It seems counter intuitive, but I’ve read that at the end of August is one of the best times to plan a vacation because you can get the best deals. We’ve talked about how to deal with vacation stress (including how to be a good employee while on vacation, and a vacation time poll to gauge how much you’ve actually taken) and we’ve talked about office etiquette around the holidays — but we haven’t talked about planning a vacation in a long time, so I thought we could discuss. How do you budget for a vacation, both in terms of money and time? (Does anyone do the “extra savings account just for vacations” thing?) Do you like to vacation in the summer or some other time of the year? Have you taken the same vacation multiple times (for example, I’ve been on FOUR Paris vacations — I love the city and love seeing new sides to it every time I go)? Or are vacations all about family for you, spending time with your parents (either in your childhood home or at a family beach house or the like)? [Read more...]
When did you first really set up house for yourself — buy dishes and nice furniture? Did you wait until you were married, or when you bought a house or apartment for yourself? When you turned 30? Are you still waiting? I don’t know why this has been on my mind lately, but I just thought it might be an interesting topic.
For my $.02, I had some basic (cheap) stuff — kitchen basics and furniture — from college onward, but it wasn’t until I was 29 or so that I started buying nice dishes and furniture for myself. This was due to a lot of factors, I suppose: when I was in my early 20s I was on a tight budget; I spent my middle 20s in law school; and I spent my late 20s working extremely long hours so I was never really home that much. (I am also about as far as you can get from a domestic goddess like Martha Stewart.) I do think another big reason is that I spent my 20s, for the most part, single, and didn’t want to “jinx” future happiness/”give up hope” by setting up house by myself. A few random memories around this topic: [Read more...]
Readers, have you bought eyeglasses online recently? A number of new stores and services have come out, and since I personally needed some new eyeglasses, I thought I’d write a post summarizing my experiences.
After some cornea troubles a few years ago, I wear eyeglasses about 85% of the time — and I recently decided that I really, really needed some new eyeglasses. See, I used to have a LOT: three metal eyeglasses (two that were super old, one through the LensCrafters thing in 2011), two plastic framed “stylish” glasses, and two prescription sunglasses. Of the eyeglasses, my son basically destroyed three pairs (ah, toddlers — in his defense they were old anyway), one pair was only comfortable for wear in short spurts (my “going out glasses,” for when I was too lazy to put in my contacts), and the final pair — which have became my “everyday” glasses — somehow yank out a few strands of my hair every time I wear them. Ow. (As for the sunglasses, I didn’t need any new ones, I just WANTED them. So sue me.) [Read more...]
I am kind of an obsessive list-keeper and note-taker. Back when I had a Palm Pilot, it was filled with ‘em; now that I’m on Android I’m still happily using the program B-Folders to keep track of my myriad lists. Am I crazy? Sure. (All the best people are.) But I sometimes really marvel at how useful my odd little lists are, so I thought we’d discuss — are you guys fond of lists? Have you found that certain “weird” lists you make are really helpful from an organizing/productivity standpoint, either for life or work?
For my own $.02, here are some of the weirder lists I keep that I’ve found to be ridiculously useful (and how I use ‘em): [Read more...]
With the Fourth of July right around the corner (and a nice four-day weekend for most US readers), I’m sure a lot of people have travel plans. For those of you who don’t, though, I thought we’d talk about staycations — what are your favorite things to do on staycations?
For my $.02, I’ve enjoyed a number of staycations through the years…
- Museums. For a long time, I used to take a regular museum staycation in the beginning of the year (usually either over the 3-day MLK weekend or the 3-day President’s Day weekend) — I would pick a few museums that I hadn’t been to in a while, or had great exhibits I hadn’t seen, and try to my tourist thing in NYC — and go to at least two a day. I would normally be exhausted after the weekend, but I really did feel like I’d learned a lot (and felt like a tourist!). [Read more...]
Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In has been out for a few weeks now, and while I know readers have had a discussions here and there — as well as lots of discussion about the various articles about Lean In — I thought I’d add my own $.02 and give you guys a centralized place to discuss the book.
To begin with: I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did. I was surprised to find Sandberg really personable and funny, and I found myself nodding to a lot of what she said (if not saying YESYESYES, as you’ll see below). I also appreciated the thorough research and facts in the book — the
index notes section is almost fifty pages long.
On the flip side, there were still a few things that made my eyebrows shoot up, where I think she is being over-optimistic. And these are incredibly difficult questions, so maybe we need someone to dream big… but some of it just doesn’t resonate with me. For example: [Read more...]