Thursday’s Workwear Report: Split Cap Sleeve Midi Dress with Belt

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

Someone told me recently that ASOS Curve is really great — as is this dress we’re featuring from them — and I’d love to hear from readers who agree: What have been your good finds? Is there anything in particular that you regularly buy? This dress has pockets, which I really like, and I also like that the belt doesn’t go all the way around. It’s a flattering and forgiving style, and it comes in lots of sizes and colors, including tall and straight sizes (and a mini dress as well). The dresses are $46 (sale) to $76. ASOS CURVE Split Cap Sleeve Midi Dress with Modern Ring Belt

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Comments

  1. Dressed with Pockets :

    Question – do you really use pockets in dresses? Kat mentions it all the time but the dresses I have with pockets do not have a lot of support in the pocket and it seems like anything other than a keycard or some cash would stretch out the pocket or make a bulky spot on my hip. I definitely can’t put car keys or my phone in them.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I totally do not understand the obsession with pockets. Even with things that have them, I do not use them.

    • Anonymous :

      I do use them for my phone when I’m walking around the office or going into meetings, so I like having pockets. I get annoyed when a dress doesn’t have them!

      • I try NOT to wear dresses with pockets, b/c when I do, Frank always puts his greazey hands in my pockets from behind, and then squeezes me in places VERY VERY close to my erogennous zone, which is NOT the place for him and his greazey hands. FOOEY on Frank! I would carry my iphone in my pocket, but learned not to wear dresses JUST for this reason. Men like Frank are such slobs, even worse then Sheketovits, who, when I was dateing him, had a limited license to access my erogennous zone on certain weekend evenings. YAY!!!

    • cake batter :

      Yes – my work badge and a chapstick.

    • Puddlejumper :

      I had pockets put into my wedding dress so maybe I am an extreme case. But I use pockets. I have to lock up my purse at my job and you are going inbetween buildings. So I keep my phone, ID, and chapstick in my pockets.

    • Anonymous :

      They are awesome! – A couple tissues or a tampon, or a single card etc. are all small items that fit easily and are things I don’t want to carry in my hand or have to bring a coin purse etc for, especially if I’m balancing papers.

      depending on the fit/outfit, I also leave pockets sewn closed so they lie flat sometimes but it provides a great spot to hang my work id. Usually there is enough space for the clip to go in between the stitches. I hate wearing a lanyard and dresses without pockets don’t have a waistband to clip the id to. Plus it’s annoying to clip my work id to my waistband and make a weird lump under my sweater.

    • Cornellian. :

      They’re most important for key cards/IDs, but i also like the ability to stick my phone in it, even for a second, to shake hands or open a door.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Yes – mostly for my work badge, or my phone when I’m walking. I hate wearing a lanyard and in a dress without a belt, the only other places to clip the badge are at the neckline or the hem.

      • Anonymous :

        On a sleeveless dress – I’ve clipped mine at the armhole and worn a cardigan over. I unclip to open doors, etc. I don’t usually need to have it visible at all times, though.

    • My job includes daily presentations to a big room of 10- 50 people- I wear lavaliere microphones a lot, and a pocket is a great spot for the battery/receiver pack. If I’m wearing a sheath dress without a belt or pockets, I have nowhere to put it. I also like pockets for a quick spot to stash my powerpoint clicker, so that I can shake hands or talk with my hands. Sometimes, I’ll stick five or so business cards in there, just in case. I’d never use them as an all day storage solution for keys or phone, the way I would with a jacket.

      • Yes, our female ministers have said the same thing about needing a pocket for the battery/receiver pack for a microphone.

      • Was going to post exactly this. I do corporate training and I love dresses with pockets for holding lav mike transmitters and presentation clickers. Also I buy mini dry erase markers and keep one in a pocket while I’m training. Everything I need is at hand (literally) and I don’t get across the room and then realize I have to truck back over to grab a marker or a clicker.
        Dresses with pockets give me an alternative to pants, and for some classes where I’m in front of high-level people, I feel more “dressed up” in a dress.

    • Team Pockets, forever.

    • I find them most useful for client events so that I can leave my work bag, etc at the office and just bring my phone and work badge. That way, I’m not trying to juggle drink, food and small talk with a giant bag. There’s often not a really good place to put a bag, so I prefer to just leave all my stuff in my office.

      • +1 Phone, business cards, ID and a credit card for all work events is idea. None of this big tote bag being schlepped around.

    • Team pockets. You can always have pockets removed and sewn shut by your tailor if they do truly add bulk in an unflattering spot but they are so much harder to add.

    • Eh, I can take them or leave them. Generally they’re not large enough to carry anything I really want to carry.

      I went to the MM LaFleur showroom in NYC and I really really wanted to buy this long cardigan that had pockets (in-seam style, I believe it was the Ono) but unfortunately every time I pulled it on, the pockets bulged at my lower hips, saddle bag style. I could get them smoothed out but i doubted they’d stay that way, since they reverted to saddlebags every single time I took it off and put it back on.. If not for the pockets, I would have bought it. This was also the case with one of the dresses I tried on.

      So I know they advertise OMG POCKETS but sometimes pockets backfire.

    • I don’t – stuff always falls out of dress pockets for me.

    • Anonymous :

      I love pockets for airplane travel – so I don’t have to fuss for my phone during boarding.

    • Anonymous :

      Love them for my freezing HANDS!

    • biglawanon :

      No I don’t use them. Nothing I would want to put in them fits, and even a tube of lipstick looks bulky and weird. None of the pockets on any clothing I own are large enough to hold an iPhone 5, except the back pocket of my jeans and the breast pocket of a few suit jackets.

  2. ASOS Curve :

    You have to be really careful-some of the brands ASOS Curve carries are really cheaply made and do not look good in person. I’ve been happy with their self-branded things, though. And their WideFit shoes/booties are FANTASTIC. I’m wearing a pair of oxblood booties I bought from ASOS today. They are one of my favorite pairs of shoes, and according to Stylebook are my most worn shoes in November. They are really well made and very comfortable.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m not plus sized but I have GINORMOUS calves (maybe my legs are plus sized). Regular tall boots do not fit me. Do you know if ASOS makes tall boots that would fit me?

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Have you tried Torrid? They have a great selection and some of them are actual leather.

      • Baconpancakes :

        I have a pair of Blondo boots with two elastic panels that fit my truly ridiculously large calves (19″-20″) but are made of a very high quality leather. I discovered how high of quality when I gouged out a chunk of leather on a steel step and the leather didn’t peel back, just now has a divot and more leather underneath. And they have great traction and are waterproof. Strongly recommend.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 to leather boots with elastic panels. That’s my pair of Fryes. My calves are on the large size for most brands, but the real issue is the large part of my calf usually hits higher than calf bump out most boots have (I blame long legs). Elastic is the only things that saved the too tight at the top/slouchy at the ankle problem for me.

          • Ahhhh you are me. Except I really just have long calves, not terribly long legs. It’s so strange.

            OP – Duo Boots have lots of size combinations and you purchase based on measured calf widths. Plus their customer service has been really helpful to send me additional measurements I wanted before I ordered. Not cheap but worth the investment.

        • ASOS Curve :

          Do you mind sharing what Blondo boots you wear? I need a pair of high boots and can never find any I like to fit my crazy huge calves.

          • Baconpancakes :

            They’re the Vassa Waterproof. I like that they look like normal boots – the shaft doesn’t scream wide calf like some do with half-elastic backs.

          • S in Chicago :

            I was actually just coming here to recommend the very same boots. (I do the wide foot as well–the Vassa runs a little narrow in the foot itself.) I own the black and they’re the only ones that not only fit my calves but look streamlined. It’s such a unicorn that this post just got me to splurge on the brown even though it’s pre-Christmas and this is the last thing I should be buying right now.

      • Try Sam Edelman Penny wide calf boots.

      • I’m glad to know it’s not just me! I am size 2P and not a crazy bodybuilder or anything and can’t wear most boots, it’s insane, so good to have some more recommendations.

    • Gah! The lace-up brogue booties are awesome! Must not buy more boots…

  3. How do you deal when someone (a guy) who is ten years younger than you and has only been with your firm for a few months replaced you on the most high profile project of the company?

    I’ve worked on this project since the first day, which has been for two years. I have a lot of hands on experience in the subject matter, whereas he has academic experience.

    The reason I was taken off was initially a misunderstanding. The managers of the project thought that my boss was playing politics and didn’t want to “share” me. My boss is really powerful but is not involved with this high profile project and has a tendency to get grumpy when I’m pulled off of his projects and into other department’s projects, which this one is.

    When I asked him about it, he said he never implied that to the managers of this project. I took that information to them and said I wanted back on. In that time, the new guy had been on the project for a month now and had done really great work. They said they’d bring me into help the new guy if he needed it. He’s still getting all the major assignments and if I’m brought in, it will be as a secondary role.

    I’ve always received glowing reviews and am frequently sought out by our executives for special projects, so I don’t think it’s because the quality of my work is lacking. They actually are having him go over my past reports to get acquainted with the case.

    I’m upset over this and need some perspective. This has no effect on my job security. My direct boss loves me and he’s the one who determines my salary and bonus. It’s just been a wound to my professional pride.

    • As an outside reader, I can see how this would be upsetting, but I think it’s just a case of crossed wires that ultimately doesn’t have long-term repercussions. I think it’s just what you said – professional pride. In 5 years, will this have affected your career?

      • Agreed. You were replaced not because this guy is better or had more experience or is just a guy, but because your boss got grumpy with the project manager. So while it is a bummer, it has nothing to do with the new guy and I can see how they are hesitant to replace him after he has been on the project a month. Since it was nothing personal about you or your work I would try to let it go and not blame the new guy as it doesn’t seem like he had anything to do with it. It would be different if he had gone to the project manager and asked/angled to replace you or something.

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          I agree with this, but add that you should try to stay ahead of your boss being a grump and accidentally messing things up like in future.

    • lawsuited :

      If your direct boss makes decisions about your salary and bonus, and you working on this special project made him grumpy, it’s a win that you’re off the project. If you’re asked to act as support for the new guy on the special project, I would find a reason not to. It will take up your time, make you feel resentful, and won’t get you anywhere in your career, so there’s no upside.

    • Sounds like the project doesn’t need two of whatever your role is. The young guy isn’t a problem – why are you “dealing” with him?

      Your problem is your boss who was, in fact, playing politics if you were pulled off of the project. If your job is truly secure, you might be best to have a conversation with your boss on being used as a pawn in his game. Tread carefully, though, because this conversation could easily backfire in a big way.

      I come from an experience where I was being played as a pawn by my boss. I lost my sh*t in a blaze of glory, walked out of the office and wasn’t sure I would have a job the next day. I ended up with full support of my director and vice-president and my boss was let go the following month (lots of reasons, but this contributed.)

    • It sounds like the ship has sailed on the project. You’re out, young guy is in.

      If I were you, I would be upset about being removed from a high-profile role because I want to advance beyond my secure job working for powerful boss. Your boss is hoarding you, which diminishes your future opportunities.

      If that’s how you feel, then it’s time to look for a new job. It sucks, but looking when you have a secure position is better than looking when you’re already out.

    • Kiehls Panthenol cream for the face. Works really well for the dry winter skin on your face. I like it better than their ultra moisture face cream.

      • I’ve been guilty of this myself, but sometimes these mis-placed replies catch me off guard and give me a good laugh.

    • maybe a little jelly :

      Can you reach out to him and build a relationship? Together you could work well. If he, too, does a good job I dont see any reason to try and get involved again.

  4. I have my PhD defense tomorrow. Who thought defending with a sleep regressing four month old was a good idea? Baby doesn’t take a bottle so my husband is hanging out with him in an office so I can nurse during the interval. I’ll count it as a success if I pass and don’t have spit up on me. Send baby sleep and coherent answer vibes my way.

    • Anonymous :

      Hi there Baby Cb! You are getting verrryyy sleeeeppppy. You want to sleep alllll night long.

    • Cornellian. :

      good luck! You’ll feel so bad ass when you think back on this day.

    • Anonymous :

      Go you! All the coherent answer vibes going your way! You got this!

    • lawsuited :

      Sending good vibes your way!

      (But also, if you leave husband and baby to their own devices with nothing but milk in bottles, baby will figure it out. Introducing a soother/pacifier/dummy can help prepare for bottle feeding.)

      • We are doing a bottle bootcamp over the holidays as I go back to work in 6 weeks and he’s got to eat something. Just couldn’t quite get it together beforehand and i figured feeding the baby in the break would be more efficient than pumping.

        • Flats Only :

          Bottle boot camp! That’s such a great phrase.

        • Good luck! Try putting the baby in a bouncy chair and having your husband give him the bottle while you are out of the house. I have no clue why the bouncy chair/bottle combo works but it was a life-saver for several of my friends.

          • This is the only way we got my son to take a bottle from the nanny when I went back to work. I think if the baby smells a person, they’re like, where’s my b**b? But in the bouncy chair, they’re partially distracted and also not so physically close to someone that they figure they’ll wait it out and the b**b will appear.

    • Good luck!!

    • Wishing you a great defense, and an even greater post-defense nap.

    • Legally Brunette :

      If she’s not taking a bottle, when she wakes up at night, have husband pick her up and change her and bring her to you, then you nurse, then HE is responsible for putting her back to sleep. So ideally, you’re sort of half awake when you nurse her and you’re not doing anything else WRT to the baby, and then you can immediately go back to bed. Try to preserve your sleep tonight as much as you can. you got this! Best of luck!

      • Anonymous :

        This 100%

        My baby didn’t take a bottle her first 4 months but it wasn’t really an issue because DH was responsible for putting her back to bed after night feedings. He got up 3/7 nights because he was working (I still nursed but he got baby/changed diaper/resettled baby) and I got up 4/7 nights because I was on maternity leave.

      • lawsuited :

        Also, at 4 mo, you don’t need to change baby’s diaper at night unless it’s poopy or leaking. Diaper changing wakes baby up and increases the amount of time it takes to resettle.

    • They wouldn’t be letting you defend if you weren’t ready! I totally understand wanting to rock it, but if you don’t, you will still be a PhD at the end of the day, and that’s all that matters.

    • Good luck tomorrow!!

    • I didn’t sleep at all the night before my defense, even without a child! Keep in mind that (for the most part) these things are really just a formality. The committee has already read your diss and so they just want to engage you a bit with questions. Take as much time as you can to enjoy the experience tomorrow (even if terribly sleep deprived). It really can be a fun and moving experience!

      • Thanks! I’m looking forward to being done but I do think it will be a good conversation. It’s just hard going in completely blind (in the UK, your examiners aren’t selected until you submit).

    • You are seriously amazing. I defended at 33 weeks pregnant, which I think was significantly easier than after baby (except for the shortness of breath from squished lungs). Hope it all goes well!

    • As a fellow PhD – good luck! You got this!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Oh, sending the very very best good vibes!! You got this!!!

    • Can you wear a patterned top or dress so that spit-up is less visible?

    • Anonymous :

      Good luck!

  5. Ladies, I need your lotion, chapstick, and moisturizer recommendations! The air is getting drier and my face, hands, and lips are dry, itchy, and cracking. I’ve been using Burt’s Bees hand cream and chapstick and CeraVe moisturizer for years with no issues, but they don’t seem to be cutting it any more. My skin needs help!

    • Anonymous :

      Tree Hut shea butter for hands, aquaphor for lips

    • Baconpancakes :

      First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Lip Therapy and L’Occitane’s Shea Butter hand creams (which I like because they’re pretty, come in lovely scents, and fit in a tiny slot in your purse). Buy the L’Occitane from an outlet if you can – way cheaper. Can’t help you on face creams – I use Lush’s Vanishing Cream or Imperialis because they have a calming effect on my skin, but I’m never particularly dry there.

      • the FAB lip is no joke. I got some for the holidays and use it every night after the cool weather hits and my lips are no longer dry in the winter. there’s also a tinted red version that’s more fancy looking. The texture is a bit vaseline-y, but it works! Under lipstick I wear Boots lip primer, which is more of a moisturizing fluid.

        • Tech Comm Geek :

          What’s the product name on the Boots lip primer? I’ve been using the NYX one, which works, but I could use some more moisturizing.

      • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

        Seconding the FAB. I got it on a supersale at some point thinking it can’t possibly be that good. It is.

    • Vaseline for lips (especially overnight), Working Hands Hand Cream for hands.

    • I also use CeraVe for my face, and find that when I I use a good AHA before, it makes a huge difference in my dry skin. I use Walgreen’s Beauty 365 brand and it’s amazing. Plus it makes my skin so smooth and my makeup application a lot easier.

    • Anonymous :

      Humidifier at home. Or at least for the bedroom.

    • The best lip balm I’ve found – like truly does the job and actually stays on for hours – is Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm for Lips. It’s not cheap but well worth the $14 on amazon.

      For hand cream, I look for anything with shea butter and make sure to use moisturizing soap and for face lotion I really like Avene’s sensitive line, available at Duane Reade drugstores in NYC and on amazon. They have a super moisturizing “skin mask” that I actually will just leave on overnight and I feel like it really helps me avoid winter skin in the A.M.

      One thing that you should also do is get a humidifier for your home/office if you don’t already have. This makes a bigger difference for me than any cream or lotion.

      • I love the Dr. Lipp too – it’s great.

        And someone on here recommended Kiehl’s Hand Salve to me and it’s literally the only thing that has worked for my hands. I’m a customer for life.

    • Puddlejumper :

      Kiehl’s Creme de Corps for Body
      Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve for Hands
      Lanolin Cream for Lips or Gumbi Gumbi Lip balm

    • CherryScary :

      Neutrogena’s Norwegian Formula Hand cream is my go-to during the winter. It does get very greasy, so I try to put it on right before bed most nights from November-March.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      For lips: straight Vaseline, that rosebud salve in little tins (like Smith’s or Bigelow’s), Cococare cocoa butter stick balm (my CVS has them in a jar on the checkout counter)

      For hands: Vaseline at night; Gold Bond hand cream (I use the CVS knockoff and it’s great) or Vaseline mixed with water during the day (put a dab of Vaseline on your palm, dribble a few drops of water in, and then rub the lot into your hands); and then you absolutely need windproof mittens or gloves

      For your face: cold cream, like Pond’s (not the thick Nivea type in the tin–that’s too greasy ime)

      I’ve also been putting cold cream on my legs after showering, which works great against my scaly winter legs (they would look ashy if my skin were darker)

      • +1 for Gold Bond hand cream. I am a frequent hand washer and in the winter my knuckles crack and bleed from dry skin + washing. Gold Bond saves me every time.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Aquaphor for lips. For hands, I like L’Occitane 20% shea butter hand cream (deeply moisturizing but not sticky). For face, I switched to an oil based cleanser which automatically helped. But if I need extra moisturizer during the daytime I like to use Clinique’s Dramatically Different gel and then layer Clinique’s Moisture Surge on top. The moisture surge helps with the flakiness/itchiness.

    • Change your washing routine to pond’s cold cream and a warm washcloth. That cured it for me.

      Other than that, regular applications of lip balm, and I keep a travel bottle of hand lotion at my desk and reapply every time I wash my hands. Take your rings off too, to let that area dry and get some lotion before you put them back on.

      • I should have added, I think staying moisturized is more about habits than brands. It’s not that you need the world’s most luxurious hand cream. It’s that you need to apply it 5-10 times a day.

    • One thing that really helps me is keeping the rest of my skin moisturized. I use Neutrogena’s bath oil after showering (I wipe off moisture with my hands, apply, then use a towel on my face and hair and step into a bathrobe. So no toweling on body before/ after oil.) Amazingly, this has cut down on eczema and persistent dryness on my hands. My face has less trouble, but I use one of the Clinique 3-step moisturizers and find it incredibly hydrating per ounce.

      One other thing: My skin reacts to dairy (uncovered via Whole30). Avoiding it helps my skin stay hydrated. No idea why, but if you can’t find something topical that works, a dietary change may help.

    • I have horrible hands and have tried everything under the sun! I recently got O’Keeffe’s Working Hands hand cream and it has been wonderful. Hands repaired/ moisturized and no grease afterword. Definitely get yourself some!

    • Getting rid of anything petroleum based was life changing for me. Everyone’s skin is different, but you could give that a try.

    • original Blistex for lips :

      The only thing that works for my lips once they are chapped is Blistex in the tube (as opposed to the chapstick or little round pot).

    • For lips, I got a sample from Sephora of the “Bite” agave lip balm and was blown away. It’s super thick and stays on for hours. It’s quite pricey compared to regular ole chapsticks so I keep it on my nightstand and have the cheap Nivea “kiss of smoothness” sticks stashed everywhere (desk, purses, car, husband’s car). I hate having dry lips or hands so much!

    • If you’re looking for non-mineral oil-based, the Bite beauty lip mask is great.

    • Face: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Moisturizer
      Lips: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (apply at night, as it’s too sticky to wear during the day but you wake up with brand new lips)
      Hands: Soap & Glory Hand Food

    • Smiths rosebud salve for lips
      Eucerin hand cream
      Nivea in shower moisturizer
      I don’t really have dry skin on my face, but what about a weekly moisturizing sheet mask?

    • biglawanon :

      Kiehl’s Crme de Corps for body/hands
      Kiehl’s moisturizer with SPF 30 for face in the day
      Clarins Multi-Active Night cream for night
      Jack Black lip balm

      You may also want to consider switching to a cleansing milk if you are using a harsh face warm. I like the Clairins ones.

      May also want to consider a humidifier.

  6. There has been some on and off conversation on here about people considering Accutane, so I thought I’d share my personal experience.

    I’m 32, done with pregnancies, and have had acne (with a delightful monthly massive cyst) since I was maybe 13. I’ve literally tried almost everything – all the Sephora products, oral and topical antibiotics, Retin-A, special washes, chemical peels, facials, the homeopathic ‘just put honey and cinnamon on it!’ thing, and even a super strict anti-inflammatory diet (no dairy, gluten, sugar, etc.).

    The best I would get was 80% of the way to where I wanted to be. I’m currently on month 3 of Accutane and it’s AMAZING. I’m actually seeing skin I never thought that I would have. I was scared away when I was about 22 by the terrifying ‘i-Pledge’ system and 120 page booklet of terror they gave me to review, but I wish with all my heart that I had done this sooner.

    Basically, it’s a 6 month course of meds. You need monthly appointments and bloodwork which is annoying but doable. Your skin and lips get super dry, but you just basically dunk your body in aquaphor and go on with your life. The really scary side effects are super rare and they monitor you closely to make sure that doesn’t happen.

    I’m actually feeling like I can go out without at least BB cream on for the first time in my life. The painful cysts are GONE and I’m really happy to not be putting antibiotics on my body daily. I like knowing that it’s a time limited course and really just wish I had done this sooner!

    • Anonymous :

      Exactly why I sing its praises, too. I took it in high school and it saved me so much emotional pain in the years since.

      • Anonymous :

        Took it in college, still grateful I made the effort.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Same. I just wish I’d done it in high school to avoid the dryness before I became sexually active.

          • OMG is this an issue? [And is it lasting or just while you are taking it?]

            My husband was on it in his late teens and with his genes, I would get it for my daughters in a heartbeat b/c his skin is so disfigured by acne.

          • Baconpancakes :

            It was for me, but I am perpetually dehydrated to begin with, and my partner was pretty terrible at doing his job. Totally went away after I stopped taking it.

            Basically any mucus membrane you have will dry out a bit on Accutane, as well as any skin that has normal dryness (like lips, face, cuticles). I also had to use eye drops.

    • Same same same I sing its praises whenever I can.

    • BabyAssociate :

      Agreed with all of this. Taking Accutane earlier would have saved me from the subsurface acne scarring I’m currently trying to get rid of. So glad it’s working for you OP!

    • Anon in NYC :

      Good for you! FWIW, I took it in high school and actually had to go through two separate rounds of it. But after that, so much of my acne cleared up that it was remarkable. I don’t have perfect skin, but it’s light years better than what it was and it has never gotten that bad again.

    • Thanks for sharing this.

      Had you already failed spironolactone?

      Tanks.

      • You know, that’s one that I hadn’t done. My derm didn’t think it was right for my particular variety of acne. I do know that many people here swear by it, but I also liked the idea of not having to take a medication forever versus a time limited period.

      • BabyAssociate :

        I did, spironolactone didn’t work for me.

    • Just want to add another option for you all. About 15 years ago I underwent ClearLight treatments for my acne. It worked so well! I had painful acne, and my next step would have been accutane. ClearLight is a laser/light. You just sit under the light (kind of like a dentist chair light) with tanning goggles on. Treatments were 20 minutes a couple times a week for about 4-5 weeks. It was very relaxing, and I often fell asleep. There were no side effects! No redness or dryness or anything. It was amazing and only about $200-$300 (total, not per treatment), IIRC.

    • As an alternative perspective, Accutane affected my moods (I became very sad and likely borderline depressed while taking it), but all my symptoms cleared up after stopping.

      It works – but I always recommend caution due to potential mental health side effects.

      • A close friend took Accutane in college. She had a history of depression and was concerned that the medication might make things worse, but in the end she said the effect on her mood was minimal and the results in terms of her skin were amazing. There was a period of bad dryness and flakiness, but it went away once she stopped the medicine.

      • Anon in NYC :

        For me, too high of a dose and I was unable to stay awake, no matter how much well rested I was. I remember a teacher in high school having to wake me up. I had no memory of falling asleep or even being tired.

    • Agreed, I took Accutane in my early 20’s as soon as I could afford it (and my derm put me through the usual paces of topicals/birth control/etc.). Aside from extreme dryness it worked amazingly well, I truly truly wish I’d done it in high school or college as it made SUCH a huge impact on my overall mood/self-esteem to have a face full of acne that just didn’t clear up, ever.
      As an adult I still get monthly hormonal breakouts but they are SO much less severe and easier to treat now.

    • Anonymous :

      Oh my gosh – I’m on month 2 and needed to read this! Thank you!

    • Took it at 32, was finished having kids, husband had vasectomy and wished I had done it 10 yrs sooner. It affected my self confidence so badly I actually wonder if my life would have turned out differently if my skin was clear in my early 20’s, with the same self confidence after completion, lol.

      Big ‘but’ however; when I was about 40 it came back about 60% as bad. I had moved several times and the last doc wouldn’t prescribe it again. I took mynocycline (spelling?) every day for 90 days to clear it up. I’m 47 and I take the mino 3 or 4 days a month and my skin stays clear. The dermatologist isn’t quite sure why this tiny dose works but said it’s okay to do.

      I would so take th3 accutane again

  7. Does anyone know if you can buy Visa gift cards with no purchase fee? I’m trying to buy a few for holiday gifts for kids’ teachers (I know, I know, cash is better, but the group I’m buying for wants to do cards). It looks like AmEx lets you buy their cards online with a code for no fee – has anyone bought the AmEx gift cards? Thanks!

    • Some banks have their own no-fee gift cards that are a cash equivalent. You can see if yours does.

    • I sometimes buy the Amex cards for my staff. If you have an Amex and Membership Rewards, you usually can purchase “no fee” all year round with a code, but I have in the back of my head that there may be a minimum purchase to avoid shipping.

    • In House in Houston :

      My credit union has a no-fee MasterCard. If you belong to a credit union ask them.

    • I’ve received the AmEx gift cards before and had a hard time using it because some places wouldn’t take AmEx.

  8. Anonymous :

    I tried the Alarmy app last night per a poster’s recommendation yesterday. This is the app (available on android, too) that makes you do math problems, take a picture, or scan a barcode before it shuts off. I set it to do 3 math problems.

    Well…somehow I managed to turn it off without doing a single problem and go back to sleep. I have a vague memory of hitting it (per usual) until it was quiet.

    I’m going to buy an alarm to put across the room. I leave my cell phone on my nightstand, which is probably too close and too easily facilitates shutting off alarms.

    • Seattle Freeze :

      I don’t suppose you’d want to try what finally worked for me, which is to get yourself a diabetic dog who absolutely has to eat and get his insulin shot at the same time every morning. I don’t get up? Not good, Bob.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Not fool proof. I have a diabetic cat. I can get up, feed him, give him his shot and go back to sleep no problem on the weekends. That started creeping into the work week too.

      • Alas, I already have a dog and 2 cats, all of whom love to snuggle. They are terrible alarm clocks.

    • I got an alarm clock with a bed-shaker attachment. The vibrations literally SHAKE YOU AWAKE. I hate it so now I never turn on that alarm clock, ha. I got it off of Amazon.

    • The only thing that’s ever worked for me is putting the alarm across the room, and also making sure the alarm won’t automatically shut off or sleep. I am a deep sleeper and can sleep through just about anything. Right now my alarm is on my iPad, which plugs in across the room. I have it set so three alarms go off, 15 minutes apart. Just to be sure

      Although I will say, sleeping through my alarm stopped being as much of a problem when I started making myself go to bed earlier. I am one of those people who just needs 7-8 hours a night, and that’s it. I am a night owl naturally, so it’s hard to make myself go to bed, but it’s helped me get going in the morning a lot faster now that I go to bed before midnight.

    • I bought one of those sunlight alarm clocks – it’s from Phillips but I can’t remember the model name. It makes a big difference for me when it’s daylight savings time. I wake up much easier when it’s light outside than to an alarm in the pitch black. I don’t use it in the summer, just my phone.

    • Clocky. It rolls off the nightstand and across the room if you don’t shut it off.

    • For your across-the-room alarm, I recommend something that gets plugged in rather than battery-operated. I have a battery-operated travel alarm that I keep across the room to force me to get out of bed, but I just wind up picking it up and taking it back to bed with me, where I hit snooze 8 million times. Hmm, maybe I should take my own advice!?!

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I use Alarm Clock Xtreme Pro – also an android app. It hasn’t failed me yet. I also love that I can set a maximum number of snoozes.

      If you’re going to go with an alarm clock not next to the bed, try putting it in your bathroom. That’s my last-ditch method. I have to leave the room, I see the toilet, I have to go, by that point I’m awake enough that I might as well keep going.

  9. Totally frivolous :

    Warning – totally frivolous question…don’t flame me!

    How do you guys justify buying luxury items? I’m lusting after a Chanel reissue bag that unfortunately has a price tag closer to $6k. I have the money in the bank and have a milestone birthday coming up, but I’m having trouble justifying spending so much money on one item (it’s more than my mortgage!!). For those of you guys who own luxury bags/jewelry/items…what was your thought process, did you regret it? FWIW, my husband and I make a good income, no kids yet, fully funded retirement, etc etc.

    Somewhat related, I’ve thought of purchasing the bag preloved but not being able to guarantee authenticity is what’s holding me back. Anyone have experience buying second hand luxury items – where did you buy it and how did you go about authenticating the item? Not sure if the savings are worth the risk.

    • I’ve bought luxury items (luxury for me, all $1K or less) and considered cost per use. If its a high quality bag I’ll use twice a week for a year, for 10 years, it makes more sense compared to a $50 bag that will fall apart after a season.

    • Honestly, I can’t justify it. I know this is a fashion blog, but I can’t help put find the idea of spending $6k on a purse sort of disgusting. Even if you truly have the money to spare, it still seems hard to justify, though I admit this isn’t entirely logical, since I wouldn’t begrudge someone spending the same amount of money on a car, nicer house, travel, etc., and those probably have more negative consequences on the world than buying a purse. So maybe that’s the way to think about it? It’s less environmentally destructive than other things you’d spend the money on? I’d still only justify it when tied to a hefty charitable donation, though.

    • I bought some luxury bags and other items (like a Burberry coat) in my 20s. Nothing that cost $6k, but items in the $1k-2k range. I regret it now. Not in the “I wish I had that money” way – I don’t really miss the money, but just in the sense that I feel like the items haven’t bought me joy commensurate with the price tag. I’ve never regretted splurges on experiences, like travel and expensive theater tickets so now I confine my splurges to that.

      • I appreciate this comment! I’m 37 and have never owned a purse that I didn’t pull off a clearance rack for less than $40. The past couple years I felt like I should purchase a luxury bag because in our culture, as a professional working woman, I’m *supposed* to have one.

        I think if I were to buy one, I would feel the same as you.

    • We have a HH income of nearly $500K and I just don’t care enough about “stuff” to spend anything more than $300 than a handbag. Even if I were a multi-millionaire I just can’t imagine spending that much on a single item.

      With that said, if you have the money and you believe you would use it regularly for the next 10 years, no need to feel guilty. Make that your big purchase for the next year.

      • +1. Same for me.

      • +1, similar income, similar spending range for a bag. My husband and I regularly play the “what would we have to earn to spend $X on Y item.” I don’t think there’s an income level at which I would want to buy a $6k bag. But I freely admit I’ve spend upwards of $10-15k/person on some bucket list vacations and if we made more money I wouldn’t hesitate to spend even more. Everyone has their indulgences and fashion is clearly not mine.

    • I don’t. Sorry, I know it’s not helpful! I just can’t help feeling that there is something immoral about a 6k bag.

      • IDK — I think about porsches and yoga retreats and luxe spending as a way to get $ from the haves to the have-nots (factory workers, mechanics, detailing shops, hotel workers, construction workers of said hotels and factories, maintenance workers, yoga teachers).

        I mean — I like the Greenbrier. It is super-expensive (for me). But it does give a lot of people a roof over their heads.

        The OP could always buy something beautiful from someplace like Frank Clegg for <$1,000.

        • +1

        • I think this is worth exploring a little. My gut reaction to your post, Anon 10:29, was retching and revolt. Here, a justification for luxury and for unnecessary spending is made that suggests such spending is fine, because the less fortunate are paid to facilitate that luxury. While there may be a short term benefit offered to the facilitators, in the long term the logic of your post merely systematizes their subjugation, right? To me, there is something fundamentally wrong here, while acknowledging that we live in a capitalist society with unequal chances at birth. Did anyone else have a similar reaction, or could offer a counterpoint?

    • I am thrifty/frugal, but having a fixer house and then daycare bills has moved the needle for splurge $ up to ~$1,000,

      HHI of 500K

      I can easily drop 5K on landscaping though. But I remember 2009-10 all too well to know that 6Kis exactly two months of mortgage payments.

      Still: you do you

    • Our HHI is around $300k, in case that matters in how I approach answering this…. I can’t justify spending that kind of money on a purse, but I am eyeing HARD a watch that’s around $4.5k. It would be far and away the most expensive item I own. I have a milestone birthday, professional milestone and first child coming soon. To me jewelry/watches are different than a purse from a wear & tear/maintenance standpoint. I think it’s a lot more typical to gift down to children a watch than say a purse.

      Generally speaking though, I’m a big believer in “have less stuff; do more fun stuff”. That $6k could go So.Far. on a killer vacation/experience-driven memorialization (word?) of the birthday than a purse.

      • I saw a simple watch I just adored. Too bad for me that it was Patek Phillipe. I went into the store to ask to see it as a replacement for a timex I had destroyed. At the time, I didn’t have a car and any car I wanted would have been at least 22K, which is what the watch was. I just about choked — I think I managed to get out “that must be some watch” and just walked away.

        I am rich (on paper at least), but maybe I have $ b/c I have a Skagen?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Well I have not spent $6K on a bag, I have spent $3K twice. I have also spent that much on jewellery for myself a few times over, so I think I can comment.

      Honestly, if I love it enough, I will buy it and use it and feel amazing every time. For me, that feeling has not diminished with time for these things. My first LV bag is now 13 years old and I still get a thrill every time I take it out. I am generally pretty responsible, my mortgage has less than$100K on it, and I give a lot to charity and those who have been less lucky – I don’t need to justify it more than that.

      I have bought one used bag from a reputable consignment shop that guarantees authenticity (https://www.lxrco.com/). The bag was in pristine condition and was about 1/3 off the store price (current style and LV which does not ever go on sale). Totally great experience. You just need to feel confident in the source of purchase.

    • I don’t spend that much on handbags but I will spend that amount on pearls.

      People who are claiming they’d never spend that amount would spend it on other things – even if it’s just a bunch of crap they don’t need that over 6 months easily adds to $6K. I’d rather have the nice bag than the crap (or car parts – looking at you, dear husband)

      And your bag will hold resale value because it’s a chanel so while I wouldn’t exactly consider it an investment, it’s not literally $6K down the drain. If you ever needed the money you could recoup a fair amount of it. This isn’t true for $6K worth of crap.

      So if you can afford it and it’s something that would bring you joy, go for it.

      • Eh, most people who buy $6k handbags buy a lot of miscellaneous crap too and it’s not like everyone who isn’t buying $6k handbags is buying $6k worth of clothes at the GAP instead. I like clothes and I treat myself to a ‘low-end designer’ (Kate Spade or Coach or something like that) bag every year, and I doubt I’ve spent $6k on clothing/purses in the last 5 years.

        • Agreed. I’m similarly thrifty and if I spent a great deal, it tends to be on things that should appreciate in value over time – home improvements, etc.

      • I spent well over that for a joke of an LLM. So you’re not wrong.

      • Your second paragraph is so true. I like high-quality shoes and (hopefully heirloom) jewelry, but I scrimp in other ways. I used to work with someone who purchased her lunch every day (I bring mine) and got takeout for dinner 3-4 times a week (I batch cook on the weekends). She ALWAYS made some snarky comment when I got a spendy new piece. Honey please, those Cole Haans that will last me 10 years cost less than one month of your unnecessary food spending, stop clutching your imitation pearls.

      • Another way to think about the resale value is that it means less waste – if you don’t use it or love it as much as you thought you would, it can go to another owner instead of a landfill.

      • +1 to second paragraph.

        I don’t spend much on clothes because I don’t really care about them, but I spend a lot on travel and my hobbies. OP, if your emergency fund is well stocked, you have the cash, and the purchase will bring you joy, spend it. I would never go into debt for luxury items, but otherwise, it’s your money. Spend it on what you like.

        I don’t agree with those who have said that a $6k bag is inherently immoral, any more than spending money on anything else is immoral. You do you.

      • +1 to this. I just went back through mint and discovered that I have spent nearly $20k on clothes in the past seven years and I feel pretty confident that only about…$6-8k of that EVER got routinely used, and probably only…$4-5k of it is still in my closet. And I suspect that’s being very generous. Would love to have my paired down favorite things wardrobe and two chanel bags instead! Probably my biggest splurge in there was around $500/item. I think the problem I have with pulling the trigger on anything larger is that it’s so hard for me to tell in advance which items will become beloved. Sometimes it really is the expensive item I mulled over for a while, but more often than not it’s a $20-200 impulse buy.

        • I figure some of that is the learning curve. Looking back on a lot of my purchases from my 20s I groan, but it was also a matter of figuring out what looks good on me, what works for my life, what brands/fabrics hold up, etc. and still, sometimes, mistakes are made, or things are not what they seems.

          Some rules for me:
          1. those internet companies clothes look good, but they’re not for my lifestyle. only buy from companies with brick and mortar stores where I can return or free/easy returns
          2. flats really just don’t last, no matter how nice/expensive.

          i’m sure I have more…

    • I have the money to splurge on luxury items but to date have been pretty limited in my purchases. The ones I’ve really loved included: Gucci ballet slippers (on sale, but still pricey) and a Katherine Kwei bag (also on sale). In both cases, I used them until they fell apart and truly loved the styles. I could have done without them, but I enjoyed them for a few years. I have similarly splurged on clothing items and didn’t find that it paid off. I changed sizes or styles/jobs, and they sat in my closet after a while making me feel guilty – but I didn’t feel right purging them due to the cost.

      At this stage, I’d probably spend the kind of money you’re talking about on a vacation, spa splurge, or something other than personal items, but you do you.

      As for buying secondhand, that is actually how I’m getting rid of my designer clothing. There are some great deals out there. I sell my low/mid-range designer stuff on Poshmark but if I were buying high-end designer, I’d probably do it on verified sites like the RealReal or Material World (where they hold the merchandise and verify for you rather than the independent seller). I’d also limit to prices where I wouldn’t be devastated if the whole thing fell apart. E.g., I’d be okay spending a couple hundred dollars on a LV bag but not a couple thousand on Chanel.

      • I would be really cautious with this… google the site and look for consumer complaints. For example, there are LOADS of complaints against the RealReal where items were verified by their in-house authenticator, and then were clearly fake and were not authenticated by an independent authenticator. Authentication is only as good as the person/company providing it, so I would definitely bring any item purchased from a company like that to a third party independent authenticator. I don’t personally use RealReal because so many of the complaints online are that, after the item turned out to be fake, people either had difficulty returning it to the company, or they returned it, and saw it listed again as authentic the next day.

    • Definitely buy from a consignment shop! Some I have used and been impressed with: Bluefly, Luxury Garage Sale, and even some Club Monaco locations have a nice curated and authenticated section. My mom bought me a (new) classic black flap Chanel for college graduation and I continue to wear it all the time, it still looks great, and goes with everything. She has a few from the ’80s that she still wears all the time and still look great. (And yes, I even have one she passed down to me.) I have bought some from consignment shops mentioned above at a fraction of the cost and been very pleased. I have also sold some to these and been very pleased. You do what makes you happy, though. I personally love buying handbags and real jewelry because I can wear them every single day for years no matter what I’m wearing, what size I am, what undergarments I’m wearing, what season it is, whatever. But that’s me. I don’t buy a ton of clothes each year and exclusively buy on sale when I do (I pretty much wear a uniform to work and my size hasn’t changed), I don’t buy costume jewelry or purses, I don’t spend money on my hair except for cuts 2x year, I buy nice serums and moisturizers but everything else from the drugstore, I don’t really buy shoes, I don’t spend money on house cleaning/dry cleaning/really anything that we can do ourselves. And about once a year or once every two years I buy a nice bag or jewelry – and with bags will often sell one I have because I have 15-year-old bags that can still be sold. Do what makes you happy. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      PS- watch out for the condition of the leather with the reissue. The “caviar” (on the classic) is much more hardy and the calfskin on the reissue is more delicate AND is meant to be a little more “weathered-looking” so look carefully that the weathering is intentional and not because it is in tatters.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      If you can afford it, it’s all about what gives you joy, and there’s no right or wrong here. I have zero interest in handbags (hello Target bags) but dropping $6k on a sweet *ss full suspension mountain bike. Oh yes!

      • Absolutely. It’s all about what’s worth it to you. I would never spend 6k on a bag, but I have spent $1.5 k on a bike, which done people would think is ludicrous. Several years ago, my husband and I spent $5k on a vacation to Japan and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I tend to look at amounts of money as “trip equivalents” – so for me, $6k is a really nice vacation overseas or maybe even a couple of them. But some people hate travel and would rather have a bag, or a bracelet or whatever.

      • I joke that I used to have a disposable income, and then I took up cycling.

    • No one has said this, but in my family these kinds of purchases were framed almost as a form of patronage–as if it’s just good to support, once in a while, people who are making the very best thing they can, not the best thing they can make within a constrained budget–or as if the world would be impoverished without these things and knowledge of the skills it takes to produce them.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I think this is a good point. Many high-end items (not all, alas — I fear a lot of handbags are made in China and other places with questionable labor practices) are made by skilled artisans and create good jobs.

        As for the question at hand, I am Team You Do You If You Have the Money and it Brings You Joy.

    • If you have the money and you think it will truly bring you joy, I say go for it. I bought a Chloe for a steal (though still about 3x more than I’d ever paid for a handbag) and I’m happy every time I pick it up, or walk by it on it’s shelf at home, so it was totally worth it.

      I would definitely buy from somewhere that will authenticate the bag – I bought from Poshmark, and not only was the bag new with tags, the seller had to ship it to Poshmark first for verification before I received it; that’s a free service for any purchase over $500. RealReal also verifies, and other sites may as well.

    • If you’ve met your financial goals (emergency savings, debts paid off, etc) and have the money, why not? It also seems like your birthday milestone is also something to celebrate and consider. You can’t take the money with you, and if it something that will bring you happiness and a smile every time you see/use it, do it!

      If, on the other hand, seeing it will make you feel guilty you spent so much, etc – not worth it.

      I often justify expensive purchases by “price per wear”. A 6,000 bag used every other day for a year works out to like $33 per wear. Keep the bag for 5 years and use it every day and that’s just a little over $3 per wear.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I think this is where the wedding dress example really fits in – many people spend thousands on something worn for a few hours and think nothing of it. Evening and party dresses also have very low use per dollar for the most part.

        I have gotten far more joy out of my bags and so much more use over the years that they are actually pretty reasonable in price per wear.

    • You do YOU! :

      I have a 7 figure net worth and that is because I have been unable to justify purchases like this.

      One exception: I spent $1600 on a stunning Burberry trench coat when I got a major promotion coinciding with a milestone birthday 2 years ago. I had lusted for a Burberry for 15 years. Can’t remember spending over $200 for any other clothing/shoes in my life. I spent $100 on my wedding dress.

      • +1 on the Burberry trench. Def my biggest spend and enabled by The Hubs’s contribution for a birthday gift. I had it made to order when they had that program so unlike 80% of what I buy, it fits like a dream. I wear it daily in all coat weather above 40 degrees.

        The coat is almost 10 years old and other than button replacement and a little stitch on one seam, has never had an issue. On a per wear basis the cost was pennies, so no regrets.

        That said, I have a big milestone coming next year and I confess to lust for a Spinelli Kilcollin right hand ring. I would wear it almost daily and swap it in as a sub for my ER on days when I want to be more low key, but I am not sure I will be able to pull the trigger on the one I really want.

    • You shouldn’t need to justify it op. Wear it and enjoy it if you can afford it. I know that certain people will think it’s “just gross” to spend that much on one item but that’s on them, you know? I think it’s awesome to treat yourself to something you treasure and can afford and pay cash for.

    • I close my eyes and hit the “purchase” button online. If you have the money and have zero debt, I see no reason to not enjoy the few pleasures our lives offer.

    • I will splurge on handbags or luxury items occasionally, but I tend to keep it under $1500 (married, pregnant with our first, and HHI of $500k-$650k, depending on the year). My “rules” are that it has to be an item I’ve wanted for a LONG time (like I lusted after my last Ferragamo bag for nearly a year before I bought it, and a year later, I’m still obsessed with it) and that the purchase needs to be tied to an accomplishment (ie – said Ferragamo bag was bought when the team I manage exceeded our sales goal for the year). That way, I know I’ll love the item for years to come and I feel a little twinge of pride every time I look at it or use it.

      Also, I’m having a daughter in a few months, and my inner feminist cannot wait to slowly gift her some of these items as she grows up and explain the meaning behind them. “This is the bag I bought when I got promoted to vice president, this is the clutch I purchased when I hit my goal of making six figures before I turned 30”, etc.

    • Anonymous :

      HHI of 55k (no, I didn’t leave off a zero by mistake). Several years ago, I spent $3500, or four mortgage payments, or almost what I had paid for the used Honda Civic I was driving at that point, on eight place settings of sterling silver in my mother’s pattern. I use it maybe four times a year, but it is hands down the most beautiful thing I own and helps me feel a little closer to my far-away family. I get a shiver of delight just opening the chest and looking at it.

    • I think if you have to think about it, you can’t afford it. You can buy a $6,000 bag when buying it feels like not a big deal. It doesn’t sound like you’re there (neither are the vast, vast, vast majority of people, myself included.)

      Bags look dates. They get dirty. Your taste or colors lifestyle changes. Where a $100 bag might last you 2 years of light use and a $300 bag 5, at $6000 you’re paying for a label, not craftsmanship, period. I simply cannot believe that above a $500 price point there is a significant difference in quality for comparable goods at all. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with spending that kind of money if you can– but go into it without any illusion that it’s an investment piece, that you’ll use it forever, that it’s inherently “worth” the money.

  10. I’m kind of in love with the simone satchel from dagne dover. What’s dagne dover’s quality like?

    • Anonymous :

      Very good – I abuse my tote and have stuffed it under hundreds of airplane seats, but it still looks like new.

  11. I think I need a new hobby that can keep my hands and brain busy in my off hours (partly so I don’t stare at my phone and obsess about work). No kids and most chores are outsourced.

    I already am pretty physically active (running, cycling). Living in a city where I don’t really know people and free time is sporadic (frequent work travel means it’s hard to join a weekly group)

    TV and Reading don’t require enough focus to keep my hands off the phone.

    What kind of hobbies do you have?

    • Binge watching good TV shows (not crap); stuff with a plot you’re following. Genealogy research. Political volunteering. Joined a nonprofit committee.

      • We had to put our phones down when we started binge watching foreign thriller/mystery shows. Some we’ve liked – The Bureau (French), The Break (Belgium), and Occupied (Norwegian). The subtitles and back and forth in different languages means you can’t really play on your phone (or at least I can’t!).

      • I’m wondering if Anonymous at 10:19 is my secret twin. Genealogy is ridiculously fun and can suck you down rabbit holes for HOURS. Political volunteering is a great way to get involved, as is joining a nonprofit board. I’m on the board at church and we only meet once a month and they understand if you have to miss it for work travel, so see if you can find a cause you’re interested in.

        • Hi Twin! What other activities do you do? I need to branch out every so often.

          • Haha, hi! Baking and hiking. Neither fancy – just tasty treats for friends and family and weekends out in nature :)

    • BabyAssociate :

      I love to cook to cook and learn new languages. I’m not sure either of those would work well with frequent travel. What about knitting? Crossword puzzles (I’m obsessed with the NYTimes crossword app)?

      • I was going to suggest knitting as well. If you find a yarn store, they usually have classes or open knitting times, so it could be a way to meet some new people without committing to long-term schedule with your work travel, but it also gives you something that you can do on your own and when you’re traveling.

        Also, bonus, hand made items are awesome and make wonderful gifts or just fun things to have around the house :-)

      • Another vote for knitting! There was a nice article in Slate recently about how knitting got the author to put down her phone. The feel of the yarn in my hands is really relaxing for me.

        My favorite kind of handwork is counted cross stitch. It is a little fiddly and you have to follow the pattern closely. I bought a wonderful set of superhero alphabet patterns on etsy and made monogrammed napkins for our family. The boy has R (Robin), I have T (Thor), and the hubs has J (J’onn J’onnz, the Martian Manhunter. That took some doing since the J in the pattern is Jean Grey.) I made G (Green Lantern) in case we have a guest. Maybe I’ll do some holiday stitching this weekend!

        • +1 for cross-stitch. I usually do it while the TV is on, but I’m limited to things that work well with just listening, because you really have to pay attention to the pattern. You also can’t snack while doing it (part of the appeal to avoid mindless grazing) because you risk getting the fabric/thread dirty.

      • former consultant :

        Learning new languages works great with frequent travel! Duolingo, other apps, while you’re on the train or waiting at the airport or in a strange hotel room in a strange city

    • You should try climbing!! It’s physically and mentally challenging IMO.

      Crosswords (paper), puzzles?

      • +1. Climbing is a great way to make friends.

      • Yes!

        Also, OP I find it easier to keep my hands off my phone when reading/watching TV if the phone doesn’t have social media on it. For whatever reason I’ve found that I don’t get up to go get my laptop to scroll through facebook if the app isn’t on my phone. When I deleted the app I found I was able to get really absorbed in what I was reading again like I used to 10 years ago. I hadn’t even really realized that anything about the way I was reading had changed for the worse until I deleted social media from my phone.

    • Anon in NYC :

      If you’re already physically active, why don’t you try to join a running group and/or cycling club in your area?

    • I'm Just Me .... :

      Knitting (I do a lot of knitting for charity). It can be as challenging as you want it to be. It can be done by yourself or in a group. Many groups are drop-in, so if you miss it while on travel it’s NBD.

    • knit while you watch TV. Knitting alone doesn’t do it for me, but knitting and keeping my ears and sometimes eyes occupied for TV is a good bedtime habit.

      I’ve knit my whole life so I knit things like shaped cardigans, but everyone starts somewhere. I’d start with a practice square that you don’t care if you mess up. Then when you have the basic knit and purl stitches down, move on to a scarf using a soft wool you love. Then a hat. Then….

    • Adult coloring books serve a similar purpose. They’re more intricate, so they require concentration.

      • The phrase “adult coloring books” always suggests something to me that makes me how they’d actually be marketed (“really adult coloring books”? “adult adult coloring books”?).

        Sorry — I married into a family that thinks fart jokes are funny and now I am morphing into an 11-year-old boy.

        • Mary Ann Singleton :

          “Actually adult coloring books”?

        • LOL! Every time I see the Outlander coloring book for sale, my mind immediately jumps to “can you color in the scene where Claire explains to Jamie that horses and humans garden differently? That would be an adult coloring book, indeed.

        • LOL! I actually saw one once that was marketed as really “adult.” I think it was intricate floral designs and the like swirling around curse words. I’m not really one for coloring, but if I were, I would have bought that book.

    • My phone lives in my purse, which gets shut up in the coat closet when I get home. I charge it in the car during my commute, so I don’t need to plug it in at night. It requires deliberate effort to get the phone out of the closet, so I almost never use it at home.

      To keep your hands busy while watching TV or listening to podcasts or audiobooks, I echo all the suggestions for knitting.

    • Flats Only :

      Too bad about the frequent travel, because otherwise you could pick up shifts bar tending. Make some pocket money, meet people, and work with your hands.

    • Cross stitching or calligraphy!

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      Buy a fixer upper house! I’m mostly kidding. I wouldn’t recommend it.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Crafts crafts crafts! On nights where I have no other obligations, I tend to load up a TV show on my laptop (if inside) or a podcast (if in garage) and spend an hour or two by myself working through the entirely-different-from-work problems of my craft projects.

      Right now the things I’m into are making costumes/masks/hats/crowns/etc., developing some style in hand lettering and drawing little things, and then making and decorating a dollhouse for Kiddo. For each of them there are research and brainstorming steps (what would my ideal handwriting look like? does anyone online have good ideas about how to make realistic icicles? jfc what is the usual scale of dolls?) and then plan making steps (sketching out the mask/floorplan) and then sort of repetitive mind-clearing steps (making a million icicles, stringing beads, making dollhouse floorboards).

    • Knitting! I just learned with a kit from Wool and the Gang with big chunky yarn (the lil’ snood dog). I think they have a cheaper kit with Joann fabrics but the yarn isn’t as nice but might be a good starter project. I had tried multiple times before and just couldn’t get into it but this kit, and the big chunky yarn and needles made it easy. I like cross-stitch but I found the finished product way less useful.

      I’m not good enough to do it while talking or watching TV yet but hopefully I’ll get there with practice.

    • Anonymous :

      Watching Korean Dramas on Hulu/netflix. It requires undivided attention (reading and watching) to catch the subtitles. I have also picked up a little bit of Korean language from this hobby.

  12. Just ranting because I’ve been sick all week with a terrible head cold. I took two days off week and slept all day both days and today and tomorrow I will be telecommuting. I’m feeling a lot of head fog, so I’m not sure how useful I will be. My biggest concern is trying to not get my partner sick because we’re headed on a tropical vacation this weekend. So far I have been quarantined in our bedroom with him in another room, but I’ve of course had to leave the room. I guess we’ll be bringing lots of cold medicine on our trip. I just feel terrible knowing I will be ruining our trip.

  13. Any Maine readers who oppose the tax bill should call Susan Collins ASAP. She has not firmly committed and may spell the difference between passing or failing. Everyone else with a GOP senator who opposes the bill should call too! Suggested speech if you need one:

    “Hi, I’m calling to urge Senator ___ to vote no on the tax reform bill. Thank you.”

    If you really care about specific provisions, you can ask the Senator to vote no on particular amendments. You can also emphasize that this is a “voting issue” for you in the next election if one is coming up.

    • Good script! It really is that easy! A tiny tweak: “Hi, I’m a [State] resident and I’m calling to urge Senator ____ to vote no on the tax reform bill. Thank you.” They like to know that you’re a constituent ;)

      • Yes! And don’t call senators who aren’t your own. They don’t care what you think, you’re tying up the phone lines, and it makes it easy for them to dismiss the volume of calls as outsiders.

    • I’m so frustrated with my senators. Neither of them have staffers answering calls. Their voicemail boxes are full and have been for weeks. I sent messages via their online form after Charlottesville, and they both remained silent and sent back an unsatisfying form email that’s meant to appease everybody and nobody–one at least did so within a few days, but the other sent his out last week. I’m in a solid red state, and it’s so hard to feel like my voice matters.

      • Do they have social media accounts like Twitter? Both of my senators have Twitter accounts although I’m not sure how often they respond to tweets that @ them.

        One of my senators sent me an email yesterday with a poll on how I felt about the tax bill but I’m not sure if he’ll actually care about the results.

        • Dem Politico :

          Little secret of Congress: they use those emails for list building, not to actually get a read on opinion. There’s a little disclaimer at the bottom that says something along the lines of “by submitting this form, you agree to receive periodic updates from my office.” So now you’re signed up to get more frequent emails from them than the periodic unsolicited ones they have to get approved by the full franking commission

      • Ditto Facebook and Twitter. I’m surprised to hear that – one of my great friends is a press secretary on the Hill, and while sometimes they can’t handle the volume of calls, it’s unusual to respond so slowly or leave the voicemail full.

      • A Pennsylvania friend of mine has this problem with Sen. Toomey. He sends faxes! I think social media and/or faxes are what people do for senators that don’t answer phones, have full mailboxes, and don’t hold town halls. Sorry and good luck.

        • Anonymous :

          I ResistBot the h e l l out of Toomey.

        • Dem Politico :

          most offices don’t even log faxes… if it makes you feel better to be doing SOMETHING, go for it. Just know your message isn’t actually getting through.

  14. Matt Lauer :

    What a d*mn shame to have a successful and illustrious career ruined by his inability to keep his hands to himself. I read the Variety article and am stunned by the horrible things that he did. I’m SO angry on behalf of those women.

    Am I just living in a huge professional bubble? I am conventionally attractive, often called beautiful, and not once have I been harassed in the workplace (on the street, sure, but not in an office). The ONLY thing that remotely came close was when a guy kept calling me beautiful (in front of many colleagues), and I finally told him to stop and he promptly did. End of story. And I haven’t exactly worked in warm and fuzzy environments either — Big Law mostly, and now in government. Clearly I’m very lucky but I have talked to several friends about this and fortunately everyone has had the same positive experience I have.

    • That’s kind of what I’ve been thinking. I’ve never had a bad experience in a workplace. Social settings, law school (a classmate I had to drag out into the hallway and tell him his daily, loud comments on my appearance weren’t cute, they were s3xual harassment), that creepy older guy in college who kissed me against my will…but nothing like what it seems so.many.other.women go through.

    • I definitely think entertainment and media are hotbeds for this kind of thing. I don’t think it’ s a coincidence that a large percentage of the accused men have been in these industries. I think it’s much rarer to go around openly harassing women if you work in a traditional, uptight industry like law.

      To be clear, I think there is a LOT of sexism and discrimination in large law firms, but it’s very rarely “sleep with me or you’re fired.”

    • I’m like you. I don’t want to victim-blame, and I’ve certainly seen or heard of a lot of inappropriate workplace behavior over the years (generally of the flirting-taken-too-far-outside-the-0ffice type, by executives all the way down to junior staff), but I’ve never seen or been subject to the outright harassment you hear about, and I wonder about how it happens sometimes. I’m in finance.

      • nasty woman :

        You wonder about how it happens? And you don’t want to victim blame? Reading between the lines here, I’m detecting some heavy skepticism. Just because you haven’t experienced it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Here’s how it happens: a man somewhere decides he wants to abuse his power and harass a woman, he finds a woman, and harasses her. What’s the question?

        • I’ve been in really male dominant and conservative professions all my life, and nothing remotely untoward has ever happened to me. I don’t know how it ended up this way, but I consider myself really lucky. I know this kind of thing is super common and I totally believe people when they speak out about it. It just feels sort of weird because it’s never happened to me or to anyone that I have worked with (that they have spoken out/to me about). I’m guessing that’s what anonymous was saying- it feels weird to know that there’s a huge gap between your own experience and what we know happens elsewhere.

          • Yes, this on the surface. I’m the 10:51 poster.

            Though being honest, maybe it is skepticism that these situations are quite so clear-cut. While no one should be a victim, I still lock my doors at night. It doesn’t help anyone to not examine all players’ roles in these situations. Was the victim clear enough in asserting her needs? How are victims targeted? Is there some vibe I give off that says not to mess with me? How do we get people to push back in the moment?

          • I do think that we should try to figure out if there’s any way we can empower women to fend off or otherwise better deal with the circumstances that lead up to these things. I am in no way saying that women are in any way responsible or that men aren’t 100% responsible for their bad behavior. But as a woman, I’m interested in what we CAN (maybe) do to change things, in addition to contributing to this movement right now that’s calling for change and educating men that they can’t get away with being sleazeballs. It’s frustrating to me to just assume that everything is 100% out of my hands (even if it is) and just hope for the best. So I’d really like to at least TRY to see what I can do to protect myself.

            You can want to do things to protect yourself as best as possible (reasonable things, not like… leaving a job or not pursuing certain industries) without it being victim blaming. And no one should ever have to worry about this in the first place. Just because something isn’t my responsibility doesn’t mean I don’t want to try to put as much of it in my control as possible.

          • A man who had a secret lock button installed on his door? A man who thought it ok to give s3x toys as gifts to colleagues? What do you mean how do we get people to push back? He’s a creep. He was rightly fired. Stop trying to blame it on the women. It’s gross.

          • I was molested as a child — I was young, I was there, I was there when my parents (or any adult protectors) weren’t around –> I became a victim.

            The next time, I was smarter. Or, I could see the world through his eyes. I hadn’t told anyone, but I was never alone with him after that. If everyone else left the room, I left the room. If he got close to me, I moved away.

            I think that adult predators are like that. They find the victims they want. That are easy targets. And having a job and a roof over your head to worry about, and ambition, and an industry that is close, all cut against you. And they know this.

            You may have a target on your head, you just don’t know yet. Or maybe you give off a “don’t mess with me vibe” that makes another victim an easier target. You’ll probably never know until it’s too late.

          • Anon at 11:46 – If you have a son, you raise him to know that none of this behavior is remotely acceptable and you raise him to treat women with respect and to believe that he has no right to their bodies, their images, nothing.

            I have been a victim, multiple times (r a p e, sexual assault, sexual harassment) and you better d a m n believe I would not do a thing differently. It is NOT my job to police the law firm partner’s words in an email, it is NOT my job to get the law firm partner to not try to kiss me when he is drunk after a holiday party, it is NOT my job to stop the dude in the bar from grabbing my ass and making lewd comments. I deserve to be at the table at the law firm with everyone else, I deserve to be on the golf course, I deserve to be in a public place without someone touching me without my permission. I deserve to be friendly with people without them thinking I am flirting with them and want to sleep with them. COME ON.

          • You’re my heroine.

            It isn’t my job to tell dozens of men that I in the office to do good work and receive money in return, not to get laid.

            I am told that I am very attractive, am slim, have done great things in my male – dominated profession, and yet get harassed because I am quiet. Constantly harassed – men, older women who want to play Queen Bee, basically anyone who (wrongly) thinks that being kind means I am pushover.

          • annnoooonnnnnn :

            I’ve never experienced anything remotely untoward in school or in work. But I’ve also been fortunate to study and work in some exceptionally healthy environments, and I know that this culture was carefully cultivated and protected. I really believe that many educational and professional environments actively socialize men to behave badly, however much they claim otherwise. (Obviously men can behave badly anywhere, but I’m talking about what is expected and reinforced as not a big deal.)

            In other contexts (church, social, travel) I know that I have been left alone by men who targeted other women. But I also know that this doesn’t say anything particularly good about me; I think I’m just the sort of person who came out of a bad childhood radiating whatever aura keeps people away. I also miss innuendo and don’t have great social skills, so I’m probably hard to “groom” for reasons that are essentially deficits.

            So I believe the women who have had worse experiences than me with men in the same environments were targeted for their virtues. And while I wonder if a take-it-or-leave-it attitude towards other human beings and a low-level undercurrent of “I will cut you; just give me a reason” (not to mention a ton of visible privilege) may ward off some unwanted attention here or there, I know it’s also just playing the odds. There are predators out there who would choose me over someone else, so it still comes down to luck. I can only hope I’ll stay lucky.

            (By the way, some of the strong, confident women I know who have had bad experiences with men in many different contexts were not even close to “conventionally attractive.” I’m not totally sure why we’re even bringing that up? Is it more understandable when men harass 8s than when they harass 3s? Is it even more common?)

          • I hear you, Count C, but there ARE things one can do in those situations to protect themselves. If that partner is drunk, you avoid them. If *anyone* is drunk, you avoid them. (this isn’t networking; they won’t remember it happened anyway!) If you get inappropriate emails or comments, you call them out. If your ass gets grabbed, you whirl around and embarrass them. If someone installs a secret door lock and you know it, you report that and you never go into his office alone. If someone gives sex toys, you shame them.

            Again, I buy the idea that we shouldn’t have to do any of this in an ideal world. But that’s not where we live.

          • I avoid partners at the law firm in any scenario, especially social ones, I get less work, my billable hours are down, I end up getting fired. I did leave the firm, but I want to do it on my terms.

            The managing partner of our office was on email, I brought it to his attention anyway, and you know what happened? The partner was instructed not to interact with me anymore. Which means again, I get less work, my billable hours go down.

            In regard to the locks on the doors, other high profile NBC management/talent has them on their doors too – it wasn’t just Matt Lauer, so alerting on that point would not have done anything. And people DID say something about his behavior!

            You shame someone who is behave badly who has power over you and your career, and you often lose. It’s really not that easy.

          • “While no one should be a victim, I still lock my doors at night.”

            And people steal stuff from locked houses. This happened to me within the last 6 months. A neighbor’s locked house was broken into in the same incident. What’s your point? Of course we should protect ourselves, to the extent we even can, but why are you pretending it always _works_?

          • Also, I should not have to explain how burglary is not analogous to rape and sexual assault.

          • regular poster, anon for this :

            I had an experience in grad school that was relevant to this conversation. There was one male faculty member who was a complete creep. To my knowledge he didn’t assault anyone, but he was a serial harasser and engaged in incredibly inappropriate behavior: drunk and inappropriate texts, getting a lifetime ban from a college bar as a 40 year old man, buying shots and alcohol for certain women, preferential mentorship for the women who drank with him, etc., all while married with young children.

            At the time, I didn’t think these women were asking for it, and I was 100% in agreement that this man was a creep and in the wrong. But there was also a clear distinction in the experiences of women who would go to bars with him, and women (like myself) who would never, ever go to an undergrad bar to pound shots with a faculty member. I struggled to understand why these women would complain about how gross he was and how they were sick of the 3am drunk texts, but still continue to go out with him and answer texts about his relationship with his wife. (This was not a program where quality mentorship was lacking–we had many supportive, helpful faculty who were devoted to graduate student development, all of whom were higher-profile scholars and researchers than he was.)

            I’m not someone who gets messed with. I have RBF like a mofo and I take it as a compliment when a man calls me scary, which is not infrequently. I’m hard to rattle and if you come at me in an academic or professional setting, I will come right back at you guns blazing. I was sure that all of this was going to insulate me from the creep behavior from this faculty member.

            Turns out I was wrong about that. I was waiting outside for a friend after the conclusion of an officially-sanctioned program graduation dinner. He stumbled out and proceeded to make me a detailed proposition, verbally and by a few gestures I’m sure you can all imagine. I stood there frozen in complete shock.

            That was the first, and thankfully last, I’ve been harassed in a professional or academic setting. So in conclusion, there are sensible risk-management measures that I think all women should take, and that I think that we all do take as a matter of course. But if someone is coming at things with the baseline assumption that you’re a female body there for the taking, he’s going to find a way to harass or assault you no matter how you behave or how much of a don’t-mess-with-me vibe you give off. In the final analysis, it’s not women’s responsibilities to keep themselves from being harassed or assaulted–an impossible task in the world we live in. It’s men’s responsibility to not harass or assault, and stop tolerating or minimizing that behavior from their peers.

          • anon @11:46 :

            Just want to clarify that I do NOT expect women to take measures to protect themselves or whatever. I don’t expect women to do anything differently, and we should not have to. I’m simply saying that I like to control things and I look for ways to make sure that my wellbeing is in my control. A lot of times, it’s just not. But I don’t think it’s wrong to ask “what can I do to keep myself safe, and is that a course of action I’m willing to take?” I also do not think that all other women should approach things that way. It’s just my personal take.

            I agree with what’s being said above. It is gross, women aren’t responsible, and we shouldn’t have to do anything differently to “make sure” this doesn’t happen to us.

            I’m going to lock my door at night, and that may not stop ppl from breaking in. And regardless of whether my door was locked, it’s still not my fault that I got broken into.

          • CountC definitely don’t agree that burglary and sexual assault are analogous! I was trying to point out to the anon that her analogy doesn’t work even if you ignore the fact that comparing the two is gross. You lock your doors, so, yes and?

          • Torin – my comment wasn’t directed at you!! I totally get what you are saying and agree.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Like, look at the poster below who really should go on that work trip.

          Let’s say all the other people she’s going with are men, and are higher ranked than her. And if they’re taking a late flight home, there may well be time to kill after the presentation and before the flight. Do they go to a bar? At every place I’ve worked, they would. And now’s her chance for casual facetime with her supervisors, so of course she goes. But then, by trying to grab that brass ring or whatever, she’s put herself into the situation we’re supposed to avoid, somehow, if one of those dudes turns out to be a creep.

          It’s not always straightforward, and even making all the ‘right’ choices can’t always keep you safe.

      • Bad Behavior :

        I’m in law and have repeatedly dealt with inappropriate behavior by males, but not the variety of “sleep with me or you’re fired/demoted”. I’m in a male dominated industry and quickly learned at conferences or nighttime events that I needed to leave before people got too drunk or started dancing – it’s too easy to get handsy when alcohol is involved or people start relaxing. I once had a guy invite me to a networking event under the guise of helping me find a new job, only to put his hands on my thigh at dinner and made comments that appeared like we were dating (despite him being ~25 years my senior), which utterly humiliated me in front of potential networking people and made it seem like I was trying to sleep my way to success.

        At my last job a very senior lawyer (not my boss, but very senior) made a lot of joking comments about wanting to sleep with me. But as the comments got more graphic or he found more opportunities to touch me, stand too close or hover, I dreaded seeing him each day and felt I needed to speak up. Not just for me, but for other women in the office who might not be as “tough” as me. I told my boss, who tried to sweep it under the rug. I warned other women that had to work with him, and ultimately it made its way up to HR. HR then scolded me for trying to turn people against that nice, harmless, old man.

        I’ve never had anything truly awful happen to me in the workplace and none of my experiences have scarred me, but the behavior was inappropriate and has made me distrust when older men want to help my career or mentor me. While I’m certainly not going to call the news about any of these men, I do think that we should hold men to a higher standard in the workplace. And if nothing else, we need to stop blaming the women who come forward to try to stop this bad behavior.

      • How Does It Happen :

        How does it happen?

        You’ve moved to a new city and you’re desperately looking for a job in your field and a charming guy who is friends with a mentor of yours asks you to do some part time work. He has a decent reputation. You guys hit it off awesomely, and are a great working team. You work so so so hard and produce killer work. And then your gig becomes full time! In fact he fires someone to make a spot for you! It’s clear that he really likes you. And you have a *real job* and he trusts you and recognizes your abilities! And he tells you about how he’s never had a woman working for him before, and how his wife wants you (and your husband if he’s free — he’s not) to come to the house and swim and bbq and just family it up one night. You don’t bring a swimsuit because you’re not that dumb/confident, but you wear a fun sundress and think you’re maybe killing it professionally, because isn’t this what up-and-comers do, go to a summer bbq at the partner’s house? Boss gives you a ride to his place. You have bbq and you drink whiskey because you like whiskey, and also because you want to show that you’re down. And the wife and kids and dogs disappear inside and then you’re just drinking whiskey and bantering in the dark with your boss, and it’s not weird until it is. And you need to go home, and he drove you, so into his car you go. And you’re driving somewhere scenic in his fancy rich lawyer man car (and you’re wondering if it’s even safe but how else will you get home?) and then his hand is on your knee and literally what can you do? It’s probably your fault for [series of red flags and decisions that were bad in hindsight] anyway, right?

        …for example.

        • Anonymous :

          There.are.red.flags.here. Call a cab. Save your crazy whiskey drinking for personal times. Leave when the family leaves. Who cares about his car?

          • So I generally agree with this. Not that the OP’s feelings/behavior isn’t 100% understandable, and her not heeding the red flags doesn’t make it her fault AT ALL. But there are red flags. How do we get more women to act on the red flags as much as possible?

            A lot of people are going to harass no matter what, but at least paying attention and acting on red flags might weed out more assaulters/harassers of opportunity.

          • I don’t understand how so many people here seem to think that it’s easy and consequence-free to say to a boss or supervisor (particularly one with a lot of ego and entitlement going on), “Sorry, I think you’re dangerous!”

          • Anonymous :

            It’s not! But what are your alternatives???

          • Anonymous :

            Ok, but the male associates are going to stay and drink whiskey, and that’s where the networking happens. It’s not that easy of a choice.

          • nasty woman :

            The flags look red in hindsight. That entire interaction easily could have been perfectly normal if her boss decided to behave himself. I’ve had lots of alcohol with lots of men I’ve worked with and, remarkably, 99% of the time it’s fine.

            The problem is that you’re looking at everything, all together, in hindsight, which OP doesn’t have the ability to do when it’s happening. A social event at a boss’s home with his family is not a red flag. Neither is drinking with him. Neither is him giving you a ride. Again, I’ve done all of those things with my male bosses at my firm and t’s never ever been a problem. So have I really been ignoring hundreds of red flags? No, that doesn’t make sense. It’s shocking to me that the allegedly professional, intelligent women on this board don’t understand the concept of hindsight. And who think there’s no processional repercussions to simply refusing to be around their male counterparts in social settings.

      • That was kind of my issue with #metoo. My friends and I discussed and felt like it was awkward because, well, not us too, and it trivializes horrific things that have happened to people if everyone says /something/ has happened to them.

        • nasty woman :

          Ugh. No it doesn’t. How on earth does stating that “I too have experienced harassment at work” trivialize “horrific” things? Sounds like your issue with it is that you don’t understand it.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          How much is too much sh*t in your milkshake? A lot is worse than a little bit, but none of us should have to have any sh*t in our milkshakes.

    • nasty woman :

      Yeah, you must be in a bubble. Lucky you.

      Personally, I don’t think it’s a shame that he ruined his “illustrious” career. I think it’s a shame that he used his power to harass women. I also think it’s a shame that such a slime ball was given such an important platform during the 2016 election, which he wildly misused.

    • I’m OK to attractive looking and have been repeatedly harassed (mostly by the same man). I didn’t find it was about being attractive. It was about being ambitious and needing to be put in my place. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • cake batter :

      I’ve wondered this, too. I’m relatively young and attractive and work in politics, which seems like the trifecta for serious harassment, but I’ve thankfully never experienced anything even remotely close to these stories that keep surfacing. Not complaining, obviously, just wondering what kind of bubble I’m living in where men can manage to be somewhat respectful.

      • I understand this thinking – because I’m the same way. yes, I’ve been harassed/assaulted in private realms, but never at work, etc.

        except to think we live in a bubble is wrong of us. it’s not a bubble. we aren’t being assaulted because the woman three offices down is.

        ya know?

        • THIS: we aren’t being assaulted because the woman three offices down is.

        • annnoooonnnnnn :

          Yes, this.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Yup!

        • YES! Just because a workplace is great and non-toxic to you does not mean it is that way for your coworkers. And this myopic view is why women are afraid to come forward — not only will the accused deny it and possibly torpedo her career, but male colleagues will then doubt her and not work with her because she is clearly going to make a false accusation against them, and then finally the female colleagues chime in with the “that’s never happened to me!” all giving credibility to the accused and in effect blaming the victim for making stories up. The female colleagues may be telling the truth that they have never experienced that but it has literally no bearing on whether the guy harassed the accuser or not. This would be akin to a man accused of murder and friends saying, “well he never murdered me!” It doesn’t matter.

          • cake batter :

            Oh I’m not disagreeing with anything said above – agree on all counts. My comment was more a feeling of surprise (I guess?) that my experience has been so different from so many other women. It absolutely doesn’t mean my workplaces have been perfect, and my colleagues in the same offices might have polar opposite experiences than I’ve had – I fully realize that.

          • Oh I wasn’t specifically targeting you, cake batter! I meant more for those who have wondered if they are in a bubble. It’s not that it doesn’t happen where you work, it’s that it hasn’t happened to you (yet, maybe). Sadly when these accusations come out and other women say “he has always treated me with respect” it denigrates the woman who came forward – and I’m sure it is unintentional from those women, after all they are just telling the truth. But it has no bearing on whether he committed the bad act or not.

    • Not at work, but was assaulted by an adult family friend as a child.

      Predators find victims that are handy to them. Be happy that you haven’t crossed paths with them (or for some reason that made sense to them, they close someone else).

    • I get very fired up on this topic . .

      I don’t think it’s a shame at all. He’s disgusting. These men know exactly what they are doing and they know it’s wrong. GTFOOH with any other nonsense about that.

      Also his apology pisses me off. I just want one man to truly know and understand that what he did was wrong. Say AND MEAN, “What I did was disgusting, wrong, and horrible. I have hurt these men/women in ways that I do not appreciate or understand and because of that I will begin intensive therapy to work on never doing it again.”

      I know I don’t get to say how people apologize, but as a victim, THAT is what I would want the assailant to feel and say.

      I am conventionally attractive, have lived in urban, suburban, and rural areas, worked in law firms, government, and private industry. I have encountered bad behavior from men at one time or another in every single one of those scenarios. Be glad you are living in the world you are living in, but appreciate that this behavior is common. WAY too common.

    • I was like you. For the longest time it didn’t happen to me… until it did!

    • It’s not about how attractive you are. Men don’t do that for s#x, they do it for power. You’re lucky it hasn’t happened to you, but you are absolutely living in a bubble.

      • Yep, don’t know why attractiveness was even mentioned.

        My attractiveness is irrelevant to the fact that I’ve never been harassed at work. I’ve mostly worked for women, and my current, male, boss happens to be a decent human being. I’m lucky.

        • Not to belabor the point but attractiveness is also not static. Like, an a-hole might find me attractive as a potential victim not because of my hips/waist ratio, but because I seem vulnerable.

      • Well, I think different predators look for different things, like:
        1) vulnerability of the other person/ likelihood of getting away with it
        2) going after an attractive individual
        3) going after an individual who isn’t conventionally attractive, so others won’t believe her/him
        4) similar to #1, choosing a meek, quiet person
        5) trying to take down a strong and powerful woman
        6) similar to #5, choosing a woman with a “reputation”
        7) to get back at someone symbolically, like a blue collar man who admitted raping women in Beverly Hills to harm their husbands
        8) similar to #7, as an act of war

    • I am conventionally attractive too, but have an attitude most guys describe as intimidating. When I was younger it meant guys were scared to ask me out, but I’ve always wondered if it carried forward when I was older in the workplace to guys realizing I was the wrong person to mess with.

      • I am the poster above who was molested as a child and I am this way, too.

        I mean, people in any city I am in will stop and ask me directions, regardless of whether I know them. But I take the subway alone at night all the time and think I must just project a “not the victim you want to chose” vibe. It doesn’t work on the crazies. And the sad thing is that I get passed over, not that all women get passed over.

    • I think there is something to the idea that predators carefully pick their prey. They aren’t usually going to go after someone in a position of relative power or someone they know will not tolerate the bullshit. They go for the “easy victims:” interns, the soft spoken, the relatively powerless. It’s disgusting.

      • Right.

        No one would grab Melania Trump by the . . . anything. Or Michelle Obama. Or someone who is married to a managing director of an investment bank. Or the police chief.

        • I don’t know if you are being sarcastic or not but…

          *I am married to a managing director of an investment bank. And it still happens to #metoo.*

        • Anonymous :

          Not being sarcastic. Just trying to make the point that bothering you might cost a guy who knows he is junior to you.

          I bet no one at CBS would bother Julie Chen and would move on to someone else. But someone who didn’t know who she was married to might.

      • former consultant :

        I agree. All this #metoo made me think of an uncle who creeped me out when I was pretty young – like 10 years old. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I do remember immediately leaving, telling everyone I was related to, and avoiding him by a country mile on the literal one other occasion I ever saw him. I understand why he thought I was a quiet target, but even then by my personality it was clear that I wouldn’t “keep a secret” like that. It’s awful that this is necessary – boys and men never even think or worry about this.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          There are many male children preyed on by creepy uncles. Boys do have to think about that too. I 100% agree that men are less likely to be sexually harassed in the workplace but unfortunately, male children have it just as bad as female children when it comes to incest.

    • The more I think about this comment the more rages i get. It’s somewhere on the spectrum of “Well I’m attractive and have never been [email protected]” to “yeah but what was she wearing?”

      Don’t be that person.

    • I just can’t believe the number of men who apparently think it’s okay to pull their **** out in front of a woman they are interacting with in a professional context. What in the actual F? Why in the world would any semi-intelligent person think that was okay???

      I have not experienced sexual harassment in the workplace as an adult professional; I was sexually harassed as a teenager in my non-professional teenage jobs. But even that was nothing – nothing – like the behavior I’ve read about regarding Matt Lauer and Harvey Weinstein.

    • I agree that it is a shame. NOT that I have an ounce of sympathy for ML – of course he is a huge creep and deserved to be fired long ago. But what a collossal waste of so much time and effort investing in your career, only to have it ruined for doing something that what was totally within your control to not do. The idiocy of these men is shocking.

      • + 1 What kills me is that you have someone who had it all, talent, money, success, a family and kids and abused his position of power so flagrantly. Meanwhile you have so many good people in this world who do everything “right” and can barely afford to pay the bills and keep food on the table.

    • Here’s how it happens. I had a boss who was a mentor to me, gave me lots of opportunities, helped me advance my career. I thought of him almost as my work dad (he was, in fact, the same age as my parents). After I moved on to another company, I asked him to write a recommendation for me for a grad school application. He was based in a different city but traveled to mine regularly, so he told me to meet him at his hotel to discuss it. I thought we’d meet in the lobby or the restaurant, like we’d done when I worked for him. Instead, when I got there, he had the front desk send me up to his room. I was uncomfortable, but this was someone I trusted who was doing me a favor – I had met his wife and kids, nothing untoward had ever happened before, etc. So, I went with it. We did discuss the recommendation…and then he made a suggestive comment. I yelped “that’s a terrible thing to say!,” we both pretended it was a bad joke, and I left. I was lucky, obviously, and maybe if I’d been older or more confident or quicker on my feet I could have come up with a way to avoid going to his hotel room. The point is that it’s very easy for me to see how a man can take advantage of trust and/or power to catch women off guard. I doubt these women knew they were being lured into a trap – even if you’ve heard rumors about someone, you can’t exactly use that as a reason not to bring a file to their office when you’re told to.

      • Anonymous :

        So, not to victim blame again, but, yes, don’t go up to his room! I mean, this is where people have so much work to do. You’re ignoring your better judgment. How do we teach and model to people to trust their gut?

        One small example that feels salient – Parents making their kids hug people. It takes away their autonomy and puts them in a position to be embarrassed without having the skills to deal with it.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          I mean, is she just supposed to never trust anyone? Is she supposed to say to her next mentor, “sorry, I think you might assault me, please meet me downstairs”? There are plenty of decent men who I think would be hurt by that (even though I think they’d be wrong). It’s not always black and white, and people who want to take advantage of you know that.

          • Anonymous :

            *She herself* said she felt uncomfortable. She chose to honor his feelings over her own.

            Were my parents better at helping us with boundaries than is common? You don’t go to people’s hotel rooms in a work setting, full stop.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            I think you’re underestimating how gaslighty and manipulative this type of man can be.

            I’ve been close enough to this situation to give you an idea of how it might play out:

            Can we meet in the lobby instead?
            Seriously?!?
            Yeah isn’t that more appropriate?
            Ha, you think I’m going to @ssault you or something? Ha you’re so paranoid!
            No. I don’t know. Can you just please come down?
            Seriously? OK fine.

            [congrats! you weren’t @ssaulted this time!]

            There follows a lot of joking/teasing/boundary pushing about how you were scared he’d @ssault you that one time. You’re embarrassed and you really feel like he’s telling you it’s important not to be this uptight. And the subtext must be that it’s ridiculous that you ever thought your buddy, your mentor, this funny guy, would do anything untoward. And anyway, nothing bad has ever happened, right?

            Next time he asks you to come up, you do, because he’s made it clear that’s the right response.
            Aaaand he’s in a robe. And maybe now it IS your fault because you brought the whole thing up to begin with – like weren’t you the one who sort of put that on the table? And of course he thought that if you said no before and yes now, you were saying yes to the whole thing, right? So that’s probably your fault too. Etc. etc. etc.

            These men are not bumbling fools — they know what they’re after and they’re good at setting things up so they can get it.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            P.S. In my industry there is a well established tradition of person elected to [role] having [people in other role] up to his room/suite for cocktails after [event]. Happens every damn year. I don’t think even that is as black and white as you’d like to imagine.

        • Anonymous :

          You *are* victim blaming. If you can give me an example of a time you encountered exactly the type of situation I described (and that women up and down this thread are describing) and were able to avoid it, terrific. Tell the rest of us how you did it. Write out a script that you think young women could use and let’s see how it holds up. If you haven’t, you may think you know exactly how you’d react but I’d be willing to bet that it wouldn’t go the way you think it would. Responses like yours are the reason people are reluctant to talk about these things in public, let alone the anonymity of the internet.

          • Anonymous :

            I just did! I’ve been invited to meet people on work trips in hotel rooms; I said to meet in the lobby. I didn’t go up to the room. “Would you mind if we meet in the lobby instead? Thanks.”

          • On campus interviews (all the big law firms come to the law school) literally interview in hotel rooms.

        • nasty woman :

          OH MY GOD STOP VICTIM BLAMING.

          “You don’t go to people’s hotel rooms in a work setting, full stop.”

          Think about what you’re saying. Really, give it more than 2 seconds worth of thought.

          Let me paint you a little picture: Say I’m out of town on a 2 week trial with the male partner I work for. We’re staying in a hotel, obviously. It’s 11:30 pm and we’re up working. He tells me to come to his room to practice cross exam. I have a good relationship with this partner, met his wife and kids, he’s never done anything untoward.

          You think I should say no and watch my career implode on itself like a dying star, or risk the consequences? What do you want me to suggest as an alternative? Boss, let’s take our 15 bankers boxes full of highly confidential material down to the lobby of the hotel to go over our trial strategy?
          Think our clients won’t mind if we waive privilege? What else do you, the victim blamer, want me to do? Say no to ever drinking socially with my male colleagues? Say no to riding in a car with my boss? Come on. Be better than that.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            Thank. You.

          • nasty woman :

            YES. Same to you re; your 2:13 post. Cosign a million times. That’s what they do. They start small- doing things they won’t called out on, and then they escalate. That’s exactly what I was afraid of with my one supervisor who decided he wanted to go after me. He did it slowly and with plausible deniability, knowing that I risk my standing with him/the firm for calling him out.

        • Anonymous :

          Stop. Seriously. You can’t conceive of a reason you might need to meet in a colleague’s hotel room?

          I once had to ask a male colleague to come to my room to help me move the 2 dozen or so bankers boxes that had been delivered to me late at night. Was I supposed to load and unload all of those boxes by myself, costing me a precious ~hour of sleep? Or maybe have them delivered to the lobby instead of my room and spend a sleepless night looking over them? No. The reasonable thing to do is ask my colleague for help. Which he did with no incident.

          • Anonymous :

            I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. I can see why there might be reasons to, but I wouldn’t go there.

        • Nudibranch :

          I wonder how you’d have handled this? Please tell us the words and phrases you’d use to tell this man who was doing you a favor that you wanted him to meet you downstairs (without offending him).

    • Rainbow Hair :

      You know how moms obsess over things like what car seat will keep their babies safest? And the answer is that it ultimately doesn’t matter, because they’re all about the same and all you can do is the minimum to keep yourself out of devastating accident and keep your kid in an up-to-date seat, but sometimes The Worst Thing happens and it’s not your fault. What they want is something impossible; for all their work and energy and money to mean something, to keep their babies safe forever. And it’s impossible, but it doesn’t stop us from obsessing, because otherwise we have to accept that sometimes The Worst Thing just happens, and it can’t be stopped.

      I think that some of the women upthread who insist that they can keep themselves safe, that their precautions will work (and therefore imply that those of us who have not been safe are failing ourselves somehow) are doing the same thing. It feels safer to think that bad things happen because the victim did something wrong — that means if you do everything right, nothing bad will happen to you. But really, (1) literally no one can do everything right all the time, and (2) even if it were possible, doing everything right still doesn’t make you invincible.

      • You’re much more generous than I am, Rainbow Hair. I think the victim blamers in this thread know full well what they’re doing.

  15. Question about stepping up…or not.

    I’m in a junior, mid-level role (though I’m 36 – I changed careers in my late 20s) and my bosses are great about letting me frequently travel to client sites for meetings and pitches. We have a sales pitch in a couple weeks to a west coast client. We’re already bringing 6 department heads. They’re letting me decide whether I want to go.

    On a personal note, no, I don’t want to fly out to LA, stay in a hotel, stand there during a pitch that is literally only allowed to be 15 minutes long, and fly back, all in 24 hours. I also think it’d be a waste of money. But I’d be the one doing much of the day-to-day work for the client (not the department heads), and I have unique experience that none of the department heads do that’s directly relevant to this potential client. But my unique experience can be summed up in one sentence (“I used to do what you do!”) and I figure companies are used to not meeting the day-to-day people. And we’re already sending 6 people.

    Does not going make me look like a wallflower or like I’m not proactive? I can’t decide what to do here.

    • Anon in NYC :

      You should go. The client will want to see who is going to be working on their project, and they’ll want to know about your past experience.

      • +1 Unless you are the one making the final decisions on expenses, it’s not your job to worry about whether it’s a waste of money. Even a small bit of face time helps build better relationships, IMO.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 “even a small bit of face time”….

          That’s so great that they’re bringing you!! It might be 15 min of “pitch” but it’s all about the other time that you may get before/after to meet the folks at the client. The people who run the show don’t get to travel to you, either, so being able to meet them is awesome!

    • You go. Stuff like this is important. The time you spend on the trip with more senior people will do more for your career than the actual meeting with the client.

      • Anon in the asset management industry :

        Absolutely you must go. Inviting you to this is effectively saying that they see you as management/leadership material, and you saying no to that is sending a clear signal that you are not interested.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I also vote go. If you are the day to day contact, even having met the clients once will be so useful down the road.

    • Oh my gosh go! This is grooming you for a larger role, and its is excellent exposure to the senior client people!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I vote go! Is there a tiny indulgence you can promise yourself as a reward for putting up with the hassle of the travel? I have a friend who paints her nails every time she’s in a hotel room, because it’s the only time she’s sure to be unbothered while they drive.

  16. It sounds like a great opportunity for face time, not only with the company, but with the 6 department heads. What would your reason for not going be and is your company the type where people get a bad rep for not traveling when asked/suggested? Like would your company have the attitude of “Anon doesn’t seem ambitious enough. We asked/offered her to go to xyz sales pitch and she declined”. Also I would think it would be beneficial for the pitch to be able to point to someone in the room with direct experience in the work.

    I’m a bit surprised though your company is bringing 6/7 people because my company would send no more than 2 or 3 to a sales pitch, especially if there was no interaction with the client other than the 15 minute pitch, but maybe this is normal for your industry?

    • This was in reply to Anon above at 10:30

    • Thanks. We’re sending so many people because this is a sister area we’re trying to develop our footprint in (I’m the first hire exclusively for this sister area). I think the idea is to show our strength in our original areas by bringing those heads, plus my 2 direct bosses who oversee this new area.

      I think I’ll go. If I were the client, having someone say, “I used to do what you do, so I understand your unique concerns” would be a powerful motivator in selecting a company. But I’ve mentioned it to two of the dept heads and they haven’t seemed to think much of it, so I’m wondering if I’m missing something.

      I actually dread the face time with the 6 dept heads, even though I have good relationships with them (we’re a small organization). I just don’t want to be “on” that long, ya know? Thankfully, we’re all responsible for arranging our own travel, so hopefully I won’t be seated near them for the flights and can relax.

      • Anon in NYC :

        If you have a travel agent, I’ve asked not to be seated next to/near colleagues on a plane.

      • I dread face time with higher ups too – I always see it as a chance to screw up the relationship rather than improve it. But I think that is bad thinking and we should embrace the opportunity. Definitely second not sitting next to them on the plane so you have that time to yourself.

  17. Looking for a very nice longish cashmere cardigan. Black or dark navy. Warm and luxurious.

    Any that I should grab that may go on sale this month? Looking to splurge on a classic piece to last for years. Hopefully…. Not itchy.

    Thanks.

    • I’ve had good luck with Neiman’s house brand cashmere, and they tend to come in a bunch of styles. They’re very soft and don’t pill too badly.

    • I bought one like this from Lord and Taylor last year, based on recommendations from this board. It’s really nice and I wear it a lot.

      It pilled a bit but that is inevitable with anything fuzzy, and the pills were only in places where the fabric rubbed itself, like under the arms.

      I think they carry the longer cardigan style every year.

    • Thanks for these suggestions. I do have a Lord & Taylor, but am looking for something thicker. It pilled a bit too quickly for me.

      I have one of the Nordstrom brands (Caslon?) which is nice and a bit thicker, but no black/navy in my size.

      • Nope, the one I got before was Halogen. Goes to about the knee.

        Would pay up to $200 or so, and would love to find one really luxurious that I could get on sale down to that price point.

    • Check Garnet Hill. Generally good quality and frequent sales. They just had a 25% off friends and family and often have cashmere promos. Just FYI – most items tend to run large.

  18. I’m wearing a Saks brand cashmere cardigan today that I got last year from Off Fifth – it’s super warm and soft.

    • Anonymous :

      word of warning–mine developed holes in the elbow from not much wear… I put suede patches on now, but I feel like they require some TLC (sewing seams that have come apart after less than a years worth of wear).

  19. Small leather goods :

    Help me shop, please. I am looking for several small leather organizing items. Ideally they would be available in a soft color such as ice blue, pearl gray, or blush. I have struck out at Mark & Graham, Cuyana, and Pottery Barn, and Etsy searches just bring up tons of junk that isn’t what I’m looking for. The items are:

    -Small cosmetic bag, preferably with a nylon lining
    -Flat zipper pouch around 5 x 8 inches for coupons, dry cleaner receipts, etc.
    -Those taco-shaped things with snaps that keep cords wound up; second choice would be the small snap straps that serve the same purpose

    • I'm Just Me .... :

      Rose gold?

      https://www.levenger.com/ACCESSORIES-15/ELECTRONICS-CASES-103/Rose-Gold-Cable-Keepers-15092.aspx

    • I'm Just Me .... :

      Coach has a makeup bag that comes in a few shades of pink, but it’s fabric lined, not nylon.

    • Might be bigger than what you’re thinking but here’s a blush leather cosmetic bag: https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/pop-suki-bigger-personalized-makeup-case-nordstrom-exclusive/4770649?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=LEOPARD%20COMBO

      Pouch: https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/madewell-the-leather-pouch-clutch/4634065?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=VIOLET%20DUSK

      And searching for leather cord keeper comes up with tons of those snap things.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I ordered “cord tacos” from Growley leather on Etsy, and they work fine.

  20. Talk to me about green smoothies/drinks.

    I need to find a way to get more vegetables (and fruit, I guess, but mostly veg) into my life. For a variety of reasons, I’m looking at this as a possible spoke in the solution.

    Anyone have any experience with this? Tips? Are these actually nutritious? Am I fooling myself? Halp.

    • What’s your reason for not eating veggies?

      • I do eat vegetables. I just need to eat more.

        • As an alternate strategy for eating more veggies, I add spinach/greens to a lot of dishes that don’t call for it. Spaghetti sauce: add spinach. Soup: add spinach or kale. I like the occasional green smoothie, but they tend to by high in sugar and glycemic index both, even if you aren’t adding any sweetener, which is a bad combination if you want to have one every day.

          • Anonymous :

            +1. I also eat a lot of frozen lunches and add spinach to most of them. It’s a great addition to Amy’s Kitchen pasta bowls.

    • I’ve always heard that the amount of sugar you have to add to make it palatable really reduces the net health benefits of green smoothies/juice. If you’re not worried about sugar, it might make more sense.

      What’s helped me eat more veggies is working really hard to find a way to have 1-2 servings at breakfast (mainly through frittatas that are more veggie than egg, though occasionally something like avocado toast topped with veggies or a hash if I’m feeling fancy. When I feel like I’m not eating well, my reset is a tip – I think it is from Weight Watchers originally? – where I can snack as much as I want but only on fruits and vegetables. I end up eating wayyyy more while I get used to not snacking on junk food, but it’s all fruits/veggies.

    • Green smoothies are yucky. I found it easier to incorporate veggies by eating salads for lunch. Chopped salads are a good way to get in a variety of veggies. Steamed green beans, diced avocado, defrosted frozen fire-roasted corn, and diced roasted butternut squash are good salad toppers.

    • Well, not my experience, but my former boss had a bone marrow transplant and his oncologist told him to have a green smoothie with every meal. So if that’s not a high endorsement I don’t know what is.

      His secretary used to either go to a smoothie place to get him one, or just buy him a green monster (forgot the brand, the one in the bottle) Yes, his secretary went to get it for him. She was happy to do it. She was super invested in keeping him alive (and he’s still alive)

    • I love these and have been making them for years. My favorite combo (for both taste and nutrition) has been:

      Couple handfuls of fresh spinach, a cup of unsweetened almond milk, a banana, walnuts or flax seed, and a frozen fruit (pineapple, strawberry, or mango are my favorites). Add water until you get to the right size on your blender and go. Sometimes I include a few tablespoons of plain yogurt too, if it’s available.

      Overall it’s just a formula – greens + liquid + fruit + protein (nuts, seeds, yogurt). Stronger greens = stronger flavored fruits, but other than that, any combo works.

      I think they’re very nutritious and filling as long as you keep the added sugar out. I buy the spinach, frozen fruit and almond milk at costco.

    • I briefly tried to add greens to smoothies, but adding the amount I wanted to consume made the smoothie taste gross and I didn’t want the smoothie to have to much sweet stuff in it. It was fine if I tossed a handful of spinach in with some frozen mango and yogurt, but a cup of spinach was not the best addition. I get a lot of veggies from soup and chili – makes a great work lunch and it’s easy to toss greens into if that’s your thing.

      • Matt Lauer :

        + 1 Sometimes the amount of fruit you have to put in it to make it drinkable undermines the health benefits. I drank a green smoothie for a month straight in the morning and was SHOCKED at how quickly I gained weight. It felt like 5 pounds in a week, although I’m sure it wasn’t that much. But it was very apparent I had gained weight. Turned out it was all that fructose (especially high sugar fruits like bananas).

        If you do it I would try to put in a minimal amount of fruit.

    • BetterAndBetter :

      I really like them. It’s definitely a way to get an extra serving in and premaking the smoothie kits and freezing them is a good way to have green leafy vegetables in the house last a long time. I agree through that you don’t want to overdo it or you are really just drinking salad pulp which is not everyone is into.

      Something that works for me to cover the pure leafy green taste without using too much sweetener or fruit is to use ginger. My wife likes adding beets to make things taste less bitter but beets have never not made everything taste like the ground so I don’t…I just grate an entire root and make ice cubes of ginger pulp and add those to my smoothie. I have a powerful bender though (vitamix) so that may not be a good option with another appliance.

      • How Does It Happen :

        Similarly, to avoid it getting too sugary, I find that lemon juice helps cut the bitterness of the greens in smoothies.

    • I make a green smoothie a few times a week for my toddler and me to split. Like most toddlers, he refuses to eat vegetables so I feel like he’s getting some nutrients this way (and me too, I know I don’t eat enough). This is my recipe; super easy and tastes good:
      1 cup each of:
      spinach
      kale
      frozen mango
      apple juice (i usually do 3/4 cup juice, 1/2 cup water)

      • FYI, the reason it tastes so yummy is because that drink has probably close to 30 grams of sugar, between the mango and the apple juice. Not saying that in a judgy a way at all, but I feel like many people drink green smoothies for “health” reasons but you really need to watch what you’re putting in the smoothie.

        • This is really what I’m trying to avoid. I don’t want to be drinking the equivalent of a Sweetums bar.

        • Anon at 12:03 here. I feel compelled to defend this recipe. I try really hard to watch sugar intake. I searched and searched for the lowest sugar apple juice possible and the sugar in the mango isn’t horrible; people eat whole fruit with sugar all the time. And we’re splitting the smoothie so neither of us get all of the sugar. And we don’t drink the juice other than in this smoothie. I feel the health benefits of the spinach and kale outweigh the mango and apple juice.

          So thanks for getting all judgy on my recipe when I’ve made a conscious decision to use it. I hate when people judge others for their food choices. I was trying to be helpful. OP, feel free to disregard my recipe.

          • Yeah I love those posts that are super judgy then say “but I’m not being judgy”

            It doesn’t work like that

          • Hey, I hope I didn’t add to that feeling. If so, I’m sorry; it was not my intention in replying. I appreciate that you’re sharing the smoothie and that it is what helps get the veggies into the toddler! That’s a win!

            I’m just trying to avoid adding more sugar, so I would probably just modify your favorite by opting out of the fruit juice….

          • Calm down. Pointing out a fact (how much sugar is in your smoothie) is not judgmental.

          • A mango has 46 grams of sugar. 46 grams! Even if you divide the juice in half, that plus low sugar apple juice is still 30 + grams of sugar per person. I totally get that it’s a way for kids to get their veggies, which is awesome. I was only pointing that out because if the OP was doing green smoothies to get more “healthy”, she should be careful to omit the fruit or choose low sugar fruit like berries. In children it’s probably fine, but as an adult I would not want to drink a smoothie with 30 + grams of sugar.

    • Frozen kale from Whole Foods plus a “yellow” frozen fruit I.e. pineapple, mango, peach, oranges, papaya, kiwi, banana, etc. I usually do mango. Smoothie cup is about half frozen kale, 1/4 yellow fruit, 1/4 Greek yogurt, and a squeeze of honey if you would like. Almond milk or water to blend. So delicious.

      Frozen spinach tastes way more metallic to me and I hate it in smoothies. Team kale.

      Re frozen fruit, nothing red in my kale smoothie because green kale plus red fruit makes gross looking smoothies, though they do taste good.

    • Anonymous :

      Well, I will comment because I’ve purchased it before, but googling is no help. At Costco, they (used to?) sell Orgain brand “Protein & Greens” protein powder. I would mix 1 serving of that with maybe 3/4 cup frozen 3 berry mix (also costco) and 3/4 cup Fage 0% (…also costco). Plus however much water to make it blend (somewhere between 1/2 & 1 cup).

      The protein powder had 1-2 servings of greens already in it, and you couldn’t taste it.

    • Simple Green Smoothies has a bunch of good recipes on their website and in the book. I was one of the recipe testers for the book, and I remember testing a savory one that tasted like V-8. They don’t all have to be fruit-heavy.

    • Anonymous :

      I love them. THey got me through a month where I was sleeping 3-4 hours a night… I stick with the kale + spinach + almond milk + mango one from juice generation and rarely add sweetener.

      If you start them, you can also gradually go low sugar (start out 1/2 and 1/2 but switch to 3/4 greens and 1/4 fruit).

      adding ginger or lemon or kiwi also cuts a lot of the bitter taste so you don’t have to add as much fruit.

    • Thanks for all the replies and perspectives, everyone! I’ll continue doing my research with these ideas in mind. I already try to sneak veggies into pretty much all other meals where culinarily possible, so this is sort of the last frontier that is convenient for my life right now.

      • Puddlejumper :

        A smoothie I make is:

        2 cups spinach packed
        1 cup almond milk
        1 banana
        1 tablespoon almond butter
        1/2 cup frozen peaches
        1/2 teaspoon vanilla
        1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or apple pie spice
        1 scoop Collagen Protein Peptides – Vital Proteins

        Tastes like peach pie to me. I don’t even taste the spinach. I have trouble digesting raw greens like salad but when blended it works better, so this is one way I sneak greens in.

    • I love having a green “shake” every morning and really feel a difference in my energy levels because of it. Mine aren’t terribly sweet and I’ve offered it to house guests and they’ve said (or pretended) they liked it even though they weren’t green shake drinkers.

      I add:

      Handful of Kale + Spinach
      Sometimes a few pieces of broccoli if i have some
      Small piece of ginger and/or cinnamon
      one banana
      chia seeds
      One scoop of vanilla protein (I like Orgain)

      Sometimes I’ll add other fruits like frozen strawberries, mangoes or an orange when I feel myself getting sick

  21. Blonde Lawyer :

    Anyone have any luck getting their insurance company to stop harassing them to join some disease management program? I’m in remission and not really interested in speaking to a nurse monthly or however often they want me to about compliance with diet and medication or whatever else. I’m sure I could join the program and then tell them how well I’m doing and then get discharged from it but it seems like a waste of time and a bit of a privacy invasion. To me, their job is to pay my medical claims. My doctor manages my disease. Not an insurance nurse. I’m sure for some people they are really helpful and I might have been interested early on. I have declined but still get robo calls at least weekly. I just hang up on them but now they begin with “this is not a sales call. This is important. So I think it’s my bank or something and then it goes on to say “insurance company wants you to join this free, voluntary program for patients with chronic diseases ….. And I hang up again.

    • Have you spoken to a senior supervisor to keep you off their call list?

      In general, we join them (for my Dad) and then explain to the person who calls his situation (we have it well under control, and know more than their nurses), and tell them we will call if we have issues. Then don’t answer the phone if they call back. Eventually the calls die down.

      Not really such a big deal. Not sure why it annoys you so much? It is a really, really, really great service for those who need it. It is in the health insurance company’s interest to keep you healthy, and nurses/case managers in programs like this can help. And honestly, they have sometimes made it easier to get a prior authorization/claim issue dealt with rather than speaking to a lower level employee.

    • So – dealing with the calls is costing you 1 minute per week to listen to the start of their spiel? That’s annoying, of course, but doesn’t sound like a problem you need to solve. They keep calling, you keep saying “I’m not interested, please stop calling me about this.” and immediately hanging up. Even if it continues indefinitely, any solution you find will cost you more time and energy than just continuing to hang up.

    • I get it. I had to unjoin a group about my son’s disease because people in the group were dying of the disease and it freaked me out (his doctors say he has a normal life expectancy). I get why you don’t want those reminders.

      I agree that you have to at least once talk to someone in a position of authority about it and really get removed from the list.

      If they call from the same number every time you can always block it on your phone. There’s a way to do this for both landlines and cell phones.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      You are all right that I’m overreacting. I’m just super busy today and dealing w/ scheduling some appointments and the number isn’t always obvious. I’ve stepped out of a meeting to answer it thinking it was another important call I was waiting on. Today, I got excited thinking it was something else and it was them. I’ll try saving the number as the insurance company to see if they are always calling from the same number. Maybe I’ll opt in and just give it a chance.

      • Anonymous :

        My mom just got diagnosed with breast cancer and the insurance company tried to put her in one of these programs. She is going to an excellent oncologist who gave her advice about lifestyle changes that the program nurse tried to contradict. After that, she labeled the calls from the program as “do not answer” and I programmed her phone to immediately send them to voicemail. Problem solved.

    • I think the best, easiest way to deal with this is call and speak to a real person and ask to be taken off the call list. Have you tried that yet?

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I have told the person who called me but I did not call in and ask. Also, that was awhile ago and maybe they think I changed my mind.

    • I’m wondering about insurance case managers too.

      I haven’t talked to a case manager yet, but I’m wondering if my concerns about privacy are misplaced. I think they think I have a dangerous and expensive condition because of a medication I started taking–but I’m taking it off-label for an idiopathic condition (i.e., the specialist gave up on figuring out what’s wrong with me, because whatever it is it isn’t dangerous enough to have a name).

      They also contacted me immediately after I hit my OOP maximum, which is about when they started contesting claims, so it’s hard for me to tell if they want to help me stay healthy or make a stronger argument against paying for my labs.

      So I have nothing to offer, but I’ll keep following this conversation!

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        That’s my concern. Maybe it’s the lawyer in me. If they really just want to keep me healthy, great. If they want to gather evidence to use against me later when they want to change my medication or deny claims then that’s a problem. I recently got a letter that my inhaler is no longer covered and I have to switch to a different one but they will consider medically necessary appeals. I only need an inhaler twice a year or so, so I won’t be fighting that. I have fought the fight for other conditions and won. I wonder if being in the program helps or hurts for that. I’m skeptical but willing to try to open my mind on the matter.

        • Anonymous :

          I am with you 100%. The insurance company’s incentive is to minimize expenses, which may involve keeping you healthy, not to keep you healthy for the sake of keeping you healthy. That’s why I do not participate in these programs. I’m not some irresponsible idiot who sits around on the couch all day eating junk food, I am an informed and motivated consumer of health care who prefers to make my own treatment decisions in consultation with my doctor. I don’t need some insurance company employee reading me a script of generic advice and playing gotcha with my claims.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        My other concern – they say I’ve been in remission for so long that I shouldn’t be on (expensive) maintenance meds anymore. They don’t know if I’m in remission or not currently. My doc says I should be on lowest dose maintenance meds preventatively for life. But would the company paying for those agree? Or would they say go off them and see if you get sick?

        • Anonymous :

          I guess that was my concern about talking to a case manager with an idiopathic Dx. Some of these medical situations actually require a doctor’s expertise and detailed knowledge of our medical histories.
          It is hard for me to imagine what the insurance company nurse could add–though I understand that they might believe they can help insofar as they believe they know what’s going on at all. And if there’s controversy or room for a difference of opinion, I trust the doctor more.

    • I am a physician and currently pregnant with gestational diabetes. History of preterm loss, so on a very expensive medication to prevent another preterm birth. I got one of these lovely phone calls from the insurance nurse who spent 15 minutes rattling on about diabetes in a way that I found quite condescending (not just as a professional, but in general….You know you have to check your blood sugar in the morning, riggggght?” – in a sing-song voice.) After I interrupted her and told her I was confident in the care I was receiving from my physician, she claimed she “only wanted to make sure I got the most of my health benefits”. Also timed with my OOP maximum, now that I think about it. I asked her if it was mandatory to participate, she said no, and I said “I decline to participate” and that was the end of it. I agree with your feelings – it feels like an invasion of privacy and I don’t want to disclose more personal health info to an insurer that absolutely necessary. I put their number in my phone and if it pops up as the insurance company, it now goes to voicemail.

      Sidebar – my hospital’s financial counselor office has been extremely helpful in navigating my insurance benefits. I had no idea if baby and I left hospital on different dates, our co-insurance would be 2x rather than just 1x if we were discharged together. So there are ways to work around these “helpful services” insurance nurses offer.

  22. Flagstaff Mexican Restaurants? :

    I’d like to get my sister and BIL a gift cert to a good Mexican restaurant in Flagstaff. Any suggestions? I am on the east coast and have never been there.

    • Does it have to be Mexican? There are some very good restaurants in FLG, but they aren’t Mex.

      • Good question. It’s what my mother suggested, but happy to check out others! My sister is picky, but not in a predictable way. Sigh.

        • Tinderbox Kitchen: https://www.tinderboxkitchen.com/

          I’ve eaten there a number of times and the food is always excellent.

          Dining in FLG can be hit or miss: it’s a college town in the mountains. Do they live there?

      • Anony Mouse :

        Not Mexican, but I ate at Diablo Burger when I was in Flagstaff last month and loved it. Many ingredients are locally sourced.

    • Anonymous :

      MartAnne’s! Best breakfast place in flag.

  23. Have you ever left a job without something else lined up and had it turn out okay?

    I’ve been in my current workplace for 10 years and I am just done. Over the past 18 months, leadership has gotten increasingly worse, as has the chaos, and I’m literally getting sick from work. (I recently went on anti-anxiety meds, after several years of not needing them at all and trying just about every other option before giving in.)

    One of my flaws is that I often stay in untenable situations longer than I should, thinking I can tough it out. So when I reach a breaking point and decide I can’t take it anymore, I want to take action immediately. If I quit, we have enough savings to get us through six months. But, that’s a really scary, drastic step, and I have never quit without something else lined up.

    Also pretty sure that quitting would be a hit to my reputation, as I was promoted 6 months ago. But when I think of trying to endure this for another six months, I want to cry and scream. I’m looking for other jobs, but there just isn’t much available right now. (I live in a city with very low unemployment rates, which is a blessing and a curse.)

    • Flats Only :

      Yes, a couple of times. Usually with some months of advance planning. I have a specific “F This Job” savings fund to cover 6 months of household expenses. I am in a role that transfers easily between industries, and in an area where there are a lot of potential employers so it has always worked out very well for me.

    • Yes.

      My boss was a less powerful version of Harvey Weinstein who enjoyed the humiliation, and HR was utterly complacent about their new star manager (ie him).

      For what it was worth, when I asked for advice here, I got an extreme about of condescension about “keeping my fanny in that chair” until I found something else. (You all who said that to me two years ago might want to consider an apology.)

      Once I got out of there, I slowly regained my confidence. It took six months to be able to interview without shaking when talking about the situation. But had I stayed, I never could have found anything else.

    • Yes. I was commuting three hours a day and didn’t go back after my maternity leave. I found something local about two months after I started seriously applying, after unsuccessfully looking for five years while commuting. It was terrifying, but it worked out. Is there some life event you can blame for the time off?

  24. Picture this (For an in-law family gift exchange, so no option to offer to not have freaking adults exchange gifts, there’s a heavy emphasis on opening stuff, etc).

    You’re a 38 y.o., DINK, work from home, in Chicago. good income. Orange theory workouter (but not into expensive workout stuff and hate headbands), reader, occasional knitter, etc.

    What makes you happy to open?

  25. I could use some suggestions for a family issue- for probably 5 years now, my Dad has been calling in the evening up to 5 times a week, which is just too often for DH and me. I feel it really cuts into my time to relax and talk to my husband after work. If he were alone or ill I would just continue to deal. But he’s got my Mom, some extended family, a few neighbors and a few long time friends. He’s just a very high-input type guy, has been retired awhile now, and at his age some of his good friends have passed away. These can be 10-15 min calls mostly about nothing, or a long rant. I tried simply not picking up but he would assume we’re out and keep calling every 15 minutes (we’re Olds ourselves and have a landline). Any suggestions to cut it back to once or twice a week? Emailing just increased the call volume- more to talk about !

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Have you tried telling him directly that it’s too much? And then swiftly follow up with a proposal for a reasonably long standing phone call, so he always knows he’s going to get to talk to you.

      And if that doesn’t work, get an answering machine and turn the volume waaaaaaay down.

      • Yeah I guess I’m just going to have to tell him. I think it will hurt his feelings and he and I are both kind of sentimentalists…I tried phoning from work but got “don’t you need to be working? I’ll call you tonight” ! And Itried emailing which just encouraged it…

    • Puddlejumper :

      I would:
      1) Get rid of the land line.

      2) Tell him at the end of the conversation – Let’s say its Tuesday- that you will call him on Thursday because you have a busy night on Wednesday. Then you call on Thursday. At the end say “Friday is pretty busy but I will give you a call Saturday.” and try to get in the habit where you are the one calling. And don’t pick up on the other days at all. Train him to do every other day.

      3) Tell him it too much

      4) At the beginning of the conversation say “Hey dad! I just have 5 minutes because we are walking out the door.” Then at 5 minutes be firm about getting off the phone

      5) Start a new tradition and talk to him on your walk home or at your lunch or on the bus stop or when you wash dishes.

      • #5 has been a key for me! Establish a set but limited time to talk when you would otherwise not be doing anything. I.e. Hey Dad, I’m really busy during evenings, so how about you call me on X days during lunch, which I take at Y time, or when I’m driving home, Z time.

        • You can also frame the new calling time so it is him doing you a favor. Like my mom talks to me on walks and she feels like she is keeping me company.

    • I am a stranger and I am sorry, but this makes me so sad.

      Talk top your dad. My god. He’s the only one you have. I know most American-raised posters clearly agree with your needs and think your less-talking desires are appropriate, but I am just stunned. This is so sad. He’;s your family, too. And no one parents will be around forever. :( You’ll be glad you did.

  26. References :

    I need some advice with references! I’m an attorney looking for a new job after finishing my first year at my first firm. Many firms are requiring references. Since I obviously can’t use my current bosses, I’m pretty limited. I could use past summer internship employers, but they honestly may not remember me. I could use current coworkers that are more senior than me, but I’m not sure if that’s…normal.

  27. Paging the person who wanted undershirts with sleeves :

    Someone the other day was looking for undershirts with little sleeves so they could wear them under sweaters to help cut down the dry cleaning bill. I keep see NUMI by Nudy Patooty pop up on my fb which looks just like what you were asking for.

    • I have some from uniqlo that I love! They are all cotton.

      • Do you know the name of the Uniqlo ones you like? Are they specifically designed to be under shirts or are they just their cotton t-shirts?

    • I have bought the Nudy Patooty fitted t-shirts after seeing them on my fb feed too. I think they are essentially the same as the undershirts except without the reinforced underarms.
      Just a warning they fit SMALL. I’m about a 34A cup and size 4ish on top and the small shirt was practically shrink-wrapped on me. I had to size up to a large to get something that was comfortable and modest enough for wearing out of the house.
      Having said that, I really love the bamboo fabric – they are so soft and so comfortable. Really well made. I would buy 100 more, but they have discontinued the fitted t-shirt style :(

  28. I need a trip. Something exciting to look forward to because life is just so blah right now. But money is tight. Any suggestions for a trip out of the country that would be easy ish to get to from the East Coast and not break the bank? I’m open to anything… laying on a beach, hiking, exploring, warm weather, cold weather, etc. Just need some ideas of places to look into that could be a 5 or so day trip and not be insanely expensive. I’d probably go with my sister. Thanks!

    • It’s cheaper from Texas (where I am) but we did a recent long weekend in Mexico City that was a blast. And it’s quite reasonable (especially for a big city) once there.

    • Sign up for The Flight Deal (.com) daily newsletter. I’m frequently amazed at what random flights go for.

    • Iceland is super fun in winter! I went for 5 days in February in 2015 and had a blast! Food and drinks are pricey, but getting there and lodging isn’t at all. I’ve seen hotel and airfare combo deals for $500. Check out TravelZoo or the IcelandAir site. A friend just went to the Azores for even less than that and enjoyed it quite a bit. Think she got the deal through TravelZoo. It was insanely cheap as well since they’re just now building up their tourism industry.

    • Charleston, New Orleans, Miami, or depending where you are on the East Coast, is there a place you can drive to? Vermont, NH, Maine, Philly – while cold are all beautiful this time of year

    • Anonymous :

      Norwegian Air flies nonstop from JFK to Guadeloupe for as low as $100 round trip! And lodging on the island is fairly cheap. It wasn’t hurt much by the hurricanes, but I think they still really welcome tourist $$$…

    • There have been a ton of airfare sales to Barcelona recently, and I love Barcelona. Friends that were just there said the Catalonian independence movement isn’t having an impact on tourists/the functioning Of Barcelona generally. Last year, a week in a lovely AirBnB ran about $400 and meals were largely very inexpensive.

  29. Speaking of ads that pop up, could someone please buy this holiday dress? Please?

    https://shop.nordstrom.com/sr/Lace-sheath-dress

    I like the black and white and the black and gold

  30. What’s your favorite inexpensive/mid-range athletic clothes brand? I’m willing to spend ~ $50 for some new leggings and ~$30 for some new tops. I want to use the clothes for yoga. My old go-to was Gap Fit, but haven’t bought anything from them for quite a few years. Anything better on the market now?

    • I really like my Old Navy items.

    • Anonymous :

      Zella, but avoid the midi leggings because for some reason they fall down even though the others don’t.

    • Sales items from Lucy. High quality and reasonably prices when on sale.

    • For mid-range, I still really like Gap Fit. Earlier this week, they had a bunch of sales.

      If you can catch Under Armour sales, their stuff is good and reasonably priced.

    • My go-to yoga/workout top is the Athleta Chi Tank (a little more than $30 but different colors go on sale pretty often). I’m tall and get the tank in long, but you could stick with regular if you’re not. My leggings in general are a mix of Target C9 premium, Nike relay and Athleta but I find that for yoga I tend to reach for the Fabletics Salar leggings and capris most often.

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