Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: ‘Shields’ Belted Stripe Silk Shirtdress

Striped Silk Work Dress: Equipment 'Shields' Belted Stripe Silk ShirtdressOur daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Gawrgeous — I’m loving the trend of vertical stripes on dresses right now. This silk shirtdress from Equipment feels grown up and feminine — not “borrowed from the boys” either metaphorically or truly (I can’t stand when “shirt dresses” look like you’re an aspiring fashion designer in an ’80s movie whose idea of fashion is to steal her boyfriend/father’s shirt and belt it). I love the way the pattern meets up on the skirt, too — it’s graceful and interesting. The dress is $458 at Nordstrom. Equipment ‘Shields’ Belted Stripe Silk Shirtdress

A couple of more affordable shirtdresses are here and here; here’s a plus-size option.

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

(L-5)

Comments

  1. Baltimore Tailor Recs :

    Early TJ: anyone have a fantastic tailor in Baltimore they can recommend? TIA!

    • No, but I also want this information!

    • Patricia Gardiner :

      Tiny Tailor’s shop in Mount Vernon!

    • Charmed Girl :

      Sadly I don’t have a recommendation, but stay away from the Russian Ladies in Stevenson Village. Years ago I took a pair of pants to them, they should have recommended not tailoring based on the end result. I ended up $60 poorer and with a pair of pants I couldn’t use or give away at that point.

  2. I have no peers :

    Good morning Hive –

    I started a new job with a small crown corporation (>200 people) three weeks ago. The work itself is my dream – exactly the kind of role I’ve hoped to be in since I graduated. And my coworkers are all very genuine, welcoming, and kind. But there is one struggle, and it’s that I don’t have any peers. I am junior (5 years of experience, mid-twenties) and everyone that I have met here is 35-40. While they’re lovely, we’re in different life stages and at very different levels in terms of seniority. I’m missing the camaraderie of having friends at work and didn’t realize how much of a difference it made to my general happiness and productiveness. I’m just really struggling with the feeling of isolation. I suppose I’m venting and hoping that some of you might share how you’ve dealt with similar situations.

    • Anonymous :

      Give it time. You will make friends and your life will be all the richer for having friends 10 years older than you. And dial up your out of office efforts. Sign up for a sport or a class etc.

    • Anonymous :

      Pleasant, friendly co-workers make a huge difference in job satisfaction, but I’m not sure most people really develop deep meaningful friendships at work. Do you have good friends outside of the office? If not, I think there’s where you should focus your efforts. If you have a lot of friends and nice co-workers I think you’ll find you aren’t disappointed about not having co-worker friends.

      • I have no peers :

        Thanks – this is a good perspective. I suppose I was just very lucky (in the social sense) at my last job. It was the complete opposite of this one – the work was terrible and most people were toxic but I did have a few very close friends who became fixtures of my personal life too. I just moved cross-province for this job so don’t have good friends in my new city yet. I’m sure that’s amplifying my feelings.

        • I understand this feeling. I just started a new job a few months ago that I love, great team, great job satisfaction, exciting and engaging work, non-toxic leadership… but I do miss my old coworkers greatly. I stayed surprisingly close with two of them after I left, which I keep expecting to fizzle off but hasn’t. My new job is great, but while my coworkers are friendly we aren’t friends – basically the exact same dynamic that you have regarding age.

          I do have lots of friends outside of work, mostly at my gym, and that helps, and I even hung out with one of said old coworkers this weekend, but it is a little weird to feel like I don’t have people to chat with at work.

          • I have no peers :

            Thank you. Really reassuring. I am signed up for some classes that start mid-September so fingers crossed.

        • lawsuited :

          Toxic workplaces often create solidarity with coworkers that can forge closer friendships than you would usually expect at work. It’s really the only upside of working in a toxic environment, so be happy that in your new workplace, things are calm enough that you and your coworkers don’t have to desperately band together just to keep your heads above water.

    • I think you really lucked out having nice, genuine, welcoming co-workers, because many people aren’t so lucky. Totally understand about being in different life places, though. Are you sure that’s true of every single one of them? Just because they are older doesn’t mean they want certain things career-wise or family-wise. One or two of them might be more on your wave length than you realize. If not, you can still have a fun, friendly relationship while keeping your deeper friendships outside of work. Congratulations and good luck with the new job!

      • lawsuited :

        +1 Definitely agree that you’re lucky to have welcoming coworkers! I lot of my coworkers are older than me (I’m young, so that’s to be expected – a functional workplace with a reasonable turnover rate should have a wide range of ages represented in it’s staff!) and are in the house-and-kids stage of life while I’m not quite there yet, but I find it really interesting talking to them about those things and learning how they manage them. We also talk about the news, family, food, hobbies, vacations, etc. which we span all stages of life.

    • Anonymous :

      Ime this is a transition that most people experience at some point in their careers. When you’re younger, there are more people who are also just starting out. Maybe they’ve even moved to their location for work so they’re actively looking for friends. You tend to have more peers and to socialize more. As you become more senior (and 5 years in isn’t exactly entry level), you tend to have more autonomy, people sort of go their different ways, and they have other demands on their time so they don’t socialize as much.

      It’s hard to get used to just being friendly with your coworkers as opposed to actually being friends. To some extent, it’s just going to kind of suck for a while until you get used to it. If you have friends who are nearby, try to meet for coffee or lunch a couple of times a week. If your schedule allows for it, take an exercise class at lunch. See if there’s any support for a work happy hour or lunch so you can get to know folks better.

    • Part of maturing and leaving the college years is realizing work …is work. Not a time for deep personal friendships. That is best for outside of work.

      Your job sounds awesome. Look for friendships and hobbies / activities to make deeper relationships outside of work.

      Your feelings are common at your age. But friendships mean talking and sharing, and you really shouldn’t be sharing your personal life details too much at work. This is a common thing young women do (I sometimes did….) and it can come off as less professional.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 I totally agree. If you are sharing enough to really develop a “friendship” as opposed to a friendly professional relationship, you are sharing too much with your co-workers.

        • I have no peers :

          Really? I’m surprised to hear this and maybe it’s a bit of naivety or maybe it’s indicative of the more relaxed environments I’ve always worked in. At both my new and old organizations people of all levels have/had personal relationships with others who they could trust and that was not frowned upon. I’m just the exception at my new workspace because I don’t have much in common with my new coworkers who have young children etc.

          • “Personal relationship with others who they could trust” != friendship. You can and should develop close professional relationships with people, but That doesn’t mean they are your friends.

          • I have no peers :

            I feel like this is getting pedantic. In the cases I’m describing, people would socialize outside of work (including with their families, including attending special events like weddings and baby showers) and share the finer details of their personal lives with one another (marital troubles, etc.). That meets the definition of friendship for me. Maybe it doesn’t for you. I think my definition can be appropriate in the workplace if you know that you can trust the person with whom you have the relationship and you are wise about your sharing. I spend most of my time at work and don’t really accept the premise that I should not have friends there.

          • Yeah I mean when I think of “friends” it’s the people I split a bottle or two of wine with and chat about boys and our crazy families. You can certainly be “close” with coworkers, like going to happy hour or a mid-day yoga class, but I wouldn’t say they’re friends really.

          • I have no peers :

            What you’re describing (especially the wine and talks of family craziness part) is the sort of friendship I see at my current workplace and that I had at my last one. I have always worked for government and I am in the environmental field (which is generally very relaxed), so this might be why.

          • Weird. I’m a senior manager, and I’ve always had actual friends at work (including at my current job!). They’re not people I manage, and it definitely hasn’t been a problem. You don’t immediately start sharing personal details, obviously, just like in any other friendship, but I don’t think I’ve compromised my professionalism as a result.

            I’m currently in IT, but worked in software previously.

        • I completely disagree with this and maybe it’s a function of the fields my college friends and I have worked in (law, finance, consulting). We have all made close friends at work. In fact, I would say that for the majority of us, the only new friends we’ve made in our cities are through work. And we’re all 5+ years into the work force.

          • Never too many shoes :

            I completely agree, S-non. I have several close friends at work (law) and it absolutely enriches my work and non-work like. To suggest you are sharing too much with coworkers if you actually become friends is just, a bizarre stance.

          • Same. One of my best friends in life is someone I met at work. She was/is a paralegal in the law department where I worked, but she didn’t report to me, no dotted line, and I didn’t work with her really. My colleagues and I here share out of work information with each other because we are a small group and we don’t treat each other like robots.

            I can tolerate boring, tedious, awful work, so long as I am working with people I like. I cannot operate in the flip environment.

          • I have no peers :

            Yes, S-non the reason why this has been such an adjustment is that I have always met close friends through work and found it to be the easiest way when I’m in a new city. I recognize that I need to work on it outside of work too, obviously. But it’s just different. Happy to hear others have friends at work too!

    • I can definitely empathize. I went from working at a large company where I had a lot of friends to a quite small company. The new job was my dream job but I was absolutely miserable without co-worker friends – no one to get lunch or grab coffee with, no one to laugh at in-jokes with or who knew much about my life outside work. To make matters worse, I had moved for the new job and so didn’t really have many other friends in my new city.

      Also, I’m pretty introverted, but this made me realize that I really liked my previous jobs where I interacted with people during the day and then got to go home and relax at night – the thought of going out for evening social events frequently wasn’t appealing.

      I don’t have this problem fully sorted out (I’m still at the job; still having some of the same feelings), but here are things that have helped it a lot:

      – Do give it a little time. You might become close with a couple people in spite of the difference in age / experience / etc. Those people can become valuable mentors and friends. Also, I’m sure there are other entry level folks elsewhere in the company; you’ll likely meet them over time and become friends with them.

      – One of the biggest changes I made that helped me a lot (but may not work for your situation) is that I requested permission to work remotely 1-2 days per week, and work from a co-working space on those days. The demographic at the co-working space is young and friendly, and has given me a chance to make some new “work friends” even though we don’t actually work at the same company. Even if you can’t officially work remotely, is it possible to take your laptop to a coffee shop for an afternoon? If you go to the same place consistently, you make find you begin to see some familiar faces.

      – I started exercising at our office gym rather than the gym where I had a membership, and made friends with another woman who had a similar workout schedule. She works for another company in our same building; it’s nice to chat in the morning and occasionally walk to get Starbucks or something after working out. Not sure where you’re located, but finding or making friends who are geographically close to where you work can give an opportunity to meet up for lunch.

      Lastly, don’t beat yourself up. There’s no right way to have friends or feel happy and satisfied – it’s okay if you want to have close relationships with your co-workers. (From just the first couple comments here, I have a feeling that you’re in for a lot of recommendations that you just get over it and make other friends – that can be easier said than done!) Good luck!

      • I have no peers :

        Are you me? Thank you! This post was so helpful. I especially relate to your comments re: introversion.

    • I’m even younger than you, only 3 years work experience, but in a similar work environment where even my coworkers near my age probably have 5 years on me. I looked for who I clicked with regardless of age, and it’s two women aged 33 and 38. I see them occasionally outside work, but not often; that’s what my real friends are for. So don’t sweat it if there’s no ready-made work friends. You can still find people you click with, and look for more meaningful relationships outside work.

    • I was in this position and made “work friends” with my colleagues despite the age difference. I had coffe break buddies, lunch buddies, etc. that were friendly enough I throw me a baby shower etc. (actually, my boss tree/hosted the baby shower at her house as a surprise).

      I don’t have real friends (people I’d invite to my wedding/expect to show up at my house…ever) at work, but I have work friends. My friend-friends are people I met outside work.

      • I have no peers :

        Thanks, Nina. What I’m really interested to see is how differently we all see friendship and how we find it in different places. I just need to adjust to finding mine somewhere other than my workplace. I found the side discussion about how close work friends are/can/should be interesting. I suppose I was just interested to hear other women’s experiences as it can be tough to make big moves to further your career and it’s inspiring to hear from people who’ve been there. Cheers.

    • Go out to local college bars. There are plenty of people your age. You donor have to hook up to have a good time or meet people.

    • When I was in my mid-twenties, I moved far away from home and started working at my current employer (but obv in a different level job). Not a single person was my age or even close to my situation or even my level. Well, there was one person, but she was miserable and I never hit it off with her and she left. After being lonely for a while and resenting the fact that my coworkers would ask me what I was doing over the weekend but never invite me to do anything, I decided that it was perfect timing for me to find friends outside of work. I had already joined a church choir, but then I joined a community choir, and that became my social circle. Now that I’m older, there are still few people at my level or age, but I am close with only one other person and that’s my boss. We are actually friends and do things together outside of work. But I’ve kind of made a point not to be friends with people whom I supervise. It’s a tough thing!

    • Work friends :

      I have real life friends that I’ve met at work that I hang out with, get drunk with, love more than my own family who are all different ages and stages of life. Don’t listen to all these ridiculous work friends aren’t real friends bs.

      And I promise you friends come in all ages. My 52 yo husband gets along great with my 26 yo former coworker. Every one of every age has something to offer.

  3. I have no peers :

    Also, please know that I am not saying that I cannot befriend people older than me. It’s just that it’s isolating when I don’t have anyone around working at my level. I also don’t feel I can have closer, more personal relationships with staff who are much more senior to me.

    • anonshmanon :

      If you approach this with an open mind, you may be surprised at the camaraderie you find. I am sure many of your 35yo coworkers internally still feel a bit mid-twenties, or at least don’t feel there is a strong generational divide. Unless you are ‘happy hour’ and every last one of your colleagues is ‘married with kids’. That would be a real divide, but not necessarily age related.

      • +1

        Completely agree.

        When I was 22-24 I worked in a laboratory where all my friends were amazing women in their 30’s and early 40’s. Some were married, some not. I am close with them still, years later. They enjoyed my youthful enthusiasm, and they taught me so much about work and life.

        You sound a bit young and naive. And at’s ok. But part of growing up is getting out of your safe comfort zone. Hanging out with people your same age all the time is stifling.

        One of my dearest friends now is a professional actress on TV who is in her 80’s. She is an amazing woman, with a much busier social life than me, and the wisest person I know. Who would have thought?

        • I have no peers :

          Thank you for your comment. The issue is not age but life stage/lifestyle and values/priorities.

          • Oh, thank you for clarifying!

            The issue is you asking for advice and not appreciating when we share our experiences and advice!

            You have 3 choices. Make friends with people at work who are at a different “stage/lifestyle” then you, or look for these friendships outside of work, or leave your job.

          • Wow that’s unnecessarily harsh? She’s been very receptive to suggestions.

          • The fact that people are older than you or in different stages in life doesn’t mean that you won’t share some values and priorities. Really. I started a new job after coming from a workplace where people were friendly and were friends outside of work, and I was worried here that I’d have no one. Now I’m very close with my male, 50 year old, married gay supervisor, and our awesome 55 year old remarried, mother-of-3 secretary.

            I’m 28 and single. We have tons and tons and tons to talk about. There are more “values and priorities” in people’s lives than simply things like “I value leaving early because I prioritize getting to soccer practice.” Think things like art, current events, social justice issues, books, literature, music, the state of your community, the state of your field, travel, friendships… anything and everything.

          • If the issue you’re facing is that the people closest to you in age have children and you don’t, then I would definitely suggest befriending people 15-20 years older than you. They may be empty nesters, or not have children at all, and they may be more open to socializing because their lives permit it. Plus, you’ll benefit from their perspective.

            I made some friends with people in their late 40s/early 50s when I was in my late 20s through a running group. They’re a cool crowd, who go out and do things, and they definitely broadened my horizons a bit.

          • OP, I totally get where you are coming from, and it kind of sucks — I’m sorry you’re dealing with it, too. In my industry, most of my close friends were also people I worked with, and it’s been a really tough adjustment moving to a new city. Honestly, I haven’t quite figured it out yet, and I’ve been here two years. In my case, my company is tiny, so even making friends outside of it through community orgs I’m involved in, I’m encountering young married couples in their 30s (I’m in my mid-20s). Some are getting ready to have children. They’re wonderful, fun people, but the different life stage comment is so real. Plus, because I’m single, I also don’t always want to socialize in couples. The best thing I did was make one close friend my age — formerly a coworker, but no longer — who is kind of my lifeline here. I’m realizing I probably need to focus more on quality now, not necessarily quantity — which is OK, just different. No great advice, mostly commiseration. Good luck to you!

  4. Hmm. About this dress, narrow stripes always seem to melt together into a muddy brown (to my eyes, anyway). Does anyone else have this problem? Other than that, I love shirtdresses. So easy to wear.

    • Anonymous :

      Not sure if it looks muddy to me, but I just don’t like black and red together. Idk if that’s simply personal preference or it’s a dated look or both. I love the cut of the dress though. Silk shirtdresses really are lovely.

    • Diana Barry :

      I hate shirtdresses – always have. Perhaps connected to the fact that I had to wear a pink full-skirted one when I played Mrs. MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie?

    • It looks like Frump City to me.

    • I love shirt dresses, but am not for stripes or flared skirts… This dress is not for me.

    • I think it’s just that it’s scaled down in the picture, so it the strips kind of blend together. In real life, it probably doesn’t read as muddy.

    • With you on the shirtdresses! I LOVE LOVE LOVE them! So easy to wear and hides some paunch. I’m partial to the pencil-skirted bottom ones though, but that’s because full skirts look awful on me. Actually think this one would be great with some colorful accessories like a coral belt and bright pumps. The blogger on Bittersweet Colors has a ton of shirtdresses and one is burgundy kind of like this and looks great on her.

    • Really like this one, especially because it does not have the longer back.

  5. writers & routines? :

    Are there any writers out there? Curious to hear about your routines, what you write about, if you write for publication or just yourself, and what motivates you. Especially interested to hear about those who do not write full-time but do it on the side.

    • Yes. I freelance a strange variety of magazine articles, everything from legal issues to horses to family. For a routine, I do this at night, after work and the kids are asleep. It helps that I don’t have a TV. If I’m behind on a deadline, I get up super early in the morning to write. don’t take on more work than I can easily accomplish, because having a bad reputation is nearly impossible to overcome. What motivates me? I love to write, I’ve done this my whole life, and money. Writing doesn’t pay a lot, but it’s a boost when I need it. I It gives me wiggle room for things like Christmas and birthdays.

    • Anonymous :

      My day job is as a writer for a large organization. My job function is kind of a cross between PR and journalism but my title is “writer” and I spend most of my time interviewing people and writing so I think of myself as a writer. I’m motivated by a love of writing and a belief in the organization’s mission, and I guess I’m also motivated by money in the sense that I wouldn’t do the job for free. In my free time, I bl0g, but that’s just for fun because I’m interested in the subject matter and I like having the creative outlet. I don’t earn any money from that.

    • I am a full-time freelance writer now (working from home), but I did it on the side after work for quite some time. I write for online publications, but some print newspapers as well at the local level.

      My focus is on personal finance, but I also cover healthcare and non-profits, as well.

      I keep myself on a strict routine; when I was just writing as a side-hustle, it meant waking up early and writing for an hour in the morning, bringing my laptop to work with me so I could write at lunch (and sometimes interviewing experts), and writing for another hour after work. Weekends were used to catch up on anything I couldn’t get done.

      Now that I am at home all day, it’s a lot easier. I get up very early (4:30/5am), walk my dog, eat breakfast, get showered and dressed, and I’m at my desk by 6:30/7. That’s usually my best writing time, and I’ll do interviews and research after 11, when my writing flow dies down. I’m usually done for the day by 1 or 2, and shop, run errands, watch tv, whatever, and I’m in bed by 9:30/10.

      • This is my dream life. How do you find the freelance stuff to get you on the path?

        • I pitched like crazy. I sent out about ten pitches a day (cold-pitching, not job boards), until I built up a large lists of clients. Then I kept increasing my rates (and kept pitching), until I had enough high-paying clients. It’s a lot of hustling…I probably spent more time pitching and building my clientele than I did writing, but it paid off.

          If you have never heard of it…try out the Freelance Writers’ Den. It’s a closed membership group (you can join the waiting list and find out when it is next open), and provides bootcamps and resources to get you started, as well as a forum and support group of writers at various levels to provide feedback and tips.

          When I first joined, I made $400 a month freelancing. With the kick in the bum I got from them, I started making $4,000 a month (working abotu 2o hours a week) within 2 months.

          • If anyone is interested, here is a link to the den invite (in full disclosure, I am a member and get a credit towards my membership if anyone signs up).

            http://freelancewritersden.com/dap/a/?a=9816

          • How do you find people to “pitch” to?

          • If they are a company, they are a viable outlet.

            I only work with larger companies who can afford me, so small businesses are out. I focus with companies with profits in the multi-millions; they usually need freelancers and can afford me. Just Google companies in your niche and start emailing.

          • I’m curious what type of writing you do. Is it sales/marketing? Informational? Content creation?

          • ^Anything and everything. My bread and butter is long-form informative blog posts, but I do email marketing copy, landing page copy, executive profiles and white papers

    • how to start? :

      I really identify with the above responders who’ve said they love to write. For those of you who freelance, either full-time or as a side hustle, how did you get going? I work in a very different industry, and I would love to start freelancing but have no connections to say, “can I write you 500 words on x??”

      • Neither did I!

        You need to build up some clips to share…I did that by finding blogs in my niche (finance) and doing two or three unpaid guest posts. Then I plopped them on my website, and started cold-pitching. Within three months, I had 26 clients.

    • I write “for fun” though I’m hoping to publish someday. I write YA fiction and I have two novels in various states of draft. I’ve been working on them concurrently for four years and it’s slow going. Sometimes I’m very rigid in my routine (up at 5am, write for an hour), but kind of like working out, when I let the routine slide it’s hard to pick it back up again. I have done National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) twice and I like the community but not the pressure to win/finish. I have also done short fiction writing contests through NYC Midnight – those were strictly for fun/practice and I really enjoyed them.

    • Anon for This :

      This may not be helpful to you. I write on the side about issues I care about and are related to my area of expertise.

      It started as unpaid fun work; as time went on, several people got to know it and pointed me towards outlets that would publish my work. I also attended a workshop hosted by a group whose mission I support, which was two days of training in writing, story ideas, pitching, etc. (The group paid for my travel, training, and lodging.)

      After that, the group was helpful in editing my work and steering me towards media outlets that would publish my writing.

      That turned into offers of paid writing, which I do when convenient and when I genuinely care about the subject.

  6. Anonymous :

    Just a small vent. I’m envious of how my cousin has a ‘give no f—s attitude. I don’t mean that she isn’t socially aware or can’t take constructive criticism, she is just a very secure person who has no time or patience for people who dismiss or disrespect her. She has always been like this, but it’s come out more since she began working. It helps because she works in a male dominated field. She is a very charismatic person and her moral compass is strong and she has a larger than life personality. She is very sweet and kind unless you cross or disrespect her. I have always struggled with insecurity and imposter syndrome. I know everyone has their own struggles but I’m so envious of how she carries herself. I have asked her what her secret is but she just says that she just does it. My dad says she can’t explain it because it is part of her personality. I am trying to have more confidence but it’s difficult.

    • Anonymous :

      How old are you? This kind of attitude happened to me naturally right around the time I turned 30. I still have some issues with imposter syndrome in a professional context but I definitely give no f-s about toxic friends or non-work related things I don’t want to do.

    • anonshmanon :

      I might be your cousin, at least I am some of the time. I feel like an imposter, too. But most of the time I can talk myself into being brave by focusing on what goal I want to achieve. You say you are trying to have more confidence, that’s awesome! It gets less difficult over time. You fake it till you make it.

      • anonymous :

        +1. I am definitely your cousin and I have friends and loved ones who are envious of this quality as well. I remind them that I also have struggled with self doubt. I think the difference for me is in not letting it bleed over into how I act. It’s like there’s a little part of me that struggles with impostor syndrome, but I keep it tucked away in a little box where it can’t get in the way of things. Over time, it grows smaller and the larger than life personality has grown. Definitely fake it till you make it. Plus, I’m totally awesome, why should I let people disrespect me or feel bad about myself? I bet you are too- you just need to let yourself feel it.

    • I would love to hear more advice on this as well. As much as I’d like to be a person who can just brush off “haters” or take necessary criticism without obsessing over what it means, I’m just not. It’s especially hard when it comes to toxic friends – I’m just not able to cut them out of my life and am rarely able to call them out when I should.

      • You are able. Stop pretending you just can’t. Of course you can, you’ve decided for whatever reason the cost to you of taking the action outweighs the benefits. Stop throwing up your hands about how you can’t and start figuring out a way to make it happen.

    • Just….give no f0cks. Seriously. Or if you give some f8cks, just act like you don’t. You’ll get used to it. You can agonize over it privately. Just RAWR your way to your goals, even if your RAWR is much more polite than mine (or your cousin’s).

    • Meredith Grey :

      For what it’s worth, a few month shy of dirty 30 and therapy has helped me give wayyyyy fewer f’ers. It was hard at first, but it feels so good. Highly recommend.

  7. Marriage books :

    BF and I have been talking more and more about marriage. Are there any books people would recommend before deciding to do so? Something about questions to ask, things to consider…

    • Anonymous :

      There are definitely books that are helpful to read before you get married and can kind of walk you through standard pre-marital counseling, but IMO if you are reading a book to decide IF you should get married, you shouldn’t get married.

      • Marriage books :

        Oh dear…not what I was saying.

        I am looking for a book that might direct you to questions to ask you SO. I already know to talk about children vs. not children, but what about other questions that may not cross my mind but would inevitably come up in a marriage? I would like to know how my SO felt about those issues before we get married. I’m not looking for a book to tell me if he’s ‘the one’.

        • For Better by Tara Parker Pope is thought provoking.

        • Just some personal thoughts, no book recommendations as I didn’t personally explore those. If you don’t already live together, I would talk about division of labor, also I would both further explore your families of origin with respect to religion, gender roles, how to fight and resolve conflict, money, and the like. How we were raised and what our parents taught us I think still influences people a lot into adulthood frequently in ways we don’t totally realize. So I would make sure you guys explore that dimension in the list of things you’re discussing. Also discuss terminal illness and death and what role you expect your extended family to play in your life together.

        • 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married- available on Amazon. We would go through one question a night. It covers a good cross-section of topics, some applicable to most marriages, some applicable to fewer marriages. I thought it was a really worthy exercise- not only did we learn more about each other but we learned how to talk to each other about sensitive topics in a low risk environment.

        • So, i haven’t read For Better, but one of the most common areas of disagreement is money. Not just how it’s spent, but how it’s talked about, dealt with, on really every level. I’d talk about how your families both handled money matters, how your BF learned to manage money and future plans for retirement, savings, home buying, etc.

          I found out too late that my ex’s family believed money discussions to be inappropriate and full of emotion. I grew up with money as a frank matter, yet couldn’t even ask a question to my husband about retirement planning without a full on hysterical fit.

          • +1 a million times.

            I grew up in a household where women worked and had equal say in all money matters; my mother handled the finances and made decisions regarding investments and retirement.

            It never occurred to me (stupidly) to discuss money management with my husband before we got married. Once we got hitched and moved in together, I remember him asking me what allowance I thought was fair for me to get each week, and me looking at him like an alien.

            He grew up in a very traditional household (and I guess I never considered the extent), where his mother got a weekly allowance for pocket money from his father, but she did not have a credit card, debit card, check book or any access to any of their accounts. She could not tell you what bank they used or what the heck a 401K was. In my husband’s mind, this was completely normal.

            He had a bit of a rude awakening, but we talked it out and we smoothed it over, but it was definitely a major issue that could have been a dealbreaker if he had adhered to that mindset. I certainly wish I had thought to discuss it ahead of time.

          • Oh KT, I’m trying to think of what my reaction would have been to the suggestion of an “allowance” other than “are you out of your mind?” I’m sure my jaw would have been on the floor.

            Much like yours, my mother handled all of the finances.

          • +1 I learned the hard way before we were married that my husband was never taught anything about money management, retirement, etc., primarily because my in-laws knew nothing about any of these concepts.

          • Senior Attorney :

            LOL I hope Lovely Fiance doesn’t react that way when I ask him what size allowance he thinks will be fair for him to get each week…

            Kidding.

            Mostly.

          • Marriage books :

            Thanks for the recommendations! We do live together, and I find we share domestic tasks very well. Financial things are on the list to discuss as well since it would make me SO RAGEY if someone dare tried to give me an allowance.

    • I liked “1001 Questions to ask before you get married”.

    • Gottman Institute has a website with some good recommendations

    • I really like Gary Chapman’s book about “Love Languages” and also his book called “Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married” or something like that.

    • Double-Bingo :

      In case you’re still following, while we were wedding planning, DH and I also did “marriage planning” – we made a little program for ourselves out of the book The Hard Questions, 100 Questions to Ask Before You Say I Do. We would each write responses to 5-6 questions per week by a set date, exchange answers, and then talk about it a few days later. It was nice because it was structured, and we had time to react on our own to the questions, and also to each others’ answers. We were able to discuss more thoughtfully after some reflection, rather than instant emotional reactions. We also made it into a little date night, with wine afterward. Highly recommend!

  8. Selling clothes :

    Question about selling on Poshmark or elsewhere- my aunt gave me some really cool women’s suits, likely from the 80s and early 90s (think slightly larger shoulder pads, but could probably still be worn today maybe with some slight tailoring). They’re Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Alfred Nippon. I’m trying to clear out some clutter, so I was trying to think of what I can do with them- anyone know of any thrift or consignment shops in the DC area that might be interested? Or if I do Poshmark, what’s appropriate pricing? I suspect they went for around $1000 when she bought them, but now I’m not sure- $100 per suit? Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated, thanks!

    • I’ve heard great things about TheRealReal- and I think they have some guidelines for pricing too.

      • bostonian :

        the real real is pretty particular about what they will accept – i’ve not had good luck with older pieces even if they’re nice (think beautiful leather bally’s and maxmara bags BUT from the early 90’s)

    • I would do some benchmarking on eBay for prices. 80s-90s is not big for vintage and you can really tell suits from 5 years ago versus today’s. $50 or less might be more reasonable.

      • anon anon Armani :

        You could also ask all of us! I would be interested in Armani jackets… what sizes are you mentioning?

    • In House Lobbyist :

      I love Poshmark. You could check and see if there is anything similar listed. But even current suits don’t seem to sell very well on Poshmark in my experience. You might have better luck on ebay.

    • Anonymous :

      Check out Excess Baggage and Things. The website is excess baggage and things dot com.

  9. Is there an alternative to the little plastic produce sacks at the grocery store that will still keep your produce separated (so it’s not a disaster at checkout) but won’t make me feel like I am singlehandedly destroying the environment?

    • Save them and bring them back to reuse.

      • anonshmanon :

        I use them as trashbags afterwards. I also try to not use as many. Hardy produce like apples or that comes in their own peel, don’t need an extra bag.

    • Marriage books :

      Reuse them by bringing your own? I think it needs to be clear so the checkout person can count how many you have (if its by number, not weight).

    • I just don’t use them. At all. It’s fine!

    • Yes! I have mesh produce bags. They’re great and have the tare (aka how much to subtract) right on the side.

      • I use these two. They are washable so I throw them in the laundry every few grocery trips. got mine on amazon.

      • AnotherAnon :

        This is what we use.
        https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Ecology-Organic-Cotton-Produce/dp/B00B5M4JQ8

        Most of the times, I just put easily separable items directly in the basket (apple, avocado etc) without any bags. For items like say serrano peppers which we have to buy a bunch at a time, I use the mesh bags.

      • These are perfect! Thank! I tend to rip the plastic ones or they get gross, so reusing them wouldn’t work for me.

      • Nancy Raygun :

        Also, if anybody’s looking for something mindless to do in front on the TV or whatever, bags like these are really easy to make. I crocheted a few several years ago (about 30 mins/bag once I figured out the pattern) and I’m still using them. I used a some cheap cooking twine and mercerized cotton. When they get wet or gross they’re very easy to clean.

    • I actually like these bags for other things around the house. We live in a loft where our living area and kitchen are open to each other. When I prep dinner, I will put all the scraps into one of the produce bags and tie it up before putting it in the trash. It drastically reduces kitchen smells and we don’t have to take out our trash until its actually full. I also keep one in my purse as an umbrella bag since I hate showing up at a client’s with a dripping umbrella.

    • Anonymous :

      I live in the North East. Wegmans, a favorite grocery chain, sells fabric net sacs with a drawstring for this purpose. They cost very little, and can be washed if necessary. They are marvelous!

  10. Generally I’m pretty happy/satisfied with myself and (I believe) mentally healthy. I like who I am and how I look and have a good life. But lately when I do something slightly dumb or awkward (not terrible or mean, just a little mistake or something), I find waves of self-disgust washing over me, and want to just say “I’m such an idiot,” “I suck,” or similar. I don’t actually THINK these things are true, but I feel them…and then feel appalled that I do feel them. Saying/feeling these things is like a reflex, like bumping your toe and saying “ouch.” What’s going on and how can I stop it? :(

    • Brene Brown Evangelist :

      Read thee some Brene Brown (specifically, Daring Greatly). It sounds like your reaction to little mistakes (and maybe also big ones?) is shame. Shame is different than guilt or embarrassment. Shame is the feeling that you’re not a good person, or a failure, or not adequate, not worthy, etc, etc. Guilt is the feeling that you’ve done something wrong in the sense that it does not align with your values. Embarrassment is the feeling that you’re being perceived in a negative light that is not accurate. Shame is extremely painful and unpleasant, and yes, shaming thoughts can totally become reflexive.

      Once you learn to identify these feelings and where they’re coming from, and why they are so completely illegitimate and that you do not deserve to feel self-disgust, you can banish them.

    • You are having automatic thoughts that are negative, and the good thing is you are identifying them. Now, you simply need to talk back to them and tell yourself why they are illogical. It’s part of cognitive behavior therapy. Look it up–there are charts you can use to fill out to help yourself do it. An excellent book is Feeling Good by David Burns, for a more complete explanation.

      • bostonian :

        this is what i do! I frequently feel this way after making what I consider to be small social faux-pas, but I feel bad about them for ages afterwards. Now I tell myself, okay, that was not ideal but also not a big deal, and I am overreacting and fixating on them. I actively acknowledge what is happening and then tell myself to focus on something else. It becomes easier with time. Also a helpful thing for me is thinking what I would tell a friend if she/he felt bad about doing hte same thing – I would never continue to shame them! I’d always say something like “that’s nothing, no one even remembers, etc.” and mean it so I should tell myself the same thing.

    • Correct it immediately in your mind. “I’m such an idiot.” might be your first reaction, but if you are super diligent about /always/ correcting it to yourself. “No, I’m not. Making a mistake doesn’t mean I’m an idiot. Would I think that (mentor, person you think highly of) was an idiot for making this mistake?,” it’ll at least be mentally kinder, if not reframe your entire narrative. I have no idea what’s psychologically going on, but try to correct the negative self-talk with positive self-talk.

      • This is slightly ridiculous – but I sing the “Everybody makes mistakes song” from sesame street in my head – 30 years later, I somehow still remember it . . .

  11. I think this is so, so, so dated. It looks like something a professional woman in a 90’s TV show would wear.

  12. Ineedpants! :

    Can anyone comment on mmlafleur’s pants? My body has changed post-babies and none of my pants fit anymore, so looking to replace a lot of my older, lined jcrew staples. I have a high waist and would probably be considered hourglass.

    • I am a highwaisted pear and have really liked the Athleta Palisades cropped pant (the BR Sloan does not work for me). It is casual though, but I wear to work on Friday. May be worth a thought. Pants are the devil.

    • I am short waisted with limited hips, and their pants are some of the most unflattering that I’ve ever tried. I have a hard time with pants in general, for what it’s worth.

    • annoynomous :

      I actually disagree with the last poster. I have the foster pant and have tried on the nakurama pant. I found them both pretty flattering but more super comfortable and good quality. I find mmlafleur’s sizing to be a little wonky – some things fit well in my normal size and some things run randomly large or small. I am not at all an hourglass though – I’m pretty short-waisted and have minimal hips. But mmlafleur has free shipping and returns if you spent more than $100 so I think it’s def worth ordering in multiple sizes and trying things on.

  13. Shopaholic :

    What are your morning routines? I know we’ve discussed this before but I’m trying to move away from the scrambling to get up/get ready in the morning. I’m a terrible morning person and don’t want to move my workouts in the morning but I’ve been feeling like it would be really nice to have a cup of coffee at home before heading into my day. I just can’t seem to find a way to make it happen.

    thanks all!

    • Get up, work out for ~ hour (usually a run outside if I’m in a hurry), shower and get dressed for about 15 minutes, walk the dog 20 min, get my stuff together another 5 min or so, then out the door. If I haven’t made my lunch the night before, which I usually do, then that takes another 5-10 min at most.

      I make a cup of coffee while I’m getting ready and pour it into a travel mug. I eat my breakfast at my desk at work with the coffee while I get started on my day. It feels probably as relaxing as drinking a cup at home, if only because I don’t feel as hurried when I’m already at work. I’m also in earlier than my coworkers, so that probably helps.

      • You can shower/dress/make-up/hair in 15 min?

        How I envy people with good hair/skin!

        • How long does it normally take?

          • Shower 20 mins (incl shave legs)
            Make up 5 mins
            Hair drying and styling – 30 mins
            dressing – if clothes picked out – 5 mins; if not 20 mins + frustration

          • I’m a good 40 mins-1 hr. I’m faster when I get ready at the gym because I don’t dry my hair, my clothes are already packed, and I don’t do my normal time-wasting things, like pop pimples, examine my eyebrows, read emails, etc.

            I don’t understand how shower/makeup/hair can take only 15 minutes. I’m half convinced that people who claim to get ready in 15 minutes actually take something closer to 30 and they’re perpetually 15 minutes late in the morning. Ymmv, obvi.

          • anonymous :

            I don’t usually wash my hair in the mornings, but when I do I let it air dry on the way to work. I have a really simple but super put together hairstyle that I wear that takes like 3 min to do, which I usually do after I get there or on the way out. I don’t usually use a mirror to do it. I also don’t really wear makeup. I put on sunscreen and occassionally some powder on the way out. I usually just grab some clothes from the closet. Most of what I own goes with everything else, so it’s pretty simple. Shower is anywhere from 2 min if I’m not washing my hair to maybe 5 or so if I am. I honestly don’t get what could possibly take so long to get ready.

        • I can shower/make-up/hair/dress in 15-20 minutes but I don’t wash my hair during the week – so I do a 5 minute body shower (body wash/exfoliate/shave/face wash), then 5 minute makeup – moisturize, prime, light foundation, fill in brows, blush/bronze, mascara. While I am doing my make-up, I put in dry shampoo if needed (4th day of not washing plus), and then deal with my hair – if its straight, I run a flat iron over the top to smooth, if its curled or blown out, I usually am good with just a quick brush (the curls obviously get more wavy during the week but it still looks good, imo) and if its really dirty, I put it in a low ponytail which takes 2 minutes, if that. Then I grab clothes, steam if necessary and I’m done.

        • It’s not good hair/skin, it’s just accepting my body as it is. I posted below that I got a haircut that works with my natural color and texture. And I use a combo BB cream/moisturizer plus curl my eyelashes, and that’s it for makeup. I don’t look date-ready, but I look relatively pulled together and professional. It was a BIG mind shift from my hour long routine before, and I hated the way I looked at first, but honestly I feel like I look a little younger now without all the extra foundation and product and everything.

          For me:
          Shower – 10 min (20 if I shave)
          Hair – 5 min
          Makeup/Dressed – 5 min (I make sure to set everything out the night before)

          My shower should probably only be 5 min, since my hair is neck-length, but I take a while to wake up in there so I’m slower than I should be.

    • I get up early enough so I don’t have to rush. It makes a huge difference for me to be able to brew coffee in my Chemex (takes 10-15 minutes) and drink it slowly while checking the news or reading something interesting. Then I still have time for getting ready and getting out the door. It sets the tone for my day to be more deliberate and relaxed – I feel SO instantly stressed if I’m rushing out the door with a to-go cup in one hand and a granola bar in the other. The downside is that I could use more sleep.

    • I had the same wish – specifically the coffee. I “found” time by simplifying my morning routine. Got a haircut that takes 5 min to blowdry and style (seriously!), apply very little makeup, set out clothes and pack bags the night before. So now I get up at 6, shower and spend a half hour getting myself and kids ready (I wake them up and change them, and they’re done), and then sit down at the table and savor my coffee while we eat breakfast. Quick clean up, let the dog out, and pack car, and then we’re out the door at 7.

      I wish I could make a healthier meal for us – we either do freezer waffles or cereal, which isn’t the best. I’d like to do some overnight oats with berries or eggs and melon or something, but I’ll save that for when they’re older and won’t fight me on eating those. The meals I use are specifically chosen to minimize fighting or tantrums so we can start the day out on a pleasant note.

      It boggles my mind that I can get myself, two kids, and dog ready in one hour now. Before kids I took over an hour just for myself and a walk for the dog. A dogwalker helps some, but mainly it was discipline the night before and simplifying my morning routine as much as possible.

      • Closet Redux :

        What is your miracle haircut? Obv. dependent on texture, length, etc., but I used to have a graduated bob that I didn’t have to even blowdry in the mornings and I loved it. Moved away from that hairdresser and never found a comparable cut again…

        • It was basically going to my nature color and texture, with a cut that flatters my face shape while relatively lifeless. I have fine brown straight hair and a fullish face. While I look va-va-voom with a ton of volume, it takes hours. So a neck level semi-bob works well on me – google Ginifer Goodwin at the CMA Awards in 2011 to see the pic my stylist used as inspiration – although mine isn’t that full/tousled most days.

          So now I blow dry to damp, crinkle some product in, and that’s it. It dries the rest of the way while I eat breakfast, then I just make sure it looks presentable before walking out the door.

    • I’m an atrocious morning person. if I let myself stay on my own schedule, I would stay up to 2 or 3, and wake up at 11. Alas, that doesn’t work.

      I started going to bed freakishly early, like 9. That helped waking up earlier easier. I set my alarm just five minutes earlier each day until I was able to get up when I wanted.

      My pup helps too. She got used to the new schedule, so now if I sleep past my alarm, she comes and gets me by pawing my face until I wake up :)

      If I go right through eat breakfast/get dressed/go to work, I’m grumpy and irritable. If I have time to walk the dog, have a lovely breakfast, read a little, I’m so much better prepared for the day.

    • I wake up when my oldest child (7) climbs on me and yells at me to wake up. I roll out of bed, get a cup of coffee (which my husband makes before he leaves), make lunches for my older kids, we all brush our teeth and hair, I get the little ones dressed. Then I get everyone in the van, drop the older ones to before school care. the younger ones get dropped off at daycare. all four have breakfast at school/daycare, which is a huge help. I either go to a workout class and drive to work, arriving by 10am or get ready and go straight to work by 9. My mornings go smoothly because all of the kids’ outfits are laid out the night before, as is mine. I take a quick shower and throw my hair up soaking wet. put serum, moisturizer,and tinted sunscreen on (in less than 90 seconds). I wear a dress every day with the same necklace and no other jewelry besides my rings. I brush my hair and put on makeup in my office while I have another cup of coffee.

      • Thank you for describing a REALISTIC morning routine. I have four kids too, and mornings are similar to what you describe (although it’s my youngest who climbs on me to wake me up!). Every day that I get out and get everyone where they need to go is a victory. The idea of spending 40-60 minutes getting myself showered, made up, dressed, and fed is hilarious ;)

    • I try and set out as much as I can the night before. So coffee gets set on an automatic start, kids’ lunches and my lunch get made the night before, kids’ clothes picked out the night before. Then in the morning I get up at 5, I work-out before everyone wakes up, shower quickly, then it takes me about 10 minutes to dry my hair plus another 5 or so to curl the ends, and put on minimal make-up (just some bb cream and mascara most days.) I feed the dog and pour my coffee. I microwave oatmeal at work and eat it while I drink my coffee.

    • I think the key to a good morning routine is to prep as much as possible the night before.

    • In addition to our professional lives, my husband and I also have a small farm (chickens, cattle, board horses, garden). I generally loathe getting up in the morning, but I love getting up to take care of our animals. I get up around 5:45 and stumble outside. I let the chickens out of their coop, give the horses a good scratch, take the cattle their hay and spend 30-45 minutes in the garden. It is the most peaceful part of my day. While I am outside, my husband makes us breakfast smoothies (banana, kale, coconut water and some other stuff). We both try to be showered by 7:00, which is about the time our kids wake up. My husband leaves by 7:15, and I hang with the kids, make them breakfast and clean up until our au pair takes over at 8:00. My key to getting up early is to get outside. It also helps with nights where I have been awoken multiple times by a child/animal/ snoring husband.

      • This is my dream existence. Cheers to you for putting in the hard work required to do it, that is so awesome!

    • Wake up at 4:45, start coffee (prepped the night before), take dog out back, feed dog and cats, and scoop litter boxes.

      In the shower by 5:05, hair and makeup done by 5:30, dressed by 5:40 (I steam things once I pick them out that morning), pack gym/barn bag, throw in a load of laundry if necessary (old dog messes).

      Downstairs by 5:45, take dog for walk, back in the house around 6:00. Make and pack breakfast and lunch for work. Putter around for a few minutes organizing house (dishes, tidying generally, cleaning up animal mess) and out the door by 6:15. At work by 6:30.

    • All bags and my lunch get packed the night before and I almost exclusively shower at night.

      Up at 5:45 – brush teeth, do hair, minimal make up (15-30 min)
      6:15-6:30 – Wake baby, feed him, get him dressed and out the door with my husband
      7 – Heat up breakfast burrito (prepared in bulk) and drink coffee (automatic brew, so prepared the night before). I usually sit down for breakfast and either read blogs or watch some Netflix
      7:15- Get dressed and do any quick chores (throw in a load of laundry, etc.)
      Out the door between 7:30-7:45.

    • My morning routine really starts on Sundays. I make my breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for the week so I just grab and go. The night before, I pack my clothes, makeup, toiletries for the next day and I’m in bed by 9 p.m.

      5 a.m. Fitbit alarm goes off
      5:09 a.m. Cell phone alarm goes off. Get up, get dressed, make coffee, have toast w/ almond butter, grab and go with lunch and pre-packed gym bag
      5:30 a.m. out the door
      5:45 a.m. arrive at gym and warm up
      6 a.m. personal training, class, or workout on my own, plus stretching
      7:10ish a.m. get in shower at gym
      7:55ish a.m. leave gym and go to work
      8:15ish a.m. arrive at work

    • Anonymous :

      600-630 – get up (depends on when the toddler gets up – I wake with him)
      630- head downstairs, get toddler breakfast
      645- get myself breakfast, eat with toddler (including coffee!)
      700 – head upstairs, make sure husband is up (he is super lazy in the morning)
      715 – get toddler dressed, play, pack daycare bag
      745 – husband is now dressed – they head out for a walk. I get in the shower.
      800 – get dressed, fix hair, very minimal makeup (if any)
      815 – get in car, pick up husband and toddler on way to work/daycare
      835 – drop toddler at daycare
      845 – arrive at work

    • My solution is to wake up 15 minutes earlier than I think I need to. I usually take around 45 minutes for shower/hair/makeup and 15 minutes for breakfast, so I get up 75 minutes before I need to leave. It helps me avoid feeling rushed.

    • Morning Routine :

      I set my alarm for 15-20 minutes earlier than I really need to get up to give me a few minutes of downtime in bed to wake up/check emails/scroll through Instagram before I officially get up. From there, it’s:

      5-15 minute shower (depending on whether or not I’m washing my hair)
      3-5 minutes of brushing teeth/morning skincare routine (eye cream, serum, moisturizer)
      10 minutes on makeup
      10-20 minutes on hair (depending on whether I’m blowing it out or restyling dirty hair)
      10-15 minutes to get dressed and ready to go (picking out outfit, shoes, and accessories – I can’t seem to make myself do it the night before)
      2-4 minutes to get out of the house (grab my cell phone from charger, turn off house alarm, throw a breakfast bar or oatmeal packet in my purse, etc.)
      Once at the office: eat breakfast and have coffee at my desk while reading/answering emails

    • I love reading people’s morning routines!

      6:00-6:09 Cat/Alarm wakes me up, maybe a little bit of reading the news on my phone
      6:10-6:15 Face, teeth, hair (I have a ton of long hair and don’t know how to blow dry it, so I wash it the night before if necessary and sleep with it in a sock bun, so morning hair is just brushing it)
      6:15-6:30 Husband awake, baby awake, baby breakfast, husband puts coffee on and feeds cat while I focus on baby. We team up to pack lunches if we haven’t done it the night before.
      6:30-6:45 Diaper, dress baby, gather daycare stuff, dress self (important that this be done last, unless I want cereal all over my work clothes)
      6:45-7:00 Put baby and things in car, buckle, shoes on in the car (idk why this is a thing), deal with crying, bye daddy, bye cats, finally on the road!
      7:40-7:45 Daycare drop off
      7:50 Work! Yay!

    • 8:00 — Wake up and hit snooze button twice.
      8:20 — Shower (only wash hair every 5 days – I get up 15 min earlier on hair wash days).
      8:30 — Put on clothes (capsule wardrobe so the decisions are just do I need to wear a full suit today and what is clean).
      8:35 — Makeup (5 min to do eyeliner, mascara, bb cream, powder, blush/bronzer).
      8:40 — Grab pre-packed gym bag and frozen lunch from the freezer.
      8:45 — Leave house.
      9:05 — Arrive at work; drink coffee and eat breakfast at my desk.

      This is not ideal. I’d rather wake up at 7:45 and make myself breakfast, but I’ve been going to bed on the later side which makes that more difficult.

      • 4:15 – baby nurses while I’m asleep
        4:45 – wake up and make coffee while packing up breast pump
        5 – wash face/apply makeup
        5:15 – get dressed
        5:25 – put on jewelry and load car
        5:30 – commute to work
        6 – arrive at work

        Eat breakfast and brush teeth at work. Do pickup duty at daycare in the afternoon. Prep everything possible the night before (lunches, clothes, baby bag, etc.)

  14. I have a lined BR dress that says Dry Clean Only. The outer shell is linen/cotton and has gotten somewhat stretched out and shapeless. Is there a way to get it back to its original proportions? I know washing this fabric would make it shape up fine, but I worry about washing given the label’s instructions…it’s brightly patterned also. Does dry cleaning help with this like washing would?

    • What is the lining made out of?

      I would probably wet wash it anyway, because I don’t dry clean anything, but my guess is it will shrink some.

    • It is probably dry clean only because they worry that one layer will shrink and the other won’t. You are probably ok at least rinsing it in cold water, unless the lining is made of something really weird or unless it’s starched into a certain shape.

    • If the dress is already misshapen slightly, what do you have to lose by throwing it in the washing machine in cold water on the delicate cycle? If it goes poorly, well, the dress was already not in great shape.

      I started ignoring dry clean only instructions awhile back and haven’t regretted it. If you use a super gentle detergent, mesh laundry bags, cold water, and have a place to lay things flat to dry, it’s fine.

      • I mostly agree, except I would never wash anything made with acetate or an acetate lining – the shrinkage is very unpredictable (or predictable?) and I once ended up with a skirt several inches shorter than its lining (yuck).

    • I thought you couldn’t dry clean cotton? Something about the chemicals degrading natural fibers? Is that just an urban legend?

  15. Further tales of mid-life dating:

    After being off Match for about six weeks while in a relationship that didn’t work out, I reactivated. Over the weekend I got an e-mail that addressed me by my first name, which I don’t use on the site, asking to take me to lunch “if you’ll be in the office this week.” Okay, creepy. The guy did not have photos on his profile (pronounced himself tech-impaired) but after reading his e-mail and his profile I confirmed who he is: one of my (10 years older) law partner’s close friends and classmates – and the guy I hired to handle my divorce!

    He actually formally represented ex-H; we had worked out the entire settlement ourselves and only needed someone to handle the details and the filings, and since I’m a lawyer it made more sense for him to represent H (with me paying the bill, part of our financial deal). And, although he’s a nice enough guy, he’s goofy and talks nonstop, I find him annoying AF. And since I know him – and his office is a block away, he visits my partner all the time – I couldn’t just ignore and block him but had to send the “I’m flattered but no thanks” response. Gah.

    • Oh.my.GAHD!

    • I am horrified for you.

    • Tomato Soup :

      Sorry not the reaction you’re looking for…but this just reminded me of Charlotte from SATC :)

      • Ha. Of all the plotlines on SATC, this is the one I had to get? (Where is, say, the hot firefighter?)

        • To be fair, Harry is an amazing husband and if I had to pick one of the SATC guys to actually be married to, I would take him over Big or Aiden or Steve any day of the week. The firefighter would be more fun as a temporary thing tho :)

    • This is horrific. Out of curiosity, is this an ethical violation, or do the rules of ethics only prohibit dating formal clients? Either way, it is a total social norms violation.

      • I wouldn’t think it’s an ethical violation even to ask out a client so long as the representation has ended. Super unprofessional though.

      • Technically, I was the opposing party – although it was super-amicable and H and I met with him together – and the divorce was final six months ago with some QDRO things wrapped up a month or so later. So not actually unethical. But OMG, I would not date this guy ever.

        My law partner laughed so hard at this he almost choked. He and this other lawyer have had season tickets to local college football, with seats next to each other, forever; my partner said one of the happiest moments he’s had this year is when he learned their seats had been separated so he doesn’t have to listen to his friend talk his head off during each game.

        • Anonymous :

          That’s great your law partner is on the same page as you. I was worried he was aware of his friend’s intentions and was trying to set you up!

    • LOL WHAT

    • OMG NOOOOOO.

      Match “matched” me with one of my law school professors once. It was horrifying as I think he actually would have been interested in dating me. I blocked that sucker as fast as I could!!

      • Oh, that’s probably worse.

        I recently blocked a guy on Match as soon as I saw him. He’s the father of one of my son’s friends from grade school. Nice guy, tons of baggage; earlier this year, I gave his now ex-wife some advice and a referral to a divorce lawyer as she was in the process of leaving him for another woman. (And the other woman was at the time married to the mother of a different one of my son’s friends – it’s a small town.)

      • Anonymous :

        Match matched me with my brother and cousins. Yep.

      • Match also matched one of my good friends with one of my exes who was CRAZY. She was very NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE!

  16. So with all of the talk of building friendships…

    Last night my husband and I were talking about our friends and how our social circle is much smaller now (which is okay, just an observation).

    My husband said jokingly that our dog has more friends than us. Then we actually sat down and listed our dog’s “friends”–the dogs she regularly hangs out with at the park or in our complex…and she has literally 15 “friends” she regularly sees and plays with.

    We are officially THOSE people and I’m horrified/amused.

    • Ha, my dog has a very active social life. He has several lady dogs he’s sweet on, his playground pals from the dog park, the shy rescue pit mix that he hangs out with on evening walks, his two besties from our building, and the unattainable cool older Airedale that he really wants to be friends with, but that always ignores him. Oh, and there’s the neighborhood bully (Jack Russell that literally bit him out of nowhere…the owners grabbed their dog and ran away without a word. PEOPLE.) and the kid with behavioral issues (a totally cute rescue dachshund mix that just absolutely turns into a crazy teeth-baring, snapping mess when she sees other small dogs).

    • My pup has had a regular boyfriend longer than me, and at one point she had two. Even worse, her boyfriend is such a handsome boy I may talk a little much about how gorgeous he is.

      *all dogs in this story have been fixed. There are no puppies in my future.

      • No judgment. My dog has an 18-month long love affair with a wolf hybrid that she adores. They are both fixed, so no adorable wolf puppies to come, but they are smitten with one another.

        • Yep, mine really loves her boyfriend and he really likes her (not sure at the same level) the old boyfriend really really liked her and she was more meh about him. (he was a barker, so I’m ok with him being former)

          Still they are just adorable together.

      • Ha! My dog has a regular girlfriend too, and the best part is that she is very nearly his twin. That time I put him in front of the mirror as a puppy to get funny videos of him pawing at it apparently turned him into a narcissist who loves his own image ;)

    • I love this!

      My dog doesn’t really care about other dogs, he’ll play but gets bored easily. Lots of other dogs want to love on him, he’ll entertain a greeting, but moves on quickly. And he has one archenemy in the neighborhood. Before we get to his house, I can see my dog take a deep breath, and then start barking towards his window when we get there. The other dog yells back. And then they stop and continue about their day.

  17. Wildkitten :

    I feel a little more human this week. I am glad it is a new week. I am glad it is almost a new month. I also have three therapists I am seeing this week, which might be a bit overboard, but hopefully helps.

    • Why in the world would you need 3? One good one does it for me?

    • Big hugs and good luck therapist-shopping WildKitten!

    • I went through hell trying to find a therapist about 6 months ago (like I hesitate to tell new mental health people about it, because i am afraid it makes me sound insane, but it was just a bizarre string of bad luck — it was before i knew how to look up people’s public reprimands, also) and then my decent therapist decided to close her local office, so if i’m unwilling to commute an hour to see her, I’m back on the market.

      So I, too, am seeing three new therapists, and also had one final appointment with the old therapist, and it’s rough, honestly, trying to be really open and vulnerable with a person before knowing if they’re going to be *my* therapist for real.

      Anyway, hoping you find someone wonderful who helps you feel awesome, WK.

  18. My wedding pictures are arriving this week and I need to find a company that makes photobooks as I need to make at least 4 books.
    Any suggestions?

  19. Ex married THAT girl on Saturday :

    I’ve mentioned on here before how I dated a guy for 4+ years in late 20s early 30s. We broke up about 3.5 years ago. We had known each other from college. We went through couples counseling (at his request when I was about to end things) for about a year and at the end of that it was obvious that we were working. One of the big issues was this other girl he knew from college. I was never really comfortable with her and always had a weird feeling about her. She once claimed that she’d “never date him” and he claimed he didn’t “have feelings for her.”

    (note: I do not think he ever physically cheated on me but emotionally is quite likely)

    They got married Saturday. While I took solace in the fact that the details of their wedding were cheesy and lame and omg mine would have been SO much classier, I was still upset.

    I’m just glad I stopped drinking in May because there would have been a blackout and some very terrible social media and maybe texting occuring.

    Ugh. #SingleForever

    • Ex married THAT girl on Saturday :

      Ugh. weren’t* working

      Also dated in OUR late 20s early 30s.

      #Monday.

    • I’m so sorry. What a douche canoe. You are definitely much better off without those two. Take care of yourself.

    • Why are you still so bitter and why do you know the details of their wedding? Past time to actually move on.

      • Wow, this is a nasty response. It’s always hard to see an ex get married, especially to someone he may have been emotionally involved with when you were together. OP, I know this is hard. Be especially kind to yourself for the next little while and try to remember that you broke up with this guy for a reason. Hopefully you can plan something for the holiday weekend to take your mind off things.

        • I don’t think that it’s always hard to see an ex get married. I have some exes who just weren’t good fits — we were young, we had fun, they are good people. I am genuinely happy that they found someone who was a good fit for them. For some, I’m neutral — they found someone for them, but maybe my overall assessment is that they are a problematic person, but I’m not more involved than that. When you are googling an ex, sometimes that’s a sign that you aren’t done with the afterbirth of that relationship yet.

          • Wildkitten :

            Well it’s hard for this woman to see this ex marrying this girl, and she’s entitled to her feelings.

          • okay yeah it’s not alllways hard. But it’s hard in a scenario like this…jeez. people are allowed to feel what they want to feel.

          • Ok, it’s not ALWAYS hard. But it often is, and nothing in OP’s post suggest her feelings are outside the normal range (and even if they were, there are gentler ways to deliver that message).

      • +1. it’s been nearly four years. It’s time to let go. If it still bothers you, you may want to consider therapy.

        • Man, there’s a lot of haterade being passed around this morning.

          It would be at least a little painful for me to have seriously dated someone for 4 years in my late 20s and early 30s and a few years later see him end up with a woman who was present and problematic during our relationship. Even if it wouldn’t have worked out with us. Especially if I wasn’t where I hoped I would be at that time.

          OP, take comfort in knowing that your instinct was accurate and that their wedding was cheesy. Also, congratulations on your sobriety.

        • bostonian :

          yeah i think this is a really cruel response. it’s very common to feel sad when exes get married even if you know you don’t want to end up with them or if you two weren’t right together. this is a person that she maybe had imagined spending a lot of her life with and this sort of event can be emotionally confusing. i think it is normal. when my ex got married it definitely threw me into a funk for a few days, even though i’m glad we are not together and i don’t think we would have been good for the long term. there were years of strong emotions and it’s always weird to see them on a different life path even if it’s for the best. OP, you will be okay in a few days/weeks! be brave and just live your life well.

      • Ew. Stop being anonymously rude to strangers on the internet.

    • Wildkitten :

      Good riddance. Congrats. And congrats on the sobriety – that’s huge.

    • Just so you know in case it makes you feel better, it’s completely possible that there was no cheating of any time and that they never had designs on each other until after you were broken up. I’m married to someone I knew for years and had no interest in, and that changed after he got out of a long-term relationship.

    • Good riddance. If he was shady with her while you were dating, you don’t need that kind of stress the rest of your life. Let her have the white picket fence, 2.5 kids, dog + years of being worried sick whenever he’s late that he’s cheating because he kinda did with her when he was with you.

      • Major eyeroll. Please don’t go through life hating on people for no reason. You broke up. He moved on. You should too.

      • OP broke up with him. Heaven forbid he moves on after their great romance. His wife can enjoy her white picket fence, 2.5 kids and dog just fine. Just like OP can enjoy having a house full of cats and an empty social calendar on Friday and Saturday nights.

    • Just some perspective…

      I might be ‘that girl’ for a couple guys… In that I have close guy friends from school that I have significant conversations with, but don’t have feelings for. For what it’s worth, the conversations are usually around work/money/politics. I would express the same thing, that I would never date them (for several reasons… They treat their gfs like crap, different views on having kids, etc). I never feel like we are anywhere close to ’emotionally cheating’.

      Could something ever change, I doubt it.

      That said, it did for them. I would assume good intentions that went awry.

    • Sorry and hugs. Maybe now that this event is over, you will find some closure. Now would be a good time to de-friend him from anything where you won’t be tempted to check on whatever other life events may come their way and you can start to focus on your awesome life events.

    • Ex married THAT girl on Saturday :

      Thanks to most of you for the support.

      For the rest of you, work on your empathy. JFC. Not everything needs a nasty comment if you don’t agree with how someone else might feel about a situation. And please don’t tell me it’s “tough love” – that’s a cop out when you’re just being rude. It’s been a tough situation for a long time and obviously my post didn’t encompass it all so F off. Or drink your coffee and be better than that.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I think you should congratulate yourself on your excellent instincts having been proved right! Hugs!! Better days are coming!

    • anon a mouse :

      I’m so sorry that you are going through this. But you know what? Hats off to your instincts. Something told you that there was something between them, and you listened to your gut even though they told you you were wrong. Give yourself some credit, even if the outcome isn’t what you would want.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes! My post saying the same thing is in moderation because I said your instincts were exc*e*l*l*e*n*t!

    • Gosh, you posters sound like charming, supporting friends.
      OP, I would feel exactly the same way, and you’re ALLOWED to feel it. Someone told me recently that “you’re responsible for your second thought and your first action.” It’s entirely understandable to be resentful and a bit jealous even after years and even if you dumped him – but remind yourself about the great things in your life since then, and do some things with the people who make you feel great about yourself this week.

  20. Are prescription meds for seasonal allergies really better than OTCs? I have always had terrible fall seasonal allergies but just dealt with it with OTCs, but I now find I am taking two+ 24 hr pills a day (at 12 hr or less intervals) and still dying. Anyone find relief with prescription meds? Mostly concerned about nose stuff and face itchiness – luckily my related skin condition hasn’t shown up yet this year.

    • Wildkitten :

      You should probably talk to a doc, but, there are different OTC meds and so if like, Claritin doesn’t work for you, Zyrtec might. Try them all.

      • +1 – different allergy meds work in different ways. Personally (when I was having seasonal allergies; I’ve since outgrown them), Claritin only worked as preventative for me. Once I started having symptoms (runny nosy, itchy eyes, etc) I’d have to take a Sudafed to stop them, then I started taking a Claritin/loratadine prophylacticly every morning.

        Definitely consult with a doctor, but try different OTC meds too.

    • I was prescribed the generic of Flonase about a month ago and it is wonderful! I used to sneeze about 10 times a day as soon as I woke up, plus had watery eyes and stuffy nose. I feel 1000% perfect better. So mad it took me so long to find a doctor that prescribed this.

    • I haven’t tried prescription, but have you tried switching brands? I usually use allegra but find that when the allegra seems to stop working, using zyrtec for a few weeks instead will sort of reset it.

    • Yes, they are that much better.

      I got to the point where I was taking antihistamines about like you’re describing, and I now take one daily prescription pill and get shots. I have zero allergy symptoms anymore. Some people also have luck with prescription nose sprays, but I personally don’t like them.

    • Yeah, taking two 24 hour pills a day is not going to help. The key to allergies is consistently suppressing your body’s response to allergens – take your pill EVERYDAY, even if you feel nothing. Your body does become accustomed to medication, so you can definitely switch to a different OTC (Claritin vs. zyrtec vs. allegra). I’ve been taking prescription Clarinex for YEARS and my allergist is puzzled to my loyalty to it – it really works great. It’s like 14 times the strength of regular Claritin, the generic is cheap and effective, highly recommend. I am sad that one day I will stop responding to it and may have to take shots but until then, clarinex all the way.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, go to the doctor! I suffered for years until I finally went to the doctor and got a prescription. It may seem that sniffles and runny eyes aren’t that big of a deal, but it is a quality of life issue. I was very pleasantly surprised by how much better it feels not to have constant allergy symptoms.

      As added bonus, I get sick much less often. Not that allergy meds prevent colds, but itchy eyes and a runny nose meant I was constantly touching my eyes/blowing my nose. Hand washing helps, but constantly touching your face brings you into contact with germs.

  21. Buzzfeed is reporting that Huma Abedin is finally leaving Weiner. About time!

    • Well buzzfeed is summarizing the statement that she gave to nbc news. I couldn’t believe he did that again.

    • Took her long enough to grow a backbone. What a terrible example she is for their son. Hopefully he doesn’t grow up thinking his father’s disgusting behavior okay because his mother condoned it.

      • This is nasty. I don’t get what’s going on here today with everyone being nasty, but I’ll fight it. I don’t condone his behavior and likely she doesn’t either. What they decide in their marriage is their business. She may have wanted him to remain in her son’s life; he may have expressed genuine regret; they may be working on it; they may have an open marriage; she may love him and he loves her and they are trying to make it work. I don’t know and neither do you. One of the things that is so frustrating about seeing these go public is not only the fact that it’s nobody’s business or decision about others’ marriages, but that the cheated-on spouse (often the wife) is also put in the impossible position between “you have no backbone” and “you cannot forgive.”

        • +1 to Nutella. A cheated-on woman is not a “terrible example” no matter what she decides to do. The terrible example is Weiner.

        • +1. There’s a million reasons she may have stayed, and none of them involve her being a terrible example.

        • Can’t upvote this enough–but women are perpetually damned if they do and damned if they don’t, so why should these reactions surprise me in the least.

          • Anonymous :

            I have to disagree. The first humiliation was bad enough. But I get why a person would stay if they have a child together. But after the second time? Totally her choice. But if it had been my mother, I’d have respected her more for leaving after any of these times. But as a woman, I don’t know how it would be to grow up with an example of a mom who stays through this.

            And I have to say, it’s one thing to cheat discretely. But to cheat when you can’t be trusted with basic social media so that it’s all over the internet and newspapers. I have no words. And to send d*** pics with your child in them . . . That poor child.

          • anonymous :

            Has no one here stayed in a relationship longer than they should have despite bad behavior on the part of their SO? There are a ton of posts on here about that, so we all know that this happens to the best of us and it isn’t always that easy. We don’t always make the right choices, and I’ve seen folks here extend great kindness to people on this board going through things like that. Why is it different for Huma?

          • I personally would have left after the first time, kid or no kid. I, for better or worse, respect her more for leaving him now. All I’m trying to convey is that she (just like HRC) has been saddled with the responsibility of answering for their husbands’ affairs because regardless of the decision they make, they will be skewered by the public–exactly as this thread illustrates.

            He’s a perv and I feel terrible for her and their child, I hope their path forward is more pleasant than it has been so far.

      • What on EARTH is wrong with this s!te today? Guess what honey- *women* are not responsible for *men’s* bad behavior. Full stop. What you *meant* to say was “His father is such a terrible example for their son. I hope he doesn’t grow up thinking that his father’s disgusting behavior is ok because he set that example.”

        Would you say the same thing if he had hit her?

        F off, useless troll.

      • Anonymous :

        stop feeding the trolls by responding to them

        A post about this calling HA a terrible person and not AW? Definite Troll.

      • Anonymous :

        Why isn’t this troll being moderated?

    • Wonder if she’s leaving bc HRC told her either leave him or leave your job? Last thing HRC needs right now is another scandal involving a staffer, yet having proclaimed that said staffer is her 2nd daughter — it would be kind of hard for HRC to keep Huma on board while distancing herself from Huma and questions about Huma’s marriage.

      I don’t get Huma’s path in life — is she SOOO into the fame provided to her by the Clintons that she wants to be HRC’s bag carrier for the rest of her life? Bc that’s essentially what a body man/woman is. Is it that she’ll do anything to stay with the Clintons and to stay in the limelight and this job provides her limelight since she’s on camera every time HRC is?

      • I’m not sure what’s confusing about Huma’s path in life – right now she has enormous access to one of the most powerful people in the US, who is shortly very likely to become the most powerful single individual in the world. Her current ability to influence policy, and her future career opportunities, are immense. It may have something to do with fame, but it’s also a fantastic position for someone who has significant business or political aspirations herself. What’s hard to understand about that?

      • It’s like being an executive secretary. Proximity, yes. Upside potential, questionable. I think that Huma’s brand would have been much less tarnished had she left the first time and not the third time.

        [OTOH, I work and travel infrequently. It is just disruptive. Huma works and travels extensively. Maybe her husband has been serving as a nanny and she’s been happy not to stir up more drama with a separation? She’s still be stuck with him in her life since they share a shild. I’m just saying that I get staying with the job she has and him being unemployed. Beats paying him support.]

        • I disagree – I know someone who was a major presidential candidate’s body man some years ago, and it had massive upside potential – he went on to amazing jobs. Omitting details because he’d become quickly identifiable, but it absolutely provided entree into all manner of opportunities. Do you honestly think Huma Abedin’s next job isn’t going to be something highly coveted and extremely difficult to get?

          • Your guy probably hasn’t been drug all over the internet by his spouse / SO.

            If Huma were any other body-person, I’d agree. This puts an asterisk by her and unless I wanted to take the risk of being associated with her on some internet drama of her private-ish private life, I’d go elsewhere.

          • Anonymous :

            Anon at 12:53…, it worked out ok for Hillary Clinton, didn’t it? Plenty of male politicians have also had scandals or drama in their personal lives and still gone on to do big things. I’m sure Huma will be just fine.

          • Anonymous :

            IDK People seem to love WJC no matter what; HRC, not so much.

            For Huma, I think if she were a stock, she’d trade at some sort of discount due to personal drama compared to no drama. It seems inevitable. And while she may be fine, she will be like Barry Bonds, always having an asterisk around.

    • What is interesting is that she is the 2010s prime example of a woman stuck to a man who just humiliated her with his behavior with other women. And she works for someone who has a lot of tenure in the same role. It is a strange, strange, strange world.

      Maybe they can have a party with Silda Spitzer and Jenny Sanford (Jenny: I like how you roll; the others can take lessons from you).

  22. Anon for this :

    I found out that during a very important meeting to discuss promotions, a colleague spoke up and provided negative feedback on me based on one incident awhile back that was basically a misunderstanding. She asked me to do a project and while I was happy to do it, my manager (who hired me and provides 80% of my work) asked me to have a person in another practice group handle it and it turns out that the person asking really does not like that other person (I had no idea) and went running to her manager to tell him that I was refusing to help. Her manager called my manager about it, and I had to go back and do damage control, etc. This was all a misunderstanding because I told her that “I know X has experience with this type of work and wants to do more of this type of work (all true), but if X is not available, call me back.” Anyway, when this things happened, I apologized for the misunderstanding and I thought we had cleared the air, but I found out that she decided to bring this up at a recent meeting to discuss who would be promoted to partner. I don’t really work with her that much, but I will obviously run into her at firm events and things like that. What should my reaction be to her? Just be nice and pretend I don’t know that she tried to tank my promotion? Just ignore her? She has no idea that I know she spoke up at the meeting. Just for background, she was promoted to the level I am hoping to be promoted to less than a year ago (and after the incident occurred), so I think there is some element of wanting to pull rank on me that was exhibited in the meeting. The final decision hasn’t been made on my promotion but I’m being told that the odds are good (despite that one negative comment).

    • You have nothing to gain by confronting her about it. A conversation about the situation is not likely to change her opinion of you/what went down. Let it go.

    • Outwardly, pretend you never heard about the comment – I think the fact that you heard about it at all suggests that her comment didn’t reflect well on her and others disagreed. I wouldn’t confront her, but I also wouldn’t forget it. And never work with her again.

  23. Any recommendation and/or pricing anecdotes for painters in Northern Virginia? I am moving to a new house and just want to paint 1 bedroom (maybe it’s 11×15 or so? Just a guess). For just one room, is it more cost effective to hire someone or to do it myself, you think? TIA

    • Definitely more cost-effective to do it yourself.

    • Definitely more cost effective to DIY. I painted most of my house by myself, except the stairs. The only room I wish I’d hired someone for was one bedroom with a ton of windows and 2 closets. So much tape. I’d also consider hiring someone if you have heavy furniture that you can’t move yourself.

      • I HATE to tape. My husband loves to tape and hates to paint. If only our whole marriage was so easy…

    • anon in SV :

      I think it depends on how you value your time. DH and I painted two bedrooms ourselves. We tried very, very hard and spent an entire weekend doing it. I’m a whiz at ikea and watched a million youtube videos and went (what I thought) was slowly and carefully. It turned out ok, but not great. Two years later, I really wish I had spent the money to have professionals do it and have it look really good, instead of noticing the mistakes I made every time I walk in the rooms and wishing I had better spent my time.

    • anon a mouse :

      We hired someone to do one room plus the trim around two windows, and two doors. It was $500 and done in one day. Usually I am a DIY girl but I needed it done in a hurry and it looks so much better than if I’d done it myself.

  24. Commiseration/advice for feeling burned out on non-profits? I love my colleagues and work in an incredibly friendly, supportive place, but I’m frustrated by what seems to me as a combination of mission drift (maybe spurred just by wanting interesting partnerships but still) and strange investment choices (like installing program-specific infrastructure for something that isn’t our core focus instead of fixing the office air conditioning).

    I think my leadership is talented but overwhelmed. Is this just the way it goes?

    • As a non-profit manager I have to say it is much easier to get funding for the Program specific thing than the AC. (Note to anyone donating to non profits, overhead isn’t a bad word.. it is the thing that allow us to keep our doors open and employees from quitting… Like AC).

      That said, they are also probably underpaid and overwhelmed, as are you. It’s totally structural in the field. It’s a big problem for many of us, which I personally struggle with as well. So major commiseration, but also looking for suggestions!

    • PhilanthropyGirl :

      I feel your pain. The average tenure among fundraisers is currently 18 months, due at least in part to the problems you mention. I’ve been in my role about 3.5 years, am job hunting, and can’t wait to find something new. In spite of our great mission and the excellent programs we have, I’m frustrated and burnt out.

      I don’t know what your role is in your NPO, but as a fundraiser I have to really fight being excluded from the action and distanced from the service recipients. I’ve made it a goal to start spending one hour a week exploring a program – offer to help out, observe, listen to stories, see the good that is happening. Getting in touch with the incredible things your organization does may help you look past the underpaid, overwhelmed, what-the-heck-was-the-board-thinking burn out that seems to beleaguer so many of us.

      We got into our jobs because of a cause we care about. Staying connected to that cause and seeing good things happen is what keeps us fresh and engaged.

  25. This is a bit random but I know there are a lot of animal lovers here. I’m under vet orders to cut down on my cat’s portions because he’s overweight. He gets wet food twice a day and a little bit of dry food 4x/day via an automatic feeder. It’s been 4 months, but he still rowrs like he’s dying for about an hour before his designated meal times. He wakes us up all night because he’s hungry. I can’t shut him out of the bedroom – I replaced the door knob so he can’t open the door anymore, but now he bangs on the door all night and rowrs loudly outside the door. What can I do to help kitty feel more full and get him used to smaller portions?

    • anon in SV :

      Are cats allowed to eat pumpkin? I remember when my childhood dog was diagnosed as very overweight, the vet suggested mixing in some canned pumpkin with the food. Nutritious, cheap, and very filling. Dog loved it. I have no idea if pumpkin is ok for cats though.

      • Yes, I would check with your vet and see what kind of fillers (pumpkin, green beans, etc.) you can give a cat – I know these are acceptable for a dog but not sure if they are for cats.

    • Can you feed her smaller portions more often? Maybe set the feeder for 6x a day?

    • Has he lost any weight in these 4 months? That seems like enough time for him to get accustomed to it…. Maybe try a different food that has a bit more fiber?

      • I’m not sure. He doesn’t really look like it. I suspect that DH might be sneaking him extra food – mostly because kitty almost exclusively rowrs at him for food even though we both feed him – but he denies it when confronted.

    • Ask the vet if there’s something healthy you can give him. Our dog is on a similar diet but the vet said we can give her unlimited quantities of vegetables because they’re almost calorie-free. She now goes through a huge amount of peas and carrots every day in addition to her ration of dog food.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      … your cat can open doors?

      • Kitty has learned to open a variety of doors over the years. We used to move a lot. The lever-style handles are child’s play for him. Doors that don’t latch very well or rely on magnets are easy because he just reaches under the door and pulls it open. He can turn knobs if they turn pretty easily, but it takes him a little while. It’s challenging for him to turn and push at the same time. Now we have handles that he can’t open, so he just bangs on the doors for hours.

        • Anonymous :

          Maybe that can serve as exercise?

        • My last boxer would just bonk the doors in the house (old house, very poor door latching) with her head and then walk in. Thankfully, her head as with all boxers is made of something close to concrete.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          One of our cats bangs on the bedroom door. He doesn’t even want food, he just wants to make sure we’re still alive (we’ve got the neediest cat…). We gave up and just started shutting the cats in another room in the apartment. I dread the day the other cat (who is smarter) figures out how to open our doors, which just have the lever handles. It’s going to happen one of these days.

          • Meg March :

            Our cat is similarly needy. About 7 am on weekends (which is when we get up during the week), she thinks if we are still in bed we must be dead, and goes crazy meowing and headbutting me. I don’t have to get up, I just have to pet her for a few minutes (or let my arm dangle off the bed so she can rub up against it) and then she settles back down and we all go back to sleep.

    • If you have a second story bedroom, get a baby gate and keep him downstairs. It is the only way we stay sane with our diabetic cat.

    • Poor kitty and poor you! I need to do this with my cat. Could another alternative be getting him more active with toys or walking on a leash?

    • It is really, really hard to get cats to lose weight once they’ve gained it. I think I read that thing where your metabolism slows when you’re on a diet goes into overdrive on cats. Is he already on diet food? If not, that might help because it will seem like his bowl is full, but he’s not actually eating as many calories. Be prepared for him to hate the taste of it though and meow at you to change the food :)

      Also, how fat is he? Like how dangerously obese? I’ve sort of given up on making my cat lose weight. She’s 30% overweight, and has been on diet food for years at 3/4 recommended portions no less, and nothing has really changed. She doesn’t really move much, but she’s ~12 and it’s kind of impossible to exercise a cat if they don’t want to move. Point is, she’s healthy otherwise and I’m kind of learning to just live with it. She has a great life.

    • Reset when he gets fed. I had similar problems and was told by my vet that cats don’t need to eat on a human meal schedule. Set the auto feeder to go off in the middle of the night only. Feed him a second dinner and make his breakfast smaller instead. That way, he’s happier when you’re home (and trying to sleep).

  26. Apple Dress :

    Vicarious shopping challenge… need a dress for baby shower this weekend at an upscale restaurant. I’m currently still holding onto a decent amount of baby weight (major apple shape). I had ordered a dress from Lord & Taylor last week but apparently my order was canceled and it never arrived. Bonus points if I can use shoprunner or prime or something else that will get the dress here before the weekend?

    • anon anon Armani :

      Check out Donna Morgan and Maggy London Dresses on amazon…. the fit and flare shapes along with the ponte or scuba fabric will skim over everyrthing. Have a great time.

      • Seconding the Maggy London suggestion. Decent quality, available for quick shipping (and free returns!) with Prime.

    • Perhaps a silhouette like this would work? http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/eliza-j-polka-dot-jersey-faux-wrap-dress-regular-petite/3767306

  27. Are fancy skin care items really worth it? I’m willing to pay a bit to keep myself young looking as long as possible, but I’m only willing to shell out big money if it’s actually worth it. In particular, the beauty review this morning on capitol hill style made me think of this. In general I use drugstore products and retin-A at night. Is this enough? Should I be doing more if I want youthful skin longer?

    • There’s no single answer to that – some are worth it, and some aren’t. Anti-aging is tough, because it’s very subjective, but most objective folks (i.e., dermatologists that aren’t promoting a skin care line) will tell you that a decent moisturizer, daily sunscreen, and a retinol are what you need. The moisturizer can be from anywhere, the sunscreen as well (but more effective sunscreen products do tend to be more expensive, even at the drugstore level), and the retinol will likely take a prescription.

      For other stuff (like acne control products), it’s going to be about what works for you, which may be something more expensive or something cheap.

    • No. Moisturize, wear sunscreen on your face, neck, upper chest and hands every day and relax.

    • No – I check with my dermatologist friends periodically, and they will tell me if there is. So try to focus on the sunscreen (yes.. yes… don’t forget your neck/chest/back of hands)/avoiding the sun, basic moisturizing, retinA at night. I exfoliate, but there are many mechanical/chemical ways to do this based on what your skin tolerates.

      But good genetics can’t be beat.

      Facial resurfacing can be beneficial for select populations, as well as bleaching agents for sun spots etc.. Botox. Fillers. It is subjective as to the benefits of these and your goals.

      Sleep. Exercise. Eat decently. Decrease stress however you can (meditate etc..).

      Good haircut

      • Anonymous :

        Co-signed.

        One caveat is that if paying a little more $ for a moisturizer/sunscreen that you enjoy leads to increased use, then I say YES!

        I’ve been playing around with some exfoliators and moisturizers from companies that do a decent job, and because I love the scent/the feel, I will use them, leading to better skin health. BUT I also recognize that I’ve got good skin genes.

        My derm sister has always been all, expensive doesn’t matter, just sunscreen and retin A, but after visiting me and trying an exfoliator + mask combo (mid priced, nothing insanely expensive), she realized that they did make her skin softer and smoother.

  28. My doc gave me a low dose prescription for xanax among other things for anxiety. I keep hearing about xanax addictions and am a little scared to take it. Any personal experience with the drug?

    • I have succesfully used Xanax, Ativan, etc., and have always been able to stop when I no longer felt it necessary. I have not had any issues. I was taking quite a bit at one point in time and had no ill effects of stopping, but everyone is different and I generally have to take a high dose of medications for them to have much effect on me.

    • Is your doc a primary care or psychiatrist?

      Anyone taking Xanax needs a psychiatrist.

      Xanax can be very effective, but must be carefully monitored and is not first line for anxiety. Yes, it is habit forming, but can be used safely. But it is really most appropriate for people prone to panic attacks… Not day to day anxiety, which is more effectively treated with counseling/CBT/exercise/mindfulness and low dose SSRIs.

      I see too many primary care doctors prescribing Xanax/Ativan and not having the time or expertise to address better long term treatments/techniques.

      You also need close follow-up to see how you are using it. When did the doc schedule your follow-up?

      • Psychiatrist working with my therapist. I see her monthly and the therapist weekly. I’ve been on other anxiety meds for a while which aren’t fully managing it. The Xanax is supposed to be for the big attacks.

        • Then this is totally appropriate. Perfect plan.

          Xanax can be very effective, especially for you. You are doing it with a team helping you and overseeing the results. It can work well for the big attacks. Using it this way, in combination with other anxiety meds and therapy is the best way, with a very lowest likelihood for addiction etc.. Just push that worry aside. This is for you, and is the right move.

          Good luck. I really hope it helps. Let us know.

  29. Anonymous :

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/foreign-women-assess-us-gender-equality_us_566ef77de4b0e292150e92f0

    As an international *this site* reader, is it common that many Americans think they are much better off on gender equality? I thought the harassment women face at abortion clinics and the lack of paid maternity leave were well known as being primarily American issues?

    • anonymous :

      I think we’re much better off on gender equality than a lot of countries, but not so much compared to other developed countries, esp in Western Europe.

    • Anonymous :

      You’ll get more feedback if you re-post in the afternoon thread, but yes, it is fairly well-known in the US that there are massive issues with gender equality.

      “The women discovered during their visit that women in the United States have ‘missing rights’ compared to the rest of the world. For instance, the U.S. is one of three countries in the world that does not guarantee women paid maternity leave, according to the U.N. International Labour Organization.”

      Those women might have “discovered” it on their trips, but I can assure you millions of women here already knew they were being treated like second-class citizens.

  30. Came across a dupe for this dress today at a fraction of the cost: http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/charter-club-striped-fit-flare-shirtdress-only-at-macys?ID=2914275&CategoryID=5449&LinkType=&selectedSize=#fn=BRAND%3DCharter Club%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D83%26ruleId%3D2|BS|BA%26slotId%3D10

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