Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Wide Leg Pants

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

casasola-wide-leg-pantsI like these pants because, while I feel like wide leg trousers are a classic, almost vintage look for the office — they also are very trending and now. A high waist never hurts, as you’ll note here, nor do the seams and darts on the top rear, ensuring a flattering fit.  I also kind of love the bell-sleeved, bodycon turtleneck with the keyhole, but sadly it’s almost sold out.  (Similar here, here, and here (plus).) The pants have a matching blazer; the pants themselves are $1,235. BARBARA CASASOLA Stretch-cashmere and wool-blend wide-leg pants

Looking for a more affordable version of the pants? Check this pair or this pair ($85!); a plus size version is here.

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



  1. Anonymous :

    New hire here. Asked boss if she could order me a notebook. She told me that they use notepads and I should rip out the pages, hole punch them, and place them in a binder. I know that they are not that short budgeted to not be able to order a notebook.

    How would you reply?

    • Why are you asking your boss to order you office supplies? Is there a mail room or receptionist or office manager or anyone else who handles this sort of thing?

    • lawsuited :

      As a new hire, this is not the hill you want to die on. Use a notepad for now, and if after a few months (once you’ve built up some goodwill), you’d still prefer a notebook, ask again then.

    • I would use whatever office supplies my company provided and if it was really important to me to use something else, I’d bring it in myself.

    • Anonymous :

      What? Use the supplies they give you. Ask an office manager if you need something else. Are you a millennial? This is why people hate working with you.

      • KateMiddletown :

        That’s rude.

        • Anonymous :

          No, it’s true. New hires are not entitled to ask their bosses for their office supplies of preference.

          • KateMiddletown :

            “Are you a millennial? This is why people hate working with you.” That’s rude.

          • Anonymous :

            Again, it’s true.

          • You are rude :

            Yes they are. All employees can ask for the office supplies of their preference, within reason. It is the manager’s or office support’s job to decide if the request is reasonable according to budget, function and uniqueness as compared to other supplies. There is nothing at all wrong with a new hire asking for supplies and nothing at all wrong with being surprised that the boss said no and wants the letter writer to spend time hold punching like some sort of school child.

          • Anonymous :


          • Um, what? I’m in a notably bureaucratic field, and I’ve never worked in an office where you didn’t have some modest leeway to order the office supplies of your choice. Of course, if the answer is no it’s no.

          • I think anon means that you shouldn’t ask your BOSS to order things for you, not that you can’t ask for reasonable supplies.

            There should be someone in the office responsible for supply orders and IME, it’s only the boss if you work in a tiny, tiny office where the boss is one of two or three employees. Other than that, there is an admin or office manager type that does the ordering. My boss has no clue what office supplies I ask for. I go to the cabinet and if I don’t see something I like and it’s a low cost reasonable item, I ask the admin that does the ordering if she can order something for me. Honestly though, half the time I just go buy my own. I am particular about pens, so I always buy my own pens.

          • Rude and true do not have to be mutually exclusive.

      • You are rude :

        What is wrong with you? It is a totally reasonable question to ask for office supplies, especially the type that you prefer. If the boss is adamant about using a notepad it would be unwise for this new employee to push it much further, but all she did was ask what her response should be. Asking for a notebook or preferred supplies is not a function of generation, age or hell, even of being a new employee. The fact that the only thing you got out of this post is that asking for a particular office supply must be a function of this person being a millennial and that this would then play into the trite and stupid stereotype that millenials are self-absorbed or entitled (or whatever useless point you are trying to make) reflects more on your own biases and horrible atttiude than on the letter writer. Get a grip.

      • I’m wondering whether people find MM LaFleur clothes durable and still looking nice after many wears. I see that a lot of the stuff I’m interested in is like 90% viscose, and I always thought of viscose as not very durable. I don’t want to pay those prices unless the clothes will last a long time. Any thoughts?

        • I have a dress I purchased about 3 years ago and it still looks good. Note, I don’t wear it every week, so can’t speak to that. In general, synthetic fabrics have improved significantly over the years. But I’m always cautious.

        • Also, oops, this was not supposed to go here. Sorry guys!

        • I bought an Etsuko dress from them. It says machine washable, but when I washed it, the shell shrank but the lining didn’t. I sent them a pic and they were very good about working with me to fix it.

      • That response is totally uncalled for. OP’s asking a question, and the answer is that they can ask for office supplies that may help them get organized but they’re not in a place to fight for them if they’re told “no.” You don’t need to jump to the conclusion that OP is some entitled millennial everyone hates working with.

        • Agreed. Besides which, millennial or not, every single one of us was new to the workforce at some point, and we all had to learn the ropes somehow. I know I did some clueless things. Leaping down someone’s throat is just not an appropriate response to an innocent question.

          FWIW, I am a millennial, but I’m in my 30s, have been in the workforce for a decade, have a mortgage, a kid, a retirement account, all those “traditional” markers of adulthood that certain people like to tut tut about when fussing about younger people. I don’t think anyone hates working with me because of my generational status. I think the word “millennial” has gotten to the point where it doesn’t even mean anything. It’s just a way to berate young people.

          • You are too old to be a millennial.

          • No I’m not. Millenial is early 1980s to late 1990s/early 2000s. Early 80s = In your early to mid 30s at this point.

          • all about eevee :

            Millennials are in their late twenties and early thirties now. The young whipper-snappers at work these days that need to get off your lawn are mostly Generation Zers.

          • Anon at 11:26 – the cut-off birth date for millennials is usually between 1980 and 1984, depending on which social scientist you ask. Thus, the oldest millennials are in their early- to mid- thirties. Today’s high schoolers are not millennials (Gen Z is currently the label that seems to be winning out). It is a constant source of amusement to me how many of my friends who are millennials (according to demographers) spend lots of time complaining about how much the generation (which they don’t see themselves part of) sucks. #millennialandproud

          • I am proud to be a millennial. At least we stand up and fight to change the status quo. People are overworked and treated unfairly. The problem that people have with millennials is that they question why instead of willingly becoming the slaves of corporate America.

      • all about eevee :

        I am loving the browser plugin that changes “Millennial” to “Snake People”.

      • Anon for this :

        To be honest, I kind of hate working with older people because they harp on about generational theory like it is a legitimate thing and not a bunch of BS.

    • It’s not rude to ask for supplies you need to do your job. The responder was rude. Bring your own notebook for now and keep an eye on how things are done around the office.

    • Never worked in a public or private office where we got notebooks. Only notepads.

    • Just buy your own. End of story.

    • Anonymous :

      Depending on your company, there may be a limited catalogue from which office supplies can be ordered. Notebooks may not be in that catalogue.

      Having this sort of limited catalogue improves prices on items and generates savings for the company. If this is the case for you, look on it as a positive; you work for a fiscally responsible company!

  2. Anonforthis :

    I’m a current biglaw midlevel associate with strong academic credentials but no publishing history. I have a lunch today with a professor at the local law school to talk to him about how he transitioned from private practice to academia. Good questions to ask? Ways to keep the conversation flowing? I was envisioning coffee but he suggested taking me to lunch.

    Any other preparation you would recommend?

    • Macademia :

      I am not in law but you could always ask academic questions–ask about his recent publications or talk about topics in law that interest you that you could imagine publishing on. Do you know all the journals you should be reading? You could ask about those too. I hope this helps and good luck.

    • If it were me, I’d ask if he recommends doing some sort of legal fellow position at a law school as a formal transition (I believe Stanford and Columbia have that sort of thing), or to go straight from private practice.

  3. Anonymous :

    What do you all consider the appropriate role/necessary skillset for a fourth year associate? I am worried I am not advancing the way my employer would like – reverting to being a junior because that is what i know.

    • Transactional or litigation?

      It depends on the office culture and the kind of clients you have. If your firm has large clients for whom money is (next to) no object, you’re not going to get a lot of meaty experience until you’re more senior. Your role will be interfacing with (I hesitate to use the word “manage” but basically managing) the juniors to answer easy questions and make sure things are progressing at a decent click. If, on the other hand, your firm has smaller clients that are stingy on their bills, you’re going to be expected to take on more responsibility sooner in your career.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a fourth year associate (in Canada, so graduated law school 5 years ago). I manage day-to-day carriage of a file load (approx 60 files), including drafting and arguing motions, preparing for and conducting discovery (depositions in the US), drafting mediation/pre-trial briefs (reviewed by my principal) and attending mediation/pre-trial (sometimes alone, sometimes with my principal), and preparing for and attending trial as second chair. I also handle all correspondence and contact with clients and counsel mostly unsupervised, but if an unfamiliar issue comes up I discuss it with my principal.

      • Anonymous :

        This level of responsibility is unheard of in large law firms in the US, just FYI.

        • I disagree. It depends on the law firm. I was at one (1,000+ lawyers, internationally) doing litigation work and had that level of experience at the same time in my career.

          • To clarify, it’s an international firm but I am in the US.

          • Anonymous :

            I know plenty of fourth years who have done all of these tasks but I don’t know any firm that lets fourth years (or anyone really) just run with a file this way and only check in if there’s a problem (excluding small pro bono cases). Even the partners circulate drafts of motions to the whole case team.

          • Maybe that’s the difference. I’ve never been on a case with a case team. It was always associate + partner, and the partner would just read my drafts of dispositive motions and *maybe* have one or two edits to them. There was no need to circulate anything.

          • I’m a 4th year at a big firm. Work on big files with 5-6 lawyer on them, and sometimes one on one with partners.

            I’m expected to do basically all of the work on the files (writing expert reports, deposition scripts, cross examination scripts) and show partners drafts of everything, but they expect to only make minimal revisions to documents. Generally correspond with witnesses cc’ing partners but handling it on my own. I’ve prepared many witnesses to testify, defended depositions. I’m expected to be able to come to meetings and show the partners all of the issues, possible strategies of attack, etc.

            (sorry for the choppy sentence structure)

        • Agreed, this is junior partner/very well regarded senior associate level experience at a lot of large firms working on large matters. It is, however, very dependent upon practice group/client type. Labor and employment mid-levels would probably be expected to take depos and second chair trials. They might even run with smaller matters. M&A litigators are going to be managing doc reviews and second chairing depos.

      • (Former) Clueless Summer :

        This level of experience is also generally unheard of in large Canadian firms, too. I assume OP is at a smaller firm – many of my friends at a 4th year level at smaller firms are running entire files up to trial/arbitration, where they are likely to second chair.

        At large Canadian firms as a 4th year, I am drafting all court documents (with significant oversight by partners/senior associates), both arguing and 2nd chairing motions (depending on size/importance), preparing partners for discovery but not usually doing it myself (unless small file), and 2nd (or 3rd/4th) chairing all other appearances. At a trial or hearing, I might be given some unimportant witnesses to examine/cross, could be provided an opportunity to speak to costs or something like that. I assume most large firms are pretty similar.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          I am a 3rd year (called Jan 2012) and I have a similar experience with the original Anonymous. I work under a partner of files and I am also assigned files of my own that are completely my responsibility from start to finish apart from having a partner review any assessments of liability/damages and, should a trial/arbitration go ahead, serving as 2nd chair. I have been doing Discoveries since my first year though. For reference, the firm has 30 lawyers.

        • lawsuited :

          I work at a small firm, but my 4th year peers in litigation at large firms (500 lawyers+) are definitely doing their own discoveries, arguing motions (depending on size/importance) and second-chairing trials.

    • Oops, forgot to say I am transactional! Mostly doing M&A type work. Thanks for these replies. Helpful to think about.

      • I think for transactional work it’s important to be able to handle some the detailed work that goes into get the deal to the closing table. Can you work on due diligence and get all that information on schedules? Draft the various resolutions and consents for the transaction? Create master spreadsheets/closing checklists? Run the redlines for the document drafts under discussion and make the various edits/revisions. Some of it may require more client contact to get the answers for schedules and such.

        • Anonymous :

          If someone is doing exclusively huge, private M&A deals that involve financing and many moving pieces, this list describes what I’d expect to see from a fourth year. For my Amlaw 100 but not top 15 firm, we also expect fourth years to be able to do an initial draft of the purchase agreement, manage all aspects of finalizing reps and warranties (coordinating with specialists, confirming against diligence, flagging key issues for client/partner and, sometimes, negotiating final wording), and run with ancillary agreements other than particularly involved transition services agreements. It’s a big jump from junior work on M&A deals, but our team usually has gotten more experience with drafting/negotiating on private placement financings as 2nd and 3rd years.

      • I’ve been thinking about posting a similar query. I’m an M&A lawyer – technically a 4th year at an NYC firm though have only been doing M&A for two years. Think my experience is at about on par with what anonymous 1:28 describes although sometimes I feel as if my supervisors expect me to be spotting most of the legal or structuring issues or negotiating parts of the transaction.

    • Setting aside the actual day-to-day responsibilities described above, I think sometime in my third year the way I approached a matter with more senior attorneys changed as well. As a junior associate, I would be in the room when we had a call with a client, take notes, then after the call listen to what the partner/senior associate wanted me to do, nod my head and do it. Around my third year though I decided to take a more active role in asking questions and making suggestions about how we would proceed. At first this was just in internal meetings, but as partners grew to trust me more (in my 4th year) and I became more confident in my expertise, I felt comfortable speaking up on client calls as well to add insight. Now, partners expect me to take an active role in strategizing, and would probably be upset if I failed to point out relevant issues that they may have missed.

      • +1 — the transition from “be good at doing what you’re told” to “start suggesting what you should do AND be good at doing it” is the main one to make as a new mid-level.

        For a transactional deal, that may mean pointing out how a change in one deal document ripples into others, thinking of additional questions to ask the client, etc.

      • I agree that there is a significant switch around this level. I’m in a more litigation-based environment with 10+ years of experience, but the good midlevels (3-5 years) that I see are ones who keep me informed of what’s going on, but who I can trust to move the case forward even if I can’t look over their shoulder all the time. There’s an element of good judgment/common sense, plus having an idea of next steps, and making things easy on the people you’re working under (e.g., “I’m thinking we’ll want to file/prepare [document]. Would you like me to get a draft started so you can review it next week?”)

  4. Please tell me that top is NOT work appropriate…because if it is then I have definitely been doing this work dressing thing wrong.

    • Not only not work appropriate, but also, it looks like the wearer has a serious moth problem.

    • Not appropriate :

      My office is on the casual side of business casual and that top would definitely not be appropriate here.

  5. I actually like both wide legs and high waists, but I think the combination with the bodysuit here is dreadful and not even remotely work-appropriate. I would love to see some examples of styling that would actually work for the office…

    • If you want to keep going with the vintage look, I’d do these pants with a burgundy, tucked in, silk p-bow blouse.

    • I have similar-ish pants (not as wide, not as high waist) & they pair well with a regular thin wool turtleneck sweater. I think a fitter top helps balance out the fuller bottom.
      I also like pants like these with a white button down blouse. Very classic, hard to go wrong as long as the blouse fits well.

    • And who can afford these pant’s? I am a PARTNER at a very reputeable law firm in the biggest city in the world, and I can NOT afford these, even with a subsidy from the manageing partner, b/c it would come out of our EARNINGSand PROFITS account, Frank says. He also does NOT like it b/c he can not see anything. FOOEY!

  6. I’ve just never looked at an item of clothing with a keyhole and thought “Damn, that looks classy.”

  7. Anonymous :

    My dog is about 8 or 9 years old. She’s been potty trained for years obviously, but in the last six months, she has started regularly going to the bathroom in the house, probably about three times a week. She even does it on her bed. We let her out and she won’t go potty, but then she comes in and goes in the house. We have kids, but they are 3 and 18 months, so this doesn’t coincide with their arrival or anything. I also don’t think it’s a bladder issue because she also p**ps inside. I’m getting really tired of it! Any suggestions?

    • Anonymous :

      Take her to the vet.

    • anonymous :

      I would take her to the vet to rule out any medical problems first. Not to alarm you, but when my dog started doing this, he had a brain tumor. It’s probably nothing, but I’d make sure it’s actually behavioral first.

    • Have you taken her to the vet? Bladder has nothing to do with p**p, she could have an infection.

    • Anonymous :

      Take her to the vet to rule out a bladder or other physical health issue anyway. Then keep her outside until she goes. Don’t let her come inside from a walk until she’s done her business.

    • Are there any other signs of confusion on her part? One of my older dogs began to do the same, pottying inside after being outside, but he also began what I would call “getting lost” in the yard, wandering the house where he normally wouldn’t go, turning toward the road instead of toward the gate to the back yard, and falling off the bed at night.

      After some research we discovered that dogs can get a form of Alzheimer’s, so you might want to look into those symptoms.

      The best we could do was (1) keep him comfortable, (2) keep better track of where he was at all times, (3) make sure he was doing his business outside so that he wouldn’t need to do it inside.

    • Straight to a good vet. We had one of our dogs do that two summers ago. It turned out that another dog had a fast growing tumor, and that August she had to be put down. The little dog has not had an accident since. I remain convinced that she was expressing stress over something she knew and we just weren’t understanding.

    • Does your dog have diarrhea? Mine did, and then started having accidents in the house. It turned out it was food allergies that were getting worse. After swapping out her food she got better over night.

  8. Anonymous :

    Shopping help.

    I’m looking for a pair of saddle-colored booties that have a low heel or no heel and a slight dip in the front to make them more flattering.

    Anyone seen anything? Budget is flexible.

  9. Dining Room Tables -- gah! :

    Married divorced dad when we each had dining room tables for 4. We are now a family of 5 in a house with a dining room (kitchen seating is 3 counter stools). Got rid of pre-marital tables and found beautiful mahogany dining room set with 8 chairs.

    We used to set up for 6, but then had two random other chairs in the corners of the dining room, which looked a big cluttered. Then I put in the 2 other leaves and have all 8 chairs under the table.

    I know this is a lot of chairs to have out, but we don’t have storage and if we have anyone over for dinner, it’s very hard to deal expanding with a heavy table (it’s a job for 2 strong adults). Normally, we have the kids doing homework at one end and don’t have to clear that up to eat.

    A problem for H is maybe that he wants the “throne” chair at one end (I am always in the throne chair at the other end, largely b/c I am always having to go back in to the kitchen for another thing). And our existing rug is in fact too small for the expanded table (but we were planning to replace).

    I’d like to commit to one table size and get rug/tablecloth for that size table. But I don’t know if a table-for-eight is just too large (I think it works for the room, but it couldn’t go a bit longer). Family size of 5 makes everything so much trickier.

    Is there a place where I could just check the math on table sizes vs. room dimensions? Or an overall sense of how best to do tables? I just am a failure at all things domestic. Maybe I just need to have more dinner parties to justify a larger table setup?

    • Anonymous :

      Put hubby in the throne chair and he can go to the kitchen to grab stuff? If he’s complaining, let him figure out the solution.

    • Anonymous :

      Your table is fine. Buy a new rug. tell your husband he can sit at your end with the family like a normal person or in your chair and he can fetch and carry.

      • +1. He gets throne chair, he gets kitchen duty. Buy a new rug. The 8 person works in your room and for your family, who cares if it’s the proper thing.

    • My parents permanently have their big table which seats 8-10 out. It’s great for not having to clear up projects from one end in order to eat at the other end. All the chairs are identical, though.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      You are not a “failure at all things domestic” because you have a table for 8. (What even? It’s a completely normal thing for people to have more dining space than number of people in the home – we have a table for 8 and it’s just me and my H right now, because it’s the size table that fits the room and we need that many seats (or more!) when entertaining) Your H is being nuts. You do not replace a gorgeous table (or make your lives harder by having to constantly re-size the table) just because he wants a “throne.” He can sit in your chair and play kitchen-fetcher, or he can sit in a non-throne chair.

      And get a new rug.

      • “Your H is being nuts.”

        This. My DH refuses to always be the one to sit at the ‘head’ of the table because he thinks

        Since there are too many chairs, use the two throne chairs as a sitting area elsewhere in the house or store in garage. Just use 6 regular chairs around the table on a day to day basis. Solves your hubby problem and too many chair problem at the same time.

        • end of second sentence “he thinks it sets a bad example for our daughter.”

          • Senior Attorney :

            I heart this!

          • Love this!

            Our two year old sits at the head of our table, and I think it says a lot about our family :) :)

          • Anonymous :

            Thanks. We switched head of table to be the oldest person at dinner if we have guests and if no guests and we use the formal dining room, we take turns sitting at the head of the table (don’t formally keep track).

            I like that DH thought of it on his own. At first I was dismissive but I wanted to encourage him to think about the example we set for her, so I go along with it.

  10. I need home decor help. There seem to be rules that I just don’t understand.

    1. Do I need curtains if I already have heavy blinds?

    2. How do you mix pillow sizes and patterns without having it look crazy? Is it better to buy matching pairs or a bunch of random colors and shapes? How many is the right amount?

    3. If you have a couch, how do you decide what other furniture to buy? I don’t know if I should get a loveseat, a matching pair of chairs, an armchair, or some other combination of the above.

    • I think curtains are used to cover up blinds? But they are pricey and depending on your window size, you might need custom.

      I have a 3 seater couch and a loveseat at the moment and I’d really like to swap the loveseat for a pair of chairs to give me a bit more flexibility with furniture and make the room seem more open.

    • Anonymous :

      For #1, I don’t think you “need” them but we have them in all our bedrooms because blinds don’t block the light well enough.

    • 1. Matter of style preference but I always like the look of curtain to pull a room together. Ikea has nice one that aren’t expensive. So does Target.
      2. Pick a color scheme and look for things in that color scheme (e.g., orange and yellow; or blue and white). A mix of solids and patterns is usually good, some matching and some not (e.g., two that match, one/two that doesn’t/don’t). How many depends on your couch but I’d say around 4 is probably good, less if you can’t sit down on the couch comfortably without moving the pillows).
      3. Depends on your space. I like the idea of two matching armchairs that don’t match your couch.

    • (1) Only if you want them. I have blinds only mostly due to cost, and I think my house looks just fine!

      (2) Make sure there is a dominant color throughout. I have a grey couch. My accent colors are teal and gold. I have a teal and cream chevron rug under the couch. On the couch I have mixed color chevron pillows where teal is featured predominantly (square – one on each end) and one long rectangular pillow in the center that is a cream with a bird pattern also featuring teal and gold predominantly. I was afraid to do this patter mixing for a long time, but I decided to go all in and I think it looks awesome.

      (3) I have an open floor plan on the 1st floor of my row house. I use the couch to divide the living room from the dining room. I have limited space, so I have a high-back arm chair in one corner, a TV in another corner, and a large ottoman that floats for additional seating if I need it. I don’t often have more than a couple of people over, so it works fine. It really is going to depend on how much space you have and what you will be using it for. If you have company over a lot, you might want to maximize seating.

    • decoratorchallenged :

      Just adding on that I’m struggling with all of this too! I’m very tempted by some of those online interior decorating services live homepolish and Laurel and Wolf. Not to threadjack too much, but has anyone used one of these services with success?

    • 1) If you already have blinds curtains are mostly a matter of taste. Personally I like them, I like that they make the room look more “dressed.” Also, depends on your light situation. In the summer even with the blinds closed my west-facing windows get a ton of sun and drawing the heavy curtains across them helps keep the room cooler (but it is very dark). But other windows, I kep the blinds “cracked” and have sheers hanging over them which to my eye filters the light in a pretty way (having blinds + sheers is the optimum for privacy).

      2) If you want to mix and match just get what you like but make sure you end up with an odd number overall.

      3) Really depends on the size of your room and what you need? But I think getting two chairs is more flexible than a loveseat- gives you more options for arranging; you can put one chair in another room if you need to, etc.

    • You don’t need curtains but they’re a nice decorative touch. We have sheers over our blinds to soften the look. Regarding pillows, I prefer mismatched to sets as the sets seem a little showroom to me. Our pillows don’t match the couch but bring in our accent and wall color. Most importantly, they should be comfortable.

    • Anonforthis :

      Emily Henderson did a throw pillows in combinations round up. And I just love her in general – google the roundup her blog!

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      1. No, although you can add them for their decorative value if you want them.

      2. We have 4 pillows on a long couch (2 in each corner) and then each chair (we have 2) has a throw pillow on it. I think that’s a good amount, but the couch could probably fit 2 more throw pillows if we felt like it. I tend to buy pillows in pairs, because I like symmetry, but you could also have a random mix of stuff you like. I think what helps keep random mixes from looking crazy is making sure the sizes match.

      3. We bought two chairs to complement the couch, because we thought it looked better visually, but we’re probably going to replace them with a loveseat at some point, because we’ve noticed that when we have people over the chairs seem to go unused while people cram onto the couch or pull over chairs from the dining table. The chairs are comfortable, so I’m not really sure why this happens, but they’re just not working for our particular space.

  11. Gourmet gift ideas for vegans? I drew my (vegan) brother-in-law in Secret Santa this year, and I was thinking of getting him either a splurgey food item or nice vegan-friendly soaps/lotions. He lives in San Francisco so he has access to plenty of common vegan options, so I was hoping for something in the “this is awesome but splurgey so I would never buy it for myself” category. Our budget cap is $50. Any ideas?

    • Closet Redux :

      Fancy salt was the talk of the table in the foodie circle I ate with this weekend.

      • +1

        My vegan friends are mostly foodies and bid on flavor and spice, so gourmet finishing salts is my go to.

        Bitter man salt company

        The have a great set of assorted salts, in tint cute jars. Always a big hit when I give.

    • Salt grinder with fancy salt from Penzey’s can be packaged into their gift box with bay leaves, nutmeg and cinnamon sticks. Always a winner with my foodie friends.

      Another good option is truffle, porcini, and/or fennel salt from Far West Fungi (on line) or beans from Rancho Gordo (also on-line).

    • A 4-pack of Sam’s Harvest Jerky from Butler Foods, for $20. I can only find it at our local gourmet grocery store on occasion, so usually order it online when I can remember. It’s really good & would be a nice gift.

    • Maybe some kitchen gadgets – like the ones mentioned here. http://veganyogalife.com/top-kitchen-tools-vegan-cooking/ and a cookbook?

    • paderno spiralizer or other fun kitchen tools.

    • I am recently obsessed with BackRoads granola and it comes in lots of absurdly delicious vegan (and some Paleo) flavors. Got it as a gift. LOVE IT. It’s fancy, and you’d never buy it yourself because it’s a smidge spendy. But crazy delish. There’s an olive oil company in the Ferry Building (Stonehouse, I believe) and they have lots of lovely foodie gifts, including tons of yummy flavored olive oils.

    • Nancy Raygun :

      Seasoning mixes, teas, cooking tools.

    • lawsuited :

      Get a mushroom farm/kit so he can grow his own mushrooms! It’s a pretty funny gift for a Secret Santa too.

      • Anonymous :

        I was given this gift on year for Xmas and I really enjoyed it. The downside is it was really heavy (many pounds of dirt).

  12. birth control :

    Birth control TMIs ahead…Considering not using any ‘real’ birth control – but charting, withdrawal, and abstinence during ovulation.

    I have been on hormonal bc for years and always loved it. However, I’ve recently been prescribed some meds that interact. Per the doctor and pharmacists, the medicine reduces the amount of bc in my system enough to cause significant breakthrough bleeding, but not enough to make the pill ineffective. They’re unsure whether the bleeding will ever stop, and it will likely be a constant side effect. This medicine is necessary and I do not have a choice but to take it. I’ve only been bleeding a week–it is like a regular period right now–but I think if this goes on a few more weeks, I’ll need to stop the pill. It’s more than just spotting. It’s like a period, with tampons and cramps. Stopping the pill will stop the bleeding.

    I am getting married next June, and by this time next year we expect to be trying/pregnant (I am in my late 20s but FH is late 40s and we’re eager to start a family), so I don’t want to get a non-hormonal IUD. I do not want to be pregnant before my wedding in June, but it would also not be ‘the end of the world’ – we would keep it and ultimately be thrilled. I’d just be a little sad about my wedding dress, honeymoon plans, etc. Ideally I can stop bleeding between now and next year, stay on my new medicine, not have a baby, and retain my nice spontaneous sex life.

    We hate condoms and I don’t see us using them consistently. From my research, withdrawal is basically as effective as normal-use condoms. And when done properly plus done with charting ovulation, it’s somewhere around 96% effective. I trust my partner on this (and a lot of our sessions end up somewhere other than ‘home base’ anyway).

    Are we crazy to consider this? Have any of you do this/have done this? I realize that it will take a while to properly chart my cycle when I first go off the pill, so I’m unsure about that part. Is there some non-hormonal method I’m forgetting? Haven’t they invented a pill for men yet?

    • Anonymous :

      You’re not crazy, but you’re wrong about withdrawal being as effective as condoms, underestimating how hard abstaining is when you are ovulating, and pretty likely to get pregnant. If that’s fine with you, you’d just rather try not to, enjoy your method. There is Catholic propaganda all over the Internet to support you. If you actually really don’t want to get pregnant, use condoms or try a diaphragm or cervical cap.

      • Anonymous :


      • If you do go the diaphragm route, keep in mind that it may need to be re-fitted if your weight changes significantly. If you have any plans for dropping a bunch of weight for your wedding, talk to your doctor about any impact that could have.

      • Anti-catholicism: the last acceptable prejudice. In between the keyhole pick, the casual bigotry, and the condescending commentary, I’m going to look elsewhere for my workwear picks.

        For the OP, you can google fertility awareness method or natural family planning to find medical studies. The basic finding is that the methods are effective with proper use. The willingness of participants to use the methods for long periods of time and to use them effectively is more debateable. Those that buy the monitor/tech gadgets seem to have better rates on both the following instructions and the time they used the method.

        • Not bigotry, the church is actively promoting pseudoscience.

          • +1

            And I’m Catholic

          • Pseudoscience doesn’t have a clinically proven effective rate of over 99%. So yeah, you’re being bigoted.

          • Bridget- what?!? FAM is not clinically proven over 99%. It’s just not. I think it’s a reasonable way to potentially delay children when getting pregnant wouldn’t be a disaster. It’s certainly better than nothing. Claiming that it is 99% effective is absurd and the reason why people call it propaganda.

        • I don’t think “Catholic propaganda” is anti-catholicism. Not the most neutral choice of words, but advocating natural family planning / absence of birth control is a big thing in Catholic culture, so of course sites that cater to that audience are a good place to go for support and info on this topic.

        • I’m Catholic and I am not offended at all. The church does push NFP even though it does not work well.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Anecdata. We did the weekend marriage course retreat before our Catholic wedding (do not even ask). Birth control comes around and I am biting my tongue so hard it is bleeding through the entire session. The woman “teaching” NFP says how she and her husband have used it throughout their marriage and they have four perfect children. I simply cannot restrain myself another second and asked how many children they planned to have. ..

            The answer? Two. But of course all children are gifts from G-d.

          • pugsnbourbon :

            Completely anecdotal but I’ve never heard of any couple using NFP who didn’t have at least one “oops” baby.

          • Never too many shoes –
            I love you for asking the question I would have wanted to ask but wouldn’t have the nerve to :)

          • I am a rhythm baby! Also a gift from G-d, right Mom? Right??!

        • Also “last acceptable prejudice”?!? Talk about privilege. Do cops shoot you because you are Catholic?!? Can your employer fire you because of your Catholic orientation? No sweetie they can’t. Get over your victim complex.

          • Yea, “last acceptable prejudice” made me roll my eyes big time.

          • Nancy Raygun :

            Haha. Seriously. I just laughed at my desk.

          • anon in SV :

            Jews and Muslims have some very different views about whether Catholics suffer “the last acceptable prejudice.” Just look at a Trump rally.

      • anonononononono :

        eh. I went off bc right before I got married, 11.5 years ago. tried to go back on after kids #1, but had similar spotting issues. been using withdrawal exclusively except when trying to get pregnant (which happened on first months try with both kids, so no fertility issues here). don’t chart, don’t abstain when ovulating. as long as your husband isn’t an 18 year old (I say that meaning that as guys get older, they know better when they are about to finish), you should be fine.

        • I also use withdrawal exclusively after having two kids, no birth control for well over a decade. Condoms are available, but most of the time I know where I am in my cycle and tell my husband not to worry about them. I can’t sing the praises of a period tracker app enough! It does the math for me, and I have two years of charts for my gyno (if ever needed).

          Obvious caveats are: 1.) you need a predictable cycle, 2.) you need a partner you trust to control himself, 3.) it’s not 100%. But I’ve used this method combined with condoms for 12 years and haven’t had an accidental pregnancy. I trust it for myself.

    • Anonymous :

      I have been off of birth control completely for 6 years and have no problems with the pull-out method. HOWEVER, my gut feeling is that I have fertility issues, but since I never want to have kids have no medical evidence to back that up.

      I don’t think you are crazy, but I think you should be prepared to get pregnant just in case.

    • The effectiveness of charting really, really depends on how regular your cycle is. You’re going to need to chart for a couple of months, at least, once you go off the pill in order to figure that out – and you’ll need to use condoms or something else during that time. Someone women have very regular cycles and charting can work for them, but others don’t.

      • This only applies if you are using the “rhythm” method based on counting days for a regular 28-day cycle. If you use other methods, you can have an irregular cycle but still identify fertile times/ovulation days.

    • Birth Control :

      Get a really good tracker app, take a course or read Taking Charge of Your Fertility, and then no, I wouldn’t say you’re crazy at all.

      Honestly, I wouldn’t say no to a non-hormonal IUD even with the short time frame. They’re “free” with most insurance plans now. Sure, they’re a little invasive, but even for a couple of months I would go for it.

      If you’re interested in less invasive barrier options, try a diaphragm. You’ll still have to get “fitted” at your ob/gyn’s, but they’re non-hormonal. They’re not as effective alone, so I would combine this with your abstinence/charting plans.

    • anonshmanon :

      It seems like you have realistic expectations about your method of choice and would be able to deal with an unplanned pregnancy. Personally, I never really understood the issue with using condoms, but that’s me.
      I read last week that a study of a pill for men was halted due to side effects.

    • I did natural family planning after my first born and charted well and even used an ovulation tracker. I didn’t use BC because I was nursing and (honestly) because I couldn’t remember to take my pill. I have two kids that are 18 months apart, IJS…

      • Anon for this :

        As someone trying to get pregnant, why do you think your method failed? Were you wrong about when you ovulated? Did you decide to take a chance while ovulating anyway? Just curious and I understand if you don’t want to respond.

        • Because people who are exhausted with a new baby and super busy have better things to do than obsess about ovulation and having sex with your husband is a) fun, b) hard to fit into the schedule, and c) not something people like shutting down when they are in the mood.

        • I knew there was a risk when we did it, but it was a date night and we decided to take the risk, honestly. And yes also to Anonymous’ reply.

          • Anon for this :

            Thanks. I only asked because I wondered if I’m screwing up my charting and missing the correct fertile window. I really appreciate your honest reply.

          • Also anon :

            I chatted while trying to get pregnant and yes, was getting the “window” wrong – was trying too early. Had much better luck with OPKs.

          • Also anon :

            *charted, not chatted.

    • My husband and I did this for a little less than a year. I used an app to track my periods. They were very regular though, which made it easier for us to avoid getting pregnant. We then got pregnant our second month of trying. After that baby, we tried to do the same thing, but my periods were not as regular and we got pregnant again a little sooner than we planned, but were already considering when to start trying for another baby so it was fine. (I then had Mirena for five years and then he got a vasectomy.)

    • Have you discussed with your doctor about whether the mini-pill (aka progestin-only) would cause the same side effects? If not, I would consider using that. It’s not quite as effective as the regular pill, but if you’re good about taking it at the exact same time every day and pair it with charting after your period becomes more regular, I think your chances of becoming pregnant are low.

    • Honestly, we’ve been using the rhythm method since my son was born 3 years ago. We’re 80% sure that we are one-and-done, but a semi-accidental second pregnancy wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. I wouldn’t recommend it if you absolutely do not want to get pregnant, but from what you’ve said, it sounds like it wouldn’t be terrible if you got pregnant now. If you want to go this route, I recommend the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility and getting a Clear Blue Fertility Monitor (not an ovulation monitor – the $200 fertility monitor). Both will come in handy when you want to actively start trying.

    • “withdrawal is basically as effective as normal-use condoms”

      I’msorrywhat?! If you mean that lots of people use condoms incorrectly, so being perfect at withdrawal is almost as good as badly using a condom, maybe. But you would fail middle school s3x ed with this statement. There are sperm in pre-e fluid. If you don’t want to use hormonal birth control or condoms, fine. But abstain during your ovulation window if you don’t want to be pregnant. I’m sure withdrawal during ovulation has a pretty high failure rate for preventing pregnancy. Especially since people are as imperfect at that as at condom use.

      • per planned parenthood:

        with perfect use, condoms are 98% effective and withdrawal is 96% effective.

        with normal use, condoms are 82% effective and withdrawal is 73% effective. (A wider gap, for sure, but I’m assuming better-than-normal with some fertility awareness etc).

        I found these stats pretty surprising and definitely different than what I learned in middle school! And the pre-fluid thing is apparently not much of an issue, especially if he pees first.

        • No one uses withdrawal correctly. You are not special. It’s a fantasy.

          • Anon for this :

            Explain. If you pull out before O and O elsewhere how is this incorrect? I think you are thinking of people that get to O with P in V and then pull out as they are O’ing. The correct way is to pull out pre-O and use another method to get to O.

          • Because people suck at actually doing it. It’s a terrible method of birth control the same way abstinence only is.

          • Because some S comes out even before you get to O.

          • anonononononono :

            this is my point above about husband not being an 18 year old boy. Been using w/drawal correctly for almost 12 years.

          • Let me introduce you to a slew of 10-year-olds I know who are the result of nonexistent $ex ed at Catholic school of many of my classmates. You said you “do not want to be pregnant before your wedding in June.” That’s ok and acceptable. Withdrawal is not a solution for you, then. It is notoriously unreliable because it can be difficult to tell when to pull out for men. Why? Because something comes just before the finish that doesn’t feel as big but that still has $perm that can get you pregnant. And that’s if he is very diligent about pulling out. That is why the effectiveness is so low. This is not a dependable solution.

            This is a temporary solution, but the obvious answer if you do not want the hormonal route is barrier method. Everyone is different, but I would put money on it that he would prefer to finish inside with a barrier than to pull out before he gets in the groove and to try to finish outside. If he is timing the pull correctly, too, it is a difficult transition to finish outside so early.

            I would enjoy this time together (using a barrier method and not worrying every month that you will have to get a new dress) and track your cycle so that when the time comes and you are ready after your wedding, you understand your body.

        • 73% effective is laughable. You only have an egg present for what? 10% or so of your cycle. And I’ve seen statistics to the effect that couples actively trying have about a 25% chance of getting pregnant any given cycle. So basically 73%effective is basically the same as random chance.

      • anonshmanon :

        I was going to reply a similar thing, but I checked wikipedia and was surprised by very similar numbers for each method’s Pearl index. Both indexes had a considerable spread, which probably accounts for the user error that affects success a lot.

    • If you chart, do not have sex during your fertile time without a condom. Period. Charting is effective because you can’t get pregnant without viable sperm and a viable egg.

      Your plan is exactly how people accidentally get pregnant and then blame it on the (otherwise stupidly, amazingly effective) charting.

      Pick your poison: bleeding, condoms, other barrier methods, or a non-spontaneous sex life. Every single method of contraception involves diligence or side effects or both. You just pick the combo that works best for you and your relationship.

      • Not really- for many of us hormonal birth control has no side effects and neither do condoms. There are great options out there, although it is unfortunate for people like OP who do have side effects.

        • “diligence OR side effects OR both.”

          Condoms and the Pill require diligence: every single time or every single day at the same time. That you didn’t have any side effects (which is hardly universal) does not undermine what I said.

          My concern is that the OP fails to understand that charting methods only work well when used with a tremendous amount of diligence (ie no LGPs during your fertile time). The LadyComp is 99.3% effective when used consistently and correctly, but that does not include pull-out during fertile times. Basic math: the efficacy is the efficacy of your least effective method.

    • This appears to be a decision between a) using condoms or b) withdrawal and hoping for the best. Can you not deal with using condoms until your wedding, at least? You seem to have a vision for how your wedding/honeymoon would be (i.e. not pregnant), and condoms would help you ensure that. After the wedding, you could switch to the rhythm/withdrawal method, and it would be less of a big deal if it failed… right?

      • If you hate condoms because you feel irritated down there after using them, consider that you may have an allergy either to latex or to the spermicides or lube. I used condoms all through high school and college but can’t use them now. I’ve developed a bunch of allergies later in life and I suspect, but haven’t confirmed that’s my issue. You could try latex free ones or those without spermicide to experiment.

    • lucy stone :

      If I were you, I’d chart ovulation using OPKs and temping, and use a barrier method until you were certain you had your cycles figured out. I’ve used NFP to avoid and to conceive and it does work if you do it right, but I like the certainty of condoms + the pill better.

      -Catholic who is using condoms + Marquette method to avoid right now

    • OP. You seem to have already made up your mind (and it’s probably not the decision most people on here would make) so I think you just need to own it.

      Most women on here like to be in control so I don’t think you’ll find too many people supporting a decision to leave it to nature.

      You do you…

    • I have used NFP (sympto-thermal method) for 3 years with no problems. You need to be dedicated and have a partner who is on board as well. As PP mentioned, there are a lot of materials online on this topic. The book Taking Charge of Your Fertility is a good place to start. It took me around 3 months to figure things out, so in the meantime, I would use a method such as condoms. Another recommendation would be the copper IUD; however, it seems like you want to have children in the near future and probably would be best to wait until after having children since its designed to be a long-term method of contraception.

      Sympto-thermal is different than “rhythm” or counting days, as you seek clear indications of ovulation and avoid gardening around those times. It works even if your cycle is “off” (which happens to many of us because of stress, travel, or a variety of issues). The reason it could fail is because if you choose to ignore the signs and garden without precautions, you are doing it at the most fertile time of the month. Many people use the sympto-thermal method while trying to get pregnant, as it is very good at identifying those fertile times.

      OP, you and your future husband will find something that works for you. Don’t forget to include him in these types of decisions, as if you do choose NFP or a similar method, he needs to buy in 100% and understand that abstinence/condoms are required during certain parts of your cycle. Best of luck – although we have wide access to many contraceptive choices, it’s not always easy choosing the “right’ one for you.

    • VCF, it’s a brand that has a film and a foam with sp==cide. I would suggest using in addition to the other tehniques. Esp during potential ovulation periods because it will take a while for things to work out of your system and be regular.

      • +100. Used VCF + charting for four years in my marriage (couldn’t do hormonal BC for various reasons; we both hate cond*ms successfully before TTC. We didn’t have s*x for the few days before I ovulated each month. It was great.

    • I used NFP for a couple of years after marriage and not quite ready to have a child but figured it wouldn’t be the worst thing. I did a lot of research beforehand, and I think it’s a reasonably reliable way to avoid pregnancy if you track closely (and use a barrier method all the time until you know your post-BC cycle), abstain during ovulation, and withdraw at other times. I didn’t get pregnant using the method, but I discovered that I ovulate irregularly and infrequently and needed Clomid to help me get pregnant, so I’m a terrible example.

      If you used a barrier method for 3 months while tracking, stopped in February, and accidentally got pregnant in February, you’d be 5 months pregnant in June. If you kept using a barrier method for 2 more months and accidentally got pregnant in April or May, you probably wouldn’t show much at your wedding if you’re worried about your dress. Of course, being pregnant would also mean you can’t drink and might even feel nauseous at your wedding. And if you’re planning your honeymoon in a place where Zika might be a concern, you’d have to change that too.

      If you haven’t already, talk to your doctor or an OB about the prescription you’re taking and its safety during pregnancy. You can explain that you’re not trying to get pregnant but that you’re considering going off the pill because of the bleeding. If your medication is not safe during pregnancy, I would not rely on NFP/condoms/withdrawal.

    • Recently went off hormonal birth control for health reasons after being on it for 7ish years. I am doing a mix of NFP methods, particularly sympto-thermal and Creighton. I chart using the Kindara app which I highly recommend. It allows for charting of temps and also physical signs of fertility. Three months after the pill my cycles began to regulate. Also, def reccomend reading the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility as others have recommended.

    • Anon for this :

      I would never tell anyone this IRL but I successfully used the withdrawal method for 7 years with my ex-husband. I do think if you are going to go that route, you need to both be on the page about what you’re going to do if you get pregnant (in my case, I would’ve gotten an abortion).

      • Anonymous :

        This is terrible. I’m pro-choice but abortion should not be used as birth control.

        • Anonymous :

          what’s the point of this comment? I can’t see one other than to use anonymity to be unnecessarily judgey.

  13. NYC Photographer :

    Can anyone recommend a photographer in NY to take a few pictures of my kids and dog for a holiday card? Nothing fancy. Just can’t get anyone to sit still myself. Would like to do it outside or in a studio, not in my house. Not too pricey.

    • Do you have a location preference? I’m having a mini-session (~30 minutes) done with Smitten Chickens. We used them last year and thought the photos were great. Caveat that her mini-sessions are now being done in Battery Park City.

    • Julie Harwood! http://www.jbrownphoto.com/family/portraits/

  14. KateMiddletown :

    Based on today’s post and the weekend velour bathrobe look, I am wondering if I’m just too conservative with my own workwear looks?

    • You are not. I work in a business casual office and cannot imagine wearing this top or the bathrobe. Can you imagine your namesake wearing any of these? :) I also feel like you almost cannot be TOO conservative (but you can be too formal) unless you are literally wearing schoolmarm dresses.

    • I think it’s been a very long time since Kat was in an actual office….

      • She was recommending the pants, not the top and the bathrobe dress was for the weekend, not work.

        • She said she likes the top too.

          • pugsnbourbon :

            I kind of assumed she liked it as a weekend pick. I would definitely not wear it to work.

          • Liking it and stating/thinking it is work appropriate are different things. I personally like keyholes in tops for going out, but would never wear it in a work environment.

        • Yeah I don’t love most of the picks here, but Friday’s posts are weekend wear and this post is about the pants. It isn’t her fault that they were paired with a turtleneck with a keyhole.

    • KateMiddletown :

      You’re right, Friday’s was a weekend look (I still couldn’t pull it off.) The top aside, the pants are a little much for me. Perhaps I’m in the minority!

      • I would have to be very prepared for a lot of looks and comments if I wore those pants to work. Not necessarily because they aren’t appropriate, but because they are just so far from the norm. Maybe you wouldn’t get a second glance for wearing these in NY?

  15. Pumpkin pie :

    Hosting some family this weekend and they expressed interest in trying pumpkin pie. I’ve been making smitten kitchens classic recipe (subbing the crust for ginger cookie crust) and everyone loves it but I don’t think it is quite pumpkin-y enough -almost cheesecake texture? Any recipes for a super pumpkin-y pumpkin pie? For reference, my pumpkin perfection is after you brown the pumpkin purée and the spices.

    • Honestly, the filling recipe on the back of the Libby pumpkin can (pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling) is my go-to. It is the classic custard style (not a denser cheesecake style), and very good.

      • +1 for the Libby recipe if you want the old-school custard style. Take it out of the oven when the center is still a little jiggly so it doesn’t overcook.

      • Spirograph :

        +1 from me too. Good pie crust is key. I use oil instead of butter because I’m too lazy to cut in butter and I also like the flakier texture of oil. But pumpkin pie filling is the easiest thing ever – no need to church it up, just pumpkin, spices and some eggs and evaporated milk to hold it together. The recipes for baked goods on the containers for anything are usually really good (peacn pie on corn syrup, chocolate chip cookies on toll house bags, cookies on oatmeal cartons, and pumpkin pie are ones I’d def. vouch for)

      • +1 I always use this recipe and never get any complaints.

    • Serious Eats

    • I haven’t tried smitten kitchen’s recipe but bet it is delicious. (I just made the broccoli fritters last night.) Last year I made the classic pumpkin pie recipe from King Arthur Flour. The pumpkin custard sits in the fridge overnight, which really helps the flavor. It was delicious!

    • I first made this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen a couple of years ago. It was rather complicated, used a ton of dishes, and made a huge mess in the kitchen, but after one bite I decided it was so worth it. I’ve made it a few more times, and its not as complicated as I first thought. I still love the Libby’s recipe, but that one is heavier, while this recipe is lighter, but still pumpkin-y.


  16. Meredith Grey :

    Thanks to everyone who gave tips on how to decrease anxiety in the moment while at work on Friday. I’m saving the thread. So helpful! Thanks!

  17. “A high waist never hurts, as you’ll note here, nor do the seams and darts on the top rear…”
    …unless you carry any weight in your lower half and are under 5’8?

    Seriously, I think a tall, willowy woman could rock these pants, but I really doubt it would work on most body types.

    • I’m 5’1″ and curvy, and I actually really like high waisted pants. I’m in the market for some at the moment, is that unwise?

    • Exactly

      This look needs sky high pointy toe heels, a perfectly fitted tailored close fitting top, and a slender build.


      This pear who would not be caught dead in Mom jeans.

      Even the model here looks a mess.

      I assumed the top was a weekend pick?

      • Tall pear here. Wide leg pants with high wastes never look good on me either… If the waste fits, the pants are tighter than they should be in the butt/upper thighs. Even with the right tailoring, I can’t imagine making this look work on me.

    • Anonymous :

      I am 5’4″, size 12 hourglass, and rock wide-legged pants with high-heeled booties.

  18. What would you wear with these pants? I certainly wouldn’t wear this top. Perhaps a knit jersey top tucked in? Or a thin sweater tucked in? I like the look, but not sure how to style for work.

  19. This whole look is too costumey for me. Pants are too high-waisted and that turtleneck doesn’t belong anywhere NEAR a business casual office.

    JCrew has some full-length wide-legged pants (hurrah, because I REFUSE to wear cropped culotte things) this year that look promising. Lots of sizes are sold out right now but they’ll likely re-stock.

  20. Wild Chicken :

    We’re looking to buy a new mattress/foundation. We’re probably going to do the online thing for the mattress using one of the companies that people have recommended here, but we’re not sure what to do about the foundation. Seems to me that it’s somewhat irrelevant with a memory foam or latex mattress, but we need something to hold the mattress up to the correct height. Any thoughts on best places to buy the foundation f/k/a box springs for a modern mattress?

    • KateMiddletown :

      We just bought one this weekend at Big Lots to go w/ an Amazon foam mattress in a box type thing. $100!

    • We have this one and use it with a headboard: https://www.amazon.com/Zinus-SmartBase-Foundation-Replacement-Noise-Free/dp/B006MIVR06/ref=sr_1_6?s=furniture&ie=UTF8&qid=1477925414&sr=1-6&keywords=king+bed+frame

      If you want something more modern, this one has good reviews: https://www.amazon.com/Zinus-Platform-Mattress-Foundation-Headboard/dp/B01B8GQCB0/ref=sr_1_13?s=furniture&ie=UTF8&qid=1477925414&sr=1-13&keywords=king+bed+frame

    • Depending on how high you need it, what kind of bed you have for a lower profile we use either bunky beds from West Elm, or the slats from IKEA as foundations for our platform bed. We have a Leesa that works well with both. If you have a traditional bed and need a bedframe, you can get this at any furniture or mattress store for about $150.

    • New Tampanian :

      I recently purchasaed this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JITHL7E/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      I needed it to replace a very old box spring when I purchased my Tuft and Needle mattress.

    • The Zinuis foundations (I bought mine on Amazon) are great. Very easy to assemble and no creaking at all, even with a…lot of motion. My best friend has the one mentioned in another comment, and I have an upholstered version that looks like a $2,000 Birdjoy model.

  21. Intervention :

    Updating the hive. I’m the OP who planned an intervention of sorts for a friend who’s been self-destructive in many ways. Two others and I sat down with her to talk primarily about her drinking and finances. We said we’re concerned she can’t pay her mortgage or bills and her business is in the toilet. She just said she’ll stop drinking and will buy a soda instead to hold. I wonder if she feels societal pressure to drink because she seemed to think that its important to “convince” others she’s drinking when she really isn’t. Like, she said she’ll get a certain type of glass and ice and a stir stick and a lime so people think its a rum and coke. We were like…or…just drink water, and no one will care.

    She also insisted she can afford to keep her house, after narrowly avoiding foreclosure. However, she admitted she yet again has no money to pay her mortgage, but she kept insisting something will work out and she’ll be ok. We were encouraging to sell, especially because she isn’t upside down in her mortgage.

    I don’t think she really heard us, but I hope she knows the 3 of us care for her and are there to help if and when she needs it. We didn’t go into the “LGP” issue at all, instead focusing on how we get scared when she drinks and blacks out and wakes up not knowing where she is.

    • all about eevee :

      Just as a data point. I do not drink but am fine with other people doing so. The pressure to drink in social situations like parties is very real, to the point that I just stay home now. I think that some groups of drunk people in some social circles feel very awkward when there is a totally sober person among them. I think maybe your friend is bad at dealing with peer pressure as an adult.

      • Intervention :

        Good anecdata! For me, I have no problem drinking or not drinking. I went out last Thurs. with coworkers and didn’t drink at all because I had an early morning, but I also don’t care “what people think” about that. My friend could feel lots of peer pressure.

        • all about eevee :

          I think that’s great for you, but not everyone is so strong. Some folks are people pleasers. I know I hate people twisting my arm or making me feel guilty, so I just don’t participate anymore.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            I’m a ridiculous people pleaser and yet, being pressured to drink has never worked on me- I don’t drink for medical reasons, and if someone pressures me, I’m pretty clear with them that they’re being jerks, I can’t drink, and they can just back right off. It’s one of the only areas in my life where I can say “No.” with no guilt or feeling awkward about it- I’d prefer to be able to function and breathe than have “just one” drink/beer/etc.
            I do recognize this is different, and I can be very open about why I’m not drinking, while there’s more…shame? Stigma? in quitting drinking because it was causing issues. But I know that people very rarely press me on it when I say it’s a medical issue. Since alcohol addiction is a medical issue, that could be one way to do it. “No, I’m not drinking- medical condition makes it pretty miserable. I’d love a Coke, though!”

          • Well, it’s pertient that you didn’t drink because you had an early morning – of course your coworkers wouldn’t bat an eye at that. But if the reason you aren’t drinking is “because I get blackout drunk and have sex with people I don’t remember”, I get why your friend would want to just pretend she’s drinking rather than field questions about it.

        • But there’s a huge difference between a social drinker who opts for water one night because they have an early morning (which is what you did) versus someone who has Quit Drinking. People freak out about the latter and try to force drinks on them.

    • Sober Anon :

      First time poster who has been sober for 16+ months – I just wanted to throw in support for your friend’s concern about the type of glass, etc. when ordering soda at a bar or event. People actually do care sometimes. I still often get questioned about why I am not drinking. Even if not from a place of ill intent, it gets tiring explaining (or feeling that I even have to explain) a very personal choice. So if this makes her more comfortable, please don’t judge it. I still very often order my soda with a lime and ask for a specific type of glass to help avoid questions. Its just something I don’t want to deal with.

      • +1

        Sometimes it is easier to just blend in. It also may be helpful for her psychologically at first until she is truly comfortable with herself as a sober person at events.

  22. Used car shopping :

    Ugh. Why are dealers so bad?? They respond to emails so slowly, urge me to come down to the lot “for a test drive” even though I’ve made it clear I only want to work online, and only respond to one question if I’ve sent 3. Plus they are (of course) being very vague and cagey about the price. Has anyone had luck with any of the car-buying start-ups out there (Carvana, Shift, Beepi) or places like Carmax? I’m about ready to be done with all this dealer BS.

    • Have you used TrueCar? It locks participating dealers into a price.

      • +1 I used True Car to buy my first car. No prior experience obviously, but my dad walked me through the process and he was super happy with the price I got with True Car. I went into the dealership and about an hour and a half later walked out. Would have been quicker if the salesman had not had to chase his kid around the office and the finance office had not screwed up on the interest rates. They tried to use a higher interest rate with money off instead of the lower interest rate with no money off. Saved me something to the tune of $75 a month because I caught it, so be careful about that aspect of the deal. I don’t know if it works with used cars though.

    • A lot of dealers have an Internet chat option through their website where you can live chat with an Internet sales rep. Have you tried that at all?

    • That’s interesting re: emails. I can’t get them to stop calling and emailing me!! I browsed through the Amex benefit and asked a few pointed questions about three cars. The dealerships called my phone multiple times and sent multiple emails!

      I am browsing Beepi, but the selection isn’t as good as TrueCar or CarGurus. I am part of the VW buyback program, so while I am finding cars I like, I have to wait to have my claim processed and then figure out the monkeying around with dropping my car off at the VW dealer and getting the new car from another dealer who knows where.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Also, we didn’t use, but Costco has a car-buying program. I’ve heard it’s great – you tell them what car you want and they bid it out.

    • I recently bought my car through Shift, and I loved it. They don’t have a huge selection, but for the make and model I was interested in I found a car that was one year older than I had looked at in the dealerships, but also cheaper and had fewer miles on it.

      The process is very painless, you schedule a test drive and they bring the car to you. There’s no pressure by the rep to buy, he let me ask all the questions I wanted and he was fairly knowledgeable about the car. I decided to buy and we filled out paperwork right away. The only hasslenwas having to drive together to a bank to get a cashier’s check. Then he left me the car and they keys and it was mine. Extra bonus point: they handle all the DMV paperwork. Everything I needed came in the mail. There’s no negotiation, the price was fixed, and I think that took some of the pain out of the process as well. I definitely think I would have paid more at a dealership.

      Had I decided not to buy the car he would have just driven it away.

      Long story short: I had a great experience with shift and would buy with them again in a heartbeat.

    • What do you mean about only wanting to work online? Would you buy without a test drive and inspection?

      How used are you talking about? A certified pre-owned 2014 or a 2008 that has 70,000 miles on it?

      • You negotiate via email without going in to the dealership. I test drove the other potential car I was interested in at a local dealership, but I will end up buying from a dealership based on what is available on the market. I won’t need to test drive the one I am buying. All the certified used cars go through multiple point inspections – I think Beepi is like 240 points or something? Plus, the Beepis and Shifts have no questions asked return policies for 7 – 10 days. There is very low risk of getting something that is a mess from a legit dealer if it’s certified pre-owned.

        I buy only used cars and look for under 50k or 60k miles.

        • That’s what *you* did. I was asking about the OP.

          A large number of people who buy a car without test-driving it straight-up admit that they do so to avoid the hard sell at the dealership.

          If the OP – who isn’t you – is thinking of buying a car that’s more than a year or two old, the test drive and inspection are crucial. Certified pre-owned often only covers about a year’s worth of driving, but the difference between the right and the wrong used car can be on the order of an extra hundred thousand miles.

          You’re not a car person. Without belabouring the point, a test drive and an inspection by a mechanic *who is an expert in that brand of car* makes a tremendous amount of difference.

          I’ve known people who have heard a car turn over and predicted a specific engine problem that cropped up ninety thousand miles later. I test-drove a beautifully maintained car that everyone (including the family member who was with me) thought was in great shape, but I thought had transmission issues. Popped the hood, checked the tranny fluid, and, yep, brown and smelly. (The maintenance protocol actually said that the fluid never needs to be replaced.) I took a car that had been through a thorough inspection process to my mechanic, who hoisted it up on the lift, shook his head, brought it down, and told me to not bother. He could tell by the coating on a part what maintenance had not been done.

          I believe that women can be less scared of car dealerships and car buying if they understand more about how cars work.

    • Fizzy Dranks :

      I’ve posted on here about Carvana a few times. I loved working with them. I was at brunch with friends when I bought my car from my phone in about 15 minutes. They came and picked up my old car when they dropped off my new (used) one. I can’t remember the time frame but I had so many days to test drive and if I didn’t like it they would take it back, no questions asked. I will never shop for a car any other way ever again. I think I have some referral cards for $500 off your purchase if you decide you want to go that route.

  23. Intervention :

    SHOE RECOMMENDATION needed! I’m getting a little desperate.

    I have a black, knee length lace dress to wear to a nonprofit charity function at the end of the month (looks similar to the one in the link). I can’t find shoes that I like. I’ll be speaking at the event and want to look good. I’m planning to wear black nylons because its cold. Bare legs would look silly.

    Suggestions? I bought and returned a pair of Anne Klein burgundy pumps and a pair of pewter-ish d’orsay peep toe pumps with a silver accent on the toe, and I don’t like either with the outfit.


    • Pretty dress. If you’re wearing black nylons, I can’t imagine wearing anything but black shoes. Nothing wrong with black nylons, but I think for formal events that are held inside, bare legs are always fine and possibly a little more chic. Also, if you’re wearing nylons, no peep toes please!

      To keep it fancy, I’d suggest a slim heel, closed toe, with some straps or other detail.


    • anonshmanon :

      Am I crazy to think that nude nylons/spanx will help the black of the dress to come out nicer?

      • Intervention :

        I never know what color nude nylons I should wear. I only wear nylons that are varying shades of black for this reason (or alternatively, colored tights).

        Nude for me? Taupe? I have horrible flashbacks to “suntan” nylons from high school.

    • I go with bare legs even during frigid weather and think it’s ok for evening looks. If you do insist on legwear, I’d go with very sheer black tights. As for shoes, I’d wear something like this with that dress to mimic the lace: http://www.saksoff5th.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCTprd_id=845524442138491&site_refer=AFF001&mid=38801&siteID=J84DHJLQkR4-3XYSWZHNcaqhEuDdWx3gxA

      • Intervention :

        The link didn’t work. Can you tell me what you searched to find the shoes?

        I’m open to bare legs, but I assume I’d still want closed toe shoes for winter?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I think this calls for bare legs and a lace shoe…



  24. Ugh, I need letters of rec for law school from previous employers. I should email them and ask to get coffee, right? This just seems like the dumbest email ever because they know that I’m going to be applying for law school so they will probably know this is why I’m suggesting coffee. Is there a good way to phrase these emails so it’s not just “let’s catch up!”? Why do these little emails give me so much more dread than other more substantive emails?

    • No just be straightforward, it’s not exactly a shocking request. “Hey, I’m applying to law school, I was wondering if you’d be able to write me a letter of recommendation. It would be due on March 15th and the same letter could go to all 7 schools. If you’d be willing, please let me know and I”ll get back to you with the details.”

      • (forgot to add what should be obvious – some “please” and “thank you” and “how are things going” mixed in with the text above)

      • Don’t even ask to meet? I feel like standard advice to ask to meet up (we’re all in the same city) and do the actual ask in person.

        • I don’t think it’s necessary to do the ask in person at all. I would definitely make sure that your email conveys your interest in how they’re doing, and perhaps if you’re in the same city that includes an “I’d love to get coffee and catch up sometime!” But I think you’re putting yourself in an awkward position if you try to do the ask in person – what if they don’t have time or schedule the meeting far out, and then you’re left to explain why that doesn’t work?

        • I mean, I guess different people might have different expectations. But I write letters all the time, and would strongly prefer not to be asked to meet. A good letter takes significant time to write – which is fine, it’s all part of the job. But I’d rather not also spend additional time meeting up when the request could be made easily over email (no offense, I like the people I write for, but my work day is busy and I try to stay efficient).

        • BabyAssociate :

          Unless you’ve been out of school for a while and are worried these professors might not remember who you are, I wouldn’t ask to meet.

          • BabyAssociate :

            Whoops, I now realize OP is asking about employer letters, not professor, but my thinking is still the same.

        • No, no don’t ask them to meet. Then you are asking them to do you two favors instead of one and the first one (the meeting) accomplishes nothing and is a big waste of time. I’m happy to write a letter of rec, but I would be so annoyed if someone requested an in person meeting just to ask for a letter. Just email me the request for the letter!
          (And, sorry, but it’s got to be said…don’t go to law school!)

          • +1 to all of this. No meeting necessary. And do not go to law school. It was the biggest, most expensive mistake I ever made, even though I went to a relatively well-ranked, low-cost law school, was on law review, graduated in the top 10% of my class, got a great job well before graduation in a year when most of my classmates were deferred, like my job, and am on track to pay off my loans in 10 years.

        • Applying to grad school and I just emailed them. I graduated fairly recently and has asked these people to be references before so I thought it would be fine. I didn’t want to make them go out of their way for coffee when all I need is that letter.

    • Offer to meet if they’d like to, otherwise just send a current resume. As a professor who writes a lot of letters, I usually ask students to stop by my office and chat for 10-15 minutes when I don’t know them very well (and they’re presumably asking me just to get the required three letters), but if I’ve worked closely with them, a quick email update on their recent activities and future plans is plenty.

    • Ask them for the letter of recommendation, then offer to take them out to coffee sometime if they’re free. Still polite, but allows them to manage their time.

      “Hi there,

      As you know I’m applying to law school, and my application requires letters of recommendation from previous employers. I really enjoyed my time working for you at X, and would be so grateful if you’d write me a positive letter of recommendation. Let me know if that’s something you’re able/willing to do?

      I’d also love to take you out for coffee sometime to say thank you and catch up if you’re available. No pressure, of course – I know you have many demands on your time!”

  25. help me i am cold :

    My new office is absolutely frigid, and no space heaters are allowed. I’m also in the SE US, so if I wear very heavy clothes I’ll roast when I leave. Does anyone have the Uniqlo heattech cami and slipshorts? I’m considering getting those for dress/skirt days. I’m looking for warm blazer recommendations if anyone has those too, my office is too formal for my usual chunky wool cardigan look. TIA!

    • Heating pad? You’ll look like an old lady, but . . .

    • Consider getting a heating pad. Putting one at my back made me much warmer when I couldn’t use a space heater and it’s much easier than dealing with layers.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      Heattech is amazing, but you might actually want to wait until you get to work to put it on.

      I have a heattech t-shirt that looks a lot like a non-heattech t-shirt that I own, and I wore it by mistake on a 70ish degree day and was ROASTING.

      • help me i am cold :

        Good to know! I figured the shorts would be an easy bathroom slip on when I get to work. Then I’d wear the cami under my shirt or dress and top with a blazer once I enter my office. I’ll try the heating pad, but I may need to rig up some extension cord contraption as I have one outlet (so sad, I know)/

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          I asked this same question a few weeks ago. I now own a Free People scarf that’s actually more like a scarfy-blanket, and it was recommended that I get those heat pads that stay warm all day. Might fix the outlet issue.

    • Invest in a good long wool or cashmere sweater. Look for something that feels like a blanket but is in the shape of a sweater. I have an entire collection of knee length sweaters for my freezing office in the South.

  26. Did the “Collapse X replies” disappear for everyone? It was one of my favorite / most used features on the comments page. If is still there for other people, what can I do to get it to come back?!

    Strangely, it is still showing up on the moms site.

  27. Vegan food ideas for a party please–my daughter wants to have some friends over for her 16th birthday. One of the girls is vegan and I would like to have dinner, snacks, and breakfast that everyone can enjoy without making something obviously different for her (its not that I don’t want to or mind making something different, I just don’t want her to feel singled out.) I was thinking maybe some kind of “assemble your own” pasta? tacos? Any ideas for a group of teenage girls?


    • Assemble your own tacos is great. You can still have cheese in a separate bowl and she can just avoid it. Great solution for picky eaters too.

      • Killer Kitten Heels :

        +1 to make-your-own tacos.

        For snacks, just read the ingredients – a surprising number of snacks are randomly vegan although not explicitly branded as such (oreos, for example, and lots of kinds of tortilla chips and sometimes pretzels).

        Breakfast is probably the hardest – when I was vegan for awhile, my go-to was oatmeal made with hot water or almond milk with nuts and berries mixed in.

        • Pumpkin spice overnight oats?

        • Gourmet oatmeal bar? Cook steel-cut oats with water, and offer a variety of toppings such as brown sugar, fresh berries or a berry compote, chopped apples, nuts, raisins, honey, maple syrup, and cream. This would be especially appropriate for a spa-themed party.

          • Killer Kitten Heels :

            This is a great idea.

            Also, for creamier oats, you can make oats with almond milk or soy milk (both of which are vegan).

            Personally, I’ve never been a fan of overnight oats – they seem to get overly mushy, to me – but I would be all about a make-your-own-oatmeal bar.

    • falafel bar- hummus, falafel, pita, tabbouleh, etc.

    • I’d enlist your daughter’s help here and have her do the recon on what her friend eats and doesn’t. Also to see how strictly she maintains her vegan diet. Is she also cutting out animal products in prepared foods (like baked goods) or just in their whole food form? If you do a baked potato bar or nacho bar, can you add beans and her preferred cheese/dairy subs?

      • Wait, no, any vegan doesn’t eat animal products in any form. Asking otherwise is weird and disrespectful.

        • Oh come on. There’s a polite way to ask about someone’s food limitations and preferences when you are trying to be inclusive and accommodate them. But I also remember being a teenager who was surrounded by people who were vegetarians that ate chicken or people who ate skittles and other candy by the pound (gelatin) while maintaining that they wouldn’t eat any animal products.

          • Anonymous :

            Sometimes “vegetarian” or “vegan” are useful shorthands for more complicated dietary preferences/requirements, especially for kids…

        • I assume the person you’re responding to is asking whether she needs to be aware of things like honey or gelatin or any number of other down-list additives that might be an ingredient in store-bought food, not whether she can use butter to make cookies.

          • Anonymous :

            Right, some vegans eat honey, others don’t. Some eat yeast, others don’t. There is room for discussion here.

      • I don’t think asking about dietary restrictions in general is weird, but if someone tells you they’re vegan that means they don’t eat animal products. I have literally never heard of a vegan who only avoids animals in their “whole food form.” I don’t even know what that means. If someone says vegetarian, then it might be worth clarifying do they eat eggs, do they eat fish, etc. But vegan is pretty clear.

      • I understand exactly what you’re saying.

        If you do a quick search of surveys of the number of vegetarians in America, you’ll find that over half of self-described “vegetarians” have eaten meat or fish in the last week.

        I’ve noticed that this has crept into veganism: as “vegetarian” increasingly means “no beef” or “flexitarian,” people use “vegan” to describe what used to mean vegetarian.

        But don’t be weird about how you ask it. “Just to clarify, no meat, fish, eggs, dairy? What about honey?” If she comes back and says she totally drinks milk, just roll with it.

    • Assemble your own pizza/pasta/taco would be perfect. Gives your daughter’s friend some options without drawing attention to her dietary preference. Also, it’s really nice of you to do take that into account!

      • Doritos and Oreos are vegan friendly teenage party foods.

        For tacos – Boca has meatless hamburger “meal starter” that you can season with taco seasoning. Just double check the label for things like milk or eggs. Not every brand of meat substitute is vegan.

        Daiya makes vegan cheese sheds for a taco bar.

        I have also mixed a batch of rice with taco seasoning before and added black beans. I used the mix to make Chipotle-ish taco bowls.

        This is of course party food here – and doesn’t need to meet all dietary needs, just like a pizza and beee party wouldn’t either.

        There are some save the animals sites on the internet that can also help you. One has an accidents vegan food list that is very helpful.

      • Killer Kitten Heels :

        Just a warning on the pizza idea – pizza dough, as it’s typically made, is NOT vegan, so OP, you’d have to either find a vegan dough or make one (which is a PITA) if you go the pizza route.

        • marketingchic :

          Pizza dough is flour, yeast, salt, olive oil and water. It’s also surprisingly easy to make if you have a stand mixer. Look up Pioneer Woman (I know, not exactly known for pizza) pizza dough. I make that weekly.

        • There are gluten free dairy free frozen pizzas by Bold, Daiya and Amy’s that are all good. The dairy free ones are most likely vegan.

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          Pizza dough is really easy if you have a mixer or food processor. I use Bobby Flay’s recipe and just dump it all in the food processor, pulse for a minute, let it rise for an hour, then shape and bake. Normal ingredients for pizza dough are vegan- flour, yeast, olive oil, salt, and water. Commercial dough might have non-vegan ingredients, but that’s not good dough anyway.

          • BabyAssociate :

            Agreed, homemade pizza dough is so easy/tasty! I use the Smitten Kitchen recipe and frequently triple it.

    • As a mostly vegan vegetarian, whose ex-H and son are vegan, I agree with all of these make-your-own/bar ideas. It’s also easy to make vegan pancakes; just use non-dairy milk and egg replacer (a powder available in health food stores). And I agree with anonymous at 11:35; don’t ask the friend if she’s not so vegan that she would eat a cake or pancakes made with eggs – just take her at her word that vegan means vegan.

      The cake recipe from Macademia looks good. Here’s a similar one I’ve used, also; it’s delicious (a friend who has worked as a pastry chef makes this all the time, and not just for vegan events) and easy and makes good cupcakes, too. Look for vegan chocolate chips if you’re using them; some Ghirardelli varieties are vegan but IIRC the Nestlé’s brand are not.

      And good for you for thinking about this and wanting not just to make food this girl can eat but also to not make her feel somehow singled out!

      Chocolate Picnic Cake

      3 c. all purpose flour
      2 c. sugar
      1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
      1/2 tsp. salt
      2 tsp. baking soda
      1 1/2 tsp. baking powder


      2 c. cold water
      1 c. oil
      1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
      2 tsp. vinegar (optional)

      Also optional 1/12 c. chocolate chips

      Grease and flour pans.
      Sift dry ingredients together. whisk together wet ingredients in separate larger bowl. Whisk dry into wet until batter is smooth. Divide batter among (3) 8″ pans or (2) 9″ pans. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Bake in preheated 350 oven until toothpick comes out clean, 25 – 30 minutes.

    • OP--vegan party planner :

      Thanks everyone! I know that this girl is a strict vegan. Her mother is also vegan and she often brings her own food when the girls do team parties (they are on a sports team together.) I was hoping to do something inclusive for all of them and something they will all enjoy. Thanks for all the great ideas! I think vegan pancakes or the oatmeal bar will be great for the morning and sounds like tacos will work for dinner. I never realized oreos were vegan, so I will get some of those, along with chips, fruit, and veggies. Thanks again!

      • Quick plug for my fav vegan pumpkin pancake recipe! http://www.cearaskitchen.com/flourless-pumpkin-oat-blender-pancakes/

        They’re so delicious that my veggie-food-hating, give-me-gluten-by-the -pound boyfriend loves them.

  28. Theater District Eats :

    Any recommendations of where to grab a nice, not too expensive dinner before a broadway show?

    • I’ve always been happy with Saju or BXL

    • Anonymous :

      Depends on where you’ll be, but here are a few recs in Hells Kitchen. In the lower 40’s, there’s: Bea (American), Bocca di Bacco (Italian), Nizza (Italian), Pio Pio (a bit farther away on 10th Ave, but Peruvian), and 5 Napkin (burgers). In the lower 50’s (but 10th Ave), there’s Taboon (Mediterranean).

  29. Reposted from above (in the wrong place)

    I’m wondering whether people find MM LaFleur clothes durable and still looking nice after many wears. I see that a lot of the stuff I’m interested in is like 90% viscose, and I always thought of viscose as not very durable. I don’t want to pay those prices unless the clothes will last a long time. Any thoughts?

    • I have one of their dresses. Worn approx. once a month for about 8 months, still looks brand new. Be careful with the belt loops though. It got wound up somehow and I almost broke the loop while trying to get the belt unstuck.

  30. Tacos will be perfect. I like this recipe for a vegan taco filling. http://peasandcrayons.com/2012/04/lentil-veggie-tacos.html I usually skip the mushrooms.

    My go-to chocolate cupcakes happen to be vegan: http://www.moosewoodcooks.com/2013/11/six-minute-vegan-chocolate-cake/ I make the batter in a bowl then scoop into cupcake papers in a muffin tin. I can’t remember how long I bake, 20 or 25 minutes? I think red wine vinegar is better than cider vinegar here.

  31. Nordstrom Exchange :

    I purchased a very lovely black gown from a local Nordstrom store on Friday for an event Saturday. It was perfect. However, when I got home, I noticed all sorts of “pulls” on the dress. It’s made of slinky fabric so you can notice these – it almost looks like pilling. Since it is one of the “Special Occassion Dresses” do you think they’ll do an exchange? I can’t for the life of me figure out what caused this. Also, should I get dry cleaned before exchange? I don’t want to do any further damage prior to exchanging.

    • You should definitely do an exchange – but also be on high alert that it likely pulls easily and you may end up with them after you wear it.

    • I bought a velvet dress from Nordies once, made some alterations, and wore it. When I got home and undressed, I realized that the material bled all over my torso…my entire supper body was tinted black. I returned the dress without cleaning it, alterations and all. They were very gracious.

      Really, there is no justification for selling shoddy stuff without a warning!

    • Anonymous :

      You wore it? No, absolutely not. That’s a thing that happens to slinky dresses- they catch and pull on absolutely everything

      • Anonymous :


        I completely agree with this.

      • anon-oh-no :

        totally disagree. Nordstrom will take anything back (for good reason, it keeps folks coming back), but I would take this back to any store. And no, slinky dresses do not catch and pull on everything. dresses are not meant for one time use.

  32. Seattle Trip :

    I will be going to a four day conference in downtown Seattle in a few days. The conference schedule is pretty packed, but lunch is on our own every day and I will have to find dinner, as well. I am looking for recommendations for places to eat downtown, preferably cheap eats, as well as must-see sightseeing recs. Thanks!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Depends on where you are downtown, but here’s a good list. https://m.reddit.com/r/Seattle/comments/4tp7yq/best_bang_for_my_buck_for_lunch_downtown/
      Bakeman’s is absolutely a must-go-to. I’ve heard awesome thinks about Umma’s, but haven’t been myself. Same with Il Corvo (which is in south-downtown, near the courthouse).
      For dinner: El Borracho near Pike Place has a cheap HH and is cheap anyway. But really good. Pho Than Brothers has a spot just north of the Space Needle (accessible by bus in 10 min from downtown) where a large chicken pho and a soda is $10 with a tip. Berliner (in Pioneer Square) serves huge sandwiches for not-super-expensive.
      Definitely walk around Pike Place; the Chinese bakery has awesome sesame balls. See the gum wall. It’s disgusting in a cool way. If you’re available in the morning, head up to the Columbia Tower’s 40th floor and grab a Starbucks and look at the view- it’s almost 360 and it’s only the cost of a Starbucks, rather than paying for the observation deck of Columbia Tower or the Space Needle.
      The weather’s supposed to suck this week, unfortunately- bring a rain coat and rain boots and if you don’t care about getting “you’re not from here” looks, an umbrella.

    • anonjrassociate :

      For happy hour/early dinner, my favorite place downtown is the Metropolitan Grill (3 to 6 p.m., gets crowded fast and has a 1-drink minimum, but the bar food is absolutely delicious and hearty). My favorite for a medium-splurge dinner is Pink Door (Italian, basically in Pike Place Market, and they often have performers like trapeze artists during dinner). For delicious, inexpensive pizza, in a pretty dive-y spot but right downtown: Italian Family Pizza. There’s also a Top Pot in the downtown area if you like doughnuts but don’t have time to trek to the Queen Anne location. My top sightseeing rec is just to wander around Pike Place and that area, watch the ferries come in and go out, buy a delicious baked good and wander around munching and people watching. Bonus points if you can do it during the weekday when the market’s a bit less crowded. Also the gum wall is an A+ selfie spot if that interests at all :)

      • Seattle Trip :

        Thank you both!

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        TOP POT YES. If they still have their pumpkin doughnuts, get one. I’m not a pumpkin person but I LOVE them. Go in the morning, though- they usually run out by mid-morning.

      • Another Seattle Office Worker :

        FYI: Italian Family Pizza has moved up to First Hill (Madison/Boren) and no longer downtown. I’ll echo some other commenters above and add more places.
        For inexpensive and delicious lunch, I would suggest Pike Place market [3 Girls Bakery, Biscuit Bitch, Michou, Country Dough (Chinese flatbread), Oriental Mart (Filipino–Andrew Zimmer came here for the salmon sinigang), Mee Sum Pastry (Chinese baos and dumplings)], Pioneer Square [Il Corvo (amazing homemade pasta), Delicatus, Rain Shadow Meats Squared, Salumi]. Or go check out a food truck: there are tons every day up in South Lake Union (aka Amazon Country) or there is also another food truck pod in Westlake Park (Pine St/4th Ave). Schedules, locations, and menu can be found at SeattleFoodTruck dot com.

        For sweets, I would skip Top Pot (they’ve gotten to big for their britches and quality has gone down hill, IMO). Go to Sweet Iron Waffle, Fuji Bakery (International District), Piroshky Piroshky or Le Panier in Pike Place Market instead.

  33. I am thinking of brown versus tan knee-high boots. Which ones do you ladies think will be more versatile? What can/can’t I wear with them? I’ve always done brown, but I am leaning towards tan.

    • I recently replaced my brown boots with tan. I think tan goes with a wider range of colors than brown. I routinely wear my tan boots with black leggings, which would have looked weird with brown.

      • I have a pair of tan boots and I almost never wear them because they seem too light most of the time in “boot” weather. I think this may be a matter of where you live. Also, shade counts. Some browns are warm enough to go with black and some tans are too orange-ish and end up not being as versatile (like mine).

    • Also, where to find narrow calf knee high boots with a heel?

    • BabyAssociate :

      Depending on how light the tan is, I’d be worried about color transfer from jeans.

    • Anonymous :

      Is it tan like cognac or more like beige? I think cognac might be more versatile than espresso brown but you’ll probably still need black boots if you wear a lot of black/cool gray.

  34. Nordstrom Personal Shopper? :

    So after exhausting local resources in my medium sized town for business clothes and realizing I don’t know how to shop for them, and not finding anything I think would fit, even with tailoring, I made an appointment with a Nordstroms personal shopper. What have been your experiences with this? Did you find it helpful? Should I get there early and find some bras for myself? (Another clothing item I can never find).

  35. Just signed up for adult swim lessons at the local Y! Excited to re-learn how to swim.

  36. Just signed up for adult swim lessons at the local Y! Excited to re-learn how to swim.

    • BabyAssociate :

      That’s awesome, good for you!

      • Anne Shirley :

        I’m happy for you for all the fun things that you’ll be able to enjoy once you’ve learned! (Kayaking, snorkeling, getting into the ocean at the beach)

        … and now I want summer back

  37. Nutrition bars :

    I am looking to buy nutrition bars which all natural protein bars which have no added sugar and are low hypoglycemic. I don’t mind if are a bit high caloric. Thanks in advance..

    • Nutrition bars :

      oh..I was looking for recommendation for those nutrition bars. :-)

    • KateMiddletown :

      I like Lara Bars and Think Thins, but Rx probably fit the bill too.

      • Nutrition bars :

        Thank you for Rx bars recommendation. They are a bit high in sugar than I would like, but I will try them.

      • anon-oh-no :

        Lara bars. but read the ingredients. some have added sugar, some do not.

    • Lara Bars, but not all flavors (apple pie, cherry pie, and cashew cookie meet your specs)

    • Hope This Is Not Too Late :

      Look up the “Perfect Bar” if you can eat peanuts. Delicious, not too sweet, and no preservatives. They’re in the refrigerated section of WF and co-op stores. I’ve seen them at Costco here before too (we’re near their HQ and get some fun stuff before the rest of the country ;-)

  38. Anonymous :

    Anyone else not participating in trick or treating tonight? I mentioned to a friend that I wasn’t and she acted like I’m a monster. I’ll probably get home from work at the tail end of it and I really don’t feel like rushing to get changed and be presentable when I really just want to make dinner and go to bed. Am I the worst?

    • I’m hiding out at the office until the worst of it is done. My husband is out tonight and the neighbourhood kids have a history of some pretty aggressive behaviour so I’d prefer not to be answering the door alone.

    • Jitterbug :

      I’m not! I have no kids, and I live in an apartment building that’s mostly young people, I think there’s one unit with a child. I’ll be at a dance, swinging out to spooky jazz music.

      As a kid my mom would tell me that if a house’s front lights were out, it means they weren’t giving out candy. A part of me wondered why, but I think my mom did a good job not encouraging bad feelings towards those who choose not to participate. We just moved on to the next house!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m not feeling well and was up until about 3 am last night so I’m planning to hand out candy until maybe 7 pm (if we get any trick or treaters before then) and then turn off the porch light and go to sleep.

    • Meredith Grey :

      My to-do list for tonight includes bringing my stoop pumpkin inside (that’s definitely not painted turquoise) and silencing the door bell! Owning it!

    • Anonymous :

      What are you talking about changing and being presentable? Yes. You are the worst.

    • Anonymous :

      Why do you have to get changed? Or answer the door at all?

      If you don’t want to answer the door, just leave a basket of candy outside with a note that says ” Happy Halloween! Take One Only…the Ghosts and Ghouls are watching you!”

      Cuts down on kids taking all of it.

    • KS IT Chick :

      We used to do it, but we’ve quit. I can’t eat chocolate, and I gag at the smell of non-chocolate candies. My husband says that he doesn’t need the bowl of leftover candy sitting around for weeks to eat on. So, I’ll make a nice fall-ish dinner and we’ll watch TV with the front porch light off. The cat will appreciate that the door bell isn’t ringing for 4 hours straight, too.

  39. Basically the Grinch :

    I was a total curmudgeon on Friday … we had an office trick-or-treat where peoples’ kids came through to each office. I closed my door but felt like the Grinch. We won’t get any trick-or-treaters at home tonight just because of where our house is located. I actually don’t mind the neighborhood type trick-or-treating … but I draw the line at my office!

  40. My cousin’s daughter (in a nearby city) is turning 16 and her single mom just went through some surgery and is not able to throw a party or anything. We (family with 2 small kiddos) will be going to visit her and I’d like to do something nice. Unsure what a 16 year old likes these days and what we could do that wouldn’t offend the mom or make her feel bad that she couldn’t do a sweet 16.
    Our budget is upto $100. The girl in question is a bit shy, with creative interests (cooking/baking/crafts). She seems to live a somewhat circumscribed life as her mom is a bit controlling and strict. I was thinking something like a restaurant or movie or starbucks gift voucher so she can take her friends. Or a mani-pedi thing she could do with her mom. Ideas?

    • Anne Shirley :

      For my 16th, my mom took my best friend and me out to get our nails done. She was fairly strict mother at that point, so it was “cool” of her to leave us at the salon all by ourselves as if we were adults (after paying so we wouldn’t have to worry about that or appropriate tipping).

      Alternatively, you could consider splurging on a nicer/fancier cake than she normally gets on her birthday to make that it’s a special birthday.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you send her and her mom to a cake decorating class at their local craft store (Michael’s, etc)? Super fun.

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