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Workwear sales of note for 3.22.23:
- Ann Taylor – Up to 40% off full-price pants and shirts; extra 30% off all sale styles
- Athleta – 20% off shorts, swim, linen & more
- Banana Republic Factory – 40% off everything; extra 15% off purchase
- Boden – Up to 50% off
- Brooks Brothers – Clearance styles to 70% off. Some pretty serious markdowns!
- Express – Extra 40% off clearance for up to 60% off
- J.Crew – 25% off your purchase; up to 50% off special-occasion styles
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 50% off everything; extra 15% off 3 styles; extra 20% off 4 styles; extra 50% off clearance
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty
- Talbots – 25% off regular-price dresses, skirts, accessories & shoes
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- What are your favorite parts of a typical day?
- At what point in your life (age, income level, whatever) were you able to take an annual vacation?
- What shoes can I keep at the office to go for mid-day walks (that go with everything)?
- How do you release stress or trauma that’s stored in the body?
- What are the best “networking for women events” you’ve ever been to?
- I feel like we’re burning through any savings we acquire…
- I hate my job and make 30% of what DH makes – should I quit?
- What do you keep in your office?
Ooh, I hope BB does have their usual sale. It’s a key wardrobe refresher for me. I’ve been in shopping hibernation for a while, though, so maybe I missed it to?
And now a threadjack right off the bat: I have a question about how to address a bonus I think was unfairly low. I switched from BigLaw to a small firm last fall and took (as expected) a huge salary hit. During our annual review , I was awarded a raise I thought was fair and a bonus of … $2500. I recently received the results of a voluntary anonymous survey by our associates committee, and my bonus is WAY lower than others’. The other reported bonuses cluster at $15k to $25k. In that company, my bonus looks and feels like a “slap in the face” bonus — a nominal bonus designed to make the point that you aren’t meeting expectations.
As background, I’m part-time, but I participate fully in all group/firm activities, so I’m there all the time. Our group had a slow period, so I didn’t hit my hours, but I did all work given to me very promptly and picked up work in other groups. During the review, I was told my work was “A+” and other very complimentary things. I specifically asked about my lower hours during the review process and was told it wasn’t of remote concern to them. And yet my bonus is MUCH lower than even a proration of the next smallest reported bonus, not to mention the cluster. And I am a relatively senior associate.
Up until the bonus survey was released, I was really happy with this job. It is a wonderful fit for me in many ways, including a part-time schedule I wanted and that actually WORKS for me and my family. And, to be frank, I don’t even remotely need the bonus. But understandably I’m feeling resentful, unappreciated, taken advantage of, and newly unsure of my worth and status at the firm. Moreover, as is my unfortunate tendency, my self-esteem is taking a big nosedive also. What should I do? Both as a business matter, and as a self-esteem matter?
Killer Kitten Heels
Did everyone else hit their hours? Because if everyone else hit their hours and you didn’t, that could account for the vast disparity in bonuses, particularly if other folks all hit full-time hours and you missed part-time hours.
Otherwise, maybe just let them know you’ve seen the bonus report and, in light of it, were wondering what their thinking was around your bonus?
+1 for this (last paragraph) and don’t do it until you can discuss it with fairly flat emotions; showing anger or bitterness will be worse than not asking at all.
Plus, how part time?
In my company a bonus is also divided up into the percentage that you would otherwise have.
Example: if you work 50% of a full-time job, you get 50% of what your bonus would have been if you were working 100%. That, combined with not hitting your hours, could well account for it.
For the other bonuses, are any of the others part-time as well? I know where I work, part-time workers’ bonuses are calculated differently than full-time staff.
When you say “last fall”, do you mean like October 2014 or October 2013? My answer would change depending on when you started. I agree with KKH that hours may play into it – my firm used to have a STRICT hours/bonus tie, so if you didn’t make your hours, then no matter what your collections and quality of work were, they wouldn’t give you a bonus.
I’ve been there over a year. This is a full annual bonus.
So my thinking is this:
– check if everyone else made their hours. If so,
– bonuses are probably tied to hours;
– bonuses are probably ALSO tied to PT;
– they do like you since your review was good, and wanted to give you SOMETHING, but the hours/bonus tie-in made that bonus v low.
If no one else made their hours, then I would see if you can go back to the person with whom you get along best, and see what’s up – maybe this is their way of telling you that PT is not as well regarded as you thought.
Yay! Kat, I am goeing right over to Brook’s Brother’s at lunch to see if they have this or can order it for me. I love Brok’s Brother’s.
As for the OP, hug’s. There are so many things in the workeing world that just are NOT fair, but you have to look on the bright side of thing’s. You are getting to work part time and the work envirenment does not sound to bad. I remember when I worked serveing subpeenie’s for this company, I did NOT get ANY bonus at all for the work I did and I was VERY honest. I never threw out any subpeenie’s and I alway’s fully completed the afidavids that I had to in order to be abel to proove that I had served the subpeenies. The boss said that my bonus was getting the EXPEREINCE of workeing in the legal profession. I said thank’s but I need to pay the rent (even tho dad was doeing that for me).
So all I am saying is that you are NOT alone, and you have the power of the HIVE behind you. YAY!
Yesterday, we had our holiday party, and the Maiter dee want’s to date me. His name is NOT Gonzalo — fortuneately he is named “Fidel”, which he said means “honesty”. He claim’s he is very honest, and would never decieve me. He seems honest, tho he is a littel grabbey. If I date him, I would NOT want to find him like I did Gonzalo walkeing out of a dumpy apartement on Lex with his hand on the tuchus of a woman early in the morning. FOOEY! I want a man who is true to ME, not whatever woman he is holding at the time.
Anyway, Mason got a littel tipsey and said that he would consider MARRYING Lynn. I was happy for her b/c her chances for findeing another man are VERY slim now that she is not any more. I think Mason like’s Lynn b/c he has moved into her apartement, but I think the manageing partner is not that thrilled with Mason’s LEGAL work. The manageing partner has counsled me to get him up to speed on the WC precedent on my computer, but Mason does NOT realy want to learn. Even the judge confieded in the manageing partner by telling him at the party that Mason is an idiot in court. That is why I JUST let him hold my LIT bag. The judge was very complementary to me yesterday at the party, telling me that I did NOT have to loose weight in my tuchus. The judge did NOT like the food but the manageing partner was to busy with Margie and the baby to care much about that. Madeline brought her boyfreind (a kind of wormey guy) and her boyfreind started makeing eye’s at me — GROSS!
Anyway, thing’s are kind of quiet in the office today b/c the manageing partner is not here today. I think I will be takeing a little time off for the holiday’s and spending it with Mom & Dad. I invited Myrna to spend time with me (and drive me to LI) this weekend. She think’s we should also visit with Grandma Trudy and I think that is a good idea, b/c I do NOT have any men askeing me out for the holiday (other then Fidel), and I do NOT want to lead him on. YAY!!!!
You’re a part time lawyer who didn’t make your hours. You should be glad you got a bonus at all and carry on.
Rough but fair. That was my initial reaction. Are you comparing your bonus to people who are working full time? And who made their hours? I’m at a Biglaw firm that doesn’t do extravagant bonuses and $2500 for a part-time attorney that didn’t make hours would be considered generous.
+1 My bonus was bigger than a senior associate’s who is working part-time. It’s fair. I’m more junior but I work way more hours. You have a job where you can work part-time as a lawyer. That’s GOLD.
I have to agree that it’s fair. I’m the biggest supporter of part-time and flexible jobs but part-time + not hitting hours would be the lowest priority for me, if I was the boss. I would prioritize bonuses for those who hit their hours. I think the thing to do would be – in the new year – to talk about the firm’s goals for you as a part-timer and how to maximize your time, talents and output and to make sure everyone is in accord. You may need to make some tweaks, especially to try to get enough work to hit your hours goal.
+1 – you can’t have your cake and eat it too
Agreed. My firm (biglaw) pays no bonus at all unless you hit bonus threshold, which is significantly above the “you can get fired for not hitting this” hours threshold.
This is accurate, and also reminds me of “you’re a virgin and can’t drive”
Without knowing what your bonus is tied to at your new firm, it’s impossible to know whether you should be upset. If it’s purely merit-based, it could be worth asking someone who participated in teh decision-making process what they were considering and ask why the disparity. At most non-Biglaw firms though bonuses are tied to “something” – hours, collections, hours + collections, percentage of profit. As a PT lawyer who didn’t make her hours, I would find it hard to believe you met any of the goals, even with A+ work. So your bonus likely was fair for the year. Unfortunate, I know. I’ve been similarly scr*wed in the past.
Do you know how your salary compares with others? Maybe these juniors have a lower base salary (even relative to your greater experience) with a higher expectation that they’ll make up for it in bonuses. My guess is that if you were hired as a senior associate working part-time, they want you for your expertise, i.e., they need someone who can do what you do to take the pressure off the partners, and aren’t as focused on hours, which seems like something they’d value with salary, not bonus.
Also for consideration: did the firm pay a recruiter to hire you? If so, they could be costing that out of your bonus. Not fair, but hopefully a one-time thing.
I’m expecting a job offer within the next day or so. The problem is my office is closed from Dec. 24-Jan. 5, and my boss’s holiday vacation starts today.
If I get the offer (in writing!) tomorrow, is it appropriate to call her to give my notice, or should I wait until Jan. 5 when I can do it in person? I feel awful about doing it over the holiday, but want to give as much notice as possible.
As a manager, I would suggest you talk to your manager in person on January 5th. Your boss won’t be able to do anything with your news while the offices are closed, so just wait until the new year! (If you have to start at the new place on the 10th, then that might sway me but even then not that much).
Does your answer change if she wants a counteroffer and wants to stay at her current job?
Another manager here — and, no. What would change is that, if you’re hoping for a counter, I would think you’d tell the new job that you need more time to consider the offer so that you can give current manager/job time to counter. In my experience, counters can happen very quickly (even at a large, bureaucratic, corporate firm) if they really don’t want to lose you.
IF you’re not hoping for a counter, then just tell them first thing Jan 5.
You should do what you need to do to give 2 weeks notice. It’s standard. If you can wait until Jan 5 without complications from the new job wait, but if you need to start sooner call your boss.
I got a job offer around this time last year, and I gave my boss a heads up that it was a possibility now, and then made it official when I had the offer in hand in January. I think he appreciated that it wasn’t a total shock, though I did end up negotiating my start date as they wanted me to stay longer in the old job to wrap things up.
Does your boss not have email? It seems like a good middle ground between a phone call interrupting her vacation time, and giving two weeks’ less notice.
Would your last day chance? As in, if you gave 2 weeks notice now, would your last day be end of Dec?
I would email your boss with a formal letter of resignation, and a note about how you didnt want to bother her on vacation with this but didn’t want to let it sit over the holidays in case she wanted to discussion now. Then tell her when you’ll be available to speak by phone, wish her happy holidays, and express that you wish you had the chance to deliver this news in person.
I’ve had several people resign by email over the years, and it varied dramatically in professionalism by the tone/delivery/context of the news.
Help – last minute styling question. I have a fairly upscale holiday party tomorrow evening and thought I was all set with my dress, shoes, and accessories. (It’s at a Ritz in our NE large city – DH’s work event, invite says cocktail attire). DH saw my shoes and earrings and thought I was being too conservative and should dress up a little more (background: I dress somewhat preppy/conservative for work and non-work activities and his thinking is that I should allow myself to experiment a little more and push myself out of my clothing comfort zone. Fair point…I want to wear more colors but end up gravitating toward black/grey/camel/blue which I all love….)
Anyway, links to follow but I have a black dress that I’m wearing and was planning on steel grey/gun metal pumps and long sparkly earrings. Any other ideas on how to accessorize this outfit? Would cobalt shoes and fuschia earrings be too out there??
Why does DH care?
It’s his work event.
My husband has pointed out that since I started wearing suits every work day, my weekend wear has become a lot more conservative. Things that I wore on weekends before seem down right scandalous to me now lol. Of course my husband enjoys seeing me in attire that is less conservative and my wardrobe previously had been all not conservative. I think I sometimes need a gentle nudge to say “ah, we are going to a New Year’s Party, not church” to remind me I can show some extra leg or cleavage. I don’t have any problem with that and welcome the encouragement and I’m guessing OP does too. If your husband was pushing you to wear things that make you uncomfortable, that is a different story.
I say cobalt shoes, the long sparkly earrings, and a bold lip color.
This sounds good to me too. If you’re uncomfortable with a bold lip colour, then put the colour on your nails.
And charge the manicure to DH!
I like this suggestion the best, and agree with lawsuited below that your husband’s work party is not the best time to break out of your comfort zone.
The more I come to this website, the more I am convinced you all are a bunch of stodgy, pearl clutching, no-style-having fuddy duddies!
God, wear some cobalt shoes. Its not like she suggested wearing a rubber bra and nothing else to the party.
You are correct that I am a pearl-clutching fuddy-duddy, but calm down already. I just think cobalt shoes with sparkly earrings would look nicer than cobalt shoes with fuschia earrings.
I haven’t seen the dress link yet, but I can’t imagine that cobalt shoes and fuscia earrings would be “out there” with a black dress. That said, I don’t think there’s a good reason to choose your husband’s work holiday party to push your sartorial envelope.
I think that’s the perfect time to push the envelope. Holiday parties, where there is an expectation of gressing up, are great times to play around with accessories and color that you would not normally wear for work.
Must be Tuesday
Agreed, especially if it’s someone else’s work holiday party, not your work holiday party.
I have been with my partner for 6 years. I moved in with him about 1.5 years ago. I think I want to end things with him though. What is holding me back is that we now have a dog together, I have no where to go, and I have zero friends without him. I just don’t feel like we have anything in common anymore, we are neo longer attracted to eachother, and we are both young. I also don’t think we want the same things in the future. What do we do with the dog? How can I start a life at 30 with no friends? Sorry for this rant, I’m just at a big loss now.
Former Partner, Now In-House
You can start your own life at 30. I know because I did exactly what you are contemplating at 30 (had been with him since 19). It is not easy — it can be lonely. But everything you do is something that YOU get to choose. So you end up with the life you want. If that is what you want, people will cheer you on!
I agree with this OP. Hug’s to you. As for the orginal OP, you are YOUNG at 30 and can make freind’s on your own. Beside’s, you can take the dog or not, but I would take the dog b/c I have seen alot of men talk to women with dog’s b/c this is something they can do to start a conversation.
But be VERY carful. If you have moved in with him you will have to move out — or get him to move out. But do NOT move out to just move in with another guy b/c the guy will just know you are there b/c you have NOWHERE to go and will use you for sex, not love. If you have family, start with them b/c you will be abel to live there w/o any sexeual over tones that you will have if some schlub let’s you move in with him. FOOEY! I had enough troubel with Scheketovits effectiveley moveing in with me and soiling all of my Egyptian cotton sheet’s and throwing up in the apartement. DOUBEL FOOEY!
Just do NOT let the holiday season get you down. You are just like me and I keep up a great attitude even tho there is NO man in my life now. It WILL GET BETTER 4 YOU! I am sure the hive agree’s!!!!
If you are concerned about having no friends, I’d push to take the dog. They’re wonderful companions, especially when you feel alone in life.
Are you sure you want to end things, or are you still thinking through it? If the latter, I’d highly recommend relationship counseling.
You will find somewhere to go and you will make friends once you start getting out and going things on your own. You really will, I’m not just saying that.
Where are you located? If you’re in the Boston area, I’ll meet you for a drink. Otherwise, I’m sure one of the other posters here will be your friend…
If you’re in Boston, I will also come to that drink.
But seriously, you’re 30 and you’ll make new friends. And you’re not moving to Canada – I think the dog should go with the person who will be able to take best care of it (both financially or timewise) – not to sound too lawerly but you need to take the best interests of the dog into account. But I think visitation should be a thing if you can be civil after the break-up.
I saw a quote once that staying in a relationship because of a fear of being alone rather than happiness together isn’t good for either party. You deserve more and so does HE. But you have to be brave enough to take the leap.
(This all assumes that you are absolutely sure. If you’re sure you want to end it – its already ended really. You just need to do the legwork now.)
Although Canada is great, and if you were moving to Toronto I could have a drink with you!
I think the general consensus is if you’re feeling like you need a pal, let someone here know and if there’s someone in your area, you’ve got some friends :-) (Ps. Pittsburgh FTW)
Same in DC!
Chicago! And I’ll add that I moved to this city at the age 30, knowing no one (but without the complication of heartbreak). A few years later my first world problem is balancing time between my fiancee and friends. If I can do it, you can do it!
What’s the alternative? Staying in a relationship that’s wrong for you your whole life? Starting over at 40? At 50? It will be tough. You will have to figure out who you are without him and build a new life, but doesn’t that sound so much better than the alternative? Have some faith in yourself – you can do this! And you will figure out what to do with the dog. I am a dog-owner/lover myself, but you can’t let a dog dictate the terms of your life to this degree.
Agreed. And what to do with the dog? You keep the dog, he keeps the dog, or you share custody of the dog. There are lots of choices and you can find the one that works for you (maybe even through trial and error). You will be fine. He will be fine. The dog will be fine. It will all be okay. How to make new friends? Find a hobby. Join a club. Go on Meetup.org. 30 is a great age to build yourself the life you always wanted to have. Good luck!
Killer Kitten Heels
So where to go is probably the easiest part of this – start looking for studio apartments that allow dogs, in neighborhoods that you like that are near-ish to your workplace. Things to look for – places with lots of natural light, with something – a park, stores, a movie theater, a gym, a yoga studio, restaurants, bars, whatever – in walking distance so you have things to do on weekends that are easy and nearby and don’t require lots of planning/thinking.
The friends part – first of all, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised that at least some of those friends you think you’ll lose in the breakup will stick around. Second of all, even if they don’t, friend-making is totally do-able. Volunteer with a program you’re interested in, sign up for a pub trivia team, join a recreation league sport, ask that nice girl two cubicles over that you always chat with at the water cooler if she wants to go for lunch, reach out to friends that you’ve lost touch with but still have fond memories of, etc. You’re not the only person – of any age – starting over, and you’ll find kindred spirits along the way. (If my mom can divorce my dad, lose all her friends, and find new ones – at the gym, actually – at 58, you can do this at 30, I promise.)
Re: the dog – I’d just take the dog when I move out. What’s he going to do, sue you for custody? I’ll come to wherever you live and defend you in that suit myself, pro bono, if he turns out to be that much of a jerk.
What? No. This guy sounds like a perfectly nice dude who she just doesn’t love enough. That doesn’t justify just taking their shared dog and refusing to give it back!
They have to talk about the dog.
Killer Kitten Heels
Sorry, but she’s got reason to believe she’s going to wind up friendless if she breaks up with the dude – so she’s supposed to lose her whole social circle AND her dog for the crime of what? Not wanting to date a guy? Nope. She’s losing her entire life as she knows it – girl’s entitled to her dog, at least in my world.
She’s supposed to discuss it with him. Because stealing his dog is reprehensible.
Sorry I’m with the first anon. It’s a discussion, mostly because the dog needs to end up in the best situation possible. For example if the dog is much more strongly bonded with the BF then she really shouldn’t take the dog for the dog’s sake. Also what if the BF runs with the dog daily, but she doesn’t really have time to exercise it? It’s a discussion.
No you can’t just steal a dog- she said they share a dog she didn’t say it was her dog. It doesn’t make him a jerk if he sues- I would sue if someone stole our shared dog.
She’d also be turning this whole breakup into one that is way more acrimonious than it needs to be. They don’t sound like they hate each other, they’re just not in love. They could end up being good friends, even. But not if you steal the dog! Losing a social circle isn’t a punishment for breaking up with the boyfriend – it is pointing out a (painful) fact that maybe she hasn’t made it a priority to develop her own independent of her boyfriend. Sometimes you have to suck it up and do the right thing, and the right thing is probably to rationally discuss it.
Assuming that they got the dog together as a couple, it’s just as much his dog as hers. I don’t see any reason that he’s less likely to wind up without a social circle as she is, and why should he have to have his girlfriend walk out on him and lose his dog?
When my friend got divorced, they found a way to share custody of the dog while still never having to see each other. They had a schedule and the dog was exchanged via doggy daycare. Dad dropped the dog off in the morning, mom picked dog up after work. Repeat in opposite direction when it was time to switch again. The dog was also dropped off with a notebook with any necessary info. This worked out great for them. Another person I know had kids and the deal was the dog went with the kids so whatever house the kids were at, the dog was at that house on those days. And yet a third friend thought she wanted the dogs but they made her way too depressed over her life lost so they went back to the ex who was missing them terribly. They realized once they started living it what the best choice was for them.
Your examples made me happy for the people involved for acting like adults as well as for the dogs for not having to lose their owners.
I agree with the folks, above, who said the OP cannot just take the dog without any input from the BF. If it’s his dog, too, he gets input. Imagine it was the other way around. Everyone would be outraged if the OP broke up with her boyfriend and she came onto this site complaining that her BF took her dog and refused to let her see it.
Anon in NYC
I like the agreement that the dog went with the kids! What a great way to have some sort of continuity for the kids and still be able to share the dog.
As a word of caution, my SO is currently sharing custody of the dog he got with his ex-fiancee. To be fair, I think they should have talked the visitation schedule through better when they agreed to split the dog, but they have not figured out a smooth or easy way to manage it. I think their acrimonious breakup did not make that easier, but there’s never any guarantee that a breakup is going to go smoothly and that both parties will be emotionally ready to handle continued contact. My SO is trying to get the dog back now after a previously agreed-upon stint with the ex, and she won’t respond to his texts or emails but keeps calling him and sobbing hysterically until he hangs up. He doesn’t think the current situation is sustainable, but he loves the dog and doesn’t want to give her up; obviously the ex also loves the dog and won’t give her up either. So sharing custody is not a magic bullet.
That is a really tough situation. The person I know in my first scenario had issues communicating w/ the ex which is why they didn’t see/talk to each other and it was done through doggy daycare instead.
It will be tough but at 30 you still have a lot of life ahead of you. The break will be even tougher when you’re unhappy with the relationship at 31, 35, 40…
You CAN start a life at 30 with no friends. I have done it by moving for a job, despite knowing nobody. IT takes a while to get to know people, but it is worthwhile to make time for hobbies, volunteering and social activities. Maintaining emotionally close, thought physically distant relationships also helps.
How does gratitude work in your romantic relationship? Do you thank your partner for doing things? Does it make a difference if they are regular chores, other things around the house, tasks at your request, etc? How else do you show your appreciation?
I tend to say thank you for almost everything – dinners he cooks nightly, doing my laundry, etc. He doesn’t verbally say thank you, but he does it with actions – picking up flowers with the groceries, warming up my car in the morning, etc.
Gratitude costs you nothing and pays huge dividends. We always say please and thank you. I’ll tell him thank you for washing the dishes, he’ll tell me thank you for taking care of the crying kid last night, etc. We also show our appreciation by doing other chores. So, if my husband is doing the dishes, I’ll clean up the kids’ toys and take out the garbage. Happily married 10 years now with two kids, a dog, and two crazy jobs and apparently it’s still working.
I’ve learned the more I say thank you and that I appreciate the things he does, the more he does them! So I probably am very vocal about my gratitude, but he also has come a long way in a short period of time and I genuinely appreciate it.
He doesn’t say thank you as much – but reminds me how awesome I am at least weekly.
I really think gratitude is key… we both have crazy lives right now and very stressed. Knowing your partner sees what you do and appreciates it leaves no room for resentment.
Co-sign! My husband and I have very different ideas about what constitutes an appropriate timeline for doing things so I try to thank him when he’s quick about doing things I’ve asked him to. And sometimes it just occurs to me to thank him, so I do.
It’s important to express your gratitude when you feel it because it helps positively reinforce behavior. I’ve also recently realized that I’m much more prone to expressing displeasure than appreciation so I want to make sure he knows that I see and appreciate what he does.
I thank DH for doing things like cooking dinner, unpacking the dishwasher, picking up a package at the post office, calling to renew the car insurance, even if its part of his regular chores. I don’t thank him for every task, every day, but I probably thank him around once a day for something or other that he does for me. He does a lot more of the daily household chore than I do because I work longer hours, and I very, very often feel a wave of gratitude that I married a man who understands that equal partnership doesn’t mean we split every aspect of life 50/50 so I thank him often. He doesn’t say “thank you” as often, but usually thanks me when I agree to be at an event or dinner and I actually carve out the time and am there.
I think we both thank each other for the things that mean the most to us – I thank him for having made dinner and turned the laundry over by the time I get home at 8:30pm. He thanks me for struggling to leave work at 5:00pm when I’ve promised to have dinner with his parents who are in town.
This was something that came up in the book the Happiness Project (which has really been a good relationship self-help book for me actually). She talked about a couple things – one is the “languages of love” thing (how different people express and see love in different ways) and also about her own efforts to stop needing praise for things that were routine or non-praiseworthy.
I actually forget what her final takeaway on the topic was, but my takeaway is that I think expressing gratitude to your partner needs to be more about what your partner needs than what you need. Like, when I clean the house, I like him to notice and say something because I hate cleaning the house and also because I express love verbally much more than he does. He doesn’t feel the need for the same amount of praise (we’ve talked about it) because he is more someone who expresses love by doing things for people – so I know he appreciates it when I take care of calling people for him (he hates that) or do household errands during the week.
I mean, I don’t think thanking someone implies that what they did was extraordinary or unusual, but merely that you are thankful – which I am. But I think taking the time to find out what thanks means and looks like to your partner is as important if not more than deciding how you feel about performing the praise.
Does any of this make sense?
“I don’t think thanking someone implies that what they did was extraordinary or unusual, but merely that you are thankful – which I am.”
Exactly. I don’t think there’s a threshold above which thanking is required and below which you should not thank your partner. The more love and kindness and appreciation that flows between two life partners the better, right?
I say thank you to my husband all the time, for doing things that are primarily his responsibility, for helping out with things that are my responsibility, when I mess something up and it makes it harder on him I thank him for helping me deal with it. He probably voices “thank you” less to me, but he is very good at showing he appreciates me and at doing things for me. We have been married 9 years and have 3 kids.
I try to thank my dh (of 30 years) for all the things he does around the house, whether it’s making dinner, doing the dishes, help with laundry, whatever. We’re pretty 50/50 with chores, although he cooks more than me because he’s home first.
I find it helps him feel appreciated (and who doesn’t like that) and it also helps me be aware of all the thingshe does. I have a tendency to get pretty self absorbed if I’m not careful, and thanking him (and the kids) for the little things is one of the ways in combat it.
I try to say thank you as much as possible because sometimes I am an ungrateful b!tch and I’d like to have some karma banked.
Glad I’m not the only one…
I thank my SO for all the things he does to make my life more awesome than it would be without him, which is to say I thank him a lot–and he voices his gratitude to me a lot as well. We say please and thank you for chores and tasks of course but we also regularly thank each other just for being sweet and loving and supportive. Even if the other person hasn’t done anything out of the ordinary. I can see how some people might feel like saying thank you “too much” could cheapen it, and I used to worry about that a little bit–like if I keep thanking him or if he keeps thanking me, will it mean we’re just saying it? But it’s working for us. We’re long distance at the moment, and it helps!
I’ll offer what seems to be a slightly different perspective, based on others’ responses. I am recently out of a long-term relationship and this was a major issue for me. My partner said thank you to me all the time, but it just felt like he was checking a box. I tried valiantly to communicate that I feel most appreciated when things are reciprocal — e.g., I cook, you clean up afterwards, not just “thanks, that was delicious” even if that’s totally sincere.
OTOH, I felt like I constantly tried to express gratitude in ways other than just saying thank you (although I also said it frequently). But something about saying thank you to him for routine things seemed to continuously reinforce the notion that he was doing me a favor of some sort. As if doing every single thing, from taking out the trash to planning a vacation, was my job… so if he helped at all, that was a gift to me, not just him holding up his end of the relationship. I think I became especially attuned to it when I noticed that his parents always thanked us for coming to dinner — where they cooked or paid — as if they were really burdening us by treating us to a nice meal!
Ultimately it became pretty clear to me that my partner assumed that anytime he did anything that wasn’t precisely what he wanted to be doing at that moment, he deserved some sort of praise. To me, life requires doing things all the time and you should be, at least in theory, happy to do them for people you love. As others have said, to some extent it’s about saying/doing things in a way that people most want to hear.
I had an ex who was similar. It was like “thank you” were magic words that constituted the only possible way to express gratitude. I’d make dinner, he would say “thank you” like he was checking off a box, then he would proceed to pick apart everything I should have done differently with my cooking. So I felt unappreciated because he was criticizing my efforts, but he thought he was being appreciative because he’d said the magic words. On the other hand, if he made dinner and I said “this is really good, I like how [ingredient] and [spice] go together,” but didn’t say “thank you,” I was being unappreciative for failing to say the magic words.
If someone really needs to hear magic words, then I think you have to do your best to say them even if you think it’s something of a meaningless expression. But they have to give a little too and not take it personally every time you don’t say the magic words.
This is my current situation with my long term SO, and I’m still trying to find my way of coping. He definitely has a need to be praised for doing the things that I think are just part of being in a equal household. I don’t feel a need to be praised for doing things that I consider my job. I do like to be surprised with tokens as a showing of appreciation though, and that is something that SO isn’t great at.
We talk about it a lot, and I think that’s really the best we can do to be conscious of our differences. And we’ll probably continue to talk about it because these are some hardwired personality differences that aren’t going away.
I say thank you even when I’m thinking you-should-have-done-this-without-me-having-to-remind-you.
This kind of looks like a thermal sweater to me. What is the stripe down the front?
That’s what I like about the sweater! The only reason I haven’t pushed buy is that it appears to be too long for me.
The stripe is a way for the manufacturer to save $ by using two pieces of fabric instead of one.
Hive help! I’d love your suggestions for a new shampoo. Points for drugstore price and volumizing ability.
There’s a Suave Naturals (I think) shampoo that’s supposed to be a dupe for Aveda’s rosemary mint. My sister uses it and I’ve used it when visiting her. You can get the big bottles for $2 at Target sometimes. Smells good and definitely gave a little lift (I have a lot of very fine, slightly wavy hair, if it matters).
I’ve used this shampoo on and off for a few years now (I alternate with pricier shampoos I get from my hairstylist friend), and I love it. It has a nice, subtle scent, too.
I’ve become a fan of the Loreal EverPure/EverStrong line. They’re sulfate free and work very well and are drugstore available.
I love these.
I’ve tried a LOT of volumizing shampoos. At the drug store price point, the best I’ve found is Marc Anthony Instantly Thick shampoo (in the orange bottle). If you’re willing to pay salon prices, I love Joico Body Luxe Volumizing shampoo and Redken Body Full shampoo.
I’m a big fan of the L’Oreal EverPure (or one of the Evers) volumizing line.
L’oreal has a volume filler shampoo. There is also a similar Ulta-branded one that I like a bit better, if you have one nearby.
The Kirkland Signature Moisturizing shampoo from Costco is awesome. $8 for a big pump bottle, and it’s sulfate free, and smells great.
I'm a pear
I think I’ve finally realized that pencil skirts do not work for me. I am a skinny pear. Pencil skirts just always feel uncomfortable, I can’t ever figure out where the waist is supposed to go and the endless tailoring (taking in the waist) is a drag. And I am having the same problem with my pencil skirts that I had with pants… once they are perfectly tailored, and I gain a few pounds… that’s it. Can’t wear it anymore with the “smile” effect and/or general discomfort (especially while sitting).
So I think I need to start again with ?A line skirts. I’m kind of bummed, as I have been gathering pencil skirts over the past few years to complete my basics working wardrobe.
To other pears out there…. what is your “the skirt”?….. your staple skirt that you have purchased in a few colors that works well for work? What is your favorite staple work dress that flatters pears that might work with blazers?
Also a skinny pear
A-line skirts are the devil on me.
The Skirt + altering or #2 pencil sans altering work for me.
I’ve just radically accepted that alterations will always be a part of my life. Otherwise, I’ll always have a wardrobe that struggles to be mediocre in terms of fit and I will always feel that I need *more* clothes when what I really need to do is to get the clothes I have to fit better. Less time / $ once you get it right.
I'm a pear
Really?! A-line skirts are the devil for you… how? Do you feel they make your butt look too big? I was hoping they would be more forgiving.
I have been altering my pencils, but unfortunately when my weight fluctuates it all goes to my butt/thighs. Even gaining 3-4 lbs makes fit a problem, once alterations are done.
Also a skinny pear
My sense was that it magnified the pear-ness while the pencil skirt was actually flattering (more so when altered). YMMV.
I have altered The Dress to make it snugger above the waist and it is much better (skirt is a bit a-line), but not as good as a similar dress designed to be more of a sheath.
Also a skinny pear, and that’s my view of A-line skirts, too (that it magnifies the pear-ness), too. I have to get the volume on the top just right to even things out and make it look decent.
I find pencil skirts flattering, personally, though they do seem to fit funny, they look fine, at least, I think that they do. :)
Funny how we can have what seem to be the same body types and still different fit problems.
I’m also a slender pear, but my answer won’t help you. Pencil skirts are my go to, but I see my own so I can get the fit right. A-lines always make me feel wide unless they are very drapey.
I’m a skinny pear too and a-line skirts are not my friend. I find a perfectly fitted pencil skirt to be the best option. I know the pain of having to maintain yourself at the *exact* same size but I don’t think there is a magic skirt or dress out there
Agree with this. I also tend to buy/keep my clothes altered at slightly different sizes so that I have a range I can go to if my weight fluctuates. They’re not so big that I can’t wear them if I’ve dropped a few inches, but they have enough give if I go up.
I don’t know what the hell my shape is exactly. Kind of pear, kind of straight. I’ve decided skirts just don’t work for me. Period. I’ll occasionally wear a pencil skirt, but I also have the problems with knowing where the waist should sit. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see curves at all and feel like it makes me look bigger than I am. Ditto for a-lines and midis, I love the tulle skirt at Anthropologie right now. I went in and asked them to help convince me to buy it. I tried on about 15 shirts with it and only liked one or two: not enough ways to justify getting the skirt.
Conversely, I love dresses, especially maxi dresses. I think ultimately skirts draw attention to my waist, which is fine but just not where I want eyes to go. Dresses lack the horizontal line and allow the eye to be drawn to the vertical lines, which flatter me better. Hope this is helpful/relevant.
I will add that one thing I took away from the Anthropologie skirt experience is that if you have the same problem I did with skirts, a beaded belt can smooth the shirt-to-skirt transition. I bought the shimmered milieu belt.
I'm a pear
I really appreciate all of this feedback. I thought I had figured it out – avoid the pencils – but maybe not.
And keep my weight steady. Sigh…
Gail the Goldfish
Ann Taylor Loft Curvy Fit pencil skirts. Only in certain fabrics. They’re basically the only ones I’ve ever gotten that look right. Trumpet skirts also work for me sometimes (I have one from Talbots that works)
I reached the same conclusion and am on a skater dress and jacket kick. A line skirt suits look a little weird to me and the dresses lay better. Otherwise, pants are a better bet for me.
1999 Club Monaco A-line skirt. It worked even with weight fluctuations due to the amazing cut and fabric content. One thing is that it draped well and was not heavy in weight, so the A-shape was not exaggerated. Still kicking myself for losing it at a hoarder relative’s house.
Hello! Holiday party help. DH holiday is tomorrow, at a “casually elegant” but very expensive restaurant. First question is of course, what to wear. Second is do we bring anything for his boss (who is the host of the party, its a very small (5 people) company, I am guessing it will be them and some clients too) Do I bring a bottle of wine or anything? I am leaning no but really nervous, I have no experience in stuff like this because I am public sector.
Wear a cute dress, black pants and a festive top, sequin skirt and a sweater. Something nice and a bit festive that isn’t super fancy or revealing.
Killer Kitten Heels
No to the host gift. Usually host(ess) gifts are consumables, and it seems kind of weird to bring a bottle of wine to a restaurant, at least to me.
As for what to wear, I’d go with a day-to-night type sheath dress or similar look, probably with extra sparkly jewelry and maybe shoes that are more fun than work. For reference, the holiday party at my office was at a similar type of restaurant, and I wore a gray pencil skirt, a maroon silk top, and a black blazer, plus a sparkly statement necklace.
Don’t bring wine because if you are allowed to drink it at the fancy restaurant there is probably a corking fee that is probably more expensive than you’d pay for the bottle.
If it’s a “casually elegant” restaurant, I’d wear a nice dress but not go overboard with the sparkles. I don’t think there’s any need to bring a hostess gift when the party is at a restaurant rather than at someone’s home, and it will create a bit of a logistical problem for the person you’re giving it to who has to store it somewhere during dinner and then carry it home or wherever he’s going next.
Short bob styling advice
Thanks to great recommendations on this site, I chopped off my long, straight, fine yet thick hair to an above the shoulder/short bob to try to clean up my look.
Now I am trying to figure out how to style it so it stops falling in my face. What am I missing here?!?
Maybe I just have to cut some bangs (not a fan of this style and/or the frequent maintenance….) or ?pin it back (but this looks both childish and matronly to me – not chic). My hair is so fine that hairspray just flattens it.
Suggestions? Thanks in advance to those of you that share my hair, as I have learned there are several!
I have the same hair and same hair cut, and I just tuck my hair behind my ear(s) to keep it out of my face. Is there any reason this wouldn’t work for you?
I may not have understood the question….
Short bob styling advice
Nope, you did. I actually started doing what you suggested, but I thought it didn’t look great. My bob is a little short for this and with the layers, it doesn’t work so well. It falls out from behind the ears too.
So maybe I have to grow it a little longer, less layers, and tuck.
Yeah, I know I’m pathetic. Just so tired of a life of rushing, and feeling like a mess….
My bob is more one-length (not really one length, but it’s not a lot of short layers) so tucking will work better once you’re layers grow out a bit. In the meantime, using volumizing mousse or styling mud when styling your hair will make it less slippery which will help a little bit. The mud works a lot better than the mousse, but is tricky to get right in fine hair.
Some subtle differences in cuts make the difference between ear tucking working and not. So for your next cut, be sure to tell your stylist “and I want it to be long enough and look decent when I tuck it behind my ears”
+1 to all of this. I’ve had some variation of this style almost consistently since high school, and I’m now in my early 30’s. Ears are my best hair accessory!
I have this type of hair and recently chopped my hair into a bob too. I have bangs, though. I do occasionally pin it back on one or both sides with a bobby pin, but I’ve accepted that it can’t be fully off my face like when I could just pull it into a ponytail.
Products that help keep it in place and that work for my hair (not all at once):
Bumble and Bumble – thickening hairspray (need to restock!)
Aveda – Phomollient (ridiculous name, but lasts forever and sort of gives my hair some structure and weight/volume)
Living Proof – No Frizz styling cream (sort of smooths my hair into place)
Killer Kitten Heels
Best advice I can think of is to talk to your stylist. If s/he’s good, s/he’ll be able to figure out how to cut/style your hair so that doesn’t happen without having to resort to bangs (although Team Bangs 4-Eva, over here). When I was having styling problems and I told my stylist, she did some weird magic with a razor cutter thing and now I don’t have the problem anymore.
I don’t have your hair type, but I do have a shorter cut as well. Maybe get a few bobby pins that match your hair color to pull front strands loosely out of your face?
I’ve seen a lot of posts on pinterest with ideas for pinning back hair. Try the Little Things blog. She has a couple of posts with easy steps using Bobby pins.
Short bob styling advice
I found it – “Small things blog”. That was a really useful tutorial. Thank you!
Yes! Sorry for the incorrect name. Glad you found it!
Short bob styling advice
Thank you all for your ideas.
Curious… do all of you with bobs style your hair only with a hairdryer, or does anyone curl it? If so, how? I just worry that if I grow out the layers, my hair is so dead/flat…
I’ve had this haircut and I actually curled it with a straightening iron, believe it or not. I used a narrow (maybe 1 inch?) iron with a round body to it and just used it to give my hair some bend. I have one side that flips in just perfectly, but the other side likes to flip out and this is the best way I can get it to be how I want.
Same haircut, different hair type. I wear a head band (classic cheap goody tortoise shell from the drug store) at my desk. I only have a problem when I’m looking at papers on my desk (ie when I’m looking down), so I don’t need it to keep my hair back during meetings, etc., where a head band is likely not appropriate.
I’ve finished all my Christmas shopping – except for my mother in law. She is very difficult to buy for because anything she wants she buys for herself. I was thinking about doing a subscription to Birchbox or something similar. Any recommendations or experience? Any other awesome ideas for the woman who has everything? Thank you!
Birchbox, in my experience, skews really young. My mother in law would not know what to do with blue glitter eyeshadow, for instance. I think a subscription service could be really nice, but I might pick a different type. Wine of the month? Cheese of the month?
Thanks, good to know! She really likes beauty products – is there anything similar that skews older (i.e. 60)? She doesn’t drink and I don’t think she would like any type of food delivery.
Hmm. I did Glossybox for a bit and thought the products were nicer and more timeless (more skincare product, lipsticks and the like – less nail art).
My mother in law loves Ulta. Could you make a mixed basket of beauty products you know she uses but maybe a step above what she’ll usually pay? Maybe a really luxurious shampoo/conditioner/lotion combo?
uh oh… i got a Birchbox subscription for my mom and did not know that it skews young. There were three style options though, and I picked “classic,” so hopefully that’ll help avoid any glitter.
Don’t worry too much, I’ve had Birchbox for well over a year and I’ve used basically everything that comes in it. I get a lot of skin and hair products, and the only makeup I got that was a little more “young” was some coral lipstick. Otherwise I didn’t get anything that I couldn’t wear to work! (Makeup has been eyeliner, mascara, some neutral eyeshadows, things like that.) Well, maybe one or two of the nail colors weren’t work appropriate, but otherwise I haven’t had the “too young” experience.
Hah. I think most of what I get from Birchbox is super boring and conservative. The most exciting thing I got was a deep purple eyeliner. *yawn*.
I’m going to second the question, but it would be a gift for my sister. Is it a box of samples of things she’d never use? In my head I equate it to the “free gift” I get at the Clinique counter – keep the mascara, and ditch the rest. Just a monthly box of stuff to sort through and mostly toss.
What’s your experience??
I think it’s a good sister gift. My sister is not a makeup person and so she likes the chance to try fancy things she’d never buy. And make-up people like the chance to try fancy things they might buy. I ended up with a bunch of samples that I never used so I cancelled my subscription, and even I would appreciate it as a gift.
There’s no time for it this year, but for this kind of person a homemade/handmade gift is good. Something hand crocheted (a scarf, an afghan), an album/scrapbook/collage with family pictures, home-baked goods that she’ll appreciate. Otherwise, I second the food/fruit of the month club idea.
Thanks for the suggestions! Unfortunately, she’s not sentimental and wouldn’t like something homemade/handmade It’s why she’s so tough!
My sister got me the PopSugar box and I love it! It had 1 beauty product, and the rest home goods, and a scarf. I would recommend it for the MIL!
Ugggh. Stop giving me ugly scarves and afghans that you knitted.
Friend of Anonymous
Super, let me know and I’ll stop being your friend
Sort of +1. Unless I’m involved in choosing the wool and pattern it’s hard for me to force myself to love a knitted item that doesn’t suit my style just because I know the person that knitted it.
Also a skinny pear
Are there grandchildren? I am sure some MILs don’t like handmade things from their grandchildren, but most cannot have enough of this: calls, colored cards, cookies, pictures, photobooks, etc. If not your children, can you facilitate with nieces / nephews? Also, asking for family recipies and putting them into a book or recipe cards.
Oh she wishes there were grandchildren! I never hear the end of that! No nieces or nephews either! But thank you for your response!
This year we’re getting both of our mothers those fancy photobooks you can make on websites with pictures from our wedding and just general pictures of our lives (bonus if there are grandkids in the picture.) I feel like they’ll both appreciate that more than they would a sweater.
Also does she live nearby? Tickets to see a show or something are always good.
Can you identify brands she likes and buy something you think she’d like within that brand plus a gift receipt? It shows you’re paying attention, it will be a boon if the thing you pick is something she likes, and if she doesn’t like it she can return it for something else she’s likely to find within a favourite brand.
Spa gift certificate. Pick a service instead of just a monetary amount.
This was an idea I had as well…definitely going to look into this!
Does she use Pandora radio? I got my mom a Pandora subscription last year and she absolutely loves it and specifically requested it again this year. She loves not having the commercials.
Two of my siblings in law got my in-laws restaurant gift certificates this year and I think those will go over well.
PSA: Spotify Premium is currently running a promotion of 99cents for your first three months.
Does she decorate for Christmas? How about a Very Fancy and Fairly Expensive Christmas ornament for her tree?
Not sure if this is something she’d appreciate, but my MIL has asked that we not buy gifts. Instead, we adopt a couple families for Christmas and give her a card describing what we got for them. In past years we’ve also done Heifer International and “bought” animals from their gift catalog.
Anyone have a 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli satchel and can comment on it?
Don’t buy it. I never liked it but now it just looks outdated to me in addition to being unattractive.
Yes. Its dated as the “it-bag” of 2 years ago. And its expensive without being particularly attractive.
Just got this gift from my boss, and thought it’d throw it out there if anyone is still looking for a gift for their directs. This is exactly the sort of fancy “upgrade” I love but will never buy ($20 hot cocoa and a $5 marshmellow?).
I sent my directs a massive box of fruit from pittman & davis, if that is helpful to anyone– they all have been raving. I sent a co-worker/peer a gift because she’s moving out of our business unit so it was a combo farewell/good luck/happy holidays gift– but it was more personal/inside-joke-y.
My boss, as well as my directs, are in separate offices so mail-order things are key for us.
Mary Ann Singleton
Hi, I’m looking for some recipes and recommendations for hors d’oevres for a holiday party I’m throwing this weekend. I’ts only going to be drinks and snacks, so I have to come up with some pretty filling snacks. In particular looking for things that can be prepared ahead. For drinks I’m thinking spiced mulled wine, sparkling wine with pomegranate seeds, and regular beer/wine options. I’m not much of a hostess (but trying to change that) so I would really appreciate any tips!
I’m attending a heavy hors d’oevres party next week and bringing a wheel of brie with some fruit that would go well with it. The brie can be fine at room temperature or even better if drizzled with olive oil and baked for ten minutes first. Fruit such as grapes, raspberries, baby greens (ok, it’s veggie, but it’s a good companion), maybe a roasted garlic clove (also only needs to bake for 10 minutes)?
I did the Brie and fruit/crackers this week at a cookie exchange and it was very well recieved. I baked it for about 10 minutes with honey drizzled on top and served it with pears, green apples, and crackers with cranberry sauce for topping. It was delicious.
Brie is also v good baked with brown sugar on top and then when done, dump a pint or 1/2 pint of raspberries over top. YUMMMMM.
Brie is delicious baked with anything on top like this is my favorite holiday food ever. I literally camp out at the baked brie at family functions. Its an issue.
Mary Ann Singleton
Hmmm I’ve never baked brie but that sounds delicious. What temperature do I bake it at? Just on a baking sheet or wrapped in anything? Does it melt and get all gooey? I will definitely have to do some version of this.
I think I baked it at 350. It does get wonderfully gooey. I used Ina Garten’s “Recipe” for baked brie. Recipe is loosely used here, because it’s just “Dump honey on top and bake at this temp for this long.”
– Pillsbury crescent dough – unroll it and knead the perforations together so you have one smooth sheet
– Cut sheet into 24 square pieces and put them in mini muffin tin to create a liner/cup
– Put 1 tbsp, give or take, of brie in each crescent liner
– 1 tsp, give or take, of whole-berry cranberry sauce (or raspberry, or anything else you can think of!)
Bake for 8-10 minutes (until golden brown) at 450, or longer if you do them at 350. These are always a huge hit!
I cut the top rind off the brie, top with a mixture of sun-dried tomatoes (in oil, drained), pine nuts or chopped pecans, herbs (thyme or oregano) and bake until melted. I’ve also tried topping with apricot preserves and walnuts.
I bake it in a pretty ceramic pan that is very close to the size of the brie to keep it from melting all over and looking messy.
The cheese lady told me that coulommiers is a brie-like cheese that is better to use for baked bries, because it doesn’t run as much when you bake it.
I usually wrap it in refrigerated puff pastry and put the jam on the top of the brie before wrapping it. I bake it at whatever temperature the puff pastry requires.
Gail the Goldfish
I do this. If you can find it, I top it with Dr. Pete’s praline mustard glaze instead of jam. It’s delicious.
One caution that is pretty obvious but could be overlooked: do make sure that if you’re baking the cheese that it is contained in some way, either by the coating around a wheel or puff pastry. My mom baked a wedge and it (obviously) melted all over the pan. Still delicious, but messy and not very presentable.
Baked dips like spinach dip or crab dip would be good make-ahead things that you’d just have to heat up before the party.
I just made puff-pastry brie bites this past weekend. Literally you just cut puff pastry into 3×3 squares, stick each square into a mini-muffin pan (four corners sticking up), pop a small square of brie inside, top with cranberry sauce and bake according to puff pastry directions on the box. You can assemble the day before and then just bake about a half hour before your party. Super easy and they got rave reviews! They taste pretty good leftover cold as well.
I’m not sure where you live, but tomato pie is always a hit at parties here. It’s kind of like a Sicilian pizza that only has tomato sauce on it, but not quite. It’s a nice addition to the standard party offerings – chips and dip, pretzels, fruit/veggie/cheese tray, baked brie, etc.
I did caprese salad skewers last week (which I arranged to look like a Christmas wreath, but that part is completely unnecessary). It took a little longer to skewer everything than I thought, but it was a big hit. Another girl did a crockpot of Swedish Meatballs, which were also a success. Homemade mini quiche?
I made caprese salad skewers for a party last week and people loved them! They were very easy! I made “mini” skewers with just one mozzarella ball, one tomato, and two basil leaves. Throwing meatballs in a crockpot are always a hit too!
I made this cranberry salsa for a party last weekend:
I made it several days ahead so that the flavors could settle. I served it with both the cream cheese and pita chips as recommended and I added it to a baked brie. For the brie, I swapped the salsa for the nuts, cinnamon and sugar in this recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/brie-en-croute-recipe.html
You can prep the baked brie ahead of time, wrap it in foil and then just bake it at the time of the party.
Anon in NYC
All of these seem to be cheese based…
Baked brie – a large wheel of brie, apricot jam (or really, any kind you like), toasted sliced almonds, and craisins, wrapped in puff pastry. Brush the puff pastry with an egg wash and bake until it is golden brown (about 25-30 minutes). Let it cool slightly (like 10-15 minutes) before serving with crackers. I usually make this the day-of, about 45 mins – 1 hour before people arrive..
Baked wrapped dates – pitted dates stuffed with manchego cheese, wrapped with bacon (skewered with a toothpick). You want the bacon to be fully cooked, so it can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes. They also need to cool slightly I make these the night before and bake them before the party.
Crostini Ideas: (1) goat cheese, finely chopped sun dried tomatoes, and chives, or (2) manchego, fig jam, and marcona almonds.
I make the bacon wrapped dates with manchego (also fontina a few times) and like it is ALWAYS a hit. Even with my super picky in-laws. Its a little time intensive but its wildly popular – but it really needs to be served warm.
Meatballs! Not at all high end, but it’s always the first thing to go at cocktail parties in the South and in my Caribbean country of origin. Buy decent quality frozen meatballs and throw them in the crockpot for a few hours with a mix of sweet and savory sauces. The classic Southern combo is grape jelly and chili sauce, but I like to modernize it with a mix of whatever sauces I have in the pantry, which might include mango chutney, pepper jelly, bbq sauce, etc. The key is to use a mix of sweet and savory sauces that use higher quality ingredients (ie not full of corn syrup).
I love cheese, but if you’re looking for some other ideas… lamb meatballs, deviled eggs, fruit tray/fruit on skewers, peppadews wrapped with prosciutto (although admittedly, better also stuffed with goat cheese). Then again, at a Christmas party last weekend, I ate crab dip that was mostly cheese, cheese-stuffed puff pastry, and cheese and crackers, and I didn’t mind a bit :-)
Suit Cleaning Help
Do you ladies have any surefire solutions for cleaning suits that, regretably, reek of b.o.? My S.O. has court every day, i.e. wears a suit jacket every day, so the suits he has are on heavy rotation. He says though that he only ends up wearing them about three hours each day, and hangs them up the rest of the time. Dry cleaning seemed to almost lock the smell in (?) Any tips for getting rid of the stench? He is desperate, as buying a whole new wardrobe right now is not going to happen. Thanks in advance!
Ziploc bag and put them in the freezer
Wow– really? I am genuinly interested. I have some dresses that are so delicate that the dry cleaners aren’t able to do much about the underarm area, but I’ve never heard of this.
Apparently the cold kills the bacteria that creates the smell. It skeeves me out a little, but it works!
It works for smelly shoes, too.
Cool, thanks both. And ugh *genuinely
Wow! I’m going to try this. I have some shoes that are in serious need of de-stinking and now I’ll have a use for my freezer.
Ah, this is unfortunately a fallacy. The bacteria go dormant, but they aren’t killed. So, when the item in question “thaws,” the bacteria come out again and continue to multiply.
Alcohol will kill those buggers, though. Vodka in a spray bottle is perfect.
P.S. Maybe try airing out the jackets by hanging them inside out, too?
Also a skinny pear
I think that The Laundress has a spray for that (and lot of advice on the site). Others recommend a vodka spritz. I am a febreze girl myself (hang in shower over night).
I have not tried it but someone here suggested filling a spray bottle with vodka and spraying it on. It’s worth a try!
I have done the vodka spritz, in my experience it works better with lighter smells like food smells as opposed to BO. I do prefer it to Febreeze though, somehow even the unscented Febreeze smells to me.
Do you have access to an indoor/outdoor type of place? I hang my sweaters inside out on a garment rack in the garage overnight.
Try handwashing them. It depends on the material, but they’ll probably be fine.
Seriously this works like a charm: make a paste of warm water and baking soda and apply to the inside of the underarm. Put a big scoop of the pastes and massage it in ( hold the jacket by the armpit from the outside so you hVe a handful of fabric and work it around in your hand. .. If that makes sense ?) . Leave over night to dry then brush out the dried powder the next morning. I do this with everything g from structured lined wool a era to silk blouses and it has never stained anything ( though with blouses you have to rinse and with jackets there might be a slight residue on the inside where no one can see). I experimented with vodka and vinegar and other methods but none worked for me.
This unfortunately did not work for me, and was quite messy. Maybe different things work for different body chemistries?
After wearing, hang the suits in a well-ventilated area (maybe even inside-out) and spray the inside with Febreeze.
hair question! now, suspend belief for a second and pretend my hair does not, in fact, look like tina belcher’s. I have shoulder length dark brown hair that is wavy/curly unless I straighten. It’s brown with goldish highlights in the right light.
When I leave for work in the morning, I think my hair looks great, shiny and well styled. When I get to work and look at my hair in the crummy lighting in the bathroom, it looks so very dull and lackluster. Any product recommendations to increase the luster of my hair without making my hair looking greasy? Should I be getting a professional treatments of some sort? Highlights? In my mind, I’ve always said I’d avoid coloring my hair until I have to/want to in the future, but maybe that time is now? I’m in my mid 20s.
Wait what? It sounds like your hair looks totally fine and your office bathroom lights suck. Pay them no mind.
I wonder if maybe my at-home bathroom light is GREAT and my work lighting is the sad reality.
Ask a friend!
I have made a personal rule to never judge myself by public restroom mirrors because the neon lighting in those is TERRIBLE. Like, I sometimes take selfies to show a friend what I’m wearing at work and I do it in the bathroom and I look like I’m dying but I’m pretty sure I’m not most of the time, so I blame the bathroom.
PSA: Lord & Taylor’s cashmere is marked way down today. With the 25% off promotion, they start at $37.50
Thank you for the heads up! I just bought my first cashmere.
Additional PSA: 2 day free shipping
Me too! I bought two sweaters – mainly due to the ladies here who talked about the quality and that the price would go down this week. I’m excited ;-D
Short bob styling advice
And if you go through Ebates, you get an additional 10% off!
And five sweaters in a variety of colors are winging their way to me…
Has anyone ordered the Petites sweaters? I am 5’1, so I could use the shorter sleeves but I hate when petite sweaters are super short.
Grrr. This morning my boss was telling another manager that she missed the holiday lunch the big boss took them out for. Meanwhile, I’m thinking “Hey, loser. You’re supposed to reciprocate and take your team out.” Our old boss used to do that, but she changed groups a year and a half ago.
Right? Sheesh! Everybody who has a team should be taking the team to lunch this time of year.
I wish that happened!
I appreciate all the responses & commiseration on my vent yesterday. Truly, the grass is always greener.
I do love my job–it’s probably my dream job without me really realizing it. I love the people I work with, and the benefits are decent–but dwindling and uncertain ad time goes on (there have already been a lot of changes to our benefits for hires newer than me, and for that, I breathe a huge sigh of relief. The new package is not nearly as good as mine is).
I have health, family & good friends. Thank you, and I hope you all have a really great day.
I didn’t get to chime in on this yesterday, but I work in biglaw and make a lot of money, but it often feels like expired/useless currency. What good is making all the money if you don’t have time to spend it with/on the people you love and don’t love the place where you do spend all your time? Life is short, money doesn’t go with you when you die. And yes, grass is always greener.
Hi ladies, threadjack question. For those of you who work at law firms (or any office) where they have various mail people or document printing people who stop by occasionally to drop off or pick items up, do you engage in conversation with them beyond a “hello, thank you”? I realize as I’m writing this that it sounds really rude, but I am starting to get frustrated with one mail guy in particular. He’s always SO chatty, and I try to be polite but make it obvious that I really don’t have time to talk, especially if I’m in the middle of a closing, or in the middle of drafting or reviewing something that takes brain power. Am I being really rude by not engaging in conversation?
I’m sure I will sound rude too, but I feel the same way about the janitor who comes around and collects the trash. He is really nice, but he always wants to have a 5 to 10 minute conversation every day. I don’t always have time when he drops by to stop everything and chit chat. I’m in the same boat though where I feel rude if I don’t…..
Well, I’m glad I’m not alone! I feel like this one mail guy thinks I’m a b**** b/c lately I’ve been kinda short and terse with him because I really want him to get the hint.
I have the exact same problem. Sometimes I’ll actually get up and leave my office (to walk to the water fountain, or something) if I see him coming to avoid getting trapped in a 10 minute chit chat. Occasionally it is helpful to zero in on my computer and look really busy/not really engage but often not.