strategy we used to pay off DH’s loans quickly–except instead of moving the $$ into an account we just moved it to the lender.

      • Downpayment :

        Thanks all for the responses!

        I’m in no immediate rush to buy – ideally I’d like to start looking in about 5 years. I’m fortunate that my student loan debt is nearly paid off, so I can start putting that money towards saving, but when I think about the sheer size of a downpayment, it’s a little overwhelming on that timeframe!

        • I think doing the auto-pilot saving is the most important. You just get used to not having that money. Once your loans are paid off, you could have that amount automatically transferred to some sort of savings account. Another option is to look at the difference between what you pay in rent and what a monthly mortgage payment would be (approximately, and assuming it’s more than your rent) and put that amount away each month.

          It’s nice if you can get some return on investment from your savings, but you might want to be conservative with this and also make sure it’s money you can easily access when you need it.

        • Our downpayment on our first house was about the size of our combined student loan debt was at the time. The loans made me far more nervous than the house!!!

  2. Woods-comma-Elle :

    This is not a serious question, just an ‘oy vey’ moment, but why is it that when you do a piece of work that you think is really good, it comes back with a ton of comments, and then when you just put something together without much though, the partners think it’s the best thing ever…

    • So true! I know the feeling!

    • Agree!

    • partners’ lives, so sad;
      this is how they get their laughs,
      by mindf*cking us

    • Actually – I think there’s something more to this than just an “oy vey” moment. I sometimes find that when I work *really* hard on something, I over-think and over edit it until it sounds a bit stilted. But when I’m under pressure of a deadline or simply don’t have time for the obsessing, things come out smoother. So it may be, in fact, that the work you spend less time on is better because you might be editing yourself into a corner [so to speak.] Just something to think about.

      • This. I had a great high school English teacher who told us to go through our paper before we turned it in, find our favorite sentence, and then delete it.

        • mintberrycrunch :

          I have a mentor who calls this “murdering your darlings.” A lot of the time, it works.

  3. Seeking NY Ed Atty :

    Does anybody have any recommendations for an attorney in NY who can advise on a wrongful dismissal from a higher ed program?

    • The Manageing partner has expereiencein school law! He advices 3 district’s in Long island and is lookeing to expand!

      Princeton was BOREING! FOOEY!

      We are now in Virginia and I am with Dad. I will be Abel to go inside with him, yay!!!! This iPhone texting stinks! DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • New York is a big place. Do you mean New York City?

  4. Wow, this dress is gorgeous!

  5. What to do with a mink jacket? My grandmother has recently been moved into assisted living and my folks are selling her home and distributing her belongings. If I want it, it’s mine. If not, it will be sold and the funds squandered by my mother. That alone is almost reason enough to take it.

    I’m not fundamentally opposed to vintage fur. It’s not as if I can unkill the 75 years dead critters that made the coat. But I have absolutely no idea what I would do with it. I like the idea of having something of my grandmothers, but would rather it go to use than not.

    The jacket itself is hip length, has two fancy hook/eye closures in the top third and sort of swings open the bottom two thirds. Long sleeves. Can’t remember if it’s collared or not. I wear a c*cktail dress all only a few times a year, but even then, wearing a hip length jacket doesn’t seem quite right.

    How were these worn back in the day? Does anyone have ideas for how to make use of it now?

    • I have a vintage fur cape that I also struggle with rotating into the wardrobe. For a jacket, can you go to a fur salon and see what the current styles are? Perhaps it can be reshaped although that could get costly. My sense is that you can really wear the fur anytime you want so long as the weather is appropriate.

    • I think the only thing to do is to wear it or take it, sell it yourself, and buy something “as a gift from your grandmother” to replace it. You could have it made into something else or reshaped, but ultimately it’s still something you wear (unless you want to turn it into throw pillows or something). Personally, I can’t wear fur even if it’s vintage, but I have to acknowledge that a mink jacket looks kind of fabulous and I think it actually looks much more chic when it’s not worn as expected, i.e., with a fancy party dress, but with, say, jeans and boots on the weekend.

    • Have you considered having it made into a blanket? A good furier can change the coat into a blanket using the back as the center and the front and sleeves as the sides. I’ve thought about doing with my grandmother’s old fur coat.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Back in the day, one would absolutely wear one’s hip length mink jacket with one’s cocktail dress. I’d wear it as is! Maybe get the sleeves shortened to 3/4 length. And I love the idea of wearing it with jeans and boots on the weekend!!

    • Carrie Preston :

      I have one that was my mothers circa 1970s. I love it. More often I’ll pair it with jeans and heels. You can also have them recut/styled – i think my Mom actually did that to mine and I like the cut. I also wear it dressy for winter weddings/parties, etc. totally recommend keeping. I could be wrong but I don’t think there’s a lot of resale value given how many I’ve seen in thrift stores for under $100.

      • Carrie Preston :

        Ps – this blog post may inspire you to keep it: http://theneotraditionalist.com/2013/08/03/vintage-wedding-style/

    • Frugal doc.. :

      If it’s in good condition and well made, I would just keep it and wear it (rarely…) when appropriate.

      I also have a vintage fur that I inherited in a similar way. While I would never buy a fur for myself, selling it or destroying it also seemed very wrong to me. My great aunt who left it for me would have gotten so much pleasure if she knew I kept it and occasionally wore it.

      I also love vintage. although I am very simple/conservative in my daily style.

      And I have to say, the few times I have worn it I am stopped by random people who comment on it, want to touch it and just sigh…. I think of my great aunt every time, and tell people that is where I got it.

    • A good furrier can absolutely help you with reshaping and restyling if the style isn’t one that suits you, and they should be willing to consult on the project without putting you under any obligation.

      I actually have a full-length mink coat that I inherited from my grandmother when she downsized and moved south–it took me a while to decide that I was okay wearing it (and, frankly, to work up the courage that I wasn’t going to get harassed or paint-bombed), but it is SO WARM that I can’t believe I went so long ignoring it. I totally do wear it with jeans, and I get many compliments–you will, too!

    • Anonymous :

      I would keep it and wear it with pants/some skirts. My first thought is to wear it with nice (“dressy”) pants, but I think you could easily also wear it with jeans/similar pants. Depending on the particular skirt, I think wearing the waist-length jacket with a pencil skirt or a similarly-fitting skirt could look very nice.

      I (*personally* only) really hate wearing cocktail dresses with short jackets, but this is really more a personal matter!

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      If you don’t want it, please sell it to me.

  6. Wow I LOVE this. Anyone know of something similar for about a tenth of the price?

    • +1

    • Coincidentally, Belle over at Capitol Hill Style recommended some dresses on her blog this morning that are quite similar (and cheaper).

    • How about this Donna Rico at Nordies?

      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/donna-ricco-twist-front-jersey-sheath-dress/3187861?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=Black&resultback=221&cm_sp=personalizedsort-_-searchresults-_-1_1_D

      • Also this Bailey 44 Dress is similarish.

        http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AW8T4FW/ref=asc_df_B00AW8T4FW2641872?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&linkCode=asn&creative=395093&creativeASIN=B00AW8T4FW&tag=wwwshopstylec-20&ascsubtag=750256979

  7. Veronica Mars :

    Longtime lurker, first time poster. I’m in need of some help with apartment shopping. I have a year left of undergrad, but I’m taking a semester off to take an internship in a new city. A relative generously offered to give me 1k to furnish the apartment. Since I still a good amount of time left in school, I’m hesitant to spend it on any furniture/hard to move items. Suggestions for what to get?
    I’ve already bought:
    – $150 bed for the new apartment
    – $95 worth of pots/pans (I’ll be the first to admit I likely went overboard here. I got a beautiful set of 4 stainless steel pots and 4 stainless steel frying pans off of ebay. I may sell half the set to my sister for $50 though. They’re vintage revere ware, so supposedly amazing quality)
    The only other things on my list are linens (sheets, towels) and maybe a down comforter. I’m sure I’m missing some essential items. How should I divide the remaining budget? What did you wish you had in your first apartment? Any suggestions for places to get nice quality linens?

    • It’s been a long time since my first apartment, but to me bed linens are the source of all comfort. Rue La La frequently (like almost always) has what seem like decent deals on good comforters and linens, but I have done only limited comparison shopping.

    • Wait. Live in the apartment for a little while and then decide what you need. Every time I move a ton of little things come up that are apartment specific (ie, heavy duty curtains because the bedroom faces east).

      • Veronica Mars :

        I completely agree, but it’s a use it or lose it type offer. I was hoping to nail down a few essentials, even if it isn’t ideal timing.

        • Well in that case: lighting, some sort of seating (I find settee’s to be the most versatile), dinnerware, silverware, bakeware, basic kitchen utensils, rugs, throw pillows, table and chairs (at least two).

        • I like the Hotel Collection towels from Macy’s. They go on sale frequently and mine have held up amazingly well.

    • I always wished my first apartment had a more “homey” feel rather than just “I know this is only temporary so it feels like an empty shell”, so I recommend getting some home decor items that fit your personality/style. Some of my favorite home items have come from Kohl’s end of season sales, discount stores like TJ Max, and I’ve even picked up a couple of cool items at second hand stores and garage sales.

      For linens – I got mine at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. They are 500 thread count Egyptian cotton, which is enough for me, and I think they were around $200 for the set (queen size).

    • I got my sheets at TJ Maxx. It’s the only place I could find good quality sheets at a reasonable price. It’s also the only place I could find my really hard to match color.

    • I agree re a nice set of sheets and also bath towels. Try to buy these online if you can – you can often get a 200 to 300 thread count “upgrade” for the same price you’d pay at a brick and mortar store. Other than that, I’d try to find items of moderately good quality that you can use when you eventually move and thatwill save you $ (your pots and pans are one; I’d also get a good set of knives, spatulas and cooking tools, and tupperware/rubbermaid for leftovers). For me, curtains also make a huge difference in feeling more homey.

      • Veronica Mars :

        Knives are a great suggestion! I hadn’t thought of that. I’m with you on it feeling homey. It’s so hard to think about serious decor when I’ve been stuck in cell like dorm rooms.

    • Have you already found the apartment? Other than sheets/towels (all of mine came from TJ Maxx/HomeGoods/Marshalls and sites like Ruelala) one of the little things that really made a huge difference for me is organizational stuff like under sink shelving, plastic drawers, etc. Having a method and location to organize hair products, cleaning products, etc definitely makes it a lot easier to keep my apartment neat(er). Check out the container store and bed/bath/beyond’s physical and online stores for organization ideas, even if you purchase similar items somewhere else.

      • +1 to this. The organizational nutjob inside me could probably spend the whole $1k at Bed Bath & Beyond/The Container Store just buying that kind of stuff.

    • Of all the towels that I have tried, I found that the Lauren by Ralph Lauren line holds up the longest. Most of the department stores have them on rotating sales and they are at a good price point. My Marth Stewart beach towels are also nice, but I am not sure if the bath towesl are that good.

    • hellskitchen :

      I’d buy stuff that is well made and you can keep for a while, such a nice leather recliner in a classic design and color, some nice lamps instead of ikea quality, a solid wood desk etc. Also second buying higher-end sheets and towels.

    • A nice vacuum, especially if you or your pet are long of hair or if you like to wear your shoes inside. Overstock often has deals on high-end brands like Dyson–I got mine there for about $200, which is probably half the retail price.

  8. Subscription Box Suggestions :

    Does anyone have a subscription box service that they like? I get Birchbox and it is ok, but I don’t use half of what they send. Colors are too trendy or products irritate my skin, that sort of thing. I’m thinking maybe I would enjoy something related to the home or cooking or food more. Suggestions?

    • Maddie Ross :

      I did Birchbox, but ultimately cancelled for the reasons you state. I am currently getting Glossybox, which I definitely like better. It’s more (I think $20, as opposed to $10), but there is almost always at least one full size product (usually lipstick or nail polish) and some fun foreign products.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I subscribed to Glossybox a few months ago and it. was. a. nightmare. getting it shipped. They charged my card and then the box didn’t show up for weeks and weeks and WEEKS. I liked the contents of the box but the customer service/shipping were so bad I cancelled. Might be willing to give them another try if they’ve gotten their act together — have they?

        • Maddie Ross :

          It is slow, but I don’t blame Glossybox — it’s the SmartPost system that makes it slow. I always get an immediate notification that it’s shipping right after they charge my card, along with a tracking number, but it does take about a week to receive it after that. Stupid SmartPost system. I let it go with Glossybox, as it’s nothing I “need”, but SmartPost is the reason I will no longer order from Gap online.

    • I got Conscious Box for awhile. There is a ton of stuff in it–lots of food, home cleaners, and some beauty supplies. It wasn’t really my cup of tea, but I think it’s a great value for the right person.

  9. Brooklyn Paralegal :

    Anyone have suggestions for good places to buy furniture that isn’t over-the-top expensive? I know IKEA already, but I’d like another option other than them if it exists. I need a bed frame, a night stand, another dresser, and some furnishings for the living room. I live in a nice sized one bedroom apartment with my fiance, so there’s not a ton of space, but I’m desperate to finish putting our home together!

    • Houston Attny :

      I thought of department stores, if there is a sale, but I like the things I’ve purchased at World Market. If there is one in Brooklyn, you might check it out (also online!).

      • Yeah if you don’t mind assembling, I’ve gotten some great pieces at World Market – my bar, two nightstands, a trunk that I use for a coffee table, and my jewelry box. They also have great dining tables and chairs.

        • I love world market, I bought a little fold out couch thingy which doubled as a place for a guest to sleep.

    • lucy stone :

      I think L.L. Bean has some pretty decent furniture at good prices, most of it made in the US. A lot of their wood stuff appears to be made by Manchester Wood, which sometimes has slightly lower prices if you buy directly.

    • Pier One, Nadeau and Crate & Barrel are places that we’ve shopped for furniture.

      • Oh yeah, I love Nadeau. If I had space or need, there are definitely some pieces I’d buy there.

        • backgrounder :

          third to nadeau if they have one in your city…i’ve found a nice bar table + chairs, a coffee table, camel bone waiter trays and buddha heads there :)

    • Consignment/antique/thrift shops/Craigslist? You’ll pay less and get far more. Works best if you aren’t time-constrained.

      • Frugal doc.. :

        +1

        You will get much better quality, for a much better price, if you have the time to search a little.

        Anything I buy new is only something so nice and perfect for my long term needs that I know I will keep it indefinitely.

        And the stuff I buy used… often vintage/antiques… that will retain their value.

    • I got a bed frame from Costco online with free shipping and easy to assemble. I just bought a cute desk (Brexley style) from the Home Decorators catalog (online) and it too was easy to assemble and seems very sturdy. I liked the fact that both sites posted the PDFs of assembly instructions online, so I could check whether I personally agreed that assembly was “simple” or not.

      • We’ve gotten some great pieces from Costco that are surprisingly nice quality, mostly solid wood pieces.

    • Friends also had luck with cheap furniture in the random stores in Chinatown/along the Bowery. There’s apparently a whole store just of chairs somewhere.

      Another friend (Russian, obviously) swears by the deals you can get out near Brighton Beach.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Check out the website Wayfair. There is a huge range of prices, but they have a ton of things and many have free 2-day shipping. I’ve purchased a rug and desk from them and both were great.

    • David knows places in Brooklyn. I will ask for you. The Manageing partner wants me to get new busness. Should I tell him about theHIVE? After all, we all need a good lawyer from time to time, and the manageing partner says I am OVERHEAD that must be carried. I onley want to be CARRIED over the altar, when I MARRY. Mabye Sam mabye some body else. But dad says marry now so I can have a kid like Princess Kate! Yay! I need a royal to impregnate me, not a nosepicing Brit. I wonder if Sam has any royal blood in his family line?

      Dad says he does NOT want to dilute the BARSHEVSKY line any further! FOOEY!

    • A friend in Manhattan just bought a couch from Jennifer Leather Convertibles and it was affordable and they had delivery. He was able to negotiate for free delivery.

    • Senior Attorney :

      +1 for Costco. Also, I have had great luck at www.homedecorators.com. I got a fabulous aqua leather chair and ottoman that I just love for not much money.

    • West Elm has some really good quality pieces that aren’t crazy expensive. I also like Overstock for things like table lamps and small pieces of accent furniture.

    • I believe Nebraska Furniture Mart (owned by Berkshire Hathaway) has free delivery on the items not in stock in their Omaha/KC store warehouses. There’s quite a bit of selection and you can limit your search to free delivery only. Having grown up with NFM, I remember it as decent quality and more style options compared to IKEA, but IKEA-like prices.

    • goldribbons :

      I like Target furniture (sometimes)

  10. lucy stone :

    I’m going to Colorado Springs for a family wedding at the end of this month. We’ll be there for just the weekend. I have two questions:

    1) What to wear? Wedding is at the Air Force Academy in the afternoon, reception is at a downtown hotel.
    2) What to do while we’re there? We like hiking but are not by any means good at it, so good easy to medium hikes or brewery recommendations would be appreciated.

    • I highly recommend visiting the Garden of the Gods. You can hike there, but, if you are so inclined, it’s really fun to tour on horseback.

      • Ditto Garden of the Gods. It’s gorgeous. You could also drive up to the top of Pike’s Peak or take the cog railway (although you’ll want advanced reservations for that). We also did a cave tour there that was pretty cool, but I can’t remember the name of the place.

        • Cave of the Winds! We used to go to Colorado Springs nearly every summer when I was growing up and this was one of our favorites :) You can do a shorter walking tour, or a longer and more active tour that involves some crawling in dark tunnels and is not for the mobility-challenged or 6’5″ visitors.

          I’ll add to the recommendations for Garden of the Gods and Pike’s Peak (I believe we did the railway).

          The Coor’s brewery in Golden is about 60-90 minutes away if you’re interested in doing that. We went before I was 21 so I don’t have much useful feedback on that.

          Have fun! It’s beautiful.

    • Fat Tire Brewery! Call now to get reservations.

  11. Paging Matilda - makeup question :

    This is a VERY late response to your question about Tarte cheek stain from the weekend open thread, so I don’t know if you’ll see this. The Tarte cheek stains are really lovely and soft although I know they look very bright in the tube. I love it in Bellini…it’s a beautiful pinkish-peach that gives you a really nice glow like you just had…well, a bellini, or like you were just laughing.

    I know that is weirdly specific, but I seriously love this product.

    Also, I know you said you’d prefer gel or cream, but I’d recommend trying NARS blush. There’s a GORGEOUS soft pink color called S*x Appeal, I think, and it’s really lovely. The key to applying powder blush is having good brushes. CVS or Rite Aid (and probably other convenience stores) sell EcoTools brushes that are inexpensive and very good quality. Just make sure to tap excess powder off before applying. I tend to prefer powders because I find that they give me more control, and can much more easily be blended with a matte bronzer to contour when I want to really emphasize my cheekbones.

    • I’m not a prude, but the names of NARS’s product names make me blush which kind of defeats the purpose of buying blush.

    • Thanks so much! I tried the Tarte ones at Sephora, but found that they irritated even the skin on my hands. I think there must be something in the shimmer effect that I’m allergic to or something? After wandering around and trying every. cream. blush. in the place, I actually wound up buying Josie Maran’s coconut water cheek gelee, and it’s awesome. It looks incredibly neon and obnoxious in the jar, but actually is pretty subtle and easy to work with.

      Thanks for the followup!

  12. Lovely dress – Looks like it will hide tummy well :)

    http://zipstyleseattle.com

  13. Shopping Help! :

    Attending a wedding “party + picnic” at a large public park this month (the actual wedding ceremony is in the bride’s home country). There is no dress code. Temperatures will be in the range of the mid-50s to mid-60s. What to I wear? I’m thinking a dress, but I need to be able to stay warm, and I don’t want to be overly dressy. And I need something that looks OK with flats because of the grass (and I’m short). Or maybe I can wear wedges?

    Help appreciated!

    • Maxi dress with a cardigan. In my experience, long dresses are just as warm as pants and will be festive and appropriate. Either flats or wedges would work with a maxi dress.

      • Blair Waldorf :

        +1

        Also, depending on the maxi dress you can wear leggings underneath and no one will know the difference!

    • just Karen :

      With the temperatures you just gave, I’d go with a colorful long sleeved knee length dress, tights, and knee high boots (flats or wedges)

  14. Need the Hive Brain to weigh in on an appropriate thank-you gift for the wonderful folks that threw me a baby shower this weekend. My mom, best friend, and sister helped to organize/coordinate, and it was held at a restaurant owned by family friends. The two co-owners shut down the restaurant for the morning and catered. There were a few staff members there as well.

    I’d like to get a gift to thank everyone, as the coordination and generosity was incredible. Mom is going to get a heartfelt thank-you; sister and BFF are going to get some kind of small gift (ideas welcome, but I’m sure I can come up with something)…but I’m stuck on the family friends with the restaurant. Do I send a thank-you bouquet to the restaurant? A snack basket (seems weird to send food to a restaurant)? We tipped the staff that was working, so I’m a little less concerned with appreciating them vs. the owners, that both catered AND gave up revenue to throw my shower. The co-owners are female, if that helps. Budget is flexible, but want to keep it reasonable.

    • Spa gift cards?

      • Seems weird. I thought about it and may do for sister/BFF, but these are older ladies and I really wouldn’t know if they’d use it or even where they’d prefer to go. I wish it were more appropriate because I’d do something like “thanks for being on your feet all day” and do a foot massage/pedi type thing. It just may not go over well with an older crowd.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Uh, I’m older and I love mani/pedi’s!

          • Senior Attorney :

            And my mom is going to be 90 this year and she does, too! ;)

          • These ladies are grandmotherly aged, and I know some older folks do *NOT* like that stuff. My MIL certainly wouldn’t use it, for example.

    • I think sending flowers to the restaurant would be nice, or you could send bouquets to their homes if you’re close enough that it wouldn’t be weird for you to send something to their houses.

  15. I’m going to be home on maternity leave soon, and I’m looking for recommendations of good, mindless shows to watch while I’m feeding the baby, baby is sleeping, etc. I already plan to catch up on Downton Abbey (I’m just barely into the first season) and watch marathons of Four Weddings (I don’t know why I love that show, but I do). Bring on more recommendations!

    • A mix of my favorites (old and new):

      Archer
      The Tudors
      Arrested Development
      Call the Midwife
      Castle
      Sherlock Holmes
      Luther

      • I’m currently binge-watching The Tudors. My long-standing recommendation is Friday Night Lights which I never thought I’d like as much as I did.

        • Ditto on Friday Night Lights.
          Bones, unless you are easily grossed out.
          Angel/Buffy
          Firefly
          Castle
          The Star Treks (if you are into that sort of thing. I’m a fan of DS9 in particular)
          Greek
          West Wing
          Warehouse 13 (Sci-fi)
          Eureka (Sci-fi)
          The Tudors
          Brothers & Sisters

          • Oh yes! The West Wing. I just started watching that but am on a break after 4 seasons :)

          • I think I watched all seven seasons about 3 times back to back before I took a break.

          • If you like Firefly and/or Star Trek, you have to put Battlestar Galactica (the new one) on the list. Totally binge-watched that show.

          • If the Amazon Prime subscription price increases, I’d like to apologize in advance since it’s probably all my streaming video.

          • Ha! Mine too. I’ve also noticed my internet slowing down a lot at home–I think the cable company is throttling me from all my streaming use :/

        • Sadly, that’s probably true. I have the lowest speed Fios and my speed is so much faster since I disabled the wireless functionality on their “required” router and hooked up my Airport.

    • Jordan Catalano :

      My So Called Life.

    • DC Wonkette :

      Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, The Mindy Project (Hulu plus), Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill (old seasons), Veronica Mars, West Wing

    • Olivia Pope :

      My post-bar exam binge has been Psych.

      • Anon in NYC :

        One of my favorite shows. I routinely laugh out loud when watching it.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Homeland, if you like that kind of thing,
      Freaks and Geeks,
      Dr. Who, again, if you like British TV or sci-fi shows, (start with the reboot and give it 3 episodes to decide)
      Eureka for really mindless, cute sci-fi-ish comedy,
      How I Met Your Mother for reeaalllly mindless Friends-esque comedy,
      seconding Firefly, West Wing, Sherlock Holmes as just amazing

    • Wonderfalls — it only had 1/2 a season (thanks, Fox), but I thought it was entertaining. Also, Pushing Daisies.

    • Also, Tales of the City miniseries.

    • Senior Attorney :

      In addition to all the fab suggestions above, I super enjoyed binge-watching “Once Upon a Time.”

    • These are great! You are totally reminding me of things I’ve always wanted to watch but haven’t (e.g., Buffy).

    • I watched Mad Men while on maternity leave. A few days I watch 6 episodes in one day.

    • Most of my faves have already been mentioned, but I’ll list them again just to reiterate how awesome they are and give you an idea of what I like. Also, right now you can get free 2 month trial subscription with Hulu Plus! (http://www.hulu.com/plus/awesomes2month?cmp=2610)

      How I Met Your Mother (netflix streaming)
      Friday Night Lights (I don’t even like football and I LOVE this show, 5 seasons, streaming on netflix and amazon)
      The West Wing
      Gilmore Girls
      Once Upon a Time

      Also good:
      Wonderfalls
      House of Cards
      Arrested Development
      Party of 5
      Mad Men
      Downton Abbey
      My So-Called Life

    • Anonymous :

      Buffy (No me gusta Angel)
      House
      Bones
      Castle
      Dr. Who

    • Joanna Toews :

      Orange Is The New Black
      Orange Is The New Black
      Orange Is The New Black
      Orange Is The New Black
      Orange Is The New Black
      Orange Is The New Black

      :D

  16. I’ve enjoyed marathoning Law & Order SVU, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory and New Girl. Netflix will be your friend.

  17. Also, pulling out some older series like Frasier, Cheers, Friends, etc makes for good mindless TV.

  18. I love this dress, although I fear it would skew a bit too Kardashian on my booty.

    Ladies, I’m currently suffering through the breakup of my first post-divorce serious relationship. No one was a jerk – it ended for some complicated reasons that I’d rather not go into, but although I can’t indulge in “screw the douchecanoe!” anger, I’m pretty heartbroken. And of course, I’m working like a dog this week, my family is out of town, and my close friends don’t live in my new city.

    Any suggestions of escapist, non-romantic themed books/movies/TV shows that will help take my mind off it? Or other things that you like to do when you need a little bit of self-TLC, but don’t have much time?

    • When I went through a really difficult breakup, I streamed episodes of The Office (starting from the pilot) at night before bed. It helped take my mind off things and get better sleep. Sorry you are going through this… hugs.

    • hellskitchen :

      House of Cards on netflix? Nothing like sordid politics to take your mind off everything else. If you have already seen the US version, netflix has the UK one too.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Or if you don’t want sordid politics, how about the idealized politics of “The West Wing?”

    • Do you like dogs? If you have Netflix, they have 3-4 seasons of a show about a shelter out west that takes very difficult cases (medically/behaviorally) called Dogtown. No romance involved, and it’s definitely distracting if you like dogs.

    • Orange is the New Black on Netflix. So addictive!

    • Abby Lockhart :

      I like to listen to audiobooks (usually non-fiction, about a topic of interest to me but that I am unlikely to actually read), and then do something productive that I perhaps have been putting off — deep cleaning, organizing the sock or junk or bills drawer, home pedicure, sorting clothes/shoes for repair, grooming the dog, etc. The book is distracting and informative at the same time, and doing something makes me feel like I am setting myself up for a better future.

      • Abby Lockhart :

        And swimming. I’ve read you’re a runner, and I’m sure you’re doing that. But somehow swimming feels like a big hug to me and allows me to completely clear my mind. YMMV.

    • Don’t know if you’re still reading, but right after my breakup, I watched tons of Law and Order SVU. It helped because there was no romantic storyline and I could distract myself.

  19. Ladies, I am looking to buy my first set of grown up cookware. I’m not looking to spend copious amounts of money; I’d like something quality, but not insanely priced. What brands do you like best? Do I go stainless steel, or nonstick? I feel like there are so many choices and I am so clueless!

    • I say stainless; DH says nonstick. Depends how finicky you are about cooking.

    • We have a stainless set as well as large and small nonstick frying pans. I’ve heard great things about the Costco stainless (we have All Clad that was a gift years ago, but it’s spendy and probably not really worth it), and our nonsticks are T-Fal, which have been working well.

      • I love the T-Fal professional line (non-stick but doesn’t scratch at all!). The price on amazon has dropped significantly over the last year too. Only about $85 now for the set.

    • I love my All-Clad. I’ve had it for over 10 years and it looks like new. I bought a set of stainless steel (it had everything I needed) and then supplemented with a few non-stick items. I really think it’s worth the money.

      • This! My husband started our now joint All-Clad collection 15 years ago and all the stainless pieces look new and perform beautifully. We cook a lot – every night, and both mornings on weekends – and have enjoyed all stainless, and just one nonstick for eggs and fish. I would start with the basic stock set of pieces sold together and then add on as you see them at HomeGoods/Marshalls. Bon appetit!

    • Do you have a budget? I don’t have the e-mail but I ordered a 7-pc set of All Clad MC2 from Chef Resource. I had a 20% off coupon + free shpping and I believe it was $319. Very happy with it, but wish there was a larger sauce pan. The 1.5 qt isn’t useful for the things I’ve been cooking. Also the 3qt saute pan and 6 qt stock pot use the same lid and I’d rather just have 1 lid and an extra pan since it’s unlikely I would use both pieces simultaneously with their lids. This is stainless, but if heated up properly and used according to directions, clean up is a breeze. I throw it in the dishwasher (non-citrus detergent) and use Barkeeper’s Friend as needed.

      I also recommended a Dutch oven. I want a Staub.so.badly.

      • I don’t really have a budget yet. I’m trying to get an idea of what I want before setting a budget. I just know I want to keep it under $500 definitely. I’m ok with buying a piece at a time to build a full set as well.

      • Oooh once you go Staub you never go back. We have a bit of an, um, collection. My MIL happens to be a kitchen snob so she buys Staub pots for me/DH when she’s lacking in b’day/Christmas ideas.

    • I love to cook and have mix and match approach to my pans. My stainless is All-Clad Emerilware. I have one non-stick skillet that I use for eggs (SimplyCaphalon, likely from TJmaxx). There is a big learning curve on cooking with stainless when it comes to things not sticking and somtime you just need non-stick.
      I adore my Le Creuset pieces (dutch oven and more shallow casserole pan) and reach for those over pretty much everything else in my cabinet. You can get the Le Creuset either at their outlets or at discount home stores pretty consistently.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Yep. Different pans are good for different things. My requirements:

        1 non-stick frying pan
        1 large stainless
        1 small stainless
        1 Le Creuset dutch oven (imitations just aren’t as good)
        Large stainless stock pot
        Medium stainless sauce pan, ideally with a double boiler and steamer

        That will pretty much cover everything you need. If you really like cooking, additional pieces I’d suggest:

        Cast iron 12 inch pan with a lid and splatter guard
        Cast iron griddle, for pancakes, etc
        Medium-large wok

      • Le Creuset dutch oven and Le Creuset skillet. All-Clad 3-qt sauce pan. Then you can buy cheap versions of a small non-stick skillet (for eggs); stockpot; small sauce pan; and another large pot for boiling water for pasta.

        I use the first three all. the. time. I think it’s worth it to splurge on the pans that you use every day. Le Creuset cooks evenly, it’s extremely durable, and it’s insanely easy to clean. That last part is key.

      • Ha, I also use the All-Clad Emerilware. I got it free with Lexis (or maybe it was Westlaw) points in law school. It’s been going strong since 06~

    • I recall some scare a few years back about the toxicity of some non-stick surfaces when worn down, so I avoid spending too much on non-stick and just count on replacing it from time to time. I’ve had my stainless steel pots forever though.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, I had birds in my house growing up so we never had nonstick cookwear (scorched nonstick/Teflon produces toxic fumes to birds, which caused me to think, why is it so good for me?). My understanding is that, in addition to not burning or schorching anything on the pan, you should also make sure not to scratch or otherwise breach the coating, which apparently is how it gets into the bloodstream (I think some study determined that almost everyone in the US has nonstick coating in their blood , whether from cooking at home or from eating restaurants). I buy good quality nonstick pans so the coating is uniform and intact and then only use nonmetal utensils when cooking with them. If th coating gets breached, out it goes.

    • I love my Calphalon Anodized set (from Bed Bath and Beyond). I would suggest supplementing with at least 1 non-stick skillet though, since eggs and other messier items stick to the anodized surface.

      I used to have stainless, which I liked fine, but be sure to find one where the handle itself isn’t steel (or at least has a cover/coating over it). It will heat up quickly and burn the isht out of your hands if you’re not careful.

      • That’s what we got for our wedding and the pots still look great after 8 years of daily use. I’ve burned things badly multiple times and have always been able to rescue the pot. I’d also recommend getting a few Le Crueset pieces. I use my french oven and braiser all the time. If you’re not picky about the color, I’ve seen the non-classic colors at Marshall’s.

    • American Kitchen makes a great stainless steel which is much cheaper than All-Clad and happens to be USA-made. The one I find myself using all the time is the 12 inch large skillet with lid, but they have a great range. I also really like their steamer basket which fits into their pots for steaming veggies or dumplings.

    • Anonymous :

      Stainless steel is a much, much better (and safer, and generally longer-lasting) choice.

      I just have some KitchenAid cookware and, for all the beating it takes on a daily basis, it has really help up pretty well.

  20. Another dating TJ – Friday night was my sixth date with a guy I was really into. I’ve been doing the online dating thing for a while now and he was by far the best I’ve met. He was outgoing, talkative, and energetic, and we seemed to really click. A few weeks ago we made plans to go to a concert next weekend that I bought tickets for.

    During the date, he was getting and responding to a lot of texts from friends about weekend plans, which wasn’t great but I wasn’t going to make a big deal about it. He said one of the texts asked him to hang out doing something that would require him to get up super early the next day. Around 9:30 he said he wanted to get home to sleep because he was tired from a long week and also was getting up early to hang out with his friends. He knew I was disappointed. He texted that night that he had a good time and was sorry he was tired. I responded that I understand if he’s tired, it happens. But I wasn’t crazy about texting with friends and then cutting our time short to make it to plans he made while out with me. That it made me feel like I wasn’t much of a priority. By Saturday evening I hadn’t heard anything, so I texted “hey just wanted to follow up about my text last night, hope you had a great day!” Sunday morning I still hadn’t heard anything so I called him, got voicemail, and left a message saying I wanted to touch base, I know he was really busy over the weekend so maybe he hadn’t had a chance to get back to me, but if he didn’t want to hang out anymore I would be disappointed of course, but that I’d rather know than wonder what was going on. Still no response. Last night I made plans to go to the concert with a different guy instead.

    I’m not sure why anyone thinks it’s OK to just ignore someone after so many dates and knowing we had future plans. I’m so disappointed, not just that he apparently doesn’t want to see me anymore, but that I really liked a guy who is totally devoid of integrity, honesty, or communication skills, and that he doesn’t think I deserve the respect of a goodbye text. I’m sure he’s gone about his weekend without giving me a second thought, but I’m sitting here still upset. I’m so tired of getting my hopes up about someone just for him to turn into a total DOOSH. I’m not sure if I’m asking for advice or commiseration or just needed to vent, but thanks for reading.

    • Ugh, sorry this happened to you. Definitely a case of JSFAMO! You are better off with out this guy. Hope the concert is awesome!

    • Oh Dear. Honestly, in that situation I wouldn’t have said anything and just let it go. If he is busy making plans with other people in front of you and wants to cut your together time short then that is telling you how he feels. You’ve already made a few attempts to reach him, I wouldn’t try again.

      • Yeah I’m definitely not going to contact him again. I struggled with whether to follow up at all, and I wouldn’t have even considered it if the other dates had been kinda meh. It just seemed to be going so well, I really thought this was headed toward a happy relationship, I’m not really sure what happened.

    • Olivia Pope :

      Yes, I hated that! The fade out was the worst. it’s so cowardly. I always respected the guys who could just say, “You’re great/fun/cool but I don’t think this will work in the long term.”

      Of course, age and maturity aren’t the same thing (this guy could be 55 for all I know). But I got the fade out from guys in their 20s. My dating life got a lot better when I realized that I like being friends with guys in their 20s, not dating them.

      The only time I would date a guy in his 20s is if I am widowed when I’m 40+. Then I will date a guy half my age because WHY NOT.

      • He’s 35. Another reason I was so shocked – I’m really not used to this happening at this stage of my life!

    • Well – it could be the fade out, but here are my questions. Were the two of you talking every day, such that going without talking for two days is pretty unusual? Because that’s all it has been, right? Is it out of the ordinary with regards to the past timing you’ve had in your communications with him?

      Not that you don’t have the right to be put out by the weird plan making while on date thing, and the lack of a prompt response says he may not be as into you as you are to him, but I’m not really seeing the “totally devoid of integrity, honesty, and communication skills”.

      • Yep, we were texting just about every day and I always got prompt replies, like within an hour or so. I’m reasonably certain at this point that he’s not interested in seeing me again and he’s not going to bother to contact me to tell me that.

    • Anne Shirley :

      I’m seeing a guy who cut Friday night short because he was busy the rest of the weekend, then got an “I’m mad” text from you, didn’t respond because he was busy, then got another text, then a voicemail, and then didn’t follow up Sunday night or today because he was busy and didn’t feel like having an angry convo? 6 dates to me would be the level where I’d expect people to be okay with me having more going on in my life than just them, and rallying to the idea that I want to spend time with them! Even if I can’t give them 100% on that evening.

      Up to you if that’s something you’re interested in, but I think calling him devoid of integrity honesty and communication skills is major overkill.

      • Merabella :

        I’d have to agree with this. He may just be a jerk, but he may also be avoiding your because he thinks you are mad and he is being a baby about it. Either way, he probably isn’t the guy for you, but it seems more like a compatibility issue than a personality defect.

    • I hope this will help rather than harm: it’s possible that it wasn’t “friends” he was texting with, that he wasn’t making plans for the next day, and that getting up early wasn’t the reason he ended the date with you at 9:30. Just considering that given how rude this was, it actually may have been a cover-up for behavior that should make him even easier to walk away from.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Agree generally with all the comments that (i) the fade-out sucks (ii) you probably didn’t need to call him once he had ignored your two texts and (iii) may be a cover-up of trying to make himself more doosh-like.

      But, I write because of a tangent, which is that online dating has made the fade out waaaaaayyy easier. Texting and email etc has contributed, but for some people, meeting someone online means that (likely) both of you are checking out other people and somehow that makes it okay to just stop contacting someone as if you aren’t really dating them. Obviously this sucks, but I think it’s worth keeping in mind that some people have this attitude so the circumstances may be contributory to the behaviour exhibited here.

      By way of an anecdote, a friend of mine went on ten dates with a guy after which he totally fell off the face of the earth. For most people ten dates creates some kind of expectation of being a grown-up if it isn’t working out, but it just shows how this is not the case for all people.

      I’m sorry this happened, JSFAMO.

  21. IBR and Mortgages... :

    Does anyone know if my *very* large student loan balance would affect my ability to qualify for a mortgage, when I am paying the very minimum because I am enrolled in IBR?

    I’ve been trying to save for a down payment (won’t be buying for 3-5 years), and it occured to me that my loans (I borrowed full law school tuition + living expenses) might make qualifying for a loan difficult. I am now paying nothing because my salary is below the threshold….

    • Depends entirely on the rest of your financial picture. You qualify based on your credit score, as well as your overall income-to-debt ratio, available credit, cash for downpayment etc.

      Lenders will ask for your total income as well as your monthly debt obligations (of which student loan is one) and factor the size of the mortgage you can afford accordingly. The more cash you have for a downpayment, the less of a loan you need.

      If your question is, “five years down the road when I am making a lot more money, will having paid only the minimum on my students loans in 2013 impact my ability to get a mortgage?” the answer is no. As long as all payments are on time.

      • IBR and Mortgages... :

        Thanks, that’s really helpful. It seems likely then that even if my overall income-to-debt ratio is much lower due to student loans, I will be fine because my monthly debt obligations won’t be high (unless something changes drastically!) and the rest of my financial picture is stable.

    • It depends on the lender. We had to shop around to find somewhere that would look at the monthy payments in relation to our monthly income (to see they were affordable) rather than our total balance/debt-to-income ratio.

    • Yeah, it really depends — I think that stability is what it’s all about.

      I have about $170k in law school loans, currently paying $0/month through IBR. My husband and I qualified for a $200k house mortgage through our credit union (a more conservative lender than many banks). In our small city, $200k was plenty for us, but in many places, that would be nothing.

    • I have large loans and a little credit card debt and my husband has no debt at all. We both have govnt atty salaries. I was worried that me being on the mortgage would hurt our credit-worthiness, so we had our mortgage broker run the numbers both ways. To my surprise, my credit score was above average and having me on the mortgage was beneficial. Therefore, my best advice is that you never know until you have them run the numbers. Even if you don’t have your down payment saved up yet, you should go talk to a broker and get an assessment of your situation.

  22. Lean In or Defining Decade :

    I just sat for the bar exam and will start work at a law firm in two weeks. I want to read an inspirational book before starting, but only one because I also want to read a lot of fantasy/sci-fi novels for nerd reasons. Should I read Lean In or the Defining Decade as my inspiration for the professional phase of my life?

    • Since you’re (basically) already a lawyer, I’d suggest Lean In for the professional part. Defining Decade may have stuff for you on the relationship/personal side, but it sounds like you’ve already pretty much put into practice the professional advice she gives (which is basically don’t go be a barista for the rest of your 20s and think you’ll magically wake up at 30 with a “real” job).

      • Defining Decade may still have something for you on the professional side. I’m a lawyer several years out of law school, and it helped me to realize that while my job (that I’ve had since graduating law school) is great, it’s no longer moving me forward to my ultimate career goals for many reasons. I was stuck in a career rut, not making decisions because I was comfortable where I was, even though I had passed the point of diminishing returns.

        I agree that Lean In is probably better when you haven’t even started your job, but keep DD on the back burner for a future read. In my situation, I’m about to start a job with a much higher title that pays 60% more!

        • Lean In or Defining Decade :

          Congrats Veronique! Your story is a good reminder that we all need to advocate for our own long terms goals, even (especially) to ourselves.

          • Veronique :

            Thanks! There’s definitely a relationship parallel there, that sometimes you have to leave your current situation to find someone who appreciates you in the way that you want!

      • Lean In or Defining Decade :

        Thanks for responding!

        I should have said that I’m 25, happily married, and on my intended career path. So on one hand, I never had the “let’s waste these years because I’m young” attitude. But on the other hand, a highly recommended book about my 20s would probably be good to read anyway because…I’m in my 20s.

        • Given this information, I’d recommend Lean In. But honestly, they’re both quick reads, and if you have some time on your hands, you could probably finish both in a couple of days.

    • goldribbons :

      Defining Decade, but I found both of them to be very quick reads.

  23. I have been in my current position for a little over 2 months. During this time I’ve completed a substantial project. I’m one of those people that always worries about performance. Am I at the level that they thought I would be? Am I meeting expectations in general? This is my 4th job post college graduation and I have always been at or above expectations when it comes to review time. Do I just wait until my formal review to receive feedback or is there a way to just ask – hey am I who you thought I was? Are you happy with your hiring decision?

    I haven’t been as anxious in previous positions because the experience required in previous jobs directly correlated to the next so I was more sure of my performance. This job was a bit more of a stretch, certainly within my reach but more of a stretch.

    I’d appreciate any thoughts.

    I’d be open to any thoughts.

    • Oops, apparently I did type that bottom sentence once. Oh Monday, I hate you.

    • Don’t go in there asking them to validate your entire worth as an employee. But it’s completely appropriate to go to whoever supervised the project and say that, since you’re new, you’d love to have 15 min to sit down and chat about the project, just to make sure you’re on the right track and to highlight anything you could do better next time. But please leave the “am I good enough” baggage at the door. Your boss will smell it and it will be off-putting since it doesn’t suggest confidence. Trust you’re good enough to do the job. (Think of it this way: if you’re not good enough, that reflects poorly on them because they made a mistake in hiring you. No one wants someone to suggest they’ve made a mistake.) All you’re looking for are pointers to make sure you’re doing the work in the best way for this particular office and its particular needs.

      • Thanks for the advice. I certainly don’t want to come off as lacking confidence but would like feedback – this sounds like a good way to go about it.

  24. Baconpancakes :

    TJ for advice: Is there any way having your name on a lease would be detrimental to your credit score or taxes? My roommate is finally fully employed, after doing part-time and temping for a long while, so while paying rent has never been a problem, I’ve been the only one on the lease. I asked about adding my roommate to the lease as originally planned, but now I’m being told Roommate would rather not be on the lease “because taxes.” WTF?

    • Leases have nothing to do with taxes. The only way a lease could be detrimental to your credit score is if you didn’t pay as agreed in the lease and the lessor reported the failure to the credit bureaus.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Maybe state or local taxes if he/she is claiming residence else where that is tax free? Lots of young adults try to maintain residency w/ mom and dad to avoid paying state tax if mom and dad live in FL, NH or any other income tax free state.

    • Roommate is going to get into tax trouble. Leases don’t impact taxes unless you are trying to say you live in a state other than where you actually live.

      FWIW, in some states (like MA) you can actually deduct a portion of you rent…so it’s advantageous to be on the lease.

      • Or be eligible for a property tax rebate as a renter. Does the landlord not have an issue with all residents of the apartment not being on the lease?

    • For your roommate:

      1) Taxes are unavoidable
      2) You didn’t say, so I’m going to assume that your roommate is a good one (apart from this) and it seems unfair to put all the risk on you.

  25. With all the comments over the weekend regarding how often you wash your hair, I have an additional question. I have just-below-the ear length, dry, coarse, thick, multi-textured hair and wash every other day. It doesn’t really get greasy, but it does get, well, smelly. Washing, drying and flat ironing is such a pain. I wish I could go another day without washing. To make it even more interesting, I have some dry scalp issues and so use Head & Shoulders (or store brand knock off). It seems like in order to deal with scalp issues by using that kind of shampoo, I am not doing my thick hair any favors. Am interested in trying to “wash” with conditioner only, but not sure it would work due to dry scalp issues. Anyone else deal with this sort of hair frustration?

    • Merabella :

      You might try “washing” your hair with a baking soda/water mixture. It helps to clear off dandruff and doesn’t dry out your scalp.

    • Olivia Pope :

      I needed to use generic dandruff/dry-scalp shampoo back when I was shampooing/blow-drying/flat ironing my curly coily hair. After I embraced my natural hair texture and started co-washing, my scalp improved too!

      Your scalp could be dry/itchy because the detergents in the shampoo are drying it out so much. I use an all natural moisturizing shampoo with a touch of Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap two or three times a month. Every other time I wash, I co-wash with conditioner. My hair/everything is dry, so I have a cheap conditioner for co-washing and a nicer leave-in conditioner. My scalp has been doing great! No dandruff, no itching.

      I’ve also heard that rinsing your scalp with apple cider vinegar helps with scalp and smell, but I haven’t tried it because I haven’t needed it yet. Finally, if you try co-washing and your scalp doesn’t like it, go back to shampooing but use other products to moisturize your hair.

  26. BigTimeAnonforthis :

    Hello Hive; I would love the benefit of your advice for this strange situation. One of my closest friends has been in a relationship for several years and has been cheating on the guy for the majority of that time. He broke it off with her a few days ago after she again told me (as she has been doing every since I’ve known her) how unhappy she is with him. Ever since he broke things off, she has been behaving like a crazy person. She arrived at my home proclaiming that he asked her to move out. She is saying things like “I want to die”, etc. (I already insisted that she begin therapy.) I have been arranging stuff to fill her time so she isn’t left alone, but she will break the plans if something better comes along and will just show up at my house without announcement otherwise and late the other night, let herself in and gave me a heart attack the next morning when I walked down the hall and ran into her.

    The coup de grace came the other night when I and a mutual friend tried to meet her for a fun dinner out and she showed up an hour late. I had called her asking where she was and telling her to hurry up, and she said, “Why are you being so mean and making this all about you? I’m basically going through a divorce here.” When she arrived, she refused to speak other than randomly shouting things at the dinner table like “I’m too fat and that’s why he won’t **** me” and finally burst into tears and left. I then called her ex and he told me he never asked her to move out. All of us (our circle of mutual friends) know she is a narcissist at baseline, but this is intolerable. That being said, I’ve never been through something like this and do want to be a good friend. I’m unsure what balance to strike here; any help is appreciated, with thanks in advance.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Take her keys amd change the locks. A bad breakup doesn’t justify her complete lack of boundaries. Or yours- being a good friend doesn’t require making plans to keep her busy.

    • Anon for this :

      I stopped a friend’s over dramatic meltdowns by taking her seriously. I called a crisis center on her because I thought she was a danger to herself or the other woman. Once she realized that her friends were moving down the road towards having her involuntarily committed, she stopped the “I’m a psycho” game and admitted she was overreacting. I suspected that was the case but didn’t want to take the chance. Most people would have laughed off her statements but two of us had worked with the mentally ill and thought we should take the steps in case she needed that help.

    • Ugh, this is really hard. This is probably very selfish, but I’ve really tried to distance myself from friends like this because I just don’t have the energy to deal with them.

      But, right now she’s going through a difficult time, even if it’s basically self-imposed. I guess I would be supportive, but create some very clear boundaries. Make it clear that she can’t come to your home unannounced, and that she must stick to plans and be on time. The next time that she lets herself into your house (after you’ve made it clear that she cannot do that) just calmly ask for your key back. If she’s over 15 minutes late to something with you, just leave and let her know. Don’t be dramatic and don’t have any sort of intervention – just calmly let her know that your time is important and you can’t tolerate her blowing you off.

      On the other side, be there for her when she wants to have coherent, thoughtful conversations about her feelings and her relationship. Listen and be supportive. However, if she’s going to be childish and just blurt things out, give her one chance to elaborate, but then move on if she still won’t talk.

      After she gets through the most difficult period of all this, I would seriously consider creating some distance. I’m sure she has good qualities if you’ve been friends for a long time, but it’s really difficult to have toxic friends.

  27. BigTimeAnonforthis :

    Thank you (and props for an excellent handle, I loved those books)–I only gave her the entrance code which I changed after her dinnertime meltdown. I just lack objectivity here and personally have never had a relationship of this duration dissolve, so I was unsure of how much of this behavior I need to tolerate. I would be a lot more sympathetic had she not been cheating this entire time, however :/

  28. Bday Gift Advice :

    Advice please: I need ideas for a birthday gift for the guy I’ve been seeing.

    Background: I have been dating this guy casually for about four months now. Casually = for the past month or two we see each other at most once a week, only txt/email very lightly in between dates, we’ve never discussed the relationship, if any, whether we’re seeing other people etc. etc. That said, I think he probably thinks it’s more than I do. The truth is, I’ve been thinking about breaking up with him for a while (if you can even call it that), but haven’t quite gotten there yet.

    So here’s the question: this weekend he told me it’s his birthday next week. I need ideas for a gift! I don’t really know him well enough to think of anything personal to get for him. Also, at this stage, do I need to actually plan something for his birthday? I asked if he was doing anything and he said he’ll probably go to dinner with friends or something.

    • Wildkitten :

      It not your job to plan something for him (now or ever). But you should probably get him a small gift. What about a gift card to somewhere he likes? That’s sufficiently impersonal without totally abandoning him on his birthday. Or a bottle of alcohol that he enjoys?

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