Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Fleur Fitted Dress

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

This fitted dress from Boden looks fabulous — although, alas, it is dry clean only. It has a bunch of fun colors, and I like this pink, which is almost a fuchsia, but there’s also a black, a navy-and-black floral, and a navy-and-green floral that they show with boots, which I think looks nice. It has elbow-length sleeves and a below-the-knee skirt, and I really like the textured cotton fabric — I think it’s going to be very comfortable to wear. The dress is getting good reviews, too, and currently has four stars. It comes in petite (2–10), regular (2–16), and long (4–18), and it’s $170 full price (with 10% off at checkout with code 7GNM). These two floral patterns are on sale for $54-$72, however. Fleur Fitted Dress

Here’s a plus-size option (30% off today).

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Comments

  1. Mayflower :

    How did you motivate yourself and stay positive when you were just starting out and broke and it seemed like life was impossible? I’m working full time, going to grad school, and just trying to stay on top of bills right now. Logically, I know I can do this and I know it will get better (especially after I finish my degree), but the day to day is really hard. What’s your favorite way to remind yourself that you’re a strong, capable woman with a bright future, even if the past few months haven’t been so bright?

    • Girl, I’ve been there. It was important for me to realize that I wasn’t alone in the struggle- to surround myself with women who were also there, or who had been there before. If you can go to industry conferences, or evenparticipate in chats on twitter, I think you’ll find a lot of women in similar mindsets.

      Plus, use your student discount for some yoga classes!

    • I like to remind myself that one day when whatever it is passes, I will likely look back on it with some fondness no matter how hard it might be in the moment. I remember being in school and not having extra money for coffee sometimes, so I would bring my own tea bags and buy a cup of hot water at the cafeteria for .17 cents. At the time, I would have preferred to go get a latte but now it all feels very misty colored – I was younger, I was striving for something wonderful … I look back on the first few months of my daughter’s life the same way. I don’t remember the sleepless nights or the constant low-frequency panic, but I remember watching the sun come up and how beautiful the light was at odd times of night. I think it’s good to think of all the hard times you got through, to surround yourself with people who are going through something similar and support each other, and to keep your eye on the big picture of what you are building.

      • Completely agree.

        My husband and I had a few very very poor years. We were surviving on 1/6 of what we currently make. It was horrible at the time, but such a valuable experience to have had.

        Sometimes certain time periods in our lives are just a joyless slog that you get through from moment to moment, but they gain meaning with time and perspective. For me, the lean years in my mid 20s gave me a foundation of frugality, a passion for bettering myself so that I’d never have to live like that again, and a deep sense of pride and gratitude for what we have, now that we’ve gotten to where we dreamed about not that long ago.

        Things will absolutely get better, and even if you can’t find meaning right now, you will later.

    • I (1) cut out all little purchases (a bottle of water, lip gloss etc.) so that I could do bigger things like go out to dinner with friends. That helped me feel less deprived. I (2) tried to imagine paying off a loan years from now for something I was yearning for now but couldn’t afford and that made me feel far less deprived since the yearning would usually go away.

      • Anonymous :

        See, cutting out all the little things made me feel way more deprived. I would rather find ways to get big savings (e.g., living with roommates, selling my car, cutting cable) so that I could enjoy the occasional latte or manicure.

        • Anonymous :

          Then ask for gift cards for holidays/birthdays.

          • Second anon @ 9:55’s comment. Also currently in grad school and I received a lot of Amazon gift cards around my birthday this summer and they have been SUPER helpful.

    • anon a mouse :

      When I was in your shoes I put post-its on my bathroom mirror with affirmations — a new one every week or so — to remind me why I was doing this and how it would all be worth it. Things like “Just wait until you have those letters after your name” and “the pain is temporary, the degree is forever” etc.

      I also blocked off at least a half-day every weekend for self-care. Sometimes that was just sitting outside with a beer. Sometimes I met up with friends. Sometimes it was cooking healthy food for the week ahead. Sometimes I slept in. I found myself really looking forward to that time. It helped get through the crush of the week when I had something to look forward to.

      You can do this!

      • I still do this — I have a dry erase marker in my bathroom for the purpose of writing on my mirror. I do it to my roommate sometimes, too (we are both late 20’s/early 30’s, HCOL city) — visual reminders never hurt!

    • When I was young and so broke that if I didn’t work in food service, I may not have had food, I romanticized it. I was in an arts field where a poverty phase was expected, so I had plenty of company. My friends were just as broke, so dinner parties meant I made a pot of lentil soup and bought some bread, and someone else brought a cheap bottle of wine. It was fun, albeit frequently stressful (like when I was figuring out if I had money for a subway token or if I needed to walk 40 blocks home).

      But I know that I had it easier than young people today. In the early 90’s, I could find and afford a rent-stabilized studio apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on my dancer/barista income. I could even afford to buy my own health insurance on the individual market. Sure, I sometimes juggled a few bills to make it work, and I would take any opportunity to make a little more money – work every day for 10 days straight, babysit, cover shifts for friends – but it worked. I now have a team working for me who are all 23-30, and they have a much larger financial burden. The cost of living in NYC is astronomically higher than when I was their age, and most of them have educational debt. They make 3X-4X what I made at the time, but their expenses are 6X-10X what mine were at the same age.

      All this is to say, I feel you. You are a superstar for doing what you’re doing. You will get through it, but any time it’s hard, feel free to come here for some affirmations.

    • I made Sunday mornings my quiet time. I’d drive to
      the slightly far away coffee shop that was always empty at 8am on Sunday, splurge on a pot of tea and a croissant, and power through a big chunk of my reading for the week. It helped me feel calm and in control.

    • There’s a lot of great music about struggle, hard work, and not having a lot of money that has motivated me. Much of it is about people who have it much harder than I do. Some of it is rappers reviewing how they made bank and got respect. I recommend making a motivational hustle playlist.

    • Wildkitten :

      I’m a gold star person and I love this checklist to feel accomplished about the fact that I am in fact paying my bills (even if that’s like, all I do with every paycheck is pay bills): http://www.myfrugalhome.com/printable-bill-pay-checklist/

      • Wow–I love this site and had never heard of it! Thank you! Love all their little organizing printables!

    • You can do it! Here’s my story:

      Finished ugrad in 2005 with 30k in debt. Science major. Worked for a university lab for $26,570 per year in Boston. Boston! That’s more than the cost of a parking space. Which I had to have because my lab required driving to a bunch of different sites.

      I had 3 roommates and lived on the outskirts of town (vs the cool areas where my friends lived) and paid $650/mo including parking. I leased the cheapest car I could find ($99/mo). I paid my student loan payment ($112). I babysat and took a part time job working retail to afford work clothes. And because I worked for a U, they had a fab retirement plan (150% matching up to 6%) so I tried my best to contribute to it.

      I had a lot of low-key outings- house parties and free stuff in the city vs bar hopping (unless I was dating someone who was footing the bill).

      Then in 2006 I started taking grad classes spaced out as far as possible to max the free tuition benefit while minimizing the tax impact. After 2.5 years I graduated with a Masters in health admin (unrelated to my ugrad degree) and a salary of just over $30k.

      Got a job in the private sector at a company that was a tech spinoff of my research lab. I made $55k, $60k, $65k there and then got another job in a similar sector making $85, $90, $110, $130k respectively (I was there for 5 years and kicked butt, made the company a ton of money and eventually was promoted to VP level making $190k). My company got acquired and my options earned me about $200k. At this point I had (have) a young family and made a lateral/slight step down to a company with a much friendlier working environment and I make $160k, mainly work from home, and travel basically never.

      So here I am, and it wasn’t until two years ago when I exercised my options that we bought a fancy/new car. I still buy store brand basically everything and I have a lot of clothes (ugh) that are almost a decade old. DH and I have traded off being the high earners in the 5 years we’ve been married but looking back we’ve netted about the same over the years.

    • you can do it :

      I just graduated from grad school and have transitioned from the grad school lean years to the fellowship (slightly-less-lean years). Loving my discipline and knowing that I’ll ultimately be in a better place careerwise has always helped. Also, my grad school community. I’m a millennial and I think most of my broader social group has been hustling in some way, and so having people to commiserate with has always helped.

    • I was broke AF for most of my 20s. It got a lot easier when I started going to law school at night. Not because I had any more money (and now I had no time either), but because there was an end in sight and I knew things would get better. I motivated myself by being really competitive (in my own head) about my grades, class rank, and how I was doing overall. I just remember having this really strong sense of “if I’m going to spend years of my life and thousands of dollars doing this, I am damn well going to make sure it’s worth it.” I also gave myself permission to lean out at my job. I became ok with “good enough” and reminded myself regularly that my job was a paycheck while school was my career.

      I also streamlined as much of my decisionmaking/spending as possible. I had much more of a routine than I do now. I ate the same few things for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I brought gym clothes with me to work every day and I would go to the office building gym during lunch even if it just meant getting on the exercise bike for 30 min and reading a magazine.

      I didn’t have much free time with work and school, but I would meet up with friends for a run or walk to try to get outside and moving whenever possible. And I had a lot of those cheap dinner parties that another poster mentioned above, where someone would make a big thing of soup, or a roast chicken, or fried rice, and we’d drink cheap wine.

      I also agree with other posters that I remember that part of my life with a bit of nostalgia. I’m not interested in reliving the hardship, of course, but it laid the foundation for my current success and was a hugely formative experience.

      • Pretty Primadonna :

        There is something to be said for filling your time, too. One year, I was focusing on paying off debt and for three or four months, didn’t spend on takeout, clothes shopping, and frills. It helped me becuase I was working full time and also participating in a production where I had hours of practice on the weekends. It helped to not have time to sit and think of things I was missing out on.

  2. Anonymous :

    I haaaaaate these sleeves. Just make them three inches longer to make them 3/4, please!

    • cake batter :

      +1

      Elbow sleeves seem to make my arms look like massive football player arms. Gimme about 4 more inches of fabric for a nice 3/4 sleeve, and I’m happy as a clam.

    • Anonymous :

      disagree! Sleeves just above the elbow are better! Past the elbow just results in wear and wrinkled fabric.

      I love this dress so much but post-kids I rarely do dry clean only. No cleaner in my office building so it’s one less errand if I stick to machine washable for most items.

      • Anony Mouse :

        +1 Above-the-elbow sleeves work better for me. I’m tall and have long legs, and so 3/4 sleeves don’t look right on me.

      • Anonymous :

        They work better on me too and don’t get worn out at the elbows the way 3/4 or full sleeves do.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I love elbow length sleeves! I’m not mad at 3/4, but just-above-the-elbow is so perfect for (my) tattoo coverage and I feel like it looks decently polished.

    • One of the reviews indicates that the sleeves are longer on non-models than they appear as pictured. (I prefer sleeves that end right at the elbow, since I guess I think it makes my arms look longer? I don’t want to wear “arm capris.”)

    • Anonymous :

      As long as they don’t line up with the widest part of my bust, I’m happy. And it looks like these wouldn’t!

    • To me the proportions just work on this dress. The sleeves being longer or shorter would throw it off.

      Gorgeous pick Kat!

      • I was wondering if anyone knows if Nordstrom discontinued Classiques Entier? There is NOTHING for the brand on the site right now – and that was my go-to for ponte dresses, so maybe need to start considering Boden dresses and others.

        • I was wondering the exact same thing? Was looking for their fall line this morning, saw literally nothing.

    • I love these sleeves!

  3. Edna Mazur :

    Harry & David. Ebates has 5% back and 20% off. Looking for a Christmas present. Will they get cheaper before then?

    • Also- If you have a chase card and shop through the portal you can get 4pts/ $1 at Harry & David

  4. Gail the Goldfish :

    Any recommendations for a quickish dinner by myself in Philadelphia? Staying downtown near the convention center/city hall. Also, I have never been before and think I can squeeze in an hour or two of sightseeing-what do I see in that short time? Liberty bell and independence hall?

    • Pick any restaurant along the 13th street corridor (starting south of Chestnut) – there’s tons of great options.

      Skip the Liberty Bell (if you really really really want to see it, take a glance from the sidewalk through the window; waiting in line is not worth it). Independence Hall is more interesting. If you like museums, the new Revolutionary War museum is getting rave reviews, though I haven’t yet visited myself. Though, with only an hour or two, I’d go for “soak up ambiance of city” rather than “frantic quick sightseeing dash” and go for a nice long walk around Old City / Society Hill and stop for coffee or wine outside along the way.

      • For that outdoor beverage – if you wander over to Washington Square, the bar at Talula’s Garden is lovely.

      • I’ve only been to Philadelphia once, in high school, and the only thing I remember about the entire place was waiting in line for forever for the Liberty Bell and getting to it and being like, “Wait, what? This is it?” So I concur on skipping the bell – a glimpse of it would be fine.

      • the Revolutionary War museum is cool but more kid-oriented, IMO, especially if you already have basic familiarity with American history. I enjoyed the exhibits but did not learn anything new.

        I agree with walking around Old City and Society Hill if you only have an hour or two.

        Also agree with the 13th street restaurant recommendations – you can’t go wrong with anything between Locust and Chestnut on 13th street. My favorites are Bud & Marilyn’s and Tredici, and both have nice big bars you can eat dinner at if you’re alone.

        • + 1 to the recommendation for the bar at Bud & Marilyn’s. I also really like Sampan. And both Bud & Marilyn’s and Sampan have great happy hours.

          And I agree with the above recommendations to skip the Liberty Bell unless the line is short (or to take a look from the window outside) and instead to spend time walking around. You could also hop one of the hop on hop off buses if you want a feel for the whole city in a short amount of time.

    • Get a cheese steak at Redding Terminal Market – it’s delicious and touristy fun all at the same time.

      • sandwich recs :

        For my money, the credited response at the Redding Terminal is a roast pork with hot peppers at DiNic’s. I like cheesesteaks for sure, but that pork is comparably classic and totally outstanding.

        • Agree (and fwiw it’s Reading Terminal, not Redding). But as a Philly resident, I loathe the “oh of course all you guys is cheesesteaks, visitors have to get one!!!!” attitude, so I avoid all cheesesteaks as a matter of principle.

        • +1 to DiNic’s roast pork sandwich being better than cheesesteak if you pop into Reading Terminal.

    • Shiao Lan Kung! Haven’t been there is a while, but it was so good.

    • 100% agree 13th Street. There are tons of great options there and you can’t go wrong, my favorites are El Vez (Mexican, though can be very loud and crowded but good food – sit at the bar) and Barbuzzo, one of my favorite restaurants in teh city. There’s also a nice wine bar called Vintage next to El Vez.

    • How timely! We were just in Philadelphia last weekend. For dinner, Barbuzzo was lovely and had a lively bar that would be perfect for a solo meal. Across the street was a sister (Spanish) restaurant called Jamonería with really friendly bar staff. We didn’t eat there (just got drinks), but the food looked amazing. And they have a huge sherry list and very knowledgeable bartenders if you are at all interested in drinking/learning about sherries.

      We got into the Liberty Bell with zero wait midday on a Monday, if you can swing daytime. I’d recommend the Independence Hall tour if you have to choose one. It was surprisingly moving to be in the room where it all began.

      And if you live in a city without a La Colombe café, pop in for a draft latte (cold). It was so amazing.

  5. Does anyone have this dress and know how it runs? Boden’s always too short-waisted on me, but I really love the look of this one.

    • Anonymous :

      Same! I bought a gorgeous dress recently, in a long size too, and the waist is too short. I’m taking it to the tailor to see if he can do anything because I love the dress. But if the fix is too expensive, I’m returning it.

  6. Anonymous :

    My husband has a milestone bday coming up and I’d like to get him a “fancy” watch. Any tips on getting a good deal? I’m not opposed to certified pre owned. Just not sure where and how to start.

    • Veronica Mars :

      What’s the budget?

    • Jomashop often has great deals on nice watches, esp if you don’t care if it’s a discontinued or older style

      • Second this. I just got my hubby’s milestone birthday watch there for about $300 off retail (but still spent about $350 for a very nice watch).

        • I ordered my fiance a VERY fancy watch as an engagement present from there in January, and it never came. No communication. They said it was backordered and would ship in 4 weeks (the website failed to mention that when I ordered it). I check in with them every so often and they always tell me 4-6 weeks. The watch is perfect and I bought it for like $1500 off retail so I realllyyyyy don’t want to cancel the order, but I’m pretty sure it’s never coming.

    • Check out 1stdibs.com for an idea of the market.

  7. Linda from HR :

    Not loving the floral pattern, but the Fallen Fruit solid colored dress is so tempting . . .

    Someone replied to a comment of mine yesterday and I just saw it today, so I’ll respond here where it’s more likely to be seen. I talked about recycling clothing, and I wanted to clarify that H&M has a recycling program where they have multiple channels for repurposing used fabrics, including household textiles like sheets, tablecloths, and towels. I wish I had up-to-date info to reassure me all the stuff I’m giving them is actually being put to use and not just sitting in a warehouse somewhere, but it’s still better than a landfill! I try to donate and sell what I can, but when something can’t be reworn, it goes to H&M.

    • That was me, I think. Thanks!

      My daughter’s elementary school has a textile recycling program. It raises money for the school in addition to keeping textiles out of landfills. Reduce, reuse, recycle… or a combination thereof?

      • Linda from HR :

        A combination of reusing and recycling. “Reduce” usually refers to your own usage, limiting what you buy tempering your own consumption, and doing what you can to care for your things so they last a long time.

        That said, sometimes you need to get rid of things, and that’s okay. As long as you’re taking steps to reduce your output and finding ways to recycling said output, you’re doing all right.

    • Also check with your local county waste management. I know our county does textile recycling (ie. all that cotton underwear that you aren’t going to wear anymore and aren’t going to donate), where you drop it off at one of their collection points (vs putting it out for pick up). Our county does a lot of specialized waste recycling like that, so YMMV depending on where you live.

  8. Baconpancakes :

    Is the sock bun look (on the back crown of the head, not the top) a hopelessly dated look? I was uninspired this morning doing my hair and found my bun sock, and decided to go for it, and I thought I would hate it, but I’m surprised by how cute it still looks. Am I delusional?

    • I think a bun, generally, is relatively classic. It’s the placement, size, and neatness of it that signals its timeliness. Does that make sense?

      I think you look fantastic ;-)

    • Anonymous :

      If it looks cute on you, go for it! I think a low bun of any sort is a classic.

    • A regular bun is a classic office look, but I have never seen an adult wear a sock bun. In my world they are worn exclusively by teenagers for ballet, gymnastics, or cheerleading.

      • +1

      • Aquae Sulis :

        Out of interest, what’s the difference? I have to use a bun ring (a small one), as I don’t have enough hair to make a bun with just my own hair.

        • The difference is in the shape of the bun. A sock or spongy bun ring results in a characteristic doughnut shape. A regular bun is coiled and usually flatter.

      • I live/work in DC and see these on military alllllllllllll the time so I wouldn’t sweat it. they make smaller ones — sometimes I think the big ones look too twee.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Yeah mine is pretty small. My coworker thought it was all my real hair, so that was reassuring that it looks pretty natural.

        • Legit question for all the ladies who have hair-styling talent: How should those of us with thick hair (which results in a big bun when using a sock bun) better style our hair? I don’t know how to put my hair into a neat bun without using a sock bun. I think part of this issue is because my hair is thick, I get it cut with layers to keep myself from looking like a triangle head, but then this makes buns messy and hard to accomplish. Any tips appreciated!

      • I’m 52 and a senior manager. If I saw you in a bun I’d think nothing of it. If I saw you in a sock bun I’d think you were very young.

      • Gurl, you should walk behind this adult some time because she is sporting a sock bun on the regular.

    • Do it. Unless you are styling it like a cheerleader, I bet all of these people who swear they’d judge the crap out of you wouldn’t even notice.

    • Depends on how noticeable it is. If it looks like a regular bun, you are fine. If it looks like a sock bun, it’s a dated, young look that I wouldn’t wear to work.

    • Honestly, I saw a younger attorney with a sock bun the other day and thought to myself that she looked chic. I think a bun always looks classic, perhaps just not a sock bun on the very top of your head.

  9. I’m relatively new to private practice and just cannot get the hang of billing. How does everyone else do it? I try to remember to turn timers on and off but it’s so hard when you’re working on one thing and get a call or email on a different matter.

    • The timers drive me insane. Just start a time entry for each matter you work on, and keep it reasonably current throughout the day. Like, every couple hours, take a break and update your time, before you forget all those little .1 and .2 interruptions.

    • Anonymous :

      Keeping a pad out or document open where you can jot down interruptions helps. There are some timesheet templates that break it out in 6 minute increments so you can just draw lines/circles whatever to show the time blocks and then fill in the narrative later.

    • Anonymous :

      I have dual monitors, and for my first few months in practice I kept the timer up in prominent display on my non-dominant monitor throughout the whole day so I would remember it. Eventually it became second nature and I don’t need to do that anymore, but it helped form the habit.

    • I do it on paper throughout the day and enter it later. I find it is easier and more accurate. The timers drive me crazy too.

      • +1 – I do this too. It just seems easier to jot things down quickly – sometimes I put the times down too if I’m doing a bunch of little things. It helps on those days where there are a billion things going on.

    • It might take more time to enter at the end of the day, depending on the software, but I just made stickies for each matter at the beginning of the day, then put in start and stop times as things came up (ex. “ABC Co. Memo – 10:20 – 12:43; 5:35 – 6:45”). You just have to calculate the overall time on the stickies.

    • I have a spreadsheet, and similar to Anon at 9:57, I keep the spreadsheet open (still) on my monitor all day. I type in my start and stop times, and it automatically counts the minutes in between. I then convert to 0.4, etc. My assistant enters the time each week, and I go back in to verify and finalize. It works for me, and helps me not lose time, but it is a time consuming method.

    • I used to struggle with this but now I use the Hours app. It’s not a perfect system but it allows the option for both timers and manual entries. I try to use it as I go but sometimes (depending on the volume of interruptions, etc.) I need to go back and add entries at the end of the day (or sometimes the end of the week…). It’s nice because it auto-generates nice pdf reports of each week and makes it easy to input into my firm’s system.

    • The timers really are the best system — the key is getting yourself in the habit of using them. I focused on it really hard for a couple weeks and found that once I created the habit, I was basically on autopilot and it made timekeeping SO much easier. I would also prepopulate time descriptions and then just tweak them at the end of each day.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Like some people here, I found timers impossible.

      I had a piece of paper next to me at all times. So if I started at 8 it would be like

      8:00 — review discovery for brief [file number]
      [phone rings, i make a note as I answer it]
      8:12 — telecon with Person re issue [file number]
      8:20 — review disc [file number]
      8:30 — court [file number]
      9:15 — follow up email opposing counsel [file number]
      [phone rings, i make a note of the time as I answer it]
      9:21 — telecon with Person re [file number]
      9:30 — review discovery [file number]
      [emergency email arrives]
      9:40 — telecon person re email [file number]

      Etcetera. (I had personal abbreviations for all those things so it would be more like “f/u em o.c.”)

      At the end of the day (every damn day) I would write down the minutes in each block and add up the minutes in a right hand column and enter my time.

    • Anonymous :

      I have an app with timers which works great for me. I was not good at the paper system, but a friend of mine prints out her Outlook calendar each day and writes notes in the hour markings. I might be able to adopt that approach if I moved somewhere without an app.

    • YMMV for your firm, but even after over 12 years of billing I still write out my time and have my assistant enter it because it’s so much easier for me to keep track of my time that way. I need to see it all written in front of me and I jot it down throughout the day so I don’t lose track of all those .1’s. Billing is hard, no question, and it takes practice. Soon it will be like second nature.

  10. Anonymous :

    Thanks to those who suggested Marycraft dresses a week or two ago. I bought a V neck, three quarter lengths leeve, knee length black sheath dress with POCKETS on Amazon, and I’m very impressed! I wear a size 20 and purchased a 22, which fits well. It is well made in a thick ponte. I hate all the thin, slinky, see through fabrics that show every lump, bump, and bra indentation! This dress will look great with tights for the winter. Plus, it was only $15.50! I look forward to purchasing more dresses from them.

    • That was me! I’m so glad to hear it!

      • You rock! Many of their dresses are vintage, but the one I got is modern. I will definitely order a few more, and I’ll probably get a fun 40s inspired one for Halloween!

    • Ordering a few now…! Thanks!

    • Are you a size 20W or a straight size 20 ala Talbots?

      • 20W

        • For further context, I’m an hourglass shape with a large bottom. If I carried my weight in my stomach, the dress wouldn’t fit, but that’s probably due to the sheath dress cut. They do have A line dresses that would work for an apple shape. I’m also 5’8″, and the dress hits a couple inches above the knee but not too short for work. I researched the brand, and its from Singapore, which gave me some concern as many Asian brands are too short for me. The dress is a heavier weight ponte, and it’ll look great with tights.

          • Thanks for that. I’m a similar shape to you but 5’11” and usually an 18w. I’m guessing these would be too short for me as I really do prefer a mid knee length.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Could you link the one you bought?! Exciting.

  11. I tried this sweater on in the cream color and loved the look but the fit was off. AT’s version has pockets, and they kept catching on my hips and flipping the cardigan open so you’d see the inside lining of the pocket. It also added a lot of bulk on the waist. I feel like I’ve seen this style around, maybe from Cuyana or Banana or somewhere, but now that I’m looking for it, I can’t find it. Any suggestions? It’s a super cute and great weight sweater for anyone that doesn’t mind the pockets issue! Link in reply

    • https://www.anntaylor.com/wool-cashmere-shawl-collar-coatigan/437682?prodId=437682&defaultColor=9192&colorExplode=false&skuId=23778009

    • JCrew has an excellent one that I just bought. Stay away from the Factory version- it’s oddly shaped too slim and bulky at the same time.

    • Maybe something like this? https://www.talbots.com/online/sweaters/cardigans-and-jackets/wing-collar-waffle-stitched-cocoon-cardigan-prdi43729/N-10501?selectedConcept=

      I like the Ann Taylor one better, though. :( Also, for the poster who was wondering last week, these are wine cardigans.

  12. I’m bound and determined to pack for 2 weeks in Germany (late October) in a carry-on. We’re road tripping once we get there and will be changing hotels every two nights, with a couple being one-night only stops. I just don’t want to constantly haul a huge suitcase in and out. I do have a fairly large travel tote (personal item size, can fit 1-2 outfits, a pair of shoes and my jacket) and will be able to do laundry in the middle.

    I’m a little stuck in that I want to take adorable fall photos (sweaters, booties and scarves!), but I know I need to be prepared for rain and cold in a more utilitarian way (layers, quick-dry!). Please share any useful tips you’ve got with this former overpacker.

    • Anonymous :

      This is totally doable. I’ve done it! Well, I did Germany and Austria in Jan. for 2 weeks with a carryon.

      Roll your clothes. It really does save space and helps prevent wrinkles.

      Pack a capsule wardroble. Everything should match with the other pieces. Pick a similar color palatte. This will help you dress in coherent layers as well as let you repurpose layers for nicer dinners. Wear the heaviest clothes/boots on the plane/train. You definitely can bring one pair of booties, wear 1 sweater and pack 1 sweater, and wear 1 scarf and pack 1-2 extras, but don’t do a different one each day.

    • Anonymous :

      So you need two pairs of jeans, sneakers, cute boots, and sensible waterproof boots, a jacket, and two cute scarves.

    • Totally doable! I packed for two countries and a wedding in an international carry-on and part of a backpack. Pick thin warm clothes (Uniqlo heattech, a thin pashmina etc.), and things that match with everything (a sweater that goes over your dress and with your jeans)

    • It can totally be done! Wear all your bulkiest items (boots, jacket, etc.). Bring things that can be worn multiple days/ways. Yes to rolling. Bring a big packable tote with you to bring home anything you pick up on your trip.

      • +1 We’ve done this with kelty 40L backpacks and a packable duffle for purchases a few times, and we never looked like “backpackers” because we basically just had stylish but simple capsule wardrobes.

        The packable tote we used was: https://www.amazon.com/Foldable-Travel-Duffel-Luggage-Resistant/dp/B01LYLGD56/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1506436628&sr=8-10&keywords=packable+tote

        We have two of those, actually, and a small packable backpack, too, for other uses.

    • Take some silk jersey. I personally like the Eileen Fisher silk jersey tanks. You can find them on eBay for very little money. You can wear them as a totally presentable top under a cardigan or a jacket, or just a warm layer under a sweater. The reason they’re great for travel is that you can wash them in the hotel sink, roll in a towel to sop up the water, and then hang to dry, and they will be dry in the morning.

      Here’s what I would take assuming you wear pants all the time

      1 pair jeans
      1 pair black stretch pants
      2-3 silk jersey tanks
      1 striped tee
      1 cardigan
      1 pullover
      1 warm jacket
      2 thin scarves
      1 pair sneakers or flats
      1 pair boots that are waterproof
      2 bras
      4 underwear
      2 pairs socks

      This includes what you’d wear on the way there – definitely wear the bulkiest stuff and carry the jacket.

      If you have room, you might add a lightweight pretty blouse for a nicer dinner night, but I think you can get away with black pants and black tank, cardigan and scarf.

    • Packing Cubes :

      +1 on rolling.

      I recently went on a 10-day international trip, including a wedding and used packing cubes for the first time. I cannot praise them enough. Like you, we were changing hotels every couple of nights, and the packing cubes kept everything *so* organized. For example, I put all my wedding stuff in one cube at the bottom of my bag and didn’t touch it except the day I needed it. I packed multiple outfits in each cube, rather than all underwear in one cube, jeans in another, etc.

      I’ll stop here, but I could write 500 words on my love of packing cubes.

      • I bought a set from Amazon yesterday! I love the suggestion of multiple outfits in each cube – genius!

      • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

        Thirding the packing cubes/envelopes/pouches if you’re changing hotels. I sometimes have business travel where I’m in five hotels in five days, and being able to just pull out the next day’s items all at once (and then put the dirty items back into the now-empty pouch) has made life so much easier. If an item will be reworn, it goes into the pouch for the next time it’ll be worn.

    • I’ll give you my packing list for the same trip, although in November. 3 pairs of pants (black ponte pants, jeans, cords), 1 skirt and 1 dress. 3 sweaters, 1 cardigan, 5 tops, 4 pairs of tights, ankle boots, knee boots, long underwear, down vest.

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      I did a similar thing – 10 days in Europe in early March with only a carry-on. I don’t think you need to be overly practical with quick-dry stuff unless you’re actually hiking. Layers, yes, definitely, as you get chilled when you’re out touring all day. I was super happy with the below wardrobe for my trip and felt like I had something for everything – chilling at the hotel, nicer dinners, cold days of siteseeing.

      My packing list looked like:
      Wool coat (wore on plane – could sub with lightweight down if you are coming from a warmer climate and will be cold)
      Tall boots (wore on plane)
      3 scarves (one of which I wore on the plane)
      Wool hat and leather gloves (brought on plane)
      Umbrella

      Booties, foldable ballet flats
      Socks, undies
      Two pair black tights
      One pair black leggings
      One pair jeans (black)
      Black jersey dress
      Grey swing dress
      Long cardigan
      Grey vneck sweater (tunic length)
      white tank top
      Black blouse
      Striped shirt

    • Bring 1 scarf and buy another (few) scarf there. Women’s scarves are everywhere and are a real *thing* in Germany. It’ll also help with making your outfits stand out – I have a bunch of sightseeing photos that could have been taken on the same day because I was wearing a black puffy coat, some kind of pant, and the same scarf.

      When I was there last October for a month, I got by on a rain jacket + thin down jacket + light gloves/hat + scarf (obvs), so your outerwear doesn’t have to be too complicated or bulky. I would definitely pack capsule wardrobe – most of my outfits were navy/black/3rd color based. I don’t think I brought any dresses (too chilly). If you’re going to do a lot of outdoor sightseeing, you’ll only see your outermost jacket layer anyway.

    • Limit shoes, they’re a space killer. Unless you’re going hiking, I think you can get away with booties and sneakers.

  13. Edna Mazur :

    Does Harry and David go on any big sales coming up? Ebate has them at 5% back and 20% off. Are they like Shutterfly where they will always be at least 40% off sometime, or is this a good deal? Looking for a Christmas gift.

  14. Long Waisted Ladies! What are your favourite clothing labels for shirts and dresses?

    Seeing all these great Boden/REISS picks bums me out.

    • I am very long-waisted, and I have had success with Boden styles in the tall sizes (I just get the skirt hemmed if need be–I am a hair under 5’9″ so am just on the border of needing tall sizes regardless of long-waistedness). I also get J.Crew tall sizes and get them hemmed. MMLF is also good for shirts, skirts, and dresses.

      For skirts, depending on the garment you can sometimes buy a size up and have a good tailor reshape it to accommodate the long-waistedness.

      I usually go for a high-waisted skirt or pants look and tuck my top in, which ensures that I don’t have any gapping if the shirt is a little short.

      • Also very long-waisted and I have had success with MM LaFleur + alterations. I have not found that Boden’s long sizes are any longer in the torso, just in the hem.

    • If you are tall, Long Tall Sally. Their stuff is absurdly long-waisted. You can always hem the rest!

    • Okay, this is a dumb question, but you mean you have a long torso? (I guess I’ve never heard long or short waisted before.) I have a long torso and I have a few Boden dresses that actually work quite well for me.

      • yes – long waist means long torso (compared to your legs). Short waist means your natural waist is right up under your b00bs aka a short torso (compared to your legs). Doesn’t have much to do with your overall height – I am tall (legs and arms), but have an almost petite length torso.

    • I have a couple MM Lafleur dresses that work for me (although many of them are more short-waisted). I also have several Boss and Lafayette 148 dresses. They tend to run looser in the middle so I have a tailor nip in the middle but the length of the waist is good.

  15. LittleBlackDress :

    Needed: classic black dress for the office. Budget is under $125 preferably, and I’m a solid size 14 hourglass with a short waist. Would love a defined waist and sleeves of some kind. Anyone seen any contenders lately?

    • Sounds like the Boden dress featured in black fits the bill.

    • Also try – Lands End Women’s Elbow Sleeve Ponte Sheath Dress. Possibly not enough waist for you, but has sleeves and is $79 (and machine washable!).

      • https://www.landsend.com/products/womens-elbow-sleeve-ponte-sheath-dress/id_314769?sku_0=::BLA

      • +1 love this dress. The ponte is decent quality, but it would read slightly more casual than other options, imho. Works perfectly in my less-than-business-formal but not-quite-business-casual office.

    • Boden has several dresses that fit this bill.

      I strongly encourage you to sign up for the emails there. They frequently send discounts.

      I also do the trick of signing into the boden website, putting the item I want into my cart and then leaving the website. Typically, they will send you a discount code.

      I never pay full price there.

      • They send me $15 vouchers a lot too, and they can be used to cover shipping and will credit your account for any unused portion. So it the last year I’ve bought a winter hat, a t-shirt for my son, and a 2 pack of tights for myself all for free. It’s the little things!

  16. Coworking? :

    Can anyone share stories on coworking at places like WeWork? Considering a move into a mostly remote position, and if i take it, i might invest in a desk at one of those spaces to maintain access to human interaction.

    • I worked from home for 2 1/2 years, and I also frequently coworked to keep my sanity. I really loved it. I picked a place that was nearby, and I did the floating desk option although there was a dedicated desk option for more money. Floating desk worked for me. I enjoyed meeting other folks in very different fields, and I still stay in touch with some of them. It helped me keep my sanity by forcing me to shower and put on clothes, and I think I was more productive and definitely happier. I would have done it every day, but my company only paid for 2 days/week.

      • I’ll also add, while there are many benefits (flexibility with appointments, ability to do the laundry/cook while taking a break…), working from home negatively impacted my quality of life. I had a hard time signing off. My boss was in a different time zone across the country, and he frequently wanted me to work on “just one more thing”. I’d be working 8 or 9 AM-8 PM at night. My husband would come home and want to eat dinner, but I’d still be working. Some days, I literally did not shower or leave the house because I was so invested in working. I gained some weight, probably due to easy food access and lack of movement on the days I’d work from home instead of cowork. You need to be very disciplined about work hours v. nonwork time.

    • My husband uses a WeWork-type space as his full-time office, and he loves it so much. The human interaction keeps him sane, and he feels that he is infinitely more productive than when he used to work out of our home. It’s very clear to me that he has much better boundaries between work and non-work times too, and a lot less stress. Worth every penny for us.

    • I am just out of a temporary office situation. I really liked it overall.

      The shared office staff put a lot of effort into making sure everyone got to know each other (potlucks, pizza lunches, etc) and there were some really cool people working there.

      Of course, not everyone was cool. You had the one lady who talked SO loudly on the phone all the time. The hourly therapists and their clients who used the conference rooms – therapists were generally ok but the clients were having court-ordered therapy for things like domestic violence, so it was very much the public traipsing through our offices.

      Don’t regard any space as really yours. I’d come in and find that someone had eaten at my space and left a bit of a mess and a half empty cup. Things like that.

      Overall if I’d had the flexibility, I would probably have worked there a few days a week for things like easy access to good printing, scanning etc. But not every day.

    • Yes, I have a one person office at WeWork and it’s generally awesome. Biggest downside is if you’re in a role that requires a lot of privacy, as sound travels and the walls are glass. I was previously in Regus and this is SO MUCH BETTER. There are a number of new providers coming online as well

  17. Changing Friendships :

    Lately, I’ve been trying to avoid comparing myself to others, stay in my own lane, etc. However, my best friend for the past 12 years has become more and more preoccupied with status, who is successful whos not, what we’re “supposed” to be doing at our age (were 26), etc. (to the point where a lot of her newer friendships and relationships are pretty shallow). Its as if we’re moving in different directions mentally and who we are fundamentally…

    Overall she’s a really supportive friend but I’ve found the need to distance myself a bit from her because of the energy these views bring. But I’m wondering if this is just a 20s phase she’ll get over or this is who she is now…Is it possible to change the dynamics of a friendship and still stay close?

    • You two met when you were 14 – that’s really young. In your mid-20s, you’re becoming who you really are. Part of that means things and people that worked for you through high school and college don’t work anymore.

      I was sad to lose two of my good girlfriends after we graduated and starting working. One was very shallow and started hanging out with people who flaunted their money and connections…maybe she had always been that way and it just didn’t show up in the school environment, but I eventually decided that I didn’t like being around her anymore. Another friend wasn’t able to get over a cheating boyfriend 3 years after they had broken up – I just didn’t have the energy to deal with that.

      It’s sad to lose friends, but it’s wonderful to recognize who you are and what you do and don’t want to be around.

      • Yeah, I think the dynamics of the past just don’t fit who I am today, which is sad but also good in a way because it’s helping force me to set boundaries about what I will and will not let into my life.

        And Torin’s comment below is right, friendships do ebb and flow, especially over 12 years… I guess I’m just disappointed with how shes changed but it is what it is and thankfully I do have some great people in my life already.

    • Friendships ebb and flow. This one might get stronger again in a few years. I think the key is to put effort into maintaining it if you still feel it brings you joy, and not to force it if it doesn’t.

  18. Language learning :

    Has anyone had success learning another language as an adult? Can you share what worked for you and what didn’t?

    I’ve been trying to learn Spanish on and off for years. I know part of my problem is motivation, but another part is I have not found a method that is really clicking with me. I want to become conversationally fluent, and computer programs and textbooks are not great for that. I have also worked with an online tutor to make some good progress, but it did get a little expensive for me. I’m really curious to hear from people who have had success. Even better if it was with Spanish since I keep hearing Spanish is supposedly so easy for English speakers to learn.

    • A friend had great success with Rosetta Stone. Are there language tables in your local community? I participated in some in college. We’d meet up and speak whatever language over dinner in a community setting.

      • Language learning :

        I will look for language tables again. I have looked in the past but have sadly been unable to find any. Perhaps I could just start my own.

        • There might be online intercambios, too, over google hangouts or something. Buena suerte!

        • If you live in a major city they may have an outpost of the Cervantes institute which can help. Otherwise try the Spanish department of the local universities.

    • Mr. AIMS did this. He had some Spanish in high school but not really enough to be conversational. He started by himself online but what really made a difference was a weekly tutor and finding people to speak Spanish with daily. He basically asked anyone he saw regularly who spoke Spanish if they would mind practicing with him for whatever interactions they would normally have. I think it really made a difference. He was inspired by something he read about why children are so great at picking up new languages: besides being more receptive to it because their brains are still growing, they are also fearless about trying and failing.

      • Language learning :

        That IS very inspiring! Being scared to say something wrong is the most challenging part, which is stupid because you are learning, so you will, of course, be making mistakes. This is really encouraging – thank you!

        • Yes! This is why, also, as someone who speaks 4 languages, I say after you learn the basics what you need is alcohol! (Or whatever else gives you the courage to just give it a shot!) Speaking in real time is important to teaching the brain to think on its feet to translate, locate correct vocabulary, and pronunciation and cadence.

          Other suggestions: Craig’s list, meetup, a local library or university, etc. Subtitles in Spanish during shows as well as trying to find Spanish language shows/movies, Spanish songs, Spanish newspapers, etc.

      • Oh, that fear part is definitely a big part of language learning for me. I’m so much better at speaking when I’m a little buzzed!

    • Try in person language classes. Read in your target language – BBC is great for this. Watch television in your target language and listen to music in your target language. Children learn languages more easily because they are often immersed in the target language, and they don’t shy away from repetition – reading the same book over and over again.

    • Accidentally posted below. Basically…how do you learn best? I have a private tutor for the foreign language I’m learning.

    • For the most convenient route of conversation practice, which is what you need, real time use, Italki was a game changer for me. You can work via Skype with language tutors around the world, usually for a very low per lesson cost, usually between $8 and $20 per lesson, as the lower cost of living tutors charge much less per hour than a tutor in the U.S. or Europe. The tutors set their price. They have two tiers of tutors (professional, usually someone with an education and language training background or degree; and conversational tutors, who are regular people that plan topics for you, correct you as you speak, and generally are more like a casual friend speaking with you).

      I have even planned late night or early morning lessons that were convenient for me, and during the daytime in the tutor’s time zone.

      • BabyAssociate :

        I had not heard of this, thanks so much for sharing! May I ask what language you use it for?

    • I started learning French with weekly small conversational classes about two years-and-change ago. Now I’m conversationally fluent. I think you need three things:

      1) Regular practice– a weekly class taught by a native speaker;
      2) Supplementing with podcasts/apps/books/watching Netflix in the language;
      3) Conversation with native speakers outside of a class setting (happy hours, friends or acquaintances who will let you practice on them);
      4) Strong motivation. You have to love the language, I think, to really internalize it.

      ¡Buena suerte!

    • BabyAssociate :

      I am working on my fourth foreign language now. It’s the second I’ve started learning as an adult, the first two I learned when I was younger. On some level, I think different things work for different people, but as an adult starting a new language from scratch, I really don’t think anything compares to an in person class. Ideally, you want to do go more than once a week. Once a week just isn’t enough unless you’re putting in a lot of extra time on your own. Check out your local community college as a resource for good, affordable classes!

      I also like a combination of these things, many of which others have mentioned:

      1) Flashcards. The repetition of flashcards I’ve always found really helpful.
      2) Immersion-style textbooks. Obviously don’t start with these, wait until you have a basic vocabulary and understanding of sentence structure (e.g. subject/verb placement).
      3) Duolingo. I try to do about an hour everyday, to keep things fresh. I think it’s a fantastic resource, but shouldn’t be your only resource.

  19. If I’m ~5 years into a 30-year mortgage, with a balance of ~$200K, does it make more sense to refinance into a 10 or 15-year mortgage (rate is a little lower, but closing costs), or just throw extra $ at the principle?

    • I’d run the numbers and see where you come out. I don’t know how you would know otherwise.

    • Keep the 30 year and pay extra principal. You have the option of falling back on lower payments if you hit hard times.

      • Flats Only :

        Bingo. This is what we are doing. There are calculators online to show you how much extra to pay to get to a certain payoff date.

      • This is what we were advised to do by our financial advisor. We pay double payments every month, so it’s like we have a 15-yr mortgage. But if someone gets seriously sick, or has an extended period of unemployment, we aren’t obligated to pay the higher payment.

      • +1. This happened to me. Did a 15 year, then a few years later left a stressful awful job, took a lower paying job (but gained my health and sanity). I had to refinance at that time back to a 30. Ugh. I wish I just stayed at 30 and paid extra each month.

    • There are spreadsheets you can download that calculate how much interest you save and how much time you knock off your mortgage by making extra payments. I downloaded one awhile back, can’t remember specifically where but google it.

    • anon a mouse :

      You can’t answer this without calculators and your current and new interest rates. That said, a lot depends on whether you want to lock yourself into the much higher payments for the long term.

      A friend recently opted not to refinance, but she’s paying paying her principal as though it were a 15-year. She printed out an amortization schedule and increases her monthly payment to match the amount. She’ll be done in maybe 17 years, not 15, but likely will be able to have the cash to pay it off even sooner than 15, without obligating herself in case life happens.

      • This is me. Our house will be paid off in 18 years if we keep making the higher monthly payments, and we’ll save almost 100K in interest. But if something happens, we know we can drop down to the lower 30-year payments without breaking payments. The flexibility was key to us – even 15 years is a long time in this life, and would span kids and daycare payments, and we wanted to be able to keep our (modest) house if one of us lost our job for a year or two.

    • Anonattorney :

      Is paying extra toward the principal worth it if you’re locked in at a super low interest rate? My interest rate is 3.625, 30-year mortgage. I’m always trying to prioritize debt payments vs. saving, vs. spending, and I have come to the conclusion that it would be better to put more money into retirement or 529 savings instead of paying extra toward the principal. But I don’t know if that’s right . . . .

      • Anonymous :

        Your instincts are right that from a purely financial perspective, it’s better to put your extra money toward retirement or general savings/investments. The MMM crowd has an obsession with paying down debt, even good debt, ASAP, even where it’s illogical.

        I wish we could have better financial education in this country, whether formally or from the blogosphere, so that what feels nice psychologically would also be the logical route, because people would have a solid financial understanding.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          That’s a Dave Ramsey obsession. MMM is all about investing in index funds and taking your time with low interest debt.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes. It frustrates me when people put such a high priority on being mortgage free when interest rates are incredibly low, the tax code is favorable to borrowers, and equity locked in your primary residence doesn’t do you much good if you have to relocate in a down market, want to start your own business, etc. It’s one thing if you live in a LCOL, but 3BR single family houses start at $1M in my area. That’s a lot of capital to tie up.

    • Our financial adviser told us to refinance to a 30 year. We can make extra payments now but won’t be stuck with a high mortgage payment as we move into retirement.

    • In House Lobbyist :

      Run the numbers and see what your interest rate would be. We moved last year from a 30 year 4% to a 15 year 2.75% and our payments actually rent down by $200 a month. If there isn’t much of a savings or if you might need the money, just make extra payments.

  20. Need corporate interview advice! I’m mid-career, background as an education coordinator in academic and non-profit environments, and now I am interviewing for a corporate job to lead a training program. For the interview, they want me to give a presentation that highlights my expertise in learning design for adult learners. They have also said to gear the presentation as though it is for the executive team. One fundamental principle of learning design is to actively involve the learners. I am trying to decide if I should include a short (2-minute) activity that asks the interview panel to stand up and hold something as a way of getting them actively involved. What do you think – would this fly in a corporate interview or is it too risky?

    • I need some more details about what you are thinking of having them do before I can form any sort of an opinion.

      • The training program I would lead involves coordination across an 800-person corporation. The presentation task is to explain how I will establish and manage working relationships with key stakeholders in the corporation. That’s the content of the presentation. But I will also be evaluated on how I conduct the presentation using best practices in learning and design. So I am thinking about using a metaphor of a spider web to illustrate how different stakeholders are part of the larger whole. I have a cloth spider web (Halloween tablecloth) that I am thinking about putting on the floor and asking the interview panel to come up and stand around, then giving them signs that represent some of the major stakeholders. I would walk around and stand beside each of them to talk about how I would reach out to the stakeholders and find out what the project (web) looks like from their perspective – challenges, opportunities, concerns, etc. – and then incorporate this information into a detailed implementation plan. So the “activity” part is basically just asking the interview panel to stand and hold a sign, but it would visually convey the metaphor and also illustrate how I would reach out to stakeholders to establish relationships.

        • No. This sounds cheesy and inappropriate. You’re being asked to train senior executives. Halloween decor is not appropriate. Set an objective, teach that objective, conclude.

          • +1 – I’ve interviewed people for this position & I’m judging how well you present & whether I think people would want to listen to you. If you demonstrate that you’re up on the newer trends in learning (you can just talk about it), that’s fine. My tip is know your presentation, practice it & keep it relatively short. I’ve sat through far too many where people were surprised by a slide in their deck or ended on a rush because we kept to a timed limit. And please, please, no interactive spider web.

          • Anonymous :

            OP here: Thanks for the feedback. I’ve been doing teacher professional development for so long that moving into a corporate environment is like learning a new country. I appreciate the reality check.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m an L&D professional and that isn’t something I’d do for that level employee. When I think of getting people engaged and involved, it’s more around asking questions to activate prior knowledge or skills, asking what they hope to get out of the session (and whiteboard it), letting them tell you what they already know. remember, you should do less than 40% (being generous) of the speaking when training someone.

          Alternately, teach them to do something. something measurable so they can see the impact of what you’ve trained at the end of the session.

    • I just finished interviews for 2 people on my team (at a large corporation) – our focus is on executive development. We ask candidates to put together a 30 minute presentation on a leadership topic/article, incorporating adult learning into the instructional design. As the interviewer, I have an expectation that the candidate would actively involve me (flip chart, group work, teachback, etc) in their presentation. It would be a red flag if they didn’t.

      I think you can take the concept you are conveying with your activity and make it more appropriate for an executive team.

      • Anonymous :

        OP here: This is a 10-minute presentation and time management is one of the factors I will be rated on. Do you think it would be appropriate to involve the interview panel by handing each of them a pre-printed card with a stakeholder category, then asking them to talk about some of the challenges, opportunities, concerns from the perspective of that stakeholder?

        • Anonymous :

          That task will take up a lot of your 10 min. presentation. You can give them a time limit to brainstorm, but then you also need to show that you can take their ideas and develop on those themes. They are going to look for authentic interaction and meaningful tasks.

  21. After years of telling myself I’d have a good day if I exercised/meditated/didn’t eat processed foods, of telling myself I was just down from circumstances – a bad job, a death in the family – I have finally accepted that my depression and anxiety are really real and that I need real help. Occasionally seeing a counselor and taking whatever the nurse at my GP’s office prescribes are not sufficient for me. My circumstances are objectively wonderful now (dream job! bought a condo! got engaged! got a puppy!), but my mental state is not.

    Unfortunately, I’ve only come to this realization when I look back and see the long, slow decline in my work product. I’m smart, talented, and a go-getter (…or I used to be), but you wouldn’t know that from my work. I feel like I’ve let my boss down – he knew me from years ago before the depression started and hired me into a new position earlier this year, and I think he’s disappointed in my performance. I’m disappointed in my performance. I have an appointment on Monday with a psychiatrist – my first – and I’m committed to not hiding from my mental health. While I can heal myself going forward, what do I do about my lackluster work?

    • How would you feel about your work and performance if you’d had cancer, for instance, instead of depression? What you’re saying sounds like the depression talking. Work to become OK being human and having reasonable expectations for yourself/work.

      • Thanks, I understand that. My question is more about the harm I’ve done to my reputation as a professional by being unable to timely turn things around, being unable to focus, etc.

    • If you are really depressed, there’s a good chance you are not evaluating your work objectively – depression tends to make you interpret any given scenario in the worst possible way. Do you have good evidence he is unhappy with you?

      • anonymama :

        This. Plus, don’t dwell on having to make up for the things you have done in the past, that will just make you feel worse, and won’t help you do any better in the here and now anyway. Just, start with what’s in front of you, the next task on your list, and do that as great as you can. And then move on to the next one.

  22. It really depends on how you learn best and what motivates you. I’m not great at learning by computer or just through books. I know this about myself. I started learning a new language last year and knew I would have to get an actual teacher. I started with small classes, then switched to a private instructor.

  23. Don’t know if it’s been talked about here but what is kneeling at an NFL game supposed to accomplish? I don’t object either way – people can kneel or not. But do people really think that by kneeling, the next time a cop pulls over a black man he’ll be kinder and gentler bc people kneeled for it at the last football game? Maybe I’m just not the protesting type but if there is no clear link between what you’re doing and what you want, what’s the purpose of your protest then??

    • Well, by raising awareness of the issue you can make a difference. People rarely think about things that don’t affect them personally in some way so it’s a good way to do that. There was an op-ed in the NYT from one of the players about this yesterday, I think.

    • Its to bring attention to the issue – a lot of people wouldn’t be talking about it otherwise. Thats kind of the point of protesting…

      • Right. What has any protest directly accomplished? Protests raise awareness, and protesters probably hope that their protests start conversations that change public opinion in their favor and/or raise money for their cause. If a group is protesting, there’s social value in solidarity and the opportunity to coordinate other opportunities for change in the group’s community. Basically, some protests lead indirectly to change.

        More specifically, these protesters are hoping to raise awareness of the issue of inequality in our justice system. Awareness could lead citizens to elect politicians, sheriffs, prosecutors, etc who have plenty of influence and power to directly enact change–more diversity in police forces, more training for police, stronger hiring checks into job histories among jurisdictions (thinking of Tamir Rice here), willingness to bring charges to a grand jury, etc. Awareness can also lead citizens who serve on grand juries and juries to indict and convict where appropriate. But none of that change will happen if people aren’t aware there’s a problem. Obviously, it might not happen anyways.

        • Many of the people kneeling are impacted by a long-standing, systemic racism. They can’t change it. So they protest it hoping that others who can change it will open their damn eyes and give a sh*t.

        • Yup exactly. This person’s comments really do give ‘those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it’ a whole new meaning…

          • +1
            Especially when so many people today comment on how messed up it was “back in the day” when blacks & whites weren’t treated equally. Drawing the parallels between back then and now and showing how things haven’t changed as much as we’d like to think is so important.

    • I don’t understand this question at all. It’s drawing attention to the issue, just like any other form of protest. Marching in groups and holding signs does the same thing. What exactly do you think a “clear link” would be?

      • To me – if it’s a police issue, the clear link would be protesting at police HQ in your city not some random NFL game where there are no cops who do traffic stops.

        • NFL games have a lot more cameras than police headquarters do. They’re protesting at the games because they know it will be covered by every news channel and watched by tens of millions of people. That’s the point.

        • Are you trying to miss the point? Cops watch football. As do millions of others.

          • Are you trying to miss my point? Sure in the security of his home, a cop may care about this. But are you honestly naive enough to believe that on his next shift when he pulls over a black guy at 2 am, he’ll be kind and gentle and give him the benefit of the doubt bc those nice boys on the Eagles took a knee? You really think a protest or even 10 yrs of protesting can change the experiences the cop has had in the field for the prior 15 yrs?

          • “You really think a protest or even 10 yrs of protesting can change the experiences the cop has had in the field for the prior 15 yrs?”

            Care to spell out what you believe those experiences are?

          • Are you stupid? Or just racist?

            Maybe just maybe if we demand cops not be criminals they’ll change. When they start getting jail time. Which only happens when we collectively agree that murderinv black men at traffic stops is not okay.

          • Ever live in West Philadelphia or a similar area? Cops patrolling there aren’t exactly dealing with the nicest boys in the world; they will be on guard no matter whether the Eagles took a knee on Sunday or not.

          • nasty woman :

            “You really think a protest or even 10 yrs of protesting can change the experiences the cop has had in the field for the prior 15 yrs?”

            Blow that dog whistle a little louder, there’s a dingo in Australia who didn’t hear you.

            Based on your writing style, I’m convinced you’re just our resident bigot troll.

          • Anonymous at 11:33 – I’ll ignore the fact you’re insanely oversimplifying the point, and still answer you with a resounding: YES I DO because it’s one piece of a larger, ever growing movement.

            That cop is now probably way more aware of his body or dash cam. That cop is probably now very aware the passenger might have a recording device. That cop is probably very aware of the louder voice a black man has today versus a year, 5 years or 25 years ago… in part because of kneeling. In part because of Ferguson. In part because of everything else we’ve seen transpire in the last few years. It all adds up. Refusing to sit at the back of the bus wasn’t going to start a movement, but it helped to fuel a raging fire.

          • I get it. You’re not confused about why NFL players are protesting at a game instead of any other location. You just think there’s nothing to protest because black men are violent and police are responding rationally and therefore nothing needs to change.

          • +1 million. OP’s a racist, guys. (Cue the ranting and raving from OP about how you can’t ask an honest (read: racist) question without being shut down by political correctness (aka human decency).

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            You referred to black men as nice boys. We see what you are doing here.

        • ‘IF’ it’s a police issue? You’re either trolling or deliberately missing the point of all this. Then again, less than 20% of Americans didn’t believe the civil rights marches in the 60s were effective/didn’t ‘see the point’ so I shouldn’t be surprised by your comment…

    • The purpose is to call attention to an issue that the protestor thinks is important in the hopes that it sparks a wider conversation and promotes systemic change.

    • It doesn’t accomplish anything policy-wise, but the showing of solidarity shows politicians, judges up for election, etc. that the electing public is aware and cares about the issue, so that it is not ignored. It’s really about shifting public opinion and the appearance of active solidarity in numbers.

    • That’s like saying you don’t understand how marching made any difference in the civil rights movement half a century ago.

      Black athletes are using their moments on the world stage to bring attention to an important issue. Kudos to them.

      And kudos to Colin Kapernick. It seems to have cost him his career but he really stated an important conversation. Yes, it makes people uncomfortable. Yes, it should.

      • He was sort of flailing at his career before this. Sports buffs who are anti-kneel have argued he did this only to draw attention away from his terrible stats but keep the spotlight on him. I don’t know the stats so I can’t back it up one way or the other, but I’ve heard this argument time and time again.

        • Yeah people be racist time and time again.

        • His stats are far better than many of the second string quarterbacks who were selected. There is no question among sports writers that it was his political actions keeping him from being selected. NFL owners Have said as much – they didn’t want to risk blowback from the fans.

        • Incorrect, sports analytics have shown that he is at least good enough to be a backup. It has absolutely been his protest that kept him from being selected. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fancy-stats/wp/2017/05/16/colin-kaepernick-is-statistically-superior-to-half-of-the-nfls-backups-and-deserves-a-job/?utm_term=.71c8e8c5f3f6

        • Not true. Sports blowhards aside, actual facts and statistics show he is good enough. Will try to link but getting caught.

          • https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fancy-stats/wp/2017/05/16/colin-kaepernick-is-statistically-superior-to-half-of-the-nfls-backups-and-deserves-a-job/?utm_term=.71c8e8c5f3f6

          • Aah thank you. I now have a counter argument to the 20 somethings who spend their lunch hour glued to ESPN and argue this point till they’re blue in the face!

          • Thanks for sharing!

        • Um no, “sports buffs” don’t argue that.

          Signed,
          A Sports Buff.

    • Drawing attention to this issue, which it has done extremely successfully.

      Standing up for your own human dignity- there is value in the protest to each person who participates because they feel they can no longer pretend everything is okay.

      Do you just fundamentally feel protest is worthless? Because this one is pretty clearly effective. Or is it only when black men protest that you have this issue?

      • Fundamentally worthless. Tell me — the ladies in pink hats and the “not my president” folks have accomplished what exactly?

        • Ok. So why bother starting this discussion? You aren’t confused you’re 100% sure. You’re just tr0lling.

        • KS IT Chick :

          We’ve stopped the repeal of the Affordable Care Act multiple times now, which seems pretty important to me. We’re getting movement on saving DACA, which might lead to comprehensive immigration reform.

          So, sounds like we have accomplished something. What have you done?

        • Anonymous :

          Obamacare hasn’t been repealed yet. So there’s that.

          Honestly – why are you here? You’re asking loaded questions designed to start arguments. If you aren’t t rolling, you’re legit too slow to understand that people here are never, ever going to agree with you. Are things slow at the call center today, or something? G T F O with that B S. Go find someplace else to peddle your special brand of crazy.

          • Anonymous :

            Please call our healthcare by the correct name: Affordable Care Act. Obamacare is inflammatory, divisive, and not helpful.

          • Anonymous :

            You can get over yourself too. F F S.

    • Anyone surprised by how many people are agreeing with the prez on this one? I can see it even on my usually liberal social media feed. Perceived disrespect to soldiers isn’t going to get people what they want — and here the flag is being equated with soldiers, not the Constitution or anything else. I am actually surprised that NFL owners haven’t told players to knock it off and protest on their own time — that’s the only thing that can stop this — the employment relationship. If they were told to stop most would bc no one is risking a million+ contract for this.

      • I know no one who agrees with him. Even Robert Kraft, a huge supporter, doesn’t. I don’t want them to stop this.

        • I don’t personally know anyone but they’re there -as I can see from the words my friends are having with their friends on social media.

          • Sometimes protests aren’t popular; doesn’t mean they are wrong. Majority of the public didn’t support the March on Washington at the time (you know, where MLK gave his “I have a dream speech…). Doesn’t mean those marchers should have stayed home.

      • I don’t see this at all on my highly educated and fairly liberal feed. Most people in my world at least are in agreement 1) in solidarity with what they are protesting and/or 2) in opposition to suppression of free speech. The president cursed out a private citizen for peaceful protest and wanted him fired for expressing his beliefs. That is never okay, that is what the players and owners are in solidarity for. If you don’t get this, after people here have explained it to you, then it’s willful blindness and you should just stop responding to this thread.

      • Not surprised at all. In 1961, 61% of people disapproved of the Freedom Riders, and 57% thought lunch counter sit-ins were hurting the cause of civil rights according to Gallup.

        Citation link to follow.

        • https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/04/19/black-lives-matters-and-americas-long-history-of-resisting-civil-rights-protesters/?utm_term=.31ef194d6143

      • This is mostly speculation, but I don’t think most of the NFL owners and front offices actually agree with or support the players from a “moral” perspective. I think they’ve made a business and/or legal decision to either do nothing or demonstrate some half-measure of support without protesting themselves. From a business perspective, the owners may have decided that p*ssing off players by punishing them for protesting (not to mention losing players they need on the field) would be worse for the product than alienating some fans (and of course, whatever they do, they alienate some fans). From a legal perspective, the players’ contracts and the CBA govern. I’m not sure about the specifics of individual contracts, but most conduct issues are handled by the League and through the CBA. If players are disciplined by the league, they get hearing rights. The NFL usually wins, but it takes years. It seems like it would be bad for business if the NFL initiates action that prolongs this conversation for years.

      • Kapernick did, in fact, risk millions + a contract for this.

      • I am facebook friends with a lot of veterans, and I have been pleasantly surprised by how much support the NFL has received from them. I would say among the people posting about it there is an 80-20 split in favor of supporting the NFL. I think the media takes at face value the idea that any perceived attack on our flag is an attack on our military, but what I’m seeing is a lot of veterans who care about free speech being attacked by our president far more than they care about someone kneeling during the anthem.

        Personally I was incredibly touched by the shows of unity on Sunday, and I think the message is reaching people now in a way it didn’t when it was just a handful of guys. I think Trump gave their cause a megaphone and they used it really well this weekend. I hope they keep it up.

        • Anonymous :

          I am a veteran and of course have many friends and family members who are also veterans. Every single one of us believes that the efforts to curb the protests show much more disrespect to the ideas of The Flag, The Anthem and America than kneeling does. I personally would not kneel during the anthem, but I don’t equate it with the military in the way that the opposition to these protests is trying to push. The flag and the anthem belong to all Americans, not just the military, and if some Americans want to use them as part of a peaceful and respectful protest, that’s great. Given that almost all of the players have explicitly stated what their actions mean to them, ascribing a different meaning seems willfully ignorant at best, and very [email protected]$t at worst. I’m proud of the NFL this weekend.

    • Even if you don’t see what the protest is trying to accomplish, surely you can see what Trump is trying to accomplish by (unfortunately successfully) distracting from the healthcare and North Korea situations.

      Drives me crazy that he constantly pulls this stuff and we fall for it again and again.

    • Have to say nothing makes me lose interest in an athlete or actor faster as when they start talking. You want to kneel – whatever. Now college football players are posting long videos about their reality in America. Last yr it was Jesse Williams ranting and raving. Honestly I’m watching you bc you can throw a ball or act, I don’t care to know your politics; same way people retain me to write a brief, not rant on my world views.

      • Repeat: Good for them, not for me.

        It’s unfortunate that you don’t have a dog in the fight, but since the players (or people they know) lives are literally at stake on this issue, it is important for them to make a stand.

      • Why are you annoyed that “college football players are posting long videos about their reality in America.” Are they not allowed to express their realities of being in this country because they are playing a sport? Theyre not robots, theyre human. Also aside from quietly kneeling for a few mins during a game, these players are expressing themselves OFF the field, court, etc. If you dont like it, dont watch it.

      • “Yes Black people, just entertain me. I don’t want to think of you as a person”

        Are you even listening to yourself?

      • Pretty Primadonna :

        Sucks for you that they are all people, with feelings, and voices, and things to say, and ~gasps~ a platform. Turn the television to a new station next time. Sheesh.

      • “Same way people retain me to write a brief, not rant on my world views.” Then go write your brief.

        • Haha, I know the hypocrisy of her blindness to her freedom to have a discussion here where she can share her opinions and yet deny others their opinion is hilarious.

          You don’t ‘rant your world views’ when you are being paid to work; neither are they, which is why those posted videos are recorded outside of actual play time and why the league prohibits them from wearing or displaying opinions *during play time* unless cleared by the league and within certain parameters (size, etc.).

      • nasty woman :

        Believe me OP, we know that NO ONE wants to hear you talk about your world views.

        Also LOL at you b*tching about someone ranting and raving when you drag your knuckles over here every third day to whine about black people talking or gay people existing.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, those black boys should shut up about all their “personal opinions” and go back to entertaining us! Like minstrels in the Antebellum South, or black musicians during Jim Crow times. Amirite?

        This makes my blood boil. Black people are good enough to entertain white folks but should shut their mouths about inequity and racism. Really? Wow.

      • Anonymous :

        Oh, dear god. *insert the you’re-too-stupid-to-know-how-stupid-you-are GIF*

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        “ranting and raving” – keep blowing that dog whistle. That one’s even louder than those “nice boys.”

    • I think that after this weekend it’s much more a statement in defiance of Trump than being a protest against the treatment of black Americans, which was Kaepernick’s original intent. In this climate, I think both messages are incredibly important.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I agree. While I understand the concern about it losing its original meaning, I am so happy it is angering Trump.

    • nasty woman :

      Well, first of all, protesting raises public awareness, which other posters have explained to you, OP. Public awareness leads to public pressure for policies that can make a difference- retraining police officers, installation of dash cams or requiring body cams, etc. It’s also a showing of solidarity and support for victims of excessive force. Most white people have never considered what it is like to be a black person interacting with cops and how their experiences might be different. Those people, as a result, might be less inclined to believe assertions that a cop used excessive force against a black person. Seeing people loudly, repeatedly, and collectively say “hey, there’s a problem with racial discrimination by cops” gets white people to listen and consider a different point of view.

      And yes, I do believe that a cop could be inspired to take a hot second to examine his own biases. Not every cop has a skull made out of some diamond-like substance, impervious to new ideas, like OP appears to have.

    • Linda from HR :

      It’s not about forcing the police to be kind, it’s more about bringing public awareness to the issue in the hopes that the general public will hold their police departments to higher standards – consequences for officers who cross the line, and better training for everyone so these things don’t keep happening.

      But a lot of what we saw was indirect support. Some of the players were kneeling in protest of police brutality and the culture that seems to enable it, others were kneeling to support those players’ right to protest, if that makes any sense. Sort of an “if you punish him, you’ll have to punish all of us – good luck with that” message.

      Personally, I support them. I love my country and I respect those who put their lives on the line to keep me safe, but I don’t like what’s happening right now and I know things can be better, so I stand with (just about) anyone brave enough to try to push this country forward and make it a better place for everyone.

      • My view is that you only protest like this if you *do* love your country – you love it and you believe that it can be made something better and closer to its ideals. You protest to say that this country was founded to be something different – to be a city on a hill – and that even though we as a nation have fallen short of that ideal since the founding, we should still strive for it.

        You protest because you love your country, and sometimes your country needs tough love.

        • Linda from HR :

          +1

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Many veterans support the demonstration.

          • Anonymous :

            I just wrote a long comment that might have gotten eaten, but it basically said I’m a veteran and all my friends and family members who are veterans support this protest. I don’t know where equating the military to the flag and the anthem came from. America is so much more than the armed services. I would say that free speech is more American than wearing a uniform.

        • +1
          The statements I’ve seen from so many veterans in support of either the reasons to kneel and/or the right to kneel without the President publicly calling for you to be fired have been great.

    • Seriously??

  24. is there any real difference between Frontline and Advantix for flea/tick treatment?

    • Anonymous :

      Neither of them worked for my dog. I read some accounts where people said that certain ones work better in different regions of the country, but I think my dog’s poodle-mix coat just didn’t take well to the topicals period. I switched to NexGard chewable about 3 years ago and went from finding 3-4 ticks PER DAY (plus there was the time he got tick bombed and we had hundreds of baby ticks shedding off his coat daily) to not. a. single. one.

      My vet’s office doesn’t carry NexGard so I get a paper Rx and fill it elsewhere. You could also try Bravecto, which is a 3 month tablet supposedly similar to NexGard–I just have no desire to change when the NexGard has worked so well!

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, there are differences. Google is your friend here.

    • shamlet96 :

      Have you tried Trifexis? It works well. I use NexGuard for my pup.

  25. I know I’m being a baby about this, but I’m feeling really weird this morning. An adorable little black cat with wounds and a facial deformity showed up on my front porch this summer. She is so friendly, I thought she belonged to someone, but nobody claimed her. It turns out, she had been hanging out in my neighbors’ garage/shed, but she decided the food was better on my porch and she bonded with me. My neighbors kept saying she was afraid of them and wouldn’t let them get near, but she was letting me pet her and flinging herself at my feet. I finally had a vet friend come look at her and found out that her condition was completely treatable – an immune reaction to a flea or mosquito allergy. I took her to see my friend on Saturday and got her shots of antibiotics and steroids and was hoping to watch her get better. I couldn’t find her last night or this morning, then my neighbor appeared and said that he had taken her in and she is living on their porch. He wants to pay me for her care. I know his wife didn’t want to take her in. They already have two cats. My indoor older cat is having medical issues and I don’t know how it would go for me to adopt her. I could her this little girl crying up on their porch this morning when she heard me. Ugh. I feel like crap when I know I should be happy they are taking her in.

    • What? That’s bonkers. He stole your cat and wants you to pay for her? Tell him you want her back.

    • I’m sympathetic — I feed neighborhood strays/TNR cats (there are a group of us who do). But I also think that, if you’re not prepared to take her inside (because her flea/mosquito allergy will continue to be exacerbated if she’s outside), that living on the porch is the best option for her presently, especially while she recovers.

      You absolutely have every right to feel sad. I think I would feel sad if one of my neighbors took in the semi-tame kitty who regularly comes around my back deck, because I wouldn’t see him. But I also think it would be better for the cat long-term to be inside and safe.

      • I know and I know I’m being irrational. He says he wants to adopt her, but his wife is not convinced. One of my colleagues is interested in adopting her. I know she needs to be an indoor cat and I was hoping to let her heal enough to look normal, then find her a loving home. She is such a sweet little thing. The vet said she may or may not have a recurrence of the granuloma and I have treated her for fleas and she currently has NO fleas on her.

        • Irrationality is totally understandable when you’re dealing with emotions — don’t beat yourself up for feeling your feelings.

          And — tell your neighbor that if his wife remains unconvinced, you’re 100% still open to helping find her a home. I’ve been the wife in that situation (my big-hearted husband kept bringing in cats!), and that offer would have meant a lot to both of us (and we may have taken you up on it!).

          And finally: Internet hugs. Please do something nice for yourself (and your indoor kitty) this evening.

          • Thanks, ELS. I still have another outdoor kitty who is a total bada$$ and healthy and sweet. She will be happy not to have competition (she swats at other cats who come near when I’m petting her). I would love to bring her in someday but I don’t know if she would.

    • Seems cruel to keep her confined on a porch alone. Poor thing.

    • It sounds like you have a nice neighbor who will take the cat in if you can’t. What if you give her a trial run at your house and then you can fall back on the neighbor’s offer if it doesn’t work out?

      • I can’t take her in. My 16 yo cat has inflammatory bowel disease an feeding her is a rocky road. The outdoor cat is very docile so I don’t know if it would be a problem. My colleague was thinking about adopting when the neighbor’s wife said no, but he has been working on his wife to convince her.

    • dogperson :

      Don’t know if it’s a consolation but you’re doing the adult thing here: putting the cat’s needs first. You did everything you could for her without endangering your 16yo cat (who naturally has a higher claim on you) and now she’s found a home. You definitely contributed to the kitty’s health and happiness. Give yourself credit for doing what you could, even though you don’t get the benefit of cat-snuggles.

      • Yeah, I know. I guess I would have preferred for my colleague to adopt her. My neighbors are nice people but I kept getting different messages from the two of them and I don’t think they treat their kitties like the princess that mine is. She is such a sweetheart. I want her to end up horribly spoiled.

  26. I changed job a year ago and simply left my retirement account with my ex-employer as is. It is similar to a target date fund with Fidelity, though it has lower expense ratio than other target funds because it was negotiated by my ex-employer, which is in the financial industry. I’m no longer allowed to contribute to it since I’m no longer an employee. Today I just logged into that account and realized that there was a close to 30% growth since I first contributed to that account, with an expense ratio of 0.08%, which is better than any Vanguard target date fund that I could have invested in.

    My question now is – should I roll that account into a Roth IRA account or just keep it as it is? If I roll it into a Roth IRA account, I might get tax savings but then would have to lose the benefit of being in this special retirement fund with extra low expense and great performance. Right now, I’m leaning towards maintaining this account as it is, and opening a separate Roth IRA account to take advantage of the $5500 contribution while my salary is still lower than the $118,000 cap.

    Additional details that might be relevant are that my income this year is $50,000k due to a fellowship I’m doing. Next year, my income will be $230,000k before tax since I’ll be returning to my private sector job. So my thoughts are that I should make sure to open a Roth IRA account this year to take advantage of the $5500 contribution limit that I would not be eligible for next year.

    Where should I open a Roth IRA account (with Fidelity, which manages my ex-employer’s retirement account, or with Schwab, which manages my future private sector employer’s retirement account, or some other investment company?)

    Is there anything else I should be doing financially to prepare for retirement? Thanks so much!

    • When did you first contribute to the account? 30% growth over a few years is not unexpected given that I’m assuming you are young and the target date fund would be predominantly invested in equities. With that expense ratio, I’m guessing it is invested in a combination of passive mutual funds, yes? The only difference between different target date funds is the mix of funds and the ‘glidepath’ (or ratio of asset classes to each other and how that scales down relative to your retirement date). That being said, the expense ratio is very cheap so I don’t see the harm in leaving it there.

      • Oh, just saw it was Fidelity… if you are getting the target date funds with the active mutual funds in them for that price, I would definitely keep the money there. That’s a steal.

    • What type of account do you have with your old employer? Do you have any IRAs currently? Yes you should contribute the max to the ROTH IRA but don’t forget that you can still do a backdoor ROTH next year when your salary goes back up. You just cannot have any other IRAs or else you have to deal with the pro rata rule.
      To prepare for retirement you need to find your number. It should be estimated by your expenses, not your income. You don’t mention if you are married, single or have kids. But at 230k, you should max out all of your retirement options with your employer. Since you are currently living on less, you won’t miss the extra income.

  27. The police only get held accountable when the public cares. The more something is called to your attention, the more you are likely to care. It makes it inescapable. A lot of people that watch football don’t associate with anyone that is part of BLM so they don’t have to see it, except in the negative coverage on Fox news. Now it is in their face.

    Also, while I know a lot of BLM people are made that the protest is being co-opted for more white liberal purposes now, I have to admit I love that it p!$$e$ off Trump. I get that was not the point but it is certainly a benefit.

  28. Another Stitch Fix Review - AZCPA :

    Received my first Stitch Fix box over the weekend. I spent a lot of time on my profile and requests. Shapes and styles were pretty specific, as was my request for fall-feeling pieces suitable for still warm Arizona.

    Total miss. There was a pair of jeans that would have been fairly nice if they had fit, but were nothing special. As for the rest, got a summer tank top suitable for a music festival, a dress out of left field, and two shapeless tops (a cardigan and blouse) that were the total opposite of my request for “fitted items that define the waist, such as belts items or peplums.” Price point for everything was at the bottom of the ranges I’d listed, and while the quality wasn’t actively bad, it was nothing impressive.

    I wrote them a feedback message, as well as being specific on my feedback when checking out. They refunded my styling fee, and will waive the fee on a future box. I’m going to try it again since there’s no costs to do so, and the return was quite convenient. I further enhanced my profile, as well as curated and linked a Pinterest fashion board to my account. So we will see.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve had more luck with stitch fix recently and I’ve discovered that the trick is to ask for “premium brands.” Setting my price point higher did nothing, but once I made that request, in both my note and my style profile, my fixes got better and the quality did increase. I still think they are better for casual wear and that workwear is pretty hopeless.

  29. Need New Washing Machine :

    Our washing machine is kaput. Any recommendations on a budget washer (under $600)? Are there any big-box stores that”ll take your current washing machine during delivery? TIA.

    • We got a Whirlpool top loading HE machine with a “real” agitator for about $600 at Lowe’s, and that included taking the old one.

    • I got whatever was on sale last year at Home Depot and they took away the old ones. It’s a Whirlpool front loader that I’ve been pleased with. I’ve had it for a year and no problems. Link to follow.

      • http://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpool-4-5-cu-ft-High-Efficiency-Front-Load-Washer-in-White-ENERGY-STAR-WFW75HEFW/206970116

    • Home Depot takes your old washing machine on delivery. We have the LG front loading washer, and we really like it–it’s $720 at Home Depot right now, supposedly with an $80 rebate.

    • We just had a thread on this on the moms’ site, maybe Thursday or Friday, in case that helps.

  30. Anyone else experience pregnancy rhinitis? My doctor said it’s harmless and I know on the scale of pregnancy symptoms it’s probably not so bad, but it’s making me miserable when I’m awake and interfering with my sleep to the point that I’m way more exhausted than I ever was in the first trimester. I have a humidifier and the doctor said the only meds that will fix it (nasal decongestants) are not safe to take. She said it will probably gradually worsen throughout the pregnancy and then disappear soon after I give birth. I’m only 18 weeks and can’t imagine another 5 months of this, especially if it keeps getting worse. Any advice or home remedies? The humidifier doesn’t really seem to be doing anything.

    • Nelly Yuki :

      I’m not sure I understand your symptoms – is it basically a runny nose? Have you tried a neti pot? They are SUPER WEIRD, but also totally worth it.

      • Yeah, it feels like drowning a tiny, tiny bit but they really work. Though, I find neti pots kind of hard to use, and use a squeeze bottle designed for sinus rinsing instead.

        http://shop.neilmed.com/Products/Sinus-Rinse/Sinus-Rinse-Regular-Kit

        They sell them at any drug store.

      • Neti pots are the best!

      • Yeah, a stuffy, runny nose and regular sneezing. Basically the nasal symptoms of a cold but without the sore throat and cough.

        • According to my doctor you can take Benadryl. Technically for allergies and not great during the day but may help you sleep and may clear you up enough that you feel better during the day. There’s also a nasal spray for allergies that is safe (can’t think of name because I hate nasal sprays).

          • +1 for Benedryl and the Neilmed sinus rinse above. These have been my trusty sidekicks during two pregnancies.

    • Yes I had it all three times. It did ebb and flow throughout the pregnancies. I just kept a purse pack of Kleenex on hand at all times and dealt with it. It was better than my other significant pregnancy issue – what I affectionately called cr*tch rot.

      • Now I am curious.

        • Basically my nose was runny, and so was my down-there. A lot.

          Doc said it was normal, mine was just on overdrive.

          • Oh yeah I have that too haha. But unlike the nose, it’s not interfering with my ability to sleep. I am a little worried I won’t know when my water breaks because I already seem to “gush” every time I stand up.

    • I have nonallergic rhinitis (not pregnancy related) and this is basically my life- it really is kind of miserable. The only thing that’s helped me is ipratropium bromide nasal spray, which is considered “probably safe” during pregnancy. Everything else I’ve tried just made my nose run more or caused other side effects. I get a little bit of a sore throat from this and sometimes my nose bleeds, but it makes the difference between my nose literally running nonstop and being able to function somewhat normally. It doesn’t help with the stuffiness, though. Sudafed is the only thing that helps with that, but it’s not great for extended use and I assume not for pregnancy either.

      • Also, try an air purifier if you have one or could borrow one. Humidifier only makes mine worse.

    • I suffered both of my pregnancies with it. I hated being pregnant in the first place, so ymmv, but I was completely miserable. I begged my doctor and he finally said [Zyrtec or Claritin or something, I forget which one, just once a day] was safe to take. I took it right before bed so I could at least get a few hours of sleep, but it didn’t fix it completely.

      It did disappear completely when I gave birth, like miraculously overnight, but came back on my second pregnancy. Same routine.

      I was NOT a glowing pregnant person, not even a little bit.

    • lawsuited :

      Yes, from 8 weeks until I delivered. I did not find anything that resolved it, but I stopped looking after awhile because my OB and specialist just sort of shrugged about it.

    • Delta Dawn :

      Have you tried nasal strips? I thought these were completely batty until I tried them during pregnancy since I couldn’t take any meds… they really do help open up your nose so you can breathe. My OB says Zyrtec is safe for occasional relief, too.

  31. Yellow Flats? :

    100% of the non-boot shoes I wear at work are Old Navy pointy ballet flats. They’re also where most of the color in my otherwise navy/black/grey wardrobe comes from. Anybody know where I can get a similar style flat in yellow?

    • Dream Pairs (sold on Amazon) makes them. I have the pointy toe style in a different color, and I’ve been surprised how well they’ve held up for a really cheap shoe.

  32. Wildkitten :

    There’s an update to the epic ghoster on AAM!

    • Interesting! Dude doesn’t seem to have learned his lesson, but he’s not wrong about how vicious internet commenters can be sometimes. And this letter went way farther than just AAM.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      YESSSSSS

    • Thanks for alerting us!

    • Triangle Pose :

      This was the perfect update. Sylvia handled this beautifully. OP made his own bed and learned…nothing from this experience.

    • Just now clicked over and heard about this for the first time. Wow oh wow he learned nothing and seems very entitled.

  33. Thistledown :

    Help! I messed-up. I started in a new position a few weeks ago – it was an internal move between departments. I was warned by an old supervisor that the HR person that I will be working with has a history of backstabbing and was skeptical that I could handle the new job duties. I’ve been trying to figure out my best strategy to win her over or at least cover my a$$. Yesterday, I didn’t realize she was part of an offsite meeting. I prepared personalized meeting materials for everyone at the meeting but her. (There was a miscommunication from my boss on the attendees – hopefully she’ll have my back.) But this seems like exactly the sort of thing this woman would be sensitive to. I really do not want her to see me as a threat – any advice on how to recover?

    • Anonymous :

      Get ahead of it and apologize! Touch base with your boss too.

    • Anonymous :

      The meeting was yesterday, as I understand it? I assume you apologized profusely at the meeting. And you can always follow up again. But there’s not a whole lot you can do to get someone to like you. You can be warm and open, but her response might be good or bad.

    • I wouldn’t apologize profusely. However, I might consider making her her own set of materials after the fact, and when sending it over mention that you had an incomplete list of attendees. I think that’s a good will gesture enough and explains the mix up without suggesting you actually did something wrong due to negligence/lack of planning.

  34. Sloan Sabbith :

    Related to above question- Can someone explain the appeal of packing cubes to me? I just….don’t get how they’re useful, but people seem to adore them, so I think I’m missing something. I have a 2-week trip coming up at the end of October that I’m already considering my capsule-wardrobe for (back to back conferences+ being a tourist in DC).

    • They keep things neatly packed and help you fit more into your bag. I just started using them a couple years ago and I swear by them on longer trips.

    • Triangle Pose :

      I used to be you and then I realized how easy it is to find things and keep outfits or dirty v. clean stuff together or PJs and underwear apart. I love them. I also love the zip bags that generally come in a set with packing cubes for shoes, charging cords, etc.

    • I am not a fan. They add bulk and weight, esp if you try to pack in the smallest carry-on possible, like I do. I prefer to just unpack at each location. I do use a bag for underwear, cover my shoes and a couple of toiletry bags

      • Anonymous :

        I use the ultrathin ones from Eagle Creek, which are basically made out of windbreaker fabric. They keep my rolled clothes tightly together and make it much much faster to pack and unpack. You just have to use the smallest one possible for your needs so everything stays snug. (The Eagle Creek ones come in sets of three)

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I find they help me stay organized, and consolidate things that otherwise can get floofy. Undies get smooshed all in one cube and stay smooshed there, etc. When I travel with family (esp. including kid) it’s great to be able to say “ok all her clothes are in these two cubes!” if we’re splitting up for a few nights or whatever, and when we get close to weight limits with our bags (sigh, traveling with the kid) it’s so easy to throw a cube from a heavy bag into a light one.

    • Wildkitten :

      They make it easier to find what you are looking for without strewing ALL of your suitcase contents across your hotel room.

    • They’re like drawers for your suitcase. It makes it so much easier to pack and unpack and stay organized. No more digging around for my pajamas.

    • Packing Cubes :

      I am the one who offered to rhapsodize about packing cubes earlier. Ha! I was also very skeptical about the utility, weight, and bulk of the cubes, but decided to give them a shot.
      I have ultra-thin mesh/nylon bags from e-Bags. My set came with 5 cubes of decreasing size: Wedding clothes in one; toiletries in another; day-to-day clothes divided among two cubes; miscellany in the fifth. Each of my day-to-day cubes contained one set of PJs, 3-4 outfits (sun dresses), and enough undies to wear those outfits twice. As we moved from one hotel to the next, generally the only thing I needed to unpack from my suitcase was my cube of toiletries and my cube containing my clothes for the next day.
      The cubes were an excellent tool for organizing my bag, keeping things smooshed in, and making sure I didn’t need to unpack my ENTIRE bag each night and repack each morning.

  35. Anonymous :

    Why do you like Whole Foods/what do you buy there? Just went in for the first time – bc I couldn’t find a certain ingredient anywhere else in my small town and was SHOCKED. $10 for my ingredient (they only had one option/size) and everything overall is so expensive – despite the recent lowering of prices. Just walking around -$4 for small bags of frozen vegetables and small jars of peanut butter; $3 for a large chocolate bar claiming to be fair trade (whole trade? – no idea). These are things you can buy at Giant or Target for $1.50, $2.50, and $1.50 respectively. Are people really paying so much more for organic? Even for processed items like PB? It’s not even an issue of affordability – just seems like a waste.

    • BabyAssociate :

      The real answer is that I literally live next to a Whole Foods and do not pass another grocery store to/from work. I also cook for 1 person and generally eat vegetarian at home. I’m mostly buying vegetables and cheese, very rarely anything processed, and don’t find the prices too bad, or not too bad compared to the unbeatable convenience. I am not wrapped up in the organic, but I do find that the produce is generally fresher and thus lasts longer than say, Giant, and I like having local options.

    • Most locations I’ve been to their prepared food is pretty good. If it was a convenient lunch option to my work I’d probably go semi-regularly. Their prices there are no worse than any other lunch place and they have better vegetarian options than a lot of places.

      The only thing other than that I’ve bought in years was a random spice I couldn’t find at HEB. The Whole Foods was on my way home and it was just easy to stop in and grab that one thing.

    • JuniorMinion :

      There’s a reason the more middle class people I grew up with refer to it as “whole paycheck.” I have found the bakery at mine to be excellent, but everything else is just more cost for less choice than trader joes / HEB / etc. At least at those places I can decide a bit more on what I want to splurge on vs buy store brand and I’ve honestly found the meat quality to be the best at Costco / Trader Joe’s and the produce / fish quality to be the best at HEB (I’m in Texas so you may not have beheld the glory that is HEB, but think of Publix / another “nicer” grocery store chain)

    • Rainbow Hair :

      A lot of the trick w WF is buying store brand — I’ve found that staples (milk, yogurt, juice, pasta, etc.) from the 365 brand are a reasonable price and good quality. Maybe I’m tipping my hippie hand, but I like the bulk section and I find the meat/fish fresh and clean. The produce is good. And tipping my yuppie hand, I like the +/- knowledgable staff. Someone behind the fish counter taught me how to cook squid! The cheese selection is usually good, as is the beer and wine (and there are often great booze sales).

      I spend way too much money if I let myself buy impulse things, though (chocolate bars).

    • Anonymous :

      I buy most of my meat there because I think their suppliers in general are not using the worst of the factory farming techniques (in general. I know scandals erupt periodically when a vendor turns out to be awful). I’m trying to eat less meat and fewer animal products so the higher price for these items is acceptable to me- I’m eating cheap beans and lentils on meatless days.

    • I don’t shop at WF often anymore, but when I did, I stuck to produce, dairy, meat, fish, and bulk items. The meat and fish can be more expensive than other stores, but it’s usually sourced from better vendors, and it seems better kept and packaged–plus the butcher and fishmonger will do nice things for you like butterfly your chicken, cut a certain roast, filet a whole fish, package your mussels so they don’t die, and give you recipe advice. The bread from their bakery is also good and reasonably priced if you’re going to use it up right away.

      It’s not an affordable place to buy peanut butter, paper goods, or chips/crackers/processed foods. Some shelf ingredients, like canned tomatoes, are reasonably priced if you buy the 365 brand, but others are just $1-2 more for the same brand that you can buy at the regular grocery store down the street.

    • Anonymous :

      I am in Atlanta. The very best place to shop for most foods is the gigantic farmer’s markets. If I can’t/won’t make the trip to one of those, I often shop at WF because it has items I can’t find elsewhere, which includes certain produce, spices, miso, etc., and some brands/types of packaged foods that I just prefer over others (e.g., my other local grocery stores don’t carry puttanesca sauce of any brand; WF does). I also purchase proteins there because I find the quality to be substantially better than other options. Depending on what else I need, I may go ahead and get the rest of my items there, store brand if they have it. If I’m buying baked desserts (rarely), I may buy them there because, at WF, those items do not contain ingredients I avoid.

      Trader Joe’s is great for snacks, frozen items, and alcohol, but I find its fresh foods sections mostly frustrating since I don’t want, say, a guacamole kit, I want to select an avocado and a red bell pepper. I don’t want my salmon steak pre-seasoned.

      I shop regular grocery stores often, but get frustrated when I want watercress and fresh mint and neither is ever available there.

  36. Job hunting on sick leave? :

    Job hunting while on FMLA? Is this okay? My current position is so toxic I took FMLA for physical and mental health problems. I really don’t want to go back and get sick again. So I’m tempted to just start looking for a job now…

    • HR Consultant :

      If your reason for taking FMLA leave was for job stress, and you get busted job-hunting and going on interviews, you can bet your current company will pounce and probably ask you to compensate them for anything they paid – wages, healthcare premiums, etc. – while you were ostensibly too sick to work. There are legal precedents for this; there was a recent case where a woman who was too stressed by her job to work took FMLA and then was later spotted at a Beyonce concert. There were other issues at play, but the employer ended up terminating the employee and a court upheld it.

      If your job is affecting your mental and physical health to the degree that you have to take leave, you need to get a new job. Using FMLA to job-hunt is a misuse of leave, IMO. Are you getting paid or are you on unpaid leave? If it’s unpaid, I think you should just quit, and find another job after you’re separated from your company. All you’re doing by using FMLA is assuring you’ll have a job to go back to – a job you don’t want.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Employers also need to recognize that just because someone is too sick to work, that doesn’t mean they are too sick to exist. For anxiety and depression, the first line of treatment is often getting back into the world and leisure activities before returning to work. For one client, that meant golfing. For another it went running. Just because you have the mental capacity to run 3 miles doesn’t mean you have the mental capacity to perform a surgery. Another client was part of an investigation for going TO THE GROCERY STORE on medical leave. Even if you are sick, you have to eat! It’s infuriating.

  37. Single & Overwhelmed :

    How do you other single ladies handle being the only one who does all the household tasks and not get overwhelmed?? Between working full time, trying to meal plan, doing laundry, cleaning, having a social life, etc, I just get *so* overwhelmed and things suffer. I only make $30k, so outsourcing my cleaning or grocery shopping isn’t financially viable. i just feel like I spend ALL of my time working or doing chores and don’t have time to have a social life. I wish I had a partner to split household tasks with…

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      Lower your standards of how clean things need to be, or how often you need to clean? Do a little bit of your chores each night per a schedule?

      • lawsuited :

        +1 When I lived alone I only cleaned my apartment once a month or so because it was just me and I’m not that dirty. I did laundry once a week (loaded the washer before I went to bed, turned the laundry over to the dryer when I woke up and folded when I got home). I went to the grocery store on my lunch break at work so I didn’t use up an evening or weekend day doing it (I got milk, etc. from the corner store near my house so the rest of my groceries could sit in my office until I went home). I cooked twice a week – always very simple meals to limit clean-up – and then ate leftovers.

    • Anonymous :

      Cook once or twice a week and eat leftovers most of the time, and lower standards.

      • +1

        Cleaning doesn’t take that much less time now that I live with my SO than it did when I was single because 1) we have more space 2) two people make more mess and require more laundry done than one and 3) he came with a dog, and because I already had one the amount of pet fur is now a challenge to manage. It is nice to have someone to help around the house, I’m just saying I don’t think living with your SO is necessarily a net time-savings chore-wise.

        • Wildkitten :

          Statistically women spend MORE time on household tasks if you live with a man, but two incomes do help pay for outside help.

          • This. My husband is traveling for business for two weeks. He’s been gone for about five days, and I’m *shocked* at how much less housework I am doing, because I’m only cleaning up after myself.

            And flip side: my husband does most of the animal care, so I’m solo-“parenting” our senior beagle and kitties, which is eating up some of that free time I’m finding.

          • Yep. We used to have a nanny who did light housekeeping while Baby napped. Once when my husband was traveling, she commented on how much less work there had been that week. That confirmed for me that it’s not just my perception of “my mess” vs “his mess.” My husband creates more housework than Kiddo and I do.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Our cat (who came with SO) and my SO’s beard hairs increase my cleaning time by at least a factor of 2.

          We’re getting a robot vacuum this weekend.

      • +1 I batch cook on Sundays and eat that all week and for the last three weeks I haven’t really cleaned other than randomly picking up and using the dishwasher because I have had other more fun things to do. Is my house ready to host my bf’s mom? No. But I don’t really care if any of my friends or bf see it like this.

    • This is laughably inaccurate. Most men don’t pull their weight and while I love DH dearly, I clean way more with him around than I did when I was single. Single me always had a pristine apartment with very little effort. Coupled me has quite a bit of mess to deal with.

      • Seriously. My single domestic life was much easier to maintain. I “clean as I go”, so I rarely needed to do a true deep clean because everything was constantly being wiped down and properly put away. I also am not really a dinner person, so I did lots of “single girl dinners” (cereal, yogurt, cheese and hummus, a quick pasta dish). My apartment and living space was also much smaller.

        Life with my husband is great, but he is a literal human tornado around the house (and our house is much bigger). We outsource our cleaning now, which is a huge help, but I still deal with nearly 2x the laundry and errands.

        • What is it about men and being human tornadoes? Mine is also the same — in fact he left for a trip and left a series of chores half-done (i.e. the lawnmower was in the middle of the yard on Sunday. What???)

          • Ugh, the “half done” chores drive me insane. My husband does laundry (the easy part) but either leaves it in the washer to mildew, or if I’m lucky, puts it all in a pile of clean but unfolded laundry from all over the house. Then he’s hurt that I don’t appreciate how much work he did. Our 2-year-old can put clothes in the washing machine and turn it on (and loves doing it). The hard part is folding/hanging up the clean clothes and putting them away!

          • My DH’s favorite trick is to bring dirty dishes to the sink and rinse them, yet stop short of putting them in the actual dishwasher and just stack the rinsed dishes in a pile on the counter. The dishwasher is literally RIGHT BELOW his stack of clean dishes. It didn’t used to bother me so much, but now I’m 7 months pregnant and bending over is a struggle, so it drives me bonkers.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. There are no economies of scale on housework. I do more housework now that I’m married than I did when I was single, and that’s despite the fact that my husband does some of the housework. Men are messy, they eat a lot, and they like to buy houses instead of living in nice neat little apartments and townhouses.

        • Truer words have never been spoken. I want a nice little neat apartment, but hubs wants a house.

        • This genuinely isn’t my SO. He cleans and does at least as much laundry as I do. I do most of the cooking for dinner for both of us, but he does a lot of other things I can’t be bothered with. Also, the house is mine not his.

          If your husband isn’t pitching in, you really don’t have to put up with it.

          • Anonymous at 3:21 :

            Oh, my husband definitely does his share, it’s just that owning a house with two (or more) people in it is way more than 2x the work of living in an apartment by oneself. I keep trying to convince him that we should sell the @#$% house, but he will have none of it because in his mind real men own single-family homes.

  38. I ordered the Marycraft “Elegant Women’s Trapeze Coat Dress” and was beyond delighted with the quality for the price. I am a busty apple and ended up ordering 2 sizes up. It has 2 sets of button holes so you can adjust the fit slightly.

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