Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Wrap Dress

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

best wrap dress for plus sizesLeota first came on my radar as a brand that had great maternity dresses in fun prints — but if you’re looking for a great wrap dress in a fun print in general (in any size), they’re great to know — especially since the classic DvF dresses seem to be fewer and fewer each season (the Jeanne and Julian both!). This black floral pattern looks great for work or beyond, and I love that most of the Leota line is machine- or hand-washable. This dress comes in six lovely prints at Nordstrom in regular and plus sizes (and even more prints are available at Amazon, Bloomingdale’s (regular sizes only), and (today, at least) Rue La La). The pictured dress is $148. Wrap Dress

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If you are interested in plus size workwear, please sign up for CorporettePlus, our newsletter! Signing up helps us gauge interest in the project, and we promise not to blast your email more than once a week at most. (Right now it’s more like once a month at the most.)) Looking for more wrap dresses? Check out our Wardrobe Essentials for Work — we include several favorites!

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

Curious what it looks like in regular and maternity sizes (as well as a few of the other prints available right now)? Here’s a handy Pin…

The best wrap dress that comes in regular, plus sizes and maternity sizes!


  1. anon for this :

    Bought a long sleeve wrap dress from Old [email protected] in the past, but the hole where the string goes through sometimes shifts and you can see [email protected] skin. Not sure how to fix this so I just stopped wearing it after people at a party once commented on how it looked like I had a hole in my dress. Any advice?

    • Can you wear a camisole under it?

      • probably not? guessing it’s one of their old versions that’s pretty close to the body and v-neck, so a camisole would show big time. Not sure why the dress moves and shows the hole (I’d guess anything under it would need to be the dress’ color or it’d just show a different color in the hole spot.

    • Can you sew the ends of the hole a little to make it smaller?

    • Rather Be Painting :

      Maybe sew an eyelet or hook and eye inside at the top or bottom end of the hole?

    • I’ve had this problem with the same dress. I used a longer camisole that was the same color as the dress. I rock a monochromatic black look basically all the time, so this worked for me.

    • S in Chicago :

      Wrap it the other direction after you pull it through (toward your back, not forward).

    • A slip might solve this.

  2. Am working on losing some lbs and am around a size 12 now, hourglass shape. Not trying to get back to my size 4 years as I love my curves but hoping to get back to around an 8.

    Any advice for clothing when I’m going from a plus size (depending on the store) to a not so plus size but still an hourglass?

    I am a minimalist and also make low wages, so replacing my wardrobe isn’t an option each time I lose, but I don’t want to look frumpy either.

    • Anonymous :

      Where do you live? In the US, 12 is not a plus size. It just isn’t. So you can buy your clothes anywhere. I find dresses are flexible and forgiving. Here, Id suggest Target or Nordstrom Rack but since I can only assume you are foreign I don’t know which stores you have.

      • Many of the more affordable options seem to count 12 as plus size in the US… Forever 21 (not sure the OP’s age or budget), [email protected]@rt, it seems sometimes Target does too.

        Other stores sometimes place this size or 12/14 as plus or only offer 14W with the assumption that size equals wider shape, even when it doesn’t, such as in hourglass shapes.

        • Anonymous :

          No you’re wrong. Size 12 is not plus size at Target. Or any other normal store.

        • ?

          I’ve been a size 12 hourglass since high school and I’m 5’10”. Never have shopped plus or had trouble finding affordable clothes (except occasionally in tall sizes).

          I honestly feel like you can basically shop anywhere so I’m not sure exactly what your question is.

          • Anonymous :

            Yup. I’m size 14. I am not plus size.

          • Another tall size 12 here. Never bought anything plus size, and I own a lot of clothing from Target and other cheap stores like that.
            Plus size models are normally size 8-10 or maybe 12, but that’s totally different. Real plus size clothing starts at 16-18.

      • Size 12 all my adult life. Never purchased plus size. Even when I creeped into 14s for a while last year, I still shopped in regular sizing sections of regular stores (Jcrew, Banana, Nordstrom, AT, etc. plus Target, Old Navy, Gap, etc.). Sometimes there was reduced inventory – Jcrew didn’t carry many, if any 14s, but they always had 12s in store, and I could always get 12 and 14 online without any problem.

      • Baconpancakes :

        I think she might’ve been saying she WAS a plus size, 18 or 20+, and now she is a 12, and doesn’t know where to shop.

        For hourglass shaped size 12, try Loft’s pants (I forget which cut but one is great for hourglasses), and look for “curvy” cuts. If you’re staying on the cheap side, Target has a curvy cut in their jeans. Levi’s also have a great curvy cut. Wrap dresses are actually a bit tricky because they can cinch too much and get creased. Skirts just have to be tailored. Full stop. Find a tailor you like and will do it for a reasonable price and just take every skirt there, even if it only cost you $20 and the tailoring will cost $12.

      • All the size 12 commenters are SO OFFENDED that you think size 12 is plus that they can’t answer your question.

        • straight sizes :

          This is ridiculous because I have only ever shopped straight sizes and 12-14 are always mixed in the same racks.

        • Anonattorney :

          They are answering her question. They’re telling her that she can buy size 12 clothes at Target and that dresses are forgiving.

        • I’m not offended, I was just confused, as you can buy a size 12 at virtually any US retailer where you can buy a size 8. The question sounded to me like, “Where can I buy size 12 clothes that fit an hourglass?” and the answer is, “Most places.”

        • Anonymous :

          I wasn’t offended. I’m a size 10 or 12 depending on brand and I know I look good and am a very healthy weight (I’m 6 feet tall, my BMI is about 21). It’s just a ridiculous thing to say. Size 12 is more of a “straight size” (i.e., easier to obtain at a regular clothing store) at this point than size 0 or 2. I have literally never been in a store that didn’t sell size 12 or put it in a different section.

    • Heatherskib :

      Hey, great timing! Wrap dresses and tops are awesome during this time as well as stretch pats and skirts. Knits will be your best friend for a while. Buy them slightly small and wear until they’re overly slouchy, then repeat again.

    • I just bought size 12 pants at Old Navy – $20.

    • To get back on track from the plus size debate, have you tried relatively flowy tops that look the same across 4 sizes or so, over a skinny or straight leg pant (which you can fudge the size on covered up with a belt)?

      I have found the Uniqlo Rayon skipper collar sleeve blouse to be perfect for this. I have three; they are good quality, wash well, and you can sometimes find them as low as $9 on sale, about $30 regular price.

    • Dresses and skirts are easier to fit that pants when you’re losing or gaining weight. Especially skirts – a high waisted skirt will become a regular waist skirt when you lose 10 lbs.

    • Neither size 12 nor size 8 is a plus size, so I guess your question is how to dress an hourglass shape as you lose weight? If your target is size 8, you will presumably make more permanent wardrobe purchases when you reach that size, so you’re really just trying to bridge size 12 and size 10. I think I’d buy 2 wrap dresses in a size 12, a stretch pencil skirt in a size 10, a pair of stretch pants in a size 10 and some flowy blouses in a size 12. While the skirt and pants are a little tight, wear the blouses untucked. When the skirt and pants fit perfectly, wear the blouses tucked in.

    • If you have time to browse, I’d advise Talbots clearance racks.
      Also, in my experience, sizes 12 and 14 come in both regular and plus sized, but are cut very differently. It may be worth trying on both to see what fits you best.

      • Anonymous :

        Ditto. Talbots suiting is great. I’m trying to stick to my suiting pieces as I get back from an uncomfortable 14p back to an 8P.

        Definitely dresses and skirts!

  3. If you could afford it, what would you buy to spoil yourself? :

    Just curious!

    • I actually have 2 things on my “someday” list (which is stuff I’d love to have but can’t afford)… a bath sheet from restoration hardware (I love the weight of them and the feel but they’re almost $50, which is out of my budget) and an annual pass to Masterclass’ website so I can learn to improve what I do and learn about others’ crafts (it’s about $180 for the year and again, too rich for my budget).

      Maybe someday I’ll be able to afford one or even both of these… wistful sigh… :)

      • wait for the RH towel sale – they should drop about $10. I know it’s still a lot for a towel, but as someone who owns several, they are totally worth it.

        • +1 – and the yearly membership is worth it if you can swing it – their linens and blankets go on super sale just after the holidays and in the july/august time frame. They are SO warm and really last.

    • Anonymous :

      A kitchenaid stand mixer.

      • Sign up for Kohls coupons – I snagged a Kitchen Aid mixer from them when they were on sale, plus got 30% off. I can’t remember how much I paid, but I think it was under $200 (and I got the color I wanted!). Plus they’ll ship the thing for free – Bed, Bath, and Beyond charged for shipping.

        If you do even a moderate amount of baking, having a KA really makes life much nicer.

        • pugsnbourbon :

          I got a refurbished one for my last birthday – saved a decent amount that way. It really is just so dang convenient.

    • Red Max Mara Manuela Icon coat. I would rock the hell out of that coat.

    • A personal chef

      • This. So tired of meal planning and cooking.

        • I have figured out a decent solution to this that doesn’t involve a meal delivery service, takeout,
          or giving up my sundays to prep a whole week of meals! At our local farmers market (which in theory I should have enjoyed, but really I just found it was also a PIA to get to after work, etc etc), I noticed a vendor who also had some prepared meals at her stand. I asked her how much she would charge me to make my family meals for the week – 2 adults and one toddler. She got back to me and said $125/week. I was floored. I can’t buy groceries for that and my time is def worth more than that. I told her I’d commit to her for 6 months, every week. She makes us 4 meat based meals plus a soup and salad every week. We’re about 3 months in…It’s changed my life. The meals aren’t gourmet – think simple like BBQ turkey burgers, meatloaf, braised chicken, chili…but it’s meat and veggies from her farm and I can reheat them in 30-40 minutes once getting home. And my kitchen doesn’t get messy. And if we don’t eat a meal due to going out, it just gets plopped into the freezer.

          I would suggest seeing if you can find a similar setup! She never thought about it before but seems to like doing it for us. It makes me feel like I’m supporting a local mom who can really use the cash, and at the same time it makes my life so much easier.

          • This is amazing.

          • This. Is. Amazing. Thanks!

          • Senior Attorney :

            Oh, wow! You’re living the dream! ;)

          • oh my gosh. where do you live??

          • I live outside of Chapel Hill :)

          • Hey neighbor!!! In CH too!

          • Ummm do you think this person would like another client????

          • Anonymous :

            Yes, fellow NC resident interested in details!

          • Debbie Downer :

            So creative and sounds pretty convenient. In my state I think this might require the vendor to have a permit however and maybe she’s risking some liability (maybe just a fine) without it

          • My farmers market lady is worried that there might be food license or health code issues if she starts making this a true business (good point).

            However, The Root Cellar in CH offers family meals for purchase each week – meat, veg, and paleo options – and I think there is a lady in Cary (the savvy something… savvy plate?) who does pre-assembled frozen meals.

          • Dinner Savvy. :) (That was enough to google.) Thanks!

      • Yes! I wish I enjoyed cooking, but it’s just a huge chore for me.

    • A super duper warm winter coat that looks stylish, is cruelty free and that I can wear for a long time.

      • By cruelty-free do you mean not real down? Any leads on whether such a coat exists? I have a super warm imitation down comforter but haven’t been able to find a similarly warm coat without down.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          I have heard really great things about this company (note, they are reasonably expensive) –

          • I was in the Vaute Coutoure shop in SF a few years ago and their things were beautiful, and pricey.

          • I have a Vaute Coat, going on its second winter and it is still beautiful and warm as heck. I got mine in a preseason pre-sale (I think they want to gauge interest and figure out how many to make?). You pay ahead and then it ships in fall. 50% off if you can wait until next summer/fall.

        • I have a jacket from this company from years ago that is seriously warm (though v. heavy) but I want a floor length version.

          Last year, I saw some non-down warm puffer coats; they were pricey but had great reviews. Can’t recall the name and not sure if it’s Vaute.

      • Alternative down fillers just aren’t as warm as real down.

      • Patagonia does recycled down if that fits your definition.

        • After years of freezing because I refused to wear anything that was actually warm, I caved and bought a Patagonia a few years ago. It’s life changing. It was not cheap, but my cost per wear must very minimal because I’ve worn it Dec-April for the past four or five years. They advertise as being cruelty-free and carefully source their materials and labor.

    • Wardrobe (or even one piece) from MMLF. I’ve always loved the Annie dress, but it’s about 4x the amount I’ve ever been able to spend on an article of clothing.

      • Go to one of their stylist appointments to figure out what size you are in various then periodically hunt on poshmark or ebay. I built a whole MM work wardrobe for a fraction of the price, and many of the pieces I owned were new with tags. the rest were gently worn that didn’t have any signs of wear.

      • I get my MMLF from Ebay!

    • Season tickets for court side seats for my favorite college basketball team, and a car/driver to take me to each game so that I didn’t personally have to deal with fighting traffic to get to games.

    • Plane ticket to Italy, where I would stay in a seaside agriturismo for a month taking cooking classes and painting.

    • Are these splurges, or can they be real purchases? Because if real purchases, I’d go for a house that’s 1) less than 15 yrs old and in good condition, 2) 2500 sq ft or more, 3) in a good school district 4) has a backyard and driveway, 5) less $500k, and 6) close to the city downtown. These houses don’t exist where I live unfortunately, at least not without adding about $300k to that baseline. Le sigh

    • I would love to take a vacation to a very fancy spa where you get treatments all day.

    • Dreaming... :

      Thing: Ballon Bleu de C artier Watch

      Experience: Sailboat charter through French Polynesia or the Greek Islands

      • Coffee Cup :

        A good watch for sure! I am not much of a Rolex person, but some Longines and Omega models make me drool for sure. Or the Tank français of Cartier. Some other Art déco inspired watches…

    • A cashmere robe. Nordstrom had a beautiful full-length one a few years ago but I couldn’t justify spending $600 on an item of loungewear (then nor now) and now they don’t have it anymore.

    • I’d have a wall knocked back and build one of those real housewives closets. (Fantasy far from reality – I live in a 1909 house with a 5’ single rod closet that isn’t even in my bedroom)

      • Baconpancakes :

        Ooh, I would knock down our living room wall and make an open floor plan to the kitchen, redo the whole kitchen, including a gas stove, and raise the roof 4 feet to make the attic a usable space with two bedrooms and a bathroom. And throw money at the neighbor to convince him to sell us the yard space he doesn’t use that would give us alley access. I love, love, love our location, and have strong affection for our house, but could do with a dedicated dining room, a second bathroom, and another bedroom.

      • Clementine :

        I would re-do our 1930’s house to be much more open – big archway from living room to dining room and blow out the wall between kitchen and living room. Also add cubbies and storage in the garage to make a kind of pseudo mud room…

        I love my house, but being able to keep an eye on the kiddos while I work in the kitchen would be amazing.

        • When I see all those open plan houses on HGTV I wonder where they’re supposed to keep all their art and books! I need lots of wall space for bookshelves and art! And the period of time when you want to be able to keep a close eye on kids is so temporary.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            A *huge* benefit to a non-open floor plan is doors you can close/doorways you can put gates on to keep kids OUT of the kitchen.

          • +1! My husband is in favor of an open floorplan for our 1886 house, but I hate the idea of being able to see the kitchen from the living or dining room.

    • A personal driver.

    • Flats Only :

      A world cruise.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Oh it would definitely be an expensive vacation. Maybe we bring our favorite babysitter and bop around Vietnam with her and the toddler. A few nights as a stopover in Hong Kong… yes.

    • A week in the Maldives in an overwater bungalow.

    • Senior Attorney :

      First class airfare for every trip.

      • +1

      • Ooh, this is a good one! We flew first class from JFK to Denver last year because, weirdly, it was cheaper than coach – airlines, WTF? – and I saw how one could grow to enjoy air travel.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        This! Plus suites on Singapore Air for trips to Asia.

      • Anonymous :

        Jumping on this one!

        I’ve been obsessively hoarding miles because I’m now obsessed with comfort travel on Asian airlines….even business is amazing when flying 14 hours from JFK

    • Fly via private jet so I no longer have to deal with the metropolitan bus of the skies, or as my husband calls it, the Air of Ten Thousand [email protected]

    • Have our foundation dug out and our house raised so that we could have a finished basement! And since it’s a fantasy – expand our mudroom and redo our kitchen and half bath at the same time.

    • A grand prix dressage horse. Finding one at $200k would be a bargain. :)

    • Someone to come blow out my hair 2-3x/week. I hate drying my own hair and it always looks so much better when the pros do it.

    • Someone to manage all the crap about my life that I don’t want to manage because it exhausts me – schedule doctor’s appointments, remember to go to them, take the car to get it fixed, coax the preschooler to eat a vegetable, etc. Also, since I’m dreaming, a brand new Nissan Leaf that doesn’t need to be fixed.

    • A sofa that’s ergonomic but also comfortable and <60" so it fits in my tiny downtown apartment–that kind of unicorn costs money!

    • Jaeger Lecoultre Reverso One Duetto Moon in rose gold.

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      Range Rover. Diamond tennis bracelet and studs. Hermes belt. Birkin bag. A big beautiful home on the Bay. A nanny and housekeeper. Personal chef. Early retirement. World travel (specifically, Cairo, Paris, Marrakech, Greece, Portugal, Johannesburg, London, Reykjavik, Maui…the list goes on…)

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Paying off my student loans…
      And then buying myself a house in my favorite neighborhood.

      Actually, right now, doggy daycare would be real nice.

  4. Shoutout to the coworker who sent 2 emails to the company-wide listserv this morning, both with the same very obvious typo. I’m right there with you today.

    • We now have put our updated firm “server” in the cloud. Instead of our being abel to just call up a document, we have to punch in from the INTERNET, and use 2 different password’s. FOOEY! I understand we can now access our documents from the INTERENT, but why should I now have to remember 2 passwords! I agree with C that it is easy to make mistakes when you have to type in items on the server. DOUBEL FOOEY!

      BTW, the manageing partner is increasing my billeables next year by ANOTHER 10%. From 7200 hours to 7920 hours. He wanted to make it an even 8000 hours, but I told him that was to much, so he cut out 80 hours and told me he was doeing me a favor. TRIPEL FOOEY!

    • We had a person send out a “This is a test – respond if you receive it” to a company-wide listserv by accident. Not sure if that guy still had a job and for everyone else, a very important lesson in the problem with “Reply All”.

    • We had a spammer somehow get our listserv email address at my last company of 30,000 employees. They sent a v1qgra ad to the entire company, and people were replying to the email address not realizing it was replying to all, and then people were replying to those emails telling them not to reply to all, etc. your typical reply all.

      One of the last responses was “f%#k you” sent from a guy in my branch office of about 100 people. I was shocked! And he didn’t work there the next day.

    • Was it about the actual calorie count in the raisin muffin in the mess?

  5. Quebec City - restaurants :

    Headed to Quebec City the week before Christmas. I got some good recommendations here for things to do a few weeks ago. But, now I need help with restaurants. DH and I are looking for 1-2 nicer meals out that I’m guessing would likely require reservations. Staying at the Chateau Frontenac. Ideas? Any recs for more casual breakfast or lunch spots? TIA

    • Would love to know why this landed in mod… :-/

    • We had great risotto at Bello Ristorante, crepes at Baguette & Chocolat, and farm to table at Tournebrouche. Enjoy your trip! We loved Quebec City.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      The Hobbit Bistro is a super cute little spot for breakfast/brunch.

    • If you can get the reso, IX Bistro is hands down the best place I have ever eaten. I’ve thought about travelling back to Quebec City from Toronto for just one night to have another meal there…

      • I completely agree about ix Pour Bistro. I am actually traveling to Quebec City for one night to have a meal there.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Oh, you are going to love it!!

      These are a little higher end but we loved Restaurant SSS and Legende. And Cafe du Monde is near the water and more casual for lunch.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I am so jealous! There’s an incredibly small chance that work will take me to Quebec City, and I just keep hope hope hoping! Not helpful.

    • Le Croquembouche is the best bakery I have been to in North America (and it’s honestly up there with places in France). The whole area around it – St. Roch – also has a lot of interesting, hip restaurants and stores and worth exploring to get out of Old Quebec.

    • La Bouche (breakfast) and Chez Boulay (lunch/dinner) are both close to the hotel and don’t require going down the hill. Also, don’t discount the restaurants at the hotel. The bar in the middle and Le Sam both have killer drinks.

      Also, if you can swing it, do the Gold Floor at the hotel. Worth every penny, and the cost is offset by free wifi, breakfast, coffee and rest of the day snacking.

      • Senior Attorney :

        And/or the spa! And bring your swimsuits so you can enjoy the indoor pool!

      • We did get the Gold Floor- thanks for validating the impulse splurge :)

        • Forgot to put it in my post above, go to the SAQ on Ave. Cartier for a few bottles of wine. There are great little restaurants near it and you can get out of the touristy area for a bit.

    • oil in houston :

      it’s been 15 years so things might have changed, but when I used to live there, the brunch of Frontenac was amazing!

    • Anonymous :

      Legende! So interesting (everything is local and they have an interesting and delicious cricket ravioli) and fun. THere’s a famous chef with a restaurant closer to the fontenac, the name of which I cannot remember, but it was pretty awful.

    • Le Lapin Saute
      Lovely little place with a beautiful ambiance, and you can walk through a gorgeous part of the old city to get there. With the Christmas lights up at night its magical.

  6. Anonymous :

    interior design question – house has hardwood floors on the first floor in the perfect color. Upstairs (bedrooms) and stairs are carpeted. If you were to pull up the carpet, how would you finish the floors? (assume the first floor was done by a previous owner and you don’t have access to the same materials) Try to match the first floor as close as possible? Or don’t bother and do something completely different?

    • Do you know what type of wood is on the second floor? I’ve owned two old houses (90+ years old) and both have had hardwood on the first floor and soft woods on the upper floor(s) (pine in both). I redid both master bedrooms to the original soft wood pine. We didn’t try to match, just did a natural warm stain upstairs. Also, the natural wear on the different floors will probably come out unless you stain them really dark. I personally love this look, but something to keep in mind as it may be difficult to match.

      In both houses I’ve had carpeted stairs, though, so I’m not sure how you would want to manage that transition.

      If this is a newer house, I have probably not been helpful at all!

    • A good flooring person should be able to get a sufficiently close match that you won’t be able to tell. We had hardwood downstairs from the prior owner with wood stairs (stained wood on the horizontal surfaces and white painted wood on the vertical surfaces) and carpet upstairs. Our floor person measured the width of the boards downstairs, determined they were a white oak and we bought white oak boards in the same width for the upstairs and they were able to match the stain within a shade. You really can’t tell. They even repaired a damaged piece at the bottom of the stairs by inserting a new stained board and unless you know where to look you really can’t tell.

      • This. You should definitely be ablet o match if the type of wood is the same.

      • And I think the white (or other color) painted stair rises help with this, too, so that you don’t have any places where the two woods are directly adjacent.

    • If you like the first floor, I would continue it upstairs for a cohesive look.

    • My house has fine oak floors in the “public” areas (living room, dining room, parlor and entry hall) and wider plank fir floors everywhere else, including the stairs, which directly join the entry hall.

      I notice it from time to time but no one else has. It’s just a typical configuration. They are slightly different colors too, because the wood takes up stain differently.

      So don’t worry about them matching, work with what you have, and call a hardwood floor refinishing company to pull up the carpet and shine up your newly exposed wood floor.

    • It depends on what the materials are. My house (1926 neoclassical), kind of similar to some of the above, has beautiful oak floors in the public/entertaining rooms and maple in the bedrooms and kitchen. Maple is traditionally not stained, just sealed. I pulled carpet out of the bedrooms when I moved in and had those floors repaired and sealed. In the main part of the house, people notice the woodwork but not the floor, but if I give a full tour, they rave about the flooring in the bedrooms. A good floor restorer will have advice for you on this. I’m a bit of an old-house purist, but I would go with what’s upstairs and stay true to the original. For the stairs, I would consider matching the stain to the downstairs color and perhaps installing a stair runner to soften the transition. PS – pay the extra for dustless refinishing.

  7. Bay Area Rec :

    Hoping someone can recommend me a therapist in San Francisco (Peninsula OK, but city preferred) for anxiety. Would be great, but not necessary, if they took insurance. I’ve looked at the Psychology Today listings and found them totally overwhelming, so would be so so appreciate the push towards anyone specific.

  8. I bought a few things in Eloquii’s recent sale, and wanted to report back. I liked both the dresses I got, but they are pretty thin and need Spanx/tights (otherwise you can see the outline of my navel), which I’m not thrilled about. Same with the pencil skirt, which was also about 2 inches too long, but I’m going to try to hem it. Other than the length, the size chart was spot on for me. At $25-35 each, they’re great items, but I wouldn’t pay full price for them.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I love Eloquii and have had some major hits, but I find their sizing quite inconsistent. But Kady pants are so great (just got the windowpane check) and the ridiculous frayed-hem tweed suit.

    • I’m with you – the quality is Lands End, so I’d like to pay Lands End prices. On the other hand, Lands End is all about classics and Eloquii has much more fashion forward styling. (TBH, I’d rather get inexpensive versions of trendy items and pay top doller for my black trousers.)

  9. To the Anonymous who was waiting on a job offer yesterday: did you get it?

    (And if you don’t mind saying, was it a position in higher ed?)

  10. Has anyone tried Bombas socks? Are they really as comfortable as they claim?

    • I bought some of the calf high socks to wear with boots at work and they really are super comfy. I’d buy more if they weren’t so pricey. The ankle work out socks are comfortable but nothing too special.

    • Bombas are awesome. I have footies and I have knee socks for boots. They are very comfortable. The footies don’t slide down or move on your foot in any way. There are also men’s and women’s styles that have the little rubbery nubs on the bottom to make them non-slip. My father and I both used those post-knee surgery for around-the-house socks, and I have continued to use them as the floors are very slick at our house.

    • Check out the blog Looks Good From the Back. Her reviews always seem really honest to me, and she reviewed these socks not too long ago. I think she might of also had a discount code or something as well.

    • Yes. The ankle ones really do stay up. I didn’t really hate the toe seam on other socks but didn’t necessarily “like” it and these really free you up in the toes. The only snag is that they aren’t cheap! I bought my husband ankle ones, too, and the dress socks and he LOVES them both – but especially the dress socks and wants more. They wash and dry nicely but I have only had them a few months.

    • Former Retail :

      I like the no-show socks for under booties – they are the only kind that don’t slip off of my heel. On the other hand, I bought the men’s white athletic socks for my son. I was hoping they wouldn’t pill like Nike, Addidas, etc. but I don’t think they are any better in that regard.

      I want to buy more no-show socks, but the price is holding me back. Anyone have a good copycat?

    • YES.

      I have the footie socks. I wear them under thermal socks when it’s cold. I have Raynaud’s and Haglund’s deformities and this has ameliorated the worst bits of both. This is the first winter where I haven’t had blisters or blue feet!

    • Dang it! My friend gave me his gift bag from TedWomen (he’s one of the organizers) and it was supposed to have a pair of Bombas in it, but some things were missing. I’ve been wanting to try them! It did have a Chromecast, though, so pretty cool. I couldn’t really use the cosmetics, etc.

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      So, I initially read this as BombAss socks. I’d buy that brand! :-)

  11. I am feeling frumptastic lately. My hair feels thinner, I can’t drop these last ten pounds, my face feels droopier, and I’m only 38! Is this just getting older? FWIW, I eat well, exercise, and have recently gotten the all clear on health from my doctor, so it’s not a health issue. Someone mentioned in a post last week that getting older requires more energy and maintenance, so maybe that’s what’s happening? I miss being younger.

    • I feel ya and I just turned 29. I look and feel older than that. I don’t wear make-up (although I do wear a tinted sunscreen) and it looked totally fine when I was younger. Not going to start wearing make-up, but I do want to refresh my skin care routine somehow.

    • No help, but same. I’m 37.5 and I’m wish I didn’t take my body/skin/hair at 25 for granted. This maintenance stuff is a PIA.

    • I’ve said it 100 times but botox and fillers. Takes twenty minutes, gave me my face back.

      • Also, I can’t bounce back from drinking anymore. Even a glass of wine leaves me looking grey and old.

        • +1 to this. I’m in my mid-thirties and in the last year I actually cut way back on drinking solely because of how I looked the next day. So haggard!!

      • Anonymous :

        When did you start getting Botox? I have several friends who got it for the first time at 30 and I’m just shy of that — no concerns yet but also sensitive to, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

        • Hope you get this late reply. Started at 34 -didn’t think I needed it bc my forehead creases didn’t bother me. But holy heck I love how it makes my eyebrows lift ever so slightly and my eyes look less saggy. Tbh, I know it’s preventative, but I just love the instant boost of pretty. Go for it!

    • straight sizes :

      Heredity – how did your parents look at the same age? I’m 51 and I feel pretty young and OK.

      • + 10000. My mom is 70 and doesn’t have a wrinkle and looks amazing. Hope I get her genes!

        • Yeah. My mom is a retired teacher. One time I went through all of her yearbooks–she didn’t noticeably age between 35 and 65. PRAYING and loading up on the SPF.

    • Ugh…feeling the same. At least for the hair thing, dry shampoo always gives me some lift. I like the Pantene brand.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      What about a change? Maybe you’re just bored of looking at yourself with your current style? Change what you’re doing to your hair? Get some shoes that make you feel like a [email protected] and maybe a leather jacket (or a fake one)?

      (And also maybe start in on the hard work of seeing the beauty and s3x appeal of not-young, not-thin, not-‘perfect’ people, like yourself? The days when I look in the mirror and think I look bangin’ not ~in spite of~ [whichever thing I’m supposed to hate today] but as a whole person including that thing… those are great days.)

    • Also your age and so feeling this. It doesn’t help that I just moved to a place with natural light in the bathroom. Ugh. I know this is vain, but one of the things I hate about aging is I finally know what works for me in terms of products and maintenance. I wish I could do my now routine on my 25-year-old skin.

    • I felt exactly the same way at your age. I think it has a lot to do with the realization that one is not firmly planted in the 30’s anymore! I had a harder time with my 37th birthday than any other and I’m now 48. At 37, I lost about 6 pounds and wore a string bikini that Summer. Hello, mid life crisis. Anyway, one thing that reliably lifts my frumpiness is to lose a few pounds. I’m not overweight but have a full face, so just a handleful of pounds make a difference in my appearance even if I do not actually look smaller. The old Zone Diet ratio or carbs/proten/fat works well for me. Good luck – you will come out of it. This is only a stage!

  12. Musical for Tween :

    I appreciate the great recs you guys gave me for my tween niece (7th grader) who is coming to visit me in Chicago during the holidays. She loves Hamilton but hasn’t seen it. I will get her the libretto you recommended, and will try to sign up for the Hamilton lottery while she is in town (!).

    But I also like the idea of taking her out to lunch/matinee musical. I don’t think she has been to one. Which musical would you recommend for a 7th grader? Mean girls isn’t here unfortunately, which one of you recommended. I haven’t seen many musicals, but I’ll list the ones below that I could find. She’s the one who is a little jaded, big reader, not a girly girl, likes trying new things.

    The Sound of Music
    On Your Feet
    Love Never Dies

    I’m skipping Dirty Dancing, Waitress, The Cher show, The Color Purple, Pretty woman, A Taste of things to come as not really appropriate, no?

    • Of those, I’d probably go with Wicked. Sound of Music feels…. old fashioned? I love it, but for someone who loves Hamilton, it’s going to seem pretty traditional. Cinderella feels too young. I haven’t heard of On Your Feet and I’ve heard bad things about Love Never Dies (unless she’s already really into Phantom? Which, if so, it might be right up her alley.)

    • Wicked. She’ll relate well to Elpheba, the ‘wicked’ witch of the west.

    • I don’t know anything about musicals so can’t be of much help, but taking your tween niece to something ever-so-slightly risque could really cement you as the “cool” aunt. I remember how much I loved when my aunt would treat me like an adult with adult interests. Of course, you don’t want to take it too far and see something genuinely inappropriate, but keep it in mind!

      • Musical for Tween :

        Thanks for this. I realize that at her age, I was reading things totally age inappropriate. But she is going through very rough family time right now, and is being forced to grow up too fast because of that. I am a little torn about pushing her boundaries…. I wish she could be a child a little longer….

        So I was thinking about buying her the Rookie Yearbook one, but wondered if that was too old for her.

    • Wicked was the go-to choice when I was in high school (also at the height of its popularity, so take with a grain of salt). It combines some teenage angst- love triangle, feeling like you don’t fit in, anti-girly girl- with great music and a pretty decent message. The book is probably a touch old for a 7th grader and I didn’t really care for it, but the musical is definitely worth the hype.

    • Musical for Tween :

      Thank you both!

      I listed Wicked first, leaning towards that.

      But amazingly, she has never seen the Wizard of Oz! So I thought we could watch that at home first, and see the musical the next day.

      • Musical for Tween :

        Ugh… I just looked at the cost of the tickets for Wicked. I may as well just buy tickets to Hamilton.

        I had no idea these things were so expensive.

        We can go to the best plays/theater in Chicago for less than $50 per ticket, sometimes much less. But these musicals are just astronomical. Add on parking/a meal in the city. Ugh.

        • Yes, they’re wicked expensive.

          Sorry, could not resist

        • Could this also be a very early bday present (idk when her bday is). if a musical downtown is out of your budget, there could be some in a community theater in the burbs, or you can scrap the musical idea and take her to a nice lunch and for a mani/pedi.

        • What if you just went to the musical and didn’t have lunch in the city? Or just did a very casual lunch? You can’t get out of paying for parking, but if she’d really enjoy the musical, maybe you can spend more on that and less (even way less) on lunch? Then again, I don’t know how much $$ the musical tickets are, and I probably don’t want to know.

          • Anonymous :

            Yeah, you don’t need a meal in the city. Go to a 2 pm matinee, have lunch at home before leaving and dinner at home after returning.

        • Check Gold Star for discounted musical tickets, or check to see if there’s a promotion to get raffled tickets day-of the show, with the understanding that you might have to plan another activity if you don’t get it.

      • Edna Mazur :

        I’ve never seen the Wizard of Oz movie and I still enjoyed the bajeezus out of Wicked. Definitely not really a prerequisite.

    • Doesn't Belong Here :

      What a nice aunt you are! I personally wouldn’t eliminate Waitress; I’m not a girly girl and I love it. Wicked and Sound of Music would be next.

      • I think the concern with Waitress isn’t that it’s too girly but that it has adult themes (spousal abuse). I loved it too but wouldn’t take a 12 year old to see it unless I knew the parents were ok with the content.

      • I LOVED Waitress, but it definitely has adult themes, including some pretty explicit dancing during the songs where the characters are having their affairs.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      Wicked would be great, certainly. I’d also recommend scouring craigslist for Hamilton tickets each day she’s here. There are ALWAYS people trying to resell tickets, for one reason or another, and you may be able to find something for far less than face value. When I went in October, there were 4 empty seats in front of me… seemed such a shame!

      Be aware that the lottery can’t guarantee seats together, if you should be lucky enough to win, just FYI.

    • Chicagoan :

      You might take a look at Goldstar. They sell tickets in the week or two before the show so that the theater doesn’t have empty seats. The price is typically, including fees, about 2/3 of the full-fare price.

      Chicago has a deep theater scene, well beyond Broadway in Chicago. The Hipocrites used to do a great Gilbert and Sullivan around the holidays (although I think they’re on hiatus this year). Also, look at Remy Bumppo and Theater Wit. I’m not sure about musicals but there are a lot of great shows out there!

  13. Help! A family member is taking us out to a nice dinner and said my husband should bring “coat and tie.” We live in CA and he does not own a sport coat, although he does own a nice suit. Is it okay to wear the suit jacket with khakis? The fabric is a light grey, light wool. TIA!

    • Anon in NYC :

      He can just wear the suit.

    • Wear the suit. Buy him a sports jacket for Christmas.

      • +1 a man should own a sport coat. My preference is navy wool, but my husband gets a lot of use out of a dark gray, slightly tweedy one.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Huh, really? Is that like the LBD for men? I mean, I’m married to the personification of NormCore so what do I know, but I thought the Thing a man was supposed to have was a suit.

          • A suit is more of a basic necessity than a sport coat, but a sport coat and slacks is a good look for social events or church and signals a certain level of sophistication or maturity–“See, I have dress-up clothes other than business suits!”

          • Rainbow Hair :

            Oooooh. That makes perfect sense. Like what a blazer and a dress means when I wear it.

        • Agreed x 1000. I was momentarily shocked when OP said her husband didn’t own a sport coat. Then I remembered the time I told my now husband to wear a blue blazer to a New England outdoor wedding in July. We had just started dating. He showed up in periwinkle corduroy with patch pockets. He’s now great dresser I swear.

        • blueberries :

          I can’t recall the last time I saw a man in a sport coat in my Bay Area city. That said, nice jeans and a sweater would be fine even at a restaurant with more than one Michelin star here.

      • Clementine :

        Yes! Classic navy with the gold buttons.

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          Would you wear that with khakis, or what? Navy blazers with khakis always strike me as a college look, because that’s what all the boys at my alma mater wore to “formals.”

          • Clementine :

            Yes, with khakis.

            Caveat: I lived in coastal New England for a while, in a place where whale print pants were totally 100% normal and appropriate for grown men to wear in a normal, non-ironic way.

          • I’m in CA and a navy blazer with khakis (nice ones, not cargo pants) is a completely acceptable look here.

          • lawsuited :

            They don’t have to be khaki- coloured though. Flat-front chinos in grey, dark green or dusty blue look nice with a navy sport coat as well.

      • biglawanon :

        I disagree with this in CA, esp. southern CA, unless he actually wants one. My husband has one sport coat and one suit, and basically never wears either unless he has an interview or he goes to the east coast. He tried to wear the sport coat with jeans to go out to dinner or whatever, but felt (and was) usually overdressed. I don’t know of a single restaurant here, including $$$$ that require a coat and jeans/no jacket are typically what people wear anyways.

    • yes, he should wear the suit.

    • I would go with the full suit. Restaurants that require coat and tie are usually pretty formal.

    • Coat and tie does not mean sportcoats only–full suit is fine.

    • Related- any ideas on as really nice go-to sport coat? I want to get one for DH for Christmas. He’s a 41 in the shoulders but trim, so a non-boxy cut is ideal.

      Specific links would be great. Budget is flexible but under $500 is probably what id like to soend, unless that’s unreasonably cheap.

      • I don’t think a sport coat is a thing you should buy online. You should take him to a men’s store with a tailor onsite.

      • Anon in NYC :

        If you are located in any of these locations, I would highly recommend a custom sports coat from Alton Lane.

        My husband (who requires a slim cut suit) has found that it’s slightly more expensive than buying a suit off the rack from a store like Banana, but they’ll do all sorts of things for you. He likes one shirt sleeve cut a little wider to accommodate his watch without it catching all the time – they’ll do that. You can pick fun lining colors for your jackets. You can select from various fabrics for your actual coat/suit, but obviously then the price can vary.

        We’ve sent a number of friends there for custom shirts, tuxes, etc. and they’ve all had a positive experience.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Banana Republic actually has some very nice suiting, especially in more tailored styles and they always have sales.

        • Senior Attorney :

          +1 I got my son a bunch of stuff there when he got out of the Marine Corps and he’s still wearing it.

      • DH just got one for about $350 at brooks brothers as part of their rolling December sales. Keep an eye out and I’d bet you catch them on sale again.

      • My DH is a very slim 41 with broad shoulders (former swimmer), height six one, and I just bought him a beautiful herringbone blazer from J Crew that fit him perfectly. $300 I think. We live in Bay Area so this is to wear with jeans for formal occasions

    • My guy is the same: full suit, no sport jacket. We go out 2-3 times per year and he decided to just wear his suit for those occasions.

      We are also in California so maybe it’s a thing around here among the t-shirt and jeans crowd. He’s an engineer but all my lawyer friends have more than one sport jackets, fwiw.

    • Thanks all! Suit it is – there’s no way he’s going to the store for a sport coat in December with the Christmas rush. He may be a bit overdressed but oh well.

  14. hourglass shape :

    Any recommendations for my shape during the cold season? It seems everyone is in chunky sweaters which just make me look wider than I am. Am an 8-10 and like the comfy aspect of big sweaters but not the way it cuts me… what do you other hourglasses wear?

    • I do 3 pieces – Bottom (pants or skirt), top (blouse or T shirt) and topper (jacket or cardigan). A stable of good toppers that fit well can keep you looking chic, warm, and not bulky.

    • I like wrap sweaters or sweater dresses with a belt for this.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I like sweater-blazer type things for the structure but also because they’re cozy (think like MM La Fleur’s jardigan, although I have not actually tried on the jardigan). In the past I’ve found good ones at Express, The Limited, and sometimes Nordstrom.

    • I’m an hourglass and I just wear the comfy sweaters.

    • If you read youlookfab you’ll recognize the term shape surrendering. So chunky knits are shape surrendering and that’s just part of the look. No one thinks you are actually shaped like a marshmallow under there. A size 2 wearer is also surrendering her shape. If you want to wear the chunky sweater, just give into it.

      • Agreed 100%. Why does it matter if everyone knows I have a small waist at every moment? I mean, I doubt people think I am shaped like an oversized sweater, but even if they did I’m not sure that I care. I had a very different perspective on this in my early 20’s.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Wear slim bottoms and delicate jewelry to offset it, and yes, just embrace the boxiness.

    • Same shape/size and I wear all of the cashmere. No bulk and I wear a cami or tee under. Also merino w/ layers. Agree with wrap sweaters.

    • Make sure you are wearing a really good bra. Even midweight cable knit sweaters make me look wide and droopy if I have a bad bra.

    • I’m an hourglass and I just don’t wear boxy sweaters even if that’s what is in. I like my shape and want to highlight it, not mask it. Banana Republic has awesome merino wool and cashmere sweaters in an array of colors that look fantastic for our shape. Check them out. They always seem to be having a 40% sale too.

  15. paper writer websites? :

    Just heard something about how there are companies now that write student papers for college students. Has anyone ever used such? (Not asking for recommendations, am far out of school, just curious about the group experience with such!)

    • what about the writers? :

      Wondering who they are and whether their family/friends know what they do for a living or as a side job? Doubting you could make much doing this so maybe it’s a side hustle?

    • This existed when I was in college almost 20 years ago. Not a new thing.

    • Ugh I’m an academic and sometimes see papers that look like they were written by a paper mill. Key hallmarks – they don’t answer the exact question and they don’t reference course readings. We blind mark so it can be hard to catch and I often suspect it is international students who have gotten in over their head.

      Re the writers, I think the guardian anonymous academic column had a discussion of this.

    • Are they unique papers or slightly modified pulled from already written essays? Professors have software now that will scan papers across a paper bank and internet sites for common phrases. It’s hard to get away with that.

      • This specific method of cheating has been around for at least ten years and there is software designed to catch it. Even if essays are ‘custom’, there is often text that has been reused from other essays in other contexts – these software programs flag that as well. They don’t catch everything I’m sure but they catch a lot.

    • I’m a professor. This is definitely a thing. They range from prewritten generic papers to custom ones (you send in the assignment and they write a targeted paper). It goes all the way to the dissertation level, I’ve heard. There’s software to catch it (e.g. “Turnitin”) but it’s like whack-a-mole. Sometimes straight googling is more effective at catching it. If you want to read more, I’d check out Inside Higher Ed or the Chronicle of Higher Ed (the latter has a lot of paywalls though).

      • Yup. Been around for awhile, although getting worse. Generic papers are easier to catch with stuff like Turnitin, but I’m sure that custom papers slip through. All of my written assignments are tailored very narrowly to my classes, so generic papers wouldn’t work anyway and even custom-written ones are harder (because, for example, they require the writer to have analyze a set of three books that are not widely read). I also grade all stages of the writing process, from initial brainstorming to multiple drafts of the paper itself, and meet with students to discuss projects individually, so I can tell if they literally don’t know what their own paper says.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        It amazes me that people would buy entire doctoral dissertations. Just accept that you don’t have what it takes to get a PhD and move on with your life!

        • Good point! I mean, I can see the temptation in undergrad–it’s much harder to get a job without the degree, plenty of people struggle with certain classes or assignments, and you can find a job where you’re not writing papers for a living. But you’d think people would realize that writing is a major component of getting a PhD, and the degree is pretty much setting you up for more of the same afterwards.

  16. Time Person of the Year – The Silence Breakers

    Really powerful and well-reported story.

  17. stocking stuffers :

    What are your favorite drugstore stocking stuffers to give and receive? I always do a little candy for my kids, and we all get new chapsticks and toothbrushes. For me and husband, I try to stick with consummables or things we will actually use. I always get great gift ideas here and was just curious what others do.

    • I love making stockings! Some of my favs are hot chocolate packets, gloves, nivea lotion tins, headlamps, nail polish, spice packets, pocket notebooks (love field notes, sugar spoons for coffee, desk calendars, face masks, snacks, soap, mini flashlights

      • I’m really in to those “hot chocolate on a stick” things this year and they seem like they’d be a great twist on hot chocolate too!

    • Scratch off lottery tickets have always gone over well.

    • Tub of gum for the car
      Lip balm
      New toothbrush
      New loofah
      Terry’s chocolate orange
      Hand cream
      Bobby pins
      New mascara
      Nail polish
      Nail polish remover wipes

    • My mom always put makeup samples in my stocking–the kind you get in sets when you spend $X at the makeup counter. I loved those.

      I love stockings and have had to set a $20-per-stocking budget for myself.

      For my toddler’s stocking this year, I’m giving him some toy cars (I found a bag of 9 for $7 at a consignment sale), stickers, bubbles, and a little candy.

      For DH’s stocking, I’ve bought some of his favorite candy and a bottle of wine preserver (inert gas that you spray into the botttle). I’ll probably round it out with one more thing.

    • Phone charging cords, USB plug-ins, fancy teas, and portable chargers!

    • Mostly candy. But I also save up my Sephora samples and will stick in some men’s cologne ones for the husband, lip gloss for the daughter etc.

      My husband often sticks a wooden spoon in mine because i do most of the cooking (don’t worry, he does all the laundry) so that I can have a nice, not burned or warped wooden spoon to start the new year.

      Sometimes I will stick a small wrapped present into a stocking, like a pair of earrings for my daughter. She also appreciates a bottle of sparkly nail polish.

    • Clementine :

      I really love making stockings!

      For everyone: topical magazine specific to your interests (meditation for my mom, mountain biking for my sister, a coloring book magazine for the toddler), chapstick (I buy Burt’s Bees in bulk. Nobody is mad.)

      Spa-like stuff: Small toiletries like Thayer’s Rose Witch Hazel, the good kind of epsom salt bath stuff, bath bombs, ALL the sheet masks, small tubes of hand lotion, new (knockoff) beauty blenders, makeup remover wipes in a travel size, tiny tubes of Native deodorant

      Functional – slightly nicer pens, write in the rain notebooks, carpentry pencils (good for people who want to feel extra crafty), nail clippers for my husband who must have 20 pair and still steals mine…, Tide Pens/shout wipes, fun highlighters, decks of playing cards

      Food – chocolate covered everything (coffee beans/dried fruit/almonds/etc), dried fruit, fancy nuts, starbucks Crystal-Light style coffee little instant packet thingies, hot sauce, whatever their favorite candy is (so Licorice all-sorts for my husband).

    • As a child, my mom would always put age appropriate thank you notes in our stockings so we could write them to relatives for xmas gifts.

    • Chapsticks
      Those flossing sticks
      beauty blenders
      Hanukkah gelt
      Chocolate orange
      thank you notes (for youngins)

      Don’t be my (otherwise lovely) mom and start putting eye cream in your stocking when you’re 27. Thanks Mom. [wrinkly eye roll]

      • Edna Mazur :

        When we were in about 5th grade my mom would put in our first deodorant. It’s like she made Santa tell us we stunk :)

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      My mother always got us pocket-size tissue packs in fun holiday patterns, which went over really well because we usually had colds, and they seemed dressy for Christmas Mass.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I love getting chapstick in my stocking too!
      Fancy chocolate bars (like from the checkout at Trader Joes) and tree-shaped reeses.
      I’m really hoping I get fancy pens/markers in my stocking this year!

    • Veronica Mars :

      I love stockings too! I’ve convinced my fiance that it’s really all we’re doing for Xmas this year. I got us the GIANT stockings from Pottery Barn, so they hold a lot.

      Here’s a sampling of some of the little things:
      – Individual beers that he hasn’t tried (Trader Joes, World Market, or bottle shops let you mix and match)
      – Chocolate oranges (TJ’s has them)
      – Imported snacks (my fiance loves Japan so I got him imported candy and ramen on Amazon)
      – Small skincare items from Sephora (mini travel sizes)

      • From experience, beware chocolate in the stockings if you are actually hanging stockings in front of a functional fireplace!

        • Veronica Mars :

          Good call! It’s a gas fireplace but it’s rarely used. I’ll make a note not to pre-stuff them early! Same would go for beer, I imagine!

    • Stockings are/were the biggest part of Christmas with only a few bigger gifts to open after, so my mom started wrapping each item in tissue paper…like every piece of candy, the toothbrush, the loofah was always unwrapped (but probably the only thing). We got mostly candy and little nail polishes and trinkets but then we’d get some nicer makeup when we got older, or small toys that we liked/asked from Santa. Now it’s got a few small bottles of wine, or scratch offs, too. Now that I think about it, it was an incredible amount of work and I still love stockings to this day and now my sister and I do the same thing to my mom’s (neither of us have kids so it’s fun to get her all of the face masks/weird lip balms and items that she would never buy herself).

    • Calibrachoa :

      We don’t do stockings in Finland so I am reading all this with deep jealousy. I only ever have received a stocking once and still treasure the experience!

    • In addition to many of these suggestions, I’ve also included in now-adult DS’s stocking little bottles of hand sanitizer (it’s cold/flu season), cute post-its (I found some with Yellow Submarine themes last year), inexpensive earbuds for spares and sunglasses from ZeroUV.

    • Anonymous :

      this year I ordered a bunch of mini gourmet foods from whole foods to divvy up amongst my family members (fancy hot sauce samplers, little sausages, coffee syrups, etc.). this is also my version of giving a little gift to everyone in my large family celebration, even though we only exchange a big gift with one assigned person. one year I did the same thing with nicer travel-sized toiletries and that was a hit.

  18. Any recommendations for gel manicure in downtown DC? I’ve never gotten one before and am considering for my wedding so I want to try it out over the holidays to see how it works for me. Any recommendations near Farragut?

    • Mimosa, home of the $25 gel manicure, always does a solid job. No frills, but solid. I’ve tried several day spas and always been dissappointed (now I do my own at home!)

      • I was just reminiscing about Mimosa to someone like 15 minutes ago. Ah, Mimosa. I love you.

      • Philip was my favorite at Mimosa. (He may still be there – ask for him if he is.) The only reason I stopped going is because I moved to Alexandria – Amity Salon on Columbia Pike is my new favorite.

    • Not near Farragut, but on the blue line, I love Penn Nails near Eastern Market. No frills, inexpensive, but very detail oriented and experienced.

  19. Anon for this :

    I recently broke up with my boyfriend of five years because he wasn’t the one. We lived together for two years and recently went on a trip where we knew we were both getting engaged. We both got cold feet and we realized that we’re best friends but not in love with one another. We are in agreement about our issues, but I was the party pushing harder for breaking up–he thinks we can fix everything. I moved out a little over a month ago, and we’re still talking regularly and meeting maybe every other week. It’s TBD as to whether the continued communication is as friends or in the hopes of reconciliation.

    All of that is context above is relevant for my current issue. His mother was just received very sad health news: her colon cancer has come back and has spread quickly to several places. I was very close with his family and want to support them/him as much as possible, but I am not sure whether I should or how to do so in light of our recent breakup. He hasn’t yet told his family because he didn’t want to drop more bad news on them (I don’t agree with this but it’s his choice). They knew the cancer had come back for about a month now, but they recently found out it’s spread pretty aggressively. He’s extremely close to his parents and doesn’t really have any friends outside of work (one of our issues) so it’s not like he has a support network to rely on outside of me. Any guidance is greatly appreciated. No clue how to handle this.

    • First, decide what your boundaries are. For example, “I would be willing to visit his mother, but only if she knows the truth about our situation.” Or who knows – you may be comfortable with visiting her no matter what. Or only sending a card, or whatever.

      Then talk to him. Ask what he would like you to do and how you can support him and his family. Agree to what he asks of you, but only if it’s compatible with the boundaries you already decided. If you think you’re likely to be swayed in the moment, then practice ahead saying gently but firmly “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that. I’d be happy to ….. instead.”

    • I think you need to sit down with him and figure out the boundaries of things… both what you feel comfortable with and what he feels okay with. You may be able/willing to be bffs but not to spend the night with him or not want 1am calls from him when he’s sad or maybe you only want to visit his family/see his mom if everyone (or whomever) has been told about the breakup, or maybe you decide that it’s short enough timing (sadly) and not worth sharing the breakup news and to just help each other through this. Whatever you’re comfortable with and whatever he’s also comfortable with is fine, just decide in advance what that is!

      PS Hugs to you as you go through this experience <3

    • If he hasn’t told his family about your breakup I assume they would think it strange not to see you or hear from you during this time. If you and your boyfriend are really best friends as you say, I don’t know why you wouldn’t be comfortable being around him and his family.

      I think I would go and be with his mom at least a few times before she passes, and not talk about your relationship status. Think of it as a kindness to his mother.

    • no great advice, but hugs. that sounds like a really tough situation. also, kudos to you for recognizing that something was off in your relationship. i’m sure that is really really hard after 5 years, but very brave to admit.

    • You need to break up. Stop talking. Stop seeing each other. Stop being his support person. Obviously obviously obviously he thinks this is all moving to reconciliation. If you are sure it isn’t, you are cruely dragging this on.

      • +100000

      • Rainbow Hair :

        This was, to me, the worst part about breaking up. When you break up with someone, you can’t be that person for them (for a while, maybe forever). I broke up with a guy (similarly, I think) and it was so hard not to support him through a sad thing — but you can’t. That’s what breaking up means.

      • I agree. Getting entangled in such an emotional situation with his mom seems way worse, in the long run.

        • I agree. I can’t believe people are saying just keep up the charade until his mom dies. It’s not like she’s going to be gone in a matter of weeks. Even people with Stage 4 colon cancer can live for years. I can’t imagine pretending to be a couple that entire time.

          • I agree with this. My now-husband’s mother passed after a long illness while we were engaged; I can’t imagine going through that experience–including lots of time by myself at her bedside, because at the end we were basically taking vigil shifts–while also lying to the entire family about my relationship status with their son.

            I know this is really hard and that you want to be kind for the people who have been in your life, but Rainbow Hair above is spot-on. You can’t. That’s what breaking up means.

      • Agreed!

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, this. When I left my former husband I was devastated that he didn’t communicate with me at all, but honestly it was the best thing he could have done because it forced me to break the attachment and get on with my life.

        The job you have before you is to break your attachment to your (former) boyfriend. You can’t do that as long as you are entangled with him and his family, and most particularly you can’t do that if you are pretending to still be a couple. In the long run it serves nobody to drag it out.

    • Anonymous :

      If she is a ‘weeks to live’ situation, I would probably continue to support ex-BF and be vague with his family about your future relationship plans. If her death is not imminent (like no discussions about palliative care or her wishes re funeral), then a clean break may be best. I would want to see her to say goodbye soon and I would attend a funeral when she passes but I would not have regular contact.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        This seems like reasonable and sensitive advice.

      • Just to offer a different perspective… My cousin was engaged when my aunt dies. They had been dating for many years and, frankly, felt some family pressure to get engaged when her diagnosis came through. My aunt lived for six months and the engagement fell apart shortly thereafter. My cousin is now married to a great guy she didn’t even know at the time. I’ve always wondered how she felt about her mother believing that she was going to spend her life with man #1, even though the events turned out completely differently.

  20. Musical for Tween :

    I appreciate the great recs you guys gave me for my tween niece (7th grader) who is coming to visit me in Chicago during the holidays. She loves Hamilton but hasn’t seen it. I will get her the libretto you recommended, and will try to sign up for the Hamilton lottery while she is in town (!).

    But I also like the idea of taking her out to lunch/matinee musical. I don’t think she has been to one. Which musical would you recommend for a 7th grader? Mean girls isn’t here unfortunately, which one of you recommended. I haven’t seen many musicals, but I’ll list the ones below that I could find. She’s the one who is a little jaded, big reader, not a girly girl, likes trying new things.

    The Sound of Music
    On Your Feet
    Love Never Dies

    I’m skipping Dirty Dancing, Waitress, The Cher show, The Color Purple, Pretty woman, A Taste of things to come as not really appropriate, no?

    Thanks. Sorry if this is a duplicate.

  21. A Different Kind of Holiday Experience :

    A friend’s friend the other day brought up holiday shopping and I mentioned something about doing redd!t secret santa because I don’t have a family but this lets me give and receive. He commented that it must be horrible and I must be very sad. I wasn’t until this was brought up. Now I’m wondering whether I should just not answer such questions or something. Though I suppose it would be nice if I had people to exchange gifts with or gifts to open, I’ve long accepted not having a family and thus not having this experience.

    What do others without families do?

    • Definitely ignore guys that are jerks!

      I have Christmas celebrations with 4 separate groups of friends that all involve a secret Santa. I also exchange gifts with my dearest girlfriend, and with my 3 best work friends. Family is not the be all end all of gifting!

      (I don’t want to misrepresent that I don’t have family, but my large family does a secret Santa and my husband only has his parents, so between both our families we just have 2 additional gifts to open each year. My husband and I don’t generally get Christmas gifts for each other.)

    • His response was thoughtless at best. I’m sorry, and I think you did your best when you explained what you get out of the Reddit exchange (which is so nice). The problem was his failure of empathy.

      I do have a family, but have spent many major holidays alone. I found over time that going to church solo made me feel even more alone, so I don’t do it on major holidays anymore. Last Christmas felt especially so because my husband had just left me (no kids), but I was still living in the place we moved for his job, and no one I knew was available or invited me over. When people asked me what my plans were, or what I did afterward, I tried to really play up how nice it was to do whatever I wanted–taking a long run and snuggling with my then-new kitten. Both the holiday and the conversations about it pass quickly.

      But basically, it sounds like you’re awesome and you don’t need to do anything differently.

    • that is not a very helpful friend. everyone has different family and friend situations. and not everyone’s families even do gifts and some that do give gifts find it so incredibly stressful that it isn’t even really fun for them. so you do you. if participating in the secret santa makes you happy, then you should totally do it!

    • Personally one of the things I have worked on as an adult is NOT having to buy gifts. I hate the act of buying gifts and find gift giving between adults silly so its been amazing to stop those traditions. So when people talk about holiday shopping I feel bad for them. Its all perspective. If you are happy with what you are doing, then great. If you are not happy with it, then change it.

    • I always take part in our local shopping centre’s Toy Appeal. I go and ask if there’s an age group they’re particularly in need of gifts for and try to get something really nice – brand name headphones if they’re looking for gifts for teenagers, or I keep an eye out for the toy that has sold out everywhere, like Hatchimals did last year. Big Lego sets, or fancy markers – something that someone who is buying a lot of gifts wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford. Then I drop them off, and go and have a nice lunch somewhere and watch everyone else running around like mad.

      The gifts go to disadvantaged kids – they might be in hospital, or have just lost a parent, or be very poor. It gives me a lot of joy to do this.

      • Call your local township office, or big brother big sister program, or YMCA. They usually coordinate adopt-a-family initiatives where you can buy for local disadvantaged families. You don’t get the “receiving” part, but the joy of shopping, wrapping, and giving is almost enough to make up for it. We live in Chicago, and one year my adopted kids asked only for winter boots and sweaters. I almost cried and had so much fun buying them that, some “cool” new outfits per the random kids in the store, and every book/ toy I could find within the spending limit.

    • wildkitten :

      I’m having a Christmas eve cocktail party! If you live in Chicago you should come.

    • superanonforthis :

      Before I was married, I had no family. My parents and siblings died in a war, and I fled to neighboring country and eventually made it to the US. I would just do things with friends/their families for holidays.

  22. Food Carriers :

    I have several office events coming up that I will be contributing food for (I volunteered, there were other options, it’s not just because I’m female, and I’m actually looking forward to it since I don’t have anyone to cook for at home). Over the next 2 weeks at various times, I’ll be bringing cookies, a side dish, and brownies.
    I have recipes I love, but I don’t have any good carriers to bring the food in. My supply of tupperware is limited to what I use for my lunch. What are your best recommendations for larger dishes or tupperware containers that are easy to carry to and from the office but don’t break the bank? Bonus points if they can keep food warm, but it isn’t a necessity. Thanks!

    • Puddlejumper :

      For the hot side dish I people seem to really like the Pyrex Portables 4-Piece Glass Bakeware and Food Storage Set on Amazon. I have seen it at a bunch of potlucks this fall. Its around 30 dollars. I would put the cookies and brownies on paper plates with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and then you don’t have to worry about keeping track of your dishes.

    • Pyrex Portables without question. It’s what I always use to transport – can keep things hot or cold, and I have moved away from plastic to go containers so this is ideal. You can get them on Amazon, I got mine from Walmart – just search for “pyrex portables”

    • I would buy some of the disposable aluminum foil pans from the grocery store or Amazon. You can get some with covers and they come in all different sizes. They are lightweight and, depending on the size, can be put into a large shopping bag.

  23. Thanks for all the good thoughts yesterday when I posted about waiting to hear about a job. I got the job!!!! I am so thrilled and excited. I’m giving notice today and it’s a moment I’ve been literally fantasizing about for the last 6 months.

  24. I could use some guidance from you wise women: I had my haircut on Saturday and it looked good when I left the salon. I suspect my problem is that my styling abilities are far inferior to my stylist’s, so when I did my hair the usual way, the sideswept bangs did not look blended and created a choppy, uneven look that is less than flattering. I’m going back this afternoon to gave things smoothed out, wearing my hair as usual. I have been with my stylist for about 2.5 years and have always been pleased with my cuts, with this being my first time having to return because I am unhappy.

    My question involves tipping. I already tipped my usual on the original haircut days ago. Do I tip a small something again for her to “fix” my hair? This isn’t a completely botched job and will likely take all of 5 minutes to blend my bangs more subtly into my long bob.

    Thanks in advance for any input.

    • I wouldn’t. For a bangs trim in between appointments I usually tipped $5 (I no longer have bangs so past tense) but correcting a mistake for a cut you’ve already paid and tipped for should be free.

      • Thanks for your response. That was my initial instinct, but I’ve never been in this situation before.

    • I would just hand her a $5 bill. Which is essentially nothing yet something. Good luck. I got the worst haircut of my life last December (super short choppy layers in coarse, thick hair) and was just thinking how happy I am it’s behind me. Your situation sounds different since you’ve been pleased with her in the past.

      • Thanks. I think my question would be a lot easier answered if this was a complete disaster, but thankfully, it is more that I need a more polished look that I can create myself, so it’s probably a combination of the cut and my own ineptitude!! That being said, perhaps a small mistake was made, given that I’ve never had a problem styling her cuts in the past and this is nearly the same style from my last haircut. I just don’t want to look like a Scrooge and lose goodwill with my hair stylist, especially since this isn’t a major screw up and it’s right before the holidays. Probably overthinking this.

  25. Naturopath Experiences :

    Have you gone to one before? Did you find it helpful? I am hesitant because how do I find someone who is real and not just someone playing pretend with energy auras.

    • givemyregards :

      I think it depends on your definition of “real” and where you live. Full disclosure I am totally skeptical of naturopaths, having known people who went to them and got scammed out of a ton of money for vitamins and then ended up in the hospital because vitamins do not cure major diseases, generally. BUT, if you really want to go to one, unless you are in Oregon where naturopaths are more recognized and have some prescribing rights, my guess is that it’s going to be really tricky to find one that is not playing pretend. I would look around online for specific recommendations/reviews of providers in your area as I think this is the sort of thing where a personal recommendation is one of the best ways to find someone. Having said that, I would really encourage you to find another type of provider that can treat whatever you have going on – maybe you would feel more comfortable seeing an NP, midwife, or DO than an MD?

    • I think it depends on what you’re trying to treat.

    • Based on my experiences and stories from friends, I would skip a naturopath and try to find a doctor that practices integrative medicine to get the best of both worlds. I found one who has made a huge difference for me in treating my thyroid condition.

      • Two Cents :

        Please do tell. I am hypothryoid and I feel great with medication (levothyroxine). What does your doctor do to treat your thyroid?

        • Not Woo, but I found functional medicine (not sure if that’s the same integrative) helpful because I was experiencing autoimmune complications with my thyroid condition. I also have low stomach acid and possibly some other reasons for on-going vitamin deficiencies, so getting on a supplement plan helped a lot.

          As for the thyroid medications themselves, Dr. Jacqueline Jonklaas has some really good publications on thyroid research and the difference between patients who do well on levothyroxine and those who feel better on combination therapy. For me, this was a case of functional medicine providing what was too cutting edge for my endocrinologists (partly because they don’t wait for good research to come through and are willing to experiment on an individual basis, for better or for worse).

    • I go to an integrative PCP who has a naturopath as part of her clinic, and they work together to treat my various health issues. I legit have vitamin malabsorption problems and it has been transformative to my health. I would highly recommend seeing a naturopath if the person is well-trained and if you have the type of issue that is amenable to nutrition/lifestyle intervention and/or you are looking for complementary therapies to ongoing medical treatment (for example, mine will collaborate with oncologists to provide diet and lifestyle support for people going through chemo, but would never purport to be able to treat cancer on her own).

  26. My husband lost his wedding ring. He feels terrible (he cried! & he is so not a crier). Any suggestions for things I can say/do besides reassuring him I’m not mad (I really don’t think it’s that big a deal and even if I’d been annoyed, it would be impossible to mad at him when he’s so mad at himself). We do plan to replace it but I can’t surprise him with a replacement since I don’t know his ring size (we bought the original in store together) and want to make sure whatever we get is comfortable for him. I tried telling him it might turn up, but now that we and our cleaning person have separately turned the house upside down looking for it, that seems increasingly unlikely…

    • The store may be able to tell you what size you originally purchased.

    • Why not make the “look for a new ring” trip a special time or outing? Include a time of saying, “Even though I know all this stuff about you that I didn’t know then, I’d say yes all over again…”

    • My husband regularly loses his ring and so far it has always turned up. He has lost both his original ring and the replacement ring several times each. We have the replacement ring because the first time he lost his original ring it took two years to turn up.

      I guess my suggestion is to buy a different looking replacement ring in case the first one turns up.

      • My husband has also lost his ring several times. Last time, he found the old one after we replaced it. But he likes the new one better anyway, so. We had a ton of fun picking out a new ring on Etsy – he chose a few rings he liked and let me pick the ring I most liked, and so when it arrived it was a surprise. That was a fun way to do it.

    • What if you picked it out together and planned a romantic evening (whatever that entails for the two of you) or going somewhere you went while engaged or wedding planning. Then, when his ring comes in, you take it and you give him your ring and then make it a romantic moment where you say meaningful things to each other about what you’ve learned and loved about each other since you first wed and put the rings on each other’s fingers again.

      Though you’re not mad, he may feel something about it being a lost symbol of your union rather than just a lost object. Maybe putting meaning into the new ring will calm his feelings and create a new wonderful memory between you and tied to his new ring!

    • We found my husband’s in this weird back pocket of the couch we did not know existed- you could only slip a finger down there if you were already sitting (so when we pulled the cushions off to check, it wasn’t obvious). We also found a key to a car we had sold 8 years ago.

      We had already metal detected the entire house and yard (DH’s ring was fancier than average and a few thousand to replace).

    • If you want to surprise him you can have most rings resized.

    • this may not be an option, but one of my friends lost his wedding ring and his partner had his own band melted down and remade into two rings.

      • Anon (OP) :

        Aw, I love this idea, but unfortunately both my engagement and wedding bands are razor thin and covered in pave diamonds so I don’t think this would work.

    • My husband lost his ring for months. He ended up finding it in a shoe (and he didn’t notice it after wearing those shoes a few times). We think the cat picked it up from his desk and dropped it in there… she hides toys in his shoes sometimes…
      Anyways, just a thought if you want another place to look ;)
      I vote to hold off for a while. You might have turned the house upside down, but rings are small and it could still turn up. Or buy an inexpensive ring in the meantime.

      • Anon (OP) :

        Yeah, his ring wasn’t terribly expensive to begin with and the plan is to get an even cheaper replacement that can be a back-up if the original ring turns up. He was always hesitant to take it on vacation, etc. so having a cheap band with no sentimental value will still be useful even if we find the original.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My dad’s turned up outside in spring, where he had taken off a glove while chopping wood. If you live somewhere cold, your fingers constrict when cold and your more likely to have a ring fall off.

  27. tinkle razors :

    Y’all have convinced me to buy a pack but youtubers give different instructions on use. How do I know what works and what doesn’t? I read a review that someone ended up with razor burn all over her face and now I’m scared!

    • I guess you don’t really know what will and won’t work for you until you try it. I’d start with one small area (as opposed to your full face) and just see what happens. FWIW, I was super scared to try this the first time and it has been 100% easy and painless. I wish I’d done it sooner.

    • I was in the same boat as you before I tried–so many techniques. The two options I was between was doing it on freshly washed, dried skin and on a washed but oil all over your face. I went with the first because the woman (I can’t remember the link) was super precise in her instructions, was some kind of esthetician and included about doing the nose (only one swipe). The main take aways I had were: hold the skin taut, don’t go over many times – 1 or two, wipe the blade in between to get rid of hair, skin, & small movements & go with the grain of the hair. Then give your face a going over with something moisturizing. It’s a great exfoliator & I’ve since tried it with the oil which is also good but a bit more work than bare.

  28. Shopping help: I am in search of plain, white tops (short or long sleeved) that are appropriate in a business casual environment and can be worn under cardigans and blazers. It needs to NOT be a t-shirt and NOT be see-through. Just a basic white top. Shouldn’t be hard, but it appears impossible.

    • white shirt :

      I used to adore the stretchy, silky tshirts from White Black Market but I think they stopped making them. I always sized up and the white was not terribly sheer. Looking forward to the replies.

    • Not much you can do about see-through – I think pretty much all white tops are see through. I would invest in a few nude-for-me camis that will make your bra invisible.

    • givemyregards :

      Can’t speak to the sheerness of this top specifically, but I have a similar one from Madewell (it’s the button-back tee which apparently they still make but is sold out) that is not sheer and that I wear under blazers and cardigans all the time (including today, as a matter of fact).

    • Marshmallow :

      Try Uniqlo:

    • In House in Houston :

      Ooh…great question. Just this morning I needed something like this. What I had either the neck was wrong or the sleeves were too long. Ugh!!

    • I haven’t actually purchased one of these yet, but this is what I would get:

      If you go to Seasons+Salt and look at her recent outfits (second link at the top) you can see how she wears it. It looks opaque to me! I wonder if the neckline would be weird under cardigans or blazers. I don’t think so?

  29. Looking for insurance recommendations in DC to bundle a home and two auto. Bonus if I can get a workers comp policy for my nanny from the same company (required in DC). I don’t need a local agent but would like a company with responsive customer service. Not eligible for USAA or I’d go there! Thanks.

  30. Wish me luck. I have the final interview for my dream job with a 12k raise (which is big money to me) so I’m really hopeful!

  31. Tucson for Christmas :

    Hi ladies,

    My family (parents, siblings, spouses) are going to Tucson for six days over Christmas. Any recommendations from the hive? We’re especially looking for a great spa and hiking. Thanks!

    • Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and Loews Ventana Canyon for Sunday brunch. I believe that Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has some good hiking options, although I last went with toddlers so I can’t speak from experience. It was worthwhile to take a day and drive down to Bisbee, if that’s your sort of thing. It’s about 60-90 minutes from Tucson, but Bisbee is a funky old mountain mining town that’s worth a look. Tombstone is on the way, but I’m not an Old West aficionado, so I skipped it.

    • I love Tucson. We always stay at the Arizona Inn but I’m not sure about their spa services. The Arizona Inn dining room is beautiful and high end. Many years ago we hiked behind Loews Ventana Canyon resort and had a great lunch at one of their restaurants after the hike. You may want to check on the spa services there. Bicycles were provided at the Arizona Inn which was fun since it is flat around UA. I really liked the Coronet for lunch when I was there two years ago but I worry they no longer serve lunch. Check out the website for this tiny European restaurant. We got up super early almost every day, drove to the foothills, parked and hiked around the neighborhoods then went out to breakfast. For something completely different you may want to check out having a meal at Tanque Verde Ranch and hiking out there. You may be able to ride horses and/or go on guided hikes even if you are not staying there.

    • Anony Mouse :

      Tucson native here. I’m not a spa person, but can definitely recommend hikes. My favorites: Sabino Canyon (follow the trail to Seven Falls), Tumamoc Hill for city views, Tanque Verde Falls, Saguaro National Park: Signal Hill Trail in the west park, Bridal Park in the east. Colossal Cave is also fun to visit.

      • Anony Mouse :

        If you want something holiday-related, Winterhaven has the best Christmas lights display. Be sure to try some tamales–they’re a big deal around Christmas. And don’t miss the frozen fruit drinks at Eegees. Taqueria Juanitos is great for a quick bite, while El Charro is the best for more upscale Sonoran food.

      • Hi fellow native! We should have a corore**e meetup. Email me at [email protected] if you’d ever be interested.

        • Another Tucson native – second the recommendations for Eegees, Winterhaven and Sabino Canyon.

    • Hacienda del Sol for fine dining. Sabino Canyon for hiking.

    • Canyon Ranch :

      My favorite spa is Canyon Ranch! I typed a long response and then my computer froze. We always stay at Arizona Inn. Not sure about their spa services but the dining room is beautiful and high end. They offer bikes on site which is nice in that flat area. We like to get up super early, drive to the foothills, hike those beautiful neighborhoods and then go out to breakfast. There is a small, neat, old European style restaurant called The Coronet where we liked to have lunch. It’s tiny. Another thing to do is go to Tanque Verde Ranch for a few hours. The food is pretty nice, and you can probably ride horses or participate in guided hikes/mountain bike treks even if you are not staying there. Years ago we hiked behind Loews Ventana Canyon and then had a great lunch at one of the restaurants on site. I love Tucson!

    • Eat all the tamales!!

    • Horse Crazy :

      Another vote for Sabino Canyon for hiking – it’s gorgeous!

  32. Sharing pregnancy news :

    I’m 13 weeks pregnant and have not yet shared at work because I wanted to wait for my first trimester screening, which is tomorrow. I know I will find out some results tomorrow, but then I think the blood work can take about a week. I have been MISERABLE at work bc i’m super nauseous, vomiting, etc. (i’m sure some colleagues might suspect), and i’m just so sick of hiding it. BUT the director of my office is going to be on vacation for all of next week and I’m going to be out this Friday. I kind of have two people that I report to, one that is the head of my team of 5 and then one that is head of our larger team of 12. I should just wait until the following week so I can tell the director first, right? That is the more appropriate thing to do?

    For those who’ve been on the receiving end, any tips on what you like to hear when someone is sharing this kind of news? My thought is to share the pregnancy before the holidays and then discuss maternity leave arrangements, a hopefully more flexible working arrangement (i’m expecting multiples…ahhh!), etc. in the new year (our office is closed from christmas to new years).

    For some additional context, I do not work in a corporate environment and a lot of people have kids, but the last time someone in the office was pregnant (and this was before my time), they were very accommodating as she struggled to get pregnant (essentially let her work part time), and then she emailed the night before she was scheduled to return from maternity leave to say she wasn’t coming back, which left a bad taste.

    • I don’t think announcing a pregnancy needs to be like giving notice; any planning for your eventual leave can be put off a few weeks. Wait until the new year if you want. Don’t stress! Just enjoy!

      • lawsuited :

        +1 You’re not resigning, so you don’t have to worry about having all the higher ups there or saying what they “like to hear”. Announcing you’re pregnant is more akin to announcing you’re getting married – it’s a personal announcement that will have some impact on your work (e.g. time off) but ultimately is unrelated to your work. If you want to disclose it now then say “I’m still waiting for some test results so not sharing this widely yet, but I wanted to let you know that I’m pregnant! I’ll know more in a few weeks, so let’s touch base them to discuss maternity leave arrangements.”

    • Rip the band aid off. It’s not that big of a deal.

    • In my experience it’s not nearly as big a deal as you’re making it out to be. I was very surprised that everyone’s reaction was basically “Congrats! We’ll figure out the leave stuff when you’re further along.” Nobody wanted to discuss leave specifics at 12 weeks.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m confused as to whether you mean a flexible schedule after the babies are born or while you’re pregnant (since a multiples pregnancy can be hard). If it’s the former, then I would wait to have that conversation until about a month before you leave. But otherwise, I echo what everyone else is saying — congrats and don’t sweat telling them too much!

  33. Holiday cards :

    I lateraled last year and I’ve kept in touch with a couple of people from my old firm. I left the firm in part because I was treated atrociously by one disgruntled junior partner who seemed determined to utterly destroy me personally and professionally. We were in a niche practice of 3 attorneys. Now I’m out and I’m very happy in my new job. I’d like to send holiday cards – physical cards! – to some of my former colleagues. Is it unreasonably unprofessional to send cards to about half the attorneys in the office – including the one other person in my niche group – but not to Jerkface?

    • That should read “I lateraled THIS year” – can you tell I’m ready to put 2017 behind me?

    • It’s weird to send holiday cards to your former colleagues period. But yes, that would be super noticeable if you did it to all but one.

      • To clarify, they’re the firm’s holiday cards to be sent to professional contacts, not personal holiday cards. Is it weird to send them to former colleagues? They’re some of my best potential referral sources.

        I’m planning to send them to about half of the office – the people I worked with and might refer me business. Jerkface would be the only person in the 2-person niche group that doesn’t get a card.

        • I don’t think it’s weird at all. I do it.

        • Send one to jerkface, especially since he was one-third of your small group. It will cost you nothing. You don’t have to put a personal note in it.
          I exchange professional holiday cards with former colleagues. I’m in a niche practice and will probably work with some of them again in the future.

      • No it isn’t, as long as you had a good relationship. Attorneys in my old firm regularly send holiday cards to each other, and I still get some even though I left.

        Send to their home addresses if you have them. They’re not going to spend their time comparing cards and chances are jerkface will never know.

      • Is it? When you want to be friendly and stay in touch?

      • Anonymous :

        Disagree completely. Send cards to the folks you want to be in touch with. Leave the others aside. Do not reward juvenile boorish behavior on any level ever.

        • Senior Attorney :

          This. There is a zero chance they will compare notes about holiday cards, and even if they did, who cares? The guy is a jerk.

      • Several former employees at my small company (80ish people) send a personal holiday card and we display them on a bulletin board in the kitchen. This includes people who left 5+ years ago and we enjoy seeing their families and hearing any updates about them.

      • I don’t think it’s weird to send holiday cards. It’s what professionals do to stay in touch. I stay away from ones that are super-Christian and veer more toward “Happy Holidays”-type cards, but I have heard from many folks that they really enjoy keeping in touch. It’s a classy thing to do.

  34. Lana Del Raygun :

    I’ve spent the past eighty million years biting my nails and have finally quit, but it’s left my nailbeds much shorter than they were originally, so that the white ends of my nails start closer to my cuticles than they do on other people. This makes it hard to grow them long because they have to do without nailbed support for longer before they grow past my fingertips, and anyway the edge of the white part is a weird shape. Is there any hope of them growing back to normal? Can I do anything to encourage them? Also, can I get my cuticles to grow back from being pushed too far off the sides?

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      Your nailbeds (or maybe not your nailbeds, but the little support skin bits under your nails) will get longer to support longer nails as you grow them. I get regular gel manis now and since my nails are constantly being worn longer, the nailbeds have gradually grown to support them. I’d recommend gel manis (at a reputable place that won’t massacre your cuticles) for at least a few months until your nails have returned to normal!

      • +1. Lana, I think we both commented before about quitting nail-biting. Mine have definitely gotten longer over time – the nails go much deeper into my finger (if that makes sense) than they did at first and the “quick” is closer to the tip of my finger. The shape of my nails, like the impression they make in my palm when I make a fist, has also gotten more uniform and rounded.

        As for helping it along, I have heard that tapping/drumming your nails can weaken the nail bed, so avoid that. Maybe try vitamins or brush-on nail strengthener? Otherwise I think it will just take time.

    • Horse Crazy :

      No advice, but how did you stop biting your nails? It’s my worst habit.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        I had to totally switch my mindset from “Stop biting your nails, loser!” to “Okay, honey, let’s take good care of your hands, okay?” (I was also a cuticle-picker, and that’s been a harder habit to kick but I’m making progress.) I started wearing nail polish more (including strengthening polish) and applying hand and cuticle cream regularly. I think this worked for several (related) reasons:

        (1) Biting was an anxious/nervous habit for me, so being nicer to myself made me less nervous.
        (2) It made success seem less black-and-white, so if I bit one of my nails I was still somewhere on the “taking care” continuum, whereas before I felt like I had already messed up so it wouldn’t make a difference if I went ahead and bit them all off.
        (3) It made it less like I was fighting against myself, so my competitive streak didn’t get in the way.
        (4) I used to bite my nails basically to punish myself for being a nail-biter (wow, this makes me sound like a total basket case), and switching goals took my mind off of that. If I slipped up, that was sad and a reason to take *better* care of myself, like “aw, poor you, let’s smooth out that jagged edge” instead of “see, you suck, I knew it.”

        I think overall I stopped focusing on just not-biting my nails and instead gave myself something actually good to replace the habit with. Getting rid of something bad is easier and makes more sense when you’re building something good in its place. I hope that helps!

        • Horse Crazy :

          Thank you! That’s a really great mindset. Props to you!!

        • Anonymous :

          I’ve significantly reduced (almost quit, though I’m still not perfect) picking/chewing on my cuticles — I did it by putting a pair of cuticle nippers everywhere (at my desk, at my nightstand, in my purse, etc.) so if I got a hangnail, I could clean it up right away instead of letting it escalate. I also started applying hand cream every time I wanted to pick, and sometimes if I need something to do with my hands while reading or on a conference call I’ll push my cuticles back using a cuticle stick or the edge of a credit card (looks less weird if somebody walks by.) Maybe one of these ideas will help you!

        • Great explanation. I relapsed (basically intentionally, so don’t take it as a comment on the method), but I got myself to stop biting my nails using exactly these methods as well.

          The most helpful were: stop shaming yourself for ‘messing up’ and don’t demand perfection. The continuum is a great way to put it. I’d have lots of days where I had 7-9 beautiful healthy nails and one that was suffering. I’d say, hey, you’re at 90%! that’s great. And then I still had an outlet if I *really* needed to. By letting myself attack one nail, I could limit it to just that nail, rather than destroying each one like I’d normally do. (let’s be real, my anxiety doesn’t let me bite just one nail, each time I do it each nail must be wrecked. Ugh.) My backsliding wasn’t so dramatic.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 ?

        I’ve basically accepted that I have a mental illness when it comes to picking my fingers :( I’m a grown ass woman and have truly done it since I was a little girl. regular manis don’t work and I’m worried I’ll never have the motivation to consciously stop. short of hypnosis – which I have not tried yet.

        • I got a fidget cube and whenever I start picking my fingers, I remember to get the fidget cube instead.

  35. Baconpancakes :

    How would you style a red cowl-neck sweater dress to make it feel more modern and fresh? I’ve had this dress for a couple years, and like it a lot, but it feels so basic and dull.

  36. I’m actually here to cosign the Leota recommendation for plus size. I’m carrying a LOT of extra weight from two pregnancies, mostly on my waist, and I’m fairly busty. Leota is my go-to for work-appropriate dresses cool enough for a DC summer, and I’ve got a few fun going-out dresses from them, as well. The dresses don’t make me feel like a lump.

    • Concur, I love Leota dresses. I wish the fabric was a little more substantial, but the cuts are spot-on.

  37. super anon for this :

    I’m told that occasional constipation is normal but why is it that I only get it when I eat healthier but never when I eat junk food? It feels like punishment for being healthy. Even adding fiber pills doesn’t seem to help. I swear, nothing makes me feel worse than starting a day with stomach cramps and not being able to fix it. GROAN.

    • Extra Anon :

      It’s because you aren’t eating healthy consistently! I’m a whole foods plant based eater and consume a ridiculous amount of fibre. At first my digestion was not great, but once I adjusted I discovered I can “power poop” as I like to call it. In and out in under a minute. It’s great, I’ve never been able to do that until I started reading healthy consistently.

      • Anonymous :

        This comment made me laugh out loud! Another reason to eat healthier!

      • Power poop! Ha ha ha ha ha. I love it (and power poops, too). Beans and cruciferous vegetables every day!

      • Hah, this has been exactly my experience as well! My digestion was rough for a couple months but now I’m fine and totally have a daily “power poop” as well.

      • instead of ‘power poop’ i call mine ‘speed dumps’ LOL but yes i’ve found this has worked for me too, eating healthy consistently and making a routine of some foods (like regular yogurt every morning, etc.)

    • What does “healthier” mean to you? Sorry, if that’s an insulting question, but it’s a word that tends to be used differently by different people.
      My guess may be that your body is reacting to a change in diet as opposed to what you are actually eating. If that seems like it might be the case, maybe sticking to a healthier diet is the key.

    • Make sure you are drinking lots of water. Especially warm water.

      Can you take a walk during your lunch break?

    • When you eat ‘healthier’ are you cutting out too many fats? Ensure you eat healthy fats like avocado and olive oil – fresh chopped tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt are super tasty.

      Lots of water and fruit fibre also helps me – avoid bananas and try peaches. pears, and plums.

    • Lots of water and time to let your body adjust to the new diet.

    • Flats Only :

      I have found that a sudden increase in fiber intake can cause me to get stopped up. So if you’ve recently dramatically increased your intake of vegetables, beans and whole grains, drink a lot of water and try a couple of colace tablets overnight.

      • Miz Swizz :

        Cosign. Up your fiber a little, make sure you eat some healthy fats too and increase your water intake. Usually if I swing too far into raw veggies or high fiber after a period of not eating particularly well, I get very gassy and constipated.

        I would ditch the fiber pills and add some yogurt and maybe a probiotic. I know that there are conflicting opinions about probiotics here but mine have really helped me with my digestion.

  38. Bag recommendations? :

    I had a Dagne Dover, but the handle is ripping off :(. I need large tote. I walk about 2 miles every day. I work in communication for large nonprofit. What do you recommend?

    • Save your shoulders, back and neck and get a backpack. Knomo London has some really nice leather ones.

    • This happened to me. I emailed them and they sent me a new one, no questions asked.

      • Bag recommendations? :

        oooh, thank you. i will try that first.

      • anonypotamus :

        Same – I emailed them and they sent me a new one, no questions. Their customer service is phenomenal and I will sing their praises every chance I get!

  39. I’m looking for a hairspray that does not create white flakes the next day and does not have any lingering scent as I am sensitive to scents. Preferably one that I can find at Target or a drugstore. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have to spray my bangs every day or they will go into my face, but my current spray makes me look like I have dandruff within 24 hours. Thanks.

  40. Ugh, I am really not a fan of the Target clothing revamp. Not only is the always-reliable Merona brand gone, I kind of hate the boutique style setup throughout the whole store — especially in the clothing section. It’s harder to find stuff, and in several of our local stores, you can barely get a cart through some aisles because the footprint has changed so much.

    • Anonymous :

      I completely agree. I love the Cat & Jack line for kids, but the new adult stuff is just disappointing.

    • Anonymous :

      Totally agree. I hate the new stuff and I really miss Merona!!

    • Anony Mouse :


    • Anonymous :

      Agree regarding the aisle width. In some of the aisles, you can’t get a cart past the columns.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I agree, except for that I bought an A New Day sweater that I love and seems better quality than the Merona one I bought last year. Otherwise, yes, I miss Merona quite a bit, and also, they don’t have the blazers I like anymore and I’m mad.

      • I like the A New Day t-shirts.

        • I bought the same shirt in A New Day that I’d previously owned in Merona. My Merona one was $12 and lasted a full year until holes developed. I wore it at least 2x a week. The A New Day one began pilling literally after the first wash. Not. Good.

  41. Brand recommendations for an overnighter/duffle bag for my extremely unfancy SO? No idea where to shop for men’s items in this vein. Preferably under $100, looking for something simple but more solid than “top rated on Amazon”

    • Overnight Bags-
      Walker Family Goods
      Fjallraven Duffel

      • Anony Mouse :

        +1 to Fjallraven Duffel. I bought one for my husband for our anniversary, and he loves it. Very good quality, minimalist design.

    • Try J. Crew.

    • LL Bean has some great classics and I think they’re running a 25% off right now.

    • I would go with a gym bag from a brand like Under Armour in all black or any solid neutral, since he’s so unfancy. They’re made well and they can be used for multiple occasions.

    • I have this duffle in pink and really like it:|404_68204|1099890004|none|1cecd090-f66e-40f1-a8bd-bd799dd5963b|pla-316311430449&lsft=cm_mmc:PLA_Google_LIA|404_68204|1099890004|none|1cecd090-f66e-40f1-a8bd-bd799dd5963b|pla-316311430449&gclid=CjwKCAiAx57RBRBkEiwA8yZdUCMTXK7gaHoGWeQL13xJxKVNyAJo_SjvQ0WZLKiGEH6QTZYztxJk0RoCpIsQAvD_BwE

  42. Not-a-Morning Person :

    Thanks to all the ladies who posted their morning routines yesterday!! It helped me realize I could really use my time better. Today, instead of wallowing in bed hitting snooze and hating the morning like I always do, I sucked it up and got up 30 min early. I used the time to 1. write X-mas cards (which I also HATE but was fine because I was on autopilot) and 2. Take an extra-long walk with my daughter and dog, which I LOVE. The annoying chore being out of the way and the extra time with my kid made me so much happier to start my workday.

  43. Mom Q Biting :

    Thanks very much for all the comments and helpful advice on my post yesterday about my daughter’s biting (and sleeping) issues. We met with her teacher, the director, and the center owner this morning and discussed lots of tactics we can try to stop the biting. I’m also going to try to adjust my schedule so she will be at the center from 8-5 instead of 7-6 which will also give me some more one on one time with her. They said they will see how the next week goes and if the biting continues she will have to “take a break” for the center for probably 30 days. She can come back after the break but if it continues after that she will be removed.

    No real questions for now, just wanted to give an update and express gratitude for all the support yesterday. It really made me feel a lot better.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I meant to mention this, but forgot to do so yesterday. My daughter’s biting increased as she was starting to age out of the infant room and (I think) a little bored. Not sure if your daughter has transitioned to the toddler room yet, but another thing to think about — maybe the daycare could have her spend an hour or two in the other classroom.

  44. I just got to offer a job to someone who seems SO excited about the opportunity and it makes ME so excited to hear her enthusiasm.

    • Flats Only :

      That’s so fun! I got to call someone with a job offer once. He was on the west coast, feeding his kids breakfast, and I could hear their little kid cheering when he told them he got the job. It made my day.

      • That is flipping adorable.

      • Senior Attorney :

        That’s great! :)

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I love that. I made a call once to an OCI interviewee to tell her that we were offering her an articling job and she did not even let me finish before she yelled “yes” and then started crying.

        Is that what it feels like to propose, I wonder?

  45. Xmas Break in Seattle :

    My husband and I are 34 living with a 2 year old in a small townhouse in Seattle. My cousin is an 18 yo sophomore in college in the Northeast. She is coming to visit us for Xmas break for 10 days and the rest of our family is in yet another state, so it’s just us. We have a very boring lifestyle that revolves around not losing our minds between work and taking care of kiddo. How do I entertain a teenager in Seattle??

    Preference to activities that get her out of our tiny house to go do something safe on her own while we work (we both work from home but also have a hefty daycare commute, so she can’t have the car). She’s a science oriented tomboy but has already done Museum of Flight, and Boeing Factory tour last Xmas. What else can I arrange? If I don’t come up with something, it will be ongoing couch vegetation which I know will annoy me. I am willing to spend some money. Thank you for any suggestions.

    • Anonymous :

      Are you in or near enough to the city that she can get there on her own or by Uber? Bc then I think there’s lots of options. I don’t think the activities need to be science focused — has she done the classic tourist things? Can she make a day (or a few half days) of wandering the city – stopping into bookstores, lunch, and the Seattle favorite of coffee houses? I’d be direct and say – this is your break, I want you to have fun and not just be stuck at home with us 40 hrs/wk, what would you like to do? Despite having some ideas though, be prepared that there will be a fair amount of time in your home though I don’t see how that’ll bother you bc kids that age will be on their laptops or phones the whole time anyway, it’s not like she’s looking for you to play board games with her.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      Can you just level with her that 24/7 couch-vegetation isn’t going to work for you and ask her what types of activities she’d like to do?

      I visited family with young kids on the other side of the country from school/other family at around that age, and my aunt had an up-front, friendly conversation with me before we arrived, along the lines of “here’s the family schedule for the week, here are some things we’ve planned that we’re all going to do together, here are some options for things to do on your own when we are not going to be able to entertain you, please let us know if there are any specific types of activities you’d like that we can set up for you for those times.”

      Also, I know this depends so much on the specific personalities involved, but is there any chance she’d be up for spending a day or two chilling with your toddler? I have really fond memories of watching my cousins when they were that small, and I remember feeling kind of honored that my older relatives viewed me as “adult” enough to trust with their small people.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m not sure it’s reasonable to expect her to be out of the house all the time. College can be intense and wanting a lot of down time over Christmas break is pretty reasonable. I rarely did anything over break except sleep, read, watch TV and maybe get dinner once or twice with high school friends. If she’s just finished finals, she’ll be burned out from those and if they’re after break, she’ll probably have a lot of work/studying to do.

      On the other hand, it’s totally reasonable to communicate with her that you can’t entertain her between the hours of 8 and 6 or whatever it is that you work, but most teenagers wouldn’t have any problem entertaining themselves, so long as you have an internet connection.

      • Anonymous :

        This. I’d be clear that you can’t take breaks during the work day and that you’re happy for her – and will pay for her – to go out bc you don’t want her bored at home. But keep in mind that a college student can be happy sleeping until noon, eating breakfast/lunch at 1, then wasting time online or texting friends and bam it’s 4 pm when they hop in the shower and suddenly you’re available to hang with them bc it’s 5. She may be happy doing this the whole break or even half the break. What I would be sure to offer would be some kind of gym/workout option whether in your home or passes to a local gym if she wants. Some people are into gym routines. Between a gym and a local mall, I honestly could have spent the first 5-7 days of break sleeping, texting, watching tv (didn’t have one at school not was there time), 1-2 trips to the mall, 4-5 trips to the gym.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah, I feel like being annoyed at her doing nothing is just the price you’re going to have to pay. I think it’s prefectly reasonably for her to want to spend her vacation vegging out.

      • Anonymous :

        My cousins thought I was boring because I’d fall asleep whenever I visited them when they were 10 and I was 20… And then they started college and realized why I slept all the time…

    • I have Seattle friends who are really obsessed with Emerald City Trapeze. Not cheap, but probably a good way to burn a few days if she’s movement-inclined.

    • Sounds like you might not have much space with both of you working from home in a small townhouse, but she will probably want to veg on the couch quite a bit. If she has her own room to sleep/surf I’d let her spend some down time.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Couldn’t she have the car for a few hours? You drop the kids off at daycare and then both WFM for 6+ hours, right? Can’t she have the car during that time as long as she has it back in time for daycare pickup? What if she did daycare pickup for you? If she’s a morning person, dropoff too? Agree that she has to have her cell on her in case kiddo needs to be picked up then she has to either return the car or do the pickup.

    • Linda from HR :

      Why would it bother you to have her vegging on the couch most of the time? That’s how I was on breaks from school!

    • Does it bother you to have her vegging out because she’d be in your space, or because you object to the perceived laziness/whatever? If it’s the latter, I think you should suck it up and let her veg, because that’s what Christmas breaks are for. Surely you can remember that if you’re only 34. If it’s the former, then I definitely think you should talk to her ahead of time about what kind of arrangement will work for both of you.

    • Thank you for the Emerald City Trapeze recommendation! That sounds like a great idea and I think she’d be totally into it. I also like the idea of offering her to watch the toddler in short spurts. Right now my kid is very mellow and curious so it may actually be a pleasant experience for both and a good bonding opportunity. In fact, the age difference between the teenager and my daughter is the same as between me and teenager. She will be the cool aunt some day :)

      Also, thanks to all for reminding me what it’s like to be done with finals. I honestly forgot. Yes, she’ll want to vegetate, and I’ll just have to deal with it. The original problem was having 3 ppl in one small space – we already have to coordinate conference call locations so husband and I don’t talk over each other. She’ll have a room but trust me it’s not one you can hang out in, more like a closet. However, I’ve just realized I can go work at a coffee shop – DUH.

      I will have to think about the car. We only have one, it’s 11 years old and a stick shift. I personally taught the kid to drive, in this car, so I know she can – but the terror of something happening is too much. Also, I have never once lent my car to anyone else (other than husband, of course). I’ll probably just pay for Uber for my own sanity on both counts.

      • Flats Only :

        I bet that if your WiFi reaches into her closet-like room she will be quite content in there for hours at a time.

        • yes! if you have a netflix account, let her use the password for the week and i’m sure she will be very happy to lounge around watching movies/tv shows or at least that’s what i liked to do after finals. i also often used to sleep until 11am each day, so you might not need to entertain her for as many hours as you might think.

      • With any luck a lot of conference calls are canceled over Christmas week since so many colleagues are unavailable, and it won’t be as hectic as you fear.

    • Chicagoan :

      I think you can very reasonably ask her to be out of the house one evening a week, until, say 9pm. Tell her you and DH need date night and she’s free to go to a movie, a meetup group, etc.

      • Flats Only :

        So in addition to not being wanted anywhere over the holidays, which has driven her to have to stay with a cousin who also doesn’t really want her around because she might disturb a conference call, now it’s OK for that cousin to say “sorry we don’t want you here every night, please go amuse yourself in a strange town”? This seems so cruel. Honestly I feel so sorry for this girl.

        • + 1 Please don’t do what Chicagoan suggests. This is the epitome of bad manners. And it’s a good point to remember that she’s not spending time with her immediate family over Xmas break (for what reasons we don’t know) and being extra kind and gracious as the host will go a long way in making her feel welcome.

          • She will be visiting back home for the second half of her break – although you are right on the money: her family is insane so she has to stay with my parents when she’s there, and she would probably rather go back to school early if the dorms didn’t kick them out (somehow it’s cheaper to still live in the dorms). That said, her crazy family still pays for her private college even as they eat soup every night. We love her and are happy to have her and have tons of fun during off-work time when she visits (slightly moderated by the kid addition in the last two years). And we have taken her to do much more interesting things than most kids her age get to do because DH and I were DINKs for most of the time we’ve known her (she immigrated to the US 10 years ago) and have been happy to take her on cool adventures. So bad with good and yes, she has had a very weird life. So all this is why I am interested in making sure I am a good host that doesn’t have the air of being annoyed with her presence, and also why I want to sponsor some interesting activities. More activities suggestions are welcome!

      • Anonymous :

        No couple needs a date night every single week. If the cousin were moving in for six months, it would be one thing to want to stick to a normal routine of weekly date nights, but she’s a guest in their home, not a resident. If you are hosting a guest, you can put your weekly date night plans on hold for a couple of weeks. Please don’t ask a guest to be out of the house until 9 pm once per week – especially not a teenage guest who is alone in a strange city where she knows nobody except the people she’s staying with. This is so cruel.

    • I’m not sure where you are in Seattle, but here are some of my favorite things to do on a day off. Some of these make for good trips with your toddler, if she wants to do that.

      1. Theo Chocolate Factory tour
      2. Woodland Park Zoo (have her take your toddler! Zoos are much more fun with kids)
      3. Wander around Seattle Center, maybe go to MoPop or the Science Center
      4. Go for a long walk in Discovery Park
      5. Find the coolest coffee shop nearby and walk there to read a book

      I second all the people who say she’ll probably be fine to entertain herself for many days on end, all I wanted to do during Christmas break was eat tasty food not made by me or the dining hall, and decompress from the semester.

    • Since you work from home, you could drop her off at a mall and then you go to coffee shop or somewhere to work, maybe meet up for lunch, etc. For example, you could drop her off at UVillage or UW for a while, where she could surf wifi in the library, and/or go shopping in Uvillage. Or she could go to downtown Bellevue, shop around, eat, go to the library if she wanted to, most of it is walkable and the bus is easy. Pacific Science Center is alright although might not be that interesting for her. At that age, I would have liked going to EMP, but probably with friends.

      Would she be interested in playing an Escape Room Game thing? Do you have friends that have children around the same age as her that could go with her as a group?

      Other ideas – craft/art/cooking classes? Cat cafe? Ice skating?

      If the home is not a comfortable space, maybe she would enjoy spending time at a local library (probably one with decent food options nearby so she can walk around and get something to eat at lunch).

      If she’s comfortable helping with your toddler that could be nice, keeping in mind that you might need to be around to help with stuff, like if toddler needs to use potty and needs some help, or meal times, etc. Reading and playing together would be fun though.

  46. Pregnancy weight gain :

    I feel like there’s no way to say this without coming across as braggy, which I’m not trying to do – but anyone not gain much weight in pregnancy and have a normal weight baby? I was on the slender side of normal to begin with and my doctor told me at the outset I should gain 25-30 pounds. I’m now 30 weeks pregnant and am only up 12 pounds, so it seems pretty unlikely I’ll gain more than 20. My doctor doesn’t seem too concerned (she said “Oh, you must be eating really healthy, that’s great”) but the thing is, I’m not eating especially healthy (although I don’t know that I’m eating significantly *more* than before I became pregnant – I’m just not that hungry, especially in the last few weeks). The nurse said something like “It will be so great, you’ll be back in your pre-pregnancy clothes ASAP!” but the thing is I’m much more concerned with having a healthy baby than fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes. DH and I were both really big babies (I was almost 9 lbs, he was almost 10 lbs) and baby was measuring big (80th percentile) at the 20 week ultrasound, although I know ultrasound measurements aren’t super reliable. I’m a little nervous that her growth has slowed down or my plateauing weight gain (I’m only up 1 pound since my 24 week appointment) translates to plateauing growth. I would love some reassuring anecdata if anyone here didn’t gain much weight and had an average or above-average weight baby.

    • Anonymous :

      I was on the very low end of normal weight when I got pregnant. I had hyperemesis for nine months, gained 17 or 18 pounds, and had a robustly healthy 8 lb 4 oz baby. Two weeks after delivery I was two pounds lighter than my prepregnancy weight and wearing my jeans again.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      There is really no rhyme or reason to weight gain in pregnancy so please try not to stress out too much. Also, a lot of my friends started gaining a lot more in the last weeks (partly due to more water retention), so it may yet happen.

      I am significantly overweight and was before I got pregnant. I lost 14 pounds after I got pregnant due to morning sickness and eventually gained it back plus 2 so at delivery I was just 2 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. My son was born at 38 weeks and 4 days and was 7 pounds 10 ounces. So yes, a very normal weight.

      Hang in there!

    • My sister’s four pregnancies resulted in little weight gain and a quick return to normal, and all her babies were in the 7-8 lb range and were perfectly healthy. She’s always been slender and that’s just how her body works. And it’s completely individual–my other two sisters and I had completely different experiences. It totally happens, but I think people don’t mention it much because they (like you) feel like it will come across braggy or insensitive to other pregnant ladies.

    • I gained a total of maybe 20 lbs. in my first pregnancy and my daughter was close to 8 lbs. when she came out. Most of the weight gain was at the end & I was also a week late. The weight came off within a few weeks after. It was super unexpected and honestly I didn’t get it because I wasn’t eating super healthy or trying to watch my calories overly much. My mom even gave me a hard time at the end because she kept saying “you just don’t look like you’re about to give birth! You look like you’re 6 months along, if that!” But everything was fine and my daughter was perfect!

      I’m pregnant again and I gained a bit more with this one but I’m about 33 weeks along and probably gained 16 lbs. at this point. Two things – 1) if you’re concerned, ask for a follow up growth ultrasound – I just had one at 32 weeks, per my doctor’s orders; and 2) the tech at my u/s said that the earlier ultrasounds are generally more accurate and it’s only the ones at the very end that tend to be unreliable.

      Anyway, to sum up, I wouldn’t worry and if you trust your doctor and your doctor isn’t concerned, relax!

    • Not exactly what you asked, but my husband and I were both big babies so we were surprised when both of our kids were born on the smaller side (slightly less than 7 lb). They’ve both ended up being 90th+ percentile kids like we expected. And, keep in mind, 50% of babies are below the median, and that’s completely fine!

    • Anonymous :

      If it is due to a healthy diet I wouldn’t worry but make sure your diet is adequate. The reason for the recommendation range is also to protect the mom’s health. The pregnancy will take from your body what it needs to keep the baby healthy, so that’s it can be hard on the mom’s health if the diet is inadequate. Like lower bone density etc.

      Avocado, full fat plain yoghurt, and nuts are all easy ways to add some healthy calories.

    • I can’t remember the breakdown, but there’s some estimate to how much weight is actually baby/placenta/essential parts and how much is extra fluid/fat that you body tacks on. A baby born at 30 weeks may weight what, 3 lbs? So at 12 lbs in, sounds like your body is doing what it needs to do. Let your doctor worry about this.

    • two anecdotes. first, when my mom was pregnant with me, she lost 15lbs in the first trimester bc she was so sick. she ultimately regained those 15 and then another 15, so from her pre-pregnancy weight she was only up 15lbs and I was almost 8 pounds and totally healthy. second, one of my best friends had gained very little weight and then gained a bunch more towards the end, but probably only gained like 20-25lbs total and she had an 8lb baby. Everyone’s body is different! Just make sure you are eating when you are able. (i’m currently in my first trimester and can’t really eat at the moment bc i’m so nauseous and i hate when my doc keeps telling me to eat, so i understand it can be easier said than done). Also, if your baby does end up on the smaller side that doesn’t necessarily mean there is anything wrong with them! I have friends who’ve had perfectly healthy 5 pounders with no NICU time.

    • biglawanon :

      I only gained around 25 lbs with twins. They were each between 5 and 6 lbs. I am tall, but really slim with a small frame, so thank god I didn’t gain more. I maintained a healthy diet and exercised throughout my pregnancy.

      • Anonymous :

        30 lb with my twins, 5.2 and 5.12 lb at birth, full term and healthy. I am 5’2″ and weighed 120 at conception.

    • FWIW, I gained 18 pounds of a total 30 pound weight gain during weeks 35-40.

  47. Anonymous :

    Dear lawn care service,

    Why are you mowing the lawn outside my window? You spent two hours mowing it yesterday.


    Left my noise-cancelling headphones at home

  48. yes! if you have a netflix account, let her use the password for the week and i’m sure she will be very happy to lounge around watching movies/tv shows or at least that’s what i liked to do after finals. i also often used to sleep until 11am each day, so you might not need to entertain her for as many hours as you might think.

  49. routinely follow, but have never posted (I’m oddly excited). Has anyone had any luck working remotely for a period of time (thinking 2-3 weeks), taking days off sporadically, maybe 2-3 days each week, working the rest of the time–the catch is that I would be in a completely different time zone, and out of the country, so phone calls would be limited, and my availability would overlap only a few hours each day with my office. I’m trying to figure out if it’s even worth exploring with my manager or if I should just plan a much shorter, probably 1 week trip. I have a sibling living overseas and I would really like to take advantage of having someone we know there and exploring the area while she is there. We are already going over the holidays, but we’d like to go back this summer. I have the vacation time, but it’s not customary at my office for people to take large chunks, and availability is always a big thing. I really want to come up with a workable arrangement.

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