Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Cashmere Relaxed V-neck Sweater

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

If you’re looking for a basic cashmere sweater, this one from Boden looks kind of perfect. It comes in eight colors (including gray, ivory, a cobalt blue, and a sea green) in sizes XS–XL and is hand washable — and even machine washable, which is great. It looks like all the size/color combinations are still in stock. The sweater is $190. Cashmere Relaxed V-neck Sweater

Neiman Marcus has a v-neck cashmere sweater in plus sizes that comes in a ton of colors.

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Comments

  1. CherryScary :

    Thanks hive for all your advice and tips on remote work last week. I got the job! My boss is out until Friday, but the new job was flexible in my start date, so I will be putting in my two weeks then. I’m super excited, but I can’t talk about it yet, so I’m going to celebrate with you all.

  2. Anonymous :

    I’m wearing polka dot pants and a purple top today. Good choice, model lady.

  3. Anonymous :

    Does anyone here use the Curly Girl method, or has otherwise found a heat-free method for being happy with your non-straight hair? Was it a lot of trial and error? What works for you?

    • happy curly girl :

      My method is extremely low maintenance. I never blowdry or straighten it, ever. I wash at night (because I’m a die hard night shower person), let it air dry for a few hours, then sleep on it wet. It works pretty well. After I wash I scrunch in a curl cream/gel from Loreal. I’ve tried a zillion products over the years, from high to low end, and right now I’m really happy with this one. If any of the curls are super wonky or flat in the morning, I’ll use a curling iron to fix it.

      I tried to use a conditioner-only washing system and that didn’t work for me. I use a shampoo with low sulfates and a silicone-free conditioner.

      The key for good curls, for me, is to not touch it! After I wash and scrunch in product, I keep my hands off it. That cuts down on frizz and helps the curls form their shape. Part of the reason I don’t blow dry it is because that really wrecks the shape of my curls. My hair is much happier being air dried.

    • I have 2C/3A hair and mostly follow the CG method. I use a “low-poo” shampoo (a gentle shampoo) and sulfate/silicon-free products. I like the Shea Moisture line for shampoo and conditioner, then AG Recoil as a curling cream. In winter that’s all I need; in summer I usually top everything with a gel. I comb my hair in the shower and then don’t touch it; I use a microfiber towel and do about 5 minutes of “plopping”.

      I’m about 80% happy with this approach. I still like how my hair looks when straightened best, but I love how much time I save with the CG method and I like that I’m not fighting with my hair to try to get it to be something it’s not. I also feel like naturally curly/wavy hair is more trendy now than it was 5 years ago.

      It is mostly trial and error, but I like the Curl Talk forums at NaturallyCurly.com as a resource.

    • I basically use the Curly Girl method, which for me just means – squeeze water out of hair when I get out of the shower, LIGHTLY pat (not rub) dry with a towel, apply curl cream, scrunch upwards to encourage curls, let air dry. I can only do this during the warmer months though – standing at the bus stop in winter with wet hair isn’t fun.

      My texture is a bit unusual – left alone, my curls are kind of like big hot roller curls, but I can coax them into tighter spiral curls with the diffuser. For me, the products that work best are truly curl *creams* – not gels, not mousse. I’ve used and liked any number of drugstore and higher end creams, though my favorite right now is Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Envy Perfect Curl Cream that I picked up at random one day at CVS and ended up loving.

    • I don’t have time to let mine air dry. I use a hooded hair dryer from Babyliss. They’re more expensive than a handheld hair dryer, but worth it for me because the curls look so much better. It takes about 20 minutes to dry instead of 3 hours and my curls are frizz-free. With a handheld they’re a mess.

      I put gel in my hair when it’s still soaking wet, then flip my head over and use the plopping method to tie it up in a microfiber towel. After about 20 minutes in the towel (while I make coffee and eat breakfast generally), I sit under the hair dryer. I do this twice a week, once with shampoo/conditioner to cleanse, and once with apple cider vinegar.

      As for products, for awhile I was using Devacurl and then Jessicurl shampoos/conditioners, and while those are both good, they’re on the pricier side. I switched to an argan oil shampoo they sell at Costco for about 1/3 of the price and have gotten good results with it. I do still use Jessicurl gel.

      • I wish I had room in my apartment to store something like that, I love the idea.

        • No lie, they do take up space. Frankly, mine’s in my way! I just deal with it for the pretty, pretty curls.

    • I only blow dry my hair when I plan to straighten it–blow out, then straighten. Most days I shower in the morning, twist a t-shirt around my hair to dry (terry-cloth towels irritate the strands and create frizz), add some curl cream (I use a Redkin control cream), then twist my hair in ringlets away from my face (just face-framing hair and the crown of my head–it’s really not necessary for hair that is under these ringlets). As my hair dries, the twists form curls and I can gently separate them with my fingers. I am very pleased with this most days and it’s especially efficient for short and medium length hair.

    • Yes, I use it and it’s worked for me EXCEPT that I still can’t seem to find a good way of refreshing my curls after sleeping on them except by getting them quite wet again in the shower. Oh well. But to figure out my initial routine I spent a LOT of time on the curly hair subreddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/curlyhair/). Start there!

      • Sleep with hair “pineappled” on your head; spray with 3:1 water to leave-in conditoner mix at roots and work in; let hair down and hit with moisturizing spray (Deva and Ouidad both make decent products for this); finger curl; finish with a little mousse scrunched in on the ends. Not first day good, but passable.

        • Unfortunately my hair is too short to pineapple, and for some reason finger-curling actually makes my curls LESS defined, ugh (not sure if this is because of my hair type or what – I have 3a hair, high density, fine strands). I am still experimenting though!

    • I am happiest with my curly hair when I have a good hair cut and for me, when my hair is not too long because then it weighs down the curls. Except right now my hair is really long, so I just blow dry straight most days. If I let it air dry, then the key is to NOT touch it. Just lightly pat dry, put in some anti-frizz serum, and leave it alone.

    • I have been through a great deal of trial and error on this. If you live in a high humidity place, frizz-free hair is impossible; I admit that I have considered living in Las Vegas just because my hair turns out so well there on a daily basis.

      At this point, I wash 4-5 days a week with a Ouidad shampoo, followed by a Ouidad conditioner that I comb through before I rinse out. (I usually only wash 1 weekend day to give my hair some “time off”). I wash once a week with a cleansing oil; it does help retain moisture, but does make my hair softer, so I avoid it on days when I want less frizz.

      I have tried so many products for styling and i keep coming back to good old-fashioned Tres Semme extra hold mouse. I do “plop” the mousse ala Devacurl and that seems to work well; if my hair seems dry, I will put leave-in conditioner on my hair first. If I want additional volume (for an event or similar), I will put clips in at the roots (small alligator clips from Sally inserted two at a time criss-crossed) and let my hair air dry that way.

      I agree with the other posters who say that the key is to leave your hair alone. The other tip I have is to consider coloring just to help with control; when my hair is freshly colored (single process) it is a lot easier to manage.

      • What does it mean if you only have good waves in high-heat high-humidity environments? I am considering moves to New Orleans, Miami, and Panama just based on having Good Hair there (telecommuting, so nice to have options).

    • I have hair that is just a giant white girl ‘fro (no definition) without products. With products (I use Tresemme Climate Control mousse–all other Tresemme is inferior!) I have Irish ringlets. I need to leave a lot of conditioner in (currently using the giant bottle of Humectress from Costco) and then mouse when wet, air dry. I can blow dry occasionally, but my hair is very dry, so it gets damaged from heat-styling. I shower in the morning, always, and I also do wet hair in the cold in Boston. My hair freezes away from my head if I wear earmuffs, or I just tuck it into a cap and then let it air dry at work otherwise. This works for me. There has never been a system (plopping or otherwise) that keeps my curls defined without products. I would have been a hot mess 100 years ago!

  4. Ottawa meetup :

    I have a small group of close friends in Ottawa and we’d together like to host a meetup for members of this site. We’re all professionals (a lawyer, environmental scientist, legislative assistant on the Hill, engineer) who range in age from 27-36. If anyone is interested in a meetup, please write to me – ottawacorporette at gmail. I’d love to arrange. Everyone is welcome – we are an open-minded, friendly bunch.

  5. Anonymous :

    I am wearing last year’s version of this sweater today. The cashmere is soft and lofty and has held up well. I wish I’d bought the blush pink this fall before it sold out.

  6. This sweater :

    This sweater is nice, but I’ve gotten the same look by buying a petite (I’m 5-4, 125#; they just run long and big to me) medium from Lands End.

    I’ve had some LE cashmere for — eek — 11 years and am brutal (washer on hot, dryer on hot) to them. They wear like iron. And I’ve not managed to shrink them despite wanting some of them to fit more snugly.

  7. Can we share stories about leaving biglaw (or similarly demanding jobs)? When did you decide to leave? Where did you end up? Are you glad you left?

    • Anonymous :

      co-sign this — would be super helpful! if you can specify what year you were when you left, that would be awesome. I’m a fifth year and feeling really confused about my next steps, particularly after a confusing annual evaluation.

      • What made your annual evaluation confusing? Signed, curious 3rd year.

        • Not the poster at 9:40 am, but sometime around the 5th year or so, if the firm wants you to leave, the reviews will start becoming more pointed, and they may decline to make any representations about your long-term future at the firm.

    • I left litigation for gov’t when my kid was 7 months old (I’d returned to work when he was 5 weeks old) and have never regretted it, even once. Less money? Sure. But I have my life back. I eat meals! With my family! I take vacations and don’t bring my work phone!

      If I could see that, “oh, it’s going to be crazy for a while but eventually you might get your life back” that would be one thing, but during the week I decided to leave, I saw a partner coming in to the office in a tuxedo around 8 at night – he’d left his daughter’s wedding reception early because a client needed something ‘immediately.’ No thank you.

      • That’s nuts.

        And sort of what I fear, even in a smaller firm or the govt. Crazy clients aren’t just the provenance of BigLaw. In a smaller firm, I wouldn’t know what the exit plan would be.

      • That’s pretty crazy even by Big Law standards though. No partner I know would have left their child’s wedding reception early (or expected an associate to) for work.

        • Well, I know a few men who would not be so distraught about leaving a wedding reception….. even their own daughter’s. Often it’s a two way street in these extreme examples.

          • Anonymous :

            I echo this. I’m a partner and occasionally I use work as an excuse to avoid uncomfortable social situations. Not saying that the daughter’s wedding was uncomfortable, but just that sometimes when you see me sending a frantic client email during a social event, it’s not because I have to — it’s because I am more comfortable working than making small talk.

            Signed,
            Slightly Socially Awkward Introvert

    • Anonymous :

      I left after my 5th year and when to a midsize regional firm. I love it. Compensation isn’t as good but the hours are great people are great and I love the work.

      • when you say midsize regional firm – how many attorneys? and how much of a pay cut did you take?

        • 100 attorneys, I stepped down about 20k and raises have been anemic. I was in biglaw in a secondary market so my salary wasn’t as sky high as nyc to begin with.

    • Anonymous :

      Following . . .

      I want to leave but am still here b/c I can’t figure out my next step. My family is pretty blue collar and I feel that I’d be a fool to give up the $ without a plan (and b/c I work like a dog, I never do that; I worry more about crash-landing b/c I will eventually get sacked or the economy will turn and I won’t know what to do next). In the meantime, I can’t save what I’d like due to paying down loans and living in a high COL area (and being afraid that if I move out to a car-commute area, I will fall asleep driving home and be in an accident).

    • I left biglaw after 4 years. I practiced litigation when I was at the firm. Now I do more corporate transactions. The change has been life-changing for me in a better way. I do however miss the litigation work SOMETIMES but would never want to go back.

      • Also, I only took a 15K paycut to go in-house.

        • Do you ever worry about becoming a cost center?

          I see companies (around here) that are big enough to have in-house staffs just slash payrolls sometimes with no warning. And for small companies, I feel like I’d never know enough to add the value they expect (I do transactional work, but don’t know nearly enough securities regulation / TILA / Sarbannes-Oxley, etc.). And a lot of company-important business stuff seems to involve accounting rules (which I don’t know) and rules for financial statements, etc. The expectations are so, so high I feel.

          It’s hard to peek behind the curtain.

          • I haven’t gone in house, but I think that this risk exists in private practice too. Yes, your employer if you’re in house could cut you at any time, but I’ve also seen so many attorneys have their practices drastically wind down when a big client exited or due to a change in the law. So you may have some more stability in private practice, but I think it gets exaggerated.

          • There’s no “becoming” a cost center. When you’re in house, you _are_ a cost center. The question is whether the company you work for values your contributions regardless of that fact.. Some do, and some don’t.

          • I feel like my in-house friends that have been sacked have had 0 notice. It’s like they miss earnings and the sackings just happen (to the point where the non-California employees (in-house or not) check the WARN filings looking for planned layoffs). At least in BigLaw you get reviewed and know what your hours are. And then they give you wind-down time, not an outright sacking. In-house, you’re out the door in 10 minutes and they box up your things and send them to you.

          • As a person who stayed in Biglaw (for many years), I do think the possibility of sudden layoffs is different in-house. In my firm we haven’t had layoffs of lawyers for financial reasons, and lawyers let go for performance issues are given lots of time with pay to look for jobs. I know of numerous in-house situations where layoffs were sudden, unexpected and (to my knowledge), not connected with performance issues. The severance is often decent but the shock of termination is still there. Not to say that’s a reason to stay in Biglaw, but something to be aware of.

          • If you are coming from big law, you should have a decent sized emergency fund to fall back on to survive a sudden layoff. It would certainly suck but I wouldn’t avoid changing jobs just because of that so long as you have some cushion. Your e-fund only needs to replace your expenses during unemployment, not all income.

          • Yes. But the way I see it, if I am ever let go, I can find another job in house. However, if I continued in big law and was let go as a junior partner- where was I going to go without any clients? and I was practicing a very specific kind of litigation at the big firm. Now I feel like I diversified my skillset.

    • I left after 5 years, moving to a mid-size regional firm (roughly 90 lawyers in four offices) across the country and LOVE it. I now have a broader practice than I was able to have at my old firm and have much more time and flexibility. Now, I take my kids to school in the morning and am home to put them to bed at night. Plus, I rarely work nights or weekends.

      It was a huge pay cut to make this move – I was making $260K when I left biglaw and now make $115K. Between moving to a less expensive market and my husband going back to work after being a stay-at-home dad while I was in biglaw, the pay cut was very manageable.

    • I’m a CPA who left a large regional public accounting firm to work in the tax department of a 60 attorney local law firm. It’s pretty common to leave public accounting after 3-5 years, and I left at the end of my third year. I wanted a better work life balance. I really struggled with my decision off and on for the first 18 months, but now that I’ve gotten used to it, I am very happy and love my job and my life. I struggled with my decision because I had initially planned on making my career in public accounting and being a partner someday. I felt like a failure to feminism to admit that I wanted to do something with my time other than work 80 hours a week for the rest of my life. I don’t much care for the rigid hierarchy of the law firm, but it’s worth the trade off– I still bill my time, but no longer have a billable goal, and if that is what comes with getting a gift card on secretary’s day, so be it. I didn’t take a pay cut to come here, but I got a 1% raise last year and there is no room for advancement, so if I ever want to make more money I’ll need to go elsewhere. I rarely work significant overtime, even during tax season. The work here is similar but mostly easier than what I did in public accounting. It’s a good place for me right now.

    • I left a regional law firm after 11 years. I have no regrets. I took a $70k pay cut which felt like much less because of the change in tax status and awesome benefits. The financial hit has been well worth the newfound ability to prioritize my family and my own health. I feel content on a daily basis, have a predictable schedule, and zero work stress. I wish I’d made the change years ago!

      • What do you do now? How much experience did the position require? I feel like most of the in-house positions I see posted require upwards of 8 years experience, which is far longer than most people stay in biglaw.

        • I do healthcare law – a different area of healthcare than the compliance work I was doing. The position required 3-7 years of experience.

    • I left after 5 years. I had been doing litigation at a mid-size firm. I first went to healthcare compliance, which was a disaster (bored out of my mind) and only lasted for about one year. Moved in-house after that, and have been much happier ever since.

      To be honest, there are still some things I miss about working at a firm. I sometimes miss the excitement of litigating. But … I still think I made the right move.

    • 8 years. It was technically my decision to leave but not really – writing was on the wall. Went to the government. Hate it. The only saving grace is a 170k+ salary so while it’s a big cut from being an 8th year, it’s not a 110k government job either as I’m sure I’d hate that more.

      • I chuckled reading your post because compensation similarly impacts my job satisfaction. Why don’t you like working in the government? Is the 170k+ salary a measure of the position’s prestige or your seniority when entering government? I’d love to off ramp to the government but am afraid that there are few positions in my field (tax) and that they would be poorly compensated.

        • Not anno at 11:38, but in a similar position re leaving for government.

          At least for federal government, salary is based on a set scale that takes in to account your experience and responsibilities. For example, a position may be open as a GS 13 – GS 15 position, and where you end up is based on your experience. (some financial agencies pay better, which applies to the Anno. Most agencies top out at $160.) No idea how it works for state, but probably similar.

          I would think there are a ton of interesting tax jobs at the IRS. I know so people who worked there, and loved it. Not sure how hard it is to get a position

    • Left boutique litigation firm after 8 years, one year after making partner. Made a huge life changing family move to another region, which is what sparked it, but ultimately decided to leave law practice as well. New market was much smaller, I didn’t want to practice any other area of law, and as I did five thousand informational interviews I couldn’t find any lawyers who were happy . Plus I had a small child and found that the unpredictability of litigation plus marketing a small firm was not compatible with seeing my family.Lucked into a labor relations job that is fast paced, challenging, and interesting while being very flexible and predictable hours. Huge pay cut from my partner salary but only slightly less than what I made pre partnership, in a lower cost area with amazing benefits.

    • appellate attorney :

      I left as a sixth year and my only regret was that I didn’t leave a year or two before (but I likely would not have been hired for my current job if I were only a 4th year). I work for the federal gov’t as an appellate litigator. I have my own cases, argue my own cases in federal appeals court, and have complete autonomy over my docket. I finally feel like a real lawyer.

    • Another Anon :

      All you ladies that left big law, did you leave with another job lined up?

      • Yes of course.

      • Yes – I’ve never known anyone that left without another job, other than a few women who quit to become SAHMs.

      • Nope—I left to have another chunk of mat leave (after having been back from mat leave for quite awhile) and then pursue an independent project. I had in-house experience before biglaw, I’m slightly less worried about getting a new job when I’m done with the project (though I appreciate that it’ll be really, really tough).

    • New to NoVA :

      I left biglaw as a third year, but had bounced around practice groups a bit so five years out of school. Left to go in-house at a Fortune 100 and I couldn’t be happier or feel luckier. Hours are sane, certainly not 9 to 5, but much more predictable and almost no weekend work, and I didn’t take a pay cut. Wish I could say I planned it, but the truth is I wasn’t actively looking and got a headhunter cold call; a few weeks later, had an offer.

    • Left BigLaw after two years. We relocated because of my husband’s job and it was a natural exit time for me to get out which I might not have had the guts to do if it wasn’t forced upon me. I left without a job and ended up in the insurance industry. I work with Directors & Officers insurance which I didn’t even really know existed before I took this job. The 50% paycut stung a bit, but my life is SO MUCH BETTER. The hours are reasonable, the clients are interesting, my colleagues are great. My husband would also confirm that I am much more fun to be around and significantly less stressed out. Holidays are actually days off now. The real trigger point for me was the partner I was working with who was taking conference calls from his daughter’s high school graduation because of a transaction scheduled to close the following day. I realized that I didn’t want my life to look like his, no matter how much $$ was involved.

    • i left biglaw after one year (to clerk for two years) and thought about going back after my clerkships, but decided not to and went into fed gov’t instead. Have been there for eight years since and have been mostly happy with everything except my salary (i am finally almost maxed out, at about 160K). that said, my job is one of the few that allows an exit back to biglaw, so if I wanted to go back, I probably could. I am getting burned out on the job and would like to make some real money, so we’ll see.

    • Anonymous :

      Left as a fifth year. Went in-house at a large trade association. The work is more interesting than the law firm, the pay is way better per hour, and I work fewer and more predictable hours.

    • Min Donner :

      I left biglaw litigation on the left coast after 4.5 years to go into international civil service (administrative law) around 2011-12. Very significant pay cut, but big positive adjustment in work-life balance. I work a lot… but very few weekends (and the biglaw experience makes any high demand times seem comparatively reasonable) and I can actually take long vacations most of the time, with 10 official holidays and 30 annual leave days per year. I don’t see a path back to US litigation at this point, having been out so long, but I’m mostly okay with that.

  8. Sloan Sabbith :

    I’ve had a pixie cut for 6+ years now. I am growing it out, but I’m at the very initial stages. If you search Emma Watson slicked short hair, it’s about the length of her hair in the photos of her in a grey dress.

    I played with that look last night for dinner, and liked it, but I’m hesitant to do too much for work- my hair is, generally, predictably boring and unstyled. Sometimes I’ll add salt spray. But most of the time my bangs swipe to my right, my hair lies flat, and it’s all just very blah.

    Do you experiment with new hair styling at work? My office is very casual, so I’m leaning towards yes, but I’m also worried it will end up being a disaster by 2 PM if I don’t get it right in the morning. I would categorize my skills as sketchy at best with making my hair do what I want it to do, but I’m also very stubborn.

    • Try a new style for a couple weekends, then wear it to the office once you feel more comfortable.

    • Anonymous :

      Try a new style on the weekend. Also, you’re probably overthinking it. Nobody really cares what your hair is doing at work.

      Good luck growing it out – been there, done that. It was a super painful and long process but totally worth it.

    • Anonymous :

      No one cares about your hair. Just go for it!

      • Could you blow dry it upside-down and make a sort of small pompadour out of it, with slicked back sides? Adding some volume could give you options. Or, I always think a headband or some kind of adorned (simply, of course) bobby pins look very cute in a pixie.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Unfortunately, I have /a lot/ of hair even with it short and it is also very, very straight. That cute pompadour look is more like an electrocuted look no matter how much I fiddle with it.

          I wore a bobby pin on the side last night and liked it, but I’ve got to find bobby pins with some grip, I don’t have quite enough hair to keep them in place yet.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I think Emma’s look is great and perfectly professional for work.

      I have long front, short sides and back. My daily look is: volumizing mousse on wet hair (Aussie has some good options), follow with a little bit of volumizing gel (Pantene), blow dry back and in the opposite direction of my part, and finish with a texturizing or volumizing hairspray. Gives me enough texture and hold without feeling too “done” and it takes about six minutes.

  9. I’m considering a girls trip from NYC to the Caribbean in February/Presidents’ Day weekend. Does anyone have suggestions? Not a great budget but we just want something warm and not destroyed by a hurricane. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      Most of the Caribbean wasn’t destroyed by the hurricanes. Some islands that were unaffected or have completely rebuilt at this point are Turks & Caicos, Antigua, St. Lucia, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Aruba, Curacao, the Bahamas, etc. I think Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and St. Martin are really the only ones to avoid from a hurricane perspective.

    • Cancun is fun. Are you looking for a more party atmosphere or relaxing? We stayed at the Paradisus Cancun and upgrade to the Royal Service which is the adults only area of the resort. I found this to be more of a relaxing resort.

    • Guadeloupe! Norwegian Air has super cheap non-stops from JFK. I was there two weeks ago, and it was high in the mid-80s, low in the mid-70s, with the occasional 30-minute rainstorm, every day. It’s gorgeous! The only caveat is, if you don’t speak French, you might struggle and/or want to stay at a resort, which would be a lot more expensive. Tourist-facing people do speak some English, but since 90% of the tourists are French and most of the rest are Italian or Spanish, their English is generally not wonderful. We rented 2-bedroom apartments for 100-200 euros/night and cooked most of our meals because the views from the terraces of the apartments were so incredible. Even at nice restaurants, though, main courses are in the 20-30 euro range. Guadeloupe:France :: Hawaii:USA, so even the super cheap grocery store wine is drinkable. :)

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a Caribbean addict. My top pick for a quick affordable getaway is Mayan Riviera part of MX. Fly in to Cancun, do a shuttle or rent a car to get to Playa Del Carmen area. Do all inclusive if you’re not familiar with the area. Or if you and the girls feel up for it split a condo which is what we usually do.

  10. K-1 question :

    For those of you who get a K-1, do you also get tax draws? What happens if you leave before you get the tax draws (or is that the thing — you never leave before you get your tax draws)? I’ve been converted to K-1 and I’m just trying to figure out how this goes — if these aren’t the ultimate golden handcuffs. Maybe I just be very diligent about saving for taxes and paying quarterly so that I don’t feel so trapped by this new system.

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah that’s the deal. It’s a rough transition because you need to amass the savings upfront.

    • If you’re receiving a K-1, you’re partner or shareholder with a partner capital account or an equity account. A distribution is simply a reduction to your partner capital/equity account. If you leave, I’m guessing the other partners/shareholders buy you out by paying out your balance in partner cap or equity…depends on operating agreement. Think if it like a bank account….so you’ll either get the money now in the form of a draw/distribution or you’ll get it later when you leave (assuming your firm will payout….I have a friend currently in litigation because the firm said he is not entitled to the balance in his capital account…uh ridiculous). I hope this makes sense.

    • Do you have a CPA you work with? You might want to talk through this with them and make sure they have the operating agreement.

    • Anon Equity Partner :

      FWIW, comp is often significantly back-end-loaded (like 50% of your comp comes to you for 2017 in early 2018). The tax draws, any true-ups, etc. So, yes, I’d be shocked if anyone left before the end of the first quarter in any year. I have thought about updating my DNR to only allow for me to be turned off on 3/31 of any year b/c I’m not sure my firm is obligated to make tax draws if you die (which would mess up your estate). The math is daunting. It’s almost like being a farmer and getting paid once a year (so no point leaving before the harvest).

      • So are you receiving guaranteed payments then? Is that what you’re referring to?

        • Anon Equity Partner :

          These aren’t guaranteed profits.

          It’s more that law firms have no idea what their income is until year end. They know their expenses (rent, associates, staff) with more certainty (even then, they are uncertain). Partners get minimal draws to avoid drawing too much on firm capital / bank letter of credit until the third quarter, then everything is trued-up once actual receipts are known. It’s unpleasant (although: I don’t see a way around this without massive debt, and that would bring on Dewey-type problems). I imagine that smaller firms in any industry have to act like this — cautious spending, more cautious $ to owners, constant reinvestment in the business, etc.

          • Anon Equity Partner :

            Ugh — I meant guaranteed payments. It’s not even Monday.

          • I understand the cash flow problem but I don’t understand the income reporting to partner issue. Are a bunch of the firm’s billable hours sitting in work-in-process during this time (not yet billed to clients)? If the work has been billed to clients but not yet collected, it would be sitting in A/R and would’ve been recognized in income (therefore partner would be allocated their share of the income on K-1 and partner cap account). Is a large majority of the work performed in the beginning of the year with a significant delay in billing? I’m genuinely interested in understanding this…

  11. Is anyone else seeing an Everlane ad? With women who don’t seem to be wearing a bra (why? why?)?

    • Your ads are based on your own internet search/purchase history. I’ve got lovely ads for incontinence underwear, since I recently bought some (albeit definitely not from my work computer!!!) for postpartum recovery.

    • It is because women are supposed to look more natural in those ad’s and the bras tend to make womens boobies more set in place, meaning NOT natural. Personaly I always wear a bra b/c I do NOT want men to be stareing at me b/c when I tried NOT weareing a bra, whenever they moved (which was all the time when I walked), the guys would be stareing at my boobies and not at me. I do NOT want men to be focused on any part of my anatomy other then my eyes, b/c that is my strong point. I think once we get men to look at us, rather then our anatomy, we will be considered more as attorneys and NOT as just trophies to stare at or put on the shelf. FOOEY!

    • Yes and I have never been to that site and yes, wth?

  12. Has anyone been to Disneyworld lately and can give suggestions on our itinerary? I’m going for a week with 3 elementary school kids. I’m thinking 2 days at Magic Kingdom, 2 days at Universal and 1 day at Wild Animal Park and maybe skipping the rest (Epcot, etc.), and building a break in the middle so kids can swim and relax at the hotel. Ant tips and suggestions are appreciated!

    • Do you mean Animal Kingdom? It’s gorgeous. How old are the kids and what are they into (Star Wars, princessess, etc?)? Some people love Magic Kingdom, but 2 full days would be too much for my 7 year old boy since he likes the other parks a lot and they have a ton to offer. I suggest staying on property so you can take advantage of all the transportation options and extra magic hours. It’s more expensive than some of the other options, but overall we thought it was worth it on both trips. We do park hopper passes since we like to switch around depending on mood and crowds. I think the shows are some of the best parts. Fantasmic fireworks at HS and the Lion King show at Animal Kingdom were our favorites. Undercover Tourist has cheaper tickets than Disney directly and is one of the few legit discount sites. We don’t do the meal plans bc it’s a lot of food and we don’t want to be stuck with a lot of dining reservations to get our money’s worth.
      I’ve not done Universal yet so I can’t speak to that. It’s not owned by Disney and will require separate transportation. So that’s something to think about it you weren’t planning on having a car.

      • Thanks for this advice everyone! My girls are 10 and my son is 7. All of them like rides that are fast and scary – they don’t care about princesses or meeting characters.

        • If they like thrilling rides, I’d do one day at Magic Kingdom and add a day at Hollywood Studios so you can ride Rockin Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror (check the height requirements if your kids are petite). I’d skip the park hopper ad on. You will be there long enough to dedicate each day to a park and it saves a ton of money to do it this way. Enjoy!

    • We recently went to Universal with a 10-year-old and a 15-year-old and were underwhelmed. The kids are both Harry Potter nuts and really enjoyed the Harry Potter stuff, but the rest of it was pretty lame. They hadn’t seen most of the movies on which the attractions were based, and there were more shops and kiosks selling junk than there were actual rides. I’d stick with Disney, especially since you are already going to be purchasing multi-day tickets to Disney and the marginal cost of additional days there is much less than the cost of buying another set of tickets to Universal.

    • Definitely get the park hopper passes – I personally think you can do animal kingdom in a half day (maybe morning at Hollywood and afternoon/dinner at animal kingdom). Hollywood studios is also where a lot of the star wars/pixar stuff is, so if that’s a big draw for your kiddos spend more time there. Epcot is great for food and has some of the best spots for fireworks so that might be worth it for dinner as opposed to Magic Kingdom.
      Staying on property is definitely worth it for the fast passes and early bookings for dinners and rides. Also – taxis/uber between parks is not expensive and pretty fast, its definitely worth it if you are trying to hit more parks.
      We did one park day/one rest day but taking breaks in the afternoon to swim and chill out would work well too!

    • I’d do it entirely differently. Get a park hopper pass for the whole time. Build in a break in the middle of every day. Stay in a Disney property, make use of early magic hours, and return to your hotel for pool time every day in the peak of the afternoon. Then drop back into a park feeling refreshed. Don’t skip Epcot!

      Disney can be a ton to plan. I’d honestly buy a guidebook to figure it out. Like, for starters, it’s Animal Kingdom:)

      I find universal forgettable and it’s not Disney.

      • Good advice all around.

      • +1. I (and my extended family who are Disney pros) highly recommend this approach. Stick with Disney, build in a daily break, don’t skip Epcot.

      • +1. Great advice.

      • I loved Epcot and we spent a full long day there. We also did Universal for Harry Potter and while we weren’t all about the rest of the park, we enjoyed it. (but we were 2 adults and no children….)

      • I know it’s not Disney, but we have to go to Universal because the kids love Harry Potter and have read through all 7 books.

        Your advice is interesting because the park hopper ticket is way more expensive (times 5) so I hadn’t even considered that possibility.

        • I never buy the park hopper ticket. We choose one park per day, visit in the morning, go back to the hotel pool in the afternoon, and return to the same park in the evening.

          Be aware that to ride the Hogwarts train at Universal you have to purchase tickets to both parks on the same day at 2x the cost of a single-park ticket. If you are just there for Harry Potter you can easily get through the Harry Potter worlds in both parks on the same day, though, so you don’t have to come back a second day to see everything if you have the two-park ticket.

      • Mrs. Jones :

        Ditto all this. Epcot has some awesome rides like Soarin and Test Track.

    • Universal isn’t Disney – it’s a separate park.

    • Lots to Learn :

      I will be the voice of dissent. I love, love, love Disney, but if your kids want scary rides, the rides at Universal are much more intense than the rides at Disney. Maybe do Universal your first day and see if you like it enough to do more? But with kids that age, they may not be old enough to ride on many of the scarier rides at Universal. So if you’re definitely going because of Harry Potter, I’d do that first and let how much they enjoyed it determine how many days of Disney to do.

      With that said, it’s definitely more cost effective to buy multi-day passes at Disney. I can’t remember the details, but we did not buy the pass that allows you to do multiple parks in a day, because it was too expensive. Instead, we picked one park each day and did that thoroughly. It’s worth it from a cost standpoint – I don’t know why you’d need to do two parks in a day. We planned which day to go to which park based on which park had early or late hours for people staying on Disney property, which I would agree with, as a strategy, for sure. Also, some parks had parades only on certain days or fireworks or whatever.

      Epcot is definitely somewhat wasted on the young, but it still has some very cool rides, like Soarin’. And the food is great. I wouldn’t skip it, if you can help it.

    • Don’t bother with the park hopper. There’s plenty to see in each park to take up a day, and it takes a lot of time and energy to get between parks (except Hollywood Studios and Epcot).

      I know the standard advice is to build in a break in the afternoon. I do that with my toddler, but we stay as close to the MK as possible (10-minute walk to and from Bay Lake). But with elementary-aged kids, I’d do a reasonable day–maybe 8 hours with a real meal break build in. It takes a lot of time and energy to get a family out of a hotel room, and even when you’re staying on Disney property, transportation to and from the parks takes forever. The buses are slow, and driving yourself can be even slower.

      I’m in the minority, but I think Animal Kingdom can take as much as two days if you’re into seeing the shows and animals and not just riding the rides. I hear great things about the new land, especially at night, although I haven’t been yet.

      I see lots of people here saying, “Don’t skip Epcot,” but honestly, I haaaaated Epcot until I was about 12, and so did all my friends. It hasn’t changed that much since then. I’d actually skip it, especially if Universal/Harry Potter is a must-see for you.

      Planning pays off at Disney. Make some dining reservations and book fast passes. You’ll be able to cover a lot more ground if you’re not waiting in line all day.

  13. Blue Shoes :

    Anyone want to help me find blue shoes?

    I want to wear them for my wedding but also for future events t00 (i.e., no satin/bridal look). This will be for springtime. I need a size 11. Boden has a cute pair but the reviews that the toe box is narrow is concerning me especially considering i am at the end of their sizing range. Heel must be 3 inches or below. I like a more pointy toe generally.

    • Veronica Mars :

      These sound perfect for you if you like the detail on the toe box. Size 11 is sold out online, but do you live near a store/ebay? https://www.zara.com/us/en/slingback-high-heel-leather-shoes-p15211201.html?v1=4602140&v2=734178

      • Veronica Mars :

        Full disclosure–I got them on sale for my rehearsal dinner and they’re super cute and TTS. The leather on the upper seems high quality but the soles seem a bit cheap to me, but for $20 I’m happy with them.

  14. Vacationing in Miami for a few days:

    Hi Ladies,

    I am interested in going to Miami for an extended weekend- around 4-5 nights. I am looking at hotels and have no idea where to stay. Any suggestions? We will be flying into Fort Lauderdale and we also have two children- a 3 year old and an infant.

    TIA!

    • If you want to be right in Miami Beach, we loved 1 Hotel South Beach. It’s s a luxury hotel, but it’s really kid friendly with a kid’s club and everything.

    • With a young one, don’t miss the Miami Seaquarium! Sometimes one of the coupon sites might have a deal on admission.

    • Anonymous :

      Loews South Beach. Awesome for kids.

  15. As I stare out my window looking at it snow, I’m dreaming of leaving for Key West on Saturday. My SO and I have never been there and are going for a conference. We’re going to stay a few days after the conference so we’ll have a few days of free time. Any recommendations for restaurants, places to shop, etc? We’re planning on going to the butterfly conservatory and Hemingway’s house, but that’s pretty much all we have planned. Staying at the Waldorf.

    • Based on two wonderful trips to Key West for short vacations, favorites I’d recommend:
      1. Kelly’s Caribbean Bar Grill. Beautiful outdoor patio with greenery and twinkle lights. Good mojito.
      2. Ana’s Cuban Cafe. Hole in the wall take-out place attached to mini market. Amazing, fresh watermelon juice! Good burgers, etc.
      3. Mallory Square at sunset. Quite a unique scene. See if the guy with a trained cat show is still there.
      4. Key West Garden Club [park]. Beautiful oasis and a bit hidden so not crowded.
      5. Sandy beach with families near Key West Garden Club. I see it’s called Higgs Beach.
      6. Southernmost Point of US. Perhaps combine with meal at open-air restaurant Southernmost Beach Cafe, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
      7. Harry S. Truman Little White House. Mildly interestingly in itself, but I enjoyed more just seeing housing nearby.
      8. Rent bicycles (easy to do) and explore.
      Have fun! I’m jealous.

    • Based on two wonderful trips a few years ag0 (I’m not sure about more recent hurricane damage), favorites I’d recommend:
      1. Kelly’s Caribbean Bar Grill. Beautiful outdoor patio with greenery and twinkle lights. Good mojito.
      2. Ana’s Cuban Cafe. Hole in the wall take-out place attached to mini market. Amazing, fresh watermelon juice! Good burgers, etc.
      3. Mallory Square at sunset. Quite a unique scene. See if the guy with a trained cat show is still there.
      4. Key West Garden Club [park]. Beautiful oasis and a bit hidden so not crowded.
      5. Sandy beach with families near Key West Garden Club. I see it’s called Higgs Beach.
      6. Southernmost Point of US. Perhaps combine with meal at open-air restaurant Southernmost Beach Cafe, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
      7. Harry S. Truman Little White House. Mildly interestingly in itself, but I enjoyed more just seeing housing nearby.
      8. Rent bicycles (easy to do) and explore.
      Have fun! I’m jealous.

    • Wanderlust :

      eat all of the key lime pie

    • Gnatalie77 :

      I just got back from Key West and loved it! For restaurants, check out Bliss Cafe, Blue Heaven, Firefly or Off the Hook Grill – basically anywhere on Petronia Street should be a hit.
      As to activities, I recommend Key Lime Bike Tours for a fun and informative way of seeing Old Town Key West, it was one of the highlights of my trip. Hope you have a great time.

    • Adding to this that there is a great creperie across the street from Blue Heaven as well you should check out if you can! I also really enjoyed the lighthouse – if heights are a thing for you, no, but I forced myself up to the top of the lighthouse and view is incredible! The southernmost point has a line for photos with the printed side of the buoy, but I got two: one in the early mornings when no one was there and one during the day when I took a photo with the side without print on it.

    • Our favorite dining experience was Louie’s Backyard, we ate on the patio by the ocean – lovely! Have a great time.

    • Great, thanks so much for all the wonderful recommendations! I’m excited!

  16. cactus killer :

    Has anyone here ever lived in Montreal? I just got a job there, and my husband and I are moving this spring from a mid-sized city in the US. I’ve visited Montreal a fair amount as a tourist, but I know living there is a whole different thing.

    For one thing, I’m wondering about neighborhoods. We’ll have short-term housing when we arrive there, but we’ll need to pick an area to rent in pretty quickly. We’re in our mid-30s, no kids, like being close to restaurants and bars but also like quiet. I’d love to get by without a car, but we could bring one if we had to. We liked Mile End when we visited recently, but I don’t have a sense of how convenient that is for everyday things like grocery shopping, pharmacy, etc. I’d also love to keep our rent under $1300 CAD per month for a small apartment. Am I kidding myself?

    I’m also excited about the bilingual French/English nature of the city, but feeling out of my depth. I speak some French and am planning on taking classes and becoming more fluent. My husband doesn’t speak any French and feels sort of ambivalent about learning some. (I think he’d feel more integrated if he learned at least a little, but he’s a grown adult and it’s up to him to decide what he wants to do.) I’ve heard that the west side of the city is more anglophone, but I’m not personally familiar with any of the neighborhoods over there.

    If you were me, where would you be looking to rent?

    • The city isn’t bilingual. It is French. It was a real shock to my parents who moved there for a while. Sorry, can’t help with neighborhoods!

      • Yeah, I was really surprised when I visited how many people couldn’t/refused to speak English. It was about the same as France in terms of how willing and able people were to speak to us in English.

        • You shouldn’t be surprised…it’s a French city in a very French province.

          • That’s needlessly snippy! It’s in Canada, I understood that it was more French than Toronto but had no idea even things like street signs would be exclusively in French. And how would I have?

          • But Canada is a bilingual country, unlike France. I wasn’t surprised that Montreal was way more French than Vancouver, I was surprised that it was as French as actual France.

          • I mean…google it? Well, for starters, if you do any research about visiting, you’ll learn that Quebec is basically a separate country in terms of language, culture, politics, etc.

          • So rude.

          • This is your first introduction to Quebecois language politics. Buckle your seatbelt. You are going to face resistance sometimes if you are not able to speak French (ie. people are not always going to want to accommodate you in English) – and in fact, the provincial government has policies to ensure that English is minimized to the extent possible in the public sphere (signage, etc.).

          • Canada’s actually not a bilingual country, not officially. The official language of Quebec is French. It’s not bilingual. It is separate from the rest of the country.

          • I should clarify, the government is officially bilingual but every province has different rules about official language. Quebec is solely French.

        • I have only been as a visitor, but a pretty frequent visitor. I’d say most of the store/restaurants are fine interacting with you in English (with reasonably good but not perfect fluency). However, all signage etc. are in French.

      • +1 If your husband needs to be willing to learn basic French to understand things like signs and directions. It’s not a bilingual city.

      • I thought Montreal seemed noticeably more bilingual than QC.

    • givemyregards :

      I haven’t lived there in a decade, so I’m afraid my advice is probably pretty out of date, but you can definitely get around Montreal without speaking much French if you live downtown-ish or in Westmount. Westmount, as you mentioned, is much more anglo, but it’s also fairly suburban (at least when I lived there – it might have more stuff now) – you might be a little bored without kids. I think Mile End or the Plateau would be nice (and cheaper than downtown) – but a decent number of McGill kids live there so it won’t be completely quiet, and Mile End in particular is going to be more francophone. There’s a big provigo in both and pretty much all Montreal grocery stores deliver (when I was there, the IGA at Atwater did online order/deliver, so I bet many other do as well).

      In any case, have fun (and start buying winter stuff when it’s on sale, if you don’t already live somewhere freezing!) – it’s a great city!

      • cactus killer :

        Thanks, this is helpful! Good to know that it’s common for grocery stores to deliver. We’re coming from a cold part of the US, so the winter won’t be a total shock — but I’m still stocking up on long underwear. :)

    • Curious….. what industry are you in?

      I have contemplated trying to get a job in Canada (just a random fantasy right now), and Montreal would be high on my list. I’m coming from the US, in medicine. I have no idea how hard this would be, or if it is even possible.

      • +1 Wanted to add that I am very jealous! :) My husband and I would love to move there, but probably not possible with our jobs anytime soon.

      • cactus killer :

        I’m in design/tech, and the company I’ll be working for does business 100% in English, which I understand is not super common. No idea about medicine unfortunately.

    • Equestrian Attorney :

      I’m in Montreal! What industry are you in?

      Mile End is lovely and full of great shops, cafés, etc. If you want to live without a car, consider transit, though – are you and/or your husband working downtown? There is an express bus on Parc, but I would recommend being near a metro if possible – much quicker and warmer in winter. Plateau and Little Italy are also very popular choices with lots of shops, restaurants etc. I also like the Southwest (think Atwater market/St Henri or Little Burgundy) which is trendy right now and the Atwater Canal is lovely. Verdun is also a cheap up-and-coming area. It really depends what your transportation needs are and what you like – heart of downtown vs slightly quieter residential neighbourhoods. The western part of the city is traditionally more anglophone but it’s a mixed bag and there will be francos and anglos everywhere. Westmount is the fancy anglo neighbourhood – lovely but expensive and not great for transit. I would avoid places like Hochelaga or Montreal North which can be a little sketchier.

      I would rent until you’re sure you are staying and get a sense of the area you like. Rent is pretty cheap overall, although some places can be pretty dingy as a result. You should be able to get something fairly nice for your budget but it depends on your expectations and where you’re looking. You can browse Craigslist or Kijiji (Canadian craigslist) to determine what’s out there, and have a look at the transit map to clarify your needs. If you’re working downtown, I would recommend skipping the car (parking costs a fortune in my building and transit is excellent) but if one of you is working in a more peripheral area it may be worth getting a car to skip the hassle of erratic buses in freezing whether. For the record, I don’t have a car, and there is a service called Communauto (similar to zipcar) which is great for weekend getaways.

      French is the official language of Quebec. That being said, I work 80% in English and know a ton of people who don’t speak much French. Your experience will be better if you learn some French, but most people will speak at least some English so you can manage without if you want. Be aware that there is some cultural conflict around linguistic issues that can be hard to navigate for outsiders (and I say this as someone who is not from here originally and sometimes finds it exhausting). In the event that you do have kids, they will most likely need to go to French school unless you can afford private school, if that’s a concern.

      Happy to chat if you have any questions!

      • (not the OP but dreaming of moving to Montreal) It’s good to hear that you work 80% in English – is that pretty normal for corporate roles? Do you need to do the other 20% French or can you get by? I’m learning French but doubt I’ll ever get to full professional fluency.

        • Equestrian Attorney :

          So, I’m not going to lie, speaking at least some French is very helpful and in some cases necessary. By law, French is supposed to be the language of the workplace and, if your workplace is ever inspected, it’s useful to know how to say a few words. That being said, I’m a transactional attorney whose clients are mostly international so it’s fairly widely accepted that most of my files are in English. In my experience, litigation is more French-heavy. For non-law roles, a lot of big corporations in Montreal obviously do work in English, whereas smaller local businesses are more likely to be French-focused. At my firm, everyone can hold a basic conversation in French and English, but some people are English drafters and some people are French drafters and we help each other out as necessary.
          As illustrated in the discussion above, language politics in Quebec are complicated. I speak both, and I find it hard to fall solidly on one side or the other – I understand wanting to protect the Quebecois language and identity in a sea of english speakers, but definitely don’t embrace the more hardcore elements of Quebec nationalism – and neither do most of the folks I know in Montreal.

      • cactus killer :

        Thanks so much for this reply. I’m in design/tech and I’ll be working downtown-ish. My husband will be working remotely, so we’re lucky to have a lot of flexibility as far as commute goes. I’ll definitely look near the metro, and plan to check out Atwater/St Henri/Little Burgundy when we get there. We generally prefer older/smaller-scale houses and apartment buildings, so I’ll be curious to see what the housing stock looks like there. Westmount sounds too fancy and too cut off for us.

        I understand that language is a complex and often heated topic in Quebec (see above), and I know I have a lot to learn about how to navigate the issues. My work will be 100% in English, but I expect to use French as much as I can when we’re out and about.

        I’ve got some other nitty gritty questions (like, er — what does your winter boot collection look like?) — any chance I could send you an email and chat more? My email is montreal.rette @ gmail.

        • Anonymous :

          This may be late for you, but I’d recommend checking out NDG (Notre Dame de Grace) for a mixed Anglo neighbourhood and specifically the Monkland Village area. Also tons of anglos around McGill in the Ghetto (expensive for Mtl, lots of students) and Mile End (more mixed). Montreal is amazing and rent is shockingly low. I miss it in a lot of ways although I don’t miss the politics/language tension/racism.

          I would encourage you to learn as much French as you can. You’ll miss out on a lot of the life of the city as well as professional development. If you end up putting down roots and have kids, they will be required to attend school in French.

          • cactus killer :

            Thanks for the recommendations! I’ll check out NDG and Monkland Village. And in the meantime, I’ll be furiously studying up on French!

    • My cousin lived and worked in Montreal for 5 years. He said that if you don’t speak very good to excellent French, it’s very very difficult to advance professionally.

      • As a long-time visitor, this is what I gathered about the language situation: English Canadians are required to take French in school; French Canadians are not required to take English. Hence the French-only aspects of Francophone Quebec.

  17. I posted about this late on Friday but would love to hear more opinions… for lawyers, when submitting a writing sample to a potential employer… and its a publicly filed document with a file stamp and everything, should one redact identifying information (party names, case number, addresses, etc?)

    • Do you have a draft Word copy you can use? I’ve sent in a pdf-ed Word draft before and it was fine.

      • Anonymous :

        I actually would not do this. Unless the names and identifying facts were redacted, this would raise judgment concerns for me. A filed brief with a file stamp, acceptable. A non-filed non-redacted brief with client information, concerning.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      No. don’t redact. But since it is a public filing, you likely had a reviewer and other drafters? Make sure you are brutally honest about what parts you did and did not do and what parts were reviewed. I would select another document, honestly. I don’t place much stock in publicly filed documents, as I am suspicious that others contributed too materially. FWIW, I’m a partner in a boutique practice.

      • Anonymous :

        I agree with this, but understand that it is really hard to find a non-filed sample to use.

        In the end, I didn’t have any writing samples that were not filed briefs. All of my memos were very fact and client specific, and I did not feel comfortable using them. So, with the client’s permission, I redacted a brief I wrote in a pro bono matter (not public). It had been reviewed pre-filing, but very few changes were made. I added a cover page that provided context for the section used, and noted that it was exclusively my work, but had been reviewed prior to submission and that I had received minor non-substantive edits.

      • For the record, the writing sample is 100% my writing and is my name on the signature page. Partner occasionally reviews but does not make changes, his belief is that my cases are “my cases”

        • (Also, this is partly why I’m looking! I’m a second year for crying out loud I need more oversight!)

  18. We have a “winter weather day” in Houston and I’m home with young kids who need constant supervision but still required to join three meetings by Skype or use a sick day. I work with a lot of women who don’t have kids. How unprofessional would it be to call in and just let them experience some of the chaos?

    I work at a nonprofit where these are just regular meetings that could easily have been postponed. Just feeling annoyed I think, so talk me down!

    Don’t really have a plan B so they are probably going to just hear cartoons in the background? I wonder if my kids will actually sit and watch for the length of a meeting? Much less three?

    • Super unprofessional. If you aren’t capable of working take the day off. That’s the deal. Get a sitter, make a back up plan, or burn the day off. Those women without kids didn’t do this to you and it’s weird and rude and unprofessional that it almost sounds like you are punishing them.

      • The problem is people are being asked to stay off the roads in Houston so we can’t get sitters or backup care. I only have a few sick days due to flu and it’s January so I am going to be in trouble for the rest of the year.

        Definitely meant to post this on the moms site… oops.

        • Yes, I’m in Houston too. I realize people are being asked to stay off the roads. My coworkers with children are managing to make it work without being weird and rude about the fact that I don’t have children.

        • Do you have a husband? Partner? Play pen they can stay in? Room with a door that can be closed?

          I get that you would prefer your office just close and no work gets done, but that’s not how your office works.

        • Is there a neighbor kid that can walk over and keep everyone alive? Can you throw all screen time rules out the window? Bribes?
          Snow days aren’t fun when you have the ability to work remotely and they are even harder when you have to wrangle kids.

          • nylon girl :

            In Houston too and working from my youngest’s bedroom. It’s like the world is ending here with all the weather warnings and cancellations. Better safe than sorry. Here’s too hoping that the day goes fast and that productivity continues.

      • Ha ha, you must not have kids. I do have kids and would not take a call with them in the background, but your suggested solutions are not as simple as you seem to believe. For one thing, most moms are perpetually running close to zero on PTO because the kids are always sick, the kids then make us even sicker than they were, and we have to take a ton of time off to pick them up from day camp etc. Sitters are rarely available on short notice, and there are not a lot of other backup options. The best solution is often to have both parents work from home and trade off kid duty so each gets some uninterrupted work time, but that may not be feasible in OP’s case (it certainly isn’t for me). And even if OP does have PTO to burn, it sounds as if her childless co-workers are going to gripe about it if she does take the day off.

        • “it sounds as if her childless co-workers are going to gripe about it if she does take the day off.”

          I had the impression that OP didn’t want to take the day off/did not have enough PTO, not that anyone else was going to gripe about it. Where did you get this impression?

        • I don’t think any of my suggestions are simple! I think it’s a hard thing. But it’s what her job requires.

      • Agreed with 10:34am anonymous. And it makes me a little sad to think you think this would get a better reception on the Moms site. It’s still wildly inappropriate there.

        • Amelia Bedelia :

          I think the Moms site is just more understanding of the horrible frustrations of being a working parent. I understand this phrasing sounded like non-parents were going to be “punished” by her, but it was probably just frustration on her part. The moms site just shows a bit more grace, and I appreciate it now that I’m a working mom (after 10+ years as the atty who was “dumped” on because I didn’t have kids and kid-based emergencies).

          OP, I responded over there.

      • +1

    • “How unprofessional would it be to call in and just let them experience some of the chaos?”

      Um, people have to do this sometimes, but, I sense a lot of resentment of the child-free in the way you’ve chosen to phrase this. Have you actually asked to postpone the meetings?

      • Yeah, new manager and that’s when the sick day was suggested. I actually have two layers of backup care, they just can’t drive.

        It will be okay but these are really unessential and not at all time sensitive meetings!

        • If they’re not essential or time-sensitive, call in, mention you have your kids there, and then mute the phone when you don’t have to talk.

          Isn’t this what having kids means? Sometimes you have to take a sick day to care for them when you are not actually sick.

    • I definitely WFH when my daughter is sick or home from school because of weather, but she can entertain herself for most of the day. If your kids can’t be on their own, especially for the duration of a meeting, I think you have to take the day off. It’s really unprofessional for your co-workers to hear your kids on the call.

    • So because you don’t want to take the day off when you aren’t able to give fair attention to work– being that the kids need “constant” supervision– you want to make sure that your co-workers aren’t able to work either by inflicting “chaos” on them? Because they don’t have kids? You seem to suggest that you wouldn’t be doing this if they had children.

      That’s pretty darn unprofessional.

    • Unfortunately, I think you should take a sick day or quickly hire a sitter. It would be very unprofessional to just try to deal with the meetings fancy free.

      I understand the frustration of being at the mercy of the school weather days. But it would not be reasonable to expect your co-workers to post-pone three (gulp!) previously scheduled meetings just for your convenience. You really want them to post-pone meetings that you are supposed to be in AND keep paying you for working from home?

      • I just think when no one in the city is allowed to drive to work – including backup sitters – the routine weekly Check-In could be pushed back a day. Two of these are those meetings, the other I legit want to happen. I’m still going to try to call and participate it’s just going to be a mess.

        An infant and a toddler need constant supervision. Man, the moms site is nicer.

        • Do you have a husband, wife, partner?

        • The moms site may be “nicer” but you’re getting a very real-world view of how this all works. Isolate yourself there at your own risk.

        • I really think the reaction on the mom’s site would be the same. At least, I’m a mom and I fully understand that an infant and toddler need constant supervision but that means you need to either: 1) take the day off, 2) arrange a babysitter or 3) have your partner entertain the children during your meetings. It sounds like 2 and 3 aren’t options so you need to do #1. I think you’d be getting a lot more sympathy if you didn’t have PTO or your boss wasn’t letting you use it, but just not wanting to use your available PTO is a pretty poor excuse for taking multiple meetings with young kids in the room. Frankly, I think you’re lucky you can use sick leave for stuff like this — I have to use vacation in these situations.

        • Amazingly, some of us who post here are in fact mothers as well.

        • Part of the reason for the type of response you are getting is that you seem to want to punish your coworkers who don’t have kids (or perhaps do but have backup care/partner/older kids) because they didn’t agree to reschedule the meetings. Punishing someone is never professional, regardless of the situation and you are coming across as very hostile to your coworkers.

        • The moms s!te said the exact same thing, just in a nicer tone. But your tone wasn’t very nice to begin with.

        • Anonymous :

          My kid is 9 mo and if I were in that situation I would probably leave him in his playroom (it’s fully baby-proofed and I can see into the room from the kitchen) and take the call, muting when I was not speaking.

      • Anonymous :

        I think this really depends on the office. I don’t think twice if there is some background noise on conference calls – especially on days like today!

    • You need to take a sick day.

    • It wouldn’t bother me to hear kids in the background. Snow days mean unusual work situations. As long as it’s not the norm, I don’t have a problem.

      • Agree – I would do what I could to manage the chaos, e.g., mute, screentime, but I’ve definitely heard the occasional kid noise in the background on a snow day and I don’t judge.

      • +1. Do what you can to minimize the background noise and mute the phone when you’re not talking. Not a huge deal if they hear a little bit of kid noise; they know you have your kids today.

      • Manhattanite :

        +1. You do the best you can and noisy children in the background for an internal meeting is not a big deal.

      • +1 – life happens, weather happens and I’d rather hear some kids than delay work or force someone to take a sick day. NBD in my book (and fwiw, I don’t have kids)

    • Anon Equity Partner :

      I have a million times taken calls from my closet b/c it is the most insulated / soundproof room in my house. Unless they are having a battle, you can’t really hear my kids (who are old enough to know better now but weren’t always).

      Mute button / death-stare / closet. The world hasn’t stopped spinning.

      Sick days / snow days / kid has a fever days (actually: one kid at home is a silent kid; both at home = hot mess).

      • Toothbrush :

        Ditto.

        OP has an infant and toddler. If I had to do a call in her shoes, I’d wear the infant during the call and give the toddler an iPad with headphones or in another room. And bribe with a sugary treat if necessary. Keep the phone on mute whenever possible.

        Subjecting coworkers to chaos is not the right way to phrase it but given the circumstances, I don’t think it’s unreasonable that coworkers may hear the occasional noise in the background. If no one can drive, no one can drive, so obviously you’re home with your kids. Now if a partner/coparent is in the picture and your coworkers know it, that may be a different story.

        • Amelia Bedelia :

          this.

        • +1. I think the fact that OP is in Houston, where snow days are extremely rare and treated like cataclysmic events, means she might get some grace from her co-workers if she tries her best to manage the call.

          OP, I don’t know if this is possible for you, but we have one backup option who is a neighbor. It has been a godsend on occasions where people are asked to stay off the roads and also really helpful when we need childcare for just an hour or two (and our regular sitters presumably wouldn’t want to drive out to us).

        • This is what I would do too. Try to have the infant either nursing/taking a bottle, or wear and rock back and forth or pace around. And give the toddler screen time + a bribe. Then keep the phone on mute when you are not talking.

    • I’m a mother of 2 kids, also in Houston, also have two “check-in” conference calls scheduled for today. My plan is to have my husband watch the kids during the duration of those calls. In the past, I have stayed on mute as much as possible while letting the kids watch TV and eat snacks. If neither of those are options for you (i.e. you don’t have a partner available to trade off, or your expected level of participation in the calls will be high and the kids will be loud or distract you), you should take PTO. I understand it doesn’t seem fair because these are all circumstances out of your control, but look on the bright side: if you take PTO, you can treat this as a fun day off with your kids.

      I am a remote employee, and I frequently hear or see kids during conference calls/videos – but never to the point where the kids are distracting their parent from participating or interfering with call. Don’t be that employee.

    • My husband had to do this. He had taken the day off but there was an emergency that needed his help (he’s in IT). He took the call with screaming children and cartoons in the background and everyone thought it was adorable and he got praise for being a good dad.

      Moms do not have his luxury.

      If it’s 100% avoidable, I would do a combo of threats and treats.

      • The double standard for men and women in situations like this makes me SO ragey.

      • There is such a double standard for moms v. dads. On the rare occasions when he takes time off for a kid-related function or works from home on a snow day, my husband gets showered with praise for being a hands-on dad. Meanwhile, I put in more face time and get more work done than my childless colleagues, and still have to put up with comments like “Must be nice to have kids so you never have to work.”

      • lawsuited :

        Yes, the response my husband gets is “Wow, so dedicated to family!” and the response I get is “Oh, not dedicated to work.”

      • I don’t have kids, but even I’ve noticed this. It’s blatant and ridiculous and gives me so much rage.

      • Anonymous :

        I wouldn’t find it adorable. No double standard here.

    • I had a client (80 something year old grand dad) who had an urgent legal question for us (his lawyers) and the whole time we were subject to his children babbling in the background, but it was fine. REALLY.

      See also, BBC interview guy with the daughter :)

      • Anonymous :

        Late reply, but yes if you haven’t seen it, look up the BBC interview with the guys kid walking in.

        I’m also in Houston, also the mom of an infant and a toddler (5 months and 2 yo). I completely get where you are coming from. 1000%! I wish that workplaces would align their schedules with school schedules. Today, I the office was closed, but we were expected to work from home. I would have gladly used a PTO day but we are so thinly staffed (I’m in house) I’d still be expected to do work. My husband’s office was not closed because their execs came into town for a big meeting, so he dashed off this morning. I took 3 calls, and all went ok. There was a more important call scheduled for this afternoon, and I didn’t want to risk it so I rescheduled for tomorrow. I took an “emergency” evening call while my daughter was sleeping a few weeks ago, and she woke up while I was not on mute and started screaming. I couldn’t even hit mute because I dashed across the room to get her. The VP I was on the call with was so ticked.

    • There have been some comments on this site lately that have generated a very visceral reaction for me. This comment is one of those. As a child free person, it is totally ok to hear your kids in the background during a call, in an emergency situation. In my role, folks travel frequently and have to take calls from the airport all the time. It isn’t ideal, but it gets things done. As long as you can figure it out, the background will be something that people will be willing to work with. HOWEVER, the fact that you chose to have kids (and bring this level of instability upon yourself) is not my problem. There is no reason that I need to “feel your chaos.” The idea that you want to “punish” your child free co-workers infuriates me. The situation that you are in right now, while uncomfortable and difficult to manage to, has absolutely nothing to do with me. Generally, I have a really hard time with people who, when pushed or crunched or uncomfortable, try to lash out at others and somehow “blame” them. Your child free co-workers did not cause your current problem. Leave them out of your feelings of frustration.

      • Triangle Pose :

        This is perfect. I don’t care about background noise on a call. I care that you want to “just let them experience some of the chaos.” This is your chaos. If you have a problem with work life balance, the workplace culture, the Houston emergency weather restrictions, that’s fine. But this call is not the forum to express your frustrations and your child free co-workers did not cause your current problem.

        • Anonymous :

          I think she is expressing her frustrations here instead of on the call. She’s being facetious. The level of vitriol here just reflects the anti-parent bias we parents all face in the workplace. We have to work harder, put in more hours, and produce better work than our childless co-workers just to prove that we are dedicated to our jobs, and we still get treated like garbage because we dared to procreate even though it has not interfered with our job performance. My childless co-workers routinely come in late, leave early, and take long lunches to exercise. On snow days they are sitting by the fire in their cozy slippers sipping cocoa, not working. I, on the other hand, once got criticized for stepping away from a conference call to speak with the doctor while my child was in the hospital. So let the poor woman vent.

          • She literally said on the other thread “My current supervisor is annoyingly a child-free 29 year old who has way less work experience than me but can work whenever she needs to – I think I’m a little bitter about that on a day like today too!”

            If anything, there is a bias in the workplace against childfree people.

          • Anonymous :

            This must be a joke. Those of us who are child free are routinely expected to work longer hours because we do not have the responsibility of children and therefore must not have anything else going on in our lives. My coworkers with kids are the ones who are always late to work, always leaving early, and always taking unexpected time off. I get it, things come up, kids get sick, there are special things at school BUT that doesn’t mean that those of us without kids should be working extra to pick up your slack.

          • What is the deal with the parent vs. non-parent wars?

            I don’t have kids, but I can appreciate that parents with young children at home have a lot on their plates. It wouldn’t bother me in the least to hear a little bit of kid noise on a crazy day when everything is shut down. In fact, I would think they are dedicated for doing everything at once.

            At the same time, assuming that your co-workers without kids are sitting around sipping cocoa in their slippers – and resenting them for it – isn’t fair either.

            I don’t understand why people can’t just be kind and try to assume that most people are doing the best they can to manage their own unique situations, which we probably understand a lot less well than we think we do.

          • Anonymous :

            No, sadly not a joke. In my office the women with kids are the only ones who can’t get away with slacking off because we are always under a microscope. Child-free women and all men can get away with whatever they want.

          • That’s terrible. To be fair, though, it sounds like the problem is your office and our culture, which by and large does not respect working moms. Your problem is not your childless co-workers.

          • Anon at 2:10 :

            Not a joke at all. As I said above, I was once expected to take a conference call from my child’s hospital room and criticized for stepping away from the call for a moment when the doctor finally showed up. Another time I spoke at a board meeting and then took a critical meeting with a difficult client with a 103-degree fever that turned out to be pneumonia. Then I pulled an all-nighter to write a proposal, still suffering from as-yet-undiagnosed pneumonia. While I was recuperating in bed at home after all of this and taking PTO, a childless co-worker sent nasty text messages to me and cc’d our mutual boss demanding to know why I wasn’t working. This same childless co-worker once claimed to be leaving early for a religious holiday when he was actually on his way to a yoga class. He routinely comes in late, leaves early, and takes long lunches to go on long runs and bike rides, but if I even leave my desk for lunch I get comments about how I must be off doing kid-related stuff. Other childless co-workers, or men with teenaged kids, behave in a similar fashion. The double standard is very, very real.

          • I’ve worked with a number of people who don’t pull their own weight. Some are parents, some are not. I don’t think laziness has much to do with parental status, at least not in my experience.

            You could probably “get away” with more than you think. But you also probably won’t, because it sounds like you’re diligent and responsible and dedicated to your job.

          • Oh come on. Mommy martyr nonsense.

            “My childless co-workers routinely come in late, leave early, and take long lunches to exercise.”

            Look. I am truly supportive of parents doing what they need to do to be good parents and good employees. My secretary routinely needs to duck out at 3 pm (and did today because of weather) and no one blinks because that’s the type of workplace we foster. But let’s be real. Parents routinely come in early, leave late, and take long lunches. You don’t get to claim those privileges and then look at childfree people and say we don’t get to do this either because, what, our lives just aren’t as important as your childcare needs?

            “On snow days they are sitting by the fire in their cozy slippers sipping cocoa, not working.”

            Pure bulls*hit. What planet are you on? Um, we have jobs too. Why would we get out of WORKING on a snowday when you wouldn’t? Sorry you procreated. Sorry someone else was nasty to you once. Don’t take it out on me. The idea that childfree women can get away with whatever they want is insane. Yo, we’re all under a microscope for one reason or another, even if it’s just because we’re women.

            No love, a childfree woman who almost got fired for visiting a dying family member on her deathbed. And was told not to go to the funeral. But yeah, we’re just getting away with whatever we want.

            PS. Maybe yoga is a part of your coworker’s spiritual practice. Again, definitely not as important as you and your childcare needs– no way no how– and please believe I’m not trying to suggest that anyone but YOU determine whose needs are the most important. Totally your province. Totally up to you. Eyeroll.

      • Anonymous :

        +1000

    • College savings :

      I’m a mom of 3 under 6. You can either manage around these meetings (if they’re young enough to nap, try your darndest to do them during nap; if they can watch a movie- mine >3 can-, pop a movie in and put snacks in front of them and take your call with Your trigger finger on the mute button). Or you take a sick day.

      I’m a people manager and I would be super annoyed f any of my reports were not working all day because they were watching their kids and they did not take a sick day. Again, I’m an empathetic mother of 3 Littles. But that doesn’t mean you get a free day.

      DH and I often trade off with neighborhood parents – some work and we swap AM for PM coverage, sometimes DH and I both stay home and we work a 16 hour day where each of us gets 8 hours of work and the rest is kid care. Sometimes I call up a SAHM that lives close and trade for an evening or weekend of kid watching.

  19. Trip planning :

    Apologies if this seems obvious to anyone else. How do you plan a vacation with friends? I’m planning a European roadtrip with a couple of friends – I say “I’m planning” because I’m definitely the planner of the group. I don’t want to take over the trip – I want everyone’s ideas and preferences to be included – but some of the preferences are more realistic than others. For example, one person doesn’t want to drive more than 2 hours a day, stay at least 2 nights in each location, and visit opposite ends of the country. When I tell her that not all those things can happen, the response is, well you’re such a good planner you can make it happen! Literally no.

    And then there’s budget. One friend wants to do it “as cheap as humanly possible” – girl you know I dropped $15k on my last vacation idk what makes you think I’m staying anywhere for $20/night, you’re gonna need to get your own room. But I feel like there’s a better relationship-preserving way to say that. Help?

    • I don’t travel with people unless we share travel goals and budgets. I’m a planner but I’m not a magician. I’d say no to this trip. “Hey, totally get it. But not the trip I want.”

      • givemyregards :

        +1 and I hate to say that but nothing makes a trip miserable faster than people who have completely different budgets, unless you’re completely upfront about it initially and plan to stay at different hotels, know you’re not going to dinner together, etc.

      • I love that line – I’m a planner not a magician. Definitely stealing it.

        • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

          Also stealing. I am the planner of my group of friends, but I can’t change reality.

      • +1

        Sounds like your friends are not being reasonable. But you are not being reasonable either. If you are in to luxury travel, why on earth are you complaining about traveling with a friend who clearly has a modest budget? You don’t go to Europe with this friend unless you are willing to do the hostel circuit. You go to brunch, or camping, or to stay with common friends etc…

        • Fair enough, when we started planning I knew we wouldn’t be staying in 5 star hotels which is perfectly fine. But I said I’m not sharing a bathroom with anyone but friends, and I need a real bed every night and my own room for at least a couple of nights. So with those criteria, the $20/night price tag was a bit of a shock. I feel like there’s budget and then there’s budget, ya know?

          • Never too many shoes... :

            I actually thought that $20 figure was hyperbole.

            If your friend is serious, that is a hard pass. I am not 17, so a hostel is a complete hard pass for me. Either find a moderate solution, agree to stay in different hotels, or rethink this trip.

          • Are hostels in Europe even available for $20 a night. I feel like I spent more than that per night when I was in college…10+ years ago.

          • I thought she meant $20/per person. $60/night if 3 people share a room is reasonable, to me. But I spent $5k on an international trip this year and thought that was a lot and OP spent $15k, so …

          • $20/person/night is a pretty standard hostel rate in a lot of Europe. In some really expensive countries like Switzerland or Scandinavia it might be more like $30, but her friend’s expectations are not wildly off the mark.

          • I would honestly nip this in the bud before you get further down the planning road. Lay out ground rules – I’m going to plan X nights, X cities with X budget. If that works, great, you’re on board. If it doesn’t, sorry this trip isn’t for you.

            The LAST thing I would want to do is plan this, resent the travel companions because of the planning process, and then be stuck on a vacation with them with a giant grudge, when you should have maybe just gone by yourself and had a kicka$$ time.

    • This trip is not going to work out. Just because someone is a good friend doesn’t make them a good travel companion. If you expect to spend $15k on a vacation and your friend wants to stay in $20/night hostels, you are not going to be able to successfully travel together. The sooner you accept that and bow out, the better chance you have of preserving the friendship.

    • Agreed. This isn’t a trip I’d take. Your goals are too different and someone’s going to be miserable the whole time.

      • +1 to this. I did my bar trip after law school to several European countries with a group of 6 or 7 people, and it ended up being a disaster due to different expectations and budgets that we didn’t discuss before we left. The group was essentially split in half at the end of the two weeks and were having entirely separate trips, it wasn’t pretty. Would recommend putting everything on the table before you leave to avoid that kind of thing from happening!

    • The relationship-preserving thing to do is not travel with people who have different budgets and aren’t interested in helping plan. Seriously, you all have completely unrealistic expectations here. They have unrealistic logistics and budget expectations, and you have an unrealistic expectation that this trip is going to work if y’all aren’t all on the same page.

    • I have found one magic solution to traveling with friends. I plan the entire trip, including lodging, travel, etc. (Not booking stuff, just plan it). Then, I write a document outlining the trip, and send it to some friends and say “Hey, I’m booking this trip. Any interest in joining? In the document you can see all the details, including costs and specific plans.”

      Then it’s up to them to either jump on board if they like it, or decline with no pressure at all if they don’t. No discussion about the plans because it’s what *you* are doing whether they come or not. In my experience (traveling with other families with young kids), people have often been incredibly grateful that someone is handling all the details for them. And things run so smoothly this way, with a central coordinator. Sometimes no one wants to join, and that’s not problem, we just go alone.

      • This is brilliant. Also I wish one of my friends would do this! I’m not motivated enough to plan.

        • I have always been the planner of my friend group, and used to do things like this, but it was really frustrating.

          You devote SO MUCH TIME with your friends devoting none to researching/planning/negotiating. Often you wind up spending $$ as part of this, and this time/smaller monies are never reimbursed …. how can they be? And then once you set the plan, so many of the friends want changes or ask….. can we just come for 3 days instead of 4, to save $$? Or … since my wife and I are both coming and we can share some things, can we pay less… blah blah…. and then it totally throws off the per person costs I’ve calculated, and makes the trip become more expensive for everyone else.

          I’ve just stopped planning trips. The last big reunion I was planning got interrupted because of a family crisis – my parent became severely ill and then passed away. Not a single friend stepped in to help me… either with gestures of sympathy or planning the (much needed for me….) reunion. So that was that. I never see any of those friends anymore. None of them have lost a parent.

          People really stink.

          Even friends really take advantage of each other.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Are you me??? I completely stepped back as group planner for a fairly similar reason.

            Now I travel with my two work besties and it is just, so EASY – we like the same things, nobody feels bad if someone sometimes sits out an activity or wants to do their own thing, we have similar budgets…such an improvement to my quality of (planning) life.

      • I did this with my last group trip – 12 of us! Miraculously they were all majorly on board and all very much appreciated the ease of already having a planned trip. Would they have willingly weighed in and would we have had a different trip if I asked for input earlier? Yup, definitely, but I would have hated all of them because of the process. But this was totally seamless.

    • Honestly, planning trips with friends is ridiculously hard even when you have a similar budget and a similar idea of how you want to spend your time/how much you want to see. My last trip was just a four day weekend in NOLA with like-minded friends, and it was still tough to actually get things booked, because nobody wanted to be the one to say “We’re doing/staying/eating at X…ok?” (even though X was probably agreeable to everyone!). A European roadtrip with friends who have wildly different budgets and ideas of how to sightsee seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

    • Is it driving two hours a day or travelling two hours a day? Because in about three hours you can take a train from one country to another or certainly fly; there are lots of inexpensive options if you book ahead. Also, in most of Europe 2 hours driving is plenty far.

      Regarding lodging, if your budgets are so drastically different, why not stay in separate places that are nearby to each other.

      I would suggest, like anon 10:54, that as chief planner, you make a first draft of an itinerary and get your friends to do give their feedback re: locations, traveling times, etc. Then go from there.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      You are setting yourself up for hurt feelings here, friend.

      Start a group chat/text. Express excitement about going but then set out some general issues that need to be ironed out asap – dates and budget being key, along with what cities you are visiting and reviewing the time/distance issues.

      My very best childhood friend and I will never, ever take a trip together because she wants to go to the cheapest places and “experience” a place and I, well, that is not at all my style. I love her, but a trip would be a nightmare for both of us.

    • I try not to travel with cheap people period.

      My own sister will go to the same location as my family and me, but stay in the cheapest possible motel with her family, and then “drop by” my hotel for all the amenities like the lounge, the pool and even the free breakfast. I find it so simultaneously embarrassing and frustrating. She will ask for an extra room key from me so that she can use the pool AND MY ROOM if we happen not to be there when she wants to bring her kids to the pool.

      I never offered any of this. She just assumes. Somehow she gets away with the free breakfast without getting caught, but I’m sure if she did she’d say she was with me and I would get billed for her family.

      Her kids totally trashed my room last time, ruined some of my makeup, and left wet towels on our bed, meaning we slept in a damp bed that night.

      I just try really hard not to travel anywhere with her, but family gatherings sometimes mean we do. The last time we did, I did not give her my key. She just sponged one off someone else in our extended family.

      In case you think she’s poverty stricken, she’s not. She’s just unkindly cheap.

      There is no way to enjoy this situation. Just travel alone or with like-minded and like-budgeted friends.

    • Hi – I’ve done this planning, though it was for me and my parents (the Europe roadtrip part). I have also planned multiple friend vacations and navigated those waters. Where are you headed?

      First of all, cheap friend needs to get on board with reality (many shared-bathroom hostels are more than $20) and everyone needs to agree to a budget. Lodging will depend on what country you’re in – we were happy and comfortable for an average of $62/person/night (think 3-star German B&B/guesthouse stays). Yes, I kept a spreadsheet and that was the actual $. Breakfast may or may not be included in your lodging, so use a guidebook or google to figure out average prices of meals and attractions and come up with a reasonable budget together. You can sleep in comfort, see a lot, do a lot and eat very well for $125-150/per person/per day a day in most countries. We were able to get in one Michelin star meal, several top rated places, and many delicious but less costly off-the-beaten path type of restaurants. Your cheap friend knows your style and is afraid that she’ll go into debt or get in over her desired budget if she lets you run wild. Get a daily budget you can all agree on, and if you splurge one night for an expensive meal, plan a picnic for lunch the next day, just make it all average out. If you can’t agree to a daily target number, stop planning. This will not work.

      If you can agree to a general budget, do a rough draft and go over it with them – if you’re going between cities and smaller towns, it may seem more reasonable to spend 2-3 nights, do some driving to an interesting but small middle location and stay one night, then continue on to the next more major location – and the friend who is wanting to stay two nights everywhere and never drive more than 2 hours is trying to express that she wants to take time to get to know the places you all go, and not get uprooted every night, but will probably be agreeable when she sees the logic behind a well-laid plan. Good luck.

  20. Toothbrush :

    I need a better travel toothbrush and the quip one looks like it would totally fit the bill but I’m hesitant to buy a toothbrush that caught my eye on social media. I am a diehard electric toothbrush user at home but need a battery powered one for travel and the battery powered ones from the drug store aren’t cutting it.

    Anyone have the quip?

    • I had it for awhile and did not find it got my teeth that clean. I switched back to a regular, non-electric.

      • Toothbrush :

        Thanks Torin. I cannot stand how my teeth feel with a regular, non-electric. If a regular, non-electric performs better than the quip, it’s not the toothbrush for me.

      • Minnie Beebe :

        Same questions here– Quip looks nice (especially for travel, since it’s compact), but I find it difficult to believe that silicone can actually get anything clean– the material is so smooth, how can it work well? But then, i like my Foreo face cleaner, and that’s silicone. I dunno. Try it and report back? What’s their return policy like?

    • Our Sonicare recently died so I decided to try Quip. It’s definitely not a Sonicare, but it’s a lot better than a regular, non-electric. It took a few days to change my technique to work with the different shape and less vibration than the Sonicare, but I don’t mind it now.

    • I used one from oral b–it was great.

    • It’s my travel toothbrush. My dentist said I had more plaque than usual for the 6 months I used it daily. So I went back to sonicare for every day but quip is great for travel

    • My sonicare can go for about a week without charging. Have you tried just bringing your regular electric with you without the base? If it eventually dies, you can use it as a regular tooth brush.

    • I have a Quip and I like it. I’ve never had a Sonicare or any other electric toothbrush before, though.

      The main benefit seems to be the timer that makes me brush for the full two minutes. That and the pretty rose gold color.

  21. Follow-up to my post last week about potentially buying a house. The house was sold the next day after I looked at it for the second time. I probably wouldn’t have gotten it anyway because I wouldn’t have made a full price offer and it would have been contingent on a lot of fixes. The neighborhood is gentrifying quickly (house being built across the street, another house probably about to be torn down, the house directly across is for sale), but over the weekend there was a shooting right around the corner in the block where the school is. Really gives me food for thought! At this point, there aren’t houses that I’m interested in, but I’m going to keep looking and, in the meantime, will submit all of my loan documents. One step at a time…

    • There’ll be another house along in a minute. I still drive by the house I didn’t get and kind of state at it wistfully, but I know I would have been freaked out about paying too much for it if I had.

    • Moonstone :

      I feel as if almost everyone looking for a house has this experience. It ends up giving you time to get your ducks in a row. I hope you find someplace great!

      • Yeah, it made me get my act together and finally submit all of my loan documents. I was pre-qualified, but still needed to submit the rest of my documents. This gives me time to talk to the lender and really think about what I want. I don’t think that house was it…

  22. I went on a date over the weekend with an acquaintance I’ve known for several months, and we had a great time. We talked for over 3 hours until the restaurant closed and agreed to see each other again, and he added me on Facebook. I was looking through his photos and saw some from high school where he was on a girl’s sports team. I was a little surprised, but I am assuming he is a trans man. I’m cishet and never dated a trans man, but I’m open to it.

    I really liked the guy and wouldn’t want him to feel anxious in sharing this with me, assuming I am correctly guessing he’s trans. I haven’t said anything. Part of me says to leave it alone and let him share it when he’s ready. Another part of me hopes he isn’t stressed over telling me this and wonders if there’s any thing I can do to indicate this isn’t a dealbreaker. I have read that dating while trans can be difficult. Suggestions? Have you dated someone who’s trans?

    • That’s the only reason you think he’s trans? Maybe they didn’t have a guys version of that team?

      For me, I am not open to dating a trans man, but I wouldn’t be drawing this conclusion. If you are open to it, I’d just keep dating him and let it come up or not!

    • If he is trans then adding you to FB knowing you could see ‘evidence’ could have been a way of softly introducing the topic. If he’s not then he may be slighted if you ask. I would just go out with him again and not bring up trans, but say “hey I saw you were on that team in high school [what was that like/so was I/do you still play/etc].

      • OP here. That’s a good suggestion. In the HS photos, he had long hair and looked like a female version of himself. We are in our mid-30s now. He has facial hair and doesn’t appear feminine now. I honestly do not know any openly trans adults, although I’m sure I have encountered some.

        On our date, we learned we both enjoy a sport today, so it seems natural to bring up HS sports and see where that goes.

        Two of my friends have trans children. I have learned a lot supporting them and want to be respectful above all.

        • Hair is so confusing isn’t it. I’m quite feminine looking but when I had a buzz cut, if I wasn’t wearing makeup being taken for male wasn’t unusual.

          I’m also cishet & I think you’re amazing for being open to these possibilities.

      • Cornellian. :

        Not trans, although I have two close friends who are and also do pro bono work with transitioning folks. If it’s not his look alike sister, I agree that he may be sort of softball introducing you to the idea. Since it sounds like you’re open to continuing and not threatening to him, I would just let it come up more naturally.

    • I wouldn’t assume that he is a transman. There might be other reasons he is tagged in the photo – maybe it is his sister and she’s not on facebook, so he is tagged, for example.

      You could bring up any ally experience you have in the LGBTQA community and see if he wants to talk about it.

      You could ask him directly – hey, I so enjoyed our date last week that I did facebook stalk you and saw you tagged in the girls’ field hockey team photo. I like field hockey, too. Were you… on the team?

      I dated a woman who was in the early stages of trans-to-man, and it was not a healthy relationship for a lot of reasons, but the trans part was not the weirdest part of the relationship.

      • Another good point, it could be a sister. It looked like him, but its definitely possible it’s a female relative. I hadn’t considered that.

    • I’m so curious about this, and there seems no way to ask without being shouted down as transphobic. But if you’re a straight woman, at a basic level aren’t you looking for male anatomy? How does that work?

      • OP here: I consider myself completely straight and have only been with cis men (meaning their external anatomy matches their gender they feel inside). I have a couple close friends with trans children, and I’ve learned a lot about transitioning and even understanding what it means to be trans as I’ve supported them. One friend has a very supportive family, the other has basically been exiled. Her family says they can “accept her child is a gay boy, but not a trans girl” although her child has said she is really a girl since she was 2 or 3.

        To my situation, I can’t assume the anatomy of this date. There are many ways to have s*x too. So if and when it gets to that stage, it’ll be something to figure out but I’m not going to make a judgment now.

      • I think it varies for different people. I have a good friend who is totally straight but ended up marrying a trans man. They seem very happy. I think it’s like any other aspect of someone’s composition – some people care, some people don’t, some find it a deal breaker, so on. For my friend, the main issues in the relationship had nothing to do with their relationship itself, but with the very conservative state they lived in.

        • To clarify – her husband still has the parts he was born with. It’s not something we discussed in detail but it’s clear that their situation works for them. Also, to add, friend was never interested in having children, biological or otherwise, and so that aspect of it also isn’t/wasn’t an issue.

    • I would not date a trans man since I am exclusively heterosexual, but if you are open to it, then stay open to it. However, you should figure out how to handle it if this partner doesn’t reveal their trans status to you (assuming your guess is correct). That would be a dealbreaker to me if it didn’t happen in advance of bedroom activity (the same way I would dump anyone who didn’t disclose STI testing status or any other relevant information before a new s*xual relationship). Be clear about your needs and expectations ahead of time and think about how you’ll bring it up if your partner doesn’t.

  23. Repost from the weekend thread since the comments were messed up:

    I’m looking for help with my skincare routine. In the mornings I use:
    1) tea tree and witch hazel toner
    2) elta MD AM moisturizer
    3) Maybelline Dream BB cream (switched to this from rejuvination intellishade matte because it was recommended for oily skin).

    This combination is ok in the winter, but unless it’s windy and cold I’m pretty shiny by the end of the day. We’ve had a warmer week and my skin is back to feeling slick and gross at the end of the day. Does anyone have recommendations for products or changes in my routine that will help with the shine? I’d like to keep a bb cream with SPF since that’s all i wear for coverage, but other than that I’m open to any options. TIA!

    • Maybe you don’t need both an AM moisturizer and a BB cream? I only use both when my skin is very dry in winter.
      Also, not technically a BB cream, but I’ve been using Marcelle City “Tinted Cream” with SPF 25 and very happy with it. It doesn’t make my skin look oily and wears well throughout the day. If still shiny, you could try oil blotting sheets. I find those really help.

      • Agree. BB cream includes moisturizer. That is the point. Try skipping that step and see if it helps.

    • Mattifying spray/layer on top of the others.

    • I get shiny through the day and use Clean & Clear blotting paper and then apply some powder.

    • You need to moisturize at night. Heavier than your day moisturizer.

    • Your skin might actually be dehydrated and need more moisture. If your skin is dehydrated, it will try to produce more oil to compensate. Google it to see if it sounds like you, and if so, I’d add in a lighter moisturizing layer underneath your day moisturizer, and also add in a thicker moisturizer at night.

  24. Hi all. I’m looking for a psychiatrist in the Cincinnati area. Ideally, she will be young(ish), female, and open-minded. I’m asking for a friend who is having significant physical health issues, which are bleeding into mental health issues. Any assistance would be appreciated!

  25. advice needed :

    Hi all,

    Long-time lurker/occasional poster here. Not sure if this is a weird request, but I have a life/career advice question (I work in biglaw for what its worth) that I can’t really post without totally outing myself. If you’re around, have some spare time, and want to offer your advice, shoot me a message at needingadvice123 at google mail.

    Thank you for reading!

    • I don’t imagine you will get a lot of responses (if any) without at least some hint of what this is about.

  26. Slim fit jeans :

    I feel I should know the answer but don’t. I have exactly two pairs of slim fit jeans as I used to avoid them due to heavy thighs. Buy I got a wonderful black pair which fit perfectly and look good.

    Then i bought a navy pair which are the same size but which just don’t stay up. They slip down my backside until I have to yank them back up in a most unflattering way. I’ve tried a traditional leather jeans belt but it’s just too bulky and uncomfortable. Any suggestions? Ideally I want something that doesn’t add bulk around the waist and which allows me to crouch down without cutting me I half.

    • Throw those pants away; they do not fit you.

    • Take them to a tailor and have the waist taken in?

    • I asked almost the same question a couple of weeks ago. I my case, my favorite black pair fit perfectly in the morning but are slipping down by the end of the day.

      Someone recommended the invisibelt and it does work. I find it mildly uncomfortable but it doesn’t show up under clothes and it holds my pants up. I probably need to work on adjusting it better for me.

      I’m not so sure about “those jeans don’t fit you”. If I found a pair tighter in the waist in the morning, I’d have complete muffin top.

      I think it’s the nature of stretchy jean fabric, combined with skinny legs that have a tendency to pull downward with movement.

      • (Skinny legs on the jeans, not on the person. I certainly do not have skinny legs)

      • Slim fit jeans :

        I’ve never heard Of it but it’s worth a shot, thanks.

        I was told once that black jeans are always less stretchy due to the intensive dying process to get a true deep black.

    • Belle Boyd :

      I’ve been there — bought jeans from the same brand that were the same size and one pair fits perfectly and the other pair, meh…. they just aren’t right for some reason. There’s always the chance they were tagged wrong. Or they were made from a different fabric that, even though they are the same size, the fabric may stretch or “give” more than the black jeans do.

      Maybe you could have a tailor take them in somehow at the waist. I’m lucky I can sew a button, so I don’t have much knowledge about what they can do in this situation, but if you know a good tailor, talk to him/her and see what, if anything can be done. Some people can work magic with a needle and thread!

    • I think you need jeans with more stretch. What’s the cotton percentage?

      • Slim fit jeans :

        They are sooooo stretchy it’s unreal. I can get them on and off without unbuttoning and I have about a 9-10 inch differential between my waist and my hips.

        • Anonymous :

          That’s actually partially the problem. Too much stretch, not enough structure.

          I’d try an invisibelt/Beltaway before giving up on them.

  27. Good Genes Smells Terrible - still worth it? :

    I was at Sephora yesterday and finally was able to try Sunday Riley’s Good Genes and holy moly it smells beyond terrible. I was already having an issue paying $105 for it, but with that scent, I’m not sure I can pull the trigger anymore. To those who use it, do you get used to the smell / is it that amazing for your skin?

    • What?!? It’s luxury skin care. You’re only buying it because you like it. If you don’t, stop being cray and move on.

    • I had a deluxe sample of it and it didn’t bother me but it is strong and Mr. AIMS would mention it every single time I used it. I didn’t notice enough of a difference in my skin to use it in light of the price tag and constant commentary about there being a pine forest in our bedroom. But Sephora is pretty generous with their samples if you want to give it a try, just ask them to make you a little container.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a sample of it – my husband calls it my “dirty diaper cream.”

    • lawsuited :

      I stopped using it because the small was too off-putting. I never saw any amazing difference in my skin while I was using it.

    • Anonymous :

      Try Ren wake wonderful overnight facial instead. It still smells terrible but I find it’s less strong. And being half the price helps too. I find it just as effective.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, it smells terrible and it is not an effective product. I mean, compared to drugstrore stuff sure, but it is the most overhyped product ever. Get yourself to a dermatologist in a medspa who works with Skinceuticals.

    • I’m one of the posters who raved about it in the earlier skincare thread, and I admit the smell is trying at times. That said, I’ve tried a few lactic acid treatments, and none of them smell anything close to what reasonable people would call *good*, and I find Good Genes to be among the least offensive. With Good Genes, I also find the smell dissipates quickly and the results are worth it. I suspect that my “super-smeller” friend would never be able to tolerate it though. I agree with Anonymous at 12:28 – if it doesn’t give you the satisfaction that should come with luxury skincare, don’t buy it!

  28. College savings :

    How old are your kids, and what – if anything – do you have saved away for college how old are your kids, and what-if anything – do you have saved away for college Acacian? Is it all in a 529 or a mix? How old were the kids when you started to save aggressively? For those with kids in or about to be in college, what would you have done differently while your kids were younger ?

    • We have one child who is in the sixth grade. We are focusing on retirement savings and will pay for college out of current income and/or general cash savings when we get there. We can’t afford to max out tax-advantaged retirement savings and save separately for college. We also don’t want to risk investing in a dedicated college account given that we don’t have another child to use it up if this one gets merit scholarships. If disaster strikes and we can’t pay for college as planned, she can go to one of our excellent state schools on need-based aid the way I did and things will turn out just fine.

    • My kids are 16-almost-17 and 15. I started saving for in-state level tuition exclusively in 529 accounts when they were born. I’m on track for that. I used the built in funding calculator for projecting in-state tuitions including inflation, and it came out reasonably close.

      I used to think that if they chose private or out of state, we’d fund that money through our other savings, but now taking a cold hard look at retirement costs, I’ve decided the other savings are for me, and they can take out loans if they don’t want to do in-state.

      Yeah, I’m a mean mom, but I’m also a realistic mom.

      • Cornellian :

        Agreed. I think setting yourself up for retirement (and not set up to depend on your kids) is a gift to them, as well.

      • Anonymous :

        Where I live I wasn’t eligible for any loans because of my parents’ income, and they didn’t save at all for my education. So you might need to take that into consideration.

        • Anonymous :

          Where do you live? I’ve never heard of anything like this in the US. I had friends with wealthy parents who didn’t want to pay for college and my friends had no problem getting loans. I get that colleges don’t award need-based scholarships to the children of high-income parents (although many respectable schools give significant merit-based aid).

          • Minnie Beebe :

            I think parental income can determine whether you’re eligible for federally-backed loans. Anyone can take out private loans, but the federally-backed loans have eligibility criteria. At least, that’s how it was for me back in the olden times of the early-90’s. :)

          • JuniorMinion :

            Yes – I’ve been through this. Parental income determines whether you are eligible for federally backed loans and how much.

            You can try to take out private loans, but this is difficult without a cosigner or usurious interest rates (my private loans were at Libor + 900 / 1000 bps, so effectively 11% interest).

            This changed a lot post 2008 (it used to be much easier to get relatively decent loan terms) and I wouldn’t expect it to get any better with the rates of student loan defaults. Even my federally subsidized loans were at ~6.8%.

          • I am the mean mom. I would be ok with co-signing my kids’ loans but the truth is, I think private college costs too much for what it is and what it does for you.

            My real hope and push is that none of us have to spend the extra money and that they really do go in-state. It seems to be working with my eldest so far. She’s really focused on state colleges.

        • Anonymous :

          Your parents’ low income or high income?

          • Anonymous :

            High income (not ridiculously high, but high enough). They paid for my school upfront out of pocket, which they found to be a struggle. I wish they had saved.

    • Cornellian :

      My son is 12 months, I have 3K in a 529 for him. I’d like to have enough saved for instate tuition.

    • DD is 10 months and I think we have $800. But I don’t think we started it until she was 7 months old….Grandparents will give at least $500/year, we do $100/month right now. Hoping to do more as we earn more money.

    • My son is 9 years old and I have saved $55K to date, all in a 529. I make a monthly contribution of $200 but also a one-time yearly contribution of about $5K. I plan increasing my monthly contributions soon. (FWIW, my ex-husband is required to pay 50% of our son’s education also). I confident he’ll be able to attend undergrad without anyone coming out with debt (non-ivy obvi).

      • College savings :

        Why non ivy? Many private schools cost as much as ivies- my undergrad sure did!

        • Non-ivy because he’s an average student and I don’t see that changing.

        • Triangle Pose :

          Yeah, I got way more merit and need based aid from the Ivies than other schools. IME it’s the smaller liberal arts schools that are the most expensive, not the Ivies. Weirdly, I always see comments from folks (not necessarily on this board) that indicate they think Ivies are the most expensive and out of reach for low/middle income families.

          • One of the few good points that I found in Hillbilly Elegy had to do with how much less expensive Yale was for the writer (and could be for those similarly situated) vs. state schools or other private colleges. He talks about it in the context of how unfortunate it is that so many people don’t even apply because they think they cannot afford it and they are often the ones who – if they got in – would pay less than at a “regular” university.

          • Cornellian :

            Yeah, I went to Cornell for basically free because they only do need-based aid. widely held misconception. I would have paid through the nose to go to an equivalent non-Ivy (Say, NYU) and also gone six figures in debt for a flagship state school.

          • Anonymous :

            Top colleges don’t give merit-based aid, only need-based aid. If your EFC is small or zero, then a top school will be a bargain. If your parents are middle-class and your EFC is huge, you are SOL at a top private school. Some state schools and lots of lower-ranked private schools still give merit aid.

          • This. One of my biggest regrets is not applying to any Ivies (or even out of state schools) because I assumed I could never afford it.

    • Anonymous :

      Our daughter is almost a year old, we have a little over $10k saved for her college. Our goal is to save $10k/year (pre-tax HHI of $150k in a LCOL area) at least until she’s in upper elementary and then we’ll reassess based on how the money’s grown and what sort of college costs we’re anticipating. We plan to put $5k in her 529 every year to maximize a state tax benefit, otherwise the money is saved in something that isn’t education specific. We hope to be able to pay for private undergrad in full and if she decides to go in state or gets a big scholarship, she’ll have some funds available for graduate school as well.

    • Anonymous :

      Surprised no one has mentioned this – but how has everyone changed their plans with the tax changes? If you plan on using 529 funds to pay for college I would think your plans have drastically changed now.

      • Can you elaborate on what you mean by that

        • Please elaborate – my understanding is the tax bill expanded what you could use 529 plans for – but I don’t know why you would need to drastically change your plans if you were going to use the plan for college.

        • Minnie Beebe :

          Not sure what you’re referring to, but I’ll chime in– we have changed our 529 contributions, since DS is in private school, and we can now use 529 funds to pay for that. We contributed to his 529 for 2017 to the max allowable for state tax deduction purposes, and will use it to pay for private school tuition if it grows. If not, we’ll likely leave it there until it does grow.

          Grandparents have contributed a TON of $$ to a 529 for him in their home state, and have stated that they hope to be able to cover DS’s college tuition with that. We are extremely lucky in that regard, and haven’t contributed much to our state 529 plan as a result– we don’t want to over-fund it. But now that we can use 529 for elementary/HS tuition, we’re doing what seems like the right thing from a tax perspective.

      • Anonymous :

        The changes to 529 plans don’t really affect me – I think the big one is that you can use them to pay for private K-12 education, including religious schools. But our kid goes to public school and we’re not going to change that just because of the changes to the tax bill. So we’re still saving away in our 529 for college.

        • Anonymous :

          Wow…. I forgot about that little gift to the wealthy. Really…. tax free monies to pay for private K-12. Really awful.

          • Minnie Beebe :

            It’s not tax-free. 529 Contributions are post-tax contributions, though earnings are tax-free. You do get to take a deduction on your state income taxes (assuming you’re enrolled in a 529 in your state of residence.) Not saying it’s not a gift, but it’s not as huge as some make it out to be.

    • My son will be starting kindergarten next year. We have 30k in a 529. We plan to up our monthly contributions in this year with the goal of saving enough to pay for a 4-year public university. I currently work at an excellent private liberal arts college that offers courtesy scholarships for dependents. If I’m still working here and he can get in here and chooses to attend, then we would give him the remaining money for a first down payment.

    • College savings :

      This is all really helpful. We have 3- newborn, 2, and 4. They’ll be 2 years apart in school so we’ll have 6 years of double college tuition if everyone goes and goes on time!

      We are planning on saving for tuition room & board for 4 years at a state school. We believe but haven’t been officially told that DH’s parents (who are 76 and 82) plan to give the kids money for school, either by gift or through inheritance. They are affluent and often generous but it’s typically “surprise! We’re paying for (this thing you’ve already budgeted for)” vs any kind of planned giving. So we’re a little hesitant to squirrel too much away in 529s, but also don’t want to presume we have money for college we don’t. So we’re thinking of saving for state, then if the grandparents want to pay, they can pay the difference and/or for part of grad school if applicable and/or for some future investment like a down payment. I believe we have $22k across the accounts now, but as the kids get older and out of childcare, we’ll divert the $40k/year we spend on that to additional college savings, either in pure savings or a 529.

  29. Anon for this :

    Philadelphia legal recruiter recommendations? I’m a transactional lawyer.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Tali Perlman CN legal search. The only recruiter who didn’t try to sell me on lateralling and actually listened when I said I was only interested in in-house jobs.

  30. Ugh I think my favorite foundation/ bb creme has been discontinued. Diorskin Nude BB Cream in Light.

    Some stores list it but are “out of stock” so i was wondering why the shortage. I went to the dior site and it’s not on there. Does that mean it’s discontinued?

    • NOOOOO this is my favorite BB cream ever!!!

    • Anonymous :

      First Dior discontinued my favorite BB cream (I liked the DiorSnow BB)… I just found out they discontinued the foundation I switched to. There is no obvious replacement.

      So frustrated!

  31. Renter’s Insurance Question: we rent an apartment, but also rent a storage unit in our apartment building that is located on the same floor as our apartment, but down the hallway. Does anyone know if a standard renter’s insurance policy would cover the stuff in the storage unit if something were to happen? Would it also cover a bicycle left in the garage?

    • Ask your insurer. When I had renters through USAA, my policy covered off-site storage units (at a commercial site).

    • Anonymous :

      I was specifically asked whether I had off-site storage when I purchased my policy. you should ask your insurer.

    • Anonymous :

      Second ask your insurer, but for anecdata, our renter’s covers belongings generally. My husband was robbed in the street, and our renter’s insurance reimbursed us the value of jewelry and cell phone.

    • Full of ideas :

      Would need to be included as part of the dealing description, so if your policy covers Apt. 4 and says nothing about Storage room 4b you’d be SOL. Check with insurer and read policy definition of dwelling or insured address.

  32. wide width snow boots :

    Any ideas for where to find wide width snow boots? Looking for Sorels or any kind of similar winter boots (North Face, Merrell, Blondo etc). Zappos and Amazon have bascially nothing but New Balance. Bonus points if they have half sizes.

    • Anonymous :

      I have 9.5 Wide Totes brand snowboots from Amazon. I also have a pair of WW Bean Boots, insulated, but they’re more for rain.

    • Belle Boyd :

      Give Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Field & Stream, or Dick’s Sporting Goods a try. LL Bean may have something similar to what you are looking for, too. Good luck! I wear a small size and narrow width, and finding snow boots (good, warm, functional snow boots) is a royal PITA!

    • Land’s End has at least some styles (like the all weather boot) that come in wide widths, including in half sizes

    • Anonymous :

      Try Keen – the may not come in wide, but they all have wide toes. I think Merrells and Timberlands come in wides. I might try an outdoor store like REI, lots of hiking boots come in wides and insulated waterproof hiking boots are basically snow boots.

  33. Paging Senior Attorney :

    Senior Attorney, thank you for your recommendation about therapists in West Hartford a few months ago. I posted on behalf of a friend who is in a difficult relationship and needs professional help sorting out her options. My ability to give my friend concrete recommendations from this site helped her take the next step, and she is working things through. I’m very grateful seeing her get help. Thank you.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Hooray! So happy to see this and so kind of your report back! I will pass this along to my therapist friend!

      Hugs to you and your friend!

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