How Do You Use Your Instant Pot? An Open Thread for Busy Ladies

All right, readers — who’s a fan of the Instant Pot? Which are your favorite recipes; what are your best Instant Pot tips for busy ladies? 

Unless you’ve been living under an Instant-Pot-sized rock, you’ve probably noticed the hype around this really versatile kitchen appliance. (NPR just referred to its “viral word-of-mouth success” in a headline the other day.) Many of you — like me — probably either got one or gave one for the holidays and have been spending the last month experimenting (or listening to someone else talk about their experimenting). A reader recently asked for a post similar to the slow cooker recipes post but this time specifically for Instant Pot recipes, and so we thought we’d gather some helpful links and recipes today. Do you have an Instant Pot? What do you use it for?  As a busy woman, do you find that the Instant Pot is better or worse than the slow cooker (where, for example, readers have complained that it’s difficult to find slow cooker recipes with long cook times to allow for their work schedules)!

Whoa: Note that you can get decals, like this one from Etsy seller Emilia Sofia Boutique. I also like this Gosling-themed decal: “Hey girl, drink some wine while I make dinner” from Etsy seller Big Dipper Designs.

Instant Pot is designed to replace a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, etc., and its fans use it to make everything from chili to cheesecake. The company offers several models with different sizes and features — the DUO60, DUO50, DUO80, LUX60, and the IP-Smart Bluetooth model — but we won’t take up space here describing the differences because Amazon already has a chart that does that. (Scroll down on the page to find it.) (Here’s a post from Hip Pressure Cooking to help you decide, too.) The Instant Pot is currently Amazon’s #1 bestseller in the Home & Kitchen category, and the price range is $80-$180, depending on which model you choose.

Here are a few resources for the new Instant Pot user:

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Learn How to Become a Better Communicator with These Books

How to Become a Better CommunicatorCommunicating at work often requires women to walk a very fine line to avoid being seen as “aggressive,” “bitchy,” “pushy,” and so on (for exhibiting the same behavior as a typical male employee, of course). The double standard was perfectly captured by Sarah Cooper in last year’s “9 Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women” (which you can now buy as a poster!). Reader L recently sent us a question about how she can become a better communicator while counteracting years of being socialized as a woman to be easygoing and “go with the flow.”

She asks:

I am a new associate at a mid-size firm and am realizing that communicating strategically is a huge weakness for me. I think a lot of this is societal (it’s ingrained in me as a woman to be agreeable and not make a fuss), and based on my personality (I believe everyone is telling me the truth and I am conflict averse). I hope that I can build this skill with experience, but I’d rather learn from a book or mentor than by trial and error. What are the best books or other resources for this?

We recently reached out to three women who’ve thought about these issues a lot and asked them to recommend helpful resources to help you become a better communicator:

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6 Resume Rules for 2017 That You May Not Know About

Resume Rules for 2017We’re only in the second week of the new year, so this is a great time to talk about resume rules for 2017. This time last year, readers talked about whether or not they apply to jobs when they don’t meet all the requirements (also see our imposter syndrome post), and a few years ago Kat answered a reader email about unusual ways to get your resume noticed.

Here are six resume rules for 2017 that you may not have heard:

1. Know that the “one page” limit no longer applies. Depending on your career and circumstances, it’s OK if your resume runs longer than one page. To figure out whether to make your resume one, two, or even three pages, check out these guidelines from Monster. No matter what, though, keep it concise — and make 100% sure there are no typos!

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6 Awesome Online Classes for Working Women

Online Classes for Working WomenIf you’re looking to do some online learning with a level of commitment somewhere between earning a graduate degree online and watching a TED-Ed video explaining why cats are weird, then one-off courses may be for you. In the past we’ve talked about learning a language, using online resources and books to become a better manager, and finding out more about yourself through personality tests, as well as the best TED Talks for working women, but we’ve never devoted a post to online learning in general. Today we’re sharing a general roundup of online classes for working women — please add your own recommendations in the comments!

What’s your favorite way to learn new things and develop your skills online? Are there any online-learning sites you would or wouldn’t recommend? What are your favorite online classes for working women?  (For those of you lawyers who are saddled with CLE requirements, do you have any public sources that you LOVE for interesting videos?)

If you’re interested in boosting your career with some new knowledge and strategies, here are eight intriguing online classes for working women that are offered by popular online learning sites:

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How to Take Advantage of a Quiet Office at the Holidays

How to Take Advantage of a Quiet Office at the HolidaysIt’s coming: the dead period around the holidays when many of your coworkers are out on vacation, projects are done or winding down, and no one wants to start anything major before the end of the year. In late December, a quiet office can feel like a ghost town to people who are still there — but you can take advantage of it in many useful ways. What do you do when the office is quiet around the holidays and you’re still at work? 

We’ve rounded up several ideas of things to do in a quiet office:

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Six Brands for the Stylish Vegan Professional: Clothes and Accessories

The Stylish Vegan Professional: Six Brands for Vegan Dress Shoes, Clothes and MoreAll right, ladies — if you’re a stylish vegan professional (or are trying to be), which are your favorite vegan brands for workwear? We recently received a question from a job-seeking reader about sources of vegan workwear — both clothes and accessories. Fortunately, it’s far easier to find stylish vegan professional workwear today than, say, 15 years ago. Before mentioning some brands, let’s review what isn’t vegan. Drawing from a post from The Compassionate Closet, here’s a list of materials made from animals (ranging from the obvious to the ones you might not think of): leather, wool, suede, silk, cashmere, mohair, alpaca, angora, worsted, serge, tweed, down, velvet (non-synthetic type), gabardine (wool type), grosgrain (silk type), jersey (wool type), satin (silk type). 

A search for “vegan” at Zappos brings up 700+ items, and a search at Nordstrom shows 350 (of course, you can further sort by category), and sites like MooShoes, Ethica, and Vegan Chic bring together many vegan products in one place. (Related: our slow fashion shopping guide.) What sources have you found for quality vegan workwear, vegan dress shoes, or other musts for the stylish vegan professional? 

But for those of you looking for vegan workwear brands that are specifically vegan-focused — not just animal-free by accident — we’ve rounded up six brands worth trying:

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