Tuesday’s TPS Report: Bentley Ombre Tweed Jacket

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

Lafayette 148 New York Bentley Ombre Tweed JacketI continue to be obsessed with the Off Fifth sale going on right now. Today I’m liking this bright, happy, and yes, Very Springy ombre tweed jacket from Lafayette 148 New York. I think the solid side panels are flattering and interesting, too. The jacket was $548, but is now marked to $210 at Off Fifth. Lafayette 148 New York Bentley Ombre Tweed Jacket

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Comments

  1. Timbuk2 bags :

    Can anyone recommend their favorite messenger bag or backpack from Timbuk2? I’m looking for something relatively sleek/somewhat stylish that will also enable me to walk or bike about three miles to work in comfort. I’d like to be able to fit my lunch, a laptop, and a water bottle in addition to my usual small purse items. Can anyone speak to the quality of the company’s products in general? TIA!

    • Mine have held up really well. I have one of the smaller messenger bags that’s twelve years old and is still in good shape, though the color has faded some. I also have one of their laptop bags (with a padded laptop sleeve built in), which is great for travel and short walks, but is sort of heavy and stiff for biking – I carry it on my shoulder, not messenger style. It’s black and looks sufficiently professional for my purposes (science/academia). It still looks almost new, and I’ve had it for at least six or seven years. Biking with a laptop in a messenger bag is uncomfortable, though, unless it’s really small. For me, at least, it’s just too big and hard to have resting on my back, but I’m sure it depends on your size and bike type.

    • Wildkitten :

      Their stuff holds up really well and they have really good customer service if like, your dog chews all the buckles on your bag, for example. You might want the cross strap in addition to the regular strap. Have you considered just putting your stuff in panniers? Timbuk2 makes a neat pannier bag – not professional, but it looks very functional: http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/products/tandem-bike-pannier-bag

      • Timbuk2 bags :

        This pannier looks awesome, but I’d kind of prefer to buy just one bag and I’m not sure it would be as versatile as a backpack or messenger bag for travel. I’ll definitely take a closer look and maybe try it out, though! Thanks!

    • We have the medium and large sizes of the Command Laptop TSA-Friendly messenger bag. We have an original messenger bag – 10+ years old – that has also held up great, but I like the Command bags better. Even the medium fits a ton of stuff – I think it would easily fit your list – and still looks relatively sleek and is pretty light. It’s also a great carry-on for air travel (you don’t have to remove your laptop and it has the sleeve to go over your rollerboard handle).

    • CapHillAnon :

      I don’t have a messenger or backpack from Timbuk2, but I can speak to their products generally. I have the Wingman as my main (recreational) travel bag. The quality is really good, and the design is just smart. And, off-topic, but as a PSA: I’ve taken my Wingman on two multi-week international trips as my main bag and been really happy with it. It’s really versatile and can fit an incredible amount of stuff, while still being technically a carry-on. Also, because it isn’t a rollerboard, flight crew are usually more accomodating in terms of letting it on crowded flights. It’s not leather and looks a bit sporty, which is the only reason why I don’t use it for business travel. But I love it.

    • Timbuk2 bags :

      Thanks for the recommendations, everyone! It sounds like people are generally impressed with the quality – that’s really what I’m aiming for these days (buying less stuff of higher quality) and I think some type of their bag will be the ticket.

      • Wildkitten :

        I’ve also gotten old models in weird colors for cheap on rue la la, if you’re flexible.

        • You can also get them cheaply from Sierra Trading Post and REI outlet (online). They’re usually in pretty normal colors (blue, black, gray), but go in and out of stock, so you might have to be patient.

      • I am hugely impressed with their quality. I have a black netbook messenger bag with a cross-body strap that I’ve carried to work on my (walking) commute every day for the last four years and it looks brand-new.

        I also have a tote from them that I use almost daily for packed breakfast and/or lunch and work clothes to change into from commuting. This is also in great shape, and was inexpensive — the only downside is that it doesn’t have any self-structure at all, so it’s very floppy. I had an older Timbuk2 tote that I liked better that had internal stiffening pieces at the seams. I used that one for grad school/night school and I beat up the corners over 3-4 years. The softer/floppier one has not worn in the corners in the slightest, so the stiffening may have been a factor in the greater wear and tear (similar fabric and neither had/has corner patches).

    • kjoirishlastname :

      Way late to the game, but until my sister bought me a new REI purse, I carried my Timbuk2 XS Messenger daily as a purse for 5 years. It is still in great condition, and I love it lots. I have only switched to the REI because it is a bit more streamlined in size/shape.

      But, when I have to carry a lot (like a pair of flats, if I walk to work) or a bunch of crap, I take the Timbuk2. Cannot speak highly enough about them

    • I had a laptop messenger bag that had optional backpack straps that I could pull out when biking. This was my college backpack for the last two years and held up well. It wasn’t very professional looking, but this was in 2002, so maybe they have come out with one since then.

  2. Sorry for the immediate TJ, but I am feeling frustrated with my weight this morning.

    In the past year and a half, I gained about 30 pounds from quitting exercise, drinking booze, and overeating. For the past 3-4 months, I’ve gotten so much healthier. Quit drinking. Reduced calories to 1200-1400 a day. Started doing 45/60 min of cardio 4-5 times a week, plus calisthenics and fast-paced yoga 3 times a week.

    The trouble is the scale won’t budge. I had my thyroid checked about a year ago when I first started gaining weight, and it was fine. I know I’m supposed to “pay attention to how my clothes fit,” but they fit the same and I look the same. I’m carefully measuring food to count calories, so I don’t think it’s that.

    Has anyone experienced this before? It’s so disheartening and unmotivating! I would love to lose 20 lbs by summer – Is there anything more I can do?

    • I highly recommend checking out the resources on the site Mark’s Daily Apple. He has a lot of posts about “chronic cardio” in addition to Primal living resources. I did a one-month Primal Challenge and lost some stubborn weight I had had for years, even in years where I was eating “healthy” and “exercising a lot.” You may find it useful as well – there are lots of stories from other users who reported similar situations as you.

      • I agree that looking at a paleo/primal way of eating may help. I don’t think that it is a magic lifestyle for everyone. I will say that adopting it on an 80/20 basis has really changed my body for the better. Now I mostly stay away from processed carbs and sugars and focus on replacing those with fruits and veggies.

        • The 80/20 type of approach is what I do now – I tend to have primal lunches and dinners (at least during the weekdays) and I just feel better and overall eat more vegetables and fewer empty calories. I don’t count calories at all, but I just never eat pasta and eat bread as rarely as I can. I’d like to commit to primal breakfasts, too, but it’s been a weak spot since it’s so much faster to pour a bowl of cereal than to make bacon and eggs. Either way, I definitely feel better and I also lowered my total cholesterol by 30 points (with good HDL/LDL numbers and great triglycerides). It’s very easy to maintain weight eating this way and if I kicked it into high gear, I think I could lose a bit more too.

      • OP here. Thanks – I already more or less follow a primal diet, the exception being the occasional bowl of oatmeal/quinoa. Never bread, pasta, sugar, or other useless carbs. So I don’t think that’s the issue

        • Try swapping out a couple of cardio sessions for strength sessions? If you move quickly from set to set, you can keep your heart rate up

          • +1. Strength training will help you increase your metabolism and replace denser fat with leaner muscle.

          • Yeah, I really saw a difference in my body composition when I started doing 2 45-minute weight lifting classes a week. And lifting heavy-ish weights. None of this swinging around 5lb weights for hours. You won’t bulk up, women don’t have enough testosterone to get really big.

            I also found that taking ballet classes makes a difference. For me, it’s the perfect form of strength + cardio, not to mention it really gets me out of my head, which is nice.

          • +1 Can’t say enough for the benefits of strength training

          • Joanna Toews :

            Weight lifting FTW! I miss it so…

    • I would definitely stay on the upper end of “1200-1400” if you’re working out most days… eating too few calories can negatively affect your weight loss. I’d also add weight training and cut down on the pure cardio.

      • A Nonny Moose :

        +1 to both of these comments.
        Without knowing how muh you weigh and want to weigh, 1200 calories is not many at all, especially if you’re not working out.
        And cut yourself some slack. You put on the weight over 12+ months. It’s not going to fly off, although I am sure it must be very frustrating not to see any changes.

      • I know I’ve mentioned it a few times already, but I have to come back to say that Weight Watchers is the ONLY thing that’s finally started working for me after going through exactly what you describe above. I spent 6 months exercising intensely, no weight change at all. Used the MyPlate app to track my calories (1200 a day) no change at all.

        Having to go to a meeting and weigh myself in front of someone else is the only thing that’s making a difference. Having to be responsible to someone other than myself is a great tool. I highly recommend it if you get to a point where nothing else is working. The other people there are just like us– no one is mordibly overweight, as I was surprised to find out, they’re just people who want to lose 30-40 pounds and are having a hard time disciplining themselves.

      • anon-oh-no :

        I was going to suggest this — 1200-1400 may actually be too few calories for your body, causing it to seek to conserve calories rather than burn them. And try mixing in a variety of exercise because your body burns less calories when it can do the same exercise with less effort. try a barre class once or twice a week and a spinning class or Pilates or something similar to mix in with your yoga and other cardio. And as for your other cardio, try mixing it up — run one day, do the eliptical the next, etc.

        • It might be a little late for this but now i’m confused because myfitnesspal tells me to eat net 1200 calories and I’m not losing weight and I’m getting so frustrated.

          I’m not the OP but ugh this winter needs to end because I feel like my body has gone into hibernation and is holding on to all these extra calories

      • Yes, yes, yes. That calorie count is way too low! You are killing your metabolism.

        For weight loss, I have found that I naturally lose weight when I try something completely new. If your cardio is running, try swimming. If you swim, try biking. Etc. You suddenly use muscles you didn’t know you had, and it seems to trick your body. Or maybe it’s not a trick at all; you are just suddenly working harder because new things suck.

        • Sorry, but for some people 1400 is a perfectly healthy amount of daily calories. It really depends on your weight and basal metabolic rate.

          Can we stop with the body shaming in both directions?

          • If you’re doing an hour of cardio a day, 1400 is a “bare minimum” sort of calorie count, and that’s assuming you’re female, of a small build, and relatively sedentary aside from the hour of cardio. It’s widely accepted that anything under 1200 calories is unhealthy.

          • Olivia Pope :

            I don’t see any “body shaming.” No one is insulting her body, but making recommendations based on the information that OP has provided.

          • It is generally not healthy to eat so few calories. This has nothing to do with “body shaming.” (?!)

            The thing is – you won’t “die” at this level of intake, but, man, could you feel better and look the same/better eating more. Also, psychologically more relaxed.

          • Anonymous, for some people 1400 is healthy. While it may not be so for the OP, saying “1400 calories is unhealthy” across the board is insulting and shaming to people who in fact are perfectly healthy consuming that amount. End of story.

          • shame: noun. A painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.

            I happen to agree with you, Orangerie, that 1400 may be ok depending on height/weight, but that doesn’t make what people are doing in this thread “shaming.” Saying it’s not a good idea to eat that few of calories, true or not, does not inflict humilation or distress in a well-adjusted person. It’s a simple statement without judgment. Now, if someone had said “Everyone who eats 1400 calories is a disgusting twig” or something – that’s shaming. But you disagreeing with someone else’s assessment of a situation involving food does not = shaming.

          • Orangerie :

            Roses, I think body shaming has much more gray area than what you describe above. I happen to think the “killing your metabolism” comment was unnecessary, but to each their own.

        • “Calorie count is way too low” and “you are killing your metabolism” may or may not be true depending on an individual’s height and weight. Presenting those statements as fact across the board basically implies that people who are naturally on the smaller side are unhealthy.

          • As I said before, even if you are “on the smaller side,” anything below 1200 is unhealthy and, if you are doing an hour of cardio exercise, 1400 is probably the bare minimum you should be consuming. No one is body-shaming. Calling you out, after being asked for advice, for eating too few calories is not body-shaming if it’s based in science.

          • I never said anything about 1200. There’s a big difference between that and 1400, which can be exacerbated by what kind of food you eat (whole vs. processed).

            My point is, there is no hard and fast rule for whether 1400 is healthy or unhealthy for someone. So let’s stop claiming there is.

          • I have nothing against smaller people, so I’m not sure why you think I am shaming small-sized people. I know plenty of thin and short people, and none of them consume 1400 calories (even the one that is 4’11”), and certainly the ones that exercise as much as the OP does consume much more. Given the facts as OP stated, I still think that her calorie count is holding her back from weight loss.

            But if it makes you happy, I will qualify my statement. For most people, that number is simply too low.

          • This is why I suggested an endocrinologist. We are not doctors (or her dr, if any of us are doctors) so we can’t judge how many calories she should be eating. A friend of mine went to an endocrinologist who did a full workup and was able to tell her what her base metabolism is and suggest a calorie target for weight loss. The dr even suggested a particular diet (basic – like how many servings of meat, veg, grains, etc.)

        • No one should assume 1200 is too low – it may be for a lot of people, but I went to an endocrinologist to try to lose weight and make sure there weren’t any other issues a few years ago. There weren’t any health issues, and they recommended I stick to a 1200 calorie limit and focus on lots of protein and limited carbs. For reference, at the time I weighed about 150 and I’m 5′ 3.5″. So 1200-1400 could be a perfectly healthy calorie limit for someone smaller, and in fact, if I get too far above that I start putting on weight quickly.

      • +1000.

        Literally, for years I’ve been torturing myself trying to eat 1250 and working out like a madwoman. I finally sad screw it and calculated my BMR/TDEE and am eating all.the.food. Healthy food, but still a lot of food (trying to keep a decent balance between carbs/protein/fat).

        I will use the past two weeks as an example. I’ve eaten around 1800-2000 calories daily and worked out a few times. I’m down 6 pounds. And for once I don’t feel stabby.

        • + a billion.

          Same here. Life is so much better. I shiver thinking of myself back in the day trying to eat 1,200 calories. :(

      • Good advice on this thread. Thanks.

    • I can so relate to your frustration! You might want to try adding strength training to your workouts. From what I’ve read, strength training (weights) will help rev your metabolism and your body will burn more calories at rest. For me, keeping my weight down/losing has been a combination of eating better (cutting down sugar and processed/white carbs, eating lots of vegetables and high fiber fruit, keeping snacks out of the house), cardio (either elliptical or treadmill, 60 min a day, 6 days a week), strength training 3 days a week. None of the exercise helped when I wasn’t eating right. And drink lots of water.

      You might want to see an endocrinologist. A friend of mine was having a difficult time losing weight until she did that and got some good recommendations.

    • I think that calorie count has probably sent your body into “starvation mode.” Most women need at least 1,400 calories per day just to live and breathe, NOT including any physical activity. If you’re eating that little and exercising as much as you say, I wouldn’t be surprised if your body has a death grip on every last calorie it can get.

      • There are many, many health reasons why severe calorie restriction can be ill-advised (energy and nutrients, for one!), but the “starvation mode” thing is pretty much a myth. In particular, the notion that the body “hoards” the calories is totally unscientific.

        This notion emerged from studies of *normal weight* men who were shown to have a slight decrease in metabolic rate when they restricted calories by a lot. If you look into it, you’ll find that there is very little research to support the “starvation mode” hypothesis. Fasting would not have the observed effects if starvation mode were a real thing.

    • Hmm, how long have you been at it? I did exactly as you describe and lost about 30lbs (similar gain story too). It took a while though, about 1-2 lbs a week, so about 6-7 months in total.

    • starvation mode :

      Is a diet myth. Your body does not go into a state called “starvation mode” after consuming too few calories — not enough to make a meaningful difference in weight loss, at any rate.

      If you are 100% accurate in your calorie counting, my guess would be either you have a thyroid issue, or you are on some sort of medication/birth control that is keeping you from losing weight.

      • Olivia Pope :

        I have no idea whether starvation mode exists, but I agree that BC may be a secret culprit.

      • starvation mode :

        Also want to add — true weight loss is slow going. A lot of people think they can lose five pounds in a week by skipping a few meals — but that is not technically even possible. In those situations, you’re not truly losing “weight”–you’re losing bloat/water/roughage etc. Losing a pound of fat is difficult, and often imperceptible. Keep going at it, you’ll get there eventually.

        (Also, make sure you’re doing strength training to keep muscle. )

        • Kontraktor :

          So true. I’ve been at my exercise/diet/etc. plan for a year now and am down maybe 10 lb, but have also had muscle gain. At the same time, I’m still not at my ‘goal’ and have a loooonnnggg way to go in terms of toning, although I am better than before. it’s just a very, very slow and ongoing process to total, long lasting change.

      • Thank you for saying this.

      • Yeah, I was wondering if the OP’s calorie counting is accurate as well. Studies have shown that most people (unless you are weighing/measuring/recording every meal) underestimate calories by 20-30% (and obese people often underestimate by up to 100%). I’d be willing to bet that 1) calorie counts are actually way off or 2) thyroid/metabolism issues.

        Honestly, most people cannot cut down to 1200 calories a day. That is a hard diet to keep day in and day out.

        • Also, to add, Lyle McDonald, whose blog I read regularly, often talks about weight loss (especially for women) coming in “whooses”. As in, you eat healthy and work out and KNOW you should be losing weight but the scale doesn’t budge for weeks. Suddenly, you wake up one morning 8 lbs lighter. When you burn fat, those cells are often replaced temporarily with water. Then your hormones change, and the body “dumps” the water weight and voila, major weight loss one week after nothing for a while.

          I’ve had this happen several times, usually in the few days after the end of my monthly cycle.

      • Can anyone expand a little more on the BC problem? I know there are sites out there that discuss it, but I’ve been on Nuvaring for over a year and never had problems until I went through a stressful two month, gained 10 pounds, and it WILL NOT COME OFF no matter what I do.

    • I do think that there could be a diet element in play – 1200-1400 calories of mostly processed food (healthy choice meals/low fat snacks/etc.) works with my body really differently than says 1600-1800 calories of quality meats, veggies and “slow carbs” (beans, quinoa, sprouted bread) and nuts. You don’t specify what your diet is composed of, so please ignore if you already are eating mostly whole foods. I drop weight much more quickly with #2. I also like doing a cheat day a week because it keeps me on track and seems to help keep my metabolism going. You could consult with a sports nutritionist.

      Also, you may want to look at the type of exercise you’re doing – high-intensity interval training could be a big help if you’re currently doing cardio at relatively consistent intensity. I often have to take a class or train with a group/buddy to get higher intensity work – on my own I tend to slack off and not see results. Again, not saying this is the case with you – I’m just throwing out ideas.

      An endocrinologist is a good idea too. Just because your thyroid levels are in the normal range doesn’t mean that the range is normal for you. You may want to push for an antibody test since Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease that can cause (possibly sub-clinical) hyperthyroidism.

    • Kontraktor :

      Is there a possibility of talking to a nutritionist or personal trainer? Perhaps you need to change the routine or are doing something not quite right or could just benefit from some extra guideance. I agree it seems a little strange to have not lost any weight at all with as strict of calorie restriction and exercise as you say, as well as whole, clean eating. Perhaps having an accountability partner in the form of an expert could just help you review what you are doing and make sure you’re on the right track.

    • anon for this :

      One of my friends is a Registered Dietitian and has done quite a few posts on her blogs about this type of stuff. Main site is www.thereallife-rd.com/ and I’ll post the specific links below.

      And I would really recommend that everybody check her out. She’s awesome, just one of the most genuine people in the world, and has a really healthy, balanced approach to exercise, diet, and nutrition for women. I’ve learned a ton from knowing her and following her blog.

    • 1200 calories seems low to be doing on a consistent basis, especially with exercise. It’s possible you’re either underestimating how much you’re eating (my weaknesses are things like peanut butter/hummus where it’s easy to think a serving is ~100 calories when it’s really closer to ~350) or you’re undereating and your body is resisting weight loss.

      • CasperClone :

        Any suggestions for starting strength training? I have a gym membership, but no nothing about which machines I should be using, which weights, etc. I know a personal trainer would be one option, but hoping for books / blogs / videos that could at least start me in the right direction before shelling out big bucks.

        • I love body pump classes! See if your gym has any classes focusing on weight training. I’m able to push myself much more when someone else is doing the counting. I like the body pump is usually body part per song, so when my legs start shaking I can tell I’m close to the end of the song!

        • Kontraktor :

          I agree a class at your gym could be perfect. A lot of gyms have strength classes that are titled things like body pump, total body strength, kettleball, aerobic/fast paced yoga; or the descriptions will tell you what involves more strength training. That could be a great way to start up. Also, re personal trainer, a lot of times gyms will have deals where you get one session free and could purchase a couple other additional sessions. The trainer would be able to give you sets and ideas to start with that you could then repeat yourself. So, you could meet with one without breaking the bank too much.

        • I’ve been doing the program in ‘The New Rules of Lifting for Women’ and have seen results. Even better – I feel amazing on my weight days.

        • http://www.stumptuous.com/

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      How much sleep are you getting? There have been studies that show I think less than 5 or 6 hours a night can lead to weight gain (there’s various theories as to why).

    • Check your thyroid again. You must start losing weight with what you’re doing and since it’s the weight that you’ve put on recently due to the said habits and have cut them out completely. All the suggestions from others seem fair but they work when you hit a plateau with your weight loss. But if you’ve recently adopted healthy habits, you gotta see some difference.

    • Eat breakfast everyday, if you’re not already, and talk to your doc. There are other potential causes than a thyroid.

    • Eat breakfast everyday, if you’re not already, and talk to your doc. There are other potential causes than a thyroid.

  3. How do you get rid of the small white lint on black tights? I should have put them in a mesh bag in the laundry but I forgot. Another blogger recommended using a razor but that just ended up creating a run in the tights! Other ideas?

    • I have never had this problem. I’d suggest rewashing them with a lint attractor like a microfiber towel. But I have no idea if this will work. If the lint is more like pilling, I don’t think there’s a good solution other than wearing them inside out – my daughter gave me this hint and it seems like a good way to get more wear out of older tights.

    • I have used scotch tape with decent success.

    • There is lint which you can get rid of with a lint brush and then there is white pilling that really will never go away. I just relegate those to wearing under pants or with boots.

    • Nope, that’s when I toss the tights and buy a new pair. It’s like a run, no going back.

    • ex enviro :

      Sometimes I can pick them off with tweezers. Or I just turn them inside out. With most tights the two sides are indistinguishable unless you’re walking around with the gusset showing (hopefully not!!). I stopped running into that problem when I started handwashing my tights.

  4. Re: the comments about this yesterday, I caught up on Good Wife last night. OMG is right. I’m still not sure how to process.

    • I’ve heard so many good things about that show. Is it similar to Scandal at all? I just got into that show and am obsessed!

      • Wildkitten :

        It has powerful female characters with great outfits & love affairs, but it’s like 100 times better than Scandal.

        • Woods-comma-Elle :

          Disagree with this. I love both, but for different reasons.

          Scandal is a lot more million-miles a minute-plot-twist-another-twist-twist-on-a-twist whereas the Good Wife is a bit slower in plot development, but when they go there… oh they really go there!

      • I haven’t watched Scandal (I know, I know – it’s on my list), but I love Good Wife. And this season in particular is killing it. Though I agree that it’s hard to imagine how they will handle things going forward. Things I love about it – strong, complex, central female characters, romance among adults that feels real to me, dramatic legal stuff, but that usually seems based in some sort of reality, amazing writing, and the clothes are all I want to wear when I grow up. I highly recommend it.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Yup, also caught up last night and OMG! Though I had some idea something was going to happen as had seen people post on FB/here that there was a big episode.

    • Also caught up last night and can’t believe it. I fear for the future of the show now. I can see how the next few episodes will be great, but I’m not sure where it will go long term. And the show has been so fantastic lately, I just can’t help but feel like it got cut down in its prime.

  5. Has anyone used an online transcription service? I don’t need legal or medical accuracy, just need some interviews transcribed and don’t have the bandwidth at the moment (or the patience with my verbal tics). Cheapish would be fabulous.

    • prof on a bike :

      I do primarily qualitative research and have tried a few transcription services in the dollar a minute ish range (most recently a company called Tech Synergy) — in my experience they’re reliably fast on turnaround time, but the quality can really vary, and having many small mistakes is common (on the order of transcribing “lab techs” as “lab texts”). This makes the transcripts at best a guide to locating what’s in the interview so you can go back and check important parts yourself — which is fine if you only need a few select quotes, but if you want to read the interview as a whole (or have collaborators reading it), then you really need a much more accurate transcript. I now use someone local who costs around two dollars a minute but produces a beautifully clean transcript every time.

      • Thanks for this, will check them out. I find transcribing so painful and did 9 interviews in 8 days so my thoughts are a bit muddled on who said what.

    • qual researcher :

      I’ve been happy with Matchless Transcriptions: [email protected]

      They’re 75 cents a minute and seem to turn things around in 2-3 days.

  6. Non-responsive friends :

    I have 2 friends/acquaintances from grad school. They’re not close friends, but we worked a lot in teams etc., kind of like very friendly colleagues. We all graduated last summer and went off to different jobs. In January, I emailed them separately just to say “Hey, job’s going well, how’s life?” and have not heard back from either of them.

    One of them is kind of flaky, and I could see her forgetting to respond to the email, but the other is very organized and responsive. With the latter, however, there’s a very small chance that I used an email address she may not check very often. My question is: Would you reach out again in this situation? And if so, how?

    I don’t *think* I did anything to offend either of them, and I would like to keep them as semi-professional contacts.

    • Maybe they’re just busy with their own lives & careers. Can you send them invitations to connect on LinkedIn? If they don’t respond, then you’ll know they’re not interested.

      • Non-responsive friends :

        Unfortunately (or fortunately) we’re connected on LinkedIn already from grad school.

    • Wildkitten :

      “How’s life” is such a broad question that it’s hard to answer it if you’re busy. Where do you start?

      • Non-responsive friends :

        Well, it wasn’t verbatim “How’s life” I was more detailed than that: How’s the job going, how do you like X city you moved to (and even more specific within that because one of them took a job I used to have)

        • Wildkitten :

          I’d reach out again – “Hey Jane! I’m going to Tallahassee this weekend. Let’s grab a drink! When are you free?”

    • Yay! I am back in the office today. Yesteday, I got caught in court and could NOT email or p’ost much b/c my Ipad was not geting a signal. FOOEY! When I got back to my house and synched with my home Rooter, I got alot of mesages from work b/c the manageing partner needed information I had on my computer, but Frank thought he deleted it through the network. Fortuneately, he had NOT deleted it, b/c it had alot of my billieangs, and that would be realy bad. DOUBEL FOOEY b/c I would have to bill the cleint’s again just to bill them? I do NOT like doeing that, particularly Roberta, who just threw me 12 more case’s. YAY!!!!!

      As for the OP, you should doubel check your email. Some e-mail system’s are terible. For a while when I first started, we were useing HOTMAIL at work, but we did NOT have a good handel on our attacheaments. Also, I thought that the name “HOTMAIL” was not good for our law office’s b/c there are alot of peeople at GW that used hotmail in addition to the school webid. So I convinced the manageing partner to get our VERY OWN email address and he is now happy with it. We still do NOT have a websight of our own yet, but he is putting ME in charge of getting one together with MASON, who is alot younger and closer to what the millenial’s find to be useful. The manageing partner figure’s we can put some thing’s up on the websight that will attract new CLEINT’s, such as model breif’s and pleeading’s, but I said NO, b/c then we would NOT be abel to bill as much for these, if we showed all of our argument’s.

      Willem said we need to go to Belgum soon b/c his family want’s to meet me and they want to be sure I am willing to make a family with him. I worry that they are onley lookeing at me like some sort of breeding person for him. FOOEY! I am smart and alot more then a breeder. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • I’m terrible at responding to these emails, especially when it’s not someone I’m super close to. I wouldn’t read anything into it other than they’re busy. I’d reach out if you’re going to be in their area and want to make a plan to see them/ you need a recommendation for something / in short, a real reason to connect, it’s just hard to keep up with email letter writing for a lot of people.

      • I wish it weren’t the case, but I agree with this 100%. Don’t read into the lack of response.

      • WestCoast Lawyer :

        +1 My thinking usually goes something like “Oh, I’m so glad Non-responsive friends sent me an email, I only have a second right now and don’t want to just dash off a one-sentence response but I have to get back to her soon” and then 3 weeks go by and I still haven’t done it because I usually only look at my email (1) on my phone when it’s a pain to write long messages and (2) at work where I don’t have time/mental capacity to write a lengthy response.

    • As someone who has committed this faux pas myself, I would urge you not to take it personally. It is entirely possible that they are completely overwhelmed by their new jobs and the transition, and just may not be up to the task of writing a long, personal email. If I were you I think I would wait a while, and then maybe write with a smaller response as the implied expectation. This will at least keep them as viable professional contacts in the future, although it may not mean that they are going to be close professional friends whom you can turn to for feedback and advice – at least not right now.

  7. Greetings, lovers and haters! I wanted to share that for my blog’s second anniversary I have created an email address in hopes that Ellen is finally ready to contact me.

    If you or someone you know may be Ellen, please email ELLENWatchblog at g m a i l. Naturally I am also open to an annoying onslaught of confusing, fake messages from people who don’t exist.

    http://ellenwatch.blogspot.com/2014/03/2th-anniversary-yayy.html

    • I find this kind of hilarious (in a laughing-with-you, not at-you kind of way). Good luck!!

  8. Impatiently Waiting! :

    I interviewed for a job (academia) back in early February. The department had a faculty meeting on March 11, and the department chair called two days later to say they were planning to extend an offer to me. He said it would likely be early in the week last week but I haven’t heard anything yet! How long should I wait before reaching out? How could I word an email to him to say that I’m really looking forward to the offer?

    • Wait. There’s not point in contacting him. Academia moves at a glacial pace regarding hiring. The department chair can’t extend you an offer until he hears from both the Dean and the Provost so one of them is probably out of town. There are issues out of our control, no matter how much even the department chair may want to make you an offer immediately.

      • prof on a bike :

        +1

        But you definitely should re-contact if you situation changes in any way (you have another interview/offer, etc).

      • I also agree. There’s probably been a week of spring break in there too, which could slow things down further. However, I think you could check in very carefully if you haven’t heard anything by the beginning of next week. It takes forever for all of the hiring stuff to get approved, but I was in fairly frequent contact with the department chair during that time. I’m in science, though, so there was a lot of back and forth about lab start up that may not apply to you.

      • Also in Academia :

        Yes, wait. Everyone has disappeared for Spring Break somewhere in your timeline. And, there’s always decent odds that HR will find it needs some insignificant-yet-crucial document that has to be signed by 4 or 5 different people and/or the only person who knows how to make the HR software work is sick, etc.

        • The other issue holding things up sometimes is salary. The department chair knows what they want to offer, but that has to be approved as well and everyone has to review the recommendation and everyone has an opinion. In our case, I don’t even think the department chair *can* make an offer. It has to be the Dean.

  9. Anyone else in DC right now? It’s snowing. And the snow is sticking. This winter can go kick itself in the balls.

    • Yes. I’ve had enough of this. It’s almost April for goodness sakes!

    • Silvercurls :

      While preparing to write back “HECK YES! in the SNOW BALLS!” I glanced outside and darned if my heart didn’t somersault just like the heart of a schoolgirl whose objet de crush has just hove into view. Dammit, even in late March the sight of a falling snow still gets me.

      Winter this year has been like a captivating SO who just. won’t. commit. If we’d strung all our snowy days together we could have had a satisfying season but nooo, we have to live just far enough south that we get the routine of winter-one-day-melt-the-next-while-everyone-and-everything-goes-crazy. Montgomery County Public Schools and the Federal Gummint, I’m looking at YOU.

    • I’ll be so sad if this causes the cherry blossoms not to bloom :(

    • Baconpancakes :

      I keep on thinking of a short song in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers:
      In November the snow starts to fly,
      Piling up ankle high;
      By December it’s up to your knees,
      Still a bride’s a bride to be.
      January higher still,
      To the parlor window sill;
      February finds a drift
      And a snow that seems never to lift;
      March comes in like a lion – what else?
      Still the snow never melts.
      April showers will come – so they say.
      But they don’t, and it’s May.
      You’re about to forget the whole thing
      All at once, one day it’s spring.

      • In the NYC area, all at once it’s a hot humid miserable summer. We’re lucky if we get a week of pleasant springtime weather between the cold and the heat :(

        • Silvercurls :

          Yes, I keep thinking about this. As the childhood riddles say,
          If April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring? Pilgrims.
          And after them…Satan, who calls every June, July, and August, wanting his weather back. Deep sigh.

          • Seriously, the best.

          • @tesyaa and Silvercurls

            So true. This is why I think about retiring to Ireland one day. (I love a lot of the music produced by Irish artists, I love rain and hearty foods, and I like the idea of a verdant, lush spring lasting for more than 2 days.)

    • Feeling very violent towards the sky at the moment. I’m SO OVER THIS WEATHER!!!

    • Yes. *shakes fist at sky*

  10. Not feeling this jacket. Honestly, it looks like something my mom would wear–mostly because she likes coral and structured jackets. I think it’s pretty, but it’s sort of a ladies who lunch look to me.

    Anyway, any tips for combatting insomnia? I’m a big fat mess right now bc I seriously can’t sleep.

    I don’t drink much caffeine (tea in the AM only), avoid chocolate after 5pm.

    Can’t get my mind to stop racing and I am not normally anxious…HELP!

    Thanks, ladies!

    • Can you limit screen time in the evenings, for an hour or two before you go to bed? TV, computer, ipad, phone surfing, everything. Unlike reading, screen time isn’t conducive to dropping off to sleep.

      • Are we sure about screen time with say a kindle app and not so bright screen? I fall asleep after reading this way in the same way as a book all the time. Have they really shown this to be the case?

        • Don’t know about the kindle, I was thinking more about surfing and social media in the evenings.

        • I stand to be corrected but I thought the problem with electronics is the ‘blue light’ undertones that they emit not the brightness – something about the blue light triggers the body that it’s daytime.

          • Diana Barry :

            +1, blue light can be a problem. I like f.lux – you download it and it turns your screen reddish after sundown, so you can work right up until bedtime and then go right to sleep.

          • @Diana Barry :

            is this app available of iphones? It’s not coming up when I search, but could just be user error…..

          • @10:59am – last time I checked, f.lux is generally not available for iPhones unless you want to jailbreak it (i.e., tinker with the operating system).

        • A Nonny Moose :

          I think the issue is the type of light emitted by electronics, not the content of what you’re reading. Regular (not backlit) kindles are ok; kindle app on phone or iPad is not. Of course if you don’t have trouble falling asleep using a backlight I wouldn’t worry about it.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Yep. The blue light emitted by backlit screens (so everything except the eInk b&w kindles) disrupt your sleep patterns. I can easily fall asleep pretty much any time, even while I’m watching a movie on my laptop, so it varies from person to person, of course, but generally, if you have trouble sleeping, turning off electronics an hour or two before you want to sleep is a good way to get to sleep faster. Here’s a Harvard study findings summary: http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Health_Letter/2012/May/blue-light-has-a-dark-side/

        • I think different people are different. If it’s not a problem for you, that’s great. But I have noticed that I can drop off to sleep after reading on an eInk Kindle no problem (well, there may be a problem, but not statistically tied to the Kindle), but I absolutely cannot drop off to sleep easily after reading my Kindle app on my phone.

          • I agree. People should try different approaches to sleep to see what works for them. If a study points to helpful methods, great. If those methods don’t work, try other methods.

        • Anonattorney :

          Sooo, the only thing that helps me sleep when my mind is racing is tv in the background. I put on a movie I’ve seen and know really well, cover the screen with a towel (or turn the brightness down on a laptop) and turn the sound pretty low. The dialogue replaces my racing thoughts and I fall asleep. It’s completely frowned upon, but it’s the only thing that works for me aside from prescription sleeping pills.

    • Silvercurls :

      I think it’s gawgeous–though not in my price range–but maybe that’s because I’m as old as your mother?!

      Re insomnia: Chill as much as possible. Try to figure out what’s stressing you so you can do something about it, even if it’s just to practice radical acceptance (Zen).

      • Coat of Many Colors :

        It’s initially appealing. But that belt in the back? Reminds me of maternity clothes.

        I keep wanting to like Lafayette 148. But it always looks like the bastard child of Sprockets and Chico’s.

    • I’m not feeling the jacket either. I am sure there is a way to style it in a way that’s awesome and I normally enjoy clothes that could go either way like that, but I would just feel like Frumpy Fanny in it.

      Have you ever tried one of those sleepytime teas? I like to double on the tea bags and have a cup while I am watching TV at night. It doesn’t make me go to sleep but it has a very calming effect. My SO on the other hand – a man who can easily drink half a bottle of whiskey and not show it – totally passes out from these. Give it a shot? I’ve also heard good things about tart cherry juice and my grandmother always swore by a glass of warm milk (and she added poppy seeds to hers … ).

    • I agree, the combination of tweed and coral really ages the blazer.

      I have WAY too much experience with insomnia, my sympathies. After years of trying various sleeping pills and voodoo to no avail, I finally connected that my insomnia is related to anxiety. And the less I slept, the more anxious I became. I started seeing a therapist last year for depression, when she suggested I might have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (not that you have this, but sleep and anxiety are basically one and the same for me). I went to a psychiatrist, he futzed around with various meds until we got the right combination (Klonopin and Lexapro) AND set me up with a great cognitive behavioral therapist. I’m now tapering off my meds, my anxiety has been ramped down quite a bit, and I sleep much better.

      Honestly, I really thought that I had typical worries at night that kept me up, but they were becoming more and more disruptive of my sleep. The less I slept, the more I worried about my usual stresses plus not sleeping, which fed into me underperforming at work, which fed into even more anxiety. It’s pretty exhausting. If you don’t feel like you’re at that point, the usual exercise and eat well is of course helpful, but I also found that participating in an activity I really loved (ballet) also helped me release tension.

    • It has a very Suze Orman vibe.

    • I’ve had decent luck with melatonin supplements for occasional insomnia. 3mg about 30 minutes before bed. Dark room (if you’ve never used melatonin, you’re not supposed to expose yourself to much light after taking it— it decreases effectiveness and can be disorienting).

      If your sleeplessness is anxiety-driven, though, you might have more luck attacking the root of the problem with exercise, therapy, etc… or, if you can get to your doc, Klonopin:) Also, if you’re like me, you might try unwinding with (extra) wine, but even if that helps you fall asleep, it’s really not conducive to restful sleep, and it sounds like that’s what you need. Herbal tea is a better bet.

    • Coat of Many Colors :

      If your bedtime is 10, can you do something physical b/w 7 and 9 (not the whole two hours, just something to get you moving and a wee bit more physically tired)? Like fast walking (may have to be in a mall this time of year or maybe grocery shopping) or flipping the mattress and changing the sheets and then laundry (bonus if there are a lot of stairs)? Or going to the gym earlier in the day?

      After that, just calming things — reading, housework, etc. Write a note to your grandmother (mine is not online). No screen time! It is a giant time suck anyway and you probably see enough screens at work.

      I have this theory that putting the body to rest tired helps the mind tire out and turn itself off.

    • I’d try an over-the-counter sleep aid, like the Tylenol PM that’s just the PM part, or heck, even Dramamine, which made me hella drowsy on a bus ride to NYC recently. Sometimes I think we get caught up in the insomnia cycle – I can’t sleep, I didn’t sleep last night, what if I don’t sleep tonight!! and on and on and on – that using something to break the cycle can help.

      I’ve only used these things intermittently, I don’t know about the drugs that you can take on a regular basis.

      Also, cold room, warm blankets, and socks. For some reason, having my feet warm puts me right to sleep.

      • No sleepy pills :

        My SO was given Ambien about 10 years ago instead of a referral to someone who could help with the anxiety causing his insomnia. He’s still on them.

        • Why is that a problem? If Ambien is working for him why shouldn’t he keep taking it?

          • No sleepy pills :

            It isn’t working for him. It isn’t meant for long-term use. It’s made him like a stoner who ambien-eats, stays up late b/c he likes the hypnotic effect, and still can’t sleep b/c he is still wracked by anxiety (which will only get worse b/c he won’t get the ambien and deal with the real problem). He has couble- or triple-downed on his problems at the expense of short-term relief that offers diminishing returns.

          • Anon at 11:18 am: Ambien is not approved by the FDA for long term use, so that’s one reason he should not keep taking it.

          • I know someone who had the same issues with Lunesta (I know Lunesta has been tested for a longer clinical period than the others, but still only six months, and he’s been on it for years). The reason he “needed” sleeping pills was anxiety and depression stemming from a traumatic event. The pills are a band-aid on the bullet hole. They may help him sleep, but they do nothing to address the larger issue that he refuses to seek treatment for, and which has a bigger effect on his life than sleeping patterns.

        • Ambien is a whole different ball game away from Dramamine. Ambien is habit forming while Dramamine isn’t.

          • It’s better to take a pill and get some sleep than continue to suffer from insomnia.

      • “Tylenol PM with just the PM” they do have something called ZZZQuil now, which is literally just the part that makes you sleepy.

        • Miss Behaved :

          The PM is just benadryl (diphenhydramine). You might as well just buy generic benadryl. It costs a lot less.

    • MJ, re insomnia have you tried meditation? UCLA has free downloadable guided meditation available on iTunes in their classes/academic section. They have one called “guided meditation for sleep” that is good and I like their other ones too. And prior to this I had tried and failed a zillion times at meditation.

      • Second the meditation. My friend recommended color meditation during anxiety prone finals period and I could never get past green. After a few days I was falling asleep at orange.

        I know ppl said no blue screens, but something that takes your mind completely away from the anxiety source (Dexter, Friends) also helped me, but you might have nightmares of murders and such.

    • OttLobbyist :

      Try to up your daylight time a bit if you can. If you can work it in, try a short walk at lunch or after dinner. Also, if your mind is racing after 20 minutes of trying to sleep, write down, with a pen and on paper, whatever is running through your mind. Try switching sleeping places for a night or two- a different side of the bed, the guest room, or the sofa. It can alleviate the “oh my goodness, am I going to be able to sleep now that I’ve gone to bed” feeling.

    • tidewater :

      If this is not an ongoing problem, I suggest trying a natural 5-HTP supplement. I hadn’t heard of it until my doctor suggested I try it for bouts of anxiety times/mind-racing before bed. Works for me, especially during those times when you feel anxious and can’t sleep, but can’t really nail down the cause.

    • I have never had problems with insomnia but something that I have found that helps me to sleep is shutting down the electronics about 15 minutes before bed (studies say an hour but that is pushing it for me and I have found 15 minutes helps) and drinking decaffinated green tea while reading.

  11. Sydney Bristow :

    FYI – Eddie Bauer is having a sale right now. No code required but there is a free shipping code on the site if you spend more than $99.

    My current favorite in The Great Cardigan Search is the Christine cardigan from Eddie Bauer, which someone here recommended. They are normally $60 but are on sale for $40 right now.

  12. public/professional speaking programs? :

    I’ve noticed recently that I have a number of verbal ticks that I would like to get rid of (e.g. letting my sentences trail off, saying umm, ect). I often notice them after a conversation at work and worry that it is/will impact the perception of me as a competent employee. It’s something I want to focus on fixing, and I would like to get additional public/professional speaking experience to help. Does anyone have any recommendations for programs or groups? Or ideas on how to find such a program? I’m in DC, if anyone knows of anything in the area, I would really appreciate it.

    • Toastmasters gets a lot of praise here whenever this question comes up.

    • Not sure how broadly this applies, but for me, the humiliation of reading the transcript of my first deposition cured me of my verbal ticks almost instantly. I have learned to just slow down to make sure I don’t open my mouth before the words are fully loaded. Can you try that as a first step?
      As for programs, what about something specific to your field? For example, lawyers can take trial practice or deposition training that covers this kind of thing… is than an option in your field, so it’s particularly relevant? Otherwise, I’d agree with the Toastmasters suggestion for a general-purpose program.

    • I have experience with Toastmasters and it really can help you work on verbal tics (“ers, ums and ahs” I think they call it? It’s been a couple years). Also helps you get very comfortable in speaking to small and large groups. I’d suggest looking up to see if there’s a center near you, and then visiting a meeting. Don’t get intimidated by the practiced speakers, the beginner speakers usually have a lot more ahs and ums and practicing a speech before you give it can help you get rid of them.

  13. Sheets - Costco or Macy's ?? :

    I searched back through the archives and saw a lot of love for the Kirkland Sheets. I looked online at Costco’s site and saw a bunch of reviews saying they loved the “old” sheets and the “new” sheets are terrible. Has anyone purchased the “Kirkland Signature™ 540 TC Supima® Cotton Sateen Weave Sheets” recently? Worth it or not?

    If not, I’m debating getting the Macy’s Hotel Collection sheets if those are still good as well.

    Thanks in advance!

    • If you don’t like the Costco sheets, you can return them after using them – maybe up to 2 years from purchase. I think Macy’s would also stand behind their sheets, but Costco’s return policy is stellar.

      • True, but I’d rather avoid buying another set of disappointing sheets that wears out in a few months.

        Fun fact, through my sheet fiasco, I found out that Bed Bath and Beyond will take back any product you’re not happy with (used, unused) even with no packaging after any amount of time for store credit. Pretty awesome, except now I’m stuck in fuzzy sheets!!

  14. Shoe Lining? :

    Is the lining/padding part in the sole of a shoe supposed to come out? I got a new pair of wedge heels I really like and have only worn them once, and the liner is coming up at the toe. Return, or normal? They’re Vince Camuto from Nordstrom.

    • Return.

    • No, it’s not normal.

    • Olivia Pope :

      I had some Vince Camuto boots that looked gorgeous. The entire sole came off after a week! I was so disappointed.

      Anyway, return them.

    • Maddie Ross :

      I am going to have to disagree that it’s not “normal.” Did you wear the shoes barefoot? I think almost all my shoes liners get loose and “come up” after I wear barefoot (my feet sweat pretty significantly). That said, if it upsets you, return them. But I don’t think it’s a massive flaw in the shoe necessarily.

      • This is definitely true, but for me it usually takes many more than one wearing for the insole to come up. Do you glue them down? I haven’t had good luck with that and I basically wear liners with all my shoes to minimize the problem

        • +1. Normal after a reasonable amount of use (especially if barefoot), but not normal after only one wear.

      • Shoe Lining? :

        Thanks for your responses! Yes I wore them barefoot. The vamp is too low for the mini-socks to not show so its either hose or barefoot (and thank goodness it’s already warm enough for no hose! (please don’t judge me)). Maybe I will try to glue them before I return them, I would really like to make them work.

  15. Okay, so I finally tried to use the immersion blender someone got me as a gift two years ago and either it’s a dud or I am using it wrong. I spent a good 5 minutes trying to puree a soup and it didn’t do very much and then started making weird whirring noises. And those 5 minutes were not fun. I ended up putting the soup through a food processor but I’d love to know about others’ experiences with this kind of gadget. I thought it was supposed to make my life easy and it was just a giant PIA and with no real results. What am I doing wrong?

    • They vary wildly in quality. My old Braun recently died (of old age, I think, it’s about 15 years old) and the replacement is not pureeing as well. (I’d get another Braun but they don’t seem to make for the US market anymore).

      I never really enjoyed using the hand blender, but my daughters use it all the time so maybe there is something to technique.

      • I have one of these old Brauns, too! Inherited from someone that moved. It is amazing and I fear the day it finally dies on me. :(

    • Were you holding it still or moving it throughout the soup? You should be moving it through the soup slowly so that it all gets pureed. You may also need to turn up the power for heartier soups. It’s not as fast as a food processor, but it still gets the job done.

      • Moving it around, up and down as per the instructions. But there probably is something to the technique as tesyaa says… Honestly, this is probably a terrible analogy to share, but I felt like I was in high school and going to third base with a boy for the first time — I knew there was a way that this made sense but I couldn’t figure it out.

      • +1. Should work for carrot soup too as long as the carrots are cooked through (they don’t need to be falling apart mushy). What brand is your blender? I have a Kitchenaid one which is great – previously I had one from another brand (can’t remember which – probably some in-house type brand) which worked more slowly.

        • It’s Kitchenaid.

          • Hmmm. Maybe something is wrong with it, if it was making weird noises? Mine just makes a blendery type of noise. I make carrot, squash, sweet potato type of soups all the time and have no problems with the immersion blender.

    • Baconpancakes :

      What kind of soup was it, was the food cooked (ie soft), and was there enough liquid? Immersion blenders are super convenient, but they do require more liquid to do their work than a food processor.

      • It was carrot miso soup courtesy of Smitten Kitchen (highly recommend). The recipe said to use an immersion blender so I can only assume it worked for Deb and the food was soft enough. But maybe the sliced carrots were not the right size for this sort of thing?

        • Baconpancakes :

          That soup sounds delicious. I’m not sure why the immersion blender didn’t work; I’ll cook this later this week and report back if I have any problems or notice any tricks to using the immersion blender that aren’t obviously apparent in the directions. I can pretty much always get mine to work, and it’s a really cheap, fairly weak one that I’ve put through the ringer. (I actually broke part of it, and was so excited to find that exact part in a Goodwill!)

          • eBay is also amazing for appliance parts. I got a replacement lint filter, new in packaging, for my old dryer for under $3, including shipping.

          • That would be great! And the soup is delicious so you will enjoy. It tastes like the carrot miso dressing you get at Japanese restaurants. Let me know how it works for you. Maybe I was just impatient?

        • Love that soup, and make it with my immersion blender on the regular. I do think carrots need to be pretty well cooked.

    • When I use my immersion blender in soups or sauces, I’ll tilt the pot so that everything pools on one side and then swirl the blender in there, back and forth. That makes it a lot easier to get a consistent blend going, and to reach all the larger pieces of food if the liquid level isn’t very high.

      Note: I also turn off the flame on my cooktop when I do this. I may or may not have set fire to the blender’s power cord the first time I used it…

    • I usually stick it into the soup straight down and pulse ->change position to another part of the soup -> pulse again until the bits of the soup are small enough to fit through the “holes” on the side of the blender head. At that point, I actually swirl the blender through the soup. I love my immersion blender.

      Also, I’ve used it to do things like chop nuts before I got a food processor, so it’s not a question of how soft the food is. It depends on technique and/or whether the thing is broken.

  16. Diana Barry :

    Gahhhh….ladies, I am SO ANNOYED, have been sick and coughing since Thursday and am still sick. This is the worst cold of the season for sure!

    I am back at work today but trying not to cough and hack in my office…ugggggggggggggh.

    • Sorry you’ve got an annoying cold! Maybe listen to happy music?

      I’m listening to Sara Bareilles’ “Say You’re Sorry” and “Gonna Get Over You” and feel like dancing around from my chair to the printer. I normally don’t love this genre of music (a bit “Glee”ish for me, for all that I love that show), but the upbeatness, harmonies, her voice, and her lyrics just completely win me over.

      Or maybe sassy music? “I’m a Lady” by Santigold makes me feel like I’m on top of the world even when I’ve got a headache from squinting at some spreadsheets.

  17. Half plea for help and half just hoping for encouragement/commiseration here, but how have you pregnant ‘rettes and moms out there made it through the first trimester at work?!! I never really thought of myself as a wimp, but I am at 6.5 weeks and honestly not sure how I can get through the day!! I am constantly nauseous and have now added vomitting to the repertoire. I feel like it’s all I can do to sit upright without puking at my desk, never mind actually, you know, competently doing my work.

    • Diana Barry :

      So sorry! I dealt with in in 4 ways:

      1. Eat all the time;
      2. Take a nap on the floor;
      3. Unisom and vitamin b6, twice a day; and
      3. ZOFRAN. Seriously, go to the OB if you haven’t already, and demand it if none of the above work. It made me feel like a real live person again instead of a puke-monster.

      Good luck!

      • I agree with all Diana Barry’s suggestions. I found that eating dry cereal (like, plain Cheerios or oat squares) helped keep the sickness at bay. If you do take Zofran, makes sure that you also start taking something like Colace, as well.

        Basically, I forced myself to survive throughout the work day and do the bare minimum for the first trimester. Then I would get home and sleep on the couch. Let your significant other shoulder a lot of the household chores for the next few weeks.

        • WestCoast Lawyer :

          +1 For me the first step was realizing that the bare minimum was going to have to be good enough for a while. Also, remember that while you may be doing the bare minimum at work/home, you are also growing another person. And I don’t mean that in the abstract, isn’t it a miracle, kind of way. I mean your body is expending tons of energy to grow another heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, etc. You may not be doing it consciously, but it is requiring a huge amount of your available energy so cut yourself some slack and hang onto the fact that it usually gets significantly better around 12-14 weeks (and 95% of the pregnancy symptoms disappear almost immediately after giving birth).

      • Maddie Ross :

        One thing that worked for me was to sip cold liquids constantly, particularly lemonade or citrus. And if available, frozen lemonades.

        • That’s funny, I just remembered that I had the WORST cravings for lemon slurpees from 7-11 when I was pregnant. That lemon flavor cut through the horrible, metallic taste I had in my mouth for months.

        • Luckily, I never puked, but I needed to eat ALL the carbs ALL the time. Dasani drops in water helped a lot too.

          • anon + preggers :

            a) take your prenatals at night if you’re not already — the extra iron is too much on an empty stomach

            b) call your doc. this pregnancy I felt nauseous all the time but didn’t puke. doc told me to take B6 (I think it was B6) and to take half a tablet of a sleep aid (Umbrian? started with a U) for motion sickness. it’s not marketed as that but that’s what they said to take.

            o/w — stay hydrated. small snacks every hour or two. try “seabands” also while it’s still long sleeve weather and you can get away with it. there are other things too – lollipops or something for pregnant mamas? oh and try ginger tea — just buy some fresh ginger, cut some pieces (no skin), and steep it in hot water for a while. helps with nausea.

      • Another one in agreement with this advice. You must eat constantly and get Zofran. I ate mostly dry cereal, oyster crackers, goldfish, wheat thins, triscuits (sense a theme?) and dried fruit. And go easy on yourself. The days you throw up on yourself in the car are the days you just call in sick, no matter how badly you need the vacation for maternity leave.

    • The above: eat crackers (almost) constantly & drink liquids in SMALL sips

      As for how I made it through the first semester…. not very gracefully: I actuallt threw up in the corridor at ex-job because I couldn’t make it to the ladies room…

    • just Karen :

      I am right there with you at 8 weeks. I have been wearing sea bands and they help, but they also outed me to a paralegal when she saw them peeking out under my sleeves. Zofran has made the difference between miserable and worthless at work to miserable and semi-productive (but seriously second the recommendation for adding Colace or at least Metamucil at the same time). I have been cancelling non-essential stuff and seriously reprioritizing. What I expect myself to get done in a day is significantly less than before, but I am relying on lists to make sure I don’t miss any essentials. Also, I have found that Zantac for my acid reflux makes the difference between nausea or nausea and puking… so if you aren’t already on an acid reducer, you might try it. Finally, beware of your wardrobe – any pressure whatsoever on my abdomen makes everything so much worse (I’ve heard this from others as well, but don’t understand why – is anyone could explain it to me, I’d be grateful!)

    • Those weeks of morning/all-day sickness are really tough! They brought me to my knees with both of my pregnancies. I agree with all that Diana Barry suggested. I will also add to eat/drink whatever sounds appealing to you right now. If that is lemonade and salt and vinegar chips, then go for it (1st pregnancy with my son) or milk and banana muffins (2nd pregnancy with my daughter), then do that. Keeping something in your stomach at all times really seemed to help me. Ad nap and sleep whenever you can.

      • Yes. Eat whatever doesn’t turn your stomach. Not in large quantities, but small snacks throughout the day. I kept a cut lemon on my desk at work to mask odors from the office kitchen nearby. And be kind to yourself. Turn down plans, skip a gym trip if needed or take a short walk and go to bed early. Your body is doing a BIG job. Best of luck!

        • Joanna Toews :

          Absolutely. There is no wrong food (except, like, raw fish) to eat right now. If your kid’s neural tube is made up of 95% ice cream and 5% Kraft Dinner, so be it.

          People who won’t understand this: Anyone who hasn’t had a rough first trimester, including your partner and other formerly pregnant ladies who think they know better.

          But seriously… if spinach smells like mold to you right now, AVOID.

          And sleep whenever/however you can. Take sick days as you need them. Stay strong and good luck!

          Signed,
          My “first trimester” lasted 4.5 months and I felt like I was being poisoned

        • In House Lobbyist :

          Yes I ate lots of fast food biscuits and that fake cheese dip that comes in chip aisle. It stopped around 12 weeks or so. I also found a cold coke really helped in the mornings. I also brought crackers to bed at night and ate a few before getting out of bed in the mornings. My dr said the same things – eat whatever you can at this point. And second the Zofran.

    • Thanks for asking this. I’m at 4.5 weeks. I’ve had some nausea but no vomitting, luckily. I get cramps, but I’m not taking anything for them and I actually find them kind of reassuring. I’ve realized that the number of hours I have in the day when I can be alert and productive just shrank dramatically. I just have to take advantage of every hour in the day I can to be productive- no goofing off at work, take my computer home and get in that half hour or hour of whatever period of time I have available and cut out the TV and other things I would do during that time. I’m taking note of everyone’s suggestions in case things get worse as the weeks go by.

    • I wasn’t working full time at the time, but I was nauseous almost my whole pregnancy for #3. Vitamin B6 did wonders for me. I can’t remember how much I took at the time, but it was common at the time (9 years ago) for pg women to take it to help with nausea. Also, Jolly Rancher hard candies really helped while I was sucking on them. Something about the sweet/sour combo.

      And, second to everyone who said eat all the time. Whatever you can stomach – dry carbs (crackers, cereal, etc) and fatty/salty foods (McDonald’s cheeseburgers, actually) both worked well for me for all of my pregnancies.

      And also second to whoever said to adjust your expectations of what you will be able to accomplish and focus on the most important things and just getting through the day.

      • Thanks to all of you! There are some really great suggestions here. I had been trying to soldier on, but I do think I will raise the issue of B6 and/or Zofran with my ob.

        • hoola hoopa :

          Do. I was a trooper with my first and pulled myself through… but I used unisom (sleep tabs – NOT gels) with my second and it was definitely 100% the smart decision.

          FWIW, B6 and unisom is OTC. You don’t need to wait until your next ob visit.

          • And B6 is water soluble, which means that you pee away what you don’t use, but don’t take mega doses – no reason to put your kidneys through that.

    • anonymama :

      Second the eating constantly. Carbs are the easiest to stomach but I have found eating some protein keeps things steady for longer. If you can’t stomach a little bit of meat, luna bar protein bars have been helping me. Also, in my experience getting as much rest/sleep as possible helps tremendously… like as soon as you go home, eat, then go right to sleep. Also, being outside helped a lot, scrolling on a phone or computer screen made nausea worse.

  18. Aca-nonymous :

    Given what’s going on at SCOTUS today, I thought it was timely to raise this question. I’m curious if anyone else has had this issue with the “free” contraceptive coverage under ACA. My insurer claims that the mandate only requires it to offer sans copay those BCPs on its lowest-price tier. So, they appear to have moved all of the popular BCPs up to the highest tier so that they aren’t included (examples include ortho cyclen and ortho tri cyclen and *all* of their various generics). Prior to the mandate taking effect, the generics for these drugs were on the lowest tier, and the brand names were on the middle tier. Now both the generics and brand names are on the highest tier. Super frustrating. I now pay the cash price at Target because it’s cheaper than the co-pay amount for the highest tier.

    Has anyone else seen this?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m on generic ortho tri cyclen and mine is free.

    • Sorry to ask you a million questions, but

      Have you gotten a notice of compliance with the ACA or a notice that your plan is a grandfathered status plan. Because there are lots of insurers that are doing things, then blaming the ACA, when in fact the issue is they’re a grandfathered plan and/or are trying to skirt the rules. This doesn’t sound like the case here, but I’m throwing it out there because some companies are jerks.

      Second, are you saying there are NO oral contraceptives in your policy’s lowest tier?

      • Aca-nonymous :

        I checked the ones that I’ve heard of and they were not in the lowest tier. I think there are some, but they looked more like the quarterly-period type. In any event, I cannot switch because I have tried many and my current one is the only one that keeps my migraines at a functional level. I am fine paying the $9 but I do think it’s annoying that this is touted as a major benefit of ACA when it is so easy for insurance companies to skirt, because there are no restrictions on what drugs go in what tiers.

        FWIW, I changed jobs last spring and my prescription was free under my prior policy. I have no idea if my current plan is grandfathered because I have not been here that long. But I would doubt it, as it is a small employer that changes providers frequently based on who the benefits broker can find the best deal with.

        • That’s funny because my plan put all the quarterly ones on the highest tier and it costs me $150 per quarter. Goes to show there’s no rhyme or reason to what they decide to do.

        • I would demand that the insurance company provide you a list of oral contraceptives in the lowest tier. Keep asking and go up the food chain till you get it. Go over the list with your doctor and see if anything is comparable to what you take now. If not, unfortunately, I’m not sure what you can do other than loudly and aggressively protest. But make them give you documented, reliable evidence before you give up, because a lot of insurance agents on the phone are not up to date with the latest regs and/or the company is trying to skirt the rules.

          • You can report the changes to your state’s insurance commissioner. Post an anon email address and I’ll email you some additional info later this week.

    • I am on Microgestin FE, which is the generic of Loestrin FE, and my pills are free (under BCBS). There are actually like 5 generics of Loestrin, so maybe you’re only searching the popular ones you are already familiar with and missing another generic option.

  19. anonforthis :

    not sure what i’m looking for here, maybe commiseration? would love to know if anyone else feels this way.

    sometimes if I have a big(ish) fight with my bf, even after we’ve made up… sometimes days later… I have this lingering feeling that our relationship is fragile. I feel really insecure because of the fight, even after my bf reassures me that we’re fine. I just keep dwelling on it in my head, and sometimes it bubbles up into a different fight or, like today, I’ll just tell him that I’m still upset about something that happened over the weekend, which understandably confuses him.

    relatedly, I find that if I tell my girlfriends about the fight, it makes me feel anxious about it all over again even if I had kind of gotten over it. I don’t want to feel like I can’t tell my friends about my relationship, but I also don’t want to keep feeling insecure about a fight that’s over.

    thoughts?

    • espresso bean :

      I have definitely felt this way. It’s hard to just put things out of your mind and move forward. I think if you talk about it to your friends, consider what you want to get out of the conversation. Do you want to rehash something that’s over and risk upsetting yourself again, or are you actually looking for constructive feedback? If you think it’s more the former, maybe don’t go into as much detail.

    • OMG, are you me?? Because I have been feeling the EXACT same way recently (sorry for the Ellen caps)! A bit like you feel all you’re doing is apologizing for something that happened two weeks ago?

      For what it’s worth, after one of our more recent fights, BF made a good point that I tend to let things stew and then blow them out of proportion, so I’m seeing a therapist for a first consultation tonight about that.

      I’m still in the after wave of this happening recently, so I don’t know that I can throw out any advice, but just hugs and letting you know you’re not alone.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      Is the fight really over as in “we’ve resolved the issue that started the fight by reaching a mutually agreeable solution,” or is the fight over as in “one of us caved and we’re no longer in open conflict”?

      • anonforthis :

        to be honest, our fights are usually something like this: bf does something (unintentionally according to him, and I believe him) that makes me feel angry/sad/insecure about our relationship… for example, by not communicating clearly with me about our plans for a weekend night, or by handling something in a bizarre way that I interpret as him ditching me; I eventually get really upset about it and somewhat dramatic, he apologizes, insists he didn’t mean it that way, but says he can understand why I feel that way and he’s sorry… but then he will often get upset if he feels like I’m blowing something out of proportion. I usually cry, he feels bad, and we reassure each other (with him doing most of the reassuring) that everything is ok and our relationship is not doomed because we had one fight.

        but then sometimes I’ll think, days later, that he didn’t really get what I was saying, or doesn’t fully understand what he did was wrong/upsetting. or I’ll talk to one of my friends and if their reaction is, oh, that was shitty of him, then I continue to mull over it even if I had already sort of moved on.

      • anonforthis :

        to be honest, our fights are usually something like this: bf does something (unintentionally according to him, and I believe him) that makes me feel angry/sad/insecure about our relationship… for example, by not communicating clearly with me about our plans for a weekend night, or by handling something in a bizarre way that I interpret as him ditching me; I eventually get really upset about it and somewhat dramatic, he apologizes, insists he didn’t mean it that way, but says he can understand why I feel that way and he’s sorry… but then he will often get upset if he feels like I’m blowing something out of proportion. I usually cry, he feels bad, and we reassure each other (with him doing most of the reassuring) that everything is ok and our relationship is not doomed because we had one fight.

        but then sometimes I’ll think, days later, that he didn’t really get what I was saying, or doesn’t fully understand what he did was wrong/upsetting. or I’ll talk to one of my friends and if their reaction is, oh, that was sh1tty of him, then I continue to mull over it even if I had already sort of moved on.

        • Killer Kitten Heels :

          The problem, it sounds like, is not the fight – it’s that you’re basically having the same fight over and over again, and nothing’s actually changing. You’re not getting any better at interpreting (or alternatively, becoming more comfortable with/understanding of) his method of communicating about plans/etc., and he’s not adjusting his method of communication at all, even though it is (or should be, at this point) clear that his current mode of communication isn’t effective (hence the fighting).

          You’re comforting each other about the fight, but you’re not getting to the root of what’s wrong/how to correct it. And you’re getting upset talking to your friends about it, because it’s pretty likely they’re spotting the fact that, even though “things are all better now,” you haven’t actually resolved anything, so your emotions/reactions are those of someone discussing an ongoing problem, rather than someone describing a thing that’s happened that’s over.

          • anonforthis :

            I think you’re totally right. thank you. I’m in individual therapy but I honestly don’t think it’s helping- I’m looking to switch therapists. but in the meantime I’m not sure what to do. I believe in our relationship, I know we love each other and I think we have something good. But it’s really this one issue that keeps cropping up.

          • Killer Kitten Heels :

            I’ve said this on this site before, but it seems relevant here:

            A relationship is not a house. You do not earn extra equity by taking on a fixer-upper.

            “Just this one issue” is actually a whole mess of issues: (1) you don’t communicate effectively with each other; (2) neither one of you appears to be working on that; (3) you’re afraid to talk about your problems with him, you know, with him, because it would “stress him out” and “make him think the relationship isn’t worth it”; (4) you’re questioning whether your reactions to things that happen are “normal” (presumably because only “normal” feelings are entitled to a response from him?).

            That’s not to say this all isn’t fixable/over-come-able/whatever – I just think it’ll be easier for you to fix “this one issue” if you’re clear on what you’re actually dealing with here.

          • hoola hoopa :

            I agree with everything kitten heels is saying.

            Except, honestly, these are pretty fundamental aspects of a relationship. It they aren’t coming together naturally with a partner, I think it’s a sign that you aren’t the right partner for each other – even if you love each other.

          • Anonforthis – I think you should make finding a new therapist a top priority. I agree with those who have said it’s not a great idea to rehash it with friends, especially if it’s to gauge whether your behavior is “normal.” As others have also mentioned, it creates a bad picture of your bf among your friends, even if that isn’t the case. I also agree with the others that have said this isn’t one issue. You have to deal with the insecurity issues absolutely, which is where I think a therapist comes in, especially if this is a recurring theme. You also have to deal with the communication problems – not having the same style and neither party seemingly making changes to accommodate the other. At the end of the day, you all may not be compatible despite how you care about each other. I’m not saying throw in the towel yet, but something has to change since this happens over and over again.

    • It’s been said that giving someone else (your friends, a therapist) a blow-by-blow account can easily cause a person to relive and re-experience the same feelings s/he had during the actual fight. This is one of the reasons why it’s not always helpful, for example, for people who’ve suffered trauma or abuse to keep talking about it even to a therapist. And why it can be so hard for victims of trauma or crime to testify in court. Just wanted to illustrate that talking about something extensively is not always helpful, esp. if it leaves you more agitated and upset than when you began.

      As a person who’s been with my guy for 15 years (yes, I’m old), I will tell you that no relationship, however good, is without conflict, and it is absolutely OK to fight sometimes, so long as you fight fairly and try to stick to the issues rather than showering the other person with WW-III inducing contempt. It does not mean your relationship is in danger. I would recommend seeing a counselor/therapist about your own feelings about the perceived fragility of the relationship. I’m an internet stranger, and you’re in that relationship. So it would be helpful to outline to the therapist that you fear that the relationship is fragile and for you to explore why you think that and whether there IS any basis for your thinking that.

      Good luck, and hang in there.

    • Why would you need to tell your girlfriends about a fight that is over and has been resolved?!? Especially if it is upsetting to you. One of the great things about grown up relationships is that you don’t have to share the nitty gritty with girlfriends, and you have the freedom to have a less gossip based relationship with them.

      • anonforthis :

        I think you might be right. Especially since lately my three closest GFs have not seemed to be super supportive of my relationship with the bf… like, they think we fight too much and that it’s not a good fit. Probably because I only really talk about my relationship when a fight happens… all three of them are single, so I consciously refrain from just telling them when something about my bf makes me really happy.

        • Anonymous :

          Or, maybe, because you guys really do fight too much and aren’t a good fit.

        • Yeah, do NOT do this. In addition to it being condescending, your friends are going to think he’s emotionally abusive. It’s actually fairly disturbing when the only thing your friend tells you about her boyfriend is that they fought about X or that he made fun of her about Y. That’s not to say that you need to be all “omg, my boyfriend is SOOOOO SWEET GIRLS!” constantly. But if you’re not throwing in “oh, we had a great time in the mountains last weekend,” or “boyfriend makes great Indian food” occasionally, your friends are probably going to worry.

    • I feel you. :

      I feel this way sometimes with my SO. He is very loving and forgiving, but I tend to dwell on my arguments and treat them as signs that we should not be together. The best cure for this was to have a meta-talk with him. Me: “I’m super anxious about X, and it stays on my mind even after we’re done talking.” Him: “Well that’s the way you are. Now I know what you’re thinking and how you handle stress.” Recently, it paid off when I worried about a discussion two days later. I started talking about how we were fighting all the time, and he just cut me off: “We are not fighting all the time. We had one discussion about X, and we’ll continue to talk about it. But we’re OK.” And that was that, and I felt much better.

      Re: talking to your friends. I also had this feeling, in the early days. Then I realized that I was feeling bad because I actually don’t like talking about our fights or “personal stuff,” even to my friends. Of course I will brag about him from time to time, or speak fondly of our shared trips or activities, but I don’t like to share the fights because I truly feel we may spend the rest of our lives together, and I would never consider sharing info about my family or spouse with people outside those relationships. Maybe you feel similarly?

      • anonforthis :

        I don’t think I realized I felt that way, but upon further reflection maybe I do. Talking about my fights with my bf to my friends makes me feel more insecure, which must be a sign. What matters is how I feel about the relationship, not how they feel based on somewhat limited information.

        At the same time, it’s very hard to resist the urge to talk to them about my relationship issues, especially if it’s an issue where I want to get feedback about whether my reaction or feelings are “normal” or not. Does that make sense? E.g. if I feel (irrationally) jealous about a certain situation with my bf, I feel compelled to talk to my friends about it to see how they gauge the situation.

        • I feel you. :

          Ah, yes. I too felt like I needed insight on these speedbumps. One non-friend way to soothe my mind was to check out the subreddit on relationships. People post their relationship problems and seek advice, listing their ages and length of relationship, so you can gauge what others similarly situated would do. As someone posted above, no one is in your relationship but you, and your friends may be in very different stages of life/relationships. Ultimately, the best person to talk to is your BF. He will accept you as you are; if he doesn’t, that’s a valuable lesson right there.

          • anonforthis :

            thanks for the subreddit tip, I didn’t know about that.

            I do talk to my bf about this stuff a lot; oddly though I sometimes feel more insecure when I do that because I worry that by talking about our problems I’m stressing him out or making the relationship not worth it anymore. I can understand someone would be frustrated if their partner constantly wanted to talk about relationship problems. I have a really strong analytical streak in me that is hard to tame.

        • Killer Kitten Heels :

          Assuming you’re not coping with a significant mental illness that would alter your perceptions of reality in a material way, I think it’s silly to worry about/need to check with your friends about whether your reaction is “normal” – your feelings are your feelings, even if they are “irrational.” You don’t get to demand that your SO meets your every irrational request, but you should be able to discuss your feelings with your SO without needing to confirm that it’s “normal” beforehand.

          If you don’t feel comfortable saying “hey, I feel kind of weird/jealous/left out when you do X thing without me/with someone else/whatever,” to your SO (not in a yelling-and-crying way, in a “here’s a statement about a thing that’s currently true” way), that’s telling you something about the relationship.

    • This may be harsh but trust your gut. If something feels fragile, it just might be and your bf may not be able to ID or name what it is. I recommend individual counseling to explore these concerns and decide for yourself if you’re onto something or just over reacting. – Been there.

      • Trust your gut! :

        +1 If your gut says something is off, it probably is. Add in what you said above, that you two seem to have incompatible communication styles leading to similar fights over and over, and something is probably actually off.

        I’d even add that the fact that need to bounce things off your friends is an even bigger sign that deep down you know something is off and are tying to get external reassurance that everything is ok. When I’ve been in a healthy relationship, I’ve not felt that kind of insecurity I need to shore up with external validation. And when I wasn’t, I definitely felt gut feelings of nervousness, insecurity, and pressure that I promptly ignored, to my detriment.

    • anon + preggers :

      honestly, I never tell my parents or friends about the very rare fights with my husband. we resolve them together; i don’t need to a) rehash or b) get someone else’s opinion about who was right or who was wrong. Plus, there’s a truth that when things are good you never hear about them but when things are bad people are happy to rehash — so if every time my gf brings up her bf it’s something negative, yes, I’m going to think less of him — which is going to affect the advice i give her and everything else. So on my own end: I just remember that no one sees the entire picture except for me, and try to be happy with how we’ve resolved fights.

      This isn’t to say that there isn’t something to be worried about with your bf — just saying that maybe talking to your gfs about it isn’t helping the issue. hope that makes sense.

  20. Trader Joes healthy favorites? :

    Hi ladies–a TJ’s is opening up near me and I am all over it. Can people recommend their favorite healthy finds at Trader Joe’s? I would like to significantly cut my refined carb intake and increase veg. consumption. Any recs for shortcuts/pre-prepared items much appreciated… thanks!

    • There was an extensive conversation about this on February 14, 2014. If you google: site:[thissite.com] trader joe’s, you will find it.

      • Thanks, I found that thread, but would still love any other recs specifically for healthy foods! FWIW, here are some items that jumped out at me from that list:

        turkey meatballs
        Prewashed and cut veggies – greens, squash, brussell sprouts, kale
        chicken chili lime burgers
        greek nonfat yogurt
        precooked edamame

        • Vegetables, fruit, fresh meat, frozen fish, eggs, yogurt, cheeses.

          If you’re really looking for healthy recs, skip anything in a package. If you want turkey meatballs, buy ground turkey, eggs, almond meal/oats/breadcrumbs, herbs and spices, and make much better ones yourself at home. Unless you enjoy corn syrup solids, soy protein, and mechanically separated turkey in your meatballs.

        • TJs is my BF :

          Chicken chili lime burgers. Gurrrl. Let me tell you. Fry these up and douse liberally with lime juice. It’s like eating a delicious kebab. Extra points for adding guacamole on top.

        • FYI, your tastes may be different, but I personally can’t stand the taste or texture of TJ’s greek yogurt. If you haven’t had it before and don’t like TJ’s brand, don’t write it off – try a bigger name brand instead. That said, TJ’s regular yogurt is actually pretty good, and some of the flavors are lower in sugar than many big brands.

    • Pre-cut butternut squash – just coat with a little olive oil and cinnamon and roast for 20 mins. Absolutely delicious.

      Pre-cooked frozen edammame – defrost, salt, and enjoy. 110/cals serving, mostly protein. So good.

      Frozen berries – I microwave and top with some quick oats and a teensy bit of brown sugar, though you could cut that if you wanted to. It’s a nice dessert alternative.

      • Love all the frozen foods, inc. the veggie gyoza and the veggie multigrain lasagna.

        My most recent discovery is freezedried berries — they’re the perfect crunchy thing to add to yogurt and even if you eat the entire bag, it’s like 130 cal.

    • marketingchic :

      whole wheat pizza dough (sold refrigerated, can be frozen), turkey meatballs, frozen brown rice

      • Orangerie :

        Second the rec for frozen turkey meatballs and brown rice – the small microwaveable packages are great for two servings. I also really like the frozen chicken gyozas.

    • I like the microwavable fresh asparagus. Will have to try the bnut squash!

    • It will do nothing for your refined carb count, but I swear by their 100 calorie packs of oatmeal choc chip cookies. They’re delicious and substantial enough that they’re pretty satisfying for those 3:30 ‘ugh, dying and I want chocolate’ moments.

      I think others may have mentioned, but their dried fruits are delicious and good value for snacks.

    • In the refrigerated shelves around the edges of the produce section, they have pre-packaged, pre-cut and pre-washed vegetable packets. Two of those and a block of tofu in a wok, and that’s a meal.

    • CapHillAnon :

      TJ’s frozen polenta with spinach and carrots–delicious, fast.

    • Sunflower :

      Spicy Asian Peanut Vinaigrette. It’s in the refrigerated section on the shelves above the lettuce. You might as well buy two bottles—it’s that addictive. I particularly like it on shredded cabbage, maybe with a little leftover roasted chicken thrown in.

    • My healthier TJ purchases:
      Bags of nuts and seeds — cheapest prices around.
      Cheeses — ditto.
      Low Sodium canned tuna.
      Rice milk for a vegan detox once in a (great) while.
      Larabars (2-3 ingredients).
      Organic frozen berries for smoothies.
      Whole-wheat tortillas.
      Ghee and coconut oil for sauteeing and baking.
      Wine!

  21. BIRKENSTOCKS :

    Ladies, I know we don’t all love ’em, but I am firmly team comfy German sandal. An abomination to some, yes, but I like to rock a pair of shiny Birks in the summer as my commuting shoe or with jeans and tanks on weekends and I am in for a new pair. Now the hard part is deciding on a color. I originally thought I would go for a shiny purple but all the talk of Pantone’s “color of the year” is clouding my judgment. Which do you think is cuter/more versatile: Deep Orchid or Lavender??
    http://www.6pm.com/birkenstock-gizeh-shiny-leather-unisex-deep-orchid-shiny-leather

    • I like the orange one the best. No surprise there, it would set off my olive skin tones beautifully. The Deep Orchid looks better and more versatile to me.

    • Deep orchid. I’ve got three pairs of pumps in dark purples (one in faux patent, one in faux suede, one a slingback — so therefore not duplicative :) ) and they’re very versatile and go with more colors than you might think.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Of those two, I’d get Deep Orchid. It depends on whether you usually wear warm or cool undertones, but I find I usually wear warmer colors with birks, for whatever reason.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      Team Deep Orchid, here, for all of the reasons previously stated.

  22. not ashamed--update :

    Another update for you all. Making huge progress!

    The Joint account is working as intended–salary coming in, bills going out. I have most of them on autopay (Suntrust doesn’t think that anyone’s money is good enough for them, so they won’t do autopay unless you have a checking account with them, which we don’t).

    We are on the budget plan for all of our utilities.

    I paid off a HUGE looming past medical bill because I was timely about payments. I called to make a payment today (I made the first 2 weeks ago, and set up an auto-draft for the remainder), and they offered me a settlement to close out the account. I paid it out of my own money rather than the joint account, so no deficit there–I will just have less discretionary spending until payday next week.

    I have a calendar appointment set up next week to pay off the last of my medical bills (just in time to get some new ones for some lab work next week!)

    Auto/homeowners insurance quarterly bill paid this week; more than the minimum payment paid on our lowly credit card made this week. We’ve been within budget for groceries for the last few months, so no trouble there.

    Building home emergency fund, as well as some other funds–like kids’ clothes: each of mine will need nearly 100% “new” (used) wardrobe for summer as they’re growing so much and can’t wear anything from last year. Waiting till it warms up a bit more–there’s 4″ of new snow on the ground today!

    Thought I’d pass on my good news. We are totally staying on top of the mail that comes in–a lot of it is just statements now, since everything is auto-pay, but the bills that aren’t, are getting dealt with on time now.

    Still have some outstanding debt (DH’s overdraft, and our one credit card), but we’re being aggressive at paying it off, in part because we want to use the credit card to pay the bills, then pay the card, so that we can earn points for a trip we want to take next year.

    Thanks for all the help ladies. I haven’t been on much lately because I’m covered up at work, but I still think about all the advice you have given just about every day when I am faced with financial decisions.

  23. hoola hoopa :

    I love this jacket. …does that make me old? I feel like I should care that everyone else thought it looked old, but I kinda don’t. Which probably means that I’m old. Old, but wearing an awesome coat.

  24. Mountain Girl :

    Would you wear this to work under a jacket or cardigan?

    http://tinyurl.com/mwbk58q

    • Nope. Looks like pajamas.

      • Mountain Girl :

        Now all I see is pajamas…and I can’t unsee it. Thanks for the honest feedback.

        • No problem! It’s cute, and I could see it with jeans and casual flats or sandals on the weekend, but couldn’t see it with anything for work.

    • hoola hoopa :

      No. I love it, but not for work.

      And I don’t see it working well under a jacket or cardigan anyway.

  25. Any other young medical corporettes out there? I came across this reflection while googling today and really stopped to think about it:
    http://kindofwoman.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/tuesday-musings/

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