Coffee Break: Leather Bow Belt

Brooks Brothers has some pretty good sales going on right now, including this belt, which I think is cute and very classic. Reviewers say that it runs large, so if you take a small or extra small you may want to avoid this one. If you’re also looking for belts in general, note that there are tons of them in Barney’s Warehouse clearance with crazy discounts like $585 marked down to $80 — unfortunately it’s very hard to tell how they fit, etc., so buyer beware. This belt is $29 (was $58) and it isn’t final sale, so that also works in its favor. Leather Bow Belt


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  1. I’m planning a trip to Barcelona/Madrid later in the year for a family of 4 (2 parents, 1 adult child, 1 teenager) and was wondering if the hive has any opinions on staying in hotels vs. airbnbs in the 2 cities? TIA!

    • Wildkitten :

      AirBnB Europe is legit. If you are in an AirBnB you can make your own food (this might be clutch if the teenager is a boy who eats his weight in snacks every hour) but OTOH Spanish food is amazing, so that might not be as huge as it could be in other locations.

    • We were just convinced by a friend to stay in a hotel in Paris vs. airbnb/vbro. His rational was: (1) don’t under estimate the benefit of a concierge, particularly in a new city; (2) on the first trip to an otherwise unknown city, security (physical, mental) of a hotel goes a long way; (3) for us this is a very nice, pre-baby vacation and the thought of having turn down service, access to in-room/building dining and a clean room daily cannot be under valued in our case.

      On the other hand, we’re spending 2-3 days out in the countryside before we settle into Paris and will definitely use AirBnb for that given that the exact location isn’t as critical as it is in a major city.

    • Good points, thanks!
      The airbnb might be useful if we have trouble finding vegetarian-friendly places to eat, but the point about a helpful hotel concierge and the security that comes with that is also a good one.

      • Anonymous :

        Barcelona and Madrid are large modern cities so you shouldn’t have a problem finding vegetarian restaurants. Just search online for a few places before you go so you have a rough idea of your options. We often do vegan when traveling because our daughter is dairy/egg allergic and we’ve never had a problem finding vegan options in major European cities.

        • Wildkitten :

          But also make sure to learn how to ask for vegetarian food in Spanish because if you say no meat they’ll offer you the chicken option.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      You may be able to find hotels or resorts that offer rooms that are more like a mini-apartment (with a kitchen, laundry, etc.).

    • Anonymous :

      We stayed in an airbnb in Barcelona a couple of years ago and I was so happy to have a kitchen. The breakfast options near our apartment were not good (nothing open before 10 a.m. except pastry shop), so having a fridge to store yogurt, etc. was key. I suppose that wouldn’t be an issue if your hotel had a restaurant.

    • I’ve been reading that while AirBnb is great for property owners and tourists, it does a number to the economy because it drives up the cost of living, and reduces the amount of available properties for rent or purchase. If that is a concern I’d choose a hotel.

      That said, AirBnB is a totally great option. I’m planning a trip to Europe this fall and plan to stay in a mix of AirBnB and hostels (but I’m not traveling with family).

    • On our recent Spain trip we did a mix of AirBnBs and hotels. In Barcelona, we chose a hotel because we don’t know any Catalan (we do know some Spanish and could communicate with AirBnB hosts in Spanish in the other cities we visited). It turned out we probably didn’t need to worry about that as it seemed like everyone spoke English. However, I liked being in a hotel in Barcelona to have help making dinner reservations and that sort of thing.

      • I’ve successfully used google translate to text in Spanish with an Air bnb host. I don’t speak Spanish. I’m sure the grammar was garbled but we understood each other.

    • Just stayed in a fabulous apartment in Madrid — although I abhor times square in nyc because I’m not a tourist here, this apartment was basically located in times square of Madrid and it made getting places easier, and being a tourist better because everything was still lively even if we got back later at night.

      A person from the company met us at the apartment and was able to provide advice, etc, and it was nice to spread out during our 5 day stay.

      I actually prefer apartments in Paris as well because it’s more spacious than the tiny hotels there.

    • Anonymous :

      There are many apartment rental agencies in Barcelona that serve tourists specifically . With your family configuration it’s certainly more affordable than a hotel. We stayed at Plaça Catalunya and really recommend this location. It was a while ago so I forgot what the agency name was, but you can google “apartment rentals in [city name]” and find plenty. It was before the app era, yet we did fine with just the Rick Steves guide.
      We also rented an apartment in Paris from an individual through HomeAway and it worked out great.

      Hotel is great for solo or couple travel, but if you add older kids, it starts getting either a lot more expensive, or inconvenient.

  2. Makeup challenged :

    Help! I wear a little bit of makeup but it’s been years since I bought any. I took a long time yesterday afternoon to go to Sephora and Bobbi Brown counters, spent tons of money, and feel generally snookered. Lots of questions!

    1. I have no skincare regimen currently, other than slathering myself with lotion. Sephora sold me some hideously expensive exfoliator. I have never exfoliated before. is an expensive exfoliator “worth it”? (Sephora sales lady pitch: the Kardashians use it. LOL.).

    2. I did my research by looking up threads from this board the night before. I saw a lot of people like to use oil to take off their makeup. I bought some product that wasn’t 100% oil, but had oil in it. My eye makeup wouldn’t come off. What am I doing wrong?

    3. I went to the BB counter, as I have in years past, because I don’t like to look like I am wearing makeup. The lady sold me a gazillion products, all of which I admit made me look “better”. I came home and my husband told me I looked like I had cake all over my face. The funny thing is, it’s the same foundation that I currently wear — Bobbi skin foundation — just in a stick versus liquid form. She also applied corrector, concealer, and a little pressed powder. It’s true that I have circles under my eyes, and that those products lessened the effect. Did she maybe apply too much foundation? Is it the powder that was the problem? Or should I be looking at a non Bobbi foundation or cream instead? I picked up a Bare Minerals BB cream from Sephora that I also liked.

    4. Sort of the same question as #3. How do you ladies decide how much makeup is too much? I’m hoping that a little makeup will dress me up a little. (I’m also pregnant and struggling to project enough professionalism in the polyester and jersey that all maternity clothes seem to be made of.). But if you look at my face up close, you can see that there’s makeup on it, which isn’t what I was going for. And I’m not sure that I can handle putting fifteen products on my face every morning. The products that I thought were optional were ones that really do target my “problem areas,” which are my droopy, baggy, dark circles eyes.

    5. Can anyone verify whether I can return products to Nordstrom if I use them at home first? Terrified to open all of the boxes plus brushes that are lined up on my counter right now. But it would probably help if I could do some A/B testing to see what I like best.

    • 1. Children’s skin turn over every 14 days. By the time you hit 30-something it increases to 28 days. Regular exfoliation will keep the dead skin off the face, which will reduce clogged pores and increase the overall look of glowy-iness. There are two types of chemical exfoliation: AHA and BHA. AHA dissolves the glue holding skin cells together; BHA dissolves the oil inside the pore. Whatever you choose, the acid MUST be in an acidic environment for exfoliation to occur. Many exfoliants are actually too alkaline, rendering them useless. In answer to your question: I love my exfoliators and believe them essential to keeping my acneaic-prone skin clear.

      2. What type of eye makeup were you wearing, and what were you using to take it off? If all else fails, try plain old olive oil from the pantry.

      3-4. Too complicated to answer here. Just know that yes, you can get a look where the makeup cannot be “seen”. Check out Lisa Eldridge’s videos on youtube.

      5. I believe you can, but I would have asked for samples first. They should have provided them.

    • Return it all! You don’t sound like a makeup person. That’s fine. Maybe pick a couple products— you can look perfectly polished & professional with no makeup, or with just some powder, mascara and a lip color. For you, maybe concealer. But seriously, more than 3 or so products is too much for you. Skip foundation. It’s really hard to find the right product and apply it well.

      Plus, you]re pregnant. Your skin is going nuts. And you will have dark circles under your eyes for the next few years:)
      (On a serious note, though, do make sure your exfoliating products are compatible with pregnancy.)

      • Also, if you’re using an oil-based remover for waterproof makeup, but it’s not 100% oil, then you have to shake it up before using it. Sorry if that’s obvious but just in case you didn’t…

      • +1 to all of this.

        OP it sounds like you’re feeling a little down on yourself because of pregnancy-related body changes. I bet you look amazing!

        If you’re just not a make up person, that is totally OK. I’m not. I sometimes wear full eye-makeup and lipstick if I’m going somewhere special in the evening, but foundation is just too hard to make look natural. A BB cream might be more your speed, and it’s much, much easier to make it look natural.

    • Anonymous :

      1. Return the skincare stuff. Figure out what skin type you are and what your skincare needs are – don’t rely on what the Sephora girl is trying to upsell you!

      Exfoliating is definitely good for skin, but try a chemical exfoliator rather than a physical one.

      • Anonymous :

        Also, Nordstrom will take returns of anything at any time, even used products, even clothing that’s been worn.

    • Anonymous :

      Return them and do a little reading on the blog Snow White and the Asian Pear. Korean beauty is lightyears ahead of us, which is in large part because they have the highest R&D per capita IN THE WORLD and that’s their strategy to be competitive in the international market. They have a very sophisticated, well-researched client base with a low tolerance for ineffective products. The stiff competition also means the quality products are MUCH cheaper (like <$20/bottle) than whatever they're selling you at Sephora. I recommend doing your research and slowly adding one new product at a time, many of which are available on Amazon Prime.

      Exfoliators are worth it but just get one by Corsx on Amazon for literally $20. I guarantee it's better than that Kardashian nonsense.

      A caveat: While Korean skin care is more advanced than American and European skin care, the inverse is true for makeup. Chanel has a great liquid foundation that is fairly sheer and might be what you're looking for (definitely can't tell I'm wearing it, even if I get up close), and I love Laura Mercier concealer for undereyes.

      • Anonymous :

        Just want to add that Chanel liquid foundation is literally the only makeup product my skin has reacted negatively to in my life, so you might want to try a sample before investing. I wish I could use it, because it looks amazing right up until my skin turns red and I want to scratch my face off.

        • I really like Innisfree (so Korean) BB creams and cushions. Delicate and natural looking with high SPF. I buy them on ebay and BB cushion is around 10$ and BB cream 5$ for 15ml (good for trying) and 15% for 45ml. Sure, colour palettes are limited, so maybe I’ve been just lucky to find the right colors, but nothing beats them when it comes to the natural look.

    • Makeup challenged :

      Thanks for all of the great advice so far! I’ll take a look at those resources…..I really appreciate all of your responses!

      • I am also surprised by the lack of service the stores provided. I would suggest to return all and go to a different store and talk to the stylist: explain that you are usually a no-makeup person but are looking for simple ways how to look more polished. Exfoliator (mild one and based on AHA/BHA acids is safe), it will help brighten your skin. Step 2 is a great moisturizer, which needs to match your skintype (oily, dry, combo skin…). Since sou are pregnant, ask for samples as your skin may be overly sensitive due to hormones. Concealer under eyes (and on critical places), light makeup (or if your skin is otherwise great, you could skip the makeup and just use the powder) and a semitranslucent powder are enough. If they will show you how to use blush (light natual colour), this could add a dewy look for days you might feel drained. Mascara and a lipstick/lipgloss and you are done. Have the associates do your makeup. And btw, I would stay with liquid foundations rather than stick foundations – those have the tendency to look cakey.
        For makeup, I prefer MAC – they have lightweight liquid foundation and nearly invisible powders, great selection of colours for eyes and lips. As for skincare, I prefer brands designed for sensitive skin (free from parabens, phenoxyehanol etc). Currently, I am using three brands/products: Isis Pharma moisturiser for sensitive skin, Physiogel moisturizer and an organic lavender-borago oil (this I use only at night).
        As for cleanser, Europe is living on the trend of micellar cleansers and I like mine from Isis Pharma.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I agree with returning everything and starting again. If you have not had one recently, I would start with a facial from a reputable spa (ask your friends if they use someone particular) and would have a long discussion with them about your skin type and what you should be doing to best preserve it. Ask lots of questions until you really understand what they are telling you. A really good person will not push you towards their in house brand but will tell you what types of products and services will be best for you.

    • 1. Yes, you need an exfoliant. It will improve your skin texture and make your makeup go on more smoothly. You’ll want to use it 2-3 times a week. Make sure the exfoliant is chemical, not physical (i.e., not a scrub). As an earlier poster said, the two kinds of chemical exfoliants are AHA and BHA. AHA tends to be good for dry skin and BHA tends to be better for oily skin. Paula’s Choice has really good AHA and BHA products that are about half the price of products at Sephora

      2. Micellar water makeup remover wipes work incredibly well for makeup remover. You can get them at Trader Joe’s.

      3. I similarly don’t want the makeup on my skin to be visible. The key is to apply your makeup with a brush. Seriously, this makes an enormous difference. I apply Diorskin BB cream with a Sephora foundation brush and then set it with Laura Mercier pressed powder (also applied with a Sephora “air” brush). I use a blush brush to apply a little bronzer under my cheekbones and then a swipe of blush on the apples of my cheeks.

      4. For me, “too much makeup” is when I can see the makeup on my skin, or when it takes me longer than 5 minutes total to apply. I can do a full-on “polished” look in 5 minutes (it’ll take you 7-10 minutes when you’re first practicing). Liquid eyeliner (Stila eyeliner marker), mascara, dot some BB cream on my face and then use my foundation brush to blend it, use a big “air” brush to stipple pressed powder all over my face, and then a quick swipe of blush and bronzer.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to micellar water!! Use that as a “first cleanse” to get rid of makeup and oily residue, and then use a ph-balanced water-based cleanser (SU:M37 Rose Cleansing Stick is amaaaaazing and travel-friendly) after. Double cleansing is one of the best habits I adopted for my skin.

    • I prefer liquid foundation to sticks, because I can control the amount better with dabs of liquid rather than smearing with a stick. Since you liked your liquid, return the stick and the powder. That will get rid of your cakey look.

      I’d also return the brushes and anything else that you didn’t immediately love. I would set all the unopened boxes aside and kill some time watching “natural look” tutorials on youtube. You’ll get an idea of which products people consistently use to create these looks, and then you can look at your makeup pile with new eyes and make more returns as needed.

      Keep in mind, salespeople work on commission and they have sales quotas. When I worked for Clinique waaaay back in the day, I wasn’t supposed to let someone leave my counter without selling them 3 items. If you just wanted to buy a lipstick, I would show you lip exfoliators and lip pencils and gloss to go along with it. Too many “1 purchase” marks were strikes against me, so I’d have to tell people they needed more to bump up my sales.

      Exfoliators are great! I still use Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion and can tell a huge difference when I don’t use it. But I also like St. Ives scrubs. It doesn’t have to be expensive to get the job done. If you already opened yours, give it a shot. If you love it you can choose to keep going with it, or downgrade to something cheaper.

      The only way this stuff is a waste is if you open in, use it for 2 weeks, then shove it in the drawer to slowly decay because you decided you don’t have the time or passion for this right now. If you want to return anything–now is the time!

    • I think I’m a little like you, I haven’t really been a makeup person. But over the years have discovered a few things that work for me.

      I recommend Paula’s Choice for skincare. A decent facewash, exfoliator, and moisturizer/sunscreen are the basics. And the Beautypedia on Paula’s website is also useful for detailed reviews of beauty products. Price is definitely not always an indicator of quality or effectiveness.

      I don’t like the look of heavy foundation either, and so I have a fancy foundation (Estee Lauder Double Long Wear) which I mix about half-half with moisturizer. This evens my skintone without covering my skin totally. I like that I can adjust the proportions to my liking with this method, but of course you could always just buy a BB cream or tinted moisturizer.

      I have a liquid concealer, and I also have a Nyx slightly orange tinted undereye conceler that covers my bluish dark circles. I also have a couple of cream blushes from Nyx. And then mascara.

      If you have an oily t-zone you could dust it with translucent powder, but if not, I don’t find powder is necessary at all especially if you want a hydrated natural look.

      I also recommend Lisa Eldridge! If you like any expensive products in the videos just google for dupes! You will find a drugstore version. I don’t really think there’s any reason to buy really expensive makeup (for the most part), especially if you are in an experimental phase!

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      When I decided I wanted to up my game and actually get a skincare regimen and a make up plan, I went with the subscription boxes. I have really sensitive skin and weird allergies. This let me try a bunch of fairly high end products without committing vast sums of money.

      I recommend Birchbox for skin care and hair care products, with a few makeup products thrown in. I used Ipsy for make up with a few skin care products thrown in.

      Youtube tutorials are great. You could also go back to Sephora and explain what you didn’t like about the last experience. I got some pretty good technique tutorials that way.

    • Hi, I wanted to answer earlier but I got distracted. Hope you are still reading.

      1) Exfoliation is good, as long as you don’t overdo it. Some people swear by physical scrubs (those with little bits of shell or plastic beads in them.) These can be a problem from an environmental standpoint, but mainly I don’t use them because they are not super great for sensitive skin. Chemical exfoliants (those with AHA, BHA or retinoin/retinol) are just as effective and come in various strengths you can tailor to your skin. If at all possible, get a mild Retin-A prescription from your doctor. It will be expensive and your insurance won’t cover it unless you have serious acne problems. But Retin-A is the only ingredient proven to prevent wrinkles, and you will use a very small amount probably every other day. A tube will last 6 months to a year.

      2) Oil cleansing is popular. I’m getting the same results using Pond’s cold cream, which is very cheap at the drugstore. It works because it dissolves makeup that is not water-based. I also like micellar water, but unlike other posters, I use it after cleansing. It gets that last little bit of eye makeup.

      3) It sounds like she put too much makeup on you. I also use a BB cream. I agree with a prior respondent about applying it with a brush. I also use the Dior BB cream. Use a light moisturizer underneath, or a primer (I like Olay 7-in-1 without sunscreen, or Laura Mercier primer) and just squirt one squirt onto your brush. Brush it all over your face, including under your eyes. If you seem to need more after that, do another squirt. You should not need a lot, because that is not the point of the BB cream. Between the moisturized skin underneath, the brush application, and using it sparingly, you will definitely not have a caked on makeup look. I like a big fluffy brush meant for mineral powder. Also, I would not apply powder on top of this if you want a natural look, unless you are prone to getting very shiny. You can always apply powder later in the day if so.

      4) Too much makeup is makeup you feel uncomfortable wearing. If you are concerned, ask a friend, but remember that no one is looking at you all that up-close, certainly not like you see in a magnifying mirror. Also remember that your BB cream will kind of settle in over the first half hour or so. If you’re applying with a brush, it should be very sheer anyway.

      5) Nordstrom will take ANYTHING back. So will Sephora, actually. If you bought products you don’t like, take them back! Even if you used them, yes. If they don’t work for you, back they go.

    • In House Lobbyist :

      I love the BareMinerals powder foundation. And I think the primer makes a big difference. I use coconut oil to remove my makeup and as my primary moisturizer.

    • Women (and one man) at the Sephora near me wear makeup like a costume. I like the natural way the Bobbi Brown makeup artists at Nordstrom look, and I always ask them do demo a daytime look, which I think is code for, I don’t wear much makeup. I use Philosophy Purity to cleanse. For foundation the BB stick is too much for me. I like the product in a pot — facial balm or skin balm? It goes on like heavy moisturizer but gives some transparent coverage without seeming cakey. The BB long-wear eyeshadow sticks are fantastic. Vanilla is my favorite. Pencil eyeliner, mascara, sheer lip color, done. FWIW I’m over 50.

    • In case you’re still reading, I wanted to say that I have done exactly what you did yesterday and ended up returning everything because I was too overwhelmed! You’ve gotten some great advice here so I won’t be redundant, but I did want to add my two cents:

      I’m pregnant with #2 and I SO feel you on wanting to do anything to make me look and feel more pulled together. You’re doing better than you think. My second and third trimester skin is just terrible – melasma, acne, a general dull look – so much for pregnancy glow! Using the Ole Henriksen “Three Little Wonders” skincare system makes a huge difference. It includes a vitamin C serum for daytime, an AHA night serum, and the most wonderful light moisturizer to use day or night (or both!) when you need it. Because it is simple, I stick to it and feel so pampered. I am also comfortable with the ingredients in the products.

      If you are concerned about the ingredients in your cosmetics, Beauty Counter products have worked really well for me. I wasn’t concerned while pregnant, but then I realized that any make up I put on once baby was born ended up all over his little face and head (because there is no such thing as too many baby cuddles or kisses!). I can put on the Beauty Counter tinted moisturizer and some eyeliner (I use Almay liquid liner from the drugstore) and look naturally pulled together. Simplicity is my friend! When I want to step it up a little, I use Maybelline eye shadow and BC bronzer and powder – 4 minutes and I’m done. BC also has a great return policy (I’m not a “consultant”, just a happy customer).

      I hope you figure out what you’re looking for! Best wishes for your pregnancy!

  3. Anyone else liking the market rally today?

    • Anon Lawyer :

      Ya I’m glad the market is rallying while our healthcare and the environment are in serious jeopardy.

      • Whatever. Is it going to be 4 yrs of this — woe is us bc Trump?? We can’t acknowledge good things anymore?

        I for one am happy about his positions re oil — and consequently about the energy sector generally.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m glad you don’t care about people in developing countries or wildlife at all, since climate change is literally killing them. Or for that matter, you and your friends’ children and grandchildren, since it’s going to be too hot to go outside with a protective air-conditioned suit by the end of this century.

      • I just learned of the EPA slashing. I’m in disbelief. I also have serious issue with any agency being ordered to do a “press blackout.”

    • Anonymous :

      No. I don’t care about it at all. I have no short term investments in the market.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 million.

      • +1.

      • You NEVER invest short term in anything, really? Never see a good/bad earnings report and buy a few thousand in stock for that reason looking to sell it in a few weeks? Am I really the only one that does this?

        And before I get lectured — yes I do retirement investments for the long term and yes I do low cost index funds. Yet I do throw in a few thousand here and there in individual stocks. I’m shocked others don’t.

        • Anonymous :

          Nope, never! It’s just gambling, and I can’t afford the risk.

        • Anon 355 — there are a LOT of lawyers on this board. They are NOT looking at earnings reports and aren’t numbers people. At most they are index investing.

          • Also most lawyers have a pretty stringent set of conflicts to run through before buying any individual stock.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m a numbers person and a lawyer – don’t paint us with such a broad brush. But when you work for a firm with tens of thousands of clients, it’s almost impossible to buy and trade individual stocks because it could look like I’m doing something shady if my firm works for the client, even if I’ve never touched the file. So I have no choice but to do mutual funds.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m a lawyer and a numbers person, which is why I know that if an earnings report has already been made public, you’re too late to profit off going out and buying or shorting a few shares.

        • I struggle to save enough money for a comfortable retirement. The idea that I might buy a “few thousand” in individual stock is completely out of reach for me.

    • Anonymous :

      Enjoy it while it lasts – it’s extremely temporary. Imposing a 35 percent tax on goods not made in the United States is going to send the entire world into a depression that is far more extensive than what happened in 2008.

    • Anonymous :

      No because a one day rally is pretty much meaningless to most investors. Plus, the market had dipped a few days ago so this rally is not an indicator of anything.

      • Not exactly meaningless if you’re up 5% in something and want to sell. What exactly are you talking about? Yes the market dipped yesterday and has recovered that dip and rallied past that.

        • Anonymous :

          What response do you want here? You asked if people are liking the market rally. People responded that short term rallies are unimportant to them for a variety of reasons and you seem to be unhappy with that answer and keep probing. For most Americans, short term ups and downs in the market are not something they are paying close attention to. If you’re not one of those Americans, good for you.

      • Nice attitude

    • Anonymous :

      The last headline I saw today was “Traders bracing for market volatility.” (or close)

  4. Anonymous :

    Can anyone who’s been through the egg-freezing process opine as to whether it matters what center you use for freezing and/or thawing? Is this a commodity service, or worth shopping around? I’ve done initial testing and will likely need 2 cycles minimum per the center I went with. I chose the one closest to my house, which was also recommended by a girlfriend.

    • Yes, it matters! There is a lot of both art and science to successful IVF, and different centers have different equipment, lab protocols, preferred stimulant medications, etc. etc. Results vary widely. Spend some quality time with the SART statistics (google it, it’s public info) for your clinic, compared to other clinics you might consider. You may have to do some inferring since a lot of the stats are for diagnoses that you may not have, and you need to be sure you’re looking at the right age cohort, but the overall success rates should tell you a lot.

    • Yes. The skill of the lab techs is the single most important thing you can check for, when choosing where to do this. I’ve read several books on it, have gone through the pre-process twice without pulling the trigger, have had several friends do it, and am now going through the process. Check the SART stats!

      • Anonymous :

        I just looked – the freezing rates just get lumped together for my clinic and a couple others. Not by age. I don’t know if I have a diagnosis except for being at the edge/a little below where I should be for number of eggs and some marker of egg health.

        I don’t really understand all of the stats. I just want ot know if I unfreeze them in the future, what is the likelihood ti results in a live birth, I guess?

        So should I also be looking at the IVF rates assuming the eggs are eventually unfrozen?

        Sorry if these are dumb questions.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes, you need to look at the live birth rate for IVF cycles conducted at the clinic for women like you. That is the measure of success. What else are you freezing eggs for?

          Also, the doctor should be able to tell you what your relative success numbers should be. But obviously this is part of the sales pitch, so that’s why you need to understand the SART stats and what they mean.

    • shamlet96 :

      Went through it two years ago and echo the comments above. The skill of the embryologist and the live birth rate per egg is huge; hence the reference to the SART stats. happy to discuss further offline if you want to email me at shamlet96 at yahoo dot com.

    • I would strongly recommend doing research, talking to doctors before choosing where to freeze. This is not a situation where you want to go with the closest/cheapest. You want to go with the best – the ones that can give you data on viability % after thawing (ranges, as it also varies with the mother), successful pregnancies, successful live births, longest in practice etc..

      I am an MD/PhD. I did research that involved doing IVF (isolating mouse eggs/sperms/embryos and implanting the embryos). I am very experienced with this process and evaluating which eggs/sperms/embryos were viable/developing normally, and now the mice developed. It was shocked when I transitioned back to the medical world and saw the poor quality of eggs/embryos that were implanted in women, who had no idea. It did not surprise me at all that the success rates were so low.

      Do your research.

  5. Travel advice :

    Wondering if there are any opinions on travel destinations and tips? We are hoping to plan a trip to either Belize or Costa Rica for 1-2 weeks this March. One college senior and her two retired parents. Not interested in luxury accommodations.

    The ideal trip would be at a relatively relaxed pace and would include some beach time with snorkeling and/or scuba diving and perhaps kayaking, and some time inland exploring wildlife, some hiking/walking, and seeing pre-Columbian ruins.

    • Anonymous :

      If you care about snorkeling and diving Belize is much better.

    • Belize is awesome and checks those boxes. The beaches themselves aren’t that pretty if that matters to you. The trade-off to having an awesome reef is that the beaches tend to have a lot of sea grass that piles up and there isn’t much wave action to wash everything out. The resorts do a good job of keeping the beaches swept, but you shouldn’t expect sparkling water/pristine sand. The snorkeling more than makes up for it.

      • Can recommendations for specific resorts/hotels?

        • Can = Any

        • OfCounsel :

          For the inland part of your trip, I stayed at Black Rock Lodge recently and really liked it. The rooms were comfortable but affordable, the food was good and the guides (most important part!) were absolutely amazing. The only downsides were the mandatory four course dinners with limited options and the very bumpy road to get there. Would definitely stay there again.

          For beach, I stayed on Ambergris Caye and did not love it, although many people do. Next time I think I will try South Water Caye.

          In my experience Costa Rica had better wildlife viewing, but no ruins and the water activities were better in Belize.

      • We stayed at Jaguar Reef Lodge for our honeymoon and liked it. Hamanasi is next door and is also nice. This was 10 years ago so I’d check more recent reviews. Not much in the way of nightlife if that matters to you.

    • Try Honduras — The Lodge at Pico Bonito and also Mayan Princess Resort on Roatan. A little off the beaten path but beautiful.

  6. Anonymous :

    Guys, my husband was just diagnosed with Stage 1 melanoma. Please share with me your positive stories about recovering from this. Thanks.

    • TorontoNewbie :


    • My dad had some stage 1 tumors removed several years ago on a Friday afternoon, and was back at work on Monday. He’s been fine since.

    • I’m so sorry to hear this. I will say that the only person I’ve ever known who had melanoma (an early stage, can’t remember which one) had it removed and has been cancer-free for years now.

    • Anonymous :

      Totally curable. Amazing medications available even for folks with advanced Stage 4.

      He will be fine.

      So so so lucky they caught it early!

      Make sure you are getting your yearly skin checks as well.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. My friend’s spouse is in “no evidence of disease” mode for 18 months after having Stage 4 melanoma (it metastasized). It is likely to come back at some point but the new meds are really, really amazing.

    • Completely curable. FIL is battling Stage IV melanoma right now. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve been told and read that Stages 1 and 2 are “so curable” and “so treatable”. Not entirely reassuring for what we’re going through, but nevertheless true statements.

      I know it doesn’t make what you’re going through the least bit easier, but look to the future – he’ll get through this. Hugs to you.

    • Anonymous :

      Stage 1 melanoma is totally curable and he will be just fine. You’re lucky it was caught early. Best of luck.

    • I had dinner last week with a friend, who’d just received another all-clear checkup from his doctor after being diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma five years ago.

    • *hugs* Medicine in this space has made some huge strides, so there’s that positive. Hang in there!

    • I’ve been there myself. The word melanoma is scary (as it should be), so I’m sorry for your husband’s news. That being said, when it’s caught early, it’s very treatable. Your husband’s experience may vary, but I’ve included some details of my experience below:

      Removal: Mine was on my back, right between my shoulder blades and was diagnosed with a biopsy. I had the spot fully removed maybe a week after my diagnosis. Removal was far more extensive than I was anticipating. I’ve had moles and other spots removed before, but this was totally different. It took approximately two hours, and the doctor cut REALLY deep…like, I was convinced she was going to run into my backbone. The area is obviously well numbed, but if your husband gets queasy easily, maybe warn him that he’ll still have other sensations that can be unpleasant (Grossness Alert: I could feel warm blood running down my back at certain points, and the cauterization at the end produced a really terrible smell…I could also feel lots of pulling and tugging). It took quite a long time to heal, and I relied on my husband to clean it carefully and cover it each day. I had a double layer of stitches, where the internal ones dissolve and the external ones are removed at a later date. My scar was very noticeable for a year or so. Now it’s faded significantly, but I have a permanent indention in my back.

      Follow up: My doctor recommended that I have skin checks every 6 months for the rest of my life, which I follow religiously. The first few checks, she was extra cautious, so I’ve probably had more biopsies than necessary. Thankfully they’ve all been fine, and I’ve now had three skin checks with no biopsies (yay!). I’ve learned a lot about warning signs, and I check my skin fairly regularly on my own.

      Best of luck to you both!

      • I forgot to mention, I also had a blood test for tumor markers as a precaution. I’m not sure how common this is, as it can lead to false positives. Just something to ask the doctor.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        This is really good advice. I have not had melanoma but I did have awake surgery to have cysts under my skin removed. It was in a delicate private area and I got really dizzy hearing the clipping. I could sort of feel that they were cutting me even though it didn’t hurt at all but it was a real mind of matter moment I was not at all prepared for. My subsequent surgeries were much easier because I knew what I was getting into.

        • Wildkitten :

          Can you wear headphones while they do it? It’d be worth asking your doctor. I listened to a podcast when I got a large tattoo and while I didn’t really LISTEN to the podcast it was great to have a distraction to try to focus on instead of the feelings and sounds and noises.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Hopefully, I won’t have another such surgery but if I do, that’s a GREAT idea. I wear headphones at the dentist if there is going to be drilling. I’m surprised I didn’t think of that.

          • pugsnbourbon :

            I wore headphones during a gum surgery and I’m so glad I did. Should have closed my eyes, too.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      My husband had a Stage 1b melanoma removed in 2008 and has been just fine since. Good luck!

    • I’m sorry. My dad was diagnosed with stage 2 melanoma a couple of years ago. He had it surgically removed and gets regular monitoring from his derm and chest scans every 6 months — largely due to age and some preexisting factors. He is doing really well and the melanoma has not returned.

      Deep breaths. Melanoma is scary business, but catching it early is the best-case scenario. Hang in there!

    • My husband had melanoma in situ. He has a big scar, but is 5 years out and alive and kicking and still annoying the crap out of me. :)

      • PS everyone reading this should pick up the phone and make a skin cancer screening appointment with a dermatologist. Do it now!!

    • Glad your husband’s melanoma was caught early, Stage 1 melanoma is associated with a very good outcome. Very good points have been covered already but I’d like to add a few things. Even though they’ll cut around it by about 1 cm, the scar will look much longer because they have to cut out the shape of an ellipse so it closes nicely. There will be an indentation in the skin because the fat underneath the skin will be removed as well. It’s not done really because of the spreading issue but mostly again so it closes better. It’ll take about a year to flatten out. Recovery is pretty good, it’s sore the first few days and afterward mostly feels thigh. I’d like to emphasize how important follow up and ongoing sun protection is. Having one skin cancer puts you at increased risk of having another one (melanoma or other types such as basal cell carcinoma). That’s just the sun exposure from earlier in life that comes back to haunt you. For the sun exposure, you don’t mention your husband’s age but there are two peaks in melanoma incidence in the population. One in the mid-40’s/50’s and one in the late 60’s and 70’s. The former is from acute sun exposure at an early age and the later from chronic cumulative sun exposure. He may think that the damage is already done but he can still prevent damage to his skin and future skin cancer later in life. Source: Oncology nurse that worked in a melanoma clinic for many years.

  7. Belize! Very accessible barrier reef that is splendid for snorkeling. Amazing ruins. Caye Caulker is very low-key & casual, super friendly, and easy to get to the mainland for historical visits. (Ambergris Caye is gorgeous but is more of a scene).

    Costa Rica is also splendid but if you are looking for more low-key and not all-inclusive resort-y stuff, consider smaller places like Samara and Nosara.

  8. Please can I rant for a second. Life is feeling like a lot lately – sick parents, sick dog, unemployed husband, money problems – but we have been managing…

    Last night we were enjoying dinner and wine, relaxing, catching up, cozy inside because it was pouring rain – when we heard a huge BOOM. The ceiling in my closet had collapsed from a roof leak! Broken plaster everywhere, water pouring in – all over my clothes and shoes! Thank god no one was in the closet, but now on top of everything else, my house is literally falling down. Shots, shots, shots, where are you?

    • I have SO been there. There are just periods in life that are grueling and miserable and you think they’ll never end, but they do. Things will get better and look up soon. A corner will be turned when you least expect it. Hang in there!

    • That happened to my rich cousin who had a huge house. In a closet they rarely opened. They didn’t discover the damage for some months. Mold, everywhere. Many hugs to you.

    • Shots. Shots. Shots. :

      At least it wasn’t the liquor cabinet? I’m usually not your Tuesday night BFF (holla at your girl Pinot Grigio) but I’ll make an exception for this. Nothing says “no but what srsly?” like a quick shot on a Tuesday.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        That’s when you go for the classy shot. Pour that shot into a glass and sip it neat.

    • I feel your pain. It has been raining in my dining room for the last week – they can’t fix the roof until the rain stops. My only saving grace is that the leak and falling drywall didn’t hit my wine rack.

    • My roof leaked into our bedroom, near the TV. (It’s a Cap Code style house, so it was the wall/ceiling slope.) It was just starting, so all the water that leaked in was trapped behind the paint and swelled out. I remember poking at the weird, balloon-like lump and saying, “What the heck is THAT?” (New roof – $6,000)

      I….still haven’t painted the balloon-lump-spot. It cracked and many layers of paint fell, revealing this speckled pastel plaster. I need to fix it, but it makes me feel like I’m Hemmingway in a Paris apartment, and I just don’t care enough to fix it right now. Super lazy, but I just can’t with the home repairs. I’d rather do anything else with my weekend than fix the paint in my bedroom. I watch TV, and ponder at all the different paint colors in the giant spot, and just go to sleep.

    • Ugh that’s terrible. Are you in the Bay Area? We’ve had so much rain this weekend. Our roof is leaking through our bathroom ceiling fan and our landlord is taking forever to address it…

  9. POTUS is a fool :

    He tweeted a photograph of the inauguration with a photoshopped crowd size, saying he was going to put it on display in the lobby.

    The date on the caption at the bottom of the photo is January 21.

    • af dsfa ds :

      I am so confused by that. Is is just a close cropped picture of the actual inauguration with the wrong date? Is it Obama’s inauguration – which was on the 21st?

      • Wildkitten :

        Obama was on the 20th too. Just the date is wrong. Too bad it’s not a photo of the woman’s march – which was on the 21st! That would’ve been the funniest option.

    • Anonymous :

      He is certifiably insane.

      • Or a frighteningly brilliant manipulator.

        • Wildkitten :

          He has a personality disorder. It’s a little bit of each. It’s not a mental illness that can be treated by medicine like other illnesses, but it’s frightening manipulation for sure.

    • Distract distract distract!

      Signing executive orders saying f-you to women, the world and the environment. Essentially shutting down the EPA, or at least shutting them up.

      And it’s only been two days, folks!!

      He says, ignore all of this, focus on the photo. And we do it.

      • +1

        This is what privilege looks like. The privilege to focus on a picture posted on social media or a clearly unsupportable and irrelevant statement about election fraud the day after an order was signed that will have the effect of sending, what was the last number I saw? 65k?, poor, vulnerable, women to their deaths.

        I also note that the current CNN headline is about false allegations of voter fraud, yet a CTRL+F for “abortion” yields no results.

      • THIS X1000

        Lets learn from the past and focus on the bigger things here. Which is really sad because lying about things like that IS messed up/propaganda for sure but we have to have perspective here and save our energy for issues like both anons above me mention. =(

  10. Tax Paralegal :

    Billing question for you lawyer types. I’m a tax paralegal and I prepare all the gift tax returns our firm does. I have a list of about 50 clients to contact, most of whom do not require a return each year. Do I or do I not put in the 0.1 it takes me to contact a client to ask if they need a return? I know it will be written off for the clients who don’t need a return. I occasionally see mention on here of how much it angers partners to see associates charging such small increments of time.

    • It’s your job to record your time. It’s the partner’s job to decide how much time makes it to the bill. Don’t shortchange yourself 5 hours of work here.

    • If you’re spending the time, I think you should bill for it. The billing partner may decide to no charge it. .1 hours is reasonable for a call like that.

      For reference: I am in house, and when my outside counsel send me bills with .1 increments for calls or emails, I don’t bat an eye. What does annoy me is the firm that routinely “forgets” that we want .1 hour increments and charges .25 increments for a single email with 2 sentences in it.

    • I agree, although in this case, it might not hurt to ask. My last law firm sometimes had separate numbers for paralegals to record time for projects with a lot of .1s that were not going to get billed.

    • I was a paralegal for a lot of years and we needed to check in re Annual ISO notices and DE taxes. Put the .2 for each client in. It adds up. The client knows you contacted them. Generally, don’t bill .1s if it’s a one-off, but for this, do it.

  11. out of town job search :

    My family and I are trying to relocate to another city. My husband and I are both basically at the same level in the same field. How have you handled a job search for both spouses? Full steam ahead for both at the same time? One gets something first and the other finds something afterwards? Has anyone lived apart for a while? We have a small child so living apart would be difficult on everyone, but i’m wary of giving up my job to move if he finds something first because I’m worried about a long period of unemployment. Any tips on navigating this move? Right now it seems like a logistic nightmare.

    • Anonymous :

      I think the only reasonable way to do it is move when one of you finds a job. It’s easier to do once you are there as well, and I find it unfathomable to separate either parent from a young child when you don’t need to, and there’s no way of knowing when you’d finally find a job there either way.

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t think it’s unfathomable to do long distance with a young child. It’s pretty common in academia. Personally, I’d be really hesitant to follow my spouse without a job lined up, because you have no idea how long it will take you to get back in the workforce, and it would be very easy to fall into being a SAHM, especially if you don’t really need the second salary. Family is very important, but if you have a career you love, I would think long and hard before giving up a job you’re happy with to follow a spouse.
        It depends on a lot of factors though, including what the distance is (Boston-NY is totally different than Boston-SF) and how often you can afford (both in terms of time and money) to visit.

        • out of town job search :

          One other thing I should add, I’m the one that wants to move. The move would be from a very HCOL city to to the LCOL city where I grew up and where my family all lives. Husband is indifferent to the move. Neither of us love our jobs here now. I like working and I like being a lawyer but I’m not in love with my current job and don’t see it (or our current situation) as long term.

        • Anonymous :

          Would you feel different if you assumed the kid was going with dad and you’d be the parent deprived of time with your child because of a decision you both made and timing out of your control? How long would you stay where you are still looking only seeing your kid on weekends?

          If your husband doesn’t care about the move though, then I’d think only you would look and he’d quit to follow.

          • out of town job search :

            This is a good point and if child was going husband I would go too. My husband definitely cares about his career (and I care about mine) but for our family long term we think new city is a better fit. He still wants to get the best job he can in the new city. I think I feel that since he is moving to a city he wouldn’t otherwise be moving to because of my desire to move there, I want him to have a job he is satisfied in .

        • I don’t know, I’m an academic and while I do know couples who have done this, they have universally been pretty unhappy about the situation, and only willing to do it because the alternative is leaving their career behind altogether. Which several of them have ended up doing.

    • What industry? In my industry I would NOT recommend moving without a job (law) bc there is a huge stigma to being unemployed. I’d live apart and be prepared that it can often take a yr to get a job. Hopefully your industry is different.

      • Anonymous :

        In my industry, also law, there’s no stigma when you moved for a spouses job.

        • Interesting – may depend on what kind of law and where bc being a woman who is jobless bc she moved for her husband – there is definite stigma that you are the SAHM type and don’t really want to work bc you put your career on hold for his.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m not Anon at 3:35, but I do think there’s a huge stigma to unemployment, even if there’s a good reason. There’s certainly no stigma in saying “I’m moving to X city because my spouse is relocating here.” And if you’ve left a job very recently to follow the spouse, it might be ok. But if you’ve been out of work for 6 months or more, nobody cares that you are a trailing spouse. You might be seen marginally better than a candidate who has been out of work for 6 months because of a layoff, but you both are going to be far, far beyond employed candidates or candidates who left a job last month. I’m not saying I agree with this attitude, but it is extremely prevalent in law.

          • I’m anon 3;35 — and this is what I was trying to say. Law isn’t the most dynamic of fields – prob bc it is still dominated by older men who got one job at age 25 and stayed there and are now 50 or 60. They don’t understand — or want to open their minds enough to understand — that things happen. There ARE layoffs (which are perpetrated by their generation upon the younger one); sometimes you do have to move for a spouse’s job; sometimes that move results in you being unemployed for over a few months bc the market is slow etc. Instead they just cast resumes aside assuming something MUST be wrong with the person bc they would NEVER have made that move so bc the person made a move, they must not value their career and be a horrible lawyer.

      • out of town job search :

        Industry is law. We work in different fields though and his is generally much more marketable in new city than mine is. I feel like financially and practically it makes sense to live separately if he gets something first, especially because we are on the hook for our lease for most of the year, but it also seems so wrong for one of us to be separated from our kid because of financial and practical reasons.

        I didn’t think there would be a stigma for unemployment because you moved with your spouse but I guess I’m not surprised. sad to think about though.

        • I don’t think there’s stigma right away. I think for 3-6 months it’s perfectly fine to say — not working bc we just moved here. But you know how old lawyers are — you don’t know how long it’ll take and if it suddenly gets to 9 months or 1 yr+ — people will start acting like something is wrong with you that you moved a yr ago and STILL aren’t working so either you’re a terrible atty or you really just want to be a SAHM.

          I had a friend who was a lawyer looking to move back with her husband to upstate NY (read – dying economy). They basically agreed whoever got an offer first would go, and the other would stay at their NYC firm while searching full time for work in Rochester BUT they put an end time on it. I don’t recall the end time but it was something like 6-9 months — i.e. if DH moves to Rochester and DW stays in NYC and keeps looking in Rochester but can’t find a job in 9 months, she moves without a job. It kind of splits the difference — bc you could get a job within 3 months of moving bc you’ve been looking hard for the 9 prior months but when you interview you can say you’ve only been in town and unemployed for 3 months rather than a whole yr. And depending on where you’re moving it could work out like it did for my friends. He moves to a firm there — in getting to know people, talks about his wife and how she is also looking and eager to join him in Rochester. A firm across town needs an associate a few months later and instead of turning to a recruiter or anything — calls him and asks for his wife’s resume. I realize this is a small town/small city thing but it never would’ve happened if he hadn’t already been in town doing the “leg work” for his wife.

          • out of town job search :

            Thanks. I think this is what we were thinking and it makes sense to me.

          • Anonymous :

            Thanks for painting all of upstate NY as a dying economy. I guess my six figure legal job in a LCOL area doesn’t count.

          • Uh — it is?? I’m sure you’re doing great in your 6 figure job but it isn’t a place where it’s easy to move and get a job – in law or otherwise.

          • Anonymous :

            Uh, it isn’t? As is evidenced by the story-the husband got a job and the wife got a job a few months later. Also, there are multiple towns, cities and villages in upstate NY. News flash, not all of them are part of a “dying economy”.

        • Anonymous :

          Again, you’re going to keep your child from one of its parents. For how long?

          • out of town job search :

            Yeah, that’s the main issue. Otherwise it would be a much easier decision. I guess our time frame would be 6 months tops with frequent visits. I would keep child here with me I think so he could focus on new job.

          • Anonymous :

            Flip it. You want to move, so you lose time with the kid. It’s terrible to send him off to work in a place that he is indifferent to and he loses his kid because he got a job first. Then think about if you are okay with that plan- whether or not you do it, if you aren’t open to it I think that is telling.

          • Anonymous :

            You know there are military parents who do deployments and don’t see their families at all for a year or more at a time, right? The kid will survive. It’s not this tragic, life-changing thing for the kid, especially if you put an end date of six months or a year on it.

          • Anonymous :

            Of course! But this isn’t a military deployment. This is moving because you feel like it. And it’s not just the kid who suffers- the parent who is non custodial does too.

          • out of town job search :

            I’m not really “sending off him to work.” He is actually more into the idea of living separately because he thinks it makes mores sense financially and he doesn’t want me to hurt my career prospects. He will obviously miss child a lot and it will be difficult for everyone, but in his view, its a short term thing and my salary during that time could help us a lot financially. I’m more hesitant about it because I’ll miss him and emotionally I want us all to be together.

    • potatochip :

      Not me, but a co-worker. She got a job first and moved to their new city. He stayed behind, working, while job hunting. He moved when their old house sold (but before he found a new position). Young kids would obv. be a an additional variable, but it’s one way to handle two mortgages at the same time.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you work in an industry where a recruiter could look for jobs for both of you?

      • out of town job search :

        There are recruiters but I got the sense from informational interviews that many people don’t use them and instead get jobs through connections/word of mouth that they are looking, etc.

        • Since you still have a lease and no real external deadline to move (and it sounds like it should be easier for your H to get a job in new city), why not look for a job there first yourself and only move once you have one lined up?

  12. Global warming :

    I’ve been having a lot of anxiety recently about global warming and the general state of the world. I have two kids, and I worry what the year 2080 will look like for them. Global warming seems like a runaway train.

    I know this is partly my anxiety, but some of these are real worries. Am I the only one with these fears?

    • Anonymous :

      No, this is all your anxiety. Of course global warming is a problem. But if you’re sitting around being afraid for your children because of it, that’s anxiety you can get help for.

    • Anonymous :

      You’re definitely not the only one with those fears. The adage ‘Think Global Act Local’ really applies here. Contact your legislators and let them know you are concerned. Figure out what you can do to help stop global warming. Many of the European countries are making great progress on emissions reduction.

    • Yes? Global warming happens slowly — it’s not like it’s suddenly going to be a hugely different issue in 2 yrs than it is now. As for 2080 — if your kids are newborns today, they’ll be 63 then. Don’t you think your 63 yr old “kids” and their peers will have figured it out by then?

      • FWIW, I don’t think my 63-year-old kids and their peers will have it figured out by then. What I DO think is that my 63-year-old kid will be in a privileged group of the world’s (and maybe the country’s) population that can adapt by moving and/or paying higher prices for scarce goods and expensive adaptations. But I recognize that this is different from “figuring it out.”

        • Anonymous :


        • This. Your kids will be privileged. Your kids will be able to buy their way out of any problems. Further, just because the mean global temperature isn’t going to jump 3 degrees in two years, that doesn’t mean that localized effects won’t be experienced sooner. Coastal cities in this country are already having issues with flooding and salt water intrusion. But who cares, right? Rich people just move. Any number of tipping points could be triggered within the next 5, 10, 50 years that could be game changers.

          Arctic ice shelf breaking off.

          Vanishing permafrost.

          Changes in ocean circulation patterns.

          Fishery collapse.

          I’m so looking forward to it.

        • Yes.

          This is, honestly, one of the biggest reasons I didn’t/won’t have kids.

      • Ok so if your 63 yr old will be able to adapt — is it THAT big of an issue??

        • Please don’t get me wrong, but I don’t understand your position.

          You are a highly educated person living in one of the richest areas in the world. If I could choose my parents, I’ll definitely choose such a lot over being a child in Asia, Africa or Latin America. Your child is very likely to get excellent education and role models. Plus, since his mother is environmentally concerned, they could make a real contribution to global warming problem (maybe they become a scientist, economist or politician dealing with these issues or donate lots of money to that cause). Maybe your child is the one who could solve the problem?

          Is there anything that I miss or misunderstand here? Are there some other valid arguments and points of view that I fail to notice?

    • They are real concerns, but it’s not healthy to spend a lot of time worrying about what’s going to happen in 2080. You take the steps you _can_ take now to address your concerns (both by living an environmentally friendly life and by voting for candidates who will enforce environmentally friendly policies) but you can’t spend your energy worrying about what the world is going to look like in 73 years.

    • No. We have to do what we can now. Teach our children to be good stewards of the world. Do their small part to be aware of the problem, and take responsibility for the waste they produce. Use your worry and anxiety as a force of change and progress, not fear. Good luck!

    • No, you’re not. I’m considering not having kids because of it. It’s not enough to say “teach your kids to recycle” or “walk more and drive less” – this country is literally destroying the planet before our eyes. Individual change is not enough and we have a madman at the helm now.

  13. weight tracking app :

    Thank you to the posters who suggested Happy Scale to me on Friday. It’s exactly what I was looking for!

    I love that it also sets up milestones. I broke up my goal (~30 lbs) into ~5 lb milestones, which feels so much more achievable.

  14. Job Application Advice :

    Looking for advice from people who do hiring…
    I am a relatively recent grad applying for corporate jobs (one year of post-grad experience under my belt). Two questions for you:

    1. Many of the online application processes ask for an expected salary in a drop-down menu. No way to opt out of choosing it. How would you approach this? Does it even matter?

    2. My husband got sick and died (over 10 months) during the last year of my undergrad. So I tried to start and then dropped classes for 2 semesters and my grades were less than stellar. And then I started my M.A. right after that which also took me a bit longer than normal. My focus suffered after the trauma. So anyway, my grades are good, but not stellar and the time it took my to finish things was a bit long. Do you think I should submit an explanatory note with my transcript? Or is this kind of thing TMI, or just too dark?

    Any advice would be much appreciated!

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      1. Research the heck of the market rate for even entry level jobs. Ask a Manager has the best resources that I’ve found.

      2. Possibly use a sentence or two in your cover letter to discuss how you overcame the challenges of losing your husband during undergraduate, but keep it very low key. I again recommend the Ask a Manager archives for more examples of this.

      Go you!

    • Re: #2, do not submit an explanation with your transcript. Also, why would you be submitting your transcript with a job application? If someone asks in an interview, you can reply with “there was a death in the family”.

    • Unless the application process specifically asks for your transcripts, you don’t need to include them.

      Don’t spend time highlighting what you consider to be “failures” or “low performance” because then the hiring manager will see that and nothing else. Instead, find the skills and talents that you do have and highlight them.

      If you’re asked during an interview for clarification, you can talk about a little, but be honest and clear that you are ready to work.

      I’m sorry for your loss.

      • Good point regarding not highlighting failures. Thanks Jessica.

        No, I would never include transcripts on purpose, but I seem to be always asked for them, either during the initial online application process or after being contacted by the company. They usually ask for transcripts and 3 references.

    • This is the kind of thing you explain in a cover letter to give color around why you had to start and drop classes a couple of times. Then you talk about successfully completing your program (if your grades are “good but not stellar,” portray that as a win (grades are good) not a loss (grades could have been better)). They don’t really have a way of knowing how much better your grades would have been, and since you’re already in the “good” camp, don’t plant the seed for them of thinking of your grades as a failure.

      And I’m sorry for your loss – I hope that you’re in as good a place as you can be given the healing process!

  15. Might be too late in the day, but I’m looking for an accountant recommendation to handle preparing a family trust tax return and K1, preferably in the Philly area. TIA!

  16. House for Baby :

    We’re looking for a new rental home (probably want to buy in 1-2 years but don’t quite have the down payment yet plus we may relocate, so has to be a rental now). We’re between two townhomes – one which will work better for us now, and one which would work better for us down the road if we have a baby. We’re TTC starting in about a month or two. How much would the possibility of a baby make your decision? I have no reason to think it’ll take us awhile to get pregnant but I know it could be months or even years (if ever). DH is thinking we should weigh the possibility of a having a baby sooner higher and I’m kind of like, we’ll just figure it out and move again if we need to (which we will, at some point need to). Thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      What is bad about the one that’s not good for baby? If it’s like…a one bedroom apartment or something, then I would move into the bigger one now (but I really, really hate moving). But if it’s something more minor and it would be livable for a year or two with a baby, then I’d probably just get the one that fits your needs now – especially if you want to buy in a year or two.

      • House for Baby :

        it’s minor stuff – location of bedrooms/bathrooms/stairs, but I agree. I think DH is being silly – thanks for the reinforcements :)

      • Also baby visitors :

        We didn’t choose a home based on kid friendly etc., but we did try to choose something that would attract out of town grandparents. I went so far as to stock the guest bathroom with my mom’s favorite products. My husband and I both have moms with flexible schedules who live out of town and we wanted them to visit as often as possible! So far working splendidly.

        “Kid-friendly” means something totally different at each age. If you’re looking at 1-2 years, I totally agree not worth basing your decision on that.

    • Anonymous :

      You’re planning to move in a year or two anyway. Nonexistent baby doesn’t matter.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 The earliest you would have the baby would be a year from now and it sounds like you want to be buying around then anyway, so I would’t really factor the baby in.

    • Assuming it’s a 1 yr lease — I’d get the one that’s cheaper; even if you are rich, it’s not like extra money in the account ever hurt when there’s a kid on the way and you’re saving up for a down payment. If you get pregnant tomorrow, you’d still not have a baby for 9 months and then the baby has to live in the less “kid friendly” place for 3 more months and your lease is over and you can move.

      • I agree with this approach. I wouldn’t make short-term plans for baby who doesn’t exist yet. FWIW, babies need surprisingly little in terms of stuff/space for the first few months. Many parents choose to have the baby sleep in their room (and that’s the current recommendation by the American Pediatric Association). They’re not mobile, and they don’t weigh much, so stairs don’t matter yet. You can bathe them in a tub or a sink, whichever is easier. The only deal-breaker for me would be location and ease of laundry. Newborns=lots of laundry. If one laundry facility is in a cold basement 3 flights from where baby would be, or is shared with other households, etc., I might get the other townhome.

        Also, I’m not sure if this helps, but pretty much everyone I know has either moved or renovated while pregnant, and I know several people who have broken a lease to do so. So, in my opinion, chances are good that if you get pregnant, you’ll think something like, “Oh my goodness, we need to buy a house right now and fix it up perfectly for Baby, because it will be absolutely impossible to change anything about our lives later.” This is completely untrue, by the way, but I’ll admit that logic did not prevail with me (I was on bed rest with my bed in my living room and contractors coming in my house everyday), and I’ve been unsuccessful at convincing any of my friends not to move or renovate.

        • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

          This times a thousand. No, a million. Or a zillion. And this is coming from someone who has a family of 6 in a 3 bedroom condo.

          There seems to be a mentality that you need to have this perfect life set up for your kids in some social circles, and that is somehow represented by having the “perfect” home. But a great home is about the people in it, not the amount of stuff, the number of bedrooms, etc.

          And I am not bashing other people’s decisions to move into bigger spaces or renovate or buy stuff. But it is just not necessary for your child’s or your family’s happiness. And besides, all of that can be done over time as well.

      • But moving twice could negate the savings. Even a cheap move isn’t free- say $1000 minimum plus effort?

  17. Perhaps it is too late in the day, so I may re-ask this tomorrow– but can someone give advice on frequent flyer miles? I feel like I fly a fair amount– once a month and sometimes twice a month. I have almost 22,000 miles on American. But I don’t have any status with the airline, I’ve never used them to buy a flight, I basically have no benefit from accruing these miles. What is the best thing to do with them? Is another airline better? What am I missing?

    • Which airline is better = depends on your “home base” airport as well as those you fly to most frequently

      Generally speaking, I stick to one airline whenever possible (Delta) with a backup (Air Canada), I have mileage rewards cards, and I tend to use my points for expensive last-minute tickets or for personal travel.

    • Anonymous :

      If you fly once a month, you should fly one airline enough to get status, which is really nice to have, not only for upgrades and stuff but also so the airline will take much better care of you whenever your flights get delayed or cancelled. Which airline you choose depends on what your home airport is and where you fly. As far as using the miles, I hoard them so I can use them in emergency situations, when I need to buy a last minute ticket. Often this is crazy expensive to do with dollars, but not a bad deal with miles. I currently have 400K miles. They never expire, as long as you keep flying the airline (on American I believe they expire 18 months after you last flew American – it doesn’t depend at all on when they were earned. So as long as you fly the airline every 18 months, they never expire).

      • I would add, though, that while miles don’t typically expire, the conventional wisdom is you should use them as you earn them because airlines frequently devalue them through making it harder to use them or requiring more miles for a given route. But everyone has different preferences.

    • What you’re missing is that you need to work a few angles to get those miles to work for you. I would start with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and put all travel related expenses on it (if your company allows you to, assuming it’s all work travel). They’ll get double miles just for the dollar amount. If you book through the Chase portal, you’ll get even more miles, I believe (though I don’t do that often because they’re a pain if you need to rebook). Then you get the miles from the airline itself. If you use one airline exclusively, consider getting a credit card with them as well for perks like free checked bags, etc. The Chase miles aren’t good on every airline, but they can be transferred to partner airlines or used through the Chase portal.

      • givemyregards :

        Just chiming in to say that they’ve removed the 3 points/dollar for booking via travel portal benefit from the Chase Sapphire Preferred – now it’s still just the 2 miles/dollar spent on travel. Since that completely eliminates the point of the portal, I suspect they’ll get rid of it eventually – I’m surprised it even still exists.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I’m surprised you don’t have status if you’re flying 1-2x month; I think it’s 30 segments on American to get to their lowest level of status, which is a little over one roundtrip flight per month. Unless you’re getting relatively cheap tickets and haven’t hit the dollar threshold yet? Stick to one airline as much as you can.

      I rack up quite a bit of miles from work travel. I’m a Delta person, and if it’s a choice between a non-delta flight and a slightly less convenient delta flight, I’m taking Delta. Not so much for the miles, but because the status makes my frequent flying for work so much more pleasant (I usually get at least their “economy plus” seats no charge, and can change flights same day with no fee, which is big for me). I only fly for personal travel two or three times a year and use my miles to pay for those flights. I find Delta is good about having tickets on miles available. I once had a bunch of United miles and those were worthless because they black out so many dates–I ended up using them on a duffel bag (most airlines have a catalog of things you can buy with your skymiles) .

  18. Where do you ladies love to shop for cheap, but cute activewear? Emphasis on stylish. I love f21 activewear, lulu, Nike etc

    • Marshmallow :

      Try buying the brands you already like on Poshmark. There’s a ton of marked-down, gently used Lulu on there.

    • I don’t believe in gently used activewear. If it was washed often enough, the spandex is shot. If it was not washed…

    • Try Marshalls, TJ Maxx etc. If you’re flexible on color there should be a ton of options.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +1. I regularly find adidas and nike products at my local, mediocre Marshalls.

        I recently bought a pair of $20, plain black leggings from Oalka, via Amazon. Really pleasantly surprised by their quality and fit.

    • Nordstrom Rack carries Z Zella a cheaper line of their workout gear. Old Navy and Gap also carry fun active clothing.

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