Thursday’s Workwear Report: Classic Blazer

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

This is a great blazer by Treasure & Bond — I like the burgundy color and the sort of jacquard pattern, as well as the contrast lining (which is a delicate floral). Like yesterday’s sheath dress, this is a good thing to dress up or dress down at the holidays, and the price doesn’t hurt either: It’s $89 at Nordstrom. (By the way, when you buy Treasure & Bond at Nordstrom, 2.5% goes to youth charities.) Classic Blazer

Here’s an option in plus sizes (and three other size ranges) at Talbots.

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  1. Anonymous :

    This is, to me, an example of someone thinking “oh, this jacket doesn’t go with anything; I know, I’ll throw it on with jeans.” Reminder to self: if “it goes with jeans” is all I can think of, just leave it in the store. It won’t really work with jeans and really won’t work with much else. OK if you need a C- look in a pinch.

  2. Looking for unique and useful holiday gift ideas for my coworkers that cost about $2 or so each. I want to try to avoid sugary food items. All of my coworkers happen to be female.

    • I would rather get nothing than get a $2 gift.

      • +1

        The only remotely “useful” thing I can think of in that price range is mini bottles of each one’s favorite liquor + a small can/bottle of associated mixer…

      • Anonymous :

        Yes. Just skip it!

      • Yep. Anything of that nature is really a meaningless throwaway that means $2 per person to you and nothing to them. Kind words are worth more.

    • Anonymous :

      $2 or $20?

    • Puddlejumper :

      This Squeeze-a-Bean Soybean Stress Relieving Keychain Mobile Chain Fidget? You can buy them in sets of 3 or 5. It costs 2 bucks and maybe you can come up with a witty holiday pun about Peas on Earth.

    • Puddlejumper :

      Its a know your office thing. But maybe a goofy animal face mask with a little label that says “Have a relaxing vacation!”

    • Puddlejumper :

      If you message the London Tea Club they can send you a custom order of little vials of tea for you to give out. Its packaged beautifully and they don’t cost very much. Shipping is either from California despite the name.

    • Are you at all crafty? If so you can buy plain white coffee mugs and write a funny saying or quote on them with a special ceramic pen. After you write on the mugs you bake them and the pen is permanent. It would be close to $2 a pop, especially if you could find the mugs at the dollar store.



      • Never too many shoes... :

        Please do not do this. Your co-workers really don’t want a dollar store mug that you wrote on but may feel like they have to keep it around for your feelings.

        Just pool all the $ and bring in bagels or a fruit plate if you do not want to do sugary baked goods.

        • KateMiddletown :

          +1 Make some yummy nuts from Ina Garten (the nuts cost more than cookie ingredients but so worth having something different to snack on during the holidays.)

        • I guess this is a know your office thing. This was wildly successful after the end of a big case a couple of years ago. The person who did it wrote inside jokes from the case and the mugs got stashed with all the other “trophies” lawyers keep from big cases. The person also had really great lettering abilities so they almost looked professionally done.

          • After a particularly tough project, a co-worker did this for a close group of us. One the bottom of each cup was a middle finger, and we all still use the mugs and “tip” them up to each other at funny moments.

          • This sounds fun! Making mugs with inside jokes from the office is a great idea!

            (Making mugs with something cheesy like a Pinterest inspiration quote? Not so much.)

            I have sooo many inside jokes I could write on mugs…

          • Never too many shoes... :

            In fairness, I think that is totally different since it related to a shared experience and the person knew they would like them. The OP is talking about coworkers on whom she does not want to spend more than $2…I don’t think they are very close.

          • Never too many shoes — fair point. I hadn’t thought of it like that.

      • Please don’t do this for co-workers!

        But I LOVE this idea for kids writing ‘grandma’ and ‘grandpa’ mugs for when my parents visit.

      • Anonymous :

        I had custom mugs made for my colleagues with “OKAYEST LAWYER EVER” and their names on them. They will go over well in my office, but I got them mainly because I have to stop myself from laughing out loud every time I even think about them.

    • Calibrachoa :

      Pretty nail files? Something like this or this?

    • Chapstick like Burt’s Bees

    • Darn…I was going to say a Hershey Bar

    • Sheet masks?

    • A little succulent. Maybe more like $3 though…

    • lottery tickets

    • Anonymous :

      Can you just bring in bagels one day and send an email saying “happy holidays! I brought in bagels today and they’re in the breakroom!”

    • burts bees chapstick, scratchoff lottery tickets in cards with a candy cane attached to be festive, a succulent, buy fruit salad/granola/yogurt breakfast for the breakroom.

      Stock the work fridge with some sparkling water and iced tea, and get some chip veggie and hummus have a snack party.

    • Auntiecam :

      I usually take some gifts when I visit our HQs to give out to the people who support me: HR, Marketing, recruiters, etc. Some good ones in that price range are: The trader joe’s chocolate bars ($2) each, and small bags of local coffee (I live in Texas, so HEB has “special blends” for all the major cities.) I usually spice them up with some ribbon and a stamped card. Something like that could work.

    • Anonymous :

      Last year as a little “extra” on top of all my gifts i ties keychain iPhone chargers – they make microusb ones too!

  3. Anonymous :

    Office clothes –ha!

    For week 2, I am tag-teaming with DH being home with a sick kid (who tag-teamed getting sick). I am providing child care so bad that I wouldn’t pay for it (looking at work computer, consumed with falling behind, while kiddo eats chicken nuggets, drinks sprite from a sippy, and watched TV 24/7). And I’m doing a crappy job keeping up with BigLaw. I think my sweats have something mysterious encrusted on them but I don’t even care.

    I hate doing a bad job at being a mom. I hate doing a bad job at work. I hate that it doesn’t end. I hate that expectations are so unrealistic. [And my DH is feeling the same way and his industry is more face-time and meeting-centric than BigLaw, plus even more people have SAHWs, so he is an outlier the way I am. No bueno.]

    I hate that someone on my team is pregnant and I’m usually all “you can do it” but on days like this I just think we all ought to be able to just figure out a way we can be staffed like hospitals where you can work per diem or just nights or 50% and then we just hire more people who aren’t feeling like they are redlining all the time. I hate quarter-ends and short months with holidays.

    I hope I make it to January.

    • Oh man, I’ve so been there, and 100% relate to everything you’re feeling. I hope it helps to hear this, because it’s true: You’re being a great mom, and a great human being. Because sometimes, being a great mom means “keeping everyone alive and life somewhat intact through a sh*tty period”. And that’s what you’re doing – digging in, grinding through, and when you’ll come out on the other side, you’ll be able to slowly put the pieces back together. We’re all human and imperfect, and sometimes just getting through the week is a miracle. Plus, let me reframe this from your kid’s perspective: in 20 years, they will remember these two weeks as magical. Mom/Dad were home with them. All the rules were relaxed and they got to eat their favorite treats and watch TV, which made being sick so much easier. They felt cared for, and loved. You can do it, and I’ll be silently cheering for you from afar all week.

      • Anonymous :


        I wish the work world was more forgiving. I think the world sees us as the worker bees (all female, by the way). Nothing in this world to do except for serving the queen. Like we’re robots or something.

      • Anonymous :

        This is beautiful. Thank you.

      • The last part you wrote is so true. My daughter is now 17. When she was 5 I remember trying to study for finals in law school. My child care plans fell through and so I was studying at home, with her in my room watching TV and writing on her little notebooks pretending to study too, curled up in a little nest she made in a laundry basket with blankets, eating some kind of junk food. I felt so bad and like such a failure. But now she talks so fondly about that time when she got to stay with my while “we” studied and she played in the laundry basket. I had all this guilt for nothing!

      • This is so true. I’m finally coming out of a super hard season where things were off and felt terrible for like 2 months straight. The same thing is true for my husband — both of our busy seasons coincide and when it happens, it’s not pretty. Lots of just getting by, and all household systems fall apart to some extent.

        I’m finally at the point of acceptance. Or maybe it’s just resignation, but whatever. It doesn’t make us lesser parents, and we always eventually get back on track. Our kids are still save, loved and cared for, and yours are too.

        It’s tough, and I really wish things felt easier for all of us.

    • Anonymous :

      You are not a bad mother. I had a stay-at-home mom and when I was sick I sat on the sofa watching tv and sipping sodas all day. And she would leave for Jazzercise class. I was fine, your kids are fine.

    • You’re not a bad mom. Eating chicken nuggets, drinking sprite and watching tv are exactly what being home sick is about.

      You’re sounding like kind of a bad friend to yourself though. Take a shower, do a little pampering (a mask? A mani?) and put on nice clothes. I always feel like crap and a loser when I work from home and I’m still in my pjs with bad breath and bedhead at 2:00.

      • Laughing at the bad breath and bedhead at 2pm. I went home for a rare lunch break (we had left over Tiki Marsala in the fridge–worth going back for!!!) and crashed my husband’s work from home day. I found him slumped in his chair, still in his pjs, eating chips and queso and staring at his laptop. He had his earbuds in listening to a conference call, and I scared THE CRAP out of him when I appeared in the doorway.

    • When a kid is sick, all rules fly out the window. Our lil man had a fever that would not break and spent about a week in pajamas, eating cereal and popsicles and watching Paw Patrol. Don’t be tough on yourself.

      • Yeah, all home rules go out the window.

        Unfortunately, work doesn’t. BigLaw is a brutal beast. I think if I were in a car crash and in a body cast but had use of my hands, they’d be all “you don’t need to go to rehab or take pain meds, just work from your bed for a season and use a catheter so you don’t waste so much time needing help to get back and forth to the bathroom (totally shocked that that hasn’t been proposed already actually)”.

        Like I’d get any slack at work if I were actually in a coma.

        I am having teaching / nursing profession envy at the moment right now. I’d take like a 50% pay cut to have A) hard stops at the end of work hours (or even the concept of work hours) and b) some ability to actually take a sick day and not a still try to keep up with 100% utilization while at home with sick kid day.

        I have no local family. I am not sure what sort of “help” helps me — sick kids are during the day, so after school / sitter / nanny wouldn’t have been scheduled now. The SAHMs with babies don’t want your streppy kid at their house getting their kids sick.

        My kids aren’t all that old (elemenary school) and I am the SENIORMOST working woman with kids where I work (in terms of straight seniority and also oldest kids; everyone else also has either a SAHH or local family).


        • BigLaw is so crazy.

          The business model is based on people @ or over 100% of some crazy goal. That system has no play in it.

          If someone on our team got into a car crash, they would literally have to work unless they died b/c we can’t pick up the slack b/c everyone is overextended already.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Oh, man. When my son was about 3 years old I vividly, vividly remember driving to work down the 110 freeway, looking at DTLA and fantasizing about being in a car crash so at least I could maybe, MAYBE get a tiny bit of rest.

        • I’m not in big law but am a litigator and it has been tough. When lil man is sick, we cobble together me staying home, husband staying home, babysitters, teleworking, etc. Fortunately we have some good judges who have allowed me to appear by phone for short hearings.

    • You are not a bad mom. Our society is NOT set up to support two working parents, much less two working parents with demanding jobs, and not having local family only makes it harder. Give yourself a hug break – you are killing it – is your child cared for? loved? taken care of? Then you’re a good mom.
      I truly, truly hope we’re at an inflection point in our society, because really, 2 working parent households are the norm. Moms and dads are set up to fail by society in nearly every way unless you can throw a boatload of money or family at things.
      All of that is to say, you rock, I am SO sorry you are feeling like this, and I think your whole family deserves a night of delivery pizza, tv, and couch snuggles.

      • Boston Legal Eagle :

        Yes, this. We are set up to fail so no wonder we feel like failures when we can’t give 100% to work and also have time for families. It’s literally impossible. I will echo everyone – you are killing it as a mom and worker. The fact that you are the senior most woman with kids says so much. The fact that you made it this far in a society that does everything it can to prevent this is amazing. I give you permission to quit your jobs and find something better. I don’t know about nursing but I’ve heard from teachers that teaching can also be all-consuming, just for much lower pay. Not saying it’s not a better option, but just throwing that out there.

    • Oh my god this is so me this week! My little one has had a fever that refuses to quit. I worked from home Monday and Wednesday and felt like I was failing on both the home front and the work front. My husband’s job is more hands on so it is a lot to ask him to stay home (although he has taken Tuesday and today). It is a struggle. And today I’m in the office half asleep because he woke up crying in the middle night and would only calm down if snuggled up to me (wouldn’t even let me turn over). And I had a 7 a.m. call. And now I’m brain dead. Ughh.

    • Echoing that you are not a bad mom, for all the reasons above. Also, I provide childcare that I would not pay for pretty much anytime there’s a break from daycare. I find comfort in the balance–I actually do pay (a lot) for great childcare most days. When my kid is home sick or on vacation, I’m OK with the rules being relaxed precisely because he doesn’t get this all the time. I second the comments above–I fondly remember the days I got to stay home sick as days for curling up on the sofa and watching tv all day. I also fondly remember vacations at my grandparents’ house where my grandfather bought ALL the junk food before I arrived, I had treats all day, and I spent hours watching TV in the guest bedroom/playroom (as well as playing Uno with my grandmother and playing in the tree house and on the swing set, but there was definitely more TV than I was allowed to watch at home, and I could have it on while I fell asleep).

    • Oh, man. I’ve been there and it’s really, really hard. Big hugs to you.

      But I also want to say, do not feel guilty for one seconds about the “quality” of child care you are providing. The kid is sick. Remember being sick as a kid? The last thing you want to do is sing songs and do craft projects and engage in “quality time.” You just want to lay on the couch and watch TV. Your kid is home. He/she is with you and your husband, and you two are providing warm and compassionate care. In our house, rules about screen time and activities go out the window when the kid is sick. There will be plenty of time for the rules to be in place when he/she is better. Cut yourself some slack, mama. :-)

    • You are doing a great job trying to do the near-impossible! I absolve you of all guilt in this situation. Maybe it will help you a little to focus on the fact that this time in your life is only for a season. My daughter is now 15 and doesn’t need me to stay home with her anymore. I miss those days when she was little even though it was so hard to balance everything. I think if I had to do it all over again, I would have thrown more money at hiring help for everything, knowing that the “spending season” wouldn’t last forever: nanny, cleaning lady, housekeeper (someone to run errands, cook), lawn care, dog walker – you name it. I think that extra support would have gone a long way towards saving my sanity and making me less grumpy at home all the time.

  4. TorontoNewbie :

    First year (Canadian) BigLaw. What’s the appropriate amount to gift my assistant? Am I supposed to do anything for another lawyer’s assistant who did a lot of work with me on a large file?

    • This varies firm by firm — do you have a trusted senior associate or two that you could ask?

      At my US firm, gifts started at about $100 cash, and moved up to $250 or so as a senior associate (some firms escalate higher, $100 per class year, but none of my friends were at those type of places). For the assistants of partners I worked with a LOT, I got them small appreciative gifts — like a $10 Starbucks card.

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      I’m a 5th year Canadian biglaw. Do you share your assistant with other associates or younger partners? See if you can go in with them. We would frequently do like a $250 gift card between the three of us associates with the older ones pitching in more. Otherwise if you’re a first year, she’s only been your assistant for a few months? No more than $100 cash or GC. $50 and something (nice flowers, wine, nice chocolate) would also be very acceptable for a 2017 call first year. If you’ve been there more than a full year, $100 cash or GC.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I would say $100 for your own assistant. If you think you might be doing more work for that partner, I would definitely get that assistant something as well (you can never have too many assistants on your side) or you could take both assistants out to lunch somewhere swanky and then just buy your assistant a gift separately.

      Since you are in Toronto, I took my assistant to The Chase last year (downstairs) and she is still talking about the shellfish platter.

      • This. At least $100 if you’re TO biglaw. I do $40 + flowers for my assistant who I barely get to use because I share her with 8 other lawyers (small Cdn govt). All 8 do approx the same.

  5. Puddlejumper :

    Anyone following the “Its a Real Mother” podcast series by Longest Shortest Time? Would love to hear some moms thoughts on it.

    • Me. I listened to the first installment on a 5:30 am flight to a conference where I was presenting, that I didn’t want to go to, after waking my infant up to nurse her before I left for the airport. I’ve always enjoyed the podcast, but it really spoke to me that morning. It is so, so hard being a working mom sometimes. Even when you feel like you’ve got it together, as the Governor discussed in that first episode, all it takes is a comment by someone about how you’re short-changing it all, not giving enough to anything, to topple your confidence down and make you question everything. I almost feel like it should be required listening for everyone – men included – about just how messed up our society is.

  6. Morning RAGE :

    Apologies for the immediate rage this morning. . .

    Last week I had my exit interview in which HR told me I would receive my significant bonus for FY17, which ended on September 30th. I found out this morning at my (final) annual review that I would NOT receive it unless I was here on the payout date 12/1. I was to start my job Monday. My boss and grandboss found this out yesterday. They fought it and ran it up the chain, especially considering my crap coworker who gave one weeks’ notice and for whom I have cleaned up after for the last year received his even though he was not employed on payout date.

    Because it is a significant amount of money, I emailed my new boss explaining exactly what happened and the dollar amount and asked if my start date could be pushed out. I apologized, told him I appreciated the bad spot this put him and team in, and noted that I would completely understand if they could not be flexible. Overkill perhaps, but I wanted him to know that I wasn’t trying to push it for no good reason. Thank goodness, they agreed to push my start date back and I have it in writing from HR at my current company that with my revised end date I will receive my bonus.

    Not only that, but my boss and grandboss approved my annual review rating at the highest possible ranking which was then downgraded by people who don’t work with me in the C-suite to avoid having to give me a better raise (which won’t matter anyway since I am leaving, but still). They downgraded 80% of the business unit without a substantive performance reason to do so. Infuriating. They wonder why they have had 5 really, really excellent high-level employees leave in the last two months.

    UUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH. My boss and grandboss are the best, but I am so so ready to be done with the corporate BS and lack of support from upper management that we get here.

    • Anonymous :

      Uhhh you’re really lucky to be getting a bonus at all since you quit. Calm yourself.

      • I hate this groveling stance towards employers from the 9:25AM comment. She’s right to be annoyed. I’m glad it worked out for you, OP, even if it was a hassle.

      • Morning RAGE :

        Except the bonus is calculated entirely on the FY and only the FY, which I worked the entirety of and which my performance contributed to.

        • Morning RAGE :

          And to add, last year they paid out even when you weren’t here on the day of the payout, so when you have someone in HR telling you that you are getting it when they know full well what your resignation date is, I think its reasonable to be annoyed that at the last minute you are told you won’t. Not to mention that my bonus had been approved and figured in to all of the budget numbers so get off the whoa is me giant corporation bandwagon. The shareholders are doing just fine.

          If I ran a company, I would pay my employees who worked the time period on which the bonus is calculated because it’s a bonus for their performance therein and also because it’s the right thing to do for employees who are hard workers and who have excellent reviews.

        • Anonymous :

          You quit. And you’re getting the bonus. Requiring you to be employed on the date bonuses are paid out is completely normal.

          • Morning RAGE :

            It wasn’t normal or required last year.

            I am still allowed to think it’s absurd and rage about it even if you think I am an idiot. God bless the internet where anyone can be a dip$hit, amiright????

          • Anonymous :

            Enjoy your rage about life

          • Morning RAGE :

            Thank you so much! My life is pretty sweet. I quite enjoy it!

          • Anon Employment Lawyer :

            It’s not normal. In my state, unless you have a written agreement specifically saying that you have to be employed on the date of payout to receive the bonus, the bonus is due and owing. There is tons of case law on it. A bonus is a wage and a wage that is due unless the compensation plan explicitly states otherwise.

          • Anonymous :

            And in many states that is not the law at all.

          • They TOLD her that she would get the bonus given her quit date at her exit interview. They need to stick to that promise – it’s still OK to expect people to keep their word. Case law isn’t the point here – she was lied to, and even though we may sometimes forget in the Trump age, it’s normal to be angry when someone lies to you, especially with a serious financial consequence.

          • Employers not doing what they say they’re going to do is more than enough reason to be annoyed. Hell, a pattern of it is more than enough reason to go find another job. Congrats on your new gig OP and I’m glad you were able to get your bonus. I hope the new employer’s willingness to work with you on your start date is a good omen that you’ve landed with a reasonable bunch.

      • I hate when people jump in to tell you that your feelings are not valid. On an anonymous comment board. She’s venting. People do that from time to time. HOW DARE YOU FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL MORNINGRAGE. Let’s all settle her hash to feel better about ourselves.

    • I would be infuriated to. Good for you (and your boss, and grandboss) for fighting this. I’m at a similar spot in an org that SO unperpays its internal hires vs. outside hires that is is almost obscene. We lose a TON of talent over it – good on you for moving up and out!

      • Morning RAGE :

        How frustrating!! I found out several months ago that the pay differential in the initial offer amount between me and my former male colleague was almost $40k. I had 7 years of experience in our job field and he had none. I negotiated up on my starting salary and got a good raise after a year and a half, but as of now am still paid less. That infuriates me too.

    • You are OK :

      So you are unhappy at your workplace and found another job. But still want the bonus and then got everyone to jump through hoops at current and future firm so you could get said bonus and then leave at YE?

      Glad it worked well for you but stop with the complaining and your entitled behavior. You may be an excellent hire but this is rant coming off as very tone deaf to me.

      • Anon Employment Lawyer :

        Your push back about a person receiving their compensation due is sounding tone deaf or ignorant of the law to me.

        • Your confidence the laws are the same everywhere is making you sound ignorant

        • Compensation due? Seriously? No. Salaries are compensation due. Unless expressly outline, bonuses are not “due” to anyone. Bonuses are incentive pay for a lot of places, and also a function of past performance – hardly exclusively one or the other.

          • That is so not true. At many, many firms, bases are lower and bonuses are used as part of standard pay that can vary from 50% of target to 150% of target depending on individual, team and company performance. Sorry, your employer is not your benevolent grandpa – you earn your bonus and you deserve to be paid it if you have worked all year for it.

            It’s remarkably regressive to paint this woman as entitled for wanting money she earned and was promised. I sincerely doubt anyone would jump to the same conclusion if OP were a man in the same situation.

          • I’m not in law, and I haven’t seen OP indicate she is either so please consider that it might actually be different. In my “big finance” world – every company I’ve worked for and every job I’ve interviewed for – it’s for SURE part incentive and a strategy for retention. Certainty it’s partially a reflection of past work, but if anyone gives notice, like OP, my company can 110% fall back on the fact that it’s incentive pay and not owed to you whatsoever. That’s why people don’t quit before bonuses are paid out; there’s an exodus somewhere around Feb/March.

      • Morning RAGE :

        I extended my stay for two weeks which is two months past YE. Three managerial levels above me thanked me for this as it will assist in the transition. My new boss told me I was “very welcome!” when I thanked him profusely for being accommodating. I said I would understand if they could not accommodate me and life would have gone on.

        I love that we are conditioned to not be rewarded for our hard work. If I was asking for a bonus on work I did not do, I would absolutely have no issues.

        • I don’t get the number of commenters questioning your right to be upset. You worked hard for the full year and were promised a bonus based on your work in the fiscal year, which ended before you quit. You were told you’d receive the bonus when they knew your end date. Then they changed the rules on you. I would also be livid and I’m really glad it worked out for you.

    • I get not wanting to stay for another two weeks when you thought you’d get out of there now. And I get why you’re frustrated with HR for changjng their story about needing to be there on the payout date.

      I worked for a f50 that had a similar bonus rule. Our payout was just after the start of the second quarter and we had huge rounds of resignations every year immediately after the payout date. This is pretty standard, I think – live and learn.

      In the long run two weeks are the blink of an eye. Hang in there.

      I don’t understand everyone jumping on you for wanting to be paid money you earned. It happens around here sometimes. One person starts sort of a trend and then everyone jumps on it. That’s why i don’t use a recurring handle anymore. It’s unfortunate. Sorry it happened to you.

      • Morning RAGE :

        It’s okay, I’ll probably live another day ;) Good for me, not for them, right?

        I appreciate your kind words and yes, live and learn!

        I love my boss and grandboss, so I am happy to stay and help them out in the background. I was most concerned with my appearance at my new employer by asking and I am sure that if I worked for some of the posters above they would be telling everyone how entitled I am. Even if my new employer thinks that despite the indication to the contrary, I know that I will work hard for them and be a good employee so if that’s the case, over time they will see that I am dedicated to my employment there.

        Thank you all for letting me vent, even the people who have assigned me entitled status. Regardless of the opinions of disagreement here, I still value this community.

        Now off to do some work. I hope everyone, yes everyone, has a wonderful day!

    • Have never heard the term “grandboss” but love it!

  7. Legging tops for tall ladies :

    I’m in the bloated and uncomfy stage of pregnancy and don’t want to wear my jeans anymore. I’ve got a few pairs of leggings that work but don’t have any tops. Need something that is long enough to hit mid-butt at the highest, and I’m tall and long waisted. Any suggestions?

    Also, I need some scarves to wear with these tops because otherwise it just feels schlubby. Any cute ones you’ve gotten recently?

    Can be super casual, it’s for WFH days and weekends around town. I’m on my 3rd kid and have a bunch of maternity clothes but I hate them all and want them avoid for a bit longer since I’m still in the “look fat and bloaty” phase.

    • J. Jill tunics and size up? They have both tunics and the kinds of scarves you are looking for.

    • Old navy has a bunch of very loose cute tops and lots of tall options. Everything is either 40 or 50% off (with their store card). I also just ordered a cute plaid scarf from JCrew Factory (can’t comment on quality yet) and I’ve always had good luck with H&M for fun, inexpensive scarves.

      • This is the scarf I ordered:

        Also – as someone in a similar boat vis a vis clothes right now, I feel my best in leggings + long maternity tank/tee + long open cardigan (knee length mostly). Add a scarf and motorcycle boots and it feels purposeful enough to leave the house.

        • Legging tops for tall ladies :

          I live in the bitter north where I already need a jacket, which seems to make this otherwise default look seem awkward. Ideas?

          • Warmer boots, warmer scarf (I have a really wide cashmere one that is super toasty on the coldest days), a cute hat and a warm coat. With my last pregnancy I found that if I wore the warm scarf and a hat, kept my feet and head warm, I didn’t really need to zip up. And a lot of my jackets looked fine open.

            You could also do a sweater dress/tunic. I’ve also been borrowing Mr. AIMS’s sweaters and like the look for lounging at home.

          • Long Thermoball parka from The North Face.

          • Anonattorney :

            Yeah, long parka seems like the answer to this one.

    • Anonymous :

      Look at Women’s perfect role tab sleeve tunic from Nordstroms. I bought this postpartum but I wish I had them in every color for my first/second trimester. I’m 5’8″ and it covers my butt but isn’t baggy and drapes nicely. It will be great for nursing too (if you plan to) with a nursing tank underneath.

    • What size are you? I’m near the end of my pregnancy and are looking to offload a lot of XL/XXL clothes.

    • Tall options:

      Old Navy
      JCPenney (they have surprisingly a lot of options–not top quality, but NBD if it’s just maternity wear)
      Land’s End
      J. Jill
      Long Tall Sally (also not great quality, but they cut for tall, long-waisted people)
      Boden (their tall tops are VERY long)
      Eddie Bauer

      • For functionality I actually recommend looking at dresses at REI or Royal Robbins ( Leggings are great but I miss the pockets. Many of the dresses at REI and Royal Robbin have large pockets.

        For fun scarves check out You can get tons of fun designs from artist

  8. Anonymous :

    Is anyone ever truly happy with their house? We bought a house 4 years ago and prioritized on being within a 15 minute drive to work, and keeping the costs reasonable. Our mortgage is less than 11% of net monthly income. However, we bought the house before kids. While it has many awesome qualities, I would make very different choices now that we have kids. Some of these things we can change, some we can’t. The house also needs a new kitchen. Which didn’t seem like a big renovation before kids, but now seems impossible. I keep fantasizing about moving. There is a house that would be about 1.5 the cost of our current house – but still only about 17% of our take home pay. It’s new construction, even closer to work, and in a very diverse area (good but also slightly higher crime rate). The elementary school for the new neighborhood is one of the worst in my town, where our currently zoned elementary is the best. I think the most prudent financial decision would be to stay put and suck it up. But I just want to live in an awesome house now. My current house could be awesome – once we basically put $200k of renovations in to it. Which basically brings us to the value of the current house I am coveting.

    • Stay put. You have more than one kid? Multiply private elementary school tuition X 12 and compare that to improving your current home!

    • Anonymous :

      That $200k investment in your current home is worth more, however, because of the good school district. That’s important now for you, and even more important when you sell the house. I’m sure you can come up with something that would allow you to do the renovations – even if it’s renting for 6 months. Yes, it will be a pain to move for 6 months, but worth it in the end. Just my 2 cents!

    • I don’t think I would move to a new house that was zoned for the worst school in town if I was currently in the best zone unless I was planning to send my kids to private school or home school them. You can change a lot about your current house but it’s unlikely you can fix the zoning for the new house. I would think that remodeling your current house to the same level as the new house would actually make it worth more than the new house since the school district is better.

      • Anonymous :


        At worst, you can easily move young kids into a furnished rental for a while while you do major remodeling. Still easier than trying to sell/move/deal with bad schools (I have two co-workers living in apartments with all their stuff packed up b/c their buy-sell-move scenario didn’t go as planned. They all have kids in school and pets.).

    • FWIW, we did a small kitchen reno for about $5,000 this spring. Just redid the counters and back-splash. It made an enormous difference. I only have one kid, the entire project took about a month from picking the slab of granite to everything being done, and it was stressful and chaotic at the time. But It was so so worth it. I’m happy every time I walk into my kitchen now. I”m not saying you shouldn’t move, but that there is a whole range of things you can do that don’t cost $200k.

      • +1 – it’s amazing what a light refresh can do – look at paint, light fixtures, even appliances, depending on your style a new fridge from the big chill retro line (the poor man’s SMEG) could make a world of difference without a touch of construction

        • Because I regularly go down this rabbit hole, here’s an article (one of thousands of you get into Houzz and Pinterest) on what you can do without construction

        • One more resource for the miracle of paint and fixtures –

    • Anonymous :

      Idk why you’re even thinking of a house as good for your life with kids when the schools are bad. Renovate your kitchen! Do it this summer. Grill a lot, vacation one week, eat pizza twice a week. You’ll be fine.

    • Anonymous :

      Why stay in a house you don’t like if you don’t have to?

    • Anonymous :

      On the flip side- Showing and selling a house and moving with kids isn’t hassle free either and takes some time. It may also require renovations to get the house ready to sell Can you do the work you want to do in pieces?

    • Anonymous :

      Your kids are it will be so much more disruptive to move into a furnished apartment and do the reno you need in the school district you have now. So do your RENO now. NOW!!!

      Kicking myself that I didn’t do this sooner.

      Fixing your house is easy; fixing your schools is hard.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Stay put or look at prices to buy a new place in your current neighborhood/school zone and see if it’s worth it.

    • Do the kitchen and stay put. 100% worth it.

      • Also when you’re doing your calculus, don’t forget that you will end up spending money customizing the new construction house.

    • Stay put and do your kitchen. The better school district is 100% worth it. What’s not working about your current kitchen? Layout? Are things just old and dated? You may be able to do upgrades in pieces (paint cabinets if they’re good quality but just dated for example).

    • Anonymous :

      I totally hear you on the desire for new construction. We bought our house 14 years ago when it was 14 years old and in the nicest, newest development in our chosen school zone. Since then, several lovely new subdivisions have gone in and everyone we know seems to have moved into a beautiful new home with huge closets and an awesome patio. Meanwhile, we have zero storage space, no laundry room or mud room where the dog my kid wants can have its crate, failing windows, and bathrooms and a kitchen in desperate need of renovation. The cost to renovate would be about equal to the cost of upgrading, but we probably would not recoup the cost of the reno when we are done with public school and move to the city. A newer house would appreciate more and be easier to resell. But my husband will hear nothing about either moving or renovating. I hate my house and resent the shabbiness on a daily basis. I can’t stand having people over. We both have good jobs and work hard and we are not getting any younger—why can’t we have a nice home to enjoy now?

      • New construction can be just awful though over time. Everything deteriorates eventually, and new stuff seems to break down faster than older things.

        OP is different — so close to work, great city schools. IMO those are not neighborhoods where you see tons of new construction and new developments.

        In my city, we see new affordable-ish construction of big fancy house-envy houses in ‘hoods that are very far out or close in but with awful schools.

      • YES…. ugh I sympathize. We currently live in a very fancy neighborhood and are in one of the last tear down homes. Which means – no renovation will ever be worth it, because someone will bulldoze our house when we sell it, which means that our house just gets shabbier and shabbier, and I am resenting it big time when I think about having guests over. My husband is open to moving and we are looking, but he is way more patient to find a perfect home than I am – which I know is for the best – but come on. We didn’t go though ten years combined of grad school to get these jobs and still have a house where my kid doesn’t have a usable backyard.

        Bleh. Just commiseration from someone else in the same situation!

        • Cut yourself some slack!

          In college, did you ever worry OMG my house isn’t fancy enough? My dorm and milk crates aren’t fancy enough? Hells no — I’ve got beer, y’all, come on over! And now: come on over to my old house with no closets where the floors are unlevel and the bathrooms remind you of flying coach. I’ve got beer in BOTTLES now!

        • Senior Attorney :

          We are in a similar situation and we have decided that even if our house is bulldozed when we sell, we still want it to be nice while we are living here. And the upside is we can do the upgrades we like without worrying about resale value!

      • Rainbow Hair :

        It makes me sad that you don’t want to invite people over. I have never judged a friend based on their mudroom or lack thereof. Or the whole condition of their house. Maybe if it was hoarders-style or deeply unsanitary I’d worry, but I assume people are making housing decisions that work for them, and I’m delighted to have time to be in their space … and drink their beer, as 11:47 says.

        If your friends are judgmental about your house, they aren’t very good friends — but I don’t think that’s the case. I think you’re projecting your worry/unhappiness onto them (a thing we all do!) unnecessarily. I bet if you had some friends over for drinks you’d feel better, really.

    • I agree that a renovation is really not that bad. Not great, but livable, and certainly livable if you can plan it for summer around vacations/good weather. And some small updates can be done in a weekend if you choose that route.

      Also – don’t forget that new construction can have its own issues. Sure, it might look nice but the quality isn’t always easy to discern on first glance. We moved into a very “original” condition place last year and I am very happy to have had the chance to pick all the materials for our kitchen/supervise the work. I have friends who moved into “new everything” houses that look cute but leak every time you shower.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Amen to this. You couldn’t pay me enough to move into new construction unless it was a truly custom house and I were on site every single day during the build.

    • anon a mouse :

      To answer your first question, rarely. I can think of exactly one friend who loves her house, but she gut-renovated it to her taste. She did not like many things about it when she first bought it.

      But to your other issue, renovate! You like your location, and it sounds like you can afford to do it. A housing payment of less than 20% of your net is terrific. Yes, it will suck to live through it, but don’t kid yourself that moving would be easy, and you’d be giving up the good schools. If you think you want to be in your location for the long term, invest in your space to solve some of your issues.

      What you are describing is not uncommon, but it’s also a big reason that people choose to renovate — they like their location, or enough about the house that they want to stay, but customize it to their needs.

    • I love my current house but I looked for it for years. It’s also in my dream school district so I’m never moving.

      But, I had to live in a house I hated while we hunted and my current beloved house still needs a kitchen reno. In both love house and hate house, painting out the old kitchen cabinets in white made a huge difference to how I felt about the kitchen. You can also put down a new linoleum floor very very inexpensively.

    • I think I agree with staying put. Turning your home into your dream home takes time. I’d recommend taking care of your biggest pain points now and keep an eye out for another house in your district.

    • my parents did a kitchen reno and we did not move out of the house. sure, we ate a lot more takeout during that time and it was dusty, but we got through it.

      • We did new countertops, appliances, painted the cabinets and the kitchen was unusable for weeks but it was during the Spring so we grilled a lot, microwaved things, ate takeout a lot. Lots of dust but we survived.

    • You can always change a house, but you can’t change its location. I would not even think about moving to a district where the schools are crappy.

    • Anonymous :

      Another strong vote for stay put. I made this exact mistake. Diversity is wonderful and vital to society. However there is no recovering from a bad school. When they eliminated my child’s honors English class because they had a more urgent need for an English as foreign language class and couldn’t afford both I understood at a high level but was still angry. We ended up going to a diverse private school where they both were in honors programs and they both got into great universities. Also the resale value on the house is not as good as the town a few miles away with great schools. With 20 years hindsight that house was the biggest mistake we’ve made. Do not be me!

  9. Better checking account :

    Canadian ‘rette looking for free checking options. The only one I’ve seen is Tangerine, any other options? Thanks in advance

    • TorontoNewbie :

      PC Financial is very similar to Tangerine.
      BMO, RBC, and TD all have chequing accounts where they waive the fees if you keep a certain balance.

    • Anonymous :

      Simplii financial which until recently was pc financial. Free checking, free e transfers, and free withdrawals from any cibc atm. I’m sure cibc will get rid of it eventually but great for now

    • Any reason you’re not interested in getting a fee-waived account through one of the big banks? TD gives you the really nice checking account with all the perks for free if you maintain a balance of $5k. That’s my solution to the problem.

      • Yeah I have similar – free chequing account with Scotiabank with a minimum $4,000 balance

  10. Veronica Mars :

    Has anyone been successful making gourmet ramen at home? My fiance loves ramen so I’m trying to add it into my winter soup rotation. I looked up some powdered Tonkotsu broths on Amazon and they have good reviews, but wanted to see if there’s a better/easier way than ordering it from Japan. Also, is it worth it finding the nicer noodles or can I get away with the blocks if I use the nicer broth and fresh toppings?

    • Puddlejumper :

      You are going to need to make a good bone broth. This could be done in an instant pot or on the stove. I know most good ramen places cook theirs on the stove top for like 20+ hours.

      Here is a good recipe for the soy sauce eggs.

      None of the recipes are hard…it just takes a lot of advance planning because all the stages take time.

    • We go to our local Asian food market for all that stuff – I think Lucky Peach has info on what brands are good and tips (like frozen noodles are better than fresh). My husband makes it for us, but I think he does a dashi broth made from tea and homemade stock, but the key is just going to the right store. (I realize there may not be such a store everywhere, but I think they’re relatively common.)

    • Anonymous :

      If you want to make gourmet ramen you need to make the broth from scratch and buy the good noodles.

    • You can also use a flavored Dashi which can be a good start. I like kayanoya dashi in regular and vegetable right now. It might seen spendy for a base but it is excellent and makes a huge difference.

    • Husband Loves Ramen too :

      Go to an Asian store, look in the freezer section and find the Sun brand of ramen noodles. They come with the base as well in several varieties (tonkotsu (pork), shoyu, miso). To that you can add the soy-marinated egg, fish cake, enoki mushrooms, green onions, etc and it will be better than 90% of what you could either make (making the broth takes a long time and some skill) or get at most non-Japanese owned ramen shops.

      Also get over to the ramen subreddit at reddit, you’ll get plenty of inspiration.

      Don’t use the standard blocks of ramen you get for .33 cents. In extreme cases, you can use the better quality ramen you can get at Asian stores (they run from .99 to 2.99 per package).

    • Veronica Mars :

      OK I’m amending my question–I will not make the broth from scratch. How can I make OK ramen at home? Will Asian stores have a starter?

      • Husband Loves Ramen too :

        see my reply right above. Also, be aware that ramen has a lot of calories (if that matters to you).

        • Veronica Mars :

          Thank you! This is the true level of effort I’m looking for. And thanks for the warning! I always think that since it’s broth-based it’s like other soups, but when you load it and add the noodles it does add up!

          • Baconpancakes :

            Also, keep in mind that a really good ramen broth should be so full of dissolved fat that when you let it cool, it jiggles.

            Soooo good.

          • That is gelatin, not fat. If OP is still here, using powdered collagen or gelatin is a great shortcut to bone broth flavor.

      • You can make perfectly tasty ramen at home. I am not always the biggest fan of Blue Apron but have always been pleasantly surprised by how good their ramen recipes turn out. You can google blue apron + ramen recipe for loads of options. Most ingredients aren’t hard to find and I know we have recreated one we really liked with minimal effort (can’t remember which but I think it called for beef demi glace). The key if you go the “shortcut” route is to not make it ahead of time.

  11. What banks offer free or low cost checking accounts. Canadian ‘rette looking for options….

  12. trying to be handy :

    Hi! This is the poster who has recently moved into a studio apartment by themselves post-breakup and is trying to be self-sufficient. I had a bookcase I was trying to squeeze into a tiny nook and several of you had wonderful suggestions for how to fix it. I ended up taking the side of one of the bookcases and drilling holes into the outside so there was a single middle board instead of two outer boards side-by-side. It worked out and I felt like super-woman wielding a power drill!

    There’s one tiny problem–for some reason, the bookshelf is only half in the nook. The bottom half fits but the top half is jutting out. The width of the bookshelf is the same throughout, so could this be the walls? I took a picture and will post it in the comments. Is this time to call a handy man or can I fix it? And a tremendous THANK YOU to everyone who helped in the first round of comments. I am so appreciative! Feeling independent and self-sufficient right now is a huge win for me.

    • trying to be handy :

      pics of shelf:

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Measure the space at the bottom and the top with a tape measure to see if the space is wider at the top than the bottom. Then measure the book case at the bottom and top to see if the bookcase is wider at the top. That will tell you where your problem is.

        • I have a door that is 36″ wide at the top. And 37″ wide at the bottom opening. Crazy old house that settled.

      • Oh that’s weird!

        It looks like the wall isn’t straight!

    • I️ don’t think you or a handy man can fix it. Did you measure the gap?

    • Its because your walls are not straight. Its common. If you cut the top two horizontal shelves down by 1/4 an inch (and possibly the middle shelves) it will probably fit. A handyman could do that.

      • +1 – I think you need to cut down the width a bit, the walls probably aren’t even. A handyman could this (I’d probably try taskrabbit if you don’t have one)

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I think just adding shelves built in style would be easier at this point then trying to get the bookcase to fit in there.

    • is it touching the back at the top? no right? so the problem is the side. It looks like the middle shelf is fitting so I would probably take the “top” and cut that down. no one will see it so its ok if it looks a little rough. the problem will be that then probably all your shelfs may be too big- but I would just get a saw and cut a little off the side of each one. (carefully)

    • Also, your bookshelf looks like its sitting on the baseboard, not on the floor, and the baseboard doesn’t have a flat top. That’s probably going to be an issue once you start putting stuff on it.

      If you can make the width narrow enough to fit inside the baseboard, and sit on the floor. It should also fit into the space at the top, even if the walls are a bit crooked, as seems to be the case.

  13. Shopping help :

    Shopping help! I’ve decided to start wearing leggings more to increase my comfort day to day. Can anyone recommend some basic tunic shirts and/or sweater dresses that will cover my butt? I’m looking for something a bit tailored in the waist and ideally all-cotton, at least for shirts. TIA!

    • I’d also like to start wearing leggings more. Can I piggyback on this to ask if anyone knows of a brand of basic black leggings that has pockets on the thighs that can hold a smartphone? I’ve seen this on athletic leggings before, but not on regular ones.

    • I’ve been living in two Lands End tops this winter: For work, Women’s Lofty Blend Cowl Neck Tunic Sweater. For the weekend, Women’s Active Sweatshirt Hooded Tunic.

    • I think someone on this site flagged a Free People cowl neck tunic from Costco recently, which I bought and can endorse for this purpose.

  14. daydreaming :

    Any advice on staying in the present moment? I find I’m distracted more and more lately–often drifting off and thinking about the future, the past, or things I need to do other than the thing happening now right in front of me that I should be paying attention to.

    I have a busy life both and home and work and when I’m trying to focus on one thing I remember like 3 other things and start to do them and spin my wheels. Things are falling through the cracks.

    I’ve tried meditating and I’m not sure I’m doing it right (if there’s a way to do it right)…

    • Have you tried writing down all the thoughts that pop into your head to deal with later? I find that is helpful so I don’t worry about forgetting them but I also don’t interrupt what I am currently working on.

    • I maintain multiple to-do lists for this reason. It gets the other tasks out of my brain and onto the paper where I don’t have to worry about forgetting them.

    • I’d stick with a small daily dose of meditation and just see what happens. I use Headspace and try to get 10 minutes a day. I don’t think there’s really a right or wrong way to do it, so don’t worry about doing it “right,” and just do it. I find it really helpful in being able to notice when I’m drifting off or losing focus, and just being aware of something is often half the battle.

    • I got this while browsing a bookstore for my kids, but ended up keeping it. :)

      Another book I read talked about noticing how your toes felt or how the air feels coming into your nostrils (weird, but…) , and taking an extra second to look at someone’s eyes when interacting with them.

  15. hair masque :

    Any recommendations for one to tame medium thickness slightly wavy to frizzy color treated hair? Any price point OK. Botanical scent vs perfumey scent preferred.

    • hair masque :

      I mean more herbal/spicy scents preferred not floral or perfumey. I’d describe a lot of Origins and Aveda things as botanical/herbal to floral, for reference.

      • I’ve had good look with good old VO5 hair oil. There used to be one in an herbal scent, not sure what the options are now.

      • I’m not sure if this is exactly what you’re looking for, but I swear by Olaplex Step 3 to smooth my color-treated hair. Shower, condition, apply to wet hair and leave in overnight. In the morning, shower, condition, and dry and style as usual. My hair ends up much smoother and shinier and less frizzy.

        • Anonymous :

          I just started doing this! I try to deep condition afterwards for a half hour as well. How often do you use it?

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Is olaplex worth the $? It seems like a miracle thing but… oof. My hair is starting to show the effects of the whole rainbow thing.

    • I recently bought the Kirkland Signature brand salon professional shampoo for color treated hair at Costco and LOVE IT. It’s in purple bottles with a big pump. $12 per bottle.

    • I swear by Matrix Total Results Pro Solutionist hair mask for damaged hair. It leaves my naturaly wavy damaged from chlorine, color treatments and dry air soft and well-nourished.

    • Keratin Express treatment? I have wavy/loose curl color-treated hair (color on top of old highlights) that was very fried and frizzy, and I recently got my new color followed by this treatment at the salon. Super easy, super fast. I came out of the salon with sleek, straight hair and when I washed it a couple days later, it went back to it’s same curl pattern. The major difference is that it’s not looking as fried, it’s easy to heat style, and it’s not frizzing back up during the day.

      It was $20 (my salon normally charges $50–it was a special so I gave it a shot) and it’s supposed to last for 6 weeks.

  16. I’m going to my in-laws’ for Thanksgiving and have been asked to bring breakfast-y baked goods. Anyone have a great muffin or breakfast bread recipe that I can make on Wednesday night and will still taste great on Friday morning?

    • Can you do something heated? The Kitchn ham and cheese breakfast casserole is so delicious and can make 1-2 days ahead and then cook. It’s a savory bread pudding.

    • I’ve made something like this before – you make it the night before stick it in the fridge and bake it in the morning. Tastes great warm or room temperature, and super easy to throw together.

    • Literally any muffin will be fine. I absolutely would not bring a casserole that needs to stay in the fridge and get baked.

      I’m partial to these:

      • I make these literally twice a month for kiddo’s breakfast (in muffin tins). It freezes beautifully and warms up nicely in the microwave if you want it melty inside. It is also healthier/moister if you sub in 4oz of applesauce for half of the butter:

    • I love these – I use a lot more cinnamon (because I like it), and I’ve used fresh or frozen fruit and added nuts. Very adaptable. You can also make the base and customize each individual muffin.

      The muffins can be made and frozen, then warmed in the microwave.

    • These are basically cupcakes, but they’re SO GOOD. I’ve done them in both muffin tins and loaf pans and they are amazing. They freeze really well too, but they’d be perfectly fine for two days.

      Agree with the 10:02 Anonymous that you cannot bring something to Thanksgiving that’s going to require fridge space.

    • Linda from HR :

      WHY YES!

      I have a recipe for cranberry-orange muffins from an old Yankee Candle cookbook:

      2 cups all-purpose flour
      2 tsp baking powder
      1/4 tsp salt
      1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
      1/3 cup orange juice
      2 tsp grated orange zest
      2/3 cup sugar, plus more for topping if desired
      2 large eggs
      1/2 cup milk
      1 cup frozen cranberries, thawed

      Preheat oven to 375

      Line muffin tin with liners

      In large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

      In smaller bowl, cream together butter, orange juice, orange zest, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly combined.

      Gradually fold dry ingredients into butter mixture, alternating with milk, until just combined. Fold in cranberries until just combined. Batter will be lumpy.

      Pour batter into muffin tins and sprinkle tops with sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 25 mins. Cool on pan rack.

      • I don’t bake, but cranberry+orange+muffin might be an exception.

        • Linda from HR :

          I’m hoping to have these ready in time to watch the Broadway performances during the parade. I’m excited for ALL OF THEM.

    • New to NoVA :

      Mary Berry’s apple cake:

      My husband and I made it a few weeks ago as a dessert, but once I tried it with coffee in the mornings and realized how perfectly it goes, I body-blocked him from eating any of the rest of it (he doesn’t drink coffee). So good! And easy enough that it was the very first “New to NoVA is learning to bake” recipe we tried!

    • In-House in Texas :

      I made some pecan pie muffins and they were so delicious! They really taste like pecan pie. Google the recipe and if you cant find it I can send it to you.

  17. Cookie source :

    Can someone remind me of the cookie company source for delivering Congratulations, Happy New Home, Thank you individually wrapped cookies? Thanks!

  18. agh my eye :

    My twitching eye is back (seems to always be the left one), and now it’s been twitching for over a week. I’m also getting some twitching in my left glute – no idea if that’s related. I have tried – using reading to relax instead of TV, drinking more water, eating bananas for the potassium, attempting to get more sleep (so far not great; was traveling for work and also have a 1 year old at home), drinking decaf. Any other tricks I can do to keep myself from going insane?

    • You just need more sleep. Keep trying!

    • try sleeping with a sleep mask on. I find that really helps me to get deeper and most restful sleep – basically improves quality when I can’t do a lot to increase the quantity of sleep. Also, avoid energy drinks. I’ve used red bull when I needed to stay up and coffee wasn’t cutting it but it always leaves an eye twitch afterwards. For the glute, try a hot bath before bed.

    • Katie Scarlett :

      I too had a twitching left eye. According to my ophthalmologist, my eyes were fatigued from staring at a computer screen (I’m in biglaw). I got a pair of computer glasses (slight magnification with anti-reflective lenses) and haven’t twitched since.

    • I used to get these from fatigue. My doctor confirmed–it’s fatigue. Find a way to get the sleep. Have DH or partner deal with 1 yo so you can get some rest. It’s super-annoying! I hope it goes away for you soon!

    • I’ve also heard eye dryness can cause eyelid twitching, and it makes sense this time of year with heating systems getting turned on.

      Saline eye drops are cheap and worth a try.

    • My eye twitches when I’m anxious. A moisturizing sheet mask that makes me sit still and relax for 20 minutes usually helps.

    • RatherBePainting :

      Try quinine – either soda with quinine added or you can get quinine tablets that dissolve under your tongue. This works for me, as long as I also address some stress and get some sleep!

    • Been there twitched that :

      Tonic water with real quinine helped me when I had this same problem. Give it a try!

    • agh my eye :

      Thank you! I am going to try all of these, with the emphasis on more (and better) sleep.

  19. Linda from HR :

    Could use some relationship/etiquette advice. My boyfriend’s been planning this huge trip for a long time, and last night at the airport there was an issue with his visa and now his departure is delayed until probably next week, and he’s super bummed. Not really sure what my role is here, or what the right thing to say to him is and I feel like I’m not being a great partner right now. I have to leave for my own trip for a family obligation this weekend so finding time to go over and keep him company might be tough.

  20. I’m 30. Married, no kids. Am I too old to put a lava lamp in my living room?

    • How you choose to decorate is about who you are and what you like — not your age or number of children.

    • Do it! They are hypnotizing!

    • Never too old to be awesome.

    • Pen and Pencil :

      No, lava lamps are awesome. Get a fancy one in a cool shape!

    • Never and if you have a cat, FYI – cats LOVE lava lamps.

    • Senior Attorney :

      No such thing as too old for a lava lamp!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I agree with everyone and also am dying to know more about your decorating aesthetic. I (am arguably ridiculous and) can imagine a few ways a lava lamp could work.

    • Metallica :

      Love a lava lamp—modern (again) but kitschy too! Maybe take my advice with a heap of salt though, because I’m planning on adding both a cuckoo clock and one of those retro black-and-white cat clocks to my kitchen this year…whenever anyone objects, I just glare at them and growl, “Oprah says to live your best life.”

  21. Fave Booze for Hot Chocolate :

    We are having a hot chocolate bar at this weekend’s Friendsgiving. What are your favorite booze additions to hot chocolate?

    I came up with mint schnapps and am having a hard time with brown liquors in it, but please tell me what else tastes good!

  22. Men's Watches :

    My husband finally feels ready for a “grown-up” watch. He’s beaten up a few Skagens and I want to get him something of better quality for Christmas this year. He bikes and kayaks so I’d like to find something durable and sporty, but nice-looking enough to wear at the office.

    What brands should I be looking at and how much should I plan to spend? What’s the difference between, say, a $250 or $800 or $2000 watch? Please help a watch novice!

    • Detroit Gal :

      Here in MI everyone goes crazy for Shinola watches. They were a bit out of my price range, so I got my husband a Filson watch instead, which he loves and wears every day.

      • +1 Shinola. They’re beautiful and expensive, President Obama got one when he came to Detroit. I definitely wouldn’t wear one biking or kayaking though…

    • Husband Loves Ramen too :

      Sounds like he actually needs two different watches, one for active wear (metal or synthetic strap) and one for the office (leather strap).

      • Men's Watches :

        Is a stainless steel strap not suitable for the office? He’s beaten up a few leather and rubber straps so a stainless steel strap was basically the only thing I was sure of.

        • Husband Loves Ramen too :

          technically, metal is a sport watch and leather goes with suits and professional dress (tuxedos don’t get a watch), but I know the line has been blurred for some time now

          • S in Chicago :

            I had never heard that. Is that true for women’s watches as well? When I’m choosing for myself, I always think of leather as more casual.

    • I think a Tag Heuer (sp?) is sporty enough for all those activities but nice enough for the office. My brother in law is active like your husband but also an exec and that’s what he wears.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Tag is expensive but so durable. Mine is 26 years old and has needed a few batteries and one $400 mechanism and that is it. I wore in constantly for about 15 years including through undergrad parties, law school and travelling. Worth every penny.

        I think in the modern world a stainless steel band will get you through almost any occasion.

      • Anonymous :

        I have had a lot of issues with the quality of my 5-year-old Tag. The battery died three months after purchase, and the only way to have the battery replaced without voiding the warranty was to have the jeweler ship it back to Tag. That took eight weeks and two trips to the store. Right after the warranty expired the movement died, which meant I had to ship it back to the manufacturer again and pay something like $275 for the replacement. Then the black paint in the numbers on the bezel started to peel. The jeweler will not touch it up, so if I want it fixed I have to send it back again and pay who knows how much. I love the look but my $300 Swiss Army watch from 15 years ago has lasted much better.

      • Men's Watches :

        I think Tag is out of my budget anyway… interesting to hear about the difference in quality over the course of 20+ years, though!

      • +1 to Tag. I have had mine for almost 20 years now and other than replacing the battery every three years or so and having to have a clasp repair after an encounter with a doorway, I have had no issues.

        Pricewise, you should know that I purchased it new in box with papers on eBay from a reputable seller for about 2/3 of retail. I confirmed authenticity with a local jeweler that carries them on receipt (and promptly bought a Tag for the then-fiance from the same seller). If you can figure out what you want, eBay is a good way to go with branded items of this type.

    • DH loves Hamilton. I find it best to let DH give me a list of coveted brands, I pick out ones I like and then he eliminates some etc etc. It prolongs the excitement a bit as well.

      I’ve also had good luck with some Macy’s watch department sales folks knowing their brands/watches etc. I was also told not to buy brands that are not specifically watch brands because of a lower quality of mechanics. e.g. a Coach watch v. a Tag

  23. Damn it, Al Franken :

    I know he came out of the comedy boys’ club, but I actually thought he was better than that. This is the first revelation of the current round that has surprised me at all.

    Sigh. Men suck.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yes, I just posted similar thoughts but it’s stuck in moderation.

      Men suck.

    • Anonymous :

      Franken is gross, but I really fear Republicans are going to investigate and remove him from office while Roy Moore gets elected and seated. There are definitely pigs of all political stripes, but Republican hypocrisy knows no bounds, especially right now, and I can’t imagine the things that could happen in the Senate with even one less Democratic vote.

      • I hear you, but I want to respectfully disagree. First, there wouldn’t be one less Democratic vote in the Senate without Al Franken – the Democratic governor of Minnesota would appoint a replacement. Second, as a Democrat, I think it’s even more important for our party to take a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment both because we supposedly stand for women’s equality and because, electorally, the party is nothing without women. I think that overlooking harassment under these circumstances would make us hypocritical.

    • I know. Et tu, Al Franken? Et tu?

    • To be fair, the picture is terrible but he doesn’t seem to be actually touching her. I respect him for calling for an ethics investigation on himself and for not blaming the victim. I’m reserving judgement unless and until others come forward. Weinstein had like 60 accusers. He’s only got the one right now.

      • Anonymous :

        Wait, WHAT? Only one is ok? No.

        I have met him several times and he was lecherous each time. I am not surprised.

    • Cornellian :

      Also angry, but his apology reads as an actual apology, which is refreshing.

    • Anon For This :

      When I shared my Me Too story, I mentioned that I occasionally look up the ex-boyfriend who r a p e d me in college and can’t match the middle-aged, happy, fatherly guy with the monster who left me cowering in my dorm room for months afterward. I wonder what his cute little girls would think of him if they ever knew. His wife of the past 12 years. Or his employer (he’s an analyst at a bank) or his coworkers, or his community.

      I said then that the men who have done these things to us (harassment, assault, r a p e) have to be living among us. They are our brothers. Our husbands. Our boyfriends. Our coworkers. Our friends. Men we admire. Men we’d never dream could do that.

      Call me cynical, but I think every. single. man. could be called out for some form of harassment or assault in his past. A leering look…an inappropriate comment…unwelcome and persistent “flirting”…using their power to pressure a woman… As a victim myself, I’m just feeling overwhelmed. What am I supposed to do with all of this, besides turn bitter and distrustful of men?

  24. I am a midlevel associate in a niche practice at a midsize firm in a large coastal city. About 1.5 years after I joined, my team announced to me that they were planning to jump ship. That deal fell through but it resulted in a year of turmoil for me as I was not sure if I was included in their negotiations. After the deal fell through, their work dried up so I switched to a related practice group at the same firm (a difficult feat). I’ve been in the new group for a few months now. They just told me that they are also planning to jump ship. It’s too early to know what this iteration of negotiations will look like. My gut says don’t be fooled twice; start job searching. Right? Also, is this level of turmoil typical for law firms, or does my firm just suck?

    • Call a headhunter. Really. Something is going on at your firm that partners are not compelled to stay.

      If you use a headhunter, NEVER EVER send them your resume without putting a watermark on it in pdf first. Make sure you trust them so they don’t broadcast it everywhere.

      Work with a friend to get your “story” down in a neutral way. You got this. Biglaw is hard enough without personnel turmoil and worrying where your hours will come from.

  25. Senior Attorney :

    Al Franken, why did you have to turn out to be a pig, too? And why can’t you just straight-up say “Ugh, I was a pig and I’m sorry and I will do better” instead of saying “I don’t remember it that way but …”?

    Ugh. So disappoinging.

    • Anonymous :

      He issued a much lengthier apology and called for an investigation into his conduct. He truly is a good man (who obviously made a huge mistake)

      • I’d be glad to be wrong about him, but in my experience people don’t grope just once. It’s either zero times or it’s a habit.

        • So let’s wait and see if others come forward.

          • I should say – I’m perfectly fine with condemning him as an a-hole for doing it once. Once is too many times. I just doubt that that’s the case.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yep. Eff him, man. Seriously. The lengthier apology still includes “I don’t remember it the way Leeann does.” Even if I take him at his word, OF COURSE he doesn’t remember it as sexual assault. He remembers it as him being funny and irreverant and oh it’s no big deal and whatever and THAT IS THE EFFING PROBLEM YOU PIGS!!

        I’m with Alyssa Rosenberg on this:

    • Right? I had the privilege of explaining to a male coworker today that (1) the flack jacket doesn’t keep it from being sexual assault, (2) it doesn’t matter that he was trying to be funny, and (3) it actually makes it worse that she was asleep when he groped her. Ugh.

    • No, this is good. All men should be very afraid of their misdeeds. I don’t want perfect apologies, I want all sexual assault to stop.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I think about my former boss who [you know] or the other one who [yeap] and I hope they’re looking over their shoulders, waiting for the other shoe to drop. A-holes.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Right? You might be an a-hole who’s done some (or a lot of) good things, but you’re still an a-hole. (Bill Clinton, I’m looking at you.)

        • Same as Rainbow Hair. Former colleague who did the same thing to me & more – watch your back, dude.

    • What woman would want to Sleep with Al Franken, or even let him put his lips on us? FOOEY! I think men who want us to do stuff with them or impose their smelley body on us are AWFUL, and they should be called out on it. I remember in college some guy cornered me at a party and tried very hard to put his dirty hand up my skirt, but I was wearing a Danskin, thank God, so he could NOT get his fingers where he wanted to. FOOEY on men like this. We deserve better!

  26. I just got off the phone with opposing counsel, who is requesting an additional lengthy extension of time to file a brief. There is no reason for more delay at this point, and when I pressed her on it, she snapped, “do you have kids?” I replied, calmly, that I don’t, and she said “well then you wouldn’t understand.” She basically then hung up on me. I’m NOT assenting to this delay, but she’ll probably get it anyway (this is criminal work and the courts bend backward to please the DAs). Meanwhile my client is going to languish in prison longer than necessary before his case is even heard.

    I know men are kind of the worst, but women often do themselves no favors either. Don’t use your kids or family problems as a reason to dump all over me, and then shame me for not understanding. Ugh.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I would have lost my mind if someone had said that in the context you are describing. Outside of work life (barring tragedy or significant emergency) is not something I generally accept in discussing adjournments and certainly not a second one. Inability to manage your home life should not mean your client’s liberty should be infringed longer than absolutely necessary.

      *This* is why women cannot get ahead. This, right here. Because a man would NEVER say this to another lawyer.

      • Anonymous :

        A man would never say this to another lawyer because the vast, vast majority of the time it is the woman who gets stuck deal with the tragedy or significant emergency. Women do so much more of this than men.

        I don’t know who’s right here because OP didn’t say if the opposing counsel gave any more specific reason. If not, that’s ridiculous to blame general childcare obligations. But I’ve also had opposing counsel give me a hard time for seeking a delay when I had a legit child emergency – like sorry not sorry I was occupied with racing to daycare and stabbing my kid with an epipen because the daycare workers didn’t act despite being told the signs of anaphylaxis and then spending the next 8 hours at the ER.

        • Point taken. She really gave no more specific reasoning. People (men and women) include important family obligations in these motions all the time. A few years ago I personally wrote in an affidavit for more time that I needed it because I was caring for a terminally ill family member. No problem. But as time goes on, your rationales better become more serious. I think it’s a combo of this woman’s self-righteousness and a general “DA’s are always right and we don’t have to explain ourselves” mentality.

      • Anonymous :

        My dad was a single parent from the time I was a toddler and never pulled that.

        • Anonymous :

          amazing that you were so involved in your father’s work calls from such a young age….

          I clearly said it was ridiculous if it was related to ordinary childcare stuff and not an emergency situation. Of course, as a single parent your father would have dealt with those kind of emergency scenarios, because there was not female parent to do it. But there is amble sociological evidence that the vast vast majority of emotional labor is undertaken by women. That includes dealing with emergencies/tragedies.

    • Anonymous :

      Her reaction was inappropriate and unprofessional, especially saying that you wouldn’t understand unless you have children. She needs to at least give you an opportunity to understand. That said, I wonder if her child has a serious illness or there’s something else out of the norm going on. Of course, you need to advocate for your client–the DA’s office should figure out their staffing, and if this attorney can’t do X for whatever reason, another attorney shouldn’t need more than a few weeks to pick up her case (idealistic and not how it really goes, I know). But on a personal level, try giving her the benefit of the doubt and being compassionate until you learn more.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Really? Because if you had an emergency or serious ongoing problem at home, you would lead with that as the reason you need a further extension. Rather, it seems here she gave no excuse, then snapped when pressed which sounds a lot more like “you cannot possibly comprehend the demands on my time as a Mother”. Or I am just deeply cynical.

        • If you have an emergency or serious ongoing problem at home, you *should* lead with that. I agree that this woman has acted unprofessionally, but sometimes it’s hard to talk about a genuine emergency or ongoing issue–you don’t have a diagnosis yet and you don’t know how many doctors’ appointments there will be, some of the information has a stigma attached to it, etc. All I’m saying is that you can characterize the behavior as inappropriate and unprofessional AND advocate for your client, but still give this attorney the benefit of the doubt, for now, that whatever the problem is extends beyond the normal demands on her time (and, it sounds like, her emotional energy).

          • This is such a double standard. This DA is getting criticized for throwing in the personal situation at the end of the call, but she’s also getting criticized for using children as the reason. You want her to lead with a reason that you’ve said you find unacceptable? That is precisely why she did NOT lead with it. As stated above, “a man would never” use that as the reason… mostly because men get stuck with childcare issues a miniscule fraction of the time women do. (The Atlantic reported that women are TEN TIMES more likely to stay home with a sick child.) She can’t win.

      • I am giving her the benefit of the doubt on a personal level (I’m not heartless), but I have to oppose her motion for more time. If she had told me her child has cancer or something, I could at least write in my opposition that their office should try to staff someone else on the case.

        A man would never say this. The way she said it was so shaming toward me – like she said it in order to make that the end of the conversation. I feel awful and I’m not sure why.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          Do not feel shame, Solo. She was completely out of line.

          Maybe it is because I am a mother, but I cannot abide mommy-martyrdom (which this definitely sounds like).

        • I responded above, but I’ll add, Do not feel shame for acting professionally by doing what is best for your client (opposing her motion). Your client shouldn’t sit in jail because either (a) she can’t manage her time, or (b) she has a legitimate emergency but can’t/won’t say what it is. I’m inclined to believe it’s (b), but even if it is, that should be the DA office’s problem, not your client’s.

          • Anonymous :

            OP didn’t make it clear in the original post that opposing counsel had not provided detail. I read it as OP questioning the counsel’s information, OP said “and when I pressed her on it, she snapped”.

            We all read these situations through our own experiences – mine has been being with my kid at the ER for hours the night before for anaphylaxis and then having opposing counsel tell me that wasn’t enough of a reason not to have a brief filed by noon the next day.

        • I’m kind of shocked at some of the responses here. 1) The OP’s personal status as mother or not should have ZERO place in that conversation and is absolutely disgusting to bring into it (and that’s where I think a male would never say to another or even a female and 2) If the “emergency” is a big enough issue to be bigger than someone’s time spent in jail then she needs to explain it, period, or step out. Many here seem so charitable for a mystery excuse but give no charity to the person she’s representing. Any hour longer in jail is an hour to much–put yourself in that person’s place. Kindness doesn’t just extend to those who feel most similar to you.

          • +1,000
            Why is your right as a working mother great than an innocent person’s right to be free? If there is an actually serious situation going on, it is her responsibility to explain that to her supervisors and have someone else cover for her.
            I would like to believe that none of the corporettes would act this way in a similar situation

          • Same. I’m a mom. It has been very important to me throughout my career to portray myself as an equally capable and committed professional. I would NEVER use my status as a mom as an excuse for anything. Women like that DA hurt us all.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            That is kind of what I was getting at but I seemed to be the minority earlier today.

          • Hard disagree with all of this. You can portray yourself as an equally capable and committed professional without pretending you are not a parent. Sometimes your kid is in the hospital and you need more time. This DA didn’t convey her actual situation (and many above have stated they judge her for having a kid-related situation at all, so who can blame her), but these comments here that insinuate you have to pretend you’re childless rather than admit when you have to be a parent are really shocking to me. The overwhelming echo-chamber-ness of “yay public defenders, prosecutors are so gross” on this board is rearing its head in this post, because most of you would not shame a mother on the other side the way you are criticizing this DA.

          • I wasn’t saying she shouldn’t bring it up if her kid is in the hospital. Quite the opposite actually. She needs to explain what it is–whether child or if her husband was in an accident or if her house just flooded or caught on fire. Whatever it is that’s s being used as a reason to step back without some other person stepping in to help needs to be conveyed. I’m not in law and don’t know how how these things usually work. Is it that no one can step in? Do you just get to decide what is and isn’t worth doing? It just seems like keeping someone in jail longer than possibly needed without even the benefit of an explanation is fundamentally not right. There’s no–“pretend you’re not a parent” (heck, that’s like saying pretend you’re not human). It’s more like be human and either explain what is so important–like a hospital emergency or accident or house fire or whatever it is– or get someone in to back you.

    • I find women without children (myself included in that group) to be least understanding of other people’s child care stuff. Then I feel bad when I read stuff on this board about the struggle of working +parenting, and then I get annoyed by the inconvenience of other people using their kids as an excuse for delay. Can’t win!

    • Children should never be an excuse for a delay or the reason sought for an extension. It’s my job as and advocate to turn up and advocate for my client. If I cannot, for whatever reason, then I need to flick the matter to someone else to do it. The Court will also not tolerate children as an excuse.

    • I am in criminal work too. I routinely agree to delays requested for personal reasons and my opposing counsel gives me the same courtesy. I had a very sick child and a trial the next day. Counsel ( a man) was gracious enough to not oppose a two week set over so I could be with my child. I agree that the DA should have calmly explained what the issue was that required the set over, but OP should consider that she herself will probably be in the position of needing to ask for a set over for a personal reason in the future when she responds. Because we are all human and this is a long career. As my sage former boss always says- play the long game.

  27. Thinking ahead to the holidays- question for the in-house attorneys.

    I manage a handful of people, three of whom are attorneys. Our company does not have a bonus structure so there will be no extra year end treat for them (or me.) They knew this was the structure coming in but this is the first year end for all three with the company (we are kind of a start up but not the kind where anyone is going to get rich)

    My standard gift as a manager has been a bottle of nice wine and a $100 Starbucks or grocery store gift card.

    Would this gift be a horrible disappointment for someone coming from a law firm to an in house position? Given multiple staff it’s about what I can afford to give and I would like to basically give the attorneys and non attorneys the same thing.

    • Anonymous :

      This sounds generous to me. I have been in house at two different companies and never received a gift from my manager.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I agree, this sounds very generous. I want to say that my boss, the year I transferred over, gave me a cool flashlight and a book for my kid.

    • Anonymous :

      It sounds generous to me too. I’d ask around to learn more about your company culture.

      Also, I’ve always felt weird about grocery store gift cards. I know everyone has to buy groceries, but (a) people have different preferences, and (b) it sort of implies that the person can’t afford groceries, which is particularly strange if the gift card comes from a manager. I guess I’d feel differently for a Whole Foods or specialty grocery gift card where you could use it on groceries or gourmet/luxury items. I’d go with something like Target, since you can buy groceries and a million other things there. Maybe it’s just me overthinking it though.

      • Whole Foods is what I was thinking. Is it fancy enough? One of the non-attorneys doesn’t do coffee so I am leaning against Starbucks. There is a Whole Foods near our work.

        • same anonymous :

          I think Whole Foods is fancy enough to avoid an implication that someone can’t afford groceries, if that’s even a thing to anyone but me. I received a WF gift card last year for Christmas from my aunt (so different dynamic), but I’m pretty sure I spent it on fancy cheeses, wine, and dessert for a dinner party. I wouldn’t do $100 at Starbucks for someone who doesn’t drink coffee–$25, and maybe they could get tea and a breakfast sandwich a few times, but $100 is a lot to spend there if you don’t actually like coffee.

      • I like an Amazon gift card because you can buy anything on Amazon and you can get one in a tin for no extra charge and Prime.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Me personally, I would love a Trader Joe’s gift card (obviously YMMV because they’re not everywhere). Whole Foods, maybe less so because everything there is so stupid expensive.

        I like the Amazon idea and my fave-o fave is Target.

    • When I was at the director level (probably about where your reports are?) my boss (an SVP) got me a gift of approx $50-75 value. One year it was a fancy William and Sonoma hot chocolate set + booze, one year it was a bottle of this wine we both loved at a dinner and a pretty scarf. She chose them herself.

      When I became a VP and reported to our CEO, I got a $100-$150 “corporate gift basket” type thing- lots of snacks/booze/cheese. One year it was sweets/cookie themed. The CEO’s admin did all the ordering so it was less personal though each of his reports got a slightly different sort of basket.

      I’ve had some peers (director/director or VP/VP) get me gifts after a year when we just killed it together. Since we are out of different offices it was things like a giant box of cheesecake from my colleague in chicago, sees candy from the one in SF etc. I’m in Boston so I sent lobsters (of course I knew first they’d eat them!).

      • Oh I’ve also gotten and give me harry & David boxes of fruit, which come at a variety of price points and are a nice break from the junk food.

    • We had a masseuse set up in one of the empty offices over 2/3 days and the boss treated everyone to a massage. Might be something worth looking into

    • lawsuited :

      I think a bottle of wine and a $100 gift card is a lovely, generous gift. I’d ask one of your employees what kind of gift card would be appreciated. I think a coffee gift card, a prepaid Visa gift card or a mall gift card to a large local mall or chain of malls are your safest bets, but take your cues from your employees. My office is above a large department store, and my assistant regularly comes back from lunch with shopping bags so I get her a gift card for that store. There’s also a lovely spa directly beneath us, so one year I got her a GC for a mani/pedi and gave her an afternoon off to have her nails done.

      I would never give a grocery store gift card because of the implication that your employees can’t afford their holiday groceries. I get that Whole Foods is a fancy grocery store, but there’s a good chance that’s not where your start-up employees shop and when they go in there, pay $30 for a chicken, think “oh, this is how the other half live, too bad it’s not me”, and leave barely putting a dent in their holiday groceries anyway.

  28. CountC - gift glove help :

    My mom would like a pair of warm gloves for Christmas. She has Reynaud’s and has a lot of problems with her hands in the winter, but must go outside to walk the dog. Her requests are, naturally, warm, soft, not so thick that she cannot grip the dog leash, and the farther up the arm the better. They do not need to be good for driving or cell phone use.

    She knows that I do not buy leather, so if there is a non-leather suggestion that would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Anonymous :

      I Have A pair of knit Brooks runnng gloves that work really amazingly well – you might try those. I don’t know why they are so much warmer. I outgrew Raynauds in my 20s so I’ve givien a lot of glvoes a try.

    • How about heated gloves? They’re definitely not the most fashionable but might be really practical for her. I actually first heard about them at the dog park.

    • Thank you! Those heated gloves may be just the thing.

  29. Blazers are a nice thing to stock up on giving that winter is right around the corner. It’s great because you can take it off easily if it gets too hot inside.

  30. Rainbow Hair :

    Tech question: it seems to me that there should be an easy way for an employer to set up a laptop/phone so it can be bricked remotely for the whole “laptop left at the airport” or “phone picked out of my pocket” scenario. To the extent it’s not a BYOD shop, it seems like something that could be built into the set up of the device…. but naysayers are telling me it’s not possible.

    Does anyone have any concrete experience with remote wiping/disabling of devices?

    • I’m not sure if this counts as “concrete” experience, but at my firm, I know that our phones are able to be remotely wiped. Unsure about laptops, but I am fairly certain it’s also the case. One of the tax partners I know left one in a cab in a major city and no one seemed very concerned about it.

      • You can set it up to clean itself if the wrong password is entered a certain number of times, but to remotely wipe it has to be connected to a network like Wi-Fi, which it wouldn’t be if left behind. Not a tech guru hut this is my understanding.

    • It’s possible. My company uses this- large remote workforce. We actually have a policy you have to sign that if you BYOD you consent to this remote bricking in specific circumstances.

      Airwatch is the app we are required to download. Idk if that’s the software that does the bricking dress just the monitoring.

    • Anonymous :

      It is definitely possible. The company will probably need to install third party software like AirWatch on the devices, but this is pretty common.

    • Anonymous :

      Any mobile device management software does this. Good, MobileIron, Airwatch, etc.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Thanks all! (I had to teach our head of IT how voice-to-text works so sometimes I feel like I’m swimming upstream…)

    • I think Lojack for Laptops does this.

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