Coffee Break: Vere Barrel Handbag

Vere Barrel HandbagOooh: a lot of places are having big sales on designer items right now (including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Saks!) but ShopBop’s 50% off sale may be the one to beat. This colorful barrel handbag from Anya Hindmarch was $2295, but is now marked to $1147.  Only a few bags are left in this exact colorway, but there are several options to choose from in the barrel bag selection — and if you like the colors but not the shape, there’s also a lovely pouch/clutch for $375. Vere Barrel Handbag

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Comments

  1. Displaying Diplomas in your home? :

    For those who don’t have an office (or have them hanging in an office) or a home office, where do you have your diplomas?

    Mine have been in bubble wrap in the closet for the 5 yrs since I’ve last had an outside office (and because I don’t have a home office). I just moved into a new home and am trying to figure out if/how to display diplomas and/or licenses to practice in a way that honors the work (and money) invested without feeling braggy or weirdly narcissistic. I come from very humble beginnings and worked 3 jobs while battling major illness to earn these, so I want to be all “I am woman, hear me roar!” but I don’t want to be “mememememememe it’s alllllllllll about mememememememe!!!!” In a 1 bdrm apartment and as someone in my 30s, I want to personalize but don’t want to create some weird “in here, the whole world is allllll about meeeeeeeeeeee”

    Advice? Recommendations? (links to images would be great too, if you see something like yours or that you love online!) Thanks!

    • Mine are in bubble wrap in my closet :)

      • Mine are in bubble wrap in closet.

        Diploma timeline:
        First two years in Big Law – both diplomas on wall
        Next seven years in house – diplomas in bubble wrap
        Now (same job but 100% WFH) – still in bubble wrap. I have a home office but would far prefer looking at pretty art than my diplomas! I know where i went to school.

        • I have a home office and between DH and I we have five framed diplomas. We call it our a half million dollar art wall (even though we got merit $ to for much of it, sticker price is north of that…).

          Really, we only display them because the fancy frames were gifted to us along the way and also, we have tons of wall space and not much else to do with it. They’re behind me when I sit at my desk, over low bookshelves.

      • I think I lost mine in my last move. Most everyone else in my office has then hanging on their walls, but I think they are boring. I have photos I’ve taken on various trips instead.

      • My diploma’s are in Dad’s basement. He hung them up over the bar so that his freinds can see that I am an attorney in NY and a graduate of a very prestigus institution of law in DC. My NYState Bar certificate was framed by Dad and it is the prettiest diploma. YAY!!!

    • Anonymous :

      I have a home office but my diploma is in bubble wrap in the basement. My mom had it framed with a couple of awards I won so the frame is GIANT and would take over the better part of one wall of my home office. And it doesn’t fit with the decor at all (diploma is framed in dark wood and looks super masculine, office decor is white, silver and pale pink, super girly).

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I think you should definitely get it framed and hang it proudly!

      I moved soon after getting my master’s and I didn’t bother getting it framed – I had mixed feelings about the program and was going in a different direction with my career. So I stuck it on my fridge.

    • I absolutely support your desire to celebrate your personal victories in your home but don’t think a diploma display is the best way to do it. The problem is that displaying your diplomas looks like you’re celebrating professional victories (or advertising professional accomplishments) in your home. I mean, imagine visiting a friend in their home to find a stack of their business cards on the table for taking. I think you need a more personalized display for your personal space. Can you display a photo of you on the campus instead?

      • That’s bizarre. A diploma is a lot more than a professional accomplishment. If you’re worried about what your friends would think (and if they’d judge you for this then you need to find new friends), put it somewhere where guests are less likely to see it.

        • I agree, I don’t think there’s anything wrong or weird about having your diplomas framed and hung – I don’t really view it as a display so much as part of your personal history. I also think displaying a photo of yourself on campus is more narcissistic than hanging your diplomas. I would probably put the diploma(s) in one of the less public areas of the home (this is where it’s difficult with a 1-BDR; the home office is literally the perfect place for this).

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        Nah. It’s totally normal (if not always common) to have framed diplomas in a home office. OP, I wouldn’t think twice about it– my mom had my undergrad diploma nicely framed, though it’s in a closet since my master’s is currently in its sleeve somewhere. I need to actually do something about that one of these days…

    • I’ve seen diplomas as part of gallery walls, but I don’t have any pictures. I guess this only works if your diplomas aren’t too large and are framed in similar ways, and it’s trickier with a one bedroom since this is usually more of a home office kind of look. But I’m thinking of one friend in particular who did a gallery wall in her home office with 3 diplomas (Bachelor and 2 Masters) interspersed with photos of her and family/friends while she was in college/grad school, and it looks really great!

      • My parents both have theirs–3 between them, plus my dad’s military commissioning cert–as part of a gallery wall in an office-y nook in the living room. Includes a clock, which makes it look casual.

    • I didn’t know what to do with my masters diploma after I got it framed (I got it framed so it wouldn’t get crumpled in the envelope it came in) so I put it on a wall in my bedroom. That’s where I had wall space for it. I’m proud of the work I did to get the thing and also why let it just sit and collect dust somewhere?

    • Anonymous :

      My husband and I got married and bought our first tiny house when we were young and we totally hung our undergrad diplomas on the wall in our hallway, haha! Now, I have mine (and my law degree) up in my office at work, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with hanging them in your home! It is something to be proud of!

    • Anonymous :

      Hmm, mine have never left the tube they came in. I think it would be a little unusual to have a diploma displayed anywhere but a home office, but if it’s really meaningful to you and you get joy from looking at them, maybe you could hang them in a relatively private spot where you might put them along with family photos. I’m thinking along the wall of an enclosed staircase or on the upstairs landing, where people often hang family pictures. In a finished basement might also work, if that doesn’t seem weird.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, I obviously didn’t read the original post very carefully. In a 1-br apartment this is trickier, IMO, but do what makes you happy! Maybe if you have an office nook/corner or similar in your bedroom, it could go in there.

    • Wildkitten :

      I know of a couple that go to rival schools and display their diplomas together and whoever wins the harvard-yale game that year gets to have their diploma on top.

    • I have a home office so they are all hung up here. I know this is weird, but when I finish paying off my student loans, I might hang up the “paid in full” statement letters next to the diplomas and certificates of admission. Tacky? Don’t care. I worked just as hard on this side to pay for them as I did to earn the degrees. :-)

      • Love this :) If you’re hanging the diplomas because of how hard you worked for them (and you should be!) then by all means, recognize all elements of the accomplishment, before and after you walk across the stage. However, this may be better suited to a home office rather than your office at work.

      • Anonymous :

        Beyond tacky. Thank goodness it’s in your home.

    • We hung ours in the bathroom.

  2. Anonymous :

    Ever had a situation where you just don’t fit in with your coworkers? I’m not looking to make BFFs at work but an occasional chat or lunch would be nice. It’s an engineering firm (traditional – not a hot field like IT or biotech). I’m 25 and don’t think I’m a young 25 as I’m not out clubbing etc; my closest in age coworkers are 30-32. I can’t get over how many suburban home owner issues and child/pregnancy issues they have. I simply don’t care to hear it but don’t want to be seen as a loner either. WWYD?!

    • Anonymous :

      Well sure, if you have no interest in what other people are doing, you aren’t going to fit it. Why don’t you try to steer the conversation towards things like vacation, sports, and/or hobbies? People love talking about themselves, so ask about their most recent/next vacation, their hobbies, local sports teams, that sort of thing.

    • Boring Lady :

      Having boring conversations with someone is a prerequisite to having interesting conversations with that same person, particularly at work. It’s hard to jump from “hello” to a thrilling conversation (for me at least).

    • Anonymous :

      OP here — I didn’t mean I never cared. I want to get to know them — I realize houses and kids are important, so I was fine listening to an extent. And yet it goes ON and ON about the floor that needs to be stained or the contractor that messed up or whether little Aidan will or won’t make the school cut off, and all I could think is — how can anyone have THIS many house or child issues and why are you making me listen to them? And yet bc they are all in the same life stage, that stuff dominates the conversation.

      • Anonymous :

        You sound like you hate these people. I don’t think it’s possible for us to know if it’s because they’re smug and annoying or because you’re rude and uninterested in their lives, or both. But I don’t think there’s really any advice we can give you. You’re either going to have to talk about stuff that bores you or you’re going to not connect well with your co-workers. Those are the only choices, except getting a new job I guess.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yup that’s pretty much it.

          Maybe spend your breaks catching up on your recreational reading or whatever.

      • Anonymous :

        Right because when you have a house that has issues and children, that most likely IS taking up the majority of the time you are awake. Either you suck it up, listen to the boring stuff and ask questions about other stuff to get them off the topics you think are tedious, or you realize that you aren’t going to be able to have surface level social discussions with people in your office. You don’t get to pick your co-workers generally, so you have to make do with what you’ve got.

      • I have small kids and a house. I hear myself talk and bore myself! But I’m in the weeds with this stuff so much that I seriously have trouble shaking another conversation subject out of my mind sometimes. If you have another topic, please bring it up and try to pull the old fogeys out of their rut. If they’re like me, they’ll appreciate it.

    • You won’t make friends if you seem like you don’t care to hear it. Just because you don’t care to have suburbia issues for yourself right now doesn’t mean you don’t care about interests and lives of your coworkers. I don’t care about fishing for myself but have a coworker who does and I enjoy learning about what he’s up to on the weekends with that. This is an important part of the working world (and social world as an adult beyond the workplace) that you may want to polish up on as there will always be people at different life stages with different interests and hobbies than you.

    • If you want to have an occasional chat or lunch with co-workers who are in a different life stage than you are, you probably have to expand the things you care about or are willing to pretend you care about. I’ve had friendships with co-workers (at least for at-work purposes) with people ranging from 25 to 75 in all different life stages. And, it should be obvious, but how well I “click” with someone has more to do with interests and personality than how much we have in common. One of the co-workers I wasn’t particularly close to at my last job grew up with my husband, is distantly related to him, lives in our neighborhood, and has children close in age to my child who all go to the same school. It looks good on paper, and we’re friendly when we see each other, but we never chatted or went to lunch.

    • Seconding what Anonymous said, you aren’t going to fit in if you’re as disinterested in your coworkers’ lives as your question appears. You can certainly ask about their other interests to see if you have anything in common (tv/movies, sports, books, restaurants, hobbies), but it’s pretty standard for people to talk about what’s going on in their personal lives as well.

      At my office, I’m the only one in my age group. For a long time everyone was at least 10 years older. Now we have a couple of newer hires that are 5-7 years younger than me. I never felt like fitting in was an issue. They listened to my landlord complaints when I was renting, I know their spouses’ and kids’ names. Mostly we talk about work, news, politics, tv, movies, restaurants, etc. But we also know and care about each other’s personal lives.

    • Try to connect with them one on one or at least in smaller groups. When a big group of people all want to talk about the same boring thing, it’s really hard to change the subject. I run into the same problem with sports talk. I couldn’t care less about sportsball. I can politely listen for a time but when people go on and on… I have to bow out of the conversation. I’d rather be “busy” all the time than be the weird quiet girl who stands there looking at us and hardly says anything (when all we talk about is sportsball).

      • Anonymous :

        This. 1:1 may be easier for starters. Plus – SFHs and kids do present a LOT of issues. Many more than I could have imagined at 25. I’m not surprised the conversation bores you, but if it is does — it’s perfectly fine to stay at your desk and be “busy” rather than standing with them and being/acting/looking bored or annoyed.

    • Anonymous :

      There was a breakroom conversation on lawn mowing (like actual, not LGP euphemism). I don’t have a lawn, but my parents did, and I had to mow it. The key here is that you don’t have to have a lot to contribute, just don’t be openly contemptuous.

      The goal is to be friendly with your co-workers and the small talk helps that, but you don’t have to be actual friends.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        My boss and I talk about home renovation/maintenance kind of a lot. I live in an apartment and have to google the most basic stuff, but I can still talk about my parents’ house or what I like in my closet or whatever.

    • Anonymous :

      Try starting conversations about other topics. Honestly, my house and kids are what I spend the most time with when I’m not at work, so that is the most obvious topic of conversation for me. Because I actually work with mostly childless apartment dwellers, I pretty consciously try to talk about other things — restaurants, vacations, podcasts, books, etc., and I appreciate if they help steer the conversation toward common interests, because I truly do want to find common interests to talk about!

      Also, maybe just suck it up and ask them about the things they are talking about? I try to limit my droning on about my kids, but when my colleagues actually act interested, I do appreciate it, because my kids are the biggest thing in my life after all, and I don’t like pretending like they are a hobby. The more involved you become, the more interesting you may realize these folks actually are — might as well give it a shot.

    • People tend to talk about what’s going on in their lives. You are just at a different stage. You should be able to find some common ground with topics like current events (stay away from politics), movies, new restaurants, etc.

    • anonforthis :

      Also 25 and working in a team of people older than me with kids etc (aged 40+). We get on great. I listen to their home/marriage/kids issues and they listen to my first home buying/wedding planning/stories from my social life. We recognise we are in different seasons of life but respect and care for each other regardless. Common ground topics like travel and food are easy for everyone to comment on. Sometimes I have to hear about someone remortgaging their house, but I listen because I value their friendship and their input to work I am responsible for.

  3. Pride Month :

    Just a reminder to all that this is Pride month… I know many have different political opinions and religious opinions that they feel are fitting of a discussion about LGBT issues and topics. During this time, let’s keep in mind that there are people in the US and throughout the world being beaten or murdered for being themselves. Whatever anyone’s individual beliefs, I’m really hoping folks come together this month to show support, especially for those who are fitting into multiple discriminatory categories. With so much hate rhetoric and so much “us vs. them” happening, let’s remember that people are humans, who deserve to be loved and supported and to feel safe. Happy Pride, Everyone!

    • Nicely said–Happy Pride to you as well!

    • My 16yo is lesbian, and I am so grateful, beyond grateful, for the LGBTQ forerunners who have worked SO hard to make the world safer for her. We are ALL about Pride and have been for years (since she was small and before she came out) and one thing we do regularly is to donate $$ to orgs that support homeless youth, who are disproportionately LGBTQ. Just an idea.

    • Anonymous :

      My company is pretty progressive and raises a Pride flag outside on the flagpole right below the US flag this month. I’m not involved with the LGBTQ community, but it still makes me really happy.

  4. Political Internal Changes :

    Wondering what changes this political climate has brought into members of this group…

    I have some friends who are very religious and were always anti-choice but who have supported women’s process as they’ve realized that even if the choice is horrific to them, women deserve the respect that not having men choose healthcare for them brings.

    Other friends have been “anti politics” but have begun marching/protesting/contacting politicians.

    Some have made a point of shopping local rather than financially contributing to big box stores who pay employees poorly.

    What has changed within you/your world?

    • Anonymous :

      This likely won’t be popular here, but not much. I use #resistbot a lot, and have taken more interest in my local elections than I have in the past, but other than that, business as usual. I feel as though nothing I do will change what’s happening in the White House, so . . . Especially given today’s developments where 45 is going against just about oh, everyone’s advice. What do you even do with that?

    • I call my elected representatives — federal and state — a lot. I usually pick one issue a week (one national, one state) and call my reps and senators on my commute. It takes less than 2 minutes per call, usually. I’m in a solidly blue area but I want them to know I support their actions.

      I also have increased the amount I talk about politics/policies in my regular life. I work for a federal agency that will be deeply impacted by the budget proposals. I have family members in rural, red areas and I want them to know that effect that it has on me, and my colleagues, and the work that we do. Not in a “you did this” sort of accusatory way, but just making sure that they know my anxiety about whether or not I’m going to keep my job, because that’s an extra effect of our election.

    • Wildkitten :

      I used to work in politics and have been having a harder/longer time finding a job because the situation is just so different than organizations expected. I’ve been looking since November and I feel like only now (six months later) are orgs really figuring out what their direction going forward is going to be. I really appreciate how everyone is talking about politics everywhere I go now. It makes me feel a little bit less alone, even though I’m impacted differently than other people. (Less than kids being deported, but more than other folks.)

    • Anonymous :

      Nothing at all. No I didn’t vote for him. I don’t see the point in freaking out as he hasn’t accomplished much, the things he has accomplished will take yrs to play out like this Paris accord, and thus far daily life remains the same. If you want to protest go ahead but you won’t see me wasting my time.

    • I’m only saying this because I’m able to be anonymous here, but since the election I take a far narrower view of men as a gender, and was shocked by how much contempt there really is out there for women. I *know* it is definitely deserving of a “#notallmen” here…but I feel that way less and less. I also worry that I’m becoming paranoid and seeing interactions with men as discr!minatory and sex!st when they may not be.

    • Anonymous :

      I have made efforts to reduce my overall consumption and shop my values. I haven’t gone as far as boycotting Nordstrom or the like, but I do use the app Buycott. You can pick “campaigns” like Boycott Trump Products, or or Boycott Koch Industries, or Support Women-Friendly Companies. There are a lot of different issues to choose from. You can scan bar codes at the grocery store and the app will tell you if the product is part of one of your campaigns (for me, Bounty paper towels supports women-friendly companies, so it goes on my buy list. But Larabars both support women-friendly companies and conflicts with a campaign to boycott chocolate produced by child slaves (b/c the parent company won’t disclose the source of their cocoa) so it’s a maybe).

    • I’ve taken a little more interest in local politics and campaigns, and organizations like Swing Left. I have found that not living in DC (or a major city) makes a real difference in terms of how much the current administration permeates the atmosphere – no, many people don’t like him (although I know some that do), but unlike in DC, you’re probably not going to get into a conversation with your bartender about it, either.

      • Anonymous :

        Ha, I live in a small town in a red state but I have a tribe of politically like-minded friends here and ALL we talk about is how awful Trump is.

        • Interesting! My state’s blue, but I work in an office that skews conservative, so maybe I and others like me have just learned to keep our opinions to ourselves.

    • I have always been anti-politics, but this last election and the aftermath have been so deeply disturbing. I set up recurring donations to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU and try to call my representatives about something I care about once a week or so. It’s hard to feel like I make much of a difference individually, but I do what I can to add my weight to the collective group and hope that it is meaningful.

      • Anonymous :

        I set up a monthly contribution to Planned Parenthood back in January and ended up going to one for the first time in May. I had to sit in the waiting room for about three hours and after seeing the amount and variety of people (especially all the teenage girls that came with their friends after school) that I saw go through there I think that I’m going to increase the amount that I give. I am so sick of people in Congress (mostly men) deciding that these people don’t matter. I feel like they should have to sit in the waiting room and tell each person individually that because of one service that Planned Parenthood provides that doesn’t align with their personal religion, they don’t get health services.

    • I’m no longer willing to make nice. I will talk about politics and my views, and if someone says something racist or sexist or homophobic I will call them out. I will post about it on my Facebook page and no I will not stop.

      These are my changes. Not everyone is happy with them but this is who I feel we all need to be now.

      • Ditto. Live in the UK but political climate is changing here too. I’ve stopped just ignoring people who post hate and instead provide fact checks for them.
        I don’t know if it will change this for that one person, but I hope that should someone undecided sees the original post and my response they can make an educated choice when forming their opinion.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        YES

  5. Off-key Valkyrie :

    TBH, mine is prominently on display at my mom’s house. On a little shelf with a framed photo of us at my graduation, and a bound copy of my thesis that I had printed just for her. It’s a nice humble-brag for me…iiii’m not the one who hung it up, I just get to see it all the time.

    Probably no help to you, sorry. I guess I just wanted to validate that I understand it’s tricky to openly display our pride and accomplishments. If you can find a way to do it you are comfortable with, go for it!

  6. Trash TV Shows and your opinions on the characters? :

    What do you watch that you wouldn’t tell most and what are your opinions on the characters on the shows?

    Example: I’ve watched Teen Mom OG since they were on 16 and Pregnant… loving watching the kids and their kids grow up. SO over anything involving [email protected] and her entire life. She needs to get away from her nutball parents and get right to serious therapy. She’s not good tv, she’s fast forward worthy and watching her makes me sad. The same with Vicki on Real Housewives of OC (another one I’ve watched since S1), used to root for her, now she’s so much a caricature that it is both non-interesting and makes me sad to watch.

    • S in Chicago :

      Teen Mom OG fan here as well. And realizing the other day how I wouldn’t likely get along with them in real life for all sorts of reasons even though I’ve rooted for them.It makes me sad, especially Caitlynn. There was a lot of potential there at one point and now she just seems like a know-it-all to others who is filled with nothing but excuses toward herself. I also spend way too much time fascinated by the Vanderpump Rules friendships.

    • Anonymous :

      Southern Charm

      I resent all of them; they are rotten people.

      • Southern Snob :

        I, like many South Carolinians, despise Southern Charm. Our state does just fine getting on TV for people doing stupid things without making a whole reality show about it. No need to air the dirtiest of the dirty laundry in public.

        • I love the show, but they really are so horrible. When Thomas told Landon she was “OC – our class” and she was so delighted, I almost died.

      • I went to high school with 2 of the people on Southern Charm Savannah. It’s so embarrassing to watch.

    • Anonymous :

      I admit this to real life friends, but I’m an avid watcher of RHONY and Orange County. On NYC, I like Bethenny, Carole and Dorinda and think they make good TV because they are smart and funny and quick with the one-liners. Sonja and the new addition this season Tinsley seem dumb but sweet. I can’t stand Ramona and LuAnn who I think are both hypocritical, manipulative and fake.
      On Orange County, I don’t have as strong opinions on them, except Vicki who is AWFUL (recently, I used to like her too back when she was with Donn). Heather was probably my favorite, especially when she was first introduced, but I do feel like she got a little obnoxious on the last season. Shannon/Tamara/Meghan are all kinda fine – sometimes they say funny or charming things but they also seem a little fake and stir up melodrama for the show. I feel like in general the women in OC are acting more than the ones in NYC are.
      Vulture’s Real Housewives recapper pointed out that Vicki is basically Donald Trump – unbelievably narcissistic, will say whatever she thinks people want to hear and then do whatever she wants, lies through her teeth, etc. I think that assessment is spot on.

      • ME TOO. If you don’t already, I highly recommend listening to the Bitch Sesh podcast. It’s Casey Wilson and Danielle Schneider (from Hotwives on Hulu) recapping and discussing the shows with a variety of sometimes celebrity guests. It’s great.

        I love love love Dorinda so much. She’s gorgeous and a great friend, even if she’s a GD nutcase when she gets upset. Ramona is an absolute monster and I keep watching because I want her to get her comeuppance, which I know will never come. Same with Vicki. They are so lacking in self-awareness that they’ll never realize they are terrible.

        I love the Bev Hills franchise too, as much as NYC. Those are the two where the women let loose and act the silliest and have stupid fun sometimes that reminds me of me and my friends.

        Say what you will about the housewives but in my opinion they are the realest portrayal (obviously highly staged and dramatized) of female friendships I’ve seen on TV. The situations are fake but the emotions are real.

      • Oh girl, I have all the opinions on the real housewives. I’m pretty much with you but I can’t STAND Shannon. She thinks she is funny/wacky but she is the only one laughing at her own jokes and she’s a huge whiner to boot.

        Vicki and Ramona can shrivel up and die, though, for all I care. and thank god Alex and Aviva both got booted from RHONY because that would have made me stop watching.

        • Alex was on WWHL last night, and she remains completely uncharismatic. I really wanted to like Aviva, but once that “Carole’s book was ghostwritten” campaign started I was done.

          I miss Heather T. She was the only one who could hold her own with Bethenny.

          Also, I am praying for a Tins makeover special. I love her but those baloney curls have got. to. go.

    • Married at First Sight! So good.

      • YES! Let’s talk about this please! Some seasons have shown a lot of how much family impact can have on an individual’s fears/marriages/friendships/etc. This is the first season I’ve rooted for all 3 couples (even in the 1st one, I knew Vaughn was out halfway through).

    • Thisperson1 :

      I was a teen mom back in the day, so I too have watched Teen Mom OG since the start. [email protected]@h and even @mber have kind of ruined watching it for me. I’m happy with updates on how well [email protected] is doing. Also completely addicted to Judge Judy because I too want to grow up to be a snarky old lady.

    • I’ve been watching Return to Amish marathons. Not proud, but I grew up near a Mennonite community and I find it fascinating. The Mennonites in my area are far, far less strict than the Pennsylvania Amish, but there is some cultural crossover.

      Sabrina: Her situation breaks my heart. Drug addiction, kids in foster care, you name it. She makes terrible decisions yet somehow doesn’t come across as an evil person? She just seems really, really lost in life and has virtually no support from friends or family.

      Jeremiah: terrible in every way, and I’m glad Carmela left him.

      Abe and Rebecca: on the surface, they’ve come out of this better than most of their cast mates, but there’s still a lot of baggage in their lives. My heart broke for Rebecca when she realized there was no way she was going to pass her GED, even after studying. Amish school didn’t provide a real educational foundation at all; it was designed only for people who stay in that community for life.

      Mary: She breaks all the Amish rules, all the time, so I’m super confused about how/why she considers herself Old Order Amish.

      • Country Biscuits :

        This is the first I’ve heard of this! Thank you! What network?
        I was watching the other ones – can’t recall their names but one was kind of a documentary (legit) and the other was a fake documentary, Amish Mafia or something!

    • The thing I miss most (and am somewhat grateful for I guess) with not having cable is not having access to trash shows because I used to watch so many! Say Yes to the Dress. Ladies of London. Caught a few episodes of Married at First Sight while at a hotel and was thoroughly entertained. Teen Mom. Southern Charm. Four Weddings…the list goes on.

      Yeah…it’s probably good I no longer have access!

      • Oh, I forgot to add one of my favorites (is it still on?): 90 Day Fiance…and now to go down the google hole and see what happened to all of the people on that show.

      • IP Associate :

        This! We cut the cord years ago and I miss so many of my old favs, especially Say Yes to the Dress.

    • I have no shame in my game – I don’t believe in” guilty” pleasure. I heard Dave Grohl interviewed once and he said something to the effect of, if something makes you happy why should you be embarrassed by it. If someone wants to judge me because I love all the Bravo shows, they can just get right over themselves.

      That said, I love all the Housewives, Southern Charm, Vanderpump Rules, Below Deck (all branches), and any other stuff Bravo comes up with (Sweet Home Oklahoma, Long Island whatever that was, Summer House). All of it. Those people have my number.

      • YES. This is where I’m at. I enjoy watching almost all the Bravo shows. If you want to judge that, go right ahead.

        I’m loving Below Deck Med more than the OG Below Deck. Southern Charm Savannah is just the hottest of hot messes.

        If you don’t listen to the Watch What Crappens podcast, it absolutely cracks me up while I work out each morning.

  7. Shoes and skirts :

    What types of shoe looks best with a below-the-knee midi skirt? I don’t generally go for midi length, but I just bought a (non-returnable) denim skirt that rides much lower than I was expecting.

    Right now I have some Born mules with a tall platform and some rubber-soled ballet flats from Clarks, but I could justify buying another pair of shoes that goes with denim. Suggestions?

    • Anonymous :

      Can you hem the skirt instead? I don’t think there are many shoes that make midi skirts look good, unfortunately.

    • I think midi skirts look best with heels. I’d get a pair of wedge sandals in a leg lengthening color.

      • Shoes and skirts :

        Leg lengthening color- what does that mean? Sorry, I read this blog because I’m fashion impaired ;)

        • Southern Snob :

          A nude to you shoe usually serves this purpose nicely :)

        • Anonymous :

          Something close to your skin tone (low-contrast) rather than a bright (high-contrast) color. The theory is that low-contrast prevents a visual line the breaks up the length of the leg and provides the illusion of being longer.

    • I think something with heels. Flats with a skirt of that length always make my legs look so stumpy. If it’s not something you think you’d wear, is there any way to get it altered?

      • Shoes and skirts :

        I’ll probably wear the skirt a lot, because it fills a major gap in my closet. I dobut it could be hemmed, because of buttons down the front, but I might eventually have it taken in all over.

        • Anon in NYC :

          I think you need a heel/wedge with a midi skirt – perhaps some sort of espadrille wedge for summer, and a short heeled bootie for fall/winter.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I really love the look with loafers- really simple ones, with no adornment on the toes, in a solid color.

    • If you don’t want to wear heels with a casual skirt, you can try pointed toe ankle strap flats. I know the ankle strap is counterintuitive but this style can lengthen and visually thin the legs a bit.

  8. Shopping help! I need tennis shoes for actual tennis (but community ed lessons for newbies, so not very serious tennis), which I would also like to use for boot camp at my gym and bike rides. What kind of shoe am I looking for? Are cross-trainers a thing? I would prefer something relatively low profile if possible.

    • JuniorMinion :

      So cross trainers could maybe work in a pinch however be sure you know the court rules. Tennis shoes are pretty specific as they have a non-marking sole and a rounded toe so you don’t trip when serving and the like however you can usually find deals on amazon.

      Something from asics / adidas might work but note that a lot of courts won’t let you on if your shoes are muddy / dirty from other things. You might have the best luck using them for bootcamp as well.

      https://www.amazon.com/ASICS-Womens-GEL-Resolution-White-Silver/dp/B00KI5VE3Y/ref=lp_679374011_1_20?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1496348041&sr=1-20&nodeID=679374011&psd=1

      https://www.amazon.com/ASICS-Womens-Gel-Game-Tennis-Shoe/dp/B01N8QPU8Z/ref=pd_sim_309_3?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01N8QPU8Z&pd_rd_r=D0Z43711V56PY5ZADXJ0&pd_rd_w=Df2Hv&pd_rd_wg=VADVg&refRID=D0Z43711V56PY5ZADXJ0

      • JuniorMinion :

        Also be aware that many courts specify non marking shoes must be worn (those flattish soles in the links I provided)

      • Thanks! The lessons are on an outdoor court, and the only rules about what to wear were “appropriate footwear.” (I told my BF it meant “not flip-flops.”) Thanks for the idea about the rounded toe!

        • JuniorMinion :

          Ah ok – as long as its a hard court if they are relatively chill you might get away with non tennis specific shoes.

    • Anonymous :

      You need a shoe with good lateral support for tennis. At the beginner level, you might be able to just use a pair of running shoes–but that depends on your innate athleticism. If you are a hard charger (meaning you are going max effort on every shot/ drill/ exercise) then you are going to want a more “tennis” shoe. If you are a “country club” player (you like to play and socialize, but don’t want to break a sweat over it) you have a lot more flexibility with your shoes. Also, if you are affected by peer review of your footwear and its appropriateness for tennis, then you will want to opt for a more tennis choice. A quick search reveals a ton of options–I like Nike’s Free series of shoes for multi athletic endeavors.

      • Second this. While you can certainly take beginners’ tennis lessons in a cross-trainer shoe (I did!), if you find that you like tennis, you will want to switch to a true tennis shoe for the lateral stability. There is a lot of side-to-side motion and it is too easy to roll an ankle in non-tennis shoes.

        There are two main tennis online retailers – tennis warehouse and tennis express – they have good sales and a ton of selection. I would look there for shoes. Have fun!

    • lost academic :

      I would encourage you to go to a running/shoe/fitness store, get evaluated, tell them what you want to do, and have them recommend a shoe.

  9. I would definitely buy this bag if money was not an issue. So fun yet so impractical.

    Any suggestions for protein powder to add to smoothies and shakes? Something low carb, high protein and dairy free? Although whey is probably okay. I tried Vega powders and hated their grittiness.

    • I’ve been happy with the vanilla flavor from MyProtein, although I am getting tired of it. I really should have bought more than one flavor at once to mix them up.

    • If Whey is okay, Tera’s Whey. I get the Bourbon Vanilla to add to smoothies and the Chocolate to mix with just water at the gym post-workout.

    • Anonymous :

      I like plant fusion. I think protein powders are a very subjective thing. What one person likes, another will hate, another will think “eh”.

      My rec is to go to a health food store and buy a bunch of single serving packets of different types, brands, and flavors. Try them until you find the one you like the best. I tried about a dozen powders in different flavors before finding the one I like.

    • Orgain! It’s vegan, not chalky, and high in protein. Vanilla and chocolate are both delicious.

    • Shopaholic :

      I get the plant based protein (vanilla) from It Works. I really like it. They have two, but I get the vegan/plant-based one. My trainer makes money on it but honestly, I like the taste so I don’t care.

  10. Anon for Now :

    I’m on a kick to simplify the logistical, physical, mental and other time consuming clutter from my life. So far, I’ve unsubscribed from most online shopping lists, closed my FB account and started saying “no” to invites, committees, etc. that don’t fit with my priorities. Has anyone undertaken anything similar? Any tips?

    • Delta Dawn :

      I love this and hope you get some good responses. I have tried this as well. One thing that helped me was eliminating a lot of choices. Clothing was an effective way to do this; I Kondo’ed my closet and now have new rules– I only buy solid colors (no patterns except I will allow an occasional neutral stripe top), and I will buy colored tops but no colored bottoms– that way every top goes with all the bottoms. I realized I don’t like pants, so I got rid of all but one pair of pants that I do like. All of my shoes are now neutral flats and also go with everything else. I did keep three pairs of heels for court, also neutral, which also match everything else.

      I also did a self-imposed buying ban for six months, which helped to not replace with more clutter. After I lifted the buying ban, I now have a rule (it may be temporary, we’ll see) that I only buy work clothes from MM Lafleur and nowhere else. This eliminates a lot of unnecessary purchases. I’m looking for a similar place I can limit myself to for weekend clothes (right now it’s Old Navy, but I’m not sure that will stick).

      I did this for my child, too; all of his clothes match all his other clothes, so it takes no thought to dress him. (This was much easier because he hadn’t accumulated years of meh purchases like I had). I also have a rule that any clothing I’m responsible for (mine and baby’s) must be machine washable and must not require ironing. This way I don’t spend time going to the cleaners, treating clothes with special care, etc.

      A big time saving tip for me is to automate things. I put all bills on autopay, have the cleaning service come automatically every two weeks, etc. I haven’t found a way to do this with groceries yet, but every Wednesday I place an online grocery order and pick it up every Thursday. I keep the grocery list in the app and add to it throughout the week as I see that we are running out of something. This saves time rather than sitting down to make a list, forgetting what I’m out of, etc., and it also saves time of wandering through the store by placing the order online. You’ll notice that you buy the same exact things repeatedly, which cuts down on decision making/remembering.

      I eat the same breakfast and lunch every weekdayday for a week, and the next week I change it to something else. I order 5 of whatever the repeat meal is in every grocery order (this week I ordered a box of instant oatmeal packets and five Lean Cuisines). I take them to work on Monday and eat them through Friday. If a fun lunch option comes up, I will skip the Lean Cusine, but having them there means I always have a backup lunch plan.

      I also quit a bunch of stuff. I now only have two volunteer commitments, and they are church and one professional organization that I feel very strongly about. I quit everything else, even things I liked, because I liked having time more than I liked doing them.

      I would love more tips for simplification if anyone has ideas!

      • I have the same clothing rules! Makes things so easy.

        I also use a meal planning service to cut down on dinner decisions.

    • I still have FB but deleted it from my phone and only sort of scroll through it for 5-10 minutes in the morning while I eat. I noticed I read novels and other substantive things a lot more since I did this and I love it.

      I don’t buy any clothes that can’t be machine washed and dried. I still have some holdovers that I’ll keep until they wear out, but going forward this is a hard rule. As for ironing, I just don’t. I take clothes out of the dryer and hang them up promptly, which keeps them respectable looking. They’re not crisp, but nothing is crisp after you wear it for an hour so I don’t feel like it makes any difference.

      I went through my closet and got rid of most things that were shabby or that I didn’t wear, and most things that weren’t versatile (meaning a top that only went with one skirt or vice versa) so I can almost grab any skirt/pants + top + shoes in the morning and it will look respectable. It’s not quite the case that everything matches everything, but it’s close and the “close” lets me have a bit more variety than I felt like I would get from everything being matchable.

      To me, that’s the clutter that annoys me: social media, laundry as an errand I have to leave my house to do rather than do while I’m doing something else, and having a bursting-at-the-seams closet but somehow still hating everything I wear and not being able to get dressed for work quickly.

      I don’t really try to minimize time spent on food because I genuinely enjoy cooking and being creative in the kitchen.

  11. Today I learned that my raise has been approved by the board! Cool.

    Today I also learned that my fancy new title, which my boss offered me a few months ago and for which I have new business cards and everything, is . . . apparently not okay with the board, so it’s being taken the eff away. Not cool.

    • Bummer. Although if it were me, and not knowing the specifics of your situation, I’d rather have the raise than the title.

  12. Senior Attorney :

    I love this bag so much I want to weep. I saw it in person last winter and it made me want to weep then, too. Especially when I looked at the price tag…

    • I love the clutch version! If I hadn’t just bought a L&S Catalina, I might be seriously tempted…Catalina is much more necessary and useful though, so ugh…

  13. Anonymous :

    I know it’s not unexpected, given what he said on the campaign trail, but I am so upset about Trump exiting the Paris Accord. He says “America First” but 7/10 Americans wanted to remain! It’s not like this is a tree-hugger thing….big business leaders and many of Trump’s advisors including Tillerson, who is from Big Oil, wanted to remain. I feel like he is seriously only undoing it because it’s Obama and everything Obama did must be terrible. Ugghhhhh. I am so disappointed and embarrassed AGAIN to be an American.

    • Anonymous :

      I know. Something that I’m struggling with too is the apparent willingness to cede American global authority and power to other countries. I feel like this hurts American interests in the long run – setting aside the climate aspects of it entirely.

    • Anonymous :

      Also I know there are bigger fish to fry but I can’t get over that Trump and his aides keep saying things about being elected to help Americans, not “the people of Paris.” I feel like Trump genuinely has no idea this is called the Paris Accord just because it was signed there and he thinks that it was intended to benefit the people of France specifically.

      • Oh, they definitely are not smart enough to know that.

      • Anonymous :

        I was thinking this too listening to the speech! Does he realize it was just signed in Paris but includes 195 countries? It provides no special benefit to Paris – which also isn’t a country??

        • Anonymous :

          To be fair, he said “I was elected to help the people of Pittsburgh, not Paris” – both of those are cities. But yeah. I don’t think he knows the terms of the agreement have nothing to do with Paris.

          • Anonymous :

            I am the last person to defend 45’s intelligence, but I do think he knows the difference. Or at the very least his aides do. They’re counting on the fact that many of his supporters don’t. Which I actually think is worse.

    • It’s so dumb and it’s definitely done purely out of spite. I hate that man so much.

    • Anonymous :

      Looks bad in front of the world – I agree. But I assume implementation had already started? So if you’re megacorp x that has already spent billions of dollars to become compliant bc you knew that new emissions standards would be in place in the next few yrs — do you really think they will now spent billions of dollars to reverse it and go back to the old systems? Plus big cities like NYC and Chicago have already said they will continue to function in accordance with this accord; I can’t imagine a big liberal state like Ca. doesn’t come out with the same stance. I agree it’s bad politically, I just don’t think it’s as bad in its effect as people are acting.

    • Anonymous :

      I would consider that anything supported by all these big companies means there is money in it for them. They aren’t altruistic. I work for one of them. I believe our impact on the planet is the most critical issue of our time. I am not at all fussed about leaving a voluntary agreement with poor transparency.

      • Well I’m glad you can sleep at night. But it’s about much more than the voluntary agreement.

  14. Tailor screwed up :

    I have this beautiful LK Bennett dress that I got tailored by a new person. They didn’t follow the original hem when shortening it and shortened it with a regular pants hem, two inches too short. I complained and got my money back. Is there any way for me to save this dress? There isn’t enough room to do that much as it’s already short now.

    • how wide is the hem that is left (folded up)? can they let it out as far as possible and redo it with a very narrow hem? is the dress just one color? if there is more than one color you might be able to add an extra couple inches in another matching fabric at the bottom, but that also depends on how it looks and the type of fabric it is. I think they owe you more than just the cost of the hemming but also money towards a new dress.

  15. I haven’t been on here in a while, but I wanted to thank fellow ‘rettes for the support when I posted in the past about being super stressed out at my Big 4 consulting job. The past few weeks have been a flurry of applications and interviews, but I just got a new job that I’m super excited for, is in line with my professional goals, and that allows for much better work/life balance. Compensation is nowhere near what my consulting salary, but it’ll be worth it to preserve my mental health. Thanks to those who offered support/commiseration! I never thought I’d find such emotional support online, but when I couldn’t share my feelings of hopelessness and being overwhelmed with anyone IRL, you anonymous internet strangers came through.

  16. The do not call list – it is useless right? The number of fake calls I’m getting on my cell has exploded in the last 2 months and I’m really sick of it.

    • Are you blocking the numbers as they come in? It’s annoying but it reduces them eventually. Until you get on a list somewhere again and they come back.

    • I mess with the callers and waste their time until they hang up on me. It has actually been a pretty effective way of getting them to stop calling me, since their whole scheme depends on reaching the maximum number of people possible (and the individual callers are probably compensated on # of calls). Plus, it’s fun when I have time. Other than that, I’ve stopped answering calls from counties/numbers I don’t recognize, but that does nothing in the long run.

      • Anonymous :

        You might want to be careful with this approach. Apparently some companies will try to record you saying certain things, like “yes” and use that as authorization to charge you for things you didn’t order. Obviously criminal, but hard to track and prosecute. I read about it in my local paper, so I can’t say how common this is, but my general rule is “better safe than sorry.”

        • Thanks, good to know! I never give out any personal information and rarely say “yes” or anything affirmative. Typically, I’ll ask them to repeat the phrases they mutter through quickly, ask for information about them, and try to push them off script until they hang up. It usually only takes about 2-3 minutes, but it’s enough to stop the calls for a while.

        • WestCoast Lawyer :

          I’ve seen this everywhere, but I think it is a hoax (or at least unconfirmed). I can’t think of any company I call that authenticates me by my voice, and if they don’t use voice authentication there is no reason for a scammer to use a recording of you saying yes rather than just saying it themselves.

  17. TurkeyLurker :

    Need a gut check on reasonableness from the hive. My parents and one sister live in location A and I and another sister live in location B about 3 hours away. Thanksgiving is usually at my parents’ house in location A, but this year I am in the third trimester of pregnancy and offered to host it at my home in city B so that I could avoid the travel. My sister learned that I am opting to serve ham instead of turkey and decided that she was not traveling 3 hours for “mashed potatoes and vegetables” because she doesn’t like ham (which is new to me). For background, this is not a religious/vegan/health reason. She doesn’t think it’s worth it to drive to my location if turkey is not on the table. She is now planning to bring a turkey of her own as some sort of compromise. I’m normally very flexible, accommodating, and even keeled about doing whatever works, but I’m taking offense to this and finding it very rude that she is going to show up with a turkey. Not a side, not a dessert, but a whole turkey to suit her own wants. Am I an unreasonable hostess for being upset? Should I be any less upset since she is my sister and not a regular guest at a regular dinner party where this would be seriously out of line? I guess I should let this go but it’s really taken the gizzards out of me.

    • Let it go. Some people are weirdly attached to turkey at thanksgiving, and some to having a whole one. I’m someone who could easily go the rest of my life never eating a turkey anything so this is beyond me, but I know these people and just accept this. She’s bringing her own turkey, I say let her.

      If it helps any, I once attended a thanksgiving with two turkeys because two competing sides of the family each wanted it “their way” and attended another where someone served a chicken because it is tastier and there weren’t many of us and one of the guests insisted on pretending that it was a “young” turkey. I legit questioned his sanity but, again, whatever floats his boat.

      • PS: Kat, something weird is going on with the comments. This post is from June but this is where you end up when you click on 11/14 coffee break.

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah just let it go. It’s sort of untraditional not to serve a turkey at Thanksgiving so if your sister really wants one, let her bring one!

      • anonshmanon :

        It would be out of line to bring your own main dish to a regular dinner party. But for many people (your sister included apparently), Thanksgiving dinner is not at all like a regular dinner party. It’s about narrowly defined traditional foods and repeating this ritual every year gives them happiness/comfort.
        So at first, she was considering not even attending, and now she is solving the problem by contributing herself? I think that’s ideal.

    • Anonymous :

      I mean … I wouldn’t show up at a friend or stranger’s house with a whole turkey because that’s weird, but I’d be really annoyed if I couldn’t have turkey on T-day. And if it was my sister hosting I might just go ahead and bring one, because I think social norms sort of go out the window among family.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This. I guarantee you that the whole family will thank her for bringing the turkey, and by extension they will thank you for being gracious about it.

    • You’re being unreasonable for being upset. At least she’s not somehow forcing you to make a turkey – she’s bringing it! Let it goooo, let it gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    • Baconpancakes :

      Ha, “taken the gizzards out” of you. I saw what you did there. I think your sister bringing a turkey is eye-roll worthy, but in the same camp as other annoying sibling things that you put up with because it’s not hurting anyone. But props for the pun.

    • no ham on tnxgiving :

      Let me defend your sister here. I would want to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day. And celebrating Thanksgiving basically boils down to a meal with few traditional foods that go well together. I don’t feel it has to be turkey; I’ve done vegetarian Thanksgiving. But the holiday meal traditionally features North American staples.

      Ham has nothing to do with Thanksgiving and would evoke Christmas or Easter. It sounds like you are planning a nice dinner party, but I would want to go actually celebrate Thanksgiving afterward.

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