Coffee Break: Navy Blue with Pink Stripes Lunch Bag

cute-lunch-bag-cyntha-rowleyThis cute lunch bag is easy to clean and has adjustable shoulder straps and a small handle at the top. Of course, I love the colors, considering they’re the blog colors, but I also like how this bag is sort of feminine but also sort of masculine at the same time. If you’re looking for a new lunch bag for yourself or for someone in your life (holiday gift?), this one is $25 at Staples. Cynthia Rowley, Navy Blue with Pink Stripes Lunch Bag

(L-all)

Comments

  1. Jules - Bike for 10-year-old girl? :

    I’m participating in a Secret Santa-type program and picked a ten-year-old girl who wants a bike, but I don’t know what size to buy. I’ll get a gift receipt of course so it can be exchanged but I hope to get the size right the first time. Most bicycle sizing guides refer to the child’s height, but I don’t know it (and the program is anonymous, there’s really no way for me to find this out). Do any of you with kids this age have suggestions for the right size to get, assuming she’s more or less average height? Thanks.

    • I’d say 24.” 26″ is an adult size. I’m 5’2″ and my seat is almost as low as it goes on an adult bike.

    • nylongirl :

      second the 24 inch. our soon to be 10 year old is getting that same size. we measured her for the 26 inch but it was too big.

    • Anonymous :

      Get her a bike lock as well, if you can swing it – something with a code, not a key, which will help with managing and storing it. This is speaking as someone who love their bike as a kid and had it stolen off their Cape Cod front porch in rural Maryland. The uncomplicated lock is a deterrent, and I’ve lost keys as an adult.

    • Jules - Bike for 10-year-old girl? :

      Okay, 24″ it is, and the lock is a great idea. (In our little town, the major crime is bicycle “borrowing.”) Thanks to all of you!

      • Anonymous :

        If you’re looking for a lock, I have this one and it’s great. I keep it wrapped around the stem at the top of the handlebars and it’s super easy to lock and pretty secure.

        https://www.kryptonitelock.com/content/kryt-us/en/products/product-information/current-key/001126.html

  2. I love this lunch bag. Immediate thread jack for current or former Portland, Oregon readers. I want to give my son a gift certificate or membership subscription to a Portland theater (live productions). He’s not in to ballet or opera. Is there something in Portland like the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago? or other recommendations? Thank you!

  3. IUD advice, please.

    I’m getting my first IUD inserted on Friday afternoon. Would exercise (likely hot yoga) that morning have any impact, positive or negative, on insertion pain (or post-insertion pain)? I’ve already accepted that I probably shouldn’t bike home from the appointment but am wondering how else my regular weekday schedule should shift.

    I’m 29, healthy, no previous pregnancies.

    • Anonymous :

      Take Advil before.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think exercise before will have any affect, no matter what kind it is. Don’t plan on doing any after though, possibly for a couple of days. I was fine after a couple of hours, but a friend had cramps for a couple of days.

    • I took two ibuprofen before and still found it painful during. I kept up regular doses for the rest of the day and did not have pain after. 100% worth it.

    • Anonymous :

      No advice, but also getting an IUD inserted this Friday afternoon. Highfive!

    • Exercise before hand won’t have an impact. However, I took 800mg ibuprofen before insertion and it was still painful and I cramped for the next two days. I wish I took something stronger beforehand. Good call on the Friday afternoon slot!

    • Marshmallow :

      At this point I’m just echoing what others have said, but exercise won’t have much effect. I did not take Advil beforehand and the insertion was pretty painful, but the cramps I had for several days after were maybe worse. I love my IUD, though, and wouldn’t go back. Good luck!

    • Anonymous :

      I know this is a delayed response, but in case you are checking –

      I am an active person and lift or run almost every day. I did CrossFit in the AM before my appointment. Took almost a week off after – worst cramps were in the last few days.

  4. Happy Monday all. I posted this pretty late in the weekend, so posting again hoping for even more ideas :)
    Last week I asked for (and received) a good raise. It will begin in the new year, and I want to get myself something with most of the first month’s extra take-home pay.
    I’m trying to think of something that I’ll use or wear to work or on (frequent) overseas work trips. My budget is up to 800 USD.
    In this case I want an item rather than an experience, because I’d like to see it and be reminded of being rewarded for all the hard work I’ve done this year.
    Any suggestions?

  5. Networking question for you guys. I am attorney seeking an inhouse role in a technology startup company. There is a networking even going on tonight that focuses on the startup workforce that I am attending, even though it is not a strictly legal event. I am not a good networker so would like some advice on how to move from the “Hello my name is X” for asking for information on any startups that have significant enough sales to need an attorney to deal with contract negotiations.

    Thanks,

    • Think of it like a conversation. Who are you talking to start up CEOs? Why not ask – what’s the product (assuming you aren’t supposed to already research that – if you know in advance who’ll be there). If you can start with – what’s the product/service – how about: how long have you been in business; how did you get the idea for this product/service; have you brought on any additional employees etc. People LOVE to talk about themselves and their businesses. By asking questions about their businesses (without directly asking, what are your sales OR are you hiring), you get a sense of what is a growing startup with funding vs. what is a very early stage idea that may or may not go anywhere. Then if you hit it off with any of the ones that sound promising, ask for a business card/to connect to them on LinkedIn and then reach out after the event to see if they’ll have coffee with you or a call to talk about your interests in the start up world.

    • I don’t think you ask your very pointed, very specific question in these conversations at all. I think you ask people to talk about their companies in general, ask them what they do… use a lot of “What” “Who and “How” questions to let them speak and so you can learn about their companies/what they do. Then, I would think naturally in the conversation you’ll be able to identify a need or potential need for your skill set.

      As someone who works at a firm that is both recognizable and highly sought after (think Google, but not tech industry…), it totally sucks when I’m at events like this and people try to turn a light conversation into a one-sided interview and make it clear they want something from you, a job, a contact, or otherwise. Though, when I do find a good candidate from one of these meetings, it’s because we had a great preliminary conversation at an event like this, that person has initiative and follows up, resulting in a an even better 1-on-1 meeting over coffee or lunch at a later date.

      • Thanks Anon and Tutti! OP here, and I will be using your advice at the event tonight!

        • Anonymous :

          If you have a perspective on some of the issues that they may be facing, or can ask them directly about how they’re handling such and such issue, it puts you in a better place for the networking and makes you more memorable.

  6. Anonymous :

    Gift ideas for my boyfriend please!

    He spends money for himself on basically two things: electronics and running shoes, neither of which I’m willing to buy for him because I’d probably get the wrong thing. He already has a fancy watch. He’s in a STEM field and reads math books for fun, which, again, not my area and not a safe place for me to be choosing gifts. He is really interested in history — so maybe if anyone has read any good history books lately? He devoured the Revolutions podcasts and is now listening to the Roman history podcast by the same guy.

    His sense of humor tends towards farce, if that helps.

    • Anonymous :

      DVDs of Drunk History? Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

    • Amelia Earhart :

      I was in Costco this weekend and picked up the “NYT Book of the Dead: 320 Print and 10,000 Digital Obituaries of Extraordinary People.” I’m giving it to a friend who loves history. I was flipping through it while standing in line and found it so interesting I went back and got myself a copy.

      Amazon link to follow!

    • Senior Attorney :

      It’s been out for a while now, but I really liked A History of the World in 100 Objects: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0052RCX0G/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

    • My husband has enjoyed Ron Chernow’s Hamilton, which inspired Lin Manuel Miranda’s hit musical. He also liked Team of Rivals and Cleopatra.

      • I’m a historian, ditto Ron Chernow. My husband, who sounds similar, just finished it and liked it. He’s getting Robert Caro’s LBJ biographies for Christmas. For Roman, Mary Beard’s SPQR is fantastic. For following up Revolutions, The Black Jacobins is a classic for a reason! For American, I also recommend Eric Foner. Ed Baptist’s The Half Has Never Been Told is good for slavery (although, depressing). The Warmth of Other Suns is a lovely popular history of the Great Migration. Rick Perlstein (Nixonland, The Invisible Bridge) is good for more recent political history.

        If he has specific time/regional interests, post them and I can offer other suggestions.

    • Anonattorney :

      Dan Carlin is a great historian – my husband loves his Hardcore History podcast. You can get his Hardcore History Compilation for $60. 40 hours of history podcast.

    • lawsuited :

      He might really like Moonwalking With Einstein by Joshua Foer. The author researches and practices different memory techniques, including interviewing some very interesting people, for a year before entering the Memory Championship and winning. My husband is also in a STEM field and I think the “scientific” way the author approached the project really intrigued him – he read it 2 years ago and still talks about it frequently.

    • Anonymous :

      Sapiens – a brief histore of humankind

    • Emperor of All Maladies – a history/biography of cancer, and the scientific breakthroughs that got us to the point of being able to study/treat it.

    • He sounds like the perfect candidate for something from Think Geek. And then some comfy, supportive slippers like those from Birkenstock, because I think everyone should have good slippers.

    • Anonymous :

      An Echo Dot

      Allbirds wool running shoes

      timbuk2 messenger bag

    • anon anon armani :

      The Far Side complete collection by Gary Larson … great cartoons for the nerd in us. On sale last week on Amazon.

    • A few nice historical books: “The Silk Roads”, “The Edge of the World”, “History of the World in Twelve Maps” and there was something on Alexander Humboldt as well (science+history book).

      But maybe a Lego set (they have ones for adults and from the movies)?

      • Also, from what you’ve written he may like a board game. “Ticket to Ride”, “Splendor”, “7 wonders “, “Carcasonne”. You can play them with two or more players.

  7. Re-posting this here from the open thread:

    Does anyone have any present ideas for my sister? She’s in her late 30s, a stay at home mom to two elementary school aged kids. She lives in a very affluent suburb of a major NE city.

    She’s not a drinker and her family has food/fragrance allergies so anything consumable or makeup/perfume/candles, etc. is out. She’s also not really into working out or anything outdoorsy at all.

    She enjoys reading historical fiction but beyond that I am not entirely sure what her hobbies are. I usually get her a sweater or a cute necklace but am looking to branch out. I do not live near here so cannot take her out for dinner/an activity.

    Any ideas? Ideally I’d like to keep it around $50ish but could go more for something amazing.

    I got her husband an amazon echo.

    Thanks!

    • I’d say cute jewelry that she wouldn’t buy for herself. If not that – then how about something like a spa day?

      • She has really bad allergies to fragrances so a spa day is out. She also does not paint her nails or use many cosmetics for the same reason.

        Any thoughts on what cute jewelry would be? She doesn’t wear earrings or bracelets so it would have to be a necklace.

    • Anonymous :

      The Hamilton book and Hamilton soundtrack?

    • The Outlander series, either books or DVDs
      A nice scarf
      GC to mani/pedi
      Membership to local museum, garden, or park

    • Anonymous :

      favorite historical fiction:

      The Underpainter by Jane Urquhart
      The English Patient by Micahel Ondaatje – I was so-so on the movie but I LOVED the book.
      The Book of Negros by Laurence Hill

    • Anonymous :

      Does she have an e-reader?

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      All the Light You Cannot See, The Nightingale, and The Light Between Oceans, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, or Everyone Brave is Forgiven. Historical fiction with a theme (WWII), and they’re all ridiculously amazing books.

      • Loved The Nightingale. I also liked The Goldfinch, less historical fiction but it was really good. What about a subscription to Audible so she can listen to books on tape while driving around town?

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Loved it even more than all the light you cannot see, which I adored. I read the nightingale in one day during bar prep.

    • Btw, A Practical Wedding just put up a book list and open thread. Totally worth browsing.

    • I love the idea of a museum membership, or membership to a botanical gardens or something like that.

      If you want to give more of a thing, museum gift shops (I’m thinking of the MOMA in particular) have beautiful scarves and other accessories.

    • A wristlet that can fit her cell phone.

    • A Gift Card for a nearby museum that she would enjoy and wrap it with a tangible reminder of what the experience will be like (lace collar, quaker bonnet, paintbrushes for an art museum, etc. you can go Etsy or antique, or use it as a bookmark) Give her the option of going with our without the kids. It can be nice to linger or pillage the gift shop for kid gifts, too.

    • lost academic :

      It’s not historical fiction but very organized around narratives, so I think still a good choice – The Warmth of Other Suns

    • Just commented on the prior thread, but how about book of the month club? She can choose from five new titles each month and get a hardback book in the mail. A 6-month membership is pretty affordable (though I believe more than $50). I would love to receive this!

  8. Hardshell suitcase regrets :

    Aiiii!

    I sprung for a fancy hardshell suitcase (I use with my OG). I had a costco suitcase previously with a zipper outer compartment for my TSA liquids baggie. I did not factor that in enough when I got the hardshell one (in fairness, the costco one died after 14 years). I am thinking about getting another costco one (the make a similar one for $100, money well spent).

    Has anyone else had a hard time weaning themselves from having an outside zipper compartment? Will I get over it? Or should I just recognize it as a habit? Somehow my OG is already maxed out and the where-to-stash-the-baggie routing is . . . blocking my chi.

    • With the caveat that I’ve never had a hardshell suitcase – I always put my toiletry bag on the top of my suitcase, and the zippered baggie on the top of the toiletry bag, so I can unzip and remove quickly once I put my bag on the belt. I also pack my unmentionables in a solid zippered pouch so that they aren’t visible.

    • Get thee to Pre Check. Worth every single penny.

      • BabyAssociate :

        +10000000

        I have PreCheck, I don’t understand how I every flew without it! I also have a hardshell suitcase, both carry-on and checked size, never have I missed a outside zip pocket for any reason.

      • Anonymous :

        PreCheck is life. Don’t know how I ever flew without it.

      • + a million. PreCheck and Global Entry are such unbelievable time savers (and Nexus, for Canada).

      • Meredith Grey :

        hard shell-er here… with pre-check, I STILL miss my outer pocket. I like to slip things in it that I want quick access to that I don’t need on my back or pulling on my shoulder while hustling through the airport or boarding.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Yes. Best money I ever spent was PreCheck.

        • Do I want PreCheck or Global Entry or both? I travel domestically for work probably 2-4 times per year, and have travelled internationally with my family (husband and 3 small kids) 3 times in the past 18 months. That international travel (Mexico 2X and England 1X) was a little bit of an anomaly, but who knows what the future may hold? Thoughts?

    • Just put it at the top of your suitcase and have that side facing up when you put the luggage through the scanner. I’ve never had a hardshell suitcase (they’re too heavy for me) but what I do is I put my zippered things in my toiletries bag, and put my toiletries bag at the top of my suitcase, and when I put the suitcase through, I leave the toiletries bag in my suitcase facing up. I never take out my toiletries bag out of my suitacase.

    • Keep the hard shell and get TSA pre.

      Also, if you can’t fit a quart sized baggie in your OG, I think you should consider whether you are a bit of a hoarder! Surely some of that can go into your roller.

      • Hardshell suitcase regrets :

        I am a total travel hoarder on the trip to somewhere for work (it’s not having a good printer that is the driver, plus eyes that just work better reading and marking up paper on long documents)!

        If I am homebound and have somewhere with a burn box (like another office of ours), I will dump weight and/or FedEx items home that I need to keep. I hate traveling with like a ream of paper + a computer, but I can’t quit it, either. Too many unexpected layovers / missed connections / weather delays to risk it.

    • I’m not Pre Check, but I never take my liquids out of my bag and seriously they never say anything. I don’t think this is worth getting an entirely new suitcase for.

    • I’ve probably taken 200+ flights in the past 10 years and have only once been asked to remove my liquids at Heathrow. Never in the U.S.

    • lost academic :

      Yeah but then I realized that I always had another bag and could use it for that kind of stuff, and also, I haven’t put my liquids or gels in a bag and pulled them out in over 10 years. And only once, ever, has someone specifically gone looking or checked for them or anything. I’ve had precheck for about a year only. TSA really had just stopped caring about them.

  9. There have been many discussions on here about negotiating a raise. A word of advice: if you are going to go to your manager with claims that you are underpaid compared to the market, be sure you are comparing your salary to other similar duties/responsibilities, not other people with similar backgrounds to you.

    One of my reports recently asked for a raise, citing the fact that other people he went to graduate school with are making more money. The examples he gave are people who are in our same field but have totally different jobs than what he does. I am usually very open to people advocating for themselves and making a case, but this really rubbed me the wrong way. He said nothing about the value he added to the company or skills he had developed; it just came across as whining that he had friends making more money than him.

    • Ugh. That must be really irritating.

      Thank you for the reminder to advocate effectively for ourselves.

    • Thanks for the advice. Any ideas on how to start the conversation when you have been approached by recruiters with positions that pay more (and confirm that you are underpaid compared to market)? My boss works in a different state, and we do not have a formal review process, so this may have to be done over the phone or e-mail (*shudder*). I can point to successes on a few deals this year, and hope to take on added responsibilities in the new year, so I think that I can avoid sounding whiny just because other people in similar positions are making more.

      • It will make it less awkward if you bring it up ahead of time, either in a phone conversation or email, saying, “Do you have time in the next week or two to have a discussion about my compensation? I have some thoughts I’d like to share with you.” Then you don’t have to try to awkwardly or abruptly bring it up in another conversation.

        Then, when the conversation starts, you can say that the conversation was prompted by you being approached by recruiters regarding very similar positions which offer higher compensation. For good measure, you can say something along the lines of, “I’ve been really happy here and definitely see a future, but at some point, it becomes a financial decision…” They will probably ask you for a number, so be prepared for that.

        If you’re going with the “market rate is X, therefore I should get a raise”, the questions your manager will be mulling over are, “is that really the market rate?” and “how likely is she to actually leave?”. At a business level, the calculation is, “which will cost me more – this person staying or this person going?” Usually, the answer is that it costs way more to lose an experienced employee and need to rehire and train someone at the higher market rate. BUT if you over-estimate the market rate or your usefulness to your employer, that’s the only way to end up with the wrong end of the stick.

      • Do you have a dedicated HR person for your group/department? Ours actually requests information like this so she can make market adjustments every year or two. You could reach out to them for assistance – I would imagine they don’t want good talent leaving.

    • Oof. There’s someone who does not read AAM. What did you say to him? Did you or are you planning on giving him feedback about how out-of-touch his request was?

      • I told him that I’d need to review the market and get back to him. When we have a follow-up (tomorrow), I’ll share with him that the comparisons he shared didn’t have similar duties/responsibilities, and that based on his job description, I’ve confirmed that his compensation is already at the high end of the market. At least, that is the calm statement I have planned.

  10. Need advice on a guy :

    I need advice about ending a romantic involvement.

    Last Friday night, I was exhausted after being sick for 2 weeks (including over the Thanksgiving holiday) combined with long workdays and family drama. The man I have been seeing texted me, then called me to inquire about my plans for the night. I told him that I was still at the office (at 730pm) but needed to go home and sleep. I suggested that we figure something out over the weekend, perhaps Sunday, but I just needed to go home and crash.

    Shortly after I got home, he called me. Stated that he didn’t want to see my anymore. That part was fine. But he continued to accuse me of “never intending to pursue a relationship” with him, that he felt stupid for attempting to date me, etc. When I questioned his view of my intentions he told me not to “lawyer” him (we are both lawyers). I took it all calmly, which only seemed to make him more upset. At one point he yelled at me to show some emotion, get angry, and I replied that I have learned more constructive ways to express myself. I apologized for upsetting him. He finally hung up on me. I went to bed and woke to a slew of belittling messages sent around 3AM. I replied “I don’t know how things became so negative so quickly, but I will miss your presence in my life.”

    He called me 2 minutes later, deeply apologetic and inviting himself over. I relented after some convincing and we talked and (his insisting) cuddled but nothing more. That was Saturday. As he left, he asked me to accept he new friend request – turned out he had blocked me on FB the prior night as well.

    I have since had time to reflect. Obviously it is normal to fight with a partner at times, but I think Friday night indicates that this man “fights dirty.” It is one thing to say “I am hurt that I haven’t seen you, I miss you, etc.” but another to cast aspersions on my intentions and use insulting language/block on FB. I don’t think I should see him anymore. I don’t know how to convey this, especially without ticking him off that I “misled” him yet again. OTOH, he kind of forced himself on me Saturday and forced a “make up” before I could sort through my feelings.

    Does anybody have advice for me? Am I overreacting?

    • Anonymous :

      Tell him “this isn’t working for me, I don’t want to see you anymore.”

      Then block his number and delete his emails unread.

    • Trust your gut. You don’t need to explain yourself to him. It’s not working.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Totally agree. When you got to the belittling text message part I immediately said “nope” in my head. Go with your gut on this one.

    • How long have you been seeing this guy? This level of drama over not getting to see you immediately on a Friday…. is ridiculous.

      Assuming you want to permanently “break up” I think you tell him what you said here — after having time to reflect, you’re sorry but you can’t be with someone who behaves so dramatically, unpredictably, and extreme-ly (in the sense of going from one extreme — blocking, mean texts, etc — to the other) in a disagreement.

    • Senior Attorney :

      You are not overreacting. Belitting messages in the middle of the night? That would be a total deal breaker for me. Just say “I’ve thought about it some more and I think it really is best we don’t see each other any more.” If he’s ticked off he’s ticked off. Just deliver the message and then don’t discuss it further.

      • This. I’ve had more than a few guys turn nasty like this when I turned out not to be as compliant as they’d hoped. Do NOT attempt to explain your reasons, because it will give him something to argue with you about. You’re done, wish him a nice life, and then block him.

    • Anonymous :

      Based on your narrative you are most certainly not overreacting. I don’t think any of his behaviors (much less all of them together) are things you want from a romantic partner. Based on how pushy he was, you certainly would be reasonable to block him on email/text/social media once you end things, and yes, ending things is the way to go.

      • Anonymous :

        Oh, and it is not your job to worry about how he takes it and whether he is ‘ticked off’ and thinks your intentions were wrong. He will very likely behave quite badly.

        • Anonymous :

          Well, she may be worried that he could present a physical safety risk…. That would be my concern since he seems a little obsessive and dramatic. This is likely not the mature way to handle it, but in her shoes I would be inclined to slow fade and then have him be the one to break up, and then confirm the break up in writing (for future reference if needed).

          • Anon from 3:03 and 3:05 :

            I totally agree on that she needs to be aware of her own safety. I meant not to worry in a sense of trying to spare his feelings or finding the ‘right’ way to message the breakup to soothe his feelings.

          • Anon from 3:03 and 3:05 :

            After his behavior I think a slow fade would be more likely to incite a lot of nasty actions on his part, considering a single plea of ‘I’m sick and tired and going home to get some sleep’ was such an issue.

          • Anonymous :

            yes, you’re probably right… he would be angry either way, and at least telling the truth has the advantage of being the truth. Good luck OP.

    • This man is a gaslighter and a manipulative fighter. I had one man tell me I was lawyering him when all I was doing was calmly conveying my feelings, too–it was a huge red flag and symptomatic of some very problematic controlling behavior on his part that led to a lot of crazy-making and emotional hurt on my end. Tell him, firmly, that you don’t want to see him anymore and then go strictly no contact. Don’t relent. You don’t need to explain anything more than that you have come to the conclusion based on the last intersaction that you are not compatible and that you don’t want to continue. Any more and he’s going to try to weasel back in, just as he did on Saturday. Block all numbers and social media. That he insisted on coming over at 3 am is insane.

    • BOY BYE

    • Need advice on a guy :

      Ok thank you ladies for the gut check and support. I don’t date much in part because I dread disappointing people. I will stay strong.

      • SF Lawyer :

        Dude. He disappointed YOU. You are not disappointing anybody.

      • Anonymous :

        Based on how things played out already, you need to send a good-bye message (don’t ghost because he’ll call your work ‘concerned’ because he hasn’t heard from you). Then: (1) block him on Facebook/social media (not just unfriend), (2) block his number for texts, (3) put his email in your spam filter so his emails go automatically to your spam box.

        If he has your work email – you may have to create a separate folder and have the emails auto-sent there so that other emails from his employer firm don’t get caught in the office spam filter. Do not read the emails – delete in bulk.

        Do not feel bad about any of this. He is a creepy manipulative jerk.

      • Please do. I dated this personality off and on for 4 years. Right up to voicemails in the middle of the night, series of belittling texts, wearing me down until I agreed to let him come over (including once when unbelievably sick, apparently he didn’t believe me). In my situation it was the warning signs of a drinking problem. Get out now, this is not a respectful way to treat someone you supposedly care about.

        I finally broke ties about 8 months ago, and I still get either a voicemail or text about every six weeks, “you’re really never going to talk to me again?”

        • Block that ish. Best thing I did in the last year was block my ex’s phone number. I don’t know if he’s been trying to contact me and it’s incredibly freeing.

      • I completely understand how this feels and stayed in several bad relationships as a result. Kick this turd to the curb. You got this!

    • DTMFA. He sounds like an abusive, manipulative jerk. Are you in Seattle, by chance? Because this sounds creepily like my ex. Enough that I got kind of anxious reading it.

      What worries me is that he invited himself over. If he did it at 3AM, he will come over to try to “work things out.” Tell him VERY PLAINLY that you do not wish to see him and that it is not up for discussion and then block him. And make sure your doors are locked at all times and you keep your phone on you just in case for the next week or so. If he shows up, don’t answer the door. Don’t hesitate to call the police if he’s being threatening.

      Ask me how I know.

      • Need advice on a guy :

        Actually – YES I am in Seattle! Former military turned lawyer?

        • No- but ex is a lawyer that wants to go into JAG. Crazy.

          Agreed about lost academic below- if he wants to get in (especially with military training), he will. Better to be safe than sorry.

          If you’re having a tough time, don’t hesitate to call our local crisis line. They can even just act as the bridge between “He’s calling me and texting me and I’m having trouble not answering him and need someone to talk to about why answering would be a terrible idea.” And feel free to reach out here, as well.

      • lost academic :

        Get a good deadbolt and a reinforcing strip on the frame. It’s appallingly easy to kick a door in.

    • I’m embarrassed to say this, but he acted in a way I would have when I was 20 years old. Insecure, clingy, and unreasonably angry when it looked like a relationship was failing “yet again”. The more it felt like my happiness wasn’t in my control, but instead depended on a boyfriend to still want to be with me, the more I flipped out.

      He sounds unhappy, scared and desperate–and it’s all coming out as anger. You’re going to get hit with that when you end things. There’s no way to have a nice ending when he’s already escalated to level crazy.

    • Anonymous :

      Go NC ASAP. This man has displayed manipulative and IMO abusive behavior. Don’t worry about an explanation- you don’t owe him one. Your explanation wouldn’t matter anyway because it sounds like he would just argue and contend with it.

      • anon for this :

        YES
        Also, no offense–you mention a concern with “disappointing people”.
        Counseling or there have been some good books recommended here, on boundaries.
        Having and maintaining healthy boundaries is essential for mental health and for good relationships.

        Sorry you’re having to deal with this. It is NOT your fault, and my thoughts above are concerned only with health and working toward recognizing red flags, in the future.

    • He sounds like a doosh. JSFAMO

  11. My SIL is about 5 years younger than me, and 9 years younger than her brother (my DH). She’s recently really started blossoming– going back to school, moving into her own place from home, saving up and taking a trip to Europe with some friends.

    I’d like to get her a collection of gifts that are helpful items to have while traveling. I get the impression that she frequently crashes with friends or takes short one or two night trips. There’s also the longer-term context of her wanting to do more international travel at some point. So I want these to not be like, a passport holder (too specific to international travel), but rather things that are helpful no matter how near or far you’re going.

    Road warriors, give me your wisdom!!

    • Anonymous :

      Sephora sells really good clear quart sized baggies for travel, could be filled with fun products.

      An eye mask to keep the light out.

      A kindle.

    • Packing cases, a cute makeup travel bag (try Target or Nordstrom Rack), a travel hairdryer, curling iron, or flat iron if she uses any of those, a travel journal, a neck pillow.

      • lawsuited :

        Depending on what you are looking to spend, I can highly recommend the T3 featherweight compact hair dryer and compact singlepass styling iron. I bought mine together in a kit so they were more reasonably priced. They pack a punch for their compact size, look gorgeous, and the styling iron has heatproof cap so you can pack immediately after using it. It’s so nice to have the kit permanently tucked into my suitcase along with my travel toiletries and travel charger so that packing is as easy as throwing together some clothes.

        • lawsuited :

          I found the kit at Ulta: http://www.ulta.com/mini-miracles-set?productId=xlsImpprod14811077

    • One of those extra chargers or battery packs for your phone and devices. I use mine alllll the time.
      3oz beauty products/lotions/shampoos
      A little first aid/emergency kit with bandaids, ibuprofen, sewing kit, etc. My mom found a premade one and put it in my stocking one year; I’ve used it more than I ever thought I would!
      Travel-size lint roller and/or clothes steamer – not “fun” but so handy

    • The blog Wardrobe Oxygen just did a travel gift guide recently. Also, check out the blog Road Warriorette.

      I bought some packing cubes on Amazon a while ago and love them. Maybe some luggage tags. There’s a toiletries holder from LL Bean that gets good reviews. Pashmina or blanket to keep warm. Fuzzy slippers.

    • A good suitcase or duffel – esp w lots of pockets so she can pack shoes, toiletries etc all in one bag in different compartments – but also something that can be carried on board. If she’s young she may not have good luggage yet.

      Chargers/battery packs for phone/laptop if you know what types she has.

      Back in the day people would say a camera to record all her adventures but obv now that’s obsolete.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I used to have a travel power strip and recently replaced it with an Anker charging station. Mine charges 5 devices attached by USB. I use it every time I travel.

      There are never enough outlets at hotels, inaccessible ones at friends places, and I’ve been the hero at the airport allowing extra people to charge their devices.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        This is the one I have: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VH8ZW02/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_HoDryb5MVJ7XN

    • Packing cubes are so great!

    • Packing cubes sound so utilitarian. How about a nice looking leather travel jewelry case?

    • I travel a ton, both for work and pleasure. I have a small cosmetics bag that I call my “plane bag”. In it, I keep hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes (those tray tables are nasty!), chapstick, earplugs, hand cream, gum, corded headphones, and a headphone splitter. My other must-haves for the plane are my iPad, big scarf/pashmina, and a reusable water bottle.

      For packing, you could get her a nice, lightweight carry-on rollerbag with luggage tags. I don’t use packing cubes or such, but I’m a minimalist packer. I bring my travel steamer with me everywhere I go. Agree with Sydney Bristow on the charging device.

      Technology wise, if she already has an iPad or Kindle, you could gift an Audible or Netflix membership. I download books and movies/shows (currently from Prime but now Netflix too!!) to keep myself occupied.

    • The eBags Mother Lode Weekender convertible carryon/backpack. I got one a year ago and it had made things so much easier. I took it on a two-week backpacking trip, and it was great. I took it on a weekend trip, and it was great. I have the Junior size, as I’m short.

    • These are all great ideas, and you are a really nice SIL.

  12. Jumping on the present band recommendation bandwagon –

    Looking to get a restaurant gift cert for my brother and sister-in-law in the DC area. They live in Arlington, VA.

    Looking to spend about $100 where that could approximately cover dinner for two. They’re not the most adventurous eaters so italian, steak, etc. would be the preferred cuisine.

    Any recommendations? Thanks

    • A gift card the Great American Restaurants. There are several different ones in this well regarded local chain, and $100 should cover dinner for 2.

      • Anonymous :

        agree with this. Love GAR’s options!

      • I once after surgery requested a to-go order of those delicious, doughy, ball rolls. My boyfriend at the time had to plead with the manager to allow a pick-up order as they don’t generally allow it so as not to compromise the quality of the food.

        YUMMMMMMMM

    • Anonymous :

      Ray’s the Steaks?
      Jose Andres’ corporation has gift cards good for any of their restaurants: America Eats Tavern, Beefsteak, barmini by José Andrés, China Chilcano, Jaleo DC, Jaleo Bethesda, Jaleo Crystal City, Oyamel, Zaytinya. Jaleo and Zaytinya are mainstream enough for their tastes. You can order them at thinkfoodgroup dot com.

    • I received an Open Table gift cert (electronic) as a going away present from my last job. I appreciate that I can choose my own restaurant, or location – I’m planning to use it on vacation.

      Also, because it was sent to my work email address, which no longer works, I had to call open table to switch it to my new email address. a live person answered the call and helped me right away.

    • In the city, but I LOVE Mintwood Place. http://www.mintwoodplace.com/

  13. Am I unnecessarily freaking myself out about dating a long-time friend within our mutual and very tight-knit group? Not really sure what I hope to get by posting here- reassurance? pitfalls to look out for? a pep talk about putting on my big girl pants and making choices that prioritize my happiness instead of the happiness of those around me?
    For context, we’ve been friends for many years, nothing romantic ever developed until several weeks ago and we’re just starting to actually explore it, secretly for now. It’s very strange to begin dating after you already know what the price of admission things are with this person, and when you already spend a good deal of time together and genuinely enjoy each other’s company, and know there aren’t obvious dealbreakers in long-term life goals and values. It’s clearly a set-up that would progress faster than the dating-app relationships I’ve had in recent recent years, which I think is a big component of the fear. Fear that it would end badly and disrupt the tight-knit group certainly doesn’t help.

    • Anonymous :

      I think tightly knit friend groups can be toxic and stifling. You’ve found someone you genuinely really like. Both of you want a romantic involvement. You’re literally living the dream. Enjoy it. Don’t put your life on hold for friends. Guarantee at some point they will all make their own selfish choices too which is healthy.

      • Ha, no argument here that this group does have its fair share of toxic and stifling moments. They also have genuine and well intentioned insight into the best and worst parts of each other, hence the challenge in completely ignoring any (at this stage hypothetical) feedback they have, because they wouldn’t be such close friend in the first place if I didn’t appreciate the perspective and balance they provide.

        • Anonymous :

          Nope. You are an adult. You don’t need “feedback” on your love life. And you should cut it off if they offer. Particularly here where they know both of you. “I appreciate that you care, but this isn’t open for discussion.” Get some distance.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s smart to go into these sorts of relationships with an eye to the more significant consequences if it doesn’t work out. But also, don’t let that be the thing that holds you up. FWIW, I did the same thing (and married the guy). At the outset of our relationship, I was scared about ruining our friendship and losing our mutual friends, and also knowing that he was probably going to be “it.” But I love that we had/have this great baseline as the starting point for our relationship.

    • +1 to Anon’s point above. You are not required to put your dreams on hold for the emotional comfort of your emotionally tight-knit social group. If they have problems with two grown a$$ single people dating, well then you guys will just have to find new friends!!

    • While I haven’t personally been in this situation, I have had experience with two very dear friend each dating a friend in our close group. Neither relationship ended up going the distance (not because of the friend group, just long term incompatibilities). One ended up a trainwreck, the other didn’t disrupt the group much at all. The key I think is to not let is develop faster than with someone who isn’t a friend. Yes, you know each other, but not in this context. Make sure you take it slow. Also, don’t talk about the other person to people in the group – even when it is good things, it is too much information for people who are that closely involved.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 unless you guys are besties already, make sure you still get more info about his values, future plans and goals, family dynamics, relationship history, etc. Don’t assume you “know” him. Which you probably aren’t doing, that’s just my own experience talking. I wish you luck!

      • lawsuited :

        Just chiming in to say that in my close friend group we’ve only had two instances of people dating each other, and both resulted in marriage. I think it worked because in both cases they held off a loooooong time before dating, had done a lot of dating in the meantime and knew everything they didn’t want, and knew the other friend well enough to know that they would be compatible in most ways. I think keeping it secret initially is a good idea, because the friend group knowing will put additional pressure on your relationship.

    • Ross is probably really going to freak out, but my guess is that it’s going to go great for y’all. :)

    • all about eevee :

      I have been there, done that, got the t-shirt, 7 year anniversary is Wednesday. We ditched the friends who weren’t into it. We’re grown ups and it is weird to get so involved in who someone else is dating, you know?

    • Anonymous :

      My husband and I had known each other and been good friends (and part of a similarly tight group) for six years before we started dating. We have now been together 13 years and married for 11 years. It was absolutely the best decision for us. It did eventually cause some drama in our friend group and as a result it kind of fractured. We are still friends with one “side” but lost the other “side.” It probably needed to happen anyway. (Turned out another woman in the group liked my guy too and was upset when we started dating. He kind of suspected she liked him, but he did not like her in that way. I did not know she liked him. She tried to break us up and that lead to a falling out. We run into her sometimes and are polite, but we do not all hang out together anymore.)

    • Worked for Chandler and Monica? Why not keep it a secret for a bit?

    • If you are both adult enough to handle a break-up without crazy drama, and can be around people you’ve dated, then go for it.

    • One of my best work friends was in this situation. She and a group member found themselves developing feelings for each other. Complicating this was that she had previously been in a well-known FWB arrangement with one of the other group members, who happened to be this guy’a close friend. And the guy she was developing feelings for had dated another member of the group semi-seriously.

      They’ve been married for almost 20 years now. The group slowly broke apart, but not because of them.

  14. I have really amped up my workouts recently, including a lot of weight classes. I feel really good, but I am insanely hungry all the time, even more than when I was more focused on cardio. Is this normal? It’s like I can’t get full.

    • Are you eating more lean protein?

      • +1 This happens to me whenever I start a new workout regime (or restart). You almost certainly need more protein. I was shocked at how much I was supposed to eat.

    • Yup normal. Add more healthy fats to your diet to keep you full.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Can’t speak to normalcy but this is me. By 10:00 am I’m thinking whether a porterhouse steak is an acceptable midmorning snack. My solution has been to have ~150-200 cal snacks 2-3 times a day and then 3 meals so I am basically eating every 2 hours and never getting to hanger. I focus on nutrient dense foods and low glycemic index / complex carbs (think black beans, sweet potatoes, etc etc) which seems to stick with me better than more processed carby foods which tend to make me crash. Also if you are lifting make sure you eat at least 200 calories 1/2 hr or so after your workout (I time it out in the morning so i am eating breakfast about ~20 mins post workout).

      Also be sure to get your oz of water in. I keep a large water bottle full at my desk and try to drink a good amount every day. If I feel hungry I drink some water, then if i still feel hungry I eat something.

      May help you to remember that afterburn and total calorie burn with weightlifting (especially if you are really lifting to failure) is much higher than cardio. The more muscle you create, the more calories you need to sustain that muscle.

      Hope this helps!

    • Marshmallow :

      Yes, same. Protein will keep you full. I really like Moon Cheese because it can be easily thrown in your bag and gives a satisfying salty crunchiness, like chips but… not chips.

    • Yay for you with the amp-up! I weight lift and was always starving as well. I eat 35% carbs, 35% fats and 30% protein, which you can track easily with MyFitnessPal. Eating more protein/fat (as a percentage of my diet) helped immensely with the starvation feelings. If you use MFP to track, you would probably be surprised at how little protein/fat you eat compared to carbs.

      You can also eat crazy amounts of veggies to help with the empty stomach feeling. I usually wash down lunch and/or dinner with a big spinach salad (protein plus bulk for fullness).

  15. Sloan Sabbith :

    I need recommendations for a dog parka for a little dog (small terrier). The family puppy is a skinny little runt who has zero body fat and shakes and shivers like a leaf any time he has to go outside now that it’s cold and snowing. My dad sent me a panicked message this morning (pretty sure the dog is his favorite child….and best friend) that “HE NEEDS A WARM COAT TODAY! HE IS MISERABLE. HE WON’T EVEN CHASE SQUIRRELS OR PLAY WITH THE KITTEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (There were many emoticons in this message I left out, plus a very heart wrenching photo of the little dude laying at the back door looking sadly out at the snow and a video of the door opened and him going to hide under his bed). So. I need a warm doggy parka that’s available on Amazon prime. He doesn’t like hoods.

    • OMG I love everything about this question.

      My pooch wears a puffer vest (described as a “bomber jacket”) from Pup Crew, which you can get at Petco. They also have them on Amazon with free shipping (but not Prime). It is very warm.

    • all about eevee :

      I like the dog parkas from LL Bean.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Ordered this one. Merry Christmas to the family puppy….

        But in the interim, apparently my mom bought him a skintight fleece bodysuit to go below his not-warm-enough coat. This is a family-wide issue. We love this dog to death. I wish I could post pictures, he’s THE MOST ADORABLE DOG YOU’VE EVER SEEN. But maybe not in a fleece bodysuit.

    • all about eevee :

      The Gooby Winter Wind Breaker looks warm and is available on Amazon Prime in several sizes and colors.

      • I haven’t used Gooby before, but that’s the brand I would try from Amazon Prime. I like the Quilted Bomber Vest with Stretchable Chest. And while it’s true that I might fall for anything advertised with a Boston Terrier model, the reviews look strong.

    • I’m now procrastinating by googling pictures of adorable dogs in tiny jackets.

    • TorontoNewbie :

      Canada Pooch is very popular in Toronto.

    • Petsmart carries a line that has an inner and outer liner like a human coat. The inner is a fleece and the outer is raincoat material. Both are reflective. They can be worn separately or together so the dog has a summer rain coat, fall fleece, and winter coat. I think it is by Top Paw. We adopted a dog in October that does not have an undercoat. She shivers without it and does just fine with it. Even walked in the Christmas Parade last weekend.

    • My labradoodle loves her plaid coat from UpCountry (it’s a quilted parka) and her fleece coats from Top Paw from Petco. I love the fleece ones because she can wear them on the Common or in the dog park and get all dirty, and I just toss in the wash. She is very prancy in her fancy coats–I swear she turns it on more when she’s wearing them.

      You can see all her fashion @ tigger_doodle on Insta.

  16. Blender Rec? :

    Any recommendations for a blender? My husband and I have gotten into making smoothies for breakfast (e.g. spinach, hemp seeds, pineapple and coconut water), and our current blender is on its last legs. I’m hoping for something between $50-$200.

    • BabyAssociate :

      This is going to exceed your budget a bit, but I don’t think it can be beat: Vitamix.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I agree. It will blow your budget but I’m my opinion it’s worth every penny. I wish I’d bought one sooner. We use ours several times a week. There is just no comparison to my old normal blenders.

      • Blender Rec? :

        Is the end product really that different?

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Mine is. Maybe my old blenders weren’t great, but I use frozen strawberries and ice in my smoothies and it gets completely crushed into pretty uniform tiny pieces in about 30 seconds.

          The bonus for me was that the blender jar is 1 piece and then the lid. You can clean it by filling it halfway with water and some liquid dish soap and running it on high for a minute then finding it. Making a smoothie takes less time and cleanup is even easier. That’s what sets it above other blenders for me.

          • Yes, vitamix is on our registry for these reasons (sister in law has one and I’ve tried it out.) Our current one is such a pain to clean, meaning you don’t want to use it that often because you have to take apart and wash so many different pieces. Not to mention that frozen strawberries or bananas regularly go completely unscathed, so you have to stop and either slosh it around or unplug it and scrape it to get a uniform mix. All in all, we never want to use it, whereas my SIL uses hers every day.

        • Absolutely! I had a cheaper blender before my vitamix and would still have pieces of spinach in my smoothies before the switch. The vitamix does a much better job of liquefying the greens in my smoothies and blending it with the rest of the ingredients (banana, frozen fruit, chia seeds, etc). Definitely recommend the vitamix, and you can get a refurbished model on the website for less than new but with almost the same warranty.

    • Yes. Ninja!!

      • Marshmallow :

        +1. Our Ninja is great for smoothies. Probably not as good as a Vitamix but way cheaper and so much better than our old Oster $20 thing.

      • D. Meagle :

        We have a Ninja blender and recently got the Nutri Ninja (like a souped up magic blender) – it is great for smoothies and a good size to leave on the countertop. Highly recommend!

      • I really can’t imagine a Vitamix being THAT much better than my Ninja, and given the price difference, I recommend the Ninja hands down. I would have to be a professional chef whose livelihood depended on my blending ability to even consider getting a Vitamix over the Ninja.

    • Anonymous :

      Ninja with just 3 different sized smoothie cups, not the giant pitcher(s). Love the blending capabilities but it is loud!

    • maybe a would a stick blender work for this?

    • Triangle Pose :

      Blendtec – cheaper than Vitamix, does everything Vitamix does and more. Also fit under counter whereas some Vitamix models will not. Watch the Will it Blend series to see how powerful it is. It crushes ice and frozen fruit with no problems, also makes nut butters and turns almonds, water, and medjool dates into the most delicious and fresh almond milk ever.

    • lawsuited :

      I have the Cuisinart Compact Portable Blending/Chopping System at home and at the office. I like that it’s small and doesn’t take up much counter space, and comes with 4 smoothie cups that you make your smoothie directly to limit clean up. I’ve had both my units for over a year and they are still going strong with daily use.

  17. Newborn photographer in NOVA :

    Any recommendations for a newborn photographer in NOVA (specifically Fairfax/Falls church) or someone who will travel a little? It seems hard to find someone who isn’t outrageously expensive (i.e $700 for an hour session) in this area. I just want a few great pictures of the baby.

  18. Has anyone tried Precision Nutrition? Thoughts / feedback? I exercise regularly (mix of cardio, strength and flexibility) but I have 20 pounds I just cannot get rid of – and more importantly I feel I’ve been so “brainwashed” into low-fat eating which isn’t working for me, and this program seems more about authentic healthy eating, even including full-fat stuff :-) I’m 51, if that makes a difference.

  19. Ideas for Quick Weekend Lunches? :

    What do you eat for quick weekend lunches? We usually have eggs and toast or pancakes for one meal on weekends and I cook something nice for dinner on Sunday and sometimes Saturday, but I’m looking for some good ideas for relatively quick, healthy-ish, and easy lunches. I have noticed that we will sometimes go out for lunch/brunch mainly because there’s nothing exciting to eat at home. We love leftovers but often don’t have any because we get takeout or go out on Fridays/Saturdays. One thought that occurred to me was some sandwich spreads for jazzing up a turkey or grilled cheese sandwich. I would love any suggestions! Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      I like to make what is best described as a “snack plate” for weekend lunches. I have a couple slices of good cheese, deli meat, a couple pecans or walnuts, some crackers, and a piece of fruit. Sometimes I have hummus and veggies too or chips and guacamole or something like that along with it. Or I like to make good salads. I usually keep a jar of artichoke hearts and kalamata olives and feta cheese in the fridge and so it is easy to throw that on top of spring mix. If I have an avocado I cut that up too. I like to keep good dressings also. We have a local deli that sells bottles of their dressings and their Greek is really good.

    • We have a similar problem but one thing that usually works is a cheese plate & some good bread/crackers. Add some meats if you eat that, and some nuts/olives/spreads/whatever. It’s always nice and most of the stuff you can buy well ahead of time.

    • Anonymous :

      A bucket of chips and salsa? Or I eat a late breakfast and grab a snack.

    • Anonymous :

      We do “fancy” hot sandwiches like Cubans, Reubens, and Monte Cristos. Not the most healthy thing in the world, but along the lines of a fancy grilled cheese sandwich.

    • Anonymous :

      I eat peanut butter sandwiches for lunch on the weekends … a LOT. That or hummus and bell peppers are my go-tos.

    • Sauté a sliced shallot in a large nonstick skillet. Add some wilting greens (baby spinach or chard). Salt to taste when wilted. Beat 4-6 eggs with salt and pepper and add to greens in skillet. Cool until just scrambled.

      Top with toasted pine nuts and/or grated parmesan. Great with a glass of Riesling or bubbly.

  20. Anyone ever bought the Aquatalia Olita tall boots? I just scooped up a pair in my size from Nordstrom Rack for
    $220. Never tried them on but hoping they’ll work out for several Chicago suburban (driving to/from work) winters.

    • All the boots :

      I have 5 pairs of Aquatalia boots. They are wonderful and warm. They wear very well. Full disclosure, I live in Dallas, so the winters are not as brutal. However, i travel to Europe monthly for work and they are a staple of mine for every trip……and bonus, you feel like Kate Middleton wearing them.

  21. Funeral flowers? :

    An extended member of DH’s family died. We are not attending the services. We typically make donations in situations like this but no charity has been named. We were part of a mass email from the deceased’s daughter with info on arrangement- name of funeral home, that it would be a graveside service, and the link to the florist.

    We want to send flowers- do we send to the surviving spouse directly? To the funeral home? If to the funeral home do we have to send one of those casket-y arrangements or is a plant OK?

    Would it be off color to donate in the deceased’s name anyway? Something like his alma mater?

    It’s an elderly distant (physically and emotionally) uncle that was really more like a great-uncle- and everyone but us is in TX (if this is a regional thing).

    TIA

    • I have found that the local florist will know where to send the flowers and be savvy to any local customs. They are usually super helpful and can work within whatever budget you give them.

    • Anonymous :

      You can send the arrangement directly to the funeral home. People send all kinds of arrangements from house plants to wreaths. The funeral home will work with the family to get the flowers to their home or disbursed to other family members after the services.

      I don’t think it would be off color to donate in the deceased’s name. And would mention it in a condolence card. “We know how proud [deceased] was of his degree from [alma mater]. In honor of his memory, we made a contribution to the scholarship fund.”

    • Anonymous :

      Send flowers to the funeral home. You’re doing this to make the right gesture of acknowledgment, so stick with the classic. They gave you the info to do it, assume that’s what they wanted.

  22. Another present question: what to look for in a digital picture frame? I just want something basic that my not-very-tech-savvy family can use easily, and can hold maybe several hundred pictures.

    Anyone have one to recommend?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m looking for one too. Ideally one that doesn’t need a wifi connection and can store the pictures on the device itself.

    • Anonymous :

      I got a Pix-Star frame for DH and he loves it. It would be great for a low tech family because you can just email pics to it and they will automatically load.

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