Thursday’s TPS Report: Silk Blouse – Rounded Collar in White/Blue

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Everlane Silk Blouse - Rounded Collar in White/BlueEverlane continues to impress — their t-shirts, scarves, blouses, even cashmere sweaters have all been great. I noticed the interesting placket on their silk blouse and fell in love — it seems like a great twist on the basic. The silk blouse is available in nine colors at Everlane for $80. Everlane Silk Blouse – Rounded Collar in White/Blue

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Comments

  1. It's Just Me :

    Immediate threadjack for New Here from the Coffee Break yesterday asking about shirts to hide a tummy. I have the same issue, I have a mommy tummy. I have found a few things that seem to work for me. I’m also a Frugal ‘R e t t e, and I work in a business casual environment. I’ll follow this post with a reply with some links.

    • It's Just Me :

      Things that work:

      Patterns http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/cable-gauge-top-three-quarter-sleeve-printed-v-neck?ID=867158&CategoryID=255&LinkType=PDPZ1
      This also has a great kind of woven interest that helps disguise the issue.

      Stripes http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/vince-camuto-tiered-stripe-top/3465345?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=2375500&fashionColor=GRASS+GREEN&resultback=7629&cm_sp=personalizedsort-_-searchresults-_-1_21_D

      Ruching http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/halogen-dot-print-side-ruched-top/3571235?cm_cat=datafeed&cm_ite=halogen(r)_dot_print_side_ruched_top:663039_1&cm_pla=tops:women:tank/cami/shell&cm_ven=Froogle,Google_Product_Ads&mr:referralID=357adad7-faa1-11e2-9389-001b2166c62d
      This gives shape without being tight. The pattern also helps break up the line.

      V necks help draw the eye up, as do statement necklaces.

      Surplice http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0049B3PMQ/ref=asc_df_B0049B3PMQ2622035?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&linkCode=asn&creative=395093&creativeASIN=B0049B3PMQ&tag=wwwshopstylec-20&ascsubtag=747831879

      Hopefully this helps.

    • I do NOT have a mommy tummy (tho I realy want one very very soon), but I do have a mommy TUCHUS I need to get rid of quick! All this fitibit stuff is NOT workeing! DOUBEL FOOEY!

      What can I wear in the back to hide this with Sam? He want’s me in the HAMTON’s, but there is no way my tuchus will get small enough to fit into a nice batheing suit, and I do NOT want to wear a suit like Grandma Leyeh’s, which she got in the 1950’s! FOOEY!

      This blouse is beautiful, but it is way to open for me, b/c Frank would do NOTHING all day but sit there stareing at my Boobies! FOOEY on that!

  2. Awesome. Now I just gotta diet myself down to fit in Everlane sizes, since they only go up to a size 8-10, and they run small.

    • Cornellian :

      Never had a silk blouse from them but my tees from them run pretty standard, if that helps.

    • Too bad about the sizing. Thanks from saving me from having to order and return.

    • I have this blouse (in a different color), and I think it runs pretty TTS. Same for the t-shirts.

      • The tees at least have run TTS for me, despite what their size guides say. (According to their size guides, with a 38.5″ bust, I couldn’t wear their t-shirts at all, but actually a medium fits well and is flattering.)

      • Jessica Glitter :

        And by TTS, can you comment on which stores sizing you are comparing it to? Thanks!

    • Agreed-I wish the went higher! I love the weekender bag I have from them.

    • As a busty 12, this infuriates me. So much so that I e-mailed customer service a while back to complain. A rep replied, and told me that they simply do not have the demand for an XL to justify the cost of production.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m skeptical of this answer, given the reality of the demographics. Apparently, the majority of US women wear size 14+. If they stop the sizing at 10, as a 12 I assume they have no interest in my business for reasons other than their ability to sell enough clothes in larger sizes.

        • Why the skepticism? Assuming you’re correct and the majority of women in the U.S. wear 14+, it doesn’t follow that the majority of $80-blouse-buying women wear a size 14+, or that the majority of women in the even smaller subset of those who spend a lot of money on professional-ish clothes and are aware of Everlane’s existence wear a size 14+. I’m sure if they thought they could make the same kind of profit carrying larger sizes they would.

        • Anonymous :

          Also, they would have to redesign all their clothes for the bigger sizes. Looks like they have worked from one block of sizes — once they go bigger ( or smaller, for that matter), the patternmaker and deigner have to redo the whole thing to account for the changes that occur as you go bigger/smaller ( dart depth and placement changes, altered pockets and other adornments, etc). Then, they have to adjust for their design esthetic, hire size models, alter pattern and fabric layouts…the costs do increase in a way which may not make it worth it. As a sewer, I am not shocked by their answer, looking at the featured top, it would have to be redesigned for a bigger size ( waist darts at least, likely have to rotate bust dart into the sleeve).

  3. Smoothie help :

    TJ! After spitting my smoothie back into the cup this morning and grabbing a breakfast bar I’m realizing I need help – I am the worlds worst smoothie maker. I typically put 2 handfulls of baby spinach, 1/2 cup of trop 50 juice, 1 cup water, 1 cup frozen fruit (strawberries, peaches, or blueberries typically), and 1 tbsp chia seeds. I like the idea of a smoothie for breakfast because I’m getting a huge serving of fresh fruits/veggies to start my day. This question is two-fold.

    1. Any tips to shorten the amount of time it takes to make a smoothie in the morning? With so many different ingredients at varying temperatures it ends up taking me 5-10 minutes to prep and clean up, whereas a muffin would take 1 minute to pick up and walk out with. I go to the gym around 5:30 and drink my smoothie on the drive there.

    2. Any recipes for minimal ingredient, high nutrient smoothies? Low calorie’s also a plus (no 5 scoops of peanut butter).

    • 3/4c to 1c milk of choice
      1 scoop protein powder of choice (i like Sunwarrior)
      1/2 a frozen banana
      3/4 c to 1 c frozen fruit (berries, mango, whatever)
      1 tbsp chia seeds
      spinach
      sometimes I add a tbsp of unsweetened coconut flakes

      • Also – check out the blog choosingraw for ideas. She is vegan (I am not) but she has great smoothie combinations.

      • This is exactly the recipe I use for my morning smoothies.

    • Anonymous :

      You need a juicer! Unless you have an amazing smoothie maker. For me a smoothie is juice, yogurt, and fruit. A juicer gets a juice of spinach, kale, lemon juice, carrots, apple juice. But I never mix spinach and pure fruit in the blender, but thats just me

      • I agree with this, seems to me that throwing spinach in a blender (rather than using a juicer) would just result in mushing the leaves up into kind of pesto. From what I read, a juicer actually extracts the juice from the fibers of the leaves…I think the term is “masticating”?

      • Thirded! I just purchased a juicer from Costco. It was $89, and it juices spinach really well. My breakfast juice now is 1/2 spinach, 1/4 pineapple, 1/4 apple or just 1/2 spinach / pinapple.

        I’ve been buying a giant back of spinach from Costco, juicing the whole thing over the weekend, and freezing the juice into ice cube trays. Then I can just pop out however many cubes, throw them in my nalgene, and head to work. By the time I want it is is thawed, but you could always put it out the night before in the fridge and have it thawed in the morning. This is great for me because I have a hard time digesting raw veggies, or anything with a lot of fiber, so I’m getting more nutients now.

    • Statutesq :

      I saw some pinterest thing where you prep and divide the smoothie ingredients in individual plastic bags, freeze them, and when you’re ready, dump a bag into the blender. I like that idea for saving time. As for taste, I have to have an overly ripe banana for texture and sweetness. I have yet to make a yummy smoothie without one.

    • darjeeling :

      I use unsweetened almond milk as the base for mine instead of juice. It’s low cal and very satisfying.

      as far as time, maybe you could make a few “kits” by throwing all the ingredients into a plastic bag or small tupperware and stashing them in the freezer so all you have to do is empty out the bag and add your liquid? Not sure how well the spinach would hold up though.

      • Spinach holds up fine.

        I was going out of town so i took an unconsumed bag of spinach from the fridge and put it into the freezer so it wouldn’t spoil. Works just fine in smoothies.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Prepare the ingredients at night. Like, put the fruit and chia seeds in the blender first, and top it with the spinach. Put that in the fridge overnight. Same with the juice and water. Pre-mix those and put it in a cup to just dump right in. If your blender will not fit in your fridge, pre-combine the fruit, chia seeds, and spinach in a tupperware container. You might need to add some ice the next morning, depending on preferred consistency.

    • http://www.nomeatathlete.com/the-perfect-smoothie-formula/

    • My usual snoothie is a combination of fresh and frozen fruit (frozen grapes are a great ice substitute), low fat plain Greek yogurt, flax seeds and a little bit of coconut water (maybe 1/4). Sometimes I’ll also add protein powder. I have a bullet style blender, which makes prep and cleanup super easy. The night before I put the non-frozen ingredients in the cup. In the morning, add frozen fruit, blend, wash blending attachment and drink smoothie directly from the cup.

      • I have a bullet blender, too, and I think that the convenience increases how much we use it. It’s also very easy to grind some seeds (flax, etc.) in one of the smaller cups to use in baking or on cereal.

    • If you have time, I steam and then puree bags of frozen spinach and freeze them in ice cube trays. I then use those instead of ice in smoothies for my son.
      My standard is basically 1-2 overripe bananas, 2-3 cubes of frozen spinach, 1/2 C or so frozen pineapple chunks, and 1/2 C frozen berry blend (all from Trader Joes usually). I add vanilla soy milk for him which tastes yummy, but regular or low-fat milk would also work – about 1/2-1 cup?
      Smoothies also freeze very well in ice cube trays – I basically make a huge batch and then freeze the remainder and defrost cubes overnight in my fridge. It works great for fruit ‘cereal’ for my son – I use smoothie instead of milk with dry cereal for him.

    • Im with you on the prep. I’ve heard of preblending and then the chia is supposed to help it stay together in freezer/fridge for storage so you don’t have to make them every morning (but have yet to use this in practice).

    • Smoothie help :

      THANK YOU!! These tips are all amazing. I especially like all the ideas of premaking and freezing smoothies. I’ve bought pre-packaged frozen smoothies before and I don’t know why I never thought to try making them myself! You all have saved me from prepackaged cereal bars.

    • I love making green smoothies. Mine are probably fairly high-calorie but also very filling and healthy. My favorite combo is about 1/3 can of coconut milk, big handful of spinach, basil, frozen pineapple, and a frozen banana. You can experiment with different types of greens, adding berries, etc. with the coconut milk and banana base. I also recommend using the salad mixes that include herbs in them.

    • I make pretty much the same smoothie every morning (in a blender). I use 1.5-2 cups of baby spinach, 1 TB chia seeds, 1 cup Trader Joe’s Low-Cal Lemonade (although I like your Trop 50 idea and may try that), and 1 heaping cup of frozen mango chunks from Trader Joe’s. Sometimes a sub in a different fruit, but other than that, it takes me all of a minute to throw my ingredients together and then let the blender run while I’m pouring my coffee into my to-go mug.

    • Blendtec/Vitamix is the key to awesome smoothies, I think. I finally broke down and bought one when Costco had a sale. It can turn just about anything into juice. The result is better than a juicer, IMHO because you get the whole fruit/veggie and not a concentrate (which is higher in sugar by volume and doesn’t have the fiber).

      Some favorites:
      1 cup nut milk, 1 handful of spinach or kale, 1tbs flax seed, 2 cups mixed berries

      1 cup light coconut milk, 1 ripe mango, 1.5 cups frozen pineapple, 1 tbs flax seed

      1 cup orange juice, 1 handful spinach, 2 cups frozen blueberries, 1 dozen baby carrots

      1.5 cup liquified honeydew, 1 handful spinach, 3 stalks mint, 1 ripe pear, 1 tbs like juice

      • Anonymous :

        Vitamix also operates at a pretty high temperature, burning off some of the nutrients and enzymes. Juice from a masticating juicer can be kept for up to 5 days after juicing, whereas Vitamix and centrifugal juice products need to be consumed within 30 minutes.

    • Anonymous :

      Some favorites:

      1 frozen banana, two generous tablespoons of almond butter, two tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweet, to taste), two tablespoons ground flax seed, milk or almond milk, and ice.

      1 cup frozen blackberries, one frozen banana, two tablespoons ground flax seed, and coconut water. (LOVE this one — but if you hate seeds, steer clear)

      1 roasted beet, flax seed, frozen strawberries (about half a cup), almond milk, and pomegranate juice.

    • Ooh I love this topic, and I’ve been smoothie crazy lately. I like variety for fun and better nutrition but learning all sorts of recipes is too time-consuming, so I’ve gotten this down to a 3-5 minute nax undertaking in the morning by sticking to the same basic categories and proportions then just switching ingredients, like this:

      3/4 – 1 cup liquid
      1 juicy fruit (peeled/halved as applicable)
      1/2 of a frozen banana
      1/2 cup frozen fruit

      Detail:
      * For the liquid, I love coconut water, which doesn’t taste great on its own but somehow makes boring smoothies taste amazing. No idea why but it works. Soy milk is also good.
      * I usually use a peeled, halved orange (if you have a less juicy fruit or skip the fresh fruit, just dial back the frozen fruit to about 1/4 cup to compensate so not too thick).
      * I usually always keep the banana, helps get good smoothie consistency. I peel them, cut them in half, lay them out (not touching), and freeze them so they’re always at the ready.
      * Pick whatever frozen fruit you like.
      * You can also add a little of whatever else makes sense to supplement (e.g., Trader Joe’s blueberry ground flax seed, protein powder, or your chia seeds)
      * Also, actually put them into the blender in the order listed, it makes a difference.

      Here’s a few of my favorite combos as examples:

      1 cup coconut water
      Skip fresh fruit
      1/2 of a frozen banana
      1/4 to 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
      Handful of Kale

      My favorite:
      3/4 cup coconut water
      Medium orange, peeled and halved
      1/2 frozen banana
      1/2 cup pineapple (or mango or a combo of the two)
      handful of shredded carrot (optional)

      Once you have this basic formula down, it comes as second nature and it’s easy to make substitutions just keeping the measurements the same. This makes about a tall or to-go mug sized amount. I used to guess and make ridiculous amounts of smoothie. I toss mine in a DCI Iced Coffee Cup and drink on my way to work.

      I also love that all the ingredients are easy to stock up on and have at the ready, other than oranges, so those are on my Our Groceries app list every week.

      (Also mine is a Vitamix too and I’m in love, click and contact me if you want to know more, they’re seemingly complicated and expensive to pick out but really not that bad with a little info, got a great deal on mine.)

      Sorry to write a novel but hopefully that helped!

  4. I have to do one of those informal interviews where you come in and meet with a bunch of senior leaders and board members. It’s an evening event. I need some advice as I have never done anything like this before:
    1. What should I wear? Suit? How can I make it evening appropriate?
    2. How should I prep? I am confident of holding my own in a standard Q&A interview but how do I make sure I get across why I’d be a good fit for this role without monopolizing the conversation?
    3. Any advice on how to comport myself, topics for small talk etc. This company is big on “culture fit”

    Thanks!

    • What kind of industry? Is the “event” just your interview, or is it a separate event that they’ve asked you to attend or meet them at? How late in the evening?

      For #1, My inclination is that a suit would be just fine, especially if it’s happy hour timeframe (rather than, say, a late dinner event).

      For #2 and 3, try your best to just be yourself. Remember that it’s not just them you need to satisfy– you should be looking to see if they are a good for for you, to0. The best way to find that out is to be yourself and see how the fit is — coincidentally, this is also the best way to come across as confident and comfortable (i.e., likely to fit in!) around them. Try to treat it just like it is — as a conversation. Ask questions (to find out information, convey your interest, and avoid monopolizing the conversation), and they’ll probably ask enough questions about you that you can get across your message. Be alert to opportunities to talk about your experience and achievements, but the purpose of an interview like this is usually to assess social/culture fit — not to evaluate your resume.

      Good luck!

      • Thanks for these tips! It’s the public sector and the role requires fundraising skills so I think they want to see how well I can charm donors. The event is just my culture-fit interview, nothing else going on at the same time.

    • Do some prep on the individuals – how long they’ve been at the firm, any deals/ cases/ client relationships particularly associated with them, any stated civic or philanthropic interests and so on. This helps you register the folks as individuals and potential colleagues, rather than ‘the board of interviewers’, and potentially gives you some context for relevant small talk.

  5. Blue Apron? :

    I’ve been seeing facebook ads for the service Blue Apron, which delivers ingredients for 3 dinners for 2 people – $60/week. Anyone had experience with this or heard any feedback? I am tempted.

    • I’m a fairly new Blue Apron user, and am a big fan. The criticism I have heard from others is fair — unless you’re diligent about recycling all of the packaging, it isn’t very “green” (lots of tiny containers for ingredients, plastic bags, etc.)

      Some people also think $20 for a dinner for two is highway robbery. Speaking as someone who lives in NYC and would probably otherwise be ordering takeout, $20 for dinner is a steal. My husband and I haven’t traditionally cooked much on weeknights and this is getting us to do so.

      The produce is high quality, and thus far, all of the recipes have been pretty darn tasty (some of of them exceptionally so). Also seems a lot healthier than my likely alternatives — takeout or bread & cheese.

      As for the ease of the recipes, my total failure to cook dinner has more to do with inability to plan ahead/unpredictable work schedule/long hours, rather than fear of the kitchen or ignorance. I think the recipes are pretty easy and straightforward, but if you were a total cooking novice, maybe not. I love that I no longer have to grocery shop in advance and plan for the week ahead, and I also love that I’m no longer throwing away ridiculous amounts of produce that I meant to cook and then forgot about. All in all, I am a fan.

      • That looks amazing…but no California!! I signed up so hopefully they will expand.

    • I had a free trial with them!

      I think that it’s a great idea/deal if you would otherwise be ordering take out or eating cereal/bread & cheese for dinner. If you’re somewhat of a cook and tend to be frugal while you’re at it, it’s a pricey alternative to what you’re probably already doing. I fall into the latter category, my boyfriend into the former. He loved it, I thought it was too expensive to justify.

      Other things:
      1) they added a new evening delivery window (6-10) which makes it hard to count on dinner for the night it’s scheduled to arrive;
      2) given that you’re often getting meat/fish, you’re a bit under the gun to cook the recipes quickly
      3) not very green packaging, though they do what they can, I think
      4) very fresh produce and meats
      5) very easy to follow recipes
      6) some were better than others
      7) you have to cancel orders a bit in advance, so it takes some planning
      8) unsubscribing was a pain and you couldn’t delete credit card info without emailing them.

      Still, it’s kind of nice having everything you need in one place and it was fun to prepare the food! Worth trying!

    • Thanks for asking this, and thanks for the responses! I was just looking at Blue Apron yesterday, and I am seriously tempted. I love to cook, but finding time to shop and plan is really preventing me from doing it most of the time. On top of that, we’re in the process of moving to a much bigger city where I will become a full time student again, and so the idea of someone picking out some recipes and sending me everything I need once a week is really appealing!

    • Love Blue Apron. Have been doing it for about a month. They have both vegetarian and meat options, and although I do eat some meat, my husband and I have been doing the veggie plan as I don’t eat red meat or shellfish.

      The recipies are not complicated, but can sometimes take a while. Produce and meat quality is great.

    • layered bob :

      don’t know where you’re at, but in Chicago there are a couple local services that are similar – my favorite is Meez Meals.

  6. Diana Barry :

    Ladies who recently had a baby, I have some news for you. I had despaired of my tummy ever looking normal/OK again (I have had 3 kids, no c-sections though). BUT – my baby is 15 months old now and this week I noticed that my tummy ISN’T WRINKLY ANY MORE. No more elephant skin! I still would like it to be firmer, but WIN for now! :)

    Also, I am going on vacation so (probably) won’t be around for a while…just in case anyone were to get worried, LOL.

    • :-) Enjoy your vacation!

    • hellskitchen :

      Thank you! You give me hope

    • recent grad :

      Please tell us your secrets so we can stash them away for future use :)

      • Diana Barry :

        LOL, I haven’t done much, or anything really! Drink lots of water? :)

    • I love you. Thank you for this news!

    • Yay, and congrats! Still early on for me, but somewhat vainly, I was worried about this for later.

      Have a great vacation.

    • I also had 3 kids, including a set of twins, and my tummy will never be the same. Everything got stretched out and deflated, and the stretch marks are quite noticeable, even though my youngest is almost 3. However, it doesn’t bother me – honestly. I wear a bikini when I go swimming and the cute kids around me mean that no one pays any attention to me anyway. I think it has to do with your genes, because I put expensive anti-stretch mark cream all over my tummy religiously for months and it didn’t do anything. Of course, the twin pregnancy might have something to do with it as well.

      • Sorry, I read what I wrote and it sounded like I was raining on your parade, and I totally did not mean it that way. I think it’s awesome that you were able to get your body back Diana Barry, especially before vacation!

        • Anonymous :

          I totally don’t think you’re being rainy-on-parade. You’re stating facts AND that it doesn’t bother you, which, I, personally (no children yet!), find very admirable and encouraging. I hope to be just like you!

  7. Sorry for the morning TJ. If DH’s HS bff (female) is staying overnight for a weekend visit, and you trust DH, but absolutely not his bff due to historical track etc. what would you do? I’ll have errands to run and don’t want to seem like I’m supervising them at all time either. Should I leave our 7 mo baby at home in his care as a buffer while I’m away on my errands?

    • Sorry, but you don’t trust your husband. If you did, you wouldn’t be worrying about leaving them alone together, because you’d know that if HSbff made a move, your husband would show her the door.

      • Agreed. It never makes sense to me when people say “I trust my partner, but not this other person.” It takes two for anything to happen, unless you think their friend is a rapist, in which case that’s the problem.

        • You’re right.

          Assuming it’s not paranoia and insecurity, and there’s really a trust issue where the SO is likely to cheat, then it’s an ego-sparing self-delusion that allows the person to focus on the “other person.” Not productive, like most red-herrings.

          But it’s also understandable! There is something really horrible to realize, when looking at someone you love dearly, and realizing that s/he would lie to you repeatedly in order to hook up with/have a relationship with someone else.

          It sucks to be in that position, and sometimes, people have to delude themselves a little while before they work their way to the truth. My sympathies to anyone in this position. People are generally doing the best they can do. And may not be as decisive or as honest to themselves as we’d like them to be. Life is hard.

          • I once heard the “other woman” in this situation say she knew it was wrong to get involved with a married guy, “but the heart wants what the heart wants.” I think it is the same for the cheated upon spouse — you know your spouse is just as, if not more, culpable as the “other woman,” (considering the spouse broke vows to you, the “other woman” did not), but it is easier for your heart to be upset with the “other woman” than the spouse. From experience. Lol.

    • Anne Shirley :

      If you’re concerned about him being alone with this woman for the space of errands, you don’t trust your husband. You should talk to him about it. Why is he choosing to invite someone who doesn’t respect his marriage into your home? Don’t supervise or leave the baby as a buffer. That just makes you seem paranoid. Also 7 month olds are pretty easy to stash in a crib anyway.

    • I agree w/other posters that you don’t trust your husband, actually.

      1. Have you two discussed the boundaries of what’s appropriate in terms of his interactions with other women and your interactions with other men? This varies by couple.

      2. If your answer to #1 is No, then go do that. Set boundaries that you can both abide by and agree to. If there’s serious disagreement, I’d recommend some couples counseling to see if you two can get on the same page. If your answer to #1 is Yes, then, ask yourself this: has he done anything squirrely to make you think that he’s trying to weasel out of what he agreed to w.r.t boundaries?

      3. If your answer to #2 is No, he’s not done anything to earn suspicion, then it falls to you. If boundaries are set and defined, and you are both OK w/ them, and he’s done nothing ever that’s suspicious or outright in violation of the boundaries, then what is making you feel mistrustful of him?

    • You don’t trust your husband. Also why are you allowing someone who makes you uncomfortable in your home? Sounds like major trust and communication issues.

    • I agree w/above. My husband has spend the weekend with female friends and I haven’t thought twice. I’ve also stayed at friend’s place with her husband while she was out of town and didn’t even consider that there could be a risk on either side’s end. On the other hand, I have other friends who a get a bit of a vibe from their husbands who I would never stay alone with them b/c I wouldn’t want any weird dynamic to get created.

    • Thanks for all the opinions. Without going into details, this woman’s methods with men and also her past feelings for DH are of concern. She’s also very emotionally messed up right now so I was paranoid with what she might attempt to do. It’s not DH’s response to her I worry about. I’m just annoyed at the thought she might even try something and was wanting to prevent her from trying at all. I have no probs with any of his other female friends or colleagues.

      • Anne Shirley :

        Nope, still a husband issue. If this woman is at such high risk for taking her clothes off and throwing herself at him, why does he want her in the house? I think the only thing to do is talk with him about it, and trust in his response. Ask him what his plan is. Is he worried? Does he want to make sure you’re around all the time?

      • But I think the point is that if she tries something and your husband immediately rebuffs her, that doesn’t hurt your or your marriage at all – it just hurts their friendship. The only way you get hurt in that situation is if your husband doesn’t react appropriately.

        • Agree very strongly w/this.

        • I don’t know if I agree with that. I trust Professor Bhaer 100%, but I still wouldn’t want someone trying for realz to get in his pants.

          That being said, there’s no way he would invite someone who might throw herself at him to spend time alone with him.

      • Agreed with all the comments that this is a husband issue.

        Also – has this woman ever tried something with your husband post-marriage? I’m friends with certain guys where we have a history or where I had feelings for them in the past (and I’m sure some of their girlfriends are uneasy of our history) but I would never try anything with my friends who are no longer single.

        Certain women get a reputation for being “unsafe” to have around boyfriends and husbands and a lot of time, it’s unfair and seems unwarranted.

        • Word. As a single lady who has slept with some of my guy friends in the past when we were both single, this attitude from wives totally drives me insane and I find really hurtful.

          Just because I am single and enjoy having s*x outside of a relationship doesn’t mean that I am some jezebel lying in wait to get my hooks in your husband/my old friend. This is just absurd. There’s a reason why we never dated/broke up and I am not some sort of pining harlot. I have never slept with someone who I knew was married nor did I ever cheat on my partner when I was in a long term relationships.

          Your husband’s past does not somehow magically disappear when you get married and it doesn’t immediately mean that everyone that he has had sex with in the past is now constantly trying to seduce him and ruin your marriage. I am really tired of the wives of my married friends feeling like they have to chaperone my interactions with their husbands. I went to an engineering school and now work in the construction industry. I have a lot of male friends. That is your problem and frankly your poor view of women that is causing this, not some moral failing on my part. As a single 30 something woman am I now limited to having female friends?

          Anecdote 1: I recently just made friends with this guy through a construction job we were both working together and the first time we were scheduled to do an outside of work friendship activity his wife randomly showed up and has since showed up to all planned outings. She doesn’t work in construction and makes no attempt to participate in our totally technical conversations/office politics type discussions so its just sorta her sitting awkwardly sitting there for a significant portion of the time. She seems to be a lovely person, but frankly not someone that I would probably make friends with on my own and when I try to include her in the conversation it doesn’t really go anywhere. I am just rolling with her presence as a chaperone but I find it totally weird and offensive. Is their relationship so fragile that he can’t make a new female friend, even when she has repeatedly observed us together and felt no “vibes.”

          Anecdote 2: I too just went through a big breakup and was a total mess for a while too. It really hurt my feelings when people that I thought were my longterm male friends basically said “sorry, I can’t really be there for you know despite our long history of platonic friendship because now that you are single my wife sees you as some sort of harlot who is going to seduce me.” I did push the issue with any of them since their wife is obviously their primary relationship and they’ve chosen to embrace this thinking but it really made me sad. It made me sad that after so long of being my friend people thought so little of me and it made me sad that at a time when I really needed a friend that they weren’t there for me.

          • OK, sorry. I didn’t realize that my post would be so long.

            Clearly this topic hit a nerve for me.

            I will say that I did have one male friend say to me when I became single again and reached out to if he could get a drink that he didn’t feel comfortable hanging out with me anymore without his wife because he thinks of me as “the one who got away” and was afraid he would act on these feelings knowing that I was no longer coupled, particularly when alcohol was involved. I said that I did not return those feelings (in fact, I was totally unaware that he held them. our break up was 5+ years ago and he had since gotten married and had a child and I had had a very long term relationship. we had hung out normally for several years since.) I agreed that if he felt this way that we should limit our interactions to very large, alcohol free group interactions where he would not be tempted to act.

            I would look at your husband again to make sure its not a situation like this.

          • Bette,

            That sucks and I feel for you, but it sounds like you’re falling into the same trap as the people who blame the “other woman,” except you’re blaming the wives, and leaving the men unscathed.

            At the end of the day, your male friends dropped you because they chose not to different boundaries with their wives. They viewed you as expendable and their wives/girlfriends as not, so they chose against you. Why no vitriol for these men?

            That you’re not shifting any of the blame to these guys for having no backbone and instead being “tired of these wives” who are allegedly insecure/jealous shows that you don’t have some pretty poor views of women, too.

          • “I have never slept with someone who I knew was married nor did I ever cheat on my partner when I was in a long term relationships. ”

            I think this is key. I would have no problem hosting a single (or not) woman or my SO going somewhere with her if she was someone I trusted and who I knew respected my relationship, regardless of her sexual history. However, my SO and I are acquainted with a couple of women who seem to actually take pleasure in sleeping with people in relationships – it’s part of the turn on or something. I trust that my SO would never actually respond to any advances by these women, should they make them, but it would be very uncomfortable for both of us to open ourselves up to unwanted advances.

            I think this would be the same if the roles were reversed, too.

          • @Bette – pardon all my typos and grammatical errors in my previous post.

            Sorry you’re getting the short straw when it comes to these friendships. This is where I think I can rightfully blame “the Patriarchy” (who occasionally posts on here…hmmm…..) for fostering mistrust of women in women.

            Perhaps make friends with guys who have more backbone? :-) I begin to think some of the male friends are probably not worthy of you.

          • OK, last post so I don;t sound totally crazy.

            This is not something where women always have problems with me. I’ve just encountered it four times in the last year since my break-up and it has just add another dose of sadness to the whole healing process.

          • @susedna all totally good points and I had language in there that included some of those thoughts but my posts were getting absurdly long so i edited to reflect more on the question that OP asked which was framed through her actions as the wife.

            this was obviously how my friends and their wives chose to structure their marriage. i am sorry that they don’t feel confident enough in their relationship that they are making that choice but ultimately it is their mutual choice as a couple.

            i just wanted to share my perspectives as the “other woman” in the OP’s question as to what I would be feeling in this situation.

            Also, I would argue that the OPs language of describing her as emotionally messy and having a poor past with men is not the same as systematically targeting men with happy marriages to break them up. Frankly a woman like that seems like a sociopath should be avoided at all cost for many reasons, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Word x2. I would never have entered into a relationship/marriage that didn’t respect my male friendships. It constantly baffles me that my male friends will enter into a relationship/marriage that forbids or seriously restricts our friendship.

  8. Ha, I just returned this blouse this morning. It is pretty but the white at least is too sheer to wear to my office (I am not a cami fan). I wear a 4 or a small in most tops (Banana Republic, Classiques Entier, J. Crew) and am a 34C. The medium in this blouse was a bit baggy but the buttons pulled at the chest.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I feel like it’s near impossible to find a white silk blouse that doesn’t require a cami underneath. It’s driving me nuts! I must’ve tried on twenty in the past few months.

      • Yep I’ve about given up!

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I’m always upset when my nude cami is dirty. I really need to buy more since I have this issue with nearly every white top I own.

      • Unless the silk is a heavier weave (which you wouldn’t want in a blouse), or lined (which would also be weird for a blouse), you’re probably hunting unicorns. White gonna be sheer, yo.

        You might (might!) be able to do a silk georgette in white. But the fabric has a creped finish, so it has a matte finish rather than shiny.

  9. messy ethical quandary :

    I have a genuine question about a sticky ethical/emotional issue, and I’d appreciate some thoughts or ideas from this community. The issue relates to sexual abuse of a child and may be triggering or troubling for some, so please feel free to skip this without reading further.

    I serve on the board of my church, and I was informed yesterday by the minister that the board and other church staff and leaders would soon need to prepare for a very particular new member: a man who confessed to and was convicted of sexually assaulting an infant and is soon to be released from his five-year prison term. The minister has been working with this man for the past five years; the minister and the man’s psychologist believe that he is ready to re-enter society. I was given this information because the minister would like the church’s staff and leaders to craft a kind of agreement with this man, in which we lay out clear rules of where he is allowed to be and when (ie, he may attend Sunday services but may not enter the RE classrooms—that kind of thing). The intent is for a few key members of the church staff to actually be privy to the man’s identity and to serve as his support network for when he starts attending our church later this fall, to keep him accountable to the rules stated in the agreement.

    Here’s my problem: although I have absolutely no authority in this situation, I don’t think I want this man in my church. This is exacerbated by the fact that the minister will be resigning at the end of this year, so this man’s elaborate support networks will need to be reworked (and may become rather tenuous for a year or so before we get a new long-term minister), but really I’m just still in the kneejerk, emotional reaction of saying NO. I feel as though the minister (whom I admittedly don’t like) is foisting this man upon *my* church community, without calling for the consent of the members. I also have a deep dark and completely unfounded disbelief that this man could have “recovered” during a five-year prison sentence—that his imprisonment and counseling was enough to drive out whatever part of him led to the assault of an infant. That said, my church is very liberal and is formally recognized as a “welcoming congregation”—so does that mean that we must welcome him?

    Just to add an extra wrinkle, this is not a church that has any dogma about a higher power or salvation, so although that might be an important element in the way another church handles a situation like this, it doesn’t come into play here.

    Can you thoughtful ladies weigh in on this? I’m not looking to start fights, but I would genuinely appreciate your help in processing this.

    • wwjd? also, after his release is he allowed to be around children?

      • Yeah, this is my concern as well. I think you’d need to consult his probation officer.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I agree about finding out about the terms of his release. I assume there will be conditions about children. If proximity to children is one of the conditions, I wonder how feasible any plan would be — presumably children go to Sunday services and have Sunday school in the building. I also agree about raising the issue of this man’s lack of future support once the minister leaves – if he needs that support network, and it will be crucial to avoid relapse, then the minister and your board need to establish a plan to address that. I think it is unfair to expect the church board to shoulder the responsibility of this man’s spiritual guidance, mental health, and rehabilitation, when his strongest relationship is with the minister.

        That said, I think you have to be very careful here. If he is being released from prison, then in the eyes of the law he IS rehabilitated, regardless of what you or anyone else thinks, unless he proves otherwise. I too have some qualms about keeping his background a secret *if* he will be around children, but he will have to register as a sex offender, and he is not required to walk around with a billboard professing his crimes. I know it doesn’t change the ick factor.

      • What Anon said. If he’s legally allowed to be there, it seems unchristian to exclude him.

        • messy ethical quandary :

          I needed to hear that–thanks, anon, mascot, Anon in NYC, and anon too. I will ask that the probation officer be brought in to consult on any plans that we make.

    • Woah. That is tricky and so so sad.

      The thing that sticks out at me is the issue of hiding this man’s true identity. No person can be watched be a few select people every second of every day, no matter what. My concern is that this man may (re)lapse into ‘old’ behaviors. If one of the few monitors doesn’t catch this behavior, other churchgoers may not realize Man isn’t allowed in the classrooms or shouldn’t invite Man over for dinner, etc. I’ll add a separate, selfish concern for you that being ‘in the know’ could put you smack in the center of a lawsuit if something did happen.

      I realize that some people will say this guy has paid his debt to society, but I humbly submit that five years is a short period for anyone to make a dramatic change to their psyche, let alone someone as disturbed as this. I personally would be uncomfortable with someone making this type of decision on behalf of a whole congregation without their explicit consent.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah- not only is it not feasible to watch someone at all times, there’s the practical question of what happens if he does start heading for the RE classrooms at any point. Who or what is going to stop him? How? How reliable is this system?

    • Diana Barry :

      I agree with you that since the minister is leaving soon, it really doesn’t make sense to bring the man into a church community where *his main support person* will be leaving just a couple of months after the person shows up. In addition, it doesn’t make sense to only tell a few people – if the minister is confident that the person has been rehabilitated, then he/she should have no problem with telling the whole congregation who the person is and the background. (As a side note, the person should be on the s*x offender registry, right?)

      And as another note- as a parent, this would have a chilling effect on my feelings about the church community. I would probably find a new place to go, honestly, if I knew this person’s background, UNLESS, I guess, he were supervised. The level of involvement that I would be comfortable with would involve a bodyguard – someone who would meet this person at the door, sit with him at the service, and escort him back to his car at the end of the service. Nothing else permitted.

      • What about the people that you don’t know about and will never know about? Other people can’t be supervised 24/7, the parent needs to supervise your own children and ensure their safety. A bodyguard assigned to every sketchy person is not a solution.

        • sorry- parents need to supervise *their* own children

        • Diana Barry :

          Just putting myself in the OP’s shoes here, if I knew about a person who had assaulted infants – I have an infant! So I would seriously consider leaving the community because of that specific situation.

          And “parents need to supervise their kids” – yes, but part of many churches is Sunday school and nursery for the younger ones, so there is already time built in when you are not with your kids.

          • messy ethical quandary :

            Yeah, and that’s a situation that I hate to contemplate, especially when I start thinking about it in more pragmatic (and cynical) terms: families with children are the lifeblood of a church–we should never ever ever put them in a situation in which they feel like they need to leave in order to be comfortable. And for this one guy? Whom we don’t know yet? Who probably won’t be *allowed* (and probably shouldn’t) contribute much to the church community?

            I know that’s awful. It does make me understand, at least a little bit, the minister’s initial instinct to keep everything a secret from most of the congregation–but I completely agree that it can’t be a safe community unless it’s a transparent, trusting community.

    • Anne Shirley :

      My instinct is that this needs to be more open. I don’t think churches collectively have demonstrated any capacity to supervise sex offenders discreetly. I also think it’s completely reasonable for you to say no. You don’t want to supervise him, you don’t feel comfortable being his support network, and you don’t, as a steward of the church, want to open yourself or the congregation up to that kind of liability.

      That being said, as a Christian I can’t formulate an argument in favor of prohibiting anyone from attending worship services. I would be more inclined to discuss with the minister that you feel if this man needs so much supervision, that maybe he needs an escort/companion to attend with him. And that person should be someone who is called to that ministry, not appointed. And not you.

      I think I’d be having a conversation with the board about how the minister isn’t going to be around, and he shouldn’t be telling you this, but asking you. You represent the congregation, and I think you need to keep their voices in mind in these conversations.

      • So I would never want this man at my church. But I don’t see how it’s right to have the church vote on it. For all you know there are other child abusers at your church who haven’t been voted on. I think it’s up to his parole officer to figure out what he can and can’t attend. That said, I think I would find a new church, and be vocal about why I know longer felt comfortable. But if its open to everyone I don’t think this can be a congregation vote

        • Anne Shirley :

          I wasn’t suggesting that the congregation vote. I agree, that is problematic for many reasons. I just don’t think the board should be formulating a detailed secret plan at the minister’s request.

      • I agree with Anne that you should talk to your minister. Lay out all your concerns. As a Christian and a churchgoer myself, I feel somewhat torn here – I don’t believe that 5 years is enough to “cure” someone in a situation like this, but I also have to believe that if the minister, who has been working with him, and the man’s psychologist believe that he is ready to re-enter society, this is part of it and it isn’t fair to ban him from the church if he wants to attend. I do think that the board should go into this with open eyes and a strong action plan that will work for a longer period than one year. Even if you can’t ban him from the church, I do think that the minister should give the board an opportunity to do the necessary planning and come up with the support system the board thinks is appropriate, rather than just foisting this guy on you and taking off. That doesn’t seem fair either.

        I do find myself wondering, though, whether the entire congregation should be given at least some of the relevant information, though. They need to be aware that there is a higher level of risk involved with this guy. I’m not sure of the right way to handle that but presumably your diocese should be able to help develop a communication plan?

    • This may be a silly question, because I’m not from any of the Judaeo-Christian faiths, but —
      Can a religious organization (a local church, in this case), ban someone from attendance? I know the congregation can decide to collectively give someone the stinkeye and effectively ban them, but are there any legal grounds to ban someone?

      What I’m getting at is — when I walk by churches in NYC, it seems that anyone can pop in an attend Sunday services or Masses. I am having a hard time imagining a “check ID” at the door process. Which is almost what this would be, except, it’d be singling out this one person.

      Separately, given that this man is a convicted sex offender, are you in a state that requires convicted sex offenders to be part of a registry*? Could the following happen: [any person in the church can just look up this person in the registry and raise a stink about it, especially if s/he doesn’t know that there are some staff members who are secretly keeping an eye on him. And then a big civil war between the church-goers who are OK with him staying, and church-goers who aren’t. ] ?

      • Anne Shirley :

        It is my understanding that While many churches are, by custom, open to all comers, they are also private institutions who may decline membership and prohibit access to people. But I think this also raises another point: if not your church, where?

        • Aren’t there ministries that specialize in these tough cases where the focus is on having the support staff to reintegrate?

          I actually think he’d be better-served in such a church, where his demons and his troubles can be addressed head on by people who are committed to helping him, and where some of the other members have been where he’s been in life.

    • While I totally understand your emotional reaction, I’d also offer up the viewpoint that forming some sort of support network of people who know a child abuser’s past actions and are engaged in ongoing dialogue with him/her about the issue is one of the few proven interventions for preventing reoffenses in cases like this. I’m not saying you need to just accept the pastor’s current proposal, but if you think that there is hope of working out some sort of arrangement that keeps this man plugged into (and, therefore, accountable to) a community, it would be a great service to him and to the larger community in which he is going to be living. You can google “circles of support and accountability” if you want more info on this reintegration model, which is unfortunately not widely implemented in the US.

      • One more thing: your instinct that this man isn’t “recovered” is almost certainly correct, in that he’s probably still sexually attracted to children. That tends not to change. What his psychologist might mean is that he has developed both the motivation and skills to deal with this attraction without acting on it. Which people can do, although again, support and accountability help a lot.

        • messy ethical quandary :

          Sarabeth, this is really valuable. Thank you–this helps me to see past my kneejerk reactions to the good intentions behind the plan.

          • OG Lawyer :

            What about redemption? To me, your church and your minister sound awesome.

            What about second chances, especially when you;ve paid your dues.

            What about forgiveness coupled with a watchful eye?

            Sex offenders are never truly free: their parole officers can check the offender’s house, car, i-phone, and laptop (in fact he may not be allowed internet access.) There are lots of checks and balances. He will have to undergo drug tests.

            I’m a criminal defense attorney and the only men I’ve ever met that molested babies are usually on meth. I also suggest you get your facts right (not suggesting you don’t) before you leave a church you seem like.

            Finally, a man did that to my child in front of me, and I’d smash his head in with a skillet.

      • I have no formal training in any of this, but I really like Sarabeth’s comment and I think there is a lot to be said for that model. Excellent point.

    • I don’t know what I’d do in your situation, except to say that in my personal faith, everything can be forgiven by God and I would feel uncomfortable banning ANYONE in any situation from seeking that absolution within church. The idea of banning anyone from church does not sit well with me.

      That said, I totally understand your hesitation and would feel it too. But I would say – if it’s not YOUR church, it’s going to be someone else’s – I feel like the feelings you’re having of “not at MY church” will just push the problem some place else, not solve it.

      This does open up a broader question though – once you have been convicted of a s*xual offense, I really wonder how we (as a society) can effectively reintegrate these people back into society without putting people in danger. It seems like now, once you finish your original prison sentence, you just exist in this gray area forever which I’m not sure is the best thing for the world as a whole. I don’t know. These are tough questions.

    • “Here’s my problem: although I have absolutely no authority in this situation, I don’t think I want this man in my church.”

      This man has served his sentence, and has had psychiatric help and sought the guidance of your minister. Your minister is now asking the congregation to help and support this man establishing a new life, and is also working to structure this with rules and safeguards. Blessed is your minister for having the faith and courage to help, and for being careful of how this man is integrated into the community.

      If you are not comfortable with this, you should find a new church.

      • Actually, the OP makes it sound like the minister isn’t planning on “asking” the congregation anything. I agree with Anne Shirley above that this raises problems of transparency.

    • Can you bring in an expert to provide the church with a plan for handling this? It sounds like it’s a bit ad hoc — the minister has worked with him and the board (whose members are presumably not trained in dealing with people attracted to children) is responsible for monitoring him. Who in this scenario is actually competent to say whether these measures are appropriate or safe, or to pick up on the more subtle warning signs? I think a clear plan, including a plan for handling the minister’s departure, would put some of your fears to rest.

      As for the people who would leave a church if this man joined, that makes me extremely sad. I get the gut reaction, but this man really seems like “the least of these.” Who is more outcast from society these days than a child molester? It’s true people like him have done incredible harm, but it doesn’t seem Christian to me to want to deny someone the help of the church. Put safeguards in place, absolutely (and the man, if truly reformed, should welcome safeguards), but he should still be able to come to services and try to find his place in the world again.

      • Anne Shirley :

        I love this suggestion. Also is your congregation part of a larger organization? Is there a bishop/equivalent supervisor you could consult with?

        • Based on OP’s statements, my guess is she’s UU, which I don’t believe has anything like bishops.

      • Houston Attny :

        Agreed – great suggestion. Relying on the minister’s position isn’t as thorough as bringing in an outside expert to guide the board. Part of your responsibility (though I admit we sometimes miss this in our day-to-day service on these boards and committees) is to provide checks and balances.

    • Lots of good points in these comments. To add, the thing that stuck out to me is that this was an infant – seems like a different issue than simply children in general. I don’t know anything about this topic but wonder if the individual would need medication to deal with such an issue. I agree that a ‘minder’/guard in the church would be a good way to reassure everyone. I would also probably NOT keep this from the congregation, even if you don’t explicitly say what the issue is, but I would want everyone on some kind of notice that he should not be alone with anyone.

      • The fact that it was an infant stuck out to me, too. But, on the other hand, if his problems are with infants, it seems like it would be much easier to protect against. Provided that he’s not working in the nursery or similar, the chances of him being alone with an infant seem very slim.

    • Minister’s wife here. We had a similar situation at a church where my husband was an associate minister. The church handled it similarlyto how your minister is proposing. I believe something like 10-15 people knew the man’s story and kept an eye on him and/or sat with him during services. The person only ended up attending for a few months, so the entire thing ended up blowing over very quickly, and the majority of the congregation never found out.

      That being said, you should absolutely tell the minister of your concerns and misgivings. It is extremely valuable to ministers to get the input of the board on sensitive issues such as this. You are also representing part of the congregation that may not be privy to the situation. Your perspective as a woman (and possibly a parent) will be valuable to the decision process. I also recommend bringing the man’s parole officer into the conversation. My husband deals with law enforcement all the time for various issues and is on a first name basis with the local police captain. Your minister may already have resouces and connections with law enforcement to provide additional support to your congregation as needed.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yikes! Is this my church? Are you in So Cal?

      • Senior Attorney :

        Never mind. Don’t answer that. You posted anonymously and I don’t think it’s fair of me to ask.

        • messy ethical quandary :

          It’s not your church, but I’d love to be in touch off-site if you’re comfortable sharing what your congregation went through (or is going through). My email is ainsleycolle t t e at the gmail (no spaces).

    • anonwhatever :

      OP, don’t know if you’re still reading but you might want to G-search for the current lawsuits involving Sovereign Grace Ministries. I’m not entirely up-to-date on all the details but it’s my understanding that there are now legal undertakings because they did not disclose this sort of information to the congregations, children were abused, and the church did not take appropriate precautions with the knowledge they did have. You possibly should explore what exposure your church community will have if (worst case scenario) children are abused by this person, despite all precautions taken by your minister.

      Also, in terms of ethics, I think you should consider the ramifications of the worst case scenario (that he does relapse). I think a child being sexually abused would weigh heavily on my conscience if I were in the leadership of this church, more so than the individual loss of fellowship to this man. Is there some way he could be limited to small group interactions in the church (perhaps mid-week adult groups if you have them), rather than attending Sunday services with the general population, at least until the church leadership has a better feel for what is going on? There is just as much responsibility toward the general church congregation’s need for protection as there is a need to include this person in the life of the church community. Better to be wise than naive.

  10. Yes! I love getting the fruit/veggies first thing as well, but realized I would only make smoothies regularly if I could get it down to as fast a process as possible. I do mine in four steps:

    1. Either 1 banana or a handful of green grapes — both require no prep and are pretty shelf stable, so you can go shopping on Sunday and they’ll be good all week

    2. 2 handfuls of greens. I get Glory Foods bagged greens — they have kale, collard greens, etc, and again, no prep required and they last most of the week.

    3. 3/4 cup of frozen fruit (usually berries)

    4. 1 cup of ice and a little bit of water

    All told, it will take you about five minutes. And because you’re not using a milk/juice base, you’ll save on calories.

    • Posting fail – was supposed to be a response to the smoothie question above :)

  11. My husband’s going to be out of town this weekend and I’m trying to decide what to do with myself. If you were in the same position, would you try to schedule time with friends or take advantage of being alone?

    • Both!

      Go out to brunch one morning and then spend the rest of that day doing errands/fun things out. Then spend the other day at home in your PJs. Glorious

    • My husband has been out of town for work all week. He doesn’t travel a lot, but a few times a year. Here’s what I usually do:

      1. Make 1 or 2 plans with friends (in a week). If it were a weekend I might make a plan for a lunch, brunch, etc.
      2. Take advantage of the rest of the time as alone time. Lay in bed and watch movies he wouldn’t want to watch. Make a dinner he’s not crazy about or get Whole Foods hot bar. Take plenty of time to go work out because I don’t have to rush home to spend time with him.

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      I would plan to be alone during the day and have stuff set up to do in the evening. Enjoy your time!

      • This is my modis operandi when the s/o is away. I veg all morning, watch trashy reality TV, consider being functional in the afternoon and then drink all the wine in the evenings. It’s a really delightful cycle for a few days.

    • Absolutely both – make some plans so you don’t feel lonely but also enjoy some alone time – as JK said, eat things he doesn’t like, watch TV or movies that are more for you. Work on a project if you have one (knitting, etc.). Enjoy it!

    • Merabella :

      My husband goes out of town fairly frequently – mostly just weekends, but sometimes for multiple weeks at a time. I generally make some plans with friends – I try to make at least one a week so that I have real human interaction instead of just vegging out the whole time watching trashy TV or documentaries about God knows what. Or I plan to do stuff around the house – like go through my closet and take pictures of all the clothes, or give myself a mani/pedi, things I generally don’t have alone time to do. I also use this time to order in food/make food that I know my husband doesn’t really like, so I don’t get to eat all that often.

    • Nordies Lover :

      My SO is gone this weekend, too! I’m going out with girlfriends on Friday night and then . . . who knows!?! I’m thinking a hike or an exercise class. And I’m definitely watching lots of the bad tv that he hates. (Yeah, Real Housewives, I’m talking about you.)

  12. Equity's Darling :

    Daydreamers question yesterday made me wonder- when is it appropriate to give your friends critical feedback/commentary, either from yourself or heard from another?

    I generall don’t do it at all unless the person has specifically asked for feedback on X area or I think they’re putting themselves in a really bad situation, and then I usually say it once and then never again.

    Obviously like my friends, and I don’t really think critical comments coming from me are appropriate. But, at the same time, I don’t have family in my city, so if my friends don’t say, for example “listen, you’re pushing too hard at work” or “I know you love that stupid jacket, but you look dumb in it”, then I wouldn’t have anyone to stop me, you know? Luckily, my friends are pretty open, so if things are really out of control, they’ll say something – the work example, is one of those for me, I had friends say “you’re going to burnout”, and I did need to hear it, but…still, where is the line drawn?

    • Anon Introvert :

      I’d be very self-conscious and offended to receive feedback from a friend about my appearance, fashion, or a personality quirk if I didn’t specifically ASK for the feedback. I used to have a friend tell me regularly that I came off as bitchy because of certain mannerisms of mine (I’m shy and introverted) and it has been in the back of my head for about 15 years. While it’s probably helped me a little, I still remember it and am self-conscious about it. If I got a comment about a jacket I was wearing or something it would have a chilling effect on what fashions or trends I’d try in the future, as I’m nervous about those things anyway.

      The work comment, on the other hand, seems like it’s more of a concern for someone’s well-being– physically/mentally/emotionally— and so I wouldn’t be offended by that. I’d simply thank them for their concern.

    • 1. I never, ever “carry tales” back to a friend.
      So, if my friend is Jane, and she just met Lisa (one of my acquaintances), and later on, Lisa says, “I think your friend Jane comes across as stand-offish.” I would never tell Jane that. There are too many ways for this to go wrong. And Lisa’s motives and personality have to be scrutinized, then. Plus, I don’t believe in triangulation. If Lisa really has such a huge problem with that, she should approach Jane herself. But, given that they are only casual acquaintances, I’d argue that Lisa doesn’t have the “standing” to tell Jane such a thing.

      I would only tell Jane what Lisa said if Jane asked me explicitly asked that I pass along Lisa’s feedback.

      2. If my friend “Jane” generally looks pretty happy with her life, with her family and romantic relationships (or lack thereof), and with her career, I’d keep my mouth shut. My friends don’t have to be like me in personality or approach. My being friends with someone is not a “fixer-upper” where I “cure” them of traits I don’t like. However, if there’s an area where Jane keeps telling me she’s unhappy with the results, I might venture forth something. Like, if she tells me that she’s angry that all her coworkers seem to exclude her from lunches. And that this happened at 3 different workplaces. Then, I’d offer up some advice.

      3. If my friend is really crashing and burning, or in danger of crashing and burning, and we are really, really close friends, I’d arrange to have a private, in-person heart-to-heart. A dear friend of mine was going to marry a really horrible man (on-and-off drug dealer, with a kid from a previous relationship, lots of honesty issues, lots of money issues, etc.) and I told her I was worried about her safety, the potential loss-of-custody issues of their future children should there be a DEA bust on her guy, and other matters, and asked her to seriously reconsider her decision about marrying the guy. I made it clear I would always love her dearly as the sister-I-should-have-had, but that I was concerned that her guy wouldn’t treat her well and that he might ruin her life. She married him anyways and they have a kid now, but we’re still friends.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I’m the same way on all of these, especially number 3. I’ve given my unsolicited opinion/advice only in what I consider to be extreme circumstances and I only do it once. Doing it once and then moving on regardless of whether that person takes my advice is the key to me. (Not going to lie, I picked up that idea from The Hills)

        • Re #3: Heartily agree on only doing it once.

          More than that and then I’d feel like I was crossing the line into at best nagging, or, worst, moral superiority/scoring points. I’d want to do neither to a friend.

          Clothing stuff (unless it was an open-fly, skirt tucked into pantyhose type obvious problem), I file under #2. People have such different styles and taste is so very subjective. Who am I to tell my friends that I think she shouldn’t wear such-and-such outfit just because I don’t like it?

      • Brooklyn Paralegal :

        Very late on this thread, but I agree entirely. I wish my sister would read this and understand that giving unsolicited “advice” is often uncalled for and often functions as a way to point out something you don’t like about a friend or family member.

        Of course this is not always the case, but this all brings to mind my sister’s tendency to tell me what my diet “should” be at any given opportunity. Unless I’m asking for her opinion on what I should eat (which I don’t, because I’m healthy and, to be a little immodest for a moment, pretty great shape), I don’t have an interest in being told what I’m doing wrong.

        But I tend to take things personally, so maybe that’s just me. I have been in situations in the past where I was clearly overworking myself, not eating enough, and running myself down, and at that point, I was not offended by my friends’ concern and advice, because it was clearly out of care and not just nit-picking.

    • I actually would like my friends to give me feedback about my clothing and looks especially – “this looks good on you” / “this isn’t flattering for you” / “this is too pilled so you should stop wearing it!” etc. This is partly because I often literally get dressed in the dark (wee hours of the morning) and I know I tend to hold onto favorite clothes or shoes way past the time I need to get rid of them.

      My friends and colleagues do give me positive feedback (“are you wearing your bb cream today? your skin looks really good”) but never the negative feedback and I wish they would because I’d like a second opinion on some things.

      On demeanor, however – how I come across and such, I may feel a bit hurt if someone gives me unsolicited advice, partly because it may be something I can’t change.

    • For myself, the time for unsolicited critical commentary between family, friends and other loved ones is pretty much never. It is reasonable to assume adults have some self-awareness or undertake self-examination from time to time, and if not, well, sometimes life lessons need to be learnt the hard way (I speak from personal experience on this one).

      Being around to pick up the pieces without judgement is a more generous way of being a friend, at least for me.

  13. Love this – nice detailing and beautiful drape.

    http://zipstyleseattle.com

  14. Oh did you hear that H&M is selling to US online now?! At hm.com – very exciting!!

    http://zipstyleseattle.com

  15. Shoe question:

    I bought a pair of black pumps from easy spirit in May and have been wearing them on and off to work in NYC during the summer.

    Today, I realized the inside is sticky. Nothing fell inside, etc but they were sitting in my hot car for a while. Do they just need to be washes? How do I do that? I generally don’t wear socks or hose.

    Re: why easy sprit. I have weird feet and these are one of the only comfortable work appropriate heel brands.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Do you wear lotion or self-tanner on your feet? I’ve found that lotion + sweat = sticky on certain shoes, and I just wipe them out with a cleaning wipe.

  16. Shorts for a pear :

    I remember that there was someone on here recently looking for shorts that fit a pear-shaped body well. These Eddie Bauer shorts are awesome, and on sale now for $20! http://tinyurl.com/kvshp87

    • I’m wearing a pair of Gap sunkissed shorts and quite like them (after not wearing shorts between the ages of 14-28).

  17. Ladies, can anyone recommend a good healing cream for extremely dry and slightly cracked hands? I spent a couple hours on Sunday scrubbing my stainless steel pots back to life with Bar Keepers’ Friend… and stupidly didn’t wear gloves. My hands are in rough shape and nothing I have seems to be working (L’Occitane lavender hand cream, Clinique deep comfort hand & cuticle cream, and regular Gold Bond lotion). Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

    • Norweigen formula/aquaphor. Constantly reapply!

    • Equity's Darling :

      I use the Neutrogena Norweigan Formula Hand Cream in the winter here, I find it helpful. Also, just rubbbing pure coconut oil on my skin really helps sometimes.

    • Hand cream :

      I don’t have a good suggestion, sorry. I’ve had the same issue with BKF. After about 10 days, my hands started to go back to normal, and I was just using my regular lotion (Aveeno). It was so annoying – my hands felt terrible. Sorry you’re going through that. And sorry I don’t have a good fix, but just wanted to say you’re not alone! (And wear gloves next time!)

      • Glad to hear there is an end in sight! I definitely learned my lesson and will be wearing gloves next time. At least my pots and pans look nice… haha.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Eucerin. Feels nasty but works.

    • Aquaphor with a layer of vanicream over it.

    • Make a sugar scrub with almond oil – a tbsp of almond oil in your palm, then a tsp or so of sugar. After the scrubbing, let your hands rest for 30 minutes or so for the oil to absorb into your skin. It’s my salvation in the winter months.

      • +1. Also, for an intense overnight treatment, apply a layer of vaseline over your moisturizer of choice, then use overnight gloves (or my cheap alternative, stick your hands in sandwich bags then socks).

    • Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector. The only thing that saved me when I went to Ottawa in the winter once, and now I swear by it.

    • Anonymous :

      Norweigan formula, OR lush makes Hand Guru Gu which saved my hands this winter when the nearest CVS didn’t carry the norweigan formula. Seriously, my knuckles were bleeding at that point and the guru gu healed them in 1-2 days

  18. I am not a very disciplined shopper but am trying to get better about building my wardrobe around a limited slate of (flattering!) colors. For spring/summer, it wasn’t that hard — most of my clothes match the four colors I chose (navy, white, coral, cobalt).

    For cold weather, I am having a harder time. I probably own equal amounts of black/gray/brown/navy base items (i.e. 2-3 suits or dresses in each). If I were to choose based on most flattering, it would be navy or brown — I am in my 40s and realizing that my beloved black is not as flattering as I would like.

    I feel like I must choose either navy or brown, because I don’t see them as going well together (or having a lot of colors that match both of them, but maybe I am wrong. Colors that I like that look good on me tend toward blues/purples.

    • Whoops, hit submit too soon. Just looking for thoughts from the Hive about how you impose some discipline when it feels like you are spread across too many colors.

    • I think you can keep both the navy and brown – just use them as bases to build on, they both go well with blues, purples and then pops of colour on the opposite side of the wheel (orange, yellow, red). And I think it has even been agreed upon here previously that you can mix them in certain circumstances.

    • If it helps, I find brown in small doses is a good way to warm up a black + white outfit (think tan shoes with a black jacket and ivory trousers) and that yellow/ gold does the same for navy (think a dull gold charmeuse top under a navy suit). My professional wardrobe doesn’t stray very far from those combinations plus various shades of greige except when it’s warm enough to lose the jacket. Then, I bring out a riot of dresses in different colours. Prints even.

  19. Excited pregnancy TJ:

    OMG you guys! We heard the heartbeat today and saw the little blobby bean on a hand-held ultrasound! SO EXCITING :)

    It is SO HARD not the tell the whole world :p

    • Equity's Darling :

      Awww, so exciting! It’s so crazy to think that we were all little beans at one point…

    • Congratulations!!! How far along are you?

      • Just over 9 weeks! My worry level has now gone WAY down, as apparently once a heartbeat is a detected, the chances of miscarriage decrease drastically :) Hence why it is so hard not to tell the world! Especially since I’m already showing in some of my clothing :p (someone at work has already asked someone else at work if I am pregnant, lol).

        • Frustrated Academic :

          Right there with you–whenever someone asks “What’s new?” I want to shout it out, but we are waiting until the results of the first trimester screening\beginning of the second trimester to tell. Hardest is not telling the mom\mom-in-law when I speak to them on the phone.

          The ultrasound was a bit unreal–really, that blobby thing?–okay, I’ll take your word for it ;-)

          • We’ve actually told the family. And even a couple of friends because I am really bad at not oversharing :p But yes, we are also holding off on the full public disclosure. But I’m pretty sure I’m going to show before that time comes, so I’m not sure that we will wait until all screening is done. And if, goddess forbid, something goes wrong, we will likely fudge and just say that: Something went wrong.

          • Our plan was to wait for the 13 week screening too, then I found out last week that my OB/GYN doesn’t really discuss the results of the blood test/nuchal screen until the 16-week blood test (the third part of the “triple screen”), unless something looks extremely concerning. Argh. Perhaps the ultrasound tech will give me some numbers, but who knows. So now I’m rethinking that as it’s just way too hard to wait one more month to say anything to most of the people around me!

    • Houston Attny :

      Very exciting news! Everyone will wonder, “why is Jo March beaming today?” :)

    • Diana Barry :

      Yay!!!

    • Awesome! :D

    • Senior Attorney :

      Hooray!!!

  20. For "Tomato Overload" - by SoCalAtty :

    Just saw this post from yesterday. My favorite thing to do with an overload of tomatoes is to make sauce and can or freeze. I halve the tomatoes, roughly chop an onion, and throw in 4-5 garlic cloves and toss with about 2 tablespoons of high quality tomato paste, olive oil, and some oregano/thyme. The tomatoes go cut side down onto a cooling rack (like what you cool cookies on) over a foil-lined cookie sheet, the onion / garlic go onto a little foil raft (or they’ll fall through the cooling rack) and all goes into the oven at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown / singe.

    I dump everything into my food processor, and add some fresh basil and salt and pepper to taste. You can then waterbath can the sauce, or just separate into quart ziploc baggies and freeze flat to store. Fresh tomato sauce all winter!

    If you have a dehydrator, you can also cook and then dehydrate them for use in pastas or sauces, or if you camp/backpack, they make a killer backpacking meal. On the weekends I have been roasting them with zucchini, making a batch of quinoa, and putting that together with some feta, olive oil, and balsamic vinager and taking it to work for lunch.

    Now I just need to plan a backpacking trip to use them!

  21. Anonymous :

    Struggling with finding an appropriate subject line for a (small) company-wide “goodbye” email. I am leaving on good terms if that matters. Is “Goodbye” too abrupt a subject line? “Goodbye & Contact Information”?

    This is the first job I’ve ever left (recent grad) so I’m not sure what the protocol is here.

    • I see a lot of: “Farewell” and “Farewell and Thank You” subject lines. Goodbye does seem a little glib to me.

      • Orangerie :

        +1. I used “Farewell” last time I wrote a similar email.

      • I was trying to word a “going away lunch” for a summer intern e-mail and “Farewell” was exactly the word I was looking for. “Goodbye Lunch” did seem too glib. I settled on “End of Summer Lunch.”

    • MerrilyWeRoll :

      Haha – I’m literally in the exact same boat! Last day is tomorrow, and it was my first job out of college. Are you heading to another position or grad school? I’m leaving for grad school, and it’s on “good terms” for the most part with my colleagues/supervisors. I think the subject line question depends on your office; if it’s casual, it could be a little goofy “Thank You, and Farewell,” but if it’s a more serious company, perhaps something as easy as “Thank You” would work. I always think too much about this, and really, no one is going to be looking at the subject line that intensely. Askamanager talks about this here: http://www.askamanager.org/2011/02/what-should-an-internal-farewell-email-say.html

      • Anonymous :

        Too funny! I’m headed off to grad school with a last day tomorrow as well. It’s a low key company so I was even toying with “So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodnight” but decided that would be a bit much.

    • I’m in the minority here, but I think “Goodbye and Contact Information” is fine. I would have a hard time writing “Farewell,” but when I leave my job, my subject line will be “So long, and thanks for all the fish,” so assess my vote accordingly…

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