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Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Bracelet Sleeve Linen Jacket

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

As we discussed yesterday in our look at how to get Claire Underwood’s style, one of the keys is cropped jackets. We’ve also covered lightweight jackets for summer, and I kind of love this hybrid of the two. This linen-blend jacket from White House Black Market looks chic and lightweight and cool, and it’s machine washable. If you’re on the hunt for a cropped jacket, note that WHBM has a number of them right now, including another linen jacket in a moto style that’s available in cream and lavender. The pictured jacket is $140 and comes in petite and regular sizes 00-16. Bracelet Sleeve Linen Jacket

Here’s an open front linen jacket that’s available in plus sizes (and is on sale).

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Comments

  1. I’ll have an evening free in Ottawa tonight. Can any of you help me prioritize things to do, and places to eat? It’s beautiful and hot out, and I’m happy to walk anywhere, staying right by Parliament Hill, single 30ish lady. Thanks!

    • Take a free tour of Centre Block (House of Commons and Senate building) on Parliament Hill – https://visit.parl.ca/index-e.html#plan-center-time

      Then eat dinner at Vittoria Trattoria in the Byward Market – https://www.vittoriatrattoria.com/byward-market/

      Alternative dinner plan = take out from Bangkok Thai Garden http://bangkokthaigarden.ca/ and eat picnic style on the grass on the Hill and people watch a bit.

    • I hate both of those restaurants, decidedly average for Ottawa’s great food scene. I’d get Mexican at Ahora then walk on the path behind parliament on the water at sunset. Alternatively slice and co is my favourite pizza and near by (plus Elgin is a neat street). The mint is open today and really interesting, it’s near a lot of embassies which are cool to look at too.

      • Really surprised by all the Ahora love I hear around Ottawa. I moved from Toronto and Ahora is the worst Mexican food I’ve ever had. Tacos always soggy and watery, condiments flavourless, side dishes thrown together with little thought. Meh.

  2. Boston in July :

    Early TJ… we are headed to boston in a few weeks for a non-beach vacation with a 2YO and 6YO. We’ll definitely hit the aquarium, Lego discovery center, and public gardens; we are staying downtown and we’ll have a car. I love historical stuff but the kids will have little tolerance for organized tours, etc. Any suggestions for can’t-miss family fun? We’ll be in town over 7/4 also… just figuring the Faneuil (?) Hall and waterfront areas will be full of fun stuff? Budget activities appreciated but we’re willing to splurge on super fun stuff!

    • Anonymous :

      The science museum and the duck tour are great for kids. Faneuil Hall is pretty boring. Make sure to (re)read Make Way for Ducklings before visiting the Public Garden.

      At age 7 our kid really liked Orchard House and Walden Pond. We had just listened to the audiobook of Little Women and she had seen the movie, which made Orchard House more exciting.

    • Anonymous :

      The Children’s Museum and Museum of Science are both great for kids!!

    • Whale watching if you think your 6yo would be up for it!

      • This is fun, but (a) eats an entire day and (b) is expensice/can be logically tricky since most leave from the cape. Also, we took my kid at 18 mos and she wasn’t able to nap (too bumpy/crowded) and it made the second half pretty cranky.

        If you do a whale watch, maybe couple it with a whole day down on the cape (beach, mini golf, ice cream, whales).

        • Ugh, expensive and logistically tricky. Need more coffee.

        • Also seasickness can be a major problem (or no problem at all, depending on the weather and your kids). But if someone in the family gets sick (even a parent), it can ruin the entire day.

        • We did a whale watch trip 9 or 10 years ago when my son was 4 or 5. It left from the aquarium, we saw tons of whales, and he got a kick out of the way the waves somehow made it hard to stand up. Afterwards, we hung out at a playground nearby for a while and then went to Legal Seafood, because they apparently cooperate with the aquarium and use safe fishing methods. Their food was so bland and overpriced–ugh.

          Fan Hall food court was a relaxing dinner, and there are costumed reenactors in that area if the weather is good.

          There are two self-guided walking tours about history. Even if you don’t want to donthe whole thing, you could look them up and hit a few spots.

    • I would go on a harbor island cruise. It’s like $8 am adult, kids may be free. Takes you out by boat to the harbor islands where you can hang out and picnic. Or you can just ride the boat out and back if you like.

      Lawn on D and castle island (not an island) are two other places to kill time for cheap as a family. The latter is an old fort with playgrounds, a beach, a hamburger stand, and great people watching (can watch airplanes take off and land, boats go in and out of the harbor etc). The splash pond will be open in Boston Common so if you go, think about packing a change of clothes for the kids (esp the 2 year old). There are bathrooms there.

      The rose Kennedy greenway, which is by the aquarium and the harbor island boat dock, just opened a beer garden. I haven’t been but i can’t imagine you’d go wrong.

      Duck boat tour is great for kids and really, as a local, I enjoyed it too (once). I’d skip fanuiel hall, it’s boring. Basically a mall in old buildings with some street performers.

      Children’s museum is really good- your 6 y/o is probably on the older side, but there’s plenty to keep busy.

      Saw someone mentioned Concord- that’s where I live. It’s a bit of a drive from Boston proper and a lot slower paced. You could do it, but…if this is your first time you might want to save it. If you do head out that way, there is a playground a few blocks from downtown that is fun for antsy kids tired of museums. Nothing fancy, but a place to burn off energy before the 45 minute car ride back to Boston.

    • Depending on when you’re in town, the ICA (modern art museum) does an excellent free family day on the last Saturday of every month, with cool art projects, story time, and kid-friendly interpretative presentations. My son is 3 and there’s plenty for him to do, and it’s even better for kids 5 and up. The next one is June 24 from 10-4. It’s a beautiful setting right on the waterfront, too, with good lunch options (Shake Shack, Babbo) nearby.

      Here’s the info:

      https://www.icaboston.org/kids-families

    • Cookbooks :

      In the Public Garden, be sure to go on the Swan Boats! Go through the Commons, too. Frog Pond is there. It’s a spray pool in the summer and there’s a carousel. On the 3rd and 4th, Boston Pops does a free concert at the Hatch Shell, down by the esplanade. The Sky Walk at the Prudential gives a nice bird’s view of the city.

      Depending on how brave your 6yo is, you could visit the Salem Witch Museum. Salem is a fun little town with lots good places to eat. The Peabody Essex Museum is really family oriented and kid-friendly.

      • Boston in July :

        Awesome ideas everyone! We are coning out of some tough family stuff and I need to start focusing on happy times ahead!
        Since you all have such great suggestions… we’ll be driving up from DC. Our plan is to start out early and try to find something about midmorning… a little physical activity for everyone and lunch, to encourage car naps in the afternoon. :-). Unfortunately it looks like NYC is about halfway which doesn’t strike us as a great option. Are we wrong about that? Other short-stop ideas?
        I would looooove to see Salem but 6YO is a fraidy-cat.

        • How about stopping in New Haven for pizza? It’s not far off I-95. I like BAR – it’s less crowded than some of the more famous places (like Sally’s) and kid-friendly despite the name (at least for lunch – I’ve never been at night).

        • I’d say avoid NYC if only because traffic is bound to be terrible there.

        • I’ve done the DC -> Boston drive a lot, and it can be tricky with the traffic unless you time it just right. I usually leave at 7 am, which is too early for DC rush hour, just touches Baltimore rush hour, and hits New York right after rush hour, around 11:30. There are a few big rest areas on the NJ turnpike right before you hit the George Washington bridge; I don’t know if there are any playgrounds there, but you definitely want to stop for bathrooms, because once you cross the bridge it can be very unpredictable traffic-wise. Sometimes it’s only one hour, sometimes it’s more like two or 2 1/2 before you’re out of the bumper-to-bumper. I second the suggestion for pizza in New Haven, but just be aware that you won’t get there until 6 or 7 hours after you leave DC. The total DC -> Boston drive usually takes me about 9 hours, give or take 45 minutes, stopping either two or three times but just for gas and bathrooms. That gets you into Boston at the early end of rush hour, but it’s a reverse commute, so it’s usually not too bad.

        • New haven! Get those college visits started early and the food is great. Bar pizza stop is a must!

        • Why not stop in CT? The Maritime aquarium is in Norwalk and not too far past Stamford. Its got easy parking and lot of great restaurants nearby and is RIGHT off 95. The stepping stones childrens museum is also just off 95.

          • The Norwalk aquarium is cute…but it’s very small and expensive. If you’re looking for a stopping point activity it would fit the bill, but be prepared to pay $20+ per adult for a museum you can walk around in an hour.

        • Another former Bostonian :

          I have driven to Boston from north-central VA (although not DC proper) with my 4 year olds. It can be a heck of a long, stressful trip even if your kids are good travelers. You might want to think about breaking it up into 2 shorter days. We skirt far west of NYC and stop for the night somewhere in PA (Scranton, maybe? Would have to check my notes on that.)

        • This is suuuper random, but the Jordan’s Furniture in New Haven (just off I-95) is home to the world’s largest indoor ropes course. It’s great for kids and would be a fun hour-long stop.

    • My kids liked the NE aquarium, but it is pricey and definitely not the best aquarium we’ve been to with them. Depending on your weather and other activities, that’s not a must-do. The carousel/ Frog pond/ playground at the Boston Common were a bigger hit. There is also a smaller natural history museum at Harvard that could be part of a day in Cambridge.

      • Another former Bostonian :

        Yes, you can wade in the frog pond. I think it is even lifeguarded. I miss Boston SO MUCH. Hope you and your family have a wonderful and spirit-lifting trip, OP.

    • Legally Brunette :

      This is the best time of year to go to Boston!

      – Boston public gardens, have your kids sit on the ducks and take pictures, and also make sure to go on the Swan Boats. If you want to picnic, grab some pizza on Charles Street (there is a pretty good pizza place just a few steps from the Garden, on Charles)
      – Take a walk along the Charles River and have your kids play on the many playgrounds around. That walk is so, so gorgeous and one of my favorite things to do when I lived in Boston
      – Take a ferry to George’s Island (only go if weather is nice and not rainy). It’s a beautiful, cheap ferry ride and a fun place to hang out for a few hours. Bring a picnic because food there is mediocre.
      – Duck Boat tour! Cheesy but my kids LOVED it

      Children’s museum is awesome but pricey. I’m not crazy about the science museum, I think it’s just ok.

    • Ice cream! Boston is crazy for its ice cream– J.P. Licks is the local chain, and it’s delicious, but for the best ice cream check out Toscanini’s and Christina’s in Cambridge. Also, the Esplanade is beautiful. Some of it will probably be fenced off for the Fourth of July concert, but there are a few big playgrounds, and you can sit and watch the sailboats and kayaks. Depending on how good your kids are with water safety, you can also rent kayaks in Kendall Square. On the Fourth there’s a ton of stuff along the Freedom Trail. You can visit the Old North Church, they have little stands set up in front with historical things like old-fashioned chocolate and bell-ringing, and there are park rangers guiding tours. There’s a brochure online that has the schedule, the festival starts a few days before. It’s absolutely amazing to sit along the Charles and watch the fireworks reflect in the water, and listen to the concert, but be very careful driving around that day (they close the bridges a lot earlier than you think they would, and then you’re stuck on one side of the river unless you want to drive miles out of the way) and also be aware that the post-fireworks crowds are massive and completely overwhelm the roads and public transit system.

      • Former Bostonian :

        I like JP Licks better than Tosci’s and Christina’s, but clearly you should try them all and form your own opinion. Emack and Bolio’s is another popular local chain, although I think they’ve gone national since I lived in Boston.

    • Mapparium @ the Mary Baker Eddy Library. Ferry to one of the harbor islands – I think Fort Warren has programming for kids on certain days of the week.

    • With visiting kids, another hit for this Boston native has been taking a public transportation MBTA boat ride from Long Wharf to the Charlestown Navy Yard (a fun, pretty ride in itself) and then checking out the USS Constitution and the WWII-era destroyer ship there. The only issue is explaining or deliberately glossing over to the kids the war/shooting concepts. Otherwise, they are visually cool scenes for kids and interesting for adults too.

  3. Men's watch shopping challenge--help please! :

    threadjack / shopping challenge! I want to buy my husband a watch for Father’s Day (this Sunday). My price point is $300 or under, and I’d like to get something that will hold up well and doesn’t need much maintenance. In terms of style, I am thinking probably a silver-colored metal band, round dial, with maybe a somewhat oversized face. I have been looking at seikos and the citizen eco drive but the selection is honestly bewildering! Would be grateful for leads or pointers.

    • Both are excellent watch brands at that price point. The Seiko grand cocktail is a beautiful watch and so is the cocktail time. The sarb033 is a classic Seiko and very popular. The Citizen eco drive is definitely low maintenance. My husband and I both have one and it’s lasted for years. Personally, I like the BM7251-53H and the BM7330-59L. Can you tell that I also did a ton of research into watches for my husband last year? lol

    • ugh, my full response stuck in moderation. Eco drive and Seiko are both excellent. I like the Seiko sarb033, the cocktail time and the grand cocktail (that one might be a little pricey). The eco drive sapphire and corso are also beautiful.

    • My boyfriend is a fan of Invicta pro divers if you like the look of those! Less formal – more utilitarian

    • ok, trying for a third time here :) seiko s a r b 0 3 3, cocktail time and grand cocktail. also the citizen eco drive corso and sapphire.

    • My husband has a Swiss Army watch that is exactly what you describe. It’s pretty basic – large white face, heavy silver colored metal band. I purchased it for his 30th at Macy’s and it’s still going strong now at (gulp!) 41.

    • I bought my husband a Citizen Eco Drive a few years ago as a birthday gift – I went in store and just picked one with a silver band and blue face (matches his style) that was approx $300 CAD. He’s happy with it and it’s lasted well! I can’t figure out which one it is online and I agree, trying to pick one online is a little overwhelming.

    • Check out MVMT watches online.

    • Chicago Bean Accounter :

      I know you mentioned silver, but if you’re not 100% set on that, consider Jord watches. Their watches are made of wood and are surprisingly lightweight. Most of their watches are under $300 as well. I gave my fiance one for Christmas and he’s worn it nearly every day since.

    • I bought this one a while ago for my husband and he loves it. http://www.saksoff5th.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302023725&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442276381&R=46928534562&P_name=Victorinox+Swiss+Army&N=302023725&bmUID=lOwYIMt

    • I would take a look at your local Nordstrom Rack and see whether they have any Shinolas in stock at that price point. I picked one up there for myself last year for about $275 out the door.

    • Anonymous :

      You guys are great! Thank you!!! So helpful.

  4. Wanderlust :

    It is 96 degrees and my office is sweltering. Is it ever ok to wear sandals to work? Any parameters? I’m sure it’s a KYO thing, but let’s say business casual and not client-facing for frame of reference.

    • Anonymous :

      I wear sandals to the office all the time during the summer. We’re more casual than business casual though (jeans are okay, shorts probably aren’t). I’d say the heat gives you a pass on the dress code – I’d probably go with a more substantial sandal (no flip flops or anything else that shoes a lot of naked foot).

    • Eh, I vote yes under those circumstances. But “sandals” is a big category. I’d wear something with some structure and that does not heel-slap when you walk. My oft-suggested Naots or Soffts, yes; a wedge without a lot of foot coverage, sure. Flip flops, most gladiators, or gillies? Probably not *for me*

    • When it gets blazing hot and humid (high ’90s, like you describe), I break my personal no-sandal rule and wear them. I agree with 9:25 that a substantial sandal is key, as are clean, well-groomed feet. Or, on days when I have lots of meetings and sandals don’t seem appropriate, I’ll wear them for the commute and over the noon hour and just change when I get into the office. Today, you would’ve seen me walking into work in my Birkenstock Mayari’s, which were surprisingly cute with pencil pants. Now I’m in closed-toe flats.

    • Marshmallow :

      Women, including partners, in my Biglaw office wear them all the time (on days with no court or client meetings, of course!). My personal rule of thumb is that my foot should still be fairly contained, ex. no flip flops or skinny straps. Something like this: https://cdnd.lystit.com/photos/c53c-2016/02/23/lk-bennett-black-leather-kami-stud-detail-block-heeled-sandals-black-product-3-106605235-normal.jpeg

    • KateMiddletown :

      I keep a pair of Jack Rogers under my desk to swap into while I’m sitting, and then I’ll wear them out during my lunchtime walk. I live in the midwest in a v. conservative business dress office but it’s not out of place during the summertime.

    • It’s very common for women in my office to wear flip flops for their commute to work and back and forth to court.

    • Baconpancakes :

      On this note, any commuting sandals with arch support suggestions? Doesn’t have to look great, just trying to avoid the sneakers-and-suit 80’s Working Girl look.

    • I think it’s never OK for an office to be sweltering. I’m usually on team “no sandals at work,” unless it’s a very casual dress code, but I think workers should do what it takes to be comfortable, within reason. So I think sandals are fine if your workplace cannot or will not provide an environment where it’s comfortable to wear regular dress/office shoes.

  5. Starting big-law gig on a reduced schedule :

    I’m starting at a new firm on Monday, at a 70% billable schedule in a counsel role. I’m really nervous about making a good impression while at the same time establishing some boundaries with respect to my reduced hours schedule. My goal is to be in the office by 8:15 and leave by 5, and have from 5:45/6-7:30/8 with my baby and husband. With the understanding that I’ll have to log back on after dinner most nights, if only to check/respond to emails.

    Tips on how to make this work? Do I expect to have more facetime the first several weeks and then try to reign it in, or do I try to stick to the schedule from day 1? Am I crazy for trying this?

    • Anonymous :

      They hired you at 70%, so work at 70%. Keep to the hours you intend to work. Don’t log on at night! They literally are no longer paying you for the 120% biglaw usually requires. So you shouldn’t give it to them.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been doing this since having a baby (not with changing firms).

      My advice is just to kill it while you’re there and treat your home time as a meeting (like you can’t multitask or take calls when you’re in a meeting, so don’t let that creep in). Offer things around it — can I get it to you by tomorrow morning if something comes in at 4. Or by 9pm? Bargain and feel things out if you have to. And start out with a cushion — can I get you that by noon tomorrow?

      If it is a problem, you will know right away (and better that you do).

      • Anonymous :

        Further to my reply: I’m at 100%.

        If you are on 70%, you should mind your hours on a montly basis and NOT be logging on at night on the regular if not needed.

        Ideally, you can pack the work into work hours (or join a gym near work if you are finding that you’ve billed 5 hours but it took 10 hours of in-the-seat-time for it to materialize and get done).

        It’s a delicate dance.

        • I’m at 70% so I can be working from 8-8:30 to 4:45 and don’t have to work in the evenings and on the weekends unless I’m either out of the office for more than that amount of time and/or there’s an emergency/urgent project. I do keep track of emails in the evening, but those are usually quick replies. I’ve gotten somewhat more efficient with my time during the day and more efficient in capturing my time as well.

          I try to make sure I’m on track on a monthly basis and really try to be about a week or so ahead of where I need to be to give myself a buffer for sick days, slow days, and (hopefully) vacation days.

          This is assuming your new firm/practice group is in the 1900-2000 target billable range –if it’s higher, e.g., 2200-2400, either officially or unofficially, working at night may be needed.

          In my experience, Big Law at 70% is a normal full-time job.

    • Cornellian :

      I just came back to my BigLaw gig as a senior associate at 80%, so my situation is a bit different, but my advice:
      -a bit more face time the first few weeks. I think this helped me get staffed on things, which I could then work on from home/on weeekends/etc
      -I think the key in my case to (so far! it’s only been a month) making cut hours work is keeping projects to a minimum. Once you’re the senior or second senior person on a project, you can’t really say “no” when it explodes.
      -I am learning to think of my hours on more of a monthly basis. I know what I”m supposed to bill each week, and so far I’ve gone wildly over two weeks and wildly under two others. I think it will balance out in the end, but it’s been a mental adjustment.
      -make sure firm will true you up if you go way over 70% (or would you rather take an extra full week off, etc to make up the difference?)
      -The most important phrase for me has been: Happy to help. I can turn to this at 7:45 (i.e. after my baby falls asleep). I don’t think most people really care what you’re doing from 6-8, they just want to know when you can turn the document/get on the call/etc.

    • I think you need to be flexible the first couple of weeks so that you can figure out the schedule of the people that you work with. You don’t need to sit around until 9 waiting out every last person to leave, but you probably should be available to monitor emails and at least acknowledge receipt.

  6. I made a mistake at work and rather than admitting to it, i tried to cover it up. I need to tell my boss the truth before she finds out on her own. I’m here for advice on how to start that conversation and what to say.

    (I know, of course, that trying to cover it up was a horrible, immature way to handle this, and makes me look extremely dishonest and will make my boss question my integrity, and i would really appreciate it if readers wouldn’t flame me for this.)

    • Wanderlust :

      Everyone messes up, so don’t beat yourself up over it. Try to approach the conversation with your boss as “I messed up, I’m sorry, I learned from it and here’s what I plan to do to fix it/make sure it doesn’t happen again,” rather than “I messed up, help!!!”

    • “I made a mistake and tried to fix it. Unfortunately, I’m unable to resolve the problem on my own. I did XXX. Can you help me? I am so sorry about this mistake. I have really learned the hard way from doing this and I also apologize for not bringing it to your attention earlier.” Speaking as a manager, complete honesty plus an apology and humility will help.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        This is a great script. I would also add any additional ideas that you have as to how to rectify the mistake. I like when people own up AND have a solution for fixing. If you could also explain what steps you can/will take to ensure the same thing does not occur again in the future, well, you have the trifecta!

        • Yep! Proposing a solution, or at least what you tried that didn’t work, will really overshadow everything else.

    • “Boss, I need to talk to you about something. I messed up XYZ, and when I realized my mistake, I panicked and wound up compounding the mistake with my following actions, which were [briefly explain]. I am so sorry. It was out of character for me and was really poor judgement on my part. I think the best way to remedy the situation at this point is [solution], but I realize that I’ve handled this really poorly and would be open to whatever you think is best. I am so sorry.”

      Hopefully, for your sake, this was a fairly recent issue and you are going to your boss fairly early on, and not just because you think you’re about to get caught. It’s a lot easier to believe an explanation of “I panicked but now I’ve come to my senses,” when it hasn’t been ongoing for weeks or months.

    • Senior Attorney :

      This is all good advice. So go do it now. Today. This morning. We’ll wait.

      And come back and tell us when you’ve done it.

      It’s getting worse by the minute so make it stop ASAP! We’re here for you!!

    • Just here to say this happened to me recently and I went to my boss and he was like it’s no big deal! Hopefully that’s what happens to you. I was a wreck beforehand and it was such a weight off my shoulders.

  7. calibrachoa :

    Ladies, I have handed in my resignation and i am officially headed to a New Job at a new company with actual proper benefits and career prospects. I am absolutely flipping terrified because last time I started at a new company was a decade ago D:

    I have some time between leaving here and the new job starting, and I’ll be seeing my girlfriend (face to face for the first time!) end family in that time, but holy moly I am a little shaky thinking about it.

    Any suggestions on how to combat NewJobNerves?

    • Wanderlust :

      Amy Cuddy power pose! You earned this!

    • Congratulations!

    • The First 90 Days is a great book

    • Anonymous :

      New Job Jitters are totally normal! So is a little apprehension at having to figure out a new place :) Do things to distract yourself between now and starting and layout all your stuff the night before you start so you don’t feel frazzled the first day.

    • Congrats!

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I’m soothed by planning, so I plan the heck out of my first day. Even after 5 years of consulting/contracting, that first day at a new client is a bit frazzling.

      One thing I try to remember is to never wear a white top on my first day. Very early in my career, I did this. They took our badge pictures up against a white wall. For four years, I was a floating head.

  8. Anyone in the mood to do some virtual shopping :) I need a cute dress to wear to my brother’s rehearsal dinner, which will be followed by drinks at a lounge. I like fitted, classic, looks and have a petite hourglass figure. For some reason I just can’t find anything that I like…seems like a lot of dresses are flowy and boxy right now, or fit and flare. Thanks for the help ladies!

    • I was looking at dresses a couple months ago for a wedding and this came to mind right away from your description: https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/cushnie_et_ochs/light_yellow_twist_dress

    • Budget? Are you open to RTR or do you want to buy one?

      • Okay work is dead so I started browsing.

        Super classic and ladylike: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/maggy-london-lace-detail-crepe-sheath-dress-regular-petite/4258866?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLACK

        Ditto: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/ted-baker-london-verita-eyelet-embroidered-body-con-dress/4585525?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=NAVY

        I’ve seen this dress get recommended a lot: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/dress-the-population-gwen-midi-dress/4252752?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=NAVY

        • Ooh, your first pick might have solved my “what to wear as a bridesmaid” dilemma (bride specifically asked us to wear black cocktail dresses).

      • This may be a little out there for you, but it’s a classic shape and the print is gorgeous: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/cooper-st-liquid-metal-midi-dress/4577179?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLUE%20PRINT

        If you want some color: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/trina-turk-philo-floral-lace-sheath-dress/4562270?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=GUAVA

      • Here are a few from RTR (seriously my office is a ghost town right now).

        https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/nicholas/color_splash_dress

        https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/keepsake/blue_escape_dress

        https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/cynthia_rowley/color_block_twist_sheath

        • Thanks so much Emeralds…these picks are great! I really like the navy eyelet dress and may pull the trigger on it!

          • The Ted Baker one? Yeah, I’m kind of obsessed and wishing I hadn’t already gotten a dress for the wedding I have next week!

          • That dress is lovely. It’s also on sale at Nordstrom.

    • Reiss has some cute stuff: https://www.reiss.com/us/p/graphic-lace-dress-womens-dixie-in-black-ash/?category_id=11000

    • Not a specific dress suggestion, and YMMV on this, but I am built similarly, and I’ve had some luck lately with having my tailor take in a shift dress so that it’s a slimmer fit and more a-line. It might help you at least look at all of the boxy dresses in a different light. I feel your pain, though.

      • I’ve been considering doing this, actually, for both dresses and shirts. I need to find a good tailor first!

    • fake coffee snob :

      I saw a super cute, structured kate spade one around $100 on thredup yesterday if you’re size 0 or 2-ish (can’t remember and can’t check right now, sorry!).

  9. Moving Cats Abroad :

    Does anyone have experience with taking cats on an international flight?

    I’m relocating from Chicago to Zurich in July, and am planning on taking my two cats with me. They are both five years old and in good health, and don’t have any specific conditions (like being Persian/snub-nosed) that would make it difficult for them to travel.

    From my reading, it seems like I have three options: take them as carry-on baggage (I’d have to buy another ticket but I’m not totally opposed to this as I’m sure I could recruit a friend to come along and generally help with the move), check them as baggage, and use a pet shipping service. Rules vary across airlines re: pets in the cabin but it seems like all three are viable options with some advance planning.

    8-9 hours seems like such a long time to be kept under a seat in a small carrier and at least they could move around a bit more in a larger cage in the cargo hold. Also, when they ride in the car, there are intermittent bouts of offended yowling that I don’t want to subject other passengers to. They would definitely have to stay in the carriers the whole time – I have seen people take their cats out and hold them on their laps; I don’t think mine would be that relaxed and there’s a possibility you would see a news story relating to a flight being diverted thanks to two panicked cats ricocheting around the cabin. Also I want to be sensitive to people on the flight with allergies.

    So, I’m leaning towards having them checked as baggage, making sure that it’s on a plane that has a climate controlled/pressurized cargo hold (apparently most modern wide-bodied planes do now). Any experience with this? Open to suggestions and money is more or less no object (willing to spend pretty much anything short of hiring a private jet to fly them). Just want kitties to be as comfortable as possible given the circumstances.

    • This might get me flamed, but have you thought about sedating them? I haven’t done this myself, but have thought about it a lot as there is likely international moves in my future. My cat would also yowl for a good 2 hours easily at a volume that is surprising for her small frame. Obviously, there are risks to sedating them, but I think it’s not that bad for a very healthy cat, and I’d argue it’s better than having my cat stressed to the max for 8 hours.

      It’s probably me being paranoid, but I would be too nervous to have them in the cargo hold.

      • Moving Cats Abroad :

        Oooh, that’s not a bad idea. I think probably even a fairly mild sedative would help a lot. I’ve done some long drives with them and they spent 80% of the trip napping and 20% yowling like they’re being tortured – upping the napping ratio would help a lot!

      • Yes, I would ask your vet for a mild sedative and then would buy the extra seat to keep them in the cabin. I could never, ever put a pet in the cargo hold.

      • Glad to see I’m not totally out there with the sedation! :)

      • No no no, sedatives can interfere with respiration at altitude! Do not do this!

      • I mean, talk to your vet about the best choice for your specific pets. But don’t assume you can sedate.

        • Anon at 10:48 :

          My phrasing was poor, “Ask your vet if sedation is appropriate.” It could be as easy as Benadryl, but you will want to test out whatever it is prior to the flight. Some animals go the opposite way!

      • anonshmanon :

        A friend of mine did this a couple of times with his small dog, traveling between central Europe and the US. He said the pill makes the dog drowsy and less stressed by the journey, but not fully unconscious. He was happy with that solution.

      • I did this with my cat for a cross country move. It’s a very mild sedative, it’s not like the cat is unconscious. It relaxes them enough to not completely freak the eff out the entire time.

        Even with the sedative, my cat freaked out pretty badly going through security. You have the option of removing them from the carrier and carrying them through the metal detector or going into an enclosed room to be examined. I carried my cat… and ended up bleeding a lot. I recommend choosing the room.

        During the flight, he mostly scratched at the carrier and half-heartedly mewed. The sedative started to wear off toward the end of the flight, though, so you might have to give them another dose mid-flight. If you’re dealing with two cats, definitely bring a friend to help.

      • I have a cat who HATES being out of our apartment. He yowls like crazy and doesn’t stop. It attracts a lot of attention and annoys people and stresses out other animals. We had to move cross-country (not international but also not practical to drive), and our vet prescribed a mild sedative. It made him sleepy, and he was relaxed. That’s the only time we’ve taken him on a long trip, so the only time we’ve given him a sedative, but it was the only way to get him to our new home. And this is reminding me that we should ask our new vet for another prescription in case we need to evacuate with the cat during a natural disaster.

      • Agree. Just chiming in to say that our vet prescribed valium for our small dog who was terrified of the car when we had to take him for a long trip. That could be something you ask your vet about.

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      I would definitely bring them in cabin. The issue with the cargo hold seems to be not the actual flying time in the hold, but problems with the extra time to drop them off/pick them up and fears about the cage being lost/loaded on the wrong aircraft, etc. At least if they’re with you, they’re with you and you can deal with problems as they arise. I have heard recently that sedation + altitude and cabin air is not a good idea, but I would check with your vet.

      • Agree; I’d NEVER check a pet based on the chances of things going wrong. A delay on the tarmac and I’d be panicking.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I agree. I want to see my damn cat the whole time. I would be dying of fear otherwise.

        I’ve flown with my two cats, including across the US (NY to CA). The good cat was *great* just like his friendly labrador-retriever-in-the-body-of-a-cat self, and the bad cat was *fine* because he was scared and overwhelmed and happy to just chill in his carrier.

        We were going to sedate the bad cat, but we did a test run at home and it ended up with him spitting out the pill, frothing at the mouth, and hiding from us (and also I was bleeding pretty good) so we decided to just deal with him being his bad cat self. It was fine.

    • definitely sedate them. (get meds from your vets – vets do this all the time! there is no judgment and it gets the job done)

      checking depends on your risk aversion. hearing all the terrible stories I personally would NEVER check my small pets as baggage if I could onboard them.

      — flew cross country twice with a very active/awful terrier.

    • I would definitely take them in the cabin. We took our small dog on a nine hour flight when we were moving and it wasn’t ideal, but she survived. There are lots of risks with the cargo hold besides just pressure (they could be put on the wrong plane) and every summer there are stories about animals being left on the tarmac in 90 degree weather and dying. I would only check my dog as an absolute last resort if the dog was too big to fly in the cabin and driving to the new destination was impossible.

    • I moved a dog from Nantes to Philadelphia via Paris with Air France. He was in the hold, but they don’t treat animals like baggage: someone was sent specifically to take him off each flight and bring him up to me in the terminal. I was worried sick, of course, but he was surprisingly unaffected by the whole thing (even though he barked like crazy on the smaller plane, which could be heard all through the cabin). Just to say the hold is not a disaster- I would have taken him in the cabin if he weren’t too big. Get a carrier with a good reputation. I can recommend Air France/ KLM and Delta… don’t fly United.

    • Flying cats :

      We flew to Asia (from east coast US) with our cats and put them into the cargo hold. We bought an extra large carrier for each of them (we had two) and normally they are skittish but turned out fine. We deliberately got direct flights and zip tied the cages (so no one could accidentally open them). We also had them microchipped but that was part of the quarantine requirements anyway. Also note – bring all paperwork with you in your carry on. I would guess it wasn’t the best few days in my cats’ life (we moved to Asia and back) but after a few days, they were fine.

      Our vet and most airlines at the time didnt recommend sedation due to how the air pressure may impact meds in this blood. We didn’t do it and as I noted above, they were fine so definitely check with your vet.

      We looked into relocation services but it was essentially not much more than checking them in and making sure paperwork was in order for a ton of money so we went the diy route

      • Flying cats :

        Also – the cargo holds are absolutely pressurized and climate controllled for pets. We also came right out of immigration and our cats were brought out right away in both the US and international airports and the staff really seemed to care about getting our pets reunited with us. If we had to move again, I’d check them into the cargo again.

    • Took my cat from Montreal to San Francisco with a layover in Toronto. I took her with me in the cabin just because it was cheaper. I don’t have opinions about cargo vs. cabin although I remember reading that cargo can refuse your pet if they look too sedated. I went to the vet before the trip and instead of going the sedation route (Xanax for cats) he prescribed Clomicalm. It’s an anti-depressant I think they give for separation anxiety. You start a few days in advance so it builds up. For the trip, my cat wasn’t sleepy she just was he happy self and totally content to hang out in her cage under the seat. This was the complete oposite of what happens when I take her in the car normally. I was worried about her making noises, which happened at take off and landing, but was mostly covered by engine sounds. 10/10 would recommend Clomicalm (I swear I don’t have financial interests in this drug)

    • Speaking as someone with very bad allergies, if you can put them in the cargo, please do. And please, please, please not on your lap.

      • Sigh, this + 100. I know that we’re shifting toward an approach where more animals are allowed in confined, shared spaces, but as someone with significant allergies, this kind of sucks. But I’m fully resigned to the fact that there’s nothing I can do about it.

      • You’re telling someone to risk killing their pets because you have allergies…. you sound like a peach. Pet allergies can’t kill you, you cannot have anaphylaxis from animal dander. Someone can suck it up and have the sneezes and sniffles for a flight

        • Chill. She acknowledges that. It can both be allowed for pets to be in the cabin and suck for people with allergies. Don’t randomly be a jerk just to stir things up. No one is suggesting a wholesale slaughter of cats to avoid a sneeze.

        • Why do I have to suffer on a long flight for someone else’s personal choices to bring their animals?

          • Ok you also chill. Pets are allowed in the cabin. If you don’t like it that’s a problem you have with the airlines. Everyone suffers on a long flight.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Calm down. She said “if you can,” and seemed reasonable. You’re escalating it. Let’s not.

          • It’s kind of funny that people seem more concerned about the breathing of a sedated animal than of a severely allergic human. I’m not going to die from my cat allergies, and I’ve visited people who have them, but after a couple of hours I hit a point where I’m kind of gasping for breath, because my sinuses are so inflamed and blocked. Even when my hosts vacuum thoroughly.

            But hey, let’s not stress out Fluffy!

        • You absolutely can have very serious allergic reactions from animals. And risk “killing” your pets seems a little overboard; see: the myriad commenters who put their pets in the cargo hold and recommend it/said it was fine.

        • Anonymous :

          Pet allergies can absolutely kill you. It’s not just sneezes and sniffles for some people. Educate yourself.

          That said. If you have severe animal allergies, the burden is on you to notify the airline that you can’t be on a flight with animals in the cabin.

      • They won’t let you have your pets in your lap. I’m sure some people break the rules, but when I’ve flown with pets, the flight attendants have been very strict about that.

        • Moving Cats Abroad :

          Yes, if I bring them in the cabin, they will definitely be staying in the carriers the whole time. Like many cat owners, I love my cats but do not trust them… no chance I would be tempted to break the rules.

    • In my experience, it’s very likely that based on July ground temperatures, you would not be able to check them in Chicago anyway–they’d have to come in the cabin because many airlines have ground-temp based restrictions on checking animals into cargo. You also need to check Switzy’s rules re animal quarantine and whatnot too. Sometimes pets have to go to quarantine for a few weeks when you move to the EU (noted that Switzerland is non-Schengen, so this may not apply).

      • Moving Cats Abroad :

        We are good on the health requirements – microchipping, rabies vaccine, and health certificate. No quarantine, thankfully!

    • calibrachoa :

      One possible option: If you have the time/know someone who has the time, you can have cats with you on transatlantic cruise ship crossings?

      • calibrachoa :

        Which of course won’t get you to Switzerland, but it would reduce the length of the flight needed / allow for combining with overland transport

      • I’m not moving to Europe, but now I really want to take my cats on a transatlantic cruise. (Of course, I will never do it)

      • In my fantasy life where DH and I move to Europe, this is how my H wants to get our dogs overseas. Sigh.

      • Moving Cats Abroad :

        I did actually look into this! The Queen Mary does allow pets besides service animals, but sadly they are all kept in an onboard kennel for the duration of the trip, and also spots in the kennel tend to book up several months in advance. There goes my dream of cementing my “crazy cat lady status” by lounging on deck with a giant hat and sunglasses, cats taking up the deck chairs on either side of me.

    • Nelly Yuki :

      I took one cat on an overnight flight in the cabin and even with vet-approved sedation, he howled like a deranged ghost. I pretended I didn’t know where the noise was coming from I took two cats on overnight flights as baggage, and they were fine (no sedation per vet’s recommendation). I was coming from overseas and TSA made me take them out of their carriers at my first US airport which was adorable for one (just clung to me and looked around) and hilarious for the other (basically looked like a cartoon cat spinning in circles while I tried to hold on to him and every ended up covered in fur). Good luck!

    • Anonymous :

      If you try a mild sedative after consultation with your vet, I suggest trying it at home first, well before the flight. My own cat seemed more freaked out by the sensation of being half-way sedated than he did by subsequent plane trips without the sedation.

    • NEVER EVER put your pet in the cargo hold. Sorry for the caps, but my parents both worked in the airline industry and have horror stories. The cargo hold is not temperature controlled, which can be near or below freezing at altitude. It’s also extremely loud and terrifying for pets. I’ve heard horror stories about dogs breaking all of their teeth trying to escape their crate in the cargo hold because they’re so terrified. Please, please, please take them in the cabin with you if they must fly.

      Another thing to consider is that the country you’re moving to may have a quarantine for animals being brought in. This basically amounts to your animal being held by the government for several months. I’d looking into how long the quarantine period is before making plans.

    • pet movers :

      I just saw that a friend from hs used Ace Pet Moving to relocate his large dog from the east coast of the US to Switzerland. Might be worth looking into their services. (no affiliation, just saw cute proof of life pictures of the dog/reunion)

  10. My dad just texted me to let me know he is no longer dating his girlfriend of 5 (+?) years. I don’t have details, it isn’t my business unless he wants to share, but sounds like it’s over for good.

    How do i explain this to my kids? The younger one probably isn’t an issue, but my older one is 4 and thinks of (ex) girlfriend as a sort of aunt. As in, she’d been around at major events, over at my dad’s when we visited, etc. next time we see my dad, she’ll ask about (ex) girlfriend.

    And…relatedly, my grandmother is very ill. She’s 90 and led a long life. But it’s got me thinking about how to have the coversation with my kids when the time comes (or before? Do we start now while she’s sick so it’s expected?). There’s no specific timeline, but she’s been in and out of the hospital these past few weeks and there’s a high likelihood something will happen.

    We aren’t a religious family (probably to a fault…we live across from an old church and my 4 y/o thinks it’s a castle because of the “princes and princesses” (brides, grooms, ministers, funeral home directors…) she sees coming out of it).

    • Re: the girlfriend. I would let your 4 year old take the lead. If she asks about the girlfriend next time you’re with your dad, either your dad or you can answer her that they’re not special friends any more.

      And the grandma, well you do say she is old and sick. I’d leave it at that unles she does die.

    • My daughter was about 3 when her great-grandfather passed away. Oddly, the Fancy Nancy I Can Read book where JoJo’s fish dies (Fancy Nancy and the 100th Day of School) helped her understand what had happened. At this age an after-the-fact explanation is better than trying to prepare them beyond “great-grandma is very sick.”

    • We read “Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs” to my kids after my grandma died.

      • Maybe this reveals too much about my state of mind, but I cracked up at this title – I thought “What? One grandma is in heaven and the other’s in h*ll?”

    • Senior Attorney :

      Many years ago I read some good advice about what to tell kids about death: “People die because their bodies get worn out.” I feel like that’s a great thing to tell about an elderly grandparent because if you say “she got sick and died,” then the child may be afraid you or she will die if you get sick.

      • That is what we told our kid and it was very effective. If you believe in an afterlife for the spirit/soul it also leaves an opening for you to explain that without confusion about whether the person is still alive.

      • This is excellent advice, and the best way to do it.

      • This is along the lines of what I’ve been thinking. We talk a lot about “energy” (she has a lot of energy, her body gets energy from food, she’s tired when she doesn’t have enough energy) so maybe going off that, as you get older you have less energy and your body gets more tired and worn out.

  11. In the vein of Wildkitten’s post last week…starting over after an un/underemployment lull! I need to organize my (rental, shared) closet before starting my new job! Any suggestions, tips, war stories from reorgs? I’m looking to keep work and play clothes separate if possible, and make it easy to grab and go in the morning. I work in a straight business/leaning biz casual world, wear mostly dresses and blazers and heels.

    Some background…At the end of the month, I’ll be starting a new position after 5 months of mega underemployment. The new position is exactly what I was doing before I was underemployed (happily relocated for DH role), same industry, same work, but a new organization. For the past 5 months, I’ve been wearing pajamas, jersey dresses, and shorts/tee shirts. My work clothes and style have quite literally been shelved in the interim. I pared down my wardrobe several times in the past few years so it is now at a pretty manageable size and it all sparks joy more or less.

    tia!

    • I organize left to right like this : jackets and cardigans; blouses and tops ; dresses ; skirts ; pants ; formal/rarely used. (The right corner of my closet is difficult to get to)

      I also organize by color within those blocks.

      Extremely anal retentive? Yes. But I can find everything.

      • I do more or less this, but don’t organize by color. And within tops, I organize by sleeve length categories: sleeveless, short sleeved, and long sleeved.

        Casual clothes are in the other half of the closet, organized more or less the same way.

      • +1 I do something like this too.

        I never wear dresses, so they are on the extreme left, organized with most formal on the far left, then work appropriate, and the least formal/summery ones towards the end. Then pants, organized by color, and within color organized by length.

        My jackets/cardigans/blouses/tops/sleeveless tops, I have on the right side of my closet where I installed a top hanging bar and a lower hanging bar. On top are the items that are work appropriate, on the bottom are the more casual items. All are grouped by type, and within type, are grouped by color and then sleeve length.

        You do it once, and it is easy to maintain. Then you always know where everything is and how to find it quickly.

      • All work clothes are organized by type (blouse, jacket, pant, skirt, dress), sleeve length for blouses, and primary color (white through the rainbow and then brown, grey, black; lighter shades of primary color before darker e.g. pink before red, mauve before purple). Jacket and blouse sleeves are finessed; all hangers go in the same direction. Sweaters and knits all are board folded to the same dimensions and again sorted by sleeve length (short and sleeveless on left, 3/4 sleeves and long sleeved on right) and then by colorway. Shoes are sorted by color with work shoes on higher shelves, casual on lower shelves, and flipflops on the bottom.

        Casual clothes have their own closet with similar sorting, as do cocktail/formal clothes (cocktail shoes go in the formal closet).

        That is what eight years in retail will do to you.

    • givemyregards :

      I have a sort of horseshoe shaped closet now, so things are slightly different, but when I had just a one bar closet I did something really similar to everyone else. From left to right: blazers – hanging sweaters – work blouses (tanks – short sleeved – long sleeved) – work skirts – work pants – non-work shirts (tanks – short sleeved – long sleeved) – non-work skirts – non-work dresses – formal dresses. Within each section I organize by color (light to dark to left to right). If a shirt can be worn to work or on the weekend, I lump it in with the work stuff. If I have a cardigan or jacket that I tend to exclusively wear with a particularly dress, I’ll just hang it over dress on the same hanger.

      Also, congrats on starting your new job! And I saw your post with your r e t t e e-mail address – I’m going to send you an e-mail soon!

    • Wildkitten :

      I am going to get the skinny velvet hangers for my new closet, and I am going to put workout clothes in those cheap plastic drawers so I can just grab and go (bra, socks, top, bottom -> GYM!)

  12. What’s the best exercise for losing weight quickly? I know it’s 80% diet but my diet is already pretty good (I’m tracking my macros and I’m generally good with hitting the targets). I’ve been doing a mix of cardio classes and weight training but the weight is not coming off – I actually don’t think the strength training is helping much. Would more cardio help amp things up for a few weeks?

    • If your diet is already pretty good and you’re doing a fair bit of exercise already, is it possible to accept that this is a good weight for you?

      • Anon in NYC :

        Also, if this is something where you want to lose just a few more pounds, it could be that your muscle weight is increasing (so the scale doesn’t budge). Or, it could be that you’re losing inches but not pounds.

        That said, change up your routine. If you run, try a spin class or HIIT. Try reformer pilates.

        • +1 to all of this.

          OP, I’m also not clear on how much you’re trying to lose and where you’re starting from. If you are already a healthy weight and are trying to lose weight for cosmetic reasons, losing that weight is really, really hard. Your diet might be “pretty good” but cosmetic pounds come off when your diet is perfect or really close to it.

          For me, the extreme focus on diet necessary to lose the cosmetic 5lbs is just not worth it. It would mean no alcohol and no sweets, ever, and I just don’t want to live my life that way.

    • HIIT for cardio, heavy weights.

    • The best thing I’ve ever found for losing weight quickly is Insanity (the BeachBody DVDs). It’s SO hard but very effective. It’s high intensity interval training with some body weight strength training thrown in.

    • Not exercise but the only thing that worked for me (even with lots and lots of exercise) was intermittent fasting. You eat between 12 – 8 pm, don’t eat the rest of the time. I find it super easy and I was amazed how quickly I lost the weight (and have maintained that weight loss, several months later). I wasted a LOT of time figuring out how to lose weight through exercise and at least for me, it just did not work. As you recognized yourself, it’s 80% or even 90% diet. Best of luck.

      • Do you have a good recommendation where to start for information on intermittent fasting? Books or sites? How many days a week do you do this?

        • Leangains is the main site, written by Martin Beckham who was one of the earliest proponents of IF.

          www dot leangains dot com

          Here’s an interview of Beckham where he provides an overview of IF

          http://www.leighpeele.com/martin-berkhan-and-intermittent-fasting-interview

          There is also a good book called The Obesity Code by Dr. Fung but it’s definitely long. For a quick primer I recommend articles by Beckham.

          Reddit also has a good thread on IF

          • Wild Chicken :

            I’ve found success with IF as well. My eating window is 10 hours, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., which is plenty of time. I haven’t changed at all the amount I eat. I have cut out sweets and alcohol. I’ve been doing it about 3 months and am down about 15 pounds. Easiest weight loss I’ve ever experienced. But I’m very strict about it — I eat nothing and drink only water during my fasting window.

        • Also, I try to do it every day but definitely make exceptions on some weekends if goin g out to brunch or while on vacation, etc. I was strict in the beginning but now that I have lost the weight I “cheat” now and then. I have friends who only do it during the week. For fastest results though I would do it every day if you can.

    • CICO – calories in < calories out. I'd say cut your daily calories by 250 and you'll see it start to come off slowly without hindering your ability to work out. If you track macros, then you already know how many calories you take in daily.

    • Shenandoah :

      Monitor your sugar intake in addition to tracking calories/macros. Keep sugar as low as possible. Ditch the carbonated beverages to avoid bloating. Maintain a mix of cardio and weight lifting – make sure you’re lifting heavy and consistently. If you’re not following a lifting program, start now and focus on a program like Starting Strength. HIIT for cardio on days you’re not lifting and allow yourself 1-2 “active recovery” days per week where you go for a long walk, hike, bike ride, swim, etc.

      All that said, if you just want to trim some weight over the next few weeks, it will be 95% diet.

    • The biggest impact for me is getting more frequent exercise, not any particular exercise. For me, that’s walking several times a day, parking farther away, taking stairs, running errands that require a lot of walking, doing active chores (vacuuming curtains, dusting fans, moving furniture to clean baseboards, mopping), chasing my kid around the park and rough-housing with him. It’s hard if you have a sedentary job, but with a decent diet, I lose weight when I log 4-5 miles a day throughout the day.

      • Anonymama :

        Yeah, for me more intense exercise makes me stronger but I tend to gain a couple pounds, while more frequent moderate exercise (like when we got a dog that needed walks twice a day) made me lose a couple of pounds (with no particular dietary changes).

    • Senior Attorney :

      We did Whole 30 in February and LH lost 20 pounds and I lost 7. I really think diet is far more effective than exercise for weight loss.

    • Cardio burns the most calories, but weight loss is truly CICO (despite the wacky ideas some people here have). I’d try more cardio plus reducing calories a bit.

    • Could you give us some more info like how much weight you want to lose, how tall you are + current weight and how many calories you’re eating right now? Also, you mention you’re tracking your macros so you’re saying you’re weighing (with a food scale) all your food?

      I absolutely agree with CICO (Calorie In, Calorie Out). There are various methods (Whole30/eliminating carbs/intermittent fasting/etc) to get you to accomplish that so it’s up to you to decide which one to try. But whatever method you decide, the single most basic thing you need to do/have is a food scale, if you aren’t using one already.

      For most of my life, I was very resistant to weighing my food but last year, I was tired of saying I wanted to lose 5 pounds but never making any headway. So I got the food scale with the caveat that if it didn’t work, it took too much time, was too complicated, I would chuck the scale. Last January, I got the scale and never looked back. I was hoping to lose 5 pounds and lost 10 pounds. Prior to the scale, I was working out using P90x and T25 consistently for the past 5 years. So the only reason I lost the weight was the food scale. I realized I was over-eating by an average of 200-300 calories. My stats last January was 125 pounds at 5 ft 3 in. I’m at 115/116 pounds and my body fat is 25%. It took me about 3 months to lose the 10 pounds. Not bad for a $11 food scale.

      • I just realized you asked about exercise only. Please disregard my above post then.

        I would actually ditch the cardio and up the strength training. Are you on a progressive weight training program? If you’re not on a good program that uses heavy weights, you won’t see the max benefits as quickly as you want.

        Also, if you’re not giving yourself enough rest days, you’re not allowing your muscles to recover. That can also hamper your results.

        Are you taking measurements of your body? Your weight not be moving but if you’re losing inches, that is just as good…

        • Another former Bostonian :

          Not the OP, so please tell me more about how you use the food scale. I have one but only ever thought of using it to weigh ingredients for baking unhealthy stuff, lol. Your January stats are my current ones and I have just about given up on ever getting below 120 again. Down to 115 would be wardrobe changing!

    • Anon - OP :

      Thank you all for your comments. I admit to cheating on my diet a bit in an attempt to have a social life, so while it’s good, it’s not 100% perfect.

      But that said, I’ve been on a diet/exercise program since the beginning of the year, and essentially, I won’t lose any weight for weeks, and then I’ll lose a few pounds and go back to plateauing. It’s just so close to summer and I want to wear my cute shorts and sundresses and I’m so frustrated that the weight around my belly isn’t budging.

      I have a trainer so she’s guiding me through the strength training, but I’m not sure how well it’s working? It just seems so slow to lose any weight and I thought maybe taking a couple weeks break from the strength training and adding some more cardio in might help?

      Or maybe I just need to keep working and try to be patient. I just have a big family event in about 4 weeks and I wanted to be much slimmer than I am now!

      Thanks all again – I really appreciate it.

  13. Gwinnett County :

    I am planning a short business trip to Gwinnett County, GA. We would like to stay in a cool, walkable downtown with local restaurants, shopping, etc. so we don’t have to drive from the hotel to dinner. Will Lawrenceville or Duluth fit the bill?

    • It’s been a few years since I’ve been in either town, but I don’t remember Lawrenceville being that walkable or having great restaurants. Same goes for Duluth. If it were me, I might stay a little closer to downtown ATL (maybe Decatur area?) if you can. Gwinnett is unfortunately very commercial and spread out. Hopefully, you can get some updated recommendations and info from some other readers.

      • Also in Academia :

        I live in Atlanta just inside the perimeter. Lawrenceville does have a bit of a downtown, but it won’t be walkable from a hotel. If you stay in midtown, you will at least be doing the reverse commute out of Atlanta in the morning and back into town at night, but it still won’t be ideal – there will be lots of traffic until you get on 85, and then still a fair amount (depends on where you are from . .. I always think traffic is fairly light when the same level makes my smaller-town parents totally stressed out) I’d stay as close as possible to your meetings and then come into Decatur for dinner.

    • Hahahaha no. Sorry. Gwinett does not have cool, walkable downtowns.

    • Gwinnett is classic center-less suburban sprawl. Your best option for “walkable” will be staying near a mall and walking to Chili’s.

    • Gwinnett County :

      And that is why I asked here instead of relying on the propaganda on the county website! Thanks, everyone. I just booked a hotel in Midtown Atlanta.

      • Just a caution – Atlanta traffic is bad. BAD. Leave extra time to get between Gwinett and Midtown.

        • +100. Depending on how far out you need to go in Gwinnett, you might want to consider Buckhead/ Brookhaven. Even with a reverse commute, Gwinnett isn’t super close.

          • Gwinnett County :

            The meetings are in Lawrenceville. Mapquest had Midtown as closer than Buckhead, but I will check again.

          • My recommendation is the Marriott in Decatur. It’s right by the downtown square with lots of good walkable options, and is closest to Lawrenceville (moreso than Midtown or Buckhead, at least in terms of driving time).

      • Mrs. Jones :

        Ecco is awesome for dinner.

        • Also recommend the Iberian Pig, the Optimist and Miller Union if you want to venture further to ATL.

  14. I’m on the hunt for some cute, comfortable, leather sandals that are easy to put on and take off (IOW, no strap around the ankle). I’m heavily pregnant now, and very few of my shoes fit (I’m down to one pair of ballet flats and Teva sandals). I’ve searched online, but haven’t found any that I love. Anyone have any suggestions?

    • I love my Sofft Valars, which have a zip back (super easy to get on!). The slide trend is back, too, so the Sofft Vangie is also not a bad idea. Those are fully adjustable, too, so as feet change with pregnancy and after, these could be comfortable.

      http://www.6pm.com/p/sofft-vallar-satin-gold-sand-grid-viper-desert-flex/product/8669634/color/612207
      http://www.6pm.com/p/sofft-vangie-sport-navy-navy-odyssey-cow-metallic/product/8646922/color/603902

    • Birkenstocks are very comfortable and you can just slide them on. Cute is debatable, but I love mine.

      I know you said no ankle strap, but I just bought the Frye Carson Ankle Strap Sandal which goes around the ankle but it’s a back zipper so you don’t have to actually buckle anything. They are really comfortable and cute.

    • I would definitely do the Birkenstocks. The Mayari is the cutest style in my opinion.

      • I have those, and really like them. Just go in knowing that the cork sole on the Birkenstocks takes some time to break in. It will probably feel uncomfortable for walking initial, but the cork will eventually form to your sole and then be super comfortable.

        Otherwise, I’d suggest looking at what Born brand sandals.

        • It’s true there is a break in period. I bought my Mayaris from a Birkenstock trunk show at my local shoe store.

          She said the break in schedule is 2-4-6-8, as in the number of hours you wear them each day to break them in.

          I pretty much did 2-4-12 and they never bothered me, but it is a good idea to ease in. They’re molding to your foot during the break in period.

      • I love the Gizeh sandals. I could wear them at 42 weeks pregnant too.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Born sandals. They are pretty much the only sandals I wear. And you don’t have to buckle or tie them on.

    • 30 weeks pregnant and loving my Sofft Rosaria sandals (zip back) I picked up from Nordstrom last week. I have been wearing those, another pair of Sofft sandals from last summer, and lots of LL bean/lands end ballet flats and cole haan leather air loafers.

    • Anonymous :

      Ecco has cute sandals and some have velcro closures which are a lot easier than buckles.

      http://www.6pm.com/p/ecco-bouillon-knot-sandal-ii-woodrose-woodrose/product/8491332/color/514121

      http://www.6pm.com/p/ecco-bouillion-sandal-ii-gladiator-black-black/product/8515606/color/183092

      Naot also has velcro closures and some slides

      http://www.6pm.com/p/naot-footwear-phoenix-brown-patent-leather-luggage-brown-leather/product/8749347/color/425770

      http://www.6pm.com/p/naot-footwear-valerie-black-pearl-silver-threads-leather-combo/product/7976642/color/612498

      http://www.6pm.com/p/naot-footwear-tahoe-black-crinkle-patent/product/8896079/color/10715

    • I have knock-off birkenstocks (White Mountain brand from DSW) that were inexpensive and are very comfortable. They have softer soles than the birkenstocks, so they did not need to be broken in. I get lots of compliments on them!

  15. custody schedules :

    Looks like DH and I are headed for a split. I’m trying to wrap my head around custody schedules for a 5 year old and 2 year old. Ideally I’d have full custody and he’d get a weekly overnight visit (Sunday/Monday) but I’m sure he wants a 50-50 split. Any suggestions? Does 4-3-3-4 work or is it too much change? Week on week off is too long for the 2 year old and I can’t bear the idea of not seeing them for a week.

    Will cross post on moms site too.

    • When I was a kid I switched houses every day. M/W with my mom, T/Th with my dad, and then they alternated Friday and the weekend. I really liked that. I was forced to chance to switching every week after a while and I hated it.

    • Your proposal isn’t reasonable. He at least gets weekends not just one overnight.

      I’ve seen people make 4-3-3-4 work- usually by doing pick up drop off staggered.

      I think it needs to be an extremely careful decision made with your lawyer. So many factors.

      • Yeah, the OP’s ideal situation seems like her husband would hardly ever see his kids, which is not a great idea in the long or short term in normal (non-abusive) circumstances.

        I know a lot of people who do 4-3-3-4. It seems like a lot of change but they seem to make it work. But again, this is really a decision to make with the lawyer…and with your soon-to-be-ex-husband.

    • I think it works with an overnight a week (Tu or Wed) and every other weekend. Dads are better at parent tasks if they have to go solo for days at a time rather than just showing up for dinner.

      Also: 1 week in the summer for Dad (at least); consider alternating Thanksgiving / spring break if the older one will be in K in the fall.

      I know you don’t want to miss out on your kids, but (ideally) Dad doesn’t either (and neither do the kids, really).

      Signed,
      Parent and stepparent

    • My coworker pushed (and her ex agreed) that the kids needed to sleep in the same bed and have stability during the school year, and she wanted to be the only one to handle homework/school folders/projects. She painted a picture of life with split weeks as each parent having to jump in and see where the other parent left off with school work, or kids being upset because lunchbox / certain outfit / gym shoes were at the other house. It resulted in her ex picking the kids up for mid-week evening visits, but always returning them by bedtime, so the kids had a very solid M-F school routine. He had longer visits on the weekend and school breaks.

      Trying to make a schedule that will still work when the kids are 10 might help you to think more long term, and stay more flexible. Side note: I’m sorry you’re going through this.

      • Also, my coworker and her ex have shared custody. He moved across the county during their divorce, and they hammered out a deal that he gets the kids for every school break and summer. They are 6 years into this deal and he will not budge, even though the kids would like to participate in school sports (summer high school practices). It’s in everyone’s best interests to stay flexible and not tray to nail down who has which Christmas from now until 2028.

        • Why should he budge? On what planet are high school sports more important than seeing their father? How about the coaches budge and send a training plan!

          • Anonattorney :

            Er, maybe he shouldn’t have moved across the country?

          • Clementine :

            As someone who has been the teenager in this situation, I would have chosen school activities over my father 4000% of the time. They were my life.

            Teenager me would have seen my father’s choice as not my fault at all and wondered why I was being ‘punished’ by having to be sent away for summers. Heck, I hated having to go for my ‘required’ weekends because it meant I was stuck in a house that wasn’t mine, with nothing to do and nobody to hang out with except for my sister.

            My parents couldn’t put our interests first and it hurt us kids. If they could maybe have handled interacting with one another, it would have been better for us. They’ve now been divorced for 19 years and they just started fuctioning politely with one another when they had a grandkid.

            My two cents: it is what you make of it. I think that if you have an attitude that it will or won’t work, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Their dad will always be their dad. If you can be cordial, respectful, and put their interests above your own wishes, it will work out. I think that 3-4/4-3 works, I’ve also known parents who switch and keep the kids in the house (ideal, but very complicated), or some other swap that involves rotating weekends. It’s easier if you choose to both live in the same school district.

          • Clementine that is why teenagers don’t get to decide. Cause they’re not good at it.

          • Nope. Most states say that one of the parents can’t move without the other’s permission due to circumstances like this.

            My former brother in law would not budge on his time with his daughters, which prevented his older daughter from participating in high school sports for 2 years.

            Once she was old enough to choose (age 16), she chose high school sports and not her dad, and now she rarely sees him.

            He screwed himself over and he did it just to be mean to my sister.

          • +1 to Clementine. Also as a teenager in this situation, my parents got super flexible with visiting schedule once I got to high school and was involved with more activities, especially musicals. It made everything easier and less fraught. My dad lived two hours away – a mid-week visit wasn’t conducive for anyone.

          • It’s not just sports. Our area offers summer gym (not sure if this is just a regional thing?) and AP students have to take summer gym to have room in their school schedule for the extra 1/2 periods AP classes require. It seems really stupid to me, but that’s how our district works. Either take summer gym, or opt out of AP classes.

            I’m really not looking forward to moving my kids to high school. Ugh.

          • +1 to Clementine
            And my father is not a bad person, but he did not enrich my life in the way extracurricular activities did. He just made me make model airplanes and treated me like a small, fragile child through . . . well, now.

    • Not me, but a couple of my divorced friends have been through this negotiation. In our state, when kids are under 5 the courts value stability for the small children over absolutely equal time for each parent, so it’s very typical for the split to be more like 70/30, in favor of the parent who’s had more contact time with the children. Ask your attorney what’s typical for your state.

      One of my friends does alternating weeks and the week starts on Wednesday, so each parent gets weekend time.

      My other friend went through a protracted negotiation with her ex-husband and developed this complicated 50/50 split, only to have him, a year later, meet a new girlfriend online and move out of state. They modified the arrangement, but half the time he cancels the kids’ visits. I’ve seen that happen a few times with divorced families.

    • Professional Help :

      I would also suggest consulting a therapist about what they think would be best for the children. I have no good advice about stability vs. equal time with parents, and the logistics are always going to be a pain, but I think you need an objective third party who can help work through the particulars of your specific situation, including your kids’ personalities, how far apart you and your ex plan to live, how amicable the divorce is (and the handoffs are likely to be), etc.

      • I agree with this. For us, we have shared custody, 3 days on, 3 days off. Took some getting used to, but now it works. Best tip, especially as the kids get older, is to be flexible. Divide and conquer is sometimes the name of the game. We’re also looking at possibly trying to separate the kids a bit. They’re right on top of each other (share a room in both houses), and 1:1 time with the parent is a special treat that we’d like to implement more regularly. But again, so dependent on you and the kids and personalities and schedules and all of this will probably change 5 or 10 years down the road.

    • Thanks all. Will definitely chat with lawyer and therapist but just looking for ideas to see what would fit best with the kids needs and DH’s strengths (great hands on parenting but zero ability on logistics/scheduling). Lots to think about.

    • Legally Separated :

      I separated in January, and I have a five year old and a three year old. We have joint custody, and do 2-2-3. So one person has M-T night, other person has W-Th night, and then back to the first for F-Sat-Sun. That means we switch every other weekend. So far, it’s been working well. And the switches are at daycare, so that simplifies things.

      • custody schedules :

        Thanks. Do you bird nest (kids stay in same home) or do the kids switch houses? Is pick up time the switch over time? Spent time I didn’t have today dropping items to daycare and school because DH forgot and refused to leave work to handle it. Not sure how this will work post split, I’ll end up still doing that stuff on his days. Think I was hoping that finding the right schedule would make these problems go away.

        • You absolutely will not do that for him post-split.

          He doesn’t have dementia. He will learn. When he has to.

          He will never learn if you rescue him.

          • custody schedules :

            I don’t view it as rescuing him, I view it as rescuing my child. I can’t stand to see my 5 year old miss her end of school picnic because he forgot the permission slip/sunhat/snack and said it’s NBD because she can just ‘read a book at the school library’ while the other kids go or that the 2 year old’s epipen doesn’t need to be dropped off because they can ‘use another kid’s if something happens’. I hope everyone is right and he deals with this stuff post divorce. Sigh.

          • If you’re not already communicating with your spouse through email, start now. Today’s example:

            “After our conversation this morning and your refusal to leave work for the kids, I took an early lunch and ran Daughter’s permission slip/field trip gear to her school and Son’s epipen to daycare.” SEND

            You’re building a case that you’re the more involved/willing parent. When you’re sitting across from your ex and he’s digging his heels in about something ridiculous, you can reference your stack of examples of all the times he DIDN’T put the kids needs first.

            Post divorce, you’re going to have even less control over what he does with the kids, so keep that in mind. When they are on his time, they are all his.

        • Anonymous :

          Post split up he will figure it out. Because he will have custody and it’s his job. Really. Start now.

          • Legally Separated :

            We have separate houses. I thought about bird nesting, and my therapist talked me out of it. (He was right. I was trying to take care of my ex by making his life easier. My kids are fine in two separate homes, and I am much better not sharing a living space with someone that did not do 50% of the work of maintaining a shared home.)

            Here’s how our schedule works. If I have the kids Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, I do drop-off on Monday morning at daycare. The lunch boxes go with the kids. The only extra is one stuffed animal for each kid that goes to school in a bag that’s zipped closed. The girls’ father picks them up at daycare, takes their lunch boxes and the bag with the stuffed animals. He has them for MOnday and Tuesday nights, and then does drop-off on Wednesday morning. I then pick up Wednesday afternoon. It works for me so far. It limits our interactions and having to go to each other’s house, and it keeps both of us involved at school. The school will default to me, even though they know we’re separated. Which I don’t pick big fights about because the teacher is nice, and I don’t expect her to keep track of my kids’ custody schedules. I forward the requests on to him.

            I don’t think there’s anything you can do about your husband not caring if your kids don’t have permission slips and epi pens. If you do care, you just have to do it. I gotta say, I take care of way more than 50% of the kid related stuff post-separation. Just like I did pre-separation. Except now it’s my decision to do it, and I’m not taking care of him, I’m just deciding that I do care about that stuff for my kids. It makes me less mad now, because I’m not in conflict with him.

            Also, I know this is daunting, and you are probably worried about your kids. Pure personal anecdote, but five months out my kids seem to be doing fine, and I am too.

    • Anon Atty :

      Sorry to hear you are going through this. From the attorney side, my number one piece of advice is to try as hard as you can to check the emotional baggage of WHY you are splitting at the door while you discuss the divorce logistics. Most states are no fault states now. Even those that still allow fault based divorce do not allow fault (absent abuse or addiction issues) to factor into parenting time determinations. I so frequently see moms that feel dad is abandoning them and their kids by asking for divorce and thus dad should be punished with less time with the kids. Punishing dad should not be the goal. Now, if dad was never an interested parent and suddenly wants tons of time with the kids, he might be trying to punish you and you should of course push back on that.

      I recommend you try some crazy thought exercises if possible. Pretend neither of you had ever asked for divorce. There is just some new crazy law that men and women can’t live together anymore. Adjust this crazy law in your mind for how dramatic your situation is. It could be they can’t talk to each other anymore. It could be they can’t see each other anymore. For most divorces it is just that you can’t live together anymore. Now you need to figure out how you will parent your children.

      Your questions is also SO state specific. Some states have a strong push towards 50/50. Others still use the language custody/visitation instead of parenting time and responsibilities. Other states are trying novel approaches like “nesting” where the kids get the house and the parents take turns staying in it. There are tons of options.

      • Anon Atty :

        I want to add that it is important to know your state’s rules on changing the plan too. Can you go back if it just isn’t working? In my state you have to have the other parents agreement to go back OR there needs to be a substantial change in circumstances that makes the plan not work anymore. (New job, kid has sudden medical issues). Not planned stuff like kid is older and has more activities. If you live in a state like mine, you might want to make your plan shorter lived so you can re-negotiate if it isn’t working for either of you.

        Also, look up the laws on moving. They are important to know. In my state, a parent cannot be prohibited from moving. Whether the kids can be moved is for the court to decide. It needs to be for a legitimate purpose and be in the kids best interest. If the court decides it is not in the kids best interest, the kids stay but the other parent can still move and then the schedule still needs to be reconfigured to give that other parent significant parenting time.

        That’s how I saw an every other weekend dad become full time dad. Mom needed to move for work and the judge felt it was in the kid’s best interest to stay in the school and town they had grown up in and dad still lived there.

  16. A woman I mentor who just finished up her sophomore year is interested in becoming a guidance counselor. I don’t feel like what she does this summer probably matters about but what about next summer? Career advice from anyone with experience on best path to get there?

    • Sophomore in high school or college?

      • College.

      • My sister is a school guidance counselor. It required an advanced degree and she did not do anything in any related fields (no internships, etc.) before getting that degree. I’d suggest your mentee look into what schools she may want to attend to get a masters in counseling and see what admission requirements look like.

    • Anything where she’s working with students is helpful–summer camp counselor, summer tutoring, various non-profit-internship-type-stuff. She’ll need an advanced degree. I would really, really not recommend going straight through after graduation. She should try to work for a few years in schools to get a feel for whether or not she’ll like it in reality, since there’s a high burnout rate and a significant investment in the grad degree. City Year, AmeriCorps (she’ll get an education award to put towards student loans from ugrad or directly towards grad school), or local nonprofits working on college access, student engagement, etc., even (ugh) TFA might all be good options.

      My first job out of college was with AmeriCorps and a lot of people went into counselor ed programs after they finished it–I was 50%/50% on going into school counseling or higher ed, but ended up picking higher ed. And pro tip, those positions are mostly called “school counselors” now, not “guidance counselors” ;)

      • Depends on your state. Here they are exclusively guidance counselor.

        • Good to know! I have counselor friends in a few states who give SO much side-eye to anyone who calls them a guidance counselor, that I honestly didn’t know there was variation in this.

      • Thanks all! This is super helpful.

      • Random question for my own education – I think of school counselors and guidance counselors as different things. My public schools had school counselors that were like traditional counselors – you could talk to them about your parents divorce, suicide, etc. We also had guidance counselors, who you talked to about school stuff – what classes were needed to graduate, concerns about failing a class, college, etc.

        Is that not the normal set up? Does it work differently at other schools?

        • I guess there’s variation! I honestly didn’t know from my own background.

        • pugsnbourbon :

          I think it varies depending on the district/demographics. My sister is closer to what you call a “school counselor,” but she’s not employed by the district – it’s an outside company that contracts. School has a significant rural low-income/at-risk population. She did a 4 year + 1 program in her undergrad psychology degree, and her current job does not require a masters/PhD, but moving up in any way would.

          She just wrapped up year 3 – her case load is heavy and she is drastically underpaid for what she does. She cares deeply about her students and many of them have made huge strides, but the frustrations of bureaucracy and outside factors take a toll.

          • That could be it. My schools had significant inner-city low income/at-risk populations. It makes sense that we had a need for both, when a school without a similar population wouldn’t need a school counselor as much

  17. Deodorant recommendations for summers in DC? The heat and humidity are new to me and I’m getting quite sweaty on my walking/metro commute and walking between buildings for meetings all day. Thanks!

    • Dove dry spray for underarms (no staining!) and Secret spray for between the legs when wearing a skirt/dress! But also, nothing really helps on days like today :(

    • I liked Certain Dri roll on at night, and a little of either the day time stick in the morning or Arid XX as extra insurance. I’ve since stopped with the roll on at night–left DC and the humidity!–but essentially, men’s antiperspirant works best for me in those temps!

      And if you can commute in less than what you’d wear to the office, do that. On the swampiest of days, I found that just packing my blouse (if my outfit permitted) and wearing a tank top to commute worked best.

    • I agree with the others. There really isn’t a deodorant that will work in DC summers. It’s just too humid. Best to dress as lightly as possible.

    • If you aren’t looking for all natural, I really like Donna Karen’s Cashmere Mist. The scent might be a little strong, but it’s works great. It keeps sweat under control.

    • Well, sweat is more addressed by anti-persperiant, rather than deodorant – so make sure you’re using the right one.

      And…yeah, I don’t think anything is going to keep you crisp and dry in DC summer, so you may want to adjust your exceptions and commute in the minimal amount of layers possible.

    • Antiperspirant 2x/day – morning and before bed. Putting it on in the morning before a walk to work doesn’t give it time to be fully working by the time you first start sweating, and then you sweat away some of it. I’m pretty sure a lot of the effectiveness of CertainDri is that you put it on at night.

      Here’s an article about this: http://lifehacker.com/apply-antiperspirant-at-night-for-maximum-effectiveness-1570562830

    • Partial to the Mitchum Smart Solid. It is water-based so it doesn’t stain my clothes the way others do. Frequent application necessary for DC summers. Or you could be like me and just never go outside between June and September (particularly while very, very pregnant).

    • Some people, including myself, find that antiperspirants actually make them sweat more. So I stick with the hippie deodorants that don’t include it. And at a certain point accept that you will be a sweaty mess because it’s D.C. in the summer. At least everyone else is in the same boat.

      • Same. DC res. for 9 years now, I do the crystal deodorant. I get sweaty, but I don’t smell!

        Also – take advantage of sleeveless tops when you’re walking around, jacket on in office.

    • Frozen Peach :

      I live in an equally humid and hot climate and I swear by Mitchum men’s unscented gel.

    • I use Mitchum or Secret Clinical Strength. They have the highest percentage of antiperspirant I have found.

  18. We’re in DC, and my husband and I have decided to buy a place when our lease is up in April. When should we start talking to banks, getting a realtor, and all that? I’ve already been scouring Redfin, but that’s about the extent of it so far.

    • anon a mouse :

      You’ll be fine if you wait until the start of the year. Spend the rest of this year looking at open houses to better understand the market and what you want. Ask friends for their realtor and lender recommendations.

      You can get a preapproval letter from any lender. It doesn’t obligate you to use them to get financing. Once you have an accepted contract, call several lenders. You might be surprised as to the differences in their rates and fees.

      Also, spring is the craziest time to buy here. It can realistically take 30-60 days from contract to close on a place, so if you want to time it around when your lease is up, you’ll want to be looking at things in February.

      • True you can get any lender to give you a preapproval but your credit score can be negatively impacted by multiple inquiries so best to do your diligence and get the right lender on board from the get go. In DC, you’re probably going to want to be jumbo mortgage territory and if you’re like us, you may have offers/contracts fall through after you’ve initiated your lender application and get dinged with more hard credit inquiries. Basically, I’m saying talk to lenders in advance. Realtors have recommendations. So do coworkers often. Ask around.

    • If you’re want to be in in April, you’ll be looking starting Jan-Feb — i.e. bidding war time (as the spring buying season has now pushed forward into Feb.). Any reason why you’re subjecting yourself to bidding wars? It may be cheaper to buy at the end of this yr when the market is typically dead — maybe you break a lease or pay out the last few months or whatever but you could still come out ahead.

      • Absolutely. We bought one house in August (no competition!) and another between Thanksgiving and Christmas, where the sellers really wanted to spend Christmas in their new home. Their motivation helped us negotiate a (relatively) good deal in a hot area of NoVa.

      • Thanks, I hadn’t thought about this angle!

    • Any chance you might end up wanting to renovate? If so allow extra time.

    • I’d start getting a feeling for neighborhoods now. Not necessarily going to open houses, but walking around, having dinner, etc. Agree about looking earlier; a lot of people move at the end of the school year so there will be more competition in April than in January.

      • There was NOTHING in Jan of his past year, at least where I was looking in DC. Off season is Aug – Nov. Dec and Jan are dead.

  19. Any suggestions on a moisturizer with NO SPF that would be good to mix with a physical sunscreen?

    Per a suggestion here, I started using Cotz physical sunscreen SPF 40 and it’s the first physical sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white residue on my brown skin. BUT, the sunscreen is too drying so I need to mix it with a moisturizer (looking for one with no SPF since the Cotz has plenty).

    This is proving suprisingly difficult. The few that I have tried don’t mix well and leave me looking white and pasty.

    Thanks!

    • The best drugstore moisturizer I have found that doesn’t have sunscreen is Olay 7 in 1. There is also a version with sunscreen so you have to be careful to buy the right one. I have sensitive, rosacea prone skin and this one does not bother me at all.

      Rather than mixing with your sunscreen you should layer. Since it is a physical sunscreen it should go second. Put on moisturizer. Brush your teeth to let it soak in a bit. Then put on sunscreen.

    • First aid beauty intensive repair cream.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I have to wear no SPF moisturizers due to my crazy skin. I used Clinique moisture surge in the summer and their yellow basic one in the winter.

    • Cerave PM facial moisturizer. I am obsessed. It is by far the best moisturizer I have ever tried and comes highly recommended by my dermo. I do NOT like their AM version that contains sunscreen, so I mix the PM version with my chosen sunscreen when I need it. Perfect solution for me.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I just bought Squalene (olive derived!) and am using it as a base moisturizer (under my SPF). It’s a one ingredient thing and it seems to play nicely with my skin so far.

  20. Yoga/meditation vacays? :

    Does anyone have recommendations for yoga/meditation friendly hotels? I am going on a solo trip for a week over the week of July 4th and am going for a restorative feel. I am not necessarily looking for structured retreats because my dates are pretty inflexible. I’m in Texas and my budget is about $2500-3k for about a week, incl. flight. I love the beach but I am open minded. Bonus points if the hotel is in/near Cabo because the flights are so cheap!

    Thanks!

    • Check out Miraval in Arizona – not sure your budget would cover a full week, but it sounds like what you’re looking for & there could be a cheap flight from Texas. It’s my favorite place for the type of vacay you’re talking about.

    • This place looks great and within your budget. https://pranadelmar.com/retreats/

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Rancho la Puerta in Mexico is awesome but costs more than that. totally worth it though.

  21. I hate MLMs with a passion, but I’m totally getting sucked in by my friends’ Rodan & Fields before/after photos on Facebook. Any idea whether it’s decent for people with super sensitive skin/mild rosacea, or am I tempting fate?

    • I have a friend w/ sensitive skin and she loves R&F (from my knowledge, she has tried everything and nothing really worked until R&F). I tried their masks and lip serums and liked them as well, just cannot afford that right now as I transition into a new job.

    • A friend of mine started selling R+F and gave me a little sample of the scrub. I’m mad because I also hate MLM but I think I need that stuff.

    • I use the Soothe line. I have a friend who reps it and she is zero pressure. Also, Dr Rodan is my dermatologist.

      I keep looking for drugstore equivalents but I always go back to the Soothe because my skin just looks better when I use it.

    • No advice, but I am also on the verge of getting sucked in despite my general MLM hatred. My friends have gotten amazing results from Lash Boost. The price tag is the only thing stopping me.

      • Anonymous :

        This stuff is amazing. I do not sell it and have no affiliation with the company – but it works. I’m a member of a mom’s site on FB and everyone posts before/after shots that confirm it works for others as well. It was a great investment!

        • You may have just convinced me to get it… My R&F-selling friend is totally no-pressure, probably because she doesn’t have to be.

    • Can you check what the active ingredients are and search for dupes? I would be shocked if you couldn’t find similar products at brands like the ordinary, and buy searching reddit/skincareaddiction. And I’m absolutely partial to asian beauty brands for gentle ingredients, and especially sunblcoks mixed with paula’s choice/western brands for acids.

      • I’m the commenter who uses Soothe. I have not been able to find equivalent products. I have wasted lots of money trying but nothing works as well.

      • I have tried going down the internet rabbit hole looking for dupes, but no luck yet. If anyone has suggestions, please post them!

    • I’ve been interested too but I absolutely refuse to buy MLM. Won’t do it. Won’t support it.

    • I have super sensitive skin and have fought excema for basically my entire life. I really like the Soothe line (despite a general dislike of MLM’s). I’ve drawn a pretty hard line with my consultant that I’m not particularly interested in anything else and that I absolutely refuse to be contacted about becoming a consultant. She’s cool with that. I signed up for preferred customer status which means it is on auto-ship (which can be adjusted/pushed back/cancelled whenever) and I don’t really interact with the consultant at all other than her bi-monthly reminder to me that it’s shipping soon in case I want to change it.

    • FWIW, realize that the Before/Afters are cherry-picked to show the best results. A friend used R&F and had bad reactions that led to scarring — those pictures aren’t out there as before/afters.

      If you decide to go down that path, I’ve made peace with occasionally doing MLM purchases from non-pushy friends who are selling.

  22. Urban public schools :

    Along the lines of the NY Times piece from yesterday . . .

    We live in a big city in the SEUS. We live close in (like Arlington VA or Brooklyn, in our city’s layout) and go to a public elementary school (largely high SES, but 35% poverty rate, which is low for our city; most kids in the ‘hood go to private school but at 15K/year, it’s not in our budget). The middle school just got rezoned to one that is . . . not currently good (most neighbhorhood kids go to magnet/charter schools) but could stand to get much better once a population that is mostly higher SES kids is zoned for it (and those kids already read above grade level, etc).

    I am a person who would only consider buying a house in a place I’d actually use the schools in b/c I am weird about being a very civic person (I guess). I sense a lot of panic among current school friends but I am optimistic that the school situation will be OK. Has anyone lived through this?

    Am planning to join a mentoring program at the middle school in the fall to get into trust-but-verify (and if needed: help) mode, but suspect that as a working parent, I will be able to help the most by writing checks.

    Or am I crazy? Are all those people fleeing to charter / private school waitlists / moving out of the county possibly actually right about this?

    • They’re right. Why subject your kids to THAT if you don’t have to?

      • This is such a loaded question that I do not feel comfortable discussing it (or think I would get an honest answer or anything more than annecdata) at the playground in my city

        What I’ve heard from private school parents:
        – if we get transferred back to NY, there is no way our kids would keep up unless we have them in private school
        – random gibberish (from people who have grandparents paying the bill, so they are indifferent)
        – kid has legit learning disabilities and wasn’t really progressing in prior school (this I believe) and then it was easier to send the two younger kids to the same school (partly convenience and for earlier interventions since LDs can run in families)(mom is a doctor, so I believe the convenience factor and she has the $).

        Our area is generally very very liberal (like lots of Feel the Bern stickers on cars still), but there is a real (but closeted) reluctance to have your kids rub shoulders with low SES kids (unless it’s the unicorn who has a single-mom social worker parent with a PHD) EXCEPT in sports (where if it’s boys, they will definitely want those kids on the basketball / football / baseball team as long as they don’t get too much playing time).

        • I will say that I grew up middle-SES in an area that was mostly blue-collar / immigrant (so lower and very low SES). My town had one school so we didn’t have choices. It all turned out OK. I could have been challenged more (and ran into major achievement culture in high school when went to state-wide things like governor’s school), but never ever had test anxiety and really love learning still.

        • Black kids. When you say low SES you mean black.

          • No. That’s biased. African-Americans are only 3% of my state’s population. The largest minority group here is Hispanic/Latino, and they are disproportionately low-income. Your own East Coast liberal bias is showing (and I’m liberal). Educate yourself.

          • In my SEUS city, it’s roughly equal in the public school population among white, black, hispanic, with a smaller % of asian.

            Magnets get more mid-SES kids of all races, so it’s like no one wants to be in the schools regularly on the 11:00 news. More of a middle/high school issue than elementary in my city.

            Private schools are like 100% white/asian/one parent is a doctor/scholarship athlete, so very warped view of the world.

      • So, I grew up in Brooklyn long before there was any resurgence/housing bubble and went to public schools. What people don’t realize is that even though Brooklyn schools are (and were) VERY integrated/diverse a TON of that is on paper only. As in – any kid who had parents who lobbied for it was put into the gifted/talented programs VERY early on (think, K/1st grade). Those gifted/talented kids rarely mix with the wider population. In high school it got worse – ie, freshman were ranked, and the top % of kids got like, 90% of the school’s resources. You also have to test into the ‘good’ programs – so you can live in district for a very good public HS, and still need to test into the better programs/classes, you don’t just get to take them. I was STRONGLY discouraged from taking things like ‘drama’ as an elective b/c it was open to the entire HS, and truly, it was one of the only times my classes in HS were actually diverse (aside from gym/lunch/health).
        If that is the situation in your district, I wouldn’t be too worried. I kind of hope it isn’t, because it was not very fair to the lower income children/those with less involved parents.

        • Cornellian :

          Thinking back to my public Philadelphia school experience, and gifted program worked almost the same. School was poor and majority non-white, but (surprise!) the gifted kids were not.

          I honestly had never thought about it. Wow.

    • They are racist. They don’t want their kids in school with black kids. That is what all of it is about. What you do with that knowledge is up to you.

      • Cornellian :

        This is my inclination as well. I’ll be dealing with this in a few years with my (now) baby. I think making a real effort to be an involved parent is the right path forward. I don’t like the idea of my kid growing up in a self-selecting enclave and I think supporting local public schools is important to our democracy.

        I’d also look at research on the effects of private schools. There is obviously some disagreement, but my conclusion is that private school kids do better only when you don’t adjust for parents’ class/involvement/native language, etc. When you adjust for that, the achievement gap closes.

        • Urban public schools :

          I suspect that this is true:

          That either testing just generally confirms SES level of the parents or that relatively affluent people tend to grow up in houses with books with parents who encourage voluntary reading and that that shows up in the testing.

          So, ultimately, the kid does the work and that the school matters less and less (to a point, maybe. If your school doesn’t teach algebra in middle school due to low demand / struggling to make it to grade level not advanced levels, it’s unlikely that you’d learn it on your own even if you generally read a lot).

          I was not at all surprised that the city of Falls Church VA (at least used to have) had the highest test scores in VA b/c it is homogenous and prosperous and well-educated. They had no excuses for not being the highest. Change the inputs and I think that the output would probably move.

          That said, I am not a teacher. I’m a person with theories. All of my lovely theories on children went out the window once I actually had some.

        • I was that kid :

          Sending your kid to a school where he or she is going to be ostracized and bullied for being one of a handful of white kids and will get poor quality instruction because the teachers are too busy breaking up fights is not a good way to broaden your child’s world view, build compassion, or foster a love of learning. Ask me how I know.

          • Urban public schools :

            I don’t think it would be like that.

            My city has schools that are 99% very low SES.

            This is probably going to result in a school that (based on neighborhood feeder school demographics, we’ll see who actually shows up) should be 1/3 low SES, 1/3 mid SES, 1/3 high SES. The prior middle school would have been 2/3 high SES, 1/3 low SES and no real mid SES. [The middle school now is 2/3 low SES and 1/3 mid SES and has no PTA or anything that would need $ or parental/volunteer involvement to run, so that would need to get started from scratch for things like sports, clubs, band.]

            It would not be awful — that already exists in my city. It’s like a situation that could become awesome if the high SES people all go and support it or could be very mediocre, eh, I’ll sign up for a magnet, which I hope isn’t the case. It’s like it’s at the tipping point and I hope it becomes fantastic.

          • Anonymous :

            Agreed. And I know because I’ve spent my entire career in low SES schools. I love my job but I wouldn’t send my kids here.

          • Anonymama :

            But it doesn’t sound like kid will be “the only white kid,” but rather part of an all-around diverse student population (i.e. Chunk of high SES kids mixed in with low SES kids). Honestly in my area there is a lot of pearl-clutching about the state of the very diverse local public middle school and high school from parents who have kids in private school, but all the parents I know who actually have kids at those schools are pretty happy with it.

      • Anon at 10:48 :

        +1,000

      • It must be so awesome to be able to make absolute pronouncements like this about people you don’t even know. I’m appalled.

      • Alexisfaye :

        +1 I see this happening…

        My three kids are all in public school in our reasonably large city (Dallas). I chose the school VERY carefully, and bought in the neighborhood. They are all in a bilingual program; they are all doing great. My 5th grader (now 6th grader) competed and placed in two district-wide competitions, my littlest is in the gifted program, and they go on so many field trips… Public does not necessarily mean bad. Yes, you are going to be exposed to some problems that are not typically associated with private schools, but your kids won’t live in a bubble forever. Also, drugs, alcohol, family violence, depression, suicide, etc. are all a problem at private schools for rich kids, too.

        • Yes my friends who fled to leafy suburbs are dealing with this. The kids with money can buy anything they want. Drugs, alcohol, etc. there has already been a rape among my friend’s daughter’s high school friends – got roofied at a house party.

          My kids at their urban high school are just way more aware than my friends kids at suburban schools.

      • I want my kids with any kids that have parents who are pushing kids to do well in school. I have met black, white, Asian, Indian, and Latino parents like that, since I did some public library tutoring in college. However, what I don’t want is my kid being around kids whose parents are not pushing them to excel. This shouldn’t have much to do with income, I was raised by poor single mother myself, who nevertheless considered anything below B completely unacceptable and pushed me hard. In my tutoring I encountered several poor, non-English speaking parents bringing in their children EVERY week, even if they didn’t in reality need help, because they wanted to make sure their kids excelled. However, in reality in my city, poor areas with high minority populations have worse schools, and a friend who used to be a teacher in those areas said that there were enough disruptions, and kids who didn’t care about learning, to affect overall education quality. In my life, good teachers and peers have made a tremendous difference, and I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am without them. So while I wholeheartedly support public schools, and am willing to pay higher taxes to support them, if I end up in an area with bad public schools, I will send my daughter to a charter/alternative school.

    • My kids go to very diverse public schools and it has been nothing but great for them. They are doing very well academically and they also have an attitude bordering on true color blindness about kids from different backgrounds. It’s the best possible thing we could have done for them. They are both in high school now in the same very diverse district and doing so well.

      Your best bet is to talk to some parents at the school you are considering and see how they feel about it.

    • I don’t have kids, but I’m reading the novel “Class” by Lucinda Rosenfeld, and it is spot on for this discussion. Funny and a bit satirical but also makes you think. Highly recommend.

    • OK, I’ll bite. (But I probably won’t come back to read the responses since it’s such a sensitive subject). I just did this – put my kid in kindergarten in a public school with a 95% free lunch rate (in a large city). General education classroom, and the school is not prestigious or anything. Extremely diverse in terms of race/national origin/religion – there is no majority group by any of those criteria. It’s a wonderful place with a responsive, caring staff that pushes the kids to achieve, and gives them the support and love they need when things go wrong. I have had only positive experiences with the teachers, administrators, and paraprofessionals. My kid has made great progress academically this year, and is happy there. I did everything I could to help the school – volunteering (to the extent possible, given that I work full time), financial donations, donating food for kids who can’t afford snacks (all anonymous), funding every DonorsChoose project the teachers in the school came up with.

      That being said, I’m moving him to a gifted & talented classroom in a different public school next year. This breaks my heart, and I feel like I’m abandoning them. But some of the kids there have problems that run so deep that despite truly comprehensive efforts on the part of the school, the classroom isn’t safe. In kindergarten. It’s just one or two kids, but a teacher’s wrist was broken trying to control a tantrum, in another incident a desk was thrown (thank god no child was injured, but a shelf of projects was smashed). That kind of thing. And it’s not the fault of the kids – they are so little, and I can’t imagine what they are going through at home (but when I talked to the social worker, she hinted that the problems are severe in their daily life). The school is doing everything they can – they even have a security guard on call with a panic button and 3 adults in the room. Those children have a right to be there too, and a right to an education. My heart aches for them, and I’m so confused. But I know that I can’t let my kid grow up living in fear of these incidents, and thinking this level of violence is normal or acceptable. I hate it, but I’m pulling him out.

      Next year, he’ll be in a classroom with disproportionately white & Asian students, and disproportionately high SES families. There’s no good answer. The best I can come up with is to do what’s right for my child (fully acknowledging that it’s a problematic choice overall), while making sure that we remain fully integrated into a diverse community on all measures in other aspects of our life, and fighting for change in a very bad system that incentivizes segregation and disparity of opportunity.

      • Urban public schools :

        I hear you. I see a lot of friends start out in funky urban neighborhoods and do a similar thing b/c they’re OK with the mix but pass a point of feeling that their kid is safe / not bullied. So they go to magnets or just move districts.

        I mean, I wouldn’t put my kid in a daycare room where I felt it was unsafe. There was one kid in a prior daycare who had a problem with choking other kids (!) and I was about to pull mine out when that child was counseled out.

        I have one kid who has ADHD and some other issues and may not be fine in a general school anywhere and one would be fine anywhere, so I am always giving everything the side-eye and just preparing for extra tutors, etc. But when the school is on fire, and your kid is OK, I don’t expect them to get attention from anyone other than me.

        That said, I attended private school for a bit growing up and it had the sort of drug problem that kids at my public school could never have afforded. Sometimes we are just trading problems for other problems.

    • What does SES stand for??

      Also: maybe not specific to your question but I went to NYC public schools and turned out fine. I made friends of diverse backgrounds, went to college, went to law school, don’t feel like I was educationally neglected, etc. I also have friends who went to private schools. They had nicer facilities, more interesting opportunities, were more prepared for some things (like how to write a cover letter), but in general many of them are on the same career path that I am. Where it makes a bigger difference I think is with kids who aren’t that bright (sorry, but not sure how else to put it) because I think private school does more to polish them up and make them good college material and in terms of future network/general life preparation. But it sounds like you are in good shape to provide that to your kids on your own (I’m thinking of things like internship opportunities here, or helping your kid know how to dress for their first job, etc.).

      That said, when we were recently moving, we did take public schools into account. Some of the places we looked at were in very “in” neighborhoods that have terribly neglected schools and the newcomer parents just send their kids to private schools. I felt uncomfortable with this (even if we could afford the tuition which I’m not sure we could have because it tends to cost more than college these days). We ended up in an area with fairly good public schools and I’m happy to be able to dodge this question until at least JHS. But it’s a hard question. The Ethicist column in the NYT addressed it somewhat by basically concluding that your duty is to your kid and not to kids as a whole, but while I don’t disagree with their general reasoning, I think you’re asking a bigger question than that.

    • People fleeing are racists, straight up.

      Ask yourself if you want to be part of the problem or part of the solution.

    • I would look at what the high school has and if it’s right for your kid. If your kids is on an honors track, what kind of classes do they have? Are there AP classes and how many? When will the kid start algebra in middle school or is it delayed until high school? Will the kid be able to take calc in high school? etc.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        Yeah, this. All of my kids are in urban public schools in a district known for being “bad.” Meh. I am perfectly happy with their education and the diversity, both ethnic diversity and socioeconomic diversity. Diversity is really important to me because my two adopted kids are black, and my two bio kids are half brown/half Asian. My oldest two are in middle school, and the honors/advanced track is working well for them. I also like how their schools are in walking distance of our home. Financially, it allows us to save much, much more for college and retirement.

      • This. I suspect I am OP’s neighbor. I don’t have kids, but I have mentored some students through public middle and high school here. Having come from further North, and graduated public H.S. 20 years ago, my impression is that the standards here, even for top students, are just pretty low. I don’t consider any AP curriculum taught in my city’s public schools to be a near equivalent of the AP curriculum I was taught. I don’t think most, or any, of the students even take the college credit exemption exams. They are offered, widely, for public relations (and maybe funding) reasons. I was pretty stunned by the lack of rigor in high school that was described by most of my college classmates who went to school down here, or in Florida, Alabama, or another southern state. (And I’m one to generally stick up for the South.) I’ve never heard the excuse/explanation, but the comment “If we move back to NY, they’ll never keep up” struck me as true. It’s distressing. I’m a huge supporter of public schools. I believe parents can make a huge difference, and that smart kids with involved parents but wanting education can go on to college and catch up. But I still think the standards here are just low.

    • I think it depends a lot on what “not currently good means.” My mom is a lifelong public school teacher. We went to private school, because the elementary school we would have attended was brutally underfunded and under resourced. Think one field trip a year and no enrichment of any kind – no art, no music, no foreign language, no drama, tiny school library, and a gifted program that was still far below what I needed from an educational perspective. Basically, you got basics and 30 minutes of PE twice a week, and that was it.

      It wasn’t unsafe (the school where she actually taught was all of the above plus unsafe), but it wasn’t, in her view as an educator, adequate. And my parents both worked full-time, so hauling us to tutors or outside providers for all that stuff wasn’t an option. I started private school in second grade, which was a huge sacrifice for my parents but felt to me like the best thing that had ever happened in my life – I went from being so bored that I hated school to being excited every day. Because suddenly school was this place where there was a play, and you learned to play instruments, and there was a science lab, and lots of books to read, etc. My private school was actually more diverse than my public school would have been from a racial and religious perspective, btw, but not from an SES perspective.

      I know that what I had in private school wasn’t an educational necessity. Strictly speaking, my public school met basic educational needs, but I don’t think I could stomach sending my kids to some place like that if I had any choice. All I remember about my experience was being crushed by boredom, and how wonderful it was to leave that behind.

    • http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/01/16/509325266/how-the-systemic-segregation-of-schools-is-maintained-by-individual-choices

      This interview may be of interest on this topic, in particular her comments on how outcomes seem to depend much more on parents than on schools.

      I don’t have kids so I’m going to bow out of this discussion, but I listened to this interview a few months back and found it very interesting.

      • Cornellian :

        I do have a kid, and this is exactly how I feel. Of course I was part of both the socioeconomic and race minority at my public school (I was the white daughter of a single mother probably considered lower middle class), and I think it served me well after I got my *ss kicked by college for a year.

        If I felt like my kid were in significant more physical danger at the local school, I might feel differently.

    • Details are different, but we are in a pretty comparable situation. We are sending our kids to “mediocre” public schools. They will be fine. I mean, we will obviously pay attention to their experience as they move through the system, and if at any point there are real problems, we will adjust. But we would do that even if we were sending them to gold-plated fancy private schools.

    • Professional Help :

      I thought this was a very interesting, in-depth article that may be of interest….
      https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/12/magazine/choosing-a-school-for-my-daughter-in-a-segregated-city.html

  23. Interviewing a new assistant:

    I am interviewing a young lady for a position as a legal assistant tomorrow evening (we’re having a dinner meeting, how about that!). She will function primarily as my sole legal assistant. I work primarily in transactional law (estate planning) but have some court appearances, etc.
    This young lady has never worked in a law office before, but has come very highly recommended as intelligent and quick to learn.

    What are some good questions to ask during this interview? What are things to look out for? All advice appreciated!

    • Don’t talk about her or treat her as “young”–just like someone wouldn’t want to her the phrase “old lady.” Try to get her to share examples of demonstrating the skills you are looking for–organization, handling circumstances that suddenly shifted, etc. Be respectful, just like you want to be respected. I don’t think you’re intending this, but your tone about her is already a bit demeaning. If you want to work with confident, competent people, you need to encourage that from the start.

      • Got it, thanks – and that’s more my baggage. I’ve been through two assistants who were significantly older than me and had been assistants for several decades and who both acted as if they should have to do anything anyone younger than them told them – nor could they understand why they were being demoted to a ‘woman attorney’. One of those assistants was fired for embezzling (thankfully not from the trust account). So I mean “hooray, someone who will not look at me and say “are you even old enough to be married” or “how long are you going to stay in this job before you have kids.” I definitely did not mean it in a demeaning way, but a celebratory way.

        Also, the managing partner set up this up as a dinner meeting, not me,and without my input. As in, told me the restaurant and time that I am to meet with her. I am in court the next three days and I assume the hours I will not be in court did not fit with her schedule. I just mean “what? who interviews at a dinner meeting?!?!” So it’s fairly awkward.

    • This one also posted on the moms s!te. “Young lady” and “dinner meeting, how about that!” set off alarm bells for me.

      • Me too.

        Treat her professionally.

      • Anonymous :

        Dinner meeting would freak me out a little – especially with a man, but even with a woman – as someone on the young end of the career spectrum.

        Unless she’s a high schooler or something, no reason to bring up her age.

    • Tell me about a time when you had to learn something new and how you approached it.

      When a supervisor has asked you for something that you did not know how to do, how did you learn how to do it?

      When a supervisor asked you to do something that could not be done, what did you tell her/how did you handle it?

      How do you stay organized, what are your methods?

      Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an angry or upset client or customer and how you handled it.

    • This may or may not be important to you, but suss out whether she wants to go to law school. That can help you understand her goals and what that means for you in terms of possibly needing to fill this position again in a few years.

      Also, please be sure that the expectations for the meeting are clear. Is this an interview with a capital I, just coincidentally over dinner? Is this a casual conversation about possibly working for you? Is this your version of the biglaw callback lunch/offer dinner scenario? Someone early on in their career would likely really appreciate a clear idea of what this is so she can prepare and perform well. Dinner interviews like this are new by me, and I’m not entirely sure how I’d proceed if interviewing (and I’m not a young, new professional).

  24. I assume this has been asked here before – but I’m getting drinks with someone in the friend-mentor space tonight. Meaning she started as a work mentor (10 yrs my senior) but after a while we became friends outside of work and now we don’t work together though in the same industry. My current work – not going well – I’m not happy. She knows that. I don’t want to make every meet up about that, as that isn’t fair (nor is it fun). But at the same time – it WILL come up. How do I handle it without bringing down the whole evening – don’t want her feeling like – we got drinks at a bar on the beach and all I did was listen to complaining. Yet I can’t just say “oh yeah work’s great” bc I know she won’t believe it, nor does she let stuff like that go (bc she still feels like she should mentor).

    Unfortunately she’s not anyplace where she can hire me nor is she well connected enough to make a few calls and introduce me around — I don’t get the sense that she’s a strong networker like that.

    • When it comes up just say “Ugh, same old. Let’s talk about something else.”

    • I answer truthfully, tell a portion of my story, and then change the subject on my own and turn the focus away from me. “So, that’s what’s happening, and I’m doing fairly well with it, considering. What’s happening with you and that thing….?”

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Either what anonymous at 11:11 said or make it concrete- “That problem I emailed you about still exists and it’s driving me crazy. I’m thinking about doing A or B, what do you think?” She mentors and you don’t just complain but problem solve.

  25. I feel like this kind of jacket with the folded lapel was super super trendy a few years ago, as was the color cobalt. I think the combination of formerly trendy style + formerly trendy color makes this jacket look super dated.

    • TBH (I know it’s loved here, sorry!) I feel this way about pretty much everything at WHBM. It’s like pre-Chicco’s clothing for your late 30s and mid-40s. I’m sure there are individual items that work but the stores just always make me think of terrible Florida fashions.

    • What, really? I LOVE this jacket and the style. I guess I’m super outdated then. Oh well.

  26. Hello! After months of searching, I finally landed an attorney position at a firm just outside DC in an area I want to practice in and had been doing pro bono work in! Someone else posted here about how to calm new job jitters but my question is more how to make the transition from in-house NGO to private law firm go smoothly or if anyone else did it and ran into obstacles. Any advice would be appreciated!

  27. Job search question :

    I saw a posting for an inhouse job this morning that I’d really like to apply for. I’m not sure whether I’m a good fit or not. I checked on LinkedIn and figured out that a former coworker is there. She and I were work buddies a decade ago, although she was much more senior to me and I haven’t been in contact for a few years. Do I contact her first to get more info or apply and then contact her?

  28. What order and when did you announce your pregnancy to close friends and family? We just found out (5 weeks along) and I want to tell my mom and best friend ASAP – I feel like there isn’t really a risk in telling them because in the event we lose the baby, I would confide in them anyway for support. But husband says we can’t tell my parents until we tell his (which seems fair) and I really don’t want my in-laws knowing until I’m much further along. We’re not close and they’ve been asking us for years when we would get pregnant (to his credit, husband didn’t give up any info about our TTC plans) and I know that if we suffered a loss and they knew about it they would hound us incessantly about when we were going to try again. The thought of them knowing about a loss also makes me deeply uncomfortable and so I’d really prefer to wait to tell them (and thus my parents too, I guess) until we’re out of the first trimester. I really want to tell SOMEONE, but is it weird to tell my BFF way before any of our parents?

    • This is totally a personal call. I told a few of my close friends very early on, because they are my main support system and I would have told them if I’d had a miscarriage anyway. I waited until after I got my genetic screening results back (around 12-13 weeks) before I started telling people in general. And I have friends who told one set of parents but not the other, for all the reasons you mention. To me, it’s not as much about fairness as it’s about who will be supportive.

      • We decided we could each pick one person to tell, as long as we knew they’d be totally discreet. I picked my BFF, he picked his brother. We figured we each needed one support person to talk through everything with. We told families all at the same time, at like 12 weeks, and then told the rest of friends/work/etc as we saw them when I started to show, around 15-17 weeks.

    • Tell your husband he is wrong and since he isn’t growing a baby you’re gonna tell your mom and your BFF because you need to.

      • You sound, well, lovely. That type of attitude towards one’s husband isn’t really that healthy. And frankly there is no reason one “needs” to tell their mom or BFF at any point. Perhaps the thing to do is suggest that you split the difference – you will tell your families around the same time, but you would like to tell your BFF now for support.

        That said, honestly the best thing we did every time was keep it as a lovely little secret that no one – even parents – knew until around 12 weeks.

        • I agree with you on the attitude but I would give the Anon @11:27 the benefit of the doubt vis a vis tone. I would just explain to husband what OP said here; I think he would understand.

        • OMG, it’s the internet. Anonymous probably really *is* lovely in real life.

          • Anonymous :

            Awww thank you! Sorry it sorry I figure people can figure out the pleasant fluff part on their own!

        • Anonymama :

          Oof, for me it was less a “lovely little secret” than something that made me feel very very ill, and it was really good to have someone to talk to about it, particularly someone who had actually been through it and could commiserate. Or at least be reassuring that it wouldn’t last forever. But of course every pregnancy is different, and everyone has different levels of sharing that they are comfortable with.

      • I agree with the sentiment if not the exact phrasing. Being pregnant is not just expecting to become a parent. It can also be a horrible physical and emotional ordeal. OP’s husband is not pregnant, she is. If OP is close to her mom and discussing the pregnancy with her mom will help her cope, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to share the news earlier with her mom than with her in-laws.

        • +1. The first trimester can’t be really tough physically and emotionally. I can’t imagine not telling my family for 12 weeks. There are a lot of “fair isn’t always equal” situations in marriage, especially with parenting, and especially wrt in-laws (will you not be “allowed” to visit your family unless you visit his, too?). Time to set some boundaries. (Or, just care a little less about telling your in-laws? It is an exciting time for your husband, too.)

    • First, congratulations!

      Second, don’t worry about it too much :) For our first, we slipped and told a couple of close friends before telling our families. (Who we told all at the same time–we live far from them, so they all got a FaceTime call the same night). It’s your news, you can share it however and whenever you (and your husband) decide to.

    • Not weird to tell your BFF first. Both pregnancies, I told my BFF first.

      Also not weird to tell your mom – and only your mom – before your in-laws. Is your mom good at keeping secrets?

      • Yeah, she’s good at keeping secrets and she has no contact with my in-laws so that’s not a problem. But my husband has said if I tell my mom, he’s telling his parents. I know it’s my body, but it’s his news just as much as mine and he’s excited to share it with his parents. I don’t like them and I’m really not enthused about them knowing in the first trimester (although obviously I know there’s a chance things could go wrong at any point) but I don’t see how I can stop them knowing except by not telling either of my parents.

        • Cornellian :

          No, he doesn’t get to make that decision. You will be dealing with the effects of pregnancy in the first trimester and may need support. You want support from people YOU are comfortable with.

          I do think once you start telling people outside your core support group (say your best friend and your mom or sister), it’s fair for him to expect the same.

        • Anonymous :

          You need support right now for your pregnancy, not joy for your baby (although they are intertwined). See if your husband can understand the distinction and what it means to you to have support during this time.

          That said, if he tells his parents “for support reasons”, there’s nothing much you can do. If he does, I would say he’s the designated liaison if anything goes awry. He needs to manage his folks, not you.

          • Other Anon :

            +1 – I get that you don’t want to deal with the in-laws (and I totally agree – that’s H’s job)…but it is his news too. He’ll also need support during pregnancy – not in the same way you do, because he’s not growing the baby, but to deal with the helplessness and the disconnected nature of being the non-gestating parent. He’ll need support if he has to support you going through a miscarriage because he’ll be having his own kind of grief.

            Honestly, you and H need to figure out how to manage the parent situation now (and the fact that it will never be perfectly fair) before the kiddo shows up anyway. Otherwise it will be a similar fight about being present at the birth, staying to help, birthdays, holidays, graduations, etc.

    • I told my parents at 8 weeks (was visiting and able to tell them in person) but we didn’t tell my in-laws until 14 weeks (when my husband saw them). I told my boss, work BFF (I was really sick) and real-life BFF before my parents b/c I was holding out until I saw them in person. There was no way I could hide it from my parents and I would have wanted their support if something went wrong but I struggled with the in-laws, my MILs are lovely but quite emotional and overbearing and I feel like if something hadn’t gone to plan, I would have ended up comforting them.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Congratulations, OP – this is super exciting news and many of us know how hard it is to keep it to yourself :)

      In fairness, I think you should tell your Mom and BFF, and I think he can tell his parents if he wants. It is well known that I am not in love with my in-laws (to say the least), but the idea that they would not know if you had a loss if, quite frankly, unreasonable. Miscarriage and pregnancy loss hurts men, too, and I am sure he would seek their support in those sad circumstances. So if your rationale is that your Mom and BFF can know because they would know if something awful happened, I think that applies to your in-laws as well.

    • Your husband is wrong. If you were to lose this baby, would he really expect you to not be “allowed” to tell your mom just because you don’t want to tell his mom? This is his baby, yes, but he needs to recognize that the pregnancy is yours alone. All that said, probably easier just to keep it under wraps for a few more weeks!

    • We had to tell my parents at 6 weeks because we were visiting them for Christmas and the puking would have blown it. We then face-timed my husband’s parents to tell them because they would have been upset if my parents found out before them (but didn’t mind electronic vs. in person). We told my best friends a week later since we were meeting them for drinks and I was still very constantly green. Told a wider circle of friends once we got closer to 10/12 weeks. Told work at 10 weeks because morning sickness and snack breaks were issues with my then 70+ billable hour a week load. Announced on FB at 22 weeks after we knew it was a girl.

    • Personal Anecdote :

      my BFF told me at like, 21 weeks and I somehow felt really hurt about it. I knew she was pregnant because of her body/changes around 10-15 weeks (because hello, bff) but I didn’t push/pry because I didn’t want to offend her.

      I don’t know why I felt so slighted, but those were my feelings — so, preemptive apology to pregnant ladies who feel like their friends aren’t entitled to the info. It’s just, for something so exciting and awesome – I felt like I was being kept in the dark? I don’t know.

      (again, personal anecdote lol. probably indicates more baggage with my friend than to help you decide :) hahahah)

    • Mrs. Jones :

      No that’s not too weird. The first people I told were my yoga instructors so I could start modifying postures. :) Then we told everyone else incl parents at 12 weeks.

    • Thisperson1 :

      I told a few close personal friends before I told my mom, but we’re not close. She immediately went on FB and announced it there, despite being asked not to say anything yet. And not a “yay, we’re so excited about this” type of post, but literally just stated a fact.

  29. Any tips for someone feeling down about being single? I’m 31 and was just at my 10 year college reunion. Most people were engaged/married/pregnant/already have a kid and it was hard not to feel like I’m “behind” in some sort of awful race. I’m in DC and use all the popular dating apps but haven’t had any luck so far. It’s hard not to feel like there’s something wrong with me when everyone else has been able to find a partner by now. Mostly just looking for commiseration and suggestions on how to get myself out of this rut….

    • Brace yourself for the responses from married posters telling you how they sometimes miss being single and the best thing you can do is enjoy all of your freedom because sometimes they totally wish they could get a break from their darling DH and lovely children to get pedis with the girls.

      • Good point,but a little unfair. If the OP gets to talk about where she is in life and what’s important to her right now (feeling behind in the partnering-up area of life), married people get to talk about where they are in life and what’s important to them (being frustrated at times and feeling nostalgic for a previous stage of life) too.

        • Yes but in the right context. If you’re married and nostalgic for a previous stage of life and want some advice, start your own thread. It’s not helpful to tell someone struggling with being single that they wish they could dump the one thing they’re looking for (just for an afternoon) and then go back to their lives with the husband and kids that the single person is looking for.

        • Yes, but in an appropriate place, which is not the OP’s comment thread. It’s a recurrent problem when this issue comes up here.

        • Sure but not in response to someone feeling bad about being single.

        • What an uncharitable line of thinking. Sure, anybody can say those things, but choosing to do so in response to this kind of post is really selfish.

      • LOL.

        OP – I get it. I’m single and a lot of my friends are in relationships. It can be really tough sometimes. I do everything that we’re told – i.e. live my own life, do things on my own terms, online date, try to get out of my comfort zone and meet new people and honestly, I have a great life but it’s not enough. Being able to make my own schedule and go to cool bars and meet interesting people and get a mani/pedi with my girlfriends is great but doesn’t help me when I’m lonely and wishing I had someone who had my back.

        So I get it. It sounds like you’re online dating, what about some new activity you’ve been meaning to try? Not to meet people, but just to shake up your routine?

        Nothing is wrong with you, sometimes it’s just really hard. I also haven’t had any luck but I don’t believe it’s because there’s something wrong with me, I just figure it’s the luck of the draw.

        Can you do something to try to make yourself feel better? Cardio high, mani/pedi and/or massage, fancy glass of wine, museum visit?

        • +1 to all of this. Most of my friend group in my town got engaged within the past year, which means I’m going to a lot of weddings over the next 12 months (only one couple is having a long engagement). One wedding is that of an ex — I’m over him now, but it took a loooooong time to get there.

          Anyway, not to make it all about me, but you’re definitely not alone, and it can definitely feel terribly lonely when you’re the only one in a particular life stage in a certain group. I note that you’re in DC – are your college friends elsewhere? I think a lot of people in DC settle down “later,” so you may not be so far behind for your age in your “regular” life, if that makes any sense. And if you don’t have any single friends, you should look for some! It’s really helpful to have friends who are going through what you’re going through *while* you’re going through it. (I find that many married or engaged friends experience a kind of amnesia about dating, especially if they didn’t have to date a lot to find their partner).

      • Or don’t, because that doesn’t happen that frequently here as far as I can tell.

      • I think most married/coupled women here have gotten the message that our input is unwanted on these types of questions. Because, you know, it’s so much better to get advice about finding a partner from people who are themselves chronically single, rather than asking the many women on here who are recently married or coupled how they got to where they are. After all, if I want to lose 20 lbs, obviously the best person to ask for weight-loss advice is someone who is more overweight than I am and is struggling with it! And so if I want advice on finding a mate, I’m better off hearing only from people who are terminally single and relentlessly bitter about it. That will definitely help me find the partner of my dreams.

        • But she’s not asking for advice on finding a mate – she’s asking for tips on how to feel better/live through this situation. If married people who went through a very extended period of singlehood want to offer advice on how they navigated that from an emotional perspective, that’s totally fine. But the “oh gosh, I totally wish I was single sometimes!” comments from married people in response to this type of thread are insensitive and unhelpful.

        • Check your reading comprehension. She’s not asking for tips about how to snag a man. And then maybe try to be kind and compassionate and not so self-centered.

        • Anonymous :

          Oh? And what advice would you give OP that she (and all other single women) haven’t already heard already?

          Because I bet it’s not different. I bet OP is doing all the same things you did (and more). You just got lucky. Luck isn’t advice. It’s not like OP is is doing anything wrong that you can fix, or that there’s a single answer that will fix all single people’s problems.

        • She doesn’t want advice on finding a partner she wants sympathy.

    • The 10 year reunion is the most brutal one to be single at. By the 15th and certainly the 20th there will be plenty of people who are divorced. I know that’s not the same as never having been married because at least they were coupled for a while and in most cases had kids, but you will find way less people with ostensibly perfect families at the later reunions.

      • I agree. 10 year reunion was really tough for that very reason. I was single and there were two – LITERALLY TWO – other people out of the (admittedly 100 or so) attendees who were unmarried also. All three of us live/d in cities, so I acknowledged the difference in my urban area (where not all my friends are married) to the rural area where we grew up (everyone expected to marry their high school/college sweetheart and procreate immediately). Also, I tried to remind myself I’d rather be single than stuck in a boring marriage or living a life I don’t love. There’s no way around it, it’s hard, but you have a good life. My solution was to buy an amazing dress and look extremely glamorous. That helped.

      • Yeah my 10 year reunion had two “questions” for door prizes. Who had the most kids? Who has been married the longest?

        I just said huh, nothing for most college? I survived by getting really drunk…that way everyone could assign a reason to my singledom (not usually something I am prone to do but I am a fun drunk if I do say so myself).

        But I 100% feel you. I thought it would get worse by 34 but actually it got much better. My life is a blast. I’ve pretty much decided that maybe it’s not for me which took therapy and time. But not because it’s my fault rather I won’t settle and if those are the cards that I am dealt, I’ll deal.

        Also, I was sad about perhaps not having children because of this. That window is closing soon so it had to be discussed. I realized I’ve had many other influential adults in my life and I started coaching and hanging out with my friends and their kids more.

    • Yeah I agree it totally sucks sometimes. I try and remind myself that, singleness aside, I do actually like my life. I get down sometimes but often enough I’m having a good time. To shake myself out of it I try doing something just for me- a great book, a pedicure, a pool day.

      It’s hard though.

    • No tips, but I’m 32 and single. It sucks. I just broke up with the first guy I’ve dated in years after a few months because of trust issues and I have to go to a dinner Thursday with my five friends, all their SOs, and one baby, and a part of me wants to get back together with him just so I don’t have to go to yet another social event alone. I’m ready to find my person! I’m really worried, because I feel like I see a lot of genuinely awesome single women in their 30s, and if they can’t find someone, how will I?

      • You deserve better than having to do that.

        I’m also single, and this blows, and I’m sorry, but just a reminder. <3

        • Thanks:-)

          I won’t, because I told my friends what happened with him, and they all forbid me from getting back together with him. But it was nice having someone. Friends can’t fill every need.

      • Don’t feel bad, b/c I am now over 35 and single. FOOEY, but it could have been worse. In your case, you had trust issues, so why would you want to be worried about what he was doeing if you don’t trust your boyfreind? I know my ex was a mess, but he did NOT cheat at least, and guess what, that did NOT matter. We deserve more than a non-cheating guy. In your case, if he was fooling around with another woman and you were married, how much worse would that have been? Alot, I say. You would find evidence of her on him (or in his shorts), and that would be gross. DOUBEL FOOEY! Be glad you got rid of him and can find another fish in the sea. YAY!!!

    • So I was you, too. It was definitely frustrating to think that I could accomplish so many awesome things on my own: go to college, go to law school, pass the bar and become an attorney, buy my own home, but I can’t be married on my own. It’s the one thing you need someone else to accomplish and for me I wanted a family with a partner, but recognized that if that couldn’t happen, I’d do it myself at some point. I was the last of my friends to get married and just did. They weren’t getting married super young, either, it’s just that at 27-28 I hadn’t met him yet. (Though I was on the precipice of it. Just got married.) The only tips I have for you are that some people get it easy when it comes to meeting the right person, some don’t. If you are doing all the things people tell you (put yourself out there but focus more on what makes you happy than this one thing missing), then I really think it’s a matter of timing and luck. I think for me it helped that I know some married couples that are miserable in part because they were so desperate to be married, they ignored some red flags that were apparent during dating. Knowing that marriage wasn’t the thing that would complete me, even though it was something I wanted helped because it made me focus on what would complete me – me! Good luck and perk up – don’t forget there’s a lot of awesome life to enjoy!

    • I feel you so hard. I’m turning 29 on Friday and I just broke up with my long term, long distance boyfriend last weekend and I definitely feel like 1) there’s something wrong with me personally; 2) I will probably be alone forever; 3) literally everyone I know is engaged, married, or having babies. I’m pretty sure I need a social media break so I don’t get mad at all of my friends for having the things I want (I know, not charitable, I won’t act on it in any way, shape, or form, but that’s how I feel right now).

      • x 1000. I’m in DC as well, but grew up in the Midwest and ALL of my high school and most college friends are married with houses and babies. I have a kickass career, LOVE this city and have a great life, but no ring on my hand, and that’s a major reason why I haven’t attended my reunions. I recognize that it’s silly for me to feel ashamed of something I have zero control over when everything else is great, but… I totally hear you. You’re not alone.

    • Cornellian :

      Not sure if this is helpful, so apologies in advance, but I wouldn’t assume they’re not also jealous of you. Met up with some college friends recently and they’re all founding not-for-profits abroad and jetting around and it made me feel sort of slow and backwater-y. I hope I’m not falling in to the trap people are describing above.

      When I felt the way you did (pre-marriage), I found getting involved in groups helpful both for romantic interests and also for general mental health. Volunteering/religious groups/neighbhorhood politics are all great places to meet potential partners and friends.

    • Betterandbetter :

      I’m married and queer to forgive me if I am talking out of turn, but maybe because I am queer I have a different expectations and it would never occur to me to think there was something wrong with someone who wasn’t partnered up at 31 because your assumed relationship track as a queer person isn’t so defined.

      Meanwhile I have gay friends who are serial monogamists (there is a reason the Uhaul joke is a thing) and we all roll our eyes en-masse at this particular friend who was engaged twice in three years to two different women because she felt so much pressure to get a move on (at a much later age than 30 because she wants to have children from sctratch). We happen to think this one will stick and her Fiance is a wonderful person but lordy she made lots of poor relationship decisions before then.

      Long story long I guess is that there is nothing wrong with you for not having luck so far and the only reason you think that is because of a societal construct and there is a world of difference between being partnered and being happily partnered.I don’t wish to invalidate your desire to be partnered -thats real obviously, but all of those people at your reunion may not actually be happy and I hope that you don’t allow this to make you rush into something that isn’t a good fit because you feel you need to “catch up.”

      But yes, single when you don’t want to be can be very hard particularly when everyone in your social network is in a different stage of life. I haven’t been married so long that I have forgotten that. But also once things started to turn around they did happen to turn fairly quickly and honestly was so good that I wouldn’t have traded anything that went before so maybe that’s a comfort?

    • Thanks very much for all the helpful advice and empathy. It helps a lot!

      • Anonymous :

        I’m way late, but I feel you. It sucks. When it gets really bad, I let myself have a night where I stay home, wear pjs, drink wine, blast music, and cry my face off. It helps get the frustration and emotions out so I can continue on with my life where all of my friends are married, engaged, or in long-term relationships.

        • I’m late too, but I know what you’re going through. I was single until I turned 40 so I spent years feeling like you do. Did all the things, went on all the dates, did all the activities, etc. In the end, what actually made me feel a little better was giving myself permission to actually feel bad about it. I think there’s so much pressure to be “living your best life” and to not admit that having a partner is great and something that’s totally valid and okay to want in your life. Once I permitted the feeling to exist, I got comfortable with it, and that helped a little.

          • I’m not the OP, but I really appreciate this response, Scarlett. This is very helpful–and I love hearing stories of women who still found a partner a bit later! It gives me hope.

    • No tips for you–just commiseration. I’m mid-30s and have been single for 5 years now–nearly as long as my last relationship. I’ve tried everything, and I do all the things that we’re “supposed” to do, I have a happy life, hobbies, a great job, amazing family, and a great friend circle, but it’s all just not enough without someone to share life and make memories with. It just isn’t. And I have so many incredible, smart, beautiful, funny, successful friends who are also single that I really feel the same as another poster–if they can’t find their person, how will I ever be able to?

      I am just resigned to the sadness coming and going in waves. Sometimes it’s awful and crushing, and sometimes I am fine, and no amount of being thankful for what I have and/or scheduling fun things or giving back can make that sadness go away when it’s there. Just have to accept it and do what you can to get through it. But you should know that it isn’t you, and you aren’t alone. I know that doesn’t help much, but it’s true.

      • Silvercurls :

        “I am just resigned to the sadness coming and going in waves…..Just have to accept it and do what you can to get through it.”

        May you find peace. I share your hope that you find a good, kind, caring, loving partner.

        In the silver lining department: Thank you for your beautiful words. They will comfort me when my own sadness arises–about other friends’ troubles (illness, children lost to cancer or depression/suicide) or my own (spouse living with cancer). I’m sorry you have this sadness but I’m grateful for your ability to describe it. You have helped this internet stranger.

        • I’m so sorry you’re going through all of that, Silvercurls. Sending you, your friends, and your spouse love and hugs.

  30. Does anyone have tips on how to tone up?

    My weight has been the same for 20 years but I’ve noticed that my body is getting flabbier. I already eat pretty healthy, and have a somewhat active lifestyle–close to 10K steps a day–but because I’ve always been slender I’ve never actively exercised.

    Where should I start? I just need to lose a few inches at my waist and hips.

    • Lift weights. Heavy ones.

      • +1000

        Don’t be afraid of the weights! Using 25, 30, 40 lbs and/or using the barbell won’t turn you into Arnold Schwarzenegger overnight. (If you do, write a book and sell it b/c men and women all over the world will want to know your secret…You’d be a millionaire..)

    • anon a mouse :

      Weight training.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +1. Weight’s been roughly the same for a few years now but now I have significantly more muscle tone. And the booty gains are REAL.

        I take a crossfit-type class (strength and conditioning without the competition)3x/week and have weights at home that I use 2-3x week. I’m hooked. I got started with the New Rules of Weightlifting for Women. I think there have been some other threads about this with lots of resources.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 and eat all the protein.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        This.

    • I would find a gym with classes like BodyPump, which has been recommended by numerous people on this board (I personally took it for nearly ten years). Great for beginners because they walk you through everything step by step, plus it is fun (music for everything) and not nearly as intimidating as working out next to experienced lifters on a gym floor can be. You really want both some weight/strength based workouts and some cardio for heart health, and classes can cover both those needs, without being too scary.

    • I’ll add yoga to the weight training suggestions.

      • I second the yoga. If you’ve never had any particular exercise program, you will find yoga remarkably strenuous! I was expecting to get more flexible, but was really surprised how strong it has made me. Toned my arms right up, and has really helped my core.

    • Oh man! Weight training AND cardio AND yoga!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Pure Barre.

    • I would also say, don’t be afraid to take 3-4 classes of a variety of things. The best way to tone up is to take things you like and will stick with. I personally loathe Barre and so no matter how effective it may be, it doesn’t work for me. And someone else may feel the same way about yoga or Zumba or whatever else.

    • Echoing all the weight training comments and adding a vote for Pilates!

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, Pilates reformer (machine)! = weight training plus stretching/flexibility all in one.

    • New Tampanian :

      Orangetheory

  31. Really interesting post thanks for sharing this post.

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