Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.
This colorblocked dress is exclusive to Neiman Marcus and on a pretty great sale (was $228, now $155), but it’s interesting to note that the Twirl dress is a longtime best-seller for Nic + Zoe.
We’ve featured it over the years in sleeved, sleeveless, prints, and solids, and it’s been sold by every store from Pendleton to Amazon to Nordstrom.
There are a ton of versions (petite, regular, and plus-size) on sale at Neiman Marcus for $49(!)–$228, including solid black sleeved options. Round-Neck 3/4-Sleeve Colorblock Twirl Dress
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2020 Update: We’re adding this dress to our Workwear Hall of Fame because after it’s still around, coming out in new colors, and getting rave reviews.
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Workwear sales of note for 3.24.23:
- Ann Taylor – 40% off everything
- Athleta – 20% off shorts, swim, linen & more
- Banana Republic Factory – 40% off everything; extra 15% off purchase
- Boden – Up to 50% off
- Brooks Brothers – Clearance styles to 70% off. Some pretty serious markdowns!
- Express – 40% off dresses & tops
- J.Crew – 25% off your purchase; up to 50% off special-occasion styles
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 50% off everything; extra 15% off 3 styles; extra 20% off 4 styles; extra 50% off clearance
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty
- Talbots – 25% off select styles; 25% off markdowns
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- What are your favorite parts of a typical day?
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- What are the best “networking for women events” you’ve ever been to?
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Let’s talk about business formal. How do you think about a black skirt suit + white shirt combo. Someone tell me it looks like a funeral outfit to them, but others say it’s just the most classic women’s business formal. I’m preparing for an interview in consulting, NYC. So I need your advice. Thanks.
Anon for this
I think it’s fine, but can read juvenile, since it is so extremely plain/conservative that it looks like the interview uniform for paranoid college seniors/2Ls.
Any advice to make it less conservative? Probably a light blue shirt?
Not blue, that is just like white. Pick another color and I would do a blouse instead of a button-front shirt.
Disagree on the light blue. Black / white reads wet-behind-the-ears junior staff or cater waiter to me. Light blue takes the edge off. I wear a burgundy shell a lot with my black suits b/c the contrast is just a lot less stark.
Seconding that blue has all the same issues as white. Also seconding blouse instead of button up.
Anon- I also wear a burgundy colored shell (my fave one is from Loft & has black piping on it). I think it’s a power color & you also get rid of weird button gaping issues with a shell and I think they wrinkle less as well.
I love the Boden Ravello’s for under a suit for interviewing. I’m willing to go with a pattern, in part because if you feel me wearing a conservative, silk, patterned blouse under a suit is just TOO FLASHY for your job, then I’m surely not going to be a good fit! But, I see right now they only appear to have blue and white! Maybe the Carey Top is a replacement, the patterns they have in that all look interview appropriate to me. (Though perhaps better with navy than black.)
If you go white or light blue button down, add a bold necklace? Like right now J.Crew has a few “enamel link” and “enamel oval link” necklaces. Something like that. Under a collared shirt, you see only a little of it, but it shows a bit of (mass market, non-offensive, office appropriate) personality.
Agreed- it’s safe but almost too safe. I might swap the white button down for a conservative but slightly more interesting silk blouse (maybe something with subtle knife pleats for example) perhaps in ivory or off white.
Agreed. I actually think it is a good look for college seniors/2Ls/grad students for interviews for their first post-grad full time job. Not because I think they can’t get away with something more (it doesn’t have to be quite so conservative), but because they generally then feel safe about what they are wearing and can focus on the other aspects of the interview. In a conservative industry, no one is going to judge you for it.
If you want to jazz it up, I would wear a different color top. A blue is also pretty conservative. Or a solid conservative color shell. I would avoid scarfs (I’ve never seen anyone wear one in my office or on the metro) or a big necklace (too likely to be distracting).
I agree with this, particularly “juvenile” and “paranoid.” Black with white makes me think of Men in Black every time.
I’m curious what others think, but I don’t see many/any experienced women wearing button-up shirts with suits. Black suit plus blue or white button-up shirt says, “I’m scared witless and have no sense of my professional identity/competencies, so I’m wearing this because my career office told me to.”
Grab a blouse with a jewel neckline. One of my favorites for a black suit was a pretty cream, black, and blush patterned blouse from AT a few years ago. It looked chic and put together and sufficiently formal without being a uniform.
What industry are you in? Button-up shirts are essential and classic,even for women.
I’m pretty senior and I see all kinds of stuff at the entry level to middle management level, but women my level tend not to wear classic button up shirts unless they are kind of butch. <- not a slur, I am talking about intentional butch dressers
Eh, I agree with Anon that button-up shirts aren’t as prevalent of a look right now. They may be classic but definitely are not “essential.” They were ubiquitous 10 years ago but I’m seeing FAR more of (a) silky blouse or lightweight sweater under a collarless suit jacket, or (b) sheath dress with non-matching jacket.
Button-ups are such a tricky style to get the fit right that I’m not surprised women, including myself, would quickly ditch them for other options!
Button up shirts are not “essential.” They require heroic efforts to properly fit many women’s body types. Let’s not tell women that they must wear a specific type of X to look sufficiently professional. There are plenty of other professional blouses that are better suited for curvy bodies.
I love the silk button ups from Everlane. Not as stark as a cotton so more modern. They have a gorgeous new french blue that would look nice here.
Yeah, agree that button ups are not essential for women. They’re men’s clothes! Even if they’re made for women, it’s not a *style* that suits pretty much anybody with b reasts.
Partner in biglaw, never wear button-ups and never see them on senior women in my firm.
Harsh. In my court, a dark suit and white shirt is basically a requirement. I never see men in blue shirts. They have more suiting options – a subtle pinstripe, a textured charcoal, etc. – that I don’t really see in women’s suits, though. My favorite suit is a textured black skirt suit from MMLF from a few years ago. I think the texture makes it a little more interesting/less juvenile.
The original Scarlett
I agree with this completely.
I’m in a business casual office, but literally the only folks that wear black & white suites are our building’s security guards (and 1 really awkward seeming young guy– why!?!). I am a lawyer who works with a bunch of lawyers & engineers.
FWIW- my husband is a litigator in a big firm & almost always wears blue shirts w/ navy or gray suits in court (in Boston & NYC). He’s fair toned and black would look like he’s going to a wedding/funeral.
I agree – honestly even in pretty formal environments I see more senior women wearing dresses, interesting suits etc – not plain black suits and button down shirts for sure.
+1. I only see this look in interviewees / summer associates / 1st years in their first 1-2 months of work in my firm. I once wore the white button down + black skirt + black jacket as a 4th year , and the receptionist (on a different floor) asked me if I was here to interview for the administrative assistant position. Ouch.
Personally I would swap out the button down for a silk blouse / bit more flowy silk top in conservative tones (ginger / burgundy / royal blue / gray — colors that work for me).
Jazz it up with scarf, necklace, earrings, something!
So as someone who has been in consulting for 5 years… don’t feel you need to play it so safe. It definitely depends on the group/type of consulting, but as someone who works in strategic transformation/customer strategy, I can tell you that rocking some color is such a non-thing that if it makes you more confident, you should do it without fear of it affecting your interview.
Signed, someone who literally wore a dark sea green suit with leopard print pumps to a recent client management committee without comment.
I think you can wear it, but you need to add something to not look boring, like a statement necklace.
That said, I wear all black a lot as a consultant, but rarely in traditional suit pieces, and always with fashion forward earrings/bracelet/ring.
Just wanted to say that it’s nice to see so many other consultants here!
I say, waiter, may I have more water?
Me too! Or you’re a valet or an usher or something.
Yep. I was at a career center hosted networking event on campus, and 100% mistook someone (can’t remember if it was a student or another professional) for one of the wait staff based on the white shirt/black pants combo.
Haha at my husband’s birthday party last year a friend of my son’s was wearing black suit and white shirt, and somebody grabbed his plate of hors d’oeuvres right out of his hand because she thought he was a waiter…
If that combo feels more comfortable to you, I have an off-white silk shirt with a rounded collar that I wear to interviews and feels less “fresh out of college” than a stiff white cotton shirt. For a touch of color, I like colored pumps, or maybe a thin belt?
I personally prefer navy for a classic look because I think it reads as less severe. +1 the recommendations for a blouse (maybe with a subtle print) over a solid white button-front shirt.
FWIW, my opinion of such an outfit depends a lot on how well it fits you. If it doesn’t fit right, it looks juvenile. If the fit is great, it looks powerful (I’m thinking of a Claire Underwood outfit with a black skirt suit and white top, but the top may have been a tie front blouse that she tucked into the skirt…hmmm…anyway…I assure you she did not look like an intern).
I wear button ups more often than some, apparently, but if I want to wear white, I often pair it with a gray suit. It’s less harsh and works better with my complexion. I like pastel pink with black.
If you have to ask the Internet, I’m guessing you can’t pull off Claire Underwood. (And I do think it was a tie front blouse, but I could be wrong too.)
All this is the same person who has been posting about shirts for over a week now, they are clearly doing market research from outside of the US based on the usage/grammar errors. Can we just ignore?
I’ve assumed this person has a fixation on stirring up conversations about shirts / collars for reasons OTHER than style or marketing.
Hello lovely ladies of Corporette. I have been a reader since 2012, but rarely post. You have no reason to care about me, but I’m up for Engineer of the Year in my industry (semiconductors and electronics packaging), and of course it is me versus two older men. I am probably not able to catch up, but I’d like to make a good showing.
If you are so inclined, I’d love the support! I will post a link separately, but if you just google 3dincites, you’ll find the page and the Vote button. My name is Amy Lujan. You do have to vote in every category for a vote to count, so I understand if this is too much to ask if you aren’t in my industry. But it’s worth a try! Gotta represent the technical ladies out there. :)
BTW, I did post yesterday, but it was on the least trafficked thread and it was suggested I post here this morning. I do apologize for those of you who already saw this.
Congrats on being nominated!
I voted for you and you’re currently ahead – good luck! FYI I did have to vote in all the categories in order to vote.
Just voted! Best of luck to you.
I voted! Good luck!
I voted yesterday and I’m so happy you’re ahead!
Never too many shoes...
You currently have 40% of the vote – good job!
Also voted for you. You’re still ahead!!
Also voted! Good luck!
KS IT Chick
I voted yesterday. I was surprised at how many categories I had Opinions on, given that we’re talking about things mostly outside my field.
I voted for you!!! Good luck!
voted! please come back and report on the results! good luck
Inspired By Hermione
Voted yesterday! Congrats!
I love this community! Good luck!
I voted for you too! You’re up to over 41%. You go girl!!
YOU GUYS! You are all amazing! Behold the power of Corporette! I really didn’t think I could win, but with your help I have indeed taken the lead. Voting closes on the 28th, so I will update you all then.
I also love that some of you commented on the opinions you had on the categories, even without being in this field, which is awesome. =3
This is great! I voted yesterday when you were in third place and look at you now!!!
I voted! Good luck!
I voted yesterday, as well! Best of luck!
I voted twice! I hope that is not unethical. The manageing partner says it was fine b/c if it wasn’t ok, they would have figured a way out to block the second vote. YAY! Now I hope your a good engineer! Choo! Choo!
I voted too! Congrats
I voted yesterday! I hope you win! YAY!!!!!! Myrna said she would vote also, so I know you have both of us! DOUBEL YAY!!!
41.74%! Go you!!
I voted. Such a good idea to ask for support here!
Another anonymous judge
I also voted for you – go, you!
I voted! Best of luck and hope you win!!
Anon for this
So it appears that JCr3w has phased out their long torso one-piece options other than a single boring tank style suit. Their strapless one-piece ruched bandeau style has for years been my go-to — flattering, structured but not constricting, modest in a classic way, AND no weird tan lines. But without the extra inches that long torso provides, it does NOT work on me; regular size cuts me off at the n!pple and going up a size just makes the fit wonky, doesn’t help with the length issue.
Anyone else found a source for tall-friendly strapless one pieces with decent rear coverage? Or alternatively, strapless tankini choices?
(Before someone asks: I do not care for the current trend of a bikini top + high waisted bottoms — I tried it on and the proportions are all wrong for me. And I don’t want to wear a regular bikini because my “pooch” is my least favorite body area; vanity aside, I feel more comfortable when in a garment with more structure/coverage in that area.)
I’ve heard surprisingly good things about the rear coverage of Aerie swimsuits lately. The one pieces come in long sizes so that might work!
+1. If you find a good Aerie option, their long sizes fit me well and I’ve found suits for about $14.
Yup love my American eagle/aerie one pieces. Not super covered in the behind but not super revealing either
+3. And they use a variety of body types for their models so you can see how they look on shapes other than the typical swimsuit model.
Athleta has tall sizes. I usually do bikini plus rash guard, but they usually have tankini and 1-piece options as well.
Lands end has talls / long torsos. My sibling is nearly all torso and she always looks great.
Except they stopped making long in anything less than a 6. Very disappointing.
I think Land’s end is the OG of Long torso suits. If you dig around, they’re not all matronly.
Swimsuits for All has a line called “Longitude” for long torsos.
I have a long torso and have had good luck with Boden swimsuits.
Oh hi, fellow long-torso person! I’ve had good luck with Athleta. I’m also eyeing some of the suits at Lands End. They have a few styles that read younger/hipper.
Constant struggle for me, too. Another vote for Athleta!! I’ve had really good luck with the fit. Quality is good, too.
Anon for this
Thanks everyone! Will check all of these options out.
I went through this search last winter and found this suit that I loved enough to get two of (if the link doesn’t show the right one, it’s the “sailor” navy red stripe bandeau). It’s long, slim, and has fantastic butt coverage. I’m size 4, 60″ torso and got size S.
There is another one I like less because the material could be nicer but the pattern is lovely and the fit is great. I got this one in M.
Advice needed: I have an interview for a law school scholarship where I plan on wearing a standard black skirt suit, hose, etc. Except I can’t comfortably wear heels. On the spectrum of black flats, what falls farthest into the “professional” zone? I have some black loafers and black pointed toe flats. Should I get some teeny tiny heels instead? I might be able to manage an inch lol.
I would go pointed toe flats. Depending on what style loafer, they may be too casual (albeit perfectly professional! just not with a suit territory). Don’t wear heels if you don’t wear heels; do you.
I would get some low black heels, personally.
You don’t have to wear heels to look professional.
Also, maybe an aside, but I find kitten heels much more difficult to walk in than normal heels. Wear shoes that you can comfortably walk in. Teetering around is not professional. Flats are.
+1 for pointed toe flats, but I like a defined “low heel” look (even 1/4″) for a slightly more structured look to go with the suit.
Personally I would go with something like this if going for pointed toe flat (actual heel height is 5/8 inch; I like the look of slight heel showing outside without it being too high): https://www.rockport.com/rockport/total-motion-adelyn-ballet/tmadelynballet.html
FWIW, I’m terrible with heels (2″ heel is my max AND I’m barely able to hobble a hundred yards in them), and also terrible with pointy toes due to wide wide feet — but I have managed to comfortably run everywhere in my Ferragamo Vara pumps for 7+ years (less than1 1/4″ I think). I also had a similar, but less expensive version from Rockport’s Total Motion line in the lower-paid stages of my career, but looks like that particular 1 1/4″ block heeled version may have been discontinued.
Maybe you can consider a 1″ heel, if pointed toes are not your thing; I do indeed find low heels more comfortable and better for my posture than true flats. Something like this?: https://www.toryburch.com/chelsea-heeled-ballet-flat/50804.html?cgid=shoes-flats&dwvar_50804_color=006
+1 for pointed toe flats, and make sure they’re in good shape (not scuffed, etc.). I think a pointed toe does read a bit more formal for loafers.
Pointed toe flats are perfectly appropriate!
Pointed toe flats are totally professional!
The original Scarlett
Pointed toe flats. I’d also do a pantsuit.
I work in law admissions / scholarship interviews. Pointy black flats are totally fine.
Thank you all! I kept buying aspirational heels, even low ones, but I just can’t walk in them and I think wobbling works way worse than wearing flats. I’m going to look into some sturdier pointy flats than my $10 Kohl’s ones in case I’m pounding pavement. :)
Do not buy new shoes you can’t walk in! Wear the shoes you have. Make sure they’re clean and polished.
Is there a particular number of likes you send per day on dating apps? Since this is a numbers game, I decided to be more intentional and aim to send 1 like per day. But even to do this, I have to swipe through at least 50 profiles just to find one I like. My match rate is alright, but most of the time none of them write back to me. I’m in my thirties in NY (average looking). Maybe I should raise it to 5?
On days I spend swiping (i.e. generally days I don’t have a date), I tend to swipe right on a lot of guys, like maybe 20. But I’m more worried about your like rate – 2% is really low based on my experience/what friends say. I would ask yourself a few questions to see if you can get a better like rate:
– do you have the setting set in an appropriate way? For a while, my lower end age was 28 and I would swipe left on a lot of young bro type guys. I realized I was wasting my time and raised it to 30. Similarly, if you are looking for a city-type person but are getting a lot of exurb people, decrease your geographic distance
– are you being too picky about unimportant things? I doubt this is it, but always something to consider for yourself. For a while, I was mainly attracted to guys with grad degrees on the apps, and then I realized that was a stupid thing for me to consider.
– are you expecting too much from the profiles? when looking, I ask myself whether the people has any disqualifying factors, not whether I affirmative like him. for me, I know that I determine whether I want to invest the time to meet in person by a few messages and then decide if I could actually like the person at the first date. I personally think it is too much pressure on a profile to expect it to make me fall for a guy
– are you using the wrong app? A lot of people are on multiple apps, but they do somewhat attract a different audience. Are you using your city’s hook-up app when you should be using the relationship app?
When I was really seriously looking, I’d come home in the evenings and swipe/peruse for an hour or two while having dinner/watching tv/doing laundry. I swiped right on as many guys as interested me – and I was pretty picky. And yeah, I’d probably swipe through hundreds of guys to get a few likes. I agree on raising the age limit if you’re getting bros – that helped me, too.
I used to swipe until I ran out of people to swipe on each day. It didn’t take that long in my small “city” because I was pretty strict about distance (15 – 20 miles), and set my age range fairly narrowly. If I wanted to see more, I expanded age range and swiped until I ran out.
I expect this strategy won’t work in a major metro area unless you are very narrow on age and distance.
1 like a day seems way too selective to me, and I’m in a big city.
Are you liking people and waiting for them to message you? Highly recommend sending the first message.
My city is significantly smaller than NYC, but when I’ve found what’s most sustainable for me is to pick one app that I get a decent amount of interaction on (Bumble for me) and spend 10 minutes mid-morning swiping. It’s a sweet spot for me, after my coffee kicks in but not after a day of work when I am more likely to be in an “over it” mood. If I get some matches, I send out a quick opener, and if I get responses, I’ll chat later that day/evening. I am far more harsh on myself and have a far more critical eye when I sit on the couch and swipe for an hour. I try to not overanalyze on first swipe – I know who my definite no’s are, the “perfect” looking guys have a low response/date set rate, but the middle is where you can find the diamonds with a rough profile.
Question inspired by the laments about dating apps: for those who met their spouses relatively late in life (i.e., *not* in college or grad school, or not in your twenties when you easily meet lots of people), how did you meet?
Me: at work
Friend 1: set up with friend 2’s executive MBA classmate
Friend 2: rekindled with college friend at reunion
Friend 3: seated next to each other on plane
Friend 4: random hookup that had upside potential
Friend 5: guy from her Hash House Harriers group (odd b/c friend never exercised in college but was in a YOLO phase)
Friend 6: match.com guy who lived a block away
Dating app. Or actually pre-app, at match dot com. We have been together 21 years, married 19.
friend met a longterm bf through a bowling league- aka, a low pressure set-up by a mutual friend (I think you’d like each other- lets ask him to join our team”).
Me: Work sort of – DH attended a professional development type event I volunteered with
Friend 1: group ski lesson
Friend 2: paint nite fundraiser event (his sister made him go when her DH couldn’t last minute)
Friend 3 (2nd marriage): reconnected on FB with high school friend (he has two kids though and she was okay with that).
The original Scarlett
OK Cupid. At 40.
On the sidewalk while out with friends on a Saturday night. We had lots of friends in common but had somehow never met before. He was 40, I was 31.
Late 30s, not married, but in serious relationship – Bumble (plus Tinder is how I have met all of my SOs in my 30s).
Friend 1: through mutual friends
Friend 2: Match
Friend 3: Tinder
I was technically in my late 20s, but I had a child already so I wouldn’t say I was living life like a typical “in their 20s” person. I’m commenting primarily because I met my husband through work, shortly before he was planning on joining a dating app I later found out. We don’t work for the same agency, but had the same job description for different jurisdictions. We 100% would NOT have matched on a dating app. For example, he probably would have included a photo involving his motorcycle, which I definitely would have swiped past.
anon a mouse
Friend 1: at a bar (alone) in the morning to watch a World Cup game; her future husband was also there alone, sitting next to her
Friend 2: Match
Friend 3: Wedding of mutual friends
Friend 4: Random hookup at a concert that turned out to be real
Me, late 30s, married a year ago: old acquaintance I’d never considered and rarely saw, and one night it was just there
Sister: in a bar, one night stand turned into marriage
Friend 1: at work
Friend 2: on the subway
Friend 3: Tinder
Friend 4: old boyfriend from college and reconnected
Me: a Junior League event
Friend 1: her former colleague introduced her to the former colleague’s new boss, the CEO of a company
Friend 2: Instagram
Friend 3: a networking event
Set up by mutual friends on a blind date; met at 33, married at 34.
Continuing Education class (for fun, not work) at city library.
OkCupid, in 2014. I understand the interface has changed since then, so it’s more swipe-y and less quirky, but it was definitely where all the interesting people hung out in my province.
Work. We got married later in life but also before dating apps became the standard way to meet people.
Me: At a dinner/low-key house party by mutual friends after moving to a new city
Friends who are married/committed and met post-grad school are: Work networking event, Rock climbing meet-up, concerts/gigs with mutual friends, at a bar (he owned the place), introduced by work friends, Bumble, gym classes. I may be an outlier, but I live in one of the largest English-speaking cities in the world and only know two married/long-term couples who met through apps/dating sites.
Met my husband the same way. After we’d moved in together, we swapped screenshots of our old dating profiles and both came to the conclusion we’d never have “swiped right” as it were. He said he automatically assumed anyone with ski pictures in their bio was someone who liked vacation he couldn’t afford, and I’d automatically ruled out anyone living where he did before we moved in together as being too far a commute (he did a lot more leg work on travel in the early days of dating because he works significantly more humane hours than I do).
First laid eyes on my husband in court when I was married to somebody else (who I met on Match in the 90s). Thought he was a standup guy but obviously wasn’t in the market. Several years later, after I had left my then-husband, I ran into him at the local Rotary Club and the rest is history.
Friend 1: At wedding anniversary party for mutual friends. They saw each other across the room and have been inseparable ever since and the bridal shower is this Saturday.
Friend 2: At support group for (former) spouses of addicts.
Laundry room of our apartment building.
I met my spouse at the wedding of mutual friends – he was the best man.
If I think about my other friends who coupled up in their 30s/40s, it’s split between online/apps and work, through friends or hobbies (rock climbing, running group, music lessons).
We lived in the same building and met on the stairs. After several long chats when one of us was going out and the other was coming in, I invited him over. I was 30, he was 33. Together 19 years now.
I’m the OP. Met my husband through a friend. A lot of my friends have trouble finding someone, despite being really lovely people.
My favorite stories in this vein are a friend who met her now-husband when he was her expert witness in an out of town trial and a friend who met her husband when he sat down at the table in Vegas where she was dealing blackjack.
Not me, but my then-38yo friend met his then-36yo wife on Plenty of Fish in their smaller college town, they got married a year later and are now about to have their second child. First marriage for both of them.
Are Frye boots comfortable? Like, walk all day through London comfortable?
The original Scarlett
Yes and no, I have a couple of pairs of 2 inch heeled ones and they’re my most comfortable walk around where I live shoes. They take a while to break in, but after that they’re great. That said, I walk a billion times more on vacation and have given up on cute looks for the walking parts because my feet hurt too much.
+1 – I wore a pair of Naturalizer low heeled oxfords on my first day in London and my toes blistered so badly that i had to buy flipflops. I’ve given up on cute when travelling (except for theatre/dinner/short jaunts) and switched to the Sketchers that are basically yoga mats and spandex.
Thanks! I saw them featured on a list of ‘best boots for travel’… which didn’t seem right, although I wish it was.
It anyone if curious about the article https://www.travelandleisure.com/style/shoes/comfy-walking-boots-for-travel
Most definitely not. They are too heavy for sightseeing and if you get caught in the rain they’re even heavier.
I’ve done twelve-mile walks around town in them, but that was with a quite broken-in pair (and comfortable socks). They’re not the most comfortable shoes I own, but they’re not the worst for a lot of walking.
AT wool suits
I have two older Ann Taylor wool suits and am surprised how well they have held up and how I always reach for them when I need to travel to something where I need a few days of suits. Has anyone bought wool suiting from them recently? And do they carry in stores or is it just online?
How do you take off your makeup? I’ve used makeup wipes for years, but I can’t put up with how expensive and wasteful they are anymore, so I’m hoping to try something else. If it matters, I don’t have sensitive skin.
Micellar Water followed by Cetaphil.
Cleansing balm or oil. I like to really smush it into my eyes to get all the mascara off and banila co clean it zero and the Innisfree juicy apple oil both work well and don’t irritate my eyes at all.
I tear makeup wipes in half. I usually use one to wipe down as soon as I get home because I feel grimy. Before bed, I use coconut oil or almond oil to take off my eye makeup and then wash my face as usual. I know some folks like to double/oil cleanse but I think I’m too acne-prone for that.
I bought one of those reusable microfiber wipes that everyone was talking about on various s!tes and combine that with micellar water (I know some people say there’s nothing special about it but I feel like it’s the best at removing long-wear lipstick and eye makeup).
I just got some reusable ones as well, they come with a little pouch and you put them in the washing machine to clean, and will use them with cleanser or micellar water.
To add an idea to this- another commentor said they took TJ microfiber towels, cut it into small squares, keep small delicates bag in their bathroom & throw them in their when they are done– to wash when they do laundry. I thought that idea was economical and genius. I personally just gave up wearing makeup because my skin unfortunately freaks out. I use jojoba oil to oil cleanse (which I hear works well for makeup removal as well).
Cleansing oil & one of those makeup eraser reusable cloths.
I just recently started using the Camellia Oil from Tatcha, and I love it! For me it is what works best and gets all the eyeliner and mascara off with minimal rubbing. I feel with makeup wipes and micellar water I still have to scrub too hard. (It is a little pricey, though!)
Micellar water, with reusable (washable) wipes made from cut up Trader Joe’s kitchen cloths (essentially chamois cloths). Tip learned here! I toss the dirties in a small mesh bag under the sink, and throw that in the wash at the end of the week.
Old school – but soap and water and a washcloth. Not a fancy washcloth either – one that’s less expensive so it’s a little thinner and lathers better. There’s a soap I buy in bulk from my farmer’s market – all natural and really moisturizing and I’m supporting a local entrepreneur – win, win, win.
This. I’m baffled by the whole idea that washing your face needs a special wipe of some kind. Just a thin washcloth and neutrogena bar soap, and water. Pat dry. Done.
Bar soap and a Target washcloth. Nothing special.
Same here. Literally Dial soap and a washcloth. Then I use a tissue and a dab of Clinique’s purple makeup remover to get the last of the eyeliner and mascara.
Same. I swear by Dial soap. It has antibacterial properties and is not terribly harsh.
Ponds cold cream (the green top) with a navy washcloth that is soaked with hot water and rung out. SO efficient.
Micellar water with soft fabric facial rounds that I wash in the washing machine.
Super sensitive skin, here is my regimen:
Norwex wash cloth + CereVe hydrating cleanser
La Roche-Posay or Bioderma H2O miceller water with cotton pads.
Careful about make-up – especially eye
I like Clinique take off the day balm. I wash with my regular face soap after. It doesn’t dry out or irritate my skin. It takes off even thick makeup easily. I have acne prone skin and use makeup to cover hyper pigment scars. Soap alone won’t get it all off without serious scrubbing. One jar of this lasts about 6 months.
I buy cheap thin washcloths by the dozen and wash twice with Bliss blue face cleanser.
Hands and fairly hot water and a good amount of time scrubbing. My hands are the only thing that doesn’t irritate my face. I do not wear mascara or lipstick, so this may not work for getting really sticky stuff off. I always get compliments on my skin.
Counting other people’s money
My coworker is complaining about money. She needs pay day to come again this week. She recently confided she has over 250 k in school debt. She also just leased a new bmw and wears super fancy brands. She’s a new attorney and younger than me but so kind and sweet, and I’m rooting for her. It’s totally none of my business but I want to shake her! Rant over.
Fun fact: When I worked in Big Law, I worked for a partner (a partner!!!) who had hundreds of thousands of dollars in consumer debt, as well as some student loans, despite being 30+ years out of school. He drove brand new luxury cars and four times a year took his wife to Paris or Milan, where they would spend $50k+ in a single trip on designer clothes. Some people are just terrible at managing money. At least this woman is young and will hopefully figure it out.
Yeah, you can’t out-earn poor spending habits.
I seriously think I know this guy.
how does he support hundreds of thousands of dollars of consumer debt?
anon a mouse
You may want to shake her, but some people literally have no good role models for consumer finance. If you feel comfortable, you could ask her gentle questions like, how long does she think she will have that school debt? Does she want to get rid of it more quickly? And then point her to some good resources – Dave Ramsey if that appeals, or YNAB, or Smart Women Finish Rich, or Michelle Singletary columns, etc.
Don’t do this. Just stay out of it. It’s none of your business.
I think you could maybe bring up this topic *once*, if you are friends and she opens the door by saying something about being broke until payday. But if you are not friends and she doesn’t bring up the topic, nope, can’t do any of that. And if you do, I would do it more as “I remember how hard it was to deal with student loans and all my debt in my early 20s. I’m so happy a friend recommended book – it really help me rethink my spending so that I won’t still be in student loan debt when I’m 50.”
anon a mouse
You are right – once is good. I only mentioned it because it sounds like this person has confided in the OP about financial things, so there’s a possibility for assistance. Obviously don’t push it if she’s not receptive!
Oh I hear you! I know it’s none of my business but I run into this a lot. I have several friends who objectively make a lot of money but their financial situations are out of control and it’s so much to tongue biting. It drives me bonkers to hear people complain about not being able to afford the nice trip we just took (booked on credit card points and by planning super far in advance with deal alerts) but then tell me about the fancy dinner they went to that cost more than a third of our entire trip! Or the people who insist they will never be able to pay down their student loans but are on their second new car since graduating five years ago. I say nothing but it drives me crazy and want to shout at them that they could very easily take control of their finances and stop living paycheck to paycheck while making six figures.
I have a friend like this (we are 10 years out of law school- she worked in big law & now makes even more in a large company and STILL has school debt, complains constantly about money despite making more than the rest of us). She drives me nuts, but all you can do is smile and nod. Since she is young, you could give her a copy of ‘I will teach you to be rich’, which I think is the best (& easiest to follow) financial workbook for someone just starting out w/ debt and a decent salary. If she’s a recent grad, you can say you give it to all your young friends starting out. It’s honestly how my husband and I paid off all our debt almost painlessly and really helps with lifestyle bloat, especially if you set it up in the beginning of your career.
Also- I think in big law it’s easy to think because you worked hard/are working hard, you deserve to splurge to make it feel worthwhile and like your work is going twds something (and let’s be honest, lawyers can be a little obsessed w/ prestige status & keeping up with the jones’) and people get stuck in this weird making/spending cycle.
So much this
Many people just don’t understand that the big salaries don’t go as far as they think they do. “Comfortable” is not “rich.”
I don’t cry tears for any kid making six figures in their twenties, but after taxes, paying for some outsourcing because of the crazy hours, buying a professional wardrobe, student loans, and retirement, there’s just a lot less left than people think there is. They also don’t understand the difference between having a high salary and having a high net worth. (HERNYs is the term used.)
I have a co-worker who is like this. She probably makes 180k, yet she constantly complains about money. After complaining about money for a year, she sold her 350k house to buy a 650k luxurious house because she needed more space. She could have spent far less on a bigger, yet nice house in her area. She spends $700 a month on a leased luxury car. She complains about her financial situation incessantly, but refuses to take any steps to improve it. It drives me absolutely batty.
The people who complain are just doing it to avoid talking about something else. At least someone has to listen to them complain. I wish I had figured it out years ago. They are not complaining about debt. They are just trying to bring attention to themselves, and expect us to listen to them and rot.
I was convinced for a minute that I was having a Berenstein/Berenstain bears moment with “Newman Marcus”. According to the store’s website, though, the name has not change. Guess I’m still in the same universe.
Inspired By Hermione
I was an adult when I learned it was Berenstain and I’m still somewhat skeptical…
Haha, same. Every time I read one to my kids I doublecheck.
Wait what!? This blew my mind. It’s pronounced STEEN, right?
Stain. I know right?
It’s obviously a typo
Paris locals/frequent visitors: DH and I are visiting soon with a baby who still naps twice a day. We’ve been a couple times before and have done most of the big tourist things. What are some low key things we can do in under 2 hours? Eating is our main goal, but I’m looking for suggestions to fill the rest of the time. Recommendations for which neighborhood to stay in are also welcome. I was thinking maybe near Jardin du Luxembourg, although the baby is too young to really appreciate playgrounds (not walking or cruising).
My happy place is the garden of the Rodin Museum (I’ve never been inside because the ticket is more expensive–maybe one day). It’s a beautiful place to stroll and then sit and have a coffee.
Hunting and Nature Museum! It’s the perfect-sized museum and is fascinating and bizarre and I love it so much.
Every kiddo is different, but when we travel, event though my kid will not stroller nap at home, she will on the go— so you might have luck just deviating from your schedule a bit & letting her fall asleep on walks, then going into restaurants. Worth a try at least. :)
Thanks but unfortunately we’ve traveled a bunch with her and she never stroller naps :( She’s pretty good in restaurants so I’m not too worried about that, though of course we won’t go to fancy places.
We took our 4 month old to L’Atelier and sat the bar (for lunch) :). She was the kind of 4 month old that basically nursed all day long, though. Mine ergo napped, would yours? Gets heavy though.
I also like Musée de Cluny (close to the Luxembourg) and Musée du Jeu de Paume (photos, a little more modern). Second the Rodin Museum’s garden as well. I would also pick out a few specific places for food (David Leibovitz’s blog has great recommendations).
For places to stay, pretty much anywhere central (arrondissements 1-8) is good. I like the area near Jardin du Luxembourg a lot – safe, walkable, touristy but also has locals living there. It might be nice to stroll in the garden with kiddo even if too small to really enjoy? The Marais is also a popular choice with lots nearby.
Jardin d’Acclimatation (included with Fondation Vuitton admission; doing both in 2 hours is possible, but will be a push)
Dali Museum in Montmarte (followed by lunch at La Mascotte and chocolates at A L’Etoile du Or; perhaps with a stop at Diwali on the way).
If she will sit with you, perhaps a nice bottle of champagne in the wine cave at Dilettante on the Left Bank and then a stop at the Diwali there. (Seriously, the scarves are a good deal). It is cool and dark there and, who knows, she might even nap!
Any chance to get her down to one nap by the time you travel? We were able to get The Kid to one a day by 9 or 10 months.
Regardless of neighborhood, I would suggest trying for an Air BnB or a suite so that you can be awake while she naps. A place with a balcony would be even nicer . . .
Low heeled pumps
I am looking for a pair of stylish and comfortable but very low heel (1 inch or less) pumps. I am the guest of honor at an important event, where my family will be attending. My wonderful husband is only an inch taller than me, and I would prefer not to look taller than him at this event. This is completely my own preference, he does not care at all.
Any ideas? Budget is flexible, I’m going to be on my feet for several hours so comfort is key but so is style. Thanks!
Check out Louise & Cie, which you can often find at Nordstrom rack.
anon a mouse
M. Gemi has some great options.
Cole Haan 45mm Juliana pump has been my go-to for a while now. I find them incredibly comfortable, available on Amazon and they come in lots of colors/materials. And congrats!
I would look for something with a block heel and pointy toe. Comfortable and fashionable!
Yes that is my go-to style these days.
I’m in the Comfort One stage of life, and just bought a pair of Lazio Kessys (the one with the strap). SO comfortable! On sale for $50 or $75 depending on color / style. Congrats!
Ideas for birthday party
Looking for ideas to make a milestone birthday party memorable. I’m having a relatively large (60 +) milestone birthday party in a few months. Venue, food, etc. have all been chosen and it’s a lunchtime event.
I haven’t been to one of these before and was just wondering if folks had ideas on how to make it memorable. I’m planning to have my husband and best friend make some (brief) remarks, and I was planning to have a few framed pictures with me and my family on a few of the tables. I was thinking of a slideshow but that’s a lot of work and not sure if that’s just too much (hey, look at all of these pics of me!).
Also, this is a large group where people don’t necessarily know one another. Any suggestions on how to get new folks to talk to one another?
Any other ideas?
The original Scarlett
Personally I think you just need good food, drinks and thoughtful seating so your guests naturally mingle. I’d hire a photographer to take pictures – it’s not often you get all your people in the same room, and that’s the best way I can think of to make it memorable in the literal sense.
Good food, good drinks, and lots of both.
I’m in New Orleans, and a big thing here that usually makes or breaks events is live music. Even at a lunchtime event! Jazz trio? Brass band? One of the most fun law school graduation parties I’ve been to had a surprise appearance and performance by the Mardi Gras Indians, and it was phenomenal and fun. Can you add something like that to your event?
At a friend’s wedding he put pics on the table of him w/ different folks as well as a stack of icebreaker questions (I think you can just order them online). It was fun & unusual and got people talking.
My dad put together a fact list for my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary that was a big hit rather than a speech,and got a lot of us talking. Example:that they had been married for 1/4 of the time the US was a country.
I feel like this could be really fun. Maybe a list of memorable events that happened during your life, both personal and world events (I,e. child was born, iphones were created, etc.)
One of my favorite party games is the one where you put a name tag on your back with the name of a famous person or fictional character, and then you ask “yes” or “no” questions of the other guests (no more than three questions of any one person) to try to find out who you are. E.g. “am I a real person?” “am I still alive?” “am I human?” Then when you guess you put the name tag on the front.
You could make it personal by using characters and people that are meaningful to you (favorite actors or musicians, favorite fictional characters, historical characters you admire, etc.). We did it once for a 1960s themed party and used all people and characters from that era and it was a blast.
In Search of Commuting Shoes
Recommendations for commuting shoes that are near-sneaker-level comfortable, but wouldn’t look too out of place with a full suit?
I owned (in succession) 3 same pairs of black patent & suede Cole Haan Air Bria Mary Jane Ballet Flats, which I could wear and run to catch the subway/bus and walk in all day even when travelling. Cole Haan was in partnership with Nike at the time, and the mary janes had actual air bubbles beneath the soles! They looked almost like normal mary janes but were super super comfortable.
But it seems the line has since been discontinued, and my last pair is coming apart. I’m on the hunt for something similar for commuting purposes — any recommendations much appreciated!
Cole Haan Zerogrands
Inspired By Hermione
The Puma Vega ballet flats are SO comfortable. Not quite as nice looking at the Cole Haan, but for commuting it may do. I can walk miles in mine (and this reminds me to pick up a pair in black for spring, thanks!)
In cooler weather I like flat ankle boots for this (e.g. Chelsea boots). My most favorite ones are from Ecco, but they are a lace-up style so less dressy.
Ebay has some Air Bria mary janes new with and without box, look for your size.
I like French Sole New York flats and low wedges.
I placed an order for Talbots last week, got a confirmation email but no shipping info. I emailed customer service to ask about the tracking/shipping info and – no response. The package arrived yesterday but I was pretty disappointed in the customer service aspect. I plan to take my returns from that order to the store, but I think one pair of black pants will be good for work.
I have a few good items I’ve gotten at Talbots over the years but I had a similar experience and will not shop there again. Also, I think their jackets are cut very boxy and not as flattering as other stores.
Honestly you have to call customer service not email them. But other than that I have had basically good experiences with them once I call them.
Their shipping and remote customer service are terrible and their website is not great. Unfortunately, there are few options for a petite cusp size, so I try to put up with it.
I feel like I am drowning in depression, to the point where I feel irresponsible and lazy (and then berate myself for being irresponsible and lazy). Lately I’ve been sleeping in until 2pm on weekends and even as late as 10am on weekdays (luckily my work is flexible but I know I’m pushing it). At what point do you just have to shake yourself while looking in the mirror and scream “get it done!” versus accepting that you have depression and work through that process? I don’t want to use depression as a crutch for not being productive but I feel so heavy. I recently started taking Lexapro, going to therapy, and joined a gym, although I despise going to both and would much rather be curled up in a ball on my couch most days (similar to my heaviness in the morning about getting out of bed). I didn’t used to be this woman and I’m struggling to grasp what has happened to me.
Lana Del Raygun
Gently, I think your tendency to think that actually you’re just lazy and irresponsible is itself a symptom of depression, and you should talk to your therapist (who would not be writing you a prescription if you were just a jerk) about.
But, for the sake of argument, if you are in fact a lazy jerk (and again, I really doubt it), that doesn’t mean you have to scream at yourself. Therapy is not just for the Very Very Sick — it’s also useful training for becoming less of a lazy jerk. Look, all human virtue requires training and practice, and therapy is often a good way to get it. So keep going to therapy, and don’t wait until you figure out what your “real problem” is. You’re not using depression as a crutch — you’re seeing it as a problem to be solved with a multi-pronged solution and a lot of hard. That’s good! Please don’t beat yourself up.
+100, this is a great response.
Ask your therapist? Sounds like just the kind of thing they’re there for.
Visit the Captain Awkward website and look up “how to tighten up your work game when you’re depressed.” To some extent, yeah, you’re just going to have to force yourself. Which stinks when you’re in the throes of depression and don’t want to do a darn thing, but sometimes taking baby steps can help you build momentum.
Good luck — I know how hard this is.
Also — do you work from home? If so, I wonder if that’s making you feel worse right now. Having a place to go to every day and interact with others can be helpful. If you work from home, it may be helpful to set up in a coffee shop for a few hours a day, just so you’re not staring at your living room walls.
Agree if you work from home- I WFH and need to have a schedule. I schedule a meeting or coffee date early-ish in the day to get out of bed… then have a few touch points throughout the day that keep me on task & focused (I have a daily afternoon meeting as well). I’m sorry you are going through this- being depressed can feel sometimes like being in a hole you just don’t have the energy to climb out of and sometime requires medication to pull out of & just get perspective (speaking from experience). I would def talk to your dr- maybe the meds they prescribed are just not the right ones for you.
As a woman who also has depression, I sincerely hope my message gets through the fog:
You don’t have to live like this.
It can get better.
Despite what self-help articles tell you, going to the gym and eating vegetables isn’t going to cure clinical depression.
And if you think your life is pretty good, and your past was pretty good, it’s ok to skip therapy. There are people in this world to whom life has been awfully good, yet their brain doesn’t see it that way (raises hand). (But please, if you do have things you need to work through with a counselor, do so. But don’t feel like you’re obligated to spend hours talking on someone’s couch if your life is good except for your brain.)
Go back to your doctor. Tell him/her exactly what you’ve told us. Tell him/her you’re struggling to get out of bed, that the meds aren’t having the desired effect, that your depression is impacting your daily life.
Depression is suffering, and it hurts. Oh, it hurts. I know. It can get better. Ask your doctor for help. If Lexapro isn’t the right drug for you, there are others. If it’s not the right dosage, they can change it.
Sending you all the good vibes across the internet.
Inspired By Hermione
True. All of this is true. It doesn’t have to be like this- it can get better. But it also may take some time for the Lexapro to work. My doctor usually says 4-6 weeks to feel better. Sometimes it happens in 2-3 with me, sometimes more like 8.
No real advice on the sleep thing, it’s still hard for me even with mostly managed depression/anxiety. I set a ton of alarms and make an espresso as soon as I’m up to try to force some energy. Works about 30% of the time.
As a side note, thanks to the people who responded yesterday about anxiety. Turns out I had a doctor appointment yesterday I forgot about until I went to message my doctor about taking the meds. She said take the meds and a lot of what everyone else said.
FWIW I am 40, had Lexapro for years, the depression has gotten bad since the past summer and especially Fall and is not lifting, I am now supplementing with Wellbutrin and vitamin supplements (D6 and B12).
Hang in there
My husband is having a similar health crisis. I’m so glad to hear you’re making all these positive steps (medication, therapy, exercise, etc). Do not berate yourself. You are doing the best you can. Push yourself, but congratulate yourself on victories, don’t punish yourself for times you feel you fell short. It’s so heartbreaking to watch someone go through this. From the outside, it’s clear it’s a disease, or chemical imbalance, or whatever, not a failure of character.
+1 to this. Please be gentle with yourself.
DH and I are planning a big trip (about 10 days) for September of this year and can’t decide where to go. We are 30, and this will likely be our last big pre-kids trip. We will not be TTC on the trip. Currently choosing between Italy or Japan. (Yes, I realize these are really different places.) We’ve done France, Spain, Peru, and Mexico together.
Italy– Would likely do Florence, Venice, some Tuscan towns, etc. We love wine/food and have always wanted to go to Italy. Con– We did a similar trip to France a few years ago. We feel like a lot of this trip is like “check the box” type items, though we do really want to see these things and aren’t sure when we’d have another chance to go.
Japan– We would likely do a trip through Intrepid or G Adventures in order to maximize time since we don’t know the language, etc. We are both interested in going to Japan, but do not know as much about where to go, etc. like we would with Italy. (Hence the group tour.) I’m more interested in Japan just because it would be so different than anywhere we’ve been before.
Take it from this mom of two little ones who is not afraid of international travel with kids: Do Japan now. Italy is a trip you can take with young kids (albeit a different experience than grown-ups only) because the culture is so familiar and the language difference is much easier to navigate. Japan is not.
Was just going to say this- while both countries are notoriously kid friendly, I feel like if you are western, western countries are easier to navigate w/ littles (also, life in Italy is generally run at a slower pace). I go to Italy a lot, and even went pregnant, and it is a super easy country to visit. I wish I would have done Japan pre-kid, because now it feels overwhelming (also random side trips from there to less developed countries, seem like they’d be more difficult), and we probably won’t go until my little is older/can stay with grandparents.
+1 from another mom who does a lot of international travel with kids. I actually think Japan would be a great destination with babies once you get there (they LOVE babies and you will be doted on) but the long flights make it a lot more daunting until your kids are easily entertained by screens for hours, which will probably happen sometime between ages 3 and 5. It’s for sure really hard to do flights that long with a crawling infant or a young toddler who can’t sit still for a movie.
A “have always wanted to go” trip (to Italy) as your last hurrah as a team of two could be really sweet and meaningful. It seems like your heart isn’t in the Japan trip as much? However, it seems like Italy would be more doable with small kids in a few years if you decided to save it (I feel like there have been loads of posts about people taking kids to Italy). Japan definitely feels like a bucket list trip that you do before having kids just in case.
OP: I had originally wanted to do a trip to SE Asia but DH vetoed that for various reasons (mostly how long the flight was). I had thought he was vetoing Asia generally but recently discovered he really wants to go to Japan. We are both generally excited about going and doing something new. I also sort of am more excited about the prospect of going somewhere I’m less familiar with so that I don’t have as many expectations, etc. like I would in Italy. (Italy has also gotten less exciting since it seems like literally everyone we know is going this year or went last year.)
In that case, Japan sounds like a great choice. :)
I’d do Japan since you haven’t been to that continent before.
I’d definitely do Japan, but there’s no need to do it with a tour. It’s really easy to get around and there is so much to see. I did 15 days and did Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kanazawa, Hiroshima, and Hakone.
Do Japan. Flights that long are hard with small kids.
I’ve been to Italy three times since we had kids. Italy is easy with kids. Yes you won’t have lots of late dinners and lazy days wandering museums but Italy is shorter flights from the US vs. Japan, it’s very kid friendly at most restaurants and you and DH can swap off museum visits/art gallery visits if that’s your thing. Tons of great kid friendly agritouristic spots in the tuscan countryside as well. We have our fourth trip with the kids booked for this summer.
+1. We travel a lot with our little one. We did Italy when she was 7 months old and are doing Paris soon when she’ll be 13 months (I’m the person who asked about Paris with toddlers above). Visiting Europe is really not that much harder than flying domestically (we’re on the east coast, so it’s a ~7 hour non-stop flight to many major European cities) and since we’ve been to Europe so much, our agenda there is just eating, drinking wine, walking around and relaxing. It’s very baby-friendly. The flights to Asia are so much longer and I’d feel a lot more pressure to do All The Things there since I haven’t been nearly as much (I went to Tokyo and Seoul with my family in high school and DH and I did a big pre-TTC trip to Thailand, but that’s it for me in Asia, whereas I’ve been to Europe probably 15 times). I definitely recommend going somewhere more out of your comfort zone for a last pre-kid trip. Thailand was intimidating but so worth it.
Depends on what coasts you’re near. There are, in fact, other parts of the US than the east coast ;)
If you are on the east coast, Japan. West coast, Italy. Kids are pretty ok to fly over one ocean but adding a whole continent to cross and likely multiple flights gets to be a lot.
LA to Tokyo and LA to Rome are each a 12 hr flight so I wouldn’t let that be the deciding factor
No insight on the choice, but just a thought if you do decide to do Japan — some of my friends (in Asia) are skipping Tokyo vicinity & Hokkaido regions / Japan altogether before TTC because they are worried about potential exposure to residual radiation (from food, etc) from the Fukushima reactor meltdown a few years ago.
I don’t know how valid a concern this is (personally not TTC so I have been to said regions multiple times), and some have chalked it up to conspiracy theories (not trying to start one here), but just noting that some friends (and their husbands) are saving the trip for after the kids are born — the potential harm from exposure (if any) is supposed to be greater prior to/during pregnancy than after for some reason? Again, not verified but this seems to be “general knowledge” in these parts.
these are exactly the two trips that i wish DH and I had taken before we had kids (we’ve traveled to other places, but ran out of time for these two). Japan is the one I really wish we had done because both due to the cost, time difference and travel time it will be harder for us to do now that we have kids. Even if we leave the kids with grandparents, Japan is just so far that I do not think we’d be able to take a trip for as long as we would want. plus depending on how long TTC and your resources, I have two friends who went to Italy while pregnant. Personally that would’ve been awful for me as I was super nauseous/vomiting the whole time, but if you feel good during pregnancy you can go to Italy then, but I would be hesitant to go to Japan then
Why would you be hesitant to go Japan while pregnant? It’s a super developed country with fantastic medical care, definitely better than Italy.
Financial Planning 201
Anyone in the DC area have a financial planner/adviser they recommend? DH and I are looking for someone to help us make a five year plan and mediate our timeline and budget to buy a house, start a family, etc. We’re less interesting in finding someone who will manage our portfolio and take a monthly fee. We also think someone local to the area would be best because he/she will understand the housing market, day care costs, and perhaps more often see our combo of federal government employee + big law associate. Thanks!
Exact same situation (DC biglaw/gov’t) and we couldn’t find anyone to do this for our HHI (almost 400K). We interviewed/spoke with more than a dozen financial planners and all of them were the portfolio management vs. the “what do we do after maxing out our 401Ks and emergency savings and how do we prioritize saving/paying off student loans and where do we put a downpayment fund so we aren’t losing money.” We ended up reading a bunch of Bogleheads, figuring out what our comfortable monthly payment for a house would be and then backing that out to a mortgage and downpayment and socking that away in an Ally account. I would vastly prefer to pay someone to figure it out, but it came down to us having to do the work ourselves.
Can I ask why you went with Ally and what monthly mortgage amount you went with? (If you feel comfortable with the amount!)
Financial planner in Falls Church, VA
Highly recommend Maura Strauss with Washington Wealth Advisors. She works on an annual fee for advice basis. On our first consult she saved me more than her fee. She takes a holistic approach and looks at where you are now and what you would need to be financially independent, and helps you find a path to that without judgment. When it’s time to write the check for her fee, I can’t do it fast enough.
Long time listener, first time writer. At the start of the year, I decided to try to eliminate my nightly glass of wine and tv watching and replace it with chamomile tea and reading a book. This has been working really well–better sleep, easier time getting up in the morning–but now that it’s getting warmer (I live in the US south), I’m not really wanting a hot tea every night. What can I replace it with, that is not water or sparkling water? The drinking part is important, I think that’s what enabled me to get out of the habit of drinking wine.
I feel like this is obvious enough that I’m missing something, but why not iced tea? Arnold Palmers?
iced tea is too cold! it’s not hot here yet, just not really hot tea weather anymore. And part of the appeal of hot tea is that it’s calorie free, which wine obviously is not.
Can you just drink it at the same temperature that you’d drink water or another beverage at?
I am not OP but there’s no way I could drink caffeinated iced tea and go to sleep an hour later. Herbal iced teas are terrible tasting (sorry for anyone who loves them)
Hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure – it is delicious iced.
If you like milk… that is a customary before-bed drink for children of all ages. Sometimes we add cinnamon or cinnamon-sugar and/or vanilla. It’s good hot but cold is good too.
Apple juice but be sure you brush your teeth afterwards.
Honestly I love just a big cup of iced water at my nightstand. Straw optional.
What about mint tea? It would still be warm, but I’ve always felt like the mint cools it down. Still herbal and caffeine free – it probably won’t put you to sleep quite like chamomile will, but I’ve always found it very calming.
I sub out Fresca. Yes, it’s diet soda, but satisfies the urge for me.
I’m not sure if this is “not sparking water” but I make pour the fancy POM pomegranite juice (about a jigger) into a wineglass holding San Pellegrino water. It looks really pretty as the ruby red dissipates through the water and I like the bubbles. Also kind of looks like red wine.
Try kombucha! (Look for something with low sugar)
When I was little and would stay with my grandma, she always made us canela by boiling cinnamon sticks and then adding a splash of milk. The milk cooled it down, so it was not hot but was not cold either. It was yummy and relaxing to drink before bed.
This sounds perfect! Thank you!
La Croix is this for me :)
I recommend a squeeze of fresh lemon and maybe add honey if you feel like it. If you want to drink something after you’ve already brushed your teeth, then I would go with adding some mint leaves to water, or maybe fruit infused soda water.
It would be a very high-sugar option to drink regularly, but I love horchata…
What are your go-to sources for tasteful costume jewelry for work? I don’t like anything huge or blingy — clean lines with a modern vibe is what I’m going for to elevate some of my basic sweaters and tops.
I like Etsy for that type of thing.
I like Local Eclectic, they carry a bunch of different designers.
Nadri, available at Nordstrom
I don’t consider it “costume” but it isn’t fine either…
I love Viv and Ingrid and Marissa Maison. Beautiful jewelry.
The thread above makes me think I need to up my blouse game. What are your favorite colorful blouses to wear under suits?
Small Firm IP Litigator
My absolute favorite is this Max Mara tie blouse I bought on sale in a blue/yellow/pink/green print. There are some flowers, but there are also squirrels and mushrooms. Love love love it.
72 hours in Barcelona with my fiance: anything off the beaten path we should be sure to check out?
Devour Food Tour in Gracia (or just visit Gracia, generally). The teleferic from Barceloneta to Montjuic, with a festive beverage at the top (Miramar is perched up on the hill there).
Get away from Las Ramblas. It is not a must do. You can miss it, promise.
Gracia is so great. My favorite restaurant in the entire world is Oso Galoso–get the artichoke hearts. Vila Vinoteca is an incredible wine store with really interesting selections. The Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau is a really neat walkaround off the beaten path as well.
Not off the beaten path, but the Sagrada Familia was incredible. Especially inside. DH described it as “breathtaking,” which is quite a comment coming from him. Get advance tickets with audio tour, arrive early to have time to walk around the entire exterior in an unrushed way.
Wonderful views of the city if you climb Park Guell. We did not pay to go to the Gaudi house there.
If either of you eats gluten free, we loved Jansana for pastries.
Park Guell is very much on the beaten path but is not to be missed. If you want to maximize your Gaudi exposure, it’s worth going to Casa Mila/La Pedrera, an apartment block designed by Gaudi–the rooftop is a particular highlight (and has great views of the city, including La Sagrada Familia). If you’re up for getting out of the city at all, you can go to Montserrat for awesome day hikes and be back well in time for dinner. I’d also recommend going to Caelum, a cafe in the Barri Gòtic that’s built into the old public baths of the Jewish quarter.
+1 to Monserrat. Beautiful spot and site of a medieval miracle. We stood in line to see the statue of the Virgin and then went on a mini hike. There is also a boys choir that performs at the monastery every day.
Do any of you have those people in your lives who are just…always making big life plans and they never work out and there’s always some crisis? I’m not talking about twee friend drama, I’m talking about adults with big life dreams and goals that are totally unrealistic / seem disconnected from reality and, this is key to these people, the cycle never ends. There’s always another big dream / unrealistic aspiration and they tell everyone and the half-baked scheme falls apart.
“I’m buying a farm and going to raise cattle!” –oh, no, the plan to buy the farm fell through
“We’re buying a chateau in France!”–eh, we decided immigrating to another country is hard
“Look, we bought this new minivan!” –takes it back a month later (who does that?!)
“I’m going to be a truck driver!” –buys a lemon truck that breaks down every 5 miles
The examples above are real ones from family or close family friends. I worry about these people. I particularly worry when they’re EIGHTY YEARS OLD and still making these hare-brained schemes! These people all had good/decent/no skeletons upbringings and their siblings are productive adults without these delusions. Is it some sort of crazy optimism? No real question here, I guess, I’m just fatigued from caring/worrying/hearing about the Next Thing.
not trying to be snarky, how does this affect you? Doesn’t seem like they’re asking you to pick up the pieces –
not your problem. also, what is there for you to worry about in any of the examples you gave??
Agree. And who is anyone to judge what is unrealistic or delusional? If every idea was written off, we wouldn’t have any of the modern technology, inventions, general advancements in society, etc.
Right. I would be highly entertained by this kind of thing!
If they made it to 80 there’s probably nothing to worry about.
I have a friend like that.
“I’m going to flip this house and make a million dollars!” -buys house, sells it at a loss after realizing flipping for a huge profit is really difficult.
“I have a lead on a great job in LA that will get me in with the production companies and I’ll be a movie mogul!” – never applies for the job
“I’m going to learn [extremely difficult language], move to [country] and become a winemaker!” -goes to 3 language lessons, then quits. Maxes out 3 credit cards taking a vacation to the country instead.
I found it so exhausting that I had to switch my perspective into that of a spectator. I care about his success, but I can’t be emotionally invested in each random idea. Instead, I offer advice when he asks for it, but otherwise stay out of things. He takes any criticism of his ideas personally (“You don’t think I’m smart enough to do it?!”) so I’ve stopped doing that too. He doesn’t ask anyone to bail him out, which is good. But I think the best approach is to listen to the ideas the way you would when a child talks about wanting to be a Robot Princess Ballerina Astronaut- definitely not gonna happen, but not worth the argument.
Yes. Some people value different things. I value stability and security. Other folks value excitement and passion. It boggles my mind to see some of the choices people make (repeatedly!!!), but again, its not my life, not my decision, not my business. I try to emotionally separate myself when I start getting sucked in.
My FIL is this way. He’s a successful small business owner, but always blows his income on some hare brained scheme operated by a con man (he’s a terrible judge of character). From DH’s recollection, he’s always been this way – he’s in his mid-60s. We just keep our distance, see him twice a year and don’t engage on his enthusiasm or solicitation for donations for his latest scheme. We do worry that we’ll end up taking care of him, but DH has three siblings so it’s kind of a toss up.
I’ve seen this with a lot of my friends who got married in college and are getting divorced now. SO had big dreams! Did great in school! They’re super bright and charismatic and they work hard at developing their app/invention/blog! But it falls through and instead of getting a real job they start up some new equally risky scheme. Some friends put up with this nonsense even when they started TTC – ohhh when we have a baby on the way he’ll change, he’ll get a real job, he’s responsible! Nope he’s still unemployed, and now friend gets to support kid on her own AND pay alimony to jerkface – who’s now decided he wants to be a stay at home dad so he gets primary custody to boot.
I used to be jealous of people who get married in college. Now I tell everyone I know to wait until he gets his first job.
returning a vehicle
I had friends experiencing infertility who bought one of those teeny-tiny smartcars.
Then they (ok, she) found out she was pregnant with a healthy viable pregnancy… and they did return the smartcar within like 1 month of buying it to get a Mazda5. (luckily the pregnancy worked out, too and they’re now on kid number 3).
My sister is like that. I’m a planner and she’s a dreamer. She will say things like “I’m not going to live here forever. We are going to buy land where we can’t see our neighbors and live off the grid.” And, “this is just my job for now. I plan to quit and go to medical school in x city.” Me: are you going to move there? Her: no I’m going to commute there and stay in a hotel 2 nights per week
It totally stressed me out until I realized that she is never actually going to do any of this sh1t so I quit following up for specifics and just nod along.
Inspired By Hermione
Thanks for all of the support yesterday, even though it was on the late thread! I had a psych appointment I forgot about (until I went to message my doctor and remembered!) and she said take the meds. Which I did. Tired AF this morning from the Ativan but at least I didn’t wake up panicking at 3 AM.
Another question today: while on Zoloft I gained 20lbs. I went on Wellbutrin and lost about 10 of it immediately. Hallelujah. But I’m now working on losing the other 10. I’m eating and exercising, but I seem to fluctuate in weight 3-5lbs a day. Is that normal? Should I take the light days or heavy days as my actual weight? So annoying because one morning I’ll need to lose 10lbs and the next it’s 15 again.
Try the Happy Scale app! It really helped me reframe those weight fluctuations and see the longer-term trend of loss, even if my weight goes up and down a lot in a week. It also creates mini-goals within the greater goal that help (so if you want to lose 10 lbs, it will celebrate every time you lose 1.2, or whatever increment makes sense). Those little wins add up. Good luck!
This question of how often do I weigh has come up a lot lately. The general consensus, and my experience follow this, my weight can fluctuate a lot during the week and month depending on hormones, what I’ve been eating, etc. I weight pretty much daily, naked first thing in the morning and after using the bathroom. Over time, I can see trends and keep weekly averages.
It’s normal but also why is this a priority for you now? It’s 10 pounds. Just live with it. Focus on your mental health.
Inspired By Hermione
Because I want to?
Is anyone else following the maternity leave / female parent discrimination suit against MoFo?
When I first heard about it, I was livid. But I also got around to reading the answer and . . . my feelings on it have changed. It may be a lot more nuanced in the end, but I wonder sometimes how well plantiffs firms screen their clients (and how well you can do that when you only have one side of the story).
At any rate, I will follow.
Where’s the answer? I heard about the case when it was first filed but haven’t been following it closely.
Ok I found it on ATL. I mean, of course they’re going to say the associates were fired/held back for performance reasons. I didn’t really see anything factual in the answer that was particularly compelling. Just because some working mothers succeed at the firm doesn’t mean they don’t discriminate against working mothers. Low hours in Big Law is a very, very murky issue. It can be a true indication of an associate’s laziness or incompetence, but it can also be a case where they want to show someone the door so they withhold work and then fire you for low hours.
Agreed. I think you could fire anyone at anytime in biglaw for “performance”. There is no such thing as a perfect attorney. The bigger question for me is how were associates with similar “issues” handled. I suspect that there are lots and lots of white male associates who had similar issues who were not so penalized. Also discrimination can easily compound. Not getting an opportunity can mean not getting the next ten opportunities that grow from it. This is such a difficult issue so I’m very curious how this plays out.
I think I didn’t know you could bill so shockingly few hours and not get canned. Or claim that your canning was a surprise. Or that it was because you had a baby.
Not getting into the substantive issues but that is what jumped out at me.
BigLaw and a parent
The numbers were mostly in years they took leave though. I liked how MoFo said that she billed “25% of a full-time associate” and then subtly mentioned that, oh yeah, she took a 6 month leave that year. So it’s actually 50% of the expected hours for a full-time associate. And missing your hours by that much isn’t unheard of when you have a long leave and then a ramp-up period after that. Even just the way they worded things in the answer seemed kind of negative toward working mothers.
@anon at 1:17 the hours seem like a red herring. If you take a six month leave, your hours should be 50% of expected, so the 25% makes it seem worse than it is. I’m a parent in biglaw who feels well treated and is well liked and gets a lot of opportunities. My hours were still low for a few months coming back. If you’re claiming discrimination, it’s not crazy that your hours would be that low with people not reaching out to you for work. Also firms vary on how busy they are. There are definitely groups at every big firm where the average hours are several hundred less than the “target”. The answer makes no mention of what other attorneys in the group were Billing over the same period. The numbers themselves don’t tell the whole story. Maybe this attorney was lazy and shirking work but the numbers don’t necessarily mean that’s the case.
Pointing out the obvious: the defendant companies have access to a of the internal emails, memos, etc., that make their case stronger, and the plaintiff does not have access to much that is damaging.
I think the reclassification part is really telling. Depending on how much maternity leave you take and how long your ramp-up period is in coming back, this would mean most women attorneys who take leave would have to in effect “re-do” the year. I don’t think that policy is standard in Biglaw–at least not at the two Biglaw firms I’ve worked at. And, to say that the policy is gender-neutral misses the point that it has a disproportionate affect on women lawyers who take maternity leave. If someone is billing less than 600 hours per year for some other reason, then yes, it’s likely there are performance issues or other work issues at play. I don’t think that the automatic cut-off should extend to someone who takes maternity leave and ends up with 600 billable hours for the year, but is otherwise on track with their skill level or expertise.
I am intimately familiar with the details of a gender discrimination lawsuit that was in the news in the past few years. I don’t want to say the industry because I am trying to protect the confidentiality of the parties. The plaintiff was lauded – both in the press and in industry circles – as a heroine standing up for women’s rights. But it simply wasn’t true — I knew her, the company, and the situation very well — and I believed privately, that she was very much in the wrong, and that the company’s actions were 100% appropriate based on what I knew to be her past conduct. It was maddening. So, that is all to say, things are not always what they seem.
There are 6 plaintiffs here, fwiw. I don’t know if any of them know each other but I’d be surprised if they all did, at least before the lawsuit.
Yup. I feel like this comment at 1:11 is similar to men who have “crazy” exes. Sure one (or all of them for that matter) May be crazy, but at some point you have to realize there’s a common thread. Is it possible that all six of these women were underperorforming? Sure. Is it actually the case, hard to say. But getting six lawyers to agree to participate in a law suit against a giant firm is no easy task if there truly is no issue in my opinion. Signed someone in biglaw who has witnessed/heard of not zero lawsuit worthy behavior but no one sues for fear of never working again.
It’s like talking to one of those older guys who claimed some woman once yelled at him for opening a door for her (really?) therefore, all feminists are b1tches.
Source: have heard this from far more than one old white dude
I was harassed off a job. It was justified on “low performance.” Here’s the problem: I had received awards and accolades from numerous other people. My one-over-one called bs on the underperformance issue. There was harassment unrelated to job performance (physical threats, disparate treatment of male employees when they had performance issues, period-shaming, etc).
Calling “performance issues” is the 100% inevitable response of a company. The question is whether or not male employees are treated the same way, not whether or not the employee is sufficiently perfect to avoid any “performance issues.”
I’m watching with great interest. They’re up to 6 individual plaintiffs just in California now, right?
I’d be surprised if the plaintiffs’ attorneys could find 6 lawyers from MoFo’s California offices who had been pregnant recently and who want to step forward and sue if MoFo didn’t have a real problem. Even as a Jane Doe to the public, it’s pretty high risk for a lawyer to sue her firm, completely trashing any hope that the partners she worked for will ever speak well of her.
I don’t find the answer of “performance issues, all of them” that compelling without further information. I could certainly find “performance issues” compelling with a lot more detail, such as would come out at trial. However, if I had to bet right now, I’d bet on the truth being closer to the plaintiffs’ assertions than MoFo’s.
I agree. I worked in Big Law and definitely felt like women in my group were treated worse overall. Nothing as overt as what’s alleged here, but more subtle discrimination, like women who billed more than similarly-situated men were more likely to be held back – “reclassified” (as MoFo calls it) – to work on developing leadership skills or things like that. Nobody I knew would ever dream of suing, because you’d never work again. I feel like it has to be pretty bad if six separate people are willing to sue…
Okay so I foolishly dyed my hair at home with a store-bought kit and it’s way too light. How soon can I redo it without killing my hair?
I’ve been coloring my hair at home for 20+ years, but I would go to a salon here. Your hair is going to absorb darker color in a way that you mat not expect due to having the prior color lifted. You probably won’t get what you want the second time either and will have to engage a professional at that point not only to fix the color but probably mediate the damage as well.
That said, you could try a semi-permanent and hope it fades out to the in between color you were hoping for. I would wait at least 3 days, preferably a week.
The developer in box dye is usually pretty weak and shouldn’t seriously damage your hair, unless you went with a special dye for darker hair. I’d wait a couple days and dye it a shade darker in the same brand or use a demi-permanent like Natural Instincts. Don’t dye it more than a shade or two darker.
Buy some Olaplex from Amazon to save your hair’s texture whatever you decide to do re: color.
This is kind of random, but does anyone have any experience with the odds of being able to upgrade to Main Cabin Extra on America Airlines on a transatlantic flight as the lowest level of elite (Gold status)? The tickets are $50 per person more expensive on American than on another airline for the same itinerary and flight times. $50/person is worth it to me for a good chance of getting the main cabin extra seating, but I don’t want to pay for it if I have a snowball’s chance in you-know-what of getting it.
When you buy your tickets, if you’re logged in so the system knows your status, you’ll see if your qualify for free Main Cabin Extra when you go to choose seats. If you don’t qualify for free seats you can buy them at booking. Since EVERYONE is looking for that extra smidgen of comfort on an overnight flight, I don’t think you have a chance of getting Main Cabin Extra as a “free upgrade” if you don’t take care of it at booking.
I’m eligible to get them for free, but only at check in 24 hours before the flight. So it’s not really an “upgrade,” but the seats may all be gone by then. There are tons left currently.
I don’t think you’ll get in without paying.
I’m not sure what the $50 is paying for? You pay for the seat when booking so you’d pick that seat if you wanted it. The only way to upgrade with American now is with points
I’m eligible to select those seats for free, but only 24 hours before the flight departs. I’m wondering what the odds are that there will be any left by then. This is just for the economy seats with a few inches of extra legroom, not business/first.
I’ve always been able to get a main cabin extra seat when I check in 24 hours ahead of time. But, it is a risk and I would just pay the $50 if you really care
I think it partially depends how long your trip is. If you have a direct flight, there are probably lots of people making connections who will check in sooner than you. If you have a super long layover and check in way earlier than other travelers might, your chances improve.
I always check-in in online 24 hours in advance and can get the seat then, if there are any left. You don’t have to be at the airport to check in. But the higher elite status people are eligible to get these seats even further in advance and of course some people buy them at booking, so there’s definitely a chance they’ll be gone by the time I can check-in online.
But, if I have a connection, even if you check in online at exactly 24 hours in advance of your flight, my first flight starts before yours, maybe even like 12 hours before yours, so I can still check in way earlier online than you and snag the seats. If you’re flying direct to Europe from a major east coast city, there are probably tons of people connecting via your flight from the west coast.
Is your choice:
1. $X for non-AA flight and $X+$50 for AA flight in a standard economy seat with a CHANCE of free upgrade?
2. $X for non-AA flight and $X+$50 for AA flight in main cabin extra?
If (2) I’d pay the extra $50 for the comfort, hands down. If (1), yeah, MAYBE you’ll get lucky if you’re able to check in early enough.
It’s #1. I also have some loyalty to AA and the elite perks (early boarding etc) are nice even if I don’t get the main cabin extra so it’s not entirely $50 just for a chance of that. I guess I’d be inclined to spend the $50 if I thought I had a 50-50 chance of getting the seats, but not if I had a 5% chance of getting the seats, so I thought I’d see if anyone had any info.
Not AA , but for United my hit rate in a similar scenario was probably close to 80% at getting the economy plus upgrade at the 24-hour checkin window, but on longer/fuller flights usually a middle seat. You have to be super diligent about checking in exactly 24 hours in advance. (Last year, made it up a level this year – hallelujah)
Interview follow up?
After a couple of phone interviews, the recruiter emailed last Thursday and asked my schedule for the next 2-3 weeks so I can interview at corporate headquarters, a plane ride away. I gave him my schedule immediately (said it was open, basically) and haven’t heard back — should I follow up?
I’d give it til the end of Wednesday. Coordinating schedules is notoriously tricky and I’m assuming the cost of last minute flights is on them.
I’d wait until this Thursday, probably. I know waiting is so hard!
Thanks for this feedback! Very helpful.
I’ve been lucky to make it to my late 30s without many significant losses, but I recently lost my grandfather. He had a wonderful, happy, long life and died in his 90s, peacefully with no suffering, so it was pretty much the best possible life and death, and yet I am still feeling so sad, like life is meaningless. I am not particularly religious, so I’m sure that doesn’t help.
Now I feel I should be living life to the absolute fullest, so I’m questioning why am I at work right now dealing with meaningless office politics and annoying deadlines when I should be LIVING. Learning things, taking risks, investing time in my treasured relationships. But instead it’s just the daily slog of commuting, packing a lunch, going to meetings, and always feeling behind. And for what?
I am not going to just quit my job, which is actually a pretty good job with good pay, nice people, and good benefits. But I find myself craving adventure, longer-term travel, more risks. What can I do? How can I find this within the constraints of a stable, late-30s job-having/401-k contributing lifestyle?
Yes, I know this sounds dumb and obviously I need money and a job is important. Talk some sense into me.
You either need a vacation or to volunteer with a cause greater than yourself.
You’re spiraling this way because your grandfather died peacefully in his 90s? Girl. This is an understandable way to feel when you lose a parent in their 50s. I don’t know what about your grandfather’s long happy life and peaceful death makes you feel like you need to quit your job and travel now. Won’t you have time to do that after you retire?
Yes this. Losing a grandparent in their 90s who lived a long and happy life should not be derailing you this much. Grief is complicated and different for everyone, but instead of focusing on how to have more adventure, I think some therapy would help. I lost my moms few months ago at 62 suddenly. That’s a crippling life shattering grief, and still, you have to find a way to keep living your life.
If you’re not willing to try therapy (it’s helping me so much) buy Healing After Loss. It’s great, has a different reflection for every calendar day.
“Won’t you have time to do that after you retire?”
Hopefully. My uncle died instantly in a freak accident a couple years before he planned to retire. Hopefully OP will still have her health and her financial resources to do that. I expect that these thoughts about whether she’s living her life to the fullest aren’t brand new (which is totally normal) and a death– facing mortality even if it isn’t tragic– brought them to the surface. This is a pretty common thing we hear A LOT on this board– my life is good, obviously I need a job, I’m lucky, but I just feel disengaged and like my life is missing meaning.
But that’s sort of exactly my point. A grandparent dying in their 90s shouldn’t really trigger that “ahh I might die before I can see Machu Picchu” kind of panic. He DIDN’T die in a freak accident before retirement, he died at 90+ after presumably being retired for around 25 years.
Who in the world are you to say what events should and shouldn’t trigger certain things?
And what I tried to explain to you was WHY OP might be feeling this way given that it wasn’t an untimely death. It’s dumb to just bank on retirement as the time you’ll start finding meaning and adventure in your life. That doesn’t come for a lot of people. I don’t think you understand what I wrote at all if you think that I’m agreeing with your point. I also don’t understand why you’re so insistent on dismissing what she’s feeling. It doesn’t sound like she’s panicking to me, it sounds like she’s just.. reacting.
Understandable by you is not the same as understandable by other people; I don’t think that’s a very good metric here.
OP – hugs to you, and I agree with others that Big Changes might be a bad idea right now. In the meantime, remember your grandfather however you feel honors him, and take good care of yourself.
I don’t understand some of these reactions. I would give a lot to have my grandparents back. It’s not like death is fine and okay if it’s not untimely. Life is very, very short, even if you make it to 90.
It’s okay to feel the spiral. I’m so sorry for your loss.
I encourage you to make no major changes right now. Grief distorts things when you look through it and the view is constantly changing. Take one day off now and LIVE. But just for a day. In a few months, reassess. Probably your sense of what to do will have crystallized a little bit, and if any big decisions seem wise, you can make them then. On some level, the “slog” you describe is, in fact, “living.”
FWIW to the anon at 11:33 – different losses hit us all differently. I lost my dad in his 50s, which was every bit as devastating as you suggest (and my guess is you perhaps have a similar experience in your life as well) but in its own way it was easier to pick up from that because it was a loss that everyone I knew supported me through. An adult losing a grandparent is so normal that a community doesn’t necessarily provide the same support.
+1, I’ll never forget losing my grandmother last year, my first major loss, and even though the whole office knew why I was out for a week, not a damn person said a single thing to me when I got back. I felt like I had no support at all
People on this board are being extra with the judgmental attitude today. You have every right to be upset. Grief affects people in different ways and no one can tell you that you should be grieving differently. Especially when you haven’t experienced major grief before! I felt the same way last year when I lost my 92 year old grandmother in pretty much the exact situation. She had a wonderful life full of passion and her death highlighted the fact that I had…a boring life with no passion. I ended up making moves in the past year to switch careers. That’s a drastic change that wasn’t a direct result of her death and I’m not suggesting it here, but are there other changes you can make that will make you feel more fulfilled? Volunteering, signing up for art classes, learning a new creative skill (photography, music, cooking), writing a novel, learning a language, taking a trip, hiking a mountain are some ideas to get started without leaving the security of your job. Hugs.
Everyone grieves in their own way. I think this is a normal response to thinking about what your “look back” would be and wanting to make sure your life aligns with your values. I think you understand that making a big decision (E.g. quitting your job) is not smart to make in the heat of the moment. Agree to maybe taking a little time off, reconnecting with what you consider important (relationships, a religious or volunteer organization, appreciating natural or human created beauty, etc.)
Everyone grieves in their own way and I truly don’t understand the “he was old, why do you care so much” attitude that many here seem to be taking. Why is it so hard to understand that it’s very painful losing someone you love? I’m sorry for your loss. Give it time (as much as it takes).
Need advice for eating better
How do you motivate yourself to eat better?
I have a really hard time persuading myself to eat anything that I don’t really enjoy. For example, I love a fluffy egg sandwich on a croissant with cheese and maybe bacon so I’d happily eat that for breakfast. But I know that isn’t a healthy choice. So I try to persuade myself to eat oatmeal, which I don’t hate. But since I don’t really like it I end up just skipping breakfast.
Then I’ll get to lunch and want pizza, pasta, noodles, fried things, sushi (and not just the healthy options) or something else that I find delicious. I can be firm with myself and not eat those things but I then I just skip lunch because I am not interested enough in less delicious items.
Then I’ll end up snacking on whatever is leftover from kids’ dinner when I get home and probably some cheese and eventually some ice cream.
I know I am supposed to eat better but it feels like another not fun thing to do in the middle of so many other not fun things. I’d rather skip meals than eat better. What’s wrong with me?
Do you eat out a lot? I feel like that is a big source of unhealthy eating. Making your own egg sandwich on a whole wheat english muffin minus the bacon is a first step. Try packing your lunch and see what that does for you.
Need advice for eating better
Thanks. I can never come up with anything I feel like packing for lunch. I tried bringing leftovers but they seem meh. I don’t like salads that much. I definitely eat out too much – it’s just so much easier.
This is me. I find it really hard to get excited about my packed lunches.
Need advice for eating better
I’m glad I’m not alone – everyone seems so excited and pinterest-y about lunches (Mason jars! Salads!) and I’m all MEH. I need to do a better job about simpler but fun salads I think (like the candied nuts and good cheese and/or fun beverage suggestion below)
You can have the bacon too! Bacon is only like 50 calories a slice. It has a lot of flavor and will keep you full longer, so you’re getting a lot of bang for your caloric buck. I’d be more inclined to have an open faced sandwich – plus it feels kind of fancy to have “eggs benedict” on a weekday!
– can you make the changes in half-steps? Like instead of a full order of pasta for lunch – have half the pasta & half a giant salad. I find that I tend to not stick with things when I make it “all or nothing”
– My eating habits domino throughout the day, like you describe. Eating better in the morning makes me less likely to gobble all the junky snax later in the evening – so maybe just set the goal as having a suitable breakfast, and see how that takes you through the day. Once you’ve got that dialed in, try sorting out something else for lunch etc.
Need advice for eating better
Thanks – that sounds like a good small step to start!
This, all day. Baby steps. Just adapt the things you do like, or automate where you can.
Adapt: Make a breakfast sandwich with an english muffin, whites, one strip of bacon, and a tiny bit of cheese for the warm gooey effect, as opposed to having the full deal on a croissant.
Automate: make a batch of steel cut oats in the crockpot one evening while you’re doing something else, portion out, and freeze. They microwave up well, and you can add in nuts, maple syrup, whatever else. (I tried and hated overnight oats, and this was the only other way to get me to eat oatmeal!)
So a couple of things that work for me. Intermittent fasting where I only eat during certain hours of the day and not snacking. One of my focuses is losing weight so that helps with the calorie reduction. Also, I make efforts to have low-value meals (like lunch at my desk) be healthy options and I look for small swaps to go with that like putting a high fiber English muffin/wrap in the place of a croissant on a sandwich. This gives me the flexibility to eat more “fun” foods when I go out to eat. This works best if you aren’t eating out the majority of your meals. Plus, I generally feel better when I’m eating better so that’s motivation to not let it all collapse.
Try intermittant fasting so you have fewer times in the day that you have to make good choices. I do lunch at noon, mid afternoon snack and dinner at 7pm. Otherwise just do water or tea/coffee.
Also, you seem to have a lot of black and white thinking – the choice it’s just sad oatmeal or delicious egg sandwich on croissant with cheese and bacon. You can have the croissant and egg just skip the cheese and bacon (or vice versa).
And do not finish your kids plates. It’s hard but let go of ‘food waste’ issues. The garbage bin is for waste, not you.
Can you think of ways to make eating healthy foods easier than the less healthy alternative? Of course you’re not going to make oatmeal in the morning–it’s a pain! I keep healthy and delicious breakfast items (low-sugar, high-fiber homemade muffins and breakfast cookies) in the freezer so I can just grab one and defrost it, which keeps me from hitting the drive-through on the way to work. For lunch, can you pick up some bagged salads from Trader Joe’s, preportion them into containers, and grab one on the way out the door in the morning? (Bonus tip: they are much tastier if you toss the salad with the dressing instead of just putting the dressing on top, and some of the salads are even hearty enough to stand up to being tossed with dressing in the morning.) A delicious beverage is also key to making a healthy lunch more enjoyable. I like sparkling water with lime or cold-brew coffee with milk.
Also: Try the new Chobani less-sugar flip yogurts with topping. Somehow they taste like dessert even though they aren’t too terribly sugary.
One thing that helps me is recreating the lunches I like to get out. Often it’s not too hard to do with a few tweaks. This week I bought a giant tub of spring mix, dried cranberries, candied pecans, goat cheese, and balsamic dressing, and I made a bunch of salads that are similar to the ones I like to buy. They’re just as good and I’m saving a lot of money. But it’s better than sad leftovers or a sandwich I won’t be excited about. There is a happy medium between packing a lunch you hate and eating out every meal — you just have to find it! Good luck.
Need advice for eating better
Thanks, Anonymous and Anon – I think yummy salads (candied pecans, good cheese) and special beverages are great suggestions!
for starters – why do you want to eat better? health? lose weight? maintain weight? energy levels, etc.? if it is a calorie thing or a health thing? personally i could not make it through the day not eating and then only eating in the evening, though it sounds like you are unintentionally practicing intermittent fasting
Need advice for eating better
I would like to eat better for health. And maybe energy levels. I understand logically that I can’t just eat all the carbs and sugars and full-fat lattes and few veggies.
I don’t eat a lot at any one time, I am more of a grazer and I don’t get super hungry if I am busy at work/distracted.
I would try incremental changes so you don’t feel the deprivation as much. I would also up your protein because that might help with the desire for yummy but less than best choices. For breakfast I’d have a fried egg with a slice of cheese on a whole grain english muffin. There’s good protein in that, some carbs and some fat from the cheese. It feels a little decadent because of the cheese, but its also a perfectly healthy filling breakfast. If you’re not feeling deprived going into lunch it might be easier to make better choices. An ounce or two of cheese is a reasonable snack, especially if you pair it with an apple, some sliced veggies or something else. If you can do moderation (I can’t really) a couple nice chocolates at the end of the day is also nice treat to keep the feeling of deprivation at bay.
I’m a little late to respond here, but a few things that work for me (and I’m by no means perfect) are basically setting “rules” for when I can eat something (like pasta for dinner). I realized this worked for me when I told myself that I could’t have coffee/caffeine after 12:00 (which has stopped my 3:00 pm coffee runs at work and I sleep a lot better). So,along these lines, when I’m at home for dinner, I don’t let myself go back for seconds. It forces me to think about how hungry I am/what I am serving myself the first time around (my husband and I often cook larger batches of food so that we have leftovers for lunches or a dinner later in the week) because I found that I would go back for seconds… thirds… until I was beyond stuffed. Sometimes if I am still really hungry later, I’ll have some more food (I don’t let myself go hungry, just trying to be better judge of how hungry I am). I can have pasta for dinner at home, but only when my husband is traveling for work and I have to make it (I can’t order it from somewhere). Since he rarely travels for work (maybe 4x a year?) and I have to put effort into making it, I usually end up forgoing it. Am I perfect? Heck no, I had chick-fil-a for lunch yesterday. But I found that the above were all major slippery slopes for me, so I had to figure out ways to stop the floodgates from opening. I don’t fee deprived, because I can still have these things, but there’s a small barrier between me and having them that prevents a small indulgence from becoming a major issue.
Need advice for eating better
Thanks! These are good suggestions :)
Question I may repost for more answers – do you do anything as a goodbye for a solid, non-spectacular team member who is leaving your company to go to another industry? He stayed out the two weeks and did a great job finishing things up; not sure what else is typical. My last folks left for competitors so were escorted out immediately.
Take him for lunch at a normal spot the team normally eats at.
Yes, we do. We’re saying goodbye to someone we’ve liked and enjoyed working with. There are all kinds of options. Send a card around, a group of you take him out to lunch and tell stories, bring in a morning coffee break, host a “come say goodbye to Joe and pick up a bagel” half hour. Give him a framed ____ that represents a key piece of work he did. A gift certificate for a lunch place near his new office…generally thanks and well wishes.
Yes please take him for lunch– it will be important for him, but also important for the other team members moral to see how you treat him with respect as well. I’m a superstar on my teams (shown to me by management through regular raises and promotions and perks others at my company don’t get), but because of various circumstances, have never been thrown a going away party/shower/whatever celebration… and speaking from experience, it really sucks and feels isolating (and I’m not particularly sentimental). You never know when you may need to reconnect with him for some reason.
We don’t have any history of going out for lunch, which makes it weird. Or drinks. It’s kind of a keep-to-yourself environment except for the splashy company-wide outings.
Then the bagels for everyone & card is a nice, but casual idea.