Coffee Break: Eryn Suede Kitten Heels

ann taylor sale shoesOooh: major deals at Ann Taylor’s semi-annual sale, ladies. You can take 60% off all sale items, for savings up to 75% off. These cute 2.5″ kitten heels were originally $109-$128, but are now down to $44. And there are even plenty of sizes left. Nice! Eryn Suede Kitten Heels


  1. Eyelash extensions? :

    Has anybody ever had eyelash extensions? I’m in DC so interested in recs there, but would love to hear about the general experience from anybody who has done it.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      I did it once and I LOVE them . . . except when they were over and made half my regular eyelashes fall out! that was a sparse look I didn’t enjoy for several months.

    • I did and LOVED them.

    • There was a guest post here about them a few years ago (?). I’m sure that you can find it by googling. They sounded absolutely lovely, but absurdly expensive and difficult to upkeep.

    • Have them. Love them. I get them filled every two weeks. It’s about $40 for a fill (small NE city). It cuts down on my morning routine time because I don’t wear eye makeup anymore (just slather on moisturizer and BB cream, and go). I haven’t had problems with my eyelashes falling out (had them for about 3 years) — I think they fall out when the aesthetician puts more than one false lash on your natural lash (I also get the shortest option, which is probably less stressful). For me, it’s a bigger time investment than $$ – each appointment is 45 minutes. I also don’t do facials/nails/etc. so this is my one beauty splurge.

    • Try Elle Lash near Eastern Market :)

    • lawsuited :

      I’ve had them and loved the look of them, but they are high maintenance. For me, they’d look great for the first week, passable (but a little patchy) for a second week, and then I had to get them filled because they looked terrible after that. Not being able to rub my eyes and not being able to use make-up remover (because it increased the rate of fall-out) was irritating, as was having to make a 1.5 hour appointment and pay $50 every 2 weeks was a pain.

  2. I like these!

    Question about public service loan forgiveness: I graduated in 2009 and have worked in govt ever since. However, I haven’t done any kind of IBR program & instead have basically been making payments on the extended 25 yr plan. Does this mean I do not qualify to have my loans forgiven after 10 years? This is my understanding but I’m wondering if there is some way for me to qualify. Fwiw I make too much money relative to my loans for IBR to make sense – my monthly amount at this point would be roughly the same as my ten year plan monthly payment so there wouldn’t be anything to ‘forgive’ as I understand it but I do have substantial loans and I do work in a qualifying employment so just wondering what I can do, if anything.

    • Call your loan servicing company.

    • Anonymous :

      Are your loans all with FedLoan? Technically, you just need to have your loans with them. From time to time you can do an employment verification, especially if you move jobs it is easier to keep track.

    • From what I understand, your loans have to be under a qualifying replayment plan–which appears to only be IBR or other income-based plan or 10 year repayment (which of course means they would be paid off by the time you qualify for forgiveness. . .).

    • Wildkitten :

      What is a qualifying repayment plan?

      Qualifying repayment plans include all of the income-driven repayment plans (plans that base your monthly payment on your income) and the 10-year Standard Repayment Plan.

      • This is what my understanding is – so it would seem I don’t qualify because i’m not on IBR and I’m not on the 10 year plan. But I do work in qualifying employment and I have made on time payments since 2009. What doesn’t make sense to me is why the 10 year plan is included as qualifying – i must be missing something, but if you make ten years worth of payments on a standard plan aren’t your loans paid off anyway? What is being forgiven??

        All my loans are qualifying loans, btw. I guess I’m scr*wed as far as all this goes? Nothing to be done now?

        • Call you school’s financial aid office. I called years after I graduated with a questions about loan forgiveness and they were totally willing to dig through all my loans and tell me what did/didn’t qualify and what I would need to do to apply.

        • Wildkitten :

          I think you could make 2 years of 10 year payments and 8 years of IBR payments and qualify. If you made 10 years of 10 year payments you wouldn’t need the program.

        • Anonymous :

          I thought the idea behind these plans was as an incentive for people to work in potentially lower paying public service jobs (as compared to higher paying private sector jobs) – because your income is “higher” and enough to cover your loan obligaitions – the program wont help you – its just for lower paying roles. Sucks but its not designed to help in these cases, so you’re not getting “screwed” out of anything.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          IBR payments are capped at the 10-year payment amounts, but are often much lower. When they are lower there will be some amount remaining that would be forgiven.

          In your case it sounds like there would be nothing to forgive, although it might be worth checking to see if the 6 years of payments at the lower 25-year amount would count and then you’d pay 4 years at the higher rate and possibly have some left over to forgive. I’m not sure if that’s possible but you could ask your lender or your school’s financial aid office. There might also be an answer on the IBRinfo dot com page.

        • lucy stone :

          I was on IBR my first five years of employment and will be on the 10 year plan for the remainder because with promotions and marriage, I no longer qualify for IBR. There are ways to “game” the system so you qualify for IBR or ICR at a higher income, like maxing your deferred compensation contribution.

  3. Anonymous :

    Question for airfare gurus: we’re flying from Chicago to California in July for a wedding. Flights are currently $400+ and $500+ for our preferred flight times (there’s no flexibility on dates – we have to go Saturday morning and return Sunday to avoid time off work). The websites (both airline and third party websites like Orbitz) say things like “selling out quickly” and “one seat left at this price” but I’ve heard the optimal time to buy is usually only a couple months from the flight and we’re more than six months out at this point. Thoughts on whether I should buy now or wait?

    • I find the best prices are 6-8 weeks out. I would think you will always be able to buy $500 tickets in May/June for this route. I’d wait.

    • I know this isn’t what you asked, but if there were ever a time to spring for travel insurance, this would be it! With that tight a travel window for a flight that must be 4 hours, any delay could prevent you from even making the event. Is there any way you could take a day off work? Or even a half day to be able to fly out on Friday evening?

      More on topic, I would say that if your travel time is that limited, you should probably buy now. You’ll be really unhappy if you wait until 8 weeks out and can’t get direct flights, or are stuck in middle seats nowhere near your travel partner!

      • Anonymous :

        It’s a non-stop flight, so the odds of not making it that day at all (especially in summer when there’s no chance of snow), seems pretty small to me. We would plan to take a 6 am flight out of ORD, so that would get us in at roughly 8 am Saturday (it’s a 4 hour flight but a 2 hour time change, so it only takes 2 hours of clock time), so we could be delayed more than 10 hours and still make the wedding. It’s not like we’re supposed to be landing at 2 pm for a 5 pm wedding. United also has flights just about every hour from ORD to our destination and other airlines have non-stops too. I actually think it’s pretty low risk as far as air travel goes.

        • Anonymous :

          Might not have snow, but thunderstorms can mess up summer travel, especially when traversing the Midwest. It does sounds like there are enough flights during the day that an earlier flight missing a plane due to grounding elsewhere wouldn’t necessarily be a factor, so yeah, weather shouldn’t be much of a factor.

    • If you buy on orbitz, they will refund you if the price goes down I believe.

      • Anonymous :

        Orbitz’s price assurance thing is only good for 24 hours. And many airlines also allow you to cancel the ticket within 24 hours.

        I always book directly through the airlines for the best protection in case things go wrong. I had a nightmare once when flights were cancelled and the airline said they couldn’t help me with rebooking because the ticket was booked through Orbitz and Orbitz said “whatever, it’s not our problem.” After that, I avoid Orbitz and the like at all costs.

        OP: I’d wait.

      • Anonymous :

        Airlines are required by U.S. law to allow you to cancel within 24 hours, or provide a free 24 hour hold. Exceptions apply, for ex. if the trip is within 7 days of booking. I don’t know if Orbitz is required to provide that or if they offer it to stay on competitive footing.

        • Anonymous :

          ETA: Agree that booking through a third party only invites hassle. Use those sites to locate the lowest fare if you must (Kayak and Google also work, you still have to check airlines like Southwest separately) but then go to the airline to book.

    • Did you try Southwest?

      • lucy stone :

        Definitely try Southwest, who will refund the price difference if the fare drops. If you’re in northern IL you can often fly out of Milwaukee for less hassle than Chicago.

    • If you buy in advance and you can buy the same class of ticket later at a lower price, the airline will refund the difference. No change fees or anything. You are responsible for keeping track of price changes, but you can check that weekly. I would book now and keep doing my homework — but check with the airline to confirm that I am giving good info. This will tie you into a single carrier, but gives you some assurance that the prices can’t go up.

      And I agree that travel insurance makes sense in this case. Otherwise you may end up eating the tickets due to a random delay or cancellation.

      • For at least all the major US airlines, this is incorrect. Those fare guarantees are only that no one else is selling at a lower price at the time you buy. They don’t apply for changing/dropping ticket prices between the day you buy and the day you depart.

        Your best time time to buy is around 4-6 weeks out. Prices go up significantly at 21 days out because most major carriers will no longer sell their ultra-discounted fare classes of tickets beyond that point.

      • Anonymous :

        What!? I have never heard of this. Do American/United/Delta actually do this??

      • Airlines used to do this, but I guess most don’t anymore. Virgin America gives a credit good for one year and I did that recently. Plus they fly between Chicago and California. Might still work for this travel.

        • Anonymous :

          Virgin still charges a $150 change fee. I think it might be lower for within-CA flights.

          Southwest is the only one that doesn’t charge a change fee, but you only get it back as a travel bank credit if your fare was nonrefundable. That works for me because I know I’ll fly SW again in the year to use it, but may not be for everyone.

      • I don’t think this is correct about the airlines but some credit cards will refund you the difference as part of your card member benefits.

      • Anonymous :

        Check your credit card benefits. It’s pretty unnecessary to actually pay for travel insurance, as it should be offered as a benefit on at least one of your cards. Just make sure you pay with that card and follow any restrictions in the benefits guide (eg they may require you book with the airline or the card’s travel line, vs. an Orbitz/Travelocity type site).

    • There’s an app (on iPhone at least) called Hopper. You put in your desired flight, and it’ll tell you if prices are good now based on historical data, when they’ve been the lowest, whether to wait, etc. You can have it push alerts when fares lower or rise so you know when to buy. I found it useful when researching flights last summer.

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks all! And thanks 2 Cents for tipping me off to Hopper. That’s a cool app! It says to wait, btw.

      • Wildkitten :

        That’s a perfectly reasonable price to buy a non-stop flight from Chicago to California. I would buy them just to have it done instead of risking it to save a buck.

        • Anonymous :

          I disagree. $500 is awfully high. I’ve done Chicago-California flights many times, and $300-$400 is more typical for summer (in the off-season, you can regularly get them <$300. I'm going ORD-SFO for the weekend in two weeks and the ticket was $260). If you're talking about two people, that's a $200-400 savings, which is pretty significant to most people.

    • Anonymous :

      what airline? Totally depends who you are flying.

  4. Anonymous :

    I am so sore from getting back to the gym, I am limping around my office

    • Anonymous :

      I feel you. i started out on a 30 mile bike ride, and 3 miles in, I crashed my bike. No broken bones or concussion, but really sore and road rash all over.

    • Yes. It was an arm today and I would have paid good money to have someone at my gym who just washed my hair and anything that would have required me lifting my arms above my ribs.

    • That will be me tomorrow. My hamstrings are already tight from my workout this morning and I know lowering myself into a chair (or to the toilet) is going to kill tomorrow. Not to mention stairs.

    • Wildkitten :

      Good for you! (Genuinely, not sarcastically.)

  5. Amelia Bedelia :

    CapHillStyle posted this link and, I have to admit, I pretty much agree.

    • Anonymous :

      +1, also, if you are interested in the personal finance world, Pound Foolish is another interesting read. Not so much for specific advice, but to talk about the quality and hidden motivations behind the advice and advice-givers that are out there (ie, Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, etc.)

  6. It looks like I may be taking a last-minute trip to Tokyo – will be there for 3 days. Any suggestions on what to see? The first day I think I’ll be on my own.

    I’ve also never taken a long haul flight quite this long – 13 hours – so any hints for surviving that would be welcome as well.

    • Advice I got in high school from a friend’s dad (who traveled overseas often for work) – drink a cup of water for every hour you are on the flight. This means asking for extra drinks sometimes (and bringing your own ginormous water bottle from the gift shops), but it’s really worked for me. I feel less tired, less jet-lagged, and I don’t dry out as much.

    • Oh I love Tokyo! In a few days, I’d recommend hiring a guide to show you around for one of them; then figure out what you like to see and do – there’s some cool shrines in the heart of the city that are a nice balance to shopping/exploring neighborhoods. The Mori Art Museum currently has a great exhibit by Murakami. There’s a great article on Tokyo in the Goop archives & I loved the bookstore recommended there as well as the neighborhood around it for shopping/exploring. Have fun!

      • Senior Attorney :

        +1 to the guide

        I’ve had good luck with www.toursbylocals dot com.

        • Me too! Just looked up who we used & it was also toursbylocals. Another tip – rent a mifi for your time there, having the ability to use the internet, especially google maps, made all the difference in ease of navigation. It was also really easy to do – I booked online and it was delivered to my hotel, and then I mailed it back when I left.

          • Better option :

            Actually, if you have Sprint you can add international unlimited data and calls in Japan to your plan for $5 a month. I just spent three weeks there in December. It’s only Japan, and it sounds too good to be true, but it was amazing to not need the mifi!

          • ALX emily :

            And if you have Project Fi (or T Mobile I think), you automatically have international data for no extra cost. Just be sure to check what phone settings you’ll need to change to make it work.

    • I was just in Tokyo for 2 weeks… Mostly eating and drinking. Here are a few things to do:

      – Robot Restaurant
      – Go to a cat café
      – See Shibuya crossing
      – Harajuku district
      – Ginza for high end shopping
      – Karaoke

    • I live in Tokyo! I can help.

      A good itinerary that covers traditional and modern Tokyo is to start in the morning at the Meiji Shrine in Harajuku at 9am, then walk through Harajuku and Omotesando. Take the Ginza subway line to Ginza and have lunch there. Then visit the Imperial Palace gardens (walkable from Ginza but check closing times). Walk to Takebashi subway stn, then take the Tozai line to Kagurazaka. Have dinner in one of the French bistros or traditional Japanese restaurants there. After dinner, take the Japan Rail train from Iidabashi to Shinjuku, and have drinks in one of the skyscraper hotel bars there (park Hyatt, Keio Plaza, etc). Tokyo done!

  7. Italy help :

    I’m trying to plan a trip to Italy (about ten days, hitting Rome/Florence/maybe somewhere in the country too). I was going to plan the whole thing individually, but my husband thinks a tour might be less work on our end. The question is, are there any tours like we’d like — ones that don’t make us change cities every night or two, that would organize all the ground transportation when we do move around the country, that would schedule certain events (say, a morning at a museum) but leave maybe 50% of the time free for exploration? And maybe not be full of retirees? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    • I don’t know that you need a tour group based on my experience a few years ago. Flew into Venice, took train to Florence, rented car to Orvieto, train to Rome, flew out of Rome. The train system was easy and efficient, especially if you are going between major cities (we don’t speak/read Italian). Assuming someone can drive a stick shift, renting the car wasn’t bad either. You can book a lot of site tours online (like the Vatican) and there are plenty of suggested itineraries of must sees (Rick Steves had some good podcasts for major sites).

    • Anonymous :

      Agree with mascot. Italy is easy to get around in and navigate, even if you speak no Italian (although if you speak or read French or Spanish you’ll probably be surprised at how much you can understand). I personally wouldn’t rent a car (because of issues with stick shift and crazy drivers/roads), but you can easily make do with trains for the places you mentioned. I might book day tours in various cities but if you do a package tour you will give up a LOT of flexibility. Food is also a huge part of travel for me (especially in a place like Italy) and there would probably be an obligation to eat meals with the group (even if they’re not included in your package, it might be weird to eat every meal on your own) so I would also not do a tour in Italy for that reason.

    • Anonymous :

      my brother and s/i/l have taken Rick Steves tours in Italy and elsewhere and have loved them. They are expensive, and I do think you move cities quite often, but (according to them) they have great local guides, do include enough free time and generally are not full of retirees. We did a package tour of Ireland with another tour provider (CIE) and gah, I’d never do that again, but I am considering a Rick Steves tour for this spring.

      • +1 to Rick Steves. I did a week-long tour of Rome with my father several years ago on a Rick Steves tour and it was great. My father stresses a lot about international travel and it was wonderful to have everything planned. There was a fair amount of free time to explore as well. They chose really wonderful restaurants for the group meals and we met some great friends in our group – one of which I’m still in touch with today. A lot of my favorite memories from the trip are fun evenings out with the tour group. I’m usually the type of traveler to backpack around third world countries with no particular itinerary in mind and I had a great time.

    • Depending on your budget and if you want to splurge, my family hired an independent tour guide in Rome who was absolutely incredible. We did a 2.5 day tour with her and 10 years (and many international vacations) later, it is still my favorite thing I have ever done on a trip. She was so knowledgeable about everything – art, history, the city, eating. It also made getting around Rome incredibly easy. There is so much to see and do in Rome that I don’t think I could possibly plan it out as well as she did. I plan to take my husband sometime in the future and we will definitely be contacting her. I could not say more good things about her. This is the link to her linked-in and then you can search her more (I imagine there’s a yelp somewhere) or email her from there.

    • Anonymous :

      Try G Adventures Dot Com for some great small group tours – alternatively if you do decide to go on your own, I find looking at tours gives you a good idea of distances and how much is doable or not doable in your time frame.

    • Anonymous :

      Italy is SO easy to do on your own, I’d try researching your own train times and just going on your own. I did a month there, and it was pretty easy, the whole country basically is used to tourists.

      • I agree that you can do this on your own. Italy is very tourist friendly. We did Rome, Florence and Venice in about 10-11 days and it was lovely. Trains everywhere and only did a “tour” for a day trip of the Tuscan countryside while in Florence. I would recommend that actually. It was basically a bus that took you to Siena (lovely!), another small little town, a vineyard and a fort. You had a couple of hours in each of the towns, then did a tour and tasting of a small vineyard and got gelato in a some ancient fortress. You basically had the option of being with the group or going off on your own and we did our own thing, but what was nice was just having a bus take you place to place so you didn’t have to worry about car rental, being able to have all the wine you want, directions, etc.
        FYI – I did find the Rick Steves’ book helpful for lots of useful info like how to skip lines, buy advance tickets and the best days to go see things. Also this was a few years ago, but I found that you could get much better rates if you paid cash and if you called hotels to book direct vs. using a travel website. I just bought a $5 international calling card and figured out the time difference – it was simple. Last but not least, I found two apps EAT Rome and EAT Florence to be fantastic for finding some great restaurants and shops, and, if you can, try to spend a night or two in Venice. A lot of people do Venice as a day trip and it was expensive to stay there, but so so worth it. It’s really magical at night.

    • Italy help :

      Thank you everyone! I didn’t mean to post and run, but things got a little busy yesterday afternoon. I appreciate the advice.

  8. Wound up sitting caddy corner from my #1 celebrity crush this weekend. I snuck pictures but mostly ignored him (despite my enormous crush, I think I stayed very calm). I didn’t ask for a picture or anything. What would you do if it was you?

    • Anonymous :

      You can’t say this and not share who it is! I’m shy, so I’m sure I’d never be able to ask a celeb for a photo.

      • I passed a minor celebrity on the street (in my small city – we were actually going to see him perform) and was too nervous to say anything, even though he probably barely ever gets stopped. I feel like there’s no way to not be weird and annoying, but maybe I’m wrong!

        • Anonymous :

          I am (obviously) not a celeb, so take this with a grain of salt. But I feel like while asking for a photo could definitely be annoying, just smiling and saying something like “I’m a big fan” isn’t annoying because it’s much easier for them to ignore and they only have to engage if they want to. Also think there is a big difference between stopping when you walk by them on the street and interrupting someone who is having dinner with his family or friends.

        • When I worked at a restaurant in college the friend from Boy Meets World, Shaun, came in and we had already closed for the night. So I had to turn him away! I recognized him, but did not ask for a picture or anything, even though I did have a crush on him in middle school when I used to watch that show.

      • Haha ok ok. It was Armie Hammer. And totally dreamy in person.

    • Anonymous :

      I once literally bumped into Julianne Moore and was too nervous to say anything (even “Sorry for bumping you”) so I know I’d never ask a dreamy male celebrity for a picture.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve never been able to approach famous people. Gavin Newsome was in the reception area of my office once and even though almost everyone else went to meet him, I just couldn’t do it. Another time Chris Rock was behind me in line to see a Broadway show. I didn’t realize until people walking by stopped to ask for pictures. He was right there and being so nice to the fans but I still couldn’t bring myself to say anything. I did wind up going to dinner with an actor who played a small role on Star Trek, but that was because he was friends with my friends and they introduced me and invited him to join us for dinner.

      I heard an interview with Nathan Fillion once and he said people come up to him all the time and complain about Firefly being cancelled. He said he’d prefer it if that person prettened to tip his/her hat and say “Captain” to him and that would express all the feelings about Firefly. I might be able to do something like that because it seems less obtrusive and doesn’t require a response.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      My response disappeared. I’m almost always too nervous to say anything to famous people. I don’t think I would have even tried to take a picture.

    • I saw the captain of our NHL team downtown one time with my younger sister and had a minor freak out while walking away and she just didn’t understand. She was like “well, if that was Harry Styles, I just would have been all over that.” Ah, to be 16 and uninhibited again…

      • Anonymous :

        I would fan girl it up if I saw any of my NHL team’s players. I like to think the hockey players might have higher tolerance for that since they’re not as universally recognized as a movie star…

    • Amelia Earhart :

      I bumped into John Mayer in JFK once (before his genitalia was racist, so I was moderately thrilled) and blurted out, “oh my god, you’re John Mayer” and his response to a teenaged me was, “holy f*ck, it’s you, it’s really you!”

      I would try to keep my cool the next time.

    • See, to me it’s about life being too short to worry about a little awkwardness!

      A few years ago I was in a hotel for an interview. Gordon Ramsay got on an elevator with me! I thought about it for half a second, then struck up a conversation. He was super nice, not creepy, and yes, I asked for a selfie with him – it came out great even though this was before my smartphone. I love that memory.

      Who cares if the celeb is a little annoyed? To me, that is the price they are handsomely paid for. And if you’re nice and create a positive connection, I think it can be a nice interaction that leaves you both feeling good!

      Oh, and I used that story during my interviews the next day and showed the selfie … I’m sure that it helped me get the job!

      • If you’re in an elevator with Gordon Ramsay, I think there are only two courses of action:

        1) “Wow. Wow Wow WOW!!!”


        2) Throw something across elevator and yell “The chicken is RAW. It’s RAW!!”

        • Anon @ 3:43 :

          Hahahha I love it!!! I did ask him why the risotto on his shows is always so runny. (My mom’s recipe makes a much thicker version.) He was quite interested in my interview. He really was surprisingly nice. We talked for about 10 minutes.

          I’m so glad I talked to him! And in the future, I always will talk to celebs. Like the magazines say .. . they’re just like us!

          But really, life is too short to miss out on those kinds of opportunities! If the celebrity is important enough that you know who they are and have any interest, say hello!

    • I took a sneak picture of a member of One Direction walking down the street in my hometown after he said he didn’t want a picture taken with another fan. But I was with my 14yo and we NEEDED proof that she was near him. I did a sly snap as he walked by and didn’t run after him or anything. Still a little stalkerish.

    • I’m really bad about that sort of thing. I usually don’t even recognize the person. Years ago, musicians used to regularly come into the bar where my friend played (it was near the concert venue) but that was many many years before selfies. I ran into Olivia Wilde at Whole Foods a few months ago, but I just answered her question (where are the spices) and moved on with my shopping. She wasn’t wearing makeup and was obviously just shopping for groceries. I wouldn’t have bothered her. I’m also pretty sure I was wearing a fleece and no makeup so I wouldn’t have asked for a selfie.

    • Anonymous :

      When I was in college in L.A., it was considered uncool to approach or acknowledge celebrities. You were supposed to act unimpressed.

    • Anonymous :

      I showed up late for a criminal defense conference and went to sign in but there was no pen. The man standing next me handed me his and when I gave it back, I realized it was Barry Scheck. I was so nervous and excited you would have thought I was meeting Elvis Presley.

  9. I should mention I was there with my husband. Maybe I would have been different if I was with some girlfriends, haha.

  10. For people who color their hair, what did you do after getting pregnant?

    Also, did anyone have to stop ADD meds while pregnant, and have any advice on that?

    • ADD Sucks :

      Following for the response to the second question. What’s your dose? I’m 15 mg of adderall which I think is on the low end. I suspect the advice will differ based on if you are on a big dose and for how long (like whether you need to wean). Are you currently pregnant or considering it? I’m in the considering it phase but really don’t want to stop taking it until my pregnancy is confirmed. I don’t think I would survive my job if I needed months of trying unmedicated on top of a pregnancy. I’m really hoping my doc will say that my low dose is as dangerous as a cup of coffee and I can stay on it but I highly highly doubt it. Seeing her this week.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Um, kept coloring? I think this, like so many other pregnancy recs, will depend on the person. I do highlights only (with foils), and I kept doing it throughout my pregnancy. I felt so hideously unattractive during that time, there was no way I was going mousey-brown too.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. I asked my doc and she said that coloring was fine during pregnancy. I use the Naturtint brand which is supposedly more natural/safer.

      • Anonymous :

        Highlighting is definitely fine. The bigger concern is with dying where there is direct contact with the scalp.

        • anon a mouse :

          Yes, this. I had a talk with my colorist and she did touch-ups that minimized any direct contact with my scalp. The only downside is that roots showed around week 4-5 so I had to double the frequency of my visits.

    • Anonforthis :

      I am on 10 mg/Ritalin per day, and currently pregnant. I tried to stop taking it, and my life pretty much fell apart for a few weeks. I talked to my midwife, who agreed that the possibility that it’s a risk to the baby is not worth the cost to my mental health. There is solid research showing it doesn’t cause birth defects, and basically no good research on possible long term effects on brain development, etc. But at a relatively low dose, I am comfortable with the risk.

    • Anonymous :

      I didn’t dye my hair or paint my nails while pregnant or nursing. Very personal decision for me as there is a far amount of autism in my family and I wanted to avoid any potential environmental triggers, family history include one cousin who worked in a nail salon – used lots of nail polish/hair dye and both sons are autistic (this is only one example – much more extensive family history involved). Didn’t want to blame myself afterwards and wonder ‘what if’ in case there was an issue. This is very personal and obviously there is not cause/effect evidence that I based this on.

      To be clear – I do not believe there is any known cause/effect relationship but for my pregnancy my stress levels were reduced by minimizing any possible environmental triggers. YMMV. Sharing in case it is relevant for your situation.

      • Anonymous :

        Same (minus the family history of autism). For me, even though hair dying may not be any more toxic than any number of other things we regularly do, I was just trying to be as healthy as possible (eating all organic food, sleeping more, exercising, etc.) and reducing my exposure to optional chemicals was part of that, so I refrained from dying my hair and using nail polish. It was also pretty easy for me to give those things up for that short period of time, since they aren’t something that’s hugely important to me. If it were chocolate that were of questionable safety, I would definitely have asked my doctor if I could eat it and if she said yes, I would have gone ahead and followed her recommendation:)

    • Midwest Mama :

      I continued coloring my hair after my OB said it was just fine. My friend, who has 2 pregnancies/kids, takes Vyvanse for ADHD and had to stop taking it during pregnancy. Is nail polish and/or nail salons really harmful during pregnancy?

      • Anonymous :

        There’s considerable evidence that nail salons are toxic even to non-pregnant people. This manifests mostly in nail salon workers, and obviously getting your nails done once a week or less you are getting maybe 1/50th or less of the exposure of a salon worker, but it is still a non-zero risk.

    • I am pregnant and have had my hair colored (all-over color, not highlights) twice, and will have it done again in a few weeks before giving birth. This was a huge worry when my first friends got pregnant 10 years ago, but I don’t know anyone who has been pregnant in the past 5 years who stopped having their hair colored.

  11. How does everyone organize their vacation time? Do you plan your whole year in January? How much time do you get, and how do you divide it between family obligations, weddings, etc. and leisure? I have 4 weeks this year (lots of time carried forward), and I can’t decide how to make the most of it.

    • Anonymous :

      3 weeks.
      We try to take one big trip per year, which the last few years has been two weeks long. We then typically divide the remaining week between long weekend getaways, extra days around the holidays, and visits to family. This year, we’re hoping to do a 2 week vacation and a 1 week vacation and not take any random days, but that will be a first for us. We travel a lot to weddings but rarely use vacation days for them, typically going there on Friday night/Saturday morning and home on Sunday night.

    • I get 4 weeks annually, use it or lose it. My last job had 5 weeks, with the ability to carry over up to 1 year’s accrual to the following year, so I was used to using less than my full vacation allotment. Because of that, I lost 3 days this year, and have vowed to be more careful going forward.

      DH and I have family across the country, so we make one or two substantial trips each year to see them. This year, we’d like to do a trip just for us, since we’ve only managed to do that once in our 15 years together. So I’m thinking 1 – 1.5 weeks for us, 1 week around the year-end holidays, and we’ll divvy the rest up on long weekends and random days off.

    • I get 3 weeks. I usually take one week in July and one in August for family vacations (I have 3 kids) and then the other week I use for long weekends, etc. Our office is closed between Christmas & New Years and I don’t have to use vacation for that. I rarely have weddings to go to and our family all lives close enough that we can visit on a regular weekend.

    • 1 trip to home country: 7-10 days
      1 big holiday with spouse and kids: 8-10 days
      1-2 long weekends at beach: 2-3 days

      Avg = 20-22 days

      I plan this out at the end of the preceding year/start of the year. We have 2 sets of families (my parents/his parents) visit us each year for 5-6 weeks each so we need to plan ahead to avoid clashes.

    • 5 weeks – approximately allocated as below.

      – A 1.5-2 week vacation annually for decompression and sanity. This often coincides with international travel for family weddings or international family visiting my city.
      – A couple 3-5 day domestic trips with friends or to see friends who live in other parts of the U.S.
      – Usually 1 day off adjacent to any local wedding for last minute errands or a recovery day for Sunday nuptials (I’m 30 – so many weddings…).

      The long trip I know about well in advance and block off time for (I also do this with random days off adjacent to local weddings). The shorter ones, I’ll typically book 4-6 weeks out.

      I can roll up 5 days forward, but typically try to use all but 2-3 days. Prior to 27, I had the usual 2-3 weeks and had to get more creative about stretching it.

  12. I graduated law school without a job and have spent the last few months in a volunteer public interest position.
    The problem is that public interest work (ie. the entirety of my resume) just doesn’t give me that same spark that it once did – maybe it’s just this position but I feel burned out. I think I’d like to try working a firm but I don’t know how to sell that switch – it seems like most people go the other way (from firm to fulfilling public interest career).

    How do people figure out what kind of law they want to practice? And does the fact that I’m even asking that question as an unemployed law school graduate mean that I should be grateful for any legal job that I can get?

    • Anonymous :

      No one will ask why you want to go from
      Volunteering to getting paid. Obvi you aren’t as excited because working for free sucks.

      • Wait – I’m confused. You’re not getting paid and you’re not trying to find to find a paying job? Am I missing something?

    • Yay, Kat these are great shoes at a great price. I love these and will buy for the spring.

      As for the OP, ADL, you are like I was. YOU are doieng public interest work and I was serveing supeenie’s. You have to take the FIRST real law job offered, b/c you need to get your toe in the water more then doeing volunteer work. Volunteer work does NOT pay the bills, and you should ONLEY do this if you marry a rich husband who can afford to have you dabbel in that stuff while he works. You had better FIRST bear him a child, b/c without a child, he will cut you loose like an old shoe, as virtueally every one of us can do volnteer work. If you are NOT abel or willing to pop out a kid or 2 for him, YOU must distinguish yourself in other ways, such as the bedroom, with UNIQUE “gardening skill’s” that he can NOT get anywhere else, even if he pays for it. I need NOT tell you what those gardening skill’s are, but sufice it to say that we are talking about UNconventional thing’s in unconventional places. FOOEY!

      But for now, get ANY law job that pay’s money, and you can come back here in a year or 2 and ask again. YAY!!!!

    • Yeah, I think public interest jobs make you sell yourself a lot. Law firms expect you want to be a lawyer. It’s pretty straightforward. In a lot of ways, firms are just nicer. Until they ruin your weekend like mine just did!

      As to type of law… still figuring that out myself!

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah, you don’t need to sell the switch. Everyone in law firms understands that you want the money. It’s cool, they do too, or they wouldn’t be there.

  13. Anon for this :

    I’m in a friendship where the other person is perfectly nice but seems to need me more than I need her. Not demanding, but not fulfilling a need for me either. It’s not a long term thing where I’d feel bad if we weren’t in each other’s lives anymore. Just figuring out what to do about it is hard. Ghosting is mean, letting it fizzle is mean. But breaking up definitively seems mean too….

    • Anonymous :

      Not clear on why you need to break up. I would provide the level of contact you are okay with (just FB friends, monthly coffee, annual Christmas drinks, whatever) and adjust based on her response. If she’s looking for more, just let her know that you have a lot going on and while you enjoy time with her – XYZ contact level works best for you.

    • I can commiserate. I have a friend who is very needy. I would like to dial back to FB friends/annual Christmas drinks but she isn’t getting the hint.

      • What kind of hints do you give? I’m always afraid I’m on the receiving end of this and just don’t pick up on it. Usually I’ll suggest doing something, and if the friend doesn’t suggest the next get together, I let it go. Is that reasonable?

        • Anonymous :

          I think that’s total reasonable. I also have a dinner group where things seemed to be arranged/organized by only 3/5. I’m one of the 3. But the 2 non-initiators always respond positively and enthusiastically so we keep it going. I fully recognize that the ‘price of admission’ for the group is that 3 organize and that it would probably die out if we didn’t. I’m fine with that because I enjoy the dinners.

        • In my case we were never really friends exactly, just coworkers and then we kept in touch after she left. She moved to my neighborhood and we hung out a few times but I realized that we had some major lifestyle differences and I didn’t extend any invitations and didn’t accept any unless I was really put in a corner. I’ve come up with every kind of excuse, but I haven’t formally said “you have constant drama and it gives me a headache we can’t be friends” because another former coworker of ours did this and it sent her into a tailspin.

    • I was in the same situation a couple of years ago. A work friend had moved out of state and we were email/Facebook friends only during that time, never traveled to see each other. When she moved back she expected me to spend a lot of social time with her, mainly, I think, because she didn’t really know a lot of people in the area any more.

      At first I did spend a lot of time with her but she was very demanding and I found that I was resenting the demands. So I decided to just cut it to what I was comfortable with, which wasn’t much.

      (And by the way, “sorry, no” is a complete answer. You don’t owe anyone a long-winded explanation for why you can’t get together.)

      Anyway, two years later and we have an easy social but not best friends relationship. I see her once or twice a year in a group of friends and we are friendly with each other. No hard feelings as far as I can tell.

  14. Anonymous :

    I’ve decided to not drink for the month of January mainly for weight loss reasons. We’ve talked a lot here about alcohol consumption so I thought I’d share my experience so far.

    Con: No weeknight drinking is harder than I expected. I would only have 1 glass of wine maybe 2-3 nights a week, but losing that reward at the end of a stressful day is rough. I’m turning to chocolate instead, which probably isn’t great for weight loss. I’m also sad to miss out on social events that are solely drinking-centric, like beer tastings.

    Pro: Going out socially, I don’t think anyone has even noticed I’m not drinking. The only time it’s obvious is when folks are handing out shots. That’s also the only time I felt really left out. I went out to a club over the weekend and had a great time dancing. My only complaint is that my feet were KILLING me; I guess I usually numb myself enough that I don’t notice, which is a little scary. I really enjoyed waking up the next morning feeling rested, not hungover, and actually remembering the entire night. I also noticed this morning that I’m feeling much less bloated and blech than I usually do on Monday mornings.

    Overall, it’s a success so far! I’m trying to stay motivated and let myself celebrate my little achievements.

    • Drinking LaCroix flavored sparkling water in the evenings made me feel like I was having a drink, sometimes I even put it in a fancy glass.

    • Anonymous :

      One thing that I would do when I did not want to drink on the weeknight was do something that required my attention and my hands…..clean out a drawer, closet, etc. until the urge passed. As a bonus, I got several cleaned out drawers out of the deal. Also, could you go on a walk or go to the gym after work ? Those would be other ways to decompress.

    • I’ve swapped out “sweets” with “delicious non-caffeinated tea” for my nighttime treat. You could try that instead of wine.

      • +1 — I’m off alcohol and sugar for January and I’m drinking a lot of Trader Joe’s pumpkin rooibos tea. I’m also eating a lot of vegetables and have scheduled a bunch of workout classes over the next few weeks. I’ve noticed I’m fine as long as I’m redirecting myself into new habits (going to a bunch of new workout classes, going for post-work walks with friends). Versus if I was just going to happy hour after work like usual but trying to not have a glass of wine, I think that would be much more difficult.

        • Wildkitten :

          This is my strategy as well.

          • Wildkitten :

            And – changing into yoga gear, yoga, shower, changing into PJs, tea is a way better ritual than just drinking a glass of wine.

    • Missing the drink at the end of the day will pass! I cut out most weeknight drinking a few months ago (most=having a glass of wine or a beer alone in my apartment; if someone wants happy hour I’ll do that, since I would go 2-3 times a month, max) to save money on my grocery bill, and I reeeeeally missed it for the first few weeks. Which was even more of a motivation to stick with the change, since while I wouldn’t say I had a drinking problem or felt unsafe at my level of alcohol consumption–I was uncomfortable with the amount that I missed having that glass of wine while I made dinner. But now it’s a couple months later and I barely even notice most nights. Not sure I’ll do this forever, but I also think it’s been a success. I’m so much more productive in the evenings and feel less groggy when I get up in the morning.

      • Anonymous :

        It will pass. I cut it out because i’m pregnant, not for your noble reasons ;) Was really hard at first but I settled into the tea/chocolate/other fizzy drink routine.

        Hardest for me is not drinking at work events. I do a LOT of networking/schmoozing and standing around listing to people blather is a lot harder without a glass of wine.

  15. I learned the word schadenfreude from you all today and I already got to use it!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m the commenter from that post and I just wanted to thank everyone who weighed in. I really appreciate the support.

      • I thought of you when I had occasion to use it. Someone who made my work life hard last week had a major mishap.

    • Yay new words! If you want another fun German word, try out “backpfeifengesicht” which means a face that’s just asking to be slapped (literally, backslap face). I’m pretty sure there’s one in every office… or Joffrey from Game of Thrones.

  16. Odd request for advice – I’ll try to keep this brief. We live near a creek. During the fall, we had critters in our attic. Nothing major, ended up trapping one rat and one squirrel. Got new insulation. Fast forward to early December, starting hearing scratching noises again, but very sporadically and only above our bed, which is against an exterior wall. Called critterman back, he said he didn’t see signs of any activity, and perhaps noises were only outside. Quiet for 2-3 weeks, I started hearing noises again, sporadically, and only occasionally audible to my husband. Called another critterman. New guy says he sees no signs of activity, but plugs up some holes of unknown origin along the foundation and sets traps. I continue hearing noises sometime between 3-4 am, husband maybe hears “something” occasionally, but a week and a half later traps are undisturbed and insulation still looks like new driven snow, leading me to believe my mind is playing tricks on me, and/or critters are hanging out occasionally in my roof.

    I think this is my mind manifesting grief as anxiety. We lost our four day old son in August to an inoperable heart defect. I feel like I am managing life ok (I mean, I still visibly grieve and what not, but we are functioning).

    So I guess my question is two-fold – 1) if you’ve had critters in your roof, how do you deter them from hanging out up there? and 2). How do I reduce anxiety to let my mind let this go? Medication? Therapy? Hypnosis? Seriously, how?!?

    • Meant “on my roof” not “in my roof”. No signs of anything being in the attic.

    • Anonymous :

      So much empathy for your loss. It’s absolutely devastating but you will get through this. I know from experience that the first year is the hardest.

      On the critters issue, could you set up some kind of audio recording device to record sound in those hours? It might help you to know for sure if it was your mind or really there. Could it be a branch rubbing up against the house somehow?

      • Bewitched :

        I’m so sorry for your loss. I do think you may be right about the “mind manifesting grief as anxiety”. I have a very ill parent and a child with a long term illness, and while I don’t hear critters outside, I do have many similar feelings of anxiety and resulting sleep disturbance issues. I don’t know how one lets these things go. Right now, I’m trying therapy plus medication (as needed, not daily). I’m considering going to a low-dose daily anxiety med. I would recommend you explore some of the options at the end of your post (medication, therapy, hypnosis) rather than worry further about the critters. If they are outside, there’s nothing more for you to do, but if it is grief, I do think that with treatment, your symptoms might moderate. Hugs and my thoughts are with you.

    • I am so very sorry for your terrible loss.

      The critters might be on the roof and trying to get in. We’ve had squirrels claw away at a roof vent until they made an opening. Maybe have a roofer check. (Which is a good idea to have done once in awhile anyway.)

    • I’m so very, very sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what that’s like. I can, however, imagine the critter problem as we just had it. We had to cut the tree limbs back about 5 feet from the edges of the roof. We actually watched a frustrated squirrel freak out when he couldn’t jump from the stumpy branch to the roof!

    • Wildkitten :

      I also manifest anxiety into hearing noises (for me it happens when I’m home alone and trying to sleep.) I have a dog and when I hear weird noises I check to see if the dog is reacting and if she’s not I know it’s just in my head. That might not work for you, but might!

      • Wildkitten :

        Can you also convince yourself that it doesn’t matter if there’s a critter on the roof or not? It seems like trying to determine the answer to this question is causing more issues than a critter would cause.

        • Anonymous :

          I am pretty anxious about critters in my attic, yet am trying to be comfortable with “critters on the roof” because I’m not sure I can do much about it. (We can trim trees back, but even then, they’d still have easy access with our fence.

          My dogs sleep in a crate in the main living area, but I am thinking I will let the. Sleep with us for the next few nights. Though my lazy rescue mutts don’t seem perturbed by much…

          • Wildkitten :

            I read the six-week Say Goodnight to Insomnia (recommended by someone here) and one of the big take-aways is that if you’re anxious about sleeping, you won’t fall asleep, making you more anxious, making it even harder to fall asleep. That sounds like what is happening to you when you wake up and are anxious about animals on the roof. So, if you can convince yourself the animals are no big deal and fall back asleep instead of staying up wondering about the animals, that might help.

            So sorry for your loss. You can also get a sleeping pill prescription if you need one right now, because of that stressor.

    • Rawrs of sympathy – cannot even imagine what you’re going through

  17. Four years into my legal practice, am at a new job (second week) a d have experienced straight-up sexism. A construction contractor referred to me as “little girl.”. I totally didn’t think he was talking about me at first. I responded back and did call him “old man” and stuff, but, wow. Wow. Advice and thoughts?!

    • Yep. I work with contractors every day and this is common. I ignore them. I feel like they are just trying to get a reaction out of me.

  18. Dreaded Dating Talk (UPDATE!) :

    Thank you to everyone who gave me such good advice last week about the Dreaded Dating Talk…you all really encouraged me to just bring it up (the subject of exclusivity after dating for 2 months) and that’s exactly what I did this weekend. So, here’s what happened:

    We took a day trip together on Saturday and had a fantastic day. It really was nice spending the entire day together just talking and laughing. Towards the end of the day, we went back to his place and got take out. While we were talking, I brought up the subject just by saying, “So, I’ve been thinking. I really like you and I enjoy the time we spend together. I’ve found that recently I’ve just kind of lost interest in seeing other people but I wanted to know what you thought about that.” He thanked me for bringing it up and said it was really sweet how I had said it.

    He went on to tell me that he is not seeing anyone else at this time, and he also is really enjoying spending time with me. But, he said he wasn’t ready to give me a commitment at this point, and wanted to take things slowly. He said that his last relationship had left him very hurt and a little bruised, and he wants to proceed more cautiously this time. He said he is enjoying getting to know me and wants to see where it goes, but that he just couldn’t make any promises at this point. I told him I understood that, and that I wasn’t looking for a commitment at this point, but that I did want to know how he saw things. I told him I had also been really hurt in my last relationship and was scared to get hurt again, and taking things slow is fine. I did ask him how long ago his break up had been (6 months…same as me) and if there was any possibility of him getting back together with this person (no). I also told him that until we are both on the same page, I would prefer not to have a LGP, and he completely understood and respected that.

    So…not really the answer I was hoping for (it always stings a little when someone isn’t as sure about you as you are of them), but I also appreciated and understood his answer. Of course, I would have liked him to say we are exclusive and he considers me his girlfriend (as cheesy as that sounds), but I also respected the fact that he is being honest and even using the commitment word (the last guy I dated hyperventilated when hearing the word “boyfriend”…not kidding). I explained to him that eventually I’m looking for a relationship that could lead to marriage and children, and he said he is as well. I think the conversation really enlightened me as to his situation and to his past and him to mine (we hadn’t discussed our past relationships at all to this point). We spent another couple of hours after the conversation just talking and cuddling on the couch. I have not seen him since Saturday, but we have talked since then just about normal, daily stuff, and he told me yesterday how much fun he had on Saturday.

    I think at this point, the best route is probably just to sit back, relax, and see what happens over the next few weeks. I would think that by Valentine’s Day, assuming we continue on the path we are currently on, that he should have a better idea of his feelings for me. We will have been dating 3 months by then, and I think you should know after 3 months if you want to make someone your girlfriend/boyfriend, right (especially when you’re in your late 30’s)? I don’t want to wait forever, but I think that’s a logical amount of time.

    Only one thing bothers me at this point, and I may be reading too much into it. I hid my profile online (we met online) last week because I decided I just don’t feel comfortable dating anyone else right now because I really like him and want to see where things go with him. I have noticed that he has not hidden his profile, and that he has been online since our conversation Saturday. I didn’t mention the online profiles Saturday…didn’t tell him I hid mine and didn’t say anything about noticing his still up. I can understand since he’s not ready to make me his girlfriend why he hasn’t hidden his profile, but the fact that he’s not hidden it and is still logging in makes me wonder why. I believe him when he says he hasn’t seen anyone else (honestly, I see him 3 times a week and I don’t know when he would have time to see someone else), but I still wonder why the profile is up AND he’s logging in.

    Anyway, enough of me talking. Thank you all again for your advice last week, and if you have any suggestions, insight, or comments for me now, please share! You all are so amazing and always have such good insight!

    • Anonymous :

      Just responding to add I think you are 100% right that in late 30s about 3 months is a reasonable amount of time for someone to be able to tell you if the relationship has an exclusive and serious future or not.

      • Agreed. And it’s nice that you had an honest, adult conversation and I think it’s at least a good sign that this guy was willing to discuss it and be honest with you.

        • BeenThatGuy :

          +1 Most guys run from conversations like this. You’ll know when you’ve had enough if you feel the relationship isn’t going in the direction you want. Set a time limit, but maybe 6 months, if you truly enjoy his company.

          BTW, stop looking at his online profile. It’s only going to make you insecure. Base your decisions on how he makes you feel and how he treats you. You’ll know if he’s into someone else.

          • And try not to put too much value on Valentine’s Day, even if it is the three month marker!

            It sounds like a really good conversation and I hope he comes to the same conclusions you have.

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks for the update! I’m sorry you didn’t get the answer you were hoping for. Honestly, I think the fact that he isn’t ready to be exclusive after two months of what sounds like fairly serious dating is a huge red flag to me. It sounds to me like he is very much still looking to meet new people (the profile and the logging in) even if he hasn’t been with anyone else physically. I don’t think there’s any harm in giving him another month to see if he comes around, though, and it might be better for closure on your part if you give him more time and he fails to meet your deadline rather than you bailing right now and wondering about what might have been.

      • +1 — I agree with this. Generally it doesn’t take 2 months for someone to realize that they are really enthusiastic about being with you. If I had to guess, I’d say that you guys get along well, you’re pretty awesome, and so of course he wants to keep seeing you. But he’s not interested enough to want to see you exclusively.

        To me, that says sure keep seeing him for another month, but you’re most likely wasting your time. There are other people out there where the connection is going to come much faster and much stronger, and those are the people who are right for you.

    • Anonymous :

      He is still logging in and looking because he JUST TOLD YOU he is not ready to be exclusive. Listen to him for goodness sake!!!! He is actively looking to date other people. That is what “no I don’t want to be exclusive means.”

      If you want to keep dating him for a month have fun. But unhide your profile because you want a boyfriend and you don’t have one.

      • Second the motion to unhide your profile. This guy may not work out so why put all your eggs in his basket? You might meet someone you like even better.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, I agree with this. He told you “no I don’t want to be exclusive,” so he is looking at his options.

        • He may even be reactively looking at his options if he’s a bit flustered from the conversation.

    • Hugs.

    • If I were you (and I realize I’m not) and in this situation, I would definitely go back online and have a few first dates with different dudes. This guy does not deserve to occupy greater space in your heart than you do in his.

      (But I realize I’m not you because I definitely would have slept with this dude already anyway.)

      I also acknowledge that there are people who get involved more slowly, but my personal experience was that when I finally met mr right after a lot (a lot!) of online dating, we both knew right away and stopped dating others immediately.

      In short, you deserve someone as excited about you as you are about him.

    • Also, he could be receiving messages that he’s checking. So, who knows? The advice to move on after 3 months is spot on.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t remember if you said which dating site, but in the event it’s Match–just know that Match will record a person as online if they open an email from Match with a message/wink/some other notification. Apparently the messages all contain an image that is hosted on their server, so when the image loads, Match knows you’ve opened the e-mail. I started to get annoyed with it because I’d read and delete an unrelated e-mail in my inbox on my phone, the phone would automatically load the next message which happened to be from Match, and voila, Match marked me as Online Now! and told the person who sent me an e-mail that I’d read their message. The only way to get around this is to set your e-mail to not load images, which most people don’t go to the effort of doing. So, it’s possible he’s not actively on there.

      But all that said, I think it’s irrelevant whether he is or isn’t and it’s not a good idea to pay attention to it. As others have said, he’s told you he’s not ready to be exclusive, which means it’s fair game for him to be exploring other options–or not exploring other options but also not that committed to you. If you want to keep seeing him, you have to be okay with that, full stop. If you’re not, or if you are now but aren’t in a few weeks, then you know it’s time to end it.

  19. Is there any graceful way to reach out to a hiring manager several weeks after applying? She’s in my network – we did some work together briefly several years ago, and I’m certain she’ll recognize my name. I felt awkward using that connection when I applied, so I just went through the normal HR channel. Now it’s been several weeks and I’m trying to remind myself that hiring managers always move slower than you want them to, but I’m getting antsy. For what it’s worth, I know everyone always thinks this, but I am a pretty exceptional candidate for the position and it’s such a niche field that I might be the only candidate that meets all of the requirements – I will be floored if I don’t get an interview. Is there a good way to reach out at this point, or do I just need to learn some patience?

    • Just do it! At least you will know where you stand. I don’t think you have anything to lose.

    • Anonymous :

      “Hey – we met at X event. I applied with your organization/company a few weeks back and just wanted to give you a heads up, in case you knew anyone involved with the position. “

  20. nail ridges :

    I’ve always had major nail ridges on my thumbs and ring fingers. Now that I’m pregnant my nails seem brittle (normally I never break a nail) and the ridges are really bad. Is there anything you all do to improve the ridges? The thumb ridges are so bad it even shows up under nail polish. I know it’s not a huge deal but it’s annoying and I already feel gross from being pregnant. Is there a magic nail ridge product?

    • I believe it’s called a nail file :)
      If I don’t file my nails they get ridge-y.

      • nail ridges :

        I’ve thought about that but it seems like I’d be filing them really thin….I guess that’s not really a concern? Even when I get a manicure I still see the ridges. I hate the ridges!

    • Anonymous :

      You can buff out the ridges with the appropriate tool. Those little block things (there’s probably a name; buffer? Idk) have a file with a different grain on each side – one is coarse to file the nail, one is a fine grain to buff out the ridges, and one is smooth to make the nail shiny. You can get your nails buffed at your manicure too.

    • Are your ridges vertical or horizontal? I got major horizontal ridges from picking at my cuticles but once I stopped they grew back perfectly smooth. I don’t know if there is anything you can do about vertical ridges other than buffing.

      • Cosign on all of this. If it’s useful, I found cuticle oil, keeping my hands moisturized, and being relentless about clipping hangnails/cuticle edges as soon as I noticed them to be the best ways to stop myself from cuticle picking.

  21. New Tampanian :

    I just discovered Trader Joe’s Marcona Almonds with Rosemary… Oh…. my… delish….

    That is all.

  22. Suzy Homemaker question.

    Do you have canisters you like for sugar, flour etc? I am ready to be rid of my aged Rubbermaid canisters but I like to buy the big sizes of flour and sugar and most of the canisters I find are too small.

    I’d prefer metal, glass or ceramic over plastic, and require an airtight or nearly airtight seal.

    • Get the OXO ones that have the button you push to make them seal. They are perfect for this and come in a variety of sizes.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        These are what I use. They are plastic but I’m really happy with them. Plus you can easily see what you are running out of.

      • Anonymous :

        I have these too and like them. I don’t have the counter space for my canisters which means I’m pulling them down from cabinets that are well above my head, so I wouldn’t want the extra weight of metal, glass or ceramic.

      • In the Pink :

        These as well. I have all sorts of sizes and shapes. Some of the smaller ones are still too “tall” to stack on my shelves, but I can put other things on top of them. They wash easily and I like the ability to see how much is inside each.

    • I like the Fido glass ones from Amazon (also avail at Home Goods). They are clear glass, elegant, and sturdy. I have my flour, sugar, tea etc. in them and they last for several years, until the rubber gasket gets dried out. You can get replacement gaskets too. I would also check Pier One or Cost Plus as they often have such things.

    • I bought beautiful stainless ones but they show fingerprints like crazy and look terrible

      • Anonymous :

        White vinegar should take off the fingerprints. I realize it’s a pain to clean them regularly though.

    • I use Tupperware to store flour, sugar, etc. I prefer to have several containers of flour than one big one so I don’t waste cabinet space with half empty containers.

  23. First time buyer :

    After 20 years of renting, I’m on the verge of putting in an offer on a house. I like the house a lot. My husband likes it a lot. It’s on the edge of my comfort zone in terms of price, but right in the sweet spot for my husband (I’m much more fiscally conservative). The numbers do make sense (our monthly payment, after tax benefits, would be less than our rent now). It’s in a great school district. It’s an old house, but the owner kept it in good shape, as far as I can tell, and any renovations would be optional. And I’m tremendously, tremendously anxious about this.
    Experienced homebuyers, any words of wisdom on how to overcome this anxiety? What did you wish you had considered at this point?

    • happily married homeowner :

      take a deep breath, say a little prayer, and keep going. some of it is just faith. like marriage, but a house is somewhat easier to get out of if it isn’t quite right.

    • Get a really, really good home inspection before you close.

    • From your description, you’re going to be just fine. I have a lot of anxiety around moving so maybe something like that is coming into play for you? Right at the edge/in the sweet spot sounds like the perfect price, it stretches you a little bit but still sounds affordable. Remember your house payment stays the same while your salaries increase.

      Enjoy your new house!

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