Coffee Break – Nautical Nylon Tote

Milly Nautical Nylon ToteBergdorf Goodman’s “big sale” is on, with savings up to 40% off. For today’s Coffee Break, I’m liking nautical tote from Milly (available in both red and black). At 11.5″ high by 14″ wide, it’s big enough for even legal-sized papers — but the bright, happy color and lightweight nylon would be perfect either at the office or for that weekend getaway. The tote was $335, but is now marked to $201 at Bergdorf. Milly Nautical Nylon Tote



  1. Is it just me, or is there some odd photoshopping going on with Jessica Simpson’s photo on the cover of People? Link to follow.


    • Her jaw looks a little off, if that’s what you’re getting at. Maybe it’s just a weird angle?

      • Weirdly, I think they might have had to cut off a bit of her jaw to fit in all the text. So her jaw does look a little off. But look, there’s a cute baby! So really, who cares. :-)

        • But look, there’s a cute baby! So really, who cares

          Oh, that’s what they want you to think. Don’t fall for it!

          • In case you wish to know my take on this crucial matter.


          • Already saw it (isn’t that the secret Tumblr pass-phrase?), but thanks. I’m a fan, Suri.

    • PharmaGirl :

      It looks like she’s just holding her head at a weird angle. I tend to do the same thing and it looks like my head is detached from my body in photos. Hot.

    • I think they photoshopped her face to make her look skinnier.

  2. Is it pretentious to join Mensa? My husband has been encouraging me to join (I do qualify), but I just can’t see the point. I would feel awkward bringing it up in professional conversation, although I guess it could prove useful for networking?

    • I’m trying to figure out how to answer this in a nice way but, honestly, I can’t think of a single way that this would be useful to you professionally. It has always seemed to me a way for people who are very smart but perhaps not otherwise successful to validate themselves. But maybe that’s just me. And I may qualify, so it’s not sour grapes. I just can’t see it.

      • I know one person who was in Mensa, and that description fits her to a T. She is the most insecure person I have ever met.

    • I’m gonna say yes. People in Mensa I guess will be vaguely impressed (but most people who are really smart, in my experience, aren’t all that impressed by other really smart people…if you know what I mean). And other people will either roll their eyes or just be slightly offended and some will be downright aggressively upset about it.

      I’m not sure I really see an upside. There are way better networking groups to join that cater towards “intellectual” types that aren’t going to invoke the same reactions. But who knows, maybe people who are in its experiences differ?

    • I would NOT join MENSA. It is very eleitist. My Father told me that HE was asked to JOIN but he said NO so I never even tried to figure out anything more about it. I did NOT get into Fi Betta Kappa either, but I still am alive. Yay!

      I have a threadjack: Does anyone know what the best thing to say when a guy says he want’s you to be the mother of his children? I did NOT know what to say and still do NOT know if this was a complement or NOT. BTW, the guy who said it did NOT even know me, b/c it was on the 4 line near 14th Street.

      • Ellen. I suggest that you say that you either ignore them (first choice) or say “I’m sorry, I only mother children with men I meet in taxi cabs. They are much classier.)” And then get off at the next stop and change train cars. Because eeewww creepy.

      • Ellen, dear – he was hitting on you. He was being a bit pervy, so it was best not to respond.

        Clearly you don’t take after your father.

      • Ugh, 14th Street? Grody to the max.

    • Yes. There’s some expression or movie quote thats like “if your the man, you never have to say your the man” If your smart, you never have to say how smart you are. People will know. Mensa is for people who need to say their smart

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Any recommendations for a drug store (or generally inexpensive) primer? I use NARS tinted moisturizer but the primer seems overpriced for what it is.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Crap, I don’t know how that ended up in a reply. Ignore that….

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Non-response aside, I don’t think there is a reasonable way to publicize that you have joined Mensa. I know someone in it who receives crosswords/brain teasers he enjoys doing (which is fine) but mentions the Mensa thing at every available opportunity (not fine) — he’s also the type to try and get his name listed in Who’s Who, etc. That just screams insecure.

        For whatever it’s worth, I do qualify and the aforementioned person suggested that I join to “beef up” my bio but I couldn’t honestly see a way of doing it that wouldn’t make me feel like a DOOSH.

    • I see it as an organization I might join if the local group had events or subgroups that interested me… but I think I’d avoid ever telling non-members that I was a member.

      I think of Mensa as a dated organization because we have so many other means of contacting people who share interests and occupy the high end of the intellectual curve.

    • Random question for those who have said “I do qualify” – at what juncture in your life/career did you need to take an IQ test and, therefore, you know you qualify?

      I’ve never had to take one, and I can’t imagine why I would have to – i figured it was something voluntary people did. Is there something i’m missing?

      • In elementary school, to find out if I would qualify for the gifted program. I think my Dad told me years later what my IQ was.

        • Would Mensa admit you as an adult on the basis of an IQ test you took as a child?

          • Probably not, but I’d never join Mensa anyway.

          • Yes, your score is good forever. IQ tests are designed to test at different ages, so you should get a similar score no matter your age.

      • non op anon :

        I took an IQ test to qualify for a gifted program in elementary school/gifted tracking in middle school. Can’t imagine when else one would take it.

      • Thanks ladies, I’m glad I seem to be in the majority on this one!

        And there are actually a number of tests that you can use to qualify, including some older college-entrance exams, the LSAT, etc. I personally took an IQ test when I was younger to qualify for the “gifted” program. Actually, I took three–one in each school district I attended.

      • Another Sarah :

        I took one, although I don’t know my score. My friend’s fiancee was getting her Psych master’s and needed to administer the test to a number of people for her dissertation, so I volunteered. She wouldn’t tell us our scores, which is probably a good thing, since all us competitive law students would have lorded it over each other, cross-referenced it with our GPAs, etc. :-)

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I qualify based on IQ scores and SAT scores and GMAT scores.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          Man that looks way douchier than I intended. I just meant to note that there are multiple ways to qualify for Mensa, so if you do really well at even one standardized test, you probably qualify.

    • I went to college early through an early admissions program. I never bring it up because it sounds so pretentious so say that I attended through the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted.

      • Non op anon :

        Hey, I almost went to a similar program. Maybe we could have been roomies. lol.

      • Me too. I actually lie about my age and say I’m older than I am, because inevitably if I tell the truth someone does the math and asks me how old I was when I graduated college (even though it was 10 f-ing years ago). And then half the time they refer to me as Doogie Howser. Really annoying.

      • MaggieLizer :

        Simon’s Rock?

    • We actually decided against interviewing someone who had listed that he was a member of Mensa on his resume. While his resume was otherwise pretty strong, we just felt that he wouldn’t be a good fit in our team if he thought that it was an important thing to list on his resume, and also we thought it showed somewhat poor judgment. Kind of harsh, but that was the reaction from my entire team.

      • Actually I should clarify: not poor judgment to join Mensa, only to list it on your resume.

    • In certain areas, the Mensa kids program is quite good. So, if you’re looking for peers for your kids, then Mensa for you or for them might be valuable (they can participate on your membership, I think).

      Otherwise, I’ll second the poster who said she would only join if they had activities you would like to attend. So, if it seemed like a cool group of people who did fun things that I liked, then I would join.

    • Mensa kids groups can be good. My youngest cousin goes to a Mensa group once a week to do puzzles and brain teasers. Her parents like that they help find books for her reading level that aren’t too adult (totally ran into this problem when I was her age!), and that most of the kids are nice, but some of the parents are super snotty.
      I went to a Mensa Games event when I was in highschool. Basically it’s a weekend conference where you play board games and rate them for companies, and that was really fun.
      I don’t really see a point in being a member of Mensa as an adult, and I never got the impression that it was a good organization for networking.

  3. Ladies, for the second time this week, I’m stuck in a location with no water and I have to go to the bathroom very badly.

    Over the weekend, I went to a wedding on Lake Champlain. We were staying in a rustic camp. The pump stopped working Sunday night and left 12 houses without water. We left by 10 Monday morning.

    Now there’s a water main break and the city of Cambridge has shut off the water. This occurred at about 1 pm, right after I’d had lunch. I’ve also had 2 cups of tea and 3 glasses of water.

    How is it possible that this has happened to me twice in the same week?

    • K... in transition :

      is there a law about requiring employees to work without working facilities? If nothing else, could you sneak away to a coffee shop or fast food joint to use theirs?

      sending gentle hugs!

    • I once did research about a situation like this at when I was working in-house. I think your employer may not be able to keep you at work without accessible working facilities (which presumably there aren’t any even in adjoining buildings since the whole area has been turned off, right?). In addition, they are probably also violating local fire codes, since their sprinkler systems are presumably not working.

      You should get sent home. :-P

    • Lifehacker / Jezebel just did an article this week on how to use the facilities when there are no facilities. Good luck, Bunkster.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I’d love to read it and all I can find is “how to poop at work.” If you find it, please link!

    • I am not good in this situation. I will go outside before I am uncomforable. Please hold up a sweater Marge….

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Well on the bright side, at least you just have to go number 1. My usual problem is the other one. I say just use the toilet and don’t flush. You usually get one flush anyway from the water that is in the tank even if the water is turned off to re-fill it.

    • SouthernLegal :

      I sympathize. Our office had a busted water main this morning, and the water was cut off for roughly five hours. We had people walking to neighboring buildings to use the restroom.

    • You need only a small amount of water, a bucket, and skillz. Bucket flushing was my life for a few years – I got quite good at it.

  4. Long-time ‘rette here (although I’ve been off the comments for a few months). I just moved to Colorado and was wondering if there are already any Denver-area Corporettes meeting up? Any Denver-area Corporettes want to?

    We had a really great LinkedIn group going in Boston, and I think it would be fun to start something similar here if it’s not already happening

    • WE MISS YOUUUUUUU!!!!!!!

    • I think Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler is in Denver.

      • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

        I am! I would love to meet up with any other Denver ‘Retts, but it would have to be on the weekends because of bar prep.

    • Gooseberry :

      Ditto to TCFKAG – WE MISS YOU! Drop a line when you have some time and tell us how it’s going!

    • I hope you’re doing well – thanks for checking in. I was just thinking about you a few days ago (in a non-creepy way!).

    • Hi, I’m in Denver and would be up for getting together. I’ll email Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler … weekends are better for me as well as I have a bit of a funky schedule and work outside of Denver, but I’d love to meet some other Denver Corporettes in person.

  5. K... in transition :

    TJ: After thinking about Ru’s dilemma regarding arranged marriages paired with my apparent forever search of a good guy who is both old-school romantic/respectful and not so old-school as to take issue with my level of education (agreeing with the anon chick from a past thread), I almost wonder if I’d be better off in an arranged marriage… or at least an arranged relationship.

    Any chance we could create a c*rpor*tte dating site? Betting some of you married/partnered ladies know some awesome single folks hehehe

    (love to Ru and tons of support as she holds her own!)

    • I just found this guy – handsome too. Younger, less educated but good professional job, old school nice, motivated. But….terrible in bed (Okay so I did not just find him). No worries ladies. I am gonna fix him! Can’t have it all I guess.

    • SpaceMountain :

      Criteria for admission for the male candidates: (1) single; (2) male; (3) not a DOOSH; (4) appreciate nice shoes . . . ???

      • K... in transition :

        #4 is optional for me… I prefer to be barefoot whenever possible. for me, it’s: single, male, not a DOOSH, not intimidated/offended by well-educated women, LGBT accepting, has the time/desire to be in a relationship, not carrying massive amounts of baggage. (cue Miranda Lambert’s “Baggage Claim”)… oh, and not requiring spawning too, I’m a non-breeder.

        • Anonymous :

          I find this so offensive. People who have/want kids aren’t spawning breeders.

    • I know this is not really what you’re talking about but…….My brother is cute, sweet and single. I’d set him up with a ‘rette any day!

    • I have thought a [this website] dating site so many times.

      My criteria: SpaceMountain’s 1-3, 4. desire to do things out of his comfort zone, 5. little baggage, 6. willing to consider non traditional gender norms in terms of family rearing, 7. motivated, 8. desire to be in a relationship, 9. likes dogs AND cats.

      I swear I’m not picky.

      • I think we can all agree to SpaceMountain’s 1-3 criteria. For my list, I’ll add:

        -Some old-fashioned values, but not intimidated by a independent, career-minded woman
        -Wants kids
        -Likes cats (specifically mine)
        -Is not a Florida State fan

    • Uh ladies, if you really want to be fixed up, you’re going to have to include geographic locales. Unless you want to meet people from all over the map.

      • Southern CA, preferably LA/Orange County

        • I know at least one awesome single guy in OC, patent lawyer, nerdy cute, like karaoke and is a total sweetheart. Not sure how to introduce people randomly over the internet though, send you to his firm bio? Awk.

          • Sure. I mean, if he would be open. Not totally sure how to do it, either. I can post an anon email address.

          • Apparently he doesn’t have time to leave his office anytime soon, but says he’ll let me know otherwise. :(

          • That’s too bad. I was sort of excited! If anything changes in the near future, you know where to find me! :)

      • K... in transition :

        I’ve given up being picky based on geography lol

        • K – What age group are you looking for? I did my law degree in PGH (not too far from Cleveland) and I know a few single men who meet your criteria who are still in the area.

          • K... in transition :

            The older I get, the more I reconsider this… it’s more about life stage to me… I can’t imagine dating someone who is 22 and working on his undergrad and has no life experience or someone in his 50s and eying retirement while I’m in the career prime and would thus need to be working or whatnot, ya know?

          • I totally understand what you mean. For instance, DH is 8 years older than me, but we met in law school when I was 22 and he was 30. Wouldn’t have worked if he was working while I was in law school, but now the age difference isn’t an issue since we’ve gone through major life challenges at the same time.

            FWIW: Any of the guys I would be talking about would be in the 25-30 range, and would be new-ish to their professional careers, having graduated in the past few years. Sounds like that may be, at least on paper, a good starting point?

            This is a shockingly timely thread, btw. I’ve had friends of both genders complain lately that it’s really hard to meet people that you’re interested in after school is done.

          • K... in transition :

            The way I see it, I’m all for whatever may come lol feel free to email me directly :)

      • My brother is nice, single, relatively adventurous, physically active, cuteness would really have to be assessed by an unrelated person, and kind of painfully shy so has trouble meeting women, though he’s very friendly once he meets them. Oh and he’s a huge geek (lets be honest, you have to let your freak flags fly early).

        He lives in the NE area. If anyone is interested. :-)

        • K... in transition :

          hehe I wonder if these men would mind knowing we’re talking about them… I’d hope they’d be flattered to be considered worthy of a c*rp*rette gal! would posting their fb or linked in pages be wrong?

        • K... in transition :

          hehe I wonder if these men would mind knowing we’re talking about them… I’d hope they’d be flattered to be considered worthy of a [this website] gal! would posting their fb or linked in pages be wrong?

        • Amelia Pond :

          Where in the NE? As you can tell by my handle I am not afraid of my geeky side!

        • Southern NE (okay RI…) Though you know, he has a car. ;-)

          • Amelia Pond :

            Drat. RI is a bit too far. I more in the Mid-Atlantic (MD). I was hoping it was going to be NY or DE. That I would have swung

          • LadyEnginerd :

            Brief aside: you know you’ve lived in the midwest for too long when… you’re originally from the east coast, but associate NE with Nebraska instead.

            As I’m sure you can guess from my handle, I know many single men. However, many of them are single for a reason (often their painfully low EQ). The odds are good, but (sadly) the goods are odd.

      • Philly area. Can we all agree that if we go on an actual date set up by a fellow ‘ r e t t e, we will report back?

    • I have a couple guy friends I want to set up! Any ‘r e t t e s in MO?

    • Apparently, it sucks both ways. Hugs, yo.

      I’d like to be with someone who eats. There’s nothing sadder than not being able to enjoy food with someone (fyi, homeboy eats very little). Also, someone who is interested in things. Because I like to hear about what makes people tick. Having nothing to talk about is sad, too.

      • Also, I’m imagining Kat reading this thread and going, “I cannot believe my overachieving chicks are putting up personals on my blog. Who woulda thunk.”

        • K... in transition :

          hahaha probably so! I’m kind of interested to see whom others here find attractive too, an interesting way to get to know someone for sure! Which celebs do you guys find attractive? In terms of appearance only, I’d go with Jesse Williams, Taye Diggs, Joshua Jackson, Adam Pascal… all come to mind lol your turn! (yay for girl talk in a normally way more professional space lol)

      • Yes, food!! I mean, I was vegan for several years, but at this point, I cannot imagine being with a vegan anymore, or someone who is super strict about their food, cause it would be sad not to share, and i would feel so self-conscious…

    • Maine Associate :

      Set me up…I’ll take Space Mountain’s 1-3, no kids (now or later), little baggage, not intimidated/offended by well-educated women, likes cats and has a job. I’m in Maine.

      • Anne Shirley :

        If anyone knows a single, nominally Christian-but-not-regular-church-going guy in northern NJ/New York who has a job, knows how to do laundry, loves kids, and will eat my cake with a smile (not dirty. i like to bake) BY ALL MEANS. I will invite all y’all ladies with +1’s!

        • Anne Shirley – Age range? I’m from northern NJ, lived 5 years in NY, and know a fair few guys fitting that description…including my brother, but he’s fairly young.

          Wants kids, just not now, and is super excited to meet his niece, who I’m currently spawning…3000 miles away. Loves eating, and exercising, nominally Christian (Catholic, sort of), great job (in NJ), and tells me that he knows how to do laundry. Italian/German/Filipino…mostly Italian.

  6. Can I interrupt for a moment to sing the praises of another Target item? I’m wearing these shoes today: and I think I could go hiking in them. For most, they’re probably weekend only, but they’re a nice balance of refined and “gladiator,” imo. And they’re nice and secure–no “flopping” like a typical strappy sandal.

  7. Why are short weeks always so long?

    • Ugh I thought it was Thursday yesterday from 2-5. 5:01 longest.minute.ever.

    • I think it’s because you have to do 5 days worth of work in only 4 days. At least, that’s how it always feels to me.

  8. Thinking about heading down the the Virgin Islands US this December right before the holidays with a girlfriend for an all inclusive type deal. Never done one of these before. Where is a good place to start? I am way too overwhelmed with links right now. Is it worth getting a travel agent? Do people still do that (that are not on amazing race)?


    • My parents always use a travel agent, and according to them he’s the best. He hooks them up with upgrades, arranges transportation, and makes everything easy for them. For a place you’ve never been and don’t know what you’re doing, it might be worth the cost.

      Also, I love the Virgin Islands! Very beautful and stress-free (unless you get car-sick — there are a lot of mountains to drive over!).

    • phillygirlruns :

      we used a travel agent to book our honeymoon in 2008 – the prices they quoted were the same or a little better than what we’d been finding on expedia and the like, and the ability to have someone else do the gruntwork for us sold me on it. i might have felt differently if we were only going to one location, but we hopped between a few islands in hawaii and didn’t have to coordinate a thing.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’ve done both and far prefer the travel agent route. My husband talked me out of using one for our last big vacation – and I swear it’s the last time!

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Yes, people still use travel agents in order to cut down on the overwhelmingness of planning. Apparently they’re making a comeback:

    • it is so worth it. Plus, travel agents can get/find out about all kinds of perks and deals that normal people can’t.

  9. momentsofabsurdity :

    Trying again, this time in its own thread:

    Any recommendations for a drug store (or generally inexpensive) primer? I use NARS tinted moisturizer but the primer seems overpriced for what it is and I have reasonably clear/even skin so I don’t want to spend more than $10-15.

    • Monistat Anti-Chafing potion feels like Smashbox on the fingers. Haven’t tried it though. Check this morning’s thread. I think there were some other suggestions, but imagine most were dept store level.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Second this. I’ve been using it for years after giving up on the Smashbox primer because I could never get the last 1/3 out of the bottle!

      • I’ve used it as a primer and I’m not that crazy about it. I think that it is helpful for creating a really smooth look and keeping make up in place longer, but it also felt very thick and greasy on my face (even though I used a tiny amount), and I don’t like the extra step. Also, I found that my skin usually breaks out the day after. I still pull it out when I have, say, an interview or I know I’m getting photographed, but I certainly don’t think that it’s worth the effort and discomfort to use it all of the time, and I wouldn’t buy it again.

        This was all in comparison to using no primer at all, though – I’ve never been able to talk myself into purchasing the real versions since they are so pricy.

    • I have read good reviews of Carmindy’s line from Sally Hansen (Carmindy=the makeup artist from What Not to Wear). One of the reviews was of her the luminizing face primer. I think I saw it on the Blogdorf Goodman blog. I have not gotten a chance to try it out myself yet though.

    • Primer and tinted moisturizer serve two different functions for me, so I’m not sure which one you are seeking out. For primers I use either Korres (all natural) or Smashbox (the gold standard). For tinted moisturizer I have Laura Mercier and Shiseido, but plan on trying the cheaper and more natural alternative Physicians Formula.

      • Actually I lied, the best primer is The Porefessional by Benefit, so forget what I said!

        • Which I just realized is $28…=/

 sorry for being useless.

          Try Physicians Formula – I am phasing into it myself. Cheap and natural.

    • I’ve tried multiple drugstore primers, but none are as good as Smashbox. I tried Physician’s Formula, Rimmel and Ulta and found them too dry or too greasy. I don’t like Laura Mercier either, too greasy. I mainly use primer to fill my wrinkles for a smoother surface. I am currently using Tarts and I love it. I also can’t say enough about Tarts shadow primer. My shadow lasted 13 hours today, I’m lucky if I get 2 normally. That doesn’t solve your price problem though.

  10. Moving In :

    I’m moving in with my BF and it is so frustrating. I’ve spent the last two weeks freaking out about the loss of my space (we are moving into his much bigger place) and items I was getting rid of. He volunteered to get rid of some stuff too. But now that all my stuff is in his place, I think he’s starting to feel a little nuts my the fact that my belongings are Everywhere, and the place is a mess. I know it sounds bad, but I feel better now, knowing that he is having an emotional hard time, too.

    Does anyone have any advice at this stage? I’ve lived at his place for about 3 days or so. What are some early post-move tips?

    • Is it a two bedroom? To this day (married a year, living together…going on four-five years now), my husband and I still have one bedroom that’s kind of “his” — read clean and neat all the time — and one that’s kind of “mine” — read an unholy mess — and I try to keep all the common rooms neat but he really really doesn’t get to complain about “my” room. I think this is something that helps.

      In our first place (a studio), it was just a closet. In our next place it was a bedroom. Now (a four bedroom) I have TWO bedrooms of mess….its aahhhhhmazing. :-) So, yeah, that helps.

      • Merabella :

        Having your own closet and getting ready area helps too. The next place we get will have to have 2 sinks or I will go INSANE!

        • I recently got The Raised Eyebrow by asking how much effort it would take to replace the single sink (porcelain top), which is wide with space on both sides, with a double-sink top.

          DH, when I get out of the shower, I’d really like to put my contacts in, etc. without having to wait for you to finish brushing your teeth….

          Love for this to happen soon!

          • We did this at our house!! (And in reference to today’s earlier thread–by “we” I mean my husband). It was not too difficult. He had to do a little plumbing work and the new marble slab had to be custom made due to a slightly weird dimension, but there were tons that would have worked if ours had been a standard size. It was the best money we ever spent so far to have peace while getting ready!

        • We have two bathrooms. We just use them entirely separately and don’t share really at all. Its heaven.

      • TCFKAG – Are you and I secretly the same person?

      • OMG I’m so envious. We live in an old house (100 years) and it only originally had one bathroom, despite the fact that it’s a 5 bedroom. The “new” bathroom was annexed from the sleeping porch in 1929, and that serves as the master bath. It’s smaller than most non-master baths and I share it with my husband. Ugh.

    • Merabella :

      Part of the stress of moving in with someone is realizing that things you do because you think are normal are not everyone’s “normal.” My hubs and I went through this for a little while when we first moved in together. I think it was especially hard for him, since he had lived alone for a while, where as I moved in from having a roommate. You will do this weird sort of dance for a bit where you are trying to appease one another, eventually that wears off. Don’t sweat the small stuff. It gets better.

      • emcsquared :

        YES! When DH and I moved in together, I spent half an hour tearing the house apart looking for batteries I had just bought. He then opened the refrigerator door and showed me the butter compartment….where he had put all the batteries. He was stunned when I informed him that it was intended to hold butter, not batteries. These things are still happening, 2 years later. It will take years before we uncover all of each other’s “normal” behaviors.

        • Why would he put them in the fridge? I don’t get it.


            Old wives tale alert.

          • Some people think keeping batteries in the fridge makes them keep longer. The whole cool, dark space thing. My sister’s husband used to do the same thing.

        • Heh – my husband’s family always stores butter on the counter. This completely freaked me out (it’s a dairy product!) for ages, and I was forever just thinking that someone had forgotten it and putting it “away” in the fridge.

          As it turned out, though, salted butter actually keeps just fine at room temp for several weeks, and it is much nicer to spread, so I guess I learned something new there.

          • Okay seriously, why am I all over this thread, but I have a french butter crock that keeps my butter soft and delicious on the counter. Highly recommended!

          • Alanna of Trebond :

            People actually buy salted butter? We always buy unsalted butter.

          • I buy unsalted only because most of my recipes call for salt. And, I like to be precise. It makes me happy. #cookingnerd

      • Haha, I’ve given up trying to teach husband which clothes go in which drawer! If I can’t find a shirt one morning, I just take a second and think, “What does husband think this shirt is?” I still haven’t totally figured out his system for categorizing clothes, so if all else fails, I just go digging in all the drawers or change my outfit. Kinda like the time I came home to suit pants in the dryer… then the over-correction of every.single.item. of laundry on the drying rack, including socks!

        • I’m confused. So he does the laundry, puts it away, and sometimes puts it in the wrong drawer? When I first read this, I thought for some reason that both your clothes and his were in the same dresser. I got confused.

          A glance at the label should do the trick on the laundering itself…

          A dude who does your laundry sounds awesome.

    • My DH and I married when we were in our thirties, and combined households.

      One thing that helped as an interim is joint Storage, for a month or three. BOTH of us put stuff there.

      And yes, you will likely need to find a space that is yours, beyond one side of the bed, and start re-orienting to “ours”. It takes a while. WAAAAAAY more than three days. He has had “x” time as hisspace, and it will likely take “X” time to become ourspace with some hisspace and yourspace. Think of it as living the question, rather than having a fix/answer.

      • Moving In :

        Yes, thank you. We are also both in our 30s and have lived alone for years. We each had 2BR places to ourselves.

        Living the question. How do I make sure that BF and I are asking the same question? :)

    • I can’t comment specifically about moving into someone’s pre-existing space, but moving/unpacking definitely takes more than 3 days (at least for me!). So don’t worry that your place is still a mess.

      There are so many places to start with unpacking, but, something that may help transform the space from ‘his’ to ‘ours’ may be hanging and rearranging existing artwork/photos, etc. This way you have little reminders that it’s a joint space in every room.

      Also, I find unpacking clothes always helps be feel more organized. The kitchen always has to wait until last – I need to open every single box, stand in the kitchen and visualize where everything will go. It drives my husband nuts!

      • When I moved in to my current house and my now ex joined me, we had “zones of calm.” Basically, you designate certain rooms as being free of boxes, even if other rooms are floor to ceiling boxes. That way you can have places to be that are calm while you’re dealing with the unpacking chaos. I think we designated the bedroom and livingroom, although it may have been the kitchen since he didn’t have a whole lot of kitchen stuff.

      • If you can, buy something to make it “yours.” Sheets or a comforter can be pretty cheap and can make a difference at least for one room. You don’t need to buy a new couch, but small changes can help, like CW said.

    • Do you have to share a bathroom? Having a bathroom of my own has been a huge plus in all our years together, both from a getting ready standpoint as well as a place to close the door and be alone for 5 minutes. I also like the idea of having your own room/corner/closet to keep your stuff contained. Give yourself a break too. 3 days would result in boxes and out of place items even if you were living solo and had just moved. The moving clutter will slowly go away as you integrate belongings. Finally, are there any annoying things that you just can’t live with? Have a relaxed conversation to put each on on notice about those. It may feel slightly formal with an SO, but it prevents you silently seething each time he washes dishes and leaves a huge puddle of water around the faucet.

    • T. McGill :

      Give yourselves a deadline to unpack/settle in, and stick to it by planning a party around that time. If you know people are coming over, it will force you to finish the unpacking project. My DH scheduled a dinner party 3 days after I moved in with him and we had me unpacked 2 days in.

      In terms of it feeling like YOUR space also, that takes time but it will happen.

      Congrats on the move!

    • Moving In :

      Thanks for the advice, everyone! Keep it coming.

      He has a walk-in closet. I thought we had designed one side as “mine.” I put a shoe rack on my side, and 2 pairs of his boots magically appeared on my shoe rack. I moved them to his side. He noticed and talked to me about it. I think he needs to figure out where he’s going to store his boots. I think he doesn’t quite understand how important it is to me to have “my space.”

      He did build me a bathroom area with a mirror, electric outlet, table, and storage. No sink, but that’s ok. I can do my hair, makeup, etc. It’s wonderful.

      I just think we’re having some growing pains. I do feel a little better now knowing that this is affecting him emotionally, too, more than just, “It’s going to be wonderful!” We are both optimists, but sometimes about different things.

      • Laughing at the shoe rack. I can totally see my husband thinking, well this is nifty gadget, I need to try this. As if shoe racks had never entered his universe before he lived with me. Oh wait…

  11. Folks…. I have had a migraine since Sunday afternoon. My preventative daily meds have failed my big time. I already missed a day of work, and I am at my wit’s end. Luckily, I have off tomorrow. This is the worst.

    • Do you have abortive medications. The best abortive med I’ve used is Sumatriptan (Immitrex) — though it will knock you out. The next line of defense my doc has recommended is (unfortunately) narcotic pain meds mixed with benadryl (basically the idea being to put you to sleep). Can you get into see your PCP or into a walk in clinic? If not, if its really bad, the IV meds at the hospital ER CAN really help BUT (and this is a big BUT) I find the lights and sounds at the ER to be almost intolerable. I’d call around to a few to find the shortest wait time (its not like you really need to be at the biggest fanciest one). At the ER they can also give you injection Immitrex which can REALLY be great (though warning, at first it can be horrible, but then its like a miracle).

      Note, my migraines are really, really bad. Sounds like yours are too. Time for big time actions dude.

      • By the way, I should note that I’m assuming you’ve tried all the basics, like lying in a dark room, putting a cool towel on your head, sleeping, rubbing your temples, taking excedrin migraine, etc. If not, of course do those first.

      • I surprisingly don’t have any abortive meds because my preventative meds (Topamax – 2x daily!) are supposed to do their job. My migraines are horrid. I’ve had them since I was 4 years old. I can’t even imagine what was going through my mom’s head when she saw her 4 year old screaming in pain because of her head.

        I’m heading home early today and popping some benadryl and hoping this beast is gone in the morning. If not, I might head to the urgent care. Unfortunately, my doc couldn’t get me in today or tomorrow. I have never had one for this long before. The only saving grace is that it seems that it isn’t as excruciating as some of my shorter ones.

        • When my meds don’t kick in quick enough, I sometimes get some relief from taking an extra magnesium supplement. Sorry you’re going through this.

          (I know how weasely that was: some relief sometimes. But that’s how it goes with migraines.)

      • Just a note: I used sumatriptan for a while (now on a related one since sumatriptan stopped working to the full extent) and never had a problem with it. The first time I took it, it made me a bit loopy (drunk-like) but only that one time. (Good thing I always take meds for the first time at home!) I know two people who had bad reactions, but it isn’t necessarily what will happen!

      • onehsancare :

        The injectable Imitrex is the best abortive I have, but if I don’t get it right at the beginning sometimes, it won’t do the job. I also have narcotics to take if nothing else works, but it’s still not unbearable. If it’s a level 8 or higher, it’s a trip to the ER for Demerol.

        Sometimes my husband will make me a strong lemon drop cocktail. I’ll drink it with an oral Imitrex and two Aleve, and I’ll be willing to stay alive until bedtime.

        Today, the neurologist decided to add amitriptyline to my Topamax preventive routine. Keeping my fingers crossed!

        r–sounds like you really need something to break this cycle. If you need to, go to the ER for immediate treatment, and ask your doc for a prescription for the injectable Imitrex to have on hand.

    • long time lurker :

      It may not work for you but what makes me feel marginally better is sipping a full-sugar soda with some caffeine in it, like coke or pepsi.

    • Get a prescription for Immitrex. I can usually feel migraines coming on and stop them with Excedrin Migraine but Immitrex is a blessing if they really set in. It will knock you out for a while but you’ll wake up feeling much better.

      • FormerPhotog :

        Frova is my triptan of choice. Newer, and not as fast acting, but lasts forever, and stacks like a dream with either Toredol or Fiorinal for any residual pain. I’m also on Topamax, which helps minimize them (they have a discrete beginning and end now!), but I still get a few a week.

        I also second a fizzy carbonated caffinated something – I like Red Bull or Mexican Coke best – it seems to catalyze my medication faster, even though I barely taste the fizz.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Immitrex never worked for me but Maxalt knocks my migraines right out. It’s hella expensive (something like $25 per pill) but totally worth it.

      I really urge you to call your doc and get a prescription for an abortive med, and talk about adjusting your prophylactic meds as well! I ended up with a combination of low-dose Inderal and low-dose Topamax and it reduced my migraines from one or two a week to one or two a year.

      • Rose in Bloom :

        I second Maxalt. I have the Maxalt-MLT which dissolves in your mouth, and I really appreciate it when my head is pounding and I don’t feel like getting up to get a glass of water.

        • I have the zomig that dissolves in your mouth, and although it’s hella expensive even with my insurance, it’s so worth it. When I’ve got one, I tend to be very nauseated, and the thought of swallowing a pill just does NOT seem like a good idea…but putting one on my tongue I can handle!

      • Third disolvable matlrax. It is also really good if you vomit with migraines. Sorry, gross..but basically it makes sure some gets in your bloodstream, I guess.
        My sister has luck with emerge (imerge?)

    • My best result with a triptan has been Relpax. Changed my life.
      Imitrex was the very first triptan; in my opinion they have gotten better since then. Especially re side effects. But it does have the benefit of being available as a generic.

      • Maine Associate :

        I totally agree. Relpax is AMAZING. If I take Immitrex, I need to be in bed. I can take Relpax and still function. It is worth the fight with the insurance company to cover it. Also, if you gt to the Relpax website I think you can still sign up for co-insurance so you only have to pay a $10 co-pay because Relpax pays the difference between your insurance co-pay and the $10.

        • just Karen :

          THANK YOU! My last Relpax rx was over $100 – I will absolutely do a partial fill once a month to use the $10 program – huzzah!

    • onehsancare :

      The injectable Imitrex is the best abortive I have, but if I don’t get it right at the beginning sometimes, it won’t do the job. I also have narcotics to take if nothing else works, but it’s still not unbearable. If it’s a level 8 or higher, it’s a trip to the ER for Demerol.

      Sometimes my husband will make me a strong lemon drop c*cktail. I’ll drink it with an oral Imitrex and two Aleve, and I’ll be willing to stay alive until bedtime.

      Today, the neurologist decided to add amitriptyline to my Topamax preventive routine. Keeping my fingers crossed!

      r–sounds like you really need something to break this cycle. If you need to, go to the ER for immediate treatment, and ask your doc for a prescription for the injectable Imitrex to have on hand.

      (Posting again because I said c*cktail!)

  12. Looking for advice on PPO health insurance issues. I recently learned that I have a medical condition which my perfectly-nice-but-regular in-network doctors/clinics/hospitals do not specialize in and cannot effectively treat me. My PCP agrees and referred me to a clinic/hospital that specializes in this issue. Assume for the purposes of discussion that I need to go to this clinic/hospital to get the care I need. Unfortunately the clinic/hospital is not in-network. I just saw the bill for my first appointment, which included a doctor’s visit and lab work, both at the not-in-network hospital. The doctor’s visit amount that wasn’t covered by my PPO is scary, and the cost of the non-covered portion of lab work was absolutely terrifying. I guess I should have gone back to my in-network hospital for the lab work requested by the out-of-network doctor at the out-of-network hospital?!

    Given the discussions I have seen on here regarding conditions which I imagine require specialists, perhaps some of you may have advice on how to navigate this 0ut-of-network world without incurring more expenses than I have to??? What should I be doing? What do I need to tell my PPO to get in-network coverage at the out-of-network hospital, if that’s even possible? I will need to see this out-of-network doctor regularly for the foreseeable future. Please help.

    • Appeal the bill to your PPO. If there is truly no in-network coverage to treat your medical condition, your PPO may treat the out-of-network coverage as in-network in your case. (This used to happen with me for an out of network medical test I used to have perennially, but would always get a bill first on.)

      Call your insurance company and appeal. If the first person gives you trouble ask to speak to their supervisor. If needs be, your PCP may have to write a letter. But generally, you can get out-of-network treatment covered as in-network IF there is NO in-network equivalent. At least in my experience.

    • Call accounts receivable/billing at the out-of-network place and negotiate or see what they are willing to accept for someone who is a “cash” patient.

      Does the doc that you are seeing have any clinical trials for your condition?

      Also, talk to your HR person to see if a recent diagnosis is a “qualifying event” that will allow you to switch coverage (before the end of the plan year) to a plan that does cover this care before enrollment comes around again.

      • Unfortunately, even being at an in-network hospital may yield you charges for out-of-network specialists who work there, often when you’re not in a position to ask (e.g., I hear this is common with anesthesiologists).

        • This. And is a short summary of how I ended up owing $38k out of pocket after my first round of cancer treatment. I now know to always confirm that every person at the hospital who sees me is covered by my plan – even when the primary doctors, hospital, etc. have confirmed they are covered.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Ugh! Did your plan have an annual out of pocket max? It should have kicked in at some point. That is awful.

    • Definitely get the lab work done at an in-network location. The out-of-network Dr should be able to give you a slip ordering whatever tests you need, then you take it to wherever your ins will cover.

      Also, do you have a medical flexible spending account?

  13. I may be the only person to comment on the bag, which I love – but not sure I can spend $200 on nylon.

    • I agree. There is nothing about this bag that says “worth $200” to me.

    • I think that’s probably why there aren’t many comments on it.

    • I do love the bag too – but I’m trying to withhold from making any more unnecessary clothing/bag purchases, since I seem to have forgotten that money does not grow on trees! And agreed about the nylon.

    • Agreed, it’s a cute bag. I like it very much, but I have a strict policy of not spending more than $100 on a fabric bag, no matter how nice.

    • I actually own the last season version of this bag — it’s navy and red-orange with white. I adore it and got tons of compliments on it. It’s a lot more substantial in person. I used it to death for travel and work — so much that I need to get one of the handles fixed.

  14. Is there a blazer that is the equivalent of the Skirt? Just really basic and looks good. Personal preferences aside (1 button vs. 2, bracelet sleeve or full length etc.) what is the most flattering jacket? Am I asking too much because of varying bust size and shoulder width? I just want to not try on a million blazers as a separate and want to try some tried and true blazers from the hive.

    I’m about 5’7″, 34C (right in the middle, not a big or small C), normal shoulder size. Price is semi negotiable, but lets aim for less than $200. I’m not looking for a Theory Gabe blazer or a Hugo Boss one, just a normal normal one.


  15. So I’m thinking about taking the plunge and getting an iPhone. I’ve carried a Blackberry for work until recently, but that’s the only smartphone I’ve had. I think I’m settled on the phone itself (regular iPhone 4, 8GB) but am completely confused by the data packages. Would getting the basic 2GB/mo data package be good enough? What determines how much data you use/need?

    • Unless you plan to stream movies on it daily, odds are all you need is the 2 gigs/mo.

    • I always had the biggest data package when I first got my phone. But after looking at my usage for several months in a row, realized I wasn’t getting anywhere close to the max. So, I was able to downgrade and save money. But I still keep an eye on it when I’m traveling and know I’m using email on my phone a lot.

      I would recommend taking the biggest plan for now, and checking your usage for a few months to see if you can downgrade. On AT and T anyway, it’s easy to change my plans online, and it’s cheaper to do it this way than going for the lower package and accidentally going over and having to play usage charges.

    • Rose in Bloom :

      Would you be able to set it to use wireless instead of the 3G network at home or at work or both? If so, then you will go nowhere near using even the smallest data package. I use barely any data because I’m almost always on wireless.

      • Me too – I used to be 1G and used so little that I am now down to 500 megabites, which is the smallest data package my provider has. But because I am usually on a network, I actually only use about 100 mbs most months. If you don’t stream video on a crazy basis, you may not need very much. Don’t let them sucker you into a bigger package than you need.

    • I’m a heavy user of my iPhone for email/IM/general internet-ing, and I’ve never needed more than 2GB of data.

      That said, in order to preserve your usage: make sure that when you are at home or at a free hotspot, your phone is hooked into the wifi, NOT on the network. That way, any internet usage will go through the wireless, not through your network’s 3G or 4G.

    • You might also consider an Android phone. I just hung out with some girlfriends this weekend who could do more on their Androids than I could on my iphone.

    • AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile (and possibly other carriers as well – those are just the first three that showed up) all have data calculators. Google “data usage calculator” and they should all show up. If you’re sending 250 emails a day and visiting 100 web pages per day, you’re still under 2 GB of data per month – in other words, unless you’re streaming lots of music or videos, you should be totally fine.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I only ever use 200MB/mo. I’ve only ever gotten a text message about using 65% of the data twice. I use it to send emails, look up maps, rarely download apps while outside on wi-fi, play games (already downloaded), and sometimes search things online. I do have wi-fi at home and at school when I use it, so it is relatively rare that I am using the data plan.

  16. Kontraktor :

    I would just like to say that I don’t get all the advice out there telling me I should be able to diet/live fine on 1400ish calories a day. Like, I read typical guidance of what to eat and I feel depressed that the only snack I get is exactly 9 almonds and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, measured no more no less. Add that to the breakfast of things like one english muffin with exactly 1/2 teaspoon of jam, a lunch of exactly one fist full of plain brocoli and exactly one boiled chicken breast of no more than 4 inches in length, and dinner of some sad plain sweet potato and 5 strawberries with 1 teaspoon of CoolWhip…. yeah, I pretty much want to make pizza out of the paper that stuff is printed on and smother it in hamburger pieces before stuffing it all in my face just to make a point.

    I’m not overweight at all. I really value a whole foods diet (with very little processed stuff at this point, or as little as I can help) and I walk a lot. Except sometimes if I don’t walk a lot, I gain that pesky 3-5/now I am a bigger size pounds and I look into theories on how to lose that bit. Inevitably cutting calories is a surefire and simple way, but I seriously don’t even know how I could deal, physically or mentally. with the pithy amount of food that it seems 1400 calories a day gets you.

    Right now, I am dealing with this issue by a) not caring about the occasional 5 lb fluctuation in weight I seem to have a lot because I would rather be 5 lb fluffier than starve and b) coming to the conclusion that I should stop not walking. Sigh. Just grumbling.

    PS. I started C25K yesterday after years away from real athletic activity. I am wondering if I can keep it up!

    • Some people don’t need to eat a lot; some people do. I’m like you – I’m absolutely ravenous on 1,400 calories a day no matter how high quality the food I’m eating is or how balanced the diet is. And it’s not something I adjust to; I get steadily more ravenous as time goes on until I can literally not think about anything other than food, all the time. But other people are different and do fine on that amount. That’s part of why I don’t like it when people try to dictate what “everyone” should be able to live on happily.

      • Kontraktor :

        This is me. Seriously. Like, I am just hungry all the time and eat and want to eat. Probably my biggest hobby is eating, so I should definitely also get a hobby that is more than walking so I can eat more and not worry. I mean, really it’s sort of silly to worry about for the 5 lb here and there but it really annoys me when my skirts stop fitting 100% right.

        Where I went to grad school, food was super super expensive so I probably ate around 1200 calories a day just due to the affordability of food. I also was walking at least 3-5 miles a day. In about 8 months, I lost the 15lbs I tried for months and months and *months* prior to lose with controlled eating and gym exercise. Except, I was miserable. Like, so miserable that after a few months, I was practically collapsing randomly and had to have blood work done because I thought I was nutrient deficient. On the plus side, I liked how I looked and how my clothes fit. On the not at all plus side, I realized getting to that weight required way too much suffering so I just have to accept a higher baseline. Except, it was so nice fitting into slightly smaller clothes. :-(

        • That has to be really frustrating! It sounds like your metabolism is pretty fast, if you’re constantly ravenous on 1400 calories (I have the opposite problem, unfortunately).

          I don’t have any real advice, since I’m on the slow end of the metabolism spectrum and (when I’m eating a balanced and whole foods diet) actually feel pretty full on 1400 calories, if those calories are lean protein and veggies.

          But as someone for whom other bits of “THIS WORKS FOR EVERYONE!!” diet advice don’t work, I can definitely understand your frustration. My only trite advice is to know your body. If exercise is what it takes to maintain for you, and cutting calories just makes you feel ill (even after an adjustment period), then listen to your body.

          • Kontraktor :

            Obviously the grass is greener, but I totally envy this. I would really love to be perfectly full after a nice piece of chicken and small bit of veg. But really that won’t ever happen. I feel part of it for me might just be that I looooove food so much and it seems depressing to me to stop eating something so tasty or to only have thismuch of it. On the flip side, if I were to prepare something super simple/basic like the plain microwaved brocolli and boiled chicken breast, I’d feel similarly dissatisfied for taste and mental reasons and want to eat more of something else instead. I feel kind of hosed both ways. :-P

            I think I’m just going to have to kick myself back into gear and up the walkies. Sucks to have annoyingly fitting skirts in the mean time, but gotta do what you gotta do!

        • Me three. I don’t track calories, but just comparing the amount of food I eat to all of the roommates I’ve had–I eat at least 1.5 times, probably a full double, the amount they do. For the most part I eat healthy foods, it’s not like I’m stuffing my face on Taco Bell and venti fraps with whipped cream, but seriously, if I don’t eat that much I just wilt. Everyone’s different.

          • Kontraktor :

            I feel this way too!! I have had countless roomates come home and eat a tiny bowl of cerreal for dinner and that is it… I am pretty much dead from hunger by the time I walk in the door and I eat a huge plate of food for dinner (I am very true to a protein +veg + grain model). I’m just like.. how do you do that and can I have your super power?

    • layered bob :

      Yeah, I’m moderately less hungry when I’m eating nutrient-dense foods, but I’ve learned with my own 4-6 lb weight fluctuation that I can take it off in a couple weeks eating around 1900 cal/day. I also frequently see that 1400 number which is just way too low for me. Guess I’d be among the first to do awful things/die in a famine.

    • 1400 calories a day leaves TCFKAG a cranky girl. The bigger problem being that its entirely unsustainable and a terrible way for me to *actually* lose any weight (because I just end up binge eating at some point when I can’t stand it any more).

      Different strokes for different folks I think definitely applies to eating and weight loss.

    • I am the same way! It seems like 1400 calories is almost nothing. But I did read about the volumetrics eating plan recently, which emphasizes high volumes of food with few calories. That might be something you want to check out! I was reading some of the meal suggestions and thinking that it actually sounds like a lot of food for once.

      • I have the Volumetrics Cookbook and I love it. The recipes are delish and really do help me feel fuller. Basically, it substitutes veggies and fruits for other denser items. For instance, a Chili recipe recommended adding in eggplant instead of ground turkey/beef.

        Highly recommend.

    • I would probably die on 1,400 calories per day, I’m with layered bob on the famine scenario! I also noticed that since I started grad school, I’m freakin’ STARVING after class. It doesn’t matter how much I eat beforehand, I always end up coming home and eating a bunch of snacks. Also, my husband just introduced me to the amazingness that is peanut butter, graham crackers, and honey. Seriously, great snack, and it stays with you pretty well, due to the peanut butter. The other thing I’ve heard, is that if you eat too little, you send your body into “starvation” mode, so it actually holds onto the fat you already have, because it anticipates needing it for the period ahead. So, you should actually make sure you aren’t inadvertently telling your body to hold onto the extra couple of lbs. “just in case of famine/hibernation/drought” etc.

    • I could not live on 1400 calories a day. I usually aim for 2000, and even that seems low some days. I workout a fair amount though, about an hour a day, 6 or 7 days a week.

      I’ve been reducing my carbs and starches recently and upping my veggies and water, which I’ve found has helped a lot with the 3-5 lb fluctuations. I should add, this has also let me up my bacon intake without gaining, which is making me a very happy badger these days.

      • Kontraktor :

        I definitely need to drink more water throughout the day! I pretty much only drink water and carbonated water (very occasionally I will drink ice tea or juice), in addition to my morning coffee, but I don’t drink nearly enough.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Yea, I can usually make it about 4 days on 1400 calories before I just want to pounce on the first cheeseburger I see. But I have found that if I’m starving and it’s not a normal meal time (I usually get super hungry at 10:30-11 in the morning, then 3-4 in the afternoon), chewing gum will make me forget I’m hungry, for some reason.

    • Ugh. Calorie counting has never worked for me. I fail like the first day and then don’t want to do it after.

      Here’s what I do to maintain a healthy weight:
      1. Don’t weigh myself. If I lose weight, I will know, because my clothes will be too big. Then I get to buy new clothes. 3-5lbs fluctuation? I don’t even know about it, and after all, small fluctuations aren’t unhealthy. They are kind of normal.
      2. Eat every four hours. Protein, fiber/plants, and whole grain. You don’t need much to fill you up. Protein, fiber/plants, and whole grain for breakfast.
      3. Control portion size. Put crackers on a plate instead of eating out of the package. A serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards. Don’t put more than that in front of you.
      4. Unlimited plants for snacks. (Weight Watchers does this now.) Pick plants you like. Prefer snap peas to carrots? Easy – quit buying carrots. Small amounts of creamy sauces/dressings are ok if it means you’ll eat more plants. Bonus for plants that are high in protein (garbanzo beans, avocados, etc.).
      5. Do not think of this as “a diet.” Diet implies there’s an end date where you can get back to eating unhealthily/normally. I think of this as an “initiative.” And I want to do it forever. Not being a “diet” also gives myself permission to do what I can, but also eat ice cream. And cupcakes. And sometimes have pancakes for breakfast. And that doesn’t mean that I’ve fallen off the wagon and will become obese tomorrow, so may as well screw it all.
      6. Sleep 8+ hours per night, don’t drink as much alcohol (like one drink per occasion), and drink water all day at my desk. No smoking.
      7. Walk/move as much as possible.

      • Kontraktor :

        Portion control makes me sad. My biggest downfall for sure! I feel like I am just hungry if I only eat a tiny baby steak that is as big as my hand.

        But I definitely agree I need to keep better track of my walking/moving. That’s huge for me. I also like the idea of eating tons of plants because I love veggies, I think I find it hard to think of ideas on planty things to bring to work. Any ideas for planty snack foods?

        • these are planty thing I sometimes bring: baby carrots, oranges, bananas, cherry tomatoes, edamame (steamable pouches), watermelon (pre cut, in tupperware, obviously), pineapple (same).

          Watermelon is a magical food. It is my favorite. I eat so much of it this time of year that it’s amazing I don’t turn into a watermelon. It fills you up, hydrates you, and tastes like candy. You can literally eat it until you’re so full you feel sick, and it’s probably less than 100 calories. But this may be my personal obsession…

        • I go crazy on hummus. It’s protein and a veggie, so bonus!

          A snack between lunch and dinner is really important for me. I usually have one at work around 3-4, or immediately upon coming home. I keep multigrain Wheat Thins and hummus in my office.

          If you’re getting hungry, make sure you’re a) eating protein and fiber at every snack, and 2) eating a healthy snack every 3-4 hours whether you feel hungry then or not. If you don’t put fuel in your belly, you will get hungry later and eat an entire bag of cheezy poofs or something.

      • great, practical advice

    • I can usually do 1,400 to 1,500 during the week, no problem. I’m in a routine with work and I can be filled up on yogurt/cottage cheese with fruit for breakfast; salad with some bread for lunch and a “sensible” dinner like pasta with lean protein. I’m generally not hungry at all on a diet like that. Then, on the weekends, I break from routine and usually go out to eat once or twice, treat myself to ice cream or muffins and coffee, etc. I think this works because it ensures that I don’t bring my metabolism to a screeching halt by eating too little, brings my 7-day average for daily calories up and I never feel like binging because I “indulge” on the weekends. This works for me better than any other diet I’ve ever been on, and I’m 10 – 15 lbs lighter than I was in my 20s.

      • I don’t actually count calories. I just estimate that breakfast is about 300, lunch is about 400 and dinner is about 700. I don’t usually snack, although on week nights, sometimes I eat carrots or broccoli with dressing/dip while I prepare dinner. It could be more than 1,400 – 1,500 depending on dinner. I’m never really hungry, though. And if I’m having a true hungry day (not just wanting to mindlessly munch, but actually feel hungry), then I eat more.

        • Kontraktor :

          Yeah, I think it’s just that I know what a 400 calorie lunch is/feels like, and I’m like… yeah, not happening. I have tried to say bring one of those Kashi frozen meals for lunch (I sometimes find frozen meals are a good way for me to portion control at lunch) and I HAVE to supplement with other stuff to even feel thismuch full. I try to supplement with good stuff- usually a combo of one or two different types of fruits, plain Fage greek yogurt, healthier wheat type crackers- stuff like that. Breakfast is usually a nut bar (like the kind made with just nuts and a bit of honey), yogurt, plain Cheerios, cottage cheese… usually some sort of item like that. But I am just famished by dinner and I definitely eat way more than 700 calories for dinner- that’s sort of what I’m saying, I feel like I just don’t feel satisfied at that level!! Gargh. I definitely wish I could gracefully and happily eat less… I just wonder why I can’t.

          • Despite their marketing, frozen meals are not good for you. The sodium in them may be making you hungry. Fresh protein and fiber/plants. Peanut butter is awesome for a quick protein.

          • Oh, and make sure you’re having a healthy snack between lunch and dinner. (Or, if you’re like my SO, and want to have a dinner at 5:30, make sure you have a healthy snack before bed, like fruit, so you don’t end up eating ice cream every night.)

    • I’m a short person with a slow metabolism, and I’ve given up on trying to lose weight through diet. I still eat a salad almost everyday for veggies and somewhat low-cal-ness, but other than that… *kanye shrug*
      I’ve started doing more exercise to try and lose the love handles. It is so much easier to exercise when the weather’s nice. I’m on week 3 of C25K and it’s pretty easy to stay on track. Good luck with it!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      3-5lb weight fluctuations stress you out? Am I the only one that has a 3-5lb weight fluctuation between morning and night? Or Friday afternoon and Sunday morning?

      This is why I avoid weighing myself…

      In all honesty, I’m like you. I eat bigger portions than a lot of people I know. I am often quite hungry, but I’m not overweight. I rarely feel “full” and would not feel full at ALL on a 1400cal/day diet. I try for 1600-1700 (which is a bit much, given my frame, but I seem to metabolize it well enough to stay in the healthy weight range). I try and avoid weighing myself and gauge my health by how well I’m fitting into my clothes and how I look/feel. So far, it’s worked.

      • Kontraktor :

        Haha, I guess perhaps annoy is a better description than stress out. I am already smaller/petite and so for me, a ~5lb weight gain over the course of a couple months can mean the difference of a size and the difference in some of my dresses/clothes fitting vs. not. It’s kind of annoying. I’m usually able to keep right at my desired baseline by walking a fairly good amount, but as soon as I sort of stop doing that, I put on that 5lb again and my dresses stop fitting the right way.

        I’m glad to know though I’m not the only one who seems to need/want to eat a lot. I think another commenter said that she felt she ate 2x what her roomates did… I have always felt the same way. I mean, lucky me I guess that whatever I am doing/my body chemistry allows me to eat + keep my desired base for the most part, but it kind of makes me feel like freak sometimes when I go out for a huge prix fixe meal or something and I eat 4 courses and could go for another and my friend has stopped/is super full at like course 2.

        • I am a “big eater” compared to my girlfriends, too, but I’m also 5″ taller so that must be taken into account :)

          The best thing I’ve done, after years of dieting, is getting back in touch with “hungry”/”not hungry”, and the difference between that I think is enough and what is really enough. I found out that, if I eat conscienciously, I actually need way less food than I thought. Still more than most women, but less that my imaginary picture of a meal. I also never let myself get too hungry, because that the best way to overeat. Even if that means that I snack 1 hr before a meal.

          I used to be self-conscious about the amount of food I need, but then people seem actually more envious than judgmental about that !

          And what I eat is also important : if I eat a small candy, it’ll make me ravenous for hours, but the same amount of “calories” (for lack of a better word) in almonds will fill me up.

    • If you don’t want to control your portions, your other option is to increase your metabolism. Find someone to teach you how to lift weights. Think big, heavy ones — barbells, not dumbbells. Squat, deadlift, and bench press. You won’t build muscle overnight, as women can only build about 1/2 lb. of muscle per month under the most ideal conditions, but if you keep at it, you can substantially increase your metabolism over time. And you really won’t get excessively muscular. I’m a 105 lb. elite-level powerlifter, and no one would ever know it unless I told them… or maybe unless they saw me reload the spring water machine with one arm.

      Regarding feeling full on lower calories, I think it’s all about what you’re used to. I used to compete at 114.5 lbs. (offseason, I was closer to 118), and recently dieted my way down to 102 with the help of a nutritionist. By the end of the diet phase, I was eating only 1100 calories — sometimes less — per day, but I never felt very hungry because I was eating a ton of protein and a lot of leafy vegetables. Like 140 grams of protein per day. I think most people radically overestimate their protein consumption; eating a bit of meat, egg whites, or cottage cheese with each meal goes a long way, as does eating a serving of green vegetables. I totally did the counting almonds thing, though, so I feel your pain. I once could only eat fourteen almonds for the whole day. :-( Now that I’m up to 1500 calories, though, I feel perpetually stuffed.

      Aside from my competitive goals, the thing that helped me stick with that heinous diet was, as Hel-lo said, the fact that I viewed it as a lifestyle change and not a transient “diet.” When I signed up with my nutritionist, I pretty much gave myself over to clean eating, and I viewed my decision to drop a weight class as the opportunity to change the way I approached food. And it worked! I like the way my body runs on clean food so much that I’m never going back.

  17. I’d love for politics in general to focus on the issues on not personal things, but is anyone else really dissapointed in Warren? I guess I kind of viewed her as ‘not politician like’ but her ‘I don’t really even remember’ schtick really rubbed me the wrong way. I guess its weird that I still manage to get disspointed by politicians when I really should be past the point of being naive. and yet here I am! Really disspointed in how she handled the whole thing, especially as more comes out about these really tiny little white lies.

    • I guess I’m more disappointed in Scott Brown and his team for continuing to push on this “she lied about being Native American thing.” But either way, I think its a kind of stupid issue that’s really distracting from the campaign so I’m trying not to pay attention to it.

      • See I don’t really think Scott Brown’s is even pushing it that much. I think it was mostly media, and obviously he would support that because it makes her look bad. I think its a huge issue because she lied about it, not because she is or is not Native American. I am thinking about it a lot I think because its changed how I feel about her. I read her defense- “who questions what their parents tell them?” but she was a lawyer putting it down on documents where the definition of native american is defined by law.

        • Again, I haven’t read a great deal into it because I find the story frustrating. But Scott brown has spoken about it repeatedly in interviews and used it in fundraising. And, there’s a difference between identity and actual ethnicity. If you watch the PBS special where they run famous people’s DNA they are always shocked by what they discover.

          So I think it’s an exaggeration to say she lied. It’s more true to say that our understandings of who we are are almost always flawed.

          • She counted herself as native american on federal forms that Harvard used to show diversity. I think when you know (and she did, she was a lawyer) that its being used for that purpose, its a lot different than saying its who you identify with. She was promoted as a minority professor. I think that’s what made me sad about. She evaded, evaded, evaded, and then her answer today just seemed so typical and politics as usual. I don’t know I guess its become a big issue for me and I’m surprised that it is.

          • Sorry, not to get into this too far, but when you check whatever is your racial identity on census or other identity forms, have you done a DNA test or extensive genealogical research to confirm what your family has told you? Because, I haven’t. And guess what, most of us aren’t what we thought we were.

            And I think the reason she “evaded” was because she was trying not to talk about it because she thought it was unimportant. But clearly we disagree. As kanye would say, *kanye shrug*.

          • No I appreciate your point of view. But I would, yes. Next to where she checked native american, it had the definition for what counts, legally, as native american, because checking it counts as a minority for hiring and diversity statistics. So if I knew I was getting an advantage because of it, or if I was checking something that I was certifying was true, I would def go on more than just my parents. If my mom told me I was hispanic for instance, but my last name wasn’t hispanic and I didn’t look hispanic, I would find out who in my family was hispanic before I checked on even my college application.

          • Actually, hasn’t Harvard said she didn’t “apply” for a professorship there at all, but rather was recruited (and they didn’t even know about the “native american” thing)?

          • At first she said she had no idea they were promoting her as a minority candidate. “In a May 2 interview with the Globe, Warren suggested that she did not list her ethnicity on applications because she was personally recruited by the universities where she taught. Asked how the issue first came up or how she first reported herself as a minority, she said, “But that’s what I’m trying to say – there was no, there is no reporting for this. It came up in lunch conversation once with faculty, after the fact.’’

            Today she said she was the one who told Harvard and UPenn that she was native american. “Warren’s new statement came after the Globe asked her campaign about documents it obtained Wednesday from Harvard’s library showing that the university’s law school began reporting a Native American female professor in federal statistics for the 1992-93 school year, the first year Warren worked at Harvard, as a visiting professor.”

            “Warren had previously said only that she indicated minority status in an Association of American Law Schools directory used to make diversity-friendly hires beginning in the 1986-87 school year, the year before she was hired at Penn. She stopped listing herself in the directory in 1995, the year she became a tenured professor at Harvard.”

            They weren’t recruiting her for her, they were recruiting her because of her husband. They were trying to make it a package deal, her pedigree was just not even close to the level of her husbands. So what else might make her an attractive candidate in the 90s? (Also, I admire her intellect very much, she seems like an incredibly smart woman, and a great speaker. But I don’t think there can be any dispute that her school pedigree is not even close to what Harvard recruits for law professors)


    • I agree with you and am def. disappointed that they are trying so hard to keep DiFranco off the ballot. What are they afraid of? Isn’t more choice a good thing?

  18. Are there any others here who are following the French Open? My husband and I love watching tennis but know very few people who follow. Why don’t more people like tennis? Maybe it’s just the company we keep, ha ha! But seriously: it’s such a spectator-friendly sport! Easy to follow the action, easy to learn the rules, beautiful people being both fierce and balletic, great personal stories. The sport requires not only physical grace but mental acuity (true even for Rafa, with his confused-puppy face). French Open! Who’s with me?

    • Fellow tennis buff here! Go Rog! :)

      Try the tennisworld forums (or look for Peter Bodo and Steve Tignor blogs) on – a real community of tennis fans and quite civilized for an online forum (the bodo one is moderated).

      • here’s an example of the day’s discussion:

    • Some what related, I get totally sucked into Tour De France every year. My husband watches it, and even though I don’t really care about cycling, suddenly I’m ro0ting for some team sponsored by a portuguese cell phone company or something.

      • I LOVE the Tour. I watch as much of it as possible every year. My dad and I have a dream of going to watch it live.

    • Thanks, ismay.

      And EC MD, I know just how you feel! I do not follow any other sports, so during the grand slam tournaments I always get excited that I’ll actually be able to talk sports! And lo and behold, I follow the only sport that nobody in my area cares about. I used to live next door to a sportscaster, and even he didn’t talk tennis! Maybe it’s a Chicago thing.

      • Alex Mack :

        My husband and I watch! He’s been playing tennis forever, and I just started to learn last year. I’m now addicted. I think tennis isn’t as much fun to watch unless you play because you may not understand the skill involved. At least that’s how I was before I started playing.

  19. Kate Spade TJ:

    I have bought two bags, several pieces of jewelry, and two phone cases from Kate Spade over the last couple of years. The stitching came loose and a small piece of leather fell off of one bag. The seam of the lining split open on the other bag. One pair of earrings refused to stay clasped. And now I just noticed that my phone case, which I’ve had for a month, has cracked in half. I love, love, love the way KS products look, but I’m starting to think the quality just isn’t there for the price, and it makes me sad! Has anyone else had this experience or am I just unlucky/really hard on things?

    • For the cost of those items, I would take them back to the store for a replacement. Unacceptable!

    • Yes, agree 100%. I bought a large leather KS bag as a present to myself in August, and I have now taken it into the store twice to have it sent away for repairs. (The second time I asked to be able to just return the bag, since I’m thinking the bag is a lemon, but was politely turned down.) The handle just fell off after less than six months of normal use. Ugh.

      And a good friend is currently fighting with them because shoes she bought 3 months ago are literally falling apart – the soles are coming unglued.

      • I also had the soles of Kate Spade shoes come unglued after only a month or two of use. Totally unacceptable for the price point.

    • Never had an issue with the jewelry, but I’ve had really bad luck with the phone cases. The hard cases start to crack and the paint comes off after only a couple of months, and the soft plastic cases stretch out so that my phone falls out of the case. Very disappointing. Have to remind myself everytime I see a new case that it’s pointless to buy it because it will fall apart too quickly.

    • Any suggestions for brands at a similar price point/cuteness level that hold up better? How is Marc by Marc Jacobs?

  20. Research, Not Law :

    I’m looking for a white top that isn’t transparent. I’m loving the smocked and bubble hem tops at LOFT, but they are complete see-through in white. :( Anyone have suggestions for a cotton/cotton-blend, jersey, white top that can be worn alone?

  21. MissJackson :

    Post this earlier, but just in case it was missed the first time around–

    To the AnonForThis who posted late last night re: making an appointment for therapy to deal with an alcoholic father:

    Can you update us and let us know that you’ve made this very important phone call? Sending lots of good internet vibes to you!

    • Thank you.
      I simply can’t put into words, any more appreciation for you. I start doing that flailing hands, eyes teary thing. Just means much to me.

      I called, I left a vm – the recording said it may take a day or so to return a call for new patients.

      I had a busy day away from my desk, and had checking in with my mother at some point – she indicated when my father woke this morning he was unaware of what day it was, wondering what had happened to Wednesday. She’s finally getting to a point she’s calling him on his drinking, as he attempts to hide it. Said he was sheepish and apologetic. Obviously, this is part of the cycle but an easier part of the cycle to brush off than when he’s actively intoxicated: mean, nasty, and hateful to be around. I had hemmed and hawed about calling this afternoon – I was on the road, I had a meeting, It was a nice day, I needed to workout… but I saw your earlier follow up and held myself to task. I was hoping for a return call before I posted, but I’m sure it will come. Or I’ll follow up.

      I just keep thinking about the quote – A year from now, you’ll be glad you started today (or some version of, I might have mangled)…

      • Moonstone :

        Good for you! We’re all pulling for you.

      • Yes! I am thinking about you, too. {{{{Internet Hugggs}}}}}}

      • Comment 146 :

        As someone who is about a month along in the process compared to you – I can’t tell you how much that call, and starting the relationship, helps you deal with all of the craziness in your life right now. Please make sure to follow up until you get somewhere. You will thank yourself, and your loved ones will thank you. You’re no good to anyone unless you’re taking care of yourself.

      • I have found al anon very helpful, by the way.

        • Ditto on Al Anon. Same situation as original poster and it has been an absloute life changer.

      • K... in transition :

        have been thinking about you as well… just one more person in the world who cares about you, in case you ever hit a point where it helps to keep a running tally ;)

  22. I’d just like to share that I have a “good problem.” I just moved to a new home, where the closet is 4x my previous closet, which was already the biggest I’d ever had. I put all my clothes it it and it looks completely empty. I can’t even imagine having that much clothing! But I’m looking forward to filling it in…

  23. spouse retreat? :

    This is probably too late in the day to ask, so I may re-post tomorrow –

    My husband’s new big firm is having a retreat several hours away from where we live. I’m an attorney at a big firm, too. The retreat is open to families of the attorneys of the firm, but it looks like from the brochure that only breakfast and dinner are open to everyone, and otherwise the attorneys will be off doing firm bonding/leadership activities, and I will be on my own with the spouses (mostly wives, of course) and children all day. And I have to miss a day of work to go, including a hearing for a motion I worked on. I know I have to be supportive and that this is the perfect way for him to get integrated into his new firm, but the idea of socializing with all the wives (many of whom don’t work outside the home, I’ll bet, and will be focused on their kids) and wasting my weekend really does not sound like much fun at all. Has anyone been the spouse at one of these firm retreats? Are my fears/prejudices unfounded? How do I suck it up and do this?

    • I have an annual retreat like this and my husband would never consider going as the spouse. Don’t feel obligated at all.

      If you really want to go because of a nice location or something, you can always beg off of the spouse-only activities because you have work to do.

    • I’d go if there were plans like, you know, I got to have a massage and mani/pedicure and put my feet up and watch whatever tv I wanted at the hotel. But are you going to have to…like…socialize with strange people and do bonding exercises and stuff?

      Meh. I wouldn’t feel obligated. I think they’ll understand if he says you have a motion to do (though you should try to get a feel from him if this is the sort of firm where most of the wives are non-working and if he’s worried that the partners will somehow frown on you not being there.)

    • Could you go to your hearing and head out after that? Make it in time for drinks/dinner? That way you get the face time, but skip the mandatory fun. Seems like a bunch of lawyers would understand a court date. I would probably suck it up for this first year until you can decide in person if the spouses are fun or not and how much this matters for your husband. Chances are you are going to have to socialize with them again. If they are truly miserable, you can always slip away to spa/nap/work.

      • I agree with this. See if you can make it for dinner, even though it’s a haul. And see what your husband wants. My husband sometimes surprises me with desires I wouldn’t have predicted n these situations.

      • Ick, that does sound awful! My sympathies. But I’ll echo SAB — might as well suck it up for the first year. I feel like first impressions really count – there might be more of a focus on your husband this year, so whereas it wouldn’t make a splash next year if you didn’t go, it might now. In fact, I kind of think going this year absolves you of going again.
        Just go, socialize for a little bit, and then go hang out at the hotel room? In fact, that kind of sounds fun — you can hang out up there, get room service, and kind of “be there” for the husband and hang out with him when he returns.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My prior firm did this and my husband went and had fun. He did the dinner and the after dinner open bar drinking party mixer. The rest of the time he watched tv in the hotel room, went for a run, etc. There were no children at ours.

      I’d also be cautious about assuming everyone has a stay at home wife. Most of the spouses at my old firm also had high powered jobs.

      • “I’d also be cautious about assuming everyone has a stay at home wife. Most of the spouses at my old firm also had high powered jobs.”

        This. “I don’t want to spend time with all the spouses b/c they’re probably stay at home wives” sounds incredibly judgy.

        • Right. True, most of them will likely be SAHMs, but (a) that doesn’t make them bad people, and (b) if you can get in their good graces, it may win points for your husband.

          Also, think of this as networking… people at big firms often jump to other big firms, or go in house… and if you can befriend them, if and when you want to make a career move, bonus points for you!

    • Anne Shirley :

      I would go out friday night, after my motion, enjoy hotel s*x (what. i WOULD). and then spend the saturday at the hotel pool reading magazines, and socialize at dinner. it’s like a mini-vacation with a bonus that you might make some good networking connections for yourself. And most of the men my age at my big firm have lawyer wives- I bet you aren’t the only one.

  24. I’m such an engineer, I’m beginning to heckle myself for my thought processes. Yesterday, I finally got a bump on my jaw removed by a cosmetic surgeon and today, I can feel the stitches inside, tugging and holding pieces of my skin together. And I think to myself that I never realized how many tension forces are exerted on the skin. And in how many different directions. And pondering on the elasticity of skin. And then I realize that it’s uncomfortable. And a bit painful. After I analyzed the physical properties of skin. #nerdforlife

    • eeeeee! your comment made me so happy.


    • Ha! I spend a lot of time thinking about placing incisions on people to minimize tension. maybe I should get an engineering consult!

      • EC MD – probably too late, but you do surgery on b**bs, right? I am wondering how long it is beneficial to wear ultra-supportive sports bra after minor not very deep incision (2cm x 1cm deep max?). I am sorry to pester you for your expertise, but my dr was not clear on this point and you are awesome so I thought I’d ask…

    • How cool that you can feel the stitches! I once had surgery that involved a few small incisions on my abdomen, and I remember thinking it was really strange when the surgeon explained he had to sew up the different layers of skin one by one. I couldn’t feel anything like that, though; it just hurt. So, I’m really sorry you’re in pain, but thanks for sharing! Bodies are funny.

  25. Senior Attorney :

    It will probably be at a nice hotel or resort, right? If it wree me, I’d go and book a spa treatment or massage and have my own Senior Attorney Alone Time Retreat. Read a book, do shome shopping if it’s available, or just catch up on your sleep.

    Also, is it possible to attend your hearing and then join your hubby the second day?

    And finally, you may be surprised at the demographics of the spouses. Just sayin’…

    • Senior Attorney :

      Damn. That was for Spouse Repeat, above. And I meant “if it were me,” not “if it wree me.”


    • Yeah, I really like this approach. I also like “wree me.” It sounds charmingly Irish. :)

  26. Any suggestions for a non-meat main course not involving mushrooms?

    I’m hosting a little dinner for some of my cookie-bake friends while my husband and son are out of town this weekend.

    I have one non-meat eater (white meat OK) and one non mushroom eater.

    Naturally, there will be lots of wine involved.

    • I would make a pasta dish with eggplant. Of course, I would have to have mushrooms, but you can make it without. Roast cubes of eggplant with sea salt and olive oil. Saute some thin slices of onion then add some chopped garlic, then chopped tomatoes (I buy cans of roma tomatoes and chop them up). Let that cook a little, then add the roasted eggplant. Toss with pasta, fresh basil and either ricotta salata or feta. Yummy.

    • Quinoa, black bean, peppers, and avocado salad. Toss with olive oil, lime juice, salt, and cilantro. Top with feta. Delicious, and if you skip the feta, it’s vegan!

      • A million times yes to this. I do a very similar dish for many dinner parties with “mixed” company – including kids and vegetarians – and it’s always a huge success.

        • Tacos- refriend beans, cheese, all the reg fixings, with meat option. Quinoa suggestion also great. Pasta’s okay (veg here) but unless some protein thrown in, the veg person will probably have to eat again later or sneak to eat nut snacks in the bathroom etc. (I have been served pasta a million times, don’t expect people to cater to me, come prepared for my own nutrition).

    • A quiche? Just cause it’s so easy, if you buy a pre-made crust.

    • Two favorites that fit the bill:

    • What about something like stuffed peppers? Easy to prepare ahead of time, and you can stuff them with a variety of flavors. Caveat – I actually hate peppers, so YMMV.

      Or, if you’re doing something a little more casual, I love this homemade pizza recipe: Obviously you don’t need to make it vegan.

      I’ve also made a pesto lasagna (in the slow cooker no less!) with the no-cook lasagna sheets, prepared pesto, baby spinach (added to the layers), parmesan and mozzarella. It was addicting.

    • When trying to impress vegetarians I really like to make a fancy eggplant parmesan.

      Like this one:

      Its effort intensive though. So I’d keep the rest of the meal simple, crusty bread, a salad, and red wine.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I recommend hitting up the NY Times Recipes for Health, they have a ton of vegetarian options, and many turn out very well. This week they have these fantastic looking vegetarian lasagnes, and they look so delicious. I printed off all the recipes for myself. They also have a LOT of really great heartier salads, and other vegetarian mains, if you dig around. I’ve had a lot of success with the recipes.

      Also, I know I’m being picky/petty, but white meat being okay means that this person does, in fact, eat meat, just not red meat. Which is totally fine, but as a vegetarian, people thinking that this is vegetarian is super annoying, because I’m really sick of being told that as a vegetarian, I can have the seafood/fish option.

    • Oh and another thing I make when I have friends over with varying tastes is to grill either chicken or shrimp and portobello mushrooms, then I serve them with big flour tortillas, brown rice, black beans, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, cilantro, guacasalsa, and sour cream. Everybody can make her own burrito with what she likes.

  27. MaggieLizer :

    First Date: Have you thought about buying a house?
    Me: Yeah but it doesn’t make sense for me right now.
    First Date: You can take advantage of X,Y, Z credits like I did when I bought.
    Me: I looked into it, I don’t qualify for those.
    First Date: Of course you qualify, why wouldn’t you?
    Me: No, I really don’t.
    First Date: You just got bad advice, let me explain it to you so you understand, [more badgering].
    Me: I understand how it works; there are income caps on those credits that disqualify me.
    First Date: No, you definitely qualify, you can’t possibly make more than I do.
    Me: Apparently I do, but you can still pay for my drinks. :)

    • How nice of him to let you know what a tool he is right up front.

    • Eeeww. Don’t include him in the ‘ette dating pool being set up above. Cuz he sound grody.

    • Graduate student help :

      you should have pretended to be blind…

    • “Me: Apparently I do, but you can still pay for my drinks. :)”


    • Sydney Bristow :

      Haha, not totally the same but I went on a first date with a guy who made sure to loudly flag down the bartender after I ordered a drink to make sure he used Grey Goose and then “casually” slip into conversation that he made 6 figures. And by casually, I mean that I had mentioned working 60+ hours that week and he said something along the lines of “I occasionally have to work that much, but luckily I make 6-figures.” Since he was being a DOOSH, I got great pleasure watching his eyes nearly pop out of his head when I responded “so do I.”

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