Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Ele Stitch-Detail Tee

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

I’ve always liked this kind of stitch-detail shirt because it’s great for work and for play — the detail elevates it a little bit and makes it wearable under a blazer or tucked into a pencil skirt, etc., more so than if you were just wearing a regular t-shirt. This one from Reiss is at Bloomingdale’s, where it was $70 but is now just $35. It’s available in sizes XS-L and in three colors: navy, fern, and off white. Ele Stitch-Detail Tee

Two options in plus sizes are here and here.

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  1. Pants for summer errand-running and lounging :

    Sorry I couldn’t find the link in a timely way yesterday for the poster who asked about non-yoga pants for lounging and doing errands. I love these (perhaps the hippie in me) although they are a tiny bit long:

  2. Boss fit review :

    I’m 5-4 but have a short torso (so my jackets are petites at other brands that have petites). I ordered the gray Boss suiting from the NAS. The pieces are lovely and well made.

    I found that both the jacket and the dress were for someone with a longer torso (so most regular-dimensioned people probably 5-4 and taller). And possibly for a person, dart-wise, who is less flat-chested.

    So pretty. And I was very hopeful.

    At least my wallet is breathing a sigh of relief b/c I’d have kept the skirt and pants, too, if the jacket had fit.

    • I experienced the same thing last year with the Boss blue jacket and skirt. The armpits of the jacket were below my boobs. No tailor could fix it. I so wish Boss made more petites!

    • Cornellian :

      I’m 5’4 but long torsoed (so regular tops but petite pants) and nursing, so Boss has been a dream for me recently, if that helps anyone.

  3. Break Before Biglaw :

    I’m nearing the end of a one-year clerkship (my first job out of law school) and I’ll be starting at a Biglaw firm in the fall. I have a little less than 2 months off between jobs. I’ll be traveling for about 3 weeks, and I don’t have to move. My main plans for the rest of the time are exercising every day, reading, Netflix, and doing a big wardrobe overhaul/upgrade.

    Has anyone had this kind of transition period? Any advice? Recommendations?

    • Maybe a deep clean/organization of your living space?

    • Anonymous :

      Take care of all possible personal care and household tasks: doctor, dentist, optometrist, auto maintenance, home maintenance, tailoring, etc.

      • +1

        And get a lot of sleep. You’ll miss it ;)

      • I actually think, if your health insurance will kick in with biglaw, that you should wait. Most biglaw is not so awful that you cannot wait a smidge and schedule occasional appointments.

        • Agreed. Instead, try to schedule those appointments for the year. If you can’t, because you can’t get your insurance information, make a list of all the appointments you need to schedule and take care of that in that initial transition period at the start before you truly get busy.

    • Bottega bags :

      Yes! I had a similar hiatus with moving b/w jobs (BigLaw to other BigLaw in other city I’d lived in before). HAPPY HOUR ever day — no so much to drink, but to have face time with your friends / people you know. This is like fun networking — keeping up with people, reinforcing friendships, meeting new people, etc. You won’t ever have this much time when your job starts and at some point, you may need this network (vetting lateral opportunities, sniffing out in-house opportunities, clients, dating, picking a neighborhood to buy in, etc.). Invest in you and have a good time, too!

    • Anonymous :

      1. Cleaning/organize everything (read marie kondo’s book)

      2. Meal plan + prep freezer meals

      3. personal tune up – doctor/dentist/optometrist/drycleaner and seamstress for clothes tune up

      4. family/friends – schedule get togethers with as many people as possible

      5. wardrobe – set up a 2-3 week wardrobe rotation – then you never have to worry about what to wear.

    • Anonshmanon :

      I am currently in a transition, except I am moving pretty far away. But since I have a full three months, there is still time to
      – digitize all the things
      – get in a bunch of doctor’s appointments
      – see all my friends
      – do an online class and read up on my new line of work
      – get Christmas presents
      I also took on the event planning of a party for a local charity, which kept me busy in June

    • I’m not sure what your travel plans are, but make time for family and friends. When I had about a month off between the bar exam and starting at a firm, I visited my grandmother, who lived in another state, for a few days. I’m so, so glad I did because she passed away very suddenly a year later, before I had another chance to visit. You’ll be busy, and time will go by quickly–that’s OK, just the way it is, but I encourage you to spend quality time with people you love now.

    • I actually wouldn’t spend a ton of time doing chores and appointments. If you have some that will be very important or hard to schedule later, go for it, but I would take weekend trips, start a new hobby, or other enjoyable stuff that will make you look back on the time fondly. I have wasted many a weekend on chores and errands and then resented not taking advantage of time off work. You can always find time for chores after you start the new job.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I agree with this. If it were me, I would be doing things like going to Coney Island and working on my weird hobbies. Making things is really important to my sanity, and if I knew I was going to have some intense periods coming up, I would want to kind of stock up on having done that.

    • We talk a lot about outsourcing, so I’d get as much of that set up as you can – find and vet housecleaners, grocery delivery/ meal service, dog walker, baby sitters (as applicable).

    • I would just add that you may find yourself with a lot of dead time in the beginning. When I started (albeit in 2008), I had about three months of not having all that much work. Took a while to get a full plate.

      So I would live it up. Do all the projects you’ve been wanting to get to but also find some time to have fun. Definitely get your wardrobe in order and maybe find a cleaning service you like.

  4. Girl on Fire :

    I recently rediscovered “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys (not that old of a song but I had forgotten about it). It has been my anthem this week! Give it a listen.

    • Marshmallow :

      I came across a Facebook video just this week of a little girl on America’s Got Talent or X Factor or one of those shows doing the most amazing rendition of it. I got chills. Look it up for extra anthem mojo!

  5. New Suits :

    Due to some recent size changes, I’m in need of a couple new suits and don’t know where to start. My old ones that now don’t fit were starter suits, and cheap.

    I’d prefer not to break the bank, but I’m okay with spending a few hundred dollars apiece for something that’s worth it. Taller than average and pear-shaped, where should I be looking?

    • Boss fit review :

      Banana Republic (esp. if on sale) has Talls and I find that their Logan Fit suiting pants work well on me.

    • Talbots has some nice wool suiting on sale now, including a longer-length pencil skirt. May be lucky sizes, but you’d get good quality for a great price.

      • I second Talbots. Even if you factor in the cost of tailoring, you can end up with a great suit at a decent price.

    • I’m a broken record over here, but Calvin Klein makes really good quality suits for the price. I’ve got substantial hips for my size and the pencil skirts fit me perfectly.

      • +1. I am a slight pear/hourglass (busty, but my hips are still bigger than my bust, defined waist), and I find that Calvin Klein pencil skirts work well.Unsure if they do tall sizes, because that’s not my particular body type (I’m almost petite).

  6. Is there anyone who owns this shirt and can speak to whether it is see-through or not? This is exactly what I’m looking for, in off-white, but I’ve tried so many similar styles and they all require a cami underneath, which I’d really rather not do.

  7. Cleaners tips :

    How much should I tip…2 cleaners, 2 hours of cleaning, HCOL area, $200 cost without tip, and they work for a service? I was going to do $20 each…should I actually do $40?

    • I only tip periodically for my service, which is independently owned. Cleaners come biweekly, and I usually leave an extra $20 every 3 visits or so. $20 each seems generous, but I’d probably do the same if there was a one-time visit.

      • Cleaners tips :

        I’ll do $20 then. It’s a company with a bunch of cleaners they employ, I think, so they’re probably making minimum wage.

        • I usually do 20% divided equally among the cleaners. For the same reasons, they are surely making minimum wage.

  8. I need some help losing some weight post baby #2. Baby is now a year old, and the scale keeps moving in the wrong direction. Any recommendations for programs or dietians in downtown DC that could help? I prefer someone that takes insurance, but willing to consider those who don’t. I think I need to be accountable to someone I meet with in-person for this to work. Thanks.

    • Anonymous :

      2 polar opposite recommendations, neither of which requires insurance:
      1.) Sarah Jenks Live More Weigh Less program
      2.) Penn Jillette’s Presto book

    • I follow this woman’s blog and really like how she thinks about food and nutrition. She lives in DC and has her own practice (I don’t know her, haven’t met her, just consistently like her message so I’m putting it out there).

      I’m sure a lot of people will suggest weight watchers too. Good luck!

      • Fun fact: she is David Petraeus’s daughter. (I don’t know her, either, I just spend too much time on the Internet).

        • I went to school with Petraeus’s son (although I didn’t know him) and I’ve followed Anne’s blog since before I realized she was a Petraeus. I feel like some kind of stalker of their family!

      • Anonymous :

        Funny, I just listened to a podcast (mostly about running) where she was the guest!

    • WW disciple, chiming in! I lost 30 lbs on Weight Watchers 4 years ago. Occasionally 5-10 lbs will creep back on, and I just hop on the plan for a couple weeks and it’s gone again.

      WW is affordable, quick, easy, and so, SO effective. You could start your weight loss journey right this minute instead of researching doctors and insurance plans for weeks. They emphasize fruits and veggies and lean protein – I eat better when I’m doing WW than at any other time.

  9. Skydiver! :

    Hey all, saw the question about skydiving last week and wanted to follow up with more information if anyone is interested! I have about 450 skydives and have been doing it for over ten years, although my jump rate has really fallen off in recent years and I am about to take a much longer break since the birth of my daughter.

    If it is something that seems interesting to you, I can’t recommend it enough! A tandem is a great and easy way to see what it’s like, although make sure you are going to a knowledgable and reputable airport- there are some “tandem factories,” often advertised on groupon, that I wouldn’t necessarily trust and are not great ambassadors for the sport. Make sure the place you are going has a student program and is part of USPA. Generally, skydivers are a really fun and welcoming community, and the percentage of women in the sport is slowly climbing (fun fact- when I got more confident in my skills I realized that if a jump went poorly, i.e. the plan of what everyone was going to do didn’t work out, I should stop just assuming I was the one that messed up- the guys NEVER apologize first, and so I quickly stifled that instinct too- served me well when I entered the work world too haha).

    Happy to answer any questions!

    • That was me! Thanks for posting! I am going to be jumping next weekend for my first tandem at a USPA member place at the beach! Didn’t use Groupon as they didn’t offer it. My main concern right now is the weather – the forecast is calling for rain the whole weekend and we don’t live in the area (though I’m from that area) and it was an act of congress just to get this vacation time off together at the same time as my boyfriend! This is actually my birthday present to him – he does not know yet and I am SO excited to give it to him so really hoping it doesn’t rain!

      As far as prep, I’m going to take a non-drowsy Dramamine before. Our arrival time is 9am and they said it could be several hours before our actual jump so I’m wondering what kind of breakfast we should eat. I don’t want to eat too much and get sick but also don’t want to not eat enough in case it’s lunchtime by the time we jump.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I’ve never jumped but in eat vs. don’t eat situations I like a dairy free protein shake. Currently, I drink the Bob’s Red Mill powder mixed with almond milk. It’s filling enough so I’m not hungry but not food in the traditional sense.

      • That sounds great! But yea, that forecast is bad news- skydiving is a lot of “hurry up and wait” due to weather. But you never know, you could get a window! Tandems have more leeway to go in higher winds then regular skydivers because they are much heavier.

        Due to the weather forecast, prepare yourself to spend the whole day waiting but possibly never getting to jump- I would bring lots of snacks, fruit, granola bars, and water.

        • Agreed. Bring food and something to entertain yourself. You may end up waiting for a clear patch. Have a blast. The hardest part for me is climbing out of the plane.

      • Yay Kat! Fruegel Friday’s! I love Fruegel Friday’s and this tee shirt, but it is not for me at work, and not all that Fruegel! FOOEY!!

        As for the OP, I remember when I was dateing my EX, he wanted for us to go skydiving. I talked with Dad, and he FORBIDDED me from goeing with Sheketovits skydiving. Dad said if they did NOT pack the parachute right, I would turn into a pancake. I said no thanks to Sheketovits. I learned recently that Sheketovits HAS gone skydiving upstate, and that his new girlfreind does it with him. Good for him! I am glad I am NOT part of that schmoe’s life any more, with or without the skydiving. YAY!!!!!

  10. Napa Girls Weekend recommendations?

    Wineries, restaurants, spa package, anything is game. Planning two days in Napa/St. Helena/etc and one day on the Sonoma side. Willing to splurge some but looking for the best affordable hidden gems, off the beaten path a plus.

    • Dunn Family on Howell Mountain is my new favorite winery. It’s literally a family-run winery and family members will give you a 1 on 1 tour. It’s also some of the best Napa wine I’ve ever had.

    • If you repost this on the Weekend Thread, it’ll prompt me to reply. My friends and I do barrel tasting every year in Sonoma, and I have a whole list of recs for Napa. The main thing, to me, if you are really into wine and actually buying wine, is that wine is MUCH cheaper in Sonoma (and tasting fees are much cheaper too) because the land is much cheaper. Generally, Napa is the land of Cab Sauvignon and Chardonnay, and Sonoma is the land of Pinot Noir and Sauv Blanc. Of course, wineries can source grapes from other areas, but that’s mostly how it shakes out. This also shakes out in that Napa is full of large commercial wineries, and smaller more personal wineries (like the person above mentioned) are harder to find. In Sonoma, it’s much more likely you’ll find things more informal and chill.

      Again, page me on the weekend thread and I’ll give you all my recs!

    • JuniorMinion :

      For off the beaten path I’d stay away from the big highway 29 houses (think mondavi etc). I also skew frugal so most of the tastings I have done are in the $20 – $50 / pp range (ie no del dotto or anything like it)
      Mumm (good seating, nice flight options for purchase) – walk in
      Domaine Carneros (great view / setting, good flight options / cheese boards for purchase) – walk in

      Freemark Abbey (call to reserve)
      Hess (open tasting, they have a really cool modern art museum on the premises that you can browse)
      Heitz Cellars (last free napa tasting I think…)
      William hill (call to reserve)
      Acacia (pinot noir)

      Grgich (open tasting)
      Pine Ridge (also good pinot noir/ cab here)

      Rutherford Grill (no corkage so bring your fave bottle – right next to Grgich)
      Bistro Gentil (in yountville, excellent french food and been there forever!)

      • JuniorMinion :

        One more recommendation – have a glass of sparkling / snack at the Auberge du Soleil in napa. The hotel itself is $800 / night or so but the view is great and you can go sit on the deck of their restaurant and eat even if you aren’t staying.

        They also supposedly have a great spa but I shudder to think about the $$$

      • Awesome, thank you! Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here, dreaming about wine for the rest of the day.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I added a long comment but in moderation.

    • Marshmallow :

      Ah, I recently stayed in Calistoga for a vacation! When you get tired of wine, go to the Calistoga Inn and Brewery for dinner and beer tasting. The best part of the trip was our day on the “wine train:” kind of splurge-y but a great way to visit multiple wineries without driving, and the food on the train was delicious. We did the “quattro vino” tour and loved it. There are also a ton of spas around there– I did a mud bath at the Baths at Roman Spa which was nice but not super fancy. Left my skin very soft but I wound up with a bit of a heat rash, it was pretty intense.

    • Archetype in St Helena for brunch is a don’t-miss for me.

    • I am a long time club member at Hall so of course recommend it – not exactly off the beaten path but not on the scale of Mondavi, etc., and their new tasting room is really beautiful. My friend who introduced me to Napa (and has been a million times) loves Hess and Frank Family the most. I haven’t been to Hess and really like the wine at Frank Family, although the tasting room experience is kind of middle of the road there, not fantastic but definitely not the best I’ve had. I also really like Failla for a smaller, appointments-required situation (and they have a bunch of Sonoma wines, so best of both worlds). In Sonoma Valley, I prefer the Russian River valley/Healdsburg area – the Healdsburg square/downtown area is really nice, lots of tasting rooms (quality can be hit or miss but many are really good!) and food options. And if you have a Visa Signature card, check the Sonoma wine tasting deal – if it hasn’t changed, you can get free tastings/special deals by showing a Visa Signature card at like 60-some different wineries.

    • You can’t go wrong with restaurants in Yountville for the most part. Bottega, Bouchon, Bistro Jeanty, and Redd are all great and fairly reasonably priced (with the exception of dinner at Redd). I like Ad Hoc too but only if you can hit the fried chicken night. I also really like Boon Fly Cafe in Napa and Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch in St Helena. I’ve been to a bunch of the big name Sonoma restaurants and don’t like them as much as the Napa Valley ones I listed.

      • Second the food in Yountville, esp. Bouchon and Bistro Jeanty.

      • JuniorMinion :

        I think your Bistro Jeanty and my Bistro Gentil are the same place I just spelled it wrong….Friday fails.

        I also like Boon Fly!

      • Yeah, we went to Ad Hoc recently (spur of the moment and couldn’t get into Bouchon), and it was . . . fine. Not destination-worthy. The food was pretty good, actually, but the service was dismaying.

    • Three friends and I did a girls trip to Napa a couple years ago. It was lovely! I went back with my husband last year. Here are my favorite wineries:

      William Hill – We did the Adirondack tasting in the morning. It was beautiful looking across the valley as the mist burned off.

      Reverie – The tasting ends in a magical ring of redwoods.

      Kenzo Estate – The most expensive tasting we did, but worth every penny. It’s off the beaten path, the property is gorgeous, the wine is amazing.

      Orin Swift – one of my favorite winemakers. There’s a tasting room in St. Helena. It’s small, and loud if it’s busy, but worth it for the wine!

      On girls trip we rented a house in Napa through VRBO and it was fantastic. With DH, we stayed at Brannan Cottage Inn in Calistoga and it was great too – the owners were very friendly and helpful and breakfast and coffee were wonderful each morning.

    • Some favorites:

      Gott’s Roadside for lunch in between wine tastings (especially in St.Helena; eating outside on the red picnic tables during a nice day is a heavenly)
      Model Bakery for breakfasts (LOVE their breakfast sandwiches) or buy some cookies/treats to snack on throughout the day
      Bottega in Yountville for a delicious Italian dinner (the raviolo – OMG!)
      Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch for a more relaxed, comfort food-type meal one evening
      Archetype in St. Helena for brunch (although the last time we went the service was TERRIBLE, so don’t plan on trying to squeeze this one in to a tight schedule; their lemon ricotta pancakes are to-die-for though and the decor is amazing)
      Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa (fun for a food hall-type experience if you need a little break from winetasting)

      Wineries (we tend to like more boutique, off the beaten path places that require appointments and tend to be a little pricier – I’ve listed some of those below and then some favorite open to the public places that are a little less expensive):
      Whitehall Lane – open for drop-in tastings; well-priced wine (they make my favorite sauvignon blanc) and non-pretentious atmosphere
      Bremer Family – at the base of Howell Mountain; requires an appointment and can be a little pricier but the wines are great
      Mumm for sparkling wine – no appointment needed; prepare for it to be a bit of a zoo but the views are great and it’s one of the few places to stop for sparkling wine
      Chateau Montelena – skip the faux castle winery and come see the Chateau instead; it’s gorgeous and one of the most historic, well-known properties in the Valley. I would recommend an appointment, though you don’t need one
      Duckhorn – no appointment needed but I would recommend one, just in case; they have great Merlots and I love their cute little property
      Schweiger Vineyards – appointment required; this winery is out of the way on the top of Spring Mountain but the views are beautiful and it will get you away from the crowds for a bit

      You can’t go wrong with anywhere on Howell Mountain, though they tend to be smaller, pricier, and hard to get into (appointments are limited and required). The wines are incredible and so are the views from most properties, plus you almost always end up having the place to yourself (or pretty close to it). If you have a driver, they can typically set you up with some really good appointments up there. Haber Family, Bravante, Ladera, and Outpost are some of our favorites.

      We haven’t spent as much time in Sonoma, but Kunde and Chateau St. Jean are beautiful properties. We also like the restaurant at the El Dorado Hotel in downtown Sonoma a lot.

      Have a great trip!

    • I’m not knowledgable about wine, but I really enjoyed Scribe in Sonoma for a beautiful setting and really delicious food. I also really enjoyed Girl and the Fig for dinner in Sonoma.

  11. Anonymous :

    Suggestions on being productive at work when you’re going through a breakup?

    • Anonymous :

      Exercise in the morning before you go into the office. Bonus points if it’s something cathartic like kickboxing, but any exercise should help get out a lot of feelings and clear your head for at least a few hours of productivity.

    • Shopaholic :

      Also to do lists, with the most mundane tasks listed. It’s hard focusing so I find I need a step to step list so I can stay on track.

      and hugs! At least it’s Friday so hopefully you can have some time to yourself this weekend to do whatever makes you feel better.

      • I find this helpful too, and when I’m not feeling especially on top of things I like to tackle things that are unimportant, uncomplicated, and/or won’t take very long first. It makes it look and feel like I’m really winnowing down my to do list and being productive, even though I’m avoiding the things that really require a lot of time or brain power.

      • Thanks to you (and everyone) for the responses. I think I need to figure out what would make me feel better.

    • Can you clean your office or file that stack of papers that’s always a mess? I always feel better if my space is clean and organized, and it’s mindless work that you really can’t mess up because of lack of focus.

    • Anony Mouse :

      Mediterranean vegetable stew is one of my favorite vegetarian dishes, and it never fails to impress when I make it for company. Here are a couple of recipes, but you can think of them more as guidelines, which can be adapted with whatever produce you have on hand.

    • Anonymous :

      Oof, sorry to hear that. I kinda just accepted I was not going to be on my A game at work for a bit. “Embrace the suck.” I also tried to treat myself (afternoon trips to buy some candy, etc). not directly helping work productivity but I planned fun things for basically every week night for a while (dinners with friends, yoga, etc) so I always had something to look forward to at work and helped me stay a bit happier. I also went for runs a lot after work (not a morning person). Basically you can do a lot of self care out of work which should hopefully make it easier to focus at work. But *hugs*

  12. Zucchini and squash have taken over my kitchen. I plan to make zucchini bread (yum) and want to make some sort of zucchini oatmeal bars. Please post some of your favorite vegetarian recipes to help me eat them!! TIA

    • No recipe exactly, but you could make twice-baked zucchini similar to a twice-baked potato — scoop out the soft cooked innards, toss with fattening yummies (butter and parm mmmmmm), sprinkle bread crumbs on top, bake!

    • (follow her rec and make two loaves – these freeze beautifully, as well)

      I make a lot of zoodles in the summer when the harvest is coming in – if you don’t have a spiralizer or don’t want to dedicate the space for a large one, the OXO handheld works well, or use a veggie peeler for long flat noodles.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      This one is easy to sub tofu or another protein in (think of it more like spicy peanut “noodles” than pad thai):

      Smitten Kitchen’s zucchini rice and cheese gratin
      [email protected] Delicious’ zucchini fritters

    • Macademia :

      I love this recipe from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle:
      I use Trader Joe’s Harvest Blend cooked in stock for the orzo.

    • I’ve tried and liked some of Smitten Kitchen’s zucchini recipes:
      -Summer squash pizza
      -Burst tomato galette with corn and zucchini
      -Zucchini fritters

      If you google the site and zucchini, it looks like there’s an entire page of recipes :)

    • I love zucchini quesadillas, if you eat cheese:

      Grate 2 medium zucchini on a box grater or in a food processor. Saute in a little olive oil until it’s softened and given up its water, then add 1 clove minced garlic and saute until it smells good (about 2 minutes). While the zucchini is cooking, grate about 4 ounces of pepper jack cheese. Combine zucchini & cheese on flour tortillas (either folded over or sandwich style) and toast in hot skillet with a little oil or butter.

      Also, Smitten Kitchen has loads of good zucchini recipes:

    • My favorite zucchini casserole from my childhood:

      Slice about 3-4 lbs of zucchini fairly thin (1/4 in?) and chop a small onion. Boil with salt in a small amount of water (zucchini gives off liquid) until it is tender and translucent. Drain well.

      Spray or butter a casserole dish. Put zucchini and onion in the casserole dish. In a small bowl, beat 2 eggs with a cup of milk and salt and pepper. Crush a dozen saltines into the zucchini and onion. Pour the egg mixture over it and mix it together lightly (don’t break up the zucchini). Top with grated cheddar. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.

    • I LOVE this one

      It calls for delicata squash but that’s not usually available at my local grocery store so I generally use a mix of zucchini and yellow squash for it. All zucchini would also be fine. I also don’t always add nuts or pomegranate on top. It’s really about the tahini sauce for me.

    • You can make (& freeze) ratatouille or roasted zucchini soup. Also muffins, egg cups or a frittata.

      My most go to zucchini recipe is a crustless zucchini pie. It’s basically a bunch of shredded zucchini, a cup of flour, some shredded cheese and eggs and olive oil to bind everything, baked at 350 for about 45 min. I usually throw in fresh herbs like basil, too, and you can add other veggies like shredded carrots or asparagus. I think I found the recipe in the NYT. If you can’t find it and are interested, let me know, and I’ll post a more detailed version.

    • My husband and kids grow zucchini in our garden so we have tons of it. My favorite ways to use it:

      1) zucchini bread, of course.
      2) zucchini fritters–shred zucchini, mix with egg, breadcrums, a little cheese and fry in olive oil.
      3) calabacitas–sauté diced zucchini with onion, corn, and green chile.
      4) spiralize, sauté in olive oil until soft and top with marinara sauce and spicy sausage or pesto.
      5) in quiche

    • Baconpancakes :

      Just had crustless zucchini quiche last night – 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup half n half, 4 eggs, salt, pepper, zucchini rounds cut into halves and sauteed in non-stick spray then patted dry with a paper towel, crumbled goat cheese (didn’t measure, just poured), 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley, salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until it is just a little browned, just past the stopping-wobbling stage. Let cool for 30 minutes. I made these in two six inch pie pans, and I’m surprised by how happy I am with them.

      Alternately, I’ve made quiche with spaghetti squash as the crust (look online for the recipes) and while it’s definitely not crust, it’s different and good.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      I make veggie pancakes, which would be great with shredded zucchini or squash. Shred zucchini, squeeze some water out, mix with some breadcrumbs, flour, salt, pepper, eggs. Optional add-ins: shredded onion, chopped garlic, chives, shredded carrot, chopped cashews, whatever you have, honestly.

      Saute pancakes in olive oil or butter. I slather them with hummus and sriracha.

      (Note: I started making these years ago, for DS, when he was a toddler. It’s a nice way to get your kid to eat some veggies that s/he might not eat ordinarily…)

    • Smitten Kitchen’s quick zucchini sauté is wonderful and so so simple.

    • Zoodles with pesto. Specifically with pesto, I like zoodles better than real pasta. Yum

      In addition to zucchini bread, chocolate zucchini bread or muffins. Yum

      And zucchini risotto with a bit of ricotta cheese is delish YUM

    • Our kids make zucchini pizzas from our garden every year. Make a pizza-ish sauce from your tomatoes (or just buy one). Cut the zucchini in half and scoop out the seeds, spread pizza sauce, cover in cheese and whatever toppings (we aren’t vegetarian so we do mini turkey pepperoni) and bake in the oven at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

      Patty Pan Squash is the best part of late summer. Use any squash you have, slice thin, and saute in a pan with oil and butter for a few minutes. Sprinkle some parm on top. Delicious side dish and hard to stop eating.

    • Thanks so much, everyone! I am getting hungry reading all the comments :)

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      I just made Smitten Kitchen’s Summer Squash Pasta Bake last week and it was such a hit. It takes a bit of time but you can make it ahead of time and freeze it so its great to make on the weekend and have it ready for the future. It was so light and delicious!

    • I like to shred the zucchini, squeeze it out, and then make quesadillas with it. Also if you do the shredding and squeezing, you can freeze some for when it’s not zucchini season.

    • anonypotamus :

      I know her recipes have been recommended up thread but I LOVE smitten kitchen’s summer squash/zucchini pizza recipe. Uses a ton of squash and is delicious. Just make sure your oven is HOT.

  13. purplesneakers :

    I start a new job on Tuesday – happy dance!

    I’m looking for ideas how to spend my Monday making my first week at work earlier. I’m moving over the weekend, so Monday is the only time I have free.

    Some thoughts:

    – make lunches for the week (tiny fridge so more than that isn’t possible)
    – figure out my outfits
    – pack my work bag
    – ???
    – Profit!

    Anyone have suggestions? TIA!

    • Cornellian :

      Maybe run through your closet ad dlook for any clothing that needs hemming, shoes that need resoling, etc and drop them off?

    • I would not make a full week of lunches because your colleague or boss might take you out, and it’s a nice way to be social. But that’s just me.

    • Moving over the weekend? Give yourself downtime on Monday so you don’t feel like you didn’t have a “weekend” thanks to all the moving stress / chores / organizing!

      Agree with MJ that you may not need a full week of lunches. Maybe bring something very nonperishable for your first day so that it doesn’t go to waste if you’re taken out to eat.

    • No ideas but I love the underpants gnomes reference!

    • purplesneakers :

      *Easier, not earlier. Clearly the caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet.

    • I just started a new job not long ago, and I was so disproportionately tired everyday–being new is tiring!

      My tip? Prep or plan very easy, low-labor dinners (or, if this is you are partnered and this is your primary responsibility at home, shift it to your partner for the week).

      Getting home and knowing that half the work was done already, or that the work was going to be a breeze? That was nice.

      Getting home and remembering that I hadn’t unloaded then reloaded the dishwasher from the night before, and that I had to clean/tidy before I could even entertain the idea of dinner, on top of being overwhelmed by new responsibilities and tiredness? That was a sucky 15 minutes that spoiled my mood.

    • I wouldn’t pack lunch for the first few days as you may be going to lunch with your boss or co-workers. Even if you don’t normally budget for lunch out, I’d make an exception for the first week. You should also grocery shop and have easy meals available for dinner. That first week at a new job can be really tiring.

  14. Blonde Lawyer :

    I’m so excited that John McCain voted no on the skinny repeal. I never doubted Senator Collins and I’m glad that the senator from Alaska stayed strong in the face of Trump’s threats. (I don’t want to butcher the spelling of her name). McCain joining them is icing on the cake. All the sexists that were going to have awful things to say about the Maine and Alaska senators can’t say them now without saying the exact same thing about John McCain, the person they gave a heroes welcome to just days before. This was what I hoped he would do all along and everyone told me I was crazy.

    I just wish Senator Hirano would get similar accolades as John McCain. She was doing it first! (Coming to vote despite cancer and surgery)

    • I’m pleased John McCain made the right call on this vote but I’m annoyed with the way the media and Democrats are fawning all over him like he was the most important player here. Murkowski and Collins have both more strongly and consistently opposed this – Collins so much so that she was the only one of the three that Pence wasn’t pleading with on the Senate floor last night. Those two women are the real “mavericks” imo.

      • Also, Mitch McConnell was on the verge of tears in his post-vote speech and it was probably the happiest I’ve felt since Nov 8.

      • I’m glad he did the right thing but he also created the whole situation in the first place. And of course the two women and don’t get any credit.

        • +1

        • +1. This is such a classic workplace experience: women quietly putting in longer and harder work, and then at the last minute a man dashing onto the scene, who had been unhelpful at best before, and putting on a show of saving the day.

          • nasty woman :

            Right? I am not particularly fluent on the ins and outs of procedure, but does anyone know if there any strategic reason why McCain voted to proceed but then ultimately voted no? (Somehow I find it hard to believe that he was undecided until the very last minute.) Is there some logic that could underlie this decision? I might be able to respect that more than…..whatever this was.

          • Anonymama :

            My understanding is that McCain wanted a guarantee that the version of the bill they were voting on would NOT be passed by the House but would rather be sent straight to committee to be amended/improved, but Ryan wouldn’t make any promises.

          • +1000.

          • Sigh, just 100% this. Monday – seeing it written that way, it hits home, you know? Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled with Sen. McCain’s vote and it really helps soften the blow from his “yes” vote earlier this week, but those two female Senators were really brave in not wavering and standing firm despite everything.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I just figured out how to articulate what I’m relishing. It’s the “don’t count your chickens before they hatch” thing. Seeing all the people rejoicing that McCain came to debate/vote. Knowing they were so happy because they thought he secured their win. Then that moment when they realized, NOPE, that’s not why he’s here and that moment when they realize crap, I can’t just say he’s so awful because just yesterday I was saying he was so awesome. It’s that moment that I’m loving. But, realizing that’s personal and unhealthy and I should focus on the issues (and my real job lol) and not take so much enjoyment in the disappointment of others. I wouldn’t be happy if it went the other way and they were saying to me “ha ha!” (In Nelson’s voice from the Simpsons.)

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          And not to be too morbid, but it’s not like McCain is risking being reelected.

          • This was my exact thought. Amazing how his tune changes the instant he realizes re-election is off the table.

          • Seriously. The moment he no longer has to pander to Fox News, he does the right thing.

            Favorite tweet on the whole thing this morning:

            Jenny Yang:
            Giving McCain the credit for defeating this repeal when female senators Murkowski & Collins were early NOs is EVERY WORK MEETING EVER.

      • Marshmallow :

        All of this. Credit goes to Murkowski and Collins who have been demanding a real replacement from day one, and made this a close vote to begin with.

        Is anyone else horrified/intrigued about all the promises Senators like Graham were exacting, that the skinny repeal would never become law? As they’re about to vote yes, insisting the House promise them they’ll never actually pass it? That seems crazypants to me. Just… negotiate a real plan in the first place. No? That’s not how we do business anymore?

        • +1. Pass a bill we don’t want to become law… What could possibly go wrong?

          • Didn’t even understand this – bc couldn’t the house then have taken it, added 1 more definition term or changed a phrase without changing substance and then passed it?? Haven’t heard any suggestion of how much change was necessary for the house to be able to say – we didn’t pass your bill exactly.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I think people are just shocked because he voted yes on the debate. People thought he risked his health to repeal Obamacare rather than to protect it.

        That and I hope Senator Collins and Senator Murkowski face less backlash with Senator McCain in their corner. I understand how sexist that is, but it is unfortunately the reality. Their lives will hopefully be easier because of this. I recognize that they had already taken the risk and announced their stance long before they knew McCain would join them. They are incredibly brave.

        I read that Sen. McCain missed his name initially at roll coll. Did Sen. Murkowski vote before him then?

        • Yes she voted first.

        • She voted before him. I stayed up to watch. It was clear they didn’t have the votes and those three were the holdouts and they delayed the vote for a long time. Then there was a huge huddle around Murkowski and they suddenly announced they would begin voting. I was a little freaked out they’d flipped her because I thought they wouldn’t vote if they didn’t have the votes (although Pence left when the vote began which was a good sign – if they only flipped one they would need Pence to break the tie) and then when she voted no I knew it was over because McCain had been hugging the Democrats moments earlier and applauding Schumers speech so it was fairly clear well in advance of the vote that he was a no. It was as dramatic as Election Day but fortunately a better outcome!

          • Congrats? I can’t imagine watching SO closely or caring SO deeply.

          • I wasn’t asking for congrats. I just thought it was interesting how it went down and people here might find it interesting too. I was just watching CSPAN. It’s not like I had to do detective work to ascertain this info.

          • Anonymama :

            Omg, I find it fascinating, and also similar to the play-by-play of so much in the sportsball world (Neymar got in a tiff with a teammate at practice, does that mean he’s leaving Barca for PSG?!!) but I am also a consummate people-watcher and find all this stuff really interesting (much more compelling than what outfit people are wearing today, truth be told, though I know this is a fashion blog.)

          • Congrats to you on not having healthcare that was dependent on this vote. Lots of people would love to be in your shoes.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Thank you for the play by play!

          • It was dramatic! My husband was playing a video game with dramatic music while I watched. While the Senators were all standing around talking, I felt like something big and dramatic was imminent–and then realized that the game’s soundtrack was making the mood much more tense!

          • @cbackson – I care about healthcare and not repealing O-Care. But honestly a play by play and who hugged who? Give me a break.

          • I’m sorry you’re having a bad day or whatever, Anonymous, but please stop being such a b i t ch. There’s no reason for it. Go for a run, or go buy yourself a doughnut or something.

          • You sound lovely.

          • Aunt Jamesina :

            For heaven’s sake, I hear way more play-by-play at work after a football game, and football has absolutely zero bearing on our everyday lives. I appreciated it.

          • Hi @Anonymous troll – I too was watching and found it fascinating. Just because you don’t find it interesting (a great position of privilege) doesn’t mean you have to be a jerk about it. Read the comment and move on – but to take time to comment that you thought it was too much??

          • I never understand why people criticize others for enthusiasm. If someone is super into something, but you’re not, and they follow it very closely, while you don’t, where is the problem?

          • nasty woman :

            Anonymous- did Anonymous at 10:58 PERSONALLY force you to watch it? To share her enthusiasm? Did she wake you up to let you know what happened? Will she not shut up about the hearing and leave your office and let you get back to work? Give you a break? From what? You’re just snarking at someone who isn’t affecting you at all for NO reason. Seek whatever therapy you need to keep yourself from lashing out at others.

            Thanks for the summary. I couldn’t watch but I’m glad to hear how it played out.

          • Thank you, I LOVE reading the play by play. We have CNN on at work but I’ve been on calls all morning.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            You can’t imagine because it likely doesn’t affect you. For those of us that were going to LOSE THEIR F-ING HEALTHCARE, you selfish slug, it was a big deal. Condescending POS.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I shouldn’t be at all surprised by this, but Trump’s tweet of, “let Obamacare implode, then deal!” is just so shockingly stupid and callous.

      • Shockingly stupid and callous is basically his administration’s calling card.

      • Anonymama :

        Yeah, does he not even realize the inconsistency of flipping back and forth between saying this must be passed, it’s cruel, something must be passed, it’s so important I’ll threaten you for it, oh never mind nbd we’ll just let Obamacare continue.

    • fake coffee snob :

      Also the dems who didn’t. even. blink. on protesting this bill from day 1. Every single one. They’ve been so good at fighting this with logic and truth. They’re the reason that those three Republican votes were able to be a tipping point.

  15. I posted yesterday afternoon that I was upset about some bad news at work. I went to the gym after work and had the magical thing happen that I’ve read about but never experienced before- I felt better about life after working out! Work still s*cks, but this is transformative for someone who deeply hates working out and has always been skeptical that it’s good for mental/emotional health as well as physical.

    • Yay! Glad it made you feel better and that you might have a new habit! Also, sorry from an internet stranger about your bad news and I hope it gets better! Signed, workout addict

    • Well done.

      Thanks for sharing this. My might inspire other people.

      It really works. It’s biological.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Ha, welcome to this club. I haaaate working out, and I especially hate getting my butt to the gym/whatever to work out, but I also hate sweating and being tired and the whole. darn. thing.

      BUT I have to admit that I feel less anxious and less impatient and less sad when I work out. After a hard workout I feel happy and good-tired. Doing it regularly has a noticeable impact on my mood. It’s frustrating because if it didn’t work, I wouldn’t feel as obligated to do it. But it’s cheaper than therapy and meds (both of which I also use, ha.)

    • This really works. I am lazy about getting off the couch and not a night person and my workouts are after my kids go to bed so yes, it is hard to get started. But my bad mood magically evaporates after and this has happened many times!

  16. I’m not normally a Walmart shopper, but I stopped in yesterday to grab some things that I couldn’t find elsewhere. I was surprised that they had such nice basics, like tank tops, yoga pants, sleep/lounge wear, etc. at such low prices. The yoga pants and “active wear” wider legged pants especially seemed really well made and soft, and they were like $10. Just a PSA for the person asking for yoga pant recs recently!

    • JuniorMinion :

      Yeah I really like their Avia / Danskin lines. 2 years later some of my avia leggings from there are still going strong.

    • There is no way I will support Walmart to save a buck.

      • JuniorMinion :

        I’m not a huge walmart fan….but if I’m not buying my workout clothes at Walmart I’m going to be buying it at Amazon / Target / TJMaxx / Marshalls. For people who don’t want to spend $100+ on leggings from Lululemon / Athleta / Onzie / Bandier et al they can be great cute affordable options.

        My personal preference is Amazon / Target for affordable cute workout wear. Also lingerie outlet (British) is on Amazon for all my Freya needs.

      • Great, you do you. I was just surprised at the nice quality from a store I don’t normally frequent and thought I’d share in case anyone found it helpful. Half the recommendations in that thread a few days ago were $50-100 and not everyone can or wants to spend that much.

        • I’m not normally a Walmart fan, but I appreciate this recommendation, because occasionally I find myself in need of “emergency” workout clothes, or changing sizes (up or down) and not wanting to spend even Target money on a pair of leggings to get me through.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I had an “emergency” need for a swimsuit — found myself in the boonies in Texas but at a place with a lazy river, and with one of my besties! Obvs we needed to get suits ASAP! The only store nearby was Walmart, so off we went. I got a totally decent swimsuit for like $15, and without any of the usual swimsuit agony (because like, I had to buy something, this covered my body, eh, I’ll take it) — and now when I swim at home with kiddo I find myself reaching for my Walmart swimsuit first.

  17. I’ve been at my firm for about a year. The dynamics have always been a bit weird. I just learned that one of the managing partners (woman) at my firm is dating one of her staff (younger man). He actually just moved in with her. One of the other staff people recently quit. I never knew why she quit and didn’t find it my business to ask. I sent her a message and asked her if she knew about this and she said that’s part of why she quit, she felt like staff guy was getting favorable treatment. Sounds like a lawsuit. In your opinion, how big of a deal is this?

    • Potentially troubling if the person dating the partner was indeed given preferential treatment. But he was not given preferential treatment at your expense and it is NOT your business. I’m shocked that you not only stuck your nose into this but did so in writing. I’m guessing you’ve never reviewed electronic discovery. I’m not an employment lawyer but I would think your firm could legally terminate you for reaching out to the ex-staff member to talk about this situation. Stay out of it and look for a new job if you’re not happy.

    • Stay out of it.

      What the heck are you doing messaging someone who quit (who you don’t even know well enough to ask why?) and start gossiping about a woman managing partner at your firm?!?!

      This reflects poorly on you.

      Do your job.

    • Hi, I’m the poster whose communications have been presented to me by federal agents as part of an investigation of something bad happening at a company I once worked for. I am totally innocent, but it doesn’t matter because they wanted my stuff so they got it.

      Stay the EFF out of this and stop contacting the former co-worker to ask for details that you have no business knowing. Forget you know any of this and do your job.

    • What would there be a lawsuit about?

      Is it affecting your job? If it is, I’d say start looking because this isn’t usually the kind of thing you can change. If not, stay out of it.

    • I left a company once because the partner was having an affair with a (one year more senior than me) associate. The three of us were staffed on cases and it got really awkward – not in a lovey sense, but because I got scapegoated for mistakes that the other associate did and didnt own up to. I would do work, then run it by her to see if it was what was intended and she would say yes, great. Then in a meeting with all three of us, I would present it to partner and partner would say, this is terrible and not at all what I asked for, and you should have thought of x y and z other things.
      Associate would say “of course you are right partner, thats exactly what I told her” so it was crazy to me. I couldnt get staffed on a different case because nobody else wanted to work with the duo. I was miserable for months and then left.

      Bottom line, this happens and if it does you GTFO. If you are in the company try to avoid working with the duo because you can easily be scapegoated (the two of them have a halo and can do no wrong).

  18. What are your favorite historical fiction novels set in WWII? I loved All The Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale and could use some new recommendations. I especially like novels dealing with the Resistance.

    • Not set *in* WWII, but related, is Life After Life. Devoured it and wished I could have read it again for the first time.

      • +1 for Life After Life and the “sequel”, A God in Ruins (which took me a while to get into but I devoured/sobbed through the end).

        Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum and The Last Telegram by Liz Trenow were also good, though they both take place somewhat in the present day with WWII woven into the story.

    • The Book Thief meets those criteria.

      • I actually HATED that book. It looked like it would be perfect for me on paper, but I couldn’t stand the author’s style. Weird since it’s really rare for me to hate WWII novels…

        • Ha – same feeling for me about All the Light We Cannot See — could not get into it based on writing style (but I liked the Book Thief). I wonder if there’s something in the writing that makes people love/hate those?

          • Interesting. I haven’t read The Book Thief, but I feel like the one person out there who couldn’t get into All the Light We Cannot See.

        • Tastes are funny – I loved both and both have really stuck with me! I’d also recommend The Periodic Table, a collection of short stories by Primo Levi.

    • Code Name Verity is fantastic.

    • I just read The Alice Network and enjoyed it. It switches between WWI and the aftermath of WWII.

      • Linda from HR :

        This is good to know, I just pulled it off a list of book recommendations and may buy it soon.

    • Sarah’s Key

    • Anony Mouse :

      If you want something lighter, you might enjoy The Chilbury Lady’s Choir.

    • Have you read any Alan Furst? A Hero of France fits your criteria.

    • I'm Just Me ... :

      Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy

      • And here I thought I was the only one who would suggest Gone to Soldiers!

        It’s a very good book – I love how it spans so many different aspects of WWII.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      Life After Life By Kate Atkinson
      Coming Home By Rosamunde Pilcher
      The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
      84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
      The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
      The Girl You Left Behind By JoJo Moyes

    • Have you read any Alan Furst? A Hero of France meets your criteria.

    • Check out Lilac Girls!

    • Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis (sci-fi but awesome), Life after Life and A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

      • Yes, I came here to suggest the Connie Willis books! They are phenomenal.

      • Anonymous :

        And then there’s her charming To Say Nothing About the Dog, which includes WWII and Time Travel and Victorians and butlers and such.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      Between Shades of Gray and Salt to the Sea

    • The Invisible Bridge. Second Life after Life and A God in Ruins.

    • Coach Laura :

      I loved Wives of War and Beneath a Scarlet Sky. The second of those is a true story of resistance and love written as a novel.

    • Suite Francaise

    • Delta Dawn :

      I really enjoyed People of the Book. It is not exclusively set in/after WWII, but a large portion of it is. The whole books takes place in segments over several hundred years, but there is a significant WWII portion.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        YES. So good. I saw that Geraldine Brooks has a new book out but I haven’t investigated yet.

      • I always like the idea of Geraldine Brooks books more than I wind up liking the eventual reading experience.

    • You would probably like The Bronze Horseman.

    • Thank you so much everyone!!

    • It’s not set in WWII but it was one of the most popular and most banned books after WWII: Forever Amber by Katherine Winsor.

      • +1 I read this when I was fifteen and learned so much about that era– it all comes back to me when I look at portraits of Charles the second and family in the National portrait gallery in London.

    • Bluestocking :

      Persephone Books is a small U.K. Publishing company that reprints “neglected” 20th century women writers. Not all of the books are set during WWII, but many are. You can browse their relatively small catalog to find some books that might appeal to you.

      Also, not published by Persephone, Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir, Tesatament of Youth, is excellent. I think it may have been made into a movie recently.

    • Foolish Fox :

      I enjoyed The Chamomile Lawn by Mary Wesley. There’s also a decent BBC miniseries adaptation.

  19. Baconpancakes :

    J.Crew Regent blazer popped collar look – cute or dumb?

    Along the same lines, I have a white linen blazer whose collar seems to pop on its own. Can I just embrace this and starch it to keep it up all the time?

    • I am team popped collar, when you feel good about it. If it feels costumey (like, “hey, here’s my work appropriate dracula look!”) skip it. If you enjoy the architecture of it, go for it (I usually do).

      • +1 I generally pop for non-work outfits if I am feeling preppy and the rest of my outfit and activities match.

      • I desperately want a work appropriate Dracula look now. But I do love a costume.

    • I got a tan wool Regent blazer on sale last year. I love it and wear it all the time! I find that my hair covers most of the collar, so barely anyone notices the collar is popped unless I’m wearing my hair up. It also folds a tiny bit if the popped collar bothers you.

    • Cute in the catalog, over the top in real life unless you are my MIL, who has the personality and the country club membership to carry it off.

    • I wore mine popped yesterday, as a suit with a matching skirt. It made a boring suit feel just a tiny bit more interesting.

    • They look great on Sue Perkins.

  20. Email Script: Polite yet Pushy? :

    If anyone can help me phrase an email, that would be great. I need to ask the head of department B for a work product for my own department A to use in a project for department C. He seems like a friendly enough guy, and there are generally very good relations between all 3 departments. And yet department B has always withheld this product, even when it means other departments have to recreate the same thing with lower quality.
    I sent one email yesterday, with the same phrasing I use in all of these requests. But I haven’t gotten any response, and it’s unlikely I will. Suggestions how I follow up?

    • If department B refuses to provide this work product to other departments, this is something that needs to be raised with management. There is no way that you can draft that email that will convince them to start being corporative.

      • I agree with this, but I would also try calling him or dropping by his office. A person is harder to ignore than an email. He might still refuse, but I think you’re likelier to get a reason why and this gives you a chance to explain politely why you need this work product and/or understand his basis for refusal if you do want to take it up the chain.

        • Email Script: Polite yet Pushy? :

          How would I go about calling or dropping by in an office that almost exclusively uses email? I agree it gets much better results, but I have no plausible reason I could be walking past his office, and from previous dealings he’s very busy. We don’t have any secretarial staff here.

          • I think the fact that your project is due in a week is your saving grace here. I would say something like, “Hi X, I sent you an email but I’m unfortunately under a bit of a time crunch here so figured I would give you a ring as well. I would love to get a copy of Y work product by date. It’s key to project ABC for Project Head C. Is this something you can send me, or is there a member of your team I should connect with?” And take it from there. Just keep it friendly and casual.

          • “a member of your team”…those could be the magic words. Most of his department owes me small favors ;) and I’m sure they’d be happy to help if they had an ‘okay’.
            I may use this whole script too. Thanks.

      • Email Script: Polite yet Pushy? :

        My department head has offered to get involved, but she is a very mild-mannered person and has not been successful at getting this in the past (though she has certainly built goodwill). I’m more the bulldozer type, so I thought I might give it a try myself.
        None of this is at a level of importance that it should escalate beyond the department heads involved. Would it be out-of-line to leverage department head C into asking for us?

    • I usually wait a week and then send another email, something like, “Following up on the below request — have you had a chance to look into this? Please let me know.”

      • Email Script: Polite yet Pushy? :

        I only have a week to complete the project for department C, which is not even a particularly short turn-around time for us.

        • Then I agree with those above on some combination of going to his office and asking about it in person and escalating higher up the management chain if he doesn’t cooperate.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Uh this might move it out of the “polite” category, but I think you can follow up to your earlier email, CC-ing the Group C person, with something like:


        I wanted to make sure this didn’t fall through the cracks.

        I will need WorkProduct no later than Monday so that I can turn around WholeProduct for Group C by Wednesday. Please let me know ASAP if that will be a problem for your group.

        Thank you so much,
        Email Script

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Basically I like to word my emails so that *ignoring* them is agreeing to my request. If it’s gonna be a problem, tell me — otherwise we are all going to assume it won’t be.

          • Totally using this in the future, although I’m not sure it’ll work for my current situation!

          • This is a good tip too. “Unless anyone objects, I will do X by end of day” is a line I use sometimes when a decision needs to be made and no one in the group wants to take ownership of it.

  21. Somebody wiser help me with my indecision re moving, please. We’re nearing the end of our lease on our one bedroom apt and are considering moving for a combination of 1) more space and 2) to get away from certain cons of our building, like a nonresponsive management, lots of construction, and a slightly sketchy walk to public transportation. Our actual apartment is nice but the other “cons” are wearing on me.

    Here’s the thing: we don’t really NEED a two bedroom, in the sense that it’s just the two of us. We’re going to TTC this winter (eek!) but you know, best laid plans of mice and men. The extra space will be nice in the meantime, but I also like the idea of moving now and then not having to deal with it when I am (hopefully) expecting.

    So would you move now and avoid having to move while pregnant? Or stay in the smaller apartment with the not-great commute, save some money, and only look for more space once you truly need it? Along those lines, anybody here have a baby in a one-bedroom and how did that go?

    • Move to a different 1 bedroom now. If you try to TTC this winter – the earliest you’re having a kid is next Sept. I would not get a 2 bedroom now and pay extra rent for a whole yr for a room I didn’t need (though I guess this depends on where you live; my frame of reference is places like NYC/DC where rent differentials are huge and rent generally is a large part of expenditure). Why can’t you move while pregnant? If you save a whole yr of rent by staying in a 1 bedroom and then pay $500-1000 to movers (shouldn’t even be that much for a local move with 1 bedroom’s worth of furniture), you still come out way ahead financially.

    • Move while pregnant or after baby is here. It’s premature to do it now.
      I feel like a lot of non-parents don’t know this but the official pediatrician recommendation is that babies sleep in the parents room for at least six months. A baby in a one bedroom apartment is totally doable. We have a house but I’m a minimalist and for the first six months our daughter had a crib in our room and a changing pad on our dresser and that was the sum total of her furniture. All the stuff like bouncers and rockers is totally optional. An infant *needs* a safe place to sleep, milk or formula, and diapers. That’s really about it.

      • Thanks for your last couple of sentences. Barely even started down this rabbit hole but I already feel inundated about *needs* so this is a helpful reminder.

      • blueberries :

        I think the recommendation recently changed to at least the fist six months on a different sleep surface in the parents’ room, but preferably a year. However, the 6-12 months especially is kind of controversial (associated with lower SIDS risk, but no one getting proper sleep is also risky), so worth a chat with the pediatrician.

    • What’s the cost difference between where you live now and where you’re looking at moving to? What do you want more space for, other than a potential future child?

      If you’re talking about a cost difference of a couple hundred dollars a month, and you have some reason that another bedroom will be useful to you _now_ I might move. But if there’s a large cost difference and no current use for the space, I’d wait and save the money.

    • If it helps, we had our baby in our room for about six months. Then we moved him to the sunroom (there was not a bedroom for him). We are now moving – he’s 12 months – in anticipation of the sunroom no longer being appropriate once he’s able to hop out of his crib (I assume that’s coming somewhat soon).

      I worried a lot about a similar decision to yours, and found that we really didn’t need to move as quickly as I thought for the extra space. Between x months of TTC, 9ish months of pregnancy, and 6ish months of the baby in your room, you’ve got some time!

    • Thanks for the responses! The cost difference would be around $300-500 per month and we’d use the extra space as an office/ guest room.

      I’m starting back at Biglaw this fall after a break (not the poster above but similar situation), so I think I’m having thoughts of “get all the ducks in a row NOW!” because the thought of moving while pregnant/balancing Biglaw just sounds really daunting.

      Particularly, thanks for the thoughts re babies in one bedrooms. Maybe what we need is a one-bedroom with a den or just a larger one-bedroom. We’d get away from the negatives we don’t like about our current apartment but not be paying for an entire second bedroom we don’t need.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      We had a baby in a one-bedroom for six months. We then moved across the country (to a three-bedroom house!!!) and then about a year later again. Moving was a huge pain in the butt! Of course! It always is. But having *had* the kid for a while made that easier, in a way? Like by then we kind of knew what to expect, what she really needed, and what was just gravy.

      On the other hand, my sister moved from a studio to a two-bedroom while 8.5 months pregnant, and I don’t think she’d recommend that. Kid came a little early, new place was not ready, and it was stressful and tiring.

      • Agree not to move at 8.5 months pregnant, but there’s no reason you can’t move at 6-7 months. In fact, it will probably be the easiest move you ever do, because your partner and/or professional movers will have to do all the physical work of moving.

        • Anon in NYC :

          This is what I did. Moved from a 1 bedroom to a 2 bedroom at about 6/7 months pregnant. It honestly wasn’t that terrible. My stomach wasn’t so huge that I couldn’t bend over or got easily winded from simple tasks, unpacking wasn’t terrible, etc. We were able to get settled into our new place and fix up a nursery with plenty of time.

      • Yes, thanks for sharing these anecdotes! I should clarify I’m not phased about physically moving while pregnant, I know H will do most of the physical work and we’d hire movers. I’m thinking more about the mental labor of it on top of my very demanding job, looking for an apartment in our extremely competitive city, etc. But I think for now I like the idea of moving to a larger one bedroom or one bed plus den, staying there a couple of years, and moving once hypothetical baby actually needs more hypothetical space.

    • Anonymous :

      If it helps, we had a baby and continued living in a studio (!!!!!) for 11 months after baby, then we moved to a 1-bedroom in the same building. Because it was in the same building, moving was super easy – we packed everything up, scrounged up a dolly, had some friends over (+ pizza) to move major items like the table and bed, I wore the baby on my back and we spent the morning shuttling stuff up and down. (Living in a 1-bedroom with a toddler now is, uh, cosy but doable.)

  22. Wear Everything Challenge :

    Well, we are more than midway through summer and I’ve pretty much worn everything I’m going to wear, which means I have to get ruthless about what I’m not going to wear and get rid of it.

    What new combos are you wearing lately? I’ve rediscovered some of my non-black neutrals and have been having fun wearing them.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I figured out a cute, no-meeting-day outfit with a top I agonized over buying but really wanted to own. Sleeveless Scout Stripe Shirt in camel from Bridge and Burn with black ankle pants, black dansko clog sandals, camel leather clutch purse.

      Also pulled out my pink and green tropical print top today with stone trousers, mint green heels, and the white blazer whose collar won’t stay down.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Today is a MISS. I’m wearing a dress that should be appropriate for my pretty-casual office on a Friday (when even the most senior people sometimes wear jeans) BUT the bra I’m wearing it with means nothing is left to the imagination — eep. Will try again in a few weeks with better undergarments.

    • I got really good at wearing all my business-casual dresses, and then half my office went on vacation for a month (expats – ugh I’m so jealous) and the other half started wearing jeans to work daily #summertimeblues. So now I’m trying to keep my super-casual wardrobe feeling fresh and planning to jump start with the dresses again in the fall…which will be around November here in the sticky South, ha! To actually answer your question: I got rid of a few things, but what works for me is to move seasonal stuff around. I actually wear about 80% of my wardrobe pretty regularly. That being said, my 5 month old has probably twice as many clothes as I do, so I think my wardrobe is about as minimalist as you can get.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been fearless about wearing color, and ended up with some good outfits I would not have otherwise worn. Thanks for the inspiration!

  23. I know somebody here posted about hip bursitis a few days/weeks ago. Is it possible to return to running (like, ever) if you have this condition? I’ve been in physical therapy for about a month now and tried running this morning for the first time since I started PT because the therapist thought I was ready. I experience a lot less pain day-to-day than I did when I started, but unfortunately my injured leg still doesn’t move the right way for running. Am I ever going to be able to go back to it? :(

    • A month isn’t that long! I have not had this specific condition, but I did have a similar experience with another injury: I had been seeing a PT for a foot injury for about a month and he suggested I was ready to start running. I tried and it hurt and I went home and cried. It took a lot longer than I was happy about (closer to 6 months, 2 of PT and 4 of taking it really, really easy with both my speed and my distances), but I did heal, and I am back to running 4 days a week with no foot paint at all.

      Best of luck, and hang in there!

      • That’s encouraging… I’m hoping that it just hasn’t been long enough yet. My physical therapist was like,”Well, maybe you’re just not built to be a runner.” :(

        • What?! I’m so sorry!!

          I’ve been to several PT over the years for different things and never had one say something so discouraging.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Ugh, I have. I had knee surgery as a 20-year old and asked the surgeon when I could get back to hiking and start running again. He looked at me like I was an idiot and said I needed to find new hobbies.

            Had two great PTs, then one who set me exercises that were not even slightly challenging, then shrugged when she recommended I try running again and I told her it still hurt, in the same way. The surgeon was used to working on the over-60 crowd, and the PT was used to working on student athletes, and their expectations for me just didn’t match with reality.

            I’d recommend finding a different PT.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          My husband got the same comment when he had his gait analyzed. He was training for a marathon and was perpetually hurting his knee and hip. The PT later clarified, and my husband agreed, that he could certainly run 5-10 miles but his body wasn’t made for mega-distances like marathons.

          What type of running do you do?

          • I do usually stick to shorter distances like 5Ks and 10Ks. I injured myself when I did a half-marathon 2 years ago and I injured myself again when I started trying to train for one this year. So it’s likely I’m not made to be a distance runner.

        • Marshmallow :

          I had hip bursitis and still have “dancer’s hip” tendinitis on that side. My PT made the same comment to me and I thought it was harsh, but it’s been almost two years and I still have pain after running even short distances. However, I think my problem may be more with the tendinitis than with the bursitis itself, which I think is pretty much gone by now, so YMMV. I’ve been doing very well with barre, but I do miss just getting outside and moving.

          But yeah, a month is really early. If you trust your PT, stick to the rehab program and take it slow on the running. I hope you have a better outcome than I am right now!

    • I don’t know your age, but I am a middle aged runner and one of my eternal dreams is to have just one run without anything hurting. I realize the dream every now and then but have come to realize that after many happy experiences in multiple sports the body just doesn’t heal and recover the way it used to. One thing that I have learned is that ice is my friend, and sometimes after a long run and ice right after in the morning, a long hot bath in the afternoon/ early evening can be life changing.

      I had some awful aches and pains from overtraining (upping mileage too fast) and that resulted in me taking 6 months off and then starting completely from zero (little 2 mile runs) and working back up slowly. The time off and much slower re-buildup have really helped. The key is to remember not to overdo it because you feel great–that’s when the injury bug gets revenge. You can do it, just take it slow and really take care of yourself after your runs!

    • Different hip injury (labral tear) but I found that if I stick with the PT exercises, I can run, just not the distances I used to. It just took lots of time and patience to get there, like 6-8 months before I could run any distance. I am now two years post-injury. I am in my mid-50s.

    • Anonymous :

      Ugh, I am sorry! I am the poster with hip bursitis so know how frustrating it is. If all else fails, there’s always surgery to drain the bursa and/or remove it. My doc referred me to PT but also said that PT is so-so for bursitis and I might need to scale back running for good, and if that was not ok with me then we could discuss surgical options. So, I’ve had that in the back of my mind throughout this ordeal (apparently you don’t necessarily need the bursa and it grows back anyway). Maybe bring that up with your doc if you don’t respond to PT? I’ve also heard stories of cortisone shots reducing pain, but also reducing the inflammation enough that it essentially cures the burisits. Didn’t happen with me, but it might be worth a shot (no pun intended). Finally, there are studies linking B12 deficiency to joint issues like bursitis. If you suspect you may be low in B12, can’t hurt to try large doses for a bit and see if it helps with the inflammation. I’m trying it all – can you tell I’m desperate?? :)

  24. At-Home Laser Hair Removal :

    I know that laser hair removal is pretty popular on here from searching past threads, but has anyone tried an at home laser? My primary interest is making the hair on my calves less prominent. I’d like to go from shaving daily to every other day or less frequent so I am not going into it desiring total hair removal. Being able to do it at home is a plus because I’d have scheduling issues trying to get to the salon that would do it since it’s across town. I’m looking at the Tria on Sephora but am open to other options, too!

    • I have the Tria and have had mixed results with it. There is one section it has had really excellent results on, but other sections it has not. I think you have to align it properly with the pore for it to work maybe? I haven’t had it for a super long time, and I will keep trying on the areas where it hasn’t been successful yet. I don’t know, I feel like maybe I would be happier if I had just spent the money on getting it professionally done.

    • Anonymous :

      I have the Silk Flash n Go. Only downside is you need to shave before you use it, because the hair needs to be flush with the skin. And of course after you do it the hair still grows (and then gradually falls out) but it takes (or took me) 2 or 3 months to see the results. And yes, while the hair isn’t completely eliminated, it is vastly reduced and I can go much longer without having to tend to it.

  25. Casually freaking out right now.

    If a recruiter asked you for your availability and you responded, how long should you wait before confirming an actual time? They asked for a specific date and I gave my availability for that day. They haven’t actually given me a time yet, but I’ll have to work my day around that phone call.

    • There’s nothing wrong with letting a recruiter know you’re busy and in demand. Tell her/him you’ve been holding the day open and you need to know soon whether it’s on, because you are having some trouble continuing to hold the time.

    • Linda from HR :

      They may need to confirm the time with a busy hiring manager, which they only have so much control over, but if it’s been a day or two I might remind them you’ve been holding the day on your calendar but need some kind of confirmation.

  26. Need outfit help for this weekend!

    DH just started working for a new company. They are having a company outing this Saturday night at our local minor league baseball stadium. There’s a “picnic area” where they’ll have grilled burgers, hot dogs, etc. We’re taking our kids, ages 9 and 11, with us.

    The complicating factor is that his company, which does of a lot of employment placement in big companies in our area, is recruiting for a position I’m qualified for. DH happened to mention, when the position was brought up at one of his manager’s meetings, “oh, that’s what my wife does, I’ll see if she knows anyone” and they asked him if I might be interested myself. I am. So this is also a professional situation, where I’ll be talking to the people I would ultimately interview with.

    I have: dark skinny jeans; white jeans; a dark denim skirt; some flowy tanks, and a couple lightweight cardigans. That’s about it. I also wondered about a casual cotton dress and either a lightweight denim jacket or I have a linen moto-style jacket from Calvin Klein I could wear? Also, suggestions on shoes? Heels are out, I don’t want to spend the evening pulling my heels out of the grass. Ideas welcome!

    • I’m sure people will jump all over me – but this is a potential professional/networking situation for the first time with these people — I wouldn’t opt for tanks/anything sleeveless. Dark jeans and a top with sleeves.

      • No, I agree! Reading this at first, I thought you were going to suggest she wear a suit, haha. No sleeves is a good idea.

    • Wedges can work if you do want heels.

    • It depends on a few factors:

      1) How formal is the company, generally? What is husband wearing?
      2) Weather. If it’s going to be hot (i.e. over 80 degrees) I would not wear jeans. It’s setting you up to be miserable (if you’re anything like me).

      If it were me, I would do either the denim skirt and a flowy tank or a cotton dress. If you need a topper piece, I would go with a lightweight cardigan or the linen jacket, depending on your personal style and how formal husband is dressing.

      • Company is business casual generally – DH can wear khakis and a button-down to work most days. He’ll probably wear jeans and a polo shirt on Saturday because those are literally the only casual clothes he has, other than what he wears to mow the lawn.

        Weather won’t be too hot but it will be humid. We’ve gotten a lot of rain in the last few days so ground will be wet, most likely.

        • If you’re worried about sweaty legs (I sweat in muggy weather in jeans) I’d go with a dress and the moto jacket.

          If you want to wear jeans, I’d do those with a tank and the moto jacket.

          Shoes: boat shoes, keds, etc. Do not wear heels or dress shoes to a baseball game/picnic.

    • I think I’d just wear what you were otherwise going to wear. That you’re interested in a job there and they’re potentially interested in you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t otherwise dress appropriately for the venue. I wouldn’t wear anything super sloppy or revealing but I would think whatever people would normally wear to this kind of thing would still be fine.

      Of what you said, I’d go with dark skinny jeans, a tank, and bring a cardigan for if it gets chilly or if for some reason you get the vibe that you should cover up a bit.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I would do the dark skinny jeans, casual wedge sandals if you’ve got ’em, tank, and the moto style jacket.

      But if you’re at all worried about feeling gross and muggy (I would be!) I would do a summer dress with the moto jacket. (I mean, that would be my default, but I live in the desert.)

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks for the ideas everyone! I’m going to go home tonight and put together something cute.

  27. We are in the initial stages of redesigning or renovating (not sure how far we’ll go) our kitchen and a small bathroom. The contractor asked us to go on Houzz and pick things we like. But there’s too much there. Any advice on how to wade through it all? I’m really not picky, but these are small rooms, so a lot of pictures really don’t apply.

    • Ask your contractor for a portfolio of his or her past work. That’s usually a good starting point. Not that you want to copy someone else’s house exactly but it gives the contactor a sense of your style and they can run with it.

    • Do you have a style in mind? Mid-century, modern, farmhouse? If you go to photos, click your area (ie kitchen) then filter on style, I found that very helpful when we remodeled. Now granted, Hubs has Very Specific [tm] style requirements, which are actually really nice for people like me who just buy things they like and then none of it looks good together. I think that style is called eclectic? It’s daunting at first but if you have time, just browse photos on Houzz all weekend. That really helped me develop a sense of what I wanted from the contractor: even good ones need a lot of guidance because there are a million options! Good luck!

  28. Financial Goal :

    Sharing here because I can’t share anywhere else: so excited to see today that my 401(k) is over $100,000!!

    This is a big symbolic milestone for me – I’m 32 and realized a few years ago that I really needed to get my financial house in order. I hadn’t saved anything significant for most of my 20s. (i.e., I had a savings account but it never had more than a couple months of expenses in it; no other savings.) I have spent the past few years trying to focus more on savings, and now I have a nine-month emergency fund in savings, a short-medium term investment fund with ~$20,000 invested, and I’m feeling much more caught up on retirement, as well.


    • Congrats!! Once I hit 100k, I really felt like I could see growth on a monthly (weekly – however often you care to look) basis — meaning the principal amount is large enough that even a 0.5% jump in the market results in $500 growth, rather than sub $100 growth. 100k down, now onto 200k!

    • That’s amazing! Can you share how you managed to save that much in just a few years?

    • Congrats! So happy for/proud of you! Seconding the Anonymouses below: would love to hear the story of how you did it.

    • I also just hit $100k in my 401K at 32. Sadly, I don’t have must advice on how to do it. I started fully funding my 401k about 4 years ago in biglaw, and interest gains took care of the rest.

  29. I am not a lawyer, but hoping someone reading can give me some legal-ish formatting recs.

    I am assisting a relative with an high level appeal to Medicare to cover a medical treatment. It was denied, and I am at a level of appeal where I have to present the “case” in front of a Judge to determine whether or not Medicare will cover it. While this is very intimidating to me (!), I have been told that are large proportion of people are successful with the appeal in front of the judge.

    It is not unusual for people to hire lawyers to assist, but apparently it is also very common for people to present their “case” themselves. It is all done over conference call. I am apparently able to start with a statement explaining our case/argument, and the judge asks questions….. and a representative is there from the insurance company for the other side.

    I am in the process of preparing some written materials about the case that will be forwarded to the judge ahead of time and placed into the case “file”. These things include some medical records, an detailed ?letter I have written stating our “case” (reasons treatment needed, what the treatment is and why it is effective, and why Medicare should be covering these types of treatments), a couple “figures” , a couple scientific papers in full that support effectiveness of the treatment, and a couple of ???addendums/exhibits/whateveryoucallit that are extensive “footnotes” of sort…. Like a few pages that detail cost/benefit analysis, and are mostly text. And like a page that explains how I calculated life expectancy.

    From talking to the Judge’s office, the judge is not a doctor, and probably only opens the case file for a few minutes that morning for the first time.

    I know it cannot be perfect as I have no time and I am not a brilliant lawyer like you guys scared a partner is going to yell at me. But I am a little nervous that if I don’t have things slightly organized then the judge isn’t even going to bother to glance at anything in the folder at all. I’ve already decided to place a 1 page summary on top, hoping that at least he will read that….

    So …. any recs on what to “call” each of the different parts of my little care package for the judge? Table of contents needed? and add page numbers to ?everything from 1-200? Or have my letter/argument (about 6 pages) be the focus and page numbered, and then somehow refer to the supplementary materials as separate figures/tables/etc…?

    And …… is it terrible if I handwrite page numbers on the entire shebang, if that is needed? How else do I do that…

    Any advice appreciated. Obviously I haven’t done a research project for school in like 30 years. I just don’t want the judge totally annoyed with me.

    • Oh, gosh – can you afford a lawyer? I’m worried even reading this. It’s not that I think you’re going to do a poor job or anything, it’s just that a lawyer in your jurisdiction who specializes in this area of practice is going to give you much better advice and do a much better job shepherding your relative’s appeal through the process than any of us could do.

      • No need, and relative would never pay. Honestly, I have never had good luck with lawyers in these medical situations, and the work I have done myself was always better. I have spent many hours on it, and it wouldn’t be cost effective to hire a lawyer for this.

        I am in medicine.

        I have all the work done, just working on the formatting etc…

    • I did something similar, though it was only at the written appeal stage, not in a judge. My outline was roughly:
      – patient has x condition
      – doctor prescribed y treatment
      – medicare policy is to cover y (or portion of y) treatement — cite to page number or actual policy guideline
      – any additional information from the doctor on the treatment’s effectiveness

      Good luck!

      • Thanks!

        I have done a lot of standard appeals with regular insurance too, and win most of them because I know what they are looking for.

        But sometimes Medicare is hard because they sometimes decide…. we aren’t going to pay for this item… regardless how great it is and medically necessary etc.. Most private insurances aren’t so black and white. And Medicare sometimes shrugs and says “we don’t have a code for this… sorry”. Sometimes it is non-sensical…

        I have a good cost-effectiveness argument, medical necessity argument, and coding argument.

    • Make your letter the thing that gets read. At only 6 pages, it probably doesn’t need a one page executive summary. You can put a short summary as part of the letter- Intro, Summary, Medical History, Timeline of Denials Insurance, Detailed reason why treatment is needed/ efficiency of treatment, conclusion.
      I’d attach medical records, articles, supporting documentation as exhibits to the letter and add page numbers to it all for ease of reference. Then cross reference it in the letter. This treatment is 85% effective. (Exhibit C, p. 6).

      • Also, Medicare should have information about how these appeals work and what forms/items you need. I assume that this is before an administrative law judge. Make sure you review that guidance and include the forms if necessary, for example, you may need to fill out a form to include new medical records or new evidence.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks, so much.

        So I should call the articles etc… “exhibits”. Great.

        Should I call every attachment an “exhibit”, regardless of what it is? I’m used to writing scientific papers where I call some things “Figures” and some things “Tables” etc…. and refer to previously published papers in the text by the author’s name and year of publication (Smith et al., 2017). But maybe here each attachment should be called an “exhibit” for simplicity?

        And you think I should number each exhibit separately, within the exhibit, rather than numbering it all in order? That is helpful.

        Yes, I do have to fill out a form.

        And my summary basically pulls together everything. All of the exhibits/the letter etc.. Unfortunately it is now 2 pages, but because the letter is so detailed I was worried he wouldn’t want to slog through it (lots of medical jargon, unfortunately and clinical details….).

        Part of me doesn’t understand how a judge without medical training could be making these decisions.

        • I don’t think it matters that much whether your call each thing an exhibit, table, or figure, but they should all be labeled for ease of reference and each one should have page numbers. If it’s all one document, I like to insert a page at the beginning of each attachment or exhibit with large text that says “Exhibit A” in the center of the page and nothing else. Exhibit A follows, repeat for other exhibits (or table or figure or whatever you want to call it).

          FYI you can do the page numbering in adobe or foxit or other PDF program by adding a header or footer to the document. If you don’t have time to learn to do that, I think handwriting it as fine as long as it’s neat.

        • Anonymous :

          I would make sure your letter very clearly and concisely explains why you should win. The judge can look up the details later by referring to your exhibits, etc.

          • Helpful thanks.

            I wondered if the judge would go back later and look things up. Great.

    • Was the service already rendered? If so, the provider should be appealing the case, not you and your relative. If the administrative law judge (ALJ) determines that the service was not medically necessary, Medicare will not pay, but the provider cannot bill your relative unless there was also a signed form called an Advance Beneficiary Notice of Non-Payment (ABN) stating that your relative knew that Medicare would not pay and that s/he would take financial responsibility for the service.

      Also, if you go down this road, know that there is a huge backlog of ALJ appeals currently. It will likely take over a year to get your hearing.

      • Hearing next week. The denial was for a pre-determination, and we have been paying out of pocket since the denial. We are hoping for a reversal of the denial so that Medicare will pay for ongoing care, as the treatment is something that will be needed ongoing for the rest of their life.

        Providers are terrible at doing appeals, in my experience. I’ve had bad luck with both doctors and medical supply companies/dme providers. They just don’t have the time. They also don’t want to try, as Medicare is difficult to appeal to. I have won appeals with Medicare in the past so am less intimidated, but my last appeal was years ago before the ALJ system.

        And no, the backlog is no longer so bad. The judge scheduling was easy. The insurance company reps just kept trying to delay….

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’ve done my own appeals before with private insurance and I attribute part of my success to demonstrating how the treatment will save the insurance company money. One treatment was considered experimental or off label but I found it was a standard treatment in Canada and had shown success in all trials in the US. I pointed out that there was no risk to the treatment. The treatment only cost $2500. Without the treatment, they were guaranteed to have to pay for at least two more surgeries for X for me. It was in their best financial interest to pay the $2500 instead.

      For organization, you can scan everything and use a PDF editor to add a page number stamp to the documents. Your letter can cite to the page number from the packet to make it easier for the judge. So letter says “Doc says relative needs X. See medical record, pg. ___.”

      • Thank you!

        You are absolutely right about arguing how the treatment will save the company money. Sad but true, but that is often the bottom line.

        Similar to your situation, my relative will require a major surgery without this (relatively inexpensive) treatment that will cause a huge deformity and would require ongoing care and supplies for the rest of his life. It is kind of a no-brainer. But unfortunately, there are many examples of Medicare not covering something even though it is cost effective for them to do so.

    • Anonymous :

      I would also recommend that you reach out to the patient advocacy group that works with people affected by your relative’s condition. They likely have experience with this and should have helpful advice.

  30. At least it's Friday :

    Today’s one of those days where I hate my job so much and I feel so unmotivated, I just want to flip my desk and go home.

  31. Any cute ideas for telling your parents (in person) that they’re going to be grandparents? They’re not big on material goods so I don’t want to get t-shirts or mugs with “#1 Grandma” or something like that. I’ve seen onesies with stuff about the grandparents on them, but that’s confusing to me because the baby wears the onesie, not the grandparents. They’re really hard to shop for in general and I normally buy them consumables like flowers or food or birthdays and Mother’s/Father’s Day. I’m thinking something but a framed ultrasound photo seems kind of cheesy. We’ll almost certainly know the gender when we tell them (doing early genetic testing) but I tend toward gender neutral stuff anyway and don’t want to encourage all the pink or all the blue.

    • Ok, so you know them best, but this does seem like the kind of occasion where you can be a little cheesy. It’s their first (right?) grandchild!

    • I wore a mama bear T-shirt and waited for them to notice it. It took awhile…

    • We wrapped up a picture frame. Instead of a picture inside, we put a note that said “Reserved for baby mascot. Anticipated arrival x/x/xxx.”

    • A picture frame. With a note in it saying “Picture of Grandma and Me, coming Mar 2018”.

      A children’s book. Write something in it about “the start to your Grandparent Library”

      If you have any sort of occasion for a card, sign it “Me, Partner, and Baby-to-be”

    • Things I’ve seen done:

      -If there’s a birthday coming up, get them a “happy birthday grandma” card.
      -Take to dinner and ask, “Can you pass the salt, Grandpa?”
      -Tel her how GRAND she looks. to waitstaff (in on the deal): “Doesn’t my mom look GRAND? She’s a GRAND mother”

      • Love the last one.

        We already call my dad Gramps (…acts like an old man, has no grand kids and won’t be having any), so that one didn’t even faze me haha

      • We did the card route and since it was the first grandchild and niece/nephew on my side, it had a big impact. We did Christmas cards for my parents and sisters — is there a holiday around when you’d tell them? Grandparents day is coming up in September, maybe you could do a card or gift for that?

    • A friend announced at a family dinner for her dad’s birthday by secretly telling everyone but him just before and then having them all sing “happy birthday grandpa ____” instead of “dear ____.” He was absolutely thrilled, it didn’t take away from his birthday, and everyone liked getting to participate in the fun!

    • Delta Dawn :

      I wrapped a pair of white (gender neutral) knit baby booties. It’s actually a gift for the baby (like the onesie idea you mentioned), but it means you don’t have to give them a material good to take up space in their house– OR, it can start their collection of Baby Things to keep at their house. If you don’t want to give them a material good, you could put an ultrasound photo in a card. You also mentioned you liked to send consumables– you could bring flowers or food with a card saying it’s from Baby Anonymous.

    • I told my mom on a major holiday by buying a card from Etsy that said something like, “What do you get for the world’s best mom?” on the front and on the inside, “A promotion to Grandma!” with an ultrasound photo taped in. It was a little cheesy but so’s my mom, and she was so surprised.

  32. LondonLeisureYear :

    Is there an activity that the future grandparents will want to do with the baby as it grows up? Maybe if one of the grandparents is a good cook like a cookie pot or cookie cutter that has a note “Baby on the way can’t wait to sample your famous chocolate chip cookies!” Or if they play a sport maybe something related to that sport golf balls etc with a note ‘Better keep your game strong, Baby Due _____ is going to need pointers from the best!” Fishing lures with a note ‘Save to use with future little ___last name ___”.

  33. Just wanted to say thanks to those who offered moral support the other day for getting rid of all the brown clothes in my closet, even though it’s a color that looks good on me. I have cleaned out ten pieces of clothing and four pairs of shoes so far, and as I did so I realized how long it’s been since I wore any of this stuff. Will keep a few separates that I do seem to wear since they are a more chestnut color that pairs well with the other colors in my work wardrobe (grey, black, medium dark blue, olive, teal, orange, and orangy reds and yellow greens). But all of the plain dark brown items are out.

    • Wear Everything Challenge :

      GO YOU!

      I should do the same. It also looks good on me but I just never feel like “oh wow, I am so s3xy and powerful in this brown getup”… I should do the same. I think i give brown another shot every summer for a couple of weeks and then let it marinate in the back of the closet for the rest of the summer. (It’s a no-go in the winter because I’ve never been able to match shoes and tights to it)

  34. Sick of This :

    Looking for some support from my internet friends. Finally cutting ties after 15 years with two younger male siblings who among other things are drug users, have had several runs in with the law and one of which had an unwanted child at a young age with someone who is equally toxic. I spent years trying to fix their problems, issues, spent so much time, money and tears trying to help them but was still cursed out, called names and hung up on several times as well as having been lied about and gossiped about. This is all due, I believe to their jealousy that after our parents divorce, instead of spiraling downward, I stayed out of trouble, put my self through undergrad and two masters program, and doing well for myself in a good and stable career. No kids or addictions. I know they are also angry b/c both parents have always been proud of me and they constantly state they feel its a competition. I finally realized no matter how much you try to show people you don’t see yourself as better than them and you try to help them when they ask, they will still attack you and lash out. I am finally cutting it off. the last few days have been distressing and painful. I don’t want to live in the chaos and toxicity any more. Any commiseration or support that would be nice. No one else in my life ever cuts ties with negative behavior so they think I am being too extreme.

    • Anonymous :

      Hey – I understand totally. In a similar situation, but with the child, is there any chance that you should stick around to be “family,” to show him/her how to rise above all of this? A stable person in his/her life? That is the only reason we are still involved with one toxic person.

      • If you want to do that, great. But I don’t think the OP owes this child anything. And I say that as the child of an addict.

    • You are doing the right thing.

      I can’t stand it when “well-meaning” people try to guilt trip you into staying in a bad situation. The fact that they think it cant have been so bad is a testament to how strong you have been and how well you have done. They also dont have all the facts and all the lived experience that you do.

      I have stories about a family member that I never tell because I don’t want people to pity me or think of me as “damaged goods”. When I cut that family member out of my life you’d think I was the monster. Nope. I feel so much better.

      Do it and don’t look back.

  35. For those of you who shop British brands, does HOBBS have a good and easy return policy? I am drooling over some dresses but haven’t ordered from them before.

  36. Nice Look..

  37. I love the detail in the neck line of this shirt!

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