Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Aveline Dress

Boatneck Work Dress: Diane von Furstenberg Aveline Dress Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

This dress just sold out at Nordstrom (alas) but Matches Fashion still has it — I luuurve the graceful, feminine vibe to the dress but still feel like it’s sophisticated and sharp enough to wear to work. This kind of jewelneck neckline can be tricky, and ultimately depends what you have in your jewelry collection. I’d wear it with a long Bittar pendant necklace I have that hits just above my belly button, or perhaps try it with my 18″ pearls — if I were going big elsewhere (earrings, bracelets, statement shoes) I’d go with one of my delicate “G” Maya Brenner necklaces. The dress is $238 on sale (in green as well); you can also find it at a few other places, like Stylebop (blue) and Selfridges (green) — but Matches Fashion has the best price at the moment. Diane von Furstenberg Aveline Dress

A few lower-priced alternatives are here (coral), here (blue print), and here (pink); here’s a plus-size option.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected] 

(L-all)

Comments

  1. #yasssshillary :

    Voted at 6am. Sadly had to decline an invitation to go vote for Bernie tonight because you can only vote once and if I got to vote twice they’d both be for her. Major lol at my undecided friend who just doesn’t know who has a better chance of defeating Trump. IDK maybe the candidate who has won a majority of democratic primary voters? Here’s hoping that delusional destructive entitled sexist Senator meets reality today. #dealmein #imwithher #theonlyburnifeelisthefireoffeministrage

    • Anonymous :

      I love “#theonlyburnifeelisthefireoffeministrage” – new fav hashtag!

    • Anonymous :

      Seriously, Bernie took a hard left turn into crazytown recently. So ready for this primary to be over, we’ve got real fish to fry.

      • #yasssshillary :

        Totes. 6 months ago, while still firmly #camphillsyeah, I thought he was an exciting, interesting alternative voice. Now? Not quite so much. Is there anything more typically male than joining a club last minute, deciding you are qualified to lead it, and then sticking around claiming the rules are rigged when a woman wins?

        • Damn, can I steal that last line and shout it from the mountaintops? Just this morning I was in a car-rage listening to the radio hearing about how now superdelegates mean that Bernie can still win when a few months ago superdelegates were evil because they meant he couldn’t win.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes, this! My husband liked him initially but is now having a rage-stroke about how he went from saying “the super delegate process is evil and rigged and corrupt” to saying “Yay superdelegates! Vote for me,please!” and literally nothing has changed except now Bernie needs the superdelegates to win because Hillary has won so many of the elected delegates. The hypocrisy is unbelievable.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 million to your last line.

        • layered bob :

          oh man, I’ve been an intermittent Bernie fan but this comment is so on point.

        • Minnie Beebe :

          Yes, +1,000,000 to this!

        • OMG YES on that last line.

    • Anonymous :

      +1. I really liked the nymag piece about her candidacy.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m really scared he’s going to run independent because the “crooked Democratic Party stole the election from him” (nevermind that HRC won the popular vote). He’s as much of a loose canon as Trump lately (albeit not a racist one).
      And YASSSSS Hillary! So ready to turn to the general election and take down the monster that is Trump.

    • #feelthebern reminds me of a UTI.

      Co-sign #yasssssssssssss at 9:14. It irritates me to no end that, rather than engaging on issues, Bernie has decided that everything is a “rigged” “conspiracy” by “the establishment,” in an attempt to legitimize Hillary/ any criticism of Bernie. It’s poor argumentation, weak thinking, and shuts down rational debate. It’s essentially a fancy ad hominem.

      • Anonymous :

        Superdelegates are unfair and anti-democratic! We can’t count superdelegates! (couple of months later) Wait, I’ll definitely lose without the superdelegates? I loooooove superdelegates! You guys should totally vote for me!

        The College Humor video on Bernie math is possibly my favorite video in existence.

        • Must. Watch.

        • Anonymous :

          Such a good video.

        • “I don’t think you’re taking into account how much I want him to win.” Best line ever.

        • haha thanks for the video.

          I was sort of ambivalent on superdelegates until I listened to a radio program the other day that pointed out (the obvious) that superdelegates are people who have dedicated their life to the party, they like Hilary because she’s dedicated her life to the party, and Bernie has been a member of the party for about 3 minutes/only when it was more convenient to run as democrat vs. running as an independent.

          That said, it is a little annoying to me that AP called the race LAST NIGHT, the day before the California primary. If some Bernie supporters are already inclined to conspiracy theories on the Democrats shutting them out, that certainly didn’t help. I don’t know why the campaign didn’t have the last superdelegate hold out until today so that there could be no argument that everyone got a chance to vote/have a voice in it.

          Like I said elsewhere (although I think I’m in moderation), I was a bernie supporter. I have a shirt and everything. But he lost and it’s time for him to get out. We need to unite and concentrate on defeating Trump. It feels like a missed opportunity this week as establishment Republicans are backing away from Trump that we’re not united behind Hilary.

          • For what it’s worth, both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns complained about AP calling the race yesterday out of concerns that it will suppress turnout today.

          • Wildkitten :

            We should abolish super-delegates but with or without them, Hillary wins.

    • anon-oh-no :

      YES!

    • Not in Cali, and I was one of those Bernie millennial supporters who voted for him in my swing state, but I’m ready for him to get out too. I thought the early Democrat debates were a great example of respectful/not crazytown political discourse, which was refreshing in light of what was going on at the Republican debates. But the all this “conspiracy” talk has really annoyed the heck out of me and it feels like sour grapes in the extreme. The longer he stays in, the more I dislike him. I’ll be pissed if he doesn’t get out after today.

    • I’m also getting pretty enraged by the posts I’m seeing on Facebook today criticizing Hillary for wearing designer clothing, because how dare she wear expensive clothes while talking about income inequality! Please. What is a woman running for POTUS supposed to wear?

      • And the Pope wears Ferragamos.

        I dunno about Hillary, but my morning is not complete without hearing AT LEAST FIVE messages about how I’m not womaning properly.

      • Eh, I’m a big Hillary supporter and I think that choice was slightly out of touch. I don’t think it makes her unfit for office or anything like that but I’m sure she owns some clothing that doesn’t cost $12K. I understand she can’t wear Old Navy, but she could have chosen something that wasn’t so outrageously expensive, given the subject of her speech.

        • For the record, she wore the maligned jacket in her victory speech after the New York primary in April. It was a broad stump speech that briefly touched on income inequality, along with economic recovery, climate change, health insurance coverage, rebuilding infrastructure, civil rights, criminal justice reform, gun control, and other topics.

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t have a problem with the cost of her clothes – the simple fact is that it costs a lot to look good, esp. for women, and it has a powerful impact (e.g., Selina Meyers’ whole wardrobe on Veep). HRC will cross the line when she starts to wear pinstripe suits with her name (à la Hosni Mubarak or Narendra Modi) – that seems a tad meglomaniacal to me.

        • anon-oh-no :

          It was not out of touch. she was just wearing clothes and the fact that anyone is even commenting on whether her clothes was expensive or not is insane. When does anyone ever comment on the suit a male candidate wears? How expensive do you think Trump’s suits are? Or Mitt Romney, or John Kerry, or any of the multitude of other male candidates who have money.

          • Eh, I don’t specifically remember controversy on men’s suits, but I definitely remember the John Edwards’ $400 haircut taking up a few days of the media cycle. I agree that it’s all silliness, but I don’t think it’s limited to one gender. Democrats may also be more open to the attack because of their policy positions on income inequality. In contrast, I suspect that news that Trump had a $12,000+ suit could only increase his appearance of success and thus his appeal to people likely to vote for Trump.

    • I really like this piece I saw posted on FB:
      https://medium.com/@SaraJBenincasa/im-voting-for-the-democrat-in-november-because-i-m-not-a-human-tire-fire-4a3f48dff372#.ulejlauj9

    • Anonforthis :

      So, I am actually a judicial candidate in an election today for my county. I am exhausted but energized by this experience. With no polling, we have no way of knowing what the results will be, (although I am cautiously optimistic), but I am so glad I took this huge step! I encourage all women to think about running, and participating in local government. It’s so important to have smart, engaged women running for office!

  2. Anonymous :

    Hillary!!!!

  3. On the theme of democracy – today is the last day for UK voters to register to vote in the EU referendum. I’m terrified (and I get my degree results on the same day as the referendum results, so a night with shots shots shots will be in order)

  4. LostInTranslation :

    Thank you all for sharing these positive comments about HRC this AM. I admire her myself, but I live in Texas and work with a bunch of die-hard Republicans so I don’t get to hear this much.

    • Anonymous :

      Same boat, except I’m in the Midwest.

    • KS IT Chick :

      Ditto this from Kansas.

      I’m the treasurer for the campaign of a friend who is running for our state house. I told him that I can either be the treasurer or the campaign manager, not both, and he needs both. I’m getting the impression that I’m doing both. I’m working on recruiting people to help us, because I refuse to do both.

    • I’m happy for a different reason – I’m totally surrounded by Bernie Bros and I cannot wait for the convention to be over and we can get on with the real work after Bernie Sanders stops being a great big baby.

      • Yes! This is my situation, too. I’ve been just biting my tongue because I don’t want to get into fights that won’t change anyone’s mind, but it’s been driving me crazy.

    • Also in Texas but in Dallas so I am getting the Hillary love here… Know several moderate Republicans who will be voting for her over Trump, acknowledging that even though they may not agree with her 100%, she is a serious candidate for a serious job.

    • In Houston. Was excited to see the love this morning too!

  5. Paging Book Anon from yesterday :

    I just posted in response to your query yesterday. I think we’re book twins.

    • Thank you! I’ve added all the recommended books to my wish list. It’s a hard category to describe and recommendations are clearly the way to go. Maybe I just like the idea of being part of an inner circle of people, culture or events that I’d otherwise be shut out of?

  6. Is it legal for an acupuncturist to call herself “Dr.” and send out bulletins containing “medical” advice? I am not sure if there is a disclaimer anywhere in her materials, but this seems extremely dishonest and dangerous (especially considering that the emails support quack theories about cancer treatment and diagnosis).

    • Anonymous :

      Check with your state medical licensing board.

    • If she has a PhD or other doctoral degree that uses the Dr. nomenclature, then I’d think she’s entitled to use it. If you are really worried that her tactics approach practicing medicine without a license, I’d make a complaint to the medical licensure board for your state and let them look into it.

    • Respectfully disagree with anon above. Simply having a PhD doesn’t mean you can use your degree as a title in an irrelevant professional context. A PhD is not a degree for acupuncture, and to me could read as misleading. (It is why Dr. Laura is disingenuous–her degree in physiology does not qualify her to dispense counseling.). I would ask acupuncturist the field she did her PhD work in, and the school.

    • It turns out she has a chiropractic degree – is it common for chiropractors to call themselves “Dr. Smith”?

      • Mrs. Jones :

        Yes, plenty of chiros call themselves doctors.

      • Yes. I had one who I loved, who also did acupuncture. But for muscle spasms – she didn’t claim to treat cancer.

        There should be a state chiropractic Board where you are that has a mechanism for filing a complaint.

        • I wonder if a state chiropractic board would do anything about claims like that? It seems like there’s a strong part of the profession that thinks that stuff is legit. I had a friend of friend who’s going to chiropractic school at a well-regarded university (although I know nothing about the program) who posts stuff like that on Facebook. In another instance, my sis worked for an acupuncturist in high school who made all sorts of ridiculous claims. And I love my chiropractor for muscle spasms and realignments, but even she steers over into what I consider not her practice area every now and then (like my cystic acne – seriously?). I just ignore her, although I agree that it’s harmful overall.

    • The problem is that this “doctor” is sending out emails offering “opinions” (read: conspiracy theories) about cancer treatment. Call me crazy, but that doesn’t come under the purview of chiropractors. It seems so disingenuous and dangerous to send that crap out and sign it “Doctor Smith.”

  7. Fitness question heads up. I recently had a baby and lost all the baby weight and a bit more but I am softer than I’d like to be around my lower half: butt, legs, etc. Obviously time is at an all time premium with an infant and full time job, but I’d love to tone up a bit. I’ve never been one to exercise or join gyms. Hoping those of you who are more knowledgeable about these things can suggest a plan of some kind that would give me the most bang for my buck, time wise. Ideally something I can do at home or in a once a week class.

    • Anonymous :

      A once a week class isn’t going to be enough to do anything. I find that running is great for lower body toning, or you might like HIIT, or try Jillian Michaels videos- she’s really pretty good.

    • If you can handle her, Blogilates has lots of short body area targeted videos available for free online. I also like Yoga by Adriene, but I don’t know if that is going to get you as toned as you want.

    • Maybe take a once a week yoga class.

      And then on your own do sqats, planks, more squats. You really can do those in just 10-15′ and they make a big difference for me. Your yoga class may also teach you a few high yield positions.

    • I have found bodyweight workouts to be effective and easy to do because you do them at home with basically no “stuff” that you need. Someone on this s!te directed me to Nerd Fitness and I really liked their bodyweight workouts.

      • +1 on bodyweight circuits plus HIIT. I like Jillian Michaels 30-day shred and No More Trouble Zones, videos from Tone It Up (there are a number on YouTube if you want to try them out before buying into it, though my sister is doing it now and loves the workouts and nutrition plan), and Kayla Itsines BBG program (again, I scored some of the workout plan PDFs for free, but I think I’m going to buy one of her bundles). BBG requires the most equipment (but it’s not much); the others can be done with a mat, sneakers, and hand weights for the most part.

        Also, there are fitness programs designed especially for moms. I went to a Fit 4 Mom class in the DC area for about a year 3x/week and loved it. It’s a lot of the same moves as Jillian Michaels, BBG, and TIU (squats, lunges, burpees, cardio bursts, push ups, crunches, planks, etc.), but I loved being in a group and being motivated by the other moms. In the first 6 weeks of doing it, I lost several inches and really felt myself being toned again. It felt great. Good luck!!

    • You need weights… body weight squats or pilates aren’t going to do anything for that. Something that will challenge your muscles.

      I’d start with the New Rules of Weightlifting for Women or even Starting Strength. 5 sets of 5 reps of deadlifts and squats won’t take that long but will completely change your body shape in that area.

      • +1 This is the credited response. I started lifting heavy, I haven’t really lost any weight, but I no longer have cellulite, I’m 2 sizes smaller, and my rear end was described as “muscular” by DH recently.

        And when I say heavy, I mean squatting my bodyweight with an actual barbell, or lunges with a 35 lb dumbbell in each hand, not like using 12 lb weight with lunges at bodypump (which is not really weightlifting, sorry).

        • I had 5 sets of lunges with 35s the other day in my programming and I may have come close to actual tears.

          • Weighted lunges are brutal, agreed, but so effective! Bulgarian split squats are my personal nemesis.

        • If you are new to weightlifting, OP, please WORK UP to this kind of weight. Don’t start there. You will get injured.

          • I’m Anon at 10:32 – agreed for sure! The two programs I suggested both start off by focusing on form and are a basic linear progression for first-time lifters – they won’t have her jump in with max reps at body weight squats. :-)

      • In House Lobbyist :

        I love this book and it was everything my husband had been saying for years. And I hate to admit he was right. I haven’t really “lost” weight by lifting heavy but my booty looks great and I have went down clothing sizes. And I feel so much better. Find a gym with a good nursery. We pay tons for a good gym but the kids like it and we actually use it. And a good trainer.

    • Shopaholic :

      Try Jillian Michael’s 30-day shred. It’s a home video, it’ll take 20 minutes, you’ll need hand weights and a yoga mat and it’s actually so effective.

    • I signed up for a 5K race. Good motivation. Even if I could run it the whole way at the time — I could — I wanted to improve my time, etc. and ended up doing 5Ks as homework 2-3x/week on the treadmill or around the neighborhood to stay in shape. Made 1 race a month a do-able goal. Eventually moved up to 10Ks and I think I even did a 10-miler? Then I got busy and gained weight andetc. and got a foot injury or 2. Thinking about it again for this fall.

    • hamstrings! hamstrings! hamstrings! :

      If you’re doing squats and lunges — which predominantly work your quads — please don’t forget to do deadlifts/goodmornings/bridges which work your hamstrings and glutes! It’s very important for injury prevention (and frankly, aesthetics) to balance out quad strength with glute and hamstring strength. It’s very hard to work hamstrings unless you specifically target them, though, and most classes you take — spin, zumba, HIIT — will strengthen only your quads. So: Deadlift, deadlift, deadlift! (But agree with the above poster — work up to deadlifting).

      • For the posterior chain also check out hip thrusts- I do them with weights, but single leg hip thrusts with bodyweight are excellent. Stronger glutes make my jeans fit well and reduce my lower back pain

    • Ditto to much of the above (though I’m not sure one *needs* to lift heavy, I think I’m pretty toned from HIIT and bodyweight exercises). But also, start taking the stairs! In my biglaw days when I had practically no time to work out I only used the stairs when going to my 8th floor office and in between offices. It really did keep my butt, hamstrings and calves in shape!

      • And take them two at a time when you do!

        • In the Pink :

          Let’s talk safety and footwear when taking stairs…not in work appropriate heels. And for Gosh’s sake, hold onto the handrails. What if an entry door opens, someone else is using the stairs, or you trip… that handrail is your life line. I bought sneakers because I recently decided (after stranded in an elevator) to take the stairs all.the.time. Yes, even when running down to the mailbox, I change into sneakers.

    • Fitness Blender on YouTube. Check out some of their lower body exercise videos.

  8. layered bob :

    I’m moving back to Chicago next month after several years in a different city. My new office is near Merchandise Mart. I want to have no more than a half hour commute. Where should I live? Since I’ve been away so long, I don’t have a good sense of what neighborhoods to look in anymore. Husband will be home with the kid. We plan to rent for the foreseeable future.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      What type of living arrangements are you interested in renting? High-rise building, condo/3-flat, house? How much are you willing to pay/month? Will you want to commute via CTA? How old is your child?

      • layered bob :

        Yeah, CTA because Olgivie/Millennium are both kind of a hike to my office. Ideally a 3-bedroom in a 3-flat, but not really picky; we’ve lived in courtyard buildings and high rises before. Kid will be about a year old when we move. I’m not sure how much is reasonable to pay; initially I was shooting for ~$1500 (still working on those law school loans) but that is looking unlikely at the commute distances I’d like? I would prioritize shorter commute over cheaper rent, to an extent.

        • You will have a hard time finding a 3 bedroom for $1500 within a 30 minute commute in a family friendly neighborhood. How about a 2 bedroom instead? Aim towards vintage building, and you have a chance.

          Pop onto Craiglist this week just to get a sense of prices these days. Short walking distances (meaning 10-30 minute walk) means downtown and could be River North, Streeterville/Gold Coast, maybe Printer’s Row/South Loop. You could also wind up needing to take a bus a few stops, from some of those neighborhoods. Those are mostly high rises and likely out of your price range.
          These days you would have a hard time finding a 1 bedroom for $1500 in those neighborhoods, and a 3 bedroom could be double that, and parking could be another couple hundred dollars a month.

          To find a 2 bedroom within your price range, start walking down the brown line neighborhoods. Further out you may find what you can afford. Ravenswood and Lincoln square are very nice.

          • South Sider :

            Bridgeport! Bridgeport! Bridgeport! Moved there a year ago and I love it. You can easily find a 3br for $1300-ish, and $1500 will get you nice finishes. Pilsen is great and well-priced, too. Both are super convenient to downtown. It’s true that the brown line is the most convenient to the Merch Mart, but it’s slow AF and IMO the affordable brown line neighborhoods are not that exciting and overpriced.

    • Agree with Minnie’s questions.

      Probably look at neighborhoods on the Brown line (train). 30 minute commute may be a little tight, when you include a little bit of walking on either end of the train. But if you want to live right in the middle of downtown/the Loop in a high-rise it is possible to walk to work (maybe not fun in winter in heels though!). Will be a little pricey, as rents have gone up now.

      There are some lovely neighborhoods for families further out on the brown line, including where the mayor lives. But longer time on the train.

      • layered bob :

        you’re not kidding about rents going up; just for fun I looked at an apartment I lived in ~7 years ago; a similar apartment in the building was going for twice what I paid then. I think I’m going to have to recalibrate my expectation for what is reasonable to pay…

        • Minnie Beebe :

          Kitty’s recommendation to look at places along the Brown line is a good one, but I do think you’re going to have to plan on spending quite a bit more than $1500/mo. Like a lot more. I’m guessing it’s going to be tough to find a 3br in a family-friendly neighborhood for less than $2500. Across the street from my UK Village house, there are very nice, new 3/4BR apartments – they rent for over $3k and are not convenient to the train (though they are convenient to the bus, which I actually prefer in many ways.)

        • Yes… see my post above.

          Chicago has had low/reasonable rents for what it has to offer for decades. I have lived in SF/Boston/NY, and was stunned when I moved back to Chicago 8 years ago to see the reasonable prices (it’s all relative!). But they are now moving up to what the market will bear.

          Ouch.

          Another option – live in Oak Park, close to the Green line. You **might** find a 3 bedroom in a vintage building there, and it is a lovely place to have a family.

          • S in Chicago :

            Second the vote for OP. Green line is super convenient and the schools there will be good when you hit school age. It’s the perfect suburb/city blend of great restaurants and bars but parking(!).

    • espresso bean :

      West Town, Old Town, Ukrainian Village, South Loop, Wicker Park/Bucktown, Lincoln Park… there are so many neighborhoods that could work, but it really depends on your personality and neighborhood preferences. I think $1500 for a 3 BR will be tough, if not impossible, in those neighborhoods. I pay $1200 for a nice 1 BR with in-unit laundry and parking and my commute is 50 minutes door-to-door on the brown line.

    • layered bob :

      any thoughts on Humboldt Park?

      • It is generally not considered a safe/family-friendly neighborhood. It is “developing” so you may hear from others who disagree, but I would consider it border-line and probably not recommend unless you did a lot of diligence on your particular location. If it’s showing up as way-cheaper than other neighborhood you’re interested in, that’s probably why.

        • Minnie Beebe :

          Humboldt is not a neighborhood I’d really consider moving to. However, the neighborhood on the east side of the park is changing rapidly. With a small child and stay-at-home spouse, however, there’s not a ton of family-friendly things to do during the day in the neighborhood, and my guess is that you’re not as likely as in other neighborhoods to have a garage parking space (assuming you’ll have one vehicle.) Logan Square would be better, but it’s getting pricey in a hurry, and isn’t quite as convenient as other neighborhoods might be to the Mart.

          • Remember, once you start looking for these less expensive, transitioning, niche neighborhoods, the commute will not be as direct so the time to work will increase. Sometimes it is just better to bite the bullet and live in a convenient location along a train line, and live as close to the train as possible. Don’t forget to factor in the time it takes to walk to the train on both ends of your commute. Most people underestimate their commute time.

            I would not rent anything without visiting, exploring the area, and doing the actually commute to work at the time of day you plan on traveling.

            I would live in East Humboldt park, but I am very city savvy and would probably have a home security system for peace of mind. Don’t think I would live there with a young child though.

            Many people live in a one bedroom with one young child, to get the location they want.

            You have to decide what’s more important for you. You can’t have it all, unfortunately….

          • South Sider :

            With all the shootings in Palmer Square/Logan Square recently, I don’t think it’s any safer than East Humboldt Park. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

    • layered bob :

      thanks for this info + a bit a of a reality check. We do need at least two bedrooms because my husband works very part-time from home and my mom flies in to stay with us frequently (to help with the baby so my husband can actually get any work done). We lived in a “transitioning” neighborhood before we moved away (or maybe less transitioning and more just… a shooting on our corner every other weekend all summer) but you’re right, it’s a different calculus with a kid who wants to be out and about and at the park all the time.

      • Look at Fulton River District and Fulton Market area. Lots of restaurants, some prices haven’t gone up yet (though with Google opening their new offices, they are headed that way), and you could easily walk to work in 30 minutes or less. (Or bus or uber on the horrible snowy days.)
        You still won’t get 3 bedrooms for $1500/month, but you will be walking distance (within 30 minute walk) of Millennium Park, River North, etc.

      • I think the area off the Montrose stop off the Brown Line is cute and affordable-ish. Lots of vintage buildings and cute places to eat. Lill Street Art Center would be great for the kid when he’s a little older. I lived in Andersonville near the Bryn Mawr stop, and my commute to Merchandise Mart was prob only 35 minutes. Prices are good in Aville and it’s very family friendly.

  9. I work at a midsized law firm, meaning almost nobody in management actually knows how to manage. There was recently a big, manipulative, backstabbing moment in my department (by someone else, tbc) resulting in us not being allowed to go to classes, etc. The managing partner seems to still want us to do this stuff and it’s getting annoyed we’ve stopped, but the immediate supervisors do not (and without good reason).

    Who do I follow – my direct supervisors or the managing partner? I don’t feel like there is any great answer, but my inclination is the managing partner (though perhaps because I want to do this stuff, and also I’m not sure how to go about this plan since my supervisor will not approve my schedule).

    And, yes, I realize this is ridiculous and not a great workplace setup.

    • When you say classes, do you mean CLEs or something else?
      Since it’s confusing, I’d aim for transparency. E.g., meet with your direct supervisors/head of department, and say, “now that Managing Partner has said [no CLEs for the remainder for the remainder of the fiscal year], I wanted to circle back with you and discuss how this will affect our plans for X.”
      I think the biggest concern I’d have is you getting caught in the cross-fire and it appearing you’re not following the directions of one or both of the authority figures.

      • That’s my issue.

        No matter what, one side will be upset, so is it my supervisors or managing partner? It’s not a place any of them are likely to leave soon (years), so…

        CLEs but also other things like that: networking, calls, certain contracts, and related work. Managing partner wants us to do what I think makes more sense, supervisors don’t.

        Supervisors say managing partner didn’t mean us, but she directly said it to me, so clearly there’s a misunderstanding/something going on there. At the very least, I want her to know that is not that I don’t want to do these things, it’s that I was prohibited. Because she’s the one who decides my place long term here, really.

    • Yay Kat! This is a BEAUTIFUL Dress, Kat and Kate! I will show the manageing partner and hopfully, he will agree and give me 50% back as a reibursement! Thank’s for pointing this out!

      As for the OP, lawyers are NOT good manager’s. We are best at doeing legal research, and argueing our cases in court for our CLEINTS. Dad says leave the manageing to the MBAs, and let the JD’s go to court and argue cases.

      In my firm, Madeleine tried to back stab me by telling the manageing partner that I had left confiedenial files in the copy room. But it was NOT me, it was Lynn when she went to meet Mason. The manageing partner did not even care b/c Madelinene was trying to compete with me. The manageing partner does NOT like back stabbing, and no information got out through the cleaning service.

      If I were you, you should get all thing’s approved by your manageing partner. That way, your supervisors will NOT get in the way of you goieng to classes. I also go to CLEs b/c this is the onley way I get smart on legal topic’s. Next week, I am goeing to a CLE on IMMIGRATION b/c the manageing partner wants me to be abel to get cases dismissed if the plaintiff is NOT here legally and should NOT be abel to avail himself of our court’s jursdiction. YAY!!!!

    • Can you email your direct supervisors and managing partner on one email and explain that there is confusion on the policy and ask them to clarify? If I were you, I would also frame it as a less personal request (there has been confusion among associates re: the policy on this, could you please let us know what the policy/protocol is?).

      • Unfortunately, when I tried asking them about it, they said, oh, that’s not really what she meant. However, she’s made other comments about it, and I’m fairly confident that is what she meant.

        If nothing else, I’m going to mention it to the managing partner if the opportunity presents so that she doesn’t think I’m suddenly not doing things.

    • Anonymous :

      That is funny. CLEs are not really optional if you have an audit deadline coming up too.

      If there is a particular event/class/etc. that you want to go to, I’d ask your direct supervisor directly and privately about just that event. Explain why this event is important. It’s an annual event relevant to your specialty; it’s a group you belong to and have a leadership position in; it’s an event that you helped plan; you have professional contacts who will expect to see you there.

      This blanket prohibition is a doozy. I have some major events coming up this month for the reasons I’ve given. Not going to them isn’t an option if I want to keep up with my network or fulfill my obligations.

      • Exactly, it makes no sense. I’m concerned about my network if I cancel rounds and stop networking. Plus, classes are required!

        I’ve already explained for one and might be skating a little close to the edge on the prohibition (for instance, I’m going with they can’t tell me not to network outside of work hours), so this next one might not be worth it. It’s just so frustrating, though, because it’s really better for everyone if we go to classes, network, etc.!

        Thanks all for the responses!

  10. How do you other working moms do it? I recently lateralled so I’m trying to make a good impression and do excellent work. I’m also taking the bar in July since we moved to a new state for husband’s job (hence, the lateral move to a new firm). So every possible night, weekend and early morning minute is going to barbri. And last night my 14 mo decided to stand up in his crib and scream from 10pm-1am. Ugh. I can barely keep my eyes open. Seeking words of encouragement.

    • Fellow Working Mom :

      Hang in there mama! I am a mom to a 13 month old, and my husband and I are both attorneys in big law. I don’t think we could do it without our nanny and my mother in law. My nanny comes 3 times a week and my mother in law comes 2 times a week. Collectively they cook, clean, do laundry, and of course watch over my daughter. Who watches your son when you guys are at work? Is your son on a schedule? Hang in there!!

    • Can you negotiate some (possibly unpaid) time off to study for the bar? I did Barbri while working full time and it was absolutely brutal. And I don’t have a kid.

    • You’re doing great, hang in there!! The bar studying will be over in no time, and that will lift some huge stress off of you. In the meantime, ask for as much help as you can! When we moved last year, our 18 month old had a sleep regression that lasted about 4 weeks. I was exhausted (also lateraled to a new firm and was thrown onto a very busy case), so we often brought her into bed with us. After a couple weeks, we stopped doing it for fear of creating a long-term habit, and would just go into her and tell her it’s still nighttime, we’d wake her in the morning, and go back to bed. Somehow it worked, luckily. My point is: desperate times call for desperate measures. Do whatever you need to do to get some sleep!

    • In answer to your question of how other working moms do it – turns out a big part of the answer is that with a little time, your kids get older and things get way easier. When my kids were babies/young toddlers, I didn’t really grasp how temporary that stage would be. Now they’re 3 and 5, and they sleep all night every night, can play by themselves in the day instead of needing constant attention, get sick way less often, go to the toilet themselves instead of needing me to change diapers, etc. So, hang in there! It’s a rough (but beautiful) time, and much like childbirth, the only way out is through. But it won’t last forever, and you’ll be amazed how much you can become “yourself” again on the other side.

    • Delta Dawn :

      Not much advice, but solidarity for sure. I have an infant and am just trying to stay awake most of the time. I can’t imagine how you’re studying for the bar. But I agree with the comments above that this is only for a short time. I can even tell a difference, as I’m sure you can with your 14 month old, in how much easier it is now at 6 months than it was when Baby Dawn was 3 months old. I believe it will get easier, but I know that doesn’t help you study for the bar now.

      Have you outsourced as much as you can? Nanny, food delivery, cleaning service? Do you and DH alternate nights so at least one of you gets to sleep? Or can you hire a night nanny a couple nights a week until the bar exam is over? She could handle the midnight screaming fits, and you could get some earplugs. I love earplugs. Good luck to you, and I hope you have plenty of coffee to get through today!

    • Seventh Sister :

      It gets easier. Mine are now 5 and 8. The baby/toddler stage seemed like it would be forever, then BOOM! everyone can use the toilet, dress themselves, unload the dishwasher. Oh, we are t-minus two more months of daycare and then I’m rich, rich, rich! (Kidding. But even with aftercare/summer camp, there is a big difference between having to pay 2400/mo. for daycare (which was the price we paid at one point) and paying for two in aftercare.)

      This is not to say that some things aren’t hard (e.g., yelling at everyone about having told them 1000x to clean up) but I’ll take a mouthy second grader over a preverbal toddler any day.

  11. Anon for this :

    Could use some therapy and anxiety advice. I’ll talk about this with my therapist too but felt like the perspectives here would be happy. I’ve had anxiety issues possibly forever though I didn’t really think of it that way until a few years ago. It had been getting steadily worse so Ila couple of months ago, I started seeing a therapist. I thought of my issues as relatively constrained. But now I’m wondering if I was just good at conpartmentalizing and denial. Because starting about session three when we got into serious issues, I rapidly decompensated and haven’t really gotten back. Now I feel anxious and distracted all the time, for the most part, and can’t even shut it down at work.

    I don’t think it’s an issue with my therapist. I think we connected well which is why I’ve told her all these things I haven’t talked about at all. But is there some red flag I should be looking for or something I should be doing? I’m not sure where to go from here.

    Thanks, all.

    • If the anxiety is impacting the quality of your day-to-day life in a detrimental way, are you open to talking to your doctor about a short term medical fix?

      Regardless of whether you are open to that option, I recommend beginning a meditation practice. Start with 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night. If you are having a hard time, that’s okay, forgive yourself for your mind straying and continue on.

      Also, are you exercising? If there is a type of exercise that you like, try your hardest to incorporate that into your regular routine.

      Do you notice patterns in your anxiety? Can you identify why you are anxious in a particular situation? If so, I have found it helpful to ask myself what I am truly worried and talk myself through what is the worst that can happen. Once I get through that exercise, I realize it’s really not that terrible and the worst thing that can happen is I will be disappointed in myself (which was worked on via therapy and is much, much better now).

      Hope that helps!

    • Pills.

      I had anxiety my whole life and started therapy after a moment of crisis. But I needed medicine paired with therapy to get over the initial hump and calm down enough to start making progress. I got on a low dose antidepressant for about a year and had an ativan rx as well for panic attack situations. It helped tremendously.

      • When it became clear that I wasn’t just anxious about one thing, but rather about everything (or nearly) in my life, my therapist recommended a good psychiatrist who discussed my issues and then offered several treatment options (including the option to not take pills). I’ve been on two anti-anxiety meds for about 3 years and have never felt better. I also continue to see the therapist, who has worked with me on reframing anxiety-provoking issues.

        • pugsnbourbon :

          Yup. Been on a medium-dose SSRI off and on for nearly ten years now. Got lucky and dialed into a good one/good dose for me quickly. I’ve tried to cycle off them several times but have realized I’ll probably take it forever, and that’s A-OK.

    • It is wonderful that you found a therapist right off the bat that you seem to connect with. But make no mistake – This is hard, stressful work.

      But it can be life changing to successfully deal with anxiety.

      Sometimes a low dose of an anti-anxiety medicine/anti-depressant is really, really, really helpful in stabilizing you as you go through this process. It doesn’t mean you will be on it forever, but it can be a bridge.

      Meanwhile, ask your therapists to start directing you to some mindfulness techniques etc… to help you deal with anxiety in the moment, when you find yourself imploding. Maybe you stop what you are doing and walk around the floor, or get outside. Maybe you learn how to do deep breathing for 2 minutes. Maybe you start adding regular exercise to your routine.

      Call your therapist, and tell her what you told us.

    • Hi Anon for this! Not sure if this will be helpful, but I just want to let you know that you’re not alone in having things get worse before they get better. My anxiety got worse (1) after starting meds, for 1-2 weeks, (2) after upping med dosage, for 1-2 weeks, (3) several times during therapy, (4) after lowering med dosage, and (5) 2 weeks /after/ completely going off meds (for 1-2 weeks). Anxiety-brain was pretty sure each time that I was making bad choices (lots of “get out! get out!” in my mental monologue). But I was stubborn and stuck it through because I couldn’t think what else to do, and it turns out most times it was a temporary down before an improvement. The other times I just wasn’t responding well to something, so we changed tactics. Now I’m med-free and weaning off of therapy and generally feel amazing. So hang in there, and keep the channels of communication open, but know that you’re not alone in it being a bit of a roller coaster ride. Internet hugs!

    • Anon for This :

      Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate it and this gives me a lot to think about. And it’s just nice to hear I’m not alone. I had got into a vicious cycle with exercise where my stomach was messed up enough by the anxiety to make it difficult to start and of course that makes it worse later. I am going to work on pushing through that.

      • You probably know this, but be kind to yourself! My anxiety keeps me from doing stuff, then the voice in my brain tries to tell me I’m pathetic because I couldn’t even do one “simple” thing — even though the anxiety makes everything 50x harder. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself a break. If you live with someone else, let me know what you’re going through so they can support you.

  12. Husband side swiped a dump truck this morning – no injuries b/c they were moving so slowly. The driver of the dump truck had no damage to his car, and after examining his car/finding nothing, left without taking husband’s info. Husband apparently has extensive damage to the body of his brand new SUV. We’ve never had to claim against our insurance before, and are new at the process.

    First, since the dump truck driver left without taking his info, should we inform the insurance company that there was another car but without damage? Or does that impact the way the claim is filed?

    Second, we want to get an estimate of the damage before we file a claim against our insurance. If it’s close to the deductible, we’ll cover it ourselves to keep our rates low. The insurance company advised us that they can give us the names of body repair shops, get an estimate, and then elect whether to proceed with the claim. Should we avoid body shops recommended by the insurance company? I worry they are incentivized to give a higher estimate. Thoughts?

    • I would be honest with the insurance company about what happened.

      Body work is often very expensive, so chances are high that this will be more $$ than your deductible.

      It’s funny you are worried that the estimate will be higher by seeing the insurance’s preferred body shop, when most people tend to worry that the insurance companies often want you to go to a cheap/less optimal place so they will save money! Our car insurance (State Farm) has an alliance with an excellent body shop in our town, so that’s where we always go. Yes, it is pricey, but they do great work. So I would check online for the reviews for the shop your insurance recommends, and then go there as long as the reviews are ok.

    • Bad News Bear :

      I’m not sure what the law is where you live, but where I live, it is considered leaving the scene of an accident if you are in an accident and don’t call the police. I was in a minor fender-bender and the first thing the insurance company requested was the police report. Just an FYI. What did he tell them when he called about the claim?

      • I believe there are also laws in place that require you to exchange insurance information in the event of an accident. Who knows what the insurance company will actually fuss about though.

      • Many urban areas lack the resources to send police for every single little accident, and have exceptions that you don’t have to call if there are no injuries and the damage is under a certain amount. Here, where the damage is to the party admitting fault, that would likely fall under the exception for those areas that have them.

    • IME, unless the insurance company is going to go after the other vehicle for coverage of the damage to your vehicle, it probably won’t matter much that you didn’t get the information of the other vehicle. If the dump truck company wanted to go after your husband/your insurance for coverage of their damage, they would have taken his info. Since that is not the case here (not the dump truck’s fault and no damage to the dump truck) I don’t think it will be a big deal unless your insurance company wants a witness statement or something. *Disclaimer: I have no insurance experience outside of my own claim filing for accidents.

      Since the accident is your husband’s fault, I’d be inclined to get estimates outside of reporting the claim to avoid any raise to your premiums. However, if this is the first accident you are reporting/claiming, I doubt the premiums would go up remarkably with one incident. Plus, if there is extensive damage to your vehicle and it’s your first claim, it’s likely that your deductible will be much lower than the repairs.

      Not sure I am helping you or if I am just walking myself through my own thought process here!

    • One reason to go at it yourselves if it’s just your vehicle is that even if the repair bill exceeds the deductible by $500-1000, you’re likely going to be paying that much more in insurance over the next 3 years.

      • This. Our deductible was $500 and we made a claim for $2000 of body work. Husband got points on his license that, when compounded with a speeding ticket (or two?) he got within 5 years of that claim, gave him SEVEN points on his license, which upped our insurance premiums by no less than $500/year for going on 5 years now. And this isn’t the end of it- we have a few more years before the last of the points clear and we go back to “normal.”

        We live in MA, where they are really unforgiving about points.

      • That’s not necessarily true. We filed a claim, had our car repaired, and our premium did not change at all. If you get points, your premium will increase but that has nothing to do with making a claim.

        • +1 Same here

          Speeding tickets will kill your insurance were I live, and many will take those classes to try to get the tix erased rather than have it reported to insurance. So JLK… do not minimize the “two” (or more?) speeding tickets your husband has. THAT is the whammy.

          My only speeding ticket was in Mass. Ouch.

          My family has never had a jump in premiums with a reasonable accident claim.

          • I had lengthy conversations with the insurance company on this…there are 4 points for speeding and 3 for an accident with a claim over $1500. Since the accident was DH and a cement post that was unharmed, the *only* reason those 3 points went on the license is because he filed a claim.

            The difference between the premium hike between four points (just speeding tickets) and seven (tickets+accident) was almost $400 annually. MA gives you some freebie points before they start charging you extra for insurance and he used those up on the accident.

            All that to say to the OP: understand what you will (or won’t) have to deal with in later premium adjustments before filing.

    • You may want to think twice about further postings as they may be discoverable.

    • Notifying the insurance company isn’t the same as making a claim, and you likely have an obligation under your policy to notify them. If there is a future accident, pre existing damage and repairs are a concern to them. You may want to notify them, tell them no claim yet as you want to look into whether you want to pay for repairs yourself, and just go from there. You could ask me how I know this, or you could ask my dry cleaners, where I am still years later the person who missed the drive through and hit the building.

  13. tan strappy sandals :

    Help me pick an everyday tan/camel flat sandal! I can’t decide between these styles (in tan or taupe for all):
    Any thoughts on brand quality would also be great. I don’t have any Topshop or Sole Society shoes yet.

    Topshop Hiccup
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/topshop-hiccup-ghillie-sandal-women/4367165?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=TAN

    Lucky Brand Aubree
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/lucky-brand-aubree-flat-sandal-women/4289382?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BROWN%20SUGAR%20LEATHER

    Sole Society Willow
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/sole-society-willow-gladiator-sandal-women/4326762?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=NAVY

    Topshop Hasel
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/topshop-hasel-tassel-sandal-women/4394628?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=TAN

    • The Hiccup is adorable, but I don’t know about quality one way or another. I love my Lucky Brand ballet flats and they have held up very well.

  14. My dad called last night to tell me the family golden retriever has cancer (probably liver, her scan came back clean except in that area). She hasn’t been eating and has lost a bunch of weight, and he said if they can’t make her comfortable enough to eat they’re going to have to put her down.

    I’m absolutely devastated. I just saw her a couple weeks ago when I was visiting him and yeah she was old (11) but I didn’t think it was that imminent. I thought about buying a plane ticket to go down tomorrow night but it sounds like there’s no guarantee she’ll even live that long. And I realize it ultimately doesn’t mean much, but I didn’t make a huge fuss over her last time I was there and now I feel guilty too. I think part of it too is that she is the last remaining thing from my childhood as it was – parents are divorced and it was nasty, dad moved away and is remarried, sold my childhood home, etc.

    Oh, and on top of this, I am leaving for a 2 week vacation Thursday and am afraid this will ruin it. I know time will pass and it’ll get better. But today I am just so sad.

    • Don’t feel guilty about not making a fuss over her the last time you saw her; I’m sure she was thrilled just to see you. Dogs are easily pleased. ;-) It’s always hard to lose a pet so it’s normal for you to feel sad. Since going down doesn’t seem like an option, maybe donate to a local shelter and think of the other animals you’ll be helping? Hugs.

      • I have been thinking about getting a dog, finally, now that I am really settling down – I said it’s probably a good thing I’m about to leave the country or I would end up with a pity rescue. (I went over to my friend’s last night for dinner after I found out and her pups, who I dogsit for regularly, were laying all over my feet and her fiance said something like, “if the pity rescue didn’t exist we wouldn’t have these guys…)

        I am going to apply to foster when I get back later this summer and maybe try and get involved in volunteering.

        • Wildkitten :

          So sorry about your pup. My sister waited for the family dog to pass before she adopted a dog for her adult life and her dog is amazing. I think this is a good option.

          • I just want to make sure I’ve gotten the major travel bug out of my system enough, or at least have a plan in place for when I do need to go. It’s been the only drawback. I have a dog emergency fund in place. I’ve also considered a cat, but not sure that’s going to do it for me.

            Sigh. I know I’ll get through it and have more amazing dogs in my life. But it’s hard right now.

          • Anonymous :

            Get a small dog and take her with you when you travel! Our dog hasn’t slowed down our travel at all. She has made it slightly more North America-based, but we can still leave her with family when we want to go abroad.

          • Wildkitten :

            We board my dog. It’s expensive but she’s worth it.

    • I’m so sorry *sends hugs*

      Please don’t feel guilty, I’m sure you gave her a lot of love and attention throughout her life, and just seeing you that last time probably meant the world to her. If you can get down there to see her one last time, it’s worth a try, because that is something you might regret later.

    • I had the same experience almost exactly a year ago. I think you’ll need the vacation to take your mind off things/ help you not dwell too much on this and remember that life goes on. The last time I saw my dog, I was in a hurry to catch a flight and had plans to see him two weeks later. I also felt bad that I didn’t fuss over him as much, but then I tried to remember that I spent nearly 18 years fawning over him, and he could not have been better loved. That was an enormous comfort to me in the weeks that followed.

    • I am so, soooooooooooo sorry. The literal exact same thing happened to me 11 years ago (golden retriever, wasn’t eating, liver, 11 years old, just saw her a few weeks before but didn’t make a fuss).

      I was a short drive away at college when this happened, so my dad came to get me. By the time I got to the vet she was in a coma and it wasn’t a good scene. Honestly, seeing her was devastating and incredibly emotional for all involved (the vet was sobbing) and I don’t know if it was, on balance, helpful. With respect to going down there, follow your heart, obviously, but it might be worth considering whether you want your last memory to be a happier one. When I think about it I get wrecked (crying now at work), but I don’t as much wrt our other golden who passed peacefully and out of my sight.

      Again, I am so, so, so sorry. Big hugs.

      • That’s a good point, I hadn’t thought about making sure the last memory is a happy one. OP, I know you regret not giving her enough attention last time, but it might still be a happier memory than seeing her in pain.

        • Anonymous :

          +1. My beloved childhood golden passed away shortly after I graduated from college and moved across the country, and honestly I was relieved that I wasn’t the one who had to take her to the vet that last time. In my memory she will forever be wagging her tail as I said goodbye to her before I left for the airport.

    • oh man, I’m so sorry! Dog health problems/end of life decisions are so terrible. Don’t beat yourself up for not making a huge fuss over her last time – she knows that you love her. It sounds like your dad is on the same page as I would be – making her comfortable and letting her go when that becomes too difficult. Try and treat yourself extra nice today, and remember happy things about her.

      This is close to my heart, and we have two generally health golden retrievers that have had lots of health problems in the last year. First the 1.5 year old almost died because of severe pancreatitis in the fall, and then the 7 year old (whose never had any health problems at all) just last week had an unexplained seizure that is scary as h#ll. It’s just so hard to know what to do sometimes.

      • Oh I agree with him, and I know his new wife loves her (she still has the ashes from her golden who passed a couple years ago in her office) and they would do what they could but within reason. I don’t think dogs should be put through chemo or anything because they don’t understand it like people do. My heart just aches.

    • Anonymous :

      We had a lab the succumbed to cancer pretty quickly. Its been a few years and it is still super sad. He was put down the last day of finals my senior year of college and I left less than a week later for another country for an extended vacation. I 100% understand the feeling of you childhood dying. Your vacation won’t be ruined, you’ll think of her, but it won’t be as bad as you think. I still can’t think about him without crying, but you’ll get through it.

      If you get there in time, the family had a “last meal” with our dog. he had mostly stopped eating, but we had a steak dinner with the family and gave him one as well as a loaded baked potato. He gobbled it up. It was one good last hurrah before we had to put him down. Have they tried wet food if the dog normally eats dry? We have had good luck with that as well with dogs on their last legs.

  15. Get a couple estimates but be surprised for them to be high, especially if the damage is to more than one panel of the vehicle. I’d go to the ones recommended by the insurance company and ask them how much they’d charge without insurance. Some places will give you a discount.

  16. I am a mid level associate at a firm in Chicago, and I do quite a bit of work for a partner in our NYC office. I am going to meet him for the first time and have lunch with him next month when I am in NYC for a wedding. We’ve been working together for about 3 years now and have great rapport. Do you guys think I should wear business casual to the lunch? Business formal? I’m flying in with my husband to NYC on Friday morning and then we would drop our bags off at our hotel and I would meet this partner for lunch. It’s not like I would wear sloppy sweatpants and a T shirt but wondering how formal I need to go for this. Thanks!

    • Maddie Ross :

      If he knows the only reason you’re in NYC is for a wedding and not work, and the only office/work related thing you’re doing is having lunch with him, I’d definitely go business casual. Maybe even the casual side of business casual. Ankle pants, sleeveless blouse, cardi or casual blazer, fun necklace and flats?

  17. for the love of weddings :

    I love weddings. I was recently asked by a friend to be the day-of coordinator for her wedding: to corral people/vendors/be the point person for emergencies so the bride and groom can have a stress-free day. I’m happy to do it for free, because they’re very good friends, on a tight budget, and they need someone trustworthy to manage everything. But, it has really started me thinking about whether day-of coordination was something I might want to do as a side-gig. My favorite part of what I do now is events and event planning, and I really thrive on the pressure of the day-of. I’ve always thought in the back of my head that being a wedding planner could be fun, but then realize that after spending months and months on end picking up the phone at 3:30am to a sobbing bride, I might not love weddings so much anymore.

    I currently create my own schedule and it’s very flexible, so it’s feasible for me to fit in meetings with the bride and groom, and even vendors ahead of the event, plus rehearsal/groom’s dinner if they want that service, and the day of the ceremony. I know the realities of it not always being the most glamorous job, in the past I’ve wielded a sewing kit and dealt with hungover ushers. I’m doing fine financially but would love to be putting more money away, and so right now I’m wondering why not leverage something I love doing to make that a reality? I’d plan to offer a discounted rate to get started and gain some experience. I do value having some weekend and travel time, and would probably keep it to a max of 10-12 weddings a year once I get it rolling.

    I wanted to reach out to you all for the things I’m not thinking about – encouragement, words of warning, advice? Has anyone else ever done this? For those of you who had a day-of coordinator, how did you find that person? What did they charge? How many times did you meet with them pre-event? What did you love about having one? What do you wish yours had done differently, or done that they didn’t do?

    • Mine was free with the venue and pretty much everyone I know who has gotten married has gotten one through their venue (not always free though). I wonder if there is enough market for brides hiring day-of coordinators independently. Otherwise, it sounds like a fantastic idea.

    • I have thought about this too, so following with interest! One thing that held me back is anticipating the craaaaaziness that some brides/moms/moms-in-law can bring to the table (not to make it a gender thing, I just haven’t seen grooms/dads/dads-in-law with the crazies, though I’m sure they exist). I’ve played music for many weddings, including many of people I don’t know, and I’ve seen it all. So while I think it would be super fun for the most part, not sure I want to add the stress of dealing with crazy people in addition to dealing with the stress of my day job. Didn’t seem worth it to me at the time but I too love weddings and think so much of it would be super fun (and challenging and difficult).

    • Anecdata:

      Getting married this month and we have a month-of/day-of coordinator. Our venue is pretty non-traditional (although they’ve had weddings there before) and so there is no on-site staff. We wanted someone to coordinate all the vendors, make sure everything was set up properly, and handle anything that comes up so that I don’t have to hear about it. She also helped us find our last few vendors by providing us with options based on our preferences.

      We’re paying her $2000. She’s also making a lot of our décor for us (seating cards, table numbers, food signs, etc) b/c she is a graphic artist, but that is an additional charge.

      So far? Worth every damn penny (and we’re pretty low frills/low budget – but this takes a huge weight off our shoulders b/c we really just want to enjoy the day).

      Northeast, FWIW.

    • One of my former colleagues did exactly what you’re describing. She came from a more wedding-industry background, but she said that 1) once you’d planned one or two weddings and 2) if you were choosy about your clients, it was the easiest money you could make. She keeps trying to get out of the wedding business but at last update, was still getting pulled back in because it’s such an easy, lucrative side gig for her. She definitely has a marketable resume and had worked on some major, big-money, featured-on-The-Knot weddings in a prior position, so I think you would have more of a ramp up period, but I don’t see why this wouldn’t be doable.

      • A friend did this for us as a wedding gift and it was invaluable.

        Check out A Practical Wedding.com. They have vendor directories and tips for getting started in the biz and are generally an awesome space for women and female entrepreneurs.

    • I’m paying my planner/DOC $2300 but I’m using her expertise throughout my 1.5 year engagement. I mainly hired her for her vendor recommendations and of course the DOC service. Our venue is non-traditional, basically just an event space, so we have to figure out all of our own rentals etc.

      I’d recommend marketing to places that do weddings but don’t have their own package – think farms, gardens, distilleries/breweries/wineries, restaurants (that don’t have a banquet hall), museums, parks, etc. Also, chat with local food trucks – a lot of people use them for their backyard weddings.

    • Also, even places that have day-of-coordinators don’t always have the person you would necessarily choose as your DOC. The DOC that came with the wedding venue of my dreams was insane and super flaky. I wouldn’t have trusted her with a goldfish, let alone running the show on my wedding day. I ended up hiring my own DOC, and the crazy one that came with the venue ended up getting let go shortly before my wedding. Her replacement was awesome, but I’m still glad that I had someone there “on my side” (not the venue’s!) throughout the process.

      Also, I would network with local wedding professionals (not just venues) in your area to get your name out. My photographer, catering company, and florist were all willing to provide recommendations for other trusted vendors when asked.

  18. Ok, I’m about at wits end on this, so I need some outsider perspective. We’re planning a wedding. My parents offered to pay X toward wedding. Our top choice location would require us to pay about $12000 additional out of our pocket on top of what my parents are giving us (any option is going to require probably at least $5k out of our pocket). The venue has a date for next spring that would be the best chance of perfect weather we’re going to get. 12k is certainly a decent chunk of change, but still less than we would have spent had we paid for the wedding entirely on our own. I have it in the bank (plus plenty extra–been saving for a down payment, but am in no rush to buy a house), but I also still have a large amount of law school debt. SO is currently doing a federal clerkship that ends August/September and hasn’t found a job yet for after clerkship ends. My job is secure (as secure as law firm jobs go). Parents want us to wait until SO has a job to pick a venue/plan wedding (which realistically means wedding wouldn’t be until fall 2017 or spring 2018 because venues will be booked by August, when he’ll presumably have a job), because right now most of the 12k would be paid by me. SO wants to have wedding in the spring due to aging grandparents and because quite frankly we’ve waited long enough and there’s always going to be something else we could wait on for the perfect circumstance. I’m of the opinion I have the money and I don’t really want to delay life just because I have law school loans (which are getting paid back at a steady rate–it’s not like I’m in any danger of defaulting here). Adding to this is the fact my parents don’t like SO (you might call it cultural differences) and listen to a lot of Dave Ramsey and therefore think I should be eating ramen every day until my loans are paid back, even though I make a very good salary and do not otherwise spend extravagantly. This has been going on for months and at this point I can’t tell how much of my parents’ reluctance is legitimate concerns about the money and how much is just they don’t like SO and are trying to delay things.

    • Why not pay for the wedding yourselves at a cheaper venue and have it whenever you want? Sounds like they are trying to control you with money, and the easiest way to deal with that is to not take the money.

      • Oh, forgot to mention that detail–there is a cheaper venue we are considering, but they’re already booked until at least fall 2017, probably spring 2018. And I suggested to my parents that we were just going to do that and that led to a huge fight because dad wants to pay at least something toward my wedding because he’s old school Southern and “you’re supposed to pay for your daughter’s wedding”

        • There are more than two wedding venues in the world. Find a cheaper venue that’s available now. It’s not “expensive venue now” or “cheaper venue later.”

          • +1. Or go for a smaller wedding, family backyard wedding, or something like that. There are many ways to get your earlier wedding without payig a small fortune.

        • + 2 – do cheaper now. Find a place.

    • And I forgot to actually ask a question. Is it unreasonable for us to just say we’re paying 12k and getting married in May when we have the money given student loans/uncertain job situation of SO, or are my parents being unreasonable when they’re concerned that it’s me paying most of it, not SO? (My parents very much see it as “my” money, whereas I see it as “our” money. SO and I don’t have joint finances, but we’ve been together over a decade and typically share in costs and at various points, I’ve been under/unemployed and he’s paid more and vice versa).

      • The way you phrased your question is what I was trying to get at below – you look at is as “our” money vs. “your” money, and it will never be “their” money. I think that’s totally reasonable. Especially since you’ve been together for so long and have been sharing costs successfully, with him supporting you at different times. Have the wedding you both want, not the wedding your parents begrudgingly want.

    • Assuming you’re going to be combining finances: it’s your money right now, and in a year it’ll be both your and (to a certain extent) your new husband’s money. It will never be your parents money, so I don’t think they get a vote on how it gets spent. It sounds like you like the venue and just want to do it, so I think you should do it.

      Also, I don’t talk money with my parents. Maybe this is the midwestern in us. Sometimes I’ll get into sketches of it with my dad, like goals and different retirement things, but never specific numbers. Obviously the wedding costs are handled differently because you’re sharing the costs, but it sounds like to me that maybe a little less info for the parents might solve some problems. Although I call it solving problems, some may call it avoiding problems. As someone who married a SO who my parents originally didn’t tremendously like, avoiding problems is a good baseline IMO.

    • I’m just an old married woman, but to me, $12K sounds like a lot extra. Esp. when your fiance is not yet clear on his next job or what he will be making. And you have to realize that costs likely won’t end there – if you’ve not even booked a location yet, even if it’s all-inclusive, there will be a couple thousand more in extras I would suspect before you actually get to the big day (hair, makeup, rehearsal dinner dress, b-maid gifts — all sorts of little stuff just adds up). Assuming your parents are giving you a good chunk of change (which is sounds like), I would probably do what I could to find a venue that was closer that amount.

    • Are your parents offering the money only if you wait for SO to get a job? Or are they giving their opinion, which you are free to follow or not?

      If there’s a lot of drama, I’d say to spend your own money on the wedding, even if it means having a smaller, less fancy event than you may be picturing.

    • Don’t wait to get married. In general I think postponing weddings for financial goals is silly, and if SO has aging grandparents, that’s all the more reason to do it now. I think you have to say goodbye to the $12K venue though. Not necessarily because your SO isn’t contributing equally (if you’re getting married, the money is soon to be joint) but because I think that’s a pretty irresponsible decision when you have large law school loans. Find somewhere cheaper and get married now. If the venue ALONE is $12K, you’re probably looking at spending $20-25K total on the wedding, and that just doesn’t sound like something you can afford, even if you literally have the money in a bank account.
      (And if you have no immediate intentions to buy a house, why don’t you throw some of that down payment money at the loans? Unless your loans are at a crazy low interest rate, it’s silly to have lots of money in the bank while keeping loans).

      • +1 Do the cheaper venue in Fall 2017 (the 4 months won’t matter) and put the $12K against your loans asap.

      • It’s not the venue that’s $12k, that would be our share of total overall budget. It may be a little less, may be a little more, depending on how things turn out. We tried to estimate high for everything, but I think we estimated everything fairly accurately (wedding pricing is so annoyingly opaque. Any photographer who actually listed their pricing on their website has immediately earned bonus points with me).

        No immediate intentions=not in the next year, but probably in the next 2-3. Just saving for the down payment; can’t save the whole amount in a year (not while I’m paying extra on loans. Right now I split “leftover money” between savings and loans).

      • +1 – get married when you’re ready to get married, I don’t understand waiting to have a certain kind of wedding. It sounds like eloping is off the table for you guys, but what about a small wedding? Closest of friends and family, look outside traditional “wedding venues” (restaurants are great venues) and get married now. Oh & congratulations.

    • I don’t understand your parents wanting to wait until SO has a job before you get married. As if that is likely to change things? I say go for it. It might behoove you and your finances to find a cheaper option, but I agree with you to just go ahead and do it, but don’t go into more debt for the wedding.

    • Dollar for dollar, you would obviously come out better putting more money towards your loans. But, not every single choice in life has to be about maximizing return on your money. If your parents are just giving you an opinion which you are free to follow or disregard, then I think you are ok disregarding it and spending this money if it is really, truly, important to you and you are frugal otherwise, will still have an emergency fund, and are still putting away money for long term/retirement.. Almost EVERYONE spends money on things that are not strictly necessary, even when they have debt.

      If they are saying they will only help pay if you do it their way, then I say spend your own money to have the wedding sooner.

    • I do not accept money that comes with strings attached. Period.

      My parents generously gifted us X for our wedding (which more than covers it, and we get to keep the overage). They literally said “This is yours to spend. We don’t care what kind of wedding you want. All decisions should be yours. We get zero input – if you want to bounce ideas off us, of course we’ll listen, but this is YOUR DAY”.

    • Not directly responsive to your question, but I got married in law school (which I paid for using over $150k in loans) and paid for our whole wedding (about $20k) out of my savings. Even now, 9 years after getting married, 7 years after graduating (all of which have been spent in BigLaw), and 5 years after paying off my student loans, I regret spending that much on my wedding. It was a great celebration, but looking back I would have been just as happy with a more streamlined affair.

      • Yeah, we spent $6K for 100 people with a buffet dinner and the only thing I regret is not hiring a better photographer.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 – just did 7K for 75 people – it was a lot of DIY but no regrets and it looked amazing.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 We had a small, cheap wedding and 10 years on, we’re still in regular contact with everyone who came to our wedding. My best friend bought dinner for 350 people, most of whom she no longer talks to, and she has openly expressed to me that she wishes she had a wedding more like ours (which cost probably 1/10th of what hers cost).

        • Anonymous :

          How? I feel like food/drinks alone for 100 would almost take up $6k. I think that would involve more DIY than I have the energy/time to do (I’m of the camp sometimes time is more valuable than money)

          • I suspect locations may vary, but from my experience, lunch instead of dinner, buffet instead of served, and fewer/simpler options (our caterer did poached salmon and I can’t even remember the other) all work to trim costs. And frankly, getting catering from a neighborhood restaurant instead of a caterer that relies on weddings for their business would probably cut costs dramatically more. For instance, I just fed 15 people a ton of Greek food from our local joint for a mere $200, it was delicious, and we had plenty of leftovers.

          • Our kick-a$$ bbq for 70 was $1500, so scaling to 100 and you’re still well below 6K.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        Counterpoint: I paid $60,000 for our wedding about two years ago and we are so happy we did it. I still have some law school debt that would be gone now otherwise.

    • Anonymous :

      If you are ready for marriage, don’t delay it just for a wedding. Small, inexpensive wedding, or elope.

  19. Navy Cardigan needed! :

    Anyone have any recs for a navy cardigan that does not stretch out 5 sizes by the end of the day?

    • Maddie Ross :

      I just bought a cashmere/cotton blend one from Uniqlo (slight v-neck) that seems to hold its shape pretty well.

    • Check out the halogen three-quarter sleeve cardigan. I have that in several colors (including navy), and I have been happy with it.

  20. I’m considering moving to Houston. What’s good about it and what isn’t? I grew up there, but it’s been well over 10 years since I’ve lived there, plus I was a kid and didn’t do much except study. Married, no children, don’t want the suburban life. Considering running for office at some point in the future. We enjoy the outdoors, good restaurants, and probably most things that other people in their early 30s like without kids.

    • Houstonian :

      Did you grow up in Houston or in a suburb? I grew up in a suburb and moved into the city after graduation from college. I love the city so much more now that I live in town instead of in a suburb. Thanks to oil prices booming over the last several years (though obviously not anymore), there have been lots of long-term developments and improvements inside the loop (lots more restaurants, better shopping, some walkable/bikeable areas finally arrived, and vastly improved parks). Fortunately, a lot of that was planned and plans didn’t adjust for the times, so there are a lot of very nice apartment complexes that are getting cheaper & cheaper as they’ve been overbuilt. All that said, many of the old complaints remain accurate and jobs are getting harder to find. I’m married, no-children, and late 20s.

      What exactly are you looking for though?

      • In the Pink :

        I agree. It’s hard to know how people define suburb/urban here. Most people end up spending their time in their relative area. Houston continues to have repeated brick/mortar stores, restaurants, and services. Probably because we are such a large/geographically spread out place.

        Life just inside or outside the Loop has bloomed in the past 5-10 years. There also are a lot of new high-rise living options in the true Downtown area. I don’t know how much of Houston you consider to be “urban.” The places far out (Woodlands, Sugarland, Brookshire/Fulshear, Katy, etc.) have all exploded with planned neighborhoods with trails, pools, etc., but the commute to downtown would be a nightmare I think.

        Closer in neighborhoods are experiencing changes. With original homes ageing, people and developers are buying them, knocking them down, putting in McMansions. This would be true for Bellaire in particular, as well as around the Medical Center (Upper Kirby, Meyerland, Southside Place, Stella Link/Buffalo Speedway area, etc.).

        The “toy train” that goes from the old Astrodome area, through the medical center, and ends up at the far end of downtown is an improvement if you travel that way. It runs constantly so hours are easy to manage if you just want to park and ride. That’s new for Houston in concept.

        Lack of zoning is still our bane, if you ask me. If your job is outside of oil/gas, you may be just fine. Welcome back!

        HAR dot com can give you some insights into housing options. There are also Urban Living realtors who specialize in modern townhouses sort of things. We watch the real estate market and have young friends. They’re finding that new 2b/2b apartments with amenities often cost more than a monthly mortgage payment. HAR dot com also lists rentals.

        Oh yes, the area around the Galleria has also become dominated with high rise living and they’ve planned and put in area groceries, shopping, pharmacies, etc.

        If you can get it online, you may want to look at “Houstonia” the magazine, or “Paper City” which focuses upon all the high end stuff happening in town if you’re into that.

        Again, welcome home.

    • I moved to Houston from the Midwest and really like it. If you prefer urban, definitely try to find a place inside the loop (610). The streets aren’t great for bike riding because there’s too much traffic, but there are some excellent parks nearby with really nice trails (Buffalo Bayou, Memorial, etc.). The food here is awesome. Anyone telling you Houston is nothing but chain restaurants just hasn’t looked. You can find food of almost any ethnicity and background in this city, often in total holes in the wall. it’s a city of immigrants, so you’ll go to the store and hear people talking in several languages. Housing is very cheap compared to Chicago, and there’s no income tax. Biggest downsides for me are the summer heat and frequent flooding. Be sure to check flood zones when you are looking for property!!

    • Anonymous :

      I moved here 2 years ago from Dallas!

      Pros:
      Vibrate arts community. There are free and cheap arts/theater/etc events going on all the time
      Parks. There are a ton of really good nicely built parks for both humans and dogs
      Food. The food scene here is insane. There is everything from mom and pop to five star. Also the price for the quality of food is amazing
      Location: You are close enough to the hill country for tons of outdoor weekend trips. Unfortunately the state parks nearby aren’t so good. Also possibly weekend trips include Dallas, New Orleans, and Lake Charles (gambling)
      Taxes. If you are moving from out of state there is no income tax in Texas
      Galveston. People will disagree with this, but being about an hour away from the beach is great. Is it the best beach ever? No, but it is perfectly sufficient for wanting to catch a nice seabreeze and lay out on some imported sand. Also Galveston has a ton of cute shops that are fun to visit. Half the time I end up down there just to stroll. Also the beach season is from March/April to as late as October because it is so warm.
      Universities. If you are looking at all to get a graduate degree you have plenty of options. A&M has a satellite school here as well as Rice and UH.

      Cons:
      Flooding. Ask if it is in a flood zone, ask if the place has flooded, look up the flood planes. Just be aware that it will flood. On the plus side is I usually get an extra day or two a year off work when it decides to flood.
      Shopping. It’s great if you love box stores, but there aren’t the kinds of small shops like you would find in Austin
      Traffic. You will most likely be driving into work, and depending where you decide to live and where the office is, that could mean an hour or more each way. I live and work inside the loop though and have about a fifteen minute commute. It just depends on how much you want to spend.
      Weather. It is humid. It is hot. It will rain every day in the afternoon for months. Embrace the fact that your hair will be horrible.

      All in all I am so glad I moved here. Dallas is still home, but Houston is a big city, with big city opportunities that feels small.

  21. Any news from your firms about a match? I’m at a non-NY outpost of a NY firm and am anxiously waiting on news!

    • DC big law here. No word yet and I bet it will be a while before we hear, but I’m anxiously waiting. I can’t help my brain running away with what I could do with an extra $850 a month. Loans! Retirement! Maybe owning property at some point!

    • We set it. :-)

  22. nylon girl :

    Houston is meh these days to me… traffic is awful and land sprawl is bringing on more flooding. Try to live close to work. The restaurant seeing is awesome and so are the arts. Maybe check out Rice Village, West University. Housing inside 610 is expensive, but that’s big city life.

    • In the Pink :

      +1 to living close to work. We wouldn’t have it any other way. We get to avoid freeways as an extra bonus.

  23. Brock the Rapist :

    Wanted to let you all know that I reported that stupid FB page re: Brock for olympics for harassment and initially FB said it didn’t violate its code of conduct. Well…. later in the evening I received a follow up saying they shut it down because it did! Looks like we won this battle :-)

    • Wildkitten :

      Good work!

    • Hooray for shutting down speech we disagree with! Only permissible speech that doesn’t offend is allowed.

      • It was hate speech. He was talking about how women were sl%%ts.

      • Hurray for that straw man you built! Looks big and strong, good craftsmanship.

      • Anonymous :

        Nice to see a rapist sympathizer on a women’s website…

        • Nice to see that you equate not censoring speech with automatically being a rapist sympathizer. I actually wish Turner would rot in jail. But I don’t go around trying to shut down speech that offends me. The antidote to speech you disagree with is more speech.

    • Coach Laura :

      This morning I read the 12-page victim’s statement and to say I’m irate is putting it mildly.

    • FirstAmendment :

      That FB page read like an effective parody to me, quite possibly by someone close to the victim. Probably unwise and better that it’s gone but IIRC it was started too recently to have been authentically Brock Turner’s.

  24. Vent alert.

    So I’ve been waiting for a promotion to open up. Someone with this title (which would be the opening I’ve been waiting for) told me last week in confidence that they’re leaving soon. I really want this promotion and it’s basically mine to lose.

    My grand-boss is difficult. Like really really difficult. I have also never in my life thought that someone was threatened by my until I worked for this person. Adding to that, I was her first supervisee, so she was her most difficult to me. She still is terrible to me and our personalities are polar opposites (she’s a complainer, I am a do-er, as one coworker put it).

    I don’t know if I can hang in there and work for her- great promotion or not. I’m worried she will always intentionally hold me back. She also seems to have a vendetta against my work- this morning I got a work product returned with one word changed. Not an important word either!!! I just can’t handle much more of this.

  25. What do you all do when your close friends make life decisions that you don’t at all agree with and think will make them really unhappy/hurt them (or at least have a very high chance of that) long term? I’m talking mainly about relationship, career, asset purchase decisions.

    I generally explain my concern once, then go with it’s their decision/life but sometimes more information becomes apparent or they make further related decisions (or others give incorrect (factually) or the opposite advice) later. I don’t want to be the nag or be unsupportive but am genuinely concerned and don’t think they’ve thought it through with all the facts properly. In this instance, it’s someone who will be absolutely devastated if it doesn’t go perfectly and will realistically lose a lot in all areas of life.

    • Anonymous :

      I generally don’t offer advice unless it’s asked for. I mean, if you’re talking about an abusive boyfriend or a drug addition, then yes, speak up. But if it’s a boyfriend you just don’t like or a career move you think isn’t the right decision, I don’t think it’s really your place to offer unsolicited advice.

      • Concerned :

        That’s what I do for most people, but for my closest friends, I tell them what I think once. (By tell them what I think, I mean explain my concerns.) I expect and appreciate when they do the same for me.

        This situation is between the outposts you gave, but it’s a combination of major life decisions and I’m not sure if I can really speak up again as it’s related (though different) to the first conversation.

        I don’t want to be unsupportive, and if they pursue this path, I’ll do everything I can to help it be successful, if I’m needed at all. However, there are so many red flags and big issues that I’m really uncomfortable and concerned.

  26. Any ‘rettes going to Aviation 2016 in Washington, DC next week? Want to meet up?

  27. productive decision making? :

    Any advice on how to frame out / have a really meaningful conversation about a topic where you fundamentally disagree with your partner?

    This might sound strange– but we are starting a home reno. We had initially talked about this at a high level, budgeting somewhere between X and XX, which we’d have been able to fund with cash. We’ve since met with architects and the scope has creeped in a major, major way. This isn’t terrible; we’ve gone from thinking we can just fix our immediate problem to really investing in the house and making it our forever house and have it custom-fit all our needs. We then began kicking around a budget of YY-YYY, and decided we’d either have to do this in several phases (over 3-5 years) to finance it in cash, or get a big loan and knock it all out at once. We’ve had some changes in our employment since the beginning conversations, but generally speaking, all of this is within the realm of affordable for us, but will impact other priorities (vacation, second house, fancy car upgrades, etc).

    We are now at a place where the scope of the project has increased yet again (another 20-30% over even the largest of the most recent figures), largely due to a bunch of items my husband wants. His view is that if we are going to do this, we should make it perfect. I don’t disagree that it makes sense to do it right or not at all, but I’ve hit my limit. I am not comfortable or willing to invest that much money in this house and in this big a scope of a project. He wants to find a way to make it work.

    When we run the financials, it’s one of those things that falls squarely in the “we could do it, it’d be a lot riskier than we are normally used to, but there are plenty of people out there that spend this much on their mortgage payments and make less than we do with similar debt obligations”. As in, we are a family that is used to living well below our means and we’d be moving from a situation where we could afford our mortgage on one income (we have two now) to one where we would both need to continue to keep up our current income.

    What’s the best way to sort through a martial stand-still like this? I think I’m looking for ways to really frame out our options, pros/cons, and long term implication of either plan. I’m frankly ready to say screw it, let’s do what we initially talked about and then move in 5-10 years and leave the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in the bank. Maybe buy him a fancy sports car as a second prize.

    So how do we come to a decision about something like this? We’ve had discussions (totally polite) that have ended with “well i’m not comfortable with this.” “Well I am.” I suppose the good news is that I kind of hold the reins here since i’m the point person for the architect, the builder, and if anyone is going to be working with a bank, it will have to be me. But I haven’t gone out of my way to deal with the bank since I had asked DH to take care of it.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m not married but I have done extensive renovations to a house I owned.

      If you are looking to sell the house in the next 5-10 years, I’d be very careful to not “over renovate” for the neighborhood. Many buyers won’t pay for over-personalized, over-luxurious upgrades in a middle class neighborhood. That mural that had to be painted for the patio? They’ll paint over it. The $5k marble counter tops? Great! But they aren’t raising their offer $5k for them. The Viking range and fancy toilet? Their lucky day but the house down the street has the same square footage and is $40k less.

      I’d make sure that the add-ons your husband wants are within the expectations for the neighborhood before committing money to them.

      If this is your forever home, ignore everything I wrote.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Is there a way to compromise? As in do the things that need to be done while the walls are open but maybe not finish it off? It’s hard to say without knowing more of the specifics that your husband is pushing for but maybe it’s possible.

      The only example I can come up with is getting a room wired for surround sound. If the walls will be open for the other work, I’d go ahead and do the wiring but not buy the sound system right now. My thought process here is to try and limit the things that would need to be done twice.

      My parents had a house built and did things like lay down concrete for the hot tub they’ll probably want in a few years at the same time the concrete patio was put in.

    • Architect :

      I’m an architect, and scope creep is so real! It is definitely wise of you to take a step back and think this all through before you move forward. All of the other advice posted is pretty great. The one thing I would add to help frame the discussion is to encourage you to remember that custom work on your home at the scale you’re probably referring to is a luxury item. (This varies a smidge if you imagine selling and recouping the investment one day, but as other people have mentioned, that is not always a realistic expectation.) If you would not take on this kind of financial obligation in order to fund other luxuries (vacations, cars, etc), I would hesitate to do it for house upgrades.

      I agree that there could be a middle ground here. If this could be a forever home, would some of this work fit into a 10- or 20-year plan? Think about which upgrades add lasting value (soundproof windows, an extra room, better insulation, etc), and which upgrades are dependent upon technology and tastes which will surely change (sound systems, automated shades, gold-leaf ceilings…).

      Finally, I’d try to remember that a larger and more complex home comes with other costs–furnishing it, maintaining it, repairing things down the line. If you won’t have the flexibility in your budget to do this properly over time, you won’t be happy with the results of the renovation in the long term.

      good luck!

  28. I think you have veto power, although I would use it gently. Keep in mind, whatever additional renovations your husband wants can be done at another time (or something in the project can be pushed off to another time). You both seem to be framing it as an all or nothing situation when it’s not. Why not be firm with H and tell him, I’m only comfortable with spending YY-YYY, but I agree we can revisit additional renovations in 12-24-36 months, when the initial work has been done (assuming it comes in at budget and no additional problems are identified), and we are comfortable with the additional cost for the loan? Ex: we did most of our kitchen (cabinets, appliances etc) at one point in time, and then went back and updated the countertops to granite and added an updated sink. Or we did the kids BR but put off doing ours until a later date since we didn’t want the cost of both at once (and the kids had a plumbing issue that needed to be resolved asap).

    • Senior Attorney :

      I agree with this. I feel like in any major decision like buying a house or getting a pet or having a child, there have to be two “yes” votes or it doesn’t happen. If you are really not comfortable and really don’t want to do it, then I think you get to say “Nope. Not comfortable with it. I’m sorry but I just can’t sign on to that.”

      Also, don’t forget that there WILL be increases once the project gets underway and you need to plan for that, too.

    • I agree as well. And I think it’s worth pointing out that you don’t know that “plenty of other people” have done comparable renovations on the same or lowered incomes; they may have had family help, they may be real estate geniuses who are on the fourth house and pick neighborhoods well, so their mortgage doesn’t compare to yours, they may have trust funds, etc. We all can suffer from keeping up with the Joneses, but you really don’t want to make a risky financial decision because of it.

  29. I recently got a new supervisor after working at my job for 2 years. Old supervisor was awesome – he assumed my tasks were going well unless he heard otherwise, answered my questions logically and was all around a nice and genuine guy. He moved on to what was a huge step up for him another company. I’ve noticed new supervisor watches everything I do. You can see the reflection of my computer screen in my office windown and I notice sometimes that she looks at what I’m doing. I spend time on this forum, I read the news, etc. I need short breaks during the day. The work I do is monotonous. I thought maybe I was just being sensitive and that she was just looking out my window…nope…Internet use was brought up by our director in a group meeting out of the blue a while ago. She definitely said something. Yesterday she came in my office and I happened to be reading something on this site…I’m kind of worried that I’m going to get reprimanded. She also complains about the other staff person that is essentially my peer to me. She always complains about how other staff person comes in at 9 and sometimes leaves early.

    What it comes down to, is other staff person and I have always received glowing reviews because we get our work done and do great work. Pick your battles lady! Do I just ignore this and if something is said to me, ask her if there is an issue with my work?

    PS – I work part-time since having children and I am at home while writing this!

    • I’d say curtail the Internet use for a while, I think as a supervisor it’s much easier to come in as a hard-ass and then let up a bit once youve seen people are getting their work done, rather than come in all nice and friendly and then have to get stricter once people already are used to a certain way of doing things. Any way you can get one of those glare protectors to not make it so obvious what you are looking at?

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