Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Jewel Wrap Dress

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

It’s great to see that Diane von Furstenberg has a ton of dresses on sale right now, including this pretty one. I really like the colors and how it has a fuller skirt than a lot of the wrap dresses — plus, huzzah for pockets! This one was $568 and is now $284, and most sizes are still in stock. Note that there are many others also in the $285-and-under range, so if you’re looking for a new wrap dress do check out DVF. Jewel Wrap Dress

Here’s a more affordable wrap dress and another in plus sizes.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    My coworker is so nosy. She asked me what my parents do as a profession, if they’re retired, where they live, what city, etc. The other day I accidentally parked near her and as I was walking in, I saw her get out of her car and peep inside mine. Who does that?

    She came to talk to me in my office and I could see that her eye contact was on my personal planner in front of me. If I rearrange even a stapler on my office shelf, I can see her eyes automatically shift there to take in the difference. At times, she is very helpful but this unnecessary curiosity is annoying me. I will have to be extra careful abot what I leave out. Anybody have similar experiences?

    • Is this a re-post from last week?

    • I might be your coworker. In casual conversation, I ask all sorts of questions to try to get someone to just talk. I hate sitting through a whole lunch where everyone just silently stares at their phones, so I come up with crazy topics like “I’m going to retire to Iceland. Where do your parents live? Are they retired?” And I’m a crow who is distracted by movement and shiny things. Of course I’m going to notice you clicking your pen or read whatever paper is sitting right in front of me in the “guest” spot in your desk, especially if it’s silent so I’m trying to keep myself busy while I wait for you. I’m not doing any of this with some nefarious noisy motive, I just don’t do well sitting quietly and NOT looking at the things in front of me. I honestly never thought about this being annoying behavior.

      • Um – figure out how to entertain yourself without irritating the rest of the world then?

        • I fail to see how LOOKING at your pen clicking is irritating the rest of the world. Or trying to make conversation in a public space.

          God forbid someone ask you a question or look at something you’re doing. Sheesh. Stay in your bubble then, if it’s so bad.

    • anon associate :

      You’re overreacting. Asking you questions is making conversation. Especially if you have a friendly office. It’s also hard not to look at stuff on someone’s desk. It’s how eyes work. They’re drawn to details, bright colors, and change. It’s how we survive in the wild. I assure you, you’re probably not that interesting that she cares about what’s in your planner. I’ll grant you that looking into your car is a bit much, but other than that, you’re being dramatic.

    • Are you just not used to people being friendly? Lighten up.

      • Anonymous :

        +1

        You are focusing way to much mental energy on this. These things are nothing.

        Maybe focus on why you are so hyper-sensitive?

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think you’re overreacting, being nosy is weird. You can “jokingly” call her out on it – ie, “See anything interesting in there?” when she looks inside your car.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Strongly agree. Looking in your car is beyond nosy, it’s almost to the level of poking around your desk drawer or looking in your purse. Pretty sure no one would think that’s ok.

      • Totally agree. This kind of behavior irks me, too. Everybody else on this thread who think this is nbd is probably engaging in this intrusive and irritating behavior – it’s not okay. I would absolutely say something to the effect of, “what, do you want my stapler? what are you looking at?”

        • anon associate :

          Lol really? We’re all doing this? Sure, the car thing is weird and inappropriate. But the rest of it is not. I suspect that the only reason OP even thinks that asking questions or..using her eyes…… is off-putting is because of the car ‘peeping.’ So she’s looking at everything else in connection with that.

          Next time I go stand by my paralegal’s desk I’ll make sure that I don’t accidentally look at her stapler. Good lord. It shocks me that OP is so self-centered she thinks this co-worker is noting where she keeps her office supplies.

          • I mean, I look in people’s cars as I am walking by all the time. It’s just being bored walking by and looking at stuff. Either tint your windows dark or don’t leave crap in your car you want people to see. I don’t think this is weird.

          • anon associate :

            Oh I agree- I don’t think it’s weird if you happen to catch a glance of the inside of someone’s car, or just turn your head. I do it, and assume people do it to my car while derisively noting the coffee stains, old can of coke, extra shoes and yoga mat. I’m giving OP the benefit of the doubt and assuming that her Office Stalker walked up to her car, cupped her hands around her eyes to block the sun and peered into her back seat, and then moved to the front seat. Which I do not for a second think happened.

        • That’s crazy.

      • I wouldn’t joke with a crazy person. I tried humor on an unstable coworker with boundary issues after she wouldn’t accept that I politely declined a second baked good… that day. I jokingly called her a “cake bully” and her meldown went nuclear. We no longer speak.

      • I actually don’t think the car thing is super-weird. What if she was considering getting a similar model? I def look in strangers’ cars in parking lots if I am thinking of purchasing that make/model. I do think it’s weird coupled with additional nosiness, but if it were a one-off, I don’t think it really crosses the line (although again, it’s weird!).

    • I think you might be seeing things that aren’t there. I doubt she’s trying to memorize where things are in your office. I don’t mean this to sound harsh, but it’s true: no one is thinking about you that much. Most people are thinking of themselves (like you are doing in this situation).

    • I have known people like this and I can’t stand them. Making small talk is asking what you did over the weekend; grilling you about your parents is nosy. Peeking in cars & at planners is nosy.

  2. Mm La Fleur - how wrinkly? :

    Does it wrinkle at all? I have some ponte that does and some that doesn’t at all. I find if ponte wrinkles it just looks extra terrible.

  3. Baconpancakes :

    Wow, I love this dress, but as usual, DvF is out of my price range, and the other options aren’t doing it for me.

    • It’s stunning. In my dreams, all I wear is DvF, Akris, and LK Bennett.

      • In my dreams, the wrap doesn’t gape when I slouch or unwrap itself and withstands a strong wind. IRL I have switched to DVF shifts bought on ebay and feel like I am #winning.

    • I own this dress from a previous year and love it. I found it in an after Christmas sale for a little over $200. It’s a great fit for my pear shape. It fits the bill for every social event that is between formal and casual (in my case, concerts, plays, parties). That said, I wouldn’t say it is work appropriate because the skirt is designed to be more flared than A-line. It has a pretty stiff lining and pulls away from the body a bit (part of why it’s so flattering to my shape). FYI, I’ve found even better prices on DVF in online consignment (the realreal etc.)

  4. Anonymous :

    Based on the recommendations of this site, I bought one of those Carlin by Mihoko hair twists, and I LOVE it! It just arrived so I’ve only used it a few times but it is seriously so easy to use and my hair looks very professional. As someone who rarely has time to dry my hair before work, the ability to pull it up while still looking professional is key, and this thing gets the job done! Thinking about buying another one in another color.

    For reference, my hair is medium-long, somewhat layered, and pretty thin right now (thanks to PP hair loss). The Carlin keeps all of my hair back with no problem (no need for bobby pins, etc.).

    • Anonymous :

      I bought one after that recommendation too! I really like it. My only problem is that my hair is too long, so my shoulders aren’t flexible enough to scoot it to the bottom of my hair. However, it’s so easy that my husband is able to do it for me!! I have fallen for many hair gimmicks over the years, and this is the first one I don’t regret!!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I had never heard of that thing until the post and I am really interested in it – so glad to hear it actually works! Off to buy one for myself.

    • Are these new or improved in some way? I just looked into it and I could swear that I had a bunch of things that looked just like these back in the early aughts. They were super handy thought when I had them, although couldn’t always deal with my super thick hair.

      • I’m not sure about the old ones, but I have super thick hair with layers, which is why none of the other tools have worked for me in the past. This one handled it fine.

    • Where did you buy yours?

    • Minnie Beebe :

      I just got one as well. So far, so good. If I had one complaint, I wish the fabric was just a *little* bit grippier… I am finding it difficult to really get it tight enough (I’m a little bit of a weirdo about being able to feel my hair move around though, so I may be an outlier here…)

      But it was money well-spent, IMO.

      To another poster, I think you have to buy them directly from Mihoko. I was unable to find it on Amazon, or anyplace else. I ordered mine and had it within a week, I think.

    • Legally Brunette :

      Ok you convinced me! Just bought one. Will report back, thanks. :)

    • These look interesting. I love that some of the proceeds go to pug rescue groups!

  5. Is it appropriate as an associate to help a vendor set up a lunch/CLE/other networking opportunity with your firm? A good friend introduced me to her good friend who markets court reporting services nationwide, including in a remote location where I needed a court reporter. I used the service and was very happy with it. I’ve also socialized with friend of friend a couple of times and she’s been lovely. She’s introduced me to some networking groups that will hopefully lead to future business opportunities for me, or at least allow me to tell the powers that be that I’m doing a lot of business development stuff in various markets. Friend of friend has asked if I’d be willing to introduce her to other attorneys in my office but I’ve never heard of an associate helping a vendor to set up a lunch or something before. Would this be seen as weird or overreaching or otherwise off? I want to build a network and support other women, especially a woman who is supporting me, but I don’t want to cross any lines.

    • Who in your firm handles professional development or marketing? I would mention to that person that you have a vendor who would like to come in and do a lunch or meet and greet coffee. Then let them work directly with the vendor to set it up.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. If you don’t have a dedicated professional development person for your office, this is something the office manager would typically handle, in my experience.

    • I don’t work in law–but in my field this would be something that I’d do casually, like “used a great X service, let me know if you’d like the contact info.” Especially since X services are often terrible.

      X has been car/limo, graphic design, etc.

      I’ve never been more proactive than that, so YMMV.

    • I think it depends on what they’re looking for. I wouldn’t consider it inappropriate to accept an invitation to lunch with 1-2 colleagues and a rep from the company (understanding the rep will pick up the tab).

      I wouldn’t not set up a program open to a broader audience, as professional development/other aspects of the firm may already have relationships in place. What you could do is refer your friend to the department that handles that type of vendor, and then give a warm recommendation to the internal contact, then let them take it from there.

  6. Anyone use a carbon steel pan for cooking? I picked up the mineral b line from de buyer and I’ve been pleased with it so far, but its not the lowest maintenance pan in the world. I’m trying to use it consistently to help the seasoning process along, and I only wipe it down or clean with some water and a sponge. However the seasoning looks a bit patchy, and seems to be come off along the outer rim of the pan. But I’m really pleased with how it sears and how it heats up, I never used cast iron because I found it way too heavy.

    • AttiredAttorney :

      I have not used it, but after reading an article in Serious Eats today about them, I’m thinking of picking up a small pan. What you described seems to sound like how the restaurant pans I’ve seen look.

      http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/03/what-makes-carbon-steel-pans-great-cast-iron-cookware.html

      • As a follow up, I got the 10.2 inch version, which I’d say is equivalent in area to like an 8″ skillet? Due to the way the sides slope up. Perfect for cooking for 1-2 or in batches. Also I was afraid any bigger than that would be reaching uncomfortably heavy territory. I can lift and use the 10″ with ease though, usually with two hands for safety.

    • I have a carbon steel wok. It’s a bit annoying to clean so I do tend to default to my Calphalons 80% of the time. But the wok is way better at heat transfer for something like stir frying. I usually wash it with hot water (+ soap if it’s something really bad and sticky), then put it on a warm stove to dry off all the water. Then I rub some neutral oil into it with a paper towel. It’s probably not creating the perfect seasoning, but it’s doing a decent job.

      • I have a carbon steel wok and feel similarly. It’s good at heating up and transferring heat, but I cannot figure out how to keep it seasoned, so food ends up getting stuck on the bottom. Apparently carbon steel is pretty bullet proof so you can clean it up and start over and try to season it again, but I’ve tried several times and haven’t figured it out.

    • I have a small one that I use to fry up eggs or toast nuts or the like. I love it.

  7. Paris splurges? :

    Going to Paris with DH for 3 days (plus arrival day) – his first visit. I’ve been before but was budget conscious. This trip we’ll be able to spend a little more $ but have less time. What are your favorite experiences in general, and do you have any “upgrade” advice? DH not a museum person – planning Louvre highlights (2hrs or less) and Musee L’orangerie( we both love impressionists and postimpressionism, and it’s a beautiful small museum). I recently found reviews for Le Calife, a small boat that does a Seine River dinner cruise. This is what I’m looking for- some experiences to splurge on that are worth the cost. We love good food but we’re not terribly sophisticated- so a very good restaurant is probably better value for us than an excellent restaurant, if that makes sense! Also- DH is in great health but has lousy ankles that hurt him on really uneven ground, so any ways to decrease walking in general or avoid the roughest pavement (I think I’m just skipping Montmartre- we can handle St Germaine boulevards better) are helpful!

    • I would do the Orsay rather than the Louvre if you’re after impressionists.

      We had the world’s best crepes at Little Breizh (sp?) in the 6th I think — not expensive but a really fun meal.

    • Frenchie’s Wine Bar. They have three restaurants: a fancy restaurant (frenchie’s something), a trendy, walk-in only place (frenchie’s wine bar–expect a wait), and a to-go option. They’re all next door to one another in this cute little alley. We went on our second to last night and hit up the to-go place for a picnic on the following day. It’s great food, reasonably priced, and it seems like a local spot. When we were there the only other English-speaking table was Michael J. Fox and his family. Made me feel cool!

      Also, I know you said you’re not into the food scene, but if a Michelin star restaurant in Paris appeals to you, I’d recommend going for lunch. Most have three course pre-fixed menus that are great for the value. We went to a starred restaurant around the block from our hotel (I can’t remember the name but if you’re interested I can find it) and that meal was tied with Frenchie’s as the best meal of the trip. Plus, we enjoyed a midday indulgence of a fancy lunch more than we realized. It really makes it feel like vacation!

    • Following… we’re going for a week in 2 months and I’ll be asking for recs – splurge and non splurge- as the trip gets closer. Enjoy!

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      If you want to leave your email I have a paris google doc I could email you with restaurants and things to do.

    • Anonymous :

      Musee Dorsay instead of Louvre. Picasso Museum is also really cool. I’ve done a cooking class that was really fun. Going to top of Eiffel Tower is totally touristy but really fun and gives you great views of the city. Otherwise, just plan to wander and take in the sites, such a beautiful city!

      • What cooking class? DH and I are very interested in giving this a try!

        • Anonymous :

          Here’s the one we did: https://cooknwithclass.com/paris/

          We did the market class – so we went to the market, bought the food, learned about the history of markets, etc., then cooked a meal (it was Thanksgiving, so we made a Thanksgiving-esque meal). It was a lot of fun, and delicious, of course! It still has great reviews on Trip Advisor, so I’d say it’s definitely worth it!

    • A dinner at Le Timbre (awesome chef and delicious food but unfussy). Or Spring, which is more of a splurge but has unpretentious yet sophisticated food. (Or have cheese / wine in the cellar there!)
      A drink or some champagne in the lounge of Le Meurice or maybe another 5-star hotel.

    • Sainte-Chappelle is gorgeous – would definitely recommend checking it out. It’s also not very big, so it would be easy for your husband to do.

      I think it could be fun to one true splurge dinner in Paris – the food is just so amazing and unlike anywhere else in the world. My DH and I were “beginner” foodies when we first went to Paris, and we had a tasting menu dinner at La Scene in the Prince des Galles hotel that blew both of our minds and was just so memorable and special. Since then, we always try to fit in one over-the-top dining experience on a special vacation.

  8. Any recommendations for a productivity (read: forces me to limit my time on timesucker s1tes) extensions for Chrome? I have tried Stayfocused and like it but it has too many glitches for me to keep using it. Thanks!

  9. I’m a bridesmaid for a wedding June, and the dress has a very low back (link below). Bra recommendations? I don’t think stick-on bras will work for me, I’m a 34C and not that perky (I joke that they’re more like ski slopes). Maybe a bustier? I would have cups built in to the dress, but can’t since it’s RTR.

    https://pc-ap.renttherunway.com/productimages/back/1080x/5f/BM154.jpg

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah I would try a bustier, but it’s hard to tell ahead of time if it will work or would be too high for the dress. Is there a way you could try the dress on ahead of time?

      • I’m going to go to the DC store to try it on, but it’s tricky because their stock rotates constantly, so there’s no guarantee that the dress you want, in your size, will be available to try on.

        There’s only 3 bridesmaids and the bride paid for rentals for the two other bridesmaids to try out the dress in advance, but didn’t extend that courtesy to me :)

        • JuniorMinion :

          Biggest issue I see is it looks like you may have to go strapless or you will see the straps on your upper back. Would try a low back strapless bodysuit / shaper given that the dress looks fairly clingy. Something like the below might work:

          http://www.herroom.com/va-bien-1294-strapless-lowback-bodysuit-with-legs.shtml?utm_source=adv&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=pla&utm_content=Vab001-1294&gclid=CO2156CNs9ICFZMvgQodp8INBQ&kwid=productads-adid^102605517789-device^c-plaid^56128534817-sku^1036456-adType^PLA

          Alternately, you could do a low v- back bustier bra although if you are larger chested (I am 32DD) and require boning / real support in a strapless bra you may see a line…

          https://www.amazon.com/Carnival-Womens-Plunge-Tuxedo-Longline/dp/B0020B5V7E/ref=sr_1_10?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1488295520&sr=1-10&nodeID=7141123011&keywords=bras+for+low+back+dresses

          • JuniorMinion :

            Side note: I know I am old school – but I am unfortunately a size where I need things to be locked down and have found old school bra designs / shapewear to comfortably do the best job of that for me.

        • Marshmallow :

          That’s weird. Can you just ask the bride to do the same for you?

    • Have you tried the silicone stick ons? I’m your same size and I love the FreeBra I got on Amazon. It lasts for multiple wears, too.

    • S in Chicago :

      Wow! That is a gorgeous dress!! I’ve never tried this, but I remember some actress–I think it was Kristin Bell–saying she would tape them up to keep the girls, um, high.

      • Haha, I used to do that in college (I actually got really good at it and my girlfriends would come to my room to get their “girls” taped up before we went out), but I need more support than just tape (and removing the tape was painful).

        • I am laughing so hard right now, because a couple of weeks ago we were talking about someone’s daughter who wanted to do a beauty pageant, and whether pageants gave girls any useful experiences. Someone mentioned that she’d learn to tape “grils”…and here we are.

    • This should work. You can set it up to sit very low and the straps to be very broad. http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/le-mystere-infinite-possibilities-convertible-underwire-plunge-bra/3701396?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLACK

    • Rainbow Hair :

      There’s this thing you can buy that is basically an extension of the back of the bra strap. It goes aaaall the way around your front, so you can make the back where the bra clasps into a low V. Wow this is hard to explain. Will follow with a link if I can find one.

      That dress is gorgeous and I’m jealous.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Like this. https://www.macys.com/shop/product/fashion-forms-adjustable-low-back-bra-strap-mc415?ID=986897

      • I did not know this was a thing!! Totally getting one in the event I need it at some point for a low back dress. Seems like the most comfortable option to me.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I have a dress with a similar back and use this with it.

      • Brunchaholic :

        I have one of these and was going to suggest it as well. I would also recommend doing a “test run” before – the first few times I used it, the fit wasn’t quite right and my bra would come loose, but I figured out over time how to adjust it so that it worked well.

    • Thanks for all the suggestions ladies! I’m not sure if these options will be low enough, but I figure if it peeks out a little bit, I can covertly pin the back of the dress to the back of the bra to keep it lower.

      • OCAssociate :

        Since it’s on RTR, can you review the comments to see if anyone else talks about what they wore underneath?

        • I did – most people went bra-less, which I don’t want to do, or used a stick-on bra (which I don’t think will work for me).

    • I have rented this dress several times on RTR (in various colors) and it is beautiful! I wore something very similar to the Carnival-Womens-Plunge-Tuxedo-Longline and was just fine.

      https://www.amazon.com/Carnival-Womens-Plunge-Tuxedo-Longline/dp/B0020B5V7E/ref=sr_1_10?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1488295520&sr=1-10&nodeID=7141123011&keywords=bras+for+low+back+dresses

    • You can wear a regular bra with that dress!!! :

      I actually own that dress (it’s Badgley Mischka, yes?) and it’s not obvious from the pics, but there’s this tab in the middle of the cowl part of the back that you just tuck into your bra strap. It works perfectly with a normal bra. This is actually why I bought the dress. I’m a 34DD and hate strapless bras with a vengeance. It’s a gorgeous dress too…

  10. condolences? :

    I’m so awkward about these things. I’m on a consulting engagement at a company. One of the company employees we work with texted a member of my company’s engagement team saying she’d be out all week and unable to meet with us, so sorry, but her father just died suddenly. She’s like, 28.

    Is it appropriate for me to reach out in some way, or is that just too weird and awkward? I just want to say something like “I heard the terrible news and wanted to let you know I was thinking of you.” We aren’t friends or anything, and have only met via this project (so total of like 9 hours spent together). But it’s just so awful!

    Say nothing? Say something via email? She’s out of the office and after this week I’ll be remote.

    • When something like that happens, hearing from the people around you can be comforting. You can’t go wrong by expressing sympathy. It meant a lot to me when people I wasn’t particularly close to reached out during a similar situation.

    • say something via email. your condolences will be appreciated.

    • My personal philosophy is to always reach out and say something. Not acknowledging something like this seems cold to me, and I think people appreciate any sort of recognition, no matter how awkward. So my advice would be to reach out (either by email or text) and say something simple like “I am so sorry to hear about your father. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts [or prayers if you pray].”

    • Definitely say something. Card would be nicer than email.

      Very nice of you.

    • I would send a short note via email and, depending on your working relationship, offer a quick hug or in-person condolences when she returns to work.

    • I wouldn’t send an email but a card/flowers/food basket from the team would be nice.

      • +1 Agree.

        Although the younger generation may not be aware (or differ?), condolences like this are not really for email, and never for text.

        • I’ve never been offended by the form of a condolence. I’m always touched that someone thought to reach out.

        • Younger generation here, I would appreciate it if the office or a close work friend sent a condolence card but would find it weird if a single person did (how did you get my home address?) I think email is fine, especially based on your level of contact with her.

        • AnonInfinity :

          I completely disagree. One of my parents passed away recently, and I was comforted by every single card, vase of flowers, container of food, e-mail, text, voicemail, and Facebook message. Maybe it’s a generational thing–I’m in my early 30s. But whenever someone took the time to reach out in any way and say something, it made me feel so supported and loved.

          If you are moved to do so, it’s infinitely better to send an email or text than to intend to get a card or whatever and then forget to go to the store, not have stamps, not have a home address, etc., stop you from reaching out.

        • Younger generation certainly differs. I’m 30 and recently lost my mom. I appreciated everyone that reached out – text, email, FB message, shiva visit, card in the mail, phone call. Especially since I had a baby at home, I appreciated getting text/email/FB messages I could respond to later, as opposed to a phone call that I had to pick up right away.

          OP, please do reach out. Just a quick note to let her know you’re thinking of her and sorry to hear of her loss would probably be appreciated.

        • I’m not sure it’s a generational thing, but moreso an introvert vs. extrovert thing.

          I was 30 when my father died and I was not really comfortable having to respond to messages from people I didn’t know that well (both professional contacts and old personal contacts). I did appreciate the food tray that my office sent, and flowers would also have been nice. But partners I rarely interact with e-mailing or coming by to say they were sorry once I got back was weird–it was already hard enough to be back and pretend that I was functional, and that just completely chipped away at my poker face. I also hardly know them and it was uncomfortable feeling like I needed an appropriately stoic professional response.

          • Anonymous :

            Agreed on people coming by the office. But I wouldn’t feel at all obligated to respond to an email! Presumably the email should be sent when the sender hears about it, not when they know you’re back.

    • “I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you.”

      Email is ok. I’m 52 and I don’t give a crap if you mail it to me or text it to me or post it on my FB wall. Expressing support in any form is better than being silent because you can’t figure out the correct way to do it

    • Send a “thinking of you” email.

  11. Flash cards :

    Does anyone know of an app that lets you create flash cards that it will then “read” back you? I’m studying a new language and have a long driving commute, so would love to have something that would read the front of the card, give me 20 seconds to answer, then read the back of the card then move onto the next card. I use the Chegg app right now, which reads, but I need to tap to advance or flip cards.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      If your car syncs with your phone and you have radio controls on your steering wheel, would the next button on the steering wheel advance the card like it would advance a song?

      • Flash cards :

        That would be awesome, but sadly my car is old and doesn’t have syncing (although does have radio controls). I feel like I’ve found a great new idea for an app if nothing like this exists right now :)

    • Maybe this thing?

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01K3YOA8K/ref=s9_acsd_al_bw_c_x_5_w

      If it’s mounted to your AC vent, you can reach out and tap the phone while keeping your eyes on the road maybe?

      • I know people DO do this, but it’s distracted driving and you really shouldn’t, so please don’t mount your phone so you can flip through flashcards. Texting and driving is dangerous for three reasons — it takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road and your mind off the task at hand. This would check all three.

        I agree an app that lets you fill all these in and reads it to you so you don’t have to look at it or take your hands off the wheel to do it would be ideal, but I don’t know of any. Could you record yourself reading them aloud and then play the recording back?

        • Alternately to what I just said, could you read the question, wait, then read the answer, and make a bunch of different audio clips of yourself then shuffle the playlist? Should be easy enough to do with the voice recording app on your phone.

      • Flash cards :

        Agree that it’s distracting. I already have my phone mounted like this and don’t want to be leaning over and tapping all the time.

    • quizlet!

  12. Off-key Valkyrie :

    My favorite pair of shoes is wearing out, and Clarks seems to have discontinued their “bendables” line. Can anyone recommend another brand where the heels squish down when you walk? I know they wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but once I got the knack of walking in them, they did my feet such favors over the length of the day.

  13. Can anyone recommend a hair salon in DC that isn’t one of those $300 places in Georgetown? I live in Alexandria and work downtown. I’ve never lived somewhere where it’s so hard to get a good haircut!

    • I like Miracles in Rosslyn, usually about $50-$60 for a cut. I have straight, mid-length hair that I don’t color.

    • Don’t have a rec in Georgetown, but if you can get to Clarendon easily, I highly recommend Casal’s of Clarendon. They book up way in advance though, so I recommend calling 3 weeks ahead of time if possible.

      • +1 to Casal’s. I’ve been going to Courtney for a little over a year now. You can also get last minute appointments pretty easily from people who book online and then cancel when they do the 48 hour reminder call.

    • I’ve been to Bang Salon a couple times and they’ve done a good job on my mid-length wavy hair. I go to their U Street location, but they have one downtown too. $50-$60 for a haircut plus tip

    • I go to and like Frizzles in Alexandria. I pay $60 but I think that’s on the lower end (I’ve been going for a while so I pay less than new clients, I think).

    • Try Jouvence Aveda at Pentagon Row. I’ve been happy with their cuts – even on a difficult pixie. Depending on what “level” stylist you work with, the prices vary. I believe most Level 1 stylists are $55 for a cut, and it goes up from there.

    • I go to Bang in Chinatown.

      • On this topic, locals….anyone have any great facialist recommendations in Arlington? (would also do old town alex) Looking for a place that does extractions…stubborn blackheads, somewhat acne prone 31 year old skin.

        • I’m the OP and I just bookmarked a facialist on Yelp who looks amazing: European Skin Care by Natalia in Old Town.

          Thanks, everyone, for your salon recs! Off to google!

        • anon a mouse :

          Pure Aesthetica in Del Ray is fantastic.

    • Rodney at Andre Chreky on K Street is fantastic. $100 for a cut, but a good one.

      • This is why I stopped going to Andre Chreky: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/city-desk/blog/13062222/andre-chreky-settles-second-sex-harassment-suit-for-7-million

    • Aquilano Salon on N. Washington in Alexandria was great and reasonably priced (below $75, I think)

    • For a haircut? Lexi at Immortal Beloved on 14th Street. It is one of those “$300 places” but her price is around $100 for a cut, and they dry finish so I find I can go longer between cuts. I have been seeing her since she was a junior stylist and have stayed with her for several years. Sadly she no longer lives in DC so is only here 4 or 5 days a month. I schedule in advance and don’t worry, but I’m sure their other associate-level cutters are great too. Easily the best hair experience I have ever had. Before this I went to Frizzles in Old Town and saw Betty or Tanisha, who were both great in the $65 range.

      Also will plug Carissa at PR Partners at Metro Center/Gallery Place, who I met through a friend and does the hair of several of my friends, and they always look great/are very happy with her.

      Frizzles or PR are better options if you also want color.

      • I use Lauren at Immortal Beloved and really like her. You can pick you price point and try different stylists and either settle on one or keep rotating.

    • Meghan Moody at 1201 Salon in Foggy Bottom! $85 for a cut, and I get stopped on the street and asked who cuts my hair. She’s been cutting my hair for about 7 years now and this never happened before her. I have short straight hair, but she also cuts friends of mine with long hair, curly hair, etc.

      • I really like 1201 Salon too. I see Mora to get my hair thermally straightened and she’s very good.

    • Anonymous :

      In Alexandria, try Salon DeZen. Ask for Passent.

  14. Let’s do a review of beauty and makeup products you’ve recently tried and loved!

    I tried the fresh sugar lips advanced therapy, in a sample from sephora and I love it, my lips haven’t felt this good in years

    • I’m really liking the Body Shop Miracle Blur primer. I like that it’s cruelty free and cheap when you catch a Body Shop sale. I also like the aloe vera night cream.

    • Sunday Riley Good Genes is amazing. I got a sample from Sephora and am seriously considering splurging on a full size bottle.

      • Just seconding this recommendation – I bit the bullet and bought a full size after getting a smaller sample in a holiday “variety pack” of products that Sunday Riley was selling at Sephora. I also love the ceramic slip facewash, although I typically just stick to Cetaphil.

      • christineispink :

        Thirding. Received a sample of this via Birchbox and could feel the smoothing/calming effect on my skin overnight. Combined this with Cane+Austin 20% pads for the month before my wedding (at night only) and my makeup artist wouldn’t stop complimenting the condition of my skin.

    • I got a sample of the Clarins Multi-Active day moisturizer with SPF 20. My skin has been looking so tired for the past few weeks, but this makes me look like I’m glowing! I’m certainly not getting anymore sleep than I was, that’s for sure.

      And if you’ve never tried it, the ELF eyeshadow primer is amazing for the money.

      Oh, and Kneipp body washes. I bought 3 the last time I was in the store. And their bath oils – I got the sampler pack of 10. If you haven’t heard of the brand, it was founded by a German man in the 1800s who was studying to be a monk, but decided to become an herbalist instead, so the company takes a very respectful, authentic approach to their products. Many things are vegan.

    • Marshmallow :

      Dr. Jart tiger grass color correcting cream. It knocks out redness and basically eliminates my need for tinted moisturizer or foundation.

    • The activated charcoal mask from Origins. I don’t know what activated charcoal is or its supposed benefit for my skin, but I have noticed significantly less acne on my face since I started using a year ago.

      • This is a classic, and very good.

        I also used this a lot when my acne was less controlled.

      • +1 – I don’t even have a problem with acne, but I notice that my skin is smoother, brighter, and feels so much cleaner after using this.

    • I recently started using micellar water to take off my makeup and it’s amazing. (I know I’m probably late to the party on this one, I just had a baby so give me a break!) I’ve always had problems with adult acne, and nothing since I started using it a few months ago. I finish up with a mattifying toner, and it’s seriously the easiest skin care routine ever!

    • No Problem :

      I bought an over the counter microdermabrasion product earlier this year for <$20. I don't remember the brand (Enlive? Enlight? something like that), but I'm sure all of the OTC varieties available are the same basic product. I've used it once a week and my combination skin is dramatically more even – no longer super oily or super dry and flaky. A few weeks ago I discovered that I don't have to wash my face the morning after I use it, which is the first time I've been able to do that since I was about 13. I advise using it in the shower because it's hard to wash off the scrub by just splashing water on your face at the sink. At this rate the jar should last me at least 4-6 months.

    • Shopaholic :

      This isn’t recent but the Body Shop makes a Vitamin E serum in oil that I use at night and is amazing. It’s one of the few products I’ve actually bought more than once… this reminds me I need a new one.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Based on a reference to the main ingredient here, I bought this

      https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LE34BQG/ref=sr_ph_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1488297789&th=1

      It’s so great! The texture is a little weird (think like, unusually viscous water?) but it has really helped smooth out my skin’s texture and relieve some redness. It’s not a miracle in a bottle, but it’s a nice addition to my routine. (Also I love having a bathroom counter that looks like a mad scientist’s lab, and this helps!)

    • Baconpancakes :

      I tried Tatcha’s Camellia Cleansing Oil, and regretted it almost immediately, because it is so good and so expensive! The delicate smell is amazing, and for the first time since giving up foaming (and drying) cleansers, when I tone my skin after, the cotton pad comes away without makeup on it. I still use regular makeup remover for my eyes most days, but I hadn’t realized just how much stuff was getting left on my face. And it doesn’t irritate my very sensitive skin and eyes at all.

      Also this won’t be news to anyone but me, but I started using Clinique’s Black Honey Almost Lipstick after being intimidated by its color for years, and I love it so much.

      • Yes! I just tried a sephora sample of it and my skin was so happy for three days until the sample ran out. But it is crazy expensive. I’m trying to find a less expensive alternative.

      • Try one of the Korean brands. They have cheap and, at least for me, good cleansing oils.

    • Acure Marula Oil. Ohhh maaahh gaaaahd, it’s amazing. I usually can’t do skin oils but this one is light, absorbs quickly and makes my skin glow like crazy.

      Also, OTC Differin gel. Working miracles on some stubborn chin blackheads but I’m also using it on a forehead wrinkle (it is a retinol) and seeing some good results.

    • Lorelei Gilmore :

      I’m spending a small fortune on good skin care these days but the product I love the most for making a visible difference is a vitamin C serum. It’s seriously amazing. Mine is Obagi.

      I also am loving Garnier micellar water.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Banila Co Clean It Zero Purity oil-based cleanser (found on Amazon). I finally gave oil-based cleaning a try based on all the recommendations on here and I love it! It clears out my always-clogged pores in a good, non-drying kind of way. I massage this into my face, rinse, and then use another very gentle cleanser. If I’m feeling lazy and don’t do this routine for a few days in a row – like I have for the past few nights – I can really tell the difference.

    • I started using Pond’s cold cream to wash my face at night based on a recommendation on this board. I love it. You rub it on, let it sit (or not) and then wipe it off with a warm washcloth. My usual dry, flaky winter skin is not a thing this year. I love it.

      And by the way, I have been acne prone my whole life. I am not experiencing any increase in breakouts since starting this three months ago. I may have fewer breakouts because my skin is not as irritated.

      My main skincare jam is R+F soothe. I know it’s a MLM but Dr Rodan is my dermatologist. I particularly love the #2 skin soothing lotion in the kit, it is everything to my sensitive skin.

      Other than that, I LOVE my Diorskin BB Cream. I apply it with a big fluffy brush and it doesn’t look like makeup but completely evens me out. I mention this on this thread because BB creams are partly skincare, partly makeup.

    • Stila liquid foundation. Super light on and dries like a powder. Nars the multiple – I bought a dusty rose and think it would be useful to have a few colors. ELF everything for trying fun colors, etc.

  15. nothing to do, right? :

    I work in an open office with assigned seating. A colleague recently moved to an open desk next to mine. Said colleague smokes cigar e t t e s before coming in to her desk, and the residual smell is driving me crazy. Not allergic but pretty scent-sensitive.

    Nothing to do, right?

    • nothing to do, right? :

      (I otherwise like my desk and wouldn’t have a viable opening to which to move.)

    • We have this probelem with Frank. He smokes ()but not in the office b/c it is banned). But his clotheing and hands stink of smoke and it is gross. Even the paper’s he hands me smell like a wet ashtray b/c he often lick’s his fingers when he turns pages in my billings he review’s. I want to tell him to wear gloves when he smokes, but that would be weird.

      I think the manageing partner is immune to his smell, but I and Lynn are not. Lynn says she would never marry a smoker, and neither would I. I also would not even date a smoker. FOOEY!

    • Diana Barry :

      This might be a question for AAM, but that sounds awful!!! Would you be able to switch desks with someone who’s not as sensitive to smells?

    • There was a discussion about this a couple of weeks ago. It’s not just an obnoxious smell, like BO or perfume, it’s actually a health hazard. Look up “thirdhand smoke” which is different than secondhand smoke, but still a health risk to those exposed to it. I would ask to move.

      • nothing to do, right? :

        Is there a way to do this without making it seem as though I blame the colleague? Obviously I DO blame the colleague, because seriously, who the he** still smokes cigare t t e s, but I otherwise enjoy working with this person. I’m also not sure there’s anywhere I could move that would still have reasonable access to things like my boss’s desk (on the other side of mine) and my huge bank of non-portable files.

        Sigh. Small office problems.

        • I would definitely ask to move. This is a health issue/not entirely personal. And if she takes it personally thats her problem (and youre right, who the he** still smokes cigs???). Sorry youre dealing with this =(

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          If moving really isn’t an option than you need to find other ways to co-exist. Could you tell her that you are sensitive to smoke and ask her to keep her jacket near the door/away from your desk? Ask that she always wear something over her clothes when she goes out to smoke so it doesn’t come back in on her clothes? Try an air filter?

          If you know which way the air circulates in your office, it might help to swap desk with her so that you are not downwind from her (if that is part of the problem). Also she can try to stand in a way that the wind blows the smoke away from her outside rather than back on her.

        • No Problem :

          Ask for your colleague to move, not for you to move. You were there first and she’s the one creating the problem.

        • Interesting. It’s my sense that cigarette smoking now has something to do with class. Unless you are not American, in which case the answer to “who still smokes cigarettes” is LOTS OF PEOPLE.

    • Definitely ask to move. Thirdhand smoke has serious health effects. This isn’t worth being “nice” over – get yourself moved somewhere else ASAP.

    • Like the perfume wars last week sort of. Where do you draw the line. I am a super smeller (it’s not a gift, it’s a curse) and I can smell that Tony has had another cigarette, Janet has had garlic for lunch, Justin is on his fifth cup of coffee and doesn’t seem to have brushed his feet this morning, and Mark has a mildew smell that either means he needs new shoes or needs to stop leaving his wet clothes in the washing machine for so long.

      I don’t know what to do about all of these things either. They all bother me. Maybe Garlic Janet is writing a post right now saying Anon wears perfume and should be strung up. But I wear perfume on my wrist so that I can take a deep whiff of it during the day when all of these other smells are making me feel queasy.

      • Mod bot got me. Basically, everyone smells like something. You have to figure out where you draw the line. But I don’t think you can go around policing how people smell. What about BO or foot odor or clothing odor or coffee breath? I smell them all equally and just deal with it.

        • Cig smoke is totally different than BO or foot odor or clothing odor or coffee breath. Those things are gross, but they present no risk to your health. Cig smoke residue does.

          • I just looked this up to see what you’re talking about. It seems the only real, documented hazard is to infants and children who crawl on floors in rooms with residual smoke. That is different from smoke residue on clothing and hair on the person sitting at a desk near you. There’s no demonstrated risk to adults from that exposure. You’d basically have to lick your coworker to get any measurable exposure.

            I’m not a smoker and I hate the smell. I just want to be sure we’re talking about facts and not myths when these things come up.

  16. 529 question :

    Some mentioned 529s yesterday which prompted me to throw this out there. We definitely plan on starting a 529 for our kids as they’re born, but isn’t it (extremely) possible that you end up with more money than you need? Say your kids decide not to go to a 4-year university, go to a cheaper state school than you expected, or get a huge scholarship. I wish I could say I’d be generous and use it for nieces/nephews, grandkids, etc– but in reality I would feel like we had wasted money that we could have used elsewhere. Am I missing something?

    • You can put it towards graduate school for the kids (your choice whether that’s a gift, no-interest loan from the Bank of Mom & Dad, etc.). I’ve also heard of parents using it to go back to school or take 1-2 night classes at the local community college/university to augment their professional skills (particularly if one parent stayed at home to raise the kids and has been out of the workforce for a while).

      Others here will be much more knowledgeable on the subject, but I think it’s fairly easy to change the beneficiary if there’s leftover money after your kids are done with their schooling.

      • But if you’re trying to save enough for four years of private college, e.g., $250k per kid, and your kids end up going to state schools, it’s going to be really hard to use all that money on night classes for the parents, which run a few hundred dollars a piece. Many people also don’t go to graduate school or go to a program that covers their tuition and pays a stipend. It seems like way too big a gamble to me.

    • nope

      I have small 529s for my two children (approx 40 years younger than me), but hoard my $ for me. My family lives into their 90s and when my children are in their 50s/60s, they shouldn’t be taking care of me financially.

    • I have the same concern. It’s easy to change the beneficiary, but we plan to only have one child and I certainly do not want to give $200k to my nieces or nephews. I’d be happy to help them out a little, but certainly not to that degree. I did read that 529s can be used for room and board, so I expect we’ll put $25k or so in a 529. Even if our kid goes to a state school or gets a full tuition ride, they’ll probably still need help with books and living expenses (and same thing for grad school, even if they get a scholarship or do a program that covers their tuition). I believe you can access the money for non-educational expenses, but you have to pay a large penalty, so a 529 will not be our primary college savings vehicle.

    • You don’t have to put all your college savings in a 529. If you’re worried about wasting, then put your estimated minimum likely cost of college in the 529, and save some extra in a normal investment account.

    • You can use it for any family member, not just the child whose name is on the account. If your child gets a scholarship, you can withdraw the amount of the scholarship money from the account without paying a penalty. If they just go to a cheap state school, I don’t think that’s a qualifying withdrawal. But it is your money, like a 401(k)– you can always withdraw it, even if it’s not for a “qualifying” reason. If you withdraw for a nonqualifying purpose, however, you are subject to paying taxes on the earnings (which you would have to do for any other investment other than tax-advantaged retirement accounts) and a 10 percent penalty.

      In my state (NY), there are tax advantages to funding a 529, so I feel like it’s worth it because my kids will probably need it, so I’m more likely to get the benefit of it than have to pay a penalty, but in the off-chance that I would be hit with a penalty in several decades, I’ll take it because the money will be there.

    • I would put the equivalent of four years at your state school in a 529, and use other savings mechanisms for the rest. You can cash out 529s if you want to, but there are withdrawal penalties. At least according to the students I work with, it’s also a pain to use 529 funds for anything not billed through my students’ university accounts, like rent for an off-campus apartment or whatever.

      • Right now my goal is 2 years at State U for each child (currently in grade school; State U in my state is (total out of pocket at most expensive school) 25K/year. At that point, I’ll stop contributing and just let the $ grow. It probably won’t cover everything, but would cover something like community college if they don’t go to a 4-year school and will be a good head start on anything beyond that. Plus, I’d like to think that they think of that $ as theirs and spend it wisely (and/or apply for scholarships) among the degrees/certificates they chose to pursue.

        Perfectly funding 4 years in private college is not going to happen and ties up too much $ that I will probably need to live on (my grandmother is 97 and still lives at home).

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Right now (kid is two) I put in $100/month. I’m not one of the super high earners on this site, so maybe that’s why, but if I keep going at this rate I anticipate having about $25k for her by the time she’s college ready. Which is a huge chunk of change for me, but it’ll disappear when she goes to school. So I guess that’s how I don’t worry about it — and if she ends up pursuing plumbing (her current dream) or getting a badminton scholarship or whatever, it can still cover room and board and such.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Same. I will contribute what I can afford, while also saving for my own retirement so that I don’t become a burden on her when she’s in her 40s, 50s, and 60s. One thing that I wish I had done was pursue merit and need-based scholarships more aggressively, and I’ll be pushing my kid(s) to do that too.

    • This is in fact one of the primary arguments against 529s.

    • This is why I decided not to open a 529.

      • +1. We have only one child for whom very expensive private college with no aid or great state school with full ride are both realistic possibilities. We do not want to risk tying money up in a 529.

        We are prioritizing retirement savings with additional general savings in cash (some of which will be invested once the cash account hits critical mass). The plan is to fund the kid’s education out of current income, supplementing with money from general savings if necessary.

        • This. And quite frankly I don’t quite trust the state government not to raid a 529. I’ve also been a federal government employee where the government temporarily borrowed from the TSP, and that made me nervous enough that, after meeting the match, I place any extra money in other investment vehicles.

    • 529 question :

      Thank you! Your responses have pretty much confirmed what I was thinking, so I’ll go ahead and view future 529 contributions with a grain of salt…

      • The advantage of a 529, esp. if you have a high income, is that the savings is insulated from taxes during the years that it’s in the account. So, if you invested $50k in a 529 and just let it sit for a decade til your kid is college aged, you get all the interest/dividends that may accrue in that time tax-free. And, as I understand it, if you withdraw the funds to pay for qualified educational expenses, then you pay no tax on the withdrawal either. If you withdraw the funds for another reason, then you pay tax + 10% penalty — but you’ve still enjoyed however-many-years of tax-free growth. So, I agree that you may not want to drop $500k in there, but I don’t think it makes sense to just ignore the tax-free growth because of the risk of over-contributing. I’m shooting to end up with in-state tuition at my state’s public college in each of my kid’s 529s. If they don’t need it — awesome.

        • But if you invest in a tax-advantaged mutual fund (say Vanguard’s admiral shares or whatever they’re called) or something that’s more growth than dividend-producing, you really get a lot of deferral without tying your hands like you do with a 529.

        • Anonymous :

          You only pay tax on the growth–you have already paid the tax on the deferral. And if you live in a state that allows for a deduction, the tax/ 10% penalty is a wash if your kids get free rides/ go a non college route (Bill Gates themselves). So if you do withdraw for an Audi R8—because you deserve it. The tax penalty is only on “found” money–which seems like a fair trade if you luck out in this way!

      • Per my FA, the best strategy is (if you are able) to fund the full $16K ($8K for each adult earner in the house) for an initial four or five years (the earlier the better, but definitely before age 7) and then sit back. If you have more kids, then the answer is easy; keep funding for four or five more years so that you can “fund down” to the next child/ren. If not, then wait and see where the kid is headed at age 9 or 10 and again at 14 or 15 and then resume funding at that point if reasonable or necessary.

        Also, keep in mind that the 529 is an excellent tool to tax protect funds even while your child is in school; you effectively can fund in one calendar year to use the next!

    • “According to the College Savings Plan Network, the average family with a 529 has a balance of close to $21,000” — were you going to put $250k in a single account, or just a bit here & there, like most people? I have some $ in 529 plans, some in Education Savings Accounts, and some just sitting in the bank. I find the 529 plan in my state is easy to use, gets me a tax deduction on my state taxes every year, and has increased quite nicely in a low-fee target-date fund. The earnings are enough to pay for one year of in-state school, actually — we’re getting close to needing that money now.

      • 529 question :

        I suppose I mistakenly thought that people’s (especially those on this site) balances were much, much higher. Like in the several hundred thousands.

        • We have 529s for both kids and current balances are in the low-t0-mid five figures for our 6 and 4 year olds respectively. We’re aiming to fund 4 years at state schools (which the online calculator tells me is around $170K by 2029). I think once we hit around $100K (in several years), we may evaluate whether it makes sense to keep funding within a 529 or move it elsewhere.

          Now I’m wondering if there *are* people with several hundreds of thousand in 529s…

          • Anonymous :

            We have two kids approaching college age. We’ve been contributing to 529 plans since they were little–amount varied from $100-$200 in the daycare years to $1000/month recently. We now have 4 years of in-state tuition and living costs set aside for each of them (yes, hundreds of thousands in total).

            I don’t regret it. In fact, I find that it provides me with some mental freedom to know that I’ve done what I planned to do for their education as I continue to plan for my retirement. It takes some drama out of the college selection process.

            College is just one part of our overall financial planning and we were fortunate to be able to save to help our kids with college without compromising our retirement planning. No matter your income level, I’d encourage you to be clear on your goal from an early stage and consistently work towards that goal. Contributions over time add up.

            And check the rules–there are certain exceptions to the penalty for non-qualified distributions.

    • I am funding enough for each of my kids to pay tuition for four years at a state school. Any living expenses, books, etc will come out of my current (at that time) income. Any leftovers are a gift for my hopefully future grandchildren! Think about it. Some of the money I started putting in when my daughter was born might pay for her kids someday. This probably seems unrealistic to someone who doesn’t have kids yet but my daughter is 16 and my son is 14 and it’s possible I will have grandkids in the next 10 years (hopefully not in the next 5 years!)

  17. I recently bought a Travelon shoulder bag, a brand someone here recommended. It’s a well-designed nylon bag for a very reasonable price. The fabric has some structure but is lightweight. It has a lot of safety features and good pockets/compartments. I like it well enough that I’m considering buying a tote as well. I’ll post a link.

  18. what type of help? :

    My SO has asked me to assist in finding him a resource — therapist, counselor, whatever — that can help him with the following issue, but I’m not sure what type of resource would be the most beneficial. Hopefully, one of you wise ladies will have some suggestions for a specialty or particular option that may be especially helpful so I know what I am looking for?

    My SO is an amazingly successful professional in a high pressure environment but has, for an extended period of time, struggled to fully control his work life and productivity. For example, he’ll end up with/take on too many projects, delay going to work for hours, put off tasks until they become critical, and then work until 4am to finish. And then do it all over again the next day. From my (totally amateur) perspective, I see difficulties setting boundaries and then feeling overwhelmed and avoidance kicking in until panicked productivity takes over. Overall, it’s impacting the rest of his life and is unsustainable, and he’s ready to make a change but needs some guidance or assistance.

    What or who am I looking for here? An EAP isn’t an option.

    • Calibrachoa :

      That sounds a lot like something ADD-related – I think he should look into getting a diagnosis (or an all-clear) from a mental health professional.

      • anon anon armani :

        On top of a potential diagnosis (or in lieu of) … a Life Coach who specializes in adult ADHD will be helpful. Daily check in phone calls and plans of effective attacks/strategies.

        I recommend people to the following.

        • ADD Resources’ National ADHD Directory of Service Providers and Products (www.addresources.org)

      • Yep, sounds like ADD. You can have it and be high functioning. Find a psychiatrist who specializes in it and can diagnose.

    • I’d say therapy. This is classic perfectionist/anxiety behavior.

    • Sounds like an executive function issue to me. Maybe a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist?

    • I am impressed that you have convinced him to see someone, as in my experience, many folks (especially men?) do not admit this is a problem. This behavior is often due to behavioral traits/preferences rather than pathology (ex. ADD). In can be very, very hard to change these behaviors, without a lot of motivation (and sometimes therapy/CBT/Medication). But maybe you are the motivation!

      I would start with a primary care visit if he hasn’t had his yearly physical, and then get a referral to a therapist. If you post your city, others on the board may make suggestions.

    • Thanks for all of the insight and advice so far! If it helps guide any further input, I cannot fathom this as related to ADD/ADHD. That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have it ruled out, but he doesn’t have any similar problem or issue in other areas of his life. I would tend to think it is more likely behavioral, if for no other reason than it is tied strictly to his work. Perfectionism and anxiety also ring true.

      If a therapist is what I’m looking for, would any CBT therapist do? Or would a particular specialty be helpful? He wants the help (it’s his idea!), but (realistically) he has super limited time, so I don’t know that he really has the ability or inclination to “therapist shop” so the more narrowly tailored the recommendations can be, the better. We are outside the US, so that also limits some options. Thanks, all!

      • Huh, I didn’t think ADD, I just think failure to plan and realize how much time things cost. Not everything is a disorder.

      • Fwiw, you don’t have to be a mess at everything to have ADD – you can be totally high functioning and still have trouble concentrating on work. There’s a lot more to it, but your description sounds a lot like it. I’d really start here and go to other therapy if that’s not the case.

    • Sounds like ADD to me. Why not start with a therapist/psychiatrist and see what they recommend?

      • Also, there’s probably more than one way to skin a cat here, so don’t get hung up on trying to find The Perfect and Best Solution.

  19. Visiting family in LA in April and planning a two night trip to Catalina Island. We will have about 8 adults, two toddlers, and a baby. Advice? Recommendations? Looks like it is pretty small and walkable.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Glass bottom boat! Look at the fishes! Also the Skyline bus tour to the top of the island is popular and my then-young son loved it — you can see herds of buffalo — but be warned: I’m not great with heights and I was petrified on the narrow winding roads. The tour of the casino is fun for adults if you’re into that kind of thing (historic architecture) although I’m not sure how the littles would like it. Mostly I’d say enjoy the beach and the beachfront shops and restaurants and ice cream stands.

  20. Silly question, but for those of you that post on here regularly, how do you interact with the website? I’m relatively new and have posted a few times, but I’ve struggled with monitoring additional comments in a timely manner. I use a g-mail account and if I sign up for follow-up comment notifications, I get inundated with emails that don’t provide the context for the additional comments. I’ve also tried keeping a tab open and refreshing the page, but without any notification I inevitably get busy and forget to check. This option is also tedious because I have to control-f for the threads I’m participating in. There must be a more efficient way, right? Show me the light!

    • On slow days I follow it too much. On busy days I don’t follow it at all.

      Basically I keep the window open on my iPhone and check it once in a while. I scroll past the posts about weddings and law firms and where to travel without Zika while TTC and look for updates on any posts that interest me. Probably once every 15 minutes or so on a slow day, if I’m being honest.

      • Same here. I open it in incognito. I tend to remember the threads I’m interested in, so it’s easier for me to just go back and collapse them and scroll to the right one rather than get emailed notifications.

    • If there is one, I haven’t figured it out. I wish the site had a way to follow/sign up for particular threads instead of just all comments.

    • Calibrachoa :

      I have gmail open in a window and scroll through it occasionally as time permits, and when a comment looks interesting I open up the post and ctrl f my way through

    • I stopped the gmail alerts immediately.

      If I post a question, I look back once or twice in the hour or two after, to respond/give more info if needed. Maybe then I look again later in the day. I try to post early in the morning threads, as those tend to get the most responses. The afternoon threads tend to die a slow death, so I avoid those.

      But when I’m asking for a mascara recommendation, or even a more serious question, there is no urgency for you to respond again… you know? This isn’t a school assignment. It’s “fun”.

      I wish Kat would actually put up the first post earlier in the morning, to allow us early risers out west and the commuting to work crowd out East to get the discussion going.

      • I wish Kat would refine the email function so that you can subscribe to specific threads. This absolutely can be done if you have IT support.

  21. she's all that :

    Just wanted to follow up on yesterday’s thread about conventional attractiveness to offer a real-life anecdote: I had a colleague once who literally wore overalls and glasses and generally seemed (through other habits) not to care at all about her appearance. Upon first meeting her, I noticed how conventionally attractive she would be if she chose to play up certain elements of her appearance, and although this is embarrassing to admit, I wondered if she didn’t know how to do that or didn’t realize that such presentation was an option for her.

    I got to know her a bit better and learned that she was also a part-time glamour and burl*sque model. The position in which I knew her actually was more suited to overalls and glasses than false eyelashes and l*ngerie, but that didn’t mean she didn’t have access to–and was rewarded handsomely for–that other mode of presentation.

    So, just saying. It’s not just in Hollywood!

    • Yes, my friends who are/were models purposefully dress down their looks, add glasses instead of contacts etc… to try to minimize the (wrong) attention they receive in the workplace.

    • I didn’t see yesterday’s thread but I had a conversation about this with my mom. She made the comment about celebrities being more beautiful than the general population. I totally disagreed. Celebrities just have more tools available to make themselves look good – make up artists, personal stylists, personal trainers, nutritionists and chefs, etc.

      • I think it’s both. They definitely look way better thanks to all that stuff, but I also think most them are significantly more attractive than average to begin with.

    • I didn’t see yesterday’s thread either, wish I had. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately since in my youth I wanted to be taken seriously in an intense academic environment. So I cut off my long hair, started wearing glasses all of the time, and mostly stopped using makeup and the diminutive form of my name (=Trish). 30 years later I am still in academia but find myself less worried about being too pretty for the environment. Not that I am super-gorgeous or anything!

    • I don’t wear make up at work because I was so tired of being hit on. I still get flirty comments occasionally but not nearly as bad. Make up is strictly a free time thing now.

  22. I love this dress! I wish it were about 4″ longer and came in my size (borderline plus)

  23. Is it too late to open a Roth IRA and contribute the 2016 max? I’m thinking of filing my taxes this week or next and realized that I’m not doing as much for retirement as I should.

    I’ve heard of Vanguard and Charles Schwab – any recs on which to go with?
    (I’m leaning Charles Schwab because I’ve heard it’s a good idea to also open a checking account with them because you can use any ATM worldwide for free and you can easily add money into your Roth IRA from that checking account. With that said, if other companies are better, I’d love to hear about them!)

    • Nope, the deadline is in April.

    • Free worldwide ATMs doesn’t sound like it would really be that much value? I might use an ATM 3 or 4 times while traveling, adding up to fees of, what, $15 or 20? I would compare the fees they charge for handling your money.

      Plus adding money to an IRA can be automated basically no matter where you keep it.

    • You have until tax day to contribute to a Roth IRA. I don’t know what Charles Schwab’s rates are, but generally Vanguard has some of the lowest fees around so I’d recommend them over just about anything else. No reason you can’t have a Vanguard IRA and a checking at Charles Schwab.

    • I have Fidelity and Vanguard. Vanguard is my preference for low fees and reputation/philosophy, and is where I put all new IRA investments. The only reason all my $$ isn’t at Vanguard is I started with Fidelity decades ago, and also switched other financial vehicles to them. I have a “bank account” with them which is similar to what you describe with Schwab. Works great. I withdraw money from practically any ATM for no fees, take pictures of checks and “deposit” electronically with the Fidelity App. I also have the Fidelity VISA credit card, which gives me 2% back CASH on everything. I don’t travel much, so this is my primary credit card.

      So yes – open up ROTH now/before April 15 for 2016….. and do 2017 at the same time!!!!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Keep in mind there are income limits for getting the tax benefits. No idea if you are in that ballpark or not but they are lower than I thought they would be.

    • Thanks!

  24. I’m donating a restaurant gift card to a charity raffle at a bar association event. I’m doing this for business development purposes, so I’d like to get my name out there both when the GC is sitting on the raffle table and to whomever ends up with the GC. How do I do that? A note card? My business card? What should the note card say?

    • The bar association will have their own guidelines as to how it is presented. Best ask the donation intake person.

    • Maybe buy one of those GC sleeves that you can put the GC in (or maybe the restaurant will provide one) and write your note on there– that way it looks more like it was included and less like you attached a separate note. As for wording, maybe just: “Donated by [company name/your name]. Enjoy!”

  25. I am getting married in October. My fiance is having a bachelor party, but I’m not sold on having a bachelorette. Did any of you do anything non-bachelorette before your wedding, like a solo trip somewhere or something to mark the start of a new chapter?

    • A few bach parties I’ve been to and enjoyed:
      -girls’ weekends to a fun city in the US (Vegas, Nashville, Charleston, New Orleans and Miami are popular) – you can make it as rowdy or unrowdy as you want, just make sure everyone going knows in advance whether it’s going to be a “hitting the bars all night” trip or a “eating at nice restaurants and lounging by the pool” trip.
      -spa days
      -cooking classes
      -pajama/movie nights at home

      I think it’s fun to do something with your closest girlfriends to mark the occasion but most of my friends have not done the crazy partying thing.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I didn’t have a bachelorette party per se, but a friend put together a luncheon followed by a group trip to the Korean Day Spa for about 10 friends. (Yes, the kind where you are totally nude.) It was a blast. A BLAST. Not all my friends were into it, of course, but it was fun to see who was game, and the friend who I thought was the very last person who’d strip in (semi-) public was the one who loved it the most.

      • Senior Attorney :

        My post about the Korean day spa is in moderation, but coming back to say of course there was full disclosure about the nudity when the invitations went out.

      • I love this idea – thank you!

    • Veronica Mars :

      I want to have a Bob Ross painting party for my batchelorette where we all make happy little trees and drink a crapton of wine.

      • This is totally going to out me if any of you are friends with me on social media, but my office actually did this recently as a bonding activity. (Though instead of wine, there was Crystal Pepsi and vodka.) It was hilarious.

      • My two good friends love doing this – this is low key and fun. Last time I did something like this – actually, the only time – we were painting a “snowy bridge over a river” scene. My bridge looked just like a stingray. It was amazing! My trees were excellent, thanks to Mr. Ross, however! Thanks for the suggestion!

    • anon a mouse :

      I went to a lovely “beach day” non-bach party. The bride was based in Philadelphia and we all met up for brunch, then went to the shore for the day. Her mother brought umbrellas and beach blankets and coolers with snacks and drinks. It was so, so relaxing.

    • The real purpose of a bachelor(ette) party is to tell your friends they’re important to you as you start a new chapter in your life. No need to do anything crazy – you can certainly accomplish the same thing with a night of movies and pizza. You can take a solo trip to mark the occasion but it won’t serve the same purpose. (FWIW, I did some solo things before getting married, including buying myself some v. expensive jewelry, knowing that it was the last time I’d be able to spend that kind of money on myself without any discussion.)

      • “The real purpose of a bachelor(ette) party is to tell your friends they’re important to you as you start a new chapter in your life.” You stated it so well. The boozy events are often not fun for the participants, and honestly look a little sad to me, like someone is trying too hard. A solo trip sounds amazing, or a trip with a good friend. or a sibling. You won’t as much sibling time, either, after marriage.

    • Marshmallow :

      If you’re not into the idea of a party, don’t feel like you need to have one! I think a solo trip sounds fantastic.

      I had a one-night, local bachelorette party the weekend before my wedding. People dropped in and out for different portions of the event as their schedule and budgets allowed. It was not over the top but it was perfect for me and my group of friends. You don’t have to go totally crazy if that isn’t your style.

    • I’ve never heard of anyone doing this, but it sounds like a great idea. My version of doing this might have been going on a trip with only a few of my closest friends (who also happened to be my bridesmaids), but not making it a bachelorette party at all. I only suggest this because I would have more fun with a few friends than on a solo trip, but YMMV

    • Veronica Mars :

      Went in moderation the first time– my dream is to do a Bob Ross painting party for my bach and drink a crapton of wine while making happy little trees.

    • What about a paint night with wine/snacks? The painting is a great souvenir of the evening.

    • I enjoyed dinner at my favorite dive mexican restaurant with a group of six or so close friends. It was exactly the kind of low key evening I was looking for.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Not yet married, but when my best friend got married, her bachelorette party was dinner and bowling, and it was awesome. Everyone lived in different cities/countries, so we all convened two nights before the wedding. Worked out great.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. DH and I both had geographically diverse friend groups, so local bach parties didn’t make a lot of sense and I wasn’t wild about the traditional male bach party at a str!p club (he wasn’t eager to do it, but his friends were), so we did a joint bach party two nights before our destination-ish wedding with the friends who were already in town. It was just a local pub crawl, so it was really low-key, but a lot of fun and a chance to hang with all our friends on the wedding weekend, which was nice since at the wedding itself we spent a lot of time talking to extended family members and our parents’ friends.

    • Anonymous :

      My bridesmaids/closest friends all live in different states, so we didn’t get together ’til the night before the rehearsal dinner. I ended up planning the event myself. We went out for (fancy) pizza and then watched movies at one of my friend’s parents’ house. It was pretty low-key, but it was like the sort of thing we did when we were in high school and college, so there was a nice nostalgia to it.

    • This isn’t a euphemism: I bought some fancy plants (trees, shrubs, really expensive bulbs) for my garden. (There’s some tradition to this in our family–I got an apple tree for my 16th birthday, and partner got themselves a tree for a more recent milestone birthday.)

      Also, a few friends and I went to yoga together and then had lunch afterwards. Super low-key, but the togetherness was nice.

  26. Can you push someone to make friends if they never have (someone close to me – not a coworker or something). Almost 40 now. Painfully quiet in K-12 — excellent student who went to school and came home; not part of the school fun at all – not even part of it in the way the quiet kids will hang out on the edges and/or attach themselves to more outgoing friends. Excellent college – same thing – and in college it’s much easier to not interact at all bc if you don’t reach out to people, they don’t know you and don’t care who you are (at least at this big university). Same thing with jobs – 1st job had LOTS of young peers (banking) – again no hanging out AT ALL outside of work. Next (current) job is more of a go to work/come home environment with no chances for friendship as she’s working with people who need to get home asap to put dinner on the table etc.

    I’ve always though – people are who they are, not up to me to judge/change them. But she seems unhappy, lonely, and is pretty much a Debbie downer often now. I honestly feel she should have social interaction that isn’t just me. Yet I can’t do that for a grown adult (who lives in a different city also) — I can’t set up a playdate. And yet I feel bad/guilty. Anything I can do?? Suggestions to even go to alumni events held by the college in her city (like speakers etc. — not the parties thrown by 22 yr old grads) are ignored. And knowing her – I can see her attending, watching the speech, standing quietly in the corner for 5 min and leaving — i.e. not trying to say hi/meet a person or 2 in even a surface level kind of way. WWYD? I want to help but how?

    • Anonymous :

      I would focus less coming up with events where she would feel pressured to make friends. Continue to socialize with her – invite her to events or activities where you would enjoy her presence (you’re trying a new yoga class or starting a book club, does she want to come). Also invite her to solo activities just the two of you – does she want to come over and watch the Academy Awards together? etc.

    • Senior Attorney :

      My firm rule is People are Not Improvement Projects. You have made suggestions and they have been ignored.

      The only thing I can think of is maybe saying “You seem lonely and unhappy. Are you okay? Is there anything I can do?” And then listen and see what comes out of that.

      But generally people are who they are and well-meaning friends and relations can’t change that.

    • Anonymous :

      Your friend sounds a lot like my sister. My sister was always shy, but an abusive romantic relationship in high school pretty much destroyed her interest/ability in developing friendships (let alone dating). Just last month she moved cross-country to start a new job. I try to encourage her to pursue activities she enjoys–e.g. fitness class, cooking class, book club– but there’s not a whole lot I can do from halfway across the country. What she really needs is to see a counselor to work through her social anxiety and emotional issues, but that has to be her decision. It’s hard not being able to help.

  27. PSA: uniqlo has a “UV CUT JERSEY JACKET” for $40 that is lightweight and a nice length (for me — I thought it looked long on the model but hit perfectly in real life) for those who are looking for a jersey/ponte blazer. I thought the grey looked too much like sweatshirt fabric but the black/blue/ivory were all nice, and I bought the black to keep at work in my business-business casual office.

  28. Dating vent :

    I had the shortest first date ever last week and I thought you all would get a kick out of this train wreck. Met this guy through Bumble. I knew as soon as we met in person that it wasn’t going to be a match – poor posture, no eye contact, sloppily dressed – but I figured we would have a perfectly pleasant hour or so of conversation. He proceeds to talk about himself for 20 minutes without taking a breath before asking me, “So what should I know about you?” Um idk maybe not to cut me off when I try to insert polite “oh that’s interesting” type comments in your monologue? I came here to have a conversation with you, not to exchange presentations?

    I talked about what I’d done over the weekend, which apparently wasn’t what he was looking for because he cut me off with, “I’m very politically conservative.” I smiled and nodded while he talked about second amendment rights, being pro-life, and voting for Trump. I wasn’t going to engage, I promise; I said “ok, thank you for sharing” and tried to change the subject. But then he said, “Basically I just want the government to keep its hands off me.” And I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut. So I responded, “You want the government to keep its hands off YOU. You don’t want the government to keep its hands off ME?” He tried to claim that people can believe what they want about abortion rights, he just thinks it’s wrong. “OK so then you’re like Joe Biden – you personally believe abortion is wrong but you think the government should keep its hands off people? So you’re pro-choice?”

    And that’s when he told me it wasn’t going to work and got up to pay the check. I had half a beer but I figured OK we’re leaving that’s fine. He seemed perplexed and said, “Aren’t you staying to finish your beer?” Uh, no? I guess he thought he was going to get up and storm out and leave me there? The whole thing took 35 minutes start to finish.

    • Ugh. He sounds awful. At least you didn’t waste that much time? And got a slightly amusing story to tell?

    • Guy sounds like a total loser in every way. Sorry you had to even meet him!

    • You are my hero. What a drip. Next!

    • My best friend works in the wind power industry. She went on a blind date where she introduced herself, he asked her what she did, he immediately went on a rant and began insulting her job becausegreen energy would be unsustainable without subsidies and that he didn’t believe in anything green or environmental anyway. About four minutes into his rant, before the waitress had even taken drink orders (or she had gotten another word in edgewise), she said, “Thanks so much, I don’t think we’re a match” and left. Sometimes people are single for a reason. No social graces whatsoever.

      • I don’t get people like this. My 1 rule of conversation is to ask people things about themselves and whatever it is, say something nice about it. People like people who are nice to them. How hard is that?

      • Senior Attorney :

        And yay for your friend for just getting the heck out!

      • Snaps to your friend! I strive for this kind of polite but firm refusal to tolerate nonsense in my own life.

    • How dare you not finish your beer!!!

      Srsly, good riddance.

  29. Any recommendations for places to sell handbags online? I’m looking to unload some items that I just don’t use anymore but have no idea where to start. I don’t mind donating some of them, but one bag was barely used and kind of expensive.

    • If you want to sell them on one of the services like ThredUp, they make it easy for you, but they have to be in near-perfect condition. Otherwise you would be selling them yourself on something like eBay. If you go this route, be very clear about any flaws, even if they seem minor to you.

      I usually end up donating because the itemized deduction is worth more to me. And I like supporting places like Dress for Success.

    • Poshmark or eBay. Don’t sell anything expensive through ThredUp. They give you pennies on the dollar, which is fine for getting rid of a couple bags full of Banana and Ann Taylor clothing, but if you have a barely used designer handbag, you’re going to want to sell it yourself.

      • Anonymous :

        If you’re thinking eBay, be sure to check the prices of recently sold items similar to yours. Also look to see whether items like yours have been more successful as auctions or Buy It Now listings.

      • Tradesy.

      • +1. I mostly sell Banana, J.Crew type stuff on ThredUp because it’s clothes and quantity that I would normally give away, so why not get a few bucks out of it and let them donate what they can’t sell? If it is one pricey, designer item, I would try eBay or the like. Some people like Poshmark. I have heard of rebagg but never used it. There are great designer consignment stores in my city, too, so that might be worth looking into.

  30. White Jade studs - Earrings :

    Yeah or nay for these earrings as daily workplace/everyday staples. I have a short pixie cut.

    White jade studs. Like the size of a nice sized pearl. But white. Up close you can see tiny waves of texture, due to the jade.

    Yeah or nay?

    Something makes me think…. grandma…. No?

    • It sounds good, especially for work. However, given the sheer fact that you’ve posted this message, don’t buy them. You’re clearly not in love with them, why should you buy yourself jewellery that you don’t fully like and that doesn’t make you feel good, pulled together and confident?

    • Yay -sounds classic to me. I like a little grandma depending on the outfit and the wearer. Preppy balances edgy, old balances young, masculine with feminine,etc. that said, they’re a nay if you’re not feeling them (and it sounds like you’re not.)

    • No those sound perfectly nice. What would make you think grandma?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Why not?

    • I have a short pixie cut, and I love jade. If you’re not going to buy them, let me know where you found them, and I will! :)

    • White Jade studs - Earrings :

      Thanks everyone. I actually found these in my earring drawer. They were probably my Mom’s. Only recently started wearing earrings again when I cut my hair short.

      I’m not sure why they look a little “grandma” to me….. something about the stark white? I just can’t put my finger on it….

      Thanks though Suburban…. I really smiled with your “I like a little bit grandma depending on the outfit….”

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