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Suit of the Week

For busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

Here is the obligatory royal blue suit! When we did a story last year that rounded up light blue suits for workwear and discussed how readers felt about them, most of you noted that you only would wear them as separates. I have to say, though, the trend continues — a lot of brands continue to offer them. This wool suit from Pallas is really pretty and already selling out in a few sizes at Net-a-Porter. The jacket (Andrea blazer) is $1,860, and the pants (Adonis skinny pants) are $1090.

Here’s something from the more affordable Classiques line in the same bright, happy, Mediterranean blue and in a wider size range. Here’s a plus-size option (also available in regular, petite, and petite plus sizes): jacket and skirt.

(L-all)

Comments

  1. Anonitynon :

    Wow, this looks great on the model, but I would be too afraid to wear it to work.

    So, I have a milestone birthday coming up year after next, and I’m brainstorming ideas for a solo vacation to celebrate. My budget is definitely not huge, but I could swing something like a week in the south of France, which I think would give me a good mix of beaches, things to do and see, and great food. I’m also fond of a do-nothing-but-read-and-swim resort vacation, but in the summer would places be too hot?

    Basically I want to know: where would you go on a solo vacation to celebrate a similar milestone?

    • Anonymous :

      South of France sounds perfect! It won’t be too hot in the summer – high temperatures are usually in the mid-70s. I’d avoid August because that’s when the French take their own vacations so it will be more expensive and crowded then, but June or July would be great.

      • Marshmallow :

        I’m biased because my study abroad was essentially my only European experience, but YES South of France. It’s beautiful, the heat is dry, and a good mix of beaches and fun, small cities.

    • I plan to go to Croatia for my 40th in a few years!

    • I was hoping to do an African Safari for my 30th in the next two years, but I think I’d need an unknown, ridiculously wealthy relative to die and leave me everything after some other things that have taken financial precedent this month.

      • Anonitynon :

        Ha, yes. My actual dream trip in this scenario is Antarctica. Totally not gonna happen without an inheritance.

        • Antarctica is one of my dream trips too. If my money pit of a house didn’t suck away all of my money, maybe it would be closer to reality.

      • Baconpancakes :

        If you want it to happen, do it. The mother of a friend of mine wanted to see Antarctica her entire life, and save drips and drabs towards the trip. She was diagnosed with brain cancer, and decided to just do it, but due to the long prep process for the trip, she passed away two weeks before her trip was scheduled. Her family went on the trip in her memory, and scattered a bit of her ashes there.

    • I would do one of those organized gourmet food eating / bicycle riding group trips through the South of France or Italy, and end it with a few days solo on the Riviera.

    • TO Lawyer :

      Do you like food/cooking/wine? This guy I went on a date with spent a week doing a wine/cooking class in Tuscany which sounded absolutely amazing and is on my list.

      • I did this and it was incredible. The right amount of effort and lazy for a cooking class on vacation that you want. We stayed in an Tuscan castle converted into a hotel and did a “wine and cooking class” which essentially meant we (unbeknownst to us) were the helped cook all the meals for the other guests (there were maybe 8 guests total) for about 3 days. A lot of delicious food and wine, plenty of time to wander around and do things when we weren’t leisurely drinking and cooking. SO much fun!

    • lawsuited :

      I know you said solo, but my mum celebrated a milestone birthday recently by renting a house in Florence for a week and inviting her best friends from all over the world to join her. To her delight, ALL of them did! They had the best time bashing around Italy.

  2. Sometimes, the worst thing about going through a breakup is trying to walk that line between needing to talk and not wanting to be judged for what gets said. Don’t get me wrong, my IRL friends are amazing people, but they see my current situation as JSFAMO and the disentanglement process is lengthier than that. True, there are no kids or property to divide, but we built a life together and that takes time to divide. Add in that the breakup is due to his narcissistic personality disorder and my being within that vortex and, though I know my IRL friends mean well when they tell me to JSFAMO, it’s not so quick and it’s not so easy. It’s like my options are to speed the process quicker than works for me in order to keep the friends happy with me or to give this process the time it truly takes and have friends accuse me of never leaving or seem to quietly judge me a bit for not having the self-respect to be long gone already. I truly appreciate their intentions, but sometimes I wish I had more people who would just be supportive of whatever my process is, even though I know, to them, I sound like an addict refusing to go to rehab and they’re trying to intervene to save my life. Sigh. It just sucks that, during a time when my life is already becoming tumultuous due to a breakup and impending move and life uprooting, there are folks I don’t dare discuss things with because I know they wouldn’t understand.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m sorry you are going through that. Are you still dealing with logistical issues or is it more emotional? If logistical, could you ask friends for support with specific things you are trying to do? Such as accompanying you when visiting potential apartments. It might help them focus their support in a way that would be helpful to you.

      • Both… the move will be cross country and has to wait for the lease to end, in the meantime, it is emotional. It’s too good to leave, too bad to stay, which makes it very taxing. In some moments, it’s horrible and I’m sobbing, but 95% of the time it’s either calm or it’s wonderful. So yeah, I know I can’t stay in something where I can’t be consistently happy (and no, not in a fairy tale way, in a he suddenly needs a break and then he steps out on me for weeks, then it ends and he comes back to me way). At the same time, when it’s calm or good in the time between now and leaving, I feel like I can’t talk about it without a problem. And I can’t get mad at friends because I know they want better for me, so I’m just… silent and stuck in not having much to talk with friends about until it’s over.

        • Anonymous :

          But they are right and you know it. It is at no time too good to leave. Your move doesn’t need to wait until your lease is up. It is not good in between times. Listen to them.

        • How much longer is the lease v. how much is the penalty for breaking it? If it’s at all financially possible, just break the lease and move now. I suspect this is advice your friends have already given you but that you classify as “quicker than works for me” and not “give this process the time it truly takes,” but real talk: it’s over. Go now. Your friends are saying that because they’re right. You don’t want to hear it, which is why you don’t want to talk about it with them, but they are right. There’s no reason to drag this out. It is over.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yeah, they are right. Although I disagre with anon at 3:44 in that I say it’s not over until it’s over. You’re still stuck until you’re not.

          I was married to a narcissist for 15 years and it took me three tries to actually make the break. When I did, the only thing that saved me was JSFAMO. It’s not too good to leave. It’s too bad to stay. It will be worth whatever upheaval it causes to just. get. out.

        • Plus, if they are your friends, they want what is best for you and clearly are seeing this without the clouded judgment of someone who is deep in it. He has treated you like garbage and keeps you on the back burner while sleeping with other people or dating other people, but still wanting to hang out. He is using you like a puppet. Cut those strings and GTFO.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I’m sorry you’re dealing with that. I agree with Sydney that giving your friends tasks might be helpful. But you might just also have to tell your friends to back off and/or to support you in other ways.

      FWIW, my mom went through this with her sister when my parents were getting divorced. My aunt wanted my mom to do certain things really quickly (like sell the house) when my mom wasn’t ready. My aunt kept harping on it until my mom finally had to tell her to stop. I’m sure my aunt thought she was telling my mom to do the “right” thing because it would close the chapter more quickly, but that’s not what my mom wanted right then.

    • Wildkitten :

      There’s a Reddit Group “Raised by Narcissists” for adult children of narcissists. If you want to be validated that your experiences were real and that other people have been through the same thing, that might be a good place to spend some time. I don’t know if there is a spouse channel.

    • Melania? Is that you?

    • Do you have one IRL friend you could talk to? And share what you did here? I’ve been surprised during different crisis points in my life that there’s usually one person who get it, or at least is totally supportive of what I needed to feel or say. It’s not usually everyone, but there’s usually one person. It might be worth trying to find that while you’re starting the process of what’s probably going to be a tough interim period for you.

  3. Paging Flaky (Marshmallow) :

    Re-posting because I replied really late on the morning thread, re how to deal with eczema on one’s face:

    I have had eczema my whole life, and in college I had a nasty rash on my face for MONTHS. My school health center called it eczema and gave me cortisone. It’s back, and my new derm said it’s actually psoriasis. “Oh, so I don’t have eczema after all?” “No, you have both on different areas.” -_- Awesome. Combine that with the fact that since I got an IUD I’ve been getting minor hormonal breakouts on my chin, and I’m having a fantastic time with my skin lately.

    What works for me:
    — I cleanse with Avene Dermo Cleansing Milk. It never irritates my skin and feels lovely.
    — Lots of moisture. It doesn’t seem to make me break out any more or less, but it helps with the redness and flaking (lovely). I always use a moisturizing serum and sometimes a little rose hip oil under my normal moisturizer.
    — I still use retinol at night, just not on any areas I am currently having a rash attack. It helps with fine lines and breakouts.
    — Gentle acid exfoliation, something like Pixi Glow Tonic, a few times a week. Do not go crazy with physical exfoliation when you have flakes! Moisturize instead.
    — Masks and other extras: Very gentle clay mask for breakouts (I like the Caudalie “detox” and Glossier “greens” ones), sheet masks and other hydrating stuff on a regular basis. I like Laneige sheet masks from Target and the Glossier “moon mask” for extra hydration and calming.
    — Makeup: I used to try putting foundation on when I was flaky, but I just can’t make it work. I think most people notice less about your skin than you do, you know? Try not to worry about it and put on a nice lipstick or eye makeup to draw the attention elsewhere. For days when I’m not flaky, just red, I really like Dr. Jart Tiger Grass Color Correcting Cream. It’s light green and really calms redness without that full foundation look. Cushion compacts or tinted moisturizers also do the trick.

    • any tips for what works for areas where there’s hair like scalp and eyebrows? Don’t want to look greasy, can’t just leave it alone (I have jet black hair so every flake is very obvious). Had a prescription foam that worked once but the cost of the office visit and the not-covered-by-insurance $300 a month cost was insane.

      • Marshmallow :

        I have this too!! I also once had a prescription (cortisone foam) that worked, and I also have no good non-rx solution. :( I have found that Rusk Sensories Calm shampoo seems to irritate it the least, though. Actually now that I think of it, I have had almost zero flakes in the last month or so.

        As for eyebrows, I wouldn’t worry about them looking a little greasy/shiny. Just put whatever you’d normally put on your skin, and then comb it through your brows to get them all going in the same direction.

    • Wildkitten :

      I got hormonal acne with my IUD and a combo of sprinolactone, retin-A, and aczone knocked it out. I don’t know how they work with psoraisis or excema, but there are solutions to hormonal acne and they are prescription.

      • Marshmallow :

        I have also heard this! Hormonal acne with IUDs (possible from withdrawal from the heavier doses in BCP?) seems pretty common. I was just chatting about this with a friend this morning, who said about a year on spiro finally cleared her up. I think because my skin was SO dry to start with, my breakouts are extremely minor. I get teeny bumps that probably nobody but me notices, along with one monthly “real” pimple that goes away in a day or so. Not worth medicating myself for, but I hear it works very well for others. Honestly the increased oil in my skin is pretty great most days, but it’s been a bit of an adjustment going from extremely dry to normal/combo skin.

  4. Anonymous :

    Recs for scenery and hiking near Asheville? Is it really too far to visit Great Smoky Mountains NP for the day from there? I would love to see the park but am not interested in staying in Gatlinburg because Asheville’s food and beer scene is a major draw…

    • Totally doable. It’s about an hour and a half drive depending on where you are staying and where you want to go. My recommendation for specific hikes would depend on when you are coming and your level of ability. Mount Mitchell is really close and easy but steep. Roan Mountain, Grandfather Mountain, and Margarette Falls are all also within an hour and a half drive and provide excellent views and a variety of difficulty with multiple trailheads at one start point. It’s the southern end of the AT, so trails and scenery are not in short supply.

      I’ll also add a reminder that the Gatlinburg, GSMNP, Chimney Tops area just had some major wildfires about two months ago and clean up is still ongoing. Be sure to call ahead to check that things you are interested in are actually open.

    • Also curious to see the responses about this as I’ve got a weekend in Asheville coming up…

  5. Sydney Bristow :

    I’ve been feeling stressed, tense, and generally just down for a couple of weeks. 2 nights ago I was on the verge of a minor breakdown and just desperately felt the need to go somewhere quiet without any people around for several days to just relax. Like even the fact that I could hear our upstairs neighbor moving around in his apartment was pushing my buttons. I’m not normally like this!

    A lot of this is because I have a family event on the other side of the country coming up that I extra super really don’t want to attend, but for Big Reasons I have to go. Well last night, we decided to book a few nights at a nice hotel on the coast following the event. It is in a small town, totally cute, and has a spa on the premises so I’ll definitely be getting a massage. Just having this solid plan in place as a reward for getting through the event makes me feel so much better. I’m still stressed and tense, but much better than the past few days/weeks. Now if only we could fast forward to the reward!

    I’d love advice if anyone has other ideas for getting out of a funk/stress/grumpy cycle. Can’t afford to always throw money at the problem, although the vacation plan is really helping.

    • Squiggles :

      Keep in mind that I live alone in a house (so no upstairs neighbours or hearing people through the walls). Basically, I retreat into my comfort zone (aka my house) and not leave for as long as possible (I will even not do my volunteer shift at a local animal shelter). I cut off all contact with people and limit internet. Then, I treat myself to a mini-spa day, no chores and easy, comfort food.

      Most of the time, this helps me reset. If not, then I will just put on my grown up clothes and leave the house. I will only do things that make me happy (once again, no chores): buy a new book, cuddle kittens at the shelter, coffee with a friend.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I think I’m going to try this to the best of my ability combined with Torin and anon’s suggestions below. My husband will be around but if I’m still feeling super on edge then I can probably send him to Home Depot or something for a few hours to give me some real alone time.

        • Squiggles :

          Sounds like a plan.

          And remember, what works for me or Torin or anon may not work for you. Just take it easy and experiment. If one thing doesn’t work, chalk it up to experience and move onto something else.

          That is what got me through February and March last year. Too stressed from work and family was asking me to put my life on hold while they were sorting out theirs. It was too much and I was crying at random times (I am not a crier). I also worked from home whenever I could, just to avoid the commute as well.

    • Have a no Internet + read a favorite book all weekend long weekend? Book should be on paper if possible. I find it helps me to just disconnect.

      • What do you like to read? I primarily read nonfiction, especially biography, so that’s where my recommendations are coming from.

        I’m reading Ann and Nancy Wilson’s (of Heart band fame) autobiography (Kicking and Dreaming) right now; it’s pretty interesting.

        I read two of Carrie Fisher’s books after she passed away, The Princess Diarist and Wishful Drinking. Made me miss her even more.

        Two others recently I found fascinating: The Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher (about Edward Curtis photographing Native American tribes in the West); and Mozart in the Jungle.

    • I’m sorry you feel this way. No advice, only commiseration. I’ve been literally on-edge and on the verge of tears randomly. I deleted my facebook app. I don’t know what else to do. I might sign up for a kickboxing class or something where I can rage-scream in public.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Sorry you’re feeling similar! I’ve also randomly been on the verge of tears.

        I should definitely step away from Facebook again. I haven’t looked at it much, but a total break is a good idea.

        I actually did yell at someone on the subway platform last night. I feel like my home state won’t let me back in because I’ve lost my politeness, but the person I yelled at deserved it! I definitely considered screaming into a pillow last night but took a hot shower instead.

        • Good for you on RAWRing when you needed to! I know I’m terrible at avoiding things (like social media) so I decided that positive actions to distract me is the way to go. I’ve been trying to schedule things to keep me busy and attentive to things I would rather pay attention to.

    • I would start planning all the fun dinners/spa treatments/outdoor activities/shopping I’m going to do during those few days at the hotel. Planning the vacay is the best part, and the yucky event will become just a check off item to get to your awesome vacay!

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Yes! I’ve been doing this. The fancy restaurant at the hotel will definitely be getting our business one night. The sample menu looks awesome.

        And 80 minute combination Swedish/deep tissue massage in front of the fireplace in my suite? Yes, please!

    • Might sound crazy but I swear it works for me – go and sit outside for a few hours this weekend. Get as much sun on your skin as possible. Aim for 1-2 hours per day Saturday and Sunday (it’s supposed to be gorgeous in NYC, for February). Doesn’t matter what you do – read a book, take a walk, sit in a sidewalk cafe. But open the top of your jacket and push your sleeves up a little and let the sun hit your skin. We’re at the end of a long dark dreary winter, and that can really amplify other stresses and problems.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        That’s a good idea. I’ve been looking at light therapy lamps on Amazon too, but actual sunlight and fresh air would probably help.

      • Some sunshine ( and “fancy” coffee!) does it for me too.

    • I just got the Spire (wearable tech) as a christmas gift in December, and it’s been life changing for me! It tracks your breathing and tells you when you’re tense, then walks you through meditating and breathing exercises to reduce tension. It also has a built-in calming technique in the app that you can click on to monitor and practice taking deep breaths to calm down. It is doing me wonders. It alerts me that I’m tense so that I don’t stay tense for a long time and remind myself to take a few deep breaths. It’s part of mindfulness, and it’s working really well for me

  6. You stationary people, help me find the holy grail of notebooks. I want a bound notebook smaller than letter size paper that has no lines or has grid dots or is quad rule. I would like for it to have a cool cover. Think outer space, super glittery, punny, any of the above. I would like to sketch and/or take notes in it. Obviously, for personal reasons but something that will make me smile when I look at the cover of the notebook. I can of course supplement my notebook decor with my awesome sticker collection.

    • Leuchttrurm1917 has lovely notebooks, but they have plain colored covers. Given the bullet journaling craze you should be able to find something that you can embellish.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I’d check out Moleskine. It’s all I use and they do have some funky covers.

    • I’m stationary! All I do is sit.

      I like the bullet journal. The official branded version is Leuchtturm

      • Ps this brand has a dot grid. I appreciate it so much because I do math and it’s not always linear (haha)

    • I don’t know where you are but Papersource has some pretty nice notebooks. Bought one from there recently to write down quotes I like.

    • I’d go to Typo. They have all the glitter and all the unicorns. They have actual shops and also an online store.

    • Woot! has blank journals with all kinds of strange and interesting covers. They are 5.25″ x 8.25″. http://shirt.woot.com/plus/journals-6?ref=sh_gh_sh_8_wp_5

  7. You stationary people, help me find the holy grail of notebooks. I want a bound notebook smaller than letter size paper that has no lines or has grid dots or is quad rule. I would like for it to have a cool cover. Think outer space, super glittery, punny, any of the above. I would like to sketch and/or take notes in it. Obviously, for personal reasons but something that will make me smile when I look at the cover of the notebook. I can of course supplement my notebook decor with my awesome sticker collection.

    • What a n00b for double-posting.

    • At first, when I read this, I thought you mean lazy people. LOL.

      Here’s a fun one: https://www.etsy.com/listing/460573614/cute-sketchbook-notebook-monsters-tacos?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=cute%20sketchbook&ref=sr_gallery_17

      • Sydney Bristow :

        That’s exactly what I thought! I was gearing up to provide my couch potato advice.

        • HA! (did I misspell? I’m an even bigger n00b than I realized)

          • Sydney Bristow :

            Nope! My mind just went stationary = couch potato rather than stationary = paper products.

            Actually… now that you asked I looked it up. Couch potato is spelled like you did and the paper products is actually spelled with an “e” so “stationery.” I didn’t know that until I looked it up though!

          • I did not know they were spelled differently and now I feel dumb.

          • I didn’t know either #themoreyouknow

          • The helpful hint is stationEry is E like Envelope.

            As for a recommendation, check out the Christian Lacroix journals on Amaz0n. I have two of the gold paseo ones and they are gooooorgeous (one is ruled, one is not).

      • I LOVE TACOS

  8. Travel help please because you all are so good at it! I’m coming from DC, my friend from Idaho. Any thoughts of a decent meet up point (or close-ish) for a long-ish girls weekend? I’m drawing a complete blank.

    Usually I’m always trying to convince people to go to Europe but that would be way too far a journey for her. We’re both from the Midwest originally (Michigan and Wisconsin) so would prefer not there. Thanks for any ideas!

    • Anonymous :

      New Orleans!

    • Marshmallow :

      New Orleans, Austin, Nashville?

    • Anonymous :

      Colorado!

    • BabyAssociate :

      What about Chicago?

    • New Orleans? Austin? Obviously, the midwest is pretty much what’s between DC and Idaho, so at least one of you will have to go a bit out of the way.

    • New Orleans, and I still drool with envy every time I see pictures of Biltmore in Ashville.

      • Anonymous :

        It costs $75 to go there though…that’s insane! Can someone who has been and loved it explain to me how it’s possibly worth that much? Versailles in France costs like $20.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          I don’t think it’s actually worth what they charge face value, but you can usually find discounts on tickets if you search.

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            Also, ticket price varies by day/season, I think, so if you’re flexible, check different days.

      • AttiredAttorney :

        The Biltmore isn’t worth it. However, Asheville is an amazing city and totally worth a trip for the food+beer+mountains+art scene alone.

    • What about Montreal?

      • Marshmallow :

        Oooh, also a good option! We can drive there pretty easily from home and I can’t believe I’d never been until last year. So much fun.

    • I can think of tons of places I’d love to do a girl’s trip (some I’ve been to, some I haven’t)! Kind of depends on what time of year and what you want to do but here are some ideas:
      New Orleans (as mentioned above), Savannah, Charleston, NYC, Napa/Sonoma, a ski town in Colorado, Park City, Sedona, Santa Fe, Dallas, San Diego, Palm Springs

      • Santa Fe is a great place for a girls weekend!

        • Anonymous :

          Yes! Great food, hiking, skiing, Ten Thousand Waves spa, art museums. Nice, historic plaza to walk around and the weather is usually beautiful.

      • These are all great ideas. Definitely sending an email to her with all these. Thanks so much!

    • Anonymous :

      What time of year? Spring/Summer and definitely Fall can be nice in Mpls/St. Paul

      • Probably April! I do like the Twin Cities but I think she’s in the mood for something warmer.

        • April is festival season in New Orleans–French Quarter Festival April 6-9 and Jazz Fest the last weekend in April. If you want to attend one of those festivals, great! If that’s not your thing, you probably won’t enjoy New Orleans as much those weekends, since the city gets crowded with tourists.

        • Don’t do Montreal then. I was there for work last April and the weather was miserable. Cold. Snow. Not saying that’s what it will be this year, but the weather will be unpredictable in April.

        • Anonymous :

          Hmm..April could be iffy – it will either be gorgeous or pouring rain. Maybe even snow. We’re having a warm Feb, but who knows if that would last.

          If you were coming in August/Sept, I’d probably flying into MSP and then driving up to Duluth (2 hours north).

    • cake batter :

      Scottsdale!

  9. Does anyone know if Congress received the President’s budget?

  10. My office is so cold right now. It’s the whole floor, if not the whole building. Everyone is wearing their winter coats around the office. Space heaters aren’t allowed. I just want to go home, but I’m taking tomorrow off because my kid is having (minor) surgery.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I know the feeling. Hot tea, layers (do you have an emergency suit? Throw the jacket on under your coat), and moving around every half hour is what helps me.

    • Marshmallow :

      Me too today. :-/ Currently wrapped in a scarf and drinking hot coffee.

    • Anonymous :

      In my old office, in which heaters were not allowed, they were required to give exemptions if you filed an request signed by a medical professional. It wasn’t a technically an ADA thing, although I’m sure it was in the same vein. Maybe double check with the building people?

      • Apparently, space heaters short out the electrical system. My boss said she’s blown the power on our side of the building 3 times :-)

  11. Baconpancakes :

    The next three months are going to be rough and busy. What are some of y’all’s favorite freezer/shelf-stable-ingredient-15-minutes/weekend prep meals that aren’t just cook 5 chicken breasts, two heads of broccoli and rice and divide over 5 days with sriracha one day, soy sauce the next, lemon the third, etc?

    Is there a favorite blog for these kinds of recipes? My SO is great about doing 100% of the cooking (and even cleaning up everything after) when I’m busy, but he’s terrible at meal planning. Basically I need to have the list of recipes ready and have the ingredients in the fridge, but if those are taken care of, the meal can take a little longer to cook.

    • Pea pesto pasta is one of my favorite recipes.

      You boil some refrigerated cheese pasta, drain it, and toss it in pesto from a tub and feta from a tub. If you’re feeling fancy, microwave some frozen peas for 30 seconds and toss those in there too. Take about 10 minutes from start to finish and tastes like actual effort was required.

      • What kind of cheese pasta, please? This sounds great!

      • Nudibranch :

        Another variation on this is cheese ravioli with a half tub of pesto and a half tub of alfredo sauce. I add link italian sausages with onion, mushrooms and chopped broccoli. You can also add a little garlic if you like.

        Cook your raviolis, steam your vegetables in a little chicken broth, fry your sausage, then drain the raviolis and then dump all together with the warmed sauce. Stir. Yum!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve been working on this for the past couple of weeks. The favorite choice so far has been shredded chicken tacos. I cook up the chicken breasts on Sunday and while hot I shred them in my KitchenAid mixer. Then it is just a matter of heating the chicken on the stove with taco seasoning, heating up the tortillas if you want, and putting it all together.

      I also made Creamy Chicken Taquitos and froze them. My husband didn’t love them but I thought they were pretty good. I found the recipe on Pinterest. It had corn tortillas, shredded chicken, cream cheese, sour cream, shredded cheese, and spinach. They were quick to put together and easy to heat up in the oven from frozen.

    • Beans + greens + seasoning, over whatever grain you fancy

      I make big batches of beans and keep them in my freezer. You can heat a meal-sized amount in a pan with a little oil and whatever spices, add greens and cook until wilted, and serve over rice/barley/quinoa/amaranth/whatever. You could also use canned beans — I think one can for two people sounds about right.

      As examples:
      black beans go well with oregano, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper
      chick peas go well with salt, pepper, garlic, and then turn off the heat and add lemon juice and a spoonful of tahini at the end

      • Marshmallow :

        Oh yes, I should have mentioned the beans. Shelf-stable and healthy. Last night I made whole wheat pasta with white beans and frozen broccoli. Make some sauce using the bean juice, chicken broth, garlic, salt and pepper; throw the broccoli and beans in there while the pasta cooks. Mix everything up and add plenty of grated cheese. Yum.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      Dinner: A Love Story and Budget Bytes are both really good for recipe stuff!

    • Marshmallow :

      Try the Fresh20 website or cookbook. They have a lot of weekend-prep recipes and it does all the meal planning for you.

      When I’m busy, I like to use Trader Joe’s frozen chicken breast fingers because they don’t need to be defrosted since they’re so thin. Frozen veggies, pasta. Modern Kitchen lentil pasta is great because you get a lot of protein and it really tastes like regular pasta. They also make meal kits with dried veggies and sauce, although you probably still want to add some more veggies or salad.

      Do you have access to a good grocery store that has decent prepped food items? I like to order FreshDirect’s seasoned meats and shredded chicken, so I can throw it on a salad one night, in tacos the next, etc. You can also stir-fry plain old ramen noodles with whatever vegetables you have around and throw a couple of scrambled eggs in there.

    • I buy a beef brisket and freeze half. I put the other half in my crockpot with salt and pepper, some Old Texas BBQ sauce and some water (water about 1/2 way up the side of the brisket, BBQ sauce on top). I do not sear it first. I do not chop any veggies. I put it on low for 8 hours and it’s great when I get home. Last time I had it on sourdough bread, like an open faced sandwich, but it’s also good on egg noodles.

      About 2 weeks later I throw the frozen half in the fridge and let it thaw for a couple of days, then do it again.

    • So yesterday and today I made my 2 go-to easy-freeze recipes…

      Cooking Light Chili: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/all-american-chili
      I saute the meat and veggies and then put everything in the crockpot, along with frozen corn. I cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Then I parcel it out into individual containers. It usually fills about 15 containers.

      Food Lab Broccoli Parmesan Soup: http://culinaryphysics.blogspot.com/2015/09/creamy-broccoli-parmesan-soup-the-food-lab-recipes.html
      I use fat-free milk, I don’t use the anchovies and I don’t make the croutons. This recipe fills 8 or 9 individual containers.

    • I make a pot of quinoa and roast a ton of vegetables and use that as a basis for bowls. Mexican, Greek, Italian etc. Check out the Protein Bar menu for inspiration

    • http://damndelicious.net/2016/12/16/sheet-pan-steak-and-veggies/

      Oven fajitas

  12. Quiet granola bars? :

    Can anyone recommend a good brand of granola bar for a substantial afternoon snack at work? I’ve always been a huge fan of Nature’s Path, but I felt self-conscious about crunching loudly in my cubicle. Right now I have nutrigain bars, which are good but a little too temptingly sweet. TIA!

    • Anonymous :

      Nugo Fiber d’lish peanut chocolate chip bars are delicious and very filling. Oatmega bars are also great, if you’re looking for something with more protein.

    • I always keep Larabars in my desk. More substantial and healthier than a Nutrigrain, and they don’t crunch

    • How about Luna Bars, Clif Bars, Picky Bars, or Kind Bars? Fiber One also makes good ones, although they are very close to candy bars!

    • Anonymous :

      I really wouldn’t worry about eating a crunchy granola bar in your cube.

      • Anonymous :

        I wouldn’t stress about either. BUT – if your neighbors are like me (misphonia), we appreciate the effort you make to find quiet foods. Because listening to other people eat in a quiet environment really is annoying and cringe-inducing to some people.

        Signed, the person who puts their earbuds in to avoid listening to her neighbors eat carrots (as quietly as possible) and crunch on ice cubes (different cube neighbor).

    • Anonymous :

      Clif bars are my favorite! They have a new line of bars that are filled with nut butters that are amazing.

  13. Wondering if anyone had suggestions for workout tops for an office gym… I’m a little soft around the tummy so I don’t want to wear anything clingy (plus, this is my work place), and I don’t want anything with like enthusiastic sayings on it (“sweating is sexy!” “mediate don’t hate” – these are real things I’m finding). I’d like something with some athletic material and not just oversized cotton tank tops, but I just don’t know where to find this. I’m trying to work out more, but it would be a big help if I had more than 3 workout tops in my rotation that actually fit and I’m not embarrassed to wear in public. Thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      Zella has athletic tshirts that float away from the stomach.

    • REI might be a good place to try – look for hiking/athletic tees. They usually have a bunch that are basically floaty tees made of great wicking materials. They’re meant to be for hiking-like activities, so not clingy and will not have weird sayings.

    • Anonymous :

      GapFit Breathe v-neck tee

      http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1006980&vid=1&pid=142856602

    • Wildkitten :

      I am soft in the tummy and I layer a shirt (whatever shirt, cotton, athletic, whatever) over an athletic racerback tank. The tank keeps my tummy in check and the shirt isn’t clingy.

      • Wildkitten :

        This would be cute for layering! http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=522041002&rrec=true&mlink=5050,12413545,gapproduct1_rr_1&clink=12413545

    • Anonymous :

      If you’re looking for something cheap but effective, the brand Head makes several short-sleeved styles that are moisture wicking and lightweight but sturdy. You can often find them on Amazon for $10 or less.

  14. Sloan Sabbith :

    Is “et al” something that’s pronounced, and if so, how?

    Not looking for synonyms, per se. Looking to settle a joke-argument at work about if saying “ett all” is legit.

  15. Wildkitten :

    I went to the MM LaFleur showroom in NYC today and they said they are opening one in DC in March. GET EXCITED.

  16. The color of this suit is amazing! When you want to stick to pant suits but still want a little POP, I always suggest going for a suit with a little color or a little print! You’re still professional, but stylish at the same time!

    https://officiallychic.com/

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