Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Colorblock Sheath Dress

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

The interesting thing about Lauren Ralph Lauren (and the other many names they sell under) is that they’ve had the same or similar dresses for about 1,000 years, and they’re all pretty good bets for the office — although some of them cross the line into office/cocktail. They’re made from a stretchy, almost crepe-y material — I wouldn’t call it a heavy ponte or anything like that — and they’re usually machine washable. The color isn’t going to fade, and they’re not going to pill, but the fabric feels kind of fake because it’s typically something like 95% polyester and 5% elastane like this one. If you’re OK with that (and possibly willing to wear Spanx), they can be a really good part of your work wardrobe. This pretty colorblock dress is available in plus sizes (14W–24W) at Nordstrom and is $119. Colorblock Sheath Dress

Similar options are available in green for petites, black/cream for sizes 2–18, and burgundy/black for sizes S–XL (for only $59).

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  1. I’m actually having a really hard time finding this answer through Google, so please bear with me…

    For a married couple– we can *each* contribute $5,500/year (up to a certain combined income), rather than jointly only contributing $5,500 total, correct?

  2. As I took care of my least favorite personal care chore this weekend, leg hair removal, I decided enough was enough and that there was a solution (albeit expensive). I’m seriously considering laser hair removal. I’m pale, prone to redness, ingrown hairs, and a five o’clock shadow. Not to mention, nothing gives me the Sunday bitters quite like sitting down with my epilator.

    Anyone done it and wish they hadn’t? How long are the sessions and are they generally only available during the work day? I know it works best with pale skin (check) and dark hair (not quite). Has anyone had it work for medium hair? Finally, any recommendations for locations in DC? Thanks!

    • Thisperson1 :

      I have the Braun Gillette Silk Expert and love it. Pale skin, medium brown hair.

      • gummy bears :

        Talk to me. You have my coloring, and I hate hair removal more than anything.

        What parts of your body do you use it for?

        How long does it take to do a session?

        How much has it helped?

        And if you stop using it, will things “recover” and go back to your original baseline or are those follicles zapped for life?

        • Thisperson1 :

          I’ve had it about a year now, use it on legs, bikini area and underarms. First few sessions take a while (maybe 10 minutes, tops?) because you go inch by inch, and you do it …every 2 weeks? I don’t remember what they recommend. Maintenance is done much less frequently and goes faster. So far, hair seems to be completely removed from areas I’ve used it on, so decide carefully how you want the bikini area done :) No idea how permanent it will be. I touch up the occasional stray hair with a razor during the summer, but it’s literally one or two hairs. I would highly recommend it.

          • gummy bears :

            Thanks so much for this info.

            Do you do your entire leg (thighs too)? 10 minutes is much shorter than I expected….

            Really appreciate you sharing this.

          • Pen and Pencil :

            Do you have freckles? I am very very pale skinned with dark brown hair, but have a bajillion freckles where sun hits me. I am wondering if it works with them because of the auto sensing skin tone…

          • Thisperson1 :

            No freckles on legs, sorry, no help there.

            I did entire leg to begin with; now below knee most times with very occasional above the knee refresher.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Pen and Pencil – I have loads of freckles on my lower arms and it has not impeded the hair loss there in the least.

          • It got the hair on my freckles.

    • I have pale skin and dark blond hair and did laser hair removal on my lower legs and under my arms. I did four sessions, but didn’t notice much hair reduction in the last three sessions. I now have patchy hair now (maybe it only eliminated the darker hairs), so it definitely didn’t eliminate shaving for me. It did make my hair softer, so it’s less prickly on my legs when it’s growing in and it eliminated the shadow I used to have under my arms even after shaving (because my skin is basically transparent and the dark hair would show through it).

      Bottom line: I don’t think it was worth the time and money but it’s an improvement.

    • I have pale skin and dark hair, so I should have been a perfect candidate. I did bikini and underarm. After two full rounds of sessions (6-10 appts each, the second round was free since the drs were stumped too) I stopped going back and just gave up. I don’t know why it didn’t work for me, but I was one of the unlucky ones.

      It didn’t hurt as much as I anticipated, and the sessions were okay to do in the middle of the day, although I wonder if exposed skin would be noticably red afterwards. I made sure to wear looser softer clothing on the day of a treatment, just to avoid rubbing any raw areas.

      I say you should test it out with a small area first to see if it works for you, before investing the time and money to try a large area like your legs. I’m bummed it didn’t work for me, but I’d be even more upset if I’d invested the time to do all my legs.

    • I did bikini and it worked great. Definitely diminishing returns. Pain is nothing compared to waxing from my perspective. I’d start with a small area and see!

      (Pale with dark hair)

    • I went to Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery for laser hair removal on my bikini line and chin. I’ve been very happy with the bikini line, but saw almost no result on my chin. I guess the hairs are too light there? It wasn’t cheap but I’m happy with the experience and considering going back to do full leg.

    • I did it for my lower legs and have been very happy with the results. I did 3 sessions and that got rid of about 80% of growth. The follicles that were zapped, have not come back. It was almost painless compared to bikini and underarm. I’ve used groupon or living social for all of my laser sessions, reading reviews of the med spa before buying.

      • Wanderlust :

        I (light skin, dark hair) did underarm a few years ago. It worked, but it didn’t remove ALL hair, just the dark coarse ones. A few years later, everything has grown back. It hurt like h*ll too.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I am pale with dark hair and have had amazing results with laser removal – face and lower arms. Arms have little regrowth after only two sessions. Face as well apart from the worst patches on chin and lip (which growth is far more of a hormonal issue as I have PCOS), but it will get there.

      • I’m fair skinned with medium-dark hair and I had my chin, sideburns, and underarms done at DC Derm Docs using Groupons. I had 6 sessions on each area, it was very fast, and not very painful at all. As finances allow, I hope to go back and treat more areas. I was concerned that I’d get a lower quality of service using a Groupon, and that hasn’t been my experience at all, but of course, do your research if you choose that route.

        The first session on my underarms stung, but every time thereafter was no problem (I guess as the hair lessens, it’s less painful). I really don’t need to shave my underarms at all, maybe a quick touch up once a week to get some of the wispy stragglers, but I had a serious five o clock shadow before. The coarse hair is totally gone, no shadow whatsoever. My chin still gets a few whiskers here and there, but like Never too many shoes, I suspect there’s something hormonal causing that, and it’s still a massive improvement.

        I’d choose a place that’s near your office so you can step out for a brief appointment during the day, just for flexibility’s sake, but I absolutely think it’s worth a shot.

    • I have pale skin and dark hair. I tried three different places via Groupon–one did nothing, one maybe half worked, and the other was great. So I ended up going to the great place for additional spots, even though it was almost an hour away. Got my legs, bikini line, underarms, and face done. Face didn’t really work super well, I think hormones and thinner hairs? But I only have a few hairs left everywhere else, and shave maybe once a month.

      • My comment disappeared, sincere apologies if this posts twice.

        I went to DC Derm Docs using Groupons, and had my chin, sideburns, and underarms done. I am THRILLED with the outcome. I have fair skin and fairly dark hair, and there’s no stubble or shadow under my arms whatsoever. Occasionally I’ll touch up a few wispy hairs. I still get a few whiskers on my chin, but like others, I suspect that’s more of a hormonal thing. It’s a massive improvement and as finances allow, I fully intend to go back and treat other areas.

        I’d recommend finding a place near your office to allow for the greatest flexibility in appointments, but think it’s absolutely worth a shot.

    • I’m also a long time user of an epilitor, prone to redness and ingrown hair, but I have medium skin and dark coarse hair. I got a 2 year package from a medspa, totally about 11 sessions, the last few are techincally just touch ups. They each last about 40 minutes because the technician is super detailed and covers even spots where I don’t need it (knees and feet).
      Super happy with the results. Haven’t had to shave in months (except for going in to get the treatments themselves).
      I also bought an at-home Philips device but it doesn’t do anything for my underarms and bikini areas. Likely because my hair is too strong and healthy for at-home devices.

    • I LOVE laser hair removal. I have done my underarms, bikini line, upper lip, and hands and all were very successful with almost no hair left. But when I did 8 treatments of my full legs, I had no luck. I would say full legs takes around 20-25 mins (seems fast, but remember they can do one underarm in like 30 seconds) and is not painful at all compared to other areas, so it’s awesome if it works for you. I ended up getting angry red welts after each time I went (never had that reaction anywhere else), and I guess my hair is softer/lighter, but I still have a lot of it and because of the reaction I have given up there.

    • I’m pale with medium brown hair. I had the laser hair removal on my bikini and underams, 9 sessions. After about 6 or so sessions I never had to shave again, but finished the regimen to make sure it was all gone. I loved it until I got pregnant. Pregnancy hormones make the hair grow back. This is known in the laser hair industry, and they offer discounted touchups for post-pregnancy regrowth.

    • Successful experience for me with pale skin and dark hair. I started with underarms. Pleased with the results there. My place (not in DC) warned me touch-ups may be needed, and I’ve found that to be true over multiple years. So I’ve probably had 6-10 sessions on my underarms over multiple years but shave there maybe only once a month to catch a couple stray hairs. Moved on to bikini line and lower legs. The hair on my upper legs is a lot lighter than on my lower legs, so my place recommended against doing the upper legs, saying it would be a waste of money and time. I appreciated that honesty and felt better about the rest of the process. I still get periodic touch-ups on bikini line because those hairs are very coarse and stubborn. For my legs, I don’t bother with touchups and just shave a few stray hairs maybe once a month. Probably no one else would even notice them, so for public appearance, I effectively don’t feel a need to shave anymore at all. This wasn’t a cheap process, but I’m quite pleased with the results. Totally worth it for me. Underarms were most painful but totally bearable because they didn’t take long. Bikini and legs not painful for me. My place had Saturday and evening appointments available, which made quite a difference for scheduling. One more thing: I noticed some technicians paid a lot more attention to detail than others, so over time I gravitated toward seeing the same good technician and tipping conscientiously every time with her to maximize results from each visit. Good luck if you decide to go this route!

      • P.S. Before going to a professional place, I first tried Tria at home and found that didn’t have any effect on me.

    • I have pale skin that tans and dark hair. I had 5 laser hair removal sessions on my legs as a graduation gift in 2006, so perhaps its improved, but it did very little–maybe a 30-40% reduction of hair growth. It wasn’t worth the cost. 11 years later, the hair never grew back.

      It felt like a rubber band slapping on my skin, tolerable, not super painful.

  3. Anonymous :

    The LRL dresses are huge workhorses in my wardrobe. I have three colors/patterns of the same cut and have been wearing them one a week for years. They don’t wrinkle, are machine washable, and are so flattering. I usually find them at TJ Maxx in the $50ish range.

    Highly recommend!!!

    • JuniorMinion :

      Yes I love these. especially if you are bustier / curvier I have found the necklines overall to be very flattering while being office appropriate. I own them in like 8 colors.

    • And they are long enough! I’m usually one for tall sizes, and RLR (Green label) is pretty reliable for hitting me at the knee.

  4. Can I just say… I haaaate this fabric. It reminds me of when I was in my first corporate job and didn’t know how to dress. It just screams cheap to me. And this dress is over $100–I truly think that any other type of fabric is better than this (fake jersey? what do we call it?) type.

    • And may I also add– I have always whole-heartedly agreed with the ladies here who say that the fashion options for plus-sized ladies are extremely limited. This is a prime example (though there are a ton of straight-sized dresses in this type of fabric too). “If we make it stretchy enough, we don’t actually have to try!”

      • +1 This dress is not even flattering on the model. The rushing on the stomach highlights her stomach, the crewneck makes her look top-heavy and the black band is stumpifying.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          Yup. I may be fat but seriously, I do not need clothes that highlight all my worst features thanks.

    • I appreciate having one of these type dresses in my closet because it is completely wrinkle-proof. Some mornings when I can’t seem to put together another outfit that doesn’t need to be ironed or go to the cleaners (e.g., this past Monday after working all weekend), it’s a good option that simply gets the job done.

    • If you are okay with this sort of synthetic, the marycrafts dresses on Amazon that a poster mentioned recently are much, much cheaper. I personally think the vintage styling makes the synthetic fabric seem more vintage (“oh right they loved their polyesters back then”) than just cheap. (I hate how it feels to the touch though!)

    • I don’t love polyester but I kind of like this dress. Thanks for the pick, Kat!!

    • I actually have a RL dress that I think is this same fabric based on the description, and it doesn’t feel cheap. The one I have is lined, which eliminates the need to wear something to smooth things out, and also gives the fabric a nice, heavy drape. That said, I haven’t seen this particular dress in person, so it could be different.

      • +1 – there are a couple levels of this dress – the ones that are lined and the ones that are not. The lined ones (stretch lining) have an outer layer that is a substantial weight jersey knit. Yes it’s synthetic fabric, but they don’t feel cheap. The unlined ones run cheaper and the fabric is a bit thinner, but are pretty good for the price point.

    • This fabric makes me so sweaty even if it feels alright on. I get major rack breakouts from it.

    • The fabric is still a jersey knit (which refers to the weave, not the fiber content), it just uses synthetic fibers instead of whatever else you are imagining should be used.

  5. Any tips for trying to determine what sort of work-life balance a potential job might have? I’ve got an interview coming up for what might have in the past been a dream job, but at this point in my life, I’m just extremely nervous that it might wind up being far too much of a hit to my quality of life. (It would involve moving to a much larger law firm in the mid-south.) I’ve reached out to someone I knew briefly in law school who works there in hopes of getting some inside information, but haven’t received a response and can’t find any other contacts, and the information on GlassDoor seems mixed.

    I never thought that I’d be the sort of person who’d be concerned with these things, but I guess age and parenthood have changed me more than I thought, and I find myself seriously wishing that they would realize that they didn’t actually need anyone and just cancel the interview entirely. :(

    • Well, it seems that at this point the interview might be the only opportunity you have to learn more about the company! Since you aren’t super invested in getting the job, you might as well use the opportunity to ask many more questions about the culture there than you might if you were playing it safe.

      • What sort of questions would be good to ask, so as to make sure that they’re answering honestly (and not look like I don’t want to work)?

        • I’d just be direct, ask about FaceTime, hours requirements, what’s needed to bonus, what’s the expectation for checking email after hours, etc. I’d say something like “I have really great work life balance now and it looks like X, what does it look like here?” I agree with COtoNY that when you don’t care if you get the job, you can be a lot bolder in what you ask about. Personally, I’ve always asked a variant of these questions (different factors in-house than at a firm) because it is important, and something you need to know. Never stopped an offer. I’d wait a little bit in the process though – observe what you can first, and ask in later rounds. If they don’t put your peers on the schedule, ask to meet a few – I’d run from a place that won’t introduce me to my coworkers.

        • Not in a law firm, but since I am at a supervisory level, I can ask about the team, as part of a “Work Life Balance is important to me and I try to encourage it in my teams to avoid burnout and increase productivity. I know it can be a challenge in this industry, so I’d like to learn more about the philosophy here and what kind of tools the team is used to.”:
          – What does a typical day look like? (For your role, any direct reports, any supervisors)
          – What kind of hours does the team typically keep? Are there ever any reasons for the team to stay late or work weekends, and what has their reaction been?
          – How are deadlines structured – do you find that the team often has to scramble at the last minute, or are they fairly well-known in advance?
          – Are there facetime or core hour requirements? Has the team ever had an issue with those?
          – What is the flextime policy? Does anyone on the team (or in the department) take advantage of that?

    • We’ve had candidates ask those kind of questions after being offered the job but before accepting it.

    • Anonymous :

      I have driven by a potential employer at 7pm on a weeknight and/or a Saturday morning to see how many people are working.

      If it’s in a city office building ask the security person at the front desk what kinds of hours the 15th floor works for example.

      It’s also good to ask at the interview what the flow of the typical work day is like. In NYC I’ve worked for companies with California HQ’s where the workday didn’t even get going until 10am and no one left until 7 or 8pm

    • Honestly, as someone also in the mid-south, check out what the rumors around town are as to expectations and work-life balance at that firm. I’ve found that those are usually pretty accurate in the secondary markets (though if anything they skew towards firm’s having a greater balance than they really do).

  6. My boyfriend and I are a few months into a year of long-distance – temporary work move for him. Sometimes we talk on the phone, but our default mode of connecting is by email (and as many visits as possible).

    If I email him during the day and don’t hear back by that evening, I start worrying that he’s avoiding me, doesn’t want to talk, wants to break up. I think I’d feel normal if we simply hadn’t talked for a day or two…it’s the fact that I reached out and he didn’t reach back quickly that makes me feel bad.

    Finally I break down and call him (or he eventually calls/emails me back), and as soon as we talk, I’m flooded with this sense of total relief and a feeling of “oh this was silly, of course nothing’s wrong.” But I get the same worry each time it happens.

    I’ve mentioned my fear to him, slightly downplayed. He’s responded that he sometimes takes longer than he’d like to get back to me due to his current situation (just moved across country, doing really intense work). And I don’t think he’s doing anything really wrong in his response times–sometimes I take a day to respond to his emails too and it has nothing to do with how I feel about him, but my schedule and my energy level.

    So I feel like my insecurity about this is not fully reasonable, but also not out of nowhere, because when we first discussed whether to stay together during this year, he told me he wasn’t sure because of some issues he’d never mentioned to me before. We addressed the issues after he told me, and now he (seems) happy to be in the relationship, but this is probably where a lot of the nervousness is coming from.

    Just wondering if you have any advice on making this better for the next 9 months, either by changing how I’m thinking or something one of us is doing. Thank you.

    • Can you guys text instead of email? I know for me, a reasonable response time to an email could be up to a few days. However, I respond to texts very quickly (and would feel worse if I left someone hanging on text than I would on email). That could be a very simple solution to this problem.

      • Anonymous :

        The problem isn’t the texting; that’s the symptom. It’s the underlying trust she’s having issues with. That’s what needs discussion and/or resolution.

        • This is a fair point. Personally, I found that whenever I felt insecure in a relationship there was actually a good reason for it, and I needed to listen to that more. OP doesn’t say much about the origin of heir being long distance- did it happen reluctantly? How was the relationship before? If both of those have negative answers, he anxiety might be coming from that part of her that knows something is up. And I’d say listen to that. But if it’s just settling in/figure out how to communicate then I’d explore other options like text/skype, etc.

      • +1 – email is way too long, it’s like having a daily obligation to write a letter. text and skype at night.

      • He doesn’t really like chatting by text (with anyone)…he finds it stressful and likes email and/or scheduled phone calls a lot better.

        • ok but this is a relationship so he will need to compromise on some things. it’s unreasonable for one person to have a blanket rule against texting, especially when they are too busy to engage in other forms of communication.

          • You’re right. And it’s not a blanket rule, just when he said (early in our relationship) that he didn’t like it I stopped texting him much because it wasn’t a high priority for me at that point.

          • also, with a text, you should have lower expectations. when I text with my (non-LDR) husband during the day, sometimes it’s just a silly emoji. Sometimes it’s “I love you” or “crazy day… miss you.” It’s reasonable to expect a response within an hour or so, but not a novel.

          • You really expect your SO to be checking his phone every ?several minutes, and texting back at least within the hour?!?

            That would make me crazy. Way too intrusive in my work day.

        • Hm. I’m kind of like this – I don’t really like to get caught up in a whole conversation over text. I find it more of a problem in early dating, though, since it’s annoying to me to have to divert my attention from whatever I’m doing for “how was your day” type stuff. I can more easily manage longer chats with friends, although I’d still rather talk on the phone if we need to have a whole substantive conversation.

          Would he be willing to compromise with a short message, like “Hey, got your text, talk soon” or something so you feel a little reassured? Read the book “Attached,” too. They have some good suggestions.

        • May i recommend using Viber? I never text via actual text messages with the closest friends and family, but non-stop text via Viber. It has so many cute stickers that are apposite to so many emotions and situations! I like to keep in touch with my partner every hour on the hour during the day (and he loves Viber and the stickers), and it’s so much better than texting. I talk to my parents via Viber, too.

          I see you said he doesn’t like texting, but, like others said, it’s a relationship and one has to compromise. Otherwise, how about random 5-minute calls throughout the day?

          Finally, I don’t think there’s anything necessarily bad or large underlying your feelings. They are normal in these circumstances. When there’s a big change in our usual lives, it’s absolutely normal to feel that way. Again, totally normal. And some of us feel these emotions more strongly than others. Long distance is hard and difficult (have been there myself). Like, really difficult. I think you should 1) keep talking about it, and come up with specific suggestions for what would make you feel better (send pictures of random things you see? I will plug Viber again, heh), and 2) use cognitive-behavioral therapy on yourself when you find yourself feeling this way. Acknowledge your feelings, then apply logic – think about how you know his not replying right away does not mean anything bad. You feel bad, and you accept that. But you KNOW that it doesn’t actually mean anything bad. Keep calm, and keep rationally explaining it to yourself. Imagine how you’r working and really busy and cannot get back to him right away. Your feelings are just the same as always. Now, apply this to him. He’s busy and stressed. But his feelings, just like yours, are the same. This is really stressful and it will take time.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      No relationship should make you feel insecure. Regardless of proximity. Take some time to really think if it’s him that’s making you insecure or is it you. And oh yeah, don’t downplay your fears to him. Be honest and open. Good luck!

      • This is not true. Some people, in themselves, have stronger reactions than others to different stimuli, when they’re happy, in a healthy and happy relationship. People are different. (And I gave my advice below to the OP.)

        Not speaking about you, BeenThatGuy, here, but I guess I am tired of a large proportion of the commentariat on this site having very strange, black-and-white reactions to relationship questions. To the topic at hand, I guess you’d think I was a high-maintenance crazy person, he he he. This is why you do you, I do me. And the OP is allowed to have a strong reaction to a new LDR. It doesn’t automatically mean doom and gloom.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you text during the day instead of emailing? It only takes a minute to send a short text to let someone know you’re thinking of them. Also, scheduled phone calls.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I am not really sure I see a difference between a short text and a short email in this context, to be honest.

    • Anonymous :

      Have you had an honest, vulnerable discussion that you (seem to) have developed anxiety from the way he handled those issues with you (springing them on you), rather than the issues themselves?

      • Not fully, but I should next time I see him.

        • Anonymous :

          No you shouldn’t. Don’t blame him for your anxiety.

          • Anxiety is a warning light and it’s usually very rational. Even in people with anxiety disorders, there is almost always a thought that is triggering that feeling – it’s not really out of the blue like most people think. -Signed, person with lifelong anxiety disorder and a lot of therapy

            She would be better served to try to find out the underlying issue causing the anxiety (here, I’d bet money it’s around this feeling he isn’t being honest with her, like before) than to address it as a bandaid (changing communication patterns, etc.).

        • Why not have that conversation now instead of letting it boil over until you see him again (in months? weeks?) which may blindside him.

          I read this once and it cracked me up but I remembered it: someone said something like “my grandma used to say ‘if you can put his d!ck in your mouth, you can talk to him about what you are thinking.'” Rude but memorable, so speak up! He can’t read your mind and neither of you can tend to the relationship if you don’t know what it needs. As for if your needs are too much or too needy, only you and he can decide that if that’s what the two of you want and are willing to give to each other.

      • +1. This is the next step. At your next visit, make sure to have a discussion. You’re not being unreasonable. He sprung some apparently large problems on you once, it’s logical to think he might do it again. Hear his thoughts, make it more of him talking and less of you talking, and really try to understand his level of certainty and commitment.

        Then when you come back home, take some time to process through that discussion. Did he truly answer your questions? Do you think the issues are fully resolved for him? Was he concerned and sad that his behavior (the springing of issues) is causing you to feel this way? Do you feel like his priority ALL the time, not just when he’s on the phone with you? All of those answers can point you to the answer for yourself.

        My now-DH and I were long distance EU-US for 2 years because of a work assignment. It worked because we made it a point to show our certainty and commitment, so the other wouldn’t worry if we went a few days without hearing from one of us. Random postcards, silly short emails (literally “Hi. I love you. Busy day. Bye.”), remembering little things from the other’s life (“You mentioned a new coworker last week, are they nice?” “How did that meeting go that you talked about on Mon?”) etc. It was rough, but never once did I doubt that he loved me and was just as committed as I was. If I did, the relationship probably wouldn’t have lasted. (And vice versa.) You need that certainty to make this work. So get some honest answers, meditate on them, and see what the answer is for you.

    • Anonymous :

      I recommend explicitly establishing a set time of day that you will speak. When we were long distance for 2 years, DH and I spoke every morning. I put him on speakerphone (preFacetime) while I did my makeup in the morning.

      We also chatted immediately after I got home from work or just before I was leaving work (also a set time so location varied depending on if I was at work or at home).

      We were very consistent with the calls even if we didn’t have time to talk more than just to have a quick check-in with how the other person’s day is going. Hearing their voice/seeing their face creates a much better connection then just texting.

      Knowing we had those set times made us able to flip emails or texts back and forth during the day and not worry if the other person responded or didn’t.

      • Agree with this. I’ve spent several long stints long-distance with my husband, both before and after marriage. We have always had a daily scheduled Skype. We may or may not email back and forth in the interim – sometimes he emails me and I don’t see it until during our Skype, because I’ve been off the internet. The daily scheduled call is what kept us feeling connected.

      • +100. I had similar “he’s not texting back” anxiety, even when we were in the same city but living separately, and bf agreed to just call every night for a few minutes before bed. It was the best thing he ever did for the relationship.

    • I disagree with the people who say that you should text instead of emailing. Yes, he could answer quicker. But if he doesn’t because of work, etc. that is only going to make you feel worse. You said that he is trying to adapt to a high stress job in a new location. Have you talked about frequency of contact? Talking almost daily seems pretty darn good. I would think that talking and email would be an either/or thing and that you wouldn’t need both all of the time.

      Take it easy and enjoy your phone calls. It sounds to me like things are going fine but you just need to adjust to the new normal.

    • Anonymous :

      Your insecurity is completely unreasonable and it is a you problem. Don’t email him during the day if you can’t handle the fact that he has a job and might not reply right away. Get some therapy.

      • Dude. The degree to which you are a jerk is completely unreasonable and it is a you problem.

        Thanks for your feedback, as I assume you were trying to be helpful with this, but please don’t reply to my post again.

        • Uh no? What even? I’m not a jerk. You’re being completely irrational. Your boyfriend has a job. Therefore he can’t email you back instantly every time. Get some therapy. It really helps with anxiety and insecurity. It’s freeing.

          Welcome to the internet. If you just want rainbow dust talk to your mom.

          • Yes because all places on the internet are exactly the same. This is a helpful community. Go back to reddit if you can’t handle acting like a normal polite human.

          • I mean, the way you phrased your comment at 09:58 was unnecessarily rude. And while the premise may be correct, many other posters said the same thing in a much more compassionate way.

          • Whoa, you are beng harsh and mean.

      • I wouldn’t have said it so harshly, but I agree. This isn’t limited to a long-distance issue; if my partner demanded immediate responses to non-urgent issues via e-mail during a workday, the relationship would not be sustainable. And as a supervisor, if one of my employees was regularly responding to a boy/girlfriends emails while I was paying them to work, it would be a work performance issue.

        It sounds like to you talk at least daily. That’s way more contact than I ever would have expected during any long-distant relationship. If you need validation as often as you do, and he’s telling you that he can’t provide that, this relationship isn’t going to work – neither of you will be happy.

        • Have you ever had a long distance relationship? I’ve never heard of one working out where the couple wasn’t talking at least daily. If you live with your partner, you see them almost everyday. Really surprised that you think speaking daily when we have phones 24/7 in many many jobs is “way more contact” than expected.

          • Yes, some of us had successful relationships before The Internet existed. :) Daily long-distance phone calls were out of my budget in college.

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            I’ve been long distance multiple times where we didn’t speak for days or even a week because we were both slammed with work (we’re still together. We’ve done long distance 3 times due to jobs). It’s not that shocking. Plus, I would imagine this is incredibly common with military spouses, for example.

          • Away Game :

            Yes, several. See Gail the Goldfish’s response below. DH and I did twice weekly Skype calls when he was in the Middle East for a year. The relationship was just fine, and our work schedules would not have allowed much more. Even when one of us is travelling for work for a week or so, we don’t talk every day. Previous LD boyfriend in college and I survived for a year on letters. In the mail! That was, of course, back in the previous century. (And in many ways, way more romantic, IMHO.)

        • I didn’t have a problem with the idea behind the comment but with the way it was expressed.

          And I agree that my emotional response is not reasonable. Also we don’t actually talk daily if it matters (more like 2-3 times a week).

      • The advice could have been delivered better, but I agree with the message. He is. It doing anything wrong

    • Assuming it’s a you issue, you need to reframe how you think about this. Why do you panic when he doesn’t email back if you know you’ve been through it before and it always ends up being fine? What is the worst thing that will happen even if your worst fear is true? You break up, it hurts, and then you eventually move on with your life and feel better…
      I don’t think texting or calling will help – same issue can come up if he doesn’t respond – and I don’t think having a set time to talk/text/email is realistic either if his job is new and stressful. You may want to read How to Control Your Anxiety Before it Controls You by Albert Ellis.

      • Thank you–I agree with what you’re saying and I will check out this book.

      • +1,000

        In my last relationship, I didn’t feel like a priority because of certain behaviors. We ended up breaking up because he wasn’t willing/interested in the things I wanted out of a relationship. NBD. There have been situations in my current relationship that seem (on the outside) to be similar to the situations in the last relationship that caused me to not feel like a priority. It’s absolutely not what is happening and my current bf is absolutely making me a priority. It’s 100% a me issue. I have talked to him about it, but only in the sense that I am talking about MY feelings in response to a situation, to explain why I am having those feelings, and to tell him what I am doing to work through it and make sure it doesn’t cause an issue in our relationship.

        I’m also big on being very upfront about my needs/wants, e.g., if you get stuck at work on a night we have plans, please let me know as soon as you can that you’re delayed. It’s not the delay that’s a big deal, things happen and I 100% get that, it’s not knowing. My current bf absolutely agrees and expects the same from me. This is reasonable and since we have talked about it, we both know what the other one needs.

    • Have you ever heard of attachment theory? It’s the idea that our relationships with our parents when we were very young shape our adult relationships. I know it sounds a bit woowoo, but it absolutely, 100% explained my anxious and insecure feelings when I was in a LDR (and when I discussed my needs with my partner from a psychological perspective, and he was still unwilling/unable to meet them, made me realize he wasn’t the right partner for me). I’ll post a link below.


        Lots more to google out there!

      • Interesting…have heard of it but don’t understand in detail. I can probably learn something from this, thanks.

    • Relationship reassurance :

      I’ve noticed in myself that the need for signs of reassurance in my relationship feeds on itself–each time I get it, I need it more and more. The only way I’ve really broken that cycle is to stop setting up situations where I’m tacitly asking for that reassurance at all. If I were you, I’d stop the emailing during they day. You know it makes you anxious, you also know it’s not actually a referendum on the health of your relationship, it’s not helping anything. If there’s something you really need to tell him, text might work better and maybe won’t set off the same anxiety cycle (or maybe it will! Pay attention to your reactions). You also might consider shifting default communication to the phone. It’s not asynchronous in the same way as email and might help break the current pattern. I think if that appeals, you don’t need to be cagey about why (you don’t feel good waiting around for an email response and would like to try something different). I’d not go into the genesis of the whole thing being his hesitations; I tend to think that, while it might be the thing that set off this particular bout of worries, it’s basically a red herring in terms of the actual underlying issue.

    • Have you considered lightening up on your own emails? His reaction may be very interesting and telling.

      I am so sorry you are dealing with this!

    • Deep Velvet :

      As a veteran of a three-year long-distance relationship-turned-marriage, I think you are right to expect to hear from him each day. I also have moments of feeling insecure, because of low self-esteem, and so I know the panic you are talking about. You know as well as I do that it is an overreaction. That is something for you to work on.

      However, it is reasonable in the 21st century to have at least one word (or emoji!) of communication each day. My husband and I Skype every evening, unless there is an extenuating circumstance (like my parents are in town or he has to attend a work event and we cannot get our schedules to line up). It cannot just be general ‘working’. I work in Biglaw, and even when I have to pull an 80-hour weeks, we talk. If it is impossible to talk, we send at least one message a day. If my husband or I were only interested in communicating with each every so often, particularly in the first few years of a relationship, we would not have ended up marrying each other. I think about him very regularly during the day, so it is inevitable that some of those thoughts turn into messages to him.

    • When I was deployed a bunch of my married male coworkers ended up passing around a copy of that Six Languages of Love book (can’t remember the exact title). They were nice guys and I think it helped them figure out what style (or “language”, in the parlance of the book) of support their spouses needed while they were far away and vice versa. I didn’t end up reading the book, but their discussions were kind of adorable, and it was clearly revelationary for several of them. Maybe your bf would have time for the audiobook and it could help him figure out what style of support you need.

    • You have correctly identified that your feelings about this are irrational, and I suggest that you talk to someone about what is making you feel that way. It will help you in this relationship and others to get a handle on where that insecurity is coming from.

    • I had a similar issue when we were long distance, exacerbated by the fact that we both get anxiety about responding adequately to a text/email, which further delayed the responses. It sounds so cheesy but our solution was to just text cute emojis to each other throughout the day (there are lots of heart related ones!) so there’s no pressure to come up with a specific response – we would send the same few emojis back and forth which took only a few seconds but functioned as shorthand for “I love you and miss you and I’m thinking of you even though I don’t have the time to spell it out with words right now”

    • My (now) husband and I were long-distance for a year in grad school. We were already engaged and very committed to each other, but it sucked big time. It never really got better. I was an insecure wreck and he had a hard time making me/our relationship a priority. I think we both had serious doubts. I think a rich, shared history was all that kept us going. As soon as we moved back in together, our problems vanished seemingly overnight and haven’t resurfaced in the 12 years since then. We’re incredibly happy. I feel safe and secure and he shows me every day that our family is his No. 1 priority. All of this is to say, some couples will always struggle to make it work long-distance and you may have to accept that things are going to be less than ideal for the year you’re apart. I’m sure some people would say that it shows that our relationship is more shallow because proximity is important. Whatever. We know ourselves and our relationship well, and have both turned down opportunities that would necessitate being long-distance. No regrets.

    • Anonymous :

      Pre-marriage, my husband and I were in a long distance (trans-oceanic) relationship for five years, followed by five more years long distance but in the same country. It was tough, but we gained a perspective that served us well when we were married. Telephone calls and letters (pre-internet) helped, although there were occasions when we had disagreements that required a call back. Eventually a telephone call late every evening worked well, but by this time we were secure in our relationship.

  7. Recommendations for bluetooth headphones? Looking for something under $50 if possible for boyfriend’s birthday next month.

    • I like my Plantronics Backbeat Fits but they are around$75.

      • You can get a refurbished pair on Amazon for $55.

        And I second this recommendation – I love mine and the battery life is great.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Skull Candy – could maybe find for that price on sale at Best Buy.

    • Just picked up Phaiser BHS370 on Amazon and am very happy with them.
      $36 with a $126 list price.

    • fake coffee snob :

      I’m happy with the Anker ones the wirecutter recommends (under “cheap bluetooth headphones” or similar, it’s a separate review from the normal bluetooth headphones. I’m not picky, though, about sound quality. The review does provide a lot of information to think about, even if you don’t go with their pick.

    • Amazon has great one I think called Bluedio, $35 and have had mine for a long time

  8. need some advice.

    I’ve been deeply unhappy in my job for a while now, which has been only compounded by the fact that I work with two partners, one who doesn’t do much and the other who berates all associates and also some health issues which I have not disclosed to the firm. Partner A is in charge and sent me an email saying they want to meet and talk about my performance (which to be fair, has not been great because I’ve had a hard time staying focused). This is not a firing meeting, but a chance to turn things around.

    What do I say? I am looking for other jobs because I know this is unsustainable but in the interim, what do I say in this meeting? I know this is a chance for me to try again and I should be grateful for it (and I am). But this doesn’t change anything except for the fact that they’ve noticed that fact that I’ve been coasting.

    • Anonymous :

      Disclose the health issues if you haven’t before. And keep job hunting. Not to be a Debbie Downer but this may not really be a chance to turn things around. These kinds of meeting are standard a few months before a firing, so that the performance issues are documented and the firing doesn’t come out of the blue.

      • I’d suggest negotiating your exit. Ask for a decent amount of time to stay affiliated, get paid, and put a date certain on when you’ll leave. This could even be in the form of some work/some severance. It’s pretty tough to turn around a performance impression and this way you get some certainty. Not everyone is open to it, but a lot are. Obviously, I wouldn’t lead with this but if the conversation takes the direction you’re anticipating I’d be ready to negotiate.

        • Flats Only :

          This. And sometimes once they find you are willing to separate from the firm without a lot of drama vs. putting them through the hassle of dealing with your Performance Improvement Plan and subsequent firing, they will be extra generous.

          • Anonymous :

            YES. Disclose the health issues, tell them that you know your performance hasn’t been to your own standards, and tell them that you’re actively looking for new work but that you want to do a good job for the remainder of your time at the firm. They will be so happy that you’ve solved their problems for them.

    • Are you me????! I am in a VERY similar situation, down to the 2 partners, one of which berates all the associates. No advice, just internet hugs.

  9. I planned an event for several friends, none of whom knew each other, but who I thought might hit off. They all got along, but two REALLY clicked, and now friend A seems to idolize friend B, inviting her to everything, asking her to lunch, and just generally telling me how amazing friend B is. In a span of a month, she’s invited her to tons of events and several one on one things that I only heard about after the fact, and now they seem extremely tight. And I feel left out.

    I should be happy, but it rubs me the wrong way. We’re all in our late 30s and it feels like such young behavior to me. I’ve had this happen to me before where two friends I introduce get in this super intense friendship and I feel left out. It usually burns out after awhile, but I still don’t like it.

    Anyway, just needed to vent. I am trying to just spend less time with them, but then it only adds to the feeling of being left out when I do see them.

    • Wanderlust :

      No advice, but can definitely commiserate. Friends in your 30s are precious commodities! I always hesitate before introducing two friends of mine who are from different areas of my life, because those high school insecurities haven’t completely gone away.

    • I had this happen with two bridesmaids in my wedding! Friend A basically dropped me as a friend in favor of trying to become besties with fellow bridesmaid Friend B and it stung. Then she ended up dropping Friend B for someone else a little while later, so turns out she was just a giant flake. But I feel you. It hurts.

    • I hear you.

      I have had a similar situation, except the “friend” that my girlfriends all love is….. my brother. Can you imagine when a friend stops inviting you out, but asks out your brother? He is a great funny guy, and it stings when people like him more than me. It is what it is.

  10. Spinning off my laser hair removal comment above, does anyone do electrolysis anymore? Laser failed on my chin, and I’d love to try a fail-safe option. Any places to get it in DC?

    • I did electrolysis on my chin for similar reasons. It took forever (30 min every other week for about a year) but I’m very happy with the result. Not in DC or I’d tell you my place.

    • been there done that :

      Yes!! Soheila at A Gentle Touch in Rockville. I had very coarse hairs on my chin from incorrect tweezing, and after seeing her regularly they are completely gone (also had my upper lip done too). I get one touch up every 2 years or so, but otherwise the removal has been permanent. It changed my life. It’s a long process and is not cheap, but it is SO worth it!

      If Rockville is too far, there is also a woman in Dupont who does it, you’ll find her through Yelp. I went to her once for a touch up and she was good too.

  11. Wearing a red powerhouse dress for an important presentation at work today. Nude-for-me pumps or black block heels? I’m torn.

    • Black block heels.

    • I lean towards nude for you pumps, unless the black ones are easier to stand in for a long period of time.

    • Black block heels – more fall/on trend.

    • Nude. Will elongate your legs.

    • Black. Nude shoes are going out of style except for very summery items. Black is now more on-trend.

      • Nude shoes will never go out of style, at all. They always make your legs look better, no matter the season.

    • Also vote for nude. Elongated legs = perceived height = power. Block heels are trendy, but I don’t go for trendy for bigtime presentations, but rather a look that exudes power and commands attention especially because I am short, often the only woman in the room (or certainly the only one speaking), and often one of the youngest. (Also most men I work with just don’t get trends.)

    • I would wear the black, but only with another black accessory somewhere waist-level or higher (Black belt, black glasses, black on a necklace or earrings). Black with red can be too stark if it isn’t repeated to look intentional. Otherwise, nude for you.

      Either way, you’ll rock the presentation!

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      Nude for you pumps. But, I personally don’t like pairing black with red. It looks too severe to me.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Depends on the dress and the red red. A vibrant solid red – go with nude, to avoid looking 80’s. A richer, more maroon or purple red, or a colorblocked red dress, go with black.

    • For me, black shoes with red dress = cocktail attire. Nude shoes with red dress = daytime attire.

      This was a rule I learned from the mother of one of my wealthier friends during sorority rush back in the 80s (though she would have said taupe or tan shoes) and it has never steered me wrong.

    • Leopard!

  12. IIFYM questions :

    I saw a few comments yesterday about If It Fits Your Macros and decided to check it out. It looks pretty reasonable to me, not much different than what I was already doing/trying to do. Can anyone here tell me about their experience with it and whether you purchased the meal plans or anything? Once you figure out your number its seems like it would be something you could track yourself on My Fitness Pal etc. Am I going to get spammed to death? Are there other similar free resources or places to find recipes?

    Any success stories to share? Any failures?

    I’m also concerned about heart disease but at this point I just need to get the weight off.

    • There are tons of free resources online for figuring out your numbers, and then yes I just tracked in MyFitnessPal. Super easy, and you set your goals within the app. For me the main goal was to up my protein intake, and seeing how much I really needed/was getting led me to be able to eat much more intuitively.

    • Super easy. There are a ton of macro calculators online, so I just used several to get a general idea of what my numbers should be and went from there. It definitely takes some planning, but once you start doing it you it will get easier. I agree that plugging in protein first will help immensely. I’m a member of a Facebook group IIFYM for women (or something like that), and it’s awesome. It’s run by a couple women who definitely know what they’re talking about, and everyone is really supportive and helpful.

    • baseballfan :

      I have been doing this for a while and I love the flexibility of it.

      whataremymacros dot com can help with determining your goals for calories and macro %s.

      My Fitness Pal works great; I’ve recommended it to many people.

    • I’ve been doing IIFYM for a month, though my goal is to gain weight/muscle. I really enjoy it because I don’t do well with ‘restricting’ certain foods and instead prefer to have free reign to eat whatever I want… as long as it fits my macros :) I don’t drive myself crazy being too strict with it, just focus on meeting my calorie and protein goal. I’ve read that it doesn’t really matter what you do with c/f so I’m more lax on those, though do try to hit a certain % of carbs each day to make sure I have energy to sustain my workout schedule. I track on MyFitnessPal.

  13. I seem to have so many fly away hairs. I’m not a big product person but have tried smoothing cream and hair spray and neither does much. Part of the issue seems to be I have a million short hairs in the front, around my face, and I can’t figure out why – is it breakage (haven’t noticed any)? is it new hair growth somehow?

    I just want my hair to look neat for work. Any ideas for what to use/how to style/what to do? I already use bobby pins but it is of limited help.

    • Did you recently have a baby? If so hair regrowth is like this. But I have this problem to some extent always – my hair is fine and it sticks out straight if it is dry, or frizzy if it is humid. My hair dresser recommended a mist of hairspray followed by smoothing things down with your hands. I also sometimes rub hand lotion on my hands and then run them over my hair during the work day to help tone down frizz. I use mousse when my hair is wet and a little styling cream too.

    • If you pull your hair back, it’s probably breakage.

    • I’ve had this too post baby. Mine is 2 and change and it’s starting to get a little better. I felt like a had a halo around my head forever.

      • I’ve had it post-baby. But I’ve also had this happen after a very stressful time, when apparently my hair fell out or just wasn’t growing, then grew like crazy after the stressful situation passed.

    • What’s your hair texture like?

      I have dry, curly hair with a relatively fine texture as far as curly hair goes, and I find that washing it less makes it less frizzy. I wash around 2x/week. I also use gel, which keeps the curls together between washes. Without gel it’s a snarled mess 1 day after shampooing. Hair spray is counterproductive for me because instead of keeping hair looking pulled together, it just makes it stiff.

    • I’ve started to use a little gel around my face every morning. I wear my hair up for work so I basically put about 1/2 tsp of gel on my hands and smooth my hair back. If I use too much I look like Lilith Crane, but honestly I don’t mind it if my look leans severe.

      • Really late to this, but in case you’re still reading, get one of those $0.99 toothbrushes (specifically for this purpose) and spray a little hairspray and comb through your hair. It works like a charm for me.

    • I use Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s oil for this – I rub 2 drops into my palms and them smooth them over my hair. (I just had a baby so it’s regrowth and there’s nothing I can do but wait for it to grow out, but another potential cause is breakage so you might need to do a hair mask once in a while.)

      • Thanks all! I did have a baby somewhat recently (she’s just under 2) and am pregnant again so who knows what is going on. I didn’t notice anything falling out but I have a lot of hair so it’s possible I wouldn’t. My hair is generally wavy so it could also be just how it is, but I find myself wanting it to just be really neat now that I wear it up more, whereas when I wore it down more having a semi-halo was just part of how it looked.

  14. Has anyone else tried Olaplex? I just got the take home treatment, used it once, and already see and feel a noticeable difference. If you use it, how often, and what results have you seen? I’m champing at the bit to apply it again but I don’t want to overdo it.

    • I have Olaplex step 3 (the take home stuff) and LOVE it. I noticed a big difference after the first use. I feel like it “washes out” after a week or so (that could be due to the other products I use, however). I try to do it every week, but it ends up more like every other week. It doesn’t seem to be a permanent improvement in my case, but it does make a big difference before an event or something.

    • What is it? A deep conditioner?

  15. Ugh, self-evaluations for your annual review: where giving yourself the A-equivalent grade makes you feel like a d*ckhead, since it’s the department’s policy that virtually no one gets them; but giving yourself the B grade makes you feel like you’re selling myself short, and that an average white male would have no problem grading themselves As for everything.

    And that it’s all a meaningless exercise since your supervisor is going to give you whatever your supervisor gives you, anyway.

    That is all.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I feel you. Good luck.

    • Just finished this TERRIBLE process. Nothing to contribute, just agree.

    • Ok maybe I think like a white guy (though I’m a brown woman) but I’d give myself all As without a moment’s thought to it.

    • Give yourself the A and don’t feel like a d*ckhead. These things are subjective, unlike school which usually has a defined, discrete, clear path forward. With the right combo of things, of course you are an A.

      • Well, I think I deserve As on most things (and actually received 2 last year, which is apparently unusual), but there are plenty of things I know I could do better. I know I’m probably my own worst critic.

        Ugh. This process. The worst.

      • I have a co-worker who gives himself an A on everything every year, knowing that it will be reduced to a B. Don’t worry about looking like a jerk, just write all the reasons why you are an A performer in your narrative.

    • I see some of our company’s reviews due to a role of my job (both the self-assessments and the supervisors’ reviews) and I don’t think it looks odd or like the employee is out-of-touch when the employee gives themselves an A and the supervisor gives them a B. I chalk that up to the company’s culture on grading standards. The ones that stand out to me is when the employee is being put on a performance plan and consistently being given the equivalent of C-F grades and is giving themselves A-B ratings. When I do my own and feel like I have been killing it at my job, I usually identify one or two areas where I can improve and rate those B’s and the rest A’s so it doesn’t look I actually put thought into it instead of looking like I just filled in A’s down the line.

      • Thanks, this is useful. I sincerely doubt that I’m getting anything lower than a B anywhere, unless there’s some kind of huge issue that no one has mentioned to me before now, which I doubt. My supervisor is proactive and communicative, and it’s not like I’m in law where performance issues magically appear out of thin air when it’s time to force someone out. So it’s really the A/B finagling.

        Whyyyyy is this so hard?

    • Give yourself the A anywhere you think you deserve it. As a manager who has to evaluate staff, I was told never to rate employees higher than what they gave themselves. So if you try to moderate your overall self-eval with a B where I would have given an A, you’ll get a B by default.

      That said, I feel you. It’s all a giant trap.

      • Yep this. Give yourself the As. Your supervisor can mark you down to a B, but likely can’t bring you up to an A.

        You only look out of touch if you’re rating yourself several grades off. Being one off isn’t cause for concern.

    • Listen up. The menfolk don’t think twice about rating themselves an A. If you start off as a self rated B they don’t even discuss giving you one of the coveted A’s. Don’t sell yourself short. Go for it. Support your case for an A. Don’t worry about being braggadocious. This is the time to brag.

      • Anonymous :

        WORD. I had my closest colleague take a look at my annual review document before I submitted it, and he scolded me for not giving myself more 5s (on a scale of 1-5.) He had a clear rationale for improving my score in several categories. He’s a white dude.

        Although to muddy my datapoint, he’d given himself pretty average ratings and was unswayed by my prodding to upsell himself a bit.

  16. Anyone shopped around for fertility drugs? Pharmacy tips and tricks? Actual fertility/TTC corners of the internet are terrifying.

    • I found it was best to order only for a couple days at a time. It required more coordination, especially around weekends and holidays, but kept me from ending up with an inventory of meds afterwards. I didn’t do this the first cycle – bought all of the drugs they thought I’d need – and ended up with thousands of $$ in my fridge when the cycle was cancelled on Day 9. I ended up using most, but not all of the drugs, on the next cycle. Mandell’s was able to handle this and turn around shipments in 24 hours except for Sundays.

      • I really have found GoodRx to be a great app/website for helping to shop. A few times, the GoodRx price has been significantly lower than the price as dicounted through my PPO.

    • I’ve done this and found that the easiest way to comparison shop is to make a spreadsheet of all your meds and pharmacies you want to call. You can just call them up and ask for a price quote for each of the meds. You’d be suprised by the difference in price for the exact same medicine! You don’t have to order all your meds from one place. Just make sure whoever you order from offers next day shipping so that you can order as you go along.

    • I don’t disagree that the TTC forums are pretty terrible. But I’ll make my standard plug for reddit’s infertility forum. If you search there, there have been lots of discussions about drug pricing, and I think someone may have even put together a spreadsheet of comparables. I always had to use Freedom Pharamacy because that’s what my insurance required but don’t think that’s necessarily the best option, pricing wise.

      • Reddit’s forum r/infertility is really, really amazing. buffybot, if you were the one that recommended it to me – thanks!!!

        I had to use Village Fertility out of Waltham, MA due to insurance, but a maaayyyy-jah plus is that it’s 15 mins from my house. DH definitely drove there in a panic on my behalf more than once because I (thought I) miss calculated remaining dosages relative to next Rx.

      • Anonymous :

        Agreed. It’s a great forum without all of the babydust crap you see on the others.

    • Anonymous :

      Some pharmacies let you return unused meds.

  17. Here’s a fun question…

    What did you do for your 30th birthday?

    • Fancy dinner with my parents sister and a few close friends. Parents kindly paid.

    • We went to Paris which sounds extravagant but I live in the U.K. so trips are pretty cheap. I think we ended up having a hotel room picnic on the actual day, champagne, fancy cheese and desserts.

    • I had a party where everyone indulged me and brought miniature foods. Because I am obsessed with everything in miniature. And when the food is miniature, you can eat more yummy things.

    • Husband and I went to Vegas for a four day weekend. Nothing wild, just really nice restaurants, a show, and lots of pool time. It was our fourth trip to Vegas together (we live pretty close) so there was no pressure to do anything but relax. It was probably my best adult birthday.

    • Went to Charleston for a long weekend to see college friends and got DRIZZUNK the whole time. There was fishing boats, professional anglers, a serpentarium, a camel, and lots of drinking out of champagne bottles poorly disguised in paper bags.

      • TBH, I was drunk before my plane landed and then had guys buy me more birthday cocktails in the airport restaurant. Good times!

    • Wanderlust :

      This may out me to those who know, but I turned 30 on the most remote populated island in the world – Easter Island. My mom was turning 60 that year so we made it a double celebration.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Very cool! What made you decide to do that, if you don’t mind answering?

        • Wanderlust :

          I had a “fear” of turning 30 since i was still single at the time. My mom was turning 60 and also single, so we decided to take a big trip. I had always been intrigued by the moai, and we found pretty cheap flights through Peru (so we did a Machu Picchu detour as well).

    • I have no idea. And it was only a few years ago. I’m pretty low-key about birthdays, so I probably went out to a fancy dinner with my husband.

      • +1 I strongly dislike big, flashy bday celebrations. Probably a fancy dinner and called it a night.

    • My fiance planned a surprise weekend trip, and coordinated all my college friends and my parents to meet us there. It is quite possibly the most loved I’ve ever felt.

    • I just had it!

      my parents traveled to me + inlaws + friends and we had a house party: kegs, delivery pizza, and dancing

    • Long weekend in Bermuda w/ husband!

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      A cruise with friends to the Bahamas.

    • Met up with my oldest dearest friends in Vegas. My son was under a year old at the time; we brought him with us and my friend’s mom (who I had known since I was 11) watched him and my friend’s daughter so we could go out one night. My best birthday ever.

    • Goodbye Roaring 20’s party (1920’s themed). I decorated the house and we made cocktails and food that was popular in the 20’s. All my friends dressed up in 20’s inspired attire. It was a blast!

    • My mom, my sister and I went to Carmel, CA.

    • SquashBlossoms :

      Disneyland with my sister!

    • My then-boyfriend planned an entire weekend around my 30th — Friday night he proposed on our way to dinner, then after dinner took me to the bar we had our first date and a bunch of my out-of-town and local friends and family were gathered there to surprise me. More surprise people flew in over the course of the weekend for brunches and dinners. Then we left for a 4-day trip to Cancun the following week, which had been planned originally as my bday celebration but ended up being an “engagement moon.” It was the most amazing weekend (almost as amazing as our wedding weekend) and I’m so sad it will never happen again :(

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Threw myself a house party that may have lasted for three days or so.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      Absolutely nothing, but I’m not a birthday person (and haven’t been since I was a small child).

    • Baconpancakes :

      Totally outing myself to friends but I think anyone who knows me would figure it out from my posts anyway. Threw a party styled after Bilbo’s 111th. Sent “aged” Hobbit-script-font invitations. Pole tent in the backyard strung with lights, 10 roast chickens, buckets of garlic mushrooms, pony kegs of Dragons Milk Stout and cider, bobbing for apples, rented farmhouse tables and benches for the back lawn, had everyone bring pie for dessert, had friends perform on violin, do poetry recitation, drinking songs, and one particularly talented friend did a fire dance. Wore a flower crown and a cloak. Had about 60 people show up, some invited, some not (as was appropriate).

      It was legendary.

    • I think I went out to a nice dinner and then to see a show. I was a bridesmaid in a wedding the next day so had to keep the shenanigans in check but it actually worked out great because it took all the pressure off having a major celebration. For my fortieth, I think I want to do a hot air balloon ride but that’s still a while away so who knows what I will want when the time comes.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      The weekend either before or after my birthday always happens to coincide with a big rivalry game for my undergrad, so I just get together at a friend’s house every year to watch that and have ice cream cake.

    • Hockey game rented out a box for friends and family.

    • Nothing much. I was pregnant. :)

      For my fortieth I had a party at my house.

      For my fiftieth (yikes!) I did a weekend away with friends and then a different weekend away with my family.

      Would do it all again.

      • I was a pregnant law student. I spent my 30th puking. For my next milestone birthday I want to achieve a fitness goal.

      • Boston Legal Eagle :

        I had a two month old when I turned 30 so I woke up to change his diaper. Happy dirtythirty :) My lovely friends did babysit that night so my husband and I went to dinner. I don’t think I would have done anything huge even if I wasn’t in the early days of parenthood, I hate being the center of attention.

        I do hope to travel somewhere fun for my 35th. Hopefully will be done with having kiddos by then.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I got a tattoo (my second large piece).

    • Dinner with a friend whose birthday is the day before mine. It was my 30th and her 40th, so we went out to dinner to one of the cute, trendy places downtown and had ourselves good cocktails and good food.

    • I have no clue. Probably dinner with friends and my then-boyfriend, now-husband?

    • shamlet96 :

      Dinner with my little brother at my favorite veggie restaurant in NYC. Super low key.

    • Not there yet but planning to do my first Ironman at a fun destination. Bringing close family/friends along as spectators and to enjoy a long weekend away

    • Definitely a know-your-friends situation but a friend had a Dirty-Thirty party where the purpose was to bring the most outrageous adult-themed gifts for a Yankee swap. It was like a Cards Against Humanity game on steroids.

    • OCAssociate :

      Took a Civ Pro exam (I started law school several years out of undergrad).

    • My husband surprised me the weekend before my birthday and rented a giant lake house and invited all of my closest friends and their spouses and kids for a weekend of hanging out at the lake, complete with a boat, excellent cocktails, a fire pit, s’mores, volleyball, etc. It was fantastic.

    • I ran a marathon. My husband had left me two weeks prior so it was super-important to me to crush it, and I did.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a big believer in celebrating birthdays and anniversaries with vacations. We’ve done our big annual vacation over my birthday for the last 3 or 4 years, partly because I like being somewhere exotic on my birthday and partly because it’s the time of year we’d want to take our vacation anyway (my birthday’s in May, we can’t travel from Sept-April due to my job and I like to avoid June-August travel if I can). We were bear watching in Alaska on my 30th, which was amaaaaazing. I’m pregnant now, so birthdays will look a little different for the next few years but I still hope to do a bucketlist trip for our 10 year wedding anniversary in 4 years and for my 40th birthday in 7 years.

    • My Dh and I went to NOLA over my birthday weekend (happens to coincide with a popular vacation long weekend in the states), and we emailed our friends a few months ahead of time and said “hey, we’re doing this thing, you are welcome to join. No pressure, no plans, no death march of forced group fun, just wanted to put it out there. Come or don’t, we seriously won’t be hurt or judgey if you can’t or don’t [nb: our friends know that we are genuinely very much this way generally, so it was taken at value]!” And 10 of my best friends from around the country joined us and it was a BLAST. People came and went as they pleased, stayed where they wanted, and we had a great birthday brunch. Fun!

      • Anonymous :

        That’s great! I’ve been invited to too many milestone birthday weekends that are like bachelor*tte weekends, with pressure to take time off work I don’t want to, stay in the same (usually expensive) place, foot the bill for the birthday girl, etc. and I have to admit I groan when I get invited to them, even for close friends. But what you did sounds awesome!

        • That’s exactly how we feel about those things too, so we really wanted to avoid inflicting that on others! We generally have no problem saying no to those types of invitations without any guilt, but we know other people are not the same way. That’s our very casual easy-going attitude towards the whole thing.

    • Belle Boyd :

      Major concert weekend. 3 nights in a row, 3 of my favorite groups.

      I’m celebrating my birthday almost the same way this year…. Bob Seger is coming to town the day after my birthday. I’ve never seen him. Have always wanted to, but there’s always been something come up that I couldn’t. It’s his last tour so I wasn’t missing this show if I had to go myself and walk there. Fortunately, I don’t have to do either – my sister bought tickets for me for my birthday!

  18. KateMiddletown :

    Just wanted to report that I had a GREAT wardrobe misfire this morning. I wore a v-neck shift dress that, with the bra I’m currently wearing, left little to the imagination. I topped it w/ the MMLF jardigan while rushing out the door, and that did zero. I tried to pop into a bookstore for a pashmina, scarf, anything to find they had nothing so I had to stop into Macy’s on the way from my early morning meeting and settled on a black and white boring number that I’m currently sporting. Yay for $80 down the tube on a trendy dress that I kind of hate, but covers the clea^age

    • Frozen Pizza :

      This is where my desk pashmina comes into play! It’s a silvery gray so it goes (or at least doesn’t clash) with most things and it lives on the back of my chair. I’ve actually gotten compliments on the fringe hanging down the back of the chair when I’m not wearing the scarf! But it’s also perfect for fixing the occasional wardrobe malfunction and surviving the frigid office AC.

      • Yes. Scarves and wraps are things I can’t resist when they’re on sale so I have too many. I keep three at work in various colors so that one of them will work with any outfit. I used them all the time for freezing A/C, cleavage mishaps (I swear it looked ok looking in the mirror!) and even to cover the occasional spill down my front.

  19. Junior Associate :

    BigLaw ladies… how and when do you call in sick? I’m thinking of going home at lunch because I’ve got a sinus infection/headache/cold situation, but all the partners I work for are currently out of the office. Do I just tell my assistant, or email the partners?

    • This definitely depends on your office culture. I would email the partners and also reconsider going home unless I was running a fever or something. Other offices may be more lenient, especially if you’re planning to work from home.

    • Hmm. I’d send an e-mail to the partners who are most likely to try and find me (i.e., active projects with those partners).

      Say–Dear Partner, I’m a little under the weather today, so I’m headed home. I will be available at my cell (number). Best, Junior Associate

    • No one at my big law firm would even notice if I took the rest of the day off. If they wanted to find me, they would email me.

    • Know your firm. At my firm — just leave. No need to tell anyone (though most tell their assistant so as not to just disappear) bc there is a 100% expectation that you’re reachable — just from home for the rest of the day. Ask your assistant to email you ASAP when people call — then call them back and THEN say, home for the rest of the day with a fever but of course I can get the research you want or whatever. Chances are if you’re super junior, maybe none of the partners even call all day – so why announce it to them via email upfront and have them forming impressions about you (bc you know one of them will be thinking — really headed home with a cold, when I was a junior, I worked with strep with a 110 degree fever, juniors these days blah blah).

      And I wouldn’t listen to the person above saying reconsider going home unless you have a fever. You realize they aren’t taking your temp right – you can say whatever is convenient. If you’re REALLY uncomfortable leaving – stick it out until 2 or so and then leave bc then you’ve at least been around half a day.

      • That was me. I stayed at work when I felt pretty sick as a first year and was diagnosed with the flu later, so yeah, maybe don’t listen to me. Haha.

        (But I am definitely in one of those offices where people would grumble if you announced you were going home because you had a cold).

        • I think that’s all offices. So don’t announce a cold – don’t say anything or make it sound “better” than that.

        • I’m a big believer in social distancing during illness. I don’t have to be at home watching daytime TV but I also don’t want to be in the office exposing others to my virus.

          That’s how I explain it in my grumbly office. And then I go home and work from home and answer emails promptly so that no one really has cause to complain.

          I am a manager and trying to promote this behavior in others. Viruses spread like wildfire in the office and it’s just bad policy to be there contributing to the spread when you’re sick.

          To OP – go home.

          • Funny story: I’m in my first trimester and Monday I was so sick/exhausted to tears that I just stood up and left (took appropriate steps to tell people who mattered… but given current work flow, no one missed me for one afternoon).

            Today, a group of guys at work are calling me Patient Zero because of a ‘stomach bug’ someone allegedly has and caught from my ‘bug’ (morning/afternoon/all day sickness). Classic.

      • Anonymous :

        Just is how it is at my firm too

      • Anon Lawyer :

        If I go home sick, it is to go home and sleep. I’m not going to be responding to emails while sleeping. Maybe that’s why I’m not at big law.

    • Feel better. Battling the same here – though more of a omg why does my throat hurt so bad followed by a cough situation. Good times.

    • BabyAssociate :

      The partner I work for is not in the same office as me. I’m in a small, close-knit practice group, so I’d tell the other people I work with and my assistant that I’m going home.

  20. hi ladies- husband and I booked a trip thinking we would have our toddler. Inlaws just offered to take him so now our trip is quite different.

    We had booked theatre tickts- what we do is we switch at intermission. It works out nicely. So we have single tickets and now we can’t get adjoining second tickets. What would you do – buy second single tickets for elsewhere in the theatre or just do other things entirely?

    • I’d still go see the show, and not sit together. It’s not like you’d be talking during the show anyway, and you can hang out at intermission, and have fun discussing afterwards over a drink.

      • Buying the additional ticket is about $350 -$400. Should I just buy it and not tell the husband the cost? If I tell him he will say not to buy it.

        • In that case, go and enjoy and he can entertain himself.

        • I mean, it’s your money and your priorities, but that sounds nuts to me. If I’m understanding correctly, you have 2 tickets already, right? But they’re in different areas of the theater. No way I’d spend $350-400 for the privilege of sitting next to my husband (though I love him dearly) and quietly watching a show. I especially wouldn’t do it if I knew that he would object to spending the money. (Not that his word is law, but that his preferences inform my decisions).

          • I could be wrong, but i read the OP as saying that they bought one ticket originally – one of them watches the first half while the other entertains toddler elsewhere, and then they switch roles at intermission.

            Which…seems odd.

          • We travel a lot with our toddler and find this works pretty well. We do it once maybe twice a trip, it’s a bit like taking turns looking at a china store or something. I mean it’s not for everyone but the the small person usually enjoys himself at a park or something for a solid afternoon while we each get some exposure to culture. We are both english majors and sometimes we just want to see and experience being inside certain theatres more than see the entire show.

            Lol. I don’t know anyone else who does this but it works for us.

          • I read it this way (two individual tickets not together) at first also, because the OP kept using the plural “tickets” rather than “we share a single ticket and swap at intermission.”

            Kind of weird, but I get it (though I almost always prefer the first half of any musical).

        • It’s your money. If the show is worth that much to both of you, I’d buy 2 tickets even if they’re not together. If your husband wouldn’t want to spend the money, let him entertain himself while you’re at the show, and allow him to pick something else that you typically wouldn’t spend that kind of money on. (For my husband, it would be an “upgrade” at a nice restaurant–convincing me to do the tasting menu or buy an extra bottle of wine or something like that.)

    • Call the box office and ask if you can exchange the single for a ticket that has a seat next to it, and then pay for the second seat. This should be possible!

  21. Would you rather... :

    …. aggressively pay down a car loan that is highly levered relative to trade in value OR save $2k/month. Alternate months – save $2k, pay $2k?

    Salient facts: baby on the way, I don’t like my job and would take a pay cut to go elsewhere, have a high 5-figure cash savings account, no other meaningful debt but for a mortgage. Also, purchasing this car was dumb/emotional – I own the decision, it happened, but I’m otherwise pretty darn good with money (not perfect, but good). Car loan is 3.54% rate.

    • Neither. I’d pay a bit more than the actual car payment and save the rest.

    • Pay an extra few hundred if you want to, but you’ll make more on that money putting it in a Vanguard index fund than 3.54% so I don’t think it makes sense to pay the note down aggressively.

    • How many times has this come up on this board – market’s been trading WELL over 3.54% this yr? Why would you pay down fast if you could invest the extra payments and make $? Frankly with a kid on the way, I also wouldn’t pay 2k extra per month on a car – you’ll need the cash, so save/invest it.

    • There’s some poor financial advice going on here. The stock market returns > 3.54% include significant risk to principal, particularly over the life of a loan. Since it is a fixed rate loan, the accurate comparison is to a fixed rate savings vehicle like a savings account or a CD. I doubt you could get 3.54% on those in today’s environment.

      You don’t have to pay of your car loan, but you should use recent stock returns as a benchmark.

      • * you should NOT use stock returns as an benchmark.

        As a point of reference, I attended a presentation by a noted economist yesterday. He pointed out that we are approaching record territory in terms of the period of correction/ time since downturn.

        • No kidding but who stopped OP from investing in the last 9 months or the last 8 yrs for that matter?!

      • +1

    • Arg. This is such a sore spot with me and my husband. We have a 3% interest rate on our (very low) mortgage payments and he is obsessed throwing all extra money at the mortgage (we have no other debt). I’ve explained that the extra money could do much more for us if we invested it, and he understands that, but doesn’t care. Drives me nuts.

      • Psychological “freedom” is worth something too.

        • Anonymous :

          I agree. We also have a 3% mortgage interest rate, and although we’re saving for retirement, we are putting all our extra money after that towards the mortgage. Being debt-free is worth a lot to us. Also, while the market is definitely returning more than 3% this year, it’s not clear that it will return more than 3% average over the life of your mortgage loan. If another 2008 happens – which some experts are saying is likely pretty soon – you’ll probably regret not throwing all that money at the mortgage.

          • OP here – yes, the mental goal of being debt free is what is driving the decision making. I figure that if I’m going to take a lower paying job and add variable costs of children/life, reducing debt as much as possible is important. I don’t see my mortgage as ‘bad debt’, but my dumb car loan is, at least for me.

            You’ve given me much to consider. I think I’ll round up to a few hundred dollars more than the monthly payment, but still stash $1k+ into savings each month.

    • Definitely would NOT recommend investing in the stock market in your circumstances, unless we’re talking about your retirement accounts!

      I would pay down the car loan. Reasoning: I bought a car a few months ago with 0% financing, so 3.54% sounds like a pretty lousy deal. Unlike your mortgage, the interest is not deductible. Paying down debt is psychologically better than lumping into savings if there is any chance you will use the savings for non emergency reasons. Once you get rid of the car payment you can use the extra monthly cash flow for savings, for baby, or to justify taking a different job with less income.

    • Anonymous :

      Use it now to pay off the car as much as possible. Once you need to start paying for daycare/nanny, redirect it to that.

      • This is what i’m thinking. Fix the problem (pay down as much as I can now) while I can, then redirect in 7 mos when diapers and nanny and whatnot become real costs.

  22. I’m having a “this shouldn’t be this hard” shopping issue:
    Grey pencil skirt, size 14, cut for curves, but office appropriate

    I’ve checked all my normal brands and can’t find one. Help?

    • I just asked this question a month or so ago and was directed to Talbot’s seasonless wool pencil skirt. I wear it all the time.

      • I asked about a new skirt suit, and the board told me to go with the Talbots seasonless and I’ve been very pleased.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Dangit, I’m in mod, but take a look at the curvy seamed scuba pencil skirt at Loft.

        • Brooks Brothers has a few on their website. Pricey, but might work. I just picked up a few wool pencil skirts from J Crew Factory – they aren’t showing grey right now, but might be a place to keep an eye on (and probably size up, I feel they run straight). Regular J Crew is showing a grey pencil skirt in Italian stretch wool that looks nice to me.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I’ve had a similar pencil skirt to this Loft one for a couple of years and it’s a workhorse. Unfortunately it’s not the scuba fabric so I can’t speak to how it feels/hangs:

    • Anonymous :

      Ann Taylor has a curvy-cut “sharkskin” gray pencil skirt right now that works really great. I’m sometimes afraid of the word “sharkskin” when used to describe fabric but it’s actually really nice.

    • Get a custom one made at Rita & Phil’s!

  23. Coolsculpting? :

    Building off the laser hair removal thread: coolsculpting. No matter how much I tone up or lose, I seem to always have armpit fat, that unflattering bulge between your [email protected] and arm. Would coolsculpting work on this area? have you been happy with your coolscultping results? Any DC area recommendations?

    • You mean your body has skin? I’d just work on accepting this.

    • Is it possible your bra is creating this bulge?

      • Indeed. I thought I had the same issue, just got re-fitted for a bra, now don’t have the issue anymore.

      • I was about to say – this might be a factor of the brand, cut, fit, size, etc. of your [email protected]

      • Coolsculpting? :

        I was recently professionally fitted, so it isn’t that. If anything, the new size / higher cup styles (had been wearing DD, turned out I’m an F) makes it worse despite fitting better everywhere else.

        And no, it’s not just skin. (Really, you have nothing better to do than be anonymously d0uchey to strangers asking for help?)

        • Anonymous :

          Full cup bras create a bulge on me. Maybe it’s just those particular styles you bought making it worse? Try something that isn’t so close to your armpit or has a softer fabric.

          • Anonymous :

            +1 – bra fitting can be good about getting you in the right size (cup/band), but it may not be the right style (full cup, balcone tt e, etc.). Did you talk about the bulge issue during the fitting, or were they focused on sizing?

        • Hi friend, kindly, if your [email protected] are that large, that means there will be skin and fat because that is what they are made of. Especially when a properly fitted [email protected] holds them up rather than letting them fall down, it will create those folds in that area. Look at any red carpet with a voluptuous top and you will see it there unless the dress covers it – some dresses and [email protected] cover it and some are cut to (unknowingly) expose it. That is what people are telling you. You could certainly try the coolsculpting, someone mentioned experience with it, but it may also be something that doesn’t really vanish and just has to do with the cut of your clothes or [email protected]

    • Coolsculpting is pretty good with abdominal fat, much less so in other areas. I had it done on my thighs, with basically no effect whatsoever. Also, because of the nature of the treatment, you run into the chance of getting a weird line/dent on certain body parts. There are other non-invasive options like Exilis that seem better for this kind of area.

  24. Hello Ladies, Has anyone successfully overcome trust issues? and if so, how?

  25. This site is killing my computer :


    What is going on with the site? It is way to slow and Is crashing my computer. Is this what it is going to be from now on, or are you trying to fix it?

  26. Botox/Microblading :

    Twenty-six year old non-white woman with fairly light wrinkles. I wear very minimal makeup (mascara and some powder, and a little brow gel). Generally good skin genes, but considering both light Botox (prevention, primarily) and microblading (tired of filing them in).

    Basically, I want these because I want to continue wearing the minimum amount of makeup while still looking/feeling great. Looking for personal experiences–if you waited, went for it, etc.

    • I started Botox at 29 – I have strong forehead muscles that were already causing small visible creases in my skin. If you have that type of issue, or the “11” scowl line between your eyes, a tiny bit of Botox might be good for you; I’m in my late 30s now and really glad I did it. But if you don’t have any “issues” to treat and you are looking totally at prevention, I would suggest really good sunscreen and maybe an occasional gentle microdermabrasion to keep your skin fresh looking.

      As far as brows, I color mine with drugstore hair color – I’ve never seen microblading in person that I was impressed with. Coloring works surprisingly well – my brows looked thin and sparse, but it turned out there were lots of tiny clear hairs, so now they are full and defined.

      • anonymous :

        31 here and also with very strong brow muscles to the point of creating migraines and headaches behind it. Have you had kids and did you stop while pregnant or BFing? Not pregnant but hoping to be in about a year or so and not sure how that timing works out.

        • I started Botox at 31 and am now pregnant– my dr will not do Botox while you are pregnant or nursing. I will not get it again until done BFing.

        • Talk to a neurologist – get botox for your migraines! The botox placement will be effective for migraine relief AND your eyebrows are frozen.

    • Early 30s here, got microblading after two other women in my office had it and I liked their results, and I say it is totally worth it if you find someone you like. Between microblading and eyelash extensions, I can basically roll out of bed and head into the office with minimal or no makeup application, which I love.

      No experience with Botox, but if you’re looking for other good anti-aging measures, consider some form of Retinol for wrinkle prevention and collagen boosting, and maybe an occasional peel or some sort of product with light glycolic/lactic/mandelic acid for exfoliation. And of course, lots of sunscreen. I jumped on the Korean beauty bandwagon a few years back and have also fallen in love with snail cream. I’m sure it’s partly my genes, but so far a solid skincare regime has kept my complexion fairly even and youthful even without makeup or injections.

    • anonlawyer :

      i started Botox at just before turning 40 (I’m 41 now, so I’ve been doing it almost 2 years) and its great. I go about 3x a year on my forehead. considering doing light fillers to help with the dark circles under my eyes.

    • Fairly late here, but, as a fellow POC who has gotten microblading, if your skin is not fair, make sure you’ve seen the portfolio of the microblader. Some microbladers that are not quite as good or experienced will 1) cut a tad bit deeper because, sadly our school systems have failed and some people think our skin is thicker, and 2) will put on a darker color than you really need. My natural hair is what many would call “natural black”. Not jet black, but almost with some dark brown highlights and my microblader would only go as dark as dark brown with some medium brown variation. Make sure they don’t try to put black ink on you, but if they do run for the hills, or you’ll end up looking like a Mediterranean man.

  27. Podcast Junkie here!!! Any recs?!

    • AnonMidwest :

      Style or contents preference? What do you already listen to?

      • Any and everything. I’m open minded.

        • AnonMidwest :

          Some of the smaller podcasts that I listen to :
          Vox in the weeds (policy and politics)
          Milk Street (Cooking)
          Awesome Etiquette
          Decode the news
          Futility closet (I super super enjoy this)
          James Bonding Podcast (really you have to really enjoy James Bond)
          King Falls Am (imagine if Welcome to Nightvale had a late night call in radio show)
          Levar Burton Reads
          Black Tapes
          Still Untitled
          The Bright Sessions
          Under the Influence
          You Must Remember This

    • KateMiddletown :

      Just downloaded Stitcher and I’m impressed w/ the curated selection (IDK if they produce all the content but they have a bunch of good ones there.) I’m doing 1 mo free trial of the Premium but doubt I’ll pay after that.

    • The Read
      Deep State Radio
      Another Round

    • Hellbent and Call your girlfriend for feminism and politics.

    • Pod Save America
      Lovett or Leave it
      Leveling the Playing Field

  28. Anonymous :

    Any recs for hotels in Amsterdam in the $200-300 range? It’s our first time there.

    Any any recs for a hotel or air bnb in Cologne would be welcome as well!

    • No idea what the going rates are now, but I’ve stayed at Hotel Americain and the NH Golden Tulip and had good experiences in both places. The location was very central but not overly touristy (vs., like, the Grand Krasnopolsky in Dam Square, which I’ve also stayed in and was nice but it’s a bit like staying right in Times Sq.). I’ve also stayed at The Grand and that was maybe the best hotel stay ever and the bed was so amazing I never wanted to leave, but I think we got lucky on that trip because I think it’s over $300/night usually, but check because you never know.

      • Anonymous :

        The Grand does look amazing, but sadly it’s $327/night plus tax. I’m looking at the Estherea now. All of these Amsterdam hotel rooms look like they are so amazingly well decorated inside!

        • That one looks nice too. As long as you’re somewhere in the central area by one of the canals you should be good. Just be prepared for some steep stairs in the older buildings and if that may pose an issue confirm room accessibility.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      A bit late to the party, but if it’s your thing, there are some awesome B&Bs in houseboats on the canals! House Boat Ms 3 Gebroeders was amazing when we went last year

      • Anonymous :

        We are going in December, so not sure being on the water would be ideal, but something to consider!

  29. Condolences :

    What’s the appropriate expression of condolences when a partner you work for loses a family member? With friends, I usually give a donation and/or send flowers/sandwiches/cookies. Not sure if that violates the rule against gifting up? The office is already sending a card. Do I send a card on my own?

    • Anonymous :

      If you work closely with the partner, I would send a personal card plus a donation to whatever charity listed in the funeral notice.

    • Definitely fine to send your own card and I don’t think there is anything wrong with sending flowers to the funeral/wake/whatever in this situation.

    • Anonymous :

      I think it depends on the family member. For an elderly parent or grandparent (e.g., a loss but not a tragedy) or the loss of a younger but more distant relative, I’d probably express my condolences in person when the person returns but not send anything other than the office card. For the loss of a child or a spouse or the unexpected loss of a parent at a young age, I’d donate or send something.

      • If you work closely with that person, they’ve lost a close relative, and the services are local, making an appearance at the visitation isn’t out of line either.

  30. I’m the one who felt like I was trapped in a country song the other day. We took dog to the vet, he had a bug and was given anti-diarrhea meds and fluids. Today, he’s acting way off. Back to vet, has cellulitis. So they put him on antibiotics, which cause diarrhea…

    • Arrrrgh! My dog had some major incontinence at the end of her life and it is REALLY hard, especially with kids. I hope it’s resolved soon for you!

    • Ugh. Can you give canned pumpkin or sweet potato to help firm things up? Confine him to the bathroom?

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