Thursday’s Workwear Report: Seasonless Wool Layla Dress

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

We’re featuring this dress in black, but you can also get it in a very pretty teal called “night sky.” I like the v-neck, and I like the sleeveless style because you can layer it with a blazer or cardigan. I also like the faux wrap and the fact that the fabric resists wrinkles. The sale doesn’t hurt, either! You could make a suit out of this if you wanted — but only in the blue — as there’s a blazer (and skirt) available. Note that the description says dry clean, but not dry clean only. The dress comes in misses, petite, and plus sizes and is on sale for $99 from $199. Pendleton Seasonless Wool Layla Dress

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

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  1. Anonymous :

    Laptop bags that fit my 14″ laptop? I’m not a lawyer and rarely carry more than my computer and maybe a clipboard (besides my life — meaning, I don’t carry tons of files or paperwork, but want room for a pair of shoes, small make-up bag, water bottle, etc.) but find almost every bag is designed for a 13″ laptop?

    • Anonymous :

      Er, by laptop bags I mean totes/purses, not a messenger style or backpack!

      • Anonymous :

        Look at Lo and Sons. They have great stuff and videos for every bag so that you can see what fits. I have the OMG and love it.

        • I have an OMG and upgraded to the Seville and love them both. OMG now reserved for travel (as I am brutal and I want to keep my Seville pretty while it’s new). There was 0% chance that I’d part with my OMG even after having gotten another similar bag.

    • On that note, does anyone have a Cuyana work bag (satchel? carryall?)? They have a lot and I’m trying to sort out what I like best.

      • I have it and I absolutely love it, it fits my 14in work laptop, but not in the internal laptop sleeve

        • Mis-read your question – I have the work satchel

        • is the work satchel super heavy? For reference: I used to have the Dagne Dover tote (the largest one) and found it was so heavy it was impractical and stopped using it.

          • I actually have the Dagne Dover mini – and it’s similar in weight to the Cuyana satchel so I’d imagine its lighter than the large one

      • Yep, I have the zip top unstructured tote bag (love it, light weight and I can stuff tons in it, and I use this for travel, easily fits a large laptop); I also have the structured work bag they recently came out with- it also fits my big 14″ laptop, and looks great when I need to be polished, but is less grab and go for every day. Quality on their products in general is fantastic- I have a lot of their things (dress, makeup bag, passport cover).

    • Try the Victorinox Divine tote. I love it. It has amazing pockets, padded laptop and tablet sleeves, lined sunglasses pocket, pen pockets, ticketholder for metro transport…and I think it’s considerably better looking than the Lo & Sons bags.

    • I’ve got a Lo& Sons Brookline, and the Dagne Dover Charlie. The Brookline is great for long trips as it is super light and very organized. The Dagne Dover leather tote looks much nicer, though is quite heavy. It is a lovely bag though, I’ve been stopped multiple times while traveling to have people ask about it.

    • My Rebecca Minkoff MAB fits a large laptop as well as a bunch of other stuff. It’s not the most structured bag, but it’s fine if you don’t mind being a little casual.

    • Also on that note – I’m a designer and cary a 16″ laptop. I’m not having much luck with finding something that’s not a backpack for it + room for a makeup bag, water bottle, etc.

    • I bought this last summer and have absolutely loved it. The quality is great and it’s super streamlined.

      • That looks like a good bag. What’s the weight like? I am always looking for the lightest possible bag for my sore back.

        • This is a great choice for a lightweight bag. I love leather bags, but not for lugging around a laptop or even a tablet.

          Amazon carries more color options if that’s important to you.

      • Constant Reader :

        I have a Knomo laptop bag (it looks like they don’t carry the exact model anymore) and I love it. For a leather bag, it’s not too heavy, the quality is great, and usually knomo has very attractive colors beyond just black and brown. I’ve had mine for three years, am not particularly careful, and it looks new. I got my husband a laptop messenger and ditto. We both get compliments all the time.

    • ebags lets you search by laptop size.

    • TUMI, TUMI, TUMI, and go for LEATHER, not clothe! Dad made me buy leather for my computer bag and I have NEVER regretted it. My cleaneing lady put’s mink oil on it once a season, and it still LOOKS like NEW, even tho I bring it to work and to Court! YAY TUMI!!!!

  2. Anonymous :

    Ladies, how do you deal with the loss of a friendship? I was the closest of friends for 10+ years with a woman, but over the last year, we’ve hardly spoken. We’re in different places in our lives right now and don’t have as much in common as we used to. So I get why/how it happened. What’s hurtful to me is that she posts on social media her friendships with other women, and I feel like I’ve been cast aside. I have other friends and I’ll survive this, don’t get me wrong. But it’s come to the point where I’m going to turn off social media for a while so that I don’t have to see it… and let me get over the loss. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

    • numbersmouse :

      Unfollow her on social media. This will not only limit the amount of pain it’s causing you right now, but also prevent building resentment that will prevent you from approaching your relationship with this woman in a healthy manner in the future.

      • Brunette Elle Woods :

        Yes, I unfollowed an old friend on Facebook after I was not invited to her wedding. It’s easier not to see what is going on in their lives and move on without unfriending them or going off social media. Also I think it’s important to accept that friendships change as our lives change. It doesn’t mean the friendship is over. Have you reached out to her? Maybe try to meet for breakfast on the weekend or a quick drink after work.

    • Marshmallow :

      This happened to me a few years ago. A very close childhood friend completely ghosted me, out of nowhere. I left her one voicemail saying I was concerned, but when I heard from mutual friends that she seemed fine, I let it go.

      It hurt, a lot. I spent a lot of time wondering what, if anything, I did and never came up with a good answer. I have let go of a lot of the hurt because of the passage of time, and recognizing that she has dropped nearly all her high school friends by this point and hangs out with a totally different crowd. I’ve decided that punishing myself about it is pointless because I can never know in her mind what I did– and it very well may not have even been about me.

      I suggest you use the “unfollow” feature and don’t check her social media pages. No good can come of it. Take her number out of your phone. Tell yourself that you don’t want to be friends with someone who would cast you aside anyway, and you’re better off without her. It’s true!

      • numbersmouse :

        I’m so sorry this happened to you, Marshmallow, and I know first-hand how much a sudden friend-breakup like this can hurt. I don’t think this is the same situation as what’s being discussed here, though. OP, I would actually suggest not demonizing her or the relationship you used to have, since you seem to be relatively at peace with why your friendship ended. Just focus on limiting the damage it’s doing to you right now and you’ll be able to move on in a healthy way.

        • Anonymous :

          numbersmouse, thank you! And you’re exactly right. I know why and now our friendship has suffered, it’s just been painful to watch her (almost gloat) about her new friends on social media. I’ll take your advice and unfollow her for a while and lick my wounds and be grateful for the friends I have now.

      • I feel you on this hard. Going through this as well (a little different because it is a guy friend, but…)

        It’s hard for me to not check his social media. It’s all hard. I just hope at the end of the day, it makes me a better person.


      • This happened to me too. It happened almost 8 years ago, no explanation and I haven’t got a clue why, and it still hurts.

    • Anon for this :

      This kind of happened to one of my friendships. This was a girl I met at the beginning of college and we were really close for the next decade. She is an amazing kick [email protected] lawyer, really work hard play hard and childless by choice. Then I had a baby and leaned out in my own professional career. And our whole relationship changed. Things just got awkward for a while. I think we both were hurt and had some misunderstandings. So I just kind of let it go for a couple of years, but did not stop missing our friendship. It was our 10 year college reunion last year, and I sent her an email saying that I hoped I’d see her there. And I did, and things were somehow much more normal and comfortable between us. I was immensely relieved. I think she was too.

      If you are really hurt by her friendships with other women, I agree with the others, hide her. But just know that you can let something go gracefully and perhaps pick it up at another time when it makes more sense.

      • Anonymous :

        Agreed so much.

      • I’ve been in a similar situation with a childhood friend. She became a SAHM, and I decided to keep working. After lots of misunderstandings on both sides about our decisions, the friendship has cooled significantly. I care about her and miss her, but our lives are really different and we keep unintentionally stepping on each other’s toes about parenting stuff. It sucks, and it hurts. I have plenty of other friends who are SAHMs and this dynamic is something that’s specific to this particular relationship. I think we’re trying to respect each other but not really succeeding. I’m hoping that by leaving the door open but not forcing something, we’ll find it easier to connect when we’re both past the intense early years.

    • Been there, done that. It’s no fun and I really think the only remedy is time. But yes, agree with the others who say to unfollow her on social media.

    • Two Cents :

      But have you reached out to her and said this — something like “I really value your friendship and miss hanging out, can we get together soon?” I would assume good intentions. Maybe she feels the same way as you do and would like to hang out more.

    • Meredith Grey :

      In addition to just getting some distance via blocking social media alerts about her, I’d also give yourself some permission that this is ok and normal and a fact of life to feel sad about this. She might also feel pain, if that helps you cope to keep that in mind too. This might explain why it feels like some gloating is going on. It very well may be and she feels she needs to reinforce that she’s still valuable and worthy to others. That doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong- these are her own reactions outside of your control. I also think it’s ok to not want to reconnect. You’re not a bad person for just feeling pain and loss of a once meaningful friendship. That doesn’t mean you have to perpetually try to bring it back to what it once was with offers of talking about it, meeting up, etc. The pain will pass in time.

    • My advice is try to not view it as a loss of friendship but a change in your friendship. If you’re in different places, it’s natural that you’d start spending time with different people. I’d keep her in your feed so you maintain an idea of what’s going on in her life, and reach out if you want to maintain the connection (the “phone” works two ways). It may not look the way it did for the last ten years, but life is long and friendships can be too if you realize they will change a lot over the course of your life. Sometimes you’ll be close, sometimes less so.

    • Delta Dawn :

      Are you sure this is intentional on your friend’s part? Do you live in the same city? If one of you has moved away, or if you are just doing different things now, she may not even realize she has been neglectful. It’s still hurtful, of course– especially since she obviously has time for her new friends. But she may not realize that you feel this way, and it could have been inadvertent. Have you reached out to her? Asked her to coffee or lunch or something for a quick reconnect?

      I have a dear friend from law school, bridesmaid in my wedding, who ghosted shortly afterwards. Never returned calls, responded with a text “thanks” when I left her a birthday voicemail (and then forgot my birthday), that sort of thing. I checked with some mutual friends and they said she had done the same with them, but one had talked to her recently– and she sounded like we were all still the best of friends. She talked about us as if she were still in regular contact (“Oh, I’m sure Delta would like to see that movie too,” etc). We determined she’s just not good at being a friend, which is very sad and a little hurtful. But we realized it wasn’t intentional or malicious, and she wasn’t cutting us out– she was just not making time for us.

      It’s not ideal, and it required me to reassess the value and weight of that friendship– she unfortunately is not a best friend anymore. Now she’s an every-so-often friend. But it’s better than the alternative, I think. Could this be the case with your friend?

      • Hi Delta Dawn, thanks for the response. Yes, we live in the same city. Yes, I reached out to her to let her know my feelings were hurt about something that had happened between us. I thought this was a mature way to handle it, by being up-front. What I got from her was, IMHO, her excuses for what happened. All I wanted was an acknowledgement that she let me down, but I just got excuses…(i’m so busy and a diatribe of why she was so busy). After that, it was practically radio silence.

        • Okay, so that’s completely different than drifting apart. No mystery here. You told her you were mad at her, and now you aren’t friends. I actually think often the mature way to handle hurt feelings isn’t confronting people, it’s just accepting that they are who they are and dealing with it.

          • But don’t you think it’s better to address it? Not a confrontation, but just let her know that she let me down? Maybe she had a really good reason (she didn’t), but how would I know that unless I let her know?? I think that the fact that I let her know how I felt was the right thing to do. I’m just sad that it basically ended the friendship. Thanks for your thoughts though.

          • Anonymous :

            No, I don’t think so. She knows you are disappointed with her already. You want to shame her more?

            I do get where your coming from, but at this point I don’t see any potential gain, and you will then mull over the 2nd email/consequence even more…

        • Anonymous for this :

          I am sure this is not particularly helpful in your situation but I am kind of on the other side of a situation like this. My very best friend became involved with a man who, probably unbeknownst to her, said some dreadfully hateful things to me, attributing her as the source of many of them – which was undoubtedly at least partially true. She was head over heels at the time. I could not bring myself ever to voluntarily be in any kind of social situation with this person. Trust me when I say that I knew if I told her about the encounter, she would trivialize my reaction. At the very least if push came to shove I knew she would pick him over me, not a doubt in my mind. I have some real ongoing concerns about him, though, and did not want to draw a line in the sand that she couldn’t step over again in the future if she needed me. So, I ghosted, partially. Flash forward – they are now married. My friend and I are still connected on FB, and send Christmas and birthday cards. I know that she is perplexed about the loss of our closeness but I couldn’t bring myself to tell her why in the circumstances and instead have kind of danced around it as busyness and geography (we both have teenagers and live a long plane ride’s distance from each other).

          I’ve shed many a tear over this situation. For a time I felt it was a good idea to simply unfollow her on social media and I did that. I did and I think it was helpful. I didn’t block her from my pages or anything and have tried to remain gracious and cordial when we did connect online. Over time I’ve moved on and can tell you that it does get better. I still have very fond memories of all of years of real friendship, and sincerely wish her all the best in her future.

          I guess what I am saying is that even if you hadn’t reached out to her, but had dealt with your hurt in another way like I did, things might still have changed, and sometimes that is just life. All you can do is make the best and most honourable decisions that you are capable of and let the chips fall where they may.

          I am sorry that this has happened in your life but you will get through it and eventually the sweetness of your shared memories outweighs the sting of how things ended.

        • Totally Anon For THis :

          Friendships are hard, and you never really know when it’s about you/not about you. This goes waaaaay back – but in middle school, I had a very, very close friend. She felt like a sister to me, and we did everything together. Just before high school, her family abruptly moved to another town, and she dropped ALL contact with me. This was totally pre-cell phones, computers, anything, but I would still call her and write her. I saw her one time after she moved, and it was very strained/weird. I was hurt over the loss of the relationship for years. Even typing it out, I still miss her.

          I, however, later found out that someone in our community had reported the parents to CPS for something that looking back now, if true, was definitely reportable conduct. My guess is that they believed it was our family (and it may have been, I don’t honestly know), and they moved on. She has a unique name, and I’ve thought about reaching out to her on social media, but have never been able to do it. Sometimes it’s about you, sometimes not.

    • It happened to me. My BEST friend in college and for 1 year out of college just disappeared on me. Stopped returning calls, everything. I even wrote her a letter (snail mail) asking what was going on, and apologizing if I had offended her in any way. I moved on, but then she opened a social media account and is friends with a lot of our mutual friends, but hasn’t asked to friend me, and after all I went through to reach out to her, I’m not going to ask to friend her.

      I’m several years out from it now. It still stings and I’ll always wonder what happened, but I look at it this way: she doesn’t want to be friends with me. I have other good friends. My life is fine without her. Whatever is going on is her problem.

      Sometimes ships just pass in the night. It happens. Hang in there. It will get better over time.

      • It happened to me too! This appears to happen to a lot of us! I was probably annoying in the fact that I didn’t seem to understand I was being ghosted. This was (I believe) long before “ghosting” was a term. I even tried a few times to become friends on facebook but she never accepted and I moved on. About 2 years later I see her at a work conference where I am showing mutual friends videos and pictures of my son (that of course she had no idea I even had a kid). After that she sent me a friend request.

        Sometimes it still hurts and it has been 8 years now.

  3. Baconpancakes :

    Big scarves worn as part of an outfit to cover a slightly too low neckline, yay or nay? (Casual workplace, layering camisoles just means I have fabric bunched up underneath my boobs, and I think the revealing or not revealing aspect of the dress is directly related to the bra I wear, which I did not realize until this morning. Safety pin doesn’t work with this neckline.)

    • Yay. I wear a big scarf regularly to combat the cold temperatures in my office. I am in a business casual workplace.

    • My answer differs depending on whether or not you are currently wearing this dress at work and feeling self-conscious.

      If currently wearing – rock the scarf and don’t worry about it! If you feel self-conscious, people will pick up on it. Drape and forget!

      If not currently wearing – in general, not a good solution. If something has too low of a neckline for work, find another something to wear instead. Don’t try and fix it with camis, scarves, big necklaces, etc. There are a lot of clothes out there.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Yep, didn’t realize until I got to work and looked in the mirror. It surprised me because I’ve previously worn this dress without feeling self-conscious at all, and I realized it’s because I never wear this bra because it gives me a weird silhouette. (It’s a wrap dress, but previously wrapped at a point high up on my chest, and is now falling lower. It’s weird.)

        • TO Lawyer :

          So basically we are the same person today… I realized my wrap dress is showing way too much cleavage this morning when I got to work…

        • I have a trick with wrap dresses to keep the neckline from falling too low: I use a safety pin to fasten the inside wrap to my bra on the opposite side. On any wrap dress I have, the right side is on top as it crosses the mid-line, and the left side wraps underneath it. I lift the left side up a bit and safety pin it to the right cup of my bra about midway between n1pple height and the band. The pin is placed where the gathers of the wrap will disguise it.

          Realize this is a hard concept to describe, but I promise it works!

          • I do this too, and it works a treat. Something about not having the inside side of the wrap slip down under your bustline keeps the whole neckline much more reasonable.

          • Seattle Freeze :

            A paper clip works for this trick, too, if you don’t have a safety pin handy.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Ah, perfect! Thank you! Paper clip it is.

          • What an excellent solution!

        • I have had that happen to me so many times! When I look in the mirror in the morning, the neckline looks fine, but then as the day wears on, I look down and see the whole top of my bra.

          I would definitely cover up with the scarf. I wear my long scarves all day very often as part of my outfit. It doesn’t look weird.

          Long term you might want to look into having the shoulders taken up on this garment.

    • Anonymous :


    • I definitely do this outside of work, not sure about at work (not necessarily opposed, just haven’t thought about it). If you’re needing to cover up right now and you have a scarf, then yay for sure.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      Yes, however, if you the heat is on full blast and you get hot you will not be able to take it off. I would prefer to not have to worry about it at work.

  4. Je Suis la Jeune Fille :

    Thanks for feedback from the group in the last 2-3 weeks on this. DH and I have decided on France in April!

    Hotel rec for Paris and/or along the Normandy beaches (doesn’t need to be on the beach)? Not opposed to VBRO or Airbnb in case you have a specific rec for one of those, too. Not looking for the Ritz or Four Seasons, but would like something nice and well-located in Paris. TIA!

    • Oh I’d definitely do a flat, French hotel rooms can be so dinky and sometimes you just want pastries and coffee and a lazy morning. No recommendations I’m afraid but I’d look at Airbnb wishlists or most popular lists.

      • I second a flat in Paris. I’ve had good luck using One Fine Stay and they have places in Paris.

    • I love the Hotel St. Germain des Pres. It’s lovely and walkable to many things.

    • We used Paris Autrement to book an apartment for a week last fall and I was very happy with them. The prices are reasonable and they have a lot of inventory. I would recommend staying in the Marais near the Square du Temple – tons of amazing restaurants and bakeries, but a little quieter than the main shopping district of the Marais further south.

    • Definitely check Air BNB. I just booked our vacation in Paris and found an a-mazing apartment in le Marais for a really reasonable price. Do it soon, though, as I was looking for this summer and got many “Rare find! This place is usually booked!” notices.

    • Extra Petite did a blog post recently about using Air BnB in Paris. I think she linked to the specific apartment they rented.

  5. Anonymous :

    Lovely dress.

  6. Dehydrated in the morning :

    I sometimes have a lot of difficulty getting out of bed (even when I go to bed early). I think it may be because I’m waking up a bit dehydrated and that’s making me tired. How do I fix this? If I drink more water before bed, I’m just going to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I’d really rather not disrupt my sleep.

    Anyone experience this or have suggestions?

    • Have you tried increasing your intake throughout the day? That would be what I would try first.

    • The Thirsty One :

      Drink more during the day.

    • numbersmouse :

      Humidifier? Also try drinking an electrolyte drink or coconut water for more hydration without increasing the amount of liquid you’re taking in. You could also figure out the amount of water you need to drink to p** as soon as you wake up in the morning; this would take care of the dehydration AND get you out of bed quickly, but it is mostly trial and error (and the error part could go very wrong).

      • An electrolyte drink would not increase hydration. In fact, because of the electrolytes, it would decrease hydration (water percentage in your body goes down relative to the electrolytes).

    • +1 on humidifier. It won’t increase your fluid levels but will help keep your throat and sinuses from getting dry.

    • Anonymous :

      Put a glass of water next to your bed and drink it when you wake up.

      • I do this but actually take a sip periodically throughout the night. I wake up thirsty probably … 3 or 4 times a night? I roll over, drink a couple of slugs of water and go back to sleep.

    • Shenandoah :

      Not sure where you live, but is the issue worse in the winter? I hate being cold and love to crank up the heater, but I find I sleep better and feel less dehydrated when it’s cooler in the house. A humidifier would probably help in this regard.

    • I had it drilled into me that the water you drink today won’t really make you more hydrated until tomorrow at the earliest. Don’t just drink more water before bed- increase total water intake every day and don’t expect it to have any effect until a day later.

    • Anonymous :

      Adding a little bit of lemon juice (or other acid) can help you re-hydrate faster. If you are really, really dehydrated and have normal blood pressure, try adding a tiny bit of salt to your water when you increase your water intake. I had chronic dehydration at one point and a pinch of fancy pink salt or table salt in my water really helped my body hold on to more water.

    • Min Donner :

      Two things – 1) for the dehydration, and also to try to avoid having to get up in the middle of the night due to a full bladder, google ‘sole water’ and read up on that (I’ve heard good testimonials from folks I know, and am about to try it myself), and 2) for the morning tiredness, try to force yourself to get out of bed at your first alarm. I am a chronic snoozer and am always super tired in the morning, but as part of my new year’s resolution (and also b/c I have a new boss) I’m trying to get to work early/on time and that requires me to give up my 45-60 min/day snooze habit. It really sucks some mornings, and I soooo want to snooze, but if I force myself to get right up and started with morning things (making coffee, meditation app, packing lunch, etc.), after a few minutes I’m awake and way more alert than before when I would drag myself out of bed after an hour of snoozing and have to rush around and get out the door (usually foregoing the coffee, packed lunch, and meditation app, and relying too heavily on dry shampoo). Good luck!

  7. Remedial Proportions :

    I have a hard time knowing what kind of proportions work out well on me, but had a light-bulb moment the other day, so I thought I would share it in case it helps anyone else. Before her blog was 100% product placement, I used to love Extra Petite for this kind of helpful information. So, I mainly wear pencil skirts, some type of shell, and a cardigan to work. I’m a short-waisted hourglass and have found that I look like I’m all b**bs when I tuck in my top. What I noticed the other day is that the higher my neckline is, the better it looks when I tuck things in. It’s a longer line and visually reads way less like my top half is all chest. This is probably obvious to those of you who are not wardrobe-challenged, but it was revolutionary to me. Anyone else have some kind of proportion or fit ah-hah moments they’d like to share?

    • I have long arms and a proportionally short torso and realized that rolling up my sleeves or wearing 3/4 length/elbow length sleeves looks SO MUCH BETTER. Conveniently, this is helpful because shirts that are long-sleeved on other people are already 3/4 length on me…

      • Yup, this is me.

        Short waisted, relatively tall/long arms and legs. I must have 3/4 sleeves or my proportions look wrong.

    • Same here and this is why I only wear low rise pants and rarely tuck in tops. Also part of the reason I gave up on the shirt/skirt combo and have switched to all dresses. And lots of dresses come in the 3/4 sleeve

    • I’m tall and have long arms and legs, and I have finally just accepted that “bracelet” sleeves (intended to hit a few inches above the wrist) just make me look like Lurch, or like I couldn’t find sleeves long enough for me. It’s not a look I can pull off. Ditto with short, boxy jackets. No can do.

    • Anonymous :

      Yup, I am tall with a long waist that sort of gently curves but isn’t really defined. I also have broad shoulders, DD chest, a flat stomach, and a curvy butt (my waist is defined from a side view!). I’ve realized that skirts of any kind look totally out of proportion on me. They basically create a line in my middle that calls attention to my lack of a defined waist and turns my upper half into a square. I look best in tailored sheath dresses with long seams. Tailored pants with a top and a long-ish blazer also seem to work well.

      I’ve also noticed that if I am wearing a top under a blazer, it looks best when the top is about 2 inches below my collarbone and the blazer has lapels and a long opening.

      Longer necklaces also work better for me than short necklaces.

      Unlike anon above, I have found that elbow length or three quarter length sleeves are most flattering. Sleeveless tops make my upper half look like a box, and long sleeves are just somehow not quite as flattering as the middle lengths.

  8. Friendship :

    I am probably a terrible friend for even saying this, but how do you deal when the drama in your friends’ lives is just so exhausting? I’m at a pretty boring point of my life – kid, job, marriage, just bought a house that needs a ton done before we can move in and i have maybe a few weeks to do all of it. One of my closest friends is going through the opposite in every respect. She is a great friend but some of the problems she has with her ex, some of her other relationships, her job – they are a combination of bad luck and just really poor decision making. Without going into detail about them, I try to help and to be supportive but I am really struggling because it is just a lot for me to deal with, especially on top of a full time job, baby and the move. I feel like an awful friend. But I also just dread my friends texts because something is always on fire in her life.

    By way of background, I’m a lawyer and she isn’t so a lot of this is legal problems with her ex that I feel I have to help with at least marginally. Other stuff is another legally related thing. And then she is just prone to drama and has very dramatic episodes with people in her life that then result in real problems. She cant afford a lawyer to help and even when she had one during her divorce, she still needed me to help her explain stuff.

    • Anonymous :

      A text doesn’t require an answer right away. She’s not in jail right? It’s okay to start by communicating with her when you have time. Or to just say “hey I’m completely overwhelmed right now with moving so I might not be as available .”

    • Are her questions related to your practice area? If no, then stop giving her legal advice on the premise that you aren’t really qualified to do so, especially now that she doesn’t have a qualified lawyer to fact check your advice. Do you have contacts that can help her or can you point her to self-help resources? Many courts have pro se materials for domestic issues. It sounds like she is fairly all-consuming as a friend- don’t let her become your pro bono client too. And yes, I get that this is really difficult.

      • Friendship :

        I have general knowledge. Not my area though. I am not giving her very specific advice. More like talking her off of ledges when she doesn’t understand something. Also trying to prevent her from doing stupid stuff in response because she thinks its a good idea. I am trying to help her with free legal help resources but so far no luck.

        • Anonymous :

          I think you just need to start stepping back. Don’t try to keep her from doing stupid stuff. I have a friend like this. She does idiotic things and then tell me, her designated responsible friend, about them. I think hoping for a reaction- hoping that I’ll be disapproving and give her an excuse to defend her dumb move, hoping I’ll invest in fixing it for her. And I’ve just stopped. You want to quit your job on a whim? Enjoy. You want to give your couch away and be sad you don’t have chairs? Not something I’m going to care about.

          I just had to do it for myself.

          • Friendship :

            I guess the reason I feel bad is its more serious. She has kids and is fighting with her ex for sole custody – as in he wants it but only to spite her. So this is a bit more that just “couch” drama.

          • It’s still not *your* drama though. And if she wanted to, she would find a way to hire a lawyer. Your options are A) keep investing all of yourself in her, B) start setting reasonable boundaries, or C) blow up and end the friendship.

          • But it’s still her battle to fight and she is interpreting your advice as legal advice. This could end really, really poorly for both of you. I would lean WAY out on the legal stuff and set boundaries. You cannot control her life, nor are you responsible for controlling it or her decisions.

          • Friendship :

            I am not giving her legal advice. More like he sends her pictures of her having a glass of wine that he got off FB, she freaks out that she will lose kids because he is now telling the court she has a drinking problem, and I explain to her that’s not how it works. I do understand that it’s her battle and I need to change my reaction to it b/c she isn’t me and she also isn’t a client that I must “solve” this for.

          • And herein lies the problem with this sort of situation. You may not ACTUALLY be giving legal advice, but she HEARS it as legal advice because you are an attorney. Especially in family law, if that is not your practice area, you should step away and advise her to get an attorney.

    • If you want to continue to help – and sounds like you do – then you need to work on your own reaction to her. If you see a text from her and immediately think “I can’t deal with her drama!”, then examine what you’re feeling.

      – Do you have too much on your plate to read and respond right away? Then don’t read it until you feel more free.
      – Do you find that everything is a fire drill and it’s wearing you out? Maybe you can ask her to limit texting to truly urgent issues, and save everything else for when the two of you are able to speak.

      You decide how much of yourself to give to people. If you give more than you want, and then feel resentful, that’s on you.

    • It sounds like you may be a little more burdened right now with the move, and she is pushing you over the edge. I would just explain you have a lot going on…like, respond tardily to a (non-urgent) text from her and say that. If she is truly a great friend she should recognize that you have your needs to. It sounds like its time to assert them.

    • I only have advice on the legal part – I am the only lawyer in my family, so I’m very used to family members asking me legal questions relating to areas that I know nothing about. My tactic is to find a trustworthy source of information (e.g., a domestic violence hotline, a landlord/tenant clinic, a pro bono referral line), and say that I don’t know anything about their problem because it’s not my practice area (and often I’m not licensed to practice in their state anyway), but you should contact X source for more information. You’d be shocked how many people never thought to Google for organizations that could help or at least point them in the right direction, or who don’t have a good filter about what are/are not trustworthy resources.

      • This is really good advice. I have had the same experience with non-lawyer family members not being able to locate services/resources that I could easily find. They appeciated the direction.

    • She’s your friend and you love her, so help her as much as you feel happy to do. But when you feel yourself getting resentful, stop. You have every excuse in the world – baby, house, job – to say: that’s as much as I can do right now, sorry and good luck! Otherwise this is going to derail your friendship. You’re really doing her a favor because ultimately she needs to stand on her own two feet, and if she can always lean on you, she’ll never learn how to do it.

  9. Recommendations for low carb breakfast other than eggs? I’m going to start clucking soon.

    • Yogurt

      Ham & cheese & an apple

      Soup (not kidding – I love soup for breakfast)

    • Anonymous :

      Breakfast sausage, bacon, Greek yogurt (unsweetened).

    • TO Lawyer :

      Green smoothies? A green smoothie and yogurt is a really filling breakfast for me.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Cottage cheese. Boring but nutritious.

    • morningstar veggie sausage patties (regardless of whether you’re vegetarian. Crisp them in a tiny bit of butter in a small frying pan and they’re delicious). Usually with an egg (topped with a tiny bit of hot sauce and grated cheddar). Somehow I get sick of eggs without the “sausage” but together it’s a combo I can eat forever.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Chia seed pudding or sweet potato bowls.

      • While a sweet potato bowl sounds delicious and healthy, sweet potatoes are 100% carbs, so I’m not sure that helps.

        Greek yogurt would be my first rec. Smoothies work too, though most call for just a bit of fruit to make it palatable – something like this:

      • I totally forgot about chia seeds. I can’t do dairy but can do almond milk. Thanks!

      • Anonymous :

        Adding chia seeds to my morning oatmeal really helps with the “I’m suddenly starving” feeling 3 hours later.

    • If you’re super low carb, look up the blog I Breathe I’m Hungry. She has recipes for low carb protein pancakes, smoothies and lots of other non-egg breakfast items. If you are also in need of a cracker during your low carb days, she has a great one that is flax seed based that I still make if I want to get really fancy with my cheese plates.

    • Yogurt with seeds is my go-to breakfast.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Greek yogurt with 1/2 sliced apple, dried (unsweetened) coconut flakes, and a few pomegranate seeds. I know fruit is carbs, but pretty low overall for the benefit, and it’s just delicious.

      Avocado slices with smoked salmon (hot smoked or lox, your choice) on rye crackers (5 carbs/cracker, I usually eat 3).

      • Senior Attorney :

        I used to do Greek yogurt with half a diced apple and a small sprinkling of chopped walnuts. Delish!

    • NewRecruit :

      Banana and two egg pancakes. Mash ripe banana well, add in whisked eggs. Warm non stick or cast iron pan to medium, spray with oil. Cook silver dollar size pancakes 30 seconds on each side and serve. Tastes like the middle of a piece of French toast kind of.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Cheese cubes. Half an avocado. Salami.

    • Protein pancakes. Mix in blender: 1/2 c oats (the 5 min kind), 3/4 c cottage cheese, and 4 egg whites. Blend then cook as pancakes.

      For topping, make PB 2 a little runny

    • Anonymous :

      I make black beans & quinoa with diced tomatoes, and eat it for breakfast all week. Add lime juice, butter, and salt. It’s basically tasteless to me, and is perfect to have something for breakfast without having to think (or deal with the texture of yogurt, yuck).

  10. Backpacks? :

    Hi all,

    I’ve decided to switch to a backpack to better accommodate everything that I schlep around (laptop, files, life stuff, gym clothes, lunch, etc) everyday. My back has been killing me and I think a backpack will better distribute the weight than my various totes can. I’m thinking that I’ll use a backpack for my commute and could leave a tote in my office in case I’m going to a more formal meeting, so it doesn’t need to be the fanciest thing but I’m in my mid-30s in DC and don’t want it to be too ugly.

    Any thoughts on the Lo and Sons Hanover vs. one of the Tumi backpacks (probably the Halle)? The Hanover is so much cheaper but it may be just too ugly. I welcome recommendations for any other backpacks that people have used and liked!


    • It might be too casual (but customizable, I’ve got bright blue with pink trim so you could do more subdued) but I love my Timbuk2 backpack. I feel like I walk more when I have my backpack versus a heavy bag on my shoulder. Mine has the zippack on the back which makes airport security extra easy.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I recently got a black Everlane backpack that for some reason I can’t find on the website right now, but I like it. It’s made a huge difference in my walking commute.

      • same, I got the commuter backpack in reverse denim and I love it. Minimal design, but enough pockets and a padded one for my laptop. Sturdy, but lightweight, and the fabric isn’t a huge dirt magnet. I also like it’s structured shape. I’m not sure if I would have sprung for the hanover if it was released before I bought this one, but I’m happy with the one I have.

    • I’ve had a Knomo one for the past two years (before they were as prevalent as they are now) and it’s held up great. They have Nylon ones in the range of 100-200 and leather ones that look lovely but are pricier (and I’d be nervous about the additional weight). Mine is relatively low profile – it holds my laptop, wallet, notebook, papers – but I don’t think I could get sneakers in there. And there is no external water bottle holder which helps with the aesthetics but is less practical

    • My SO and I fight over the Tumi Alpha Bravo Knox backpack in gray. Somehow it is not too feminine for him, not too masculine for me, not too small for him, not too big on me. A year later of one of us wearing it every day, stuffing it with files and laptops, schlepping it in all kinds of weather and on public transportation and it still looks BRAND NEW. It is such a great one.

    • I went through the exact same thought process as you and purchased the Mozone large backpack off Amazon about 6 months ago. I would highly recommend it — there is even a middle pocket that I use for my sneakers.

  11. Ok more wedding-related questions! I’d apologize but I get the sense that a lot of women on this site enjoy reminiscing about their own weddings!

    Pros/cons of wearing hair up vs. down? I almost always wear my hair down, so I’m tempted to not to an updo ( don’t want to feel like I’m not me). However, I’ve noticed that at some of the weddings I’ve been to, the bride’s hair starts to get kind of stringy/sweaty toward the end of the evening and I’d like to avoid that. What about half-up/half-down? Too dated?


    • I like up or half up half down- Kate Middleton has lots of good half up half down looks. Agreed with you- just down often looks not great by the reception. It’s a long day!

    • I think it really depends on your hair type, the weather/time of year when you’re getting married, and the neckline of your dress. I have thick wavy/curly hair, and we had a long wedding day (catholic mass, gap in the afternoon for pics, reception), so having my hair up (and sprayed/pinned within an inch of its life) ensured it wouldn’t frizz or pouf and would still look good all the way through the day.
      If you have your wedding/reception at the same venue without a gap, your hair behaves nicely down, it suits the neckline of your dress, and you’re not overly concerned with humidity, wearing it down is fine.

    • I think there’s a good chance your hair will look pretty bad by the end of the evening no matter what. I did an updo and it was all sloppy and falling down by the end of the reception. My two cents is that you should do whatever you like and makes you feel like you, so you should wear it down if that’s the look you like best. One thing to keep in mind though is if you’re getting married outside, an updo will withstand wind and rain much better than loose hair will.

      • thanks! our wedding is in February on the East Coast, so we don’t plan on being outside much (unless it happens to be a nice day). My hair is naturally curly/wavy, but can be blown out very nicely. Oddly my fiance likes my hair when it’s naturally curly, but I tend to like it straight/blown out with fake curls better.

        • Why is that odd? Naturally curly/wavy hair is beautiful! My husband hates it when I straighten my hair.

        • You think it’s odd that your fiance likes the way your natural hair looks?

        • I think she may mean it’s odd that the “easy” way to wear her hair is what her fiancé likes, when it would seem like the more difficult way that requires effort and spending more time on her hair would have a better result– but the effort isn’t necessary because he likes it wavy, and that’s funny/odd/counterintuitive. Just since it seems like more effort would equal “better.” Which is not always the case!

        • I love curly hair. Why not look like yourself on your wedding day? How wonderful your boyfriend loves you looking as you were born!


          Someone with stick straight, boring hair, who longs for curls.

      • Anonymama :

        On the other hand, I had a dancer friend do my hair in an updo and it would have survived a hurricane. It was a little shellacked to touch but looked nice in pictures and I was really glad not to fuss with it all day (I don’t usually wear my hair down).

    • If you wear it down make sure it looks “done” in some way. Nice blowout, some curls, whatever. Something about a fancy wedding gown with “ordinary day” hair looks funny to me. Especially if you don’t have a veil – it looks like the bride just forgot about her hair.

    • Meredith Grey :

      Up or down, my advice (from experience): No scissors on wedding day allowed! Your wedding day is not the time to try out a side swept bangs….

    • Look for inspiration pictures from real weddings from brides who look like their hair is similar to yours. I have fine, thin hair, so a lot of the beautiful pictures I saw I knew just wouldn’t work because I don’t have enough hair to pull off the volume they required. I found a photo with a bride who had hair that looked a lot like mine and had a nice, slightly curled half-up do. I brought the picture to my stylist and she was able to replicate it with fantastic results.

    • I don’t think half up half down is dated– I did it for my wedding in October. I had the same thought as you did– I wanted to look like me, only at my best. I frequently wear my hair half up, so with the curls and veil and whatnot, it felt very natural but polished.

      • I actually was in two weddings in the year between getting engaged and getting married, which was fun because I got to try out hairdos– I did an updo at one wedding and a low side pony with curls at the other, and then got to see photos and decided those weren’t looks I wanted for my wedding (although they did look nice).

      • That kind of reminds me of my prom hairstyle (in a good way!). I had long straight hair that had never held a curl a day in its life. I had it curled and then hairsprayed/pinned so much that when I took the hairpins out the next morning basically my hairstyle almost didn’t change. It looked nice and done up but still felt like a normal hairstyle.

    • Depends on what you prefer and what looks best on you. I have pretty hair (not bragging, but I do) and it was long at the time, so I did half up/half down with a lot of volume on top and loose curls. I know that if you curl my hair it can actually stay all day (not everyone’s does), and we had a fall wedding so getting sweaty wasn’t an issue. I like the low-maintenance of an updo, but I have a long neck and was wearing a strapless dress, so it would’ve felt like a lot of skin. So a lot depends on your dress, the time of year (obviously wearing it down could get gross with an outdoor summer wedding in the heat), what looks best on you, and how casual/formal your wedding is.

    • While I think half-up half-down is gorgeous for brides, I don’t think it’s going to solve the particular issue you brought up– the hair that is down is still going to be subject to getting sweaty/stringy, and might look even more so since there’s less of it down.

      I wore my hair up since I knew I would be sweating at my wedding, and I just didn’t want to have to deal with it. I’ve also been told by several friends (slash my mom for my entire life) that they think I’m prettier with my hair pulled back in general, so I felt pretty comfortable wearing it that way for my wedding. But, it’s really what you’re comfortable with!

      • +1 – I wore my hair half-up when I was a bridesmaid last year. The style was pretty, especially early in the day, but looking at the photos from the end of the reception, I wish I’d just gone with a full updo because the part that was down didn’t look particularly good.

    • 90's bride :

      What about cutting it off?

      Pixie cut and amazing hairdresser to put my headpiece in = win for me back in the day.

      Just joking really, but I kind of loved my short hair then, and am actually back to it now 20 years later after growing it out starting right after the wedding.

      • numbersmouse :

        I’m really curious about this: how do you put a veil or headpiece on (besides an Alice band) in pixie hair? It just feels like so many of those pieces are attached with little combs that would never stay in my hair.

        • 90's bride :

          My hairdresser was a wizard. Mine was a tiara-style headpiece with an attached veil. I think he used lots of tiny bobby pins and a lot of spray. I never “do” my hair personally so it seemed kind of magical to me. I swear to God it never moved the whole night and there was some serious dancing involved at that party. The real problem came back in the hotel suite trying to get it off, which is another whole story, lol. We were eventually successful, thankfully.

          Now I am nostaglic for my wedding day – good times.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Perhaps my wedding was more casual than most, but I decided to wear my hair down and curled for the ceremony and beginning of reception then put it in a ponytail with a cute gold cuff when I got hot. My long hair looks great down and curled so I wanted it like that at least part of the time. But I regularly have a ponytail, so I was totally fine having it like that but a little fancier than normal because it felt like “me.” I’m happy with how it looked both ways.

    • On I think half up, half down would be fine. You can do a trial run with your stylist to see how how your hair does over the course of a day.

  12. Health Insurance Question :

    I’m 22 and started a full time job a few months ago. Right now I am on my parents health insurance under Obamacare. If it is repealed, I can get insurance through my job, so I’m pretty lucky.

    But how do you pick health insurance? Is a plan with a calendar year deductible of $4000 for an individual good?It pays 90% after deductible for most types of doctors visits.

    • You have to decide what kind of risk you’re comfortable with. I’m 35 and single and thankfully very healthy, so I have a similar high deductible plan ($5k). You pay everything before that amount out of pocket, but God forbid you get cancer or need major surgery, you’re covered.

      If you’re in good health, it wouldn’t necessarily make financial sense for you to choose the plan that allows, say, unlimited doctor’s office visits. You’ll pay mightily every month for a benefit you don’t need.

      I’ve probably only spent $200 on healthcare in the last year – and that’s only because I had to see a PCP to go on an anti-anxiety pill to cope with my job. Excluding those office visits (and corresponding $4 drugs), I haven’t spent a dime. So me signing up for a more expensive healthcare plan, with monthly premiums of $300 or so, wouldn’t have made sense.

      • ^ This. You’re weighing the fixed cost of the premiums against the variable cost of care. It’s hard to say right now, because we don’t know anything about the “terrific” plan the Republicans plan to replace the ACA with, but when you (hopefully) have more info about what’s covered, you can estimate your expected and worst-case scenario healthcare utilization and balance that against the annual cost of the premiums.

    • Anonymous :

      “Good” insurance really isn’t about the deductible. As people said above, do the math on the deductible vs. monthly premiums based on your anticipated health care costs. I have a high deductible plan and pay very little for my healthcare, since my premium is $0 and I’m generally healthy, so it would make no sense for me to pay $300 a month for a lower deductible plan. When people talk about bad insurance, they are really referring to insurance plans that won’t cover many things or have lifetime caps on how much they’ll spend on you. Obamacare banned lifetime limits but they may come back.

      • Anonymous :

        Also worth noting that many high deductible plans come with HSAs. Best case, your employer will put some money in the HSA every year that you can use to pay your healthcare costs (e.g., if your employer puts $500 in your HSA in 2018 and you have $400 of medical costs that year, you have to pay nothing out of pocket and you keep the $100 to use at some future time – it never expires). Even if your employer doesn’t fund your HSA you can put money in it yourself on a pre-tax basis.

    • If your young and healthy and budget appropriately for your deductible, high deductible plans can be fine. To be clear, you don’t have to pay out of pocket until you reach your deductible, you just have to pay “your portion” of the bill. Especially on imaging or procedures, this is where “your portion” will rack up.

      We had a high deductible plan for many years when my company had no other option. We eventually decided to make the switch to a high premium, no deductible plan through my husband’s insurance just because I spent so much time paying medical bills, fighting billing errors, etc. IMHO the billing errors are the WORST part of high deductible plans (as an aside like being charged $5000 for newborn care which should be covered 100% per the ACA but b/c they billed it wrong…). We’re paying more per year now (about $1000) but it was quite honestly worth getting my time back.

    • Is that the plan via your work? How much would it cost you per month?

      Although you don’t give any details on the plan, that type of “high deductible” plan would be fine for someone your age with no major medical problems. You should ask around your work about how people like it… which means, does it allow access to a good network of doctors/hospitals, is the quality of customer service high, are there frequent problems with errors in claim processing or denials of care etc…. THOSE are the criteria that differentiate a good from a bad plan. Never look at the cost alone.

      FYI – I pay out of pocket for Obamacare right now. I am healthy, 40’s, no medical problems. The cheapest bronze (highest deductible/cheapest tier) plan in my State for me that isn’t a highly restricted HMO (with truly terrible hospitals) costs $475 per month for my premium with $7000 deductible before my plan pays anything, including meds (so you pay all of your medicine costs until you pay $7000 total). And it stinks because now none of the best hospitals/medical schools in my major city accept ANY of the Obamacare plans, and I can’t see my doctor anymore. I have had 4 different health plans since Obamacare started since the insurance companies are dropping like flies and my plans are always cancelled after one year (sometimes less) and premiums have doubled since Obamacare started. So Obamacare is now becoming very expensive, with worse quality doctors to choose from.

      I was a huge Obamacare supporter (I still volunteer with Get Covered), but have to agree that things have deteriorated in many locations. Let’s see what pans out this year, and I still refuse to panic. However, I saw Obamacare as just the start anyway, and had no illusions that it wouldn’t take years/decades with adjustments transition to a different system for accessing healthcare.

      One thing I have realized is that the Obamacare benefit of allowing people < 26 years old stay on their parents' health plan actually hurts Obamacare a lot financially. Because all of those young people don't access care a lot and tend to be healthy, so those are exactly the folks that we need to be joining Obamacare care and paying their share to balance out the older folks with more medical problems. But instead, everyone I know (including many 20 somethings that could afford to pay for their own health insurance) stays on their parents' plans now as long as possible, if they have parents generous enough to allow this.

  13. Anon for this :

    Anyone here make partner (or similar in your field) and then feel a little direction-less after you finally got the promotion you wanted so badly? I’m feeling a little “now what?” as a new partner and the weird thing is that I’m not enjoying the new role as much as I thought I would.

    • Yes, totally! I actually had sort of a crisis for maybe 6 weeks or so. It totally passes. I think it’s just the natural aftermath of having really striven for something and not having thought about what would come next. What helped me was (i) a bit of time and (ii) starting to really think about what opportunities the new role would offer me and taking advantage of them (for me, in particular, the ability to be a more influential mentor to more junior people and more independent resources/opportunities for business development).

      • Don’t worry. At first being partner doesn’t seem like fun because you assume additional administration responsibility and you are on a learning curve on how to manage your role. However, doing business development will give you over time the ability to shape your practice to suit you in a way you could not do as an associate. If your firm offers a biz dev coach to help new partners, use her. A coach can help you crystallize new goals. If you need a referral to someone, let me know.

        • Anon for this :

          Thanks AnonSrPartner. That is a really good suggestion. Part of my uneasiness is having so many nonbillable things to do but not feeling like I’m making as much progress on the billable hour front (which, frankly, got me to this promotion). A biz dev coach is a good suggestion.

        • Lorelai Gilmore :

          I’d like that referral!

      • Anon for this :

        Thanks cbackson. I’m glad to hear that this is temporary state. I have enjoyed your posts on this site and was inspired by your position as partner to keep sticking it out at my firm. Thanks for your insights and for supporting so many people in this community with your advice and encouragement!

        • Aw, thanks! I’m glad you made it over the line! Honestly, I love being a partner, even with all the stuff that is less fun…a year in, I feel so much in the driver’s seat in terms of my professional life.

  14. Paging the person going to PEI :

    A couple suggestions:
    1. Richard Wood’s ceilidh (Stanley Bridge Hall on Saturdays)
    2. Belfast Mini-Mill (they do small batch milling for people who have three sheep and a llama or whatnot. You can get beautiful hand-knit products there made from everything from muskox wool to bamboo. Check out Point Prim lighthouse while you’re down there.
    3. Deep sea fishing (highly recommend Joey’s in North Rustico – do mackerel, not tuna if you’re not an avid fisher though)
    4. Green Gables/Cavendish is fine but touristy and three times the cost of everything else
    5. Charlottetown Farmer’s market is amazing (Saturdays and Wednesdays)
    6. Clam Diggers in Georgetown is a good restaurant with an amazing view/patio; Terre Rouge in Charlottetown is a little pricey but everything is delicious.

    — TorontoNewbie

    • 90's bride :

      Now I am homesick for the Maritimes. And it is minus 41 where I live right now so thanks for the warm memories!

    • PEI for children? :

      I think I was into Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and not Anne of Green Gables. Is PEI a good kid-friendly place to visit if your children are currently reading the book? They are younger, so it is an abridged version (but I think it is otherwise true to the book).

      • Paging the person going to PEI :

        It’s a wonderful spot for kids! Particularly if you go in the summer. Lots of beaches and quite a few have lifeguarded sections. Plus all the national parks are free this year. Visiting Green Gables itself is fun – you can do things like churn your own ice cream and whatnot. There’s also a historic village by Orwell Cove. Cows ice cream is a must. Lots of parks and playgrounds.

  15. Tell me about Chia Pudding. Does anyone here make it? What are your favorite recipes?

    • I just mix with coconut milk, pour into individual serving containers, and top with blueberry preserves.

    • I do – I tend to make it with almond milk + dashes of cinnamon, cocoa powder, and stevia. It’s pretty hard to mess up if you follow the proportions provided in recipes. Honestly, I think the hardest part is portion control; a serving is only 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, which doesn’t look like a lot in the container but it can be quite filling.

    • In the past I mixed some kind of milk (almond, cow, etc.) with chia seeds and it was ok. Most recently I had some coconut milk (partial can of light coconut milk) leftover from cooking that I needed to use up. I blended it with chia seeds, agave nectar, and frozen blackberries, and it’s so much better. Sidenote: frozen blackberries are not my favorite because of the seeds, but I figured I would use them in the pudding where the texture is more accommodating than putting them in smoothies.

    • Closet Redux :

      What’s the deal with chia seeds? What about them is so great?

      • For me it’s the texture and the nutrition and they’re totally having a moment, so they’re easy to find.

      • Filling, high-fiber, lots of protein, very easy to turn into a breakfast pudding that you can portion out all week and add delicious toppings to. I also throw them in my overnight oats.

    • Anon in NYC :

      The recipes on Oh She Glows always look good (although I’m usually too lazy to follow through). My basic recipe is chia seeds + almond milk + cinnamon + sweetener (usually agave), topped with berries and slivered almonds.

    • FrankieCat :

      They totally gross me out (something about the color makes me cringe) but my kids love this for breakfast and desert
      A few variations:
      – a liquid to make the seeds into pudding (coconut milk, almond milk., chocolate soy etc)
      – cinnamon or plain
      – additions: chopped mango, cranberries, shredded coconut, nuts, bananas, etc.

  16. I need to get a gift (<$100) for a good friend who is celebrating finishing his phd and moving abroad for a post-doc. So it's a joint going away/dissertation defense party. I'm really drawing a blank. I don't have time to order something so should be something I can buy in-store somewhere (I live in a big city). I'd like to get him something that will be useful to have in his new home (in Germany) but which will be really easy to travel with/not bulky since he isn't shipping stuff over, just taking suitcases.


    • I recently had to get a gift for someone in a similar position (no PhD, but move oversees). I gave them a book of local photography to remember the old city and show friends in new city about where they used to live.

    • anonshmanon :

      It won’t be the last time he has to move for career reasons. There is also a possibility of travel for collaborations or conferences. Therefore, I’d either go digital (NYT subscription, Netflix gift card, cloud storage), or travel accessories (unfortunately, noise cancelling headphones don’t quite fit your budget). Oh, and you don’t get decent peanut butter over there. I am the practical gift-person, so YMMV.

      • Recent grad is unlikely to have decent luggage, so a quality, European sized (that’s very important) carry on suitcase would be a lovely gift. I would have loved that as a going away/graduating present and used it all the time

    • Really good compact umbrella! Small, he’ll use it a lot in Germany, and it’s exactly the kind of thing that a PhD student could stand to upgrade to a nice, professional version.

    • A nice pen. It’s more expected to have a nice pen in a meeting in Asia or Europe than it is here.

      • Anonymous :

        specifically in German academia, nobody expects that, it actually would come off as slightly eccentric or pretentious. Industry meetings are a different story.

  17. Lean in or give up? :

    I have a career situation that I don’t know whether to pursue, or to stop beating a dead horse.

    I’ve been with my current employer (a University in the south) for almost 5 years. I do a good job, have a good reputation, always get merit raises. This summer, I’ll be moving to the midwest to another University town (for my husband’s career). My current U and the new U have a new partnership/rivalry (of sorts) that will be on-going for at least the next 2 years; my current U is trying to do a lot of outreach in the midwest because of it. I proposed to my current U that I stay on and work in that region of the country, telecommuting to the home office and making trips back down here as needed. Initially there was a lot of excitement for this proposal, but it was squashed by an upper manager (not the VP; I doubt he even heard of it). I didn’t get to make the proposal myself – it was made for me and was framed very narrowly.

    I’m considering writing up a short proposal of my own that lays out a more creative approach (for example, not just doing job A or B as they exist in our current org chart, but tackling elements A – D, etc.) If my current U doesn’t retain me, it’s pretty much a given that new U will hire me to do the exact things I’m proposing (but for them, of course).

    I (think?) I’d prefer to stay with my current U (no break in pay or employment, I like the idea of working from home) but their inability/refusal to see the possibilities here does give me pause. Making my own proposal to the VP feels like I have nothing to loose and everything to gain. Thoughts? Advice?

    • Ehh, I don’t know. I feel like it’s already been shot down and it would be sort of tone deaf to ask again. I’d at least explore employment options at the new U and probably only pursue this further if the new U can’t hire you or won’t pay you what you think you deserve.

      • But who cares if it’s tone deaf? If they say yes, it wasn’t tone deaf… If they say no, she’s leaving them. Nothing to lose.

    • Why not try? What’s the worst that can happen?

    • I’m in higher ed and I have some thoughts. One thing to think about: if you do go over your upper manager’s head to the VP, and they do sign off on keeping you, are you going to need that upper manager and their institutional buy-in to get things accomplished in your new position? Higher ed can be so territorial (especially with anything that requires funding in this climate) and bureaucratic that I’d worry about burning that bridge, since one annoyed e.g. dean can have a lot of power to functionally squash projects on the ground. I also know for a fact it would not go over well if I went to the VP above our unit with anything–I don’t know exactly what level you’re at, but for me there are at least four humans above me (and I’m not entry-level), and if I emailed a proposal to the VP their first reaction would be to go straight back to the director of my unit to ask what was going on. It would not look good for anyone if my director was not in the loop, and it would be a complete disaster if my director had been the person to veto the proposal.

      On the other hand, you have to be your own advocate. But the more I write and the more I think about how this would go at the universities and programs I’ve been affiliated with, the more I feel like there’s no way going straight to the VP will end well for you, unless you’re already at a fairly high level yourself. I’d say it’s time to get in touch with that new university and start finding out if they actually want you.

      • Lean in or give up? :

        These are all really good points. Thanks for making them.

        • Did the original person you approached about this know the full points of the expanded proposal you are suggesting? A compromise between going over their head and giving up could be sending your expanded proposal to this person, basically with a note that says, “I realize this was shot down, but I wanted to ensure that I had done everything I could to define how I think this new role could be of benefit to the organization, blah blah blah.”

          • Lean in or give up? :

            The person who brought the proposal forward on my behalf was super pumped up about it herself. However, the reason she gave that her boss shot it down was very specific and narrow (as in, “the data shows we only have 12 friends in the midwest, which isn’t enough to warrant this role”). I’m looking at “friends” as just one metric of many, but I don’t think that was the conversation they had.

            Your idea of going back to her directly with my new proposal is a really good one- thank you.

    • You have nothing to gain. They already told you no. Start talking to new U.

      • Or perhaps start talking to new U and THEN propose to current U?

        • This! Talk to the new U, get a proposal of what you might be doing for them and bring it back to see if old U is willing to match. In higher ed there is nothing like an offer from a competitor to change minds and make money appear

          • Lean in or give up? :

            So true. And new U is all over wanting me to apply, so I will do that.

    • Meredith Grey :

      Seems like you have nothing to lose but to keep trying to make it work for you! Worst case? You find yourself exactly where you’d be without talking to VP directly- looking for another job. Go for it. Push hard.

    • Does the VP even know that you are leaving? If not, maybe finding a way to let him / her know that would be a more natural way to re-open this conversation then submitting a new proposal.

  18. Dubai Hotel Recs? :

    Going to be in Dubai in February partly for sightseeing, partly for visiting friends who live in Sharjah. I am overwhelmed by the hotel options. Anyone have recommendations in the downtown Dubai/Bur Dubai/Deira areas? Looking to keep it in the $200/night or less range. I generally think of a hotel as somewhere you sleep, not a destination in and of itself, so my main concerns are good location for transit/sightseeing, clean, and safe.

    Activity and restaurant recommendations also welcome and appreciated!

  19. What’s your go-to BB/CC cream? Any moisturing options?

    I’ve been using Clinique CC for years, and I”d like to try something new because my skin has been quite flakey around my nose and eyebrows (does anyone else have this happen)? I exfoliate, use a serum, and a moisturizer. Then I put on the CC cream, and I feel it highlights dryness.

    • Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue is very hydrating, and I like it a lot. But if you have flakes, then any tinted cosmetic is going to highlight them. You have to get rid of the flakes first. Maybe switch up your exfoliation routine or move to a heavier moisturizing routine for the winter?

    • I second that it’s more of a skin issue than a makeup issue. It sounds like your skin is still dry around those areas. I would purchase a really heavy moisturizer for just those areas and see if it doesn’t clear up in a week or two. I got dry skin this fall and had to switch to like…old lady ponds lotion for dry skin, and it really worked to clear up any flakiness (and its only $4!)

      • pugsnbourbon :

        I generally have angry/sensitive/acne-prone skin and use a retinoid – flakes are a nightmare. I found a St.Ives oatmeal/honey moisturizing mask and scrub at the drugstore and it’s helping. I was wary but it’s much, much gentler than other St. Ives exfoliating products. I wash my face with a gel cleanser, smooth the mask on my problem areas and let it sit, then gently use my fingers to rub it in while rinsing. And it was $4.

    • I use Maybelline BB cream (get mine at CVS) and love it. Just enough coverage and I find it moisturizing enough to skip applying my normal lightweight moisturizer (Clinique’s yellow one but the gel kind, not the cream).

      • AHA/BHA tonic/serum to exfoliate plus a peeling once a week. When it comes to BB/CC I highly recomend my Innnisfree water cushion and Innisfree water balancing smart foundation (via ebay).

    • Likewise I used the Clinique CC for several years but have recently switched to two different products. The first is NARS pure radiant tinted moisturizer, which I use mostly in the winter and also when I want a “dewier” look (I have dry, flaky skin that still manages to look shiny…). I otherwise use Dr. Jart’s BB “Dis-a-Pore” which is certainly much more mattifying but doesn’t highlight flakiness as much.

      I have crazy sensitive skin and both of these are pretty tolerable for me, so highly recommend.

      • Another vote for the Nars pure radiant tinted moisturizer. I have dry, sensitive skin and it doesn’t flake up or make me break out, which just about everything else does.

    • Dior BB cream is great!

    • I love the Dior Diorskin Nude BB Cream. Seriously, you can take this stuff out of my cold, dead hands, but not otherwise.

      • YES!!! It is seriously amazing. I apply it like foundation (use one of the Sephora brushes) and then set it with some Laura Mercier pressed powder and it makes my skin look perfect. Using brushes to apply both BB cream and powder is absolutely necessary and makes an enormous difference in how natural your skin will look. I use the Sephora air brush to apply the pressed powder.

        My skin is similar to yours (dry and gets flaky around nose and eyebrows) and what really helped resolve the flakiness was a combo of chemical exfoliant (AHA from Paula’s Choice) and really heavy moisturizer (moisture mask from Paula’s Choice; it’s technically a mask but I leave it on all night). Once I started that combo, my skin stopped being flaky, even in the dead of winter.

    • Anonymous :

      I bought Dr. Jart Premium BB Cream (the one in the gold bottle) when my skin was flaking due to Retin-A, and I absolutely love it. Highly recommend it! They have it at Sephora

    • MAC Prep+prime

    • I had flaky skin for years and tried everything. Then I started using clinique toner + dramatically different moisturizing lotion and it went away. I literally have no idea why, especially since clinique toner has alcohol in it which is supposed to be drying. I only used it coincidentally, because I got a sample, and the flakiness disappeared overnight and has never returned.

  20. Clothing help please? I’m wearing a pencil dress I treated myself to on a whim, and it’s one of the most expensive things I’ve ever bought for myself. It seemed to fit perfectly in the store, but when I walk I notice it has a tendency to bunch up into a little ‘pooch’ by my stomach even though I have a flat stomach. I think it’s because it’s a little bit small around my hips and thighs and there’s no stretch at all in the fabric. It also might be because I’m long waisted so my hips start lower than they do in the dress.

    Is it possible to let out a dress around the hips and thighs without ruining the line, even if there’s just a tiny bit of fabric to work with (I checked the seams and they’re not generous)? Should I get a slip? Shapewear??? Or is this totally normal for this silhouette of dress and I’m just being hyper-critical and insane? The dress still looks good, but the fit issue means I don’t feel as awesome in it as I expected.

    • You’re probs being insane. And doubtful it can be tailored if there’s not really any fabric there.

    • I’d try spanx first, you might be able to get just enough room for the dress to lay right again, and then take it to a tailor if that doesn’t do it. I’m sure no one notices, but I get what you mean that you don’t feel as awesome in at as you would like (you aren’t insane).

    • This happens to me often– I have large hips relative to the rest of my body. It means that the dress is too small, at least for your hips, unfortunately. You also probably keep pulling it down to fix it, which is more noticeable than the actual fit problem. I would see if a tailor can let it out a bit.

    • You might be able to have it let down in the shoulder, if there’s room there.

    • numbersmouse :

      Try Spanx first, as Anonymous suggested, but if that doesn’t work and the dress is on the longer side, you should get a tailor to shorten it slightly at the shoulders. This usually solves the problem for me.

    • Does it have a lining? Sometimes the lining will be the ill-fitting part, and if you can have those seams taken out it will help with the rest of the dress.

  21. ghosting a guy friend? :

    I have a guy friend who re-appears in my life when he is having problems with girls or is single. I listen and fill the void and then he meets someone new and disappears. On the one hand, I feel used. On the other hand, I understand it is awkward or inappropriate for him to be emotionally intimate conversations with me while he is seeing someone else. But if a female friend were acting like this, I would just distance myself from the friendship, such as it is. Is it wrong to just ghost/cut him out?

    • Nope! He’s not a friend, he’s a needy emotional vampire.

    • “I understand it is awkward or inappropriate for him to be emotionally intimate conversations with me while he is seeing someone else. ”

      Why? One of my SO’s closest friends is a woman. How is that a problem? The awkward and inappropriate part is that he cuts you out when he’s seeing someone, not that fact that y’all are ever close in the first place.

      • OP’s friend sounds like a jerk who is using her, but I do think changes in male/female friendships when one person gets into a relationship are natural and fairly common. He shouldn’t be pouring out his heart to her, especially about his GF, and presumably when he’s single he talks in detail about his dating woes, so it makes sense that their friendship would be less emotionally intimate when he’s coupled up.

        • I still don’t agree though. Why shouldn’t he be pouring out his heart to her if they are in fact only friends? To me the red flag here is that he _stops doing that_ when he has a girlfriend, not that he does it at all. I agree with Baconpancakes — he’s using OP as a surrogate girlfriend which is entirely different than being her friend. By doing that he’s being both a sh*tty surrogate boyfriend she didn’t ask for, and a sh*tty friend.

          • I probably should have said “it *may” be awkward or inappropriate (by new girlfriend’s standards).” I was just trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, but you guys hit the nail on the head about him using me as a surrogate girlfriend (and therapist). I could talk to him as AnonZ suggested, which would definitely be the adult approach. But I am not sure what I would be salvaging at this point….I think this time I’ve lost a lot of respect for him, largely based on watching the way he treats not only me but these women.

          • I guess it depends on what you mean by pouring out his heart, but I believe there is certainly a level of emotional intimacy that is inappropriate, and gets into emotional affair territory even if nothing physical has ever happened.

            I also think when you’re in a serious relationship, it’s natural to be a little bit guarded about it with your friends, regardless of their sex. ALL my friendships, male and female, become a little bit less emotionally intimate when I’m serious about someone. I will dish every last detail about casual dates or flings to my closest girlfriends, but I’m very protective of serious relationships and don’t spill details about a serious BF that are in any way intimate or personal. Of course it doesn’t mean I drop my friends or stop hanging out with them, but there is a distance that exists when I’m in a serious relationship that doesn’t exist when I’m single and free to tell them everything about my love life. I’m ok with that, as a tradeoff for protecting the privacy of someone I love. Friendships do change when one person gets into a serious relationship, it’s a fact of life.

          • OP, in the way this applies to this situation: DTMFA. Crap friend who treats you like a surrogate girlfriend and doesn’t treat his actual girlfriends well? Not worth it. I had one of these and cut off my relationship with him about 10 months ago (he was abusive to me and abusive to his girlfriends). It’s a huge weight off my back to know that I’m no longer being used.

          • Fair point about all relationships shifting a bit when you’re in an LTR anon at 12:17. That has happened to me too. But I don’t really agree that it should be more or less the case based on gender.

      • Yeah, exactly. Plus, if he were a real friend, you’d have a basis for your friendship other than emotionally intimate talks about his dating woes.

        • Yes, that probably is the problem. We don’t have a true friendship. Sigh. I am declaring 2017 the year I stop putting up with less than I want from people. Thanks everyone.

    • It’s not wrong, but if you do want to preserve the friendship, maybe consider reframing your thoughts about this and speaking to him about this.

      Something as simple as saying, “I am honestly so happy that you are with Trixie now – I know you were having a tough time before and I’m so glad you shared some of your difficulties with me. I will admit that it was nice to see you more and now I feel like I don’t see you hardly at all – I’d love to hang out with you and Trixie more!”

      It may just be that he feels awkward about being so close to you between girlfriends and isn’t sure how to navigate the relationship – if you take the lead and show that it’s not awkward and you’re not going to dwell on his tough time, he might be grateful for the guidance.

      If it’s not worth preserving the friendship, then just ghost next time he’s looking for a shoulder to cry on.

    • Baconpancakes :

      The problem is that he’s using you as a surrogate girlfriend when he’s not in a relationship. I might talk to my male friends a little bit more when I’m not dating someone, but that’s partially because I just have more free time and emotional energy. Also partially because I’m wondering if I should date them, to be honest. I might not put myself in as intimate of situations with a male friend if I’m dating someone, like going on a road trip with just that male friend, or going to a romantic-type restaurant, but the friendship doesn’t disappear. We still get coffee and talk about books, or call and complain about our lives, or go out to dinner, often with my SO and other friends in tow.

  22. Networking :

    What is the proper etiquette for handling the tab for networking drinks and meals, especially when the participants are different levels of seniority? For example, I reached out to a former colleague who is more senior. Should I pay since I initiated? Or the more senior person? Or split? Any rules of thumb for other scenarios?

    • If I initiate the meeting, then I offer to pay the whole thing. If your colleague insists on picking up the tab or offers to split it, then you can accept graciously.

  23. Conservative news :

    What are some good conservative news sites? I need to get out of the Facebook echo chamber. I don’t want anything super gross like Breitbart, but what are some good regular news sites I should check out? I looked at The Federalist and it seemed like it might be ok.

    • Wall Street Journal.

      • +1 and for an international perspective, Financial Times is reasonably middle of the road.

      • +1 they may be conservative, they may be kinda evil (depending on your perspective), but WSJ isn’t dumb, at least.

    • National Review

      New York Post (it’s like a tabloid version of the WSJ and a Page Six!)

      • One of my good texting friends regularly sends me clips from the Post, which he loves. (He’s a high level excecutive in banking and wouldn’t be caught reading the physical paper, so he secretly reads it on his phone.) It’s probably his selection bias, but everything he sends me feels like it’s straight out of the National Enquirer.

    • National Review too. I particularly like reading Jonah Goldberg articles on there. Hilarious, even when I don’t agree with him.

    • To have to pick and choose around the crazies, but on National Review, I find Victor Davis Hanson and David French to be good reads even when I don’t agree with their points.

    • Also preggo Floridian :

      In addition to WSJ, Drudge will at least have headlines, and then you can scroll through for sources you trust. Also following a conservative you respect on twitter. I also like Ben Shapiro podcasts for analysis that is conservative but isn’t soaked in Trump punch or just blindly anti-Trump.

    • The Economist also tends towards the conservative side.

    • Barron’s!

  24. This is a mom/wedding question. I’ve been engaged for over a year, getting married in a few months. My mother has repeatedly claimed that she wanted to be involved in wedding planning, but every time I tried to involve her she would complain or shoot down my ideas or just not come. The one thing she attended was shopping for the dress. She complained about the drive (1.5 hrs each way for her), the long day (we went to 3 shops), and told me I’d better find the dress that day because she wasn’t coming back and she HAD to be there when I got the dress. She refused to come see the venue, pick out the flowers, or go to the tasting, but she continues to complain that I don’t do enough to involve her.

    Here’s my current dilemma: the information for the hotel is available through our wedding website. My mother claims she can’t access the website. The last time I visited her I asked her to let me on her computer so I could see what was wrong, but she refused. I sent her the contact information for the hotel so she could call them. She claims it’s too complicated. She demands that I must book the hotel for her and she’ll pay me back. I… don’t want to. She’s been making my life difficult for over a year and I feel like this is just another way for her to do that. I’m at that point where I have so many loose ends to tie up that I can’t deal with another thing on my list. On the other hand, it would take literally 5 minutes of my time to do this and idk if it’s worth drawing a line in the sand, even assuming she wouldn’t pay me back the ~$500 for the room (which I’m sure she would if I harassed her enough but I just don’t have the energy). wwyd?

    • Tell her you’ll be happy to call and reserve the room for her if she sends you her credit card info.

    • “No. The phons number is (xxx) xxx-xxxx. The website is XYZ. The code for the room block is Jenny’s Wedding. I am not doing this for you.”

    • Maybe you have a good friend who is less emotionally involved and you can delegate this to (and she will understand because she knows you so well:) You just have to decide whether you think it’s worth the $500 to have it be off your shoulders.

      • This is part of my issue with her – she could ask either her BF or my brother if she’s truly having some sort of issue. But no. It has to be me. Maybe I’ll ask my brother to deal with her. Thanks.

        • I like the brother solution.

          Your Mom sounds like …. a character.

          Hang in there.

        • This is what siblings are for. A sister would be ideal, but work with what you’ve got. Ask your brother to be on “mom duty.”

    • Honestly? This is a situation where you’re 100% right and she’s wrong, and I’d just bite the bullet and do it anyway. (Not because you’re obligated to, because again, she’s wrong), but just because despite being supremely annoying, it will lead to the best outcome for you in many ways.

      • “it will lead to the best outcome for you in many ways.” Will it? This mother sounds beyond awful and honestly not having her at the wedding or in her life might actually be the best outcome for OP.

        • It’s really tempting to think, if mom says, I won’t be able to come to the wedding unless you make the res for me, I’ll say, OK well then don’t come. But then she’s going to cry to family and friends and our community at large and I’ll look just as bad as she does. I don’t want to damage my relationship with everyone else.

          • on the subject of damaging relationships with other people….you sound very level-headed, so you’ve probably considered this, but I’ve seen some marriages affected negatively when one parent is this dysfunctional. I would try to keep a very open line of communication with your fiance about her.

    • Anon for this :

      Do you have a sibling that can handle this for you?

      Also, I’ll just empathize. My mom did the same damn thing during wedding planning. Complaining about how she wasn’t being included but then complaining about things that I tried to include her in.

      Example: She’s a great cook. I wanted her to do some test runs of a relatively easy edible favor that I wanted to give out. We wanted to see how far in advance we could make them so that it wasn’t a mad scramble 2 days before the wedding. I sent her a link with instructions, and asked her to make, like, 4 of them and put them in her freezer and pull them at intervals so we could do some quality testing. ALL she did for weeks was complain about how we were going to poison our guests. So I took the task away from her. Then she complained about how I didn’t include her in things.

      Example 2: she told me that she wanted to accompany me wedding dress shopping (totally fine, she and my dad were paying for it). But then she said that I could never go dress shopping without her, even just a totally casual trip with my best friend for fun. And then she said that my future MIL could *never* come dress shopping with me – even if my mom was there. Then we went dress shopping and she told me that one dress drew attention to my stomach. I bought a dress in the first store we went to. I did like my dress a lot, but the entire experience was so draining and I just wanted it over. Then she was sad that we didn’t have the whole Say Yes to the Dress experience.

      • Hugs and commiseration. Your Example 1 is why I didn’t give her the favors. My mother makes the BEST cookies. They’re an integral part of my childhood and something that fiance and I bonded over pretty early in our relationship. It would be amazing to have those cookies as our favors. But I know if I asked her to do it she would have a meltdown for months and ultimately flake at the last minute.

        • Meg March :

          If you haven’t already come up with something else for favors, this actually sounds like a good task for her. Ask if she’d like to do it. If she says yes, any time she melts down just say, ok mom, i don’t want you to be stressed, do what makes you feel good. If she doesn’t end up doing it, so what? Your guests won’t notice/care if there aren’t favors.

      • Marshmallow :

        Yeah I think we all have the same mom! Hugs and commiseration from me, too.

        My mom had a really awful, hurtful explosion on my wedding day because she was embarrassed that she had offered to do a certain task, never did it, and my bridesmaids and I had to do it at 2AM the night before the wedding. When I gently mentioned it to her the next day (it had to be mentioned as a practical matter, would have been impossible to conceal), she flew off the handle. She stormed off for a few hours and then came back and apologized. Normally I would have wanted to talk it out more and would have been slower to accept her apology, but I just let her hug me and make excuses and then moved on with the day. I went with the peacekeeping option instead of digging in about how “right” I was. It was annoying but had to be done.

        But! But. Once you learn these things about how people treat commitments, you can’t unlearn them. My in-laws promised money to us for the wedding in exchange for inviting certain people; we invited the people and then they backed out of the financial commitment. My mom promised to help with that pre-wedding task and didn’t. I did not make a stink about either of these things but you bet your behind it will affect how much I rely on these people for similar things in the future. So, consider this a lesson learned for when your mom says she wants to be involved with baby showers/ parties/ other life events.

        • Anon for this :

          I 100% agree about not being able to unlearn these sorts of things. Even with cutting my mom a huge amount of slack because of some really tough personal things she was going through at the time… I still don’t trust her to be supportive in a way that I want or need, and she has proven that I can’t rely on her. I know that she would be devastated to learn any of this, so I just don’t say it.

          Just before Christmas a member of my husband’s family passed away and I had to find someone to take care of our dog on the evening of Dec. 26. As you can imagine, it was really hard – most boarding services were closed – and a lot of people were out of town. I looked at every option available to me. My dad wasn’t an option because of a medical procedure. My brother had to work. I had to BEG my mom – who was on vacation and didn’t want to cancel her dinner plans – to help us. And then she complained to my brother that I was being dramatic. He had to tell her that maybe she could just reschedule her dinner plans and be helpful so that my husband could go to his family member’s wake/funeral and I could be there to support him.

    • “Mom, is there a reason you don’t seem to want to book the hotel room? I’m happy to help, but it seems like something is up.”

      Find out what her issue is…it sounds like she’s going through something and can’t find a way to directly communicate it.

  25. Do you open your door when someone you don’t know knocks? My husband and I just discussed yesterday how we didn’t think we should (we live in an area with a lot of armed robberies and other crimes – didn’t realize how bad it was when we moved here). Then just today, someone knocked on our door with a sob story asking for money. My husband told the man we couldn’t help and gave him a fake name because it seemed really sketchy. From now on, I don’t want to open the door for anyone I don’t know, period, but it makes me sad because I grew up in a town where of course you’d open the door.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      Regardless of the location, never open the door to a stranger, especially for women!

    • Yes, I don’t even consider opening the door, unless I know it is UPS or FedEX (which I can tell by the sound of a package dropping at the door followed by the sound of their little beepy handheld machine).

    • Do you have a peep hole?

      If not, maybe get one b/c sometimes you do want to open the door (friend in your neighborhood sees your car and stops by).

      If you post a “No Soliciting” sign, and you have problems, it helps the police make people leave (and people know you want to be left alone).

      I have also kept a “DO NOT RING DOORBELL — SLEEPING BABY” sign on my door for years. I may or may not have had a baby then (so my actual friends knew that and once I had a real baby, my friends would text / call first just to make sure it was OK and I knew they were there).

    • I’d only crack the door open with the chain-lock on, and close it again as soon as I determined he had no legitimate purpose.

    • I always peek out a side window to see who’s at the door. If it’s not a uniformed delivery person (who I generally know to expect anyway because I track expected packages) or a known neighbor… no WAY am I (or my husband for that matter) answering.

    • I don’t open the door to people I don’t know.

      It goes like this:

      Me (standing inside locked door): “Can I help you?”
      Person: “Blah Blah fundraising or sob story or survey or whatever”
      Me: “Sorry, we aren’t interested/are unable to assist/etc. Have a good day/evening!”

      And then I walk away.

      I have a window in my door now, but this conversation was the same when I had a door without one (but that had a peephole).

      I don’t feel bad about it whatsoever. I’m not paranoid but I also don’t take unnecessary risks.

    • We do have a peephole and a chain lock coming in the mail! It was ordered before this happened, but I’m especially glad we’re getting it now.

      • Have you considered a camera like the one Nest makes? That way if it is a bad guy, you have pictures.

    • Absolutely not. We have the same characters, with the same sob stories, ALL THE TIME in my neighborhood. Unless I am expecting someone or a package, I don’t even go to the door to look. My friends will text me if they show up unannounced and I don’t answer the door. Even when I am expecting someone, I look through the window to make sure it is who I am expecting before I even unlock the door.

      Nope, nope, nope.

    • When I lived in a bad area, I stopped opening the door. Now that I’m in a condo building with a locked front door (and we don’t have an issue with solicitation or people trying to sneak in) I’d probably open the door. I didn’t during election season though for canvassers.

    • I do not open the door to people I don’t know. Several years ago a couple in our city got themselves and their two children murdered this way. My husband, however, feels that we owe every salesman or con artist who comes to our door the courtesy of listening to his pitch and then politely declining. Sometimes he will even set a follow-up appointment about whatever the dude claims to be selling. This has led to much contention.

      • Yikes, “got themselves murdered”? You mean “were the victims of a senseless murder?” I understand your point, and a woman in my city just got murdered this way as well, but it still wasn’t their fault. It saddens me that there is no room for basic human kindness anymore and that we all have to be on guard all the time. I hope your husband can change his pattern because that does seem really concerning.

        • Of course it wasn’t their fault, but I don’t want us to be victims of a crime we could easily avoid just because my husband is afraid of being rude.

          • I totally get that. My husband is the same way (not quite as severe as yours), but these recent events have him totally on board with the no-door-opening policy. We’ve seen far too much crime in the short time we’ve lived here to be concerned about being polite first. I was really pleased he sent this sketchy guy packing fairly quickly this morning.

    • I have a peephole in my door, so I always walk really quietly towards the door and check who’s outside first. If I don’t recognize them, I don’t even announce my presence, just double check the door is locked and wait for them to leave. I might be more open to opening the door if SO is home, but likely not then either. He checks the peephole first too but has a much lower bar for who he will open the door to.

      I also grew up in that “of course you open your door to strangers” suburban neighborhood, but now live in a pretty high-crime area and our house is pretty well-known in the neighborhood because we stick out (90% black area and we are white, 99% people 50+ and we are in our twenties, etc.) so I definitely had to change my attitude for my own safety. It makes me really sad.

    • Maybe I’m naive, but we live in a pretty safe neighborhood and I open the door whenever someone knocks. Usually it’s a kid selling something for Girl/Boy Scouts or the local school district. But I do open the door for adults too, unless they look super sketchy.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I don’t open it for anybody I don’t know except the FedEx or UPS guys. And then only if I see their truck on the street.

    • Anonymous :

      I also live in an area with a higher crime rate than I’m comfortable with… I do not answer the door of I’m not expecting someone. Not a chance.

    • Anonymous :

      I open it, but if they aren’t expected the 120lb dog comes with me. He’s a giant marshmallow, but he looks like an enormous wolf.

    • Anonymous :

      Do not open the door or let them in. Knocking on the door is a request, not a demand. You get to choose when to answer.

    • Yeah I feel you :

      If I hear someone knock at my door and I am not expecting anyone, I just look over at the door and think “NOPE”! I’ve never opened it and been happy about what happened next. Leave a note. Or text me. Hell, even yell my name but just knocking? No. I live downtown in a large city.

    • No. We have a Ring doorbell and talk through the app.

  26. I’m considering the pros and cons of working in a very small firm, I mean tiny, almost like a solo practitioner. There’s so much work and managerial duties involved and thinking 5 to 10 years down the line. I don’t know if I will want to take on all that work ie: being an attorney, office manager, HR, bookkeeper, etc. It just seems like too much! I know there are benefits to a small firm such as flexibility, loyalty, etc. I just don’t know if the benefits will outweigh the burdens. Any thoughts or advice on how to manage being in such a small firm? Or should I just start working my way out now? By way of background, I’m 30, not married, but in a great relationship so kids may be in my future.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I always say that when you go into the private practice of law, you are consenting to be a business owner. Payroll, taxes, business development, marketing, the whole nine yards. My husband is in a 2-lawyer practice and I’d estimate he spends half his time, at least, on businessy things as opposed to law things. Most recently there was months-long negotiation for a lease renewal. If you decide to do it, go in with your eyes wide open.

      • Exactly. I don’t think I can consent to that, which is why I’m considering making some moves now before I get pigeon-holed.

  27. Wow, that’s a new level of invasiveness. I would stop ever opening the door for people you don’t know.

  28. Can anyone recommend a really good down alternative pillow. My husband really lives down pillows, but they cause me an anaphylactic asthma reaction. He’s not been happy with any of the Down alternatives at Costco. Has anyone tried anything that actually approximates the feel of down? Thanks for any suggestions.

    • anonshmanon :

      have you already tried casing his pillow in one of those allergy-proof pillowcases? And a different material for your side of the bed.

      • No, can’t try that experiment – I spent a week in the ICU after sleeping 5 feet from someone with a down pillow for a few hours. No down-filled products (or birds!) enter this house!

    • Maybe he could learn to deal with a slightly less comfortable pillow in exchange for not harming his wife? And maybe if he doesn’t like what he’s got now, he could find his own pillows because he’s an adult?

      • Oh geez, no need to be so grumpy about it. He’s happily lived down-free for the nearly 20 years we’ve been married with nary a complaint. His birthday is coming up, and I thought I’d surprise him with something nice since I know he doesn’t like his current pillow.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I know they are an “as seen on tv” type item, but several of my friends have bought The Bamboo Pillow and swear it is all that.

    • Company Store has a really good down alternative, and several pillow options.

    • I have the same issue – he likes down, I react very badly to down. I’ve had good luck with a pillow from JC Penney – the Royal Velvet down alternative pillow. I think is says something about side sleeper on the packaging, but he is a back sleeper and is totally happy with it. As am I. I could not find these on the JC Penney website, but have picked mine up in the JC Penney home store.

      • Thank you! The JC Penney near me seems to have gone out of business, but I’ll see if I can track this down (no pun intended!).

    • I have a shredded memory foam pillow, and it is like down but even better!

  29. So I’ve heard of the imposter syndrome in work situations and I’m realizing that I have that feeling with being a mom. Like I’m not a “real mom” because I’m at work all the time and don’t do the day to day things with my child. This is especially true on the weekends when I realize I don’t know her schedule or what she even does all day! Any other working moms feel like this and how do I get over it?

    • Delta Dawn :

      I feel like this sometimes. Then I remember that my husband also has no idea what baby’s schedule is, and that bothers him NONE. And it shouldn’t bother me either. You are a real mom. Weekends are a treat in that you get to spend the day with your child, and your weekend schedule doesn’t have to be just like her daycare schedule. It can be whatever works for you on weekends. Remember that very few dads feel this inadequacy, and the reason moms feel it is because of societal pressure to be all things to all people. We don’t have to! You are a great mom!

    • Oh my goodness, nothing could be further from the truth! I’m not a working mom yet (currently pregnant), but I can give you my perspective from having a mom who worked and was in fact the primary breadwinner for our household. I saw her as a role model for all the things that I could become. She gave me motivation to go to school and pursue higher education, because if I did I could have money of my own, and interesting things to talk about from my day, and cool friends (many of her friends are her coworkers). I also think I am way more independent and self-reliant because neither of my parents had the time to helicopter-parent me. I think it’s normal to miss your kids and wish you had more time to spend with them, but that’s about your personal preferences – you’re not hurting your kids!

    • The key is to not let other people define what “mom” means to you. You are her mother, now and forever.

    • Thanks for sharing this. I feel this way. For so many reasons: I never really dreamed of being a mom, I had an easy pregnancy, I don’t [email protected], I work full time, my husband shares parenting duties. Some days it’s kind of funny; other days I’m fraught with guilt. It’s been really isolating I feel like I can’t really talk to my “real mom” friends anymore.

      • How old is your child? It gets much easier when they can communicate and share stories about their day, their friends, how they are feeling emotionally, what they like to do, etc. Those first couple of years are a bit of a guessing game

        • Anonymous :

          I’m the OP – my child is 10 months old so your advice makes a lot of sense for me.

        • Lorelai Gilmore :

          I totally 100% agree with mascot. I remember feeling that way with my infants a bit. My kids are now 3 and 6 and I never feel like that. The relationship shifts from being a primarily physical relationship to a primarily emotional relationship, and the transition happens sooner than you realize!

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah I get that. Some days it bothers me much more than others. I also feel so guilty about doing anything on the weekends that isn’t with my kid. I know I need to get over the guilt but I’m finding it way harder than i thought it would be. the mom guilt is so real! I literally have guilt about how I spend every second of my day – if i’m not with kid its about that, if i’m at home with kid its that all the other associate are still at work working. Then I feel guilty for even feeling bad at all because I do have a great life with kid, husband, job, etc.

        • I hear this. The guilt had to stop somewhere right? I often need to remind myself that my husband will often admit that he needs a break from kiddo, from work or from family with ZERO guilt and he’s still an amazing father, attorney and husband. Try not to be so hard on yourself.

    • It helps me to remember that my mom was a full time working mom as well, and she didn’t know what was going on in my school, and she got home late too. It didn’t matter, I did well, I loved her with all my heart, I still love her and we still get along great. It doesn’t matter. I had my daughter 3 years ago, and what I’m realizing more and more is that I never “adjusted” to the baby. But toddlers are completely different. They are more of a real “person” that you can talk to, interact with, play with, etc. They also call you “mama” and tell you they love you. That’s when you will feel like a mom, because that’s how your child will see you, even if you work full time. They will run to you when you pick them up from daycare and yell “mamaaaaa”, and turn to their classmates and teachers and say “this is my mamma!”

    • Seventh Sister :

      How old is your kid? I felt that way when my kids were tiny (they are now in elementary school) but now that they can talk and express ideas and have opinions, it’s clear I’m actually A Big Deal to them as an involved parent, even if I can’t sit outside ballet class twice a week. While I am grateful for the wonderful caregivers they had 0-5, they have fuzzy memories of these amazing women. They remember they were happy, and not all that much else. But they routinely bring up stuff we did months and years ago that they liked.

      Also, if some stuck-up, pain-in-the-neck gossipy mommy on the playground wants to go around thinking that I’m a terrible mother because I’m not on the Painting Paper Plates committee, she can go right ahead.

    • I understand the feeling! After maternity leave I used a combination of family/babysitter (on a regular schedule). To stay in sync with her changing routines I got a half-sized binder and filled it with loose leaf paper and kept it in her bag. I asked each caregiver to just jot down the general schedule of the day, anything new she’d done, any problems (refused bottle, diaper rash, hated new toy, etc), and any supplies I needed to replenish. We kept it to bullet points so it wasn’t overwhelming, but reviewing that sheet each day helped me so much. It actually helped the caregivers too, because they could review the previous day if she’d been with someone else.

    • I guess its kind of weird, but my husband feels this way and I do not, even though we both work full time. I know our daycare provider is great, and that she is having fun and learning a lot. She’s always happy to go (we did have a phase of separation anxiety), and she’s still always happy to see us. She’s not fussy or cranky, so I know she is being well cared for. Even if your baby is in full-time daycare, you still handle the hard parts of parenting – sleeping, eating, teething, illnesses, tantrums, potty training, etc. You’re not getting a break from the “real mom” parts because someone else watches your baby while you work.

      You’re certainly not an impostor because you don’t know what your daughter does at childcare. At 10 months she might not have much of a nap/bottle schedule yet (but if she does, keep it). Make up your own weekend routine that works for your family. Afternoons during the week may be story time for her, but afternoons on the weekend could be swimming lessons or play in the park day or whatever. She will soon learn (if she hasn’t already) that weekends and weekdays are different. Our daycare gives us a sheet of when our daughter eats and naps, and occasionally they will add a note like “we had fun singing Old McDonald” or “we played with play-dough.” We will then buy a picture book of farm animals or some play-dough and do those same things with her. At 18 months my daughter was blown away by the fact she could play play-dough both at daycare and at home. I don’t feel like I’m missing the “fun parts” of being a parent either, because there is still so much curiosity and joy from her on the weekends, too.

  30. Fleece Yoga Pants (that are loose-fitting) :

    I have a pair of loose-fitting fleece yoga pants that I dearly love. They have roomy front pockets. They are on their last legs. They are my winter at-home uniform.

    I can find tight fleece yoga pants (Athleta; expensive, no pockets, tight in the butt), but I’m looking for something looser-fitting, pref. with pockets.

    Mind are circa early 2000s from Old Navy and I haven’t found anything similar when I last checked.

    Any thoughts?

    • North Face Glacier fleece pants.

    • A family member just gave me a pair of fleece PJ bottoms from Kohl’s. They’re a size smaller than I usually buy but they still fit fine, roomy enough through the rear but they hug my quads just enough to make me proud of my workouts. I’m not sure of the brand offhand; they’re black or navy with pink, blue, and white polka dots.

    • Anonymous :

      I have some from TJMaxx. I have another version without pockets from Old Navy (2015), but the lack of pockets is really annoying.

  31. Baton Rouge post :

    Thank you to all who responded to my HELP I am freaking out post yesterday morning. There look to be a few challenges but a lot of upside. Great job, affordable living, Vitamin D all year round.

    • Former Baton Rouge resident :

      I didn’t comment on your first post because I didn’t see it until today. We lived in Baton Rouge for eight years, when our kids were in elementary/middle school. The gifted program in the public schools was mostly excellent. A very high percentage of upper middle class parents do opt for private schools (more than half are Catholic schools). I suggest you look at the Zachary area, just north of Baton Rouge. My husband has done consulting work for that area and the public schools are excellent. The Garden District is probably a good place for more left-leaning neighbors, if your kids can be in the gifted program or a private school. And I’ll second the commenter who said that LSMSA (the statewide high school for gifted kids) is excellent. It was perfect for our daughter. Also, don’t know if you’re a church-goer, but University Presbyterian is fantastic and liberal — and has a good preschool.

  32. Pregnancy - A Preexisting Condition? :

    I was reading how they took the first step last night in repealing free birth control. And then, in looking for more info found this — which seemed surprising and not good for women who want or have children. (Taken from Web MD)

    The Affordable Care Act makes it easier for pregnant women to get insurance to help pay for the medical care they need. In the past, insurance companies could turn you down if you applied for coverage while you were pregnant. At that time, many health plans considered pregnancy a pre-existing condition.

    Under the ACA, health plans can no longer deny you coverage if you are pregnant. That’s true whether you get insurance through your employer or buy it on your own. What’s more, health plans cannot charge you more to have a policy because you are pregnant. An insurance company can’t increase your premium based on your sex or health condition. A premium is the amount you pay each month to have insurance.

    — So they are planning to roll back these protections for women? Out of curiosity, is anyone who supported Trump okay with that and why? Do you see it as a trade off for something else? If so, what? Would love to better understand the thought process.

    • Anonymous :

      I think that pregnancy is a high-use time for insurance. It is a bit like never having insurance and applying for it right before a catastrophic car accident: the insurance company has to pay more than you pay them (so you need lots of other people to buy in; but what if they’re like you and it’s just high-users with years of payment and non-use behind them)?

      I think that insurnace has come to be just how we fund health care spending in general (and there’s really no insurance aspect left).

      FWIW, I think pg women could still get insuance on the non-pg items but the pg items would be excluded on that condition as pre-existing.

      TL;DR: I don’t think that the math on health insurance works unless you have a lot of very healthy 20-year-old paying into the system starting at age 18 and continuing on forever.

    • As someone who has used prescription drugs and therapy to cope with depression, I am terrified of what dropping the ban on pre-existing conditions means to a lot of us!!

      • Anonymous :

        I think it quickly becomes a death spiral: if I were to price your risks, I’d have to factor that in. So maybe I make it more expensive for everyone else? But then they drop coverage because it gets very expensive.

        I don’t know how it will end, but when my insurance (indiv + spouse + family coverage) is > my rent, I think I know the direction it’s heading in. At this point, I’m better off self-insuring with that money or only having catastrophic coverage (like for any expenses we had that were over 20K/year; I don’t think you can get catastrophic-only coverage now). I never thought I’d be paying so much for health insurance.

    • Do you guys really not see how it works in Europe? I’ve been paying into the system since I was 14 with my first part time job. I just go to the doctor and thats it. I can’t imagine being afraid that at any moment in time a medical emergency could bankrupt me. If everyone pays in and everything is regulated its not hard to balance the books

      • We do see how it works. But we have a very important tradition of hating on poor people in this country, and we need to keep that up.

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t think that the math of Europe works when you have an aging (high use, decades of not paying in) population. As Europe’s birthrate drops and drops, it will probably resemble Japan more than Canada, and it won’t be sustainable (or will be like the VA, where wait times are long enough for you to die before you get care). I’m not sure that that is workable, either.

        I think it’s all just going to be a wreck. I’m happy forgoing heroic (expensive) measures when I’m actually dying. But when I have a car crash, I will want the good anesthesiologist and the good surgeon.

        Maybe it will be like extra disability insurance, where I just pay for that (and it’s expensive), but I know what I’m getting. Or it will be like life insurance, where risks are all priced individually outside of lower-$ group plans. But like life insurance, if you wait until you need it, it will be priced beyond your ability to pay.

        • You know the low birth rates are balanced through immigration right? Its how we keep a stable population and the system is sustainable.

    • I don’t see this as at all inconsistent with conservative values regarding pregnancy. They view pregnancy as punishment for promiscuity and they’d like to keep it as expensive, public, and painful as possible. isnt “you should have thought of that before you got pregnant” their classic tag line?

      • Anonymous :

        And, it’s a badge of honor for a man to be able to afford a pregnant wife. Hashtag, i hate conservative logic about pregnancy.

      • Anonymous :

        This as a summary of ” conservative values regarding pregnancy” is nowhere near reasonable.

        • Anonymous :

          Or accurate.

          • Didn’t mean to summarize conservative values regarding pregnancy (would need to include the”God’s gift even if it’s eptoic and kills you” and “sole purpose for a woman’s existence” and more). Rather, I meant to suggest that this situation jibes with the “personal responsibility” retort we get from conservatives when situations involving pregnancy and poverty elicit compassion.

        • Anonymous :

          Maybe it wasn’t worded as nicely as you would like. But this is my impression as someone who grew up and lives in a conservative area.

          So, what do you think are “conservative values regarding pregnancy”? What does a conservative think should happen if a woman, through no fault of her own, unexpectedly loses insurance during a pregnancy. Lets use a hypothetical of: SAHM loses COBRA eligibility after being laid-off despite using a condom (because condoms are favored by conservatives over hormonal birth control) with her husband. Her husband dies in a car crash when she is 7 months pregnant leaving her unable to qualify for her husband’s health insurance or health insurance covering her pregnancy.

          Under ObamaCare, she’d be OK. She’d go to the exchanges and buy a policy that must cover maternity care. She is accountable and pays a premium. She may even pay a deductible or co-pays!

          Before ObamaCare, if she was poor enough, Medicaid (taxpayers) would cover her pregnancy. She doesn’t pay a premium. Taxpayers foot 100% of the bill and she is labeled a moocher.

          In the future…is she just screwed and has to declare bankruptcy? What about her three kids that she can no longer afford to feed or house after making payments to the hospital on a $10k+ medical bill?

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t support Trump…but yes this is why pregnancy as a pre-existing condition is ridiculous. You know what else is a pre-existing condition and will cost WAY MORE over the lifetime of an policy-holders lifetime? Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. But people aren’t denied coverage for that. Taking care of the health of a pregnant woman and new child is a public health issue, not an individual issue. If we want a healthy nation we need healthy children, which starts with prenatal care.

      • Anonymous :

        I see that side of things. And yet, if all women are paying the same, it makes childless/childfree/post-menopausal women pay more. If you are more fair here, it seems that you are less fare to others. I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe M and F pay the same rate to spread it around to more people? Maybe F healthcare includes prenatal care for the woman but not the delivery unless you get a rider for that?

        You can add children (and usually the fee is the same for 1 as it is for multiple children) at any time and that fee seems to be static and not risk-adjusted at all.

        • Anonymous :

          Under Obamacare, men and women of the same age DO pay the same premium.

          Before Obamacare, only a few insurance companies offered riders for maternity coverage. If I remember correctly, they were difficult to qualify for and exorbitantly expensive with a huge deductible. They were not a solution. Hence, Obamacare.

        • I hear your point about varying way to attempt fairness and would like to offer a thought for consideration. I see that the same way I see paying taxes that go to public education – even childless couples pay taxes (local property taxes, federal taxes, etc.) that are used to fund public education. The reason? Education sets the foundation for intelligent individual who will comprise the workforce and be those same taxpayers’ future doctors/lawyers/neighbors/political representatives/etc who are competent.
          For health insurance, I see it the same way: men and women of the same age pay the same premium regardless of pregnancy status to ensure that pregnant women have access to the care they need in order to bring a future productive American into the world in a situation where that mother and child are healthy enough to start out that child’s life from a fair footing. If the pregnant mom-to-be can’t get insurance and doesn’t get the prenatal care she needs and her child is born with developmental issues or something as a result or she is too unhealthy to take proper care of her child, that’s a drain on the system (in addition to being unfortunate) not just in the short term but in the longterm too. I’d rather pay the same insurance premium as a pregnant woman now than be faced with a public health situation down the road.
          I hope I was able to articulate that clearly – TLDR insured folks means healthy nation which mean American can focus on the bigger fish to fry

          • +1


            A healthy, economically securre population benefits EVERYONE, not just those who have to rely on ‘entitlements’ to have basic needs (which include education, healthcare, a safe place to live, etc).

            Sometimes I think the folks who rail against any form of state assistance or ‘welfare’ and make a huge fuss about bootstraps have never been to a country that doesn’t have a decent social safety net, or, if they have, been out of whatever private touristy enclave they are vacationing at.

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