Splurge Monday Workwear Report: Double-Breasted Cotton-Blend Tweed Blazer

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

Oooh: I love this double-breasted blazer, and that’s saying a lot since I usually hate anything double-breasted (and beige). The collarless blazer looks both modern and vintage at the same time, like you could picture Blake Lively and Kate Hepburn wearing it — and I like the texture to the cotton blend. It’s $750 at Net-a-Porter. Double-Breasted Cotton-Blend Tweed Blazer

Two lower-priced options are here and here.

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  1. Misery Monday :

    Monday morning vent alert: World’s loudest intern is back at it. Supposedly, his supervisor has been alerted to the fact that no one in the area can concentrate due to the volume of the intern on the phone ALL DAY LONG. This morning he loudly proclaimed, “I think [sales person] put in his two weeks the other day.” Um, not something you need to be shouting at the top of your lungs kid.

    He’s going on and on about the trips he is getting to go on (the rest of us are in non-essential travel lock-down), which is upsetting quite a few people.

    Last week he was utilizing the word bull$hit regularly in his conversations. Also probably not something you want to be loudly saying in a giant low-wall cube farm your first week as an intern.

    One of the directors in an office on the outside of the cube farm came to me last week to complain about it. Director supposedly talked to his supervisor last week, but said he would again mention it. We have empty offices this kid can go sit in while he calls every single sales person in the company to get their wisdom and advice. I appreciate that he has probably not worked in an office before, but UGH SO LOUD.

    • Can you walk by and ask him to quiet down?

      • Misery Monday :

        I could, but since we have attempted to run it up the official chain of command, I am not sure if I will get my hand smacked for doing so. I have no supervisory role with him and I am not the most senior person in the cube farm.

        I am getting to the point where I am not sure I care if my hand gets smacked though!!

        • Really? You are worried about chain of command about a loud intern?

          you are …. As they say…… Over thinking this.

          • Anonymous :

            Yeah you’re not firing the kid, you’re just a nearby coworker asking him to keep it down.

          • Misery Monday :

            That’s a very fair point, but then why wouldn’t the director who also complained about it talk to him? It seems more bizarre to me that the higher level folks who are aware of the problem are not speaking up when it also bothers them.

            I guess we are all overthinking it! Again, fair point.

            He has stopped for now, but next time it starts up again, I will say something.

        • Telling him to quiet down is not a supervisory decision. I’d actually tell him “I don’t know if you realize it, but you talk loudly on the phone. Please make personal calls in one of the empty rooms.”

          • Perfect.

            And if I was in intern and MULTIPLE different people came up to me to complain, well….. Even the most clueless intern may start to get it.

          • Misery Monday :

            These aren’t personal calls, although I am not sure it makes a difference.

    • Part of interning is learning that this kind of behavior is not appropriate. If he’s not understanding that, then the internship isn’t serving its purpose and the issue needs to be addressed. After he finishes interning, your company will be on his resume. If he acts this way in the future, someone is bound to wonder, “How did he intern at X but doesn’t know basic office etiquette?” Even if no one is even willing to give him a reference afterwards, he is still, in some small way, a reflection on the company, and this needs to be made clear to both him and to the supervisors.

      • Yes I feel like your company is failing him. If it’s this hard for them to tell him a pretty basic “rule” of office work, I can’t imagine they’re doing a great job teaching the rest of office norms. Just tell him to keep it down or use an office if he needs to. It’s not a complicated conversation.

        And it’s petty that your coworkers are upset that he’s getting to go on trips. That’s not his issue, it’s a problem with your management. They’re the ones who made that decision. Maybe he’s a little too excited about it, but again. A quick “hey the rest of the office is on a travel freeze, so you might want to be more discrete” would solve the issue.

      • That’s what I was thinking, someone needs to be coaching this behavior out of him. Not necessarily OP, although OP can ask him to quiet down, but it’s his supervisor who needs to tell him to quiet down, not talk about his trips in the office, keep his mouth shut on confidential issues and avoid gossiping.

        • Misery Monday :

          I don’t disagree at all. There are many gripes that I have with both on onboarding and professional behavior in the office. Sadly, these complaints aren’t limited to interns.

      • Yay Kat! Beautiful choice for a Pricey Monday! Great Pick, Kat and Kate!

        As for the OP, interns are RENOWN for trying to be noticed, and many do that by being LOUD. I remember when Mason first started, he was very LOUD and Very pushey, b/c he was trying to show the manageing partner that he was a lawyer (guess what, we ALL are), and that he had a brain (evidently he did NOT b/c he never passed the bar, and we had to get rid of him, even tho his dad is a big cleint).

        So the way to deal with a loudmouth is to tell him to please pipe down, b/c we are ALL trying to work and we are ALL on the same team, and no one get’s a head by being noisey.

        This weekend, I sat in my apartement all weekend b/c of the bad weather and got NO steps. As a result, my tuchus needs to get back into it or when dad see’s me he will hit the ceeling. FOOEY!

  2. For EB0220: Pune in July :


    Pune in July would hopefully be far cooler than April-June (Indian summer months) as the rains would have arrived. It’s in the rain shadow zone so doesn’t get lashed with rainfall as Mumbai does. That said, it will still feel like a lot for you, so please pack accordingly. Easy-iron/no iron clothes or those that dry easily.

    It will be muddy and dirty as all Indian cities are, especially in the monsoon. But Pune is a city of extreme climate and the good thing is that it takes only a bit of rainfall to cool down temperatures.

  3. Vicarious shopping request :

    I’m going to a wedding in Virginia Memorial Day weekend and I am having trouble finding a dress to wear! Any suggestions for a cute, preferably not long dress under $300? TIA!

    • Anything BCBG, IMO, for example :




      • Vicarious shopping request :

        So pretty but I am looking for one that is a bit more spring/summer, both in colors and fabric/sleeve length. I think these would be perfect for a classy fall or winter wedding though!

        • My other go to, anthropologie, how about these:





    • What’s the dress code?

      • Vicarious shopping request :

        Dress code is “No suits or gowns required. Aim to look respectable without being too fancy. Flats are recommended, since the ceremony is in a garden.” I am thinking I will wear fancy flat sandals so looking for a dress I won’t trip over after a few cocktails!

        • I’m not sure exactly WTF that dress code means, so maybe it’s too casual, but I just saw this dress and think it would be great for a Memorial Day garden wedding: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/draper-james-mary-beth-cotton-sundress/4634919?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLUE%20PARTON%20CHECK

          • pugsnbourbon :

            At least it’s more specific than some that have been shared on here.

        • N-strom has a great “wedding guest” section that has lots of fun, pretty spring-y dresses. Click dresses, then wedding guest at the top.


        • I think this dress would be lovely for a garden wedding: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/tahari-faux-wrap-chiffon-dress-regular-petite/4615647?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLACK%2F%20FUCHSIA%2F%20LIME

          The dark background makes it more look more dressy IMO. Virginia can get really hot by Memorial Day so I’d definitely wear something sleeveless.

        • Baconpancakes :

          For a garden wedding, there’s a gorgeous maxi dress with peach florals at Modcloth. Can’t link atm but it was there.

    • I found a few you may like, perfect for a garden wedding! I’m a fan of not standing out too much as a wedding guest.




  4. Recommendations for a couples counselor near Midtown Manhattan? Going through a difficult period with my SO, who wants to get married ASAP whereas I am happy in the short-term with our cohabition status quo. Would like professional help to understand whether this is a communication problem or an irreconcilable difference. We are working through the Gottman book in the meantime.

  5. Anonymous :

    I’ve been reflecting on a recent breakup, trying to figure out what went wrong and what to avoid for the future, and wonder how others have come down on a particular issue. Ex had one or two really horrible friends that he’d known since he was like 5. He had this weird blind spot for their horrible behavior. One friend, for example, admitted to abusing his ex-gf. Ex’s reaction? What the guy did was terrible, but it came about only because the relationship was toxic; the guy has totes learned his lesson now (he hadn’t). Another friend was just a jerk to whomever he decided to target this week. Ex would either pretend not to notice or would shrug it off – I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way, or it was a bad joke, or he’s just drunk, or that’s just how he is.

    From casual observation, I don’t think I’m alone in struggling with this. It seems like a lot of wives complain about That One Friend that they wish their husband would cut ties with. How do relationships successfully navigate this without creating a ton of resentment on one side or the other?

    • Anonymous :

      Avoid dating guys who are jerks with jerk friends.

      • +1. In my circle, it would not be typical at all that someone would be abusive to their spouse or GF.

        • I know you had the best intention, but this comment irks me. I think what you mean is that in your circle, it wouldn’t be typical for someone to be open about abusing someone/overlook the fact that someone is abusive. Abuse happens in every circle and it usually isn’t apparent. If we could identify abusers on sight, the world would be a different place.

          • +1, Bluefield

          • Fair point. My circle is pretty tight – goes back 15-20 years, we know who’s in marital therapy, etc. – but I take the point.

          • anon for this :

            Agree with Bluefield on both points.

            It can be really hard to root this out in a group of friends. I’ll share my experience. My ex-boyfriend was in my group of “friends,” and he was abusive towards me. It began with emotional abuse, which is less tangible and harder to share with our friends. When physical abuse became part of the equation (broken arm, broken cheekbone, tried to strangle me), I tried to share with some of our closer “friends.” And they didn’t believe me that it was happening because he was such a “great guy”-well-liked, lots of charity work, partner at a big prestigious firm. I also discovered he had installed tracking software on my phone, and had set-up videocameras in our apartment so he could remotely monitor what I did when he was not there (we lived together).

            I lost many of these “friends” over this, mainly because they said I was trying to ruining his life by getting a restraining order. He had violated the RO numerous times, threatened my life including showing up outside my office building with a gun, and I ended up moving to a non-drivable city out of fear for my safety. And these former “friends” still think I am the bad guy.

          • anon for this :

            I realize I got off point in my comment, I get emotional when thinking about this stuff.

            Sorry about that, but point was “friends” condoning abuse is just not OK. Should not be friends.

      • I’ve been a victim of bullying and apathetic onlookers in my childhood. You did the right thing getting out.

    • anonshmanon :

      ‘How do relationships successfully navigate this without creating a ton of resentment on one side or the other?’
      I guess they don’t. The fact that one person gets upset about horrible friends while the partner is entirely complicit to me is a pretty severe degree of incompatibility. It is not just a discrepancy in the ‘how should you treat others’ category, but also in the ‘how much do I care’ category.
      How do you deal with this? During the first months of a new relationship, periodically take a step back and ask yourself: “Will I be ok with this for the rest of my life?”

      • You’re likely not going to know something as serious as the abuser issue in the first few months of a relationship. It’s not exactly the kind of thing that people like to talk about, particularly if it happened years and years ago. I didn’t know until about a year into my relationship with my ex.

        • Were there any red flags? How did he treat waitstaff at restaurants? How did he treat his family? How did he treat you? Did he react to news of a tragic event in the world with care and compassion?

    • I think you’re lumping too wide a range of behavior together. I’m totally fine if my husband has a friend that I don’t care for or get along with, but that is completely completely different than my husband being willing to be friends with an abuser (something that seems extremely not okay).

      • I take your point. I’m not really talking about someone you just don’t care for. You don’t have to like everyone your SO is friends with. I think you need to be able to respect them, though. If someone is consistently a jerk for no reason then I’m probably not going to have a lot of respect for them. If someone is an abuser I’m definitely not going to have a lot of respect for them. So what does that mean for your relationship with your SO?

        • Then you got your answer. The “That One Friend” that you reference is usually just someone you don’t care for. It’s almost never someone who is a jerk or an abuser or an all around awful person. What you’re describing is a giant honking red flag saying “DO NOT DATE ME”.

          He sounds like an awful guy (or more likely, one of those guys who is a Nice Guy except for those instances where he’s a Jerk. Which means he’s an Awful Guy who just hides it occasionally.) It’s like those people who “aren’t racist” because they’re nice to all their white friends. If you truly value something, you’ll behave consistently no matter who you think is watching.

        • You break up with them if abuse isn’t a deal breaker for them because they’re a bad person.

          • This.

          • Anon for this :

            Or you discuss why he is still associating with that person. I had a scenario where we learned many years after the fact that one of the guys in our group had assaulted a woman in our group. There were things we didn’t love about the guy to begin with and this was obviously the tipping point. However, the guy could be a bit volatile and spouse and I decided (after consulting with the woman who informed us she was assaulted by him) to essentially ghost him over time as opposed to having a dramatic break up. It would cause a lot more drama to say hey, we heard you assaulted X ten years ago. We are through. Then he would try to deny it, bad mouth her to all of our friends, maybe even confront her, maybe post bad things about her online. This wasn’t in her best interest. Instead, we stopped inviting him to things. We had conflicts when he invited us to stuff. We still went to group things if someone else from the group invited him but overtime, the rest of the group ghosted him.

            Your SO might not like this guy but might not know how to distance himself without causing more issues.

          • Anonymous :

            But her SO isn’t like ‘how to I shake this guy’, and your SO was on board with the ghosting. OP’s concerned because her SO doesn’t think it’s a deal breaker and he’s not trying to extract himself from the friendship.

    • Agree. We just don’t have this problem because we have fundamentally the same values and standards, and those standards apply both to ourselves, and to the people we hang out with. He has a friend or two that I don’t care for (because we don’t have much in common and I think they’re a little boring), so mostly I don’t hang out with them. I might join their outings once a year or so, but for the rest he goes out with that friend without me. But nothing like what you describe, and I would see that situation as a moral failing on the part of my partner – big red flag.

      • Anonymous :


      • Anonymouse :


      • Yes, my husband has some friends I don’t care for, but for far more benign reasons (one is super into sports and that’s all he talks about; I would rather watch paint dry. The other one is a super Silicon Valley type that’s always going on about the Next Big Thing and again, just not interested in siting in the echo chamber. DH says he just tuned it out while they brew beer together, I just leave!).

    • Shopaholic :

      FWIW, there’s a big difference between an SO having a friend with incompatible values and having a friend that you don’t like. I’ve had exes with friends whose company I don’t enjoy – that’s an easy fix. I just didn’t spend that much time together.

      When I had an ex with friends who regularly cheated on their wives/girlfriends, I couldn’t understand how my supposedly great boyfriend could be friends with people like that. And then he cheated on me and I got it…

      • Anonymous :

        Eh, I don’t know about this. My husband has a friend who is a womanizer and has treated some of his girlfriends terribly, including cheating. My husband absolutely does not condone this behavior, but still recognizes that this guy has been a good friend to him. They go way back (to high school) so it’s not that my husband chose to befriend a guy who treats women like this, but more than that they became friends before this pattern was clear and my husband has chosen not to drop the friend. We don’t live near him so they don’t spend much time together and my husband has chosen not to participate in certain things this guy likes to do, like going to str!p clubs (and fwiw, this guy has always been very outwardly supportive of our relationship and is not trying to convince my husband to cheat on me).
        I think there is a difference between being friends with a cheater and an abuser. Being friends with a cheater might be a red flag in a new relationship but is not a universally unacceptable thing, imo. Being friends with a (known) abuser would not be ok with me under any circumstance.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s simple:

      No one gets to say a single negative word about anyone because that person isn’t his or her cup of tea. Spouses don’t get to be snitty about friends. Friends don’t get to complain that the spouse has different interests, hobbies, politics, whatever.

      Do not keep people in your life with severe character flaws.

      Not hard.

    • I focus on praising the friends of my SO that I do like, and am polite to – but make known to my SO that I’m not a fan of – his friends I don’t like. The only friends of his that I’ve ever point blank refused to talk to are ones that either directly insulted me (and didn’t apologize) or harmed him. He’s chosen to remain friends with them, but respects why I so openly dislike them. Thankfully, they no longer live near us and aren’t good at long-distance friendships, so we got around it by no longer having to deal with it!

  6. On the weekend thread I mentioned that I couldn’t get bunion surgery because my doctor has told me I’m too young for it. Several people replied that they had had good experiences getting bunions removed rather young (early 30s or younger). I’d like to start thinking about getting mine removed- I have large, wide feet, which makes finding shoes hard even without bunions, and the bunions just make everything more difficult (not to mention really painful!) Can anyone share their experience with this surgery?

    • S in Chicago :

      I had bunionette surgery in my mid-20s (outside of the foot not inside). They did my hammer toes on the foot at the same time. The toe part was painful but the bunionette wasn’t bad but I was in a walking boot for at least a month after– these days it’s less invasive. I was in physical therapy last year (unrelated issue) and a woman next to me had just had the surgery. She was in tennis shoes very quickly afterward. Only mentioning this because I think you’ll benefit from hearing right from the doc. Anyone who has had it more than a handful of years ago likely will have had a different approach than how it’s done now.

    • cat socks :

      My mom is 60 and is finally getting bunion surgery. It’s gotten to the point where her toes are overlapping. She probably should have gotten it done years ago, but kept putting it off. Definitely get it done sooner than later.

      She’s not having surgery until next month, but here’s what I know of the procedure so far – It’s an out patient procedure and it’s around a 6-week recovery. They emphasized that the most important thing is not to put weight on the foot. She’ll be in boot and will have one of those wheeled walkers where she can prop up her knee. A week after the surgery she’ll have to go back to get the stitches out, but I think that’s the only follow up appointment. After 6 weeks she’ll be able to start putting weight on it and will be going to physical therapy.

      I missed the weekend thread so I don’t know if it’s your regular doctor who said not to have the surgery. I would check with an orthopedic surgeon for another opinion.

    • Bunion veteran :

      Cat socks’ information above mirrors my experience. Definitely rent a knee scooter (I used goodbyecrutches dot com — amazingly fast and good service) for the duration. I couldn’t bear weight on my foot for six weeks, and showering was also out. A tub bench and hand sprayer were helpful. Also, it’s not easy to stand up from a toilet using only one leg, so if you don’t have something nearby to pull on (door frame, etc.), consider renting a frame like rehab facilities provide. Also, get some cute new pajamas! Being able to change into fresh ones those first few days post-op was great! I returned to work within a week, but did need to keep my foot elevated most of the time.

      • How do you return to work if you can’t put weight on your foot? I can’t imagine driving is possible (maybe you only get the surgery on your left foot??), and I don’t know how public transit would work either since walking sounds like an ordeal. That’s the most prohibitive part when I think about this – how in the world do you stay out of work/ life for 6 weeks? Or do most people just work from home and get groceries delivered for that time?

        • I had bunion surgery on both feet when I was about 27 or 28. They were causing me a fair amount of pain and made walking long distances painful (throbbing by the end of the night). I have a good pain tolerance but I didn’t think it was that bad. The first day was the hardest because of the swelling (my doc told me to loosen the bandages so if you do it and it’s really bad, call your doc!) but then it was more of a pain in the butt than anything else. I was home on the couch for two weeks each time (no, you can’t do them at the same time), then another month in a boot, then another month or so moving very carefully and slowly. I was a junior law firm associate at the time and it actually worked well because they gave me a ton of doc review I could do from the couch, which helped pass the time and kept my hours up.

          In terms of mobility, I used crutches to get to the bathroom, showered with a plastic bag tied around my leg (balancing carefully!), and did a decent amount of hopping on my good foot. Sleeping was tough because you have to keep them elevated (I put a wedge under the mattress). I was in NYC and, because I’m cheap, mostly took the subway to and from work — wore a boot and used a cane (mostly to have a more visible disability so I’d get a seat, though I asked for them when I didn’t get one) and then walked VERY slowly everywhere. Climbed stairs like a toddler. Second time around, I splurged on cabs more but it was expensive from where I was (think $30 each way) and I didn’t do it for more than a week or two.

          I’m glad I did it but sometimes wonder if I should have waited. Your recovery is better when you’re young, but I did have to do PT for some knee issues that developed as a result of my new balance. My feet are flatter now and I’m not sure if that’s related to the surgery or just a separate problem. My bunion pain is gone and that part was easy but I still don’t have the best feet.

        • Bunion veteran :

          Right — my second one was on my right foot, so no driving for the duration. My husband works on the same campus, so he drove me to work (and wrestled my knee scooter in and out of the trunk).

    • Curious…. Someone recently pointed at my feet and asked my about my bunions and I was like….. What’s a bunion?!? I don’t have any pain/issues, and I swear my feet have always looked like this.

      Did your foot doc explain how you developed them so young? Or did you always have them/genetics as the cause?

      Just trying to figure out if mine are ?doomed to progress?

      • Painful Bunion :

        I was just seen by a DPM last week who recommended bunion surgery. My right foot has been extremely painful this past winter (better with spring – sandals!). Mine are definitely genetic; my mother had them and mine developed in my 20’s. Apparently mine is severe although no toe overlapping yet. I can’t imagine how painful that must be. I’m considering the surgery but will probably wait until winter.

      • My doctor explained that mine are the result of a catch-22 from having wide feet. Wearing tight shoes causes bunions to develop, then the bunions effectively make my feet wider, which makes even shoes that used to fit well fit tighter, which worsens the bunions. When I got x-rays, the doctor said my feet looked like I had been wearing pointy-toed heels daily for years, but I rarely wear heels of any kind. It was just the result of wearing poor-fitting shoes because my feet are so tricky to fit.
        For genetics, my mom and grandma both have bunions, but they also have similar wide feet issues. Mine got worse faster because it’s easier for them to find wide shoes than it is for me (I’m a 10.5), so I wore bad shoes more frequently from a younger age.

    • I’m the one who had surgery at 25. There was a strong genetic component to the condition developing, compounded by being a ballet dance since I was 4. My podiatrist told me that most of the time there is a genetic component, but that poorly fitting insufficiently supportive shoes, and wearing flip flops greatly speed to progression. I only had one foot operated on, but they did both bunion (big toe side) and bunionette (pinky toe side) at the same time. The physical deformity isn’t a problem unless/until it causes pain, so the surgery would be considered cosmetic if you chose to do it solely to fit better into shoes, and therefore not covered by insurance. So I only did the foot that hurt, and even 12 years later, the other one still doesn’t, even though it definitely has a bunion.

      There are a number of versions of the surgery. In many of them, you can and are supposed to put weight on it as soon as possible. So I never had crutches or a knee scooter, but I wore a walking boot for about six weeks, then sneakers for about six weeks, then about three months of ugly comfort shoes (think SAS sandals) before slowly transitioning to normal shoes. I did PT for my foot because I’m still a dancer and wanted to ensure good mobility, and I’m glad I did. The recovery was pretty terrible (unsurprisingly, considering my surgery consisted of breaking six bones) but unbelievably worth it to be pain free and be able to do things I enjoy. I wear heels and other cute shoes that I want, the only criteria being that they are of good quality and fit well.

  7. Anonymous :

    Any recs for summertime outfits, especially dresses, that are appropriate for a casual-side of business casual environment? It’s finally HOT where I am, and I’m suffocating in my regular work clothes.

    • cat socks :

      The majority of my summer dresses are the fit & flare style from Lands End. I also like Max Studio. I’ve found several of those at Nordstrom Rack. It’s always cold in the office so I wear a cardigan or dark denim jacket.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Pencil skirt and dressy tee. At least that’s what I’m going with this summer, since the conversion to open offices also made our area extremely warm.

    • I almost exclusively wear dresses in the summer for comfort reasons and echo the recommendation for Lands’ End. Their summer-weight dresses are always great for me and keep me from getting too hot. I’ve also found good ones at Target in the Merona line, online, in the past but I haven’t checked for this summer (I’m pretty well stocked up right now and not shopping). I know some people love Boden dresses but nothing I’ve ever ordered from there has worked for me.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I like the London Times dresses, especially their shifts. I’m in IT, so the prints aren’t out of line with my office.

  8. Trouble Conceiving :

    My husband and I have been TTC for a year, and I’m nearing AMA, so I’m ready to go see a doctor about it.

    Who should this appointment be with — my usual OB/GYN or a fertility specialist? What should I expect from/be prepared for at this appointment?


    • Anonymous :

      IIRC, you probably want your primary OB/GYN to refer you to a reproductive endocrinologist at a fertility practice. Was OB/GYN aware of this previously (that you were TTC)? Usually if you are ~AMA, they say to refer after 6 months.

    • Anonymous :

      You normally need a referral to any kind of medical specialist, so you’ll have to start with your OBGYN.

    • If your insurance will cover it, go directly to a reproductive endocrinologist.

      • +1.

      • Midwest Mama :

        + a million. After spending too much time following the advice of my OBGYN, I wish more than anything that I wouldn’t have wasted so much time with her (who is great, by the way, just not what we needed) and gone right to a reproductive endocrinologist.

      • +1. There are approximately a million things that could be causing the issue, and your ob/gyn is not equipped to handle almost all of them. The only thing that may be worthwhile is that your ob/gyn might have a relationship with an RE and be able to get you in earlier than if you cold-called. I suppose you could just call your ob/gyn’s office and ask. If you are in NYC I have a great recommendation.

      • +1 for this. I just had an initial consult with an RE (DH and I were only at 7 months of TTC, but I have some underlying health issues that can make it harder for us, so I wanted to go in sooner). We spent about 45 minutes talking in her office, going over my and DH’s medical and family histories and our attempts to get pregnant thus far. She offered to do an ultrasound, some blood testing, and schedule an HSG (she could have done everything but the HSG in her office that day). She was also going to send DH for a sperm analysis. Since our insurance would cover the RE consultation but not the testing until we hit 12 months, I passed on the testing at the time (and it turns out I was pregnant – just didn’t know it yet!). Good luck.

    • I would make it with an RE. Your ob/gyn probably wouldn’t do much, so it probably isn’t the best use of your time. You may not need a referral to go to an RE (I didn’t).

    • You need a reproductive endocrinologist, but you may have to get a referral from your primary care doctor or OB/GYN first. Be firm in asking for the referral. Sometimes you’ll run into a GYN who tries to tell you to “give it more time” or who will try to treat you themselves. In my case, both my husband and I had fertility issues that my GYN wouldn’t have been able to uncover through routine testing; we could have tried for years and never gotten pregnant without discovering and getting around those issues. I was only 27 when I went to the RE and my GYN gave me the referral with no problems, but thought I was jumping the gun even though we’d been trying over a year. It took another year to get pregnant after we started seeing the RE. Be prepared to be your own strong advocate as you start the process. Good luck to you.

      • +1. I went to my OB/GYN for a referral at 26, and she basically ignored me due to my age (“Are you sure you didn’t miss X? There’s quite a lot of user error in first timers…!” Eye roll.). Turns out, my issues couldn’t have been discovered through routine testing. If I had not been very forceful, we’d probably still be wasting time with “trying” or low-level non-invasive procedures–and for me, time was of the essence.

        Be your own best advocate. Take notes, chart, read up about statistics, ask allllll the questions. Odds are good you won’t need all this information, but having it will speed up the diagnosis process. Good luck.

  9. Arrival of intern fashion :

    Today in the elevator — 4″ gladiator stiletto slingback sandals. I’m curious: what do you wear when you really want to party it up if that is what you wear to work?

    • One of our post-grad intern types looks like she is headed to Coachella today!!

      • Nice. Is she wearing a mask a la Breaking Bad? Or is that more Burning Man (BM seems very Mad Max to me — I want to go spectate sometime in my lifetime)?

    • She wears translucent, light up, blinky 6″ heels with a major platform. And must be the gf of one of my former coworkers, since she wore these to a very formal company anniversary party. I can’t tell you what anyone else wore that night, but those shoes will live on forever.

      • “She wears translucent, light up, blinky 6″ heels with a major platform.”

        OMG. Str*pper heels at the office party; that’s definitely a way to make a lasting impression. I would have died laughing; props to you if you didn’t (at least not in front of her).

    • Awww–honestly, I feel kind of bad for her because I look back on some of the stuff I wore as an intern that I thought was “office appropriate” that in retrospect…so wasn’t. (I also couldn’t afford to buy new clothes, but most of my problem was a lack of awareness anyway.).

    • haha. Here in DC it’s also the new staffers. Look, there they go commuting on the train in 4+ inch heels! And they’re not all young – I swear a Kellyanne C look-alike moved into my building who wears short dresses, bare legs and 5 inch heels every day and totters down to the lobby to catch her Uber. (At least she’s smart enough not to try to get on the metro in those.)

  10. Off-key Valkyrie :

    I have short hair for the first time ever, and I need a help with product. I’m not even looking for brand recs, I just have no idea what I’m shopping for.

    I want something that will softly keep my bangs from falling forward. Probably a product I smush with my fingers, not a spray. What is that called?

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I like the bumble & bumble Semisumo Pomade.

    • My hairdresser uses a bit of pomade or hair putty on the front part of my hair to keep it from falling into my face. I’ve never purchased it so I’m not sure of the brand, but maybe searching for either of those could be a starting point.

    • cat socks :

      Styling paste? I wear my bangs swept off to the side and I’ve used Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Finishing Paste to keep them in place.

    • Pomade. I like this one because it doesn’t weigh my hair down. One container lasts me a year. https://www.amazon.com/Sexy-Hair-Frenzy-Texture-Pomade/dp/B007P0MMX6/ref=sr_1_5_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1494857253&sr=8-5&keywords=sexy+hair

    • Sebastian craft clay. 1 pot will last you a year (or more) if you are just using it on your bangs. Less than a pea sized amount needed.

    • Also short hair :

      This is good for a soft hold at the roots of your bangs:

      My favorite for a flexible but firmer hold at the moment:

      And if you have coarser hair, this should work well. I have fine hair and it can make it limp.

      I used to love DEP styling paste but alas it’s been discontinued.

  11. Anonymous :

    Anyone else panic when starting TTC? Is it a sign I’m not ready or is it a normal thing that I just need to ignore? (I’ve never been on hormonal BC so it’s a very in-the-moment decision and in the moment I keep freaking out and making the decision to leave the goalie in place, unless I know it’s a time of the month when I’m very unlikely to become pregnant).

    • Have a few drinks before the next few times?

      • Anonymous :

        Or throw the condoms away?

      • I wouldn’t recommend throwing caution to the wind when you’re not sure. Take a break from TTC temporarily and see how you feel – relief? Silly for having worried too much? Excited, but nervous about timing? Having a child is the probably the most life-altering decision you can ever make and if you need alcohol to get that going, it might not be right for you.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s totally normal to feel like being a mom is a big scary thing that you don’t know how to do. I have three kids and still feel that way some days. You’ll figure out what works for you and it will be okay and even amazing lots of times.

      If it’s to the point where you’re completely freaked out then maybe take a break for a month and figure out what’s behind that stress. Nervousness is pretty common but if you don’t actually want to be pregnant then maybe take a break from TTC.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yes, 100% this. My DH and I talked about trying every month for about a year before we actually started trying and each time opted to not try. We weren’t ready. I think it’s normal to be (very) nervous about taking that next step.

    • Midwest Mama :

      I think that’s a common feeling because it’s such a life changing decision. We were more than ready when TTC #1 and when I got a positive test, I remember panicking and thinking “what have we done??” But that feeling passed and we were excited and happy.

      • +1. It took us 7 months to conceive and I still panicked when I saw a positive pregnancy test. Now we’re excited and happy (and still a little bit freaked out, which I think is normal!).

    • Same Feeling :

      I’m in the exact same place right now. Actually my husband and I each oscillate between “let’s do this!” and “omg can we actually do this?’ We are the type of people to research and prepare before starting something, so it seems crazy to just wing it on parenting. But at the same time, it seems premature to start looking into specific nannies or day cares before even starting TTC. (If you can’t tell, child care is our #1 apprehension.) It probably doesn’t help that we don’t have any friends in the city where we live who have kids.

    • I think it’s pretty normal. In fact, I think that the nervousness indicates that you have a firmer grasp of the enormous potential for change that a kid brings.

      • Yeah, this. In my experience, people fall into two camps when TTC #1. Those who are sort of blissfully unaware of the horrors of childbirth and life with a newborn and eagerly get down to business and those who are extremely Type A and have researched the h e l l out of pregnancy, childbirth and life with children and have a much better sense of what they’re getting into, and have to overcome a lot of nerves to start trying. I was definitely the latter and a lot of my friends were too. All of us love being moms and (based on my admittedly tiny sample size) there doesn’t seem to be any correlation between eagerness to TTC and enjoyment of parenthood.

    • People are probably going to call me a troll for this, but I acted absolutely insane when we were talking about trying. For almost a year this is what happened almost every month: my husband and I discussed ditching the cond*ms, I said no I’m not ready and then when I got my period I went to the bathroom and cried…even though I had not unprotected s*x and my period was totally expected. I can’t explain it. I’ve never behaved so irrationally before or since. It’s a weird, scary time and I think it messes with your head.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I do not think that is weird at all. We went through fertility treatment and when I finally took a positive pregnancy test I completely felt panic despite completely wanting a baby….

    • I completely took the coward’s way out of this. DH and I (bf at the time) moved to the withdraw/ rhythm method and decided that what happened, happened. So I was able to track my periods and feel as if I was avoiding the most fertile times, while at the same time allowing fate to intervene. Which it did, because the rhythm method isn’t birth control, obviously.

      Of course, better to be an actual adult and make an actual adult decision. Probably. I wouldn’t know.

  12. Easy snack meals :

    I keep trying to make meal prep or planning ahead work, but it just doesn’t. I’m in grad school and I always have something else I need to be doing. What does work for me, and what I want to improve on, is snacking for dinner and/or the no-cook dinner (such as big salads). I actually love eating this way (good bread and cheese may be one of my favorite combos ever), but if I’m going to roll with this lifestyle for the time being, I might want to jazz it up a bit to ensure more variety and more healthy options. What are your best no-cook or low-effort snacking/appetizer style meals? I like pretty much anything and trend towards Paleo (I eat bread most days, but not many other grains in general). I would be especially interested in good veggie options since if left to my own devices, I might lean too hard on bread and cheese.

    • I’m a grazer and would prefer a picnic style dinner to a sit-down meal. I’d think about a mix of homemade and prepared stuff. Some things I like: sliced veggies and hippie sauce, whatever fruit is in season, yogurt, nuts and dried cranberries, falafel, stuffed vine leaves, hard boiled eggs, smoked salmon and rye bread.

    • Bread and cheese for dinner usually is actually the opposite of paleo! What about cooking some salmon Sunday night and having it cold with cucumbers and tomatoes? Or hard boiled eggs, hummus, and red peppers? Or chicken grilled and served with salad?

      • I don’t want to snark, but – for real. If you eat bread every day that is not “trending towards Paleo.” Real Paleo diets don’t allow bread or cheese. There are some great books out there if you’re interested in what a real Paleo diet looks like.

        I’m not strictly Paleo any more but I try to eat my main meal of the day before 5, so my dinners are lighter. There’s nothing wrong with having a salad with protein for dinner every day if you want to. Sundays, I buy prewashed salad mix and grill enough chicken​ to last me through Wednesday for either lunch or dinner. I use vinegar and oil dressing and keep some fun things like spicy pumpkin seeds around to throw on my salads to keep them from getting boring. I also make smoothies for dinner pretty frequently, with almond milk, fruit and Orgain protein powder. Other ideas:

        Flaxseed Muffin in a Minute (Google the recipe) and a couple of eggs scrambled in coconut oil, with fruit or a small salad.

        Omelet with smoked salmon and side salad.

        Grilled chicken or steak and steamed frozen veggies (there are tons of great blends out there now, look for ones that don’t have a ton of other stuff like butter already added). Frozen veggies can be as healthy for you (or more) than fresh.

        • Easy snack meals :

          Thanks for the ideas, but most Paleo guidelines allow cheese (Whole30 does not). Bread is definitely not paleo, but eating bread once a day most days is Paleo enough for me when the rest of my meals are protein and veggie based. Everyone has a different definition of trending towards Paleo, whether that’s 90/10 or 80/20 or a variety of grains on an occasional basis or whatever it is.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Hummus + cut up veggies

      Store bought rotisserie chicken + greens

      Black beans + roasted veggies + topped with a soft boiled egg. This one requires a little bit of effort but it’s no more than 30 minutes and will set you up for a few days. Roast a sheet pan of veggies (~25 minutes) – buy pre-chopped veggies so it’s easier – and you’ll have them all week to add to salads/as sides. Boil an egg for 6 minutes and briefly plunge in an ice bath. You can make the soft boiled egg in advance and rewarm it in 120 degree water for 1 minute. I was skeptical, but it works!

    • I love me a good chopped salad. If you don’t get too bored, you can spend half an hour chopping one day, and eat the same thing for several days. I use lettuce as a base and put in some combination of hard boiled eggs, cheese, bell peppers, apples, carrots, and random leftovers. I make a simple dressing with olive oil, mustard, lemon and salt. Healthy and light and refreshing for summertime.

      Or I guess if you want to do the “appetizer” thing, just cheese, prosciutto or smoked salmon, and a bunch of grilled veggies.

    • Anomnibus :

      Sometimes if I’m feeling lazy, but still want something with meat, I heat up some frozen chicken nuggets and dip them in szechuan sauce.

    • Canned fish is no-prep, shelf stable, and a great source of protein and Omegas
      How about making soup once a week. A simple pureed soup of in-season veggie(s) can be quick one-time prep and will keep all week. You can also make several, freeze portions, and switch it up during the week. Add salad, fish, nuts, bread and cheese, whatever.

    • I eat this way too. I like a panzanella with fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil, some kind of good dressing that you personally like, and crusty bread. Sometimes I toss in chickpeas for protein.

  13. I’m working on a project that is something like a mini-biography of a particular person. Said person is a very senior citizen man and I am a younger female (mid-30s) whose looks read as early/mid 20s (not my dress/style, just my genes). I’m super polite, professional, qualified (was requested to do this project). We’re coming out of the prep stage to actually do the work face-to-face and I am wondering… how to keep my calm & polite on. We’ve been mainly communicating via email so when he says things that are annoying it’s easier to self manage. I’m not sure if I’m overly sensitive/reading too much into things/have too much ego/overthinking but his behavior strikes me (and I’ve been flaring up, pun intended) as misogynistic, agist, arrogant, condescending etc. I’m not going to quit, because a little anxiety never hurt anyone right? It’s a great opportunity for me that I just can’t put down. Any tips/coping mechanisms for how to keep my temper dampened when confronted with these disturbances but even better to not let this person annoy me, phrases to use if something is bizarre etc would be so helpful!! TIA!

    • This may sound a little woo-woo and out there, but when I have to deal with people like that, I have two coping mechanisms which were taught to me by a mind-body therapist years ago:

      1 – When I’m alone before I meet with the person, I take a moment to physically draw a bubble in the air around myself. It’s a reminder of the boundary between me and other people.

      2 – When I’m with a person who is pushing my buttons, but I need to stay in the room and in the moment, I use my hands to push on another part of my body unobtrusively, but with some pressure. For example, I’ll push one or both hands down on the tops of my thighs if I’m sitting in a chair. This is a physical reminder that this (my body) is me, and what I’m hearing/seeing/experiencing from the other person is not me.

      Seriously, both of these techniques have saved me countless times.

    • Think of yourself as an anthropologist. You’re documenting this behavior and mindset for history, so others can learn from it. Remove yourself from a participant and think of yourself as an impartial observer. You’re just recording his thoughts, or interacting to get him to expand on his thoughts. Or think of him as another species, and try to understand why his attitude made sense for his environment. Keep it as impersonal as possible.

      • I tried (and mostly failed) to do this in a recent argument with my 93-year old father about women in the workforce. He’s otherwise a wonderful person but believes women were never held back by gender discrimination. It got a bit testy and I sure wish I had held back, because it wasn’t worth the argument.

    • Won’t his horrible tendencies shine through in your finished product? Like, when you interview him and he makes a misogynistic comment, put that into your finished piece. That way, you can cope with his horribleness by quietly smiling to yourself and knowing that he will be exposed for the arrogant jerk he is.

    • I’m an actual historian, so this is my life! I do a lot of interviews with people who have very different views of the world than I do. I manage by reminding myself that I’m finding out useful/interesting stuff that will shape the book that I’m writing. So I think the trick for you is to figure out what the story you want to tell in this biography is – doesn’t have to be about how this guy is so great, it could be using his life to tell the history of the industry he worked in, or the town he lives in, or whatever fits the project. There’s an interesting story in there somewhere. And a good story will allow for complexity in portraying the main figure.

  14. Hair Product :

    Any recommendations for a light smoothing lotion for curly hair? Looking for something that I can use to refresh my curls in the morning.

  15. Friday wedding? :

    For those of you that have had them, what’s the thought behind Friday weddings? I just got an invite to a Friday wedding that starts at…3:30pm. And apparently goes until 11.

    I know Fridays are cheaper, but for this wedding even the local people (major city so many guests are local) have to take the day off. For out of town guests I guess there isn’t too much difference between 3pm and 7pm for a non weekend day, but still- is the expectation that people won’t be able to make it? Or do people do the rude thing and skip the ceremony and show up after work for the reception (which in this case starts at 5:30)?

    I’ve been to a lot of weddings but this is a first.

    • Anonymous :

      I had a Friday wedding. Ceremony started at 6 pm, so local people didn’t have to take off of work (or at most, maybe had to leave an hour early). We knew that most of the people flying in from out of town were in our wedding party, so they would have taken off Friday even if we had a Saturday wedding (and no one took off Thursday; our rehearsal dinner was late Thursday evening and a bunch of people couldn’t make it, which was fine).

    • I had a Friday wedding at 3:30 pm because that was the most convenient time that City Hall (major city) had available. People flew in from out of town the day before and it was no problem for the mostly local crowd. We said on the invite that we understood if people could only make it to the restaurant for the reception afterward, but only 1 person wasn’t able to make it to the ceremony. If you can’t make it, then don’t go. That was our expectation, but we had something like 95% RSVP yes.

    • Anonymous :

      I think often it’s venue availability. Around here many venues are booked on all Saturday nights for over a year out. If you want to be married sooner, you’re looking at Fridays. I think couples expect that people who want and are able to come will, and others will decline, just like any other wedding. And yes, sometimes people need to skip the ceremony, and that’s fine.

    • I had a Friday wedding ten years ago. I only realize now how much of a burden likely was for guests.

      We didn’t do it because it was cheaper. We got married at the same church my family has gotten married at for 3 generations. Plus the reception had to be at a hotel to accommodate some family members whose kids had disabilities and there were only two hotels in town that would have worked for a variety of reasons. Some of the Saturday church dates didn’t have hotel dates open and vice versa – hence the Friday wedding. We booked 10 months out. I would try to assume good intentions about the wedding you’ve been invited to.

      That said, we had a good turn out and I very much appreciated everyone that came to the ceremony. I think a number of people came from work and then ‘dressed up’ prior to reception. If that’s an option for you, an office appropriate dress is totally fine for wedding attire. Then you’d only have to take a couple hours off (3-5 ish).

    • The thought is that it’s what worked best for the couple. Maybe there’s a religious reason. Maybe grandma has very strict medical needs and the nurse is only available on a weekday. Or maybe the couple likes the way the sun filters through the trees at precisely 3:30 on a Friday afternoon. The why is irrelevant. Their wedding, their deal.

      However, an invitation is not a subpoena. If a couple plans their wedding for the middle of the workday then they (should) know a lot of people won’t be able to attend at that time. In fact, I’d venture a guess that this is intentional; maybe the couple wants an intimate ceremony. Tell the couple you’d love to join them to celebrate their marriage but you won’t be able to take time off work that day, is it OK if you get to the reception at 5:30.

    • I’ve been to three Friday night weddings and they were planned that way because of cost. While some people have other valid reasons, a lot of venues, photographers, etc, will charge less on Fridays. One was an evening reception so was easy for local guests. The other two were out of town for everyone (locations picked because they were cheaper) and were on Fridays of holiday weekends. Those were a PITA.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I had a Friday wedding. I’m Hindu and it was super important for our families to have the wedding on an auspicious day (determined by the horoscopes of the bride and groom per Vedic astrology). Saturdays are considered inauspicious so that’s out, and while a Sunday would have been ideal the next Sunday opening for our venue was nearly a year out. So hence, it was on a Friday. I got married very young and had very little understanding at the time of the efforts people went through to be there, particularly out of town folks, but I appreciated it so, so much.

    • I had a Friday night wedding. While it was cheaper, our decision was based on availability of the venue more so than cost. It began at 5:30, about an hour from where we lived. Most guests were from across the country. At the time, I did not consider that it could be an inconvenience, but I certainly would not have been offended if people couldn’t make the ceremony and just showed up for the reception (and there were guests that did that).

      If it really is that inconvenient for you, don’t go.

    • I don’t think Friday weddings are rude because the bride and groom should do what they want. There are a lot of reasons besides cost that people have non-Saturday weddings. That said, the bride and groom have to understand that many people won’t be able to come to the wedding because of the time. I wouldn’t feel obligated to skip work to attend a wedding unless it was the wedding of a family member or very good friend.

    • Anon for this :

      I had a Friday evening wedding. I come from a very large family and all the older generation was tired of having numerous summer weekends co-opted by the Saturday weddings of the 50 first cousins in the second generation. After the first few of those we all had Friday evening weddings – mostly so the Aunties and Uncles could have the rest of their weekends free, I think. Cost was not a factor. Had anyone not been able to make the ceremony and/ reception due to travel requirements that would not have been considered rude. Of course most of our family was local.

      Tribble is right about the invitation not being a command to attend. Surely most couples are aware of this? We were very grateful that people made time to celebrate with us but certainly did not feel one ounce of pique when we received RSVP no’s.

    • Senior Attorney :

      My first wedding was on the Friday after Thanksgiving, many years ago. We treated it like a Saturday and had it in the middle of the day, on the (correct) assumption that pretty much everybody would have the day off that day. I feel like part of the rationale was the same as Anon at 11:19, in that we didn’t want to take up the whole weekend with a Saturday wedding. We were young and the wedding and all our friends were local, so people having to travel didn’t really figure into the planning. Some people couldn’t come and that was fine, but we ended up with close to 200 guests.

    • If you are Jewish (or at serious enough about it for this type of rule to matter, which – full disclosure – I was not), you are not supposed to get married on the sabbath, which starts at Friday sundown. I have been to a few Jewish weddings that started at what felt like an unreasonably early hour on Friday so that they could get through all of the ceremony/pictures/toasts in time to let observant people get home before sundown. The less observant folks could stay on late for the rest of the party.

      • Huh. I’m Jewish and have been to a ton of Jewish weddings but they’ve mostly been on Sundays with a few starting on Saturday after sundown (more common in winter when sundown is early). I’ve never heard of Jews getting married on Friday, even early in the day.

        • This. Married to someone from a very observant family.

          We’ve been to lots of sunday weddings but never heard of a Friday wedding. Usually Fridays are already a bit of a scramble to get everything ready prior to the sabbath and throwing a wedding in there seems to be a lot.

    • If you schedule your wedding at this time, you know you’ll lose some people. No worries if one of those people is you unless you’re family / VERY close. Just don’t go if you can’t work it – the bride and groom know that’s a possibility and scheduled this time anyway.

    • Please decline. If their invitation doesn’t make you smile, if you’re not happy to be invited, if the invitation leads you to post anonymously about the time, stay home.

    • Anonymous :

      My brother had one because it was 10% cheaper than a Saturday date.

    • Weekender :

      I was in an out-of-town (for me, the bride and groom, their families, and all guests) Tuesday wedding once. It was super annoying. Yes, I know I could have declined, but it was a very close friend and it was a small wedding party, so declining would have caused major issues.

      • My sister had a Monday late afternoon wedding. It was majorly inconvenient for almost everyone (her husband’s friends and family are not local, neither am I), but since it was dry at least no one had a hangover for work the next day!

      • Headed to an out of town Thursday wedding later this summer. Very happy to go and see people; much less happy to be spending three vacation days doing it.

  16. Ladies, need some commiseration (and to vent). I’m a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding along with his fiancee’s sister and cousin. Whenever I’ve been a bridesmaid before, all the bridesmaids collaborate on the bridal shower plans, but these two made it clear they wanted to do it themselves without input from me. They selected the date without me, and the date they picked I couldn’t attend (I’m across the country, but had hoped to be able to come). I sent them an email asking how I could help (suggesting favors or whatever else they needed) and they never responded. Clearly, they wanted to do it themselves so I respected the boundary they set and let it be. I did have custom cookies made to match the theme they selected for the shower that could be used as favors or served at the shower, which they liked. But otherwise, I didn’t know anything about it (and still don’t). It took place last weekend and they are now expecting me to pay for part of it. They made it clear that they didn’t want me involved but do expect me to pay for it. Am I wrong to feel like that’s pretty nervy?

    I’m going to give them the money, this is my brother’s new family and I don’t want to make any waves, but I feel bad about it.

    • Anonymous :

      Hahahah nope. Say no. “Since you didn’t accept my offers to help or pick a date I could even attend, I’m not contributing to this.”

      Make the wave.

      • Brunette Elle Woods :

        I agree. I wouldn’t pay a dime towards the shower. They didn’t let you help plan or pick a day you could attend. I understand the thought that paying could help keep the peace, but they are not your soon to be SIL. How often are you going to see your SIL’s sister and cousin! I would probably put it nicely and say something about the expense of traveling for the wedding and bachelorette party and not being included in the planning of the shower.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yup. I’d say “Oh my gosh! So sorry but since you didn’t ask me to participate I didn’t put it in my budget beyond the cookies! Sorry for the misunderstanding!”

    • Wow, they’re not setting boundaries, they’re being jerks. FWIW, I’d do the same thing – roll my eyes and send the money to keep the peace for my brother’s sake, and make fun of them a lot to my friends. (Assuming the amount of money was not a burden). You’re a good person to suck it up for his sake.

      • No way! I would not contribute to this – you got cookies and that’s enough. This is the time to have a backbone, as hard as it can be with family pressure and all .

      • Agreed. Not the hill I’d want to die on- you’re a good person for just keeping the peace. Roll eyes and move on.

      • Unless it’s like, $20, no don’t pay. Presumably they spent your money without asking how much or whether you were okay with it? No.

        Write back and say “My apologies, since I wasn’t involved in the hosting or planning of the shower, I haven’t worked this into my budget. Hope it went smoothly!” And be done with it.

        If drama is likely to ensue, then make sure your brother knows you offered but weren’t asked to be involved in any of the planning or hosting of the shower.

    • Your brother’s fiancee’s family is beyond rude. I don’t think I could keep quiet in that situation — I’d definitely tell my brother in the hopes that he would tell his fiancee (because they are probably not above making up some BS about how you didn’t lift a finger). And I would definitely not contribute anything to the shower. Give your brother a nicer/bigger wedding gift instead.

    • Don’t give them the money. They are being ridiculous.

      “Hi Sis, sorry but I won’t be able to contribute as I wasn’t asked to participate in the planning and couldn’t attend. You both did a beautiful job from the pictures I’ve seen!”

    • Yeah, that’s pretty nervy. And I’d probably say something. Maybe something like “Hey – was a little surprised to get a request to help pay for the party. I’m happy to contribute, but it feels a little weird to do so when I wasn’t involved in any of the planning. Could you make sure to loop me in on the planning for any of the other bridesmaid events you’d like me to help pay for? ”

      Could it be that someone said something to them at the shower about all the bridesmaids chipping in, and it wasn’t the plan all along?

    • Legally Brunette :

      This is absolutely terrible. If you have to I would pitch in some nominal account but if you’re expected to pay a few hundred dollars then definitely nope nope nope.

    • Oh, I’m so sorry for the confusion– when I didn’t hear back from you guys about planning the shower, and when I didn’t get to have any input on a date that I could attend, I took that to mean you guys were taking care of the shower without me. So, the money I would have spent on the shower, I have already put towards a bigger gift for the couple. I wish I had known! I’m sure the shower was lovely– sorry for the mixup!

    • Really????? No, you should absolutely not have to contribute. As for how to tell them… good luck!

    • I wouldn’t contribute. I don’t think it’s crazy for a couple of bridesmaids to plan the shower alone (is one of them the maid of honor?) but if they didn’t give you any input into budget/planning they can’t turn around and ask you to contribute.

    • Has the bachelor*tt* already happened? If not, you can expect them to do the same thing. I wouldn’t hand over cash, even if it’s like $20, if only to set the precedent that they don’t get to plan a party and then hand me the bill.

      And if you tell them no, don’t apologize. No “I’m sorry but….” Don’t apologize for not letting them push you around.

      • This is one of those times that “I’m sorry” is better than the implicit “eff you” that will be read into it without any gratuitous “I’m sorry”ing.

        • I think there’s a way to say “I’m sorry” with a strong subtext of “eff you,” and that’s exactly what anon at 10:29’s message gets across while maintaining a screen of plausible deniability in the name of family harmony.

    • Thanks for the validation ladies, I needed that. I don’t have the guts to push back, and if I did, I know it will end up making me look like the bad guy somehow, but being understood makes me feel better at least!

      • Ok not to hijack, but can you expand on this a little more? When you say you don’t have the guts to pushback, what does that mean? Why can’t you do it? My new sister-in-law is like this, but I worry I’ll offend her if I ask, and I’m really curious to understand her better. I come from a really aggressive, opinionated family so I don’t understand what holds someone back from what I see as a really reasonable boundary. My husband says it’s a fear of conflict, but what is the fear? Aren’t they the ones creating the conflict, you’re just responding to it like a normal person. I assume I’m missing something…

    • I wouldn’t give them the money. I would send back an email that said, “I understand you went to some expense, but since I wasn’t involved in the planning or decision-making for the event, I’m going to decline to pay for it. Thanks!” And that’s that. Bottom line, you will probably see these people very infrequently in the future so don’t worry too much about “making waves.” At the same time, don’t set up expectations that you are a sucker or a pushover. They wanted to do the event their way; they can pay for it. Their nonresponse to you was rude and the request for money post-facto is even ruder. Don’t reward bad behavior.

  17. My former boss was let go at the end of his new employee probationary period. I’m his replacement. All is going well, but I keep having these terrible dreams that he’s yelling at me for getting him fired and ruining his life. Logically, I know that’s crazy — HE was the one who wasn’t understanding the job or showing the capacity to do it well. Plenty of people noticed that he wasn’t performing, but I have some residual, misplaced guilt because I know my “testimony,” if you will, was the final straw. I spoke up in a way that I never have before. He was not a good boss and was in way over his head, but I do feel bad for him as a person. Any ideas on how to move past this when my subconscious seems to keep reminding me that I’m one of the reasons he’s gone?

    • Before you go to bed tonight, close your eyes and picture yourself having this conversation with your former boss:

      You: I’m sorry for contributing to your firing, but I was being truthful and I had to be truthful.
      Boss: You did the right thing. You deserve this position.

      Replay it over and over and affirm it in your mind to help change the subconscious thought pattern. Hope it helps!

    • fake coffee snob :

      Can you write him a letter (and throw it away – don’t send it) expressing what you feel? Sounds cheesy, but I find that that’s a good way to work through any type of residual feelings I struggle with.

  18. Where do rockstars shop? :

    I feel like we know all about where Kate Middleton shops. Where does Sally Yates shop? I feel like I get how to do power SV and Kate Middleton and celebrity red carpet outfits, which is useless to me for SEUS BigLaw. I really am curious where Sally Yates (& similar people) shop. I get that Angela Merkel is a powerful woman (but like HRC, I don’t want to dress like her).

    FWIW, I am still at the same mall shops that I shopped at when I first started working. BR is good for pears, so I’ve been buying a wool suit from there every six months or so and donating the oldest ones forever. I wear the suit pieces more as separates or a fluffed-up suit (like with a very fun blouse or very simple blouse or fun shoes or jewelry). Boss and BB don’t work for my shape. St. John seems too old and St. John-ish.

    Sally — spill your closet’s secrets!!!

    • Check this out – https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/why-are-washingtons-most-powerful-women-all-wearing-this-jacket/2016/06/26/b468d646-3706-11e6-a254-2b336e293a3c_story.html?utm_term=.5c11a0980a29

      • Where do rockstars shop? :

        I also read the WSJ Nina article. I really respect the business she has built up, but if HRC and Janet Yellen and Elena Kagan can wear her jackets, I most definitely can’t. I need a two-button stance (3 makes me look a bit like Mike Meyers as Dr. Evil). And a defined waist / torso. This would be all sorts of wrong on me.

        I have bought some Akris on eBay and have two phenomonal pieces. And also two items that went straight to goodwill. Definitely can’t afford that retail (and some of their stuff, like Lafayette 148, is very Sprokets / Old Devo video in their marketing pieces; no thank you).

        Grrr — I can get the Big Job but I feel like I have nothing Big Job-ish to wear.

      • Those do not look like power jackets to me, they look like frumpy old lady jackets. And they would absolutely swallow a small person.

        • Two Cents :

          I agree, these jackets look awful.

          • Anonymous :

            I think that they are high quality jackets that are OK on a Woman of a Certain Age and Build. I am not that woman even though I am in my late 40s.

        • Based on the article, it looks like they’re targeting baby boomer women who also don’t have conventionally great figures. And then there was something about neutral colors not looking great on television. Based on the way they’ve described this niche market, it makes sense. Incidentally, I think they’re hideous.

    • I am not Sally Yates or a rockstar, but I have a feeling it’s a lot of Armani. She might also not wear her normal clothing when she’s testifying in front of Congress.

      I like Lafayette 148 for a look that is more upscale than generic mall store. I’m kind of a pear (more front-to-back pear than side-to-side pear) and it really works for me.

      • Anonymous :

        I wear lots of mall brands and generally look more put-together than my co-workers, but I get comments when I wear Lafayette 148.

    • anon a mouse :

      Betsy Fisher. Saks Jandel (before it closed). Riziks.

      And I assume that a Nordstrom/Saks/Bloomingdales here in DC area is used to helping power women with their wardrobes. Several of them have much more extensive power-suiting collections than I’ve seen in other cities.

    • My best friend is a very high government official in the current administration. For her confirmation hearing, she wore one of my (big firm salary) suits. For interviews with members of Congress, she wore her own. Maybe she trades clothes with a friend?

    • Seventh Sister :

      I suspect some Hugo Boss, also some of them may be having suits made (this is more common with men).

  19. WFH with midday exercise: its real :

    I’m thinking about last weeks discussion, just as I’m just about to head off to my 9:45am soul cycle class. My boss is fine with this. It can be a real thing, that many normal, ethical, and hardworking people do.

    On the other hand, I’m on a 5:45am flight to the west coast tomorrow, and will fly back on a Friday night redeye. There’s some jobs where you might need to be available 8-5 or 9-6, and then there’s some like mine when I’m needed in fits and starts. It doesnt necessarily mean anyone is cheating the company or isnt working as hard.

    • This. I am another one who determines my exercise ( and grocery shopping, etc.) time depending on the work tasks I need to complete in a given day. I work very hard and a lot of hours, but I also know how to utilize my flexible scheduling benefits so they improve my work and my life as a whole.

      For example, I worked from 5:30 this morning until 11:30 and am now taking a break until about 1. Then I will work until 5 or 6 or so, depending on when I finish my second case of the day.

      • alexisfaye :

        Me, too. I am so grateful for the flexibility. On the other hand, if I have to work at the crack of dawn, late into the night, on weekends, or whatever… it is what it is. My boss says take the time when it’s there, because we work too hard, otherwise.

  20. check out Nina McLemore. there was a piece on her in the washington post a couple years ago (link stuck in moderation)

    • Where do rockstars shop? :

      I read that article and got really excited about it at first. But it seems to maybe work on someone shaped a bit differently and who is perhaps a bit older.

      An article close in time mentioned MM LaFleur (which I really like, but won’t want a 100% MM closet b/c I have not figured out how to wear the unlined dresses with tights). Finding MM was very helpful! But what else is out there? And how to these very busy ladies find it?

      I do not think that Angela Merkel or Condi Rice has a personal shopper at Nordstrom. Maybe Sally Yates does that (she is a rockstar, but even on an SES salary, she may still shop at the mall like me).

      • Funny story- a friend of mine is an Air Force pilot. Several years ago, Condi Rice was on one of her flights and was rocking a pair of Louboutin pumps. I wouldn’t rule out the personal shopper at Nordstrom

      • On the MM with tights, I’ve just gotten a cheap half slip off Amazon that does the trick. I think I spent $8 so a worthwhile investment all in all. It’s annoying to have to remember one more thing, but I’ll take that for the ability to machine wash
        But to your original question, yes. Love Sally Yates’ powerful look.

      • I don’t think there’s some secret bada$$ lady store you’re missing out on. I think people like Merkel or Rice probably do have the resources that allow them to outsource the task of searching for appropriate clothing, which is probably the most time-consuming part of the process.

  21. I went off hormonal birth control (the Ortho Evra patch to be specific) more than a year ago. A while later I started breaking out pretty bad with acne. I figured it was a temporary situation as my body “reset” after being on BC for years and that it would go away after a bit, especially because I never had bad acne prior to going on BC (even as a teen I was lucky to have relatively clear skin). However, more than a year later, the acne is still going strong, even as I’ve developed a stricter cleansing routine.

    I am thinking about making an appointment with a dermatologist to see what can be done to reduce the acne, but I am assuming she will just put me on some kind of prescription acne medicine that will treat the symptoms but not address what (I assume) is the underlying issue- that my estrogen levels are lower off BC, and that is what is causing the break outs. I’ve tried to research online ways to increase estrogen to balance hormone levels, but all of the info I’ve found tends to come from non-reputable sources (i.e. lifestyle bloggers).

    Has anyone else dealt with acne after going off BC and, if so, have you found anything that addresses the underlying hormone imbalance rather than just treats the acne?

    • You might look into spironolactone. I experienced the same thing going from birth control pills to an IUD and am still struggling with hormonal acne. Spironolactone worked for me somewhat but I had to stop because I have low blood pressure and it made me very light-headed. After passing out I quit taking it, however it does work for the majority of people.

    • Stop drinking the cool aid. Just go to the doctor. Your estrogen levels are not necessarily too low just because you have acne.

    • I’m the same, so no advice unfortunately, but I do have a deep worry that hormonal BC has been hiding a hormonal imbalance all these years. In addition to acne, I also get more body hair when off BC. Not looking forward to TTC.

      I would go to your PCP and inquire about it but my understanding is that the answer for a lot of doctors is just to put women on hormonal BC, so you may not get anything dealing with the underlying problem.

      • You might be right, the birth control may have been masking PCOS. Increased body hair is a symptom. Your regular PCP or OB/GYN or an endocrinologist can do a very simple battery of blood tests.

    • No advice, just commiseration. I was off the pill for 2 years and my skin was horrific the entire time, even though I had good skin as a teen. I found African black soap worked well as a cleanser.

    • Seconding spironolactone. It was a game changer for me and my adult onset acne.

      • Me (the OP) :

        Thanks to everyone who has weighed in so far up-thread- glad to know I’m not the only one dealing with this. I looked up spironolactone and it has some unsettling side effects (excessive peeing! tumors! lightheadedness that someone mentioned above!) so I’d clearly need to talk to my doctor about this in-depth (or see if they recommend another treatment). Do you think I’m better off going to my PCP or dermatologist about this?

        • This happened to me as well. Decent skin in my teen years, but when I went off the pill I got acne everywhere. Ears/scalp/neck/chest and face, obviously. I still have scarring. I was using Retin A at this time and it did nothing. I’m not proud of it, but I went back on the pill. I couldn’t take it anymore. It cleared up again. In the future I would consider spiro.

        • givemyregards :

          Dermatologist. And I’m on Spiro and the side effects are not that bad – I think you’ll only get really lightheaded if you already have low blood pressure. I was worried about feeling woozy or lightheaded as mine is on the low end of normal and I had no issues. I am peeing more than I used to, but honestly I appreciate a reason to get up from my desk more frequently.

          • +1

            You are worrying about spironolactone side effects disproportionately. Honestly, if we all read the side effects (which list everything possible…) we would never take a medicine again.

            There are ZERO cases of tumors attributed to spironolactone use in humans. The animal studies are based on crazy high doses given very different than how it is dosed in humans. The medicine has been around for many many many decades and is safe. You start on a low dose, you give it a few weeks to see how you tolerate it, and you stay hydrated.

            Going to the bathroom a little more frequently is not much of a sacrifice for having perfect skin for me! And I love the fact that I am less hairy, and less stinky when I sweat. No more stinky feet in the summer!

            But yes – see a dermatologist. I strongly advise against seeing your PCP for this, as you have lots of questions and concerns and a PCP wont be able to answer them appropriately.

            If you are so concerned, topicals (retinA) alone may help, but you will still get some cystic acne on retinoids. But the golden combination for folks like you and I with higher testosterone levels contributing to your acne is spironolactone + retinoids.

    • Are you off BC because you’re TTC? If not, why not go back on BC to address what you think is the underlying problem?

    • Try a high dose of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). There are some Reddit threads (google “acne” and “vitamin B5”) with more specific protocols. I have a sibling whose acne literally cleared up practically overnight when she started taking vitamin B5.

    • See a dermatologist. Never been on hormonal BC (clotting factors and aural migraines = no hormones for me). I tried the spironolactone for a while but stopped because it’s very much a “don’t get pregnant while taking” drug and my husband and I were using barrier methods (which can be unreliable, although were not for us, it was just my crazy fear of accidentally getting pregnant while taking it). I didn’t find that it worked that well for me – I was probably on it for about 6 months. After a few tries, I ended up on a sulfur-based antibiotic and topicals – mostly epiduo and clindymacin swabs with Neutrogena deep clean (which seemed to have the “right” amount of salycilic acid for my skin). When I got pregnant and had to be off most acne (and psoriasis) meds (cue many conversations between my OB and dermatologist about what I could and could not take) it all went to hell in a handbasket, but with all the puking I find I care much less about what my face looks like.

      • Me (the OP) :

        Thanks again to all who have shared your experiences with what has worked/not worked for you to treat hormonal acne- I really appreciate it! I’ll make an appointment with my dermatologist and discuss all of this with her. My multivitamin contains 100% daily value for Vitamin B5 (so maybe that’s already helping me some), but I’ll read more about that along with spiro and the other treatments. Thank you again!

  22. Anyone with a long-distance sister/best friend? Did you go to her baby shower? My best friend, who is like a sister to me and who lives on the other side of the US, is due in a few months. I’d like to visit her after the baby is born (not right after, but at some agreed upon time within a couple of months so I can meet my new ‘niece’ or ‘nephew’). But another good friend of hers (who is local to her) has suggested we co-host a shower for her. The dates she’s proposing are for when my friend is 8 months pregnant, about two months before I’m tentatively looking at flying out to meet the baby. Our mutual friend would host the shower in her home, and it would be low-key and pretty cheap. I’m happy to foot the bill for half the food/beverages/favors but I don’t know how I feel about buying two (~$400) plane tickets to the same place a couple months apart. I could literally afford to go there twice but it would come out of other fun spending and it seems wasteful to make two trips within the space of two months. I don’t particularly enjoy the cheesy baby shower games and if I can only visit once I’d personally much rather go when the baby is here, but maybe attending the shower is more of a social obligation. WWYD? Go just for the shower? Go just to visit the baby? Go twice?

    • I’d just say no.

    • So I would say go to both if you can. The kind of visit you will have before she has the baby will be totally different compared to after. Pre-baby would be a great chance to go for dinner and really catch up. Post-baby, in the first few months, there is a lot of physical recovery and her world will revolve around the baby to a certain extent.

      Can you do the shower a bit earlier so it’s like 3 months between visits? If you’re flying in, that’s perfect excuse for an earlier than average shower.

      • I agree. I’d go twice for my BFF. If it was a true hardship, I wouldn’t, but if I could make it work financially and logistically I’d do it.

      • My bestie gave birth to TRIPLETS on Friday. I flew across the country for her baby shower and plan to visit in about 3 months or so. It was worth it to me. I also used the trip to visit other friends and family and rolled it into a (non-mandatory) work trip while I was on that side of the country. So I’m +one-ing all of this. Go if you can, try to make it as useful as you can. Unless it’s a true financial hardship i don’t think you’ll regret it.

    • Co-host without attending. Pay for half, splurge on a nice cake from just you, and try to work in a FaceTime while she opens your gift.

      “Since I can only swing one flight out there this year, I was planning to come a month or two after the baby is born so I can meet him/her. I would still love to co-host with you – we can plan together and I can split the cost. Does that work for you?”

    • First of all, does she want a shower? I didn’t have a shower because I didn’t particularly want one. So you might start with that. If she does, I think it’s really up to you, as you know your friend best. If she’ll be bothered by the fact that you didn’t make it to the shower, I’d personally suck it up and go. It doesn’t seem terribly wasteful to me. If not, then don’t stress.

    • I’m not having a shower but my BFF is in the US and I’m in the UK. She asked when I wanted her to come (pre or post-baby) and I’ve requested a post-baby visit so she could meet the baby / spend some quality time with me during my maternity leave. I’m so glad I did as I’m scrambling to get everything done and wouldn’t have been able to make a huge amount of time for her visit.

      She came over for my wedding but also came over right after we got engaged to meet my husband and get to know him and that was almost more meaningful, like she was investing in our lives together / welcoming my husband to our little circle?

    • Go for the baby visit and foot half the bill for the shower plus send a gift that can be opened. Thank the friend profusely for throwing this and offer to cover half the costs, but say ‘I’m so sorry that I won’t be able to make it out for that! I look forward to taking you out for a pedi/drink/lunch as thanks when I’m in town.’

      You’ll be there in spirit.

    • Anon for this :

      If my friend spent $400 for plane tickets to come for a (max) half day event I would be a bit upset unless she was rolling in both cash and vacation time. Baby showers are not a “social obligation” that require cross-country travel. I find it a bit amazing that your friend who is co-located suggested that you co-host it with her. It is perfectly acceptable to say that you can’t make it for such an event but are really looking forward to being able to meet the baby.

      It might be nice to offer to pay for half the cost but honestly I don’t even think that is necessary. The last baby shower I went to was a sort of pot-luck with the hostess providing coffee and tea, cakes and some sandwiches.

      I don’t know, maybe I am just old and should start telling kids to get off my lawn.

      • Meh, I would love to have a close friend visit for my baby shower and spend the weekend with me. OP is presumably not flying to the destination just for the three or so hours that she’ll be at the shower. She’s going to spend two or three days visiting her friend. I don’t think most people would feel guilty about a friend visiting them for the weekend unless the friend was really not able to afford the trip.

      • But if it’s her sister-like BFF presumably it’s like a three day weekend visit staying with her friend? I can’t imagine her BFF will make her stay in a hotel and not see her the rest of the time she’s there. Isn’t more a question of whether a pre-baby visit is worth it if there will be a post-baby visit?

      • I don’t it’s weird to come out for a shower and the corresponding weekend or long weekend. I do agree it’s weird and unnecessary to pay for a baby shower you’re not attending, though.

    • New Tampanian :

      I would talk to her about what she wants you to do. If you’re that close, it should be an OK topic. I had these discussions with my BFF regarding her wedding shower as well. There was no way I could do shower, bachelorette, and be a bridesmaid. It was decided I would do bachelorette and wedding. Maybe you can make your trip to see her after the baby a little longer so that you can help around the house.

      Once you and BFF talk, then you respond to the other person in whatever way makes the most sense for y’all.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      When I was pregnant I was pretty “eh, whatever” about baby showers, but then I ended up being very glad that I had two (I lived away from my family, so friends in my new city threw one, and family threw one for me back home). It makes me happy to remember hanging out with friends/family, chatting about how life would change. It’s not a huge deal, but they’re happy memories.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      I didn’t go, with pre-approval from my BFF. I was invited and looked into going, but I had the same concerns. When I talked to her about it, she said not to worry about it. Honestly, if she could have gotten out of it herself without offending people, I think she would have!

      I was already planning to go down and visit her and the baby about a month after the baby was born and she said that was more important to her.

    • If I were your friend, I would want you to skip the shower and come visit me when I could spend one-on-one time with you (or two-on-one time). Unlike a toddler, little babies are very conducive to adult conversation.

      I would just make sure that she can accommodate your visit — my family and my husband’s family are not local either, so we had a ton of house guests in the first few month or two after having a baby.

    • I was in a similar situation last year and my BFF arranged for me to FaceTime into her shower

    • I have two BFFs, one local, one a plane flight away. My BFF from away skipped the shower and came for a longer visit after the birth. There’s very little time to chat at the shower, and both of us felt her money was better spent on a visit where we could actually spend time together. Fwiw she asked if I’d be ok with it and I totally was – so just talk to her and make the right decision for you both.

  23. Just sharing that the Hugo Boss private sale is on, and almost everything is 40% off. If anyone is in need of high quality work basics there are some great deals to be had.

  24. Question on leather shoes – I am relatively new to the world of buying shoes that are above target/payless quality for the first time in my life. They all seem to get considerable wear on the toes and heels, the leather part, not the soles. I have a lovely pair of boots I bought last spring in the end of season sales. I got a lot of wear out of them Sept-April, and the toes of them show it big time. There is like mild tearing to the surface leather on the toe. Is this something a cobbler can fix? Do I just need to figure out what weird way I walk that causes this issue in all my shoes and call these ones a sacrifice to the cause? Help? If they were target I would toss them, but they’re not and I’m not sure what reasonable life expectancy is for nicer leather. I only wear flats if that makes any difference.

    • What type of leather is it (what shoe brand)? Are they tears or scuffs? For something mild, you can polish them at home.

    • I scuff the toes of my shoes too. With nicer shoes, I have a cobbler put on toe taps to prevent it. Depending on the wear, you can try polishing them or ask the cobbler to do it when you get the taps put on.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      When you buy shoes that are nice take them right away to a cobbler (before wearing them!) to put on non skid bottoms, to winterize them, to put on leather sealant etc.

      Then every season after that take them to be cleaned and have repairs made and have all the scuffs taken out and re-weatherize them.

    • Take them to a cobbler. I have some 30 year old leather boots that were my mom’s and pretty beat up. I took them to a cobbler and they look brand new now. He was able to buff out the scruffiness of the leather and replaced the worn down heels.

  25. We are getting a new security system at work that uses credit card sized id cards instead of key fobs. Luckily, we don’t have to wear the id cards but do have to carry them all the time. I’m planning to get a new phone case that has a holder for an id card or credit card. Any suggestions on companies that make such phone cases?

    • I have an Incipio Stowaway iphone case that holds a couple of credit cards. It’s pretty durable.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I liked my Incipios too — I got a new, cuter case that doesn’t hold a card and it bums me out.

    • I have a nice leather one from Prodigee that I like. This one: https://www.iamprodigee.com/collections/iphone-6-plus-6s-plus-collection/products/handee-for-iphone-6-plus-6s-plus?variant=18288039044

    • OCAssociate :

      I got a pocket that just sticks to my existing case – literally like a sticker. It’s from Kate Spade – I think it’s just called a phone pocket.

      Also, are you in my office? Because we are currently going through the exact same change.

      • newbinlaw :

        These are the best. You can also get them for super cheap on amazon (no brand) or even for free from places like Sephora, etc. but then your phone will have the brand name. I have posted before that putting one of these on my phone is a serious game changer in making my life easier. Mine has ID, fob and credit card at all times.

    • New Tampanian :

      Verus designs online

  26. Anyone have this bag? I remember it was featured here a few months ago and it’s on mega sale now (the gorgeous merlot color is only $170!), but I’m hesitant to buy things final sale.

    • Wildkitten :

      I don’t see the link but if something goes wrong with a kate spade bag they’ll give you store credit, even if it is final sale.

  27. We got an invitation to my husband’s coworker’s daughter’s wedding. Neither of us has met the daughter and neither of us particularly like the coworker, but it’s a small office so I assume all coworkers have been invited. On top of that, the invitation specifies “no gifts”. I don’t intend to go and I feel like a card is in order, but will the couple even appreciate a card from someone they’ve never met?

    • Sure why not? It’s an easy thing to do. “Heard so many lovely things about Sarah from her father at work, wish you a lifetime of happiness.”

    • I think you should get a card. We got some cards (and gifts) from my parents friends/co-workers we didn’t know (even ones who weren’t invited) and we thought it was a lovely gesture.

  28. How much money do you keep in an emergency fund? Does it depend on your HHI and cost of living? We have an income of ~$150k in a very LCOL area. Our minimum mortgage payment plus taxes and utilities works out to about $1400/month and we would need ~$500 for food and gas. I’m comfortable with $25k, which is a year of bare minimum expenses and more than six months of expenses if we don’t change our lifestyle at all. But I have heard $50k thrown around a lot and am wondering if we should have that much.

    • We have a similar HHI, MCOL area and we have $30k in ours, which is a year of bare-bones expenses and six months of living normally. I feel good about having that amount put away and maybe will increase it to $35k, but probably not much more than that. I mean, more money in savings is always better but we’re trying to pay off student loans and our house, save for college and fund our retirement. One thing we considered is that it’s unlikely (though not impossible) that both of us would be out of work at the same time, for an extended period. The $30k bare bones yearly expenses is what we’d need if we had no income at all for a year (we’re pretty frugal and have a cheap mortgage). So I don’t see increasing it too much from that point, at the expense of funding other things.

    • I think it depends on your HHI and cost of living, plus whether you have one earner or two. I was unemployed for about 6 months at one point, but we were able to pay our bare minimum expenses with spouse’s earnings. Still, during that time and shortly after I got a new job, we spent a lot of our emergency fund (over $10K) on actual emergencies (surgery for sick cat, car trouble, repairing our only working computer after water damage, and surgery for our son). It felt like the hits just kept coming.

      I think it also depends on whether you have other sources of money you could tap in a real emergency. Do you have short-term and long-term disability policies? Life insurance? Do you have money in an HSA? In an investment account that’s liquid but not cash (even if you’re earmarking it for another goal)? In a Roth IRA (you can pull out contributions without a penalty, but not the growth, and you can’t re-contribute)? In my opinion, these things aren’t an alternative to an emergency fund, but I think they could factor into your decision about whether to continue funding over 6 months of living expenses vs. putting that money to work in other ways.

    • We have a similar salary, and keep $25k as well. Our expenses are higher – MCOL, so higher mortgage payment, and we have two kids with associated daycare bills. I’m only ok with this amount because I am on a long-term contract at my job, and have secure employment for at least the next three years (tenure-track academic). I could cover our expenses on my salary if necessary, so the emergency fund is for major house disasters, car crashes, etc.

  29. ponte python's flying circus :

    For everyone who enjoyed (?) last week’s three-armed shirt: I believe we are approaching peak Shirt.


  30. Toronto/Ontario :

    Has anyone been to Ste. Anne Spa in Ontario or W Skincare in Toronto? Recommendations/Reviews?

    DH and I are headed to Toronto for a week without kids and I’d like to do some spa or skincare treatments to revive myself a bit.

    • They are good ones, and another to rec: Body Blitz. Also check out The Ordinary store in Yorkville. Treat yourself- it’s so cheap!

    • I’ve heard amazing things about Ste. Anne’s but haven’t been there myself. I believe they have a train that will take you there from downtown Toronto.

      I love Elmwood Spa in Toronto as well – a full day with lunch on the terrace is one of my favourite ways to relax. Have an amazing trip!

      • Toronto/Ontario :

        Thanks for the Elmwood recommendation. Ste. Anne looks lovely but trying to decide if it’s worth the trek.

  31. Speaking of spironolactone, I had some stolen out of my checked suitcase on a flight this weekend. It’s no big deal as I could get the prescription replaced the same day, but it creeps me out that someone went through my toiletries case. I don’t think anything else was taken. Would you contact the airline about this? Or the airport? To at least alert them that someone is going through checked backs?

    • (And yes I know I should have locked the suitcase – I only realized when I checked it in that I forgot my TSA approved lock and I knew I didn’t have any valuables in there.)

      • Anonymous :

        Don’t beat yourself up about not locking it. There’s a very good chance it was stolen by a TSA official going through your bags, so a TSA-approved lock wouldn’t have done anything.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Wow, I never lock my luggage. I guess I should start.

      I keep my meds in my carry on, but ugh that would feel so yucky to discover that someone had been rooting through your stuff.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to never locking my luggage. I didn’t even know luggage could be locked post-9/11 because I thought they had to be able to open it to inspect it. I’d definitely contact the airport.

    • Anonymous :

      You should report, but expect that nothing will be done about it. It was likely stolen by a baggage handler or a TSA agent and the airport is aware that these thefts are common. In some regions of the world it is common to shrink-wrap your suitcase to discourage baggage handlers from stealing from you. Locks are fine, but if the locks don’t attach to a point on your suitcase (ie, you are locking the two zippers together), they are usually easily defeated because you can open a zipper with a ballpoint pen and then slide the zippers back around to rezipper it without undoing the lock.

    • Wildkitten :

      What? Sprinolactone is zero dollars copay free and has no (that I know of) recreational use. That is weird. Also i have to skip a few days before my skin shows it.

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